Saturday, October 2, 2010



Suicide among active duty members of the Armed Forces as well
as veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan combat has reached epidemic proportions.

(Saturday Oct.2, 2010 Piscataway,NJ) Makeshift shrines comprised of framed photos of the young suicide victim, votive candles, short hand written notes, and stuffed animals dot the sprawling campus of Rutgers University. Earlier this week a 19 year old freshman, Tyler Clementi, apparently jumped to his death from the towering span of the George Washington Bridge just days after a sexual encounter between Clementi and another man was caught on a hidden video camera and spread on the Internet. The two students responsible for streaming the sex video may face criminal charges. This case has gotten has tremendous amount of attention in the national media and two New Jersey Congressional Representatives have announced plans to introduce a Bill to combat such “hate crimes.”

Far from this tree lined, grassy, rather sleepy college campus in the dusty flats of West Texas, Fort Hood, one of the largest Army bases in the Country, is still in the grips of its own suicide crisis. Before Tyler Clementi jumped to his death as the result of Internet “bullying” four combat veterans from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan killed themselves; just the latest in what is quickly turning into a veritable “suicide epidemic” in the Armed Forces of the United States. The military suicides received nowhere near the publicity the Clementi death has and, therein lies a dilemma if not a corollary: returning Vets suffer in silence and obscurity.

Wracked by profound cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), thousands of young war veterans continue to live the horrors of their battlefield experiences, many spiraling down into the darkness of severe depression,many self medicating with excessive alcohol and drug intake,while others among them, many others, having sought relief from their suffering by killing themselves. Yet, what merits the national attention, which tragic circumstance is embraced as the latest cause celebre’ by famous actors and artists, and what has come to define the suicide debate among politicians? Clearly, it is not the ongoing crisis in the ranks of our military service personnel, both veterans as well as active duty. After almost 10 years of continuous war on two disparate fronts, years of multiple deployments, inadequate mental health care resources, and increasingly greater demands placed on their young shoulders, the men and women of our military have become largely forgotten by the media and their fellow Americans. That is tragic for everyone on both sides of the equation.

What merits our attention, outrage, and ultimately our action, says a great deal about the culture, the society we live in. We as a country ask great efforts and sacrifices from those few among us who answer the call of their own to voluntarily serve their country in uniform. Gone are the days of shared sacrifice. Long ago is the time when going into the “service” was a right of passage for men in times of peace and times of struggle. When our elected leaders had that common service experience among them, they were much less willing to ask other young men (and women) to go and serve in armed combat, to put lives “in harm’s way”. When our leaders were familiar with the brutality and horrors of war, the nuts and bolts of close combat and all that it entails, they recognized exactly what it meant to send troops to defend our national interest, our “National Security”. Now the burden is borne by a mere fraction of the population and the hell of war for the rest of us is reduced to short film clips on the news. We can little imagine or appreciate what stresses our troops incur having to live hypervigilantly in horrid environments with the very real specter of their own deaths as well as the taking of others lives is a major constant component of thier reality.

Our society is still beset by internal conflicts of varying importance and significance. We have overcome some of our greatest collective fears and failures yet pockets of ugliness exist in segments of the populace as well as among individuals within it. That Mr. Clementi came of age during years of increasing tolerance and understanding for all individual rights seems sadly ironic when juxtaposed with the stark fact that he was “done in” by the unjust intolerance and cruelty of his peers. Certainly his death, the fact that mockery and “bullying” figuratively pushed him over a very real ledge, is proof of the lack of understanding that still exists. His death should not be “in vain” (as if any death can ever be classified as such) and should be held as a tragic example of what stresses our misunderstanding and lack of tolerance can put on an individual, a vulnerable, young individual just beginning to find his way in life.

Likewise we as a nation should recognize the stresses we are expecting our service members to endure for years on end and recognize that many of them are returning home badly damaged physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We need our Government to repay these brave men and women by giving the military all the resources required to assure everyone in need of help, no matter the nature of the condition or malady, has the opportunity to receive it. We as a people should hold our elected representatives accountable. We should expect as much vigor and enthusiasm to greet our returning warriors as there was when we sent them away to do our battles.

By every metrics available as quantified in clinical studies by agencies from the CDC to the DOD the mental health crisis in all branches of our military is truly at epidemic proportions. Suicide is just the tip, a sad and very obvious tip of a cold, heavy, impenetrable iceberg that extends deeper than anyone ever thought it could. Our military is broken and many of the young enlistees are coming back to civilian life accompanied by demons we cannot imagine. They need as much attention as do the young people who live closed lives wrestling with their sexual identity or a myriad of other mental health troubles that leave them damaged and more vulnerable.

