Archive for August, 2007

For liberalism, success requires failure

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

One of the many conundrums about liberalism is that it requires failure to be successful.

This goes beyond the War in Iraq, although that can be a starting point. It goes to the core of what liberalism is, that being a philosophy that requires problems and misery to survive.

Starting with the War in Iraq, liberals need the USA to lose in Iraq. I am not going to question the patriotism of American liberals. I am sure many of them truly believe that their solutions are noble. However, their view on Iraq is destructive.

The liberals love to say that this war is President Bush’s war. On this point, they are absolutely right. Therefore, if it succeeds, he will get the credit. Therefore, it needs to fail so he gets the blame. The problem with this strategy is that it sacrifices a chance at historical greatness for short term political gain. The democrats won in 2006, but what have they done since?

If the liberals could get beyond their hatred for President Bush, imagine what could happen if the President turns out to be right. A democracy  in Iraq…and Afghanistan…the dominoes could fall, and the Middle East in 2020 could be like Eastern Europe in 1989. Is this difficult to imagine? Of course. However, why not dream big dreams? Isn’t the point of life to make the world better? The President may turn out to be wrong, but isn’t his attempt noble? Shouldn’t we try to succeed? Yes, absolutely.

If the liberals end up being right, and Iraq turns out to be a failure, what will be the joy of this empty victory? Nothing. We will be a nation humiliated. The world will laugh at us. We will be weaker than at any time since 1979. It will be open season on America. We will have been challenged, and we will have blinked. We will cease to be a great nation.

It is not just the war where liberalism requires misery, although at this stage in history it is the most serious. The other area is the economy.

Liberals truly believe in an activist government and an expansive array of new social programs. This does not make liberals bad people. It is an honest philosophical disagreement. However, the consequences of enacting the leftist philosophy into law would be crippling to American society.

The reason for this is because governments have power when their citizens are dependent on government for their survival. The conservative philosophy of self reliance is meant to get people off of government dependence, and truly be free.

The democrats have managed to set up enough programs so that a certain percentage of voters are  dependent on the government to survive. 43%-46% is the approximate percentage of the vote that democrats typically win. They have not topped 50% since 1964, although they did win a couple of elections without a majority. If the democrats can manage to have 51% of voters dependent on the government, then they can perpetually win elections. The downward spiral will never end until America collapses, but when people are thinking of short term electoral victories, eventual decline is not relevant.

It is for these reasons that when blacks become republicans, they are deemed “sellouts,” and “Uncle Toms.” Conservative solutions such as welfare reform have helped some families break the cycle of dependency. Black home ownership rates are at an all time high. Faith based initiatives and school choice vouchers for inner city families have been absolute successes. Public schools have done nothing to protect students from guns and drugs. What these issues all have in common is that conservative solutions worked, and liberal solutions achieved more dependency, failure, and hopelessness.

The democratic party has become a variety of special interest groups demanding more from government. There was a debate solely for black issues. There was a debate solely for gay issues. The republicans held debates for all people, and are focusing on a War on Terror that affects black and white, gay and straight, with equal importance.

Every conservative solution that works creates a weakening in the liberal cycle of dependency. Whether it is welfare reform, school choice, faith based initiatives, etc, the debate is how far to implement conservative ideas. It is not whether to implement them.

Conservatives want to abolish tenure for teachers. Other professions require people to be judged on merit. Why should teachers not be required to meet standards? Liberals rush to the defense of the teachers’ unions, but at what price? Our students are not learning. They are dependent on public schools, and education is declining everywhere except in religious schools. By keeping families down, they will be forced to attend public school because they will not be able to afford private schools. The cycle of dependency continues.

At the risk of invoking the most painful chapter in American history, it can be argued that liberalism enslaves people. I know slavery is a loaded word, but what else would one call people that have no hope of ever achieving the America dream because they are locked into an endless dependency cycle? I would call that being an indentured servant.  Republicans freed the slaves, and now conservatives are trying to free people from the shackles of tyranny, be it a government program, or a brutal 3rd world dictator.

Liberalism occasionally succeeds electorally because it successfully portrays republicans and conservatives as cold, heartless, mean spirited people that want to simply eliminate the weakest from society. That story plays well on occasion, but it is a lie. When calling conservatives mean is not effective enough, the next step is to call them evil. Republicans are called Nazis, Brownshirts, Hitler, Conservative Concentration Campers, and other epithets that no human being in America should ever be subjected to hearing.

Republicans and conservatives should not, to quote Lady Thatcher, “go wobbly.” We must be willing to lose elections in the short run for a better world in the long run.

We must tell the truth. Liberalism is poison. It destroys people. It rips their insides out. It is parasitic. It leeches onto victims, sucks them dry, leaves them with nothing, and then forces the victims to beg for more liberalism in the hope of being cured. It is a drug and a disease, all rolled into one. I am not saying liberals are evil people. I am saying that their methods of helping people hurt them.

When was the last time a liberal program ever worked? I define “worked” as on time, under budget, and produced positive results that benefitted society. Corporations consist of people with incentives to succeed. Therefore, they often succeed. Government is set up with incentives to fail. If it succeeds, people will no longer need government. This is why outside of a strong military, where success is defined by actual success, government fails.

This is not about winning elections. Elections are temporary. It is about looking back and realizing we made the world better.

Failing government schools mired in drugs and guns versus successful private schools bringing children closer to God. People trapped on welfare forever, or a tough love welfare reform law that forces people to make in this world, which they do. An America where people own their own homes, or an America where government housing traps them. An America that led to a Middle East filled with peace loving democracies, or an America that gives up when the going gets tough.

Liberalism tells people what they cannot achieve. Conservative tells people they can achieve anything, and backs it up. Liberalism is pessimism. Conservatism is optimism.

Liberalism had 40-70 years, and it hurt so many people. Liberals now say that the conservatives will not succeed. How will they know until they let us try?

Conservatives do not always get it right, but we usually do. Liberalism succeeds through failure, and fails when there is sustained success.

Conservatism succeeds through actual success. It must be implemented. The fate of free people everywhere depends on this.

eric

I wanted Vick and OJ to be innocent

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

My passion for politics pales in comparison to my passion for the National Football League. Football is a narcotic for me, and I do not plan on quitting any time soon.

It is for this reason that I am heartbroken about having to accept the truth. Michael Vick is guilty.

http://blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/michael-vick-when-heroes-fall/

Innocent men do not deal. An entire movie was made about boxer Ruben Hurricane Carter. Hurricane was no angel, but he was innocent of the murder charges against him. He fought back, and he was freed.

This is not the 1960s. Yes, the jails are littered with men claiming that they are innocent, and that the system set them up. However, mistakes do happen. Innocent men do get arrested. When they are right, they have to fight. To say that the system will never give them a fair shake in the age of DNA evidence is a cop out. Michael Vick should have fought for his innocence. He did not, because, sadly enough, he is pleading guilty.

District Attorneys, with the rare exception of those afflicted with Nifongitis, value keeping their jobs. Again, unlike a half a century ago, most of them do care about the evidence in front of them at all costs. This DA had a strong case.

I wanted Michael Vick to be innocent. Why? because like human beings everywhere, I am biased. I am an NFL fan, and I do not want the game I love to be tarnished.

In 1994, I believed that OJ Simpson was innocent. In the beginning, I was positive he was innocent. By the end of the trial I was less firm in my position, although I felt the prosecution had not proven its case (I still maintain that had the DA at the time not moved the trial from Simi Valley to Downtown LA to get his name in the paper and micromanage the case, the verdict might have been different). To this day my friends still occasionally poke fun at the fact that I honestly believed OJ didn’t do it.

A coworker crystallized the OJ situation for me by telling me, “You want him to be innocent.” Yes, I did. I still do.

One thing I tell people to this day is that I would not have lasted five minutes on that jury. They would have found out that I was wearing a “Real men wear black” Oakland Raiders t-shirt, and that OJ’s close friend Marcus Allen was one of my few childhood heroes. OJ also ran for 2000 yards, not in a 16 game season, but in a 14 game season.

Does being a sports hero allow a person to murder? No. Of course it does not. However, human beings have to admit their biases to have any credibility, and having me as an OJ juror would have tainted the jury pool. I could not bring myself to see one of the greatest running backs of all time, in addition to a successful Hertz executive and fried chicken store owner, as well as a comic actor in the Naked Gun movies, be a stone cold murderer. Why would a man who could have any woman be upset about one woman?

Michael Vick had it all. He had millions of kids cheering for him. He revitalized a pathetic Atlanta Falcons franchise. He could have owned the entire state of Georgia. He could roll to his right, stop, and throw it 70 yards to his left. He was a human highlight reel.

In another irony, my arguing that he was the best was disagreed with by a black coworker who felt that Steve Young, a white quarterback, was better. Johnny Cochran was wrong. Race is not part of everything we do. Football works because it truly is based on merit. OJ and Vick were not successful black athletes. They were successful athletes that happened to be black.

