Friday, May 27, 2011
A few days ago I penned a post on Rick Perry - and his ongoing battle with the President - over the escalating illegal immigrant problem on 1200 miles of unprotected Texas border.
The Texas Governor lamented the fact that President Obama appeared to be looking the other way.
And, for some inexplicable reason, Barack Obama has refused to recognize the urgency of the problem and the growing threat against the fabric of the American way of life if appropriate action is not taken immediately.
As this juncture, an old expression came to mind, that I live by more-often-than-not.
It goes something like this:
"If you want something done, you have to do it yourself!"
So, that begs the question.
Just maybe, Rick Perry is primed-and-ready to run for President in the next election?
A couple of years ago, our paths passed briefly at a red-carpet event at the American Film Institute Festival in Dallas, Texas.
I found Mr. Perry to be quite charismatic.
Notwithstanding, the politician with the dark good looks, carried himself well - too!
I say, give it a shot, Rick!
News at 11!
Next to "Brian" on Queer as Folk, Hal Sparks portrayed my second-favorite character on the scintillating
no-holds barred cable television series which zeroed in on the gay subculture in America (shot in my hometown of Toronto, of course) warts-and-all.
Some gay activists protested against the long-running "adult gay soap opera" because it tended to put a searing spotlight on gay taboos which folks in Hollywood were trying to "whitewash" in a bold-faced effort to create a better image of homosexuals to the American viewing public.
Only positive healthy gay images, please!
Oh, tough titty, I say!
Like it or not, just like in the heterosexual world, there is a lot of preoccupation with SEX in daily life - and getting down-and-dirty in pursuit of it - is natural and healthy.
Why try to hide it?
We're all human after-all with animal instincts that need to be satiated.
To balance that out, however, the producers often focused on important gay issues as well - such as drug addiction, A.I.D.S., police brutality against gays - you name it!
At times, Queer as Folk, was a pretty thought-provoking controversial show!
I was sad when the cast and crew packed up and said adios!
Now Hal Sparks is appearing in Las Vegas at the Hilton Hotel lounge in the "Icons of Comedy Series".
His character on "Queer as Folk" was so sensitive and caring and - well - swishy!
On a talk show the other morning in Vegas it was evident to anyone watching that it was all an act.
The "real" Hal Sparks is quick-witted, acid-tongued, and in-your-face.
Is it just that he's getting older and more cynical, or was I blind to his true personality before?
It was a bit disappointing to hear him "take swipes" at people - because frankly - I didn't think he had it in him to be mean or heartless or cruel.
Oh well, maybe it's all an act - too!
Or, just maybe, he's been watching too much of Dennis Miller's segments on the nightly news hour!
For thirty bucks at the door, see what 'ya think, this weekend!
See 'ya there!
The latest joke flying around the broadcast airwaves can't help but crack 'ya up - or at least trigger a wee smile - given the circumstances.
Now that Ms. Lohan has chosen to "do her time" her way - and a monitoring device has been affixed to her elegant shapely foot - one can't help but wonder about one niggling issue.
Will the prosecutors ever be able to recovery the ankle bracelet - or will Lindsay make off with it - in the dead of night?
Actually, Ms. Lohan is paying for the cost of using the ankle bracelet for the next thirty-five days - or so - while she is under house-arrest at her beachside home.
Talk about cushy!
Sure beats hard time in the slammer, eh?
According to inside sources, Ms. Lohan entered the women's jail yesterday morning (Thursday) and proceeded to tie up all the loose ends, sign a few documents (correctly dated, I assume), and then proceeded to stretch out a long sexy leg so that a beefy female Sheriff could snap on a plain Jane ankle bracelet so that the long arm of the law could monitor her whereabouts for an exact amount of time determined by the court and Sheriff's Department.
God willing - her guests will take the utmost care when they pop in for a visit at her upscale digs - and endeavour not to spill any exotic cocktails on her foot.
Otherwise - ooops! - back to the big house she goes where nasty City employees are ready, able, and willing to come to blows with the Mean Girls star (if only for a quick buck or fifteen minutes of fame).
Unfortunately, during the course of house arrest, Ms. Lohan is not allowed to whittle away any of her community service duties also ordered by the court as part of her sentence.
That would amount to scoffing up double-time (we call it golden benefits in the industry).
She's sure to get around to that task, I expect.
This story is getting so old-and-grey and long-in-the-tooth, though.
Lindsay, time to move on, before you do - too!
With a deadline ticking away, President Barack Obama gave the nod to lawmakers last night, when he signed a 4-year extension for the Patriot Act just before the stroke of midnight.
In essence, the Government's power to search records - and conduct wiretaps at whim in pursuit of terrorists - has been renewed with vigor.
"It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," Obama stressed, on the heels of affixing his John Henry with a flourish to the documents.
Presumably, the President dotted his i's and crossed his t's when he signed the binding legal documents.
Because Mr. Obama was in France when the deadline for signing the document into law was looming on the horizon, the President facilitated - what is referred as an autopen machine - to carry out the administrative task.
