Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happily Pulled Away….

Greetings! I hope everyone was able to enjoy a weekend as wonderful as the one I just experienced. I’ll spare you the personal details but suffice it to say, it was a weekend full of memories I will cherish for a long time. (Many of them center around food!)

This week is a pretty hectic one for me. Not only have there been some pretty time consuming items tasked to me at my day job, but the book I’m hoping to release into the wild by early next year now requires some lengthy attention in terms of final edits.   It’s something I knew I was going to have to do eventually, and have actually been really looking forward to the process.

I’m also travelling to Texas this week (yes, I realize the World Series is coming back to Saint Louis the same night I leave town) for a networking event I’m eagerly anticipating.

Several interesting articles in the works for next week, so stay tuned.

Thanks for playing,


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Whole Story….

Read this article on J Robert Giles’ website…..CLICK HERE

I can never make the claim that I am not a stubborn man. For the most part, my beliefs are set in stone. I’m mostly human, so the occasional change in behavior is required, but it’s more of a course correction than an overhaul of my entire genetic code. I’ve come to realize that most often the changes in behavior required in my daily life are the result of discovering “new evidence” of some kind. I discover that an actor I previously despised actually shares my political opinions……oh, shut up! Let me have my dreams! How about those times when a band you hate releases a song you can’t get out of your head? A TV show with a premise you considered limited turns out to be one of your favorite series once you finally give it a chance? An athlete (let’s call him “Neon Danders”) gets traded from a team you hate to a team you love and all of a sudden he’s your favorite player? Sometimes, even the smartest and most logical men on earth need slight adjustments to their initial opinions on things. (No, I do NOT consider myself to be a member of that group. Save your anger!)
Another example is my initial opinion of the Occupy Wall Street morons. When I first heard word of large groups of capitalism hating crowds gathering in NYC, my first question was, as it always is; “Will this allow me to get a cup of Starbuck’s coffee for under $2.00?”  Once I found that these unanimously uninformed slackers were simply rioting because they wanted something that belongs to someone else I quickly lost interest in their cause. Then, when they started making my primary employer their sworn enemy, and when Obamunism teachings started to surface in the hypocritical songs coming from the drum circles on Wall Street, I wrote them off. They’re boisterous, yes, but they are not justified in their demands or their behavior.  While those are the best examples I can think to which most of us can relate, it’s often the little; seemingly insignificant things that remind us of just how true the old “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” adage really is. This morning, as I perused the day’s headlines looking for items to spark rants, ravings or the opportunity to do the right thing (couldn’t resist); I stumbled upon the story of Celina Aarons.
We can all relate to Celina’s story. She opened her cell-phone bill and got quite a shock. We’ve all been there, right? In fact, just 2 months ago I received a cell-phone bill that embraced me with the news of my oldest step-daughter’s record setting texting month. (21,652 text messages SENT in one month! Yes, she lost her texting abilities for a while!) Celina’s was a bit more shocking. See, I have a plan that allows me to text and download and talk as much as I want. My whole family is included and our monthly bills are usually pretty predictable. My step-daughter was punished for the amount of time she had wasted that month, not the monetary impact her social life had on my bill. Ms. Aarons was greeted with a balance due of $201,000. Now that would get my attention! So, why didn’t Ms. Aarons have such a plan?
She did. She had a plan (not with the same carrier as mine) that covers not only herself, but also her two brothers. Her brothers are deaf and they communicate by text message. Surely, it’s just a glitch in her carrier’s billing system. Nope. When Celina contacted her carrier, she was told that the amount due was correct. Now, I don’t know about you, but after I changed my undies, I would have been demanding a few upper level supervisors get on the horn and explain to me how my bill jumped from an average of $175 a month to $201,000. I imagine you would have demanded a few answers too, right?
Of course you would. Celina got her answers too. Turns out that her brothers had travelled together to Canada during the billing period. While there for over two weeks, the "Roger" in "Minnesota" deaf siblings sent over 2,000 texts. They also downloaded videos and other large bits of data, sometimes incurring over $2,000 in data charges for one video. The amount due is correct. No matter how mad you have ever been in dealing with “Roger” from “Minnesota” during a call with your carrier, can you imagine how furious you would be after that call. Surely there is some kind of mistake, right? There has to be. There’s no way two weeks in Canada could equate to $200,000 in texts. Our freaking government couldn’t manage to pull that one off, let alone two hearing impaired brothers from Florida. How can they possibly expect anyone to pay that?
At this point in the story, I was thinking of sending this info to the the uninformed masses in NYC. Let those misguided souls get wind of a big, bad, corporation sticking it to this poor little “one percenter” like that. At least then they would be fighting an enemy that deserved the negative publicity and their voice would carry legitimate weight where it is currently lacking. Well, it turns out the company came to their senses before the story was released…….somewhat. The carrier giant agreed that $201,000 was a tad much to expect from an individual subscriber in one month. They reduced the amount of her bill to $2,500 and gave her six months to pay it.
Now I’m left in unchartered territory. I literally switched sides three different times in the course of reading that article, but there is blame to be spread around both sides of the argument. Not necessarily at the individual subscriber, but cell phone users as a whole. The blame cannot be leveled entirely at the carrier either, but there is plenty of blame to hurl at the industry in general. I seriously don’t know what side to take.
On the one hand, Celina should have known to check with the carrier before travelling to another country. America assumes that since most of our celebrities, and hockey players come from Canada that it’s just another state. It’s not. Canada is a country and they have their own government, money, infrastructure and accent. The cell-phone carriers have had to work out huge, complicated legislation in order to provide service to subscribers in that country. Naturally, the governments have taken every measure possible to make sure they receive every penny possible from our wealthy capitalist corporations. Those expenses are then passed on to the consumer and that's the system we live in. If you don’t like it, get out. We demand advancements in design, technology and speed but we expect it to be free. That’s not how it works, hippies! Anyway, Celina should have contacted her carrier and switched to an international plan during her brothers’ trip.
On the other hand, the carrier should have alerted Ms. Aarons LONG before her monthly bill was equal to the average 30 Year Mortgage. As soon as the carrier’s systems discovered that activity was taking place in a foreign country, Celina’s cell-phone should have burst into flames. They should have sent her so many messages her phone had the equivalent of an aneurism. New rules for cell-phone carriers go into effect soon that will alert subscribers when they are approaching spending limits, etc. Shouldn’t that have been the practice all along? Carriers who now act as if they are doing us a favor by enforcing this law should be publicly apologizing for the convoluted fee structures to which they have adhered until now. The hidden fees and absurd charges in cell-phone bills are maddening and would be immediately fixed if politicians were forced to pay for their own wireless phone bills.
I guess the main point you can take from this rambling journey is to always have some spare undies handy when you open your cell-phone bill.
As always, thanks for playing!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What’s Your Foundation?

