A few random thoughts on the NBA/NHL playoffs

Finally! After several weeks of playoff series, the finals are set for both the NBA and NHL. It should be to no ones surprise that Golden State and Cleveland will meet for the 3rd straight year for the NBA title.  It was inevitable even after last years finals that they would meet for the 3rd straight year. In the NHL playoffs, the upstart Nashville Predators will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. I highly doubt anyone had the Predators going to the Stanley Cup finals, but it just shows that the NHL can be a highly predictable league which might suit the NBA well some day. Well anyways, as my custom is at this time of the year, I have a few random thoughts on what I saw during the playoffs and a few bold predictions.

1) The worst NBA playoffs ever.  As a long time NBA observer, these playoffs have been the worst that I have ever seen in many years. Several blowout games and many series sweeps have made these playoffs totally unforgettable. In fact, the unimaginable has happened at this blogger’s household. The NHL playoffs have gotten a higher priority for viewership than some of those NBA playoff games. The NBA has some parity issues to deal with right now and maybe a great series finals between the Warriors and Cavs will help ease some of the playoff doldrums the league has experienced this year.

2) Extremely nervous executives at NBC. During that classic game 7 double overtime thriller between Ottawa and Pittsburgh, I kept thinking to myself about how the big shot television executives at NBC must be feeling right now. The NHL generally has low ratings as it is and Pittsburgh might arguably be the league’s best television draw. Suppose Pittsburgh does not make it to the finals and we are stuck with a series between Ottawa and Nashville? That would not be the most sexy series of all time to say the least! Fortunately for NBC, the Penguins won and they got their marque team in the finals and much higher ratings to boot.

3) Huge injuries in the NBA playoffs. Suppose Kawhi Leonard had not gone down with an injury in game 1 of the West finals? That was a huge turning point in that series between Golden State and San Antonio. I still think Golden State would have prevailed, but it would have been a very competitive series instead of a 4-0 sweep. And the East finals were affected as well by the injury to Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. Key injuries to key players were definitely huge story lines to this years playoffs.

4) Hooray for Nashville. If my favorite teams are not in the playoff mix, I tend to root for underdog teams. Nashville fits that to a tea. Nobody expected Nashville to make it out of the first round and now they are in the championship series. I definitely have jumped on the Predators bandwagon for these playoffs. In addition, I think the NHL should be thrilled that a non-traditional hockey market is having success. This is a great opportunity for the league to get new fans in the southern market.

5) 7 straight for LeBron. How many professional athletes in the major sports have made it to seven straight championship series? To play such a huge role in leading your team to seven straight NBA finals is a huge achievement. Anyone arguing about LeBron’s place in history has to bring this stat up.

Predictions:  Like last year, I see the Golden State, Cleveland series going the full 7 games, but unlike last year, Golden State will win the title with Kevin Durant being the MVP.  In the Stanley Cup finals, I sadly have to go with Pittsburgh in 7 games as well. Best of luck to the teams and fans still involved in the playoffs. Both series should be classics.

Unthinkable evil in Manchester

Terrorist attacks are suddenly becoming the norm in our society. Each one has its own unique face of evil attached to them. The latest high-profile attack last Monday in Manchester just shows what our free society is up against when thousands of innocent, young teenagers for the most part, were the targets of a very sick group of individuals. Really? What is the point of targeting a bunch of teenagers who were out enjoying a concert? What are you trying to prove? Yes people, we have a bunch of evil cock roaches roaming the earth at the present time and they must be exterminated as soon as possible.

Many of the victims at last week’s concert were young, enthusiastic, music loving teenagers. They are far from being harmful anyone on this earth. Some have probably been counting down the days for this concert put on by a very popular pop singer. It might have been the most anticipated day ever for many of them. The day of the concert arrives and it is a day that nobody wants to end. The concert is great, many do want it to end, then suddenly this happens at the end. Even those who survived the attack will have had their souls destroyed in some way or another. Some will be traumatized for the rest of their lives. Others will have to deal with missing limbs or physical pain for rest of their lives. All of this happened on perhaps a dream day prior to the blast. Suddenly, that dream day turned into a nightmare.

I join my fellow Americans in extending condolences to those poor people over there in the United Kingdom. We are standing with you people. Terrorism is a problem for all of us and we are all united in the fight against it.

It is almost inevitable that an attack such as the Manchester attack will happen here in the United States some day. There are a bunch of evil losers out there who cannot stand a free society. Sadly, many people fails to understand the magnitude of this situation. We need to band together with other countries who value the right to a free and safe environment. These evil thugs who carried out this attack do not deserve the right to live on this earth. Anyone who kills innocent teenagers deserves to go to the deepest and darkest depths of hell.

The epidemic of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome)

It may be your neighbor or perhaps a co-worker, family or very close friend. Maybe you have a Facebook friend or friends who constantly post negative stuff about President Trump. Chances are that you know someone who is quickly becoming affected by this fast sweeping epidemic. It is known as TDS or “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and thousands of people are falling to this mental condition.

