Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Record Cold Temperatures Hit The U.S. Last Week

I don’t know if anybody else noticed it, but after the heat wave broke mid-month, we had some fairly cool mornings and some fairly spring-like afternoons.

I mean a high of 83 degrees is perfectly peachy for, say, late May. But that’s just not normal – or even preferable, in my summer-loving opinion – for July. July is supposed to be the hottest month of the year, where people flock to the beaches and enjoy the sun and wear tank-tops and shorts without having to worry about getting goose pimples.

Ok, I’m done complaining. Back to the facts.

Last week, the U.S. set 173 record warm temperatures… and 1,122 record cold temperatures.

1,122. Record. Cold. Temperatures.

What. The. Heck?

Forget continued snowfall during the winter; well-researched claims that the world hasn’t heated up for the last 18 years; and charges of fraud and sheer stupidity among the government-supported, line-toeing scientific community. Taken all by its little lonesome that figure seems to throw some significantly chilly water on the subject of global warming.

I’m sure the global warming crowd, however, will simply throw another log or two onto the fire, fit themselves with a thicker sweater and bundle up in an additional blanket or two… and then go right back to wailing about the world heating up.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hillary Clinton Lovers Aren't Completely Wrong in Saying She's Different From Huma Abedin

It’s being said that Hillary Clinton is none too happy about being compared to Huma Abedin, the wife of scandal-ridden, sex-addicted, unfortunately-named Anthony Weiner.

The New York Post’s Frederic U. Dicker writes that, “The Clintons are upset with the comparisons that the Weiners seem to be encouraging – that Huma is ‘standing by her man’ the way Hillary did with Bill, which is not what she in fact did.”

No?

Really?

How so?

As the Atlantic Wire’s Elspeth Reeve notes, “But [stand by her man] is in fact what she did. I have found no record of the Clintons filing for divorce, or of Hillary moving out of the White House. The Clintons did many side-by-side interviews, and Hillary allowed herself to be photographed dancing in her swimsuit with her husband on vacation in the Virgin Islands.”

If there is a real difference, it’s that Hillary isn’t a fool blinded by love, as poor Huma seems to be. Say what you will about the former first lady turned U.S. senator turned secretary of state, but she knows what she wants and she doesn’t let much get in her way… especially not a skirt-chasing letch of a philandering husband.

(Yes, I know that was a ridiculously repetitive sentence, but it was too much fun to write so I’m leaving it as-is.)

Considering how smart Hillary Clinton is and how many accusations were officially filed against Bill Clinton – doubtlessly just a fraction of the actual instances, considering how few sexual harassment claims are actually filed in this chauvinistic society of ours – she had to have known that he was getting it on behind her back. And by her silence and her continuous support of her unethical, disrespectful cretin of a husband, she condoned it.

So yes, the two cases aren’t exactly alike. Huma’s “stand by her man” is doubtlessly the result of a desperate desire for something she’ll probably never get from Weiner: validation as a worthwhile human being.

Hillary, however, didn’t kick Bill to the curb because she’s power-hungry. Pure and simple.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Four out of Five American Adults Doing Miserably… Say What?

“Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.” Thus begins an Associated Press story entitled “Exclusive: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work.”

Am I the only one who thinks that seems high? Like really, really, really high, actually?

I mean, I’m all for facing the truth and acknowledging that our real unemployment figure is nowhere near the touted 7.6%. But the new numbers being thrown around seem just as unrealistic.

So let’s play a few word games here to make sense of the data, starting out with a careful study of that same starting sentence: “Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.”

Technically, I suppose, I’m one of those U.S. adults, since it took me a year to find a real job after college. Sure, I lived comfortably enough during that stint since I stayed with my parents rent-free, but I still did “struggle with joblessness.”

“Semantics!” You may cry. But semantics are what these surveys are far too often about. (Incidentally, conservative studies can be just as guilty of this. I’m not just picking on the liberal-leaning Associated Press.) It’s nearly impossible to begin research like this without pre-conceived opinions, biases and/or agendas. So whether people recognize it or not, they’re prone to phrasing related questions and corresponding conclusions in ways that automatically agree with their own findings.

The results are that, in this case, somebody like me who has been solidly middle-class her whole entire life can still fall into the mind-boggling statistic listed above.