Now Vick is on his way top being a pariah. If only he had plead not guilty, things would be different. Rae Carruth was convicted of murdering his pregnant girlfriend. He will be in jail for the rest of his life. Ray Lewis was arrested in connection with a murder. I have no idea if he was guilty, but he fought the charges, and he won. He is on his way to being a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Michael Vick will not do life in prison. However, the life span of a football player is very short. Even one year away from the game is a potential career death sentence.

I was prepared to defend Michael Vick. Now I cannot, since he did not defend himself.

I am not condoning what he did. I am saying I wish he did not do it.

The 2007 NFL season will still be spectacular, but the Atlanta version of Banquo’s Ghost will be haunting many fans this year, especially young children first believing in things. These children did nothing wrong, and their hurt is tragic.

Then again, when they get their first puppy, they will treat it better than Michael Vick says he treated his. God I hope so.

eric

Hillary…Please God, No

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Hillary Clinton may be the next President of the United States.

Please God…no.

Until 2004, I never prayed for anything regarding politics. I prayed for the health of my family, and that was it. In 2004, in the middle of a war that I will go to my grave believing was right, I prayed for President Bush. Now that he is leaving, I pray for the fate of the free world. Regardless of who the republican nominee is, the democratic nominee is a foregone conclusion. It is Hillary Clinton.

Some people think that the democratic primaries are democratic. Not this time. If either Edwards or Obama become a threat to her, the Clintonistas will destroy them. I am not sure how the Clintons ended up with so much power, but people simply are willing to fight and die for them. Susan McDougal and Webster Hubbell went to jail for them. Vincent Foster killed himself upon believing he had failed them. Monica Lewinsky lied under oath to protect them. Even a good churchgoing woman like Betty Currie was put in the position of having to come dangerously close to lying for them. Nita Lowey put her own Senatorial ambitions on hold for her. Does anybody think this was voluntary?

By the time the Clintonistas, mainly James Carville, Paul Begala, Susan Thomases, Harold Ickes, Sidney Blumenthal, etc, get done with their enemies, they are rubble. Make no mistake about it. Hillary does not have opponents. She has enemies. if you stand in her way, she despises you. By the time Edwards and Obama are done being driven into the ground, people will believe they molest puppies and kittens. For the safety of their own reputations, they had better not become viable.

I want to make it clear that I used to hate Hillary. I was in college, and I took politics personally. I do not hate her anymore. However, I do fear her. I am scared to death of her. Make no mistake about it. Hillary Clinton can win the White House. Republicans should underestimate her at their own peril. There are several reasons she must be defeated.

First of all, Hillary Clinton is a vicious human being. You are either with her or against her. Consultant Dick Morris freely admits that he likes her husband but dislikes her. One of the reasons is because she referred to Morris as a Jew-b@stard. Even in the heat of anger, this is not acceptable. The IRS audited Paula Jones. Why does a woman making $35,000 per year need to be audited?

Some will say that she has nothing to do with the scandals of her husband’s administration. Nonsense. If she is going to take credit for the positive things that occurred, she has to take the baggage as well.

Secondly, Hillary Clinton is corrupt. Scandal after scandal after scandal would render her unable to govern. From Whitewater to Travelgate to Filegate, she was a walking scandal that never ended. Even after she left the White House, the scandals continued, from the FALN Puerto Rican terrorists to the missing White House furniture that ended up in her home to the controversial pardon of Marc Rich, among other pardons. 

Thirdly, Hillary Clinton is poison. She is the most polarizing politician on Earth. She wants to unite people. This is not possible. To do that would mean accepting opinions as valid even if they differ from her own. It means acknowledging that your political opponents are human beings with equally noble values, not monsters out to destroy society. Hillary cannot end the politics of personal destruction because Hillary is the politics of personal destruction. To lambaste Preisdent Bush for 8 years and then expect a free ride from his supporters is insanity.

Fourth, Hillary Clinton is unethical and hypocritical. The ends justify the means. She will say and do anything to win an election, because for her, power is the ultimate goal. She will criticize Vice President Cheney for holding secret meetings, even though she is incredibly secretive. She will criticize Newt Gingrich over a controversial but legal book deal while then taking an even larger book deal from the exact same individual. She will criticize Wall Street for predatory lending practices when she was guilty of the exact same, if not worse, practices. She bashes those who want to earn money as being greedy, yet turned $1000 into $100,000 by trading commodities, not allowing ridiculous inconveniences such as laws stand in her way. 

Fifth, Hillary Clinton on issues is simply wrong. On virtually every issue that matters, she is wrong. She wants higher taxes. She wants to pull out of Iraq. She wants universal government mandated health care, and will have to cripple small businesses to do it. She wants to confiscate profits of oil companies and drug companies to fund an expansive array of new social programs. In short, she is an unreconstructed socialist in a moderately conservative country.

Sixth, Hillary lies about who she is. If she would stand up and admit she is a socialist, there could be an honest debate, and she would lose. Instead she has decided to triangulate every single issue. She was for the war, then against the funding. She thinks we need to come out of Iraq, but should get tougher with Iran. She supports Israel in front of Jewish audiences and supports Arabs in front of Arab audiences. It is not that she is without core beliefs. It is that deep down she knows that enough people disagree with her to deny her an electoral win. Therefore, she articulates her beliefs in moderate language designed to delay, deny, obfuscate, and insulate.

Seventh, Hillary Clinton is arrogant. She is right, her enemies are wrong, and there is no room for compromise. Her health care plan went down in flames because she would not listen to congress, including members of her own party. She claims to have learned from this, but she made the exact same mistakes as First Lady of Arkansas, leading to her husband being fired.

Eighth, and lastly, Hillary is a self indulgent spoiled brat. For her, the 1960s never ended. She is morally superior. Those who disagree with her are either intellectually inferior, or malicious. When she does not get her way, there is hell to pay. Extrapolate that abusive personality as a First Lady and give her command of a military that she neither understands nor respects. Imagine her vision of government intervention in the economy, and if the central bank contradicts her. Will she politicize them?  

I have never met Hillary Clinton. I do not know her. I do not have access to confidential information. What I do have is plenty of videotape of her speaking. It truly frightens me. This woman is Lady Macbeth. No, she has not murdered anyone, but she has ruined plenty of lives. The travel office staff were human beings. She wrecked them. Everybody who comes into contact with her ends up falling on their sword, perhaps out of fear.

It is not just that she is wrong on issues. Obama and Edwards are wrong on issues. Hillary is simply, based on everything I can see, an awful human being.

Some may say this is harsh, but she and her supporters had some not so nice things to say about President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Republicans will not be afraid to hit back. Nor should they.

It is time for some new blood in the White House. George W. Bush tried to create a civil tone in Washington. If he could not achieve this, Hillary would not even come close. She is too angry, too mean, too vicious, and too sanctimonious for anyone to listen.

She will fail in the job if given the opportunity. She should not be given that opportunity, just because she feels she is entitled to it.

I implore the republicans to have the guts to match her slash and burn tactics. Do not be afraid. She can be defeated, but it will be tough.

As for now, I can only pray to God that somehow, some way, she does not win.

eric

Raiders Recap–Preseason Week 2

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

The battle of the Bay took place as the Raiders tangled with the 49ers.

Before getting to the recap of the game itself, I just want to mention that there is football in Heaven, and God is currently reviewing game film with Bill Walsh.

Football has always been thought of by those that did not understand the game as merely brawn and bruising. Football is a chess match, and Bill Walsh was a grand master. For decades, “three yards and a cloud of dust” was how teams approached offense. Run on first down, and run on second down, throw on third down, punt, play defense. It was often boring and predictable.

Bill Walsh understood that there was nothing in the rule book that prevented teams from throwing on first down. This approach kept defenses off balance, and worked well from 1981-1994.

In 1995 the West Coast Offense suffered two major blows. Dick Lebeau and Dom Cap Capers came up with the Zone Blitz Defense, which effectively disrupted timing patterns. Secondly, and more important, the West Coast Offense stopped being the Bill Walsh offense. It became a bastardized form of it known as the George Siefert offense.

The Bill Walsh offense allowed teams to throw on first down. The George Siefert offense simply threw a 4 yard pass on virtually every first down. It became as boring and predictable as the original offenses of the 1950s. Today, when a team runs the George Siefert version of this offense, what they are really saying is, “We have no running game.” The 1995 49ers collapse in the playoffs began the decline of this strategy.

Yet the legacy that Bill Walsh left behind was his “sons” and “grandsons.” His sons include Mike Holmgren, Dennis Green, among many others. Mike Holmgren taught innovators such as Andy Reid and Jon Gruden, while Dennis Green brought the NFL Tony Dungy and Herman Edwards, among others.

Bill Walsh will be missed, but he will not be forgotten any time soon. It is worth noting that one of his mentors was Al Davis, who hired a young Walsh as an assistant coach four decades ago.

As for the game itself, there were plenty of things to be excited and disgusted about.

