Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Breaking an Unhealthy Cycle Before It's Too Late

It's common for unhealthy cycles to bound in people's lives. Whether that be alcohol abuse during difficult times, finding oneself in abusive relationships, or becoming promiscuous after break-ups, even if we know deep down the cycles aren't healthy for us, it's often times very difficult to break these very cycles. As difficult as it might be to do this, however, if we don't eventually break these unhealthy cycles, it becomes increasingly likely that these unhealthy cycles will take control of and ultimately destroy our lives.

Unfortunately, Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson and his children find themselves in a similar situation. Based on friends' and family's testimonies, it seems about as likely that Adrian Peterson's father beat him as a child as it does that the earth revolves around the sun. Since Adrian feels this harsh form of discipline helped him become the person he is today and he is ignorant of any alternatives, he's beat his kids in a similar manner, thinking it will have the same supposed positive effect on them.

When details of Adrian Peterson's child abuse allegations emerged, he had many immediate defenders, saying, "That's not abuse; that's just discipline" or "I sure got my share of whoopings back in the day. That's just how things are." The problem with this argument is the fact society evolves, and with that, people are expected to evolve as well. There was a time when African-Americans were viewed as 2/3 of a person, weren't allowed to vote, weren't even allowed to share water fountains with Anglo-Americans. However, changes were made, we evolved as a society, and while racism is still present, we've done a lot in an attempt to limit it and hope that it continues to decrease over time. Similar progress has been made with regard to women's rights, gays' rights, non-Christian's rights, etc. So, yes, while some trends, traditions, and cycles may have existed for some time, that doesn't make them right and it takes a stronger person to break that cycle than to continue it.

That brings us to the cycle of corporal punishment and the line between discipline and abuse. Corporal punishment has been an increasingly controversial issue. While a majority of parents still spank their children, that number has declined through the years, perhaps because a majority of studies say something similar - "Spanking isn't very effective" and "There are better ways to discipline a child than spanking."

In a fairly recent study conducted by Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor, it found the following results:

"In one set of analyses with young children in the laboratory, time outs worked just as well as spanking for (immediate) subsequent compliance on 30 tasks assigned by the mother. Long-term compliance is decreased after spanking."

The study also reported this:

"Spanking predicted increases in children's aggression over and above initial levels [of aggressive behavior]" and "in none of these longitudinal studies did spanking predict reductions in children's aggression over time."

Still, it seems that most parents don't have a problem with spanking, so long as it doesn't result in physical injury, which would constitute as child abuse, and that's why the Adrian Peterson case has been such a hot and divisive issue. While many people have defended his actions by saying he was merely disciplining his kid(s) with spankings, he went above and beyond just spanking and ended up physically injuring his kid(s), to the point where he (they) needed medical attention.

As CBS Minnesota reported:

"The police report said the boy told the doctor Peterson had hit him with a branch from a tree. The doctor told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand. The police report says the doctor described some of the marks as open wounds and termed it 'child abuse.' Another examiner agreed, calling the cuts 'extensive.'"

If those reports are accurate, and judging by the photos, they are, that isn't simply a "spanking;" that's abuse.

To his credit, it appears that through his post-story comments, Peterson seems at least somewhat cognizant that what he did was wrong, has sought counseling, and now acknowledges that there are better forms of discipline than what he subjected his son(s) to. The question now is, can Adrian Peterson break that unhealthy cycle? While he was beating his kids, while he may have felt partially wrong about it, it was the only way he knew how to go about matters. Since he subjected his kids to the same abusive treatment his father subjected him to growing up, unless he alters course, his own kids will be much more likely to subject their kids to abuse, and the cycle will continue until someone finally puts an end to it. The problem for him is, if the courts convict him, it'll be too late to change course, and he'll be unable to try and form a healthier bond with his children. While I sincerely hope he learns from his actions and improves as a person because of it, I also sincerely hope his kids are never subject to any kind of abuse again and go on to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Many people may continue to defend the Pro Bowl running back's actions. I, myself, will continue to defend the defenseless - his children.

Robert Stacy McCain: "Ray Rice punched his girlfriend because of feminism!" Say what?!?

Far-right wing site Barbwire, as it's known to do all too often, recently published a piece which would likely make approximately 89.4% of women scream expletives at the top of their lungs, all the while throwing purses at their computer monitors which were stationed on the article I'm about to write about.

The article is entitled, "Feminist Theory, Human Nature And The 'Punch Seen Round The World,'" and was written by American Spectator correspondent and man voted most likely to marry a Fred Flintstone blow-up doll he mistakenly calls Wilma - Robert Stacy McCain. Yes, this article is centered around the Ray Rice elevator-punch incident.

In his article, McCain writes this:

"Everybody has focused on the obvious horror of Rice's punch - the brute force of a 200-pound professional athlete used against a woman - and nobody seems interested in what Janay (Ray's wife) did immediately before the punch. The couple were in a confined space, inside an elevator, when Janay 'got in his face,' screaming and lunging toward Rice. Of course, Janay's behavior does not justify Rice hitting her, but one wonders why she acted that way, just as one wonders whether the circumstance of being trapped in an elevator with this enraged woman in some way explains Rice's reaction. That is to say, if her angry rage triggered Rice's fight-or-flight instinct, he couldn't flee from her while they were on the elevator, and his adrenalin surge produced an automatic reflex: BOOM."

No, McCain doesn't believe Janay Rice's behavior justifies Ray hitting her, but he's going to defend Ray's actions with every last breath. Going off his seemingly constant "wonders," one wonders (me in this case) how differently Mr. McCain would feel about this situation if Janay "stood her ground" and shot Ray after hitting her...

McCain also wrote this:

"From the feminist perspective, this isn't about one man hitting one woman. This is about a 'culture.' This is about 'the power of structure' of 'patriarchy.' Individual responsibility disappears and the conversation is about 'a larger systemic injustice.'

The world is full of 'systemic injustice,' if you want to look at it that way, and almost everyone can somehow claim victimhood."

Yes, because a man writing an article where he defends another man of assaulting his fiancee is obviously in touch with his feminist side...

The apparent anti-feminist feminist continued:

"Do we have any evidence that Ray Rice is a chronic menace to women? Is there an established record of Ray Rice as a habitual perpetrator of domestic violence? Was this horrific incident caught on video part of a long-term pattern? Who benefits, and who is harmed, by dropping him from the Ravens lineup and indefinitely suspending him from the NFL? Insofar as Ray Rice is suffering the legitimate consequences of his own wrongful behavior, I have no complaint. But it seems to me that Ray Rice - and Janay Rice, and everyone with a direct stake in Ray Rice's NFL career - is being made to suffer an extraordinary penalty because (a) feminists have turned this into a political cause celebre, and (b) the NFL is run by cowardly swine who care more about their image than they care about human beings."

This is an incredibly ironic statement from McCain. Remember the public's outcry after Ray Rice was handed just a two-game suspension for domestic violence? A fairly large majority of the public, including sports commentators everywhere, heavily criticized Roger Goodell and the NFL for being "cowards" and not taking a stand to show they care about human beings (Janay Rice and other domestic violence victims). So, now, after Rice's suspension got extended by the league, McCain is saying the league's actions show they care more about their image than about human beings? Aren't the two connected in this scenario? Survey says? "Well, yes - what, are you stupid or something?"

R. Stacy McCain then added this:

"This stringent zero-tolerance policy - 'Boys don't hit girls' - sets up a problem : What happens if a woman loses her temper, behaves in an insulting manner, and even acts violently against a man? Some women are simply crazy, and some women have been spoiled rotten by over-indulgent parents who put up with tantrums. The 'Daddy's Precious Darling' Syndrome, as I call it, involves an entitlement mentality that makes it impossible for some women to admit wrongdoing or to accept criticism. If she can't get what she wants, or if her bad behavior exposes her to criticism, Daddy's Precious Darling can't deal with it. She flies into a rage, and whoever she blames for thwarting her will - failing to kowtow to imperious demands or daring to criticize her selfish attitude - will become the target of unrestrained hatred. 'Hell hath no fury,' et cetera." 

So, it seems, according to this writer, while there are such things as spoiled daddy's little girls, there aren't such things as spoiled mama's boys. Also, I guess, since it's scientifically proven that women bleed for a few days every month up to a certain age, which explains why they lose their tempers and get a little crazy, men never throw tantrums or lose their cool, because, well, that's science, or something... Whether it be a man or a woman, how's this for a philosophy? Unless you genuinely feel your life is in danger and feel the need to throw a punch to defend yourself, don't hit anybody. There, that was simple enough...

The other McCain, as he likes to call himself, also wrote this:

"What if, instead of going to the casino with a date, Ray Rice had gone to the casino with a male buddy who got drunk and caused a scene? What if, after Ray and his buddy got on the elevator, the buddy started yelling angrily at him, 'getting in his face?'


There's your equality. How do you like it?"

Yeah, there's our equality all right... McCain sure likes these hypothetical scenarios, doesn't he? I wonder how often he visits la-la land when discussing real-life events? Alright, well, I'll attempt to join him there for a moment. Robert Stacy McCain, what if there was a pay-per-view boxing match between a 5'8'', 205 lb., heavily built ex-professional football player against a 5'6'', 125 lb. woman? Boom! There's your equality. How do you like it? I mean... That's not equality at all. How stupid was I to even suggest that? Robert, your thoughts?

McCain added:

"Of course, feminists don't believe in this kind of equality, an equality which would make women and men equally vulnerable to the consequences of 'getting in the face' of a 200-pound pro athlete. However, as a skinny man who doesn't enjoy pain, I can absolutely guarantee you that I would never make the mistake of engaging in a face-to-face shouting match with a guy like Ray Rice."

