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Who in the World is Ben Gazzi?
Commentary on the News
Thursday, May 16, 2013
J.L. Robb

I listen to a lot of talk-radio.  It started in 1955, when my Great Aunt Ada gave me the latest electronic device of the time, a transistor radio.  It was bright green and the size of a briefcase, but I was the only kid in the 5th grade with a transistor radio.

At night after lights-out, I would get under the covers and tune in WOWO-Radio in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. It was an AM station, so the signal went far in the evening and was plain to hear in High Point, N.C.  That was my first experience with talk-radio.

Fifty-eight years later, WOWO-Radio is still in business and plain as day in the late-night evening.  Now there are numerous talk-radio shows with Paul Harvey being the all-time king and Rush Limbaugh poised to take over the reign someday. 

You learn stuff on talk-radio.  You hear the news of the world and the world beyond Earth.  The world of astronomy changes every day, galaxies collide with galaxies; but most don’t know.  New diseases are discovered in China and Saudi Arabia that may cause world-wide pandemic if scientists can’t figure out why the spread is happening. Mt. Popocatepetl is erupting 43 miles from Mexico City, North America’s second highest Volcano.  Mexico City is one of the world’s most populated cities, with 20,000,000.

A couple of years ago I saw a news video showing British students answering basic questions.  The answers were amazing.  One kid thought Einstein was Frankenstein’s cousin and another thought Buzz Lightyear was the first man on the Moon.  The same study indicated that less than 50% of seventeen year-olds in the U.S. know when the Civil War was fought and 25% couldn’t identify Hitler.

Lately on talk-radio, the hot topic has been the “uninformed voter.”  Apparently these are the folk who voted President Obama into office.  I know that’s not true, because I know people who made that vote who are very informed.  It’s one of those, “I always vote democrat” and republican may be substituted.

I decided to do my own little news test, so over the past week or so I would try to strike up a conversation with strangers, just to see if they knew what was going on.  One of my queries was about the Gosnell abortion case. Dr. Gosnell has been on trial in Philadelphia for weeks.  He was convicted of killing four babies and sentenced to life in prison.  He is 72 and specialized in late-term abortions in poor, black neighborhoods.  The testimony by attendants is too gross to put here, but you can Google if interested.

“Man, that’s something about this Dr. Gosnell, isn’t it?” I would ask after striking up a conversation.


That was the common response.  In fairness, the case had very little coverage until the last three weeks.  FOX News and USA Today reported almost daily but other mainstream news networks virtually ignored the gruesome-but-true story.  Three weeks ago, other media shamed for not reporting, started doing what news organizations are supposed to do: Report the news.

“What do you think about Benghazi?”  That was usually the second test-question.

Surprisingly, most of the people over fortyish new something about Benghazi; but not much. The senior citizens were ticked about the whole situation and hope someone goes to jail; the younger crowd who were familiar with the story didn’t seem to think it was a big deal.  Sad but true.

Why are we more concerned with March Madness, The Masters and American Idol than we are about events that have the potential to turn the world on its ear?  Why do so many youngsters know the names of $160.00 tennis shoes but can’t tell you how much 12x12 is?  How can so many qualified voters not have a clue about Benghazi but are champion facebook surfers?

As North Korea threatens to nuke the U.S., Japan and South Korea, we have a tendency to know more about Angelina Jolie’s health issues.  As a U.S. Consulate is attacked September 11, 2012, the anniversary of the largest Islamic attack on the West, the White House blames a cheaply-produced video about Muhammad.  Of course, it now turns out that was not the case at all.  It was on the news.

Ambassador Stevens was the first United States Ambassador killed since 1979 when President Jimmy Carter was in office.  There have actually been a few others:

  • Cleo A. Noel, Jr., Ambassador to Sudan, March 1, 1973.  Noel was killed by Muslim kidnappers in Khartoum.
  • Rodger P. Davies, Ambassador to Cyprus, August 19, 1974, shot during a demonstration at the Embassy in Nicosia.
  • Francis E. Meloy, Jr., Ambassador to Lebanon, June 16, 1976, killed by a gunman in Beruit, Lebanon.
  • Adolph Dubs, Ambassador to Afghanistan, February 14, 1979.  Dubs was captured in Kabul and was killed during the rescue attempt.

President Obama’s story continues to crumble as eyewitnesses speak out, and it appears that finally the mainstream media may be paying attention, at least for the moment.  It is a pathetic story.  Not only was an Ambassador assassinated, so were three other U.S. citizens.  Two of those were Navy SEALs.  Never in our history has a President lost so many highly-trained SEAL-team members, seventeen in a single helicopter crash.  That is an upcoming episode in the continuing saga.

As the Benghazi incident was disclosed, the President was apparently too busy preparing to appear on The View where he would continue to blame the video for the attacks and deaths.

There is other news: The IRS is targeting groups with Tea Party and Patriot in their names, sex scandals growing in the new military, Chicago is a war zone even though guns are banned; but the people just keep on keepin’ on.  Just like the Bible says it will be in the last days.

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37 NIV)

What does that mean?

It means that when the last days come, and they will, it will be like it was in Noah’s world.  No one paid attention to the news.  They were too busy doing important things and didn’t have time to worry about the fool building whatever out there on the hill.  Then it started raining.

In Noah’s day, so the story goes, God was so completely fed up with His creation (us) that He was prepared to kill everything, plants and animals.  But then, there was one faithful man, Noah.  Noah paid attention to the news passed down about this invisible God and the creation of the world, Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, and he believed the stories.  Because of his faith, and his alone, we all got another chance.  Thank you, Noah.

During my undocumented surveys the past week, a funny thing happened.  I started talking to a guy at the CVS Pharmacy; and after a minute I said, “What do you think about Benghazi?”

He thought a moment and said, “Ben who?  I don’t think I know no Ben Gazzi.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

About J.L. Robb

Last week: Behold, A Pale Horse

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