Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

READER'S Q&A WITH THE AUTHOR.

Free Cell Phone & Shipping

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ I was doing office cleanup the other day and found some old notes from my conversations with A.T. regarding past bachelorettes from different shows.
What follows is A.T.’s sometimes humorous opinions of some of the bachelorettes according to comments they made throught the shows. I thought some readers would get a kick from this. (Wendy)

*Why I'm ready to get married: I'm getting old.
A. I don’t know, this for me could translate to: “I believe it’s time to get married and be bored for the rest of my life.” I’d hate to be her partner and share this “so-called” boring fate!

*Why I'd be a great wife: I'm not a sit-at-home kind of girl, but I'll do it once in a while. I'm more of a good listener and I like to baby my guy and stroke his hair or challenge him physically.
A. This sound to me like a warning she’s a party animal who doesn’t like cleaning house or cooking much, she’s more into twirling hair or arm-wrestling with her “loved one”. I wonder if she’ll need to be prescribed sedatives once she becomes a mom and begins dealing with “dirty tushies”, realizing her time is not really hers anymore until this cute little fluffy bundle goes off to College?

*Why I'm ready to get married: If I had met the right person years ago, I'd already be married. It's as simple as that.
A. Wow! Can’t be any more straightforward than that. A no-nonsense type of individual, a rare species on these reality TV shows!

*Why I'm ready to get married: I love being in love, and being a part of something special brings joy to my heart.
A. I have mixed feelings on this one; To be “in love being in love” sounds to me like “Donjuanism”, or the art of becoming bored once the relationships passes a certain stage. Perhaps a female version of a past Bachelor? Who could it be?
The second part of her answer sounds like a segment from an acceptance speech.

*Why I'd want to find my spouse on TV: It's hard to meet authentic, interesting people who also are interested in finding that Sleepless in Seattle kind of love.
A. I always cringe whenever I hear someone trying to recreate, in real life, something they saw on a fictional Hollywood film.

*Why are you ready to get married now? I've always been ready, I just haven't found "Him."
A. Another no-nonsense answer. This one has a good head on her shoulders. Strong willed and focused, she would probably carry Byron all the way to the altar.

*Why I'm ready to get married: I am now at a point in my life where I am confident, secure and proud of myself. Now that I am fulfilled as an individual, I can give myself completely to my partner and my future children.
A. Sounds like it was prepared, but the Bachelor should make a point of spending some time with this one. She appears to have both feet on the ground.

*Why I'm ready to get married: I'm mature enough experience-wise and ready for a new chapter in my life.
A. It appears to me she’s saying “Now that I’ve tore it up, it’s time to cool it and try to settle down”.

*Why I'm ready to get married: I'm 28, and I want to have kids before I'm too old to get back into shape and while I'm young enough to be a fun mom.
A. I feel it is not a good sign when someone say its time to have kids now because I can still work out and bring back my flat tummy afterwards. This is a poor reason to bring children into this world (Maybe she hasn’t realized the stretch marks are for keeps.) I once spoke to a mom of 4 who used to be a model, she considered her stretch marks a sign of "unconditional love".
It is OK to be a “fun mom”, but what children really need is a “down to earth loving mom”. I don’t see her saying this anywhere.

*Why I'm ready to get married: I would love to start a family.
A. This one sounds like she would be happy just finding “a breeder” to start a family with. Forget everything in-between, like sharing love, friendship, finding a soul-mate, etc.

*Why I'd want to find my spouse on TV: I'd like to experience something different, and if nothing else, I'll make some new wonderful friends.
A. I don’t know why she makes me believe her goal is to find, on TV, someone she could not meet anywhere else, perhaps another “Firestone”. I feel a long-haired fisherman, who kisses fish in the mouth before releasing them again, is not going to cut it with her, no mater how much he earns per tournament.

*Why I'm ready to get married: I feel like I had a full decade of fun, dates, and now I'm sick of the bar scene and the first dates.
A. Holy Christ, another party animal going soft after too many hangovers! What happened to believing the fun has just started after you have found your perfect mate? No wonder the divorce rate is so high!

*Why I'm ready to get married: I personally used my 20s to be independent, travel, explore and continue to challenge myself. Now I'm ready to create a place of solidarity with a partner for life.
A. This one sounds like she constantly needs a new challenge in her life for it to have any meaning.

* Why I'm ready to get married: Everything else in my life is in order. Emotionally I'm in touch with my feelings, needs and wants. Physically, I look good and am very ripe. But at the end of the day, I want to share my life.
A. One question: What would happen if she didn’t look that “good”? Would this mean she could not be happily married? Everyone deserves to be happy in this world, makes no difference if they "look good" or not! “Very ripe”, I haven’t heard anyone use that one in a while. It sounds like something a supermarket owner would say on an ad.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I remember sometime ago you predicted Obama would probably beat Hillary for the D.P. nomination, now I would like to know your opinion if he should make her his V.P. and if you believe she lost due to the fact she is a woman. Thanks for humoring me! (Betty K.)

A. It was always my belief Clinton could never win without the Black vote. Obama practically cleaned out that particular part of core supporters from her base.
Answering your question, Obama might be inexperienced in politics, but he is no fool. He knows Hillary, and husband Bill, are not very gracious at being second fiddle and staying behind the scenes. As his Vice President, she would constantly be second-guessing his decisions while grabbing the spotlight for herself. I may be wrong but believe Obama will be able to resist outside pressure and keep Hillary away from his candidacy, especially after all the dirt she has thrown at him in the past months.
In a way, I feel a little sorry for Hillary. I have always been of the opinion she is an extremely bright individual, much more intelligent than her husband. I believe she has always been the “brains behind the duo”. Hillary’s problem is she lacks Bill’s “gift of gab” and his ability to light up a room whenever he walks in. Those who have made it a point to read up on Hillary will agree she has had a life filled with disappointments, thanks to her husband’s continuous infidelities and lack of common sense. Even her sacrifice of staying with him, after the Lewinski scandal, in order to have a better opportunity at becoming President, has fallen short. Now, after running a harsh and aggressive campaign, which included showing no pity exposing her daughter to the most brutal interviews and public situations, she is still ending up with nothing. Hillary can always try a career in the Senate, much like Kennedy did after his disgrace due to the Chappaquiddick incident but, in my opinion, it will be difficult for her, and her husband, to accept defeat gracefully, since neither have a history of being graceful, nor civilized, when the chips are down.
I predict this is not the graceful end of Hillary’s campaign; she will possibly go out kicking and fighting without any concern over who gets hurt. After all, she has just realized her inability to even be on the ballot, a big blow to her huge ego. Hillary did not loose because she is a woman, she lost because she is Hillary.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T. We miss your perky opinions, things just aren't as interesting without you. I know you already commented on this topic months ago but wanted you to give us an updaye on how you see the Presidential race developing. Thanks and I wish you and your family well. (B.G.)

A. Thank you for your kind words!
I am going to give you the "short version" of my thoughts on this matter. I believe Americans are wary of having another Clinton Presidency, and are also not mature enough to vote for a black candidate just yet. McCain will possibly win the elections, as long as he doesn't put his foot in his mouth or looses control of his "internal demons".

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello, A.T. I am not as much a Bachelor fan than a History major at FIU. I have always liked your direct approach at hard topics, and wish most of my History professors were less partisan, boring, and one sided. My questions do not deal with TV shows but a very important topic in today’s news: What is your opinion of Obama as Presidential candidate? Do you believe he will rally African Americans to change their current sociological trends with music and behavior worshiping violence and degradation? I know this is a charged subject but, as an African American myself, I see us moving away from Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of what our future was going to be like. Thank you. (Betty W.)

A. It is my personal opinion Barack Obama has as much chance of being a good President than Hilary Clinton, especially when one considers neither has actually much experience in Government. I know Hillary tries to include her White House years in her resume, but that is just another Clinton smokescreen, in my opinion. She is bright, much more than her husband, but that does not make, in itself, a good President, as we Americans know from researching all our past Commanders in Chiefs. Hillary’s main problem is she has no image, no opinions, or power to unite Americans from both Parties. She makes constant changes according to how the wind is blowing, something her husband Bill also used to do. She does not need to make any more staff changes, what she needs to do is change herself “from within”, which is where the problem lies.
Obama might just be the ticket, especially now that McCain appears to be the Republican front runner. I would not like to see McCain as our next President; he does not excite me one bit. I find him to be, in my opinion, one of those bland, uninspiring, and boring politicians who are able to accomplish more in the background than in the White House. These elections promise to be exciting, unless its Clinton against McCain, then I believe we will have another bore in the White House for the next four years.
The second part of your question deals with Dr. King’s vision and modern day black-related culture, a real explosive topic!
Let's deal with reality. Black men are targets of black men, and whites do not have much to do with their demise anymore. Begin by researching all the current violence, hatred, genocide, and mutilations of black children and women occurring in Africa. Of what race are those power hungry lords so-called leaders? In our Country, go check the coroner's office and talk with a police detective asking who are killing most black men, and women, in today’s violence ridden society.
Rather than whine about white folks' insensitivity, or worshipping Jesse Jackson and Oprah’s tendency to blame whites for everything they and other black individuals suffer, we should be showing the kind of outrage and courage it took in the 1950’s and 1960’s to stop the white KKK from hanging black men from trees.
We don't want to deal with ourselves. We take great joy in prescribing medicine to cure the hate in other people's cultures and countries. Meanwhile, our self-hatred, on full display for the world to see, remains untreated, undiagnosed and unrepentant.
Our self-hatred has even been set to music and reinforced by a pervasive culture that promotes a crab-in-barrel mentality.
You're right in the assumption I partly blame hip-hop for playing a role in the genocide of American black men. When your leading causes of death and dysfunction are murder, ignorance and incarceration, there's no reason to give a free pass to a so-called musical culture that celebrates murder, ignorance and incarceration. Sorry guys, I do not believe this is just a “phase kids go through”. Just tell that to the mom whose child was shot by a stray bullet in a ghetto neighborhood, and her other son is constantly in and out of jail.
Some time ago, HBO did a fascinating documentary on Little Rock Central High School. In case you do not remember that was the Arkansas school that required the National Guard so that nine brave and wonderful black kids could attend in the 1950’s. Fifty years later, the school is one of the nation's best in terms of funding and educational opportunities. It's 60% black and located in a poor black community.
Watch the documentary and ask yourself why nine poor kids in the 50’s risked their lives to get a good education and today hundreds of thousands of poor black kids ignore the opportunity that is served to them on a platter. I am of the opinion Dr. King, and other prominent blacks leaders of the time, would probably be appalled at seeing how deteriorated their “vision” has become for Black America.
As a professor I can say that, not so much in Spain, where I now live, but in my good’ole U.S.A. blacks who are willing to work super hard are able to get a real good education and a promising future. Just talk to my dear ex-partner, sorry I can not give you her name, who earned her Ph.D. mostly from grants offered to minorities who excel at school, and who is currently doing very well considering she rose from the ghetto. She always thanked her father, who worked two jobs most of his life and, together with her mom, gave her a stable home in which to grow in.
The current "keepin' it real" mantra of hip-hop is in direct defiance to positive evolution. Within black culture there's always someone ready to bully you and tell you you're selling out if you move away from the immature and dangerous activities you used to do in the Ghetto, you're selling out if you learn to speak proper English and stop using gang hand signals and mannerisms all the time, or embrace education, or dress like a grown man, or even do anything mainstream.
It isn’t whites anymore that are forcing blacks to stay home, spend their school days flirting and “acting cool”, instead of studying, popping gold fillings into their mouth, mutilating their bodies with “prison art”, or even spending all day with a cell phone glued to their ear while constantly pulling up their oversized pants.
Blame drugs, blame President Johnson’s creation of public assistance policies, Ronald Reagan, blame George Bush, blame it on the rain, or whatever. We Americans are experts at blaming others for our misfortunes. The reality is there's only one group of people who can change the rotten, anti-education, pro-violence culture our kids have adopted, and that is the one who started it. We Americans know who they are, we are just too afraid, or politically correct, to say it.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I do have a few questions. One is personal because I was confused by reading various answers from your "Q & A" with Wendy and readers. Do you have a college-aged daughter? And, if so, is she from a previous marriage? I was under the impression you married a few years ago and, for some reason, I believed it to be your first marriage. Hence, my confusion.
My other question is more educational in nature. I admire your breadth of knowledge when it comes to history, politics, and sociology. I enjoy hearing your opinions because they can be controversial, but they always seem to be very well informed. Since the election is coming up and I want to make an informed choice, can you make some suggestions for where I should go to find out solid, well-researched information about the candidates? Also, what are some books you would recommend to better understand American history as well as the history of other countries? (Tina)

A. Thank you, Tina, for your kind words. My daughter was 12 when her mom and I met, and she likes to say she unofficially “adopted me” from that point on. I legally adopted this wonderful daughter of ours, after the wedding, making it "official". I can truly say I was blessed twice!
Learning about our history is not easy, since most books I have read are politically inclined, even if the authors try to paint a picture of neutrality. I recommend reading not one but several books on the subject. I advise you go to your nearest public library and also try to choose books written by foreigners about our history. This way you will begin to understand how foreigners see us. There is nothing more enlightening than reading about WW II, for example, through the eyes of a European, or even a Japanese historian.
You ask 10 individuals to recommend something and you will possibly get 10 different opinions, just remember those are only opinions and nothing more.
Personally, I recommend you start by reading “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, by Thomas E. Woods and, for example, Oscar Handlin’s “Americans: A New History of the People of the United States." These are just two I enjoyed reading, mostly because they deviate from the ever-so-popular biased historian’s view that is usually tainted with the writer’s personal politics. Good luck.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I really enjoy your comments on modern issues! Could you humor me and explain why, in your opinion, do our society worship body enhancements so much? From tattoos to liposuction, how does one keep up? Thanks. (Joanne)

A. Sociologically, I find it interesting it is now becoming almost genetically impossible to be attractive without some type of cosmetic surgery.
One only has to see today’s array of what Hollywood, and the mostly gay fashion industry, considers sexy and beautiful, to see it is practically impossible for a normal woman to look what I call “sociological sexy” in today’s world.
I am aware this type of discussion is considered “taboo” in American society, and anyone merely mentioning the slightest hint of it would be called all sorts of names from being “deeply insensitive” all the way to being a “closet Nazi” (I believe Hitler did more harm to modern society than people will ever realize, but that is another subject) and yet, it is in the heart of why most American women are so dissatisfied with the way they look, spending a fortune in overpriced, and sometimes dangerous, procedures in order to look “in”.
I know I am possibly going to get heat for touching on this highly taboo subject but feel that, in today’s society, the ideal woman is a white-black woman (Angelina Jolie for example) or a black-white woman (Halle Berry comes to mind) depending on your race.
With very minor exceptions, I have always thought of people, in general, as blind followers of whatever the “entertainment and mostly gay fashion elite” considered acceptable, or desirable. It is my opinion most individuals will go to any extreme to be seen and accepted as “one of the group” or just plainly “cool and hip”. Think about it, draw up a mental list of the supposedly most attractive women in the world, according to the entertainment industry. Are they typical of their race or are they more like newly defined artificial hybrids? Japanese women with large round eyes, white women with cornrows braids, Botox-enhanced buttocks, and very full lips, black women with curve-less bodies, straight hair, thin facial features, and very pale beige skin tones, the same shade as their over-tanned white blonde friends. Is this a good thing or a bad thing, sociologically? Does it really drive us toward racial equality, once and for all, or just allow women to be even more dissatisfied with the bodies they were born with?
Is it “normal” for men, in general, to get excited over seeing a bikini-clad Pamela Anderson, for example, knowing quite well there is very little in her so-called sexy body which is not high-tech plastic, injected rubber or, in one way or another, artificially enhanced? What would the same men think of Pam if one would surgically remove all her artificially enhancing rubber and plastic? Would she perhaps look like a skinny bony mouse with overexposed tendons?
Let me know your opinions, I welcome your comments.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T. What is your opinion of the Dr. Phil-Britney controversy? (B.K.)

A. I do not wish to go too much into it but do believe Phil is a good therapist. I also believe it is too bad he and his wife lost something along the way and fell for the “fame & fortune” trap, both becoming mere entertainers out to make a buck.
I agree Spears behavior indicates she needs therapy, nevertheless, it was very tacky of him to go looking for the next celebrity client on his own.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Could you give me your take on Marion Jones and why are so many athletes on steroids nowadays. My teenage son becomes another person when he plays basketball at school games; I am even embarrassed sometimes with his aggressiveness. (Nancy T.)

A. Cheating in order to win, by athletes and sport celebrities alike, goes back a long time. I am afraid Western society is much to blame for this trend. It is my personal opinion most school coaches begin to brainwash our kids at an early age, drilling that “win at all cost” mentality, a mindset that assures that a good and honest athlete will go bad, do something demeaning, or cheat to win.
Reading your e-mail reminded me of a couple, both personal friends of mine, who years ago complained they had spent years teaching their children good manners and proper behavior only to see it all go out the window the moment someone gave the kid a rubber ball.
Some individuals will say that is the “nature” of sports, but that is not so. That is why we have the word “sportsmanship behavior” in our language, it is just that some athletes have forgotten it exists. Just look at professional sports, for example.
I must say sometimes parents behavior and manners are worse than their children’s, and then one understands why the child displays such abominable manners and ethics. If you have a room full of children on one side and grownups on the other it is not too difficult to match the child with their respective parents after observing each group’s behavior for a while.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. What is your opinion of all the negative publicity in reference to Obama belonging to a racist church, having been a Muslim, and being a racist himself. (Joanne N.)

A. I personally feel it is just an example of dirty politics and would not pay too much attention to all this. I strongly believe he is not going to be our next President anyway.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I love to read your political insights, even if they sometimes infuriate me. Anyway, what’s your opinion on how the presidential race is shaping up? Thanks for humoring me. (Betty)

A. It is my personal opinion the Democrats made an error having both Clinton and Obama fighting in the same election. The baggage of her husband’s scandals during his presidency, and her theatrics, handicaps Hilary and Obama has absolutely no experience to make him realistically qualified for the job. I find it curious some women will vote for Clinton just because she is a woman and some blacks will go for Obama just because he is black. That is, for me, a horrible way to choose the future President of the strongest nation on earth, and also proves to me Americans have a long way to go before they reach real unbiased equality.
As for the Republicans, I see a lot of boring uninspiring candidates that do not have what it takes to unite ALL Americans, and the only reason they stand a chance at the presidency is due to Hilary and Obama being their rivals.
All in all, it amazes me to see such an uninspiring, petty, theatrical, self-absorbed, and lying group of individuals, from both political parties, aspiring for the presidency.
Anyone who would take the time and effort to research some of the facts these people throw around to make their opinions carry weight will realize it is mostly based on lies and inflated smokescreens, and I am talking about representatives from both Parties. I am of the opinion anyone who will lie in order to become President will also lie in order to remain as such and yet, we as Americans do not hold these people accountable for their half-truths and sometimes downright lies. It appears to be more important for OUR Party’s representative to win than to ensure our next President’s ethics are beyond reproach.
It all goes back to our win-win mentality, no matter what it takes, and this approach actually makes us loose no matter who wins.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I would like to know why you dislike President Clinton so much, and if it is just because he is a Democrat? Thank you. (Betty C.)

A. I dislike Clinton for his morals. For example, he is a man who openly cheats on his wife and lied under oath, as anyone can ascertain by setting aside what most tabloids called “facts”, at the time, and researching the events as they actually happened. I have always believed we are allowed our own opinions, but not our own facts, just to add weight to our opinions. There are numerous video clips and official transcripts one is able to read in order to bypass party politics and get to the truth.
Anyone who does what Clinton did, during his presidency, should not be trusted to run our country, since I personally believe it shows lack of integrity. This lack of integrity normally encompasses a whole other set of negative personal attributes, in an individual, and is not only centered on his love life.
Many Republicans also lack moral fiber and I am as disappointed with Republicans as I am with most Democrats, therefore I am not being biased.
I see most Republicans as unrealistic individuals lacking good old common sense, and the representatives of the other Party as a group of crying wimps who waste their lives complaining about everything and nothing the Republicans do is allowed to have any merit. NEITHER Party’s representatives have enough talent to bring ALL AMERICANS together to embrace our Country’s numerous problems as Americans, and not as faithful Party zombies.
I am also amazed at how little world history most Americans know. The societies who historically flourished the most were the ones lacking a multiple Party system. Strength lies in unity, and both suffer when political groups, or Parties, constantly put each other’s leaders down out of individual Party loyalty.
I have a history of voting for people from both parties, and try to vote for whom I believe to be good for our country AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME in our history. Presently, I do not see anyone, from either party, with the charisma and talent to bring ALL Americans together. Each Party’s representative, and their narrow-minded followers, are too busy throwing dirt, or smokescreens, at their opponents, while the fiber of our Country is deteriorating.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. In case you didn't know, Andrew left the wine business and will be working for Ty Warner. Also, his family sold the Firestone Vineyard they had for over 30 years. Andrew even proposed and is engaged to his Serbian beauty, otherwise known as a model/actress. What's up with Andrew and wine being the love of his life???

A. The Firestone’s fortune assures them no one in the family actually needs to work to make a living, they all do so out of personal ethics. I do not know them personally, therefore I can not venture to guess why they first sold the tire company and now the winery, but I imagine, in both instances, it was time for a change and someone made them an incredibly good offer.
Having said that, it would not surprise me to find out if there is also ongoing tension between the conservative Firestones and Andy, due to him choosing Ivana as a possible future wife, even if the family continue to say she is a darling.
I honestly can not envision Andrew’s sisters, brother, and parents cuddling up to a young lady with loose morals and a string of semi-nude scenes for a resume. Classy people usually cringe at the thought of one of their members marrying someone like Ivana, even if she may be personable and cute.
Bottom line, it is my opinion Andy is the hyperactive social animal who is impressed by Ivana’s beauty and feels comfortable with her flexible personality. I believe she gives him full freedom to do what he wants and constantly “humors” him, making her a perfect companion.
Marriage and children are something totally different. I believe Andrew is not ready to settle down and would be making a grave error marrying this impressive and streetwise young lady.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was happy to see your comments on the boards but surprised some readers were upset by your words for different reasons. Looking closer I noticed some readers interpreted your words totally differently, sometimes even adding on things in you never said. I am wondering if you could explain the reason why people see the same thing differently all the time, just like that school game where one rumor begins on one side of the class and, by the time it reaches the other side it’s been totally transformed. Also, they might have a Bachelorette show in the near future. Just to let you know. Thank you. (Janice)

A. We all believe that we observe reality—things as they are. But what actually happens is that the mind interprets what the eyes see, or read, and gives it meaning. It is only at this point, when meaning is assigned, that we can truly say we have seen or “understood” something. In other words, what we see is as much in the mind as it is in reality. That is, basically, why people react differently when given, or shown, the same scenario, or opinion, sometimes “adding on” thoughts, or words, to the actual event in order to better support THEIR point of view on the subject or even their opinion of the person saying them.
A good, and interesting, example of this is the way my opinions have always been interpreted by different members of the boards. Someone looking objectively at my two comments would see one of them only states I am glad the Bachelor was honest enough not to chose someone just to please the producers, while the other states my opinion those individuals who reacted to the ending with ANGER show little immaturity and should realize, after all these years, this is only a much scripted TV program.
Notice I did not say one word about viewers who were merely “disappointed” or the way Brad treated the women. Anyone who is objective would realistically see I am not qualified to give my opinion of the show, or Brad's behavior with the bachelorettes, since I did not watch the series.
Anyway, I would love to be able to see a Bachelorette series, but only if Fleiss chooses a young lady who is really committed to finding someone special and not merely a publicity seeker.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I know you can’t watch The Bachelor in Spain but just wanted to let you know this last one sent both finalist home in a real shocker. Some Bachelor fans are steaming! What do you think? (Betty)

A. Wow, I can imagine both girl’s faces when given the news!
Looking at this realistically, I always said choosing someone to have a long lasting relationship with from a group of strange women was like playing roulette blindfolded. The chances of being successful are always going to be against you.
Personally, I applaud this Bachelor’s honesty in sending home two women who did not create any type of “ love spark” in his heart. I believe this ending is more truthful and honest than choosing someone just to please the producers, braking up with them as soon as the show is over.
As for those “fans” who feel angry at the outcome of the show I can only say they possibly need a small dose of “maturity” in their lives.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Some of us sure miss your comments! How are you and your family doing in your new home? Can you give us an update? Thanks, keep in touch. Jan

A. Thanks for writing. All three of us have become used to the big change and sometimes feel we have been living here for years instead of months. Spaniards are very warm and friendly people.
Our daughter is doing very well, on her first year at the university, and is learning the language quickly. It helps when all your friends speak Spanish and she makes a point of speaking the language constantly.
My wife is currently working on opening her gourmet coffee shop and I try to help her as much as I can with her project. We calculate the “grand opening” during the Christmas season.
As for me, I teach three classes a day and have the rest of the time for myself, therefore I am enjoying my semi-retirement to no end.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I am wondering what your impressions are of our next Presidential elections. (Betty J.)

A. Hard to tell but I would honestly be surprised if Hillary would end up being our next President.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always believed she is wiser and much more intelligent than her hubby Bill, and would have made, in my opinion, a better President. Hillary's problem is she has too many enemies, even from her own Party. The Democrats need, as a female candidate, a new face with fresh and exciting ideas. I believe it is psychologically difficult for a large portion of Americans to envision Hillary's presidency without including her husband in the picture, and a large portion of voters, including Democrats, have had enough of Bill.
Quite honestly, I believe it will possibly be Giuliani who will be lected as our next President.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. We sure miss you! I wanted to know, if you’re still answering questions, if you also believe true romance is gone from our lives and replaced by sex. Thanks. (Joan D.)

A. Wendy still forward me some of the most interesting ones, along with her e-mails.
Answering your question, in today’s society there seems to be more emphasis on simply having sex as opposed to romance; that the mystique of romance has been replaced by a simple biological function. In my opinion, it's a sad day in our culture when romance is supplanted by wanton sex. One could easily argue this is another sign of the moral decay in our society and perhaps is indicative of our rising divorce rate in the U.S.
The courtship and budding relationship between a man and a woman is priceless. It's a matter of getting to know each other, not simply throwing off clothes and hopping into bed on the first or second date. Probably every young person reading this will think I'm crazy as they all have one primary interest, which is fine. I'm just trying to remind you there is much more to life than just trying to seduce the next person that comes along.
I believe by now almost everyone knows my strong dislike for anything “Hollywood” but I personally believe the bombardment of sociological clichés we regularly see, and hear, in movies and music subconsciously sets up the stage for what we, as a society, perceive as “acceptable” or “funny” behaviors or situations.
As a prime example of what most of Americans have been conditioned to perceive as funny, and acceptable, is the behavior shown, for example, in the movie “Knocked Up”. I know it is only supposed to be a funny movie but let us, for a moment, dissect the main characters and the plot. In my opinion here we have the main character: A lazy bum who has been living I don’t know how many years on $14,000.00 he was awarded for being run over by a Mail truck. Not only does this character’s future live ambition is to live off an Internet site documenting all the nude scenes in movies but he also constantly smokes pot, looks like he never takes a bath, and has the manners of a horse.
One day this supposedly “funny” character, and his buddies, go party at a nightclub where he meets this beautiful and smart career woman who is moving up in the world. By some “Hollywood magic” this supposedly beautiful smart woman gives this obnoxious dirty-looking joker the time of day and both end up drunk in bed having unprotected sex. She ends up pregnant and calls this foul-mouthed looser up to tell him about it, slowly falling in love with him as he continues to exhibit the conversational skills and manners of a chimp (?). As payment for the miraculous situation of having this beautiful career woman falling in love (?) and actually wanting to keep in touch with him, this looser takes it real "cool" and, on one occasion, even blows her a birdie in response to a small argument they have (as I said, impeccable manners). Both end up together and happy while one cringes at the sight of this new baby living in a household filled with marihuana smoke and copying “Dad’s speech pattern” of saying the F____ word in front of almost every other word, and blowing mom a birdie whenever they disagree on something.
I honestly found it disturbing most people thought this movie was funny! On the other hand, I was not surprised to see Hollywood, as usual, trying to brain wash us into believing it is cool, funny, and acceptable behavior to smoke pot, get high, or insult and treat women like trash.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What’s your opinion on Byron and Mary? Isn’t it strange the wedding keeps getting postponed? (R.S.)

A.It is difficult to ascertain what is at the bottom of their constant postponement of the wedding. I’m guessing here but feel there is something making one of them doubt the success of the relationship when the life-long family and children scenario come into the picture.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T., as someone whose opinions I find interesting I would like to know what’s your opinion about buying a 14 yr old a cell-phone to talk to her friend when she’s bored at home. (B.V.)

A. I believe even though it may be super cool to be seen in public with a little plastic phone constantly pressed to your ear or, better still, a portable “Star Trek” apparatus permanently attached to one, it does not contribute much to enhancing knowledge or wisdom. On the contrary, a while ago I almost ran over one happy go lucky teen who carelessly crossed the street while being totally hypnotized by whatever she was listening to on her cell phone.
I would seriously advise you to try getting her interesting in reading instead of wasting her time memorizing and exchanging text messaging abbreviations with her pals.
No silly, it is not a joke. Consider it a challenge!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I love reading your political opinions and wanted to know which one do you believe has the best chances to win the next Presidency, Hillary or Obama. (Rosie H.)

A. To be honest with you, neither. Nevertheless, I personally believe Hillary is much smarter than her hubby, and would have made a better President than Billy.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Out of all the Bachelor series the second one, with Aaron & Helene, is my favorite. Do you think they were ever really in love? (H.V.)

A. I am almost convinced Helene was very disappointed with Aaron after the wine date, where he takes one of the ladies to the cellar. Helene apparently distrusted him, from that point on, perhaps picking up some feelings for him by the final episode.
I now believe Aaron was only infatuated with Helene’s beauty and one of the reasons he kept her around was to win her over, as a personal challenge. That is probably one of the main reasons why he broke up with her so soon after Helene had accepted his marriage proposal. Of course, we will probably never know for certain.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. You said earlier you believe we will not win the war on drugs. I would like to know why you believe this. Thank you. (B.R)

A. The war on drugs undermines our liberties, crowds the prisons, bloats the bureaucracy, invites corruption, incites violence and antagonizes our allies. Moreover, we spend billions on it and lose billions more in uncollected taxes. And for what? For a losing drive to control choices that are not ours to make?
Americans, of all people, should know, after the prohibition fiasco, that the market will supply any felt demand. It is inevitable. So the question isn’t whether we can win the war on drugs. We’ve already lost, in my opinion. The question is whether we’re going to stop banging our heads against the wall. We already have an army of government employees who make a living from the drug laws and have a rather conflictive interest in claiming both that the drug laws are working and that more money is needed.
A small group of friend and I were discussing this same topic, a few weeks ago. After much discussion I called over one of my friend’s teenage daughter and, after assuring her immunity from whatever she said, asked her how long it would take her to go and bring back some illegal drugs, if I gave her the money needed. She did not want to answer in the beginning but, after a few calming words, looked at us and said “I could come back in about 30 minutes with practically anything you wanted to buy”. Who is going to step forward and say “we’re winning”?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

.Q. Hi A.T. I’ve read your comments ever since you started your site and see a certain disdain for American society. I was wondering if that had anything to do with your family’s decision to move to Europe. I hope you’re brave and honest enough to post this tough question. Thanks, and I wish you the best. (Betty C.)

A. Let me begin by saying my grandfather was a decorated WW II veteran, my father spent 12 years in the military, as an M.D., before going into private practice, and, like them, I served 4 years in the Armed Forces as a Second Lieutenant. I am saying this because I come from a family of individuals who love their country, and I include myself in this group. Having said that, it is my opinion the society of the late 20th century America also happens to be, with minor exceptions, one of the rudest and crudest societies in history, having jubilantly swept most of the etiquette of speech, table, dress, hospitality, regard for fairness, deference to authority, and the relations of male and female and child and elder under the fraying and filthy carpet of politically convenient illusions. With little fear of physical reprisal, after the fall of the Soviet empire, we Americans can be as loud, gross, disrespectful, pushy, and negligent as we please, and our current foreign, and domestic, policy is evident of what I say.
I’ve always said most individuals confuse liberty with freedom, and I am of the opinion too much of anything is not healthy. Unless we Americans wake up, step back, and begin seeing things in clear black or white, and not so much “gray”, our society will self-destruct in a few more generations. Frankly, nothing I presently see leads me to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, some will say everything is alive and well in our society, I honestly believe those individuals probably have been living “in the mess we’ve created” since birth and do not know any better.
By the way, thank you for your kind words.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I would like to hear your take on the current problem with immigration. Without the ranting and raving most of us do; is there a practical solution here? (Jane)

Q. I do not wish to make my answer extremely long on this topic, since the real causes and problems of our illegal immigration are, in my opinion, too extensive and complicated to fully explain using this limited forum.
Having said that, I strongly believe we are approaching the issue the wrong way. All we have been doing, much like with the war on drugs, is creating mammoth expenditures for something that is never going to be successful.
Think of how much money would be saved if the U.S. would simply create a temporary visa for foreign workers and their families. Now go one step further and calculate how much Federal Income Taxes these same people would pay, if they were working legally in this country, and add that total to the Millions of Dollars wasted on trying to build walls in the middle of nowhere. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.
The problem with my theory is that it is too simple and easy to implement. Simplicity and common sense is something we Americans are allergic to nowadays. We must also take into consideration the number of Americans, and Mexicans, making a huge profit out of illegal immigrants. That, of course, is a totally different issue.
The bottom line is, much like with illegal drugs, there is too much profiteering going on, on both sides of the border, for the problem to be resolved effectively, and permanently, anytime soon.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Q. Hi A.T., I really miss your comments! I don't know if you're still "here" or not but wanted to know your opinion of the Paris Hilton controversy and specially why are you so negative about everything "Hollywood".

A. Paris is, and always have been, in my opinion, "much to do about nothing". Another wealthy and famous individual whose life is totally meaningless and without purpose. Much worse is the fact we constantly waste out time following and reading about her antics.
I honestly do not mind the media's infatuation with her, what amazes me is how insensitive we've become about really important things. For example: How many readers know any personal information in reference to the soldiers who have been killed, this week alone, in Iraq? A painfully small group, if any, and yet most Americans know every detail about Paris and her life.
Is Paris being given special treatment? In my opinion the answer is yes, but I also believe she "morally" DESERVES to be in jail.
Getting drunk is somewhat of a "fun thing", for most young people, as well as the Hollywood gang. Movies are being produced every day depicting young individuals having a ball while being under the influence of something or other, and yet no one seems to feel any pity for those families who constantly loose loved ones due to drunk drivers.
It is my personal opinion the entertainment industry could have had a positive influence in American society, and yet they are partly to blame for our sociological decline these past decades.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Q. A.T. Are you aware Andrew Firestone is engaged to his actress girlfriend? What is your opinion of their chances of getting married now?

A. LOL, you folks are a ball to talk to! I know I’ll never hear the end of this, but here it goes:
Andy might be engaged but chances are still slim, in my book, he will actually go ahead and wed his extremely cute and personable companion.
Anyway, I’m shocked people actually believe what they read in the news; Geeeez, what’s the matter with you guys!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I surely miss your comments, especially in this Bachelor series! I was wondering if you saw the finale and what was your thoughts about it, if you did. Thanks and I’ll miss you! (Bonnie)

A. Watching the finale, out of curiosity, I could not help feeling a certain happiness I did not waste my time tuning in every week for this.
I know a certain number of fans believe this is really a match made in heaven and the “Officer and Gentleman” is one of the best bachelors lately, but I can not count myself as part of this group.
Perhaps I should have been born a century ago, when a man’s word was actually considered to be binding and a measure of his integrity. I may be wrong but thought I heard this officer (sorry, I can’t call him a gentleman) tell two different women “ I love you” while proceeding to kiss both in his slightly comical “woodpecker style”, one peck at a time.
I don’t know in today’s society what “I love you” means, if anything, but in my own world that means you actually have strong feelings for that woman and a real gentleman would not dump her the following night with a pre-fabricated “feel-good” sendoff. Real tacky, in my book!
Anyway, bottom line is I don’t give these two TV-lovebirds much time together. Oh, they’ll probably excite the fans for a while, with their “made for TV” romance, but I would actually be shocked if their “love story” actually held the test of time.
Someone should tell these ABC producers the once exciting Bachelor Series died a long time ago. All we are being subjected to is merely a heavily scripted soap opera.
Oh, I forgot; Keep an eye out for Lt. Andy, he is not as squeaky clean as the series made him out to be.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I wonder what do you think of the current bachelor show and Andy proposing in the end, as he supposedly does. Thanks! (B. L.)