But why would the liberal-leaning (or capsizing) Associated Press run such an unflattering angle of the truth when their beloved President Obama, is running the show? That’s the real question.

For the real answer, look no further than paragraph three (No seriously, there’s little point to finishing the article. Take it from me: it’s just more tripe.): “The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration’s emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to ‘rebuild ladders of opportunity’ and reverse income inequality.’”

And there you have it, folks. The President wants to spend more money at a time when we have no money to spend. In order to sway the public to his side, he has his lackeys in the press and elsewhere painting an entirely negative picture designed to scare people into agreeing to almost anything… no matter how pointless the plan.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Few Words for Detroit


Considering that Detroit has been a train wreck for quite some time, this isn’t at all surprising.

Considering that Detroit has been a bastion of far-leftist politicians for even longer (It does, after all, take time for leftist polices to deteriorate a society.), it’s even less of a shock.


There’s really not much else to say on the subject without being mean.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King “Would Very Likely Not Wear a Hoodie” and Other Current News

You know that picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ridiculously photoshopped into a hoodie?

Well the dead civil rights leader’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, is out there saying that her uncle “would very likely not wear a hoodie. I can assure you he would not wear sagging pants.” This was during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Radio Show on Tuesday, and she added later on, “I can almost promise you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would not wear a hoodie.”

My guess is that she’s probably right about that. Furthermore, he’d probably also be appalled at the racial mess being made over illegal immigration these days, especially since it’s so often erroneously and insultingly compared to his own legacy and struggle. He, like most intelligent, informed, honest Americans, would hate what National ICE Council President Chris Crane had to say about current policy on the subject:

“What the Obama Administration has ICE agents now doing is we now go into jails and prisons looking for illegal aliens inside of those facilities who have committed and been convicted of crimes. So we apply the Dream Act not to kids in schools but to adult inmates and have to ask them basically, ‘Do you qualify for President Obama’s Dream Act?’ When they tell us, “Yes, we qualify,’ we can’t even require them to give us any kind of proof, a transcript or anything like that. We can’t detain them for investigation to substantiate the claims, we simply have to release them to the street. They walk out the back door of the jail as Dreamers. There is nothing we can do about that.”

Speaking of prisons, because of budget cuts, the Pentagon began furloughing hundreds of thousands of civilian personnel earlier this week. Two days later, it ordered a second round of TVs for Guantanamo Bay. This program has cost over $80,000 in the last two months alone.

When we treat high-level threats to American safety with such kid gloves, it’s then no wonder that our enemies in general don’t take us very seriously. Cuba feels absolutely no qualms about peddling missiles and other military equipment to North Korea because, hey, the U.S. isn’t going to do anything about it anyway… not when we’re busy buying TVs for terrorists.

In fact, America is becoming such a mess that even the exceptionally delusional Jimmy Carter has recognized we no longer have a “functioning democracy.” He made that remark based solely on the NSA’s PRISM program, which gives the government leave to intrude on any and all forms of electronic communication it wants to without permission or warrant or reason.

Going back to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I sincerely doubt he would be impressed at all with how his country has progressed since his death. This isn’t a free and equal America at all. It’s a place of privilege and programs that favor anybody willing to grovel before government might.

I can’t imagine Dr. King would be proud of how we’re behaving these days. It takes a heavy reliance on delusions to think we’re doing ourselves any favors, and he was simply too smart for that kind of nonsense.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

SHOCKER: AskMen.com Asks Men Stupid Questions and Gets Stupid Results

Sorry boys, but I’m going to take issue with you today. You can blame it on AskMen.com.

It’s not because I don’t love you all. Well, actually, I don’t. (I don’t love all women either.) But I do love some of you quite dearly and I mean no offense with what I’m about to say.

So in the spirit of honest inquiry and understanding between the sexes… Do you guys have any actual understanding of what you really want in a woman?

Now I know I blogged just last week about men being driven by societal pressure instead of by individuality and preferences and common sense. That was after a Dustin Hoffman interview went viral, in which he admitted he only paid attention to women who “fulfill physically the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have in order to ask them out.”  

Hoffman noted sadly that, “There’s too many interesting women I have… not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.”

That caught my attention, largely because it’s so exceptionally tragic. Today, we’ve been granted another pop culture insight into how the male mind works. It’s less depressing this time but still entirely bewildering.

