Monday, March 24, 2008

We've Crossed Another Sad Milestone...

How many time have we heard this? A roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad on Sunday... How many times do we have to hear it? Well, it looks like it's going to be a while. A grim milestone came on the same day that rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone - pushing the overall American death toll in the five-year war to at least 4,000. Navy Lt. Patrick Evans, a military spokesman, expressed condolences to all the families who have lost a loved one in Iraq, saying each death is "equally tragic." "There have been some significant gains. However, this enemy is resilient and will not give up, nor will we," he said. "There's still a lot of work to be done." Last year, the U.S. military deaths spiked along with the Pentagon's "surge" — the arrival of more than 30,000 extra troops trying to regain control of Baghdad and surrounding areas. The mission was generally considered a success, but the cost was evident as more and more soldiers returned home in flag draped caskets. When will it end?

The death toll has seesawed since, with 2007 ending as the deadliest year for American troops at 901 deaths. That was 51 more deaths than 2004, the second deadliest year for U.S. soldiers. The milestones for each 1,000 deaths — while an arbitrary marker — serve to rivet attention on the war and have come during a range of pivotal moments. When the 1,000th American died in September 2004, the insurgency was gaining steam. The 2,000-death mark came in October 2005 as Iraq voted on a new constitution. The Pentagon announced its 3,000th loss on the last day of 2006 — a day after Saddam Hussein was hanged and closing a year marked by rampant sectarian violence. The deaths taken by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, however, are far less than in other modern American wars. This should make us feel better? In Vietnam, the U.S. lost on average about 4,850 soldiers a year from 1963-75. In the Korean war, from 1950-53, the U.S. lost about 12,300 soldiers a year.

Commanders often say there is no guarantee the trends will continue. They would like to see the Iraqis take more of a front-line role in the fighting, but their ability to operate without American support could still be years away. So folks, sit back and get ready for more. Until we change our "strategy", whatever that may me, we're going to be hearing, "A roadside bomb killed..." for a long time. To the people on the front line...Thank You. To the grieving families...I am truly sorry. To our President...this has got to end soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Sucker Is Born Every Minute! No That Sucker Just Got $23.3 Million!

Are you sick and tired of all these anti-cold, self-help, quick weight loss, with Hoodia and Ginseng crap that is marketed on late night cable and the internet? Drug marketing is completely out of control. Companies make claims they cannot back up, and consumers buy the products under the assumption the company is telling the truth. Without fail, evidence arises that the drug does not serve the purpose the company claims it does and even worse it can cause severe damage to anyone that takes it. The company responsible for the marketing and distribution of the drug is then given a slap on the wrist by the government, and they go on about their business. Well now, and finally, Airborne Health Inc. has reached a $23.3 million in a class action lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit claimed the company committed false advertising by suggesting that their product would eliminate the common cold. Guess What? I was right!

According to those heading up the class action lawsuit, there is no credible data to support the notion that Airborne prevents colds. You can find out more about the settlement by clicking here! Instead, they assert, the tablets are nothing more than deceptively marketed vitamins. Airborne was developed by a now very rich second grade teacher, Victoria Knight-McDowell, who grew tired of catching ailments from her students and decided to catch in on being an overworked second grade teacher. She had no solid medical experience whatsoever, and unfortunately neither did those conducting the product's clinical trials. Hmmmm.

Airborne has never provided an instant cure to any cold, but taking it always seemed to alleviate some people symptoms. However, in many clinical trials some people taking placebos also claim to feel better. Wellness could be nothing more than a mental state of being. Got that? Psychology? In most cases, taking a hit of Airborne, your mind assumed it was working and it diverted my attention from the symptoms. In other words, it didn't really cure anything, but instead it was the idea that it could cure people that made suckers think they were feeling better. Check out this little diddy from the Airborne website:

The discovery that Airborne did not provide the efficacy that its commercials implied points to much larger problem that is being faced by the American public is nothing new. There are people who believe anything they see on TV! Consumers need to stop watching those late night infomercials and conduct their own research before taking any drug. Drug companies are spending record amount on advertising in the hopes you will purchase their product. The unfortunate truth is that they are concerned only with profits, not your health. And for Victoria Knight-McDowell, $23.3 million is nothing compared to what she probably has made with this false, deceptive, crappy product!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In A New York Minute: Sex, Sex, More Sex And Utter Stupidity!