I will happily admit to you that the inspiration for this article struck me while sitting in Church yesterday. As the pastor spoke of our life’s “foundation” it was the first time such lessons took root and inspired fervent thought in my head. Christ as our needed foundation is a concept I’ve heard my whole life, but I had never before considered it in the context I did yesterday. While I listened intently, tried to jot down some thoughts, and reminded myself that it’s inappropriate to pray for a Cowboys’ victory, thoughts continued to flow.
The Bible tells us that our number one mission is to go and create disciples. That very thought scares the crap out of a lot of people. To be perfectly honest, the image thathands_holding_earth_65 comes to most of our heads when such talk is filling the air is a negative stereotype. The thought scared the heck out of me until the mission’s objective became a bit more clear. God tells us that we are to go and create disciples but he does not say that it has to be done in the same fashion depicted in the verses we read. Those are historical descriptions and in no way is God commanding us to go out and start feeding the opposition to the lions, tempting as it may be. No, times have changed and it’s clear that the earthly, socially acceptable acts of the time would not be tolerated in our enlightened lives, but the message behind the acts is unyielding. The rules and guiding missions behind the word of God is just as powerful today as it was in the days described in the Bible.
The stability of our mental wellbeing is so often dependant upon trivial things. Take a little bit of time and think about all of the things in your life that could make a legitimate claim to the title of “Foundation”. Here’s a few stories of times when my “foundation” seemed to crumble and the lessons I learned.
images (1) Sports have always been a big part of my life. Whether playing them or simply observing, sports are the central focus in some of my mind’s greatest memories. At the times that I have allowed them to assume more than their legitimate share of the bedrock of my mind, I have been painfully reminded of their realistic irrelevance. The Cowboys won several Championships back in the nineties and I loved every minute of it but as soon as I started to make them the central focus of my life (buying nothing but blue and silver clothing, buying coke and hookers in my fur coat, and believing that I was part of the team) BOOM!!! The Cowboys are cursed to twenty years of misery and crushed hopes.
I have also made the common mistake of placing a bit too much of an emphasis on money. When money is rolling in, it’s easy to believe that all the success is your own doing. It’s easy to believe that the money is what’s making you happy. There will be plenty of people that read this article and say “you’ve never been as poor as me so you can’t say that.” Not true. In fact, I might be able to say to you “you’ve never lost as much as me, so you won’t understand.” The point is, when you place too much emphasis on money in your life, you enter yourself into a contest you can’t possibly win. There will always come a time when money runs out. The ones that have infinite supply, have it for a reason. It’s not yours to take. They earned it and they will lose it according to God’s Plan, not yours. Money is the foundation for almost every decision made in the world today, yet there never seems to be enough of it to go around. We constantly tell ourselves that we would be happy if we could just win the lottery, but we never stop and consider the fact that rich people (actors/actresses excluded) never look happy. They always appear to be stressed and pondering their next money making strategy. The people who always seem to be happy; genuinely happy, are the ones that are “spiritually rich”.
tulsa-divorce-attorney Another common mistake is making your marriage or family the foundation of your life. Please don’t get me wrong. If you’re a man and you’re lucky enough to have found a woman willing to spend her life surrounded by your disgusting habits, then you cherish her with all you can muster. If you’re also lucky enough to be a father, then you love those kids like they are the only ones on earth and don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re wrong in doing so. That’s your responsibility once you accept the title of spouse or parent. Consider for a second though who you will turn to if they are taken away from you. If your family is the entire foundation of your life and they get taken away from you via divorce, death, or mental collapse then what are you left with? Are you a strong enough man to lean on God in the tough times so that you can eventually remember the good times or are you the kind of man that crumbles under the misery and throws in the towel? I was a combination of the two. After my divorce, I became the self-absorbed, misery anchored stereotype that I feared. Then, through incredible circumstances, I started to see the Reason for God in my life.
Consider who you will turn to if your loved ones are taken away. It’s not a fun topic to ponder but it’s definitely worth the thought. See, I believe in God. I believe that when I truly put God in charge of my life, good things happen to me. God is the ultimate “trust fall”. Faith is a safety net for those of us who truly believe. It’s not something that can be faked as has been proven by countless TV evangelists. People who say “you can’t see Him” either haven’t chosen to do so or they will never possess the ability. The reason you should put God before your marriage or your relationship with your kids, parents, cousins (sorry Kentucky), or friends is because God is the one thing that can NEVER be taken away from you. No matter what you do, God still loves you. I didn’t understand that until I had a child of my own. Until I was able to look down at my son and sincerely tell him there was nothing he could ever do that would cost him my love, the concept was simply foreign to me. I had love for my parents, and the rest of my family but that’s an entirely different kind of love. The love a parent has for a child can’t be described and it can’t be questioned. No matter what they may do, we will always love our children. Even if Aidan grows up to be a card carrying democrat, I will still love him. (I won’t be seen in public with him, but I will love him!) God feels the same way about each and every one of us. There’s nothing you can do to earn His love and there’s nothing you can do to lose it. Have you ever looked at someone in dire circumstances and wondered how they can maintain such a positive attitude? We all have someone like that in our minds. Happy when sadness should be consuming them. Positive when negativity would be the easiest route. Real “road not taken” kind of people. Those people have God in their hearts.
That’s not to say that the unemployed mother of a special needs child buying generic medicine at a pharmacy you wouldn’t dare enter is a devout Christian. What I’m saying isKMD_070619_9412-2 that God chose to give that specific mother that specific child with that specific condition for a reason. There is a lesson to be learned there and God grants joy and peace to those serving His Plan. The mother has found peace in the fact that she gets to love that child in a way no one else on earth possibly could. The lesson God intends to impart to mankind through the seemingly sad scenario is not for us to determine. The lesson may not even be meant for the mother or the child It may be meant for someone whose life path crosses the path of that mother and child. We, as mere earthlings, can only accept the fact that God’s will is at work in every life. Those who do not accept that fact will not get the rewards promised to those who do. It’s as simple as that.
So…what if I’m wrong? It’s a question those “progressives” always seem so ready to fire. Well, what if I am? What if I die and that’s just the end of existence as you claim? There’s no heaven, there’s no hell, there’s just an empty void where my life once stood. Okay, maybe that’s what awaits me in your world. It’s not what waits for me in mine but even if it was, I think living my life according to the virtues, guidance, and commandments of the Bible is a pretty good idea regardless of the reward. How about that Mr. Satanbob Hellpants? I personally believe in God with all my heart. You will not change my mind. God loves you regardless of your Faith in Him, but eventually something will get taken from you that simply destroys your world. For some of us, that’s when God comes calling. For others, that’s when they purchase their ticket to Hades.
Our lives constantly intersect. Think about the impressions you’re leaving each day. Are they the kind of impressions by which you want to be remembered? Honestly? No matter what your foundation may be, it can and will most likely crumble if God is not the anchoring bedrock upon which everything else rests. Money, possessions, appearance, number of sexual partners, brands of clothing, sports teams, friends, family, politics, popularity, greed……none of it makes you any better in the eyes of God. Those things are only important here, so stop paying so much damned attention to them!
Thanks for playing…
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Street…..Lunacy or Legitimate Cause?

