Mike Rowse A voice from New Mexico

11Jan/180

Quick hits

It was announced this week that Pres. Trump will be attending the billionaire boys club meeting in Davos Switzerland. I believe this meeting takes place every year and it’s essentially a place where billionaires talk to millionaires about economic policy, globalization, climate change and income inequality. Which I think essentially means they’re talking to each other about how they can make more money, even though the information they release makes it sound like they are trying to solve these problems. But he got me to thinking especially about income inequality. If they believe that income inequality is really a problem than what would be the easiest thing for them to do to solve that? Give away some of their money to people who don’t have any. Most of the people attending this conference every year are liberals who push governmental programs to essentially redistribute other people’s wealth. Yes some of theirs is redistributed as well but they always push for other people to pay more taxes and try and pay fewer taxes when it comes to themselves. But don’t you think it’s odd that so many people who are middle-class or from lower income strata put their trust in people like Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or other rich people to solve a problem like income any quality. It just goes to show the irony that so many people hate the rich and think they don’t pay their fair share of taxes but they lionize the aforementioned people and support them when they run for political office. If there is income inequality because of the devious actions taken by the rich, who steal from everyone else to make themselves rich, then why would you trust them to solve the problem of income inequality? That’s like trusting the Wolf to take care of your sheep yet so many people do it willingly, especially when it comes to the politicians we put in office. You know the ones that go in with $1 million net worth, make $174,000 a year and then 25 years later they are worth $500 million?

I was perusing the Internet earlier this week going back to some websites that I have not visited for a while but that had been good sources of information whether serious news or fun stuff. One of the articles that I came across discussed images that had been taken by Google Earth’s satellites and could not be identified or clearly explained. You’ve seen these on the Internet or there’s even a television show about what on earth. One of the photos was taken in 2016 and it purports to show a picture of it in an area of Antarctica where no one goes. It clearly shows what appears to be a man-made structure that is buried in the ice at the top of it has become visible. Of course many of the climate change proponents are saying that this is a man-made pyramid, which it does appear to be, and the fact that it is now visible to us is definitive proof of global warming. Despite all of the data from NASA and other scientific organizations that show the ice At Antarctica is getting bigger and deeper and the temperatures are colder than they have been, to these people the whole continent is melting. But think about what they are saying, if they are correct in that the ice cap is melting and now this pyramid that was built by some unknown civilization that apparently lived in Antarctica thousands of years ago probably, that doesn’t that mean that Antarctica was at one time free of ice? Why would someone go there and build a pyramid on an ice flow? The scientists say that this is on actual soil or earth and not on a icecap. Wouldn’t that also say that climate change is part of Earth’s history in that man cannot control it? If people were really living in Antarctica they had to have food sources at the time didn’t they? That means that the temperature had to be mild enough that they could grow food or maybe there were animals living there, there had to be trees and plants to feed those animals. So what did those humans do to cause the earth to cool and destroyed their homes? It’s just ridiculous sometimes. Even more ridiculous is the fact that some people take them seriously.

It’s official; Oregon is full of mentally defective snowflakes many of whom are senior citizens. Oregon has been pretty liberal over the years so it’s no wonder that there are a lot of laws in Oregon that dictate how you can or cannot do almost everything. But on January 3 of this year a new law took effect in rural counties of Oregon only, defined in the law as any county with a population of less than 40,000 people. This new law allows gas station owners to open up self serve pumps. That’s right in Oregon until January of this year you could not pump your own gas, with one exception. There was one rural county that had a co-op which issued cards to its members that allow them to pump gas 24 hours a day. Otherwise you had to have an employee of the gas station and convenience store to pump your gas. And Oregonians hit the roof. Whether it was twitter, Insta Graham or Facebook, the comments from native Oregonians were telling. A 62-year-old woman wrote to the local TV station and said I don’t even know how to pump my own gas. I’m 62 years old and do not want to smell like gasoline. Another woman wrote, no! Seniors, people with disabilities and people with small children in the car need help. Not to mention getting out of your car with transients around and not feeling safe. So you would rather put somebody else’s well-being or life at risk? Because they’re being paid minimum wage to pump your gas. I have lived in this state all my life and I refuse to pump my own gas. This is a task that only qualified people should perform I will literally sit at the pump until someone comes to pump my gas. A man from outside Oregon posted on the TV stations webpage that citizens of Oregon, fear not summation point I am coming to Oregon to open a school to teach you how to pump your own gas safely. I will also be available to teach you how to sweep the floor, wash your windows, put air in your tires, take out the trash or any other menial tasks that you are on able to perform yourself. Another woman from Wisconsin wrote, in response to an Oregonian woman who had said it was too cold to get out of her car, said it is currently -17° in Wisconsin. I just finished showing my tank and guess what? I did not die, get frostbite or otherwise suffer harm in any way shape or form. Grow up Oregon. Not for some convenience store and gas station owners pushed for this bill because having to keep someone at the gas station or store 24 hours a day when they would otherwise not be open was not cost-effective plus they had a difficult time finding people to work at night. The current law did not require them to be open 24 hours a day but if someone needed gas after hours, they could call the state police who could bring them a small amount of gas or they could call the station owner and asked them to come over and pump the gas for the individual. And it should be noted that the new law which took effect in January does not require anyone to get rid of their gas pumping employees. As one owner of the Chevron station said, I will keep my employees who pump gas because I believe that will give me an edge over my competitors. Imagine that, free market principles working. I wonder if the first gas pumping death has already occurred in Oregon?

