Google+ Badge

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Elio: Buy American and Travel In Style at 84 MPH



Do you need a new, economical way of getting around? How about buying an American automobile made in Louisiana that curbs erosion of the environment while insuring the United States will become far less dependent upon foreign oil? Buy one and you will also be investing in American employment, as the company estimates creating 1,500 jobs at their Shreveport plant alone (and, eventually upping that figure to 3,000 people there). Does it sound like a dream? You decide.

Welcome the distinctive, beautiful, three-wheeled Elio. Elio Motors was founded in 2008 by Mr. Paul Elio. The mission and desire of the project was to provide affordable transportation to those commuters seeking an alternative to the days offerings; at the same time to provide vital American jobs. Guess where Paul got his inspiration? In the words of Elio...

"In 2008, oil prices were going through the roof. It was just really making me angry that so much money was pouring out of this country to people who don't even like us so much. I guess I was complaining about it too much to my wife, so she finally told me I should do something about it. I went to work the next day and decided to kick the project off. Working with 46 engineers, we had the actual concept finished by 2009."

Standard features at no extra cost include a relatively roomy interior (The vehicle is designed to fit a 6’1” 220 pound person. It has accommodated people as tall as 6’8” and as large as 365 pounds.), air conditioning, three air bags, power windows, power lock, AM/FM stereo, heater, defrost, windshield wiper, seat belts, and tempered glass. And, the Elio comes standard with a 3 year/36000 mile warranty.

Although it will be fully enclosed like a standard automobile, the Elio's three-wheel design falls under US government classifications as a motorcycle. The vehicle can be registered as a motorcycle because it has less than four wheels, but Elio says most states will not require a motorcycle license to operate the vehicle, although but the company still recommends checking with your state.

Consumers may consider purchasing an Elio for these outstanding design considerations:
  • 84 MPG Highway
  • Engineered for an anticipated 5-Star Crash Test Safety Rating
  • $6800 Cost Tag
  • Customized vehicle


The Elio has an inline, 3 cylinder, .9 liter, 55 HP, fuel-injected, SOHC gas-powered, liquid-cooled, automotive engine. Customers can order a 5-speed manual or an automatic. And yes, it has a reverse gear. The engine is in the front, and it is a front-wheel-drive vehicle. So, with a low center of gravity and weight towards the front, Elio promises great traction – even in the snow.

So, you may assume it is a slug on the road. Think again. Top speed is in excess of 100 MPH, and the 0-60 speed is under 9.6 seconds. So it’s not exotic sports car fast, but it’s not slow, either.

Brakes? The vehicle has 3-wheel disc brakes with the Anti-Lock Braking System on 15″ wheels.

Suspension?  The Elio has an independent suspension with unequal length control arms, coil-over-spring and shock in the front and mono-shock with coil-over-spring and shock in the rear. The ground clearance is 5.75″ — similar to most of the passenger vehicles on the road today.

How about that unbelievable gas mileage? The Elio is a very green vehicle. It gets 84 MPG on the highway, and it has a city rate of 49 MPH. It can go 672 miles, or thereabouts, because it has an 8-gallon tank and 8X84=672. Of course, other factors will affect your mileage but you get the point. That means it consumes only 1/3 of what the average American vehicle consumes. 

Part of the secret to the great mileage: the vehicle also weighs less than any car. “We’re half the weight, so it costs less money,” said Elio. Most small cars are in the neighborhood of 2,500 pounds. The Elio comes in at 1,200 pounds.

Elio said the vehicle meets every necessary four-wheel vehicle safety requirement. Each Elio comes equipped with a Safety Management System that includes three airbags – a reinforced roll-cage frame, Anti-Lock Braking System, and 50% larger crush zones than similar vehicles.


With dimensions not too far from the 2013 Honda Civic sedan, here is the tale of the tape for the Elio outside:

Overall Length: 160.5″
Overall Height: 54.2″
Front Wheel Track: 66.8″
(center rim to center rim)
Wheelbase: 110″
(center of front wheels to center of rear wheel)



Is it a crackerbox? There is room for two people and some trunk space. Interior measurements are as follows:

Headroom: Driver 39.8 Passenger 36.4 in
Seat width: Driver 20.6 Passenger 25.3 in
Interior Shoulder Width: 26.8 in
Front seat Legroom: 42.7 in
Rear seat Legroom: 33.1 in
Elio has been designed to fit 95% of all men.

The trunk space will be at least 27″ x 14″ x 10″, enough for an airline carry-on bag or a golf bag with the fold-down rear seat down (47″+).

The company also promises a quiet ride. The body panels are made of a composite (which is more sound deadening than steel) and attached to a tight, solid body that doesn’t have a lot of moving (read squeaky) parts. These two design features help keep outside noise from getting into the cockpit and getting in the way of your favorite tunes playing on the AM/FM radio.

The trunk space will be at least 27″ x 14″ x 10″, enough for an airline carry-on bag or a golf bag with the rear seat down (47″+).



Are You Ready to Order An Elio?

Here is the company info:

"First off, no bargaining baloney. We will offer No Haggle Pricing. Because nothing is more discomforting than driving off wondering if you got the best deal or not. Everyone will get the same great deal. We want you to be wearing a big smile from the get-go. This will help.

"We will also have a team of trained, certified and salaried Elio specialists. People you can trust to know your Elio inside and out.

"Getting back to your uniqueness, it only stands to reason you should be able to customize your Elio. We will offer the means to do that. Can you feel your smile getting bigger?

"We're looking at a network of Retail Centers in the top 60 markets across the country. Larger markets will have more than one location. These Retail Centers will be stand-alone sales locations run by Elio-trained employees.

"You come to the Retail Center and we take it from there. First, we’ll guide you through the selection of your new Elio – manual or automatic, your color choice, and finally any further customization you have in mind. Our specialists will assist you throughout the process and can even offer suggestions. These specialists have been selected based on their ability to help others, not on ringing the cash register.

"To help you even further, we’ve developed a website containing a tremendous amount of specs, photos, videos, interviews and even links to other websites talking about Elio. Again, our Elio Specialists will be right there to answer any questions.

"And wait until you see the showroom floor! It’s going to be super-cool! Along with computers, we’ll also have kiosks to help you create your personalized Elio by filling out a customer profile. Of course, you can create one from the comfort of your home or work computer (when the boss isn’t watching) by using a private user name and password, but we think you’ll have more fun by stopping in."

Click here for Elio Motors Website: http://www.eliomotors.com/

Here is how you get your hands on the wheel of your custom car:

"Delivery: Once you make your choice of transmission, color, etc, we go to work fast and hard. We will have your new Elio cleaned and ready with options installed and back to the Retail Center within 24 hours of the order! 

"Our distribution centers are designed to move Elios...lots of Elios, quickly, efficiently, and damage free. That is part of our commitment to you. Further, we are working on that fantastic “Factory Pick-up” program we mentioned earlier. Details are to follow, but this delivery involves a tour of the plant in Shreveport, Louisiana and more." 

Of course, you must consider service. The word from Elio...

"If there really is beauty in simplicity, then Elio is a knockout. Your proverbial 10! That’s because Elio was specifically engineered for reliability and simple service. As if that wasn’t enough, Elio is partnering with a nationwide authorized service center. This service center will have more authorized locations than any other major brand – and stocked with all the parts and accessories needed to keep your Elio running smoothly."



Bottom Line on the Cost

At $6,800, the price seems like the bargain of all bargains. But, wait, Elio even offers inventive payment options:

"This is the Coupe de Gras. Along with the traditional methods of paying for vehicles, we wanted to add something else unique; a credit card payment plan. It will allow you to drive off with your new Elio with no money down. You simply sign an agreement to use the Elio credit card for all of your gas purchases. We, in turn, charge your credit card three times the amount of the fuel (most likely less than what you were paying for fuel on your existing vehicle). The simplicity is the difference. Two-thirds of the bill is your car payment the remaining third of the bill is the original fuel cost.

"Let’s give an example: You put $50 worth of fuel in your new Elio. Your credit card will be billed for three times the amount, or $150 due in full. The breakdown is simple; two-thirds ($100) is the Elio payment, one-third ($50) is the fuel. Details on minimums and the like are being worked out with several banking institutions, but the reality is simple. Drive off with a new Elio for no money down and pay for it with the massive fuel savings you have over your existing vehicle!" 

(David Aaron Moore. "Interview: Paul Elio and His Ultralight Three-Wheel Cars."
 Popular Mechanics. 2014)

As of March 23, 2014, Elio Motors has 12,899 current reservations. A couple of celebrity clients include Ed Begley Jr., and Adrianne Curry. The high level of interest is evidence that consumers are clamoring for an entirely new type of transportation option, according to Paul Elio, Founder and CEO of Elio Motors. Paul Elio has raised $50 million already.

