Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Commotion in Austin over sanctuary cities and a few other thoughts




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How much more chaos can Brazil take?

brazil_outline
According to Simon Romero, this is how many Brazilians are feeling these days:   
Cartoonish depictions of Brazil’s president are so popular that his office is trying to restrict access to his pictures — so they don’t get turned into lampoons on social media.
Some Brazilians joke that a bold outsider — like Tite, the coach turning around the fortunes of Brazil’s national soccer team — should run the country instead. 
Maybe his star player, Neymar, could become finance minister, they say.
Then there’s the growing chorus of Brazilians who contend that the presidency should be abolished altogether, replaced by citizens making decisions via the instant-messaging service WhatsApp.
Once again, Brazil has found itself in upheaval, with President Michel Temer engulfed in a graft scandal that is threatening his presidency. 
Now, amid all the hand-wringing, anger and exasperation, the crisis is bolstering Brazil’s tradition of gallows humor, fueling a mix of satire and existential resignation.
Of course, we understand the anger over a corrupt system that has become Exhibit A of Crony Capitalism and the talk of Latin America. At the same time, can any country survive such cynicism? As the article explains:  
At the core of the humor is a sobering nationwide trend: a declining faith in the nation’s democracy.
Even before the latest scandal exploded this month, support for democracy in Brazil plunged in 2016 to 32 percent from 54 percent the year earlier, according to Latinobarómetro, a Chilean company that surveys political views around Latin America. 
Only Guatemala, where President Otto Pérez Molina was forced to resign because of a fraud scandal, ranked lower, with only 30 percent there supporting democracy.
Again, we understand the anger and cynicism. In other words, the last president was removed. The current president faces a mountain of problems, too. Can an honest politician be found?
As always, I’d like to check with my Brazilian friend for a little context. His attitude is this: “Letting people govern directly via WhatsApp can’t be worse than what we have now.”  At the same time, my friend is hoping for an honest politician instead. He assures me with a grin that his countrymen would probably get into fist fights if they governed by WhatsApp.
Here is a lesson here for the rest of us. Brazilian crony capitalism worked well when the economy was booming and politicians could give away things in exchange for votes. The whole system is now collapsing because the bad economy forced cuts in social programs and exposed the corrupt relationship between the political class, big business and the public sector unions.    
Will Brazil’s political system survive? Probably, but things cannot get any worse before I start looking at other alternative outcomes.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter.



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Happy # 87 to Clint Eastwood



We say happy # 87 to Clint Eastwood.    "Rawhide" made its TV debut in 1955.   It was a great Western about cattlemen who drove their herds across the Great Plains.   

It also introduced us to Clint Eastwood, who had a huge career later in the movies.

You can get the whole series HERE.    

You can hear the classic theme song HERE by Frankie Laine.   It is one of the most popular TV themes ever.




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Happy # 74 Joe Namath

Joe Namath came out of Alabama and was signed by the new AFL.   The league needed big college players to compete with the mature NFL.   They also made Joe the face of the league and appealed to younger fans, and specially women watching on television.

Joe did not disappoint the AFL.   In fact, he won Super Bowl III, or the game that gave the AFL instant credibility.

He was also a very good quarterback:  173 TDs and over 27,000 yards passed.   We remind you that most of these numbers came in his first 5 seasons.   He was hurt a lot after winning that Super Bowl in 1969.

Joe was more than numbers.   He made the AFL and was responsible for the merger in 1970.    Namath is one of my all time favorite quarterbacks!




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Happy # 67 to Tippy Martinez


We say happy # 67 to one of the best Orioles ever.   

Tippy came up with the Yankees and was traded to Baltimore in 1976 along with Scott McGregor and Rick Dempsey.   The Yankees were headed to the World Series in 1976 and the Orioles were rebuilding.   They made the classic veterans for young guys trade and it worked great for Baltimore.   The Orioles picked up a starter, a great reliever and wonderful catcher out of that deal.    

