Tag Archives: ramblings

Friday Afternoon Ramblings – 10/11/2019

We are the shining beacon for liberty to the rest of the world. We are the land of opportunity, the symbol of free speech, the bastion for religious freedom. We are the nation that turned the tide against the Nazis and crumbled the Soviet Union. We are the greatest nation on this planet and have always marched towards the future with optimism and certainty.

And now, we are have abandoned an ally to a foreign invader.

That is not okay with me. That represents a level of cowardice and disloyalty typically associated with cartoon villains. America is better than that. We as human beings are better than that. The Kurds fought alongside us against ISIS and shed their blood to help us take down that extremist foe which very much wants us wiped from the earth. ISIS represents the opposite of free speech and liberty, and we abandoned the allies who fought and died on our behalf.

That’s not okay. Not on any level. Not by any defense. President Trump is unfit to lead. He is unfit to be in charge of the most powerful military in the world. He needs to be removed from office sooner rather than later. We are better than this. We are better than abandoning our allies.

That’s all for now.

Wednesday Night Ramblings – 9/25/2019

I’ve made a conscious decision to stay out of politics for the last couple of years, but I think we are at a moment of history when a few questions need to be asked of conservatives who still support Mr. Trump. For most of my life, the stances of Republicans that I have admired most are those on states’ rights, free trade, personal accountability, and fiscal responsibility. My biggest question for conservatives is: Do you believe in and adhere to your principles, or do you support the party regardless of what principles its leaders espouse?

Conservatives claim to believe in states’ rights. However, when the state of California attempts to maintain its own standards for vehicle emissions, the president revokes that authority. Do you believe in this principle or not?

Obviously, Democrats tend to be anti-capitalism, but conservatives have always maintained that they believe in free trade. This president has done more to damage free trade and restrict it than any before him. The trade war and tariffs with China are spiralling the world into a recession. Manipulating markets and pressuring the Federal Reserve to undo the damage the trade war is doing to the economy are NOT free trade fundamentals. Do you believe in markets or not?

For the eight years of Mr. Clinton’s presidency, Republicans railed against his immorality and dishonesty. Slick Willie he was called. Mr. Trump also regularly makes false and misleading statements. Typically outright lies. He also is a womanizer. Do you believe in personal accountability or not? Why are you not as outraged by this person’s behavior as you were Mr. Clinton’s? Is it blind devotion to the party?

When Mr. Obama took office during the Great Recession, conservatives screamed from every outlet possible that the sky was falling because of the national debt and the continuation of the bailouts begun during the Bush administration. Well, under Mr. Trump, in an effort to mitigate the damage done by the trade war, more money has been given to farmers than was used to bailout GM. The national debt has mushroomed to $22 trillion dollars. Where is the conservative outrage over lack of fiscal responsibility? Do you believe in this principle or does it only matter when a Democrat is in the oval office?

My final question for conservatives is this: is there anything this president could do that would make you stop supporting him?

Tennessee Vols Ramblings – 9/21/2019

I feel a little “I told you so” is in order. Back in November 2012, I wrote a piece about what a mistake it would be to fire Derek Dooley at that point. The program was still reeling from the Lane Kiffin betrayal, and my point was that for the sake of stability and recruiting, not to mention the opportunity to search for a top-notch coaching candidate, the university should have given Dooley one more season. Of course, at the time, I was shouted down, ridiculed, and lambasted for saying such a thing. I wish I still had some of the screen grabs of the comments I got on social media.

You rabid fans, full of pipe dreams of Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher, wanted Dooley gone. Everything wrong with the program was HIS FAULT. You were the same fans who had said the exact same things about Randy Sanders a few years before, but I digress. In your irrational fervor, you were absolutely certain that a big name celebrity coach was going to waltz in, wave a magic wand, and return the program to glory.

Today, nearly seven years later, your football team is a joke, and I told you so.

Butch Jones was a terrible hire, but he was the best you were going to get amidst all of that chaos. To put it in perspective of how bad of a football coach Butch Jones actually was, he had Jalen Hurd starting in front of Alvin Kamara. That should tell you everything you need to know. To be fair, under Jones, the Vols played fairly well against the mediocre opponents, but your record against ranked SEC teams was 4-18.

Once again, you rabid fans are calling for the coach’s head. This time, Jeremy Pruitt has only been given a season and a quarter to rebuild the program. Barely two full recruiting classes. Still, you have been inundating talk radio with more venom and bile, flooding social media with negativity, and burning jerseys. After a season and a quarter. You idiots have no idea how much you are hindering recruiting and miring the university in less than mediocrity.

