Friday, January 28, 2011

Tweet of The Day - Friday, January 28, 2011

In reference to comedian Tracy Morgan crashing the "Inside the NBA" set on TNT set with Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley and SHOCKING THE NATION by saying ... and I quote .... "Sarah Palin is great masturbation material" (his words, not mine, don't sue me) comedian Andy Borowitz, followed up with this GEM of a Tweet ...

Andy Borowitz
I would have been more offended if Tracy Morgan said Sarah Palin was great presidential material.

I couldn't agree more !! Many have a fascination with Sarah Palin and a lot of that is directly attributable to her good "MILFY" looks. That's all good . Go ahead and have your "squatting in a deer-stand" fantasies about Mrs. Palin. However, what is HIGHLY OFFENSIVE is the notion that this dim bulb has the qualifications to be the President of the most powerful nation in the world with such recent intelligent takes as "the Russian focus on Sputnik and their space program is what eventually toppled the Soviet Union". Huh ? How do you pillow talk with THAT ??

There are some really funny, thought-provoking, and downright HILARIOUS people lurking around in the Twitter-verse. The #TweetOfTheDay is dedicated to those tweeps that either made me laugh or stop and think.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"What has Obama ACTUALLY done so far ?" My Response to a FaceBook friend

The following is my Response to a FaceBook Friend asking "what has Obama actually done so far and would I actually vote for him again"

A little perspective is important in evaluating what has and has not been accomplished in the 2 years since Obama has been President. 
In regard to the economy, it is very relevant to realize that the state of the economy at the time he took office in January of 2009 was THE WORST since The Great Depression by all  statistical measures. Millions of jobs were been shed every month, the value of the stock market was LITERALLY half of what it is today (which affects people's 401Ks, pension plans, savings, etc.), record home foreclosures, credit markets frozen meaning banks would loan to NO ONE (i.e. small businesses, credit unions, etc.), and several other indicators of pending economic Armageddon. That type of economic situation will not turn around in a short amount of time NO MATTER WHO was President. Now, with that said all the moves made by the economic team not only LITERALLY prevented a 2nd Great Depression but the economy is now growing again by ALL MEASURES of economic progress. The bailouts of banks and of GM, like it or not, prevented a very bad situation from getting A WHOLE LOT WORSE. If we ran into a situation where Bank of America, Chase, General Motors, all went bankrupt (very real possibilities at the time) then we'd be pretty much looking at hell on earth in this U.S. of A. I supported the bailouts originally proposed by the Bush Administration cause I understood the consequences of doing nothing and in retrospect I am STILL convinced it was the right thing to do.
Now, regarding the deficit, don't believe the hype that Obama quadrupled the deficit in 2 years. First off, the Bush administration did some tricky financial math that left the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars along with a $600 billion Prescription Drug  Bill OFF THE BUDGET so when Barack and his team got in there and put these expenses RIGHTFULLY on the budget, that alone put the deficit at record levels. So that's before 1 bill was passed and any action taken by Obama, that by correcting the deceptive bookkeeping of the past administration that a TRUE PICTURE of the deficit was given. Now what has since been added to the deficit are additional bailouts and the Economic Stimulus package. You can question whether these were necessary or not although it is FACTUAL that the bailout of GM not only worked but it LITERALLY saved the US Auto Industry and the ripple effect throughout the economy that would've taken place had nothing been done. The Stimulus package both created and save close to 2 million jobs and saved many states from being damn near bankrupt because of their budget shortfalls which would've forced them to layoff policemen, firefighters, teachers, etc. Imagine the HELL if that took place ? Yes this added to the deficit but the way I view this is that if a storm came and blew the roof off my house and I was flat broke I would have 2 options. I could either sit there and make a bad situation worse and allow the rain to continue and destroy all my property or I could get a credit card (i.e. add to my household deficit) and pay for someone to come replace my roof and prevent a worsening situation. This is precisely what the Obama administration did. They could have done NOTHING and not borrowed any money to address some immediate concerns and allow things to get worse or they could've "put it on the card" for the sake of the economy. Yes this added to the deficit but HELL YES it was necessary.
Now, regarding Healthcare, keep in mind that Democratic Presidents dating back to JFK have been trying to pass SOMETHING to improve the troubling state of healthcare in this country. Amidst FIERCE opposition from the Republicans who want NOTHING done on Healthcare and hence why their administrations NEVER EVEN ATTEMPT to do anything to fix the nation's healthcare crisis, Obama and the Democratic Congress GOT IT DONE !! Is it perfect ? HELL NO !! Is there more to be done ? HELL YES !! BUT it's a good first step and one that many have tried and just as many have failed. That's HISTORIC in and of itself.
Now I certainly DO NOT agree with Obama on everything he does (i.e. it's time to get THE HELL out of Afghanistan AND Iraq) and I got no problem criticizing and calling him out when need be but in regard to the question "what has he actually done" I hope this LONG ASS ESSAY answers that question. If not, check out this website which does a simpler job of addressing that question. ->

Tweet of The Day - Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Chris Williams
@ Michele Bachmann is like Sarah Palin the free-trial version wiith ads and pop ups.

The humor and irony in this tweet lies in the fact that it is just so blatantly true. Think about all that you hate or love about Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann is only half of that, in essence, the FREE VERSION. She's "half as pretty", "half as popular", "half as young :-)", "half as annoying" but not even I would diss her by saying she's "half as bright". They might be equal peers on that front. So in conclusion, Michele Bachmann is "half of the half-governor". Guess that makes her the "Quarter Governor" ?

There are some really funny, thought-provoking, and downright HILARIOUS people lurking around in the Twitter-verse. The #TweetOfTheDay is dedicated to those tweeps that either made me laugh or stop and think.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Words DO Matter

"Sticks and stones may break my bones" ... but you you know what ? SO DO WORDS !! Whoever came up with the oft repeated phrase that we've all known since childhood that , "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is a boldfaced liar and is SEVERELY underestimating the power of the SPOKEN WORD. Powerful words often induce powerful actions, for better or for worse. Our words have meaning and the ears upon which those words fall often serve as a starting point from which actions follow ... again, for better or for worse.

In the aftermath of this past weekend's mass shooting in Arizona that presently has Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords battling for her life and took the lives of 6 other innocent victims, a lot of discussion has taken place attributing much blame to the toxic political environment and discourse which now serve as a pillar of our national dialogue.To what degree the harsh tone of political debate ranging from the halls of Congress to the airwaves of talk radio had on this specific incident, we presently can draw no conclusions. All we know at this point is that a lone deranged individual with obvious mental health issues was able to purchase a gun legally and further took it upon himself to target and plot an assassination attempt on a sitting member of Congress leaving 6 dead and well over a dozen critically wounded.

As is often the case when such incidents take place, individuals of one political ideology or the other seek to place blame on the opposition and vindicate themselves of any responsibility. Until further evidence is gathered in the case of the deranged murderer Jared Lee Loughner, we can safely avoid making a DIRECT connection between his actions and whatever political beliefs he ascribes to. However, I make no political point and stand on no partisan ground when I say that RESPONSIBLE party leaders, Talk Radio Hosts, TV Analysts, prominent Bloggers and ALL who direct and heavily influence our national dialogue and debate, should take extreme caution and speak RESPONSIBLY in the tone and context of their speech.

Our leaders must realize that the words they speak and the images they portray are extremely powerful and fall on the serious and delirious alike. The resulting echo chamber of this harsh rhetoric creates a toxic environment in which the most extreme, the most boorish, the most reprehensible, and the most irresponsible speech and behavior is viewed as permissible. When serious influential political leaders utter statements such as "be armed and dangerous", "seeking 2nd amendment (the right to bare arms) remedies to political problems", "if ballots don't work, bullets will", and other such obviously threatening and irresponsible  statements, CREDIBLE political leaders have a RESPONSIBILITY TO SPEAK UP and denounce such rhetoric and correctly place such people on the fringe of society. OUR WORDS DO MATTER ... for better or for worse.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What the HUCK ??

In an upcoming edition of the Mark Twain classic novel "Huckleberry Finn" , publishers have decided to censor the use of "the N-Word" (not "nice", "nylon", "neighbor", or "nightfall" ) and replace it with the word "slave". Publishers say that this is not an attempt to "censor" a classic novel or to inject a dose of the "S-word" (steroids) into the notion of "Political Correctness". Rather, they claim that this is just their way of updating the novel to represent our 21st century world (apparently they don't have the latest Lil Wayne CD) .

Though I can certainly appreciate a publisher not wanting to offend the modern day reader by spewing "N-Words" all over the 293 pages of this classic novel, the truth is that in a novel that represents tales from the mid-1800s in American society, there was A WHOLE LOT that was offensive at that moment in American History. This was a time when owning "your very own priceless black slave" was probably about as common place as owning a house with a 2-car garage is today. In those days, referring to a black man or woman with the use of "the N-Word" was very likely the least of their concerns in comparison to the numerous beatings and inhumane treatment that they endured for hundreds of years.

There is a WHOLE LOT about American History that we may not like, but "it is what it was (and in many ways still is)". To attempt to sweep these ugly aspects of American history under the rug in an attempt to be "politically correct" is to deny a modern generation a brief look into the past from which we have evolved and fails to give them a deeper appreciation and understanding of the prism through which we view race and society today.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sorry "Sweetcakes" ... YOU'RE FIRED !!

Ron Franklin, veteran ESPN College Basketball and Football Broadcaster, was FIRED for making some patronizing and disrespectful comments to female colleague Jeanne Edwards in an off-camera incident. As the he-said she-said story goes, Ron Franklin and the rest of "the boys" at ESPN were having a conversation involving politics in which Edwards dared to chime in and offer an opinion. According to sources present, Franklin then responded to Edwards "Why don't you leave this to the boys SWEETCAKES ?". (from where I'm sitting right now, I can see the "OH NO HE DIDN'T" look on Jeanne's face). When Edwards retorted that she didn't appreciate being referred to in those terms, Franklin then did the classy thing and responded "Ok then ... ASSHOLE". (I gotta admit ... that's kinda funny).

For this incident, Ron Franklin and his many decades of broadcast excellence were given a swift kick to the curb by ESPN management just a few short days after "Sweetcakes-gate" began. Now, assuming this incident took place just as "sources" say it did, Franklin's words were CLEARLY unprofessional, disrespectful, disparaging, patronizing, and many other multisyllabic words that indicate "that was not cool". HOWEVA, I hardly see this as a "fireable" offense. Is it suspension worthy ? SURE. Is it worth being forced to attend "diversity and/or sensitivity" training ? OF COURSE. Franklin stepped out of line for the context of a PROFESSIONAL conversation (and we all know that this frequently happens in the workplace) but firing him for these patronizing words seems to equate his words with sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or other VERY FIREABLE offenses that also routinely take place in the workplace. Oh well, after a long distinguished career, I guess that's just the breaks ... sweetcakes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

NEXT YEAR Texans Fans ... For Real This Time

In yet another disappointing end to a disappointing season for the Houston Texans, a disappointed owner Bob McNair is telling millions of disappointed Texans fans that a disappointed Head Coach Gary Kubiak will be returning next year and that they should wait until next year to be further disappointed !! In this the 9th year of existence of the Texans franchise, this year had the most promise for a playoff run and thus the disappointment was the greatest when the clock struck 0:00 on a horrifically disappointing 6-10 season and NO PLAYOFFS !! A season that started with so much promise after trouncing the powerful Indianapolis Colts on opening day and getting off to a 4-2 start, flamed out catastrophically as the Texans could only muster up the effort to win 2 of their final 10 games.

In a state that lives, breaths, sleeps, eats, and digests football, the Texans ownership and executives have been getting by on just the sheer passion of its fan base for the religion of football in Texas, especially following the the absence of pro football in the state after Bud Adams uprooted the beloved Houston Oilers and moved to Tennessee over a decade ago. The goodwill and patience of the fan base has clearly run its course at this point however and the natives are beyond restless.

Although the vast majority of Texans fans wanted to see major changes at the end of the season, starting with the firing of Head Coach Gary Kubiak, owner Bob McNair didn't seem to get the memo and wants Texans fans to believe that "NEXT YEAR ... no for real this time ... we will defy all logic and do the same thing, trot out the same product on the field, have the same coaching philosophy, make the same dumb mistakes, and MIRACULOUSLY we will get different results". Yep, Mr. McNair and go ahead and sign me up for that Bridge to Nowhere's-ville that you're also building. WE BELIEVE !!

Bob McNair has one of the greatest character traits that an individual can have and that is a fierce sense of loyalty. However, when that loyalty becomes blinded by reality, that character trait becomes a major character flaw. In spite of the obvious signs that Coach Kubiak is in over his head with this position, McNair continues trotting him out there on the field expecting things to change. After all, why should Bob think any different ? As long as Reliant Stadium is sold out every week, fans continue to buy $8 hot dogs and $12 beers, pay $20 for parking, and spend gobs of discretionary income on Texans merchandise, why change a thing ? If the bottomline is all good, then it's all good, right Bob ? Well such is the life of a Houston Football fan which is starting to bare much similarity to that of a Chicago Cubs baseball fan and we continue to hope beyond hope that ...  well ...  THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR :-(