Has Robert Stacy McCain ever dated Ray Rice? No? Is he gay? Probably not? Well, then, he'll never be afforded the grand opportunity of being trapped inside an elevator and getting into a drunken shouting match with his fiancee at the time, Ray Rice. Has he ever gotten into a heated debate with a girlfriend or a wife? No? Well, then, congratulations, he's one of those rare lucky ones. Then again, he seems to only date those blow-up dolls I mentioned earlier, so unless he was too crazy (which is still up in the air at this very moment), it's unlikely he gets into heated exchanges with these dolls. Going back to his "equality" argument and the fact he admits to being a "skinny man," does this then mean if he did get into a heated confrontation with a person of Ray Rice's size, a punch coming from him would do just as much damage as a punch coming from the other individual, and that's "equality"? I'm sorry, but men typically have more upper-body strength than women, so it's quite unfair to list potential assault cases due to heated confrontations as a double-standard on the equality front. Nice try, though...

R.S. McCain then closed his "piece" (of crap) with this:

"None of this makes sense in the context of radical equality, where the selfish quest for power turns man and woman into rivals.


There's your equality. How do you like it?"

No, Robert Stacy McCain... Boom! There's (points at you) the douche of the day! How do you like it?

NFL Hot Topics (on the field)

Over the past 24 hours or so, I've heard a great deal of talk on ESPN about the following topics in the NFL world (besides Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and Ray Rice) and thought I'd chime in, because I've had to shake my head a great deal at some of the ESPN talking heads.

1) "Was Seattle exposed?"

Uh, no... The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks were not "exposed" due to a 30-21 road loss to the San Diego Chargers. The fact of the matter is, while Seattle has been nearly unbeatable at home past 2+ years (16-1 to this point, 18-1 including the playoffs), they have been a good, but not great road team. Over that same time-frame, Seattle is 9-8 on the road (10-9 including the playoffs). So, no, in a road game where veterans Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates played about as close to perfection as a quarterback and tight end can, and still being in the game until close to the very end, does not mean Seattle was exposed - not by a long shot. Nice try, though.

2) "Was Chicago's victory more about them having the resilience to come back or more about San Francisco throwing the game away?"

While I heard Pardon The Interruption's Michael Wilbon, whom hails from Chicago, along with former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka, adamantly declare the comeback was more about the Bears than the 49ers, they're sorely mistaken, obviously blinded by their bias. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick turned the ball over four times in the game - fumbling once as the 49ers were about to get into the red zone, negating at least three points for the team, and getting picked off three other times. While two of the Bears' drives were impressive, two of their three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter were largely aided by Kaepernick interceptions. Over the course of these two drives, the Bears gained just 45 yards on 5 plays, which took up 2 minutes and 16 seconds. If they hadn't scored at least 10 points in these two drives, it would have been seen as a grave disappointment. Also, San Francisco was penalized 16 times for 118 yards. Chicago gained only 216 yards on offense for the game. If one were to include the extra yardage the 49ers game them, that total would be increased to 334 yards, which would still fall short of the 361 yards the 49ers gained on offense. San Francisco was 7-13 on 3rd down, while the Bears were only 3 for 9. Chicago averaged just 4.9 yards per pass attempt, gained just 46 yards on the ground, and held the ball for only 26 minutes and 9 seconds. To put it simply, San Francisco dominated the game and should have one quite handily, but gave the game away via penalties and turnovers.

3) "Did Indianapolis get robbed by bad calls against Philadelphia on Monday night?"

Yes, to a certain extent. While I could have understood the horse-collar call on LeSean McCoy, there really was no excuse to not have called the Eagles with at least illegal contact, if not pass interference, on the critical 4th quarter interception, which set the Eagles up to tie the game at 27 a piece. As that was 3rd down, the Colts were up 7 late in the game, and the ever so reliable Adam Vinatieri would likely have put them up 10 with a field goal, there's a very good chance that field goal would have been too much for even the quick-strike Eagles to overcome. However, Indianapolis still had a chance at the end of the game, with things all tied up, to win the contest by driving the ball downfield and setting up a field goal. So, while I didn't care for the play-calling by the Colts down the stretch and give Andrew Luck credit for not blaming the refs for his team's defeat, I'd be hard-pressed to not say I think the uncalled illegal contact/pass interference penalty in the 4th quarter was a huge factor in the loss.

4) "Who's the most surprising 2-0 team?"

The two obvious choices are either Buffalo or Houston. Buffalo finished last year at 6-10 and in last place in the AFC East, while Houston was rewarded the #1 draft pick for finishing a league worst 2-14. However, Houston was a playoff team not too long ago and Buffalo hasn't made the playoffs since 1999. While I could understand either argument, I'll give the slight edge to Buffalo due to the level of competition both teams have played to this point. Houston, who started last year 2-0 before losing their final 14 games, have beaten Washington and Oakland by the combined score of 47-20 (average of 23.5 - 10.0 = +13.5). Last year, Washington and Oakland combined to go 7-25 (.219), both finished last in their respective divisions, and are a combined 1-3 (.250) to start this season. Buffalo, meanwhile, has defeated Chicago and Miami by the combined score of 52-30 (average of 26.0 - 15.0 = +11.0). These two teams went an even 16-16 (.500) a year ago, were in the Wild Card discussion until the final week, and are a combined 2-2 (.500) to start this season.

5) "Who's the most surprising 0-2 team?"

The two most common choices here are Indianapolis and New Orleans, but the only reasonable choice, in my opinion, is New Orleans. Both the Colts and Saints finished last year at 11-5 and were playoff bound. To start this season, Indianapolis has had to face Denver and Philadelphia, two teams whom won their respective divisions a year ago, and combining to go 23-9 (.719) in the 2013 season. In other words, Indy has arguably had the toughest two-game stretch of any team in the NFL to start this season. While the 0-2 start may be disappointing to many Colts fans, it's not incredibly surprising given their opponents. New Orleans, on the other hand, has squared off against Atlanta and Cleveland, whom went a combined 8-24 (.250) last year. At least Indianapolis has an excuse, where they can say, "Hey, we battled back against the defending AFC champs and made a game of it at the end, and lost at the very end against the defending NFC East champs." That's much more than the Saints can say for themselves. They fell to what's been the perennial doormat of the AFC North, as well as a team that tied for last place in the NFC South a year ago.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The "global apology" Sarah Palin should have issued...

Following President Obama's "ISIS" speech last week, former John McCain running mate, Sarah Palin, had a few words for the president when she appeared on Hannity  (the show, not the man). During this discussion between the clueless and clueless-er, Palin said this:

"To claim last night, also, our president saying ISIS is not Islamic, um, ISIS says they're Islamic. They are so full of deception that America should be concerned with the policies that are going on. And, as I watched the speech last night, Sean, the thought going through my mind is 'I owe America a global apology. Because John McCain, through all of this, John McCain should be our president.' He had the advice, today, still giving it to Barack Obama, and he will not listen to it, about the residual forces that must be left behind in order to secure the peace in Iraq that we had fought so hard for."

That's ironic - Sarah Palin issuing a global apology for not being the current Vice President of the United States? Here's the "global apology" speech she should have made:

"So, I was thinkin' the other night. I admit, that's very unusual for me at night, or at any other point in the 29-hour daily cycle we call life. But, anyway, I think I owe the real Americans of this country a global apology for almost becoming your Vice President, and being one step away from the presidency. Even though I think I'm pretty qualified since I can see Russia from anywhere on this planet - the United States, I didn't finish my term as governor because I felt it was best for my Alaskan peeps, and I'm still not sure whether or not the 'nowhere' in the bridge to nowhere was actually somewhere. Well, anyway, I'd like to globally apologize to America for that close call - you betcha! I'd also like to make a personal global apology to John McCain, because, let's be serious for a second here - he may have lost anyway, but with him being down as it was, I was the icing on the cake which ultimately made him lose, you know? Ooh, speaking of icing on the cake, I'm in the mood for a burger. Chow or see-yaw or whatever the Polish people say."

No means yes? Sometimes, according to Rush Limbaugh...

Radio talk show host and man voted most likely to get married five times and die a virgin - Rush Limbaugh - has never been coy about offending people. This has especially been the case with regard to women. Well, based on a recent comment he made on his show, Limbaugh hasn't lost his touch with the ladies, including the four women he's married, I imagine.

Just yesterday, Limbaugh spouted the following drivel:

"Seduction used to be an art. Now of course it's brutish and it's predatory and it's bad. [...] How many of you guys in your own experience with women have learned that 'no' means 'yes' if you know how to spot it? I'm probably - let me tell you something, in this modern - that is simply, that's not tolerated. That would not - people aren't even gonna try to understand that one. I mean it used to be part of the advice young boys were given. See that's what we gotta change. We have got to reprogram the way we raise 'em."

Yes, so according to Limbaugh, it would make sense for a guy to engage in the following conversation with a woman:

Rush Limbaugh: "So, you know what date number this is?"

Susannah Notgonnamarryou: "The first one"

Rush: "Let's pretend it's number three. What do you say?"

Susannah: "Let's not."

Rush: "Come on - we've known each other for a while, right?"

Susannah: "I suppose"

Rush: "Well, then, we've pretty much been dating for how many years then?"

Susannah: "We've known each other for six months."

Rush: "Let's not get caught up with all these numbers, alright?"

Susannah: "Okay..."

Rush: "Susannah, I've waited six months. I think that's long enough. How about if I penetrate you right now?"

Susannah: "I thought we were going out to eat!"

Rush: "Well, we can do that after..."

Susannah: "No! Hell to the no! What makes you think I would just give it up to you on our first date? What kind of a person do you think I am?!?"

Rush: "Hey, baby, let's calm down here. It's been six months..."

Susannah: "Since you bumped into me at a Wal-Mart and pretended to work there..."

Rush: "I was pretty convincing, though, wasn't I?"

Susannah: "You didn't know what you were talking about! I asked if you had any baby pools for my dog and you took me over to this wet dog-food called, 'Doggystyle'! You were stuttering so much, though, I thought it was kind of cute how you were trying to impress me - you and that Blockbuster Video outfit you were wearing."

Rush: "So, does that mean you want to?"