Until you accept that a coach, ANY COACH, needs time to bring talent into the program, you will remain a joke. Until you accept that the vast majority of the players currently in the starting lineup couldn’t make the roster of the elite SEC teams, you will remain a joke. Until you accept that it has been 20 years since you have been relevant as a national powerhouse and none of current recruits coming out of high school have seen this school compete for anything that matters, you will remain a joke.

And I told you so.

Tuesday Morning Ramblings – 9/10/2019

It’s becoming more and more difficult for me to get on social media these days. The constant flow of hate from Republicans and Democrats is overwhelming.

I can’t understand why anyone would want to spend so much time scouring Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed for something to be angry about. And vice versa. Conservatives are equally guilty of looking for the slightest little injustice to feed their daily outrage.

We are steadily marching towards civil war. Both sides have so dehumanized the other that it’s no wonder we have a fairly regular stream of mass shootings. All of the hateful memes and snarky posts and bellyaching commentaries about every single perceived injustice move us closer and closer to all out bloodshed.

I’m powerless to stop it. I’m one small voice in the wilderness, insignificant compared to the perpetual surge of hate that flows from social media each minute. All I know is that more hate will not defeat hate. Deeper darkness will not brighten the world. Only love and light can.

I know this blog entry will only reach a small amount of people. Those who engage with it will be far too few to make any difference in the coming storm, but those of you who do read it, I implore you to prepare what is coming. We as human beings cannot lose the good we have, the lofty ideals that we aspire to. Democracy, free markets, self-determination, free speech, free thought, the scientific method, personal accountability, empathy, competition, and cooperation, these concepts are what make us great, not the hate and vitriol of social media.

That’s all for now.

Sunday Afternoon Ramblings – 9/8/2019

It’s opening weekend in the NFL. I’ve been a football fan my entire life, and my love for the game is still strong even though it has evolved away from running and defense. No other sport compares to the level of teamwork required to be successful. All 11 guys have to be in sync each play, and every play is an orchestra of strategy.

For the first time in my life, I am entering the season not as a Steelers fan. I just can’t continue to cheer for Mediocre Mike Tomlin. Once the team wises up and parts ways with him, I might return to the flock. Until then, I’ll just cheer for the players I like.

That’s all for now.

Thursday Morning Ramblings – 9/5/2019

Today is my youngest son’s 13th birthday. I have a hard time believing that much time has passed, but it’s true. He’s a wickedly smart kid, who has completely taught himself more about computers than I can fathom. Once upon a time, I built one from scratch to put that in perspective.

He also marches to his own beat, unapologetically so, and could not care less what you or anyone else thinks about him. He’s observant and perceptive, has a poet’s soul, and possesses a scathing wit. He reminds me of a better version of myself, and I hope he finds his way in this world more easily than I have.

Happy birthday, son. Your dad loves you more than all the sand on all the beaches on all the world.

That’s all for now.

Friday Afternoon Ramblings – 8/23/2019

In my previous post, I mentioned Nick Hanauer and his belief in a wealth tax. I also pointed out what I see as the shortfalls of redistributing wealth via the government. However, it’s not productive to do that without offering an alternative solution, so as promised, here is my idea for how the super wealthy could impact the lives of average Americans.

On a completely voluntary basis, people with a net worth over one billion dollars could establish foundations that help individuals launch small businesses. Right now, there are millions of working people around the country who have the knowledge and skills to run a small business in their area of expertise, but they lack the capital to purchase the equipment, form the proper entity, and take the plunge into self-employment. They also might lack the knowledge to navigate all of the legal and bureaucratic obstacles.

However, if wealthy individuals like Nick Hanauer provided grants and also business coaches to assist with getting small businesses off the ground, more individuals could have opportunities to be self-sufficient. Because the money is not being filtered through the bloated bureaucracy of government, more of that wealth goes directly to the people Hanauer wants to help.

The major advantage of following this path is that people will have the opportunities to build businesses and wealth for themselves. Instead of government handouts, people will be offered a hand up to self-reliance. Instead of being tethered to larger businesses that may or may not pay decent wages, people from every social stratum could have more equal opportunities based on the effort they are willing to put into growing their businesses.

Obviously, this is merely a thumbnail sketch of the idea, but I believe that it is an idea worth pursuing by those who have the means to make it a reality.

That’s all for now.