Wednesday, July 10, 2019

News Flash: Men and women are not equal

It’s time we stopped lying to women. Women are always told, ‘You can do anything a man can.’ It’s simply not true. Yes, I know I run the risk of being called a male chauvinist pig. I’m not. Men who say this are simply patronizing women. It’s time to put a stop to it here and now.

Yes, there are plenty of things women can do as well or even better than a man. Women can be doctors and lawyers and scientists. I believe we’ll have a woman president in the not-too-distant future. If we elect her because she’s the most qualified candidate and not just because she’s a woman then she will be able to govern as well, if not better than, a man.

There are some things a man can never do. Women are uniquely qualified to be mothers. Despite headlines like “British man, 21, makes history by giving birth to baby girl,” it’s not true. Biologically it’s impossible. Men can’t have babies. Just because you ‘identify’ as a man doesn’t make it so.

There’s one arena where women just can’t compete with men. Athletics. After the U.S. women’s soccer team beat the Netherlands there were chants of ‘Equal pay.’ Do women get paid less than the men? As even the Washington Post acknowledged, “It’s tough to make a straightforward comparison of the earnings for men and women players.” That’s because the teams have different pay structures. If you’re a contract player for the women’s team you get a base salary plus performance-based bonuses. Male soccer players in the U.S. don’t get a base salary. They get paid when they play. The obvious question is why the contract players on the women’s team aren’t demanding that non-contract players get paid what they’re getting.

The difference in pay is simply a matter of pay structure. The men run the risk of making far less if they don’t advance to the World Cup, as was the case this year. The women are paid regardless, and garner smaller bonuses for advancing. But it also has to do with how much each team generates in revenue for the United States Soccer Federation. According to the USSF, if you include fiscal year 2015 when the men won the World Cup then you find the men brought in $10.8 million more for the federation than the women did.

The pay squabble in soccer is a different issue than athletic ability. Most people will agree that the men’s team this year, which didn’t make the World Cup, would beat the women’s team on the field. The most famous battle of the sexes was tennis greats Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King in 1973. King beat Riggs in straight sets. King was 29 years old. Riggs was 55. What’s lost to history is Riggs’s victory earlier that year to Margaret Court who was the top female player in the world. Riggs beat her in straight sets.

Even the Williams sisters knew they couldn’t compete with similarly ranked men. They said they could beat any man ranked outside the top 200. Karsten Braasch, ranked 203rd, stepped forward and beat both sisters back to back on the same day.

There will never be a female Tom Brady. There will never be a female Michael Jordan. This is not male chauvinism. This is simply a fact. We should all acknowledge that instead of lying about it. And we should all be good with it. Many men will publicly repudiate such claims, but women should know that’s only the proverbial pat on the head.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Is the 'Hands-free Driving' law a violation of your rights?

There are now 19 states that have passed ‘Hands-free Driving’ laws. Although they differ slightly in language, the aim in all is the same. Keep people’s eyes off their phones and on the road.

My opinion on the issue has evolved over the years. When cellphone bans were first talked about it was really a solution in search of a problem. Bluetooth was not in widespread use either, which would mean your phone would be useless as long as you’re mobile—sort of the opposite intended use of a mobile phone.

Now we have the data, and here’s how it breaks down. Distracted driving accounts for about 10 percent of all fatal crashes. Of that 10 percent, about 15 percent involve cellphones. To be honest, that leaves a lot of distracted driving unchecked. Other forms of distraction include talking to other passengers, adjusting the radio or climate control, and eating. These new cellphone laws are not going to eliminate the dangers of distracted driving, but they’re a step in the right direction.

Once the problem of distracted cellphone users reached the point of needing a solution I changed my opinion. That change has left me with the label by some as a big government neocon. That’s short for neoconservative, if you’re not familiar with the term. It’s a moniker that’s been applied to everyone from John McCain to Laura Ingraham, so I’m not sure how effective it is in dinging the recipient. But I received it in the spirit it was hurled. I get it. I understand why people are wary of new laws. What I don’t get is this leap of logic that supporting a ban on using your cellphone while you’re driving will ultimately lead to all of our guns being confiscated.

Some things are just common sense. When common sense ceases to be common you need laws. Look, I know some people who can hardly drive, let alone drive with a phone in one of the hands that should be on the steering wheel. I’m a big believer that your primary job when you hop behind the wheel of a car is to drive it. That may sound sarcastic but it’s not. I tell my kids that your one goal when you close that driver’s side door is to get from Point A to Point B safely. Everything else is secondary to that.

My wife loves to talk on the phone. She also hates learning new technology. It took this law to get her off the handset and onto Bluetooth. I think she’s going to find it immensely more convenient. I’m going to feel much better about her safety.

