A political issue that needs more attention

During the course of the past few months and certainly in the months leading up to next November’s general election, you will hear candidates talk about many issues such as the economy, immigration, health care, national security, income inequality and climate change. There is no doubt all of these issues are important and deserved to be discussed, but what about a certain issue that doesn’t seem to be getting many politician’s attention. Does the number 19 trillion ring a bell to anyone? That number represents our national debt and the figure keeps growing with each passing year. And to top it off, that figure does not include unfunded liabilities for social security and medicare. Yes people, our national credit card is looking uglier everyday which if not addressed soon will make us into another Greece. How humiliating would that be?!!! It would be one of this country’s worst nightmares ever.

Anyone who thinks that we can grow our economy and increase our wages with this kind of debt is seriously delusional. Our ratio of debt to debt is in the danger zone and needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Imagine too when interest rates start to rise, which they will have to eventually. We will have a real mess on our hands with the higher rate of interest on our debt. Private investments will greatly be affected and our economy will take a real hit.

A typical person or family in this country has to live by a budget. If you had a job that was paying nearly 50,000 dollars a year, would live a lifestyle to costed you 100,000 dollars a year? I don’t think so!! Why is the government any different? Why are they trying to spend more money than they are currently taking in? It is a simple question that unfortunately few politicians want to truthfully answer to the American people. For many of them, they brush off the debt like it is a non-important issue. Any reasonable citizen should be outraged over this attitude!

I have to give credit to a few Republican candidates for bringing this issue up, however on the Democratic side, it would be a cold day in hell before this issue ever got addressed. I doubt whether Bernie Sanders even knows what the term debt means! He thinks that there is a vast infinite pile of money somewhere to pay for all of his proposals.

I greatly admire politicians who actually want to discuss this very important issue. Besides national security, it is one of the top 3 issues that I am concerned about. We as a country are headed for disaster if this issue does not get fixed soon. We simply cannot afford to keep increasing our credit card limit to unsustainable levels without some serious consequences to our nation. Where are the politicians out there who have the guts and vision to solve this problem? I want to know so they can get my vote.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition controversy

A couple of weeks ago, Sports Illustrated came out with their annual swimsuit edition which featured 3 women on the cover. One of the featured models, Ashley Graham, just so happens to be a plus size model; a rather unusual twist to the long-standing typical perfect body model who normally graces the cover of that particular edition. Many folks have praised the magazine for changing things up and putting an overweight model on the cover while other like Cheryl Tiegs, a former model herself, have criticized the magazine for spot lighting a full-sized model saying that it is rather unhealthy for a woman to be that huge. Either way, it is an interesting topic that have people talking including yours truly.

Let me just start by saying that I think many plus sized women are still very beautiful even though they are packing on a few extra pounds. Many guys feel the same way that I do. Very few women in this country do have perfect bodies like a typical model has. It is a very delicate issue for many women. For many, the extra weight causes a serious self self-esteem problem which can lead to many other problems in woman’s life. Unfortunately, most women are not born with the capability of having that perfect drop dead body. And to be quite frank, most guys including myself do not care.

I am more concerned over how a woman treats her body through diet and exercise. I see many plus size women at my health club who exercise regularly and even though they might be tiny and petite, many have some tone to their bodies. You can tell that they are really trying and perhaps they just need some guidance and direction from someone else to achieve their goals. It is very inspiring to see the effort that they put in. On the other hand, an overweight woman who never exercises and lies on the couch all day watching television or Netflix is not someone who I want to date.  Their problems will only multiple as they get older.

Tiegs comments about Graham being unhealthy is somewhat true, but the reverse is also true if someone is anorexic which many models seem to be. Furthermore, how do we know exactly how healthy and what kind of physical condition Graham is in? Yes she many be larger than the typically woman, but she might be deceptively good physically condition, perhaps even more so than some skinny anorexic model who never eats.

I have to join the many people who applaud Sports Illustrated for putting a non-skinny model on its cover. A woman does not have to necessarily have a perfectly shaped body to look attractive to men. What she does with that God-given body and how she treats it means more to me. The perception that a woman needs to have a skinny model’s body to look attractive is just pure nonsense and needs to be changed. I hope this story starts that trend in our society.

 

 

 

Donald Trump vs. the Pope

There was a rather interesting battle going on the other day involving, to no ones surprise, Donald Trump and the Pope. The Pope made a comment about Trump not being a Christian because he wants to build a wall to stop illegals from entering this country. In the Pope’s own words “we should be building bridges, not walls” In other words, the Pope feels that it is the United State’s obligation to let every single person in the world into this country if they want to come here. I really like the Pope, but his statement about Donald Trump and this country is totally ludicrous.

First of all, what is so unChristian about wanting to protect this country from having terrorists coming here and killing innocent men, women and children? That is what the wall is all about; Trump simply wants to protect all Americans from the harms of drug dealers and criminals who enter this country illegally. If I am not mistaken, doesn’t the Vatican have walls around their place? If the Pope is so against having walls being build and instead having bridges, perhaps he should lead by example. Perhaps when ISIS shows up at the Vatican, he might think twice about building those bridges.

