Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Songs for Soldiers Christmas Campaign

After the Kopel holiday bash and the Jarvis island outing, not to mention company parties, jam sessions in the music room, and all the other weird things one does at Christmas time, I’m exhausted and there is still four days to go.

So I thought I’d share a little project we are doing here at Ivy Hollow. For those of you that don’t know, when he’s not doing anything else Jim Putnam writes music, and he even has a band in Nashville called Nashville Bound that records some of his songs as country music.

The past 2 ½ months he has been market testing some of the songs on the Internet at a site called and he met with some surprising success. So far 19 songs have been released in five different categories of music, though all have their roots in country. The songs were released in Country, Rock, Pop, Blues and R&B and in 14 different genres within those categories. Here are the positions they reached on the national internet charts.

Songs © by Jim Putnam

Margarita You're Such A Cheater
Highest chart position # 1 (26,257 songs in Rock > Rock General)

Highest charts position # 9 (12,348 songs in Pop > Pop Rock)

Goodbye Hello Old Friend
Highest charts position # 10 (3,070 songs in Country > Country-Pop)

On My Way To Be A Man
Highest charts position # 11 (33,146 songs in Urban > R&B/Soul/Pop)

I Walked Away
Highest charts position # 12 (528 songs in Country > Country Swing)

What Life's All About
Highest charts position # 12 (1,904 songs in Blues > Country Blues)

Last Night I Wondered Why
Highest charts position # 13 (9,325 songs in Rock > Rock n Roll)

No One's Left Keeping Score
Highest charts position # 16 (3,828 songs in Rock > Folk Rock)

Take Me Back Again
Highest charts position # 16 (991 songs in Country > Rockabilly)

Always Same Old Game
Highest charts position # 21 (8,052 songs in Country > Country General)

Something Was Wrong
Highest charts position # 22 (6,920 songs in Pop > Contemporary Christian)

Daddy's Gone
Highest charts position # 23 (6,237 songs in Blues > Blues Rock)

The Cowboy Walks Alone
Highest charts position # 23 (1,128 songs in Country > Country and Western)

That Someone Isn't Me
Highest charts position # 23 (7,946 songs in Blues > Blues General)

Take A Chance
Highest charts position # 25 (1,281 songs in Rock > Southern Rock)

Only Me
Highest charts position # 26 (2,115 songs in Country > Traditional Country)

Here I Stand Alone
Highest charts position # 28 (1,361 songs in Country > Bluegrass)

He Fooled Himself Again
Highest charts position # 34 (219 songs in Country > Cajun/Zydeco)

Of Thee I Sing
Highest charts position # 39 (3,208 songs in Country > Christian Country)

So what you might ask? Well the minds at Ivy Hollow decided someone must like the stuff or they would not all be in the top 40. The competition was tough as the following number of songs were fighting for the same top 40 positions against the Nashville Bound sounds.

(117,085 songs currently listed in Rock)
(25,534 songs currently listed in Country)
(18,422 songs currently listed in Blues)
(57,120 songs currently listed in Pop)
(33,146 songs in Urban > R&B/Soul/Pop)

So we decided to honor the members of the armed forces by giving away for free copies of all 19 songs to them, their families and friends, who can send the soldiers copies wherever they might be. On Christmas Day all of the songs will be available on the Internet for free downloads as the following press release states.

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Nashville Bound offers free mp3 downloads of 19 top 40 hits
In Songs for Soldiers National Christmas Campaign

Nashville Bound, the powerhouse band from Nashville is now offering an exceptional Christmas gift in honor of those fighting in Iraq, the Songs for Soldiers National Christmas Campaign with free downloads on Christmas Day of all 19 Nashville Bound hits. The band has an astonishing range of music from country to pop, rock to blues, and has reached the Internet top 40 with 19 straight releases in the past two months. The free downloads will be available at the following web page.

Families and friends of those fighting in Iraq and stationed throughout the world, and fans of the band are urged to download the music and send it to soldiers for Christmas. Free downloads on include the #1 hit Margarita You’re Such A Cheater, 3 songs reaching the top 10, 9 songs in the top 20, 15 songs in the top 25, 17 songs in the top 30, and all 19 songs in the top 40.

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That’s what we are doing for Christmas. You can listen to the songs right now by clicking on the web site mentioned in the release or download them for free on Christmas Day. If you know any soldiers or families of soldiers you might mention they can get the songs for free and forward them. Back in the days of Viet Nam music was incredibly important to the soldiers and it still is today. Hope you all have a great holiday and watch for updates from the Coltons Point Times.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Kopel Kouple Kristmas Kaper

Last night was another of those legendary Coltons Point parties as King Bob, Ink Spot, Polar Pam, Auntie Joyce and all the rest of the Kopel family who were last seen in The Wizard of Oz, hosted the Kopel Kouple Kristmas Kaper and it was a stunning success as you can see from the scene gathered around the front porch waiting to get in.

The food, all prepared by the caring hands of the little people of Kopel family fame, equaled the best of the Baileys secret stash (the really good stuff they hold back from events). Being the Kopels have been Pointers a long time and done their best to populate the Point their extended family has developed some rather tasty recipes which were rapidly absorbed by the overflow crowd.

Early traffic jams at the bar and kitchen area were quickly overcome and the Pointer people rapidly took over the entire Kopel compound where the most unusual conversations could be overheard. If you missed out on this holiday gathering it was probably a good thing since not a single person more could have been wedged in to this body bumping bash.

Those Kopels sure do think of everything. There were doctors and vets in the crowd in case anyone got sick, Padre Berry in case they got real sick, really tall neighbors like Colorado Chris to look out over the crowds for trouble, politicians in case people had nothing better to talk about, and a constant array of trays being circulated filled with delectable delights.

Typical conversations ranged from Haughty Helen telling someone from the Gass Line that your family may have been one of the first to settle in this area, but my family was on the first boat that came from England! (Weren’t they the ones that landed on St. Clements Island, looked across the water at the Point, and immediately packed up and headed down river?) We just knew she had a Checkered past as well as present.

Speaking of the Gass line, it seemed like every other person I met was from the Gass house gang so maybe the annual event should be renamed the Kopel Kouple Kristmas Kaper and Gass Line Holiday Reunion.

If you looked close you could see Harley Tom talking to a mirror image of himself, Sweet Sue sampling sweets, Carpenter Joe and The Rose trying to figure out how to be polite and eat for the second time that night, and some people talking in hyper speed as if the proud owner of a bionic tongue, while others sat in stunned silence knowing they did not have the courage to try and get a word in edgewise.

King Bob and Inky may be the nicest couple around to put up with the cast of characters that crash their annual party. And people must like them since there were three times as many people at the party as live in the Point.

Thanks to our gracious hosts Inky, King Bob, Polar Pam and Auntie Joyce along with any other family members who were lost in the crowds for a very heavy happy holiday send off.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Ultimate Politically Correct Holiday Greeting Except for Die Hard Atheists

( Why does Santa get all the good stuff?)
For all people of the world we offer prayers and hope for world peace and wish you happy holidays for (Christian) Christmas, (African) Kwanzaa, (Hispanic) Las Posadad-Noche Buena-Navidad, (Jewish) Hanukkah-Rosh Hashanah, (Persian) Yalda, (Islamic) Eid al-Adha-Muharram, (Buddhist) Rohatsu, (Hindu) Sankranti, (Celtic) Winter Solstice and (Chinese) New Year.

Holiday Time – Ugh…

Christmas time, the number one commercial holiday in the states, is the time when people exchange tons of treats, maybe gifts, maybe even fruitcakes if they don’t really like you. We send cards and presents, attend at least ten parties to celebrate one holiday, get lit up on eggnog and whatever gets put in it, and put on a happy face for all we encounter.

Now are we really being honest with ourselves let alone everyone else? Treats are nice but they make you fat. Is that any way to treat someone you care for? As for gifts, why are they expected on Christmas? Birthdays, sure give them whatever you want, but rampant commercialization on a sacred holiday like Christmas seems an inappropriate way to honor the meaning of Christmas.

As for the fruitcakes, long ago I learned to beware of those bearing 10 pound fruitcakes. You eat one of them and your body will scream out in pain not only because of the added weight but for whatever that load is doing to your innards. My advice, re-gift all fruitcakes, in other words give them to someone else as soon as possible.

The cards are a real sentimental touch. Remember when a personalized often corny family photo was the card? Now billions are spent to send loved ones images and words created by someone else and intended for anyone. Gift spending this holiday season will reach $457 billion, over $700 for every American. Mindless gift spending, buying gift cards rather than making a gift decision, will total nearly $25 billion.

No matter what you celebrate for the holidays, I doubt it was anything even remotely linked to the blizzard of money thrown away during the holiday season. The baby Jesus sure wasn’t born in designer clothes in a condo on Long Island. Yet the price of being an average American at Christmas carries a $700+ tag. What are we thinking?

Oh well, sing, drink, eat and be merry. It’s the American way.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

National News Round up 12-14-2006

Breast Cancer Breakthrough.

After all the years doctors and pharmaceutical companies pushed hormone therapy treatment for women, at least up until 2002 when the government said the hormones might be causing breast cancer, there is finally a downturn in breast cancer statistics. However, it was not because the government issued a warning or the doctors recommended women reduce their use of the hormones but because 15 million women said enough is enough and stopped taking the treatment.

