Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Swine Flu Shots Required

Soon, New York State will require tens of thousands of health care workers there to get a H1N1 Swine Flu shot or lose their job. If there was still any doubt how government run health care will intrude into our lives, this giant wake-up call from New York State should put them all to rest. I remember back in the 1970's when a flawed Swine Flu vaccine cause thousands of people to suffer negative reactions. Now, with only a few short weeks of clinical trials - another swine flu vaccine is about to hit the market. While most states are asking health care workers to get a Swine Flu shot, in New York State - the government is requiring all people that work in the health care field there to get vaccinated or be fired.

It never surprises me that when liberal government makes choices for it's citizens, it always fails. New York State is one of the most liberal states in the country, but even there - mainly unionized health care workers are rebelling against the heavy hand of the New York State government stepping up and telling them that they must get a swine flu shot to continue to be employed in the health care industry. In a way, I am glad that New York State has made the decision to force all health care workers to be vaccinated against Swine Flu, because now all Americans will get a taste of what the U.S. federal government will do when they take over every one's health care.

Most people already know that the U.S. federal government cannot run anything as well as the private sector can do with the proper regulation. However, the people we elect to public office seem to immediately develop an ego complex the minute they take office and that ego complex drives elected officials to mandate various things on the people they were elected to serve. On almost every occasion when a choice must be made as to whether government or private companies should operate a business, I usually come down on the side of small business because the government cannot do anything right after they impose all their politically correct mess on the people.

New York State is reckless in their decision to require all health care workers in the state to be vaccinated against the H1N1 Swine Flu or be fired. Most people use their gut instinct to figure out whether or not it's a good idea to get a flu shot. However, when the federal or state government makes the decision for the people as to whether or not they should get a flu shot - then the very government that should be for the people takes on a different flavor. I hope the health care workers in New York State that do not want to get a Swine Flu shot will not be fired because of their personal choice. However, from previous experience - states that are lead by liberal leaders will usually come down on the side of forced vaccinations - rather than letting the people make their own choices in regards to health care.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do My Eyes Look Yellow to You?

A few days ago, I received a touching email message from a lady by the name of Molly Nesbitt. Molly wrote to me because of the numerous times I have written about pancreatic cancer in this blog. For over four years I have tried to express how my father suffered and then died from pancreatic cancer, but I learned from Molly that she has a better way with words when it comes to writing about the toll pancreatic cancer takes on a family unit than I do. After receiving Molly's email, I wrote back to her and asked if it was OK for me to include her words in an upcoming blog post and fortunately for all of us she said yes. Molly Nesbitt's full email message is posted below and I hope that you find as much comfort as I did in reading about her experiences in dealing with a family member who is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I have titled this blog post "Do My Eyes Look Yellow To You" because Molly hopes to write a book someday about this subject with that title. After reading your email Molly, you certainly should consider writing that book as a guide for future generations. Sadly, everyday - somewhere in the world another family is told that one of their loved ones is dying from pancreatic cancer.

Hi Mark,


I have been reading your articles long enough to know about your own personal story with pancreatic cancer. I have been both waiting to read it and then needed to think about how to just let you know my story.

My husband was 45 when he came home from work one day, jaundiced.... Both our and his employer (NYS) had figured hepatitis. He had never called in sick for work in 15 years and then when he did it was pancreatic cancer. At the time our children were 8, 11 and 14. Les, my husband, was totally into everything sports for those boys... We played hockey and baseball and soccer and basketball and track and even wrestled for a while. He coached or co coached many teams. I had been a stay at home mom for 13 years and had gone back to the kindergarten a year and a half earlier. I had volunteered the entire time and we basically knew everyone in this tiny town. Then the diagnosis, which was given by a technician as a sort of aside and then were had sooo many questions. We knew it was serious because 3 days later we were in the surgeons office....who told us to go home and enjoy the weekend the best we could because everything about our lives was about to change. He had the Whipple. He was so healthy that he had recovered and was walking 3 miles a day even though he had to stay in the hospital because his stomach would not accept food. So for 19 out of 21 days he was NPO....Still no complaints, no self pity.....it was all about the kids.

He went through a clinical trial that was horrible and since proved not to make any sort of difference, daily radiation, weekly 8 hour chemos, a pump attached to one of his veins that dosed him every 10 minutes for 6 weeks on and 2 off, 6 on and 1 off.........I am sure you know every thing that goes with this.

He did go through a rather decent remission....October he went back to work....June he went on vacation and so did the remission. It came back battling him, hurting him, never giving him a break. He was never able to take any more treatments as his body was producing quarts of bile every day, which hung from his body in a bag. the man never missed a soccer game....His first day out of the hospital we went to see our son play hockey.

He had bleed outs that required many transfusions, in and out of the hospital....You know.

