OCTOBER 16, 2009
David Checketts, an investor and owner of sports teams, approached me in late May about investing in the St. Louis Rams football franchise. As a football fan, I was intrigued. I invited him to my home where we discussed it further. Even after informing him that some people might try to make an issue of my participation, Mr. Checketts said he didn't much care. I accepted his offer.
It didn't take long before my name was selectively leaked to the media as part of the Checketts investment group. Shortly thereafter, the media elicited comments from the likes of Al Sharpton. In 1998 Mr. Sharpton was found guilty of defamation and ordered to pay $65,000 for falsely accusing a New York prosecutor of rape in the 1987 Tawana Brawley case. He also played a leading role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot (he called neighborhood Jews "diamond merchants") and 1995 Freddie's Fashion Mart riot.
Not to be outdone, Jesse Jackson, whose history includes anti-Semitic speech (in 1984 he referred to Jews as "Hymies" and to New York City as "Hymietown" in a Washington Post interview) chimed in. He found me unfit to be associated with the NFL. I was too divisive and worse. I was accused of once supporting slavery and having praised Martin Luther King Jr.'s murderer, James Earl Ray.
Next came writers in the sports world, like the Washington Post's Michael Wilbon. He wrote this gem earlier this week: "I'm not going to try and give specific examples of things Limbaugh has said over the years because I screwed up already doing that, repeating a quote attributed to Limbaugh (about slavery) which he has told me he simply did not say and does not reflect his feelings. I take him at his word. . . . "
Mr. Wilbon wasn't alone. Numerous sportswriters, CNN, MSNBC, among others, falsely attributed to me statements I had never made. Their sources, as best I can tell, were Wikipedia and each other. But the Wikipedia post was based on a fabrication printed in a book that also lacked any citation to an actual source.
I never said I supported slavery and I never praised James Earl Ray. How sick would that be? Just as sick as those who would use such outrageous slanders against me or anyone else who never even thought such things. Mr. Wilbon refuses to take responsibility for his poison pen, writing instead that he will take my word that I did not make these statements; others, like Rick Sanchez of CNN, essentially used the same sleight-of-hand.
The sports media elicited comments from a handful of players, none of whom I can recall ever meeting. Among other things, at least one said he would never play for a team I was involved in given my racial views. My racial views? You mean, my belief in a colorblind society where every individual is treated as a precious human being without regard to his race? Where football players should earn as much as they can and keep as much as they can, regardless of race? Those controversial racial views?
The NFL players union boss, DeMaurice Smith, jumped in. A Washington criminal defense lawyer, Democratic Party supporter and Barack Obama donor, he sent a much publicized email to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying that it was important for the league to reject discrimination and hatred.
When Mr. Goodell was asked about me, he suggested that my 2003 comment criticizing the media's coverage of Donovan McNabb—in which I said the media was cheerleading Mr. McNabb because they wanted a successful black quarterback—fell short of the NFL's "high standard." High standard? Half a decade later, the media would behave the same way about the presidential candidacy of Mr. Obama.
Having brought me into his group, Mr. Checketts now wanted a way out. He asked me to resign. I told him no way. I had done nothing wrong. I had not uttered the words these people were putting in my mouth. And I would not bow to their libels and pressure. He would have to drop me from the group. A few days later, he did.
As I explained on my radio show, this spectacle is bigger than I am on several levels. There is a contempt in the news business, including the sportswriter community, for conservatives that reflects the blind hatred espoused by Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson. "Racism" is too often their sledgehammer. And it is being used to try to keep citizens who don't share the left's agenda from participating in the full array of opportunities this nation otherwise affords each of us. It was on display many years ago in an effort to smear Clarence Thomas with racist stereotypes and keep him off the Supreme Court. More recently, it was employed against patriotic citizens who attended town-hall meetings and tea-party protests.
These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society.
Mr. Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated talk radio host.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The Race Card, Football and Me: My critics would have you believe no conservative meets NFL 'standards.' By Rush Limbaugh
Thursday, October 15, 2009
It is my pleasure to welcome Phillips Philes newest contributor Joseph Michael Wasik. Like myself and Bill, Mr. Wasik is a resident of Southern New Jersey. He, as you have sampled from recent posts, from time to time writes letters to the editor and articles published in the local newspaper. You can read more about Mr. Wasik from his profile at Eons by clicking here.
Mr. Wasik, as you will see, is a great addition to Phillips Philes.
Other writings by Joseph Michael Wasik:
He’ll never give up http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/news_details/article/365/2009/january/24/hell-never-give-up.html
January 24, 2009
Burlington County Times
For the sake of our country, I will never give up. For the sake of our families, I will never give up. For the sake of those who protect us, I will never give up. For the sake of those who grow our food and provide shelter, I will never give up.
