Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cochise County issues subpoena for journalist's private emails

If you think your emails are private, guess again.  They're subject to subpoena.  Even messages you thought you deleted aren't safe from government snooping.  A prosecutor, or any lawyer, could issue a subpoena to your email service provider, get your private communications, and you might not even find out about it.

When it happens to journalists, it's more than just a nuisance or potential embarassment.  It could put a chilling effect on the reporter's ability to gather the news for the public.  That is why, when the Obama administration went after Associated Press reporter phone records in 2013, the story made national news--and AP raised hell about it.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

This is going to get me into big trouble

Pictures of scantily clad women are flooding my computer screen.  It’s not what you think.  I'm the victim here.

Okay, so, this is awkward. 

I’m in sort of a predicament that I’ve been trying to keep secret.  But I’ve decided to come clean about it. 

It’s a problem that of late has forced me to do my home office work behind closed doors.  And the situation in which I find myself has me hurriedly reaching for the mouse to dump the Internet and call up an innocuous word processing screen or something every time my spouse knocks on the door.

No, it’s not what you think.  At least not precisely.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Whistling Mothers' Musical Treasury of Christmas

Here's a bit of comedy from my radio show that you have to hear to believe.  Featuring The Whistling Mothers, plus Hollis Fernbeck on the mouth trumpet.  This spot will be dated after the 25th, and will get its last play on my radio show today.  I'm placing it here in hopes of spreading a little holiday cheer.  Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Attack of the Cybercats IV

New pictures contain startling revelations about my cats’ mind-bending capabilities.

Another set of pictures reveals the secret powers our cats wield in our household.  As before, I have used special filters to bring out features invisible to the naked eye.  Taken together this evidence explains why my wife, Bride of the Bloviator, has so pampered our pets throughout the years.   Below is the latest evidence, along with my descriptions of what I believe to be going on.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Publishers Weekly gives nod to "A Journal of the Crazy Year"!

Lightning strikes again as another internationally respected literary reviewer adds its voice to the growing chorus of praise for a sci-fi/post-apocalyptic vision of the future ripped right out of this morning’s newspaper headlines.

I can’t believe it.  It’s happened again!

The influential, internationally-respected literary reviewer Publishers Weekly opens its review of A Journal of the Crazy Year with this line:  “Fresh thinking and feeling animate this heartfelt postapocalyptic novel.”  After summarizing the plot, the reviewer goes on to say:  “The book is stuffed with untrimmable, character-driven, cogent dialogue, and Carr’s sincere investment in the concept of people groping their way through hell on Earth makes his story a fascinating read all the way to its chilly, barely hopeful conclusion.”

Wow.  I mean, wow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Truth about Mass Media Lies

Take it from this 33 year veteran of TV news:  Our mass media news system has not broken down completely, but it’s headed full tilt in that direction.  Here’s how you can defend yourself.  

I went page-turning through my morning newspaper today looking for its coverage of the Jonathan Gruber hearing, in which congressmen grilled the MIT professor and Obamacare architect about his stunning claims of deliberate deception in the process of writing the Affordable Care Act.  I found the story exactly where I expected to:  page A14, buried in the interior of the Nation & World section.  The newspaper devoted about 15 column inches the report—smallish for a newspaper account, but not quite miniscule.  The headline of the Gruber story read, “Obama health adviser Gruber apologizes for ‘glib’ remarks.”

Our Society’s New Cultural Communism

In the world that’s coming, if not everyone can possess a given desirable thing or trait, then it won’t be cool for anyone to do so.  And we won't simply adjust our concept of “normal.”  We'll abandon it.  Will this new society be more just?  

Society’s pendulum is always swinging.

Not so long ago, during the Victorian era, it was considered the height of lewdness for a woman to show her ankle in public.  In polite society, one never uttered the word “leg”; if you simply had to make some kind of reference to this human appendage, you used the word “limb.”  Even furniture was covered with long cloths or wrapped with skirts so as not to show table and couch legs. 

