Trump vs. Kim Jong Un

Forget about the WWE, if you want a real-time feud these days, just turn on the news and chances are you will hear about the latest war of words between President Trump and the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Both men have very unique, stubborn personalities and this feud will intensify in the upcoming weeks. Unfortunately for this country, it may mean military action against a leader who has basically stuck his middle finger out against the world. Finally, there is a leader who is willing to stand up to him and how this feud will end is anyone’s guess. One thing is for certain, Kim Jong Un is a very dangerous man and the world might be a better place without him in power.

One of the scary things about this whole story is the fact that some nut case like Kim Jong Un has the capability to have nuclear weapons and this fact should send shivers to anyone living in this country or any ally of the United States. There are probably several other rogue leaders who would not think twice about sending some missile our way which could cause massive casualties. The fact that leaders of these rogue nations have that capability is very concerning to say the least. In the near future, those capabilities will only get stronger as well as our risk of being attacked.

Some people claim that President Trump should tone down his rhetoric towards North Korea and Kim Jong Un. I completely disagree. It is refreshing to finally see our President take a harsh stand against one of our biggest enemies. A strong leader will stand up for us and our allies when some head case wants to do harm to innocent people. Why people are outraged over his statements is simply appalling. Leading from the front is what we should expect from our nation. Former President Ronald Reagan was the same way. He was not afraid to confront our enemies and our country was safer because of it.

I also find it ridiculous to be extremely concerned whether Trump has the mental capacity to handle this foreign crisis. Not only does he, but his team of advisors is very experienced and knowledgeable in foreign affairs. I have the utmost confidence in this group of people in making good and wise decisions in the best interests of the nation and world.

North Korea and Kim Jong Un has been a problem for far too long and it is time for him to face the music. We cannot tolerate his evil and disrespectful ways any longer. I have to give the Trump administration credit for trying to do a job other administrations have by-passed. North Korea is a problem that has to be dealt with now before it is too late.

A tragic and very predictable event in Charlottesville

Yesterday’s violence at a white nationalist protest march has certainly created a lot of buzz during the last 24 hours. A member of that white nationalist group drove his car into a group of anti-protesters killing one woman. Several people were injured during the attack. A helicopter manned by members of the state patrol crashed and unfortunately, a few law enforcement personal were killed. It is indeed a very dark day in Virginia and the sad reality is that this event was bound to happen given the current divisive climate in this country. Apparently the racism and hate of the 60’s is coming back with a vengeance in this country with no end in sight.

President Trump made a statement about the event that has apparently rubbed some people the wrong way. He blamed both sides for creating the violence and I cannot disagree with him. We all know what the KKK and white supremacist groups are all about. They are about racism and hate. In their twisted view of the world, a person should be disqualified from certain things for the color of their skin. Nothing more could be more ridiculous than their views. However, in recent years, I have noticed the totally opposite views being applied to white people and that is equally ridiculous. For instance, some people have labeled middle-aged white men like myself the problem in this country. Professors in our colleges have been teaching students about the evils of white people. Radical groups like “Black Lives Matter” have been protesting in the streets calling for the killings of white police officers. These examples only add fuel to our racism problems. I have often feared what would happen if some of these white supremacist members showed up at a BLM march or visa versa. Yesterday, my worst fears came through.

After yesterday’s attack, there was plenty of finger-pointing going on. Naturally much of the blame was tied to the white supremacists who many have tied in to a typical Trump voter. The truth is, this problem runs much deeper than a bunch of angry and bigoted racist hate groups. Trump is absolutely right, racism has many sides to it and placing the blame on one particular group is just not right. There are many groups who are stirring this hate and divisiveness. Finger pointing is not going to solve this problem, only cause it to become deeper.

Imagine what other countries must think when they see this type of violence and lack of unity. Our enemies must be gleaming with joy. I have a sad feeling that this event is only the beginning. What is it going to take for people in this country to start respecting other people? Yesterday was a serious black mark on our nation. We can do better and we must!

A sports record that will never be broken

In sports, team or individual, there are many records. Most records eventually get broken at some time or another. For instance, a good basketball player may average 30 points a game and set all kinds of scoring records during his career, however, there is always somebody, years later, who will eclipse that record. It happens all the time in sports. Very few records are safe. Since this is a big week in the world of golf with another major tournament taking place next weekend, the PGA, there is a sports record that will probably never be broken; that is the number of majors won by Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus won 18 majors and in my opinion, that is a sports record that I find hard anyone will ever top. In fact, nobody will probably even come close to it.

