Showing 1 - 10 of 236 posts found matching keyword: news

Very much has been made recently of Stephen Ross' fundraiser for Donald Trump. Ross is the billionaire owner of several lifestyle brands catering to the young and, shall we say, Trump-resistant set. Little has been made of the fact that Ross is also the principal owner of the Miami Dolphins. Dolphins' fans know all too well that Ross doesn't actually care about the consumers of the products he's selling.

A brief reminder: in September 2016, when some guy named Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem, the world came unglued. Players on other teams soon followed. Some owners (and many fans) made villains of Kaepernick, but others supported his activism, including Ross.

"I think these guys are really making a conversation of something that's a very important topic in this country, and I'm 100 percent supportive of them."

Unfortunately 2016 was an election year, and The Great Divider used the protests as evidence that American needed to be Made Great Again. After you-know-who was sworn into office in early 2017, Ross shifted with the political wind.

"I think it's incumbent upon the players today, because of how the public is looking at it, to stand and salute the flag."

Translation: they shouldn't protest because people don't like protests and it makes it harder for him to sell tickets to his terrible football games. Ross went so far as planning to fine and suspend players who offended his sensibilities until the players association forced him to back off. Way to be 100% supportive, bud.

Anyway, to those of you who claim to be shocked to discover that a billionaire businessman's only concern is how he can exploit you to make more money, welcome to the America Dream.

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In the past 48 hours, at least 35 people were shot in Dayton, Ohio and another 46 were shot in El Paso, Texas. Those are the headlines, but they're only the tip of the Titanic-sized iceberg that is gun violence in America.

Excluding suicides, over 26,000 people have been shot in the USA this year to date, which puts us on pace for 44,000 by the end of December. By those numbers, an American has a roughly 1 in 74,000 chance of being shot each year. That's only slightly worse than the odds that you'll die in a motorcycle accident. Except, of course, that to die on a motorcycle, you have to first be *on* a motorcycle. The person who shoots you will generously donate the necessary bullet.

Right now, it seems there's not a whole lot you can do to avoid getting shot. Night clubs, bars, and retail stores seem to attract shooters, but so do schools and churches. Outdoor festivals are popular, and your workplace is a death sentence waiting to happen. Sadly, you're most likely to get shot in your own house by a member of your family, so staying home is no help.

About all you can do for sure is stay away from other people entirely, and even that is no guarantee. My friend Randy, who lives a good fifteen minutes from anything I would call civilization, has had people shoot into his house from the street 100-yards away, apparently just to see if they could. Guns are cool!

Personally, I love attending live sporting events. So far, those have been generally bullet-hole free, but that's clearly only a temporary condition. I hope I don't get shot at a football game. I probably won't; many people ride a motorcycle their whole life without dying on one. But if the worst does happen, know that I was shot doing what I loved: running in panic from someone shooting people. U-S-A!

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The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports

A Texas homeowner heard glass breaking and called the police in Lufkin, Texas on June 6, 2019. She hid in the closet as officers responded.

The police arrived in riot gear with guns drawn to save this poor lady from the ruffian vandal who was tearing apart her home. To their credit, they successfully cornered the perpetrator red-hooved.

The whole experience was caught on their body cams.

The lamest DRAGNET episode ever

To my great surprise, the deer was not shot. I can only surmise that it was because he wasn't wearing a hoodie.

Instead, the police let the deer escape out the front door. That may seem kind-hearted, but the deer will only become emboldened by its brush with the law and repeat its crime spree again. You can't be nice to their kind. Kindness only breeds more deer, and who wants that?

Locked doors are not enough. It's time to start barring the windows and packing shotguns if you intend to survive the Great Deer Uprising.

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In 1985, Coca-Cola unleashed New Coke on an unsuspecting world. It didn't go well, the kind of not well that still gets taught as a cautionary tale to MBA students. To their credit, the Coca-Cola Company learned from that debacle and quickly buried New Coke under the basement, never to be tasted again. Until now.

New Coke is now for sale as part of the "New Coke and Stranger Things 1985 Limited Edition Collectors Pack" at cokestore.com for the conspicuous price of $19.85.

Coca-Cola's advertising budget is the stuff of legends. They support everything from little leagues to summer blockbusters. They're so powerful, they practically created Santa Claus just to sell more soda. That they would work with the popular Netflix Stranger Things streaming show is no aberration. But that they are willing to revisit the worst decision in their business history to do so... that takes a special level of masochism you won't find in your average multi-national corporation. It's admirable, in a twisted sort of way.

I just hope the decision doesn't come back to bite them. There are two generations of Americans who have never had the misfortune to taste New Coke who might now try to catch the nostalgic wave. That can't go well. Kids these days drink fewer soft drinks than my generation did, so it might not be a good idea to give them another reason to walk away from a Coke machine.

Take my word for it, kids. New Coke tastes bad. Enjoy it ironically, if you must, but for your own sake, do so from a distance. Not all oldies are golden.

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Mom framed her cover appearance on the AJC and hung it in the kitchen.

She likes the fame. I like the Droste Effect. We're both very satisfied.

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Mom has now joined the ranks of such immortality as the 1990 announcement that Atlanta would host the Olympics, the 1946 Winecroft Hotel fire, and the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank. In other words, she's on the front page of today's The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At least the back of her head is.