Where else but in New York? The place where a Governor resigns due to a $3000 plus night with a ho! A place where the new Governor gets sworn in to standing ovations and then it's reported that he's had an extramarital affair. Where else but New York? Well now, from the bizarre lawsuit file comes this New York lawsuit recently files where a businessman claims that he was injured when a stripper giving him a lap dance swiveled and smacked him in the face with the heel of her shoe. Okay folks, do you really wanna go here or what?

It seems Stephen Chang, a securities trader, said in court papers filed Friday that he was at the Hot Lap Dance Club near Madison Square Garden and was getting a paid lap dance when the accident occurred early Nov. 2, 2007. According to the lawsuit, as the dancer swung around, the heel of her shoe hit him in the eye, causing him "serious injuries." A man who identified himself as the manager of the Hot Lap Dance Club said he was unaware of the accident or the state Supreme Court lawsuit. The club's lawyer, Stephen Ateshoglou, did not immediately return a call. On its Web site, the club describes itself as the "Playboy Mansion of Manhattan party lofts." The site says admission is $50 plus a one-time club membership fee of $10 for newcomers. Lap dances cost around $40, plus admission, according to the Web site. You see Governor Spitzer, you can get your rocks off for $40 and still have a job the next morning!

You know, there are some lawsuits that are so stupid and taxing to our justice system that they just shouldn't happen. This is one of them. Besides the fact that most people in their right mind wouldn't publicly admit to going to a strip club for a lap dance, but to sue, in court, for an injury during a lap dance, makes me ask that one Dr. Phil question, "What were you thinking?" Ahhh, I Love New York!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Part Of American History Is Dying Away But Now We Can Save It!

Imagine trying to learn to write a letter for the first time if you were from somewhere so remote that you didn't have any background with the tools...the first thing you'd need is a piece of paper and a pen. What about a pen? Uh, you have to take the cap off first. Ok, now write "Dear Blah Blah Bla" on the paper. Wait, you want to rotate the paper so that the short side is at the top and the long side comes towards you and then write a bunch more hand! Ok, we've finished the letter! We're are done with the letter, but now we have to send it. We need to put the letter in an envelope - a piece of paper that is all folded up to hide and protect the letter. Now seal the envelope by licking the paper here and folding it over. Then we still need to address the mail so that the postman knows who should get the envelope. Now we need to look up the address in the address book. We put the street address on its own line, then the city and state and ZIP code. Then we need to put our return address in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope. Now we gotta find a stamp. Never mind why. You need to put it in the upper right hand corner. We're almost there. But how do you think the letter is going to get to our intended recipient? Did you think it was just going to magically leap from the desk and get there? We need to take it somewhere that the Post Office can find a mailbox. You see, letter-writing is hard.

But now it's time to switch from e-mail to free mail. In an attempt to encourage letter-writing, the post office is offering to let people mail a card to a friend for free. Until March 31, people can get a free card, postage included, which they can use to send a message to a friend. Home Box Office is covering the cost. The cable network is promoting its miniseries on John Adams, much of which is based on the letters of the second American president and his wife, Abigail. The free cards are available at by clicking on Free John Adams Greeting Card. Only one card is allowed to each letter sender.

Email is more time efficient than snail mail. Oh yeah, you can send overnight deliveries but what's the point when you can send an email and send the same information in just a matter of seconds? The only advantage I see in snail mail is if you are sending a package of some sort. Obviously, you can't send a box of cuban cigars through the Internet. There are more upsides to email though. Take greeting cards, for instance. Through email, you can send a Flash equipped greeting card in many cases for free! Oh, sure, you showed you cared by paying $3.75 for the Hallmark greeting, but if it truly is the thought that counts, you should be allowed to get away with being a cheapskate.

