Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Political logic (yes, it's an oxymoron at times)

It may sound like an oxymoron for a person to say they're politically logical (this is often times the case), but it is definitely possible. I'm sure most everyone could point to two positions of another individual and rightfully state that the positions don't line up or mesh well with one another. However, while this may be the case with me on occasion, I try to stay as consistent and logical as possible. I know other people whom are the same way, yet know many whom often times make less sense to me with their political logic and rationale than quantum physics to a pre-schooler (Sheldon Cooper possibly being the lone exception). This is especially the case with extreme right-wing conservatives. Allow me to provide some examples.

Issue: Abortion

Even though the majority of self-described conservatives are anti-abortion (or "pro-life" in their view), they also often times support abstinence-only education and disapprove of contraception coverage on women's employer-based healthcare plans, even though studies (and common sense) show the highest rate of teen pregnancy is in states that teach abstinence-only education and the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies (outside of abstinence), and with that, abortions, is with contraception.

So, let's break this down even further...

The GOP adamantly opposes to abortion.

The GOP opposes comprehensive sex education, which improves the odds of teenagers being more careful about sex and decreases the odds of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

The GOP opposes contraception coverage on women's employer-based healthcare plans, which also decreases the odds of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

If they're so opposed to abortion, then I'd recommend supporting comprehensive sex education and contraception coverage on women's employer-based healthcare plans.


Issue: Government power

It's wrong for the government to reach into people's pocketbooks in order to try and improve the roads, bridges, and schools in this country, but it's perfectly fine for the government to prevent women from being able to choose what to do with their bodies and to prevent same-sex couples from marrying. According to the GOP, the government is exercising too much power by reaching into a man's wallet, but that's not the case at all when reaching into a woman's nether-region.


Issue: Guns

The modern-day Republican Party seems to be veering further to the right on this issue than a hybrid of Elmer Fudd and Rambo (yes, Rambo Fudd), and their main argument for decreasing the number of guns laws is, "The more people that have guns, the less people that will be shot and killed by guns."

Yes, just like the more people that own cars, the less people will be driving in them (or getting into accidents in them). If one person drives a car in an area, there is far less probability of him or her getting into an accident than if there were twenty people driving cars in an area. With an increase in the number of vehicles, there too is an increase in the risk and odds of an accident. The same is true for guns. It's simple math.


Issue: Global warming/climate change

While there are exceptions, the GOP tends to believe that climate change is a hoax. Even though studies indicate a rise in temperatures, the melting of polar ice caps and with that sea-levels rising, not to mention an increase in frequency of epically damaging storms, and the fact 97% of climate scientists believe in it, the GOP tends to shrug their shoulders and say, "That doesn't make it true!" Some have even gone to the extent of bringing a snowball into Congress to showcase that since it's snowing, global warming is a myth. Yeah, remember how I mentioned polar ice caps are melting? What do you think that means? Watch what the snowball does in your warm hand. See it now? Very good... It's funny how they tend to harp on not leaving debt for our children, yet don't seem to mind at all about leaving them an unhealthy planet which will only add to the debt.


Issue: Trickle-down economics

Remember the time a business couple won the lottery, and instead of spending the money themselves or saving it, they let it trickle down to all their employees? Me neither. Through this concept and other factors, the party which sounds so gung-ho about freedom and democracy appears to really be in favor of oligarchy.


Issue: Government spending

Many on the right like to label Democrats as "tax and spend liberals." Yeah, why don't you look at the spending records of the past couple of two-term Republican presidents, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.


Issue: War

By waging war and spreading "democracy," we shall create peace! Yeah, how well has that worked out so far?


Issue: Cops

While the GOP consistently compares President Obama to dictators and adamantly declares he's been abusing his power, when a cop kills an unarmed man, they'll often times state, "Well, he was asking for it. The cop was just doing his job." Right, so if the president does abuse his power, you'll take the rationale of, "Well, he was just doing his job," right?


Issue: Religion

Christians' rights are withering away due to other religious groups garnering equal rights and protections. According to this kind of logic, if a woman made $40,000 a year for the same job as a man that made $50,000, only to see her pay raised to $50,000 while the man's stayed the same, this would mean the man was making less than $50,000, even though he wasn't.


Issue: Discrimination

To discriminate against a group of people is fine, but to prevent such discrimination is discrimination itself! Yeah, about that... Give me one moment while I ask an African-American woman, who was around during their civil rights struggle, if it was just as discriminatory to fight for her to be able to drink from the same water fountain as whites as it was to not allow her to drink from that very water fountain.


Those are just ten issues. I'm sure I could probably come up with ten more, but to be perfectly honest, my head is starting to hurt trying to understand such asinine and/or contradictory rationale. On that note, I'm just going to try and see how it feels to be an extreme right-winger today. I'll start by listening to opinion-oriented radio talk shows and take these people's opinions as facts, because we all know professional fact-checkers are biased due to their... Nevermind, I can't do it. Where's my Advil?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sean Daly casts himself as the lead star in "The Dope Show"

Sean Daly of the Tampa Bay Times appears to have an issue with the rock bands Marilyn Manson and the Smashing Pumpkins, who will be touring together this summer in what is being called "The End Times" tour, which he seems unafraid to admit in his latest article, entitled, "Former scary rocker Marilyn Manson now on ... Groupon?"

While the article can be read in its entirety at the link in parentheses (http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/former-scary-rocker-marilyn-manson-now-ongroupon/2225295), I thought I'd share it anyway:

"Remember when taboo-tweaking rocker Marilyn 'The Dope Show' Manson was considered the most dangerous man in America, a sign of the apocalypse, a satanic Pied Piper who would lead our children to the fiery pits of damnation?

Yeah, Manson's on Groupon now.

So is Billy 'Rat in a Cage' Corgan and whoever's in the current iteration of Smashing Pumpkins.

The '90s-dominant musicians are coming to MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on July 23.

Apparently, there's less than rabid excitement for the show.

In many respects, Groupon, an online app that even your mother loves, is asking for less than half of the original ticket price at tbtim.es/gm8. You can now get a pretty sweet view of Corgan's glorious bald head for about $30.

Listen, I'm not making fun. In fact, I'm listening to Manson's The Beautiful People as I write this. That's a good thumping metal track. And Corgan's songbook is even richer: Today, Disarm, 1979.

But this is also a poignant reminder that the party always ends, for all of us.

Gather ye groupies while ye may.

We all wind up on Groupon some day."

Granted, Daly may have been trying to be funny, but if that was his true intention, as the saying goes, he may not want to give up his day job. If his day job is making people laugh, then how he got this day job is beyond me.

Tickets for this tour went on sale not very long ago and this Tampa Bay concert is over three months away, so how a Groupon listing indicates that "there's less than rabid excitement for the show" and that it's a "poignant reminder ... the party always ends, for all of us" doesn't make a great deal of sense to me. This isn't even mentioning the fact that Groupon struck a deal with Live Nation in 2011 to help sell out concerts. Yes, even contemporary big-name act Arcade Fire has been listed on Groupon as part of this deal, not to mention Bruce Springsteen and others.

Greg Rudin, vice president and general manager of GrouponLive, said the following about the deal:

"The Groupon audience is significantly broad ... we've reached them in a really simple way, giving them the easy opportunity to say yes and buy a ticket on the spot ... And I think that if we weren't frankly reaching the casual fan that was not necessarily going to buy a ticket anyway, that we wouldn't have a strong relationship with our partners."