Tippy had some great seasons out of the bullpen for the Orioles.   He was one of the best lefties in the game.   Along the way, he saved 115 games with a 3.45 ERA.  He was the 8th inning set up man for some of that time so the "saves" don't tell the whole story.   Often, Weaver would bring him to pitch to a tough lefty.

My favorite memory was Tippy Martinez on the mound when the Orioles beat the White Sox to clinch the AL pennant in 1983.     

Tippy is the answer to a great trivia question.  Who picked three Toronto Blue Jays (Barry Bonnell, Dave Collins and Willie Upshaw) at first base in one inning during an August 24, 1983 game at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium?  The answer is Tippy Martinez.




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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

President Trump back home, leaks and other thoughts




Tags: President Trump and NATO, leaks and Trump, Mantle 1956 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

President Trump and NATO



We’ve heard about this for years, i.e. our allies are not carrying their share. I remember when NATO troops went into Afghanistan but only a few countries were willing to put their soldiers on the battlefield.
So it was great to hear a U.S. president tell Europeans, not just the political class in private, that it’s time to act and commit 2% of their GDP to defense.
President Trump’s trip made an impression, as Nile Gardiner wrote:  
On this first overseas tour, President Trump certainly made an indelible impression. In the Middle East, traditional allies will feel reassured that the United States stands with them, especially in reining in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
In Europe, Trump will probably never be loved, but he is increasingly acknowledged as someone who means business in aggressively advancing US interests, which include strengthening the NATO alliance.
In contrast to his predecessor in the White House, President Trump showed no willingness to atone to other world leaders for his country’s actions, and seemed determined to project strength and resolve at a time when American leadership is increasingly being challenged. 
This was not the “leading from behind” approach of the Obama era, but a return to a more traditionally assertive US foreign policy based on clear-cut national interests.
Yes, it was a successful trip and time will tell whether accomplishments will follow.    
However, President Trump faces a huge challenge at home. He flew back to a city where leaks have become a way of life, or certainly a way to embarrass the president and even his conversations with other world leaders.
It would be nice to hear one Democrat step up and remind “the leakers” that they are violating the law and making the U.S., not necessarily President Trump, look bad.
Well done Mr. President. Now, go after the leakers, and fast!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter.



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1956: What a shot by Mantle!



On this day in 1956, Mickey Mantle hit one of the most memorable home runs in his career.   It happened on the second game of a doubleheader with the Washington Senators.
He hit a pitch from Pedro Ramos that came within 18 inches of leaving Yankee Stadium.  The experts said that the could have traveled more than 600 feet. 
It was Mantle’s 20th home run of the season.   He won the Triple Crown that year:  .353 BA, 53 HR & 130 RBI.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

The week in review with Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda


Guest: Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda.........President Trump's trip overseas and NATO...the media and the Trump administration.....terrible leaks are hurting the US.....another special election and another defeat for Democrats.............Memorial Day this weekend and a time to remember......President Kennedy was born 100 years ago today................plus other stories.....

Click to listen:





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John Fogerty is 72 and growing up with CCR on the radio!



Happy # 72 John Fogerty.

Back in March 1969, The Beatles were still enjoying the success of the "White Album".

The Rolling Stones had released "Beggar's Banquet", one of their best LPs.   Later in the summer of 1969, they'd release "Honky Tonk Women", one of their best songs ever.

The Bee Gees were about to release "Odessa", a great album that included "First of May" and the lovely title song.

Add Creedence Clearwater Revival to the radio playlist. Everybody called them CCR because their name was too long!

CCR was:

"John Fogerty--lead guitar and vocals
(brother) Tom Fogerty--guitar
Stu Cook--bass
Doug Clifford--drums"

Their sound:

"brought things back to their roots with their concise synthesis of rockabilly, swamp pop, R&B, and country.

Though CCR was very much a group in their tight, punchy arrangements, their vision was very much singer, songwriter, guitarist, and leader John Fogerty's.

Fogerty's classic compositions for Creedence both evoked enduring images of Americana and reflected burning social issues of the day.