The instrument is rarely used and requires proper authorization by the sitting President.
Americans are still reeling over revelations that Barack Obama entered an incorrect date next to his signature in the Official Registry at Westminster Abbey a few days ago. For some inexplicable reason, the President was under the impression the year was 2008!
How time flies when you're having fun.
Or, was Mr. Obama having a Senior moment?
The Senate - dispute a few hot debates on the issues - voted 72 - 23 for the legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting measures.
The House later passed the controversial authorities 250 - 153 on a vote that stretched into the night.
Without the three authorities, the Obama administration argued successfully, that the FBI might not be able to obtain information on terrorist plotting inside the U.S.
Even still, the vote was held up for several days because one hold-out Senator - Rand Paul (Kentucky) - was concerned that the tools Law Enforcement sought would result in an abuse of privacy rights.
In essence, Paul demanded changes to the bill to restrict the government's ability to monitor individual actions without proper checks and the balancing of applicable rights laws.
The renewal action extends the Government's authority over the next four years, and allows for roving wiretaps for non-American suspects who may be "lone wolfs" working independently without any known ties to organized terrorist groups.
The wiretaps and Government authorized access to business records are small parts of the USA Patriot Act enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
But, unlike most of the act - which is permanent law - those provisions require periodic review because of concerns that they could be used to violate privacy rights.
The same set of principles apply to the "lone wolf" provision which was part of a 2004 intelligence law (some have accused was "rushed into" prematurely in the hysterical aftermath of the terrorist attack of 9/11 in New York.
Paul expressed his concerns that the some aspects of the Patriot Act trampled on individual liberties.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) fessed up that he voted for the act in 2001 "while ground zero was still burning."
"But, I soon realized it gave too much power to government without enough judicial and congressional oversight."
Mark Udall of Colorado was afraid that law-abiding citizens would be subject to unjust Government scrutiny.
"If we cannot limit investigations to terrorism or other nefarious activities, where do they end?"
"The Patriot Act has been used improperly again and again by law enforcement to invade Americans' privacy and violate their constitutional rights," added Laura W. Murphy, the director of the ACLU Washington legislative office, at one point during the heated debates on the controversial - but solemn - issues raised.
The provisions of the Patriot Act have kept us safe for nearly a decade and Americans today should be relieved and reassured to know that these programs will continue, added Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Intelligence officials at major U.S. Government agencies have denied improper use of surveillance tools, by the way.
FBI Director Robert Mueller warned in a letter to Congressional Leaders recently that there would be serious security consequences if the Patriot Act was not renewed.
"When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we would be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot attacks against our country, undetected," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
When President Obama signed the appropriate documents last night he sealed their fate in the final analysis.
Paul agreed to let the bill go forward after he was given a vote on two amendments to rein in government surveillance powers.
Both were defeated, however.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled that Arizona was within its rights to require employers to check the legal status of their workers before hiring.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce brought a lawsuit against the state over the legal measure on the grounds that enforcement of E-Verify Laws was exclusively in the purview of the federal government.
Surprisingly, the four Justices who sat on the U.S. Supreme Court, tipped their hand when they gave clear and obvious signs at oral argument that they were inclined to rule in favor of the appellant (Arizona).
The final decision was 5 - 3.
Justice Elena Kagan did not vote in the case because of a potential conflict.
Kagan bowed out on the grounds that her previous position as Solicitor General in the Obama administratio
precluded herself from participating in the landmark case.
Although sweeping immigration reforms (instituted in 1986) barred most States the right to enforce immigration laws, there was a loophole which the appellants were able to drive a spike through.
Lawmakers left one clause in 1986 pertaining to “all licenses necessary to operate the businesses" which cinched it for Arizona in a nutshell.
John Roberts noted in his "Opinion" on behalf of the U.S. Supreme Court that Arizona is entitled to enforce its employment-verification requirement through licensing laws which turns out to be a clear opening for other states similarly situated.
“We hold that Arizona’s licensing law falls well within the confines of the authority Congress chose to leave to the states and therefore is not expressly preempted,” Roberts wrote with a nod from his peers on the Court.
In the wake of the ruling, it is anticipated that other states will now follow suit, to put a lid on the hiring of illegal immigrants in the United States which has been escalating out-of-control over the past year.
The high court’s findings in respect to the narrower employer-focused law signals that states have some leeway in passing laws similar to Arizona’s now-infamous immigration law.
A federal E-Verify requirement law is also in the works.
“I am pleased the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Arizona E-Verify law and their right to revoke business licenses for employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Not only is this law constitutional, it is commonsense," beamed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) who is introducing the measure on the Federal level.
On the heels of this ruling, some Arizona lawmakers are hopeful that another case going before the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future, requiring that local law enforcement officers check for the legal Immigration Status of an arrestee will be successful as well.
News at 11!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
In the aftermath of his astounding big win last night, Scotty McCreery found himself trotted around the show-biz-circuit today.
