Famous Sayings: #81 — ‘Turn a Blind Eye’

September 29, 2017

The babysitter decided to turn a blind eye to the children who were staying up past their bedtime.

turn a blind eye, Horatio Nelson, famous sayings, Battle of Copenhagen, Nelsons eye
Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson decided to “turn a blind eye” to orders to retreat. Cropped Image of a painting by Lemuel Francis Abbott [Public domain]. You can view a version of the original at Wikimedia Commons.
While looking up the phrase “fall on deaf ears,” I came across this related term. Originally, I thought about incorporating this term into that post, but I soon realized the nuances in both, along with their distinctive origins.

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Athlete Protests: Who Are You Calling an S.O.B?

athlete protests, NFL, NBA, Donald Trump

The past weekend was dominated by the news Donald Trump made when he went on rants about athletes from the NBA and the NFL. It all started on Friday, September 22, when Donald Trump went after the NFL.

Of course, this elicited a swift response from athletes and officials from the concerned sports on Twitter and off. And of course, Trump doubled down on his comments.

Now, Trump’s attacks against Goodell or the league at large were nothing new. A few years ago, Trump made tweets when the Ray Rice scandal hit. He also made when Deflategate was in full swing. Just last year, Trump minimized the concern over head injuries in the NFL.

This also wasn’t the first time Trump made comments against the NFL protests. While at a Kentucky rally in March, Trump singled out Colin Kaepernick, who started the silent protests during the National Anthem.

While I was personally disgusted by what Trump said, and I was taken about by how sports and politics were being tangled up together, I kinda of liked the response from various athletes and officials. However, those comments alluded to greater problems in American society.

Before I can get into that last part, I must discuss what Trump said and the responses to his comments.

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Should We Mix Sports and Politics?

sports and politics, NFL protests, Donald Trump, ESPN
President Barack Obama is seen playing basketball with members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries on October 8, 2009. Obama kind of mixed sports and politics occasionally, when he talked about the Chicago White Sox and submitted his NCAA brackets for March Madness. (Photo taken by Pete Souza for the White House. Via Flickr)

Yesterday, I watched some NFL football games but the day was dominated by the news surrounding Donald Trump’s comments about NFL protests and the league’s response. Today, I tried to watch ESPN but I was greeted by the continuous discussion of yesterday’s events — i.e., the response to the response to Trump’s comments about NFL protests. As a result, two things jump out to me: One was the number of empty seats in NFL stadiums across the country and the other was the mix of sports and politics.


What Do I Want to Say About Sports and Politics?

That’s the hard part. I know that I want to say something, but I need to know more first. Unfortunately, I have not been keeping up with the related topics as well as I should have. However, I have certain views about the NFL protests and I take exception to some of the blowback.

I believe there are valid arguments to be discussed here, although I might not agree with all of them. There are politics involved within sports themselves (and, as I’ve said before, within the cable networks that cover sports), but I think it’s fair to ask whether or not sports and governmental politics should mix. As such, I would like to visit these topics in the following weeks:

I just wanted to make a quick post because so many thoughts were swirling in my head but it’s hard for me to gather my thoughts. Of course, I have visited some aspect of this before (via Colin Kaepernick) numerous times, but I haven’t been able to say what I want to say on the matter.

I might add more topics to this list as more thoughts come to mind.

News Roundup Special: North Korea Update (September 24, 2017)

news roundup, North Korea, hydrogen bomb

Hello, readers! For this week, I’m going to do something a little different. For this post and a few more I plan to do this week, I will discuss in-depth sections dedicated to a few important stories around the world. This News Roundup Special concerns North Korea.

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Famous Sayings: #80 — ‘Let the Cat out of the Bag’

September 23, 2017

Who let the cat out of the bag?

let the cat out of the bag, theories, famous sayings, cat
You let the cat out of the bag. Image by Marco Varisco via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

This post is a little late, too (based on the ongoing problems with my computer), but here it is. This was still a fun phrase to look up, based on the readily available information.

That aside, let’s get into the meaning.

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About Hillary Clinton’s New [Burn] Book

burn book, Hillary Clinton, What Happened, 2016
You’re not alone, Hillary. I couldn’t believe what happened on Election Night. Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

This is a couple of days late, but I wanted to weigh in on What Happened, a new book that dropped on September 12. Well, after looking at a number of reviews and find a buttload of quotes, I would call this a burn book because it contains a series of essays where Hillary Clinton unloads on a bunch of people including James Comey, Jill Stein, Vladimir Putin, The Bohemian Professor, and The Sad Bambino.

The Reception of this book was mixed (even before the official release), which is to be expected of the offering of such a polarizing figure.

The have been a number of memes where Twitter users shared photoshopped images of the book.

There was even a controversy with Amazon reviews.

But the book tour has been selling out in blue states and sales of the book itself have already set 2017 records.

Now what do I think of the book? Well, I haven’t read it. However, I have found some in-depth reviews and I have found quite a few quotes from the book to boot.

Based on the limited information I have, this is a non-review. But it looks like the book is covering everything Clinton has already said about this past election ad I do have thoughts on those areas.

Here goes.

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Prelude to a Money Rant: Mini Post About the Koch Brothers

Charles and David Koch - The Koch Brothers
Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

On my way to doing some research for another post I had planned for today, I saw a prompt from The Blogging Meetup. The topic was money and I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance.

Now, I came across a video from The Real News Network about the Koch Brothers (Charles and David), two of the wealthiest individuals in the world who inherited an oil fortune. The video, narrated by Danny Glover, was instructive and I came away from it knowing more about the Kochs than I did before.

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Famous Sayings: #79 — ‘Cut to the Chase’

September 16, 2017

Let’s cut to the chase.

cut to the chase, chase scene, famous sayings
Chase scenes have evolved over the years. (Screenshot from YouTube)

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I’ll cut to the chase and say that I really need a new computer. While doing the research for this phrase, I had to deal with nonresponsive keys (the N key and B key don’t always work when I press them and now the =/+ key and CAPS Lock are slow to respond, as well.) It’s a mess but unfortunately, it will be a while before I can resolve this problem.

Anyway …

This was a fun phrase to research and I didn’t really think about its origin until now but it’s really interesting.

But first, let’s talk about the meaning of this phrase.

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On Second Thought … (Blog Update for September 14, 2017)

blog update, natural disasters, What Happened, rift on the left

This is an impromptu blog update, but I wanted to fill my readers in on what I plan to do and to briefly discuss some current events.

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September 11: Where We Were and Where We Are Now

Twin Towers-NYC

I remember September 11, 2001 clearly.

Sixteen years ago, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. The Twin Towers were the first structures targeted.

The scene was jarring. At around 8:46 am in NYC, the Northern tower was hit. The south tower would be hit at 9:03 am.

But the attacks didn’t stop there. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Then a third crash landed in a field in Pennsylvania.

I was not awake when the fits planes hit but someone alerted me to the news about the Twin Towers.

It was total chaos. No one understood what was happening and after the Pentagon was attacked, we expected even more to come, but the last attack was thwarted. George W. Bush, who was reading a story to Kindergarteners, was frozen when a Secret Serviceman whispered the news in his ear.

Oddly enough, Dick Cheney’s location was unknown. Just where was he?

On the television, there were scenes of people fleeing the burning building, but the most unfortunate people in the buildings had nowhere to escape. Some of them jumped from windows high up as the towers smoldered.


Unprecedented Terror

Within an hour, at 9:59 am, the south tower fell. It was followed by the collapse of the north tower at 10:28 am. Building 7 also fell much later in the day and other buildings in that complex suffered damage.

More importantly, 2,996 lives were lost. Among the victims were passengers of the airlines, diplomats and workers from around the world, and hundreds of first responders.

For a while, New York City looked like a war zone. Some compared the scenes to what a nuclear winter would look like.

This was a devastating attack, the largest act of terrorism on American soil. But in the following days, many of us allowed ourselves to set aside our differences and recognize that we were all citizens of the world. Americans in particular expressed a type of solidarity never seen since.


Bush’s Response

September 11, George W. Bush, first responders, ground zero, terrorism

By the time Dubya visited the area that came to be known as “Ground Zero,” many of us cheered him on when he said the following words in response to a first responder who yelled, “I can’t hear you!”

I can hear you. I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all us soon.

Bush’s words were met with cheers and chants of “USA! USA!”

Bush’s words were what many of us needed. We needed someone who showed leadership, reassured us, and gave a stern warning to the people responsible for that attack.

For all intents and purposes, this was uncharted territory. For so many young people, it marked the end of their innocence. For those who had heard and read about terrorism before, this was likely their first look at it up close.

At that moment, Bush had more trust than he previously had on Inauguration Day. He had more respect around the world than he ever had and he had a tremendous amount of political capital …

Part of what followed was the War on Terror.


The War on Terror

As we soon found out, the perpetrators of the attacks were operatives of a terrorist organization named Al Qaida. The network was created by Osama Bin Laden, a native of Saudi Arabia who had been an heir to a fortune, but lived in mountainous regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As it turns out, fifteen or sixteen of the hijackers on September 11 had also come from Saudi Arabia.

We had to respond, but how? Afghanistan had come to be known as the “Graveyard of Empires” and the Soviets had been bogged down when they made an incursion into that area — or so we believed.

Regardless, we felt that our military had to go. But there stood the Taliban, a regime that had given Al Qaida sanctuary in the 1990’s but refused to hand over the network’s senior leaders. The United States would have to fight the Taliban, too. And so the war in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001.

At home, anxiety levels were raised as the military went abroad and people had to see their loved ones fight in a war many of us felt was justified. What we did not know was how long it would take — nor did we know that Iraq would serve as another stage in a global war on terror.


The Long-Term Effects of the September 11, 2001 Attacks

This war is currently in its 16th year and with each year, more and more people are questioning the efficacy of it. While most people will say they’d like to see an end to terrorism once and for all, the question remains: Can this be done with conventional fighting?

Whenever that question is asked, it might be met by silence or outright mockery. And often we are told to look at the next threat. Yesterday, it was Syria. Tomorrow, it might be North Korea. But we are already dealing with secret wars in Pakistan and parts of Africa …

The kids and many adults are growing weary.

Additionally, we are still dealing with the fear and mistrust of Muslims, at home and abroad. Now, a case can be made about vetting entrants into countries and every year we hear about attacks in Europe which have been carried out by those linked to militant Islamists. The United States (and Canada) have tough vetting standards as it is and many of our Muslims are fairly progressive in their views and peaceful. But the prejudice persists, often reinforced by news outlets …

These are some of the challenges we face today. What will be our way forward?