8Jan/180

Monday morning funnies; Wal-Mart edition

Wal-Mart is one of the iconic success stories in American history. But it has also been the subject of hatred, because they are so big, and a source of humor for the internet crowd. From the 'people of Wal-Mart' photos to questioning why they sell socks and not marshmallows in re-sealable bags, we've all gotten a laugh or two. The chain is also a source of information that tells us something about ourselves. Each year the company releases several lists that tell us what the most popular items being purchased have been usually broken down by state. This year the list of most popular items purchased on-line for each state either reinforces your bigoted stereotypes or raises some eyebrows. Here are a few of the ones that are more interesting than others.

Alabama: Crayons are the most popular item purchased from Wal-Mart's website. If that doesn't reinforce a stereotype, earned or not, I don't know what does. I would be most laws in 'Bama are written in crayon.

Arizona: Something called LOL Surprise! dolls. I had never heard of these but apparently they are collectible toys/dolls, kind of like Beanie Babies. Not what I originally thought, which was along the lines of robot dolls for men who can't get real dates.

Colorado: Peanut M&Ms. Because the stoners are too lazy to get out of their apartment when they get the munchies. And yes, Doritos is a close second, but it was hurt by the availability of other brands of snack chips.

Delaware: Jelly beans. Did they legalize marijuana in Delaware?

Georgia: Fischer Price Smart Stages chair. It not only has some spinner toys, but appears to be a potty training chair. Which is surprising since most adults in GA generally just find the nearest tree or a junker car in front of their trailer.

Hawaii: The Farmer Barbie Doll. I really have no idea why.

Idaho: My Little Pony collection. Because grown men can't be seen in the store buying their favorite toy.

Illinois: Erasers. How did you think they rigged elections? It's not just the dead voting.

Maine: Brownie mix. Yes, recreational ganja is legal in Maine, beginning January 1, 2017.

Michigan: Lavender scented cleaning products. Have you seen Detroit/Flint/Lansing lately?

Mississippi: Oil-less fryer. I'm sure they intended to cook with them, but there's nothing as deep fried snickers or butter dipped in real corn oil.

Montana: Madden NFL video games. Because the sheep have figured out where to hide.

New Mexico: Cat food. That explains why Santa Fe/Albuquerque/Northern NM are so screwed up. They are cat people.

Oklahoma: Barbecue sauce. Nothing makes road kill taste better than Wal-Mart BBQ sauce.

Oregon: Humidifiers. Because the snowflakes that are freaking out over pumping their own gas can't take a chance on dry air.

South Carolina: Piggy banks. OK they call them 'coin banks' because 'piggy banks' offends fat people in SC. But come on, who trusts those fancy big city bankers? My money is safer buried in my back yard.

Texas: TV wall mounts. Because each time the Cowboys or Longhorns football teams lose, Bubba tears his TV off the wall. And that's been happening a lot lately.

Utah: Personal travel care kits. Hey, when you drive to the casino in Wendover, you can't let the bishop know you'll be gone for a long time.

Washington: Vanilla frosting. What tastes better than peanut M&Ms dipped in vanilla frosting?

West Virginia: My Life dolls. Which are life size dolls; kid size anyway. Apparently the sisters have figured out they don't have to kiss their brothers anymore.

