In a perfect world...
99 Life Hacks to make your life easier!
Message to the Scouts

God doesn’t teach hate.  True Christianity does not teach hate.  I was always taught that God loves everyone. Even those at Westboro.  Using scripture to justify discrimination against another group is twisted, perverse, and not true.  Everyone is welcome in His church, and everyone is welcome on His earth. 

So I ask these questions to the Boy Scouts…is excluding gays considered loving your neighbor?  Do you really think God would want you to shun your neighbors?  To discriminate against them?  A kid works throughout his childhood and becomes an Eagle Scout and is denied that honor because he likes guys?  Never mind that before this revelation he was a perfectly upstanding citizen and a model for the Scouts, but now that he’s gay he is undeserving?  Is it any wonder why  “America is turning away from Christianity?”  This is the exact reason.  It’s not the lack of prayer in school, or the music or the movies. Ha, or Obama.  It’s obnoxious, narrow-minded, judgemental, loud-mouthed, scripture-distortioning, ‘you’re-all-gonna-burn-in-hell’ Christians! Pay attention and you will see people are being turned off by Christians, not Christianity—not the church itself.

Christians have become so judgmental and holier than thou that they forget that “we are all in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves…Not only by what we have done, but by what we have left undone.” If you were to exclude everyone in the Scouts who “lives in sin” well then you might as well pack up your tent and canoe and head to the house because every single one of us lives in sin.  Have hate in your heart, fine.  Exclude people from joining your organization, it’s your right.  Just don’t attribute these acts to following Christian teachings.  Save me the few verses you use to promote your discrimination, because you’ve truly missed the overall theme of Jesus’ teachings—that God is love.

shortformblog:

Federal employee reprimanded for excessive farting: Sometimes, the jokes write themselves. (ht Slate)

shortformblog:

Federal employee reprimanded for excessive farting: Sometimes, the jokes write themselves. (ht Slate)

The NRA has Blood on its Hands

Bob Costas got a lot of flack a few weeks ago when he commented on the murder-suicide of a Kansas City Chiefs player.  He quoted a fairly controversial Yahoo sports writer, Jason Whitlock, who wrote “Our current gun culture will ensure that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy.  Guns do not enhance our safety, they exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation, rather than avoiding it.”  Not once did you hear anything about gun control or a ban on guns.  Yet this created a firestorm from the right, blasting Costas for promoting gun control and even calling on NBC to fire the legendary announcer.  The hilarity of it all is this overreaction proved his point perfectly. 

If anyone even speaks ill of guns and their potential to do horrific damage on another human being, the right-wing, backed by the disgustingly powerful NRA, unloads their arsenal of hyperbolic flag-waving freedom-loving sputum to scare people into thinking a country without guns means criminals and the government will take everything you own.  Bullshit.  Let’s call it what it is.  You like to shoot them, it’s fun, it’s an adrenaline rush, and sadly for some of you it makes you feel more like a “man.”  I’m not addressing hunters per se, I’m not all that concerned for Bambi, and there is no real threat to their recreation from gun control advocates.

However, I firmly believe that the NRA has blood on their hands with the events of Friday.  You will never convince me otherwise.  And by NRA, that most undoubtedly includes its paying members.  I make no apologies to anyone who feels offended by this statement.  This interest group’s virtually unyielding political power is individualistic, and narrowly set on one thing: to rid the country of any restrictions on gun sale, ownership, and use.  

Too soon?  Please, that’s just code for “I like shooting my guns, let’s give it a few weeks so we forget about it and go about our lives.”   Ask those who died if it’s too soon to talk about this.  Well we can’t, because it’s most definitely too late.  An emotional issue? You’re damn right it is,  twenty children were just brutally murdered.  However emotional it was for us to watch on tv, it pales in comparison to their classmates, the officers that had to see such devastation, and the parents who were informed that 7 bullets went through their 6-year-old daughter in an instant.  And imagine authorities telling you, the parent, that you can’t see your slain child because she will be lying in there for hours while investigators collect all the evidence in the classroom.

I wish gun advocates could be with these victims’ families on Christmas morning as they stare at the unopened presents under the tree, tears pouring down their face.  I wish they could be there for every single birthday of each of these children while their parents visit their gravesite rather than taking pictures of them blowing out the candles.  And when the parents turn to the advocates and ask if their right to own an assault rifle with a 30-round magazine is worth it, I want to hear that answer. 

You say your heart hurts for these kids and their parents.  You say you’re praying for them.  Okay, but in two weeks for all intents and purposes, you will move on with life.  While 100% genuine and thoughtful, your Facebook statuses do nothing.  Hugging your own child is not enough.  If we want to honor these children and all of the other victims of these senseless tragedies, we need to make sure we leave no stone unturned.  

