Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday's show: Good looking poll for Senator Cruz & Governor Abbott plus Mexico & Brazil



Thursday's video: An early poll shows Senator Cruz and Governor Abbott leading

Thursday's video:  An early polls shows Senator Cruz and Governor Abbott leading:




Brazil: Bring back the generals, or something like that


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Not long ago, Brazil was run by a military junta.  Then came a democracy, the expansion of the central government, crony capitalism, and corruption.  All of a sudden, one of the largest-GDP nations in the world looks as dysfunctional as any other.
So what do you do when elected leaders can’t keep the streets safe or give you economic growth?
Some Brazilians are yearning for law and order or “el hombre fuerte,” which is a syndrome all over the pages of Latin American history.
This is an update from Brazil, from The Guardian:
Hundreds of truckers and their supporters had gathered at a gas station on a highway near São Paulo, for a rally in support of a nationwide protest that has brought South America’s biggest economy to its knees.
But among the slogans and Brazilian flags were signs not usually seen at strike demonstrations: slung from a nearby overpass were banners calling for “military intervention”, a sign that this shutdown has taken on a political dimension all of its own.
As a nationwide truck strike reaches its 10th day, gas stations have finally begun to receive fuel deliveries and truckers have started drifting back to work – some unwillingly.
But hundreds of demonstrations have continued on highways across Brazil – and many of those still protesting are calling for a return to the rightwing dictatorship that ran Brazil for two sombre decades until 1985.
Look before you leap is my message to Brazilians.
Unlike Chile’s General Augusto Pinochet, a man who made his country the economic envy of the Third World, most Latin American military leaders clean up the streets, crack a few heads, make the trains run on time, and then collapse from corruption or abuse of power.
Or as my late father used to say, they bring “order” and forget “law.”  In other words, order without law is a problem, too.
My good guess is that there won’t be a junta in Brazil’s future.  The country is so messed up that the military wants no part of it, unless things get so out of hand that the military has no choice.
At the same time, you can’t blame the people of Brazil for wanting something better.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

What can we learn from the old "brasero" program?


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In 1953, Pres. Eisenhower created the "brasero program" because thousands of Mexicans were crossing over and working illegally.

It was killed in 1965 by President Johnson. Looking back, President Johnson made a huge mistake to please the labor unions, as John Fund wrote years ago:

"I've written before about how President Eisenhower's Bracero guest-worker program reduced arrests of illegal aliens at the border from over a million in 1954 to only 45,000 by 1959. 
The number of arrests remained under 100,000 a year until 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson ended the program under pressure from labor unions."
The "brasero" program worked for two reasons:

1) It established a legal framework for hiring Mexican workers; and,

2) It understood that most Mexicans just wanted to come here to work. They just wanted an opportunity to work, make some dollars and go back home.

Let's revive a modern version of "brasero". Give people a chance to come here, work and go back to Mexico with a pocketful of dollars!


PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


"Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans" by Allan Ridding


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Back in the mid-1980's, I read "Distant neighbors" and attended a book presentation in Mexico City.       

Of course, US-Mexico relations have changed a lot from the days of President Reagan and President Lopez-Portillo.    Nevertheless, the 20th century history is still relevant.   It will help you understand attitudes on both sides of the border:



Samantha is rude and ignorant of recent history

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Dear Samantha Bee:   Your choice of words was awful and your knowledge of history is no better.   
Obama & Democrats had all of the votes and did not pass immigration reform or a Dream Act.    On the other hand, President Trump actually put an idea on the table regarding the “dreamers”.
So why are you picking on Ivanka?  Why not the Democrats who failed to keep a campaign promise about immigration?
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Happy # 75 Joe Namath

We remember Joe Namath who was born in Beaver Falls. PA, on this day in 1943.

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 # 68 to Tippy Martinez


We remember Tippy Martinez who was born in Colorado on this day in 1950.  He became 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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Happy # 80 to Peter Yarrow (of Peter Paul & Mary)




We remember Peter Yarrow of the legendary Peter Paul & Mary.   He was born in New York City on this day in 1938.

We grew up listening to their songs, from "Puff the magic dragon" to "I dig rockn' roll music".   They were great and their vocal arrangements second to none.

Mary died in 2009 and I have not kept up with Peter and Paul.   Nevertheless, every once in a while one of their songs comes on the radio and brings back lots of good memories.    

"Puff the magic dragon" is one with Peter on lead vocals.






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Happy # 88 to Clint Eastwood

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We remember Clint Eastwood, who was born in San Francisco on this day in 1930.