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20Dec/170

Net Neutrality – because we didn’t have an open internet before, right? Right?

I have seen a lot of my friends buying into the panic being set in motion by the media and others regarding the repeal of so-called net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration. Of course the professed goal of the rules was to keep the Internet free and open for innovation. Those rules were put in place in 2015 if I remember correctly. So think back to 2014 and the decades prior to that. Didn’t we have a tremendous amount of growth in the Internet including service providers, websites, and so much more? The Internet did not explode only in the last two years. In fact I could argue that there has been less growth in the last two years than the two years prior to the implementation of the net neutrality rules.

I watched former FCC chairman Robert McDowell being interviewed on MSNBC by Ali Vashi. Of course, Vashi was sounding all the alarms about repealing net neutrality especially the belief that Internet giants like Facebook and Amazon could freeze out startups limiting our access to competitors. I’ve also seen some of the alarmists talk about not being able to set up personal websites for your small business, your music group, your personal blog, and those types of websites. Because there were none of those before net neutrality right?

Former Chairman McDowell pointed out that prior to the net neutrality you had the Clayton act, the Sherman act, and the Federal Trade Commission act that kept the Internet open and free prior to 2015 and these very powerful tools would remain in force.

Mr. McDowell pointed out that the so-called net neutrality rules were basically imposing Title 11 regulations from the Communications Act of 1934 upon Internet companies. He pointed out that the imposition of those rules served to stifle competition and innovation as well as investment in the Internet companies because of the onerous regulations and requirements faced by startups. Many people who were able to start Internet companies or websites in the past with very little investment now had to hire a myriad of attorneys and experts just to get there Internet doors open.

Of course as we talked about last week, many people believe that companies like Facebook or Amazon could subsidize faster Internet speeds for themselves, gaining preferential treatment and making it difficult for startups or smaller companies to compete. Mr. McDowell pointed out that, if that were the case, Section I & Section II of the Sherman act and Section III of the Clayton act would be triggered for their antitrust violations and prevent that from happening. People and companies successfully used those regulations prior to 2015 and they will continue to use them in the future. It worked pretty well prior to 2015, didn’t it?

Of course the facts are not going to get in the way of many on the left as they run through their Chicken Little, “the sky is falling” emotional arguments to gin up the ignorant masses.

18Dec/170

Should Obama be given credit for this economy?

I find it interesting that Obama is not on television or radio more often. Remember he was the left wing’s second coming of John F. Kennedy if not their Savior. He has certainly been making the rounds with some interviews and a lot of speeches as well is now organizing a new community action effort to undermine our current administration. During his talks or speeches he is telling everyone that will listen that it is his policies responsible for our economic turnaround.

Those of you that have followed this page with the radio show over the years know that one of the principles in which we believe is that a new president can’t really do anything about an economy for the first six months of his term. There are always exceptions to the rule such as under Ronald Reagan and now Donald Trump. They were so aggressive in making changes that things changed rapidly.

Because of trumps actions we now have two quarters in a row with at least 3% growth in gross domestic product. We now have 69 records this year alone in the Dow Jones industrial average. The stock market has taken off which means everyone with a retirement account is making money. There has been real growth in wages, more people in the job market, more people working full time, and so many other metrics that are trending positively for our economy that it is time-consuming to go through all of them. So should we give Obama credit?

The only thing we can give Obama credit for is that he prolonged the recession because of his policies and made it much easier for Donald Trump to look like a hero. Remember Pres. Obama said that a basically stagnant economy was the “new normal”. He said that we were going to see people go from rags to riches anymore. We weren’t going to see manufacturing jobs in America anymore. We weren’t going to see real wage growth created by the private sector and free market; rather that would have to come through government intervention. In his tenure he did not even have two quarters that exceeded 3% growth in the gross domestic product much less two in a row. That’s what he should get credit for.

I realize some of you will say that he put in place the principles and mechanisms for our economy to take off. Other than what I said previously, that is absolutely untrue. If his policies were responsible for turning this economy around then why didn’t it happened during his tenure. The only reason that the stock markets state high is because there was no place else for people to invest their money. Certificates of deposit or bonds were paying less than 1%. In fact people were investing in bonds that had a negative return rate because they did not believe the stock market or any other investment was going to lose less money than a negative return bond. We have never seen that in our history.

