Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“The Worst Experience of His Life”

The mainstream media are not telling you the full story about the current immigration crisis.  Coverage of Tuesday’s immigration hearing provides a dramatic example.

It’s almost impossible for your heart not to go out to some of the kids now caught in our nation’s political tug-of-war over immigration policy.  There’s not one of them who doesn’t have a very sad, touching story to tell.

But even so, don’t believe everything you’re hearing in the mainstream media about the crisis.  You’re not getting the full story.  Coverage—or lack thereof—of Tuesday’s Democratic Progressive Caucus hearing on the current immigration crisis provides a stunning example.  For one thing, even though the event gave us a rare opportunity to hear directly from some of the children themselves, coverage of this hearing has been hard to come by.  And not all of those who did cover it offered the full picture of what went on.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Weird Coincidences and Strange Happenings: Two New Ones

A premonition I wrote about a few weeks ago turns out to have been even more dead-on accurate than I originally thought.

About a month ago I launched the first of several planned postings exploring what may or may not be paranormal phenomena I’ve experienced over the course of my life.   In that posting, I briefly mentioned that I’d recently had yet another dream that had turned out to be prophetic.   The dream was about someone who’d once been a very close friend.  For various reasons, we drifted apart many, many years ago, and I’ve since moved several times.  But I’ve never forgotten about this person.   In the dream, he was going through a major medical crisis.  I inquired and found out that he was, indeed, facing very serious health issues that previously had been unknown to me.

Radio Interview: Democratic Recruitment Day

Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Don Jorgensen joined us in the studio on Monday for "recruitment day."  His mission was to try to persuade me (and other independent voters like me) that now's the time for us to switch our loyalty to the Democratic Party. (The GOP got its crack at it the previous week, and you can find that posting here.)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Celebrating Hollywood's Exciting New Movie Genre: The Vom Com

An unflinching examination of Hollywood's unflinching examination of some things that really should be examined only flinchingly, if at all.  The movie industry has become obsessed with—well, read on.

I have a strict policy about growing older and growing up:  succumb to the former, because it beats the hell out of the alternative, but resist the later.  For that reason, certain forms of juvenile, sophomoric humor still tickle me.  Chief among them is bathroom humor.  I admit it:  there is just something intrinsically funny about certain biological functions going awry.

Every person’s body has at least three major avenues of substance ingress and/or egress.  Sometimes they’re under our full control, and sometimes they’re not.  It’s the egress part that gets you.  Because of long-established tribal taboos, there are only a few socially acceptable places for seeing to such functions, and woe betide the person who has a misfire.  The importance of this is impressed on us from a very early age.  And it takes a long time to get it right (some of us take longer than others).  Early incidents where mistakes were made tend to leave a lasting impression.  Such regrettable episodes, and the embarrassment that comes with them, serve to guide our future behavior and help us fit into the sometimes complicated matrix of human social interaction.  Stacks and stacks of books and research papers have been written about this, starting with Sigmund Freud.

Celebrating Hollywood's new genre: The VomCom (radio version)

Lately Hollywood has become obsessed with -- well, give it a listen.  If you dare.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

A foolproof way to get rid of a telephone solicitor

Listen to what I said when one called me.  Yes, you can do this at home.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

What the Philly doctor shooting says about the media and guns

We now know that the Philadelphia-area nutjob who killed his mental health caseworker probably would have taken out many more victims at the hospital had his psychiatrist not been armed and fought back.   The killer was armed with 39 more rounds than he got a chance to use.  We discussed this at length on my radio show Friday.  Shortly after the story broke, the vast majority of the initial media attention focused not on the shooter and the question of why a mentally unstable man was in possession of a gun, but instead on the doctor, questioning why he was armed.  We broke this coverage down on my show from a journalistic standpoint.  That clip is below.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Radio Interview: GOP Recruitment Day

Pima County GOP Chairman Carolyn Cox joined us in the studio on Thursday for "recruitment day."  Her mission was to try to persuade me (and other independent voters like me) that now's the time for us to switch our loyalty to the Republican Party. (The Dems got their crack at it the following Monday, July 28, and you can find that posting here.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New audio clip: "The TV Newsroom"

July 23, 2014 The Rest of the Story:  "The TV Newsroom."  A TV station in North Carolina did a news story on--well, you have to hear it to believe it.  This little radio play pokes a bit of fun at them while also making a serious point about the sad state of TV news.

The Cobb Family Players are:  Cletus K. Cobb, Darvell Cobb, Hollis Fernbeck, Forrest Carr and Bonnie Kourvelas.