Susannah: "Want to what?"

Rush: "Do it doggystyle?"

Susannah: "What?!? What?!? WHAT?!? Were you not listening to me? I said hell to the no!"

Rush: "So, is that a yes?"

Susannah: "Look - you can forget about dinner or ever getting any of this! When I say no, I mean no! What do you think, no means yes?"

Rush: "Sometimes..."

Susannah: "Ugh!" :: storms off ::

Yeah, I'm guessing Rush's three ex-wives wish they had told him no as well...

New study shows Benghazi may get a restraining order against Fox News

Liberal watchdog group Media Matters just released a report this morning which showcased just how obsessed and one-sided Fox News was with regard to their reporting on Benghazi. The study was conducted from the night of the attacks on September 11th of 2012 through early May of this year. Here are how some of the numbers break down during those 20 months:

- 1,098 evening segments were aired on the attacks (The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, The O'Reilly Factor, and Hannity)

- Special Report led the way with 382 such segments

- 244 segments were aired suggesting that "the Obama administration did not initially refer to the attacks in Benghazi as 'terror' or a 'terrorist act'"

- 174 segments were aired in the month leading up to the 2012 presidential election

- 478 segments "invoked the administration talking points used by former ambassador to the United Nations and current National Security Adviser Susan Rice during her Sept. 16, 2012, appearances on the Sunday morning shows"

- 281 segments alleged an Obama administration cover-up

- There were over 100 references to past scandals like Iran-Contra and Watergate

- On 105 occasions, the network tried linking Benghazi to Hillary Clinton's potential political aspirations

- Lastly, Congressional Republicans were asked about Benghazi 144 times while Congressional Democrats and Obama administration officials were only asked about the matter on 5 occasions

So, on five Fox News evening shows, there was an average of 54.9 segments regarding Benghazi in an average month over the course of 20 months, where the ratio of Republicans to Democrats asked about the attacks was at 28.8 : 1. Yes, Fox News is as fair and balanced as Styrofoam rulers are circular and dangerous...

GOP Strategy: After uttering crazy remarks, blame the media for reporting them!

On his weekly talk radio program, former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce recently made some pretty wild remarks which forced him to resign as Arizona Republican Party's first vice chair this past Sunday.

The main remark which landed him in hot water was this:

"You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."

You heard it here first - a male Republican believes in birth-control! ...well, among some other things...

Pearce then tried to defend his comments by telling the Washington Post the following:

"[The comments were] written by someone else. [I] failed to attribute them to the author. This was a mistake. This mistake has been taken by the media and the left and used to hurt our Republican candidates."

Let's attempt to travel inside the make-believe world of Russell Pearce for a moment here. Pearce is appearing to claim that if he had attributed the author of the quotes he read on the air, all would be well. Let's compare the two scenarios.

What Russell Pearce actually said: "You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."

What Russell Pearce claims he should have said: "This next bit I'm going to say, and which I fully agree with, can be attributed to author such and such of that one book. On that one page in the book, he writes, 'You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.'"

That makes a whale of a difference right there, doesn't it? The criticisms he received in the first scenario wouldn't exist in the second, because the evil, liberal media, whom reported the former, apparently wouldn't report the latter for some strange reason.

With this kind of thinking, expect Mr. Pearce to make the following statements at some point on his radio show, as well as the noted defenses he uses after receiving criticism for them:

Pearce comment: "Women ain't nothin' but b**ches and hos, fo' sho'!"

Pearce defense: "That comment was written by someone else. I failed to attribute it to the crapper or rapper or whatever he is. This was a mistake. This mistaken has been taken by the liberal media and used to hurt our Republican candidates."

Pearce comment: "Them blacks are lazier than corpses!"

Pearce defense: "Look - that comment was written by someone else and I failed to attribute it to the person, whoever he or she or it is. I personally don't know, but know I heard it from somewhere and it wasn't my own mouth, besides a few moments ago. Anyway, this was a mistake, and this mistaken has been taken by the left-wing media and used to hurt our Republican candidates."

Pearce comment: "It's 100% fact - gays are going to hell!"

Pearce defense: "I didn't write that last comment, people. Someone else did, and I failed to attribute it to him. Know who wrote it? God - so yeah, take it up with him, you sinners! That includes the liberal media, who's trying to use this 'mistake' of mine to hurt our Republican candidates."

Perhaps the musician Shaggy wrote his song, "It Wasn't Me," about Russell Pearce.

Pearce: "You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."

Media: "Say what?"

Pearce: "It wasn't me."

Psst... Yes it was...

Info on my Facebook business, Twitter, and Tumblr pages

Here's the URL to my Facebook business page. I update it fairly regularly, but still haven't put forth a great deal of effort yet in researching matters and attempting to make the most out of it. In any case, it can be perused here:

Up next is my Twitter page. I'm still not 100% certain what I'm doing on there yet, but feel I'm gradually getting the hang of it and am up to 12.4 K followers. I update it daily with many of my own tweets, but also by retweeting some others'. It can be found here:

Lastly, here's my Tumblr page, which I've neglected quite a bit recently, but if you're at all curious, you can find it at the following link:

Weekly update of my book information

For new readers (and regular ones, I suppose), here's some information pertaining to my books.

All twelve of my books can be purchased in paperback form at the following site (and others):

The ten books I've written and released in the past 3 years (yes, I've been on a roll) can be purchased for much cheaper in Kindle form at the following link:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 3 NFL Predictions

Game: Tampa Bay at Atlanta

Pick: Atlanta - Tampa seems to have a thing for losing close games, and Atlanta isn't really sure what it wants to do yet. With the game being at home, though, and Matt Ryan wanting to bounce back from his poor outing against Cincinnati, I give the slight edge to the Falcons. I'll go with Atlanta by 6.



Game: San Diego at Buffalo

Pick: Buffalo - It would be very tempting to pick San Diego, who is coming off a bit win over defending Super Bowl champ Seattle. However, like in college, there are such things as hangover games in the NFL, and while Buffalo may be 2-0, they don't have nearly the allure as the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. Also, as history has illustrated, it's typically been extremely difficult for West Coast teams to play 1 pm (EST) games on the East Coast. With all that in mind and the fact Buffalo is playing well in all phases of the game right now, I'll take the Bills by 4.



Game: Dallas at St. Louis

Pick: Dallas - While the Cowboys defense hasn't been spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, it has exceeded low expectations to start the season, and with St. Louis on their 3rd string quarterback, I have to believe the Cowboys defense will do enough to allow their talented, but inconsistent offense to score the points necessary for a victory. I'll go with Dallas by a touchdown.



Game: Washington at Philadelphia

Pick: Philadelphia - Regardless of who the banged up 'Skins start at quarterback (and/or receiver), their defense is still no match for Chip Kelly's Eagles offense. I'll take Philly by 10.



Game: Houston at NY Giants

Pick: Houston - Until the Giants can prove to me they aren't going to turn the ball over 3+ times a game, I'm going to have trouble picking them (unless they face the Jaguars or Raiders). Given how good Houston's defense has been to this point in the season, chances are their defense will give the G-men's offensive line and Eli Manning just as many fits as the Lions and Cardinals did, if not more. I'll go with the Texans by a field goal.



Game: Minnesota at New Orleans

Pick: New Orleans - As tempted as I am to go with Minnesota, especially since Adrian Peterson will likely play in this game, the Saints have been a much different team at home in recent years, and I have a very hard time seeing them lose their home-opener, which would drop them to 0-3 on the season. I'll take New Orleans by 4.



Game; Tennessee at Cincinnati

Pick: Cincinnati - Cincinnati's defense dominated Atlanta, whom had dominated New Orleans the week before. Given that, and the fact the game is at home, expect the Bengals to pull away in the 4th quarter in a two-score victory.



Game: Baltimore at Cleveland

Pick: Baltimore - If this were a college football bowl game, it would probably be called the Who Knows Bowl, because through two weeks, both teams appear to be mysteries. However, with their stellar performance against Pittsburgh on Thursday, along with the extra days for rest and preparation, I'll give the tentative edge to the Ravens. I'll go with Baltimore by 6.



Game: Green Bay at Detroit

Pick: Green Bay - After two weeks, it's difficult to tell how good either the Packers or Lions will be this year. Green Bay got handled fairly easily by Seattle, before coming back from 18 down to beat the New York Jets. Detroit, meanwhile, looked great against the other New York team, but got dominated by Carolina in the second half. In the end, though, even on the road, I trust Aaron Rodgers' consistency and play-making ability over Matthew Stafford's. While I'm quite uncertain about this pick, I'm going to take Green Bay on the road by a field goal.



Game: Indianapolis at Jacksonville

Pick: Indianapolis - If Florida State played Jacksonville, I might be tempted to go with the Seminoles, so yes, I'm picking the Colts in this one. I'll take Indy by two touchdowns.



Game: Oakland at New England

Pick: New England - Along with Jacksonville, Oakland may be one of the least impressive teams thus far. So, what I mean to say is, rookie quarterback Derek Carr, good luck against Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots on the road. I'll go with the Pats by three scores.



Game: San Francisco at Arizona

Pick: San Francisco - Arizona was a very good team last year, and while they're 2-0 to start this season, they've got a few breaks along the way. San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh, meanwhile, is likely more pissed than he's ever been after witnessing his 49ers get penalized for almost 120 years and turn the ball over four times, relinquishing a 17-0 lead over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night. With that combination, I feel bad for whoever the Cardinals quarterback is going to be. I'll take the Niners by 10.



Game: Denver at Seattle 

Pick: Seattle - While Seattle is a solid team on the road, they're almost unbeatable at home. They're 16-1 in their last 17 home games, and even though the Denver Broncos will want payback, that's not likely to happen against the angry Seahawks, whom lost 30-21 on the road against San Diego on Sunday. The beating won't be nearly as bad as it was in the Super Bowl, but I'll still take Seattle by at least a touchdown.



