Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Hats off to Ma and Pa West; family values winning out

June 4, 2015
So far, so good. The Wests seem to be winning. (Photo Credit: www.flickr.com)

So far, so good. The Wests seem to be winning. (Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com)

It seems that several sources, including the NY Daily News, are reporting that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are expecting another baby. Unconfirmed rumor has it that the couple may even be expecting twins. And honestly, if it is true, most of us have to admit to a bit of surprise at this growing family.

 
They always seemed like an unlikely pair even when they were just dating. He just seemed so hyper and manic, given to outbursts at the most inappropriate times. And she appeared to be a groupie whose fame was predicated on homemade videos of the impolite kind. But lo and behold, they met and fell in love, and by all accounts seem to be loving and wonderful parents to their baby girl named after compass points. Well her daddy’s last name is West, so an argument could be made for giving her the first name North.

 
So though I may have been a little skeptical at the beginning, I must say I am really starting to enjoy watching this family expand. And I’ll tell you why, although I’m sure it won’t be popular in this age of everything goes. The fact is I love that Kim is having all these kids with her…wait for it…husband. What a novel concept right?

 
I actually stopped watching “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” because it seemed like almost every nine months we were force fed a pregnant Kourtney happily counting up reasons not to get married, but, instead, to keep procreating. Not the best message to be sending out to the impressionable young ladies watching the show. But now with the Wests doing their own thing, I think they might have a viable chance at a spinoff. I would definitely watch. Life is so funny, huh? What with the Daddy Jenner news, who would have thought Kanye and Kim would be some of the more traditional members of the family? You just never know.

Advertisements

Bruce Jenner has in essence exposed the medical profession; it can be done

June 2, 2015
Has to be one of the fittest grandpa's in recent memory (Photo Credit es.wikipedia.org_

Has to be one of the fittest grandpa’s in recent memory. Wait till you see how well he cleans up. (Photo Credit es.wikipedia.org)

Was Bruce Jenner right or wrong to introduce himself publicly as a woman when he’s got a wife (ex, soon-to-be ex, oh I don’t know, it’s all so confusing) and children? After all, he presented himself to the world as a father and husband, so does this mean the whole family image was a facade? Well those are interesting questions and I’m sure they will be tackled around endless dinner tables. So we will leave that trip down Alice’s wonderland for another dinner party.

My thoughts, well actually my rant today, is on the subject of Bruce’s hair, or his hairline to be more precise. I can’t believe the apparent disparity in the availability of treatments for the haves and the have nots. Take a quick look around the office, grocery store, church or wherever you happen to be the next time you have access to view a sizable gathering of female heads. I submit to you that almost half of the women in any group (ages 30-65) will have the beginning of thinning around the edges, or maybe a touch of thinning right at the crown of the head. I confess I suffer from edges so thin that it’s been over a year since I’ve been able to comfortably pull back my hair in a carefree bouncy ponytail. Suffice it to say that bangs have become one of my closest and most constant companions.

Granted, articles abound offering theories on why this trend seems to be occurring. Some say the hormones in the foods we eat are unhealthy and that hair volume and vibrancy is an indicator of our overall health. I’ve also read that the stress we put on our hair in the name of good grooming (perms, curly kits, dyes, extreme heat and braids) can have long-term detrimental effects. All of these things may be true, and if so, it’s likely that the blame for the condition of each of our heads of crowning glory lies squarely on our own shoulders, literally. Whatever the reason, there is clearly a problem as evidenced by the late night reign of hair rescue infomercials like those for the Bosley Hair Club.

My point is that if a man, that’s a right a man, can have a hairline as thick and face-framing as Jenner’s on the Vanity Fair cover, there is no reason the common woman shouldn’t be able to get the same thing. We should not have to sweat under hot wigs in 100-degree weather. We should not have to avoid standing near light bulbs for fear the reflection might show a peek of our scalp. The hair extension industry should not be poaching nearly a billion dollars annually of our hard-earned money, simply because we feel we have no other choice.

Whatever hormones Jenner was given to facilitate his transformation obviously had a positive effect on his hair and edges. Doctors around the country should immediately start making this a part of thinning hair treatment, and insurance companies should not give them any flack. In their silly little bottom line books, the big insurance giants may initially balk at covering these costs by calling them cosmetic, rather than medical concerns. However, when you’re happy chemicals are released in your body and brain that have an overall uplifting effect on the body, and can foster good health.

I believe it would increase our self-confidence, and sense of freedom to let our hair literally blow in the wind. If the technology exists, and unless that hairline was drawn on it clearly does, then let’s use it to the advantage of all women. Hair thinning around the edges, doctors say live with it, it’s a part of aging. Yet Jenner has great edges at 65. Hairs sprouting on the chin, doctors say live with it and use tweezers. Yet Jenner’s chin is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Well I say enough is enough. Obviously something can be done. Why should transgenders have all the best doctors, and why can’t our doctors in Middle America take lessons from them for the benefit of all society? One for all and all for one. Let’s do it!!!

Will the real bikers please stand up: mayhem and memorials

May 19, 2015
Bikers have hearts too. (Photo Credit:  home.fotocommunity.de)

Bikers have hearts too. (Photo Credit: home.fotocommunity.de)

It was very disheartening to hear about the nine motorcyclists that were killed in a violent exchange of gunfire this past Sunday. In the past two decades the connotation of a biker gang has changed. Bikers became infamous in Hollywood movies that portrayed them as rough-around-the-edges drifters, who rarely put roots down in a town long enough to fall in love. In addition to the wall of isolation surrounding their hearts, they were almost always shown to have an affinity for abiding on the wrong side of the law. They’d thunder into town, break a few hearts, deal a few drugs, and ride out in a cloud of dust. Even in modern times, they always seemed to find a town with at least one dirt road that was perfect for kicking up of cloud of dust.

The 1969 film “Easy Rider” provided one of the most intimate glimpses into the day-to-day events and mentality of bikers that audiences had ever seen. It showed less of them as flat stereotypes, but rather men of many sides like everyone else. Despite what just happened this weekend, or maybe to give a balanced perspective, I wanted to share that I recently saw a new (for me) and more tender side of bikers. A co-worker’s father had passed away and I attended the homegoing services to show my respect. As I turned into the chapel parking lot, I saw row upon row of motorcycles everywhere and became a little nervous. After clicking the button to make sure all four of my doors were locked, I slowed down just enough to make sure the numbers on the building matched the address of the funeral home I was seeking. I parked and walked slowly towards the chapel, clutching my purse tightly.

I was impressed and surprised at the beauty of seeing both male and female bikers lining both sides of the sidewalk from the street to the top of the stairwell entering the chapel. Many of them were called up later to make remarks after the eulogy. What emerged was the picture of a man remembered for his love of God, family and bikes. One man broke down in tears as he remembered himself and the deceased (only 79 at the time) embarking on a cross-country ride. As more of them told stories, I was educated as I learned about the many charities that bikers participate in and the untold causes they raise money for such as researching cures and granting scholarships. I gained a newfound respect for them that will last long after the memories of the  tender way they lifted their comrade’s casket and ushered him out of the chapel.

So as this Waco story continues to unfold and investigators sift through evidence, let us remember we should try our darndest not to paint any group with one big brush. The people who started this shoot-’em-up brawl were just a few bad pages out of a fascinating book of adventurers.

 

 

Tensions in Baltimore run amok; the naked truth is the only solution; what really happened?

April 28, 2015
We cannot let the beautiful and historic city of Baltimore self-destruct. (photo credit:  www.wyndhambaltimoremtvernon.com)

We cannot let the beautiful and historic city of Baltimore self-destruct. (photo credit: http://www.wyndhambaltimoremtvernon.com)

Try an experiment when you get a chance. Or maybe you’ve tried this one numerous times as a kid. Plop a pebble into a lake and it is fascinating to see the ripple effect outward as far as the eye can see. It is often easy to forget that incidents of stone, dropped into the sea called life can have an almost unimaginably far-reaching effect.

A young man named Freddie Gray was buried in Baltimore, MD, on Monday, April 28, 2015. Freddie was arrested recently, and it was determined that he died in the process of being transported in a police vehicle. Police authorities have admitted that Gray asked for medical attention at some point during the trip, however this request was denied. As of yet, no reason has been given for the denial. Maybe they were in a hurry? Could be, but it seems they had time to stop, remove Gray from the paddy wagon and put shackles on his feet, and then continue on with their journey.

Something severed his spine, and he died in police custody. What could it have been? A particularly deep pot hole in the street? A policeman’s heavy rifle accidentally fell on his back? The police have said they will issue a statement once they have completed the investigation. Behind those two heavy van doors, there is only a limited square footage of area to examine, and a limited number of people who were in that tiny space to question. Let’s hope they don’t drag it out. If the department has any investigative skills at all, it shouldn’t take that long to figure it out.