Which leads to a major point about driving. Safety is the most important issue on the road. Getting there takes a back seat to safety. Arrive alive. That’s the goal. It doesn’t matter how much faster you were than the other guy if you never make it. Too many people drive like it’s a competition. I have to raise my hand to that. Just this morning I had two people jockeying for position on an interstate onramp. One looked like someone’s grandmother. I don’t know where Grandma was going in such a hurry, but I got out of her way. A younger me may have been sucked into the competition.

Driving isn’t a race. It’s also not a right. You have to earn your way on the road by passing a test. That test doesn’t end when they issue your license. The daily test is safety. We’re all a little safer when everyone is watching the road.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Friday, June 21, 2019

AOC just doesn't get it

One has to wonder how far Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will go in her quest to destroy the status quo in America and replace it with her beloved socialism. The ridiculous attacks are an almost daily occurrence.

One day she blasted Amazon for paying ‘starvation wages.’ The next she accused Donald Trump of setting up ‘concentration camps’ on the border. Both accusations are almost too ridiculous to warrant response, but since she wields a lot of influence on the left, especially with young voters, her ludicrous accusations cannot go unchecked.

As far as the ‘starvation wages’ at Amazon are concerned, that company has bent over backwards to the socialists who demanded a $15 minimum wage. The starting wage at Amazon is now $15. Apparently Fight for $15 was just a rallying cry. It was a first step in dismantling the capitalist companies that didn’t pay up. Now that they have the AOCs of the world moved on to their real target which is to ultimately bankrupt American corporations.

In an opinion piece for Forbes, Ed Rensi, the former CEO of McDonald’s, pointed out how a $15 minimum wage won’t spell the end of companies like McDonald’s. What it will spell the end of is entry-level opportunities for thousands of people. We see that already with Amazon. Higher wages have pushed Amazon to move toward automation for their warehouse jobs. While most of the warehouse work is still done by humans, the company’s director of robotics said full automation is a little more than ten years away. Robots are expensive, but they don’t strike and they don’t complain about a living wage.

AOC and others like her are also the ones ginning up hysteria amongst millennials. They’ve convinced them that no jobs will exist in the near future, that robots will take over everything. A generation that has grown up with gadgets is now going to therapists to deal with their threat. And the threat is coming from the very people they support.

Let’s face it, the fear of becoming obsolete is at least as old as the automobile. While the horse and buggy industry was put virtually out of business the jobs that sprang from the automotive industry far exceeded them. In that sense the socialists may be doing us all a favor. If their goal is to save the ‘working class’ then the immediate effect will be unemployment. Or at least a work force that has to be retrained. All at the government’s expense I’m sure.

The more egregious scare tactic from AOC was her ‘concentration camp’ nonsense. Let’s get some things straight. President Donald Trump was not the first to put illegal aliens in detention center. As for the cages, we know for a fact that Barack Obama was separating kids by age and putting them in ‘cages,’ if you want to call them that. They were (and are) chain-link fenced-in areas where minors are kept safe. The left loves to talk about ‘family separation,’ but we have a rich history in this country of not putting children in jail with their parents. I guess the guy who robs the bank and is locked up is a ‘victim’ of family separation too, but few would shed any tears for him.

Concentration camps were used to house Jews during World War II before they were sent off to be gassed en masse. To claim that kids who get three meals a day, a comfortable bed, and soccer games are in a concentration camp just illustrates the lack of judgement (or sense) of anyone who claims it.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Trump wins big on Mexico

Nothing succeeds like success, the old saying goes. That is unless you’re Donald J. Trump. All we heard from the mainstream media in the run-up to the threatened tariffs against Mexico was how devastating it would be for the American consumer. Talking points filtered through the press that avocados would go through the roof because of the proposed tariffs. I did a spot check of avocado prices around the country. Most were selling for 88 cents, a near all-time low. The worst the first wave of tariffs would’ve done would have been to drive the price up to 92 cents an avocado. That’s a far cry from the crisis they were trying to manufacture.

Then they pivoted to car prices. Nothing had changed on that front either. Then it was all about how Mexico was our best trading partner and how dare we treat them this way. Mexico may be an important trading partner, but they are a corruptocracy. Some refer to them as a narco-state. Then comes the reality. Mexico’s Finance and Tax Secretariat (SHCP) has been tracking suspicious transactions that lead back to drug cartel-linked human smuggling. In other words, many of the caravans heading to the United States have been linked to drug cartels.

Here’s how this works. They fund thousands of migrants to swarm the border at once in an effort to overwhelm U.S. Border Patrol. While our border watchers are processing the onslaught of asylum-seekers the drug cartels are traipsing across the border with large quantities of drugs. President Trump was well aware of what was going on.