For further recap, there is www.justblogbaby.com

The one major positive that would be impossible not to acknowledge is the improvement of the offensive line of the Raiders. The Raiders had a 16 play, 9 minute drive, and there was rhythm. The offense at one point in the second half had converted nine straight third downs.

The quarterback situation remains unsettled, although demoting Josh McCown to third string seems appropriate based on his previous game.

Andrew Walter started out by fumbling a snap in the shotgun, leading to a 20 yard loss. He also forced a throw into traffic on a third down and long situation that was intercepted. However, He did complete some tough throws, including one on a critical third down to receiver Taylor that led to a touchdown. He also threw a perfect 30 yard pass to Taylor that was dropped.

Dante Culpepper fumbled two snaps from scrimmage for the second week in a row. However, he also led two touchdown drives as well. He can still run, and his arm is not in dispute.

Josh McCown is inaccurate on the deeper throws, and by deeper I mean 15 yards, not 60. He overthrew an open receiver on a deep route to the end zone.
Again, most importantly, the quarterbacks had time to throw.

Dominick Rhodes ran well enough, and Lamont Jordan ran very well. In addition to some long gains, he had a bruising short yardage touchdown run. Fargas has not proven himself yet, but he did not make any mistakes.

At receiver, Ronald Curry showed some promise, as he usually does in the pre-season. If he could ever stay healthy, we could gauge him better.

A special honorable mention should go to Head Coach Lane Kiffin. He was hospitalized during the week with a serious viral infection, but he was back on the sidelines. The analogy of “are you injured or are you hurt?” emanates from the top. Players want to play hard when they see their coach is doing likewise. However, his challenge of a pass that was clearly caught out of bounds was a waste of a time out. Although it did not work, a gamble on fourth down and 6 from the 49er 29 yard line was the right call, as opposed to a 46 yard field goal attempt into the wind.

The starting defense still looks solid.

Due to offensive ineptitude early on, the defense was defending a short field throughout the first quarter. Yet the 49ers, with the wind, managed only 13 points. This included two long field goals by the venerable Joe Nedney, and a touchdown pass that started on a short field goal.

Once the offense finally moved the ball, the defense shut down the 49ers for the rest of Alex Smith’s time in the game. The officials seemed to call the game evenly in terms of penalties, but there was one very questionable pass interference call, and an equally questionable illegal contact penalty.

The run defense had many decent stops for little or no gain, but did give up a couple decent runs, including a first down run by Trent Dilfer when the 49ers were backed up by their own goal line. The pass defense looked very suspect against Dilfer. Warren Sapp is 50 pounds lighter, and the old man can still run fast.

Special teams was not special, but did not make mistakes. There were no breakdowns or causes for celebration. Sebastian Janikowski was not kicking touchbacks, but the 49er kicker was (although in fairness, with the wind). Punter Lechler is fine.

The Raiders fell behind 13-0, went ahead 21-13, and led 21-20 in the fourth quarter. Seeing veteran Trent Dilfer against a backup Raider defense is not a perfect gauge for a Raider team that had many fourth quarter breakdowns last year. However, when Dilfer, who played very well, was replaced with the third string quarterback, that threat disappeared.

With nine minutes left, a sure interception for a touchdown on a sideline route was dropped.

For the second week in a row, a young running back named Echimmandu was very impressive.

Lane Kiffin likes to throw the ball. In the fourth quarter, there were seemingly as many short passes as clock grinding runs. The problem with this is that the occasional dropped pass kills the clock and rhythm.

On a critical third down and 27, a perfectly executed screen pass to Echimmandu led to a field goal attempt on fourth and 4 by backup kicker Fredrickson. A week earlier in the exact same situation, he made it. This week, a 40 yard kick was nowhere close.

Some may consider third stringers battling each other as insignificant, but winning is always better than losing. The 49ers went up 26-21 with 47 seconds left, with much help from a defensive breakdown that allowed 49er quarterback Hill to run for 22 yards.

Josh McCown through a Hail Mary to a wide open Alvis Whittet in the end zone. He dropped it. Yes, there was defensive pass interference, but he simply dropped it. With five seconds remaining, the last Hail Mary was thrown in the vicinity of three 49ers and no Raiders.

The Raiders loss to the 49ers is as insignificant as their victory over the Cardinals. However, at this point I can say that there is hope for the 2007 Raiders to be slightly better than the 2006 Raiders.

There is hope, especially if the weakest link of last year, the offensive line, continues to show progress.

eric

Elizabeth Edwards vs Tony Snow

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

The liberal media is a mixture of lower standards, no standards and double standards. Such behavior is simply standard. While liberal media hypocrisy is as self evident a truth as a drunken Kennedy, even the media usually stops stomping on people when they are perceived to be dying.

The media vilified Ronald Reagan, despite his being loved by virtually everybody not suffering from liberal levels of toxicity. Yet with the exception of true hatemongers such as Robert Scheer, most of the media treated the news of his Alzheimers disease with dignity and class (although much less than that exhibited by Mr. Reagan himself).

The last few weeks of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford were for the most part free of abuse by the press jackals. Political strategist Lee Atwater, a man vilified for helping President Bush Sr. defeat Michael Dukakis, was treated with sympathy when word of his brain cancer came to light. Those who went after Bill Clinton fiercely in the media were very respectful when he had his heart surgery.

The bottom line is that while people can have political disagreements, we should be opponents, not enemies. I do not agree with virtually anything Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi have to say, but I do not wish for them to die. I wish for them to be defeated politically. I want them out of elective office, but leading happy lives with their families.

The willingness to respect those fighting for their lives has just been sabotaged, hopefully not forever. Two people in the political arena have announced that they are battling cancer. One of them is Elizabeth Edwards. The other one is Tony Snow. The way the media is treating them is as different as their ideologies.

Elizabeth Edwards should star in the remake of “The Untouchables.” Criticism of her is not allowed for any reason.

Decent people everywhere want Elizabeth Edwards to defeat her cancer, and live happily ever after with her husband for decades to come. She is a strong, smart woman, and she has suffered the worst fate any parent can face in their lives, that being having a child pre-decease her (their son was killed in an auto accident at age 16). Now she is fighting for her life. She deserves our prayers.

What she does not deserve is to be given a halo and be made out to be heroic just because she is suffering. She is not allowed to attack people, knowing that if they attack back they will be condemned for responding in an unsympathetic manner to a dying woman.

Her husband went after Dick Cheney’s daughter, who was not in the political arena, and not fair game. Elizabeth Edwards has thrown herself into the arena, and she is absolutely fair game.

She has lashed out at the media for being unfair to her husband because he is a white male. As a white male myself, I can tell you that we have it pretty good in American society. Second of all, the media was so far up her husband’s rumpus in 2004 that she forgets that he was the golden boy. John Kerry did not want him as the Vice Presidential Nominee. Edwards openly campaigned for the job, and foisted himself upon Kerry, the fresh face boy wonder. Four years later, Obama is the fresh face. Edwards is not. Elizabeth Edwards played the race and gender cards against Hillary and Obama, no worse than they did, but no better.

Ms. Edwards lashed out at Ann Coulter for 45 minutes on the Chris Matthews program. Now Ann Coulter can dish it out, and she has crossed the line on several occasions. However, in this particular instance, Ms. Coulter was ambushed. She did not hit back because she knew the media would rush to the defense of Ms. Edwards. While Ms. Coulter is much more hard edged than Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Ms. Edwards certainly showed the animosity of Rosie O’Donell in her attack. Ms. Edwards got a free pass.

Let me be the one to take the heat by blasting a woman in ill health.

Ms. Edwards married a man who seems to be a loyal husband and father, a sincere man in terms of his family. It is the only thing he seems to be sincere about. He is simply a phony who built a business empire suing people. He is Jim Carrey in “Liar Liar.” His campaign is crumbling because he is a hypocrite who preaches poverty and lives like a Saudi Royal Prince. He wants to run a positive campaign, but he is collapsing in the polls. Therefore, his wife is the attack dog.

If Ms. Edwards truly is suffering health wise, she might want to spend her final years on Earth being nicer to people, rather than attacking them for simply being better candidates than her husband. The media should crawl out from under her skirt and start challenging her statements.

If Elizabeth Edwards is approaching sainthood, White House press secretary Tony Snow is being treated as the second coming of El Diablo (Tom Tancredo, that means “the devil”).

Tony Snow is battling cancer. He could be dying. He announced that due to the medical bills he has piled up, he can no longer afford to work. He is leaving the Bush administration.

He is being mocked. How can a man making almost $200,000 per year be broke? Try having cancer. Isn’t he leaving the Bush administration because it is a sinking ship? Sure, if you are a member of the media that is so disgusting that you think that anybody connected to President Bush deserves to suffer.

We should pray for Tony Snow to recover financially and physically. Period. To quote an old deodorant commercial, anything less would be uncivilized.

Have we really gotten to the point where partisan politics is so poisoned that liberals are allowed up until to death to lob verbal bombs while conservatives must be hounded beyond the grave?

