A rather sad day for singles

This coming Thursday, February 14th is arguably the most romantic day of the year. Millions of couples will celebrate their relationships in many forms. You cannot turn to any form of media and not find one advertisement for Valentine’s Day. Whether it be for buying your sweetie flowers, candy, jewelry or maybe a night a quick weekend getaway. Suppose you do not have a significant other to celebrate Valentine’s Day with this year? How do you feel this week? For many, it is one of the loneliest weeks of the year. Your attached friends are all excited about celebrating Valentine’s Day with their mates and you are all alone. Perhaps your co-workers all got nice flowers delivered to them at work and you got absolutely nothing. It can be a very empty and lonely day for millions of singles. Sure you feel very happy for your attached friends, but deep down inside, you feel very envious and jealous. You just feel like there is this deep void in your life and it is a very sad feeling.

The feeling is even sadder for those who have recently gone through a breakup or a divorce. The thought of romance cringes at your soul and you just want to forget about the day and its meaning. You think back at past Valentine’s Days with your ex and those sad feelings of loneliness are really amplified.

I must confess while writing this that I am one of those many unattached singles who will not be celebrating Valentine’s Day with anyone important. Yes, there is a certain level of sadness and hollow feeling that I will certainly feel on this day. Sometimes I feel like a complete failure and loser for not having a special woman in my life. But being the optimistic that I am, I look on the bright side. I could run into my future wife while I am at the grocery store later today. And I could have a very unexpected good Valentine’s Day. There are also countless opportunities to meet singles online so I am not at all worried that I will never find my Valentine. She is out there somewhere on this planet.

I also look at the fact that I do not have to worry about pleasing some woman on this Valentine’s Day.  Believe me, it can keep many guys up at night worrying about what to buy and what to do on Valentine’s Day. I will not have to worry about that this year. No need to worry about buying flowers or jewelry for anyone. Don’t get me wrong; I would love to do those things, but not having the stress of dealing with those issues can be very nice.

If you will be sitting home all alone on Valentine’s Day, do not feel alone. There are many thousands of us who are with you. Being single and unattached can be a very exciting lifestyle to live for most days of the year. But there is just something sad about not having a significant other to share Valentine’s Day with. I know I wish I had someone to spoil this year.

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Just say no to socialism

A very alarming trend is hitting the United States, and no, it is not some new fashion or beverage to hit the market. It is a particular ideology that many believe will make it “fair” for everyone in this country to live a good and prosperous life. That ideology is called socialism and the Democratic party seems to have a growing support for it. A number of members want a more European style of government where basically what you make in life is controlled by a central figure and is spread equally among members of a country. That form of ideology is very different from the current heavy capitalism model. Now granted, the country does have some very light socialist programs that everyone pays into. For example, we pay taxes to the government so our streets can be taken care of in the winter time. I certainly get that. But socialism expands greatly on that concept and creates a huge government that includes more than just taking care of your basic human needs. It is supposed to take of every need, free health care, free tuition, guaranteed income in case you happen to decide to quit your lousy job and so on.

On paper, this looks very appealing. There are a number of people in this country who probably cannot afford to go to college and free college seems to be the only way they can go. There is a huge problem though that often goes unnoticed. Who pays for this? Imagine if all public colleges in the country were suddenly forced to be free? Who would pay the professors? As you can quit imagine, it would be us the tax payers. And don’t give me this crap that this so-called investment will pay for itself. What guarantee do we have that it will?

The same goes for this “Medicare for All” concept that is floating around. Once again, it sounds like some great idea that everyone with the snap of a finger can have top-notch medical care. A recent Democratic stated her desire to end all private insurance companies and switched to this radical concept. The price tag for “Medicare for All” would be absolutely enormous as well. Where would the money come from?

In order to pay for these massive programs, socialist supporters want heavy taxes particularly on the rich. A 70 percent marginal tax rate and higher is often mentioned as a way to pay for these programs. I find it hard to believe that these higher rates would even come close to paying for all these programs. If you do the math, it does not even come close. You could tax the ultra rich 100 percent and still not come up with the necessary funding. On top of that, those tax rates will severely cripple our economy for years. Suppose for a minute that a rich business owner is forced to pay several thousand dollars more in taxes each year. Do you think they will have any desire to expand and grow their companies and hire more workers and hire more people?Absolutely not! Who would even consider investing anymore? What motivation would anyone have to start a new business with those type of taxes? I certainly would not want to! Furthermore, if adopted, under those tax rates, unemployment would skyrocket and with more people out of work, the tax revenue that would be gained with higher taxes would be greatly offset and even diminished by more people out of work and less spending.