Ah, the toast of LA LA LAND!
The country-western star wannabee was everywhere! everywhere! everywhere!
But, don't expect Scotty to cruise the Internet soon, or check out what any bloggers have to say about his appearances on American Idol.
The kid with a twang in his voice has sworn off the blogosphere for his own reasons.
"On the Internet, they love you or they hate you," he solemnly quipped to one interviewer this morning, with a bit of a bad taste in his mouth.
So, he's putting his blinders on, and focusing on the kudos and crush of loving die-hard fans!
Meanwhile, last night's closing segment of American Idol generated a big buzz on major sites - and local news programs - bright-and-early this morning.
Some quipped that nobody but God could hit that high note that Steve Tyler managed to pull off - with little aplomb - to the stunned amazement of everyone in attendance and tuning in from the comfort of their homes.
Just how tight did his pants have to be to accomplish that feat, I wonder?
One anchor on Fox News in Vegas joked that when Jennifer Lopez was gracing the stage with her "ass" shimmy - that the foundations of the sound stage must have been rocking back-and-forth.
Just betcha that little maneuver - which she had obviously been practicing at home in front of a mirror - kept the pounds from taking their toll on her best ass-et in recent weeks.
Jennifer put slutty pole-dancers to shame!
Shake that booty, honey!
Lady GaGa was a knock-out when she - not only rocked on the stage - but engaged in sensual hanky-panky with a sexy young stud.
When they took the splash, well, it was symbolic - wasn't it?
Meanwhile, I can't fathom all the interest in what's-her-name, that came second.
She sure looks chunky to moi!
In spite of a smattering of juicy kisses planted on Scott McCreery'x face last night, the winsome twosome swear that they have no inclination to jump in-between-the-sheets.
Seems that Scotty has his mom on his mind a lot, so you figure it out!
Needless to say, the final episode was a smash success from a ratings point out view.
Viewer turn-out went through the roof.
Now, as the kids go out on tour, the producers gear up for season 11 (!) which starts up in about-a-month.
Break a leg, kids!
Lady GaGa has been swept up in a whirlwind of activity!
The other night she alighted in the hot seat next to Dave Letterman appearing for all-the-world like an exotic black-plummaged bird from some intriguing nether-world.beyond this dimension.
And, a stint on Saturday Night Live, revealed her humorous side with comic sidekick Justin Timberlake.
Last night, the Pop Diva also did an erotic turn with a male dancer in a captivating live performance on the final segment of American Idol, which literally stole the show out from under all the mega-talent who appeared on stage.
The Internet has been awash with every delicious sensual tidbit - and it's been enough to give rise to a boner - or two!
Now, the high-profile musical phenomenon is about to fly into Vegas and hold court at a pool party at the oh-so-chic Cosmopolitan Hotel tomorrow night in Las Vegas.
Fans may be thrilled to hear that a copy of her eclectic new album - Born this Way - will open the magic doors to the sizzling hot event - so they can get an up-close gander at the object of their pop sensation desires!
Purchase of an album at the door will also get a nod from the doorman!
I expect there will be a lot of little monsters descending on the elegant new Hotel on the strip, which has been causing quite a stir with tourists and world travellers alike.
Personally, I love the trendy upscale hangout!
Meanwhile, with memorial day weekend about to kick off, a few of the other Hotels are trying to get in on all-the-action, too.
After all, it's been predicted that approximately 113,000 visitors are about to flock into the desert oasis - and hopefully - spend with gay abandon to the thrill of local businesses hungry for a surge in sales.
So, if Lady GaGa is not your idea of an night on-the-town, other popular acts are hankering for your attention.
The Go Go's, for instance, will be taking the stage at Mandalay Bay tomorrow night.
And, Berlin will be appearing at the Freemont Experience, for free!
Needless to say, there may be a Hangover or 2 come Saturday morning.
By the way, the sequel has opened locally, so you may want to catch that flick this weekend if you're not into playing the slots, or rubbing elbows with celebrities at ultra chic Night Clubs along the Las Vegas strip.
The word from most movie-goers appears to be that Hangover 2 is not as good as the first, but, entertaining none-the-less.
This time out the storyline was set in Bangkok.
Even still, tourists have been calling Caesar's Hotel in Vegas to try and book the Hangover 2 suite, which doesn't actually exist (except n the minds of filmgoers who pine for a bit of real-time movie magic in their lives, too).
Catch 'ya around town this weekend, eh?
A few days ago, I published a post in which I noted that Expedia and a handful of hotels in the Las Vegas area were not fully disclosing deposit requirements, applicable surcharges - such as questionable resort fees that are often not revealed by Hotels in Vegas 'til check out - and business practices that are deceptive in nature and rise to the level of fraud in my own humble opinion.
As my readers at the Tattler are keenly aware, I stand by all features that I author at this site.
As far as I am concerned, the details in the aforementioned post are true and correct, to the best of my knowledge.