He was diagnosed in January, like 24th and died almost 2 years later the 8th of January. He was at home with us....we planted a big old queen sized bed in the kitchen and we ate and watched tv and did all we could do together. Where my strength came from i will never know, I broke down alone, many many times, the shower and the car....But my first public one was at the Dr's office two days before Christmas.... I had gone in to see what i should do, who I should call, during the holiday. He was that far gone and he was in such tremendous pain. He was wearing the fentalyn patch and drinking the oxys etc.... Christmas day was not a good one....we tried sooo hard. The 27th when the home nurse came by, she told me it was time, he needed to be hydrated....and we also knew it was the last thing they would do before the dnr. We went to the little local hospital (he had all his surgeries and treatments at the James Wilmont Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY) they let us move right in with him....the kids had like a media room and had brought their video games. And of course the nurses were all small town too and waited on us hand and foot. Then off to hospice, which I totally think is the way to go. Again, we all moved right in, we were close to my family and people stopped and got the kids to do things....

It was the morphine, freely given and convincing him that he did not need to be here for us anymore.....and the pain....I cannot even imagine....

The best thing about the whole thing was that right before he died, he got better, he looked better and he called out a brothers name who had died 25 years earlier... I saw him leave the room and he was good. He was free......

My oldest son is a Jr. at Alfred University, had been on the Deans List and is a full time starter on their soccer team. My next son is a senior in high school, captain of the soccer team, and my daughter who is now 14 perhaps had the hardest time of all of us.... She really was a Daddy's little girl..... BUT we are survivors FOR him.... We had the time to talk it all out.... the kids knew from day 1 it was going to be a battle. My husband and I put any and all of things we had said and done and disagreed on, all under the bridge....

i could go on and on, i did try writing it down in book formation and had several hundred pages, then of course the laptop crashed.....If i ever do....the title is "Do My Eyes Look Yellow to You?" Which is the first thing he said to me when he got sent home from work.

I hate hearing about people getting the disease, like Patrick Swayze, but I am glad for the attention it brings....i get several Google alerts a day for pancreatic cancer and have children registered with John Hopkins....i worry about them since their is also a great amount of diabetes.

So thanks for writing a great newsletter and especially for bringing pancreatic cancer in as often and as emotionally as you do. There are readers who appreciate that! I also forward them to people who knew us then....

Thanks for the time

Molly Nesbitt

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Kevin Skinner Hometown Proud

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Saturday night, "America's Got Talent" winner Kevin Skinner entertained 6000 local fans in his hometown of Mayfield, Kentucky before heading out to start performing live in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand hotel. A few months ago, no one outside of Mayfield, Kentucky residents even knew who Kevin Skinner was - but soon he will be performing before thousands of new fans from around the world when he takes the stage at the MGM in Las Vegas. Before Kevin Skinner won the 2009 edition of "America's Got Talent" he was an unemployed chicken catcher. From my point of view, you just can't make this stuff up when an unemployed chicken catcher from Kentucky is able to beat some of the most talented people in the nation on a reality TV show.

The real truth is that Kevin Skinner is the real deal when it comes to having outstanding musical talent. I remember a few years ago when a guy from England by the name of Paul Potts had a similar rise to fame after he appeared on the British version of that show called "Britain's Got Talent". Back then, the judges and audience of that show thought that Paul Potts would be some kind of bumbling fool, the same way they did when Kevin Skinner first took to the stage on America's Got Talent. However, in exactly the same way Paul Potts did before him - Kevin Skinner caused everyone in the audience to stop laughing and talking bad about him and start listening the minute he opened his mouth and began to sing. Even though we all know we should not judge a book by it's cover, too many times that is exactly what most of us do in our everyday lives.

Soon, Kevin Skinner will be appearing live on stage at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas Nevada. For those of you that have never visited Las Vegas, let me give you a small heads up about what kind of hotel and casino the MGM Grand really is. In a nutshell, the MGM Grand is the most tiring hotel I have ever visited because it is so huge in size. Most people that travel to Las Vegas on a regular basis who like to stay at the MGM Grand do so because of their award winning buffets and also because some of the worlds best boxing matches have been held there over the past decade or so. Kevin Skinner should feel right at home at the MGM Grand because most of the people I have met there during previous visits are down home kind of people just like Kevin Skinner and myself.

I really wish that my wife and I would be able to be in Las Vegas on Kevin Skinner's opening night, but for regular working people like us - the timing of Kevin Skinner's first appearance at the MGM Grand Hotel will not be in the cards for us. For those of you that will be in attendance during Kevin Skinner's first Las Vegas show, I'm sure that you will be very entertained - just like the people from his hometown of Mayfield, Kentucky were on Saturday night. (Help Kevin Skinner Get Played On The Radio)

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

2009, No Show Hurricane Season

Environmental experts have proclaimed for years now that each and every hurricane season will be worse than the one before, but here we are in 2009 and as of yet - no major hurricane has struck the United States since hurricane season began in late August. I'm really not sure what to make of this years "no show" hurricanes when compared to 2005 when Hurricane's Katria and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States of America. Could it be that the opponents of Global Warming are correct in their assumption that "Climate Change" is nothing more than a political movement designed to help the governments of the world obtain more control over their citizens? While Rush Limbaugh and crew will make light of this years mild hurricane season, in reality no one year ever has told the full story about why the Earth is warming up and melting glaciers and century old ice formations around the globe.