He added this:

"We've increasingly seen that we don't have to discount as much as we might have originially thought we did, and we have a big initiative internally without our group ... to discount less. The people that buy are not necessarily significantly price sensitive, they just don't know about it."

Lastly, he said:

"Whereas with other sites you may just get a ticket, you may just get a discount, but what we want to provide you with (is) a ticket and an experience or a value item. Everyone wants something that's a little more personalized these days."

Also, while neither Marilyn Manson nor the Smashing Pumpkins are as popular as they once were, they're still well known and well respected commodities in the world of rock. The Smashing Pumpkins are set to release their tenth studio album this year (Day for Night), have 42 singles under their belt, and have sold over 20 million records in the United States alone. Their most recent album, 2014's Monuments to an Elegy, received a very solid 70/100 score at Metacritic (based on 31 reviews).

Artist Direct gave the album a perfect 5 out of 5 stars, saying, "You'll hit replay on Monuments to an Elegy the moment it finishes. This belongs in the pantheon alongside Corgan's greatest work and history's best alternative rock albums. Smashing Pumpkins evolve once more, and the results couldn't be more magical." 

Marilyn Manson, meanwhile, has also officially released nine studio albums, has 24 singles, and sold over 50 million records worldwide. The band's most recent album, The Pale Emperor, which was released earlier this year, earned a very solid 71/100 score at Metacritic (based on 19 reviews).

Dean Brown of The Quietus said this about Manson's latest album:

"[The Pale Emperor is] the best album Manson has put his name to in fifteen years ... [It includes] memorable, mature songs full of devilishly addictive hooks without trying to relieve the past, [the album] breathes new life into Manson's career."

So while Sean Daly may have been attempting to both prompt laughter and dismiss these two bands as things of the distant past, he failed with the former, is wrong about the latter, and I hope the show sells out so I can read his concert review, entitled, "Following the sold out Marilyn Manson-Smashing Pumpkins spectacle, I may be the lead star in The Dope Show."

http://www.groupon.com/deals/gl-smashing-pumpkins-and-marilyn-manson-6

http://concerts.livenation.com/event/0D004E78C0C5A068

http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6243889/groupon-livingsocial-concert-tickets

GOP: "We want our country back!"

It seems like everywhere I go, I'll see at least one bumper sticker or hear at least one person say, "We want our country back!" These people are typically conservative Republicans. Whenever I see or hear this, three questions immediately spring to mind: 1) Is this a regular occurrence for people on the opposite side of the political spectrum as the president?, 2) How far back do they want to go exactly?, and 3) Would they rather alter the phrase to, "We want to change our country's direction"?

I think it would be perfectly understandable for Republicans to not be fully on board with a Democratic president's policies just as it would be perfectly understandable for Democrats to not be fully on board with a Republican president's policies. It's also understandable that, due to this, these disgruntled voters would want a change in direction in the Oval Office, and with that, the policies leading this country forward. However, the phrasing of "We want our country back!" suggests that those whom spout such language are seeking more than just a slight shift in Washington (D.C.), and with that, the rest of the country. The phrase suggests that through drastic changes which have been made in this country, the United States of today almost feels like a foreign nation, and it needs to be brought back to what it had been previously. So, if that's the case, again, the question remains, "According to these individuals, how far back would we have to travel in order for the United States to truly feel like the 'United States'?"

That answer probably differs at least slightly for most everybody, but there seems to be at least two common reasons for some to feel their country has been taken from them: 1) Religion  and 2) Talking points (I suppose I could condense the list to one and label it "forms of brainwashing").

For as ridiculous as it may sound to Muslims and atheists in this country (as well as other religious or nonreligious groups), many Christians truly feel like their rights are being trampled. Not only has the LGBT community seen a surge in their rights the past few years, it's now being frowned upon to criticize homosexuals for their orientation, much like it was to criticize women for their gender or blacks for their skin color years back. Also, with the growing diversity with regard to ethnicity in this country, so too has the diversity in this country grown with regard to religious beliefs. Due to that, we've continued to try and more clearly separate the church and state on a national level ("Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas," the holiday tree versus the Christmas tree, etc.). These trends have led many conservative Christians to lay claim that this country is moving away from God, from its so-called Christian principles, that our country is suffering as a result, and if we want our country to improve, we'll have to "take it back" to the way the Founders supposedly envisioned it - an unapologetic Christian nation. The major problem with this rationale, as I've touched on before, is the fact it's not that Christians are losing rights; it's that other religious and nonreligious groups are gaining equal rights. Ironically enough, granting different groups of people equal rights under the law seems to be more closely in line with how the Founding Fathers envisioned this country than to set one religion as superior to all the others.

Largely with the help of right-wing talk radio, Fox News, and a host of conservatively-slanted websites (perhaps conspiracy-slanted is the more proper term), talking points has also played a large factor in some conservative Christians believing this country has been taken from them.

- "Tax and spend liberals!"

- "Gun-control nuts!"

- "They want to take away your guns!"

- "Anti-Christian!"

- "Anti-American!"

- "Unpatriotic!"

- "An America apologizer!"

- "Obama is a Muslim!"

- "Obama was born in Kenya!"

- "The global warming/climate change hoax!"

- "They want to punish success!"

- "Baby killers!"

- "Evil liberals!"

- "Godless!"

- "Moochers!"

- "It's a government takeover!"

Sure, these bumper sticker slogans and talk show host catch phrases may be untrue, but as the mere-exposure effect suggests, the more a person hears something, the more likely it is they'll believe it to be true. So even if the facts suggest otherwise, many of these far-right conservative Christians truly believe this country has been taken over by an almost foreign regime, hellbent on destroying America and her ideals.

I've got news for these very individuals; change is inevitable. Through our growing population, changes have to be made in order to adjust and adapt. This is also true with regard to our expanding technology. New scientific breakthroughs are continually being made, and with each such discovery, we'll have to learn, adjust, and adapt. Change isn't always a pleasant transition, but it's not the end of the world either as some make it out to be either. It's time for these far-right individuals to remove their conspiracy goggles, stop taking these bumper sticker slogans and angry talk show rants to heart, and instead think with their minds and attempt to move this country forward, along with moderates and progressives alike, into a nation we can all feel proud about. Honestly, what is truly terrifying about the following?