Thwarted by lawsuits from the likes of the ACLU and aided by open-borders judges the Trump administration had run out of options to stop the illegal invasion. President Trump turned to the only weapon left in his arsenal: Tariffs. And they worked.

Mexico’s negotiators hopped a plane to Washington and before we knew it we had a deal whereby Mexico would send their national guard to their southern border to stop the flow of migrants coming up from Guatemala. They also agreed to keep asylum-seekers in their country until they could be processed in ours, something the courts had stopped Trump from doing unilaterally. 

Almost as soon as the president had tweeted the victorious results of the agreement the New York Times was out with a story about how there was nothing new here. What was new and groundbreaking was Trump had managed to get the Mexicans to finally agree to living up to their responsibilities by threatening to hit them in the wallet. By the way, the tariffs are suspended, not canceled. If Mexico doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain then the tariffs go forward.

The New York Times editorialized in their news account by writing that Trump “was driven in part by his obsession with stopping what he falsely calls an invasion of the country.” Although some quarters of the mainstream media remain in denial, this is truly an invasion. Over a million migrants will attempt to enter our country this year. If that’s not an invasion I don’t know what is.

Trump continues to confound his critics on both sides of the aisle. Some Republicans, who place profits ahead of principles, had bashed the president for his tariff threat. Now it looks nothing short of genius.

Trump joked on the campaign trail that we’d get so sick of winning. I had to laugh to myself when I read his tweet announcing the Mexican deal. So far I’m not even close to being sick.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Dems are openly fighting over how socialist they are

Who’d a thunk it just a few years ago? Democrats are openly feuding over socialism. The party that has long denied it’s a cover for socialists is now unashamedly run by them. So much so that left-wing kooks like Nancy Pelosi look like centrists by comparison. A couple of prospective Democrat presidential contenders came out against socialism and Medicare For All at the California Democratic Convention. They were roundly booed, one for more than a minute straight. No, this ain’t the party of JFK anymore.

The likes of Bernie Sanders and AOC have taken over the party. No longer is the word ‘socialism’ merely whispered in the corners of Washington cocktail parties, it’s now being debated for all the world to see. There is no longer any denying that the Democrat Party is the party of socialism. The only question is how much? And how far will the next Democrat president take America down that socialist road? Those who dare speak out against it in the party are thrown to the curb.

And the open socialists have now adopted a defiant tactic. If you say you’re opposed to socialism they demand that you don’t like firemen or cops or roads because that’s all socialism. Bull. Not all government services are socialism. The military, for example, is not socialism. It can operate like a dictatorship sometimes, but not socialism.

Allow me to explain this so everyone can understand it. The government is there to do what the private sector won’t, can’t, or shouldn’t do. The private sector, left to its own devices, won’t supply everyone with firemen or cops or build roads everywhere, so the government does that. It doesn’t mean it’s socialism.

The socialists try this little trick to convince you that socialism’s good. It isn't. I read someone’s explanation one time of the difference between socialism and communism. The firing squad. In other words, there ain’t much difference. Socialism is just more polite about how it controls your every move.

But in this day and age of more and more young folks living with their parents for longer, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that socialism is all the rage with the 20-somethings. Instead of mom and dad taking care of you it’s the government. And that’s on us as parents. (And I include myself) We have to do a better job of making our kids independent. If they learn to become independent from us they’re less likely to become dependent on the government. And isn’t that what we truly want for our kids? Is for them to be totally on their own?

You love your kids, right? Loving your kids means you want them to be all they can be. They’ll never reach their full potential as long as they’re dependent on you. Well, the same goes for people dependent on the government. Have you ever met a successful person on welfare? Neither have I. Dependence on the government is the very opposite of success.

If we love our children enough that we don’t want them dependent on us then why is it not the ultimate expression of love to want the same for everyone else’s children? Instinctively we know this, yet we’re browbeat into submission by the socialists that we should somehow take care of everybody. We should only be taking care of those who can’t take of themselves. Everybody else? Get your butts to work. Make something of your lives. You know this to be true because it’s exactly how you treat your own kids.

See, you’re not such a bad person after all.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Friday, May 31, 2019

The bums are out of control

Homeless people are taking over. I know we’re supposed to be sympathetic, and I am. I’ve worked with the homeless in varying capacities. I’ve given my time and money. I have a special place in my heart for the truly needy. But I fear too many are taking advantage of our generosity.

Take the ubiquitous person at the off-ramp with the sign. Usually it reads something like ‘Will work for food.’ The only problem is they won’t. There was a piece on Fox 17 in Nashville about a fed up local man who decided to shame a panhandler. He made up his own sign—He Can Get a Job—and stood next to the man as he tried to swindle pocket change from passersby.

