Show some respect, stand for the anthem.

It started with Colin Kaepernick,  then several other prominent athletes joined this practice of kneeling during the playing of the national anthem to protest certain atrocities going in this country. With the upcoming NFL season just a few weeks away, this controversy of not standing during the anthem is not going away anytime soon and more players are bound to take a knee this year as well.

It is absolutely true, this is America and you have a right not to stand during the playing of our national anthem. Whether an athlete wants to stand or not stand is their own decision. However, with all decisions of that nature come consequences and many players fail to realize how much they are turning off fans like myself. It is also my right as a fan and a consumer of the league to turn off the NFL and distance myself from this complete disrespect of our nation.

Do these spoiled athletes realize how many opportunities are given to them in this country? Is it too much to give just a few minutes of gratitude to stand and show appreciation for the opportunity to earn a lot money by growing up in this great country? Or maybe honor many brave young men and women who gave their lives in honor of this country? Instead I hear whiners like Kaepernick and other athletes talk about all the wrongs going on and how they feel they must make a statement. Outside of protesting the national anthem, what have you done to help fix these problems. I often wonder how involved some of these athletes are in the inner city where many of these problems of our society originate. How many actually go to the police departments and talk about how they can work with the police to help ease racial tensions?

I think I speak for a lot of fans in seeing a very disturbing trend among some of these athletes, especially athletes of color. Many years ago, black athletes were on professional rosters because of their skin color. That has dramatically changed. As I mentioned in a previous post about Confederate symbols, we have come a longs ways in helping bridge the gap between whites and blacks in this country. I just wish some of these pampered athletes would look at the whole picture and realize how lucky they are to be playing ball and making a ton of money in this country. Disrespecting our country by failing to stand during the anthem is a huge turnoff for me and many fans. I have no time to feel sorry or support those disrespectful, pampered, crybabies.

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First the Confederate monuments, then what?

In the wake of the awful violence in Charlottesville last weekend, there have been many calls to remove all Confederate statues in public places around the country. Funny, but after being up in place for many years without too many squabbles, these statues are suddenly deemed as being racist and out of touch with American values. Nobody seemed to have a problem with them for several years, but now? Suddenly, they are the most evil piece of property known to mankind!

Anything linked to Confederate symbols these days is due to cause some type of controversy. Apparently from what I understand, they are a symbol of slavery and you know what slavery means, it is oppression towards minorities and that is just not acceptable in today’s highly pc world. Never mind that many of those statutes represent an important part of American history. I guess far too many people are suddenly offended by those statues and landmarks so they must go.

In all seriousness, slavery and what went on with slavery, is a very low point in this country. No person who is a citizen of this country should have to go through slavery. However, as a nation, we have overcome this travesty and fixed our wrongs. Those who want to take down those statues are living in the past. We have come a long ways in giving much deserved freedoms to people of color. Things are not perfect, but we have made massive improvements in the past century.

If people are offended by the any type of Confederate symbols, what is next? What about this country’s flag? I assume the next order of business for these radicals will be trying to take down the American flag from public places because according to them, it represents oppression to some people. Oh by the way, what about our currency? Are we going to change our money because some slave owner’s picture is on the dollar bill? Furthermore, if you are going to remove some Confederate symbols, you need to remove them all. That includes renaming any street in this country with ties to Confederacy. Imagine the chaos and confusion that might cause?

We are going down a very slippery slope with this effort to ban all things that have a Confederate symbol. Where this will lead is anyone’s guess. Any by the way, why is this a mob mentality type of thing? It seems like a select few radical people are determining whether a monument comes down or not. Why not have a vote? In my view, this effort to remove those statues is just a waste of time. We have far more important things to worry about in this country.