Kirkus Reviews selects A Journal of the Crazy Year

I just received some fabulous news, and I’m bursting to share it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this year I submitted the final version of the upcoming print edition of A Journal of the Crazy Year to Kirkus Reviews for an indie review.   The results of that came in a couple of weeks ago, and as I told you in a previous post, the review was excellent.

Yesterday I received an unexpected email from Kirkus.  It said:   “I just wanted to let you know that your review for A Journal of The Crazy Year was selected by our Indie Editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews 12/1 Issue. Congratulations! Your review appears as one of the 20 reviews in the Indie section of the magazine which is sent out to over 5,000 industry professionals (librarians, publishers, agents, etc.)  Less than 10% of our Indie reviews are chosen for this, so it's a great honor.”

I won’t say I fainted dead away at this point, but I did get palpitations.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Conversations with Mabel

By listener request, I'm posting all five of the "conversations with Mabel" that have run on my PowerTalk 1210 AM radio program.  I hope you enjoy the down-home Tennessee humor!  Many thanks to my good friend Bonnie Kourvelas of Memphis, who plays Mabel.

Conversation with Mabel Episode 1

Conversation with Mabel Episode 2

Conversation with Mabel Episode 3

Conversation with Mabel Episode 4

Conversation with Mabel Episode 5

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Egyptologists reveal language breakthrough

Scientists had kept the discovery under wraps for months

Dispatches from the Future
May 17, 2016

BOULDER, Colo.  (Gloomberg News) – Egyptologists Monday announced a major breakthrough in attempts to decode markings on an ancient wall in southern Egypt.  The findings failed to support theories that the site in question might have once served as an astronomical observatory.

“This isn’t what we’d hoped for,” admitted team leader Dr. James I. Haktawhad.  “But the findings are of historic importance, just the same.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Elections update: what happened in the Continental School District

Now that the Pima County Board of Supervisors has accepted the election canvass, I thought it might be useful to go back and try to figure out what happened in the Continental School District.

Prior to the election, a ballot snafu there raised an election controversy.   The school board race ballot instructed the voter to “Select 3” instead of the correct procedure, “Select 2.”   Elections officials made the decision to void any votes received in that race on the original ballot, and to hold a simultaneous special election, which required them to provide a special second “short” ballot to voters for that one race.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Radio Skit: Steve Herky for Congress

Now that the elections are over, this spot is coming out of on-air rotation.  But we had our quota of fun with it.  Steve Herky is an honest politician--the kind who, when bought, stays bought.

Elvis & Me

We never met.  But our paths crossed many times, including once in a fairly spectacular way.  This is the story of my cosmic connection with The King.

I’ve come to believe that just about everyone who grew up or lived in Memphis around the time I did has an Elvis story to tell.  I have several--one of which is quite remarkable, and perhaps a tad magical, or at least it seems that way to me.

Elvis has always been a part of my life.  Back in 1959 or 1960, shortly after my parents moved to the house I grew up in, they bought a Motorola stereo hi-fi, and one of the very first albums they brought home was Elvis’s 1956 debut LP on the black RCA label, cleverly titled, “Elvis Presley.”  I was about two and a half years old.  Thus the first music I ever recall hearing in life was that Elvis record, about half of which was recorded in Memphis.  (It is, by the way, a vastly underappreciated album).  This record started me on a lifelong love of music, and remains one of my favorites to this day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

And the elections night radio coverage nod goes to....

Okay, this is strictly personal, but I have to do it.  The relatively new radio station I work for has just won some impressive applause, and it feels great.

