Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Distracted Pedestrians Narrowing the Gene Pool: There goes another one!

               
                                            
Good Day World!                                      
                                                     
 Nostalgia moment; remember the old phrase, “…so and so can’t walk and chew gum at the same time?” It’s time to update it, and bring it into the 21st Century.

Now we can say, “…so and so can’t walk and text, tweet, play video games, and talk on the phone at the same time.” And we have statistics to prove it. One more thing, it’s called “distracted walking,” but I think that’s too nice a way to put it.

Some readers may question why I’m bringing up this subject. It’s only been a year since I complained about a new texting and driving law in California. Some of you may wonder, “What’s the deal with Dave? What does he have against technology?”

The answer is, nothing. It’s the idiots who don’t use modern technology safely because of a lack of common sense who interest me. I’m not really worried about getting walked over by a “distracted walker” as I’m sure I’ll see him or her before they see me. I’ll get out of the way. It’s when they step out into traffic that I can’t help cringing.

“Distracted walking” is a greater problem than I realized. Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that pedestrian fatalities rose by 4.2 percent from 2009 to 2010, and injuries increased by 19 percent during the same period.

You may remember I pointed out a report on traffic fatalities caused by “distracted driving.” The first three months of this year saw a 13.5 percent jump in drivers dying because of distracted driving. Sobering data to say the least.

I’ve gathered some information that indicates “distracted walking” is emerging as a public health concern. In 2011 alone, 1,152 people were treated for injuries caused by distracted walking, according to data collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

That number is likely a gross underestimate since doctors or nurses may not have asked whether the patient was using a mobile device at the time of the accident, according to a July 30, 2012, AP report.

"We are where we were with cell phone use in cars 10 years or so ago. We knew it was a problem, but we didn't have the data," Jonathan Atkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said in the same report.

Here’s more revealing information: researchers at the University of Maryland identified 116 cases in which pedestrians were killed or seriously injured while wearing headphones. Two-thirds of those injuries involved men under the age of 30, and half of them involved trains.

If you go to YouTube there are endless videos of distracted people walking into things, or off them. Great for laughs. Funny stuff, right? Cathy Cruz Marrero, the woman who tumbled into a fountain while texting and walking in a mall in Pennsylvania, didn’t think it was too funny.

She’s a star on the internet now. She wasn't injured, but she told CBS News that she cried for days after footage of the accident landed on YouTube, where it was viewed more than 2 million times.

There’s another popular YouTube video starring distracted walker Bonnie Miller, a Michigan woman who recently fell off a pier while texting and walking. "I can't let pride get in my way of warning other people to not drive and text or walk and text. It's quite dangerous," Miller told ABC 57, a local television station in South Bend, Indiana.

There was nothing funny about her husband and a 19-year-old bystander jumping into the cold water to save her. She wasn’t laughing when Firefighters and the Coast Guard arrived and threw them floatation devices. Lucky for her it was just a humiliating experience and she’s alive to talk about it.

Another lucky distracted walker whose story has gone viral since it happened in 2009, is Alexa Longueira, of Staten Island, N.Y. This teenager fell into an open manhole while reading a text on her friend’s cell phone. According to a report by WABC, she fell 6 feet into four inches of raw sewage.

Unlike distracted driving, I don’t think there should be any laws against distracted walking; it’s probably an effective way to thin out the gene pool!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

44 Years Ago Today: Remembering The Cambodian Campaign

bucketloader[7]Good Day World!

 On this day in 1970, my squad was attached to the  1st Air Cav Division and we crossed the border into Cambodia.

With us was the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the 1st ARVN Armoured Cavalry Regiment, and the 3rd ARVN Airborne Brigade.

We entered the Kampong Cham Province of Cambodia. The operation was known as Task Force Shoemaker (after General Robert M. Shoemaker, the Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division).

Our force attacked the long-time communist stronghold with 10,000 U.S. and 5,000 South Vietnamese troops. Sporadic contact and ambushes happened nearly every day. We lost eight Americans killed and 32 wounded, which was low casualties for such a large operation that wound up by May 3rd.

