Category: World Events

A World On The Brink

The year 2020 has introduced to the world the notion that selfishness will not be sustainable in our futures. And for many in a world where most of its citizens spend many of their waking hours in pursuit of worldly riches, it has come as an eye-opening shock.

Now it is certainly possible that our species will continue its unwavering selfishness into the abyss. We have proven time and again throughout our history on this planet that the interest of the few outweighs those of the many.

What the COVID-19 virus has proven to all of us is if we are to survive as a species, we must have a serious attitude adjustment. Aside from the virus, we are on the verge of eliminating most of the plant and animal species that allow us to flourish. These are sources we cannot live without as they provide us food, medicines, the very air breathe. The planet’s largest producer of oxygen, the Amazon Rainforest, is in real danger. The fires that have been burning for over a year may be worse in 2020. It’s too early for a verdict, but as of now, threats to the Brazilian Amazon are growing virtually unchecked while the COVID-19 pandemic deepens. As the virus spreads, land grabbing is rampant and there is no sign of deforestation slowing. On the contrary: numbers skyrocketed during the first quarter of 2020.

It has also brought home a particularly important lesson. Put aside politics and listen to the scientists. When you ponder this, it will make sense. What do politicians know about? Go ahead, take your time. Are you still struggling for an answer? I figured as much. Let us compare them to scientists who attended the best of our universities, spent decades researching their specialties, and did so not in the pursuit of fame and fortune, but of knowledge which the world can benefit from. Seriously, how can this even be an issue?

Unless every person begins to do their part to salvage this planet, our world is on the brink of extinction. Even today as I write this article 39 out of every 1,000 children will die before they reach the age of five. And this from preventable illnesses like diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria. One-third of the urban population on earth is living in a slum where disease if far more likely to spread.

But this virus is just a warning to us all. Aside from the very real possibility of more deadly viruses in our future, global warming is by far the biggest threat to everything living thing on this planet. What we now know is that climate predictions from as far back as 50 years have proven accurate. All the past modeling of climate change has been accurate to date. And the climate predictions for our near future indicate a world where few species may survive.

In the World Meteorological Organization Statement of 2019, the United Nations Secretary-General stated: “Statement by the United Nations Secretary-General Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. Time is fast running out for us to avert the worst impacts of climate disruption and protect our societies from the inevitable impacts to come. Science tells us that, even if we are successful in limiting warming to 1.5 °C, we will face significantly increased risks to natural and human systems. Yet, the data in this report show that 2019 was already 1.1 °C warmer than the pre-industrial era. The consequences are already apparent. More severe and frequent floods, droughts and tropical storms, dangerous heatwaves and rising sea levels are already severely threatening lives and livelihoods across the planet. We are currently way off track to meeting either the 1.5 °C or 2 °C targets that the Paris Agreement calls for. We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. And for that, we need political will and urgent action to set a different path. This report outlines the latest science and illustrates the urgency for far-reaching climate action. It brings together data from across the fields of climate science and lists the potential future impacts of climate change – from health and economic consequences to decreased food security and increased displacement. I call on everyone – from government, civil society, and business leaders to individual citizens – to heed these facts and take urgent action to halt the worst effects of climate change. We need more ambition on mitigation, adaptation, and finance in time for the climate conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November. That is the only way to ensure a safer, more prosperous, and sustainable future for all people on a healthy planet.” Click here to read the whole report.

This does not consider the mass migrations that will occur due to the natural disasters that will ravage rural areas and the rising ocean levels where 70% of the population of the earth live. The metropolitan areas will be consumed by this migration. World hunger will soar, regional wars will be on a global scale, and a sense of doom will descend on humanity.

To put all this in perspective, a betting man would not put favorable odds of survival for a baby born in 2020 to make it through the 2050s. Unless of course drastic action is taken immediately on a global scale. None of this takes into account this will have on all the systems we rely on today. Banking, healthcare, jobs, and the economy will be drastically affected if not completely obliterated.

I have written this article with the intent to not only educate but to scare the crap out of you. This isn’t some “thing” a politician can lie his way out of. The last 50 years of scientific data have proven that climate change models work. So my question is simply this. What are you going to do about it?