Main symptoms include an obsession with wanting our newly elected president removed from office as quickly as possible. You suddenly have this urge to spread your hatred of Trump to others through social media posts on Facebook or Twitter. Never mind that there is very little evidence that Russia helped Trump win the election. You will post and share anything you find fact or fiction. Watching CNN becomes a high priority throughout the day. They are now reporting that President Trump falsely lied about what he had for dinner last night to a curious reporter. Oh the nerve of that guy! He must be, no don’t say it, impeached? Yes, when people start calling for impeachment, such as several idiot politicians have done in the past several days, you know they are in advanced stages of this horrible disease.

With most terrible diseases, there has to be a source which it originates from. Could it possibly be from Trump himself? Does his egotistical, brash nature add to people’s hatred towards him? That could very well be true. The fact that he is a Republican to boot only adds to the hysteria. But I believe the media in this country is more than responsible for creating this derangement syndrome of our newly elected president. I have never seen a president so mistreated by the media in all my days on this earth. It is no secret that many journalists absolutely hate the guy and will do anything in their power to get him removed from office. Log onto many news sites on the internet and you are bound to new a negative story about the president. The positive stories about him get shoved under the rug. It is incredibly biased reporting that only adds fuel to people’s rage.

I have a few questions for those Trump haters who have this disease. If you succeed in pushing Trump out the door, will you be fine with Mike Pence as our president? Or will this start all over again? Sadly, I find many of these outspoken Trump critics surprisingly quiet during the 8 year reign of President Obama. Why? Once again, is it the fact that we have a Republican president now?

Whether this epidemic of hate towards our new president will succeed anytime soon is anyone’s guess. It is highly unlikely that this newly appointed special counsel will find any collusion with Trump’s campaign and Russia. Then what? Will the haters find something else about Trump? In all likelihood, yes, they will. Hopefully those with this condition will get over it fast before they go to their early graves. Instead of spewing so much hate towards Trump, use the same energy to find a candidate that can actually beat him. No, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are not the answers! The best cure is finding a strong candidate who can actually beat Mr. Trump and watching him go down on election day 2020. Until then, the derangement will never end until Trump is out of office. My recommendation for those affected with this disease is chill out, relax and wait until 2020. Life is way too short to lose your mind over some politician or president.

A disturbing trend on college campuses

With the school year on many college campuses pretty much done or drawing to a close for the 2016-2017 year, there is a growing problem that I see happening at many schools in this country. It is about diversity. No, I am not talking about having a proper number of minority students on campus. Most colleges bend over backwards to make sure minorities get accepted and treated well and they deserve to be complimented for that. What I am talking about is the lack of diversity with regards to opinions or tolerance for differing political opinions that students may have. For example, would you even be safe wearing a President Trump “let’s make America great again” hat on many campuses? In my opinion, you would probably receive some form of ridicule or harassment for doing so. God forbid if you are some sort of outspoken conservative on a college campus! You might face the risk of being publicly executed on the college grounds. Many colleges preach about the value of diversity, but when it comes to having a conservative viewpoint, then it is a different story. You must be shut up immediately!

I have seen many stories during the past year about conservative speakers being denied the chance to speak at college campuses. The latest just occurred this week when several students at Notre Dame had an issue with the VP Mike Pence speaking at the commencement address. I have to ask why? What will Vice President Pence say that is so disgraceful to the student who will be receiving their diplomas. I challenge anyone to explain to me why he is such a threat. If I were a student at a university, I would be honored to have such a high-profile speaker speak at my graduation no matter what their political views may be. Students at Cal Berkley protested vigorously on two different occasions when conservatives were set to be guest speakers. These examples are just a growing trend towards what seems to be the lack of acceptance towards those with differing political views on college campuses. And it is not right, period!

College is time when young adults learn much more than just what is inside a particular textbook. They should learn to deal with people, especially those who are different from them. That is part of being successful in a career. Not everyone will share or understand your personal viewpoints on certain things in life. If one of your bosses disagrees with your ideas, are you going to go into a corner and pout? Or demand a separate area so you can be away from a co-worker with whom you disagree? I would hope not! Unfortunately, some students seem to think their views are for everyone, and in the real world, that is not the case. Part of being a good employee when you start work after college is having good people skills and accepting those who have differing opinions. Learning how to listen to those ideas and engaging in a civil discussion is part of being a good employee. What are some college students learning today? It makes you wonder. If you cannot accept those who have differing opinions, you will have a very troubling career after college. Believe me!

Colleges are largely funded with the use of tax-payer funds which should cause even more outrage among those wanting diverse political opinions. When I see my hard-earned money go to schools who refuse to address this issue, I get very angry to say the least. These schools need to be called out and I am glad that some media outlets are stepping to the plate. If my alma mater were one of these schools, I would never send another penny to them. And by the way, I would be saying the same thing if a liberal speaker were denied access to speak.

