Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Did Hoboken's Mayor Zimmer Hold Back Christie Allegations Due to Upcoming Election?


Due to the impeccable timing of Hoboken's mayor, Dawn Zimmer, coming forward with allegations of political extortion against an already embattled gov. Christie, her integrity is now under scrutiny by state and local republicans alike. But, her motives are also being questioned by fellow democrats. Like Hoboken councilwoman Beth Mason, who, while losing to Zimmer in two previous elections, does seem to have a point.

I'll be the first to admit I'm no fan of Mayor Zimmer. While she may have built a few more parks, the streets of Hoboken are arguably some of the worst in the country (imagine driving your car on the moon), the tow trucks and traffic cops patrol the streets 24/7 like the bureaucratic Walking Dead, and there's so much construction going on all around you, day-in-day-out, it's like living in post-war Iraq.

Having said that, I, personally, have no issue with the mayor's credibility as to whether she's telling the truth or not. I, for one, think she is. However, it can't be ignored that the reason she kept her mouth shut for the better part of last year was most likely due to the upcoming election.

Is there any other plausible explanation as to why someone apparently so dedicated to "truth and justice" waited almost a year to go public with a story about political bullying? Especially during a time when the entire nation was grieving for her town? If she had come forward last May, the entire world would have probably embraced her. But, that didn't happen. Instead, she kept the alleged threats to herself and said nothing, apparently letting everyone in town think we were getting all the aid we needed with little, if any, resistance.

To me, the only unbelievable part of her story is that she feared no one would believe her. Hogwash.

Mayor Zimmer is no political rookie. She knows exactly what she's doing. To the point, it's been contended by many residents up on local politics that the only reason Tim Occhipinti entered the 2013 mayoral race late - completely aware of the fact he had virtually no chance of winning - was at the behest of a Zimmer loyalist who allegedly promised favors in exchange for Occhipinti's "watering-down" of the votes for her biggest opponent, Ruben Ramos.

Whether or not that's true at this point is history. But it does give one pause to think if the mayor, who, on the outside claims she's committed to doing what's best for her city, in fact, did hold back from exposing the governor for her own political gain, she would be guilty of a diabolically negligent move, equivalent to a Katrina-sized cover-up. And, if you think about it, if the traffic scandal didn't come out, when, exactly, was she planning on coming forward?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Bridget Too Far: Gov. Christie's "Bridgewatergate" Scandal Reveals Actual Traffic Study




Emails released through subpoena today by New Jersey Assembly Deputy Speaker and Transportation Committee Chair John Wisniewski prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the top aide in Gov. Christie's administration, Bridget Anne Kelly conspired w/ now ousted Port Authority exec. David Wildstein to intentionally screw the city, the commuters and the mayor of Fort Lee - Democrat Mark Sokolich - for his refusal to support Gov. Christie in his reelection campaign.

However, the interesting thing here, is that emails have also surfaced proving there indeed was a traffic study going on.

Wildstein said the study being conducted at the time was "...to see exactly what it would take for a suburban mother of three to exit her minivan, ignore the welfare of her children, and put her fist through the windshield of the car in front of her. That was wrong of us but it was purely in the name of science."

Further details show the study was monitoring the overall effects of traffic on the human psyche. Turns out, people don't like it.

During the hearings in Trenton this week, Mayor Sokolich, wearing a wire, apparently taped two older gentlemen in the men's room discussing the situation. Their conversation was released to the Huffington Post exclusively:

MAN #1: "Pay up, Mortimer I've won the bet."

MAN #2: "Here. One Dollar."

MAN #1: "We took a megalomaniacal, bullying would-be presidential candidate and turned him into a back-tracking, double-talking hypocrite, and, at the same time, we took honest, hard-working commuters and turned them into violently deranged would-be killers. By the way, where is Beaks?"

Unknown to most following this shocking scandal, is that statistics also show that during the 5-day traffic nightmare, online gambling in the Fort Lee area shot up 1000%.

The situation has caused such an uproar, working-man's musician John Mellencamp is reportedly working a single to raise money for the victims of Fort Lee.

