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.

 

The bizarre police shooting of an Australian woman

There are certain news stories that happen which make absolutely no sense. Your first inclination is to ask why? why did this happen? You want more and more information regarding the story. This is very typical of the many high-profile police shootings that have been garnering our attention as of late. Why did an unarmed person end up getting killed by the police? Usually the answer comes up shortly after the event occurs. Information comes up that explains why the officer involved took the action and it makes perfect sense. The recent police shooting in Minnesota of a woman who recently moved to the United States from Australia makes absolutely no sense at all. The woman who was killed by the police just got done calling 911 to report a suspicious activity in the alley near her home. Shortly after the call, she stepped outside to talk to the police officers on the scene. While talking to the driver of the squad car, the second officer in the passenger seat shot the woman and she later died. Yes, he shot over his partner and hit the woman. It is a huge mystery as to why this officer took the actions he did. An innocent woman who was just doing her duties as a citizen was shot dead by the police.

One of the odd things about this tragic event is the fact that the police officer just happened to be a Somalian immigrant who felt it was his calling to become an officer. The woman was Caucasian. Imagine for a second if the officer were white and the unarmed person who was shot just so happened to be the Somalian? There was definitely some outrage over this incident, but I cannot imagine the outrage that would have taken place had the woman not been white. I did not see many people marching in the streets or blocking freeways to protest this shooting. This event further illustrates my theory that these protesters like to cheery pick what they will protest and get outraged about. Unfortunately, it is always about race and that is just not right! If you are going to scream about justice for the police, it is justice for all, white or black.

With the rise of social media, there are many people out there who know exactly what happened without having all the evidence in front of them. The biggest theory floating out there is the woman was shot because she ran outside in her nightgown and the officer shot her because she went against his religious beliefs pertaining to women. The woman was not properly clothed in public, therefore, she must die. It is a sad reality that many are blaming Muslims with this event, yet there is very evidence that this theory led to the shooting. In fact, I find that theory to be rather ridiculous. I highly doubt anyone who has that lack of tolerance for people would come anywhere close to becoming an officer. I am sure that many facts will come out in the next few weeks, but until then, let’s just stop the stupid speculations.

In light of another highly publicized police shooting in the area just last summer, there are many who are angry and wondering why did this happen. I can fully understand. Our tax dollars go to these officers so  they can protect and serve us. When an innocent person ends up getting shot, answers need to happen and happen fast. Sadly. this is not the case with this event. The police chief of the city involved was forced to resign just a few days ago. Perhaps more city leaders should follow including the mayor. There is absolutely no excuse for this to happen. For the most part, officers do a great job of protecting us and keeping our streets safe. However, a shooting like this should raise some serious questions about the training of our officers. One event like this is one too many. An innocent person who simply calls 911 to report a crime or suspicious activity does not deserve to die. This is a serious black eye on the city of Minneapolis and we the public deserve some answers.

Being married to yourself

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine concerning his new adventures with being single. After experiencing the heartbreak of going through a divorce, my friend decided it was time to get back into the dating scene and perhaps meet another special lady who will be a better fit for him. I asked him how things were going with his online singles site and he gave me a very fascinating response; “You know Mark, I was assuming that this site consisted of all single people, but instead, many of the ladies are married.” Huh? How can that be? Why would a singles site have a bunch of married people? I know it happens on occasion that some disgruntled still married individual will use a dating site to find an escape to an unhappy marriage, but is it really true there are that many? “Well Mark, so many are married to themselves” Oh I get it! And he hit it right on the head. Sometimes you have to wonder how serious some of these members are about meeting that someone special. A heavy challenge that people who sign up for these sites face is weeding out those who are basically married to themselves.

Normally if a person is said to be married, they have a union with a member of the opposite sex. There is some crazy new thing called sologamy which is indeed being married to yourself, but for the time being, lets talk about why some people are actually married to themselves without really being aware of it.

I have experienced the dating scene myself and I know exactly what my friend is talking about. When I meet someone for the first time, I wonder in my mind about how serious they are to really get to know me. One of my last dates was a prime example. Her lifestyle seemed to be perfect. She had a good job, lots of good friends and hobbies, and her schedule was always filled with fun. She appeared to really be married to her life. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but exactly where do I fit in if we happened to develop a relationship. Would that perfect lifestyle which she seems adore but affected by having me suddenly be a part of it?

I have to admit that how my life would be affected came up as well. I must confess that I am somewhat married to myself and my life as well. Would I have enough free time to go golfing on the weekends or spend time at the lake during the summers if we became a couple. What would she think about my lifestyle and what would I have to give up? I love my freedom as single, but somehow, I keep thinking in the back of my head that freedom will suddenly disappear if I get involved in a relationship.

