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Administrative Law Judge
 
Corporate Training Specialist  MBA , JD

Associate Legal Counsel to Police Commissioner William Bratton

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Winter Vacation Time

We have been so busy lately. It began with the holiday mania of having the responsibility of buying gifts for all you care about. You had to host or attend a few parties to add to your already busy schedule. In ancient Rome the new year began on March 1st.  We all had to mourn famous people who died in 2016 who were part of our relaxation entertainment life for years. People like Debby Reynolds and Carrie Fisher the mother and daughter who died within 2 days of each other’s death. Debbie was a lasting star in Hollywood. Her daughter Carrie was an   observer of her star filled life and a movie actress. Comedy wonders like Gene Wilder, Gary Marshall and Doris Roberts are gone now. Our famous singers of Prince and David Bowie are now gone. Athletes like Mohamed Ali are gone and history maker John Glen are gone. 2016 was exhausting. We even had to elect a new President.
It is time to move on with a well- deserved winter vacation but where can we go that will be a safe haven from ISIS and any other danger or at least someplace new? Start your quest by reading the book called Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer that features places that are the quietest on earth like a room at Orfield Labs in Minnesota. You can think about the world differently if you seek different places to see. The quietest room on earth is just one of more than 600 obscure places to visit on earth featured in the book. The book is an explorer’s guide to the world’s hidden wonders. The book is an offshoot of their website founded in 2009 also called Atlas Obscura. It is an online encyclopedia of weird and wondrous places even here in the States.
The site gets more than 500 million visitors each month. Visit amazing places like The Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Ontario, Canada, Singing Sand Dunes in Doha, Qatar, scuba dive in Jellyfish Lake in Eil Malk, Palau or listen to the pipe organ a man built in a cave in Virginia using the cowering rock formations as pipes. The entire cave becomes a musical instrument.  Well, I find stuff like that interesting. In South America you can cross across one of the last Incan bridges. You can hike to see the third   tallest waterfall on earth in Peru.   It wasn’t even on any map until 2006. The site explores the wonders of the world that often go unnoticed. Avenue of the Baobabs in Menabe, Madagascar have some of the larges most unusual trees on earth.

Firefly Squid are found in Toyama Bay in Japan. They actually glow in the water. There is an everlasting lightning storm in Zulia, Venezuela. Yes, there are still plenty of surprises to be explored and found on earth. Get the perfect photo of someone you love through the sun tunnels in Lucin, Utah. Whatever your desire, relax, regroup, take a winter vacation and get ready for another interesting year. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ignoration Day

It is Inauguration day for America. It is the day that the nuclear codes for extreme weapons get handed to our new Present Donald J. Trump right after he has been sworn in as our 45th President of the United States. Only about 750 thousand Americans came to the ceremonies as compared to Obama’s Inauguration Ceremony where 1.5 million supporters came to see their President be sworn in. Should we call this day Ignoration Day?
Donald is our oldest first time President ever. His acceptance speech was not inspirational at all. The word peace never left his lips. Instead he dwelled on how horrible America is and that now that he is here that America will be great again. It started to rain as soon as he began his speech. The most famous singer at the ceremony was a 16 year old girl Jackie Evanco who’s quest is to sing at the most Inauguration Ceremonies as she possibly can in her career. She admitted that she was not there for any political support or reasons. It is ironic that the Vice-President Pence voted to exclude transgender people from sharing bathrooms in his state and Jackie’s brother is currently going through sexual gender change operations.
 Trumps speech was an awkward insult to all the other American leaders present to show him some respect. Where was the hope and recognition that we are a great country and that the world is wonderful? Trump gave no joy in his speech. He hardly smiled at all. He gave no recognition to the fact that he gets to inherit a country that is now where the housing industry is booming at a record pace, oil prices are now at the lowest price they have been in the past 25 years, the auto industry has recovered completely and he has a republican majority in the House and Senate to support his every wish and need. Things couldn’t be any better for a new President to inherit.
I still prefer to call this day the Ignoration day based on the amount of people who chose not to support this guy. He should have taken a lesson from George Washington who gave the shortest inaugural address in history in 1793 of only 133 words. He was ignored by Andrea Bocelli, Charlotte Church, Elton John, David Foster, Moby to just name a few. Jennifer Holiday who sang at every Inauguration Ceremony since Regan received death threats and much criticism if she dared to attend so she is staying home too. Musicians have become political and refused to support this guy. There were 2 large choruses that sang 2 songs at the ceremony.

Donald’s shoot from the lip tweeting has angered the people of America. We are a divided nation now and he needs to soften up and say something inspirational to bring all people together in a happy unity. He has failed to do that one again while the entire world was watching the newest leader of the free world be handed the codes to the largest arsenal of weapons in the world. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Poinsettia

By now those holiday plants in your office are shedding their once beautiful red leaves from never being watered properly or just being in the wrong environment for plant growth. There is also a smaller plant called a Christmas  Cactus   that spews beautiful clusters of red blooms in December. Does these beautiful gifts of red colorful plants set the tone for the red holiday of Christmas? The plant is called the poinsettia and comes in at least 5 different varieties. In Greenville, South Carolina at the airport there was a massive Christmas tree to greet new arrivals that was made from tires of 168 plants that towered to be more than 10 feet high of Christmas red cheer.
The town has a Poinsettia Hotel and a Christmas   Parade called the Poinsettia Parade. A poinsettia bridge and a poinsettia highway is named too. Where do these unusual plants grow? They grow wild in Mexico. In the year 1500 thereabouts the Aztecs were the first to cultivate the plant. Franciscan Missionaries arrived in the 1600’s and thought the plants red color signified the blood of Christ. They called it the Christmas Eve flower. In Mexico there are street mosaics that pay tribute to the plant that is also featured in their Christmas religious parades. The plant is names after the first ambassador to Mexico Joe Poinsett. He was a plant lover and was responsible for the exchange of plants to and from Mexico to the states. In 1828 the first poinsettias were sent to this country.  The plant blooms only once a year near Christmas time.
In the early 1900’s the plant becomes really popular and even a stamp is a picture of the plant. Red and green also become the dominant colors of the season.  By the 1960’s and 70’s American greenhouses produced millions of the plants.  Today they have become America’s second most popular plant. There are more than 150 varieties now. They have names like titan, marble star, ice punch and freedom. The red color make up 90% of the 200 million dollar market. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous to pets or humans. You can even taste the sweet nectar on the plant. Consumers typically buy one or two plants.
So water the things or throw them out for a new stock next year.




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Respect

This week we celebrated a holiday remembering Martin Luther King and if you didn’t work in retail you might have even gotten the day off from work. We remember him and respect him because he tirelessly fought in peaceful rallies preaching the quest of when all people will stand side by side in equality and peace. We are also lucky enough to have a man in congress, John Lewis,   who is old enough to have marched with the man throughout America. It is a day to respect those who worked for freedom and equal rights. Can Donald Trump sit back and let the day pass without controversy? Of course not.
He managed to get into a war of words with the congressman who threatened to boycott the inauguration ceremony   as Trump tweats that Lewis is all talk and no action. Does Trump even know anything about all the action the civil rights movement brought to America? Trump goes further in his ignorance to say, “Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and crime infested” Is his district really in horrible shape? Trump should have at least visited the Memorial to Doctor King in Washington. Instead he sent Mike Pence the vice-president elect instead. Lewis’s District covers much of metro-Atlanta and Trump is wrong about his assessment of the   region.
Atlanta will be hosting the NFC Championship Games where the winner can go to the Super Bowl. Yes, Atlanta can possible be the Super Bowl Champion this year. Atlanta is a beautiful city of diversity and good people. Did Trump also insult all the people of a city too? How can his congressional district be falling apart when it is home to corporate offices for Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines? Atlanta   also holds the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. Do your homework Trump before you spew your venom.  These important corporate businesses would not be there if the place was crime infested. There is even a new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture where Congressman Lewis is featured in some of the exhibits there. Should such a living legend be treated with such disrespect on such a respectful day too?  
At least 35 democrat lawmakers have declared that they won’t be participating in Trump’s Inauguration. Most of them were shocked that Trump attacked John Lewis with a war of words particularly on Martin Lewis King weekend.  Lewis is a living link to Martin Lewis King Jr. He has earned respect from both Republicans and Democrats. If you need a refresher course in the civil-rights movement, watch the movie called Selma. The movie in graphic form relives the day on a Sunday   in 1965 where John Lewis and others were marching for voting rights in a peaceful demonstration when Alabama police beat and killed the people.