From J Robert Giles

Am I the only one that thinks this whole Occupy Wall Street situation just reeks of liberal agenda? The protesters seem uninformed, yet very vocal. That behavior is traditionally reserved for liberals and their kind. In fact, it's play number one in the liberal handbook. Here’s an excerpt.
Rule 1: When faced with negative public opinion, presented with problems that can’t be solved with a drum-circle or patchouli oil, or confronted with logic; start a revolution. The revolution need not be based in fact. In fact, the more facts you can twist, the more beneficial your efforts will be to the liberal movement. Blame everyone, but most importantly, you MUST make your cause seem as if it will change the world. When asked what you hope to accomplish by skipping work, dressing like a terrorist, and protesting something you can’t explain; simply respond in the tone of our people…..ARROGANCE. If they can’t understand you or your cause, that's their problem, man.
Okay, so there's a slight chance I made some of that up, but you get the point. What are these people protesting exactly? The answer to that question seems to vary depending upon which stinking hippie is being interviewed. What’s the end-game? After all the signs are faded, all the pooping in the street is finished, and all the hippies go home, what is the desired result? Some say it’s to get money out of politics. Okay…..I can kind of get behind that. I can understand why people without jobs are upset thatoccupy-wall-street-protest-signs_stptt_5 politicians receive funding from companies that won’t hire them…..oh, wait. You say you went to an interview and voiced your ridiculous, anti-capitalism opinions to the manager of a bank? Well, moron, how do I put this tactfully…..you weren’t the best fit for that position!
Capitalism is not what you’re upset with. You’re upset with the fact that you don’t have what capitalism has brought to so many others you don’t deem worthy. You can work your butt off your entire life and never get the things you envy, so why not work your butt off and just enjoy what you earn? If it’s not enough to provide life’s necessities for yourself or your family, do everything you can do to change that. Don’t assume that somebody else’s wealth is somehow due to you simply because you’ve decided it should be so. Just because there’s a bunch of other people interested in getting their hands on some free money too, doesn’t mean you’re all right. History has proven that the masses don’t know $#!+, but that society’s elite know even less. Just worry about you and the challenges YOU face.
I personally don’t think that these types of self-centered displays are anything to be surprised about. We live in a country where Snooky and the rest of her Jersey Shore co-idiots are followed more closely than anyone doing any kind of moral or educational work. Of course there are a few CEO’s and other high level executives out there making an absurd amount of money but most of them have worked hard their entire lives to achieve the level of success they now have. I would personally love the opportunity to run my own organization; the chance to implement my policies and my ideas. From what I can tell, the people on Wall Street (the ones that smell like garbage, not the ones in suits) believe that they are owed a piece of that CEO’s wealth. As far as I can see, there is no interest in doing any of the work required of a CEO, there is only interest in his money. I’m not saying that Wall Street, the FINRA, the SEC, and the Federal Reserve couldn’t benefit from a complete overhaul but in no way do I believe that those changes should bring the wealth of a CEO to my personal bank account. You see, I didn’t do anything to earn that money.
Catch your breath, hippies. I realize we’re treading on Holy land here and I’ll try to spare your feelings. Birkenstocks and Ben & Jerry’s have formed a thin shell of toe-jam and selfish greed on your brains to the point where you actually believe that your revolution is based on anti-greed sentiments. If you really think about it, who’s the greedy one? occupy-wall-street-protest-signs_stptt_8 The guy who worked his tail off in school, college, and his or her company for thirty years of his or her life or the disheveled looking slacker with a poorly written protest sign? I realize I promised that I would try to spare your feelings so I will do just that in my next question. Why the hell do YOU deserve the income of another man? You say that millionaires don’t pay their share of the taxes in this country but the supporting evidence to the contrary simply can’t be ignored. 93% of the taxes in this country are paid by 7% of the population. (Once again, there’s a chance that figure has been slightly exaggerated in conservative circles. For true statistics, look here.) Still, despite my creative license with the numbers, the amount of income taxes paid by the wealthiest in our nation far exceed those paid by the people protesting on Wall Street. Stop it! Get a job and stop it! You’re not going to get a job as a CEO. You waved bye-bye to that dream when you decided to get a tattoo on your face. Sorry, Anarchy-Charlie, that’s not the way the world works. We don’t have to bend to your will just because you yell the loudest. Despite your atrocious public behavior on thehypocrisy_meter streets of cities all over the country, you have the right to behave that way because capitalist corporations gave money to a government that used it to develop the most technologically advanced military on the face of the planet. Sure it fails from time to time, but for the most part, the money that we get from the corporations and processes you protest are vital to your lifestyle even if you can’t see it. 

Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” – Thomas Jefferson

Thanks for playing.
J Robert Giles

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still Fighting the Cold War…

Why is it that we seem to be preparing for a threat that no longer exists? Russia is not really the threat they were back in the good ol’ days of Reagan and Gorbachev. Why do we still have 50,000 American troops stationed in Germany? There’s nothing wrong with Germany. Every service-member I’ve ever known that has been stationed there has absolutely loved it. Still, the economic boost that Germany receives from our soldiers’ money being spent in their economy could be better used here at home. The point is not really an anti-Germany one. It’s more of a pro-reality one.

The reality is that the European Theater is no longer the threat they were when so much of our foreign policy was created. It’s time for less stuff and more agility. This always seems to be a talking point during election campaigns but nothing ever gets done. Candidates talk about all of the changes they will make, yet none of them follow up on any of it when eventually elected. I’m not running for President so I feel fairly confident that no one will come digging up my deep, dark secrets over suggesting a few things. (In case I’m wrong, I will go ahead and let you all know that my birth certificate is readily available in both short and long form. I can unequivocally prove where, when, and to whom I was born if needed. Just saying….) It’s time we take more of an “engage” versus “contain” approach to our foreign policy decisions. Obama is a foreign policy disaster so his opinions and debacles won’t even be addressed here. I’m talking about America as a whole, not the individual man who has convinced himself he has more than a fleeting clue as to what the people he “leads” want.

In the past, America has stepped back and looked at a potential threat as it materialized and taken a containment approach. We worked with allies to defeat threats and enemies in Europe, but then we stayed. We assumed that future threats would also come from that section of the world so we committed assets, time, resources, and peopleHiroshimaBombing to the region. We made nice with all the countries we bombed and we helped them to rebuild after the haze of lunacy was lifted from dachau01.mid-size their governments or lands. The stories of heroism are not only the stories that we tell, but stories that Europe celebrates as well. The American men who died on the beaches of Normandy did not do so with the hopes that we would leave their successors on that same soil for another half-a century. With dozens of bases and thousands of troops still in the area, it has almost become one of those unquestioned truths in our country. We don’t give much of a thought to the fact that we still have close to fifty thousand men and women working and living in a country that no longer poses a threat to us. I guess you could say that Mexico left people in San Antonio to help rebuild after the damage they caused there, but I don’t think their efforts can be compared to the efforts we have put forth in Germany over the past fifty years. Plus, I’ve never heard, even in Spanish, one of our “citizenship challenged” friends from the south say that they were here for reunification reasons.


It’s time to realign our military deployment patterns. Right now, we are spending $638 BILLION per year to defend our country. While that number is staggering by itself, it’s even more staggering when compared to the defense budget of another so called super-power. China spends only $91.5 Billion (USD) to defend it’s borders. Admittedly, China is probably not paying their soldiers as much as we do, nor are they providing them with the individual comforts and benefits afforded to the brave men and women of our own forces, but still……nearly a five-hundred-fifty- BILLION dollar difference? Per year? What the hell are we spending that money on? Defense is one thing, but blind spending is another and it has got to be stopped or there will be nothing left to defend. That sounds cliché, but maybe that’s because logical men have been shouting it for years and no one has listened.

The threats our children and grandchildren will face are not going to come from Europe any more than the names of the men responsible for 9-11 were Sven, or Erik, or Hans. No, the wars coming to our children will come from the Asian / Pacific Theater, yet we do nothing to protect ourselves on that front. I’m not suggesting pre-emptive violence against anyone or any country. That would be foolish and would go against everything the Americans in Europe fought so hard to defend. I’m suggesting that we redeploy assets. Existing assets. We don’t need to keep building new ships, and outfitting those ships with the latest in technology when all we have to do is relocate the ships we have.

slap “But how will the rest of the world view those actions? We’ll come across as if we’re picking a fight.” said the pacifist liberal with a wedgie and a pocket protector.