New audio clip: "Big Insanely Profitable Health Co., LLC."

The Rest of the Story:  "Big Insanely Profitable Health Co, LLC."  Okay, it may be a minor thing.  But the casual disrespect that big companies show the little guy can be so aggravating.  Time for a little radio satire in revenge.

The Cobb Family players are:  Cletus K. Cobb, Darvell Cob, Hollis Fernbeck, Forrest Carr and Bonnie Kourvelas.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Dollop of Displeasure: The Medical Bill

I’m not late with my payment.  So why are these people yelling at me?

As a general rule, I pay bills once a week.  That way I can be assured 99% of the time that the payment will get where it needs to go on time, and that I won’t get a nastygram in the mail from a creditor.   The latter still does happen on occasion due to bills getting lost in the mail.   But it’s rare.

As I was going through the joyous stack of little window envelopes this weekend, one bill really stood out.  It was from Labcorp, which does bloodwork and other lab testing.  Next to the address window, in big, red, all-cap letters, were the words, “HEALTHCARE INVOICE.”  And beneath that were the words, in big, bold, black all-cap letters, “OPEN IMMEDIATELY.”

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Department of Homeland Security’s Ingenious Catch-23

It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true:  members of the press can’t call the DHS press office. 

In one of the great pieces of absurdist literature of all time, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 discusses the method by which bomber pilots may claim insanity for the purpose of getting out of a dangerous mission.  The gist of it is that if you’re willing to fly, you’re clearly nuts.  But if you try to get out of the flight—for instance, by claiming insanity—then you’re committing a rational act, and therefore cannot claim to insane.  So either way, you go on the mission.  Bureaucracy wins.

Now, if you were in government, how would you apply this type of absurdist approach to the function of providing news and information to the press and public, in such a way as to ensure that the bureaucracy emerges victorious?  How about creating a press office that the press can’t call?  Yeah, that would work.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Radio Skit: "The Cable Company Phone Call"

There's nothing like having a bit of fun at someone else's expense.

You may have heard that cable company phone call that went viral this week.  I played it on my PowerTalk 1210 radio show on Thursday--as did, I'm guessing, every radio talk show host in America.  In the call, we hear a cable company customer patiently trying to disconnect his service, while a cable company representative digs in his heels and does his absolute best to keep that from happening.

Below in this little radio play (it's after the jump--click the "continue reading" button), is the rest of the story that you haven't heard.  Or maybe not.  But who's to say it couldn't have happened this way?  

Pinal Co. Sheriff Paul Babeu vs. Arizona Daily Star Columnist Tim Steller

Steller says the sheriff inappropriately instigated this week’s immigration protest.  The sheriff fights back.

The main topic dominating discussion on my PowerTalk 1210 program this week has been immigration, and much of the discussion focused on Tuesday’s dueling demonstrations in Oracle.   About 150 activists on both sides of the issue turned out to greet busloads of migrant children that were expected to arrive at the Sycamore Canyon Academy.  The buses were a no-show, but the event turned into a local media circus anyway.

The arrival of the buses was supposed to be a secret—as has been so much of what’s really going on in the current immigration crisis, about which the Department of Homeland Security has provided very little information (look for my blog entry on that subject later today or tomorrow).   Someone tipped off  Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu—he calls the tipsters “whistleblowers”—and the sheriff then alerted the public.   The demonstrations would not have happened otherwise.

Ellis the Zombie Loving Cat

Our cat has a thing for zombie movies.

I mentioned in a previous post a while back that our cat Ellis (by "our" I mean myself and The Bride of the Bloviator) loves zombie movies.  I thought I might share some photographic evidence to show you what I mean.

Monday, July 14, 2014

My First Show!

The Forrest Carr show debuted this morning.

Check it out:  My first selfie!  I call this one, “Old Bald Guy Hogs Radio Microphone.”

This is from this morning’s debut of the Forrest Carr show on Tucson’s PowerTalk 1210 AM.   It went well overall.  I even got in a couple of original comedy sketches, which is one of many things you can expect going forward.  Just like on this blog, we’ll talk serious news and public affairs, but will also detour onto some less well traveled paths, dealing with a range of topics up to and including books, Obamacare, cats, journalism, paranormal psychology, God, evolution, guns, lost civilizations, sci-fi, dreams, and the occasional rat bastard. 

After every show, I will post a page of links to topics that we discussed.  You can find those on the “PowerTalk 1210 story links” page.  The full list of pages is presented down the rail on the upper right corner of this blog.