For the sake of our religious faiths, I will never give up. For the sake of our freedoms, especially our freedom of speech, I will never give up.
“Government cannot solve the problems; they are the problem” [Ronald Reagan, 1981].
Liberalism/Socialism/progressivism is like having a guitar that is badly out of tune. A beautiful instrument with potential, but could never play beautiful music without the attention of a skilled musician. Somehow, about half of our population are trying to play this guitar and make beautiful music.
But the tunes they play are bad on the ears.
Yet they don’t realize how horrible the tunes are that they play; thinking that the tunes they play are just what the other half of the population needs to enjoy. How do you tell someone that their music is unpleasant when they have closed ears and closed minds?
Being angry and critical of the other half with the good musical ears? What do you think?
Joseph Michael Wasik
Do you have the symptoms of road rage? http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/news_details/article/365/2009/july/06/do-you-have-the-symptoms-of-road-rage.html
July 06, 2009
Burlington County Times
When out on the road, occasionally, I see a driver tailgating a tractor-trailer or a large box truck. Was that you?
Do you get so angry at someone in front of you who is only driving the speed limit that you start pounding the steering wheel or throwing up your arms in anger? Or giving that driver the fickle finger when you pass on the left, over the double center lines, or the shoulder?
Do you drive so close to someone in front of you in retaliation and with the intent to harass and intimidate that slowpoke?
Are you constantly hurrying to get to that long line of traffic stopped at the red light? Do you drive on the shoulder so that you can be at the head of all that traffic? When you see a long line of traffic, do you drive down the turning lane and edge everyone out by inserting your car close to the front of the line?
Do you find yourself angry whenever you arrive at a destination? When was the last time your front end was replaced? Did that add to your anger? And, did you rush to the body mechanic who replaced your front end? Or was your car towed there? Just curious.
Joseph Michael Wasik, Evesham
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Al Martino Biography
Al Martino was one of the great Italian-American pop crooners, boasting a string of hit singles and LPs that stretched from the early '50s all the way into the mid-'70s. However, he is perhaps even better known for his role in The Godfather as singer Johnny Fontane, a character supposedly based on Frank Sinatra but with eerie similarities to Martino's own career. Martino's 1952 debut smash, "Here in My Heart," made him the first American artist to top the charts in Great Britain, but his career was interrupted by gangster interference, which kept him out of the U.S. for much of the '50s. He later returned and rejuvenated his career, scoring his signature hit with 1965's classic "Spanish Eyes" and reaching a whole new audience via The Godfather in 1972.
Martino was born Alfred Cini in Philadelphia on October 7, 1927. His Italian immigrant parents ran a masonry business, and he worked alongside his brothers as a bricklayer while growing up. However, he was more interested in music, and was inspired by Al Jolson and Perry Como to try his own hand at singing. When his boyhood friend Alfredo Cocozza changed his name to Mario Lanza and became an international opera star, the possibility of a career in music suddenly seemed plausible. Adopting the stage name Al Martino (after his maternal grandfather's last name), he performed in local nightclubs for a time, and moved to New York City in 1948 with Lanza's encouragement. He went on to win first place on the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts show, thanks to a rendition of Perry Como's "If." That exposure helped him land a record deal with the Philadelphia-based independent label BBS.
In 1952, Martino recorded a ballad called "Here in My Heart" as his debut single. When he heard that Lanza was set to cut his own version, Martino called him and begged him not to, knowing that Lanza's record would immediately eclipse his own. Lanza relented, and "Here in My Heart" became a breakthrough smash for Martino, selling over a million copies and topping the charts in both the U.S. and U.K. Its success earned Martino a major-label deal with Capitol, and he released three more singles -- "Take My Heart," "Rachel," and "When You're Mine" -- through 1953, all of which hit the Top 40..
Unfortunately, a few of Martino's new fans wanted in on the action; according to legend, Martino's contract was forcibly taken over by a new, Mafia-connected management team, which then ordered Martino to pay a 75,000 dollar fee upfront, as a safeguard for their investment. Martino made a down payment to ensure his family's safety, then fled to England, where his popularity allowed him to perform successfully for a time; he even headlined the London Palladium. He continued to record in Britain with moderate success, but his work received no exposure back in the U.S. In 1958, thanks to the intervention of a family friend with the local Philadelphia boss, Martino was allowed to return home and resume his recording career.
