It was less than a year ago when many, including myself, began to wonder if the prospect of a nuclear war was about to become real. North Korea was shooting rockets non-stop over neighboring countries and basically sticking their middle finger at the rest of the world. It was scary to think that some madman was leading a country with nuclear weapons. Insults between President Trump and this madman leader were constant and continuous. The future of the world did not look bright at that time. Now flashback to last Tuesday. Seeing these two leaders shake hands and have a friendly meeting certainly has eased any concerns and is certainly a huge step in enhancing world peace for the short-term future. Whether this suddenly new pleasant relationship between Trump and Kim Jong-Un stay pleasant and lead to bigger and better things down the road is any ones guess at this time. But it certainly is a great sign and a nice win for President Trump.
Why Kim Jong-un is agreeing to become a denuclearized country has been a huge topic of discussion in talk shows. The common belief is that those sanctions against his country are working and Jong-un is a desperate leader with his regime about to tumble. I certainly believe this to be true, but I also believe that we did a masterful job of convincing Kim Jong-un of the long term benefits of having a denuclearized state. In exchange, we would help with their economy and tap into the potential of a stronger and vibrant quality of life for the North Koreans. What struggling country would not want that? I strongly believe that unlike his predecessors, Kim Jong-un is fascinated by the western way of life and yearns for his country to have the same economic success of many western states such as the United States.
Getting rid of nuclear weapons is certainly a huge sign that North Korea is willing to keep this bargain alive, but there are other things this rogue nation must also agree to. Something that is not talked about enough is the huge number of human rights violations that are going on in the country. The crimes against their own people is staggering. There are a huge number of political prisoners who are being tortured and severely being mistreated for being against Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship. This fact about North Korea should also be addressed in any talks. We should not help any country that treats their people in a inhumane way.
Sadly, many of the Trump haters out there are downplaying this meeting. Some have foolishly said that Trump was taken to the cleaners by Kim Jong-un. Whether you like President Trump or not, you have to give him credit for at least trying to make this world a much safer place to live. He is doing what few presidents would even think of doing. I have to give him a huge amount of credit for meeting with Kim Jong-un. I also give him a ton of credit for not being a weak world leader like the last President was. Sometimes peace is only accomplish through strength. We are looked upon again as a strong world leader who will not back down to rogue states. Kim Jong-un is appearing to find that out and that might just be a good thing for future generations of people in this world.
It is becoming more and more rare for a professional sports team to have a dynasty these days. Just winning back to back championships is rare enough. Free agency splits many teams apart. There is more parity in professional sports now than ever before. Which makes what Golden State is currently doing in the NBA even more remarkable. The Warriors are building a dynasty that is unlike any that we have recently seen. The other night, they won their 3rd championship in 4 years and you can bet that many more are on the way. If you are an avid Golden State fan, you are feeling pretty good right now about your squad. Who is going to knock them off?
If there was going to be a year when the Warriors were vulnerable, it was this year. I had some serious doubts whether they could win this year’s title. Flash back to late March, early April when they only won 7 out of 17 games and limped to the playoffs. Did anyone belief in them back then? Or during the Houston series when they trailed in both game 6 and 7 by double digits at halftime. A mark of a great team is the ability to handle injuries and adversary and the Warriors did just that this season. It was not their best overall season by far in this 4 year stretch by they battled and won when it counted.
The core players of Golden State are just reaching their prime. That is the scary part of this team. They could easily win 3 more championships in a row. The only thing that may derail this awesome team is injuries, but they are so deep in talent that it might take a lot more than just injuries to stop this team.
I see a couple of teams who might just have the ability to dethrone Golden State right now. It can be argued that Houston could have knocked them off if Chris Paul did not get hurt this year. Another team that may give them fits in a potential championship series next year is Boston. Imagine if Boston comes back healthy with all of their players next year? And lets not forget the LeBron factor in the off-season. If LeBron is really serious about winning a championship next year, he will look at signing with Houston in the off-season. If that happened, I believe Houston would be strong favorites to win the title next year. But in all reality, the only team that seems to be able to dethrone Golden State is the Golden State Warriors themselves. They are one of the best teams that I have ever seen, not only in the NBA, but in any professional sport.
It started several years ago during the Reagan administration when newly crowned champion professional sports and college teams were invited by the president to visit the White House. Now that honor seems to be dying a slow death with several professional teams in recent months declining because a few players are not happy with the individual who holds the highest honor in the White House. It seems that many of those champion athletes cannot come to grips that someone, who holds different political beliefs than them is running the country, so they decline the invitations. Just another sign on how divided this country is slowly becoming.
I am by no means a professional athlete, but I would relish the opportunity to visit the White House no matter who the president happened to be. How many people in their lifetime can say that they had the chance to visit the White House and visit the most powerful man in the country? An extremely small percentage of people living in this country can say that. It would be one of the most memorable moments of my entire life. I could tell my grandchildren that on a certain day, I was there at the White House visiting the president. And more than likely, I could show my loved ones pictures and videos of my visit. It would be a moment that I would cherish forever.