- Equal pay for equal work

- Equal marriage rights for all

- Reducing abortions through comprehensive sex education and contraceptive coverage included in women's healthcare plans, but without stripping away a woman's reproductive rights

- Ending the war on drugs so fewer become incarcerated for nonviolent crimes

- Retraining police and placing body cameras on them so they become less susceptible to abusing their powers

- Providing more affordable universal healthcare coverage

- Attempting to stabilize or reverse the global warming/climate change trend by treating our environment with more care (and a better future for our kids)

- Decreasing the wage gap between the richest and everybody else, so we can have a more stable middle-class, less poverty, and be less prone to turning into an oligarchy

- Reversing the Citizens United decision so election day becomes less about billionaires/corporations buying votes and more about the peoples' voice

- Making education more affordable, so students and their parents/families don't have to sacrifice years of debt for the hope their degree(s) will pay off for them in the long-term

- Closing tax loopholes for the rich and certain corporations

- Closing gun show and Internet sales loopholes for gun purchasers (background checks)

- Granting persons equal rights and opportunities under the law, regardless of their age, gender, race, creed, or orientation

Like every other country, the United States has never been perfect, but also like with every other country, change is inevitable, and we can either adjust and adapt to these very changes or simply try to do the impossible, which is live in the past. While some conservative Christians adamantly declare, "We want our country back!," I simply respond with, "I want my country better," and I hope they one day agree.

http://thedailybanter.com/2014/07/yes-take-back-country-racist-republicans-say/

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:

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCraigRozniecki?ref=hl


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 21,144 followers. I update it daily with many of my own tweets, but also by retweeting some others'. It can be found here:

https://twitter.com/CraigRozniecki


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:

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/rozzy81

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):

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?type=&keyWords=craig+rozniecki&x=7&y=5&sitesearch=lulu.com&q=

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:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_22?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=craig%20rozniecki%20kindle&sprefix=craig+rozniecki+kindle%2Caps%2C228&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acraig%20rozniecki%20kindle

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Republican wins an award for believing in science and stuff

These are sad times when it comes to the Republican Party and science. It's reached the point where former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis just received an award for being the "2015 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for political courage." What was the award for exactly? Allow John F. Kennedy's grandson, Jack Schlossberg, to tell you:

"Former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis was named the 2015 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for the political courage he demonstrated when he reversed his previous position on climate change, knowing that by acknowledging the scientific reality of atmospheric warming and calling on the United States to meaningfully address the issue, he was jeopardizing his political career..."

Yes, a Republican just won a political courage award for finally accepting the reality of climate change. Granted, I give the guy credit for finally accepting reality, but do I think a person should be handed a "courage" award for finally coming to terms with this? No. While we're at it, let's just hand a political courage award to Republican politicians for the following:

- Believing in gravity

- Knowing 5 > 2

- Memorizing the capital city of his home state

- Admitting Barack Obama won both presidential elections

- Finding Waldo

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/13/3646374/republican-wins-award-for-believing-in-climate-change/

http://profileincourageaward.org/

"Love the sinner, hate the sin" is just an excuse to hate

While the phrase has existed in some form for quite some time, "Love the sinner, hate the sin" has seemed to become increasingly more popular as the LGBT community has been garnering more rights across the country these past few years. I often times hear anti-gay marriage Christians attempt to sound more progressive and tolerant by simply saying, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Sure, that may sound easier on the ears than, "God hates fags," yet the consistent undertone of these two phrases and others is that of hate, the former simply disguised better than the latter.

When's the last time you heard the following interactions?


Frederick Titicaca: "So, did you hear about that pastor's wife spotting him at a Fifty Shades of Grey orgy over the weekend?"

Sandra Shaft: "Love the sinner, hate the sin."


Emily Teabag: "My hubby and I went to a comedy show on Friday night, and neither one of us could believe how many bad words the guy was saying. Over and over again, he'd be saying the 'f' word, the 's' word, the 'b' words, the 'd' and 'a' words, even the 'x' and 'z' words!"

Matthew Mathewson: "Love the sinner, hate the sin."


Johnny Buckwheat: "Can you believe the lie he told? I mean, getting drunk on tequila and then swimming across the Pacific Ocean in the middle of January while wearing nothing but a headband and sunglasses?"

Maria Golightly: "Love the sinner, hate the sin."


No, I haven't heard such discussions either. It seems that the phrase "Love the sinner, hate the sin" has been unofficially designated for the LGBT community. The problem with the phrase and its usage, besides the fact it appears to be an excuse to show disapproval of one particular demographic, is that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense when one gets right down to it.

Most of the people whom utter this line are self-described Christians. When did Jesus ever say to "Love the sinner, hate the sin"? Survey says? Not one fricking time. As a matter of fact, Jesus said to love thy neighbor and apparently died on the cross for mankind's sins, because no person is perfect. That's how the story goes anyway. So if the reason for Jesus' crucifixion was to save all of mankind due to the fact none of us are perfect, and in conjunction with this, said to love thy neighbor, how in the world can that be interpreted to mean, "Nobody's perfect, which is why I died for you. Also, I want you to love everyone around you, all your neighbors, your brothers and sisters. However, if the person's sin is that of homosexuality, I want you to cherry-pick that action from all the rest and simply tell him or her, 'I love you, but hate what you do.' If the person is a professional liar, simply tell him you love him. If the person has cheated on their spouse with an entire professional baseball team, including the team's announcers, columnists, and scouts, just tell her you love her. But if the person has been sleeping around with someone of their own gender, be certain to tell the person that while you love them, you do not approve of their lifestyle. Amen."?

Let's not beat around the bush with this phrase. "Love the sinner, hate the sin" may not sound as negative nor be on the receiving end of as much backlash as some other choice phrases regarding the LGBT community, but it's only spouted because the person hates what they term the "homosexual lifestyle." A person can attempt to disguise their hate as much as they'd like. At the end of the day, though, it's still hate, and hating a fellow "neighbor" for being in love with someone of the same gender is far worse than being in love with someone of the same gender. 

Christian: "Love the sinner, hate the sin."

Homosexual: "Love my partner, hate the hate."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A classic case of projection by Christian conservatives

I often times regret studying psychology in college, because it's led to me having a tendency to over-analyze everything, and not only that, but ten years after I graduated, I've yet to utilize the degrees I earned a great deal. However, once in a while, what I learned through the course of college, especially in the field of psychology, pays its dividends, where I'll have an "ah-ha!" moment and think to myself, "Now, if I hadn't have studied psychology, I probably wouldn't have thought of that." Such was the case when recently thinking about the Indiana RFRA law (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) and how many Christians positively reacted to it. 

It really befuddled me to hear Christians say such things as the following in response to the passage of the bill and the backlash it received: 

- "We're not discriminating against anyone! Liberals are discriminating against us for our beliefs!"

- "What these liberals want is homosexual supremacy!"

- "No matter how much we give the LGBT community, they're going to continue coming back and wanting more! They'll never be satisfied!"

These are classic cases of projection. What exactly is projection? Here's how psychology expert Kendra Cherry explains it: 

"Projection is a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people. For example, if you have a strong dislike for someone, you might instead believe that he or she does not like you. Projection works by allowing the expression of the desire or impulse, but in a way that the ego cannot recognize, therefore reducing anxiety."

In other words, these "Christian" conservatives are simply attempting to deny themselves feelings of guilt due to discrimination by projecting that onto another group, in this case, liberals. They also want to hide their desire for supremacy by claiming that's what homosexuals seek. Lastly, they want to deny their quantity of rights as never being good enough by suggesting that's how the LGBT community feels.

These projections (and others) clearly show that Christian conservatives in this country want to feel special. They may have a difficult time truly believing their words and actions are discriminatory, because they have trouble seeing things from an equality perspective. When it comes to gay marriage rights, instead of saying to themselves, "Well, they just want equal rights as everyone else," they're saying, "Well, if they get equal rights as us, then we'll no longer be seen as more special than them, and we don't want that! We want to be special!" This may be why so many die-hard Christians firmly believe they're being discriminated against and having their rights stripped from them. The fact of the matter is, they're not losing their long-held rights, others are simply being granted those very same rights, which makes them feel less special, and therefore, discriminated against. 

