Should Senator Al Franken resign?

It happened again! Seems these days that my posts are becoming more and more about discussing sexual abuse allegations against high-profile people and this week is no exception. The latest individual involved is none other a Senator from my state of Minnesota, Al Franken. I find these charges of improper sexual contact against Senator Franken rather ironic because if this happened to a Republican Senator, Franken would probably lead the charges in calling for his or her resignation. Whether Franken will practice what he preaches and resign remains to be seen and I have some thoughts about that.

Someone told me yesterday that since Senator Franken was not in office at the time, these incidents should not matter. That is total hogwash! Anytime you grab the breasts of a sleeping woman, that should matter. Anytime you write some sick fantasy about a woman journalist, that should also matter and the list goes on and on. If anyone remembers, Senator Franken was elected in 2008 just a few years after the infamous picture breast grabbing photo was taken. These incidents were not known at the time to us Minnesota voters. Had we know, Franken would not have stood a chance to win a Senate seat. By the way, Franken barely won the election by a mere 300 votes due to a controversial recount which Mr. Franken somehow mysteriously gained 500 votes during the recount. It is highly likely that voter fraud was involved because an investigation revealed that nearly 1000 felons illegally voted. If Franken does not win that Senate seat, the Democrats would probably not have enough votes to pass the highly maligned Obamacare bill.

The million dollar question now is what will Senator Franken do now. Will more women come out and say that Franken abused them? These allegations are extremely damning to Franken. Unlike the allegations by women against Judge Moore, there are photos and real actions to back up the woman’s claims. It is not a he said versus she said. Senator Franken apology over the matter seemed to be rather weak if you ask me. Where has he been hiding for the last few days? Wouldn’t the proper response be to hold a major press conference, admit that he was deeply sorry and talk about how this incident will make him a better person in the future? Perhaps he can also talk about possibly supporting women’s abuse groups in the future as well. I always believe that you garner much more respect from the public by owning up to your mistakes right away instead of hiding and running like Franken is doing right now.

In my opinion, Senator Franken should immediately resign his Senate seat. His actions back then as well as his half-hearted response to these allegations now indicate that he is not fit to be a United States senator. On top of that, he is a total hypocrite who should never run for office again.

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What I am most thankful for this year

It is a tradition for many families to discuss what they are most thankful for prior to eating their Thanksgiving dinner. Our family did it last year. When you think about it, most of us could spend many minutes discussing what we are the most grateful for. We can point to our loved ones sitting at the table, our careers or the great country which we live in, but there is one thing that often goes unnoticed in this discussion. What about our health? So many of us take our health for granted. There is not one person on this planet who is guaranteed perfect health. Even if you are young, there is always a chance that some illness will creep up or you might become the victim of a car accident. One day you might be on top of the world and the next be stuck in the hospital fighting for your life.

About this time last year, I went through a very serious health situation in my life, I suffered a very unexpected stroke. It was a complete shock to me when I received the diagnosis. How could someone who was so active, healthy and fit suffer a stroke? But it happened and  it was quit a storm in my life. Things I took from granted like walking and eating was taken away from me. I spent many hours going through rehab so I could get my life back together again. That is all I wanted in my life at that time. Nothing else. Now one year later, those struggles are nothing more than just some distant memory. I got my health and life back. I am back running, working out and playing basketball again at a very good level. Oh and the eating thing, nothing will ever make a person more appreciative for eating a nice meal than spending a month getting feed through a feeding tube. I fully appreciate being able to eat regularly again and put down lots of good food.

So before you start to grumble about how bad your life may be at any particular time, stop for a minute and think about how lucky you may be with being able go to work. Or finish that run. Or eat a nice big meal. There are many people of all ages stuck in hospitals who want more than anything to get their health back. Some are not lucky and never will. You can give me all of the material things in the world but it will not matter if I am not in good health. For that reason, my good health is the number one thing that I am the most grateful for this Thanksgiving. If you have good health, consider yourself very blessed.

A very unlikely place for a mass shooting

When one thinks of places for a mass shooting to take place, heavily populated areas usually come to mind. I think of a large concert hall shopping mall or sports arena where many thousands of people are gathered. Any evil nut or terrorist would have a field day with that many people gathered together in such a short space. Usually those settings are in some larger city or area. I don’t know about you, but I never feel totally safe in those situations. Odds seem to be higher in those places that something bad will happen. Now on the other hand, if I were to attend any church service, especially one in some small rural area, I would feel extremely safe. In fact, there are very few places that I would feel safer. This is why last Sunday’s awful church shooting in Sutherland Texas is so shocking and disturbing. It is about the last place on earth that you would expect something like a mass shooting to happen.

I know for a fact that people of faith and church goers are becoming increasingly targets of violence. Never mind that many who attend church are people who are among the finest people we have living on this earth. So many want to make a huge positive difference in this world. Why on earth would someone want to shoot up a bunch of innocent people including many children in a small church? What exactly was their crime? The more I think about this awfully tragic story, the more it makes my heart sink.

