Last Week's Rant

Rant Response

As expected, I received a lot of email after last week's newsletter. All but one were completely supportive. Many folks, other than me, apparently don't understand this madness, either.

Let's address the one that wasn't so supportive. The fact was pointed out that I was railing about all the pervasive hatred and rage in the world right now. I was asked how that was different from my own rants - past and present.

That probably deserves a response ...

When I write a “rant,” I'm not necessarily emotionally involved in it. Although, if humans or other living beings are being harmed, i.e. pharmaceutical companies killing people for the BIG BUCK - then I AM mad.

I speak my mind and feel I've lived on this planet long enough, and have enough experience - in enough areas - to do that. But, the truth is most of my rants are basically show business.

Much of it is done for entertainment, since it rarely changes anything. It just makes folks think - and maybe chuckle. That doesn't mean I don't mean what I say. I'm just not as angry as I probably “sound.” I can stand outside it for the purposes of the article.

I may refer to types of people as pond scum, bottom feeders, jack-legs, etc., but that isn't usually personal. Although I do remember one guy who referred to himself as a jack-ass and I heartily agreed with him. And, I seem to remember calling some politicians criminals, but that's just a fact. Apparently, it's a requirement for any political position.

Real anger is about the only thing that can make me physically ill. Anger is death energy - it kills. And, yet, I feel myself soaking up these energies of rage and anger. Frankly, it gets harder and harder for me to stay centered - even when I see what's going on.

There was a time when I didn't believe in evil; I thought it was just misguided behavior. Well, in the overall scheme of reality, it may be, but now, I'm not so sure, any more.

Pedophilia being supported by religion is flat evil. Yeah - I know the perp is wired that way. But adulthood brings the ability to control your actions. If pedophiles won't control their actions - it's evil. Period.

I do NOT understand what would make a person so fearful of their church that they would continue to participate in, and support, it knowing this is the case with their leaders. I've heard, “Well, it's only a few, and it is not condoned by the church.”

Oh yeah? Then, why does the church maintain an entire department of a huge risk-management firm in this country to deal with their lawsuits? I know that for a fact because a family member of mine was put in charge of that department.

As soon as she saw what she was involved with, she refused to do that job. In fact, she no longer works for that company. Raised that one right! But, I digress ...

When these types of behaviors are simply accepted, what does it say about our humanity? When we accept - and we DO accept as long as we don't put a STOP to it - these types of horrendous crimes against children, why are we surprised that our world is turning into one giant crime scene?

That is one of the extremes. Just one! I've come to expect it in any large organization. The crap that truly STUNS me are the small things ...

Martha Raye

Last week, I received an email with a story about Martha Raye. Some of you will know who she was - others won't. She was a magnificent and well-loved entertainer.

The article talked about Ms Raye being a Bird Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, as well as a nurse with a surgery specialty. She helped out in the Army Field Hospitals, and is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft. Bragg.

I never knew any of that, and I imagine a lot of other folks didn't either. It was a neat story!

However ... whoever wrote that email had to add at the top:

“Most of the old time entertainers were made out of a lot sterner stuff than today's crop of activists and whiners.”

And, at the bottom:

“Martha Raye was CLASS! Not what we have today in Hollywood.”

The entire article was cheapened and detracted from by those two unnecessary and nasty comments!

Never mind the tremendous number of those in the entertainment business who do fabulous things for others in the world. And, I mean hands-on help!

If it isn't specifically for our troops - and WAR and DEATH, instead of humanity in general - and PEACE and LIFE, it's to be slammed. Ask me if I'm surprised!

This idiot, who obviously thinks all folks in the entertainment business, today, are “tree-huggers” just couldn't pass up a chance to take a shot. Two shots.

I couldn't think of anything more disrespectful to Ms Raye. I'm sure she'd have rather skipped the accolade if it had to tear down her fellow entertainers.

And, dear hearts - this is the NORM, today - NOT the exception!

I know some folks who refuse to see anything but the positive. That's commendable, and we don't need to expect the worst. But, if you aren't realistic, things you refuse to see can sneak right up and bite you in the butt. Not seeing them doesn't mean they aren't there!

RANT of the Week

"Too Many Things WAY Out of Control"

I'm going to try not to get on a giant roll, today. However, it just seems to me things in this world are spinning out of control. And, needless to say - it's pissing me off.

For instance, I need to give you a couple of warnings, today ...

This first situation can happen in any country. It isn't unique to the USA, yet these chemical bottle bombs have been found in both Michigan and Massachusetts (at least) - in peoples' yards.

They seem to think young people are responsible for this. Based on the way I see children act these days - with no attempt on the part of parents to rein them in - I don't doubt that for a minute.

This page on Snopes tells you what these bottle bombs look like and what to do if you see a suspicious bottle. Good rule would be to leave ALL empty bottles alone if they have anything in them. If you can't tell, err on the side of caution!

It isn't any secret how I feel about the giant corporations running the world. The ones that work my nerves the worst all seem to be related to the medical profession. This is especially true for the pharmaceutical companies - and their side-kick the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Although I would never tell anyone not to take doctor prescribed prescription drugs, I won't touch the stuff. I did take one for a short period of time to help me stop smoking. I had to balance the risks involved with continuing to smoke.

In that case - the drug won. Smoking was a physical addiction that needed to be broken, and the drug did that. But, I got off that sucker PDQ.

Although I'm an old hand at controlling my health with my mind, I ain't stupid. I know certain foods and supplements are needed for optimal health. Hell, they taught us that in second grade!

Now, the FDA is beginning to ban any claims on any product that reveals its health benefits. Why?

