As if America wasn’t fat enough…

Guests can choose one appetizer from a list of the the chain’s most popular starters and receive unlimited refills for only $10.    (TGI Fridays/USA Today)

TGI Friday’s is announcing that they are selling UNLIMITED appetizers. $10, and you get all the apps you can eat.

TGI Fridays, whose signature item is arguably its appetizer line, today launches a high-profile but risky “Endless Appetizers” summer promotion that offers all-you-can-eat appetizers for $10 per person. Guests can choose one appetizer from a list of the the chain’s most popular starters — including loaded potato skins, boneless buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks — and receive unlimited refills. And while sharing is discouraged, that rule will not be enforced by servers, says Brian Gies, chief marketing officer at Fridays.

“At the end of the day, our servers aren’t policemen,” says Gies of the promo, which runs through Aug. 24. “We’re not going to slap someone’s hand if they reach over and share someone else’s mozzarella sticks.”

I guess business is running a bit light these days. Anything to get folks into the door…

Dogs and cats living together…

Hmmmm… Maybe The Almighty is trying to tell us something…

Large scale fish kill in Arkansas, followed by this massive bird die off. The “experts” try to wave off the mass bird deaths as trauma from New Year’s fireworks.

Now, another couple of sets of birds dropping out of the sky, one in Louisiana, and a smaller one in Kentucky. And add to that another report of literally tens of thousands of fish turning up dead in the Chesapeake Bay and a separate fish kill in Brazil.

I keep thinking about a classic scene from Ghostbusters

First TV ad for marijuana runs in California

The first ever television broadcast of a commercial advertising medical marijuana aired in California this week. Sacramento’s FOX affiliate KTXL “FOX40” played the thirty-second ad that features testimonials from customers of Sacramento-based medical marijuana distributor “CannaCare.” Interestingly, the ad never mentions the “m” word (not munchies), instead only referring to the drug as cannabis.

Full story at TIME.

So because you hear the word, you figure it’s okay?

Radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced on CNN’s Larry King Live last night that she was ending her long-running talk show after getting caught in a wringer over her use of the “N-word” repeatedly on the air last week.
For those of you who have been under a rock, she got caught up in the midst of trying to talk to a caller who is part of an interracial couple about slurs and whether it’s okay to use the word.
Here, for those who missed it, is the entire transcript of the interaction from her show:

SCHLESSINGER: Jade, welcome to the program.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Laura.

SCHLESSINGER: Hi.

CALLER: I’m having an issue with my husband where I’m starting to grow very resentful of him. I’m black, and he’s white. We’ve been around some of his friends and family members who start making racist comments as if I’m not there or if I’m not black. And my husband ignores those comments, and it hurts my feelings. And he acts like —

SCHLESSINGER: Well, can you give me an example of a racist comment? ‘Cause sometimes people are hypersensitive. So tell me what’s — give me two good examples of racist comments.

CALLER: OK. Last night — good example — we had a neighbor come over, and this neighbor — when every time he comes over, it’s always a black comment. It’s, “Oh, well, how do you black people like doing this?” And, “Do black people really like doing that?” And for a long time, I would ignore it. But last night, I got to the point where it —

SCHLESSINGER: I don’t think that’s racist.

CALLER: Well, the stereotype —

SCHLESSINGER: I don’t think that’s racist. No, I think that —

CALLER: [unintelligible]

SCHLESSINGER: No, no, no. I think that’s — well, listen, without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply ’cause he was half-black. Didn’t matter what he was gonna do in office, it was a black thing. You gotta know that. That’s not a surprise. Not everything that somebody says — we had friends over the other day; we got about 35 people here — the guys who were gonna start playing basketball. I was going to go out and play basketball. My bodyguard and my dear friend is a black man. And I said, “White men can’t jump; I want you on my team.” That was racist? That was funny.

CALLER: How about the N-word? So, the N-word’s been thrown around —

SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger.

CALLER: That isn’t —

SCHLESSINGER: I don’t get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it’s a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it’s affectionate. It’s very confusing. Don’t hang up, I want to talk to you some more. Don’t go away.

I’m Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I’ll be right back.

After the commercial break, Schlessinger and the caller continued their conversation:

SCHLESSINGER: I’m Dr. Laura Schlessinger, talking to Jade. What did you think about during the break, by the way?

CALLER: I was a little caught back by the N-word that you spewed out, I have to be honest with you. But my point is, race relations —

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, then I guess you don’t watch HBO or listen to any black comedians.

CALLER: But that doesn’t make it right. I mean, race is a [unintelligible] —

SCHLESSINGER: My dear, my dear —

CALLER: — since Obama’s been in office —

SCHLESSINGER: — the point I’m trying to make —

CALLER: — racism has come to another level that’s unacceptable.

SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. We’ve got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean, I think that’s hilarious.

CALLER: But I think, honestly, because there’s more white people afraid of a black man taking over the nation.

SCHLESSINGER: They’re afraid.

CALLER: If you want to be honest about it [unintelligible]

SCHLESSINGER: Dear, they voted him in. Only 12 percent of the population’s black. Whites voted him in.

CALLER: It was the younger generation that did it. It wasn’t the older white people who did it.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, OK.

CALLER: It was the younger generation —

SCHLESSINGER: All right. All right.

CALLER: — that did it.

SCHLESSINGER: Chip on your shoulder. I can’t do much about that.

CALLER: It’s not like that.

SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. I think you have too much sensitivity —

CALLER: So it’s OK to say “nigger”?

SCHLESSINGER: — and not enough sense of humor.

CALLER: It’s OK to say that word?

SCHLESSINGER: It depends how it’s said.

CALLER: Is it OK to say that word? Is it ever OK to say that word?