In 2003 breast cancer dropped 7%. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical companies or government don’t want you to really know what impact those 15 million women had as the year 2003 is the most recent statistics available. Three years ago, hummmm. Isn’t it stupid that the most technological advanced society in the world runs three years behind in breast cancer statistics?

So instead of 211,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2003 there were actually 186,000, which means breast cancer today could easily be down 20-25% and no one wants to admit it. How will they all make money if the cancer rate is dropping? When 15 million women take life into their own hands and away from the doctors, drug companies and hospitals, the earth shakes.

Dr. Kervorkian Released from Prison.

The famed assisted suicide doctor who claims to have helped 130 people die illegally was released from prison today. It’s reassuring to know his services are now available again. Whenever my mother used to threaten suicide to get my attention I would send her a Kervorkian Gift Certificate for one treatment. I told her it would be a better way to go.

Another New Disease Discovered.

Thank God the pharmaceuticals have been busy because we now know another disease we didn’t know existed can be effectively treated with new drugs. It is called, believe it or not, the Restless Leg Syndrome. Only drug companies could relate a restless leg with a disease and come up with a cure. Now I know why my leg used to bounce up and down in school. All this time I thought it was boredom.

What could possibly be next in the Disease Discovery and Drug Dealing business plans for the drug companies? The old 4-D magic worked again. How about the Broken Nail Syndrome, the Split Hair Syndrome, the Boil on the Butt Syndrome or the Forgetting to Put the Toilet Seat Down Syndrome? Surely drugs could be found to help out those things. If not prescribe something stronger to make us forget about them.

Weather News.

2006 is the third warmest year on record which certainly doesn’t explain the increase in oil prices this winter. Of course we only have about 50 years of records out of 4.5 billion years the earth has been around so I’m not sure the records are being interpreted properly. There have been a few Ice Ages in that history so maybe the warming really is cyclical.

Flu News.

Once again the flu is back. Once again the flu vaccine doesn’t work. But at least this time there is more than enough for any fool that might want it.

Capitol Quiz.

In an earlier article I told you a Socialist party member is the deciding vote for Democratic control in the new US Senate. With all the fuss over the brain problems of the Democrat Senator from South Dakota if something should happen to him the Republican Governor of South Dakota would probably appoint a Republican to replace the Democrat and poof, the Senate is back under Republican control. Which is worse, the Democrat majority dependent on a Socialist or the Republican majority dependent upon VP Dick Cheney? Contrary to the reports of the national news media, right now there are 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans, one Independent and one Socialist. The Independent and Socialist are supporting the Democrats.

Sports Roundup.

The Washington Redskins lost, the Baltimore Jaguars lost less, the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles lost a lot more, the Washington Capitols lost the hot shot kid, and no one cares what any other team lost or won.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I wonder why?

Why is the news media so silent about the $33 million already paid in fines by the record companies in the USA for bribing radio stations and disc jockeys to play their favorite artists? Now there are hundreds of radio stations under investigation by the FCC and still no press. Is corruption so accepted that it is not even noticed?

Why did oil prices go up when we have the warmest winter on record, there were no hurricanes to destroy oil facilities, oil inventories are at high levels, and the American consumer has changed their driving habits by stopping the purchase of gas guzzling vehicles?

What happened to the promise of politicians to pull our troops out of Iraq if elected? Do they really think we will forget the promises just because committees and specialists are being consulted about a new war policy? Will the consulting amount to anything new?

How can the Bush Administration continue to refuse to talk to Iran and North Korea about issues of world significance just because they are the bad guys? Presidents Nixon and Reagan had no problem with direct talks with Red China and the Soviet Union when they were our enemies.

Why is Congress only in session four days during the month of December if we are facing so many critical issues like budget approval, immigration reform, Iraq policy, oil price gouging, corruption and a host of other matters?

Why does our government continue to insist other countries of the world must adopt a system of democracy like ours in order to get our help when only 25% of the eligible voters elected the new Congress in America? A government backed by 25% of the people means 75% don’t agree or don’t care and is that the kind of government we want for everyone else?

America faces an immigration crisis not from the flood of people who want to come to America and work but from the inertia in Congress at being able to address the issue. About 98% of all Americans are direct descendents of immigrants. The percentage of immigrants in America is less today than it was the first half of the 20th century. There is no indication immigrants are taking jobs from Americans. So why can’t we welcome the immigrants who are tax paying and productive members of the work force rather than stigmatizing them with an “illegal alien” designation?

Today, Tuesday, the government announced it raided Swift Meat Packing plants across the country and captured 1200 illegal immigrants, some with forged papers resulting from identity theft of Social Security numbers and real names to match. It means the company was duped, the government was duped, privacy laws passed by Congress prevent the SS Administration from notifying the real card holders that their Social Security numbers were stolen and the illegal immigrants were duped by the bad guys who stole the numbers and sold them to the illegals.

What they didn’t tell us was how 1200 illegal people found jobs that no one else seemed to want and they worked for an hourly wage that paid less than welfare, yet they still paid taxes and paid into the Workmen’s Comp and Social Security funds but would never benefit from their payments. The 1200 people being questioned were out of 15,000 employees of Swift & Company and 500,000 employees nationwide in the meat processing industry.

Oh yes, the raids also temporarily halted production in 15% of the meat processing plants in America which could result in shortages of meat and poultry inventory in grocery stores, price increases, hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased government costs to process the cases and deport the families if warranted, and the replacement of 8% of the meat packing workforce at Swift before full production is achieved. Does that really make sense?

Why are some people trying to adopt English as the only language allowed in America when even some of the English speaking Americans are impossible to understand? If we mandate English we should mandate that all current Americans speak English properly and read at minimum achievement levels. Neither is true today. When I was in Russia I was astounded to learn over 250 languages and dialects are spoken in the Russian federation. It doesn’t seem to keep them from functioning. And we can’t even handle two languages.

Why do the television networks continue to run so much garbage on TV and call it quality programming? Better yet, who are those millions of idiots watching the junk that show up in Nielsen polls? Remember my article about how many commercials are on TV? Well now I will tell you how much time you are wasting watching those commercials.

According to Nielsen the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV per day, 28 hours per week, 2 months nonstop per year and 9 years per lifetime. The average American youth spends 900 hours a year in school and 1500 hours per year watching television, and that does not even count the internet use. Who is teaching our children?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Coltons Point Lighthouse

We've poked a little fun in the CP Times at the Million Dollar Lighthouse at Bailey's but this picture shows the real deal as 15 year resident Marie Guidry walks the foundation of the original Lighthouse at St. Clement's Island that is being rebuilt. More later on that exceptional project but it's rather obvious it is in need of substantial repairs.

Catholics Finally Arrive

About 372 years ago the Catholics first landed at St. Clement's Island and refused to come to the Point. Now almost 400 years later, they have finally arrived as the flock of Flying Nuns can be seen above floating past the Museum.

The Guardians of Coltons Point

Holly, the Queen of Coltons Point, was abandoned over 5 years ago and has been raised by the Pointers ever since. While she floats from house to house she has a warm greeting for all the residents and a sharp bark for all strangers. If you hear this Golden Retreiver at night it will be to drive away any intruders, aliens, skunks, foxes or politicians.

Like any veteran of the Point, and she has lived here all her life, she is a waterman prepared to jump in at a moments notice to save someone, cool down, fish or enjoy a nice swim.

Coolin, formally known as CuChulainn Deo Irie, (the Warrior Dog of Ireland), is a classic Irish Wolfhound measuring 41 inches at the shoulders and 7 foot 3 inches from nose to tail. Known as the Gentle Giant, intruders of any size and shape better beware. Every day Coolin makes the rounds of the Point checking for strange scents and visiting our senior citizens to make sure they are alright.

Images of Coltons Point

Things Pointers do at the Point
Play football

Ride Bikes

Punch Out Someone

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Professor Ray Lands in Iran

No he is not the Absent Minded Professor who got lost on his way to class at the University of Maryland. Maybe President Bush and his Administration can’t talk to Iran but Professor Ray, our Premiere Point Professor sure can as he is now in his second of four days of speaking in Tehran, which is the mangled star on the map close to the Caspian Sea. He is the designated Ambassador from Coltons Point to Iran.

Of course we may not know how it went until he gets safely to Beijing, China. Beijing is the big black cross on the map of China. What was that you might ask? How could he be safe in Red China? Well the Professor loves Chinese cooking, speaks a little Chinese, and is busy setting up a school of journalism over there so those Communists can figure out what is wrong with the American media. He’s our Ambassador to China as well.

Stay tuned for more reports on the Big Adventure of Professor Ray if he can find internet access in Iran and China or his wife Sheila perfects the telepathic communication technique in time.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Coltons Teenage Love Birds Reach 25th Plateau

Believe it or not the percentage of high school lovers who marry and get divorced is well over 50% but we have a couple who have beaten the odds in more ways than one. Colorado Chris and Sweet Sue, high school sweethearts in Arizona have just reached their 25th year of marriage, a significant achievement you should not underestimate.

