Good for Kanye West

Kanye West is certainly one of the bigger celebrities in this country and maybe the world today. He is a huge icon in the world of pop culture. This week, Kanye committed a mortal sin among his peers when he declared his support on Twitter for President Trump. No say it isn’t so! A famous celebrity is actually throwing his support for President Donald Trump? That is grounds for many years of hard labor isn’t it? I have to take my hat off to Kanye for actually having the balls to come and say what he did. I have gained a lot more respect for the man and I would shake his hand and tell him “atta boy” if he were in this room right now. And the truth is, there are probably many other pop stars who wish they had the courage to come out and offer the same support. Far too many are worried about the backlash that will result if they ever come out and support our president. I guess it is an unwritten rule that celebrities, especially black celebrities, must not support any Republican president. You see, all Republicans are racists.

In one of his tweets, West expressed his desire for people of the black community to be freethinkers. So what is wrong with that? I find it rather puzzling that people of the black community continually support Democrat candidates no matter how bad they are. Why is that? All West is saying is that maybe those members of the community should take a second look at the two parties and decide what is best for them. It is not a crime to go outside the box and vote for a Republican once in a while. Maybe that Republican might have a good plan for getting your kid out of some crappy public school and into some private school where they might get a better education and thus a stronger chance for a better paying job. Or that free market approach that many Republicans preach or should preach will result in less poverty for many in these inner city areas. President Trump is very clear about his desire to help those living in harsh inner city conditions. He wants to uplift people out of those areas. How can somebody not support those ideas?

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why people continually vote for Democrats and their reasons could be seen as being very valid. Some see the Republicans as only being for the rich guys and the wealthy Trump only adds to their beliefs. But my point is, why not branch out and look at what both parties have to offer and most importantly, look at the history of what the two parties have done. I know if a certain party has ruled a particular city for years and poverty continues to increase, it might be time to seek and look for new ideas and maybe a new party to vote for.

I find it extremely disappointing to see this type of backlash against West who is doing and just stating what all Americans should be adhering too. We all need to be freethinkers. Equally disappointing and outlandish is the amount of hate and grief these celebrities get for actually supporting a president who is not “cool”. We need to stop this nonsense and respect others opinions. Threatening someone who does not agree with your political support goes against what this country is all about. I really admire West for his courage and maybe more could speak out against this ridiculous notion that we are not supposed to be freethinkers.

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The sad demise of Bill Cosby

Several years ago, Bill Cosby ruled America. His hit television show “The Cosby Show” was one of the most popular television shows to ever air on prime time television. It was more than just a show about some affluent black family. So many Americans could relate to that family known as the Huxtables. You could say that Bill Cosby was at one time “America’s Dad” I still remember watching the show in my younger years on Thursday nights on NBC.  It was can’t miss television. Cosby might have been one of the most popular celebrities in the country back then. Everyone loved the guy. Flash ahead several years later and look what has happened to the guy known as “America’s Dad. Who could have ever dreamed that one day, Cosby would be convicted on several counts of sexual assault. And several other women have also come forward to accuse Cosby of improper behavior.

The unfortunate part of this whole situation and allegations against Cosby is that he has let down a ton of people who really looked up and admired him. He could have used his vast popularity and fame at the time to become a huge spokesman for certain social issues, especially those concerning the black community. All races loved the guy and how often can that be said? Now, how can anyone take him seriously? His reputation has been tarnished forever.

I guess this really illustrates why no one should get too caught up in falling in love with these celebrities. Fame and popularity are fleeting things. Fame gives us too much power and the thinking that we can control other people through very harsh measures. Those women who are accusing Cosby can attest to that. Cosby came across as some role model dad for millions of people, but deep inside, there was a dark side of him that finally came out. And how many other celebrities seem to have this same problem as Cosby has? This list seems to be growing every day with no end in sight.

At one time, Cosby was this great dad that millions of people dreamed of having. How could we be so fooled? I just hope something good can come out of this very sad story. Maybe some other huge celebrity who is a role model to many people will learn from this story and think twice about engaging in unethical and immoral behavior.

A ridiculous lawsuit by the Democrat party

The  Democratic party filed a lawsuit the other day against both the Russian government and the Trump campaign alleging among other things that they conspired together to help prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the 2016 election. It is being claimed in this lawsuit that Trump’s campaign and the Russians worked together to hack the DNC’S servers thus giving Trump an advantage in the election. Never mind that there is already an ongoing investigation going on for the past 13 months that has produced absolutely ZERO evidence that President Trump did indeed work the Russians to help him win the election. Many Democrats are still to this day convinced that Trump’s win was unethical and should be investigated. This latest move by the party is, not only foolish and a waste of time, but a big act of desperation. The Trump presidency is picking up steam and his popularity is increasing weekly. The odds that a Democratic will win the White House in 2020 are becoming increasing slim. There is no Democratic candidate who even has a remote chance to defeat Trump. The only way Trump does not get re-elected is if he does not run again. This latest stunt by the DNC is just a publicity one designed to hurt Trump in the polls. In the end when all is said and done, it may be the Democrats who will be hurt in the polls.

I know I have said this in previous posts, but why are the Democrats so hell-bent on creating reasons to impeach Trump? In my mind, this is a huge mistake for the party and for our Democratic process. Trump was elected BY THE PEOPLE and he won FAIR AND SQUARE! Suppose enough Democrats and maybe some Republicans garnered enough support to hold impeachment hearings against Trump which resulted in having him removed from office. There is always a possibility that someone with an axe to grind against Trump (and there are many) could come up with some totally bogus false claim or allegation against the president which may stick and be damning. This a very real possibility and scenario. Suddenly, we are in a position where elections do not matter. The president’s fate is determined by members of Congress instead of the American people. Don’t think for a second that the Republicans would not return the favor if a Democratic president were elected.

The Democrats need to move on and forget about this false premise that Trump colluded with the Russians. For starters, maybe they should start looking for a strong candidate who can compete with Trump. Someone who will win the hearts of Americans and come across as a stark contrast to the personality of Trump and his policies. Oh and those Democratic policies. What exactly is their party platform? I assume the next candidate will be against the tax cuts which have been a success so far. Nearly 80 percent of all Americans are seeing a larger paycheck. How do you run against that? Or the fact that Trump seems to be having some foreign policy success unlike some of our more recent presidents. If a Democratic candidate starts accusing Trump of colluding with the Russians or supporting this lawsuit, they will not win my or many others support.

The American people like myself are very interested in what the Democratic platform will be for the next election. We are not interested in hearing the same old tired claims that Trump stoled the election in 2016. President Trump earned his win so lets move on please! Enough of the desperate nonsensical collusion talk and sour grapes! In the end, this lawsuit will only hurt the party.

A PR nightmare for Starbucks

One of the most talked about stories from last week was the incident at a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia when a video surfaced of two black men being arrested and handcuffed by the police for refusing to leave after being told so by a store manager. The store has a policy of no loitering so the manager was just following orders. Of course in this day and age of unbelievable racial sensitivity, this video ignited a wave of outraged that quickly spread. People were quick to call for bans of the coffee shop, protests took place, and now the store is shutting down for a day to have a so-called racial sensitivity training workshop for all of its employees. All of this because some employee had the nerve to follow store rules and ask a couple of people to leave the store. How dare they do that! You have to wonder if this employee who called the police still has a job?

I nor anyone else really knows all the facts regarding this story, but it really does seems pretty clear about what really happened. The video shows a couple of black men being led away by the police in handcuffs and a white dude, who was supposedly there to talk businesses with the gentlemen, ask why they were being escorted out. According to numerous sources, the men were resistant to requests by the manager and to the police. If that is true, why is there so much outrage over this incident? Does a manager not have the right to enforce their policy on loitering or bathroom use by non-customers? I do not care what race you are, you are not above the law and need to respect the rules and laws that businesses have. To me, they seem to be pretty common sense rules. Now all of a sudden, you are a victim if you do not follow those rules, go figure!

Businesses face many challenges these days when it comes to these incidents. Social media can destroy a reputation of any businesses for good. With the easy availability of cell phone cameras, an incident like the coffee shop one can be easily recorded by just about anyone. The worst thing about these incidents is that all the facts are usually not brought to the table. It is assumed that the store or business is guilty of discrimination or profiling without hearing the full story about what happened. Social media is full of misleading information and lies and this story appears to be a prime example.