In my gut, I believe that both the left and the right are wrong when it comes to the cause of "Climate Change". While watching a news report about melting ice the other day on one of the major broadcast networks here in the United States, it was almost laughable when one of the PHD scientist they were interviewing talked about how the Earth was even warmer than it is today ten thousand years ago - which was long before mankind had ever invented a car or other carbon producing manufacturing plants. There is no doubt that we humans need to clean up our act when it comes to being good stewards of this Earth we draw life from. However, I for one am tired of liberal groups trying to scare me to death about the severity of Global Warming as it reflects on our future.

Liberals and conservatives both use the same playbook when it comes to scaring the majority of people in the middle in this country that their ideas of the future are the correct ones. In reality, both liberals and conservatives are wrong when it comes to "Climate Change" - but convincing either one of these extremist groups that the other side might have a valid point when it comes to "Climate Change" is not going to happen in today's politically polarized United States of America. When politics are taken to the ultimate extremes like they are today, both liberals and conservatives tend to try and lead this great nations from a position that is more akin to religious ideology than ideas that are based on cold hard facts. Put simple, liberal thinking Americans and political PAC's are trying to use the issue of "Climate Change" to further take this country towards a future of socialism.

As for me, I believe all of us need to clean up our act and take better care of this planet Earth we call home. However, if we do not clean up our act - I do not believe that the future will be filled with the extreme global consequences that many on the far political left in the U.S. would like everyone to believe. The fact that no major hurricanes have struck the USA during the 2009 hurricane season should give everyone some pause as to whether "Climate Change" is real or just another attempt by the political left in this country to make our government more powerful.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kevin Skinner MGM Grand Las Vegas

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On October 17th 2009, Kevin Skinner begins his live performances in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand hotel. Millions of people across the United States were pleased when Skinner won the 2009 edition of “America's Got Talent” this month and along with the top prize of one million dollars, Kevin Skinner will soon be performing live at the MGM Grand hotel on the Las Vegas strip. For me, it's not just that an unemployed “chicken catcher” from Kentucky will soon be headlining his own show in Las Vegas, but it is the whole idea that dreams really can still come true in the United States for some of the most unlikely people. Sadly, there have been some folks that have put Kevin Skinner down because they either don't like country music or in their elitist mindset they don't believe a simple country man from Kentucky should be given a real chance to succeed.

According to press sources, Kevin Skinner will open his live performances at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 17, 2009. Today, I visited the MGM Grand Las Vegas hotel website – but I could not find any information about Kevin Skinner appearing there which I thought was kind of strange. It matters less to me where Kevin Skinner will perform his live shows in Las Vegas as to the fact that he will be appearing there in the first place. Just image what must be going through Kevin Skinner's mind right now. First, he went from being unemployed to winning one of the toughest competitions in the United States that rewarded him with a one million dollar grand prize and a chance to perform live and on stage in front of tens of thousands of new fans in Las Vegas. While this is only a guess, I'll bet that people are already calling the MGM Grand in Las Vegas hoping to purchase tickets to Kevin Skinner's upcoming concerts.

As of yet, I have not found out how long Kevin Skinner will be performing live at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I sure would like to see his live show there, but a trip to Las Vegas is not in the cards for us this year – so maybe Skinner's Vegas contract will run well into 2010 so my wife and I will be able to see him perform. I am also wondering if Kevin Skinner will be putting out an album soon? What I think would be neat is if Kevin Skinner would release a Christmas album filled classic Christmas songs we all grew up with like “Silent Night” and “Little Drummer Boy”. In recent interviews, it does not appear that Kevin Skinner has changed much from his appearances on “America's Got Talent”, he still sounds just like a “chicken catcher” from Kentucky and it is clear to me that money and fame will not change Kevin Skinner in the same negative way that it has many other people who have gone from rags to riches overnight.

I am so happy for Kevin Skinner and his family and I hope their future is bright and filled with happy days that are free from their previous worries about where the next paycheck would come from. (Help Kevin Skinner Get Played On The Radio)

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Patrick Swayze Pancreatic Cancer Victim

Last week, Patrick Swayze died from pancreatic cancer. He was 57 years old. For almost two years, Patrick Swayze fought the good fight against pancreatic cancer, but like most of it's victims – pancreatic cancer has proven itself to be one of the most deadly forms of cancer in the world today. I still remember decades ago when one of my TV hero's of the day, Michael Landon, was diagnosed with this terrible disease – which lead to his death a few short weeks later. Then back in 2001, my family received the terrible news that my own father had pancreatic cancer – which took his life within three months of a doctor telling us that he had the disease. The good news for Patrick Swayze's family is that he lived almost two full years after his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, most people live a much shorter period of time and sadly the final few weeks of life for pancreatic cancer victims can be very painful.

As the news broke last week that Patrick Swayze had died as a result of pancreatic cancer, I remember feeling a deep sense of sorrow for his wife and other family members who had hope that he would eventually be able to beat pancreatic cancer. However, just like Michael Landon's family and years later my own – Patrick Swayze's loved ones soon discovered just how deadly and emotionally devastating pancreatic cancer can be to everyone involved. If you research this blog, you will find posts about pancreatic cancer that date back over four years where I have tried to write about my feelings in regards to pancreatic cancer as a family member of a victim. The end of next month will be the eight year anniversary of the date that my father died and while time has eased much of the pain of his passing, I still find my heart filled with hatred at the terrible disease of pancreatic cancer every time I learn of another persons death from that disease.

