GOP Governor Christie: The Next Republican President

With the death of beloved-liberal Senator Frank Lautenberg from New Jersey, there’s a gaping opportunity for Republican Governor Chris Christie to not only seize control of his future in New Jersey, but to seize leadership in a political party that is desperate for sanity.

Thus far, Christie seems to battle with Tea Party members as much as far-left Democrats. There’s no doubt in my mind, that the slowly-growing plague in the GOP is the Tea Party. They are a polarizing, fanatic group of people that probably cost Mitt Romney a stay at the White House.

There are 315+ million people in this great country, and although I’m not one of them, a very large majority is religious. The overall sentiment, however, is that in a growing population of the country religion is decreasing in the political arena. What people do for an hour or so on Saturday and Sunday is slowly decreasing in importance to their every day lives.

Though abortion is still (and probably always will be) a hot topic, other issues such as prayer in schools/public places or euthanasia tend to get brushed off on a national level. It’s just not considered as important as taxes, education, war and domestic security. If Washington D.C. were to hold a press conference and Barack Obama and John Boehner were to walk out and tell the country: “We can stop terrorism forever if we remove ‘In God We Trust’ from our currency if you all vote for it,” the result would be a landslide victory.

The Tea Party and other ultra-conservatives, on the other hand, refuse to recognize this and insist that their voices not only be heard, but also be the trumpets of the Republican party. Well, they shot themselves in the feet and then stuck their feet in their mouths. The issues of women’s health and abortion drove a wedge within their own party, and all the Democratic opponents had to do was point to the headlines.

Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana likely got the final push he needed because Richard Mourdock made the mistake of saying rape was God’s wish (Were his words out of context or twisted? Likely- but it was too late). Representative Todd Akin botched an easy win by calling some rape “legitimate”. Akin’s situation got so bad that his own party asked him to step down; he refused and promptly gave up an important senate seat to the Democrats.

What does this have to do with Governor Christie? I’ll tell you.

Senator Romney refused to get involved in all the controversy. Romney, who, by gaining the nomination for the Republican Party, became the leader of the GOP and was nowhere to be found. The GOP has no leadership. It has a handful of influential people who love the spotlight but can’t bring the party together.

Michelle Bachmann, Ricky Rubio, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal…where are they? They’re supposed to be the next wave of Republican talent. They’re supposed to be shoe-ins for the 2016 nomination. But they rise and fall when put under the national spotlight. They focus on wedge issues that only ultra-conservatives want to talk about.

Where’s Governor Christie? He’s working with the democratic President of the United States to reinvigorate the Jersey Shore. He’s working with democrats and republicans alike to expand gun control in the state. He’s friends with the democratic Mayor Cory Booker from Newark.

I’m not saying the guy is a secret liberal, quite the opposite; he has a lot of policies that I do not agree with. What he is, however, and it should scare democrats, is rational (despite his sometimes irrational outbursts). He’s something the GOP hasn’t seen in a long time. He compromises and crosses the aisle. He does what needs to be done for the people of America, not just the people who pay him the most money.

Now, Christie has the opportunity to fill a very loyal, liberal seat in the United States Senate until a special election can be set up. Christie can seize this moment and fill the seat with the presumed winner- friend Mayor Booker. Booker was already the leader for the democratic nomination and it could prove to the state and the nation that Christie is a realist and respects his opponents if he doesn’t always agree with them.

That said, he could appoint a GOP replacement to Lautenberg and give that man or woman a fighting chance to defeat Booker in the general election next June. But defeating a well-received Booker will be difficult in a generally liberal state and there’s more at stake here. If Christie appoints a republican and that person loses the general election, he could have alienated himself from moderate democrats that could look for more of a centrist in the upcoming Presidential election.

By nominating Booker now, and basically handing the democrats their own senate seat, Chris Christie could further endear himself to a growing population of Americans that are sick of the extremist politics occurring across the nation. He could unite the middle of America that is begging for rational, central leadership, particularly from the conservative side.

Especially if former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stays out of the 2016 elections, both parties could be struggling to find a new leader for the White House. Christie could be that person for both sides of the aisle. IF he plays his cards right.

Defining Humanist Spiritualism

I wasn’t always a spiritual Humanist.

I was once religious. I marched through the constant and mundane for two decades. I sat in a Catholic church and learned a Catholic existence. I believed it all. I believed in the one true God. I said my “Amens”.