Founder and CEO Paul Elio believes that at its price point, his brand could see annual sales of 250,000. He admitted that that is a "nutty number," but said that the vehicle should catch the attention of new-car shoppers with its low base price and quirky design.
The state of Louisiana and the federal government praised Elio Motors for the purchase of the old GM plant in Shreveport. The vehicle is slated for production in 2015. It seems the Elio is perfect for individual commuters looking for an inexpensive and fuel efficient mode of transportation, but who also yearn for a unique expression of their passion for driving.

On the negative side of the dream, here is what cleantechnica.com reported:

"250,000 is a big number, in other words, and – if Elio hits that number – that would make the Elio trike the number 4 best-selling vehicle in the US using 2011 number. The Elio would out-sell the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ram pickup, etc., etc. And it would have to do it all with (get this) 120 dealers. (pause for hilarious laughter).

Based on that “120 dealers” number (provided by Elio), each dealership would have to sell 2084 units per year. Divided by 12, that’s 174 units per month (before the mental midgets start questioning my math, you can’t sell “0.xxx” of a car). 174 units per month is a decent number, representing a fairly solid car dealership … but here’s where this gets really stupid: each of these dealerships has just 5 (five) employees making all those sales. Even assuming that 100% of your staff is in sales and you have no finance people, no administration, no service writers, no techs, no porters, no title clerks, no receptionists, etc., each employee would have to sell 35 units per month.
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/08/19/paul-elio-motors-releases-financials/#kKX1PWS0a17p7cUY.99
"Based on that “120 dealers” number (provided by Elio), each dealership would have to sell 2084 units per year. Divided by 12, that’s 174 units per month (before the mental midgets start questioning my math, you can’t sell “0.xxx” of a car). 174 units per month is a decent number, representing a fairly solid car dealership … but here’s where this gets really stupid: each of these dealerships has just 5 (five) employees making all those sales. 

"Even assuming that 100% of your staff is in sales and you have no finance people, no administration, no service writers, no techs, no porters, no title clerks, no receptionists, etc., each employee would have to sell 35 units per month."

I refuse to believe the pessimism. I love the vehicle and the dream. Keep those great ideas coming, Mr. Elio. Make this blog entry viral so that I can afford to reserve my customized three-wheeled auto. You make my car-loving imagination run wild. Good luck in everything you do.





Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saint Frank Sinatra: "The Man In Jack"?




I must preface this entry with some facts about myself. I like beer and an occasional shot of higher octane spirits. I definitely have drunk to excess in my life, and as a young man, I took many stupid, dangerous chances while under the influence. In fact, drinking alcohol has contributed to some very regretful actions. I confess.

As I age, I would rather savor an occasional drink or two instead of relying on alcohol as a social lubricant or as a necessity for having fun. I never drive after imbibing any amount of alcohol. And, I realize I am very lucky that I didn't hurt others when I used to drive after "having a few" and felt as if I was in total control of my faculties. Now, older and wiser, I bum rides, have a designated driver, or call a cab if I drink away from my own home.

In short, I understand drinking alcohol is a vice. No doubt drinking may make a person feel good, but there is always a price to pay for overindulging -- hangovers, fights, wrecks, arguments, the list goes on and on. I am neither proud that I drink a little now, nor comfortable enough to tout the vice to anyone. Those who don't drink are strong-willed, intelligent folks who realize they don't need alcohol to escape or to have fun. Young people, please, don't begin drinking alcohol -- you will save yourself money, friendships, and heartache.

That said, I am startled at an ad campaign and a couple of recent commercials. Jack Daniel’s has resurrected Frank Sinatra to sell a high end, 90-proof whiskey for $150 a bottle. Now, I like Sinatra's singing, and I know he did it "his way" as he "flew us to moon"; however, I question the manner in which Jack Daniel Distillery, owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation, is promoting their product.


Here text from three commercials featuring a Jack Daniel's tribute to the famous crooner:

1. "Frank Sinatra was a man. No, he was the man. And, he loved Jack... On stage, every night: three rocks, two fingers, and a splash of water. He's even buried with a bottle of it, so Frank, this one's for you. (Recorded voice of Sinatra ends the commercial -- 'That's the nectar of the gods, baby.')"

Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5rAOpN6kXw

2. "Onstage, beneath the spotlight, it was with him... It would become a staple of late Las Vegas nights and a mandatory at country club afternoons. When he traveled, his jet carried it to foreign lands. And, in the end, the man in the black-and-white tuxedo was laid to rest with a bottle of it. That's why his name is on this label."

Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjssX66bFBo

3. "He sat in on countless legendary recordings. He was Sinatra's 'right-hand man...' His name is 'Jack.'"

Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxbtprqos_Y

Don't misread my message, please. Tying celebrities to alcoholic brands isn't a new concept, by any means. The practice has been used for decades. Director Woody Allen appeared in Smirnoff vodka ads in the 1960s, and more recently, rapper P Diddy has been linked to Ciroc vodka while reality TV star Bethenny Frankel founded the Skinnygirl brand.

It seems the Sinatra history with Jack is undeniable. At one time, Jack Daniel's wasn't the best-selling whiskey in the world. Sinatra, the story goes, was introduced to it by Jackie Gleason at Toots Shor's legendary saloon in Manhattan. Jack Daniel's was the craft spirit of its day, and drinking it was a mark of distinction rather than conformity.

Jack Daniel's was a relatively obscure "sour mash" whiskey (it can't legally be called a bourbon because, among other reasons, it's charcoal filtered), made in small quantities and sold until the mid-1950s by word of mouth rather than advertising.

According to John Hayes, senior vice president managing director for Jack Daniel's, one of the brand's first salesmen, Angelo Lucchesi, developed a friendship with Sinatra and ensured the singer had a steady supply of the whiskey. At a time when it was hard for other consumers to purchase Jack Daniel's, Lucchesi would have cases delivered to Sinatra's home and even airports while he was traveling.

The marriage of Frank and Jack is linked to the product's great success. Jack Daniel's in 1955 sold roughly 150,000 cases, a figure that doubled the following year, after Sinatra began to refer to the whiskey as "the nectar of the gods" while on stage for various performances. Of course, since then Jack Daniel's popularity has exploded, with the black and green label products selling 10.9 million cases globally last year.

Now, people with enough cash will be able to imbibe on the company’s new Sinatra Select whiskey for $150 a bottle, the company’s most expensive whiskey ever. The company promises a higher-than-normal 45 percent alcohol at bottling and special Sinatra-barrels that offer the whiskey distinctive taste. By the way, the high cost is never mentioned in the commercials promoting the product. Instead, the implication is that Frank's favorite was the familiar, present-day product.

Here is some hype from a whiskey-lovers site:

"Sinatra Select is aged in specially selected 'Sinatra barrels,' which have grooves cut into the interior after the wood is charred, putting the whiskey in contact with wood that has been toasted but not charred as deeply. It's also aged somewhat longer (I've heard it's about a year) than standard Old No. 7, in a prime spot in the Daniel's warehouse. It's then bottled at a healthy 90 proof. The final product is closer to Jack Daniel's as it was when Frankie started drinking it, which should please Sinatra fans, whiskey connoisseurs and retrophiles alike."

Sinatra's biographers, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, authors of Sinatra: My Life, reportedly discovered old friends of Sinatra reported he was "ruled" by Jack Daniels. Swan says...

"Sinatra's use and abuse of alcohol was much more important than anyone understood. We tracked that and we gathered information that, from the mid-40s on, he was really seriously abusing the booze, and, even in his later life, drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels a day... When we submitted that evidence to a couple of experts on alcoholism, they said, pretty conclusively, that this is a functioning alcoholic and I think that helped us to explain and I think will help the reader understand the explosive temper, the up-and-down relationship with women and his children, the depressions and the insomnia."

("Experts Reveal Sinatra Was A Functioning Alcoholic." www.contactmusic.com. July, 2006)

Oxford University-educated Summers adds, "One of the strange anomalies is that a man, who not only drank so much but smoked so much - those untipped Camel cigarettes - for years and years and years, was still able to put out such a wonderful voice over such a long period. "We learned that he went off the booze and off the cigarettes for a period before he made an album."



My Take on "My Way"

So, what is my problem with the advertising? The irony of Frank Sinatra's casket containing a bottle of Jack Daniels haunts me. The symbol seems more to represent an indication of horrible fault in the life of a dependent man than it does of an item fittingly emblematic to lie in the final resting place of the man. Any reference to the "nectar of the gods" is lost in the actuality of the harm Sinatra's "staple" -- high proof alcohol -- likely caused him "beneath the spotlight."