From everything that I have read on the Internet and on all the television specials that have been devoted to Patrick Swayze's life, I am convinced that Mr. Swayze was a man of deep family convictions not to mention that he had a great ability as an actor in many types of movie roles. My wife and I watch with tears in our eyes as Barbara Walters replayed an interview she conducted with Patrick Swayze several months ago. Already, it was easy to see my own fathers appearance both in Swayze's eyes and mouth. For a brief moment during that Barbara Walters interview, I thought I was looking at my own father as pancreatic cancer took his life eight years ago. I will personally always remember Patrick Swayze for his outstanding performance in the movie “Ghosts”. Over the years I have watched that movie numerous times and I never get tire of watching him play the role of a man who refuses to cross over into heaven because he was murdered by his best friend.

I feel a tremendous sense of sorry for Patrick Swayze's wife and other members of his family. In a small way, I do know how they are feeling right now about his death and the likely anger that will reside inside their hearts for a lifetime toward the devastating disease called pancreatic cancer.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Casey Anthony Good v. Evil

It has been more than a month since I have written about Casey Anthony and her upcoming murder trial, but the thought of what she did to her two year old daughter never completely disappears from my mind. Millions of people around the world have been fixated on Casey Anthony in regards to what kind of demons make her tick. I on the other hand look at Casey Anthony in more of a good versus evil way in the same manner I look at terrorists that decided to kill total strangers just because they want to. Is it really such a stretch to refer to Casey Anthony in the same light as terrorist that spend all of their time hating other people and trying to find unique ways to do them in? I really think not. I believe in most people there are good and bad traits. However, most people develop over their lives in a good, honest and decent way – while others completely turn to the dark side of human nature.

In every aspect of Casey Anthony's life she has made the choice to follow a less than honorable course of action. Long before Casey Anthony ever allegedly killed her two year old daughter Caylee Marie – she was already on a life course that would eventually lead not only to personal disappointment – but in extreme evil cases like hers it usually leads to a loss of life. Last year and during the early part of 2009, I spend many hours researching Casey Anthony and the murder charges that have since been brought against her. As I poured over hundreds of pages of prosecution evidence that was posted on the Internet - I kept trying to figure out what in the world would motive a young mother like Casey Anthony to kill her own daughter. In the end, I never discovered a satisfactory reason why she would murder Caylee with the exception of that she was just plain evil.

We Americans are always trying to figure out what makes evil people like Casey Anthony tick, but in the end we are usually disappointed because we cannot classify the evil actions of others into our own brains – because put simply most people don't understand narcissistic terms of reference. In the end, I have decided to place Casey Anthony in the same category as terrorist that wish harm on others that have never done them wrong. For most rational people, the idea of ever hurting a child much less killing them would be so repugnant that the thought would never cross our minds. However, long before Casey Anthony was born and for the rest of days on Earth – there will be those selected few people who have their brains wired backwards. That is the reason why Casey Anthony should never be allowed to walk again as a free woman.

Casey Anthony's defense team will continue to put off her murder trial, but there will eventually be a "day of reckoning" for her and at that point in time she will most likely discover that not all things in life can be manipulated away.

Title: Casey Anthony Good v. Evil
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Underwood Skinner Duet Possible?

Now that Kevin Skinner has won the one million dollar grand prize on America's Got Talent, I have been wondering recently what he will do next in addition to headline his own show live on stage in Las Vegas? While Kevin Skinner is now a household name with millions of AGT fans, I believe he must now reach out to other country music talents to firmly get his foot in the door inside the Nashville community. Last night, I began to wonder what a duet between Carrie Underwood and Kevin Skinner would sound like. At first, these two country music singers seem like a world apart when it comes to singing styles. However, the more I thought about these two – the more I began to think that a country duet between Carrie Underwood and Kevin Skinner might be the perfect match to help Kevin gain addition exposure inside Nashville.


I have been a fan of Carrie Underwood for years now. I not only like her singing voice, but I also appreciate her decent moral values as well. While I know little about what Kevin Skinner thinks and believes as a man, my guess is that his simple guy approach on the TV show America's Got Talent was more real than a gimmick which was created just to garner more votes. Not long ago, Carrie Underwood teamed up with Randy Travis to sing one of his classic songs “I Told You So” on national television. When I think about the country music style of Kevin Skinner, it reminds me a great deal of Randy Travis and that is why I think a country music duet between Carrie Underwood and Kevin Skinner makes good sense for both singers. It has been a long standing tradition in country music for old established artist to help newcomers at the beginning of their careers.

