High Praise for Chuckles

From a certain person who hates Jehovah's Witness, a former Witness himself:

“So you've found a reporter that serves the Org well. Good for you. BUT it will never make the facts different. So where did your Ms Chuck get her information from, a JW I presume." 

I replied, “John, she did no more than reports facts and only facts. She is not 'one of ours.' I don't even think she likes us. But she sets an excellent example of responsible journalism with this article. If all in the news media were like her, the profession would not find itself on the very bottom of the 'public trust list,' right down there with slimy politicians and glib used-car salesmen.”

This is key to a good reporter. If she does not like us, and further research indicates she may well not, she shows no sign of it in her article. Many reporters seethe with their own personal feelings, betraying their clear agenda.

I may not like everything that comes from her pen. I certainly didn't like the one that I praised her for. it was bad news for my side. But it was honest, reporting, that's all I said about it. If everything else she writes is like that, perhaps she will one day be the savior of the media.

In fact, how this character John could write, or even think, that Ms. Chuck 'serves the Org well,' I'll never know. She says they have to fork over huge dough. How's that for 'serving' them? The people that hate Jehovah's Witnesses REALLY hate them and they come all unglued whenever a reporter falls short of assassination attempt.

Okay, I was not going to show the remark itself, but now I will. Chuckles (who I don't think is my friend, not at all) deserves it. As for John, he absolutely froths over the Witness' organizational arrangement. He has a screw loose, imo, relentlessly charging that Witnesses are the extremists of extremists.  Yet there are many like him. On a separate thread (same forum) I said:

"Recently I read a report of women who had been kidnapped by ISIS. They had been exhibited in cages, driven about in the back of trucks, raped any number of times at will by multiple men , burned with cigarette butts when they resisted. THESE are the people John’s lying new friends try to equate Witnesses with? C’mon! Even Admin will cease to think this an unseemly squabble between co-religionists and recognize it for what it is: Decent people that may not be his cup of tea, though decent nonetheless, under attack from the despicable.

"John does have one genuine circumstance that, in some measure, excuses his unhinged hatred. He has written, here or on another thread, of a truly horrific childhood involving sexual abuse. It had nothing to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses, a faith he discovered much later. But it appears to have seared him permanently. To that extent, I can sympathize with him."

He screamed at me, for this one, too, but it is nothing he had not revealed himself openly. To that extent, I admire him, for spilling such history is not a piece of cake. I may even be doing him a favor, republicizing his announcement that he came right out with about being a victim of child sexual abuse. It is common for abuse victims to feel, deep down inside, even if they actually know it was not so, that it is their fault. By letting him work out his rage online, which is tiresome and shows no signs of abating, perhaps he can better make peace with his tragic past.

The reference to Mr. Admin is because he atypically chimed in to rebuke us all for carrying on the way we were. Think of when your dad used to whirl around in the car and yell, "If you kids don't stop crying back there I'm going to stop this car and give you something to cry about!" With that, I whirled upon him. If we want to ruin his website, what's that to him? Afterwards, though, I did apologize, for after all, he is our host, even if he wonders at the fate that made him so, and he does put up with a lot of fruitcakes. They drive traffic to his site, but even so...

Now that we have dragged Mr. Admin into the picture, who may have a penchant for privacy, for we seldom hear from him, let us really drag him in. In response to someone wanting early morning comment from him, I chimed in:

It is too early for @admin. He gets up late and then has to putz around for some time before checking the mail. I’ll answer for him. As Monk says, he’ll thank me later.

Somewhat reluctantly, he finds himself hosting a religious JW forum, though he is not that way himself. No JWs on it are typical JWs because if they were typical they would be more acquiescent to their organization’s preference they not take part in such forums. One important reason their organization prefers that they abstain is the undignified mess that results when they do not.

For a variety of reasons, some Witnesses go there anyway, and, to be sure, there are parts of the forum largely innocuous. I avoid these parts and go right to the hot areas. It has helped me hone my writing, and about half of my ebook, Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia, can be found in about 500 fragments scattered throughout. Mr. Admin is thereby my friend. I owe him.

As atypical JWs and their adversaries flail away, making points and counterpoints, some ridiculous, he has ‘lost it’ only twice to rebuke participants, once to say: “Jeez, you guys are a piece of work!” What could I tell him. That we’re not?

