Before getting married, I was what you would call a casual sports fan. With the exception of the Olympics, sports were an occasion not a way of life. However, in marriage things change and compromise is the goal. So I traded CSPAN and morning news for ESPN and Mike and Mike. Needless to say sports news is a part of daily life now. However, in recent years it has become the action of athletes off the field of play that has dominated the headlines as much as their accomplishments on the field. Names like Rice, Pistorius, Peterson, Hardy, and Hernandez have become synonymous with violence. But are these isolated incidents? Are they a result of on field competitiveness spilling over off the field? Or have the actions of society over the last several decades finally manifested themselves in the microcosms of professional sports for all to see?
In the cases currently tormenting the NFL, I believe we are reaping what we have sewn. Professional athletes are idealized. Here we have a profession where you essentially work half the year and make more money in one season than most people will earn in their entire life. This was not always the case. When Joe Namath was drafted his contract was for $427,000. This year’s first draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney, has a contract worth $22.3 million. Almost every male athlete I have taught believed he would go pro; none have.
The President of the United States completed a somber and sobering speech this evening to the American people regarding ISIS. Unless you have been in a coma for the past couple of months, you know what entity he speaks of. ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria); a terror organization that has finally managed to wake our ever-lukewarm president from his wait-and-see foreign policy approach.
Many of us will make our pilgrimage to the New York 9/11 site to respectfully stop and reflect on the loss of life on that day. For some of us, it is ever so personal. The constant reminder of TERRORISM, thirteen years later, weighs on our souls.
Created in 1949, NATO was originally intended to be a cooperative alliance aimed at preventing another world war and stopping the spread of communism from the Eastern European block controlled by the Soviet Union. Since its inception, NATO has played an integral part in joint US/European ally military operations around the world. Yet, in the last decade its power appears to have waned. Differing opinions between world leaders in the NATO ranks, economic crises, attention demanding domestic issues and a move away from interventionist policies have all contributed to the diminished capacity of the NATO alliance.
However, this year has seen a surge of activity demanding the attention of US and EU leaders, and the need for more comprehensive joint responses.
“I hate politics.”
I often hear that comment, especially in today’s divisive political environment and after yet another ugly primary season. And it is apparent from the disparity in the number of “likes” I receive on my political Facebook posts as compared to my “happy” personal posts, most people would be content to never see anything pertaining to the world of political issues.
Perhaps you also think that “social” media isn’t the place for political posts. That’s fine, but please remember that social media was the driving force in the last two presidential campaigns, so while conservatives shy away from its use, those on the left solidly embrace it.
With the November election only weeks away, Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is trailing her opponent, Republican Greg Abbott, by double digits. So what is a woman who has based her entire campaign on lies and abortion rights to do to weave her way back into the public's favor? If you’re Wendy Davis, you pull a Hail Mary pass and tug at the heart strings of gullible Americans by telling an emotional story about your own "hard choice" to have an abortion.
Davis, who is releasing her memoirs this week, released a portion of her memoir to the media where she talks about her "tough" choice to have two abortions. However, Davis included her ectopic pregnancy as one of her two abortions. According to ThinkProgress,
"Davis’ forthcoming book details her decision to end two pregnancies in the 1990s, before she was involved in politics, for medical reasons. The first — which the candidate has spoken publicly about once before, during her infamous filibuster against an anti-abortion bill last summer — involved an ectopic pregnancy in which a fetus had implanted in her Fallopian tubes. Those pregnancies are not viable. Two years later, Davis had a second abortion after she discovered her fetus had a severe brain abnormality and likely would not survive; if the pregnancy did make it to full term, the unborn child would be in a permanent vegetative stage" (emphasis mine).
Morality is an age old subject. Webster defines morality as “particular principles or rules of conduct.” Traditionally, despite being a nation that promoted freedom of religion along with separation of church and state, America had a moral fiber based on Judeo-Christian principles. Today it does not seem so clear. In everything from music to movies, college campuses to corporate boardrooms, the idea of relativism has taken root.
Nowhere does this seem more prominent than in today’s growing generation. In speaking with a group of teenagers willing to share their views on morality, an overwhelming majority stated that when it comes to morality (or choosing right from wrong) the determining factor is the situation itself. They believe that if you can justify your action it is morally acceptable. While several admitted they had solid views on morality, they also said their views could be changed.
Americans and the British share a bond that goes back generations. As leaders of the Western World, we are put in the natural position of role model and protector of those who seek freedom, equality and justice. Yet these basic principles are being twisted, and used by those who aim to destroy us.
The constant onslaught of scandals over the past few years is proof of that. It’s getting harder to hide the slow and painful death of liberty, and one such British scandal that just erupted acts as a warning call to us all.
As tax payers, we hope that our hard earned money goes toward social services that help the truly needy. And who could be more in need than children who are estranged from their parents and forced to fend for themselves. Yet, in the British town of Rotherham, young girls who sought counsel and protection from their government run programs were betrayed in the most heinous way.
Most can agree that African-Americans have suffered under the current administration.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate for African-Americans (civilian non-institutional population) is 11.4 percent compared to whites (civilian non-institutional population) at 5.3 percent. (To be fair, this gap has persisted for decades). Also, a New York Times article states that the median income for blacks has declined 10.9 percent since the recession ended in June 2009.
This week, Scarlet Johansson, who is best known for her roles in the Horse Whisperer (1998) and Lost in Translation (2003), has decided, in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on birth control, to voice her displeasure with the ruling by releasing a t-shirt that she designed. She designed the t-shirt for Planned Parenthood Action, the political arm of Planned Parenthood, for the upcoming November mid-term elections.
Johansson's shirts are bright pink with a retro design and scream "Hey, Politicians! The 1950's called....They want their sexism back".
Democrat congressional candidate for Virginia's 10th Congressional District, John Foust, slammed his opponent, Republican Barbara Comstock, for never having a "real job". Earlier this week at a campaign stop for his aptly named Women's Priorities Tour in Leesburg, Virginia, he said that Comstock's job creating priorities were, in her mind, "giving tax benefits to special interests and the super wealthy. I don’t think she’s even had a real job.”
While the accusation is grossly untrue, even in the technical sense, his accusations went far beyond the length of Comstock's resume.