Sunday, June 26, 2016

There is blindness to a cause,….

And then there is blindness

As you know I am a Mavericks and basketball fan and with free agency about to start I fear the Mavericks are about to blow it again. As a fan I have high hopes. I can turn my eyes away from the past and hope somehow Cuban and the gang finally find the elusive top free agent(s) and the Mavericks become relevant again. As a fan I can believe.

And as a fan I can be rational and be mad at Cuban for blowing the last five years. He has a coach who is a great team coach. Coach Carlisle is probably better coaching a really good team up than having one superstar and a team trying to compliment the superstar. You may say he did that with Dirk in 2011. Really though that was a very good team with a superstar that focused on being a team. This is Carlisle’s strength. Too bad Mr. Cuban seems to be unaware of what he has in his Coach and how he should be finding players for him.

And there again I can believe. I can turn a blind eye to the rational and cheer when free agency starts hoping that somehow this is the magical year and we get Whiteside and Conley. We find all the right complementary players and Dirk and Dallas acquire another championship. Go Mavs.

I can do this because it is sports. Yes, if it doesn’t happen all us MFFLs will be disappointed, mad, frustrated etc, but the world goes on. There will be next year and the next year and sooner or later Dirk will retire and we will wait years for a team to hopefully rebuild. We lived through the nineties.

When you are so blind to the cause that you have lost complete rational thinking, when you believe only what the cause wants you to believe without ever looking at the whole picture that is a dangerous blindness. And this is especially dangerous when your blindness prevents you from realizing that the cause you are supporting is death to much more than a sports team or some other secondary entertainment in life. This is the problem both Trump and Clinton supporters own.

Our country is in trouble. Yes, we have had bad or non-descript Presidents before. Pretty much anyone after Lincoln till 1900 doesn’t make the radar for great American Presidents. We lived through it. Now though our Country and the world are a different place. And what both of these candidates represent is the worse in America and American politics. They are horrible for different reasons, yet they are both horrible.

You cannot tell their supporters anything. They both have a core group that is blind to the truth of either one. And add onto this the group of people who have such hate for one of the candidates they are willing to be blind and vote for the other candidate. Another dangerous blindness: hate.

And here we are about to enter into the general election to choose one of these individuals to lead our country. And if we were just some third world country who has suffered through horrible dictator after dictator maybe this would only continue our personal misery. No, this is the United States and whether you like it or not, we are way too involved in the world for this to be good for us or the world.

If you tell a supporter of one of the candidates we need someone else, you get overrun with an unconscious vitriol about how you know nothing and that if we do not elect their candidate horrible things are going to happen.  And when I say someone else I mean telling them someone other than the opposite candidate, they still ramble on about it is their candidate only who has the answer. Now to be honest and fair, the Trump supporters do possess a bit more emotional rhetoric, yet the Clinton supporters spout off in the same blind way as to the greatness of their candidate and there is no need to look at anyone else.

And while both candidates offer at the very least nothing of substance to the Country, both in their worst actions could do potentially irreversible harm to our country. And add on that Mr. Trump is probably doing irreversible harm to the Republican party. I wouldn’t mind so much since I am not a fan of either party except the fallout from the Republican demise may create a somewhat viable true right wing party that could be dangerous and even obtain some power in our country. This is not what the world needs now.

Anyway being blind to one of your favorite sports teams is well maybe not good and does only harm to your expectations. It plays out in the game and you can pick up the pieces of your emotions at the end of the year and hope for better next year.

Blindness at the level of the Trump and Clinton supporters is something ugly, scary, and dangerous. There could be no next year.

With basketball or any sport or hobby at least you can admit the truth in the back of your mind and still hope for the best.     And yes I am hooked for the Mavericks and I love basketball and sometimes this song says it all:

Part four of the story will be coming shortly

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Part 3 for Short story

And this time the people let loose with real fury. State Capitols and legislative office buildings were attacked and ransacked. At first the people ran through the buildings tearing up offices; throwing computers and other office equipment out windows; furniture became piled up in the halls; and somewhere between one and two in the morning the fires started. Once the fires started people came back into the streets to view their handiwork. And no one had any regrets.

State and Federal officials were completely caught off guard by the carnage. They had no idea how mad the people had become and when it all boiled over in one large volcanic explosion throughout the country they were left dumbfounded for the first hour or so. Finally, the orders started going out to send in the police and national guard units. Commanders were quickly trying to put together a counter offensive plan to at least push the people out of the Capitol buildings and surrounding areas. The attack had happened so fast the plans the officials had drawn up for a dawn push were completely useless. There was mayhem and no real way to control except to just move the people out of the area.

