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My Two Cents: The 3 P's: Politics, Joe Pa-thetic, and (Gay) Penguins, by Joel Borelli

Posted by Joel Borelli on June 8, 2015 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

My Two Cents: The 3 P’s: Politics, Joe Pa-thetic, and (Gay)Penguins, original publication date November 11, 2010, By Auguste Dupin

Last things first, I was intrigued when cruising the news today stumbling across what might be the first documented case of animal homosexuality. Okay, maybe not the first case. I had a dog once that did things to my neighbor’s terrier that would make a prostitute blush, but what I’m referring to is not your average household pet humping stuffed animals gay. I’m talking about penguins here! Two male African penguins to be exact. Buddy and Pedro are their names (gosh they even sound gay), and Toronto Zoo employees say that they are so close they may as well be gay. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from zoo officials, but I think the zoo may be downplaying their gayness. Here me out. Buddy and Pedro have hit the news recently because these very same zoo officials are talking about separating the two so that they can mate. Apparently African Penguins are rare and the species needs every available penguin to participate in propagating activities. Now call me crazy, but if they are gay, would they really mate with a female penguin? Zoo officials think so, and have promised to reunite them after consummating their procreation requirements. Or perhaps this is just the zoo’s way of whitewashing their own anti-gay animal agenda? Or maybe they’re forcing the penguins straight? And just in case this wasn’t silly enough, if you were wondering who wears the pants in the relationship, well they both do. Tuxedos actually.

In other news, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species Report has inadvertently listed the subspecies of African Black Rhino as officially extinct. They say it was last seen in Africa in 2006, but you can see it yourself on national television tonight on CBS in Spartanburg, South Carolina, along with a few other candidates on the endangered list. Contrary to popular belief Herman Cain is not extinct, however, he isn’t doing himself any favors. If he can’t seem to wrap his mind around the concept of treating women with respect, at least he could do a little homework. While I’m not sure how many Americans are familiar with the term “neoconservative”, I am pretty sure most Americans are aware that China has nuclear weapons, so I was really surprised to find that Cain was unaware of such a widely known fact. Of course The Rhino vows to surround himself with competent advisors once he gains the Ova-Ova-Oval-tine Off-Off-Orifice, but one must wonder why he hasn’t done it yet? Intriguing though is his own idea for electrifying Mexican/American border fences to cause pain to keep the Mexicans out of America. Which leads one to ask the obvious question: Do electric fences work on African Black Rhinos?

Also appearing on the endangered list is any former Governor of Texas with an IQ beyond the 9th grade level. It’s been a while since Texas has elected one. Stay tuned tonight for CBS & the GOP’s endangered species extravaganza, where with any luck, Texas Governor Rick Perry will remember which pant leg to put on first, which hand is for shaking and which is for nose-picking, and which way to look before crossing a one-way street. Texas, you must be so proud, though in truth you did manage to get the younger Bush into the, uh, um, oops, what do you call that shape the office is in again? Darn it, I really stepped in it now!

Two animals that should feast on the aforementioned missteps, but probably won’t, are Newt Gingrich (Irascibilious Republic-Anus) and Mitt Romney (Bluebloodius Americ-Anus). Unfortunately, these two species are widely known for providing more lip service than community service and tend to die a horrible death of drowning in quicksand of their own making.

This leaves us with former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, perhaps the true endangered species on display in the national security and foreign policy parade tonight – A candidate with practical foreign policy experience! Huntsman’s resume includes stints as Ambassador to China, Ambassador to Singapore, and Deputy Trade Representative. And since China will be taking over the U.S. soon enough, it will help to have a President who speaks fluent Mandarin. We need someone we can trust interpreting the new China/U.S. Constitution, right?

So as sad as all this is, what I find truly pathetic is the rioting college students at Penn State. It begs the serious question, what are they teaching kids there? I’ve heard all the silly excuses for keeping Joe Pa-thetic and they are just that, silly and excuses. That anyone can for a moment defend Joe Pa-thetic’s position through what might be the ugliest sex-scandal to EVER hit a college campus, saddens me.

While the facts are still coming to light, we can be sure that Joe Pa-thetic was informed of Jerry Sandusky’s sordid behavior with a minor on at least two occasions. The first was in 1998 when an investigation into Sandusky’s activities stalled, likely because the only witness was the underage victim. Regardless, the university knew about the investigation, and while there is no evidence that Joe Pa-thetic knew about the investigation, how else do you explain the fact that Sandusky, the heir apparent to Joe Pa-thetic, would suddenly be told by Joe Pa-thetic himself that Sandusky would never be the head coach of Penn State. And what other reasons can you ascribe to Sandusky suddenly announcing his retirement in 1999, after being told he would not replace Joe Pa-thetic as Head Diddler of the Mitteny Liars? The second time this occurred was in 2002, three years later and AFTER Sandusky had retired. This time there was a witness to this heinous crime and the witness was an assistant coach who came forward. He described to Joe Pa-thetic the incident in the shower as anal intercourse with a minor.

So what did Joe Pathetic do? He told Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and promptly forgot all about it. Legally speaking Joe Pa-thetic met his contractual obligation as a Penn State employee, but this is the weakest argument of them all for exonerating the coach. Sandusky was out of his program for three years, so if you give Joe Pa-thetic the benefit of ignorance in 1998, why ignore something like this in 2002? The answer is simple. He knew the truth in 1998 and he knew again the truth in 2002. The difference in 2002 is that he knew he covered it up in 1998. To do the right thing in 2002 would be to admit he did the wrong thing in 1998. Like so many lies, they beget more lies, until you get lost among them, tangled up and usually hung by them.

