Friday, July 16, 2010

Has America Lost It's Energy?

The other night, I was staying up later than usual and happened to catch Jimmy Fallon's Late night where he features up and coming performers. On this night, Fallon introduced A musical group called the Paper Tongues who performed, "Ride to California", something between rap, rock and hip-hop...a little out of my Baby boomer league. But before I could hit the remote for another channel, I was blown away by their performance, their unbridled energy. I couldn't really understand the lyrics, but the beat was amazing and oh, that energy! The lead singer was positively frenetic in his performance, but his band was equally energized which gave their performance a synergistic effect that was must-see TV for at least 2.5 minutes.
Afterwards, I sat on my couch, mesmerized but at the same time, asking myself, where did they get that amazing energy? Why don't I see this energy more often?
I feel I have somewhat of a license to discuss this topic due to it being my trademark as a teacher. My evaluations always included energetic, enthusiastic, high energy level teaching. My mantra as an teacher meant that if I wasn't enthusiastic about the subject matter, how could I expect students to be at all interested?
So to the big picture question: What has happened to America's energy level? No, I am not talking about the oil spill from the Deep Horizon off shore tragedy. There appears to be an energy-drain that has hit our nation. a collective tired, lethargic mood.
So who would I select as examples of energy in motion? Let's start with the likes of Lucille Ball. In the I Love Lucy series, Ball was a constant bundle of energy as Lucy Ricardo. Elvis Presley had that sexual energy that wasn't an add-on, or an "I'm bringin' sexy back". It was part of the Presley package, unmistakable, undeniable, and unforgettable! Sammy Davis, Jr. was energy personified.
Today's examples seems to have hit the potholes of negativity which is a surefire energy-extinguisher. Tiger Woods had it on the golf course but events beyond the ropes have sucked that natural energy right out of him. President Barack Obama has great energy as a candidate. Who can forget that easy jog to the podium, the rollin' up of shirt sleeves, and the energy of conviction, or as the late Senator Teddy Kennedy would have said, the vigah (ok vigor for the rest of us? As President, Mr. Obama seems to have lost that edge. Even Sarah Palin emotes enthusiasm, but tack on her "gotcha" attitude and the enthusiasm downgrades to a mean spirited rant of those who dare disagree with her.
So, how do we find our collective soul?...Oh,no, that's another musical group! But maybe soul has something to do with our search. Is our energy a wonderful bi-product of our passion, our soul?
Can we recapture that vitality, almost child-like , and transform it into an energy that fuels our daily lives, our relationships and our pursuit of happiness even when life-challenging obstacles stand in the way? Dog-gone-it! Let's just do it...just like Paper Tongues did on Jimmy Fallon's late night show. It could happen!
P.S. Thanks to Paper Tongues and Jimmy Fallon for renewing my faith in the ENERGY Within!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Panama City Beach Spring Breakers: Fun in the Sun or Just an Underage Student Body of Scum

We have the "Gator Nation", the "Roll Tide" and the "Bull Dogs". Well, sorry, but after three days of more than 60 institutions (Spring Break 2010 College & University Dates) of higher learning descending on our beautiful beaches, I can only title this group at our condo as "the Student Body of Scum"....or "Scum Nation".
You see I live at Laketown Wharf and while this development has had its financial woes, it is actually a beautiful location with beautiful pools, green areas, and a boardwalk surrounding a protected piece of wetland. This complex provides long term rentals at an affordable price and a million dollar view. You can imagine the disgust we "long termers" feel towards the absolute destruction of our property by underage, undereducated binge drinkers with no respect for property, who have invaded our domain. How the majority of these weekly breakers are able to rent a condo and not only be under the age of twenty five, but worse, underage, is beyond my pay grade, but that's exactly what has happened.
Do the Charlie Hiltons of the beach think that throwing fire extinguishers from the 20th floor at security, alternately peeing and puking in the elevators, date rape charges and cocaine drug busts nightly, is worth keeping "heads in beds"? But at what price? If that's what our community represents than this is definitely not the area the Southwest Airlines was seeking.
Speaking of Mr. Hilton and his ilk, I have biked by the Frank Lloyd Wright style, 9000 square foot home in Alys Beach owned by Charlie Hilton and I have taken pictures for our grandkids. We like to call it "Iron man House" because it looks a lot like Tony's digs from the movie. It makes me wonder if Mr. Hilton would be happy to walk through throw up, hundreds of beer cans, urinated rugs in the elevator and trash everywhere?

Charlie Hilton's "Iron Man" home"
Don't misunderstand my message. The maintenance and security at Laketown Wharf are doing the best possible job under the circumstances. What needs to change is the tolerance for this behavior which the CVC/TDC ( Convention andVisitor Bureau/Tourist Development Council) and some resort owners allow in exchange for their scum dollars while selling out our beautiful pristine beach and ignoring the citizens of Panama City Beach who call this area home.
Similar to Hilton of Holiday Inn Sunspree, is the attitude held by Bay County Commissioner, Mike Thomas, who won't even consider additional economic support for the Bay Town Trolley, which is the best service to come by way of our beach in years. The trolley actually puts us in the lead of community services over the 30A area and Destin. Imagine that!
So why write an editorial if you have no solution? I won't do that. The only solution for those of you who love the beach, the Bay Town Trolley and the progress of this community is to demand a leadership change: sooner not later. Fun in the Sun for spring breakers is old school, reminiscent of "Where the Boys Are", which is a far cry from the Scum Nation which now rules. Spring Break2011 has to go.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From Tiger to "Cheetah": Tiger Wood's Disastrous Fall From Grace

I'm not the first writer to coin Tiger and his ilk a "Cheetah", but the moniker aptly describes an unsettling assertion that superstars and men in general have some sort of DNA license to cheat, lie and engage in behavior that belies a total disregard for wives and family. Men are "wired differently" came up during the Tiger discussion at our Thanksgiving Dinner and it clarified in my mind that there has been a shift in the roles of men and women in marriages and respect for women in our culture. Enter Tiger Woods. This world wide icon earned ninety-nine million alone in endorsements in 2009. Everything from American Express, A T &T, Gatorade, Gillette, Nike..who doesn't have one of those brands in use in their household even as we speak?