Sure, email is a great way to instantly send a message, but it is extremely impersonal. When you email someone, IF YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS IT IS CONSIDERED YELLING. But those who are computer illiterate may offend someone if they don't understand the rules of the internet. It's nice to see the handwriting of people you may not have seen in a while. Just knowing that someone took the time to sit down and write to me makes me feel so loved. You can also include things in letters such as pictures, newspaper clippings, etc. I know that with the latest technology you are also able to send these things over the web, but the quality is not nearly as good as the real thing. Imagine how it would feel to never receive a traditional card on your birthday! This is what may happen if people stop using the postal system.

Today, it's easy to forget the value of a heartfelt, handwritten letter or card. But the written word holds a singular place in the American story. We can be inspired to revive this tradition, to return to the enduring power of the written word, and leave a legacy for future generations. In the past few years, the postal system has greatly suffered because of email. Everyone always complains about how the price of stamps keeps rising and rising, but that is due to lack of use. People are too lazy and quick to jump on the computer to send emails rather than go through the process of writing a letter and placing it in a mailbox. The Post Office and HBO are giving you the chance to do this for free at While email is a good way to keep in touch when you don't have a lot of time, try to use the traditional postal system every once in a while. Maybe you'll brighten up someone's day by giving them something other than a bill in their mailbox.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Discovering Insanity: I Can't Even Write Something This Bizarre!

This is a story that is creating quite a buzz.What emergency responders found when they entered the bathroom has left many in the town incredulous. "It's kind of shocking in a little town like this when you hear something like this," Ness City resident Orrin Oppliger said. "I didn't even know that Corey had a girlfriend...I guess that is another reason it was surprising." The buzz all revolves around what happened in a Ness City mobile home. Deputies say it there that 35-year-old Pam Babcock spent two years in her boyfriend's bathroom. The woman sat on her boyfriend's toilet for two years - so long that her body was stuck to the seat by the time the boyfriend finally called police. Okay, now I like to go in and read a magazine or two, but I think this lady just may have overdid it a bit!

Police received a call from the woman's boyfriend Corey McFarren saying his girlfriend wouldn't come out of the bathroom. When deputies arrived to, what else, a trailer, the woman was sitting on the toilet. Her muscles were severely weakened. Her skin had formed a bond with the toilet seat. Ouch! "We had to break the toilet seat away from the stool, and take her in with the toilet seat stuck to her," Whipple said. That toilet seat was eventually surgically removed, and doctors at the Medical Center say prolonged sitting, with the skin having prolonged contact with a surface likely caused her to become bonded with the seat.

As for the woman, deputies say she is refusing to cooperate with doctors and law enforcement. Pam Babcock will undergo a mental evaluation in hopes of shedding light on why this happened. Now, in a typical fashion, the boyfriend, a total idiot I'm sure, told police she had a phobia about leaving the bathroom and may not have left the bathroom in two years, although he's unsure how long she was in there. He said during that time, he brought her food, water, and clean clothes. McFarren called police to report that "there was something wrong with his girlfriend. She is an adult; she made her own decision. It was my fault I should have gotten help for her sooner; I admit that. But after a while, you kind of get used to it." Used to it? Hello? Is anybody in there?

The amazing part to all this is that people who knew the woman, yes, knew the woman, had not seen her for at least six years. Say what you want about the definition of "trailer trash" but these are two people, in my opinion, with diminished mental capacity. Of course, that's just my opion, I could be wrong. you decide!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spending $4300 A Night Will Leave A Bad Taste In Your Mouth!