The band's genius was their ability to accomplish this with the economic, primal power of a classic rockabilly ensemble."

Their sound was their sound. You could always tell that it was John Fogerty's vocals and CCR's sound.

In the spring and early summer of 1969, CCR started a long streak of hit songs.    It culminated with "Cosmo's Factory", one of my favorite rock LP's.

"Proud Mary" was a song about going up and down on The Mississippi River. I always think of this song when I cross the river.

It was also the song that put CCR on the top of the charts. It was a very long "stay" because CCR became a very popular band:




A thought about Memorial Day 2017


happy-memorial-day-pics
We take a minute from political opinions to remember all of the heroes on Memorial Day.   
In my case, I will remember a young man named Nathan Aguirre who died in Iraq in 2006. 
I know Nathan’s parents. His dad and I are church ushers. His mom is a beautiful person who is now working with other families who lost sons in Iraq.
Nathan Aguirre is a real hero. Remember him and his parents today!
Over the years, we’ve heard many messages on Memorial Day. I like this one from President Bush in 2003:
 
“On Memorial Day, Americans place flags on military graves, walk past a wall of black granite in Washington, D.C., and many families think of a face and voice they miss so much. 
Today, we honor the men and women who have worn the nation’s uniform and were last seen on duty. 
From the battles of Iraq and Afghanistan, to the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, to the trials of World War, to the struggles that made us a nation, today we recall that liberty is always the achievement of courage.”
Happy Memorial Day and remember the real meaning of this “day off” from work!   
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter.

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Memorial Day: I remember young Nathan Aguirre


nathanielaguirre1

Like most of you, I will enjoy a day off, a cheeseburger and watch a little baseball.   At the same time, , I will remember a young man named Nathan Aguirre who died in Iraq.
I know Nathan’s parents. His dad and I were church ushers. His mom is a beautiful person who is now working with other families who’ve lost sons in Iraq.
Nathan Aguirre is a real hero.   Remember him and his parents today!
P.S. You can hear my show  ( CantoTalk  ) or  follow me on Twitter   .

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HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY


WE REMEMBER THEIR SACRIFICE......MEMORIAL DAY.......



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Sunday, May 28, 2017

OK movie but heck of a good investment

Let me paraphrase Wolfman Jack and ask you:   Where were you in '77?

We remember this weekend the 40th anniversary of "Star Wars".   In my mind, the movie was OK but the return on the investment was really something else, as we see here:   

The original Star Wars film is the third-highest-grossing film of all time, raking in close to $2 billion when adjusted for inflation. That alone would’ve made the original investment a spectacular one........

Although Gone with the Wind remains the highest-grossing film of all time (when adjusted for inflation over the 78 years since the film’s first release), no single film can hold a candle to the money-making empire that Star Wars unleashed. 

Spurring at least 10 lucrative sequels and prequels, five TV series, and multiple made-for-TV movies (so far), as well as billions of dollars in books and merchandise, Lucas couldn’t possibly have imagined just how successful his creation would become over the next 40 years.

It was also a marketing bonanza.   Every boy was Luke Skywalker and every girl was Princess Leia:   

The incredible success of Star Wars–it received seven Oscars, and earned $461 million in U.S. ticket sales and a gross of close to $800 million worldwide–began with an extensive, coordinated marketing push by Lucas and his studio, 20th Century Fox, months before the movie’s release date. “It wasn’t like a movie opening,” actress Carrie Fisher, who played rebel leader Princess Leia, later told Time magazine. “It was like an earthquake.” Beginning with–in Fisher’s words–“a new order of geeks, enthusiastic young people with sleeping bags,” the anticipation of a revolutionary movie-watching experience spread like wildfire, causing long lines in front of movie theaters across the country and around the world.

By fall, discotheques had young people dancing to a disco version of the theme song by Meco!  By the way, Meco was Domenico Monardo, who once played in the Cadet Band at West Point.

And rest assured that The Force will be with you for a long time:   

But the real money for Disney is in leveraging the Star Wars brand for just about anything it can think of: toys, games, merchandise, cruises, theme park rides, hotels. The list is endless and Disney is pursuing them all. 

