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Royal Ties – Taking Care of Business

April 17th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor
With the Royal Wedding less than two weeks away, you may be wondering what all the hype is about. Why this media frenzy to fuel the fascination we Americans seem to hold for Britain’s monarchy? Assuming you are entirely ignorant of the event about to unfold on an international scale (perhaps having newly arrived from planet Mars), it involves the marriage of Prince William, the eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, and second in line to the English throne. Handsome, charming and, as some members of the media have been quick to point out, balding. Leave it to the media to throw a spotlight on a sore spot. The beautiful, pillar of patience Catherine Middleton is the lucky Royal Bride-to-be, dubbed by the ever clever media as Waity Katie due to their lengthy courtship having spanned an entire decade. Together they make a winsome pair and it seems the public can’t  get enough as attested to the sheer volume of Royal Wedding Souvenirs one may purchase on-line. Everything from Royal Wedding China, approved  by the monarchy itself, to condoms labeled The Crown Jewels, not given the official stamp of approval for obvious reasons. Among the other sundried goods available are KaTea & William, tea bags bearing the likeness of each to be steeped in hot water much like real life marriage. (What have they gotten themselves into?) Maybe you’d like to invest in a practical durable item such as a mug boldly proclaiming “I Could Care Less About The Royal Wedding”. There’s something for everyone even if you’re not into it.
Not going to the wedding? Not to worry. CNN has launched a contest, the winner securing two tickets to London to act as anchor covering the wedding to be televised on April 29th at 11 am UK time. That’s 6 am NY time which means if your Royal invite from the Lord Chamberlain’s office went missing, you can watch it from the comfort of your living room wearing nothing but your skivvies enjoying a proper English breakfast consisting of tea and scones with clotted creme. So forgo the dresscode and the awkward embarrassment to bow or curtsey as the Royal Brigade winds its way to Westminster Abbey and onward to Buckingham Palace for refreshments. This means even the Duchess of York gets in. Not familiar with the Black Sheep of the family who was royally snubbed of her invitation? Ah, well that’s another story you might reference on one of the many gossip sites available.
In my quest to quench my thirst of all things British or Royal, I came across the ultimate site which is the Official Website of The British Monarchy. Did you know that the Royal Family does not just sit around on their laurels? In fact, they frown upon those that do. Each member of the Royal family has many specific duties to carry out on a daily basis and their agenda, I was astonished to learn, is quite full. The Queen herself, soon to be 86 years of age on April 21st, engages in many official duties in the course of just one day beginning at a desk like any other office worker, even if hers is a much more elaborate example of my own. After scanning the British news, she turns her attention toward the monumental task of tackeling her daily correspondence ranging from 200 to 300 pieces of mail. She doesn’t read them all of course but someone assigned to the process does and they are all acknowledged by members of her staff. The Queen does however, select a few to read herself and then advises someone on how she would like them answered. There is an actual address where one may  write to the Queen or other members of the Royal family should one be so inclined. My, what could I possibly say to the Queen to be of any interest? “How are your corgis?” (the Queen has several) “And dorgis?” (a corgi/dachshund mix with which the Queen also amuses herself).
Much of the work the Royal family attends to is philanthropic, and Miss Middleton has already had her taste of official duties alongside Prince William. It is known that some years earlier the Royal Family frowned upon her lack of an actual job title. Nightclubbing didn’t seem to fit the description and so Katie found (ugh!) work as an accessory buyer with a clothing chain called Jigsaw. She also worked  at the Middleton family business known as “Party Pieces”. Yes, the Middletons are (OMG) “common” hailing from working class laborers and miners but have since claimed millionaire status as the word “party” attests to.
But what of Miss Middleton’s actual lineage? The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston states that Catherine Middleton is an eighth cousin eight times removed to George Washington. Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, and great grandmother, the Queen Mother, were also cousins to Washington. That means the Prince and his future bride are distant relations. Does anyone hear Twilight Zone music?
So, before you envy the role of the future Queen, remember, she has her work cut out. Take a look at “A day in the life” of a Royal family memeber on the official website and learn a thing or two about public service, royal or otherwise. Are you surprised to learn that the Royal Family actually works for a living? Why shouldn’t they? Whada ya think?

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Migrant Workers Caught In Libya

April 16th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

There are approximately 6500 migrant workers who are trapped in Libya and cannot get out. This horrible man, Muammar el-Qaddafi , simply orders his forces to blast away without regard to whether or not you’re a civilian, a protester or migrant worker.

The only thing these migrants wanted was work and all they want now is to get out of Libya alive. It is certainly more than possible that civilians and migrant workers alike were killed because of our own assault which makes air strikes all the more awful no matter how precise we target our strikes.