SCHLESSINGER: It’s — it depends how it’s said. Black guys talking to each other seem to think it’s OK.

CALLER: But you’re not black. They’re not black. My husband is white.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, I see. So, a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can’t do much about that.

CALLER: I can’t believe someone like you is on the radio spewing out the “nigger” word, and I hope everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: I didn’t spew out the “nigger” word.

CALLER: You said, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.”

SCHLESSINGER: Right, I said that’s what you hear.

CALLER: Everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, they did.

CALLER: I hope everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: They did, and I’ll say it again —

CALLER: So what makes it OK for you to say the word?

SCHLESSINGER: — nigger, nigger, nigger is what you hear on HB —

CALLER: So what makes it —

SCHLESSINGER: Why don’t you let me finish a sentence?

CALLER: OK.

SCHLESSINGER: Don’t take things out of context. Don’t double N — NAACP me. Tape the —

CALLER: I know what the NAACP —

SCHLESSINGER: Leave them in context.

CALLER: I know what the N-word means and I know it came from a white person. And I know the white person made it bad.

SCHLESSINGER: All right. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Can’t have this argument. You know what? If you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor, don’t marry out of your race. If you’re going to marry out of your race, people are going to say, “OK, what do blacks think? What do whites think? What do Jews think? What do Catholics think?” Of course there isn’t a one-think per se. But in general there’s “think.”

And what I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think — and it’s really distressting [sic] and disturbing. And to put it in its context, she said the N-word, and I said, on HBO, listening to black comics, you hear “nigger, nigger, nigger.” I didn’t call anybody a nigger. Nice try, Jade. Actually, sucky try.

Need a sense of humor, sense of humor — and answer the question. When somebody says, “What do blacks think?” say, “This is what I think. This is what I read that if you take a poll the majority of blacks think this.” Answer the question and discuss the issue. It’s like we can’t discuss anything without saying there’s -isms?

We have to be able to discuss these things. We’re people — goodness gracious me. Ah — hypersensitivity, OK, which is being bred by black activists. I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don’t get it. Yes, I do. It’s all about power. I do get it. It’s all about power and that’s sad because what should be in power is not power or righteousness to do good — that should be the greatest power.

I hear from folks all the time that because “you people use it, so it can’t be that bad.”

First off, I don’t use the word as a matter of course. I don’t condone use of the word. By anyone. There’s no reason that someone should use the word, in any context.

The use of the word — by anyone — is nothing short of an insult to their mindset and their stature in this nation. Too many people, no matter their political stripe, insist that they have a “right” to use that slur (along with others) however and wherever they want. What happened to everyone getting along? That’s a lesson that Dr. Laura, among others, needed to have learned before parking in front of a microphone.
All that being said, I have to wonder where Dr. Laura’s head was. Anyone who has any kind of common sense would have known right off the bat that there was a danger in going down the slippery slope that she ventured down. Some critics have pointed out that this — at least in their minds — shows where her head and heart truly are. Others insist that she’s “conservative” and shows the “conservative” mind set (never mind that she does not claim any side of the political aisle, and is more of a self-help guru than anything else), despite evidence to the contrary.

Bottom line, she has made herself even more ineffectual in the public eye (she ran awry of the gay community in America, and has been the subject of an ongoing boycott from them for many years now). I’m sure that if she didn’t decide to end her show, that the combination of sponsors backing away from her, along with local affiliates doing the same would have brought her show to a conclusion before too long.

Then again, radio is a strange animal. Who’s to say where she may have fallen.

Democrats Scatter Monday as Obama Comes to Town

From 11Alive.com (my workplace & my Web site) last Friday, and it’s very telling that Democrats don’t want anything to do with Hizzoner the Prez:

ATLANTA — President Obama makes his first Atlanta appearance since his inauguration.

The President will fly into town Monday morning.

If you think this will be a time for Democrats running for office to rally around the chief executive- -you probably haven’t been following the campaigns this summer.

Former Governor Roy Barnes will not be available to meet Mr. Obama. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate will be somewhere in Georgia- – far from Atlanta.

Campaign manager Chris Carpenter released a statement:

“Roy has a busy campaign schedule in Middle and South Georgia on Monday where he’ll be talking to farmers and local law enforcement. Roy’s priority is to continue traveling across the state, talking to voters about jobs, education, and transportation- his plan to make Georgia work.”

Meanwhile, Governor Sonny Perdue will greet the President planeside when the Democrat arrives in Georgia. Mr. Perdue’s spokesperson Bert Brantley told 11Alive reporter Jeff Hullinger the governor had to juggle his schedule to be able to greet the president.

Avoiding a sitting president is not new in Georgia politics.

In 1996 Democrat Michael Coles was running against Republican Newt Gingrich for the 6th congressional district seat. Mr. Coles avoided President Clinton at rallies in Atlanta and Macon.

Mr. Coles is a legendary Atlanta entrepeneur who entertained political aspirations a decade ago- – spoke to Jeff Hullinger from his home in Montana.

“In 96, I stepped out of the private arena and ran against Newt Gingrich for the house. I ran as a Democrat. I think the difficult thing for anyone in Georgia – if you run as a Democrat- is to separate yourself from not being a national Democrat, because Georgia Democrats like Zell Miller and Sam Nunn are cut out of a different cloth and that’s how I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be sure, if I was going to lose that race- -I wasn’t going to be indentified as a national Democrat.”

One Democratic operative told Hullinger, Governor Zell Miller wanted to be with President Clinton during an Atlanta campaign rally. Sadly for the Governor, Mr. Clinton was unpopular in Georgia at the time.

Instead of Governor Miller appearing on stage with the President, the state’s chief executive appeared as a face in the crowd.

The Governor was there but you had to look for him in the audience.