“Tell you what, Saxton (or any other overtly “progressive” name you can think of)…..I don’t really give a crap what the world thinks of me as long as they can’t stage an attack against me. Why don’t you go practice saying "’I’m sorry, sheikh’ in Arabic while we make big-boy decisions, okay?”

I suggest we expand the tactical intelligence capabilities of our agencies to meet the changing battlefield on which our enemy seems so comfortable. If that means slapping a few whiney lawyers across the mouth and using common sense over manipulation of law, then so be it. I suggest we greatly enhance the authority of our Special Forces. This doesresized_600px_United_States_Intelligence_Community_Seal not mean that Bubba from Appalachia gets to start blasting anyone who doesn’t look just like him and his brethren. It means that we start selecting and training our Special Forces with much more scrutiny. Again, lawyers be damned. If someone doesn’t get selected, it’s because they sucked. Period. It had nothing to do with the color of their skin or the type of reproductive organs underneath their fatigues. We also need to start a real policy of burden sharing with like-minded countries around the globe. There are plenty of countries out there facing similar situations that are not currently considered ‘strong allies’ of the U.S.. India and Vietnam are two perfect examples. Let them share some of the burden we face in protecting not only ourselves, but the world from terrorism and hippies.

Of course there are economic factors that must be considered. All of these suggestions are fine but not if we get so arrogant that we offend or turn away the very sources of income on which we have come to depend. We will have to nurture free-trade agreements that continue to be mutually beneficial. We should also probably broaden our horizons a bit and include a few countries with whom we don’t currently share a vast trade agreement. Explanation of our intentions should quell the tensions stirred in the bellies of our allies by our rearrangement of military assets. With that in mind, there are probably a few countries we could sever ties with. Not naming any names but the one that immediately comes to mind rhymes with “Sand in my labia".” Our beliefs and our goals have changed over the years. Geography, ideology, and religious affiliations have separated our two countries for years yet we continue to try to force a relationship. Why? We as Americans don’t even do that in our marriages so why then do we keep trying to mend a broken relationship with a country that has no interest in our well-being as long as our oil dollars keep arriving? It’s time to step up, get rid of anyone accepting special interest payoffs in exchange for foreign loyalty, and take back our country ObamaShattered-296x300 before someone else takes it away from us. Engage the enemy before they engage us. Don’t wait for a law to be explained…..go prevent an attack. Don’t wait for poll numbers to tell you what to do……go prevent an attack. Don’t wait to see what’s trending on…..oh screw it, you get the picture.

Sure, there are several candidates in the 2012 Presidential Election who believe in similar visions, but they are slaves to a corrupt and broken system that has simply spun out of control. When logical, life saving ideas are shared, the media responsible for disseminating those views to the anxiously waiting public is more interested in sexual histories, religious backgrounds, hairstyles, and poll numbers. Folks, I am not asking any candidate; nor will I ever ask a Presidential candidate to style my hair, spiritually advise my family, or make sweet love to me. All I will ever ask of them is that they LEAD! Not look down their arrogant nose at me and tell me what I want, but LEAD. Not ignore religious customs set forth in the very foundation of my country, but LEAD. I guess I should be fair and point out that our current President is, in fact, leading us. It just happens to be away from the goals and visions we all have for our futures!

If you do nothing else in your lifetime, be able to truthfully tell your grandkids that you were one of the 70-85 million people who voted against Barrack Hussein Obama and all his little cronies in 2012.


As always, thanks for playing!



Monday, October 10, 2011

Competing With Under-Achievement….

tarkenton I just finished reading a terrific and thought inspiring article by Fran Tarkenton. It was published in the Wall Street Journal, although the link provided will take you to Mr. Tarkenton’s personal page. Growing up, Mr. Tarkenton was one of those celebrities for whom I couldn’t form a definitive opinion. He played quarterback for the Vikings and the Giants. Two big checkmarks in the old “con” column. On the other hand, he hosted a TV show called That’s Incredible. The show was the first to ever coin the phrase “Don’t try this at home.” You can imagine the interest anything requiring that kind of disclaimer would have generated in a nine to twelve year old kid! I later discovered that Mr. Tarkenton was not only a Georgia Bulldawg, but also a staunch conservative and my opinion was cemented. He’s a man worthy of my occasional attention.

In the article, Mr Tarkenton asks us to imagine what the NFL would be like if the players were paid in the same fashion as our public school teachers. If Tom Brady was paid the same as a backup kicker wearing the jersey of his thirteenth different team, would you watch? If athletes were paid based on little other than tenure, would the competition be as fierce? If you arrived at anything other than “NO”, you’re an imbecile. Why then do we allow our education system to be run in this manner?

Mr. Tarkenton’s article raises some serious questions. Pro-Football would be about as exciting as a WNBA preseason scrimmage if players weren’t motivated by that almighty dollar. The argument can be made that athletes are paid way too much money, but have you ever heard one of them say that? (No, that wasn’t a joke.) Are you telling me that any wide-receiver would be out there taking passes over the middle if he was getting paid less than the guy sitting on the warm bench for 56 of the 60 minutes in a December game? He would not. The guys we crowd into bars, couches, and stadiums to watch fervently every Sunday are not doing it for honor. They’re doing it for money. The ones that do it the best are doing it for more money.

Just like Mr. Tarkenton, I believe there are huge problems within the education system in our country. I too believe that Teachers Unions have crippled our education system. Please don’t take that to mean I don’t think there are any good teachers out there. In fact, take that to mean that the good teachers who are out there deserve the same kind of credit as a decorated war hero. They have found a way to succeed in a broken system. That does not mean that the system doesn’t need to be retooled a bit. Right now, the sins of the American Education System include limits placed on creativity in both student and teacher, wasted resources and inhibited parental involvement. There is no feedback mechanism like there is in any other kind of business. The government continues to pour billions upon billions of dollars into a system that promotes lethargy and then fails to identify avenues of real change. They instead invent terms like “progressive” to use whenever the rest of us don’t agree with their ideology. They present themselves and their ilk as the supreme intellect and talk down to the rest of us until we are almost embarrassed to express our views even when every fiber of our being tells us that we are right! Again, there are teachers out there who are managing to thrive in horrendous circumstances. there are teachers out there who gladly spend their own money to give the kids they teach the very best they can possibly give. I applaud those teachers and again believe they deserve far more than what they receive. Even more maddening is that those few teachers often make less than the uninvolved, tenured teachers who can’t be fired unless an extreme case of wrongdoing can be proven.

For decades, we have been told that everything would improve if we just built new buildings and put computers in every classroom. I’m not saying that schools don’t need computers. They do. I’m saying that there is not a school out there without at least one computer nicer than the one you’re reading this article on. Technology is there, testmisspelled-words scores are still abysmal. Billions of dollars in, yet no results. Instead, our esteemed President has now informed us, by way of yet another stimulus package disguised as something else, that we need to give up billions for “public school modernization.” Haven’t we done that? Like several times? Where did all of that money go? When change is attempted, unions obstruct. That’s the way bullies work. Unfortunately, these bullies have more of a say in what is taught to my son, and who teaches it, than I do. If they get wind of a teacher being fired, lawsuits are initiated to block the firings and ineffective educators stay in front of the chalkboard flushing out functioning illiterates into the rivers of our economy, political landscape, and global representation every year.