The why is equally disturbing; was this a truth he decided to cover up to save Penn State a black eye? Maybe a little bit. More likely he did it to save himself a black eye, for who is Joe Pa-thetic if not Penn State? For 46 years he roamed the sidelines as coach. His LIFE was dedicated to that college football program, but we shouldn’t confuse that dedication to Penn State Football with caring for the institution as a whole. His caring ended when it happened outside the lines on the field. If it didn’t happen on Saturday or on the field in practice, he didn’t care. He showed it in 1998 and again in 2002. Amazingly he showed it again just last week when he announced he would retire at the end of this football season. His reason? He knew the Board of Trustees had more important things to worry about and didn’t want them to waste any more time on him. Talk about selfish. And talk about Cowardly. At least 8 children have come forward to accuse Sandusky of abuse and all Joe Pa-thetic can think about is his 8-1 record and finishing out the season with perhaps one final bowl victory. Talk about Pa-thetic. I’m done talking about Joe Pa-thetic.

And that friends, is my two cents. 

My Two Cents: Figures Lie and Liars Figure, The Government's Policy on Alcohol Tax

Posted by Joel Borelli on June 8, 2015 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

My Two Cents: Original Publication Date September 30, 2010, Figures Lie and Liars Figure, The Government’s Policy on Alcohol Tax By Auguste Dupin

In a recent report on Health.com, a new study is touting the supposed prolific effect of alcohol tax increases leading to massive decreases in public health issues. The report citing the Wagenaar study published in the American Journal of Public Health recently makes the outrageous claim that by doubling the current tax on beer and wine they could be expected to reduce alcohol-related deaths by 35 percent, fatal car crashes by 11 percent, and the rates of sexually transmitted disease by 6 percent, as well as leading to 2 percent less violence and 1.4 percent less crime. This is a classic example of the government’s policy of Figures Lie and Liars Figure, and the sad part is most of America probably believes it. So by this logic if we quadruple the current tax we could reduce alcohol-related deaths by 70 percent? Hell, let’s mark it up 7 times and get rid of the deaths altogether! Ah if only it were that easy, but that’s what they want you to believe.

Make no mistake. The dangers of alcohol abuse are both serious and costly. I am not trying to undermine the efforts at reducing these incidences. But linking the cause and effect of taxation to something like this is foolhardy, and extremely dangerous to the long-term fiscal responsibility for Americans in general and the government in particular. I am appalled at the way our government is keen on using such studies to strike fear in our hearts while slipping its fingers into our wallets. Americans are an unfortunately gullible lot lately, prone to accepting the word of professional doctors and lawyers and politicians with little or no questioning of the facts. To suggest that raising the cost of a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine by 50 cents is going to reduce alcohol related deaths by 35 percent is taking a huge leap in logic. This supposed public health menace is driven by price? Come on!

Let’s look at the social side of this supposed crisis first. Anyone who has ever been to a popular club or bar at closing time has probably seen someone who has had too much to drink. In fact, most of the patrons would probably flunk a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. Thankfully, and in large part to increased education and tougher criminal punishment, most of these folks rely on public transit, cabs or designated drivers. The few that don’t are responsible for endangering themselves and the public. These are definitely people we should consider a menace and find ways to keep them from hurting themselves and the innocent public. However, the cost of a single beer in most bars or restaurants ranges from $2-$5 and can cost as much as $10 in a popular city nightclub. This translates from roughly half to twice the cost of a six-pack purchased in a package store. A glass of white zinfandel will cost you $5 in a bar, but you can buy a whole bottle for $5 in a package store. If people are willing to drink to excess in a bar or club and pay perhaps $30-$60 in the process, how does a measly 50 cents impact the man or woman who simply wants to buy a six-pack or bottle of wine and unwind after a long day or week? It just doesn’t make sense.

Now if we get away from the social aspect and into what might be termed the epidemiological side of this made-up health emergency I still can’t seem to make it compute. The study suggests that though modest, the tax hikes would add up over time and may ultimately curb the heavy drinker who’s seeing his weekly alcohol budget rise, the college student stockpiling booze for a party, and even the social drinker. The key word here is “may” but my favorite Figures Lie and Liar’s Figure part of this statement is the next claim: that these groups respond to price. Well duh! Everyone responds to price, regardless of the product in question. To isolate drinkers and insinuate that raising the price of alcohol is the most effective way of slowing consumption for “this group” is misleading in the extreme. Raising the price of milk will reduce the consumption of milk in a family of four. When the cost of your favorite fruit goes up you buy less or wait till it goes on sale. When filet mignon goes to $15 per pound you buy sirloin at $5 per pound or ground beef at $2 per pound. No matter the product, when the price goes up people cut back or search for a cheaper alternative. Simple economics here folks, you don’t need a fancy study to know this, you just need to have shopped for groceries. So the steady or heavy drinker will simply buy the cheaper alternative. Scrap the Heinekens boys let’s have us a Busch Light tonight! But this will only happen when the increase becomes prohibitive. As I said, 50 cents on a six-pack won’t curb anyone. So what exactly is going on here?

What will eventually wind up happening is in a year or two another politician will enlist the use of another study to supply data that says the initial tax hike wasn’t enough. The beauty for the politicians here is the survey can say whatever it wants and the politician still has the ammunition he will need to take back to an uninformed public that proves he needs more money. The survey will no-doubt assert that the tax hike was directly responsible for whatever decreases were realized, but if they didn’t hit projections the politician will say “We need more of an increase to have the desired effect” and if the results are beyond original expectations the politician will say “See how successful we were with just a little increase, imagine what we can do with more?” And they get this without every really quantifying directly the relationship between increasing taxes and decreasing health risks, because there is no way to directly quantify this, and this is an egregious misuse of the public’s trust.