It was my culture. It was my family and my school. “I am the Way and the Life,” He told me. And He was right. He was my education. He was my dinner prayer. He was my affirmation.

I began to doubt a lot of the teachings while in high school. I didn’t doubt God, just what man decided God was. Funny how a Catholic high school would teach me the history of the Catechism, the formation of the Bible and its doctrine. Funny how it taught me who the men were that formed the Church (and I don’t mean the apostles and disciples…I mean the politicians and the rich).

I doubted not just the facts of the Bible. I don’t think a religion should be based on antiquated morality stories, nor should it necessarily be judged by them. No, I started to doubt the veracity of the institution. I started to wonder why a Church that preaches giving and charity could sit on hundreds of millions of dollars in gold and art and history and knowledge. Not only does it sit there and fund this institution but it is hidden away from the general public. It’s locked in basements and vaults.

I started to doubt why I should worship the same false idol that the Bible told me not to worship. I discovered in my late teens that the golden calf tossed aside by Moses drew itself up and lives in Vatican City. I learned this happened all over the world in almost all forms of religion. The Castle of the Pope. The Palace in Salt Lake City. The Blue Diamond Mosque in Istanbul.

Despite my doubt in the institution, I stuck with the God. He gave me a reason to do things the right way. The fear driven into me throughout my entire life of the final judgment in the clouds hid what I now view as the truth. In college I still attended Catholic masses. I didn’t do it for the communion or the sermons or the prayers. I did it for the community.

While reading Plato’s Symposium and Sun Tzu’s Art of War, I began to widen my views. I read the Quran. Buddhism truly opened my eyes to new paths of spiritualism: karma, meditation, reincarnation; it struck me as more plausible. I developed a greater sense of self as a part of a whole, instead of a whole leading the self. It was my first step to humanism.

Humanism, for those of you who don’t know, is a mutable human-based philosophy that quite frankly, hasn’t even really been nailed down yet. It’s been around for a few hundred years now, but only in the last century or so has it developed into its own belief structure. You can read the Wikipedia article here for more info.

Humanism, however, has modernized over the years and has slowly moved farther and farther away from spirituality. I’m not talking about believing in the supernatural, a tenet of humanism to which I do hold true. No, I mean the interconnection of people and the mind; that mankind is not only a part of nature but IS nature, one with all other nature.

In the first Humanist Manifesto, written in collaboration at the University of Chicago, religion is still widely accepted so far as the spirituality and ethics of its teachings are used for the betterment of the individual and humanity as a whole. It was widely believed by humanists in the early 1900’s that religion was a necessary evil in our history. That it was needed for the evolution of the human mind, spirit and morality, but its time of usefulness had long since passed. (You can find the subsequent Humanist Manifestos here: II and III)

The beauty of Humanism is not merely its freedom from theism and the supernatural, but the fluidity of its doctrine. Humanism is wrapped in discourse and “informed by experience.” Its members are encouraged to adapt their beliefs as we evolve biologically, scientifically, artistically and more. It is always changing as we humans, too, are always changing. There’s no two millenia-old book to read. There are no ancient figures, no dogmas, no judgments.

I, however, need and want slightly more spiritually. I’ve seen the good things that happen when people work together for the good of others. I’ve seen them come together at a deadly fire or accident. I’ve seen them save lives and stop crimes. Not quite as life-changing but in my opinion just as important, is the emotions centered around sports or theatre. The applause and the camaraderie; the victory and loss. Thousands of people share those experiences and emotions and that is spiritual.

Human beings are spiritual by nature. There is no species so social, so dependent on the whole, as humans are. Humanism speaks to experience and all we have to do is look around throughout the day to see and experience the human spirit. If we as a species are to continue to thrive on this planet we absolutely must tap into the many things we have in common and not the tiny differences that wedge us farther apart every year.

We need to stop putting our supernatural beliefs above our terrestrial needs. We need to eat and we need to help others eat. We need love and we need to love others. We need happiness and laughter and friendship.

It’s time in this world to finally start worshiping the spirit of humanity and not the spirit of greed and the supernatural.

I am a Humanist. I am spiritual.

We all should be.