Bill had been working hard throughout the night. His posts ranged from trying to coordinate all the State Capitols being attacked at the same time to sending out rationales for why everyone was so mad. This was the easy part. After years of dwindling wages, general decline in what used to be a middle class, and just the overall frustration of watching your life and your children’s futures disappear because of the greed and abuse of power of everyone from local to federal government and the multinational corporations who really ran the country now. People did not need rationale. They had it in spades.  Yet Bill was sending out the thoughts which anyone not involved in the rioting now were coming out to prepare for the aftermath Bill was predicting was going to happen.

One thing Bill did not count on was even the local police and national guard waiting on orders to break up the riots were sitting around reading social media. Interesting to note the boots on the ground had a better idea of what was happening than the officials and leaders scrambling to figure out what was happening. And all the local police and national guard’s troops had something in common with the rioters. They were in the same shape as the populace. The corruption at top had become so bad they had no idea how the anger people felt. They had spent years ignoring the cries for help and for better governance. Now they were in utter shock as first the State Capitols and office buildings started to burn. And if they were completely caught off guard by 3am of what was happening, well you can imagine how blatantly stupid they were to what was about to happen next.

Around 3am the commanders and officials had pieced together some semblance of a plan in various capitols to try and use tear gas etc to push the rioters completely out of town. Each Capitol city was dissected to see what was the best route to use, what streets may need to be hastily blocked off to corral everyone down the route they wanted. Oh such a waste of time.

If any one of the State or Federal officials or even Commanders had just once read social media that night, they might have had a better idea where to begin. Yet when one is ignorant one tends to remain ignorant.  The soldiers were very aware and had been sharing throughout the night.

Once the orders starting coming out the soldiers moved to their assigned locations and began the push to the Capitol areas. At first there was a brief very tense moment when soldiers came upon the rioters and since the plan called for a direct move into the rioting area the soldiers and rioters came face to face.

It is funny how at some points in time people can act simultaneously without actually having planned anything. Something just happens, there is no explanation and this night no one ever understood why in fifty state capitols filled with high emotions, burning buildings, anger, angst, armed people, people giving orders, that the exact same thing happened. In all the Capitols the soldiers and police joined the rioters. And since everyone had been reading Bill except the officials; the officials had no idea that they were the next target. Bill had sent out posts that now it was time to arrest the leadership of the various states; burn down the corporate offices of multinational corporations and arrest the company executives, with a list of targets; and arrest the Federal leadership of our country. And by noon the following day the regular army etc was on the side of the rioters.

No one really wanted what was happening, not even this author, but sooner or later nature creates  equilibrium.   And all this because Jack just wanted to cash his damn lottery ticket and try to get his life on track.             

To be continued…….  And my working title for now is “That damn lottery ticket”

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The story continues… Part 2

At first the riots were sporadic.  And they were all over the country, not Just in Jack’s state. This was the beauty of social media. Everyone that was connecting was staying ahead in information. They were ahead of the media and ahead of the government.

And Bill who picked up on Jack’s fake social media page and put out the social media post that started it all was fast becoming a central repository of information and well….. guidance. Bill was an opportunist and created and worked regularly on his social media network. Bill realized how fast events were happening and decided to jump into the fray. He had people send information of what was happening in their state or city directly to him and people did. He would then use that information to direct activities back at the original post and elsewhere.

The first riots were directed mainly at regional lottery offices and since it was night no one was getting hurt. The police were called to dispel the riots, but the people moved on quickly. A few store fronts and cars were getting ransacked and unfortunately some general looting began. Yet for some reason, not much. People were angry and they wanted real targets. Around 4 or 5 in the morning, Bill was working frantically sending out posts to go to the State Capitols and protest there. Fortunately for small businesses and the public the rioters picked up on this right away. People in the Capitol cities moved right away to the Capitol and legislative office buildings and so within a few hours there were large crowds gathering around. People from other parts of the States also decided to go to the Capitol cities. So by late afternoon there were tens of thousands of people at every State Capitol across the country.

Governors were frantically calling police, state police, asking for the National Guard’s help, and any resource they could find to protect the buildings. The Governors were calling Press Conferences asking for calm. Bill was way ahead of anything the State governments could do or any information from the media asking for calm. People have smart phones and everyone was sharing information with each other, not knowing Bill was trying to run the show. And at this point Bill had no idea what he wanted to do, he just knew there was opportunities in this mess and he wanted to be a part of it all.