Trump vs. Kim Jong Un

Forget about the WWE, if you want a real-time feud these days, just turn on the news and chances are you will hear about the latest war of words between President Trump and the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Both men have very unique, stubborn personalities and this feud will intensify in the upcoming weeks. Unfortunately for this country, it may mean military action against a leader who has basically stuck his middle finger out against the world. Finally, there is a leader who is willing to stand up to him and how this feud will end is anyone’s guess. One thing is for certain, Kim Jong Un is a very dangerous man and the world might be a better place without him in power.

One of the scary things about this whole story is the fact that some nut case like Kim Jong Un has the capability to have nuclear weapons and this fact should send shivers to anyone living in this country or any ally of the United States. There are probably several other rogue leaders who would not think twice about sending some missile our way which could cause massive casualties. The fact that leaders of these rogue nations have that capability is very concerning to say the least. In the near future, those capabilities will only get stronger as well as our risk of being attacked.

Some people claim that President Trump should tone down his rhetoric towards North Korea and Kim Jong Un. I completely disagree. It is refreshing to finally see our President take a harsh stand against one of our biggest enemies. A strong leader will stand up for us and our allies when some head case wants to do harm to innocent people. Why people are outraged over his statements is simply appalling. Leading from the front is what we should expect from our nation. Former President Ronald Reagan was the same way. He was not afraid to confront our enemies and our country was safer because of it.

I also find it ridiculous to be extremely concerned whether Trump has the mental capacity to handle this foreign crisis. Not only does he, but his team of advisors is very experienced and knowledgeable in foreign affairs. I have the utmost confidence in this group of people in making good and wise decisions in the best interests of the nation and world.

North Korea and Kim Jong Un has been a problem for far too long and it is time for him to face the music. We cannot tolerate his evil and disrespectful ways any longer. I have to give the Trump administration credit for trying to do a job other administrations have by-passed. North Korea is a problem that has to be dealt with now before it is too late.

A tragic and very predictable event in Charlottesville

Yesterday’s violence at a white nationalist protest march has certainly created a lot of buzz during the last 24 hours. A member of that white nationalist group drove his car into a group of anti-protesters killing one woman. Several people were injured during the attack. A helicopter manned by members of the state patrol crashed and unfortunately, a few law enforcement personal were killed. It is indeed a very dark day in Virginia and the sad reality is that this event was bound to happen given the current divisive climate in this country. Apparently the racism and hate of the 60’s is coming back with a vengeance in this country with no end in sight.

President Trump made a statement about the event that has apparently rubbed some people the wrong way. He blamed both sides for creating the violence and I cannot disagree with him. We all know what the KKK and white supremacist groups are all about. They are about racism and hate. In their twisted view of the world, a person should be disqualified from certain things for the color of their skin. Nothing more could be more ridiculous than their views. However, in recent years, I have noticed the totally opposite views being applied to white people and that is equally ridiculous. For instance, some people have labeled middle-aged white men like myself the problem in this country. Professors in our colleges have been teaching students about the evils of white people. Radical groups like “Black Lives Matter” have been protesting in the streets calling for the killings of white police officers. These examples only add fuel to our racism problems. I have often feared what would happen if some of these white supremacist members showed up at a BLM march or visa versa. Yesterday, my worst fears came through.

After yesterday’s attack, there was plenty of finger-pointing going on. Naturally much of the blame was tied to the white supremacists who many have tied in to a typical Trump voter. The truth is, this problem runs much deeper than a bunch of angry and bigoted racist hate groups. Trump is absolutely right, racism has many sides to it and placing the blame on one particular group is just not right. There are many groups who are stirring this hate and divisiveness. Finger pointing is not going to solve this problem, only cause it to become deeper.

Imagine what other countries must think when they see this type of violence and lack of unity. Our enemies must be gleaming with joy. I have a sad feeling that this event is only the beginning. What is it going to take for people in this country to start respecting other people? Yesterday was a serious black mark on our nation. We can do better and we must!