Until every suicide of a young American results in the same level of outcry and outrage from the public we will continue to send youngsters to fight our wars and allow others among us to live in fear. Equal rights are equal rights and should be equal. Sadly, we only begin to approach matters of equality and responsibility when the damage is already done and can no longer be avoided.

Please support our military veterans.

Please teach your children the meaning of tolerance.


Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 1, 2010



Rick Sanchez did not leave CNN Headquarters without a fight.
Security guards had to taser, mace, pepper spray and beat him before tossing
him out to the street.

(October 1, 2010, Atlanta, GA) Rick Sanchez was unceremoniously dismissed by CNN in the aftermath of some racially charged comments he'd made during a radio interview with an XM/Sirius Radio host broadcast on Wednesday. During his on the air talk with Pete Dominick host of the Stan Up program, Sanchez called Comedy Central star John Stewart a “bigot” and stated his belief that the major media outlets in America are controlled by “Jews”. The outcry over his comments was swift and loud and came from many in the Jewish community and others who support Israel. While Sanchez, a Cuban-American, was trying to make a valid point about who is and who is not in a “oppressed minority” in America, the mere mention of “Jews” in what can be perceived as a derogatory characterization, was sufficient to end his 6 year term with CNN.

Sanchez began his employ with CNN as a field reporter. Known as a journalist of “barely mediocre talents”, he was often sent out to spots far and wide to cover natural disasters such as hurricanes, mudslides, sinkholes, brush fires and locust infestations. “Rick was good at that. He would stand in the pounding surf during a wicked hurricane and not be afraid to look like an idiot. I admired that about him”, said Niles Dirley and associate producer at CNN. “Rick would do anything he was told to do no matter how asinine. He was a real trooper, a bit daft, but a real trooper”, noted Sanchez's former colleague at CNN Frank Sesno.

Some observers and experts who follow media issues see Sanchez's firing as “unfair” and as a “reinforcement” of his stated opinions. Brent Bozell president of the Media Watchdog Center commented, “Rick was simply telling the truth. Jews do run all the major media outlets in the United States in print, in radio and on the networks. For as small of a percentage as Jews are population wise in this country, they have a grossly disproportional amount of content control in the media. That is why so little truth is ever reported about the Palestinians and the fact that they are held in captive occupation by the Israeli government. God help you if you dare speak ill of the Jews, Israel, or their barbaric policies”.

Other critics point to some of the outlandish rhetoric that pervades the cable news airways on networks such as FOX and MSNBC. Professor Floyd L. Phungall, director of Media Studies at Central Lower State University in Blemish North Dakota said, “Glen Beck has called President Obama a 'racist' with a 'deep seated hatred of white folks' while on FOX News, and that pompous moron, Keith Olbermann on MSNBC was brutal in his commentary during the Bush Administration. Still those 2 scum suckers still have jobs”. Professor Phungall continued, “The vitriol on the TV these days, on talk radio and on the so called cable news channels is stunningly low brow, vile, irresponsible, and just plain cruel. Sure, is there a modicum of truth embedded within some of that kind of commentary? Of course. But, when Limbaugh, Beck,or that total idiot Hannity, Chris Matthews and Olberamann get their audiences whipped up into an irrational frenzy over non-issues, who is there to reign them in”?

Some well respected media commentators have kept quiet and are waiting to see the fallout from the Sanchez dismissal before entering the debate. One such expert affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School of Journalism, speaking anonymously noted, “Perhaps this Sanchez matter will generate some honest debate at the highest levels in media company board rooms across the country. The last few years has seem a dramatic and rapid decline in both the quality of what they bill as 'news shows' and ' serious journalism' . What they have surrendered to are the ratings, advertising revenue, and the lowest common denominators. They play to the ultra extremists on the left and the right, inflaming base passions, inciting anarchy and even violence. FOX is the tool of the Tea Party movement while MSNBC is an arm of the Deomocrats. Neither of these outlets or the outcasts, rejects, have-beens, and never-were's they employ truly air anyting close to “news”. They are entertainment shows using carnival barkers, village idiots, town criers, and just plain old talentless, brainless, egotistical assholes. I do not consider any of these networks to be serious nor can they be taken seriously by the public. The really do a great deal of damage and hurt the democratic process by spreading false information, propaganda, and tripe”.