To further vilify alcohol and support its agenda the study loosely ties alcohol and cigarettes together when discussing possible benefits of taxation, stating “There is some evidence that raising taxes can reduce unhealthy behaviors, even for people who are addicts. Increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products have been shown to reduce smoking rates and influence heavy smokers to cut back or quit.” This is more of their Figures Lie and Liars Figure policy. First, there are huge differences between cigarettes and alcohol. Alcohol comes with a buzz for one, and don’t underestimate this. Most of the alcohol consumption in this country is of the social variety. Having one or two drinks and catching that pleasant buzz while hanging out with friends and family is what people are after in most cases. You don’t get that with cigarettes. Cigarettes is a pure and simple addiction and even long-term heavy smokers will tell you that there is very little satisfaction in smoking a cigarette beyond the satisfying of the physical addiction. Second, the tax increases on cigarettes have been drawn out over the last twenty years. Between the taxation and the government going after the manufacturers, the cost of cigarettes has increased nearly 1,000 percent. The reduction in smoking cited by these studies is, yes, in part the result of people quitting because the cost has gotten prohibitive. But it is also in part due to the reduction in people starting because it is cost prohibitive. But the point is that the cost became prohibitive over an extended period of time. If cigarettes made the jump from $1 per pack to $10 per pack in one giant leap people would be up in arms with our politicians, because despite citing health benefits and cost savings and revenue increases, its just too large a money grab.

So a little at a time over time gets them there, but again, a 50 cent increase to a six-pack doesn’t make it cost prohibitive. If they increase it every year over ten years then yes, it will get prohibitive. And then they’ll be on to tax the next thing into oblivion. If the government really cared about anything besides the money they would simply make the manufacture and sale of alcohol, cigarettes and anything else they deemed unhealthy, illegal. But that doesn’t make the kind of money that taxing it does. The really sad part of all this is that the politicians continue to mismanage the money we do give them, and not in little ways. Why anyone would think that giving more money to the politicians is the solution is just plain stupid.

So we get to the heart of the matter when we read the concluding paragraphs of the article that declare in a state like Maryland that is currently proposing a hike in alcohol taxes, even a 10 cent increase per drink would save the state $214 million in healthcare costs and generate another $249 million in revenues. This, unfortunately, is the real reason for the study and subsequent support in politicians’ offices everywhere: Money. If you’re counting, that’s nearly a half-a-billion-dollar swing. Imagine what that could do for balancing your state’s budget? Imagine what social initiatives we could implement with that surplus? We could put hundreds of teachers in our failing schools and hundreds of policemen on our dangerous streets and make the world a smarter, safer place. These are some of the heartfelt concerns of our nation and the strings the politicians will tie to their lies and gently tug until they slip more money from our wallets. The sad truth is, none of these things will happen with the money. The budgets of most states and certainly the feds are so overdrawn and out of balance that this money would quickly disappear into whatever shortfall the irresponsible politicians have approved. You see, they haven’t been able to spend our money wisely in years, people! What makes you think this time will be any different?

The real tragedy here is that taxes keep going up and so do the budget, and its shortfall. When are we going to stop it? When are we going to hold politicians accountable? I can guarantee you one thing for sure will happen if you let the politicians increase the tax on alcohol. The tax rate will continue to rise and you need look no further than cigarettes for the proof. The real cure for decreasing these tragedies is through education. Teach our youngsters the right way to live and behave and make them aware of the dangers and consequences of misbehaving.

That, my friends, is my two cents. Not that you asked for it.  I need a beer. I better get one while I can still afford them.

My Two Cents: An Apathetic American, by Joel Borelli

Posted by Joel Borelli on June 8, 2015 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

My Two Cents – Original Publication Date August 10, 2010, An Apathetic American By Joel Borelli

I’m a little upset this week. Perhaps I should say I’m a little more upset than normal, as I seem to have a little mean streak every week. I’ve been struggling this week with what I should write about and recently, after trying not to dwell on several things I keep returning to them like an itch that just can’t be scratched. Allow me to explain. I am disappointed in America. Now that’s a pretty broad statement.  Let me try and clarify my point. I am a disappointed American who is disappointed in himself and his fellow Americans. I am disappointed in the lack of Patriots in particular, and I am especially disappointed in the apathetic nature the rest of America is displaying. When did this fine country stop caring? When did we give in to apathy and decide that we cannot change things for the better so let us just endure the little injustices that occur daily. And for the love of god, when did we stop caring to the point of letting the slimy, conniving lawyers and politicians whittle away the constitution to a marginal document without any real substance that is now so easily circumvented? When did we decide that it is okay to undermine immigration laws, but hey, let’s empower the parking authorities to ticket for the silliest of infractions like parking your car facing in the wrong direction?

Let me start with the immigration law. In a classic example of the illogical attitudes prevalent in society I recently read an article by Reuben Navarrette Jr., a nationally syndicated writer and sometimes contributor to CNN who is obviously against the immigration reform bill in Arizona. He states, and I quote:

“Since April, when Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 to punish illegal immigrants for the sins of the employers who hire them, estimates are that tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have left Arizona for a warmer climate in Utah, Colorado, Texas or New Mexico.”

At least two things are immediately incorrect with this statement. The first is that Navarrette implies that it is somehow wrong to punish illegal behavior. Illegal activity has consequences, in the forms of community service, fines, even jail time, but in America we let the criminal off easily all too often. The second is his not-so-clever attempt to transfer ownership of the problem, laying blame at the feet of the employers that hire illegal immigrants, rather than at the feet of those who are illegal in the first place. Just the fact that he is defending a segment with the word illegal in its description is illogical. It’s like saying that since someone took the trouble to grow poppy, process it into cocaine and then distribute it to our street corners that we should not only not be faulted for snorting it and getting high, but that we have some sort of obligation to use it because it is simply available. Now the employers are equally to blame if they engage in illegal hiring practices and if tens of thousands of illegals have left Arizona than I imagine the illicit employers in Arizona are feeling the pinch right about now. So who exactly is being persecuted here? And the fact that tens of thousands have left Arizona tells me the problem was obviously a sizeable one.