A sports record that will never be broken

In sports, team or individual, there are many records. Most records eventually get broken at some time or another. For instance, a good basketball player may average 30 points a game and set all kinds of scoring records during his career, however, there is always somebody, years later, who will eclipse that record. It happens all the time in sports. Very few records are safe. Since this is a big week in the world of golf with another major tournament taking place next weekend, the PGA, there is a sports record that will probably never be broken; that is the number of majors won by Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus won 18 majors and in my opinion, that is a sports record that I find hard anyone will ever top. In fact, nobody will probably even come close to it.

About 10 years ago, it seemed inevitable that Tiger Woods would top that mark. Woods dominated the game of golf like very few have and it was not a question of if he would beat Nicklaus’s record but when. As a fan myself, I thought Woods would easily win at least 20 majors, maybe more. Injuries caught up with him and he has not competed since and it is highly unlikely that Woods will ever contend again in a major championship. Woods currently has 14 major championships and that is quite an accomplishment in itself.

Of the current tour players, there might be a few who are capable of getting up to 10 major wins, but topping Tiger’s 14 or Jack’s 18 seems to be a rather long shot these days. There are simply too many good players on the professional tour these days. In order to win 18 majors, you have to average at least 1 major per year for 18 years, roughly the average competive span that a golfer has to win a major. A player has to remain extremely consistent with his game for a long period of time and that is not likely with many players. Many feel that Jordan Spieth has an excellent chance of reaching that mark. He is one of the youngest ever to win 3 majors, but will he remain injury free and consistent with his game in the next decade? The same goes with Rory McIlroy. About 5 years ago, he was well on his way to catching Woods or even getting close to Nicklaus, but injuries have hurt him in recent years. As many know who follow golf, any little injury can have grave consequences to a golfer.

The PGA is blessed with many fine young golfers who will win majors, but the days of having one golfer dominate like Woods and Nicklaus are probably over. It would have been great to see Woods compete against some of these great young players. Any tour player who wins maybe 10 majors these days is doing something incredible. I just don’t see anyone topping Woods 14 majors or Nicklaus’s 18 wins. It is a new era of golf and winning major championships are becoming more and more difficult. For now, it just seems extremely unlikely that any player will ever come close to Nicklaus’s 18 major mark. That is one sports record that will almost certainly never be broken.

Lessons to be learned from Venezuela

Lost in the ever ending news about politics in this country is a rather tragic story from a country located a rather short distance south of the United States. That country would be Venezuela in South America, a country rich in oil reserves. You would figure that any country blessed in those vast resources would prosper and its citizens would be the beneficiary of those resources. Well that is not the case these days in that country. There is great unrest taking place in the streets. The government is corrupted. Inflation is headed out of control as is the crime rate. How could this happen especially considering Venezuela is considered a very socialist country? I thought any socialist country was supposed to be some big happy utopian place of happiness and joy? As it turns out, that is not the case and these latest developments only support my theory that socialism is a huge scam. Other socialist countries have gone through the same problems. Remember Greece anyone? Scandinavian socialist countries such as Sweden and Norway only have become to prosper when free market ideas were installed.

One of the things that I really worry about is the future of this country. What will be like in 30 years from now? It seems like we are headed towards some socialist type of big government. Many young people feel that socialism is very compassionate and will go a long ways in helping bridge the gap between the haves and the have nots in the United States. There are many who are in love with a socialist candidate who ran for the president. Maybe these delusional people ought to look at the country just south of here and tell me how that socialism is working out.

I have long been a huge critic of socialism for many reasons. At the top of the list is the fact that it totally takes away many incentives from people. What incentive is there for me to go to college, study hard, get a good job and then have much of my income go towards supporting some huge public welfare state? Suppose I run a business; what incentive do I have to make a profit when the government determines what I should or should not keep. To me, this type of ideology goes against human nature. The more an individual is in control, the harder they will try.

