The Las Vegas Shooting. A Tragedy That Frustrates Me On A Different Level


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Anger, sadness, and frustration are all understandable responses to the shootings that occurred in Las Vegas, NV last night. My heartfelt sympathies do go out to all of the family and friends effected by those lost or wounded as a result of this latest tragedy.

It did not take long for my facebook feed to fill up with messages of prayer and sorrow for the victims. The warmth and coming together that social media enables sometimes gets lost in the criticism of the form. And it is worth mentioning and encouraging.

However, not too many beats after the authentic sympathies were expressed, the usual gun control/ 2nd amendment disagreements ensued.

And while I understand it and I sympathize with it, I also get frustrated by it. I agree that we can and we should do more to prevent any shooting deaths let alone mass shootings. However in proportion to other threats. To things that all of us, today, can start doing something about, too many of us do not.

Image result for guns vs cancer

(From 2015)

On average 11.8 people die per minute from cancer. More people will die from cancer in the time it takes someone to wake up and drink their morning coffee than in Las Vegas last night. Currently about 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in America will get diagnosed with cancer. Further, one in four deaths in America come from heart disease.

While the NRA is a huge obstacle to gun control, reform/ legislation, they do not force anyone to smoke cigarettes, which according to the CDC is responsible for 480,000 deaths per year. And while smokers may choose to smoke, the 41,000 people the CDC estimates that die due to second-hand smoke, do not. I wonder how many parents who worry about gun safety for their children smoke in their homes?

Politicians who do not enact changes to gun laws do not force you to eat processed and fast food, drink to excess, not eat vegetables, and fruits, not get enough exercise, or sleep, and so on. Cancer and heart disease combined kill well over a million people a year. Dwarfing death caused from war, terrorism, and shootings combined. But I don’t see anywhere close to the same outrage. The same calls for change to positively impact exponentially significantly higher causes of death.

Sometimes I think about if there was evidence that cancer was actually a bio weapon of terrorists, we would care more and do more to find a cure. But I digress.

Is a preventative lifestyle a guarantee? While collectively deaths could come dramatically down.  Individually, no. There is no guarantee.  But the same things that give you a better chance to avoid cancer and heart disease, also assist with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and a host of other ailments. Aside from increasing your chances of avoiding the number 1 and number 2 killer, you can also feel better, look younger, be more productive, potentially save huge amounts of money in medical bills, and perhaps happier.

You want to change gun law? Make it harder for someone to get automatic weapons? I’m all for that. (And exploring the mental health component.) As we know this has been and will unfortunately continue to be an ongoing struggle rife with partisanship, politicization, and too much influence in the debate afforded to a powerful lobby. It doesn’t mean we do not engage it, but it is what it is.

However, for yourself, for your family, the people you love, and that love you, please take a more active role in your health and preventing these plagues from affecting you.

Cancer and heart diseases are far more likely to effect you than a shooting and they are something you can do something about right now.

What We Can Learn From Ellen Page Coming Out



Ellen Page’s coming out speech at the HRC’s Time to Thrive conference about her sexuality was moving, heartwarming and refreshingly authentic.  (See the video below) Among other things, she said:

“I’m tired of hiding and I’m tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered. My mental health suffered. My relationships suffered. I’m standing here today with all of you on the other side of that pain.”

These words are a reminder of the pain society is capable of inflicting on others.  And the pain we are capable of inflicting on ourselves.

This isn’t just about Ellen Page’s sexuality, or sexuality period.  Page provides a good reminder of society’s need to protect and perpetuate itself by conditioning its young to believe and behave in a certain way.

In opposition is the individual’s desire to express and be accepted for his or her uniqueness.  It’s an age-old battle born out of the need for survival, and of fear.  It will not be settled today.

When the conditioning doesn’t take or feel right to the individual, he or she is left to question:  do I, or how much of myself do I suppress for the sake of fitting in?  For the sake of survival?  Do I risk scorn?  My ability to provide for myself and my family?  Or  hurting the ones I love by expressing my individuality or that which I have felt the need to hide?

In her speech, Page alluded to years of succumbing to social pressures to behave and “represent” as being a person she was not.  She took responsibility for her fear and her lie, and admitted what the cost was.  She then courageously stepped forward.

Tomorrow, it may or may not cost her certain acting roles, and it may adversely affect a relationship or two.  But in the moment I’m guessing it felt quite liberating and a relief.