It seems that the athlete of today does not think that way at all. It is more about going with the false belief that the president is a racist and does not stand up for certain minority groups. Many of the players are not happy with president wanting players to stand up for the national anthem and pay some respect for this country. I believe that many are just caving into peer pressure by a few teammates who are very vocal about President Trump’s policies. Many players probably are willing to go, but do not want to be seen as an outsider on a team.
I personally am not hurt if my favorite team does not visit the White House after a championship. It is up to them as a team to decide. I am just a fan who does not make those decisions. However, it upsets me that these visits are becoming more and more about the political makeup of the team and nothing else. Maybe these players should look at these potential visits as more than just meeting someone they just so happen to disagree with politically. It is a chance of a lifetime to do something that will carry lifetime memories, maybe even just as much as winning a championship. Sadly those days appear to be gone forever. Maybe future presidents should just stop these invitations. Why bother when you got a bunch of crybabies who cannot respect the White House and the people who run this country?
A large controversy erupted this week when comedian Roseanne Barr, who is a very vocal pro President Donald Trump supporter, said something rather degrading things on Twitter about former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett. The comments were very distasteful and racist in nature and in this blogger’s opinion, she deserved the ensuing heat that she got. Her new show on ABC was quickly canceled. Thankfully, Barr delivered a much-needed apology to Jarrett which many on the left still cannot accept. Apparently Barr does not realize that it is a mortal sin to say degrading comments towards anyone who is a leftist, which Jarrett is. An apology is not enough; Barr should have been sent to prison for the rest of her life!
A few months ago on the same network, a bunch of ladies on a show called “The View” were talking about Vice President Mike Pence and the subject of Christianity and Pence’s faith were brought up. One of the ladies went so far as to describe people of the Christian faith as having some sort of mental illness. This woman in effect insulted and mocked millions of Christians throughout the country and world. Was the show canceled much like Barr’s show was? Absolutely not! Why? Because we now live in a world of double standards when it comes to saying degrading things about race or religion. Imagine if that woman had said that about a person who practices the Muslim religion? Don’t think for a moment that they would not have canceled the show. In this day and age, it is alright to mock a person who practices the Christian faith, but not someone who practices the Muslim religion.
A few days after Barr’s comments, a comedian on a cable network said some rather distasteful things about our first lady. I am still waiting to see if that show will be canceled, but I am not holding my breath. This is another double standard in our society. It is alright to mock and ridicule anyone who is a Republican or Conservative, but not a Democrat or liberal. President Trump is fair game for degrading comments and insults, but not Barack Obama.
Had Roseanne Barr made those same comments about Mrs. Trump, she would have been hailed a hero by many in the media and her show would still be on. But Roseanne picked on the wrong person and she is paying the price for a very obvious double standard that goes on when it comes to controversial statements by celebrities. The thing is that all degrading statements about people should be treated equally. Unfortunately, people like Roseanne just found out about the very unfair rules in the media these days.
A few weeks ago, the Federal Supreme Court ruled that all states now have the right to regulate sports betting. This ruling pretty much paves the way for a huge increase in sports betting for this country. You do not have to travel to Las Vegas or New Jersey to legally bet on sports anymore. Many people have praised this decision as a way to generate tons of new revenue in many states. One famous owner even stated that the value of many sports teams will automatically double. Is in an increase in sports betting and gambling such a good thing though?
Many of us, including yours truly, have been betting on sports for years albeit illegally. I have participated and won money in office pools for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The amount I put down is very small, but in the end, my winnings will be in some cases 50 times more. Without these office pools, the NCAA tournament would not even be a 1/10 of what it is today. How many people really give a hoot about college basketball? But when you throw in the gambling and betting, the interest in the tournament spikes dramatically.
The same can be said about other sports. Pro football is as popular today as it ever has been due to betting and fantasy football. There is little doubt in my mind that this new ruling can only pay strong dividends to the already strong professional sport of football. I see some of the lesser popular sports benefiting from more betting as well. Two sports that would really be helped are auto racing and golf. Auto racing is largely a regional sport, but imagine how much more popular it would be if more people bet on who would win the weekly NASCAR races? To really sum it up, all sports would greatly benefit. Many sports are already very popular and with less restrictions on betting, I can only see the popularity of sports really booming in this country.
Having said those things, is a big increase in gambling and betting really such a good thing in our society? I love the fact that more sports betting and gambling businesses will pop up and more jobs and revenue will be created for many states. My concern is if this a healthy lifestyle for people. Gambling is a serious problem for many in this country and many folks have had their lives ruined by excessive gambling. Throw in more opportunities to gamble and we could be seeing a new gambling crisis come about in this country. More gambling can lead to more scandals and crime. It is very likely that some players will get involved and that could create many headaches for the sports leagues. Big time scandals could ruin some of the major sports leagues.
While it appears on the surface that an increase in sports betting will be a great thing, I am not sure if the increase in gambling will be such a positive thing for our country. There are many cons to consider as well when you talk about increasing gambling. The jury is still out on how much of impact this will have on our country. I am definitely one of those who sees both sides of how this might impact our country. Sometimes things that appear to be a gold mine turn out to be a nightmare. Will more legalized sports betting be a great thing? Only time will tell.