On Election Night, I got to sit in the PowerTalk 1210 studio with three other fabulously talented and experienced journalists, giving returns and providing analysis.  Morning drive host and station manager Jim Parisi, like me, is a former TV news director with loads of experience; we don’t think there’s another radio station anywhere that has two of those in the lineup.  John C. Scott is a former TV news anchor, a former state legislator, and a radio icon in Tucson who towers above the news landscape here with his unparalleled knowledge, experience, and intuitive grasp of the southern Arizona political scene.  Mark Ulm, our producer, absolutely has the best Rolodex in town; he knows everyone, it seems.  On Election Night we aired special coverage counting down the local and national election returns.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Excellent Kirkus Review for "A Journal of the Crazy Year"

"Carr employs jet-black humor reminiscent of Vonnegut... The flight from civilization is handled well, and a truly unconventional ending makes for a worthy trip.  A great case made for the idea that the end isn’t nigh—it’s already here."
--Kirkus Reviews

Earlier this year I submitted the upcoming print edition of  A Journal of the Crazy Year to Kirkus Reviews.  The verdict is now in, and it's great.  Their review adds to previous excellent comments from (which praised the novel for its "thrilling narrative" and its "impressive scientific and historical details") and also to comments from many of the book's readers (my favorite:   "This will stay with me.")

The print edition is due out in January.  I'll make an announcement at that time and also reveal the new cover then.  Meanwhile, A Journal of the Crazy Year is available for the Kindle at this link.  It's a cheap read--and as critics agree, a good one.

The full text of the Kirkus Review is below.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Video: The Sexual Harassment of "Pretty Woman" deconstructed and fixed

Video version:  Now that we know, thanks to, that simply saying "Hello" to a woman on the street is an act of sexual harassment, where do we go from here?  It might be useful to see what put us on our current path ruin.  This video deconstructs and repairs the sexual harassment in Roy Orbison's smash 1964 hit, "Pretty Woman."  This is offered as satire, but make no mistake:  this IS the direction in which the forces of political correctness are pushing us, and right now they have the upper hand.

A text version of this blog entry is available here:
Yesterday's smash hit is today's sexual harassment.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

“Pretty Woman”: Yesterday’s classic hit is today’s sexual harassment

Thanks to a shocking new video exposé, we all are going to have to adjust our thinking—and our culture.

Okay, now we know:  Saying “hello” on the street to a stranger is an act of sexual harassment, if the speaker is a man and victim identifies as female, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or gender questioning.  If the victim is a member of an ethnic minority, the harasser may be a racist as well.

We owe the activist website a great debt of gratitude for bringing this matter to the public’s attention.  A volunteer actress, working with an undercover photographer, spent ten hours on the streets of New York documenting unsolicited, inappropriate comments.  The results were stunning.  And it has the entire world talking.  At last count, its You Tube video had racked up 23 million clicks.  Even in a world where the words “gone viral” have become shopworn, this is something else.  Call it strato-viral.

"We love our country"

It was a "flash mob" with a different kind of purpose.  A couple of hundred people came together at the Tucson Mall for a really simple reason:  To express their love of their country.  This cell phone video clip contains some of the highlights, a quick interview with a couple of fans who explain why they came, and some shots of PowerTalk 1210 host and station manager Jim Parisi greeting participants.  Many thanks to everyone who attended for making this event a huge success.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mingling with the Gladidonts

There are few better ways to feel good about yourself than by making a trip to the mall.

I'm a great fan of people-watching, or at least I used to be.  Since taking my self-awarded sabbatical, I haven't gotten out of the house as much, but instead have been slaving away over a hot keyboard, trying to get 33 years’ worth of personal writing projects done in two while also preparing and then delivering a daily radio program.  But recently The Bride of the Bloviator (a.k.a the Petunia of Penstemon Drive) needed some shoes, so off we went to the mall.

Malls are useful for buying things, but they're also a great diversion.  I particularly enjoy watching the gladidonts and comparing notes.  In case you’re not familiar with the concept, a gladidont is a person you run into who inspires you think, or perhaps even say out loud (although in a low voice) to your companion, "I'm glad I don't [fill in the blank.]"

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dr. Tom Combs on why the CDC must do more on Ebola

We had a rollicking, jam-packed program on Friday.  This is the first of three excerpts I will be uploading today.