I’m not naive enough to think a ban on guns will put an end to these heinous crimes.  But I do refuse to vote in politicians who are so wrapped around the NRA’s finger that they refuse to even look at common sense legislation that may help curb the death toll when this eventually happens again.  There is just no useful purpose for some of these weapons.  If gun manufacturers want to divert new laws, we make it tougher.  If we lack mental health resources, then we fund them (Good luck with that with the constant assault on Medicaid).  We do whatever it takes.   And after all of our efforts if it still doesn’t reduce the number of these cases or casualties, then at least we know we have done all that we could.  Then we again try to do more.

Still Undecided?

If you still need help deciding on who to vote for, I’ve developed a very unbiased (haha) rubric to help you out…

If you’re convinced that agreeing with the president on just about every foreign policy issue during a debate except that it should have been done smarter, quicker, harder, and more efficiently, without presenting any details…if you actually buy that shit, then Mitt’s your man!

If you believe blog posts and editorials written by the Romney staff are legitimate sources to prove his economic plan of closing loopholes is enough to pay for more tax cuts for the rich and $2 trillion in extra military spending, despite actual studies showing the contrary, then Mitt’s your man!

If you honestly believe that going back to the policies that drove this truck into the ditch while the Senate minority leader espouses the main objective not to cooperate but to obstruct, then blaming the president for not being able to get anything done, if you can’t see that this bullshit actually happened (or you just don’t care that it did), then Mitt’s your man!

If you really think the policies of giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, big business, oil companies, and businesses that send jobs overseas will create jobs despite most of these companies sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in cash already and not hiring, then Mitt is your man!

If you want a man in the presidency who stood idly by while an active soldier gets booed by the citizens he’s protecting during a national televised primary debate, just because he’s gay, then Mitt is your man!

If you recognize that Obama inherited a shit-hole of a mess left by a Republican president and has rallied for 40+ straight months of job growth, and you want to continue to move forward, then Obama is your man.

If you appreciate his efforts for ending discriminating policies such as DADT and want someone to continue to fight for equality, Obama is your man.

If you’ve ever been screwed over by your health insurance company, being dropped because of lifelong limits, not being able to get coverage for pre-existing conditions, if you appreciate that the power has shifting a little bit less toward the insurances and toward those paying their premiums every month, then Obama is your man.

If you recognize that he passed legislation for consumers against shady practices by the credit card companies, then Obama is your man.

If you realize that it is Two-thousand-fucking-twelve and women should be paid as much as a man for the same work, then Obama is your man.

If you believe diplomatic relations, showing respect to world leaders and other nations (mistakenly referred to as ‘apologizing’), and working to unify allies before going out and starting trouble is probably a pretty good idea in most cases, then Obama is your man.

If you think basic healthcare for all citizens is a right and not an expensive privilege for the few, then Obama is your man!

Fired up!  Ready to go…vote!

Lies My Teachers Told Me-Christopher Columbus

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue!

So today is Columbus Day and not that anyone I know actually “celebrates” the day, it is nonetheless a national holiday. But upon learning the real truth about Columbus and his voyage, I wonder why we would celebrate such events. The short answer is propaganda, it just makes for a good story for kids to be proud of America. The problem is that kids never get the truth and most adults still think Columbus set out to find a new world.

The truth: Columbus was on a mission to find gold and spices to take back to his king. There was no setting out to discover a new country, it was about money. If that’s all the story was I would be happy to celebrate his accidental discovery. But it isn’t. To begin, the king offered a bonus for the first person to see land while on the voyage. Some other guy on the Pinta spotted the Caribbean Islands first and Columbus took credit for it to get the bonus. Okay so they get to land and don’t find any gold or spices. What to do? Well they met some Arawak Indians who were peaceful and very nice to them, and the Columbus crew returned the favor for a few days. Columbus noted in a log that these Indians were very generous, sharing everything with them and teaching them new trades. But then he said these Indians would be very easy to exploit and would make great slaves. 

He couldn’t go back to the king empty handed, so without gold and spice he just used the Arawaks. He made them go out and find gold and spices, and if one of them got the desired amount then Columbus would give them a medallion to wear around their neck. Any Arawak not wearing a medallion was subject to being killed on site because they didn’t find him the goods. Columbus historians note there was mass genocide of the Arawak Indians by Columbus. Since he didn’t get a whole lot of gold and spice out of them, he took the strong ones and brought them back to Spain to sell as slaves, if they weren’t already made slaves in the New World. What a great guy, so great we have a holiday for him, so forgive me if I don’t acknowledge it.

One of my lifting buddies went for a run today while a few others of us continued to lift at the Y.  He came back and told us how some douche bag in a low rider was going 50 through the park and a little dog ran into the street and got nailed.  He went over to the dog and it…well, it didn’t make it let’s just say.  The female owner of the dog saw the whole thing and was obviously devastated.  So one of the guys that I was lifting with asked him if the chick was hot, and he was like “dude, I just saw a dog get killed and you’re asking if she’s hot.”  We all chimed in and was like “yeah, come on dude don’t ask stuff like that.”

But I’m still kinda disappointed he never answered the question.

Had this convo a month ago.  I thought she was wonderful.