And I have to remind those of you that say Obama inherited a terrible economy, it wasn’t the worst that we have seen in the last 30 years but it wasn’t great, admittedly. Quite simply though with one exception in our history every economic downturn that has been left alone by the government has lasted less than two years and usually less than a few months. But when the government becomes actively and overly involved in trying to run the economy, they prolong negative results.

There is no reasonable way to say, with a straight face and a pure heart, that Obama is responsible for this recent economic upturn. But when have facts ever gotten in the way of a good story for Obama?

18Dec/170

Man some people have no coping skills!

I don’t know how many stupid people there were in decades past, I’m sure there were a significant number but because of improved access to information through the Internet, we have a much easier time finding them. Why we don’t use that information more productively I’ll never know. I’m sure there are some arguments against using it in the manner that I would like that have to do with being humane and comparisons to Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, but I think some of those are a bit disingenuous and/or incongruous. I think we have to do something to keep the stupid people from reproducing and to improve our education system to develop consequential thinking skills among our young. Read the following examples of potential Darwin award winners and see if you don’t agree.

Michael Smith and his wife Nova threw a tantrum in an Arizona McDonald’s restaurant when they did not receive hash browns with their order. They fell to the proper solution was to have Mrs. Smith through her purse at the clerk and then to call 911 and ask the police to resolve their problem. Police were able to calm the couple down and get them to leave the restaurant, without their hash browns by the way. Why they did not arrest Mrs. Smith is beyond me.

Like any rational person, Jean Fortune, dialed 911 when her local Burger King ran out of lemonade. The operator asked her if she understood that 911 was for emergencies, such as if she was dying. Jean responded that eating her hamburger without lemonade is like a death itself. I don’t think she understands the concept.

Donna Marie Nichols called 911 after she took a bite of the hamburger she had purchased at Hardee’s and thought it tasted funny. Turns out they had not put mayonnaise on the burger which of course alter the taste. Rather than punishing the restaurant, police arrested Donna for abusing 911. Finally!

Rother McLennon asked for very little ham and turkey, and a lot of cheese and mayo on his sandwich. He apparently received the complete opposite and called the police. Ironically, it happened at Grateful Deli.

In Florida, Latreasa L. Goodman called 911 a total of three times because she claimed them being out of chicken nuggets was an “emergency”. She was then cited by police. You know I like the idea of giving these people a citation. And make it one that they cannot easily get out of when they see the judge.

Tracey McCloud called the police when her Chinese food was “not up to par”. She was arrested for misusing 911, but later did end up getting her refund! However that refund also came with a lifetime ban from the restaurant.

When Danny Smith thought he was overcharged a penny for his can of Heineken he called 911, not once, not twice, but three times to complain. He was later arrested for doing so. What do you expect from some hipster drinking this rot gut?

A man in Florida found a Band-Aid in his soup at Leo’s Grill and called 911 to complain. His call eventually led to a health inspector finding 22 violations. Happy ending?

A woman called 911 saying “I want my hamburger right” after she ordered a Western BBQ burger at Burger King that only came with lettuce and tomatoes. She claimed she needed protection, to which the officer responded “What are we protecting you from? A harmful cheeseburger?”

A woman called 911 because she couldn’t figure out how to cook her turkey. Surprisingly, the 911 operator kindly gave the poor woman some cooking advice, because apparently she doesn’t have access to Google?

Reginald Peterson called 911 because he wanted police to oversee the making of a new Subway sandwich after his was made wrong. He must’ve been even more upset when didn’t get a new sandwich and was thrown in jail.

A British woman called 999 (weird I know) when only half of her ice cream had sprinkles on it. The other half had no sprinkles whatsoever. The horror!

Bevalente Michette Hall called the police because she claims Subway used marinara sauce instead of “pizza sauce” on her flatizza.

EMS paramedics actually responded to a man who called 911 saying he needed help with his grapes. They ended up staying to wash the grapes and dry them into a bowl.
Sweet, but definitely a waste of their time.

A man at Subway ordered a Philly cheesesteak with ketchup and was furious when the employee not only said that he had never done that before, but that Subway didn’t even carry ketchup. The employee called police because he felt physically threatened by the ketchupless man.

Edward Sanchez, a Michigan cop, and his wife called 911 because they were afraid for their lives after “accidentally” eating pot brownies. They later admitted it wasn’t so accidental, and the whole thing was forgotten.