Sadly, we have no choice in the matter. We have to do something about Qaddafi; he is crazy, dangerous and has loyal followers (out of fear I am certain) and unmercifully will resort to terrorism. Some geo-political foreign policy pundits believe the Libyan situation is more hazardous than any other struggle in the Middle East.

Many people who are not experts in Modern warfare facilely suggest we conduct a covert military initiative and take out Qadaffi but it’s easier said than done. The only time we were able to remove a dictator from power without collateral damage was when we captured Antonio Manuel Noriega from Panama. Can you think of anyone else? We never got Castro – It took a full-scale war to get Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden was never caught.

There are no easy answers when it comes to using military force or not. We cannot allow Qadaffi to slaughter his own people and obviously,we can’t negotiate with a madman. We’re caught in between a rock and a hard place. We must proceed until the crazy leader of Libya is killed or steps down and goes into exile (do not hold your breath you will pass out. Qaddafi  is so out of his mind he thinks he’s a god and his people are expendable. )

Now it’s your turn. WHADAWETHINK ? Should we accelerate our efforts in terms of military action in order to capture Qaddafi? Should we arm the rebels and see if they can do it themselves? or Do nothing.

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Barry Bonds is Guilty of Obstruction of Justice and not Perjury ?

April 15th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

This verdict is a travesty of justice not only to Major League Baseball but especially to our judiciary system. Barry Bonds knowingly ingested steroids and lied about it. He was Cheating, and therefore one can argue stealing money, and then lying under oath. I have not read the transcripts but there were reams of evidence indicating Bonds took steroids and the defense did not even bother to call witnesses or even defend itself. Yet Barry Bonds was found not guilty of Perjury? For one thing why would you be evasive, not answer questions directly and yes, obstruct justice if you were innocent.

Let’s analyze the unfolding of events:

  • An all-around, shoe –in for the Hall of fame, amazing (though personally unlikable to just about everyone) baseball player who for 14 years consistently averaged between 30 and 40 home runs, drove in  110 – 120 RBIs and stole 30 to 40 bases and an MVP glove in the outfield to boot (I personally have never seen a more well-rounded baseball player ) realizes that he’s in his mid-thirties and his career is coming to a close.
  • Everyone around him is taking steroids (Jose Canseco was not the only one privy to this, all the athletes are in the know but there is a code) and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have their famous and now infamous home run race.
  • In the year 2000 Bonds begins taking steroids and belts more home runs than he ever did (49) though logic tells you this is impossible – he’s getting older yet though he can no longer run fast his bat speed quickens and he’s physically starting to resemble a football player not a baseball professional.
  • In 2001 Bonds is no longer human and hits 73 home runs and has an unheard of .863 slugging percentage. Bonds now a 37 year old man continues to “juice” and has three more off the charts seasons. Piling up prodigious numbers only a person can dream about right into the ripe old age of 40.
  • In 2005 Jose Canseco spills the beans and reveals what we all already knew anyway; everyone is taking steroids and the baseball statistics over the past decade and a half (I’m being conservative here – Jose Canseco started taking steroids in 1985 right from the start) are bogus and everyone is cheating.
  • In 2007, the Mitchel report comes out revealing that just about everyone is doing or on steroids. Congress gets involved and the pattern is the same. The athletes initially lie about their ingestion of steroids and then when the realization sinks in that if one lies one may go to jail, they all change their strategy and understand it is probably wise to comply. So everyone finally agrees to tell the truth except for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons. These two players happen to also be the most stubborn and arrogant athletes in recent baseball history.

It’s so obvious that Barry bonds took steroids and even if the only evidence was his performance on the field at his mature age, it goes against one’s common sense to think his bat speed quickened at the age of 36. We can all understand getting bigger and stronger by lifting weights and good nutrition but there is no way a person can get faster without drugs. What I find most insulting is when Bonds and Clemons state that if indeed they ingested steroids, they did not know about it. Oh yeah – a professional trainer and nutritionist is going to inject you with a possible life-threatening drug and tell you it is flaxseed oil. Can anyone even fathom the outrage and legal ramifications if this were actually to happen?

The last thing I’ll talk about is the fact that he was convicted only with obstruction of justice. All the charges leveled against him are connected . Very simply put: Mr. Bonds did you ever knowingly ingest steroids or other illicit performance enhancing drugs?  Bonds response – no. Barry Bonds you are lying, we have testimonials and a mountain of evidence and you are guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice and you should be ashamed of yourself.  In fact the prosecutorial team should be ashamed of itself for not proving the obvious.