AskMen.com (a.k.a. AskLittleBoysWhoRefuseToGrowUp.com) came out with this year’s version of its incorrectly named “Great Male Survey.” In it, they ask men what archetype they would most want to date:

·         The Comedienne
·         The Bombshell
·         The Indie Film Star
·         The Award-Winner
·         The Strong Personality

Surprisingly, “The Strong Personality came in a clear second place at 18.7%. Not so surprisingly, “The Bombshell” still stole the show with a resounding 40.5%. Go figure.

AskMen.com then asked which celebrity men they would best like to date:

·         Kate Upton (clearly The Bombshell)
·         Emma Stone (The Indie Film Star type? Maybe?)
·         Jennifer Lawrence (The Award Winner, I suppose)
·         Tina Fey (whom some lesser minds might call The Comedienne)
·         Kerry Washington (The Strong Personality)

Kate Upton actually came in at a mere 23%, while Jennifer Lawrence took top spot with 32%, Emma Stone narrowly missed with 31%, Tina Fey was awarded 10% and Kerry Washington got just 4%.

As a quick aside: come on guys? You’d really pick Tina Fey over Kerry Washington? That girl is gorgeous! So considering that they both have the same messed up political views and therefore the same lack of common sense, that makes you insane.

Both Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence clearly fall into the quirky but adorable category (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, if I do say so myself), not Bombshell. They can look absolutely stunning in their red carpet evening gowns, but that’s not their typical selves. Their beauty is much more Girl Next Door than Drive Men to Their Knees Diva.

It’s therefore impossible for men to say their ideal type is “Bombshell” and yet turn down Kate Upton in such a small sample of drastically different women.

This again begs the question: do men understand what they actually want when it comes to women?

The evidence seems to say that some of you guys are really quite confused.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

George Zimmerman Trial Results Don’t Say Much for Society – No Big Surprise

As I recall, back when the whole George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin ordeal first went down, there were riots and black-on-white violence and cries of “This is for Trayvon” until, two months after the fact, the state-appointed special prosecutor, Angela Corey, officially filed second-degree murder charges against the “white Hispanic,” as The New York Times deemed him.

That’s when things started calming down a bit, with the angry mob waiting for their ignorant definition of a crazy, racist child killer to be tried and brought to their version of justice.

Not surprisingly, now that Zimmerman has been found Not Guilty, things are heating up again.

Along with the traffic-stopping protests in New York and Los Angeles over the weekend, my own city of Baltimore might be revving up the hate by stomping people into the ground. On Sunday, a Hispanic man was attacked, allegedly by a group of black teenagers, pistol whipped and then kicked and punched repeatedly while he was on the ground.

Admittedly, Baltimore is known for its violence regardless of the occasion. But in this case, a witness who intervened told the police that the hoodlums “were just yelling and calling him names as they ran after him. But once they were hitting him and after that they started yelling, ‘This is for Trayvon’” repeatedly.

Down in Senatobia, Mississippi, a young man was treated at a hospital after being badly beaten. He says three black men drove by, stopped and asked him if he knew who Trayvon Martin was. Then they allegedly abducted him, assaulted him and dumped his body on the side of the road.

In a Los Angeles suburb, protestors blocked traffic, stomped on cars, chased bystanders and stormed a Wal-Mart all in the name of – yup – Trayvon Martin. There’s no “alleged” about this incident either, not with so many witnesses to verify the story, including police.

Speaking of police, in Oakland, California, the cops didn’t even bother to do anything about protesters taking “complete control” over an area of public road, intimidating drivers as they did.

Meanwhile, George Zimmerman and his family and the jurors who acquitted him are receiving scores of death threats. After the trial concluded, Zimmerman also went right back into hiding. The prosecution’s star witness and epic fail, Rachel Jeantel, however, gets to go on Piers Morgan to yap about how the “creepy ass cracka… might have been a rapist.”

With the same level of reasoning, she also explained the jury's decision away by calling them “old. That’s old school people. We in a new school. Our generation. My generation.”

(Incidentally, this is also the generation that apparently believes in “bro-choice,” which is pro-choice for the sole reason of getting laid as often as possible. Not Even Kidding.)

I’m sorry folks, but none of this is saying anything good about who we are and what we’re allowing ourselves to become.