For Donald Trump to assume that John Lewis is all talk and no action is to simply prove how ignorant Trump is. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Brats want more toys

In just two days we will be giving a brat who has everything new toys. He has already made a friend who has lots of the same toys. They both also like to sit in chairs and homes gilded in gold. He was such a bad ass even while growing up that he was raised in an overnight military school where he probably learned that status is power and that it is better to be on the side where he can bark orders no matter how stupid the orders are. The American people are about to be the victims of his irrational orders. Yes, Donald Trump’s new friend is Vladimir Putin. Their toys are not toy soldiers but nation’s nuclear weapons   and neither brat is talking about peace but increasing their stash of weapons of mass destruction. The Russian people and the American people get to bond too. We both get to pay taxes to pay for their new toys and stand by helplessly hoping that there is some safety for all humanity somehow.  
Already the discussions between the new world leaders are about how they can each increase and improve their arsenal of extreme weapons. Incidentally, Trumps approval rating as he approaches the Presidency is at 40% per cent. It is the lowest of any incoming President in recent history.  Does Donald Trump even remember recent history? Since the 1960’s the United States and Russia have been decreasing the nuclear stockpile. The latest Treaty called New Start signed on February 5, 2011 agreed that the two countries would get down to 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads according to the State Department by 2018. Will Trump change that? Right now the United States has about 2,700 nuclear weapons in reserve.
We have about 1,900 right now ready to be dropped from long range bombers, land based missiles or missiles on submarines. The Pentagon wants new versions of all three delivery systems. The Department of Energy is in the process of updating and reconfiguring the warheads themselves. This modernization of nuclear weapons can cost Americans almost a trillion dollars over the next 30 years if humanity even gets to last that long. Trump has already been making noise about trimming defense programs for projects that he feels are unnecessary like the development of fighter planes. He tweeted as he likes to do about trimming the money to the development of the Lookhead Martin F-35 and asked Boeing to develop a comparable F-18 Super Hornet Yes, brats always want new toys and tell people to make them for them even if the new toy doesn’t even exist!

To continue with the pricy nuclear modernization process is opposite with the New Start Treaty. By increasing our nuclear capabilities it will form thousands of jobs and fuel our economy. Did people vote for his job promises at the price of creating more weapons of mass destruction? It just so happens that Russia is doing the same thing for the same reasons. There is a lack of jobs problem there too.  Help us all survive.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Poor Pluto

What happened? I remember going to school with the coat hanger with strings hanging down holding various sizes of Styrofoam balls representing the NINE planets including tiny Pluto at the end. Now they are telling me that I was wrong. New stronger telescopes and satellites are proving that Pluto is not a planet and that they are searching for the real 9th planet. Well Pluto was considered a Planet for 76 years. Why change its status now? One astronomer from Cal Teck poof changed everything we have been taught recently. His name is Mike Brown and most people haven’t heard of him either.
Mike Brown   and other astronomers have been finding other large balls of ice or asteroids   similar to what Pluto has been reduced to in definition. Demoting Pluto leaves us with 8 planets in our solar system. Now Mike Brown is pretty sure he has found the real 9th planet and that it is further away and is huge. He has the nerve to declare that he has found a new planet when there hasn’t been another new planet discovered in the past 170 years. He thinks this new planet is 20 to 30 times more massive than the earth.  Yet it is so far away that even the largest telescopes on earth can hardly see it. So how can we be certain it exists as a planet?
It is fifty billion miles away from earth. They think new planet 9 takes 15 thousand years to orbit the sun. So how does he even monitor this new planet? Mike Brown sits on top of Mauna Kia the tallest mountain in Hawaii on the biggest island and looks through a telescope there daily mapping and charting all the stars he sees until he notices that one is moving and establishes that that one object must be a new planet. Mike Brown actually discovered this 8 years ago and since then has been substantiating his discovery more and more each day.  Astronomers have been wrong in the past in fact the old New York Times article that revealed the existence of Pluto originally said that it was “ possibly larger than Jupiter.” With more analysis throughout the years they then revealed that Pluto was no Jupiter in size but much smaller.

The region of space where all this is,  is called the Kuiperbelt at the edge of our solar system. It is an area of frozen s tars. So, now every textbook you ever learned about planets must be changed. Now they even say that Neptune controls Pluto’s orbit. That is a big demotion for Pluto. So to make all this new information credible, astronomers from all over the world gathered in Prague in 2006 to discuss the matter in 2006. Where have I been for the past 10 years? They actually took a vote to demote Pluto. They all voted overwhelmingly to go down to 8 planets. Now Mike Brown is known to be the guy who killed Pluto. Pluto lovers send Mike brown hate mail now Sigh! You live and learn. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A new kind of war

We have entered the age of a new kind of warfare. An age where there is no human on the trigger of detonating the weapon. At least before the age of terrorism wars were fought declared and the uniforms of brave men were worn proudly and when they went to battle they at times made crucial judgmental calls as to where exactly they would drop bombs or destroy buildings. Not anymore. Syria and ISIS level all buildings in a town. In other parts of the world we at least still have some buildings that have withstood the wrath of wars. We have embarked on a new cruel unforgiving and more lethal brand of death and warfare. Drones.
Over the past 15 years there has been a revolution in the rise of the drones. They now have the capability to be programed to remotely powered conduct air strikes and drop road side bombs.  There is no last minute decision by a reasonable pilot to perhaps change his minds at the last minute. No judgmental calls and no possible human humility involved anymore. This new generation of drones is automatous able to perform on their own just being programed somewhere with a directive.  The machines are run by computers. They make decisions faster and go into dangerous situations without any fear. They are the fleet of spider like machines in the air. You wouldn’t want one to focus on you. Could you escape the wrath of a flying machine with you as the target?
It sounds like a bad science fiction movie but sadly this technology is already a reality. The drones can fly themselves. Humans can simply tell them to patrol say like a 3 mile area. It has opened up a completely different form of warfare and maneuvers. They are called Perdix Drones that can operate in swarms. The once secret Pentagon organization called The Strategic Capabilities Office has developed these drones. Perdix is named after a bird found in Greek Mythology. The drones are a big as your hand and they look like a toy. They can fly fast and high. It was developed by MIT engineers Lincoln Labs. Perdix is designed to operate as a team. They are programed a mission as a group of 8 drones to seek and destruct. The drones can communicate with each other. They can sort out problems faster than a human.

They are cheap and expendable so there is no great loss if they crash to the ground unlike the expensive fighter jets. They can be equipped  with electronic transmitters to jam enemy radar.  They have a 1 out of 10,000 chance of being wrong. It will be a technological advantage in combat situations. It will be about 3 years before these new weapons will be ready for the battlefield. The engineers are looking into defense cap abilities for the airborne robots. Yes, maybe they will be able to shoot back too. The question is, how much human judgement will be displayed in this new kind of weapon? 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lego

Imagine being part of a toy company that will not pay for any advertising of its toys during the holiday season. Then you stand - by the bold decision and agree that the product sells itself and doesn’t need any advertising dollars in order to sell. What a bold policy to have since the holiday season is the biggest time of year to sell toys. Lego just might be the only recession proof company. Over the past 10 years other toy companies have struggled to make a profit.  Legos have outperformed other companies with little or no effort. For example profits in 2015 for the toy company Hasbro were 67 million dollars.  In the same year the toy company Mattel made $366 Million in profit. The company that only makes little pieces of molded plastic stackable piece s, Lego made $1.3 billion dollars. Yes, I said a Billion dollars in profits.
 Legos is also the toy company that is on the verge  of becoming the best selling toy company edging up to Mattel that sells $5.7 billion dollars in sales in 2015. Legos that same year sold $5.4 billion dollars in sales. Why is Lego so popular? There was a surge in sales when they licensed popular movies like Star Wars. Yes, there are Star Wars pieces to create your buildings with. Another reason for the popularity of Legos is that they are cheap. They are durable. You will never hear about a broken Lego piece. More importantly, Legos have been around long enough for parents to bond with their children. We all grew up playing with the little plastic construction pieces having our fantasy stories to go along with our creations. We will buy more pieces for the new generation.
Demand for Legos have been so much that the company has had a hard time keeping up with supply of the pieces. So, this year they cut their marketing budget and put that money into construction of more manufacturing places. The company made a tremendous amount of money in profits even with the fact that for the first time in 8 years Legos has not made it to the hottest holiday toy list of 2016. Here is the list: Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a pillar
       Little Tikes Lignt’n Go 3-in-1 Activity Walker
       Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall
       Shopkins Tall Mall Storage Case
       Little Live Pete Snugglee My Dream Puppy
      Hatchimals
      Dreamworks Trolls Hug Time Poppy
      Num Noms Lip Gloss Truck
     SelfieMic Music Set-Black or Pink
     NERF N-Strike Ellte TerraScout
     RC Drone Blaster
     Sky Viper v2400 HD Streaming Drone with FPV Headset
     Power Wheels 12-volt Wild Thing
     Star Wars Interac Tech Stormtrooper
     Pokemon Z-Ring Set
This list was compiled by the toy store chain called Toys”R”Us.