Unlike in the picture above where I’m sitting on that bucket loader, I walked most of the time and was responsible for minesweeping the dirt roads which were loaded with landmines left by the retreating NVA force.

Engineers_Clear_Mines_Cambodia

One of the many things I’ll never forget is the ambush that killed my partner, Rogers. It happened so fast it was a blur. I was lucky enough to be able to dive to the ground and crawl for cover without getting hit. He wasn’t.

I remember before we left for Cambodia we both sat down and wrote letters home. He showed me a picture of his wife who was 8 months pregnant. I wrote my sister Margie and told her what I knew about my new mission of going into Cambodia. It’s hard to believe that my letters weren’t censored by the military.

Both of us looked at the upcoming mission as somewhat of a lark. It was easily the biggest operation we’d been in yet. Talking with guys from other units helped keep me informed. Did I fear dying? Listen, I was 19 years-old and was too stupid to think I might die.

So, here I am today over 40 years later, still thinking about that tough time in my life. For some vets, like me with PTSD, there’s anniversary dates that remind us of those times. today is one of those dates.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Makes a Column, or Article Go Viral?

Good Day World!

What makes a column, or article, go viral?

I wrote a column for The Times-Standard newspaper on April 7, 2013, and it’s still going strong a year later!

At the time, my column Faster is not always better: THC ‘dabs’ can be dangerous was breaking news. I have to admit that I’m not sure why so many people are still reading it today. I just know that for the last year this column has been in the Top 10 Most-Popular reads among readers. 

Most-Popular among all readers Sunday April, 27th, 2014

Of The Day: This list ranks the top 50 most-clicked articles so far today.

1.Flight of the condor; Yurok Tribe looks to return bird to the North Coast

2. Faster is not always better: THC 'dabs' can be dangerous

Of The Hour: The top 50 most-clicked articles of the previous hour.

  1. Flight of the condor; Yurok Tribe looks to return bird to the North Coast
  2. Faster is not always better: THC 'dabs' can be dangerous

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Racism in Sports: LA Clipper Owner Sterling Shows His Colors

                                         Good Day World!

Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m just naïve, or out-of-the-loop, when it comes to racism in sports today.

I thought everyone agreed Jackie Robinson was a great player (and man), but there’s people who still don’t like the fact that he broke down the race barrier in professional baseball.

I guess I need to read more on the subject because this article makes it clear that racism is still alive and well in professional sports. All of them.

Associates For Breast And Prostate Cancer Studies 24th Annual Talk Of The Town Benefit Gala

Then I read about the LA Clippers’ owner, Donald Sterling. Wow! According to Time Online he’s had a long history of alleged racism — he paid the largest fine the U.S. government has ever handed out for housing discrimination, among other things.

Here we are in the middle of the Clippers’ playoff run and his mouth has once again spewed foul words about African-Americans.

TMZ has audio allegedly of Sterling arguing with his girlfriend because she put on her Instagram account a picture of her with Magic Johnson when she met him (she soon after took it down). The audio is hard to listen to it is so disgusting, but here are a few “highlights:

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?”

“You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.”

“I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.”

“…Don’t put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”

Time for me to walk on down the road..

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Retired Supreme Court Justice Says Legalize Pot

Good Day World!

The days of the “Devil Weed” have passed, and it’s nice to see people in high places with the same assessment. 

The marijuana-legalization movement gained a new friend in a high place yesterday when retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said the federal government should allow American adults to possess pot.

Speaking to National Public Radio, Stevens said public opinion on legal weed has shifted noticeably in recent years toward favoring what would essentially be an end to federal marijuana prohibition.

“Recognize that the distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction,” Stevens told NPR. (Read whole story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cliven Bundy: Racist, Hypocrite & Liar Gets His 15 Minutes of Fame

 Good Day World!

 Today we’ll look at a real racist and hypocrite.