I would love to see a system in place where schools could compete for students. Let’s see a system like that of the NFL for schools. I would love to watch my son work his butt off to get into a school that honored his performance with more than any other school was willing to offer. I’m not suggesting any monetary promises. I understand the dangers there. I’m talking about nicer facilities; teachers that specialize in and promote the kind of education he wants. If he shows a strong interest in science, let him go to a school with exceptional science facilities and educators. If he shows promise as a writer, let him go to a school that promotes such creative outlet. If he learns like one group of kids, don’t keep him with another. That doesn’t mean he gets a free pass in other subjects, but why not let the schools “sell” themselves to the students. If the school recruits well, and consistently hits the marks set forth for them by their governing body, then they get a bigger percentage of the shared profits than the schools who performed at the lowest levels. Take the focus off of the teachers and their damn tenure and put it on the kids where it belongs. NOW!!!

I had the rather bewildering opportunity a few years ago to work with a company that handles all of the voluntary benefits for many of the school districts in this region of the country. Things like Disability Insurance, Cancer Indemnity, etc. A full menu of options for which the teachers could pay if interested. The financial knowledge of some of the IMAG0433 people teaching your children was frightening enough, but that’s a different story for a different day. The thing that stuck out most in my mind was that the professionalism and general attitudes of the teachers had very little to do with the facilities, the technology present in the school. It had almost nothing to do with the level of income in the surrounding neighborhoods. The attitude of the teachers in the varying districts had to do with the attitudes of those in charge. Where positive energy and outlooks were present in the top tiers of a district’s leadership, it could be found in the teachers and even the students. Where rude behavior, lack of professionalism, and negativity had become the accepted norm, the schools were places I wouldn’t send my son to serve an armed robbery sentence! In one school, in a small town east of Saint Louis, I had a teacher throw a chair at me toangry teacher illustrate her disdain for life insurance. I had another tell me that she was going to “make sure her union knew that I was there preying on the younger, uneducated teachers.” Yes, how dare I protect that pregnant teacher’s income during her maternity leave. I really am a bastard, but these are not the people I want teaching my kids. In San Francisco last week, a first grade class was taken to a same-sex wedding because the school board deemed it a “teachable moment”. Why is it that the schools who encourage their teachers to teach the things that a teacher should teach (Math, Science, Reading/English/Writing, History) are always so much more positive than the ones who encourage their faculty to teach things that students should learn at home? I don’t want my son learning anything about marriage, politics, or religion at school, even if the teacher happens to believe everything I believe. Religion is a family issue, but if you’re going to send your child to a  public school in the United States, you understand that it is funded by the government of that country. A government that was founded on Christian beliefs. When your child pledges allegiance to the Flag at the beginning of each day, they do so in accordance with the laws of the government paying for your child's education. You do not have the right to abolish the pledge because you don’t agree with it. Disagree at home, not in front of my son who happens to support a Christian God and a Patriotic Family.

Hope you all had a great weekend and Thanks For Playing!


Saturday, October 8, 2011


Am I alone in my unyielding hatred of regret? I’m not too proud to admit when I am wrong because as most of you know, it doesn’t happen all that often. Seriously, that sounds like a condescending, somewhat arrogant statement, but it is an unquestionable truth that most of what comes out of my mind is pure gold. It’s mental energy from which mankind can only benefit. I’m also a very humble man. (There is a chance that I have what you might call a “tenuous grasp” on the definition of the word “humble”.) The very concept of regret means that you are looking back at events, conversations, or actions of your past and wishing you had generated a different outcome in one way or another. Maybe it was the event itself you would have changed. Maybe it’s the words you chose. Often, it’s the thoughts you held in your head; the mental reaction you have to events as they unfold.

We’ve all had those moments where we think of the perfect response to a conversation that ended hours ago. We’ve all spent tons of energy preparing for, constructing, or implementing something only to find later that there was a much easier way. Occasionally, regret is necessary. Regret is often part of a punishment, or a required component in a process. Regret is often the only way for a person to accept that change is needed. Regret is often the only thing that keeps a former prison inmate from becoming a recidivism statistic. I understand all that. I understand the importance of regret in the human experience but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. I understand the importance of Police in our society, but that doesn’t mean I want them behind me in traffic. Understanding regret doesn’t mean that at the age of 38; I have to enjoy being called to task by my father when I screw up. Too often, that’s exactly how regret goes. Someone points out to you that your over-inflated opinion of yourself has made you look foolish. The degree of regret depends entirely upon the severity of action, but it’s almost never fun.

Last week, I published a few posts that my Dad pointed out may have contained some language that didn’t necessarily speak to the kind of man I consider myself to be. While I190228_1002400576248_1111833000_5467_2628_n still maintain that I could have been much worse in some of my opinions, I have to agree that the excitement of sharing all of these thoughts allowed me to do so in an often inappropriate manner. I hereby publicly apologize to my father. I will post a picture of him from the eighties in a future post for his insubordination, but I apologize nonetheless. You’re right.

Regret most often requires us to admit wrongdoing in one way or another. That’s not easy for us to do as humans; especially men. I have big regrets that have cost me relationships I actually cared about and I have small regrets for which my wife makes sure I atone. Parents often have regret over the words they chose to use with their children in the midst of difficult situations and I’m no different. Husbands often have regret over stubborn behavior used to gain control in what eventually proved to be a ridiculously unimportant issue in their marriage. Again, I’m no different.

Okay, all this open admission of wrongdoing has really worn me out. Seriously folks, you’ve just read about a decade’s worth of apology and self incrimination on my part. I hope you’re all happy.

Hope your weekends are shaping up to be as terrific as the one I am currently enjoying.

Thanks for playing.



Friday, October 7, 2011

Purposely Secluded….

I’ve heard enough of the outside world already today. I think it’s time I shut myself off from ithomeless before my mood is ruined. Some of the things that promoted blood boiling rage to attempt refuge in my soul already this morning are the Unemployment Numbers holding at a stagnant  9.1% and a President who seems absolutely unwilling to address the issue with anything other than unquestionably failed tactics. Just keep looking down your nose at all of us and telling us that we “know your plan will turn things around.” No. They will not. You’re in over your head.
I’m also still reeling from the Cowboys’ epic collapse this weekend. I understand that the Lions are not the punching bags we’re all used to and that they earned the win, but it still sucks. When you leave the house at halftime leading by 24 points, you assume that’s a victory. Romo had better passing stats for the Lions that Matthew Stafford. Pathetic, but as promised…..I will leave the real world alone and continue to make up my stories, conclusions, conversations, and histories to accompany already troubling headlines. It was a fun exercise yesterday and I’m fairly confident that our Commander In Chief, celebrity elite, or legal system will do something to inspire frothing at the mouth rage between now and Monday……be patient people! We’ll get back to normalcy next week but this has been too good of a week (despite the Cowboys debacle) to let it go out on a negative note.
Hillary1 The search for insane behavior never takes all that long in our great country. One of the freedoms for which democracy is seldom credited is the right to be street-rat crazy. We celebrate craziness as fervently as we celebrate Christmas. Charlie Sheen’s well documented psychological meltdown received more global attention than any story of humanitarian efforts, medical advance, political debate, or foreign policy issues over the two weeks it unfolded. We all watched with morbid curiosity. Some hoped to witness an on-air suicide. Others hoped for something even more crazy but the sad fact is that we all watched intently. Crazy trumps good in terms of ratings almost every time.
Finding idiots whose actions spark humorous perspective; well, it’s a lot like fishing…….for lobster…….in a five gallon bucket full of lobster. Today is no different. Took about 5 minutes to identify 3 stories whose characters deserve nothing less than “Idiot Status” in today’s rant. Enjoy the following excerpts from the world around us.

