Monday, October 5, 2015

Brilliant analogy courtesy of Facebook

Typically when I comment about Facebook memes, it's because they're lacking in accuracy, have gone viral, and I feel the need to fact-check them. The polar opposite was true of a recent such post I read, which I felt was so brilliant, I needed to share it.

It was posted in light of the recent mass shooting in Oregon, and while he claims the original post was not his quote, writer William Hamby ( previously wrote something very similar to it:

"Or, hey, how about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion -- mandatory 48-hr waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what he's about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence, an ultrasound wand up the ass (just because). Let's close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun.

It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than with women and health care, right? I mean, no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

If they win the election, the GOP promises a permanent government shutdown

While it's quite common for presidential nominees to make promises to their constituents about what they'll do if elected to office, the Republican Party has decided to go a different route. In a statement released by the Republican National Committee (RNC) yesterday, the party promised that, if their nominee is elected president, they'll permanently shut down the federal government.

In the statement, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said this:

"If we win the next election, it's going to be a historic victory. Why is this you might ask? What is it Democrats always tell people? 'We're going to try to get things done to improve people's lives and in essence prove the government can be the source for some good and blah blah blah,' right? What is it us Republicans always say? 'Government can't be trusted; it's evil; it's pretty much worthless,' right? Yet when Republicans get elected to office, they still try to get things done on occasion, and if you really think about it, that's not consistent with our ideals. So, if the GOP nominee gets elected this coming election, our promise to the American people is this: we will permanently shut down the federal government. Our stance has been that the government sucks and is good for nothing, so if you elect our candidate, we're going to prove that to you by permanently shutting this whole operation down. Sure, Democrats want to show you what we can do as a government to make your lives better, but Republicans want to show you what we can't do to make your lives worse. What do you really want, America? Hope that things can get better, only for there to be a chance those dreams will be destroyed right before your very eyes, or to be told life sucks, and for that fate to be all but inevitable? Vote for us, America, and we'll prove to you the government is worthless, because we'll be the ones running it! God bless you and God bless the greatest country in the history of the world, the United States of America!"

Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has since responded to the RNC's statement, saying, "Thanks, Reince; I couldn't have said it better myself!"

Lack of vacation days leads to another government shutdown

Two years after Ted Cruz and the his fellow Republicans shut down the federal government in an attempt to take away millions of people's healthcare and just days following their attempt to shut down the government in an attempt to transform women into stepford wives across the country, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he and the rest of the GOP will in fact be shutting the government down again, but for a different reason:

"We're old, we're tired, and we need a seriously long vacation. Look, people don't realize how hard it is to work 130 days a year for $174,000, as opposed to 250 days a year for $50,000. We work about 30-35% of the year and, in my opinion, that's 20-25% too much. I can understand why some people might get upset at us for this, like last time, when we cost the country $20 billion or so, but we're not the ones they should be upset about; it's those low-income moochers off the government and the hard-working taxpayers. I mean, these moochers get, on average, $130 a month in food stamps. That's over $1,500 a year! Us in Congress? We make that in about one working day, in the third of the year we actually do work! So, come on, people, who are you going to get mad at, the working poor mooching $1,500 a year off you or Congresspeople, who take over 200 days off work per year, and make that kind of money in a single day on the job? That's what I thought! It's like my buddy Rand Paul once said, 'The harder you work, the more money you make,' and the people in Congress, with our $174,000 salaries, working 130 days a year, are direct proof of that!"

Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke out loudly against the shutdown, saying, "Those lazy scum-sucking bastards! I'm so angry right now! Who are the biggest moochers? They are! Those motherf**king pieces of sh*t! F**k them!"

Following Senator Warren's tirade, Republican Iowa Representative Steve King had this to say:

"Those words by Senator Warren were uncalled for. I think this shutdown happened because of the profanity she used and God punishing our country as a result. Elizabeth may have said those words after the shutdown started, but whatever... Tomato, potato..."

Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) shows off the worst, most misleading chart in history

The Christian right's growing problem of lying about Planned Parenthood continued on Tuesday morning, as the Republican-led Congress continued their witch-hunt on the family planning organization by holding a hearing with its president, Cecile Richards.

During the hearing, Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz showed and described a chart to Ms. Richards, which was titled, "Planned Parenthood Federation of America: Abortions Up - Life-Saving Procedures Down." Before writing more about this chart, I'll allow you to look at it for yourselves:

The x-axis shows the years between 2006 and 2013, while the y-axis shows the number of cancer screenings & prevention services as well as the number of abortions. As you can see, Mr. Chaffetz's chart started out fairly accurate, as it clearly showed that in 2006, cancer screenings & prevention services (2,007,371) were much more prevalent among Planned Parenthood's services than abortions (289,750). However, that was the beginning and the end as far as accuracy was concerned. The chart then fast-forwarded from 2006 to 2013, where it showed abortions, via the red line and arrow, being much more frequent than cancer screenings & prevention services (via the pink line and arrow). The problem being, in 2013, there were 327,000 abortions and 935,573 cancer screenings & prevention services. So while Mr. Chaffetz is correct that abortions have increased and cancer screenings & prevention services have decreased, Planned Parenthood still performed over 600,000 more cancer screenings & prevention services than abortions, so the chart is, as kids nowadays would call it, an epic fail. According to Representative Chaffetz, if a number increases from year 1 to year 2, it's inevitably greater than a number which decreases from year 1 to year 2. Based on that logic, expect Chaffetz to utter the following ridiculous lines in the future (if he hasn't already):

- "While my age has increased, my weight has decreased, so I'm older than I weight."

- "There are more teams than ever in pro football, but there are fewer players as well. It's quite something that we have more teams than players now."

- "I see that the temperature in Antarctica rose today from yesterday and the temperature in the Middle East went down today from yesterday. Seriously? It's warmer in Antarctica than in the Middle East? What's going on here?"

- "Those penis enlargement pills are really working. My wife's even impressed by my size! Shaquille O'Neal, as he's getting older, seems to be shrinking. Never did I think I'd be able to say my penis is bigger than Shaquille O'Neal!"

- "How is it my shoe size grew, and based on my latest test, my IQ shrank? It's really depressing to think my shoes are a bigger number than my IQ!"

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

About those Facebook statuses...

I'll be the first to admit that I've been suffering from Facebook Burnout Syndrome (FBS) over the past year or so, and if it weren't for the fact the site allows me to keep in touch with out-of-state friends and family, I would probably have closed my account several months ago. Even before FBS set in, however, there were a number of statuses which annoyed me, and I thought I'd spend some time poking fun at them (I know I'm not alone here...). Here they are:

1) I need some vag-ueh prayers-uh! Can I hear an ame-hen?!? - While I'm not a religious person and don't spend much (any) time praying, I understand a lot of people are religious and do believe in the power of prayer, and that's fine. However, I can't for the life of me understand these statuses which say something along the lines of, "I know someone who's going through some hard times and is need of some prayers! I won't name any names, whether or not they actually exist, what the problem is, or anything specific, but please pray for them!" How is this prayer supposed to go then? "Oh God, a friend of a friend's brother's cousin's next door-neighbor's mother's sister's old senior prom date told me that someone out there needs a prayer. I'm not sure who this person is, how old they are, where they live, what the situation is, or anything of the sort, but I sincerely want to pray for him, her, it, or whatever, that they get through whatever this is, and all of that good stuff. Thank you, oh God, lord, Jesus. Amen." If God isn't omniscient, he's likely responding to such prayers by saying, "What the hell are they talking about?" How about even the slightest bit of direction with these posts? Please?

2) That's it; I'm leaving Facebook and there's nothing you can do about it! - Drama much? If this person was entirely serious, why don't they message their closest friends on the site to inform them, exchange contact information so they can stay in touch, and be done with it? This has attention-seeker written all over it. What they want are numerous responses such as this: "Oh no! Don't go! We'll miss you!," "Facebook just won't be the same without you!," "I'm crying already just thinking about it!," and "Who am I going to cyber with now?"