I know the political climate is very touchy right now especially on college campuses. Much like taking different course will help a student grasp more knowledge, listening to different political viewpoints will also help a student pick up knowledge. Unfortunately, many students these days, and voters I might add, are being denied the right to hear differing political opinions. That is totally unacceptable and disturbing in a country which values freedom of speech.

Life’s biggest mistakes

Many young people will be graduating this month or next month from college and high school and the common theme that I hear at these commencement ceremonies are words of advice for the future. For example, many speakers talk about following your dreams, don’t let anyone tell you that you care not capable of something and so forth. These words of advice are great, but if I had to give some young person some words of advice, one of the first things that I would mention is something that does not seem related, but plays a huge role in your future. That is picking your friends especially who you will eventually settle down with and get married. It is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and one that many people make huge mistakes in doing so.

When a young person graduates, settling into a good career is not necessarily a top priority. Many want to settle down and get married and have a family. They see their friends getting married and want the same thing. I know women who seem to be obsessed with having children right away after finishing school. They want more than anything to fall in love, get married and have children. There is nothing wrong with that except why rush into things? Especially with the wrong person.

That good-looking guy who you have been dating may appear to be the man of your dreams, Never mind the fact that he is a borderline alcoholic. That will change when he gets married. Sadly, it probably will not and Mr. Prince Charming may be your biggest mistake ever who affects you for the rest of your life. He is a thorn in your side that will never go away. You will have a lifetime of hate and bitterness towards him. Many young adults are blinded by who people really are and fail to understand the consequences of carrying out a relationship with them.

I know many want to have children right way after they finish school, but do you really want to be tied down with that awesome responsible? I have seen many women have limited career opportunities because they wanted to have children instead.  In addition, having children with the wrong person can lead to so many hassles and custody fights. It not only affects you but your children as well. Life is way too short to go through that crap. I would strongly urge people to wait and determine if that person is totally right before you have children together. Sometimes, that may mean waiting until you are about 30 years old.

Looking back at my life, some of my biggest mistakes have been with members of the opposite sex. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when I was dating so and so. I often wonder what would have happened if I married one of my exes. What would life be like? Chances are it would be a living hell with a few of them. Back then, I was terrible young and naive about things in life.

I don’t want this post to sound too much like a lecture and I certainly feel most people are smart enough to make their own personal decisions about who they will get involved with. Unfortunately, many young people are influenced by what their friends are doing. Others are downright lonely in life and having a partner seems like a great cure for those ills. When you look back at your life some 30 years later, you may wish that you had the foresight to break up with that charming guy who you knew was not totally right for you. Something was not right. If you are a young adult, just remember that there are plenty of fish in the pond to go fishing in search of that special person. You cannot afford to make that kind of mistake and ruin the rest of your life with bitterness and unhappiness.

The daunting task of repealing Obamacare

House Republicans in Washington passed a new health care law last week giving President Trump one of his biggest victories thus far in his presidency. This bill is meant to replace the existing Obamacare health care bill. Many Republicans ran on the promise that they would replace the very unpopular bill with a new and better one. Whether this bill will next survive in the Senate is anyone ones guess. I am one of those skeptical people who feels this fight may go one for a least a couple of years and perhaps more. It is a never-ending fight that cannot possibly have an outcome that pleases everyone.

One of the biggest challenges facing those who want to repeal the bill is stripping away some of the goodies in the Obamacare law. Sure it is extremely nice to top-notch health care for poor people and seniors, but the way Obamacare is set up, these goodies are paid for average citizens in the country including young, healthy people. Is that really fair? Furthermore, are these goodies, which I are entitlements, sustainable in the future? Is it feasible to continue Medicaid expansion in many states? I see news reports of many people protesting the new health care bill put out by Republicans. People are going around protesting the fact that seniors and poor people will be hurt by this new bill, but nothing could be further from the truth. Poor people and seniors would be hurt more if Obamacare continues and collapses. Then people would be out the streets demanding answers as to why the Republicans did not do anything. It is a no win situation for those wanting to repeal Obamacare which desperately needs some sort of repeal or a major overhaul. Anytime you have an entitlement program that needs fixing or possibly cuts in order to save the program, lies about how seniors and poor people will be affected naturally come out.

One has to wonder what is going to happen, if and when the Democratic party takes over the White House and Congress. Are they going to spend time and effort trying to repeal and replace a potential new Republican health care plan? My gut feeling is they will. Unfortunately, I have a scary feeling that some Democrats will push for a Universal or Single Payer systems which will really screw us over with massive subsidies and tax increases.

As I mentioned in a previous post, it would be great if both parties could sit down and come up with a bi-partisan health care plan, but this will never happen. Reforming health care has become purely partisan  politics which in turn will only hurt us the American people. There are some common sense solutions out there, but many members of Congress are stuck in their own personal belief system on how things should be done. I would roll over in my chair if some Democratic came out and said that we need a better solution to health care reform than Obamacare. As long as we have that deep divide between competing ideologies in Washington, replacing Obamacare might be the toughest bill to ever pass in Congress.