Elizabeth Edwards attacks people, and she is greeted with, “You go girl.” Tony Snow conducts himself with class and dignity, and the media does everything but sing the Queen song, “Another one (Bush team member) bites the dust.”

An old joke states that just because one is paranoid does not mean that they are not out to get you. Republicans do claim about media biases and double standards, but this is because it is actually completely true. It does happen, apparently from cradle to grave.

To Tony Snow, I wish you good health, and may God bless you and your family.

To Elizabeth Edwards, I wish you the same. I also ask you to knock it off with the political nonsense. If you throw punches, you need to take them. Better yet, tell your husband to grow a pair and fight his own battles.

To the liberal media, I simply ask you to try and be slightly less disgusting than usual in the hopes that you will slowly become decent human beings. Take the human decency equivalent of the nicotine patch until you can finally kick the habit of acting like yourselves. Otherwise, unlike Ms. Edwards and Mr. Snow, nobody will pray for your survival. Your damaged credibility is killing your profession, and there is currently less and less sympathy or desire for you to survive.

eric

Ideological Bigotry Part VII–Liberals acting like liberals

Friday, August 17th, 2007

For those of you who are either in denial, or are simply uneducated, there was a real evil committed in 1940s Germany. It is known as the Holocaust. Nobody anywhere on this Earth at any time has ever come close to experiencing what the Jewish people who went through the Holocaust experienced. Nobody.

Slavery does not compare. The American Indians have no idea. Gay people wanting to get married? Absolutely not. Animals in labs? Are you kidding me? Trees? Get out of the room. There is nothing that any people on Earth anywhere have experienced in terms of brutality, length, and pure hatred.

Yet despite this undisputed fact from anybody who views history honestly, there are those that want to compare Americans who are not German, have never been to Germany, and who have never had a conflict with a Jewish individual, to the Germans in the 1940s that supported Adolf Hitler. It is bad enough that they are infecting society. Now they are infecting the blogosphere.

I have tried to convince the Jewish community to stop being liberal, because at some point they have to realize that most people that despise republicans also despise Jews. I found several websites comparing republicans and conservatives to Nazis. I have deactivated the links so that they do not get any more attention.

For rabid antisemitism, the website “Dandelion Salad” knows no bounds. Below is one sample of rancid filth.

Dandelionsalad.wordpress
“These Bush supporters have morphed the Republican Party into the Brownshirt Party.

Elsewhere on earth and especially among Muslims, the suspicion is rife that the reason the war against Iraq cannot end, and the reason Iran and Syria must be attacked, is that the US must destroy all Muslim opposition to Israel’s theft of Palestine, turning an entire people into refugees driven from their homes and from the lands on which they have lived for many centuries. Americans might think that they are merely grabbing control over oil, keeping it out of the hands of terrorists, but that is not the way the rest of the world views the conflict.”

The brownshirt party? Are you kidding me? Outside of Al Gore, I do not know anybody that would dare compare republicans to Nazis with such brazenness. Israel stole Palestine? If a Palestinian strapped a bomb to this blogger and detonated it in Israel, this blogger would blame the Jews for angering the Palestinian that supplied the dynamite.

Dandelion Salad spreads viciousness and blood libel, but at least does not try to infect my blog. Southern Voice began visiting my blog until I banned them.

“ZIONISM AND GLOBALIZATION THREATS TO AMERICA

August 15th, 2007 southernvoice . wordpress

(This is the most frightening article) I have yet read about the precarious situation the United States finds itself in. The Zionists who have taken over our White House and the financial elites that control our government are dismantling America step by step.”

If Zionists truly controlled this world, this blogger would cease to exist. They would be under the 17th hole that is the 50,000 hole golf course known as Syria. The fact that such venom and evil is allowed to be spread on a daily basis is proof that Jews do not control anything. The Zionists have taken over the White House. So I guess that means that President Bush is hated simply for objecting to the murder of innocent Jews by homicidal Palestinian lunatics. How awful of him.

The third one is a person I am having trouble trying to figure out. I think they are less evil than misguided. Their website is grrace.wordpress.

“GREAT – just what Texas needed: Karl “Bush’s Brain/Turd Blossom” Rove is leaving DC and “moving on down the road” (more like sliding down the slippery slope in eel-like fashion) to Texas. Couldn’t he just join Tom “The Hammer” DeLay in whatever conservative concentration camp he disappeared to?”

Conservative concentration camp? Tom Delay and Karl Rove never tried to murder my flesh and blood. I wrote an email to the author and explained to them that I detested such an awful phrasing. They then replied as follows.

That’s funny you should be offended by “conservative concentration camp” – I got the concept from a friend of mine who’s also a descendant of Holocaust victims/survivors, who served in the Israeli army (as did the rest of his family, who are still there), and who’s a social justice lawyer. Since he’s ok with it, I’m ok with it.

That is the “some of my best friends are Jews” argument. More importantly, the person cites a social justice lawyer as their source. Folks, social justice lawyers are liberal Jews. These are the people that Palestinians hire to defend them in American courtrooms. These people will defend anybody. They are self-hating, self-loathing weaklings who think that if they love everybody, then they will escape the hatred directed towards them. It did not work in 1940, and it will not work today. As long as you despise President Bush, these people will love you. Then this excuse monger continued.

“as an American of Filipino heritage whose family suffered under the Axis powers in the Philippines during WWII (and whose friends suffered in internment camps in the U.S.), as well as being a member/volunteer for many social justice advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center,”

The ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center would never approve of such horrible language, and they are hypertolerant. Heck, using this logic, I should have the right to commit domestic violence and sexual assault provided that I then volunteer at a rape crisis center. I can run over animals with my car for sport provided I then take them to the appropriate shelter or veterinarian.

“*sigh* Dear Eric, you seem to have a good sense of humor. I like to think I have one, too. So why don’t we just lighten up and celebrate our Right to Free Speech by letting each other blog whatever the hell we want? And you can continue being a cheeky Libertarian and I can continue being a cheeky Progressive – and we can peacefully coexist in the true democracy of the World Wide Web – without getting crushed into “Politically Correct” road kill. At least, that’s my American dream. Thanks.”

M y American dream is that those that are ignorant learn to change their ways, and those that refuse to change are bloodied to death violently. My other American dream is that liberal Jews have that cranial-glutial extraction surgery that I keep talking about, and stop embracing those that hate their guts.

http://tygrrrrexpress.com/2007/05/liberal-jews-need-cranial-glutial-extraction-surgery/

Underboss.wordpress offers more delightful hatred.

Take Action: Oppose $30 Billion in Military Aid Package to Israel

End Occupation

“Military power is required for Israel to maintain its occupation of the Palestinian territories, implemented through a system of expanding settlements, checkpoints and closure. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the US is funding and supplying the Israeli government’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, as without financial subsidies from the US, the Israeli government would have found it considerably more difficult to sustain its military occupation of the Palestinian territories for the past thirty-four years.”

I would like to thank Holocaust denying, suicide bombing loving people everywhere to enjoy their right to free hate speech. The Palestinians have a rich 50 year history of genocidal lunacy, and their protesting of the Bush administration is a direct result of the President’s stubborn refusal to support animal barbarism over civilized humanity. 

Conservatives are from perfect, but we do not compare President Bush to Adolf Hitler. I personal have seen some conservative bloggers refer to Hillary as “Hitlery.” I told them that this was inappropriate, and beneath conservatives.

Some liberals get angry (so what, they are always angry) that I try to lump all liberals in with this ideological bigotry and filth. They don’t say it, but they condone it. They do not stop it. They do not speak up. As long as somebody hates republicans, conservatives, and George W. Bush in particular, the antisemitism gets a free pass.

Never again. I will crush every ideological bigot, and I will shame those that tacitly support them through a wink and a nod. Those that do not heed my words will understand that when they come for the liberal Jews, there will be nobody willing to speak up.

Maybe they just cannot stop. Maybe it is in their blood. Maybe I should just give up, throw my hand sin the air, and say, “These are liberals. This is what they do. This is how they behave. They cannot and will not ever change.”

I am a fighter. I remain emboldened. I will not give up or give in. Liberals need to simply stop acting like liberals. Be somebody else…anybody else. Despise the Islamofacists who murder us, not the politicians trying to save decent lives.

eric

 

Al Sharpton, Colon Cancer and other pains in the rumpus

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

When playing chess, the white pieces get to move before the black pieces.

This is racism. Call Al Sharpton immediately.

Good guys wear white. Bad guys wear black.

Holy Selma Alabama. This has to stop.

Black people have white blood cells but white people have no black blood cells.

Nothing has changed since 1863.

Not since music group Hot Chocolate changed their name from Pure Vanilla (ok, I made that up) and sang, “You sexy thing,” has America needed Al Sharpton so badly.