Game: Kansas City at Miami

Pick: Miami - For as difficult as it's going to be to pick for or against Miami this year (like last year), due to how unpredictable they are, with as banged up as the Chiefs are right now, I have to give the slight edge to the Dolphins at home. I'll go with Miami by a field goal.



Game: Pittsburgh at Carolina

Pick: Carolina - Through two weeks of the season, Pittsburgh has fallen on the short end of expectations for me, while Carolina has exceeded my expectations. Cam Newton didn't appear at all rusty in his first regular season game this past weekend against the Detroit Lions, and the Panthers defense look to be just as good (if not better) than they were a year ago. Especially with the game being at home, I look for the Panthers to improve to 3-0 with seven-point victory against the Steelers.



Game: Chicago at NY Jets

Pick: NY Jets - This was probably my most difficult pick to make. To this point in the season, though, I haven't been overly impressed by the Chicago Bears. They lost to Buffalo and then were given a gift (several of them) in their "win" against San Francisco. Their rush defense is still quite suspect, to say the least, and with the Jets featuring dual-threat quarterback Geno Smith (and Michael Vick), I think New York should expose that weak run defense at home. Rex Ryan should also have a few tricks up his sleeve to minimize the effectiveness of Chicago's typically lethal wide receiver combination. I'll take the Jets by a field goal.



Week 3 Record:

Overall Record: 21-11 (.656)

What I learned in Week 2 of the NFL season

In Week 2 of the NFL season, I learned that...

- ..., in giving the ball away four times and getting penalized sixteen others for a total of 118 yards, San Francisco celebrates Christmas on September 14th of every year - for which the Chicago Bears are very thankful.

- ...Rex Ryan may give Marty Mornhinweg a series of timeouts for illegally calling a timeout against the Green Bay Packers, which negated a touchdown and may have potentially cost his team the game.

- ...Houston Texans coaches have laid out the following strategy for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick - "Just don't be pick-six Schaub."

- ..."Donkey Kong" Suh won't be inviting Cam Newton over for a party anytime soon.

- ...New York Giants players and coaches are attempting to come up with new translations to the phrase "TO-prone Giants." To this point, the leading suggestions are: "Testicular overreach-prone Giants," "Tequila overdose-prone Giants," or " Giants."

- ...the "Steel Curtain" in Pittsburgh is looking more like a tissue curtain nowadays.

- ...the New Orleans Saints have started the season 0-2 against teams that finished last year with a combined record of 8-24, so that's certainly something the 11-5 team from a year ago can hang their hats on...

- ...the Jacksonville Jaguars are in some serious trouble if quarterback Chad Henne, who carried the ball 3 times for 17 yards, is the team's leading rusher. Where's Elvis Grbac when you need him?

- ...all it takes is one road loss for people to call the defending Super Bowl champs pretenders, and even if they were to finish 15-1, their season would be all but done.

- ...the Detroit Lions run the ball like a mime runs his mouth - not very well...

Fox News hero George "Peacnik" Zimmerman strikes again

Before I go into this next report regarding George Zimmerman, Fox News talking heads, is there anything you would like to say regarding this man?

- "A real American hero that man is!"

- "If anybody was ever a victim, it was George Zimmerman!"

- "I'm not even gay, but if I had the chance, I'd do him."

- "This man's middle name should be common sense. I mean, who else hasn't felt endangered by a black kid walking around the neighborhood fully loaded with ice tea and Skittles?"

- "If I had a daughter, and George Zimmerman were the last man on earth, well, besides me, I'd happily shake his hand and call him son. Seriously, b*tches be crazy if they don't want him!"

Thanks for your input, guys. Well, here's a basic rundown of Fox News' hero, George Zimmerman's life, since he was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges:

- A year ago, he threatened his estranged wife and father-in-law with a knife, punching the man in the nose.

- He then pulled a gun at his estranged wife's parents' place not long after she filed for divorce.

- Two months later, he was arrested for aggravated assault and battery after supposedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend.

That brings us to the most recent such story. From the sounds of it, George Zimmerman had a bit of a road rage incident, where, according to police, he pulled his truck alongside another person, before yelling, "Why are you pointing a finger at me? Do you know who I am? I'll f**king kill you."

The following day, the man Zimmerman threatened called 911, because he claimed that "Zimmerman was waiting for him at work and that he feared for his safety."

Fox News talking heads, given this bit of news, would you like to perhaps revise your earlier statements regarding George Zimmerman?

- "He's still an American hero in my book, which was probably written by someone else!"

- "You can't spell George Zimmerman without victim!"

- "I think I want him even more right now! ...but I'm still not gay!'

- "George Common Sense Zimmerman - yeah, that does sound about perfect!"

- "If only I had a daughter, her name would be Justine Hymn Zimmerman. :: sighs ::"

Air condition-less high school enforces new dress code

A story just surfaced which reported that despite hot temperatures outside and lacking air conditioning inside, the interim principal at Tottenville High School in Staten Island has handed out detentions to 200 students for violating the new dress code - 90% of whom were female.

The new dress code prohibits the wearing of tank tops, low-cut shirts, and shorts that don't reach fingertip length. Especially due to the "sweltering" classrooms, many students have continually protested against the new dress code by wearing tank tops, shorts, and the like.

As one senior at the school said, "That's what girls wear when it's hot out. It's unfair to them."

Another student said, "Tottenville should just be an all boys school considering this dress code is only affecting the girls."

Yet another commented that it was "humiliating to be pulled aside like an object."

Due to the growing controversy, school district officials released a statement where they said the dress code was enforced to prevent distractions in the classroom. Those whom have been punished for violating the dress code have been asked to either put on a large t-shirt and gym shorts provided by the school or wait for their parents to bring them a different outfit.

While I can understand teachers wanting their students to not be distracted during class, especially nowadays, clothing should be the least of their worries. Let's be realistic. At that age, boys will constantly get distracted by girls they find attractive, regardless of what they wear. The same goes for girls at that age and finding a boy in class attractive. It goes both ways, and it rarely has anything to do with their choice of clothing. At work, what's one more likely to get distracted by? A phone call from a friend or partner, emails, social media, a game of some kind, or someone's outfit? Will a boss punish 200 people for wearing outfits which may draw gazes from members of the opposite (or even same) sex?

Also, what's more distracting to the learning environment - sweltering hot classrooms due to a lack of air conditioning or someone's outfit? What's more distracting to the learning environment - wearing a tank top or fearing you may get embarrassed and punished for wearing that tank top?

Lastly, while people of all ages should display respect for themselves with what they wear, women's fashion freedom shouldn't be diminished just because some men may not showcase genuine respect for them depending on their choice of attire.

School district officials should be focusing on the bigger problems at Tottenville High School. As a matter of fact, I recommend students (protesters) at the school start a new phrase: "Distraction free! If you fix the A/C!"

You know things are bad in Congress when...

Unsurprisingly, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, Americans seem to hate politicians. Somewhat surprisingly, though, is just how much Americans appear to hate politicians, especially Republicans.

Here are the disapproval numbers according to the poll:

President Barack Obama: 54% (Not great, but I've seen worse...)

Congressional Democrats: 61% (A bit worse...)

Congressional Republicans: 72% (Wowsers...)

You know things are bad in Congress when Democrats can say, "Well, I guess only 39% of the public either approves of us or can't decide, but that's still 11% better than Republicans. America may hate us, but they hate us far less than the GOP, so we've got that going for us, which is nice, I guess..."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Big Ten may want to change their name to the Little Ten (in football anyway)

After their awful showing a week ago, where Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State were outscored 112-48 against Notre Dame, Oregon, and Virginia Tech (as well as Purdue and Northwestern losing to MAC teams), it seemed as if things could only go up from there for the Big Ten, but given this past weekend's performance by the conference, that apparently wasn't the case.

Before this weekend, the Big Ten was a combined 1-5 (.167) against the other power 5 conferences (and Notre Dame). They'd also lost to two MAC teams. How did they perform against such clubs this weekend?

West Virginia 40 Maryland 37 (0-1)

Iowa State 20 Iowa 17 (0-2)

TCU 30 Minnesota 7 (0-3)

Washington 44 Illinois 19 (0-4)

Notre Dame 30 Purdue 14 (0-5)

Also, Bowling Green defeated Indiana 45-42 (third MAC team to beat a Big Ten team in the past two weeks)

So, to this point in the season, the Big Ten is 1-10 (.091) against the other four power conferences (and Notre Dame), with only seven other such contests left on the slate pre-bowl season. These games include:

1) Indiana at Missouri (likely loss)

2) Iowa at Pittsburgh (likely loss)

3) Maryland at Syracuse (toss-up)

4) Utah at Michigan (leaning win)

5) Miami (Florida) at Nebraska (leaning win)

6) Cincinnati at Ohio State (leaning win)

7) Northwestern at Notre Dame (likely loss)

Even if the Big Ten were to go unbeaten in these seven games (which is highly unlikely), they'd finish 8-10 (.444) against such competition this season (pre-bowls). If they go 3-4 or 4-3, which is much more likely, they'd finish either 4-14 (.222) or 5-13 (.278) against such competition.

After three weeks, there are only two unbeatens left in the Big Ten conference - Nebraska and Penn State, neither of whom were ranked in the AP top 25 this past week. The conference is 1-10 against the other power 5 conferences (and Notre Dame), with their most impressive such victory (their only victory) coming via Big Ten newcomer Rutgers against winless Washington State. Yes, the conference may be called the "Big" Ten, but to this point in the season, they've appeared to be anything but that, and may want to alter their name to a much more fitting title - the Little Ten.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

According to a Cameroon judge, if a guy drinks Bailey's Irish Cream, he's probably gay...

Well, for as bad as things are for the LGBT community in some states in this country, at least they can say, "Well, at least we don't live in Cameroon."

Cameroon is an African country, where according to article 347 bis of the Cameroon Penal Code, "sexual relations with a person of the same sex" can be punishable of up to 5 years in prison, in addition to some fines.