Monday, July 15, 2013

George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty; Trayvon Martin Supporters Cry Racism

As promised, here I go, discussing the George Zimmerman trial verdict.

On Saturday, the jury of six women found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin. Either they believed the defense that the defendant did what he did to protect himself from further bodily harm, or they thought the prosecution didn’t do its job.

Either way, Zimmerman is a free man.

I’d say justice was served, but I’m not completely confident in that statement. I believe the verdict was the right one to hand down, but I don’t think there ever should have been a trial to begin with. Not in such a clear case of self-defense.

The state broke down to public peer pressure, however, letting a low-life, reactionary mob dictate its actions instead of letting Lady Justice perform her job correctly, which is blindly.

Fortunately, she managed to work around such cowardice in the end, though that low-life, reactionary mob is still hard at work, showcasing its ignorance.

On both Saturday and Sunday, people protested the verdict by taking to the streets. In Atlanta and Washington D.C., things remained relatively civil despite the absurdity of the cause. In Los Angeles, meanwhile, they “shut down an entire freeway and thousands of New Yorkers mobbed Times Square and blocked traffic for an hour,” according to the UK’s Daily Mail.

“Emotional crowds screamed ‘Justice for Trayvon’ and carried signs that likened the struggle of the slain teen and his supporters to that of the original civil rights movement.”

At the risk of sounding callous over the loss of life – which is always unfortunate – puh-leaze.

There is an immense difference between an entire group of people being treated like second class citizens, and a racist, drug-using, violent teenager finding an untimely end.

It’s amazing what people intent on living meaningless lives will do to find meaning.

Cases in point are celebrities such as Beyonce, who held “a moment of silence” for Trayvon Martin at her concert; Atlanta Falcons’ Roddy White, who tweeted that the jurors “should go home tonight and kill themselves;” and New York Giants’ Victor Cruz, who also tweeted his opinion, saying that Zimmerman wouldn’t “last a year before the hood catches up to him.”

In Cruz’ defense, he apologized for advocating violence later on. Roddy White did no such thing.

This of course all boils down to race. Not logic. Not decency. Not justice. Race, which is too often held up as an idol to a nation desperate for an identity… and just as desperately avoiding the kind of responsibility and intelligence that would give it exactly that.

And that right there is the real tragedy out of all of this.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why Listening to Radio Talk Programs on Pop Stations Can Be Depressing

I got nothin’ today. Absolutely, completely and totally nothing.

I could write on the unfairness of the Zimmerman trial, but I’ve already covered that and I’m sure I’ll cover it again whenever the verdict comes down.

I could talk about how the San Diego mayor is probably going to get away scot free for sexually harassing his staff, but I’ve already waxed eloquence on male-female dynamics a few times in the last few weeks. So that seems old hat right now, which is really sad in and of itself.

There’s always the newest school, this time in Indiana, out there telling Michelle Obama her socialized school lunch plan just isn’t cutting it. Though again, I’d risk being repetitive.

And the fact that the CEO of the bankrupt scam known as Solyndra won’t be facing any criminal charges? Well, right now, I’m more inclined to revisit the short and tragic life of Snuffy the Seal.

Just saying.

So instead, I’m going to write a quick rant against society, particularly the society captured by morning radio programs on my local pop stations.

This morning in particular, I found out that women are better liars than men. The DJ then asked callers to phone in and share their stories about whether that factoid was correct or not.

According to Baltimore, at least, it’s true. Which isn’t very surprising. At all and for more than one reason. But I won’t get into Baltimore-bashing today. Let’s save that for another time.

As is usual with such programs, callers flocked to the phone lines in order to share their corresponding stories. These stories included:

·         A woman who cheated on her still-clueless husband years ago
·         A woman who slept with her best friend’s boyfriend and successfully kept that infidelity from her for months before the boyfriend blabbed
·         A woman who…

I actually stopped listening at that point because I was getting bored with the callers’ base mentality, so I don’t have a third example of how much society stinks.

I’m sure, however, that there were plenty to go around.

Sigh.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hollywood’s Dustin Hoffman Admits That Focusing on Physical Beauty Is Detrimental

Women can be catty.

Not me, of course, because I never stoop to such lows and make fun of people based on their tacky or trashy outfits and assumed attitudes. I’m clearly talking about other women.