Hiding and lying by omission is not exclusive to sexuality.  Society puts pressure on us in many ways and in many forms.  Exerting pressure directly and indirectly on us to make certain choices and to look and behave a certain way.  It can be malevolent or benevolent, depending on the person or circumstance.  The intention is irrelevant from the point of view that when we succumb to this pressure, consciously or unconsciously, we give away a part of ourselves.  As was the case with Page, our spirits suffer, and our mental health suffers. That is the high price we pay if and when we disregard our emotional needs and our authentic self.

This isn’t a call for extreme selfishness, renouncing compromise or to break laws.  It is an invitation, to search ourselves and to be honest about who we are.  To see and measure if there is difference in who we are and what we put out in the world.  Where do we possibly sacrifice ourselves?  Not out of give and take compromise, but out of fear?  Out of selling ourselves out.  Not for survival but a superficial need.  What do we think we need to survive but in truth do not?  How in or out of sync is our internal and external self?  If we are out of sync, the questions are: by how much? At what expense?  Are we deluding ourselves with negotiations that state something to the effect of, “I’ll be myself when…”  However, does that “when” date always seems to get pushed down the road?

“Coming out”, is a phrase typically reserved for a woman or a man announcing that she or he has a same-sex sexual preference.  However, any of us that hide a true part of ourselves is capable of having a coming out moment.

It doesn’t always have to be a speech, and it doesn’t always have to be public.  It starts with you.  With being honest with yourself.  With weighing the cost of coming out, and doing what is right for you, when it is right for you, and with whom, versus living a life as someone or something less that what you want to be.

Depending on one’s circumstances, coming out can come with emotional, social and financial risk.  These consequences should not be taken lightly.  Nor should the consequences of not coming out.

The result of assuming one’s true self does always have to be negative.

Perhaps Ellen Page will experience an inner peace she has never known.   Existing relationships with some maybe become healthier and stronger.  And or new ones may form as well.  Those acting roles she might miss out on?  I am guessing there will be new roles and opportunities that will come her way that would not have otherwise.    Whether they will pay as much or do as well at the box office I do not know, but I’ll bet they are  more fulfilling, and without the spiritual suffering.  How much is all of this worth?


Why We Need A Salary Cap In POLITICS!

Dollars funnel.

The Failure of Proposition 522 in Washington State got me thinking.  And before jumping to calling me an UN-American, socialist, commy, whatever.  Let’s take a look at team sports.

Football, basketball, hockey and even baseball all have some form of salary cap, and or revenue sharing.  Technically baseball has a luxury tax for spending beyond a certain threshold.  Of course the owners have their own economic reasons for supporting this.  But the sports media and the fans have wildly supported this for purer motives.  And for the sake of this blog I will now refer to fans as voters.

The voters and the media support this, in part, because it helps to level the playing field.  The rich teams that either generate more revenue because of the market they are in, or who have wealthy owners willing to spend money earned outside of the sport, had a seemingly unfair advantage.  They could spend money on players other teams could and still to a degree cannot.

How can competition be meaningful if the scales are tipped in advance of the competition?  This is also why the worst teams in one season get the best draft picks for incoming talent in the following season.  Draft selection order and salary caps are an attempt to give leagues parity, and all teams as fair a chance as possible to put together their resources, and to make their case on the field, through their play, that they are the best.

salaryjesushatesFor years, the highest spending team in sports, the team most vilified for it, and its championships diminished by others, was the New York Yankees.   The Yankees would spend close to more on one player than an entire team’s payroll.  Opposing voters didn’t applaud their championships, they said they bought them.

On to politics and the failure of Washington State’s ballet initiative 522 which would require companies to label their food if it has been genetically modified.

Do we want elections and ballot initiatives to be bought?  For example, opponents of proposition 522 spent a record (for Washington State) of approximately 22 million dollars to defeat it.  Outspending those in favor by about 12 million.  In California, a similar measure, proposition 37, was defeated when those against raised 48.6 million versus 8.7 million for those in favor.

In the grand scheme of things, sports are unimportant.  Trivial.  A welcome distraction to the toils of everyday life.  Not life and death!  The Yankees or other large market teams, having an “unfair” advantage over others will not effect whether you get cancer, whether we go to war or have healthcare.  Politics and ballot initiatives do.  Don’t we want these elections and votes to be as fair as possible?  Shouldn’t there be some maximum bar of how much money can be raised and spent to persuade the voters that their side is good and the other is evil?

