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 . . .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Now What?

Like most Americans I am completely baffled as to what awaits our nation now that healthcare legislation has been passed. I am not someone who supports bureaucracies, whether they be in the form of governments, corporations, or even religions. Bureaucracies are bloated institutions that inevitably collapse under their own weight. Bureaucrats exist only to obfuscate their group's responsibility to the public. So, not surprisingly, my initial reaction to a universal healthcare bill was one of skepticism, regardless of its contents.

Yet, there is no denying that healthcare needs fixing.

Healthcare costs are outrageous. Providers increasingly demand higher deductibles from their members while simultaneously reducing the number of tests they will approve. Republicans are either clueless or lying when they imply that many Americans who are without health insurance can afford to pay for it, but choose not to. That may hold true for the country club cronies of Republicans, but everyone I know who is without coverage lacks it because of financial shortage. They have had to make the choice between paying their mortgage/rent or paying a monthly premium for health coverage.

For the past 20-30 years Americans have urged that something be done about healthcare costs. Is this healthcare legislation the "something" that is needed? Maybe, but there are some concerns I have about it. Below are a few examples:

  • House Ways and Means Republicans "estimate the IRS will need nearly 17,000 new employees to meet its new responsibilities under health reform." 17,000? For what? Is this Pres Obama's idea of job creation? What is in this legislation that requires the IRS to become an even greater behemoth? And for those who argue that the 17,000 estimate is an exaggeration, why were the Democrats virtually silent in responding to it?
  • Democrat Rep John Dingell was quoted during a radio interview yesterday stating, "It takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people." Control the people? What does that mean? For those of us who believe that Democrats like Pres Obama and Nancy Pelosi increase government entitlement programs for the purpose of deepening the American public's dependence on government, this is a Freudian slip.
  • The nation's economy is already in shambles with unemployment hovering around 10%. (And if you add those who are underemployed, those whose unemployment benefits have expired, and those who have given up looking for work, the number is closer to 22%) If companies are forced to provide health insurance for their workers or pay fines, what are the chances of these companies hiring new employees anytime soon? If anything, these new regulations may cause unemployment to rise. Can our economy continue to withstand high, and maybe even higher, unemployment?

So I say again. Now what?

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The "Smoke of Satan" Finally Revealed?

Ever since Pope Paul VI uttered his famous words on June 29, 1972 that "the smoke of Satan had entered through a crack in the Church", Catholics worldwide have wondered what part of the Mystical Body of Christ the former pontiff was referring to. Most believe he was criticizing Vatican II, a reasonable deduction considering the problems surrounding the council and its implementation, such as the alleged discovery that Archbishop Annibale Bugnini (Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship) was a closet Freemason; and the allowance of Protestant observers to participate in discussions about the formation of the Novus Ordo Mass. However, in a new translation published in The American Catholic, Father Stephanos Pedrano asserts that the "smoke" Pope Paul VI was referring to was actually scientism. (Scientism is defined as the belief that the assumptions, methods of research, etc., of the physical and biological sciences are equally appropriate and essential to all other disciplines, including the humanities and the social sciences.)

Pope Paul VI was not anti-science, but he was frightened about the insidious influence of science over all aspects of people's lives. As SpiritDaily.com explains it, the pope was worried that " the Church was succumbing to modern notions of 'research' and 'objectivity,' which, instead of accenting the genius of God, sought to cast doubt at every turn and negate the very roots of Christianity: mysticism and supernaturality." According to Father Pedrano's summary, among the branches of science that Pope Paul VI most distrusted is modern psychology. He believed that psychology sought to discard spirituality. "There is no longer trust in the Church. They trust the first profane prophet who speaks in some journal or some social movement, and they run after him and ask him if he has a formula for true life."

Pope Paul VI also added, "Science exists to give us truths that do not separate us from God, but make us seek Him all the more and celebrate Him with greater intensity. Instead, science gives us criticism and doubt. Scientists are those who more thoughtfully and painfully exert their minds. But they end up teaching us: 'I don't know; we don't know; we cannot know.' The school becomes the gymnasium of confusion and sometimes absurd contradictions."

