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Thursday, November 30, 2006


It's called al-Jazeera English.

AJE Muslim television station, based in the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, now is being offered to English-speaking Westerners.

There's only one problem for the station that wants to bump heads with CNN and BBC. Virtually no cable or satellite stations in the U.S. or Canada will carry its

Well hey, AJE, don't ya think it might be because your sister station, al-Jazeera, has a long and dark history of broadcasting anti-American hate speech and American military deaths?

While AJE says it aims to broaden newscasts by reporting on global issues and wants to distance itself from al-Jazeera, the two stations seem to be virtually one in the same. They both are funded by the emir of Qatar, which, to me, means they have the same editorial philosophy.

Are we looking at a wolf in sheeps' clothing? Are American cable and satellite companies right to be reluctant to carry the station that some say is trying to spread anti-American propaganda?

Or are we just afraid to face frank reporting on American military power?

Maybe it's time for this channel to fade to black.

P.S. Today's picture is from an Internet circulated e-mail.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Underwire bras don't cause breast cancer.

But according to Dr. Karen Kowalske, a physiatrist (physical rehabilitation specialist), slinky bras can trigger muscle tension and headaches.

It seems the thin straps put pressure on the trapezius muscles, which run across the shoulders and upper back.

Geez ... as if women don't have enough to worry about!

Now we have to make sure to our bra straps are at least a half-inch wide.

Something told me not to buy that sexy little number.

Eureka, guys! This might be the cause of your woman's headaches.

Then again, I doubt if it's the bra.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Italian researchers have found that stem-cell injections help dogs with a disease
akin to Duchenne muscular dystrophy walk better.

The studies of muscle-forming cells found in vessels provide evidence that a straightforward infusion of stem cells into the blood stream might one day be able to treat a number of muscle diseases in humans.

I'm perplexed as to why so many people still are against stem-cell research in this country.

Without getting into the abortion debate, we are literally throwing away possible viable cures for those people (maybe your parent, sibling or child) with diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Pro-choice women are going to get abortions anyway.

Why are we tying researchers' hands?

P.S. Not to be flippant over a serious subject, but it would be nice if my little
Elsie's (OK, and maybe Farrah Fawcett's) sphincter-muscle problems could be cured.

Monday, November 27, 2006


A Memphis church gave a $75,000 house (free and clear) to a couple who they thought were victims of Hurricane Katrina.

A very generous thing to do, except the couple, who obviously were scam artists, turned around and sold it for $88,000, and never even moved in.

Associated Press reported that members of the church were a bit upset.

Gee, ya think?

Even though I have great sympathy for the church that was just trying to be a good shepherd for God and watch out for others in His flock, it's hard to feel bad for a group who failed to set a few legal stipulations on the gift like ... you can't sell it!

Isn't there a Bible passage about being a good steward of your money?

Friday, November 24, 2006


And I thought I was sick!

That was before I came across a news story about the Carnival cruise ship carrying 700 passengers who were stricken with the highly contagious norovirus.

The virus causes vomiting and diarrhea for up to 60 hours, and its victims can continue to be contagious for up to three weeks AFTER they recover.

Noroviruses easily spread in settings where food is served to large numbers of people, and good personal hygiene, such as thorough hand-washing, is not practiced. Cruise ships, child-care center and long-term health care facilities are particularly vulnerable to it.

Fourteen of the ship's guests and five crew members remain ill and in isolation.

I bet they have some vacation photos!

Because the virus is spread by touching doorknobs and other surfaces, I'm thinking that, along with the surgical face mask I was considering, rubber gloves might become a part of my daily attire.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Happy Turkey Day!

Be thankful for all that you have.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I know the blog teaser in today's column said I would be blogging about the mob or Al-Jazeera, but in reality I'm not up to thinking that hard.

Instead, this is about getting sick during the holidays.

Now I ask you, how is it that every other day of the year you can be somewhat healthy (or at least vertical and not contagious), but toss in a good holiday where a lot of people can be infected and all hell breaks loose.

So, this is where I am ... in quarantine, even though I'm so full of antibiotics I could nurse plague victims.

Any survival tips for turkey day?

I'm thinking there might be an upside to wearing a surgical face mask. Besides keeping the germs corralled, I won't be stuffing my piehole.

Have a great Thanksgiving and steer clear of anyone wearing a mask.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Not long ago a Hong Kong real estate tycoon and his wife paid $160,000 for an Italian white truffle.