Curiously, this morning I received an e-mail from an individual identifying themselves as Director of Sales at Expedia, who issued forth a demand that I modify and change the statements in my post on the grounds that comments were "libellous" in nature.
In addition, the rep from Expedia requested the name of the guests making the accusations, as well.
I laughed out loud in response.
I fired back an e-mail in which I noted that I had first-hand knowledge that the information was true and correct, and that therefore, there would not be any modification or change made to the post.
In response, the individual demanded copies of the documents I have in my possession, which are evidential in nature and establish the truthfulness of my claims.
Does Expedia think I was born yesterday?
I quickly noted that the documents would be available in the discovery process in a legal proceeding, and that I did not intend to acknowledge any further communications, so silly were their overtures.
I studied Law, so if they think they can hoodwink me, they are sorely mistaken.
Stay posted for the fireworks!
One of the grand old Hotels in Las Vegas has been gussied up just in time for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
To the tune of a $180 million-dollar in renovation costs according to my reliable sources!
Later today, the freshly-minted - Nikki Beach - will toss a chic White Party to celebrate the "opening" which is expected to attract quite a star-studded crowd of elite party-crashers bent on getting down and boogeying into the wee hours of the night in the trendy desert oasis.
When you first stroll up the strip, you can't help but notice the new "whitewash" on the front facade of the Tropicana, with the stand-out eye-catching blood red lettering!
At night, tourists actually stand on the overpass and video-tape a swirl of images that are projected onto the side of the landmark Hotel, which are - not only visually dazzling - but downright entertaining to take a gander at.
But, the real appeal, is to be found tucked away in the actual environs of the Hotel.
Once tourists stroll inside the front doors, the white marble inlays on the floor - and the highly-polished brass fixtures - are inclined to soothe guests right off-the-bat and put 'em in a positive upbeat mood.
In fact, the whole first floor is a sight to behold, even for someone with a very discerning discriminating eye.
I was particularly drawn to a beautiful "stick" wall hanging near a back entrance which was simply exquisite.
The decorators tied in wood inlays in the floor which echo the heme beautifully, too.
I expect that this week-end the Tropicana will be the place to hang out, sip an exotic cocktail, take a splash in the pool, and what-have-you.
By the way, Ms. Gladys Knight is appearing at the Hotel right now, so you may want to snatch up a ticket or two for that much-ballyhooed live concert gig!
See 'ya there!
I recall when a producer first cast Matthew McConaughey for a lead role in one drama years ago that he specifically noted in one interview that he chose the revealng slacks that Matthew 's character wore in the flick to "accent" and draw attention to his "tight" little butt.
That speciall attention to details turned out to be a plus for the actor.
Once the film was released - McConaughey was catapulted into the stratosphere - and he was not only lauded as a new sex symbol (one of the sexist men alive) - but a promising talented actor on the scene.
Now, on the subject of fitness and "body shape", American males have noted in a recent poll that Matthew's butt is the one they pine for!
From what I gather, that trim ass is still quite "perky", too.
Judging from the photograph above, of course!
Meanwhile, although unflattering photo-shopped photos have shown up on the Internet of the 1st Lady, the same poll determined that women most-admired - and longed for - the well-sculptured arms of Michelle Obama.
Just betcha - that if all the "perfect parts" of the bodies selected in the poll were assembled, that the physiques of the male and female individuals would be downright scary!
After all, it is each "distinct individual attribute" - combined with our flaws - that makes each and every one of us so darn interesting (and unique).
Of course, I could use a few crunches to work off a bit of flab on my stomach, so I'm heading out to the gym to correct that flaw right now.
See 'ya there!
Texas Governor Rick Perry...illegal immigrant surge a crisis! President Obama neglecting his duty to Nation!
I expect that when the Governor of Texas appeared on a major network this week to discuss what he described as a troubling surge of illegal immigrants on the Texas border of epic proportions, that it was quite an eye-opener for many U.S. viewers sitting comfortably at home in their armchairs in the dark.
Don't feel badly, folks!
According to the Governor, the President is unaware of the escalating crisis, too!
Governor Perry lamented the fact that Barack Obama appeared in the city of El Paso just two weeks ago, and took the bold-faced stance that the Texas border was secure.
If you caught the news reports filtering in from the Texas border live - where law enforcement agencies were vigorously patrolling the border to apprehend illegals attempting to cross under the cover of darkness - it would have been abundantly clear to any fool that the illegal immigrant problem has reached a fever pitch.
While some may be under the impression that immigrants who enter the country in a clandestine fashion are simply humble Mexicans illegals seeking a better life - Governor Perry alleged in no uncertain terms - that the massive nightly crossings also consist of foreigners who are enemies of the State - some with ties to Al Qaeda - for example.
In addition, Perry alleged that drug cartels are - not only moving drugs across the remote border (with lethal chemicals that are poisoning our youth) - but have also set up distribution centers in El Paso, Dallas, and other U.S. Cities just a hop-and-a-skip away from Mexico.
The Governor also pointed an accusing finger at the President for failure to provide funding to curb the escalating siege on the nation which poses a threat to the very fabric of American Life.