Did you know only 1/3 of married couples reach their 25th anniversary, and only 20% reach their 35th anniversary? I’d make a big deal out of the 50th anniversary which is reached by only 5% of married couples but the primary cause of not reaching it is far more permanent than divorce like the others.

Colorado Chris, a native Pointer, can trace his local roots back to about the beginning of settling the area. Sweet Sue on the other hand, being from Arizona and all, seemed to appear without a trace out there in the desert just in time to capture the heart of our Maryland transplant in high school.

They married, moved to Texas, started their own empire, moved back to Maryland with the business to employ all the relatives, got a place in Colorado to go hide, and lo and behold Chris is now back in the Point where he began.

It was a nice anniversary according to reports leaked to the media except for the little incident with the earrings Colorado so painstakingly picked out. Seems the pierced earrings came with their own security system to prevent being ripped from the ears or something by thieves. There was a locking device on the thing that pokes through the ear.

Try as they might they could not figure out how to get them to release so until Sweet Sue gets to the jeweler to have her earrings unlocked don’t be surprised if on a sunny day you see the reflection of a spectrum of brilliant colors bouncing along Beach Road as she walks her dog Kahlua.

Have a great 25th anniversary year and may you reach the 5% club.

Coltons Critic's Corner

People swarming to get to art show
Went to the Art Show for Sassy Sharon and the Wolf Woman and I’m beginning to develop an appreciation for the finer aspects of fine art. The lines waiting to get in to the Left Bank studio were so long I had to wait until later to see the stuff but it was the best time to arrive as the guests and artists had been busy sipping a few bottles of wine to their success.

Now you may question my qualifications as an art critic in as much as I was the guy in 5th grade who took 8 bars of soap and carved them into nothing before I figured out I was not intended to be an artist. I only passed the soap carving test because I took the 9th bar, shaved off the corners, and called it a bear in hibernation.

But I’ve learned a lot since then. Like most artists are oddballs and the Coltons Point artists colony is no exception. Sassy gave me a hyper speed education in art appreciation as a means of explaining her penchant for abstract expressionism. I told her it reminded me of the graffiti I used to see in the NYC subways.

When I asked what she was saying in her paintings she nearly tore my head off saying something like abstract art is whatever you want it to be and if you don’t see anything in it you must be stupid, brainless, or a Republican. I asked why she didn’t say I was insane and she said "they" would understand the paintings.

So I looked up abstract expressionism in Webster's and it said, “a post-World War II m0vement in painting characterized by emphasis on the artist’s spontaneous and self-expressive application of paint in creating a nonrepresentational composition.” What? An artist’s nonrepresentational composition? Isn’t that the same abstract expressionism technique the politicians use in Washington, D.C.?

I wonder if abstract expressionism is an artistic style or a mental disease? Either way it makes for some interesting things on the wall. Now Sassy is a quite gifted sculpture and in these works the abstract part is subdued for the most part. I did see a little of it in the Lincoln bust as part of his head seemed to be missing. Until I understood abstract work I would have thought the statute had been dropped before it was fired in the oven or the fuse blew halfway through the drying process kind of like bread that is taken out of the oven before it finishes rising.

Wolf Woman was also on exhibit and her stuff I could understand a little better except for the prices which were the steal of the century for an art show. I tried to interview her but she just seemed to laugh at all my questions and then I met her husband, Wolf Man, and I understood. Even the little Wolfette was there to support her mum, though she was anxiously awaiting the chance to go out with her friends.

While the charter plane from the UK that I was expecting didn’t make it as the weather was a bit nasty two old friends from the Point, Rosemary and Diane, from my Bald Eagle swimming days, did make it. They hopped into their cute little RV and made an 8 hour trip down from their witness relocation site up north near the Canadian border. They certainly traveled the farthest to support their friends in the Point. Once a Pointer always a Pointer.

Many of the Pointers did show up when they heard there were free drinks and snacks and a good time was had by all. For those who didn’t show up and had no excuse, well, you missed a chance to meet your neighbors, share a few laughs, and check out some mighty fine pieces of clay and genuine abstract graffiti.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Do You Trust the Weatherman?

This has been a banner year for the weatherman, both locally and nationally, as they have finally demonstrated beyond doubt that weather reports are pure hogwash. Even the dumbest amongst us could match the success of the weather reports with a bottle of White Lightning and a dart board.

Ever since the television networks decided to make weathermen or women celebrities the quality of the reports has gone downhill, you might say they washed away with the latest unpredicted rain storm. About all we can really expect from the weatherman is they might know what is going on outside their studio at the time of their report if they take time to look out the window.

American productivity has decreased because of their constant warnings of another hurricane, or tropical storm, floods, high winds, lightning storms or whatever. Once they realized if they sensationalize the weather with dire predictions and warnings they could get more air time with the constant updates. But now these characters have cried wolf so many times their credibility is shot.

Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on satellites, weather stations and computer modeling and the result is a much faster and more graphic way of making mistakes. People are glued to the latest storm warnings when they should be out working or getting the eggs from the chicken pen.

Grocery stores and oil companies should name weathermen heroes since sales spike as a result of the multitude of mistaken warnings. Wrong weather reports mean more to grocery and gasoline sales than the needs of the family blowing the money while waiting in lines.

Lost productivity, line rage, price gouging, increased tension, cancelled outings, closed schools are all the direct result of the miscues from the weatherman. Why doesn’t a weatherman ever say they simply don’t know what is going to happen, or is the truth that hard to bear?

The last reliable weather reports came from George Carlin when he did the “Hippy Dippy Weatherman” routine stoned, because his reports, though they were the same every night in every venue he appeared, were always right. There will be light followed by dark. It may or may not rain.

I say put the satellite picture on the screen and silence the weathermen. Let us decide what the pictures mean since the experts have no idea. When they tell us we are going to have the worst hurricane season ever, land prices drop along the water, gas prices go up for fear of refinery damage, and people live on edge. Weathermen are a major disruptive force in America. Since there were no hurricanes to hit the USA this year it means they were not wrong once but over and over since about eight major storms were supposed to hit.

Make them personally liable for the billions of dollars they cost us in erroneous forecasts. Throw them off the air. Better yet, use them for a lightning rod in a thunderstorm and let them see how it feels messing with the public. But for Pete’s sake do not take them serious. The so called meteorologists with their weather bugs and space age technology should use their heads, not their machines and models, and if they do they will get out of the weather business.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Speaker Nixes Intelligence Choices

Nancy Pelosi, new House Speaker and our favorite Maryland woman representing California in Congress has jumped into another controversy with her appointment of a Chairman for the House Intelligence Committee.

This is the most sensitive appointment in Congress with access to all our nation’s top secrets. Normally it is based on seniority in Congress but prior to 911 the Democrats seem to have lost sight of that.

Rep Jane Harmon, California, the senior Democrat on the Committee and normally next in line for Chairperson, was promised the top Intelligence post by the Democrats when she ran for Congress after losing the California Governors race. Nancy does not like her.

Second ranking Rep Alcee Hastings, a Florida Black backed by the Black Caucus was impeached by the House in 1988 resulting from FBI bribery sting. So he was thrown out of office as a judge and won a seat to Congress. Nancy doesn’t like him either.

So her top two Democratic choices for the nation’s most sensitive Committee Chairmanship were a loser in the governor’s race and an impeached judge. What in the world is congress thinking or at least the Democratic leadership? Can’t say as if I blame Nancy. At least this time she’s not backing someone who was involved in a scandal.

Fisticuffs Come To Nation’s Capitol

It’s good to know that the metro area will be represented in the US Senate by a thug who is bound to get things done the old fashioned way. Seems newly elected Virginia Democrat Jim Webb ran into President Bush at a State Dinner and was asked by the President how his son was doing in Iraq.

Webb apparently doesn’t realize the campaign is over and responded he wants to see his son brought home and the President replied I didn’t ask you that, I asked how your son was doing.

Webb was so angered to be rebuked for not answering according to one of his aides he had to resist slugging the President at the State Dinner hosted by the President. Now the fact the Webb aide had to make a big deal out of Webb almost slugging the Commander in Chief says very little for the character or temper of the newly elected thug from Virginia.

St.Clement's Island Museum

Museums are generally filled with the dead and for the living, but that doesn’t make the head of the museum a Deadhead. No, they are a hard working type dedicated to preserving our past so the future folks will know from whence we came.

The St. Clements Island museum, honoring the first landing of settlers in Maryland way back in 1634, has the daunting task of working to preserve history in an area with Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Annapolis and other wealthy and populated locales all with their own history to tout. Yet we are the oldest of all of them in terms of historical significance and the only one smart enough to locate in Coltons Point.

Sheila Gibbons Hiebert is President of the Museum and we hope she will contribute articles to the Coltons Point Times about the museum and our history if she ever gets time to catch her breath. In the meantime you can all help us get noticed by contributing to the museum Annual Appeal drive. Drop off all the money you can muster for a worthy cause.

I want to suggest the museum sponsor a Great River Raft Race Regatta as a fund raiser and the on shore celebration would draw participants, fans, tourists, and media to the museum, making the Bailey’s very happy. It might also mean there would be no bombing of the fish by the Navy for a day. Think about it.

Campaign Reform – Real or a Steal

Campaign reform Washington, D.C. style is a joke. There is no difference between either party when it comes to reforming a system designed to protect the strong and reward the rich. Both have given token support to reform while working in earnest to defeat it. Yet it could be the most important initiative Congress and the president could finally address.