I believe ABC, and Andy himself, are doing a superb job of getting everyone excited over how nice and lovable he is. I am personally not taken by the media blitz and feel there is something about Andy that is just not right, once we overlook his overly “cute” remarks to the camera, impressive six pack, and Chris saying, as usual, this is the best Bachelor yet. I believe this show is going to have a highly edited and romantic ending that will slowly fizzle out once reality sets in and time has passed. Five or seven years from now the so-called Superman Andy will still be self-absorbed and this show will be history.
I honestly have not been watching every episode, therefore take my personal pinion with a grain of salt.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I love your political insight and wanted to know your opinion of the Iraq war and if you thought the President’s new strategy will work. (Barbara)

A. I said some time ago I believed Bush’s moment of supreme glory was when he landed aboard an aircraft carrier in a military jet and, in front of national TV, said the objective had been met, or something to the effect. It is my personal opinion Bush should then have begun to withdraw our troops from Iraq, while substituting them with UN Peacekeepers, since it is about time the UN proves they are actually useful for something besides posturing and spreading anti-American rhetoric.
I feel Bush, badly advised by the combative and egomaniac Rumsfeld, has turned what could have been an all-around victory into the military and P.R. chaos we are currently experiencing.
Personally, I believe the only ones suffering are the loved ones of all those soldiers killed, or wounded, in action. As usual, I send my warmest respect to all of them.
The bottom line is I do not envision a clean successful withdrawal from Iraq, at this stage, making no difference which political party wins the next elections. In the end, we will be seen, by most of the world, as the usual “bully” who start wars and then splits when the going gets rough and the President’s political adversaries, aided by the press, begin convincing the “American people” it’s time to get our boys out.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T. I wanted to know your opinion of the whole Ana Nicole thing. Thanks. (Susan V.)

A. I know some will not like reading my opinion of this talent-less and opportunistic individual, who not only was a disgrace to have on national TV, but who also proved, in the end, to be a fairly bad mother. Her poor son Daniel, who died under mysterious circumstances, led a weird life due to his “famous mom’s” antics (too many to mention here).
I have the feeling Ana’s daughter Danielynn will not lead a happy normal life either, considering the fact practically everyone around her see dollar signs whenever they look at her. I may be wrong, of course, but I do not see anyone around this cute baby that actually LOVES her “un-selfishly”.
It is my personal opinion this is another case of a so-called "Hollywood star" who stoops down to practically all extremes in her climb to fame and fortune, and who, in my humble opinion, should not have brought children into this world.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. What are your thoughts and suggestions when someone in a relationship is not very affectionate?
I’ve been with my girlfriend for nine months now. She says she isn’t an affectionate young woman, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love me. I know that she loves me because she always invites me to family gatherings. She has a large, close family, and she only brings serious boyfriends to the family (I’m actually her first boyfriend). But I just wish she’d express her feelings with words and gestures a bit more.
I’m not sure I’d break up with her just because of this, but I’m not totally happy with her. Comments? (M.L.)

A. I am going to do a little guessing here because I am confused after reading your question. You mention she has a close family and only brings serious boyfriends to meet them, and then go on to say you are her first boyfriend.
Having said that, I am going to be honest with you and say you should really consider ending any serious long-term relationship with this individual.
I am known to be a little radical dealing with certain types of relationships and, in this case, advise against having a conversation with the other person regarding this issue. I feel, if this individual really loves you, she will possibly try to modify her behavior just to please you. I also believe her actions, most likely, will be short lived, reverting to her old self after a while.
There are always going to be well-wishers who will say otherwise but I believe you will always continue to feel the need to have someone affectionate by your side, and your spouse, or companion, will always come up short. Eventually, you will make each other miserable to the point of you fantasizing or even actually carrying out extramarital relationships, in your search for someone more affectionate.
The final decision is yours, of course, but take her feelings into account and realize she deserves to be happy too. Having a companion who is always dissatisfied with the relationship is no way to go for either one.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering if you saw the Bachelor premiere and your opinion of Andy and the bachelorettes. Thanks, I really miss your weekly articles. (Betty R.)

A. I was curious to see the premiere, like everyone else, and was grateful ABC decided to shorten it from the agonizing 2-hour repetitious infomercial of previous series.
Andy ended up being pretty much what I predicted a month before, an unusual puppy in love with himself and with an abnormal desire to impress others with his never ending list of achievements. He came across as an excessively cute and cuddly overachiever (I hear warning bells every time I see one of these) who can look straight at the camera and sound like he’s really seeking ABC’s help in finding a bride because, as Elvis used to sing, “I’m so lonesome I could cry”. It reminded me of Aaron’s lines during his first conversation with my man “Chris”.
Realistically, I am having trouble seeing this guy surviving a U.S. military boot camp, not to mention working with a bunch of rough and tough submariners who, if this was the real Andy, would not hesitate shoving the decathlon lover into one of the torpedo tubes and shooting him out into an abyss.
The ladies were another disappointment. You have the regular batch of cuties that include the Barbie dolls look-alikes (complete with their false-looking body enhancers), the constant complainers, the token minority representative (that gets sent home eventually), and the ones ABC put in there just to rumble tumble the situation a little, in order to feed the Jerry Springer lovers. I agree there are a couple of nice ladies in the group, but I hope they are smart enough to run away from the “Officer & the Gentleman”. In this case, the winner has already my sincere sympathies, since she will not only have to compete with Andy’s demanding Navy job, but with his extensive triathlon trainings, competitions, and finally, with the fact he is, first and foremost, in love with himself. I sincerely wish her good luck!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Did you read Jen's book, "Better Single Than Sorry"??? Want to do a review? What do you think? (Barbara)

A. No, I have not read it. I would have purchased the book if she had written about her Bachelor experiences and relationship with Andy.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. What’s your opinion about next Bachelor Andy Baldwin, and his comments in recent articles about having found “love”?

A. I believe it is possible Andy MD could have found someone on the show he really likes, and is excited about, but that is miles away from being “in love”.
You know, I have not even seen our dear self-absorbed Dr. on TV and can predict he is probably one of those individuals who laughs at his own phrases while expecting you to follow along. Also, while I believe it is OK to enjoy sports, I do not have much respect for individuals who are constantly trying to show off their physical prowess in athletic events.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Who do you believe will be our next President, Hillary or Obama?

A. Sociologically, I personally believe the majority of Americans are not ready for an African American President, and Hillary has plenty of money but too many enemies. She also drags a lot of baggage from her husband’s Presidency. Too bad, I sort of like her as a person, but she is not going to be our first female President.
Bottom line, there is a long way to go till voting day, but I would be extremely surprised if either one made it to the White house, unless the Republicans, who are famous for unexciting candidates, place another unarticulated “dud” as their official candidate. In that case, all bets would be off.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Give me your opinion of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pit. Are they going to make it long term? What about all the babies they are adopting, do you see that as a problem? (Sue H.)

A. I personally do not put much faith in their relationship and believe it is just one more short-term marriage where both eventually divorce and the poor children are left traumatized.
It is also my humble opinion Angelina has the potential to go off the edge anytime, especially if her Hollywood picture-perfect “bubble-life” begins to deteriorate.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I enjoy your comments, specially your political opinions, since they are usually unorthodox and controversial. I wanted to know your opinion on President Bush, Iraq, and Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. Thanks for humoring me! (J.S.)

A. Bush was doing really well up to the famous aircraft carrier scene where he told everyone the mission was over, or something to the effect. It is my opinion he should have begun to pull out of Iraq, soon thereafter, leaving the rest of the work to the UN, so this apparently worthless organization could show the world they are still good for something.
As things stand now, Bush is paying the price for having the wrong individuals advising him, on Iraq military issues, all these years, especially Rumsfeld and General Franks. At this moment, I do not believe Bush can honestly look at any slain soldier’s family in the eye and have a good explanation as to why their loved one died in Iraq. I believe Iraq has no long-term permanent solution, and neither Republicans nor Democrats will find an honorable way out without the rest of the world believing the “Yanks had to pull out as usual”. I seriously believe we won all the battles but will loose the war, psychologically speaking.
As for Hillary, I believe it’s about time we Americans “grow up” and accept the fact a woman can govern this country as well as any man, we just have to read a little more about world history. Having said that, it is my personal opinion we are not yet mature enough to realize it’s not about gender, race, women’s lib, or blindingly voting for whomever your political party chooses as a candidate, it is about choosing the best individual for the job at hand. Even if I strongly feel Hillary is the “intelligent” one in the marriage, she carries over too much baggage, and enemies, from Bill’s presidency, to make it into the White House by popular vote.
I will honestly say I would vote for her just to observe how ego-maniac Bill handles being seen as the “First Gentleman” in American history. I believe that would be the opposite of First Lady, isn’t it?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T, Now that Dr. Phil's son married somebody who has a background depicting sexuality, since she appeared in the Playboy magazine, does it not change your perception about Andrew and his family, that they will also end up marrying Ivana who has the same or more background. Dr. Phil's family has a good public image and more so, good private lives just like the Firestones. (Chase)

A. LOL, I know you guys are trying to wear me down with this one but I am still of the opinion Andy will not bring this young lady into the Firestone family.
Having a mom that used to be a ballerina is one thing, marrying a young lady whose “career” appears to be centered on topless scenes in senseless Hollywood productions is a totally different matter, no matter how cute and personable she may be. It would surprise me to no end if he really went ahead and made her his wife.
By the way, please do a little research into Phil’s son lifestyle and don’t compare him with Andy, they’re both miles apart.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering if The Bachelorette from season 2, Meredith & Ian, are still together. (T.W.)

A. No, they called it quits some time back. There wasn’t much detailed information on the breakup but I personally believe it was Ian who realized she was not the one for him.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. The reason I write to you is there is a lot of speculation that after Lorenzo split from his "chosen one" that he is seeing Sadie. Just wondering what your thoughts are on all this. (E.)

A. I believe Lorenzo was never in love with anyone on the show, much like a large number of other Bachelor(ettes) from the series. He just chose the one he liked most at that moment and later realized she was just “nice”, but nothing else.
Sadie appears to be a nice individual and perhaps both she and our “cosmetic selling prince” will enjoy a nice relationship for a while. Having said that, I do not believe it will lead to anything serious or permanent.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What do you think of Jen & Lorenzo and the possibility of any serious relationship? (Gail)

A. I personally believe there were no sparks on the nigh-of-all-nights much less now that they have been separated most of the time. They both have what I call a casual long distance friendship that will fizzle out in the near future.
I will also astonish all the readers by giving out one of my “magical crystal ball futuristic insights” and predict, before the series even begins taping, our next Bachelor is going to turn out to be an overachiever, in love with himself, who has the need to outperform others around him while thriving with the attention (most marathoners are like this). Some of the female fans will “Ooooh and Aaaah” every time he is shown shirtless with his gleaming “six-pack”, others will yawn and say he is a fake, like Aaron was, while our Officer & a Gentleman” will meekly look at the camera and try to convince everyone he is just a poor sailor boy, who has a tough time finding girls, and is ready for that “leap of faith” that will take him straight to the altar. I feel sorry for the 25 bachelorettes already!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Hello A.T. I wanted to know your opinion of Bush, the Iraq War, and the recent Democratic win in the elections. Thanks! (Jen D.)

A.I am honestly of the opinion both Bush Sr, & Jr. are the type of Presidents who never mastered the art of surrounding themselves with top notch people who would make their Presidency shine. Clinton, for example, was one of those Presidents, in my humble opinion, who showed us he might not be too bright in the common sense department, but knew how to surround himself with individuals that made him look good. He is the only President who still has followers even after getting caught, inside the White House, doing what he did with an intern. This talented individual even convinced most followers it "really wasn't sex". Jesus, this guy is magical! I just have to admire him, honest!
Getting back to JB, I believe President Bush had his moment of glory the day he landed on the aircraft carrier, in front of the world press, and informed us the mission in Iraq was accomplished. He should never have allowed an American occupational force to stay as peacekeepers after the war had ended.
Anyone who reads a little history knows during Operation Desert Storm General Franks was notorious for ordering his troops to drive around the enemy instead of confronting them head on. This used to make General Schwarzkopf crazy to the point of having to set Franks straight on at least one occasion. The truth is he, and his staff, chose the wrong General to command the war, sending far too few troops to invade Iraq, in the first place, then rushing his attacking Armies to Baghdad, leaving behind too many large pockets of armed enemy troops.
Iraq is a mixture of different religious tribes that were put together by the British, among others, and us during the time of WWI, calling it a country. These people will never leave in peace within themselves. Sadam held them together using murder and fear, we Americans cannot do so with out voting machines and talk of a free society. Historically, freedom means different things to different types of societies. Voting machines and having the country invaded with Domino’s Pizza and McDonalds is not going to do it for Iraq. This war has no peaceful ending. I believe Bush needs to have found a decent end to this mess approximately one year before the next Presidential elections or else Republicans will pay dearly. Historically, we Americans do not like long wars, or the political parties who start them.
It is my personal opinion neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are going to find a way to permanently end this war in a dignified manner.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello A.T. I am dying to know your opinion of last night’s Bachelor show. Thanks! (Jackie)

A. What stands out most , in my opinion, is the total lack of passion, or excitement, between Lorenzo and the girls.
Sadie’s comments mostly centered on the fact “she could be married to a prince” and I believe she was more into winning “her prince” than anything else. I found Jen without much substance. Take away her fit of giggles and she actually could not pin down exactly what she likes about Lorenzo. Last but not least, our prince appears to be a pretty nice guy but, as I mentioned earlier, he was totally lacking in the passion department. How boring can a supposed man-in-love be!
I honestly do not see any flame between him and Jen and believe they will have one of those bland relationships that will fizzle out in the not-to-far future.
Oh, one more thing: I have to say I found the producer’s idea of secretly getting everyone’s parents together in the same room, with Lorenzo and both girls, very tacky. It is my personal opinion these producers will callously exploit and film a relative’s wake, in the funeral parlor, as long as it bring them the ratings...... I feel these Bachelor shows were really exciting and interesting in the beginning, now they are real disappointing! I do not give much value to the next series either, I predict the Navy Doctor, and part time marathoner, is too much into himself to give any of it away to someone else. I already feel sorry for the young lady who accepts his way of life, for between his Navy duties and intense preparation for his marathons she'll barely see him at all. Not everyone can handle that way of life.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Did you see the film Borat? If so, what was your opinion of it? Thanks for humoring me! (Barb)

A. I consider myself to have a good sense of humor but I thought it a tasteless mirror of what our society has become. I also found Borat an interesting observation of how the masses are able to convince themselves to laugh at something vulgar and gross. “Borat humor” reminds me of the old John Belushi’s movies, where he made a pig of himself, sometimes spitting food out of his mouth, while the masses cracked up over it. The curious thing about this phenomenon is most of those same viewers would probably behave differently if they were watching the same movie at home by themselves.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. What do you think about the two finalists on The Bachelor?

A. I honestly believe both finalists appear to be really nice but neither one has what it takes to make our Prince happy in the long run.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I enjoy reading your historical opinions, which usually deviate from the norm, and, even though I think you’re a Republican I would like to know your opinion of Bobby Kennedy, and his brother John K., since there is an upcoming movie over them. (N.B.)

A. It is my personal opinion the whole Kennedy family myth is an overrated blowup fabricated by a romantic press who fell in love with their own creation. John Kennedy won his presidency by one of the narrowest margins in history, approximately 100,000 more votes than Nixon, out of over 68 million votes cast. The electoral college awarded the election to Kennedy by a 303-219 margin, despite Nixon winning more states than Kennedy.
The mythical-type presidency, romantically nicknamed Chamelot by the press, was not only responsible for feeding what was later to become the Vietnam conflict, but stood idly by while the Soviets erected the Berlin Wall. It was also Kennedy who promised air support to Cubans seeking to overthrow Fidel Castro from Cuba, later changing his mind while the invasion was going on. The Cuban invaders, without the promised air cover, were either killed or made prisoners by Castro forces.
I am certain the movie will depict a romantic and heroic Bobby, leader of the freedom loving masses of the time. While he did enjoy immense popularity, especially with young people, and jumped on the “racial minority-freedom fight”, Bobby was actually competitive, aggressive and, like his brother John, loved to quote catchy phrases that would go down well with the press and the masses. He turned his attack on organized crime into a personal crusade, angering top mafia bosses whose large Unions had helped get his brother into the Presidency. Most researchers agree this is what cost him his life.
I must say I personally dislike Nixon much more than I do Kennedy. Nixon was the first U.S. President who not only degraded himself, but also his country’s image around the world, by resigning from office due personal weakness and lack of scruples. On the other hand, most people you ask do not know it was Nixon who actually ended the Vietnam conflict and also brought relations between China and the U.S. closer together.
Throughout the years I have learned you must also read historical research written by well reputed foreign historians in order to obtain a more full and realistic picture of our country’s interesting history.

P.S. I am not a follower of either Party and concentrate more on individual candidates.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I believe when Chris made his 60% comment, it really meant that there is a 60% chance, whomever Prince Lorz picks, that they will still be dating after the show airs. Do you see any body language that might signal that any of the girls or Lorz are enamored of each other? (Jelle)

A. It is my opinion Lorenzo is not emotionally attached to anyone on the show. As always, he will have to choose one in the end, since I imagine his contract demands it (Jen’s series comes to mind). They will have a relationship for X amount of time, and each will go their own way after some time has passed.
I have received several e-mails asking for my opinion of who he is going to choose and I confess not to have the slightest idea. I believe this show has turned into a soap opera, with pre-planned situations, conversations, and events, in an attempt to create entertainment, and I can not know what is in the producer’s minds. I am going out on a limb here but, after the last Bachelor fiascos, I predict the possibility of our so-called Italian prince giving a ring to one of them just to make the viewers and producers happy.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I’ve been reading some of your political opinions and wondered if you are really a Republican in hiding. (L.B.)

A. Quite honestly, I do not endorse any political Party, since I do not believe in the multi-party system. All they do is divide the country into two closed ranks that are permanently battling each other for power. I feel where there is division there is weakness.
I do not know if you are aware our Founding Fathers believed that parties, factions as they called them, would be bad for republican self-government because people would become more loyal to their party than to the country. Sounds familiar?
As a matter of fact, the constitution never mentions political parties. The founders also thought they would be divisive and hoped to prevent any from forming. In their vision, the nation's top leader would be chosen from amongst eminent personalities who had proven themselves above all special interests.
It is also my opinion the average person is too busy, or lazy, to spend several hours, during each election, researching the true personality and vision of candidates from both Parties. They tend to choose their Presidents by their desire to remain faithful to their chosen political party and trusting media controlled sound bites and opinionated reporting to confirm their Party’s choice of candidate. Furthermore, I also believe that, for the past four decades, persuasive techniques developed for business have been introduced to “the people”, in order to convince them who to vote for. In other words, a presidential election is now a P.R. war and a contest between marketing teams. If you do not think so, do some research and find out the astronomical amount of money Parties end up paying to these individuals.
Quite frankly, I seldom like any presidential candidate put forward by either party, often voting for the less of two evils.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I saw a poll in a magazine asking if calling your ex while in a relationship is cheating. What is your opinion? (Not signed)

A. It would all depend on the real reason for calling. Be truthful with the answer, though. LOL

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Chris said, in an interview, the relationship coming out of the Rome show had around a 60% chance of working out. What do you think of this? (Not signed)

A. I love Chris, he is always so optimistic and politically correct!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I always love your political opinions! What’s your verdict on the upcoming elections? Thanks. (C.T.)

A. The Democrats have it rough, no matter if the media always claim the Republicans are trailing on the polls. Do you remember all those so-called experts claiming Cary was slightly on top of Bush during the last Presidential election? The media likes to play with people’s minds, especially during election time.
Speaking of Cary, he seems unable to take his foot out of his mouth. I am certain Bush loves him by now, Cary has turned out to be a real positive force behind the Republican Party. Seriously, I do not believe his words were deliberate, but Cary constantly shows his ongoing soreness & anger at Bush clouds his mind and makes him unable to process his thoughts clearly. That is a sign of a weak personality, and someone who is unable to control his emotions, two real bad qualities for a Senator, much more for a President.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. My question has nothing to do with The Bachelor show, but I have also learned to value and enjoy your opinion on social issues as well. I am appalled at most school age children today! They have no manners, seek violence as a resolution to their problems, and most High School students can’t even speak correctly, only that modern-day “jive” they learn. Do you think the quality of our schools is declining? Thanks! (Jenny).

A. Many of the problems we have in our schools today are a result of outside forces, most of which cannot be controlled by the schools themselves. Before parents begin blaming their school system for their child’s behavior, and attitude, they should take a good look at themselves and ask how much quality time and dedication they have spent in their children’s upbringing, and the type of “friends” they associate with.
If you take a diverse group of children, or teens, and ask them to stand on one side of a room, and then have their parents and personal friends stand on the opposite side, I can usually match them up fairly well. On the most part, children’s personality and attitudes are a reflection of their parents and the friends they “hang around” with.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I have been intrigued by your comments on the Firestone family input with regard to his choice of wife ("Firestone family material"). This theme sort of recurs in your (correct, I think) observations about Lorenzo's old European contempt that surfaces from time to time. Would you care to comment on real and presumed "royalty" attitudes of families? How important is their influence on their "heirs" (or other boys) to choose well? Are they too intrusive? Can they be counteracted in theory? The reason I am bringing up this last question is that I am of the opinion that the Firestones (perhaps the Borgheses as well) may be somewhat meddlesome, undermining their "boy's" love life. This may not immediately show on TV, but it might be there. (Amanda)

A. This is a very interesting topic, in my opinion, and actually deserves a small book on the subject. I will be brief, due to space requirements.
History has shown us having a royal, or just famous, name does not necessarily mean the individual is blessed with good moral character, or that he, or she, will stay away from trashing the family name. Just look at Princess Stephanie of Monaco, or even our own Paris Hilton, to see examples of what I am referring to. I would venture to say it really comes right down to their specific upbringing.
In Andy’s case, I am of the opinion he values and respects his family to the point of ensuring he is not going to embarrass them by his choice of spouse. These types of people don’t just sit down one day, a few years from now, and enjoy watching a topless member of their family in a movie flick. I don’t wish to sound pompous but that is the way it is.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I wanted to know if you saw last night’s Bachelor episode and your impressions of what transpired. I miss your articles! (Betty)

A. I couldn’t help watching Lorenzo’s quest and, perhaps excluding one or two, am shocked at the group of women chosen for this series. I confess feeling a little nostalgic remembering Aaron’s group, for example!
I spent most of the time concentrating on Lorenzo’s body language, when he was in the presence of some of the women, and believe our “Prince” is not impressed with any of them. There are a couple of nice women in the group, but they are not Lorenzo’s “type”, in my opinion, and I find it difficult to believe he will develop deep feelings for either one.
It is also my personal opinion our “Americanized” Prince has very little of the “Old Europe” inside him, and it shows in certain areas. I saw contempt in his conversations with some of the bachelorettes, even boredom. Lorenzo’s fortune might have been dissolved many generations ago, but his deep-rooted feeling of superiority is still alive and present. Of course the type of women chosen for this particular series are nothing to be excited about; Our good old boy can meet similar women by just taking a walk outside his pet shampoo business or visiting the neighborhood’s “watering hole”. Who needs to fly a completely staged Hollywood production to Italy for this?
The Bachelor series, in my opinion, is suffering a slow death, thanks mostly to producers with little imagination who stubbornly believe the viewers enjoy these heavily scripted “reality show”, if you can call them that anymore.
I will admit the one thing I do like about the series, so far, is seeing the ever-beautiful Italian scenery!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don’t know if you are aware Andrew and Ivana broke up sometime after the end of April, and now are back together. They were recently interviewed and Andrew said "she is what he has been looking for all the time, and that she was right in front of me and I didn't see her." Also, at the beginning when he tells the interviewers what his favorite things are, he said cars and wine. The interviewers jumped all over him because he didn't say "Ivana." I think later when he said "she was in front of me all the time," it might have been a way to make up for it. Towards the end of the interview, they asked if Andrew and Ivana were going to get married. Andrew immediately said "no." I wanted to know your impressions on this. (Vicky)

A. As I have said in the past, I believe Andrew and Ivana enjoy each other’s company and feel comfortable together; This does not necessarily equate to becoming engaged and getting married.
It is my personal opinion Andrew is a romantic and will fall off the tree when he meets someone he envisions as a future Mrs. Firestone. You must understand families like the Firestones do not marry just anyone they happen to find “fun and sexy”, but they also ensure the individual in questions “fits in”.
Ivana look like a really fun and exciting person, and is pretty to boot, but I am of the opinion she is not “Firestone family material”. Apparently she does not seem to mind, since Andrew seems to be a fun and wacky romantic, besides having transformed her from being a second rate practically unknown actress to someone who is always in the news and photo galleries due to her romantic relationship with Andy.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I wanted to know if you saw the premier of The Bachelor and what was your opinion. We miss your comments! Thanks, Jenn.

A. I believe the fortune-less Prince is a likeable guy who is exploiting his ancestors for financial gains. I am also of the opinion the show, and some of the women chosen, are being choreographed by the producers more than in any other show of the series. The bottom line is this farce will probably lead nowhere: Lorenzo will continue using his family crest to help him sell his glorified pet shampoo, and whoever he chooses will eventually go back to her regular life.
Penniless members of royalty are somewhat frequent in Europe. I spent two years in Spain, during the 80’s, studying European History, and one of my closest friends was a Spanish Marquees whose grandfather spent the family fortune on horses and failed business ventures. My friend’s father owned a restaurant and paid for his son’s education with student loans. My good friend is currently an Oral Surgeon in Madrid and no, his bussiness cards do not show the family crest.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi, A.T. I was wondering if you were going to comment on this next Bachelor series and also if you had seen a list of the contestants. Any early predictions? Thanks; I really wish you would get involved with the series. (Jane D.)

A. I honestly do not know yet if I will be involved with the Prince and his Italian adventure. Predictions? I will go out on a limb to say I would be surprised if any of the following women made it to the end: Sarah, Sadie, Rosella, Rita, Renee, April, Brit, Claudia, Elyse, Jami, Angela, Meri, Laura, or Heather. Of course I need to see the Lorenzo interactions with these women to be certain, this is just a "gut feeling".
I have already predicted our Prince will not find everlasting love with any of the bachelorettes. A romantic fling or a friendly acquaintance, perhaps, but nothing permanent will come out of this series.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I know you do not like to give advise on the net but I value your opinion. I would like to know if you believe a 9-year-old child should have a cell phone so I can know where she is and give her a way to contact me if she is in trouble. Thank you. (N.W).

A. I usually do not like to give on-line “advise”, but once in a while make exceptions, especially if I believe the topic is important. Please remember you asked for my personal opinion, therefore I am going to say exactly what I feel about the subject.
There are many positive reasons for teenagers, or adults, to carry a cell phone, some I consider silly and frivolous, others genuinely practical.
Having said that, I am at a loss trying to understand why a 10 year old should own, or carry, a cell phone. I honestly hope it is not because you let her go out, into the street, for hours at a time, believing your child is safe just because she is carrying a cell phone. Your child is definitely not going to be able to pick up her cell phone and call you if she is riding her bike, or walking, and gets hit by a car, for example. Neither is she going to have the opportunity to call if she is approached by a sexual predator. The ultimate responsibility, of your child’s safety, falls on you, and today’s society is too dangerous for a 10-year-old child to be roaming the streets by themselves while the parents sit at home “doing their own thing”. Even though it is perfectly normal for a child to “go out and play” for a while, I am also of the opinion children who spend all day on the streets grow up becoming street roaming teenagers, and that is an invitation for great headaches, trust me...

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Your comment that Lorenzo HAS to choose someone, at least the one he liked most from the group - is that what you feel now about what happened to Andrew and Jen, that Andrew was obliged to choose? (Lee)

A. I personally believe Andrew was really serious about Jen when he proposed to her. I also believe others, like Bob, Jessie, and Stork, to name a few, chose the less problematic one, or the one they liked most. I am of the opinion Lorenzo will most likely fall into the second category when it is his time to choose.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q.Hi A.T. I was wondering what is your opinion of the Dixie Chicks controversy and their comments about President Bush.

A. I find entertainers who constantly abuse their notoriety by giving political opinions very tacky and out of place. These individuals, in my opinion, forget their supposed talents lie in singing and/or entertaining their fans.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Being a part-time History professor I wanted to ask if you believed the problems in Iraq, and the Middle East in general, will ever end. Thank you.

A. I am very doubtful Iraq will become a “peaceful” country anytime soon. The main problem is the diverse sociological makeup of the country. Sadam maintained control of Iraq using terror, we Americans are not going to “peaceably unite” all the different tribes with ballot boxes and free elections alone. As for the Middle East, I predict there will not be lasting peace as long as Israel and Palestinians share land each group believes belongs to them.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I was wondering if you read Chris Harrison’s recent comments about Prince Lorenzo, the new Bachelor, and Andrew. Speaking of Andrew; What’s your opinion of his current relationship with Ivana? Thanks! (Jen)

A. Chris is, in my opinion, an eternal optimist and a gentleman. I believe he was doing some much-needed PR work regarding the series.
Lorenzo appears to be a real personable individual, from what little I have seen, but that does not mean I believe he will find a long lasting romantic relationship with one of the women in the show. He HAS to choose someone, at least the one he liked most from the group, but that is not what I mean. We will just have to wait and see.
As for Andy, he is still my favorite Bachelor and I wish him well. Having said that, I would be surprised if he actually married and formed a family with a Hollywood actress whose resume centers on topless scenes, even if his loving family humors him by saying she is nice. Anyway, that’s my own personal opinion and I could be wrong, therefore don’t loose hope yet.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I would like to know what is your opinion on the Mel Gibson scandal. (Nancy R)

A. I firmly believe everyone is entitled to his, or her, own personal opinion. The problem is knowing when to keep it to yourself or let it out for all to know, especially if one is in the public eye all the time. I also believe Mel’s comments to the female officer was very tacky, but that is another issue not related to his opinion about Jews.
It is my belief we Americans are very “choosy” as to which social groups are allowed to get away expressing “racist” comments and which ones should be “slammed” for them. And since I know when to keep my own “explosive” personal opinions to myself I will end it here.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I just wanted to ask you a silly question: I remember you mentioning, on one of your Q&A’s, you were selling your Range Rover. I was wondering if you ever did and what did you get. Thanks for humoring me. (M.J.)

A. No, I’m really attached to it, therefore I decided to keep it and “wifie” got a Mini. Really cool car, the Mini, feels like you’re driving a supped up bathtub with wheels. We rented one during out honeymoon in G.B. and loved it!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T. I’m an old fan and was wondering if you could tell me your opinion of my favorite entertainer Madonna. Thank you! (Betty)

A. From what little I have observed, the Material Girl was brought up with a desire to shock others in order to be noticed, perhaps due to a hidden inferiority complex. It is also my own personal opinion she takes pleasure in offending certain groups by behaving excessively vulgar. This may also explain her obsession with making a mockery of anything related to religion. I like some of her songs, though......

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Are you going to comment on the next Bachelor show?

A. Probably, but don’t hold me to it since it depends on my work schedule. I am interested in seeing what ABC makes of this next soap opera series centering on a Prince who sells cosmetics for pets. Do you think ABC will include a cute female veterinarian in the group? Just kidding............

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I have read comments from two models/actresses, that nudity is not a big deal because it is all over Europe, in TV, magazines, movies and what not. These two are American citizens. Does this not reflect their morals in life or simply, they do not just have other options because they have to get people's attention to make a living and just being practical? (Unsigned)

A. I am of the opinion no one in show business needs to bare it all in order to be successful, as long as they actually have talent. Merryl Streep and Celine Dion are two good examples of talented professional who do not have to be vulgar in order to be popular.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. It confuses me when I read: She's the right girl for me at the wrong place and the wrong time. Basing this from Andrew and Jen's situation, was it supposed to be a matter of choice for Andrew the fact that initially he did the show to find a wife? And it became the wrong place and time because of the doors that opened?

A. I do not honestly know why Andrew said that, I would have to have a one to one conversation with him to find out.
I do believe in the saying, though, and could quote you many examples that fall under the category of meeting someone at the “wrong place and time”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Prince Lorenzo Borghese is "Americanized, 33, and ready to find a princess to settle down with," says Robyn Kass, overseer of the casting calls. "He's a catch and a prince and he's good looking. He's very funny. It's going to be a great season."
What Kass is looking for are women 21 to 35 who feel they're ready to live happily ever after with someone of royal descent.
I believe I am not alone when I read these comments made by an ABC employee and feel this next show is going to be as staged as the rest. What do you really think of this? Thanks! (Nellie)

A. This is my own personal opinion, of course, but I believe ABC producers are all sitting on a cloud if they believe this obscure working-class “Prince”, who sells what amounts to glamorized pet cosmetics, will actually fall in love and marry anyone attending their casting call.
I was particularly impressed with the fact ABC informed us this “Worldly Italian Prince” was “born in Milan, lived first in Roma, and then somewhere outside of Paris, ending up in the U.S. at the mature age of 5! Actually, the whole buildup leading up to the show is so laughable it has captured my curiosity.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Now that ABC has announced it is bringing The Bachelor back next fall, will you be offering episode by episode commentary? Have you had a chance to read any of the information about the Rome series? If so, any preseason thoughts? Thanks!

A. Rome is a beautiful city and I expect the next series to show us some really nice romantic spots of that metropolis.
Having said that, I would be surprised if ABC came up with a group of ladies that would fit into Lorenzo’s lifestyle and family. One thing is to come out of this show with a mere long or short-term “relationship”, another very different is to find, on the show, someone that fits perfectly into what one expects of a future wife and mother of their children.
I know ABC, and people in general, are already trying to match this series with Prince Rainier of Monaco’s love story with the American Grace Kelly but, in reality, one needs to read up on her background to know Grace might have decided to become an actress, but she actually came from a pretty wealthy family with a certain “social status”.
As for the Prince, I know there are minor exceptions out there, but very rarely will you see prominent European titled families marrying individuals outside of their “social” class. Their spouses do not have to be “titled”, but most of the time they do come from wealthy “social classes”. Hollywood’s simplistic minds have made so many movies showing a Prince falling in love, and marrying, a middle-class “popper” that we begin to believe it is a cute and common occurrence, when reality is far from it.
Anyway, anything can happen, and the upcomming series promises to be entertaining. That is more than it has been lately, in my opinion!
Answering your first question; My present schedule is a little hectic, therefore I still do not know for certain if it will include commenting on this next Bachelor show. I promise to let you know if I do.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. If nude beaches have become a part of some countries' culture, does it reflect the morality or values of a person? (Unsigned)

A. I wouldn’t describe nude beaches as being “part of a country’s culture”. My personal opinion is these type of locations, or sometimes private clubs, are simply allowed in some countries, and certain types of individuals visit them because they enjoy being completely nude in a group setting, for a wide variety of reasons. I would venture to say most nudists possibly share similar moral values, even if they are, for the most part, productive and valued members of our society.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I have read way back to many comments. I'm shocked people still ask you about Andrew & Jen. It's interesting though, your personal opinion is evident in your answers. Your dislike of Trista is obvious, yet she has made her marriage a priority above everything else. I don't think you gave Ryan enough credit, as there is much more to him than what was seen on TV. I don't see either of them walking away from their life together, so why do you see them in such a negative light? (Unsigned)

A. You would be surprised to know people not only ask me about A&J, all the time, but also about Aaron & Helene.
I don’t believe you read far back enough to know I also said, a long time ago, I would love to have Ryan as a brother in law, if I had a younger sister. As for Trista, I honestly do not believe she is a bad person, I simply do not like a couple of her personality traits, but that is just my own personal opinion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Now that Jen wrote a book that it is "Better to be Single Than Sorry," why do you feel anyone could believe Jen has all the answers to being single? Is it because she turned down 2 proposals?
When Jen turned down John Paul's proposal on her show, what do you think of JP's statement that Jen will turn around at 32 and wonder what went wrong? (Rose)

A. From what I have heard Jen’s book is not full of spicy details and revelations but it is just a way for her to have some fun and make extra money on the side. I agree with you Jen is not the best qualified individual to give any valuable advice on relationships and dating.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q There is a show that aired called “What about Brian”…..there is a love triangle in the show. Nevertheless, one powerful messages was sent out that I can relate to and most people dating today. This girl is really in love with this character “Brian” who is also her fiancé’s best friend. I think she loves Brian and is going for the easy way out, since unfortunately Brian is afraid of intimacy and will find a series of faults the minute he starts to "feel" close to a woman. She sees this and takes the safe bet, ADAM, who is honest, blunt, and seems to be on the same page (i.e. marriage minded) and working through their fears together. Why is this so “common” in today’s dating world? What is your theory and thanks in advance as always.

A. I fail to understand why there is an ever-growing segment of today’s society who gravitate towards these type of complicated and unnecessary three-way relationships.
Continuing with this theoretical example, my simple advise to this young lady would be to simplify her life staying away from the confused “Brians” of the world, and to continue her quest of finding someone who will truly make her happy. Ah yes, and I would also beg this “relationship juggler” to have some pity on Adam, since it appears he is just being secretly used as a “stepping stone” just for the sake of making her feel “safe and secure”. I am of the belief the “Adams of the world” deserve someone who really loves them, instead of being selfishly used as financial and emotional security blankets.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Realistically, among the bachelors and bachelorettes, along with their chosen ones, who could have really made it far? (Peanut)

A. It is hard for me to explain why I still believe Mary and Byron are happy being together but their relationship remains hanging from an invisible thread. I hope I am wrong.
It also appears Trista and Ryan’s marriage is still going strong, and will possibly outlive the relationship between M&B, but I still do not see T&R’s happiness as something “permanent”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Give us your opinion of Tom Cruise’s relationship with Katie and what do you think of the fact they just had a baby. Thanks! (Betty G.)

A. I wish to congratulate them on having such a cute baby! I also believe their relationship will suffer due to the disparity of their “religious” beliefs and the fact I personally believe Tom is “a little bit strange” when it comes to his off-screen personality. Just because she converted does not necessarily mean she is a 100% believer.
As history has repeatedly shown us: “Man made religion is the worst fomenter of hatred, and division, the world has ever known”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T., what do you think is the psyche of a man who likes to see and who likes other men to see his girlfriend or spouse nude or semi-nude in magazines or movies? (Lane)

A. Honestly, not much! There are others, of course, but actor Lorenzo Lamas comes to mind.
I am only guessing, of course, but as much as I enjoyed some of his father’s old adventure movies, the son possibly appeared to have developed an inferiority complex due to having spent most of his early years trying to obtain his “macho” father’s approval while, at the same time, competing with him for public attention. That could also explain why Lorenzo adopted his classical “tough macho image” early on, and boasted he liked the fact other men constantly desired his wife, after she paraded herself in several “nudie” flicks, and semi-nude photos, showing off her “artificial enhancements”.
Of course I must also make a point no one appeared to have been twisting the woman’s arm either, but that is another subject.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Is it not contradictory when Andrew said that there would not be a pre-nup if he was to marry Jen and your opinion of him not wanting to buy/rent a house because of legal issues? If your opinion is right, I do not believe Andrew then when he said that Jen was the right one for him. (Unsigned)

A. It is my opinion you are intertwining both ideas without realizing each is completely logical in its own dimension.
It made sense for Andrew to begin his “real life” relationship with Jen by being cautious and perhaps measuring each step before advancing to the next. Moving Jen into the apartment he was already sharing with a friend could be seen as a precautionary, and perhaps even practical, way to take a first step without going through the trouble and expense of finding and moving into a new location. The fact Andrew did not find a place of their own leads me to believe the relationship began having small problems early on.
I strongly believe Andrew’s comments referring to the pre-nuptial agreement was, in my opinion, a preset determination not to go this route with the person he chose to marry, let it be Jen or anyone else. His public comments regarding the fact his parents married without having one leads me to believe Andrew does not agree with the concept.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T., is it different reading a body language when looking at the persons on TV than when looking at them in pictures? Setting aside your standard opinion of prominent men not marrying somebody like Ivana, what can you read in Andrew's pics with her (if you are able to read it)? Not signed.

A. I personally believe Andy feels very comfortable with her, finds her attractive, and really enjoys her company. I am also of the opinion one may feel a certain type of love that is passionate and explosive, but that does not necessarily mean it has any degree of permanency.
The fact our Country has surpassed the 50% divorce rate, and it is probably much higher if we count un-married relationships that also fail, could indicate we might be a nation of romantics who tend to “tie the knot” too quickly and without evaluating other dimensions crucial for a happy marriage.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I love to read your comments, especially those outside the realm of the Bachelor series. I wanted to know your opinion on the Spanish National Anthem controversy. Thanks! (Jen)

A. I have what I consider to be a logical point of view regarding this topic; Our National Anthem was written in English, this being the “OFFICIAL” language of the U.S., therefore it should be sung in English. After all, I don’t hear an Oriental version of the Anthem, or even an Indian or Pakistani one, and those represent examples of large and important groups of immigrants also merging into our multicultural society.
Since the individual who came up with the idea wasn’t even an American, but British music producer Adam Kidron, I would love for him to produce a version of the British national anthem “God Save the Queen” in Pakistani or Afrikaans, for example, those also being large and valuable groups of immigrants in the U.K. I would enjoy seeing the reaction from the rest of his countrymen..........

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Having read your recent opinion of bachelorettes who “kept the engagement ring” I was wondering who, in your opinion, would have the right to keep one, inside and outside the show. (Betty K.)

A. I personally have no problem seeing any of them keep the ring as long as ABC was the one who purchased it. After all, most of them get to keep clothes and other “momentos” of the experience.
In “real life” I would endorse keeping the engagement ring only if the future groom passes away, while both are engaged, or if the couple are parting in “not too friendly terms” and he owes her a large amount of money.
Anything else is equivalent to trying to make money from the engagement or simply “getting back” at the groom, neither reason being too dignified, in my opinion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Good afternoon, A.T. In our society, it is no longer a big deal when an actor/actress/ model bares it all but how do you detect an actress/model who bares it all because it is his/her job, or it is because he/she wants to be known, or if it is his/her own values in life? (Unsigned)

A. I am of the belief an individual with what we normally call “class”, will not “bare it all” in public for any reason, no matter how much “money”, “fame” or “recognition” is involved. Sadly, we live in a society that is becoming used to the notion the end (fame and job offers) pretty much justifies the means.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Obviously, you stopped liking Jen but I can not pinpoint what made you stopped liking her. Additionally, you have a very high regard of Andrew, and I have not read anything from you that you think he had done to contribute to the demise of their relationship. Can you elaborate the WHY to me? (Lee)

A. Quite honestly, I never “stopped” liking Jen, but she did slip down a few notches for two main reasons; Her keeping Andrew’s engagement ring, after their separation, and her decision to be The Bachelorette. I may be wrong, of course, but believe BOTH decisions were only motivated by financial greed.
I know it was supposedly Andrew who “insisted” she keep the ring, but that was just him being a gentleman. I also feel Jen was not emotionally ready for another engagement when she decided to do her disastrous show, and accepted ABC’s offer for personal profit and financial gain.
As for Andy, Jen already knew of his “goofy” personality during the filming of the show. She is also an intelligent individual who was aware of Andrew’s professional and moral obligations to his family’s business and the media frenzy that would surround them, as a couple, after the show had ended.
I used to be of the opinion Andrew should have moved, with Jen, into their own apartment, instead of moving Jen into one he already shared with a friend. I later realized this arrangement probably sheltered Andy in some obscure way, in the event of a split, since his attorneys could logically argue Jen only shared a room in the already existing household. (I welcome input, regarding my theory, from any legal experts on California law).

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Did you happen to catch the Primetime special on Friday with Tom? Do you believe their relationship is fake? For actors, they aren't very convincing. He paused for at least 5 seconds when asked what drove him crazy about Katie and he said "nothing" he then collected his thoughts and stated if you mean in a "good way" minus saying she's extraordinary (can we think of a new word) they way she sticks her tongue out when she smiles. When I'm in love I have a laundry list of things I want to share about why he is so amazing. Seems so rehearsed. Thanks, Peanut.

A. My personal opinion is Tom, and most of the Hollywood “crowd”, are actually a boring and uncultured group of individuals whose only way to look, and sound, interesting is when they are given a script to follow. Just sit back and “listen” to their conversation, or lack of it, when some of these actors are invited to appear on a talk show. Most of the ones who come across as funny, or interesting, are usually following a pre-arranged Q&A.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I have really enjoyed your comments - all the way to Europe - on the shows and relationships in general, though I rarely watch these shows myself. You often speak about growing old together and I wonder what you think the prospects of growing old together are if the man (or the woman) just a few months after the weeding falls in love with someone he meets and becomes friends with at work (without pursuing a relationship). Is this a challenge even the successful couples must face at one point or another or is it a sign of an unhealthy relationship, in particular right after saying "I do"? (It is not my husband...) (Tara)

A. I always try to stay away from getting involved with on-line counseling, since I believe it to be on the borderline of being unprofessional, therefore I will just give you my personal opinion on this subject.
I couldn’t help cringing when I read someone “fell in love” with an individual while supposedly being already in love with someone else, since I consider this a contradiction. I am of the opinion it is up to the person to put up with it or not, but they should understand and accept the fact there is not too much “love” or “respect” in a relationship when one of the two say “ I love you but, by the way, I’ve also fallen in love with someone at the office”.
I am pretty honest with this subject and do not believe in some of the normal "cliches" certain individuals dish out just to continue billing a client. You can go for counseling, have those modern-day “heart-to-heart” talks, stay together for financial security, do it “for the sake of the kids”, or even because there is a “Social Worker” personality inside you, always trying to solve other people’s problems, but sometimes IT IS BETTER, FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED, IF SOME COUPLES PART. I would have to listen to what both parties have to say on the subject, but believe your friend is headed for a pretty bumpy road. It all depends if the "confused soul" is really worth it, and I can vouch for the fact most of the time the answer is “NO”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T. I know you’ve expressed your opinion about Tom Cruise and Scientology, in the past, but I was wondering your present opinion of him and Katie. Thanks! (Barb)

A. I may be wrong, of course, but personally feel Tom has always been too impressed with himself (thanks to the Hollywood machine) and believes he’s as good and wise, in real life, and he is in his fictional movies.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. you are really missed on the forums! I wanted to ask you how do you see yourself 5 years from now, when all these shows are over and your site is probably just a pleasant memory for us fans? (A curious fan)

A. Quite honestly, five years from now I will possibly retire from my profession and be living in Northern Florida. Our plans are to fix up an old Victorian home, we recently purchased, turning it into a Bed & Breakfast. It will work out just fine, since my daughter will be attending the University of Florida. Answering the obvious question: She is interested in earning her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (I swear I had nothing to do with her choice).

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What do you think of past bachelorettes, or people involved in these shows, placing clothing, or other items obtained in the shows, up for sale on eBay? (V.G.)

A. Actually, I do not see it as something reproachable. Helene, for example, also cashed in on her ring, Jen still has hers (and I am certain will dispose of it eventually), and other bachelorettes will benefit, one way or another, from having been on the show.
By the way, I am considering selling my 2001 Range Rover; Do you think I should also post it on eBay? LOL

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I don’t know if you’ve heard Jen is writing a book. I was wondering what was your opinion on this. Thanks, and I miss reading your comments! (Jane)

A. Thanks, Jane; I also miss interacting with all of you. I have heard about Jen’s literary adventure and do not expect it to be anything but a watered down attempt to make herself look good in the eyes of those who are still disappointed with her.
I honestly can not envision Jen writing anything interesting, explosive, or revealing, regarding her ex-relationship with Andrew, Billy, or her disastrous Bachelorette show. I fell it would be like “biting the hand that fed her”.
Nevertheless, I still wish her the best and hope she gets her old wish to remain “out of the limelight”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. You peaked our curiosity with your last Q&A and now we are wondering why you believe Andrew chose Kirsten to stay till the end. Thanks! (Kirsten)

A. I truly hope the name of the inquirer is just a joke, or a mere coincidence. LOL
Anyway, I am only guessing but believe the producers zeroed in on Kirsten situation with her boyfriend from the onset, and saw a “reality TV confrontation” too juicy to pass over. The soap opera loving Producers made a point of hinting to Andy Kirsten was a good choice to keep for a while, and he gladly went along with them.
Personally, I don’t believe Andrew was really that interested in her, since he is used to being surrounded by interesting and articulate individuals and Kirsten is neither a conversationalist nor does she conforms to the type of women Andy likes (slim, petite, and slightly busted blondes).
Add the fact I KNOW, after the fact, Andrew was fully aware, from practically the beginning, Kirsten was lying about her boyfriend back home (please don’t ask me how I know). This made Kirsten a good candidate to string along and not mind much when it was time to send her back home, since it was obvious to Andrew she was the type of individual who would be more angry than anything else after being rejected (which was, in fact, the case).
Everything else we saw was due to skillful editing, which we know the producers are excellent at, including the conversation between both brothers during the home visit. The producers spliced enough conversation between them to make it appear Andy had just found out about Kirsten’s lies and was devastated. Andrew is a pretty sharp individual, trust me, and he can pick out a smooth liar a mile away. Wealthy families spend a lifetime avoiding “smoothies” trying to con them into things, including personal relationships. You can identify individuals like Kirsten a mile away, since she is very easy to read!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Are there any Bachelor/Bachelorettes whom you think were honestly torn between their "final two"? My observation is that the ones that seemed actually to be falling on love on the show (Aaron, Andrew, Byron, Charlie & Bryon and Trista & Meredith)in hindsight seemed to have been pretty sure after the home town dates. And with the ones who didn't make a Love Connection, it may not have mattered. (Jane)

A. I honestly do not believe there has been one instance where the main character was actually debating, on the last day, which one “to fall in love with”. Everyone pretty much knew, before the hometown visits, who was their favorite. Now, I will say there was, in my opinion, a couple of instances where the “favorite” was not chosen, and I am certain we, the viewers, will never know why someone else was chosen in the end.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you believe Travis and Sarah will get back together again? They made such a cute couple! (Betty).

A. I am only guessing, of course, but fell chances of that happening are slim to none. I know the viewers have difficulty letting go of the “romance” (if there ever was one with these two). Do you know I still receive mail from fans believing Aaron and Helene might get back together again? Sorry gang, chances of that happening are as slim as Charlie “suffering” because Trista let him go.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T., if the norm of prominent men is not to marry somebody like Ivana, what happens then to their true feelings? I saw a segment of a show whereby a psychologist said that Andrew chose Jen because of his Mom liking her for him and yet he would rather have chosen Kirsten to fulfill his fantasies and this does not go far as what we are seeing now that he is spending time with Ivana. Why could Andrew not follow his heart if his type is like Kirsten or Ivana? And, if you believe that Andrew is not going to marry one like Ivana, why does he not start finding one whom he can know much better for a long lasting relationship especially he mentioned in the MTA show that he is ready? (Jodie)

A. Either the Psychologist you mention is right, and Andrew has been lying to us all along, or this person has not heard, or read, Andrew saying Jen was “The right girl at the wrong place & time”.
As for Kirsten, I believe perhaps Andy would have enjoyed having a “wild fling” with this problematic individual, but that is miles apart from someone saying he should have “followed his heart” and chosen her. Kirsten never stirred Andrew’s “heart”, trust me. I have my own “theory” as to why, among all the women on the show, Kirsten was allowed to stay so long. I never believed Andrew was really that smitten with her, except perhaps in the beginning. His body language was emotionally cool towards Kirsten, especially when they embraced, or kissed.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Good going A.T.!!!!! Just when the boards were beginning to voice their customary opinion your were out of tune, regarding Travis and his “love”, they themselves announce their so-called romance was history even before the finale aired. Apparently, Travis was quoted saying ABC's rule that the couple couldn't see each other until the show's season finale was a factor. Do you think so also? (Betty)

A. I do not doubt the long separation was a factor, but I strongly believe their relationship would have survived it if their feelings, toward each other, had been more substantial. After all, many soldiers who went to war, and left their “love” behind, later came home to see them faithfully awaiting their return. My grandfather was one of those I mention, during WW II, and he was away for 3 years!

_________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Q. Do you have any insights, or opinions, on either of the two women - Sarah and Moana? I would appreciate any comments you have to offer. Thanks a bunch!

A. I did not watch the whole series therefore can not say much about either one. Both seem nice enough, even if they appeared to have totally opposite personalities. I did get the feeling BOTH women enjoyed being in the spotlight.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Now that the Bachelor shows seem to be dying out, especially after this latest debacle, I wanted to know, before you take your site down and disappear forever, if you have always been so accurate with your predictions and if you have any important predictions for the future. Thanks! (G.K)

I am no Nostradamus, if that is what you are hinting at, but I will tell you a curious story and humor you with a futuristic prediction.
Of course the only ones who can verify the story are my University friends at the time, but I use to predict, in the early 80’s, Communism in Russia would fail, due to my belief a society in the brink of bankruptcy, with no personal incentive to work hard and see the fruit of their efforts, and whose elite were the only ones living in luxury, would self-destruct. You can't imagine how many laughs my opinions enticed!
I am also of the belief our own society is going through strenuous times and predict the Democratic Party will eventually self-destruct, due to the fact Democrats have become a group of whining wimps whose only goals appear to be creating obstacles and disagreeing with everything Republican Presidents set out to do, instead of looking for common ground, on the issues, jumping on the bandwagon, and working towards benefiting the Country as a whole. Democrats keep trying to look good by making others (the Republicans) look bad, and that shows no vision towards the future. They are a dying Party.
No, I am not a Republican either! I personally believe President Bush have made some errors allowing the Iraq war to stretch out as long as it has, when they should have known the American people, historically, like to see our soldiers completely devastate the enemy and end our wars in a relative short period of time, instead of continuing impractical, unpopular, stretch-out wars like Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq.
Bush appears to be out of tune with the American people, and does not have a good team of advisors by his side, like Clinton used to have. That is mainly why Clinton survived all the degrading atrocities he committed, during his Presidency. His classic smirk, downward glance, and shifty eyes were loved by his followers! After all, we Americans love and admire likeable sly scoundrels when we see them, and have voted more than one to the Presidency during our Nation’s history.
I believe this nation's future lie in a government where we, "the people", will vote for SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS, no matter what political party he, or she, represents. The "wars between Democrats and Republicans" will be a thing of the past, just childish aches and pains of a young nation that was becomming mature, as the centuries passed. Of course, I do not believe this drastic, but needed, change will come during our lifetime.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I wanted to know if you saw the Bachelor finale and your opinion on it. Thanks! (Norma)

A. Travis is a M.D. who is more into his career and sports than anything else, and who agreed to do the show for the adventure and challenge. Some people need to confront that “challenge”, on a regular basis, or else their lives feel worthless and boring. It is a long explanation as to why some people have that need, but it has to do mostly with a certain chemical in the brain called “dopamine”.
Anyway, our good Doctor met a group of fine young women, some of which appear to be really nice, and chose Sarah because she has a nice easygoing personality, and is not only pretty, but is also extremely pleasant to be around. Take that fact and include he wasn’t ready to inconvenience himself, or his practice, by traveling the country to visit anyone else, in the group, and we end up with another perfectly good reason why Sarah was chosen.
There were certainly no sparks last night, during his speech to her, and Dr. Stork was as romantic as a cucumber ready to be tossed into a salad. I have an idea our dear Travis is the type of person who will greet his “love” with a pair of mountain bikes ready to do a sweaty workout, instead of with a nice bottle of wine, candlelight dinner, and a inconspicuous bed of flowers leading into…………….. Shame on you! You really weren’t expecting me to get into the details, were you? I am certain the romantics who read this will know what I mean.
Finally, this pleasant friendship will not develop into anything long-term, much less marriage, but the fact both live in the same town will give their new relationship a reason to last a little longer than if Travis had chosen someone from out of state.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I know you are now a part-time History Professor and was wondering your own personal opinion of the Guantanamo prisoners. Thank you and I have to say I miss your comments about The Bachelor shows. (Betty)

A. I feel these prisoners should have been turned over to their respective governments a long time ago, since it is evident they are not going to confess to anything of value at this stage of the game.
I do miss being involved with the show, but believe Travis is, at best, going to end up with a relatively short-term relationship that will turn out to be inconsequential

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello, A.T.! I hope you have had a chance to check out Andrew & Ivana's pics at wireimage and gettyimages.com. I am so curious about what you are going to say now especially that she is now included with the Firestone family in Andrew's new (enhanced) website. It's not a fling, not an affair, but it's getting serious, I think. (Carla)

A. I personally believe Andy feels comfortable with Ivana, finds her fun to be with, and she probably accepts him as he is. This makes her a really nice person to date, even long term.
Having said that, I already voiced my opinion men from this type of prominent families play around with certain type of women but they do not marry them. Just look at Andrew’s parents, sisters, Adam, and all their spouses and you will see Ivana does not fit in. I know Andrew’s mother was a ballerina, but that is miles apart from being a modern Hollywood actress who has no quivers undressing in front of the camera just to receive a small cameo role (Wedding Crashers). This says a lot about Ivanna’s morals, personality, and ambition to be an actress, no matter what.
I may be wrong, after all I don’t know any of these people personally, but I just don’t believe Andrew would introduce someone like Ivana into the Firestone family as his wife and mother to his future children. We will just have to wait and see.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I enjoy your opinions outside Bachelor shows and was wondering how you see the war with Iraq coming along? Thanks, B.J.

A. Some time ago I voiced my opinion it is going to be extremely difficult to unite a country like Iraq.
Iraq is a product of the British and French who, during the 1920’s, blindly united different ethnic and religious groups to create what it is today. Needless to say, all these different individuals had opposing points of view on practically every topic, and were in constant battles with each other, much as they continue to do so today. Sadam, to a point, was able to keep them under control using murder and fear, but we are trying to do the same under "more civilized means" without much success, as it is apparent.
Americans are historically not very patient putting up with long dragged out wars, and it is my personal opinion the Bush administration would have ended the fighting sooner, in Iraq, using the type of military strategy used in WW II, where the allies moved slower across enemy territory and fully controlling a region before capturing the next set of objectives. Of course this type of warfare causes more casualties than just flashing across enemy territory and capturing the capital, which is what our forces did, but the lower number of casualties plays good at home. In this last Iraq war we left behind large pockets of resistance, full of heavily armed enemy troops ready to continue the fighting, and we are paying the price with our soldier’s lives.
I am not a military historian but believe General Tommy Franks was not a good choice as Commander in Chief of the Iraq invasion.
Franks was under General Schwarzkopf during the 1991 Gulf war and Norman gave him a piece of his mind, a few times, for his habit of circling around enemy troops instead of hitting them head on and destroying them permanently (sounds familiar?). Franks used this type of tactical maneuver during his planning of the latest Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. You were going to give us your opinion of this series after watching yesterday’s 2-hour episode. What do you believe is going to happen with Travis?

A. I had not seen any of the previous episodes and now feel grateful I didn’t! From what I saw last night, ABC continues to create drama and cat fights among the women, same as the previous shows. Even some of last night's family visits appeared to have been rehearsed by the parents.
Speaking about our Doctor, I mentioned some time ago the real Travis was the one with the triathlon complex and Jerry Lee Lewis hairdo, and not the one shown on this series. After watching his body language closely, on last night’s episode, I do not believe our dear Dr. is serious about any one of the remaining women, at least to the point of marriage.
With the attraction most women feel towards Doctors, our dear Stork has been fighting them off since he began medical school, much more so now he has become an Emergency Room M.D. The day Travis will fall head over heals is when he looks at a complete stranger and she makes him feel like someone hit him with a baseball bat. I feel none of these women has even come close to doing this, and noticed at least one that finds our good old M.D. a little boring.....
Sorry, gang, I strongly believe he is not marrying and living happily ever after with anyone on the show. For the moment, I am of the opinion Travis’ only love is his mountain bike.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Have you been following the Bachelor series? if so, do you have an opinion on it? (Betty)

A. No, I have not been watching the show. I promised some people I would try to watch this upcoming episode and let them know what I thought of it.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. As a psychologist, I guess all this Super Bowl "hype" is quite amusing! (Pat)

A. Many years ago, while I was still in College, I was having fun talking to a group of friends who were trying to analyze life in our modern society. My contribution to the “think tank” was that contact sports like football, basketball, and soccer, for example, were just a group of individuals fighting over a rubber ball. Of course I was just joking, at the time, but somehow that point of view has followed me to this day. Sorry, sports fans, please don’t take my personal opinion too seriously.
Sociologically, I believe sports, in general, are healthy forms of entertainment, even if some individuals take sports results to extremes, sometimes using them to justify their personal anger and frustrations.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. That's too bad you're busy early in the week to comment on the latest edition of The Bachelor. Do you have time to do your weekly summary later in the week? I don't mind the wait. I found your insight and opinions about each of the episodes to be very on target and I always looked forward to seeing what you had to say. And am even willing to wait a couple days for it. (D)

A. I am really grateful for the many e-mails we have received with similar requests, but I am afraid my opinions would not hold much value if they would be published several days after everyone else had posted theirs.
I will give you a “freebie” though: Our dear Doctor is the "brainy" type who also thrives at outdoor sports and “challenges”. He is probably a pretty nice and friendly guy but the real Travis is the "scruffy" looking one and NOT the "clean-cut" product that emerged after ABC "polished his looks". He is probably the "messy type" at home, and not an overly suave & romantic individual. I would venture to guess Stork is probably somewhat awkward with women, once the relationship becomes more intimate and personal.
I am of the opinion he accepted the offer to be on the show only for the challenge & adventure, not because he is ready to make a life-long commitment at this stage of his life. I also believe he will not find his future wife among the group of women on the show, even if a few appear to be really nice. I may be wrong but believe none of the women "rocked his heart and knocked him off his feet". Just enjoy the scenery and have fun trying to find out who goes and stays every week. This could be an entertaining series if the producers don't overdo the melodramatics.
P.S. I’ll let you know if I change my mind.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. You seem to be pretty anti-Hollywood in a lot of your answers. Are there any current stars (actors/actresses/singers/etc) that you do respect? I understand that there are many of them who are self-absorbed and impulsive, but sometimes I wonder if you over-generalize in this area. I'd love to be proven wrong! (Maggie)

A. Maggie, I’m going to have some fun and prove you wrong.....
There are many others, of course, but I personally have great respect for entertainers like Dustin Hoffman & wife Lisa, Ricardo Montalban & wife Georgiana, Jeff Bridges & wife Susan, and Billie Cristal & wife Janice, just to name a few. These couples are not only enjoying successful long-term marriages, but constantly show us there is still some “class” left in Hollywood.
In the music industry I must give special mention to singers Enya and Celine Dion, who constantly prove entertainers with real talent do not have to artificially enhance their bodies, act trashy in public, or even need an entourage of aerobic dancers performing on stage with them in order to avoid boring the public.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I know you are not commenting on the current Bachelor show; but do you have an opinion about the chances of Byron and Mary "growing old together" as you so often say? After several postponements, they are now publicly stating that they have a firm November wedding date. That will be over 2 years from their engagement which on one hand seems good since they took their time; but on the other hand 2 years is LONG time to wait if you are deeply committed to the relationship and sure. I defer to you: do they have a good chance, a slim chance or do you have no idea? Come on-give us your best guess! (Jane)

A. It is difficult for me to ascertain what these two are up to, since it’s been some time since their series ended. I do believe both need to overcome serious obstacles in order for them to have a successful long-lasting relationship, and the fact B&M keep pushing the wedding date back may only mean they are taking their time and refuse being rushed by capricious fans.
I will predict if both reach a solid understanding of the obstacles they will face, and agree to confront them together, they stand a very good chance of “growing old together”, as I normally say.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I respect your opinions and have found your observations very insightful. I was wondering if you had any opinions to share on the outcome of the latest Apprentice? (Diane)

A. These type shows generate a great deal of hype on their first run, but quickly become boring and repetitious to most of the public. Trump had a good idea, but it is difficult to continue making this type of show seem interesting and exciting to the viewers. I believe the show's current ratings clearly demonstrate its slow decline.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Hi A.T. Happy New year to you and your family. I’m a long time fan and have two totally different questions for you. What do you make of the Natalee Holloway dissappearance and what’s your opinion of Angelina Jolie’s pregnancy? (NR)

A. Happy New Year to you too!
It is difficult to try to ascertain what happened, since there continues to be much speculation and theories. Personally, I don’t know what may have happened to her but have my own theory, like everyone else.
After filtering through what I consider false leads and media hype, my personal feelings are Natalee was, and I mean was, a nice looking, party loving, inexperienced “girl” (being 18 does not automatically make you a wise and responsible adult) whose overconfident and irresponsible parents allowed her to travel to a foreign country, by herself, with very little supervision, if any.
Having said that, I do not believe Natalee was actually killed, but that she may have died accidentally. Realizing she had died, or worse, she appeared to be dead, her companion(s) perhaps panicked and agreed to dispose of her body (remember they are kids from prominent families, with not much maturity or life experience). I find it interesting none of her friends said seeing Natalee leaving by herself with boys she had recently met was out of character for her, nor did they thought it necessary to ensure she had later returned safely to her room, making me believe they were accustomed to seeing her do this (the supposed companions-chaperones were also apparently oblivious to all of this).
Finally, I believe the “slave trade” theory is possible, but prefer the previous one for the moment, since I can not envision the current suspects as part of an obscure international slave trade organization who handed a drunk or passed out Natalee to their ruthless business associates. Either way, I do not believe she will be found alive, a real sad ending for such a young, fun-loving, pretty girl.
As for your second question, it is my personal opinion Angelina has to first deal with serious psychological issues before bringing a child into this world. Having a large bank account and being pretty does not automatically make anyone a good parent, much less inside the “Hollywood crowd”.
A good start would be addressing the major issues she has with her father, actor John Voigh, which I believe are of a real serious nature......

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. There is an article on the internet named “The Most Controversial, Outrageous, & Memorable Reality TV Moments of 2005”. It names shows like Surreal Life, Kill Reality, Breaking Bonaduce, Nashville Star and Wanted Ted or Alive who “pushed the boundaries of how far reality TV will go by offering up contestants engaged in peeing, defecating, bleeding, vomiting and spitting. While the actual events usually took place off-camera, viewers were treated to detailed descriptions”. What is your opinion on these type shows?(Vickie)

A. I personally believe our society is so bored with itself it is in constant need of increasing the “shock value” of it’s entertainment in order to avoid loosing interest in them. On the other hand, I feel Hollywood will continue to produce these type of "trashy shows" as long as the money keeps coming in.
Frankly speaking, what I find revealing is the large number of viewers these tactless and vulgar shows generate.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. In a previous posting you had written "after the first breakup, I believe that something special dies that is never felt again." You also mentioned that it is too lengthy to explain, however, I think that it would be helpful for many readers to have you elaborate on that. (I am also wondering if the length of the breakup has anything to do with it...2 weeks versus 2 years...or if this refers to all breakups). Thanks! (A.M.)

A. I have received many requests to elaborate on this topic but am at a loss as to how to accomplish this without taking at least two pages; Yes, it is that complicated! I will humor you by providing a VERY short answer and hope it is understandable.
Roughly speaking, external influences cause different degrees of brain activity that create changes in the chemical balances of the brain. These changes cause what we normally call “emotions”. Once we experience a disappointment, the chemical reactions, within our brains, never reach the same levels as they once did, whenever we think of the person in question. In a way, our feelings towards that individual keep trying to experience a “high” that will never repeat itself.
On the other hand, our brain is like a huge filing system that stores past memories and all the feelings associated with them. Every time you see, or remember, the individual in question, the brain pulls out all feelings associated with him, or her, good AND bad. That could be where the phrase “ I may forgive but not forget” originates.
I hope this highly condensed and simplified explanation does not sound like gibberish to the readers.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I read your "predictions" on who will be sent home first, and strangely, found that I had also picked a couple of them. But Sara B - she's the gal from Winnipeg, - reports are she made it to the final 4 - I know how I sort of make my picks, do you have any hints on how you make yours? Thanks. Love reading your comments.

A. Curiously enough, I never said they were my predictions for the first night, but throughout the whole series. It was my opinion none of the women on my list would make it to the end.
I do not have a set method for predicting who will stay and who will go, I simply place myself in the shoes of whoever the Bachelor is, observe his body language in the presence of any given woman, and use common sense.
For one reason or another, I seriously doubt Travis has anything in common with the women I have on my list. It makes no difference how pretty they may be. We will just have to watch the series to find out if I guessed right.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I just finished reading your previous comments about Dr. Rey, of Dr. 90210, and was wondering if you could give me your impression of him. Thanks, A.T. (Lyn R.)

It is difficult to be accurate about any individual unless I actually spend one on one time with him, or her, but believe Dr. Rey to be an extremely good plastic surgeon and a pretty nice guy to boot, even if he is a little flashy at times.
I have seen enough of his episodes to predict he loves his family, but Robert and his wife Hailey do not have much in common, once you get beyond raising their children and what I shall call social superficialities.
This is just my own personal opinion, of course.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What do you think of Dr. Travis Stork and his motives for doing this show? (Eeps)

A. It is difficult to ascertain his motivation behind all this, since being an Emergency Room Physician does not provide much time off, much less to pursue a wife on TV. He could be trying to place himself in the position to be offered a Dr. 90210 type show, with him as the good-looking Doctor who is popular with the ladies. Dr. Rey seems to have hit it off well with his series. Nevertheless, I am willing to give Travis the benefit of the doubt, at least until the series begin airing and I am able to see what he is like.

Having said that, I will stir the pot a little by having some fun predicting, before the show even beings airing, Dr. Venus, Ali D., Cortney, Jaime, Jehan, Jennifer, Kathy, Princess, Sarah B., Susan, and Tara will most likely be sent home by our good Doctor.

I was pleased to hear from you, and hope all is well with the “B-2 Gang”. I wish all of you the best for this Holiday Season!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I’m an old fan of yours that has never come forward to ask you a question, but I have one today. I would like to know your opinion of Martha Stewart and if you read her latest negative comments regarding her Apprentice show contestants. Thanks! (Jen)

A. It is my personal opinion Martha is cynical, rude, egotistical, and not too smart, considering her latest comments and recent legal problems.
My mother really likes her shows, though........

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering what was your opinion on the Dr. Phil scandal. Thanks! (N.R.)

A. I have always believed Phillip is a good therapist, but his knowledge of Psychology does not automatically qualify him to push diet pills or play criminal expert in the Natalee Holloway disappearance.
I may be wrong, and am only guessing here, but personally feel Phil’s poor childhood left an emptiness no amount of money is ever going to make him feel financially secure. He should have been responsible enough to know what product(s) his name was endorsing, even though the money was going to charity.
I also find it amazing people will believe anything Phil says just because Oprah introduced him to Hollywood.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi, AT! A fling is a short affair. Do you still believe that Andrew and Ivana's relationship is a fling? (Anonymous)

A. To me, a fling is anything that’s temporary, in nature, and not a life-long commitment.
I may be totally wrong, since nothing I guess here is written in stone, but still feel Andrew and Invana’s relationship is not going to be anything long-term.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I've just read one of the links saying that the new Bachelor is a handsome doctor. Do you think ABC will finally get it right this time, and maybe get good pairing this time? The setting is France, reminds me of the Joe Millionaire series, which I thought was quite good and entertaining especially JM 2. (Kim)

A. I would guess the series success depends on what type of women ABC recruited, and what motivated this individual to have accepted the role, since I would imagine someone like Travis does not need ABC’s assistance to find women who are interested in him.
On a curious note, I recently read the show’s producers blamed overexposure to the series poor ratings. I would venture to guess the fall in ratings began with a combination of Bob’s skinfest and the scripted soap opera the show turned out to be. This prooves, in my opinion, these people either live on top of a cloud, or believe they are too smart to listen to what their viewers have been saying all along.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello A.T. After reading one of your previous Q&A I was wondering why is it you didn’t like any of the Bachelorette shows? Please answer this one, I feel lots of your readers would like to know. Thanks! (Anonymous)

A. I also voiced my opinion my answer would get me in trouble, as it apparently has. LOL
Honestly, I have different reasons for disliking all three Bachelorette shows, and the fact a woman was the main character has no bearing on it. Perhaps if there would have been as many Bachelorette as Bachelor shows my answer would be different.
In my opinion, Trista’s was the most interesting and animated, of all three shows, but I did not like the way she came across. I must say, to be fair, she might be totally different in person, but personally I was not too impressed with her.
It is a matter of taste, of course, but I always found Meredith a little too abrasive and sarcastic, for my liking, and also feel her show was boring and moved a little slow. I also did not like her misleading last minute comments to Matt, even if some say they might have been a victim of creative editing. After all, she DID say those words, and no amount of trick editing can be blamed for how the scene “played out”.
I don’t wish to expand too much on Jen’s show, but personally feel the producers tried to portray her as something she is not, a “New York Hottie”. It is also my personal opinion Jen overplayed her cleavage, and some melodramatic scenes, turning the whole fiasco into a B-movie.
Last, but not least, I did not like to see the ending stretched out for so long when Jen, and everyone else in the production team, knew she was going to ditch her last two “lover boys”. I always wondered if her limo breakdown, with one of her friends watching in horror, was not because she realized her mistake in doing the show. I believe Jen was possibly already dating “Baseball Cap Billy” when she agreed to do the show, since I can not believe her romance with him happened all of a sudden and right after the show ended. We will never know the truth, of course, but after watching how coldly she told Jerry to take a hike, I find it totally unbelievable she was actually crying a gallon of tears over him during the now famous “limo scene”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering if you heard of Jessica Simpson’s split with hubby Nick Lachey, and what you thought of it. Thanks A.T., I always love to read your opinions. (D.J.)

A. It is my personal opinion most of these people don’t really LOVE each other, they simply have a fling and later decide to wed without giving it much thought. In a relatively short period of time, the “flame” dies off and one or the other begin flirting with someone else, only to begin the vicious circle again.
The sad part of all this, for me at least, is the number of children these selfish individuals sometimes leave behind. Kids who will probably be raised by nannies, or worse, a part-time parent who not only gives them very little quality time, but also begins to flirt and parade new boyfriends (or girlfriends) around the house. It is no wonder so many Hollywood kids go the wrong way and grow up visiting detox clinics as if they were enjoying a summer vacation. The problem is everyone is too tied up and worried about THEMSELVES to stop and think how emotionally harmful divorce is for most children.
Sorry, you can tell I am not too fond of the Hollywood “in” crowd!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Could you tell me, in order, which one was your favorite Bachelor/Bachelorette shows from all that have aired, and which main character was your most and least liked and why? Thanks for humoring me. (B.)

A. Your second question is going to put me in hot water with some groups, but here it goes:
Aaron, Andrew and Byron’s shows were my three favorites, in that order. Perhaps Aaron’s was my favorite due to it being, at the time, a fresh novelty. I also do not remember seeing too many heavily scripted scenes between Aaron and the women. I should also say that all the women in Aaron’s show were very likeable, and even the “stalker” was bearable.
Andrew was, in my opinion, honest and respectful with all the women in his series. He kept the smooching to a minimum, and behaved like a gentleman. It is too bad the producers edited out most scenes where we could have gotten a glimpse of what “wacky Andy” was really like. Obviously the director did not realize humor is an intricate part of love& romance.
Byron’s show had a nice ending, but the heavily scripted “bad girl scenes”, with untalented wannabe actresses, were too overdone, in my opinion. The rest of the shows are all grouped together in the “going slowly downhill” category.
My least liked show was, of course, Bob’s, which turned from what could have been a funny and entertaining series into a boring “Bobathon Skinfest”, where the main character’s motives were as false, and hollow, as most of his self-promoting dialog. It is curious to note I later corresponded briefly with an “ex-bachelorette” who had met Bobby in a social gathering. She confirmed he came on "like a flirt whose topic of conversation centered on making money".
My favorite main character is still Andrew who, even with his excentricities, appear to be a really nice guy and a true gentleman. Sorry, as much as I found the concept interesting, I do not have a favorite Bachelorette. I disliked watching all three for different reasons.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I’ve been following your articles since they came out and enjoy reading them almost as much as watching the actual shows. As a history major I also enjoy reading your opinions on world history, since I know that is also one of your passions. My question is: Why is it you continuously hint, in your answers, you are not impressed with our current generation? Which generation impresses you the most, in American history? Thank you. (Chris)

A. We could say every generation has its positive and negative sociological influences, nevertheless I believe the WW II generation is the one who stands out, in our nation´s history, as the most impressive.
Unlike modern times, this generation was united by a common purpose, to defeat the enemy at all cost. They placed personal safety and comfort aside and almost everyone, with minor exceptions, gave something of themselves to the war effort. They did not try to put down and ridicule their President, just because he was from a different political party, or tried to punish their troops for the way they were fighting a war.
Not only our Armed Forces showed a sense of duty and honor, as they always have, but the people staying home also had those qualities, beside a sense of economy, courage, service, love of family and country, and responsibility for oneself.
The whole country, media included, helped them win the war! Almost everyone who lived in those times became more responsible and mature, due to the war, and very few later whined about the sacrifices they had to make to help their country defeat their enemies.
After the war, they went in record numbers to Colleges and Universities to obtain an education, and became productive members of our society. They converted the wartime economy into the most productive peacetime economy in world history. With minor exceptions, it was a time where individuals showed true respect towards each other, and people made an effort, not only to display good manners, but also to pass it on to their own children.
My grandfather belonged to that generation. He was in France and Germany, during Hitler’s last days, as a front-line Army medic. He later went on to become a family practitioner, under the GI Bill, and years later put my father through medical school.
I personally feel that was the best generation our country has ever produced.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I wish to know your opinion as to why reality TV shows are dying off, especially shows like “The simple Life”, with Paris Hilton. By the way, what’s your opinion of her? (J.C.)

A. Show business is very competitive, and people are easily bored unless their interest is maintained by new concepts and fresh ideas. That is possibly why programs that began as simple entertainment have turned out into real “duds” after a couple of seasons.
A good example, in my opinion, is “Fear Factor”, which began as a really interesting program where contestants were challenged to conquer their inner fears, and later turned into “Gross Factor”, where the contestants are currently challenged to do something visually disgusting in order to “win”.
Ah, Paris Hilton, what can I say! In my humble opinion, her show was rightfully named! I will just leave it at that.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I think your comments about Tom Cruise are spot on. But what is your opinion about Nicole Kidman? She is a good actress, but I don't know why she even married Tom! She seems not to have moved on from their break-up, whilst Tom chooses to let the world know about his 'infatuation' with Katie Holmes? Please comment. Thanks. (Kim)

A. I’ve always liked Nicole as an actress, she has a no-nonsense beauty that does not need artificial enhancements in order to stand out in a crowd.
Having said that, I also believe Nicole is into Nicole, and she has become a little spoiled due to constantly hearing how beautiful she is. She probably gravitated to Tom at a time when everyone was also saying how "cute" he was. In other words, they were more impressed with their successes and physical looks than with anything of substance, that may be why their relationship fell apart.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I've enjoyed reading your insights and opinions over the years. Anyway, I was wondering, do you know when/if there will be a new bachelor or bachelorette show? Rumor has it that it will take place in Paris. I am getting impatient and thought you might know something. Oh and one more question since I have your undivided attention :) Wasn't Tom Cruise supposedly sterile when he was with Nicole Kidman? I heard that she was pregnant at one time and lost the baby and Tom was upset because it couldn't have been his. I am just wondering since Katie Holmes is now pregnant. Thanks for your time! (Chrissy)

A. I believe the next Bachelor series will air in January. According to what I heard, the main character is American and the program will be filmed in France.
As for Tom and Nicole, I do not know the reason(s) why they were never able to have children, while they were married, and doubt very much if either one will ever make the actual details public.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Why is it that the US Weekly magazine can print something that is a lie, i.e. the split of Jessica and Nick? If it were other tabloids, they would be already sued. (Riza)

A. Good question, but I don’t have the least idea of what to answer. Write to US Weekly and let me know what happened.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Can I verify and confirm with you if it was said that Andrew moved to be closer to Ivana, meaning to be closer literally like having his own place or they are living in together? (Carrie)

A. Please correct me if I am wrong but Andrew never said he moved there to be closer to Ivana. Personally, I believe he moved for other reasons and being closer to her was just an added bonus.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello, AT!! I would like to know your opinion about the behavior of men like Tom Cruise, who, after many years of marriage and after meeting other women would display childish actions and would impregnate them but they never did to their first wives. I find it adding insult to injury... (Anonymous)

A. I honestly do not believe these events are planned but happen due to neither one being responsible enough to take basic precautions.
As for your second comment about childless couples, I feel we should take into consideration if one of them might have a physical impediment.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you ever received questions and/or comments from people that you do not post??? I have sent several posts over the year and they were never posted?? Thanks for the answer. (Rose)

A. Thank you for writing to us, Rose. During peak seasons, we received over one hundred e-mails a week, making it impossible for A.T. to answer all of them individually. Presently, we still have to process around 40-50 per week, not a small task considering the A.T. Gang is composed of a handful of part-time volunteers.
We do appreciate the hundreds of e-mails received throughout these fun times, and have made a point of posting your two latest questions.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Why do you feel Andrew would not marry Ivana? Because of her profession?? Do you think Ivana would be willing to quit her profession to become Mrs. Andrew Firestone? Ivana may be agreeable to work for the winery without it being a problem for her. Or, possibly Andrew may not mind if Ivana continues in her modeling profession. (Rose)

A. Even though I do not discard Andrew falling in love and possibly marrying someone involved in the Arts, like his father did, I personally feel it would not be a Hollywood actress or a professional model. Ivana may or may not be a nice person, I honestly can not say, but there is possibly a streak of selfishness and self-absorption in individuals pursuing a career in acting, or modeling, that Andrew would most likely find displeasing, at least in a long-term relationship. I have always maintained the notion individuals like Andrew do not necessarily marry the same type of women they have chosen to date for fun.
An individual’s personality follows him, or her, throughout their lives. Even if Ivana would quit her profession, in order to become Mrs. Firestone, she would still possess her core values and personality traits.
Please remember I am only guessing, since I do not know any of these individuals personally.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T, I was reading a recent article in the Vail newspaper in your bachelorette links about the 'Trista and Ryan' saga. I know you are one of the few people who does not believe in them making it till the end. I find the article disturbing as Trista talks about having separate vanities and closets as key to a successful marriage. Whatever happened to tenderness and respect? Good grief, it seemed more like Trista was hinting to advertisers to give her more money and sponsorships! My question is: if and when they do break up, who will be the initiator? I really feel sorry for Ryan, but my goodness, can't he see through Trista's superficial facade? Thanks. (Kim)

A. It is difficult for me to guess, it would mostly depend on the circumstances surrounding their split. I have always believed their love is more physical than spiritual and eventually one will become bored with the other after the media exposure and mega-money runs out.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don’t think I have read your opinion on Martha Steward and her new show. I am asking you because, as a Sociology student, I have always enjoyed reading your take on these type issues. Thanks. (Tina)

A. I personally believe for Martha to have made a mistake, is HUMAN. For us, the public, to have forgiven her is WORTHY OF PRAISE, but to actually glorify Martha's recent behavior by giving her a TV show is totally RIDICULOUS. Now that I got that off my chest, I do not believe she can even come close to having the charisma my man Donald has. She is really good at showing us how to do arts & crafts, though. My mother loves her shows!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. As a Sociologist, what do you think about the plastic surgery epidemic? Don’t you believe it has gone too far? (H.R)

A. Excluding some cases where the subject undergoes reconstructive surgery I personally feel most individuals with artificially enlarged lips, hips, buttocks, breasts, or recipients of youth-oriented plastic surgery do not look any younger, or actually “better”, than they were initially. After close inspection, most of them simply look like they’ve had plastic surgery.
In today’s society, we reach a point where we begin to ask ourselves just how much is enough, and when is that individual finally going to reach “total satisfaction” with the way he, or she, looks.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., I wanted to ask your opinion of Hugh Hefner’s obsession with younger women and his strange lifestyle. (Nora)

A. Even though almost all men, including myself twenty years ago, have fantasized about being Hugh for a while, I can’t seem to shake my belief he was rejected early in life by someone he was deeply attracted to, and falsely “created” Playboy Hugh to show the world, and specially this person that rejected him, he is wanted and constantly surrounded by all the beautiful women he wants.
I’m just guessing here, but feel I may be on the right track.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello, AT! I have some questions: (1) In the very last article/interview about Andrew and Jen that was in the Redbook mag, Andrew stated that actors are people who WANT attention. If this is his opinion of them, why is he dating one? (2) If Andrew loved Jen, why did he not adjust or compromise with her? (3) Why is it that nowadays, love is not enough to sustain relationships, that people do not try so much harder to make relationships work? (4) What can you say about Rebecca Romijin and Jerry O'Donell?

A. Any more questions? Boy, you want to know everything, don’t you! I’ll have to be brief with my answers, due to space limitations, but here we go:
1. Andrew has no problems dating pretty actors, as he appears to be doing now, but he is probably just having fun, since I do not believe he would actually marry one. Anyway, what ever happened to the term “actress”? Is modern-day society trying to neutralize all differences between both sexes? That is another interesting, but extensive, topic I will let go for now.
2. I have recently expressed my personal belief Jen was never deeply “in love” with Andrew, but that she let herself be carried away with the show’s hype and the fact she became very popular by being his fiancée. I am of the opinion we, the viewers, made their relationship out to be more than it actually was, influenced by their constantly "cute" comments to the press.
3. It is my personal opinion we live in a society that discards anything it considers problematic, personal relationships included. We somehow seem to feel it is much simpler, and less hassle for ourselves, if we simply throw away what is causing the problem and exchange it for a new one.
4. Not much, since I do not follow their careers closely, I would just sum it up as two Hollywood individuals who are currently attracted towards each other and have decided to get married instead of continuing living together. Personally, I believe these individuals’ lives are too busy and egotistical for either one to sit down and really want to give 100% to the relationship, therefore, it is probably going to be a temporary marriage typical of the “Hollywood crowd”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I wanted to know your opinion of Demi and Ashton’s marriage and if you thought he was just her “toy-boy”? (N.S.)

A. It might surprise you to know I feel Ashton and Demi are pretty compatible, since he hasn’t surpassed his teens, emotionally, and she appears to be pretty childish, immature, and egotistical herself.
I somehow believe Demi's marriage with Ashton will not surpass her 11 year marriage to Bruce Willis.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I always enjoy reading your commentaries and think that you have excellent insight! Something that has bothered me for a long period of time is the speculation from the same people on different reality boards who 'imply' that Andrew was unfaithful or 'cheated' on Jen during their engagement. Some of these claim to know people who are in Jen's circle of friends. I can't believe that Andrew would be one to commit this sort of thing as I feel he was truly in love with Jen. What would your thoughts be on these kinds of comments? (Dina)

A. These types of innuendoes are difficult to prove, or disprove, and we can only go by our “gut feeling”. Having said that, I personally feel Andrew is not the type of individual who would show this type of disrespect towards someone he cared for.
During the time they were together, I also remember certain comments floating around to the fact Jen had a reputation of being a little “loose” with men, something I also opted to discard as coming from individuals who simply did not like her and enjoyed fabricating false rumors to support their points of view.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering what was your opinion about hurricane Katrrina’s fiasco and comments made by individuals like Rev. Sharpen and some African-American entertainers. (Gina)

A. I am certain many books will be written about this major disaster, with enough blame to go around to please both side of the political spectrum. My only wish regarding this embarrassing mess is for those individuals from opposing political parties, or those who have made a lucrative career using the race card, to sit back and research the facts before they begin to say what can only be considered as "utter nonsense".
I am not taking political sides on this or any other issue when I say the blame begins with local authorities and the State’s Governor, since whenever a natural disaster strikes it is the primary responsibility of local & state authorities to respond. Moving up in the ladder I would venture to say FEMA did a poor job of getting on the bandwagon, showing President Bush’s choice for head of that agency was not up to the task at hand. I must emphasize not to believe it is a good idea to place that huge Agency under the responsibility of the Director for Homeland Security, since that agency itself is a worthless giant with the bite of a mouse, as far as I am concerned.
Finally, it is my personal opinion President Bush took the correct administrative approach to the disaster but made a huge public relations blunder and should have visited the area a day sooner than he actually did.
I honestly feel Bush has not surrounded himself by top-notch razor sharp advisors, like Clinton use to have during his presidency. They are the ones keeping the President up to date on world events and advise him how to approach and when to move on certain issues. Clinton was a master at this, but he was smart and cunning enough to surround himself with a small group of young overzealous advisors who acted as his eyes and ears, keeping him on top of local and world events. Clinton would have been at ground zero the following day, with Rev. Sharpton on one side and Jessie Jackson on the other, because the Clintons know how to play the PR game, especially where African Americans are concerned. You just have to study Clinton’s presidency with an unbiased approach to see why he was so successful in certain circles.
The bottom line is I hope we learned a valuable lesson, and are better prepared for when the next hurricane hits that particular coastline.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. This question is rather past history, but what is your viewpoint on why Andrew and Jen did not get an apartment or another residence of their own? In the fall, in an article, Andrew said they were looking for a house. Unfortunately, that never came to pass. I was wondering, if their relationship started to unravel, they might have put moving on their own on hold???? (Val)

A. I now believe both A & J’s excitement for each other began to deteriorate soon after the show ended. It is also my opinion Andy was more willing to make it work, even if he saw something in Jen that made him doubt their compatibility.
Also, we must not ignore Andrew is heir to an extremely wealthy family, and probably has a decent sized income and bank account himself. I am going out on left field here, and welcome the input of anyone knowledgeable in California law, but believe an individual who lives together with another of the opposite sex, as a couple, is able to file for alimony if their relationship goes sour, even if they are not married to each other. Following the same line of thought, it would probably represent a legal hurdle, for Jen, if Andrew and his family would claim he was legally sharing expenses and living in an apartment with a roommate, and Jen only had moved in temporarily.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I was wondering your opinion of Jay McGraw, the son of Dr. Phil McGraw, proposing to former Playboy playmate Erica Dahm.

A. I am of the opinion there is a price to pay for “fame” and becoming involved with the “Hollywood dream machinery”. I also believe Phil is probably learning this the hard way right now. One good thing is Jay has only proposed, for now, and the possibility exist their engagement may be temporary.
Having said that, I also feel Phil needs to have a few “conversations” with his son Jay before he chooses the wrong path in life and becomes hopelessly snagged by the bad side of Tinkertown, since it is my personal opinion Jay has reached a point in his life where it may go either way for him.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I really enjoy reading your writings on the Bachelor and Bachelorette. I will miss these more this fall than the actual shows! My question: What type of personality or personal situation do you think would make for good candidates for these shows (e.g. successful outcome)? Thanks! (Julia)

A. Thanks, Julia, for your kind words! I believe these type of shows thrive when the main character is personable, attractive, honest, and gives the impression he, or she, is there because they believe in the possibility of meeting someone special on the show.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T, Your powers of deduction are simply amazing! and very accurate if I may so say. You mentioned that Andrew was not ready for a serious commitment. Please share with us what led you to that conclusion? Then why did he go on the Bachelor show and propose to Jen on tv if matrimony was not his agenda? (Kim)

A. Thank you for your kind words! I feel the Andrew that volunteered to do the show was open to whatever life had in store for him, including marriage. Furthermore, I honestly believe he was dead serious with his intentions of marrying Jen, but his attitude towards engagements and marriage changed drastically after the failure of their relationship. The new Andrew is trying to avoid becoming too serious with anyone, at least for the time being. Perhaps that is why he currently seeks the company of actresses and what we could consider “party people”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Although the company that hired Jen said that she was not hired because of her celebrity status, I believe she WAS hired because of her celebrity status. If not, why would they announce her hiring? If it were someone else, do you think they would announce it especially for a mid-level position only? Or is this true in the USA because in Canada, only the people who have REAL HIGH & IMPORTANT positions are being announced. (Andrea)

A. Even though I am certain Jen has much to offer to any firm employing her services, the fact her name is somewhat popular constitutes and added bonus for anyone wishing to hire her.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. My question is, with this long break between shows, do you think the base will stay interested and come back for January if there is a new bachelor? Also haven't heard any recent news about Mary and Bryon (my favorites). Do you think they will make it down the aisle and will it be on TV ? One last thing, my gut tells me Ryan and Trista might be in trouble. They seem like two rights = wrong, Since no baby news happened my guess is that it won't be long before we have a breakup. Any thoughts on these? (Sara)

A. Boy, you really are an inquisitive individual!
Answering your questions in order:
1. I believe the base will most likely remain faithful and tune in on the next Bachelor show.
2. I feel there is still the possibility of a B&M wedding. Having said that, I am also of the opinion Mary will possibly take the money and have it televised in some shape or form, even though I doubt it will be a “Trista type” affair.
Speaking of Trista, my doomsday prediction is still out on T&R, but I feel it is a little too soon for anything to happen, you have to remember they have only been together for two years, give or take a few months.
I am only guessing here but believe the fact there has not been any “baby news” yet has no direct bearing to how Trista and Ryan are getting along with each other.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Man, did you "hit the nail on the head!" No sooner do you answer that question about Jen Scheff's job and there is an announcement that she is taking a position as a PR Rep with a Chicago firm! Are you sure you don't have inside info on our gal Jen? (Pat)

A. It was just cheer luck, my friend, cheer luck!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T., do you have any info if Jen is still employed by Billy? And you think that Andrew's relationship with Ivana is just a fling, how about Ivana? Do you think she feels it that way too? (Arielle)

A. I do not have any inside information on Jen, therefore, your guess is as good as mine. Having said that, I have a hunch Jen will not be under his employment for long, perhaps a few months more at the most.
As for Ivana, I believe she is smart enough to realize Andrew is not ready for a serious commitment, much less with an actress.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., I wonder what your opinion is of Brad and Angelina's friendship/relationship, and specifically, the family-style lifestyle they've been so public about lately? What do you think is happening there? You have talked before about Hollywood couples and how their needs for attention would make it hard to have solid, long lasting relationships. Who in Hollywood, if any, seem to have a healthy marriage? One that comes to mind for me is Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Your thoughts?

A. I personally believe neither Brad or Angelina appear to be ready to make certain sacrifices in order to build a happy long-term life with anyone, much less with each other. I am certain the money will fly, and each will try to impress the other, and their fans, with all types of “material goodies”, but spending millions on someone has never been indicative of how successful a marriage, or relationship, is going to be.
I am only guessing, of course, but Will Smith and Jada appear to have found a balance that is evident in the way they interact with each other in public. I hope they continue to dedicate quality time, and effort, to their relationship and do not let it “simmer down”.
Other Hollywood marriages that enjoy, or have enjoyed, a long happy life together include actor Ricardo Montalban & Georgiana, and Ronald Reagan & Nancy, just to name two that come to mind.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T., I love your insights. Can you tell us about some of the different popular types of psychotherapy and what type is good for what kind of problem or what kind or personality? Thanks. (Brady)

A. I am sorry but have always made an effort to clearly separate my professional life from our little Internet project. You may find some answers using an Internet search engine or in your neighborhood public library. Thanks for writing, though!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello, Since were in idle season could you answer this for me please, thanks! My new boyfriend of 2 months told me this weekend that he was bipolar II and on medication for it. He said before he was diagnosed that he was high energy, fun to be around, an executive with a lot going on and could handle everything, the more stress the better. My boyfriend said that it's a lot to digest and for me to seriously think about what I told him. We both want marriage in the future and this is my life too. Should I be concerned? We get a long great. I understand it's past down to the children or a high chance. I've never been in a situation like this before. It didn't sound like he was the serious bipolar just more ADD like but now that he's on the medication and goes to therapy the man I know is a sweet man. He showed me his med. and told me to research it this week. Advice. Amanda

A. Hello, Amanda. Ever since our little project began I have made an effort to clearly separate my professional life from simply stating my personal opinion of reality TV shows and their contestants.
Having said that, you need to make an intelligent choice regarding your situation. My personal advice is to obtain your fiancé’s complete diagnosis (Bipolar II is too generic) and simply type it into an Internet search engine. If you feel the need to obtain more information, or seek professional advice, search for a qualified professional in your area. Try to stay away from relying too much on Internet-based professional assistance, since you really do not know who is on the other side of the computer monitor, or their true qualifications. Nevertheless, I wish you and your fiancé the best

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. If Andrew is really ready to settle down as what he said, why does he not look for and date someone whom he could really think as a wife and could present to his family as such? Why would he waste his time on a 'fling?
What do you feel is going to happen next to Jen?
I come from another culture and am wondering when one says, “he or she is my type” what does it mean? Does it cover both the inside and outside beauty of a Person, or just the physical appearance? Do I sound very ignorant?

A. No, you do not sound ignorant, but you certainly are inquisitive!
I may be wrong but believe Andrew is currently going through life enjoying whatever comes his way. Remember he had a pretty bad year after his breakup with Jen.
Speaking of Jen, I do not know where she is going at the moment. Quite honestly, I do not believe she knows either.
Someone saying a certain individual is “ their type” usually means the person in question possesses certain qualities they find attractive. Most individuals will feel attracted towards the same core qualities, in others, throughout their whole life.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What source did the breaking up of Jen and Billy come from? Do you believe Jen and Andrew will ever reconsider and give their relationship a second try? Thanks!

A. I do not know the exact origin but believe Billy himself stated the rumors were true.
As for the second question, I must confess to being wrong in my original assessment and now believe Jen was never in love with Andrew, no matter how much she says the opposite on her interviews. Andrew, on the other hand, probably now realizes how close he became to making a grave error marrying Jen and is too much of a gentleman to admit it in public.
It is my opinion couples whose relationships fail the first time around seldom end up happily together after deciding to reunite. It is lengthy to explain but I believe something special “dies” after the first breakup that is never felt again.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What’s your opinion on Pamela Lee Anderson and Tommy Lee re-marrying again? (N.J.)

A. I do not have much to say about either one but feel Pam and Tommy’s past and present lifestyle are bad examples for anyone to follow. I also believe those two are “made for each other”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. There’s an article saying Andrew Firestone has moved to Santa Monica in order to be closer to Ivana. Do you think this may be a serious step? Love your articles! (Kay)

A. I honestly can not believe the only reason he moved to S.M. was to be closer to her. I hope all goes well but would be surprised if Ivana actually ended up being Mrs. Firestone.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Well, you were right about Jen & Billy, he recently confirmed the news of their breakup. What do you think is wrong with Jen? (B.R.)

A. Two of Jen’s problems, when dealing with romantic relationships, appear to be her unrealistic expectations and inflexibility. On the other hand, I personally feel there has to be something wrong with a grown man who head is covered with a baseball cap 24/7.
As much as both have said the split was by mutual accord, Jen's challenge now lies in keeping the relationship with her boss on amicable terms.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don’t know if you watched ABC’s program on what it calls “brat camps”. If so, I wanted to ask your opinion of the show, and if you believe these types of “therapies” works. (N.R.)

A. I have not watched the program in question but believe there will be a certain amount of camera posturing and acting, in the part of some of the participants, in order to make the show more interesting. Let’s face it, this is going to be inevitable, if we consider it is an ABC production.
Having said that, I must emphasize no two teens are the same, and not every program is the best option for the individual in question, or the family. My own personal opinion is their curriculum mostly center on externally pressuring the youth to change their behavior, but there is very little internal, or personal, change at all once they “graduate”.
I am also certain someone somewhere is able to name certain individuals who have successfully graduated from a given “brat camp”, but I will not be overly impressed by any of them until I see documented proof, compiled by a competent research team, of the camp’s OVERWHELMING effectiveness in say a 10 –year span.
Until that happens, the only “brat camps” I would endorse are some of our good old fashioned military academies and, if the teen’s age permits, the U.S. Armed Forces. The latter is even free, and I guarantee they have an excellent success rate. The problem is no one is able to force an individual to enroll in our Armed Forces, since it must be a voluntary process.
In any case, I strongly believe the individual’s lifestyle must change drastically, once they leave the controlled environment that changed their behavior, or else chances are they will eventually revert to their original condition.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q.What do you think about Andrew Firestone and Ivana Bozilovic? Do you think that it is a relationship that is going to work with Andrew, including his family? (Nancy)

A. I do not have too much information to go on but feel this is just a temporary fling.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Rumor has it Jen and Billy are history. If this is true, another one of your controversial predictions have become fact. Any comments? (Mary C.)

A. I have not heard or read anything official regarding their split, therefore we must take the "news" with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, I still believe Jen and Billy will not grow old together.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T, what do you think of the chances of Byron and Mary making it down the aisle? Or will this be the next Bachelor casualty? In your opinion, are long engagements a good way to test the waters before taking the final plunge? Thanks! (Kim)

A. It is difficult for me to give you an answer due to the fact I have not seen them interacting with each other since the end of their series. I have always believed both have a couple of serious obstacles to overcome, before tying the knot, and hope all goes well for them.
There is no credible data out there pointing to the fact long engagements facilitate happy long term marriages, or vise versa. I am of the opinion the “puppy love” phase (0 to 1 year) makes people ignore “bad signals” that become very obvious later on. This fact is complicated to explain, just consider it as part of our natural “human conditioning”. To make a long story short, this is something our species have “built in” since our evolution, in order to facilitate our survival. In this primary stage, the other person’s faults may appear to be unimportant, and we have a tendency to magnify their positive qualities. The best advice I can give anyone is to take his or her relationship one day at a time, and try not to overanalyze the situation.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you think the war on terror will ever be won? I feel saddened by the recent events in London.

A. The war on terror will never be won as long as we remain divided and tying the military’s hands with our version of how they should behave. The concept of a “squeaky clean war” derives from the mind of individuals with absolutely no military knowledge.
Terrorists are not a group of Arab savages living in a tent, as most Americans tend to believe, they are highly astute, sophisticated, and intelligent individuals, some of which have lived in our country and even graduated from our ivy-league universities. Our enemies know the only way to beat us is not in the battlefield but using the press to create division and conflict, among our politicians and masses, while prolonging the war long enough for “the people” to get bored, something we tend to do easily. The beginning of the end is when civilians, and politicians, begin to dictate to the military what they can and can not do in order to defeat the enemy (does all this sound familiar?). History taught us that lesson in Vietnam, it is a pity no one was paying attention.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q> I’ve been enjoying your articles for well over a year now and like the way you sometimes cut through the smokescreen to “see” things in a more crisp concise way. Since there are no bachelor shows to discuss, for now, I would like you to give us your opinion of the Natalee Holloway investigation. Thanks. (I.S.)

A. It is difficult to know what actually happened to this poor girl, even though it is common sense to say Natalee is most likely not going to be found alive after all the weeks that have passed since her disappearance.
As much as I feel for her family, there are also many questions I would like to have answered, among them:
* What was this 18 yr. old girl doing by herself in a strange country? The fact she was technically an adult and traveling with a group of 100 other teens is irrelevant.
* Why did no one advise the teens to remain in groups all the time?
* Where were the seven so-called “chaperones” at 1:00 A.M., when Natalee was last seen getting inside a strange vehicle by herself after separating herself from the group she was in?
* Why didn’t her roommates think there was anything wrong with the fact Natalee apparently went inside a strange person(s) car and never returned to their room that night?
* Why didn’t the so-called chaperones have a roll-call system to ensure all TEENS were safely back in their rooms after a night out?
There are many more questions I would like answered but believe these are enough for the time being.
The sad thing about all this is no one will learn anything from it; teens will continue to do silly things and some grownups will continue to have their heads in a cloud. My prayers do go out to Natalee and her loved ones.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I don’t know if you heard about Oprah’s recent experience in a Paris boutique, where she went to do some after-hours shopping and was turned away by a store employee who stated they were preparing for a private show and could not admit anyone at that time. Now Oprah is claiming racial bias. Since I read somewhere you lived in France, for a while, I was wondering why you think such a famous person like Oprah was refused entry into the store. Thanks! (D.K.)

A. It is my opinion we need to place this experience in perspective before we begin bashing everything that even sounds French. Having said that, I may be able to provide you with a small glimpse of how SOME of the French see “us Americans”.
I believe French people have a totally different lifestyle, and view of life, than us Americans, and most of them are not materialistic nor do they feel overly impressed by our “so-called” celebrities. Do you know some French restaurants, for example, close shop during the tourist season just so they don’t have to cater to tourists? It is generally due to their care-free personality and strong nationalism, and not because they harbor something personal against one group of people or another. As far as the French, and some Europeans, are concerned, most of us Americans are materialistic and spoiled, showing little manners when we travel abroad to visit THEIR Country. We rich Americans supposedly expect everyone, all of a sudden, to bend themselves backwards just to make us happy. Of course it is very seldom they express their personal opinion in public, since we do provide them with tourist dollars, but they will let you know their true feelings once they consider you “one of them”.
As for Oprah’s incident, I need to have more information in order to make a sound judgement, but remember whatever she says on her show, or to the press, is just going to be her side of the story. As much as I like her, as a person, it is my personal opinion Oprah can also be vocal and manipulative, at times, being evident by the way she treats some of the guests on her show. Whatever actually occurred that day is probably going to be swept under the rug by unfelt apologies, on the part of the boutique, and Oprah’s unrealistic cry of racial injustice.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Much is being said about Scientology, now that Tom Cruise has taken the position of official poster boy for the religion. I was wondering your opinion of Scientology. Thanks! (Ellen)

A. Due to space limitations I don’t wish to get too carried away on the subject, therefore, my answer will be brief.
Scientology was created in an era when drugs and sociological havoc were fairly popular among this Country’s youths. Hubbard capitalized on this sociological decline and came up with a well-organized theory he published in his popular book. The time was ripe for his “theory” and it quickly took off to become one of the fastest growing “religions” in modern times.
In a relative short period of time, thousands of individuals changed their lifestyles with the help of friendly and understanding “Scientologists”, or what I shall call “modernized Social Workers”. This theoretical “science turned religion” actually helped individuals change their destructive lifestyles and even get off drugs, in some instances, succeeding where conventional religions had failed miserably.
I am of the opinion no religion is perfect, since they are managed by imperfect human beings, but most of them center around the goal of making people’s lives better and fostering love, understanding, and moral support among their followers. Also, with very minor exceptions, ALL religions hint to the fact their followers are the only ones who fall under the grace of God, and their practitioners feel unreasonably superior to all “outsiders”. I believe Scientology is a little more extremist, in this area, than most other religions, but not by much. Any history scholar would attest to the fact history is full of bloody massacres, or abuses of power, done in the name of religion and with the church's blessings.
Finally, almost all religions require money and contributions in order to sustain themselves, Scientology included. The area where Scientology surpasses most other religions is they target the support of artists and entertainers, making it a publicized “hip” religion that is extremely well funded.
I feel the need to clarify I am not a follower or supporter of Scientology, but see it as one more way to help certain individuals find the guidance and personal support they need.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. First of all, happy Father’s Day! I know this is the first year for you. I also wish to read your opinion on Tom and Katie’s upcoming wedding. Thanks! (Betty C.)

A. Thanks Betty, for your kind words. I do expect to enjoy Father’s Day to the max!!
In reference to your question, there is a popular saying in Spain that loosely translated goes something like: “Their marriage will last as long as a chocolate cake in a class full of kids”. I believe that expresses my personal opinion, on this subject, extremely well.
The only thing that bothers me about “Hollywood romances” between "stars" is these type of frivolous people eventually have, or adopt, kids who are later deeply traumatized due to their parent’s separation or divorce. Having a big bank account does not make up for bad parenting, and what most kids really want is to live happily, under the same roof, with Mom and Dad.
The Hollywood scene is full of traumatized children who later on become frequent visitors of the “Rich & Famous Drug & Alcohol Rehab. Centers”, treating the whole experience as if they were enjoying a few week’s vacation in Hawaii.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don’t know if you watched “Dancing With The Stars” but Trista and her partner Louis were let go this week. I found it strange, since I honestly believe she did not do such a bad presentation. Do you believe people are just tired of seeing her? (Annie)

A. Trista will always have her small pocket of fans supporting anything she does. Having said that, I personally believe her problem lies in the fact she tries too hard to be noticed and people have become tired of her unnatural smile and unrelenting attempts at “stardom”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I have enjoyed reading your comments since the very beginning of this site. I was wondering what your input is on the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie story?? I am quite disappointed that he has fallen into her trap as I feel she is very manipulative and quite frankly, very FAKE. I realize Jennifer has problems of her own, but I truly believed he would be smarter than that. Do you think it is a mid-life crisis? (Carla)

A. I wouldn’t place too much weight on these type of Hollywood romances, even if sometimes they end up in temporary marriage. Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are, in my humble opinion, self-centered and capricious individuals. Their “image” and popularity come first, well over any other individual or relationship. With very few exceptions, I have never heard of a humble actor, since I personally feel this is a contradiction in itself. Some are more likeable and down-to-earth than others, but all have an inner desire to be admired & accepted by the populace.
All this is nothing new, just read a little about Hollywood life, beginning in the 20”s and 30’s, and you will notice many present and past actors fit the exact “mold”. Actors like Brad, Tom, Angelina, and Jennifer are “hot” as long as their looks endure, and their superficial lives usually follow the same trend. I don’t give much permanency to any of their so-called romances, therefore, I do not advise you to get too worked up about them.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I’m a fan of yours way back from the first Bachelorette show. I can say I agree with you on 98% of everything you’ve said throughout this time, which is really amazing since I only agree with 60% of what my hubby says. I wanted to ask you what you believe the verdict will be on the Michael J. trial. Also, did you watch Tom Cruise on Oprah? He behaved pretty weird IMO, giving weight to your credence he has a personality problem of some type. Anyway, thanks and good luck! (Janice B.)

A. Hi Janice, thanks for your kind words! A “98% agreement rate” sounds like a “record”, since my wife only agrees with me 80% of the time. LOL
Anyway, I have already stated one thing is if Michael is guilty, another quite differently if he is “found guilty” by the jurors. I repeat the key of the case lies in the fact ALL of Michael’s guest, sharing his bedroom and “glasses of warm milk before bedtime”, were boys, and all have the same physical “look”. I also wonder if anyone has noticed, or cared to notice, Michael never included any African-American boys inside his “privileged group”? That is also significant for anyone who cares to see beyond Michael the showman. One thing I will predict: Michael will self-destruct if found gilty and given jail time.
As for Tom, the fact he did, or did not, make statements to the Arab press has nothing to do with my personal opinion he is a “strange puppy”. I always cringe a little when I see individuals who laugh at almost everything they say as if they’ve just heard it for the first time. It is worse when they also try to force you to laugh along with them. That is not a good thing….

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Since we have no Bachelor show for you to comment on till January, I was wondering if you could humor us with your opinion of Paris Hilton. Thanks! (Jill)

A. Paris is an excellent example of my “personal theory” the only thing any individual needs nowadays to be publicly accepted is for her, or him, to be wealthy and “famous”. It is not even necessary for women to be physically “pretty” or for men to be “handsome”, as the Osbournes have clearly proven.
I honestly believe the “Entertainment Industry’s machinery” is to blame for a large number of today’s sociological problems. Their negative “influence” in our culture's moral values develops inconspicuously slow but is well documented, and evident, if anyone takes the interest to observe and study the subject. One clear example, of our sociological decline, is the fact most teens, or young parents, do not even blink twice at the image of metal detectors in our schools, when forty years ago the thought would have been inconceivable. That example, in itself, is a swift dose of reality for any “optimist” who doubts the facts.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Did you hear about Tom Cruise’s comments on al-Jazeera in reference to his love for Katie Holmes? What’s your take on this and do you think they’ll be happy together?

A. I am not going to get into details but, for may reasons, believe Tom is an all-around “strange puppy” who is difficult to understand, and live with, on a long-term basis. Personally, I feel his love affair with Katie is temporary and totally irrelevant in the scheme of things. They may end up married, but that does not necessarily mean anything in "Hollywood" terminology.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. It was reported Chris Harrison said, of Charlie and Sarah, "I will say, right now, he is in love. I don't know if he's gonna get married, but he is honest to god in love with Sarah.” Harrison gives them six months to marry. Do you think Chris is right, since he obviously knows them personally?

