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She doesn’t know what she’s talking about

June 25, 2014 8 comments

No one has Ann Coulter as their favorite media person. It’s highly unlikely, anyway. Every once in a while she has something interesting to say, but the instances are too few and far between for most people to listen very closely.

Today she wrote an article about America Hating Soccer. During the World Cup. So I thought I’d check it out.

It was immediately obvious that she is trying to use a current and highly popular event to further her own agenda and maintain some relevance. The details she has chosen to complain about soccer will make you realize just how little she understands what she’s talking about.

Welcome to the game

Welcome to the game

Ann says there’s no individual achievement in soccer. Let’s just stop right there. Are there any people who follow sports that actually believe the #1 point in her article? Go ask Messrs. Rooney, Ronaldo, Messi, Gerard, Dempsey, Gyan — etc — if there are heroes and accountability to your whole nation in soccer. It’s too ridiculous to spend time on.

She says she doesn’t know if there are any MVPs in soccer. Well, there are, Ann. They award MVPs at an international level. Domestic leagues (just like the NBA or NFL in America) also have an award for ‘best player of the year’. I imagine she didn’t know this because she didn’t take the time to research her topic.

She says girls play soccer with boys when they are kids, so it must not be a serious sport.  I’m not sure if you have noticed — but girls also compete against the boys playing American Helmet Football when they are children — and they do quite well — take a LOOK.

So, does this mean American Football is not a sport Ann?

And hey Ann, why is it that American Helmet Football is the only sport at the NCAA level that has college women playing with the men? It’s Here. And Here. Is it because they feel comfortable in pads (wink!) and like the shiny helmets?

Have you seen any of the world cup games, Ann, before you wrote that you’re not sure if there are any fights or battles going on out on the field? Here’s some pics in case you missed them.

Thomas-Muller-bloody

Clint Dempsey broken nose

 

Italy's Mario Balotelli jumps on top of Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal

 

Elbows to faces (without helmets, gasp!), black eyes, cleats to legs and abdomens, knees to the head, bloody faces, broken noses. I’m sure you aren’t aware of these things because you haven’t taken the time to learn about it before writing your dismal article. The last time I checked, American Football players can get juice boxes in between each 3 – 5 second play if they waddle over to the side line, and American baseball players sometimes eat complete meals during the course of a baseball game. And I’m not talking about the kids sports like you were – with the juice boxes and ribbons for everyone.

(Why do you keep comparing children’s soccer to the adult versions of other American sports? If this is an example of your journalistic nous, I’m going to have to pay much closer attention to examples you give in any other articles that happen to get forwarded my way.)

The most hilarious part about Ann is that she doesn’t like soccer because “it’s foreign” and “it’s like the metric system”. I have another possibility Ann. You don’t like it because you don’t understand it. Some say you are not open minded (as if that’s a news flash…) and you are just hitting out because you don’t get it. Some say.

The dark side of Ann’s article is when she writes, “If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.”

Wow. How xenophobic of you Ann. Are you an idiot? Do you even know who your audience is?

Look at the hordes of Chicago world cup fans in this picture:

Raise your hands if your grandparents were born in America

Raise your hand if your great grandparents were born in America

I am betting that ALL OF THEIR GREAT GRANDPARENTS were born in America.

Here’s another tidbit I’d like to share: I work at a software company with engineers that don’t know or care anything about soccer. (By the way, their grandparents were born in America.) Five of them have talked to me about soccer this past week. They have said how they normally don’t pay much attention to sports in general, but they are really enjoying the World Cup. I was stunned. They actually took time away from World of Warcraft to check out some of the games. Twice!

A couple of days ago I ran into 2 huge guys doing work in the company parking lot. They were about 6 feet tall, maybe 250 – 275 pounds. Big boys doing hard work. When I got to my car, they were right by it. One of them had noticed a hat in my car (Portland Timbers) and he said to me, “based on your hat, you must be enjoying this time of year.”

I said “because of the World Cup…?”

He said “of course.”

I looked at him right in the eyes and said, “I imagine American football is your favorite sport…?”

He said “yeah, of course”.

So I said, “…And you’re following the world cup?”