Tags: Political Humor, Satire, Sarcastic Commentary, Cynical Opinion, Cultural Humor, Media Issues, Truth in Media, Critique, Rick Sanchez- Buffoon, Keith Olbermann – Ass.

Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 30, 2010



Rahm gives Obama his good bye salute

(Sept. 30, 2010, Washington, DC) Despite what will no doubt be vigorous statements to the contrary, the early exit of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, ostensibly to run for Mayor of Chicago, is but the first of what will be several high profile departures of top aides and advisers just 20 months into Obama's first term in Office. Members of the Administration's Cabinet and Economic team are expected to jump ship shortly after the upcoming mid-term elections if not sooner. The fact that an exodus of a small but highly placed and trusted band of those closest to the President is an ominous sign and does not bode well for Mr. Obama and his legislative agenda.

No matter what arguments the White House and Democratic Party spin machine spew forth as one by one Obama says good bye to those abandoning his ship, there is great disappointment and frustration among Democrats and Independents both in and out of the White House and across the country. Some of candidate Obama's strongest allies have grown disenchanted with many of the stands the President has taken on such major issues as the protracted economic recession, the automobile industry bail outs, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. No amount of spin can obscure the absolute failures and self inflicted wounds that have left a restless public angry and poised to unseat Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress.

It is true that on the day he was sworn in to Office Mr. Obama inherited a mother lode of staggering problems, domestic and international, compliments of the horrendous 8 year reign of ignorance and hubris of the Cheney / Bush Administration. However, his electoral victory was interpreted by many as a mandate. The President had control of both Houses of Congress, public support, and an opportunity to capitalize on the apparent “good will” the public had towards him as our first African American President. And a radical departure from the moronic, messianic Bush.

As the Obama team set out to prioritize the host of problems before them they felt confident that they would be able to maneuver their legislative remedies through the Democratically controlled House and Senate. Emanuel's appointment as Chief of Staff was advertised as a huge asset; they claimed that Rahm's experience “working on the Hill” as a member of Congress would allow them to shepherd their bills and initiatives through the “friendly” Congress and , perhaps, pick up some “bipartisan” support for some of the thorniest issues such as health insurance reform. Mr. Obama's honeymoon was doomed to be over very quickly. Emanuel proved to be not only “ineffective” among his former Congressional colleagues, he actually served to inflame the passions of the Republican minority by employing his well known tactics of “sharp elbowed politicking”.

When the then President-elect began announcing the names of those who would go on to comprise his Cabinet and upper echelon advisers, many were disappointed with the lack of “creative' choices he was making. Many of his Cabinet nominees came with baggage, poor reputations, and scant credentials for the positions they were about to assume. “President Obama had the opportunity to draw a great deal of 'new blood' into Washington. He could have populated his Administration with some real outsiders, some very talented minds were not even considered”, said Hank Belcher, a long time, behind the scenes Democratic Party operative. Belcher went on, “Many of us were not only disappointed with his (Obama's) choices but were actually dismayed. Rahm was never going to be a truly effective Chief of Staff and many of us knew that”.

Now as the President faces the possibility of substantial mid term election loses in his Party with the Majority status in both Houses on the line, some of his ship jumpers are inflicting “extra damage” to an already bloodied and wounded Administration. One of Obama's top aides speaking not for attribution commented, “Let's face it. Our economic team has been disastrous. Our outreach to the GOP was doomed from the get go yet we persisted thinking they were acting in good faith. That especially hurt us in negotiations for the health insurance overhaul. Rahm had us talking to assholes like Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, and Ben Nelson when we knew these guys were bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical and insurance special interests and in the pockets of lobbyists. We should have written our bill our way and dared them to vote publicly up or down. I can tell you one thing, had we done that, we would be looking at an entirely different political landscape this fall”.

The President in recent days has taken to “campaign style” rallies across the country in the hopes of boosting the Democratic candidates in tight House and Senate races. Mr Emanuel's decision to leave and run for Mayor of Chicago has been a “distraction” to say the least. “I wish he would have left months ago if he knew he had any intentions of running for Office”, noted Obama's closest adviser, David Axelrod. He continued, “Rahm and I have known each other for years. I never liked or trusted him and he knew that. I blame him for many of the gross missteps, miscalculations and inaccurate readings of the political winds over the last 20 months. Frankly, he should go run for mayor of Tel Aviv”.

Tags: Political Commentary, Political Humor, Satire, Cynical Observation, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama, Midterm Elections, Obama Cabinet.


Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved