Enough is enough 2016

Is it just me or has the Grim Reaper gone into straight “Honey Badger” mode in 2016?

Within the last three days, we’ve lost singer George Michael, comedian Ricky Harris, and now actress Carrie Fisher.  Let’s not even try to run down the other celebrity deaths over the past year.

It’s not just celebrities either.  There’s the Russian military plane crash, the Bolivian plane crash in Colombia, and other mass casualty events.  Add the number of everyday deaths, and I’m beginning to wonder if the Grim Reaper is trying to set a new high score.

The celebrity deaths stick out because of the news reporting though.  The award shows for next year may very well turn out to be two-hour long memorial tributes with an award or two handed out in between segments.

 

If I were famous, I would be sitting on pins and needles while waiting for 2017 to arrive.  I’d even consider hunkering down in the Cheyenne Mountain fallout shelter.  Then again, that could end up becoming a tomb as well.  Doesn’t appear that the Grim Reaper really cares about when and where he does his business.  Those assistants to the stars are probably all packing aspirin, epi pens, automatic defibrillators, and first aid kits with them at all times just to be safe.  Hurry up and get here 2017 before we lose many more.

America’s Biggest Companies React To SCOTUS’ Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

These are tributes from companies from all walks of life paying tribute to the SCOTUS decision on same sex marriage today.

As someone with friends and family who are in committed same sex relationships, I tip my hat to these companies today. Even as some people see it as sin, that is their right as we all have the freedom to exercise our religious beliefs. It’s all a part of the give and take of living in America.

Click “view original” to see the list of companies and their tributes.

Consumerist

(Jeff Kubina) (Jeff Kubina)

While it might not seem like there’s a direct link to same sex marriage and our country’s biggest businesses, even before the Supreme Court of the United States ruled today that marriage is a constitutional right for any American, many major companies came out in support of same-sex marriage, saying those rights help them do business better. Today, some of those companies — and more — spoke out in celebration of the landmark ruling.

American Airlines: “We’re on board. Diversity strengthens us all & today we celebrate #MarriageEquality & the landmark #SCOTUS decision.”

Google/YouTube: “The United States took a step in the right direction today. https://goo.gl/yxnoHz #ProudToLove”

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RIP Dusty Rhodes

From Yahoo News:

The WWE announced on Thursday afternoon that professional wrestling legend Virgil Runnels, a.k.a. Dusty Rhodes, died earlier in the day. He was 69.

Rhodes is a WWE Hall of Famer and a three-time NWA Champion. Always one of the most distinctive and fascinating wrestlers, the man nicknamed The American Dream never failed to entertain and/or enrage every time he stepped into the ring. His career began in the 1970s and continued into the 90s.

Working at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport does have its benefits.  One that I like is that I’ve had the opportunity to meet many professional wrestlers, both old and new school.  One of the most humble and down to earth wrestlers that I ever crossed paths with is Mr. Runnels.

As great of a career and as big a superstar he is/was, he was one of the coolest people to talk with.  I got to meet him when he was traveling to get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2007.  We talked about his career and such as I was pretty awestruck just to be in his company.  He told a few stories about things as well.

At no time did he give off an “I’m better than you” or “You’re beneath me” type vibe that you hear being attributed to famous people.  As a fact, most of the old school wrestlers are all pretty mellow.  I guess it’s because of the nature of the business and how they all had to bust their asses to get to the top.

He’ll be missed here on Earth, and he will join the Pantheon of great wrestlers in the beyond.  Godspeed Dusty Rhodes, and my condolences and prayers are extended to your family.  Thanks for taking the time to make a fan’s day just by engaging in idle chit-chat.

And so the cleanup begins

Breaking news today that Ferguson Chief of Police Tom Jackson is stepping down…

DEVELOPING: The chief of the Ferguson, Mo., police department, which was cleared in a racially-charged shooting but accused of years of racial profiling in a subsequent Justice Department probe, will resign, law enforcement sources told Fox News.

Chief Tom Jackson’s resignation would come one day after the Ferguson City Council unanimously approved a resolution to part ways with City Manager John Shaw following the probe that alleged racial bias at the department and courts.

I can’t say that I’m surprised at all.  I still haven’t completed the Department of Justice’s report on Ferguson, but from what I’ve read thus far, I am honestly surprised that the DoJ didn’t just come in and shutter or clean out the entire department.

I haven’t seen anything that would support the notion that most, if not all, of the officers harbored any racist viewpoints, but there is more than enough evidence to show that there was a complete lack of training in constitutional law and/or policing.  It seems as though the decision makers were making up the rules as they went.

The court clerk and two supervisory officers were fired along with the resignation of the judge, the city manager, and now the police chief.  It’s a start to rehabilitating the police and court system there.  I wouldn’t suggest a blanket firing of officers, but based on the reporting, I do believe there is a serious need for use of force and constitutional law training.  Any officers who refuse or cannot adapt to operating within the confines of the Constitution should be relieved of duty.

I’ll still offer my opinion on the report once I finish reading it.

114th Congress is in session

Yesterday, the 114th Congress was sworn in, and what seems to be the impending battle of GOP vs Obama is already starting to play out.

First up, it looks like we’ll have to do the whole Keystone XL pipeline thing.  Honestly, I don’t see the impending need for the pipeline at the moment.  Crude oil prices are dropping, rail and truck shipments have handled the movement of the oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast refineries, and the bottom leg of the pipeline has opened, relieving the bottleneck of crude oil in Cushing, OK.

Then, as part of the new rules passed, the Republicans added language to reauthorize the Select Committee on Benghazi.  I think this is committee number 9 or so to investigate this one incident.  I’m not completely naive to investigations, and I like the idea of thoroughly investigating security issues to see what went wrong to ensure we don’t make the same mistake twice.  However, when you get to the 7th, 8th, or 9th investigation of a single incident, it ceases to look like a hunt for the truth and takes on the appearance of a witch hunt.  Furthermore, the GOP erodes their own credibility in my viewpoint because they appear to not believe, agree, or accept their own previous investigative results.  If you don’t believe your own investigation, why continue after several attempts that came to the same results?

We also have the Democrats now playing complete minority party.  It will be interesting to see how things go in the Senate where they just lost their majority status.  Will they become the party of NO?  Or, will they simply sit back and let Obama veto everything that Republicans try to undo?

No matter what, I don’t see this Congress making any improvements over the previous one.  If that one was called the “Do Nothing Congress”, I don’t know what we have in store for us.  My only solace is knowing that America has survived this long, going through so many different disasters.  Two more years can’t destroy us if the previous ones didn’t.