So bond with the younger generation and play with those cheap under-advertised  little plastic building blocks that still entertain and occupy us all. If you are a Trump lover you can even pretend you are building his great wall at the border of Mexico Lego style.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Get the eraser

We are just days away from having our new President. Donald Trump has threatened or promised to change many things that Obama signed to be done while in office. One of the biggest things he wants to abolish is Obamacare the health care for all citizens. We see all the time video of Presidents signing executive orders with important people standing behind them as they historically even use a different pen for every document they sign. But then a new guy comes along and he could virtually erase anything the previous President fought for and signed. I believe in change but how dramatic a  change does the average citizen that just wants a home and to feed his family has to cope with?
Just recently President signed an order to ban oil exploration in certain areas of the Artic and the Atlantic. Even more important was the way he invoked the rules. He used a 63 year old land use law instead of simply writing an executive law.  That was  good thinking on his part because when Donald Trump takes office on January 20, he can easily put to a stop Obama’s executive orders. How do the rules work? President Obama has issued 266 executive orders so far. George Bush in his reign as President issued 291. Bill Clinton issued 364. In war time Franklyn D. Roosevelt issued a whopping 3,721 executive orders.  One of his orders was to put 122,000 United States citizens or just about anyone who looked Oriental in internment camps out of fear of the Japanese on our shores.
The Iran nuclear deal recently made by Obama was done through executive agreement that got majority approval from the Senate. Re-establishing relations with Cuba was done through a Presidential Policy Directive. All not done with just a signature. However DECA which is the deportation of illegal immigrants was done by an executive order signature that could be erased by Trump. That involves about 962 thousand people in the United States.  In jeopardy could be the Paris Climate Agreement and the order to accept 10.000 Syrian refugees. In jeopardy is an order of Obama’s to require public schools to accept and accommodate trans- gender students.
So, it is sad to realize that the power of the pen is erasable. Some executive orders by new Presidents is to simply get rid of orders put in place by previous Presidents. Obama’s very first executive order 8 years ago was to abolish one put  in place by President Bush that was to limit public access to the records of former Presidents and Vice-Presidents. So day one’s actions by Donald Trump could be more to say about Obama’s legacy than Trumps depending how much of Obama’s wishes he could erase.  Stay tuned, the next four years could take us all for some crazy ride.  

  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pay the women

Why don’t they pay the girls? The National Football League pays the cheerleaders minimum wage if at all meanwhile they make billions of dollars and don’t pay taxes. The women’s basketball league does not pay the women the same wages as the men. Now the soccer teams have unequal pay meanwhile they are out performing the men. The women are finally fighting back. In this past March 5 members of the United States Soccer Team sued the Soccer Federation for wage discrimination. They get paid far less than the US Men’s Soccer Players. Meanwhile since the year 2000-2016 the women’s team won 295 games and the men’s team only won 150 games. They even clearly out- perform the men’s team and get no respect. Why? Should they even have to sue for some well -earned recognition and pay?
It is also the first case taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Jeffrey Kessler is the legal counsel for the U.S. Women’s National Team. It is the clearest case of gender pay discrimination. Even if this group of women did not out-perform the men they deserve equal pay for participating in the same sport. They even work for the same employer as the men. Yet they make dramatically less pay. In 2015 the women’s team won The World Cup and earned more revenue from ticket sales than the men’s team so they can’t say the girls do  not fill the stadiums.
The women are projected to fill the stadiums this year as well. The corrupt federation still is not offering more pay in the new agreement. Why? The equal pay debate is complicated because the both teams have different structures to their pay scale. The women are guaranteed $72,000 per year. That is $3,600 per game. The men have no guaranteed salary but are paid more per game at $5,000 per game. Both teams play about 20 games per year. So right there the men are getting $100,000 per year. Both teams win bonuses for winning but the men. The women’s bonus is only $1,350 per game but the men’s bonus is $6,250 per game.
Becky Sauerbrunn is the Co-Captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team says that if they tie or lose a game they get no bonus. The men have a ranking system. If the men  play a team ranked between 1-10, they still receive $17,000. So if the women’s team have a perfect season they get paid $99,000. If the men play a perfect season they get paid almost three times as much at $263,320. Yeah girls, take those bums to court!

Why doesn’t the Soccer Federation want to invest in the winning women? They say they are now working on a new agreement. Meanwhile the women are waiting on the terms of their new contract. Support women’s soccer already! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

America's Gift

America finally has a gift for America. Most people here work hard and abide by the laws of the land. Yet about half off our pay checks immediately are sent to the government for taxes especially now that we have to pay for healthcare for all too. The world is a more dangerous place everywhere since it seems that just about anyone has access to a lethal weapon. The only people that do not carry a gun are the people that still believe that we are at the top of the food chain and we should be able to reason and know right from wrong.  The fact of the matter is that we are threatened on a daily basis. There are mentally ill people with guns shooting up schools and malls and movie theaters. Places that shouldn’t be threatening at all.  Terrorists are shooting up places of culture and entertainment. Now we have returning soldiers shooting up airports. We have an elected President who talks more about weapons of mass destruction and seems to already be in bed with our long- time enemies never talking of peace but can’t wait to have his pussy grabbing hands on our nuclear weapons. Americans need a gift.
If a major disaster happens through the negligence of world leaders, terrorism, crazy individuals  or a tsunami or earthquake or diseases like AIDS or severe mosquito spreading birth defects, the very rich have bunkers planned underground for them or even a place on a space station. Bill Gates lives inside of a mountain. What does the common tax paying citizen have for protection in case of a disaster caused by anyone or anything? Nothing till now.
The Center for Disease Control has now stockpiled emergency supplies for the common person to be used to help us in cases like new threats like the Ebola or Zika  crisis. We now have supplies for disasters waiting for us. The CDC created the national stockpile. Millions of lifesaving supplies are being held in secret  secure places to deploy at a moment’s notice. They are secret storage units that hold lots of emergency supplies in multiple locations around the United States. Greg Burel is the Director of the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile.  These places hold things that you might expect like cots, food, ventilators, small pox vaccine and other top secret advance medicines. The places are designed to be within 4 to 5 hours of each other in travel time.

Since 911 the thought of a dangerous pandemic has been a concern. We now have employees that jobs are to be prepared for the worst things that can happen to Americans. We know that you can’t be ready for everything but it is good to know that now we are trying. Our taxpaying funds are being put to good use. However, we all hope that we will never have to use these emergency supplies. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

He was American History

We are still in remembrance mode to remember people who have died recently. We need to remember the dwindling amount of World War ll Veterans that die each year. There is one man determined to keep their stories of heroism alive.  He is a 19 year old from India here in America who started a go fund me page to help with the costs to find the elderly Veterans, interview them, record their combat stories and most of all thank them for their heroic service since these old still brave soldiers are dying at the rate of about 400 per day and they are the not so famous heroes.
A famous hero of America who died this past year was the walking symbol of America in the past century. He risked mortal danger all his life in order to save others. He is John Glenn born in 1921. He was a fighter pilot, astronaut and senator. A man who dedicated his life and work to protecting America through aviation. He died recently at age 95. He even went into space as a senior citizen to test the effects of space travel on senior citizens. He was an American who was in a different league than most of us. He was most famous for his 1962 orbit around the earth. He ran for President, returned to space when he was a 77 year old Senator. More amazingly as a young pilot he even flew with Charles Lindbergh. Few know that they flew together in World War ll in the Pacific.  Where is that Indian guy? Did he interview John Glen about his World War ll stories before he died? I doubt it.
If you don’t remember Charles Lindbergh went from being our most beloved hero after crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a flimsy plane in 1927. He was the father of successful Aviation in America.  Then he was hated during World War ll. Lindbergh had the balls to pebbly speak and campaigned to keep the United States out of World War ll. His efforts for peace went unheard and instead he was denounced as a Nazi sympathizer. Yet by the time the Pearl Harbor disaster happened, he went back into combat yet no branch of the military would accept him. Finally he loaded up his own planes with weapons and flew himself into the middle of the war. He volunteered as a civilian advisor.
Lindbergh went into aerial combat 50 times. He devised a way to deliver payloads of weapons to the Japanese mainland and get the planes back to base without running out of fuel. All of this was done in secret. But not in any book or history document will you find written data about glen’s relationship to Lindbergh.  Glen would verbally talk about that. Glen was one of the hot shot fighter pilots who helped Lindbergh in his project. To me that makes Glen part of our entire history of Aviation in this country and he just died.
The most famous Aviator of the 1920’s and the most famous Astronaut of the in 60’s had a real connection in protecting America in the century.  John Glen was our American hero.