I believe it must start long before the elections. Under our constitution everyone is equal, or at least assured equal opportunity. Why are they not equal in politics? More than half of the Americans of voting age are not even registered to vote. Yet voting should not be a bureaucratic privilege, a reward for those willing to go through the nonsense to prove they are able to vote by registering. Why not give everyone the right to vote when they turn 18 years old period?

This could work if we also corrected a few flaws in the voting system. For instance many people don’t register for two reasons. First they are not drawn to the two political parties yet they are penalized for being an independent in many states. Second they resent that voter registration lists are used for jury duty pools, and are sold to the political parties and subject to aggressive political direct marketing throughout the year.

As for the first concern, let everyone be an independent on the rolls, and let them declare for a party ballot when they go in to vote in the primary, whichever party they choose to support. In this way candidates would not be inclined to give a different pitch in the primary than in the general election just to appease the party activists.

If everyone were a legal voter the jury pool would be vastly expanded reducing the times one might get called. This would address part of the second concern. If the finance reforms I propose later are adopted it would not matter if the parties had the voter lists for much of the frenzy of direct solicitation now is for money to pay for advertising. Of course some meaningful legal reforms might eliminate much of the unnecessary litigation that already clogs up our system and forces a need for all those jurors.

Voting is a right and a responsibility. Our democratic system claims to be the world model for democratic government of the people and by the people, yet half the people do not even participate. Isn’t it about time we finally give that right to all the citizens?

Political commercials should be banned period. They are the most costly element of campaigns, the largest waste of money. They are intrusive and often stretch the truth. It is impossible to tell whether candidates, political parties or special interest groups aligned with either candidate are behind this extravaganza.

The government owns the airways so the government can ban political ads from television and radio. As a condition for licensing and renewals of the TV and radio stations, require them to set aside a very limited amount of time for messages from the candidates. Any other coverage must come from news coverage, not paid advertising, and that means the candidates better say something meaningful to get coverage.

Campaign budgets for paid advertising dwarf all other costs, and the cost of raising money to pay for ads is often the second most expensive cost. Eliminate all paid political ads and you save over two-thirds of the costs of most campaigns. Hundreds of millions of dollars could be saved in an election cycle. There is the added benefit of clearing the TV screen of the political blitz. No one believes them anyway, so why allow them?

Voter participation is yet another valid and neglected concern. Only half the people are registered to vote, but often times only about half of those registered even bother to vote. Thus, American democracy may well be based on the consensus of less than one fourth of all eligible voters, hardly a viable democracy model for the world.

How do we get them to vote? First, we make primary election day a paid statewide holiday in each state the day of the vote. No one would have an excuse for not being able to vote. The general election day in November would be a national holiday, an American holiday to celebrate our freedom and democracy, as in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, something we oddly don’t celebrate already. We celebrate wars, birthdays, holidays and revolutionaries declaring independence, but don’t honor the very foundation of our democracy left us by our founding fathers in these timeless documents.

We can straighten out the mess, we can clean up the airways and we can have participatory democracy if we have courage to demand accountability from our leaders and throw them out when they fail to deliver. That is what democracy is supposed to be all about. Ask your Senators and Congressmen to support these changes and see how they respond. Write, call, email and challenge them to deliver. Remember your rights and remember your responsibilities.
By Jim Putnam

About the author:

He has been active in 32 campaigns encompassing local, state, governors, congress, senate and presidential races. He worked for the executive and legislative branches at the state and federal level and even drafted opinions for Supreme Court justices in the judiciary.

Serving in such capacities as chief of staff, communications director, and assistant state treasurer he has experienced government at all levels (mayors, governors & presidents) and all branches. Yet he also played many roles in campaigns including managing US senate and house races and media in presidential campaigns.

Having worked for prominent Republicans, Democrats and Independents he also served as the Deputy Arrangements Chairman for the 1972 Republican National Convention in the most dominant presidential victory in our nation’s history.

Monday, November 27, 2006

News from Around the World

Normally there is little news to report and that is probably a good thing as most of it is far too serious to review in detail but conditions in the world are such that we need to touch on them to warn you if nothing else.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

If you followed the news you would think Americans blew their budgets on these two high volume holiday sales days. Black Friday saw about $15 billion spent at retail and online while Cyber Monday recorded $600-625 million in all probability. Expect online sales to peak about December 12 at about $685-700 million and the total holiday spending online to be about $27 billion. All holiday spending this year is expected to be about $457 billion.

For comparison purposes, in four years the US government has spent a total of about $350 billion for the war in Iraq. In other words, if everyone would give up their holiday spending for one year and give it to the Defense Department, we could finance the Iraq war tax free for the next five years. All we are asking is you give up your holiday gifts for one year to help balance the federal budget.

The Middle East Revisited
In earlier stories I mentioned the biggest loser of the elections may be Israel if the Democrats didn’t lie and actually pull our troops out of Iraq regardless of the consequences. Three civil wars are ready to explode in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine and it may not matter what the USA does in Iraq.

If the Democrats do bring home the troops, for sure the bloodshed will intensify and in the end the fundamental Muslims will probably win since death and human sacrifice is acceptable to them. Hard line Muslims in Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Middle East nations will be aligned with the civil wars and will embrace the winners and then all of them will most likely turn their attention to the underlying cause affecting everything they do in the Middle East, the destruction of Israel.

Oh yes, the Democrats may very well pull us out of Iraq, but before the blood has finished flowing we may find ourselves in a far more dangerous quagmire of being the last line of defense for Israel against all of the Arab world with no support from our long standing world allies. We shall see.

Our current Administration has misjudged the situation just as practically every Administration has. There is nothing current about the tragic events in the Middle East wars as religious warfare and persecution have been an integral part of Middle East history since the beginning of recorded time.

I suppose the lines are rather blurred between religious versus cultural wars but the result is the same. In the name of God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah or Mohammad prejudice thrives, hatred dominates, tolerance is non-existent and fear is instilled by all sides. Short of civil war, continued genocide and the ever-present prospect of World War III, some form of Divine intervention may be the only thing left between self-destruction and salvation.

Campaign Reform in America

A second issue of note is campaign reform and ethics in government as they have been promised by both parties during the last election. The true test of the effectiveness of elected officials and their representation of the people is the progress being made toward meaningful campaign reform. Make no mistake, lies dominate this issue from the mouths of Republicans, Democrats, House members, Senators, presidents, governors and a host of state and local elected officials.

The record, individually and collectively, is the most pitiful example of political double talk and double crossing in our history. Joe Six Pack, the average American citizen, has been sold a bill of goods and conditioned to accept those tarnished goods by the politicians, the media, special interests, corporations, unions and everyone else who benefits from maintaining the status quo.

Greed rules the financial world of Wall Street, the political world of our nation’s capital, the advertising world of Madison Avenue, the entertainment world of Hollywood, and just about every place of consequence in between. So what are we to do? Sit back and watch? Act as if nothing is wrong? Pray? I say information is knowledge, knowledge can lead to wisdom, and wisdom can give us the creative energy needed to survive in spite of the system.

In the days ahead I will give you information to illustrate the flaws with our so called reform efforts and point out very practical ways to give us meaningful reform. What you do with the information is up to you.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

More Reader Comments:

Haughty Helen Sets the Record Straight
Haughty Helen has written to inform us quite politely that regarding her Checkered future she personally prefers the Big Buford, not the Steakhouse Burger as we implied. Now if that doesn’t mean anything to you obviously you haven’t been to the Checkered/Rally Burger joints around here so you be the judge, here are the two burgers.

Steakhouse Double Cheddarburger
The Steakhouse Burger is a Double Cheddarburger complemented with A.1. Steak Sauce, bacon, lettuce, pickles and onions on a toasted sesame bun.

Big Buford (Haughty Helen’s fav)
This signature burger is two juicy, all-beef patties and two slices of American cheese on a toasted bun. It’s loaded with mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, onions, crisp lettuce, tomatoes and mustard.

Upset but silent
Some CPT readers, or former readers, have been reported as upset with some of the rather endearing descriptions of the local characters in the Times. We try very hard to be as irreverent as possible and make no claims that we can portray people accurately when it comes to the degree of dumbness, corniness, oddness, ordinariness or any other characteristic as the Pointers are in a league of their own. Our hope is that a sense of humor and appreciation of literary satire will allow people to enjoy the Times. Get your serious stuff from the self-proclaimed media gurus, religious fanatics, and others getting paid big bucks to brainwash an unsuspecting public.

In Search of the Mysterious Ink Spots
Inky has challenged the Times to discover the secret places she goes to during her extended walks around the Point so we are asking the help of readers to identify the mysterious Ink Spots frequented by Inky.

Local celebrity Update
A hearty holiday welcome home goes to a couple of hearty babes from the Point as recently Nancy by the Beach got a pacemaker and Hotrod Hammett got herself a triple bypass. Hospitals sent them home in record time as they were driving the staff crazy.

John Wilkes Booth Sightings
We are updating our burgeoning file with reported sightings of the ghost of John Wilkes Booth walking the highways and byways of the Point. Seems Dogman might not be the only one to witness the chilling apparition. If you have information on the whereabouts of the Ghost of John Wilkes Booth or have experienced sightings in the fog let us know. A full blown tourist promotional campaign is being planned for the spring by the Diner gang.