It is difficult to argue with Pope Paul VI about the dangers of scientism. Many great things have been accomplished through science, such as vaccines and the cures of many diseases, but like anything else scientific knowledge can be abused, or even worse, worshiped as a god unto itself. Science for science sake and its resulting disregard for human life can be found in abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and the secret testing of human subjects. And let's not forget the damage being caused to ourselves and the environment through pesticides, additives, and preservatives.

The former pontiff's words are growing more relevant with each passing day.

Need a PR Specialist? Perhaps my 13 years of PR experience can satisfy those needs. I have publicized world champions such as Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, and mega-events like Lewis-Tyson and De la Hoya-Vargas. Contact Donald Tremblay (The Rain Maker) at 718-664-3405 or at dtremblay@earthlink.net. For more info about me visit my
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Thursday, March 11, 2010


If you want to see the future of our country should Congress pass universal healthcare legislation, look no further than the bill introduced by Brooklyn, NY state assemblyman Felix Ortiz. According to the NY Daily News, Ortiz has proposed legislation "that would ban the use of salt in New York restaurants - and violators would be smacked with a $1,000 fine for every salty dish." It would be easy to dismiss Mr. Ortiz as an idiot since at face value this proposal is even dumber than Mayor Bloomberg's trans-fat ban, but the Brooklyn Democrat is not stupid. In fact, his proposal is part of an overall strategy designed to increasingly encroach on the personal lives of Americans.

Politicians crave power and believe they are entitled to it. (Money is a corollary of this power) They view the masses with disdain, as little more than automatons that must be properly programmed. The greatest weapon government possesses to force this programming is money. Make Americans more dependent on government money and the more you will be able to bend their wills and their actions. This is the true motivation of universal "anything" proposed by the government.

There is no doubt that our healthcare system needs fixing. It is inexcusable that many American adults cannot afford basic healthcare. The problem is that should Congress pass a universal healthcare plan, the government will have even greater say over how we live our lives. Think I am being paranoid? Here is Rep Ortiz's justification for his salt bill: "It's time for us to take a giant step. We need to talk about two ingredients of salt: health care costs and deaths."

Bingo. Healthcare costs. In other words, if "we" foot the bill, "we" decide what you can and cannot do.

How long will it be before government bans sugar because of its role in obesity, heart disease, and diabetes? And alcohol? Get rid of it. It damages the liver and can be addicting. The actions Big Brother can prohibit under the guise of safety are endless. And as long as "he" is paying, what recourse will we have?

Need a PR Specialist? Perhaps my 13 years of PR experience can satisfy those needs. I have publicized world champions such as Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, and mega-events like Lewis-Tyson and De la Hoya-Vargas. Contact Donald Tremblay (The Rain Maker) at 718-664-3405 or at dtremblay@earthlink.net. For more info about me visit my
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Free Love Not So Free

Since our pre-teen years we have been taught that it is wrong to "sleep around". We are admonished about the immorality of treating another human being purely as a sexual object. We are confronted with dire warnings of unwanted pregnancies and sexual diseases, some of which are potentially fatal. Yet, most people ignore these "free love" criticisms. The ethical prohibitions are brushed aside as arbitrary and subjective. The threats of pregnancy and disease are circumvented through birth control devices, such as condoms.

But what if free love wasn't so free? What if science was to discover that sexual "freedom" is capable of altering our brain's hardware with respect to emotions?

In his recently released book Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children, Dr. Joe McIlhaney of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health in Austin, TX, argues that recent studies suggest sleeping around when you are younger can ruin the happiness of your marriage years later.

"'When women are skin-to-skin with a man, their brain secretes oxytocin that causes them to bond emotionally to that man. Men secrete a hormone called vasopressin when they're having that kind of intimate behavior. And that hormone has even been called 'monogamy hormone' for men. And it bonds them to the woman,' McIlhaney explained."

So powerful is this oxytocin says McIlhaney that just a "20-second hug can cause a female to become bonded to a male."

Sexual promiscuity is a problem because it rips away at that bonding until eventually the oxytocin and vasopressin are ineffective at forming the bond. McIlhaney compares it to the constant tearing apart of velcro. Constantly pull apart velcro and eventually it will cease to adhere. "The brain actually gets molded to not accept that deep emotional level that's so important for marriage."

