Saturday, December 5, 2015

To Hell and Back: How a Hero’s Story Inspired Generations of Boys to Play Soldier

Good Day World!

I wish I could have met Audie Murphy before he died in 1971.

I thought he was a god back in the early 1950’s while growing up. I was five years-old when “To Hell and Back – a WW II war movie (1955) – came out starring Audie Murphy as himself.

As the most decorated soldier in American history, Audie was awarded a ticker tape parade down Broadway. He was one of the most popular men in America. Historians say he killed 250 men in combat.

What was seldom talked about – at least while he was still alive – was his mental problems. He had PTSD, but in his time there was no such diagnosis, and so he suffered a silent hell few could relate to.

He was plagued with nightmares and slept with his gun under his pillow. Yet, the popular perception of him was that he was a well-adjusted, talented young man who was always quick to flash that boyish smile.

When I think about how many young men, like myself, who grew up glorifying war I’m not surprised that we live in such a violent society today. My childhood games were all about killing bad guys. So were my sons. And their sons.

Looking around the country today I see the violent seeds that were sowed in society during a time of posterity, and belief in the American Dream. The “Dream” is dead now. Cast under the bus by fear and hatred.

As a combat veteran (Army/Vietnam 1970) with PTSD, I wish I could have asked Audie what it really felt like to be a hero (perhaps the last American hero) for killing so many men?

I’m sure the price wasn’t worth it.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, December 4, 2015

Might as well leave flags at half staff – they’re not coming down soon

Good Day World!

We might as well keep flags flying at half staff from now on.

There’s been more days with mass shootings than not this year. A total of 209 mass shootings have happened thus far – with 26 days left to go.

The FBI considers it a mass shooting when there are four or more people murdered. For updated information check this link out ….Mass Shooting Tracker.

Despite horrendous statistics on gun deaths in America nothing is going to change. Why? Because we are a gun culture. We worship weapons. The U.S. ranks first in gun ownership per capita, with roughly 270 million firearms, or 89 firearms per 100 residents, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Those that do have weapons don’t want them controlled in any way. They cite the 2nd Amendment (although it doesn’t say anything about owning personal arsenals) if the topic of gun control even comes up.

Many feel it’s their God-given right to own any kind of weapon and to use it when they want to. They are so blind that any talk of gun control sends them scurrying out to gun shops to buy more guns.

Worse, our country is so divided by the need for gun control that any attempts to do so are crushed by the NRA and their lackeys in Congress. Sensible Americans seeking controls on guns – like back round checks – don’t have a chance.

Conservatives say the problem is mentally ill people using guns. That’s true sometimes. Not all the time however.

Why the U.S. has the most mass shootings

The San Bernardino shooting is the second mass shooting today and the 355th this year

No matter what the president says, there’s no hope for gun control.

It’s become the tar baby of our time – with the nation divided between people sick of seeing mass shootings, and others offering up their condolences to victims while gripping their firearms tighter to their chests.

So, keep the flags at half staff, and pray that someday things will change.

Time for me to walk on down the road…




Thursday, December 3, 2015

Major Terrorist Threat in America: 33,000 Active Gangs

Good Day World!

International terrorism is the trending topic these days.

Some Americans worry about Syrian refugees coming to our country and bringing violence.

What they should really be concerned about is the immediate threat the entire nation faces right now; domestic terrorists, aka gangs.

Gang Violence Is on the Rise, Even as Overall Violence Declines

Gangs, from the West Coast to the East Coast, have murdered more innocent people than all of the combined attacks from international terrorists in this country – and that includes 911.

Startling fact: There are 33,000 active gangs in the United States.

Gang members targeted 9-year-old boy shot in alley

So, why isn’t this senseless ongoing slaughter a topic for presidential candidates? Could it be they’re afraid of alienating possible voters? There must be some reason why we continue to allow gangs to flourish.

Until our politicians prioritize going after these gangs on a national level (which should involve Homeland Security), there are steps that can be taken to combat these gangsters.

Best Practices to Address Community Gang Problems

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Assault on Salt: NYC Passes Label Law on Sodium Intake

Sodium On Menus

Good Day World!

I’m feeling salty today.

Don’t be surprised if I sprinkle some cuss words into my rant about salt being monitored by Big Brother.

Here’s the deal; New York City passed a law putting a warning label on salt (see graphic). 

The first-of-its-kind rule requires a salt-shaker emblem on some sandwiches, salads and other menu items that top the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams — about a teaspoon — of sodium.

Over-reaching government bureaucracy?

Hell yes! (I warned you) There’s already a ton of other warnings about different foods  customers consume. Each new one gets more outlandish than the next:

“Don’t eat the spiced buffalo wings because Uncle Sam doesn’t want you to get indigestion and burn the roof of your mouth, and have to miss time from work; essentially making you a bum.”

Who reads all that nutritional stuff anyway? Have you ever seen a customer go into a fast food restaurant and be concerned about calories? Get real.

In all fairness some food warnings are sensible. Like the presence/amounts of mercury in fish.

