Monday, June 19, 2017

Untitled Unblog Unpost #4

No post this week (outside of this post telling you that there isn't a post . . .)

Why? Because on Sunday, when I usually write, we were over my sister's house celebrating Father's Day and my brother-in-law's birthday. 

My father is 81 years old. 81. Somebody better tell him that. He still acts like a man who JUST retired.

What an awesome man. Still married to my mom. Still grandfather to wonderful grandchildren. Still an example of honor and integrity.

I know there are many who cannot say the same. To you I say, BE that person of honor and integrity. And if you are like me (without children), still BE that person of honor and integrity. Someone else's kid may need that example.

Happy Father's Day.


© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's a Beautiful Day at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario

This week's blog is a little different. Instead of sitting down and writing, I've decided to go the video route. Normally I write to release some of the pressure in my head so that, like a pressure cooker, I don't blow my top. It's been a pretty stress-free week, so I decided to share a great day. Enjoy! -j.p.

The title is a quote by Cleveland's own Tom Hamilton - sports radio announcer extraordinaire.

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Always Listen to Experts - and Do the Opposite

The other day I had a cordial, but short conversation with Anthony Carboni ( on Twitter that was brought on by a tweet he made in response to a tweet by Rick Santorum (, which was in response to a tweet from another person on Twitter. Believe me, it is less confusing than it sounds:

Santorum: Sad to be criticized by the left for something as obvious as solar (clouds & darkness) and wind (calm winds) are not reliable or consistent.

Carboni: My dude I am so excited to be the one to introduce you to batteries because they really are something special

Me: Just ignore what the creation and disposal of said batteries do to the environment. To make an omelet…

From there the conversation took some weird turns, primarily due to the fact that as one person was typing a tweet, the other person was replying to something different, so that when the next tweet arrived it was out of context of the conversation and just confused things. Anthony ended the conversation with:

Carboni: Okay, but that wasn’t the convo you started with me. So I’m gonna dip. Have a good one!

The big problem is that I’m incredibly slow when it comes to typing on my phone. I can’t hunt and peck, and using the “swipe” style always seems to bring up at least one or two words that I need to correct each time. Add to that that you are trying to formulate a coherent response in 140 characters (or less), knowing that the person you are responding to may already be sending multiple replies, makes using Twitter for intelligent conversations almost impossible.


Part of the conversation dealt with Anthony and I bringing up different facts to support our points, along with multiple points being made. Note I didn’t put the word facts in quotation marks. Because we BOTH were using facts to support our points. Just different facts.

And that is where I want to go in this post.

As Peter McWilliams said, “The media tends to report rumors, speculations, and projections as facts… How does the media do this? By quoting some ‘expert’ … you can always find some expert who will say something hopelessly hopeless about anything.”


As Mark Twain said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

(And the above Twain quote is also the title of a great episode of The West Wing.)

I’m a regular shmo. My formal education consists of high school, some training in the U.S. Navy, and various seminars through my job (administrative assistant). I like to read a lot, but I’m not a “college gradjeat”. But honestly, I don’t think having higher education helps much here.

As you are probably aware, today’s media, both social and corporate, inundate us with information. And like his predecessor before him, President Trump has had a field day calling news organizations “fake news”.

(If you don’t remember, President Obama went on a personal vendetta concerning Fox News.)

Then you have “experts” telling us what we should believe based on “science”. For instance, Bill Nye, who has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose fields include astrophysics and physical cosmology, are brought out as experts when it comes to the topic of climate change. Note that neither of these gentlemen are educated in climatology. Not that they haven’t done their research, but because of their popularity the very words they speak are considered “gospel”.

We’ve heard President Obama say that, concerning climate change, “The science is settled.” Last I looked, he did not have any background in the field either.

I’m not trying to make this a post about climate change; I’m using it as a good example of the issue at hand.

To break it down, we have been told over and over that “all” scientists believe in climate change. The basis for this is that 97% (not all) of scientists WHO WROTE PAPERS ABOUT MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE believe that man has a significant impact upon global climate change. That means 3% of scientists WHO WROTE PAPERS ABOUT MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE do NOT believe that man has a significant impact upon global climate change. This does NOT include those scientists who did NOT write papers. Nor is it stated that these scientists (though I do assume it is true) are indeed climatologists.

This means that “all” is a subset of scientists. I know, 97% is an awfully high number, but I always thought that science was not based on the “Popular Vote”.

Depending on which research you look at, you will find different information. That is based on several factors: What was the data the researchers used (or avoided)? For WHAT was the scientists trying to prove or disprove? And WHO was paying for the study?

The company I work for has a group called Business Analytics. I’ve been in meetings with these guys and they will take data and pull amazing information and trends out of it, all depending on how they slice and dice the data.

Which brings me to my point. For ANY topic of discussion, each person not only has to do their homework, but also has had to do the SAME homework, in order to come to any understanding in a conversation. And that is the hard part.

Not only would you need to research climate change (by the way, to paraphrase an interview with Rand Paul, “How much of climate change is natural, and how much is man-made?” Give me cold, hard numbers. What is the percentage? And does the money needed to eliminate the man-made portion REALLY going to even make a dent?), but you would need to research EVERY statement you hear (please see the Peter McWilliams and Mark Twain quotes above).

And frankly, I don’t have the time. It’s not that I don’t care; I don’t have the time.

To thoroughly research EACH statement you would need to look at ALL studies, determining the what, where, why, how, and who (paid for the studies), sift out the truth from the hype, and make an informed decision.

And that, my friends, is next to impossible (unless you have all the time and money in the world).

So to Anthony Carboni, if you are even reading this, whom I highly respect and like: just because you can out argue the arguments, does NOT mean that you are right. But please, PLEASE don’t stop! I learn so much from you.

Now excuse me while I go do some serious Indians baseball watching.

(The title is a paraphrase of a great quote by Robert A. Heinlein: “Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.”)

© Emittravel 2017