"The Port Authority Song" is scheduled for release Feb. 15.

Lyrics include: "I fight Port Authority, Port Authority always wins. When I fight Port Authority, Port Authority always wins."

If nothing else, at least the discovery of these emails will finally allow the N.J. State Assembly to get to the "Big" bottom of this.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Daily Show - Racist Irish Tweet Chat w/ Jessica Williams


Racist Tweet Link

CHAT SAMPLE: TEA PARTY LEADER’S RACIST TWEET CHAT W/ JESSICA WILLIAMS


{***JON***}
FOR MORE WE'RE JOINED BY IRISH-AMERICAN HISTORY EXPERT JESSICA WILLIAMS. WELCOME JESSICA.

{***JESSICA***}
THANKS JON. AS YOU CAN PROBABLY TELL, I’M NOT TOO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.

{***JON***}
I CAN’T IMAGINE. THAT WOMAN’S TWEET WAS SO OFFENSIVE. WHAT YOU MUST BE FEELING RIGHT NOW IS… INDESCRIBABLE.

{***JESSICA***}
THE FACT THAT SOMEONE WOULD COME OUT AND SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT IN PUBLIC -ESPECIALLY A PROMINENT MEMBER OF A POLITICAL PARTY- AND MISREPRESENT AN ENTIRE PEOPLE’S SET OF BELIEFS IS DISAPPOINTING TO SAY THE LEAST. AS AN IRISH-AMERICAN, I IN NO WAY CONDONE WHAT SHE SAID.

{***JON***}
UH, IRISH?

{***JESSICA***}
YES, JON. FULL BLOODED IRISH. BIG FAN OF THE SOAP, ST. PATRICK’S DAY, LEPRECHAUNS. ANYWAY, I’D LIKE TO APOLOGIZE BECAUSE TO THINK TH-

{***JON***}
-I’M SORRY, JESSICA.

{***JESSICA***}
YES, JON?

{***JON***}
I JUST HAVE TO ASK. HOW DID SOMEONE LIKE YOURSELF END UP… IRISH?


{***JESSICA***}
OH! (LAUGHS) YOU MEAN BECAUSE OF MY BROWN EYES? MY GRANDFATHER ON MY MOTHER’S SIDE COMES FROM BELFAST AND HAS THE DEEPEST, DARKEST EYES YOU’VE EVER SEEN! ANYWAY –

{***JON***}
UH, JESSICA?

{***JESSICA***} (GETTING MAD) YESSS, JON???

{***JON***} (CLEARLY UNCOMFORTABLE) I GATHER THEN, THAT YOU’RE, UH, “BLACK” IRISH?

{***JESSICA***}
WE PREFER “MAGICALLY DELICIOUS AMERICANS.”

{***JON***}
COME ON. YOU’RE BEING RIDICULOUS.

{***JESSICA***}
I’M WHAT?

{***JON***}
– NEVERMIND. ANYWAY, I WASN’T TALKING ABOUT YOUR EYES.

{***JESSICA***}
YOU WEREN’T?

{***JON***}
NO.

{***JESSICA***}
THEN, WHAT ARE YOU REFERRING TO JON?

{***JON***}
WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I HAD NO IDEA YOU WERE AN EXPERT ON IRISH AMERICAN HISTORY. I’M SORRY, BUT THAT’S JUST BIZARRE.

{***JESSICA***}
WHY IS THAT BIZARRE, JON?

{***JON***}
WELL, IT’S NOT EVERYDAY YOU-

{***JESSICA***}
YES?

{***JON***}
IT’S NOT EVERYDAY YOU SEE A… A…

{***JESSICA***}
A WHAT? GO AHEAD AND SAY IT, ALREADY, JON. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

{***JON***}
I-

{***JESSICA***}
-IT’S NOT EVERYDAY YOU SEE A WOMAN WITH A DEGREE IN IRISH AMERICAN HISTORY?! IS THAT IT?! THAT’S IT, ISN’T IT, JON?!