In fact, the corporate celebration of the myth of the marriage of Sinatra and Jack eludes me. In a nation where excessive alcohol use accounts for approximately 88,000 deaths each year, making that inundation the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death, irresponsible drinking should not be cause for coronation and celebration.

And, how about the temerity of the veiled claim that Jack Daniels contributed to the "legendary" and storied career of Frank Sinatra? Who is said to be Sinatra's trusted sidekick, his "right-hand man"? None other than good old Jack. "His name is Jack" seems more appropriately synonymous with references to "Jumping Jack Flash" than with references to an American popular singer.

Any mystique conjured in these commercials is concocted through smoke and mirrors -- the corporation has worked diligently to create an attractive illusion that attempts to conceal the ugly truth. And, the truth is that alcohol advertising causes higher consumption rather than merely reflecting greater public demand. An alcohol campaign's effectiveness is judged solely by its ability to increase a producer's market share and to increase brand loyalty.

The self-regulatory bodies that create standards for the ethical advertising of alcohol in the United States do have certain concerns. These concerns include the following:

* Alcohol advertisements can only be placed in media where 70% of the audience is over the legal drinking age.

* Alcohol advertising's creative messages should not be designed to appeal to people under the age of 21, for example, using cartoon characters as spokespeople is discouraged.

* Advertising cannot promote brands based on alcohol content or its effects.

* Advertising must not encourage irresponsible drinking.

Jack Daniel's has managed to mount a Frank Sinatra ad campaign that conforms to most of these standards. Certainly, the demographics of using an icon of long ago to promote their alcoholic product seems honest. Maybe, that, in itself, is commendable since estimates report that 45% of the commercials that young people view each year are advertisements for alcohol. Also, no mention of the alcoholic content is offered in the commercials. (Neither is the price of acquiring the "good stuff" they are bottling under the 'Sinatra' name.)

The questionable breach of standard is the rule that advertising must not encourage irresponsible drinking. To me, not only does Jack Daniel's encourage irresponsible drinking with the Sinatra campaign, but the company also distorts an allegory to mythical proportion by proposing that its product helped create a folkloric American character who sang like an angel while drinking like the devil himself.

In closing, I believe Frank Sinatra, himself, might chuckle about this supposititious fantasy. It is classic misrepresentation. After all, isn't he the man who quipped, "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy" and "I feel sorry for people who do not drink. When they wake up in the morning it is as good as they are going to feel all day"? I think, he was able to laugh about the subject, and he knew the score about the deadly effects of his boozing. I doubt if he would wish to be raised to alcoholic sainthood.

Sinatra worked in show business and was paid to entertain people. His drinking was his personal business. But, the prop of a glass of Jack Daniel's became as indicative of his schtick as George Burns' cigar or Johnny Cash's black garb. In the final accounting, he should be remembered for artistry, not for drinking.

"That's the nectar of the gods, baby"? Any fool who spends $150 for a bottle of Sinatra Select to be the man is both foolish and easily swayed by slick slight of hand and twist of tongue. I'll continue to get my Sinatra "on" through listening to recordings, not by drinking his "trademark" alcoholic beverage. Even if I do buy a bottle of Jack sometime, I won't do it for the man.

Are you being responsible, Jack Daniel Distillery? I guess it all depends on corporate profits. "How high the moon? Ring-a-Ding-Ding, Baby."


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ripped and Hunky? Girls Find Security In Busy Brains, Not in Bulging Muscles



Gentlemen, why not build a strong mind to attract a beautiful, intelligent girl? Even though looks are a more powerful predictor of sex appeal than brains, women want the best of both worlds. These ladies may lack the insight to look beyond the attraction of hot bodies because they are filled with illusions that somehow "smarts" are inherent in a stately physique.

Women still go for the nit-witted "hunks" in their inconsiderate haste to find perfection, yet later in a relationship, many discover the brawny he-man to be the wrong choice. For the long term, a different type -- an intelligent, rational man -- can provide much better for them and their families. A geek who continually improves his brain as well as his general fitness may just have a chance to land a smart babe who knows the facts. He should practice patience.

In a study at Elon University in North Carolina, Mark Prokosch, an evolutionary psychologist, found that a smart man will appeal to women because he is likely to be clever enough to keep his family afloat. In addition, females understand an intelligent guy may also pass on "good" genes to his children.

(Ewen Callaway. "Nerds Rejoice: Braininess Boosts Likelihood of Sex." 
ABC News. October 6, 2008)

So, girls, let me offer some advice that just might save you time, money, and regret. If you're hitting the nightspots on the weekend to look for the "perfect man," you should consider something beyond the "tall, dark, and handsome" target. Looking through beer glasses and making boozy decisions based on who looks like the hottest dude may bring you short-term happiness, but your long-term contentment may depend upon finding an intelligent mate, one who shows signs of a strong brain that potentially makes him a better provider and a better father.

And, ladies, a macho man might possibly make a horrible mate for other reasons than lack of intelligence. Research confirms that macho guys have a penchant for short-term, uncommited liaisons. They are more prone to cheating, and are less likely to share resources equitably. And, if you do land the hunk, these men, who possess higher levels of testosterone, usually invest less time and resources in their partners and children. 

Charli Penn, co-writer of ManWifeandDog.com and Relationships Editor for ESSENCE.com, believes this insight about five types of men who make great husbands is accurate. Here is Penn's division of male types who make good mates:

1. The Provider

"He puts family first, always. He's a selfless man, who lives to please those he cares most about. He's the kind of man who can work two jobs in his sleep, always has a side-hustle in mind to earn more money, and guards his savings with his life. He can't rest until he knows the ones he loves are okay. He strives for perfection at home and in the office. Work-life balance is very important to him, but if missing time with his loved ones means a better life for them, he's always game to put in the overtime and take one for the team. Words like "no," "can't," and "impossible," are just not in his vocabulary, and when he hears others use them, it only increases his devotion to the task at hand."

2. The Rock

"At your weakest moments, his strength keeps you stable and inspires you to push through. He isn't immune to pain or frustration, but he does handle it well, and he knows how to pull himself out of low places. He's the kind of man who never misses your call when he knows you need to get something off your chest, or better, just a friend to be there for you. Speaking of chests, his is always there for you to lean on, squeeze, and find comfort in when it feels like only a hug will do."

3. The Critical Thinker

"There isn't a problem, big or small, that he isn't itching to solve. He's a quick, solid, thinker, who hates to be backed into a corner. He doesn't just see the problem in front of him; he sees a road map of the many solutions available to him and takes his time as he determines the best way to get there, or the course of action he must take. He is patient, because he has to be -- rushing things is rarely the answer and he knows this. He's diligent, focused, and considers himself a mental Olympian of sorts."

4. The Believer

"When the world around him comes crumbling down and the sun seems as if it will never rise again, this man still believes -- his faith is his foundation. It gets him through the good and the bad, and it never falters. He believes in the things unseen and those that many give up on when the world turns cold: hope, morals, kindness, and good will. He has a church home, or a religious mainstay in his life and the fellowship refuels his engines. He's God-fearing (whoever his God) and he's proud of his strong beliefs. His moral compass is always turned in a positive direction, and he refuses to accept failure. He helps others and chooses to live his life in a way he believes others should live theirs."

5. The Free Spirit

"Spending time with this man never gets old. He believes that life is about living and therefore is virtually immune to the physical afflictions caused by stress and worry. It's not that he doesn't feel those emotions; he just refuses to let them consume him. He stays positive and seeks to enjoy all aspects of his life, as much as humanly possible. He has most likely chosen a career he loves over one that pays all the bills. Therefore he's just as passionate about his work as he can be about feeding his cravings for new adventures. He enjoys traveling and most likely has a bucket list at least a quarter complete. He doesn't believe in wasting time worrying about what can't happen and prefers to shift his focus to what can. With him, there's never a dull moment at home, in the bedroom, or when you're out and about. His inner light shines through and warms the spirits of those around him. He keeps life exciting -- almost as if, each day he presses the refresh button."

So, just in case you weren't paying close attention, Penn would go gaga over an intelligent, moral, critical thinking provider who offers her a rock-solid foundation and a loving, entertaining free spirit. Through her many contacts with married women, she has found combination of these traits in those husbands women adore in the long run.

(Charli Penn. "The 5 Types Of Men Who Make GREAT Husbands."  
Huffington Post. March 22, 2012)


Overall, and particularly in these tough financial times, ladies should be more attracted to gentle, sensitive men who don't necessarily show Alpha, hunkish characteristics. Labeling less-aggressive guys as "wimps" seems unfair and reeks of stereotyping.  