I wonder if these people used their Obama phones to call 911?

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12Dec/170

How come there aren’t more good players in pro sports?

I have been a sports fan for as long as I can remember. When I was younger it was professional football and basketball that caught my attention the most but I have followed college sports, and this, golf, the Olympics, even baseball. I became a Minnesota Vikings fan around five or six years old and we have no ties to the state of Minnesota or to the football team. But I have been a fan for almost 50 years.

I played sports through high school and into college and I have seen the changes that have occurred over the years, especially with training, nutrition, and the availability of off-season activities. Back in my day we just practiced during the season and with football we may be practiced in the spring. There would be an open gym for basketball in the summer, but we rarely had traveling team or year-round activities. Little League baseball lasted for about a month in the summer and then there would be some All-Star teams but that was about it.

But these days if you are playing a particular sport, almost any sport, you can play year-round. There are leagues and teams not only for basketball but volleyball, baseball, soccer, softball, almost anything you want to play. We also understand the role of nutrition and training much better than we did 30 or 40 years ago. That has resulted in better athletes playing almost every sport. It is also resulted in increased longevity. Just look how many football and basketball players have professional careers that extend beyond 15 to 20 years. Kobe Bryant played in the NBA for 20 years and he was not alone. Tom Brady could be the first 40-year-old quarterback to start a Super Bowl and he is still playing at the highest level. All of this was unheard of even 10 years ago.

But, with all of the participation available, the improved training methods, better nutrition and year-round dedication to the craft, it seems that we have fewer and fewer really good players. There are a number of examples but look at the quarterback position in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers is hurt early in the season and his backup, Brent Hundley, looks like he just took up the game of football. The Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, is out due to injury and his backup, Nick Foles, has people saying that the Eagles might not even make the playoffs now. I’ve watched it with a Minnesota Vikings over the last few years, this year being a very notable exception, especially with the offense of line. The backups look like somebody walked out on the street and said, “you’re kind of big. Put on this jersey and get on the field.”

Why is it that the backups on just about every team at just about every position are not very good? Maybe I’m just more aware now than I was 20 or 30 years ago; maybe the backups weren’t that good back then either. But with all of the aforementioned advantages that athletes have today, wouldn’t you expect the backup players to perform at a much higher level? Maybe it’s because they don’t practice as much. That would be the one significant difference that I see at almost every level of sports. Practice time is limited and actual simulation of game conditions, such as hitting and tackling in football, are almost nonexistent during practice. So maybe the backups to start getting the practice time and when they do, it doesn’t simulate what happens in the game, so they are not prepared.
Just a thought.

Filed under: Philosophy No Comments
12Dec/170

Who’s in charge here? Us or the politicians?

If Judge Roy Moore is elected to the United States Senate in today’s election in Alabama, current members of the United States Senate have said they will open an ethics investigation into him with the sole purpose of expelling him from the Senate. Of course they are pointing to allegations made against him that occurred decades ago. Some of the allegations made against him have been proven to be false while others are questionable and he has admitted to having an interest in younger women. None of the allegations made occurred within the last 10 years so maybe he has changed his ways.
But the bigger picture problem here is that his opponents in Congress are usurping the power of the people. These allegations against Judge Moore have been well publicized and known for quite a while. The people in Alabama have had the opportunity to judge the character of Mr. Moore and the veracity of his accusers. If they choose to believe that either he did not commit these acts or that he has reformed his behavior for a significant period of time, that is their right. It is also their right to elect him as their representative to the United States Senate.
For the self centered, egotistical politicians in Washington DC to try and deny the people this right is a very slippery slope. Ethics investigations are almost exclusively concerned with behavior or actions that took place while the individual was in office. To say that a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives could be denied his or her seat because of actions that took place decades ago means we are headed towards an oligarchy. It means that any duly elected representative from any state could be denied their rightful seat if the people already in power disagree with that person in any way shape or form. It does not have to be limited to unacceptable social behavior or even criminal activity, especially if it was known prior to the election.
If the leaders of Congress are going to adopt this standard that let’s open an ethics investigation into each and every one of them and get rid of them all. I will guarantee that the majority of the 535 members of Congress would not survive. In fact I would put the over under at 490 to be expelled. I would also bet that if the investigation were done in a truly impartial manner, most of them would be expelled for behavior or activities that have occurred since they were elected to whichever body in which they sit. This might be the best way to get a new group of representatives into Washington that are not part of the current power structure.
Some of you liberals might say that I’m being hypocritical when it comes to Al Franken. It appears the allegations made against him occurred prior to his being elected to the Senate. But I would point out that while a few members of Congress called for an ethics investigation into Sen. Franken, one was not conducted and he chose to resign his seat himself. The pressure may have come from members of his party or an outcry from his constituency as well as the media but he was not booted out by his peers.
I would also point out that the allegations made against Sen. Franken were not known at the time he was elected to office. The voters did not have an opportunity to make an informed decision. However, I would say the same thing regarding he or anyone else; if they have reformed their behavior and any offenses took place prior to them being elected to office, that I don’t think the Senate or the House of Representatives has a right to remove them for those actions. Certainly public pressure can be brought upon them to resign but it should be up to their constituents to make that decision, which they could ultimately make the next time he runs for reelection.
This is just another example of power protecting power. The party leaders on both sides of the aisle know that Judge Moore will support Pres. Trump’s policies and they cannot have another “renegade” in Congress. This would threaten their control over not only those bodies but the American citizens as well. That is all this is about, power. End of story.