It is so rare for him to chime in that when he does, it is like hearing a voice from On High. The only appreciable difference is that a voice from On High is unlikely to say, “Jeez, you guys are a piece of work.”

 Mr. Admin did not take his ill and presently chimed in to say that he was the owner of the overall website, but that it was The Librarian who ran the JW part. This prompted me to add:

If I from time to time poke mild fun at Admin, it is nothing compared to the fun I poke at the Librarian, the old hen. It is riotous.

She really is a Jehovah's Witness, I think, though certainly an avant-guard one. She used to have for a banner an interior photo of a magnificent library; I thought it was the Library of Congress, but she told me it was some university library. It was gorgeous.

Nonetheless, by degrees I have been able to portray her before the world as a petty mean school librarian, who really doesn't like children, but she is too arthritic and just plain tired to do much about it when they misbehave. Moreover, she is frequently on the bottle, and while she knows her pupils are tittering behind her back, and even right in front of her, she spends most of her time  counting down the days to her retirement.

The strange thing about all of this is that she is actually a man. No, not a transgendered man; don't even go there. We started this gag long before transgenderism took the world by storm.

The Librarian and I made a deal long ago after she unfairly rebuked me for hawking my first ebook, Tom Irregardless and Me, on her forum. It was inexcusable for her to do this and the only conceivable reason that I can think of to excuse her actions is that I was hawking my first ebook, Tom Irregardless and Me, on her forum. I have been very careful not to ever do this again, which is a shame because it is an excellent ebook, and unlike Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah's Witnesses Write Russia, it is not free. I actually make a buck off it. Maybe no small thing for you, but a big deal for me. Do you have any idea of how my wife goes through money? So crack open your wallet and buy the thing already, will you? As books go, it is not pricey.

The Librarian would scream at me for this, normally. But here I am in her library, her bad boy pupil, but her pupil nonetheless, and she has not shown up for work yet. I think she may have fallen off the wagon once again.  

I will link to that exchange here. It will make them both happy. It is just one remark. Scroll up and down if you like, where you will encounter both geniuses and basket cases.  Let the reader use discernment. 

Are We Looking at Insurance Fraud? Part 3

The following excerpt is from Tom Irregardless and Me, written by yours truly.

At the home of Victor Vomidog, an alarm panel light pulsed red. Victor read the incoming feed. It was serious. Someone was saying nice things about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Instantly, he swung into action. There was not a moment to lose. He opened his door and whistled. The media came running. “Witnesses are selfish!” he cried. “They only think of themselves! Why don’t they help everyone? Why do they just do their own people?” That evening, media ran the headline: “WHY DON’T THEY HELP EVERYONE?”

But they had asked the wrong question. The headline they should have run, but didn’t, because they didn’t want to deal with the answer, was: “WHY AREN’T OTHERS DOING THE SAME?” The answer to the first question is obvious: Witness efforts consist of volunteers using their vacation time. Just how much time is the boss going to grant?

So do it yourself, Victor! Organize your own new chums! Or send your money to some mega-agency where they think Bible education is for fools. Be content to see monies frittered away on salaries, hotels, travel, retirement, health care benefits, and God knows what else! Be content to see much of what remains squandered! It’s the best you can do - embrace it! Or at least shut up about the one organization that has its act together.

The obvious solution, when it comes to disaster relief, is for others to do as we do. Why have they not? There are hundreds of religions. There are atheists…aren’t you tight with Hemant now, Victor?  Organize them, why don’t you? They all claim to be unGod’s gift to humankind. Surely they can see human suffering. Why don’t they step up to the plate themselves?

They can’t. They are vested in a selfish model that runs a selfish world. Let them become Jehovah’s Witnesses and benefit from the Bible education overseen by the Governing Body, Plato’s and Sider’s dream brought to life. But if they stay where they are, they must look to their own organization or lack thereof. There’s no excuse that they should not be able to copy us. They have far more resources to draw upon. We’re not big enough to do everyone for free, and we don’t know how to run a for-pay model; we’ve no experience in that. Instead, other groups must learn how to put love into action, as we did long ago.

