Monthly Archives: January 2014

Judgment Day…or Richard Sherman: Part Deux

So almost a week has passed since Richard Sherman’s ill-advised diatribe with Erin Andrews post-NFC Championship game.

Within 24 hours I posted my thoughts on that verbal missive.  One blog reader seemed to share some of my concerns, and another felt it necessary to fire up the ol’ keyboard  and launch an attack, apparently before finishing my post.

WordPress troll “Joe” (look up the definition of the word ‘troll’ Joe before launching another salvo) engaged in a classic attack on my post accusing me of judging Sherman.  The offense comes in two parts: 1) Blatantly judging me while first telling me “I’m not judging any of you” and 2) Spewing scripture in my general direction while “not judging”.

Joe is right. I judged the fuck out of Sherman. Webster defines that as “to form an opinion about (something or someone) after careful thought”. It’s my blog…it’s my opinion. Breaking news:  I get to judge. We all are free to form an opinion, even internet trolls like Joe. I would find this world pretty lame if we all lived Stepford lives and made no judgments.

I normally don’t respond to posts like Joe’s. I usually just let these posts speak for themselves, but I wanted to continue to judge Sherman and I didn’t want it to sound like capitulation to the bible thumping Joe’s of the world.

Here’s the deal: Sherman is starting to grow on me. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate the Seahawks, but after watching Sherman thoughtfully answering questions about the incident and his life, and reading some of his words, I find him to be what I suspected (and so “judged”) in my original post. He appears to be an educated, thoughtful, and sensitive young man. I really like how he’s handled himself in the aftermath of his outburst.

No Joe, I’m not perfect and I do my best to live my life serving others first. I believe in Karma. I also believe in calling out ignorance when I see it. No hard feelings buddy but don’t come on my blog and shove a bible verse in my face and then tell me how to live my life.

Judge on fellow bloggers…judge on…

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An Open Letter to Richard Sherman

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I’ll confess my bias from the start.

First of all, I didn’t know who you were until yesterday. My son, who plays H.S. football, despises you for your actions on the field.

Second, as a fan, the Seahawks are my least favorite (read: most hated) team. For a multitude of reasons beginning with Pete Carroll and Golden Tate and the game last year against my Packers.

So there are my subjective impressions from the get-go.

I was devastated by the last play of the game. I saw your on-field antics (the hit, the choking sign).  This did not endear you to me as a professional athlete. Oh, and let me say this also: although I’m a Niner fan, I despise Kaepernick for the same type of hubris and bravado that he displays as well.

So it’s with these bias’ that I see this:

My jaw dropped. An angry and ego soaked declaration of your prowess…

And horrible sportsmanship. This video served to solidify my impression of you as an arrogant, over-paid jerk.

The reaction on Twitter and the internet was swift. Some calling for your head and others applauding you for your passion and candor. Erin Andrews had your back; defending your passion as being in “the heat of the moment.”

Others, apparently, displayed their profound ignorance and racism in a series of attacks on you based on the color of your skin.

I categorically denounce these uneducated bigots. There is absolutely NO place for that in any public (or private) discourse.

Here’s the deal Richard…at the end of the day, you acted like a jerk. The hit on Crabtree, the choking sign, the testosterone-laced diatribe with Andrews. It all could have been handled differently and you would have come out of this cementing your position as not only one of the best defensive players in the game, but for the educated, and thoughtful man that you clearly are.

Your blog post today is a refreshing insight into the type of man you are off the field. Humble, grateful, caring.

Why not bring that side of you into the game and into the media? Why not let young men know it’s okay to be a good sport. It’s okay to respond to the taunts of the opposition with humble regard and sportsmanlike sentiment.

I know I’m probably in the minority here, as hundreds of pundits have applauded your spontaneous display of emotion. I like emotion too Richard.

But I like the guy I see in the blog better…the guy praying for his wounded opponent…the guy calling out his own fans for their boorish behavior…that’s the guy I can become a fan of…

You’ve got two weeks to foment your reputation.

I hope the guy in the blog responds.

Best of luck my friend…


It’s the End of the World as we Know It…

16 and Pregnant.

I’ve never seen this MTV show, but apparently it deals with girls, well, 16 and pregnant. 

Here’s where I admit my bias: ever since MTV stopped being “Music Television” I’ve tuned out. As pre-teens and teens however, my two kids were glued to this crap. “Real World” was a staple of the prepubescent crowd.

So now this…and here’s where I’m afraid monkeys start flying out of my butt and it starts raining blood.

Apparently this show has been partially responsible for the decrease in teen birth rates. You can view the evidence here.

I don’t know about you, but the realization that ANY pabulum from MTV is actually responsible for changing the behavior of young people boggles my mind.  I’m not completely ignorant. I understand that MTV has always had a hand in shaping the styles, trends, and mores of our young people, but for me to comprehend that this show may actually be responsible for REDUCING the teen pregnancy rates is something that boggles my mind.

Being at the forefront of fashion and music is one thing. Helping to reduce teen pregnancies, a vital social challenge, is quite another. 

In the final analysis, I think I’m disturbed at the fact that a channel that is so blatantly commercial and exists simply to line the pockets of its shareholders, is responsible for shaping such a critical issue.

I have to applaud the final outcome, even as I cringe at the methodology. But what frightens me most is the corollary. If an MTV show can so profoundly impact such a serious social issue, what prevents our young people from being impacted in a profoundly negative way from some other program. In other words, I guess I’m just blown away that something so pedestrian as MTV has realistically affected such an important issue. 