And yet, the same Tiger Woods has cheated on his then pregnant wife, warned his paramour that his wife would be calling in an attempt to "cover his Tiger tracks", and has essentially made a mockery of the institution of marriage. But if you read Tiger's so called apology on his web site, he appears more shocked and upset by the tabloids exposure of his escapades ironically first brought to light by Tiger's erratic driving and crash of his Escalade into a tree. The events and revelations that followed have changed the tightly woven and pristine image of Tiger as the "family guy" of golf into a tarnished and crumbled impostor.
But according to the Madison Avenue advertising moguls, they feel the "Tiger Brand" will be undamaged by Tiger's disregard for his wife and family. He's not OJ, he didn't kill anybody they coldly assert. Donny Deutsch, (Big Idea), speaking on the Larry King Show actually had the unmitigated nerve to state that "This is a blessing for Tiger...(his cheating on his wife and family) it now makes him more real, American men can relate to him even more..." Are you kidding me, Donny? Bad Idea! Breaking a marriage vow and destroying your family is the latest advertising appeal? Hey, forget that corny new and improved Tiger babble, how about the sneaky, dishonest and cheating lower-than-whale-poop jerk? Now that's what I'm talkin'! Hey, let's have another round of beers!
As a teacher, I feel totally betrayed by the Tiger Woods brand. Like millions of other women, I thought Tiger was an incredibly talented golfer who appeared to rise above the fray and who provided inspirational lessons to teenagers. Two years ago I actually utilized the "Tiger Woods Action Plan Lessons" in my classroom in Indiana. My students and I enthusiastically read "Start Something", a book written by Earl Woods, Tiger's father. Boy! Did he ever! I won't even pretend to guess how many more punch lines that are spawned by it. Teenagers can drive you to distraction but they are dead on when in terms of spotting a phony.
The "women" and I use that term loosely, that are coming out of the pricey hotel carpets as mistresses to Tiger Woods portray a sad indictment of our gender as well. When did it become acceptable to "bag" a celebrity regardless of his marital status or the children involved? Skanky comes to mind, but losers like that have been around since Ben Franklin. What has changed is the rules of engagement for celebrity status. Bad behavior has somehow become fashionable if not trendy. If you don't believe that, check out Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Angelina Jolie as the top crop of tabloid "Queens of Cheat" and other bad girl dalliances.
I think it is time for women to speak out. There is a deafening silence among baby boomer ladies to address the way our culture views women. Where is your outrage? When is the last time you read that women are tired of animal labels, i.e. she's got a nice rack, tits, ass, chics, and the list could continue but this is a pg editorial? Does this not de-humanize women? The most egregious of animal names, in my view, is the newest animal typecasting: a cougar. Why do women over forty, many divorced and looking for a relationship, become branded by this animal house lingo? By the way, the term cougar was invented by a group of twenty-something hockey players in Canada. Men with clubs, few teeth and fewer brains are now determining the next gender slap shot in the face? No thanks.
Therefore, I find it payback or even fair play on the fairway to use the word "cheetah" to describe all men who view cheating on their wives as if it were just another sport or game of change, a behavior to which they are entitled. Perhaps, in a sad way, Tiger Woods did all decent men and women a favor by showing the ugly belly of deceit, lies, cover ups, and resulting heartbreak to the victims of his selfish endeavors.
Making it real means just that, kids. It means your Mom and Dad walked down the isle and promised their fidelity. Yes, there are lapses, no one is perfect, and maybe marriages don't always work, but here's the truth. Marriage is a commitment to be shared equally by both parties. Marriage remains the closest example that exists of a legal and or spiritual union of men and women that has lifelong meaning and consequences. Tiger, in terms of commitment and morality, just didn't make the cut.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Time for Non-Partisan Halloween Menus!

Happy Halloween Everyone! The menu for a great Halloween Dinner starts with a Bloody Mary. Find your favorite recipe and add pickled green beans and pickled jalapeno peppers, it's a's an appetizer all in one... A few adjustments: Save a little extra goat cheese to add to your salad. Also you can buy a bag of real bacon bits. Add a teas. to the salad and sprinkle a tablespoon on pizza. You can use thyme seasoning in stead of fresh, just use sparingly. You can substitute small red potatoes for the pizza as well.The recipe for the worm garden pudding can be found at,196,139179-238206,00.html
Enjoy!!! Two slices only 314 calories, and it's pizza!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Transparency Appears Dim at White House