There are some people who have had quite enough of the slaying of blacks while in the custody of those sworn to protect and serve. And these people went about venting their highly understandable frustrations entirely the wrong way. Peaceful protests are needed, but looting and foolishness just invites more trouble and widens the gulf between civilians and law enforcement personnel.

But the majority of people are willing to wait on the Baltimore PD’s report before taking sides. The country, nay even the world is waiting to hear the what happened that led to most people waking up, seeing the broadcasts and wondering what country we were invading. Instead, it was the National Guard, 5000 strong, putting boots on the ground in Baltimore. Scary stuff. But just the tip of the iceberg if the official report, scheduled to be released May 1st, has some concocted fable of how they lay Gray on the bench in the police van, and there was a single pea under the mattress and it broke his spine. Leave the fairy tales to Hans Christian Andersen. Let’s keep it real, keep it honest, and put the perpetrators in jail.

Only when the truth comes out, will the city quiet down. Cover-ups are like continuously scratching a scab. The wounds ooze ugly festering pus, but never completely heal. I thank you.

Our prayers go out to the family of Mr. Freddie Gray, the policemen and firemen that have been injured in the melees, the innocent business owners whose life’s work has been reduced to ashes, and the families all over Baltimore who are just trying to live their lives in peace.

Immigrants stand to gain licenses and help America in the process

January 2, 2015
California DMV will be the site of long lines starting today when undocumented immigrants can apply for their driver's licenses.   (photo credit:  www.flickr.com)

California DMV will be the site of long lines starting today when undocumented immigrants can apply for their driver’s licenses. (photo credit: http://www.flickr.com)

Well, well, well. What do you know? It seems that California has made it official that undocumented immigrants can apply for and, if they pass the test, receive their driver’s license. The new program takes effect today and the state is expecting extremely long lines. The department of motor vehicles has reportedly hired at least 900 extra employees to handle the additional applicants. What does this mean in the general scheme of things?

Well there are those who are upset, because they feel that the more perks you give people that entered the country without proper documentation, the more it will seem as if the country is giving them benefits to reward their illegal status. The naysayers feel that this will be a signal to other people, who might be considering coming over under the shield of cloak and dagger stealth, that it is quite okay. No matter how you came, you’re welcome to partake of the privileges of one of the greatest countries on earth.

These are valid points. However, if one looks at the glass as half full, there may be something positive to be gained out of this unusual situation. First, one of the main complaints is that the immigrants are undocumented. Well, allowing them to apply for a driver’s license solves almost 50 percent of that problem right away. They will have to have some sort of documentation to be issued a license. Because they are here illegally, many immigrants do not have social security numbers. More than likely, they will have to provide a letter from a utility company, or some other official piece of mail that they have received at their claimed address.

I lean towards thinking this will be an excellent start to getting some kind of real numbers as to how many people actually live in our country. I also believe it will make the roads less dangerous. Let’s face it; if people want to drive, they are going to find a way to drive. This way, we know that the immigrants must take the same kind of standardized written test and road test that everyone else has to pass. This will make the roads safer for all concerned.

Finally, this is a step towards getting everyone documented and ultimately incorporated into our huge tax base. Undocumented immigrants will get a driver’s license, have to pay registration fees, and then car property taxes, and the list goes on and on. Welcome to the real world friends. Yes, it’s a land of milk and honey, but a very highly-taxed paradise. This will ease the tax burden on us all because a $900 billion tax invoice is much more easily paid when there are an extra five million people available to split the check. Cheers folks, and welcome aboard.

There may be more to pork Pres. elect Ronald William Prestage than meets the sty

July 28, 2014
Though he tried to enter the U.S. Capitol Building with a gun, Prestage (center) once presented President Bush with Katie, the first pardoned female turkey.   (photo credit:  Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Though he tried to enter the U.S. Capitol Building with a gun, Prestage (center) once presented President Bush with Katie, the first pardoned female turkey. (photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

When Ronald William Prestage, 59, was arrested last week for trying to take an unlicensed gun into the U. S. Capitol, many wondered what the frequent lobbyist was thinking.  According to the New York Daily News, Prestage did nothing suspicious to bring attention to himself, but the 9-mm. Ruger handgun was found during a routine search.  Prestage was arrested and taken into custody by the U. S. Capitol police.