Soon, Kevin Skinner will be performing in Las Vegas and I have no doubt that his shows will sell out soon after tickets go on sale. That said, right now is the best time for Kevin Skinner to get his foot in the door with millions of country music fans that will never see him perform live on stage in Las Vegas. Over the years since Carrie Underwood won American Idol, she has proven herself to he a class act with a singing voice that is second to none in the world of country music today. The major difference between Carrie Underwood and Kevin Skinner right now is that Carrie's voice is better and stronger than his. However, anyone can see that there is a deep talent inside of Kevin Skinner and with time and musical training – he will be blowing away American audiences both on stage and on CD's for years to come. A couple of decades ago, Eddie Rabbitt and Chrystal Gayle sang a beautiful song called “You And I”. In my opinion that would be a great song for Kevin Skinner and Carrie Underwood to remake together.

So what do you think? Should Carrie Underwood and Kevin Skinner record a song together?

Title: Underwood Skinner Duet Possible?
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Romo Should Be Fired

If not for the terrible play of Tony Romo tonight, the Dallas Cowboys would be 2-0 this season. However, just like he has done over the past two seasons – Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo has made mistake after mistake while still allowed to earn millions of dollars per year as the Cowboys starting quarterback. Here in Texas we have an old saying that goes “fish or cut bait” and after watching the entire Cowboys team play at the top of their game tonight on Sunday night football - while at the same time watching Tony Romo toss away a certain victory – I now believe it is time for the Dallas Cowboys to fire Tony Romo as their starting quarterback. It is now clear that Jerry Jones made a huge mistake in placing the future fortunes of the Dallas Cowboys in the hands of Tony Romo. In fact, it is becoming more clear everyday that Tony Romo is not ready for prime-time in the NFL.

Before tonight's Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game, my wife and I went to eat Mexican food. While we were dinning on some pretty good food, my wife told me that while Tony Romo was dating Jessica Simpson, he cheated on her with some of her friends. To be honest, I do not keep up with most tabloid stories – but when she told me about that I began to wonder if Tony Romo might have a definite problem with personal character. I'm a little bit old fashion, but I believe when push comes to shove – it is the personal character or the lack there of that resides inside of us that makes the real difference of whether we succeed or fail. Now that I know that Tony Romo lacks good moral character, it is becoming more clear to me daily that there is something more wrong with him than just throwing a bunch of interceptions on game day.

Like almost all other Dallas Cowboys fans, when Tony Romo was selected as the starting quarterback a few years ago – I was excited at the prospect of having a young and able quarterback lead the Cowboys into the future. However, after Romo's first season as a starting quarterback – he has disappointed most Dallas Cowboys fans and when you add his lack of personal moral character to the mix, I believe it is time for Jerry Jones to fire Tony Romo and find someone else to lead the team in the future. After watching Tony Romo play one of the worst games of his life tonight against the New York Giants, while his fellow team mates played their hearts out, I knew that Tony Romo's days as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys would likely be numbered. For this Cowboys fan, the sooner Jerry Jones fires Tony Romo – the sooner we can get the other players on the team the right kind of quarterback that will add to their on field play instead of taking away from it.

Jerry Jones, the time has come to fire or trade away Tony Romo and find a real quarterback to lead the Dallas Cowboys into the future. You owe it to the rest of your team who played fantastic tonight at your new stadium opener.

Title: Romo Should Be Fired
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H1N1 Could Kill Millions

Swine flu could kill millions of people worldwide according to some in the World Health Organization. Fortunately for the United States, severe and deadly cases of H1N1 Swine Flu have not been as deadly this flu season as they were earlier in the year as H1N1 made it's way from Mexico around the world. However, good news for the United States does not necessarily translate into good news for the world as hundreds of people continue to die each week from H1N1 Swine Flu in other parts of the world. Many U.S. health care professionals were very concerned as school started earlier this month around the nation. As everyone knows, children are especially susceptible to all forms of flu because they play in close proximity to each other and constantly share toys when play time begins.

While there have been many reports of U.S. school children getting sick with H1N1 Swine flu this year, most of those cases have been mild. However, there seems to be some bad news for U.S. residents when it comes to H1N1 Swine Flu especially if a person is pregnant. So far, pregnant woman have died from H1N1 in greater numbers than woman who are not pregnant. This problem has yet to be explained to my satisfaction, but it is true that most pregnant women are very reluctant to take a flu shot because of the fear that they will hurt their unborn child. That fear could lead to even more pregnant women dying from H1N1 Swine Flu in the months to come as the U.S. flu season begins next month. While doctors on television are telling pregnant mothers not to fear a flu shot, those words of encouragement are falling on deaf ears with some women.

Why some nations are facing a tremendous death toll from H1N1 Swine Flu while other are not is something that is still up for debate. My opinion is that nutrition must be playing at least some small role when it comes to fighting off the H1N1 flu virus. It is not surprising that H1N1 is more deadly in underdeveloped countries around the world because the immune systems of people that do not eat right are already in a weakened condition compared to rich and developed nations where most citizens eat a well balanced diet filled with the right vitamins and minerals. Ever since I was a little child there has been hunger around the world and while progress has been made in some countries, some nations still find themselves in a situation where most of the people that live there are either hungry or greatly malnourished each day of their lives.

