Ransom Me, For The Love Of Heaven!!!

Fallout shoot author

From our “Every Dog Has His Day” -archives: Times have changed since the infamous National Lampoon cover in 1973; today, the extortion notes are being written —and the gun held— by a different paw entirely.

Turnabout is, truly, fair play— but I already hear the snarky chorus-from-critics:

“Fire away, Fido…”

So—since I’m pretty sure the Dog is serious here—clicking on this link may save a life: https://ganxy.com/i/100665/earl-merkel/fallout-a-beck-casey-thriller

— Earl Merkel

POSTSCRIPT NOTE: This is no joke. My She-Beagle is demanding a better grade of Puppy Chow. —EM

Free Speech, Health Regulations, & Cow Farts

An early breakfast, from our lamentably non-humorous “Food For Thought” -files today:

More than a few legal and poli-sci “experts” have pondered that government control of health and “health-related issues” poses a distinct “unintended consequences” danger: since virtually EVERYthing can have an impact –real or perceived– on health, virtually everything can/should be subjected to government control.

Including free speech, one pioneering columnist (link below) now posits.

Pretty esoteric, one might argue. But a few years ago, the concept that cow farts should be regulated by the EPA would have been the fodder of comedy clubs, not the topic of court deliberations and Congressional hearings.

Sticks and stones break bones; but if words can also “cause” (emotional) health problems, are we only a regulation and/or Supreme Court ruling away from a “nuanced re-examination” of that pesky First Amendment?

Link to referenced article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/30/should-neo-nazis-be-allowed-free-speech.html

— Earl Merkel

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Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com

Watch the “video book trailer” for my thriller, FINAL EPIDEMIC, offered for your minute-and-a-few-seconds consideration at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB5wr3f_fRU&feature=youtu.be

And if you liked THAT, you might enjoy my earlier DIY book-video; please feel free to view the FIRE OF THE PROPHET video-trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mQSquiOzE0&feature=youtu.be

(As always, these videos are best-experienced at full-screen, “max” audio settings.)

Your Kids Skip School? Not After This PSA Video!

I’ve seen those “CBS Cares” and NBC’s “The More You Know” public-service spots…

…but none have ever been, IMHO, more potentially effective –and, to be honest, likely also as legally insane– as this one from the Land Down Under.

(gulp!) I’m betting Aussie school-attendance stats spike rather dramatically.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STHpMUYeznQ

— Earl Merkel

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Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com

Watch the “video book trailer” for my thriller, FINAL EPIDEMIC, offered for your minute-and-a-few-seconds consideration at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB5wr3f_fRU&feature=youtu.be

And if you liked THAT, you might enjoy my earlier DIY book-video; please feel free to view the FIRE OF THE PROPHET video-trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mQSquiOzE0&feature=youtu.be

(As always, these videos are best-experienced at full-screen, “max” audio settings.)

2013 Year Summary: Newsies, We Failed Our Country.

In my own li’l quixotic quest to sum up 2013 –not for publication; really, only for my personal consumption– I stumbled across the linked column (below; maybe too far below) by Philly Daily News columnist Will Bunch.

It’s an excellent read: a lament on the rapidly passing “local journalism” engendered by a failing economy –and yes: despite the spin of political opportunists of all stripes, it still is– also the onward-march of a technology with priorities other than journalism.

In his column, Will pens an obit, of sorts, to one local paper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

But Will’s column is also more. In microcosm, as well as IMHO, it fleshes out why 2013 was such a disheartening, dismal year. As one perceptive individual –and subsequently, thousands of City Editors– once noted, “All news is local.” That is: what happens nationally, impacts locally.

Why have the NSA disclosures, the website-and-more Obamacare debacle, and a dozen-plus other “scandals” burst upon all of us in a single twelve-month period?

I’ll posit my own, albeit bleak, answer: journalism itself has failed.

As journalists, we do no favors to anybody –not the public, certainly; but not those whose ideologies we may favor and wish to protect either– when we fail to aggressively probe and stridently challenge and oft-arrogantly question.

And largely, that’s precisely what we’ve failed to do.

Would the NSA’s tentacles gotten so tightly wrapped around American privacy… would the false “you can keep etc.” ramifications had such ultimate, destructive impact… would ANY of the other 2013 disclosures have so profoundly rocked our society as a whole…

…had we journalists simply DONE OUR JOB: had fearlessly probed the “national security” secrets, had diligently read and honestly analyzed “the legislation,” had– well, had provided the public with the non-spin’d information to make a truly informed choice?

Will Bunch ends his own piece with a lament. In it, he “localizes the news” by focusing on the neglect-rooted death of American industrialized urban centers, where both prosperity AND good journalism once flourished.

But as you read it, I’d urge all of us –journalists, and the public as a whole– to also consider it as a microcosm of where we, as a nation, precariously teeter as 2013 draws to a close. Here’s what Will wrote. Pray, as I do, that it is a premature obit of the American Ideal.