Besides being unsustainable, socialism is very dangerous in its promises to people. What happens when that gravy train runs out of money? As we saw in Greece several years ago, it leads to violence and unrest in a country. And believe me, the more this country becomes socialist, the more unrest we will have. Also, the larger a government becomes, the more corrupt it becomes especially with our money.

Probably the biggest issue that I have with socialism is that it punishes people who have actually had some success in life and that is not morally right. It is not right to punish someone who has worked hard to achieve much in life and has been very smart with their money. Imagine if you took a class and studied very hard to obtain a good grade. There were others in your class who did not study as hard and failed to do any homework or even attend class. At the end of the semester, the professor suddenly announces that everyone will get the same grade; how would that make you feel? That my friend is socialism in a nutshell.

If we are to help the poor and the middle class in this country, we must find ways to make capitalism, not socialism, stronger in this country. The ideas being mentioned by some of these Democrats are utterly ridiculous, foolish and irresponsible. It is our duty to keep socialism out of this country by not voting for these idiots. Capitalism is what and will always make this country great. Socialism will just make a bunch of government officials rich and the rest of us poor. Just ask the poor folks in Venezuela. How is socialism working for them?

 

 

A few thoughts on the NFL playoffs and a bold Super Bowl pick

The season started back in July when several teams reported for training camp with a fresh slate and hopes of playing in tomorrow’s ultimate game. For all but 2 teams, those hopes have been dashed. The Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots face off in the final game of the season. As just your run of the mill sports fan, I have a few thoughts on this season’s playoffs as well as a bold pick for the big tilt.

1. The best conference championship Sunday ever. They say that for a sports fan the day of the NFL conference championships is arguably the best day of the year. This year certainly did not disappoint. In all my years of watching the NFL, conference championship Sunday 2 weeks ago produced the best back to back games that I have ever seen. Both games went into overtime and were filled with much drama. I have to admit that I and probably many others were overly entertained.

2. MVP of the playoffs. I have to give it to the old man, Tom Brady, quarterback of the Patriots. This playoff run is only adding to his legacy of being one of the great athletes ever in any sport. There will always be a discussion on who is the best quarterback of all-time and maybe that discussion can stop and end with Brady. A strong performance in the Super Bowl tomorrow should cement his claim to be the GOAT. In the runner-up position, I give it to the Rams field goal kicker Greg Zuerlein. What he did against the New Orleans Saints was nothing short of remarkable. First he made a long field to tie the game at the end of regulation, then won it with a long 57 yarder in overtime. Both kicks were under intense pressure on the road. I tip my cap to him for a job very well done.

3. Biggest surprise. Actually the fact that they were very surprises in the playoffs was the biggest surprise. No team really flew under the radar this year. How often do you see top seeds from both divisions play for the conference championships?

4. Rule change discussion. The NFL really needs to take a look at the overtime rules during the off-season. I am of the belief that both teams deserve to have the ball in overtime with a chance to win the game. That is not the case with the current rules.

5. Last run for the Pats. This will be it for the Patriots. The multi-year run of the Patriots might go down as the best ever in sports but all good things have to come to an end and it will this year. Look out for the Indianapolis Colts. They will be the next NFL dynasty.

Now for a bold prediction on the Super Bowl. First of all, neither team can really stop the other team from scoring. It should be a very high scoring game similar to last year’s game. I am not going to break down all the matchups and tell you who has the advantage. I believe the Rams have the better overall team but the Patriots have a couple of factors working for them that makes them my favorite. First of all, they have a strong desire to avenge last year’s heart breaking lost. Do you really think that any team coached by Bill Belichick will lose 2 straight Super Bowls? I think not. Furthermore, the Patriots have the more experienced team and that will make a huge difference. I like the Patriots to win 38-35 in overtime. Enjoy the game everyone!