In the justice system there is an axiom.  “You get the justice you can afford”.  The implication being that the rich have access to better lawyers and resources that can disproportionately influence a jury.  Thus they can “buy” their outcome.

It is not hard to see where money can enable a disproportionate advantage in the courtroom and on the sports playing field.  Nor it is difficult to see in politics.  It is just not nearly as widely reported on or condemned.

salaryO&MIn the 2008 presidential election Barack Obama outspent John McCain nearly 3 to 1.  I have a feeling if it was the other way around we may have heard more about that, but that is a blog for another day.

I sincerely state that maybe props 522, and 37 would have been voted no if closer to even money was spent.  Then Senator Obama still could’ve just as easily defeated Senator McCain.  But shouldn’t voters be treated to roughly the same amounts of exposure to both sides/points of view?  Should elections be or have the appearance of being buy-able?

Would we want to let a prosecutor call 2 witnesses and let the defense call 10?  Would we say to the defense you only raised enough money to speak for 2 minutes during your opening and closing statements but the prosecutor can speak for 20?  Would these factors, if they existed, disproportionately influence a jury?  I think so.  Is this what we have and want in politics?  What does that say about our democracy if so?

Even in sports the money gap never allowed the Yankees to bat for 7 innings and the other side for 2.  However, in essence, with the massive amount of differences sides can raise and spend on campaigns, the airtime, advertising and media equates to letting one side have grossly more access to the hearts and minds of voters.  And given that all sides of any issue past and present have proven they are capable of playing fast and loose with the truth… isn’t this dangerous?

Why not cap fund-raising to a reasonable amount?  People smarter than I can come up with a formula based on the region, economics, etc… It would be up to the sides and parties involved to raise it.  So for example, say the cap on 522 was 15 million and those in favor of a no vote raised the 15 million.  And say those in favor raise 12 million.  The no people would still be able to spend their 15 million but at least the gap is closer and more reasonable.

Such a system would create the possibility of equal fundraising and minimize the potential for disproportional spending and advertising which, would most importantly, give the voter the best chance at reaching a conclusion in his her best interest or inline with their thinking and true wishes.  And isn’t that kind of the point of elections?

Why I Have No Problem With Chris Kluwe Being Cut


Some in the media have reported that if not for being outspoken in his social positions, such as same-sex marriage, punter Chris Kluwe may not have been cut by the Minnesota Vikings.  Or at the very least it was a factor in their decision.

However, shouldn’t there be proof beyond a reasonable doubt before convicting Minnesota of a politically incorrect crime?

The evidence doesn’t support the argument that Kluwe was cut for non-football related reasons. Kevin Seifert of documents this very well, here. Assuming the action was taken for football reasons than speaking out on issues should not be a get out of being cut free card.

For the sake of argument though, let’s assume that Kluwe’s advocacy was part or all of the reason he was cut.  While not encouraging cutting Kluwe, I would still defend the Viking’s right to do so.

I think Fox Sports Jen Floyd Angel is off target when she says, “We say we want athletes to take stands and have opinions, but this is a lie.”

What “we” say is, we like it when athletes, when speaking about their sport, don’t just spit out clichés like, we have to take it one game at a time.  We are not sitting around the dinner table wondering what New York Giant Guard, Chris Snee thinks about when are we going to get out of Afghanistan.

Sports and entertainment provide a much-needed distraction from everyday life.  Work issues, family, politics, money, and survival; the attack of stress from different directions sometimes seems endless. And in this media age of TV, internet, tablets, smartphones and apps, it gets  harder and harder to escape from the reminders of all that weighs on us.  For many, sport is the last sanctuary.

When athletes, like Chris Kluwe step outside of their box, like George Constanza said on an episode of Seinfeld, “it’s worlds colliding”.  Except in this case it is the world of polarization colliding with the world of pleasure and escape.  It is understandable why many fans would prefer to keep this space separate.  It is understandable why a business like a sports franchise, would want to remain neutral.  Their business is entertainment not advocating or arbitration of social issues.

Lest you think my opinion is biased by the issues Kluwe was speaking out about, for the record, I recently wrote a blog advocating for same-sex nuptials, here.