Fascinating . . . and disturbing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Celebrity Boxing: Naomi, Bunning, and Rangel

I have never been a fan of celebrity boxing, but I would like to make an exception in this one case. I suggest a 10 round bout with no head gear or extra-padded gloves between runway lunatic Naomi Campbell and Kentucky Senator Jim “Let Them Eat Cake” Bunning. The winner of the bout would face Congress’ latest political leper, House Representative Charles “What, Me Worry?” Rangel. And since the champion should win some sort of award, I recommend a trophy--one in the shape of a burro’s back-end.

Campbell, who obviously fancies herself the reincarnation of Cleopatra, believes it is her divine right to haul-off and belt her minions at the slightest provocation. Her alleged attack against her limo driver a few days ago is hardly her only brush with the law. In 1998 Campbell plead guilty to assaulting a personal assistant with a telephone and of threatening to throw the woman out of a moving car. (Campbell was later sued by another personal assistant who accepted an out-of-court settlement) Evidently unhappy with the limited damage caused by the phone, Campbell upgraded to a BlackBerry and beat her housekeeper with it in 2006. Photos were shown of the blood-drenched shirt collar the victim wore during the attack. Campbell plead guilty to the charge. And perhaps her finest assault happened at Heathrow Airport in 2008 when she was arrested for accosting two police officers. She plead guilty to that charge as well. I have a feeling that when Sean Connery made his ill-advised comment that “I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong in hitting a woman,” he had Naomi Campbell in mind.

It’s unfortunate for Republican Senator Jim Bunning that he is a former baseball player and not a former boxer. At least if he was a fighter he could blame some of his more bone-headed comments and decisions on having received too many punches to the head. In 2004 during the gubernatorial campaign he made the brilliant observation that his Democratic opponent, Daniel Mongiardo, “looked like one of Saddam Hussein’s sons”. Callous? Sure. But not as callous as when he predicted that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a pancreatic cancer victim, would be dead by the end of the year. Well, the blowhard Kentucky senator outdid himself this time, graduating from making asinine comments to making asinine decisions. On Friday, Feb 26 Bunning refused to sign-off on a $10 billion extension of emergency federal programs, including unemployment insurance benefits, citing the extension as an example of poor fiscal discipline. It did not matter to Bunning that unemployment benefits are the only safety net protecting many Americans from declaring personal bankruptcy. When confronted about the damage he would cause to Americans by objecting to the benefit’s extension, Bunning reportedly replied, “tough shit”. Although Bunning relented yesterday, clearing the path for unemployment to be extended for another 30 days, he should be verbally tarred and feathered for his stupidity.

So slick is Democrat Charlie Rangel that it must be difficult to stand next to him without falling down. He’s the kind of guy who can convince you that the sun is shining brightly even as you stand under an umbrella in the middle of a thunderstorm. Today Rangel announced that he will temporarily step down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, citing the ethics investigation into his actions as a distraction for fellow-Democrats who are up for re-election. Republicans have been after Rangel since last year “when the House ethics panel expanded its investigation into his trips, assets and income, use of rent-controlled apartments in New York and his solicitation of contributions for university center to be named after him.” Even Democrats began calling for the 20-term Harlem representative with the Cheshire Cat smile to step down following the ethics committee’s ruling on Friday that “Rangel violated standards of conduct by accepting 2007 and 2008 trips to Caribbean conferences that were financed by corporations.” Although the committee could not prove that Rangel knew of the corporate payments, it was satisfied that his staffers knew about it. And to put it simply: You are responsible for those who work for you.

So now we have our three participants for the Celebrity Boxing event. If we need more than three competitors, there are plenty of others to be found among our news and gossip pages.

I hope I receive some royalty checks if this event ever happens.

I better talk to Charlie.
Need a PR Specialist? Perhaps my 13 years of PR experience can satisfy those needs. I have publicized world champions such as Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, and mega-events like Lewis-Tyson and De la Hoya-Vargas. Contact Donald Tremblay (The Rain Maker) at 718-664-3405 or at dtremblay@earthlink.net. For more info about me visit my LinkedIn Profile.