{***JON***}
WHAT?! I –

{***JESSICA***}
IT’S OKAY. YOU CAN ADMIT IT. MY JOURNALISTIC PROWESS INTIMDATES YOU BECAUSE I’M A WOMAN.

{***JON***}
WAIT A-

{***JESSICA***}
YOU KNOW, JON, WAY BACK WHEN I FIRST TOOK THIS JOB, I HEARD RUMORS ABOUT YOUR CAVALIER ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE FEMALES ON THE SHOW. YOUR LATE NIGHT “INTERN PARTIES,” YOUR CHAUVANISTIC BEHAVIOR AND OPINIONS. YOU THINK JOHN OLIVER LEFT TO DO “COMMUNITY”? HA! THAT’S WHAT HE WANTED YOU TO THINK. TRUTH IS, HE LEFT IN PROTEST TO YOUR TREATMENT OF WOMEN! (TAKES A SWIG FROM A FLASK)

{***JON***}
WHAT?! WAIT A MINUTE WHAT WAS THAT?

{***JESSICA***}
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF HUH? (TAUNTING) DO I MAKE YOU NERVOUS, JON?

{***JON***}
(NERVOUS) OF COURSE NOT. WHY WOULD YOU MAKE ME NERVOUS?

{***JESSICA***}
I DON’T KNOW. MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE SCARED ONE DAY A WOMAN MAY BE SITTING WHERE YOU SIT. MAYBE A PROUD IRISH WOMAN –WHOSE ANCESTORS STRUGGLED FROM THE DEPTHS OF IRISH SLAVERY, LONG BEFORE THE BLACKS CAME ALONG, WITH THE HOPE THAT MAYBE, ONE DAY, WE WOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY. AND, 550 YEARS LATER, HAVE WE EVER SAID A WORD IN PROTEST AS TO THE ATROCITIES COMMITTED AGAINST US? (TAKES A SWIG)

{***JON***}
ATROCITIES?! WHAT ATROCITIES? ARE YOU CARRYING A FLASK?

{***JESSICA***}
HOW QUICKLY WE FORGET. DID YOU KNOW OKLAHOMA WAS ORIGINALLY SETTLED BY THE IRISH.

{***JON***}
IT WAS?

{***JESSICA***}
THAT’S RIGHT. DID YOU KNOW UP UNTIL 1950 IT WAS SPELLED LIKE THIS: (OS: “O’ KLAHOMA) BUT IT WAS TOO IRISH-LOOKING SO THEY CHANGED IT.

{***JON***}
WOW.

{***JESSICA***}
IT’S CALLED EDUCATION, JON TRY IT SOME TIME. AND THE BIGGEST FAST FOOD CHAIN IN THE WORLD … (OS: “MICK O’ DONALDS”) THAT’S HOW IT STARTED. AND WHO CAN FORGET THE DEGREDATION AND HUMILIATION OF OUR WORST NATIONAL TRAGEDY, THE IRISH POTATO FAMINE. YOUR PEOPLE TOOK IT AND MADE IT A LAUGHING STOCK.

(OS: MR POTATO HEAD)

{***JON***}
I’M SORRY. I HAD NO IDEA. I LOVE MR. POTATO HEAD.

{***JESSICA***}
EXACTLY. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF WE HAD “MR. HOLOCAUST HEAD” IN IRELAND?

{***JON***}
POINT TAKEN.

{***JESSICA***}
YOU DISGUST ME, JON. I NEED A GUINNESS. (DROPS MIC AND EXITS)

{***JON***}
UH, THANK YOU JESSICA. JESSICA WILLIAMS, EVERYONE.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fort Hood Shooter Had Access to $8k/mo. Trailer. Apparently, Our Gov't. Has Never Heard of The Internet