As all forms of our media have become pseudo-parental figures for increasingly fractured traditional family units, and our kids are increasingly scoring poorly on traditional scholastic metrics, I can’t help but think we are not too far away from a frightening scenario where those who control the purse-strings of the media begin to control the hearts and mind of our youth.

Maybe it’s already happened and I need to remove my blinders. But I have two young adults who I’ve tried my hardest to teach to think critically and have an appreciation for social culture beyond the electronic sphere.

I have to believe the human heart and the thirst for knowledge is inherent in our spirit, and there will be those who fight for truth and will continue to think critically. And a profound thank you to those educators who continue to fight the good fight…


What it’s like…

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Post-victorious Peyton Manning said he couldn’t wait to drink a Bud Light after their playoff victory against the Chargers.

Sounds good. One beer. Ice cold. Take the edge off. Reward for a job well done.

I could relate. I’d love a Bud Light too.

Until I actually consume it. And at that point, all similarity to Peyton Manning ends (well, that and his pass progressions, athleticism, and natural talent; although I can rock a suit like Mr. Manning).

Oh what I would give to experience that cool, fizzy liquid over my tongue.

Well for starters, I would likely sacrifice my freedom. Freedom from control and consequently freedom of movement as I will likely end up incarcerated.

You see, I don’t drink like “normal” people anymore. When I take a drink, the drink takes me.

According to the American Medical Association (and the Supreme Court) I have a disease of the same classification as cancer and diabetes. Chronic. Progressive. Fatal.

And apparently, I’m not alone.

So that refreshing, cool, perspiring can of Bud Light is not for me.

Am I feeling sorry for myself? No…because as I was running my laundry downstairs today I saw a half-smoked cigarette butt on the floor and was magically possessed with an almost uncontrollable urge to pick it up and smoke it.

I haven’t smoked in nearly 4 years after a 30 year habit, but have gained enough self-knowledge over the last decade to know that smoking that butt would lead me back to a pack and a half a day within about a week.

My brain works like that.

So for me, abstinence is the answer. Not because I want to, lord knows. But because I have to.

I have a disease that is fatal. And it often disguises itself as that seductive can of Bud Light.

I choose life.

And enjoy that beer Peyton…you’re not like me and you richly deserve it.


Christie: Inept or Criminal?

As the broadening scandal involving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the closure of a roadway for political payback widens one thing is clear: Christie is either engaged in criminal conduct and should be prosecuted, or is such an inept executive, he should immediately resign, much less run for President.

If you’ve missed the story, a deputy chief of staff to Christie ordered lanes closed on the George Washington bridge as political punishment to the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey who apparently failed to endorse Christie for re-election to governor.

That much is apparently not in dispute. What is presently in dispute is who knew what and when (oh God, if you’re old enough to remember, Watergate is screaming through my mind)…

As it became obvious that journalists were asking questions about the lane closures, Christie’s lackeys began to invent an elaborate story involving a traffic “study” necessitating the closures. Emails and text indicate a conspiracy among these folks to ultimately mislead the public about the true nature of the closures.

A few years ago here in Los Angeles a burgeoning rock group shut down a local freeway and performed on top of a truck as a publicity stunt. They were prosecuted and jailed. The freeway was shut down for less than an hour and no evidence of real harm was found.

In the case of Christie’s closure, there were four documented cases of emergency vehicles being obstructed, including one case of cardiac arrest. Here in California, willful obstruction of an emergency vehicle is a crime that can and does lead to criminal prosecution and incarceration.

So the rock group does time and Christie and his aides will likely face nothing worse than a political fallout.

Yeah, we live in a democracy. Yeah, equal justice for all….

If it is found that Christie knew about the actions of his aides, he needs to be prosecuted.

He won’t.

If it is found that Christie DIDN’T know about the actions of his aides, he is an incredibly inept executive officer and if he has an ounce of integrity, will resign.

He won’t.

…and justice for all.


The Death of Compromise…

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As previously documented in this blog, I own guns and support the rights of gun owners and the second amendment.

But I’d like to think I’m willing to compromise. For example, if you can guarantee me that ALL guns will magically be removed from the hands of criminals and mentally ill in this country, I’d be willing to consider surrendering my guns.

I also feverishly support stringent background checks and waiting periods for purchasing weapons.

I’m also a (former) reader of Guns & Ammo magazine, and I particularly enjoyed the last page musings of Dick Metcalf. His insights on guns and the gun culture always seemed measured and reasonable.

So of course he was fired.

His termination brilliantly exposes the current state of the “gun culture” and the power of the NRA in this country.

Draw the line and don’t budge. Be afraid. Fight to the finish.

And die doing so…

I simply can’t believe that the majority of Americans will ultimately buy into the crap the NRA spews these days. And I suspect that in light of increasingly tragic school shootings, at some point the NRA will implode under the weight of their own fear and bigotry.

I hope.

This issue…this failure to find common ground: compromise, is very well-known in the middle east.

As the war criminals George W. Bush and Dick Cheney sip martini’s and enjoy their golden years, hundreds of thousands of children are dying in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen as the DIRECT result of the destabilization of that region by our government.

And now in this gargantuan power vacuum, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, or “the Levant” as they are now known, are predictably exploiting this for their own Neanderthal agenda.

Shia and Sunni. Black and White. Christian and Muslim.

No compromise.

My way or the highway.

An eye for an eye.

When does it end?


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