C’mon, Victor! If all the world needs is to ‘come together,’ then see to it! We don’t know how to do that. People without Bible education tend not to get along. You make them do it! You don’t want to, or can’t, do large-scale relief, yet you want to shoot down those who do! What a liar!

See Part 1

See Part 2

Tom Irregardless (3)


There Was Not a Moment to Lose

"At the home of Victor Vomidog, an alarm panel light pulsed red. Victor read the incoming feed. It was serious. Someone was saying nice things about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Instantly, he swung into action. There was not a moment to lose. He opened his door and whistled. The media came running. “Witnesses are selfish!” he cried. “They only think of themselves! Why don’t they help everyone? Why do they just do their own people?” That evening, media ran the headline: “WHY DON’T THEY HELP EVERYONE?”

"But they had asked the wrong question. The headline they should have run, but didn’t, because they didn’t want to deal with the answer, was: “WHY AREN’T OTHERS DOING THE SAME?” The answer to the first question is obvious: Witness efforts consist of volunteers using their vacation time. Just how much time is the boss going to grant?"

(from Tom Irregardless and Me)

Of course, it is about opposers' efforts to denigrate the disaster recovery work Witnesses are known for.


Journalist Down - the Youngest Reporter in Rochester

Rochester’s youngest reporter, a 14-year old from the gritty city, was robbed! He tweeted the bad news @GSLShow. They lifted his camera from his bike while he was in the Family Dollar! It was worth $1000. But he promptly started a gofundme page and had it all back within 24 hours. It’s impossible not to love this kid. The cops in Rochester certainly do and have adopted him as one of their own. When he started getting bullied (for hanging out with cops) he marched into City Hall and asked what they were going to do about it! CBS This Morning ran a very nice story about him. Alas, some editorial idiot bannered it: ‘Local Youngster Follows His Dreams!’ He’s probably just having fun, the goal of all youngsters. I hope he doesn’t get too big for his pants, but the media people will encourage that outcome with all their might.   (From: 'No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash')

Two years later the young man is still at it. He covered the Rochester Jazz Fest and landed an interview with the executive director. He is to be found at crime scenes. He has done guest spots on radio. He has thanked local business Rowe Photo for their support, calling them 'family.' He tweets that he has passed all his classes, and "10th grade here I come." His Twitter feed says he wants to make a difference in the community. He is probably being mentored by some. I hope so.

"Whipping out your phone doesn't make you a journalist. You need to ask questions do interviews and gain trust from your community. it's not easy being a journalist, especially being the youngest journalist, so before you say 'I'm a journalist,' for whipping out your phone, you're not," he tweets.

His very latest tweet, just two hours prior to this post, is alarming: "I have now declared a journalist down just about a few moments ago. @GeofferyRogers [himself] was shot by a BB gun with a leg injury."


With Regard to Jehovah's Witnesses and Child Sexual Abuse

According to the group InvisibleChildren.org, 1 out of 5 children in the United States will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. It follows that you should be able to look anywhere and find a bumper crop of abuse cases. Most likely, child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness community is significantly less prevalent than in the greater world. The reason abuse is linked with Jehovah’s Witnesses is that the latter make a point of investigating wrongdoing in their ranks for the purpose of applying discipline and safeguarding congregation members from such ones. There are cumulatively a lot of child sexual abuse cases, but there are many more anywhere else. However, they are never linked with religion (how often do you hear religious affiliation when an abuser is nabbed by the authorities?) because no one else is proactive enough to look into such things in their own ranks.

Witnesses worldwide attend annual Regional Conventions, for (usually) three days of instruction based upon Bible teachings. During 2017 a section dealing with child sexual abuse was a part of the program. Especially emphasized was the fact that a perpetrator is likely to be someone a child knows and trusts. If a relative, or friend, or anyone else, seems overly attentive to your child, it is a reason to be watchful, said the program speaker.  If there are tickling sessions, if there are sleepovers, if there are trips alone to the public restroom, if—there were several other scenarios. They are all potential red flags: maybe harmless, but maybe not, and the parent must be aware.

Nobody, but nobody, assembles their entire membership as Jehovah’s Witnesses did and reviews detailed scenarios under which abuse might happen so that parents, the first line of defense, can educate their children and themselves. Thus the Witness organization is quite proactive at combatting what has turned out to be a worldwide pandemic.