Well reports and sources that have surfaced afresh after Prestage’s arrest indicate that his bag might not be the only thing that bears looking into.  Prestage is the president of Prestage Farms of South Carolina, LLC (PFSC), which provides turkey to the Louis Rich brand of Kraft Foods.  The parent company, Prestage Farms (PF) lists on its website that their mission is to “produce top quality pork and turkey at a competitive cost”.   (Continue reading full story here.)

Texas teen survives mass murder spree; her tips help capture Ron Lee Haskell

July 10, 2014

Ron Lee Haskell finally surrenders after killing six people.

(Video via YouTube)

Police were able to capture a mass murderer thanks to the help of one of his victims.  A 15-year-old girl survived being shot in the head and identified Ron Lee Haskell, 34, as the shooter.  Haskell held police at bay during a tense standoff for several hours, but finally surrendered without further incident about 10:00 p.m. Wednesday.  Authorities credit the brave teen with saving her grandparents’ lives because she tipped them off that Haskell was on his way to kill them next.

According to the girl, the lone survivor of the slaughter, she didn’t recognize Haskell at first.  He showed up at her home in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday afternoon disguised as a Fed-Ex delivery man.  He asked for her parents and left when she told him they were not at home.  A short time later he returned and asked for her parents again, but this time he identified himself.  She recognized him as what she termed an “ex-uncle” and tried to shut the door.  Haskell became enraged and kicked his way in.   (Continue reading full story here.)

Six Flags horror: Ninja roller coaster slams into branches on track, derails

July 8, 2014

Authorities work frantically to rescue passengers from dangling car.

(Video via YouTube)

People flock to roller coaster rides for the same reason they flock to horror movies.  They know they’ll   be screaming, they know they’ll be scared out of their wits, but they also know deep down inside that they are in a controlled and safe environment.  And while that is usually the case, up to six people were injured near Los Angeles Monday when a roller coaster derailed.

The incident happened at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA, around 5:30pm.  Passengers on the Ninja were shocked when they heard what one witness called a “big boom”.  Many people thought an explosion had occurred, but in reality, the Ninja, described by Six Flags as the “Black Belt of Roller Coasters”, crashed into some pine tree branches that had fallen across the track and caused the cars to derail.   (Continue reading full story here.)

Shootout at Forsyth County GA courthouse; deputy injured, attacker dead

June 6, 2014
Scene of shootout at Forsyth County GA Courthouse   (Photo Credit:  MyFoxNewsAtlanta.com)

Scene of shootout at Forsyth County GA Courthouse (Photo Credit: MyFoxNewsAtlanta.com)

CNN is reporting that a man is dead after trying to attack and take over a courthouse in Forsyth County, GA.  Just hours ago today the man, identified as Dennis Ronald Marx, 48, of Cumming, GA, drove his SUV straight up to the courthouse steps with intentions of wreaking havoc.  Authorities are calling it a “frontal assault”.

Marx screeched to a stop practically on top of the courthouse doors and immediately began throwing out spike strips that appeared to be homemade.  Spike strips are used, usually by police, to slow down or stop a criminal by causing his tires to go flat.  He also fired through the windshield hitting a deputy in the leg.  (Continue reading full story here.)

Are police responsible for Isla Vista shooting massacre?

May 27, 2014
Balcony of one of 10 crime scenes in Isla Vista shooting rampage.  (Photo Credit:  David McNew/Getty Images)

Balcony of one of 10 crime scenes in Isla Vista shooting rampage. (Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Time and time again, we hear stories of mass shootings and wonder why no one in the perpetrator’s circle saw any signs of trouble.  If they did see signs, why did no one care enough to report these signs to someone who could help?  CNN is reporting today that the Isla Vista killing of multiple innocent people last week had been carefully planned over the past few years and there were many close calls that could have derailed the scheme.

There were more than enough red flags and, sadly, some of the blame must be squarely placed on the shoulders of those charged to protect and to serve…the police.  To be fair, the police probably get tips all day, every day about this or that.  And often they might have to make decisions on whether to give priority to a robbery in progress (potentially saving lives now) or to a tip called in by a concerned family member about a relative exhibiting odd behavior (potentially saving lives in the future).

Sadly the mass slaughtering of innocent people by Elliot Rodger, 22, was a tragedy that could have been prevented.  (Continue reading full story here.)