When novelist (Nerve Damage) and Level One emergency room physician Dr. Tom Combs appeared on the show a couple of weeks ago, he made some statements that turned out to be prophetic.  In this second appearance on my PowerTalk 1210 program, he looks back over what's been accomplished since Ebola arrived in the U.S.  Dr. Combs remains very concerned that the CDC is not doing enough to keep Ebola out of the country.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Immigration Policy Deceptions

We had a rollicking, jam-packed program on Friday (10/24/14).  This is the second of three excerpts I will be uploading today.

On Thursday (10/23) I read brief excerpts from a USA Today news item showing how the Obama administration had misled the public regarding the release of 2,200 illegal immigrants in 2013.  It sparked quite the discussion.  Here, I go into more details about what the article meant, and how it fits a pattern of deception and stonewalling from this administration.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Martha McSally, Ron Barber & Guns

We had a rollicking, jam-packed program on Friday.  This is the third of three excerpts I will be uploading today.

One of our loyal listeners wanted to know where District 2 Congressional candidates Ron Barber, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican challenger Martha McSally stand on guns.  That subject has been an acrimonious one in this campaign.  Here we look back on what's been said and done.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Is Ron Barber a "Lapdog?"

A flurry of political ads, fueled by money from outside Arizona, is trying to convince you that Ron Barber, the Democratic incumbent in Arizona's Congressional District 2, is a stooge for his party, unable to think for himself.  Is that true?  The actual facts may surprise you.  I looked into that just recently on my PowerTalk 1210 program; this is the excerpt, and I made some interesting discoveries.  (Note:  I take no position in this race, and I admire both Barber and Republican Martha McSally.  This just looks at this one flight of attack ads.)

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pima ballot error has some observers crying foul

PowerTalk 1210 has confirmed that some 16,000 Pima County voters will be getting a second, shorter ballot, because the first one contains an error in one race.  Some feel the decision to send a replacement ballot has the potential to adversely effect every county-wide race on the ballot.
Here’s what happened.   In addition to all the other county-wide and state-wide races before them, voters in the Continental School District in the Sahuarita area also are making choices in a school board race.  Three names are on the ballot, along with the instruction, “VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN THREE.”  The instruction should have said to vote for no more than two. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Siding Spring: The plague comet?

For all of human history, our race has associated comets with plague and other disasters.

Bizarre human behavior.  Mass violence.  A plague.  And now a comet.  Okay, this is getting weird.  Damned weird.  And believe it or not, it fits a pattern.

A couple of years ago, I began to notice a disturbing trend.  After many years in the TV news business, like all other news professionals I had become used to a daily menu of violence, mayhem and unrest of various forms.  But a new type of story began to emerge that was disturbing even by those standards.  For one, incidents of random mass gun violence, which had started to be a problem late in the 20th century, were increasing in their number and pace.  But other incidents began to pop up that were, although typically less violent, even more bizarre and hard to explain.  You’d hear about a traveler on a passenger jet suddenly deciding to urinate on a fellow passenger—not just one incident, but one after another just like it.  Or something similar would happen on a public bus, or on a passenger train, and so on.  And then there were increasingly bizarre random acts of violence, such as the Florida man who suddenly decided one day to eat a stranger’s face off.  And the naked man who attacked travelers at a BART station in San Francisco.  There was the private pilot who decided to ram his plane into an IRS office.  And the guy who deliberately decapitated himself with a chainsaw.  And other incidents too brutal and grotesque to describe here. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Surrendering the penis

Boy, was Freud ever right about that penis envy thing.  And it’s getting uglier by the day.  The next step, in the name of gender equality, is obvious.

Over the past four days, via my morning newspaper and various news websites, I have been exposed to the following:

1.  A long-winded column in which the author bitterly complains that two male celebrities momentarily preferred to talk to each other, rather than to her, at a dinner party (it couldn't possibly be that they had something to say to each other or that she was simply uninteresting; oh, no, it was the latest proof of Worldwide Male Sexism).

