A Tale Of Two Parties (Apologies To Charles Dickens)

November 10, 2016

Less than twenty-four hours after the Republican Party candidate pulled off the biggest upset this year, no, make that number two behind Penn State pulling off a huge upset in a Happy Valley white-out against the Buckeyes, President Obama invited the president-elect, who mocked Obama for years, to the White House to discuss the peaceful transfer of power come January. Whatever happened to the president-elect’s investigation into the president’s birth and religion, the results of which we were told is gonna shock us?

Eight years ago, on the day President Obama was first sworn into office, Republican Congressional leaders met at the Caucus Room restaurant to make sure the “uppity” first-term Senator from Illinois was a complete failure, in effect the most perfect example of putting party over country. Especially considering the disastrous economy he inherited. Or a world economy on the brink of a catastrophic meltdown, due to the Wall Street mess. Not to mention the two longest wars in U.S. history, both unfunded and still ongoing. Also unfunded were two massive tax cuts, benefiting mainly the wealthy elite, as well as the Medicare prescription drug program.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had the audacity to announce his number one priority was seeing Barack Obama a one-term president. He couldn’t even get that right!!!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

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One Quote Over The Line, Lewd Donald, One Quote Over The Line (Apologies To Brewer & Shipley)

October 9, 2016

If it appeared this presidential season could not get any more bizarre, it did so this past Friday when Donald Trump not only admitted to both sexually harassing and assaulting women, but actually boasted of doing such things as he was about to be interviewed on Access Hollywood in 2005. After it seemed as if the bombastic businessman could say no wrong during his yearlong plus campaign, this damning audio/video just might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, though I doubt it. Making matters worse, it has been reported that there are many more hours of vulgar audio/video recordings of Trump from both Access Hollywood and his The Apprentice show.

What I find incredible about Trump’s campaign, is that after saying outrageous things seemingly every other day, comments that would have derailed nearly every other candidate, both his loyal base and party members still stand by him, putting party first and America second, although there have been desertions over the weekend such as Arizona Senator John McCain and Ohio Senator Rob Portman. Though I do not agree with Ohio Governor John Kasich on most every issue, I will give him credit for standing by his belief that Trump did not deserve the nomination of his party and has refused to endorse him, even going as far as boycotting the Republican convention held in his own home state.

I also do not understand why Republicans, and especially Republican members of Congress say there is no way they would vote for Hillary Clinton even after all the abusive and obtuse comments made by Trump. The flamboyant entrepreneur and reality television celebrity has offended just about every ethnic group there is, with the exception of white males, who make up the vast majority of his voting block, especially white males without a college degree. I have never been a fan of Mrs. Clinton, and was leaning toward former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson until his Aleppo moment, not to mention his inability to name just one foreign leader he likes, but have never understood the hatred of both Clinton and her husband that has been ongoing for twenty-five years. How is it that Clinton is so evil that up until Friday afternoon, Republicans were on the Trump bandwagon, despite all his boorish behavior? And inconceivably, the vast majority still are.

Donald Trump’s candidacy of making America great again has made this great nation the laughingstock in the eyes of the world. America should be embarrassed.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Allstate Good Hands Good Deed?

September 7, 2016

As collegiate football got underway this past weekend, it did not take Allstate Insurance long to start bragging about their good hands, good deed declarations during games to assert that they have now donated millions of dollars to fund college general scholarships during the past twelve years. Up until two years ago, the insurance conglomerate always told viewers the exact dollar amount of their donations. However, starting last season, they only state the amount is millions of dollars. I do not claim that my measly blog is responsible for Allstate realizing that for all the free advertising it receives all season long in lieu of donating a couple hundred thousand dollars each year, as I have been posting this piece for several years, but I have yet to see or hear any other person criticize the corporation for having the audacity to boast about such a trifling dollar amount considering all the free advertising it receives for its generosity.

Anyone who watches college football knows all to well that the Allstate Good Hands logo is placed advantageously in a great many stadiums across the country in the middle of the netting that is raised behind the goal posts on point after touchdowns and field goal attempts in order to prevent the kicked football from going into the stands. At first glance, it appears that Allstate is doing a great deed by donating money to fund college scholarships. However, when you consider all the free publicity the company receives all season long, generosity might not be the best word to describe Allstate’s publicity stunt. How many times are these logos shown during the course of each season for every college and university stadium that allows these netting logos? How many times during the year will game announcers proclaim to their viewers that Allstate has donated millions for college scholarships? Every time the logo-laden netting is raised or the announcers make the declaration, it is the equivalent one more free commercial for the insurance conglomerate.

I know not what a thirty-second commercial airing during a typical college football game costs, let alone that of a bowl game or the national championship playoffs, however for all the free advertising that it receives every year; Allstate should be embarrassed that it has donated only a few million dollars over twelve years to fund college scholarships. Allstate should have donated at least ten times that amount, if not one hundred times more than it has before it boasts of its good deed.

Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87

Did An American Presidential Candidate Commit Treason?

July 27, 2015

If it appears that this presidential season cannot get any weirder, it did so this morning when Donald Trump called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s thirty thousand deleted emails. Who among us has never deleted thousands of emails over the years? However, what makes his comment ever more alarming it that it comes just days after WikiLeaks published online nearly twenty thousand emails that were hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s computer system over the course of at least the past twelve months. Not only did the hack result in the theft of that organization’s emails and internal reports but also data from other organizations with ties to the federal government. Democrat leaders are placing blame on Russia.  Urging a hostile, foreign government to conduct a cyber attack on an American citizen from her days as Secretary of State might be construed as treason.

The Democrats are not just assuming Russia is responsible for the breach of security, as an internal investigation led by CrowdStrike, Inc., a cyber security firm, has traced the hack back to two organizations with ties to Russian intelligence. Two additional cyber security firms with knowledge of the investigation, FireEye, Inc. and Fidelis CyberSecurity have corroborated this theory.

Most Americans would assume that Trump is only making light of a very serious situation, especially considering all the outrageous things he has said during the past year, however, he is running for president of the United States. The potential leader of the free world should be smart enough to know not to say something as stupid as what he did, even if said jokingly.

Cyber security is such a serious matter that it can bring any nation to its knees. A major breach of a nation’s electrical grid can turn a military or industrial power into total chaos within a matter of days. What I find truly alarming regarding computers controlling all aspects of our lives is that this nation’s ICBM missile system, one-third of our Nuclear Triad is still operating on eight-inch “floppy” discs. Most Americans have probably never heard of such outdated technology, yet these discs are running our nuclear missile system, a system that has the potential to destroy the world in which we live.

Americans should be horrified!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

The World In Donald Trump’s Eyes (aka I Am The Greatest Of All Time, By A Lot)

July 13, 2016

As the American presidential primaries finally come to a conclusion beginning next week with Republicans convening in Cleveland and Democrats meeting in Philadelphia the following week, it gives me time to ponder the potential platform of Republican presumptive candidate Donald Trump. As a candidate who speaks so very often, and tweets seemingly nonstop, yet never espousing any genuine ideas about how he would actually govern, the following is a somewhat very accurate parody of a typical campaign speech given once or twice a day, every single day for the past year by his “greatness.”

I am the greatest.  But, I’m one of you.
Mexicans are criminals, drug dealers and rapists.
Nobody knows more about taxes in the world than me, because I do not pay any.
I’m the most militarist person there is.
Lyin’ crooked Hillary Clinton is crooked as they come, a lifetime liar.
Jeb Bush is low energy.
John McCain is a real loser, not a war hero, because he was a POW.
Megyn Kelly is a bleeder.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz is a pussy.
Chris Christie is yuge, by a lot.
Lying doctors say vaccinations do not cause autism.
I love the poorly educated. I even talk like them.
Nobody is more conservative than me, except when I was a liberal Democrat.
Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren is goofy, a total failure.
I know more about ISIS than the generals.
Crazy Bernie Sanders is a raving lunatic. I want him as my VP.
I’m gonna bring back all those jobs from China, except the ones that make the products I sell.
Nobody reads the bible more than me.
President Obama is a Muslim from Kenya, my investigation proved it.
My campaign is self-funded.
Trump U. is the greatest university in the world.
Women are pigs.
I’m the world’s greatest whiner. By a lot.
John Kasich eats like a slob.
Nobody knows more about debt than me, because I filed for bankruptcy four times.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz is no longer a liar. We love him.
Vladimir Putin loves me.
Crooked Hillary Clinton killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Nobody respects women more than me.
I’m rich, by a lot.  But, I’m one of you.
Mitt Romney walks like a penguin.
Millions of Muslims watched and cheered the Twin Towers burn from Jersey.
I am the king of debt. I’ve made a fortune with debt.
Bankers are stupid.
Bill Kristol is a dummy.
I love you (insert current city or state or the next city or state to visit).
The media is stupid.
If Hillary Clinton weren’t a woman, nobody would vote for her.
It’s a crooked system, and I was a part of it.
The RNC (Republican National Committee) are idiots.
Bernie Sanders is a Communist. Or worse.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz’s father helped Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate JFK.
Everybody’s an idiot, but me.  But, I’m one of you.
I cherish women.
The KKK wears nice sheets.
I’m gonna turn everything around. Fast. By a lot.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton are stupid because they use a teleprompter. But not me.
I love the Bible. I love the Bible. I’m a Protestant. I’m a Presbyterian.
Radio host Charlie Sykes is an idiot.
My IQ is one of the highest of all-time. By a lot.
I’m gonna build the greatest wall of all-time and make Mexico pay for it.
Congress is stupid.
My business is the greatest of all-time, by a lot.  But, I’m one of you.
I’ll be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.
George W. Bush is a liar.
Hillary Clinton is a shouter, but I’m not allowed to say that.
Women are dogs.
The Art Of The Deal is second in importance only to Two Corinthians, or is that Second Corinthians?
I do not have small hands, or a small penis.
Rick Perry is a loser.
Reporters are liars.
I can be presidential, but I would be boring as hell.
Rand Paul is an idiot.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz’s wife is ugly.
Women are disgusting animals.
Ben Carson is a poor surgeon.
Politicians are stupid.
The Republican Party is rigged. The RNC are riggers.
Women are bimbos.
My private jet is the greatest of all-time. So is my helicopter.  But, I’m one of you.
Rick Santorum is a loser.
Our leaders are stupid.
I am the greatest of all-time, by a lot.

If America has not yet become the laughing-stock in the eyes of the world, a Donald Trump presidency would surely make us so.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Why America Needs To Implement The Draft

May 4, 2016

After watching a two-hour American Masters special last night on the life and struggles of Janis Joplin, PBS television’s Frontline investigative news program aired a one-hour program concerning America’s ongoing wars in Benghazi, Libya and in Yemen. Listening to Frontline while working on the six hundred and fifty-six photographs that I shot of two flowers I bought earlier in the day, one could not help but believe we will be involved in numerous wars throughout the entire Middle East for many decades to come. American imperialism is alive and well and running wildly amok.

Because American television has basically stopped reporting on all these wars, and especially because only one percent of Americans actually serve in our military, for the most part, the vast majority of Americans go about their daily lives as if nothing is going on. Who could also forget that President George W. Bush infamously urged all Americans to just go shopping to support his administration’s unwarranted and unfunded invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq? It is for these reasons that America desperately needs to implement the draft of both men and women.

For if more mothers saw the threat that their sons and daughters might very well come home seriously wounded or in a box (apologies to Country Joe McDonald), all these wars would soon end. Or better yet, never start.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Football Players

December 26, 2015

On Christmas day, Sony Pictures released the movie “Concussion,” starring Will Smith and Alec Baldwin. Based on the 2009 GQ expose “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas, the movie deals with not only the serious impact that concussions have on football players but also the scandalous claim that the National Football League has been doing everything possible to cover up the health issue for years.

Just days before the annual Thanksgiving marathon of three pro-football games televised from noon to midnight, former New York Giants star Frank Gifford’s family announced that he too, suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) before he passed away on August 9th of this year. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease that is found in individuals who have a history of repetitive brain trauma. Yet, not once during the twelve hours of football games played on three different networks, did I hear any of the game announcers or studio analysts speak of Mr. Gifford’s injuries.

Having spent Thanksgiving with family, it is possible that one of the announcers did address this issue and I missed it, however, for the seriousness of the issue, a lengthy discussion during each game would have been hard to miss. Moreover, not once since then have I heard anyone involved in the televising of NFL games discuss the problem. With the movie raising the issue that the NFL has been covering up the issue for years, it does not take a conspiracy buff to deduce that the league has instructed everyone involved not to address the issue.

During the past five years, the PBS television network has aired two really good documentaries regarding the seriousness of injuries received by young men while playing what has become America’s new national pastime. During the first documentary, one person interviewed, and forgive me for not being able to recall what their occupation was, but they opined that when young children play organized football, when their helmets collide, which happens on every single play not only during games but also during every single practice, that their brains are being shaken around, similar to that of shaking a bowl of Jell-O. This is shocking. While watching these two documentaries, my thought was every parent who has children playing organized football should view these programs.

When growing up, I played football all the time. However, the only time I wore a uniform was my sophomore year in high school when I played on the reserves football team. Now days, children begin playing organized football at a very young age. Concussions are a very serious issue among football players; however, I was alarmed when the gentleman referred to children’s brains being shaken like a bowl of Jell-O.

My son played a couple of years of organized football when he was in middle school. Knowing what I now know, I like to think that peer pressure among my son’s friends would not have swayed my thoughts toward letting him play a sport he too, like me loved and that I would have had the cojones to just say no.

Steven H. Spring
Earth