By this time, Martino's initial momentum had long since cooled, and he faced an uphill battle re-establishing himself, especially since he hadn't been forced to contend with rock & roll the first time around. He recorded for 20th Century Fox during the late '50s, but none of his ten-plus singles reached the Top 40, and the label wound up dropping him. Undaunted, Martino financed the recording of a new album, The Exciting Voice of Al Martino, all on his own. It wound up landing him a new deal with Capitol, which issued the LP in 1962; its updated version of "Here in My Heart" was also released as a single, and barely scraped the charts. Martino quickly followed it with a mostly Italian-language LP, The Italian Voice of Al Martino, and made several high-profile television appearances to re-establish his visibility..
Thanks in part to those TV performances, Martino was able to score a major comeback smash with 1963's "I Love You Because," which heralded a newly understated vocal style and had previously been a country hit for honky tonk singer/songwriter Leon Payne. Arranged by Belford Hendricks, Martino's pop version went to number three on the pop charts, and all the way to the top of the easy listening charts. The accompanying album of the same name went Top Ten, and Martino remained a regular visitor to the charts for over a decade afterward, at first concentrating on country-tinged pop material with musical director Peter DeAngelis. 1963 brought more hits in "Painted, Tainted Rose" (Top 20 pop, Top Five easy listening) and "Living a Lie," and the accompanying Painted, Tainted Rose album became his second Top Ten. He charted four more times in 1964 with "Always Together," "I Love You More and More Every Day" (pop Top Ten), "Tears and Roses" (pop Top 20), and "We Could"; all were Top Ten easy listening hits..
In 1966, Martino recorded what would become his signature song, "Spanish Eyes," an adaptation of an instrumental piece by German conductor/composer Bert Kaempfert originally titled "Moon Over Naples." Although "Spanish Eyes" only made number 15 on the pop charts, it spent a month at number one easy listening, found tremendous success all across Europe, and was covered by countless other traditional pop artists over the years. The album of the same name went gold and became Martino's third (and final) Top Ten LP. He scored two more big easy listening hits that year with "Think I'll Go Home and Cry Myself to Sleep" and "Wiederseh'n," and in 1967 topped those charts twice with the folk-styled "Mary in the Morning" and the Bob Crewe-penned "More Than the Eye Can See.".
Martino had a few more easy listening hits through the end of the '60s, including a vocal version of Paul Mauriat's instrumental "Love Is Blue" (1968) and a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" (1970). However, his career momentum was slowing down, and his albums failed to attain their usual Top 100 chart placements. Fortunately, his longtime friend Phyllis McGuire (of the McGuire Sisters) was familiar with Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather. When Paramount decided to make a film version, McGuire brought the character of Johnny Fontane -- a fading pop idol who needs mob intervention to land the film role that would resurrect his career -- to Martino's attention. Although rumor had it that Fontane was based on Frank Sinatra, and his Oscar-winning turn in From Here to Eternity, the role resonated deeply with Martino, and he wound up winning the part. The Godfather, of course, was a huge critical and commercial success, and Martino's appearance -- not to mention his recording of the film's love theme, "Speak Softly Love" -- refreshed his reputation and even made him something of a cult icon..
Despite radically shifting tastes in pop music, Martino was able to parlay his Godfather role into a few more years of recording success. He returned to the pop Top 20 for the first time since "Spanish Eyes" with 1975's "To the Door of the Sun (Alle Porte del Sole)," an English translation of a popular Italian song. He also scored a highly unlikely dance-club hit that year with a disco-fied version of the Italian pop standard "Volare," which was especially popular in Europe. Martino toured the nightclub circuit extensively during the '70s, and managed one more easy listening hit in 1978's "The Next Hundred Years." Faced with diminishing returns, he and Capitol finally parted ways in 1982. Martino continued to perform in clubs, lounges, and casinos for some time afterward, and returned to recording in 2000 with the album Style. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide .
Captain Lou Albano Stats
Height: 5 foot 10
From: Carmel, N.Y.
Career Highlights: United States Tag Team Champion, managed Ivan Koloff to the WWE Championship, managed over a dozen teams to the World Tag Team Championship. Associates: The Wild Samoans, The Valiant Brothers, numerous other tag teams, Ivan Koloff, Pat Patterson, Cyndi Lauper
WWE Debut: 1963 (formation)
He was “often imitated, never duplicated” and rightfully so, because the legendary Captain Lou Albano will always be one of a kind. With his open Hawaiian shirts, outrageous facial hair and trademark rubber bands hanging from his cheek, Captain Lou may not have looked like much of a success, but his record speaks for itself.