According to the New York Times, the U.S. government, A.K.A. "the taxpayers," paid approximately $8,000.00 a month to rent a trailer for Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, from which, he supposedly worked on his defense. This minor detail, which took up less than a sentence in The Times' front-page report covering Maj. Hasan's conviction, was the one thing that stood out to me like an 8-track player in an Apple Store. After seeing that figure, my eyes continued to glance over the rest of the story, which mentioned a slew of other tidbits, such as the participants, length of deliberation, the possibility of the death penalty, etc., but I retained nothing -as my brain kept repeating -over and over- "Eight thousand dollars??? A month?!!!" I don't know about you, but when I think of a "trailer," my mind conjures up images of a cramped 4-walled, cinder-block wheeled enclosure that stands next to an elementary school, or the D.M.V., and could surely be had for at least half that? No doubt, this particular trailer must have been the lavish, gold-plated, Crime-o-luxe model, complete with thousand-dollar waste baskets and antique umbrella stands. Or maybe, it was modeled after the Urban Assualt Vehicle Bill Murray and co. used in the movie Stripes? In reality, the items which apparently pushed the price tag to hit the $8k figure were a laptop and some law books. No wonder. Obviously, the Army has never heard of Google, as in literally ten seconds, I found a website that offered mobile trailers for $2k/mo. That's 400% cheaper than what the Army paid. But, I guess that's the one thing they're good at. Our government makes guys like Dennis Kozlowski and John Thain look like misers. And, don't give me that b.s. about 'reinforced steel' or a 'super-max' trailer to protect this loser. After what he did, then proudly admitted at every opportunity, they should've put him in a trailer made of Swiss cheese. Keep in mind, this is coming in the wake of the outcry after it was publicized the Army was still paying the self-professed mass-murderer to the tune of $300k. I've seen ads that say the Army will help pay your rent after serving only two years, which is perfect for me. As, there's a 3-bedroom penthouse in Tribeca I've got my eye on which won't be completed until 2015. To read about other extravagantly frustrating expenses for Maj. Hasan we footed the bill for, such as daily helicopter rides, click here!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Brooklyn Half-Marathon: A Test of Patience and Endurance for All Involved


It was supposed to be a day of triumph. Of celebration. Of families lining the streets of Brooklyn to wave to and cheer their family members, friends, neighbors, etc., as they attempted to accomplish a truly difficult feat: running 13 miles in three hours. The Brooklyn Half-Marathon.

My sister Stephanie, a 41-years-young Ph.D. and mother of two, who is prepping for a go at the "Big One" in November, was one of the brave ones.

Leaving my apartment in Hoboken at 8 a.m., the plan was to head to Coney Island and meet up with the rest of my family, where we're going to cheer my crazy sister on as she crossed the finish line.

That was our plan. Unbeknownst to me, the city had plans of its own.

Coming off the BQE, I merge onto the Prospect Expressway. I couldn't have gone more than half a mile when life as I knew it came to a DEAD STOP.

It's definitely not a good sign when 20 minutes pass and you realize you're still sitting in the exact spot you stopped in. It's now 8:45 and I decide to call my bro-in-law, Michael, and let him know something's amiss. It's at this point he tells me the city has apparently closed the Prospect Expressway due to the marathon.

My first thought is, "Holy Shit." My next is, "WTF, Mr. Mayor??!!"

It seems the city has apparently decided to close 95 percent of a major Brooklyn thoroughfare while still leaving the first 5 percent open, so unsuspecting motorists can drift helplessly into the Death Star's gravitational pull, and be left there to rot for the better part of the next two hours.

You want to talk about an unbelievable lapse in judgement? How about the guy at the D.O.T. whose job it was to close the expressway and who, when asked by a co-worker if they should put a sign on the BQE to alert approaching motorists of the trouble dead ahead, went, "Nah."

Where else but in New York would you find a highway completely closed, except for the on-ramp?

They can take 100 barrels and mark off five miles of interstate for one guy with a jackhammer, but when they decide to close an entire stretch of highway, not one of these rocket scientists has the presence of mind to grab a Magic Marker and post a sign?!

I called the D.O.T.'s press office and was greeted by a man who obviously spent the better part of his adult life drinking Night Train. According to him, traffic was moving fine, and if I wanted to speak to someone more important than he, I was to give him my number so he could "email it" to the relevant department. Even in my moment of despair, the irony of a municipal office having to communicate with each other by carrier pigeon was not lost.