The United States has done a lot and probably more than its far share in helping poor people around the world. Does the Pope not recognize this little bit of info about our country? How dare he criticize people like Trump and those who support his ideas about keeping our country safe! Maybe the Pope should meet with family of a beautiful young woman named Kathryn Steinle who was killed by an illegal. Perhaps he might change his tune about building those bridges if he heard that family’s story.

Furthermore, who gives the Pope the authority to lecture us or any candidate who is running for office to say whether he is a Christian or not? Did Jesus not teach us Christians about the harm of judging other people? To come out and say that a famous person is not a Christian is very unChristian like in itself.

Like I said earlier, I admire the Pope and what he stands for in this world. I am not a Catholic, but I respect him as a fellow Christian. I just am very disappointed in him for lecturing us on something that he seems so delusional about. I believe Jesus would want us to build that wall too! We have built plenty of bridges for people in this world over the course of history.

 

 

Kobe’s legacy

There was a lot of talk and discussion during last weekend’s NBA all-star game about Kobe Bryant since it was his last all-star game in his final season. A very common question seemed to involve Bryant’s rank among the greats of the game. Is he the best ever, top 5, or top 10? How does he rank compared to say Jordan, Magic or Bird? These questions are what many NBA fans love to debate into wee hours of the night. As a fan of the league myself, I have a few takes about Kobe’s legacy.

First of all, everyone talks about how Bryant can go out and score 81 points in a game and end up being the 3rd leading scorer of all time in the NBA. There is no question that can fill up the nets with his sweet jump shot and dazzling moves to the hoop. But people often forget to talk about the fact that Kobe made the all NBA defensive first team 9 times in his career. How many of the greats in the game can say that they made the all-defensive team 9 times in their career in addition to being great scorers? Only a hand full. There are a lot of players throughout the course of history who could put up big numbers on the offensive end with lots of points or assists, but his ability to play and dominate at both ends of the court really separates him from many players.

There are very few players in the game who can match Kobe’s total resume and longevity as a player. The fact that he made the all-star game 18 straight times really stands out in my mind. Most players are lucky to being playing for half that many years, let alone playing at an all-star caliber level. His ability to be so dominate for so many years is something that speaks volumes of his greatness. When you talk about his resume, you also have to include those other things like 5 championships, MVP titles, scoring championships, all defensive team and so on. But his greatness for that many years really puts him in the greatest ever conversation. How many NBA players can say that they have played at an all-star level for 18 straight years?

The last thing that I need to add about Bryant is his work ethic and determination. He might be the hardest working basketball player ever to the play the game. If any young players wants to be inspired, all they have to do is look at Kobe and the number of hours that he put into his game. That is how you become a good player.

I know Bryant has had his critics and I have been an occasionally critic as well. His shot selection has been very questionable at many times during a game. His treatment and attitude towards some of this teammates really make you question whether he is a good teammate to play for.

I don’t know how you even begin to rate great NBA players and compare this player to this player. I don’t have a clue where Kobe ranks among the all-time greats. There are many intangibles that makes a player great that is often very hard to measure. I don’t know if Bryant necessarily made his teammates better like many great players have in the past. But the facts that I just listed definitely put him among the upper class of all time greats in the NBA. He will be missed after this season.

 

What about a non-partisan Federal Supreme Court?

The recent sudden passing of Justice Antonin Scalia has left a lot of debate in the past week over his replacement, and whether our current President should nominate the replacement immediately or maybe the next President, who will take office next January, should be responsible for choosing Scalia’s replacement. The whole issue here is a matter of power; the court in its current state consists of 4 conservatives, 3 liberals and someone who is somewhere in the middle. One would probably assume that President Obama would prefer a more liberal justice replacement while a new Republican president might prefer a more conservative judge. So as you can see, this nomination will be huge and definitely have a great deal of political implications. The next nominee will face intense scrutiny like few judges ever have. If the nominee has a history of being a strong conservative, the left-wing progressives will be howling non-stop for the nomination to be block. And the same will apply if he or she has strong liberal views. My question is this, why are partisan judges chosen anyways? Pardon me for possibly being ignorant, but shouldn’t a judge on the Federal Supreme Court be totally non-partisan on their political views?

There are so many huge cases that come up every year affecting the lives of every single American. Any key ruling on a case should be thought of in terms of what our Constitution states. People who support different ideologies obviously have different views and interpretation of the laws of the land. A liberal judge might not respect the rights of states as much as a conservative judge. Wouldn’t it be great to have a judge appointed to the court who is a total centrist? Their decisions would go above their own little personal biased thoughts and actually be made based on what is good for this country.

