A Current Events Commentary Blog from a Public Relations/Marketing Perspective.
Donald Tremblay, a PR/Marketing specialist who has been “making it rain” for over a decade reviews today’s news, sports, entertainment, etc . . .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

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In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus 2 that the whole world should be enrolled.
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This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
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So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
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And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
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to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
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While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
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and she gave birth to her firstborn son. 3 She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
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4 Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.
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The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.
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The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
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5 For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
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And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."
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And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
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6 "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
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When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
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So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
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When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
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All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
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And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
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Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

(Luke 2: 1-20)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just What Is In This Bill?

I don’t know whether it is a good thing or not if President Obama’s healthcare bill clears Congress. As a general rule I am against government intervention because the more bureaucratic something becomes, the less efficiently it is run. Yet, it is clear that healthcare costs in our nation are outrageous and have become unaffordable for most people. Something must be done. But what concerns and confuses me most is not receiving straight answers from either party about what is actually in the healthcare bill.

House Republican Leader John Boehner’s website alleges that “Sen. Reid’s Government-Run Health Plan STILL Requires a Monthly Abortion Fee.” Some Dems argue otherwise. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would rather toss hyperbole than give specifics about the bill, insisting that “on average, an American dies from lack of health insurance every 10 minutes.” Not to be outdone in the hyperbole department, Republicans insist the healthcare bill contains “death panels” that will decide when people have lived long enough. But clearly the award for most outlandish and least informative piece of hyperbole goes to Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who labeled Republican supporters as “the birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups.” He then added that “it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist.”

Uh, thank you, Senator.

Hyperbole is the norm when it comes to PR and marketing, and it is found in even greater amounts in our capitol. Yet, it doesn’t explain the Democrats’ covertness about the contents of their bill. If I were completing legislation that would solve our nation’s healthcare problems, I would be imitating British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain when he waved the Munich Pact and declared it would be “peace for out time”. Perhaps the Dems are not blowing their own horns because there are things in this bill that Americans will find objectionable. After all, why the need for stealth? Why hold a procedural vote in the wee hours of a Monday morning following a record-breaking snow storm in Washington, DC?

Perhaps just as the Munich Pact failed to deliver peace, this healthcare bill will fail to deliver acceptable healthcare reform.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

M.T.A. - More Thievery Again

M.T.A. officials should be publicly flogged.

How can a corporation that holds a virtual monopoly over NYC’s transportation system constantly find itself in debt? Every few years the subway and bus fares rise, the bridge and tunnel tolls jump, and yet the M.T.A. cries poverty. These M.T.A. officials are either the most corrupt individuals this side of Tammany Hall, or they are the most incompetent.

And while these executives continue to rake in six-figure salaries, the average NY-er will be inconvenienced by fewer subway and bus lines, and poorer service—all while knowing that a potential fare hike is always lurking in the background. And let’s not forget the royal screwing being inflicted on NY families. Our esteemed Gov Patterson, along with NY state senators and assemblymen, slashed Albany’s payments to the M.T.A. for the "the costs of the reduced fare for school children program." Albany was giving $45 million but now will only give $6 million. The M.T.A. board responded by voting to eliminate the free subway and bus passes for students.

Have we reached the tipping point, the moment when the “Powers-That-Be” understand nothing short of civil disobedience? Do NY-ers in mass numbers have to jump subway turnstiles without paying and drive through toll booths without stopping for our elected officials to take notice?

Perhaps the M.T.A. , our governor, and the usual suspects who inhabit Albany would respond differently if their personal bank accounts were raided to solve the M.T.A.’s perpetual financial deficits?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ozone Man Returns

Al Gore, infamously referred to as Ozone Man by former President George Bush, Sr., has raised eyebrows in Copenhagen with his latest doomsday prediction that “there is a 75 per cent chance of the entire polar ice cap melting during the summertime by 2014.”

That’s right. Even though 10% of the world’s land mass is covered in glaciers and some places like Greenland have ice that is two miles thick, all of it will be gone in four years. Finit. Kaput.

That’s quite an attention grabber, isn’t it?

Unfortunately for Gore one of the people most surprised by his prediction is the scientist whose data the former vice president is using to defend his ridiculous claim.

LOL. You can’t write fiction this funny.

Dr Maslowski, of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, stated, “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at.” He then added, ““I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.” Professor Jim Overland, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oceanographer, remarked: “This is an exaggeration that opens the science up to criticism from sceptics.”