Had this convo a month ago.  I thought she was wonderful.

sportsinstilettos:

“He piles hate on the player when he really hates the Games.”
David Roth wrote a really solid piece for The Daily Beast about the pretty anti-Lolo piece in The New York Times this weekend. (Roth’s response: New York Times Attack on Olympic Athlete Lolo Jones Unfounded and Unfair - The Daily Beast)
The New York Times piece called Jones the Anna Kournikova of track, or of the Olympics - basically, she’s getting lots of media attention because of her looks, because her talent isn’t up to par. 
Here’s the thing. Yeah, people like Kournikova and Jones get attention because they’re attractive. But they wouldn’t even be on our radar if they didn’t have the athletic ability to perform at a high level in international competition. 
Of course she benefits from being beautiful and incredibly fit - as well as funny and down to earth on Twitter and in interviews. But just to get to that point, she needed some serious luck, good genes, and intense, maniacal training.
(As Roth points out, Jones also had back surgery last year, which could explain why she’s not quite as good as four years ago, but the Times fails to mention that.)
Let’s face it: people - you, me, and The New York Times - are all a bunch of haters. Lolo Jones is fighting to come back from just missing a medal in Beijing, but she’s just getting by on prettiness and media-generated press about her personal life. Gabby Douglas was the first black woman to win an Olympic All-Around gold medal, but man, what’s with her hair? Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time but his head’s too small for his body and he has Inspector Gadget arms. And y’all know I’ve been hating on Ryan Lochte up in here for the last two weeks. 
We can pick on these incredible athletes all we want, and berate them for not winning gold, or not being as good as they were last Olympics, but the fact is that they are at the Olympics and most of us throwing shade are not and will never even be close.These athletes worked their asses off to get to the to the top tier of their sport; the fact that they’re in a position for us to criticize every.little.thing about them is already quite an accomplishment. 
We only get treated to this all-encompassing (except for softball and baseball) festival of athletic feats once every four years. Instead of picking on them, maybe we should just sit back and enjoy it.
I mean, look at those abs. (And these. And these.) 
You don’t see abs like that every day (and if you do, because you have those abs and you see them in the mirror every day, then ladies, I’m jealous, and dudes, call me) so I say we all put down the haterade and just admire the abs and the fabulous athletes to whom they belong.
*Note: Ryan Lochte’s Olympics abs were not quite up to this standard. Sad. So if you want to hate on him for that, I’m sure not going to stop you. 
(Photo via Lolo Jones- TODAY in London - TODAY.com)

Exactly, just sit back and enjoy.

sportsinstilettos:

“He piles hate on the player when he really hates the Games.”

David Roth wrote a really solid piece for The Daily Beast about the pretty anti-Lolo piece in The New York Times this weekend. (Roth’s response: New York Times Attack on Olympic Athlete Lolo Jones Unfounded and Unfair - The Daily Beast)

The New York Times piece called Jones the Anna Kournikova of track, or of the Olympics - basically, she’s getting lots of media attention because of her looks, because her talent isn’t up to par. 

Here’s the thing. Yeah, people like Kournikova and Jones get attention because they’re attractive. But they wouldn’t even be on our radar if they didn’t have the athletic ability to perform at a high level in international competition. 

Of course she benefits from being beautiful and incredibly fit - as well as funny and down to earth on Twitter and in interviews. But just to get to that point, she needed some serious luck, good genes, and intense, maniacal training.

(As Roth points out, Jones also had back surgery last year, which could explain why she’s not quite as good as four years ago, but the Times fails to mention that.)

Let’s face it: people - you, me, and The New York Times - are all a bunch of haters. Lolo Jones is fighting to come back from just missing a medal in Beijing, but she’s just getting by on prettiness and media-generated press about her personal life. Gabby Douglas was the first black woman to win an Olympic All-Around gold medal, but man, what’s with her hair? Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time but his head’s too small for his body and he has Inspector Gadget arms. And y’all know I’ve been hating on Ryan Lochte up in here for the last two weeks. 

We can pick on these incredible athletes all we want, and berate them for not winning gold, or not being as good as they were last Olympics, but the fact is that they are at the Olympics and most of us throwing shade are not and will never even be close.These athletes worked their asses off to get to the to the top tier of their sport; the fact that they’re in a position for us to criticize every.little.thing about them is already quite an accomplishment. 

We only get treated to this all-encompassing (except for softball and baseball) festival of athletic feats once every four years. Instead of picking on them, maybe we should just sit back and enjoy it.

I mean, look at those abs. (And these. And these.) 

You don’t see abs like that every day (and if you do, because you have those abs and you see them in the mirror every day, then ladies, I’m jealous, and dudes, call me) so I say we all put down the haterade and just admire the abs and the fabulous athletes to whom they belong.

*Note: Ryan Lochte’s Olympics abs were not quite up to this standard. Sad. So if you want to hate on him for that, I’m sure not going to stop you. 

(Photo via Lolo Jones- TODAY in London - TODAY.com)

Exactly, just sit back and enjoy.