Okay, my hair is officially in need of a fire extinguisher! It's not enough that the Finance Committee Chairman, Senator Max Baucus, has presented a health care reform package that only a health care insurance company could love; now President Obama has changed his own rules in the middle of his administration. Lord, who do you trust these days? Should we put our trust for real reform with a Senator from Montana who calls himself a Democrat? (NOT) or can we rely on our President who promises transparency at every level at the White House? (NOT). Case in point, I have been doing extensive research regarding Senator Max Baucus and his "gang Of six" regarding the crafting of the Finance Committee's proposal. I had discovered that Jim Messina, Baucus's long time congressional top dog, had been furloughed to the 2008 Obama campaign and then on January 21, 2009, was named Co-Chief of Staff of the White House! It seemed reasonable to call Mr. Messina's office in order to gain additional information. After locating Messina's White House Office phone number (posted later in this blog), as a citizen journalist,under-insured, retired teacher of 64, I felt compelled to call his office. Below is the transcript of my phone conversation:

(Male voice) "White House"
(Aggie..that's me) "Good Morning, could you please connect me to Mr. Messina's office?
(Male Voice, still courteous) "What is this regarding?"
(Aggie) "Well, my name is Aggie Yeakel and I am preparing a Power Point that I would like to send to members of the finance committee. Who are you?"
(Male voice, stammering a bit) "I am a White House operator and we can't do that.... "
(Female voice breaks in very curt) "That office is not can write a letter....."
(Aggie) "May I ask whom I am now speaking to?"
Conversation over.
At that point my call is forwarded to another White House phone number: a recording comes on
(female voice) "If you would like to write a letter to President Obama, please use the following salutation, etc. If you would like to write a letter to Mrs. Michelle Obama, please use the following salutation."
SNAIL MAIL!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? The last time I wrote a letter to a President, I was in high school and I requested information about JFK's campaign. I pushed the red button on my MotoQ smart phone and sat in my small office, stunned. I had just been treated rudely and dismissed by the very public servants who supposedly work for me. I am left thinking, another Obama promise bites the dust! First the single payer plan, next public option and now transparency?
Here is what President Obama pledged in terms of transparency:
Transparency -- President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and White will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President's executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.
Jim Messina
Department: White House
Position: Deputy Chief of Staff ( Appointed )
Age: 39
Childhood State: Montana
Previous State: District of Columbia
Campaigned For in 2008: Obama
Here are the ways to contact President Obama.
The best way to get a message to the President is to contact him at the White House contact page. This is where the White House is directing you to "send questions, comments, concerns or well-wishes to the President or his staff." You can also call the White House Comments Line at 1-202-456-1111 (TTY: 1-202-456-6213) and leave a message.
I would have been grateful to speak to any member of Jim Messina's staff, or given the option to leave a message on Mr. Messina's voice mail.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze Proved that "White Men Can Dance"

Last night, on Msnbc's Countdown we heard the news of Patrick Swayze's death. Swayze's countdown in his battle with cancer was waged valiantly, but as is the case with millions fighting cancer, the disease won out and America lost a true hero.
Why? For decades urban legend had perpetuated the white men can't dance theory. And then along came Patrick Swayze who transformed dancing by incorporating the romantic notion that (sorry Snoopy, I'm paraphrasing) "To dance is to love and to love is to dance."
In Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze not only delivered on his dance moves but also demonstrated the power of the dance. Millions of women, young and old, married and unmarried did not merely enjoy the movie but were transfixed by his performance. How does an upper scale young woman from New York fall for the hard livin', cynical dance instructor at the Catskills? Yes, Johnny Castle was sexy, yes he could dance, but it was the relationship Baby and Johnny embraced through dancing that mesmerized us all and made us believe that raw sexual attraction and true love could be found in one package. It took the love of dancing that Swayze inherited from his Mother who owned a dance studio and the sizzling performance to turn this "little movie" as Jennifer Grey described "Dirty Dancing" into a world wide phenomena.
Swayze would later demonstrate in "Ghost" that when vulnerability and masculinity co-exist the end result is irresistible. Gentle power has long been missing in our culture. The likes of Chris Brown and Kanye West have achieved stardom from a thuggish appeal that in real life,sadly, translates into bully behavior and worse, abuse.
Swayze's lesson for all of us is to live in the moment of life's dance, to lead and follow, to move together, in sync, and to truly listen to the rhythms that define our journey and allow us to fall in love all over again. Many people have the ability to touch our lives, but this hero lives on in our hearts and minds and begs us to dance again. The world will miss Patrick Swayze.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Top Ten Reasons For Kids To Watch & LISTEN to President Obama's speech

10.  They might stop texting each other for a few minutes.
9.    Tea Bag Troops will be silenced for 18 minutes.
8.     Students whose parents don't want them to watch will be sent to lunchroom where they can fight and
        buy and sell drugs.
7.    Rush Limbaugh will have to explain what he did as a student....did he graduate from anywhere?
6.    Glen Beck will be forced to look up words with over five letters.
5.    Right Wingers will be calling for President Obama to prove he was up at 4:30 being homeschooled..
       show us your Indonesian certificate, Mr. President!
4.    Telling students that they have a responsibility to learn will be considered brainwashing by Ann Coulter.
3.    Texas and other states who will not show speech at school will  show Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
        as replacement or Texas Chainsaw Massacre...which ever they deem appropriate.
2.     Under reported and under respected Single Mothers of America might stand a little taller after
         hearing President's message.
        and the #1 reason to watch is
1.     President Obama just might touch  the hearts and minds of 
     future dropouts with his DESIRE to INSPIRE our children..          
        Heaven Help US All!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Edward Kennedy: The Most Powerful Voice for the Lost and Forgotten Has Passed