American Sports Have Sold Their Souls

Now that professional sports in America are now trying to get their seasons underway while dealing with COVID-19, it got me to thinking about how my view of sports has changed as of late. I am still a sports fan and missed sports during their necessary shutdown. The shutdown also gave me time to reflect on sports as a whole.

When 2020 began it was the start of the seventh decade in my life that I have been watching sports. Having been born, raised, and lived in Chicago most of my life I was fortunate to have access to multiple TV broadcasts and live events of multiple sports during my life. I was six years-old when the White Sox went to the World Series in 1959. All the games started around 2:30 PM. I remember running home after school to catch the games. At that time, an MLB game averaged just 2 hours. Pitching duels were even shorter. Commercials were few and far between. Many games saw the starting pitchers on the mound for nine innings. Batters did not step out of the box after every pitch to play with their gloves (there wasn’t any). Pitchers did not feel the need to take a nap between pitches. I look back to those days with fond memories when the greatest game ever invented (the only game where a defense controls the ball) dominated the sporting world in America.

It just so happened that also in 1959 all the Chicago Bears and NY Giants games were broadcast for the first time. The Bears were pretty bad through the 1950s, but when I was ten in 1963, they won the NFL Championship, thus cementing by loyalty to the team through the years. By this time, I was already an AFL fan. The AFL was far more fun to watch. They were already signing big-time college players and the offenses were innovative. Back then the commercials were far fewer and broadcasts shorter. Now we have 3-hour games with 11 minutes of action and 100+ commercials in them. As great as the athletes are these days I have yet to see one on the field greater than either Jim Brown and Gale Sayers were.

Broadcasts of NBA games trickled through the 1960’s. It was not until 1965 that a Sunday game would be broadcast and those would often include either the Boston Celtics or Lakers. Even with this limited lineup I saw two of the all-time great teams play.

Like the NBA hockey broadcasts were sporadic during the 1960’s. But my Blackhawks with Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Makita and Glenn Hall won the Stanley Cup in 1961. Following that event, I went to an autograph signing with my Cub Scout troop to a bank where the entire team was signing autographs. A true childhood highlight.

Today, all these sporting leagues have sold their souls to corporate America. The leagues and too often the players have forgotten their roots. Their entertainment value has more to do with production than product. How many sponsors they shove into a single broadcast as opposed to putting the best product on the field/court. Professional sports are just a money grab these days.

Forgotten is the what made all these sports great. All the things that collected fans of different centuries. The first is the unfettered love of the game by the ones playing it. There were not any big paydays in the early days of any sports. They were played by people that loved the game so much they would often play as amateurs long before professional leagues were established. I seriously doubt that today’s professional athletes love their sport as much as they did when they were playing in Little League and other childhood leagues. Their love of the game has been filtered by the business side of their chosen profession. College scholarships, agents, contractual obligations, interviews, travel, time away from family.  I still do believe their competitive nature kicks in when the step on the field/court.

Franchises that are worth insane amounts of money have made sport’s teams more valuable than many other types of businesses. And they have accomplished this while they sell you on team loyalty, even though they might put a lousy product on the field/court year after year.

One positive aspect of all this is that sports and their spin-off industries employ many people. And I still love sports. But I find it hard to watch a three-hour baseball or football game without recording it and fast forwarding through all the commercials. To be honest, I do this with almost every sporting event I watch these days.

In closing, I believe that sports, like nearly everything money touches, has lost its soul. We have been bombarded by constant access to the sales machine. Instead of fans, many have become addicts. This summer (if COVID-19 allows) I am going to go to Little League games and try to remember what it was like when I was really, truly, in love with sports.

The Day Democracy Died


The day after Trump won the election, I posted on Facebook that he would be the last president of the United States. In that post I mentioned that one of two events would happen. One, that he would refuse to leave office if he were to lose the next election, or, he would start a serious war and use the War Powers act to cancel the election altogether.

No one can doubt that since he has been in office our national security has been in jeopardy. He has systematically obliterated the State Department, the NSA, and the FBI. These agencies are far more important to our national security than our military simply because the do all the hard work so are military doesn’t need to.