The man is a miracle worker. He is a Reverend, yet nobody has ever seen his congregation. He is a civil rights leader, yet his followers were freed decades ago. Mostly, he is a colonoscopy gone bad, a proctological carbunkle that refuses to subside.

Long after James Dean died, Al Sharpton is a rebel without a cause.

http://michellemalkin.com/2007/11/07/race-hustling-charlatan-al-sharpton-prepares-another-demagogue-a-thon/

Why is Al Sharpton losing his power? For the best of reasons, the one that many refuse to admit. Society is simply getting better. Society is not perfect, but it is absolutely better.

For every Abner Louima (who retracted his comment saying that the cops who abused him said “It’s Giuliani time”), there are many police officers of all stripes saving lives of all people, regardless of race.

Are we where we need to be? No. Has their been significant progress? Absolutely.

There are black billionaires in America. They are not basketball players or actors. They are investment bankers, corporate attorneys, government leaders, and CEOs of fortune 500 companies. This is an overwhelmingly positive development, and it should continue.

The reason this does not reported is because Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and other excuses for “leaders” are more interested in lining their own pockets than in improving society. The problem is Al Sharpton is running out of causes.

Al Sharpton slandered Steven Pagones, labeling him as one of six white men that raped Tawana Brawley. This was a lie and a hoax. The jury found for Pagones, and Sharpton has never paid him.

Al Sharpton is now going after gangsta rappers. I have admitted before that I find Snoop Doggy Dogg incomprehensible (although I admit I like some of his songs, and think he is funny, and of course, a football fan), but at least is not making his money by leeching off of other people. People buy his albums, and he succeeds in the marketplace. Al Sharpton earns (if you can call it that) his success by attacking the Dogg Pound.

Now Al Sharpton is continuing his Jihad (or is Crusade the politically correct word) against Don Imus, with help from a complicit media.

I condemned Imus’s remarks. My objection was that the women’s basketball team were private citizens. We can argue until the end of time whether calling them, “nappy headed hos” was a firing offense, but the real issue is that private citizens not in the public arena are to be given significantly more privacy than public figures. It is why John Kerry and John Edwards got into hot water for bringing up Dick Cheney’s daughter in a debate.

Yet this issue should have ended when Imus was fired. The problem with that is once Imus was fired, Al Sharpton had nothing to do. Agitators need to agitate.  Al Sharpton did everything but speed down the highway drunk at 200 miles per hour in the hopes that a white cop would pull him over. The problem is he cannot even get profiled because the cops know him and are scared of him. He can’t win for losing.

Howard Beach is a fading memory. White students want to be like Mike, wear Air Jordans, and listen to gangsta rap. Maybe that is why Al Sharpton is going after gangsta rappers. If white people like it, it has to be bad.

The thing is, unlike guilty white liberals, black gangsta rappers aren’t backing down. They are not afraid of him. What is he going to do, accuse them of racism?

Al Sharpton was thrown a lifeline when Don Imus was given a severance package, in the sense that he settled his lawsuit over his firing. Then one of the basketball players decided to sue. Reverend Al came to the rescue, supporting the lawsuit.

This basketball player is on the verge of going from innocent victim to greedy profiteer, which is coincidentally what gangsta rappers are accused of labeling many women as. How is greed through  frivolous lawsuits any better than greed through trying to hook up with a rich rapper because of his money? A parasite is a parasite. I am not in favor of calling women “hos,” but the rappers that call them that are not attacking all women. They are attacking the women that leech off of others.

For a person to have a legitimate reason to sue, they have to have been injured in some way. This woman claims that wherever she goes, she will be seen as one of the women humiliated by Imus.

This is insane. The reason why…again…that Imus’s comments were so offensive was because these were unknown anonymous women.  Sorry to get Gloria Allred’s granny undies all bunched up, but people still do not know who these women are, nor do they care! Yes, her name was mentioned on the news, and no, people do not remember it a few moments later.

Now to really enrage the Allrednistas and as many others as I can offend to make a point. Nobody outside of a precious few people care about college women’s basketball. Title IX forces schools to spend money on various sports so we can all feel good about ourselves, when the truth is, at most schools, everything except men’s football is irrelevant.

The only thing people care less about than college women’s basketball is trying to figure out where colleges are located when the name of the school does not reveal this. I understand where Georgia Tech is. I can find Michigan State on a map. Does anybody really know where Rutgers is located? It turns out it is in New Jersey, but what part?

So an obscure woman in an obscure town living an obscure life was joked about in an inappropriate manner. The joker was punished. However, that same woman who was justified in being upset because obscure people should not be targeted, cannot then turn around and say that she is ruined because everybody knows who she is.

These women were known as “the Rutgers women’s basketball team.” To find out who she is would first require that people care, and then second know who she actually is from somebody besides herself going on television and telling us. This woman is the Valerie Plame of basketball, shouting at the top of her lungs that she had the right to remain anonymous.

This basketball player needs to have a colonoscopy to have a cancerous lesion known as Al Sharpton removed from her rectum.  Like the parasite he is, he will then find another black host to leech on to and pretend to care about.

I predict he will then get involved in the Michael Vick case. If anybody can find a picture of one of the black dogs being attacked by one of the white dogs, Al will be there and on the case, combining the rhyming of Johnny Cochran, the intelligence of Barney Fife, the ethics of Bill Clinton, and the purity of Tawana Brawley.

If that does not work, he can always try slandering some Jewish store owners as “diamond merchants” until an angry mob burns down their grocery store and covers it in Swastikas for refusing to sell Lean Cuisines. After all, there is a Zionist plot by Jews to kill overweight black agitators by murdering them through “Cholesterol extermination.”

Racism absolutely does exist in this country, and every frivolous lawsuit about nonsense being compared to Selma, Alabama does not help anybody. It only devalues Selma, Alabama. The way to end racism is to stamp out racists, and that includes David Duke as much as it includes Al Sharpton.

Perhaps a Harvard educated black doctor can remove the mole on Mr. Sharpton’s rectum…that being his head…and reattach it above his neck.

Now if this doctor can only give him black blood cells, all will be right with the world.

eric

My interview with Shira Lazar

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

shiras.jpg

With the exceptions of Dr. Browns Black Cherry Soda and sugar filled jelly rings, Shira Lazar is the sweetest kosher treat on Earth (No mom and dad, I did not ask. I will at some point). 

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing entertainment reporter Shira Lazar. In an industry often thought of as ruthless and cutthroat, her sincerity was matched only by her pleasantness. To learn more about her, check out her sites.

www.shiralazar.com      www.thepopreport.com

Like most of my interviews, I resisted the urge to doctor the interview to meet the expectations of those that believe the surreal. Below was a fictional conversation between Shira Lazar and myself.

Eric: Would you like me to tell the audience the story of you, me, and the jacuzzi filled with lemon-lime jello?

Shira: I am not sure whether to end this interview or call the police. Perhaps both.

Eric: Can I at least tell people about your crush on me?

Shira: We have never met, and that reminds me, I need to buy a taser.

Eric: Would it help matters if I completely backtracked, and replaced sophomoric behavior with intelligent questions?

Shira: Excellent idea. I would like nothing better.

I now offer you the doctored version of that fake interview.

Eric: Would you like me to tell the audience the story of you, me, and the jacuzzi filled with lemon-lime jello?

Shira: Excellent idea. I would like nothing better.

To avoid having Ms. Lazar be grounded by her parents for a “guilt by association” situation, I now present you the actual interview with her.

 

 

1)    What entertainment people or celebrities inspired you the most to be in the entertainment industry?

Broadcasters like Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey. Instead of watching 90210 as a teen, I would sit with my mom and watch Walters on 20/20. If I ever had a class project, I would always make a video pretending I was interviewing someone related to the subject. I’m not into hard news, but those are broadcasters that have entertained, covered the gossip, but are also informative and want to tell stories that make a difference. They are also strategic with their careers as a brand both in front of and behind the camera.

 

    2) Many Hollywood celebrities, and Hollywood in general, are seen in an overwhelmingly negative light. Again, is this negative reputation deserved, overblown, or somewhere inbetween?

I think it’s somewhere in between. Many of these stories are sought after and aren’t just sitting there waiting to be told. A perfect example right now though is Lindsay Lohan. Her negative attention is in many ways deserved. Her erratic behavior isn’t behind closed doors. Many people in the industry have partied with her and know about the drinking and drugs. No one is surprised and a lot of times what is going on is somewhat true. When you’re a celeb like she is and you go on a crazy chase endangering other people, you deserve whatever negative publicity you get. Whether you’re a normal person or a celebrity, that behavior should not be condoned or brushed aside.

 

3)    You have met that half a dollar fellow, or as the kids call him, Rapper 50 Cent. In general what is your feeling on the controversy surrounding rappers such as him, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, etc.?  Is the brouhah/kerfuffle/hullabaloo/other multisyllabic word with regards to lyrics that call women bad words a serious matter in need of attention or much ado about nothing?