                                                                                         

Friday, January 6, 2017

Thanks George Bush

Thanks George Bush. Thanks Condoleezza   Rice. Thanks Bono for getting the Aids crisis under control. This is the time of year when we hear the sweet music and see the pictures of all the notable people who have died this past year and we reflect on the impact they left on our lives. I want to reflect on the near death of AIDS thanks to the efforts of those three people over 2 decades ago. Although 911 can never be forgotten as a major blunder under George Bush’s watch. Credit must be given to the man who realized that money had to be spent to get the deadly disease under control.
Now there is a drug called Truvada.  It   is a single pill you take every day that contains 2 compounds that prevents the virus from replicating in the body.  It was approved in 2012 by the FDA as a prevention drug. With use of the drug gay men were not getting new infections. The goal is to reduce all infections by 2020 and the goal is already succeeding over time. Over the past few years and in 2014 they received the lowest number ever. There are many people now that don’t even realize the serious epidemic AIDS became  in the 80’s and 90’s.  It broke out in 1981. Today there are 37 million people living with HIV and last year alone more than a million people died from its causes but despite these horrific numbers breakthroughs in developing a vaccine is near and Truvada is a giant leap forward in preventing the spread of the disease.
There has even been great progress towards a cure. Reflect on that and be thankful. Thirty years ago if you tested positive for HIV it was a death sentence. Today there are dozens of different drugs available to suppress the virus. Despite that, since the 80’s nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS. In 2003 there was a vaccine developed in Thailand but proved to be only 30% effective. There is hope that the newer version will be more effective. South Africa still has the most HIV infections in the world. Today more than 25 million people there are HIV positive. Is is there where they are currently testing the most recent vaccine trial. In the past, in the year 2000, the government there would not even acknowledge that HIV was a cause of AIDS.

In 2002 a global initiative was formed to at least fund research into stopping mother to child transmission of the disease. Bono lobbied Washington, Rice told Bush to pay attention that AIDS was a pandemic that was destroying an entire generation of people and soon America funded programs in Africa that turned out to be one of the largest relief efforts in history for modern medicine. He supported the largest amount of money ever in going after a disease. In 2001 George Bush committed 200 million dollars to the effort to end death by this disease. No other country in the United Nations joined in the effort. In 2002 he committed an additional 500 million dollars to stop mother to child transmission of the disease. Now that is not a problem. Let us not just remember who died but also what died in the past.  AIDS is now manageable and less people are contracting the deadly disease.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Want to be a Cop?

It is a new year. Are you thinking of a new occupation? Want to be a cop? If you care about your life, I’m not sure it is a good occupation any more. The uniform is disrespected and frankly a cop is simply a target to any gun holding thug. Gangs are increasing and are policing their own territory in their own way with gang on gang violence. A cop is only in the way and someone to shoot at randomly or to dare them to shoot them. If you get shot by a cop chances are you can win millions of dollars in the courts and the cop’s career is gone and the cop goes to jail. So the sentiment on the streets is to taunt a cop and simply ignore the cop’s demands.
In Chicago the number of dead bodies since last New Year’s Day has risen dramatically. More than 700 people were murdered and over 4,000 shot. That is more people than in New York and Los Angeles combined. Gangs, guns and drugs is the cause for the chaos in Chicago but more importantly the spirit of the cops are gone. There is a drop in the type of police work that is so important to preventing crime. They are not investigating crimes because the community isn’t cooperating. Without the respect of a community it is hard to get anything done. The dead and wounded are simply removed with a grim efficiency. Murder is becoming normal in Chicago. Many days three murders a day. The churches pray for a low body count.
59 gangs are at war over territory in drugs in   Chicago’s west and south sides. There are killings over trash talk to each other.  There is anger and distrust everywhere and the communities seem to be abandoned. Children are afraid to go out of their homes for fear of being shot and killed by random gun fire. When is enough  enough? The data from inside the police department says it all. As killings rose, police activity declined. In August of 2015 police questioned 49,257 people about crimes.  A year later in 2016 the amount of police questions dropped to 8,859 cases being questioned and investigated thoroughly with cooperation from the public. How can a cop help a community when the community won’t talk? That is down 80% in just one year.
Arrests were off by 1/3 by 10,154 people. You can’t arrest if you don’t have a suspect. The morale of a cop these days is the lowest ever. Cops have a stressful job on a good day. They are called to deal with the lowest of the low every day. Most of their interaction is with a bad citizen not a good one. Now they also have to deal with the fear of being randomly shot because they have the courage to wear a uniform or be disrespected when they arrive to a call. Now the cell phone videos are on after the cop is disrespected and forced to take action on a unruly person trying to punch, slap or take the officer’s gun. So now a cop is stepping back. Good luck without a dedicated police officer respected in your community in this New Year. You are going to need it.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Broadway

Tis the season to entertain guests, meet with folks you haven’t seen in a while and treat yourself to some Broadway shows. Well we all know that Hamilton is out of the question. That show has been sold out for the next few years. So how should you choose the next alternative? I choose to follow the Broadway career of Sutton Foster. Yeah her. She is famous on Broadway for being in so many shows and puts out a great performance. If she is in it, buy a ticket. Her life story might as well be right out of the classic 1933 movie called 42nd Street.
Her life mirrors the movie where she was also the understudy, gets a break, does the star’s performance and becomes a star herself. In the year 2000 Sutton was the understudy for the lead actress in the Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Milly.  The director of the show called her and soon offered her the role and told her that the actress was leaving the show. All this real life drama happened just one week before opening night. It was a risk with a new unknown girl that paid off. Foster ended up receiving her first Tony award for the role. Now that is a good feeling story if any. The best thing is that when the opportunity came into her life, she was prepared and confident she could do the job. Do you have that sense of confidence about the possibility of the next career step in your life?
Sutton Foster was born in Georgia and went to the local dance school and performed in the school productions. Then she branched out to a local theater company and was confident that she should play the title role of Annie in their Annie production. She got the part. At age 15 she auditioned and got to perform on Star Search and came in second place. In 2006 had a role in The Drowsy Chaperone, 2007 Young Frankenstein, 2008 Shrek the Musical, 2014 Violet, 2015 Little Women and won her second Tony in 2011 in   Cole Porter’s Anything Goes. She went on in 2014 Violet, in 2015 Little Women. By now yes she has proven that she can sing and dance but is now having the confidence to put her own personality into her roles.  

