Category Archives: Conscience

Surviving A Shark Attack (On Land)

Last week, I was on the “Today” show  to talk about my book, my life, your life getting screwed over by people you depended on or never knew were going to shoot at you or unknown to you completely.  When it comes out of left field, it’s really something.

My book is called “Surviving a Shark Attack (On Land)”and it’s about overcoming betrayal and dealing with revenge, and as I’ve said many times, I adore revenge.  I just can’t get any!  You know, like the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction?”  Well, I can’t get no revenge.

Why?  Because the only way to get revenge is doing something illegal, immoral, fattening, or out of your own character, which then warps your character. Damn!

Here’s a little piecelet from the book, so you get to know something more about me:

“There is a rush of lust for quick vengeance when betrayed.  I know because I have felt it every time I’ve been attacked.  I’m glad I’m surrounded by cooler heads, people I admire and trust who distract me with tales of new beginnings, opportunities and challenges.  It is also true that time well filled (in other words, not with obsessing) is a great salve.
 
In the case of a number of my betrayers, they went on to fail miserably and publicly.  I know that their egos have taken a beating, but I’m not rejoicing.  I simply don’t care.

I’m enjoying my work to a greater degree, because I’m surrounded by more support at SiriusXM.

I have taken up at least three new hobbies, and I am planning an incredible journey – an ocean race of I don’t know how many hundreds of miles (I don’t want to think about it) from Los Angeles to Honolulu in a sailboat with my crew.  All right, I’m nuts.

When these situations first went down, I, of course yearned for a “blood-letting.” And I actually think I would have enjoyed it at the time.

Time is the smart part of life.
 
Time reveals character.
 
Time permits healing.

Time permits growth.

Time gives perspective.
 
Time is one of life’s greatest embraces.

My entire being has been “rebooted,” and while it is satisfying on some level that my betrayers ultimately failed, it gives me no surge of delight or adrenaline.  I believe that it went the way it should have gone, the way most of us knew it would, but if I still cared, it would be less of me.  In other words, their loss is not my gain.  My gain comes from my actions, my activity, my attitude, and not from anybody else’s pain.”

The book is very tight (I tend to write succinctly), and is only 200 pages. I found some great quotes to put in it, and I’ve got my soul in it.  If there was ever a book to help you dealing with hurt, this is it.  I come at you quite personally with it.
 
Getting to the point of not caring is the epiphany that you have to come to, and it is the epitome of handling it when you actually don’t care.  I’m 64.  It took a while to learn all these things.

I Will Not Be Silenced

Something very scary is starting in this country – in the land of the free that you and I all love – so you need to pay attention.

Four months ago, I said I was ending my terrestrial radio show at the end of the year because I wanted to regain my First Amendment rights.  A lot of intellectuals snickered and said I didn’t know what I was talking about – only the government can take away First Amendment rights.  I was only being threatened by non-government organizations like Media Matters.

Well, where do you think fascism and censorship start? 

They start when one person or one group of people demands another person or another group of people be silenced.

On Monday, I did a lot of interviews.  In every interview, I talked about how free speech on radio is in jeopardy, in danger of being regulated – censored – by people who are offended – personally and politically offended – by opinions with which they do not agree.  Rather than debate the issues, certain people in this country are suggesting the opinions which offend them should simply be silenced.

You’ve heard how CNN fired Rick Sanchez because he voiced his opinion about Jon Stewart being a bigot.

You’ve heard how NPR fired Juan Williams because he voiced his personal opinion about Muslims and 9/11.

And you say, “Well, that’s still not the government censoring opinion.”  Well, listen up, because that’s only the beginning.

On November 17, on the floor of the United States Senate, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) proposed that the FCC pull the plug on Fox News and MSNBC.  He said:

“There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’  It would be a big favor to political discourse; to our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people….”  That’s what a United States Senator said.  Censorship:  a big FAVOR to the American people.

Two days after Senator Rockefeller dropped that bomb, Al Sharpton joined the fight for censorship.  Al Sharpton, on his radio show (where he has the right to free speech), said “the FCC needs to give guidelines of what is permittable or permitted” to say on radio, and the FCC should “set standards” to make sure “groups of Americans” cannot be offended.