Homosexuals aren't looking for supremacy or more rights than everyone else; they're simply looking for equal rights. If there's anyone out there that appears to want supremacy and more rights than the rest, it's these very Christian conservatives projecting otherwise. Christians, like anyone else in this country, have the right to believe as they so choose, however, that doesn't grant them the right to discriminate against other groups of people in order to prevent them from attaining equal rights. If they must resort to this, they should ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?" Not that...

http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/ss/defensemech_7.htm

How the rich have brainwashed the middle-class to blame the poor

The American dream is a lovely concept. It contends that no matter who you are or where you came from, if you continually showcase a good work ethic, dedication, and determination, this dream can become a reality. You'll have a big house in the suburbs, a beautiful wife/handsome husband, a couple of kids, a dog, a white picket fence, backyard barbecues in the summer,  and an annual family vacation. In other words, you'll be living the dream. However, it seems that over the past 30+ years, while this dream is still feasible for a decent percentage of people and their families, it's becoming decreasingly likely. Trickle-down economics, certain tax breaks and loopholes, and through that, a growing disparity between the top 1-2% and everybody else, has left many in the middle-class living paycheck to paycheck, and many in the lower-class searching for second and third jobs in order to just make ends meet. Sadly, while the rich have been continuing to get richer these past 30+ years, they've appeared to maintain this superior and guilt-free image to much of the public, all the while most the attention and blame for our economic struggles have been directed at the poor. I have a feeling this is largely due to the concepts of hope and denial.

I think most Americans want to believe in the American dream. They want to believe if they work hard enough, stay dedicated to their jobs, and are determined enough to succeed, this will result in them living the American dream. Due to this hope and denial, they often times find themselves defending the wealthiest among us, claiming that these very individuals obviously worked hard for their fortunes and earned every single penny along the way. If these rich individuals find tax loopholes in order to spend less come tax day, many will call this simply a smart business move, and due to all the hard work the wealthy put forth, they've earned the right to do this. This is why many of these same "hopeful" Americans tend to cast the poor as lazy and as moochers, because in their minds, the American dream is a feasible destination for everyone, so if a person falls short, it's obviously due to a lack of work ethic, dedication, and determination. Also, while it was a smart business move for the wealthiest to find tax loopholes to pay less come tax day, the poor asking for money are simply moochers seeking government handouts.

The poorest among us are difficult for the most ardent of American dream believers to comprehend, because to them, they illustrate what's wrong with our economic system, and instead of thinking about where we went wrong, they'd rather just cast these people off as lazy moochers, so their vision of the ever so feasible American dream is still in tact. As in denial as they may be, however, their consciences still aren't seeing the whole picture, for along with the poorest among us, the richest among us are a direct illustration of what's wrong with our economic system. While some do work hard for their fortunes, others inherit theirs, and while some whom are poor are in fact lazy, others work extraordinarily hard. The fact of the matter is, no matter how hard one works anymore in this country, if one is born in a wealthy family, the odds are good that trend will continue into adulthood, and if one is born in a poor family, the odds are good that trend will continue as well. Yes, there are exceptions to those odds, but again, they're exceptions. The truth is that corporations and the richest among us can afford to find loopholes and find ways to cheat the country out of a great deal more money than the poor could ever fathom. Yet since they're obscenely wealthy, many Americans give them a pass on their lack of ethics, while instead choosing to cast the poor as this country's scapegoat, because to them, these individuals are poor only due to a lack of work and effort. In the meantime, the top 1-2% are laughing at the notion of the American dream, because to them, this "dream" is a substandard way of life, not realizing it's truly a dream for the other 98-99%. Unfortunately, the longer we allow the wealthy to convince the middle-class that the poor is to blame for this country's financial ills, the more they'll be laughing at the rest of us, and the more unlikely it will be for those in the middle- and lower-classes to achieve the American dream.

http://billmoyers.com/2014/01/16/ten-examples-of-welfare-for-corporations-and-the-ultra-rich/

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Change, Irony, Comparisons, and Alleged Hypocrisy

It's very commonplace for liberals or progressives to desire change, to want the country to "progress" and move forward on a number of issues. It's one reason why I believe self-described liberals to be less consistent making it to the polls on election day, because if we don't see the progress we had anticipated or been told to expect, we'll often times feel less motivation to vote the next election cycle. Conservatives, meanwhile, as the term would suggest, tend to want things to stay as they are, for things not to change too drastically. Because drastic changes aren't very common, they tend to be regularly more content come election day than progressives, which may be one factor why Republican candidates have a tendency to outperform Democratic candidates in the midterms.

Going along those same lines, conservatives tend to claim that they love this country as it is or "as it was" and will even go so far as to criticize progressives for seeking change, because, as they so often eloquently state, "If you don't love this country, get out!" I've even heard some resort to the line, "If you think things are bad here, just look at what's going on in Africa! Come on, get a little perspective here!" I've also heard this attack from some conservatives: "Liberals are such hypocrites! They whine and complain about the treatment of women and gays in this country, but don't complain at all about how they're treated in other countries, like over in the Middle East!"

To the first point, change is inevitable. We can either learn to adapt or try to make it by while still being stuck in our ways. Just because many in this country seek to progress with regard to human rights, infrastructure, transportation, energy, technology, education, etc., doesn't mean we don't "love" this country; it simply means we want to improve it, both for ourselves and others. Just because a person seeks to make some changes in their life doesn't mean they don't love themselves; it simply means they've recognized their flaws or bad habits and want to improve upon them for a better future. While some may want to believe that this country is perfect, just like someone may want to believe they're perfect, that's simply denial talking, and the more one is in denial about this, the less likely they'll be to making the proper changes to improve their lives and with that, their futures, because how could one fix a problem they don't believe exists? So, as far as I see it, both liberals and conservatives love this country; they just envision a different ideal version of it, with progressives looking ahead and conservatives looking behind.

With regard to the second point, yes, that's true to an extent - things are much better here than in many countries, especially the underdeveloped ones, and perhaps women and homosexuals should be grateful they reside here as opposed to those less tolerant nations. However, do we really want to constantly compare ourselves to these very countries? Shouldn't we aspire to rise above such nations? I find it ironic that those who tend to consistently say, "The U.S. is the greatest country in the history of the world," would resort to comparing us with some lesser developed countries in order to illustrate that we're not "so bad" when it comes to equal rights for women, homosexuals, and the like. In my opinion, if one feels the need to resort to such comparisons abroad, chances are some improvements are needed at home.

Lastly, when it comes to the hypocrisy attack, again, conservatives do have a point to a certain extent, but once again, I find it ironic that a group which continually refers to this country as the greatest ever would resort to comparing us with lesser developed countries. Also, for as much as I and many others would like to save the world, we're much more limited in our impact abroad than we are at home. So while we may despise how women and homosexuals are treated in some countries overseas, we feel more helpless to those situations than we do here at home, where we feel our voice and our votes actually count for something. People of all stripes may have it better here than in many other countries, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for better. After all, as many conservatives like to say, I thought we were the "best," so why don't we strive to match that high praise through our actions and not just our words?

Ohio has gone cray cray with their new proposed gun bill

I've spoken to many common sense gun owners, even NRA members, whom agree that some gun laws are necessary, such as mandated background checks (with that, closing the gun-show and Internet-sales loopholes) and not allowing guns in bars. Some even agree that assault weapons and high-capacity magazines should be outlawed. When Ohio passed a law in 2011 allowing guns in bars, several pro-gun business owners I know thought the idea was so outrageous, they posted signs at the front of their establishments to show that no guns were allowed. Well, if these very individuals thought that law was outrageous, that was nothing compared to the recent legislative proposal made by state Representative Ron Hood of Ashville, Ohio.