For example, grants from the Federal Government have been cut, so Law Enforcement (ICE, the local Sheriffs, and Homeland Security) have insufficient funds to battle the illegals who may be entering the country to set up cells (with the express intention of eventually attacking this country "from within").
Perry is under the impression that President Barack Obama doesn't care about the problem, for some inexplicable reason, or perhaps has a secret agenda in mind.
With his bid for a second term on the horizon, is the subject too volatile to broach at this juncture in his Presidency?
Some hint that there are powerful influences at work in the corridors of power in Washington.
Are Mexican lobbyists influencing the Government behind-the-scenes?
News at 11!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
After all the stops were pulled out, Scotty McCreery - the western-style contestant - finally inched ahead of his competition (songbird Lauren Alaina) in a competition that was the most nerve-wracking yet on American Idol since its inception.
But, the spoils are a bit bittersweet for the hick from the sticks.
As Mr. McCreery looks toward future career prospects, one in the realm of the coveted Country-Western scene may be elusive, if the reports are true.
On the heels of his win, for example, scuttlebutt has been circulating in some circles that Scotty - likable down-to-earth aw-shucks kid that he is - may get a royal snub from die-hard Country-Western aficionados who view the Idol-winner with a bit of a squinty -eye.
In fact, Stark Radio just broadcast a report alleging that country radio programmers have already written the American Idol winner off.
Copycat versions of other folk's songs - karaoke-style - may not cut it with dudes and dudettes who are dead-serious about their roots, their music influences, and an ethic that they live by.
The competition was a close-call, needless to say.
When Lauren suffered a vocal discord (!) this week, it looked like the young hopefuls final bid was kaput, or paving the way for a contestant to step in from-the-wings to take up the task of beating the popular home boy.
But, Lauren managed to pull up her stockings - and in true show-biz style - followed a golden Hollywood tradition that the show must go on.
In spite of the setback, many viewers thought her final performance this week, beat Scotty hands-down.
Though not a great singer, some have conceded - especially in the wake of Lauren's bouts of nervousness when it came time to perform live in front of an audience - that Scotty was the best all-round performer.
He nabbed it, not because of his voice per se, but for his showmanship in the final analysis.
Many fans actually thought Lauren fared better than Scotty on Tuesday's final showdown.
It will be intriguing to see what is ahead for both young talents.
News at 11!
What is just me?
When one of the major networks broadcast a clip of the President at a formal dinner with Queen Elizabeth II last night, the President looked for all-the-world like a youngster swimming in his Dad's formal clothes as he stood up to address the luminaries at the celebrated event.
As to his demeanor, well, he appeared meek and slack-jawed.
Indeed, he looked more like some gawky young kid giving his first speech at a Graduation dinner, than in the glare of the spotlight on the World Stage.
Maybe that is why his speech got rudely cut off?
Oh, you didn't hear about that, eh?
Well, let's get 'ya up to speed!
When President Obama stood up and held his glass high and said - "To Her Majesty the Queen" - the music started up right away - and ended up - cutting off Mr. Obama's carefully-crafted speech!
Talk about embarrassing.
Was it my imagination, or did Queen E 2 appeared to be slightly amused by it all?
Apparently, when the Queen is toasted, protocol calls for the Royal Anthem to play.
Obviously, nobody informed Obama, so he ended up with egg on his face.
But, in the final analysis - the President simply joins a host of Hollywood Stars - who often get cut-off unexpectedly (and rudely) when they go overboard with their acceptance speeches.
In this instant case, Mr. Obama never did get the chance to thank all the little people!
Oh well, next trip across the big pond, eh?
God Save the Queen (Elizabeth, not Barack silly!).
Yes, those gay rumors are still floating around the blogosphere (along with the questions about his Birth Certificate).
You know what they say, where there is smoke, there is - well - you figure it out!
I was channel surfing the other evening when I stumbled on an interesting news report on a restaurant owner back east who drew a lot of flak because of a sign that he posted in the window of his establishment.
The gentleman in question posted a notice that his staff only spoke English in the eatery.
Some in the quaint little town - tourists mostly passing through - were disturbed by the sign which they immediately perceived as racist and discriminatory in nature.
Not so, though.
Apparently, the owner of the local restaurant was prompted to post the sign on the heels of an unpleasant incident which went down in recent days.
According to the report, a Latino family entered the restaurant to order a meal, but did not speak any English.
"It was a frustrating experience for me," the man told a reporter.
"They got angry because no one working in the restaurant spoke Spanish. I tried to explain to them that this was America and that English is the language that is spoken in this country. But, they did not understand. They got up, and angrily left the restaurant without eating."
Frankly, I sympathize with the restaurant owner.
Is he expected to hire a Spanish employee to speak Spanish to Latino customers who may saunter in now-and-then?
I have a pet peeve of my own about the current problem with Latinos and the issue of English.
