The great thing about being single during the Christmas season

For many singles, the Christmas season is a rather depressing time. You attend family and social functions and you see many couples seemingly happy together. It dawns on you that something is missing in your life and that sad feeling of loneliness starts to set in. As someone without a significant other at the present time, I full well know the feeling. However, I also look at being single during the holiday season as a break from a major amount of stress that comes from being in a relationship at this time. At least I will not have many sleepless nights trying to decide what to get my gal for Christmas!

If you are in a relationship with someone right now, the most important gift that you will shop for this season will be that one for your special gal or guy. It is not even close! You can strikeout with some family member, but not so much with your sweetheart. She or he might just serve you your walking papers by New Years if you buy some bad gift. I personally know many high maintenance women who will not accept anything less than the best and a lot of the best! I just cannot imagine the stress their poor boyfriends and husbands are going through!

The big question is what and how much to spend on someone with whom you are currently dating. I have always thought that being creative and buying the unexpected gifts is the best way to go. Maybe you remember hearing your gal say that she loves these special type of ornaments during a shopping trip last September. Imagine the surprise that will come across her face as she opens that gift? Remembering those little details can go a long ways in building a great relationship. And you don’t necessarily have to break your banking account to buy a great gift. But it is not a bad idea to splurge a little to show her or him how special they really are.

I know with Christmas just a few weeks away, many couples are wrestling with ideas and I do not envy them at all. Buying that special someone a gift might be the most pressure you will ever feel during the Christmas season. When you are single and unattached, that pressure is completely gone and your Christmas shopping is a relative breeze. But deep down, don’t you miss feeling that pressure? And better yet, the reaction on their face when they receive that perfect gift knowing that you made their Christmas? All that thinking and effort has really paid off!

If you are single this Christmas, don’t despair. Look on the bright side. I think many of your taken friends are jealous of you right now. While you are enjoying a great movie, they are in a frantic state of mind wondering what to buy their significant other. Buying the right gifts for a woman whom I’m dating is not something I miss terribly during the Christmas season. I think most singles would agree with me. Maybe I will experience that pressure again next Christmas, who knows?

 

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The gay couple versus a Colorado baker

Lost in this week’s seemingly endless stories involving the likes of Al Franken and Roy Moore was news about the Federal Supreme Court taking up the case of a gay couple suing for discrimination against a Colorado cake baker who refused to make a specific custom wedding cake for the couple because it went against his personal religious beliefs. This case is sure to be a long and drawn out one that will surely draw the interest of many in this country. And the decision could have major ramifications in the war of the religious right versus the LGBT community for years to come. Stay tuned folks, this could get very interesting!

On June 26th, 2015, same-sex marriage became the law of the land here in the United States. Many supporters of same-sex marriage celebrated this ruling by the Federal Supreme Court as a historic win and a major step by the American people for acceptance towards homosexuality. Little do they know that there are a large but silent group of religious people who are deeply opposed to same-sex marriage and homosexuality. It goes against there deep-seated religious beliefs. The baker in this case is just one of many people who is fighting for the right to express their religious convictions against what they believe is wrong and immoral. There are perhaps thousands of others who own small businesses that pertain to weddings and they are now put in a position to have to go against their beliefs. Whenever you involve morality in any dispute, you are bound to have a very high-charged case. For instance, is it really fair for a Christian elderly couple who has been wedding cakes for years to suddenly be forced to serve a gay couple who are planning on getting married?

I fully understand the position of many gay couples in this country as well. I can understand why they would feel like second class citizens if they got turned down. Somehow that does not seem right in this country either. Whether you agree or not with gay marriage, you have to agree that people of the LGBT community have certain rights and you could argue that being denied service at any business is a serious infringement on their rights.

As callous as this may sound, I do not believe businesses should be forced to serve anyone they please. I know, there are many anti-discrimination laws out there, but if a businesses refuses to serve someone, it is their loss in more ways than just a monetary loss. They will soon develop a horrible reputation by many people. In this day and age of social media, word travels like wildfire. If I were a member of a gay couple who just got turned , I would just walk away and spend my money somewhere else. And at the same time. I would make sure this business got a very negative review. A business owner should be able to serve anyone they see fit to serve. They are risking their reputation by doing so. Obviously, this couple could have easily gone somewhere else and requested a custom-made cake, but like many in these type of stories, the agenda is what is more important.

