Archive for the ‘Observations From The Margin’ category

Olympic Observations From The Margin

August 23, 2016

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - CIRCA MARCH 2015: Flag with Rio 2016 Olympic Games

-My first memory of the Olympics was the 68 summer games in Mexico City. The 100, 200, and 400 meter world records were set at these Olympics. Americans won 7 of the 9 possible medals in these three events. It was also the Olympics where Bob Beamon set his other worldly world record in the long jump. I was hooked on track and field and the Olympics from that point on. I like the Olympics for a few reasons. 1)I like to see individuals who win because they are far superior to their competition. 2)I like to see an underdog win. 3)I like to see an individual crush a world record. These Olympics had all three.

-Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Katie Ledecky, and Simone Biles were the stars of these Olympics. They dominate their sports. They far exceed their fellow competitors best efforts. It is mind-blowing to watch them perform. Not only do these four athletes know they are going to win, their competitors know it. Winning is one thing, Winning when it is expected is difficult. But winning while making it look so effortless is what puts these four in a special category. Every time I watched them all I could think is, “The people they’re competing against are the best in the world. You can’t be consistently that much better than them.” I enjoy seeing greatness perform in their given fields. These four gave me great joy.

-One of the underdogs that caught my eye were Maya Dirado. She beat heavy favorite Katinka Hosszu, of Hungry, in the 200 backstroke. Hosszu had a big lead in the last 50 meters but Dirado caught her in the last 10 meters and out touched her to win by .06 of a second. She was in disbelief when she saw that she had won (click here to watch). (Click here to see interview). The other underdog who stood out was Matt Centrowitz. The US hadn’t won a 1500 meter gold medal since 1908. Centrowitz had the lead in the last lap and wouldn’t allow anyone to pass him. He held off the rest of the field down the stretch to become the first American to win the 1500 in over 100 years. The reaction of his dad and family was great (click here to watch). (Click here to see reaction).

-For me, the performance of the Olympics was Wayde Van NieKerk from South Africa beating the past two Olympic 400 meter champions and crushing the world record in the process. Michael Johnson’s world record of 43.18 hadn’t been challenged since he set it in 1999. Van NieKerk won the 400 at the world championships last year so he was one of the pre-race favorites along with James and Merritt. He didn’t tie up in the final 100 meters, like the other two, and flew to the world record. (Click here to watch the race). If you want to see Van NieKerk’s and Johnson’s world records side by side, (Click here to watch the video).

-You have to like a guy like Irish boxer Michael Conlan for calling out the power elites in his sport like he did in Rio. After losing to a Russian boxer that Conlan apparently beat up badly, (Click Here) The Irate Irish Boxer Flips Middle Finger To Judges After Controversial Loss. Not only did he flip off the judges, he ripped the Amateur Boxing Association in his interviews. He also made a tweet toward Putin that asked “how much did they charge you bro“. Watch the videos in the article above. He didn’t cry or whine, he blew up. He wanted a big piece of everybody involved, and he wanted it right now.

-Conlan must have been correct in his assessment of the judging, because (Click Here) Boxing Judges Were Sent Home From Olympics After Controversial Decisions. Even though the Amateur Boxing Association wouldn’t say there was a fix, their actions spoke clearly.

-World record holder and defending Olympic Pole vault champ, Renaud Lavillenie of France, was booed (click here) on his final attempt to surpass home crowd favorite Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil who was leading the Pole vault final in Rio. How Lavillenie reacted to the booing belied the mentality of a world record holder. He cried and whined like a wussy. If Lavillenie wants to hear booing, he should try to make a foul shot, up one with 30 seconds left in the game to Duke at Cameron Indoor. Here is what bronze medalist American Sam Kendricks had to say about the crowd,”Brazil is an emotional place, a place that has a culture around football (soccer), it’s not necessarily against the other man. I took it with a grain of salt that they were booing.” You have to be mentally tough to break a world record and win an Olympic gold medal. I can’t believe he reacted the way he did. How would Michael Conlan have reacted?