Today, I followed my usual morning routine of coffee, toast and a view of the front page of our local paper, Panama City News Herald. The headlines that filled the front page dealt with meth, erosion, forum tickets and domestic violence. You can imagine my surprise upon learning the death of Senator Ted Kennedy which was buried on page four just ahead of the death of whooping cranes. Now I realize the panhandle reading audience is mainly Republican, right wing conservative, and decidedly more racist than many would care to admit. But buried on page four slightly ahead of whooping cranes? Really?
Senator Kennedy devoted 46 years, nearly half a century, of his political career as a champion of the forgotten, the poor, the neglected. He will be remembered as the happy warrior in search of better health care, housing and education for all not just the privileged. Even his adversaries admired his perseverance and drive towards achieving legislation that improved the quality of life whether it was raising the minimum wage, maintaining funding for head start, insuring fair housing practices or supporting medicare. Kennedy was larger than life, laughed loudly and lived strong. (I think Lance Armstrong would approve) and yes, he had his own personal demons as do we all.
Senator Kennedy had to endure the loss of all of his brothers, Joe, John, and Bobby. The trigger of hate was directly responsible for the loss of both President Kennedy and Bobby. The surviving brother could have chosen to be bitter, withdrawn and filled with anger. Instead he vowed to dedicate his life to improving the lives of all Americans. To paraphrase poet, Robert Frost, Senator Kennedy took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.
Now fast forward to the town hall meetings where vitriolic rhetoric has drowned out reasonable discourse regarding health care reform and hateful posters equate the leader of the free world as somehow Hitler-esque and UnAmerican. Men touting their right to openly display weapons are appearing at Obama speeches. Where was this display of outrage when President Bush was spending one billion a month on a war that was being fought for the wrong reasons? According to Senator Kennedy, "We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make.” Is this democracy in action? Is this the future we will make? What has happened to the Golden Rule at these meetings? Church on Sunday, Hate on Monday? We can and must do better, regardless of which side of the health reform argument we support.
Senator Kennedy leaves a legacy of 46 years of public service dedicated to insuring a better life for all, regardless of race, creed, or economic status. And, accordingly, he leaves us with this challenge:
"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."
Guaranteed access to health coverage for 25 million Americans who move from one job to another or have preexisting medical conditions wouldn't have happened without TED KENNEDY.
Without TED KENNEDY, there wouldn't have been a bilingual education in the United States for the 5 million students who today have a brighter future because they are learning English in our schools.
Without TED KENNEDY, we wouldn't have lowered the voting age to 18 and ended the hypocrisy that 18-year-olds were old enough to die for their country in Vietnam but not old enough to vote for its leadership at home.
Without TED KENNEDY, we wouldn't be the world's leader in cancer research and prevention--as personal and meaningful an issue as there is in all the world for TED KENNEDY, not just a father, but a loving father of two cancer survivors.
Without TED KENNEDY, we wouldn't have had title XI which opened the doors of competition and opportunity to a generation of women athletes all across our country.
Maybe, Senator Kennedy didn't earn front page news in Panama City but his words and deeds and kindness will endure for generations.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Farrah Fawcett: The Mona Lisa of Baby Boomer Generation or Just Another Lovely Work of Art?

Two of the most famous portraits in the world have to be the ageless Mona Lisa painting, done in 1503, by Leonardo Da Vinci, and in more recent times the Farrah Poster, in the 1970's which sold over 12 million copies to the teen/tween offspring of Baby Boomers all over the U.S. and beyond. It is said that Farrah's poster not only marked the beginning of the sexual revolution of the seventies but also introduced the era of athletic sexuality that the likes of Anna Kournikova and Maria Sherapova have made millions exploiting. There have been other beautiful women through out the passages of time but in terms of "Mona" and Farrah , what was it about them that made their images catapult skyward to the iconic level of fame?
Apparently, Andy Warhol saw the connection. His gallery of work includes his interpretation of both Mona Lisa and Farrah. Both show a beautiful yet melancholy even stoic expression. The famous Warhol silk print hangs in Farrah's living room and was visible to the almost 9 million viewers who tuned into Farrah's documentary of her valiant fight with cancer shown on NBC.

Are these visions of Farrah her legacy? Mainly known for portraying one of "Charley's Angels", the Aaron Spelling production that continues to reappear, Farrah lasted just one year and left over a battle of merchandising product revenues....the selling of Farrah's angel image. After leaving "Angels", Farrah made her debut in a horrible movie, Sunburn, with Charles Grodin, the only memorable part of the flic being the beautiful Farrah wearing an equally beautiful white side split tunic over white pants...again a vision.
Later in her career, when the image was reinvented and and that poster, i.e., vision was put in mothballs, Farrah gained respect for her Broadway performance in "Extremities". Fawcett's most critically acclaimed movie was not a big screen splash of beautiful hair, forever teeth and slow motion shots of Farrah jogging braless being blasted across the screen, but a small made for TV production of "The Burning Bed" a tragic story of spousal abuse. Farrah Fawcett, sans make up, was determined to show the world, much like her predecessor, Marilyn Monroe, that she could act, even if it meant the dismantling of the product, the image, the merchandising.Now, as Farrah struggles for a cure of the anal cancer, the question still remains; is it the icon or the heroine that in a two hour documentary showed us, in heart wrenching detail, the battle that millions of Americans know too well, the invasive enemy that is cancer? Farrah's German Doctor stated that cancer is like a terrorist of the body.
Incredibly, we are once again reminded of the remarkable beauty of Farrah when she first learns that the cancer has receded. She looks amazing for a woman of sixty plus who has endured chemo, surgery, radiation and all the pain. But the documentary goes further as Farrah also allows us the intimacy of her devastation when the cancer returned, when she realizes that her options were fewer and fewer. Farrah fought the good fight but the battle is becoming increasingly more difficult to sustain.
I was left thinking how will I remember the Mona Lisa of my generation, Farrah Fawcett? We all pray for her and admire her courage. Farrah, and those close to her, cling to her hope for a miracle. But I can't help but recall that beautiful yet melancholy song by Nat King Cole, "Mona Lisa", which describes the contradictions of beauty and iconic status.
"Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?"
I believe that our Farrah is all of the above.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Assassination: Six Degrees of Separation from David Feherty's Remarks