On many occasions, I have gone into McDonald's or Jack-in-the-Box, and had difficulty communicating with the employees on the counter because they did not speak much English.
I have also been particularly annoyed about the fact that on occasion when I have been in a store - wihere Latino workers are employed - they often speak Spanish as I am standing there - and I am subsequently left out of the conversation.
It is not only rude - and shows bad manners - but it is damn annoying!
In fact, I wrote a column on it in my "Mr. Manners" regular feature on the Tattler.
I think it is high time that the Government instituted a Federal law that stipulates only English be spoken in businesses, government offices, and public areas, to ensure that our English language is not pushed aside in favor of Spanish, and or any other language, for that matter.
I am not off-base about this, either.
In Quebec (Canada), for instance, the French Canadians actually have "Language Police" who make sure that the French Language is preserved so that the culture remains intact without threat.
For example, signs in stores must feature French first, in spite of the fact Canada is a bilingual country (English/French).
Also, the signs in French must be prominently displayed, to ensure that the message is loud and clear.
In Quebec, French is the first language, that will not be diminished by English-speaking Canada attempts to ignore its presence (or culture).
Sixty Mintues broadcast an interesting report on this issue which bears watching for those who are concerned about their language and culture not being trampled upon, disrespected, or lost in the throws of an illegal seige on their Nation.
Over the past couple of years, I have sampled a few of the Hotels in Las Vegas, with surprising results
Some, though cheaply-priced, turned out to be surprisingly comfortable (with a host of great amenities worth shouting about), while others were dogs to be avoided like the plague!
With that in mind, and the upcoming long week-end on the horizon, here is a list of the rip-off establishments that warranted a consumer alert!
As Roy Rogers would say:
"Happy Trails to you!"
LAS VEGAS HOTELS
(Patronage not recommded)
The Golden Nugget
El Cortez Hotel
The Sahara Hotel
The Gold Spike
Meredith Viera (the poor man's Katie Couric who I often confuse her with) fessed up tonight on the Jay Leno show that she is exiting her once-popular morning show because it is not her "style".
Not suited to her talents is more like it.
As I noted in a post earlier today, in respect to an interview she conducted with Jack Black, Ms. Viera fielded a couple of silly questions she thought were probing, in a bold-faced effort to stir up some controversy for her gab fest on a major network trying to rustle up ratings.
Judging by nervous demeanour on Jay's talk-show tonight, I expect that Meredith's excuses were not on the up-and-up.
Just maybe, she couldn't cut it.
Or, perhaps her bosses were unhappy with a lacklustre ratings performance in recent months?
I guess Meredith failed to deliver up the golden egg, eh?
"But, I still have the hosting job on Millionaire," she quipped quickly on the uptake.
Same old same old.
In spite of the spandex, at least one of her co-workers still remains popular with the American viewing audience, for sure.
So, what fate befalls Ms. Viera now outside of the trivia fluff?
News at 11!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Dancing with the Stars...Steeler Hines Ward wins coveted Mirrorball Trophy! Kirstie scores slightly behind!
Kirstie Alley was left holding a pair of worn dance shoes tonight with not much to show for it on "Dancing With the Stars" when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward roared from the sidelines to snatch up the coveted Mirrorball Trophy at the end of - what turned out to be - dazzling season on the highly-rated entertaining show.
"Starting this competition, I never thought I'd be in the finals, but I owe it all to Kym. She's an amazing teacher," a Hines gushed, after hearing the exciting news
Hines thanked the judges for egging him on - and likewise - encouraging him to persist in a competition which eventually led him on to a championship season on the dance floor!
The football star expressed a lot of gratitude to all his fans back in Pittsburgh for standing behind him and cheering him on.
"We love Steeler Nation, Bulldog Nation (University of Georgia)... I hope I represented well," he said.
Although Kirstie took 2nd place, she underscored to the hosts of the show ( dapper Tom Bergeron and pretty Brooke Burke) that the dance competition on "Stars" thoroughly impacted her in many respects.
"It's like the most extraordinary adventure I've ever been on in my life and I want to thank Maks."
At this juncture, she turned in his direction, and uttered up her sentiments.
"I love Maks," she gushed sincerely.
"It's been a special season," Maks responded.
"But I don't only have words for Kirstie, I have words for the previous nine partners I had because this is the 10th trophy that I got and thank you for this, this has been an amazing, amazing season."
How were the winners determined, you might ask?
Hines and Kym beat Kirstie and Maks to the top spot based on a 50 percent weight given to the viewer votes, and the other half to the judges' scores.
In a nutshell?
When Hines and Kym chose a Steelers-inspired samba it undoubtedly put them over the top with a perfect 30 out of 30 score.
"You bring every dance to life," head judge Len Goodman roared in approval!
There were great kudos for Kirstie Alley, too, from a second judge.
"Kirstie, you cheeky girl, you saved the best for last," judge Bruno Tonioli said.
"You've never danced better. B
'Til next year!
Gosh, if you're on the prowl for a hot date in Vegas around the witching hour, stroll into the MGM Grand and try your luck!!