In places like San Francisco the homeless problem is out of control. They’ve taken over the streets. There’s trash and human waste everywhere. There’s even an app to help you avoid the piles of stinking doo-doo. And used needles litter the landscape. Is this the liberal utopia we’ve been promised?

Here’s the deal. There’s a big difference between truly homeless people and plain ole bums. It’s the bums who’ve taken over the streets. They bug tourists in downtown Nashville. They camp out on the sidewalks of Los Angeles. The liberals who run these cities have no idea what to do about it. The solution is very simple. You outlaw it then enforce the law. This is the way things used to be done. There are probably panhandling prohibitions still on the books in these cities. Either they’ve been repealed or they’re purposely ignored. The bums have taken advantage of the situation and now they’re overrunning the streets.

I discovered a little “homeless community” recently. There’s an area I frequent that has a Walmart and a Lowe’s. I notice a different bum working the traffic light near by. And I see them wandering the parking lot. Then I was sitting in the drive-thru getting me a biscuit recently when I noticed a congregation of bums in the parking lot next door. I drove by slowly and discovered it was a small city park. As I drove by the park I noticed through the trees some tents pitched. Putting two and two together I figured out this is where these bums were living. There were whiskey bottles and trash strewn everywhere.

So, why haven’t the cops broken this little bum city up? Probably because they have bigger fish to fry. Or maybe because nobody complains. Or they don’t complain loud enough. Bums everywhere is a sure sign that your area is hitting the skids. It’s like gang tagging. Once you see gang tags on stop signs and overpasses you can bet the clock is ticking before your neighborhood becomes a dump. 

We can either collectively stand by and watch it happen or we can start raising hell with the people who run our towns and cities. Those of us who pay massive property tax bills should demand that the authorities protect our property values by not allowing the bums to take over.

Yes, I’m concerned about why so many of these people have become bums. I suspect substance abuse is a large part of the problem. However, allowing them to take over large swaths of cities is not helping to get them off the streets. If these people are run off from every piece of public land in the country maybe they’ll finally seek the help they need. Allowing them to continue to panhandle doesn’t mean you have a big heart. Appeasement is not compassion. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Is going back to the moon worth it?

Before we get into this I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a space curmudgeon. I loved Star Trek. (Star Wars, not so much.) I think space exploration is exciting. I’m old enough to remember when we landed on the moon. You’d be amazed at how many people are alive today who weren’t even born the last time we went to the moon in 1972. Now it’s been revealed through a leak of documents that NASA plans to build a permanent base on the moon and launch 37 rockets there, all by 2024. My question is, is it worth it?

Not just going back to the moon. Is the space program itself worth the money? First of all, good luck finding out how much we’ve spent on the space program. There are thousands of articles on it. Maybe hundreds of thousands. I couldn’t find one that told me how much we’ve spent on the space program since Project Mercury in 1958. It looks like that would be an easy number to quantify. Maybe they don’t want us to know. Suffice it to say it’s in the hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions.

Has it all been worth it?

Talk to space proponents and they’ll tell you yes. They’ll tell you that we discovered all sorts of beneficial things because of the space program. And not just Tang and a pen that writes upside down. Things like LEDs and infrared ear thermometers. Artificial limbs and improved radial tires. Memory foam and enriched baby food. Cordless vacuums and freeze drying technology. That’s all true, but again I ask. Has it all been worth it?

I guess the bigger question is what is our end goal with space? Is it to militarize it? Is it to colonize it? Or is it just to ride around and see what’s out there? NASA has a mind to colonize the moon. This sounds all futuristic and everything, but is it practical? I mean, who really wants to live on the moon? Oh, plenty of people say they do, but do they really? When push comes to shove will they board a spaceship and banish themselves to that lonely rock in the sky? I doubt it.

Why would they want to? Some will tell you we’re running out of space here on Earth and we have to explore the possibility of colonizing another world. We are a very long way from being full here on Earth. You could give every family of four 4,300 square feet to live in and fit the whole world’s population in Texas. I gave that stat out on the air one time and a guy called in and asked, “Why would we want to do that?” It’s just for illustration purposes. Imagine that. Everybody in the world fits in Texas and you have the rest of the world that’s still empty. Think we’re running out of room? Not even close.

So why this obsession with colonizing the moon? You want my opinion? Too much sci-fi. It’s somehow romantic to think about living somewhere else besides Earth. But it’s not practical, nor is it even remotely necessary.

Does that mean we shouldn’t have a space program? No. It means we should prioritize. We should spend our limited resources wisely. There’s really no reason to go back to the moon. Been there, done that. There’s certainly no benefit in colonizing the moon. Unless, of course, we’re going to send all these people who are obsessed with colonizing the moon. Then the rest of us can spend our tax dollars on some things we actually need.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.