2.  A story about a man getting fired for having drawn a cartoon depicting, ahem, male genitalia; the poor schlub now worries, rightfully so, that he'll never work again.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A personal update for my readers and radio listeners

I have some news to share with readers and listeners who’ve been following my recent attempts to reinvent myself after a 33-year career in TV news.  The print publication of my science fiction novel, A Journal of the Crazy Year, is now set for early January.  And I’ve just learned that it’s been selected for review by Publisher’s Weekly.

To get the review, I had to send in two copies of the finished book, and then survive two selection rounds.  Once ready, the review will go up on their website and possibly be included in their weekly magazine as well.  There’s no guarantee that I’ll get a good review, of course.  But the fact that the book did make it through those first two competitive rounds has me feeling hopeful, as does the fact that reader reviews for the Kindle edition were very good overall.  The sci-fi site also gave that edition a thumbs up last year, calling it a “thrilling narrative” and writing some nice words about the huge amount of real-life medical research I put into the novel. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

More Musings about Weird Coincidences and Strange Happenings

Has anything like this ever happened to you?

When I was very young, one night I looked out my bedroom window and saw lights dancing in the night.  I was lying on my back at the time on a bed that had been secured with a safety rail, having just graduated from a crib.  This was before my sister was born, which means that I could only have been about two and a half years old.  The lights were flying back and forth in front of my window, as naturally as a fish might swim in an aquarium.  I looked more closely.  Some of the lights had faces.  One of them was quite ugly, like the visage of an old Halloween-style witch or hag.  Even so, I didn’t feel frightened, just enchanted.  But I wanted to tell my mommy about it.  So I crawled out of bed, went into my parents’ bedroom, and climbed into bed with them.  Motioning with my hands, I tried to describe what I had seen.  Mom didn’t understand what I was attempting to say, or even that I was trying to say anything.  Hugging me close, she told me to go to sleep.  I lay staring out the window for some time before finally drifting off.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Attack of the Cybercats III

The problem is worse than I thought.

I have now delved back more than 30 years into my photo archive.  Applying the special filters I discovered a few weeks ago to bring out details not visible to the naked eye, I’ve discovered more instances of cats appearing to have strange and mystical mind-bending powers over humans.  In fact, I’m starting to wonder whether all cats have this ability.  The alternative is to believe that my family in particular has somehow been targeted.  

Below is the latest photographic evidence.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hollywood files for idea bankruptcy

Court action leaves several productions in limbo

Dispatches from the Future
June 7, 2020

LOS ANGELES (Gloomberg News) – Attorneys representing 27 Hollywood studios and independent movie production companies sought protection Monday in United States Idea Bankruptcy Court.  The action, filed under Chapter 13 of the U.S. Idea Bankruptcy Code, allows the studios to seek reorganization for their ideas. 

The law is designed to allow artists, writers, and producers to continue their projects under court administration pending the outcome of the case.  However, an attorney for the producers stated that production will stop for now on several motion pictures already underway.

Atty. Gen. Tom Horne: Arizona cannot ignore judge's education order

If Arizona loses its court battles and winds up facing a final judge's order to fork over a lump sum payment of up to $1.7 billion to the state's schools--can the state get away with simply ignoring the order?  In an exclusive interview on this topic with PowerTalk 1210, State Attorney General Tom Horne admits some legislative leaders have run that question by him.  And he further admits this is not the first case in which that question has come up.  Horne's advice:  don't even think about it.  The issue came up last week when former State Senator Frank Antenori, who is an influential leader in the state's Republican Party, raised the possibility that the legislative branch and the governor might choose to simply ignore such an order.  A move like that would not be without national precedent, and would force a constitutional crisis in Arizona.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The immigration truth is out. And now it's time for DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to go.

Now we know some key facts in this summer’s immigration crisis that the government has been keeping from us.  But more than that, now we know whose side the government is on. 

This summer, when a human tidal wave of illegal immigration hit our borders, the government’s response was to wave huge numbers of them right on through.  And officials did it on the honor system, putting mothers with children on planes and buses and instructing them to report to immigration authorities when they reached the U.S. destination of their choice.