This isn’t meant to excuse us (oops. I mean them.) at all, but we’re much more likely to notice subtleties and nuances than men are. So we’ll pay attention to whether shoes are too stripper-esque, whether somebody’s patterned stockings clash with the rest of their similarly mish-mashed outfit (*cough* *cough* my one coworker), or if a dress hugs in all the wrong places.

Sorry, but we do. It’s automatic, though obviously we can still choose what to do with that visual input. Except in the case of Baltimore women who walk down the street sporting skin-tight, leopard print leggings, equally nasty top and the ugliest shoes you could possibly imagine.

In that case, I defy even a man not to notice that fashion train wreck!

Speaking of the male gender… according to a Dustin Hoffman admission, men do just the opposite. Instead of being hypercritical, they’ll completely ignore females who don’t automatically fit their society-schooled understanding of beauty.

In a video interview with the American Film Institute, Hoffman talked about his experience playing the Dorothy Michael character in “Tootsie.” He recounted how he once asked his makeup artists to make him look like a more attractive woman than they had been, to which they responded “That’s as beautiful as we can get you, Charlie.”

Apparently, that really affected him. He recalled:

“… I think [my character is] an interesting women when I look at myself onscreen. And I know that if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill physically the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have in order to ask them out… There’s too many interesting women I have… not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.”

At least in that one clip, he doesn’t say he wouldn’t talk to certain women who didn’t meet his opinion of attractive. It’s society’s stereotype he’s desperately trying to fulfill.

Now, everybody has a certain type that they’re automatically physically attracted to. Personally, I go for tall, dark and handsome/cute. Cliché, I know, but it’s what I like. That’s not to say, however, that somebody who’s short, blonde and plain can’t be just as worthwhile when there’s so much more to a person than their physical looks.

I’ve already admitted to being catty at times, so I’m really not trying to get up on a high horse about this subject. We’ve all incorrectly judged people by appearances, and despite my silly protestations at the beginning of this blog, I know I’ve been a wench before in this matter.

Yet Hoffman’s admission automatically makes me a little depressed thinking about all the people missing out on so much in order to feel “accepted” and “normal” and “approved.”

I have no brilliant or scathing comments to close this blog post with. It’s simply sad. I truly wish we could become comfortable enough in our own skins to be the individuals we’re supposed to be.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mexico World’s New Fattest Country… Somebody Please Let Michelle Obama Know

Breaking news everybody!

America is no longer the world’s fattest country. Mexico has weighed in, knocking us down the scale to Numero Dos.

Frankly, I would normally care less about this news.

I mean, I suppose I’m happy America isn’t number one anymore in this regard, though I hardly think that’s because we changed at all in our dietary habits. (I know I haven’t, and fully plan on getting that macaroni burger at The Cheesecake Factory tomorrow. Not that I’m fat, but still…)

And as for those people who like making fun of America for its obesity problem? Well, they’re not worth paying attention to anyway. Besides, I’d much rather struggle with my weight than my manners. Sorry, Europe.

So no, I don’t personally think this breaking news is all that newsworthy. However, that’s not to say I won’t encourage certain overbearing nutrition Nazis to take careful note.

Yeah, I’m referring to our dear First Lady, Michelle Obama, whose perhaps – perhaps. Probably not, but perhaps – well-intentioned push to fight childhood obesity in America has grown to ridiculous, harmful and condescending proportions.

This shows somewhat in New York’s Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district, the latest grouping of schools to drop Mrs. Obama’s rigid cafeteria lunch plan. Assistant Superintendent Chris Abdoo issued this statement concerning the decision:

[Food Service Manager Nicky] Boehm and her staff worked hard to implement the new regulations, but there were just too many problems and too many foods that students did not like and would not purchase. Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money.”

Specifically, the district lost around $100,000 this way. That’s ridiculous.

Children skipping meals because the food is that disgusting or not being allowed to purchase enough to fill their growing bodies? That’s harmful.

And a hoity-toity bureaucrat like Michelle Obama dictating what individuals with their own dietary needs, physical functions and differing activity levels can and can’t eat as a single entity? That’s condescending in the extreme.