Everywhere you turn, there is a bevy of beautiful young men - with a gleam in their eye - hot-to-trot!
Why is that place such a babe magnet?
Maybe it was a case of jet lag.
Or, perhaps the President has been overworked?
It is wholly possible, too, that the President pines for simpler days before he was Commander-in-Chief!
But, it does have folks scratching their heads.
For some inexplicable reason, when President Obama signed the Official Registry over the weekend in England, he affixed the year 2008 next to his name and signature.
However, when you consider the recent flap over the code name assigned Barack Obama's Official visit by Scotland Yard, maybe the so-called error is not that perplexing to fathom in the final analysis
In case you were in the dark, here it is in a nutshell.
When a computer generated a code name for Obama's visit to meet with the Queen - the term 'Chalaque' - was spat out.
The term is reportedly a Punjabi word which means someone who is "too clever" for his own good.
Or, quite simply, a smart alec.
Although Scotland Yard had the option to change the code word, they chose not to, for whatever reason that remains unclear.
It suddenly struck me that perhaps the President decided to prove how "clever" he really could be.
By affixing the wrong date on his visit on the Official Documents at Westminster Abbey, he is guaranteed to stand out in history.
A brain teaser for trivia buffs?
I guess Barack had the last laugh!
Meanwhile, the tongues have been wagging about the Queen's sudden willingness to court "American Royalty" at long last.
Although the President and the 1st Lady were not invited to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Windsors - and the Duke of Cambridge and his pretty wife - made up for it in spades this week.
The President toured the Royal Guard, received a gun salute, and the Obamas were invited to share a few private moments with Prince William and Kate Middleton up-close-and-personal at Buckingham Palace.
What kind of idle chit-chat did the foursome engage in?
Oh, would I have loved to have been a fly on the wall in that room, listening in!
In a solemn moment, President Obama also placed a reef on the tomb of the unknown solider, by the way.
A fitting gesture since a similar poignant moment was experienced by New Yorkers at Ground Zero in recent weeks
Now that the Obamas have kissy-faced with Queen E 2 and the Prince and his fashion savvy bride, I expect that they will be invited to the next Royal Wedding.
Could it be - Prince Harry's?
News at 11!
Desmond Richardson - a celebrated dancer with Complexions Contemporary Ballet company- will be honored with the 60th Annual Capezio Dance Award at the Joyce Theatre on Tuesday May 24th in the Big Apple.
In a recent press notice, Mr. Richardson took the opportunity to welcome fans of the dance troupe to the opening season which starts up this week in the heart of New York City.
"I'm so looking forward to sharing our first spring Joyce season of performances with all of you, and can't wait for you to witness the beauty of our phenomenal dancers."
"This season is indeed special in so many ways. I'm thrilled to be dancing in the New York premiere of Dwight Rhoden's Testament - set to an array of classic spirituals - that will really touch your soul, and move your spirit."
"This week will also include works that exemplify the diverse body of work that has become the hallmark of Complexions - with Moon Over Jupiter (Rachmaninov) Rise (U2), Moody Booty Blues (Muddy Waters/Stevie Ray Vaughn)."
Mr. Richardson was quite touched by the deserving dance honor bestowed upon him.
"Dancing has been my life for so many wonderful years, and I believe in its power to move and transport audiences, taking them on a journey. That passion for dance, is so real to me - and to be recognized in this way for doing something that I've loved, and love every since I can remember - will truly be a great moment for me."
When you’re booking a Hotel in Las Vegas, by-pass Hooter’s Hotel, unless you want to get ripped off by scam artists like Hotel Supervisor Noe Monarrez and Lisa Krasn who are involved in a conspiracy with Expedia to book rooms without fully disclosing applicable fees and charges in advance.
For example, disgruntled guests were shocked when they appeared at Hooters recently to check in for a brief holiday and a Hotel staff member – Supervisor Noe Monarrez – proceeded to extort money from the tourist.
Although the guests paid for a four-room stay in advance, and booked the room based on the facts and information disclosed on the Expedia reservation site, they were greatly incensed (and felt ripped off) when the Hotel employee demanded a security deposit in excess of $100.00.
Usually, when travelers book rooms and pay in advance, Hotels waive the requirement of a deposit - or if there is one going to be applied at check-in- it is disclosed on the front page of the reservation page.
There is a good reason for this upfront disclosure.
If a tourist does not like the terms and conditions of the booking – or the fees, surcharges and deposits being billed – they have the right to book at another Hotel.
And that is the crux of it!
Expedia is involved in a conspiracy with Hotels like Hooters to hoodwink, deceive, and connive tourists into booking rooms that appear to be a good bargain on their face when they are not!
In fact, because Expedia and Hooters failed to disclose the full details of the financial terms and conditions as aforementioned, the dishonest conduct smacks of deceptive business practices and fraud!
When the guest understandably complains to the Management at the Hotel, they are given the run-around.
“You have to take that up with Expedia, they shrug,” as they lie through their teeth to protect their sorry asses.