Steubenville, USA: You Are Here

Some of this blog may delve into the “Not Suitable For Work” category. Normally, I try to censor myself, but I’m tired, cranky and extremely upset. I did not choose these words just to be vulgar, and I apologize if any sincerity on my part is lost due to language/graphic choices.

 

I’m supposed to be sleeping right now, but I can’t. I decided to check Facebook to see those silly things you see, but sadly was instead reminded over and over again of the immoral, disgusting society in which we live.

You all know the case by now, but if by chance you missed it, here it goes: In Steubenville, Ohio, two high school teens teamed up to rape a 16 year old classmate. Trent Mays (age 17) and Ma’lik Richmond (age 16) took advantage of a girl who was intoxicated, removed her clothing (either by force or coercion), penetrated her vagina with their fingers, and took pictures and video of the assault and the aftermath.

Mays, who took pictures of the victim naked and perpetrated rape acts received two years in juvenile detention. Richmond received one year of the same punishment for rape acts.

Two years. One year. For rape.

Maybe I’m missing something here…nope. They committed rape.

Rap star DMX violated probation by consuming alcohol. One year sentence.

Kevin Mitnik was convicted of hacking and computer fraud. One year sentence (after nearly FOUR YEARS of incarceration without trial).

A Columbus woman was convicted of bribery. One year sentence.

Are you kidding me? THEY RAPED A GIRL! They took advantage of a girl who was intoxicated. They violated her. They humiliated her. They used her. Then they rubbed it in her face.

These teens were tried as minors. MINORS?! If you’re “man” enough to shove your fingers into a drunk girl’s vagina; if you’re “man” enough to take pictures of a girl after she’s been violated and is passed out; if you’re “man” enough to brag to your friends about violating a girl; if you’re “man” enough to tell the whole world about your little conquest, then you sure as hell are man enough to face the full reality and responsibility of your actions.

An Attorney General stated that more charges might be forthcoming. That there might have been teens that could have prevented or stopped the rape and failed to do so and that there might have been adults that covered up for these kids, including parents and football coaches.

Are you fucking kidding me?! WE JUST DID THIS AT PENN STATE! How in the hell could this have happened again?!

WAKE UP PEOPLE! THIS IS RAPE!

We’re not talking about a recruiting violation or an underage drinking ticket. We’re talking about the violation and degradation of the human body, mind, and spirit. We’re talking about possibly the single worst thing a person can survive and the single worst crime one can commit without taking a life (probably because in actuality it DOES result in the loss of life both figuratively and literally).

I’m not just blaming the media here, for their “those poor boys” and “that poor football team” and “sad for the town” quotes. Actually wait…if you said any of those things, screw you and the priorities you fucked up when you woke this morning. There was a young girl RAPED last year, and you’re worried about some stupid game?  Two boys (and yeah, they really are just boys because real men don’t fucking rape people) made multiple, controlled decisions to ruin that girls life and you’re worried about their feelings?

See, it’s not just the media, it’s this whole nation. This nation has some serious priority issues. The fact that football teams have now been in the center of potentially a second rape cover up is disgusting. The fact that those two teams are almost definitely less than one percent of all the rape cover-ups that happen within or surrounding football programs is nauseating. The fact that we treat rape like some minor felony akin breaking probation is gut-wrenching.

This is a rape culture we live in. Boys are raised to use the word “pussy” as an insult. We’re raised to say crap like “You throw like a girl” (I’m sure Jenny Finch has no problem with that; you try hitting her fastball) and call each other “faggots”. We’re raised to think that having sex (whether forced or consensual doesn’t seem to matter) is some right of passage. We’re taught that women are here to cook and clean and spread their legs. This is our culture. It’s in our movies and our television and our music and our advertisements and our workplaces and our school yards.

Why? Because that’s what boys do because that’s what men do, and until men change that mentality it won’t get better.

Well I’m fucking sick of the guidelines this society wants me to follow. You know what I think it is to be a man? First off: I think it’s the exact same thing as what it is to be a woman. I think it’s protecting those that need to be protected. I think it’s standing up to hatred whether it’s sexism, racism or any other bigotry. I think it’s setting an example for the next generation that being a dick does not equal being a man.

Rape is not right. Sexism and racism and xenophobia are not right. They aren’t “rights” either. They are violations. They are egregious evils.

Women never ask for it, guys. The way they dress does not ask for your hand down their shirt. If you buy them a drink, they do not owe you a blow job. If they kiss you, that does not mean you lift their skirt. If a woman does have sex, she is NOT a slut. She is NOT a whore.