Now it is your turn WHADAWETHINK ? Is there anyone out there who actually believes that Barry Bonds did not do steroids? I’m interested to hear what the jurors have to say (I know I’m remiss, I haven’t listened to any of their responses yet) But I’m sure I’ll hear something akin to – My decision was based not on whether or not I personally believe Bonds did steroids but rather I came to this conclusion based on the evidence presented by the prosecution. I’ll blog immediately if I hear something to the contrary.

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My Spirit

April 14th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

My spirit lies

Within these words.

In a flower filled journal

Preserved.

The inside cover

Inscribed,

“In dedication

To life.

My spirit lies

In a wisp of cloud.

In the morning misted

Shroud.

To burn away

At first light,

Returning

With twilight.

Magdalena Tabor

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Our National Debt is 14.2 Trillion Dollars

April 14th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

It is impossible to fathom such a number but it is in fact the real number – our deficit is 14.2 trillion dollars. I have been reading in the papers about a possible shutdown of the Federal government if republicans and democrats do not agree on this 38 billion dollar budget, which in reality for this year should be 3.5 trillion. We are fighting and clawing away about a budget that does not even come close to what we ought to cut. Are we in serious trouble? Can we go on and on being a debtor nation?

Well for one thing, most individuals are in debt – 80% of us in fact. We are talking about mortgages, car loans, student loans, new business startups , credit card debt everything. We are a nation not of individuals working hard and pursuing the American dream but rather a country of individuals who are seriously in debt because we feel entitled to everything NOW without, I would not say not working for it but rather people unwilling to wait and work for it over many years. Moreover, credit card debt is not very far from borrowing from a lending institution whose employees have last names ending in a vowel. ( every other loan or debt is understandable) I am part of this debtor nation and I am no angel; I want that flat screen TV and I want it now. My personal reason is that I could be dead tomorrow so live for today – memento mori! If I had a crystal ball and knew I would live another decade or two for sure, I would handle my finances differently.

I know what happens to us individuals if we continually go into debt and end up losing what used to be a more stable thing called our job and cannot find another real soon. We end up on skid row – if you are lucky perhaps you can move in with a friend or loved one until you land on your feet or you end up homeless. However, what happens to our country?

Cicero 106-43 B.C. said “The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.” You do not need a degree in finance to know that the country is spending more than it has and just like individuals we are working just to pay off the interest on debt and so is the country. The national debt is increasing at an alarmingly fast rate of 75 million dollars an hour – wow!

But before you move to another country, bear in mind, the United States has had debt since its inception – of course, we needed funding for the Revolutionary war and the last time the national debt was at zero was when Andrew Jackson was president. We subsequently had several surpluses and deficits (during war for obvious reason deficit increases) then came the Great Depression of 1929. World War II and F.D.R.’s New Deal caused a sixteen-fold increase in debt but we survived, won the war, and enjoyed great economic prosperity afterwards. F.D.R.‘s legacy stands as one of the greatest presidents ever for democrats and the absolute worst president for republicans. (The GOP thinks the Federal government is inept, inefficient, prone to fraud, wasteful and a whole bunch of other derogatory invective.)The biggest jump in terms of dollars came from the Republican George W. Bush who increased the gap by 6 Trillion dollars. With the two wars still going on and the Middle East fiasco and again all that interest, Obama, unless we seriously try to cut spending, will be neck and neck with Bush.

I’ve spilled enough ink and now it’s your turn. I was going to have a part 2 and talk about the repercussions of such a prodigious deficit but I think I will open this up now. All of you economic and financial wizards please contribute and let us know what is going to happen to our nation if we don’t stop spending and cutting programs ? Our economy is worse than I have ever seen it, do you think the deficit problem is one of the multitude of reasons we are in this bind ? WHADAWETHINK ?

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Donald Trump Declaring That He’s Running For President is Business As Usual

April 12th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

Donald Trump is in the business of promoting entertainment, Trump entertainment that is. The only redeeming characteristic about Trump is that I believe whatever he does (I do not even know what he does half the time, he has his hands in everything) is just an act. He is privileged with a capital P, knows it, and will admit it. Donald Trump claims he is contemplating running for president. I think it is obvious that he just wants to promote himself and his silly show – the reality show ‘The Apprentice’. Incidentally I have never watched the show and never will so his marketing ploys will not work on me but the ratings are there so people apparently like it.

I spent many hours researching Donald Trump and I must admit there was so much about him I did not know. Let me say this first – he and Paris Hilton are the luckiest human beings on the planet except the former is smart and actually works (it’s not back-breaking blue collar work or the stressful mental exertion on the floor on Wall Street) but his job is marketing. Donald has a magical last name and he is a genius at selling it – Trump.