Albano was an excellent athlete as a youth, attending the University of Tennessee on a football scholarship. After a stint in the United States Army, he began his sports-entertainment career in Canada in 1953. Albano soon began teaming with Tony Altimore; together they were known as “The Sicilians.” After coming to the WWWF in the 1960s, they defeated the legendary Bruno Sammartino & Spiros Arion to win the WWWF United States Tag Team Championship in 1967.
After the breakup of The Sicilians, Albano transformed himself into a manager, making it his sole mission to end the lengthy WWE Championship reign of Bruno Sammartino. This made him perhaps the most hated man in the promotion, but in 1971, he accomplished his goal; protégé Ivan Koloff defeated Sammartino in Madison Square Garden to end the Italian champion’s seven-plus year reign. Koloff’s reign lasted only three weeks, and despite managing several other Hall of Famers, Koloff was the only World Champion Albano ever managed. He would lead Don Muraco, Greg Valentine and Pat Patterson to the Intercontinental Championship, but never again tasted a World title.
Having been a tag team star himself, though, it was in managing duos where Albano excelled. In the span of 20 years, he managed 15 different teams to the World Tag Team Championship, earning the nickname “The Guiding Light” and a record that may never be broken. Several of his championship duos featured Hall of Famers, including fellow 1996 Hall of Fame inductees The Valiant Brothers and 2007 inductees The Wild Samoans. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito, The Executioners and The Moondogs were just of few of the other teams to become World Tag Team Champions under Captain Lou’s guidance.
After 15 years of being one of the most hated men in sports-entertainment, however, Albano had a change of heart. In 1983, he appeared in Cyndi Lauper’s music video for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and later claimed to be the catalyst to Lauper’s success. Thus began the legendary “Rock n’ Wrestling” Era in WWE, which combined with Hulkamania helped launch WWE into a new stratosphere in the mid-1980s. After a lengthy rivalry with the singer (which saw Lauper’s pal Wendi Richter win the Women’s Championship from Albano’s client The Fabulous Moolah), Captain Lou apologized to Lauper and became an instant fan favorite. Once the Rock n’ Wrestling phenomenon began to wind down, Albano led the British Bulldogs to the World Tag Team Championship in 1986 before leaving WWE.
In his time away from WWE, Albano capitalized on his newfound celebrity. He appeared in several episodes of shows such as Miami Vice before starring in the film Body Slam alongside fellow Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in 1987. Albano also managed and performed with rock group NRBQ, who wrote the song “Captain Lou” in his honor. Later, the Captain starred in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, a hybrid live-action/animated show; Albano played Nintendo legend Mario in the live portion while also voicing his cartoon counterpart.
After nearly a decade away from the ring, however, Captain Lou returned for one final hurrah. In 1994, Albano joined former protégé Afa the Wild Samoan as advisor of Samu & Fatu, the Headshrinkers. Together, Albano & Afa had success once more, leading Samu & Fatu to the World Tag Team Championship. The Headshrinkers thus became the final team on Captain Lou’s legendary list of World Tag Team Champions.
In 1996, Albano claimed his rightful place in the pantheon of the elite, the WWE Hall of Fame. Inducted by legendary New York media personality Joe Franklin, Albano was finally truly recognized as one of sports-entertainment’s elite. He was often imitated but never duplicated, and he certainly will never be forgotten either.
Capt. Lou Albano Passes
Written: October 14, 2009
World Wrestling Entertainment was saddened to learn of the passing of one of the company’s most popular and charismatic legends, “Captain Lou Albano.” WWE extends its deepest condolences to the Albano family.
“Captain Lou” was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996. He performed for WWE from 1983 to 1996. Albano began his storied career with Vincent J. McMahon in the 1960’s as one half of “The Sicilians” tag team with his partner, Tony Altimore. He will be greatly missed by the WWE and his fans.
January 18–25, 1996
Letters To The Editor
Recently, a thief ran through a neighbor's yard and broke his neck on the family's clothesline after a robbery attempt. He sued the neighbor for negligence and the liberal judge awarded the thief $30,000.
In NYC, a thief sued the city and was awarded $1,300,000 because a police officer shot and paralyzed him as he was running away after a purse snatch.
With insane decisions like these, we should not be surprised that there is little respect for the law or that criminals are not deterred by the threat of capture.
When our country's laws were based on the Bible, and the ten commandments were taught in schools as standards for behavior, we had far less crime. During the last 75 years some of the brightest men and women have become lawyers, judges and educators and have turned the First Amendment upside down. Now more attention is centered on the criminal rather than on the victim.