“It’s a very very sad day — not just for the journalists involved, but for all of us. For more than 40 years, we’ve seen America’s once-great cities dying from neglect, from bad policies and worse politicians, and from the greed that moved people’s jobs out of town and then across the sea —

— but things might have been even worse if some great journalists hadn’t been there to occasionally yell, “Timber!” Now even that legacy of the Industrial Revolution is coming to an end. Now we can only wonder: If a smokestack falls in the city and no one is there to record it, does it make a sound?”

— Earl Merkel

(Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/The-de-newspaperization-of-America.html#uB1TG4ZiWvjse4qZ.99)

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Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com

Watch the “video book trailer” for my thriller, FINAL EPIDEMIC, offered for your minute-and-a-few-seconds consideration at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB5wr3f_fRU&feature=youtu.be

And if you liked THAT, you might enjoy my earlier DIY book-video; please feel free to view the FIRE OF THE PROPHET video-trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mQSquiOzE0&feature=youtu.be

(As always, these videos are best-experienced at full-screen, “max” audio settings.)

Unrepentant Grinch Aces ‘Mission Accomplished’ Intercept

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“And another successful Christmas passes into Seuss History…” 

(The prequel to this thrilling, Tom Clancy-like saga is at: “In the pre-dawn darkness, a Grinch-y voice crackled out over the radio: ‘Fox One, Fat Man!!!'” *** https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=520121534753815&set=a.252273821538589.54425.100002679206219&type=1&theater)

— Earl Merkel

* * *

Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com

Watch the “video book trailer” for my thriller, FINAL EPIDEMIC, offered for your minute-and-a-few-seconds consideration at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB5wr3f_fRU&feature=youtu.be

And if you liked THAT, you might enjoy my earlier DIY book-video; please feel free to view the FIRE OF THE PROPHET video-trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mQSquiOzE0&feature=youtu.be

(As always, these videos are best-experienced at full-screen, “max” audio settings.)

“CHICAGO PROTESTS TIME ‘PERSON OF YEAR’ SELECTION!!”

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While I have nothing against Pope Francis, I strongly feel that Time Magazine‘s selection committee missed the REALLY most deserving person. (Illustration, at right)

I also strongly suspect the committee had no Chicago residents casting votes…

— Earl Merkel

POSTSCRIPT:  Tho when he stepped in for Pope Benedict, Francis did okay. So far. Just like Josh. But Josh has a better “passes completed” ratio.

POST-POSTSCRIPT: Admittedly, tho, play calling by the Bears has fallen short of “infallible,” at times.

POST-POST-POSTSCRIPT: And Josh probably won’t excommunicate me for playing with inDesign early in the morning, either.

POST-POST-POST-POSTSCRIPT: (in my best/worst edward g. robinson-as-Pharoh, Ten Commandments voice impersonation) “Nar-r-r-r… where’s your ‘Infallible Holy Father’ NOW, Moses? Can he do THIS??!!??” *** http://youtu.be/AUKFn8Go87I

POST-POST-POST-POST-POSTSCRIPT:  DISCLAIMER: “This clip is intended as a scientific study of physics and human flight, and certainly not for the entertainment of any audience without the expressed written permission of Josh McCowan, Icarus, or any other persons or persons or organizations.” There– THAT should handle the lawyers and Cowboy fans in the crowd…

— EM

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Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com

Watch the “video book trailer” for my thriller, FINAL EPIDEMIC, offered for your minute-and-a-few-seconds consideration at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB5wr3f_fRU&feature=youtu.be

And if you liked THAT, you might enjoy my earlier DIY book-video; please feel free to view the FIRE OF THE PROPHET video-trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mQSquiOzE0&feature=youtu.be

(As always, these videos are best-experienced at full-screen, “max” audio settings.)

Franco, Rogan Re-Make Kanye’s “Bound 2” Video!!

Faithful Readers will recall that, one week ago, we posted our nomination on our Facebook and Redroom.com sites for “The Most Unintentionally Hilarious Music Video Of The Year”: Kanye West’s “Bound 2″ video.

Alas! Perhaps taking it too personally, Mr. West pulled this classic –filmed and directed by auteur Nick Knight-exclamation-point– from public distribution on YouTube. Thus was the naked-sex-on-a-motorcycle-somehow-speeding-in-reverse-gear lost to the Masses.

Due to the lamentations of the General Public over Mr. West churlishly removing his soul-uplifting video, James Franco and Seth Rogan have courageously stepped up to fill this gap… with their own match’d shot-to-shot version of Mr. West’s now gone-but-(sadly)-unforgettable original.

Theirs is also hilarious; theirs was intentionally so.

*** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3TTiHRrEBE

— Earl Merkel

(POSTSCRIPT: Mr. Franco does an impressive impersonation of Mr. West; however, IMHO Mr. Rogan was woefully Ms.-cast as Ms. Kardashian.)

* * *

Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com

Watch the “video book trailer” for my thriller, FINAL EPIDEMIC, offered for your minute-and-a-few-seconds consideration at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB5wr3f_fRU&feature=youtu.be

And if you liked THAT, you might enjoy my earlier DIY book-video; please feel free to view the FIRE OF THE PROPHET video-trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mQSquiOzE0&feature=youtu.be

(As always, these videos are best-experienced at full-screen, “max” audio settings.)