Navarrette goes on to interview a married couple who came to the United States legally but lapsed into illegal status when their visa expired. Navarrette writes, and I quote:

“They should have gone back to Mexico, but they’d already put down roots in Phoenix, where the husband could earn at least 10 times what he could make in Mexico. We talked about how some conservatives insist that illegal immigrants take jobs fom U.S. workers. ‘That’s not true,’ says the husband, who’s worked his way up from manual labor to an office job for a jeweler. ‘American’s are lazy. They don’t want to work.’”

Let me get this straight. Navarrette defends the couple for staying in America illegally because it is more profitable. That and they’ve put down roots? If they put down roots then where are their immigration papers? Shouldn’t that be the first root planted? It is because that’s not the main reason people come here. The main reason is just as Navarrette stated, money. Ten times more money than in Mexico to be precise. And Navarrette’s argument against the conservatives insisting illegals take jobs from citizens is laughable. His illegal interviewee has worked his way up from manual labor to an office job for a jeweler. Am I missing something or have manual labor positions and office jobs at jewelers always been outsourced to Mexico or India or anywhere outside the United States? When I was a young man I used to do all kinds of manual labor for money, from landscaping to concrete pouring, to construction and demolition. I’ve worked in offices, as a data entry clerk, filer, mail room employee, sales person. I’m a U.S. citizen, always have been. And his illegal interviewee asserting American’s are lazy? How about being so lazy you jeopardize a job and life that affords you 10 times what you could make if forced to abandon it, by letting your visa expire? That is not just lazy, that is irresponsibility on a grand scale!

The husband goes on to accuse Americans as:

“They're spoiled. They think it's easy to come to the United States legally, and they speak from ignorance.”

Talk about ignorant! Well, I for one never said it was easy, and I’m not sure exactly who the husband talked to, but I do know that that’s the way my ancestors came to America. Legally. And they put down roots and they learned the language and they worked hard, at manual labor and office jobs, and they put themselves and their families through school and they bought property and they prospered. That is the American Dream. They didn’t cry about how tough it was to get here, or how difficult it was to stay. They didn’t expect handouts and they certainly didn’t ask for any. They earned what they got, and in the end, several generations later, if some of their descendants happen to be spoiled, well that too is the American Dream. American’s earned that right.

And that bothers me too, the spoiled, apathetic aspect of Americans today.

Now I must defend the few true Patriots that remain and applaud their efforts. In particular, I had the pleasure of going to dinner with friends the other night and I applaud one friend who works for the FBI, not just for the patriotic effort, but the heartfelt attitude in putting forth the effort. Allow me to elaborate. When the discussion turned to terrorism and the task of preventing future terrorist attacks from occurring on American soil I asserted that the FBI and Homeland Security and all the security and police agencies in America had an impossible task. That’s right, I said impossible and I stand by my assertion. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. This should in no way be construed as a derogatory statement against the fine job these security agencies are doing. After all, nothing of note has occurred on American soil since 9-11, a fact I was reminded of over dinner and one I certainly appreciate from the bottom of my heart. But this is an impossible task and I stuck to my guns during our discussion and was pleasantly surprised by the quiet insistence that the job I believe impossible is being undertaken by people who truly care and want to make a difference. The quiet insistence was backed by a humble attitude fortified with the confidence of someone who believes that their effort does and will continue to make a difference. Suddenly I was the apathetic one. Whether you believe it an impossible task or not, I was suddenly very happy that my friend was one of those people tasked with keeping our country safe. That is whom I want protecting our borders, keeping terrorists at bay and even hounding them on their own soil, someone who believes it not only should be done but can and will be done. Someone who knows it should be done, because it is the right thing to do, and isn’t afraid to do what must be done to see the task through. That someone is a Patriot I’m proud to call a friend. I only wish I knew more Patriots. I only wish there were more Patriots.

Now the lawmakers and lawyers are driving everyone crazy. While out to the aforementioned dinner, another friend was ticketed for parking the wrong way. I was astounded, not that a friend got the ticket, but for the infraction. I had no idea it was a misdemeanor to park facing out? Punishable by a fine of $23 no less! Of course we didn’t see a sign before parking that way, but upon further inspection located a sign partially obstructed by overgrown palm trees and only at the one entrance to the property, not the other. Unfortunately, this means my friend will wind up paying the fine, but it occurred to me that we have such a finely tuned parking authority in Miami that on a Thursday evening after 7:30PM a vehicle parked the wrong way in a side street parking lot for less than two hours gets a ticket. I think if we applied this kind of effort, we could control immigration. Hell, we might even be able to stop the terrorists. I’d settle for an end to apathy.

Well that's my two cents!  Not that you asked for it.