Men claim that they’re the superior gender; well we sure don’t act like it. I know we can’t stop every rape. I know we can’t stop every act of hatred. But god damn it we absolutely MUST stop excusing it.

It’s not “something that happens”. It’s a crime. We need to treat it as a crime and we need to treat rapists as criminals. We need men to finally grow up. We need to end the rape culture.

Democrats Should Not Re-elect Nancy Pelosi

It’s about much more than track record.

It’s about much more than how much she loves the President.

This past election, the nation overwhelmingly shouted to our government that we are not going to be taken hostage by the Christian fundamentalism portion of the GOP platform. The GOP was painted (and let’s be honest, they held their own brush) as exclusionary and divisive. Their policies polarized the nation and especially alienated the more moderate voting block who wished for a more fiscally responsible government but weren’t willing to sacrifice their social and moral beliefs.

Many of us celebrated on November 6th, but there was another underlying message amid the gloating: the GOP must do better at working with Obama and the Democrats.

That should not be a call to only half the House. The Democrats have to extend a better hand across that aisle than Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi, over the last two years, has been just as polarizing as John Boehner.

In fact, the GOP should think about switching that face as well.

If we as a people are asking for a new, nicer government, one that works together to create a better nation then they owe it to us to give us better, more productive leadership within their own walls.

I don’t want two stubborn mules hurling words at each other. I don’t want congressmen being forced to pick sides based on the color of their tie. I don’t want congress being stalled because the other side came up with the idea.

That starts at the top.

I don’t know who will run against Pelosi, though at this point it seems no one will.

In her announcement, Pelosi spoke of working together. Well, Ms. Pelosi- you are one of the reasons the GOP stopped working with the Democrats. You are reviled by the opposition party (the MAJORITY party). How, by you staying in the leadership position, are you helping that cause?

Her untouchable seat from California allows her to be so staunch. She has no legit opposition in local elections.

We need someone who relies on the independent voter to be elected. We need someone who can draw respect from both sides of the aisle and all the seats in between.

If the Democrats are serious about asking the GOP to work with us for the next four years and into the future, then we need to show them that we’re willing to work with them as well.

That starts with a new face at the top.

Confessions of a “Bleeding-Heart Liberal”

Forgive me, Uncle Sam, for I have sinned.

It has been over a decade since the last time I was forced to go to confession.

I have a confession to make, Uncle Sam: I’m a liberal. But before you sentence me to hell, I’m not a  hippie or a hipster. I don’t chain myself to trees or own a Velcro wallet. I don’t pour red paint on fur or eat veggie burgers or drink PBR.

I do, however, believe in helping the needy.

I do not believe that welfare and unemployment benefits should be accepted by bars and restaurants and other frivolous businesses.

I believe that reading books and attending a liberal arts college does not make me an elitist, it makes me educated.

I believe that reading about all religions, not just the one thrust upon me, makes me a moral, good person.

I believe that the color of your skin, the genitals on your body and the sexual preferences and kinks you enjoy do not define you.

I believe that a man who believes he deserves seven wives doesn’t have the right to tell a man he isn’t allowed to have a husband.

I believe that a man has no right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body.

I believe that science should dictate medical laws, not religion. Medicine is a science. Religion is not.

I believe that as long as my taxes go to helping the poor, the uninsured, the schools and the infrastructure of this country I do not mind paying them.

I believe that war is wrong and that imposing our views and values, no matter how good we think they are, onto people of other nations and cultures is dead evil and should not be covered by those same taxes.

I believe in apple pie and ears of corn just as much as you do.

I believe you have the right to go to church on Sunday just as much as I have the right to sleep in.

I do not believe you are evil for going to church, so please stop thinking I’m evil for staying home.

I believe that Donald Trump withholding $5 million from charities just because he doesn’t like Obama is wrong.

I believe that the majority is not always correct.

I believe that blocking every bill supported by the President and then complaining that he gets nothing done is childish.

I believe that not working with others in Congress means you should go back to kindergarten and learn that skill all over again.

I do not believe that disagreeing with me makes you an evil person.

I believe that restricting rights from only certain groups of people makes you an evil person.

I do not camp out on the steps of Wall Street.

I do use a Credit Union.