-The two most impressive things about Usain Bolt are: 1) His world records in the 100 (9:58) and 200 (19:19). I can’t see either of these times being broken for a generation (25 years) or maybe longer. Although I thought Michael Johnson’s 200 world record would last the rest of my lifetime. 2) The distance between him and the second place finisher. Olympic sprints are won by inches of feet. He has won Olympic sprints by margins that might as well be miles. That consistent domination sets him apart from other Olympic sprint champions.

-Lets end with this article, 28 Incredible Facts About Michael Phelps’ 28 Olympic Medals (click here). It is hard to wrap your head around 23 gold medals, and 28 total. No one will ever match this total. The only person who could match this record would be another swimmer from the US. A swimmer, because they can swim multiple individual events. An US swimmer, because the US always medals in the three relays. I can’t think of another sport that provides the number of events that would allow someone to approach this number. Phelps swam in 30 Olympic finals to win 28 medals. No one will ever compete in 28 Olympic finals which would be the minimum to tie Phelps total. Here is a fact from the article the will give you a better understanding just how many medals Phelps has won. From the article: “If Katie Ledecky stayed at her current medal rate she wouldn’t pass Phelps Until the 2036 Olympics. She would be 39 years old“. We are lucky to have seen the greatest swimmer, and Olympic medal winner, of all time. I say we’re lucky because we wouldn’t have seen this greatness if he had chosen lacrosse or hockey over swimming. Choices have consequences.

 

Observations From The Margin

July 18, 2016

Observation Tower

-I saw a commercial recently for Dawn dish washing liquid. It showed Dawn being used to clean the oil off of baby ducks who had apparently been greased by the negligence of some evil oil company. Does anyone see the irony in the fact that Dawn is an oil based product? Even the plastic bottle that holds Dawn is an oil based product. Ignorance is bliss.

-The propagandists in politics and the media have been telling us how well our economy is doing. But for some reason the Fed hasn’t received the message. If you want to know how our economy is doing, all you have to do is look at the Fed’s monetary policy. They recently raised the interest rate 1/4 point after being at 0% for 7 years. The Fed raises interest rates when they think the economy is growing too fast, and they lower interest rates to stimulate the economy when they think it is contracting. So you tell me. Based on the actions of the Fed over the last 8 years; How strong or weak is the economy?

-If you gave the background information of Hillary Clinton to the agency in charge of issuing top-secret security clearances, removed her name and replaced it with Jane Doe, they would stamp it FAILED. “Hail To The Chief”.

-I’m having a hard time squaring this circle. On the one hand President Obama says the Louisiana and Minnesota incidents where white cops shoot black citizens is because of racism even though there is no evidence or statement by the cops to prove it. And on the other hand he says we can’t know the motive in the Dallas incident where a black man shot and killed the white cops while stating he wanted to kill white officers. Does the President have the ability to read the minds of the cops and at the same time lack the ability to read the statement of the Dallas shooter? The President’s nuanced brilliance must be impossible for the benighted masses to understand. Or is everything about politics?

-Hillary’s law breaking is a one reason she should not be given the position of power she seeks. But the most important reason she shouldn’t be given the position of power she seeks, is because she is a big government socialist central planner just like Bernie.

-Have you noticed that Hillary has been adopting some of Bernie’s ideas, like free college? Is Hillary is coming out of her socialist progressive closet.

-Speaking of free college. If politicians somehow make college free; are the professors going to teach for free? Are the people who work to maintain the college’s infrastructure going to work for free? Are the people who provide services to the college going to provide them for free? I have news for you, these people will not exchange their labor for nothing. Someone will have to pay for these services and guess who that someone will be?

-Did you noticed the difference between President Obama and former President Bush’s speeches at the memorial for the Dallas Policemen? Bush understood it was a memorial service, and Obama, in true political fashion, couldn’t let this serious crisis go to waste.

-When will we learn that the main strategy of politicians, on both sides, is to divide us into groups, pit us against each other, stir the pot until the situation reaches critical mass, and then ride in and present themselves as our healers who can bring everyone together. The solution has to come from us. It can’t come from them because they caused the problem in the first place.