Saturday, November 25, 2006



After years of reported sightings and strange goings on a team of researchers with the aid of a local paranormal investigator have confirmed the existence and identity of the shadowy apparition that has been haunting Coltons Point since the mid 19th century.

This story would be highly suspect were it not for the involvement of Dogman Joe, the greatest cynic in Maryland history, a man who doubts anything and everything he does not personally experience. Just last Monday Dogman was driving his Ford down 242 in the evening and he caught a glimpse of a mysterious man standing along the road where 242 and Muddy Creek Road cross.

Glancing in the rear view mirror he could see in the dark that the man was bearded, his hair and beard were disheveled from the wind swept rain, and he stood in a long brown top coat at the side of the road. Concerned about the safety of this poor gentleman Dogman pulled to a stop to back up and offer him a ride. When he threw the Ford into reverse and started back up the road the man was gone.

Dogman backed up the truck to the exact location of the sighting and searched the woods on either side of the road. No footprints and no man, he vanished without a trace. But the seasoned old codger did feel a strange chill in the air and the hair on the back of his neck stood straight up. It was a sense of fear he hadn’t felt since being shot at by his future father-in-law when his wife-to-be was just a young un in school.

When a no nonsense man comes to you with such a chilling tale you have no choice but to take it very seriously and that we did here at the CPT. First we enlisted the aid of a sketch artist to recreate the face and then we approached the top scientific facility in the USA to investigate the claim, the Duke University Paranormal Evaluation Department (DUPED).

The findings are in and they are astonishing. The stranger was identified by historical research, by matching the artists sketch, and by the exceptional body of available information from every police and federal investigative service in existence, something never experienced in previous reports of this nature.

The Ghost haunting Coltons Point, the one documented by Dogman Joe, is none other than John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. After the murder on April 14, 1865 Booth disappeared into Maryland and was tracked to Dr. Mudd’s home where his leg was treated the next day, a home just up the road from Coltons Point. From April 16-22 Booth was in disguise and disappeared into the woods of Maryland, less than 10 miles from the Point.

If you wanted to vanish in Maryland there is no better place than Coltons Point and we discovered Booth was waiting for a ship from England to land and take him to Europe where he would be a celebrated hero. Unfortunately for him, this English ship had as much luck landing at the Point as the previous English landing in 1634. Eventually Booth made his way to Virginia and was caught trying to reach a more favorable landing site.

So you be the judge of this stranger than life coincidence. Check out the sketch of the ghost. Look at the map compiled by the National Park Service tracing Booth’s flight after assassinating the President. And consider this, he fled to Maryland to be treated by Dr. Mudd, and the sighting was at Muddy Creek Road.

Analysis indicates Booth came back to haunt the Point since the treacherous waters of the Potomac at Coltons Point prevented him from being rescued by the English ship. If only the Bailey’s million dollar lighthouse were there history might have been very different. Be prepared for a tourist invasion in search of the ghost of John Wilkes Booth and keep an eye out for the long haired bearded and disheveled man in the long brown top coat still hiding in the Point.

Our next paranormal investigation will focus on the potential new shrine at the Point, the Arrow Beer Bar, where the image of the Holy Mother Mary was discovered in the mold on top of the potato chip dip from the Potomac Gardens Store.

Holiday Hints from Hillbilly Joe

To properly prepare you for the holidays we asked our resident holiday specialist for some hints on how the have the best holiday possible. Hillbilly Joe was gracious enough to offer his tips for the Holiday Hints.

Don’t ever piss off your mama at holiday time, especially is she is a good cook.
Before accepting any holiday invitations ask for the menu.
Eat the turkey, don’t be one.
Always place yourself strategically under the mistletoe and hope for the best.
Always sing Christmas carols in a crowd so you can mouth the words and no one will notice.
Send cards to anyone who has something you need.
Don’t ever try and have a bigger Santa and Snowman than Hillbilly Joe.
Save any bells you get for gifts and don’t want for Hillbilly’s mama’s bell collection.
Eggnog without booze is like a Steakburger without meat.
Never eat yellow snow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Dig out the ascots, broaches, capes, top hats, canes and checkbooks cause its time for another Coltons Point cultural fix when the societal classes congregate at the only place in the Point where artists are caged in, the Coltons Point Gallery/Studio/Compound.

Sharon Balenger, sculptor extraordinaire, is on permanent exhibit in the compound while Rebecca Wolf is taking time off from home demolition to be an exhibitionist. Balenger claims her sculptural figures “freeze people in moments of life” though I didn’t find them particularly cold, even if they are very cool. The Wolf Woman likes to reflect the earth and sea in her pottery so I must apologize to her for mistaking a pottery piece for a glass of water and drinking it.

Rumor has it several critics of last years exhibition, people who mysteriously disappeared since, are recognizable in this years figures frozen in moments of life, the pieces with the big mouths open. Be careful what you say around caged artisans, they just might conjure a Coltons curse.

Dress up and get down – to the Artists Compound - on the Left Bank of 242 looking north from Potomac Gardens and the Arrow Beer Bar.

Colton's Point Clay Art Holiday Show

A celebration of clay featuring works by Colton’s Point artists
Sharon Balenger and Rebecca Wolf

Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reception from 4:30-7 p.m. on Dec. 2

Colton's Point Artist Studio and Gallery
20259 Colton’s Point Road, Colton’s Point

The pieces in the show are inspired by the people and natural beauty of Southern Maryland and other areas of the United States. Featured items include sculptures that freeze people in moments of life and pottery that reflects earth and sea.

Directions: Studio is across from the Coltons Point Post Office on 242.

From Hughesville, take Rt. 5 South, rt. on Rt. 242 to Coltons Point.

From: LaPlata, take 301 South, left on Bud’s Creek Road, right on 242.

From Leonardtown, west on Route 234 to the flashing four-way stoplight in Clements at Route 242. Turn left (south) on Route 242/Colton's Point Road and go nine miles. Colton’s Point Artist Studio and Gallery is on the right, one block before the road ends in Colton’s Point.

From London (UK), west over Ireland, Greenland, Nova Scotia and Long Island to Mattingly’s Air Strip/Insurance/Funeral Home/Construction/Auto Body/Texaco/xcavating /Legal/Political Headquarters. Take the Mattingly cab to Breton Bay, catch the Mattingly yacht up the Potomac to the forbidden zone at St. Clements Island where King Bob will meet you in the Forest Service skiff and take you to shore where Duke will pick you up with the John Deere and safely deposit you at the Art Gallery. From there on you’re on your own.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Notice: Comments can now be submitted without any log in requirements in order to protect the identity of the culprit. Sheila and Susan, please note the note.

Dear Editor:
This is the stupidest newspaper I ever read. What makes you think anything in this rag is important to anyone else?
Better Than You

Dear Better Than You:
It takes a finely tuned degree of stupidity to discover the stupidity in life. Be thankful for the blessings in life you received that allow you to get your miserable perspective out of the way early.

Dear Editor:
Sometimes I think you are too negative toward the government, the media and our American lifestyle. Can’t you find some good in everything?

Dear Hopeful:
Could you please send me a pair of the rose colored glasses you wear. We must be seeing different pictures. What kind of medication do they have you on? People like you belong in Congress where we need a perspective that sees good in all wrong.

Dear Editor:
Why do you pick on some of the wonderful people of Coltons Point? They all sound like such beautiful neighbors to have. Especially Hillbilly Joe, one of my favorites to read about

Dear Concerned:
Must be tough being Hillbilly’s mother. You give birth to the little rascal. You raise him like any hill folk would. You try to protect him from the dangers of life and society. And now you write letters to the editor to keep his reputation from being sullied. Isn’t it time to get a new project? At 40-something Hillbilly seems entirely capable of fending for hisself.

Dear Editor:
I just think it is a shame you are so disparaging about the cute Lighthouse in Coltons Point! You should be tarred and feathered.

Dear Disgusted:
Well the Lighthouse is gone like I reported. In the ensuing darkness the sea gulls and fish are helplessly crashing into the piers and rocks. For all we know with the lights out some oil tanker named Valdez II may crash into the jagged jettys of the Point engulfing all wildlife in a sticky, tarry mess. I figure if I wait for that to happen, then jump into the water, I can fulfill your wish and be tarred and feathered with minimum effort. Are your lights out too?

Dear Editor:
Does Coltons Point really need you and the Coltons Point Times. We were doing so well without you.
Society to Clean Up the Point

Dear Pointed Society:
Of course Coltons Point needs us in order to achieve its proper place in history. Someone must push the story to the unsuspecting masses. I mean Caesar had his Mark Anthony. Sampson had Delilah. Goliath had David. Batman had the Joker. Dorothy had the Evil Witch of the East. Just think of us as an inspiration for hypothetical greatness, a chronicler of legends, a maker of myth, a founder of fable, and all the other roles television news and the “free press” contributes to our information starved society. Or just move away.

Special Investigative Reports – Hillbilly Joe Snags Exclusive Interview with Reclusive Publisher Hayseed

Hillbilly: You ready for some tough waterman questions?
Hayseed: Sure, you know anyone who can ask them?

