Reagan Centennial – The War on Drugs

Midway into his second term, President Reagan declared more militant policies in the War on Drugs. He said that “drugs were menacing our society” and promised to fight for drug-free schools and workplaces.

First Lady Nancy Reagan made the War on Drugs her main priority by founding the “Just Say No” drug awareness campaign. The phrase “Just Say No” first emerged when Nancy Reagan was visiting Longfellow Elementary School in Oakland, California, in 1982 and was asked by a schoolgirl what to do if she was offered drugs. The first lady responded by saying, “Just say no.”

Pretty soon, there were pins, t-shirts and signs everywhere with the “Just Say No” logo. Nancy Reagan heavily promoted the campaign by making a cameo on Diff’rent Strokes, and spreading the “Just Say No’ message on Punky Brewster.

In 1985, Nancy Reagan expanded the campaign internationally. She invited the First Ladies of thirty various nations to the White House in Washington, D.C. for a conference entitled the “First Ladies Conference on Drug Abuse”. She later became the first First Lady invited to address the United Nations.

The campaign drew some criticism, including that the program was too costly. However, evidence suggests drug use and abuse significantly declined during the Reagan presidency. According to research conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, more young people in the 1980s were saying no to drugs.

These days, First Lady Michelle Obama is continuing the “Just Say No” campaign. Except that she wants kids to “Just Say No” to fattening food in her War Against Childhood Obesity.

Daily Trivia – 4/11/11

Question: In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker admitted to having an affair with what former church secretary?


Last Question: What show featured a courtroom bailiff named Rusty and a court reporter named Doug Llewelyn?

Answer: The People’s Court

What you are about to witness is real. The participants are not actors. They are the actual people who have already either filed suit or been served a summons to appear in a California municipal court. Both parties in the suit have agreed to dismiss their court cases and have their disputes settled here, in our forum: The People’s Court.

Before Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown, there was Judge Joe Wapner.

The People’s Court originally aired in 1981, with Judge Wapner as the judge for 12 years. Rusty Burrell was his bailiff, Jack Harrell was the announcer, and Doug Llewelyn was the host and court reporter, who would announce the matter of the dispute at the beginning of each “trial”. He would also interview the plaintiff and the defendant after the court ruling, to gauge their responses to the verdict.

At the end of each episode, Llewelyn would close out with the catchphrase: “Don’t take the law into your own hands: you take ’em to court.”

The cases often had pun-related names, such as this case – “When A Man Loves A Freebie”:

Hits of 1984 – Horrible and Great

On July 3, 2009, Stuck in the 80s released their Horrible Hits of 1984 Podcast (Episode 171). Here is their list:

10. Karma Chameleon – Culture Club
9. Hello – Lionel Richie
8. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
7. Sunglasses At Night – Corey Hart
6. Dancing in the Sheets – Shalamar
5. The Heart of Rock ‘N’ Roll – Huey Lewis & the News
4. State of Shock – The Jacksons
3. Yah Mo B There – James Ingram and Michael McDonald
2. Talking In Your Sleep – Romantics
1. I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

You can see the top 100 hits from Billboard that year.

Here is my top 5 (or worst 5) of Horrible songs from that year:

5. Hello – Lionel Richie

Before there was Ghost, there was the “Hello” video. I like Lionel Richie, but I never liked this song. I didn’t care for the video neither, and it didn’t help that MTV rammed it down our throats.
If you want to hear a better Lionel Richie ballad, listen to “Truly”. Even “Stuck On You”, which was also on the charts in 1984, is better than “Hello”. But “Hello ” ended up being a #1 hit on three Billboard music charts: the pop chart (for two weeks), the R&B chart (for three weeks), and the adult contemporary chart (for six weeks). Sure, there are songs a lot worse than this one, but, this was a bit overrated.