Open Letter to Dallas Morning News:

By Aggie Yeakel, editorial writer and former Odessa, Texas (Ector County) teacher

This letter is a grim reminder to you that Dallas,TX holds the egregious distinction of being the city that hosted the first Presidential assassination since 1901(McKinley) which took the life of John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963. That this happened in Dallas was no accident. The hatred and vitriol that was bubbling just beneath the surface of the City of Hate ( in the 60's) was palpable. President Kennedy was advised to reconsider this trip and avoid Dallas where the right wing hate mongers had both the power and oil money to carry out their verbal assaults.
Fast forward to 2009, in their April issue, D Magazine published an article entitled "President George W. Bush Comes Home (Yo, Dubya)" which included a death threat proposal penned by David Feherty, a golf analyst for CBS Sports. When it comes to political discourse. Ferhery not only rears his ultra right wing side in his article welcoming George W to Preston Hollow, but projects a much darker side of his allegiance to the 43rd President."From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this though, despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death." suggests Feherty in his disdain for Speaker Pelosi.
On Sunday, April 10, CBS Sports published a lame, lapdog apology by Feherty who indicated his article was written as a "joke", albeit a poor one, and apologized to Speaker, Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader, Senator Reid. Okay then, in the spirit of this so called jocular piece describing how any good soldier can gun down the 3rd in line for the Presidency, let's play Six Degrees of Separation. No, not with Kevin Bacon, but with assassinations, the real kind, David, the kind that attempt to destroy democracy, hope and political decency.
1. The article in question, " appeared in D Magazine which drew the attention of Media Matters for printing the tongue (or was it gun) in cheek article by David Feherty. Put another way, that would be an assassination.
2. D Magazine is a bi-monthly publication which is co-founded by Dirk Allison and Ray Lee Hunt, the son of H.L. Hunt.
3. David Feherty, in the same article, describes his chummy connection to "George 1"(Former President George Herbert Walker Bush) and suggests that now George W and Laura live in the Preston Hollow zip code, (where Feherty also has a residence) they could get together via Jim Nance, CBS Sports Commentator.
4. The alliance of former President George H Bush and the Hunt family go way back. The privately-held Hunt Oil Company(that would be Ray's company) is one of the big money Texas donors behind the Bush family political empire," according to SourceWatch. A Hunt subsidiary, Hunt Oil Co. of the Kurdistan Region , had big plans in 2007, with the blessing of the Bush Administration, to enter into a production-sharing contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for petroleum exploration in northern Iraq, the first such deal since the Kurds passed their own oil and gas law in northern Iraq. This is now under investigation.
5. Ray Lee Hunt's, Daddy, H.L. Hunt had strong connections to the Conspiracy Theory of the Assassination (which the Warren Commission conveniently left out) . The dirty little secret in Dallas oil baron circles is that anyone actually did believe that Lee H. Oswald acted as the lone gunman. Hunt's top aides often heard him say that America would be "much better off without Kennedy". On one occasion Hunt reportedly expressed his desire to see JFK shot . But who needs an FBI investigation and charges when it comes to Texas -approved assassination threats of our nations' leaders? That would be an oxymoron.
6. The Secret Service gave only lip service to the current of hate for JFK in Dallas in 1963 and later dismissed the threats as not a serious threat. Presidential historians tells us that President Kennedy would have easily won his second term as our President had he not been gunned down in Dealey Plaza. Put another way, that would be assassination.
Hatred for President Obama, Speaker, Pelosi and Senate Leader, Harry Reid is, once again, fomenting along the Metroplex as it did in 1962-63. Assassination plots with oil field ambitions and cash to fund them are born, not only in the extremist fox holes of the Middle East, but in the grassy knolls of the Preston Hollows of our world as well. Make no mistake about that. Feherty's crime is serving as the carnival barker and he should be held accountable; however the real danger lurks where greed, oil and power simultaneously rule. Having the audacity to crimp their Middle East oil profiteering or cross their ideological views has proved to be life threatening.
Looking back, I was just a college freshman attending Friday classes on the campus of Illinois State University on that sunny, fall day in November of 1963, when the news came over the radio that our President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was fatally shot in the head by an assassin. On that tragic day, the bullet hole that ripped the President's brain wide open also ripped a hole in the fabric of our democracy that remains today.
So there we have it: Six Degrees of Separation: From H.L. Hunt's desire to see JFK dead, to his son as co-founder of D Magazine, and CEO of Hunt Oil, to the Hunt family connection to the Bush political hierarchy, to Preston Hollow, to the Right Winger of Northern Ireland, Feherty's rants of wishing Speaker Pelosi dead. Clearly, in the past or present climate of hate in Dallas, TX, there is no way of explaining away an idle threat or fantasy no matter how many degrees of separation there are. History knows better.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Am I the Only One With My Hair on Fire?! Apple Execs Open Floodgates of Trash Apps for Tweens

Okay, so I have taught child & human development for over 25 years.
Okay, so I was stunned that Apple allowed the "Baby Shaker" app to thrive for three days before removing it from the "app store".
Okay, so I was outraged at Apple's generic/press release drivel apology and don't even get me started on Sikalosoft..."I guess we made some people mad" approach to developing an application that shows how to shake a baby to death if they don't stop crying.