He said, ” yeah, it’s interesting. I’m actually enjoying the games. It’s cool to see your country out there fighting away.”

Huh. Who woulda thunk it, right Ann? Certainly not you.

Just get your facts right and stick to topics you understand. And trust me — it isn’t soccer in America.

A colleague of mine was just fired

June 25, 2014 Leave a comment

A colleague of mine was just fired, and I’m hurting. I feel awful. I believe it happened because of petty personal differences, and the other leaders went along with it because they don’t understand the value of some of their employees – and at this time – one in particular.

Let’s call him “B” as in “The Bird.” He came to us a broken man 3 years ago. His wife had just left. She was cheating on him – and once she got caught – she served him divorce papers. Right afterwards, he lost his job of 20 years at a Fortune 500 company. Divorced. Unemployed. Really down on himself. Borderline depressed. (That’s my non-clinical diagnosis – I’m good at those.)

What did the 3 years at our company do for him? He re-learned that he has a ton to offer.

He and I designed a product from scratch – working with doctors – and it has been purchased and is in use by some of the leading medical institutions in North America. From nothing we learned a market, created prototypes and suggested solutions, designed the interfaces and worked with programmers to develop the product … and after some alpha and beta releases, it has been adopted by multiple top tier organizations around the US.

He trained multiple co-worker(s) in the art of requirements gathering, specification writing, and many of the skills needed to develop products … so much so that one particular colleague has developed the skills and experience to have a completely new career path.

He developed the training curriculum and performed online training for our customers.

He did a lot of the research and documentation that a company that broke off from us is utilizing as the basis for their product … and he wrote a ton of the use cases and requirement specifications that are the basis for their flagship product.

In short, even though he was never valued very highly by the leadership within our organization, he came to realize his value intrinsically. When they needed a new concept developed, who did they come to for requirements and specs to get the process started? The Bird. And every time a customer would comment “Oooh, it’s so easy to use” or “I really love how simple it is” or “Boy you guys sure got that right”, he would absolutely beam. He knows that we nailed it. And the fact that he could cobble-together a way to support the product from his office – using his own cell phone – without the requested diagnostic tool sets or adequate logs to help understand what was happening whenever there was a problem also showed him how innovative, creative, customer-oriented and problem-solving he really could be.

I’m proud of him. I don’t imagine he’ll stay unemployed for long.

Update: He was unemployed for about 4 weeks. He landed on his feet at a job paying him almost double what he was making with us. Oh – and the new company delivered his stock options the week he started.

Hope and Change – What do YOU think?

January 2, 2014 2 comments

It’s 2014! How about that “Hope And Change” from Obama and his wonderful team? How is the Affordable Care Act treating you?

Just how amazing is this new law? Forbes is saying that individual premium rates will increase by almost 100%

In Tennessee the rates appear to be going up even more than that.

In Alabama many residents are receiving notices that their insurance premiums will soon double.

Here’s a descriptive excerpt about how a single mother of 4 is being affected in the Alabama story:

Stay-at-home mother of four, Courtney Long, was shocked when she received a notice from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama stating that come January her family’s individual health insurance policy premium would increase from $352 per month to $796.

“It’s devastating. I started crying,” said Long. “I mean, we have worked so hard to get out of credit card debt, get ahead on the car loan, transfer our mortgage to a 15 from a 30 year mortgage… and for what?”

Long’s story is not unique. Many have received this same letter – alerting them their premiums were set to double (anywhere from $290/mo-$599/mo up to $603/mo-$1060/mo). That’s quite a jump! So, the “Affordable Care Act” is affordable for whom?

I am interested in hearing from people both for and against the Affordable Care Act.

Charles Krauthammer says that Obamacare is a massive transfer of wealth from the Young to the Old in our nation. Here’s why.

Let me know — how is the Affordable Care Act affecting you?

Protesting Good. But what comes next?

January 30, 2011 15 comments

I can only imagine how bad it is in Egypt. I certainly don’t claim to understand the situation on the ground. Widespread unemployment and poverty. What jobs do come up are handed to family members of those in power. People are closed out of their economic society and their economic future. And they are sick of it. Enough that they protest, march, take to the streets, blog, and do everything that they can — risking being shut down, beaten up, tear-gassed, shot, raped, imprisoned, and killed.

