Tidbits

Tidbits. That’s kind of a funny word, isn’t it? I do prefer tidbits over slices, chunks, and crushed when it comes to canned pineapple, but that’s not what I’m referring to at the moment. I don’t have a whole lot to say on a few recent issues making the news; hence, the clever title, “Tidbits,” but I certainly do have an opinion on Bowe Bergdahl, the Washington Redskins, and even World Cup Soccer. Let’s begin with President Obama’s decision to make a trade for Serviceman Bowe Bergdahl. How much is one life worth? Everything! What should the United States trade for the life of one of their own? Nothing! I know that sounds harsh, but the reality is the recent deal our President made does set a precedent for future unwarranted negotiations with terrorists and any other group, organization, or individual who’s deranged enough to take on a hostage.

I can hardly imagine being captured and possibly tortured by anyone, and I undoubtedly have compassion for those who find themselves in that predicament. However, our government simply shouldn’t deal with the likes of those people, especially when it is in exchange for an American Soldier, and it makes no difference whether the enlistee is a decorated war hero or has been labeled a traitor, by many in his own country, as seems to be the case in this situation. I assume all military personnel are forewarned about the enhanced risk of captivity when joining the Armed Forces. Therefore, they are more likely aware of what possibly lies ahead for them than the average vacationing tourist does. Only time will tell how damaging President Obama’s trade, for Mr. Bergdahl, may be to the security of the United States. Let’s hope and pray nothing ever comes of that mistake.

Another interesting tidbit making headline news I would like to discuss is the renewed push to force the Washington Redskins, of the National Football League, to change their team name. I guess some people, although I’m not sure who or how many, feel that the word “Redskin” is disparaging to Indians. Unfortunately, the U.S Government has gotten involved because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently canceled the team’s trademarked name. They claimed it subjected Native Americans to, “contempt, ridicule and disrepute.” Frankly, with how things have been going in D.C., since the “Tea Party” came aboard, I think I’m more offended by the word “Washington” than anything else, and that sentiment is coming straight from the mouth of an American-Indian. Well, partially anyway. I’m somewhere in the vicinity of 1/32nd, or 1/64th Cherokee.

I am also a traditionalist in most cases, and this happens to be one of those times. This world would be a much better place if we weren’t so sensitive about every single thing and if we didn’t always strive to put political correctness above all else. I usually don’t have much use for the outspoken radio host, Rush Limbaugh, but I do like the conservative’s idea, if push comes to shove, of changing the Washington Redskins’ logo to a potato (obviously of the red skinned variety). On the other hand, I don’t know how exactly one could create a tough looking logo out of a potato. I suppose it would take a marketing genius, but maybe it’s worth a try. I do think our government should absolutely stay out of this controversial debate.

Unlike the current “Redskin” issue I am finally at peace with the government’s earlier involvement in forcing everyone, who did not have either cable or satellite programming, to purchase a converter box allowing for their continued television viewing. My wife and I now have several more channels than we did before, so we’ve been able to watch the Men’s USA Soccer Team compete in the World Cup for free (albeit in Spanish). My wife suggested we watch the matches in closed-caption, but I’m not talented enough to focus on the action and read the captions at the same time. Besides, “Goooooooal!” sounds pretty much the same, I imagine, in any language. I recently read a tidbit of news somewhere that professional soccer already exceeds the popularity of the National Basketball Association and is expected to surpass the fan support of Major League Baseball in the next few years. I find that somewhat difficult to believe because everyone knows baseball is America’s pastime.

I haven’t been much of a soccer fan in the past, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I only know the name’s of two professional soccer players, Pelé and David Beckham, from the entire history of the game for Pete’s sake. I think Pelé was the Michael Jordan of soccer, and I only know of Mr. Beckham because I’ve seen his face plastered numerous times on the cover of magazines, but more importantly I know about him because he’s married to my favorite Spice Girl. This past weekend I finally realized I had to get with the program after my own son showed up at church wearing an official USA World Cup jersey. The one thing I noticed immediately, when watching the World Cup, was that every player on the field was an athlete. Not even one pudgy person in sight – unlike some pro golfers, bowlers, and race-car drivers I’ve seen. Yes, I know those other “sports” take a certain set of skills, but professional soccer players might very well be the best conditioned athletes in the world.

My recent interest in World Cup Soccer can be filed under the category of “don’t knock it ’til you try it.” I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the USA Team advance in the tournament, and I have a newfound respect for the sport although I don’t think the National Football League has anything to worry about anytime soon. Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I’ve got a sudden hankering for some pineapple.

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