It’s my MARKet, so I’m gonna share……We’re one month into 2013 and I still haven’t heard a word about flying cars. The Jetson’s showed us a future where we would have them, so……The guy who does the voice of Charlie Brown for the Peanuts animated specials was arrested in January for stalking. Now might be a good time for him to re-evaluate his thinking on psychiatry sessions that only cost five cents……So the President’s inauguration was filled with high controversy. Seems while she was performing, Beyoncéspit on the American flag. Wait, got that wrong, she didn’t spit on the flag, she instead threatened the President. Wait, she didn’t do that either? For all the intense, wall-to-wall coverage she got for days, she must have done something pretty terrible, right? Huh? It was all about her decision not to sing live on a freezing cold morning in D.C.? So she just mouthed the words to a recording she made a day before, and this is the scandal that held the country breathless for days on end? Given the attention paid to Beyoncé synching is not a scandal nor is it worth 24-hour news coverage. It’s not even news, as it happens all the time. Let’s all make this promise – We will no longer be shocked, surprised or outraged when a performer decides to lip synch as opposed to singing live. There, now we can all move on and maybe, just maybe, pay a bit more attention to issues that really matter, like sports……After having his titles stripped away and spending untold millions of dollars and denying he cheated, giving interview after interview, shunning and ridiculing anyone and everyone who disagreed with him, Lance Armstrong came clean and admitted that yup, he did cheat. It’s all OK though because according to him, everyone in cycling cheats and it’s the only way to compete. So while he might not have won his titles fairly, he clearly was the best at cheating which allowed him to win seven titles. So he’s got that going for him. Of course, his “confession” to Oprah wasn’t all cut and dry and a complete mea culpa. Rather he hedged here, made excuses there and still denied this or that allegation. The end result though is the same: Nobody cares. This is a sport whose biggest events, are held in other countries. And it wasn’t just Lance. His entire team had to cheat or they were kicked off. Quick, other than Lance Armstrong, name a professional cyclist. Thought so. Who paid for all this? Well, we did via the about-to-go-bankrupt US Postal Service to the tune of millions of taxpayer dollars a year. So let’s review: A US government agency which gets funding from the taxes we pay and has been stating for years it was losing money and may have to cut back service, spent what little money they did have year after year sponsoring a team of cheaters who compete in a sport nobody in America cares about and which holds its events overseas. Clearly the inmates are running the asylum……But that wasn’t the only sports story that had lying as the main focus. We learned this month that a star player on the Notre Dame football team was dating a girl that didn’t exist. Some of this is still sketchy, but in short, Manti Te’o, a linebacker, had a year’s long “relationship” with a girl he never met in person and who suffered a car accident and then eventually died from leukemia. The reason this is “news” is because the girlfriend apparently died the same day as Te’o’s grandmother, making for a feel-good story of how he was able to overcome his emotions and play in a game. Adding to the confusion was Te’o and his family initially stating they had met the girlfriend. Lastly, the guy admitted to hoaxing Te’o has stated he fell in love with him, though Te’o has declared himself “not gay” a number of times. Questions still remain if Te’o was really involved in this, why he was targeted and what the alleged hoaxers hoped to get out of it beyond the humiliation and embarrassment they caused for Te’o. How to explain why a guy bright enough to play football for a leading program and attend classes at a prestigious university is involved for years with a pretend girl he never met and was completely emotionally invested in as opposed to a real girl who he went to classes with? It must be that all the girls that go to school at Notre Dame must be really, really, really, really ugly and/or Te’o is extremely picky. Either way, the boy has got to lower his standards to at least accept a real person……With Michele Obama’s bangs, sports and Beyonc'e stuff hogging the headlines recently, it would be understandable if you forgot that America has actual, real problems to deal with. Silly little things like holding off the economic collapse of the country, a dysfunctional congress, ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy, illegal immigration run amok and civil wars in a handful of countries overseas. Oh yeah, and guns. Guns. Perhaps the most important issue our leaders have to deal with because it is an immediate life or death issue. For many, the outcome of the debate, whatever it may be, will be too late because they are already dead and gone. But for those of us still around, the outcome is vital. So what exactly is being debated? After all, I think and hope we can all agree that innocent people getting shot is a bad thing. And I think we can agree that there are too many innocent people getting shot. So what to do about it is the debate. Options abound, with the most popular option being banning assault rifles. Seems like a good idea. They can hold a lot of bullets and fire them very, very fast. Assault rifles though aren't the problem. Yeah, they get all the press when they are used in a mass killing, but in reality, there were only (in perspective) 88 deaths in mass killings last year (from all weapons) and 258 deaths last year from rifles. The entire country, all rifles, automatic or not. That includes shotguns, hunting rifles, etc....So assault rifles are just a small percentage of that. Not to mention, these were 258 deaths out of more than 30,000 this past year. So it seems to me, assault rifles aren't the problem. What is the problem are the guns out there illegally. Last year in Chicago, one city, there were more than 500 shootings. More shootings in one city than in the entire country with rifles. Let that sink in. So what to do? How about we try keeping the criminals who carry illegal weapons off the streets. We eliminate bail, so the revolving door of justice is closed. We don't plea bargain and we prosecute to the fullest penalty available. These are all things NOT being done right now and all it requires is enforcement of current laws and strengthening the penalties. No challenge to the Constitution and guns and bad guys are off the street. Not saying it will solve all problems, but let's start somewhere......Super Bowl is in a few days. As an AFC guy, I have to root for the Ravens, so let's predict it at 35-28 Ravens. Oh, I also predict there is an 89.7% chance Ray Lewis will snap and try to actually kill an opposing player. The good news is that after he commits the crime, his dance afterwards will shake off all the evidence.......Oh, and speaking of Super Bowl, if you haven't read it yet, check out my poetic ode to the game 'Twas The Night Before Super Bowl......OK, I've shared. Now it's your turn. Agree? Disagree? Tell me. Have at it. See you next month.
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