-I listened to the President’s address to the nation Sunday after the cops got shoot in Baton Rouge. I had no choice because he interrupted the British Open. He said we must tone down our incendiary rhetoric. The king of ratcheting up rhetoric before he gets the facts (the Cambridge police acted stupidly), is telling US to watch OUR rhetoric. Mr. President I don’t know if you know this or not but, no one is listening to you when you talk about issues of race. You have no credibility.

-The fact that we have so many Federal, State, and local laws means that law enforcement comes into contact with ordinary citizens more frequently than if there weren’t as many laws. Officers are put in a position by law makers to enforce increasing amounts of onerous laws. People think that they are being over policed and push back. The officer takes the brunt of the anger from the citizen, while the politician sits safely in his gated community. The politician doesn’t realize, or doesn’t care, that his legal overreach has the officer and the citizen meeting in a stressful situation. Both sides escalate and when something tragic happens, the politician swoops in and blames the officer or the citizen depending on which one will help him politically. Nobody thinks to put some of the blame on the politician. These people would have never come into contact with each other if he hadn’t passed the onerous laws in the first place. He looks squeaky clean while the cops and the citizens blame each other. We can’t allow the politicians to get away with this. Both law enforcement and citizens have to take a step back and deescalate the situation. The vast majority of people on both sides are good people, and unless these good people lead, the politicians will exploit the situation and gain even more power over us. Think, don’t give in to emotions.

SOME CARTOONS

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

 

Observations From The Margin

March 29, 2016

Observation Tower

-On his recent visit to Cuba our President looked envious of the power the Castro’s have been able wield over Cuba. If only he had the power to implement the total “fundamental transformation” of America that he spoke about during his campaign, we would have more economic equality. Unfortunately the gap between the ruling aristocracy and politically connected (crony capitalists) on the one hand, and the masses on the other would be much larger. Although the masses would be equally less prosperous overall.

-Why didn’t any of the players from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays try to defect to Cuba while they were playing an exhibition game there?

-Last week we heard that literacy rates in Cuba are very high and infant mortality rates are very low. Obviously these fantastic rates are the results of education and healthcare being provided by the Cuban Government. I have to ask two questions; 1) how is literacy defined in Cuba compared to the US? and 2) does the Cuban government count infant deaths during child-birth, like the US does? Apples to apples.

-Hillary Clinton recently said foreign leaders are privately reaching out to her and asking if they can endorse her to stop Trump from becoming President. She told them no, this up to the American people (read here). Does anyone believe her? Do you think she told them their donations could be laundered through the Clinton Global Initiative?

-Do you remember Charlie Trie and the Chinese funny money during the first Clinton administration?

-Central Bankers are talking about and in some cases implementing negative interest rates. It doesn’t pass the smell test but most of us don’t know why. Interest rates reveal time preference. People prefer goods in the present as opposed to goods in the future. To incentivize people to loan money (the ability to purchase x amount of present goods) to you, you would have to promise repayment of the money plus a fee, aka interest. Negative interest rates mean that depositors would be depositing money (the ability to purchase x amount of present goods) and at some point in the future would receive less money (less purchasing power) than was originally deposited. How many people would sign up for this deal? Central bankers are always trying to override economic principles. It is what Hayek called ‘The Pretense Of Knowledge‘.

-The Presidents recent indignation that the Republicans are shirking their Constitutional responsibility because they said they would not vote on his supreme court nominee is pathetic. This President, who has made it a habit of using the constitution as toilet paper, is now wrapping himself in it. Unfortunately this is not peculiar to this President. Almost all politicians show little fidelity to their oath when it doesn’t serve their political ends.

-If Hillary is elected President, will she be able to pass a FBI background check in order get a security clearance?

-Do you remember the first Clinton administration had people working for it who couldn’t and didn’t get a security clearance?

CARTOONS

Observations From The Margin

February 4, 2016

Observation Tower

Observations About The Results From Iowa

-Every media expert predicted that Trump and Hillary would win. They would have been wrong on both predictions if Hillary hadn’t won six Iowa precincts on a coin flip. Man is she lucky!