Eastwood made his TV debut with "Rawhide" in 1955.   It was a great Western about cattlemen who drove their herds across the Great Plains.   

After that,  he had a huge career in the movies.   Check out this western collection!

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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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wednesday's show: Lopez-Obrador moving up in Mexico, Brazil chaos and the Roseanne controversy

We look at the Roseanne Barr controversy or a lot of nothing about nothing.......New poll shows Lopez-Obrador leading by big margin.......Brazilians call for military takeover.......Lincoln Memorial 1922.....Indianapolis 500 started 1911......Mickey Mantle longest HR in 1956.......and others stories.....

Click to listen:







Wednesday's video: The Roseanne scandal is much about nothing




Upcoming elections in Colombia and Mexico

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By July 15, we will know who will be the next presidents of Mexico and Colombia.  Americans usually don’t care about these elections, but 2018 may be one of those years when results matter in two of the largest GDPs in Latin America.
Let’s go to Colombia.
With 98 percent of the votes counted, conservative 41-year-old Iván Duque nailed down 39 percent of the vote, according to Colombia’s national electoral agency. 
He was followed by the progressive 58-year-old economist and ex-mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, with 25 percent.
Duque is in a strong position for round 2, but 36%, the ones who did not vote for #1 or #2, will now have to choose between the two finalists.
I am not familiar with the other candidates and whom they will endorse.
Nevertheless, this is now down to Duque and Petro.  The big question is this: which one can persuade a majority of Colombians?
Stay tuned, but I like Duque’s chances.
Down in Mexico, conventional wisdom was that leftist Andrés López-Obrador was going to win.  He may, but don’t bet on that “caballo,” or horse, just yet.
A couple of weeks ago, a Mexican friend explained what he called “Plan B,” an effort for voters to vote for whoever is #2 or rising in the polls.  According to my friend, Mexican voters are planning to wait until the last moment to cast their ballots, when they have a good sense of who is #2.  It is their hope that #2 gets the support of #3 and #4 and overthrow López-Obrador.
“Plan B” may be a Mexican dream, but it appears to be working.  “Número 2,” Ricardo Anaya, a right-center candidate, is gaining and closing the gap against López-Obrador.  The latest polls show that the lead is narrowing:
Less than two months before Mexicans vote, Lopez Obrador’s support grew to 39 percent from 38 percent in the previous poll at the end of March, according to polling firm Parametria, but his lead narrowed to 14 points from 18.
The possibility of a victory by Lopez Obrador, who has threatened changes to the country’s landmark reform to lure private investment to its energy markets, has spooked some investors, helping send the peso currency down more than 3 percent in April.
Support for Ricardo Anaya, the candidate of the “For Mexico in Front” coalition of three parties from the right and left, grew to 25 percent from 20 percent the month before. In a recent TV debate, he portrayed himself as the only alternative to the frontrunner.
So far, Mexicans, specifically the large middle class and business sector, are turning to Anaya as the alternative.
Unlike Colombia, where a runoff is coming between right-center Duque and left-center Gustavo Petro, Mexicans have one chance to stop leftist López-Obrador.
My guess is that Duque will win in Colombia and bring back ex-president Alvaro Uribe’s successful policies.
As for Mexico, I am not sure that Anaya will close the gap, but lots of candles are burning in Mexican homes, hoping it is so.
It would be a great summer for the U.S. if right-center candidates win in Mexico and Colombia!
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Some thoughts about Lopez-Obrador & Mexico


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The latest news from Mexico is that Sr. Lopez-Obrador is increasing his lead and referred to as a "Tropical Messiah".   

As The WSJ wrote today:   
"If Mr. López Obrador is sworn in as president—this time for real—it isn’t entirely clear which man will turn up. 
Many fear it will be the fervent social activist with an authoritarian streak who sees the country divided in two camps, what he calls a “mafia of the powerful” against Mexico’s “good and honest people.” 
Others hope it will be the López Obrador who as Mexico City mayor proved to be a pragmatic manager, joining with telecom magnate Carlos Slim to restore down-at-the-heels neighborhoods."
Time will tell but it looks likely that LO will be the one sworn in.     I do caution that polls are polls as we learned in the US in 2016!

What does that mean for the people invested in LO's message?   My guess is that major disenchantment lies ahead and whatever political consequences come with it.

