Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Wishful Thinking!


Examples of wishful thinking:

Mass killing, in schools and elsewhere, can be stopped with new gun regulations, guards, emergency procedures, and the like.  Worthwhile?  Sure.  Foolproof?  No.  Until deranged minds can be known and controlled, destructive acts cannot be prevented.  Like it or not, it is part of the human condition.

Sanctions against Iran, Russia, China or anyone else will force them to behave differently.  So long as the world is composed of individual entities called nations, self-interest will determine what policies are followed.  Sanctions may let those imposing them feel better – “See, we’re hurting the bad guys” – but they are not the answer.

If we buy the best players we’ll have the best team.  Yes, having the money to lure stars helps, but it is no guarantee of success.  Intangibles, such as personalities that mesh into a team, strategy, fitness, luck, and many others – produce winners.

On the subject of money, it is wishful thinking to assume that our elected officials, public servants, will behave in a way that puts the public interest first so long obscene amounts of money are required to be elected.  He/she who gives the money has the power and their interest is served first.

There is a solution to homelessness.  The notion that if we do this, or this, or this, we can put an end to homelessness is a pipe dream.  There is no one answer.  Can we help the homeless?  Yes.  But not until a comprehensive approach is put in place.  Mental health, drug addiction, housing, food, job training and employment, all need to be addressed.  That many of our fellow citizens are living on the street is shameful.  Some might even say un-American!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The Way Things Are!


Sometimes you don’t have to look too far to find a summary of the way things are these days.  So it was this morning when I read the World-Wide column in the Wall Street Journal. 

The lead item said that our “European allies were bracing for the U.S. to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord.”  A wrong-headed move that further distances us from our friends.

Then – “Iran’s president said that his country would fiercely resist efforts to contain its regional influence.”  Our behavior strengthens those who oppose us.

“Hezbollah and its allies won a majority of seats in Lebanon’s parliamentary election.”  On the ground evidence for my previous point.

“New York’s attorney general resigned after four women alleged he physically abused them.”  #MeToo takes no prisoners.  A good thing.

“The administration plans to step up prosecution of parents who cross into the U.S. illegally with their children, separating more families.”  Another example of government-sponsored cruelty.  For these guys compassion is a weakness.

“The White House proposes to cut federal spending by $15 billion, half of which would come from a children’s health insurance program.”  More evidence of government-sponsored cruelty.

Giuliani says Trump may not testify if Mueller asks him to.  They deserve each other, Trump and Giuliani that is.

“The NRA names Oliver North as its next president.”  They deserve each other too, North and the NRA that is.

And that’s the way things are!



Friday, May 04, 2018

Sadness!


Trying to make sense out of what’s going on in this country is an exercise in futility.

The U.S. and North Korea are playing footsie.  I thought they were the ultimate bad guys.  Go figure!

We’re on the verge of scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, which was supposed to delay Iran going nuclear for 10, maybe 15, years.  Go figure!

A favorite parlor game is counting how often Trump lies.  I heard it is 6.5 times a day.  Does anyone care?  Doesn’t look like it.  More a “What did you expect?” shrug of the shoulders than cries of outrage.  Go figure!

Another cottage industry is trying to follow the financial machinations of Trump and his buddies, in and out of government.  And another “What did you expect?”  Or “Who really cares?”  So he paid $130,000 to a porn star to keep quiet.  So his EPA boss is in bed with anti-EPA lobbyists.  Does anybody care?  Go figure!

The current bar for honesty and honorable behavior is so low that being surprised is no longer an option.  The mood is more one of resignation and predictable squawks from anti-Trumpers.

Will all this change anytime soon?  I’d like to say “Yes,” but I don’t believe it will.  Those of us of a certain age who grew up proud to be an American, proud of what we stand for, feel betrayed.  So we are left with what?  Sadness!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sports Report!


A Champion’s League semifinal will be played today:  Liverpool vs Roma.  So what?  Both teams are owned by Americans from Boston.  Go figure!  My preference: Liverpool.

Shohei Ohtani is off to a great start with the Angels.  In Japan, every pitch and at bat is big news.  Glad to hear it.

The Warriors got a wake-up call the other day.  I think they’ll get it together, but they shouldn’t be taking anything for granted.

The Giants are off to a mediocre start.  No surprise, I’m sorry to say.

Is the NFL a safe space for domestic violence?  All too often, yes it is.

I watched a few minutes of a NASCAR race over the weekend.  They do an incredible job of covering the event on TV.  The technology both on the track and on the screen is awesome.

TV Japan, my Sumo channel, is no longer available from DISH.  Don’t know the story behind the channel being dropped, but I do know that I need to find a new way to see one of my favorite sports.  NHK World?  Maybe.  I’m on the case.

Comebacks:  I’m glad that Tiger is giving it a go.  It’s great for the sport and fans and I’d love to see him succeed.  But I’d give him less chance that I give Serena, as she moves back into competition.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Home Sweet Home!


Back after four weeks in Asia.  My question is “Did anything really change while I was away?” 
Answer:  Not really!

The details may be slightly different, but the fundamentals are consistent.  The issues that had our attention a month ago have our attention today.  The arguments sound familiar.  The faces haven’t changed much.  All this is no surprise.  I’ve noticed the same phenomena after returning from past trips.

I did notice one possible change, however.  It seems that the U.S. may not withdraw from the Pacific trade deal.  I wouldn’t bet on this bit of common sense happening, but who knows, maybe?

This relates to my overall sense of what’s happening in Asia.  I didn’t do in-depth research on my trip, but my time in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hanoi, Hong Kong and Shanghai left me with one overarching conclusion.  These countries are on the move, big time.  Their economies are booming, construction cranes dot the horizon in every direction, the people have a positive outlook.  We can choose not to play in their game, but if we do we’ll be the losers.

Urban areas, especially in Hong Kong and Shanghai, look like a scene from a science fiction film set in the future.  If you can’t spread out, build up, and they have.  Tall and taller buildings, places of business during the day turn into a fairyland of lights and visuals at night.  The only thing missing is flying vehicles taking people from place to place.

I love my travels.  I love being at home even more.