The real businessman and real estate developer was Donald’s father – Fred Trump. The record shows that Fred Trump was a builder who made hundreds of millions of dollars and anyone who knew Fred would tell you that he was a visionary and real state genius. Therefore, despite attacks and criticism about his son, Donald’s building acumen is not fair. Donald was taught by the best in his very own father. Being the son of a very prosperous man of course afforded Donald to get the finest education a person can get as well – he earned a B.S. in economics and finance from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. I’m sure Donald is a real estate guru and he demonstrated it early on in his professional career but we’re talking about a man who literally feels entitled to everything and refuses to stick with just building.

This is not a bio piece on Donald Trump so I won’t elaborate on his accomplishments and failures but let me just give you a laundry list of what Mr. Trump has ventured into, it is simply unbelievable: Real estate, Beauty Pageants (he’s a grown-up kid in a candy store), Golf courses, Football (he was the owner of the New Jersey Generals in the laughable USFL), hotel and casino, airline, television, publishing, vitamins and nutrition, World Wrestling Entertainment and more.

“The Donald “has by far failed more than he has succeeded and in fact was in debt, in 1994, $900 million personally and $3.5 billion in business. This would have destroyed any other man but Donald because the banks are only too willing to give as much money as he wants because they think he as the Midas touch but it’s his name – Trump.

Donald doesn’t seem to get too upset about his setbacks because to him it seems the world is a big monopoly game. I laughed hardily when Trump said that the rest of the world thinks of the U.S as a joke. What would they think of this country if the silly socialite, “business magnate” became president? Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a serious man, a hugely successful businessman who is most definitely a viable presidential candidate. Donald Trump is a joke but there is nothing to worry about when the appropriate time comes he will drop out of the race and go on being “The Donald.”

We currently use one Advertiser – Amazon , so instead of blatantly asking for contributions like Wikipedia does, we ask that you click on the widget shown here and make a purchase from Amazon. You don’t have to buy what is displayed in the ad, but you do have to click onto the Amazon widget here and buy whatever you want. We get a small commission from each sale. And if things are tight in terms of money that’s OK too. We’re not interested in making money – so just visit and comment – it’s fun and educational

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Rhett & Oracle

April 10th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

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Eclipse

April 10th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

The succession of days

Reads like a diary.

From bare branch to bud,

Leaf to flower.

Childish laughter gives way

To sober discipline,

The mirth muffled within.

The phases of moons

Shadow the face,

Creasing the forehead

Of indecision.

From new moon to none

And seamless to some

Unseen force.

Magdalena Tabor

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Male Pattern Baldness is a Medical Condition ?

April 9th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

If you are a man and one of your biggest concerns and problems is that you are going bald, I would have to say God bless you – Life is good and enjoy your worry-free life while it lasts. Besides, baldness for men seems to be in vogue these days; my assessment is that men can look good with or without hair. Some men with a full head of hair actually shave their head maybe because they like the way they look with no hair or perhaps they find that without this dead matter atop one’s cranium to be without hassle. Georges St. Pierre (GSP) does this and looks better without hair, the welterweight MMA champion is viewed as one of the “coolest” looking people on the planet.

I am writing about this because I saw an ad today and 1. It’s Friday and I do not want to think about the real problems in the world and 2. It does evoke many memories of the times in which I grew up and my thoughts about the medical condition (really?), male pattern baldness. 

If the only medical condition you have (and are male – female pattern baldness is a tough one if you are a woman) is hair loss then you are lucky. I am 47 years old and I can think of a whole set of more serious problems than going bald. However, my courting days were in the late 1970s and 1980s and having hair was an enormous asset. A bald or balding man was just a big fat negative in terms of attracting the opposite sex in a physical way.  

Nobody with a naked dome was “hip “except for Telly Savalas  -(marginally cool I might add – “Who loves ya, baby?’)  No rock stars, film stars, etc. I recently watched a few episodes of ‘twin Peaks’ (Yes I was a fan – with mixed feelings. The show was outstanding at times and God awful at the end. I love David Lynch- most of the time) and I was astounded by how much hair everyone had. I did not know it then but it is obvious that most of the men on the show were wearing wigs.

Watch the movie ‘Lethal Weapon’ (I know it is insufferable) and look at Mel Gibson. He was supposed to be a hardened and tough detective. He looks like a girl with that hair – it is hilarious. Couldn’t the director suggest that they mess up his layered, cascading tresses; it is hard to take Gibson seriously as a tough person when he has “girlie” hair.  