If an athlete or an entertainer wants to leave their career behind to pursue advocacy or politics, I have great respect for that.  But I prefer when they don’t do both at the same time.


Former controversial Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and actor Sean Penn

Some things are better left separate.  For example, I don’t care what “Poppy’s”, the owner of a fine Italian restaurant, thinks about abortion (another Seinfeld reference).  I don’t care about Sean Penn’s view on the late Hugo Chavez.  And I don’t care about Chris Kluwe’s view on gun control.

When I enter the world of sports and entertainment I want to leave everything else behind.  I want to immerse myself.  Advocacy, whether I agree or disagree, takes me out of my immersion. It is an unwanted reminder and distraction of issues I spend plenty of time on otherwise.

Tim Tebow during a post game press conference.

Tim Tebow during a post game press conference.

Distractions are neutral in that the “good” ones, as well as the “bad”, can be detrimental to a team.  So whether it is advocacy, trouble with the law, or an insanely polarizing back-up quarterback who doesn’t have the accuracy to play the position, you better be clearly better than your competition at the position.  Because all things being close to equal, yes a team might choose a non-distraction over a distraction.

This is true not only for the business purpose of staying neutral to a fan base, but for the potential fracturing of a locker room that it can have.  What if Kluwe has several religious teammates who strongly disagree with him on same-sex marriage?  What if they decide to exercise their right to speak out?

A locker room fracturing can affect: team morale, wins and losses, jobs, playoffs, other people’s careers.  It’s not what owners spend hundreds of millions of dollars to own a team for, and it is not why most fans devote hundreds or thousands of hours to follow them.

When the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, spoke out, he did it on his dime.  He was an individual not playing a team sport.  The costs and rewards were his to bear alone.

Given that potential disruption in a group dynamic, is it a surprise that a team would want to steer clear of it?

Given Kluwe’s statistics cited in the ESPN article I mention above, I think he was cut for football reasons.  But if his outspokenness or social stances were any kind of factor, while I can respect his beliefs and principles, I can’t condemn the Vikings for it.

As for finding new work, let me ask you this; if you owned a business and had to pick between two potential employees, one who would draw extra attention to himself for non business reasons, make statements that would potentially alienate a significant percentage of your customers, and potentially divide the rest of your labor force.  The other would show up and do his job.  Who would you hire?

More often than not, that first guy would have to be clearly better than the second to have a chance.  It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s the way it is.

To Intervene or Not To Intervene… A No Win Situation For the U.S.?


There are many issues that polarize us in the United States.  The list includes: Gun control, abortion, same-sex marriage, health care and taxes.  When to use and when to not use military force is another.

The reports that Syria may have used chemical weapons on its own people have some anticipating this debate once again.

No matter the atrocities being committed in certain areas of the world, there are Americans who believe, that in most circumstances, America should not intervene.   One reason is the collateral damage of innocent civilians being killed.  Though not the policy of the U.S., it does occur, and should never be taken lightly.

The argument is then put forth that by our actions to stop evil in conflicts that do not directly involve us, or to defeat terrorism, we are creating more terrorists for the future.

However, on Meet The Press, yesterday, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) raised an interesting counterpoint:

**“… the Syrian people are angry and bitter at the United States. I was in a refugee camp in Jordan, and there are thousands of people and kids, and this woman who’s a schoolteacher said, Senator McCain, you see these children here, they’re going to take revenge on those people who refuse to help them. They’re angry and bitter. And that legacy could last for a long time, too, unless we assist them.”

Before you reach a conclusion about that, please allow me to ask you two things:

First, let’s look at two other polarizing issues in this country: health care and taxes.  There are 35 to 50 million people in America who have do not have health insurance.  Then there are those 1%ers.  The highest income earners, who many feel should be paying higher taxes to help pay for the affordable care act, (Obama Care), and other needs.  Forget whether you agree or disagree with the tax component for a moment.  That is irrelevant to this discussion.

classwarOne look at an Occupy Wall Street rally informs us that there are many in this country that do feel there is inequity between the rich and the poor.  They resent the 1% for doing nothing, or not doing enough, when so many are suffering.  Imagine how the Occupiers would feel about those 1% if instead of lacking health coverage, their family member died in a bomb explosion or chemical attack that they believe we could have stopped?  Is it possible this person would grow up a terrorist?