She's quite the attraction

There's a bit of a story to this picture. Mom was in Macon in the middle of last week with her sister. While my aunt was attending her business conference, Mom decided to venture into downtown Macon to see the sights. She was headed for the Tubman Museum, but when she saw a sign informing her that the lot she had parked in was reserved for the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, she decided that she had to go there instead.

She called me that evening to tell me an AJC reporter had taken her picture. He had singled her out for the honor because of Mom's unparalleled distinction of being the only person there. The hall, it seems, was in the middle of changing several exhibits, and Mom was the only patron in sight.

For the record, she enjoyed her visit to the hall, and has encouraged me to go next time I'm near Macon. Now that it's part of my family history, I just might. I hear it's on the verge of a revival.

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A Michael Jackson timeline:

1958: born
1970: releases "ABC"
1979: releases "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
1982: releases "Thriller"
1985: releases "We Are the World"
1987: releases "Smooth Criminal"
1991: releases "Black or White"
1993: accused of child molestation (settles out of court)
1995: releases "Scream"
2003: accused of child molestation (found not guilty)
2009: dies
2010: releases "This Is It"
2019: accused of child molestation

Accused of child molestation in three different decades? Do the Grammys offer a lifetime achievement award for that?

Can you love an artist's music if the artist was a bad person? Or do you have to believe that the person wasn't so bad because you liked his music? All I can say is that Gary Glitter's music must suck.

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After surviving brain and heart surgery in recent years, Alex Trebek has announced that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. His life expectancy can now be measured in months.

For you, death should be a glorious event!

If Alex Trebek was really the comic book super hero I've made him into over the years, he would die. But then he would get better and continue filming Jeopardy episodes until the end of time.

Sadly, life is not a comic book.

Good luck, Alex.

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In honor of Valentine's Day, today's blog post is about abortion.

There's been talk here in Georgia that the state legislature has been working on a new resolution to finally pass the long languishing Equal Rights Amendment. The local paper reported that one of the resolution's sponsors recently withdrew his support after talking with "people I know and people I trust" (who are, presumably two separate groups of people).

Before we go any further, to refresh your memory, this is the whole text of that very controversial proposed amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Equality of rights under law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

That's simple enough. Why would someone want to go on record as being against that? To answer that question, I did a little Googling. You may be surprised to know that the Internet is full of opinions on the topic.

Some people say that the ERA isn't necessary because it duplicates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which promises "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." If that were true, women wouldn't have needed the 19th Amendment to cast votes.

Some people say that the ERA would prevent women from receiving favorable bias in paternity cases. They say it could also force women into the draft. Are either of these such a problem? I would hope that women would have to prove their fitness to be a parent in court. If a war is so damn important that we have to force our citizens into the armed forces, it seems to me that women should serve their country just as men do. (If the thought of your daughter going to war makes you think twice about the need for warfare, all the better.) And God forbid that anyone should have to use a uni-sex bathroom.

Some people say that the ERA is bad because it is just another example of the federal government stealing rights from the states. That's true. Granted, the "right" it would be stealing is the states' ability to treat women like second class citizens, but it's the principle of the thing!

However, the "people" who talked our representative out of supporting the ERA didn't use any of those arguments. No, the persuasive argument against guaranteeing women and men equal rights was — you guessed it — abortion. They said that if we give men and women true equality, they can no longer tell women what to do with their bodies. Horror of horrors!

Frankly, that strikes me as a bullshit reason to deny or abridge equal rights for women. I'm no girl or priest, and I'm generally pretty good at "keeping it in my pants," so I try to have no opinion on the subject, but the logic seems simple. If abortion is murder as the bumper stickers tell me, it should be illegal whether a man or woman is carrying a child. If it's not, then what difference does it make what gender does it? Neither case should have any bearing on whether women should have the same rights as men.

But what do I know? I try not to have an opinion, remember.

If you ask me, the best argument against the ERA is the existence of Valentine's Day itself. If women and men are so damn equal, someone should be buying *me* chocolates today, dammit.

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One of my classmates at UGA was an artist about a dozen years older than me named John Amoss. (Two "s"s. Not the actor). John was a fantastic printmaker and all-around good guy. (I'm sure that he's still a great printmaker. I hope he's still an all-around good guy.)

John once said that I reminded him of himself "before he got cynical about being cynical." That was over 15 years ago. I'm now older than John was when he told me that. Am I any less cynical?

Let's take the current ongoing federal government partial shutdown as a test case. We got here because the head of the executive branch said he wouldn't pass any legislation to fund the government unless it included $5 billion for his pet project, the border wall. His cronies in the legislative branch took the hint and have avoided giving him anything since. Meanwhile, many government agencies tasked with keeping the country safe are either shut down or forcing employees to work for free. That's the opposite of what our government is supposed to be doing. That's their job. Why aren't they doing it?

So long as it the government remains closed, the Democrats controlling the House can blame the President for refusing to give in negotiate with them. So long as it the government remains closed, the Republicans controlling the Senate can blame the Democrats for treating like the President like the baby he is leaving America's borders insecure. And so long as the government remains closed, the President can postpone lawsuits accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution and eat mountains of fast food with football players.

Am I still cynical? Obviously. Am I too cynical? Sorry, John. There's no such thing.

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To be continued...

 

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