I believe rape is rape. I believe it is the most evil thing one human being can do to another. I believe it is worse than homicide. I believe there is no such thing as legitimate rape, as all rape is legit. I do not believe there are different levels of rape.

I believe rapists deserve exponentially more jail time than they get.

I do not believe in the death penalty.

I also do not believe in death panels.

I do not believe that hand-cuffing a president allows you to mock him for a lack of production.

I do not believe that manipulating and using young men as soldiers allows you to forget them when their term is over.

I do not believe progress is an evil word.

I do not believe that all speech is covered by the first amendment. Hate speech is actually specifically not covered by that amendment. Using the words “retard” (Ann Coulter) or “fag” (Christian extremists) or “nigger”, “chink”, “wet-back”, etc. (racists) is violating far more than just an amendment.

I do not believe that being a liberal makes me a bad person. It does not make me elitist. It does not make me yellow-bellied. If it makes me different than you, then so be it. That does not make either of us better than the other.

It does not give you the right to turn your nose at me. It does not give you the right to throw childish temper tantrums. It does not give you the right to hate.

Uncle Sam, I am a liberal.

But I’m not here for confession.

I’m not sorry for who I am.

Sports Bar 9/2/12

Real football is finally here!

But right now that’s not the big story.

Paul Bettman is the Gate Keeper

The big story for me comes from the NHL (if there is such a thing). For the third time in two decades we’re on the doorstep of what seems to be an inevitable year off for the league. Two major thoughts come to mind: The NHL thinks it’s far more important to the general sports fan that it really is and the NHL is full of some of the greediest sports owners in the western hemisphere.

The NHL obviously still believes that it’s one of the “big four” sports leagues in America. The NFL, MLB and NBA have a firm grasp on the public but it’s apparent to me that the NHL has fallen from fourth to at least seventh (behind NCAA football, NASCAR and men’s basketball, if not also women’s basketball). Be honest: Did you even know the NHL was having a major labor dispute? My guess is no, unless you’re a hockey fan or a sports fanatic. The news isn’t covering it like they covered the NFL and NBA just a year ago. There’s no major press from sports fans to get this done.

The 1994-95 season was shortened from 82 to 48 games. The 2004-05 season was cancelled completely. Both stoppages were caused by league lockouts and the upcoming season likely will lose half of the games, if not the whole season, again. Apparently they couldn’t wait a full decade again to do this.

This is a horrible insult to the fans who have finally come back to the game. Attendance was up at nearly all the franchises last season from the previous one. In fact, six teams (most of them league forefathers) averaged 100% attendance or better over the course of the entire season and sixteen teams matched that number in home attendance. The fans love and want hockey and the league is again turning their backs on us in favor of deeper pockets.

Game On!

Finally the televisions at sports bars and homes around the nation were tuned to buffet of football. College football is back and it didn’t disappoint us. Starting with the first game of the season on Thursday (South Carolina v. Vanderbilt) and running through Labor Day’s upcoming match-up (Georgia Tech v. Virginia Tech), we’ve already seen our share of near upsets and stories.

Teams that impressed me early:

  • Vanderbilt (L 17-13) – Upset bid stopped by bad pass interference no-call. This team is young, exciting and well-coached. They could have a big upset in a very deep SEC.
  • BYU (W 30-6) – The Cougars start of with a big win over Mike Leach’s new squad. As a new independent, they looked the part: a deep team with a great coaching staff that will beat you with technique, discipline and scheme.
  • Michigan St. (W 17-13) – They need more offensive talent but might have the best defense in the Big Ten this year. Boise State is in transition at a lot of positions and will look better later in the season, but to hold a Chris Peterson-coached offense to only one touchdown is impressive.
  • Notre Dame (W 50-10) – Navy isn’t as good as in recent years but they’ll still win games. Notre Dame for the first time in too long did what they were supposed to do: dominate the trenches on both sides of the ball. They limited mistakes despite a rookie quarterback and the defense was near perfect against the triple option. That’s a very difficult thing to do.
  • Ohio (W 24-14) – Everyone was watching Penn State in their first game since the scandal and what they saw was a team that will dominate a weak schedule out of the MAC. Frank Solich may be coaching his last season for Ohio as he’ll likely be picked up by a bigger school. Solich did a fantastic job of keeping his team focused on the game and not the circus.
  • Purdue (W 48-6) – Yes, I know they played lowly Eastern Kentucky, but a team as dysfunctional as the Boilermakers were last year, it’s good that they showed their fans that the returning starters got better as a team. Next week against the Irish will be much more difficult.