Do you know the reason the nerdy fellows keep pushing themselves once in a relationship with a girl? Research reveals in couple relationships in which the wife is better looking than her husband, the bonds are more positive and supportive than those in other match-ups. The study, published in the February 2008 issue of the Journal of Family Psychology, reveals that looks continue to matter beyond that initial attraction, though in a different way.

In the journal, James McNulty of the University of Tennessee said:

"The husband who's less physically attractive than his wife is getting something more than maybe he can expect to get. He's getting something better than he's providing at that level. So he's going to work hard hard to maintain that relationship.

"Men who are more attractive than their partners would theoretically have access to partners who are more attractive than their current spouses. The 'grass could be greener' mentality could make these men less satisfied and less committed to maintain the marriage. 

"A negative husband would've said, 'This is your problem, you deal with it,'" McNulty said, "versus 'Hey, I'm here for you; what do you want me to do?; how can I help you?'" 

 (James McNulty. "Sex differences in the implications of partner physical attractiveness for the trajectory of marital satisfaction." Journal of Family Psychology. February 2008)

Regardless of the impact on finding a "perfect fit" or an intelligent mate, men should realize that building a strong, beautiful brain is essential for personal happiness. It's too bad the image of manliness is the "bad-ass" hunk. Almost all of the most prized attributes of a man are acquired through his scholarship and through his diligent, lifelong search for new knowledge.

Big muscles are great, but the greatest muscle for motivation and continued success is the human brain. Men who remain uncommitted to feeding their heads with wisdom and knowledge are likely self-centered fools with egos too large to be contained. They insist on being the center attraction in any relationship. Pity the feminists who believe Mungo will change with proper spousal training.

Yet, girls, your ideal may seem unlikely at first, but consider this: "sexy" is both rooted in physical reality and in fantastic creativity. A man with a thirsty, ingenious mind can learn. That ability applies to sex, to passion, and to the commitment to excellence. Instead of choosing a man who can't even spell variation and gratification, you may want to sacrifice some brawn for brain power and begin a relationship with someone dedicated to the improvement of all his skills. He will likely appreciate and learn any good things you teach him.

One look at Hollywood productions is enough to see the sham perpetrated on young adults. In films, it's constantly "power to the hot penis and victory to the willing vagina." Movies largely portray happiness in a relationship in terms of nailing the hunk or the babe. Instant bedding seals the bond and translates as a formula for eternal bliss. Intelligence? Save the obligatory acknowledgment for the humor of "Revenge of the Nerds, Part 45."

Youth buys into the images of the gangsta and the bitch with their uber money and muscle. Still, the truth is out there in reality and obscured by the smokescreen. Unfortunately, it usually does not become apparent until things come apart as "pretty boys" and "divas" with fantastic physiques, gorgeous faces, and empty heads collide.

Then, amidst shattered affairs and broken relationships, only one strong muscle can lift the wreck back on track and begin solid reparation. Despite common belief that the muscle lies in an engorged sex organ or in another visible, ripped member, it does not. The strong mind can use will power combined with intelligence to conquer hopeless situations. And, it does so out of an obligation to live and learn. 

My bottom line? Hey, nerdy guys, keep feeding your heads and take a little time to improve your bodies too. Whatever you do, find a sweet companion worthy of your mind and the rewards you reap from using it. The better your knowledge, the better your life.

You smart, hot babes, open your eyes to the station further down the track and concentrate a little less on the instantaneous reward in the next whistle stop. It's a long haul, sweetheart. In the long run, you are going to be seeking security, mutual respect, and money more than the image of the network's ultimate "Bachelor." 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Al Roker -- Nice Guy, But Maybe Creating Some Stormy Weather?



This is just a little followup after my blog entry on Al Roker and the Discovery Channel's "Investigation Discovery" episode on sundown towns he helped produce. I guess the weatherman has joined ranks with those depending upon hucksterism to hype viewership of television shows with which he is associated.

Personally, I like Al. He is a very popular television personality as is evidenced below. He seems like a gracious, nice man. I hate to see some contradictions to his positive image in his recent projects. I will let Al's website speak for his goals and work ethic.


On his website, Al, Owner/CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, touts his firm as "a multi-media production company dedicated to producing original, award winning, factual-based TV programs."     They claim to be "a television production company specializing in highly compelling, entertaining unscripted programming."

Here is some text from the site (http://www.alroker.com/index.php):

"As a hands-on business owner, Al is involved in the selection, creation, and development of the productions emanating from Al Roker Entertainment. Since these programs bear his name, Al focuses on programs that are honest, high quality, and in most cases, contain organic storytelling. For Al, these tend to be programs that don’t artificially create drama or high stakes, but instead allow Al Roker Entertainment to document both the on-screen activity and back story. Through this meticulous programming selection process, Al is able to “create programs that I can watch along with my kids.”

These shows include "Coast Guard Alaska" on The Weather Channel, "Kimberly's Simply Southern" on GAC TV, "DEA" on Spike, "The Bluegrass Boys" on Discovery, "Bordertown: Laredo" on A&E, and, of course "Injustice Files -- Sundown Towns" on Investigation Discovery.

I have already questioned the veracity of a claim made on "Injustice Files -- Sundown Towns." You can read that on an "All Things Wildly Considered" March, 2014 entry.

Now, I find that the "Today" show recently did a phony meltdown featuring Al Roker going off on radio and television host Billy Bush, who, at the time, was interviewing Johnny Weir during the Sochi Olympics. In the clip, Al seems to be schooling Billy about his proper place on the broadcasting food chain in the NBC/Universal family hierarchy.

“You are infotainment, nothing more, nothing less,” Roker said to Bush. “Do not elevate yourself.” 

Then, Al does a particularly nasty rant that reportedly NBC wants every media site to run for publicity. The crew surrounding the duo — and Bush himself — cracks up throughout most of the video as the expletives and threats fly.

“Everybody in this f---ing crew wants to say what I'm saying, but they don't because they're afraid,” Roker said while getting in Bush's face. “They're afraid to damage your f---ing fragile ego. All right? So stop it! And I'm gonna hound you … I'm gonna live on you like a tick until you stop this sh--!”

“You don't know where I'm gonna pop up, you don't know where I'm gonna be,” Roker yelled. “I'm gonna be your worst nightmare.”


(Tony Maglio. "Al Roker Rants at Billy Bush: ‘You Are Infotainment, Nothing More, 
Nothing Less.’" WRAP. March 21, 2014)

The YouTube Video, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlWWVbZDG0M

Hey, Mr. Al Roker, I realize you wish to maintain high standards. You, yourself say, "creating programs that I can watch along with my kids." How old are your kids, by the way? Perhaps you should consider this in the face of some recent activity. When all hope is gone and television becomes nothing but sensationalism and dumb stunts from those on respected news shows, people like me will turn off the television set and return to our trusty stereos for some old, reliable music.

You may want to have it both ways, but I believe a commitment to never "artificially create drama or high stakes" is a commitment you should honor. I think you have stumbled lately. I have never experienced the stress of working for national television; however, I taught high school language arts for decades, and I can tell you keeping true to my word in the face of educating the public was pretty tough. Perhaps it's time to review some personal policies.

"I get bitter, angry and disbelieving and I tell my kids 
there are a lot of idiots out there. I also want them 
to know that being successful is not the real world -- 
that their parents get treated better because they're on TV."

 --Al Roker

P.S. -- Why doesn't the blog on your site have any entries? Just wondering.


Dem Men: The Brain Bone Is Connected To The Genital Bone



I am writing about something I believe parents should know. I believe they should teach it to their daughters who may mistakenly interpret "honey words" and compliments as signs of caring affection. Then, these young ladies should take this reality seriously and consider all the consequences that relate to their lives.

In no way do I wish to pass judgment or blame onto females with what I am about to say. I respect women's rights, and I understand the tremendous struggles they have endured to extend their freedoms in a world where they still suffer injustice and abuse. I offer this blog simply as a personal view gleaned from my experience and my reading.

I think so many men interpret women as "big game" trophies and challenges to "capture" through any and all means of their sexual prowess. Men have preconceived images of "looks" and "fashions" and "displays" that they consider invitations to advance and to encounter their "prey."

This is not news, yet today, when so many attractive young girls seem to dote on sensual, striking appeal, men assume many girls advertise for physical contact, not for romantic relationships or for fashion. I understand this view is pessimistic, but I do not intend it to be restrictive on feminine freedom of expression.

Yes, ladies, men love the hot, nasty girl "look." They double take and crane their necks just to better view a pleasing display of T&A. They revert to animal instincts as they wolf-whistle, and make rude remarks to females who proudly display their beautiful bodies. They simply cannot resist the sight of a girl with the equipment capable of grinding their gears. A man with a pulse is going to look and look with intent -- be it guarded or openly lascivious.