A. Chris is a really nice guy caught between a rock and a hard place, which is what happens when he has to measure his words. The worse thing that could happen to the Bachelor (ette) franchise is for Charlie and Sarah to call it quits before the next season begins in January, therefore I believe they have a pretty good chance of staying together for a while.
As for Chris, I always take his comments with a grain of salt, since I do not envision him saying anything negative, out in the open, about the show that “pays his salary”. Remember all his “tough words”, about any particular Bachelor or Bachelorette, has always emerged AFTER the facts, when it is already common knowledge.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What do you think of Ryan’s chances are of becoming a successful player of The New Orleans Saints, after he appeared at their rookie mini-camp? Thanks. (Jen).

A. Not too good, considering his injury-prone record. Honestly, and I’m just talking football here, Ryan’s odds are better of winning the Ironman Triathlon than of becoming Superbowl material. In my opinion this is but one more attempt to replenish their bank account and try to stay in the spotlight at the same time. It is nothing reproachable, I am only stating an obvious fact and actually wish them good luck!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., I am a long-time fan and avid reader of your articles. I am also interested in learning a little more about European history. A problem I find is most American history books and articles are biased and one-sided when it comes to certain topics like Spain’s Franco, for example, which is one of my topics of interest since my grandfather fought in the Spanish civil war. Can you provide any light on the subject? I know you studied History in Spain and are an avid student of European History. Thank you! (Montse).

A. Hi, Montse, than you for writing to me.
General Franco is one of the most misunderstood heads of state of the 20th Century, mostly due to the fact he remained neutral during WW-II and refused to join the Allies fighting Hitler. Very few individuals know Franco’s hatred for Communists was stronger than his disdain for Hitler (contrary to popular belief, Hitler also disliked Franco). General Franco continuously refused to fight alongside the Russians, during WW II, especially after Spain’s Civil War had claimed over one million deaths.
Spain of the 60’s and early 70’s was not perfect, by any means, but it is inconceivable to most Americans that drugs were practically nonexistent and considered “not cool” by the young generation, unemployment was less than 4%, every Spaniard had 100% government-sponsored health insurance, and one could walk through the streets at night, of any large Spanish city, without even the slightest worry of getting mugged. There are also tens of thousands of African-American U.S. servicemen, who were stationed in Spain, that will agree there was absolutely no racial prejudice there, and Spaniards welcomed them with open arms (some even married Spanish women and stayed there after leaving the service). All this when the U.S. was being torn apart by our anti-establishment hippie culture, anti-war demonstrations, uncontrolled drug use, rising crime statistics, bigotry, and racial violence (remember the Black Panthers?).
Franco’s amazing personal history, and Spain’s successful rise from the ashes of its 1930’s Civil War, are usually conveniently “toned down” by most American and European TV producers & historians, due to the media’s strong “left-wing” and “Jewish influence" (remember Franco hated Socialism and, at the same time, did not wish to fight alongside the Russians against Hitler).
For this reason, it is better for you to read books on the subject from respectable American or Spanish historians who do not curb the facts to fit their own personal agenda.
Your name tells me you are probably from Northern Spain, or a Catalana. If you read Spanish, a good book to begin your research is “Biografia de Francisco Franco Bahamonde” by Manuel Aznar. Sorry about being carried away with my response, you can tell I am passionate about European history. Good luck with your research!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Please comment on the upcoming wedding of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau. What do you think was the attraction of Mary Kay as a teacher to a 12 year-old student, and how could she have continued meeting with him with the result being 7 years in prison? Thanks, (Judy)

A. There are many details of this particular case insinuating she was, and still is, in need of serious psychological counseling. As for him, I believe he is not as innocent as he appears, and is someone who is only a victim “by legal definition”.
I am only guessing, since I would need to spend a great deal of one on one time with each individual in order to develop a professional opinion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I know you can't make a clinical diagnosis without professional tests, but I would like to know what your personal opinion is on the Michael Jackson case and if he will be found guilty. Thanks! (Vicky)

You’re correct, I can only express my personal opinion and it will be brief. I feel the key lies in the specific sex of ALL the children Michael used to surround himself with. I am of the opinion if an individual simply likes children, he, or she, will not zero in on children of a specific sex. I am also of the opinion it just happens to be too coincidental that investigators found child pornography in his home.
As for the outcome, there are many examples in recent history proving “being guilty” and “being found guilty” are two completely different things, especially in our type of Justice System. I personally believe whether the accused is set free, or not, is mostly based on the personal opinion of a group of individuals who usually know very little about criminal law and interpreting scientific evidence. In other words, the oratory skills of the attorney(s), and ability to “confuse” simple facts, are what mostly influences our jury’s verdicts. In MJ’s case, we will just have to wait and see.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Do you think perhaps you’ve been too hard on Charlie by saying he would be sent back as “rejected” by the B-2 women? I think he’s a pretty nice guy! I even believe he played very nicely with children in the home visits. (Barbara)

A. I also believe Charlie is a “pretty nice guy” too, in his own carefree way. That may make him a good person to have as a friend or a drinking buddy, like someone’s father said on the home visits, but it does not necessarily make him good husband or father material.
After bringing up the conversation with some of the women I deal with daily, I found our boy’s approval rate increased, or decreased, according to the age and maturity level of the woman in question. In other words, young, fun-loving and what I shall describe as “easily impressed women” generally find our boy a “good catch”, while most mature professional women, or ones who take the responsibility of raising children seriously, believe Charlie is too immature for marriage, much less fatherhood.
On a personal level, I believe children are shortchanged when they have parents who are seen, by them, only as “good playing partners” or “friends”. Children can make "friends" in school anytime they wish. Children need to have “nurturing and responsible parents” in order to develop properly, both emotionally and sociologically.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering what is your opinion of "runaway bride" Jennifer Wilbanks? Thank you.

A. It is not uncommon for a bride, or a groom, to get "cold feet" right before the wedding, but this particular case is not as simple as it seems. After listening carefully to segments of her 911 call, and observing her face expression on several published photos, I am of the opinion Jennifer has underlying psychological issues not related to her upcoming wedding.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was curious of what you thought of the book “He’s Just Not That Into You”. Thank you, (LA GAL)

A. I found it entertaining and agree some individuals create the most elaborate excuses to avoid accepting the obvious.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. This is COMPLETELY stereo typing but, GENERALLY speaking, most women don’t tolerate any type of lies (white or otherwise) and they think it’s a flaw in the mans character. They think if they are capable of lying, to benefit their own personal interest, what's to say they won’t do it again? Men generally seem to think it’s ok to tell white lies and then later cover their tracks or say look, you’re right, I should have told you the truth but I didn’t think you’d understand. Why is this so? (Peanut).

A. I believe there is no place for lies in any type of successful relationship, and this goes for members of both sexes. I also feel there are ways of telling the truth without hurting each other’s feelings, and one should always try to be tactful. Both should get used to expressing their feelings, and opinions, openly and without holding back, always ensuring their words do not sound harsh and selfish.
Using the first example in your letter, I can guarantee his feelings will suffer less if you would say something like “My sister and I are planning to spend some quality time together, this summer, since we have not enjoyed each other's company for some time now and have much to catch up on”. This phrase lets him know your intentions and also sends the message both you and your sister would treasure some “alone-time” together. I believe this is also less harsh than “I might like to spend some alone time with my sister, this summer, because I haven’t seen her in a while and I see you every week.”
To me, this really means “ I’m OK with the thought of us being apart this summer, since we see each other every week anyway” and "I also don’t want you breathing down my neck while I visit my sister”.
It may not be true, but phrases like these make the other person believe your needs will always come first, and you do not care if you hurt his feelings or not. Always remember selecting your words and displaying a little tact can go a long way!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello A.T. I’ve been enjoying your articles well over one year now and, even though I know you try to stay away from giving personal advise, would like to ask why you think some men stare and flirt with other women when they are already out on a date. Is it a “macho thing”? Thanks! (Elaine)

A. It is very important to distinguish if he is simply glancing around the room or actually staring at other women. I once had a person come to me with a similar complaint, about someone she had just met, only to learn later he was a Police Detective who had the habit of “scanning a public place” while “classifying” everyone who was there, before he could sit back and relax.
If this is not your case, I will answer your question by saying:” Because your “friend” has the manners of a horse”.
Some men believe their “manhood meter” increases according to the number of different women he flirts with, but YOU are actually the one who holds the ultimate power. My personal advice is to simply get up and walk out on him. Later, by phone, you can have a serious conversation with him on the subject, and then make a final determination if he is worth keeping.

I personally believe he’s probably been doing it all his life and is not going to change just for your sake. Some women do not mind their men flirting, or looking at other women, but generally this is a sign he feels little respect for them deep down inside. I would go as far as to say their men probably disrespects them in many other little ways they have not witnessed or seen yet. Like everything in life, there are exceptions, therefore I am only generalizing.
Your “charmer” would need a major “personality overhaul” in order to conform to what we shall name “civilized standards”. I also believe the possibilities are high your “Disco King” would cheat on you if he were tempted by someone he considered “irresistible”, but that is another subject altogether.
Bottom line? Save yourself a lot of grief, dump him and look for someone who respects you and is more in tune with your feelings. I am certain HE is somewhere out there.
On a curious note: Contrary to popular belief, men's brains are "wired" differently than females, and are more “visual” than their female counterparts.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Do you really believe both Aaron and Andrew would have chosen Brooke and Kirsten if they would have had the same time as Charlie to get to know them? (H.C.)

A. Aaron and Helene were already having problems on or about the time the show finished airing. I believe he would have realized Helene was not for him and gone with Brooke instead, even if he would never had actually proposed to Brooke, in my opinion.
Andrew and Jen may be a different story. It is pretty much common knowledge A&J were beginning to get into each other’s nerves soon after the show finished airing. I just don’t know for certain what Andrew would have done, since I feel it was mostly Jen’s decision to split up without giving him much notice.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I love to read your articles but sometimes do not understand what you are trying to say. Do you think the whole show was scripted? (Jessie)

A. I believe Fleis and Co. may have found the solution to their problems with Charlie and whomever he chooses in the end.
I am certain our boy has a certain amount of leeway, here and there, but feel there is little “reality” in this particular show, including what will happen in the finale.
We must remember this might be the nail in the coffin for The Bachelor shows and nothing would benefit the franchise more than a “good ending”. We don’t need a steamy relationship or a proposal anymore; most of us have lowered our expectations by now, but it would be nice if the couple stayed together long enough for the public to accept their breakup as “one of those things that happens”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering who is your favorite Bachelor and Bachelorette (leading role)?

A. Most profitable to ABC, and the one who provided me with the most entertainment: Aaron. The most likeable, as a person, is still Andrew.
On the Bachelorette side, I believe Trista was most profitable for the series, and provided the most entertaining show, in my opinion.
My favorite one? NEITHER OF THE THREE, for different reasons. I personally believe the producers could have recycled other bachelorettes who would have been more likeable and entertaining than Trista, Meredith, or Jen.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you believe Jen will end up with Billy?

A. It is difficult for me to ascertain what Jen wants out of life. Generally speaking, dating your “boss” is not a good idea, unless you really do not need the job. Chances are your employment will end on, or about, the same time as the relationship does, and Billy does not look to me as someone who is ready to commit to just one person.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., what is your opinion of Paris Hilton? I’ve always wondered about that. Thanks, (J.V.)

A. Not too high. I know Paris does not need to work, but her chosen lifestyle has no “personal value” whatsoever, in my opinion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I’d like to know from you is love a feeling or actions witnessed over time that develops/turns into love? How do you know you have love that will stand the test of time (or a good idea). (Peanut)

A. Your definition is as good as any other and better than most. It is difficult for us humans to explain feelings using words. Just try explaining what being “happy” is, without saying something like “It is the feeling you have when there is no sadness”. This last statement is not accurate because an individual may feel “extremely happy” while, at the same time, have sad memories.
I once filled in as a Psychology “teacher”, of sorts, as a favor to a friend, and asked the class to try defining “love”. A few minutes later we had a total of sixteen different definitions written on the board, proof the feeling, or definition, of “love”, or “being loved”, may dependend on many factors including ethnic background and personality. Some cultures, like ours, romanticize it, while other look at it from a more “realistic” and “practical” point of view.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I love your articles but you are not playing fair this time around. How can you make us wait weeks to hear what your “theory” is on who is Charlie going to choose? Come on! You know how curious we women are! Give us another clue....(Janet V.)

A. All right Janet, take a deep breath and relax. I will give you something to munch on: The trick, this time around, is not to determine who the Bachelor is falling in love with, but which one of the remaining women would personally benefit if the show ended on a “happy note”, for a change. Put your little gray cells to work and do some research.....

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., I love your commentaries on The Bachelor shows but also enjoy your keen insights on political personalities and situations. There are rumors of a Presidential showdown between Hillary and Newt Gingrich. Who would YOU endorse and why?

A. Quite frankly, neither.
It is my personal opinion both have too much dirty laundry that would weight them down in a campaign and, later on, a presidency.
Hillary would constantly need to defend herself against many inappropriate things she and Bill did, and covered under the rug, during their eight years in the White House. She also comes across as “plastic” and saying whatever people wish to hear just to gain their vote, much like Bill did. I do not know if anyone remembers the Medical Insurance debacle Hillary headed in the beginning of Bill’s presidency. It reminded me of a hot air balloon with a bad hole in it!
Last, but not least, Hillary would be an ineffective President, due to the fact all Republicans, and a number of Democrats, would neutralize everything she would try to pass in Congress. In order to stand a chance to win, the Democrats would need someone well liked and respected on BOTH sides of the politcal spectrum, Hillary is not that person.
Even though I honestly believe the time has come for it, most Americans wrongly believe the U.S. Presidency is still no place for a woman, especially during these violent and dangerous times for our Country. All right gang, don’t jump on me, I personally believe Margaret Thatcher was a superb Prime Minister who made all the right decisions during the Falkans War!

Newt, on the other hand, would have his hands full trying to explain away certain unorthodox matters related to his years in Congress (does anyone remember the rubber check scandal?). His married life is not squeaky clean either, but we should skip that one altogether, since we would have to fire most politicians, from both political parties, if we only wanted in key government positions individuals who were faithful to their spouses .
I also believe Newt has an abrasive and opinionated personality some find irritating, even if he actually is brilliant (trust me on this). For example, he would completely annihilate any opponent stretching facts to make themselves look good during a debate. Anyone fool enough to try this would be pinned to the wall, by Newt, with hundreds of historical facts debunking their distortions of the truth. Another handicap for Newt would be the fact both Hillary and Bill know how come down and communicate to common folks at their level, while Newt’s ideas and style of speech goes way over their heads. This fact irritates a lot of people and would constantly work against him.

Bottom line is I honestly hope BOTH parties come up with better candidates for the 2005 Presidency! There are plenty of Democrats and Republicans in public office, including some exceptional women, I feel would make good Presidents.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering if you saw Charlie and his brother Jerry on Leno and, if you did, your opinion of the segment. (B.R.)

A. It is difficult to determine personality traits when all you have is a few minutes of TV footage, therefore I can only guess.
It is my personal opinion Jerry has succumbed to Hollywood’s destructive traps and his life appears to be out of control. He was definitely under the effects of a controlled substance, and constantly tried to outshine his brother in front of the cameras. I do not believe Jerry's wacky behavior was merely a one-time event.
On the other hand, those who objectively observed Charlie’s behavior probably noticed how he tried several times to undermine his brother Jerry, using subtle comments to illustrate his believed superiority over him. I would venture to guess Charlie possibly sees his brother’s momentary fame with a certain degree of envy, and is not comfortable riding on his brother’s fame. I honestly believe both will eventually self-destruct
I will grant Charlie was a little more subdued than his brother, last night, but I would still cringe at the thought of seeing a daughter of mine becoming romantically involved him.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I know you are a History scholar so I wanted to ask you why the Prince of Monaco, who just passed away, had the title of Prince and not King. Thanks! (Barbara)

A. Monaco, and its rulers, has an interesting and unique history.
The first Lord of Monaco was a pirate of sorts named Lanfranco Grimaldi who lived around the 1300’s. After his death, a cousin named "Rainier I" was his successor. Rainier I was a little more honorable, and less problematic, than his pirate cousin Lafranco, therefore the King of France gave him the title of Grand Admiral of France.
Monaco never had anyone in power with the blood title of King; therefore the Head of State, by succession, has the official title of Prince, since one of the Grimaldis was given the title of “Prince” by a French King. That is roughly why it is called “A “Principality” and not a “Kingdom”.
European history is extremely complex and interesting, but it would take a book to answer your question in detail. Please forgive me for skipping over a large amount of interesting but complex information.
It is curious to note the original landmass of Monaco was much smaller, in the 1600’s, than it is today. The reason it has “grown” can not be attributed to conquering monarchs but to some tricky land purchases conducted by some of its previous rulers. Today, Monaco covers a landmass of approximately 450 acres.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I would like to know why, if Jen graduated magna cum laude from college and therefore must be an intelligent person, she does not realize the negative impact the show has had due to her past and present actions. Also, what’s your take on her relationship with her boss. Thanks!

A. Contrary to popular belief, having a degree only means you are knowledgeable in a certain area and does not provide its bearer of common sense. As for her alleged relationship with Billy I can only speculate. My personal theory is they were fairly close friends when Jen received the Bachelorette offer. Billy may be one of those individuals who do not take his baseball cap off to go to sleep but he appears to be a fairly good businessman. He probably advised Jen to do the show and gave her all the time off she needed, after all, he and his business could also use the free publicity.
Will their relationship be permanent? Of course not! Besides being friends, Jen is leaning on his shoulder after all the backlash she has been receiving, and our friend Billy appears to be one of those individuals who believe any publicity is good publicity, just look at Omarosa and Bob as prime examples of what I mean.
Jen has the right to date anyone she wishes, and do not have to ask for anyone’s permission. I even feel her once large fan base would have been happy to see her dating Billy, only if Jen would have been wise enough to avoid her Bachelorette fiasco.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., I am a fan and just wanted to know your personal opinion on the Schiavo case. Thanks! (Jenny)

A. Loosing a loved one is a very traumatic experience. These past years have been extremely difficult for the family and I personally believe stretching the inevitable, by artificial means, is more harmful than beneficial to all involved, including the patient.
With today’s technology, medical personnel are able to keep patient’s physical functions active for years, making family members believe their loved ones are still “with them” when, in fact, the patient’s actual condition is more “artificial” than “realistic”.
Personally, I do not support the "circus atmosphere" created by the media and public in reference to what should be a very private, and painful, choice for the ones directly involved.
There are two sides to any issue, and this particular case is no different. I only hope Terri’s family are finally able to reach the internal peace they deserve.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. As a School Counselor with a degree in Psychology I believe you are a keen behaviorist with a sometimes wicked sense of humor. I am one who remember you saying, somewhere in the beginning of the series, Jen should do the right thing and let the Producers know if she doesn’t click with anyone of the bachelors, and not choose someone just to make ABC happy. Presently, some writers praise her for having done just that, and yet most, including yourself, are still not being too kind to her. Why do you think this is so?

A. I am of the opinion some of those writers are being one-dimensional in their assessment of Jen’s behavior. I may be totally wrong but believe most viewers would have also applauded Jen’s honesty if she had acted differently throughout the filming of the show.
It is a proven fact our personal opinions of others is the result of many small tidbits of information processed by our senses, and rarely based on a simple instance. For example, I do not see the viewers upset with Meredith for having their fantasy bubble shot down after the demise of her relationship with Ian.
In Jen’s particular case I would venture to say her downfall was probably caused by a combination of some of Jen’s on-camera comments when referring to some of the bachelors on the show, her tacky comments in reference to Ryan’s family, her unpopular habit of rolling her eyes whenever the situation was not of her liking, her childish breakdown in the limo, and of not confronting the producers to avoid stretching the inevitable until the airing of the “After the Rose Special”. I believe almost everyone felt let down and “used”, at that moment, and Jen was the one who took the blunt of the blame.
I believe to speak for many when I say I also applaud Jen’s decision of not becoming engaged, for a second time, to someone she was not in love with. Her problem is all her other negative behavior outweigh the one positive deed she performed.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Now that Jen's stint as Bachelorette is over, my respect for her has dipped drastically. I still like Andrew Firestone very much since he is very genuine. I saw a group photo of Andrew with some of the B2 girls on the Internet. He was standing next to Gwen of B2. Do you think they will make a nice couple? Thanks! (Kim)

A. Your guess is as good as mine. I will say there are two things going for them; Andrew is attracted to small petite blondes, and both Andrew and Gwen enjoy a good party.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Do you think it’s fair for Jen to be getting all the current heat and venom from the viewers? What advise would you give her. (N.R.)

A. I personally believe Jen is somewhere in-between being “America’s Sweetheart” and the villain some are making her out to be. Anyone can go up or down the ladder of success but, once they are placed on top of a pedestal, the only way they can go is down.
It is difficult to give good advice to someone you have never met. It is my opinion Jen should stay away from the limelight for now, especially if there is some truth in the rumors about her and her boss being romantically involved.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don't know if this question has been asked but do you think Jen really loved Andrew? When she appeared as a guest at the The Bachelor's (Jesse's) Final Rose ceremony, Jen was asked if she thought that Andrew loved her and she replied that she thought he felt the same way she felt about him, that they loved each other. Now she's saying that to fall in love can not be forced and that this dating show does not work. What's your take on this. (Iban)

A. After observing Jen a little more closely on this last series I have realized my original opinion was not accurate and she was probably never “in love” with Andrew.
Furthermore, thinking back on all the instances where both were shown together, I do not remember one scene where Jen appeared to be visibly infatuated with Andrew. I may be wrong, but feel their relationship lacked passion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What is your take on Andrew being played into the Jen Scheft series, then on the MTA, and finally Chris asking specifically about the "ring" - There was hardly an episode that didn't bring up Andrew. I believe all of this could have been edited out unless ABC had a reason for putting it in the series. (Pat)

A. I believe Andrew is well liked by most viewers and will boost the ratings of any TV show were he is invited as a guest. The Producers edited the MTA promo in a way that made it appear like A & J were going to participate much more than they actually did.
I do not wish to get caught up in the ring controversy but believe there is no valid excuse for any woman to keep an engagement ring after the engagement has been called off, especially a ring worth tens of thousands of dollars.
In certain circles it may be acceptable to keep the ring as “payback”, or personal satisfaction. There are also other women who will openly keep the ring for its monitary value, but simply saying the man asked her to keep the ring is a copout, in my opinion, and a total lack of elegance, or class.
What would happen if the woman was the one who terminated the relationship? Would she then owe him money for his time and expense?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello A.T.-- I enjoy your comments and predictions. I would love to hear your take on the VH1 show called "Strange Love" featuring Brigette Neilson and Flava Flav. Based on just physical types, I suppose they are an unlikely couple, but I am ambivalent when watching them interact. Your thoughts?

Q. I do not watch much TV, and when I do is usually the History Channel. The show you mentioned reminds me of something in the same entertainment level as The Anna Nicole Show.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. it seems like Jen is going to the Oscars as a “Lifestyle Correspondent” and is apparently being groomed by ABC to do other stints after the show is over. I like Jen but isn’t that a little contradictory with her “publicity-shy” image of the recent past? (B.G.)

A. Lots of individuals in the entertainment industry began their careers with a small cameo appearance in front of the cameras, therefore it is nothing new nor a crime For Jen to have taken ABC’s Bachelorette offer as a catapult for a career as a TV correspondent. Let’s be realistic here, both appear to be nice guys but Jen does not need the assistance of an ABC show to find suitors like Jerry or JP, nor is she ready to get married and have children, anytime in the near future, with neither one.
Next time you see her being interviewed, lower the volume and concentrate on her body language. You will notice Jen thrives on the attention and her whole face & body becomes an extension of her excitement.
I am not being critical of her, just expressing an opinion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. We’ve been informed Andrew is going to be in the Women Tell All Special. Don’t you think this is a tacky move by ABC to increase ratings, and what do you think he’ll talk about? (B.K.)

A. It may be tacky, as you say, but you are forgetting Andrew agreed to it.
I do not expect much to come out of this, both he and Jen will say whatever preconceived statements both agreed upon that will make them look good. We will probably see a few tears, here and there, but nothing of substance.
I still question Andrew’s motives for agreeing to be on this show; how many times can both say they went their own way because each wanted something different before it sounds like a broken record.
The only couple who truly threw everything out the window and told it like it was were Helene & Aaron in their Breakup Special.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I hate to put you on the spot with this question but, since you predicted this from the onset, would you give us your opinion as to why Meredith and Ian ended their relationship? Who do you think initiated it? Thanks! (Leslie)

A. Gee Leslie, you have no pity! Don’t you know I am still in hot water for some of my personal opinions regarding Jen’s show? I will be brief and not too specific. There are possibly two answers to your question; One is the public reason both possibly agreed upon, another quite different what actually may have happened.
Of course I can only speculate, remember I do not know either one personally, but believe it was Ian who initiated it. It has always been my belief Meredith was more “in love” with Ian than he with her, even though both felt enough steamy attraction towards each other to enjoy a hot & passionate romance once the show was over.
Having said that, Ian does not appear to me as someone ready to make a life-long commitment just yet. His heart is not in it, even if he, in fact, proposed to Meredith on the show. He also appears to identify, and is closely connected with, everything regarding Brazil. Ian enjoys vacationing there, visiting relatives and friends, and feels attracted to the country and its people. Proof is Brazil was where he felt comfortable going to as soon as they broke up.
What I am going to say may be difficult for some readers to understand, unless they have lived in another country for a prolonged period of time, but I would guess Ian identifies more with Brazilian women than with American ones. For this reason I suspect he may have always felt there was “something missing” in his relationship with Mer.
I like both Mer & Ian and wish them good luck.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I am aware this question deviates from your regular discussions but what is your opinion of Prince Charles and Camila’s upcoming wedding? Cheers! (B.V.)

A. I personally believe it is like opening a once draped window and allowing the sun to shine into a room which has been dark for 35 years.
I have always held high respect for Prince Charles, for his life has not been easy since the day he was born. A part of me has always been amused by Charle’s 35 year old romance with Camila, for I see it as living proof physical beauty has absolutely no correlation with enjoying a meaningful and happy relationship with someone. Both Charles and Camila complement each other extremely well, enjoying the same hobbies, sports, and events. Camila has a ‘bubbly personality” Charles has always felt attracted to, besides sometimes being Charle’s mother (which he never really had), his best friend (which is very difficult for a future King to find) and the perfect lover (which all men secretly seek and seldom find). Camilla, on the other hand, finds Charles’ extremely intellectual and low key personality attractive, besides getting a thrill for always having been his “favorite”. Both Charles & Camila feel at ease, in each other’s company, and will probably still be holding each other’s hand at the end of their lives.

I am happy to see Charles finally has the support he needs to officially enjoy the rest of his life with his chosen companion. I wish both the best. Cheers!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Please give us your opinion on Trump’s obsession with young beauty queen types. Why do men do this? (Betty)

A. Betty, don’t be too harsh on The Big Guy, I am one who believes deep inside he is a pretty nice guy. This does not mean he is a “pussycat” in business, on the contrary, he can be ruthless and “fire you” without batting an eye.
Seriously now, The Donald is a pretty sharp guy, and has his head well placed on his shoulders. In my opinion he has done an exemplary job of raising his kids the right way and, for those who say it’s merely because he’s rich, I feel having money has absolutely no correlation with raising kids the proper way, Just look at the lifestyles of some celebrity kids.
On the other hand, Donald has a flair for being interested in everything that is flashy and envied by others, from his homes to his girlfriends and wives. Hey, one can’t be perfect in every way! Bottom line, I believe he shows no common sense in his past and present choices of wives, and is also obsessed with trying to remain young.
Sorry, Big Guy, there are some things money can’t buy!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I found your comments regarding Jen pretty accurate, as I see it. Now that you have had more exposure to her, through this second show, can you humor us fans and tell us your opinion of the real reason why she left Andrew? (B.R.)

A. This is going to be one of those mysteries no one will ever be able to crack, in my opinion. Some say Andrew may have been too hyper for her, or the fact he moved her in with his room mate did them in, or that Andy dragged his feet around and did not want to take the next step, but I honestly feel their demise was perhaps due to something else. Actually, I feel there was nothing Andy could have done to salvage their relationship. After watching again some of the bloopers shown on their ATRS, I have realized Andrew behaved in his normal hyperactive wacky way during the filming of the show as well as after both were engaged, therefore, Jen should have known perfectly well what he was going to be like. If she felt he was too nerve-wracking for her to handle, Jen should have refused a rose and returned home.
I accept the fact both should have rented their own apartment, instead of sharing their place with one of his friends, so that’s one against Andy, as far as I’m concerned. It could have been a stroke of genius if perhaps it had something to do with circumventing one of California's alimony laws for unmarried couples living together. I welcome any California alimony expert out there who is able to enlighten me, in case I have blindly stumbled into something that could explain the whole thing.
The larger issue is I am beginning to believe it was really all about Jen not being the center of attention in the Firestone clan. I know, for a fact, large powerful families, like the Firestones, are usually based on everyone sharing the responsibility of keeping the family business running successfully, and no one is supposed to stand out. In other words, the needs of the many far outweigh the need of the one, in this case our dear Jen. It is possible Jen saw she was really powerless to change or maneuver things to her liking, something we are beginning to see does not agree with her.
I know Andy is a little immature and may be too electrified for someone with an easygoing personality to survive, but one thing about him: What you see is what you get, he never pretends to be anything he is not, therefore it really shouldn’t take anyone a whole year to realize how he is.
Andrew is also what I consider a social animal. Anyone who has met him in person knows he is an animated talker and the one with the jokes and funny lines. All the attention would have been drifted from Jen to him, whenever both were out there interacting with the public, perhaps that is why she disliked traveling with him.
It is evident, after watching this week’s home visits, Jen does not feel comfortable unless she is the center of attention and all conversation drifts to whatever topic she wishes to speak about. As a matter of fact, now that you have me going, I do not mind saying it is my personal opinion no Bachelorette has ever been so insulting, to the families of her suitors, as Jen was. Didn’t it cross her mind whatever she said was going to be aired, including her comments about Thailand and Ryan’s parents? I hope she’s not daft enough to choose Ryan in the end, I’m certain his family will not be jumping up and down with joy over it.

Finally, I can understand Andrew wanting to take longer than perhaps Jen was willing to wait before making any type of wedding plans. He did say, on national TV, he did not believe in pre-nuptials. Perhaps, after experiencing a couple of Jen tantrums, he saw a glimpse of the real Jen and wanted to ensure he had made the right choice. After all, a divorce without a pre-nuptial would have depleted him of a pretty good sum of money, it is logical for him to have wanted to move slowly.
Anyway, I am learning more and more about some of these individuals every time I watch a new episode, but please remember I am only guessing, since I do not know anyone of these individuals personally.
As for Jen, there is nothing she can do to change the way she is, and I must emphasize I still believe she is a pretty nice person, in real life. Even though I do not consider it a sin, I also believe Jen is hard to please, likes to be in control, shows little common sense, and becomes impatient too quickly, three signs of someone who is not necessarily a bad person, but who is difficult. It is also a sign of someone who may discard some good opportunities in life simply because of her impatience and desire to have full control of the events. We, as fans, will never know for certain, but I have a hunch Jen may realize some of her mistakes a couple of decades from now when she has matured a little more.
It is too bad, most of the time, we humans begin the road to wisdom and common sense when it is getting to be too late to do anything practical about it.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. The National Enquirer has come out with their spoiler about Jerry being given the final rose, but not making a "marriage" proposal. They have been right on all their other "spoilers," so they do have credibility going for them. From your observations, it seems doubtful this one will go the distance. Additionally, I feel that Jen's 15 minutes of fame will turn into 15 minutes of infamy...the show was a sham and she will relinquish her "America's Sweetheart" title which was bestowed by ABC, not the viewers. She shouldn't have done it! What is your take on this? (Dianne)

A. She had no need to do the show and will possibly make a grave error of judgement by choosing Jerry, who I personally believe is not emotionally invested in her. I do not believe Jerry is a bad person, but the world is full of really nice individuals who are not ready to make a big commitment. There is no crime in that.
I will deal more in depth about Jen’s lack of judgment in my next article.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I just wanted to tell you I was upset at you for a long time because you constantly said M&I were not meant to be together and it was only a “hot fling”. As a fan, I wanted to believe in their fairytale romance, only to see it end, like many others before them, after merely a year. I just wanted to let you know many of your readers “forgive you”. (Anonymous)

A. It is difficult for me to make readers see I am not passing judgment on any of these individuals, or couples, I am just making personal observations about their behavior & interaction together. It is possible to have two perfectly wonderful individuals who may enjoy a tempestuous romantic relationship together but who do not have anything else in common that would make their relationship successful on a long-term basis.
Andrew & Jen, and now Meredith & Ian, are simply 2 very public examples of what engagements are for, and all involved should be grateful they realized their mistake before marriage, and what is more important, before having children.
I believe these couples should be commended for having had the intelligence and honestly to do the right thing for themselves and future generations, regardless of what "the public" wanted or believed they should do. I wish all of them the best, and hope each find that special person in their lives, even if takes them many more years to do so.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don’t remember if you’ve been asked this, but what’s your opinion of the show “The Nanny”? (Barb)

A. Briefly, I believe the “actress” they have placed in the leading role is actually more harmful to the children than helpful, since she has very little common sense for a so-called “nanny. I am no prude, trust me, but personally believe she constantly overexposes, to the cameras, what we shall call ‘her physical attributes”.
Secondly, this is a TV show and I am certain the “spoiled kids”, and their respective “moms”, are overdoing it in front of the cameras and they are really not that naughty, or spacey, in real life. I would imagine real professional nannies are horrified by what they see on this Hollywood production.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I am completely intrigued by how you are able to read people so accurately through body language. I was wondering if there were any books you could recommend for me to read because I am very interested in learning how to read people better. Who knows? It might save me from wasting my time on certain dates. ;) Ginger.

A. There are many expensive books on the subject, and many more free articles on the net that you would possibly find interesting. I advise you to take the free route first, since no expensive book will turn you or anyone into a specialist overnight, all they do is make their authors rich. Good luck with your dates, just use good old fashion common sense and you will do just fine.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I love your articles, but I also enjoy your political/historic comments. What’s your opinion of the elections held in Iraq?

A. I believe this is a unique historic moment for the region and I commend all the leaders who made this achievement possible.
Having said that, I personally believe we Westerners are too simplistic when viewing other societies. It is my opinion the real challenge, for everyone involved, is not actually having done a national election, but getting all the different tribes in Iraq to accept the outcome.
This is going to be a long tedious process and I advise everyone used to “quick fixes” to sit back and make themselves comfortable for the next several years.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Just from your experience, what is the percentage of couples who successfully reunite after separating to “think things over”? ( Jenny)

A. There is no official data to use for reference, nevertheless my personal opinion is that around 40% get back together again. The bad news is, once they reunite, most realize "the magic thread" that made their relationship seem “special” has disappeared, and only about 10% of those stay together.
Love is like almost everything in life, it is either growing or it is dying. I also believe real love is pretty much a white & black issue, with no gray areas; either you love the person or you don’t, if you have to think about it there is very little there to begin with.
Therapy works when two people who absolutely love each other need guidance resolving issues affecting their relationship. Personally, I believe no amount of therapy will make someone love another person if the flame is gone or if it was never really there to begin with.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Well - I suppose you have heard the latest news - **drum roll please** - Meredith and Ian have separated!! No surprise there since you had doubts about their relationship lasting. As someone who is a huge fan of this couple, obsessed about them endlessly, collected everything about them she could get her hands on...I'd really be interested in revisiting your opinion of their relationship and what you think of why they split. I realize no one can ever know what caused the separation, but perhaps you can give it a try! It's very disheartening to most of us to see even these passionate relationships fall by the wayside. Is anyone ever intended to stay together?? (Marion)

A. I would not take this too seriously until the couple makes some type of statement, since it may just be hearsay and misquotes.
Even though I sometimes may “predict” a certain couple will not grow old together, it would actually be a little sad to see one more Reality TV couple separating!
If, in fact, M&I actually have called it quits, it is going to be difficult to ascertain the real reason(s), since I do not believe neither of them will agree to do a televised “Special” like Aaron and Helene did.