Sadly, Cameroonian attorney Michel Togue, whom has defended gay and lesbian clients, recently stated that police have arrested members of the LGBT community for simply presenting themselves in a manner which authorities deemed to not be in line with their gender.

Zack Ford of ThinkProgress, whom interviewed Mr. Togue, wrote this about the matter:

"...Once an accusation of homosexuality is made, police make arrests based solely on how individuals present themselves. For example, if a man is found to be cross-dressing, that could be used as proof that he is gay in court. If somebody has a job that doesn't fit their gender, like a male hairdresser, that too could be used against them. A judge convicted one of Togue's clients for feminine mannerisms and for drinking Bailey's Irish Cream, which he felt only a woman would drink."

There we have it. If a Cameroon judge doesn't believe that a male is 100% masculine or a female is 100% feminine, they could be going to jail. On that note, let's break down some of the possible scenarios where this could take place.

A Cameroon judge could send a man to jail if...

- ...he thinks the Die Hard series sucks.

- ...he doesn't drink his whiskey straight (yes, a pun may have been intended).

- ...he doesn't enjoy watching big men dry-humping one another in UFC fights.

- ...when asked about George Clooney's appearance, he says, "Eh, he's not bad."

- ...when at a bar with a bunch of guys, a beautiful woman walks in,  and while the others guys repeatedly say, "I so want to hit that," he stays quiet, before saying, "I so want to go over there, talk to her, and get to know her as a person."

A Cameroon judge could send a woman to jail if...

- ...her name is Kris, Billie, Bobbi, or Lady Gaga (pronounced gay-gay to them).

- ...she rejects his pick-up line of, "Want me to stick something in you as much as I do?"

- ...she knows that boxing consists of punching another person with big gloves.

- ...she has a bumper sticker which reads, "Beer is for pussies."

- ...she loves Die Hard.

The Top Ten Times When You Shouldn't Take a Selfie

No, I'm not a fan of the selfie. Some may even call me a selfie-Scrooge, but in any case, there are some locations where a person should never take a selfie.

Take a recent story I read about five burglary suspects in California.

Ed Mazza of The Huffington Post reported the following about the incident:

"An alleged burglar keeping watch outside a California home while her pals ransacked and robbed the place took a moment to snap a selfie, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Here's the raw video taken from one of the surveillance cameras at the home and posted on YouTube by the LAPD."

Yes, that actually happened, and can be found at this link:

On that note, here are the top ten times when you shouldn't take a selfie:

10. While reading the book, I'm Too Confident For Selfies

9. While jumping over a hurdle at the Olympics

8. After taking the snap from center on an all-out blitz by the defense

7. While not wearing a mask and robbing a bank

6. When drinking two beers simultaneously

5. When doing the monkey bars at a playground

4. After just getting out of cold water at a nude beach (guys especially)

3. During a dance on you and your partner's anniversary while "your" song "Unchained Melody" is playing

2. When cleaning a loaded gun which is pointed directly at you

1. (drum roll) While going in reverse down the interstate

What's more offensive? Paul George's content or Paul George's grammar?

Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George recently posted a series of tweets defending former Baltimore Ravens tailback Ray Rice, and I'm not sure which is more offensive, the actual content of George's tweets or the grammar.

George started his controversial tweet-a-thon with this:

"Keep it 100 lets act on this police violence like we actin on this Ray Rice case! Stay strong homie!"

He followed that up with this:

"I don't condone hittin women or think it's coo BUT if SHE ain't trippin then I ain't trippin.. Lets keep it movin lol let that man play!"

Last but not least, George tweeted this:

"If you in a relationship and a woman hit you first and attacking YOU.. Then you obviously ain't beatin HER. Homie made A bad choice! #StayUp"

I'm now going to try and translate the before-mentioned tweets before deciding if their message or grammar was more offensive.

Paul George: "Keep it 100 lets act on this police violence like we actin on this Ray Rice case! Stay strong homie!"

My translation: "Let's give 100% to police violence investigations like we are with this Ray Rice case! Stay strong, Ray, even though it's your wife you punched in the face!"

Paul George: "I don't condone hittin women or think it's coo BUT if SHE ain't trippin then I ain't trippin.. Lets keep it movin lol let that man play!"

My translation: "I don't think hitting women is as cool as smoking was in movies back in the day, but since neither she nor I are tripping on something or another, we're going to keep moving. If we were tripping, we'd fall down and be less apt to moving, at least, in the immediate future. Let Ray Rice play, just not with my girlfriend in a boxing ring!"

Paul George: "If you in a relationship and a woman hit you first and attacking YOU.. Then you obviously ain't beatin HER. Homie made A bad choice! #StayUp"

My translation: "If you're in a relationship with a woman, who's much smaller than you, and she gives you a light slap across the face and you respond by giving her three strong jabs and an uppercut, then you're obviously not beating her. That's just self-defense. Ray made a bad choice, but she was asking for it! #StayUpWhileKnockingHerDown"

So, what's more offensive - the content or the grammar? While the grammar is extremely offensive, how he downplays domestic violence is even more offensive. Score one for Paul George's content being more offensive than his grammar.

Just how "independent" is the NFL's investigation?

In light of yesterday's Associated Press article, which reported that a law enforcement official sent the extended version of the Ray Rice tape to an NFL executive five months ago, commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to hire former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III to conduct an "independent investigation" on the matter.

So, why are some people saying that there's something fishy about this investigation? Well, because it's being overseen by NFL owners John Mara (New York Giants) and Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers), whom are connected to and have been highly supportive of Goodell throughout this whole controversy.

As Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun wrote:

"...The decision to put Mara and Rooney in charge of Mueller was another attempt to show that Goodell is going to be out of the loop, but it probably would look better if the NFL simply handed Mueller the keys to the kingdom and told him to perform the investigation without any input from anyone closely connected with the commissioner."


"...But the participation of two NFL owners who have been supportive of Goodell is still going to be an issue if the investigation ultimately concludes that Goodell was telling the truth when he insisted that no NFL officials - to his knowledge - had seen the video before Monday."

That's the thing. Along with Roger Goodell, the likes of John Mara and Dan Rooney have a lot at stake in this investigation, and at the end of the day, if the "independent" investigation concludes that Commissioner Goodell had no knowledge of the video prior to Monday, questions will still remain, including, "Is the NFL commissioner really that incompetent?"

If, surprisingly, the investigation does conclude that Goodell had prior knowledge of the video, then he's as good as done as the league's commissioner. However, if, as I expect will be the case, it concludes he was simply incompetent but not fully cognizant of the matter, unless sponsors threaten to cut ties with the NFL, I'll expect Goodell to remain commissioner for at least this season. As usual, what it will all come down to is money. If the league is bound to lose money with Goodell remaining as its commissioner, then the once loyal owners will flee his side. However, if that isn't the case, they'll place morality on the back-burner in favor of the dollars yet again.,0,3260362.story

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sarcastic Online IQ Test

It amazes me how so many Facebook friends of mine have IQs of 140 or above. Have you ever seen these tests? Many of them consist of between 5 and 10 rather simple questions, and based on this very small sample, it can accurately determine a person's IQ. I know - it's really the darnedest of things. It reminds me of the time I had a College Algebra final to take, answered all five questions correctly, and my teacher then proudly shook my hand and said, "It's official - you're a genius, Craig!" Thank you. Thank you very much.

So, here is my rendition of an online IQ test. Feel free to take the test at home and just remember, if you answer every question correctly, it's safe to say your IQ is at a genius' level. Here we go...

1) What is your name? (Note: So long as you write something down, anything, you will be correct.)

2) What is the capital city of any state in the United States? (Note: You can pick any of the fifty states. You may even use Oklahoma City, Oklahoma or Dover, Delaware for your answer.)

3) In what city do the Chicago Cubs play their home games?

A) Detroit

B) Punxsutawney

C) London

D) Chicago

E) All of the Above

4) What is the letter that comes directly between A and C?

A) A

B) C

C) J

D) B

E) 3

5) True or false: 2 + 2 =119?

6) If you take three steps forward and then three steps backward, how many total steps have you taken?

A) 0

B) 6

C) 12

D) 24

E) $1.14

7) If a woman by the name of Sheila Johnson marries a man by the name of Edward Kochnballs and decides to take his last name, what will her new name be?

A) Sheila

B) Sheila-Edward

C) Sheila-Edward Johnson

D) Sheila Kochnballs

E) Sheila WhydidIdothis

8) "Michael" is an example of a what?

A) A noun

B) A verb

C) An adjective

D) A jerk I used to date

E) Both A) and D) (Note: This answer will be accepted if you can provide proof)

9) What description best represents Earth?

A) Round

B) Flat

C) Octagonal

D) Pentagonal

E) Texas

10) For what sense is your nose responsible?

A) Sight

B) Hearing

C) Taste

D) Smell

E) Foreplay

Suffering from Burned Out On Facebook Syndrome (BOOFS)? You're not alone...

While it took me a while (longer than most) to give Facebook a chance, after I moved from Omaha, Nebraska to Columbus, Ohio, I quickly got hooked on the popular social networking site. It allowed me to keep in touch with my friends in Omaha, with family in Detroit, and with new friends I made in the Columbus area. It introduced me to: Words With Friends, Bejeweled Blitz, and Candy Crush, among other games. It inspired heated debates, fact-checking, posting silly statuses and pictures, etc. After 6+ years on the site, however, I've found myself losing interest, and judging by others I've talked to regarding the matter, I'm not alone. If you're not sure whether or not you're getting tired of Facebook, here are some major signs that you, like me, are coming down with BOOFS (Burned Out On Facebook Syndrome):

1) Selfie-hating - While it's never good to self-hate, selfie-hating is perfectly understandable, especially on social networking sites like Facebook (or "My Face," as my father ironically calls it). In a study I just concocted in my own noggin, 9 out of 10 people whom post selfies do it to garner attention and positive comments due to insecurity. So, while most of us may not comment on these selfies, if you've reached a point where you're tempted to comment on 9 of every 10 selfies with something like, "Did you ever wash your hair?" or "Are you pregnant or something?" you may have come down with BOOFS, and it may be best to take a break from Facebook as a result.