3) "I'm like so over you..." - The sources of these statuses seem to neglect the fact they're counterproductive. If Person A is truly over Person B, Person A won't feel the need to tell the world they're over Person B via social media. The fact they felt the need to do this proves they're not actually over Person B. What could be going through these individuals' minds at the point of the post? "I'm like so over him. I'm obviously thinking about him right now, but am so so so very over him. I'm so over him, I'm constantly thinking about being over him, so I'm constantly thinking about him, and I'm going to prove to everyone I'm both constantly thinking about him and over him by posting how over him I am on Facebook! Like totally!" Like totally not...

4) I'm about to eat this! - Why do some feel the need to share EVERYTHING about their lives? I've noticed this growing trend where people share pictures of what they're about to eat. What are they trying to do exactly? Brag to friends about a dish they're about to consume while said dish gets cold as they brag about it? Try to show the world they eat healthy at times while they secretly stuff their faces full with potato chips and ice cream? Pretend they've discovered something profound ("Look everybody - a hamburger!")? Maybe it's just me, but when I'm hungry and I see food I either cooked or have been served, the last thing on my mind is, "I know what I should do; take a picture of what I'm about to devour here shortly, all the while my tummy grumbles and tells me to put my damn phone down!"

5) The greatest in the world! - Maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned when it comes to relationships, but when it comes to romance, I tend to like my privacy, and would rather show the woman I'm with how much she means to me (and vice versa) than to tell all my Facebook friends about it. I can't tell you how many times per week I see these types of statuses: "My husband is the greatest! He made me pancakes this morning!," "I'm the luckiest man in the world. My wife is simply the best! Thanks for everything, hun," "My boyfriend is the sweetest boyfriend ever!," and "My girlfriend is the hottest piece of ass! Damn!" Why, instead of expressing such things electronically to friends, family, and acquaintances, express them to the person face-to-face? When a person seems to constantly post how great their relationship is, it leads me to believe, as a drunken Shakespeare might say, "There's something rotten in the state of Denver."

6) A selfie a day kept the Facebook demons away - This is attention-seeking at its finest. While I could understand a person taking a picture of themselves after they made a significant change in their appearance, whether it be losing weight, altering their hairstyle, or getting the Oregon State Beavers logo tattooed on their lower abdomen, I have trouble understanding the need to post selfies every single day. All it says to me is: Monday - "Hey, look at me!," Tuesday - "Hey, look at me again!," Wednesday - "Did you forget about me? Look! I said look!," Thursday - "Look! Look! Look!," Friday - "Have you looked yet? Have you? Have you? This is your fifth opportunity of the week!," Saturday - "The weekend's here! Start it off right by looking at me!," and Sunday - "After you're done praying in church, look at me!" No thanks. Once was enough...

7) This is probably a hoax, but I'm going to share it just to be safe, and to look like an idiot in the process - Whether it be a Facebook hoax which has been debunked countless times, an Obama conspiracy theory which has been debunked even more times, or a silly chain letter, I see these posts in my newsfeed at least once a week. The following words almost always precede the article: "I don't know if this is true or not, but it's better to be safe than sorry." I want to respond, "It's better to fact-check than sound like an idiot," but I'm afraid they wouldn't understand my point. Just this past week, a Facebook hoax which was debunked in 2009 and 2012 again made its presence felt on the site, only to be debunked for a third time. When people post the same debunked hoax three times, I want to bust out my edited Bushisms-reciting doll, which would say, "Fool me thrice, shame on, shame on you. Fool me, you can't get fooled again! Heh heh heh heh heh heh."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"A turnover machine"

While watching ESPN's Monday Night Countdown last night, I couldn't help but notice the negative trend of comments regarding Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Michael Vick. According to these commentators, Vick's middle name might as well be Mr. Turnover. Cris Carter even called him a "turnover machine." Having researched these numbers previously, I thought I'd re-examine the analysts' claims. Here's what I found... For current starting quarterbacks who have played at least 30 games (including Jay Cutler and Drew Brees, who will be back in the next week or two from injury), here's how their turnover numbers stack up (all stats courtesy of

1) Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay): 57 INTs, 17 lost fumbles in 113 games = 0.65 to/gm

2) Russell Wilson (Seattle): 28 INTs, 8 lost fumbles in 51 games = 0.71 to/gm

3) Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco): 25 INTs, 12 lost fumbles in 51 games = 0.73 to/gm

4) Tom Brady (New England): 143 INTs, 41 lost fumbles in 212 games = 0.87 to/gm

5) Nick Foles (St. Louis): 18 INTs, 10 lost fumbles in 31 games = 0.90 to/gm

5) Alex Smith (Kansas City): 79 INTs, 23 lost fumbles in 113 games = 0.90 to/gm

7) Michael Vick (Pittsburgh): 87 INTs, 43 lost fumbles in 140 games = 0.93 to/gm

8) Matt Ryan (Atlanta): 93 INTs, 17 lost fumbles in 113 games = 0.97 to/gm

9) Joe Flacco (Baltimore): 94 INTs, 20 lost fumbles in 115 games = 0.99 to/gm

10) Peyton Manning (Denver): 237 INTs, 28 lost fumbles in 259 games = 1.02 to/gm

11) Cam Newton (Carolina): 56 INTs, 11 lost fumbles in 65 games = 1.03 to/gm

12) Sam Bradford (Philadelphia): 42 INTs, 12 lost fumbles in 52 games = 1.04 to/gm

13) Brandon Weeden (Dallas): 29 INTs, 3 lost fumbles in 30 games = 1.07 to/gm

14) Philip Rivers (San Diego): 126 INTs, 37 lost fumbles in 151 games = 1.08 to/gm

15) Drew Brees (New Orleans): 196 INTs, 33 lost fumbles in 204 games = 1.12 to/gm

15) Ryan Tannehill (Miami): 45 INTs, 12 lost fumbles in 51 games = 1.12 to/gm

17) Josh McCown (Cleveland): 60 INTs, 20 lost fumbles in 71 games = 1.13 to/gm

18) Andy Dalton (Cincinnati): 67 INTs, 12 lost fumbles in 67 games = 1.18 to/gm

19) Andrew Luck (Indianapolis): 50 INTs, 14 lost fumbles in 51 games = 1.25 to/gm

19) Carson Palmer (Arizona): 157 INTs, 27 lost fumbles in 147 games = 1.25 to/gm

21) Ryan Fitzpatrick (NY Jets): 106 INTs, 24 lost fumbles in 100 games = 1.30 to/gm

21) Eli Manning (NY Giants): 185 INTs, 39 lost fumbles in 172 games = 1.30 to/gm

23) Matthew Stafford (Detroit): 90 INTs, 15 lost fumbles in 80 games = 1.31 to/gm

24) Jay Cutler (Chicago): 132 INTs, 31 lost fumbles in 121 games = 1.35 to/gm

25) Kirk Cousins (Washington): 23 INTs, 4 lost fumbles in 17 games = 1.59 to/gm

Here are the turnover stats for the seven starting quarterbacks who have played in fewer than 30 games in their NFL careers to this point:

1) Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo): 5 INTs, 0 lost fumbles in 17 games = 0.29 to/gm

2) Ryan Mallett (Houston): 5 INTs, 0 lost fumbles in 10 games = 0.50 to/gm

3) Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota): 14 INTs, 0 lost fumbles in 16 games = 0.88 to/gm

4) Derek Carr (Oakland): 13 INTs, 4 lost fumbles in 19 games = 0.89 to/gm

5) Blake Bortles (Jacksonville): 20 INTs, 1 lost fumble in 17 games = 1.24 to/gm

6) Marcus Mariota (Tennessee): 2 INTs, 2 lost fumbles in 3 games = 1.33 to/gm

6) Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay): 3 INTs, 1 lost fumble in 3 games = 1.33 to/gm

So, there you have it; of the 25 current starting quarterbacks who have played in at least 30 NFL games, Michael Vick has turned the ball over the 7th fewest, behind only: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady, Nick Foles, and Alex Smith. If Cris Carter and company want to label any NFL quarterback as a "turnover machine," they may want to direct their attention to one of the following names: Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler, and more than any other, Kirk Cousins.