I wish both of them good luck!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I wanted to ask you if you’ve seen any episodes of Super Nany and, if so, your opinion of the show. Thanks. (Norma)

A. I know there has to be a certain amount of scripting going on, nevertheless, I only saw one episode and felt more sorry for the kids than for the parents. I bet if you would take a group of children and line up the parents on the opposite side I would be able to match them up. With minor exception, most children are merely a reflection of their parents.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I really hate that full page ad you have on the web-site now, as a result, no doubt, of it being a free web-site from Angelfire. And it comes up every time you click to go to a new page! Is there anything you can do about it? (Diane)

A. We apologize for the pop-ups, I guess it is the price to pay for a free site. We used to have a pay-plan feature, in the beginning, which not only gave us more band-with, but also omitted pop-ups.
At one time, viewer hits were about 40,000 per week, and we needed much more band-with than the amount provided by the free service, or else our site would go down under the heavy traffic (it actually went down three separate times during B-3 and Bachelorette-1). During and after B-4, viewer interest in these shows dropped significantly and we decided to drop the paid service. Presently, our site’s weekly visitors average around 16,000 and the band-with offered with the free service is more than enough for our needs.
I believe ABC also decided to cut down expenses associated with the show. I do not know if you remember all individuals coming out of these shows used to be provided free space for their own web site, including Chris Harrison. All those expenses were cut, possibly due to the decline in ratings, and advertiser’s money. It is a shame, I agree, but reality nevertheless. Thank you for writing to us. Wendy.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering if you have seen anything of the show "Outback Jack", another relationship show, this time with a good looking Australian and twelve American gals in the outback. It's now showing here in Australia and I am finding it a more engaging format than the Bachelor shows have become. The participants seem to have more opportunities to get to know each other. (Sharon)

A. I heard this was an entertaining show but, quite honestly, I never had the time to watch it. Contrary to popular belief, I seldom watch TV except for a few programs on the History Channel and the Bachelor (ette) shows due to our Internet site.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you think it’s harder to be in a long term relationship the longer your single? (Dawn)

A. There is nothing written in stone where relationships are concerned but, generally speaking, people become more “choosy” as they get older, especially when they have been living alone for many years and treasure their privacy.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I remember you predicted, some months ago, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston would not stay together for long. As one of their fans, I was a little angry with you for saying this, believing you had no idea what you were saying. Now that your prediction has come true, my opinion of you has changed. Why do you believe these type of Hollywood marriages are almost never successful? (Kate)

A. There are always going to be exceptions, but I believe most entertainers and actors (both sexes) possess a small thread of selfishness, and a constant need to have their egos boosted, neither of which are conducive to successful long-term relationships.
We must also take into consideration the amount of time these couples spend apart. These constant separations may cause the couple to begin feeling "unattached" and "distant" towards each other. After a while, both become so used to the other’s absence there is little holding their relationship together.
Personally, I am glad they did not have children, since it is difficult to find a “Hollywood child” nowadays who does not come from a broken home.
I know of exceptions, of course, and one that quickly comes to mind is actor Ricardo Montalban’s successful marriage, but they are definitely the minority.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. There seems to be some rumors circulating about Jen being a little forward while in High School and perhaps not being the squeaky-clean maiden everyone has made her up to be. Have you heard or read these rumors? What is your opinion on this? (K.N.)

A. Quite honestly, it is not surprising someone somewhere was going to come out with this type of character assassination! Come on folks, the public loves to build someone up just to watch someone else tear them down and this is no exception.
So Jen dated while in High School, and College, and had more than one “boyfriend” of sorts; I would honestly find it bothersome to hear she never had a romantic date in all her years as a student. Now that would be something to pick up my pad and ask her to “lay on the couch” over!
I am certain “sweet Jen” is not a saint, nor does she have to be. I do not know her personally, but find her interesting, fun-loving, good humored, and with a sense of decency difficult to find nowadays in other’s her age.
She may or may not have found her other half, on her second televised appearance, or she may even make a few error in judgements along the way, but that is inconsequential. Jen will always have my respect and support.
By the way, you guys want to hear another awful gossip? While in College, and later at the University, I had an old restored 1973 VW bug van which was considered, on campus, as the most visited and fun vehicle in the dorm’s parking lot. I guess that would also make me a horrible and amoral person, according to some...... Bottom line is: You can never please everyone, therefore, no one should ever waste their time trying.
C’est la vie!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. In the Dec. 27th issue of US Magazine, Jen says "I was naive in thinking [the relationship with Firestone] was going to be great in the real world, since we got along so great [during the taping]." That indicates she had reservations. Of course, this is over a year later etc. etc. I still wonder what happened to make them not be compatible when they looked so comfortable in front of the cameras.
What chance do you give her to be any more satisfied this time around? (Judy)

A. Without even seeing her show, I feel Jen's chances of finding someone special, on the Bachelorette, are not so good, at least at this stage of her life. Nevertheless, it is too soon to tell, and I am just going by my gut feeling.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. US Weekly reports Jen saying she and Andrew went through a very public relationship and now she wants this “new” relationship to work. According to them “Jen's been a little bit coy about it, obviously a little scared”. What do you think of this? (B.R.)

A. You have to be kidding! If she did not really wanted to have her relationships be in the public eye she should not have signed up to be The Bachelorette, and simply concentrated on dating non-celebrity types.
I have nothing against Jen being on the show, but believe it is time she sheds her “publicity-shy” image.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Dear A.T, Thanks for sharing with the readers something personal of yourself in your earlier reply that you are an INFP. (By the way I am an INFJ). My question to you revolves around compatibility. For introverts like both of us, is it better to be paired with extroverts as suggested by Keirsey's Temperaments?(by the way is your wife an extrovert?) Do you believe in astrological compatibility? or even using the birth order match? I would really like to hear views on these? Thanks so much! :-) (Kim)

A. I believe human beings put too much weight on tests and other "scientific formulas" to determine compatibility when, in fact, I have yet to find any one of those man-made tests that is 100% reliable.
I have seen couples whose compatibility scores would make anyone believe they were made for each other last only a year or two, whereas others whose scores would not have given them six months together happily celebrating their 30th anniversary. Personally, I feel the explanation for this may be the wide range of personal reasons why two individuals may find each other attractive. Have you ever wondered what in the world did so and so find attractive in his or her "other half"?
On the other hand, I believe there are several "core qualities" that are commonly seen in all successful relationships, and an experienced individual is able to make an educated guess if a couple stand a good chance of remaining happily together for an extended period of time merely by observing their personal interactions with each other.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. There are a lot of specific comparisons to how Andrew and Jen were with each other in public and the interviews immediately following their finale with how Meredith & Ian and Bryon & Mary were in public. Some of it is the physical closeness; but people think they see other subtle differences which in hindsight some feel indicate that Andrew and Jen were not "as much" in love as Byron & Mary or Meredith & Ian and may have been headed for trouble from the beginning. People also noted that Andrew and Jen appeared not to be as totally in awe of each other as Trista and Ryan were. Do you agree with any of this? (Anonymous)

A. In hindsight, everyone is an expert and 100% right.
It is difficult to say what actually happened between A&J, both appeared to be on the road to enjoying a strong relationship right after the show ended. In hindsight, I could say there were several things that made me wonder, but I did not pay too much attention to them at the time.
For example, I never did like the idea of Jen moving into an apartment being shared between Andrew and one of his buddies: That type of arrangement works with College kids but rarely with "grownups". I also did a double take when I read they were spending a vacation in a cramped boat with some of Andrew's family. I actually thought: "What a strange thing to do, considering they have so little privacy at home". I also noticed Jen never kissed Andrew with the same intensity he kissed her, and this was evident in a short clip shown recently on TV. Jen returned his kiss but I could see, on her face, it had not phased her in any way. Even this would not have set alarms ringing in my head, since I know of many couples that go through life with little signs of external affection towards their spouses.
In the end I strongly believe neither one did much to resolve their personal issues, and am fairly certain it was Jen who decided to leave. I also feel it did not come as a big surprise to the Firestone family, considering the speed in which they took off Jen's photo, and all references to her, on their Internet site, something that would not have been done if the possibility of a reconciliation existed.
I wish her the best in her new show. Like Andrew, we are all going to be watching, curious to know what "special qualities" her final choice possesses.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Do you think it is OK for a woman to ask a man out? Thanks! (J.V.)

A. Sure, as long as it is done tactfully and in good taste. Always remember his first impression is most likely going to influence his general opinion of you.
Don't complicate matters by trying to appear as something you are not, just be yourself. A good icebreaker is to maneuver him into joining you for lunch, the rest should be easy. Good luck, let me know how you did!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. AT: Always very entertaining reading, I enjoy it. Quick question: what is your Myer's Briggs "type"? I've got a hunch, but am wondering if I am right. (Kendra)

A. You will probably be surprised to learn I fit the INFP profile. By the way, were you right?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I've noticed you sometimes have a humorous way of viewing life. I am interested in reading how you believe some reality TV fans will remember you after all these reality TV love shows have gone out of favor. Thanks. (Vicky)

A. I was recently talking with a group of friends and someone asked me a similar question.
I believe to be a realist, better than a humorist, therefore my answer would depend on what side of the spectrum the person is on, in reference to my opinions. Those who enjoyed our articles will probably say, for the most part, my predictions were fairly accurate. On the other hand, those who were never fond of my personal opinions will probably say one of two things: If my predictions were correct, most will say it was cheer luck (after all, I had a fifty-fifty chance of getting it right). If I made a wrong prediction somewhere, most will probably say something like " You see, here is proof this guy rarely got one right!" LOL.
This is living proof we humans perceive everything around us according to our own biases. Honestly, I'd be flattered knowing I was remembered at all. Take care.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Q. Hello A.T. I am sending you a list of the bachelors from Jen's show and was wondering if you could give us one of your unofficial long shot predictions. Thanks for humoring us! (Anonymous)

A. I may change my mind later but, for different reasons, I believe Andrew, Andy, Ben, Chris C., Chris M, Collin, Eric T., Josh, Keith, Matt L, Matt M., Jerry, John Paul, Michael, and Ryan Sh. have little chance of making it all the way. How is that for some "blind predictions"?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q . Hi A.T., I really enjoy your articles. I did not watch to much of the latest Bachelor series, but I am intrigued that Byron made the decision to move to Florida to make his relationship work with Mary. Do you think as the man moving across country to be with a woman shows extra commitment to making it work that wasn't seen in the earlier Bachelor series? It tends to be considered the non-traditional thing. My husband moved for my job, and he gets a lot of mixed reactions about it--depending on where the person is coming from. (Stephanie)

A. Byron may be somewhat more flexible than the average established professional, since his source of income consists of traveling the fishing circuit. Also, there is nothing specific keeping him in Nevada.
Generally speaking, I feel it would depend on the situation and the couple's sources of income. In your case, my advise is not to let the opinions of others bother you, what is important is how both of you feel about having made that decision.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don't know if you're aware Ryan and Trista are now in South Africa promoting something or other, and Ryan is also scheduled to appear in Fear Factor at a later date. Don't you think both are finding it difficult to get off the limelight? Even Ryan appears to have hopped on the bandwagon, with his Ironman stint and now this TV show. I know I'm opening a can of worms; what do you think of all this? (Julia)

A. You guys just love getting me going on this topic, don't you?
Even though both said they would begin living a "regular" life after their highly televised wedding, I am a firm believer the "Hollywood glitter", and feeling a "high" from being recognized by onlookers, is not an easy thing to leave behind.
We must also be realistic and understand money does runs out, and the couple's income is not sufficient to maintain their current lifestyle, therefore both need to seek other avenues of support while they are still marketable.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Dear A.T. I always enjoyed your insight and comment on the series. However, I began to wonder about your credibility on those relationships. You dismissed Trista and Ryan right off hand. And You never gave Meredith and Ian a chance. The only couple you bet your money on, Jen and Andrew, went nowhere. Now you are saying Byron and Mary have a good chance of making it? It seems that every couple you endorsed is doomed;-) I never bought and felt it with Byron and Mary. And I'll check it back with you in three months. What do you think? (JY)

A. Thank you for your e-mail. I do not know how long you have been enjoying our articles, but it seems you have missed the fact our goal is to entertain the readers every week with my observations and personal opinions on who is being sent home and who may go all the way, and not on predicting, with 100% accuracy, which couple is going to live happily ever after. No amount of education teaches an individual to predict the future, and I am no exception to this rule.
After each series is over, my observations on the couple are my personal opinion if both possess certain attributes that usually determine longevity in relationships. It is OK if they have certain personality traits that are different, as long as both share the core qualities that are found in most long-term relationships. That is why I never guarantee any particular couple is going to grow old together, and always emphasize both need to work at it. Nevertheless, I am only guessing at these couple’s outcome, since I only know of them what has been shown on TV; not much by anyone’s standards.
I must point out “long-term” means different things to different people. Our sociological customs are such that it is not uncommon to see an individual’s love life based on a series of marriages all ending in divorce. We could look at the nation’s growing divorce rate and say each one of those marriages was successful, for the little time both were happy in each other’s company, but that is just an optimistic copout, in my opinion, and not what I consider a life-long successful marriage.
Needless to say, I may be wrong about T&R, M&I, and now B&M, since no one knows these people on a personal level and, like I said before, you and I are only guessing, but three months is too short a time for you to begin writing your report card. I consider the first years of a relationship fairly easy to surpass, I would wait 6-10 years and then see how many of these TV love stories continue to be living happily together. I hope they all make it, honestly, but I would be surprised if some of them did.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you think Byron and Mary’s love is the real thing?

A. It depends what you mean by “the real thing”. Both appear to be “in love”, but the real test begins now. Both Mary and Byron have some real serious issues to take care of before being able to sit back and relax. It is actually too early to tell, in my opinion, but there is potential for a nice love story.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I am wondering if the ladies from these shows Have been ruined for enjoying a normal relationships. It has to be hard to go back to real life, compared to the fantasy dates, beautiful clothing, and the wining and dining that occurs on these shows. Isn’t it difficult for anyone outside the show to meet or exceed the expectations that have been introduced to these young women? (Anonymous)

A. Good question! It all depends how impressionable the person in question is, and their degree of materialism and/or appetite for remaining in the spotlight. One of my favorite bachelorettes, Haley from B-2, did not appear to have been “spoiled” by the show, and not only did she begin a romantic relationship, soon after, with someone disassociated from the show, but did not appeared to have much interest in remaining in the limelight. Others, like one I will not mention by name, keeps showing up in the most extreme places, in a ridiculous attempt to continue “milking the celebrity cow”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Just out of curiosity, do you have your own private practice, or are you working for the U.S federal government? (Kim)

A. I am self-employed, and have a partner.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi AT, Does a man's taste or what he is looking for in a woman change over time?

A. There will always be exceptions, but we normally feel attracted towards the same CORE QUALITIES we seek in the other person, no matter what age we may be. There may be variations, as we grow older and hopefully wiser, but the fact is those so-called “core qualities” will always be what will draw us to the other person.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you think Jen will find her “new love” among the 25 hunks she has chosen to be on the show? (Barb)

A. Hard to tell, but it is not going to be easy, not only for her, but especially for the “fortunate” bachelor she chooses in the end. How will he fare against Andrew? This will be on almost everyone’s mind, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Her choices for the show wouldn’t necessarily have to be hunks, nor wealthy, sexy or handsome.
Most people may believe it is easy to find true love among a group of twenty-five suitors, and the fact of the matter is; it is not. Even though the show’s format calls for one person being chosen in the end, it is possible no one in the group is the one special person that will make the Bachelor or Bachelorette completely happy, in a long-term relationship. There is a difference between choosing the most preferable one, among the twenty-five, and choosing the one whom you have truly fallen in love with, if you’re lucky enough to find this person on a TV show.
As for me, I am trying hard to remain neutral. (Don’t Read my previous Q&A)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello A.T., I know you want to be neutral in all this Jen controversy, at least until the show airs. I don’t like the fact ABC is manipulating her to look like a runner-up for Sex in the City. I am going back and remembering all her comments during B-3 and, either she has drastically changed since then, or she is a fairly good actress. I was wondering your opinion of the Bachelorette trailer aired during Byron’s finale.

A. I don’t know what to think, I am trying to remain neutral until I watch the show, but one can not help having an opinion “way down deep.”
Allright! Here it goes: I would have liked the promo with a stranger in it, but not Jen. It gave me the impression she was being “morphed” into one of the simple-minded, oversexed, promiscuous yuppies featured on “Sex and the City”. I have to say I honestly believe most professional women in New York, or any other cosmopolitan city, have little in common with those four confused Hollywood stereotypes.
Sadly, these Bachelor programs are on their way out, a product of several bad decisions made by certain Producers who felt attracted towards soap operas.
I hope Jen’s run is not the nail in the coffin, for I am of the opinion few viewers will enjoy watching Jen trying to imitate Sarah Jessica Parker.
Sorry folks! For someone who is trying to remain neutral, I certainly have said a mouthful!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I am honestly amazed at how accurate you are predicting situations and people. personality without even knowing them, much like you did with Jayne, who had most of us fooled. How do you do it? (K.C.)

A. It is difficult to put into words. A large part of my professional life has evolved around determining and evaluating personalities; therefore, it has become second nature to me.
Since I am logically not able to perform any type of formal psychological testing on these individuals, or interact with them on a one on one basis, I reach my conclusions merely observing face expressions, body language, people’s reaction to certain situations, their interactions with others, small comments people make inadvertently, etc. All these tidbits of information, and many more, when placed together, assists me in obtaining a clear picture of what the person is probably like.
Of course, trying to do this by just watching edited video segments is not precise, since anyone can be made to look like something they are not by a skilled editor. That is why I always make a point saying my observations are just for entertainment purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I have been wanting to ask you if you provide any type of on-line counseling. I don’t know if you realize some people who are logically used to reading your articles feel it easier to “talk” to you about personal issues. I hope you give me an answer. Thanks!

I honestly wish to than you for your vote of confidence but I do not wish to mix my personal opinions about reality TV shows with my professional life.
I hope you understand due to legal technicalities, and professional ethics, I can not provide any professional advice on the net to someone I have not personally met. I know others do it, but I do not feel comfortable with the idea of having “cyber clients”.

I strongly recommend anyone who feels they would benefit from therapy to contact a local qualified professional, instead of relying on strangers who can not realistically evaluate your personal needs without sitting down with you on a one to one basis. Stay away from workshops, or quick fixes; Resolving emotional or psychological problems by these methods is much like getting on a short-term diet; You may obtain some initial success, but will probably end up regressing to your original state. This "failure" may even make you more depressed.
It is also advisable for you to carefully check his or her credentials and professional experience with your State's Certification Board. You would be surprised to learn we are, for the most part, a pretty friendly group.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. This question is off the subject, and please don’t just be professionally courteous, but I would like to know your honest opinion about Dr. Phil.

A. You guys just love pushing me against the wall, don’t you? LOL
Lets just say I am almost certain Phillip was a good therapist once, it is too bad he has turned into such a showman.
I personally believe “selling” overpriced workshops, or offering a few televised minutes of professional advise, is not the way to go.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I have a bet going on with my husband that Byron’s watch is an Omega and not a Heuer as he states. Since you are all wise and knowledgeable I would like you to settle the matter. If you know the answer I’ll send you a know-it-all diploma. P.S. Let me know how you found out. Thanks! (June H.)

A. June dear, I am afraid both of you are wrong. Byron’s watch is a Rolex (Submariner model) in stainless steel. No mistake about it, since I own one just like it.
I’ll take the diploma nicely framed, with a touch of something burgundy on the frame, so it matches with my office decor. LOL Thank you!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. AT, congratulations on your political expertise. You were clear, to the point, and right on with your predictions, putting those news pundits to shame! I have a question regarding the ring that Aaron Buerge gave to Helene. It was recently sold again this time at a charity auction. The doctor who won asked his "best girl" to come on stage and proposed marriage to her over a microphone in front of hundreds of strangers. Any chance a "romantic" proposal like that will last? If it fizzles do you believe the ring has bad Buerge karma attached? Do you think at this point either Aaron or Helene has any personal feelings at all attached to the ring or not? Personally, I think Helene should have kept the ring as a memento. She hardly made anything at all on the sale of it once Aaron had his cut, taxes, and the donation she made from it.

A. Even though it may be seen as “tacky” by some, those type of flashy marriage proposals have absolutely no bearing on the long-term success of the relationship. For this reason, I can not predict how long the relationship between this Doctor and his fiancée will last, I would need a little more information to provide an educated guess.
Having said that, and even if I know I am going to get in trouble for voicing my opinion on this subject, I must confess to have always felt the engagement ring should be returned to the purchaser, if the relationship does not work out, since the ring is supposed to represent an agreement between two individuals that, in this case, no longer exists.
I feel it is more dignified to return the ring to whomever gave it, even if they insist otherwise. All she has to do is return it by Certified Mail, this way there is no need for a face to face meeting.

I have noticed keeping the ring is considered, by some individuals, as a well deserved payment for “lost time”, or even to satisfy the need for “vengeance”. Sadly enough, we live in a materialistic society where almost everything in it, including personal relationships, has a monetary value. Following this line of thought, I would like to know what would happen if the woman is the one ending the relationship. Would she also “owe” him money for time lost? I would like to clarify I am solely speaking about the engagement ring, not alimony or child support in case of divorce.
Finally, if someone honestly wishes to keep a “momento” of the relationship, they should simply choose one nice photo of them together, depicting happier times, and treasure it forever.
I know it is often easier said than done, but I feel if the relationship does not work out, people should simply learn from the experience and move on.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hey A.T. I have been enjoying your comments since the Meredith & Ian show. I went back and read some of your comments from earlier shows and discovered you gave much longer, more detailed answers back then. Nowadays your answers are considerably shorter. Any particular reason? I enjoy reading your answers so much; I wish they were longer these days! (Jeanette)

A. I was hoping no one would notice! I have been pretty disappointed with these shows ever since the producers began to treat them as soap operas. I do not know if they are wise enough to realize it, but their diminishing ratings reflect most viewers are not overly impressed either. The decision-makers will probably exclude themselves from blame saying it is normal for the show to run its course.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I enjoy reading your opinions outside the shows, especially in matters dealing with history. I was interested in knowing your opinion of the situation in Iraq and also the Palestinian- Israeli situation. Will it ever be resolved? (J.N.)

A. The country we now know as Iraq was basically created by the British after WW I. This region was dominated by Turkey in what was then called "The Ottoman Empire". Turkey favored Germany, so when Germany lost the war, Turkey also suffered the consequences. To make a long story short, Great Britain was instrumental in breaking up the Ottoman Empire, and one of the first things the did was merge the then three provinces of Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra, forming what is now known as Iraq.
In the typical "political blindness" of the period, the British did not take into consideration that all so-called "Arabs" were not the same, outside of the fact that most rode camels and sometimes dressed similarly. The fact is G.B. forced people of completely different religious and ethnic groups to share a common piece of land: not a smart thing to do. The end result is a country divided by "tribal customs and beliefs” that not even Sadam could change with all his assassinations and brute force.
I personally believe it will be a long time before peace and stability is achieved in the country. The upcoming elections will be but a simplistic attempt to find a solution to an extremely complicated problem. I support our troops 100%, but we are discussing history, not my undivided support to our men and women in uniform (Semper-Fi).
A similar problem is what (surprise) the British created after WW I, when the State of Israel was formed, and the inhabitants of the area were forced to give up their lands to incorporate the new Jewish State. Historically, Israel had always taken claim of the region, since the Jews had populated it around 2000 years before. Do you notice history repeats itself? Arabs have a history of not being psychologically comfortable sharing land, and the Israelites are forceful and not going anywhere, therefore, the problems, in that region, will remain the same for some time.
It is my personal opinion both will have a difficult time living peacefully side by side, especially after so many generations committing atrocities to each other, something not easily forgotten by simple treaties and written laws.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What do you think of Richard Branson's new show, Rebel Billionaire? (Nancy)

A. Many will possibly find it an entertaining show, but I honestly question what balloon rides or climbing up on the wing of a flying airplane, and passing batons back and forth, have with being a valuable and competent employee, unless one is applying to be a stunt double.
To be honest, I was not overly impressed by Richard either; he tries too hard to be seen as an excentric millionaire.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What did you mean exactly when you said Cheresse was not reality TV material, and do you believe, like she is saying on interviews, Byron sent her home because she did not accept his overnight offer on their date?

Q. I know this is only a show, but feel Cheresse disassociated herself from the other women due to her erroneous belief she was up on an imaginary pedestal looking down at her “competition”. Don’t get me wrong, I believe she is a very beautiful and classy woman, but these simple attributes should not give anyone a false sense of superiority.
At the end, I saw Cherisse as being entertainingly “boring”; Not sweet and friendly enough for the viewers to like her, nor theatrically mean and vulgar enough to deserve the role of a “Bachelor witch”. Reality TV is funny, at times, not everyone fits in.
I am also of the opinion Cherisse was never really interested in our boy Byron, since I do not believe he is the type of man she feels attracted to, therefore I question her sincerity each time she accepted a rose from him. On the other hand, I feel Byron kept giving her a rose because she was unobtrusive, and he truly admired her physical beauty.
I do not feel Byron had intimate relations with any one of the bachelorettes that night, therefore, I do not think her refusal to use the couple’s suite had any influence in his decision. I know it is difficult sometimes for the so-called “beautiful people” to accept simple facts, but the plain answer is Byron was not overly impressed with Cherisse once he got to know her better. She did make a couple of mean-spirited comments, about the other women, in Byron’s presence.
There is nothing wrong with this, really, I am certain she will find her handsome Wall Street entrepreneur someday.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A. Hi A.T., I’m a die-hard fan of yours and was wondering why you placed yourself on the spot giving out political estimates as to whom will win the White House. Don’t you know you’ll get creamed if you’re wrong? By the way: What's your personal opinion of Senator Kerry? Love ya! (Chris S.)

A. Cool down, Chris! Things are not as serious as you make them out to be, everyone knows I am not a "political guru".
I would have to spend one on one time with him to be certain, but believe Kerry to be mostly a self-grandiose opportunist with an invaluable "gift of gab". He was probably seen by many as "a showoff" in his younger years. There are several Democratic Senators I believe would have made excellent Presidents, but this one is just not one of them.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Even though I am not watching Bachelor 6, I have enjoyed reading your observations about The Bachelor and other reality-TV series these past few years. I notice you have started to answer questions pertaining to politics, such as our last election. So, I'm curious to know...what party are you registered under? I may be wrong here, but based on some of your answers, I get the distinct feeling that you are a Republican. You seem to critique the Democratic Party much more than the Republican Party. I could be wrong here, but I think it would help readers to know what biases you may have when answering some of their political questions. Also, in case you are wondering, I'm registered as an Independent, but I do lean towards the Democratic side more. (Tina L.)

A. Tina, thanks for asking me such an interesting question, since it gives me a glance at how people perceive and process information. I will try to answer it without complicating myself too much.
I am of the opinion human beings begin their lives processing information in an unbiased manner. In other words, most children tend to analyze and absorb information without judging it true or untrue according to the messenger. Theoretically this is ideal, since they are able to decide the validity of the information without any bias, the true path of absolute neutrality and wisdom.
I personally believe you, and most of my readers, would interpret my opinions differently if my political inclination would be known. In a way, you have given validity to my theory, since I am certain most of my readers have already labeled me a Republican simply because of some of my comments. This would cause Democrats to discard my observations on the mere fact I was a Republican, something similar being done today at all levels. It makes no difference if the observation, or idea, is worth considering; the fact it came from a “representative” of “the enemy” is enough to discard it as biased and contrary to what our “Party” believes. A difference of opinions is natural but, in the end, only when all individuals truly unite and TOGETHER decide to accomplish a common goal is when success may actually be palpable.
One thing I will say, BOTH parties lie and distort the truth as much as they can, being inconceivable to me most Americans decide whom to vote for depending on Party affiliation, campaign speeches, news media coverage, and Presidential debates.
Actually, most Republicans and Democrats share more opinions than they are willing to recognize, yet they seldom search common ground in which to build new ideas. It seems all their efforts are wasted trying to prove “their candidate” is somehow “better” than the opposition’s. I don’t know how many times I have heard individuals say “I’m not too thrilled with Kerry, but he’s the only Democrat I can vote for” or vise versa referring to President Bush. Personally, our society is being torn apart by this “either-or” mentality, and people do not seem to realize history has shown us there is weakness in division, and strength lies in unity. It is evident our society is constantly split between A or B, both sides being in constant battle: women vs. men, African Americans vs. white, poor vs. middle class, everyone vs. the rich, Democrats vs. Republicans.
Only when we, as an advanced society, begin discarding these “self-imposed labels” will everyone actually be seen by WHO they are, and not WHAT they are. I personally believe we still have a long way to go.
As for the fate of this election; When the current barrage of mutual degrading insults are over, only division and hatred will endure, or else how do you believe both Parties, and most of us voters, will end up feeling about each other after the law suits are over and the smoke clears? I’ll let you answer that one.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don’t know if you’re aware what controversies some of your comments make in other boards! People insult you and say horrible things to each other, a real war! I have two questions:
1. Do you ever read the comments from other boards?
2. Why do you believe your comments entice such reactions? (Anonymous)

A. All right, guys! One thing is for us to have some fun discussing these shows, another quite differently to direct your stress and internal anger on others simply because their opinions differ from yours. I believe the name-calling usually begins when ideas and intelligent opinions have run out.
I would invite these “bellicose” individuals to do what I normally call “The 10-year test” and ask themselves if whatever they are currently upset about will still have an impact on their lives 10 years from now. Most likely the answer is going to be "NO". I don’t personally know any of these individuals, but would bet none of my inconsequential opinions are the actual cause of their internal anger or frustrations. They must try to find and treat “the source”, and thus cease lashing out at innocent people for no reason at all.
Everyone has a right to voice his or her opinion, even if it is to say you don’t agree with anything I say.
As for your first question, I honestly do not have as much time to surf the net as I would like, even though I will confess being an eBay fan.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Q. Hi A.T. Why do you believe Trista & Ryan or Meredith & Ian will not have a successful marriage-relationship? Both couples still seem to be happy after all this time. I must confess your comments about them really irked me, for I believe they make cute couples. (Jen G.)

A. Sorry to have “irked” you Jen, but if I begin saying things to please everyone, or make everyone like me, I would be better off going into politics. Seriously now, I honestly do not put much weight on the fact two people make what we call “a cute couple”.
Living in a society that sometimes stretches definitions to fit personal agendas, I must first indicate there are many different opinions as to what would constitute “long-term happiness”. For someone who’s average relationship may last 1-3 years, staying together with someone for 10 years may seem a triumph.
To me, long-term means a lifetime. Most couples nowadays have little tolerance for self-sacrifice, and are used to discarding whatever does not work, including relationships. That is why it is difficult to find a couple that has been happily married for 40 or 50 years, but they do exist.
My parents, for example, are going into their 46th anniversary this year, and they still hold hands while watching a movie together. One of my mother’s sister recently celebrated her 52nd wedding anniversary with her husband, their daughters sending both of them on an all expense paid two-week cruise. To me, those are examples of successful marriages!
Only if two people have actually worked hard to become truly united, and both acknowledge, accept, and respect each other’s faults, will they stand a chance to surpass the 20-30 year mark. These are only my own personal observations; you will not find this information in any book that I know of.
I honestly do not believe neither of these reality TV couples we are discussing have what it takes to stay together a lifetime. They obviously have numerous differences, and obstacles, to overcome in their relationship, and none of them seem to posess what I will call “staying power”.
I may be wrong in the end, only time will tell.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don’t know if you’ve seen all the pictures of Jen at different parties and public events. Is this the same publicity-shy Jen who stayed home while Andrew went alone to promotional events? (N.R.)

A. In hindsight, I now feel there were possibly other reasons for Jen to prefer staying home while Andrew traveled alone. Most likely their relationship became strained early on and, at times, she welcomed being by herself.
I honestly believe Jen was never that camera-shy. The last thing a shy, introverted, and private individual will do is sign up for a reality TV show where you have people filming you 24/7.
I predict Jen will not be complaining much about the attention she is and will be receiving due to her Bachelorette show, and it is unlikely she will come out of the show with a serious life-long partner. A temporary relationship perhaps, but nothing more.
Still, I always liked her and wish her the best!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I’ve been enjoying your insights for a long time, since Bachelor 3, and wanted to ask, after last night’s Presidential debate, what was your last word on who is going to win and who do you think the swing voters will lean towards. (Anonymous)

A. I believe President Bush will get his second term with a somewhat comfortable margin. In other words, he is actually farther ahead of Kerry then the press and polls make him out to be. You must understand this is my personal opinion; If I could predict these things with any accuracy I would be making millions choosing the winners of weekly sporting events.
I also predict the losing side will try to create the same chaos and confusion as in the last election, since politics is not as honorable as it seems on the surface.
I believe to have given my opinion of the so-called "swing voters" already, but I will repeat it again. I have always been amazed at what we call “last minute indecisive voters”, for any group of individuals who have experienced a President for four years and still do not know if they wish to keep him in the Oval Office is too detached from reality for anyone to sway their vote using “common sense”. Most of these individuals would agonize over what ingredients they wish to have on their subs, therefore, they should keep it simple and vote for either candidate depending, for example, if it is cloudy or sunny on election day.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. First of all I`d like to thank you for humoring me almost every Thursday. For a reserved Scandinavian (yes you have a fan here as well) it is quite something to see beautiful Americans put themselves out there in the search for love (or was it five minutes of fame) - only to be humiliated or dumped on national TV. And to my surprise many of these are quite well educated people that seem to stand somewhat in contrast to the participants in Scandinavian reality shows (I rarely see anyone with a university degree, although there are some). How can an educated person risk being portrayed as someone with a fatal attraction (like Christy was), and how do you think it affects someone’s opportunities in life after such a show - dating, job etc. Is really all kind of marketing good marketing? Or perhaps the country is so big that there are still plenty of people who have no idea who the latest candidate for fatal attraction is? I think Christy and some of the others would have had a difficult time being taken seriously in a small and transparent country like my own. (T.S.)

A. Thank you for your e-mail, I was not aware our “little project” extended all the way up to Scandinavia!
Generally, in the U.S., there are many professional and financial possibilities available to someone coming out of a realty TV show. It actually makes no difference if someone portray a “good-natured” contestant or a “TV villain”, anyone who plays their cards right, as we say, will probably end up being financially ahead in the end.
It would surprise you to know how many Americans do not watch reality TV shows or, if they do, how little they remember from past shows. Personally, I can only remember the last two or three contestants from each Bachelor show, and would probably have a difficult time recognizing any of them if I were to see them on the street.
I also believe there are marked personality and sociological differences between Americans and Scandinavians, in general, and this becomes more evident as we begin comparing individualities and lifestyles. We Americans have a tendency to ignore what others think of us, Scandinavians are generally much more cautious of maintaining a socially respected image of themselves.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T., What do you mean Jayne has no chance of winning? Don’t you know she is favorite in all inside polls, and they do make a great couple, don’t they? Joking aside, don’t you think you are being too quick to discard her? (Jamie G.)

A. Jamie dear, I am truly sorry to have to say this to you but; Jayne will be on her way back home fairly soon, empty-handed. The “magic” is just not there for Byron, even though he does finds her physically attractive.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. We know you don’t like to discuss politics or religion but please humor us by telling us if you believe this election is going to be as nerve-wracking as the last one, hand counts and all. Thanks! (Bachelor Gang)

A. No, I believe media-hype and “certain influences” have narrowed the race down to unrealistic numbers. It is my opinion both candidtes numbers are not as close, this time around, as people are being led to believe.
Do not forget to go out and vote!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I absolutely loved your insights on the current political scene, and am wondering what your thoughts were in reference to last night’s Vice-Presidential debate. Thanks! (V.C.)

A. In my humble opinion, Cheney was much more than a cat playing with a canary, I would be nearer to the truth if I called him “a panther toying with a mouse”.
Edwards may be an excellent trial lawyer, but he makes a terrible “bluffer”. That consistent nervous tick he developed in both his eyes would make him an easy prey in a poker game.
Speaking about tell-tale body language; All anyone had to do to figure out Bill Clinton was to look closely at his face while he “bluffed” his way out of a hole. The Ex-President subconsciously smirked and quickly blinked several times before letting loose with one of his admirable "play on words". The unique thing about Clinton is he will consistently look at you square in the eye, smirk, blink a few times, and tell you with conviction he absolutely DID NOT hit the other guy in the head with the lead pipe. What actually happened was he lifted up the lead pipe, in order to admire the workmanship under the light, and the other guy suddenly stumbled backwards and accidentally hit his head with the pipe. What is more admirable is how many individuals actually believe him. I honestly admire him for this rare gift!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I have a theory Cheresse is Byron’s favorite possibly the winner. What do you think about my theory?

