Friday, June 28, 2013

Look in the Mirror

The constant trouble that ahthletes get into with law enforcement leads me to believe that going to college does very little to prepare them for the real world.  These kids have been pampered all of their lives because they have been given athletic "gifts."  They are given a free rides through college, even though many of them could not make it in on their academic merit.  They continue to live the thug, hip-hop life style and it is accepted by all because they play for our team.

Every time I see a recruit having trouble qualifying I cringe, knowing that this is potential trouble, should he finally eke out a test score or pass that last course.  Yeah, sure, this doesn't apply to every marginal student, and many have made the most of their opportunity by taking college seriously and coming out with marketable skills other than catching a football to dribbling a basketball.  For every one of these kids there are 10-20 or more who are just there taking up space, just doing the minimum to stay eligible to play their sport.  They don't see the value in an education and if they are lucky enough to acquire a fat, juicy pro contract, they thug it up or squander the riches that the regular Joe can only dream of.

So who's to blame here?  The players?  The schools?  Big money?  The fans?  Probably all of the above, but is mostly us, the public, because we accept it.  In fact we want this stuff.  Our culture cultivates and accepts the thug life by sensationalizing it in the media, by giving these people fame and fortune.  We continue to want to see players on our university's team who are spectacular athletes, regardless of their character or their intellect.  We dismiss Stanford and Duke as anomalies, when we should be demading that all schools require their athletes to be students first.  We want our university to make scads of money so that they can attract more of these dim bulbs to bring us a national championship.

The reality is that a whole lot of these players should never set foot on a college campus, that is until they can prove to everyone that they are serious students and citizens.  It is a shame seeing grown men begging thugs to come play for them and doing everything that they can to get them into school.  Yet we all accept it because that is what everyone does.

So the next time that one of these guys gets in trouble with the law, and you wonder how someone who "has it all" could have done that, look in the mirror.  We are all partly at fault by continuing to support a very flawed system.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Baptists urged to leave Boy Scouts

Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptists, is urging his churches to dissociate themselves with the Boy Scouts due to their vote to end their discriminatory practice of banning homosexual boys. Now there is a good example for our youth. 8-| 

Hey Mr. Land, what happened to the "hate the sin, but love the sinner" bullshit that you guys spew? Just what kind of example are you setting for our young people? Plus exactly what do you think is going to happen now? Do you think that the BSA will introduce merit badges for blow jobs and anal sex?

You, Mr Land and your ilk are what is wrong with this country, i.e., using your position of power to divide rather than unite. Please just go away and take all of your hate-filled followers with you.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Pulpit Freedom Sunday

Strategists at the Alliance Defense Fund, an outfit founded by TV and radio preachers, are yet again urging pastors to openly violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates from tax-exempt pulpits. They call this stunt “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”
Read about it here

I would hope that most Americans would get up and walk out of church if their priest, pastor, minister, etc. started spewing political endorsements. If you witness such an activity I urge you to do so and also report this person to the IRS.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

GE Propaganda

Over the weekend I saw a number of different TV commercials from GE touting their great company and all of the wonderful things that they do. None of these commercials had anything to do with promoting consumer products. This is simply corporate propaganda, feel-good stuff to make the average viewer say, “Wow, that there is a pretty darn good company, ain’t it Clem?” While I cannot be totally sure about their motives, this certainly has the feel of damage control, i.e., a reaction to the public backlash, by the small percentage of the population who is actually paying attention, over their not paying any taxes in 2010 and receiving money back from the government.

Hey GE, where is the TV commercial where you explain how and why you moved your entire radiology division to China? Yeah, you will say because China is an “emerging market” which it probably is. Did you have to move all of the jobs over there for that, or because you can get cheap labor and continue to dodge paying taxes to Uncle Sam?

The ironic part about these TV spots is that they will be classified as a business expense against earnings, thereby contributing to GE’s continued tax dodge. Only in America.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Penn State Board of Trustees did the right thing with respect to Coach Paterno. The way this thing has exploded due to his seemingly-calculated inaction there is just no way that he should be permitted to continue to lead this team. There may be a lot more to come but right now the best thing to do is get him and all of the others involved out of the public eye and away from the school while they begin to address the huge storm ahead.