This led to what would seem to be a pretty obvious and simple question:  how many migrants got this VIP treatment?  And then later, a second, equally obvious question popped up:  How many did report to immigration authorities as they had agreed to do?

Domestic abuse: What is an employer's responsibility?

When Ray Rice swung on his soon-to-be-wife, he did more than punch her unconscious.  He got the nation talking about domestic violence again.  The NFL was shocked to discover the public expected it to set a leadership example.  The league came under withering criticism for not doing enough to investigate what Rice had done and to administer the appropriate discipline.  This raises a question:  exactly what role should employers play in setting expectations for their workers?  Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, the CEO of Tucson's Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, joined me to discuss this question.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Education funding: Might Arizona simply ignore a judge's order?

What if a judge were to order Arizona to provide money it doesn't have for public education?  Might the state simply ignore the order?  Former state senator Frank Antenori of Tucson, an influential voice in the state's Republican party, says that's one possibility.  Antenori tells PowerTalk 1210 that such an order could force a state constitutional crisis with a wide range of dire consequences.

At issue:  Educators are demanding up to $1.7 billion in payments.  A judge has already found that the state must pay $317 million immediately for having failed since 2010 to increase the state education budget by at least 2% a year as mandated by a voter-approved initiative.  State educators have offered to settle at that amount now and give up their demand for another 1.3 billion in "back pay." 

Below is an interview with Sen. Antenori as heard on PowerTalk 1210's Forrest Carr show in which he discusses these and other educational funding possibilities and challenges.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Immigration bureaucrats do not understand the word "undocumented"

No, I am not making this up.  It’s official.  I have the government email in my hands.

Ever since a new wave of illegal immigration began washing up at our country’s southern border this summer—which happened right about the time I joined southern Arizona’s PowerTalk 1210—reporters have been trying to get more information about it.  I don’t know whether other journalists have given up, but I haven’t.  In wrestling with the government on this info quest, I have found the task to be a bit like trying to deal with an aloof and distant parent who’s just a little bit miffed at you.  Or maybe more than a little bit. 

Strike that—as annoyed as my late mother sometimes got at me, she never at any point invited me to call and email her, and then refused to answer the calls or emails.

My Great Cigarette Rebellion

How my mother’s simple request to run an errand changed my life.

My doctor doesn’t believe I’ve never smoked.

In January I was diagnosed with a relatively rare form of kidney cancer—Transitional Cell Carcinoma, which had begun in the kidney and then descended into the bladder.  Thankfully, it had only just arrived in the latter when we caught it, otherwise I’d be of considerably less use to myself right now.   But the left kidney had to come out.

Right after delivering the news, my doctor—who is world renowned in his field—asked whether I smoked.  I assured him I didn’t.  Then he wanted to know when I’d quit.  I told him the stone cold truth:  I’ve never puffed a cigarette in my life.  An eyebrow went up.  He didn’t quite say, “Uh, huh.”  But I could tell he wanted to.  He went on to explain that the disease I had was considered a smoker’s cancer.  Kidney cancers are not particularly unusual, he told me, but my particular type is.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Confessions of a TV News Director: The Outrage Industry

How the news business is manipulating your emotions for fun and profit.

In the 1976 film Network, the great American writer Paddy Chayefsky created one of his most memorable characters:  Howard Beale, a network news anchor who went a little bit balmy one day, lapsed into an angry, out-of-control rant, and urged his audience to open their windows and shout with him, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

This was back when network news operations were very staid and formal, if not stodgy.  It’s said that the movie really torqued off a lot of the real-life news executives of the day.  Some critics now label Chayefsky’s vision as “prescient.”  And maybe it was.  But if so, he wasn’t predicting the next decade, he was predicting the next week.  Not even Chayefsky foresaw the outrage industry as it exists today.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Okay, DHS: Let’s do narrow

The Department of Homeland Security rejected my request for still-secret information on this summer’s immigration crisis as being “too broad.”  Fine.  We can address that.