A. Even though I really like Cheresse, I do not believe she and Byron have much in common once you exclude them from the show’s magical settings. I would be extremely surprised if she would accept a proposal from him.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I wondered what you thought of programs like “The Surreal Life” and “The Anna Nichole Show”. Thanks! (Gina)

A. One of the good things about being anonymous is I am able to give my honest opinion without having to worry about being politically correct.
As far as these shows, and other like them, are concerned, my amazement lies in the fact there are actually viewers out there interested in watching them, week after week.
It may interest you to know there are actually a couple of independent studies in progress researching what I will call the association between the sociological deterioration of these past three decades and the effect television programming, and the entertainment industry as a whole, has had on it. Their conclusions should be highly interesting to read!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I really enjoy reading your insights. I have a comment and wanted to know your opinion also. I find it interesting that so far we have only seen interaction between Byron & Chereese and Byron & Jayne. This makes me believe that Chereese and Jayne may make it far but not win since that will be too obvious. Just think back to the Andrew Firestone show - Kirstin was televised early on, making us think that she would win. She did go very far, but Jen, who hardly got any airtime in the beginning surprised us all. ABC was obviously hiding that from us. My bets would be Tanya or Amanda go far or possibly win. I think Andrea will be around for a while, but will not win. Krysta's there for entertainment value. Also, I was surprised to see some of the other girls get a rose (Susie, Elizabeth, Kristie). Either they will go further than I think, or they are "fillers" and will not stay around long. Not sure about Cindy either, but I don't think she'll go too far either! JMO!! I really look forward to read what you think. PLEASE respond!!! Thank You. (Chrissi)

A. I may be wrong, or change my mind later, but feel Jane is not the type of woman Byron could fall in love with. As for the rest, I feel most of the women Byron could become seriously attracted to are not the type to drop everything in order to follow a professional bass fisherman from contest to contest. I can see some short-term relationships forming, but nothing more. A real predicament, if you ask me!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi AT, I have written to you once previously. I love your take on a wide range of subjects and agree with you on nearly every point. My question is regarding Aaron and Helene since no other couple has captured my attention. I absolutely fell in love with Helene and think Aaron has a very magnetic personality. In a Rotarian Club interview Aaron said he had no regrets about having done the show and that he met a "wonderful person" I believe this was the first time he said something positive about Helene and didn't throw a jab her way. Do you think he may have matured a little? .Helene has said that before he left NJ he told her he was getting a lot of other offers. So, do you think that he is deeply disappointed with the other "offers" considering Helene has gotten more beautiful than ever and remains a class act? Your take is needed please. Thanks! (EVM)

A. It is possible Aaron may be returning to his “normal self”. I am not saying he was perfect, but I seriously believe all the attention he received, during and after the show, changed him for the worse.
Having said that, I honestly do not believe Aaron and Helene shared much in common, once they were removed from the magic environment of the show. They could have enjoyed a nice experience after the show ended, but I do not believe they ever had what it takes in order to make it as a couple. I feel Aaron will always have a roving eye for pretty women, while Helene has always had a knack for getting on his nerves, even while the show was being filmed. Just look at some of his face expressions whenever she told him she did not trust him. I always believed Helene would be Aaron’s final choice, but this does not mean I thought they made a perfect couple. I remember saying something to the fact both had to work really hard at making their relationship work, once the show was over.
You don’t know how many e-mails we still receive regarding these two!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Rumor has it Andrew and Ashley (from B-6) are becoming an item. What do you think of this, if it is true? (V.L.)

A. I will only say one thing: Ashley appears to be a really nice person and is definitely pretty as “bees knees”. I would even bet, with some practice, she could do “The Hippopotamus Nose”. What else can Andrew ask for?
I wish Andrew a quick recovery from his knee surgery, and couldn’t imagine a more pleasant recuperation period than one with Ashley as a frequent visitor...........

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Jane’s shyness has been overly emphasized on the show and I am certain it must be for some reason. Do you think she may be Byron’s choice?

A. I would honestly be surprised if Jane turned out to be Byron’s final choice. Not that she does not appear to be a nice person, but there are several reasons I feel this way.
As for her much publicized shyness, I am of the belief no one who voluntarily signs up to be on one of these type shows can actually be that shy and/or innocent.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I know you also have a degree in History and loving your insights, as I do, I was wondering if you could tell us your opinion of who do you think did better last night in the debates. Thanks. (Jenny G.)

A. I do not wish to get too deep into politics, for that is one subject where no one usually wins. Nevertheless, I will humor you a little.
I personally believe these debates are not going to influence voters who already know which candidate better represents their points of view. Bush supporters will vote for him, in the end, and Kerry supporters will do the same for their candidate. These Presidential debates are more of a popularity contest than anything else, and usually the most articulate candidate is the one who benefits the most. Personally, I have always been amazed by what we call “last minute indecisive voters”, for any group of individuals who have experienced a President for four years and still do not know if they wish to keep him in the Oval Office for another four is too volatile and detached from reality to sway their vote to our favor using “normal” means. These people should simplify their lives and vote for either candidate depending, for example, if it is cloudy or sunny on election day.
Historically, and for some mysterious reason, Democratic candidates usually fair better at having what we usually call “gift of gab” than their Republican counterparts, and we Americans, as a whole, enjoy a good “political charlatan” when we see one. I can name a couple of Democratic American Presidents who practically did anything they wished, while in office, without loosing much respect or support from their followers. In this sense, Yale debater Kerry will almost always “outshine” Bush in the public relations department, much like he did last night. Actually, Bush senior, as well as his son George W., appear to lack luster as orators, even though they are extremely honest and decent individuals, and make good Presidents, when we get down to analyzing their core qualities. Please do not jump on me, I am not saying anyone here is a “saint”.
The main question Americans, and the press, should be asking is not who “won” the debate, much like if it had been a sporting event, but which one of the two candidates would be more beneficial to the Country as a whole. We should also realize the American press is mostly composed of Democratic supporters, meaning most articles and news stories will be slightly tinted towards the “Democratic” point of view. This is more problematic than we think, since few Americans actually take time to research the facts about a certain topic before forming their opinions on it, relying instead on what they see and read in the media to make up their minds.
Having been involved in creating and conducting polls while in College, I can attest to the fact polls can be manipulated to reflect a specific point of view. Not only can you predict an answer, depending on how the questions are phrased, but an “experienced” pollster is able to stand in the center of a group and “sense” what type of political opinions you may have by simply looking at you or categorizing your lifestyle, age bracket, or ethnic group. There will always be exceptions, of course, but a largely disproportionate group of African Americans and senior citizens, for example, favor the Democratic Party, while Caucasian military personnel and individuals who still believe in what we call conservative "old fashioned values" tend to vote Republican. This is only a general example, but it explains my point.
It will always be difficult to convince most individuals the “smooth talker” is not always going to make the best President, and unless a Democratic candidate make a grave mistake while campaigning, like Michael Dukakis and his ridiculous ride in a military tank, or Al Gore by constantly addressing the American people as if they were developmentally disabled, the public relations war will always tend to benefit the Democrats.
In my humble opinion, the only recent Republican President who enjoyed the “magical gift of gab”, and an unbeatable sharp quick wit, was Ronald Reagan.
Having said all this, may the best man win!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I always have a good time reading your comments and would like to know if you believe Wende has a chance. I think I saw a spark between Byron and her on the first episode. Thanks, and keep your articles coming! (Judy)

A. Thanks for your kind words. It is my personal opinion Wende was not “herself” during the rose ceremony, perhaps due to what I shall call “external influences”. You need to look at her closely, but it is fairly evident she suffered from lack of mental coordination, both in the way she walked and spoke, during her acceptance of Byron's rose. Quite honestly, I hope Wende’s behavior, on the show, is not going to be similar to Amber’s on B-3.
I do not see Byron becoming interested in her in the long-term.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I am giving Andrea the benefit of the doubt and was wondering why didn’t you like her, believing she will not go all the way. Thank you. (L.K)

A. I honestly can not say if I “like or dislike” any of these individuals, since I have not met them personally.
From what I have seen on TV, Andrea sometimes appears to be levelheaded and mature, while she can also act insecure and overly emotional when she is with Byron.
I am not an MD, but am aware some individuals who diet and exercise in order to lower their percentage of bodyfat to abnormal levels, as Andrea apparently has, may suffer mood swings as one of the many negative side effects that may develop as a result. Trust me, those washboard stomachs, in women, and exposed tendons are product of ridiculously strict diets and several hours of extensive exercise routines. Knowing a little about human nature, it would not surprise me to know Andrea made it a “project” to work diligently to look her best for the show, and was perhaps suffering the consequences, of her strict regimen, during the filming.
I am only guessing here folks; this may just be the way she is, even though I personally doubt it.
Other than that, I believe she is a nice person and also very attractive.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., What are your impressions on this week’s Apprentice? Thanks! (H.F.)

A. I am beginning to question if NBC chose some of the candidates for this series based mostly on their physical attributes, ensuring they have a pretty face, an MBA degree, and some sort of business background.
I previously mentioned my opinion some of these individuals would not have received a second look, by Trump, if they had applied for an executive job on their own. Stacie J, and several others on the show, seem like a good example of my theory.
Stacie is a professional model, from the Ford Agency, who happens to own a sub shop. She has a degree but, let’s face it, so does hundreds of thousands of other people who wish to work for Trump at $250,000 a year. It is evident to me she would be over her head in an executive environment, especially in a leading role, and any experienced recruiter would realize it immediately. I know some viewers may have taken pitty on her saying there were others who should have been fired before her, but that is inconsequential. The bottom line is Trump does not believe she is executive material and made the determination to fire her this week.
I personally feel something that began as an interesting concept, in Apprentice I, is being turned into a typical soap opera melodrama, much like others so-called Reality TV Shows.
And since I am just giving you my personal opinion, I might as well say I do not know why NBC chose Omarosa, of all people, to deliver a weekly commentary on their Internet site. I feel she is definitely not the best qualified person NBC could have chosen to judge how effective the serie's contestants were in their weekly tasks.
I constantly wonder what fuels the attraction, felt by today’s entertainment industry, towards creating shows based on "problematic individuals" and "bad role models".

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I would like to know if you have any idea which two bachelorettes are coming back to The Bachelor. Like you, I also think this new series will end up being a dud! (D.J.)

A. I honestly do not have the least idea who they could be! I am only guessing here, but I believe they are going to be two of the nicer ones, individuals who stayed in the viewer’s minds well after the series aired. It really makes no difference, because they will not stay long. My “gut feeling” tells me both will be sent home before the home visits.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I was wondering what your thoughts were on this week’s The Apprentice. Do you think D.T. did right in firing Bradford, and what advise would you give the contestants? Thanks!

A. I actually found this week's episode amusing! Several contestants, including our man Bradford, showed me they could be their own worse enemy. I also found some of Bradford’s comments, during the competition, slightly unprofessional. Honestly, I was not overly impressed by any one of the individuals going into the boardroom this week, and would be surprised if any one of them stayed till the end.
I would advise these people not to become “uncontrolled chatterboxes” during board meetings, unless they have successfully increased the company’s profits by 200%. The Donald enjoys listening to himself talking, therefore, you must allow him to do so, only speaking up when he asks you a question.
These contestants should observe Carolyn and George's behavior, in the boardroom, and follow their example.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering if you have read Trista's Redbook article and if you had any comment to make. Do you believe to have made a mistake saying they wouldn't last? You can be wrong once in a while, you know, and we will still love ya! (Crystal)

A. It's nice to know you're accepted in spite of your imperfections, especially when I don't personally know any of these people and am only giving an educated guess. Tell me the truth: Are you secretly bored and want to stir the pot a little?
I'll humor you by saying I still believe they will not grow old together. Furthermore, and just to bring you our of your boredom, I would be surprised if they are not constantly quarreling on or around the 5-7 year mark, and will absolutely eat my words and retire if they actually celebrate their 10-year anniversary in total love-bliss. After all, if I am wrong, it will only mean I AM human after all. LOL

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., what did you think of the new Apprentice episode and the contestants? Are you going to comment on this show? I'd love to hear your take. Thanks

A. As I have mentioned before, the problem about commenting on this show is that I can not predict who will be the next one "fired", since we never know how the contestants will perform until the actual episode airs. Just from watching the first episode of this new installment, it appears the participants are going to offer us more melodrama than in Apprentice I, and that is even without Omarosa and her antics.
I suspect some of the new participants were chosen more for their entertainment value than their actual qualifications to work for The Donald. We should keep in mind an individual may have excellent qualifications and personality to be an exceptional follower, but The Big Guy is supposed to be searching for leaders, or at least this is what we are lead to believe.
My personal opinion is Trump does not need a reality TV show to hire top management for his empire; he can do that behind the scenes. The true value of Bill Rancic, and whomever wins this second installment, is in all the advertising they do for The Donald. Realistically, it is going to take may years for Bill, or anyone hired through this show, to be able to take full charge of any one of Trump's projects. In the interim, $250,000 a year salary is a small amount to pay them considering the publicity they bring to the pot.
A couple of things I will say about The Donald: I have always respected him as a person and he is a great judge of character! I agree with him Pamela is one of those individuals who erroneously believe being abrasive and insensitive is acceptable in today's business environment, and anyone who thinks she will change her ways is being a little too optimistic. Individuals like her usually feel they are “misunderstood”. Rob appeared to be a nice enough guy, but he can become "bellicose" and a "constant pouter" if things do not go his way. I feel The Big Guy did the right thing sending him home, Pamela can wait.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. The photos and bios of the new bachelorettes from the next Bachelor series are out and I was wondering what you thought of them? Also, I read somewhere there was going to be two bachelorettes on this show from previous series, and I don't see them in the group. Any early predictions? (Sue L.)

A. Some of the information may be already out but I feel the professional angler is going to be the one staying. Furthermore, I cannot honestly envision any one of these women following him like a puppy tournament after tournament, while their "boyfriend or hubby" spends their days fishing. Sorry folks, I am only stating my personal opinion; There is nothing wrong with being a pro-fisherman, I just believe it takes a unique woman to follow this type of man around and be happy doing it. None of the beauties chosen for this series appear to qualify for the role, in my opinion.
As for the two recycled bachelorettes, I predict neither will stay long, even if the producers sneak them into the show. I somehow get the feeling this new Bachelor series is also going to be a dud; Byron is not going to last long with whomever he chooses, and everyone is secretly going to be awaiting the premier of The Bachelorette with Jen. I hope I am wrong.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. It is said Andrew was quoted saying he was not going to watch Jen's experience in The Bachelorette because it would be too painful. What do you think? (D.V.)

A. I believe it is a fairly normal reaction, even if life does have to go on. Many fans are also going to have mixed feelings watching Jen "snuggling" on TV with other men. It makes no difference if she has all the right to enjoy her new fame, it will be difficult to remember the scenes of Jen and Andrew during their spa date while watching her hand out roses to other men. It is a mental association difficult to overcome, logically more so for Andrew.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What do you think Jen will do if she simply does not find Love (like Alex or Jesse) or like Bob, she meets someone she likes who is involved in the process, but not on the show itself (there is anecdotal evidence that Bob was absolutely smitten by Rebecca, whom he recently married, while he was in the process of doing voice-overs for both the first and the second shows)? Will she have the strength of character to withdraw, or if she has to (contractually) choose someone will she make it clear there is a not a long-term love connection? I believe it would be possible to have the producers (and Jen herself who is involved in the process) "hand pick" so-to-speak men for Jen and just not have the actual "chemistry" needed for love to happen when they spend time together! That is the risk all of the participants take; but there would be a high public (and I imagine personal, for Jen) price to pay if this show does not result in at least the high hopes that Aaron, Andrew and Meredith's shows had-even if there is not quickly a marriage like Trista's! Thanks! (Jane)

A. Jen is an intelligent person and will behave accordingly. I personally believe she went into this experience with an open mind but not necessarily with the sole hope of finding Mr. Right on a reality TV show. Jen will be rightfully compensated financially for her time and effort; therefore, it is unlikely she will walk out of her contract and leave everyone hanging without a finale of sorts. She will certainly not allow anyone to propose to her if she does not feel the relationship has a chance of making it in the long run. Personally, I feel Jen will be walking a tightrope by agreeing to participate on this new series, but it was her decision to do so. I am certain she gave it some thought and is aware of the pros and cons. We just have to wait and see what happens. Isn't this fun?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I know you are a private person, and we haven’t heard from you in some time, but I was wondering how your wedding and honeymoon turned out. Just in case you do answer this question, we would also like to know how you and your spouse met. Thanks for humoring us fans. (Nancy G.)

A. I first noticed my new spouse, I’ll call her H., over a year ago, at the library of a local University where I was doing some research (I'm a History fan). She was carrying a load of books to a nearby table and looked fabulous! It was a combination of being struck by lightning and not being able to keep my eyes off her! I forgot what I went to the library for, leaving my books behind, and haven’t recuperated from it yet..... I did ask her to have lunch with me, though, and the rest is history.
The wedding was a blast! Both of us wanted a simple ceremony without much fuss, it turned out to be just perfect! Of course I was getting married to my perfect counterpart, therefore, what could go wrong?
We spent a couple of weeks in Great Britain, since H. had never visited that beautiful country. We rented a modern MINI and drove all over the countryside. (I love Minis!) Our most romantic stay was in an INN facing Loch Ness, Scotland. I couldn’t help glancing at the Loch every now and then expecting to see “Nessie”, but she kept the mystery alive by not showing herself to us.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I hope you will answer my question, as you aren't commenting on any particular shows right now, so I thought I could sneak a 'generic' one through. A group of us (20-somethings) in various relationships, (single, cohabiting, married) have noticed a trend in that an inordinate number of relationships end around the 3 month mark. We have developed a theory as to why, which is what we refer to as the "3 month love hump", basically, the speed bump that relationships seem to hit at 3 months. Our thoughts are that, in 3 months of dating, you have probably seen someone through most things (not major things mind you, like death or job loss) but you have probably seen them happy, sad, angry, disappointed, etc. and with that information, even though you may not BE in love with them, you have a pretty good idea whether you ever could be in love with them, and this is why this time period is so crucial for relationships. We are interested to hear if, from a professional psychological standpoint, there is any truth to our theory or whether we are just as clueless as when we started dating at 16 :) Thanks. (Heather)

A. I personally feel there may be some substance to your “three-month theory”, but I would not necessarily write it in stone just yet.
There are always exceptions, but usually the uncontrolled romantic infatuation you mention begins to die down after a period of 2 to 5 months. After that time, we usually begin to see the other person more realistically, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on how we look at it.
My own personal theory is most romantic relationships go through a certain number of key periods where the relationship either begins to deteriorate or grows stronger. I am oversimplifying, but would indicate these periods fall on or around the first six month mark, 5-7 years, 15-20 years and, curiously enough, after the couple’s kids move out.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I am still having difficulty with Jen being the next Bachelorette. I know you must be going crazy with questions pertaining to the same subject, but some of us are trying to make some sense from it. What do you think made her get involved with this thing again? (Mary)

A. I personally feel “finding the right guy” features somewhere in there, but I don’t believe it is the main reason she agreed to do it. Logically, Jen is not going to place her source of income on hold indefinitely, for a second time, without being financially compensated for it.
I honestly do not find anything wrong with Jen seeing a good thing and taking advantage of a good offer, as long as everyone involved is honest and straightforward about it.
Having said that, being The Bachelorette is going to be as challenging for Jen as it would have been for Helene, since I am of the opinion the viewers may understand one reality TV relationship going sour on them, but there may begin to ponder what is going on if their second televised relationship also deteriorates within a relatively short period of time.
Logically, the Producers are going to be pushing Jen to create scenes and situations that will boost the show’s ratings; it is up to her to refrain from being manipulated only for the sake of an exciting ending.
This new series, with Jen as The Bachelorette, and all the newly created twists, is what ABC probably needs to revive a show that, in my opinion, was falling out of grace with the viewers. I hope all goes well for both.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. "Andrew really loved being in the limelight, and Jen was more introverted,she missed her old way of life." Schefft's friend Abby Smith told the media in reference to Jen and Andrew’s split. Does this sound like a lame excuse now that Jen is going to be the Bachelorette?

A. Personally, I never believed that explanation; individuals who apply to be in reality TV shows are very seldom introverted and shy.
Please don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say; there is nothing wrong about these type of shows and I wish Jen the best, I simply prefer people stop trying to appear so innocent while feeding the viewers “packaged” responses. It would also be refreshing to hear one of these contestants say they sent the application in themselves, because they wanted to be on TV, instead of the ever-present “friend or family member” who “secretly” does it for them.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

*****WE ARE CURRENTLY RECEIVING A HEAVY VOLUME OF E-MAILS PERTAINING TO JEN’S NEW BACHELORETTE SERIES. WE HAVE CHOSEN ONE OF THE E-MAILS AS REPRESENTATIVE, AND WHAT FOLLOWS IS A.T.’S ANSWER ON THE SUBJECT.*****

Q. I'm sure you are being inundated with the same question right now: What do you think about Jen Scheft becoming the next Bachelorette? I am excited and can hardly wait for her show to start. Besides, the Bachelorettes are 2 for 2, so I wish her lots of luck!

A. Actually, I was as shocked as most of you after hearing the news!
I imagine the “fans” will have mixed feelings; some will be glad she moved on with her life and wish her good fortune, others will question if Jen was actually that camera shy, and homesick for her family and friends, as some led us to believe at the time.
I also can’t help feeling a large percentage of viewers will feel awkward watching Jen dating and snuggling with a group of strange men on another one of these series. In some people’s minds, Andrew and Jen’s televised romance is still fresh in their memories.
In the end, these types of shows, and the fans, will be but a faint memory. Sweet Jen is the only one who will have to live with her decisions, good or bad, for the rest of her life. Personally, I really wish her the best, and can’t help feeling my curiosity growing as the date for the premier gets closer; it should be very interesting!!! You know, I sort of feel a little sorry for whomever she chooses, he is always going to be compared to Andrew.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Since you have been addressing other topics, I have a question regarding Lance Armstrong. Do you think he and Sheryl Crow will have the "happily ever after". I've been following his big win and the subsequent articles and found out that he is a big womanizer and goes for months at a time without seeing his children. Is that normal for a dedicated athlete? It seems that everything he didn't do for his first wife, who seems very talented in her own right and who had three children for him by invitro, he is now willing to do for Sheryl Crow. It is hard to be empathetic over his triumph with cancer and delighted for his biking achievements, because he seems so self serving. Should we just overlook his personal life? He just never had time for his wife (and children), but has plenty of time for Sheryl Crow, and she was not the only "other" woman during their marriage.

A. I do not personally know any of these people, but somehow feel Sheryl and Lance will definitely not grow old together.
There are always going to be exceptions, but I believe most successful athletes, and entertainers, possess a small thread of selfishness and a constant need to have their egos boosted. Generally speaking, and for several reasons, these two personality traits are not conducive to successful long-term relationships.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering what your thoughts are on shows like "growing up Gotti". Do people really like to see these type of things on TV? (P.S.)

A. Sure they do, have you forgotten the success enjoyed by The Osbournes?
I must say this before anyone else does, therefore here it goes; I feel "Growing up Gawdy" will be well embraced by certain groups.
Fact is, shows that no sane Producer would have dreamed of creating 40-50 years ago are being well accepted in modern-day society, where a large percentage of people accept or discard others depending solely on how financially successful they are......
The fact the individuals on the show are wealthy, live in a luxurious home, drive expensive cars, and wear flashy clothes, will attract a certain type of viewers who will make this series "the one to watch".

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Q. Your comments on the women on the American political scene are really spot-on and absolutely great. I am non-political and as a Chinese living in Asia, I am intrigued by how the media in U.S manipulates the average American people. What are your views on Bush & Cheney and their opponents, Kerry and Edwards? I am more impressed by Edwards and his wife Elizabeth. I also watched Michael Moore's Fahreneit 9/11 recently, do you think Moore is trying to expose Bush for what he really is or is it just Moore's love for controversy.

A. You mean people actually read our articles in Asia? Wow, that is flattering!
What I am going to say is just my own personal opinion folks, therefore, go easy on me!
The manipulation of the people by both the media and the entertainment industry is a very interesting and complex subject that would need a series of articles, or a book, to cover in detail. What is more interesting is the fact it has historically been done here in the U.S., and in other countries, for so long, and with such efficiency, most citizens believe it is just an exaggeration and not a reality.
The people’s right to vote is just one more sacred right Americans have earned with the spilled blood of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, or siblings, therefore, I prefer to remain neutral with my opinions on the Presidential candidates for this upcoming election.

Having said that, I personally believe it has been historically proven the multi-party system divide the citizens of any country to the point of making the Country, as a whole, weaker in its ability to achieve great successes. What I find more interesting, and disturbing in a way, is how permanently divided we Americans have become, specially when our Founding Fathers had a somewhat different political structure in mind when they founded our Country. I am of the opinion it is one thing to have an open choice among different candidates with different points of view, another much different if people refuse to vote for any given candidate simply because he or she belongs to an opposing political Party.
We currently spend most of our time arguing, or trying to prove, “our” political Party (or the Party’s candidate) is superior than the opposition’s, instead of reuniting, after elections are over, and focus on solving our challenges and obstacles TOGETHER AS A NATION. I was optimistic, after 9/11, the eternal childish bickering and division was in recess, since there was a short period of time, after the events, when our Country and members of both political parties were actually UNITED. Now everything appears to have been just a temporary mirage, if we take into account the current rhetoric from both Parties.

As for your last question, I personally do not give Moore, or others like him, much recognition or credit, since I believe actors and entertainers should publicly concentrate on what they supposedly do well, acting and entertaining.
Being a good actor, director, or entertainer, does not necessarily mean the Country can benefit from their self-proclaimed “wisdom” as an erudite, it does not matter which political Party he or she is endorsing.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Since there is no Bachelor show to discuss, and I love your comments, perhaps I can convince you to give us some of your personal views on Laura, Hillary, and Heinz Kerry. I included Hillary because I wish to know if you believe she may be a Presidential Candidate in the future. Finally, and since you're so good predicting who people are going to choose; is it going to be Bush or Kerry? Thanks. (Jen)

A. There are two subjects I try not to discuss in public, religion and politics. This is one of those questions I am going to get in trouble with no matter what I say, but I will humor you.
Laura appears to be strong willed, quiet, self-assured, and comfortable within her marriage and role as a behind-the-scenes First Lady. She is not impressed with power or politics, but Laura loves her husband enough to support his interest in politics.
Heinz gives me the impression of being a slightly eccentric, opinionated, and short-tempered person with a complex personality. I get the feelings her thought pattern is complicated and sometimes disorganized. She appears to be “going through the motions” while campaigning for her husband, perhaps a sign she is just pleasing his desire for the Presidency. There are exceptions, but it is my personal opinion most heiresses of her status are a little spoiled, having grown up with the notion everything they do, or say, is acceptable.
Hillary’s primary interest in life is “Hillary”. She did not only campaign for her husband, all those years, but was also introducing herself, in the big picture, for future benefit. I believe Hillary has stayed next to him for image enhancement, and to use their mutual contacts for her political aspirations. Like her husband, she can be very pleasant and actually convince people they really care about a certain subject. Also like President Clinton, Hillary has what is called “the gift of gab”, being extremely intuitive at knowing what to say in order to please the masses.
Personally, and for many reasons, I would be surprised if she was ever elected as our first female President, but this is just my personal opinion.
My personal voting preferences are private, but I believe Bush will win a second term.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Ever since the whole “I-want-your-ring” thing with Meredith, I said I was not going to watch another show. However, I caved when Jessi was picked as the next Bachelor. He's Canadian so I had to watch and give my support. It quickly became apparent that it was more about turning Trish into a star, than showing us another great love story. Needless to say, I've sworn off all Bachelor shows and other reality-dating shows as well. What I didn't account for is how much I miss hearing your insights! Please let me know if you'll be writing on other topics. Thanks. (Tamara)

A. Hello Tamara, I believe you have written to me before.
I am taking a little vacation and looking forward to watching the next Bachelor series, especially since there is a rumor the Producers made a drastic change in the show’s format. I hope it isn’t a case of “too little too late”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. The K-Y jelly people have announced a deal with Trista and Ryan. They will get paid by going on a double date with the married couple who wins a national sweepstakes sponsored by the K-Y product. Don’t you think this is degrading and a slap in the face for those who believed them when they said: “We just want to stay out of the limelight & get on with our lives?"

A. In my opinion, the only thing this proves is you should never try to predict your future.
Personally, I do not believe there is anything wrong with this new project, and we should also remember their limited income. These little “cameo roles” are not only financially lucrative for the couple, but I am certain Trista still enjoys being in the limelight.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What did you think of Bob’s wedding to Rebecca? Do you think it will last? (J.B)

A. I honestly wish the happy couple the best. Both enjoy each other’s company, and currently have a symbiotic relationship which may last for a while. I do not believe they will grow old together, though.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. A.T., I wonder what you think of Estella and Steve Holy. I think they already split, she said yesterday it was due to “not being the right time for us”.

A. Most of the time, saying “It’s not the right time for us” means one of the two is not ready to stop being promiscuous and settle down. I believe this is the case here.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello A.T. Just wondering if you’ve seen The Ultimate Love Test, and what was your opinion of this show. Thanks, and keep up the interesting comments. (Janet S.)

A. No, I have not watched this show, even though I am aware of the plot. These type shows are more for entertainment than anything else.
Quite honestly, if a relationship is experiencing difficulty, the last thing I would advise either party to do is begin snuggling with someone else “just to evaluate what your feelings are for each other”. I am of the opinion this only creates feelings of mistrust and resentment that, in the long run, will make the situation worse.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What’s your opinion of “Who Wants to Marry My Dad?”

A. I’d rather not say........ Honestly now, one thing is to consult your children if you are planning to marry again, another quite differently is to let them choose your spouse on a National TV show. Personally, I feel the individuals involved in series one and two were more interested in seeing themselves on TV than anything else, especially the “Dad”.
Having said that, I can see why it could be an entertaining show to watch, but I wouldn't take it too seriously.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., I’m long-time fan. I am curious to know how you predicted exactly what was going to happen in For Love or Money. I know choosing P.J. over Rachel is just a 50-50 guess, but how did you also know P.J. would end up with $1 and Rachel with the million? (N.D.)

A. It is difficult to explain, the whole scenario is a little “plastic” in my opinion for it to be 100% true. I would also venture to say the Producers probably choreograph a large percentage of what happens, in some way or another, and this was my version of what would constitute a “Great Finale”. No one can convince me Preston's long and confusing speech, to Rachel and P.J., was not "fed" to him by the Producers. It was practically a carbon copy of the one Rob used in his last episode of FLOM I.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Are you going to comment on the next installment of FLOM? I’d love to hear what you have to say about Rachel and Andrea. Thanks.

A. I’m afraid I can not bear to watch R&A bickering behind each other’s back for another series. Anyway, I will probably be traveling for a few weeks, during the airing of the show, and would not have an opportunity to watch it.
As for your second question, I personally believe Rachel did not care much about Preston or the money.
You have to understand the real Rachel in order to see she is not a bad person, all she really wanted was an opportunity to introduce herself into the Entertainment Industry. All her bickering with Andrea was not about Preston; her main problem with Andrea was about competing for the limelight with someone who is “flashier” than she is.
Rachel can be a fairly good actress, when it is to her best interest, and feels comfortable in front of the cameras. If you add on top of that the fact she is very pretty, and has a natural “bad girl” look, Rachel has the potential of making a career in TV. After all, Morgan Fairchild, my all-time favorite TV “bad-girl”, made a career out of playing bad-girl roles when, in fact, she is actually a real funny and nice person in real life.
I do not know what is going to happen in this next series, but I would be surprised if Rachel would end up tying herself down permanently with any one of her Bachelors, since I believe she is actually not seeking a romantic relationship.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Like you, I've found that reality TV these days bears very little resemblance to reality. I'm curious as to what sort of reality program you'd like to see come out? What would your ideal reality show look like? (Amy)

A. Are you ready for this? My imaginary show would have three Bachelors AND three Bachelorettes staying first in a plush resort and then in an uncomfortable setting in order to see how each couple reacts to adversity and challenges.
On the first episode, I would have a large party with say 10 men and 10 women. The object of that first night would be for the six main characters to get to know everyone in the group and, at the end, make their choices. I am certain the Producers can come up with a short format in which six individuals can choose their mates; I have become bored with the rose ceremony concept. It is important to have three Bachelors and three Bachelorettes as main characters, in order to give equal opportunity to members of both sexes.
The second episode begins with the six couples in the resort, where there is ample time given for them to get to know each other better, either with dates or group events. All the interactions between the six couples would be secretly filmed, in order to avoid couples acting out a part in order to continue on the show. These videos would be watched by a panel that would send home one couple at the end of each episode. I do not wish to get too involved in what type of individuals the panel would be composed of, but I would personally like to see a couple of celebrities alongside a Family Counselor, just to spice things up a little during the deliberations.
Each couple would get to know each other by a combination of romantic one on one dates, group dates with the other couples, and competitive events, both physical and intellectual, this way everyone has an equal opportunity to “shine”. It is also imperative the couples spend some time handling adversity and challenges as a couple, this way not everything they experience is based on fun and games.
The finale would have two couples left, and the panel would have the option of not sending one of the couples home, thus allowing BOTH couples the opportunity to be "winners" (not everything in life has to be competitive). The couple, or couples, would choose, if they wished, to remain together after the show, or perhaps even have a TV proposal if they felt inclined to do so.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Your previous prediction in reference to how Love or Money would play out continues to be right on the money. I was wondering, with all the new twists, if you had a change of heart. Thanks! (Josey)

A. I’m just having fun watching this show; it offers so many twists it is making me dizzy. I am only guessing, but it would make for a “grand” finale if our boy chooses PJ, who would be the one now holding the $1 check, while Rachel, our drama queen, ends up with the million-dollar check and rejected. THAT would make for great “Reality TV”!
The show is entertaining, in my opinion, but come on, I find it too coincidental out of the two remaining women, one holds a $1 check and the other a Million dollar one. If my “theory” holds out, only the imaginative minds of the production staff could arrange for this to happen. We will just have to wait and see, remember there are more twists comming our way........

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I love your website and have been reading your comments since B2. You have an interesting perspective; very enlightening! I was wondering what you thought about the recent break up of Jesse and Jessica. I knew you predicted it wouldn't last, but did you have a sense that the couple had already broken up by the time the After the Final Rose episode was taped? Jessica seemed very distant and going through the motions, presumably because she was bound by contract to go along with the publicity for a certain amount of time but her heart did not seem to be in it. What do you think happened? Was she turned off by watching Jesse with the other women? Thanks in advance for your comments!! (Alison)

A. Their breakup did not surprise me. I did sense they were somewhat distant with each other during the After the Final Rose special. Personally, I feel there was more physical attraction than love between Jesse and Jessica, and their relationship would not have endured even if she had moved with him to N.Y. Furthermore, I believe none of the women in the show impressed Jesse.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Dear A.T., do you think reality-dating shows have an affect on how we date as a society today or do you think it's just entertainment? My husband and I watched Bachelor 3(Andrew and Jen kept us interested) and are suckers for a real love story. But we're blown away by the glut of shows (Bachelor included) that want to throw in lies, deception, cutthroat competition, obligatory stripping of clothes, dating multiple people and making out on the same date with everyone. Is this influencing "real dating" in your opinion? Thanks; love the Bachelor articles. (Stephanie)

A. I am of the opinion these Bachelor-type shows do not have much influence in shaping sociological trends, even though some do provide a small glimpse of the complete lack of communication between the sexes. I do not believe viewers should take these shows too seriously, since all they depict is a group of singles dating the main character. We should always remember these are, first and foremost, TV shows made to boost network ratings, and there is little "reality" left in them once the editors have finished their work.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I miss your articles whenever The Bachelor is not airing! Your original opinion of Andrea and Rachel were right on the money. I am interested in knowing your opinion of how For Love or Money is going. Any predictions? Thanks! (H.K)

A. I’m just guessing but I would venture to say Rachel and Andrea will continue to bicker and behave like spoiled children for a while longer. I also have a hunch Rebekah and Ali will possibly not go all the way, since I don’t see much real chemistry between Preston and these two women, and PJ possibly has the best chances of being our boy’s choice.
Of course, who knows what will actually end up happening, considering all the twists and turns this show still has in store for us.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hello A.T. I know you studied in Europe for some years and have a question to ask. I was recently vacationing in France and Spain and was wondering if you could explain to me why most of the people I spoke with do not like Americans too much. My husband says it is because they are envious of us. Please, be honest and say it like it is, I can take it. (Linda J.)

A. This topic is too complicated to discuss in this type of forum, but I will try.
I honestly do not believe the answer is as simple as saying they envy us, for it would surprise most Americans to know very few Europeans envy our way of life, which they find too “materialistic” and “fast paced”. The reasons some of them are not too thrilled with us vary from political differences of opinion to the immense differences in our sociological customs.
It would also help if we kept track of how “accommodating” and “humble” we behave in their presence, since we are the ones visiting “their” Country.
There are always exceptions, of course, but I have found most European are really nice and friendly people, once you get to know them in depth.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I want you to know that when the last Bachelor series showed the signs of atrophy, I still watched it - just so I could read your articles. They are far superior to the shows themselves. My question for you is - do you think the Bachelor/Bachelorette can be revived? What would you recommend to the producers? My sentimental heart hopes this show can recover. Thank you. (Alexandra)

A. Thanks for the kind words, you can write to me anytime....
Seriously now, any show can be revived if the producers pay attention to viewers comments and change with the times. I feel most fans currently wish to see a real love story flourish, and not continue watching pre-fabricated situations and contestants acting out a part.
I have a hunch the people in charge of The Bachelor erroneously believe no one knows what’s best for ratings better than they do. The TV Land cemetery is full of good shows that failed prematurely because the producers did not realize their errors until it was too late.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I remember you once gave your opinion of Chris Harrison’s personality, and later his wife made a comment you were pretty much accurate. I don’t know if you heard Chris Harrison’s board went dead after being out of control for many months. Why do you think he stopped posting right after Bob’s unpopular series aired, and now his site was taken out of service all of a sudden?(Jen)

A. Alright, Jen, contrary to what some fans may believe, I am not a psychic! I honestly do not have the slightest idea why the site was taken out of service, but I do have a hunch Chris stopped posting there mostly for personal reasons and not for technical or financial ones.
I also feel he is not too satisfied with the way The Bachelor Show has changed for the worse, especially after Bob’s fiasko. Perhaps that may also explain why his exposure, in the show, has decreased.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I know this has nothing to do with the subjects you comment on, but I wondered if you knew J Lo got married, and, if so, what is your opinion on this. Thanks. (Rachel N.)