Singing without acting is just noise. Dancing without acting is just movement. Put a personality into it all like Robin Williams or Jonny Depp then you have a follow able star. It is the acting that now is giving her a bit of fame in her current role as Charity Hope Valentine who is a dancehall hostess searching for love in The New Groups Off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity that was made famous by Gwen Verdon on Broadway many years ago and made Shirley McLain iconic in the movie version. She has also branched out and is now staring in the TV show called younger. So take a chance and find this girl and watch her in action. We gotta enjoy it right?  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Gates are Open

Obama gave lots of gifts this season before he leaves office. He commuted the sentences of 153 prisoners and pardoned 78 more. Commuted as in meaning he granted a lesser sentence for a prisoner’s crime. Pardoned as in forgave the crime.  Add it up and it is 231 acts of forgiveness. It is the biggest act of clemency on a single day and it is only a fraction of Obama’s gifts this season. The United States represents about only 5% of the world’s population. Yet we house more than 20% of the world’s prisoners.  Most of them are from incarcerations for drug offenses. In 1984 there were 41 thousand prisoners. In 2014 there are   488 thousand incarcerations.
Judges by law had no choice but to hand down lengthily sentences including life in prison. Now many states have voted to make marijuana use legal. In 1988 possession of as little of 5 grams of crack cocaine had a mandatory sentence of 20 years behind bars. There are a lot of African-Americans in prison because of laws like this one. They make up 13% of the prison population but 39% are in Federal prisons. President Obama is trying to undo some of the systems most unfair sentences. President Obama commuted 1,176 prisoners convicted of non- violent and mostly drug related crimes. 395 were serving life sentences. Obama has let out of prison more people than the past 11 Presidents combined!
Daddy Bush let out 11 prisoners, Clinton 61 prisoners, Baby Bush only 3 prisoners, Regan 13, Carter 29 and Ford 22. We can go back further to Nixon who let out 60 prisoners, Johnson 226, Kennedy 100, Eisenhower 47 and Truman 11. Many Judges are in favor for the President’s decisions on clemency because for years they felt their hands were tied   and were forced to give strict sentences for non-violent offenses.  Some offences are now legal in some states. Many sentences were for first offenders who wound up in the mandatory sentence system. Most were black men. There was no judging going on. The judging was going on by the prosecutor who claimed what the charge was.
The Clemency Process is not an easy thing. You have to have been convicted of a federal crime. You must have already served more than 10 years of your sentence. You must apply to the Department of Justice, Office of the Pardon Attorney. This office reviews the case and if they consider it worthy, will then pass the case onto the Deputy Attorney General who then sends it on to the White House Counsel and then the President who makes the final decision that can not be appealed. Applications can be denied at any point along this long process. The Obama Administration has received nearly  32,000 applications for Clemency.

There are a lot of welcome home parties this year but so many more who didn’t make it to freedom. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Golf Anyone?

My New Year’s Resolution is to try to be kind to Donald Trump. Sadly I’ m already breaking my resolve. The man has already proven to be a bully when he said the election was “fixed” before he even realized he won the thing. Now if he lost the election by having about 3 million votes more than the other candidate would he just go home? I doubt it. He has already lied about many of the things he vowed to do on the campaign trail. Today he is taking it easy and playing golf. It only just makes me think of how he lied to all those Scottish people he lied to and gave to him their precious pristine coastal land.
About 10 years ago Donald Trump stepped off his plane and went to Scotland and made a vow. He vowed to build the greatest golf course the world had ever seen. He found 14 hundred pristine acres in the town of Aberdeen.  It is a stretch of coast line along the North Sea. For thousands of years there have been no development and the natural sand dunes have been carved out by the wind making it a pristine paradise untouched by any commerce. Donald does not see any value in this natural paradise.  He wants to build. He wants to build a hotel, a clubhouse, housing around the course etc. How did he create the trust of the Scottish people? Sounds like the election.
He promised or lied to them that he would bring billions of dollars to the region and jobs. He got important people from the Scottish Parliament to believe him and support him. Soon everyone was convinced that Trump was a good thing. That was then. It is where we are now after the election trying desperately to support the pompous blowhard liar. The Scottish support was a decade ago. Now most say the sale of the land was a mistake and they were seduced by Trump’s promises. He talked big and did not deliver. He became to be known as a brash big mouth bully. Sounds familiar. He intimidated those who stood in his way.

Today he has a sub- zero image in Scotland. Many view the project as a failure. It hasn’t generated the 6 thousand jobs as promised. It generated a total of about 150 jobs. The condos, hotel and clubhouse are still only ideas in blueprints. They feel the last person they would like to see as our President is Donald Trump. The same people here in America who are plagued by economic anxiety have put their vote and faith in the man who has made the same kind of unfulfilled promises to the Scottish people 10 years ago. So, I can only resolve to tolerate the already obvious that has managed to dupe so many Americans who believe he can really deliver on his half- baked promises. The Scottish people are down- right embarrassed in their decision to have any faith in the man.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Laws in 2017

As soon as you are sober it is time to realize what new laws go into effect for 2017. Part of your New Year’s resolutions should be to remain free from prosecution for something.  The problem is that laws can be dramatically different from state to state meanwhile you are not even sure if you have driven into a different state if you miss the road sign while driving welcoming you into the new state. Here are some new laws across the country that you need to know about.
In California it is now illegal to use or hold cell phones or small electronic devices while driving. Devices will now have to be mounted on the dashboard or placed in the console while driving. Drivers must use hands free technology.
Good News is that millions of workers will receive a raise in their pay checks now.  18 states will be raising their minimum wages
In Nevada they legalized recreational marijuana. Imagine what those Casinos will smell like now. It is one of four states that decided to end prohibition.
In California there will be an extended ban on assault weapons now.  
A number of states have passed new laws to doctors to limit the number of opiates they can prescribe in pills to their patients or they are to limit the potency of the pills they prescribe.
People will have access to medical marijuana now in North Dakota, Florida, Arkansas and Montana. In Michigan medical dispensaries will finally gain  legal status years after thy approved the opening of medical dispensaries.
In California the right to rescue act will make it legal for good Samaritans to break into hot cars to save pets and children or the elderly from the heat as long as you call the authorities first.
In   California drinks can be served in barber shops and salons as long as they don’t charge you for the alcoholic beverage.
People in Oregon will not be allowed to release the paper lanterns lit with candles inside  into the air for safety reasons.  
In Illinois   you will be able now to catch cat fish with a spear or bow and arrow or yes even a pitch fork.
Tinted windows will have to allow 70% of light to pass inside the vehicle.
Funeral homes can now serve snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.
The tax on gas for vehicles   will be rising by at least 7 cents per gallon.
Car registration will cost you at least 20% more in 2017.
Owners of hybrid’s will be paying a 47 dollar fee in addition to the 20% increase to register the car.
Electric car owners will have to also pay an additional $125 in fees added to the other costs.
After paying all those fees the medical marijuana legal law doesn’t seem so bad so pass me a brownie.
So here we are just one day into the New Year and my head is spinning from realizing that the country wll soon be full of all pot heads unable to afford to drive a good energy efficient car but I can catch a cat fish with a pitch fork and get booze at my haircut. Sigh!



Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy?New Year!

Happy? New Year! Is it going to be possible for us to be happy in the future? Some are very sad about the election. Sad about Obama care sucking our income right out of our meager pay checks. Sad about Trump aligning with Putin instead of Obama over diplomats and spying. Sad that our prisons are now corporate owned and are simply a business and not a rehab in any way. Storage units for human life is the American prison system. We must overlook? These problems or anything that is troubling you personally. We can’t jus flick them away like an annoying fly. At least take notice of the good in life and then feel a quiver of happiness.
I find happiness in the St Jude brand of hospitalization. A charity that at least gives back immediately to the families crushed by cancer. They will treat the patient and their immediate family. They will house and take care of both till things get better. That idea   which   is a reality   gives me happiness. Another source for happiness for me is The Boys Town of America which provide a special home for some very needy kids who are career criminals before the age of 16. Some have committed so many crimes already that they have 80 year sentences to jail. Located 10 miles outside Omaha, Nebraska is a place where almost every kid is at a crossroad in their young life.
The goal is that the kids can leave the town called Boys Town behind and move on to a productive life.  Most of the kids arrive there straight from jail. Their parents don’t have any more money left for bail. Their multiple crimes have exhausted any rehab programs. Boys Town is that beacon of light in the darkness that can hopefully be the last chance for the kids to lead a free and happy life.  Rent the old movie about the place and realize that it is still in existence for about 100 years now. Sometimes a last chance for a kid can become a new beginning. Total holiday sales this year are expected to exceed $1 trillion that is an  almost 4% increase over 2015, Does happiness come in a wrapped box and a bow? No! Things come that way.
At Boys Town they have names again and are not identified by their jail number. They get 24 hour housing that is not a jail cell but a home with meals and an education. Now they can here that someone is proud of them. Meanwhile there are more felons in Boys Town than in any other place in Nebraska. There they are doing all their best to change.  It was only boys until 1979 and then girls were sent there too. Most of the kids have been unable to live anywhere else without getting into trouble. This is their last chance. The kids go in knowing only that they are bad kids. They are then reminded that all that bad was their own decision and they have their youth on their side to change from bad to good. There are about 55 homes on campus housing about 8 kids each.