And on Monday, on MSNBC (which, if Senator Rockefeller had his way would NOT exist – I simply exercise my American right not to watch it), Al Sharpton on “The Ed Show” [with Ed Schultz] talked about…ME…and how terrible it was I should still be on the air, and that it was unfortunate I was going to satellite radio where I can’t be REGULATED.

Then, Al Sharpton said this about Rush Limbaugh:

“I’m in Washington tomorrow….we’re going to the FCC.  We’re not going to let this go.  He [Rush Limbaugh] is not on uncensored satellite.  He’s on regulated radio.”

That’s a threat!

Do not kid yourselves.  My mother grew up in Fascist Italy and taught me all about it.  This is scary.  Satellite is uncensored.  Radio is regulated and, according to Al Sharpton, regulated means the FCC can censor someone because their opinions are offensive.

  1. I’ve offended people throughout my career.  When I said:
  2. Abortion that is not for the purpose of saving the life of the mother is killing a baby, some people were offended.
  3. Interracial adoption (indeed, any adoption) is a blessing, some people were offended.
  4. Interracial dating and marriage is fine, some people were offended.
  5. Parents should not excommunicate their gay offspring, some people were offended.
  6. Children are best served by a married mommy and daddy, some people were offended.
  7. Women who “shack up” out of wedlock are “unpaid whores,” some people were offended.
  8. Activist groups are largely tyrannical, destructive groups who cause people to be angry and to isolate themselves, some people were offended.
  9. The feminist movement (especially the National Organization of “I Don’t Know What Kind of” Women) betrayed women’s nature, some people were offended.
  10. Unmarried women should not “make babies,” intentionally robbing them of a daddy, some people were offended.
  11. Getting drunk, going off with some guy, getting naked and getting it on is not date rape, some people were offended.
  12. Wearing low-cut, tight, revealing sexy clothes and flaunting your sexuality to men, who respond approvingly is not harassment, some people were offended.
  13. Feminist women who treat their husbands poorly and then complain when husbands stray or leave when it is largely their own doing, some people were offended.
  14. Focus “studies” courses in colleges and universities are breeding grounds for intolerance, anger, and hate, some people were offended.
  15. Children who are out of control due to medical and/or psychological conditions, age, or poor parenting should not be present at wedding ceremonies, some people were offended.

Apparently, I just can’t help but offend people! 

But these are my opinions. And this is America.  And we should all have the right to express our opinions or else this will cease being America as it was envisioned and created. 

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Doing the Right Thing Comes With A Price

I recently read about a woman who won approximately $70 million after an 8 year battle with a major pharmaceutical company.  She was a “whistle blower” who reported the major drug company to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for atrocious violations which risked lives, and she got fired. Now, that company is paying the major part of a billion dollars to the government and has issued an apology and expressed the intent to remedy the situation at the manufacturing plant.

It’s too obvious for me to suggest that this reads like a “Law and Order” episode.  One wonders why the company didn’t reward her with her own LearJet, and fire lotsa folks at the stated plant as well as in the management ranks who were warned and did nothing to fix the problem. If they’d done that, their stock would have gone up.  Instead, all we’ve got is lawsuits that were lost, terrible public relations, a tarnished reputation, and people who were hurt.
 
Go figure.

An interesting part of the whistleblower issue is how many people turn against the whistleblower because doing the right thing is not their priority.  They are more concerned with less meaningful things.

I took a call from a woman not long ago about her sister who is in the hospital giving birth to her second child.  The caller was “house sitting” and called to tell me the home was ferociously filthy:  dogs routinely relieved themselves in the house (they weren’t housebroken) and there was other filth everywhere.  She was calling to ask me if she should tell the parents.  I asked her whether or not the parents had ever visited.  She said “yes,” and I replied that since they already know, they intend to do nothing.  They probably don’t want to tick off the daughter, so they wouldn’t be able to visit the grandkids, or else they’re equally filhy in their habits.

I said that the right thing is to protect the health of the children.  That’s why she needs to immediately call Child Protective Services (CPS) and the Health Department.  I offered that she could call the parents and tell them this is what was happening in order to give them a “head’s up,” but I also had to warn her that she’d be attacked by most of the family who are ashamed that they’ve done nothing.  The moment my caller blows the whistle, she will be outcast and berated and maligned and hated.

Too many people do not focus in on the right thing to do, and think of lesser issues instead, such as guilt for not having acted themselves, embarrassment for being part of a family that treats children this way, or denial that a family member might have a mental problem.
 