Protesters defy government in Egypt (Reuters)

I can’t say what I would do if I lived in a similar situation, but I bet I would be protesting too.

I just hope that with all the talk of forcing Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, there are concrete ideas of what will replace the outgoing regime. I have read about groups taking advantage of the unrest to go around to the prisons and break out militants that were imprisoned. Citizens are banding together to protect themselves in the wake of organized police or military control. The National Democratic Party needs to be removed, but is there a plan for what will take its place?

There are many in America that are urging President Obama to seize this chance and oust Mubarak but it’s not that simple. Sometimes the resultant regime is not much better than the one it is replacing. It may buy you a decade or so, but that is not a long term solution.

I would like the US to understand the concrete plans and proposed solutions from groups like the April 6th Youth Movement and Mohammed ElBaradei’s team before we just throw our weight behind Whoever-Is-Next.

Just because this is the “start of a new era that cannot be reversed”, where are the checks and balances that give this new era a greater chance of survival and greater chance of freedoms for the Egyptian people?

The Quantitative Easing

January 20, 2011 2 comments

From our friends at xtranormal. Definitely one of the best videos I have seen in a long long time.

Watch It

Please post your thoughts or other links on the topic. After you quit laughing of course.

Obama’s Economy Not Working

July 16, 2010 7 comments

It’s the ECONOMY, Stupid!

Barack Obama’s White House has decided to back a Keynesian economic policy of “let’s get big government dollars to spend our way out of this economic crisis.”

Is it working? Absolutely Not.

Has Obama effectively lined his supporter’s pocket’s in the process? Absolutely.

When US Automaker General Motors was in financial trouble, the US Government effectively took GM over. As the US Gov’t reworked the company, it ditched the banks and creditors of GM, and transferred huge amounts of the “New GM Ownership” to Unions and other Obama supporters. It’s almost like when a new King started in England, and he decided to take enormous tracts of land from people he didn’t like, and bequeath enormous wealth to his new supporters. Basically it’s robbery, but legalized!

In the Federal Reserve minutes from their meeting last month, there were some very important words hidden near the back, in the small print: The Fed doesn’t think that the US Economy will recover for 5 to 6 years.

In other words, far from winding down the Great Recession and talking about the new Economic Gains that Obama has been touting this week, this shows that in the global economic crisis, the US is now becoming the problem.

The new Fed Reserve minutes show a complete change in policy, demonstrating how fast the recovery has lost steam. International Monetary Research says that the US authorities have “botched the policy response.” Oh really?

  • New home sales at 300,000 in May, lowest since records began in 1963
  • Outbound exports from Long Beach (major SoCal shipping port) dropped from 139,000 in May to 116,000 in June.
  • Philadelphia’s new manufacturing orders index plunged to -4.3 in early July

So what will Barack Obama and his team of Economic Advisers do? According to Gabriel Stein of Lombard Street Research, they are “throwing in the towel.” Washington wants to start another round of government spending again — raising the debt level from $2.4 trillion, to a whopping $5 trillion.

Sound HOPEful and CHANGEful to you? Me either.

We need to get government deficit spending to stop before the dollar becomes totally worthless. Out of all the dollars ever created in the 234 years of USA’s history, over half has been created in the last 3 years.

We need to get the US Government out of the business of spending money on stimulus programs and bailouts. We have spent billions of dollars, and it hasn’t brought the economy out of the recession. Now we want to do it again?

The US Government needs to stop the bleeding. Reduce entitlement payments immediately. Reduce the size of the behemoth that has become our Federal Government, creating Czars of This and Czars of That, each with mandatory staff and spending budgets. We need to get out of the business of saving failing banks and businesses. Let the AIG’s of the world fail. Stop the bailout spending spree. And reduce the US Federal Income Tax.

The more money is in the hands of the individual consumers, the better. What, we won’t be able to afford all of the government programs? It’s okay. The individual cities and communities will pick up the slack, feeding the poor, helping them back onto their feet.

It’s what Americans do.