Filed under: Politics No Comments
2Oct/170

Human behavior fascinates me.

Human behavior is so amazing and fascinating. It can be good and it can be bad. Last night in Las Vegas we saw both. We saw a man take the lives of dozens of people and injured hundreds more. As of right now, if the police know why he did this, they are not making that public. But we also saw total strangers helping each other, not just the emergency personnel like police, firemen and women, or ambulance personnel, but concertgoers reaching out to others to help them get the safety, to tend to their wounds and so on. We’ve seen that over the last few weeks in response to the hurricanes and resulting damage. But it’s more about the manipulation of information and the desire for power that I want to talk about today.

Certainly there will be calls for the banning of so-called assault weapons after this tragic incident in Las Vegas. The facts will be ignored about all of the weapons that are in the possession of Americans and how few real incidents there are, of this type anyway. They will ignore the statistics that say criminals will do anything to get a gun to achieve their ends and that a ban on legally owned weapons would do little to stop them. They will ignore that more people are killed in a month in Chicago and other big cities by gang violence in which illegally obtained weapons are used then were killed in Las Vegas this week. But it’s because they want power. The politicians with their friends in the media will tell you that Republicans are conservatives don’t care about the debt in Las Vegas which is patently false. They will tell you that you must vote for them in order to stop tragedies like this in the future. They will ignore the facts that in areas where guns are outlawed, other means to accomplish such horrible ends are used such as bombs or poison.

But I also want to talk about a couple of other incidents that happened over the weekend. The mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulin Cruz, made news by claiming that Pres. Trump and the federal government have forgotten about her island and the people living there. She said Pres. Trump doesn’t care about them and is ignoring them. Of course the mainstream media and many of the Trump heaters in America picked up on that theme and carried the ball even further. They chastised him for playing golf or going out to dinner will people in Puerto Rico are suffering. They ignored the actual facts and the other information that was out there to refute her claim.

Just last week Mayor Cruz was praising the federal government’s response to the tragedy in Puerto Rico. But apparently her loyalty to Hillary Clinton in the radical Democrats caused her to change her tune. You can’t have a staunch Democrat Mayor not take advantage of a crisis and miss an opportunity to bash her political opponents.

It was also clear that according to other mayors in Puerto Rico as well as the heads of the various police departments and other first responding agencies that Mayor Cruz had not attended any of the meetings coordinated by FEMA in which they were discussing the efforts to provide aid to the citizens of Puerto Rico. These briefings and two-way discussions included what the people on the ground needed and how they were going to get it as well as the challenges that faced them in getting relief supplies to them. Let’s not forget that Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was already in total disrepair prior to the hurricane. Just getting truck drivers to be able to deliver supplies is a challenge. Not to mention the condition of the roads. All of those people attending the meetings have said that the response by the federal government has been fantastic.

Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosello, has said repeatedly that Donald Trump has been on the phone with him virtually every day. Those conversations have centered around the challenges and how the feds will help to overcome them as well as the governor making requests for assistance and declarations, each one of which Pres. Trump has answered. The governor said Pres. Trump has given Puerto Rico everything the governor has asked for.

