There Are Good People in Ferguson, MO

Contrary to the nightly news, or any one of the cable networks, there are good things happening in Ferguson, MO right now.

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That’s human nature. Some wake up ready to burn the community down again tonight, others wake up to clean up. It’s their neighborhood too. Still, there is plenty of anger.

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Gov. Nixon has called in the National Guard.

“Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard … in restoring peace and order to this community,” he said in a statement.

It’s not over yet.

h/t Ryan J. Reilly

Back

I’m coming back.

Some of you may know that this blog use to be a pretty active place. It started nearly 10 years ago. Just before the 2004 presidential election I started PunditGuy. It was great then. There were few political blogs in those days. It was relatively easy to get noticed. Most of the other bloggers were happy to link to PunditGuy, and many took my posts. It didn’t take long to get a following, and in just a few months, I had over one thousand unique visitors reading me per week. Talk about fun! I loved blogging. It became my hobby, and I put a lot of time into it. For the next few years, I blogged every day, got mentioned in the mainstream media, and had stories written about me in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. I had links into PunditGuy from MSNBC, CNN, and many well read blogs. More and more people read what I had to say. It was really great.

Then, something changed.

I started getting bored. I missed a few days, then a week, then a month of blogging. I stopped caring. I was distracted. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I became disinterested in it all. Little did I know then, but I was entering into a moment of my life that would occupy my mind for the next 7 years.

Yep, 7 years.

I’ve been struggling with a myriad of issues. Family problems. Drug addiction in an immediate family member. Mental issues. Anxiety. Confidence issues. Professional issues. You name it, I have probably been through it in some form or another over the past few years. It’s been exhausting. Doctors. Tests. Treatment centers. Counseling. Pressure. Stress.

Fear.

All of this zapped every ounce of creative energy from me. Oh, on the outside I looked like I was coping. Inside, I was a wreck. I just didn’t want to do a lot of stuff. I didn’t want to deal with a lot of stuff either.

I lost a solid 7 years of my life.

Recently, through the help of professionals, and confidants, I’ve been looking into these things and realizing their cause. They aren’t simple things. They are lifelong things. But I’ve learned some interesting information, and I’ve gathered some tools to address them on a daily basis.

A friend asked me recently to recall a time when I was really happy, and interested, and “in the zone” with things in my life. I thought about that, and the truth is, I was in that place when I was writing on this blog every day. I felt good. I really loved meeting other bloggers, interacting with readers, and keeping up to date with all that was going on in the world of current events and politics. I really had a lot of fun. My friend asked me why I don’t go back to that. I immediately had a bunch of excuses. I didn’t have the time. There were too many political blogs now. Politics is exhausting. Blah Blah Blah. My friend then said something interesting. He said, “Who cares? You were having fun. You were doing something you liked. You were keeping busy. Your mind was focusing on things that you were really interested in. Go back and start over. Do it again, and light those areas of your brain back up!”. 

Wow. I had never thought about that. I never thought that just the exercise of writing on this blog again could bring back some of those memories in my brain. Those fun times. A time when I was a little less troubled, and a lot less narcissistic.

So, that’s why I’m back. I don’t care if I get a thousand readers again. I don’t care if I get mentioned in mainstream media. I don’t have to be famous. I don’t have to worry about trying to get linked by a big time blogger. I don’t have to look at my blog stats every few minutes. I just have to write, about everything. Not just politics, but anything I want. The act itself is rejuvenating. It’s what I like to do. It’s what brings me a bit of happiness.

I’m going to be in this place. I’m going to spend time writing again. And it will be fun.

So, welcome back if you’re reading this and you used to read me here. If this is new to you, then, I’ll just say, “Hi”, and “Thanks for reading”, like I used to say, every day, years ago, right here on PunditGuy.

Know Your Coffee: 9 Things

I love coffee. Not the buzz, but the actual coffee taste. I know, that might be weird to you, especially if coffee is simply a means to get you up and going in the morning. I have purchased dozens of specialty machines. I’ve ground, tamped, pressed, and Keurig’d (did I just invent a word?) coffee.

Lately, I’ve tried to cut down. I struggle with general anxiety disorder (GAD) and everyone I’ve read or talked to has said that caffeine doesn’t help. Still, I need the bean. 

I got a kick out of this list of 9 things you should know about coffee.

1. A healthy daily dose of caffeine can be very different depending on who you are.

Don’t I know it. I used to be able to drink a double espresso at 10 pm at night and sleep like a baby. My personal assistant at work can’t have coffee after 11 am, or she’ll be up for weeks.

2. There’s no standard amount of caffeine in each cup of coffee—even within the same brand. 

I guess I should have known this, but never really gave it a lot of thought. I just figured if I was drinking equal amounts of coffee from the french press, the caffeine all worked out in the end.

3. Caffeinated beverage manufacturers are not required by the Food and Drug Administration to label how much caffeine is contained in their product.

Not surprised. I don’t believe in the data on labels. It’s about selling me stuff. Labels will contain only as much as needed to get me to buy the product, coffee included.

4. Your grandparents probably drank twice as much coffee as you do. 

So, that explains it. Gramma was wired – all day. No wonder she could work so hard for so many hours in any given day.

5. Pro athletes everywhere depend on caffeine—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

…and a lot of other substances, right Lance Armstrong?

6. Keurig cups—those little disposable, single-serve cups of coffee with a special dispenser—are here to stay.

I’m proof of that. Even at $.75 per cup, I’ve dumped plenty of plastic in a few land fills.

7. Mixing caffeine and alcohol hasn’t been proven to be inherently unhealthy. But the resulting behaviors can be dangerous, potentially even fatal. 