His name is Cliven Bundy. That’s him wearing a broad-brimmed white cowboy hat in the photo.

He’s seen here recounting the success of “we the people” - gesturing to his 50 supporters, some armed with handguns and rifles, standing in a semicircle before him - at chasing away Bureau of Land Management rangers who, acting on a court order, tried to confiscate 500 cattle owned by Mr. Bundy, who has been illegally grazing his herd on public land since 1993.

I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

His cause has won support from Senator Rand Paul, the libertarian Republican from Kentucky who is likely to run for president. Senator Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, referred to Mr. Bundy’s supporters as “patriots.”

Continue reading the main story

A day later, Tea Party favorite Rand Paul condemned Cliven Bundy’s for his remarks on Blacks. The potential 2016 presidential candidate, joined a line of Republican and Democratic leaders on Thursday in denouncing Cliven Bundy’s racist remarks.

But the damage was done. All those politicians who jumped on Bundy’s bandwagon had to back off because the guy is a wackaloon. He doesn’t “recognize” the United States of America, yet he flies an American flag. That’s a hypocrite. And a stupid one at that!

But he didn’t lose the little group of militiamen spoiling for a fight. Some had White Power insignias tattooed on their necks (photo above). They’re still hanging around hoping for a chance at open anarchy.

If Cliven Bundy has his way there will be another confrontation – maybe then he’ll get the shoot-out he wants.

Bundy Can’t Even Get His Family History Right or He’s Outright Lying

It has been widely reported that Cliven Bundy’s family claims to have ranched in the Bunkerville area since the 1870s even though a federal judge held a different view of Bundy’s history.

Contrast that with the 1998 opinion from U.S. District Judge Johnnie Rawlinson in a case where it was determined Bundy wouldn’t be allowed to use federal land for his cattle because of failure to pay grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management. Rawlinson wrote that it wasn’t until roughly 1954 thatBundy or his father or both have grazed livestock on public lands owned by the United States and administered by the BLM.”

Clark County Recorder documents show the 160-acre Bunkerville ranch Bundy calls home was purchased by his parents, David and Bodel Bundy, from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt on Jan. 5, 1948

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three Lottery Wins In Three Weeks –Talk About Lucky!

 Good Day World!

Some people have all the luck!

Did you hear about that guy from Chicago, Christopher Kaelin? He won the Illinois lottery 3 weeks in a row for a total of $276,000!

Kaelin said his first win came during his lunch break when he bought a Crossword instant ticket at Gateway Newstand on Clark Street in Chicago and won $25,000.

My fiancé and I were so thrilled that I won $25,000, we went out for dinner to celebrate,” he said.

After their celebratory dinner, the couple stopped at a gas station where Kaelin decided to buy another Crossword ticket and won $1,000.

The following week, he stopped at the same store where he purchased his $25,000 winning ticket and bought his third Crossword instant ticket. He said he was in his office when he used a key to scratch the ticket and realized he had won what he thought was $25,000.

“I was in the elevator when I took another look at my ticket and noticed I had the tenth word. The prize wasn’t $25,000 - it was $250,000,” he said. “I was shocked.” (News source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When Love Calls: A Brief Look At a Four-Letter Word

                                     Good Day World!

The Beatles had it right when they sang, “All you need is love.”

The most positive emotion in humans is love. It moves mountains. It saves lives. No amount of money will ever buy it. Your body and mind need it like oxygen.

It has spawned poems since ancient times when rhymes were written for Kings and Queens.
C.S. Elliot describes four kinds of love in his book “The Four Loves.”  They are based upon the Greek words for love;  Storge (affection), Phileo (friendship,) Eros (romance), and Agape (unconditional love).

Love is the best anti-depressant, but many of our ideas about it are wrong. Most of us get our ideas about love from the popular culture. We expect to be swept off our feet when in love. We tend to have unrealistic images that don’t fit with the real world.

The myth in our culture is love just happens. It appears out of nowhere and suddenly you are intoxicated. It doesn’t work that way. You have to actively pursue love by learning a variety of skills. You can’t just sit down and wait for love to come to you. That’s a mistake a lot of us make.