Second example.   Imagine a gang with guns is harassing you and your family.  While this is going on, out of the corner of your eye, you notice person after person walking by.  Every person that walks by has a gun in his or her hand.  They could attempt to stop the gang harassing you and your family but they don’t.  Two members of your family die.  How do you feel about those people who walked by and did nothing?

Now imagine this occurred in a war-torn foreign land and the surviving victim  is angry and bitter about his loss.  Then a terrorist group comes knocking on his door explaining how “the Great Satin” could have stopped it but they were working with the enemy.  Could this possibly enrage and manipulate this person enough to join their cause?

This isn’t about right and wrong.  It is about perception.  Many will correctly blame the gang committing the actual crime.  But some if not many may either blame or worse will be manipulated into seeking revenge against those who did nothing when they could have done something.

So the dilemma is that the possibility remains that we can create future terrorists by our actions and or by our inaction.

If action or inaction can potentially create a future enemy, with all things being equal, do you think we should defend an innocent family against that gang, terrorists or possible genocide?

This isn’t a call to arms for military action in Syria.  In fact, Senator McCain, in the same paragraph as the one I quoted above also said:

But the worst thing the American– the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria. That would– that would turn the people against us.

It must be stated that, even if negated, the potential of creating future terrorists or enemies is but one concern over the use of force.  The loss of our own blood and treasure is very real and paramount to such a discussion.

Idealistically, I never believe we should stand by and watch innocents get slaughtered because it happens outside of our borders.  However, practically we are one nation in a sea of many.  Economically we are struggling.  Our own house is not in order.

In the hypothetical example of those people walking past that family that were being terrorized by the gang– They all had guns, but some of them may have been out of bullets.  Doesn’t mean they couldn’t do anything, but it explains why they didn’t want to intervene alone.

flagsMilitarily, when the situation calls for it, there are other countries that can, should and must share certain burdens of responsibility with us.  Our aid, and intervention should always be contingent on:

  • Burden of proof being met.
  • conditions at home.
  • The coalition(s) we are able to form
  • when time permits, exhausting other non military options first.

These are obligations the government owes we the people, before we ask our young men and women to risk their lives.

So there are no easy answers.  Each situation will present unique circumstances.  Depending on the time in history we may have a different ability to help.  Situations are also fluid and minds should be opened to being changed as circumstances change and new evidence presents itself.

When it comes to creating future terrorists, if we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t, than we should be free to do what is right independent of that consideration.


**For an entire transcript of the John McCain interview on Meet The Press, click here.

It’s Time For Bill O’Reilly To Come Out Of The Closet


No I am not suggesting that Bill O’Reilly is a homosexual.  Not that there would be anything wrong with that.  Rather, that he is a moderate to conservative Republican who for some reason likes to refer to himself as an Independent.  And while there is more effort on his part to be “balanced” than say Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow, he too falls short.

Here are two ways to look at this.  One, is O’Reilly’s position on issues.  And two, is the composition of his guests.  Two(A) would be which guests he agrees and disagrees with most.

First, on the issues of the day.  Which party does Mr. Bill side with or more closely align with on the following?


  • The deficit?
  • Taxes?
  • Job Creation?
  • Obamacare?
  • Abortion?
  • Use of military force?  (He has been fair to President Obama when he does as President Bush did before him.)
  • “War” on Christmas and Judeo-Christian values? oreillywaron
  • Immigration reform?
  • Gun control?
  • Same sex marriage?
  • The justice system & Supreme Court? (Jessica’s Law, trying terrorists on foreign soil versus U.S., etc.)

In some cases O’Reilly does walk a moderate line on social issues while still leaning Republican. In most others the distinction is clearly conservative/ Republican.  Unless I’m misunderstanding the meaning of what it means to be politically independent, given the above, and no clear prominent positions where he is on the left, it’s hard to imagine O’Reilly being a true Independent.  When it comes to who he will vote for in an election, it’s a fair bet that he votes Republican.

In 2016, if Hillary Clinton is running against Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or whoever the Republicans put out there, my money is on O’Reilly voting for the Republican.  And I’ll double down and suggest he’ll know that very early on in the process, (like as soon as the respective candidates win their primaries).

I challenge O’Reilly to do one of his unscientific FOX News polls and see who his viewers, (and guests), think he would vote for in a hypothetical 2016 Presidential match-up:  Clinton, lets say Rubio, or Undecided.  I’m thinking Rubio wins that poll over Clinton and Undecided in a landslide.