Not that I’m suggesting Mrs. Obama should stop trying to boss people around like she’s God’s gift to the nutrition world. Though, admittedly, that would be exceptionally nice. But maybe she could start focusing on the biggest problem around, which apparently is Mexico.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Just Because You Can Spend the Money Doesn’t Mean That You Should

This past weekend, I got into a discussion with somebody about the proper usage of money.

I’ll flat-out, proudly admit that I’m a capitalist, and I believe that people should be allowed to spend their cash how they choose with few restrictions. Obviously there have to be some limitations, but I believe in making them as few as possible.

From a legal sense of the word, at least.

From an ethical sense, however, I can’t help but take serious issue with some of the ridiculously self-focused ways that people choose to spend their paychecks. Most breast implants; $28 million mansions; million-dollar, two-day trips around the world

These are all things I find exceedingly and unnecessarily extravagant.

Of course, sometimes a girl (or a guy) just needs to kick back and relax, and I’m all for the occasional treat for an ice cream sundae, a trip to the Hershey Spa or even a jaunt to Europe now and again.

But I do think it’s important to remember that there are people out there who are, oh, I don’t know, like dying of hunger through no fault of their own?

So it seems perhaps, just possibly, a wee bit selfish to throw around enormous chunks of money on utterly pointless distractions when you could spend a significant fraction of that cost and enjoy yourself just as thoroughly.

For example, spending $2,000 on an ugly (albeit oddly intriguing) pair of shoes

I don’t care if they’re made by famed Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, whoever she is. Nor does it matter at all that United Nude – whatever that is – plans to pin its label on the product.

The million-dollar question still remains: Who in the world needs an ugly though admittedly oddly intriguing pair of shoes that costs $2,000?

I certainly don’t, but that’s just me.

Besides, why buy ugly shoes for $2,000 when I can get something much more adorable for a fraction of that cost from DSW?

I mean, really.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tahrir Square Sexual Assaults Spike Again… What Is Wrong With These People?

Every society has its issues. It’s practically inevitable considering that every society is filled with human beings. And human beings who associate in the same space oftentimes take on the same characteristics, whether good or bad.

America, for example, is currently filled with people who are somehow inexplicably both insanely self-focused and yet exceptionally fixated on group identity at the same time. I’m not sure how we manage it, but it’s a decided negative regardless.

But I’m not blogging to bash America. For once. Let’s focus elsewhere today, specifically on Egypt, which seems to be a lot worse off than the U.S.

Because I’m hardly an expert on Egypt as a whole, I’m going to try to be fair and not say that the entire country is filled with reprehensible people. But its capital city of Cairo definitely seems to be, judging by the latest round of sexual assaults reported during this latest round of protests.


“Humans Rights Watch reports a sharp rise in sexual assaults here since anti-Morsi protesters took to the streets in record numbers last week. Activists report more than 100 sexual assaults in or near Tahrir Square during the past week alone, many of them gang rapes.

“Most of the victims are Egyptian, though some are Western journalists covering the protest.

“The rights group says the latest attacks follow an all too familiar pattern since mass protests began in 2011: A few men force a girl or woman away from the people she’s with; rip off her clothes and assault her. Passersby join in the attacks, which range from groping to gang rapes that can last more than an hour.”

I know I wrote about this tendency back when the so-called Arab Spring first made its way to Egypt. So I might be repeating myself exactly when I mention how difficult it is to take their outcry seriously in light of such a disturbing trend.

But it doesn’t really matter how many times I say it; it still remains true.

When these men are out there protesting, demanding to be taken seriously by their government but refusing to protect the helpless amongst themselves?

Well, let’s just say that they have some bigger issues that they need to deal with before they can be entrusted to run a country on their own.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy? Birthday, America

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, America’s birthday (or at least its birthday party). Its celebration of Independence.

As a nation, America has had a lot to smile about. We’ve won wars, saved the world, contributed amazing scientific breakthroughs, fostered economic success, birthed geniuses and encouraged freedom.

We haven’t had a spotless past, of course. There are some things – slavery and electing Barack Obama come to mind immediately – we’ve done that should make us hang our heads in shame.
But the past doesn’t have to dictate our future, only define it to some degree or another.

I say it doesn’t have to dictate us because it’s true. Though it’s also true that, as evidenced by the last several years, we can also choose to wallow in our mistakes like pigs in muck.