As long as there have been politicians and celebrities, there have been sex scandals. Anyone remember Thomas Jefferson? He had less interest in freeing the slaves than partying with them...and he wasn't the only one. And what about the women involved? Yesterday new details emerged about the call girl at the center of the prostitution scandal engulfing New York's governor, with a newspaper report identifying her as a 22-year-old aspiring musician from Manhattan. But good ol' Elliot, Client #9, is going to get a lot more, and I mean a lot more, than he bargained for by spending $4300 a night with this lady of the night!

The real name of the woman — identified as "Kristen" in court papers is Ashley Alexandra Dupre. Dupre's MySpace page provides a window into her life as she went from a broken home in New Jersey to a music career in the city. "What destroys me strengthens me" is the slogan next to a Dupre photograph. The photos show her at various places, including in a bikini on a boat in a tropical locale. The number of hits to the page soared by the tens of thousands after the story broke. Her Web site boasts a recording of a song, "What We Want." "I know what you want, you got what I want. I know what you need. Can you handle me?" she sings.

Dupre apparently appeared in federal court Monday as a witness in the case against four people accused of operating the Emperors Club VIP prostitution ring. Law enforcement officials identified the governor as a "Client 9" who had a Feb. 13 tryst with "Kristen" and paid her $4,300. Dupre told the newspaper she had slept very little since the allegations against Spitzer were revealed although the Mayflower hotel room in Washington that Spitzer got her in D.C. was extremely nice. "I have been alone. I have abused drugs. I have been broke and homeless. But, I survived, on my own. I am here, in NY because of my music," she wrote. If Spitzer was thinking, and was really looking for a babe with those qualifications, he could have just jumped in his car, cruised the boulevard like Hugh Grant and picked up something for around $20.00!

This story is going to be the butt (pun intended) of many jokes for weeks to come. The fallout because of the loss of his political career and his family is going to be tremendous. Let's just hope that it make those people for which we've given the trust to run our cities, towns, states and country's think twice before they go out and blow (again, pun intended) $4300 on a one-night stand!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

There's Some Potato Mashing Going On In Idaho!

Idaho. I thought it was just another state full of potatoheads. Well maybe, just maybe, I'm wrong about that. Seems like the state that made the potato famous is a lot more liberal than most of us may have thought. You would think that a state that is mostly made of Mormons wouldn't be making headline news. But it does! I mean, look at the whole Senator Lrry Craig thing. I guess that began the ball rolling and put the spotlight on this unique little place. Well in today issue of Discover Insanity, we get to see how progressive (and regressive at times) the State of Idaho has on...

A surprise birthday party for Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island," ended with a nearly three-hour tour of the Teton County sheriff's office and jail when the 69-year-old was caught with marijuana in her vehicle while driving home. Yes, our perky little Maryann is now serving six months' unsupervised probation for the crime. Cops pulled Wells over after noticing her swerve across the fog lines and center lines of State Highway 33 and repeatedly speed up and slow down. "I exited my patrol vehicle and immediately was able to smell a strong odor of burning marijuana," Officer Gutierrez wrote in his report. "As I approached the vehicle I noticed all four window (sic) of the vehicle were lowered and the female driver was not wearing a jacket." In an excuse we'd never expect to hear from our Little Buddy's little girl, Wells reportedly told police that she'd just given a ride to three hitchhikers and had dropped them off when they began smoking something. When Gutierrez searched the car, he found three half-smoked joints in the ashtray and console, according to the report. A second search after Wells' arrest netted a fourth half-smoked joint and two small cases used to store marijuana! After Wells failed a field sobriety test, she was handcuffed and taken to the sheriff's office. Perhaps they should have called her Mary Jane!

Larry Craig may not be happy about this one. After an open meeting, the Nampa Public Library board ruled in favor of removing two books containing sexual content. The Joy of Sex and Joy of Gay Sex are no longer on the shelves at the library. But the books are not banned completely. The books will still be available upon request in the library director's office. Officials say censorship is not their goal. The majority of those in favor of keeping the books argued that pulling them from the shelves was censorship. Those in favor of removing the books argued that they are too graphic for children and have no place in a family library. Assistant director Camille Wood says the Joy of Sex book series has been in circulation for 15 years and is owned by more than 500 libraries including those in Boise and Eagle while the Joy of Gay Sex was added to Nampa's collection in 2005 and was checked out seven times in the last year! Ahh the Nampa Public Library...a place of education and enlightenment!