Most people who join dating sites are aware of these or how attached or once again married to themselves and their lives. Going from being single to in a relationship can be a rather huge adjustment. Maybe you just want to chill on a Saturday after a long work week. Instead, you are forced to travel many miles to see her family who are people who you find rather annoying. Or maybe you will be forced to missed that important ball game because your partner wants to go see her niece in some play at the theater.

Most relationship experts would probably agree with 100 percent. In order to have a fulfilling and satisfying relationship with someone, you must first get a divorce. And that would be from yourself. Sometimes I wonder how many single people on those many dating sites are actually willing to get that divorce and get married the proper way as a union with someone else. The longer you are single, the harder that divorce from yourself might be. But in the long run, it might be well worth it.

Those Trump tweets

Unless you have been in a terrible coma for the past couple of years, you might have noticed that our newly elected president loves to tweet. President Barack Obama had a Twitter account, but the frequency of his tweets paled in comparison to President Trump. The question I have is this; is it a good idea for a President or any politician to engage heavily on Twitter? There are varying opinions on this topic and I will share a few myself.

Part of being a good politician is getting your message out to the public. With so many people using Twitter these days, you would think that it would be wise for a lawmaker to use Twitter to persuade the public on a particular issue. For example, a lawmaker can make a short, but very compelling case on why we need to repeal Obamacare. An account with Trump’s popular can reach millions of people with just a quick send button.

On the other hand, I find it rather difficult to articulate a view with only 140 characters allowed. Sure you can send multiple tweets on a particular topic, but I find it very hard to uphold any type of good conversation when I am limited. Perhaps a blog post might be a better idea for the President. On top of that, Twitter is filled with a bunch of wackos who will not think twice about sending you some mean and ignorant tweets. I would think that the President has better things to do with his time than getting involved in a Twitter war.

It is no secret that many media figures do not like President Trump and will do anything to discredit his achievements. Having the option to reply back at his critics is a wonderful way for him to use Twitter and you might say, set the record straight. Yes, there are times when I think Trump should be above some of the cheap shots that delivered to him, but I admire him for fighting back at some of ridiculous things that are said and written about him.

Having said all these things, I do think eventually that his Twitter use could get him in deep trouble some day. And that goes for any politician who uses Twitter regularly. Anyone who uses Twitter probably has had those moments where you send a tweet that you wish you had not. Many famous athletes and politicians have gotten into huge trouble from what they have said on Twitter. Furthermore, I would expect my President to show some class in his or her tweets instead of sending juvenile tweets about how stupid a certain news anchor might be or how fat a celebrity critic of his may be. You are expected to uphold the office with some dignity and some of Trumps tweets have crossed the line, no doubt about it.

President Trump’s twitter account is one of many politicians that I follow from both sides. I think it is a very useful tool that can help him out in achieving his agenda. How there is a great risk involved and hopefully President Trump will be wise enough to understand that there are many vultures out there just waiting for him to send that one regrettable tweet.

Golden State, the best team ever?

In the aftermath of Golden State’s NBA finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, some sports pundits were quick to declare the Warriors as the greatest NBA team of all time. After all, they dominated the playoffs with the best record ever and had another incredible regular season with 67 wins. But are they better than the great Boston Celtics teams of the 80’s or the Michael Jordan teams of the mid 90’s? Such questions make for interesting discussions of sports talk radio, but in my mind, comparing teams from different eras is almost impossible to do. One could argue that the NBA is more watered down in this day and age. How many top quality teams really had a legitimate shot at winning the title this year? The lack of parity in the league has certainly helped the Warriors, however, lets not diminish what a dominate and great team they are. They could easily beat any team that has ever played in a 7 game series.

Very few teams have ever been made up of 4 all-star players in the starting lineup. As a lifetime NBA observer, I have never seen a more unguardable team in the league. The only team that can really stop the Warriors are the Warriors themselves. Not only are they an extremely potent team on the offensive side of the floor, their defense is extremely solid as well. Many people fail to give them credit for being an extremely good defensive team. Draymond Green might be the best overall defensive player in the league and Klay Thompson is one of the best defensive guards in the league. Kevin Durant is a very underrated defender as well. It is one thing to have a team of all-stars who can score the ball, but Golden State has several good 2 way players and that is what makes them the elite team that they are.

Do the Warriors have any weaknesses? I often wonder how they would fare against some of the past champions with good centers. Do they have the size to go up against the old Celtic’s teams of the 80’s or the Lakers with Abdul Jabbar. But on the flip side, those teams probably would not have the athleticism to compete against the Warriors.

Regardless, this debate will continue and in my opinion, they are without a doubt one of the teams ever. Are they the best ever? Time will only tell. A great team is also a team of dynasty and I still need to see the Warriors win a couple more championships before they are the greatest team ever. With their core players being so young, that possibility is extremely likely.

