February 2010

Don't Blame The Whale

I watched the SeaWorld press conference this afternoon and saw Jim Atchison President & CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as he stood before a backdrop of supposedly happy killer whales swimming in their tank.  I wasn't expecting him to announce that SeaWorld has seen the light and is going to free all of their whales from captivity. But I wasn't expecting to see such a callous man, who in so many words said,  sure the death  of a "trainer"  is a tragedy, but the Killer Whale Show Must Go On  -- and right away too -- profits must come  before people! And it is business as usual! SeaWorld is open for business! And by the way, Don't blame the whale!

  I don't blame the whale.

Death Most Horrible: Dawn Brancheau

Death most horrible. Dawn Brancheau is dead. She was forty years old. She was  killed by a killer Whale yesterday, at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, during a show, while she worked as a "trainer".  As horrified Sea World customers looked on, the whale jumped up from the water, and with it mouth,  grabbed  Ms Brancheauby by the upper arm, and dived into the tank,  pulling her underwater, while shaking her violently.

Your Bank Wants Your Money

Yes, your friendly banker wants your money and he is plotting to keep taking it from you!

 This morning the New York Times has an interesting article on the high fees banks have been collecting  on debit cards,  an estimated $20 billion from overdraft and ATM transactions  fees in 2009! Banks have  routinely allowed customers so-called overdraft protection,  and have collected a  penalty fee of up to $35 or more for each overdraft item. New government regulations, which take effect this summer,  require that bank customers must opt in to overdraft protection. If a customer choose not to opt in and tries to spend more than the funds that are available in his account, his debit card simply will not work. 

A sincere, straight on apology

I watched Tiger Wood televised confession and I must give it a grade of "A+". He seemed sincere and believable. Tiger Woods, well done.

 Tiger Woods did not need to apologize to the public. The only  apology that he needed to give was to his wife and  to his family. The media  hyped up a private matter into a public spectacle.

Anyway, this morning at 11:01 ET,  he delivered a  straight on apology to the public. In the presence of his wife, his mother, his mother-in-law, and some of his closest friends, he confessed to his errors and sought forgiveness from his fans and supporters. He said that his therapy is continuing.  Making a public confession is a step in  many therapy programs, admitting ones fault is the first  step toward self improvement.

Giuliani's Crony Sentenced to Jail

Bernard B. Kerik, the disgraced former New York police commissioner, the former Rudy Giuliani  sidekick and crony,  and formerly, a Dubya Bush good ol boy, who was George W's choice to head the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, received a four year jail sentence today. The Associated Press reports that Kerik pled guilty to eight felonies, including tax fraud and lying to federal officials, and corruption.

Bernard Kerik was hailed as a hero after the 9/11 . He went into partnership with Giuliani   -- And Keril, according to federal Judge Stephen Robinson, who is sending him to the slammer for the next forty eight months,  Kerik "use(d) that event (9/11) for personal gain and aggrandizement ." (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/18/us/AP-US-Kerik-Investigation....)

That Tibetan fellah?

This morning, His Holiness the  Dalai Lama is coming to the White House? Is he going to stay for dinner? Heavens forbid. That would  really be a cause to bring out the "china".  The good "china' ?  No -- the big , irritated China!

 The White House has made it clear that certain and careful protocols will be followed during the
 the Dalai Lama's visit --Not visit,  drop by. 

Return of the Tiger

Tomorrow, Friday, Tiger Woods has scheduled an event. I'm sure that the whole world, or most of it will be watching. America, the World, his fans and his sponsors will probably be expecting the traditional "come to Jesus" confessional by a  "fallen public idol"  this is probably what the Tiger will deliver. According to Associated Press reports and ESPN, the Tiger is not expected to answer any questions. The promised scene is a contrite Tiger, with a loyal, faithful and dutiful Mrs. Tiger at his side, and the fans who love him easily ready to forgive him, and the cynics raising a wussy fit because, just because they can, and the comics sitting back in delight scribbling down new Tiger material.

Fat Tuesday In New Orleans

Today is Fat Tuesday, with a dozen parades officially scheduled. It's totally Mardi Gras  -- like anyone who have been in and around New Orleans can forget. They don't need a calendar, just their souls to know that Mardi Gras 2010 is underway. Today, in New Orleans,  the weather is in the low 40s, that is cold for New Orleans, really, really cold  --  but the people aren't.  My New Orleans pals tell me that visitors like myself think the Carnival is for tourists, but it is for the home town folks. And if not a single outsider came, the show would go on just the same, unless it would be bigger, wilder and less sane. It is the people's day, when nobody is supposed to work at anything but at partying, at having a good time.

 Happy Mardi Gras!

Punxsutawney Phil: 6 more weeks of winter

Happy Groundhog Day! Well, it's official, according to Punxsutawney Phil we can expect six more weeks of winter. Since 1887 Phil and his predecessors have been prognosticating winter weather. From a German tradition that says if a hibernating animal sees its shadow on Candlemas, winter will last another six weeks. So this year, Phil cast a shadow and we can expect to be freezing our butts off a while longer.

But are we really to believe that a fat rodent can predict winter weather? Well, he's been correct 39% of the time, so really he's no worse than your local TV weather girl, It's a strange tradition, but one that inspired one of my favorite comedies of all time. I leave you with a scene from Groundhog Day.