So you see, there's more to Idaho than potatos...or is it potatoes. Seems we got a lot of sex, a little bit of weed and some gay sex going on there. Looks like they are being influenced by their neighboring states of Washington and Oregon. You can blame any of this on California. They call it the gems state...seems they've got a few gems of their own, if ya know what I mean!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Behind The Green Door - Another Sequel: A Sad Commentary On Politics In America

He had built his political legacy on stamping out corruption. He had served two terms as attorney general where he pursued criminal and civil cases and cracked down on misconduct and conflicts of interests on Wall Street and in corporate America. He had previously been a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, handling organized crime and white-collar crime cases. His cases as state attorney general included a few criminal prosecutions of prostitution rings and into tourism involving prostitutes. Now, the man known as the Sheriff of Wall Street is in deep dog doo! And how many times have we seen this? Too many to count. Truly, it's a sad statement for our political and justice system. What the hell was this guy thinking?

The fact that his political career is ending is no big deal. We've seen this before. The most embarassing part of all, during a news conference Monday afternoon, Spitzer apologized to his family and the public, but did not go as far as to explain why. "I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong," he said in a brief statement. "I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family," he said alongside his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, who was visibly upset as he spoke. Visibly? She barely looked up? Again, what the hell was he thinking? The couple has three daughters together! I can't imagine what their school life will be like in the coming future.

How in the heck could anyone spend $5,500 an hour for a hooker and not think anyone is going to notice? And we know now that "Client 9" had used the service before. I still can't figure out why he did this? I guess when you think with the wrong head, you're bound to get into trouble! This should give the media something to knaw on for weeks!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Look Out America: The Prez Is Goin' Hip Hop!

If there's one thing about President George Bush that I like, it's got to be the fact that at least he can laugh at himself while we're laughing at him. And the comedy just seems to go on. The standup comic President Bush said an early farewell to political Washington on Saturday night, making his first appearance on the stage of the Gridiron Club of Washington journalists. Bush surprised the white-tie audience of more than 600, including Supreme Court justices, Cabinet members and lawmakers, by appearing as the final act of the club's annual revue. To the tune of "Green Green Grass of Home," he sang about looking forward to his return to Texas. "As I step down from the plane and there to meet me is my mama and my papa, down the lane I look and here comes Barney, heart of gold and breath like honey," the president warbled. I can hear the dogs howling now!

The audience was surprised by Bush's appearance and rose to applaud his attempt at singing. "Yes, you're gonna miss me, the way you used to quiz me...It's good to touch the brown brown grass of home." This was the first time he sang, donning a cowboy hat and joining the chorus to say farewell but recently he's been making some attempts at securing a career in dance on some MTV or VH1 show recently. He's appeared performing dances with African performers at the White House in April 2007, and danced a few steps this month while waiting for John McCain at the White House.

You gotta give this guy some credit. He thinks he can dance. Heck, he even thinks he can be President. I'm looking forward to seeing what his Hollywood aspirations will be after the White House. Maybe Dancing With The Stars? Hmmmm.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tick Tock! Tick Tock! Tick Tock!
Wake Up! It's Daylight Saving Time Again!

Russia has 11. China only has 1, though it should have 5. India also only has 1 and that's due to outsourcing by the nice people at Dell and Microsoft. The United States has 9. We're not talking about people with common sense. On March 31, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson signed a law enacting a change. Robert Garland of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the leader in the introduction and passing of the bill. Like any new idea, the idea did not immediately catch on, but in 1884, when the Prime Meridian was set, the time zone concept was introduced and accepted. But not until the Standard Time Act of 1918 thanks to our pal Woody, were the time zones enacted into law. This Sunday we "spring forward" and enter Daylight Savings Time once again. So folks, don't be late for church! Set your clocks ahead tonight!