World Teachers' Day

World Teacher Day

Walking the fine line between not enough information and too much

A little over a month ago, on August 24th, I posted this blog in reference to my friend, whom had just recently passed ((

"It's very sad for me to report that I lost a friend over the weekend. As I'm sure is common amongst a majority of people, whenever someone I know passes on, I start reflecting on my own life and life in general.

My friend, Gary, led quite a life. Having fun seemed to be easy for him throughout most of his 64 years, but then when he was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago and given 6 months to live, he proved time and time again he was the ultimate fighter too. Throughout it all, he continued to live life on his terms, much to the dismay of his doctors, for if he was going to die, he was going to die with a smile on his face. While I probably wouldn't advise people with a similar condition to do this, my friend wasn't about following rules; he was about simultaneously defying odds and enjoying himself as much as life would allow him. Through this, he inspired me and earned my utmost respect.

I think one reason I felt a special connection with Gary, who was 30 years older than myself, is because we'd both continually overcome health obstacles throughout our lives, and no matter what the doctors told us with regard to our odds or the seemingly endless negative possibilities, we refused to back down. When I was sick throughout 2009 and 2010, bounced around like a pinball between clinics in Columbus and Cleveland, I was told the mystery condition could be permanent, could be multiple sclerosis, could result in me needing my legs amputated. I was like a vegetable most days, where I couldn't drive, couldn't work, could hardly even walk, yet I refused to give up the fight, and one big reason for that was Gary. Even though his smile, laugh, words, and demeanor might have suggested otherwise, he was a fighter through and through, and greatly inspired me to not give up either. Now, whenever life throws another health obstacle my way, I simply look to Gary to provide me a sense of hope and encouragement. I only wish I could continue to return the favor for him. Gary was a very bright and creative man, never short on the laughs and never short on the fight. After a hard-fought 7 years, the world still took this man too soon. I just hope he never has to feel any pain again and realizes how many people, myself included, he inspired along the way. You'll be greatly missed, Gary. We love you. Rest in peace, my friend."

I shared this writing with Gary's wife, who was so touched by it, she asked me to share it with the rest of her friends and family. When I joined them all at Gary's farewell gathering, I was amazed by their reactions, for most of them were ignorant on why Gary was such an inspiration to me, and with that, ignorant on my health issues from the past. This led to many questions regarding my health troubles. After answering people's questions regarding the matter, I was consistently told things such as: "Wow, I didn't know that," "Seriously, if I'm ever a jerk to you, just let me have it," "I wish I had been nicer to you in the past," and "That's really inspiring!"

I'm not going to lie, dealing with health problems since birth is a trying experience. Not only is there a seemingly constant battle going on within oneself from a physical standpoint, that's also the case from a mental and emotional one as well. This was especially the case during my teen years, as I'd experience roughly 5-10 seizures per day, would attempt to hide it from people (it just appeared as if I was spacing off), and pretend like things were just fine. I refused to admit I had epilepsy, wanted to pretend I was a normal teenage boy, and wanted to be seen as such. It became much more difficult for me to hide this fact after suffering a grand-mal seizure in front of my friends the summer before college, only to be told by my neurologist I had a brain tumor which could be the reason for the seizures. After that, while I certainly feared the tumor being malignant, I was also somewhat relieved for the secret to be let out of the bag, to be on medication again, and to feel a giant weight lifted off my shoulders in the process. I've had a number of health setbacks since then, including brain surgery, a strange 2-year-long virus, a gallstone (and subsequent gallbladder surgery), gout, etc. Yet while these physical battles are difficult, the mental and emotional battles are even more trying for me at times. It feels like there's a very fine line we must walk down when it comes to being ourselves and not sharing too much. As my health issues have played a major role in my life, it then becomes difficult to accurately depict who I am without also divulging information regarding my health. At the same time, though, when sharing such information with others, it leaves oneself vulnerable to judgment, and with that, getting hurt. Epilepsy carries with it a certain stigma, which often gets mocked in comedies. It's also not very flattering to sense that others feel sorry for you, or if you happen to fail at something, they immediately think, "Well, that's unsurprising; he does have all those health problems after all." I suppose, like most people in such a predicament, I simply want to be defined in spite of my condition and not because of it, for we don't seek pity; we seek to fight, live, and inspire.

The problems with arguing from a "moral" perspective

While it can certainly be difficult engaging in a civilized and productive debate with an individual who has a differing viewpoint from your own, I find that to especially be the case when their argument comes from nothing but a moral perspective.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with an individual defending their beliefs of what is right and wrong; however, this is typically accompanied by a black-and-white manner of thinking, which makes it next to impossible to reason with them beyond their limited moral scope.

I find that allowing our preconceived notions of morality to determine our opinions limits our willingness to expand our knowledge with regard to such issues, which could result in the evolution of those very opinions.

A strong emotional attachment also seems to often times be present to one's moral views, devoid of evidence to support such beliefs. Even if evidence debunks such an individual's opinion, emotion tends to trump facts.

This is why I rarely pull the morality card in debates. The concept of morality tends to be personal and emotional, which can both complicate matters when attempting to engage in a civilized debate. Not only that, but while some morals can be said to be both timeless and universal, that's not always the case. What's seen as moral today may not have been viewed as moral 50 years ago and what may be seen as moral in one part of the world may not be viewed as moral in another. So who's one to really say their beliefs are 100% moral and not another's?

In this day and age, both Republican and Democratic politicians consistently play the morality card, as it let's the public know where they stand on certain issues, and provides for easy talking points. However, I think both parties do themselves and the country a disservice by engaging in this pointless back-and-forth moral banter. The issue of abortion may be the best example of this. It's one of, if not the most hot-button political topic right now (for a while). Republicans consistently say it's moral to protect the unborn's rights. Democrats consistently say it's moral to protect women's rights. This limits the dialogue, the options, and the possibility of moving this country forward on the issue (and others). When Republicans say their position is the moral one, that insinuates the Democrats' position is the immoral one and vice versa. How can the two sides come to an effective compromise when they're constantly saying, "I'm right and you're wrong"? What the two sides should be doing is setting their morality cards to the side and trying to engage in civilized discourse regarding the matter. I, for one, don't take a moral stand one way or the other on the abortion issue. As a man, I don't feel it's my place to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body, however, I also think it'd be best for the country to see a drop in unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and sexually-transmitted diseases. How can we accomplish both? By not taking away women's reproductive rights, providing comprehensive sex education across schools all over the country, including contraception coverage on women's employer-based healthcare plans, and providing people with easier access to contraception. This would allow women to maintain their reproductive rights, increase sexual awareness, decrease unwanted pregnancies, decrease abortions, and decrease sexually-transmitted diseases. While the die-hard "pro-lifers" may not be 100% satisfied with the compromise, I'd like to believe they would see this as a step in the right direction, and that the "pro-choice" crowd would as well.

Morality and science are quite similar yet quite different, for science can help one decide their morals, yet many choose their morals long before facts showcase them to be true or not, and in the latter case, some select their morals in spite of scientific findings. Not only that, but like with the certitude of some studies, morals can change with more thought and reflection as well. When it comes to debates, though, both in Congress and out, one should stick to common sense, logic, and consistent findings in studies over black-and-white morals, for how moral is it to impose one's changing sense of right and wrong on another or the entire country when science, common sense, and logic dictate otherwise?

The Dutch + Holland + Amsterdam + the Netherlands = Confusing to Americans

I've often poked fun of (many) Americans' lack of knowledge concerning the world around them. Geography seems to be like a foreign language to us. Then again, when we look at the story of Christopher Columbus, perhaps we were destined to be ignorant when it comes to world geography. 