-The top 5 on the Republican side, Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Carson, and Paul, garnered 89% of the votes. Three of these became Senators because of support of tea party and liberty groups. The other two are not politicians. All five are outside of the Republican establishment {defined by me as Republicans in positions of power who want to increase the power of government, and think that everything revolves around what happens inside the Washington beltway}. The establishment candidates, Bush, Christie, and Kasich got 7% of the vote. It looks like the grass-roots are fed up with the Republican establishment.

-It’s interesting how the Republican establishment is hinting that Rubio is their guy now that the candidates they pushed, finished completely out of the mix. Are they trying to pressure Rubio into being one of them just because he was a member of the gang of eight? Do they think they can co-opt his candidacy? Would you consider him to the left or to the right of McCain or Romney, the last two republican establishment candidates for president?

-Ted Cruz was unapologetically for phasing out ethanol subsidies while campaigning in Iowa. Iowa is the top corn producing State. The Governor of Iowa told the people of Iowa not to vote for Cruz. Donald Trump came out for ethanol subsidies. Cruz Won. Cruz must have done a great job of explaining why he was against these subsidies to the people of a State whose cash crop is corn!

-Bernie Sanders was essentially tied with Hillary Clinton in Iowa. It is mind blowing to me how 50% of democrat voters support an avowed socialist, and the other 50% support someone who wants to centrally plan the US economy. Socialist Bernie wants the government to own the means of production. Central planner Hillary wants to leave ownership of the means of production in the hands of the private sector, but she gets to regulate every decision, and skim the profits away in taxes. So I guess the only difference is Hillary won’t tell you what she really is.

-Hillary Clinton’s victory speech didn’t sound like a victory speech. She came across as the unhappy vindictive shrew that she really is. She didn’t seem very happy or thankful for her victory.

-Of the people under 30 who voted in the Democratic caucus, 84% voted for socialist Bernie Sanders. Is this proof that our countries education system is nothing more than an indoctrination camp promoting big government?

Observations From The Margin

December 18, 2015

Observation Tower

-People on the left are citing the constitution for their outrage to Trump wanting to temporarily stop Muslim immigration. This is curious at best considering the left has traditionally used the constitution for toilet paper. Now they want to wrap themselves in the very document that stands in the way of everything these central planners want to do.

-The left brands certain groups of people as bigoted toward another group simply because they are not a member of that group. But isn’t the left just as guilty of bigotry against the non favored groups by simply choosing a favored group?

-Politicians place each of us into groups that can be labeled by race, sex, religion, profession etc. Since we are looked at as members of groups. I have a question? When is an activity by a few members of a group considered an outlier? And when does an increased number of people engaged in the activity cross the line and become a discernible profile of the group?

-When Romney ran for President in 2012, I heard conservatives say that we need a businessman to “run the country”. Now we have Trump leading in the polls and conservatives are saying, and he is saying, that we need a businessman who knows how to make deals. We don’t need a businessman. We need someone in the Presidency who understands how the free market works. Businessmen don’t need to know how a free market works to be successful in a free market economy. In fact businessmen like Trump donate to and lobby politicians so they can use the power of government to help their businesses and at the same time hurt their competitors. This is why Trump has donated to both parties. He is playing the political game. So when he says he’s “not a politician”, he is wrong from the standpoint of dealing with bureaucrats. But when it comes torpedoing political correctness, he is correct. This is the basis of his support. I like this part of him because it upsets the big government political class of both parties. But I wish his supporters would understand that he is not a free market guy. He is for government solutions to economic problems.

-After the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino the President came out and spoke about gun control before the bodies were even cold. Does he realize he is driving even more nails into the coffin of gun control. Humans have a natural instinct for self-preservation. When we see people shot dead by terrorists,who are willing to fight to their death, our natural instinct tells us we need to protect ourselves against these types of situations. Since cops can’t arrive in time to stop terrorist attacks, people are deciding to arm themselves. It’s our natural instinct for self-preservation, and Presidential pontifications about gun control are seen as either ignorant, stupid, or political.