It's not too late for Mr. Anaya, Mr. Meade & "El Bronco" to consider their options.   It may be good for the country for them to unite and give the Mexican people one real alternative against Mr. LO.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



May 2018: FOX News doing very well


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Not a shock and Fox News is # 1 again:    
In prime time, Fox News destroyed its competition, with an average total audience of 2.381 million viewers, compared to MSNBC's 1.384 million and CNN's 835,000. 
Among viewers 25-54, the group most coveted by advertisers, FNC shook off a challenge in recent months from MSNBC to claim a clear victory: 461,000 viewers, well ahead of MSNBC (329,000) and CNN (265,000).
The bottom line is that Fox is doing well for 3 reasons:

1) CNN is boring and totally predictable.   It's not working;

2) MSNBC is just crazy, unless you think that President Trump is going to be arrested in the next 24 hours; and,

3) Fox is engaging and provocative.   It's enjoyable to watch.  

And that's how I see it!   

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



1922: The Lincoln Memorial

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On May 30, 1922, The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated.   It was 57 years after Lincoln died.      
According to news reports, about 50,000 people attended the ceremonies, including Civil War veterans and Robert Todd Lincoln, the president's only surviving son. 

President Warren Harding, former President William Howard Taft, and Dr. Robert Moton, principal of the Tuskegee Institute, delivered the keynote address.

It is one of the top historical landmarks of Washington, DC:






May 30, 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 ball 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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The first "Indy 500" was held in 1911




The Indianapolis 500 is always a real treat.    It's like the Super Bowl in the sense that people get together and watch the race over food and drinks.   It is the only race that I try to catch.

It all got started in 1911 when Ray Harround came in first.






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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday's show: Ireland abortion vote, elections in Colombia & Mexico and other stories



Tuesday's video: A look at Latin America



‘Free at last’ to have an abortion?



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As you may have heard, abortion is now legal in Ireland. They call it “the latest in a series of stinging rebukes to the Roman Catholic Church”.
On the positive side, it was a vote rather than a court decision. The people voted to legalize abortion and that’s always better than a judge pretending that he knows best. Also, abortion is legal only in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy.
As a pro-life man, I found the vote disturbing, but Ireland is free to amend its constitution.   
My biggest shock was watching some of the reactions in the news:
“It just means that women — and the men who love the women of Ireland — have spoken out and they’ve said times have to change. And they are going to change now,” a tearful Mellet said at the Royal Dublin Society, where the count took place throughout the day.     
Ailbhe Smyth, a veteran campaigner and co-director of Together4Yes, the national pro-repeal group, is one of those women.
As she arrived to the count, she was greeted with roars of applause from supporters, who thanked her for her longstanding efforts.
Smyth told CNN that the road to get to this day had been a long and hard one, but the result marked a seismic shift for the country.
“Irish people are clearly standing up and saying of course the lives of women in Ireland matter. It’s a great victory for equality for freedom for dignity for human rights, — and not only for women,” Smyth said. (CNN)     
It gets better. One site even listed the 17 best reactions to legalize abortion. Let me share this one:  
“What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years.””
It’s like watching the 17 best reactions to Astros’ fans finally bringing a World Series to Houston or street parties celebrating the Eagles bringing the Super Bowl to Philadelphia.
Not a word in these reactions about the life being aborted. It’s all about a woman’s body or her right to have an abortion. 
What about the little girls aborted who will never get to make a decision about their bodies or celebrate any vote?
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

President Kennedy (1917-63)


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We remember President John F. Kennedy who was born in Massachusetts on this day in 1917.    He won the 1960 election but was assassinated in Dallas in 1963.    JFK's 34-month presidency saw the crisis in Cuba, the early days of Southeast Asia and the commitment to put a man in the moon by the end of decade.

The Kennedy presidency continues to be very popular in retrospect, as Professor Sabato wrote recently.




1848: Wisconsin joined the Union


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Wisconsin joined the Union on this day in 1848.    It was state # 30 on the way to 50!
Our family lived in Wisconsin when we came to the US.   It was a wonderful place and I still have great memories of friends and places in Wisconsin. 


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“55 days at Peking” is a great movie!


Once in a while, we have a little free time to catch an old movie.    Not long ago, they were showing “55 days at Peking”.   This is a story based in China during The Boxer Rebellion.   The cast is rather good:
Charlton Heston as Maj. Matt Lewis;  
Ava Gardner as Baroness Natalie Ivanoff; and,  
David Niven as Sir Arthur Robertson.
Again, it is rather good:









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1989: Mike Schmidt retired


  







Mike Schmidt closed the books on a great career with the Phillies on this day in 1989.   He was one of the very best third basemen in baseball history. 