I know the Supreme Court has a very difficult decision to make in this case. But somehow forcing your rights as a citizen against the moral rights of another citizen just does not seem right. If the gay couple wins this case, what is the next? What is stopping a gay couple from suing a pastor or a church for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding? I hope the justices on the Supreme Court understand the slippery slope we are headed down in regards to gay rights. Religious freedom is a basic right in this country and should apply to the business world as well. If someone feels as though they are being discriminated against because someone else is exercising their first amendment rights and religious rights, then that person is acting rather selfishly. I think this is happening in this case and others around the country. Is there a way where people can compromise and respect the rights of others? Perhaps that might mean visiting another baker.

The great Washington D.C. martyr

It finally happened! After weeks of allegations, Senator Al Franken finally announced his resignation for the Senate last Thursday. Like many liberals tend to do, Senator Franken was far less than apologetic for his actions, instead shifting the topic of his sexual harassment claims to the supposedly alleged wrongdoings of the President. Yes poor old Al, you got royally screwed and the reaction from his resignation indicates he really got royally screwed even to the point of being a so-called martyr of the Democratic party.

As many of you can probably guess from some of my previous posts, I am not really the biggest fan of Senator Franken even though he hails from my home state of Minnesota. He was very lucky and fortunate to have won the Senate seat. I view him as nothing more than a grand standing politician who is nothing more than your typical liberal supporter of bad policies for the country. But having said that, I must say that Franken was forced out of office in a very unethical like way. Who are people trying to kid? This was a purely political move and nobody can convince me otherwise. Franken richly deserved a full-fledged investigation into his actions and did not receive it. A group of several congressional women pretty much decided his fate and that is rather unfortunate.

I find it rather interesting that shortly after his announcement last week, Democrats came out in groves boasting on how their party adhered to the moral high ground and Republicans in contrast do not. In just a few days, a Republican, who himself has been the subject of a very high publicized sexual allegation, will more than likely be winning a vacated Senate seat. Democrats are seizing on that opportunity as way of showing people that they deal with allegations against their members in a much better way. Does anyone see the irony of Franken’s resignation and the timing so close to this special election? I certainly do! This is just a political game, pure and simple and Franken had to be the fall guy.

The next time some Democrat gets on their high horse talking about how their party is the moral superior to the Republican party, maybe you should remind them of a fellow named Bill Clinton. Or maybe Ted Kennedy. Funny how the same people, who were defending Clinton several years ago, are talking about how their party is the champion in dealing with unethical behavior. Al Franken was a victim of his own party and was forced out to gain political points. You could say that he is the great political martyr of 2017.

A puzzling verdict in the Kate Steinle trial

There are certain news stories that make you scratch your head and wonder why this happened. High profile trials usually top this list. I often wonder why certain people receive the verdicts they do. Now granted, I am not on the jury and do not see all of the evidence, but my mind is often puzzled by the end decision. The Kate Steinle trial is a classic example. I think many of my fellow Americans are equally puzzled and outraged over the acquittal of her killer, an illegal immigrant.

Anyone of us could have been in her shoes on that fateful day. Here you have some beautiful young woman who was just visiting a tourist site when she was the victim of a shooting. The story goes that some illegal immigrant found a gun laying near was where Steinle was standing, picked it up, and the gun accidentally went off. Steinle was hit and died shortly after.

From the evidence that I read, this gun is known for being difficult to discharge even when it is dropped. I find it very hard to believe that this illegal alien did not have some responsible in firing this gun and should have charged with at least involuntary manslaughter. As it turns out, he was only charged with a felon in possession of a firearm. Why he was not charged with involuntary manslaughter is shocking. I’m not sure exactly what all the evidence the jury saw but a reasonable person and jury should have seen the negligence on his part.

An equally disturbing part of this story is the fact that he was a criminal illegal who was deported several times, only to come back and for the city to harbor a criminal illegal immigrant. Why is that? How does a criminal like this fall through the cracks and the city seems to want to make him at home? The fact that some illegal criminal immigrant was walking around in our midst should make ever American angry!

This story is a prime example on why we need to do a better job of enforcing our immigration laws. This is just not the first story of an illegal doing harm on innocent people in this country. There are many gang members who come here illegally as well as drug dealers. Several innocent Americans have lost their lives in recent years due to these criminals. And yet we have politicians who want to protect these people and harbor them. The city of San Francisco where this happened is a great example of a city who will not enforce federal law in an effort to protect illegal immigrants. Cities and politicians who favor sanctuary cities need to be called out. They are adding law breaking citizens.