Currently, it's state law for aspiring gun purchasers to complete an eight-hour training course regarding gun usage and safety before getting their concealed handgun license at the sheriff's office. Well, if this new bill gets enacted, no training will be necessary to purchase a firearm, nor will it be necessary to obtain a permit at the sheriff's office. That's right, so long as you're not a convicted felon, you can purchase this deadly weapon even if it's your first time holding the device!

Often times, far-right gun "advocates" like to combat gun-control proponents by comparing guns to cars, saying, "There are more car-related deaths than gun-related deaths; are you going to want to ban cars too?" Of course, this argument misses the mark on multiple levels, considering the fact there are many vehicle-related laws in place to reduce the number of such deaths and lessen the odds of such incidents occurring, not to mention the fact a vision, written, and driving test has to be passed in order to obtain a license, and while some gun-control opponents do support the banning of assault weapons, I don't believe I know any whom support the banning of all guns. Not only that, but perhaps due to the lessening of gun regulations in recent years, while car-related deaths have been on the decline, gun-related deaths have been moving in the opposite direction. No matter how off-base this comparison and argument is, however, I'll play along for a moment to showcase just how ridiculous this new potential law is.

In 2012, 33,361 people died via car crash, while in 2011, firearms were responsible for killing 32,251 people. It's been estimated that, as of this year, deaths via gun violence will surpass deaths via car crashes. So, no matter where one wants to take the comparison of gun-related versus car-related deaths, the annual totals are rather similar at this point.

So, let's think about this for a moment. Ohio, like a few other states, is proposing that so long as a person isn't a convicted felon, he or she should be allowed to purchase a firearm without any training and without obtaining a permit. Let that sink in for a moment. Yes, that would be like not requiring a person to pass a written, vision, and driving test in order to obtain a drivers license and drive an automobile. Know how many people are scared of 16-year-olds or 86-year-olds behind the wheel? Imagine seeing these very 16- and 86-year-olds being allowed to get behind the wheel without passing a written, vision, or driving test. Scared now? Yeah, same here. In fact, I may be fearful to ever step outside the house again if that were the case.

It's simply common sense to mandate training and obtaining a license for potentially deadly devices, such as guns or cars. For those that feel there's absolutely nothing to worry about with regard to an untrained, unlicensed individual from purchasing a gun, I simply have to ask, "Would there be anything to worry about with regard to an untrained individual from driving a car?" If their answers are consistent, I won't give them too much flak, except to think their next stop might be the loony bin. However, I'm guessing for most people, that's not going to be the case. Just because one favors needing to pass written, vision, and driving tests in order to obtain a drivers license and legally drive a vehicle does not make one anti-car, and just because one favors needing some training and a license in order to purchase a gun does not make one anti-gun. Hopefully this bill doesn't pass and as a result, I don't feel the need to wear a helmet and bulletproof vest wherever I go.

http://www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com/story/news/local/2015/04/07/bill-allow-concealed-carry-without-permit/25423781/

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/americas-top-killing-machine/384440/

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/amendment-don-article-1.1223900

A reflection on growing up

It's pretty amazing how drastically our perspectives change throughout the course of life. As a child, it's incredibly difficult to understand the responsibilities of adults, and even though we may long for some of the freedoms yet afforded us at the time, we don't yet realize the weight of responsibilities that come along with those very freedoms. We'll often times find ourselves enjoying life as a child, but wanting to grow up, yet not wanting to grow up too much. These areas become further blurred as we develop into teenagers and young adults in college. True adulthood approaches closer, yet still appears to be far enough in the distance where we needn't trouble ourselves thinking too much about it, while we enjoy our new-found freedoms in life, and don't yet miss those childhood years. Then when adulthood hits us, it often times befuddles many, overwhelms some, and leaves us longing for the years void of much responsibility or even freedom. Gone are the worry-less days regarding money, transportation, food, and shelter.  Gone are the days of dreaming about what to become in the future, as that future is now. Often times too, gone are the days of being filled with a childlike curiosity and enthusiasm for life. While the younger a person is in age, the more difficult it will be for him or her to understand life as an adult, it also seems that the longer a person drifts into adulthood, the more difficult it becomes to remember and grasp life as a child (having kids can significantly impact this, however). Yet, in the end, it seems that most of us want to still be a child at heart, to grow up, but never grow up too much - so we can consistently remember the past, treasure the present, and dream of the future.

Rand Paul's all about the "eductation!"

Kentucky senator and politician voted most likely to start a hair product called Randgaine - Rand Paul - yesterday announced that he would run for president in the 2016 election. Like what happened to Texas Senator Ted Cruz shortly after announcing he'd be running for president, however, Rand ran into, what online doctors would call a website boo-boo (yes, that's the technical term, in my mind anyway).

In the education section of Rand Paul's website, a video was showcased with the Kentucky senator speaking about this very topic. What was the title of this video? "Rand Paul Opposes A One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Eductation."

Yes, that's right, in the education portion of his website, the Rand Paul team misspelled "eductation." It's no wonder the Kentucky senator opposes a one-size-fits-all approach to education. He even believes there should be more than one correct spelling for "eductation."

In light of the hilarious typo, I thought I'd have a little fun with it.

- At his next karaoke bash, expect Rand Paul to sing the following lyrics to Pink Floyd's song "Another Brick in the Wall":

"We don't need no eductation."


- Spelling bee moderator: "Spell 'education.'"

Rand Paul: "E-D-U-C, uh, tation."

Moderator: "Incorrect"

Paul: "The first 't' is silent!"


- Introducing Rand Paul's new campaign slogan: "Stand with Rand on Eductation Reform!"


As "eductation"-reform specialist Sarah Palin might say, "Thanks, but no thanks..."

http://www.businessinsider.com/rand-paul-touts-eductation-policy-2015-4

Facebook statuses to avoid...

Moving from Omaha, Nebraska to central Ohio seven years ago prompted me to join the popular social networking site Facebook. It allowed me to keep in touch with old friends, family members of mine around the country, as well as new friends. During work breaks, I'd often times find myself wasting time by playing games on the site, such as Candy Crush, Words With Friends, and Bejeweled Blitz. I was honestly quite hooked on the site for about six years. However, last year at around this time, I suffered what I call FBS (or Facebook Burnout Syndrome). All the Farmville invites started getting old, especially since I've never played the game. Seeing pictures of what people were eating two to three times a day started getting old, sometimes nauseating (especially if it was of the fast-food variety). Lastly, statuses I used to chuckle at as I rolled my eyes ever so slightly seemed to transition to the eye-rolling without the chuckles. This prompted me to all but ignore the site for a few months prior to returning just before the start of the new year. This absence from the site helped me mostly get over my severe case of FBS, but in order to completely get over this lingering case of FBS, I think I'll need to see less of the following types of statuses:

You're so vague (you probably don't know if this song is about you): "So, like, whatever," "I'm so angry at someone right now and you might exactly know who you are," "Something just happened," and "Sooo, is that it?" are just a few such examples of vague Facebook statuses which less than 0.000021% of the population would understand, including the original poster themselves, yet which seems to almost always draw at least one "what-are-you-talking-about" response, and from there, the lovely drama ensues. I'd think the original poster would have the wherewithal to realize he or she will likely be the only person to know what in the heck they're talking about, so chances are the status is just a way to draw attention, comments, and like I mentioned before, the inevitable soap opera of a discussion to follow. There are times I want to respond to such vague statuses with vague comments of my own.