Try to find your happy in this New Year my friends and readers. You are my friends because I realize you take the time out in your busy life to connect with me and read my rants. Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of you who have connected with me. Happy New Year to you!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Hamilton

Hamilton is a musical where pop culture rarely mixes with tradition and even brings races and generations together liking the same thing. Not an easy task. So now what? It is a breakout success and no one can get tickets and if you can get tickets you paid a ridiculously high price. Where do the creators go from here? He is only 36 years old and has accepted awards for acting, writing, singing, dancing, and songwriting. The 3 hour show is explained in the first very long run on   sentence of the play. “How does a bastard orphan son of a whore and a Scotsman dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by Providence inpoverance in squalor, grow up to be a hero and scholar?” That is the question they answer in the 3 hour show.
Hamilton arrived in N.Y.C. during the American Revolution. Hamilton was involved in every event in American history. He never became President but had a bigger impact than the Presidents of that time. His mentor was George Washington. Thomas Jefferson was Hamilton’s primary political opponent. Hip hop and rap define this show. He has the founding fathers played by black and Latino actors to deliver the feel of the show. In only 16 months on Broadway, Hamilton has already established itself as Broadway’s premium show with tickets already commanding $1,000 a seat. Both the President and Vice-President has seen the show. What are   these people thinking when they say “I have to step down so the country can live on”?
Hamilton was the first Treasury Secretary who created our first fiscal system, monetary system, first custom service   and bank. So the story is about a penniless   orphaned kid who comes out and creates monumental   achievements in his lifetime that still exist in our lifetime. His father abandoned the family when Alexander was 11 and his mother died when he was 13 years old. He left for America and didn’t know a single person on these shores from his Caribbean Island. .  The composer of the play was not wealthy either. His father moved from Puerto Rico to Manhattan when he was 18 years old. The composer went to a school for the gifted and was in every school play. The family did not have a lot of money to see Broadway shows but they collected cast albums. They were his textbooks.
He graduated from college with a theater arts degree and wrote the Broadway musical called In the Heights that won the 2008 Tony for Best Musical. Two months later he began work on Hamilton. In his research he notices that Hamilton writes a poem that they like that wins him the money to go to America. This composer sees a connection to today’s rap artists. It is the same a Biggy and Jay Z writing about growing up in the same Projects. It is Eminen  growing up white in Detroit and rapping. This composer’s gift is being able to bring an amazing forgotten story of American History back into the light again and we all are sucked into it and enjoy it because Broadway has been changed musically and historically.



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Traditions

Tradition. Is very important in many religions. Many have fought and died for their religious beliefs. It is the season to be religious. It is time to reflect on your moral code and think and answer for yourself why you do what you do every day and work so hard at it. Do you work for ambition or do you work just for the money? Do you love someone and want to shower them with the best you can buy? Are you tied to your cross with family obligations that are wearing you out and tiring you to near death? Are you happy?
A good backdrop and sound for you to reflect on what is traditional and what you should be doing in life is to spend some time listening to the Pope’s Choir that performs at the magnificent Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. The magnificent 16th Chapple holds nothing but high ceilings and beautiful paintings everywhere painted on the ceiling and walls. No microphones are needed because the acoustics are so great that everyone can hear a whisper. It is there under Michelangelo’s breathtaking frescos   that tradition and time of life is depicted. My strife is that he draws death or the end of the world with the flesh literally falling off our bodies and faces. Is that how we really end life? So much to think about.
The choir sings acapella without the assistance of an organ or any other instrument but for their natural voices. Pope Francis is the most down to earth and welcoming person the choir has ever met so they ar pleased to be called The pope’s Choir. The choir is the holy soundtrack to Mass for the Pope made of 32 boys and 22 men.  There have been only six Choir Directors in the past 200 years. Most of the music is soft by Chapel standards. The composer is Palestrina who composed in thinking of the purity of the song. Auditions for the choir are held in the third grade and 700 children are allowed each year to audition They have the voices of an angel and must earn their wings.  



Friday, December 23, 2016

Peace on Earth and Good Will to All

It is just 2 days before Christmas. We ran out of time again. How are we supposed to attain Peace on Earth and good will to all? Impossible considering the constant bombings all over the world especially now at places that are trying to celebrate their traditions that they did well probably more so because their parents did it that way and so should they. People who practice any religion or read page be page literally any book like the Bible, Torah or Coran or Star Wars should be left alone to get through this life of theirs in any way they choose to as long as they don’t harm anyone else.
Harming others is big on my New Year’s worries already. President elect Donald Trump of the United  States has assembled the richest and most powerful and influential people he could possibly find in a month’s notice to be on his cabinet and run the massive amount of government organizations. Those people alone are worth billions of dollars and comprise more net worth than most still underdeveloped countries in the world. Are they seeking a fortress for themselves with our underground bunkers and elaborate space station offered to the elite? Pompous Trump and selfish Putin have not been talking about peace on earth for anyone. This week they both bonded over their wish to increase nuclear powerful weapons. Are they getting ready for the ultimate end of earth? They both unwind by getting the most accurate telescope with bullets attached to eradicate our precious near extinct wild game animals for personal pleasure.  They don’t delight in peace or good will to anyone but themselves.
At this holiday season I must write finally about some good happening in the world. Thankfully Congress after their vacation approved billions of dollars proposed by Obama to eradicate the Zika  crisis where our children were being born literally brainless because of the dangerous venom being spread by mosquito bites world - wide now. Hopefully good news will follow about that disaster in progress. The great news is that there is a new Ebola Vaccine available that has proven so far up to 100% effective against the deadly virus. The World Health Organization is responsible for this progress. The announcement was made recently after many trials were successfully treated on 5,000 people. The new vaccine is incredibly effective working within 4 or 5 days of treatment.
Remember the outbreak killed 11,000 people in South Africa earlier this year. So, maybe we can have a Happy New Year! This news comes directly from Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny the Assistant Director General (Health Systems & Innovation). The vaccine still waits for approval from regulators. 300,000 dosages of the vaccine has already been created to use this time in case of another outbreak. Final FDA approval of the vaccine is expected some -time in 2018. So maybe this news will give you some peace of mind and will make you to be able to wish well to someone else too. That is what this season of gift giving and cheer is all supposed to be about.  


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Top Ten

Where is   the most trusted place to get our news? I will go with the AP The Associated Press simply because they have been there for us for many years and their stories of current events have been in every publication.  It is the time of the year when everyone lists their top something. Well, the Associated Press recently listed their top 10 stories of 2016. I wish that top meant the best stories but sadly it is always about the worst disasters and each and every year we have our share of disasters too. The Associated Press reports on worldwide events so America should be grateful if we don’t make it to their list.
Number 10 was Hillary Clinton’s e-mails although no problems were found, once the FBI got involved just days from the election, it all became a problem. The New York Times was full of e-mail related articles.
Number 9 was all the Supreme Court drama that is still unsolved starting with the death of Anton Scalia leading up to Congress not cooperating with Obama and his choice to nominate a new justice. Just another example of the blatant disrespect of Obama with no support from a Republican Congress.
Number 8 involves the constant wave of stories out of Syria  where the streets and homes of people are just empty shells of destruction everywhere.
Number 7 was the random executions of Police Offficers’    starting in Texas, Missouri, and Florida where officers were shot and killed in attacks. A person wearing a Police Uniform is there to clearly represent help to a community not to be there as a target.
Number 6 was a continuation of the attacks on Police Officers all over the country.
Number 5 was about all the terrorist attacks all over the world happening just about large groups of people are gathering to have fun.  Suddenly bombs go off without warning and many die. In Niece, France more than 80 died.
Number 4 is about more terrorist attacks at the Pulse Nightclub a true Massacre. This was a mass shooting where 49 people were killed.
Number 3 is intertwined with number six in that it involved the killing of black men killed by police. Lots of graphic social media coverage added to the horror.
Number 2 is all about BREXIT. The English people breaking from the European Union. The pound went to its lowest value. The vote was very close on the decision. No one really expected it to happen.
The Number one top story of 2016 by the Associated Press is the United States Election where experienced politicos like Bernie Saunders and Hillary Clinton were cast aside for a brash, fast talking, bully, buffoon self- made billionaire.  The shock that the Democratic Party has collapsed after hearing that it was the Republican Party that was shattering. The Democrats at this time control so little. They control four state houses whereas   the Republicans control   25. Trump won the suburbs where Democrats control cities. It was shocking how things changed so quickly.  





