President Barack Obama has moved from being disingenuous on immigration to downright undecipherable. Earlier this year, the administration promised a groundbreaking executive action on immigration before summer’s end. Over the weekend, aides announced that the big new change essentially won’t happen until after the midterm elections.
What’s up? Obama told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd on Sunday, Sept. 7, “What I’m saying is that I’m going to act because it’s the right thing for the country, but it’s going to be more sustainable and more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we’ve done on unaccompanied children and why it’s necessary.”
What Obama couldn’t quite say is that if he further undermines immigration law, the Democrats will lose the Senate. And he couldn’t exactly blame Republicans for his decision to not act as promised. Ergo, gobbledygook.
So here we are in the era of Information Overload or IO. Each day the average citizen is exposed to thousands of incoming messages via phone calls, e-mail, advertisements, TV, radio, personal contacts and simply being alert to the passing parade.
It’s good to be well-informed. But it can also drive you crazy, unless you somehow learn how to process all that data. Are there courses that can teach you how to stay sane in today’s age of IO? If so, I’d gladly sign up.
Maybe we should fashion our own defense system. Call it CIO - Combatting Information Overload. I can think of several first steps.
I don’t have time to count how many words there are in Florida’s Constitution. Sorry, I couldn’t find that information online, either.
My concern is that if legislators, governors and special interests keep trying to doctor our Constitution with amendments, it might become as bloated as Alabama’s, which at 340,136 words is called the longest constitution in the world.
Now comes Gov. Scott with a proposed $1 billion in tax cuts and a constitutional amendment to prevent property tax increases on homesteaded property if a home’s value stays the same or decreases.
A few days ago I was watching the U.S. Open tennis matches, and listening to the grunts, groans and screams that some of the players emitted each time they struck the ball. Most of the yips and eeks came from the female players; the men, when they made any noise at all, tended to grunt.
In the old days (during the McKinley administration), did tennis players make such noises? I don’t think so. I believe the sound effects began around the 1990s, or maybe earlier. Monica Seles was one of the pioneers of vocal tennis, although others have rivaled her decibel-levels.
Research has shown that, for tennis players, noise-making has its benefits. The grunters hit the ball harder, but without increasing their heart rate. Their opponents were slightly less successful at returning the ball. You’d think these findings would increase the number of yippers, and perhaps they have. Still, many tennis players make very little noise when they wallop the ball.
President Barack Obama slipped up recently when he told reporters, “We don’t have a strategy yet” to dispatch the Islamic State. These things happen. On “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., dished out a mild but fitting response to the president’s remarks. “He’s very cautious,” she said. “Maybe in this instance too cautious.”
On Wednesday in Estonia, the president tried to present a more muscular foreign policy as he stated that the administration has been “putting forward a strategy” for the Islamic State. Thing is, it’s a long-term proposition.
“Our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy (the Islamic State) so that it’s no longer a threat not just to Iraq but also the region and to the United States,” quoth Obama.
A few days ago, for no good reason, I found myself thinking about people, events, sights and sounds that are unlikely to occur in our lifetimes. Here’s what I came up with.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY ANY TV STATION. “Channel XYZ has decided to begin giving weather reports only four times a day, instead of the 74 daily reports we’ve been airing for the past several decades. Also, we will reduce our repetition of the same news items from our customary 36 times per day to a mere 12.”
A POST-GAME INTERVIEW WITH NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS HEAD COACH Bill Belichick during which he smiles, jokes, gives extravagant praise to all his players and refrains from saying “It is what it is,” even once.
When Al-Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million in January 2013, former Vice President Al Gore, who co-founded Current, praised the deal.
Both Al-Jazeera, a network owned by Qatar’s oil-rich royal family, and his far-left Current TV, Gore said, were founded “to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.”
Last week, Gore and Current TV shareholders sued Al-Jazeera for fraud because, Gore attorney David Boies told reporters, “Al-Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago.”
Adult Competition Spelling Bee PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce hosts its second annual Adult Competition Spelling Bee Thursday, Sept.18, 6 p.m., at Palm Harbor University High School.
Proceeds will benefit the chamber’ efforts toward financial assistance to school programs.
Community sponsorships are available, ranging from $100 to $5,000. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors. Students will be admitted free.
Food drive reception SEMINOLE – The Interfaith Food Pantry, 9530 Starkey Road, will host a thank you reception on Thursday, Sept. 18, 5 to 6:30 p.m., for donations collected through Mayor Leslie Waters’ 2014 canned food challenge.
Food will continue to be collected at the following drop-off locations through the end of the year at Seminole City Hall, City Park during the 2014 Fall Music in the Park concerts, Seminole Chamber of Commerce, Seminole Gardens Apartments, Lake Seminole Presbyterian Church, St. Petersburg College-Seminole Student Center, UP192, Freedom Square, Lake Seminole Square and American Woman Fitness Center on Bay Pines Boulevard.
Free afternoon for caregivers LARGO – Princeton Village of Largo, 333 16th Ave. SE, plans a free afternoon for caregivers Thursday, Sept. 18, 2 to 4 p.m.
Caregovers are invited for a free spa afternoon that includes a massage, mini makeover, champagne and more.
Linda Burhans of Harmony Home Health will present a program on how to help yourself so you can help others.
Those planning to attend should RSVP by Sept. 15 to 588-0020.
Gaming Club INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The Seminole Recreation Division now offers an adult Gaming Club that meets the third Thursday of every month, 5 to 9 p.m., at the Holland G. Mangum Recreation Complex, 9100 113th St. N.
This group is open to individuals 16 and older. Various board and card games will be available.
This program is free for members and $3 for nonmembers.
Historical Society meeting PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park Historical Society meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd.
Refreshments will be available.
Call 541-6206 for more information.
Kiwanis Club of Seminole meeting SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole meets Thursdays, 6:15 p.m., at Freedom Square’s Town Hall.
The group’s next speaker will be Breanne Zsiga, from Career Academies of Seminole, discussing on her steer project.
For more information, call Terry Carr at 394-2582.
Marketing Mysteries Solved Workshop SAFETY HARBOR – The Marketing Mysteries Solved Workshop is set for Thursday, Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m., at the Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 Second St. N.
The workshop is by SCORE and presented by Don Mahaney and it will reveal the roles and relationships between marketing, advertising, and sales, and learning effective and efficient marketing techniques.