 

 

Global warming? invades the upper Midwest

It is a very common occurrence these days to have some radical climate change fanatic lecture us on how the planet is warming and how we desperately need to do something before civilization is totally burned up. Recently, a well-known up and upcoming star of the Democratic party made a bold claim that we only have 12 more years if we fail to act on climate change. So how many of you folks out there are kept up at night with that horrible thought in mind?

Just when I thought these fanatics might have a very valid argument, a funny occurred with our weather here in the upper part of the United States. Did it become historically warm for winter? Absolutely not! Quite the opposite happened; we experienced some of the coldest weather ever. Last week, actual air temperatures were roughly 50 degrees below normal with strong winds to boot thanks to a very strong Polar Vortex system coming down from Canada. Many schools were cancelled for several days last week due to the cold as were many businesses. Those conditions were extremely life-threatening. Unfortunately, several people lost their lives during this cold snap and after a brief warmup this weekend, more cold weather is on the way for later next week.

These cold weather outbursts have not been an uncommon thing in the most recent history. Last April, we experienced some historic cold temperatures along with an extremely rare blizzard in the middle of the month. Here I though global warming was supposed to eliminate those unpleasant weather occurrences but I guess I was wrong. If global warming is indeed happening, there is very little evidence if any at all, that it is happening here in Minnesota. From my own personal observation, I do not see any real noticeable changes in the weather from the past 20 years.

You can bet that these historic cold snaps will do little to shut up these fanatics who insist that the planet will burn up in the next 12 years. Now I am sure they will bring up some nice charts and graphs to better illustrate their points. Keep in mind that some of their numbers have been proven to be doctored and false. Furthermore, do you think some climate change scientist would risk their profession and his or her huge salary paid for by us to say that climate change is not occurring?

The next time some politician wants to combat climate change with several expensive tax payer programs which would ruin our economy, we need to ask for clear and precise proof that climate change or global warming is truly happening. Where I live here in Minnesota, it is far from happening. Maybe we should worry more about global cooling!

It is always the refs fault

If you are a fan of the New Orleans Saints of the NFL, you must be in a deep state of outrage. A golden opportunity to make a trip to the Super Bowl was taken away by a very poor call by one of the officials. Had that pass interference call been made late in last week’s NFC championship game, the Saints would have had the ball inside the Los Angeles Rams 5 yard line with a first and goal and 1:41 left. The Rams did not have any time outs left so the Saints could have run the clock down to the end, call a timeout, and kick a short field goal. The chances of them winning the game had the call been made were probably 99 percent. However, the call was missed, and although the Saints kicked the go ahead field goal, the Rams had plenty of time to march down the field and kick the tying field which they did at the end of regulation. A few Saints fans are even suing the league over this missed call. But lets settle down all you Saints fans and look at the big picture. Sure that call will go down as one of the worst ever in NFL playoff history, but there were plenty of other chances to win the game and not have to depend on the ref making a game deciding decision.

I find it rather interesting that a critical missed call just prior to the Saints final possession was not also heavily discussed. The Rams had the ball inside the Saints 10 yard line when a face masking personal foul was missed by an official. It was equally a puzzling missed call that would have given the Rams the ball at the Saints 2 yard line, first and goal and a great opportunity for go-ahead touchdown that would have put the Rams up by 4 late in the game. That was a huge missed call which really benefited the Saints.

After the go-ahead field that put the Saints up 23-20 with 1:41 left , why could the Saints defense not stop the Rams from marching down the field to kick the game tying field goal? Their defense did not do their job late in the game. The Saints won the coin toss at the start of overtime and immediately turned the ball over. They had plenty of golden opportunities to win the game after that blown call and failed to do so. If you are going to blame the refs, fine. But why not also blame your own team for not capitalizing on several missed opportunities. Maybe those fans who are suing the league over that blown call should also sue the team as well. They are just as responsible for the loss as the officials.

I can certainly understand why fans get upset with officials when a call is blown in such a big situation in a big game. I would be outraged as well. But let’s remember those referees are not machines out there who will always make the right call. The game is moving so fast that missed calls will happened. It is part of the game. A championship team should be able to withstand a blown call to win a game.

Unfortunately, it is always the refs fault. Never look at how your team missed several opportunities to lock the game up. If the Saints fans and players want to know the real reason why they lost the game, they should focus on their beloved team’s inept play rather than the men in officials uniforms.