Bill kept improvising. He was sending out information on where to gather using popular internet map and street view resources. He was receiving feedback from the people on the street posting in general, some people responding to him letting him know what was going on, and the media was also showing video and pictures. Bill was going crazy trying to keep up. He needed help. He managed to text some messages to his friends to come over, bring computers, and hurry.

The police, state police, National Guard etc were coming out and local officials were putting together staging areas a bit outside of the Capitol building areas to plan on moving in to disperse the crowd once they got all their resources together. The Governors were working with the Federal government and other State governments to work out plans to coordinate their response. They were smart enough to realize this was becoming organized fast. They didn’t know how, but it was obvious it was going to take a strong coordinated response.

This was a mistake. All the police etc… had time to talk among themselves. So while the State officials were planning; the actual boots on the ground were having their own thoughts. At this point it was late evening and the State officials thought maybe they could wait out the night hoping many would disperse and then rush any remaining protestors in a dawn raid. And waiting till dawn would give them time to prepare speeches for the media, figure where to put everyone that was arrested, and mainly the logistics of the actual push to clean the cities of the people.

Bill’s friends started arriving around the same time the State officials went into planning mode. So while they were planning Bill was directing action. Still without a purpose, but action.  He was also watching the media and when he noticed that most State governments had not responded yet he decided around ten to send out messages to everyone to attack the Capitol buildings at midnight. He hoped the ensuing chaos would buy him time to figure out a true next step. Why he wanted a next step he still hadn’t figured out yet, but his brain was racing, things were happening and he was definitely in the middle of it all. At this time adrenaline had taken over rational thought for him; there was no reasoning just opportunity which he felt throughout every cell in his body.

At midnight the attacks began.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

People aren’t stupid……

….they just become stupid

Yes there may be people with higher IQs than others. There are people who are socially awkward and this can start at a very young age. Overall though people should be able to get along.

Think about it. Most cases kids get along just fine. Again you may have some social awkwardness but once kids start playing everybody pretty much gets along. Yet sooner or later it starts. We teach children to be stupid and they grow up to be stupid.

I am saying this because here we are 72 hours from the Orlando tragedy and the internet is full of everyone having an opinion as to what happened and whose to blame and who are the bad guys and all sorts of madness. When I first read all the postings I knew we were far from knowing the truth. I even had my own opinions. This could have been a true terrorist attack to the shooter having a bad night on too many mai-tais and fighting with a lover. Then I read one story where he actually was going to the club and getting on dating apps. So was he scoping it out? Or did he go through internal struggles and demons since he comes from a very strict religious background and he couldn’t resolve the matter in his head? And top it off his ex-wife says he had anger issues. So yeah, there is all sorts of possible triggers that could have set this guy off. Is the terrorist angle real? It could be. Or did he use the pledge to the terror group to justify in his head the demons within him that destroyed 50+ lives and left families and injured victims struggling to wonder what happened in their life.

He is dead so we will never know. The rest of us can only guess proving to the world that we still know no more about this person than we did 5 days ago. Maybe some semblance of an answer will emerge, but the full truth will be buried with the young man. And once again all this shows we are not as civilized or as smart as we think.

My prayers go out to the families of the victims, the injured and their families, all the first responders who had to deal with this tragedy. And hopefully for the victims’ sake we can take the time to better understand what is it that causes people to have this much anger, hate, and human disconnect that they feel this is the only action they can take in life.

….. and lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy.

And I will be continuing my story, I just wanted to get the above off my chest.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Turner rape case

I have been holding back because like many people I am outraged by the sentence and the reasoning of the Dad behind this case.

So basically we are twisting actions to make what we did appear less damaging. And in doing so we have created new semi acceptable behavior. And by the way women are now promised their lives are “action”

And with everything there is the next step or next level something is taken. Now Doctors or dentists do not rape women while under anesthesia since well they consented to be under anesthesia. Or how about women who are mentally handicapped, at what point is it just action vs she knew what she was doing? You can take things to extremes and it can become immaterial to the real point, yet it hopefully helps to make a point.

If this Judge feels anyway like his sentence demonstrates then they shouldn’t wait to recall him. If there is a governing body over this Judge they just need to remove him. This may sound extreme, however, this sentence is wrong on so many levels it is not funny.

This kid knew he was doing something wrong since at the first moment he realized someone had observed him he ran. He was very cognizant of his actions. So now for his Dad to step up and act like his son is a victim is disgraceful.