IDIOT NUMBER ONE: This story comes to us from Denver, Colorado. Denver is a beautiful city. It’s right up there in my top three places I have ever lived but I believe the thin, dry air produces a lot more than crusty nasal passages in the heads of its residents. There seems to be a level of crazy prevalent in Denver that simply exceeds crazy from other regions. Robert Young, 43, faces charges of abusing a corpse. That in and of itself is not funny at all. Just the word “corpse” in your permanent record is enough to decrease your personal marketability by a considerable percentage I would have to imagine.

"Mr. Young, I would really love to hire you. Your resume is impeccable, your references are solid, and you seem to be a great fit here but that little voice in my head keeps telling me to pay more attention to the whole "corpse" thing."

The story, as I imagine it, goes a little something like this. Robert and a much younger friend arrive at their dear friend’s home as had been planned earlier in the day. The plan was for the three of them to go out drinking, and doing all those things guys do when they hit the town. The itinerary seemed to hit a bit of a speed-bump when Jeffrey Jarrett failed to respond to their wake-up calls. Now, guys…..I know all of us have had to face this particular dilemma at one point or another. It’s almost like a rite of passageRobert Young in our country. You arrive at the home of a friend with whom you are excited to spend a raucous evening only to find him dead. What do you do? Do you call 911 like a scared little school-girl? Hell no! You strap him into the backseat and hit the road! I mean, plans are plans. Am I right?
Well, Mr. Young apparently thought it would be okay to go ahead and hit a few bars, and a strip club before paying his final respects to his lost friend. While Mr. Jarrett enjoyed “the big sleep” in the backseat of what I am sure is a meticulously cleaned, finely tuned automobile, Mr. Young enjoyed the night they had planned. The problem is that he did so with his dead friend’s credit cards which the Denver Police Department points out; “Mr Young did not have permission to use.” After bleeding their Life Impaired friend dry, the pair of humanitarians returned him to his home where they did their best to make him comfortable before calling the police to alert them of his passing.
I’m left with a few unanswered questions: Most guys go to bars and strip clubs with one thought on their minds. If the night had led to a few female guests making the return trip home, how would you have explained the “extremely sleepy gentleman” in the backseat? “Don’t mind Jeffrey. He gets dead tired when he drinks. Just push his cold, stiff, butt over and climb on in, sugar.”
What about the money? You say he owed you money? Is this howyou think he imagined paying you back? Do you think he sat in his favorite chair, staring at the ceiling, thinking “You know…..when I go, I hope the guys drive my carcass around town for a while, spending all of my money, and chasing strange. That’s the way I wanna go.”? I kind of doubt it and the fact that you didn’t earns you a big old IDIOT stamp! 

IDIOT NUMBER TWO: You didn’t think I would stop at just one creepy story, did you? Idiot number two comes to us from China. Normally, when I think of China, it’s not for stupidity. Sadly, a boy known only by the surname “Zheng” is out to change that. You see, Zheng, a teenager in the southern province of Guangdong really wanted an iPad2. I cannot emphasize that enough. He REALLY wanted an iPad2. Think back to the one toy you wanted more than anything as a kid…….think back to the anticipation and planning that went into making sure you held that thing in your hands…..did you work extra hard? Did you constantly look for ways to make it happen? Well, Zheng went a different route entirely! Zheng sold his freaking kidney for just over $2,000. He could have easily gotten $5,000! If he could have found a way to cut out the shady Yemeni agent, he could have made ten times that amount, but he only needed enough to buy an iPad2. I repeat: Chinese teenager sold his kidney for an iPad2.
The boy finally had to confess the horrendous decision to his mother after he began to suffer from renal complications for which there is no “app”. The infected appearance to the scar prompted her to action but I seriously doubt that the people willing to take a kidney from a teenage boy are going to put it back in because mama says they have to. Besides, the boy had already spent their money and returning the iPad2 was out of the question. Filtering my blood or getting a new gadget? I choose urinary filtration almost every single time. I don’t really know what to say to this story. Selling an organ to cover the cost of an i-anything gets you an IDIOT stamp every time, my friend. Every time.

IDIOT NUMBER THREE: Our last idiot of the day is not really just one person although the picture here may indicate otherwise. This guy, while no doubt a completely self-obsessed, orange-ish, loud, over-moussed, douchebag is really just an illustration of a much bigger epidemic than colored wife beaters and camouflage cargo shorts will ever be able to conceal. ServiceAnimalUrine You see, this classless moron actually had the language skills necessary to exploit a weakening society and bully his way into free travel for his pissy little friend here.
Before any of you go whining about me not being a dog lover, I’ll save you the energy. I love dogs. I have always loved dogs and always will. What I don’t like are juiced up punks like this one to the left saying that their depression or anxiety is a disorder which prevents them from being without their loyal companions for the time it would take to complete a domestic flight. I love dogs, but I don’t like Jersey Shore Scrotumetti here buying a Pit Bull so people will think he’s tough and then claiming that depression made him do it. Did depression make you buy that ridiculous shirt? Did anxiety case you to stand there and take a phone call while your dog pees all over the carpet of an airport?
It’s not just this genius either. People all over the country are getting dumber and dumber when it comes to airline security. I’m not talking about the occasional TSA mishap where a woman gets inappropriately groped, exposed, or searched. Those people do way more good than harm. I’m talking about the passengers as a whole. Every time I fly, I hear people complaining about the wait at the security lines……complaining about the delay required of removing shoes, watches, laptops, etc…..yet the TSA reports that over 800 firearms have been confiscated form carry-on bags so far this year. That’s 800 people that drive on the same roads, vote in the same districts, have the same rights as you that believed it was okay to bring a loaded weapon onto the plane with them. That number doesn’t even include the countless knives that continue to show up at airport security screeners.
I’ve taken the time to put together the following slideshow to help you all remember things that you should NOT bring on a plane with you, especially within the borders of the United States. I hope it is helpful.

NOT Cleared For Takeoff

This is not a complete list, but if you’re wondering whether or not the weapon you are planning on bringing aboard a domestic flight here in the USA is permissible, you should probably check with the TSA website.

Again, we’ll get back to serious topics next week. I felt like having some fun today.
As always, thanks for playing and GO CARDINALS!!!!!!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Bit More Lighthearted….

No 6 year olds at gay weddings today. No documented terrorists within the highest levels of our government. Just good old fashioned stupidity, and crack fueled logic. To be honest, I’m still a little wiped out from yesterday’s post.
Let’s see; where should I start? The first story to catch my attention today was of a man in England who attacked a thirteen year old boy. The man faces serious charges for bursting into the boy’s home and attempting to choke him with both hands. Now, I’m not sure how you were raised, or if your father was a good influence or not. Mine happened to be a a pretty good one,Mark Bradford so maybe I’m giving common sense a lot of undue credit here but shouldn’t you know better than that at the age of 46? At some point, after leaving his own home where his wife and three children waited for his return, don’t you think the old ‘abort’ light should have gone off in his brain? It seems to me that there could not possibly be an explanation to justify such behavior, but let’s give the gent a little benefit of the doubt, shall we? 
- So….Mr. Bradford, what happened? What did this boy do to deserve such violent and seemingly psychotic behavior? -
- He shot my online video game character and then called me a name. -
- Oh…..well, we’re all very sorry to have bothered you then! Please carry on. In fact, if I could be so intrusive as to ask you for a favor? There are some nights when my kids get real picky about their food; or maybe they get grumpy around bedtime or they just won’t stay in bed. Do you think maybe you could come over to my house and try to choke the life out of them? -