Fake news at its worst

A rather disturbing video emerged last weekend at a rally showing a group of teenagers wearing MAGA hats (make America great again) surrounding a Native American man beating a drum. It was reported that this man was a Vietnam vet and the video seemed to suggest the teenagers were harassing this man. Only small clips of the video went viral and one could conclude from watching that these young adults were just out to cause trouble. To make matters worse, they were wearing MAGA hats which ties them to being supporters of President Trump. And of course, let’s not forget other factors that just added fuel to the fire. They were mostly white students attending a Christian Catholic high school which only added to the evil perception of these students.

Without hesitation, several media outlets across the country picked up on this story and reported on the video, or should I say small clips of the video. It was a golden opportunity for outlets to finally prove to the rest of us what they have been reporting and commenting on for months, that these students represent a typical racist Trump supporter  and the video clips shows it. I saw numerous comments on social media of people coming to this conclusion as well as many news commentators. But didn’t you just get the feeling that there was more to this story than the short video clip? I certainly did and fortunately a few journalists dug deeper and found more to the story than what was shown.

It now turns out that these students were approached by the Native American man who was not quite the war veteran that was first reported. They were not the instigators which the short clip seemed to suggest. A longer version of the video painted an entirely different version of the events. The students were actually the victims of a hate filled group that was also at the rally. Racist words were being thrown at the students by this group. Funny how that was left out of the initial reporting! It is not clear why the Native American man approached the students. Perhaps he wanted to help defuse the situation. A further review of a longer portion of the video, the students were in no ways guilty of any wrong doing. The real culprits were the hate group. The students were victims of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I find it extremely disappointing that many journalists had this story so wrong at the beginning and failed to follow-up on the longer version of the video. As I mentioned earlier, it was their big chance to stick it to the President and his followers with a totally fake and misleading news story. Their irresponsible reporting has now almost ruined the lives of several good young students who were just out at a pro-life rally exercising their right to free speech and expression. If I ran a news outlet which ran this fake news story, I would hold those responsible who did the reporting. They deserve to be fired or even sued. That also includes those so-called news commentators who went on national television to bash these students. This story clearly was an effort to enhance a political agenda and it failed miserably. I hope those who felt the need to bash poor innocent students can get help removing the egg off their faces! Please do a little more investigating in the future!

Unfortunately in this day and age, that is what news is becoming all about. It is nothing more than to serve a journalist’s or journalists own political agenda. Especially when it is about President Donald Trump. Yes, fake news is alive and well today and this story clearly demonstrates why we as the general public need to be very careful about what to believe.

 

 

A potential feel good story of the year

It is not uncommon for news stories these days to be filled with tons of negativity. Turn on your news and you will see exactly what I mean. On a typical newscast, you will probably see politicians fighting with each other or stories about horrific crimes. Lately, natural disasters have made the news with wildfires and hurricanes. If you are a pessimist, you might think the world is coming to an end. A story came out the other day which started as just another depressing news story and ended with a very happy ending that brought tears and joy to a number of people. A missing young teenage girl from Wisconsin was found safe a few days ago.

The story started about 3 months ago in a small town in Wisconsin about 90 miles from the Twin Cities. A man and his wife were found murdered in their home one morning and their 13 year old teenage daughter was missing in the aftermath. The story started as a huge local story and slowly gained national attention in the days after. Anytime you have a missing child, it is a very big deal. No trace of the missing girl was spotted. It was a huge mystery. Where was the girl? Like many folks, I just assumed that this was another story of a tragic child abduction that does not end well. In the last month, the story pretty much fizzled out.

Last week, the story resurfaced in a very dramatic way. The young girl was found alive in an area about an hour from the crime scene. She had escaped her captors and ran up to a woman who was walking her dog pleading for help. Authorities were called and the young girl, Jayme Closs is finally safe.

I think I joined many people, not only locally, but nationally in shedding a tear when this story broke. For a few months, many of us had been praying for Jayme’s safe return. Our prayers were answered! I am also inspired by how brave Jayme was in breaking free from her captors who killed her parents. That took a ton of courage and guts from such a young person. By the way, her captors are now in custody.

I know many of these similar stories do not always end up as well. Children are unjustly kidnapped everyday in this country and the world and many are lost forever or killed. This story just shows that the prayers can be answered and we can have a little bit of positivity every so often in this very negative world. I join many people in wishing the best for Jayme Closs. She is one special young individual.