What the Ruling Class is doing with your money

May 6, 2010 13 comments

One evidence of a Ruling Class taking over a country is when the rulers go against the wishes of the people who have elected them.

Roughly 90% of Americans rejected the $700,000,000,000.00 ($700B) TARP bailout plan, but the Ruling Class pushed it through anyway.

We rejected the $40B bailout of AIG and trading partner Goldman Sachs – which subsequently grew to a $180B bailout – but the Ruling Class hid what they were doing and illegally used taxpayer monies to perform the bailout anyway. (The guy in charge of this one? Current Treasury Secretary Geithner. Nice.)

We the people also rejected a government take over of GM and Chrysler, but the Ruling Class went ahead and used billions of our dollars to do it anyway, paying preferred creditors pennies on the dollar, and transferred huge proportions of the newly formed companies into the hands of the United Auto Workers union. Yet another Chicago-style cronyism move by the current administration.

If this isn’t going against the will of the people, I don’t know what is. This is government taking power into its own hands and doing what it wants against the will of the people, making huge transfers of wealth and often – like Geithner – feathering his own bed in the process. I don’t know what you call this type of government, but it is not a democratic republic.

Can the US Government actually run a program without bankrupting it?

  • Social Security ($17,500,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $17.5 trillion);
  • Medicare Part A ($36,700,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $36.7 trillion);
  • Medicare Part B ($37,000,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $37 trillion);
  • Medicare Part D ($15,600,000,000,000 underfunded; $15.6 trillion),
  • Government and military pensions ($2,000,000,000,000 underfunded; $2 trillion)

And we are going to let this same Government run Healthcare? Even the Office of Management and Budget is reporting that the United States government will experience massive, non-stop deficits for the next 70 (SEVENTY) years, requiring the issuance of tens of trillions of dollars of additional debt. The OMB does not project even one year of surplus during the entire seventy year budget period. Link HERE. (And don’t even get me started that these budget numbers are already including $646 Billion in tax revenues from 2012 to 2019 from Cap & Trade, which hasn’t even been passed yet!) Has your elected official talked to you about that? You don’t have to answer.

What is our Government’s response? Print more dollars. The US government has announced that during the fiscal years from 2010 through 2019, it will create an additional $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion) in deficits, an amount that is almost certain to be understated by trillions given the country’s current economic trajectory. The government assumes that this vast additional deficit will be funded by others, such as the Chinese, as it is a statistical fact that the United States will be incapable of funding it. Link HERE.

What does this mean to you and me? That our wealth (if we have any) is being destroyed. Create enough dollars and they won’t be worth anything. It’s a simple truth: too much of something makes it worthless. The more our government creates money to cover their RECORD SPENDING, the less valuable your salary is, the less valuable your savings are, etc. Our government is bankrupting us through this spending policy. I know we sometimes think the United States is a blessed country and more immune to these problems than other nations, but let’s not be naive enough to think that somehow supply and demand doesn’t apply here! And that the value of our dollars won’t be adversely affected by the Government printing trillions and trillions more of them!

What can we do? Make a plan to protect yourself and your family. Don’t hold your assets only in dollars. Diversify into other things (land, gold, etc.) Even the Wall Street Journal is saying it’s a good idea to stockpile food. Link HERE.

And let’s get these big spenders out of Washington. I’m not talking Democrats vs. Republicans. Vote people into the House of Representatives that will work to put an end to this spending. The House is the easiest access we have to the Federal Machine. Find people you can support that will work to stop this spending madness. It won’t be easy to stand up to the current machine that is playing party politics as hard as anyone has in recent memory, but we might as well try while our dollars are still worth something.

Honestly, though, I’m not sure what kind of difference we can make at the Federal level until there is a massive reset (huge depression, market collapse, currency devaluation or failure, etc.) but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We can, however, make a difference at the local level. When our Federal government’s spending policies finally make it impossible to be the “be-all, end-all” throughout America — which it never should be trying to do — we will still need to make life work where we live. Getting involved at the local level will make a huge difference in how our communities adapt and move forward.

What are your thoughts? What are other ways we can prepare for the inevitable problems facing the dollar due to government monetary policy?

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