I’ll move on to topic number two in my example; Pres. Trump tweeted that the gross domestic product, the growth in our economy, increased to 3.1% in the second quarter of 2017. A noted liberal journalist tweeted that the same thing had happened under Pres. Obama for each of the years that he was in office. If you look at the actual data from multiple sources both inside and outside the government including the Federal Reserve and Commerce Department as well as several economic think tanks, the actual annual growth for each year of Pres. Obama’s tenure ranged from -.3% to a high of 2.9%. There were a couple of quarters during his tenure or the annualized growth rate exceeded 4% and approached 5%. But that tells you that the other quarters during those time frames were pretty bad the highest growth rate achieved was 2.9%.

This is where I get to the human behavior point and observation. In the case of the gross domestic product, a friend of mine posted on Facebook the tweet from Pres. Trump and the response from the reporter. I pointed out the fallacy in his claim but my friend said that at least during Obama’s tenure it was a general upward trend. I pointed out that I was not denying the fact but that the claim by the reporter was patently false. My friend’s response was that he believes our current president tweets out a lot more fake stuff than anyone else. I knew that if I pointed out that the growth rate did not come from Pres. Trump but from federal agencies, he would just make up an excuse.

I also pointed out the fallacies and factual inaccuracies in the reports regarding the mayor of San Juan. Not to give credit where credit is due, one of my more liberal friends who hates Donald Trump with a passion, a purple passion as he put it, said that in the last week or so watching what is going on in Puerto Rico he has learned more about the media and how they are not reporting all of the news. However he still believes that Pres. Trump and the federal government to do more to help Puerto Rico and its citizens than they are doing.

It is hard for us to change. We hate to admit we were wrong or that we have been duped. People on both sides of the aisle have a hard time changing their preconceived notions, opinions or feelings. Sometimes we have to be hit in the face with a brick to believe that we might have been wrong about some policy or some politician or some opinion that we have held. That’s what makes it difficult to have an open and honest dialogue, especially in the public arena. Now imagine when you have politicians and media personalities knowingly lying to you (and I include omitting factual information in my definition of lying) how hard it makes it for us to actually have a discussion based upon facts.

We live in an age where it is much easier to access information from multiple sources than at any other time in our history. Yet we seem to have a populist that is much more ignorant than in past decades. I don’t care if you are a fan of Fox News or CNN, it’s incumbent upon us to try and find out what the actual information is into compare that to what is being reported to us. It seems that we tend to gravitate towards the new sources that we believe agree with our point of view or support our point of view. I think it’s time that we all learned to spend our efforts finding out what’s going on by accessing the source information, such as reports from federal agencies and think tanks, that show us the raw data rather than the interpretation of that information by so-called reporters or politicians. That’s when we will begin to take back our country and realize what the political elite and the media are doing to us.

Filed under: Philosophy No Comments
19Sep/170

The NFL is losing viewers… bigger picture preview?

The NFL has become the most popular sport in America and I think part of it might be the fact that from year-to-year there is a lot of parity anybody’s team can go from below average to competing for a division or conference championship from one year to the next or certainly within a couple of years, unless you’re the Cleveland Browns. But we also like to see the individual competition between elite players. College football offers us an atmosphere, and experience more than the NFL does. I think we like watching the NFL because of the elite players that are there.

But certainly the NFL is in a position, maybe at a crossroads even, where they could follow the path of baseball and lose their popularity for various reasons or they can hold onto their stranglehold is the most popular sport in the USA. Based upon a lot of empty stadiums and some decreasing ratings, I’m not sure the outlook for the NFL is that good.

Like a lot of issues, this one is not straightforward and simple. You can’t blame the current political statements and demonstrations being made by some players although that certainly has turned many fans off. Most are still watching the sum have given up the NFL. We don’t like seeing some of the personal situations that players put themselves in, such as domestic violence or DWI convictions. We don’t like the divas and the NFL has had an image problem with the way they discipline players or they’ve been attacked for not caring about player safety. All of these things have probably contributed in some way to the problems the NFL is currently facing.

But I think there’s something more to the problem than meets the eye. Think about 15, 25, 35 years ago when the NFL was really beginning to rise in prominence. We loved the rivalries between teams and we love seeing what many will call the violence of the game. The hits, the blood, the bruises, the players limping off the field. The effort put forth by guys who just loved the game. Those guys did not make a lot of money, in fact many had second jobs especially during the off-season. And to some extent today’s players are seen as privileged, entitled, and as whiners to an extent. They keep complaining about their future health and not just the unsettled questions around brain injuries. To some extent we don’t like that because they are making so much money especially as compared to people like Mike Ditka, Johnny Unitas, or pick any of your favorite players from years past.

