I don't watch reality TV shows if they exploit people through drama and conflict. Reality shows have become conduits for this kind of sleazy exploitation of the fringes of society: the poor, the uneducated, the socially inept and awkward, and the ignorant. Producers regularly egg on these types of people to do outrageous things for ratings and buzz - "what are they going to do next" is a great hook for an easy profit.
However, when a show introduces people who have criminal records, especially those in which they're required to register as offenders, it is no longer funny. Someone in TLC's upper management discovered that having an offender who regularly violated children as Honey Boo Boo's mother's boyfriend would cause enormous outrage. That person, seeing their future profits would be sullied and child protection groups would be demanding their heads, wisely ordered the show to shut down.
TLC should review all of its reality TV shows thoroughly. Then it should decide whether to dump all of them and revert to its old intentions as The Learning Channel. An appropriate first show? How to Stop Exploiting Children For Profit.
Second, recognizing that you should get necessary information from the appropriate, unbiased sources will help much more than running around and screaming like a chicken with their head cut off.
Third, recognizing that self-prevention, i.e. proactive measures, and preparation greatly reduce the fear that you'll be affected
In other words: the quicker you walk away from the hype, the better off you will be.
With that in mind...let's have Shepard Smith give you some advice...
And for a little light entertainment...and and some more from Maj. Sidney Friedman...
Suffolk Downs was the first horse track in the nation to have its public transit authority build a trolley station in record time - three days, so that the trolleys from Maverick Square (signed Gladstone at first, then Suffolk Downs) could take bettors to place their bets before the race.
In its heyday, well before the Internet, state lotteries, and casinos took away its luster, horse racing has always been called the Queen of Sports (with boxing as the King). Suffolk Downs was no different. It had its share of colorful personalities, bettors with a "sure thing," bettors with their own accounts, and the occasional bettor who could never seem to win because their favorite got beaten by a nose.
I went there occasionally. I could never figure out Daily Racing Form, so most of the time I went on hunches. I didn't spend that much - maybe on a good day I spent $20 over two or three races - but the horses running like mad to the finish line offered plenty of excitement (and copious amounts of obscenities if the horse you selected didn't win). I didn't win that much either, but here or there a win over $50 was considered a good day.
Six years ago, voters went to the polls to ban greyhound racing. In a vote in 2012, the residents of East Boston voted no on their side of Suffolk Downs; the Revere side voted yes. This week, only three people were deemed necessary and sufficient to approve a casino in Everett. The voters already said no; the three on the gambling panel assured its demise.
Suffolk Downs will end its live racing for good on September 29; it will end simulcasting on December 31. Thousands of people - not just the jockeys, but horse groomers, bet takers, and stable owners - will be out of jobs. When I passed Wonderland Greyhound Track this summer on the Commuter Rail train, the once-grand track was rusting and choked with weeds. Suffolk may suffer the same fate, but only if developers are discouraged from building there.
Imagine people walking out of the new Suffolk Downs Mall, anchored by a SuperWalmart on the Revere side and a Market Basket on the East Boston side, doing a bigger and better business than Suffolk Downs the racetrack ever could. A developer could put up true low-cost apartments that everyone can live in, not just those who can afford $3,000 a month or more. Even putting up a new MBTA bus garage with a transit museum that would rival that of Seashore in Kennebunkport, ME would improve the area.
All of those are possibilities for the old Suffolk Downs grounds, and whoever purchases the Suffolk Downs land will convert it into something the NIMBYs despise even more than a casino, but can do nothing about because the concept is so successful. That they cannot complain because doing so would make them sour, rent-seeking do-nothings would be delicious irony.
Suffolk Downs may have its best races and handles yet thanks to well-wishers and bettors trying to get in one last bet and one last hurrah. That's what happened when the Hilltop Steak House closed last year; people who never stepped foot into the restaurant were there just to feel the aura of a more genteel era gone by.
I may yet hear my last "You [expletive deleted] nag, you cost me a $900 trifecta" from a frustrated bettor before I leave. That phrase won't be from me, though.
If you're wondering why the only actions President Obama is taking against ISIS are minimal, the reasons are money, legacy, and friends.
First, the money. If you're a President who's watching the midterm elections and you decide to take decisive action against terrorists, wealthy, antiwar donors will slam shut their checkbooks if they see presidential capital used for military action, not against the Republicans. Loss of the Senate means loss of power, especially to their sworn enemies, and taking the fight to a topic near and dear to conservatives tips the scales in their favor.
Second, the legacy. Do you want your political legacy to include fiddling while the world burns? Do you want to be known as an indecisive leader who let things get too bad before taking action? At some point, the rock star/celebrity/golfing president must set aside his childish, self-indulgent things, stop catering to his friends, and do more than flap his gums, or his only legacy that will define him is that he was all talk, no action (unless it was bashing his enemies or tossing people under the bus).
Third, his friends. By friends, I mean sycophants, czars, fellow travelers, campaign bundlers, crony capitalists, shady lobbies, entrenched political incumbents, shallow celebrities, and radical professors. If he loses them through decisive military action, he loses them for good. They are intolerant of breaking from collective action, which is to either wring their cowardly hands or foam at the mouth, fueled by their own ignorance. One attack on America means a whole string of fatuous verbal effluvia that "America deserved it;" one attack to display American might generates shrill calls for the President to be dragged to the Hague for purported "war crimes." (Attacks on their ridiculous smugness yield a quivering cowardly lip and moans that "dissent is patriotic", shorthand for "You caught me in a lie.")
Maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps to avoid the drama and alienation, Obama is doing this surreptitiously, planning a bold attack out of prying eyes and when no one expects it, gives information about activities rival the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. Obama wants the big win for his legacy, because in 2016, he will no longer have to be hewn to his friends or money. But if not for his legacy, perhaps for his own ego.
The Top 30 Gold Survey
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