Columbus (after arriving in America): "This is India, right?"

Fact-checker: "Close to 8,500 miles away from there..."

Columbus: "Very well... I'll call the people here Indians then."

Fact-checker: "That would make no sense at all actually..."

This brings me to a country which tends to confuse us Americans more than most, and that's saying something. The country I'm referring to is the Netherlands. While Holland comprises two of the twelve provinces in the country, we sometimes refer to the entire country as Holland. Not only that, but I've also heard multiple Americans refer to the country as Amsterdam, which is the most recognized city in the country (the Netherlands, not Holland). To add to the confusion, residents of the country aren't called Netheranderthals, Hollandites, or Amsterdamonians; no, they're called the Dutch.

When thinking about two such Americans discussing the country, I picture the following dialogue: 

Setting: A couple of friends having lunch at the restaurant To Hell With Weight Watchers

Jeff Johnson: "You know where I want to go sometime? Holland."

Bob Jones: "Oh, the Dutch? Those are my kind of people!"

Jeff: "Who are the Dutch?"

Bob: "You know, the Netherlands."

Jeff: "But I said Holland."

Bob: "Isn't that the Netherlands?"

Jeff: "The country has two names?"

Bob: "I don't know. We call ourselves the United States and America, right?"

Jeff: "Well, the United States of America, so I mean, both names are in the one. What's this other country called, the United Netherlands of Holland?"

Bob: "I don't know. I just know about the Dutch."

Jeff: "What about Amsterdam?"

Bob: "What about it?"

Jeff: "Don't they speak Dutch there?"

Bob: "What country is that in?"

Jeff: "I thought it was a country."

Bob: "I think it's a city in the Netherlands."

Jeff: "You mean Holland?"

Bob: "To hell if I know. How should we pay for this lunch?"

Jeff: "Let's go Dutch!"

Bob: "Ha! Good one!"

Thanks, Columbus Dispatch letter-to-the-editor; I needed a chuckle...

I would like to thank Reverend Karl Koch for providing me with a hearty chuckle this morning as I read his Columbus Dispatch letter-to-the-editor, entitled, "Cartoon lies about sexual abstinence" (

The letter reads as follows:

"An editorial cartoon is just that, a cartoon. The cartoon by Pat Bagley in Wednesday’s Dispatch portrayed the 'slogan' about a faith-based, abstinence-only birth-control program producing a pregnant woman.

I defy the cartoonist to show me one single case of a pregnancy when the person followed this program. I know of one, Mary, the mother of our Lord. Following this program requires strength, persistence, knowledge of the truth, strength from God and the support of family and of Christian friends.

The problem is not within an abstinence program but within our culture, which demeans abstinence, self-responsibility and growth to maturity in order that sexual lovemaking might convey the godly blessings for which it was intended, including the children born to those in a marital covenant.

The cartoon lies. The problem is in the inability of individuals to assume a responsible attitude toward sexual conduct. Abstinence, by definition, has never failed.


Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod


Oh, how naive the reverend is... Reverend Koch can stay in denial for as long as he'd like, but the fact of the matter is people have sex. Whether the purpose is for pleasure, procreation, or a bit of both, humans do the nasty, animals do as well, even tissue boxes would likely fornicate with one another if given the chance. So the reverend can continue to live in never-neverland if he likes, but he's completely missing the point on the issue. The question isn't, "Can we prevent teenagers from having sex?," because the answer to that is no. The question is, "Since teenagers will inevitably have sex, how can we best prevent them from getting pregnant and contracting sexually-transmitted diseases?" The answer, I'm sorry to tell you, reverend, is not through abstinence-only education; the answer is through comprehensive sex education and easier access to contraception.

In a study conducted at the University of Washington regarding the matter, the following results were found (

- "Young people who received comprehensive sex education were significantly less likely to report a teen pregnancy compared to those who received no sex education."

- "Abstinence-only programs were not significantly associated with a risk reduction for teen pregnancy when compared with no sex education."

- "In comparing abstinence-only programs with comprehensive sex education, comprehensive sex education was associated with a 50% lower risk of teen pregnancy."

- "After adjusting for demographics, abstinence-only programs were not significantly associated with a delay in the initiation of vaginal intercourse."

- "Comprehensive sex education was marginally associated with reduced reports of vaginal intercourse."

To prove that study's not an aberration, similar results were found in a more recent study, conducted at the University of Georgia (, where the researchers concluded this:

"States that prescribe abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states with more comprehensive sex education programs."

An even more recent study conducted by researchers at the Guttmacher Institute found similar results as well (

- "Strong evidence suggests that comprehensive approaches to sex education help young people both withstand the pressures to have sex too soon and to have healthy, responsible and mutually protective relationships when they do become sexually active."

- "There is no evidence to date that abstinence-only-until-marriage education delays teen sexual activity. Moreover, research shows that abstinence-only strategies may deter contraceptive use among sexually active teens, increasing their risk of unintended pregnancy and STIs."

- "A 2007 congressionally mandated study found that federally-funded abstinence-only programs have no beneficial impact on young people's sexual behavior."

Need I continue? I'm sorry, reverend, but when it comes to sex, unless you want to see an increase in teen pregnancies, abortions, and sexually-transmitted diseases, ignorance is definitely not bliss. Thanks again for the morning chuckle, though...

Liberal media outlets need to calm down with regard to Trevor Noah

While I often times criticize conservative media outlets for appearing to have amnesia with regard to facts and the more nonpartisan media outlets for fearing to be perceived as biased by simply telling the truth void of the opposite (and inaccurate) viewpoint, I also find myself coming after liberal media outlets for their tendency to sometimes overreact.

Last week, I wrote a blog with regard to some liberal media outlets overreacting to Stephen Colbert's interview with Donald Trump on The Late Show. No, Colbert's questions weren't quite as hard-hitting as they had been with Ted Cruz the previous night, but they weren't softballs either. In fact, the slowest softball Colbert threw at Trump was a question pertaining to whether or not the GOP front-runner thought President Obama was born in this country, to which Trump refused to respond. Also, let's keep in mind how difficult it would be for an interviewer to bait Donald Trump into saying something most rational-thinking people would deem ridiculous when Mr. Trump himself utters such things on his own. So, yes, some in the liberal media definitely overreacted here.

Speaking of which, Trevor Noah made his debut as host of The Daily Show last night, and what headline did I read courtesy of the left-leaning site this morning with regard to the new host? Just this: "Trevor Noah gives Fox News a free pass: The new 'Daily Show' could be great for Ailes and Hannity, bad for America." I know, subtle, right?

Yes, most self-identified liberals and progressives, myself included, loved Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, but it's only fair to give the new guy a chance. Let's remember, the transition from Craig Kilborn to Jon Stewart wasn't the smoothest of transitions at first either, so Trevor Noah, like Jon Stewart before him, at least deserves a chance to show what he can do as the show's host once all the kinks are worked out through the transition.

Yes, Trevor Noah did appear to be nervous and overwhelmed at first last night. No, the interview with comedian Kevin Hart wasn't one I care to remember. However, the program still had that old Daily Show feel to it, long-time contributors will help make the transition a bit smoother for the new host, and so long as Noah can relax a bit more in due time, I have the feeling it should continue to make for a great show. But no matter what flaws we saw with the show or new host last night, let's not overreact. It's one show. Let's see how it progresses two weeks and two months from now before making a more well-informed judgment.


The new Facebook rumor is a hoax...yet again...

It amazes me how gullible people can be. Just last night, the following status was ubiquitous across my Facebook news feed (and many others' it seems):

"Now it's official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to 'private.' If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste."

This same claim was debunked by in 2009, again in 2012, and yet again here in 2015. It was a hoax 6 years ago, 3 years ago, and yesterday, so fellow Facebookers, please don't believe everything you read, stop believing this recycled hoax, and pass this information onto your Facebook friends so they stop believing in and posting it as well.