Teams that underwhelmed:

  • Stanford (W 20-17) – Head Coach David Shaw is going to have to prove himself this year as the post-Luck Cardinal struggled heavily on offense against San Jose St. New quarterback Josh Nunes didn’t make any mistakes but couldn’t move a sputtering offense on any sustained drives. This team will be in for a long season in a talented Pac-12.
  • Wisconsin (W 26-21) – The starters had a good game against Northern Illinois and Monte Ball kept pace with the other top runningbacks, but the defense looked pretty average for a twelfth-ranked team. This is as top-heavy as the Big Ten as been in a long time, and hopes for a Rose Bowl birth may dwindle if the defense can’t step it up.
  • Iowa (W 18-17) – Northern Illinois is a pretty decent program in the lower levels of the FBS, but this eked-out win solidified my opinion that Iowa has fallen from the upper-half of the Big Ten. There’s just no excuse not to put away the early cupcakes if you want to compete with the best.
  • Oklahoma (W 24-7) – Many people have the Sooners as a possible participant in the BCS Championship Game. Not if they play like they did against UTEP. It was 10-7 going into the fourth quarter. Read that again. The defense gave up 207 rushing yards and that’s just not good enough before entering conference play.

Miscellaneous:

  • I don’t want to sound callous about Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse scandal and the death of Joe Paterno, but I’m really hoping we can finally move past it. I know it’s a story for the school and it’s fans, but do we really need to read an entire article dedicated to the members of the Paterno family that attended the game? It’s football season. Let’s talk about football.
  • Early thoughts on the Heisman race: Even though the media has already given the award to Matt Barkley (who did nothing to dispute this in USC’s dominant win), a few other guys stood out to me. Runningbacks Lattimore (S. Car.), Monte Ball (Wisc.) both had excellent games, and Lattimore did it when his team needed him most. Two previously unknown rushers Andre Ellington (Clemson) and Le’Veon Bell (Mich. St.) both eclipsed 200 yards and led their respective teams to wins in big games. If there’s any quarterback that can press Matt Barkley this season, it might be West Virginia’s Geno Smith. Over 300 passing yards for four touchdowns and one rushing touchdowns propelled him into spotlight in a blowout win.
  • Alabama did what we all thought they would do: expose an over-rated offense and average defense for the Michigan Wolverines. I’ve been saying it for two years now, Denard Robinson will never lead Michigan to a title. He just doesn’t have the passing skill set to get it done. He’s a talented athlete and anyone who watched this game will tell you he has heart, but that’s just not enough against the best opponents. Alabama’s defense effectively ended his Heisman campaign in week one.
  • We say it every year. Too many teams play too many FCS schools. When is NCAA going to step in and finally say “No more” to this practice. Okalahoma State won 84-0 against Savannah State. Who benefited from that? It’s not good football.
  • Once again, opening week faux-bowls were winners. The Chik-Fil-A Kickoff Game was actually two games (Tennessee v. N. Carolina St. and Clemson v. Auburn). Both were great football games with teams from the ACC battling against the SEC. The Cowboys Classic wasn’t very close, but I’m willing to bet it that Alabama’s victory over Michigan was the most watched game of the weekend. Maybe instead of 50 bowl games at the end of the year, more locations will look to start their own faux-bowls in September.
  • No more Ireland football. It’s a fun trip for the fans that go, but coaches hated the travel, you’re pulling kids out of school for no good reason and let’s be honest, it was a little embarrassing seeing all of those empty seats. It was like watching the London Olympics again. Odds are, Europeans just don’t care about college football. There’s no marquis names that they can watch live. Other than the obvious Notre Dame and Ireland connection, most of them probably don’t give a rat’s ass about a bunch of state colleges. In a time where frivolous spending is down, it just doesn’t make sense to spend that much money (as a school or fan).
  • A division III quarterback threw for 736 yards in a record-setting win yesterday. And the best part is? They didn’t run up the score. Sam Durley of Eureka led his team in a fourth quarter comeback, surprisingly with only five touchdown passes.