I know I am late to this lambasting, but it bothered me so much that I had to say something.

I will continue my story in the very near future. The story above took me off course for a bit.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

another short story

I said I would do this again. Just write a story and continue it for a few posts, no editing, just type it live each time and see where it goes. Well here is the start of this story:

It all started because of a lottery ticket. It wasn’t because of layoffs, bad job market, no real wage increase in years, people having to work two, many times three jobs to pay bills, inflation was rampant, there was no credit to buy anything, healthy food was very expensive and very hard to come by, doctors and dentists were unaffordable, yet the government was paying a fortune in health care, taxes were unbearable for the middle class and yet was lowered again for the upper class, no, none of this caused people to get upset; it was the damn lottery ticket.

The lottery had become a complete waste of money. Odds were continually going against the consumer, yet people kept buying. It seemed to be the only hope for a large majority of the population. Sales were always high and the states were making good money since there were not very many winners. Occasionally someone would win a significant amount, maybe 5 or ten thousand dollars. This was big news. For the person that won, it was gone in a flash, but it was hope for way too many people.

So when Jack actually won $25,000 he was very excited. He didn’t tell anyone. He had spent way too much money on Friday from his paycheck, but now it was worth it. Sure he wouldn’t be able to retire, but there were many bills, especially those payday loans, he could pay which would certainly increase his paychecks going forward. The weekend was long, very long, but he knew next week things would get much better. He barely slept. Monday he went to work. He decided to wait a couple of days before cashing it in. He needed time to think about making a real budget. Jack was in his mid-thirties and he had never had money, well not this much money. And he really wanted to make the best decisions he could. He knew deep in his heart and mind this was a fluke and would never happen again. He also hoped to quit playing the lottery now that he won.

Wednesday he went to the regional lottery office in his town. He felt fortunate that there was one close to his work so he could run over on his lunch hour and cash it so he could deposit it in the bank. As always he brought a sandwich to work so he could eat it on the way. He also knew that the check would be held by the bank for days. He was okay with all this since he won. Yes, winning does help he thought. He was able to think things through for the last couple of days. He was use to struggling so waiting a week or two to actually have the money was no problem.

The lottery office apologized and said they couldn’t give him a check today. Something was wrong with the system they said. They asked him to come back tomorrow.

He came on Thursday. Still nothing. Friday, they let him know everything was okay, he just needed to wait till next week. Jack was being patient, but he felt something was wrong. He didn’t want to tell anyone he won because he knew there would be hundreds of requests from family and friends for help. He wanted to have the money so he could help the people that he wanted and make the best for himself. Yet now he did want to talk to someone. He just didn’t know who he could trust. He had friends, hundreds of them if you counted social media outlets. No one close. He thought about his Mom, but she would tell him what to do with the money and he knew much of it was going to be for her. He would help her, but in his own way.

This weekend was also very long. He spent most of the weekend staring at the ticket. Monday was busy at work so he didn’t have time to go on his lunch.

The regional lottery office was going to be helpless. The State office told them not to give this winner a check. At least not right now. Just stall they said. They didn’t give the local office any idea how to stall, but to just stall.

Turns out the State had become very use to having this lottery money and hadn’t put much aside for winners so currently the lottery funds for winners was empty. Every dime going into the lottery was being used by State officials for pet projects, going on trips, spending on various budge items; which were actually personal items and occasionally on actual State expenditures where their friends’ companies could do the work and receive the money. Basically the State was broke and could not afford to cash the check. The daily intake of lottery sales went straight to the legislators and nowhere else.

And the State office knew if a lottery ticket bounced it could mean real trouble. The legislators weren’t up to realizing this because they didn’t talk to their constituents on a day to day basis, actually they didn’t talk to them at all. As long as they got money from the donors for campaign contributions, their world was perfect. Yes, it was perfect. They didn’t know it yet, but the present was about to change. The lottery offices did talk to people every day. People were always coming in and asking if anyone won, who it was, how much and basically they heard from the people day in and day out how tough it was, plus they were just clerks. They were in the same boat as the customers they came in contact with day in and day out.

The State office spent the week trying to funnel money into an account they could use to pay this check. And as of Monday they still couldn’t put aside money to pay. The legislators, Governor and executives in the government kept a close eye on lottery sales and made sure the money was distributed right away to them. One official from the office actually called the Governor’s office to let him know there was a winner they needed to pay. He pleaded the case that announcing a winner would increase sales. The Governor let the official know he needed his share and the official should find the winnings from somewhere else.