The CEO of Starbucks is now in total damage control mode and that workshop probably will help erase some of the damage done. Those who will never visit another Starbucks again because of this incident need to wake up and quit being so foolish. Like many huge companies and businesses, Starbucks strongly preaches diversity and tolerance for all people and those who are racially biased against people will not last or should. However, there are rules that need to be enforced, not only for the safety of the employees, but for the store’s customers. It is very unfortunate that an employee’s willingness to follow store’s customer policies has resulted in such a firestorm. But it is now the world which we live in. Those who try to uphold rules are now racist people. When is this madness going to stop?

The challenge of middle-aged dating

One of the reasons that I would love to be in my 20’s again is the fact that dating is so much easier and less complicated. If you do not look like a monster, have a job and seem to be a fairly nice person, you will probably get many chances to meet members of the opposite sex. Those chances seem to diminish as you get older. By the time you reach your late 30’s, you are dealing with bunch of bitter, hurt people who view dating as something they are obligated to do whether they like it or not. Yes, if you find yourself suddenly single at age 40, dating is not as easy as you may think it is. It is not as easy as just snapping your fingers and finding that next flame. It poses may challenges that catches many off guard.

Dating sites are filled with tons of people who fall into the category of recently divorced. And many of them just happen to be middle-aged. I don’t know about other singles, but I approach a woman who has been recently divorced with extreme caution. Are they indeed ready to date again? Whether that anger or breakup will affect a potential relationship are all questions that run through my mind. Maybe they are just using me to get back at their ex. Or worst yet, I have feelings that eventually they will get back together and I will be left out in the cold.

Children and especially young children are another challenge that people face when entering the dating scene during middle-aged years. You feel like you are not only dating them, but their kids as well. Most singles in their 20’s do not have these issues. You wonder how their children perceive you. Some are so traumatized over a divorce that they cannot accept another person entering their parent’s life. Sometimes you get attached to a young child or children of whom you’re dating. Then suddenly the relationship ends and you feel like you are breaking up with numerous people. That only intensifies the pain of a relationship ending.

Many middle-aged people are extremely stuck in their own ways and lifestyles. They have been living a certain way for so long and relationships can force a slight lifestyle change. Suddenly that weekly golf outing with the guys becomes less frequent because you are in a deep relationship with someone. Most people talk about how lonely they are, but they are not willing to give up some freedom that might result from being in a relationship.

Lastly, there are the careers and time issues to consider. Many singles in their 40’s are very invested in their jobs and careers, probably more so than when they were younger. Dating takes a lot of time and energy for someone who is slowly losing that energy. With that new person in your life, your time that you spent relaxing and sleeping on the weekends might just go away. Can you afford that?

Do not come away thinking that I am some bitter middle-aged single myself. I think the maturity level among singles in that age demographic results in a better understanding on how to make relationships work. Many have met the love of their lives in their middle ages or even longer. But there are definite challenges that lie ahead anyone who is thinking about jumping back into the dating scene again.

Don’t blame Facebook

The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, was summoned to appear before Congress this past week to address some rather troubling issues regarding his mammoth social media site. A firm called Cambridge Analytica apparently gathered private information from millions of users in an effort to help then presidential candidate, Donald Trump in his election bid. This revelation has caused massive uproar among many Facebook users as being very unethical. Of course lets not forget that former President Barack Obama used the same firm to gather info on the voting public, yet his use of the firm was deemed to be the best idea ever. Regardless, the fact that an outside firm was able to gather data from so many Facebook users has many people on edge over how safe their personal information is on that site. Zuckerberg not only was grilled on that issue, but many others including the Russians using the site to run political ads and political bias in general. Some lawmakers accused Zuckerberg and his clan as being biased against people who have conservative political views. Many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are now calling for stricter regulations on social media sites like Facebook.

As much as I hate to say this, I have to somewhat defend Mr. Z on some of these issues. Whenever you join a huge social media website like Facebook, you are putting YOUR OWN privacy at risk. Nobody points a gun to our head and forces you to fill out all the information on your profile page. You can pick and choice what information is made public, what is viewed only by your friends and so on. There are settings designed for that purpose. Many Facebook users have a total lack of understanding on how to use settings to protect their information. You are basically swimming at your own risk when you dive into a website like Facebook. What is Zuckerberg and his clan suppose to do about that? It is not his fault that people do not understand how their personal information could be used by some of these firms.