Put a group of men together and their bravado increases. As men gather together to girl watch, they become even more sexually charged. And, unlike their demure female counterparts, they give little or no thought to actually sharing their erotic predilections or experiences with friends. They typically brag to their friends about the amazing sexual prowess they typically display with willing, young ladies.

All in all, the ids of these babe-admiring men dominate both brains of their physiques. As their little heads engorge, they do not necessarily consider proper restraints and necessary human conventions. They simple want "it" and view beauty, innocence, and femininity as secondary to attaining the ultimate prize. I have never heard a horny male comment about a potential score's sense of fashion, pleasing personality, or great intellectual skills.

You may disagree and say, "Oh, but there are plenty of gentlemen who never view females as sex objects." And, I would have to agree that some men do not prefer females as targets of sexual desires; however, nearly all men possess a strong drive for sexual encounters with some being or object. I understand some men physically love cars, robots, and other assorted animate and inanimate creations. I am not trying to gross you out here; I am just stating the facts. I believe the old adage that men think about sex a lot more than women do -- I don't know if I believe the much-cited claim of men thinking about it every seven seconds (8,000 times a day), but I think it must come to a male mind a lot.


Horny guys are everywhere, and they are so programmed to go gaga over breasts, asses, legs, and other unmentionable feminine parts that they act like sex-starved fools when confronted with the real thing. I understand this terrible immaturity and the ugly display of animal behaviors are not acceptable, but, I fear I have seen little in my lifetime to convince me that gentlemanly behavior is on the upswing.

So, accuse me for being direct, but let me explain a paradox I feel most men conceal in their lustful brains. I think we, and I include myself, cannot resist the sexual appeal of women, even the overt, over-the-top public display some ladies provide. And, furthermore, I believe we want the "trashy look" and the "hot tramp" but only on our own terms. Let me explain further.

In my experience, despite their denial, most men use women for sexual gratification. They may say they are not interested in displays of hot flesh and sensual motion, but what is filtering into their uncensored brains versus what is coming from their censored mouths is evidence of a double standard.

Men become adept at manipulating situations because they realize being the skilled aggressor bags more conquests. While a virile young man is often seen as a prized stud that sows his customary oats, women who notch their belts with each sexual encounter are typically viewed as loose whores providing an unseemly service. Argue for equality but watch the hypocritical stud take the "much-sought-after virginal countenance" for the steady and for the fiancee.


I understand this next opinion is sexist as hell. But, it's my blog, and so this is an ugly personal observance. An attractive young woman alone in public who is provocatively dressed and who successfully portrays an innocent, but sexually stimulating appearance attracts males like hungry bears to a honey pot.

I didn't say such an occurrence is fair or should even be socially acceptable. I do believe it is true, however. I have heard psychologists contend that men find the most contentment in sexual encounters that reinforce their skills of manipulation and domination of a lover. I understand many guys fantasize about "sweet young things" and "providing these girls the benefits of their sexual maturity."

Neuroscientists have much to teach us about the what’s and why’s of sexual preferences. Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam suggest, “Men’s greater sex drive may be partially due to the fact that their sexual motivation pathways have more connections to the subcortical reward system than in women” [or, in short] “men’s brains are designed to objectify females.”

So, that connection between the male’s brain and his genitals may be largely unwilled after all.
These scientists conclude that “men’s brains scrutinize the details of arousing visuals with the kind of concentration jewelers apply to the cut of a diamond” They become bedazzled by beauty and by particularly stunning detail.

(Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam. A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's 
Largest Experiment Reveals About Human Desire. 2011) 

The cartoon metaphor used by Ogas and Gaddam to depict the male brain’s desire software is Elmer Fudd -- the comically ludicrous “wabbit hunter.” Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. explains...

"To the authors, Fudd is 'solitary, quick to arouse, goal-targeted, driven to hunt . . . and a little foolish.' In other words, two-dimensional: the very emblem of a man whose 'trigger-happy' brain forever resides between his legs. But with Fudd it’s his rifle, not his phallus, that propels him ever forward. 

"Eternally outmaneuvered by the ingenious Bugs Bunny, he yet resolutely reloads, time after time awaiting his next chance to shoot at his targeted prey. And the way the male sexual brain is constituted (as long, that is, as testosterone levels remain sufficiently high, or one’s personal, non-sexual ideals are suspended), the pursuit of sexual stimulation remains undiscouraged and unfaltering. One might almost say, indomitable."

 (Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. "The Triggers of Sexual Desire: Men vs. Women." 
Psychology Today

Ogas and Gaddam also report: “Males of most species are wired to become aroused by novelty.”  This may explain why a man's interest and attention is far less likely to be sustained -- let alone piqued -- by what he's already experienced than by something as yet unfamiliar to him. I understand the male brain asks, "I wonder what she would be like in bed" because of both vanity and adventurous desires for acquisition.


In another study, Jeroen Vaes and his coauthors suggest that when men associate women with less-than-human characteristics, it is often because they find the women sexually attractive. Sexual attraction may motivate men to focus on women’s physical characteristics and place less emphasis on their personalities and mental characteristics. (In the background now. can you hear Tina Turner singing "What's Love Got To Do With It?"

(Jeroen Vaes et al. "Are sexualized women complete human beings? 
Why men and women dehumanize sexually objectified women."  
European Journal of Social Psychology. June 14, 2011)

Similar research shows that, in men, the brain areas associated with handling tools and the intention to perform actions light up when viewing images of women in bikinis. Yes, I said "handling tools." I hear you laughing, but you have to remember that guys relate most everything to simple actions.

Susan Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, found that men who scored highest on hostile sexism (the part of the brain associated with analyzing another person's thoughts, feelings and intentions) was inactive while viewing scantily clad women. Men also remember these women's bodies better than those of fully-clothed women, Fiske said.

"I'm not advocating censorship, but I do think people need to know what settings should discourage the display and possession of these kinds of things (in this case, the object in question was a bikini and the person involved was a bikini-clad woman)," she said.

Dr. Charles Raison, psychiatrist and director of the Mind/Body Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, said both women and men have something to learn from this line of research, Raison said. Women should be aware of how they are perceived when wearing provocative clothing, and men shouldn't let feelings of impersonal sexual longing interfere with their more personal relationships with other women, including female friends. "Many men make foolish choices because of sexual attraction," he said. So, manipulative, horny women can use men. I think we all know that.

(Elizabeth Landau. "Men See Bikini-clad Women As Objects, 
Psychologists Say. CNN. April 2, 2009)

Well, I guess I've said enough to make myself look like the most hollow shell of a caring, understanding man in the universe. Let loose the dogs of war, and feel free to criticize my evaluation, but I believe most honest men must confess to lusting, particularly when confronted with the image or with the reality of an alluring, scantily-clad, sexy young female.

Whether it's a man's internal wiring, evolution, or just plain unchecked desire, men gawk, gaze, and even leer when they see provocative scenery. You can say "it's all in the eye of the beholder," but human nature and passion make for combustible mixtures.

To me, the moral of this entry is that women don't deserve this obscene scrutiny because they dress and act in any certain way. Still, to understand the danger of the traffic before crossing the street is essential to survival. Whether a serious encounter in transit is the result of an accident or an unspeakable, lust-driven homicide, avoidance and forethought may lessen the chance of a tragedy.

The appeals of beauty, sex, and sensuality contribute to the mystery of desire and love. I believe this is how it should be. All of the appeals are sacred in their own respect.Yet,these things have become so refined and so skillfully employed in a culture full of attractive people that distinguishing innocence from wildness is difficult. Add frustration, deception, and a habitual and mind-numbing mentality to the mix. Can trouble be far away?

Immaturity and sexuality make for much more than pleasure and innocent experimentation in a world where tenderness no longer resides on the block. To cheapen love, to father unsupported children, to promote an uncaring lifestyle, to advertise body parts with abandon, and, yes, even to do so in childlike ignorance, tears at the fibers of honesty and devotion. And, there will always be men willing to take any advantage that strolls down the street. That is my personal opinion.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Discovery Channel Claims "Little Has Changed In Waverly, Ohio, A Racist 'Sundown Town'"



I was watching Discovery Channel's Investigation Discovery last night. A series titled "The Injustice Files" featured a segment on sundown towns. The Injustice Files is produced by Al Roker Entertainment with executive producers Al Roker, Keith Beauchamp, and Dan Bowen.