My Two Cents: Minority Outreach - Muslims, Sharks & Female Condom Usuers

Posted by Joel Borelli on June 7, 2015 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (7)

My Two Cents: Minority outreach - Muslims, sharks, and female condom users - Original publication date August 2, 2010 By A Bostonian

I don’t think the word “outreach” means what they think it means. Here’s what I mean. The Dove World Outreach Center, a non-demon-irrational – er, I mean non-denominational – church in Gainesville, Florida is promoting its plans to host a national “Burn a Quran Day”, you guessed it, on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. While it is becoming more and more fashionable to thrash the Muslims in American culture nowadays, the Islamiphobia has been perpetuated largely by the crackpot fringe elements and not mainstream society. The DWOC has firmly settled in the crackpot element in my opinion. They believe that “Islam is of the devil” and question “Have you ever seen a happy Muslim?” Sounds like someone’s a little off their rocker here, right? Of course we’ve seen happy Muslims. Don’t you remember them dancing in the streets on 9/11/01? All kidding aside, this is the kind of behavior that the Islamic extremists display towards Christianity. Right before they strap a bomb on their back and march into a public place and blow them, and their innocent peaceful oppositionists, into little tiny pieces. The DWOC also has shirts and coffee mugs for sale touting their anti-Islam messages. Now I’m no expert, but didn’t Jesus toss the merchants and moneylenders out of the temple? I think he also said something about he who is without sin cast the first stone. I’m not sure if he ever burned a book in protest of anything, which frankly seems cowardly to me. At least try and find some innocent Muslims and blow them up you morons!

Did you hear about the 13-year-old boy who was chained to the kitchen table by his parents? Sacramento police found him wandering the neighborhood in search of bolt cutters, smart kid. One neighbor refused to help, believing him an escaped prisoner. Duh! No word why she didn’t subsequently call the police to report AN ESCAPED PRISONER!!! Apparently the parents, Vang and Vue, wanted to go out gambling (insert tacky Asian gambling joke here folks!) for the evening and chaining their son must have been the most cost effective solution to hiring a baby sitter. They must be very bad gamblers. Adding injury to insult, the boy says his father beat him after he chained him up. Well double duh! While I don’t condone what’s happened to you kid, here’s a free tip. If you piss off someone – anyone! – enough that they lock you up in chains, chances are they’re going to kick your ass too!

Talk about your big balls in Bell! The Mayor, Police Chief and most of the Bell City Council have recently come under fire for paying themselves exorbitant salaries. I’m not sure exorbitant properly describes the $800,000 salary the mayor of a 40,000 resident city was being paid. His offence was the worst, though I think everyone involved is going down after the state concludes its investigation. The police chief was next in line with a six figure salary and most of the council rounding out in the $80-$90k range. There was one council member who was only earning $8,000 a year, Lorenzo Velez, bless his honest heart. No word yet as to why he was so underpaid, but I suspect he was the newest member of the council and not yet eligible for the annual pay grab. Or he was just plain stupid. What really impressed me with the whole affair is that they were able to balance the budget for so many years. Crooked politicians that actually accomplish something are rare. Crooked is probably an unfair assumption. They may be more bent than crooked. I’m sure they followed the rules, legally – if only technically – voting themselves’ a salary increase. If they had done this overtly and tried to sell the increase as part of a performance package no one would be calling for their heads. I’ve always thought that the reason we get such lousy results from current politicians is that we don’t pay them worth a damn compared to what someone with the qualifications we need can earn in the private sector. $800k is still too much for the mayor of a small community, but if it gets results, shouldn’t more municipalities examine the salaries of performing – and under-performing – politicians? Frankly, if we kept those performing and fired the under-performers many communities would be left leaderless. I can’t wait though, to see what the state investigation turns up in California.

I truly cannot fathom some environmentalists. Matt Rand, director of the Pew Environment Group’s Global Shark Conservation Campaign recently wrote an article entreating the world “not sit by while a species that survived the extinction of the dinosaurs is being pushed into oblivion by the demand for an exotic bowl of (shark fin) soup.” Does anyone really care? And if the dinosaurs were still alive today, my guess is that Mr. Rand and his Odiferous Environment Group would be campaigning to turn most of Yellowstone into a protected habitat for the T-Rex. They’re such majestic creatures after all! But back to the shark, the modern-day underwater dinosaur that hunts and kills with the same precision as a T-Rex. The Pacific island nation of Palau is jumping on board the save the shark cause, officially designating an area of the Pacific Ocean about the size of Texas as the first national shark sanctuary. Word is sharks are flocking to the region in schools, and representatives from the Shark League of the Pacific, an undersea group devoted to improving mammal relations has expressed their deepest appreciation. Morons! Lost in all the hoopla, however, is how a flyspeck island nation can authorize such a wide swath of ocean for any purpose, or how they plan on overseeing the effort of policing said swath.  This is the year to get something like this done though, with international interest at an all time high, due in large part to the United Nations declaring this the International Year of Biodiversity – true story! The shark huggers have only 5 months left however, as I’m pushing hard to get the U.N. to designate 2011 as the official International Year of Food Chain Supremacy. Would someone please pass me the soup!

In 1993, the FDA approved the first female condom. That’s right, 1993, almost 20 years ago. If you polled the men and women ages 20 – 40 I don’t think you’d get many who have used the female condom. In fact, I would bet that until recently most people were unaware that there even was a female condom. Well, the FDA has recently approved the female condom version 2.0, so in the interest of sharing let’s hear what people are saying about it, and of course my two cents: “Noisy.” Some people like it loud, right? “Unwieldy, and like a plastic bag.” Nobody likes unwieldy in these situations, and besides, are we trying to take out the trash? “It’s too convoluted.” Most people don’t know what convoluted even means. “This could take minutes, and women have to get into this contortionist act to put the condom on. Its not practical.” I think most men are intrigued by female contortionists, however if it takes minutes to put in, some men may find things finished before they’ve started. “It was a little strange to get it up there,” Try closing your eyes and thinking about Brad Pitt. “In terms of inserting it, it was a little bit weird doing it in front of my partner. After it was in it was OK.” Remember, think Brad Pitt BEFORE and remember to close your eyes. In most cases, after couldn’t hurt either. “They move around more.” I’m not quite sure what to think? And lastly, “What we say is it gives people options and empowers women to initiate a method if he doesn’t use a male condom. It empowers her to take care of herself.” How about just saying no? I guarantee if you ladies gave the guys an ultimatum you’ll get them reaching for one in a nanosecond. I bet most will have one handy too!

