My 2 Cents’ Worth… 2 Pennies For Your Thoughts?

Just for the record, I don’t find Bill O’Reilly’s claims of innocence to be credible. The ugly display of extreme rightwing political punditry typically goes hand in hand with the grotesque exhibition of sexually abusive / predatory behavior.

Nonetheless, O’Reilly claims he hadn’t sexually harassed women / created a hostile work environment at his now former network, FOX. My best guess is his oinking had become so loud and habitual he had become oblivious to his own, obvious oinking noises.

O’Reilly’s sincere apology to womankind is long overdue. He must also put his big money where his big mouth is. He should contribute all $25 MILLION of his lavish FOX severance package to NOW… The National Organization for Women… as in NOW!

After that? It’d be advisable for sexist pig O’Reilly to seek the help of a shrink to help cure him of his misogyny.

That’s my two cents’ worth… two pennies for your thoughts on this O’Reilly matter?

For additional reading, check out the blog posted by NOW President Terry O’Neill.

 

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The Not Ready For Primetime (or any other time) Régime

The good news… TV ratings for NBC’s Saturday Night Live are up… way up. Nielson reports 10.6 million have been tuning in regularly… that figure representing an increase in viewership of 2 million.

The bad(?) news… SNL primarily owes its success to Alec Baldwin lampooning a downright failure of a man.

The worst(?) part… the butt of their jokes is paying far more attention to what’s happening within SNL’s studio 8H in Manhattan than… well… pretty much whatever else is going on in the rest of the world.

Is that totally bad?

No. Each and every time #45 is overreacting / going berserk on Twitter he’s also frittering away his four year term… meaning less time for him to FUBAR our global economy, ecology and society.

Of course, what those key problem areas do need the most is the positive, proactive attention and actions of a real leader… an empathetic, ethical, focused, genuine intellect… such as former President Barack Obama.

Of course, #45 is not such a man. NOPE, he could never live up to those presidential qualifications. Ergo, it’s just as well that he’s got his eyes glued to his TV every Saturday at 11:30 p.m.… is obsessing over and bouncing off the walls whenever SNL’s brilliant political satirists effortlessly get under his thin skin.

Yet, one cannot help but wonder…

If SNL elected to never lampoon #45 / his régime again, would that upset him even more?

It’s the B.O. Factor NOT the P.O. Factor (99 Word Blog #079)

 

Propaganda Minister Bill O’Reilly has speculated that numerous big-name entertainers have refused to perform at America’s Inauguration Day festivities because they fear they’ll P.O. their fan base.

Oh really O’Reilly???

You’re overlooking the obvious… you’re such a brainless, rightwing tool you cannot fathom how these performers are righteously indignant.

Don’t you get it Billo?

It’s the B.O. factor NOT the P.O. factor… i.e., these artists loathe the nauseating, polarizing, political stench wafting off the incoming fascist régime.

Beyond the ethics there’re aesthetic concerns, too…

Who’d want to be performing while holding their noses and/or puking upon the world stage?

 

Cindy Stowell’s Incredible Jeopardy Finale

 

The Cindy Stowell Story is heartwarming, inspiring and extraordinary. Despite the grim diagnosis of stage four cancer, she auditioned and proved herself fully qualified to appear on Jeopardy. Because she had advised the program’s accommodating staff of her medical condition, they had sped up their normal contestant selection process so she could compete sooner.

Only a few of the show’s producers and host Alex Trebek had known that the time she had left was limited.

Well… Stowell not only competed well but competed while ill.

During one taping, she had been nauseous, feverish and in need of painkillers… those meds slowing down her reaction time, which made signaling in to provide the questions to the answers an even greater challenge.

Even more miraculous, there had been a Jeopardy taping hiatus, which, purely by coincidence, had perfectly jibed with her need for hospitalization… allowing her sufficient time to regain her strength… to come back to compete again.

In the end, champion Stowell had won $103,803, which she pledged to donate to the Cancer Research Institute. As for her six game winning streak, only 38 contestants have equaled or exceeded that plateau since Jeopardy’s “five wins and out” rule ended in 2003.

Though she died on December 5th (a little more than a week before her episodes were to air on TV), thanks to the kind folks at Jeopardy, the DVD they had provided allowed her to see three of her appearances.