Translation: “blow your brain apart”. I’ll pass.

8. Caffeine could be way better for us—and also way worse—than we know. 

See above. Coffee doesn’t play well with sufferers of GAD.

9. You’re not as much of a coffee buff as you think. 

That’s right. While I love drinking it, and appreciating the taste of different types, I’m not that much of a geek. I don’t care a wit about a fruity or smoky tone.

The real issue about coffee is, I still can’t believe I willingly pay $4 or $5 for a cup of it, when my ancestor’s got along with a 3 pound can of Folgers for $6.99 which would last a couple of months. I refuse to look at my bank statements to see how much I spend on the glorious drink. 

Somethings about coffee should just be left unknown.

Merry Christmas!

OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD

UPDATE: First picture of the dead body of Osama Bin Laden?
MORE: Video of Bin Laden mansion burning.

In minutes, the President of the United States is expected to report that Osama Bin Laden, the individual behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, is dead.

Dead.

Finally.

Sources say that the U.S. has the body.

11:36 PM Eastern Time: President Barack Obama has just announced that Osama Bin Laden is dead. George W. Bush would have wanted to make this announcement years ago. He couldn’t do it in 8 years as President. We’ve continued to hunt for the central figure in the war on terrorism since, and tonight, on May 1, 2011, the news is finally in.

Bin Laden is dead. Hiding in plain sight, in Islamabad Pakistan.

Now what?

Will terrorism increase? It’s likely. Will there be a short term intensification of terrorist response to this news. Probably. Is Barack Obama the right leader for this time? What can we expect in the coming days?

No one knows.

What we do know is this matters. This is a major story. It brings a certain amount of closure; closure for the people of New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville, PA.

In fact, this provides closure for every American.

MORE: Shot in head | US tracked couriers to Bin Laden’s compound |

Moving Publishing from Print to Digital

Brett Sandusky, Director of Product Innovation for Kaplan Publishing, shares his experience of moving his publishing house from print to digital.

North Korea: What If?

While all eyes are on Iran, trouble continues to brew on the Korean peninsula. The regime in Pyongyang has ratcheted up their rhetoric significantly in the last few weeks. The latest threat comes in the form of a missile pointed toward Hawaii. Allegedly, Kim Jong Il has plans to fire a Taepodong-2 with a range of 4,000 miles on July 4th in the direction of the 50th state. What do we make of all this and why should we worry?

We should worry about North Korea because Kim Jong Il isn’t a reasonable man. In fact, he’s a lunatic with a suicide wish.

Kim Jong Il has proven over the years that he worries about one thing and one thing only. He worries about Kim Jong Il. He doesn’t care about Korea. He doesn’t care about it surviving one day more than he survives. He’s crazy enough to make sure the country goes up in flames just before he breathes his last breath. So, if this is the case, why doesn’t he do it now? Why doesn’t he just blow the place up? He doesn’t because he believes he’s still got time left, and he wants to remain in power.

The threats coming from North Korea today are not necessarily aimed at inflicting their own annihilation. They are an attempt to obtain more allowances and concessions from the U.S., China and Russia. A quick look in the rear view mirror shows that they’ve been successful at this in the past. Their playbook is well known. Hike up the threats, act belligerent, flex a muscle, get a few U.N. sanctions and then back down, shut a few nuclear reactors, say some nice words and throw some love toward Seoul. It’s a method that guarantees they’ll get what they want from the big three. Food, mostly, and other necessities. Then, the government can parcel out just enough to keep the North Korean people from revolting.  After all, this worked with the Clinton and Bush administrations. It’s got to work with the Obama administration. Heck, Obama has even said he’s willing for direct negotiations between the U.S. and the communist regime. It’s got to work.

And it just might, but what if it doesn’t?

Back to the sanity of Kim Jong Il. What does he have to live for? Although some in the media have said that Jong Il has already chosen his successor, there’s no guarantee there will ever be a need for one. What I mean to say is, Kim Jong Il is crazy enough that he might just want to light up the sky on his way off this planet. Again, he has nothing to lose, and obliterating Seoul and lobbing a dozen missiles into Tokyo would certainly put his name in the history books forever. He doesn’t care about the North Korean people, so why not take them out at the same time?

He could do it, and he just might.

Are we prepared to deal with this scenario? Or more to the point, is Obama prepared to deal with this? I think the 44th president believes if you’re human you must be able to reason at some level. I’d suggest he’s arrogant enough to believe that if HE had a chance to sit across the table with even a nutcase like Jong Il, he could say something that would make sense to the man. Unfortunately, that’s a fallacy. Terrorists hate Americans so much that they would want to die themselves to kill as many as possible. How do you reason with a person like that? Kim Jong Il has been trying to garner attention ever since he took over for the great leader. He can’t bear to die without making a name for himself.  So far he hasn’t succeeded. He’s been reportedly ill for years now after suffering a stroke. He has to know his time is running out. If he fails at this latest negotiation ploy, and he fails to prove his mettle to North Koreans, what does he have to live for?

If the Korean peninsula becomes a burning ball of sulfur, and millions of Chinese and Japanese die as a result, will China sit idly by? Won’t they want to pin blame on someone either than Kim Jong Il? Won’t that someone be the United States?

It just might happen.

Are we prepared for this possibility? Do we have the right leadership in place to handle a crisis of this scale? Or are we whistling in the dark?

Happy Birthday Mr. President

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85 years-old. Jumping out of an airplane. Like he did when he turned 75. And when he turned 80. That’s totally Chuck Norris like.

Happy Birthday President Bush.

Memorial Day

Remember

Remember

Question of the Day

What will happen to digital information 250 years from now?

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