About 10 years ago, it seemed inevitable that Tiger Woods would top that mark. Woods dominated the game of golf like very few have and it was not a question of if he would beat Nicklaus’s record but when. As a fan myself, I thought Woods would easily win at least 20 majors, maybe more. Injuries caught up with him and he has not competed since and it is highly unlikely that Woods will ever contend again in a major championship. Woods currently has 14 major championships and that is quite an accomplishment in itself.

Of the current tour players, there might be a few who are capable of getting up to 10 major wins, but topping Tiger’s 14 or Jack’s 18 seems to be a rather long shot these days. There are simply too many good players on the professional tour these days. In order to win 18 majors, you have to average at least 1 major per year for 18 years, roughly the average competive span that a golfer has to win a major. A player has to remain extremely consistent with his game for a long period of time and that is not likely with many players. Many feel that Jordan Spieth has an excellent chance of reaching that mark. He is one of the youngest ever to win 3 majors, but will he remain injury free and consistent with his game in the next decade? The same goes with Rory McIlroy. About 5 years ago, he was well on his way to catching Woods or even getting close to Nicklaus, but injuries have hurt him in recent years. As many know who follow golf, any little injury can have grave consequences to a golfer.

The PGA is blessed with many fine young golfers who will win majors, but the days of having one golfer dominate like Woods and Nicklaus are probably over. It would have been great to see Woods compete against some of these great young players. Any tour player who wins maybe 10 majors these days is doing something incredible. I just don’t see anyone topping Woods 14 majors or Nicklaus’s 18 wins. It is a new era of golf and winning major championships are becoming more and more difficult. For now, it just seems extremely unlikely that any player will ever come close to Nicklaus’s 18 major mark. That is one sports record that will almost certainly never be broken.

Lessons to be learned from Venezuela

Lost in the ever ending news about politics in this country is a rather tragic story from a country located a rather short distance south of the United States. That country would be Venezuela in South America, a country rich in oil reserves. You would figure that any country blessed in those vast resources would prosper and its citizens would be the beneficiary of those resources. Well that is not the case these days in that country. There is great unrest taking place in the streets. The government is corrupted. Inflation is headed out of control as is the crime rate. How could this happen especially considering Venezuela is considered a very socialist country? I thought any socialist country was supposed to be some big happy utopian place of happiness and joy? As it turns out, that is not the case and these latest developments only support my theory that socialism is a huge scam. Other socialist countries have gone through the same problems. Remember Greece anyone? Scandinavian socialist countries such as Sweden and Norway only have become to prosper when free market ideas were installed.

One of the things that I really worry about is the future of this country. What will be like in 30 years from now? It seems like we are headed towards some socialist type of big government. Many young people feel that socialism is very compassionate and will go a long ways in helping bridge the gap between the haves and the have nots in the United States. There are many who are in love with a socialist candidate who ran for the president. Maybe these delusional people ought to look at the country just south of here and tell me how that socialism is working out.

I have long been a huge critic of socialism for many reasons. At the top of the list is the fact that it totally takes away many incentives from people. What incentive is there for me to go to college, study hard, get a good job and then have much of my income go towards supporting some huge public welfare state? Suppose I run a business; what incentive do I have to make a profit when the government determines what I should or should not keep. To me, this type of ideology goes against human nature. The more an individual is in control, the harder they will try.

Another huge reason why do not support socialism is the idea of having a huge government-run by a large number of bureaucrats is a recipe for disaster! Venezuela is rocked by government corruption and that is typical for any huge government. Imagine if our country had a large socialist government. Take for instance health care. Suppose there were few, if not any insurance companies, in this country. The Federal government would call all the shots pertaining to our health care. I would have a hard time believing that would be a well run machine. There would be tons of regulation and confusion to deal with. Having just a few in power making these decisions is not the way to go.

A final reason why I do not agree with socialism is it is simply not sustainable. Eventually, there will not be enough money to pay for all those free programs. Then what will happen? People will not understand why their entitlements are being cut back and all hell will break loose. As they say about socialism, “It is great until you run out of other people’s money”.