And that is my two cents!  Not that you asked for it.

My Two Cents, by Joel Borelli

Posted by Joel Borelli on June 7, 2015 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

My Two Cents - Original publication date July 28, 2010 By: A Bostonian

There is something strange about this story. Have you heard about the Palestinian convicted of “Rape by Deception”? I’m not sure about Israeli men, but I assume they are just as prone to lying to, as the saying goes, get a little strange on the side. What else would a married man say to a single woman he just met 15 minutes earlier that would convince her to have sex with him? Frankly, I’m surprised his opening line wasn’t “How much?” Regardless, the married with two children man pleading guilty was sentenced to 18 months in prison. I thought the penalty for adultery in the Middle East was death by stoning? Or is that just in Iran? Or just for the women? It’s all very confusing. If they ever brought this law to the U.S. we’d have severe overcrowding issues in our prisons and no young men in college.

How about a little nip of the old cough syrup to quiet ‘em down? Is this the true birth of sizzurp? The practice of drugging your children to get some peace has come under fire recently as officials worry this practice is abusive. Of course it’s abusive. I don’t think anyone would challenge that. But it is effective. Hence the practice. Of course, these things don’t always work out the way mom expects. One mother interviewed said she tried a little Benadryl with her toddler to get her to sleep for a two-hour flight. Oopsie, turns out since she wasn’t sick the medicine only jacked her up, sending her flying down the isle and talking in her ‘outside voice’ the entire flight. That’s why you should stick with brandy. Much more predictable.

President Obama signed into law recently the Improper Payment Elimination Act or IPEA for short. Oh so close to a funny acronym. Not sure I can get behind this effort, but who wants to stand in its way? Up-wind, word is that the government will pay auditors financial incentives to find improper payments. Since when do we offer incentives to auditors? Isn’t that, by the very definition of the word auditor, their job, to find inaccuracies and abuses? Are they that lazy that we must now give back some of the money that was improperly doled out in the first place just to ensure they do their job? Shouldn’t that be classified as an improper payment as well? Anyway, I vote we change the name from Act to Effort. That won’t cost anything, will it?

In an accident shrouded in mystery, NFL Rookie Linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens Sergio Kindle recently suffered a severely fractured skull and swelling around the brain. His injury is so bad they anticipate him missing all of training camp and have some wondering when he’ll ever play again. According to the story he attended a function and then went to a friend’s house and at some point in the middle of the night got up and fell down two flights of stairs. Tragic? Gosh, I want to believe the poor kid woke up in the middle of the night and stumbled through a strange house in the dark and fell down the stairs. But really, I’m supposed to believe he fell down two flights of stairs? Without, ahem, help? There are really only two scenarios that fit in my opinion. First, he got pushed, which means he got in a fight, never a good start for a rookie and worth trying to hide. Second, he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both – a sizzurp stumble? – and equally embarrassing and worth the effort to hide. How else can you explain a fall down two flights of stairs? Try to picture two flights of stairs for a moment. Maybe fifteen to twenty steps for one flight, and probably a turning landing, then fifteen or twenty steps for the second flight. So picture now a grown man, a professional athlete, falling down a flight of stairs hitting the landing and turning and continuing his fall down the second flight. Hard to imagine. Now let’s say he actually fell down two consecutive flights heading in the same direction. Wouldn’t each flight still be separated with a landing? Isn’t that what would make it two flights? So how much momentum would you have to have to tumble down one flight, through a landing and on down the second flight? Not the kind of momentum you would generate looking for the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Lady Gaga’s record label, Decca, is making news, signing the cloistered nuns from the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation–located near Avignon, France. These nuns are quite literally cut off from the outside world, not even allowed to meet family and friends except through grilled windows. Wow. So is it any surprise that they wouldn’t let Decca’s Managing Director in to sign the contract? I give Decca credit though, trying to convince them to let him in, but the Benedictine nuns refused, forcing him to pass the contract through the grill to be signed. I wouldn’t have let a man named Dickon Stainer into a nunnery either. Or a ladies locker room, or dormitory, or any kind of school for children for that matter. It’s like a bad porno name.

This last one hit a ten on my creepy scale. Did you see the pictures of the Spaniard “Oscar” who, after accidentally blowing his original face off with a gun (aside from suicide, does anyone do this on purpose?), received the first full-face transplant in the world? Can anyone say, “Hello Clarice.” It looks like he’s wearing a human mask, which makes sense, cause that’s essentially what surgeons did, sewing on the face and lower mandible of a brain-dead donor. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new face rebels, and would you blame it? Okay, I’ll be the first to say it, “It puts the lotion in the basket, Oscar.”

My Two Cents, by Joel Borelli

Posted by Joel Borelli on June 7, 2015 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

My Two Cents – Original publication date, July 20, 2010 By: A Bostonian

In an effort to make it safer for the children of America to sleep – that’s right, I said safer to sleep – our government is once again sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission for Parental doofuses and other Brain Dead Morons has made all drop-side cribs illegal, whether they were ever considered hazardous or not. Sounds perfectly logical to me. Some kid gets his head stuck and dies, terrible, right? Well, turns out there were only 36 deaths over a 3-year period in all of America and most of these deaths are due to the faulty assembly of the crib. Thanks dad! So why waste time and effort legislating something like this? My feeling has always been that if dad isn’t smart enough to assemble the bicycle properly, chances are junior isn’t going to go to Harvard, and if a helmet keeps junior from killing himself as he rides a faulty bike with no brakes into an intersection and gets killed by an uninsured illegal immigrant priest with child pornography on his laptop drinking sizzurp, well you shouldn’t be procreating in that neighborhood anyway or maybe its just natural selection! Any-who, while we’re at it I think crib-front and side impact airbags should be mandatory. If you’re going to do something you should do it right!