Them: "So, like, whatever."

Me: "Right on!"


Them: "Something just happened."

Me: "For sure!"


Them: "Sooo, is that it?'

Me: "Yeah, it's over there."



The Best Things (or People) in Life Are Ours: Ever notice on national holidays, Mother's Day and Father's Day in particular, many people feel the need to exclaim to the social networking world that their mother and father is the best? Why is that exactly? It reminds me of silly little arguments friends of mine and I would have when we were 6-years-old. "My dad's stronger than your dad." "Nuh-uh, my dad's stronger!" On Facebook, though, the posts are more like, "My mom's better than your mom" or "My dad's better than your dad. He's the best and you can't have him! So there!" Wouldn't it be more appropriate to see and spend time with these "best" mothers and fathers, or, at the very least, call them and talk to them about how they're the very best, as opposed to telling a bunch of old high school friends, co-workers, exes, and random acquaintances on a social networking site? I'm sure mothers and fathers are thrilled by this trend as well.

Mother: "Why didn't you call me on Mother's Day?"

Daughter: "Oh, I was busy doing some stuff, but I had enough time to tell all my Facebook friends that you're the best mom in the world!"

Mother: "Gee, thanks, hun. That means so much considering you haven't called in three months."



Another Genius Baby: I really wonder how the babies of today will react in the future when they discover their pictures have been shared with hundreds of people they may never meet via a website. I'm going to sound old here (I swear I'm only 34), but I remember when I was a kid, my brother, cousins, and I would look through old photo albums of each other at our grandparents' place. The albums were hidden away in a closet, and only seen by close friends and family members. Granted, times have changed, and I can completely understand showing close friends and family members such photos on Facebook. However, unless one alters their privacy settings, I'd find it a bit odd to share such photos with such a large quantity of people, many of whom the person may not have seen for 15-20 years and may never see again. Also, while I understand we all want to believe our babies are special, the online world really doesn't have to know every detail of their lives. It's like all of these babies are the central character in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show. Yes, they found their toes and wiggled them; that's reason enough to believe they'll place Albert Einstein's intellect to shame. They made a noise reminiscent of a dog-sheep hybrid; they're going to be the next American Idol winner. They moved around and danced like a drunk person on St. Paddy's Day; they'll certainly be the next Michael Jackson. I'm just waiting for the day these babies grow up and post a bunch of videos and photos of their elderly parents. The photo album title will be, "Payback's a b*tch, ain't it?"


Get a Room, Please: Ever know someone who seems to constantly post over-the-top ooey-gooey statuses about their significant other? Don't most of  these feel forced and unnecessary, often times like they're trying to prove to themselves that it's actually true? If one is truly happy with their partner, I don't understand the need for acknowledgment and acceptance of it from a Facebook community. What would make a significant other feel better, a phone call during a work break just to tell him/her you love them, to cuddle on the couch, or to talk about how great you are to a bunch of people you may or may not know? If I'm truly happy with a relationship, I'll be too busy enjoying my time with the woman to even think about feeling the need to brag about it on Facebook. As the kids nowadays tend to say, "Just sayin'."

Husband: "Happy anniversary, sweetie!"

Wife: "Happy anniversary!"

Husband: "So, want to exchange gifts now?"

Wife: "Yeah, that sounds great!"

Husband: "Okay, I'll go first. I posted this Facebook status about how wonderful you are and how lucky I am!"

Wife: "No way! That's what I always wanted! Guess what? I did the same thing for you!"

Husband: "Really? Aw. Now everyone will think we're happy together!"

Wife: "I know, right? Well, goodnight. You can have the bed; I'll take the couch tonight."

Husband: "Oh, no, no. I'll take the couch. It's where I've been sleeping for a while and I've gotten used to it by now. You can have the bed. I wanna watch this new porn on Skinamax, anyway - something called Head-Bobbing Hobbits. Goodnight."

...and they lived happily ever after or something...


Obsession With Cliche Possession: Cliches tend to bother me, because for one, they often times don't make a lot of sense, and secondly, because they don't take much thought. Sadly, it seems that most people eat them up like buffalo wings and potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday. Even sadder are the times when I see people posting cliched statuses like they're their own, and then seeing 15-50 people liking these statuses.

Status: "You work hard to play hard!"

Typical response: "Yes! I totally agree! Did you think of that by yourself? Awesome!"

The response I want to give: "Just like investors, politicians, and professional miniature golfers, right?"


Status: "Everything happens for a reason."

Typical response: "So true!"

The response I want to give: "So what was the reason for writing this Facebook status about everything happening for a reason? Oh, and what's the reason for Nickelback, Adam Sandler movies, Dane Cook stand-up specials, and the Tea Party?"


Status: "Always give 110%!"

Typical response: "Always! Well put! That's what I always say too!"

The response I want to give: "You know that's not mathematically possible, correct? Grow some wings and then perhaps you could have an argument."


Can I Hear an Amen?: I honestly don't care if a person is a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or a Sheldon Cooperist; they can believe what they want. However, I am getting a little tired of statuses such as these: "God continues to bless my life each and every day," "God continues to prove how much he loves my family and I," "Jesus answered another prayer and showed once again he's with me and my loved ones." People can believe whatever they want, but isn't it a little narcissistic and insensitive to post such statuses when, chances are, someone reading that is having the direct opposite thought due to a recent hardship or tragedy?

Status: "God continues to bless my life each and every day!"

A fellow reader's thoughts: "What did I do wrong? I was just diagnosed with herpes today and I'm a fricking virgin!"


Status: "God continues to prove how much loves my family and I!"

A fellow reader's thoughts: "Well, goody for you. My husband just got injured in a golf-cart race, my daughter broke up with her gay boyfriend, and I get the feeling my boyfriend on the side is cheating on me!"


Status: "Jesus answered another prayer and showed once again he's with me and my loved ones!"

A fellow reader's thoughts: "I prayed 27 times last week. Know how many of them were answered? None. Sure, I figured the lottery was a long shot, but for the Knicks not to win a single game? Give me a break!"

Other types of statuses to avoid:

- Bust Out the Tin-foil Hat: Most all conspiracy theories should be kept in the vault, meaning, one's mind

- Life Sucks and Then You Post: Bad day? Fine, but eat a Snickers instead of posting all about it

- Sir Rant-a-Lot: Some people like big rants and they cannot lie, but most don't - especially while drinking their coffee in the morning and thinking about playing a game or two of Candy Crush

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#ThingsJesusNeverSaid

I got on a bit of roll over the weekend with the Twitter hashtag trend #ThingsJesusNeverSaid. I even got mentioned at this link for posting one of the "tweets of the week" - http://fusion.net/story/114012/chers-in-the-market-for-a-tupac-sweatshirt-and-all-the-stuff-you-missed-on-twitter-this-week/. All in all, I posted 36 such tweets, which resulted in 265 retweets and 380 favorites. Here they are, in order, based on their popularity to this point:

1) "For my birthday, I'm thinking of a big guy with a white beard & on the day I rise again, I'm thinking of a rabbit."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(74 retweets, 108 favorites)

2) "Thou shalt not steal...unless it's land from Native Americans."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(36 retweets, 37 favorites)