It is not accurate to say that Jehovah’s Witnesses are forbidden to contact outside authorities in the event of child sexual abuse; plain statements appear on both their printed and digital literature that they are free to do so. I would not challenge, however, that many, especially in the past, have been loath to do so, as it is the very opposite of what they aspire to be and of what they advertise.

I am a practicing Jehovah’s Witness in the United States and have written a 160K word ebook, available without cost, addressing the topic in a chapter of 9000-some words. I suggest it as background reading for increased context and accuracy. The overall theme of the book is that of the religious organization being banned in Russia as extremist.

The ebook is entitled Dear Mr. Putin – Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia, and can be downloaded for free in PDF and EPUB version at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/815620

Chapter 12 is entitled Pedophiles.


Keep Away From Those Nasty Kids, Kathy Griffin - They'll Get You in Trouble

Chelsea Clinton tweeted about the woman holding aloft the bloody severed mock head of the President. “This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a President,” she said. Her star rose several notches in my eyes. After all, if anyone should be excused for wanting Trump’s head on a platter, it is she, daughter of the woman who went down in a contest deemed crooked.

Instantly, there were other tweets. One woman said: “I can’t stand you, Chelsea, but thank you for this tweet.” This is another reason her star rose in my eyes. She knew before she said it that her words would be used to her disadvantage by political enemies, yet she said it anyway. You can’t say anything these days without some yoyo cherry-picking your words to find what fits an opposing agenda.

But sometimes visceral moral reactions trump everything else. Perhaps that was true of Trump himself, who positively lost it upon seeing gassed children in Syria, and lobbed missiles galore - in the process, overturning the meme that he was Putin’s lapdog (unbelievably, cynics charged that he did it for that sole reason).

Some feminists charged that the severed head was payback for Trump’s own words of a certain reporter, saying that blood flowed from her - whatever. Sure enough, remarks don’t get much cruder than that (well – one of his did), but it still falls short of appearing to endorse assassination. Besides, he tried to backtrack from that remark; it was just meant to convey that she was acting as a madwoman. He meant any orifice – maybe ears, maybe nose. Did anyone believe him? Who can say what his meaning was? I often employ the power of words to suggest an image I do not state. However, I also (who hasn’t?) said something blunderingly inappropriate without having had that intent at all.

A day after the comedienne’s stunt, it turned out that the 10-year-old had seen it and was traumatized, his mother responding as a lioness will when her cub is traumatized. Is child abuse yet ‘just one of those things’ that authorities will shrug off? Not to mention the Secret Service. Faced with a barrage of condemnation, some sincere, some self-serving, Ms. Griffin did the only thing she could do. She collapsed. In a way, it is not her fault. She is an illustration of why your mother told you to not hang out with those nasty kids down the street – they’re going to get you into trouble. They will pull nasty pranks, egging each other on, until one of them goes too far and is busted.

This should have been called out long ago, even before Cobert offered his lovable jibe on the President doing oral sex on Putin. Ms. Griffin one-upped her nasty friends, but not by much. The tone was set for her long ago. Stephen Cobert, far from being called to account, saw his ratings spike upwards. Why should not Ms. Griffin have thought the same would happen for her? This is not to say that Griffin should be cut slack on this account. Rather, the net of accountability should be broadened.

Look for Trump to get a boost out of this in the court of public opinion. When he carries on about being the most beset upon President in history, it will be a little hard to tell him he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Text A Lot? A Threat to Civilized Society

Without (much) comment, I will run this gem from 'The Week' magazine:

"A Texas man sued his date for the $17.31 he paid for her movie ticket after she allegedly ruined the film by constant texting. Brandon Vesmar called Christal Cruz "threat to civilized society" in his suit, claiming she used her phone up to 20 times during the first 15 minutes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [well....no wonder]. When Cruz refused to stop texting a friend of hers, Vesmar suggested she step outside the theater to use her phone. She left and didn't return - but did repay Vesmar after he filed his case in small-claims court. "I'm not a bad woman," Cruz said. "I just went on a date."

It is well that she paid up. It is well if she leaves her phone at home from now on. It is also well that she never got to know this character better [anal, anyone?] perhaps to the point of (gasp!) marriage. Image

How Can I Not Fit This One In About Fake News?