While I am glad that he has been removed I do not revel in this shame and disgrace that has befallen the school or football program. I am quite disappointed that school officials have not been more forthcoming with proactive statements or actions related to the victims, but recognize that there is a fine legal line in place that they must maintain and probably cannot get into that stuff, at least not yet.

I am certainly very disappointed with Paterno's involvement and inaction with this situation. It has diminished my respect for him to the lowest possible level. I will never be able to hear his name and not immediately think of the damage that his inaction has done to a bunch of kids, the exact number of which we may never know. But just like O.J. I will always admire what he was able to accomplish in football, on and off the field:

  • He created one of the most storied college football programs in the history of the sport
  • He stressed academics and graduated a lot of players
  • He didn't cash in by leaving for more money
  • He knew the value of branding and didn't succumb to the lure of big money to change that brand.
  • He gave back millions to the university
  • He won a lot of games, bowl games, and a couple of national championships

This is the stuff that those who continue to support him remember while not considering that character trumps all of that. They are people whose values are misplaced, either permanently or due to their emotions temporarily clouding their better judgment. Those in the latter category will come around, while just like with O.J. there will be those who will support Coach Paterno to the end of their days.

My primary thoughts are with the victims of Jerry Sandusky and hope that they find a way to find some way to heal and put this behind them. I know that is a tall order. Just like we cannot un-ring a bell, there is not much that can be done to erase these acts from their memories and lives. Still I hope that he has not ruined these people in such a way that they cannot follow their dreams.

In Thursday, November 10, 2011 Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror wrote:

Wednesday night, while attempting to take the first step toward rebuilding its reputation and re-shaping its future, Penn State finally sent the message that the institution cannot take orders from the football coach.


On the margins of this mess another subject needs discussed, that being the stranglehold that college sports and sports in general have on our society. Had events like this been related to faculty members associated with the school's orchestra would the school attempt to cover it up? I don't think so, but there is no potentially-huge financial loss associated with the school's orchestra.

We live in a world where a school will pay millions of dollars for the right to play football in a different conference. We don't blink an eye when we see that West Virginia University will pay $5 million to leave the Big East. FIVE MILLION DOLLARS! For an extracurricular activity? Coaches are paid enormous sums and these programs generate boat loads of revenue. Is it any wonder that these guys would want to protect that? While the end certainly does not justify the means in this case, I will suggest that we, our collective society, should also be ashamed that we have created this monster that would make some intelligent men make horrible decisions that hurt children all for the sake of what is supposed to be a diversion for students in pursuit of higher education.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

GOP Blows It, Again

Does everyone remember the GOP going on and on about the solution to health care in the US is letting it sort itself out in the free market and introducing more competition by permitting the sale of health insurance across state lines? Well they had an opportunity to put their votes where their mouths are last week and failed miserably.

A Senate bill was shot down by the Republicans that would have permitted American consumers to buy US-made pharmaceuticals from Canadian vendors over the Internet, by mail order, or in person. This applied only to individuals, not wholesalers, who would be obtaining FDA-approved drugs for their personal use.

Just think, an opportunity to lower the prices of drugs in this country, something that would have given a whole lot of people some additional discretionary income to pump into the economy. But it would have taken some of the profits away from big pharma and the Republicans could have none of that.

For those of you who kneel at the altar of the GOP every November keep in mind that:
  • Nobody will ever force you or any of your loved ones to have an abortion.
  • Nobody will ever force you or any of your loved ones to marry someone of the same sex.
  • Nobody will ever take your guns away from you.
How about throwing all of your bums out and voting in Senators and Representatives who will do something to help everyone and not just the rich and powerful? Just try this so that we can get everything on the right track and then you can go back to your single-issue, narrow-minded, God, Gays, and Guns voting habits.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where do they get this stuff?

Did anyone notice that the sun continues to rise and everyone's lives have been unaffected by the official elimination of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the military?

On a related note, check out this exchange that took place at a recent Republican debate:

KELLY: Senator Santorum, this question stirred up a whole lot of controversy online, and it comes from Stephen Hill, who is a soldier serving in Iraq.
QUESTION: In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I'm a gay soldier, and I didn't want to lose my job.
My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?
SANTORUM: Yeah, I -- I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they're making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to -- to -- and removing "don't ask/don't tell" I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military's job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.
We need to give the military, which is all-volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform.

So, let me get this straight, permitting anyone to serve in the military is injecting social policy and Don't Ask Don't Tell is not? If someone can explain this, please take a shot.

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