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Posted by on Feb 5, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 0 comments

Drawing Racial Dividing Lines on Political Correctness

 

 

Two race-based controversies exploded over this past weekend.

Ralph Northam, well on his way to being the ex-Governor of Virginia, is getting skewered for some racially-charged acts which (allegedly) took place 35 years ago.  He’s also badly bungled the fallout in two baffling press conferences which were intended to restore confidence but did quite the opposite.  In an astonishing contradiction, speaking in his own defense Gov. Northam did far more harm than good when he backtracked from his previous statement.  Now, the Democrat is under severe pressure from several lawmakers, including members of his own party, to resign and basically disappear from the political scene altogether.

Meanwhile, across the country, comedian Bill Maher, star of HBO’s popular weekly comedy-talk show Real Time, is in serious trouble (again) for making an off-hand joke about a chicken franchise during a live sit-down interview with a Black congressman from Texas.  Maher was on camera talking to Rep. Will Hurd when he tried to lighten up what had been a serious interview by making reference to Popeye’s Fried Chicken.

Though unrelated, the two recent controversies have plunged the nation into another heated racial divide.  These scandals resurrect important questions about political correctness — and specifically who it applies to and when it’s applicable.  Given the racial insensitivity commonly associated with the political right, these incidents were unusual since Gov. Northam and Maher are on the left of the spectrum.  That assessment is indeed accurate.  Gov. Northam is the top Democratic officeholder in a purple state.  Maher, while overtly libertarian on many issues, has drifted decidedly towards the left in recent years, especially since Donald Trump’s election.

Should the same standards of behavior and a similar level of criticism apply equally to both men?  Aside from being racially charged, are these two cases similar?  Should punishments apply to both?

Here are my thoughts:

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Posted by on Feb 2, 2019 in Blog, Essays | 2 comments

Super Bowl Analysis and Picks

 

 

You are reading my final NFL post of this season.

Barring the unforeseen, 2018 will be my fifth winning season out of seven.  Since I began posting weekly picks here at my website, I’m slightly ahead.  I’ll post the updated figures later.  All I know is, after more than 1,000 picks posted in advance since 2012, producing a profit is something to be proud of.  A win is a win.

This season, after 136 recommended wagers, I’ve picked about 55 percent winners overall, netting a nice profit of about 48 percent on top of my original starting bankroll.  However, my futures wagers tanked badly this season, reducing my net profit to only about 15 percent overall.  Nonetheless, I will take a 15 percent return on investment anytime I can get it.

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Posted by on Feb 1, 2019 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

An Unconventional Convention

 

 

Social media isn’t as constructive as it can be and should be.  Here’s one small way I thought of towards making it better.

Imagine a forum where people of many different backgrounds come together to express, share, enjoy, reflect, discuss, and ponder the widest range of thoughts.

This is a new social group on Facebook.  Anyone can participate.  Some topics, most chosen by me, will be light and fun.  Others will be far more serious.  The only rules which apply will be my rules, which will be strictly enforced.  No insults or ridicule is permitted.  No memes.  Just straightforward and hopefully honest comments.

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Posted by on Jan 30, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Music and Concert Reviews | 2 comments

Going Ga Ga Over Lady GaGa

 

 

Lady Gaga arrives in Las Vegas at the perfect moment for both the city and its newest star.  Let’s hope she shakes things up.

 

Lady Gaga seems intent on being all things to all people, and if her previous track record of success is an indication, she might very well have the gravitas to pull off what would be impossible for anyone lesser.

No singer-songwriter-performer-actress-influencer-icon on the planet is hotter at the moment.  So, it came as quite a shock to find out Lady Gaga is making Las Vegas her temporary residency.  Let’s be honest here — the Las Vegas Strip isn’t the usual first choice for a performer who could sell out any football stadium in the world within mere hours.

Indeed, casino showrooms have typically been the last whistle-stop before being tossed into the heap of the CD bin at the discount dollar store.  It’s where once-great but now-old performers go to die; it’s where one-hit wonders come to make one last fat paycheck before retiring and fading off into artistic oblivion.  Sure, most headliners make Las Vegas a mandatory concert stop on any national tour.  But the prospect of doing dozens, perhaps even hundreds of nightly shows isn’t just excruciatingly repetitive for cutting edge performers.  It’s always been a dead end.  For just about everyone here who’s turned into Wayne Newton, it’s been a set of golden handcuffs — lots of sweet guaranteed money, but with a heavy price.  Las Vegas has always been a creative graveyard.

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