I just hope that people will wake up in this country, especially some millennials who are so in love with socialism. That type of ideology strongly goes against what makes our country great. We prosper as a nation when free market principles are applied and applied correctly. Giving everyone a fair shot at success and leaving it up to us is what we should strive for as a country. Socialism takes away the freedom to make choices and that is not what our country is about. Venezuela is exhibit A on why socialism does not and will never work. We need to learn from that country so our future is not ruined.

The sad demise of O.J. Simpson

Many years ago, O.J. Simpson was a huge icon is this country. He was a star football player in college and is, without a doubt, one of the greatest NFL players to have ever played the game. On top of that, he had this certain kind of charisma that made him such a huge celebrity. There have been many great athletes in the past, but very few had that charm that Simpson had. He was a hit on television and in commercials. You could say that O.J. was what they call a very marketable athlete. He might have been one of the biggest icons in the history of this country. I was too young to really remember him during those days, but I have heard plenty about his football and television career. Sadly, many people will not remember Simpson for those things. He will be remembered more for that police chase on national television in a white Bronco and his alleged killing of his wife and wife’s friend. You could say that his demise might be the biggest of any celebrity ever in this country.

Simpson was extremely lucky to get acquitted for those killings. I remember that trial some 22 years ago like it was yesterday. It was the trial of the century. Imagine if we had the level of social media that we have now? The trial seemed to last forever. Finally the day came when the verdict was reached. I think I joined with many over how shocked I was when he was found not guilty. O.J. was now a free man and maybe he could just ride off into the sunset and get his life back together. Or at least I thought. He was involved in an incident in Nevada a decade later and was back in prison. When I was watching his parole hearing last Thursday and seeing his reaction to the board’s decision to release his him this October, it struck me how far this guy has fallen. He was extremely joyful just to be free for crying out loud! He used to be some sort of celebrity God in this country. Now he is just some convict who got his wish. How the mighty have fallen!

If we can learn anything from Simpson’s life is this; the man had a serious anger problem. And he is not the first person who has this kind of problem. It affects many individuals and ruins their lives.  Prison is filled with countless men and women who could not control their anger and it cost them dearly. Many have lost promising careers because they could not deal with their anger. Or they end up losing loved ones.  The sad thing is many people simply deny the fact that they have anger issues that need to be dealt with. O.J. is a classic example. It is very obvious that his anger issues got the best of him. We will never know what happened with his wife. I can only speculate but it would be reasonable to assume that his anger got the best of him. That anger cost him greatly in so many ways. The hotel incident in Nevada is another example. Now Simpson is a free man but has he learned his lesson?

What is next for Simpson? I have no idea. I believe everyone deserves a second chance and perhaps he has changed his life around and gotten help with his anger issues. Maybe he can continue his search for his late wife’s killer. Chances are somebody like a Megan Kelly would want to interview him. I would greatly respect him if he came clean and talked as a warning to others about some of the demons that got the best of him and ruined his life.

It seems as though Simpson had two lives. The first one was the great, charming celebrity and football player that he was. The second one was some alleged killer and madman. Unfortunately for him, his legacy will forever be linked to the trial of the century rather than his exploits on the football field. It does not appear that will ever change. I cannot recall a greater demise ever of any famous celebrity in this country. He went from being a golden boy saint to an evil, dark person in just a few days back in 1994. He will always carry that evil label with him for the rest of his life.

 

The bizarre police shooting of an Australian woman

There are certain news stories that happen which make absolutely no sense. Your first inclination is to ask why? why did this happen? You want more and more information regarding the story. This is very typical of the many high-profile police shootings that have been garnering our attention as of late. Why did an unarmed person end up getting killed by the police? Usually the answer comes up shortly after the event occurs. Information comes up that explains why the officer involved took the action and it makes perfect sense. The recent police shooting in Minnesota of a woman who recently moved to the United States from Australia makes absolutely no sense at all. The woman who was killed by the police just got done calling 911 to report a suspicious activity in the alley near her home. Shortly after the call, she stepped outside to talk to the police officers on the scene. While talking to the driver of the squad car, the second officer in the passenger seat shot the woman and she later died. Yes, he shot over his partner and hit the woman. It is a huge mystery as to why this officer took the actions he did. An innocent woman who was just doing her duties as a citizen was shot dead by the police.