Hillbilly: I’m asking the questions Hayseed! By the way, why do they call you Hayseed?
Hayseed: I’m born and bred in Iowa and when I went to school at the University of Arizona the guys out west called me Hayseed.

Hillbilly: I thought Iowa was known for corn, state fairs and Great Plains.
Hayseed: It was but what do Arizona and California kids know about those things?

Hillbilly: A little dumb were they?
Hayseed: I think it’s a requirement of undergraduate school.

Hillbilly: You do anything in high school worth mentioning?
Hayseed: Same as everyone else, a little this and a little that.

Hillbilly: You mean like roping cows or riding bulls or whatever you cowboys do?
Hayseed: Naw. It was more like we dated cows and shot the bull. Just kidding. I did ride a Brahma bull once though.

Hillbilly: What kind of bull you laying on me?
Hayseed: You know, those mean bulls with a hump on their backs.

Hillbilly: And just how long did you ride this humpback bull?
Hayseed: Long enough for my butt to touch the hump and in seconds I was airborne.

Hillbilly: You get hurt or fall on your head or something? That would help explain you.
Hayseed: Just my pride, manhood and dignity.

Hillbilly: So what did you do then?
Hayseed: Brushed off the dirt, wiped off the tears, and got back on that mean old monster, was instantly thrown again, got up and got back on the beast and was thrown again, like it was dejà vu all over again.

Hillbilly: Like in Groundhog Day?
Hayseed: Yeah, like Bill Murray but after getting thrown 8 times I finally got smart and told the fire-breathing bull the pasture was all his.

Hillbilly: So you have a happy childhood?
Hayseed: Nope, I was too busy trying to stay alive until I could get out of there.

Hillbilly: Then what did you do?
Hayseed: Became a reporter, worked for politicians, wrote stuff, more of the same.

Hillbilly: Where did you do more of the same?
Hayseed: After Iowa and Arizona there was Nebraska, Virginia, California, New Jersey, Kentucky and Maryland.

Hillbilly: And you did more of the same everywhere?
Hayseed: More or less.

Hillbilly: So you a Democrat, Republican or Independent?
Hayseed: I’m more like a political atheist?

Hillbilly: What in the world is a political atheist?
Hayseed: Someone who treats all parties with equal distain.

Hillbilly: Name a Democrat you helped.
Hayseed: John Kennedy.

Hillbilly: Name a Republican you helped.
Hayseed: Ronald Reagan.

Hillbilly: Name an Independent you helped.
Hayseed: Ross Perot.

Hillbilly: Who the hell are those people?
Hayseed: Just some political hacks.

Hillbilly: If you were president what would you do?
Hayseed: First grant Coltons Point Colony status. Find intelligent people for the intelligence agencies. Bring all the troops back from around the world and invade Canada since we need a war we can win to boost morale. Annex Mexico and make all Mexicans American citizens so we can blame our problems on them. Set up a trade agreement with China that for every Chinese food joint here we get a McDonalds there. Implement a worldwide immigration policy of trading disgruntled Americans for foreigners who want to be in America. Appoint Howard Stern Ambassador to Afghanistan, OJ Simpson Ambassador to Pakistan, Rush Limbaugh Ambassador to North Korea, Jerry Falwell Ambassador to Iran, Larry King Ambassador to Sudan, and Barbara Wah Wah Ambassador to Indonesia.

Hillbilly: What would those ambassadors accomplish?
Hayseed: Our new ambassadors would cause so many problems there the countries would cease being threats to world security. You know the old doctrine, divide and conquer.

Hillbilly: Are those places all countries?
Hayseed: Oh man, maybe I’ll send you to the United Nations for OJT.

Hillbilly: I don’t like OJ and I don’t like tea, unless it is served by Haughty.
Hayseed: Whatever.

Hillbilly: What characteristic are you looking for in new Ambassadors?
Hayseed: Egotistical psychos keeping America from ever achieving a state of peace. Sort of the mouthpiece destabilizer core from America.

Hillbilly: That’s bad man.
Hayseed: No worse than the reality we face now.

Hillbilly: My brain is overloaded. Can we continue this later?
Hayseed: Sure, you’ve got from now until the conclusion of the End Times to wrap it up.

Hillbilly: I need a Bud, I need the Duke, I need my John Deere, and oh my head hurts. Why did I ever agree to do this interview? Where is Paris Hilton and the Simple Life?

Special Bulletin:

Last week we reported that Haughty Helen had somehow talked Hillbilly Joe into fixing a three piece mirror. Well he delivered the finished product today and Haughty was quite surprised with the result though she was far from speechless. Most people have a checkered past but Haughty is one with a checkered future and we suspect the aroma of those two-fisted Steakhouse Burgers has drawn the Hillbilly to Haughty’s lair.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This and That

Democrat takeover Day 1

It’s Thursday night and the airwaves are filled with nonsense so I decided to update the CPT. First, as anyone with nothing to do knows, Nancy Pelosi won the House Speaker post today, then promptly lost her first leadership test by a landslide. But that’s okay, she still smiled and said everything is alright with the new Democrat majority.

Hospital induced infections – the new medical nightmare

I learned yesterday that hospitals are now one of the highest causes of death in America. Isn’t that a hoot. Hillbilly Joe says if we closed all hospitals and schools in the nation the death rate from dangerous infections would drop drastically. Actually Hillbilly doesn’t talk like that. He’d say “I knew they were a cesspool of bacteria!”

Back to the facts, 250 people per day die from infections contracted in the hospital, over 100,000 deaths per year. Our benevolent big brother makes McDonalds tell us what’s in a burger, but no hospital is required to tell you how many people get infections or die from infections while being “cured” in their facility. Don’t you think this would be an important product warning?

I mean cigarette packages have warnings because lung cancer is the biggest killer of all cancers with around 160,000 deaths per year. Breast cancer is all over the news yet annual breast cancer deaths are less than half (40,970) of the hospital infection deaths. Why aren’t movie stars on TV warning us of the hospital infection deaths that kill twice as many people as breast cancer!

When you consider that the top causes of hospital infections are a failure to wash hands after touching a patient, and a failure to sterilize items such as blood pressure testing equipment after use then it is obvious the vast majority of hospital deaths are cause by neglect and could be eliminated immediately. Next time you go to the hospital ask them the infection rate and the deaths from infection. You have a right to know.

Barbara Wah Wah Special

On TV tonight the grand old dame of TV, Barbara Walters, is revealing the first of two parts on her 30 biggest mistakes in 30 years of broadcasting. Wow, just one mistake a year. Don’t you think ABC TV could come up with something better than Barbara’s goofs for prime time TV. I can hardly understand the lady and sure don’t want to hear about mistakes, they were pretty obvious the first time around. She should have had 31, the last being going on TV in the first place.

Network News Ratings Drop Anchor

After a flash to the top of the ratings when she first began, Katie Couric of CBS has dropped anchor and settled at the bottom of the news ratings in the customary role perfected by Dan Rather. Brian Williams at NBC was #1 election week with 9.8 million viewers, ABC with Charles Gibson was #2 with 8.8 million viewers, and Katie was back at #3 with 7.7 million viewers. Normally entertainers do not make a smooth transition to trusted news authorities and things appear to be pretty normal right now.

For the record the big three networks prime time news shows have lost 34% of their total audience the last decade, 44% since 1980 and 59% since 1969, the year they started the downward cycle. There are 110.2 million TV households in the USA and a total of 26.3 million watch the big three network newscasts. What happened to the other 84 million homes not watching the news? I guess 75% of our population knows better than to get news from the networks.

How Much TV Are We Really Watching?

When you sit down in front of the bloob tube to watch your favorite prime time show, reality show or late night talk show how much show are you really seeing? I wondered about that the other day when it seemed the network show had more ads than program. So I checked Media Intelligence for a report since I pride myself in being an intelligent person. I think I found out how dumb I really am.

I got the latest report on the ads per hour and you won’t believe the results. When you sit down to watch a prime time network series you get 21 minutes and 3 seconds of ads on average per hour. If it is a reality show, and many, many are, you get 25 minutes and 6 seconds of ads per hour, and for Late Night with Letterman or Leno you get 35 minutes and 41 seconds of ads per hour. Can you believe that? Actual program content runs from 24 to 39 minutes per hour!

Save time and frustration – turn the TV off!

Wonder Drugs – The Cure or the Real Killer?

Billions of dollars are spent by pharmaceutical companies, the federal government, hospitals, universities, medical professionals, non-profit organizations and a host of supporting groups to develop drugs for the prevention and treatment of the myriad of diseases afflicting Americans. If you watch television you must conclude we are the sickest society in history, not to mention the one most prone to vanity medical procedures like plastic surgery, liposuction, etc., etc.

If you follow the advice of the professional hucksters on TV your body will be loaded with antibiotics, steroids, hormones and other foreign substances to a degree never experienced before. So the question is, if all this is taking place in the good old USA, why are we so sick? If our medical treatment and prevention is the best in the world why do we have the highest rates of some diseases like cancer and heart disease of most nations in the world? Why are diseases we thought were conquered like polio and smallpox returning stronger than ever?

Well, seems we’ve studied about everything but the most important thing of all, what the long term effect of all those preventive and treatment programs are doing to our bodies. We were born with a natural immune system to protect us and spend our entire lives trying to destroy it with unnatural injections, pills and other treatments.