In another bone-headed move by our government, Wesley Snipes’ recent conviction of tax evasion resulting in 36 months in jail seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Seems Snipes owes $15 million or so in back taxes and threw $5 million at the court as a gesture of good will in an attempt to avoid the jail time. They of course took the money but in their own gesture of up yours determined he must spend 3 years in jail regardless. Now why would you lock a man up with the earning potential to pay back $15 million in a matter of months? Plus you could make him do all kinds of charity work as part of his ‘probation’. Imagine the money he could raise for cancer or scoliosis, or sizzurp rehab? Now, I’d advise Snipes to go all Polanski on them, flee the country and live off his millions in a non-extradition country. And even if he does get caught, well he’ll get out of jail in a year or so with good behavior and get on that 25-year payment plan to get caught up on his back taxes. What a waste.

In what might stem from the first recorded case of Purple Drank, Packer’s Defensive Lineman Johnny Jolly has been suspended indefinitely for his 2008 arrest on possession of a controlled substance in the form of said Drank. Police actually dropped all the charges back in 2009 in order to develop effective testing methods for the codeine syrup. Once they did, they re-charged Jolly. What ever happened to you and your buddies pounding a 6-pack of beer on your way to the club? Now its codeine syrup and cool-aid, and the result is oh so different! The sizzurp must really be something if these professional athletes are willing to risk everything to get high on it. I think I’ll stick to the Captain and Coke, thank you!

Overheard around the Vatican water cooler… The ongoing debates over the sex scandals rocking the Catholic Church has produced several new rules for ‘stopping the abuse of children by priests and streamlining the Catholic Church’s procedures for dealing with it.’ Ah, if they’re going to stop the abuse, why streamline procedures for handling cases? Yes, I know its unfair to think that in an organization as large as the Catholic Church that a few bad apples aren’t bound to turn up and you must have procedures to deal with them. I’m especially pleased with the new church laws making it illegal for Priests to download child pornography as well as making the abuse of the mentally handicapped as bad as child abuse. You mean those were legal before now? And watch out all you would-be priest offenders, now the Pope can defrock you without a Vatican trial! Oooooh!

The U.S.-led United Nations Command and North Korea held rare military talks recently regarding North Korea’s alleged sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan on 26 March. While there was no official release of meeting minutes, I imagine the conversation between Colonel-level military personnel went something like this: American Colonel: “Why did you sink the Cheonan?” N. Korean Colonel: “We no sink Cheonan, you crazy American!” AC: “We have evidence.” NKC: “You no have brain, stupid American!” AC: “We have photos, satellite images, witness statements, etc.” NKC: “We have photos of your mother! Crazy Americans, always try to blame North Korea!” AC: “An independent committee confirmed your country is responsible.” NKC: “Independent committee say America smell bad!” AC: “Where you from soldier?” NKC: “Pyongyang you stupid American! Where you from?” AC: “Texas.” NKC: “I hear only steers and queers come out of Texas, and I don’t see any horns on you.” AC: “What the?” NKC: “I got no where else to go, (sob)! America full of cry babies!” AC: “I uh,” NKC: “Walk around! Walk around sugar britches!”

Okay, so maybe the conversation didn’t go quite like that, but what must they have said to one another? I don’t know whose bright idea it was, but these talks were supposedly a precursor designed to set the tone for General-level talks, where I suspect the phrase, “I know you are, but what am I,” will be bandied back and forth. The point is, are we really going to accomplish anything with Colonel-level talks. Not that we’d get any more accomplished with the whacko dictators out there, but at least we’d be dealing with the head honcho, the top dog, the big dic-tator.

Speaking of crazy dictators, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez recently exhumed the body of Simon Bolivar, the military mastermind responsible for liberating most of Latin America from the Spanish crown. Chavez wants to determine if he was murdered or was killed as reported by tuberculosis in 1830. I’m not really sure why it matters, but when talking about Bolivar, Chavez said, “Bolivar is alive. Let us not see him as a dead man and let us not see him as a skeleton. He is like lightning, like a sacred fire.” Craa-zy!! But if that wasn’t enough, he then announced on Twitter that he cried when he first looked upon his skeleton. Chavez a sobbing Twitterer!? I think Chavez should be checked for Syphillus and lay off the sizzurp. Word is, Bolivar’s skeleton rolled over in its grave. What is going on with the world’s despots?

Well that’s my two cents. Not that you asked for it.

My Two Cents, by Joel Borelli

Posted by Joel Borelli on June 7, 2015 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Original publication date – July 13, 2010 By: A Bostonian in online news journal The Third Report

I used to wonder, am I the only one who thinks there is something in the cool-aid of these wacky professional athletes that lead them to make so many ridiculous choices? Turns out, there is – codeine syrup. Former Oakland Raider’s quarterback and biggest 1st round draft bust JaMarcus Russell was arrested recently for possession of said syrup as part of an undercover operation. Evidently the narcotic is mixed with alcohol or a soft drink like 7-Up and enhances the effects of alcohol. This practice is apparently widespread as it even has several cute nicknames like ‘purple drank’, ‘’lean’(what this means I have no idea??), or my favorite ‘sizzurp’. Why something like this becomes fashionable is beyond me. While enhancing the effects of alcohol its ingestion risks respiratory depression which could lead to a fatal overdose, as well as, causing one to lose consciousness and experience convulsions. Makes me pine for the good-ole-days when one could just chug a $20 bottle of Jack Daniels and make an ass out of oneself.