Gore needs some serious PR assistance. Do environmentalists honestly believe that their cause is helped by silly comments like Gore’s? If they truly believe that the ecological changes we are witnessing are the result of humanity’s actions, then they should follow Professor Overland’s suggestion: “You really don’t need to exaggerate the changes in the Arctic.”

Perhaps Gore is panicking because of the amount of money he has riding on his ability to convince the world that the sky is falling. Maybe he is nervous because of the “Climategate” e-mail scandal.

Or Gore might simply be following the advice of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

One

Over the past few years, but particularly since our global economic depression, we have heard increased warnings about secret plans to create a New World Order—a term often considered code for One World Government. Even international government officials have referenced it during interviews, such as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown declaring on Jan 25, 2009, that the financial recession should be welcomed as the "difficult birth-pangs of a new global order". Two months ago Lord Christopher Monckton, former science advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was quoted criticizing the Copenhagen Treaty: “I read that treaty. And what it says is this: that a world government is going to be created. The word ‘government’ actually appears as the first of three purposes of the new entity.” He then added, “They are about to impose a communist world government on the world. You have a president who has very strong sympathies with that point of view. He’s going to sign it.” Speculation about creating a One-World Currency, the naming of Barack Obama as the first U.S. President to chair the U.N Security Council, and the continued subordination of American troops to United Nations commanders has enflamed Americans’ concerns about a New World Order. But despite all the discussions and arguments, there is one important element of New World Order theory that most people are unaware of: the creation of One World Religion.

The New Age movement has been among the strongest supporters of a New World Order. Constance Cumbey reports the following in her bestseller, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow: The New Age Movement and Our Coming Age of Barbarism: “Another thing I noticed was that the New Age books containing this exotic new theology had a vocabulary very similar to the books calling for the New World Order.” (p 28) Central to New Age belief is the idea that Man is God and that we can save ourselves. It is a modern form of Gnosticism. Man has no need to worship gods because we have access to the “Christ consciousness”. This esoteric teaching argues that Christ is not a person, but an office. In other words, Jesus was not the Christ. He was merely someone who had the Christ consciousness descend upon him. And just as Jesus received this office, so can anyone else provided he/she becomes enlightened. Enter Maitreya.

New Agers believe that shortly the world will be introduced to the Maitreya, who according to Cumbey is supposed to be “the fifth reincarnation of Buddha”. (p 19) Maitreya is the ultimate teacher, above all others including Jesus, Moses, Mohamed, etc . . ., and he is to free the divinity within Man and carry us from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius, which many believe has already begun or will begin in 2012.

What does all this have to do with current events?

Last week a spiral of lights appeared over Norway on the eve of Pres Obama’s arrival in Oslo to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. At first the Russians denied knowing anything about the cause of the lights, but then confessed that it was an intercontinental missile test that went awry.

A missile test?

Regardless of whether the Russians are telling the truth, when I first saw the photos and realized where it happened and when, I was reminded of the following words from Cumbey’s book: “I have learned that the [New Age] Movement has devoted a great deal of research and attention to the use of holographic images.” (p 24) Cumbey even quotes New Age guru David Spangler as saying that “laser beam projectors had been installed for use on top of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine Episcopal, in New York City. “ (p 24) Keep in mind that Cumbey’s book was written in 1983. Consider how technology has advanced in the past 26 years and what science is now capable of.

Why does it matter?

Share International is a group that defines itself as a “worldwide network of individuals and groups whose purpose is to make known the fact that Maitreya the World Teacher for the coming age and his group, the Masters of Wisdom, are now among us, emerging into the public arena gradually, so as not to infringe human free will.” Not long ago they posted the following on their website: “In the very near future a large, bright 'star' will appear in the sky visible to all throughout the world”. Now the spiral of lights has been added to the site as proof of their prophecy.

If there is a connection between the New Age movement and the New World Order, and I believe there is, we will begin to see increased celestial phenomena as part of a heightened PR and marketing effort on the part of those pushing the One World Government/One World Religion agenda. Smoke-and-mirrors will become common. Don’t be fooled.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tennessee Waltz

What the heck is going on in our schools?!

Today’s New York Daily News features a front-page story about two James Madison High School teachers who were allegedly “caught ‘undressed’ in an empty classroom”. While their students watched a talent show in the auditorium, the two women—that’s right, two women—allegedly performed their own talent show . . . that is until the janitor reportedly walked in on them.