Fear mongering over the Senate health care bill

Chances are extremely high that you will see in the upcoming days some politician warn you about how bad the Senate health care bill is. A senator from my state decided to go on a little tour yesterday meeting with people and talking about how damaging the supposed cuts to Medicaid will be. I have heard some lawmakers warn us that people will die because of the purposed legislation to fix or repeal Obamacare. Yes, the sky will fall if we pass the bill, right? The crux of the controversy over this bill lies with the effort to reform Medicaid. As with any entitlement, any attempt to cut back on it will bring about folks who claim people who support these cuts are evil and cruel individuals.

For those who do not know what Medicaid is about, it is in simple terms, assistance in paying for health care to those low-income people who cannot afford it. You could say it is another form of welfare. Millions of people depend on Medicaid to help them pay for their medical expenses. The problem with Medicaid is that it is a very expensive entitlement for both the Federal and State government. Millions of taxpayer dollars go into the programs and it is a very unsustainable program. Reform must take place soon. The rate of growth must be stopped. I know in my state of Minnesota, the growth of our health and human services budget always go ups nearly 20 to 30 percent per year. That is simply unsustainable to continue in the future. Any type of Medicaid expansion will bankrupt our state eventually. We will not have enough money for our schools or roads. To me, Medicaid reform and slowly the growth down seems to be a very logical thing to do.

Unfortunately we have many politicians and this does include members from both parties who are crying over these so-called cuts to Medicaid. Why these lawmakers cannot see that Medicaid reform is highly needed is beyond me! Do these people think that the states and the Federal government have some endless reservoir of cash for this program?

People need to understand that the alleged cuts to Medicaid are actually to slow down the rate of growth. Medicaid expansion will still occur. We just need to slow down the rate of growth to a sustainable level. Also, it would be great if states actually did audits on the recipients of Medicaid to see if people who were receiving benefits actually needed them. I read a story that 8000 dead people in Illinois were still receiving benefits, that is insane!

Besides getting rid of some of the needless mandates and working towards increasing competition, Medicaid reform is a crucial part of any health care reform bill. No, people are not going to die if this bill passes, perhaps people will die if we continue on the same unsustainable path that is part of the current system.

The losing streak continues for the Democrats

It was supposed to be a big night for the Democratic party last Tuesday. A house seat was on the line during a special election in Georgia. The election was seen as a referendum on the Trump presidency. Millions of dollars from outside of the state came pouring in an effort to help the Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff, win the race. When all was said and done, the Republican candidate, Karen Handel, walked away as the stunning winner. If there ever was an event that should serve as a wake up call for Democrats, this election should be it. The Democrats continue to lose elections. On top of that, they have lost several legislative seats and governorships in the past 8 years or so. You could say that party is on a serious losing streak.

Since the night of the election, I have seen some discussion about this problem with the party and what to do going forward especially with the midterms coming up in just over a year. The answer is rather simple if you ask me. Since the election, the Democratic party has been nothing but obstructionists. They seem to be totally focused on removing President Donald Trump from office. There has not been any evidence and probably never will be that the president colluded with the Russians to influence last November’s election. That doesn’t stop several Democrats from being hell-bent on finding some shred of evidence that Trump was involved. One would think the party would finally realize this investigation or should I say witch hunt is not going anywhere. Impeachment will not happen!

Several Republicans are working hard to fix the health care bill and make it better for millions of United States citizens. Democrats are really being obstructionists is this process as well. Instead of working with Republicans to create a better bill, Democrats continue to deny the fact that their signature piece of legislation, Obamacare is a complete failure. Many Democrats are still happy with this bill and in a serious state of denial over its failure.

When it comes to important issues, what are the Democrats more concerned about? The Democrats in my area are more concerned about climate change, raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour and giving rights to illegals. Those issues may be important to some, but I want to know you and your party’s plan for the economy. What are your specific plans? Is it to constantly scare people into not voting for the Republicans? I recently heard a Democratic politician talk about Trumpcare and how many millions will die if this bill gets passed. So what is your alternative to the bill?

Until the Democrats start focusing on issues that really matter to people and come up with reasonable solutions, this party will continue to lose elections with no end in sight. People are not dumb and understand what today’s Democratic party is all about. The party needs to stop being a bunch of radical hateful leftists and move towards the center. Maybe new leadership could help. Perhaps dumping Nancy Pelosi would be a good idea. I left the party about 10 years ago and it may have been one of the better decisions I have ever made. The party is slowly becoming out of touch with many Americans. The last presidential election should have been a major wakeup call for the party. Maybe the Georgia election will finally be the hammer that hits the Democrats in the head. The party is losing voters with no end in sight.