When I filed my FOIA request one month ago on behalf of PowerTalk 1210 for information about this summer’s immigration crisis, I didn’t for one second expect it to be successful.  By stonewalling reporters at press conferences, the government had already signaled its degree of willingness to answer questions about how many migrants it had put on buses, how much money it had spent on plane rides for them, how many illegal immigrants actually did check in with immigration authorities at their final destination as instructed, and so on. 

Further, DHS put its attitude toward the media on its sleeve when it established a press office with a secret phone number, telling reporters to hit the keyboard, not the phone, with their questions.  (I’m channeling Bill Lumbergh, the suspender-wearing, coffee-sipping exec in the movie Office Space, here:  “Yeah....  Just go ahead and contact us by email.  That would be terrific.  Okay?”)

The Congressional hearing on the VA scandal

We spent the entire (shortened) show on Thursday (9/18/14) digging into the Congressional hearing on the VA scandal.  Here's the discussion, minus commercials.   (Hearing audio is courtesy of CSPAN.)

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Department of Homeland Security to PowerTalk 1210: “This is not a denial”

You gotta love government bureaucrats.  Who else could figure out how to keep you in the dark while denying they’re doing so?

If the government had had its way, chances are you would never have known about the wave of illegal immigrants that began flooding across our borders this summer.  The Border Patrol made no announcement.  Neither did its umbrella agency, the Department of Homeland Security.  They simply began dropping off single immigrant mothers with children at bus stops—including Tucson’s Greyhound station.  They didn’t bother to notify local agencies, much less alert the media or the public at large.  We only found out because alert reporters glommed onto the fact that agents were dumping off the immigrants without food or water.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sue the Bastards

In this installment:  a jilted lover gets fired, a girl finds out her brother receives a bigger allowance, and a prison inmate wants his credits back.

Dear STB:
For about a year, I dated my supervisor at work.  I’m single and he’s married with two kids, but he promised me he would leave his wife.  I finally realized it was never going to happen and dumped him three months ago.  Since that time, he has been very formal with me at work, but I can’t honestly say he’s treated me unfairly.  In fact, he’s shown me nothing but courtesy and professionalism.  Still, the breakup has been very hard on me, and I’ve been missing a lot of work due to depression.   He has not been sympathetic to me on this.   Last month he wrote me up for what he calls “Mondayitis and Fridayitis,” which was his way of saying that I call in sick a lot on Mondays and Fridays.  But after the warning, my depression only got worse, and so did my attendance.  Last week he fired me.  Can I sue?
--Terminated in Tallahassee

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Will America let an innocent U.S. Marine languish in a Mexican prison? We have so far.

You can make a difference.  If you care to do so.

At first I didn’t pay much attention to the case of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.  And I’m guessing I was like a lot of people in that regard.  I’d heard that he’d been jailed after showing up at a Mexican border checkpoint with three guns in his truck.  I knew that anyone who drives anywhere near the border sees signs warning you not to do that.  I thought, “What a chump,” and dismissed it from my mind.

But late last month a Facebook posting made me sit up and pay attention.  A journalist friend of mine for whom I have a great deal of respect was calling for a boycott of Mexico.  The friend is a retired TV anchor named Wes Sarginson who has decades of experience.  I knew him to be an honorable man, a capable journalist, and a patriot.  If Wes was calling for something as extreme as a boycott, something was up.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Breaking News: Obamacare death panel kills its first patient!

Test your IQ!  Test your gullibility quotient!  Fast, reliable results!  No charge!  Confidentiality guaranteed!

As of this writing, a web site called ""  has posted a story claiming that an Obamacare "Death Panel" has ordered its first patient put to death.  Could that possibly be true?

Well.  Let's examine that, shall we?