Tuesday, December 20, 2016

He is the coolest most talented quiet decent guy making big money in Hollywood now. Rian Gosling was the guy who got the girl in the film called The Notebook. He is serious about his  career in that he left his home town of Cornwall, Onterio to find fame and fortune in  America. He has that low key leading man type that is turning on fans everywhere. He admits that it is not easy to leave all you know to go to Los Angelis to find that everything doesn’t necessarily go your way. It is the same dream that he is involved in but only as the leading man in the film called La La Land. In this film we get to see him perform  things we didn’t even know he was capable of doing even well like playing jazz  piano or sing and dance.
The film is a wonderful romance and is the third film he has performed with Emma Stone. Here they studied for this movie the moves of the great Grace Kelly in his movie treasures. Ryan has been training all his life for a role something like this one since   as a young boy he was a Mickey Mouse Kid.  He went to dancing school as a child, performed in music videos and other musical events. He belongs in the ranks of Justin Timberlake, Brittney Spears and Christina Aguilera.   The music for this film is good and stays pleasantly in your mind.

He is married and the father of two young daughters. Hiss long time love is Eva Mendez.  So be enchanted by the film and by his talent in his own quiet way. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hope in a hopeless place

It is the time of the year that you hear more often than ever “Peace on earth and good will to all men” yet there is killing of innocent people still. Not even soldiers who signed on for battle are present in the towns where   innocent people are being   bombed by weapons being dropped by slow flying helicopter in residential neighborhoods. A city that once held 2 million people is on the edge of depletion after 5 years of siege and starvation. Who are you leading when you have empty cities ruined by your own bombs and nothing but death in the air? Aleppo is the city and Russia is helping in the bombing attacks even in food markets. . It was once Syria’s largest city.
For civilians the greatest fear is to be buried alive. Their only hope for protect ion is not the United Nations Army buy a group called the Civil Defense that is an all-volunteer Syrian rescue force that call themselves The White Helmets and thank whatever God you want to believe in that they have the bravery to stay and help the helpless. Trump should go straight to hell with Putin if they are supporting the killing of the innocent.  There are bombings day and night. Often the bombs are not aimed at any particular target just dropped causing   many deaths. The White Helmets have grown to be a trained force of 3,000 rescue workers. They are the only hope for civilians in distress.  Often bare hands is in a race against life and death as a digging tool. They will dig for 6-7 hours straight to try to save a life. It is amazing how humans have made it so easy to kill but not so easy to save a life.
The white helmets say they have saved 70,000 people from death. Yes there are angels in white here on earth in the most dangerous places. The white helmets say they do it for the rush of pleasure when they see eyes open or a child alive enough to cry. They have goals to save the most amount of people in the least amount of time. When they go home they cry too that human life. The head of the food chain are so ignorant to destroy themselves for no good reason. At least animals kill each other for hunger. Humans kill for territory? Is it worth it? We could be doing so much more good things for any society. At least in past wars the Red Cross and the United Nations  wore white and were not targets In this brutal war they are bombing the white helmets and even underground hospitals that only house the sickest children. Does Russia and Syria want to completely eradicate their cities? Why do these madmen align together? Why does Trump like Putin?
The helicopters usually hit the same targets three times. The second time is to kill the white helmets. They have lost 154 volunteers. After a few bombings the citizens realized that no one would be coming to help them. So they banded together and at least formed the White Helmet first responders. The United States chipped in 29 million dollars for the special rescue training and gear. That makes up about a quarter of the white helmets budget. You can see the stories of the White Helmets on You Tube. These are all real and not for entertainment purposes. They tried to bomb the reporter’s apartment.  The White Helments are Hope in a disastrous part of this small world.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

We need to clean house

Why did America choose to go with brash, outspoken and crude Donald Trump as their leader after having 8 years of kind, gentle yet strong with all his successful missions with the Seals to accurately get rid of the source of our problems.  I fault the way to uncooperative Republican Congress that tried their hardest to oppose just about anything Obama submitted in front of them for approval. Perhaps Trump got elected because he said he was going to go to Washington to drain the swamp. Americans want the congressional swamp cleaned up but can he really do that?  A year ago it was very apparent that there was a growing dysfunction in Washington. Obama was giving up the domestic fight. The rise in extreme partnership crippled the government that it even caused it to close down for a while. This is not what hard working taxpayers want to hear.
After the election we are still a divided country but we are still appreciative of calm eloquent Obama. Now his final approval ratings are among the highest in history. Despite his popularity Obama wasn’t able to complete most of the new policies he put into place. He admits that he failed to break up the partnership club in Washington.  Congress is a failure. The productivity of its work is way down.  The number of laws enacted in the past 6 years by year has declined. 504, 483,460 after Obama takes office laws passed, 385, 282 and 232. How did we go down in productivity from 504 to 232?  Incidentally now Obama and Congress is in Hawaii on their voted in all paid winter vacations.
This political stalemate has harmed us internationally. We are a joke. January 2009 was Obama’s Presidential Inauguration that attracted millions of people to witness the event and all were happy and hopeful except the Republicans and then soon after social media not trusting   Obama. Meanwhile he took office in the middle of a financial crisis not seen since the depression. We were losing 750 jobs every month. The automobile industry was on the verge of bankruptcy, the banks were collapsing and people were losing their retirement money their life savings in their 401k plans, 31.8 million applied for food stamps, an all time high and he inherited all these problems immediately and we were headed towards a great depression and it all was now considered his problem during his office with little or no help from Congress. Who the hell would want this job?
By January 23rd, 2009 Obama in his 4th day in office assembled both parties together to do something to stop these problems. At that time they agreed to cooperate.  How to solve the problems was where they immediately took sides. He wanted to stimulate the economy with funds from government spending and they wanted to do tax cuts. This dispute laid the foundation for little or no cooperation for the next 8 years for just about anything Obama proposed. Even when innocent children got killed in school the Republican Congress would not vote for better gun control laws.  They   wouldn’t vote for the appointment of a Supreme Court Judge that they liked during his Administration.
 Now we have this bombastic lunatic voted in to be President who has already offended other world leaders, made about faces on promises and left it open for a questionable or fair election and he hasn’t even been sworn in.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

A bloodbath for drugs

There is a popular President who defiantly promotes the slaughter of   drug users and drug dealers ordering his Police Departments to openly kill anyone suspected of being involved with drugs; the drug lords and the addicts. There are no judge or jury found with these people. The President is Duterte of the Philippians. He is happy to say that Hitler killed 3 million Jews and he would be happy to kill 3 million drug users and dealers. He simply says, “You destroy my country, I kill you.” It is a fate worse than the death penalty.  He is telling his supporters to kill on sight if they are armed. This vigilante is popular. He likes Donald Trump.
Five months after he took office there is evidence of human blood on every street. A single night could bring 17 deaths within ear reach. Manilla has thousands of deaths already. More than 5,800 have been killed so far by police and vigilante’s caught up in the war on drugs.  It is shocking that the impulse decisions remain unchallenged. This leader and his policies are wanted by his people. Only Risa Hontiveros a Senator of Pasay City in the Philippines dare to oppose the killings. The Police deny that they are being used as executioners yet that is what they do on instinct.  One of the cities called Daba is now one of the safest in the country. People who surrender go to prisons that are over -crowded.