Alan Colmes, MonicaCrowley and Bill O'Reilly

Alan Colmes, Monica
Crowley and Bill O’Reilly

Let’s look at his guests.  O’Reilly will have on two guests at a time with each representing a different point of view.  Currently, he has a weekly segment called “Barack and a Hard Place”, with Monica Crowley and Alan Colmes.  It’s not even close who he agrees with more.  It’s the conservative,  Crowley.  Colmes, the liberal, is also more likely to be ridiculed, disrespected, demeaned and yelled at.

You can go through the years and find that O’Reilly will side with the Republican in any two-guest pairing a majority of the time.

This isn’t wrong in and of itself.  In fact, his positions on the issues aren’t being debated here. Rather that it is disingenuous for him to refer to himself as an Independent given the clarity, confidence and boldness with which he holds and asserts his opinions.

O’Reilly used to have a segment: “Weekdays with Bernie (Goldberg) and Jane (Hall)”. They’d discuss the media’s treatment and response to political issues.  Same deal as with Colmes.  Goldberg, who O’Reilly was more likely to agree with, (taking the conservative position), gets treated with more respect and isn’t interrupted or challenged with the same voracity nearly as consistently as was Jane.  Somewhere along the line they got rid of Jane and now Goldberg comes on alone.  Where’s the balance?

You can go back to pairings of Kirsten Powers and Michelle Malkin to Juan Williams and Mary Katharine Ham, O’Reilly is consistent with who he sides with.  The Republican.  And just because he doesn’t think Obama is a socialist, doesn’t make O’Reilly an Independent.

O’Reilly also has individual guests that he interviews and debates.  The dominant personalities in the run up to the 2012 presidential election were: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Laura Ingraham, Charles Krauthammer, Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, and Brit Hume.

Not exactly a who’s who of Democrats.  Oftentimes O’Reilly’s Democratic guests rotated and or were not as notable as their Republican leaning counterparts.


O’Reilly will play devil’s advocate with his conservative guests, but you do not see him get in their faces and shout like he has with Colmes, Barney Frank, and Geraldo Rivera.  (When Rivera was defending a liberal position on immigration.)

If he does get loud or disagree with a conservative guest, like he did with Laura Ingraham on his April 2nd broadcast, it is usually over style and not substance.  They usually agree on the heart of an issue but perhaps not in the way it’s being advocated for.

O’Reilly was defensive because he felt Ingraham was “tacitly” criticizing him for his use of the phrase “thump the bible”.  They weren’t arguing over same-sex marriage, but the way in which those against it present their case.

To further illustrate this, on April 3rd, in response to a viewer emailer, who sided with Ingraham, and was framing same-sex marriage as a sin, O’Reilly stated to the emailer, “if you want to keep your country from going down the drain, be smart”.   This is a reference by O’Reilly that the religious argument will not convert anyone on the same-marriage issue.  What you can infer from that is  O’Reilly may believe that the legalization of same-sex marriage will cause America to go down the drain.

If you say O’Reilly never has controversial conservative guests to argue with over substance, I believe Ann Coulter has been on his show a few times.  And did I mention Glenn Beck?  Have they never said anything worth, “an independent”, like O’Reilly, raising his voice over or being in vehement disagreement with?

Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller

Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller

For a conservative, part comedic and part serious political discussion, O’Reilly will have on: Dennis Miller, Adam Carolla, Greg Gutfeld and Bernard McGuirk.  There is no weekly Democratic counterpart to this group.  Could you see O’Reilly and Bill Maher mocking Republicans and having a jolly old, never confrontational, time with it– like he does with Miller at the expense of Democrats?

O’Reilly has a field producer, Jesse Waters.  Waters generally scours the streets looking for uniformed liberals to make look bad.  I guess all or most conservatives are informed and reasonable?  Perhaps not week-to-week, but over time, shouldn’t a show hosted by an independent offer balance to these segments?

And when talking to or about liberals, O’Reilly oftentimes refers to them as “left wing loons”, or “far left fanatics”.  There are no counter pet names for the right.  He will point out that there are ideologues and bomb throwers on both sides, but the frequency and specificity of name calling and identifying as radical or loon, usually comes at the expense of the left.  If O’Reilly were an Independent would this be the case?

