When I was growing up in our small farming community, participating in athletics was pretty darn simple. We had football in the fall; we had basketball and wrestling in the winter. There were baseball, track and field, and cross country running in the spring. That was it! Our school was not large enough to have a hockey team as well as the other winter sports. There was absolutely no interest in soccer at that time. Instead, we played kickball and dodgeball during recess.
In most of our sports, we were always taught to ‘keep your eye on the ball.’ This was especially true if that ball was a baseball, basketball, football and, in our Midwestern community, a snowball! Some of those snowballs really packed a wallop. On occasion, a good snowball fight would get out of hand when someone would pack a piece of very hard ice into the snowball. Those heated snowball fights would get out of hand frequently and body shots were replaced with intended head shots! So…..I am not going to admit that I would ever pack a piece of ice in a snowball, but I will admit that one would learn quickly to ‘keep your eye on the ball.’
More people need to learn how to keep their eyes on the proverbial ball. One such person would be Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. She is the infamous mayor of Baltimore that proclaimed shortly after the Freddie Gray shooting that the looters should be able to loot, “because it is only property.” She instructed her police chief to back off from the looters. This little dalliance in shelving law and order in favor of discord and rioting has had a profound after-effect that the foolish mayor never anticipated. This past July, Baltimore, a city of less than 622,000 people (with a declining population), broke a 43-year record for the most homicides in a month. There were 43 such homicides. There was a spike in non-fatal shootings as well. Practically all were black on black crime. Why?
Crime experts and residents of Baltimore’s most dangerous neighborhoods cite a confluence of factors: mistrust of the police; generalized anger and hopelessness over a lack of opportunities for young black men; and competition among dealers of illegal drugs, bolstered by the looting of prescription pills from pharmacies during the riot. Federal drug enforcement agents said gangs targeted 32 pharmacies in the city, taking roughly 300,000 doses of opiates, as the riots caused $9 million in property damages in the city. A member of the Drug Enforcement Administration said the high homicide rate probably related directly to the stolen prescription drugs. (No fooling? Even the citizens are saying everyone was wild on opiates!) Now that the supply is likely exhausted, the drug turf wars will likely promote more violence.
What has the honorable Mayor Rawlings-Blake done? Why she has replaced her police chief twice since the riots? The results have been the same with each chief. The situation is out of hand because of the mayor’s decision to allow the rioters to continue to loot. Who should really be replaced?
The pitcher checks the sign. He winds up and delivers a blistering fastball directly over the plate! S-T-R-I-K-E T-H-R-E-E! Yyyyyoooouuuuu’rrrrreeee out! The dejected batter, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake walks to the dugout. She had her eyes closed while at bat!
Another group that needs to learn how to keep their eyes on the ball is………..the American public!
There are so many things that the citizenry of this country should be concerned about, but aren’t. Our attention spans are about as long as the time it takes to pop popcorn in a microwave! Do you remember fiscal cliff? That was a large buzz word about 18 months ago. Has it gone away?
How about the debt crisis? Has that gone away? Our national debt is at $18 trillion and climbing. It appears that no one in Washington has the fortitude or determination to turn this around. Everyone has seen the country of Greece go through all sorts of fiscal gyrations. Greece is responsible for less than 2% of the world’s GDP. Through its socialistic programs, it has dug a hole that may not be refilled. My advice is to acquaint yourself with the specifics as to why Greece is in such economic trouble. My reason for bringing this up? We are rapidly greasing our skids in the United States to be in the same place as Greece with one exception….when we go, so will the world’s economy! That would make the Great Depression look like the So-So Depression.
Four marines and one sailor were gunned down in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The public outrage lasted about 3 days. After all, they were military personnel and they have volunteered to protect our country. Isn’t death a part of the job description? What outrageous event did manage to get the attention of most Americans? Why, the death of Cecil the Lion! Do you realize that people were picketing the office of the dentist that shot Cecil the Lion, calling for his execution!
I have come to the conclusion that most Americans now possess a reality show mentality. Calling for the execution of the lion shooter is a little severe, don’t you think? When I was young, my dad would go deer hunting. He deer hunted because our family could really use the meat. It was a sad day if he did not get a deer. I hunted deer and was moderately successful. We hunted in heavy coniferous forests not too far from the Canadian border. It was not easy hunting. It was extremely difficult hunting. As I got older and my family became more financially successful, we really did not need the meat. We continued to deer hunt, but more for the camaraderie, tradition and challenge of the hunt than for the need of the meat. Don’t get me wrong, we ate every bit of everything we have ever hunted.
Then I was invited to hunt in Wyoming. Hunting in Wyoming was on grassy plains with scrub brush close to rivers. It was easy hunting because you could see game for miles and there was no shortage of game. I am not exaggerating when I say I could have shot 15-20 deer each of the two years I hunted. I lost the urge when the challenge wasn’t present. I did not need the meat. I gave up deer hunting before I was 35 years old.
Back to reality. Our public is screaming for the execution, or at least the extradition of the lion killer to Zimbabwe. We don’t have an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe. Where is the furor over the killing of our military personnel in Chattanooga? That’s something to roar about! Why are we not calling for that shooter’s execution? Oh, that’s right……….. he is a Muslim who was suffering from depression! So we have had a slew of Muslims that have attacked and killed Americans right here in the good old U S of A! Are they all suffering from depression? Not a one of them has been executed. Not a Muslim has been deported for abetting these killers as allowed by the Patriot Act. Have Americans reached a point where the death of a lion is more serious than the killing of Americans in America by radical Muslims?
I mention reality show mindset. I am convinced that more people follow the Kardashians than follow what is happening in this country politically. I would give up bacon for a month if anyone can tell me what talents the Kardashians actually possess. Can they act? Can they sing? Can they dance or perform in any appreciable way? Why, oh why, are they getting more publicity than the killing of our military personnel in Chattanooga? The Boston bomber? The Fort Hood shooter? Why are the Kardashians on television? I don’t get it. Didn’t we learn anything from Paris Hilton?
There is one event that I wish would die quickly and that is the transsexual reformation of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. Bruce/Caitlyn is slightly younger than I am. I am a self-professed Olympics junkie. I have watched the Olympics every year since they were in Rome in 1960. It was a tradition for my late uncle and me to watch the Olympics together. Most of these Olympics were conducted during the height of the Cold War. Ah yes……. those were the good old days. Eagle versus Bear. Blue versus Red. Democracy versus Communism. We damn well knew who our enemies were, and they were those damn Ruskies! Without having a ‘shooting war,’ the Olympics became the unofficial battleground of good versus evil…at least in the American minds. In 1972, the Olympics were in Munich. In those Olympics, the Americans lost medals to the Russians in three sports that we usually dominated: basketball, 100-meter and decathlon. The winner of the decathlon was considered the ‘World’s Greatest Athlete.’ And now the title was held by a Russian! OMG! At the time, this was considered a national crisis that garnered more attention than Cecil the Lion!
In 1976, the Olympics were held in Montreal. By the time of the games, Bruce Jenner had broken the world decathlon record twice. He broke it a third time at the Olympics and won the gold medal! An American was again the ‘World’s Greatest Athlete.’ I remember Bruce Jenner very well. I watched his outstanding Olympic performance with admiration. I saw him on my Wheaties box for seven years, only to be later replaced by Mary Lou Retton. I could paint his Wheaties box picture from memory, if only I were an artist.
I think I am suffering trauma and mental anguish from his highly publicized transformation! Is there a government funded support group for me? Am I entitled to some kind of payment for my anguish? My point is this. No doubt, Bruce/Caitlyn had/has issues that I will never understand. What I do understand is that rather than making this a private decision and living his new life quietly, he has attempted to promote and publicize his sexual transformation as if it were as important as the World Trade Center bombing. TV interviews to announce his decision. Magazine covers. Now a reality TV series? Why? I have a theory. Bruce was never able to be extremely successful marketing himself after his Olympic accomplishments. He has married into a family that has made millions without any appreciable attributes. Their accomplishments would pale in comparison to his accomplishments. Could money and a reality-show-minded audience be at least partially responsible for his sexual transformation decision?
Look at how much publicity Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, the Kardashians and Cecil the Lion have received recently in relation to events that affect our lives. With a presidential election coming up next year, America needs to quit buying the National Enquirer, Star and other gossip rags and begin paying attention to what our politicians and future candidates are doing and saying. We need to be cognizant of world events. In other words, we need to ‘keep our eye on the ball.’
PS. Caitlyn has recently stated that she still prefers women. That should make her the poster child of the LBGTQ group (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transsexual, queer group) as she now punches about every button.