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 27,876 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 4 years (yes, I've been on a roll) can be purchased for much cheaper in Kindle form at the following link:

Week 4 NFL Predictions

Game: Baltimore at Pittsburgh

Prediction: Pittsburgh - I have a hard time seeing a John Harbaugh-coached team starting the year 0-4, but then again, I had a hard time seeing a John Harbaugh-coached team starting 0-3. With Michael Vick now the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's difficult to know what to expect from the team offensively. He's past his prime, but looked good in the preseason and definitely has more weapons to work with in Pittsburgh than he did in New York (Jets). With the Ravens defense playing as poorly as they have, though, and with this game being on the road during a shortened week, I'm going to give the slight edge to Vick and the Steelers. So long as Vick gets adequate protection and doesn't turn the ball over (much), I'll take the Steelers by 4.

Result: Baltimore 23 Pittsburgh 20 OT

Record: 0-1

Game: NY Jets at Miami

Prediction: NY Jets - Through the first quarter of the season, many have hailed the 1-2 Philadelphia Eagles as the most disappointing team in the league. However, I may go a different route and lay that label down on the 1-2 Miami Dolphins, who bared squeaked by Washington in Week 1, lost to Jacksonville in Week 2, and were pummeled by Buffalo this past Sunday. With the NY Jets posing a similar defensive scheme as Buffalo, I have a hard time thinking Miami's inconsistent offense will be able to make the proper adjustments to improve much on that side of the ball this week. So long as Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't throw three interceptions like he did against Philadelphia, I'll take the Jets by a field goal.

Result: NY Jets 27 Miami 14

Record: 1-1

Game: Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Prediction: Jacksonville - I initially took Indianapolis by a touchdown, but in light of Andrew Luck being unable to play, I'm going to change my pick and go with Jacksonville by a field goal.

Result: Indianapolis 16 Jacksonville 13 OT

Record: 1-2

Game: NY Giants at Buffalo

Prediction: Buffalo - This should be a fun match-up when the Giants have the football. The Bills pose one of the better defenses in the league, but struggled mightily against the New England Patriots' passing attack in Week 2. If Eli Manning is able to avoid the rush through quick reads and passes, the Giants could put up some points in this game. However, for as little of a pass rush as the Giants have on the defensive side of the ball, I have to like how the Bills' offense matches up with the Giants' defense more than the reverse. I'll go with Buffalo at home by a touchdown.

Result: NY Giants 24 Buffalo 10

Record: 1-3

Game: Carolina at Tampa Bay

Prediction: Carolina - Carolina may be the worst of the remaining unbeatens, but they're still unbeaten, which has to say something about a team which won the NFC South with a 7-9 record a year ago. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is young, inconsistent, and therefore hard to predict. Tampa should play the Panthers fairly close at home, but I see them falling short in the end, much like they did against Houston this past Sunday. I'll go with the Panthers by 10.

Result: Carolina 37 Tampa Bay 23

Record: 2-3

Game: Philadelphia at Washington

Prediction: Philadelphia - While I still contend that the AFC South is the weakest division in the NFL, the NFC East is the most head-scratching division. Dallas may be leading the way at 2-1, but they're 0-1 without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, not to mention DeMarco Murray. The NY Giants are 1-2, but should be 3-0. Washington and Philadelphia are both 1-2 as well, with the former overachieving to this point in the season, while the latter has underachieved. Philly's offense continued to struggle in their win against the Jets on Sunday, but they did get a solid performance from tailback Ryan Mathews, as well as their defense and special teams. I have a feeling they'll continue to show signs of improvement in this game to even their record with a big in-division game against Washington. I'm going with Philly by 4.

Result: Washington 23 Philadelphia 20

Record: 2-4

Game: Oakland at Chicago

Prediction: Oakland - There's a chance I could change this pick if Jay Cutler comes back healthy. However, I do like how Oakland's young offense has been performing these past two weeks and think they match up well with the Bears' defense. For the time being, I'll go with the Raiders by a field goal.

Result: Chicago 22 Oakland 20

Record: 2-5

Game: Houston at Atlanta

Prediction: Atlanta - I've been pleasantly surprised by the Falcons to this point in the season. Their offense has been one of the best in the league and their defense has shown signs of marked improvement from a year ago. Houston's defense is still solid, but their offense gives me worries, and I have a difficult time seeing the Texans be able to match the Falcons' explosive offense score for score on the road. I'm going with the Falcons by 10.

Result: Atlanta 48 Houston 21

Record: 3-5

Game: Kansas City at Cincinnati

Prediction: Cincinnati - I was very tempted to take Kansas City in the road upset here, but with the Chiefs playing on Monday night this week in Green Bay, I think this will be an incredibly difficult game for them to win. I'm slightly hesitant, but I'll take the Bengals at home by 6.

Result: Cincinnati 36 Kansas City 21

Record: 4-5

Game: Cleveland at San Diego

Prediction: San Diego - I hate calling games must-wins this early in the season. However, if San Diego falls to Cleveland at home to drop to 1-3 with six games remaining in division against the 3-0 Denver Broncos, the suddenly resurgent 2-1 Oakland Raiders, and the-better-than-their-record-indicates Kansas City Chiefs, it could be too steep a hill for even Philip Rivers to climb. Given that, I think Rivers shines in this one and gets his Chargers back to .500 with a 14-point win at home against the Browns.

Result: San Diego 30 Cleveland 27

Record: 5-5

Game: Green Bay at San Francisco

Prediction: Green Bay - After watching the 49ers these past two weeks, the first question that springs to mind is, "How in the world did they beat Minnesota in Week 1?" After beating the now 2-1 Vikings 20-3 at home in Week 1, the 49ers have fallen to Pittsburgh and Arizona by the combined score of 90-25 (average of 45.0 - 12.5). Unless there's another Week 1-esque miracle in San Francisco, I don't see how the 49ers can win this one. I'm going with the Packers by a couple of touchdowns.

Result: Green Bay 17 San Francisco 3

Record: 6-5

Game: St. Louis at Arizona

Prediction: Arizona - If tailback Chris Johnson continues to run as well as he has for the Cardinals, look out! While the Cards have had a solid passing attack through the Carson Palmer years and a great defense, what they've lacked is an efficient running game. From what I've seen through the first quarter of the season, barring injuries, Arizona may be my favorite to win the Super Bowl. St. Louis, meanwhile, can't seem to click on offense, being outscored 36-16 in their previous two games, both losses. While their defense might be able to slow down the Cardinals offensively, it won't be enough to get the victory. I'll take the Cards at home by a touchdown.

Result: St. Louis 24 Arizona 22

Record: 6-6

Game: Minnesota at Denver

Prediction: Minnesota - This is probably my upset pick of the week. After their disappointing showing in San Francisco in Week 1, the Minnesota Vikings have played great football, outscoring the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers 57-30, improving to 2-1 in the process. Adrian Peterson appears to be getting a feel for things again, not to mention the Vikings defense, their secondary in particular. With the Broncos' ground attack being sub-par to this point in the season and the Vikings' secondary (and pass rush) giving Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers fits these past two weeks, I like for Minnesota to hand the Broncos their first loss of the season, winning a huge game on the road by a field goal.

Result: Denver 23 Minnesota 20

Record: 6-7

Game: Dallas at New Orleans

Prediction: New Orleans - I initially took Dallas, but in light of Drew Brees starting and sounding to be healthy, I'm going to reverse my pick and go with the Saints at home by 4.

Result: New Orleans 26 Dallas 20 OT

Record: 7-7

Game: Detroit at Seattle

Prediction: Seattle - Weren't the Detroit Lions a playoff team a year ago? After falling to San Diego, Minnesota, and Denver to start the year 0-3, things won't be getting any easier for the Lions, as a road date in Seattle on Monday night will likely send them to 0-4, not to mention a home date against the 3-0 Arizona Cardinals. Two weeks from now, the Lions could very well be the only winless team in football at 0-5. I'm going with Seattle by 13.