A. I am of the opinion J Lo is somewhat impulsive and gets married for the wrong reasons; this may explain why her romantic relationships do not last long. If, in fact, she secretly did wed, I do not believe the union will last too long since both “newlyweds” have a tendency to discard relationships whenever it pleases them.
Ben got lucky; I feel he would have ended up just being another J Lo statistic.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you really enjoy watching reality TV shows, or do you watch them in order to do these articles?

A. I was wondering when someone would ask me this! Actually, I only enjoy watching The History Channel once in a while, but I am not much of a TV fan. There was a time I enjoyed watching certain reality TV shows, but I am beginning to feel they are repetitious and boring.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I thought you and Wendy were going to discuss For Love or Money. Why did you change your mind? (N.R.)

A. The cast of characters seemed impossible to endure for several weeks.
On the opening night, we saw Melayne “the virgin”, Heather, the one seeking sympathy, Andrea, who can’t say anything nice about anyone except herself, and we even got a glimpse of Rachel, the “big bad boring witch”. Take the individual’s names off the titles and we end up with the same cast as any other reality TV show, including The Bachelor.
I do believe the relationship enjoyed between the winning couple is real, but I suspect most of what will happen during the show is going to be scripted and impossible for me to try to predict.
The ingenious twists and surprises do promise entertainment, but there is little reality left in these types of programs.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I really enjoy reading your articles about the Bachelor. I was wondering what you think about Jesse's claim that he was "falling in love" with Jessica AND Tara and that he "did not know" who he would choose until the day of the final rose ceremony. I tend to think he DID know sooner than that, as all the Bachelors usually say they don't know until the end (but later admit that they knew who they would choose for a while). I am confused because Jesse is the first one who did not admit that he DID know ahead of time. However, if he really did not decide until the last day, how can Jessica feel that he really knows she is the one? Any thoughts? (Laurice)

A. Like you, I do not believe the main character decides whom they are falling in love with on the last day. I am of the opinion their preference for any particular person has developed by the time of the hometown dates. In Jesse's case, he may have been physically attracted to Tara, but I believe he knew Jessica would be his choice after the hometown dates.
I suspect there has been only one instance where the main character may have changed his or her mind after the hometown dates. NO, I'am not mentioning names; I would be guessing and do not wish to begin a controversy.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I love your articles! I wanted to know what you thought about Bob and Rebecca's relationship and if you believed they will get married and be happy.

A. Some time ago I said both appeared to have a symbiotic relationship in progress. Contrary to popular belief, I don't watch much TV, much less sitcoms or soaps; therefore I do not know much about Rebecca.
Bob, on the other hand, has a history of being unable to maintain serious relationships. It is my personal opinion Bob may "shine" in a group setting, but finds it difficult to express his thoughts and feelings intimately on a one on one basis. This apparent intimacy problem may be the cause of some of his past and future romantic problems.
Quite honestly, I feel their relationship will not be permanent.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I wanted to ask A.T. why he said A&J had little romantic passion behind the camera, if he always said they were a perfect couple and he was sure that they would make it? He even says in this last Q&A that they have a chance of reconciliation. (N.R.)

A. This reminds me of the “gossip game”, where you say something to one side of a group and your statements end up totally out of context by the time they travel to the opposite end.
I am almost certain my words were “I believe this is the best-matched couple coming out of all the previous series, and the one with the BEST CHANCES of making it work long-term.” I still believe A&J can make their relationship work long-term, but both need to work hard at it since it is not going to happen on its own.
I am also of the opinion their lifestyle was not conducive to enjoying a passionate romance. Jen is a romantic, and needed a different ambience in order to feel happy and fulfilled.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I read your previous comments about Jen and wondered if you blamed her for the breakup more than Andrew.(Jackie)

A. No, I believe both contributed to the demise.
We should approach the situation with certain logic and common sense.
Anyone can figured out life with one of the Firestones is not going to be uncomplicated. The home visit to the winery, and subsequent conversations with the family, should have given Jen an overall impression of what lay ahead. On the other hand, if she totally disliked being in the limelight, why did she apply to be on a TV show where it was already known how popular the contestants became once it was over? I would venture to say practically everyone who applies to be on a reality TV show enjoys the limelight, one way or another. I can't envision a shy introvert feeling excited to be in front of the cameras 24/7, it is just inconsistent with that type of personality no matter how coy they act.
I honestly believe Jen was not willing to forego her "identity" and "ego" to comprehend "Firestone Wines" was not just someone else's company she was promoting; She was actually helping to promote the company that one day was going to be her future children's heritage. In my opinion, that is where she made her mistake; Jen did not envision herself as one of the Firestones, and she never saw beyond her present needs.
As for Andrew, I believe he could have realized how stressful it was for Jen to have left everything behind, in order to follow him to California, and should have avoided moving her in with his roommate still living in the apartment. How unromantic can someone be! Jen and Andrew had absolutely no privacy to facilitate advancing their relationship to another level! I always felt, behind the cameras, there was little romantic passion in their relationship.....
Can they end up together? Nothing is impossible, but BOTH would first need to reevaluate themselves, figure out the type of feelings each one has for the other, and sort out their short and long-term priorities and goals. I still believe both could have a happy future together.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What was your impression of Tara at the After the Rose Special? (Rose)

A. It is difficult for me to figure Tara out, much more since I do not know her personally. Even though she comes across as a nice person, I am fairly certain she is somewhat theatrical and spoiled when things do not go her way. I did not take her acting on the After the Rose Special too seriously, since she appeared to be under the control of the show's production staff, much like Trish.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I know you always believed the main reason A&J split was because she was never really in love with Andrew. After seeing and hearing her tonight, what are your impressions of the circumstances surrounding the end of their relationship? I’m asking you because, as a Marriage Counselor who is addicted to these shows, I wish to know if you came out of it with the same general impressions I did.

A. Although I do not know you personally, I can almost guarantee we are basically on the same wavelength, but first, I would like to make a clarifying statement before anything else. Seeing Jen tonight only solidified my opinion she is a very nice, honest, and classy lady.
Having said that, I believe real love should go beyond individualities, personal recognition, and self-satisfaction. Instead, it should focus more on agreeing on a common goal and building a future together, ensuring a legacy for future generations.
Some of the statements I heard tonight make me feel Jen was more focused on “not loosing her identity”, and wanting Andrew to “dedicate more personal time to her”, than trying to incorporate herself into the Firestone family. She chose not to become part of the “whole”, but instead opted to stay an independent individual, and that is not the way you satisfactorily become a part of an important and historic family like the Firestones.
The Firestone name and business is not a little neighborhood family restaurant, but instead a large business conglomerate, offering a living and future legacy to ALL the members of the Firestone family, present and future. When you become part of a family like theirs, you must do so with the intention of leaving all selfishness and personal satisfactions aside and work to become one of them, making their goals the same as yours. It is not easy, as most people believe, but if you recall one of Andrew’s sister did say, on TV, they were all a working family, and that it was hard work. This may not be hard physical work, since I am certain their type of work is more sales, administrative, and public relations, but it is still hard work with long tedious hours, as any successful business owner will attest to. Simply stated, Jen did not see the big picture, either because she really did not love Andrew enough, or because she is still too young to see past her immediate needs and goals. Andrew is not perfect, and may still be slightly immature in certain areas, but he’s dead on when it comes to seeing the “overall picture” of what his responsibilities and role is in ensuring the family legacy continues.
Since I am going to get some slack for my personal opinion on this matter, I might as well go all the way and say I honestly believe Jen will possibly regret her decision 15 or 20 years down the road. The degree of remorse will depend on how happy and satisfied she is at that particular stage of her life, but she will not be able to avoid wondering what could have been. Like almost everyone else, Andrew will mature with the years, and what Jen saw as an insuperable obstacle will perhaps not seem important when she has also matured a little more. We should remember a big part of maturity is loosing some of our own selfishness.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I know you were watching the After the Rose Special and wanted to know what your thought on Jesse and Jessica.

A. I may be wrong, but Jesicca’s body language was not indicative of someone who is supposed to be unconditionally in love with Jesse. I agree she was upset by having to witness Trish’s tacky confrontation with Tara, but her indifference to him, and the face expressions she used while answering some of the questions asked by Chris, led me to believe they will definitely not grow old together.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you think maybe the reason Jen is on the After the Rose Special may be because she and Andrew got back together? Just hoping.....

Ah, hope! It is a wonderful thing! Who knows, we’ll see.......

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I've enjoyed your comments on the Apprentice on the Q&A page. Any chance you'll do a full-blown weekly analysis of the show next season? (Suzanne)

A. The problem about commenting on this show is I can not predict who will be the next one "fired", since we never know how the contestants will perform until the actual episode airs. Nevertheless, I will continue to answer individual questions posed by our readers.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I don’t know if you’ve heard Jen is going to be on the next After the Rose Special. People are saying it is because she may be the next Bachelorette. If so, what is your opinion of this? Thanks! (Joyce)

A. I look forward to seeing Jen again. Having said that, it would be "shocking" for her to have accepted the role of Bachelorette when she constantly voiced her dislike for being on the spotlight while she was engaged to Andrew. In my opinion it would be contrary to the image she tried to portray for ten months.
We will just have to wait for the show to air in order to be certain of her situation, since this is all speculation.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I just wanted you to know For Love or Money begins June 7 on NBC. My real interest is if you are going to cover it. Hope it’s YES! (Fanny )

A. At the time the last one aired, I found this series unrealistic but entertaining. Considering what The Bachelor has turned into, the level of fictional situations in FLOM are not as bad as how I envisioned them last year. At a simple glance, it appear Preston may make it interesting, but I hope NBC does a proper background of the main character this time around………………

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering what you make of the rumor going around that Jesse was going to choose Tara, and changed his mind when Jessica arrived. This even threw off the camera crew that knew the first car arriving was the loser. Tara was to get a ring, that is why he picked it out and was going to give it that evening. But when he saw Jessica, for whatever reason, he changed his choice. I think that the reason why Jessica was there first is because Tara told the limo driver to pull over because she was going to get sick. She delayed the show a little bit so they had to go on.

A. Wow, speaking of explosive theories, you just blew me off my lazyboy with that one!
I have learned that life is full of surprises but this one appears to be a little far fetched. No time during this series did Jesse’s body language insinuate he was falling in love with Tara, even though I could tell he thoroughly enjoyed kissing her.
As far as the staff not knowing what was happening and being totally shocked when the wrong limousine arrived first; I really find this one hard to believe in an age when grammar school kids and even some pets carry cellular phones. It is a fact drivers and the crews assigned to each one of the two vehicles are able to communicate and coordinate events with the crew filming in the Bachelor pad, therefore, very little is left to chance during a TV production.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Watching the episode, it became more and more apparent that Jesse was more comfortable around Jessica and that the two of them acted like a couple. You could pick up subtle hints that he was becoming less and less comfortable around Tara. So he made the right pick. You've commented approvingly about Jesse's mother's insight that Tara wasn't in love with her son. If so, why did she freak out if she didn't care for him? She seemed to care for him. I suspect (but I'm not psychologist) that she had the "women's intuition" that you've mentioned; she knew that she wasn't the one from their final interactions. (DIH)

A. Caring for someone and being in love are two completely different feelings. I believe we can learn much about someone’s personality by the way they confront adversity, and feel the problematic way Tara behaved during the whole evening reflects she may have difficulty handling rejection and not being in control of her life. Of course we may never know for certain if I am right, since we do not know her on a personal level.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Don’t you think Jessica is too young to be with Jesse? My God, she’s only 22 and still in College!

A. Like Jesse’s father, I believe you are also placing too much emphasis on age.
At her "tender age" of 22, I personally feel Jessica is more mature and experienced in life than Tara is.
J. also appears to confront adversity with a much wider range of practical knowledge than T., besides being a small “rebel in disguise”.
In other words, Jesse has a handful, but is too preoccupied with football to realize it.......

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you think that Mandy Jaye was truly attracted to Jesse, whose feelings obviously did not mirror hers, or was she hoping that she had found the one (whether or not there was true chemistry there)? I got the impression that Mandy Jaye is more prepared for the hard work of building a relationship than the other two, and that could compensate for having less "heat" than Jessica or Tara.

A. It is difficult to say, with any degree of accuracy, what feelings, if any, Mandy could have developed for Jesse in such a short time. As viewers, we subconsciously tend to "see" in our favorite contestant whatever feelings, or virtues, we would want him or her to possess in real life. This is one of the main reasons why, at this moment, we have a large group who believes Tara is going all the way, while other "visionaries" are practically certain Jessica is the one.
Personally, I would not be surprised if, once taken out of the show's surreal environment, most of the women who participated in the show believe Jesse is a little boring and unexciting, once you stop admiring his good looks.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Did you hear Omarosa has her own 900 number? You can supposedly listen to her opinions on several subjects.

A. I “fired” Omarosa even before The Donald did, therefore, there is nothing she could say that would be of interest to me. I wish her good luck with her financial ventures, even though I do not see her going too far in the “Wicked TV Witch” race. I can name a couple of others that would leave her looking like “Goldielocks”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. There are rumors Fliess is giving the Bachelorette to Trish. What is your opinion of this?

A. Someone told me, a couple of weeks ago, Fliess was still the Executive Producer, but had given overall control to one of his Assistants who had history of being involved with daytime soaps. If true, this would explain why these new shows are closer to being a mediocre soap opera than reality TV.
I, for one, would refuse to watch a six week “Bachelorette Trishathon”, for obvious reasons, and would go “on strike.” Perhaps we get lucky and it is all just a rumor......

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I have to believe that people like Trish and Omarosa are "acting out" believing that they will extent their 15 minutes of fame. While they get a lot of attention for a very short time, and maybe appear on some TV talk shows don't they see that the negative outweighs the good? Don't they see that America sees them in a negative way? Would any guy be able to have a serious relationship with Trish without a lot of friends and family asking him if he lost his marbles? Who would hire Omarosa after her display of lies and disloyalty? Do they really believe they will benefit from this attention? (Dawnna)

A. It is my personal opinion we live in an era where “entertainment value” outweighs everything else.
I will not go into names, but just taking a quick glimpse at our entertainment industry I can identify a large number of individuals who are currently successful and admired by fans in spite of having criminal records, being habitual drug users and/or dealers, and physically abusing their spouses. I am certain none of these individuals would have had much of a career left 35-40 years ago.
People like Omarosa and Trish will flourish as long as they are economically productive.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What did you think of Jessica’s mom? I don’t know if she gets points for worrying about her daughter’s future, or gets them taken away for being a little too pushy and bossy. (Kelly B)

A. I don’t know too much about Jessica or her mom but it would not surprise me to learn someone in her family is an attorney, and Jessica was sweetly “convinced” to follow in his or her footsteps. I say this because young people are usually very tenacious when pursuing something THEY want; Jessica doesn’t seem too “driven” to take her bar exam anytime this century. I may be wrong here, since it is just a gut feeling.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Q. Do these producers really think they are fooling the viewers? I have to wonder if Jesse was told up front of the scripting of this show - it certainly is not "reality". I feel like they have made Jesse look really dumb, to which I am sure he is not, but why would he let himself in for something that costs him his reputation?

A. Good question! I can only give you my personal theory. Let’s begin by saying I am not a football expert, but anyone who has researched Jesse’s career stats can see he will probably never be a Joe Namath. As a matter of fact, I believe he will not endure in his current team for long. He is probably searching for a way to introduce himself as a sportscaster, and agreeing to be The Bachelor was one way to open up some doors. Furthermore, I honestly do not believe Jesse is really looking to fall in love and settle down anytime soon, nor do I have much hope he will find his life-long partner on this show.
It is a shame ABC producers and directors have made several blunders resulting in the deterioration of the show, in my opinion. The editing of Bachelor 3 and Bachelorette 2 left much to be desired, and could have made those particular series more interesting. After watching some of the takes shown during the “After the Rose Special”, I felt viewers would have enjoyed seeing a little more of Andrew’s wacky personality, and his comical interactions with some of the other women, including Jen. In fact, Producers edited out so much that it made him appear awkward, stiff, and boring while the show was airing.
Most viewers would also agree Meredith was probably pushed into making the show more interesting by giving Matt the hope he would be the chosen one, instead of allowing us to view her love story with Ian. I do not wish to get myself too involved talking about the mistake of choosing Bob as The Bachelor in their futile attempt to boost ratings and attract sponsors, but it is evident these type of decisions only made viewers disappointed and, in the end, has not done much for overall ratings.
This show was once the one to copy, now it is slowly falling out of grace with the viewers. ABC is currently attempting to use scripted situations and pre-fabricated villains in their attempt to boost their ratings, when all they probably need to do is offer their viewers a true reality TV love story.
Contrary to the producer’s opinion, I believe viewers are intelligent enough to recognize “true reality” when they see it.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. It was reported Andrew was seen at Road America Race with Tina Fab. Do you think there might be anything there?

A. Yes, what about a possible friendship? It is fairly normal for individuals who have shared a common experience to remain united by an invisible thread. I would need much more to go on in order to make an intelligent assessment, but the body language in the photo I was shown, during the race, indicates both are trying to keep it on a friendly level.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Now that Andrew is single again, and Kirsten went out of her way to let everyone know she had broken up with her "famous" boyfriend some time ago; do you think there is a chance Andrew and her will get together sometime? (J.B)

A. I honestly doubt it, for many reasons.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering if visitors to your site has dwindled at the same speed as viewers of the Bachelor series. I’m just curious.

A. Actually it fluctuates a little. We seem to have the core number of fans visiting us every week, but the overall numbers have dropped significantly since Bachelor 3, most noticeably since Bob’s series aired and A&J’s split went public. Here are some interesting statistics:
* Our highest number of hits were during Bachelorette 1 and Bachelor 3.
* Bob’s run began at the same level as Bachelor 3, but dropped significantly once it got into the third week, ending with the lowest numbers so far.
* Bachelorette 2 brought the numbers back up, but they never got as high as during B-3.
* Jessie’s run brought the number of weekly hits up again, at the same level as Bachelorette 2, but they have dropped slightly since Trish's acting has taken over the show.
* Speaking of overachievers: The all-time winner, in the e-mail negative comments & hate mail department, is Bob. The honor was reserved for Aaron, but Bobby took the lead after he unceremoniously dropped Estella, and has remained “The King” ever since.
* Negative Trish-related e-mails have already surpassed Kirsten’s. Up until last week, Kirsten held the all-time record for the less popular bachelorette, according to e-mails received.
* We only publish about 30% of all correspondence received. Most e-mails sent to us are either just reader's comments, personal questions A.T. can’t answer, and/or referring to subjects we have already covered.
* Since we began this little project, our servers have gone down twice due to excessive hits, and we have been forced to purchase additional bandwidth.
* So far, we have received 186 e-mails from females, photos included, asking A.T. for a date next time he’s in their turf of the woods.
I hope you found some of these facts humorous. Wendy T.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering what kind of role you believe the producers play in the Bachelor and in who receives a rose each week? I noticed that you've been surprised a lot this time around, and wonder if maybe the producers are “encouraging" the Bachelor to choose specific women to keep the show lively. (Anna)

A. I'm not only surprised, but have to admit to being totally lost! The cause of this is not that my "little gray cells" are rusting out, but most likely because of the trick editing and fictional situations created by the producers.
Unlike in Bachelor 1 and 2, we are no longer exposed to the same amount of interactions and conversations between the women and the main character, making it difficult for me to ascertain which ones is his favorites. On top of this, I personally believe the producers currently choreograph most of the dates and conversations, much like in daytime soaps, and it would not surprise me if the main character handed out roses to select individuals based solely on their entertainment value.
Quite honestly, I feel there is little "reality" left in today's reality TV shows.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Ok, what is up with Trish? She looked very uncomfortable when she found out that Jenny was a spy yet she was practically bragging about her past exploits on camera! Did she think Jesse was never going to find out? Personally, I don't think Jesse cares. He wants her (and I don't mean for marriage) and he is not as attracted to any of the others. But will he pick her knowing the world is watching and the reaction he will get? (Dawnna)

A. Let's look at her behavior using some common sense. Trish appears to be of average intelligence; therefore, she was fairly aware of the impact created by her words and actions while she was being filmed. Having said that; either she does not see anything wrong with having relationships with married men, or she is overdoing the "bad girl" routine for ratings and self-promotion. It is difficult to ascertain the truth, in my opinion, and I would say it is possibly a combination of both, since it is becoming more and more acceptable nowadays, in certain circles, to have low moral standards.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Q. I agree with you that this Bachelor is very boring. Jesse looks more like a jock among his "babes" than someone who is really looking for someone special. Do you really believe Trish is as bad as she portrays herself, or is it all for entertainment? (J.N.)

A. It is difficult to ascertain. ABC used to expose the individual's personalities much more than they are doing nowadays, and we are currently not shown personal interactions among the rest of the cast. Lately, most of the editing focuses the show on arguments between the women, or whose turn is it to be the witch.
Speaking of "TV witches", I do not know if you have noticed an ongoing trend of "successful" bad girls benefiting from their on-screen antics. We now have Omarosa, from The Apprentice, and Trish, just to name two, outshining the rest of their group of women due to their "classless acts" in front of the camera. Who knows, maybe they agreed with the producers to stir things up a bit; we will never know for certain. One thing for certain, neither series would have been as interesting without these two "problematic divas" causing mayhem in the background

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I somehow sense you are not too impressed with the cast of this Bachelor, including the women. Am I right in saying you do not personally like any one of the remaining women? (Nancy R.)

A. Saying I do not like them is being a little harsh, since I do not know any of these women on a personal level. Without getting into names, I was more impressed by some of the finalists from past shows than I am from this one. Perhaps because my old-fashioned personality is not in favor of seeing supposedly grown women sucking beer from a tap, on national TV, while being lifted like a medieval battering ram. To me this type of behavior looks tacky, on members of either sex, once they have passed their rambunctious teenage college years.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering why you said Jesse was enjoying kissing Jessica when I personally believe he was getting a bigger kick from kissing Suzie.

A. I believe Jessie is generally being distant and robot-like with the women, therefore, it is difficult to pin him down.
He seems to be getting a kick out of kissing every one he can, in my opinion. He may appear physically intense while kissing Suzie, but I believe Jesse shows a little more "feeling" when he is with Jessica.
Like I said in today's interview, all this may not mean much in the end, since he is not emotionally involved with any of the women there, as far as I can see.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Love your articles! I wanted to ask your opinion of who the stalker could be. Thanks! (K.N.)

A. Actually, I do not give much credence to “the stalker”. It is pretty much common knowledge ABC has security people and videographers inside the bachelor pad most of the time. I find it hard to believe one of the women sent home can not only sneak back and break into Jessie's pad, but it so happens there is a cameraman ready to record everything she does. Sounds like someone in the production team is a soap opera fan.
This is just a wild guess, but I would bet “Hateful Trish” has the honors of acting out the part, right after our hero sends her packing.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you believe Omarosa was to blame for Kwame’s demise? Why do you think she acted so irresponsibly? (L.B.)

A. Personally, I believe Kwame was to blame for his own demise. Not only did he choose Omarosa for his team, but allowed her to lie without taking any adverse action against her. As for your second question, I believe Omarosa has always been too preoccupied trying to be part of “the famous crowd” to worry about the consequences of her behavior.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Thank you for your weekly opinion. Do you believe Jen was really in love with Andrew, if so how could she already have someone else, while Andrew is saying he still single? Thanks (Tasha)

A. All right, Tasha, If I remember correctly, Jen and Andrew broke up around Thanksgiving of last year. How much more mourning is she going to have to go through before it is OK to date again? BOTH are young, unattached, and still single, as far as I am aware. If it makes you feel any better, I do not believe her relationship will Bill (The Apprentice) will get too serious.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Even if a CNBC business analyst forecasted Kwame as the winner, whom she described as “charismatic, coachable and a complement to Trump’s style”, you were right on the money, as usual, with your prediction of Bill as the ultimate winner. My question is how can Bill, who is not an architect, take charge of the building of Trump’s multi million project? Am I missing something here? (Joan D.)

A. The Big Guy hired Bill to manage his new project, not to build it. We must also remember he was hired as AN APPRENTICE, which usually means he will receive on-the-job training for quite some time.
I am certain The Donald will call most of the shots during the process, and will ease Bill into his new position when the time is right. Bill is sharp and will do a good job, in my opinion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What do you think of the new romance between Jenn Schefft of B3, and Bill Rancic of the Apprentice? Do you think this might reveal she is more into money and perhaps a bit of a gold-digger than viewers originally suspected? (Elaine)

A. I hope you believe me when I say Jen was never closer to real wealth as when she was engaged to Andrew, therefore, calling her a gold-digger really does not make much sense.
Personally, I believe Jen and Bill may possibly share some things in common, but I feel he is not ready to settle down yet. By the way, I heard the rumor he had also spent some time with Amelia (The Apprentice).

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. According to a NY Times article, Meredith and Ian are already having problems. The article states Ian was overheard yelling at her at a West Coast dinner. Not counting Trista and Ryan, who I also believe will not enjoy a particularly long marriage, why do you believe none of these relationships seem to work out? (Mary C.)

A. I believe we must evaluate each relationship separately. Having said that, if I had to narrow it down to only one possible reason, I would go with the fact that none of these couples really know each other very well before finding themselves "engaged" and living together. I must also point out chances are against anyone actually finding their life-long match among 25 individuals chosen by a production staff who is more interested in their physical beauty than substance. Actually, I should say 15 individuals, since ten are blindly sent home on the first night. It is possible to have some degree of success, but it is highly unlikely.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Would A.T. care to comment on the statement made in the April 11-17 issue of "TV Guide" by George Ross, Executive vice president and senior counsel to Donald Trump, that the men may have had an edge over the women in The Apprentice because "I really think men are better team players by their nature maybe due to their upbringing". Now I know there are exceptions to every rule & Carolyn Keptcher is clearly one of them but, would A.T. support that observation or is this a situational thing?

A. My answer is divided into two segments. Genetically, and for different reasons, women have the capability of developing themselves into more effective team players and business executives than men. The bad news is, in my opinion, they have a long way to go before this actually happens, mostly due to current sociological perceptions of both men and women.
Having said that, I personally believe the women chosen to be on The Apprentice were not strong negotiators, and that is why they lost to the men. Honestly now, does anyone believe Carolyn would EVER try to negotiate showing off cleavage, or wearing an extra short miniskirt for effect? Keptcher appears to be always observant, well prepared for any eventuality, and is sharp as nails. THAT is why she is where she is today, and not because she tries to look, and dress, like Sharon Stone, or because she is lazy and delegates all the work to others.
The women may have sometimes gotten away with it in the show, but they would fail in the real "high rollers" business world.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I know you enjoy watching The Apprentice, and wanted to ask which one you believe should be hired by Donald. I’m not asking who will win but whom would YOU hire.

A. I like and respect Kuami, but he appears to be too trusting with his staff, especially considering the individuals he chose for his team. I can appreciate someone having a hands-off management style, but I feel he or she should have complete trust in the staff before sitting back and letting them work on their own. I also believe Kuami is not ruthless enough for the job. Donald may be a good natured friendly nice guy, deep inside, but he can also be a ruthless mover and shaker if need be, or else he would not have been as successful as he is in New York.
Personally, and even though I fell he may micromanage a little too much, I would go with Bill. I feel he will be easier to fine tune in the long run.
In the end it is The Donald’s call, therefore, I wish them both good luck!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I wanted to let you know I’m a School Psychologist and a great fan, always enjoying your insights. You were 100% right in your assessment of Nick and Amelia, evidently DT had the same opinion. What do you think is going on with Omarosa? That woman aggravates me! Thanks! (Karen B.)

A. Thank you for your kind words! Personally, I find some details about this new setup questionable, to say the least. On a purely logical standpoint, I begin by questioning Kwame’s common sense for choosing both Omarosa and Heidi for his team, knowing very well they do not like each other at all, and spend most of the time arguing instead of working. I also find it very amusing there was a cameraman handy, on both sides of the phone, when Omarosa received the infamous telephone call during dinner. I also question Omarosa’s common sense when she lied in front of the TV camera, knowing very well her lie had been recorded for all to see afterwards. Realistically, this was a very silly thing to do, if you ask me. All this melodrama makes me believe it is all staged, or pre-planned by the Producers, since I can not see Omarosa being so simpleminded not to realize her recorded lie is going to be seen by everyone, and Kuame being so daft as not to know how to get to the bottom of it by finding out himself what really transpired. If this is the way Kuame and Omarosa really are, The Big Guy should pack both in his jet and send them to a galaxy far far away...........

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. What is your opinion of Omarosa coming back in tonight’s episode? Thank you, and I love your articles! (Annie)

A. In short, I believe it’s "Much to do about nothing."

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. Just wanted to know what your thoughts were on the Average Joe finale. Thanks.

A. Even though I always said this appeared to be one of the most scripted shows of its type, I believe there were several contradictions during this show's airing that did not make too much sense, beginning with Adam's rejection of what I called the "cutie group".
At the time, I felt Adam was showing us he was not so shallow after all but, in my humble opinion, contradicted himself last night by choosing what I believe to be the most shallow, manipulative, and materialistic of the two women. I can't help thinking the whole scene with the sexy models might have just been produced for effect, and Adam agreed to be in this show just to enjoy having a group of women at his disposal for several weeks.
Actually, the more I think about it, the more I now realize Adam always appeared to be impressed by "flashy" women. First with Melana and now with Samantha, he seems to be more attracted to physical beauty, and shallowness, than women of substance. For whatever reasons, I believe Adam never saw Rachel being as physically attractive as Sam, and he does not appear too ready to settle down either; therefore, he went for the "gusto" instead of what appeared to be a good long-term mate for him. After all, he did say he had to make up his mind if he was looking for a wife or just someone to date.
Finally, in my humble opinion, and even though she did not strike me as someone who had honestly developed any feelings for him, Adam, Samantha, and Chloe will probably enjoy a good time together for a relatively short while, especially whenever they decide to go shopping at the mall.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Do you believe Troy's lack of a degree had an influence in being sent home on The Apprentice? Last night I felt Donald and his assistants were degrading him. (Pam)

A. Indirectly, perhaps it did influence Trump's decision, but this is one thing we will never know for certain. In Troy's case, I personally believe a lack of a college degree will not hamper his future successes. Once we get over perceptions, and with his personality and business talents, Troy will probably earn, on his own, as much money, or perhaps even more, than he was going to make by being The Big Guy's employee. I am also certain his career will be enhanced by his appearance on the show. I wish him good luck!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T., I wanted to ask if you could give us your thoughts on who may be the winner on The Apprentice, and your opinion of the people left. I know you enjoy watching this show. Thanks.

A. It is practically impossible to determine who will get "hired" by The Big Guy, since their fate is determined by their success or weaknesses during each week's tasks. I have noticed sometimes the individual being fired is not necessarily the one who mostly deserves it, in my opinion, but we sometimes take different roads to arrive at the same conclusion.
As for the applicants, it is difficult to determine their personalities without having more in-depth information, but I will humor you a little.
Personally, I believe Nick and Amelia are too involved in themselves and their careers to allow their personal feelings to become an obstacle in achieving their goals. Each believes their professional success comes first, everything else a distant second. I personally believe Nick and Amelia have that streak of ruthlessness that would allow them to sleep soundly after having laid off someone during the Christmas Holidays.
Troy is actually sharper and much wiser than his intentional cowboy drawl will ever let out. He is an excellent negotiator, and appears to have that special wisdom of determining, in a second, what needs to be said and done to achieve a successful deal. I feel he has excellent instincts, but needs imaginative individuals by his side in order to complete the package.
Kwame is also a very sharp individual, even if he does not like to take too many risks. This is good, in a sense, but it sometimes limits a person's ability to exceed and enjoy spectacular achievements. I believe he feels more at ease working alone at any given task, instead of having to include others in the project. In my opinion, he lacks the ruthlessness necessary to make it into "The Donald's Team".
Bill is professional and level headed but, like Kwame, feels more comfortable working for himself. Sometimes this is not a good personality trait to possess in a corporate environment, where the word "teamwork" is constantly mentioned.
Unlike Kwame, I believe Bill likes to take calculated risks, but only if he is following his own judgment, and not someone else's plan. Bill is probably an excellent businessman, and negotiator, who feels uneasy placing his career and reputation in the hand of others.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Hi A.T. I know this question is not geared to the Bachelor show but I was wondering what your opinion was of Brad Pitt and Jenifer Aniston’s marriage. They look so good together! Thanks!

A. Most of these Hollywood unions are temporary, in my opinion, and this one is no exception. The causes vary, but I could sum it up fairly well by saying they get married for the wrong reasons. It also does not help most of these actors have a selfish nature and are not inclined to sacrifice much for the success of their relationships. Their lives are mostly about satisfying THEIR “needs and expectations”, which is not too conducive to successful long-term relationships.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. I was wondering if you saw the premier of Average Joe and, if you did, your opinion of Adam and the women. Thanks A.T. ( Jessica)

A. I believe it will possibly be an entertaining show, but with little "reality" in my opinion. I honestly can not say if Adam is going to end up with his "average Jane", but there are a couple of things about this show that bothers me.
We must first realize the same concept we expect Adam to shy away from is one of the most important facts about today's society: "We are a physically oriented generation" who are not only programmed to judge our peers by their appearance, but to be just as demanding with ourselves. It shocks me to read the statistics of what I call "enhancement surgeries" being performed on individuals who are obsessed with looking the way our society, and their own brainwashed mind, dictates they should look.

I must also stress I do not believe our likeable "Joe" is "typical" of what the average “man on the streets” looks like. Proof is that I could walk out of my office right now and choose, at random, a handful of men who are better examples of being "average Joes" than Adam is. In my opinion, this series appears to be much more scripted for shock value than most of the Reality TV dating shows out there.
I will give one humorous example; I am certain Adam is sharp enough to realize he needs to shave at least twice a day to avoid "sandpapering away" a woman's cheeks, or lips, when she gets close to him (I felt sorry for Melana during their kissing scenes). Honestly now, I would not be surprised if the producers had instructed him to keep that scruffy look in order to make him more convincingly “unappealing”.

I will not mention names, but I also feel bad for participants who were chosen to be on the show merely for their "shock value". It was much more evident in Melana’s run, but I also saw a couple of similar examples this time around.
Nevertheless, this show will possibly be entertaining to watch, especially when the "models" drive up next week. Who knows, maybe Adam will remember how "shallow Melana" embarrassed him on national TV by preferring an unemployed hunk over him.
Since everything here is supposed to be unpredictable, our boy Adam might show he is not so shallow to be impressed by physical attibutes, take it up a knotch, and resist the "cutie invasion" by telling the producers to return them to the bus and drive them back home...........

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Regarding, your comments on Tiffany from B3 who would have had a fair chance with Andrew. (Actually I think Andrew should have booted Kirsten and kept Tiffany.) My opinion is that she never had a chance with him, simply because she is an opera singer and Andrew likes Blink 182! Ha ha...don't know how true that is, only Andrew can answer that. I noticed the women he kept on the first episode were mostly in sales or marketing jobs. The others he let go are a pharmacist and nanny I think. So I guess it is not 'clothes that maketh a man' (or woman in this case) but one's job? Do men really judge women on their jobs? Anyway, what kind of woman do you think would really be suitable for Andrew? And what kind of man would be compatible for Jen? Please A.T, enlighten us or even humor us with your insight. Thanks! (KIM)

A. I’d much rather humor the readers than enlighten them, since my comments are just for fun. From the onset, I must say I personally like Andrew as a person, even though we should all realize no one is "perfect", including ourselves. Nevertheless, I somehow get the feeling Andrew is a difficult person to please. I remember his mother called him "choosy" on one segment of the show. This could be translated as being a little opinionated, outspoken, and somewhat critical of others.
I believe it to be fairly close to the truth by saying Andrew became pretty impressed with Jen; therefore, she is a fairly good indication of what he likes. It may seem humorous to hear me say this, since their relationship did not work out, but I strongly believe Jen was the one who ended it.
Jen, on her part, has a pretty strong personality herself, and is also pretty choosy and difficult to please. She likes men that are secure, humorous, intelligent, witty, and interesting. I somehow believe she would have preferred a more "relaxed" and mature Andrew.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q. Some time back, you made a comment that perhaps Andrew would have found happiness with other women from B3 - and left a vague hint about one in particular. I'm dying to know which woman you were referring to! Also, if this woman could have been a good match for Andrew, why do you think he sent her home? (Anna)

A. Wow, am I going to get in trouble with this answer, but here it goes!
First, I must say I strongly feel Andrew was not physically attracted to Liz; therefore she really never had a chance, in my opinion. Audree was one possibility but, due to her religion, neither appeared to have much in common with each other, even though Andrew liked talking to her. It is a shame religion is mostly a channel of conflict and division among people, instead of being completely the opposite, which is the way it should be.
Having said that, I also feel Tiffany or Heather may have had a fair chance if they would not have been sent home so soon. Both are petite blondes with a good sense of humor, elegance, and the personality to survive Andrew's "hyperactive" lifestyle on a long-term basis.
I believe some of these women were not aggressive enough to do or say something to catch Andrew's attention and interest before the rose ceremony. Sadly, we will never know for certain if I am right.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Page Two - More Q&A's

BACK TO HOME PAGE

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Search the Net

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________