“Hate controls everything it touches, but love sets everything it touches free,” said Bryant McGill, in The Voice of Reason. It’s true. Love can give us a new lease on life. It has no boundaries, other than the ones we set upon it.

An extremist when it came to love, Kurt Vonnegut also had a healthy irreverence about it. In The Sirens of Titan he said, “A purpose in human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

In The Brothers Karamazov Fydor Dostoyevsky forcefully describes love. “What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

Paulo Coelho in Zahir: A Novel of Obsession, wrote, “Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”

Honore de Balzac, who knew a thing or two about all-consuming love, wrote Physiologie Du Marriage.  In it he states, “The more one judges, the less one loves.” The wisdom of this quote really resonates when you think about it. I think we’re all guilty, at one time or another, of harshly judging others.

One of my favorite quotes about love comes from Agatha Christie who wrote in her biography: “It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize how much you love them.”

It was Albert Einstein who asked, “How are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?”

When I try to describe my first love (who I married) the words seem sappy and silly. I found that love grew, and was not a static thing.

The longer you love, the deeper it goes. I know this from experience. Poets and authors worldwide have talked about love since the days of yore, but the subject never seems to be exhausted. People have always written about it, big and small. Love is always a fresh subject.

Love is hard to define. How do you avoid mistaking it for infatuation or lust? Not even an experienced person can give a definite answer to that question. Psychologists talk about “that initial glow” (for the first six months) when a couple fall in love. It’s almost a fairytale come true, but always ends in reality. If love survives the rigors of  the world, it’s true love.

“Love is your mother watching basketball games with me, even though she doesn’t care about the game,” I explained to my sons early on. “Love is selfless. It bends under stress, but always rebounds when given a chance.”

Contrary to what some people may think, love has no price, yet still has to be earned. A mother’s love for her child is the exception, because it has no bounds or requirements. I’ve seen love in my wife’s eyes for 39 years, despite all the dumb things I’ve done during that time.

Yes, I believe in the power of love. During my hippie days in the late sixties, I eagerly embraced the message of “Peace and Love” even though I was a stranger to it. Love does make the world go around, of that I‘m sure. To have truly lived, we must have love in our lives.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hidden Agendas: The Rest of the Stories

Good Day World!

Did several Russian cosmonauts die in secret before their first success in space?

The Soviets hid most of the records involved, but not all of them. Governments have always hid things from the general population. Discover examples here.

Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know

This collection of stories is fascinating. Find out what the story is behind Chemtrails. Discover Project Bluebook, and a woman named Henrietta Lacks, whose contributions to science were hidden for decades.Lost cosmonauts, stories from the Depp Web and more.

10 Things The Government Doesn’t Want You to Know

Most of us think our government is hiding things from us. So what is government telling us? Probably more than we think. Here are a few things I’m sure our government didn’t want us to know.And get caught up with “Mermaids: The New Evidence” and “Time Travel.”

Things That Are Being Hidden From Us

It’s said that one of the biggest secrets NASA has ever kept is that there’s a type of life living in our upper atmosphere.

Hidden History: What Really Happened?

This article will provide you with one of the most comprehensive conspiracies on the internet.it’s updated daily with article suggesting the government goes out of its way to hide facts from the public.

Our History of Corporations in the United States

From the day we instituted a democracy there were concerns about who would really be influencing the government. Our country’s founding fathers had good reason to be concerned! Corporations have become the enemy of the people.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

In the last 125 years, social engineers have sought to keep life under tight central control. It’s the work of the technocratic elite.

Time for me to walk on down the road…   

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet ALEC: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Good Day World!

What is ALEC and why should you care?

If you’re uncomfortable with corporations writing our laws then you’ll be interested in ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council), a group that pairs legislators with corporate heads to pass laws favoring big business.

