The theater shootings, another senseless tragedy

Whenever someone goes out to a shopping mall or movie theater, chances are  the last thing on their mind is ducking for cover from some maniac shooting randomly at people.  But in this day and age, you can never be too sure about your safety when going out in a public place.

The Colorado movie theater shootings is just another example of  how innocent people were victimized in a seemingly harmless place.  I don’t always feel safe when I am driving through a bad part of town at night for fear of being shot by a gang member, but the last place I would feel threatened is in some suburban movie theater at night.  It is sad but we are no longer safe anywhere. These lunatics can strike anywhere and at anytime. Whenever you go out in a public place, you run the risk of being a victim of a senseless crime. We all could have been those victims in that movie theater.

The last 10-15 years have shown an increase in these type of attacks and more are bound to happen. There are no doubt many other very unstable people, who are probably at this present time, plotting out their own attacks. Maybe it might be your local retail store or mall. Or perhaps it is your school. It is very sad but these type of incidents only increase the likely hood that another attack will happen.

I really don’t think there is a clear-cut way of totally stopping this type of violence. If someone wants to go into some shopping mall and start shooting at will, what is going to stop him or her? How can we stop these people when they seem to come out of nowhere? I strongly believe that it is everyone’s responsible to report suspicious activity. The police and authorities need our help. If your strange neighbor suddenly buys an assault weapon, that is enough to raise a red flag.  A little tip about someone can save many innocent people’s lives.

My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the victims families and the survivors of this massacre. Those survivors will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.  It is a level of horror that I cannot ever imagine going through. As for the shooter, I hope his name will just go away and he will be remembered for who is he really is, a complete coward!! Anyone who attacks innocent people like he did is a low life punk coward. He obviously has some serious mental issues and perhaps some day, hopefully, he will realize what he did and ask for forgiveness. I just hope the media gives limited attention to this guy and instead, focus on the victims and the many fine young people who had their lives cut short.

These type of attacks are not supposed to happen in our country. But unfortunately, their will probably be more attacks in the future and we all are at an increasing risk of getting killed or injured. Definitely a sad sign of our times.

A sad epidemic in America

The current health care debate has dominated the news during recent weeks. I found it rather interesting and ironic that just before the supreme court ruling on the law, a study came out on obesity and the findings were rather startling. Nearly half of all adults living in this country are classified as being overweight and a growing number of children and young teens are also overweight. I think lost in the discussion over this new law is actually taking responsibility of your own health and it appears that many Americans simply are too lazy and undisciplined to do so.

Imagine a country where everyone ate healthy, did not smoke and exercised regularly. I am willing to make a safe bet that the number of people visiting the doctor or getting treated for some ailment would be rather low. Furthermore, the demand for health care would be low and just maybe the cost of might go down? Maybe I am making this way too simple but I strongly believe controlling costs starts with you and me. What can I do to minimize the amount of care that I receive? Most younger people are oblivious to this question. They think they can eat anything, smoke a pack a day and think they will be healthy for the rest of their lives. Then it hits suddenly one day. A diagnosis of heart disease, diabetics or cancer. It will happen some day, believe me!! And by then, it may too late.

It should come as no surprise to anyone about these findings on obesity. People in this country are becoming more less active than ever before especially young people.  They would rather just sit in front of the computer all day instead of going to the park for a game of hoops with their friends. A majority of jobs in this country involve sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time. When it is time for lunch, it is easy to just head down to a local fast food place and eat a high caloried meal. Anyone who has ever eaten at one of those places knows what I am talking about.  It seems that the portions are getting bigger and bigger. And then it is back to work for more sitting around and finally to home for a night of television viewing while lying on the coach.  Not exactly the best way to burn off those McDonald’s calories. Clicking the remote only burns about 5 calories an hour!!

It really does not take a lot of effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have for most of my life and it becomes a habit after doing it for a while. Exercising is not always fun but it can be if you find creative ways of doing it. Doing it at the same time everyday is a great way to get into the habit. There are many tasty healthy foods to choose from and before you know it, you will never step foot into a fast food joint again. You will feel so much better about yourself if you just take a few steps to improve your health.  Not only will it help you now, but also down the road as you age. I don’t know about you but I want to be healthy and strong during my senior years instead of constantly going to the doctor or hospital for medical problems.

It is really a choice every American has to make. I just don’t like subsidizing some person who does not have the discipline to take care of themselves. If everyone did their part, maybe we could find health care affordable.


A hockey state’s big day

While many folks here in Minnesota were celebrating a very warm and steamy 4th of July, a bit of news broke about ice and not the kind that many were using to keep their favorite beverages cold.  It was about a huge signing of not one but two of the biggest free agents in the NHL, Zach Parise  and Ryan Suter.

Last season might have been the lowest point in franchise history. After a very promising start, the Wild struggled mightily for the rest of the season and missed the playoffs for the 4th straight year. Interest in the squad had dipped to an all time low. In my opinion, they had become the most unwatchable team in the Twin Cities. And it showed as attendance and television ratings dropped. Once a sure sellout, the team started to struggle to even sell tickets.  I would never spend my hard-earned money on a team that could barely score a couple of goals a game. It was flat-out, not entertaining hockey.

The signing of Parise and Suter certainly provided a much-needed jolt into the franchise. From a business perspective, it was a brilliant move. Parise is a home town player and Suter has ties to the area as well. Teams always like to sell hope to their fans and the addition of these two players not only gives fans hope that the team will finally break their playoff drought but be contenders for many years. 1500 new season tickets have already been sold since the signings and interest in the team is bound to spike once the season starts.

The new additions are great but it does not guarantee a thing. Giving a couple of players, 13 year contracts is rather insane if you ask me!! These guys are great players but are they really worth it? I guess only time will tell but it is a huge risk. But I have to take my hat off to the Wild organization for the bold moves.  It shows that they are very serious about winning and fans like that in an owner.  Even this lukewarm hockey guy might have finally found the motivation to see a game or two next winter.

The health care ruling, Obama wins but do the people?

After the ruling on the new health care law, there was much jubilation among supporters of the bill. I am sure the President was very relieved. Had this been struck down, it would have been a rather significant blow to his legacy. But the bill survived for the time being along with the claims of how this will suddenly make health care more affordable and easier to access for all in this country. Or will it?

I have been a skeptic of this law since day one and according to many polls, I am not alone. Nearly 2 out of 3 Americans do not fully support this piece of legislation.  The goal of any new plan is to improve the existing plan with a better plan. I have serious concerns about how this will really make health care in this country.

In a perfect world, everyone would have the best, cheapest insurance in the world with the ability to see your doctor immediately if something is not right with you.  But we do not live in a perfect world and the ability to cover everyone will come at a huge cost. The cost of this Affordable Care Act is almost double its original value and is almost certain to go even higher.  There are almost certain to be many new taxes tied in with this law which will only increase the cost of health care, not lower it which was one of the major goals of the bill.

Whenever I have an urgent need to see my doctor, I want to see him or her right away and not wait months.  I also do not to wait and get an ok from some bureaucrat in Washington telling me I can or cannot get a procedure down. This will happen if more people are insured through state health markets and plenty will probably have to with the individual mandate requirement. Time is a very important factor in health care and waiting around is awful health care. I often wonder if we have enough trained medical professionals to handle the new influx of covered people.

This type of health coverage has been tried in other countries and has failed. I cannot believe that politicians would want to copy a plan that has not worked and will never work.  I personally believe that we do not need some major overhaul of the health care system to fix a few problems. Hopefully this law gets repealed before we all lose.