Not to be outdone, the New York Times today reports that “the N.C.A.A. is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the University of Tennessee’s football recruiting practices.” The investigation apparently focuses on Tennessee’s recruiting hostesses—female students who “encourage” high schools seniors, especially sought-after athletes, to enroll at the Knoxville university. The Times mentions one example in which “hostesses traveled nearly 200 miles to attend a high school game in South Carolina in which at least three Tennessee recruits were playing.” The university has refused to comment on the investigation. Some claim that the hostesses are acting on their own without the sanction of the university. That’s possible. But it seems unlikely that these young women would go to the measures mentioned in the article without receiving encouragement from somewhere. Could someone in the university’s administration be “pimping out” these girls to lure big time sports recruits? Are these hostesses teaching recruits a modern version of the Tennessee Waltz?

With stories like these it’s no wonder more people want to home school their children.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hypocrisy

You have to love hypocrisy, especially when it is exhibited by politicians. Whether it is a senator preaching family values while having a mistress and a secret family, or a House Rep preaching fiscal restraint to the nation as he floods his constituents with pork projects. The arrogance of these men and women, and their sense of entitlement, is truly staggering. The latest example is the upcoming global climate summit in Copenhagen.

We have been hounded repeatedly over the past few years about the connection between Man’s carbon emissions and global warming. We have been warned that the abuse of natural resources by western civilization is destroying our planet and setting the stage for an ecological disaster of biblical proportions. Frightening stuff, but apparently not frightening enough for the government delegates attending the Copenhagen climate summit.

According to the British daily The Telegraph, there have been over 1,200 limos and over 140 private jets reserved for those attending the “climate” summit. The newspaper predicts that the climate conference “will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.”

LOL. Even Jonathan Swift couldn’t create irony this self-incriminatory.

So while you and I will soon be encouraged to eschew home heating oil in favor of cow dung, or asked to return to the horse-drawn buggy for transportation, our moral and intellectual superiors in government will continue jet-setting around the globe on “official” business.

But wait. Let’s give a round of applause to the Copenhagen prostitutes who will perform free sex on anyone who has a “climate conference delegate's pass”. At least some people who claim to support global warming theory are willing to put their money, or in this case their bodies, where their mouths are. Are they misguided? Sure.

But at least they are not hypocrites.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Par For The Course

Like many others I am tired of hearing the name Tiger Woods. But since this is a blog about current events from a public relations/marketing perspective, I would be remiss if I didn’t devote one entry to Woods and his predicament.

Tiger Woods is not the first and he will not be the last athlete exposed for infidelity. Professional athletes are surrounded constantly by adoring females who will gladly surrender themselves in exchange for gifts or for notoriety. What is surprising is that any athlete’s wife is shocked when she discovers he has mistresses. Knowing the lifestyle athletes live, how can any woman be na├»ve enough to believe otherwise? As Public Relations Director for the boxing promoter Main Events, I experienced more than a few situations where groupies would attend press conferences or visit gyms to make it known that they were ready, willing, and able to show the fighter a fun evening. Often this was done through a fighter’s entourage. I am not excusing the behavior of athletes. I am merely explaining the reality of their life, especially on the road. The question I am most asked by people is, “Don’t these guys learn?” No, they don’t. And we in society share much of the blame for this.

Professional athletes are usually coddled since childhood. Mistakes and transgressions that would bring consequences for you and I, are often ignored when they involve a young man who can hit a baseball 450 ft or slam-dunk a basketball at the age of 14. These young men learn at a very early age that life is different for them. They are raised with a sense of entitlement and a belief that they cannot be harmed. “Whatever happens will be excused as long as I perform on the court or on the diamond. “ And that arrogance explodes when they reach the professional ranks.

I can’t help but believe that this arrogance is in large measure responsible for the mess that Tiger Woods finds himself in. Instead of coming clean when the rumors began and acknowledging that he was having marital problems, he felt he could ignore the problem. Was it because he thought interest in his personal life would fade over time if unaddressed? Or was it because he believes that he is beyond reproach from the masses? I have never met Tiger Woods, but I do know publicists and media who have dealt with him. Across the board they all had unflattering things to say about him. Nasty and arrogant are two of the printable words they used to describe him. Part of this media feeding frenzy may be “payback” for his hubris.

A little humility goes a long way in this world. People love “mea culpas” and if Tiger had stepped forward earlier he would have received more mercy and respect from the public and the media. As I mentioned in my sports blog the other day, I am reminded of Ralph Kramden’s warning: “Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you are going to meet the same people on the way down” . . .