A sundown town was a town, city, or neighborhood in the US that was purposely all-white. The term came from signs that were allegedly posted stating that people of color had to leave the town by sundown. They are also sometimes known as “sunset towns” or “gray towns” The exclusion was official town policy or through restrictive covenants agreed to by the real estate agents of the community. In other sundown towns, the policy was enforced through intimidation. This intimidation could occur in a number of ways, including harassment by law enforcement officers

Being somewhat familiar with the term "sundown town," I was interested that this particular episode investigating the existence of such towns as largely a northern phenomenon born from how African-Americans in the region typically made their living. The work of the Afro-Americans largely consisted of daytime domestic responsibilities, and thus racist, nightly curfews were created to encourage African-American workers to leave town promptly at the end of their shift.

No doubt, hundreds of cities across America have been sundown towns at some point in their history. Segregation in the North is widely documented. In addition to the expulsion of African Americans from some American small towns, Native Americans, Chinese Americans, and Jews have also been victims of "sundown town" discrimination.

Discovery Press Web hyped the show as part of their all-new Black History Month Special Premieres at this website: http://press.discovery.com/us/id/programs/injustice-files-sundown-towns/ Here is some of the commentary there:

"We are thrilled to work with Keith Beauchamp, one of America's leading investigative filmmakers, and the revered team at Al Roker Entertainment on this fourth installment in the INJUSTICE FILES anthology, which has built a reputation for exposing unresolved Civil Rights cases and modern-day discrimination," said Kevin Bennett, general manager of Investigation Discovery. "We hope this special draws attention to racial discrimination cases that deserve closure and inspires viewers to push for progress on civil rights issues that are affecting their hometown communities."

"It is unbelievable to find that Sundown Towns may still be a reality in the United States," said Al Roker, CEO of Al Roker Entertainment. "We appreciate the opportunity to work with Investigation Discovery to shed light on a situation that many people don't even realize could be in their own backyards."

"When we set out to film THE INJUSTICE FILES: SUNDOWN TOWNS, my objective was to challenge the opinion that sundown towns still exist in America today. Can African-Americans really travel wherever they please in this modern America?" Beauchamp said. "Now having visited communities that were historically known as sundown towns, I am left with the sense that rules may have changed by the book, but towns still exist where the social standard hasn't been reset."
The Injustice Files "Sundown Towns" focused on "three historically-sundown towns in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio: Martinsville, Indiana; Vienna, Illinois; and, most shocking to me, Waverly, Ohio.

Research seems to confirm that Waverly was one of the few sundown towns that existed before the Civil War, with its reputation traceable back to the mid-17th century. In 1830, the Downing family donated the town square under the condition that no African-Americans live within the city limits. Stories of sundown incidents can be readily found online.

In an 1884 history of the area, an anonymous author wrote that "Waverly’s not having a single colored resident is a rare mark of distinction for a town of its size." The author also wrote that Waverly had never had "a Negro or mulatto resident."

(James W. Loewen. Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism. 2005)

One Ohio professor notes:

"... I have read that the land for the court house was donated and was to revert to the owner if an African American was ever allowed to settle within the town... the WPA guide to the county archives, and that is where it was in a footnote no less. The Downings had written into the agreement that the land on the public square would revert to them if a Negro was ever allowed to live in the town.. Incidentally, the footnote does cite the History of the Lower S.V. section on the Ku Klux Klan. It also states that 'to this day' which I think was 1943, no Negroes live in Waverly." 


Here is testimony of a former resident:

"All my family still lives in Piketon and Waverly, and my older aunt and uncle hold a wealth of information about the stories of Waverly and Pike County. In fact, I don't think there's anything these two have forgotten.

"My uncle has told me many times about the sign at the city corporation limits and in fact, showed me the exact place the sign stood on old State Route 23.


"He has also told me a story about the daughter of James Emmett (one of Waverly's founding fathers) who became pregnant by a black man in the late 1800's. This was a terrible scandal and of course, the girl was disowned by her family. The story goes that the black man was hung beside the courthouse in Waverly, but no blacks were allowed to be buried in the Waverly cemetery. The story continues that they finally buried the black man over the hill from the cemetery and I think his grave is still there. 


"There is a great story about the Emmett girl and her family. Her father was so determined to have her forever erased fron creation that he had her birth records at the courthouse destroyed. In fact, on her grave marker in the Waverly cemetery, there is a statute of a girl pointing a gun directly at her father's (James Emmett) grave. I only know bits and pieces of the Emmett family story, but it's very fascinating."



Yet, I was shocked to watch the Investigation Discovery episode and discover that producers still question such shocking racial injustice in Waverly. In fact, Discovery Press Web gladly gave this example to back its claim: 

"Flash forward 150 years and the attitude of Waverly residents toward American-Americans had changed little. DR. DAVID HOXIE speaks on television for the first time about his experience setting up a medical practice in Waverly in 1997 and his claim that the community ran him out of town in 2004 after years of enduring what he calls 'a toxic potion' of 'racism, professional jealousy, material envy.'"

                   ( http://press.discovery.com/us/id/programs/injustice-files-sundown-towns/)


Beware of Reality Television Documentaries


I question the inclusion of the Dr. David Hoxie medical practice information as part of an accusation that "the attitude of Waverly residents toward African-Americans" (referred to as "American-Americans" in their text) has "changed little." I think this is example of cheap sensationalism and an attempt to discredit a Southern Ohio community. History is one thing, fixed and unchangeable in all its terrible chronicle; however, direct accusation of present injustice, if false, is unfair and unfit for Discovery production.

Let me offer this information to prove the inaccuracy of their claim that Hoxie was denied practice because of his race:

"Dr. Hoxie is a physician practicing at the Waverly Health Clinic near Columbus, Ohio. He holds medical licenses in Virginia and Ohio, and received a DEA certificate of registration in 1995. A physician must possess a DEA certificate of registration to dispense prescription drugs that appear on the DEA's controlled substances schedules.  21 U.S.C. § 823(f) (2000).   

"Dr. Hoxie renewed his certificate of registration in 1998 and in 2001. On the initial registration application and on two renewal applications, Dr. Hoxie answered 'no' to the question, 'Has the applicant ever been convicted of a crime in connection with controlled substances under state or federal law?' In 2001, the DEA and the Ohio medical board began to investigate whether this was a false statement.

"DEA diversion investigators Dwight Cokeley and Dawn Mitchell looked into Dr. Hoxie's background.   Their investigation revealed arrest records indicating that Dr. Hoxie had been arrested seven times between 1973 and 1985 in and around Los Angeles, California. The arrest records show that Dr. Hoxie was arrested on a number of misdemeanor charges, including:  

(1) possession of marijuana on December 15, 1973; 
(2) possession of a controlled substance on September 19, 1978;  
(3) driving under the influence of drugs on July 6, 1980;  
(4) driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs on July 11, 1981;  
(5) possession of PCP, being under the influence of PCP, and a vehicle code infraction on August 7, 1983;  
(6) being under the influence of PCP on January 26, 1984;  and 
(7) driving with a suspended license on September 25, 1984.   

"There is no indication of the disposition of these charges, with the exception of the 1983 arrest. An arrest disposition report indicates that Dr. Hoxie entered a plea of 'nolo' to two charges, '11550 (b) H & S,' an apparent reference to §11550(b) of the California Health and Safety Code, which prohibits being under the influence of a controlled substance, and “23152(a) VC Traffic Off,” what appears to be a traffic offense. This disposition was confirmed by a document from the California probation department requesting notification should Dr. Hoxie be arrested at any time prior to November of 1985...

Dr. Hoxie's refusal to testify at the hearing, refusal to offer any explanation of his past trouble with the law, and his denials of past legal trouble, which are contradicted by the arrest records, provide substantial evidence of other conduct threatening the public health and safety.   Candor during DEA investigations, regardless of the severity of the violations alleged, is considered by the DEA to be an important factor when assessing whether a physician's registration is consistent with the public interest. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-6th-circuit/1485804.html#sthash.56Ul90UQ.dpuf
 "Dr. Hoxie's refusal to testify at the hearing, refusal to offer any explanation of his past trouble with the law, and his denials of past legal trouble, which are contradicted by the arrest records, provide substantial evidence of other conduct threatening the public health and safety. Candor during DEA investigations, regardless of the severity of the violations alleged, is considered by the DEA to be an important factor when assessing whether a physician's registration is consistent with the public interest...

"The DEA's decision to revoke Dr. Hoxie's certificate of registration, based on his material falsification of his application and on his other actions, was not arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of discretion. The DEA properly considers the candor of the physician and his forthrightness in assisting in the investigation and admitting fault important factors in determining whether the physician's registration should be revoked. Barry H. Brooks, M.D., Continuation of Registration, 66 Fed.Reg. 18,305, 18,309 (Apr. 6, 2001) (despite grounds to revoke registration as inconsistent with the public interest, registration continued because physician 'readily admitted fault, [took] responsibility for his past misconduct, and ․ fully cooperated with and assisted in the investigations concerning his illicit activities').   