3) "My twelve apostles shall include Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil, because corporations are people too, my friend."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(37 retweets, 35 favorites)

4) "Care for thy children before birth. After birth, they're on their own."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(35 retweets, 29 favorites)

5) "If thou shalt seek facts, thou shalt look to Fox (News)."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(25 retweets, 32 favorites)

6) "Cheat on your wife with 20 different women? I'll give you a pass. Two guys together & loyal for 70 years? Not cool."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(11 retweets, 19 favorites)

7) "I love you,
Yes you know,
For the Bible tells you so,
Unless you're a scientist,
Or a homo."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(9 retweets, 7 favorites)

8) "Whoever hasn't sinned may cast the first stone at her. Nobody? Fine then, I'll just bust out my AK-47."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(5 retweets, 6 favorites)

8) "I long for the day where an anti-Semitic Christian man directs a film about me, a Jewish man."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(3 retweets, 8 favorites)

10) "Know what the best part about creating the world is? Destroying it. Give me pollution! Give me war! Give me a beer!"
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(6 retweets, 4 favorites)

10) "I turned water into wine, bread into bacon, and Bill O'Reilly into a reputable journalist."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(3 retweets, 7 favorites)

12) "Nothing makes a man feel better than to have his name misused for the rich to take advantage of the poor."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(4 reweets, 5 favorites)

12) "Drill, baby, drill!"
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(2 retweets, 7 favorites)

14) "There's nothing that relaxes me more after curing lepers than going to the shooting range."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(1 retweet, 7 favorites)

14) "What would I do? Not serve gay couples cake or pizza; that's for sure!"
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(1 retweet, 7 favorites)

16) "The world will misunderestimate just how great of a president George W. Bush will be one day."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(3 retweets, 4 favorites)

16) "The key sign of the end of times will be something called Obamacare."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(1 retweet, 6 favorites)

16) "If I had one wish, it'd be to one day take a bathroom mirror shirtless selfie."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(1 retweet, 6 favorites)

19) "So, like, science, numbers, and facts suck."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(3 retweets, 2 favorites)

19) "The poor, huh, yeah,
What are they good for?
Absolutely nothing"
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid #EdwinStarr
(1 retweet, 4 favorites)

19) "Ever since Reagan was elected president, I've been a die-hard Republican."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(1 retweet, 4 favorites)

19) "Alpha males may have their muscles, but nothing screams toughness more than a robe and sandals."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 5 favorites)

19) "Barack Hussein Obama is kind of scary for a nerd."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 5 favorites)

24) "After what happened to my mom, she's going to be fully supportive of abstinence-only education someday."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(1 retweet, 3 favorites)

24) "You can't spell 'team' without 'me.'"
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(1 retweet, 3 favorites)

24) "I'm almost jealous of Casper I'm so white."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(1 retweet, 3 favorites)

24) "Today, I want to find eggs in a yard, lots of candy, and a basket."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 4 favorites)

28) "When I think about benevolence, the first name that comes to mind is Christian Grey."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 3 favorites)

29) "The Antichrist will be a man who has a name that rhymes with shamrock iguana."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 2 favorites)

29) "It's Friday night, man. Let's go into town cruising on our babe-magnet camels and pick up some chicks."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 2 favorites)

29) "I bought this robe at Hot Topic, how about you?"
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 2 favorites)

32) "So, women are responsible for just 78% of men's births, so they should get 78% of men's pay too."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 1 favorite)

32) "I remember the time when I roasted my chestnuts on an open fire."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 1 favorite)

32) "I only walked on water as part of a cop's sobriety test. Fortunately, I passed."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 1 favorite)

32) "A man cannot become wise without doing the Three Wise Men shot."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 1 favorite)

36) "Thou shalt not kill, even if you're a gun, but then again, guns don't kill."
#ThingsJesusNeverSaid
(0 retweets, 0 favorites)

To peruse the rest of my crazy tweets, check out the following link: https://twitter.com/CraigRozniecki

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:

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCraigRozniecki?ref=hl


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 20,478 followers. I update it daily with many of my own tweets, but also by retweeting some others'. It can be found here:

https://twitter.com/CraigRozniecki


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:

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/rozzy81

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):

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?type=&keyWords=craig+rozniecki&x=7&y=5&sitesearch=lulu.com&q=

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:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_22?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=craig%20rozniecki%20kindle&sprefix=craig+rozniecki+kindle%2Caps%2C228&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acraig%20rozniecki%20kindle

Monday, April 6, 2015

Big Douche Bryan Fischer calls out to "Big Gay"

On his radio show Friday, Bryan Fischer of the ultra-conservative American Family Association, made the following statement regarding Indiana's RFRA law (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), the public's reaction, and at the time, Governor Mike Pence's thoughts of revising the controversial bill:

"I'm afraid Governor Pence is dangerously close to allowing the homosexual lobby to get the state of Indiana, to compel people to provide labor against their will. What do we call it when people are compelled to provide labor against their will? Involuntary labor, what do we call that, ladies and gentlemen? That is involuntary servitude, that is slavery, that is something that is forbidden by the Thirteenth Amendment."

He's also made his views about the matter known on his Twitter account, as he's posted the following tweets:

- "The pressure Big Gay has put on Indiana is proof they are not about 'marriage equality' but 'homosexual supremacy.'"

- "Indiana will soon find it is impossible to satisfy the homosexual lobby. They will immediately be back for more. And more."

- "Indiana to Christian wedding vendors: in any conflict between you and Big Gay, we're coming down on the side of Big Gay."

"Big Gay"? Really? Based on that rhetoric, Bryan Fischer just proves himself to be a "Big Douche."

Speaking of the big douche, Bryan Fischer, like a lot of other extreme right-wing individuals, seems to have trouble with the concept of equality. Allow me to try and help him out with that.

When heterosexuals and homosexuals are both allowed to marry the person of their choosing, this would constitute as equality. However, when homosexual couples can get turned away from businesses due to their orientation, whereas heterosexuals aren't, this is inequality. When both groups of people aren't turned away from such businesses, this would not be an example of homosexual supremacy, but again, of equality.

It's really not that difficult of a concept to grasp, but strangely enough, appears to be that way for a growing number of people.

Also, does Mr. Fischer REALLY want to go there with the slavery comparison? Does he really want to contend that a group of people which is fighting to attain equal rights are masters in a way to their slaves that is the rest of the country? Does that mean, according to him, it was an issue of slavery where African-American slaves fought for equal rights so they didn't get turned away by businesses due to the color of their skin? Give me a fricking break...

Yeah, only in Bryan Fischer's world do the real slaves control their masters as slaves. In the real world, Bryan Fischer is just a "Big Douche."

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/03/bryan-fischer-indiana-law

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bryan-fischer-clarifying-indianas-religious-freedom-law-will-lead-slavery

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear stupidly defends the state's same-sex marriage ban

While it's typically the far right-wing politicians whom I criticize for their anti-gay remarks, once in a while, I'll come across a Democratic politician who makes similar remarks and I'll criticize him (or her) all the same. That's indeed what happened when Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear made the following comment in a brief filed for the Supreme Court with regard to the state's same-sex marriage ban:

"Kentucky's marriage laws treat homosexuals and heterosexuals the same and are facially neutral. Men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are free to marry persons of the opposite sex under Kentucky law, and men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, cannot marry persons of the same sex under Kentucky law."

