Some Political Insight

Over the weekend, I met up with a friend of mine that owns the Hartford Tow Truck Company out of Hartford, Connecticut (www.towtruckshartford.com). We usually have some pretty good conversations about politics and, as the first Presidential debate of 2016 approaches, we had a lot to discuss. Most notably, we were both fascinated with the sheer number of scandals and controversies that Hillary Clinton has been involved in, or at least mentioned in. Our fascination was more about the fact that she is still a candidate for the President of the United States of America despite all of these controversies. Here is a list of a few of the scandals that have been quite popular in the media:

Private email server: Hillary used a personal email account and private server while Secretary of State. During the federal investigation into the matter, FBI Director Comey stated, “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Many of the emails found on the private server were found to be classified. The State Department is still going through emails and we may never know the true extent of the egregious violation because numerous emails were deleted from the server AFTER the violation became public.

Benghazi: On September 11, 2012, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked and 4 Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, one Information Officer, and two CIA agents, both of whom were former Navy SEALS. Many people blame Clinton for failing to effectively protect the U.S compound and take issue were her initial story about the cause of the attack.

High Income Speeches: Both Bill and Hillary have made millions off of their speaking engagements. The question is whether or not any of those engagements creates a conflict of interest for her if she does become President.

Clinton Foundation: As with the speeches, the Clinton Foundation raises concerns over conflicts of interest. Is any of the Foundation’s work related to the expensive speeches? To her role as Secretary of State? Did the money go to where it was supposed to go?

As if those scandals were not enough, if you want to go further back in time, we have: Whitewater, TravelgateFilegate, Troopergate, the Starr Report, and claims of Hillary’s unethical behavior as a staff attorney for the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate (to set the record straight, she was not fired from her position at that time).

How many scandals can one person be involved in?? And that list is not all-inclusive, there are more Hillary scandals and controversies floating around out there. I know Trump is far from perfect, but at least his resume isn’t chalk full of scandal after scandal. The thought of Trump as President may not be very heartwarming, but it isn’t scary either. Hillary downright scares me. Plain and simple.

Please Watch!!!

In an earlier post, I talked about the Rio Olympics and one particular part that really inspired me…..when American runner Abbey D’Agostino was seriously injured in a collision, but still managed to help up a fallen runner and finish the race. Here’s a video of the incident that took place between D’Agostino and New Zealander Nikki Hamblin during the 5,000m trials at the Olympics. Such a great story!!

The VCR: Good Riddance or Sad to See it go??

The end to the VCR (Video Cassette Recorders) era has arrived. In July, Japan company Funai Electric announced that it would no longer manufacture VHS (Video Home System) after July. With the production of betamax video tapes being stopped last year, VHS was the lone survivor of the VCR era, a title that has been short lived, and just like video killed the radio star, DVDs, On Demand and high definition have killed the VCR.

History of the VCR

The VCR debuted in 1975 with the introduction of Betamax. Two years later, VHS came on the market and by 1987, VHS controlled 90% of $5.25 billion VCR market, which it dominated for 20+ years. The DVD player, which was the next wave of technology to sweep over the home entertainment system industry, appeared in the early 1990s. However, it did not become mainstream until the early 2000s when, in 2001, DVD sales surpassed VHS sales.

Today, there is a whole generation of adolescents and teenagers that have never even seen a VHS cassette, let alone could they figure out how to get a VCR to work. For a closer analysis about the history of the VCR and it’s impending demise, please see a recent article posted in Forbes. Continue reading “The VCR: Good Riddance or Sad to See it go??”

2016 Rio Summer Olympics

It’s been over a week since the summer Olympic Games have ended, and I have to say, I still really miss them. I had so much fun watching athletes from all over the world competing for the opportunity to fulfill their dreams – winning a gold medal at the Olympics!! From the performances of first time Olympians like Simone Biles to seasoned vets such as Michael Phelps, the action was nonstop. All in all, the Americans were absolutely amazing while hauling in a staggering number of medals. Ryan Lochte and Hope Solo may have added some unnecessary drama (although I didn’t think Solo’s comment was too bad), it was still a great Olympics.

My Favorite Moment

If watching all of the different competitions wasn’t enough, hearing some of the athlete’s stories of tragedy and triumph was truly breathtaking and quite inspirational. The one story that I think I will remember most from these Games is about U.S runner Abbey D’Agostino. Abbey was competing in the 5,000-meter race when, at a little over halfway through the race, the runner in front of her, New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, tumbled on the track. Abbey tripped over Nikki and had clearly injured her leg during the fall. Abbey was able to get to her feet and her first instinct was to help Nikki off of the ground, rather than to try to get back into the race.

Now, as heartwarming as D’Agostino’s gesture was, here’s the truly inspiring part of it all: she finished the race. That may not seem all that difficult at first thought, but there’s more. After the race, Abbey learned that she had completely torn her right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), suffered a tear to her meniscus, and strained her medial collateral ligament (MCL). With all of those major injuries, Abbey managed to finish the race. This story moves me every time I think about it; she is truly inspirational!! That was my favorite moment in the Olympics, and it’s a story I will never forget.

After the Games had ended, Abbey and Nikki were given a very rare award for their sportsmanship – the Pierre de Coubertin medal. This medal has only been given out 17 times in Olympic history and has been called, “one of the noblest honors that can be bestowed upon an Olympic athlete.” Congratulations, Abbey, you are very deserving!!

I, for one, cannot say good riddance to the Olympics!!

Tom Brady and DeflateGate

Since Tom Brady in playing his final pre-season game before his 4 game suspension starts, I thought this would be a great topic.

As ESPN reported on July 13th, the Second Circuit decided to deny Tom Brady’s appeal of his four game suspension, essentially ending the saga known as DeflateGate. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a die-hard pats fan and that Tom Brady is my favorite athlete of all time. There is nothing about this scandal that will change my view of him. Without getting into any of the disputed information about this scandal, I just want to look at one thing: is it time to say, “Good Riddance” to this whole ordeal? I say it is.

Way too Much Time & Money has been Spent on This
DeflateGate started after (or during, depending on your perspective) the Patriots beat up on the Colts on January 18th, 2015. For a year and a half, both sides have spent countless hours and money on this ordeal. In the grand scheme of things, we’re talking about a sport. If that isn’t trivial enough, we’re really only talking about the PSI levels for the ball used in the sport, not even the sport itself, and whether or not Brady knew of any improprieties with the PSI.
If the sound of adults spending 1 ½ years of their lives on such an insignificant issue doesn’t make your blood boil, just wait until you hear the price tag on this scandal……wait for it….wait for it….are you ready…..$22.5 million!!! Let that sink in for a minute:
  •  1.5 years
  •  $22.5 million
 All of that to debate whether or not Tom Brady was aware that the balls were under-inflated. And the best part of it all?? Even with all that time and money spent, there is no conclusive evidence to show whether or not Brady was aware of the PSI levels of the footballs. When I think of that amount of money and how much it could have helped so many people (including myself), I’m quite disgusted.
Don’t Make Me Angry…You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry!!
Brady’s numbers speak for themselves, the angrier he gets, the better he plays. I think the way that  DeflateGate ended will ignite a fire in Brady that hasn’t been seen before. With 4 games of rest to start the season, he will undoubtedly be at 100% and full of piss & vinegar. I can’t wait to see it!!!
So…. all in all, I’m happy to say, goodbye to DeflateGate. Way too much time, money, and energy was wasted on this ordeal. Of course, I’d prefer that Brady’s name and legacy not get dragged through the mud like this without a clear indication of any wrong doing. BUT, this might very well lead to an unprecedented 6th Super Bowl ring. And I think that is exactly what’s about to happen.
Good luck to the rest of the NFL this year. You’re going to need it!!!