As for my own reactions…

If I hadn’t been aware of Stowell’s story prior to watching her compete, I’d have never guessed in a million years how seriously ill she was. As far as I’m concerned, she could’ve also won an Academy Award for acting so healthy.

Seeing her dream of appearing on Jeopardy come to fruition had to have been the thrill of her lifetime and, doubtlessly, in giving her something to live for, kept her going strong a bit longer than had she wallowed in sorrow in some hospice bed.

I only wish she could’ve gone into remission, lived a good long life and appeared on Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions.

When TV had gone digital back in 2009 I had ceased viewing all first run programming. I only reentered TV Land this past June after my sister had provided me a digital converter she no longer needed. Admittedly, I’d been feeling mostly underwhelmed about what TV had become during my seven year absence… well… at least until I had eye witnessed Stowell’s stunning display of courage… her looking at death squarely in the eye and telling it to go to hell.

Cindy Stowell had a fighting spirit… in the game of Jeopardy… in the game of life.

Her never say die determination has been an inspiration to millions… and I count myself among them. She will live on, forever, in the memories of all who witnessed her will to live.

I only wish I could’ve thanked Ms. Stowell in person.

My heartfelt condolences go out to her surviving family and friends.

CBS NEWS BULLETIN

 

The following is an excerpt from my very first WordPress blog… my memories of 53 November 22nds ago when, as a (then) 9-year-young boy, a national tragedy forced me to face down too much age inappropriate content… to grow up way too soon.

I voted for John F. Kennedy when I was ONLY six-years-old!

Well… uh… sort of. Here’s what had actually happened…

After Mom had closed the voting booth curtains, hoisted me up to adult eye level and demonstrated how everything worked, she actually let me shift JFK’s lever down! My having done something so grown-up on Election Day 1960 had been a feel good, defining moment in my young life.

As I grew physically, so did my understanding of (and respect for) the immense leverage, which each of those tiny levers can exert in shaping our nation and world. Tragically, not everyone opts in to such a civilized, orderly process. Such was the case on…

November 22, 1963 ~ It had been a gray, overcast, rainy Friday. There had been no school for Sis and me (due to parent / teacher conferences). I was just finishing lunch when my sibling came rushing into the dining room. Still clutching her pocket-sized transistor radio, she blurted out…

“Somebody Shot President Kennedy!” Mom, Sis and I quickly adjourned to the living room. Even before our Zenith TV’s B&W picture tube had fully warmed up, we could already hear one of CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite’s earliest bulletins.

As time came grinding down to a dead halt we felt ourselves rapidly descending into the depths of our nation’s communal shock. There was little else we could do… save for waiting and hoping that our worst fears would not be confirmed. But…

The bad news just kept on spilling forth from our nation’s TV screens while Kennedy’s dream for the betterment of our national / global society, was hemorrhaging forth from his head wounds… dying along with this great man. Eventually, Cronkite had to choke back his own overwhelming sorrow as he reported…

“From Dallas, Texas… the flash apparently official… President Kennedy died a 1 p.m., Central Standard Time… 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time… some thirty-eight minutes ago.”

And that’s the way it was… the feel rotten, defining moment in my young life. The President I had “voted” for three short Novembers earlier had been blown away. Bullets… not ballots… had removed John Fitzgerald Kennedy from office and shot to hell my childhood innocence.

Up till then, TV had been a source of light entertainment… but… Cronkite’s pioneering venture into live, breaking news, non-stop coverage, reality TV… proved neither. Worse yet, one could never make the Kennedy Assassination “go away” by merely switching channels or by turning off the TV. Nothing could’ve ever changed that horrifying outcome… one which… even today…  is perpetually, sending debilitating shockwaves outward from that Dealey Plaza Ground Zero… all across the space-time continuum.

Even now, more than half a century later, my vivid, as if they had just happened mere seconds ago, memories can and do cause tears to well up in my eyes.

For anyone, especially someone as young as I had been, learning to cope with these issues would not be getting any easier. Two days later, I was among millions of TV viewers who had become eyewitnesses to the live network broadcast of vigilante Jack Ruby gunning down alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

While some folks might applaud an-eye-for-an-eye “justice”… innocent until proven guilty is the law of the land and I, among many, believe Oswald should’ve had his day in court. We might’ve even discovered the answers to all the still lingering, unanswered questions.