2) The shortest distance between two pointless statuses is Facebook - Ever read any statuses like this: "I'm about to brush my teeth," "I'm feeling lazy today," "I love eating cereal every morning," or "In and out of the shower in 5 minutes"? Have you reached the point where, whenever you see these statuses, you immediately shake your head and yell out, "Who f*#king cares?" If so, I'm afraid you've come down with BOOFS and you better look far away from Facebook before you start a fight with regard to not caring about what a person does every second of every day.

3) Gag-reflex pics - Let's face it - Americans love their food. We love our food so much, approximately 43.2% of us feel the need to share pictures of what we're about to eat with friends on Facebook before we actually consume the meal. So, if you're a food lover like most of us in this country and you're starting to gag every time you see pictures of meals on Facebook, this is a definite sign of BOOFS and I highly recommend removing yourself from the site for at least three weeks.

4) Drama-edy - Are you like me and have that one Facebook friend whom posts an extremely dramatic, over-the-top, oh-woe-is-me status at least once a week? Did you used to try consoling this "friend" during their hard times and have now reached the point where, when reading their dramatic statuses, you reach for a bag of popcorn, a beer, and start laughing uncontrollably like you had just inhaled your fair share of nitrous oxide? If so, you're either high, drunk, or have come down with BOOFS.

5) Bah-Humbug the Holidays - Are you getting a little tired of hearing "Happy Birthday" from people you haven't seen for 15-20 years? Is it starting to bother you that everyone you know has the best mother and father in the world, so awesome, they'd rather talk about them on Facebook than spend time with them? Does even hearing 424 cyber-friends say "Merry Christmas" make you want to blurt out, "I'm Jewish!" even though you're not? If so, then I'm afraid you've come down with BOOFS, and here's some eggnog for your troubles.

Other possible signs you have BOOFS

- You want to "dislike" a certain person (Facebook stalker) that always seems to like everything you say or post.

- When someone "pokes" you, your first instinct is to look for a "punch back" option.

- Your long-time crush is starting to annoy you to the point where you start asking yourself, "Why did I like him/her again?"

- You've customized a shirt which says, "F*#k Your Farmville Requests!"

- You woke up this morning and thought to yourself, "That's it! I'm going back to MySpace. Wait - is that even around anymore?"

According to a World Net Daily writer, the Ice Bucket Challenge is a Satanic ritual

While I've already written about the potential dangers of the ice bucket challenge, largely due to one's poor health and also alcohol consumption, I've also applauded it for spreading word about a worthy cause and making money to further research about that cause in the process. While I just sent a quiet donation without getting ice-cold water dumped over my head, so long as people are cautious when partaking in it, I have no problem with it. That's much more than can be said about World Net Daily writer Selena Owens, whom recently wrote an article, entitled, "The Dark Side Of The Ice Bucket Challenge." I know, I'm already scared too.

She began her "piece" with this:

"I'm not one to get all crazy about the latest fads, especially ones that call for being doused in frigid ice water. Concerning the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (IBC), I feel that there are more comfortable ways to bring attention to debilitating diseases without going to such extremes, which are more sensationalized than sensible in actually educating people."

I guess that makes sense. She hasn't fallen off her rocker yet. Please, continue...

"Initially, I watched some really funny ice bucket challenges by people who sincerely participated to raise awareness - and money - for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. I cringed when the ice water overtook its subject, and I laughed at the comical responses. And then the craze just didn't stop. Social media blew up with videos of politicians, celebrities, athletes and kindergarteners that got on board with this phenomenon."

Okay, she's not talking crazy yet. Let's get to the good stuff already...

"So I began to think about the IBC: Whose idea was this? Why would people so easily agree to being drenched in icy water? Who participated and who didn't? Why do people feel obligated to take the challenge if offered to them? What's the purpose of calling out three other people to take the challenge? Is there an underlying meaning we are not aware of in taking this challenge, or is it simply crazy summer fun, an innocent passing phenomenon that we'll forget about at the first sight of an autumn leaf?"

Here I thought I was an over-analyzer...

"No doubt that when it comes to culture and making a societal statement, symbolism and messaging is top tier. Entertainers aim to present their message to the masses. We see it in movies, in Super Bowl performances, in the Grammys: In every song or dance, symbolism is the end game. With that in mind, I investigated the phenomenon behind the ALS IBC, and I discovered the IBC to be darker rather than enlightening and quite cultic instead of a lighthearted attempt to understand a debilitating disease.

Let me explain."

Please do...

"Let's begin with the bizarre, rather dark 'drowning accident' of Corey Griffin, the 27-year-old IBC co-founder. Griffin died last month when he left a very successful ALS fundraiser and 'dove off a building at Straight Wharf in Nantucket at 2 a.m. on Aug. 16 and drowned, according to the Boston Globe. 'He floated to the surface [and] then he sank. He did not come up again,' the report says. Corey was pronounced dead at 3 a.m. He had helped raise $100,000 for ALS research on the night of his death.'"

Where is this going exactly? Okay, go on...

"Corey Griffin appeared to be on a path to great achievements: He was a college hockey player, enjoyed a very successful financial career and was a philanthropist who raised money for children in hospitals and his friend stricken with ALS. It confounds me as to why Griffin would take such a risk with his life, especially in the dead of night? Very odd. Very bizarre. Very dark."

Yes, it is typically dark at night (in the U.S. anyway)...

"Such an ill-fated loss, and yet I haven't heard a peep or read anything on a national stage about the unfortunate passing of Corey Griffin besides the post in the Boston Globe. One would think that given all the frenzy of the IBC, participants would flood social media with an outpouring of mourning or hold a vigil or something. But people seem content to film their IBC antics without giving Corey Griffin a fleeting thought. Do they even know he died? Do they even care?"

Allow me to google "Corey Griffin dies." I'll be damned; I received 340,000 results. Please continue...

"I also thought about why people would pour water over their heads. Sometimes the participants drench themselves, but typically someone else is designated to this task. Now I realize that being immersed in ice-cold water is quite a challenge to take, and it would definitely attract attention; I get it. However, I couldn't put my finger on why this didn't feel right to me - then I saw this video on Facebook. In the video, Evangelist Anita Fuentes breaks down an assortment of cryptic and cultic messages hidden in the IBC. It's worth watching to decide for yourself if evil influences and symbolism are embedded within the IBC, or if Fuentes - as well as myself - is looking for ghosts behind every bush and a conspiracy behind every popular fad."

Ah, now we're getting to the crazy, I mean, the good stuff!

"In particular, Fuentes' video depicts the world-renowned cultic queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey, taking the IBC. Winfrey precedes her dousing with the words, 'In the name of ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge. ...' [emphasis mine] Interesting choice of words."

Indeed it was. Wait - why was it interesting again?

"Winfrey's proclamation hit a nerve with me because Christians, myself included, routinely pray and make decrees 'in the name of Jesus.' We specify whom we worship when we invoke prayer in Jesus' name. However, because Oprah mistakenly believes the One True God is jealous of her, and the well-known fact that she denounces Jesus as the only way to God and basically considers herself to be a god, I found this statement to be very cultic in nature."

Ah-ha, now it all makes sense, or something...

"Fuentes also addresses the matter of pouring water over ones head and how that act directly correlates with water baptism and syncs the IBC with the sacred Christian deed of cleansing and purification, albeit, in a sacrilegious manner. She also delves into deep issues of rituals stemming from dark, cultic practices that encompass the IBC and which symbolically place America and Americans in a satanic ritual - with or without their knowledge."

Hmm... What if one "cleanses" themselves via showering on a daily basis?

"Satanic ritual? Yes. Rituals about in 'Christian' America. Whenever spectators watch singers like Beyonce, JayZ, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and especially Nicki Minaj, they are indoctrinated and involved with blatantly satanic rituals that stem from the deep abyss of the occult. Some of these very same artists have taken the ALS IBC. Gaga doesn't utter a word as she baptizes herself, arrayed in a sexy black leotard, sporting black lips, perched in an ornate black chair. Gaga doesn't use a bucket; she instead uses a large silver bowl associated with pagan worship. Do you think she would take the IBC if it didn't meet her pagan criteria? Not a chance."

Speaking of Paganism, how about that Christmas?!? Anyway, are we almost done yet? Please?

"The ALS IBC is ritualistic in nature. People are chosen to undergo a form of water baptism with cultic god Oprah leading the charge 'in the name of ALS.' The Bible is clear: 'You shall have no other gods before me' (Exodus 20:3). Oprah is a god to millions of Americans, and those who follow her doctrine and antics have tossed Jesus off the throne of their hearts - perhaps not intentionally ... or perhaps so. Yet by following her seemingly innocent IBC decree, knowingly or not, they have cast Jesus off symbolically."

Yes, and those whom follow Selena Owens' doctrine have tossed sanity "off the throne of their hearts" (whatever that is)...

"What about the money? The foundation raised over $94 million in one month, stupendously exceeding the $1.5 million it raised last year. And it continues to rake in approximately $9 per day. There are concerns about ALS using embryonic stem-cell methods, and the organization is not very clear on which research it will conduct and how any of that translates into advances to combat or cure ALS. This has left some people feeling misused or duped into participating with the IBC."

I have a feeling Ms. Owens was "duped" long before the ice bucket challenge rolled into town... Alright, Selena, let's end this "piece" with a bang!

"Here's a challenge: Follow Jesus, not the masses."

:: a well deserved slow clap ::

I'm sorry, but she deserved that. Selena Owens finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Because of her, we now know the truth, and the truth is that the devil looks an awful lot like Oprah Winfrey, millions of people are being led astray of Jesus and are now worshiping either a bucket or a disease for which they're trying to raise money, oh, and it's dark at night. Thank you, Selena Owens. I can now finally say, "I get it."