How many more Kate Steinle’s will it take for people to wake up and realize that having an immigrant come here illegally 5 times is just plain wrong! Kate Steinle’s family will not have Kate around to enjoy her at Christmas this year and you can blame politically correct politicians in San Francisco for that. This verdict only adds salt to the wound of this very tragic story that could have been avoided.

 

A much needed tax reform bill

In the early 1960’s a young president named John F. Kennedy had a dilemma on his hands. The economy was growing at a snail’s pace and pressure was mounting on his administration to do something for the American people. President Kennedy came up with a solution that brought him some mocking and ridicule. He decided to cut the tax rate for corporations and individuals substantially. Many questioned how were we going to pay for the sudden drop in tax revenue. Suddenly after dropping rates, the economy took off like few generations have ever seen. Economic growth took off and those tax rate decreases more than paid for themselves. A booming economy generates lots of tax revenue because more people are working and working at higher paying jobs. In addition, more consumers are spending more money. It was a brilliant idea which was equally surprising that a Democrat politician would actually want to cut taxes.

President Ronald Reagan followed the same plan in the 1980’s with the same results, we had an unprecedented period of economic growth in this country. The GDP had growth rates seldom seen in this country. On the flip side, some presidents such as Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter had a notion that taxing high wage earners was the answer and the results speak for themselves. The GDP never exceeded more than 3 percent during the reign of the Obama administration. The Federal government collected lots of tax revenue during his time in office, but the country’s debt more than doubled. The economy sputtered along like an old car battery in the winter. So do you get my point? There is a history in this country that cutting taxes on everyone, especially those high wages earners who create jobs and invest in companies is a proven way of creating good economic growth. Raising taxes and increasing burdensome regulations produces just the opposite results. Why all politicians do not understand this is puzzling to me! I think many are hung up in this class warfare thing of punishing rich people. History more than proves my point that cutting taxes and having reasonable spending policies is the best and sustainable way of producing long-term economic growth.

It is encouraging to see members of the House and Senate come together with tax reform bills that this country desperately needs. I fully realize that these bills do not suit everyone and are not perfect in every way. Funny how some Democrats were crying about not being able to read the bill when they themselves quickly passed Obamacare! These bills follow the same principles that Kennedy and Reagan put together and are proven ways of helping the economy. Why would anyone go against a proven way of way of economic growth?

Economic growth has really started to pick up in this country in the last year. We had 2 consecutive quarters of over 3 percent GDP growth for the first time in nearly a decade. Consumer confidence is at an all-time high. Unemployment is at its lowest in nearly 15-20 years. As just some working class stiff in this country, I feel very optimistic about the economic future of this country and hopefully members of both the House and Senate can come together with a new tax reform bill that will make the United States a booming economic country for many years to come. It is nice that a few politicians actually have some basic understanding of economics.

What about the wives of Matt Lauer and Al Franken?

The barrage of sexual abuse allegations against many high-profile celebrities and politicians have dominated the headlines in recent weeks and most of the stories have tried to uncover what really went on between the accusers and the individuals being accused. I get it, people want to know in great detail, all the graphic actions that took or supposedly took place. Those details help sell newspapers or garner higher ratings. But did you ever stop and think about the impact these allegations have on the accused wives and families. Imagine how they must feel at this time? If we are going to start having a much-needed conversation about sexual harassment and abuse in this country, then we also need to start talking about how improper it is for married men to conduct these types of acts.

Take for example Matt Lauer and Al Franken. Both guys are married men. Imagine how the wife of Al Franken feels about these allegations against her husband. It is not unreasonable to assume that she saw the pictures of him grabbing the breasts of a beautiful woman while she was sleeping. You have to wonder what is going through the mind of Franken’s longtime wife at this time. As these allegations against him continue to mount, I wonder if she is having thoughts of leaving him. Lauer is a well-known womanizing and it is be shocking  if his wife still stayed with him after all of this settles down. Why would any woman in their own right mind want to stay married to some man who cheats on them like these two men just did?

It was just a short while ago when Vice President Mike Pence made a statement that brought him some ridicule. VP Pence said that he would never go out to dinner or be alone with another woman outside of his wife. Pence was mocked by many members of the media and on social media for being an old-fashioned fuddy duddy. Wouldn’t it be nice if more married people followed his words and tried to show some restraint and good judgement in dealing with members of the opposite sex?