"Dr. Hoxie's sanction was neither 'unwarranted in law' nor 'without justification in fact.' See Butz v. Glover Livestock Comm'n Co., 411 U.S. 182, 185, 93 S.Ct. 1455, 36 L.Ed.2d 142 (1973);  Pearce v. United States Dep't of Justice, 867 F.2d 253, 256 (6th Cir.1988). The DEA's decision to revoke Dr. Hoxie's registration was consistent with the DEA's view of the importance of physician candor and cooperation."


(United States Court of Appeals,Sixth Circuit. David A. HOXIE, M.D., Petitioner, v. DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION, Department of Justice, 
Respondent. No. 04-4122. August 16, 2005)

Shame on Investigation Discovery and executive producers Al Roker, Keith Beauchamp, and Dan Bowen. Their so-called "investigation" is a vivid example of the twisted, suggestive content that prevents a small town in Appalachia from rising to prominence. Instead, they prefer to single out Waverly, Ohio, smear its reputation, and portray it as a place still buried in sins of the past common to many, many northern communities of the same era.  

I do not deny the existence of inequality and racism in Southern Ohio. But, the use of this "evidence" neither conveys the truth nor gives any credence to paint an entire community as vicious bigots. 

The Deputy Administrator's determination that Dr. Hoxie committed acts that rendered his continued registration inconsistent with the public interest was supported by substantial evidence. Dr. Hoxie failed to comply with California controlled substance law, as evidenced by several arrests for controlled substance violations, misled DEA investigators by denying his prior criminal history, failed to testify at the hearing on his registration, and offered no evidence to explain or rebut the DEA's contentions regarding his registration. 

The State Medical Board of Ohio's Formal Action Report of April, 2006, replied:

"HOXIE, David A. (MD #35-071037) Waverly, OH
 

"By Opinion and Entry filed on February 14, 2006, Tenth District Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, which had affirmed Board’s 7/14/04 permanent revocation Order." 

The episode about sundown towns never mentioned anything about the real reasons for Hoxie's problems. Lying clearly cost David Hoxie his medical practice. What is any definition of justice if it does not apply to all? Investigation Discovery used some interviews from a couple of local residents to base their unfounded opinion that the "cruel fate" of Hoxie's practice in Waverly was caused by racism and was somehow linked to the workings of a sundown town.

Let's even consider the unthinkable. Suppose Investigation Discovery was right and Hoxie was "run out of town" by a rank injustice. Still, what a terrible judgment of an entire town to display on a national television broadcast -- even the suggestion that Waverly is now a sundown town is without support. Stirring up the ashes of history to ignite new doubts and fears must be done only when adequate proof warrants the charges.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." This time the Injustice Files has lived up to its name: It has rendered an injustice by airing a program that relies on no credible support for its stinging accusations. It is a television series, in this case, that cared much more about rumor and opinion than about solid facts. It is sensational, fictional television meant to titillate the emotions of viewers.


 Sign used by the Injustice Files to inflame sundown theories. 
It actually sits in Ross County, not Pike, home to Waverly.

Race still is and always has been an issue in America. I sincerely believe this. However, to misconstrue the facts to spread nasty untruths that deliberately harm a community is wrong. I understand the sad parts of the history of Waverly, but this show's purpose was evidently to create a hotbed of new accusations. The town does not deserve this.

"Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method 
which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. 
The foundation of such a method is love."

 — Martin Luther King Jr.


Ronald Phillips: Beastly Criminal And Available Organs




What might you consider to be the most heinous crime? And, as you think about this, ask yourself, "What if something 'good' could result from the condemnation of the vicious animal who is convicted of committing this crime?"

I think many of us would agree that the ultimate evil is the rape and murder of a small child. Yet, it may be much more difficult to agree about whether some good should be permitted to come from this unspeakable tragedy.

"Ohio said Friday it was denying a condemned child killer's request to donate organs to his family members, saying he didn't have enough time to undergo the surgery and recuperate for his summer execution.

"Organ donation surgery would have to have been completed by this coming Sunday (March 23, 2014) to give the death row inmate, Ronald Phillips, enough time to recover before the July 2 execution, but Phillips had not shown he was anywhere close that happening, according to letters from state prison officials to Phillips' attorney.

"The state 'fully intends' to carry out Phillips' execution, Stephen Gray, the prison system's chief counsel, wrote to defense attorney Timothy Sweeney."


(Associated Press. "Ohio Rejects Child Killer's Organ Donation Request." 
Fox News. March 21, 2014)

Ronald Phillips, 40, is sentenced to die for the rape and death of Sheila Marie Evans, his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter, in Akron in 1993. He was first scheduled to be executed November 14, 2013, at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

Fae Evans, Sheila's mother, died of cancer in 2008. She’d been serving time in the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville for involuntary manslaughter and child endangering for her role in her daughter’s death.

 Ronald Phillips

Following Testimony Taken from IN RE: RONALD PHILLIPS, CCI #A 279-109 STATE OF OHIO ADULT PAROLE AUTHORITY, COLUMBUS, OHIO
 

(Date of Meeting: October 16, 2013)

In testimony Phillips stated that, beginning at age four, he was raped by his father, and the sexual abuse continued for a period of one and one-half years. He claims at seven years old, he was raped by a cousin. Phillips indicated that his father physically and verbally abused him to the point where he ran away from home at age 17. He says he continued to fear his father even after reaching adulthood.

Phillips alleged that his mother did nothing to stop his father’s abuse. He described his mother as physically abusive toward him and his siblings and described how his mother would hit his older sister in the face and grab her by her hair. Phillips stated that his mother would hit him in the face with a belt.

Phillips said it is for that reason that he so deeply regrets doing to Sheila what was done to him. He insisted that he abused and killed Sheila because he was, at that time, a product of his own upbringing. Phillips related that he thinks about Sheila often. Specifically, he thinks about how Sheila would be in her twenties today and possibly married with children. She deserved better and did not deserve to die.

Phillips provided a detailed description of Sheila’s abuse and how it ultimately led to the girl’s death. Phillips described how he was pressuring Evans for anal sex when Evans introduced the idea of Phillips having anal intercourse with Sheila.

According to Phillips, Evans was involved. Evans was present for the first rape. He said Evans restrained Sheila and held the child’s hips up in the air while he sodomized the girl. One week later, Phillips again anally raped Sheila in Evans’s presence. Phillips raped the child a third time on January 15, 1993, three days before Sheila died, again with Evans present. A final beating by Evans on Monday, January 18, resulted in the child's death. (At one point while being questioned by a police detective, Phillips told the detective, "I don't want to go to jail; I don't want to get pumped in the butt.")


Fae Evans


Not Enough Time To Recuperate?

This particular judgment of Phillips and his coming execution has caused intense scrutiny of the justice system, punishment, and the role of corrections institutions.

Not enough time to "recuperate for execution"? This philosophy seems ridiculous until you consider harvesting his organs would require that the state kill Phillips before his date of execution in some semblance of a "murder for parts" that would surely be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said that it's considered "humane to have time to heal" and that Phillips is no different than any other inmate, meaning the state has an obligation to make sure he is healthy, despite the fact he will then be put to death.

Yes, that's what the law requires: a person, even a vicious killer like Phillips, must be "healthy" before the state can put that human to death. Oh, and I know what you're saying -- "Why not take his organs after his execution? After all, the monster will be dead then, and the physical remains could help someone else." Well, the situation is not this simple.

Let's stir the pot a little. Ohio is prepared to take Phillips' life with an untried method of execution. His scheduled execution has drawn national attention after the state said it planned to use a new combination of drugs for the lethal injection: the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone.

Ohio and other states have had to tinker with their execution protocols because the commonly used drug pentobarbital is in short supply after the manufacturer banned its sale to prisons for executions.

In effect, Phillips will become the state's "guinea pig" for the new "death drug cocktail."

"No other state has used these two drugs in an execution," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment. Florida used midazolam along with two other drugs in an execution on October 15, 2013, but not with hydromorphone, he said.

Irreversible brain and heart damage will follow, and the inmate will die a few minutes later, said Dr. Mark Dershwitz, a University of Massachusetts anesthesiologist. The organs will likely be too damaged for transplant.

(Kim Palmer. "UPDATE 2-Ohio to Use Execution Drugs Combination 
Never Tried in U.S. Reuters. October 28, 2013)

And, there is even more of twist in the hangman's noose. A November 1 hearing to decide whether the new drugs could be used, Phillips told a judge via video hookup that he had a lifelong fear of needles and that prison doctors couldn't find veins in his arm during a checkup two weeks earlier.