4. Karma Chameleon – Culture Club

3. Let’s Hear It for the Boy – Deniece Williams

I hated this song when it came out, and I still can’t listen to it! In my opinion, this is the worst song on the Footloose soundtrack. “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar is on the Stuck In the 80s list, and is no prize in my book either. But I would still listen to that than that annoying “Let’s Hear It for the Boy”. It didn’t help that this Deniece Williams song was on an endless loop on the radio and on MTV.

2. If This Is It – Huey Lewis and The News

Stick with the up-tempo songs, Huey! I loved every song on the Sports album – except for this one. It’s slow, boring, and there’s no feeling in it.

1. I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

I love Stevie Wonder, but I don’t like this overplayed song. It was featured on the soundtrack from The Woman in Red, and was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. The only other songs of his that may have been more overplayed was “Superstition”. I skip both of those songs when they come on.

Here are my favorite Stevie Wonder songs:

Higher Ground

Living for the City

And here is “I Just Called to Say I Love You”:

Here is my top songs from that year:

10. Borderline – Madonna

Remember when Madonna was relevant in the pop world? This is still one of my all time favorite Madonna songs.

9. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper

: While “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” can be grating, Lauper shows off her beautiful voice here. When I say beautiful voice, I’m referring to her singing voice, of course. When you hear her speak, you would never imagine that she would have an incredible singing voice.

8. Undercover (Of the Night) – Rolling Stones

: The Stones get criticized for their ’80s and beyond music. But, this song and “Start Me Up” was basically my introduction to the group. I still like “Undercover” a lot. They still had some edge back then.

7. Oh Sherrie – Steve Perry

: Steve Perry was one of my favorite singers (behind Freddie Mercury), and the former Journey frontman proved that he could be successful as a solo act. It sucks that he hasn’t done anything in a long time. “Oh Sherrie” was his debut song when he went solo, and it was his biggest hit.

6. Legs – ZZ Top

: These rock legends slightly changed their style with the Eliminator album that “Legs” came off of, and it helped give their popularity a huge surge. Their trilogy of videos, which included this one, didn’t hurt.

5. Twist of Fate – Olivia Newton-John

: This is probably my favorite ONJ song. It’s a great up-tempo song. It came off of the Two of a Kind soundtrack. The movie, which she starred in, along with John Travolta, was a clunker. But, the soundtrack is great, and this song stands out.

4. I’m So Excited – Pointer Sisters

: The songs was right in the middle of the Pointer’s great ’80s run. You can’t help but move to this song. It was also great in the movie Vacation.

3. Jump – Van Halen

: When this song came out, it was my favorite song of all time! The reason why this isn’t higher on the list is because it was also probably the most overplayed song of the year. I didn’t help matters any by playing it over and over again on tape, and by sitting in front of MTV all day just to watch it every time it came on. It was so funny seeing Eddie smiling through the entire video. I wonder, what made him do that? He wouldn’t have smoked anything to get him that way, would he have?

2. Hard Habit to Break – Chicago

: I still love this Chicago ballad! This was in the middle of their comeback during the David Foster years. I got sick of “You’re the Inspiration”, but I never got sick of this song. Unfortunately, the band became known more for their ballads. Their rock songs are just as good. But, “Hard Habit to Break” is one of my all time favorite Chicago songs.

1. Cum On Feel the Noize – Quiet Riot

: My introduction to heavy metal in the ’80s. Wow, you just didn’t hear anything else like this on the radio at the time! Quiet Riot pretty much opened up mainstream radio for Heavy Metal acts. Would heavy metal and hair bands have been as popular as they were if it wasn’t for Quiet Riot and “Cum On Feel the Noize”? Maybe not. This pretty much set my musical taste for the ’80s and early ’90s.

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Music Video of the Weekend: “Centerfield”

This weekend’s selection is in honor of my two favorite baseball team home openers today – The New York Mets, and the Boston Red Sox (a.k.a. The Miami Heat of MLB) – John Fogerty’s hit “Centerfield”:

“Centerfield” is the title track from John Fogerty’s album Centerfield, Fogerty’s first solo album after a nine-year absence. Fogerty wrote “Centerfield” after watching the 1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game from the bleachers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. His seat was behind center field.