The scary part of this story is that every one of us is a vulnerable person. You or I could have been shot and killed by this deranged person. If this is going to happen in some small rural area, it can happen anywhere in this country. Tomorrow is not a given for anyone. We could be sitting in our favorite restaurant with friends and having the time of our lives when suddenly, death comes knocking on the door. And believe me, more nut cases like this gentlemen are probably out there just waiting to snuff out more innocent lives.

Is there anything to make us safer and prevent these terrible incidents from happening again? Probably not. Evil people are going to find some way to strike whether it be with a gun, bomb, vehicle or knife. I hear people talk about how this event shows that we once again need stronger gun control laws. Instead of showing concern for the victim’s families, they seem to be more concerned with scoring cheap political points. The fact is there is very little any new law could have help in this case. A procedure in place was not followed and therefore, this madman was able to obtain a gun.

As a fellow church goer and person of faith, my thoughts and prayers go out to the many grieving families of the victims. America and the whole world are behind you guys. It is sad that in today’s society, attending a church service is not safe anymore, especially in a small rural area. Very sad indeed.

Just another sexual abuse allegation

If you have been watching the news as of late, you may be noticing a very disturbing trend taking place. It seems like the number of top stories are being dominated by a particular topic. No, it is not tax or health care reform or event gun violence that is topping the headlines. It is a growing number of sexual allegations against extremely well-known people, whether they be from Hollywood, sports or the political arena. You simply cannot go a day without some new allegation popping up. The latest is against a politician running for a Senate seat, Roy Moore. Moore is accused of having inappropriate relations with multiple teenagers when he was 32 years old. Funny how these allegations suddenly surfaced 40 years later with his election only about a month away. Something seems rather fishy here. Can you say someone is out to get Roy Moore?

There is no question that sexual abuse in any form is an extremely serious matter. If you have a position of power and use that power to treat women (sometimes men) like they are just some piece of red meat, that is about as evil as you can get. Any person committing these acts deserve to be shamed publicly in the worst way possible. A politician in particular does not deserve to even be given a chance to hold  public office. I don’t care which party they be from. We the people expect a higher code of conduct from our leaders and when they fail in that regard, they ought to step down or even serve jail time. I am still puzzled to this day why then President Clinton did not step down from office when he literally shamed the office of the President by his conduct. Of course the fact that he was a popular Democrat had everything to do with it.

On the other hand, anyone being accused has to be given fair shot to give their side of the story. Who is to say that one of these many accusers just wants revenge on the person being accused? In Moore’s case, why did people come forward some 40 years later with those accusations? Why not sooner? If this amounts to nothing more than a political hit job, it would be an extremely sad day in the political world. So if you not like the opposition’s candidate, just find a bunch of people who can lie for you and make up stories. What kind of political climate is that? Furthermore, who would want to run for office knowing their past could fully be exposed? Many of today’s brightest potential leaders are probably having second thoughts about seeking public office.

Sexual abuse stories are indeed sad and disturbing because so many lives are ruined forever. It is extremely important to weigh all the facts before rushing into judgement. Unfortunately in today’s world, the accused is presumed guilty until proven innocent. We should learn from the Duke lacrosse scandal that sometimes, the facts need to come in first before we should make judgements.

I don’t know if these continuing allegations will ever stop anytime soon. Who will be the next person targeted? Maybe the heavy coverage of these constant allegations will force high-profile people to be a lot more careful in their own lives. That urge to commit these acts, the smallest ones, might come back to haunt them later on. I am just happy to live a very private life where my skeletons of the past are not put out in the public eye. Will these non-stop stories of allegations stop anytime soon? Probably not. It is just the new world that we live in today.  Sexual allegations equal ratings.

The amazing evolution of the smartphone

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The feeling of buying my first cell phone was a feeling I will never forget. The phone was rather large and bulky but I carried that precious piece of equipment everywhere I went. I wanted to look important and found every excuse to make a call in a public setting. Funny but I still have that phone hidden in storage somewhere in my home. Never could I have imagined the changes that have taken place of those phones. My current smartphone makes this original phone look about as prehistoric as a dinosaur!

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the new iPhone X and all of its fascinating features. Suddenly, my latest greatest phone seems so obsolete. I saw an ad on this newest tech gadget just a few hours ago and my jaw nearly dropped to the ground. One of the most impressive features is the camera inside the phone. Now my phone has the ability to take pretty decent photos, but it pales in comparison to what this beauty offers. It is a totally high-tech camera unlike nothing I have ever seen! I have to admit that one of the most appealing features that I look for in a phone is the camera and this new iPhone certainly delivers on that feature. In this new age of posting pictures online, a phone with a good camera is very important. I think many people will agree with me. Who would have ever thought that a camera could be such an important part of a phone?

Isn’t it amazing how these new phones have totally changed the way we communicate as a society? Who calls anymore when you can just send a text message? Texting and instant messages are some of the greatest inventions ever! No more bugging people with an annoying phone calls while they are busy eating, performing chores or driving. Just send a text and they can get back to you whenever it is convenient. Sure talking to someone on the phone is much more personal, but texting people is the new wave of communication today.