Speaking of time zones, they have not been around forever. Time zones are the product of train schedules. Until the advent of the railroads that transported people rather quickly, all time was calculated by solar time. When the sun was directly overhead, wherever you were located, that was noon. You can imagine how confusing a train schedule could become for anyone traveling from New York City to Chicago, let's say. The rather ingenious idea for time zones was developed by a Canadian railroad engineer named Sir Sandford Fleming. He divided the world into 15 degree pieces, reasoning that the Earth rotates once every 24 hours and there are 360 degrees of longitude. So, 1/24 equals 15 degrees. Although the DST act was part of a federal law, it is not mandatory for anyone to observe the time change. However, if a state or community decides to incorporate the change, that entity must abide by the federal schedule. Enought of the technical crap, hunh? If anyoneone can figure out this bizarre clock you're a friggin' genius!

In 2005, a new law, part of the 2005 energy bill, set new times for the beginning and ending of DST for the same basic reason Ben Franklin thought of the idea in the first place. By adding an hour of sunlight, we might be able to cut down on energy consumption. There are still a few places that do not observe DST: Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Here's the most confusing place to tell time.- It's Indiana. The Hoosier State has one geographic problem and, for years, many stubborn citizens. Let me explain. First, Indiana is divided by two time zones, Eastern and Central. And until recently, some of the counties observed DST while others did not. It would have been possible, if you were in the right place, to literally look across the street and have a two hour time difference.

Now here's some more mindless Indiana trivia. For years, and it may still be this way, Indiana was the only state to collect the state gas tax separately when you filled your car with gas. No wonder Hoosiers can be a little confused. Must be all of that grain alcohol or something. Just remember to set your clock ahead tonight. Of you may be in for a shock on Monday morning! By the way, Discover Insanity may be "out of commission" for a couple of days. We're moving to new digs in the alley. But we'll be back. You can take that to the bank!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Perfect Golf Shot...Almost!

Imagine this. Your out playing a nice round of golf. A bird lands in a nearby tree and begins to screech, breaking your concentration. You keep your eye on the ball. Take aim. And WHACK! Woops, bye-bye birdie! Well, that kind of happened for a film crew for "Shoot Like A Pro" at the Grand Cypress Golf course in Orlando.

PGA Tour golfer Tripp Isenhour was charged with killing a hawk on purpose with a golf shot because it was making noise as he videotaped a TV show. The 39-year-old golfer, whose real name is John Henry Isenhour III, was charged Monday with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird. According to court documents, Isenhour got upset when a red-shouldered hawk began making noise, forcing another take. He began hitting balls at the bird, then 300 yards away, but gave up. Isenhour started again when the hawk moved within about 75 yards, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Brian Baine indicated in a report. Isenhour allegedly said "I'll get him now," and aimed for the hawk.

"About the sixth ball came very near the bird's head, and (Isenhour) was very excited that it was so close," Baine wrote. A few shots later, witnesses said he hit the hawk. The bird, protected as a migratory species, fell to the ground bleeding from both nostrils. "He just kept saying how he didn't think he could have hit it, which I think is a stupid thing for a PGA Tour golfer to say," said Jethro Senger, a sound engineer at the shoot. "He can put a ball in a hole from hundreds of yards away, and here he is hitting line drives at something that's, I don't know, a couple hundred feet away?" Senger said the killing was not captured on video. The bird was buried at the golf course and later dug up by Florida investigators.

The bizarre part about this story. No one in the roughly 15-person crew intervened, and many later regretted it. The key word here is later. Yeah, way to go guys. You got your ass caugh on video, killing a protect bird species, and because your pro golfer didn't make the perfect golf shot, you decided to get some "balls" and speak up. Way to go. We're proud of you. Now good ol' John Henry is on his way to the ASPCA slammer. Great shot though. Have a nice trip, Tripp! That shot will cost ya!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Song In The Wrong Key Of Life Is Banned In New York City!