Sadly, that seems to be America’s preference these days in too many regards. We’ve chosen to celebrate our negative side over the positive as of late. We’ve focused on wrongs instead of rights, bickering instead of working together, and focusing on what we don’t have instead of what we could achieve.

We’re demanding that God bless us instead of us blessing Him. And as a result, we’re destroying ourselves from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam.

As America turns another year older, I think it’s high time we shut out the fireworks and barbeques for just a minute and think about the real meaning of this holiday: the men and women who sacrificed so much so that we could be free…

Free to live and thrive and exist, or free to fail miserably.

That’s a heck of an opportunity to squander, America.

Just sayin’. But Happy Birthday anyway.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's George Zimmerman, Not Trayvon Martin, Who’s the Real Victim

On my way in to work this morning, I was thinking about George Zimmerman, who is currently on trial for killing Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old hoodlum at the time of his death.

The 9-1-1 recording that Zimmerman made, the pictures of Zimmerman’s bruised up face after the deadly altercation, Martin’s past history, and interviews with Zimmerman and others all solidly point to the shooting being an act of self-defense, not murder.

Yet it’s Trayvon Martin who’s been martyrized out of this whole thing… Trayvon Martin who’s had the TV networks go to bat for him by doctoring the information they received… Trayvon Martin who’s had Hollywood celebrities rush to his defense and throw Zimmerman to the wolves… Trayvon Martin who’s had entire rallies organized in his honor.

What about the real victim in all of this? What about George Zimmerman, who might very well have been foolish to follow Martin in the first place but was motivated by the desire to protect his criminal-targeted neighborhood?

Those questions all led to an overarching topic to ponder, and it’s this:

Why is it the bad guys – the ignorant and self-righteous and incompetent and evil – who feel emboldened to shout their opinions from the rooftops? Why don’t we see anybody marching in the streets for George Zimmerman?

In other words, why is it so easy to find opinions sympathizing with what’s wrong, while the right cower in a corner trying to draw as little attention as possible?

I wish there was a decent answer.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Criticizing an Unreliable and Incompetent Witness – i.e. Rachel Jeantel – Is Not Racism

Any article that starts out “If ever I thought myself objective and unbiased, [this topic] is definitely not that moment” probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously, right?

I mean, if the author is flat-out stating right from the get-go that he or she isn’t fit to objectively analyze a situation… Then why should we take his or her opinion all that seriously? Isn’t that something you learn in logic 101?

Logic 101, however, is clearly a class that Global Grind’s Christina Coleman skipped. She’s the author of the article, “Why Black People Understand Rachel Jeantel by Christina Coleman.” (I’m not kidding you: her name really is in the title of the article. No idea why.) And she really does start out the piece with “If ever I thought myself objective and unbiased, the George Zimmerman trial is definitely not that moment.”… and then expects us to solemnly agree with her bigoted analysis of “white people.”

“White people” is the real focus of her article, not Rachel Jeantel. Coleman makes that very clear as she begins, not by analyzing “why black people understand Rachel Jeantel” – the late Trayvon Martin’s friend and trainwreck of a key witness – but by attacking “white people.”

Any attorney, jury member, judge or white person in that courtroom is not going to understand Rachel Jeantel. And I don’t expect them to,” she writes piously, granting a pointless modicum of forgiveness along with the supersized heaping of guilt anybody reading the article knows is coming. “In fact, I certainly… understand why white people wouldn’t like Rachel.

“She’s hard. She’s black And your assumptions about her background and lack of education make you feel like you are better, somehow. That her testimony, no matter how powerful and impactful it may be to this trial, is implausible...

“But maybe the reason white people don’t understand Rachel Jeantel has something more to do with white privilege then, what they would call, Rachel’s capricious nature.”

Maybe, Ms. Coleman. Maybe it does.

Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that she lied on the stand… about her age! Maybe it has to do with how she used the racially derogatory term, “cracker.” Maybe it’s because, as the Christian Science Monitor explained, “she was hard to understand, mumbled, acted impertinent, annoyed, rude, and came across, as one cable TV news host said, as a ‘train wreck.’”

So maybe we should judge her the same as some piece of white trash taking the stand, using the N-word, getting caught in lies and exhibiting the maturity level of a gnat.

Though that would require we be “objective and unbiased,” which Christina Coleman is apparently incapable of exhibiting in this situation… according to her own key witness.