Week 4 Record:

Overall Record: 30-18 (.625)

What I learned in Week 3 of the NFL season...

In Week 3 of the NFL season, I learned...

- ...the Atlanta Falcons may soon come out of the closet as an organization, for the team seems to love playing from behind.

- ...Odell Beckham must have super glue on the bottom of his hands.

- ...Cam Newton and Ed Hochuli are in deep contemplation about what to get one another for Christmas.

- ...Miami Dolphins players, coaches, and fans were secretly hoping Ndamukong Suh would stomp on quarterback Ryan Tannehill at some point during their 41-14 loss to Buffalo.

- ...San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick suffered a 3-hour mental lapse, as thought he was an Arizona Cardinal on Sunday.

- ..., with both Josh and Luke McCown starting on Sunday, it's only a matter of time before Cade McNown makes a comeback.

- ...the Chicago Bears performance on Sunday will be used in the future as a guide for all aspiring punters.

- ...Joe Flacco may be going to f**king awesome Disneyworld a bit earlier than expected this year.

- ..., while listening to Blue Oyster Cult's classic, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," Seattle Seahawks players have been heard saying, "You know what we need? More Clausen!"

- ...a 90-degree December game is more likely at Lambeau Stadium than Aaron Rodgers throwing an interception there.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The NFL could also be called the NOL (National Overreaction League)

While football is by far and away my favorite sport, the media's seemingly constant barrage of overreactions throughout the course of the season is enough to drive a sober person drunk. The main reason for this is, in football, teams play one game per week, whereas teams play multiple games every week in baseball, basketball, and hockey. So while a star player or team may have an awful game in baseball, basketball, or hockey, talk and overreactions are typically kept to a minimum, unless that player or team start going into an extended slump. In football, however, if a star player or team has an awful game, it tends to get talked about ad nauseam for a full week. Often times, these comments come across as extreme overreactions, which tend to get debunked a week or two later.

Remember the New England Patriots just a year ago? After getting pummeled 41-14 by Kansas City on Monday night football to drop Bill Belichick's team to 2-2 on the season, many ESPN analysts said the Belichick-Brady run was over, Brady was getting too old, and the team's magical formula was obviously no longer working. Last I heard, this same team went on to win the Super Bowl.

Early this season, much of the talk was about Denver Broncos starting quarterback Peyton Manning, as ESPN analysts have said his arm strength isn't what it was, that he's getting old, isn't the player he once was, and we have to finally admit that he's lost it. Following last night's 24-12 victory over the Detroit Lions, the Denver Broncos improved to 3-0, good for 1st place in the AFC West division.

With Tom Brady now being 38-years-old and Peyton Manning 39-years-old, no, neither player is in their prime, however, they continue to make adjustments and get the job done. The New England Patriots' personnel was different last year and it took Brady and his new receivers time to gel with one another. After the embarrassing Monday night defeat at the hands of the Chiefs, the Pats made the proper adjustments on offense, and went on to win 7 straight. Manning's numbers are down so far this season, but he's improved in all three of the team's games, and based on his solid performance against the Lions last night, he is anything but done in my opinion. Also, like Joe Theismann once said, "When things are going well, the quarterback receives too much of the credit and when things go poorly, the quarterback receives too much of the blame." The Broncos are 3-0, so things could be a lot worse for the team. Not only that, while Manning's passing numbers are down overall at this point in the season, a big reason for this is the lack of a running game. Denver currently ranks 31st (out of 32) in rushing yards per game at 57.0. This has severely hampered the play action passing for Manning and the Broncos, as defenses haven't needed to respect the run, which has left the play action much less effective than in years past. So, like last year with respect to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, let's cool it with the overreactions with regard to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

Unfortunately, some big name quarterbacks have gone down to injury in the first three weeks of the season. Jay Cutler (Chicago) and Drew Brees (New Orleans) will likely only miss a game or two a piece, while Tony Romo (Dallas) and Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh) are expected to miss a few more than that. Oddly enough, among these four teams' back-up quarterbacks (Jimmy Clausen of Chicago, Luke McCown of New Orleans, Brandon Weeden of Dallas, and Michael Vick of Pittsburgh), Michael Vick of the Pittsburgh Steelers has received the most criticism. Apparently, with him starting for 4-6 games for Pittsburgh, the 2-1 Steelers' season is all but over. Again, let's cool it with the overreactions. In the NFC East, an 8-8 record could win the division, so as long as Weeden can lead 2-1 Cowboys to a .500 record by the time Romo returns, the team could still make a playoff run. Chicago and New Orleans are a combined 0-6, so does it really matter who plays quarterback at this point? There are better odds the two teams are thinking about top 5 draft picks than a possible playoff berth. With regard to Vick, ESPN analysts point to his numbers with the New York Jets last year, the only year he was with the team.

Let's get something straight; when he was coaching the New York Jets, Rex Ryan understood how to run an efficient offense about as well as my Siberian Husky knows how to read Arabic. The New York Jets had less talent on offense than most SEC teams last year. Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson led the team in rushing yards, averaging slightly over four yards per carry. Who were the team's leading receivers? Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, Percy Harvin, Jace Amaro, and Jeff Cumberland, with Decker and Cumberland being the only two to start 14 or more games. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has more weapons as back-ups than the Jets had as starters a year ago. Le'Veon Bell is back from suspension to lead the team on the ground. Back-up DeAngelo Williams was among the league's leading rushers before Bell returned. Not only that, but Vick will have the always dangerous Antonio Brown to throw to, as well as Markus Wheaton, and the ever reliable Heath Miller at tight end.

The thing about Michael Vick at this stage of his career isn't what ESPN analysts think they know, it's what we don't know. Vick has played sparingly since the 2012 season with the Philadelphia Eagles. In Chip Kelly's first year with the Eagles, Vick got hurt before the midway point, only to relinquish his job to then back-up Nick Foles, and hasn't consistently started ever since. It's possible that Vick will prove these analysts right, prove that he's washed up, isn't the player he once was, and will be lucky to last one more year in the league. However, let's not pretend like Vick has played much over the past 2-3 years and we have a full grasp of where he is as a player at this point in his career. From 2010-2012, Vick threw 1,146 passes for the Eagles, starting 35 games for them in the stretch. From 2013-2015, he's only thrown 268 passes, starting just 9 games in that span. No, Vick isn't the player he once was, but he shouldn't be judged by one bad year under head coach Rex Ryan in New York, and at 2-1 with a veteran at quarterback at the helm, the Pittsburgh Steelers' season shouldn't be viewed as a lost cause just yet either.

Conservatives start the "All Lives Sort Of Matter" movement

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement gaining steam across the country, conservative anti-BLM activists have decided to start their own movement, called All Lives Sort Of Matter. Founder of the movement, Billy-Bob Redneck of Hickman, Nebraska, released the following statement on the group's homepage, which can be found at

"How dare them colored folk tell the world that their lives matter! What about everyone else? Don't all of our lives sort of matter at times? I mean, the black folk's lives mattered when they were pickin' cotton! Women's lives matter when the house gets messy after another one of those Jeff Foxworthy-used-to-be-funny bashes! Mexican lives matter when I shoot another hole in the roof with one of my twelve unlicensed guns named after the seven dwarfs! Them Indians' lives mattered until we took from them what was rightly ours back in the day - the United States of America! Homo people's lives matter to Satan! So, you see? All lives sort of matter!"

Shortly after Mr. Redneck made the announcement, the Republican National Committee (RNC) responded with this:

"While we wouldn't have publicly used some of the terminology chosen by Mr. Redneck in his statement, we're fully on board with he and the All Lives Sort Of Matter movement. Women's lives matter, but only about 79% of men's lives. Poor people's lives matter far less than the rich, but they still probably matter to someone out there in the world, and that's kind of the gist of this movement: No matter how little we at the RNC care about anyone that doesn't classify themselves as a straight, rich, white, Christian man, all lives matter to at least one person."