I then phoned WCBS (880am) and tried to remain calm. It didn't work, as a minute later, over the air, I hear:

Well, there seem to be some very aggravated drivers on the Prospect Expressway this morning. It's apparently closed in both directions due to the Marathon. Thanks to David for the tip.

Having now sat in the same place for an hour and a half, I'm about to abandon the vehicle when, low and behold, the cars in front of me start moving.

It takes about another half hour to exit. It's now 10:30 a.m. It's taken me two hours to go a quarter of a mile. The worst part is, all of this utter nonsense could have been avoided with just a simple sign.

The streets look like the automotive version of The Walking Dead; hundreds of vehicles desperate to avoid additional delays looking for a clear street to freedom.

When I finally get to the boardwalk, I go to call Michael and share the joy: Nothing. Okay, try again. Nothing. Try again. Dropped. What in the heck is going on now?

I try my mom. Once. Twice. Thrice. No dice. I'll just text them. Guess not. Okay, now I'm getting pissed. I spend the better part of the last two hours sitting on a closed highway and now Verizon is playing f'n games? Double parked, I put my hazards on and walk straight into the mob. I walk up and down each street trying to make a call. It's useless.

Some guy approaches me and asks to use my phone. I turn and look around me... there are hundreds of us. Now, literally, The Talking Dead, looking for our lost family members in the throngs of runners and by-standers, all with no means of communication.

I spot two cops standing by the Nathan's and ask to use one of their cells. "Ours don't work either. Cell signal is really bad out here. Wait a bit and try later."

"Try later?" I've now been standing here for half an hour! And the sunny 70 degree day we were supposed to have has turned into a blustery 50 degree one. And now, it starts to rain. I feel like Dan Aykroyd in the Santa suit in Trading Places. I figure, any moment now, a dog's going to pee on my leg.

After about an hour standing in the freezing wind and rain, a text comes through from Michael;

Are you here? he asks, nonchalantly.
WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU???!!! I calmly reply.

Apparently, he and my mother have had quite the time themselves. They got off at the wrong subway stop and had to lift the babies and their strollers up a few massive staircases, only to find themselves trapped on all sides by a huge apartment complex. Had it not been for the kindness of a neighbor, who let them through a locked gate, they would have had a half-mile walk to cross the street. As it was, they ended up missing my sister at the finish line and spent the last half hour trying to find her.

Upon finally finding each other, it turns out Stephanie, whose phone didn't work, either, asked a guy in a "Counter-Terrorism" T-shirt what was going on. "They shut down all cell phones in the area," he replied. "Everywhere??" she asked. "Yup."

No announcement. No warning. No notice of this minor issue to the runners in the bag of instructions each entrant is given before the race. And, judging by the response of the two cops, the police weren't told either. They just shut 'em down, leaving thousands wandering aimlessly in the rain, trying to find their friends and family.

If you're going to shut off phone service to half a borough at the time of a major event, how about a slip of paper, or a radio announcement, alerting people of the changes?

In an instant, the highway closing without a sign became amateur hour.

Is this a sign of things to come? Thousands of people at sporting events in big cities nationwide are now to be subjected to the same random acts of disruption and government-caused chaos as the T.S.A.?

Are we now all to be punished at every public gathering from now until the end of time for the acts of two misguided idiots in Boston? I'm surprised they didn't make the runners take their shoes off before approaching the finish line.

In the end, a pathetic and total failure by all parties involved in organizing this disaster of a day.

When I finally calmed down, I said to my sister; "I don't care if you go on to be the first woman to walk on Mars. If you land in the waters off Coney Island, I'm watching it on T.V."

I can't wait for November.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why Isn't Congress Considering an Internet Protection Act?


It's probably safe to say that in the coming weeks and months, we'll be seeing dozens more stories relating to the vulnerability of virtually every facet of our online lives, e.g., the pictures we post, the things we buy, the messages we send, etc., etc.

And, why not? Given the fact that millions upon millions of us now spend the better part of our days communicating with each other through the use of phones and laptops, it's probably fair to say we've become an "anti-social media" society.