I think it’s fine when the word is needed to tell the story within a song. Kanye West and Pharrell are great examples of songwriters/rappers that are true artists with their musical craft. I definitely feel that there are rappers out there that use words and extreme sayings in a gratuitous fashion just to spike controversy. Do we really need to hear songs where the only words are ho, slut, f*ck this, f*ck that? There’s a thing called a thesaurus that’s there for  a reason.

 

4)   Do you find most of the celebrities you interviewed or encountered to be more likable, less likable, or inbetween compared to the general public? Do you have a decent amount in common with most of them, or not at all?

That’s always an interesting thing. I was working with a “virgin” producer recently on a red carpet and he was surprised at how much celeb snubbing goes on. These days, I never go into situations expecting people to be super nice because you’re usually disappointed. If I go in with the mentality that I’m just meeting someone whose work I respect but don’t have any personal expectations of, you typically get more out of the moment with them. Sometimes chemistry does come from similarities or past experiences with an actor (i.e. knowing similar people in the industry, having interviewed them before, or back in the day). A perfect example of this was when I interviewed Ryan Gosling for his recent film, “Fracture.” My boss had mentioned how hard of an interview he was. In the interview, I immediately mentioned that I was Canadian, and that opened up a great rapport from the beginning because he is as well. It doesn’t take brain surgery to realize that in any human conversation, if you establish a sort of connection, there’s a trust there. While celebs might be harder to connect with in this way than “normal” folk, I try to use those same basic communicative instincts.

 

5)     Are you political at all? If so, which issues are you passionate about?

To be honest, I’m not a hugely political person. If you spoke to my friends I don’t think they think of me, then think of politics. I didn’t grow up in the states, and I can’t even vote right now. I’m discovering more of an interest in politics as it converges with entertainment. We see it all over YouTube with politicians invading the viral world and with Al Gore’s being the political poster child of Hollywood. Personally, as I get older I also have stronger and more knowledgeable opinions and a desire to know about what’s going on in the world.

 

6)    A few years back radio host Laura Ingraham wrote a book advising Hollywood celebrities to “Shut up and sing.” What are your thoughts on that, in terms of celebrities being political?

We can’t ignore that celebrities influence the American public and that they do have a certain public responsibility. However, sometimes I think you need to let actors be actors and politicians be politicians. Look at Rosie O’Donnell. She tried to voice her opinion recently and look what happened. The problem is that people love to nitpick celebs in any way they can, and when you bring that into the political world, it can cause more unneeded rather than productive attention. If they did nothing about their beliefs, however, people would criticize them for not making a difference. As long as a celeb means well and wants to help others on a grand scale, it’s important to take advantage of the followers they have and do something.

 

7)   Celebrities are seen as not leading emotionally or physically healthy lives, aka drugs, divorces, etc. Do you find them to be more dysfunctional than the rest of America, less dysfunctional, or the same? 

It’s hard not to be dysfunctional when your world is pretty far from normal. It takes a lot to be grounded when you’re 17, making millions of dollars, and performing for hundreds or thousands of people. So to answer your question, Yes, I don’t think celebs problems are on the same level as the rest of America. Are people more messed up living in the middle of nowhere, in abused families, on ADD drugs, struggling to pay bills? Perhaps. I think you can find many similarities with circumstances (i.e. divorce, drugs, etc) of celebs and the average person, but it’s amplified for celebs because it’s constantly in the public eye and under the microscope.

 

8.) If it is dysfunctional, did you get sucked into the dysfunctional life of Hollywood? If no, how did you avoid it? If yes, how did you climb out of it?

 HAHA. I don’t think I’m dysfunctional. I have the typical neurotic Jewish paranoia in me, but I think I got that from my mom.  To be honest, I try to stay balanced. I don’t do drugs and I’m not up until the wee hours of the morning partying. A lot of people get sucked into the scene here going out all the time thinking they’ll meet people or make connections. They think they need to be on the scene to make things happen. Going to industry events is different of course, and I think you need to pop in here and there and stay on people’s radar. Sorry to blow people’s bubble, but that high-profile person you’re schmoozing with who’s on X amount of drugs is probably not even going to remember you the next day. The people making real decisions and writing the checks aren’t at “Hyde” at 2am on a Tuesday. I surround myself by good, honest people, some of whom aren’t in the business. I love what I do, work hard and am always trying to get better at my craft. That’s what keeps me grounded and focused. But In the end, Hollywood is still a business, and if people don’t think they can rely on you and you can’t deliver, then you have nothing to offer other than good company.

 

9) Do you have any outside projects you are working on such as book deals, and what have you had to sacrifice, if anything, to keep your life “balanced?”

 I think I answered some of this previously. There’s always outside projects. Every day there’s something new that’s “in the air.” That’s become my favorite phrase: “it’s in the air.”  What keeps me professionally balanced is constantly challenging myself and working on my craft. I try to go to my vocal coach, Arthur Joseph, weekly, where I get to exercise my most important muscle: my vocal chords! He also brings a spiritual component to my work that helps me stay focused and grounded. I get a bit crazy when I’m always working on the same thing. I enjoy evolving and working with new people. It could be a small project, but I love what I do, so it gets me excited. I also try to keep writing. A lot of on-air people do only that, but writing for my blog or publications like “The Hollywood Reporter,” is such a nice change of pace for me. I also do some stints on the radio, which I love because it doesn’t have that same structure as TV. Right now, if my heart tells me to do something, then I make time for it.

 

10) Do you feel “infotainment” should be banned from the nightly news, that the news should be hard news such as the War on Terror, and that celebrity news relegated to shows such as “Access Hollywood,” and the like? Is there a legitimate reason for Hollywood to be considered “news?”

I don’t think it should be banned. For some people the nightly news is the only thing they’re watching to get caught up, and there’s no point of ignoring some of those stories (not gossip) that are really in the headlines. Of course, the whole “we need a light story to balance the horrible stuff going on in the world,” is always a good excuse too. The problem is that the word “news” has been made into a general saying in terms of defining what’s the latest in whatever topic is being covered. It’s used for technology, life and culture, and yes, entertainment. The “infotainment” hole has been dug and I don’t think there’s any turning back, because the audience and ratings are there. TMZ, has definitely redefined entertainment news, priding themselves in breaking entertainment stories like a newsroom. With celebs having battles with the law and in the courtroom, TMZ and the news industry as a whole have found ways to make Hollywood into real news.

 

11) Do you think having Katie Couric doing the nightly news is positive, negative, or neutral? Do you think her having Will Ferrell’s “Anchorman” character Ron Burgundy on one segment of the nightly news is a disgrace, or should people lighten up?

 Lighten up! Brian Williams was on SNL. Is anyone saying that he can’t be taken seriously now? No. Unfortunately, whatever Couric does at this point is probed and analyzed, because people are looking for reasons to critique her and figure out why she has such bad ratings. If she had good ratings it would be a positive thing, but I think people loved her a certain way and rather see her as “Today Show Katie” rather than “Nightly News Katie.” I feel bad for her because she is stuck in this place of wanting to be herself, and yet wanting to please others. It’s an uncomfortable state to be in and you see it on-camera.

 

12) Are most of your friends entertainment industry people, or do you prefer socializing outside your industry, or a combination of both?

L.A. is the entertainment industry, so it just so happens that most people you bump into here are in the biz in some shape or form. I do have some friends that aren’t in the business though, and it’s nice. I’ll mention something about meeting this person or that person and they won’t know who I’m talking about or they just don’t care. It’s refreshing.

 

13) What matters most to you in this world?

In the end it’s about family and friends. Those are going to be the people really taking care of you on your deathbed (sorry for being morbid). It’s also important for me to be loyal, hard working, as well as an honest and sincere person to anyone I cross paths with.

 

14) What do you want out of life for yourself?

To be happy and fulfilled in all areas in my life. I want to accomplish my goals and constantly be learning and challenging myself.

 

15) Do you belong to any religious faith, and if so, does it play any role in your personal life or your career path?

I’m Jewish but don’t consider myself religious.

 

16) Joe Dimaggio zealously guarded Marilyn Monroe’s honor even after they broke up. Today we have Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger at each other’s throats with their kid in between. What has gone so wrong, or is the past just romanticized?

Like all divorced couples in the real world, some get along after the fact and some don’t.  Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger are a perfect example of a dysfunctional relationship in Hollywood, using their daughter as bait. There are many high profile couples, though, that remain amicable and/or great friends: Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, etc. It’s also not that surprising to watch some of the recently divorced couples lash out publicly, when the individuals themselves aren’t that normal either.

 

17) How do you balance getting yourself more exposure, especially in the early going, while not lowering your standards or the quality of the “Shira Lazar brand?”

Staying grounded and true to myself. Realizing that in the end it’s not only about connecting to the celebrity world but to the average person. I refuse to do Maxim, FHM or any of those magazines. A lot of women will do those types of publications at the beginning of their careers. Sometimes it doesn’t matter, but sometimes that type of stuff comes back to haunt you and your credibility.