Now, whether you had actually watched and “survived” all of that long ago bloodshed or have merely read about it in America’s history books… I’ll bet you, like I, have oft fantasized about traveling back into time to save the life… save the presidency of John F. Kennedy… and have also wondered… with a successful outcome… what would America be like today?

I now invite you to read about… or better yet… view here… a compelling, alternate reality to November 22nd… as presented by TV’s “The Twilight Zone”… the episode titled “Profile In Silver”. Observing actor Andrew Robinson’s performance… his so convincingly bringing JFK back to life… can and does evoke tears of joy.

 

ADDENDUM posted 12/07/16 10:10 a.m. to modify blog’s final paragraph / replace YouTuber’s removed “Twilight Zone” video.

Did Gwen Ifill Die Of A Broken Heart?

American Peabody Award winning journalist, newscaster and political analyst Gwen Ifill died at age 61 on 11/14/2016… her too brief life and career cut short by Cancer. TV viewers, who frequent PBS, will forever, fondly remember and admire her for both the off and on-the-air contributions she made to society.

As an African-American woman, she had been a trailblazer for and champion of racial and gender equality. As a consummate professional, her impressive résumé included being the moderator / managing editor of Washington Week in Review and co-anchor / managing editor of the PBS News Hour. In both capacities she was and will forever be a role model and inspiration to girls and women of all ages.

Even news watchers, who habitually turn elsewhere to less reliable sources for their “information”, will still likely have strong recollections of Ifill’s topnotch work as debate moderator during the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns.

With an ailment as grave and unpredictable as Cancer, we can only conjecture about its ups and downs… what ushers it into remission… what triggers it to rage out of control.

But, I truly believe, with all my heart, that Ifill’s sudden and far too soon demise is attributable to the horrific outcome of last week’s presidential election… the defeat of Clinton… Hillary’s loss to a misogynist and racist… his campaign, itself, having set back, by centuries, what little progress women and racial minorities have achieved, to date. It’s a certainty that Ifill had known fully well how, once that knuckle-dragging Neanderthal takes the oath of office, he’ll promptly bomb civilized society all the way back to the Stone Age.

In short, although her death certificate lists Cancer as the official cause, Gwen Ifill actually died of a broken heart.

I’ve witnessed, first hand, this phenomenon before. Back in 2003, it involved my own 89-year-old mother, who, to say the least, had been devastated and demoralized by the outcome of the 2000 presidential election… i.e., how George W. Bush and five corrupt, archconservative, bastard SCOTUS “judges” had colluded to deny Al Gore his legal right to a recount of the ballots in Florida… how their screwing over Gore had given birth to W’s illegitimate presidency.

My Mom’s deep depression had only worsened after W, the bungling incompetent, had gotten caught with his Commander-In-Chief pants down on 9/11, AND, in the post apocalyptic aftermath, when his too little / too late preserving, protecting and defending of America caused him to overreact… to strip all Americans of their Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

In short, although her death certificate lists old age as the official cause, my Mom actually died of a broken heart.

Seeing how we liberals, at present, are sinking into the depths of our own post Election Day funk, we can only speculate on how much this is all shortening our own lifespans. Of course… all in all… that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Come Inauguration Day, when that tyrant begins his reign of terror, We the People, who oppose him, can take some solace in knowing that his depressing us to death… well… this could be our early ticket out.

For us, serving in Heaven (or even winding up in oblivion) would have to be infinitely preferable to watching him ruling in the Hell of his own making… than our being forced to exist within his Hell on Earth.

We’d also be able to rejoice in knowing that, once in Heaven / oblivion, we’d never be forced to cross paths with the likes of him again.

R.I.P. Gwen Ifill… at least there can be peace for you.

99 Word Blog (#037) Happy 50th Star Trek!

 

12-year-young Tom’s Log… Earth Date 09.08.1966 20:30 hours… Via my B&W viewscreen, I’ve eye-witnessed the birth of the Star Trek universe… made first contact with the NCC-1701 U.S.S. Enterprise crew. WOW!!!

62-year-older Tom’s Blog… Earth Date 09.08.2016 08:50 hours… Original Trek, subsequent five small screen spinoffs and thirteen big screen films have boldly taken us where no one has gone before!

Despite the oft terrifyingly gone wrong, first contacts with new life and civilizations, Star Trek’s undying, underlying, unifying message…

HOPE… the promotion of interracial harmony and peaceful coexistence… then… now… here… and perhaps… someday… our extending this spirit to light-years distant worlds.