My assignment this afternoon:  to see if I can get Homeland Security to answer some questions about the current immigration crisis.   Care to take any bets?   Stay tuned!

The show will air from 10 to noon Mountain Standard Time (which this time of year corresponds to Pacific Daylight Time) Monday through Friday, and is streamed here.

Find out more about the journey that led me here and where it’s all going via this blog entry.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Quitting the Day Job: My Journey as an Indie Author

From TV news director to author to blogger and now on to something entirely new:  It's been more than a year since I set out to reinvent myself, and boy has my life changed.  Here's what I've done, what I've learned, and where I'm going next. 

It was a little more than a year ago that I did what they tell you not to do:  I “quit the day job”—which in my case meant leaving a pretty good gig running a TV newsroom—in order to pursue a lifelong dream of writing fiction.  The decision seemed precipitous and a little unwise to some, I'm sure.  But I didn't do it rashly or on a whim; the move was planned.  I had decided long ago, in consultation with my spouse, that when the time was right, and when we had a sufficient financial cushion in place, I would do this at least for a while.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It’s Official: “The Bashful Bloviator” Is Joining Tucson’s PowerTalk 1210

Will Tucson talk radio ever be the same? Of course not.

Uh, oh.  Someone went and did it.  I’ve been handed a microphone.

For the last few weeks I’ve been doing more and more with Tucson’s new AM news/talk station, PowerTalk 1210.  Last week, I soloed three shifts in the early morning 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM slot.  My first love in broadcasting was radio, but I haven’t been on the air on radio or TV on a regular basis since I took myself off to pursue newscast producing and, later, TV newsroom management, so many years ago I’d be embarrassed to tell you.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Importance of Routine Advice

It was something I say every day.  But on this day, it turned out to have special meaning.  And somehow, I knew in advance that it would.

A few days ago my wife and I experienced something that was damned interesting—and it had a very fortunate outcome.  I can’t say for sure whether the incident and then a minor one associated with it later count as premonitions or anything like that.  But nor can I say they don’t.  So I’m placing this blog entry into my “Weird Coincidences and Strange Happenings” series.

It unfolded like this.  My wife Deborah (a.k.a. “Bride of the Bloviator” or BOTB) had decided to go in to the office and do some work on a Saturday.  As she headed out the door, I told her, as I always do, to “drive carefully.”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Immigration Crisis: A Tale of Two Cities

Right now two southwestern cities are feeling the brunt of the immigration crisis.  Their responses could not be more different.

The federal government is sending busloads of illegal immigrants to Tucson.  It’s also sending them to Murietta, California.  The opposite ways in which those two cities have reacted tell you all you need to know about why this country’s immigration enforcement is in a state of collapse.

News coverage tends to gravitate to the most compelling pictures, and those have been out of Murietta.  Two days ago protesters met three busloads of crossers who were on their way to a Border Patrol processing station.  The demonstrators waved American flags and chanted slogans such as “Go back home!” “Deport! Deport!” and “Impeach Obama!” They waved signs reading “Stop Illegal Immigration,” “Illegals Out!” “We Came Here Legally!” “Take Care Of Our Veterans” and so on.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Family that Slays Together Stays Together

Family “honor killings” of Muslim women and couples are all too common

If we close our eyes, count to ten, and wish really, really hard, will the ISIS terrorists now holding swaths of Iraq and Syria simply go away?

A lot of my friends seem to think so.  And recently one scholar put that thought into writing.  As I posted previously, George Bisharat, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, predicted that the ISIS problem will take care of itself.  He wrote an op-ed piece in which he said, “ISIS will ultimately fail not because we bomb it into oblivion, but because Arabs will reject its particularly inhumane and harsh perversion of Islam—a religion that was founded on principles of mercy, justice and equality.”

Even if you believe this to be true, it begs the question:  how soon is “ultimately?”

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Beach Reading

My novel Messages is looking comfortable in its home environment.

When I took my self-awarded sabbatical a year or so ago and started work on my novel Messages, I will confess that one image I had in mind was that of a satisfied customer reading the novel while lounging on a beach.  So imagine my delight when a reader sent me a photograph showing the print version of the novel at home in the very environment I had pictured.

The reader is Lon Tegels.  He’s a fellow TV news director.  I’d seen Lon’s name around but didn’t know him until the novel brought us into contact.  Lon also posted a wonderful 5-star review for Messages on its page, which I've copied lower down.