 

18) What are your favorite books, movies and television shows? Do you think they are of a better, worse, or neutral quality compared to decades past?

I’m really bad at these questions, because I tend to not have a favorite of anything. There aren’t many books or movies that I could read or watch over and over and over again. If I was going to list off some of my recent favorites they would be:

TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Flight of the Concords, Entourage, Sex and the City

Films: Reality Bites, Empire Records, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Amelie, Cry Baby, High Fidelity.

Books (I enjoy non-fiction): The 48 Laws of Power, What Should I Do With My Life?, The Alchemist.

19) Do you know that you are 10% cooler than (name redacted)?

10% cooler than her? Yay! I win, I win!

20) If you could communicate one message about yourself to the world, what would you want people to know about you as a person? What would you want to convey about the entertainment industry in general?

I don’t care how cliché some of these might sound, they’re still powerful and relevant:

PEACE, LOVE, ROCK N’ ROLL. KEEP IT REAL! TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED.

DON’T TAKE THINGS TOO SERIOUSLY, BE HARD WORKING BUT HAVE FUN, HAVE NO FEAR, BE ABLE TO TAKE CRITICISM, OBSTACLES ARE A STATE OF MIND, NEVER STOP CREATING AND CHALLENGING YOURSELF.

I would like to thank Shira Lazar for her time, class, and insightfulness. To keep her wits about her in an industry that often turns people upside down is not an easy thing to do. I wish her much success and happiness.

eric

Thank You Karl Rove

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

As many political junkies dissect the legacy of Karl Rove, I simply want to convey one message. Mr Rove…Thank you sir. Thank you very much.

First of all, thank you for your service. I do not believe politicians are inherently corrupt, and I do not believe public service is criminality dressed nicely. You could have made millions more for many years in the private sector, and you chose to help the President. Your millions of dollars and speaking fees await you, and like brilliant strategists such as Newt Gingrich and Haley Barbour, you’ve earned every penny.

Some criticize you for losing the popular vote for the President in 2000. That would be a valid argument if you, and not Al Gore’s campaign, had broken the drunk driving scandal four days before the election. The President had a 5 point lead in the polls, and for all the criticism that you played dirty, it was the other side that crossed the line.

Thank you for standing by the President after 9/11. Sometimes good politics and good policy are exactly the same thing. The President did not politicize 9/11, but he was not cowered into being afraid to let the American people know which party wants to win the War on Terror, and which party wants to lose.

Your 2002 midterm election strategy was flawless.  Tom Daschle was fired, and the republicans  took back the Senate.  The thing I have always admired about you is that instead of being obsessed with districts, you focused on metrics. Even the smallest congressional district was too large. It seems like you knew what people’s voting habits were, block by block, house by house.

The biggest criticism of you came during the 2004 election. How dare you advise the President to cater to his supporters? Elections have to be won in the center, goes the conventional wisdom espoused by people who have never won an election. I am equally comfortable in a room of moderate republicans as I am with conservative republicans, and I can tell you that the trick in 2004 was to find new people anywhere. Given that the 2000 November Surprise depressed evangelical turnout, it made perfect sense to try and bring them back, along with their friends.

Thank you for staying optimistic. I remember calling my parents during the day of the 2004 election. They are republicans living in Florida, and they were heartsick over the exit polls. You figured out early on that whether it was liberal bias or awful estimates, the exit polls were simply flat out wrong. I told my parents to stay calm, and understand that the media would do everything they could to defeat the President. The other side was smug. You were optimistic. You were right.

You will take flack for 2006. This was not your fault. You can help get people elected, but you cannot be responsible for them not doing their jobs.  Even Ronald Reagan lost the Senate in 1986, and his legacy turned out just fine.

You were accused of trying to get Valerie Plame killed. We now know that her own husband Joe Wilson was responsible for that. You were accused of being too close to the President, refusing to contradict him. That is called loyalty. You were not accused of forcing Mark Foley to have sex with congressional pages, but that is only because the democrats were blaming you for everything else, and accidentally left that one out.

The bottom line is you helped President Bush get elected, and reelected. This has led to a thriving economy and a Supreme Court that will leave a conservative imprint on America for a generation.

Some will say that you are leaving on a down note. This is nonsense. You were paid to do a job, and you did it well. The fact that you send liberals into orbit by merely existing tells me that you are on the right track.

The democrats have not had a winning democratic strategist at the presidential level since 1992. That president got reelected in 1996 by hiring a republican strategist. Every night the talk shows are littered with democratic talking heads whose rage towards you is matched only by their failure to win the White House. True, they often have terrible clients, but then again that only makes them soulless for backing a horse even they did not believe in. You were able to help the President because you deeply believed in what he was doing. Your job was the means, but you cared about the ends.

At the risk of being selfish, one benefit for me when trusted White House aides leave is that they then get to go on the lecture circuit. I get to meet them and thank them for their service. Although campaigning is in your blood, if you take an interim break, I would look forward to meeting you, and consider it an honor to shake your hand.

Good luck in your future endeavors Mr. Rove. Although you publicly say that you want some peace and quiet, I suspect that the republican candidates will have you on speed dial, and your political enemies will leak your confidential cell phone number faster than Joe Wilson leaking his wife’s identity or the Jayson Blair Times leaking confidential U.S. troop movements. Isn’t it ironic that the democrats are more worried about one CIA agent posing for Vanity Fair than thousands of soldiers having their locations disclosed?

Anyway, these are not your worries anymore. I hope that when we face off against Lady Macbeth in 2008, that you are behind the scenes helping out.

However, if you choose to forsake the republican nominee and let him fend for himself, choosing to make millions in corporate America, I will be the first to understand. Make your money now while President Bush is still in power, because God knows how high your taxes will be raised if…well…I shudder to think about it. I shall remain optimistic.

Get some rest Mr. Rove. May God bless you and your family.

Thank you very much.

eric

An Interview With Jim Rogers

Monday, August 13th, 2007

In February of 2005, I had the pleasure of meeting commodity investor Jim Rogers. It was not an official interview. We spoke for 20 minutes as I drove him in my car to my office. He then spoke to me and my colleagues. He regaled us with his fascinating life story for about 20 minutes, and then answered our questions for almost two hours. The questions were not prepared in advance. Given what a forward thinking individual Jim Rogers is known to be, it is no surprise that in 2007 his answers are still current. I also communicated with him in August of 2007 to verify the accuracy and relevance of the interview.

Rather than retell his exciting life story, I encourage people to check out his website www.jimrogers.com. He has traveled 152,000 miles, visited 116 countries, traveled the world twice over five years, and at age 60 became a father for the first time. There are many people that can speak with some authority about stocks. For an education in commodities, the first person everybody should learn from is Jim Rogers.

Before the Q & A, he offered various insights on random subjects.

“I have been to 116 countries, and many of these countries are run by dictators and Mafiosos. They are driving Mercedes’, not Chevys.”

“Most people have never met a foreigner. Americans have, but most people have not. They like us. They do not necessarily agree with our government policies, but they are happy to see us. When a new person visits them, they are excited.”

“Chinese people save or invest 35% of their income. Americans save or invest only 2%. The dollar is plummeting, so Americans had better be prepared to learn Chinese.”

“The bull market in commodities began in 1998. Bull markets in commodities last between 15 and 23 years, with the average run being 18 years. This bull market in commodities should last until between 2014 to 2022. The stock market will be flat for the next 15 to 20 years, with no money to be made unless you are a great trader.”

“There has not been a lead smelter built since 1969, and no new major elephant oil fields have been discovered in 35 years. There are 40,000 stock funds, but only a handful of funds investing directly in commodities. Merrill Lynch closed down their commodity operation in 1998, just as the bull market was getting started.”

The Q & A session was equally insightful.

Q: If weakening the dollar is such bad economic policy, why does our government do it?

JR: The theory is that is makes us more competitive. In reality, it hurts consumers. Devaluing a currency does not work. Politicians do it because people suffering is less important than them getting themselves getting reelected. If this keeps up, other nations will dump their dollars, which will lead to higher US interest rates.

Q: How does one address the issue that commodities are simply too risky?

JR: Everybody knows somebody who had a brother in law who lost his shirt in porkbellies. He lost his shirt because he bought on 5% margin. He could have bought on 50% margin or 100% margin. Everybody wants to get rich quick.

Q: Since most people understand stocks, why not buy commodity stocks instead of pure commodities?

JR: Copper does not know who Alan Greenspan is. With companies you have to analyze management, balance sheets, pension funds, etc. Enron was a natural gas company, and it collapsed even as the price of actual natural gas itself was skyrocketing. Cotton does not go to zero. No commodity goes to zero. They can go down, but not completely. Commodities outperformed commodity stocks by 300% over the last 45 years.

Q: How can other countries react to guard against the falling US dollar?

JR: The markets are bigger than any central banker. No country in history has gotten out of a currency spiral without a crisis or semi crisis. We owe 8 trillion dollars, and our debt is increasing by 1 trillion dollars every 15 months. The market simply has more money than all the central banks combined.