Speaking of "get," would someone please get Ms. Owens to a mental health facility? The voices in her head say thanks...

Dope of the Week: North Carolina House Republican Robert Pittenger

If there's one thing the Republican Party likes to do, it's make asinine comparisons concerning the LGBT community. Some have compared it to: Polygamy, beastiality, pedophilia, alcoholism, drug addiction, and the list continues.

Just recently, North Carolina House Republican Robert Pittenger decided to make an addition to that ever growing list of nonsense, as he said the following at a town hall near Charlotte with regard to his belief that companies should have the right to fire or refuse to hire someone because they're gay:

"You need to respect the autonomy of somebody running their business. It's like smoking bans. Do you ban smoking or do people have the right to private property? I think people have the right to private property. In public spaces, absolutely, we can have smoking bans. But we don't want to micromanage people's lives and businesses. If you have a business, do you want the government to come in and tell you you need to hire somebody? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?"

It should also be noted that despite the fact North Carolina is one of 29 states where it's legal to fire a person due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, Pittenger ignorantly stated, "I believe people are already protected."

So, not only does Pittenger appear to be confused about laws in North Carolina, but he also appears to be perplexed on how to make a reasonable comparison.

Smoking is not an innate trait of a person. It's a harmful act or habit. Homosexuality, meanwhile, is an innate trait, much like gender or race. Also, while smoking in a work environment around others can do significant damage to others' health, a homosexual going about his or her work won't carry with it those same risks to other employees. So, Mr. Pittenger's argument is ridiculous on multiple levels. I also find it highly ironic that he finished his poor excuse for a tangent with, "...Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?" Due to the surrounding context of his quote, what Pittenger is really saying is, "Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy by denying the freedoms of others?"

Due to his logic (or lack there of), expect Robert Pittenger to make the following similar comparisons in the future:

Comparison #1

"If bosses don't want to hire them black people or Mexicans, then so be it. It's like if these very companies wanted to allow their employees to do several shots of whiskey while at work, then that's their choice, you know? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?"

Comparison #2

"If a guy doesn't want to hire a woman for whatever reason, he should be allowed to do so. It's like, if this boss allowed for people to bring in guns and shoot around the room during their lunch break, that's cool too. Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?"

Yeah, rumor has it Robert Pittenger once told his wife, "Honey, I love you. I love everything about you. I love who you are, you know? I love you so much, if you came in for a job interview, I'd probably reject you for who you are, because no government of mine is going to impose on my freedom to deny you your freedom!"

He's so sweet...

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson gets "gay" (happy) talking about gays

Remember when Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson was interviewed by GQ magazine and how well that went? Well, the man with fewer brain cells than a drunken pirate has fingers has decided to go "gay" over gays yet again when he recently spoke on the radio with Family Research Council's Tony Perkins about the subject. In this very discussion, Robertson let his wisdom be known with the following quotes:

- "Do you think it's a coincidence that all of these debilitating - literally that can cause death - diseases follow that kind of conduct?"

- "God says, 'One woman, one man,' and everyone says, 'Oh, that's old hat, that's that old Bible stuff. But I'm thinking, well let's see now. A clean guy - a disease-free guy and a disease-free woman - they marry and they keep their sex between the two of them. They're not going to get chlamydia, and gonorrhea, and syphilis, and AIDS. It's safe."

- "Either it's the wildest coincidence ever that horrible diseases follow immoral conduct, or, it's God saying, 'There's a penalty for that kind of conduct.' I'm leaning towards there's a penalty for it."

First off, Mr. Robertson may want to read the Bible again, for there are many "Biblical" marriages other than just one man, one woman, as he contends.

1) Polygamous Marriage - the most common form of marriage in the Bible (one man and many women)

2) Levirate Marriage - can be found in Genesis 38:6-10

3) A man, a woman and her property - a female slave - can be found in Genesis 16:1-6 and Genesis 30:4-5

4) A man, one or more wives, and some concubines - can be found in Judges 19:1-30

5) A male soldier and a female prisoner of war - can be found in Deuteronomy 21:11-14

6) A male rapist and his victim - can be found in Deuteronomy 22:28-29

7) A male and female slave

8) Monogamous, heterosexual marriage

So, congratulations, Mr. Robertson - you've correctly listed one of at least eight different types of Biblical marriages. For that, you will receive a 12.5% grade, or an "F."

Secondly, if Robertson were speaking about "debilitating" conditions in general, then what "conduct" warranted people contracting: Different kinds of cancer, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, etc.? Especially in children? If a friend or family member of his contracted a fatal form of cancer, would he seriously look the person in the eyes and say, "Well, I don't know what to tell you, but you must have done served God wrong, you know what I'm saying? I'm here for and love ya, but you musta pissed God off somehow"? I highly doubt it.

Lastly, if Robertson was only speaking about sexually-transmitted diseases, he'd be wrong there as well. A cousin of mine contracted AIDS with an apparently unclean needle which was used on her for treatment while in Africa. Sadly, she's not the only one whom has had to endure such an experience.

"Either it's the wildest coincidence ever that horrible diseases follow immoral conduct, or, it's God saying, 'There's a penalty for that kind of conduct.' I'm leaning towards there's a penalty for it."

It must be the wildest coincidence ever that whenever Phil Robertson speaks, regular listeners' IQs drop 5 points, including his own, and non-regular listeners simultaneously reach for some Excedrin.

Enough with the double-standards regarding sexual assault!

Over the past several weeks and months, I can't tell you how many times I've read or heard stories which focused on female victims of sexual assault needing to take more responsibility to prevent these crimes from taking place, and frankly, I'm sick of it.

Why, so often, do people place the full weight of responsibility on the shoulders of sexual assault victims, as opposed to the actual perpetrators of the sexual assaults?

Almost every time I hear people talking about such situations, they mention one or more of the following:

- "She shouldn't have been wearing something so revealing. She was kind of asking for it."

- "She should have known better than to have drank so much at that party. That was pretty stupid."

- "She should have come prepared, brought some Mace, a gun, or something."

- "She should have brought some friends along that she fully trusted."

- "She shouldn't have flirted with/been so nice to the guy. What was he supposed to think?"

- "She shouldn't have gone to the bathroom by herself. Everyone knows that."

The list seems to be never-ending...

According to these victim-blamers, women must: Dress like they starred on the show Little House on the Prairie, not drink any alcohol, bring bodyguards who follow them around like stalkers, carry a loaded firearm, and act like mimes when interacting with men. If they slip up in any one of these areas (or others) and get sexually assaulted, then apparently it's their fault. Why doesn't any of the responsibility fall on men's shoulders in these situations? Do men get excused from such disgusting and criminal behavior because it's somehow a scientific fact that men are "big, stupid, simple creatures that don't know right from wrong and can't handle any kind of responsibility"?

"She should have known better than to have drank at that party. That was pretty stupid."

How about this? If a man knows he gets violent and stupid when he consumes alcohol, he shouldn't drink, and whether or not a man drinks, that gives him absolutely no reason to sexually assault a woman - regardless of what she wears, who she's with, how much she's drank, or how she interacts with him. No matter what the location or occasion, a man can never be excused for sexually assaulting a woman. Period.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Radio show host Scott Ferrall (and others) makes bone-headed comments about Ray Rice's wife

On my way home last night, I was both curious to hear what talk radio had to say about the extended version of the Ray Rice tape and also about the Monday night football games. I stumbled across this show called On the Bench, hosted by Scott Ferrall, who went on at length about the Ray Rice tape and about the situation in general.

While Ferrall heavily bashed Rice, he also criticized his wife, Janay Rice, quite a bit as well. At one point during an interview, he went on this seemingly never-ending tangent, where he repeatedly called Janay a liar, as well as stupid, saying, "What woman in her right mind would want to marry and stay with a man like that? I'll never understand that. She's obviously stupid. I don't get it. I mean, I know some women who hold grudges over the smallest of things for 20 years, yet this woman gets punched in the face and stays with the guy? Acts like it's no big deal? No other woman would do something like that. What is wrong with her?" (paraphrasing...)

Sadly, Mr. Ferrall isn't the only one who feels this way. While many people appear to initially feel sorry for the abused, there's a definite limit to this sympathy, and if the victim stays with the "abuser," that sympathy all but vanishes.

A 2008 report conducted by the National Resource Center on domestic violence illustrated just this, as it said:

"The view that leaving is the answer to domestic violence is so strong that it has become the standard by which victims are judged. Leave and you are worthy of the full range of services and protection. Stay and the resources may be limited."

While, on the surface, it may be incredibly difficult for most people to fully understand why a woman would stay with a man whom abused her, the situations are often times far more complicated than they appear and we'd be much better off blaming the abusers for their actions and attempting to get them the treatment they need to improve in that area of their lives, as opposed to blaming the victims.

Chai Jindasurat, programs coordinator for the Anti-Violence project, agrees, as he recently told ThinkProgress the following:

"When we solely focus on whether a survivor stays with or leaves their abusive partner, we place all the responsibility on the survivor rather than holding an abusive partner accountable. Intimate partner violence is about power and control, and leaving can be an extremely dangerous and frightening situation."

Sadly, there are many reasons why a person may stay with an abusive partner:

1) Children

2) Financial dependence

3) Fear of endangering themselves further by leaving

4) Feeling they deserve the poor treatment (a cycle of abuse through past relationships)

5) Love/Wanting to feel the person can change

The fact of the matter is the only two people whom know all of the details regarding their situation are Ray and Janay Rice. While outsiders can speculate all they'd like, Janay Rice has decided to stand by her husband. I only hope her husband Ray receives the help he needs for the betterment of his own health and well-being, as well as his wife's and the rest of his family's. I sincerely hope this was a one-time occurrence and Janay Rice is never subjected to that kind of violence again. In any case, from this point forward, I hope that whenever a person stands by their abusive partner, Scott Ferrall and the like don't ask, "How stupid does a person have to be to stick with an abuser?" and instead ask, as the National Network to End Domestic Violence noted on their site, "Why does the abuser choose to abuse?"