My concern is that the Food Police are not going to stop with the attack on salt. I fully expect pepper to be the next on the list!

Then it’s really going to get ugly!

Time for me to walk on down the road..

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

After 3 decades of deception here’s what we know about climate warming

                                         Good Day World!

A nonprofit’s new report documents what oil and coal firms knew about the reality of global warming, when they knew it—and how they have misled the public.

More than half of the carbon dioxide ever created by humans has been released into the atmosphere since 1988.

That was the year NASA climate scientist James Hansen told Congress that global warming was already under way and burning fossil fuels was the primary cause. Hansen’s testimony catapulted climate change from a low-key scientific specialty and the subject of obscure Capitol Hill committee hearings onto the front pages of the nation’s newspapers.

The oil, gas, and coal industries knew Hansen and his peers had the facts straight, but they responded with years of efforts to undercut carbon-cutting regulations—mostly by creating doubts about climate science, especially the link between burning fossil fuels and rising global temperatures.

1. At least one major oil company knew the risks of climate change three decades ago but denied them in public.

2. Years after acknowledging privately that the links between human activities and climate change were proven, major oil firms including Exxon and Mobil (premerger), Chevron, Shell, and BP continued to argue that there was “unsettled science” about this connection.

3. Despite the increasing severity of climate change impacts in the U.S. and around the world, industry campaigns to distort the realities around global warming and fossil fuels have not stopped.

How we know: A 2014 presentation by the Western States Petroleum Association, a powerful oil industry trade group, describes more than a dozen astroturf groups “activated” to challenge climate action policies in Western states.

With names such as Californians for Energy Independence, Fed Up at the Pump, and Kern Citizens for Energy, these groups sounded like grassroots efforts. “At least two of the front groups set up by WSPA…launched aggressive public relations campaigns in 2014, including radio ads and billboards,” reported the Union of Concerned Scientists.


Funding From Exxon or Koch Brothers Gave Deniers a Megaphone in Climate Change Debate

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Monday, November 30, 2015

It’s not easy to say goodbye: I’ll always love your game Kobe

Photo published for Dear Basketball | By Kobe Bryant

The time has finally arrived for Kobe Bean Bryant to retire.

I remember watching him as a brash kid taking questionable shots late in games. How he became the most dominant player in the NBA.

This season has been painful to watch. The Black Mamba’s moves have faded with his outside shot.

But he’s a confirmed Hall-Of-Famer, and his game will live on in basketball lore.There will never be another player like him.

Here’s Kobe full poem about retiring:

Dear Basketball,

From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.

As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.

And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.

I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.

And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

Love you always,

I’ll always love your game Kobe. Don’t go quietly into the night.

On This Day Ann Hodges Was Hit By a Meteorite and Lived!

The victim of a meteor strike in Sylacauga, Alabama.

Good Day World!

I’ve got a bit of trivia for you to share around the water cooler today.

On this day, November 30th, 1954, the first modern instance of a meteorite striking a human being happened at Sylacauga, Alabama.

A sulfide meteorite, weighing 8.5 pounds and measuring seven inches in length, crashed through the roof of a house and into a living room. It then reportedly bounced off a radio and struck a woman on her hip.

The victim, Ann Hodges, was sleeping on a couch at the time of impact. Fortunately, Hodges was not permanently injured, but she did suffer a nasty bruise along her hip and leg. (Source)

Ann's story is particularly rare because most meteorites usually fall into the ocean or strike one of Earth's vast, remote places, according to Michael Reynolds, a Florida State College astronomer and author of the book Falling Stars: A Guide to Meteors & Meteorites.

"Think of how many people have lived throughout human history," Reynolds said.

"You have a better chance of getting hit by a tornado and a bolt of lightning and a hurricane all at the same time."

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Homage to Sports Fans Everywhere

 Good Day World!

I’m paying homage to sports fans today.

A true sports fan is the salt of the earth. Loyal, passionate, and proud of their team.

(Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast)

Don’t mistake fan loyalty, particularly with respect to team sports, to brand loyalty. There is a difference.

What causes a person to be a loyal fan, sticking with a team through adversity, rather than a fair weather fan, that switches support to whatever teams happen to be successful at the time?

Psychologists attribute it to the following factors:

Entertainment value
The entertainment value that a fan derives from spectating motivates him/her to remain a loyal fan. Entertainment value of team sports is also valuable to communities in general.
This is described by Passikoff as "the acceptance of the game as real and meaningful".
Fan bonding
Fan bonding is where a fan bonds with the players, identifying with them as individuals, and bonds with the team.
Team history and tradition
Shank gives the Cincinnati Reds, all-professional baseball's oldest team, as an example of a team where a long team history and tradition is a motivator for fans in the Cincinnati area.
Group affiliation
Fans receive personal validation of their support for a team from being surrounded by a group of fans who also support the same team.

Finally, as a loyal Los Angeles Laker fan for 52 years, I wouldn’t even think about changing loyalties to another team – despite the fact the Lakers are currently playing the worst ball in their franchise history.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...