Q: What short term trades do you recommend?

JR: I am the world’s worst auto mechanic, and the world’s worst trader. I buy cheap and hang on for a long, long time, sometimes too long.

Q: Given your driving around the world, what were your observations regarding unleaded gasoline and crude oil?

JR: Most people don’t have unleaded gas. The price is tied to crude. The real bottleneck is in refining capacity. Therefore, if the price of crude increases, the price of unleaded gas should increase more. Adjusting for inflation since the 1970s, the price of crude oil should be $90 per barrel. Even if we discover oil tomorrow in a field, it has to be in a place we can get to. In the 1970s, we knew where oil was coming from, and yet the price still skyrocketed since we could not get to it. Now we don’t even know where it is. Even if we find it, getting it to the market takes time.

Q: What about investing in alternative energy sources?

JR: Wind power is barely competitive in some select places, but overall wind energy is not competitive. Solar energy is not competitive at all. Hydrogen is not the answer. We are years away from making, buying and then distributing the cars. There is no substitute right now for oil and natural gas, except for sugar. The best way to buy crude oil is to buy sugar. Corn is conceivably a way, but sugar is better.

Q: Where is the best beer in the world?

JR: The best two places I drank beer were the Congo and the Ivory Coast, although it could have been because it was so hot. The Chinese also make good beer.

Q: Why are rising oil prices a problem? Doesn’t it help American companies?

JR: It is problematic because Americans are not getting the proceeds. Even though it comes back in dollars, by the time it gets back to us it is in the form of a debased dollar. It might get to the point where oil ends up being priced in euros, yen, or ivory, not dollars.

Q: What are the consequences of a falling dollar?

JR: Study the history of economies. In 1918 England had the number one economy in the world. Within a generation, exchange controls were implemented, and they lasted 40 years. England has not been the same since. This will happen in the United States. With a falling dollar, there will be higher interest rates. This will at some point lead to a credit crisis in the form of a refinancing collapse. I am currently short Fannie Mae and homebuilders in anticipation of this.

Q: For those who are not comfortable with commodities themselves, are there plans to create ETFs, Spiders or tracking stocks specifically connected to the Rogers Indexes?

JR: More people trust indexes over commodities. It is being worked on.

Q: What is your view on supply side economics, that deficits don’t matter, that the key to a healthy economy is growth?

JR: With regards to supply side economics, no. Things do go wrong when economies take a turn for the worse, and two groups of people always get the blame by the politicians. First the politicians blame foreigners. Foreigners are those people that eat different foods, smell bad and talk funny. They are an easy target because they don’t vote. The second group to get blamed by the politicians are the financiers. For the last 1000 years, people love to blame the bankers. Wall Street and foreigners are responsible for problems politicians create because they promise free money with no consequences.

Q: What is your view on coal?

JR: The British Navy ran on coal. It was Winston Churchhill as Secretary of the Navy that recommended that England should convert from coal to oil. It hurt them, and England has not been the same since. I am bullish on coal. It is a commodity, and will rise with oil.

Q: What is the main issue with oil?

JR: Countries are not putting money into exploration. There is no production going on. There are plenty of oil profits, but those profits are being invested in 5th Avenue real estate among other things. There are no new mines or new oil, hence a bull market.

Q: What if China does not open up their currency and let it float freely?

JR: They have to open up to show the world that they are open. They have the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World’s Fair. Buying the Remni will be a wise investment because I expect them to be open by 2010.

Q: What is your view on agricultural commodities, given a decrease in subsidies?

JR: For the first time in history, we have had five straight years of greater consumption than production, and this is without having a drought. Throw in a drought and the problem will be worse. We have low stockpiles of sugar, cotton and soybeans. Between agricultural, metal and energy sub index funds, agricultural funds are what I like best.

Q: How did you turn $600 into your current success?

JR: I started out with $600, a second hand Volkswagen, and a wife. One was an asset and one was a liability. I will let you figure out which was which. I liquidated both, and still had the $600. I worked long hours, and spent weekends reading about markets. I simply love it. You have to love what you do, whether it be gardening, hairdressing, etc. When you love it, then the money follows. Even if it doesn’t, you will still be happy. Being happy and poor is better than being unhappy and poor. As for making money, I did very little marketing. The key is to make your clients money. If you have a good track record, people will find you and knock on your door. Just make your clients money.

Q: What is your position on leverage?

JR: When I was a young man working 14 hour days, I traded using outrageous and terrifying leverage. I was either very lucky, very smart or very dumb. That’s what terrifies people about commodities. Commodities themselves are no riskier than stocks. A stock on margin has more risk than a commodity fully paid for. It’s all about the degree of leverage. Buying copper is the same as buying IBM. Now that I am doing other things with my life, I am using a lot less leverage.

Q: Can commodities do well during bad economic times?

JR: In the 1970s the UK had a top 5 economy. Then they went broke, and needed to be bailed out by the IMF. Japan and the US were suffering financially. During all of this global financial chaos, commodities were in a bull market, with the price of oil rising tenfold. Demand for commodities dropped, but the supply dropped even more. This also happened with lead. Lead lost its two biggest markets. It is no longer used in gasoline or paint. The demand for lead dropped, but the supply dropped even more, leading to a rise in lead prices.

Q: What are some leading indicators of price movements?

JR: There is nothing reliable other than major secular trends. There is nothing short term or medium term. If you find one, keep it to yourself and get rich.

Q: Why do you like sugar so much?

JR: Sugar is 85% from its all time high, and that is without adjusting for inflation. Taking into account inflation, sugar is free. It could triple and be 60% from its high. It could quadruple and be 50% from its high.

Q: The fees on your indexes seem low. Is that an error?

JR: I’m not here to peddle my funds. I am here to peddle my books. One person actually wanted me to raise my fees so that he would be ripped off, and then feel like he had a legitimate investment. He ended up becoming a customer, and I did not raise his fees.

Q: What are three ways a broker can expand their business?

JR: I can think of only one way, and that is to make profits for the clients. Do right by the clients, even if it comes at your own expense as a broker in the short run, and your clients will take good care of you in the long run.

Q: What foreign currencies do you like?

JR: I own 12-15 currencies, and I do not have confidence in any of them. I just have more confidence in them than the US dollar, which does not say much. Singapore insists on a sound currency. The Canadian dollar is doing well, Canada has a trade surplus, and Alberta is actually debt free. Resources alone are not enough. The Congo has resources but the politicians have bungled things there.

Q: Is this the final run for US commodity markets?

JR: If the US dollar continues to plummet and exchange controls are implemented, then yes. People should be looking at foreign markets.

Q: Do you think it is easier to make money on the short side, since markets do not go straight up, but can go straight down when they crash due to bad news?

JR: There is no easy money, and there never was. Some people like to reminisce, but there never were any “good old days.” Making money is hard. Most people are terrified of selling short. President Eisenhower did not know what short selling was, and President Nixon considered it unamerican. Short selling actually helps markets, but it is easier to get clients on the long side. The long side has unlimited profits, with losses limited to 100%. Short selling has unlimited losses, with profits limited to 100%. I do go short, but it is simply less complicated for customers, and easier to get customers, by staying long.

Q: How will we know when the bull market in commodities is ending?

JR: Bull markets end in hysteria. In the 1990s, barbershops had CNBC on the television so people could follow the stock market while getting haircuts. That is not normal. The Wall Street Journal does not even capitalize the “N” and the “E” in the “new economy” anymore. When old ladies and teenagers are talking about markets, it is time to sell. I see us at the top of a real estate bubble, but I always sell short too soon because a bull market goes higher than any rational person expects. When I get wiped out you’ll know that it’s the top.

Q:What are your feelings about options?

JR: I adore options. I made my first big killing in options on the long side. I do not discuss options in my book because they require much explanation, and that is for brokers to do.

Q: How does a change in central bankers from Greenspan to Bernanke affect things?

JR: All new central bankers like to raise rates early on and make things bad so they can then make things better down the line. I am serious about this.

Q: Any other thoughts?

JR: I had my first child, and I love it. I saw other people with children and thought how bad it was for them. My traveling companion and wife Paige Parker and I are the parents of a darling baby girl. She is learning Chinese, because the 21st century will be the Chinese century. The 19th century was the UK century, and the 20th century was the American century. I have hired a Chinese nanny to teach my baby girl the language of the future besides English. My baby girl doesn’t own any stocks. My baby girl owns commodities. Everybody should have children. They are fun to make and fun to raise. People should leave work right now and go home and make children. They will enjoy creating them, and fall in love with them as I have with my baby girl.

Jim Rogers, in addition to being a husband and father, is an author. His books, “Investment Biker,” “Adventure Capitalist,” and “Hot Commodities,” are the second best education one can get with regards to commodities. The only thing better would be to get to know Jim Rogers in person. His newest book, “A Bull in China,” comes out in December. Jim wished us much success in our lives, and the same wishes are extended to him and his family.

eric