Who's to blame? The 52 percent of Christians who don't bother to vote and the 18 percent who vote for liberals such as our President. To effect a return to law and order, it's time Christians assumed their God-given and constitutional responsibility by getting out to vote and by electing those who share our moral values.
Joseph Michael Wasik
Monday, October 12, 2009
April 16, 2009
Burlington County Times
I would like to apologize to the American people for the president of our country, Barack H. Obama, for his inexperience and ineptness in apologizing to the European people when he referred to the American people as arrogant.
And he, for whatever reason or for political expediency, must have forgotten that it was the American people who saved the European people twice through two World Wars.
It was the American people who bought and flew all the life savings supplies that kept the people of West Berlin alive in what was called the Berlin Airlift. It was the American people who died at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge [My uncle was there].
It was the American people who were greeted throughout Italy as liberators. The Italian people then hung their dead leader Benito Mussolini and his mistress by their feet from a lamp post [1943; part of my reality]. Italy lost three million people in the war.
It was the American people who drove the Nazi invaders out of Paris.
So why did Barack H. Obama call the American people arrogant before all the peoples of Europe?
He's [in] way, way, over his head as the leader of the greatest country in the world.
Joseph Michael Wasik
October 05, 2009
By: Shirley Nixon
Burlington County Times
Guest opinion: Will breaking things down to its simplest level be the best way to solve this dilemma? All intelligent people know this to be true. I read this simple story somewhere, some time ago, that shows the basic differences between liberals and conservatives.
The story used to be:
The ant (the conservative) works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper (the liberal) thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays all the summer long.
Here comes winter and the ant is warm and well fed.
The grasshopper, however, has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
Moral of this story is: Be responsible for yourself.
The contemporary version of this same story is:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying in supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays all the summer long.
Here comes the winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and PBS show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. Americans are stunned by the sharp contrast. A picture is worth a thousand words.
How can this be, that in a country as wealthy as ours, can this poor grasshopper be allowed to suffer so much?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody sympathizes and tears flow when they sing, "Its Not Easy Being Green.''
Acorn stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome,'' while Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group curse God for the grasshopper's dilemma.
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid complain in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.
Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.
The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs, and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while in the government house, which just happened to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he didn't maintain it.
The ant has disappeared into the snow.
The grasshopper is found dead in a drug-related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.
Moral of the story: Be careful how you vote in 2010 and 2012.
Can I ask what you do for this country? I'm not saying you don't work or pay taxes, but so many liberals just take and take and take and take and think it's their right.
I used to think it was just liberals who are immature.
But a disturbing pattern was noticed over and over and over: Most liberals can't even engage in civil discourse, and when they are confronted with positions that don't match theirs, they lash out like crazed pit bulls.
This oddity was noticed for a long time and like others before me has concluded that liberalism really is a mental disorder based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions. "Contemporary liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded,'' paraphrasing Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.''
"Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.''
While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to "the vast right-wing conspiracy.''
For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.
Ronald Reagan once said, "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.''
Reagan had hit upon something really important and eye opening. Liberals seem to have a very, very tenuous grasp of things. Therefore, they figuratively dig their claws in and fight tooth and nail against anything that doesn't fit their viewpoint of the world.
The liberal mind is about as stable as a house of cards. On some levels, they realize that confronting reality will destroy their entire view of the world, much like someone in the 1200s finally realizing the shocking truth that the world isn't flat, after all,.
Imagine how difficult it was for frightened sailors to finally accept the truth; they lived frightened lives unnecessarily. The horizon wasn't full of sea serpents. There was no edge of the world.
Conservatives absolutely baffle and exasperate liberals. Why? Because conservatives appear to have solid beliefs while the liberal is lucky if he can formulate some vague, hazy philosophy of things.
When a conservative argues with a liberal, the liberal feels he must lash out for fear of discovering that his whole imaginary world is just that: fiction.
So, liberals preach "tolerance,'' but only tolerance for their viewpoints. Anything else is heresy. Just try confronting a liberal with the facts about global warming and he'll practically start foaming at the mouth.
The mind of the liberal cannot acknowledge that a conservative is right because the fuzzy liberal mind is like a shaky house of cards. If the liberal realizes he's wrong about one thing, it totally destroys their whole imagined reality he has constructed for himself.
So when liberals scream like threatened children when you talk about Fox News, or Rush Limbaugh, it is because their brains are not wired to accept contradictory information.
Liberals don't get their information from the left and the right, putting their beliefs to the test by checking if they are based on fact and not on conjecture or psychological construction.
Liberals cannot do this. It would destroy their carefully crafted dream world existence.
What do you think?
Joseph Michael Wasik lives in Evesham.