The scariest thing that has recently been uncovered to make my point is how one political party has sold their souls for thirty pieces of silver to protect a man bent on destroying our nation. During the impeachment inquiry we saw every single Republican representative in the hearings constantly referred to the 2016 election interference by Ukraine and the Biden’s. Then a day after the public hearings ended we found out that the Senate members were told in a closed door session with the NSA two weeks before the hearings began that Russia has been running a disinformation campaign to target Ukraine and the United States in order to cover their tracks over the 2016 election interference they perpetrated starting as early as 2014. Yes, before they knew who the candidates would even be. Just to sew discord and division in our country.

What does this mean? It means that the Republicans had knowledge of this prior to the hearings and STILL used the Russian talking points throughout the hearings.

To make matters worse, a group of Republican senators just met with the White House to plan the possible impeachment trial. Now for those of you who don’t know why this is absolutely horrific let me explain. The Senate is the jury in an impeachment process. Which means that jurors sat down with the accused (Trump) to plan a strategy to insure innocence for the accused. Or to put it another way, assume it was a murder trial and the jurors met with the accused murderer to insure his innocence. On top of this Trump’s White House is obstructing Congress by telling his cabinet members to ignore legal subpoenas, which has never happened in the history of this country.

What all Americans must understand is that every significant move Trump has made has benefited Putin. From attempting to create a back channel to the Russians before he even took office, abandoning the Iraq nuclear agreement, gutting the State Department, pulling troops out of Syria, spreading Russian disinformation campaigns, but the icing on the cake was when he stood in front of the entire world in Helsinki and took the side of Putin over his own intelligence services. It is no coincidence that six people (more to come) from his campaign are now indicted and serving time or awaiting sentencing.

All the above actions to any logical observer would indicate guilt. Anyone innocent of serious allegations like this would argue to defend himself in any way possible. Trump has done just the opposite and his co-conspirators (Pence, Pompeo, Perry, and more) have done likewise by refusing to testify. Again, anyone innocent would welcome the opportunity to do so.

And with all that said, I believe what I started this post with will come true. Trump will be the first dictator of the United States. Just like Hitler he attacked the press, stacked the courts, and really created his own party as the Republicans are no longer the party of Lincoln and Reagan. The Republicans have proven they no longer have a patriotic bone in their bodies. Every democracy has failed throughout the history of this planet. And nearly all of them failed from corruption within the ruling party. Ours will be no exception.

Where Have All The Great Men Gone


My question is a simple one – where have all the great men gone? Throughout recorded history there has been a litany of great men and women who have inspired generations of young adults to chase their dreams and very often succeed in doing so.

Anyone astute enough to examine this world we are living in beyond the sound bites spewed by every media outlet should recognize that the Millennials may very well have the hardest task in front of them than any previous generation in centuries. One major factor to this is the total lack of great leaders in the world now that can inspire a generation.

What makes this a unique time in history is that multiple situations have come to pass that can cause the extinction of homo sapiens on the planet. We now have a nuclear situation that has the potential for mass destruction on a scale that would create a nuclear winter that would cleanse the planet of nearly every living thing. Then of course there is the threat of deadly viruses that spread more rapidly worldwide due to extensive air travel. But the real threat is climate change. No matter what the politicians spew regarding this matter the science is incontrovertible.

My father’s generation fought in WWII in a world when the threat of domination was real and two great men, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill inspired an entire world to make a stand. Dwight Eisenhower warned the country of the military industrial complex that has completely crippled the economy of America through decades of war so the boys can play with their toys. Gandhi proved to all of us that one man with conviction and dedication can inspire millions.

Why have we no leaders today that can inspire this young generation to tackle the immense challenges they will soon face? I for one believe that money and greed has completely corrupted those in a position to make a difference. I do believe there are great men and women who can and do inspire but they are for the most part lost among media noise intended to deafen us.

Millennial’s may be our only hope in the fact that they are beginning to tune out the noise. They have the burden of the largest student debt combined with the lowest wages for college graduates in history. Needless to say, few of them think the American dream is alive and a vast number of Americans feel the same way. They have no allegiance to those in position of power. The fact is they have a growing disregard for them. The irony is those individuals wanting to remain in power are beholding to these young voters to keep them there.

Each generation finds a way to stamp time with their uniqueness. I came of age when there was a great surge against “the man”. I suspect we will see another one very soon.