Well, it's common knowledge the cost of the ingredients in one prescription pill is a minute fraction of the price that's charged to the consumer.

The BIG BUCKS paid for prescriptions are needed to pay for the advertising to convince people to hound their doctors for medications they don't need! Medications for symptoms, which by taking them can mask a serious disease!

Take a look at the FDA's letter to Diamond Food, Inc. Due to statements made on Diamond's web site, the FDA now claims their walnuts are a “drug” - and need a “new drug application” to be marketed as healthful!

On the other hand, Frito-Lay is allowed to claim their snacks are “heart healthy” on their web site. Frito-Lay is owned by PepsiCo. Can you say strong lobby?

What do YOU Have on YOUR Web Site?

“References to peer-reviewed scientific studies are not allowed to be made by companies without permission from the FDA because the agency considers this to be an illegal health claim.

So if you sell walnuts, and your web site merely links to published scientific studies that describe the cholesterol-lowering benefits of walnuts, then you can be threatened, arrested, imprisoned and fined millions of dollars by the FDA for selling "unapproved drugs."

This applies to ANY food, and ANY vitamin or supplement!

There's a Congressional bill now to stop this nonsense. Want to make any bets on whether it gets passed? I'm betting it won't.

No money in it!

RANT of the Week

"How DARE You!"

One of the complaints ezine publishers hear regularly concerns "exclusive mailings" - or "solo ads." These are emails sent to the ezine subscribers which usually contain an ad or other information. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about it.

Let's think about this logically. I subscribe to TIME Magazine - and I pay for it. Yet, TIME makes their money mainly from advertising. They routinely send me extra mailings with special offers - in addition to the regular ads in each issue. Those are solo ads!

If I don't like it - they are not going to give me my money back. In fact, I would be lucky if I could make them stop sending the magazine before the subscription ran out.

Online ezines are published to build a mailing list. This is no secret. Most publishers don't do all that work out of the goodness of their hearts. They are in business! The subscriber base is a controlled list of possible buyers for whatever product/service the publisher is marketing.

For the most part, publishers try to give good - and valuable - content. Very few charge for their ezines so this information is FREE to the subscriber. Can you imagine what you would have to pay for the information you receive in a free ezine if you purchased it in training courses?

As a publisher, I have repeatedly refused to accept "Solo" ads to send to my readers. I only send out extra mailings if I believe it's something my readers really need to know about. However, I have no problem at all with publishers who DO accept solo ads. Advertisers want these ads because they are more likely to be read than a small 5 line ad in the middle of an ezine.

A couple of minutes of my time to read an extra ad sent by a publisher who is providing me with valuable information and/or entertainment every week is a small price to pay for what I'm getting without charge.

Putting out a good ezine every week is a lot of hard work! Expecting an ezine publisher to teach us and/or entertain us - then complaining about the occasional extra ad (or even "too many" ads in an issue) is like the people who go to a free Happy Hour buffet - eat 50 bucks worth of free food - then bitch because they have to serve themselves.

Ezines were not designed for the sole delight of the subscribers who receive this information for free - then complain about it. They were not designed by publishers to have something to fill up their time - make them crazy - and give them a lot of guff.

I saw a fairly new publisher having this problem, last week. Publishers don't need the, “How DARE you!” rhetoric from subscribers over an occasional advertising special mailing. Time to grow up!

An electronic magazine - as with any print magazine - is a vehicle for profit. The trade off with a free ezine is MORE than fair to the subscriber! You get the free information - the publisher gets the exposure for advertising. Extra ads are part of the deal unless otherwise stated.

Is there anything you can do about it? Sure there is. Learn to live with it, or stop taking the gift of the free information the ezine offers you.

Web Sites that Don't Work!

Not making the money you'd like to with your web site? This might be a good time of year to look it over carefully.

Not only are the following god-awful irritating - these situations will never get my money. And, probably won't get much of it from other people, either.

For Instance ...

Don't ask me to "sign in" in order to take a look. You want a user name and password before I even buy or join anything? WHY? I'm not going to do it. I'm GONE.

A friend told me not long ago that he couldn't seem to access a site properly. He sent an email asking for a solution. The reply? He was to open his browser options and make changes!

WHAT? He had to set his options in a certain way just for this site? I don't think so! I'd pass. I'm GONE.

Then, we have the sites with code that won't work in all browsers. And, why would that site owner not make sure the site works in all versions? Guess they don't want the business. I'm GONE.

Flash presentations. Forget them. Unless, of course, you're more interested in showing off your artistic abilities than in selling product.

I never wait for a flash presentation to load. Same thing for a page taking 10 minutes to load over-blown graphics. I'm GONE.

Don't talk to me without my permission. And, spare me your pitiful acting and lack of education in delivery. If I wanted to watch an infomercial, I'd watch TV. Give me a button where I can choose to watch/listen, or I'm GONE.

And, of course, a lot of mis-spelled or mis-used words will turn me off immediately. People who don't have sense enough to have their sites proof-read aren't the people I want to do business with. An editor is called for on all web sites - even if it's your brother!

You'd NEVER get a book or article published off-line without an editor proof-reading, and maybe editing, it. Apparently, a lot of people don't even know they are mis-using words. I'm GONE!

Bottom Line ...

Don't tell me what I have to do to have the privilege of viewing your web site. Don't tell me I have to set a browser a certain way - use a particular browser - sign in - wait for your S-L-O-W flash show - or huge graphics to load - listen to stuff I can read faster or overlook your many mistakes. I WON'T.

You make your web site fit whatever browser I want to use - set however I want it set - and don't waste my time. I am the visitor. Do it my way - or you lose!

Why? 'Cause, I might have been your customer ... but, now, I'm GONE!

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