Then, when the customer calls Expedia, the booking agency tosses the blame on the Hotel.
“The Hotel did not inform us of their policy,” they argue back.
Essentially, the two companies know they are ripping tourists off, but to avoid blame (and to mitigate responsibility for damages in the event of a lawsuit) they proceed to engage in endless “denials”.
It’s not only called the bum’s rush, but yes, smacks of deceptive business practices and outright fraud.
In addition to the scam regarding deposits, another sinister practice is also about to erupt, which may just land Expedia and Hooters (and others participating in the scam) in court facing criminal charges.
Of course, I am talking about resort fees.
Folks travelling to Las Vegas may be in for a shock when they check in at the front desk of their Hotel (Hooters, for example) and are under the mistaken impression that their upfront payment in advance has taken care of all the sums due.
They may find themselves dinged for – say what? – resort fees!
In retrospect, the despicable conduct of the employees at Expedia and Hooters becomes crystal clear, at last.
The reason why Hotels like Hooters ask for a deposit at the front desk is so that they can collect those “non-disclosed” resort fees at check out when the tourist turns in their room key.
Because the resort fees have not been “disclosed”, Hotels like Hooters are required by law to inform the guest at check in (not at check out) that the resort fees will be charged at the end of their stay.
The reason they don’t reveal the information up-front is because they know the guest will balk, complain, and refuse to pay the fees.
In sum, Expedia and Hooters are involved in a scam to defraud tourists in the dark about ethical business standards that must be adhered to on U.S. Shores.
In a nutshell?
Expedia posts a low-ball Hotel rate (for Hooters, for instance) on the Internet which appears to be a good price to tourists when compared with other Hotels listed on the booking site.
However, when the resort fees (which weren’t disclosed) are figured in later, bet you ten-to-1 that the other Hotels listed alongside Hooters are a better bargain than the one they chose (because they were scammed).
Because Expedia and Hooters, in this instant case, failed to fully disclose the terms and conditions and applicable fees, the two couples willfully and wrongfully denied a consumer the opportunity to shop and compare and choose a Hotel at the best rate within their budget needs elsewhere.
In sum, tourists are being overcharged because the resort fees were not disclosed upfront, as required by U.S. State and Federal Laws.
Frankly, I am appalled by this practice, which has been running rampant for a year or two now in Las Vegas.
It is high time that Law Enforcement (the Dept. of Justice?) conducted a full investigation with the ultimate aim of rectifying the wrongs, including – but not limited to – criminal charges being brought against Expedia and Hooters (and other Motel and Hotels involved in the scam) on behalf of the consumer-at-large.
In addition, the Federal Trade Commission should swoop in and conduct a full investigation of the scam, and likewise, levy heavy fines against the guilty parties to deter such despicable fraudulent conduct in the future.
As to the staff, well the snotty Afro-American clerks at the front desk (who are routinely rude to the guests at the Hotel) leave a lot to be desired (or so I hear from my inside sources in Vegas).
Needless to say, Hooters and Expedia are on my shit list!
Avoid both of these companies like the plague!
Monday, May 23, 2011
Any U.S. citizen facing hospitalization for a quick medical procedure, or for the treatment of a terminal illness, agrees to be admitted with the understanding that Hospital staff - nurses, doctors, technicians, etc. - will at least have the ability to communicate effectively with the patient at the hospital.
A great bedside manner may go a long way to cheering up the ill, but unfortunately, few of the local hospitals appear to put much stock in that ideology.
Instead, through my own experience - and judging from the dozens of complaints I have received in response to my revealing exposes on Medical Care Facilities in the Los Angeles area, it appears that administration is inclined to hire cheap labor - which means, of course - individuals with little education, care-giving skills, or the ability to communicate effectively in English are hired to babysit hapless charges.
That's my pet peeve this week!
It's time that the powers-that-be stop hiring on medical personnel who can't speak English fluently - or, at a minimum - are capable of communicating without difficulty with their limit knowledge of the language of the land.
Does someone have to die before anyone in the medical profession will sit up and take notice of this critical issue that needs addressing?
News at 11!
For Lady GaGa - of late - it's been a non-stop swirl of frenzied show-biz trailblazing!
After a triumphant guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, the Pop Diva's sizzling hot new release - BORN THIS WAY - was unveiled on iTunes at midnight last night amidst a lot of fanfare.
The Queen of Pop's little Monsters will be thrilled to hear that the fabulous hit-maker and artist extraordinaire is slated to splash across television screens this evening at the witching hour on the ever-popular Dave Letterman Show!
The Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum selling pop star is making her first appearance on Dave's hot seat, and the much-anticipated interview is expected to be a ratings monster.
At Press time Dave's handlers confirmed that Lady Gaga is expected to sashay on to the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theatre and hunker down for a chat about her new album "Born This Way", her eye-popping fashion choices - and ultimately - reveal what life is like in the dizzying fast lane of the Pop stratosphere.
Catch it if you can!