You could argue that Facebook could do more to help stop foreign agencies like those from Russia from running political ads. I cannot disagree with that. Someone at the corporate office has to raise a red flag when an ad has an ISP address from a foreign country. The fact is those ads probably have very little influence on who wins elections. I am not influenced a bit by what I read or see on Facebook. My mind has already been made up. If I have to go on some social media website to gather information about a candidate, then maybe I should just stay home and not vote. There are far greater sources to gather information about those running for office than ads, posts or stories on Facebook. One has to question exactly how many of them are true anyways. I would not recommend buying into much of the political propaganda that you see on Facebook.

There has been some talk about certain political bias on Facebook and that has been confirmed. I find it hard to believe that it is a huge problem though. In the 10 plus years that I have been on that site, I have never had any issues with them censoring any post or comment that I make. I admit that some of the discussions can get rather out of hand at times, but that is the nature of the beast on social media. There are many good comments from both sides of the aisle on many topics. I do think that Facebook in general gives a fair opportunity for all viewpoints. I know Zuckerberg and staff do favor a certain ideology which is fine with me. Censoring speech for a completely different viewpoint would be an extremely foolish business decision. I think Mr. Z is a little wiser than that.

If you are extremely paranoid about having your personal date used, then maybe you should just live in secret on some remote island in the Pacific Ocean. Facebook is a great social media site and I look for it to get even better in the next few years. It is hard for Zuckerberg and his staff to babysit millions of people who cannot figure out how to use a few simple settings. The first step in regulating Facebook starts with the user. They have to take responsibility in how to use social media sites properly and be savvy enough to understand some of the downfalls.

The pleasure (or not) of watching golf on television

For those hardcore avid golfers like myself, this week is a week that we circle on our calendars. It is Masters week. The Master’s golf tournament is one of my 5 favorite sporting events to watch during the year. Of course, it really helps to have a passion for the game as well. I just love the tradition of the tournament along with the spectacular scenery of the course. It is like a shot out of heaven! Many others seem to share my same enthusiasm, even those who do not golf. The Masters is typically one of the highest rated sporting events during the year.

I know many people would rather watch paint dry in their living room than get stuck watching golf. I certainly understand that mind-set. Watching golf is not like watching a football or basketball game. It is a very tranquil event with the only noise happening if someone makes a spectacular shot or sinks a long putt for a birdie. There are very few jaw dropping defining plays that make you gasp in amazement over their athletic ability. The athleticism in golf pales in comparison to other sports. Those facts drive many people away from watching the game.

I find watching golf fascinating on television fascinating for several reason, not just I happen to play the sport. There is a ton of unpredictability that very few sports have. How many of you had Patrick Reed winning the Masters in your Masters pool? Last weekend, I just so happened to watch some woman come out of nowhere to win some major championship in the playoff. It was one of the most exciting tournaments I have ever seen, men or women. The PGA has so many good young players these days. With Tiger Woods coming back, it makes the sport even better.

Very seldom do you ever see some player just run off with a particular tournament. Many of these televised tournaments are absolute dog fights. A tightly contested sporting event is an absolute pleasure to watch. Making it even better is seeing some unknown in contention to win the tournament; a frequent occurrence these days on the Tour. The drama of these tournaments should attract even the casual or non golf fan.

Even if you do not understand the game itself, you have to sit there and marvel at the beauty of some of these course. Watching tournaments such as the Masters and Pebble Beach make me want to get a plane ticket and visit those areas. They are breathtakingly beautiful places to have beaming on my television set.

Another interesting thing to watch besides the layout of the course is wardrobe of many of the players. I know many women and some men love to watch the new style in clothing of many of these players. So even if you do not understand the game and your mate is watching intently, you can still enjoy watching the sites of the tournament.

Golf and television go hand in hand very well. There are very few sports that I would rather watch on television and golf is one of them. It is like watching 4 football games at once. The golf teams do a great job of jumping around in their coverage from one hole to the next. I have to admit that some of the announcers are rather annoying, but many bring very good insight as to what is happening during play.

Oh and one more thing, is there any sport that you can take a nice long nap too? The crowd noise as well as the screaming announcers at a football and basketball game never seem to help me with my sleep. On the other hand, I can fall asleep to the soft whispers of hearing Jim Nantz describe the action.

Golf might be the least appreciated sport that is televised. Sure I would rather play than watch, but I find the game becoming more interesting to watch every week. This seems to be a golden era for the game of golf and hopefully will continue for years to come. The television coverage seems to continue to get better as well.