Dire predictions of mass dead have been made before by the World Health Organization which have not come to pass. I certainly hope that the predictions they are making this year about millions of people dying worldwide from H1N1 Swine Flu will also be incorrect. For people, like myself, that are fortunate enough to live in the United States of America where a good diet and excellent medical care is abundant we will likely see few cases of fatal H1N1 Swine Flu is fall. However, in nations around the world that are less wealthy than the U.S. - there will likely be stories of mass death associated with the H1N1 Swine Flu virus. Over the past 50 years, for most people, progress in the world has made life easier for most people in developed counties. However, there are still huge pockets of poverty in the world today and it will be in those areas of the world where H1N1 Swine Flu will cause the highest death toll.

Title: H1N1 Could Kill Millions
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Obama Snubs Fox News

President Obama will be a “no show” on Fox tomorrow, but as he prepares to go into the final stretch to get his health care reform passed in Congress – he will appear on every other major U.S. TV network. There are many problems with Fox News Channel, but I still choose to watch them from time to time to get some type of balance in news coverage. For years, I have known that CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC were nothing more that liberal mouth pieces. However, Fox News does cover political events from a right of center point of view and frankly sometimes that's a good thing to have around.

In recent weeks, most of the mainstream news media has completely ignored a terrible scandal that involves a non profit group called “Acorn”. However, on a daily basis – Fox News has been front and center covering the wrong doing of “Acorn” and without their strong voice, it is likely that no one in the United States of America would even know what this corrupt organization has been up to. While I still personally like President Obama, I do believe he is making a mistake by not showing up to talk to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

I would not be surprised if the real reason why President Obama will not show up on Fox News Sunday to talk about his health care ideas, is because he knows that Chris Wallace will ask him about “Acorn” and he does not want to answer any questions about a non profit group he has worked hard to support over the years. Watch closely on the Sunday morning talk shows to see if any of them ask about the “Acorn” scandal. If they do not ask President Obama about “Acorn” more than likely they have been told by the White House that he would not appear on their shows if they ask those kinds of embarrassing questions.

No members of the U.S. news media like Fox News Channel in the first place. Rather than following the lead of the New York Times on what is considered the real news story of the day, Fox News sets their own template when it comes to reporting the news and that is why they sound so different when you tune in to see what stories they are reporting on each and everyday. Even though President Obama does not think so, there will be a backlash against his administration because of his snub toward the Fox News Channel. Most viewers of Fox News turn to that channel because they can see stories that are not covered in the mainstream news media. This Sunday that correct thinking by millions of Americans will be true again as President Obama snubs Fox News Sunday.

Title: Obama Snubs Fox News
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Cowboys Giants Game Day

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants play in less than 24 hours at the regular season opening game of the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. At that time we will all learn if Jerry Jones new state of the art stadium will meet the high expectations of millions of fans around the NFL. Let's face it, tomorrow night's football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants will probably set a NFL ratings record for a Sunday night football game. Here in Texas, Cowboys fans have been talking about the new Dallas Cowboys stadium for years now in both a positive and negative way. However, most of the negative hype has gone away as Jerry Jones prepares to present his work of art football stadium to NFL fans nationwide on Sunday night.

A few months ago, my sister visited the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas to attend a concert that presented George Strait as the headliner act. While attending that concert she took dozens of pictures of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and to put it quite simply - there is no other stadium in the NFL that comes close to the size and amenities that will be available to football fans if they are willing to pay the price to get them. Everyone already has heard about the $100 pizza's and $8 cups of beer that will be sold at the new Cowboys Stadium, but what some people might not realize is that game by game tickets could cost a visitor upwards of $250 for what I would consider a very bad seat.

Tomorrow night as the Dallas Cowboys play the New York Giants, three of my family members will be attending the game. My brother-in-law and two nephews have already paid almost $800 for three seats for tomorrow night's game at Cowboys Stadium against the Giants. I guess it's just me, but as I have aged I find it is just as interesting to watch the Dallas Cowboys play on television than to fight the crowds and pay the high prices that go along with attending a modern day NFL football game in person. What worries me the most is that pay-per-view NFL games will not be far away as the league continues to grow and charge higher and higher prices for tickets to games and other condiments once a person has arrived at the stadium. There is an old story about killing the "Golden Goose" that often enters my mind when thinking about the modern day NFL.

Even as NFL ticket prices and game related charges continue to rise, there are still tens of thousands of people that are still winning and able to pay those high prices. While we will not know for sure until tomorrow night, I have a gut feeling that more than 100,000 people will attend the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game in Arlington tomorrow night. If that guess turns out to be a reality, it will encourage other NFL teams to also increase their prices and also work overtime to find public funding to build a stadium palace of their own in their home city. Don't get me wrong, if Jerry Jones can get tens of thousands of people to shell out hundreds of dollars for each football game - then more power to him. However, in the future - many of the tickets to Dallas Cowboys football games will be purchased by companies, instead of individuals - which might hurt the league as a whole over the long run.