Let me see if I can get your attention. First Johnny uses his $25. iTunes card and after a seamless enrollment, orders the following downloads for his shiny iPhone (yes, Apple Board Member, Al Gore, he's a tween, thirteen years of age.)
Now it's time to use his downloaded VooDooFun app (.99 cents)...Johnny doesn't really like his English teacher. He uploads her yearbook picture on Voodoofun and sticks the s**t out of her. Now Johnny is ready to ramp it up a notch, so it's on to Hot Banana, a masturbating simulation game, that allows him to compete with George across the classroom via iPhone. As you might imagine,Johnny's a little churned up. Let's open his Bunny & Me, where he can make Bunny do about anything in addition to blowing on his now steamed-up iPhone screen and make Bunny's dress go flying up. By the way, iGirl will do the same. Oh, oh, the principal walked in, how about, gunsta or Mafia 1? Johnny can point and shoot at the principal. If the sound is loud enough, the school might have to have an evacuation....coo-o-ol. Of course, Johnny is leading in Mafia 1 area of Trashing Cars...good training for when Johnny drops out of school and does this for real. After lunch it's time to blow up a few kitties with the iKitty app. Johnny now sends a shout out to his homeys to meet at his "crib" after school for a Beirut. What is Beirut? This is a cool Code for a BeerPong Basement style drinking game. You see Johnny lives in a single parent home and Mom won't be home for hours. Sally will bring the beer/wine coolers in her backpack. Now no basement game is complete without a Truth or Dare, x rated and Johnny downloaded that let the sex games begin. Of course one has to keep track of all this fun, so it's time to tune into Get Durk Drunk...just to see how many drinks it takes to go over the legal limit before Mom's car hits the driveway. Fast forward to homework time, but Johnny again is bored and has learned a nifty way to not only download Penthouse from the iPhone app, zinio newsstand, but how to put it right on his PC for better views. Bedtime snack: another Hot Banana!
To put some relevance to the above editorial simulation, it is telling that the billionth download that Apple brags so much about came from a tween, thirteen year old Connor Mulcahey. Apple iPhones stands to make bazillions from the purchases of minors and this would not be so egregious if there was some semblance of oversight at Apple before these creepy, pervasive, disgusting downloads reached your child's iPhone. All a developer needs to do is file a form and pay $99. Now, any genius or jerk can enter his/her "game"? Oversight? You tell me. Damaging albeit destructive to young minds? Without a doubt.
Feel free to go to youtube and look up the above apps. Please note, the age and gender of the child demonstrating these apps for you. Anyone need a fire extinquisher?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shaken Baby Application Makes Apple One Bad Apple!

My first thought: What in the world were they thinking? Apple iPhones are selling at breakneck speed and AT&T continues to survive due to the revenue from Apple Iphones putting them at the top of the heap. So what imbecile (I'm guessing some white male under 30) developed this app that when you click on the baby icon it cries and won't stop until you shake the phone?
Come to find out, Apple threw open the gates of software in order to expand the apps available for iphone. A company named Sikalosoft, developed the "Baby Shaker" and it is a "game",yes that's what they said, the user plays and gains points by continuing to shake the baby until the red x's appear on the drawing of a baby on the icon. Wow! Winning a game because you shook your phone enough to simulate bleeding into the eyes as a result of torn blood vessels?! Yes, Virginia, and for only 99 cents you can play! What will those clever developers come up with next? Perhaps the Craigslist Killer icon can't be too far behind!
This is one of the most egregious misuses of technology that I have seen since the arrival of play station's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which provides points for direct kills of human beings.
I happen to be a child development advocate and teacher for over 25 years. I have taught literally thousands of students the horrific effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome. I continue to be shocked at the rise in Shaken Baby Syndrome deaths across our country. And yes, the perpetrator of this vicious abuse to a helpless infant is a male over seventy per cent of the time.
I would refer the iPhone execs, Apple and AT&T brass to click this link to a Power Point presentation of what happens when a baby is shaken. My students were stunned when they learned that the shaking doesn't have to be the violent examples depicted in movies. I'm guessing that the same amount of shaking of your iPhone to stop the recorded crying baby is exactly the amount that can cause major physical harm to an infant and unfortunately, death.
Just for the sake of those who do not visit this website, let me provide the list of injuries that are seen in emergency rooms daily in our country resulting from shaking a baby:
1) Baby’s brain bangs against skull. 2) Small blood vessels are torn - bleeding 3) Blood clots press on brain. 4) Vertebrae crush the spinal cord.
And the occurrence of the above injuries can result in the following: brain damage, retardation,physical disabilities, paralysis, blindness, and death.
On Thursday, April 23, Apple offered an apology and stated that the application has been pulled from the iPhones. The question remains, how many iPhones were sold with the Baby Shaker app? Why did it take a Shaken Baby Syndrome Charity group to expose this deplorable use of technology to simulate a heinous crime?
One of my Human Development classes at Kokomo High School in Indiana put together original poems and short stories underscoring the violence that rears its ugly head too often in our communities regardless of race,creed, or socio-economic factors. I end this blog with a poem from one of the students. Perhaps Apple could make a donation to the National Shaken Baby Syndrome foundation to somehow repair the damage they have done by trivializing a rising form of abuse to our most innocent victims.
Oh, by the way, iPhone Apple,AT&T and Sikalosoft. April is
National Child Abuse Prevention month. Get a clue.