We believe that drug companies peddling their latest miracle drug should be held financially liable for the long term consequences of those treatments even if that liability puts them out of business forever. Humans are not lab rats intended to be subjected to the whims and profit motives of the corporate healers.

When did we forget that we need cures, not maintenance, to eliminate diseases, not extend life with the disease in an altered state, we need treatment that stops because the disease is cured, not a lifetime dependence on prescription drugs. Truth is we need to change the focus of the medical research community.

If the federal government and non-profit organizations put up much of the billions and billions of medical research dollars then why are the pharmaceutical companies and doctors the only ones who profit from the work? The government should get the profits if government money is responsible for the drug or treatment. I bet many new wonder drugs would not be sold if the profits went to the government. Better still we would quickly find out which companies were only interested in the bottom line rather than public health.

Former Vice President and Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew was a strange creature but one thing he said we should have taken to heart 25 years ago and we might not be in this mess. Spiro said America was on a “collective national trip” with prescription drugs, and the legal drugs were more dangerous than illegal drugs.

As long as we are on this legal drug kick let me tell you something else. Our wonderful billion dollar pharmaceutical companies are running TV ads telling how they donate $5 billion a year by giving drugs for free to the poor and others. What a nice thought for Christmas, except the drug companies are giving away billions and still making a gross profit.

Are the drugs being given away really needed by the poor? Are they not the result of profit driven over-production in the first place? Do the companies not get a tax write off for the charitable donation? Since they are still making a profit, is the cost of this effort not already being paid by the regular customers like me and you?

I say the odds of getting well are better with Chinese Herbalists, Medicine Men and Women and Shamans than with the western medical world and before you pop the next pill you should think about what I’ve said.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Colony of Coltons Point

Now that the political silly season is over it’s time we get down to the serious political business at hand, and the first order of business for the people of Coltons Point is THE REFERENDUM, the one that will dictate the future of our lives far more than anything those boys & girls upriver in Annapolis or DC can do.

We all know that we are at the end of the highway in many more ways than literally. Elected officials show up for elections but never between them. Regular maintenance of roads, ditches and signs, well, you could die before it gets done. Thank goodness we have no street lights, stop lights or sidewalks because they would never get fixed.

Phone service is still at the 1950’s service levels, cable can’t even get the main channels to come in consistently, DSL high speed phone lines don’t even exist, and cell phones don’t work here. You get the drift? We are the swampland of the 6th district and government officials would rather put the whole Point in a museum and forget about it.

But that’s okay because when you look at the other towns around the state getting the attention of the government things look pretty good down here. There is a way we can solve the problems of officials trying to figure out what to do with us, and protect ourselves in the process. That involves the Referendum.

No Hillbilly, I didn’t say a dumb referee, I said Referendum.

(added by Chapter 673, Acts of 1914, ratified Nov. 2, 1915)
SECTION 1. (a) The people reserve to themselves power known as The Referendum, by petition to have submitted to the registered voters of the State, to approve or reject at the polls, any Act, or part of any Act of the General Assembly, if approved by the Governor, or, if passed by the General Assembly over the veto of the Governor;
(b) The provisions of this Article shall be self-executing; provided that additional legislation in furtherance thereof and not in conflict therewith may be enacted.

That is the Maryland Referendum law and we can use it to our advantage. If you read all the provisions which are most certainly designed to confuse and mislead the public it is a wonder any Referendums get passed but hope is eternal in Coltons Point so this is our task. Informed residents of the Point must come up with the language necessary to outwit the witless in our Referendum but it can be done.

To understand the Referendum you need to look at the history of the Point. John Smith explored the Maryland region in 1608 and a colony was attempted but failed in 1621. In 1634 two ships from England arrived with 140 Catholic settlers, refugees from religious persecution in jolly old England, and landed at St. Clements Island just off the Point. After seeing the Natives on shore they packed up and moved down to St. Marys and started the first settlement in Maryland.

So the first settlers of the colony rejected the Point and that is the basis of the Referendum. If we were not good enough for them then we most certainly should not be good enough for the far more sophisticated State of Maryland. I mean the state and county services here, or lack thereof, show how much they are willing to invest in our future.

We want to return to the good old colonial days, be dropped from the state, and save the state and county all those funds they appropriate but never spend here. Our Referendum is to Establish Coltons Point as a Permanent Historical site and return it to Full Colonial Status Independent of any State or County Government. What do you think?

News Briefs

News Briefs

Democrats Win - Oil Prices Increase

Been listening to the news the last few days desperately searching for anything of interest to report and about the only news was oil prices went up after the election. Seems in spite of the record warm temperatures the oil market is worried about running out of winter supplies. Do they really think we are that stupid? Guess they had to do something when there were no hurricanes to disrupt refinery capacity.

They are going to milk every last cent of excess profit out of the American consumer and the odds are the newly elected Democrat majority will do nothing about it. At least Vice President Cheney has someone to share the blame with for high prices.

Now I’ve done a two year investigation into the oil price mess and discovered some provocative information which will be released exclusively in the Coltons Point Times in the immediate future. I expect you will be a little surprised and a lot disgusted when you hear what all the Washington investigations missed along the way.

Oil Guzzling Car Companies Seek Help from Uncle Sugar

The major US auto makers met with Bush but really sent a message to the new Democrat Congress that they must have a corporate bailout from the government. Seems we must reward them for a decade of mismanagement and executive bonuses. We would be better off letting them fade into oblivion and let the Japanese take over, which they are doing without our help.

Bailey’s Lighthouse Disappears

The million dollar lighthouse in front of the Bailey place vanished over the weekend leaving behind the biggest sandbox in Coltons Point. How in the world will the birds and fish avoid crashing into the piers now? Several unconfirmed explanations have surfaced for this mystery including media pressure, it was removed for remodeling, a big wave took it, or it was put to rest for the winter which is yet to arrive.

Skunk Invasion Underway

Those black and white furry critters are back in force in spite of the Pointers best efforts to discourage them. Multiple sightings are reported nightly. Now the Animal Control has lost control of the situation or maybe just got lost on the way from Leonardtown. Clearly the skunks have been to guerilla training camp because the traps are a joke. Hillbilly Joe thinks they are escaped genetically altered mutant skunks from the Army chemical and biological warfare labs.

World News Briefs

Tom Cruise and Katie Marry this Week

Now the only thing newsworthy about this financial extravaganza is figuring out how a combined Scientology and Catholic service can be held. The castle in Italy is a nice touch for the ceremony though the Vatican probably is a bit put off. The wedding was dragging on for so long it had to be scheduled in a Suri before the baby was old enough to be a flower girl. Other than that who cares?

Other World News

Iraq, Somali, and the Central African Republic (CAR) continue fighting, and France has agreed to help out in CAR, probably to protect the diamond mines.

French socialists may lose the presidency again as the Telegraph of the UK said, “Even by the standards of French politics – a world with an alarming tolerance for charlatans and blow-in-the-wind populists – the Socialists’ three hopefuls are a depressing bunch.” Strange how a Socialist country like France hasn’t had a Socialist president in 12 years. But then the Socialists voting must pay their party dues to vote leaving only about 200,000 eligible voters for president in the primary out of a population of 60 million. And we thought our election system was flawed.

Afghan Women Resort to Suicide

Afghan women, influenced by the example of women in Iran, have seen a startling increase in suicides by setting fire to themselves to avoid forced marriages and chronic abuse. Women and girls are often given away to settle conflicts in the country. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be Americans.


Other than that things remain at the same level of misery and frustration as normal in the rest of the world.


Bush lost the elections and fled to Russia today followed by 8 days in Asia.

A new poll found 57% of voters do not believe the Democrats have a “plan” to get out of Iraq but they voted for them anyway.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Maryland native, backed Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha over a Maryland Congressman and second in command Steny Hoyer for the powerful Majority Leader position. The vote is Thursday.

Finally, the Internet now has over 100 million websites and over 1 billion users. How in the world will they ever find their way to the Coltons Point Times?

Friday, November 10, 2006

The CPT Turkeys Trivial Tidbits Contest (CPT-TTTC):

What good is the news without having some contest to encourage readership? So here at CPT (Coltons Point Times) headquarters we’ve been busy trying to dream up a contest as entertaining as the last elections. Unfortunately there has been a brain drain within our brain trust proving it wasn’t really all that trustworthy to begin with.

Still there are some things we need to know that will help us know each other better.