Sexual infidelity is a growing major problem in this country. It damages and breaks up so many homes and greatly affects so many children. Our new modern-day culture seems to brush this topic aside as men just being men. This line of thinking is absurd and extremely concerning. A real man treats his bride and other women with respect. These men who show predatory uncontrolled sexual urges need to step away and get some help. Maybe all of these allegations will help many troubled men realize that a sudden uncontrolled urge may force them  to lose everything in their lives. It is not worth losing your life and career over.

My 2017 Turkey of the Year awards

In a few days from now, many of us will sit down with family members to eat some great food and give thanks to the many blessings we are given in our lives. The Thanksgiving holiday is also a time when this blogger sits down with his committee to discuss who is entitled to some very prominent awards in the world of politics, sports and entertainment. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it it time for my annual Turkey of the Year awards. In others words, we honor those individuals, or in some cases, groups of people who make absolutely complete fools or idiots of themselves. Just a couple of rules reminders before I proceed with the awards. First of all, the President of the United States is exempt from receiving the award or even being considered. My committee feels that we should at least show some respect for the highest office in the land. Also, the author of this blog is not eligible to win much to the disappointed of a few people out there. Due to a medical condition, I was not able to give out awards last year, but I am back as well as my committee for this year’s presentations. So without further delay, let me list those who made the final list but fell just a little short of the title.

1. Senate Republicans. There are a few Republicans in the United States Senate who are major hurdles to anything President Trump wants to pass. Even if the legislation greatly benefits the American people. We are seeing this will the fight over repealing and replacing Obamacare. Their lack of unity is hurting Americans everywhere. Many of these Republicans are just locked in a personal feud with the President instead of doing what is best for the country.

2. Hollywood. Turn to any Hollywood awards show like the Grammys and there is a high probably that a bunch of elite Hollywood stars will lecture you on how we should be inclusive and respectful to all people. Then you have monsters like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey come out of Hollywood and allegedly treat women like they are some piece of meat. It is even more entertaining to see the spinning that Hollywood folks do after these allegations.

3. Kathy Griffin. Holding up a fake severed head of the President was in extremely poor taste and she was properly heavily criticized for it. Shortly after, she holds a press conference and whines about all of the abuse she has to endure because of her complete lack of judgement. Well what to you expect, Kathy?!! Wake up!! Your career is over now. Let this stupid act be a warning to others in the future.

4. Those shoplifting UCLA basketball players. Young people do stupid things all of the time and shoplifting often ruins a youngster for life. The arrest goes on their records and it makes finding that first job to start a career very difficult. I don’t know if these players had enough common sense to realize that shoplifting over there in China carries a very long prison sentence. 3 to 10 years in the slammer over a pair of sunglasses is not worth it, but these athletes apparently were dumb enough to try. Thank you President Trump for saving these morons.

Now it is time to name the top 3 finalists for this year’s award. Before I go any further, let me just give out some mention to a few people who did their best to make our list of finalists but fell just short. Jamille Hill, Jake Tapper, LeBron James and a still pending possible contender for next year’s award, Judge Ray Moore.

First runner up, Al Franken. When it comes to unethical behavior by Republican politicians, Franken is usually the one leading the charge and you could also say that he likes to grandstand when it comes to these types of issues. Funny how that comes back to bite you isn’t it Mr. Franken. He will not win the Turkey of the Year, but he might have a firm hold on being named the Hypocrite of the Year.

Second runner up. NFL anthem protesters. Several NFL players decided to take a knee at games this year prior to the playing of our national anthem. Never mind that many fans in the stands were military personal who fought for the flag so these crybabies have the freedom and opportunity to make millions of dollars. It is never a good idea to alienate your fan base to express a political view. These protests have basically backfired on the players and the NFL was left with a huge PR nightmare.

Now it is time to name the coveted 2017 Turkey of the Year award. I must say that this year’s winner was a very easy pick to make . This individual was on my committee’s radar since last November due to her many excuses at failure. He book that came out this year wrapped up the award. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Mark’s Views 2017 “Turkey of the Year” award. It is none other than Hillary Clinton. For winning this award, Mrs. Clinton will receive our new shiny trophy as well as a year’s supply of turkey pot pies. Oh one more thing, she will also get a free one way ticket to Moscow so she can investigate any collusion by the Russians in last year’s election.  Hope everyone has a grand Thanksgiving and we will see you next year at this time for the 2018 awards.