Don’t get me wrong, I think some judges in the past have done that in their rulings and I tip my cap to them. But when I hear that a court consists of so many people of a particular ideology, it makes me very nervous to think of some of the potential consequences to this nation. I strongly believe that any judge, whether it be federal or at the state level, should be picked based on their willingness to make fair and impartial rulings. Their past should be heavily scrutinized to determine if they are capable of doing so. I just don’t see how someone who considers themselves, say a strong liberal,  be fair and biased in making those critical rulings that affect so many lives. We need to start choosing more centrist judges in the future for the good of the country. Of course that may be a delusional wish given how polarized everyone is nowadays.

 

 

 

 

How much do you really love your partner?

Today is Valentine’s Day and for the past week, I have heard countless stories from people who really want to use this day as a way of expressing their love to that special person in their lives. Many have talked about buying flowers, jewelry or other special gifts. One young man talked about how his fiance means everything in the world to him and he loves her “to the moon and back” A very powerful statement of love indeed! But I want to ask this question to anyway out there who is involved in a relationship; how much do you really love your partner? In other words, how much staying power does that love have?

It is one thing to say that you really love someone to the moon and back, but does that love hold up under the most adverse of conditions that life throws at us? Take for example this scenario; you are a single young man who just met this wonderful young woman and things are going really well. She is everything that you look for in a woman; she has lots of beauty both on the inside and outside. She also has this great sense of humor that you cannot get enough of, and in addition, she comes from a very good family. You are totally convinced that she is the right one for you and someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Then suddenly you get a phone call that totally floors you. Your Ms. perfect has just been involved in a serious car accident. She fortunately survived, but her face was really damaged in the accident. She also will be paralyzed for the rest of her life from injuries brought on by the accident. My question to you is this, do you still love her? She will be a totally different person from now on in terms of looks and will probably be dependent on someone 24 hours a day for the rest of her live. What is the temperature of that love right now?

Another less dramatic example is how you view things in life and I can personally say that this has happened to me. Suppose you meet someone and you talk and text really nice things to each other for months. She even sends you the sweetest card for Valentine’s Day with one of the most adorable messages ever. You feel like a million bucks and if she was present, you would give her the biggest hug and kiss ever! Then one day in one of your conversations, you find out that your view on a particular topic or topics is totally different from hers. A rather heated exchange takes place between both of you. Once again, what is the temperature of that love? Do you still love her or him even though they see some things in life completely different from you do?

In my way of thinking, true love is able to endure many shots of adversity and forces that come up. An older couple who talks about their great love for each other after so many years is a prime example of what truly loving your partner is all about. Surely they must have had some moments where that love was severely tested, yet that love was able to stand up. If I ever considered marrying a woman, these crucial scenarios about love would really come up. I would want my wife to really back up her words if she said that she really loves me. That means accepting all sides of me. If she cannot, then those words of love are just meaningless.

 

 

Does football have a future?

Many of us will sit down today and watch arguably the biggest sporting event of the year in this country, the Super Bowl. With all of the stories starting to come out about concussions and the safety of football, one has to wonder about the future of football, in particular the NFL. Is football a dying sport? Will the Super Bowl and the NFL be a thing of the past very soon? Those are some sobering questions that I have been thinking about in the last few weeks.

There is little question that football is the king sport right now in the United States. We simply love our football. It is extremely popular at all levels. I just cannot imagine a fall afternoon without any football games to attend either in person or on television. Major college football is becoming a huge cash cow and the NFL has never been more popular and profitable than it is today. To take away a sport that is a such a huge part of our sporting culture would be a huge blow to sports fans all over. There has to be a way to save football and that way has to come quick before football dies a sudden death.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to make football a safer game to play. Contact and hitting are a huge part of the game. I am dead sure that no most players do not purposely try to level a head shot to an opposing player. It is just a result from a good hard aggressive play. A player does not go in to sack a quarterback and think to himself to be careful not to hurt poor old Johnny quarterback! That is not the way aggressive football is played.  Shots to the head will happen; it is just part of the game and will always be. My question is how safe is the equipment? Is there a way to make the helmets more shock resistant? With all of our fancy new technology, we should be able to come up with a solution to make better equipment for the players.

I think there are definitely ways to teach players how to be safer on the football field whether it be tackling someone or taking a hit. Perhaps these safety measures could be taught at a very early age so they are something a player just automatically knows as he progresses to a higher and more dangerous level of play.

What about changes in some of the rules? As much as I hate to say this, the kickoff might be the most dangerous play during the game. Having some guy get hit by an opposing player going full speed is a recipe for disaster. I view the kickoff as being one of the most exciting plays in the game, yet the danger in it has to be looked at for safety measures.

Football is one of the greatest sports ever and the ultimate team game. It gives huge valuable life lessons to so many young people. It makes me sad to see that there is a sudden wave of fear about playing the sport. High school participation seems to be dropping as parents do not allow their sons to play. The more drop off in participation at the lower level will only spell doom for the NFL someday. Perhaps the NFL will become just a flag football league someday, who knows? I think banning the sport altogether is just a huge knee jerk reaction. There has to be ways to make this great game safer so it can be played safer for many present and future generations of players.