One of the odd things about this tragic event is the fact that the police officer just happened to be a Somalian immigrant who felt it was his calling to become an officer. The woman was Caucasian. Imagine for a second if the officer were white and the unarmed person who was shot just so happened to be the Somalian? There was definitely some outrage over this incident, but I cannot imagine the outrage that would have taken place had the woman not been white. I did not see many people marching in the streets or blocking freeways to protest this shooting. This event further illustrates my theory that these protesters like to cheery pick what they will protest and get outraged about. Unfortunately, it is always about race and that is just not right! If you are going to scream about justice for the police, it is justice for all, white or black.

With the rise of social media, there are many people out there who know exactly what happened without having all the evidence in front of them. The biggest theory floating out there is the woman was shot because she ran outside in her nightgown and the officer shot her because she went against his religious beliefs pertaining to women. The woman was not properly clothed in public, therefore, she must die. It is a sad reality that many are blaming Muslims with this event, yet there is very evidence that this theory led to the shooting. In fact, I find that theory to be rather ridiculous. I highly doubt anyone who has that lack of tolerance for people would come anywhere close to becoming an officer. I am sure that many facts will come out in the next few weeks, but until then, let’s just stop the stupid speculations.

In light of another highly publicized police shooting in the area just last summer, there are many who are angry and wondering why did this happen. I can fully understand. Our tax dollars go to these officers so  they can protect and serve us. When an innocent person ends up getting shot, answers need to happen and happen fast. Sadly. this is not the case with this event. The police chief of the city involved was forced to resign just a few days ago. Perhaps more city leaders should follow including the mayor. There is absolutely no excuse for this to happen. For the most part, officers do a great job of protecting us and keeping our streets safe. However, a shooting like this should raise some serious questions about the training of our officers. One event like this is one too many. An innocent person who simply calls 911 to report a crime or suspicious activity does not deserve to die. This is a serious black eye on the city of Minneapolis and we the public deserve some answers.

Being married to yourself

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine concerning his new adventures with being single. After experiencing the heartbreak of going through a divorce, my friend decided it was time to get back into the dating scene and perhaps meet another special lady who will be a better fit for him. I asked him how things were going with his online singles site and he gave me a very fascinating response; “You know Mark, I was assuming that this site consisted of all single people, but instead, many of the ladies are married.” Huh? How can that be? Why would a singles site have a bunch of married people? I know it happens on occasion that some disgruntled still married individual will use a dating site to find an escape to an unhappy marriage, but is it really true there are that many? “Well Mark, so many are married to themselves” Oh I get it! And he hit it right on the head. Sometimes you have to wonder how serious some of these members are about meeting that someone special. A heavy challenge that people who sign up for these sites face is weeding out those who are basically married to themselves.

Normally if a person is said to be married, they have a union with a member of the opposite sex. There is some crazy new thing called sologamy which is indeed being married to yourself, but for the time being, lets talk about why some people are actually married to themselves without really being aware of it.

I have experienced the dating scene myself and I know exactly what my friend is talking about. When I meet someone for the first time, I wonder in my mind about how serious they are to really get to know me. One of my last dates was a prime example. Her lifestyle seemed to be perfect. She had a good job, lots of good friends and hobbies, and her schedule was always filled with fun. She appeared to really be married to her life. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but exactly where do I fit in if we happened to develop a relationship. Would that perfect lifestyle which she seems adore but affected by having me suddenly be a part of it?

I have to admit that how my life would be affected came up as well. I must confess that I am somewhat married to myself and my life as well. Would I have enough free time to go golfing on the weekends or spend time at the lake during the summers if we became a couple. What would she think about my lifestyle and what would I have to give up? I love my freedom as single, but somehow, I keep thinking in the back of my head that freedom will suddenly disappear if I get involved in a relationship.

Most people who join dating sites are aware of these or how attached or once again married to themselves and their lives. Going from being single to in a relationship can be a rather huge adjustment. Maybe you just want to chill on a Saturday after a long work week. Instead, you are forced to travel many miles to see her family who are people who you find rather annoying. Or maybe you will be forced to missed that important ball game because your partner wants to go see her niece in some play at the theater.

Most relationship experts would probably agree with 100 percent. In order to have a fulfilling and satisfying relationship with someone, you must first get a divorce. And that would be from yourself. Sometimes I wonder how many single people on those many dating sites are actually willing to get that divorce and get married the proper way as a union with someone else. The longer you are single, the harder that divorce from yourself might be. But in the long run, it might be well worth it.