Category Archives: Truth

Insect Extinction? What the hell?

10823418-16x9-largeScreen-Shot-2019-02-12-at-8.27.12-AM-e1549989084758On Monday, February 11, 2019, FOX News online ran a piece with this headline:

FOX News headline #2Wait.

What?

What the hell was that about the insects? And the survival of mankind?

According to the FOX News article, a “decline in insect populations happening across the planet has Earth’s ecosystems and humankind facing catastrophic consequences.”

“Catastrophic consequences.”

Did they say, “catastrophic”?

Smollett+caseI thought that among the burning issues of the day was whether some actor from the cast of “Empire” staged a hate crime attack on himself. And that according to sources, Senator Amy Klobuchar might be too hard on her staff.

But now I hear that “More than a third of the world’s insects are threatened with extinction in the next few decades.”

UnknownMore than a third of the insects could be gone in the next few decades? Shouldn’t we be hearing a lot more about our vanishing insects? Then again, maybe there’s just no time to address this insect extinction story – and still have room on our news broadcasts for breathless punditry about whether or not “Pocahontas” Elizabeth Warren tried to get ahead by claiming Native American heritage?

According to this same FOX online report, we humans have already “wiped out about 60 percent of the planet’s animal life since 1970.” Holy crap. I didn’t realize that? I must have missed those stories. Guess I was too busy reading about whether Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were gonna get back together. And all that stuff about Kanye and Kim. Somehow, I totally missed the reports about 60 percent of the world’s animal life going the way of the dodo bird and the passenger pigeon.

aoc1Of course, with all the time spent on television and in the print and online media arguing about whether Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a Socialist who’s moving the Democrats too far to the left, maybe there’s just not enough time to worry about losing all our insects?. While the pundits and politicos dither about whether AOC is too extreme — there’s scant time to explore the fact that “Due to the high level off species loss, Earth is considered to have entered into its sixth mass extinction event in half-a-billion years.” That problem sounds a lot more extreme than the political philosophy of a 29-year old freshman congresswoman. But what do I know?merlin_150449823_e3d772b6-4db2-4eba-8875-8f0356db66be-articleLarge

Of course, I hate that The New England Patriots won another Super Bowl and I do wonder what NBA franchise Anthony Davis will play for next. I, too, am concerned that all of the Academy Awards be announced during the broadcast and not during the commercials. (And I still worry about Jen and Brad.) But when I see a headline like this…

100 years

…I gotta wonder about our priorities.

As discussed to death and important an issue as it is — will Trump’s southern border wall help to save our insect species?

Of course not.  In fact, it looks like it will actually make the insect situation worse.

butterfly

Dr. Francisco Sánchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney warns that, “If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind.”

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln – how did you like the play?Insects-on-Display

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Reject Trump This Tuesday!

Donald Trump is a proven serial liar. He has no business being the President of the United States.

We’ve simply got to check Trump’s power on November 6th!

Young voters! This will be your world long after I’m gone – and your future will be far better if you VOTE this coming Tuesday for Democrats.

I believe Wednesday morning, November 7th, will bring good news. Let’s make sure of it!

VOTE!

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LeBron James Comes to Los Angeles: It’s Good vs. Evil.

Those who follow this blog know that I’m a Cleveland, Ohio boy, born and raised – and a LeBron James fan. Just as I was a Jim Brown fan in my boyhood days. What else can you possibly be when the greatest player in a particular pro sport plays for YOUR hometown team?

But unlike many in Northeast Ohio, I continued to be a LeBron fan even after he left town to pursue championship rings in Miami.

Then, like everyone in Cleveland, I rejoiced in King James’ homecoming – and the fact that he took the Cavaliers to four NBA finals appearances in a row. And, oh yeah, the glorious moment when he brought Cleveland it’s first pro sports championship since Jim Brown led the Browns to the NFL title in 1964.

So, when LeBron decided to take his talents to Los Angeles this summer, I did not waiver in my fandom.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve lived in Los Angeles since 1990 – but that’s not the reason I’m still a loyal fan of The King.

charlie-hall-nathan-taphorn-0310In fact, the reasons that I approve of LeBron’s move to Los Angeles have been best expressed by the passionate words of a native of L.A., the son of a great friend of mine – and a wise young man who plays varsity basketball for my alma mater, Northwestern University.

Charlie Hall says it better than I could myself. (In bold italics below)

I am a LeBron James fan. I am a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. Despite being from Los Angeles, I have NEVER been a Los Angeles Lakers fan. That being said, this is bigger than me. There is a larger mission here. That mission is simple: restore good in the universe.

ct-northwestern-charlie-hall-tino-malnati-20170317In other words: Beat the Golden State Warriors. The 73-9, adding Kevin Durant, dancing, gaslighting, EVIL Golden State Warriors.

Perhaps shooting threes is more efficient than a hard drive into a contact layup. It’s worth more points and it takes less energy. I get it.

However, jacking up a three point shot from damn near half court and shimmying your way to your bench to high five Kevin Durant? That lacks heart. That lacks integrity. That lacks ANY of the qualities that are consistent with why we love basketball. The grit. The strength in the face of adversity. It’s all gone.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, the Warriors are going to win. Again and again. Forever. Or until a core member leaves or gets injured.

ts_lbj18Now, there is ONE other factor that can derail the Warriors. His name is Lebron James. The philanthropist, family man, forceful inside presence. The man that brought a championship to the city of Cleveland. The GOOD GUY.

He needs guys around him and didn’t have that in Cleveland. Let’s get one thing straight, he doesn’t have it in Los Angeles either. However, he CAN attract the talent. The talent needed to dethrone evil. Horrible, horrible evil. 

A part of me wishes LeBron stayed. The little kid from Akron, bringing championships to his hometown, with little to no help? It’s picturesque. It’s gorgeous.

But he’s 33 years old. His time is running out. The chances of him bringing more rings to Cleveland were zero. ZERO.

I’m not sure how much time we have left with this legend, the greatest ambassador the league has ever had — this role model for so many. But I do know one thing: His work isn’t done. We need him to give us one more unforgettable moment. One more.

That moment could’ve happened in Philly, Houston, Boston, San Antonio, anywhere. But now it has to happen in Los Angeles.

Draymond+Green+Golden+State+Warriors+v+Cleveland+GXzIHuIEVQklSo please Mr. James. Whatever you have left. Use it to dunk on Stephen Curry. Use it to defend Kevin Durant. Get Draymond a tech. Do what you have to do. But let’s be clear: You HAVE to do it. There is no other option.

Forever a Cavs fan.

Forever a LeBron fan.

And for the sake of all things good: A newfound Los Angeles Lakers fan. 

Charlie Hall

 

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LeBron James & the NBA Finals = Must-See TV

Banner 2USP NBA: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS-MEDIA DAY S BKN USA CABanner 4Today, LeBron James will play in his eighth straight NBA Finals.

King James and his Cleveland Cavaliers will face the Golden State Warriors for the fourth year in a row.

UnknownLeBron and the Cavs are the clear underdogs.

In fact, the Warriors are historic favorites in the 2018 NBA Finals. The reigning NBA champs are favored by 10 to 1 odds to win their third title. The Warriors are favored by 12.5-points in tonight’s Game One: the largest point spread in recent Finals history.

So, despite the odds — why do I believe LeBron James has a legitimate shot to win his fourth NBA title?

I have three simple reasons:

He’s LeBron James.

He’s having an historic year.

And I hate Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors.

AUSTIN-CARRFull disclosure: I’m a Cleveland boy, born and raised. I’ve been a Cavaliers fan since the franchise was launched in 1970 — and Austin Carr led them to the ‘76 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, losing valiantly in 6 games.

The Cavs had their moments after that — making 10 playoff appearances from 1985 to 1998. But they rarely made it past the first round.

04araton-articleLargeIn 1989, for instance, Michael Jordan famously dashed their hopes by draining a first-round series-winning buzzer-beater over Cleveland’s Craig Ehlo. It was Game 5 of a 5-game series. (Remember those?) And Cleveland was playing at home.

Man, that was painful.

Then came LeBron James.

James played high school basketball in Akron Ohio – just 40 miles from Cleveland.

Already a national sensation as a teenage high school player, his hometown Cavaliers made  LeBron the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft .300_003_lg

As a 20-year-old kid – in just his second year in the NBA — LeBron poured in 56 points against the Toronto Raptors, setting Cleveland’s single-game scoring record and was named to his first All-NBA Team. (This year, in his fifteenth season in the league, he earned that honor again.)

In his third season in 2006, LeBron was named the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player and finished second in the NBA MVP voting to Steve Nash. He led The Cavs into the playoffs for the first time since 1998, losing to the Detroit Pistons in the second round.

LeBron’s fourth year in the league marked him as a true superstar. He led the Cavs to 50 wins for the second year in a row and took his team all the way to the 2007 NBA Finals against one of the NBA’s greatest teams: the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron and his overmatched Cavs were swept in four games – setting the stage for his infamous “Decision” to jump to the Miami Heat.

goneLeBron’s years with the Heat are well documented.

At the time, I went on the record that I didn’t blame LeBron for leaving the Cavs. Far from burning his jersey like some bitter fellow Clevelanders, I cheered him as he won two NBA championships in his four years in Miami – then welcomed his Northeast Ohio homecoming.

It didn’t take long for LeBron to return the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals. He did it in his first year back. And if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving had been able to play in the 2015 Finals against the Golden State Warriors they might have won.

20609133-standardAnyway, LeBron led the Cavs to victory the following year – my hometown’s first major sports championship since Jim Brown, Frank Ryan and Gary Collins led the Browns over the Colts in 1964!

Then LeBron and the Cavs lost to Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the Warriors in last year’s Finals. It was The King’s seventh straight NBA Finals appearance.

And tonight’s tip-off marks Lebron’s eighth straight Finals.

Okay, I know that Bill Russell and his 1960’s-era Celtics made a shitload of NBA Finals. In fact, Russell made 10 straight Finals. Bill Russell is certainly one of the all-time greats — but let’s look at a typical NBA playoff bracket from Russell’s playing days.1964nbaplayoffsbracketresults

Do you notice something?

CN73LMUFYWN5IIN7SWW5XC7K7AFor most of those ten dominant years, Russell and his Celtics played just 2 or 3 rounds in the playoffs. And they usually played only two. LeBron James – like all of his modern NBA contemporaries — has faced four grueling playoff rounds every single year. Just sayin’.

And then there’s this business about Kevin Durant vs. LeBron. Don’t compare Durant’s playoff success with LeBron’s. (How far did The Slim Reaper ever take the Thunder?) And please don’t equate Durant’s jump to the Warriors with LeBron’s move to the Heat.

When LeBron went to The Heat, it had been 5 years since they were in the Finals and won an NBA championship. Durant joined Golden State the year after they had made two consecutive Finals appearances and won their first NBA title.

Kevin Durant is a front-runner. LeBron James is something else altogether.

kloveAs both teams prepare for tip-off tonight, I am confident that LeBron James will burnish his legacy in these NBA Finals.

And if Kevin Love is healthy enough to make his usual All-Star contribution on the boards and from the 3-point line – and Kyle Korver or J.R. Smith or Jeff Green or George Hill step up and hit some shots – then I like my team’s chances, despite the long odds against them.

One thing is certain.

I’m not betting against LeBron James.

I’m not betting against The King.

Go Cavs!

Banner

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Exclusive: First Draft of Trump’s Follow-Up Letter to Kim Jong-Un.

slack_imgs_9Trump’s sudden cancellation of his proposed June 12 nuclear summit with North Korea’s despotic leader Kim Jong-Un caught just about everyone — including our South Korean allies — by surprise. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Trump’s about-face on the summit was the tone of his letter informing Kim of his decision.

Now, I’m in possession of the first draft of a follow-up letter that Trump is planning to send to Kim Jong-Un. Don’t ask me how I acquired this 3-page, handwritten draft — after, all it’s a very leaky White House. The letter speaks for itself.

 

 

 

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The Times They Are A Changin’…

Scenes from the March For Our Lives in Los Angeles, to the tune of Bob Dylan’s classic protest song: as relevant today as it was when it was released on January 13, 1964.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown…IMG_6418And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone…IMG_6419
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6423Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again…IMG_6425
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin…IMG_6428
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6429Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall…IMG_6430
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
For the battle outside ragin’…IMG_6434
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6438Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand…IMG_6439
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command….

Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6443The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slowest one now
Will later be fast…IMG_6446
As the present now
Will later be past…IMG_6447
The order is
Rapidly fadin’…IMG_6451
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.IMG_6453

 

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Adultery: Trump Vs. Trump

Remember when Presidential candidate Donald Trump saw fit to haul out a panel of Bill Clinton’s sexual accusers to shame the ex-President’s wife less than two hours before he was to debate her?

Trump must have judged that his voters – Republicans, social conservatives and Christian evangelicals – would consider such tawdry extra-marital behavior disqualifying. (And let’s be clear: Hillary was the victim – not the adulterer!)

So, let’s see how Republicans, social conservatives and Christian evangelicals deal with someone who cheated on his wife (who had just delivered his son) with this woman…

And this woman…

Don’t hold your breath waiting for moral consistency.

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