Another huge reason why do not support socialism is the idea of having a huge government-run by a large number of bureaucrats is a recipe for disaster! Venezuela is rocked by government corruption and that is typical for any huge government. Imagine if our country had a large socialist government. Take for instance health care. Suppose there were few, if not any insurance companies, in this country. The Federal government would call all the shots pertaining to our health care. I would have a hard time believing that would be a well run machine. There would be tons of regulation and confusion to deal with. Having just a few in power making these decisions is not the way to go.

A final reason why I do not agree with socialism is it is simply not sustainable. Eventually, there will not be enough money to pay for all those free programs. Then what will happen? People will not understand why their entitlements are being cut back and all hell will break loose. As they say about socialism, “It is great until you run out of other people’s money”.

I just hope that people will wake up in this country, especially some millennials who are so in love with socialism. That type of ideology strongly goes against what makes our country great. We prosper as a nation when free market principles are applied and applied correctly. Giving everyone a fair shot at success and leaving it up to us is what we should strive for as a country. Socialism takes away the freedom to make choices and that is not what our country is about. Venezuela is exhibit A on why socialism does not and will never work. We need to learn from that country so our future is not ruined.

The sad demise of O.J. Simpson

Many years ago, O.J. Simpson was a huge icon is this country. He was a star football player in college and is, without a doubt, one of the greatest NFL players to have ever played the game. On top of that, he had this certain kind of charisma that made him such a huge celebrity. There have been many great athletes in the past, but very few had that charm that Simpson had. He was a hit on television and in commercials. You could say that O.J. was what they call a very marketable athlete. He might have been one of the biggest icons in the history of this country. I was too young to really remember him during those days, but I have heard plenty about his football and television career. Sadly, many people will not remember Simpson for those things. He will be remembered more for that police chase on national television in a white Bronco and his alleged killing of his wife and wife’s friend. You could say that his demise might be the biggest of any celebrity ever in this country.

Simpson was extremely lucky to get acquitted for those killings. I remember that trial some 22 years ago like it was yesterday. It was the trial of the century. Imagine if we had the level of social media that we have now? The trial seemed to last forever. Finally the day came when the verdict was reached. I think I joined with many over how shocked I was when he was found not guilty. O.J. was now a free man and maybe he could just ride off into the sunset and get his life back together. Or at least I thought. He was involved in an incident in Nevada a decade later and was back in prison. When I was watching his parole hearing last Thursday and seeing his reaction to the board’s decision to release his him this October, it struck me how far this guy has fallen. He was extremely joyful just to be free for crying out loud! He used to be some sort of celebrity God in this country. Now he is just some convict who got his wish. How the mighty have fallen!

If we can learn anything from Simpson’s life is this; the man had a serious anger problem. And he is not the first person who has this kind of problem. It affects many individuals and ruins their lives.  Prison is filled with countless men and women who could not control their anger and it cost them dearly. Many have lost promising careers because they could not deal with their anger. Or they end up losing loved ones.  The sad thing is many people simply deny the fact that they have anger issues that need to be dealt with. O.J. is a classic example. It is very obvious that his anger issues got the best of him. We will never know what happened with his wife. I can only speculate but it would be reasonable to assume that his anger got the best of him. That anger cost him greatly in so many ways. The hotel incident in Nevada is another example. Now Simpson is a free man but has he learned his lesson?

What is next for Simpson? I have no idea. I believe everyone deserves a second chance and perhaps he has changed his life around and gotten help with his anger issues. Maybe he can continue his search for his late wife’s killer. Chances are somebody like a Megan Kelly would want to interview him. I would greatly respect him if he came clean and talked as a warning to others about some of the demons that got the best of him and ruined his life.

It seems as though Simpson had two lives. The first one was the great, charming celebrity and football player that he was. The second one was some alleged killer and madman. Unfortunately for him, his legacy will forever be linked to the trial of the century rather than his exploits on the football field. It does not appear that will ever change. I cannot recall a greater demise ever of any famous celebrity in this country. He went from being a golden boy saint to an evil, dark person in just a few days back in 1994. He will always carry that evil label with him for the rest of his life.