The second story I found entertaining yesterday was the tale of Donald Gartner. Donald, a 48 year old man from Land O’ Lakes, Florida was arrested last week for public intoxication. He was found crawling out of his neighbor’s bushes wearing his shorts backwards. Again, to just assume that a man crawling out of his neighbor’s bushes wearing his clothing backwards was doing so for anything other than noble pursuits would be close-minded of us, right? In the spirit of that often mentioned progress we hear so much about from our friends out West, let’s give Mr. Gartner a chance to explain his side of the story. Wait…..a police spokesperson is coming out now…….
“Never mind, y’all. He’s shit-faced. First, he said he was in there looking for paint cans. Then, he said he was trying to change a light bulb. He also said he just finished a 6 for 6 night which would be great if he were a batter for the Cardinals, but he is sadly referring to the six beers and the 6 oxycodone he ingested a short while ago. We’ll get him cleaned up and send him out to talk to you guys in a little while, okay?”
Donald Gartner Now, again I will admit that perhaps it’s my upbringing but at that point I believe I would have thrown in the towel. My neighbors just watched me get dragged out of their shrubbery, pie-eyed drunk, speaking gibberish, and leaving unanswered questions such as “why did you feel you needed paint at this particular moment?” Personally, I would have just slept it off, taken my lumps in the jail-cell and considered that rock-bottom. Mr. Gartner and I do not apparently share the same set of values and beliefs. I realize that is a shocking revelation in and of itself, but try to gather your composure and read the rest of the story.
Donald spent a few sobering hours in the local jail. He was taken into custody at 6:30 and was released at around ten. (Apparently, in Land O’ Lakes; 3.5 hours is all that’s required to sleep off that much crazy.) Donald made it all the way to the parking lot of the jail before he was spotted trying to break into cars. He was immediately arrested and taken back inside.
No further questions, your honor.
It’s not often that the medical community produces anything truly worthwhile in terms of research. I mean…..once they learned that drilling holes in human skulls was probably not the best way to release evil spirits from a person’s brain, it’s all been pretty downhill, right? It would appear that Dr. Andrew Kramer is vehemently fighting to change that.
First, let’s back up and take a look at the voyage that has brought us all to the precipice of history. At some point, Andrew Kramer was just a little boy with his whole life ahead of him. He had wide eyes and even wider dreams. His friends would often tease him that his dreams and goals were so much different than those of their own, but he didn’t care. It was a lonely path at times, but one he knew would eventually pay off. He would be the best dick-man this side of Greece.
In college, when most students were partying and exploring the sexual freedom that comes01urologywMD from the experience, Andrew continued to study the penis. Day and night, studying penis. The verbal jabs and mocking smiles only fueled his determination.
Well, folks….all that work has finally paid off. The years of obsessive seclusion studying man’s best friend; the incessant odor of scrotum on his fingertips; the mental battles that must have raged inside his head as he wondered if playing with that much dick was normal…..it’s all paid off.
Dr. Kramer, now a urologist at University of Maryland Medical Center has recently released a study claiming that extramarital affairs are largely to blame for penile injuries. Dr Kramer has concluded; and I’m heavily paraphrasing here, that “sticking your man-parts in all sorts of strange in all sorts of situations may be hurting them.” In other words, weird positions, hurried and sometimes over-anticipated “froggings” often lead to “bending it”. I’m not intentionally typing this in a British accent, but it sure reads that way, doesn’t it?

In closing, I guess this last story takes me back to a simpler time. I was just a child, sitting on the small, wooden boat dock that extended from the shore into Lake Marble Falls, Texas. I’d sit there, enjoying the last few minutes of daylight and soaking up the wisdom of my Great Grandmother. One of her most frequently repeated bits of advice was one that would make Dr Kramer stand and cheer…..
Strange ain’t worth it if it snaps your branch.”
….Man, I miss her. 
Well, like I said in the beginning of this post, this one was going to be a bit more lighthearted. I certainly feel I accomplished that mission. Hope you enjoyed it and as always, thanks for playing.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I was actually beginning to think I was going to make it through a Tuesday without finding anything to rant about, but then old reliable came through with strength to spare in the race to do something stupid. As is so often the case, the source of frustration today comes from the Bay Area in California. I hate that this part of the country is so far gone. It’s one of my favorite places to visit, but I have to carry a can of Crazy Repellent while I’m there.
Today, the news broke about a class of First Graders that were taken on a field trip to witness a same-sex wedding. I’ll say that again…..FIRST GRADERS were taken to witness a same-sex wedding. Children were transported from school to the wedding during school hours. Am I the only one that finds this horrendously unacceptable? 1st-graders-homo-weddingI’m the parent of a first grader. I take that title as a badge of honor and this news story has me more than a little on edge. I can only assume that the field trip was not mandatory. I can assume that the parents of the students in attendance were those ultra-cool, ultra-progressive types that want their kids to learn from this “teachable moment.” Great, that’s fantastic. My concern is with the fact that those kids are not being taught there is a controversy over such events. Instead, they are being taught that there is absolutely no difference between a same-sex union and a standard wedding. They are being taught issues such as sex, marriage, law, and politics at an age that simply doesn’t require such knowledge. My son does not need to know how to define the word ‘lesbian’. He doesn’t need to know what the hell a “Proposition” is. When the time does come for such knowledge, why is it not the responsibility of the parent? California Law REQUIRES teachers to discuss marriage as part of the curriculum for kindergartners through seniors. (Sec. 51980 California Education Code)
Is that what being ‘progressive’ means? Let me get this straight…..in order to fit into what you define as a progressive community, I have to leave the value system of my child up to your construction? No thank you! I’ll continue my meager existence in that vast area between you and New York that seems to get overlooked far too often. The conclusions to which my son arrives on issues such as same-sex marriages, abortions, religion, and politics will be formed by me and the family with which my son is surrounded. A teacher is a valuable part of a child’s upbringing, but they do NOT have the right to indoctrinate my son into their way of thinking, especially just to draw attention to their own personal cause. Again, my son has no need, at age 6, to know what the heck a lesbian wedding is, let alone be driven to one in front of news cameras, media, and other publicity seeking fanfare.
We’re letting this happen, America. We keep trying to be sensitive to the needs of every activist group out there and sooner or later, everything is illegal and legal at the same time. Soon, it will be illegal to convict a person of murder because it's insensitive to those with a killing disease. (Murderus Dickheademae I believe it’s called.) While that is hopefully a stretch, there are clear-cut cases of such “progress” taking place all over the country. Terrorists are not the only ones figuring out how to use our own social issues and convoluted legal system against us. I’ve asked this question many times in the past, but when are we going to start letting common sense prevail. Not everyone can be made happy all the time. Yes, the Constitution does technically give the idiots who protest soldier’s funerals the ‘right’  to do so, but does that mean we have to allow it? Why is their tasteless, baseless, and abhorrently inappropriate speech protected more heartily than the rights of a grieving parent to bury their son or daughter? No one has been able to explain that one to me yet. Yes, I get it…..it’s a First Amendment thing but that’s my point? Do you think the Founding Fathers (referred to as “Framers” in California because “founding fathers” is offensive to women who feel left out of the forming of our government. Sorry, I didn’t see Ms. Fishbreath McNasty’s signature there on the old Declaration of Independence.) really intended for the First Amendment to be used in such a manner? Stop taking the law so literally when it helps your cause and then bending it to the point of torture when it doesn’t. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to me. It’s not fair to my kids. It’s not fair to the rest of the world.
Let me raise my kids, you crazy progressives! Thanks.
Thanks for playing!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Courtesy, Chivalry, and Other Stuff We’ve Ruined…

Everyone has a breaking point. It’s true. There is some trigger that lies within every human that, when pulled, unleashes a fiery rage from which the rest of us must flee. For some of us, that trigger is not buried all that deep. It’s right there under the surface, visible, just begging to be pulled. It’s never really given time to reload or recharge before being called upon to fire yet again. For others, the trigger is buried deep within them. It’s accessed so infrequently that it’s bursts are powered by the pressure and repressed rage from which some of history’s best rants have sprung.