When it comes to compromising the security measures put into place by the various companies we trust our data to, it seems every corner of your virtual bedroom is cluttered with all kinds of modern invisible monsters, hiding under your bed, competing for a chance to steal your virtual soul, no matter your age; cyber-hackers, identity thieves, overseas counterfeiters, social media trojans/malware, etc. These new age cyber-crooks know how to identify the patterns in how we communicate, and the new trends we're going to latch onto, before we do.

According to the New York Times, half of all Americans use some form of social media. The article states that number made an astonishing jump from just 5 percent less than six years ago. Which, if you do the math, means in about five years, close to 100 percent of us will be using social media to communicate.

Considering there are regulations for every other form of mass communication, e.g., cable, phone, etc., wouldn't you think Congress would at least be thinking about a bill that aims to protect the general population from cyber-harm?

I happened to be in a certain congressman's office just last week discussing a separate issue, and posed the question of some sort of legislation when it comes to the protection and privacy of social media users, and, possibly more important, holding these tech giants responsible in their daily decision-making process, and how those decisions affect the end user; i.e., everyone.

The response I got was a very flippant, "No matter what we do now, the tech world moves so fast, by the time legislation's passed, it will be obsolete." Translation - "Why bother?"

That was incredibly disheartening to hear. Congress is always behind technology, so, why bother doing anything? Matter of fact, they're usually a decade behind every facet of public policy, but they still try. They still talk about it. They still debate it. The way they currently see it, we may as well let the cyber-crooks drive their Ferraris down Main St., looting and pillaging everything in sight, while the rest of us roam around in wheel barrows.

Of course, when talking about cyber-hacking these days, you're primarily talking about Facebook - as over a billion of us currently use the social media site to do everything we used to do in the real world; chat, share pictures, keep in touch with relatives, buy clothing and food, watch movies, date, propose, break-up, etc. So, for the sake of argument, let's focus on them.

And, incidentally, when talking about "protection," I'm not talking about the recently passed Privacy Act that keeps the police from searching your emails without a warrant (although it's a good start).

I'm talking about regulations that mandate sites like Facebook, which was recently hacked and came this close to having millions of its users' data compromised, to be beholden to some sort of 'Internet Oversight Committee' made up of impartial folks from the worlds of technology, education, as well as public policy. FYI, in this one recent episode, alone, several watchdog sites observed, had Facebook simply turned off the Java app, the entire incident could have been avoided.

Factor that into the accusations of Zuckerberg and co. knowingly selling your data to Chinese counterfeiters in the hopes of a smoother entry into the media-hungry nation - as well as offering the grand gesture of a short "FAQ page" to deal with the myriad of issues from its billion-plus users -, and perhaps some sort of 'user support arm' would be a good start. Especially considering the thesis recently completed by University of California Riverside grad student, Sazzadur Rahman, which explains how social media networks are now the preferred way to spread viruses across the Net (note: the last several pages offer hyperlinks to dozens of articles on cyberscams currently attacking the social network). Why should the only way to get a human response from Facebook - or Google - be through a lawsuit?

Then, there's the 'lawlessness' of the Wild West when it comes to allowing these media giants to police themselves; case in point, Janet Tavakoli, President of Chicago-based, Tavakoli finance, and author of three books, revealed that not only was she, herself, the victim of identity theft on Facebook - her statement regarding the social media site's suspicions of her own identity reads,

"Facebook reminded me of a punk holding a screw driver over your parked car's paint job demanding payment to 'protect' it as you run errands,"

- but, the Huffington Post's own, Bianca Bosker, Executive Tech Editor, was 'friended' by herself and was forced to provide an I.D., along with a notarized statement to satisfy her claim. A classic example of victimizing the victim.

Ms. Tavakoli's paper also highlights the Europeans who are, once again, ahead of us when it comes to regulating the kind of data Facebook is permitted to share with its subsidiaries. Of course, in the U.S., Facebook still tells us what to do, instead of the other way around.