Retirement Procedures

Andy Roddick declared this week that he would retire after the US Open, in which he is still competing. For as disappointing a career as Roddick has had, I’ve always held the impression that “announcing retirement” was meant for the people at the top of their careers and professions. Brett Favre was so good he announced it three times. Derek Jeter will announce his retirement. So will Kobe Bryant and Brian Urlacher someday. Roddick has one major to his name and a long list of early round upset losses and injuries. I always thought players like that just…retire. They fade away. Roger Federer gets to announce his retirement, not Roddick.

Playoff Races

Baseball, despite what you thought, is still being played around the nation. I’m only writing this section to give some love to the Baltimore Orioles that are in a playoff spot currently and the Pittsburgh Pirates who are just a game and a half out of the playoffs going into September. It’s 1992 all over again.

Three Days

We’re only three days until the NFL starts and we can completely forget that baseball is still going on. 

Time to Sentence the “Guilty as charged”

Last week Dan Cathy, the president of Chik-Fil-A restaurants came out and proudly stood by the fact that his company is run with an agenda based on Christian beliefs. He and his company annually donates to Christian charities/groups and one of them is the National Organization for Marriage, a political lobby focused on preventing homosexual marriage in this country.

Let me first say that I have absolutely no problem with this part whatsoever. A person or private company has every right to donate their hard earned cash wherever they like. It’s none of my business.

Many people called for a boycott of their product. While I, obviously, refuse to give them my business, I’m not going to sit out in front of their stores and protest their policies. Just because I don’t agree with them it does not mean I think they don’t have the right to have those policies. If you were to ask me what I think about the store, I’d tell you that I haven’t visited a Chik-Fil-A in almost ten years because of their anti-gay, anti-abortion policies. That’s the free market. You can choose to support whatever business you like.

Most likely, this would have been one of those semi-interesting stories that disappear within a week, except one of Chik-Fil-A’s partners decided enough was enough. The Jim Henson Company heads the workshop of those lovable muppets as well as any characterizations of them, including the toys that came with kids’ meals at Chik-Fil-A. Well…they used to. In a statement on their Facebook page, the Jim Henson Co. explained:

“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors.

Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).”

I definitely smiled when I saw this news. Knowing that some of Chik-Fil-A’s hard-earned cash went straight to a social equality group lifted my spirits last Friday. I guess this was the spark that we were all looking for though. In response, Chik-Fil-A decided to go on a PR spree that would make them look awful.

First, stores reportedly started taking the toys out of the kids’ meals, then this picture floated around:

Reportedly taken at a location in Texas.

So we’re supposed to believe that these two events are random? Yes, according to spokeswoman Tiffany Greenway. She said that the toys were removed “for the protection of our customers” and that it is not related to the severing of business ties between the two companies.

What. The F*ck. Ever.

We’re not stupid, Ms. Greenway.

This incident is bad enough, now Chik-Fil-A is having another media issue, this time with Facebook itself. This incident occurred on Chik-Fil-A’s own page. That’s right. Chik-Fil-A had one of their employees create a fake Facebook account and was caught in the act.

Again…We’re not stupid.

Shall we add to the bad publicity? Sure, let’s do it. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wasn’t going to be silenced either. Here is a copy of the letter he sent to Mr. Cathy regarding the company’s interest in locating stores in the city of Boston:

Click the image to open a bigger version of the letter.

Ouch. Not even Boston wants you. That’s just hilarious.

It doesn’t end there. Chicago’s Logan Square has said that talks with Chik-Fil-A have ended unless the company institutes a non-discriminatory policy in their hiring practices and employee handbook and added that it would take a public apology from Mr. Cathy as well. More on this here.

Add this to the already growing list of colleges asking for their campuses to boot Chik-Fil-A and/or refuse to open new stores.

Add this to a nation that is growing younger.

Add this to a generation of Americans that are more accepting of alternative lifestyles.

Mr. Cathy has the right to believe and say what he wants. He and his company have the right to donate their services and finances to any legal institution or lobby they like.

What they do NOT have a right to do is lie to us. This society does not accept liars. We know they are lying about the unreasonable timing of safety issues with muppet toys. We know they lied about some red headed facebook girl that exists for a grand total of eight hours.

You are guilty of bigotry, Mr. Cathy.

You are guilty of lies and deceit.

Hopefully this nation gives you proper punishment and takes their capitalism elsewhere.

That’s our right.