There will soon be a Star Wars-themed section of Disneyland and Disney World in California and Florida, where children and adults can spend their days riding Star Wars rides, drinking Star Wars drinks (blue milk, perhaps?), eating Star Wars food, sleeping in Star Wars rooms, and, of course, buying Star Wars swag.

Who would have believed any of this that Memorial Day weekend of 1977?  I certainly didn't and most of you probably didn't either.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter.




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May 28 and Willie Mays


We remember a couple of moments from Willie Mays' career.    

On May 28, 1951, Mays got his major league hit off of Warren Spahn.

On May 28, 1952, Mays went into the US Army.

Mays finished his Hall of Fame career:   .302 average, 660 HR, 1,903 RBI, 338 stolen bases, a .389 on base pct & 3,283 hits.     Maybe the greatest ever!




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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Another tough night for the resistance

On the eve of Montana’s election, Chris Cillizza wrote this:  
The current pro-Democratic — or, more accurately, anti-Trump — environment helps on that front in two ways.
It convinces top-tier Democratic recruits that 2018 might be the year for them to run for Congress. And it serves as the tipping point for Republicans teetering on the edge of retirement. 
Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s retirement in Florida is one example; she leaves behind an open seat race where Democrats are favored.
The critical question, of course, is what the political environment looks like next November. 
 
And, as Gonzales and Cook note, that’s impossible to say today. But, as Gonzales rightly adds:
“Time should not be an excuse to ignore the fact that history and the current political dynamic favors Democrats and are good reasons to watch the fight for the House.”
He’s 100% right. The wave looks to be forming. 
Could it fizzle out before it ever comes close to swamping Republicans? 
Of course! 
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep a very close eye on it. 
We should.
And then Montana stepped into the picture and now it’s time to delete “the wave is forming” memo and pull out the one about a “moral victory.”
The so called “resistance” keeps putting everything on the line and then explaining another loss as a moral victory. It happened in Kansas and now in Montana!
After all, isn’t getting 43% of the vote in Montana sort of like a moral victory? Not really, especially after so much effort was put into the campaign.   Furthermore, Montana elected Democrat Senator Tester in 2006 and reelected him in 2012. In other words, a Democrat can win in Montana — but not the one that the Democrats nominated this time around.
So where do the Democrats go from here? How many more moral victories before the people putting up the money get sick of this?
The Democrats’ main problem is that their hatred of Trump has blinded them from reality. They are not really offering anything other than “Trump is evil” or that “the GOP wants to take away your health insurance.”
What’s wrong with that approach? President Trump’s approvals may be low but you still need a candidate who can do more than sing country songs.
To be honest, 2018 could be a huge year for the Democrats. It could also be a big year for the GOP. Frankly, we don’t know yet because there is so much yet to happen.   
In the meantime. get ready for the next one down in Georgia. We will again hear that it’s another big election and that Trump is on the line. If the Democrat pulls out a victory, it will be the most important election in U.S. history since the U.S. Constitution was ratified. If the GOP wins then we will hear about a moral victory and how the GOP underperformed.
If I were a Democrat, I demand a refund of my dues and stop watching CNN!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter. 



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1993: Dale Murphy retired


Dale Murphy retired on this day in 1993.   
Murphy broke with the Braves at the end of 1976.    He won two NL MVP awards and was one of the best players in the game for a dozen seasons.
He stayed with the Braves until 1990.   He finished in Philadelphia for a couple of seasons and the Colorado in 1993.
His career numbers were awesome:  398 HR & 1,266 RBI.  He led the NL in HR in 1984 and 1985.
Murphy didn’t get to play with all of those great Braves’ teams of the 1990s.   He was gone by the time that the Braves were winning all of the titles.
Great player.



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Friday, May 26, 2017

An election in Montana, NATO, Memorial Day & John Wayne 1907..




Tags: Montana election, NATO, Memorial Day, John Wayne 1907-79 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

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