Title: Cowboys Giants Game Day
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Kevin Skinner Las Vegas

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Now that Kevin Skinner has won America's Got Talent, it won't be long before he will be appearing live on stage in Las Vegas. I remember watching last week as Kevin was proclaimed the 2009 winner of America's Got Talent and all I could think of at the time was how amazed I was that a real country act could win on a nationally televised reality TV show. There was a time when I was younger when country music was a dish that was mainly enjoyed by millions of people in the southern part of the United States. However, over the years - great cross over musical talents like Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and Faith Hill, eventually brought country music to the main stream as hundreds of radio stations decided to switch music formats from contemporary to country music during the late 1990's.

Today, the formerly unemployed chicken catcher named Kevin Skinner from Mayfield, Kentucky has just won one million dollars and soon he could greatly add to that amount of money in the bank as he negotiates a contract to preform live on stage in Las Vegas, Nevada. What some people might not realize is that Las Vegas has been suffering through a terrible recession because of the recent downturn in the U.S. economy. However, the good news that a country boy from Kentucky will soon be preforming on stage in Las Vegas - could improve the fortunes of all casino hotels located on the Las Vegas strip. There is no doubt in my mind that hundreds of thousands of people from around the country will decide to travel to Las Vegas to watch Kevin Skinner appear live in concert there.

The American people have always loved a rags to riches story when it comes to entertainment and this year the NBC television show "America's Got Talent" served up just what the doctor ordered to an American public that has been driven into depression because of a weak economy. I was really shocked that Kevin Skinner won the 2009 edition of America's Got Talent because his last two live performances on the show were not as strong as the first two in my opinion. When Kevin Skinner took to the stage on his first TV audition on America's Got Talent, I was completely blown away by how well he sang and I even wrote at the time about how I believe that he sang Garth Brooks songs better than Garth himself. However, during Kevin's last two appearances on the show, I really thought that his rendition of "Always On My Mind" and "Don't Want To Miss A Thing" were very weak compared to his first two performances.

So, don't be surprised if you see me standing in line to purchase tickets to Kevin Skinner's Las Vegas show in the near future. While no news has been released as of yet on whether or not Kevin Skinner will be signed to a record contract, my gut feeling tells me that he could have a new album in stores as early as the 2009 Christmas shopping season. In years past, I have not been a big fan of "American's Got Talent", but this year I started watching the show and kept up with it each and every week because of the country music talent of Kevin Skinner. As I said before, Kevin Skinner appeared on the American music scene at just the right time to help lift the spirits of a nation that is tired and depressed as jobs and savings disappear almost on a daily basis. (Help Kevin Skinner Get Played On The Radio)

Title: Kevin Skinner Las Vegas
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Wild Horses, Susan Boyle

This week, millions of Americans heard Susan Boyle sing again on the final edition of “America's Got Talent”. Susan's choice of a song was called “Wild Horses” which was her rendition of a Rolling Stones classic. Today, I visited YouTube to listen to the Rolling Stones version of “Wild Horses” which was released back in the late 1970's. While the Rolling Stones put their unique style on that song, by any measure of judging how well “Wild Horses” was preformed – Susan Boyle sang that song better and from now on she will be remembered for taking that simple song and turning it into a piece of music which will be remembered for decades to come. All of us know how Susan Boyle's appearance on "Britain's Got Talent" caused her to have a mental breakdown a few months back, but it was very refreshing for me to see that not only is Susan back, she will soon release her debut album just in time for Christmas 2009.


In many ways the winner of the 2009 edition of America's Got Talent, Kevin Skinner, is like Susan Boyle when it comes to a unique life story. While Susan Boyle is not some country boy from a small town, she did try for years to get noticed for her singing ability without any luck until she found a way to find fame on a nationwide television program. Sometimes I wonder just how many Susan Boyle's and Kevin Skinner's there are in this world who have amazing talents, but who have as of yet to be discovered by the general public? A conservative guess by me would put that number in the thousands, which means that reality TV music shows like Britain's Got Talent, America's Got Talent and American Idol should be popular for many years to come.

Until I heard Susan Boyle sing "Wild Horses" this week, I had no idea how well she would preform a song that was not part of her talent competition earlier this year on Britain's Got Talent. Now, my questions have all been answered as Susan sang "Wild Horses" with a passion that will make that song a number one hit on the radio before the end of 2009. It's kind of funny when you really think about it because most people look at reality TV singing stars like Susan Boyle and Kevin Skinner as fortune people who were finally able to make their dreams come true. However, if you step back for just a moment and think about the effect Susan Boyle and soon to be Kevin Skinner will have on the public by providing their musical talent to the world - it's really millions of people who will be effected in a positive way by their discovery.

The very fact that a Susan Boyle and Kevin Skinner are possible in the world today says something to me as well about the state of music in general. Like many others, I believe that popular music either from the rock or country side of the radio dial has become to prepackaged and commercialized in recent years. In fact, there are many times when I hear a new song on the radio that I get confused about who is really singing that song because so many of today's singers sound exactly the same. The neat thing about Susan Boyle and Kevin Skinner is that both of these new talents sound completely different than most of the popular singers of today, so when Kevin and Susan release their new albums soon - it will have the effect of changing the popular music of today in a positive way because there will be new voices added to the music business that don't sound exactly like dozens of others that are already filling the radio airwaves today.