I can honestly say that my smartphone is the second most important possession I have besides my vehicle. I cannot live without it. Funny how my life and millions of other people’s are so entrenched in such a small device. What are smartphones going to look like 15 years from now? Perhaps better battery capability would be a huge upgrade. In the meantime, I might have to take out a second mortgage and buy one of those newest iPhones before they become totally obsolete too. Technology is changing our lives faster than I can keep pace! Those individuals who invented the rotary phones must be rolling in their graves if they saw how our phones have evolved.

 

The old tax reform debate

A very hot topic in news these days has been the efforts of GOP members in Congress to revamp our tax code for millions of taxpayers across the country. If anyone has any knowledge about our tax system, you probably know how complicated and complex it really is. Any reform should bring about as much tax relief to the middle class as possible. Critics of the current tax proposals predictably have been slamming it because in their minds, it is very evil to give the government less of our money and more to ourselves. People like Senator Chuck Schumer criticize the new tax plan because they feel there is no way that we can pay for it and our children and grandchildren will be saddled in the future with a huge debt. Is Schumer right? This blogger feels that he is just another politician in serious need of an economic and business lesson.

Let me just start out by stating a fact about tax revenue in this country. Last year, the government collected some of the highest taxes ever on record. GDP growth was still stagnant, less than about 3 percent. And on top of that, our nation’s debt continued to increase. Any reasonable person might conclude from this fact that collecting millions and billions of dollars in taxes is not the problem. No, we have a SPENDING PROBLEM in Washington. Many Democrats, and even some Republicans ,think that money grows on trees and the government can just tax and spend their way to their heart’s content. People like Senator Schumer are worried that their precious little failed social programs will not have enough funds to exist. Does anyone even consider that our government’s out of control must be addressed as well? Perhaps that is one way that we could be pay for a tax cut. Government, whether it be on the local, state or federal level usually runs up debt because of a lack of spending controls, not due to a lack of tax revenue.

Some of these critics also do not understand what happens when people get to keep more of their money and that includes those evil rich people. I know many people are against having a rich person get a tax cut, but what about some rich person who owns a business and suddenly, he or she has an extra 10,000 a year to spend? Does it occur to anyone that they may just invest further in their company thus creating more jobs? A typical middle class person will have more money to spend and that can only help our economy. How could it not? More jobs will be created and consumer spending will increase. Both of these scenarios is the ideal way to ensure that our government gets to the proper revenue to survive. Deficit spending is a serious problem that very few politicians have the guts to address. Many politicians feel the solution to economic growth is to continually tax and spend and that has been proven to be a wrong course of action.

I know not every tax reform plan will please everyone. It is impossible to do so. But having worries that any tax reform plan will greatly increase our nation’s debt is absolutely foolish. We CAN pay for it by increasing economic growth and controlling our spending.

Dating a fan of a rival team

So you met the girl of your dreams through a dating site and things are going really well between the two of you. She is everything that you look for in a woman. She is very beautiful, smart, kind, thoughtful, funny and you just cannot get enough of her. Then you discover something about her that totally breaks your heart. No, she does not have other boyfriends or she is actually married. She is a fan of a rival team that you cannot stand. For instance, she is a big Auburn fan and you are an Alabama fan. Or you love the Minnesota Vikings and she loves the Green Bay Packers. Now what? Is the relationship over? Can you marry someone who is loyal to such an evil team? There must be someone seriously wrong with this love of my life!

Believe it or not, this dilemma takes place more than you think. I live in an area that has a couple of professional football teams just 4 hours away from each other, the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. There are plenty of people living in my area who love one of the teams and hate the other. I personally know a few people who would never date a Packer fan. Yes, I know, that is being rather shallow. On the other hand, there are many married couples in this area where the guy in a Viking fan and the gal is a Packer fan or vice versa. I can only imagine what it would be like in their households on game day.

Can a couple of hardcore fans of rival teams co-exist in a relationship? Well of course. But you have to be very tactful in dealing with your partner and some people have this gift and others do not. For instance, suppose your team just beat her team on a last second touchdown. Immediately after the score, you get right into her face and taunt knowing it would greatly upset her. I don’t consider that a very proper way of handling a sensitive moment, in fact, it might show bad signs on your part of being insensitive. In my opinion, you should leave the taunting until well after the game is finished. Let things cool down a bit before you engage in some so-called good natured ribbing. Just a word of wisdom to you ladies out there. Please approach your man with extreme caution in delivering some gloating. Men take losses a little harder.

Probably the best way to handle a situation of dating a rival fan is having a good sense of humor about it. For instance, make a little wager. If your team wins, she has to wear your team’s apparel for a day around the house or better yet, she has to appear in a picture on Facebook wearing your team’s jersey. Or vise versa. Have some fun with the rivalry. After all, it is just a game. There are far more concerning differences to have in a relationship. And who knows, maybe she will come over from the dark side and eventually show allegiance to your team!