Ahh the Irish. I've always heard the term "the luck of the Irish." What the hell is so lucky about these people. I mean, come on, their music is so depressing and whiny (pick a U2 song!) and what about that song "Danny Boy"? It's depressing. It's not usually sung in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day. And its lyrics were written by an Englishman who never set foot on Irish soil. Those are only some of the reasons why a Manhattan pub owner is banning the song "Danny Boy" for the entire month of March. "It's overplayed, it's been ranked among the 25 most depressing songs of all time and it's more appropriate for a funeral than for a St. Patrick's Day celebration," said Shaun Clancy, who owns Foley's Pub and Restaurant, across the street from the Empire State Building.

The 38-year-old Clancy, who started bartending when he was 12 at his father's pub in County Cavan, Ireland, promised a free Guinness to patrons who sing any other traditional Irish song at the pub's pre-St. Patrick's Day karaoke party on Tuesday. The lyrics for "Danny Boy," published in 1913, were written by English lawyer Frederick Edward Weatherly, who never even visited Ireland, according to Malachy McCourt, author of the book "Danny Boy: The Legend of the Beloved Irish Ballad." He said Weatherly's sister-in-law had sent him the music to an old Irish song called "The Derry Air," and the new version became a hit when opera singer Ernestine Schumann-Heink recorded it in 1915. Some say the song is symbolic of the great Irish diaspora, with generations of Irish fleeing the famine and poor economic conditions starting around 1850. Others speculate it's sung by a mother grieving for her son or by a desolate lover. Lyrics include: "The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying/ 'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide." Zzzzzz.

The song "Danny Boy" is definitely one of the most depressing on the list and was recorded by Bing Crosby in the 1940s and even served as the theme song of television's "Danny Thomas Show" from 1953 to 1964. It has been performed by singers ranging from Judy Garland and Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Some people are looking forward to forward to crooning other Irish favorites, such as "Molly Malone" - whose own theme is hardly a barrel of laughs. A sort of unofficial anthem of Dublin also known as "Cockles and Mussels," the song tells the tale of a beautiful fishmonger who plies her trade on city streets and dies young of a fever. Nice.

At least one patron at Foley's was glad to hear the song was banned from the pub for the rest of the monthsaying, "The song is "all right, but I get fed up with hearing it - it's like the elections!" I think the Irish need to stick to the one thing (see picture) that they are really good at...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Could It Be A Dream Ticket? Ebony & Ivory...Live Together In Perfect Harmony...

This is a sad but kind of true fact: Race will always be an issue in this country. People lie when they say that isn't so. Just three generations ago have women had the right to vote. African Americans have only had an enforceable right to vote for only one generation. And, now here we are with a black and a women poised to be the Democratic party candidate for President. And now, with the conventions looming,Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton hinted at the possibility of a Democratic "dream ticket" with Sen. Barack Obama. It just brings that ol' familiar tune into my head...

Surprisingly, on "The Early Show" on CBS, Clinton said "that may be where this is headed, but of course we have to decide who is on the top of the ticket." Clinton said the race between her and Obama remains "incredibly close," with just "smidgens of difference" between them in both the popular vote and number of delegates. Clinton's remarks came after her campaign won two big states yesterday: Ohio and Texas. Obama congratulated Clinton on her victories while maintaining he would be able to wrap up the Democratic nomination.

I've heard the race thing a lot lately. And it sucks. Hopefully, the only ones still chattering about race are the media representatives. I don't care if someone makes a decision using whatever methods they choose. Maybe this election will be decided by smart people. I hope everyone weighs the cards carefully and selects the best person for the job. I just hope that this issue, one that truly has no effect on how our country is to be run, will not guarantee John McCain as the next president.