Clayton Kershaw should win the National League MVP

While many baseball analysts have argued over the past several weeks whether or not Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw should win the National League MVP, I'll decide for them - yes, he should.

The main argument against a pitcher winning the Most Valuable Player award is the fact he plays in roughly 25% of the team's games. The Los Angeles Dodgers are 82-62 on the season, which places them 3.5 games up on San Francisco in the NL West and one game up on Washington for home-field advantage in the playoffs. Clayton Kershaw is 18-3 this season (.857). The Dodgers are 20-4 in games he's started (.833), and 17-1 since June 2nd (.944). Los Angeles is just 62-58 (.517) in games Kershaw doesn't start. The .517 winning percentage would place the team 5th in the National League (behind Washington, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh), and force them to play Pittsburgh in a 1-game playoff, the winner heading to Washington to take on the Nationals.

So much for that argument then, right? Now onto Kershaw's insane statistics. In my lifetime, at least, I can't remember a pitcher being so dominant in a season.

Record: 18-3 (.857) - ranked 1st in the MLB in wins

ERA: 1.67 - ranked 1st (2nd is 2.09)

WHIP: 0.82 - ranked 1st (2nd is 0.92)

WAR: 7.5 - ranked 1st (2nd is 6.8)

K: 210 - ranked 7th

K/9: 10.66 - ranked 2nd

Complete games: 6 - ranked 1st

Shutouts: 2 - ranked 2nd

Quality start percentage: 92% - ranked 1st

If those numbers aren't crazy enough, Kershaw struggled in his first few starts this season. Since June 2nd, the Dodger ace has pitched 142 innings, has allowed just 19 earned runs, has struck out 164, walked only 20, and has an ERA of 1.20. The Dodgers are 17-1 in those starts (.944).

No matter how one wants to cut it, whether one wants to use the label best pitcher, best player, or Most Valuable Player, Clayton Kershaw is it, and at the end of the season, not only should he win the National League Cy Young award, but also the National League MVP award. Without him, the Dodgers have been a slightly above-average team. With him, they're currently on pace to have home-field advantage in the playoffs. If that's not proof enough that Kershaw is the MVP, I don't know what is...

Week 2 NFL Predictions

Game: Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Pick: Pittsburgh - Before yesterday, I would have gone with the Ravens at home. However, after the extended Ray Rice video emerged, the league suspended him indefinitely, and the team terminated his contract, I have a difficult time seeing Baltimore being fully prepared and focused for this big inner-division battle on Thursday night. While Pittsburgh's late (near) collapse against Cleveland worries me some, I'm going to have to give them the slight edge in this one. I'll take the Steelers by 4.

Result: Baltimore 26 Pittsburgh 6

Record: 0-1

Game: Miami at Buffalo

Pick: Buffalo - With Miami playing New England and Buffalo traveling to Chicago last week, who would have guessed both teams would be 1-0 heading into this AFC East match-up? While I was highly impressed by Miami's second-half performance against the Patriots, I think Buffalo's solid defense will give Ryan Tannehill fits and the Bills offense will do just enough to prevail in the end. I'll go with Buffalo by a field goal.

Result: Buffalo 29 Miami 10

Record: 1-1

Game: Jacksonville at Washington

Pick: Washington - With how Washington played last year and how they performed against Houston this past weekend, I'm having a hard time picking them. However, they are at home against Jacksonville, so if they can't win this game, they might as well throw in the towels, because they'll then find it to be quite the daunting task to win any game this season. If they lose this game, owner Daniel Snyder may wind up changing the team's name - not due to offending Native Americans, but due to offending he and the rest of the team's fans. In any case, I guess I'll take Washington by a touchdown.

Result: Washington 41 Jacksonville 10

Record: 2-1

Game: Dallas at Tennessee

Pick: Dallas - Even after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead on Sunday, Tennessee is a mystery team to me, whereas Dallas has been a .500 team for as long as I can remember. With their putrid first-half performance against San Francisco on Sunday, expect for Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense to bounce back and even the team's record (yet again). I'll go with Dallas by a touchdown.

Result: Dallas 26 Tennessee 10

Record: 3-1

Game: Arizona at NY Giants

Pick: Arizona - History would dictate that this isn't a wise pick. West coast teams have historically done very poorly when having to travel to the other coast. However, even if Arizona's offense struggles, their defense should still have a field day with the New York Giants offense - their offensive line and Eli Manning in particular. If Eli and head coach Tom Coughlin were frustrated by the Detroit Lions pressure on Monday night, they haven't seen anything yet. I'll take the Cardinals by 4.

Result: Arizona 25 NY Giants 14

Record: 4-1

Game: New England at Minnesota

Pick: New England - If I were just going by what I saw this past weekend, I'd take the Vikings in this one, without any hesitation. However, with history being my guide, I have a very difficult time seeing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady starting this season 0-2 while playing Miami and Minnesota. Expect a big bounce-back game for the Patriots, but for the Vikings to keep things close until the end. I'll go with New England by a touchdown. Update: With Adrian Peterson being listed as inactive, I expect the Patriots to win by at least ten.

Result: New England 30 Minnesota 7

Record: 5-1

Game: New Orleans at Cleveland

Pick: New Orleans - These past 2-3 years, it's seemed as if the Saints are a completely different team on the road than they are at home. While their offense still scores points, it's as if their defense forgets how to tackle (or cover, or do much of anything). Even so, I have a difficult time seeing Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns offense, void of Josh Gordon, keeping up with the New Orleans Saints offense. I'll take the Saints by a touchdown.

Result: Cleveland 26 New Orleans 24

Record: 5-2

Game: Atlanta at Cincinnati

Pick: Cincinnati - Kudos to the Atlanta Falcons for their big inner-division win against New Orleans on Sunday. However, reality to the Atlanta Falcons - the Cincinnati Bengals defense is twenty times better than the Saints defense, and at home, expect for Matt Ryan to get pressured and roughed up quite a bit. I'll take the Bengals by 7.

Result: Cincinnati 24 Atlanta 10

Record: 6-2

Game: Detroit at Carolina

Pick: Detroit - This was one of the two most difficult picks for me to make. With Cam Newton likely coming back for the Panthers this coming Sunday, though, I have to believe the Lions #1 priority will be to get pressure on the quarterback, hit him early and often, and see just how healthy he really is. Chances are the Panthers coaching staff will want Newton to be fairly careful when on the field, so he may be limited in his running, which could very well limit the Panthers offense. So long as Matthew Stafford doesn't get too careless with the football as he does sometimes, I like for the Lions to win this tough road game by 4.

Result: Carolina 24 Detroit 7

Record: 6-3

Game: St. Louis at Tampa Bay

Pick: Tampa Bay - The quarterback situation in St. Louis is so iffy at this point in time, I'm not sure I'd be able to pick them against anyone other than Jacksonville right now. With the game on the road against an improved Tampa Bay squad, I will reluctantly go with the Bucs by a touchdown.

Result: St. Louis 19 Tampa Bay 17

Record: 6-4

Game: Seattle at San Diego

Pick: Seattle - This could be a tricky game for the Seattle Seahawks. While they're almost guaranteed 7 or 8 wins at home this year, they haven't been nearly as dominant on the road in recent years, and with San Diego losing a heart-breaker to Arizona on Monday, they'll feel an extra sense of urgency to win this one at home and prevent themselves from starting the season at 0-2. However, even in saying all of that, I'm going to have trouble picking against the Seahawks. Not only does their defense look just as dominant (if not more dominant) as it was last year, but their offense appears to have improved as well. San Diego-urgency or not, I like Seattle to win by 7.

Result: San Diego 30 Seattle 21

Record: 6-5

Game: Houston at Oakland

Pick: Houston - For as well as Houston's defense handled Robert Griffin III on Sunday, I have to believe they'll be ready to handle rookie quarterback Derek Carr this coming weekend. Houston's offense may be nothing to marvel about just yet, but for as solid as their defense is, it's not going to matter, through the first two weeks of the season anyway. I'll take Houston by 4.

Result: Houston 30 Oakland 14

Record: 7-5

Game: NY Jets at Green Bay

Pick: Green Bay - Let me think about this for a moment here... Aaron Rodgers playing at home, needing a win to prevent his Green Bay Packers from starting the season 0-2, against second-year quarterback Geno Smith, whom I like to refer to as Mr. Inconsistent? I'll take Rodgers and the Packers by 10.

Result: Green Bay 31 NY Jets 24

Record: 8-5

Game: Kansas City at Denver

Pick: Denver - For as awful as the Chiefs played at home against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, I have an extremely difficult time seeing them even compete with the Denver Broncos for four quarters, let alone win the game. I'll take Denver by two touchdowns.

Result: Denver 24 Kansas City 17

Record: 9-5

Game: Chicago at San Francisco

Pick: San Francisco - In addition to playing at home, I simply like how San Francisco's versatile offense matches up with Chicago's mediocre defense (to be kind) better than Chicago's skilled, but inconsistent offense (thanks, Jay Cutler) matches up with the hard-nosed 49ers defense. Expect Chicago to make a game of it, but for the Niners to prevail in the end by a field goal.

Result: Chicago 28 San Francisco 20

Record: 9-6

Game: Philadelphia at Indianapolis

Pick: Philadelphia - Along with Detroit/Carolina, this was the other game I had the most trouble picking. Even with the game at home and Andrew Luck seeming to excel late in games, I have to give the edge to the balanced Philadelphia Eagles offense, especially since Nick Foles won't have to deal with Robert Mathis. Until the Colts find some semblance of a running game or a defense, I have a hard time seeing them as an "elite"-caliber team.

Result: Philadelphia 30 Indianapolis 27

Record: 10-6

Week 2 Record:10-6 (.625)

Overall Record: 21-11 (.656)