Speaking of asses and bad decisions, word is Virginia Beach police will not file charges against Michael Vick, or anyone else for that matter, in the non-fatal shooting that occurred at his public birthday party. Not because they don’t know who did it. They just can’t get witnesses or the victim to cooperate. Pass me the sizzurp. In my opinion they’re getting closer. A recent study appearing in the journal ‘Pediatrics’ challenges that the ‘Body Mass Index’ or BMI test is flawed, limited, and inaccurate. They’ve come up with a simpler solution: Neck Circumference. Seems the geniuses have made a connection between fat necks and fat bodies. Well duh. I’ve got an even simpler solution. How about a mirror? Chances are if you look fat you are fat. Could save you a lot of time and trouble fretting over how to decipher age, height and weight charts.

In a related article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Masters of the Obvious – released a study confirming that overweight children are at a higher risk of obesity related conditions. Their advice? Eat more fruits and veggies. Classic. I say less is more. How about steering clear of those fast-food drive-through super size meals, and laying off the Ho-Hos?

Those randy senior citizens! In a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the risk of contracting a STD is twice as high for those taking Erectile Dysfunction medication like Viagra than those not. Is this really a surprise? Seems like a classic cause and effect situation to me. The real kicker is that the average age of those studied was 60. The study blames the lack of condom usage to the fact that the risk of pregnancy is no longer a concern. Leading the STD list is HIV, followed by Chlamydia, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea. Time to sit mom and/or dad down and have a little talk.

Ah, the Lindsay Lohan saga drags on! Her recent court appearance resulted in a jail sentence for the pop tart and that was without the judge noticing the FU sign painted on her middle finger. Word is they’ll tack on some additional time for contempt of court. It’s startling to me how completely clueless Lindsay is when it comes to comporting herself in public. Sources say she’s terrified of going to jail, even though the ‘jail’ is nothing more than a country club as far as these things go. What she fears is unknown, as she will be allowed to take several prescription drugs while incarcerated. Perhaps it’s the smoking ban. Without cigarettes, what will she trade for protection or other jailhouse perks? I suppose Lindsay’s behavior should come as no surprise given the example set by her parents. Her mother was recently harassed at a Carvel Ice Cream store for trying to use the Black Card, which entitles the owner to free ice cream for life, given to daughter Lindsay as part of Carvel’s 75th Anniversary promotion. Carvel revoked the card. So how much ice cream must the greedy mom been getting? Though her dad Michael Lohan who won’t be up for father of the year any time soon, he did have some advice for Lindsay. ‘She should be working on rectifying the situation and getting better.’ Duh. He went on to say it’s going to be a ‘horrible experience’ being locked up for 23 hours a day. He should know. He spent three years in the clink.

The ‘Barefoot Bandit’ has finally been captured. On the run for nearly 2 years, his chase has captured headlines and Facebook Fans across the country for his daring exploits in avoiding capture. While I don’t condone his actions, this kid has some serious intestinal fortitude. To avoid capture he has stolen multiple automobiles, planes, and most recently boats. The only thing he didn’t hijack is a train. I’m not sure I’d climb into the cockpit of a stolen plane and fly it across the country, crash land it, then steal another plane, fly it to the Bahamas and crash land again, this time in the water. But that was what led to his ultimate demise. Several stolen boats later he was finally captured. Alas, he ran aground in unfamiliar waters and police shot out his motor before he could free himself. After a brief standoff where he threatened to shoot himself he gave up. No word on the condition of his bare feet after all that running, but authorities are confident he’ll be provided medical treatment if necessary and a new pair of prison issue sneakers. My advice to prison officials? Keep track of the laundry truck’s keys.

How about some more Redneck Games? Georgia celebrated the 14th Annual Redneck Summer Games recently and I just can’t help but smile. Among the feats performed, Toilet Seat Horseshoes, Bobbing for Pigs Feet, Mud Pit Belly Flop, and my favorite, the Armpit Serenade won for the second year in a row by 8-year-old Aubrey Mathews. Mom must be so proud.

You don’t need to be a PHD in mathematics to do this math. And apparently you shouldn’t be a PHD. Grigory Perelman solved the Poincare Conjecture and was awarded the $1 million prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He promptly turned it down. What a dummy!

What is the deal with Islam’s fixation with hair? And why do the French care? French lawmakers are trying to pass a ban on Burqas, the head cloth worn by Islamic females that covers everything but the eyes. While I suppose that hiding behind a Burqa could be a potential terrorist, however banning the Burqa is, in my opinion, not the solution. In a somewhat related article Iran unveiled (sic) its new list of approved haircuts for Islamic men. The approved? Short on the front and sides for the most part. The gelled and slicked back 80’s look also got the nod. The declined? The Prince style pompadour, the Steven Segal ponytail look, and the business in the front party in the back sentiment of the mullet. Much to the chagrin of Iranians the new styles were met with overwhelming approval from Americans everywhere. Except for the Rednecks for whom the mullet still rules!

Well that’s my two cents. Not that you asked for it.

Now Available at Amazon.com

Posted by Joel Borelli on May 23, 2011 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The paperback version is now available for purchase at Amazon.com!  Versions for the Kindle and Nook will be released in the coming weeks.

Finding Love At First Sight Available May 2011

Posted by Joel Borelli on April 2, 2011 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I am proud to announce the May 2011 release of my first book Finding Love At First Sight, a contemporary romantic comedy.  I would like to thank Whiskey Creek Press for believing in the story and I am excited to join their award winning stable of authors.  Whiskey Creek Press has been publishing great books for over 8 years so stop by and visit them at www.whiskeycreekpress.com and see for yourself.


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