Black Lives Matter has since posted the following message on their homepage:

"All Lives Sort Of Matter? To us, that might as well read No Lives Really Matter, which is why we started the Black Lives Matter movement in the first place - because we felt our lives mattered far less than others in this country, and this new movement further proves our point."

In other news, Mike Huckabee has started a movement of his own, called, No Lives Matter Other Than Jesus', Well, And Kim Davis'.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Scott Walker, at 0% support, drops out of the race to help defeat Donald Trump

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, with his 0% support according to the polls, has decided to end his run to become the next president. He's apparently done this in order to help one of 13 other Republican candidates defeat Donald Trump to become the party's nominee.

When asked, Walker elaborated further on the matter by saying this:

"While I'm incredibly disappointed with how my campaign fared and wish I was still in the race, with a chance to become the next president, I'm excited to help one of my Republican brothers or sisters defeat Donald Trump to become the party's nominee. Trump is polling at what, 25-30%, with Carson and Fiorina about 10-15 points behind him? I mean, I know my own family didn't even support me as the party's nominee, but I have to have some supporters out there somewhere, right? Even if it's just 1 or 2 votes, I really think I could help Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, or someone else defeat Donald Trump. Let's just do that math... Um... If Trump is at 25%, Carson is at 15%, and you add my votes to Carson's, he's all the way up to 15%, only 10 points back of Trump! I don't like to compare myself to Jesus, but in this case, I think it's fitting, because with my handful of supporters going on to support other candidates, I could seriously save the Republican Party!"

In a follow-up poll, it was found that 86% of Republican voters didn't know Scott Walker ended his campaign, with another 63% saying they were uncertain of who he was.

GOP guarantees victory after presenting a black lesbian as their nominee

In a move which surprised even God, the Republican Party has guaranteed a victory in the upcoming presidential election, as they declared that an African-American lesbian will be their lone candidate, and due to that, their nominee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this about the party's decision: 

"We were getting a little fed up with all the talk about our party waging a war against women, being anti-gay, and being unappealing to minorities. So we thought Destiny Beaver would be the perfect nominee to help improve our image among women, African-Americans, and the LGQRWXYZ community, or whatever in the heck that is, and would guarantee us a victory come election day because of that. I mean, just look at it this way: We've always had the white men's vote; now we've also got the women's vote, the blacks' vote, the queers' vote, and maybe some other dark-skinned people's votes too. We can't lose!"

McConnell was then asked how Destiny Beaver would appeal to women, the LGBT community, and minorities from a policy standpoint, and here is what he had to say: 

"Destiny Beaver is a true conservative through and through. She's a good God-fearing woman, believes guns should be included with napkins and silverware at every restaurant, and that the word taxes should be banned in this country. Not only that, but she's against equal pay for women, against women receiving contraception coverage with their employers' healthcare plans, and against abortion in each and every possible scenario. She's also rightly said that Black Lives Matter isn't too far removed from ISIS and that marriage is between one man and one woman, sometimes multiple times. So, like I said, she's going to appeal to conservative voters, as well as typically liberal voters. We can't lose!"

Not long after these statements were released, polls showed Ms Beaver's approval rating at just 11% among women, 4% among LGBTs, and 1% among African-Americans. Fox News has called this poll "liberally-biased," even though they were the ones who conducted it in the first place. Other media outlets have since followed Fox's lead, all reporting that Destiny Beaver has less chance of winning the election than Donald Trump has of being named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ben Carson said what?!?

The more I observe former neurosurgeon and Republican candidate Ben Carson, the more inclined I am to believe he's slyer than a fox named Sylvester. Prior to the two (varsity) Republican debates, I had heard some of Carson's extreme views. Here's just a snippet of those views:

- "You know, Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is, in a way, it is slavery in a way because it is making all of us subservient to the government."

- "They've (ISIS) got the wrong philosophy, but they're willing to die for what they believe, while we're busily giving away every value and every belief for the sake of political correctness."

- "Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out, they're gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question."

- "You know, we live in a Gestapo age, people don't realize it."

- "I mean, [our society is] very much like Nazi Germany. And I know you're not supposed to say 'Nazi Germany,' but I don't care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe."

Yes, this is that same Ben Carson. Like I said, some of his views are quite extreme. But while I and a few others may have read and heard such quotes uttered by Carson, I'd say a solid majority hasn't, so their impression of him has mostly (or entirely) been formed from his debate performances. Ben Carson's demeanor is not suited for a 10- or 11-person debate. The man is quiet, a slow talker, and doesn't have a tendency to interrupt people. So when Carson newbies watched him at the debates, they probably thought to themselves, "Wow, what a smart and nice man who doesn't come across like most other politicians, because he's an outsider!" Yet they likely haven't heard much of him in a one-on-one setting where he's much more prone to letting his extreme views fly like the plastic bag in American Beauty. Like I said, he's slyer than a fox named Sylvester.

Following his second debate performance, Carson decided to let the crazy words fly again. On Sunday's Meet the Press, when asked whether or not he believed Islam to be consistent with the Constitution, Carson said this:

"No, I don't, I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that."

After receiving the inevitable backlash for his comment, Carson eventually tried backtracking, by saying this:

"If someone had a Muslim background and they're willing to reject those tenets and to accept the way of life that we have and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion ... I would then be quite willing to support them."

Yes, Constitutionalist Ben Carson may want to read the Constitution again, for it says in Article VI that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Then just three days later, Carson made the following statements:

- "I find black Republicans are treated extremely well in the Republican Party. In fact, I don't hear much about being a black Republican. I think the Republicans have done a far superior job of getting over racism."

- "When you look at the philosophies of the two parties now, what I have noticed as a black Republican is that Republicans tend to look more at the character of people. And Democrats tend to look more at the color of their skin."

- "It was founded as an anti-slavery party, an abolitionist party. The Republican Party worked very, very hard to abolish slavery and after it was abolished to try to gain rights for the freedman including the right to bear arms."

- "If you're black and you don't think a certain way as far as they are concerned, you're an Uncle Tom, a sellout, a traitor, you hate yourself (in reference to Democrats)."

- "They're (blacks) seeing that 50 years of these (Democratic) policies have not resulted in improvement and has really resulted in worsening the situation. A lot of people in the minority community -- contrary to popular opinion, all they want is a fair chance. All they want is an opportunity to succeed."

So, let me get this straight; on Sunday, Ben Carson, a Republican, said he feels Muslims shouldn't be president, and then on Wednesday said that Republicans focus more on character than skin color, the polar opposite of Democrats, and that Republicans have gotten past slavery easier than Democrats. Did I get that right? Three days after making racist remarks against Muslim-Americans, Ben Carson has the gall to say Democrats focus more on skin color than Republicans? Seriously? I swear, the more I hear this man talk outside of debates, the more I think he belongs in a loony bin.

Ben Carson may want to exchange his apparently foggy glasses or have a fellow neurosurgeon check his brain for any unusual activity, because he appears to be progressively drifting further into never-neverland.

First off, Carson needs to research the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 by Democrat Lyndon Johnson and check out the two parties and their supporters pre-'64 and post-'64. The Republican Party WAS the progressive, anti-slavery party pre-1964, while the Democratic Party was the conservative party. However, after the signing of that bill in 1964, the two parties slowly swapped identities and supporters. Democratic support moved from the Southeast to the Northeast and West, while Republican support moved from the Northeast to the South. In other words, the conservative Democratic Party became the progressive party and the progressive Republican Party became the conservative party. Technically speaking, yes, the Republican Party was the party which fought hardest to abolish slavery, but that was 150 years ago. The Republican Party of that day and age is the Democratic Party today and the Democratic Party of that time is the Republican Party of today. Yes, just a few things have changed in the past 150 years, Mr. Carson, but keep on trying to play that misleading card.