I especially liked “Centerfield” because I was the starting centerfielder for my baseball team when the song was first released. The song can still be heard playing between innings at all baseball fields across America.

Daily Trivia – 4/7/11

Question: What show featured a courtroom bailiff named Rusty and a court reporter named Doug Llewelyn?


Last Question: In St. Elmo’s Fire, what university were the main characters alumni of?

Answer: Georgetown

I loved this movie about a group of friends that have just graduated from Georgetown University, and their adjustment to real life. But, I could really do without the “Boogada-Boogada-Boogada, Ah-Oh-Oh”. It makes me want to put an ice pick through my ears, rip out my hear, and poke out my newly repaired eyes!

Here is the trailer for the movie:

Daily Trivia – 4/6/11

Question: In St. Elmo’s Fire, what university were the main characters alumni of?


Last Question: What cartoon featured characters named “Penny” and “Dr. Claw”?

Answer: Inspector Gadget

Inspector Gadget was a slow-witted detective that had different bionic gadgets built into his body. He was a mix of the Pink Panther’s Inspector Clouseau, and Get Smart’s Maxwell Smart (played by Don Adams who also was the voice of Inspector Gadget. He would summon his gadgets by saying “Go-Go-Gadget” then the gadget’s name. A lot of times, when he was in danger, he would summon a gadget, then totally a useless one would appear instead. But, he would always overcome obstacles, and survive dangerous situations by sheer luck, or with the help of his genius niece, Penny and intelligent dog Brain. Penny and Brain would basically solve the cases, and Gadget would get the credit.

Doctor Claw was Gadget’s arch enemy, and was the leader of the evil M.A.D. organization. Nobody ever saw Doctor Claw’s face or body. Only his arms and gloved hands were visible. He knew Gadget was an idiot, but he never knew that it was actually Penny and Brain who foiled his plots.

The show originally ran from 1983 to 1986 and remained in syndication into the late 1990s. It continues to air successfully in reruns around the world.

Excellent!!! Bill & Ted 3 Confirmed By Keanu Reeves

Bill S. Preston, esq. and Ted Theodore Logan, the Wyld Stallyns themselves, will be returning to the big screen.

According to, Keanu Reeves confirmed that BILL & TED 3, the third instalment of the cult ‘Bill & Ted’ franchise, is officially on its way. The following is from the site:

The actor, who played Ted in the movies, says the writers are around six weeks away from a draft of the script, reports MTV News.

The actor says ‘Bill & Ted 3’ is likely to build on previous storylines, saying, “When we last got together, part of it was that Bill and Ted were supposed to have written the song that saved the world, and it hasn’t happened. So they’ve now become kind of possessed by trying to do that. Then there’s an element of time and they have to go back”. Previously, Reeves had said that the original screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon were “going to try and see” if they could write something. ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ in 1989 and the sequel ‘Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey’ in 1991 co-starred Reeves and Alex Winter as high school students traveling through time to piece together a history project. In the third movie, the characters are now in their mid-forties, something that Reeves described as “pretty excellent”.

Before beginning work on ‘BILL & TED 3′, Keanu Reeves will first star in the action-drama ’47 Ronin’ about a band of samurais who set out to avenge the death of their master.

I wonder how they will explain what happened to Rufus, who was played by the late George Carlin. And it will be great to see Keanu go back to his most believable role.

Daily Trivia – 4/5/11

Question: What cartoon featured characters named “Penny” and “Dr. Claw”?


Last Question: What car company’s pitchman lied in TV commercials but claimed, “You have my word on it.”?

Answer: Isuzu

Isuzu’s “pitch man”, Joe Isuzu was played by David Leisure, who went on to play Charley Dietz in the sitcom Empty Nest. Leisure played the Charley character with the same type of attitude as Joe Isuzu. The commercials were pretty funny, and very popular. He was more funny to watch than that annoying Energizer bunny. Here are some Isuzu commercials:

Joe Isuzu made a comeback in the late 90s: