Tater Takes on Recent Current Events

A week ago today terrorists struck Paris is several different attacks. Almost immediately people jumped online to throw out their takes on the events, but first I will start with some of the good I saw.

  1. People in the US offered their homes: Soon after the borders were closed another hashtag popped up where people were offering a place to stay for people who were stranded in the US due to canceled flights. I guess no one told us we were supposed to subject them all to rigorous religious tests before offering sanctuary.
  2. People in Paris opened their doors: almost immediately a hashtag popped up on Twitter to give people in Paris information on safe havens. People opened their doors for people who needed a place to go.
  3. People in Paris went out: The people of Paris went out and broke curfew. This is good. Terrorists win when we stop going out because we are afraid.

And now, unfortunately, the bad:

  1. Why Not Beirut, etc: Almost immediately, people jumped online to criticize people for caring about Paris and not Beirut, Baghdad and I even saw old posts about the attack in Kenya on the spring.  Is it likely that some people only cared about Paris and not the rest because they are racists? Possibly.  The reason Paris resonated more with me is because I’ve been there and we have talked about going back soon. It has nothing to do with race. I don’t even know the racial makeup of the victims. I would also feel a more personal impact of an attack on Santiago, Seoul or Zambia. Also, Paris makes it seem more likely that it could happen here again.
  2. Criticizing Student Protest: There were also a lot of posts online about the campus protests. The general gist being that the students protests are ridiculous in the wake of the events of Paris. You don’t have to agree with the students or their protest, but the idea that what they are protesting no longer matters because something else happened is stupid. Tragedy does not mean we should stop caring about anything else.
  3. Ban the Refugees: Now, a week later, the main new is that the majority of American citizens now what us to ban all Syrian refugees from entering the country. Apparently, people think the way to combat terrorism is to stop providing help to families who are fleeing terrorism. No one takes the time to read about the vetting process for refugees. No one takes the time to realize that this would be the hardest way for terrorist to get to the US. It would be easier t get a student or work visa, but it’s easier to go with the knee jerk reaction to discriminate against the innocent because of the race or religion. Good job America.
  4. Religious Test: Some are saying we are OK with the refugees as long as they are Christians. So we are going from religious freedom to a religion vetting before you can enter the country. There should never be a “religion requirement” for entry to the United States.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
  5. Take Care of Ours First: The best way to get people to suddenly care about the homeless in the United States is to have a situation where we are asked to help others. I wonder how many of the “take care of our own” first people ever actually do anything to take care of our own. I agree that we need to do more to help the homeless in our country, but it doesn’t help them if we only care at the holidays and when they make a useful prop in a political debate.
  6. Donald Trump, Nazi:  Trump wants us to take a lesson from Nazi Germany and force Muslims in the US to register so we can track them. He has no answer when asked how this is different than Nazi Germany because it’s not. I implore you to think about this when you consider supporting him or his database. Do we really want this America?

The way to respond to thee events is to do more of the first three and less of the latter 6. Offer help to those in need. Don’t hate others because they don’t look like or worship like you. Don’t assume an entire religion can be judged on the actions of a few. Don’t let the terrorists make you scared to leave your house. Be vigilant, be aware, but don’t stop living.

Today’s Hot Tater Takes

1. BOGO Offers at Restaurants: A friend at work handed me a page of Sonic coupons because I am weirdly addicted to tater tots. All of the food coupons are buy one get one’s. I hate buy one get one coupons. What if I was a sad, lonely person who had no one to take to lunch? I either don’t use the coupons or I eat two meals. Is that fair? Do that really want to make me a fat, sad, lonely person? There should be a “loser” option to get one item for half price instead of the buy one get one. Then everyone wins, well, not really. Your food is cheap, but you are still eating alone.

2.Outrage is all the Rage: Red Starbucks cups, Bloomingdale’s ads, NFL uniforms, etc, etc. ad nauseam. Every day there is something new to be outraged about. We aren’t happy anymore unless we have something to spark our outrage.Unfortunately, we are putting all of our energy into this outrage over stupid stuff. Imagine if we used all that energy toward making an actual difference in the world.

3. Unthinking Sharers: Most of my Facebook feed these days are just people sharing memes and articles. Sometimes these are really funny or really good articles. Many times they are not funny and not good. Too many times it is articles with “facts” that have been shown as false on sites like Snopes. Sometimes the facts are correct, but the article is clearly taking things out of context to further an agenda. Today’s article like that was “Liberal Jennifer Lawrence is ashamed to be from Kentucky” when in the interview she clearly said “People like Kim Davis make me embarrassed to be from Kentucky” I’ve said similar things and I am not embarrassed to be fro Kentucky. I’m jut embarrassed to have things in common with certain people.

4. “Is that Still on?” and “Who is that” People: Post something online about a long running how like Survivor or Grey’s Anatomy and you almost always get someone who will post “Is that still on?” so that we all know that they don’t waste their time on such trivial pursuits. They are so far removed from low brow culture, they didn’t realize there were still such things as “television programs”. They pity us lesser folk with so little taste for the finer things in life. Some thing happens with articles like the above mentioned Jennifer Lawrence post. There were the “I don’t know who that is” posts in reference to Lawrence. They obviously want to make us all aware that a good God fearing conservative won’t waste their time on liberal, lefty Hollywood. I just read my Bible and watch the 700 Club. Only sinners know these commie movie stars.

5. Numbered lists: Don’t you hate people who blog with numbered lists? Seems lazy to me.

Recent Things That Have Annoyed Me

I keep thinking about posting on different topics and then not doing it. I decided it would be easier to just combine all of the things that have annoyed me into one post. Here they are:

  1. We are not the enemy: This is an old one, but I’m really glad that Joe Biden called Hillary Clinton out on her naming the Republicans as her enemy. I think this is one of the biggest problems with our country’s leaders today. Instead of working together, the two sides look at each other as the enemy and will let the country suffer in order to get the “win” over the other side. They aren’t winning, They are all losers.
  2. Defending liar: I’ve seen this on both the national and the local level recently. We’ve all seen the national one play out with Ben Carson and the possibility that he was less than honest in his autobiography. Does the fact that he might not have been offered a spot at West Point or that he maybe didn’t try to murder a friend make him unfit to be president? No, but what is troubling is that perhaps he is unapologetically less than honest and also that the same people who back him for being a good, honest, Christian man are the ones who think the media is on the wrong for calling him out about hi lies. Isn’t lying still a bad thing? On the local side from back home in the OC I saw the same thing. There is debate about selling alcohol in the county. Someone on the no side posted some things that were untrue. The others called him out on it and then a local pastor and leader of the no side posted that they were just as bad for calling him out for lying. So, are we as Christians now OK with lying as long as it furthers our political agenda?
  3. The Persecution Complex: American Christians constantly claim they are being persecuted. At the same time, they are allowed to worship where and how they like, pray, read the Bible, evangelize door to door, etc. without the fear of being arrested and/or put to death. Christians elsewhere don’t can’t say the same. How do American Christians think they are being persecuted? Someone wished them Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Starbucks is using plain red cups.  A mall took away Santa’s elves and reindeer(I wasn’t even aware elves and reindeer were Christian). Other people are allowed to practice a non-Christian religion. This is not persecution. Just stop.
  4. We don’t like different: We’ve gone from

    “Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  to

    ” Build a wall” “Deport all of the immigrants” Get Muslims out of our country”  “Who cares about the Syrian refugees? They are someone else’s problem” 

    What happened? How did we get here?

  5. Four Way Stops: I will finish with a more mundane, yet major personal irritation. No one knows how to use a four way stop anymore. I have almost been hit several time recently because someone decided it was their turn at the four way stop even though they barely stopped and thee other cars were already there. I don;t know if it is ignorance or arrogance. Do they not know the rules or do the just assume the rules don’t apply to them? Either way, maybe next time I will let them hit me. Maybe the car repair bills will make them more aware of the rules of the road.

If this becomes a regular thing I do I will need to come up with a catchy title. Any ideas?

Ravens Off Season To-Do List

I doubt they will do most of these, but here is my wish list for the Ravens this off season:

1. Fire the coordinators. The defense is getting progressively worst under Pees. He shouldn’t have his job now. His really should be a mid season firing. Secondary coach should go as well.

2. Flacco has to restructure his contract. He’s due to make way too much money next year. We need money to build a decent team. If he refuses to restructure, maybe it’s time to trade him and start over.

3. Beg Steve Smith to reconsider retirement and/or sign a good veteran receiver. I think Aiken, Campanaro and Brown have potential, but they aren’t ready to carry an offense and Flacco isn’t good enough to elevate their games. We need someone like Smith in there with them.

4. Fix the secondary. It’s obvious the players we have now are not good enough. A combination of the draft and free agency can hopefully hp,ale this better. Again, we need some of the Flacco money back to do this. We can’t assume they will somehow miraculously be better.

5. Figure out if this rash of injuries is due to a change in the way they practice or condition. Maybe there’s noting there, but it should be looked at .

6. Find a decent LT. Probably via draft. We can’t fix WR, secondary and LT in free agency. Maybe we can get a good young LT via our high draft pick.

7. The big thing is just for the leadership to stop thinking we will be OK with what we have. Loyalty is nice, but we aren’t paying Harbaugh and Newsome to be nice. The leadership has to be willing to fire coaches who aren’t getting results. We have no problem cutting and trading players. We have to be the same with coaches. 

TV Tonight, October 1, 2015

The Ravens play tonight, so really, the rest of the TV schedule only matters for DVR purposes. There are several premieres tonight.

ABC: Shondaland night with Grey’s, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder

CBS: Raven vs Steelers. A must win game for Baltimore

FOX: season premieres of Bones and Sleepy Hollow

NBC: Heroes Reborn, season premiere of Blacklist, The Player

CW: repeats

Cable: IFC has new shows premiering:  Benders, a sitcom about hockey and Gigi Does It, a sitcom with David Krumholtz playing a 76 year old widow who inherits millions.

I will obviously be watching football. I will be recording Grey’s, Bones and Blacklist.

TV Tonight, September 30, 2015

Tonight there are a couple of returning shows and a series premiere. 

ABC: comedy lineup of The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family and Blackish followed by Nashville

CBS: Survivor, season premiere of Criminal Minds, series premiere of Code Black

FOX: Rosewood and Empire

NBC: Mysteries of Laura, Law and Order SVU, season premiere of Chicago PD

CW: night 2 of the iHeartradio Music Festival

Cable: ABC has new episodes of Young and Hungry and Kevin at Work

I will try Code Black even though it has received mediocre reviews because one day I’m hoping to find a medical show as good as ER. It probably will never happen, but I still have hope. Otherwise, it’s Survivor night for me. My favorite tv night of the week.

I watched Grandfathered and The Grinder last night. I really like both of them and will continue watching them. I think The Grinder has the most potential to be very good while Grandfathered could go either way. I’ve also seen Trevor Noah’s first Daily Show. I think he’s going to be good as the host. 

TV Tonight, September 29, 2015

A few more premieres tonight, so a little more to report. I will go back to the network by network list.

ABC: The Mulpets, Fresh Off the Boat, premiere of SHIELD, repeat of Quantico

CBC: NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Limitless

FOX: premiere of Grandfathered, premiere of Grinder, Scream Queens

NBC: The Voice for two hours, Best Time Ever

CW: iHeartradio Music Festival

The new shows:

Grandfathered: John Stamos plays a philandering restauranteur who learns he has a son and a granddaughter. Josh Peck from Drake and Josh plays the son. I like Stamos and Peck and think this could be really good.

Grinder: Rob Lowe plays an actor who has played a lawyer on TV. He goes back to his home town and decides playing a lawyer on TV means he should be able to join his famil’s law firm. Fred Savage plays his brother. This might be the best new comedy in a while.

This is where Tuesday starts to get tricky for me. I have to record the NCIS’s for my wife when she is away, but there we two other shows each hour I want to watch. I have high hopes for both of the new Fox comedies and both have been well reviewed. I also love Fresh Off The Boat. I still watch Shield and liked the premiere of Scream Queens. So, I will have to record NCIS and one of the 8:30 comedies while recording the other on another TV. At 9, I will record the other NCIS and Shield while watching Scream Queens on an alternate TV. This is the only night of the week with enough decent shows  to cause a problem.