-The Republicans pusillanimous (click here) behavior in standing up to the left, as was just demonstrated by speaker Ryan caving in on the recent budget ‘deal’, is the reason that Trump, Cruz, and Carson are the leading Republican candidates. The beltway establishment hasn’t figured out that the huddled masses don’t want another political insider in a position of power.

CARTOONS from the burningplatform.com.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

 

Observations From The Margin

November 20, 2015

Observation Tower

-Did the Democrats schedule their recent debate on a Saturday evening so no one would watch it?

-I never thought I’d see the day when an avowed socialist would run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Their candidates have always tried keep that hidden.

-Does anyone other than the President believe that global warming is the biggest threat to the world?

-Here is my solution to the “illegal immigration” problem. 1) Enforce the existing laws pertaining to immigration and the border. 2) As illegal immigrants come in contact with our government systems ( legal system, welfare system, and educational systems), deport them. 3) Make it less costly and time-consuming to become a legal immigrant to the U.S. If you change the incentives, you will change behavior.

-After the attacks in Paris, I thought President Obama would suggest that the French pass stricter gun laws. You never let a serious crisis go to waste.

-A lesson from the attacks in Paris: The first responders are the people involved in the incident. The police and firemen are the second responders. So each of us should be aware of our surroundings, and be prepared to take the proper action (fight or flight) if a situation arises. And everyone who has a concealed carry permit, should carry.

-The unrest on college campuses over the last few weeks is an example of colleges reaping what they have sown. Political correctness,  multiculturalism, and diversity have produced ignorant unrealistic kids.

-I drove my truck to the auto repair shop last week without any brakes because a brake line ruptured. I found out the only reason you can go fast is because of brakes?

CARTOONS

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

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Observations From The Margin

September 3, 2015

Observation Tower

Observation  (Photo credit: mooglet)

-There are two groups of people I automatically dislike, politicians and people in the media. It’s about the profession not necessarily the person. If I think the person is honorable and fair I will tolerate them, and if I think the person is arrogant and biased my dislike turns to loathing. Part of the reason Donald Trump is doing so well is he doesn’t give members of these groups the respect these megalomaniacs think should be lavished upon them. Whether it’s Jorge Ramos or Megyn Kelly, I don’t mind how Trump treats them. Watch the video of his press conference (click here) and see him dismiss Jorge Ramos and then answer a question about Megyn Kelly.

-Journalists wrap themselves in their first amendment rights using it as an inoculation against accusations of being bullies. They do have a first amendment right to ask questions, just as each of us has a first amendment right to ask questions. They don’t seem to understand that the person who is asked the question has a right to not answer the question.

-We live in a society that obeys basic rules of conduct that aren’t legislated by government. One of these rules of conduct is we wait our turn in line. When a person tries to cut line, someone usually calls them out by saying, “the end of the line is back there”. The video of Jorge Ramos is an example of someone cutting line. He was not called on and he butted in. When he was told the ‘end of the line is back there’ he kept talking. Most people who aren’t Jorge Ramos followers or Trump haters think Ramos is the anal orifice in this exchange.

-Our country was founded on the rule of law and not of men. When the laws that apply to us don’t apply to the ruling elite, it starts the process of the break down of the rule of law. When we see nothing happen to a politician like Hillary who flat-out broke the law by having her own server, and we get pulled over for ‘following too close’, it pisses us off. Not only do we have less respect for the law and the law givers, we start to push back.

-Journalists in the main stream media have a bias for bigger government. They know their influence increases when big government splits us into groups and pits us against each other. If each of us thought of ourselves as an individual instead of being a member of group, we would be able to see through media bias toward big government.

-For Decades the media has been driving the get-away car for politicians who have been robbing our individual freedom. Mr. Trump has taken out his knife, punctured all four tires and poured sand in the gas tank of the get-away car. They can’t figure out what to do. Trump talks around the media and straight to the people. He understands that many of us think the media is the enemy and he treats them as such. This is a big part of his success.

-Everyone who the media is biased against, yes even some politicians, should look at the Trump template, grow a pair, and treat the media accordingly.

Related ArticleObservations From The Margin, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleObservations From The Margin, at austrianaddict.com.