Secondly, Carson might be slightly accurate in saying the Democratic Party may not see a person as a true Democrat if they don't agree with the majority of the party on certain issues, but that has nothing to do with race, and the Republican Party is even worse on that front. Studies indicate that while the two parties are progressively moving further left and right, the Republican Party is moving at a much quicker pace toward the far-right end of the spectrum than Democrats are to the far-left end. What mammal was recently placed on the endangered species list? Moderate Republicans. John McCain was called out by many in the right-wing media as being too liberal to be the Republican nominee in the run up to the 2000 election. Yes, John McCain... Sadly, the party has progressively been moving further to the right ever since then. Outside of a handful of Congresspeople, it seems that the rest of Congressional Republicans are in lockstep with one another. On the Democrat's side, however, much to the chagrin of many self-described liberals and progressives, they have so much diversity in opinion, it's often times difficult for them to agree on something. So while Ben Carson is partially right here, he certainly isn't looking at the larger picture, and with that, is presenting a rather distorted reality to listeners.

Thirdly, did Carson really just go THERE in saying Democrats focus on skin color more than Republicans and haven't gotten over racism as well as the GOP? If that's the case, why does Carson not believe Muslim-Americans should be president? Why does Donald Trump insinuate that a large number of Mexicans are rapists? Why are Republican governors so eager to pass voter restrictions to limit the minority vote come election day? Why do many Republicans feel Muslims shouldn't be able to build and worship in mosques in this country? Why are some conservatives labeling the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist group? Why did a number of conservatives question President Barack Obama's birthplace and religion? Why does it feel when an unarmed black man gets shot and killed by police, a decent percentage of Republicans' first two comments are, "What was his criminal record?" and "He probably had it coming."?  Why have I heard jokes from and been sent photos of the Obamas by conservatives, comparing them to monkeys? So, give me a break, Mr. Carson; just because Republicans largely want to ignore the struggles minorities face in this country doesn't mean they're less quick to judge based on the color of people's skin than Democrats, or that they've gotten over racism more easily. As a matter of fact, on one front, Carson's comments are rather humorous. For many years Democrats have dominated the minority vote, the black vote in particular, and long before Barack Obama ran for president. Many conservatives seemed to forget this fact after hearing the detailed election results from 2008 and 2012, claiming African-Americans only voted for Obama because he's black and that they're the main reason he won both elections. Yet little do they seem to remember that Al Gore and John Kerry both won around 90% of the black vote in the previous two elections, and last I checked, they're about as tan as Casper the friendly ghost. The GOP has also tried making it a point to present a more diverse field of potential presidential nominees in recent years, thinking the skin color of the candidate is of greater importance to certain voting demographics than policy ideas. If Ben Carson is the nominee, does the GOP really think he and his extremely conservative ideas are going to win over a large portion of the African-American community simply because he's black? I don't think so. So who focuses more on skin color than character again, Mr. Carson? That's what I thought...

Lastly, Mr. Carson seems to believe that the Republican Party is fighting harder for minorities in this country than the Democratic Party. I'm sorry, but this isn't 1865 anymore; it's 2015. While the Democratic Party has tried to increase voter turnout, the Republican Party has attempted to suppress it, especially for minorities. While the Democratic Party has attempted to pass immigration reform, the Republican Party has been quite reluctant in doing so. While the Democratic Party has tried finding ways to expand healthcare coverage in this country, the Republican Party has done anything but, and not only that, but the GOP is trying to strip funding away from Planned Parenthood, which often benefits low-income mothers. Some Democrats want to provide free college tuition; I haven't heard any Republicans say such a thing. Most Democrats want to pass common sense gun laws, but rarely is that the case for Republicans. Many Democrats want to pass police and prison reforms, not to mention progressive tax reforms; Republicans outside of Rand Paul don't seem too interested in the former, and not many outside of Donald Trump seem to be very interested in the latter.

The Democratic Party may be far from perfect, Mr. Carson, but it consistently stands up for: women's rights, for the LGBT community's rights, for Muslims' rights, Christians' rights, Jews' rights, Buddhists' rights, atheists' rights, Hindus' rights, African-Americans' rights, Latino-American's rights, Asian-American's rights, Arab-American's rights, Anglo-American's rights, Native Americans' rights, the young, the elderly, 9/11 first responders, war vets, the homeless, the disabled, the poor and middle-class - all Americans' rights. The Republican Party used to stand for something similar, but they've gone from standing up for the people to just standing up for corporations and the wealthy. The GOP no longer stands for the Grand Old Party; it stands for the Greedy Old Party.

Liberal media outlets need to calm down about the Colbert/Trump interview

Just a couple nights ago, GOP front-runner Donald Trump was the lead guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Fairly or unfairly, perhaps due to the previous night's interview with Texas Senator Ted Cruz as well as Colbert's seemingly constant array of jokes at the expense of Mr. Trump, a great deal of hype surrounded this interview. When all was said and done, it seems most liberal media outlets were disappointed with Colbert and felt that Trump got the better of him, whatever that means.

The most critical such article I've read to this point was written by Megan Garber of The Atlantic, entitled, "The Colbert Trump: The leading GOP candidate appeared as a guest on The Late Show last night. He beat Colbert at his own game."

Ms. Garber's article stars with this paragraph:

"Last night, Donald Trump appeared as a guest on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. You could also say that Colbert had Trump as a guest, but that grammar wouldn't be quite accurate to the spirit of the interview. Because, last night, Colbert was trumped."

She also wrote this:

"It was a great night for Trump. It was a considerably less-great night for Colbert. Coming off of his tough interview with Cruz the night before, the host was repeatedly bested by his guest. The grammar was all off, with Trump as the subject, and Colbert as, repeatedly, the object. Was he intimidated by Trump? Was he reprimanded for the harshness of the conversation with Cruz? Did he simply not take Trump seriously as a contender for the highest office in the land?"

I seriously think Ms. Garber and other liberal media personalities need to calm down about this interview. Since when did we debate about who won in an interview on a late night talk show? "Who got the best of who? Was it David Letterman or Bill O'Reilly?" "I think Jay Leno got the better of John Kerry tonight, don't you?" "You know, Rachel Maddow really went toe-to-toe with Jimmy Fallon this evening." The fact of the matter is, unlike any other candidates in the race, Donald Trump is a showman. The guy has experience in the entertainment industry, so both he and Colbert were on fairly equal footing entering the interview and exiting it as far as I'm concerned.

Also, what did these media personalities want Colbert to get Trump to say? Trump's already said some of the most offensive and outlandish things any politician running for president has ever uttered. Let's look back at a few of Trump's quotes from this campaign season:

- "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

- "He's not a war hero (John McCain). He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."

- "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes (Megyn Kelly). Blood coming out of her wherever."

- "Look at that face (Carly Fiorina). Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?"

Stephen Colbert couldn't bait Donald Trump to utter such offensive commentary like he could with other candidates because Trump's already proudly uttered them for the world to hear! Also, let's not get carried away and pretend Trump got through this interview scot-free. Colbert made him sound even more ridiculous than he had previously with regard to his "big beautiful wall" idea between here and Mexico. He also provided Trump a softball question with regard to President Obama being born in the United States and whether or not Trump believed it, and in my opinion, he looked pretty bad in not responding to the easy question. Lastly, while it was a fun segment, Colbert did force Trump to admit a few ridiculous quotes of his at the tail-end of the interview.

Lastly, whether we want to admit it or not, unlike Ted Cruz, Donald Trump is the current GOP front-runner. The chances are far greater Trump will be in the race a few months from now than Cruz, which means the chances are greater Colbert will have him on the show again than Cruz. It can be pretty much guaranteed Colbert will utter one Donald Trump joke every night, yet he has to find some semblance of balance when Trump is his guest, for while it seems fairly obvious the Late Show host isn't a big fan of the GOP front-runner, he also doesn't want to piss him off to the point he never returns as a guest on his show. So, please, let's all calm down about this interview. There are over 13 months until the election. Trust me; there will be plenty more jokes thrown Donald Trump's way courtesy of Stephen Colbert (and many others).