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Daily Archives: March 13th, 2017

Very well stated. MA

On the eve of the college basketball spectacle known as March Madness, CNBC sat down with announcer Charles Barkley and discussed the NCAA, politics and everything in between.
True to form, the basketball Hall of Famer didn’t mince his words.
Barkley, who will be part of the broadcast team airing on CBS and Turner, had a good reason for how March Madness can really make a difference in everyday life.

“I love sports because it takes me away from reality and I tell people, no matter how bad your life is, if you are having problems at home, you are having problems at work, that’s the beauty of sports.”
When applying that principle to the current environment, the NBA great was his usual outspoken self: “If it wasn’t for sports we would have to isolate ourselves in just reality and right now reality sucks.”
In the interview Tuesday, Barkley spoke of the political situation in Washington and the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s election. He also didn’t spare either side of the aisle. Currently, both major parties are sparring over just about everything, including health-care reform and Russia’s accused meddling in the U.S. elections.
“What bothers me the most are the Republicans and the Democrats, they act like little kids,” Barkley said. “They are lying to real people out here trying to get through life. … It’s both parties: They disagree on every single issue and it [angers] me … because their job is to work for us.”
He took offense at their usual approach of showing up “on TV yelling and screaming they are fighting each other” rather than what he expects from them. “They are supposed to take care of people and they are not doing that.”
Barkley didn’t stop there. He denounced Trump’s proposed travel ban as “stupid” and “ridiculous” and lashed out at the way the U.S. is treating immigrants. After suffering several decisive legal rebukes last month, Trump’s revised plan restricts travel from six majority-Muslim countries linked to terrorism and imposes new levels of vetting on refugees.
That is “probably bugging me the most right now,” Barkley said, especially the treatment against people “who have been here many years.”
He also railed against the nation’s divide between rich and poor. “My perspective is never gonna change on that. … We’ve got to do a much better job to take care of poor people, because you cannot put all the poor people in bad neighborhoods send them to bad schools and say good luck in life. That’s just not right.”
Barkley, 54, has undertaken his own efforts to make it better, discussed donations he’s made to three schools: Morehouse, Clark Atlanta University, and Alabama A&M. “I wanted to help historically black colleges,” said Barkley, who is from Alabama.
Asked whether he would run for office himself, he said no. His reason was characteristically blunt: “Because I don’t have time to go to work and argue with fools every day,” said the former member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets.

Eric Chemi
Sr. Editor-at-Large, Data Journalism

Jessica Golden

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The discussion of politics always involves labels of some sort. Each major party has subsets. These subsets can be called anyone of many names i.e. Conservative , moderate, liberal. These are just attributes of the group and the individuals within that group and have nothing to do with Governing. The key to governing is first getting elected. The after of gaining the office is doing what you said if you said something that is possible. To determine what is possible is to research what your goals and the potential outcome will be. It is unfortunate that too many of us are so disenfranchised with the Government for a variety of reasons that we miss the real issues. The real issues are the people we have kept in office too long and thought they had our backs. The reality is that they are ON our backs and will continue that ride until we say stop. If you need a label to cover your belief then I submit that you are depriving yourself of the ability to make rational judgments in elections. Think about the people we elect to Congress: their medical plan is better than most and the ACA has no effect on them (they made sure of that), the economy has no effect on their salary (they made that a law) and they do not have pay for transportation, office help, decorating or supplies. With this in mind-what does a label mean? Its definition in this case is: a short word or phrase descriptive of a person, group, intellectual movement, etc. If you define your beliefs by a label then its possible that you do not really know or understand what you believe. The way I see beliefs as applied to politics is  to disengage from the labels associated with political parties and use your common sense with a healthy dose of skepticism. The skepticism will allow you to stay out the surge of “crowd” thinking and hopefully see the chinks in the armor of   politispeak and rhetoric that sounds good but has no basis in fact. With all of the available information outlets we have access to why would you depend on one or two when you have access to many and thereby have access to a broader view of  the situation. Think of it as watching a football game, the 50 yard line is great but the view is close up so much of the action is unseen. If you are higher up you can see the whole field and get a view of all of the action. The same applies to information you receive.

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