Yes, $160,000 and neither Jesus' nor His mother's picture were on it.

Aren't truffles to be consumed? Would you eat it? I'd think after that delight, you'd be like the goose who laid the golden egg.

I wonder what I could get for my killer chili?

P.S. I was going to say spinach dip, but thought it best not to use killer and spinach in the same sentence.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Here's a proposed state bill ya gotta love.

Two Gloucester County lawmakers have introduced legislation that would crack down on mail-in rebates.

No more filling out receipt after receipt. No more cutting the barcodes off the box the product came in. No more making copies of everything, IF (and that's a big IF) you actually can figure out which receipt or barcode they want.

I still haven't mailed in some $160 worth of rebates from my new computer I bought Oct. 10 because it's such a complicated process, and I can't seem to find the three or fours hours to do it.

Sometimes I think it's not worth the effort.

But that's exactly what product manufacturers want you to think.

Dirty scoundrels!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


He mowed a racial slur in the grass of an open field.

The cops charged him with intimidation and harassment. What the slur said the cops didn't divulge.

I'm thinking this Burlington County, N.J., man may have had too much time on his hands.

Maybe he was in a dispute with a neighbor or found that full-length white sheets and pointy hats were a little too warm to wear at the after-hours, cross-burning meetings in the Pinelands.

Or maybe he was expressing his artistic side like street punks in inner cities who pen graffiti on buildings. Then again, maybe he's just fed up with political correctness.

It's safe to say he wasn't aware of the impact of his bias crime even if (to be politically correct) he had mowed a swastika on the grave of Klaus Barbie.

This 19-year-old needs to learn a little bit about living with those different from himself.

Obviously, he didn't he learn anything from watching "Star Trek."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


At least one Wisconsin man needs to get a life ... in jail.

He's been going from store to store where young women work alone and telling them they have a tick on them. He then suggests they remove their clothing to find it.

If he wants to see some strange, why doesn't he just go to the local sleaze bar and ask 'em to take it off for money like every other red-blooded pervert?

Police are wondering if the guy is a serious predator or trying to be funny.

Does it matter?

Gezz, Inspector Clouseau, don't you think it might be a good idea to find the creep before the women end up with more than ticks on them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


OK, I'm about as spiritual as the next guy. It's religion I have trouble with.

I certainly take exception when a fundamental doctrine of a church is to handle snakes.

Such was the case at the East London Holiness Church in London, Ky., where a parishioner died after she was bitten by a snake in the church. Snake-handling during the religious service there is based on a passage in the Bible that says a true believer has the power to "take up serpents" without being harmed.

Guess she wasn't a true believer ... or maybe the snake finally just got tired of all that handling.

So much for that.

And so much for those poor, distraught people who believed their letters to a minister of a New Jersey church, asking him to pray for them, were read. In reality, he stuffed the letters somewhere, unopened. They were found recently floating in a plastic bag off Atlantic City in the ocean. Some dated back to 1973.

Even though he died two years ago, to him I say, "Hey man, since you're (hopefully) already up there, any chance of finishing the job?"

P.S. Internet photo was sent to me from a way-too spiritual person.

Monday, November 13, 2006


We're so spoiled.

My grandmother used to wash her clothes on a washboard until her knuckles bled.

Then she got a washing machine that was just a tub with a roller. I remember watching her stir the clothes with a square wooden stake in hot steaming water before feeding them into the roller that squeezed them flatter than wee wee on a plate (as Ol' Daddy would say).

Forget about having a clothes dryer. Neither grandmother (or my mother) had one of those ... ever. And their dishwashers were named Sarah and Diana who washed the dishes by hand.

My dishwasher just broke. We bought a new one, but can't get it installed for another two weeks.

Guess who's been named dishwasher once again.

We're so spoiled.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Looks like the FCC eased its indecency chokehold yesterday on TV broadcasters after it dismissed charges against two television shows that aired profanities.

At issue were several episodes of "NYPD Blue" on ABC in which the words "d---head" and "bulls---" were used as well as on CBS' "Early Show" in which a "Survivor" cast member described a contestant as a "bulls----er."

The FCC tried to weasel around its interpretation as to why it dismissed some cases and not others by saying some profanities are OK when used in respect to news programming.

So, does that mean news anchors and correspondents now can drop the "F" bomb or say the "S" word when something goes wrong during their broadcasts? Will the television audience now be able to hear everything guests shout at each other on the "Jerry Springer" show?