Written by: Brittany Pittman
Edited by Mrs. Yeakel

Hi, my name is Freddy,
And I’m holding my teddy bear,
I’m holding him tight,
Because I know something is not right.
I hear footsteps coming down the hall,
Then suddenly I start to bawl,
He swings open the door,
My eyes start to pour,
He picks me up and shakes me…
Why doesn’t God just take me?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pee-Wee Herman's Playhouse has been Revived at CNBC!

Any Resemblance?

This is my response to CNBC following Rick Santelli's "Playhouse".

The idea that Rick Santelli is still attempting to denigrate our President under the approval of CNBC makes no sense. Do you have any concept of the anger towards you and Wall Street by Main Street and yes, Europe and Asia regarding the credit default swap debacle? First Santelli has his little rant as a front man for the Chicago Tea Party bunch, now he presented his own little weird puppet show complete with a chia pet looking like President Obama during his "report". Are you so asleep at the switch that you fail to realize that President Obama has won the respect of hard working Americans in addition to world leaders? The President is working overtime to clean up the mess that you and your ilk put us in and we on Main Street has gone eight years without a leader who feels our pain. Apparently, the CNBC program execs allow this juvenile and biased behavior to flourish on your network. Finally, to say that Rick Santelli will not attend any "Tea Parties" being hosted around the country because he has no ties to them is disputable. Perhaps we at Main Street should boycott CNBC on April 15. I am a published op Ed writer and this is my new mission: expose CNBC as the mouthpiece of Wall Street, the carnival barker, if you will,...nothing more, nothing less.

If you would like to communicate your views to CNBC, here is the email address: "CNBC Customer Care Team"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Great Movie One Liners That Still Work

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed a great one liner comeback to your spouse,boss, kids, coworkers, checkout person and you fell silent, powerless to project the zinger, the ice-breaker, the "I wish I would have thought of..." phrase? Well, wait no more. I have comprised my own collection that I will not only share with you, but also demonstrate how I use it to all the above people in all the above situations. In this era of economic unrest, cultural clashes, and systemic stress for every possible reason, it's time for the more humorous, absurd and happy moments to lighten the burdens. So here goes.

  • Lighten up,Francis (Stripes): I used this one so much with my four kids growing up that I have now gained custody of it.
  • Houston, we've got a problem (Apollo 13): Great for any person teaching school, especially in lab situations. It lets a student know they screwed up without making them feel like an idiot.
  • That's gonna leave a mark (Tommy Boy): This is a great one liner for those times when you look and feel like a klutz the result of which is not a serious injury but an embarrassing one. Examples are falling up the stairs, banging your head on the cupboard door, and tripping over anything in your home or upscale restaurant.
  • You can't handle the truth (A Few Good Men): Great to use in customer service conflicts. No company wants to appear as if they are not above board...except Bernie Madow, AIG, and Fox News.
  • I've got a brain for business and a bod for sin (Working Girl): No brainer. Working girls use this with cerebral discretion! Of course it really helps if you have a body like Melanie Griffith.
  • The "wubby" must go. (Mr. Mom): The description of the tired, worn blanket of Michael Keaton's young son when Keaton said the blanket had to be disposed. Great to use for your husband when his favorite tee shirt has the fourth hole in it or jeans are threadbare in the wrong places and definitely not cool looking.
  • Get outta' my chair. (Clueless): Cher's ( Alicia Silverstone) rich father orders Cher's new friend out of the head dining chair. As a teacher, I loved this quote, and used it often. Also works with precocious children who are lounging in your recliner.
  • It's good. It's gooooooood! (Bruce Almighty): So easy. Use this after a great meal, great sex, or great anything. Disclaimer. If you don't say it like Jim Carrey, it loses it's effect.
  • I had it made just for you, Darlin' (Urban Cowboy): Pam uses her charm, beauty and pocketbook to woo Bud away from Sissy. More important is the song, Look What You've Done to Me, Boz Scaggs...just an incredibly sexy scene. Put that tune in the old Ipod docker and try out that line, doesn't even have to be a custom shirt...cookies, socks, or monogrammed Snuggy will do.
  • They call me Cha Cha because I'm the best dancer at St. Bernadette's. (Grease): I don't why this is my favorite one liner from Grease but once you see Cha Cha in that grinding , gyrating dance with Danny, any girl who has attended parochial school gets it.... When to use? Anytime you go out clubbing....everyone in America has seen Grease except Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh (The Bully Twins).
  • I believe you Dad, but will Mom buy it? (National Lampoon's Vacation): This is the hilarious scene where Clark is trying to explain away his skinny dip with Christy Brinkley in the motel pool to his son, Rusty. It can be used in so many venues, just juggle the titles or names i.e. "I believe you, Joe the Plumber, but will anyone with a brain buy it?"
  • Take me to bed or lose me forever (Top Gun): Great one-liner delivered by Meg Ryan to "Goose". Directions on how to use this one-liner are not included. It's just available for all married ladies out there because it is at once both endearing and sexy. Jeez, that's how I want to be remembered!