It seems that the world is becoming  more towards socialism and wants dictators and not Judges, juries  and investigations. Not much of a democratic place. It is a very controversial approach to the drug problem.  They wrap the faces with tape of those executed. You are not a suspect if you are dead. How do you know who is the good people vs. the bad people when death is instant? A jail there should have 800 capacity that are housing more than 3 ,000.  If a politician dares to question his tactics, they are found dead. Is this the new justice? Law and Order?da

Thursday, December 15, 2016

They found Peace


                            War is over? Wouldn’t that be nice to hear all over the world?  Well this Christmas we can say that it is over in South America. For more than half a century Columbia has been one of the most violent and isolated countries on earth. Can I really go there now to enjoy a cup of the best coffee in the world in peace? For the last 50 years Columbia has been known more for cartels, kidnapping and drug trafficking. Who finally cleaned up the place? It was the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia or FARC that fought the longest war in the western hemisphere until recently. What made them put down their guns and behave better? How do you end a 52 year war that left 220,000 dead and millions of families displaced? The army’s only focus was to overthrow the government. Billions of United States dollars helped but the government tried the most unusual ways of modern warfare. An advertising campaign was launched to attract the soldiers with some acts of humanity. Suddenly beauty and peace is attractive to a rebel army? Can this be done in Syria and with ISIS?
The Columbian government tried something new. They hired an advertising executive to get the FARC army’s attention. He did it with Christmas Trees and Soccer balls to convince the rebels to give up and go away without a single shot fired. Let’s try this in all police departments then. This sounds like something happening in a fictional movie but it is true. His name is Jose Miguel Sokoloff who is the creative genius who convinced a government to deal with the problem his way. All advertisers are experts in getting your attention to then buy something. He wanted their attention to listen to something.  In 2010 they launched operation Christmas. They went into enemy territory and found Christmas trees and fitted them with lights and motion detectors that would set them off.
They put up signs that said,  “ If Christmas can come to the Jungle, then you can come home.” At Christmas everything is possible. Roughly 5% of the army came forward. The focus was to demobilize as many soldiers they can. So they put more lighted trees till they all left for their willing families and put their guns down. Then they wrote letters and gave gifts and floated them in the rivers and streams. This attracted even more soldiers to simply put down the guns and go home. The President of Columbia was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the war. Just beautiful moving lights in the waters and twinkling trees made them all suddenly cherish their lives in their country.

They tried stickers on trees and beams of lights anything to intrigue the soldiers and to think of something other than death. Nothing worked more powerfully than when they had the mothers of soldiers say come home to sons they haven’t seen in w20 years. Fliers with the mothers pictures with their sons were placed all over the jungle on clothes lines. That touched the men to put down the gun and go home. Soccer was a very successful campaign.  They loaded signed soccer balls of famous players in helicopters and made the soldiers feel the rain of the balls.  They had stickers with the message go home and let’s play again. Leagues were formed as the men came home to play and Columbia smells of great coffee again.
Coumbia's spirit once dead by war has risin again. In the last 10 years international investment is up by 100%. Tourism is up by 240%. It used to be the murder capitol of the world at 6,000 per year. Now people party all night long in safety. Now they built escalators up the mountainsides to assist the poor s well as the wealthy people.
It is strange that most advertisors want to retain clients, in this case the advertisors want to get rid of the violent soldiers they attracted. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A forever dad

It is great to be a father but why is it ok in this society to be a father when you really should be or already are a grand-pa? I guess if you are rich and famous you can still afford to bring in young children in your senior years. Years ago you never heard of men making babies in their senior years out of respect for their  wife.   Bring on the young juicy ones!
People use pop stars as their heroes. Look at Mick Jagger. Ok don’t look at him for long he is ugly.  He certainly has longevity where there are other artists songs singing that they want to dance like Mick Jagger. But at the age of 73 he just became a father again. Now he has 8 children and he is not the only one. Jut google it for yourself. Type in older dads and you will have an abundance of lists of older dads. His guitarist from The Rolling Stones who is 68 years old just had twins. The white haired comic who never had kids, Steve Martin is now a first time dad at age 67. Robert DeNero just had another daughter and he is 68 years old. Donald Trump tried it again and had Baron at age 59. Is this a good thing for old men or just rich and famous old men?

The rich and famous certainly can afford to hire someone else to run after the kid like a dad. In the movie called When Harry Met Sally she says that Charlie Chaplin had kids when he was 73.  He said that Charlie was too old to pick them up. Mick Jagger is a busy man sexually or just very sloppy. He has a 46 year old daughter of which he had three other children with wife number one. She was model Jerry Hall and two of their kids are also models and they have kids. And great-grand - children are abundant. And he is still singing his hit song, Let’s Spend the Night Together.  Well then there is the famous quote that says anyone can be a father but it is a special man who is a dad. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Our most important day

We should remember the day that caused America to go from 12th in military might to the number one power in the world of military might every year since the December 7th disaster that there are only a handful of survivors left to tell their story from that day. Most people that visit the monument in the sea don’t realize that over 1,000 soldiers died in the sinking of just that one ship. We all need to remember Pearl Harbor not just the few remaining old men who were there and survived the attack. It represents American history that has paved our military policy ever since the attack. It was the Japanese attack in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.
Here we are 75 years later and most Americans don’t care. Well I wanted to know why we spend so much of taxpayer dollars on our military might. The surprise attack reminds me why we always need to be prepared for a disaster. Trump is already pissing off China because he wants to gossip with Taiwan. I really don’t want to go up in smoke because of his antics.  Pearl Harbor is a beautiful quiet part of Hawaii. It used to be a dock for the famous Pan Am Clippers who brought tourists to the island for fun and rest. The appearance of war in this tropical outpost seemed unnatural until that Sunday in 1941 when all hell broke loose.
At 8 A.M. swarms of Japanese fighter planes let loose millions of bullets everywhere. Six Japanese aircraft carriers had sailed within 300 miles of the Hawaiian island unleashing 500 fighter planes. Guys that were in the Navy at age 19 are now age 95 and a few still can say their story of survival in detail. We need to remember these guys while they are still here just a little bit longer.  Hangers at the harbor still have the bullet holes in the window panes. Within minutes some of our finest battle ships were sinking.  They were named after states. The California and Oklahoma capsized. A destroyer was destroyed too. The Arizona got hit and they killed 1,177 bodies that still are in its hull buried under the monument in the sea.
It is still the single largest loss of American life in Naval History. We should care. They died in a war that hadn’t even been declared. Read Craig Nelson’s book he worked on for the last 5 years called Pearl Harbor if you want more gory details. At that point we were 14th in the world militarily behind Sweden all but three of the boats damaged or sunk were completely restored and used to destroy every Japanese fighter plane in the attack. It was FD Roosevelt,   our President at the time who called it “a Day of Infamy”. He was tending to his stamp collection at the time of the surprise attack as Bush was reading to children at the time of the 911 attack.
It was the worst military defeat in American history. No one cares anymore. Yet it was the most important day in American history when we said never again will any country dare to be more powerful than us yet we are still wary of constant disaster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Sunday, December 4, 2016

What is his plan?

Ethics, Business deals, favoritism is all Trump already in a very toxic cocktail.  He has already   annoyed China by bothering Taiwan with phone calls.  Tried to influence the governments of Ireland and Scotland to get rid of their offshore windmills which ionically make the value of his shore line golf courses undervalued. Can he possibly be using the Presidency and the value of the America brand to enhance his personal wealth already even before he is sworn in?
Trump always brushes asides questions involving potential conflicts of interest between his duties in the Whitehouse and his business interests abroad. The fact remains that he has unresolved financial conflicts. The United States problem is that we have never had a President with so many global deals. It is uncharted territory for the United States. Is Congress going to give him compromises in corruption or throw the bum out? For example he has relations with a Philippean developer building a Trump tower there. Jose E.B. Antonio is Trump’s business partner. Already Antonio was named a special envoy to the United States last month.  Antonio and the Trumps have a number of projects in development.
Trump doesn’t know much about White House policy since he does whatever the hell he wants to do randomly anyway. What he does know is that there is a 1978 Ethics and Government Act that the President is exempt from. I am sure he will hide behind that document. Keeping it short, he could run his business out of the oval office but says he won’t.  He has already met with the Indian government and has discussed several projects built through companies with ties to prominent political parties according to the New York Times. Trump met with several Indian business partners at Trump Tower after the election. He is NOT slowing down his business endeavours for this country.
Trump has golf courses in Ireland and Scotland. The Trump organization executives are fighting to build a sea wall on the Irish coast preventing sea life from coming ashore. He has executives lobbying against wind farm development in Scotland. Trump reportedly discussed wind farm with the United Kingdom leader Nigel Farage.  Then there is his own self- imposed ban on Muslams here in America that now   they want to remove his name from the buildings. The Trump Towers in Instanbul has become a insult to the country. Developed by the Dogan Group it is run by media mogul and a highly influential political family. At least on this one Trump acknowledges a conflict of interest in one 2015 interview. How does he feel now since he changes things all the time.

Only Congress can stop him. Will they? We have the problem of in Nixon times, the President Richard Nixon said “ When the President does it, it is not illegal.” That is the type of attitude Trump will have and will try to strut on. The problem is that this attitude can’t work when you have business interests across the globe.