Clark W. Griswold goes nuts....

The one constant, no matter what type of “trigger” you possess, is that the finger pulling your trigger is usually attached to the hand of an asshole. I don’t use that word to offend. I don’t use it to shock anyone, or to scare off anyone living within an overly sensitive world. I use that word because it accurately describes about 90% of the world in which we live today. I believe science has shown, and history will verify that only about 20% of the world is actually an asshole, the rest of us have simply been driven to assholery by the rest of you assholes!

Remember when you were expected, as a man, to hold the door open for a woman? Remember when the woman would thank you for this effortless gesture? It still happens on occasion, but for the most part it is just another example of morals lost. I hold the door open for women, all the time. I’m not talking about the women with whom I share a home. If you don’t hold the door open for your own wife, you don’t deserve her. Period. I’m talking about complete strangers. I take time out of whatever I’m doing to step back, and hold a door open for women all over town. Nine times out of ten, the women do not even break their conversation as they stroll past me, so immersed in their own worlds that they don’t even notice. Frequently, I will do the old “oh, you’re welcome” but for the most part, I just move on. Calling attention to their selfishness will only encourage them to display it in more aggressive fashion and I’m still not allowed to punch women. (I’m sure that social law will be antiquated soon enough.)

What about men? Men, even the most refined of us, are naturally rude on occasion. We don’t mean to be. I sincerely don’t mean to fart in the bathroom while my wife is getting ready for work. There are several things that men do naturally that are still considered rude. Those arewiggers not what concern me. The things that concern me are this “rap-star” mentality that seems to have swept our world. If I have to step out of the way to keep from running over another little bastard in a wife-beater style t-shirt, and a respect me or else attitude; I may have to create a hostage situation. You don’t get respect just because you have the ‘courage’ to call a woman a ‘bitch’ or a ‘ho’. Now, before anyone goes claiming that was a racist statement, it wasn’t. Period. It was not racist and for you to assume that it was makes YOU the racist. I’m sick of having to watch every word that comes out of my mouth for fear of offending your precious little world. I was not referring to any skin-color in the above statement. I was simply referring to anyone who acts like they deserve respect for anything other than working their butt off to earn it. If this group happens to reside within a specific pigmentation spectrum and you also happen to fall within that spectrum; clean up your community and stop blaming everyone else!

It was once considered that there were certain professions that, once achieved, grandfathered you into the world of social graces. Doctors for example, were once considered to be beyond reproach. Now, doctors are just as guilty as anyone else. My wife has been trying for three healthcare weeks to get in touch with her doctor. it’s a simple phone call. It will require nothing but maybe thirty seconds of his precious time, but she has yet to talk to him. Last time she was in his office, he prescribed a new medication. He told her to try it out and call him back with the results. She did her part. He has failed conclusively. She has navigated her way through his maze of personality-less assistants who have made promises they never intended to keep. She is now running extremely low on her meds, almost out, and her doctor finally called back today. (3 weeks – 7 phone calls – 7 promises that it would be taken care of that day.) He didn’t even call personally, he had one of his impersonal minions call and tell her that a prescription has been called in for her. I guess medical school now includes classes in assholery.   

My father and my grandfathers taught me to always treat a lady with respect, no matter how she may treat herself. My grandfathers would be ashamed of what the world they fought so hard to defend has become since their departure. I’m willing to bet that, if you’re reading this post, yours would be ashamed as well.  Chivalry used to require notions such as fair-play, nobility, valor, honor, courtesy, and loyalty. How many of those attributes can you spot in the world around you right now? Not just in terms of how men treat women. No, women don’t get a free pass just because men don’t hold the door open for you anymore. You don’t get to allow trainwrecks like Heidi Montag to achieve even a smidgeon of fame and then cry that chivalry is dead. You want to be treated like a ‘lady’, act like one. Stories of chivalry happen to women worth pursuing. They were women for whom the pursuing men would gladly pledge their eternal loyalty. You never heard tale of a maiden being “pounded in the bathroom at Steak n’ Shake.” 

What about customer service? Remember that concept? Am I alone in wanting to bludgeon the receptionist who looks up with an annoyed look on her face when I enter her office and waits for me to speak to her and justify my presence in her world? There are a few shining examples of exceptions to this rule, but not many. Occasionally, you’ll get that one server that makes ordinary food in an ordinary restaurant exceptional. More often that not, you get a rude, disinterested ‘waitress’ that makes delicious food in an exceptional atmosphere taste like crap. Don’t think that you’re getting off easy just because you have been on the receiving end ofbad-customer-service such service. Bad service in restaurants is the product of not only a decline in general values, but centuries of degrading, ignorant treatment by impossible customers. I’ve spent enough time in the trenches of the Food Service Industry to know that bad-service is usually the fault of the guest, not the server. People who have never worked behind the bar on a Friday night should not be allowed to drink in one. People who have never run an eight table section on Valentine’s Day should not be allowed to make a reservation in one. The madness that takes place behind the scenes in a restaurant would shock the average person, but it’s necessary to make you feel like you just ate something you couldn’t make at home. Still, if you don’t like the service, you are always encouraged to call the corporate offices and file your complaint. Just navigate your way through a maze of automated response systems, foreign accents, and unpredictable transfers to departments you swear are being made up as the call progresses. Customer service has become a fairy tale.

What do we do? How can we get back to the way it was when our parents were raising us to respect who we are, what we have, and where we came from? We can’t. Sorry, but those days are gone. The battlefield has changed, as they say. My parents had the ability to shut me off from the world when they needed to. They could control my exposure to the world around me and they could explain, on their terms, the things for which I had no understanding. If I saw a news story that confused me, I didn’t get to run to my room and look it up on the net. I didn’t get to pull my smart-phone, or some other gadget out of my pocket and have 82,699,000 results in .22 seconds. I love technology. Without it, I  wouldn’t be sharing these thoughts withPhoto Jun 19, 9 03 52 PM you. With that in mind, how do we get back on track? How do we make sure that our kids have a world better than the one we now inhabit? It starts at home. Yes, it’s a cliché but it’s so true. Complaining about the current political landscape does absolutely NOTHING to make your children better citizens. Being the first to know what the star of the latest vampire movie ate for lunch might make you irresistible to pale-skinned teenagers, but it will not help to make those same teenagers responsible adults. Take charge. The old adage about TV being a babysitter no longer applies. TV has so much more to offer than it did in the days surrounding that phrase’s birth. Computers and the internet are fantastic tools for growth if used the right way. Right now, however, porn is the only industry in our country that seems to be stable.

Take charge of the things you can actually control. Make YOUR family the family you want it to be. Don’t rely on outside influences to raise your kids and then gripe when they turn out to act just like the characters they see on TV.

As always, thanks for playing!