Then, there's USC's Annenberg Innovation Lab, who provide a link between mega-sites, such as Google and Yahoo, and the financing of pirate sites which provide illegal movies, music, etc., through countless millions in advertising dollars.

No one's accusing Google or Yahoo or even Facebook - well, maybe Facebook - of knowingly supporting these illegal enterprises, but shouldn't there be some sort of regulatory board overseeing some of this stuff? Shouldn't there be some type of penalty, maybe even jail time, if the folks at Facebook are proven to be allowing counterfeit ads on your page? Just because it's in cyberspace doesn't mean it's not real. They're still committing a crime, no matter how many overseas marketing companies they hide behind.

I'm not saying I have all the answers, odds are no one does, but when sites like Yapzap keep tabs on all things Facebook that the government should really be doing, it makes for doing something seem a lot better than the nothing that's currently being done.

These companies are bigger and richer and more powerful than any previous entities the world has ever seen. Shouldn't they be forced to be responsible in some ways to their users who entrust them with their information? Shouldn't there be at least a few 'general' laws on the books that force companies with a certain amount of users to operate within certain established parameters, say, at least a 24hr. response by a live human being?

As our knowledge of technology, the companies that dictate it, and the crooks who seek to undermine it, grows exponentially on a daily basis, it seems foolish to let these billionaire college dropouts play Oz, unchecked, without some sort of guidance from mom and dad.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

No Matter What, Sesame Street Will Never Dump Elmo


If I learned one thing from my days as a production assistant on Sesame Street, it's this:

Elmo runs the place.

Period. End of story. Sure, there are "exec. producers'" and "co-exec. producers," and "CEOs" of the Sesame Workshop (Sesame St.'s parent co.), etc., etc., but, make no mistake, that little red monster is King.

Remember that bratty kid from the Twilight Zone episode who all the adults are afraid of because he has the power to wish them away?

That's Elmo. Or, more to the point, that's Kevin Clash.

So, when you read in the press, Clash has been "reprimanded," or "disciplined," or " is in danger of being fired," take it with a pillar of salt. Because, even in the midst of an underage sex scandal, the brass upstairs know exactly who's driving this gravy train, and has been for the past 25 years. And, it ain't about to slow down now.

Not to mention, if and when the train does come to a stop, it'll take more than a flip-flopping, fairly unstable-looking, wannabe male model with a nice sized rap sheet and weird blue eyes to derail it. And, the reason is obvious.

In this day and age, the only thing that matters is the greeeeeen. And, when it comes to bringing home the bacon, there's no character in the nearly 45 year history of the show who's made as much of the green stuff for Sesame Street as Elmo. Not Big Bird. Not Ernie. No one.

Thus, ultimately, no matter how much tap dancing they'll have to do if he's proven guilty to explain why he's back, you can bet they're already practicing their jazz hands - just in case. Because, when all is said and done, no executive producer wants to be responsible for killing that big of a cash cow; especially not since Sesame Street's episodes have been cut from over 100, just a decade ago, to less than 30 this year. No, sir.

A little, juicy sex scandal may be enough to bring down the likes of a Pee Wee Herman, but, as big as he was at the time of his unfortunate moment, Pee Wee couldn't touch Elmo.

Elmo is arguably the biggest star in the world; marketed in 100 countries, his voice translated into 100 languages, and his talking dolls create fistfights among parents desperate to make sure their kid gets the last one at Xmas time.

It would take a scandal on par with O.J. before Sesame would seriously consider replacing the one guy responsible for all that. After all, there were other puppeteers who tried doing Elmo before Clash, and not one of them succeeded. It was Clash's raw talent as, not only a puppeteer, but also a voice and character actor, that gave Elmo life and made him the superstar he is today.

So, talk to me when Clash is found hovering over the dead bodies of his relatives with a bloody knife in his hand and kiddie porn all over his computer. Then, maybe, we'd be talking early retirement.

No doubt, this thing is a huge embarrassment for Clash, but he and Elmo are going to make it through just fine. Of course, now that he was forced to come out of the closet, he's going to have to endure the multitude of bad jokes that accompany a scandal such as this.

Right, Pee Wee?