When talking about liberal bias in the media, O’Reilly discusses two kinds.  Intentional and subconscious.  With the subconscious being a result of a journalist’s political leanings that just seeps into their work.  I’m willing to give O’Reilly some benefit of the doubt that some of his bias is unintentional and a result of his passionate and authentic beliefs.  But he and his staff are too intelligent and too good at what they do to not be aware of any of this.

Interestingly, since the presidential election, FOX dismissed Dick Morris, and reduced Karl Rove’s role.  Democratic strategist, Bob Beckel, now has a regular segment and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is making more appearances.  This does help the show’s balance but doesn’t alter my premise.  O’Reilly is an “Iino” (Pronounced: I Know, meaning, Independent in name only).

I do watch O’Reilly more than shows hosted by Hannity or Maddow because despite his slant there is more attempt at balance.  However, I would never recommend getting your news from just one source.

What O’Reilly is not, is a blind ideologue.  He will own mistakes (sometimes) and call his own on the carpet.  (See the recent Michelle Backman flare up.) He’s passionate and confident in his beliefs, but most of the time he provides a forum for those who disagree to get their point across.  Granted they must have gravitas to stand up to him when he’s in interrupt mode.


If O’Reilly was as biased or to the right as a Hannity or Rush Limbaugh you would have never seen a then Senator Barrack Obama on his program when he was running for President.   And Obama must have been okay with it because he was interviewed by O’Reilly again at half time of the Superbowl when he was President.  Further, you would not see former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney avoid O’Reilly’s show.


Other prominent Democrats, such as Hillary Clinton, that would never be interviewed by Hannity, do go on O’Reilly.  And there are Republicans other than Cheney that avoid O’Reilly because they know even though he is more likely to side with them on the issues, he will still ask tough questions.

However, just because O’Reilly is not a blind ideologue, who interviews some prominent Democrats, while scaring off some Republicans; that too does not make him an Independent.

A question I’d like to ask O’Reilly is: who are the last six presidential candidates you’ve voted for?  Any Dems or Independents in that group?  How about Senators and Congressmen?

I would ask him not to dodge.  I would say: no spin Bill!  Come out of the closet.  Admit it!  You are a Republican.

ESPN’s Colin Cowherd’s Rant That Could Actually Kill You


Irresponsible journalism as it pertains to the sports world is one thing.  It can be annoying but it is basically harmless.  Irresponsible journalism when it comes to health can cause harm, and even death.

I have fun arguing against Colin Cowherd at times in my blog.  Sometimes he can be insightful, and others he is being a shock jock just trying to get attention.  Propping up Lebron James and putting down Michael Jordan may be committing sports sacrilege to many, but again, ultimately harmless.

On his ESPN radio show this morning Cowherd wanted to rant about things that get a bad reputation.  His main point was about college basketball’s, Syracuse Orangemen’s, zone defense.  On his points here I agree.

However, he set the Syracuse piece up by using salt as his first example.  He lauded all of the wonderful uses of salt.  How it enhances the flavor of food, melts the snow, and so on.  And in truth, salt is a necessary electrolyte that you could die without.  According to the US Center for Disease Control you do need about 180 mg to 500 mg per day.

But sodium and its excessive intake by many Americans is a contributing cause to heart disease and other maladies.  In his opening salvo, the Herd didn’t mention this.  He made it sound like salt was heavenly divine–all good.  Later into his Syracuse rant he did squeeze in the following, “Eat a canister of salt and your heart will explode”.  Too little too late Colin.  A canister?  A canister sounds like a lot.  Maybe enough to explode the hearts of three families of five.  Certainly a canister is a lot more than a teaspoonful.


According to the Mayo Clinic a teaspoon of salt contains 2,325 milligrams of sodium.  Do you know what the maximum recommended allowance of sodium is for an adult over the age of 50?  1,500 mg.  If you’re an adult under 50 it is 2,300 mg.  So with just one teaspoonful of salt a day you exceed that.  Also, according to Mayo, the average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium a day.

What’s the big deal you might say?  According to ABC, a Harvard research team just released a study stating that 1 in 10 deaths in the U.S. is a result of high sodium intake.  Last I checked Herd, the Syracuse zone never killed anyone.

This was an irresponsible presentation by Cowherd.  One that I hope his listeners don’t suffer for.  One that I hope is brought to his attention so he can rectify it by providing his audience balanced information.