The Washington, D.C. - based group of conservative state legislators and corporate leaders drafts “model” legislation to be passed as state laws Recently, they’ve been accused of under-reporting their lobbying activities. They claim to be a non-profit, non-partisan organization, but their actions belie that description.

Common Cause, a non-profit government watchdog group, sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on July 14th , 2011, alleging ALEC filed false tax returns and is engaged in lobbying despite its claims to the contrary. ALEC’s tax-exempt, charitable status was on the line. Nothing came of the lawsuit and ALEC is still wielding undue influence on all of our laws.

One obvious counter to their claim of being “non-partisan” is their membership: they have one Democrat and 103 Republican legislators currently in leadership positions.

So exactly what does ALEC do? Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators changes to the law that directly benefit their bottom line, according to the Center for Media and Democracy.

It isn’t just legislators who have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board. Yeah right. And Tea Party members believe in compromise.

This partisan stalking horse that calls itself ALEC introduces over 1,000 bills every year through its overwhelmingly conservative legislative members. Consider this; one in every five bills they present is enacted into law.

According to everything I’ve read about lobbying, handing bills to legislators so they can introduce them is the very definition. ALEC says "no lobbying is taking place." I’m of the opinion, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

ALEC operates under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which limits  lobbying activity and allows corporate backers to deduct their contributions.

Fact; corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators take proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own ideas and important public policy innovations - without disclosing that corporations crafted and approved the bills.

According to the IRS, more than 98% of ALEC's revenues come from sources such as corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations. Getting the picture?

ALEC receives grants from some of the biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, like the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Koch-managed Claude R. Lambe Foundation, and the Castle Rock Foundation, to name a few.

The current chairman of ALEC’s corporate board is W. Preston Baldwin III, until recently a lobbyist and Vice President of State Government Affairs at UST Inc., a tobacco firm now owned by Altria/Phillip Morris USA.

Guess what? Altria is advancing a very short, specific bill to change the way moist tobacco products (such as fruit flavored “snus” by companies like Skoal) are taxed - to make them cheaper and more attractive to young tobacco users.

Fact; 20 of the 24 corporate representatives on ALEC’s “Private Enterprise Board” are lobbyists representing major firms such as Koch Industries, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Wal-Mart and Johnson and Johnson.

ALEC is blatantly influencing state laws under the guise of a non-profit, charitable organization. Their claims at promoting “educational activities” would be laughable if they weren’t illegal. ALEC engages in outright power-brokering at the tax payer’s expense.

ALEC’s operating model raises many ethical and legal concerns. Each state has a different set of ethics laws or rules. The presence of lobbyists alone may cause ethics problems for some state legislators.

Some examples of ALEC’s alumni: Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, Congressman Joe Wilson, Governor Scott Walker, and Governor Jan Brewer.

Seems to me, they’re part of the group of Congressional conservatives who refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations. What a surprise!

They should at least be transparent about their past ALEC memberships. Little alumni badges would be nice, don’t you think? For complete and updated information on ALEX go to Alex Exposed

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Sister & Happy 420 to Those Folks Who Take Tokes!

Good Day World!

Happy Birthday to my sister Linda Jane, who was born on this day.

Luv ya, Sis!

Happy 420 to all you folks who are taking tokes to celebrate cannabis today!

Here’s a link to 420 celebrations:

4/20 2014: Marijuana Rallies in Cities Around the World

Meanwhile, Denver’s first 420 Rally since Colorado’s legalization of marijuana is expected to be the largest yet — but don’t expect attendees to light up in a joint celebration.

As the Mile High City’s police step up security for the growing annual event, organizers say they’ll focus on protesting the state’s existing marijuana restrictions.

“It is time to make your voice heard in response to the proposed regulations that have been handed over to the Colorado General Assembly,” 420 Rally organizers said in a statement on the group's website.

Here’s your guide to party time should you be attending this massive gathering of weed-friendly people.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Blog Break: Stress Has Me on The Ropes

I'm not going to be posting anything for a while. I've had this blog for nearly 20 years, through thick and thin times. But I reall...