I love this tweet. How can I not fit it into the next book?

"Unheard of just two years ago, the expression “fake news” is now as familiar as the Lord’s prayer. Outlets pledge to search for and destroy fake news, so that we are not misled. Unfortunately, fake news is largely in the eye of the beholder. Much as ‘history is written by the victors,’ real news is written by the interests that have outmaneuvered the competition. There’s no way to tell if it is real or not. Moreover, @LeCreuseFiend tweets: “right now, everyone believes news which doesn’t fit their preconceived agenda is fake,” a situation he describes as “fucking mental.” Would anyone like to challenge him that it is really ‘right as rain?’"

They Welcomed Back Charlie Rose at CBSThisMoring

They welcomed back Charlie Rose on CBSThisMorning. He’d been off a few weeks for heart surgery. His colleagues made a great fuss over him. Even Trump said ‘Welcome back, Charlie. We missed you.’ Even CBS, who hates Trump, ran the clip. Who doesn’t like it when enemies come together? Image

You know, I switched to CBS mostly because of him, but I liked him better personally when he stuck with PBS. There, he had freedom to interview newsmakers at any length he chose – sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes 2 hours. He’s perceptive in his interviews, and that talent can’t come across on razzle-dazzle network TV. Did he sell out? Yes and no. He didn’t give up PBS. He simply went for more exposure. Goodness knows I go for more exposure. I want to sell my books, which I like.

If anyone sold out, it is Larry King years ago. When I first heard of him in the 70’s, he was interviewing newsmakers for three hours on-air. The first hour was one-on-one. The second and third was moderating questions from the call-in audience. But he sold out to someone, and pretty soon he they had him doing only puff-pieces with celebrities, which aren’t as good.

Nonetheless, who am I to say? A person can do what he/she wants with his/her career. Sometimes people tire of the present and want to move on. Is that so wrong? They wouldn’t be able to (in my eyes) degrade unless they were up there in the first place. I was furious with Mary Tyler Moore for sinking the Dick Van Dyke show by leaving for a solo career. But why should she not? She made shows of her own, which I didn’t like as well. Not that hers were bad, it is just that Dick Van Dyke’s was so good.

But is there not an overall sad component to this? Charlie once stated he has enjoyed a wonderful career because he has been able to know so many newsmakers. Are they really worth knowing? I’ll take brothers and sisters in my circuit any day.

And surely there is also something tragic about hitting maximum exposure just as you know the clock is about to run out. It is why I value the JW faith, for only they explain how that came to be, and how it will be remedied.

I Left the Vodka Bottle in Plain Sight!

Here are the top news stories of 2016:

  1. Trump won.
  2. The other side blamed Putin, who
  3. Got mad.
  4. I worried it was my fault. I was then writing ‘Tom Irregardless and Me,’ my first book, and I licensed out to the media video of my flying fingers for reasons of cash flow. Now - I like a good shot after every meal, and I unfortunately left the bottle of vodka in plain sight by the keyboard. The media jumped to conclusions. Trump himself came closest to the truth. ‘It could be Russia, it could be China, it could be some 400-pound guy in New Jersey.’ Wronnngggg! – I’m in New York, not New Jersey. And I’m not 400 pounds (yet). At the next debate, they brought out a 400 pound guy – was he there to rattle Trump? They seated him behind a skinny guy, so that he looked 600 pounds.
  5. Jehovah’s Witnesses (my people) moved their headquarters from Brooklyn Heights, where they had been for over 100 years, to way, way out in the sticks.
  6. Jerod Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, bought their old building. Video of him saying nice things about Witnesses appeared on jw.org. I had no idea who he was at the time, but when I found out, I worried anew. See - I caught a heavy dose of news each day while I was writing, and it irritated me, but I stuck with it – how else would I learn about the snowfall outside my window? Now, no one is capable of total non-bias, but they are capable of trying. I’m not used to the referee leaning on the scales – it never used to happen. But when I would grouse about the media, which I did a lot, some took it as support for Trump! I could picture the Watchtower sign going down, a Trump sign going up, and fellow Witnesses, who weren’t paying overclose attention saying: ‘how did Tom manage that?’

The preceding is from the book "No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash,' available at Smashwords.com and other outlets.