"I guess the Lord hid my veins from them," Phillips said.

Phillips said he's had a fear of needles dating from childhood when his parents would sell drugs and let addicts shoot up in their kitchen in a tough neighborhood of Akron, Ohio. 

(Ohio Delays Child Killer Ronald Phillips' Execution to Study Organ Donation. 
NBC News. November 13, 2013)


Out of Appeals

Phillips was out of appeals in November when he made a last-minute request to donate his organs, including a kidney for his mother, who has kidney disease and is on dialysis, and a heart to his sister, who suffers a heart ailment. However, the heart transplant wouldn't be possible as the heart has to be donated while the person is alive, meaning a brain death is involved, and the person must be put on a ventilator.

Are you confused yet? So was Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Kasich delayed the execution until July 2, 2014, to give the state time to see whether it was possible to comply. Kasich said that while Phillips' crime was heinous, his willingness to donate organs and tissue could save another life, and the state should try to accommodate a donation.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said it had given Phillips a March 23, 2014, deadline to undergo the kidney transplant, or any other transplant, to family members.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction warned Phillips about the March 23 deadline in a letter in January, according to documents released by the state. At that time, Phillips made a broad request for harvesting his organs after the execution, but the state said it was not equipped to do so, and that the process may not be medically feasible.

"Mr. Phillips should be advised that despite his wish to donate his organs post-execution, his request may not be honored by any federally approved procurement and/or hospital transplant center," it said. The department did leave the door open for the kidney transplant and for the family to harvest any organs or tissue after the state handed over the body to them. As mentioned before, it is pretty clear that the organs will not be viable at that point.

The department also noted that as of January, the mother did not appear to be on a federal waiting list for organ donations and there was no request from a federally approve transplant hospital for Phillips to donate to her. 

Even though Phillips' request seems to be an effort to delay execution, his attorney claims Phillips has a sincere desire to do something good for society.


The Implications

What does all this mean in the long run? You judge. I would be very interested in your replies.

In, of all places, China, death-row inmates are allowed the option to donate their organs after death, and state press attests that 65 percent of the country’s transplantable organs come from China’s death row, over 90 percent of whom were executed prisoners. The Chinese government has long held that the use of any organ from a prisoner only occurs after full consent from the prisoner, including families when appropriate.

Watchdog groups believe that actual execution numbers greatly exceed officially recorded executions; in 2009, the Dui Hua Foundation estimated that 5,000 people were executed in China – far more than all other nations combined though Iran executes more prisoners per capita.The precise number of executions is regarded as a state secret.

Since 1949, the most common Chinese method has been execution by firing squad, which has been largely superseded by lethal injection, using the same three-drug cocktail pioneered by the United States, introduced in 1996.

Prisoners in China who are destined to become organ donors are executed via a temporal gun shot wound. The prisoners are declared dead secondary to execution, rather than the usual definitions of brain-death or circulatory-death, and transported to a hospital for organ procurement. This process has been described as “death-row inmates received unfinished execution in the surgery theater at the hospital, and their execution is continued after the firing squad and finished by the transplantation surgeons.

It may surprise you to know that the Chinese government has vowed to reduce dependence on executed prisoners for organ transplants. Earlier this year, former vice minister Huang projected that in two years' time, China's organ transplant system will no longer rely on executed prisoners. With low public trust in the government-run organ donation system, it is unclear whether the Chinese government will be able to meet its goal.

(Yaqiu Wang. "China Harvests the Majority of Its Organs From Executed Prisoners." 
The Atlantic. July 19, 2013)

In the United States, the number of patients on the waiting list for organs in the year 2006 had risen to over 95,000, while the number of patient deaths was over 6,300. This organ shortage crisis has deprived thousands of patients of a new and better quality of life and has caused a substantial increase in the cost of alternative medical care such as dialysis. 

("Organ Shortage Crisis: Problems and Possible Solutions." 
Transplant Proc. 40. Jan-Feb 2008)

In America, though 18 people die every day from a shortage of available organs, there are a myriad of ethical concerns opposing the practice.

Jenny Hollander, Bustle news director asks, "Could we develop into a society in which organs are viewed as more important than the people who house them? What would that lead to?" Still, she asks, “If these inmates are to die anyway, isn’t it pragmatic to consider respecting their wishes, and save the lives of decent, ordinary citizens to boot?”

If an inmate is given a more lenient sentence and agrees to become a donor, as some legislators have suggested, would this undermine the justice system?  Not to mention, some believe inmates are more likely to have infectious diseases, like hepatitis and H.I.V., and so may be less eligible for donation than the general population.

The details of preparing a body for transplant would also compromise the entire execution process: the U.S. would have to come up with a new set of rules and drugs for execution. Additionally, the flow of oxygen would have to be maintained after death for the transplants would be viable, meaning that the inmate wouldn’t, technically, die instantly. This would compromise the nature of a legal execution.

(Jenny Hollander. "Ronald Phillips' Execution Postponed in Ohio: Should He Be 
Allowed To Donate Organs?" www.bustle.com. 2013)

"It's unethical because this guy (Phillips) who's being executed raped and killed a 3-year-old. When you donate your organs, there's a kind of redemption," Medical ethicist Arthur Caplan of University of Pennsylvania said. "Punishment and organ donation don't go well together. I don't think the kinds of people we're executing we want to make in any way heroic."

Yet, it's not unheard of for a death row inmate to become an organ donor.

Condemned Delaware inmate Steven Shelton was allowed to donate a kidney to his mother in 1995, though his execution wasn't imminent.

In 1996, the Alabama Supreme Court halted David Larry Nelson's execution so he could donate a kidney to his sick brother. His brother was too ill for surgery and later died.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment, said the practice raises troubling concerns."Once you put the person into the death row or execution category, then their life becomes less in the equation of things," he said. "That's a slippery slope of one life being used to save another."
  
Meanwhile proponents for allowing death row inmates to donate their organs offer simple and logical rationale. One more organ donor means at least one life, and typically more lives, saved. They say, it is not necessarily, as some medical ethicists such as Arthur Caplan of University of Pennsylvania speculate, an attempt to “close the ever-widening gap between demand and supply of organs” in transplantation. It is, quite simply, to help individuals suffering from end-stage organ disease. The supporters say the center of attention should be the patient, and how healthcare providers can help them.

(Shu S. Lin M.D., et al. "Prisoners on Death Row Should Be Accepted as Organ Donors. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Volume 93. June 2012)

The practical barriers include what is believed to be a low yield of transplantable donor organs from these prisoners, the concern over the quality of these donors, the perceived difficulty in carrying out the organ procurement in these executed prisoners, and potential lack of public support or acceptance of capital punishment. However, even opponents of this proposal admit that the practical barrier of not being able to meet the demands of organ donation is irrelevant in this discussion.

The ethical or moral concerns, on the other hand, involve two seemingly opposite rationale—the fear of coercion and the intention to preserve the morality of capital punishment.

The former insinuates that death row inmates are not being adequately protected, while the latter implies that the rights of these same individuals are given too much protection.

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act requires that all organ donation be provided without coercion. However, prisoners are particularly vulnerable to both direct and implied coercion, by virtue of their incarceration. The National Institute of Health explicitly acknowledges this coercion in its rules regarding prisoner consent: “Prisoners may not be free to make a truly voluntary and uncoerced decision… the regulations require additional safeguards.”

Specifically, the idea of preserving the morality of capital punishment stems from the belief that this type of donation is not consistent with the intended justifications of capital punishment, which some argue is to achieve retribution and deterrence in our society. Nonetheless, this line of argument, that donation “undercuts the morality of execution,” is challenged by various philosophy, ethics, and religion experts such as Gardner, Johnson, and Murphy.

(M. Garder. "Retritution, Deterrence, and Organ Donation." Am J Bioeth. 11. October 2011)

One blogger nicknamed "Dee" (http://meebal.com/should-death-row-inmates-be-allowed-to-donate-organs/) suggests that since Philips is alive, we should let him make this decision himself as his last personal act, and perhaps "his only opportunity to show remorse over the crime that put him on death row in the first place.”

The blogger continues: “I suggest that if he were willing to donate his brain to science so that they could study it to find out what turned him into the kind of monster that could rape and murder a three year old, then yes, maybe something good could come of donating at least one organ.”

I guess there is viable organ donation and dead tissue organ donation. A stance on parts of a monster living on in an innocent, near-death individual requires both logical and moral consideration. Very little thought needs to go into the possible value of performing a dead brain study. Organ donation, nonetheless.