Another week went by with Jack frustrated and angry now. Finally, he gave in and put his dilemma on one of his social media sights. Well actually he created a fake one so people wouldn’t know it was him. He explained what was happening. He got a few comments to sue, people agreeing he was being screwed, but for the first couple of days not much action. A couple of days later someone who was very popular ran across his story and tagged it to his sight. It gained momentum overnight

First there were hundreds, then thousands discussing this and wanted to know it if was true. People started calling their State offices to ask. And unfortunately most States were in the same boat as Jack’s state. And some of the offices not being prepared for the onslaught of calls made the mistake of admitting it might be hard to receive a check sometimes. And there were a couple of people from other States having the same problem as Jack. Now they came forward. Soon nothing else was being discussed through social media.

The fact other people were not getting their checks cashed was reported through the same network that Jack’s news was reported. People from all over the country were now interested if Jack could cash his check. Most news outlets were controlled by politicians and the donors so news like this didn’t make the major channels, yet the story was becoming so overwhelming a local reporter unbeknownst to his boss went to the local office to check it out. The clerk behind the counter couldn’t take it anymore since she felt sorry for Jack and told the truth. And this reporter had called into the 5 O’clock news report for the day live. His report began, State unable to cash lottery check. Social media went nuts and before midnight that night the riots started.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Another set of those comments

I do not think I could ever eat food, even fast food served by a robot. Maybe in a generation the fast food companies will have laid off their workers and the next generation won’t think twice about it, but the thought just seems weird. Or worse have a robot serve me in a restaurant. I am not ready for it.

And on that note, more of something for you to think about for the minimum wage. I think this has been discussed somewhere before so I am sure the pros and cons of both sides of this thought have been discussed. I just think it is something we can revisit and maybe work out a solution. I propose we have a two tier minimum wage. One set for high school and other young kids working part time. The other a more standard minimum wage for full time employees or employees that work full time or at least 30 hours a week. And I am sure you can think of something negative either pro business or pro worker for this idea. I just ask you to work out in your head how it might work.

I do not care if men shave their head; grow their hair to their waist; go back to having a Mohawk or even a rainbow Mohawk; cut your hair like Sid Vicious or Johnny Rotten, just do not get a “man bun”. Please someone stop this fad or trend now. It doesn’t even look good on European soccer players.

Last week sometime Donald Trump apparently introduced his tax plan and from what I read there are significant tax breaks for the wealthy. I have been trying to tell everyone that would listen Mr. Trump’s true colors are not populism or going to do anything for the middle and working classes. Just won’t happen if he gets elected. And on that note I bring you this short excerpt from a book. I am not going to acknowledge the reference right now, but will if you demand it or you can wait. I want you to do a bit of research on your own since this is in context and out of context for Mr. Trump’s tax plan. Please note the year of the conversation and your research goal is to determine who the individuals are and the reason for this conversation. Interesting to read this excerpt in today’s political climate and then find out exactly who is involved in this bit of history:
                                This was no exaggeration.  Events would amply demonstrate that in embarking on monetary stabilisation before resolving the post-war fiscal crisis, the government was sailing into uncharted and potentially dangerous waters. As Nathan’s brother-in-law Abraham Montefiore shrewdly observed in 1821, defending the record of “the poor inoffensive Old Lady Mr. V(ansittart): “ The only really effective plan would be a good property tax properly and judiciously levied to reach only the opulent and those that can afford to spare part of their income, but unfortunately it so happens that these very persons are the law-makers themselves and their patriotism does not go as far as to reach  their pockets. “ The attempt to balance the budget with virtually no direct taxation at a time of monetary deflation would prove a recipe for instability…..”
Yes it is somewhat out of context for our current situation etc, yet”…unfortunately it so happens that these very persons are the law-makers themselves and their patriotism does not go as far as to reach their pockets..” does apply to today in its own way.  So for fun do some research and when you think about how the elitists are against us, when you find out who Nathan is, you should get the irony behind all this. And hopefully so will Mr. Trump, but I doubt he cares

There are evil bastardizations of God’s creation out there and we must have the strength to fight through the myths and lies to protect ourselves.

Next up hopefully is my next short story and it was described how it will evolve in a previous post.

Otherwise is there anyway Toronto can beat Cleveland and the NBA’s worst nightmare happen and we do not get Golden State v Cleveland rematch for the finals, but instead OKC and Toronto? It would kind of make my basketball day.  Don’t worry NBA executives, I will watch it.