It seems to me the commission is inconsistent with its decisions in First Amendment cases but, in some cases, our freedom of speech also is being hogtied by a bunch of right-wing conservatives.

I don't want to hear the "F" word all over the news either, but just think of what we could do with taxpayers' money wasted by the FCC chasing down a court ruling against Nicole Richie who said on an awards show, "Have you ever tried to get cow s--- out of a Prada purse?"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


They want to suffocate them.

Washington has approved the use of firefighting foam to kill chickens if there is an outbreak of the bird flu here in the U.S.

Supposedly gassing them involves more workers, who could be exposed to deadly viruses, and is not as humane for the animals. Officials also say they could eliminate diseased birds (pigeons?) with the foam that live in structurally unsound buildings.

While I'm all for eliminating deadly viruses to humans by cutting off the source, even if it means killing the animals, can't they find a better way than suffocating

If the foam is so humane for extermination, why don't we use it on death-row inmates? When their time is up, we could just put them in a glass case and pump it full of foam.

Could it be because suffocation isn't so humane?

Maybe the foam could be put to better use on holed-up insurgents in Iraq.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


OK, so I'm a little behind on commenting about the red-wine scare.

I call it a scare because after everyone reads that it might help you live longer, we'll have a bunch of 100-year-old winos driving on the parkway.

And, then there's the fear of a red wine shortage when all the real alcoholics switch over from beer and Grey Goose.

That's my fear since I drink at least 12 ounces of red wine every night with dinner. I actually measured it because I wanted to give doctors a realistic account of my daily alcohol consumption.

Guess what ... doctors don't seem to think my wine habit is the reason I feel like crap. On the contrary, they think it helps my stress-out life. Maybe there's some merit to the study.

So, Cheers!

Monday, November 06, 2006


It's already started.

I went to pick up doggie wee wee pads at Wal-Mart and the mad rush has begun.

You would have thought it was Black Friday the way people were grabbing things off the shelf for Christmas.

So, what did I do?

Why I grabbed a few presents and decorations myself!

Now, I'm in the mood to spend, spend, spend.

This e-mailed picture from a reader, by the way, is exactly what I plan to do with my mailbox when the credit card bills start to arrive.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Two people approached me today in two different ways about pet adoptions.

Co-worker Sue Skidmore handed me an advertisement for that showed a
cute little male Chihuahua in need of a home because she knows I love the breed. Click here to see Chihuahua Tony.

Then Helen and Dennis Pochmerski of Freehold Township e-mailed me a picture of
Moija, their new Chihuahua they just adopted from Wag On Inn Rescue in Freehold. Click here to visit Wag On Inn on the Web.

Someone up there is telling me to tell you not to forget about all the unfortunate animals that need a loving home.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


One of my co-workers was hit in her car by a man in a new truck.

He kept going, leaving behind a headlight.

Later, after much detective work by her and her daughter, they found the truck - without the headlight - at a local tavern.

After police were called, the owner of the truck, who could barely walk, shuffled out to face his accusers. He was in his 80s and acted like he didn't have a clue he had hit anything until the cops matched up the headlight with his truck.

So when should seniors to stop driving? Should there be strict licensing laws for those over a certain age? And what should that age be?

Think about losing your independence before you answer.

By the way, I don't consider 77-year-old Ol' Daddy, here on his Harley, too old to drive.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Here's a pretty little princess and her mini-dragon (at least I think that's what Chihuahua, Spike, was for Halloween).

Looks innocent enough, right?

All this holiday pet dressing up reminds me of the crap I got from some animal activists when I wrote a column about how my grandmother used to entertain us by dressing up our pets.

She was pretty unconventional and did stuff to them like putting peanut butter on the dog's palate. When his tongue went in and out trying to lick it off, Gram would pretend like he was saying things. It made us laugh and, of course, never hurt the dog.

But some readers were offended when I said she put wax paper on the cat's paws, secured with a rubber band, which made the cat try to shake it off. It always looked like she was boxing. The cat wasn't crazy about having wax paper on its feet, but it didn't hurt her.

And, you can't tell me that all those millions of pets out there who were dressed up by their owners for Halloween were loving it. Just look at Spike's face!

I'd bet most of those animal activists who nailed my grandmother with their venom, saying she was cruel, are right about now packing away their pets' costumes for next year.