Thursday, April 25, 2019


Image result for rumor cartoons

We live in an era driven by rumor, gossip and innuendo. I suspect any organization of reasonable size has always dealt with rumor, the rumor mill and we are taking rumor to new heights these days. Rumors often seem to start just like the Big Bang that started the universe. They just seem to have always been here.

Enter the Internet. Nothing makes a rumor more powerful than having it hit the Internet and go viral. Just look at our 2016 presidential election. The Russians did an outstanding job posting rumor and innuendo about the Democratic candidate  and stirring up a portion of the GOP  that seized the lies of Trump and ran with them. Of course HRC was as practiced at lying as Trump but his lies gained more traction. 2016 raised tribalism to a new level and i suspect 
2020 will be more of the same.

I am much less concerned about adults and rumors than I am about children. Cyber bullying is reaching new heights and causing more harm and pain than at any time in our history. It seems like every week a child somewhere commits suicide because of bullying, and the anonymity of cyber bullying fuels the flames. Kids are not being provided the tools to sort through the nonsense. Critical thinking skills need to be taught and reinforced from an early age. The anonymity of the Internet makes things worse.

Adults deal with rumors regularly. They carry them to the extreme with conspiracy theory sites. Take a look at Alex Jones and his Infowars site. It is just one of many. There is so much junk available these days it boggles the mind.

There is a lighter side to rumors. Today is a day rife with rumors for the American football fan. The 2019 NFL draft begins tonight and so the pundits are all declaring who they think will be chosen by each team, This follows months of mock drafts and parsing every word from the NFL teams. The same thing will happen with basketball when the NBA draft happens. Baseball and hockey are not quite as crazy since those leagues are not primarily fed players by colleges.

Rumors can steal a person's reputation or open the person pushing the rumor to a defamation lawsuit. There is also a point at which rumors and or  gossip become propaganda - again, that is something we saw in our 2016 election. Expect to see it again in the 2020 election as out current administration seems to have no interest in curbing interference from other nations.

Be sure to check Ramana's take on rumors here.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sense of Humour

A sense of humor - the ability to laugh, especially at yourself, and your ability to perceive funny things and say funny things - is the topic of this week's 2-on-1 blog. A sense of humor is not a one size fits all proposition. They vary by the number of people alive.  Some may like a guy like George Carlin, some may prefer Chris Bliss or any of a number of stand-up comics.


The ability to laugh is one of our greatest coping mechanisms. Think about the topsy-turvy, insanity filled world we inhabit. The schism between left and right is deeper and wider than the grand canyon. We are currently gearing up for the 2020 Presidential election. Believe it or not,  things will probably get worse before they get better. Is laughter really the best medicine?

Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. So a good sense of humor is actually good for  you. 

The Dark Side of Humor

most of us enjoy the Roadrunner Wile Coyote cartoons. Poor old Wile Coyote takes it on the chin several times in each cartoon.He gets blown up, runs off a cliff and has numerous things like safes dropped on him and the dark sides of our senses of humor keeps us laughing. Naturally some of us that have dark sides so dark things that normally make a person cringe make us laugh or make us utter comments betraying our dark senses of humor. Before she outgrew them, one of my granddaughters used to watch horror movies and scifi movies with me. A machete attack usually resulted in one or both of us commenting that was gonna leave a mark, followed by a bit of raucous laughter. 

Ditto when one of the bad guys in the Jurassic series gets eaten by a dinosaur. The cheers were equally raucous.

The point? Laugh. Laugh long, loud and hearty. Whichever side of the comment you land, laughing- even if at the presumed loss by your opponent - and you will feel better. That raises another question. A standard political question revolves around when power does or doesn't speak to truth. Need the same standard apply to laughter? In a world rife with political correctness and political spin, I suspect not.

Now something I find interesting  but will not really be addressing here is the senses of humor attributed to Millennials. I have often considered the term Millennial sense of humor to be an oxymoron. I am not sure they do not have senses of humor. Probably,  I just do not understand them as a group and have no logical point of reference. Perhaps therein lies the problem - Millennials are notoriously light on logic - just another thing they blame us baby boomers for. But I truly cannot see the current generation leading the civil rights movement we spearheaded. But that's topic for another blog.

That is it for this weeks blog topic - selected by Ramana (look at the spelling) LOL. Please check for Ramana's Musings here.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Deja Vu All OverAgain

In honor of the opening of baseball season I selected this week's topic -as quoted by former Yankee great Yogi Berra. Besides being one of the best catchers ever to play the game and being part of 10 championship teams, Yogi was famous for his Yogi-isms (colloquial expressions that lack logic). Truth be told, many of them are just attributed to Berra, even if he never actually said them. As he so perfectly put it: “I never said most of the things I said.” It's time to sit back and have a chuckle or two and take a break from the seriousness that dominates life these days.

  1. It's like Deja Vu all over again.
  2. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  3. You can observe a lot by just watching.
  4. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.
  5. A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
  6. Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.
  7. We made too many wrong mistakes.
  8. Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.
  9. You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.
  10. Never answer an anonymous letter.
  11. The future ain’t what it used to be.
  12. I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.
  13. It gets late early out here.
  14. We have deep depth.
  15. Pair up in threes.
  16. I don’t know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.
  17. He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.
  18. You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.
  19. I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
  20. It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.  
  21. So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.
  22. Take it with a grin of salt.
  23. The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.
  24. Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.
  25. I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.
This is my favorite time of year as a sports fan. As I have said in many blogs, all I ever wanted to be is a baseball player. As a kid - until moving to the SF Bay Area I loved Yogi and the Yankees, but that all changed when I had my own team to root for - the  Giants of Willie McCovey, Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and the rest. Plus, along the way I discovered hockey and the Stanley Cup playoffs started this past Wednesday. That makes me a happy guy. It happens the same time every year -  it's like deja vu all over again.

Be sure to check Ramana's blog here. I suspect his take will be decidedly different - perhaps there is a cricket player equivalent to Yogi Berra.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Freedom 2-on-1 April 5, 2019

 Freedom. An important word. A word to die for. A word to live by.

Freedom to speak your mind. Freedom to live life as you please without hindrance or restraint. The absence of subjection to foreign domination or a despotic government. Freedom to worship any religion or no religion at all. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.

in 1988 Bruce Springsteen sang Chimes of Freedom to 200-300 thousand East Berliners. It wasn't long before the wall came down.
We have it pretty good here in the USA - even now in what many consider to be dark times. Our President promised he would tear down our institutions of government and he is trying to do just that. His supporters are happy.

While most Americans understand freedom of speech means you can say what you want but you do not stroll into a crowded theater and scream "FIRE!" at the top of your lungs. Our President recognizes NO restraints to his speech. His supporters do not care.They have 2 new conservative Supreme Court Justices.

To say many die for freedom is an understatement of herculean proportions. We have fought the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War, and the unnamed war in Afghanistan. I have a friend named Dennis Marsh who fought and flew in the Vietnam war, helped evacuate Saigon at the end, and proudly traces his heritage back through every war by identifying his family members in each one. Dennis proudly comes from a long line of American Patriots.  It is because of people like Dennis that we enjoy the freedoms so commonly attributed to the USA.

It is because of what has been dubbed The Greatest Generation that we are not speaking German or Japanese as our primary language. That generation made the sacrifices necessary to defeat the AXIS powers in WWII by supplying the military might with the materials and support needed to get the job done. except f

We are in the midst of perhaps the greatest divide in our country's history except for the Civil War.. Though you would be hard pressed to get anyone on the left or right to admit the other side actually believes in freedom - the left calls the right  fascists and the right calls the left socialists/communists, they actually just see freedom differently. The left sees freedom as - freedom to a - be or do anything you wish, and the right sees freedom as the freedom from - big government, regulations, restrictions on their ability to make money. Our educational system has failed colossally in teaching civility and civil discourse, making it virtually impossible to debate or discuss an issue without devolving into mayhem. Ultimately I suspect we will survive, just not in my lifetime. There are generally accepted two types of freedom - for a good article on them go here.

In many ways freedom is a relative term. How can that be? The USA was founded on Judeo/Christian principles. Our social framework consists of laws designed to support those principles and ideals but not to legislate any specific religion as the state religion. That has led to debate and argument over things as ridiculous as Christmas displays on public land - some on the left claim those displays promote  Christianity and are offensive to other faiths and non believers.  Personally, with our Judeo/Christian  background they are nothing more than simple tradition. On a personal note, I know of no one who has been offended by my wishing them a Merry Christmas. But a democratic country founded on other than Judeo/Christian fundamentals is likely to have a different framework more aligned with their founding ideology.

 FI think freedom comes in big F and small f versions. Big F Freedom is freedom as it relates to the government. We vote and elect most of our leaders. The laws they pass set the boundaries of freedom. They dictate that we do not choose our Presidents and Vice Presidents on simple plurality - the individual with the most votes wins. Congress created the Electoral College - thereby giving for example Wyoming's 70,000 voters per Electoral College Vote the same weight as the 179,000 voters in California for each Electoral College voter. Wyoming's voters are worth roughly 2.5 times the voters in California.  Yep - that sure seems fair. Alas changes to or eliminating the Electoral College require a Constitutional Amendment and that is not likely to happen.

Small f freedom - the freedom to change your mind, make mistakes and learn from them - the freedom to live your life on your terms  Speak your mind.

The most important freedom we have is access to the means to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. One could make an argument that there is not equal access available and that clearly needs to be worked on, but we are working from a base of strength.

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Nothin', don't mean nothin' hon' if it ain't free, no no.

Be sure to check Ramana's Blog by clicking here 
See ya next week, same bat time, same bat channel.