This site came to my attention through a friend of mine who was commenting on an unrelated posting she'd somehow found there.   I checked and discovered the posting she was writing about to be utter lying crap (it was a patently false claim that NBC News was reporting that Obamacare would require us all to get microchips by 2017).  That done, I then spotted this headline on the site for a different story:

Constitutional Shield Sought for Hurt Feelings

Measure would provide new rights to offended Americans

Dispatch from the Future
September 24, 2015

WASHINGTON (Gloomberg News) –  U.S. Rep. Dave Caloraire (D-New York) announced Wednesday that he will propose an amendment to the Constitution putting new legal tools into the hands of offended Americans.  The announcement drew immediate cries of alarm from free speech advocates, who vowed to defeat the measure.

In unveiling the proposal, Caloraire said, “For nearly two and a half centuries, Americans who’ve been forced to hear offensive speech have had no choices other than to sit and suffer through it.  It’s time for that to change.”

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Bashful Bloviator radio show is changing times!

Starting Monday, September 1, "The Forrest Carr" show - a.k.a "The Bashful Bloviator" is changing to a different time slot.  My show can be heard from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Tucson time Monday through Friday on Tucson's PowerTalk 1210 AM.

This slot is known as "afternoon drive" in the radio biz, and that's a big deal in this industry.  It's a great opportunity for me, and I'm pleased and proud at the confidence my boss is showing in what I've been doing so far and at how listeners have been reacting to it.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Breaking News: White House responds to Tahmooressi petition

The good news is, the White House, which promises to answer petitions once they reach 100,000, finally responded to this one, now that it's north of 134,000.  The bad news is that, as expected, the president dismissed the request stated in the petition - specifically, that he demand the release of our Marine.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is the U.S. Marine who's now in his 152nd day of captivity in a Mexican jail. He was arrested after taking a wrong turn at the border.  The man had his entire life's possessions with him because he was moving cross country.  Among those were three guns, which are illegal in Mexico.  So far the U.S. government has been content to let him languish in jail on a matter that should have taken no more than 15 minutes to resolve.

Below is the White House response, presented verbatim and sent to me by email this afternoon as a petition signer.  The bottom line is summarized in this dismissive statement from the White House:  "We continue to urge the Mexican authorities to process this case expeditiously."  This is of very cold comfort given that the "process" is to hold those charged with gun possession accountable even if the "violation" is completely unintentional and accidental.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Heinlein experience

It didn’t mean anything to anyone else.  But it rocked my world.

I want to tell you about something that won’t mean much to you or anyone else, but it knocked me off my feet.  I’m sharing it here in the belief that if it’s so important to me, then maybe my friends, blog readers and radio listeners might also find it interesting.

As all of my close friends know, throughout my life I have only had a few idols.  The biggest one is Robert A. Heinlein.  Many consider him to be the most important American science fiction author of all time.  I also like the other two of the “Big Three”—Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke—and have been reading them since I was a boy.  But for me Heinlein is the undisputed master.   He’s more than just a writer.   His book Space Cadet was the first novel I ever read.  It fired up my young imagination in a major way, and put me on the path for a lifelong love of sci-fi, space exploration, and scientific progress.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jerry Lee Lewis & My Mama

According to family legend, rock 'n' roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis once placed a call to my mother.  It didn't go as anyone expected.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In Praise of Stupid Criminals

They’re not only entertaining, they create jobs

If you spend any time at all in the news business, you begin to collect a list of favorite stories.  It’s a cinch that some of them will fall into the category of “stoopid criminals.”

Really, it’s no surprise that some street thugs might, on occasion, show less than stellar judgment, or display organizational and planning skills that fall short of greatness.  After all, rare is the criminal who got into that line of work because he’d grown bored with his job as a rocket scientist.  A low IQ combined with a high desire to prey on others is a formula guaranteed to result in news coverage sooner or later.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Demand our Marine back. Boycott Mexico!

U.S. Marine reserve Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has been languishing in a Mexican prison since March for the apparent crime of having made a wrong turn.  The sergeant says he was on his way to meet friends in San Ysidro when he missed an exit and wound up at a Mexican border checkpoint.  Because Sgt. Tahmooressi was in the process of moving cross-country, he had all of his earthly possessions with him in his vehicle—and among those were three legally-obtained military-style firearms.