His numbers were awesome:  548 HR & 1, 595 RBI.   Schmidt was the last guy in the world that you wanted to face with the game on the line!
He played for several Phillies championship teams, including the 1980 World Series champs and the 1983 NL champs.   
Along the way, he hit four home runs in one game on April 17, 1976, won six Silver Slugger Awards, including five consecutive (1980 through 1984, then one more in 1986) & won ten Gold Glove Awards.
Last, but not least, he ranked 28th by The Sporting News when they released their 100 Greatest Baseball Players in the history of baseball:



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We remember Bob Hope (1903-2003)

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Did you know that Bob Hope was born in England?   I didn’t until today.   

He was born on this day in 1903 and lived 100 years plus 2 months!

Hope’s family moved to the US when he was 4 and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.   His family passed through Ellis Island in 1908.

He started in the radio in the 1920s and gradually made it to movies.   Later in life, he’d visit US troops every year at Christmas.    

Very funny guy.




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Check before you tweet.......

Monday, May 28, 2018

Monday's show: The week in review with Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda




Monday's video: "Cautiously optimistic" about Colombia


Watching “John Adams”

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A few years ago, I purchased the John Adams HBO series and watched the whole thing over a rainy weekend. It’s amazing what you can do during a long “rain delay” theater.   
As a naturalized U.S. citizen, I’ve always had a passion for everything about U.S. history. 
I think that the U.S. is the greatest nation in history. 
It has done more good for mankind than anyone else. 
Its sons have liberated millions, an important point to remember this weekend.
The U.S. economy has brought boundless prosperity to more people than anything else.
This great nation opened its arms to our family and gave us a chance at a new life. 
It has given me so much. Therefore, I don’t stand quietly when people take “cheap shots” at the U.S.    
Let me recommend that you revisit the  John Adams series. It will cost you seven hours but the dividends will be tremendous.
The series covers the Declaration of Independence (a great segment), his diplomatic trip to Europe, his service as VP, President, and the retirement years when he reconciled with Thomas Jefferson.
You cannot understand John Adams without understanding his amazing wife, Abigail. During their long and very happy marriage, Abigail and John wrote an amazing number of letters. The “letters” have given historians so much background about the events and passion of that period. They tell the story of a man and a woman living in the early days of a new nation.
Here is a historical gem:  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were two of the key players for independence. They died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, or the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. 
Watch it and reignite your love for the U.S. It may be wise for all of those who want to bring down statues to catch the series, too.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



Fathers is what our kids need!



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As we approach Father's Day, let's chat about the "father crisis" in many communities in the US.

Years ago, Juan Williams, author and Fox News contributor, wrote The Tragedy of America's Disappearing Fathers:
"The extent of the problem is clear.

The nation's out-of-wedlock birth rate is 38%.

Among white children, 28% are now born to a single mother; among Hispanic children it is 50% and reaches a chilling, disorienting peak of 71% for black children.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly a quarter of America's white children (22%) do not have any male in their homes; nearly a third (31%) of Hispanic children and over half of black children (56%) are fatherless.
This represents a dramatic shift in American life.

In the early 1960s, only 2.3% of white children and 24% of black children were born to a single mom.

Having a dad, in short, is now a privilege, a ticket to middle-class status on par with getting into a good college."
Fathers' Day is around the corner.   Let's remember a simple truth: We need men to be responsible fathers.

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



May 2007: Remember when Democrats were very rude to President Uribe?


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A post from May 2007

Colombia's President Uribe is one of the most responsible leaders in Latin America.   Like Mexico's Pres. Calderon, Uribe enjoys strong support back home because he is dealing with the problems.

Yet, the Democrats treated Pres. Uribe poorly during his recent trip to the US.

Why? Because Uribe believes in making decisions and solving problems. The Democrats believe in making speeches and non-binding resolutions.


What are the Democrats thinking?

Robert Novak had a great article about Uribe and the Democrats:

"The first Colombian president to crack down on his country's corrupt army officer hierarchy, and to assault both right-wing paramilitaries and left-wing guerrillas, last week confronted Democrats wedded to out-of-date claims of civil rights abuses and to rigidly protectionist dogma.This is remarkable U.S. treatment for a rare friend on the South American continent, where Venezuela's leftist dictator Hugo Chavez can only exult in Uribe's embarrassment as he builds an anti-American bloc of nations.

A former congressional staffer, who in 1999 helped author Plan Colombia against narco-guerrillas, told me:"President Uribe may be the odd man out, and that's no way to treat our best ally in South America." (How to Lose an Ally)
In the real world, we choose to support men like Uribe or we will create more room for men like Chavez.

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





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