And now the players have been successful in limiting the amount of practice time. I think this is much as anything is hurt the game. We watched the declining standard of play over the last 2 to 3 years and I think it shown up this year more than ever. We’ve seen more errors that you might describe as mental errors, which include things like proper tackling technique or missed assignments by lineman blocking. The quality of play has decreased and I think more people are leaving or not paying as much attention because of it.

Isn’t there some kind of mythological aura to the two a day practices that previous players had to endure in the preseason? I listened the holder players, retired players, who talked about the physicality of the game in practices even during the season. And that translated to the product on the field. I watched that in college for a number of years. That is, the quality of play is less than what you would expect from players who have continued to play at a higher level.

And now this week we have questions about one of the most high profile players in the league, Ezequiel Elliott, of the Dallas Cowboys being called out for not hustling on a couple of plays. We are going to see this more and more not just because of the lack of practice time, but because we have been raising a bunch of snowflakes over the last 20 years who worry more about their feelings than helping the team to win. They quit so easily. They throw temper tantrums more often than we used to see.

There are a lot of things that are outside of the player’s control. Also outside of the coach’s control. The one thing that is not outside of their control is their effort level. There give a damn. I don’t care if you’re the best player on the team for the 53rd best player on the team, each one of you can give 100% effort in practice and on the field from start to finish. Every coach can prepare his players, giving his all to have the knowledge to train them and get them ready for game time. A lot of the mistakes that are made during the game can be minimized or even eliminated with more effort and more of a willingness to commit to a greater cause, that being success of the team.

And it’s our way in our lives in general society. For colleges and schools are putting out kids who put themselves and their feelings first. Who are not taught about something bigger than themselves. But isn’t it funny that the same people who are teaching them to be little crybabies with entitlement mentalities, are the ones who push the idea of things like communes or socialism where everyone contributes to the greater picture? But these are all so the same people who say we have an obligation to society to have our government help out those who need it, using our tax dollars, but they’re the ones that are most often caught not paying their taxes.

As usual, sports gives us an insight into our society.

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13Sep/170

Da Pope hates Trump & America; or does he?

You have probably heard a number of stories over the last 10 months or so that Pope Francis does not like Donald Trump or America. There have been a number of stories about Pope Francis saying that we are the cause of many problems in the world, like global warming or climate change, Muslim terrorism, immigration, and so on.

There was a story this week that was reported in the media as Pope Francis saying Pres. Trump is not sufficiently pro-life because of his repeal of Obama’s executive order known as DACA. I guess the inference was that if many of these people stay in their home countries, they would be having abortions because they were concerned they might not be able to raise a child and feed him or her for example. But one of the bishops, who was on the plane during the interview released the transcript of the entire interview. The story told by the entire interview is much different than what the media reported. Imagine that!

Some of the things that Pope said that were not reported; there is a natural right for people to emigrate from a country in order to find or make a better life. That was reported in the mainstream media has an effort to criticize Pres. Trump’s recent actions. But the Pope said immediately after making that statement that a country accepting immigrants also has a right and the responsibility to make sure they can handle any immigrants. The receiving country has a right to screen those coming into their nation to ensure that the people are not there to harm them, that they will contribute to society, and they will assimilate to the rules and laws of the society to which they are emigrating.

He also went on to say that those countries that have high rates of immigration have a responsibility to change things making lives better in their countries so that people can provide for their families, can create a safe and sustainable life.

The Pope also said that the Catholic Church and other private organizations have an obligation to help immigrants who come to their country once they have arrived. The media reported this as saying sanctuary cities are supported by the Pope and the Catholic Church. What the Pope said was that the Catholic church and other private organizations are not here to recruit people to come to a nation but that once they arrived they are here to provide them with guidance so that they can find housing, jobs, and understand our laws and become productive members of society. Doesn’t that sound more like what the conservatives are saying rather than but the liberals are saying?

I do find it interesting that the Catholic charities helping out immigrants to this country are funded to the tune of 98% by taxpayer dollars. The Catholic Church is one of the richest organizations in the world and doesn’t seem to want to put a significant amount of money where their mouths are.

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