Well, there you have it, twelve movie one-liners that are available, time tested, and free for the taking. There are definitely many more memorable movie lines out there, but as I said in the beginning, the twelve I chose are interchangeable with the lives we lead. Go ahead, make my day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Are You Ready to Tweet in the World of Twittersphere?

By now, unless you have given up the Internet for Lent or you just don't trust any communication that doesn't have a stamp on it, you have surely heard of Twitter. Rick Sanchez of CNN plucked the interactive social networking into his pm show and watched his ratings soar. I joined a month ago and already as "birdsivue" I have found interesting people and sites. I enjoy breaking news and news you can use. Twitter is the high tech version of "pass it on". Only now, instead of whispering in some one's ear, you are "passing on" personal tidbits composed of 140 characters of text to well, the World!
If you follow celebrities and want to know that Jimmy Fallon had meetings all morning or that "Shaq" ran into his fav reporter, Cheryl Miller, in Portland, you are a "twitterlebrity", meaning either you get a thrill from being allowed into the lives of the rich and famous or you wish you somehow could twitter your way into fame. Ironically many famous people who tell you about the most mundane routines of their day, hire writers to post this twitterings correctly and they are called "ghost twitterers". Brittany Spears was recently looking for a decent ghost twitterer. Well, at least this helps the stimulus plan by creating new jobs. If you author bad tweets, you could be twat upon. If you are addicted to the "twittersphere" you are a "tweetaholic". The words you use in a tweet are "twords" of course. If you send off a tweet you wish you hadn't, it's a "mistweet". We people of the Twitter World are called "tweeps", no not creeps, OK? By now are you feeling a little twitter of understanding of this in- the- clouds networking? I just made up my own twitterism, "twitty", no not Conway Twitty, but twitty meaning funny, LOL, or LMAO. Of course, who can forget the great line in the movie, "Arthur", when Arthur's butler called him "You little twit!" I think that twits should now describe kid twitterers and older folks should be termed "jittertwitters" and send their tweets sms via their Jitterbug phones. Okay, I'll bring this to a close, but before you dismiss this phenomena as a a mindless collection of one-liners, note that surgeons are now using Twitter during complicated surgeries in order to communicate procedures. On the lighter side, go The Huffington Post and check out the video, Fail Whale Cartoon. It's absolutely "twitty"!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are Spring Breakers Breaking our Beach?

As I was doing my morning tweets on Twitter, I gasped at my comment on a comparison of Spring Brakers (sic)to AIG. There it was..a misspell for all the Twitter World to see. (See follow my twitter below). First I was ready to complete a damage control tweet but then I realized this was an opportunity to make a point. Are today's Spring Breakers, the phrase that depicts the rite of spring where thousands of college students flock to the beach in order to blow off steam from excruciating college work as depicted in the film, "Where The Boys Are" or are they just a collection of self serving Generation Y hooligans who have degenerated into Spring Breakers, i.e. breakers of local laws, patio furniture, beach rules, and, yes, the hearts of true beach lovers who respect the beauty and wonder of one of the crown jewels of nature. This year, the term "breakers" describe the disruption, disrespect and irreparable damage to Panama City Beach. The problem is that in the world of Pottery Barn, "if you break it, you own it." Here at the Emerald Beach, they are only in the business of breaking. In terms of human causalities there are at least 4 deaths, three falls from high rise ledges, the injuries vary from paralysis to facial damage, several date rape complaints and and too many altercations with law enforcement and each other to compute. And to think, we are only half way through the Spring Break season.
As a former Hoosier who is now making Panama City Beach my home, I have observed this disturbing phenomena up close and personal. First it was the eight students who rented the condo next to ours only to have a fight break out and obscenities being shouted from the sidewalk, yes but we're the family friendly much for that claim in the brochure.
Having breathed a sign of relief and welcoming quiet nights once again as their vehicles departed did not last long, two hours later, along came a football team group from a college in Mississippi which included six guys and their six girlfriends quietly assuming the position for their turn at destruction. It was the only time that quiet prevailed. They were loud, crude and thought nothing of urinating outside for the view of any and all, great example for the children once again. Of course poor lads, with only two restrooms in the condo and twelve having nature call, what's a jerk supposed to do?? Thankfully our Condo Manager booted them at midweek. But if any of you think our greater Tourist Development Association of Panama City Beach would want that expulsion to happen at the high rise condos that line the beaches, I've got a condo I want to sell you at 2005 prices!!

The TDA (Tourist Development Association) has sold it's profit making soul to the debacle of young adults behaving badly. In a climate of economic crisis, unemployment and fear of foreclosure, what we have here is a cavalier attitude displayed not only by selfish, overindulgent college students(using that term very lightly) but also shared by the greedy adults who if not created are accomplices to this landfill of toxic behavior and slob mentality. It has already cost the demise of many Canadian "snowbirds" who have openly vowed to return to Canadian Sunsets that are unfettered by garbage albeit in subzero temperatures before their return to Panama City Blight.

They say that a picture is worth 1000 words and I want to applaud the New England School of Photography for using their craft to depict what is happening in Panama City Beach. Go the the Panama City News Herald website: for a view that underscores the norm of behavior these past weeks. To Panama City Beach residents and to those who are stewards of our beaches, enough is enough!