Title: Wild Horses, Susan Boyle
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dallas Cowboys Home Opener

This week, the Dallas Cowboys will play their home opener at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas against the New York Giants. Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, has pulled out all the stops to make sure that game is sold out so he can present his new one billion dollar plus NFL football stadium in the best light possible to an audience of millions on nationwide television. In the Dallas area, Cowboys fans have mixed feelings about Jerry Jones new stadium. While Jerry Jones is a great businessman, his new football stadium in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex was built at a huge human cost that was made possible with the help of some Supreme Court decisions allowing local governments to take the land of homeowners at less than fair market value.

There is no doubt that Jerry Jones idea for a new Dallas Cowboys Stadium was spot on when it comes to what NFL fans want and expect in a modern football stadium, but in the end – did Jerry Jones carry his idea of a new football stadium too far? While I and millions of other Dallas Cowboys fans think so, in the end it will be the win/loss record of the Dallas Cowboys that will tell the final tail on whether or not Jerry Jones billion dollar gamble really paid off. Right now, the new Dallas Cowboys football stadium in Arlington Texas is almost 100% sold out. However, it is also true that many of the current seats that were sold on a game by game basis were quickly bought up by scalpers who will try to sell those seats for double or even triple their face value.

When the Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas – it will be interesting to watch and see if there are any empty seats at the new stadium, even as Jerry Jones announces to the world that the first game there is a definite sell out. In addition to the tens of thousands of tickets that will be sold on a game by game basis and the additional thousands of seats that will be purchased by new season ticket holders - there will be countless other thousands of fans that will show up for the game between the Cowboy and Giants who will attended by holding a Cowboys Party Pass that only costs $29 for the first few games of the season. However, those party pass tickets also only allow the person that purchased them a standing room only position in the two end zones at each game.

Recent news stories that have been released about Jerry Jones new Dallas Cowboys Stadium are fill with what I consider to be price gouging products like $100 pizza's and an unheard of price of up to $75 to park ones car when they attend a game. At this point in time, it appears that Jerry Jones is going to win financially with his new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. However, the jury is still out on whether or not – over the long haul – he will be able to keep Dallas Cowboys fans engaged in spending thousands of dollars each weekend when the Dallas Cowboys play a home game. The recession of 2009 may be ending soon, but there are still millions of American's that are hurting financially and when all the dust settles and the Dallas Cowboys are not successful in each and every game, I wonder down deep inside if Dallas Cowboys fans will continue to spend huge sums of money just to watch their home team play in their new state-of-the-art football stadium?

Title: Dallas Cowboys Home Opener
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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Kevin Skinner The Dance

Click Here to help get Kevin Skinner played on the radio.

So far, Kentucky singer Kevin Skinner has preformed three times on national television. From the very beginning I have believed that the perfect song for Kevin Skinner to sing during this years "America's Got Talent" competition would be the Garth Brooks classic "The Dance". While many younger viewers of the show might not have heard of "The Dance" performed by Garth Brooks, anyone over the age of 40 most certainly remembers that classic country song and without a doubt Kevin Skinner would sing it just as good as Garth Brooks did when he made it a gigantic hit a couple of decades ago.

So far, Kevin Skinner has preformed two hit songs from Garth Brooks and his latest song was from a long line of songs that became hits by music legend Willie Nelson. While one of the show's judges "Pierce" was on his feet at the end of Kevin Skinners performance of "Always On My Mind" - in my opinion, Kevin's rendition of "Always On My Mind" was the weakest of his three nationwide appearances on "America's Got Talent". Kevin Skinner's first two nationally televised performances of "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and "Make You Feel My Love" more suited his wonderful baritone voice. Let's face it, there is a world of difference between the music style of Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks and in my opinion, Kevin should stick with Garth songs.

That said, one of the biggest selling songs of all time by Garth Brooks is "The Dance". Coming from a guy who has loved country music his whole life, "The Dance" is the type of song that country music is really all about. Also, the first time I heard Kevin Skinner sing on "America's Got Talent" - "The Dance" was the song, in the back of my mind, that I knew he needed to preform to prove to everyone just how deeply emotional his singing voice can be. Soon, Kevin Skinner will be competing in the final rounds of "America's Got Talent" and my hope is that "The Dance" will be his personal choice as his final song for the 2009 America's Got Talent competition.

While millions of people around the world have their own favorite country music song, for me that song is "The Dance". I was a much younger man when Garth Brooks made "The Dance" a worldwide country music hit, but as the years have passed by - I have never forgot how that song touched my soul in a way that no other song has done in my lifetime. Soon we will all know if Kevin Skinner is the next winner of "America's Got Talent" and as I have said in previous posts, I don't really think it is going to effect Kevin's future that much at this time whether he wins this years competition or not. Already, Kevin Skinner has touch me and millions of other people around the country and soon we will all be able to buy Kevin Skinner CD's and listen to his amazing singing voice anytime of the day or night. (Help Kevin Skinner Get Played On The Radio)

Title: Kevin Skinner The Dance
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