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This blog will be devoted to a variety of topics involving the ever-evolving cultural shifts occurring not only in America but on a worldwide basis. They are not necessarily inherent harmful, but worth noting and deserving of reader feedback.

Let's begin with the most recent recurring phenomonem, the Powerball lottery. The winning ticket will be worth approximately $900 million and people are queueing up in long lines just for the opportunity to buy tickets. As is customarily the case when huge amounts build up in lottery drawings, the media devotes considerable airtime to the event, which in turn induces more ticket buyers.

Personally, I don't get caught up in this form of mania. However I do see the benefits for the 'greater good' in terms of the massive revenue streams that flow to governments and municipalities from these purchases. (Let's hope these funds are allocated properly and not squandered). I suppose it is part of the human condition to desire instant wealth, and to believe you could actually be the beneficiary of this type of windfall. In reality, the odds of winning are less than infinitesimal.  But if you want to engage is a hopeless gambling then have at it. But if you must get your gamble on, consider your lottery ticket purchase a donation to the government. Go to a casino or join a friendly poker game if you want a possible chance for a return on your investment.

Next topic is somewhat related in that it involves consumers waiting in long lines to spend money.  Apple Corporation has done a masterful job of creating high-end tech products and seducing a target market with the 'next big thing'. The millenial generation cannot contain themselves whenever Apple announces the launch date for any new product. Normally, consumers are keenly aware if you wait for the mayhem to dissipate on any new product, you will pay a lot less for it. Millenials are unconcerned with price, their priority is simply wanting it when it first hits the market, regardless of cost.

The same can be said for Starbucks. Spending $4 to $5 for a specialty cup of coffee has become habit-forming for this group of consumers, usually between 18 and 40 years of age. Starbucks and Apple are prime examples of companies who have created and maintained brand loyalty, where price is never an issue. Even in a recession, their customers will pay up for the 'brand experience'.

Next is a product that has recently soared in popularity. I am referring to the Hover board, a product whose appeal has overlapped both the teenage and millenial markets. Clearly a toy for thrill-seekers, it is this millenium's version of a skateboard except it is motorized. I recently discussed the Hover board with a group of 10 year-olds, asking them about how they use it. One kid said he rides it from the family room to the kitchen refigerator! I am not kidding. It is noteworthy to mention that some of these boards have had dangerous malfunctions resulting in fires and injuries. And I almost forgot to mention, the retail price 'hovers' above $400. I think I'll continue walking to the refrigerator.

Changing gears to a far more important topic, the safety and security of the American homeland. First, the lesser of the two risks, and I say that without minimizing its danger...What is happening with the preoccupation and obsession with recreational drones in our country? Will it require a major airline crash to spur lawmakers to regulate this endeavor? More specifically, why do you need this form of entertainment? Are you a wanna-be airline pilot or air traffic contoller acting out?  What you are is a menace to society! Your 'device' can easily mal-function and crash into power lines, vehicles, pedestrians, and even commercial and private aircraft! Why do we need these annoyances buzzing around our skies. Another case of the 'me culture' at work choosing self-promotion and gratification over the right to safety of other Americans. Leave drones to the military where they are useful in the war on terror.

And finally, why does our president feel the need to release terroists from Guantanimo Bay prison? It is well documented those who have been released have returned to the Middle East to resume terrorist activities. The prisoner swap involving Sergeant Beau Bergdahl for five high level Muslim terrorists was the most poorly negotiated and ill-conceived agreement in our lifetime. What is the president's vision for America? Combine that with the Iran nuclear agreement and I have to believe that he is not acting in our nation's best interest. In fact, you can make an argument that he is either living in a dream world where he believes being soft on terrorist countries will magically transform them into humanitarians...Or, he is simply the most incompetent, misguided leader we have ever elected, Either choice you make here is not a good outcome for the USA!

That's a wrap for today. I welcome feedback from readers - am I overreacting to all of the above? If so, tell me why...As always, I could be wrong!

Guide yourself accordingly.

Straight Ahead,
johntheblogger




Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jan. 10th, 2016 04:42 pm (UTC)
Lotto, Apple, Star-Boards & the President
I confess, I bought 3 tickets...won $2...a bit like the current stock market.

I am always a generation behind in the Apple Technology and perhaps in my overall perception things.

I would consider a $5 coffee if the cost included it delivered to my door...that sounds about right.

The three other subjects seem to make a lot of sense when you try to figure out the motives and actions of this President. The best way to stomach him is to consider we have an opportunity to hire a competent replacement in 9 months.
johntheblogger
Jan. 11th, 2016 01:40 am (UTC)
Re: Lotto, Apple, Star-Boards & the President
Thanks for commenting, but I encourage you to identify yourself.
Just a guess, are you Steve Ray?
(Anonymous)
Jan. 10th, 2016 09:39 pm (UTC)
Blog
Personally, I don't have a problem with the President. Guantanimo Prison should never have be opened in the first place. It was a breeding ground for abuse, and it is against the very ideals that our country stands for. If we don't live up to our principles, we won't live it down. In a 'war for minds' it's our principles that are important, not our guns or drones. Not sure about 'well documented' -- would need to see the evidence.

The drone issue is also interesting. It is tough to halt the application of technology, and I don't like reserving any technology solely for the military. If we did that, we wouldn't have GPS today, and I'd keep getting lost! But, we do need a Congress that can keep up with technology when setting laws. And, we desperately need some common sense and a sense of responsibility on the part of drone operators.
johntheblogger
Jan. 11th, 2016 01:36 am (UTC)
Re: Blog
Tyler, I assume this is you. Okay if Gitmo is "abusive" transfer these savages to another high security prison. WHY RELEASE THEM? We must NEVER forget the 9/11 attacks on the homeland.
I am not advocating we reserve technology for the military. I simply don't think we need drones for recreation.
Thanks for your points of view.
John
johntheblogger
Jan. 10th, 2016 11:06 pm (UTC)
reply via email from Jim Dwyer
Our great president is doing his best to free the prisoners so they can kill again. I always thought prisoners stay prisoners until the war is over. We let them go and American prisoners get their heads cut off. Obama is hurting our country. John, have patience, Clinton will save us

Jim
johntheblogger
Jan. 12th, 2016 03:03 am (UTC)
Re: reply via email from Jim Dwyer
Hi Jim, your mere mention of Clinton induces nausea for me. I know you are being satirical here. You are spot on with your Obama analysis.
Please help Florida defeat Hillary in November with a GOP vote...and get all your golf buddies on board too!
Hit 'em far and straight.

John
(Anonymous)
Jan. 12th, 2016 12:14 am (UTC)
serious concerns
It is always uplifting to read JOhn the Blogger's viewpoint because it is serious business. I agree with many of John's points but not all. However, this blog always makes one think about how our world is changing and if there is anything that can be done to make it a beatter one. I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the many issues rolling our way but always feel relief because John is funny!
johntheblogger
Jan. 12th, 2016 02:58 am (UTC)
Re: serious concerns
Again, hoping for a name when you write back. I appreciate your comments and I'm glad I provide you with comic relief.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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