Who is the oldest person in Coltons Point?
Who has lived in Coltons Point the longest?
Do you know any of the aliens living in the Point?
When was the last time you saw road or ditch maintenance in the Point?
Where does Inky go on those long solo walks?
Why does the Pilot Enterprise cost more than the Washington Post?
How much green & blue glass has Sweet Sue the Cheerleader collected from the river?
How far back in Colton’s history does Colorado Chris’s gas line stretch?
How many of the secretive Pointers are in the witness protection program?
Why cancel the Blessing of the Fleet because of rain when boats are made to go in water?
Are Stevie Van Zany and Broadway Linda Rose really the Captain and Tenille in hiding?
After his many trips to China is Professor Ray an authority on Chinese food?
Is his wife Sister Sheila Coltons Points equivalent to famed feminist Gloria Steinham?
Does she have her own radio show on GreenStone?
Are those occasional huge explosions up river Navy weapons testing or admirals fishing?
Was Harley Tom the builder of the fastest motorcycle in the nation, or world?
What happens to you when you suck in nitro fumes for years?
What happens to your face at 206 mph on a motorcycle?
How many miles a day does Jeff the Town Crier ride in his intelligence work?
Did Hanger Nick used to dance with the Chippendales? Does he still?
What is the real story behind Admiral Gibby and the Giant Groundhog caper?
Is it true Mother Hammett accepts every invitation she receives?
Does Quiet George plan on turning the Arrow Beer bar into river view condos?
Has anyone seen Wild Willy lately or should we proceed with the milk carton photo?
Did Bren the Greek start therapy after hearing the election results?
Did Duke Deere even know there was an election?
Are Joseph the Carpenter and The Rose converting their yard into a Bush Gardens?
How did Haughty Helen get Hillbilly Joe to fix three mirrors?

Please submit your answers and the most accurate or creative might win whatever can be bought with all our subscription revenue.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Day After

Okay, we have now had a few hours to try and absorb what happened in the elections yesterday and you are getting a lot of opinions as to the meaning. I said the Democrats had to win 30 House seats to be average and they won 29 so far and will get thirty in time. They now control the House.

I also said they had to win six Senate seats to win. They have won five seats and may win six seats. If they get the last seat in Virginia they will also control the Senate, but they will not be the majority in the Senate. What? Truth is there are 49 Republicans and 48 Democrats right now, with Virginia to be determined. If the Democrats win it they will have 49 Senators. They need 51 to control the Senate.

There are two independents in the Senate, and one, Lieberman, said he would support the Democrats which makes sense since he was their national candidate a couple of years ago. His vote gives the Democrats 50 votes but that would not give them control since the Vice President breaks ties in the Senate. So who is the second independent who could give the Democrats the deciding votes in the Senate, an avowed socialist from Vermont. Can you really be too confident when a card-carrying socialist will determine if your agenda can succeed? What price will you pay for his support? We shall see.

Still to be determined is how many of the new House members are moderates and conservatives versus the traditional liberal views of many mainstream Democrats. Will the diverse and center to right shifting Demoratic party be able to mange the diversity? Whether the Democrats control one or both Houses they still will not have enough votes to override a Presidential veto which requires a two-thirds majority. Ho hum.

On the other hand, the House victory makes Nancy Pelosi House Speaker, a former Maryland native with a rich family history in state politics. History was made because she is the first woman to be Speaker of the House, second in line for the presidency behind the vice-president, and with Condi Rice there are now two women in the top four in line for the presidency.

I wish women would take control of the House, Senate and White House since men have had the last 230 years to fix things and look at the mess we have today. It’s about time someone who wears a dress runs the House, well I mean someone who is supposed to wear a dress since a few of those male politicians over the years had pretty strange behavior. There may be some truth to the Biblical story about Adam and Eve. God made man, then took a rib and made women. Some people think God didn’t need the rib but just took time to think it over, then made woman to fix all the things that were wrong with man.

There are 70 women in the House now, and 16 in the Senate, and two more possible in contested elections, the most in history but we need 218 in the House and 51 in the Senate to take control in this gender bender campaign. We have our work cut out for us to get there but a few more election performances by the men like this year and some corruption house cleaning and we could get there sooner than you think.

Other election news - the stock market went up, the rest of the world breathed a sigh of relief, there will be a spike in unemployment of Republican staff members, Homeland security might improve since Nancy said she will push for implementation of all 911 Commission recommendations, something the palace guard in the White House resisted, Rumsfeld is gone, and the Middle East just became a lot more unstable with the likely withdraw of USA troops.

Here in Maryland political pundits attribute O’Malley’s victory to better hair and across the river in Virginia, well, Marylanders are not surprised Virginians still can’t figure out who won their Senate race, look at the mess they made of the northern Virginia development that stops traffic cold when people cross the river from Maryland into Virginia.

Let’s hope things do change for the better.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Arrives – Phew…

At long last the two year political campaign is over when the polls close today and not a day too soon as Americans were on the verge of throwing out all the politicians after this latest exercise in failing to read the mood of the public.

TV networks and political parties spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to influence your vote this year in one of the worst episodes of the attempted manipulation of the American mind in over 50 years. In 1948 on election day every newspaper and political party in America said Harry Truman was going to get clobbered, with headlines announcing the defeat of the scrappy American president. They were wrong.

This year the news media, which should no longer be called the news media but the APM, the American Propaganda Machine, which oftentimes seemed more like a division of the Democratic National Committee, bent over backwards to help discredit Bush. And the two political party machines, well if they aren’t shamed after this fiasco, they should be sent to the Ukraine where fisticuffs are an acceptable campaign tactic.

There will be winners and losers no doubt when the votes are finally tallied, and vote counting itself is an adventure in fiction some places. How in the world can we have the most advanced science and technology in the world and still not be able to count votes honestly in many places? They never had a problem before the dependence on technology.

Okay, what do the multi-million dollar political pundits say? They have made claims that the Democrats will win 15-45 Republican seats because of the success of the anti-Bush movement. In any normal political off-year election, meaning the year when the president is not running for office, the party in power (Bush) loses about 30 seats. So to be successful the Democrats must win 30 seats in the House and take control of the Senate. Fat chance and I’ll tell you why!

In America, in spite of their best efforts, the news media and the national political parties still have not figured out how to tell you how to vote and that is a very good thing. They still forget that Americans vote for people, not parties, for local candidates, not Bush, and the more a media broadcast tells them what they will do, or the more a political party tells them who to vote for, the more the American voter will resent it and do their own thing.

This election is not about Bush, he’s not even on the ballot. Had the Republicans been thinking right they would have made it a referendum on Bush and slapped the two Democratic party pin ups all over the television. If they had made it a Bush versus Kerry/Gore campaign the Republicans might have won hands down. But they missed a golden opportunity.

What about the media polls? Don’t they tell us who will win? And what about all the focus groups used by our television networks, those folks from little towns all over America? I was involved in a scientific, non-partisan evaluation of polling techniques 26 years ago that helped introduce the “perception analysis method” to focus groups along with new techniques in tracking and backtrack polling for major campaigns. Yes folks, in this day and age there is something called non-partisan where people who are Democrats, Republicans and Independents can actually work together.

We found that in focus groups a significant number of people told you what they thought you wanted to hear, not what they really believed. So we wired the focus groups to sensors and ignored what they told us, relying on their emotional response to what they saw and heard and found a significant change in the results. Their emotions were their first impulse while their answers were the calculated response. Emotions don’t lie, except they do lie below the surface of what the political parties and media were counting in polls.

We tested the technique over and over in multiple campaigns from Nebraska to New Jersey and we could predict the results 30 days before the election within 1-2% accuracy, results which often differed from the media polls by 5-15%. To this day the emotional response technique for perception analysis is not widely used by campaigns. What a shame.

In the course of 33 political campaigns I worked on from mayor to president, congress to senate, spanning the last five decades, there are some things that just never change. The published polls do not tell you the real story. No national election has been won or lost on any issue but the economy. Negative campaigns result in fewer people voting from the party running the ads, and tend to heighten the intensity of those offended by the ads. In other words, an anti-Bush ad could drive more Republicans to the polls.

Political parties still don’t understand the independent vote, they take for granted the traditional base, and they focus on the wrong issues. Independent voters are usually disenfranchised party voters and many people still are registered in a party but vote for the candidate, not the party machine. Parties seem to think the traditional base voters will do what they are told, and the Democrats are particularly insensitive to this. They think every minority voter in America from African American to Hispanic to Union member will do what they are told.

We destroyed that misconception when in 1985 Tom Kean (Republican from New Jersey) won the largest share of minority vote ever captured by a governor candidate since the Reconstruction days after the Civil War. Imagine that, a blue blood Republican winning the largest victory in history in a Democratic state.

Regarding issues, wars tend to be supported by the public whether they agree with it or not because their sons and daughters, husbands, relatives or fathers and mothers are the Americans over there fighting in the war and dying and people do not want to abandon them no matter how stupid the parties. International issues and foreign affairs do not swing elections. People vote for the pocketbook, jobs, wages, savings and stability.

Off-year elections are not about the president but what your local congressman or senator will do for you. People don’t expect their representative to agree with them all the time, that is not representative government and the issues can be very deceiving. Our congress can be very underhanded by attaching riders to bills that have nothing to do with the bill so they can blame their opponents of being for or against the wrong side of an issue. Both parties do this and the media buys into it but the voters are not often fooled.

In campaign 2006 the news media and the political parties will once again be the big losers. The American voter will once again tell them what they really think, not what the hacks want to hear. When people go in to vote they won’t vote Democrat or Republican, they will vote for the woman or man that will best represent them, the one who will best represent all the people not just some of them. And the really good politicians, well they can stand on their own two feet.

So how do we know who wins? Don’t listen to the media analysis. If the Democrats win 30 house seats and 6 senate seats they will win. If the Republicans maintain control of both the house and senate they will win. If the Democrats win the house and not the senate, neither side wins. Or maybe, just maybe, it means America wins.

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