No one in this whole situation outside of my caller gave a damn about the children.  I applaud and support her.  She’ll need it.  Doing the right thing usually comes with a price.  Maybe that’s why so many people avoid it.  

Colleague Deserves Respect

A high school teacher called me because she was so agitated she didn’t know what to do to calm herself down.  She called me, because she was convinced in her own mind that I would not only agree with her, but give her a course of action to follow.

She’d been working at her current school for four years.  At a meeting of all the teachers, they were informed that the parking lot would no longer have reserved spaces for each instructor – from now on, it would be “first come, first served.”

A teacher with over twenty years seniority on the caller stood and said that this new rule was nonsense and he expected to have the “front and center” parking space he’d always had.  My caller was furious and thought the other teacher was arrogant.

This is an ugly trend in our society and in our schools:  the trend to rob people of respect for their accomplishments.  School systems have tried to do away with grades and eliminate honors for those students who excel, all in the name of “everyone is equal and no one’s feelings should be hurt.”

My caller resented that her co-worker would receive any benefits because of his outstanding, long service to the school.  Shame on her!

I told her that I would have immediately stood up to support him and all the other teachers with long tenure.  They should be treated with respect, regard, deference and support, including having the right to the parking space to which they had become accustomed.  The caller was shocked at my point of view.  She asked me if I thought it was arrogant of him to demand that space.  On the contrary, I told her, “it is arrogant of YOU to think you rate his parking space when you haven’t earned it!”

We are all equal in the sight of God; we are all equal in the sight of the law.  We are NOT all equal in our abilities, accomplishments, efforts, and/or experiences, and those differences should be admired and supported without any attempt to dilute their importance because of envy, laziness, unfortunate circumstances or any excuse to resent what others are or what they have.

We all benefit from holding each other up when it is earned.

Good News About A Good Guy

I read a good news story about an average guy who rescued an 8 year old girl who had been abducted and sexually assaulted by a creep in Fresno, California.  Have you heard about this?  Ahhh, probably not. 

Did you hear the story about the airline steward who jumped from a plane?  Yes!  That was big news! 

Did you hear the one about the party crashers at the White House?  Yes again!  That also was big news. 

Have you been constantly reminded about Lindsay Lohan’s latest stupid behavior?  Yes, yes, and yes again. So why have you not heard about Victor Perez who gave chase in his own pickup truck when he recognized the vehicle matching the description of the one used in the abduction?

I have the simple and sad answer to that question.  Take one part human nature  (where the unusual, exotic, creepy, and horrific stimulate more of a reaction than sweetness and compassion), add one part media attention to the bizarre and to people behaving badly, and finally one part the reward given to those who act out everyone’s adolescent urges to be free of all restraints of morality and common decency.  In other words:  bad behavior gets more attention than good because of the universal yearnings to have the power to say “screw everyone – I’ll do my own thing, and if you don’t like it, tough on you!

Mr. Perez noticed the car passing by while he was chatting with his cousin.  He could have simply called 911 and not gotten involved, but he yelled for his cousin to make the call and then hopped in his truck and took chase, cutting the bad guy off a number of times.  At first, he wasn’t sure it was the bad guy, until the little girl stuck her head out the window.

That was all it took for Mr. Perez to get into gear.  He exchanged words with the abductor who kept trying to hide the girl, and then finally just cut him off so the bad guy had to stop, at which time he pushed the girl out of the truck and took off.

The bad guy, Gregorio Gonzales, is a gang banger on probation no less (someone’s head should roll!) for a felony domestic violence conviction with numerous arrests, including suspicion of possessing a sawed-off shotgun.

It did cross Mr. Perez’s mind that this creep could have a gun and shoot him, but that didn’t deter him from trying to help the little girl.  That’s the thing about good guys – they tend to forge ahead in spite of possible injury or even death.  When asked why he did that, Mr. Perez answered simply:  “It was the right thing to do.”

According to the news report from www.msnbc.com, two other adults saw what was happening when a stranger approached a group of children, and they shouted for the girls to run away.  That’s all.  They shouted.  They didn’t run towards him.  They didn’t run into the street to force him to stop or swerve.  They shouted. 

Mr. Perez put his life on the line.

That is one of the reasons bad guys feel emboldened to snatch kids off the street in broad daylight:  they know there are very few “Mr. Perezes.”