Right after college (late 80’s) I lived with two roommates. Both were musicians and both were prodigiously concerned with their hair. (It is true, take a look at old music videos from that period, before grunge, and bald musicians did not exist.)  One of whom used to come out of the shower holding a handful of hair, which his follicles no longer held, and he would literally weep. I too worried about losing my hair because had it happened my thoughts mistakenly back then were that I would never have an attractive girlfriend. How stupid we were back then.

In addition, the other roommate actually spent $5,000 to get a weave and along with that exorbitant sum he had to maintain it which was also costly. Another acquaintance went the transplant route and yet another tried Rogaine – “nice peach fuzz”, that’s appealing and money well spent. Moreover, we are talking about something that is not even alive. Just like your fingernails, your hair is DEAD. Admittedly, hair can make a huge difference in terms of how attractive a woman is but we are still talking about something that is indeed dead.

I have written over 600 words and I can go on. I haven’t even delved into  hair infomercials, documentaries about how close we’re getting to finding a cure(I’m sorry cure is such an inappropriate word but it was used) but going bald is no big deal anymore but if you are losing your dead hair don’t swoop your hair just cut it or shave it. Nothing looks more foolish than a man who is trying to cover his baldness by growing what is still not follically challenged way too long and swooping it over the bald area. Listen you are not fooling anyone – you are bald. Furthermore, you look silly.

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The Defense Calls No Witnesses as The Jury Will Deliberate Over Fate of Barry Bonds

April 7th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

 

Although Barry Bonds could very well serve, up to a maximum of ten years in prison for perjury and obstruction of justice (I think anyone who proclaims his innocence gets the obstruction of justice charge) he knows he will not get more than a harsh wrist slapping. Mr. Bonds will more than likely get probation or perhaps serve a couple of months in a Federal country club facility.   

There is such an overwhelming amount of evidence of which Bonds is so obviously guilty (one amusing piece of evidence was that from a former girlfriend of Bonds who stated that his testicles noticeably shrunk) of knowingly ingesting steroids and lying about it that the whole trial proceeding seems like a superfluous and ponderous affair.

Barry Bonds is without question one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball without having to take steroids. Bonds saw all the fanfare and adulation Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa got during the 1998 home run record chase that I am sure he licked his chops and knew that with the aid of these enhancement drugs, despite his age, could dwarf their records.

Barry bonds broke the single season home run record with 73 home runs in 2001 and went on to break the all-time career home run record with 762. If Bonds accomplished this legitimately (prior to ingesting steroids – Bonds never hit more than 49 round trippers and that was just a year before 2001, so who knows, perhaps he was already taking them). it would have been one of sport’s most remarkable moments in history. The home run records single season and cumulative has always been cherished and maybe even thought of as almost unattainable.  Instead of becoming a national treasure and supplant Babe Ruth as the greatest baseball player, Bonds was viewed as a cheater and no one even cared about the records. What a shame!

When I was a youngster and even into my twenties I enjoyed reading baseball statistics and relished those box scores as much if not more than the actual game. Now because of Bonds and really everyone except maybe Derek Jeter, cheated and stole from me and everybody else the precious” specialness” of records.   

I understand how difficult it must be when an athlete is on the cusp of making the major leagues and sees everyone around him cheating and taking steroids. Jose Canseco said that without taking steroids not only would he not be a good Major League Baseball player but also he in fact, would not even make the big leagues. (He claims he has always had a bad back and without steroids, he never would have been anything. Incidentally, though Canseco can go down as one of the whistle-blowers, he was not exactly condemning them; he said something tantamount to thank God for steroids – another blog).

So now with the awareness of the steroid era and tighter regulations, there is the possibility of drug enhancing – free athletes but I personally have been scarred forever by these selfish, arrogant, egomaniacal athletes who care absolutely nothing about the fans, the sport and the all-American tradition of baseball. I do not care about them either and Barry Bonds is the poster boy for something akin to “I don’t give a shit, I got your money dude!’

It takes money to create quality websites and we hate to run Ads – so we don’t use Adsense. We currently use one Advertiser – Amazon (thanks to my very talented Web Designer – the Amazon ads are very unobtrusive), so instead of blatantly asking for contributions like Wikipedia does, we ask that you click on the widget shown here and make a purchase from Amazon. You don’t have to buy what is displayed in the ad, but you do have to click onto the Amazon widget here and feel free to buy whatever you want. We get a small commission from each sale. And if things  are tight in terms of money that’s OK too. We’re not interested in making money – so  just visit and comment – it’s fun and educational

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