Governor Beshear deserves a standing ovation of the slow-clap variety for that ridiculous statement. When reading it over again, I can hear Chris Tucker's character from the Rush Hour series, looking at the Kentucky governor and saying, "Do you understand the words that are coming out of your mouf?"

Citizens of Kentucky, relax, there aren't any marriage bans in your state! If you're straight, you can marry someone you're attracted to of the opposite sex. Just please don't ever be tempted to, for whatever reason, go against your natural urges and go the same-sex route, because that wouldn't be allowed. Lucky for you, that will never be an issue. If you're gay, you can go against your natural urges and marry someone of the opposite sex too! Sure, it might not feel right for you to do so, you may not feel a strong physical and sexual connection with the person, but hey, at least it's marriage, right? F'ing a, right!

In his own demented little mind, it appears as if Governor Beshear often visualizes the following two discussions taking place:

Setting (for both scenarios): In Governor Beshear's office

Scenario #1

Donald Trumpski: "I wanna get married."

Steve Beshear: "Okay, well, congratulations! You and Sheila have been seeing each other for a while now. It's about time you two tie the knot!"

Trumpski: "I want to marry a guy."

Beshear: "Say what? Wait, you're gay?"

Trumpski: "No, I'm straight."

Beshear: "Soooo... I'm confused. Why do you want to marry a guy?"

Trumpski: "I don't know. When you said gays and straight have equal rights, that we could all marry someone of the opposite sex, but none of us could marry someone of the same sex, it just got me to thinking; I don't want to have equal rights as gays! I want to have more rights than gays! So, yeah, I want to marry a man!"

Beshear: "I'm sorry, but you can't do that, not in this state at least."

Trumpski: "Why not? Why are you trampling on my rights as a straight man wanting to get married to another guy when you're still allowing gays to marry people of the opposite sex? That's not right!"

Beshear: "Hmm... You make some excellent points, Donny. I'll have to think this over and get back to you on the matter."


Scenario #2

Jesus Highness: "I wanna get married."

Steve Beshear: "Okay, well,l congratulations! What's the lucky woman's name?"

Highness: "Jeremy Cheekbones"

Beshear: "Oh, I see... Well, I'm afraid you can't marry him. You can marry a woman, though. Have any girlfriends?"

Highness: "I'm gay."

Beshear: "I understand that, but we don't allow same-sex marriage in this state, for heterosexuals or homosexuals. We do allow marriage between one man and one woman in this state for both heterosexuals and homosexuals, though, so there's that."

Highness: "But I'm gay."

Beshear: "Right, so, as a gay man, if you want to get married in Kentucky, it will be with a woman."

Highness: "So, if I become governor of this state one day, would you deem it to be fair or right for me to pass a law which allowed heterosexuals and homosexuals to marry someone of the same sex but not of the opposite sex?"

Beshear: "No, that'd be ridiculous!"

Highness: "But, you see, I'd be fair to both groups. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals could marry someone of the same sex, but neither homosexuals nor heterosexuals could marry someone of the opposite sex."

Beshear: "That's not fair at all! That's..."

Highness: "...exactly what you're doing."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/01/kentucky-gay-marriage_n_6984678.html

A study disproves the NRA's talking points

David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, has been conducting a study regarding guns, gun violence, and whether or not the National Rifle Association's talking points are at all valid. Unfortunately for the NRA, to this point, the study's findings send a very clear message to the powerful gun lobby: "You're wrong!"

Hemenway modeled his study off the 2010 study on climate change, where it was reported that 97% of climate scientists believe humans to be responsible for global warming. He and his team of researchers looked through 1,200 gun-related articles published since 2011 "in peer-reviewed journals focused on public health, public policy, sociology, and criminology." Hemenway then sent surveys to the authors of these very articles on a monthly basis (up to 300 per), asking these gun experts an array of questions regarding the topic. To this point, nine surveys have been completed, with approximately 100 of the gun experts/researchers responding to each. Here's how the results have played out thus far:

"Do you think having a gun in the house makes it a safer or a more dangerous place to be?"

More dangerous: 64%

Neutral/It depends: 32%

Safer: 5%

Difference: 59% (between more dangerous and safer)


"Strong gun laws help reduce homicide."

Agree: 71%

Neutral/Don't know: 18%

Disagree: 12%

Difference: 59%


"The change in state-level concealed carry laws in the United States over the past few decades from more restrictive to more permissive has reduced crime rates."

Disagree: 62%

Neutral/Don't know: 29%

Agree: 9%

Difference: 53%


"In the United States, guns are used in self-defense far more often than they are used in crime."

Disagree: 73%

Neutral/Don't know: 20%

Agree: 8%

Difference: 65%


"In the United States, having a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide."

Agree: 84%

Neutral/Don't know: 8%

Disagree: 8%

Difference: 76%


"In the United States, having a gun in the home increases the risk that a woman living in the home will be a victim of homicide."

Agree: 72%

Neutral/Don't know: 17%

Disagree: 11%

Difference: 61%


"Internationally, and in the United States, evidence indicates that background checks can help keep guns out of the hands of a significant number of violent people."

Agree: 60%

Neutral/Don't know: 23%

Disagree: 16%

Difference: 44%


"Safe storage (e.g., unloaded, locked up) of firearms in the home reduces the likelihood of suicide."

Agree: 65%

Neutral/Don't know: 18%

Disagree: 17%

Difference: 48%


Average numbers

More gun-control crowd: 68.9%

Neutral: 20.6%

Less gun-control crowd: 10.8%

Difference: 58.1%


So, on average, out of every ten gun experts/researchers out there, approximately seven believe guns to be dangerous and that more gun laws would mean less crime, one believes the direct opposite, and two are uncertain which way they lean at this point. No, these numbers aren't quite as staggering as those in the 2010 climate-change study, but they're pretty significant nevertheless.

97% of climate scientists believe in global warming

Nearly 70% of gun experts dismiss NRA's talking points

I can just hear the NRA's response now. I'm guessing it will be one (or all) of the following:

- "The only way to stop a bad guy with a survey is a good guy with a survey!"

- "More studies means less reading!"

- "Studies don't teach people; people teach people!"

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/gun-research-harvard-nra

Jeb Bush was apparently Hispanic in 2009

It's being reported that, in 2009, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush incorrectly labeled himself as Hispanic on his voter-registration application. While it was probably just an honest mistake, that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun with it, right?

Here are some of the things I believe Jeb said during his short time as an apparent Hispanic:

- "The name's Jeb, but my real name is Jebbo, pronounced 'Heh-bow'."

- "It was my New Year's resolution to become Hispanic and just look at me now!"

- "I wonder how my brother Jorge Jr. and my father Jorge Sr. are doing."

- "Ah, Taco Bell! Now that's real Mexican food right there! Yum!"

- "Why does it seem like people still see me as white? I think they misunderestimate my Hispanicness."

http://time.com/3772081/jeb-bush-hispanic/

I got mentioned on Fusion.net

One of the hashtag trends on Twitter over the weekend was #ThingsJesusNeverSaid, and let's just say, with regard to that very hashtag, I was kind of in the zone - so much so, that I got mentioned on Fusion.net, where one such post made their cut for "tweets of the week." If curious, you can check out that very article at this link: http://fusion.net/story/114012/chers-in-the-market-for-a-tupac-sweatshirt-and-all-the-stuff-you-missed-on-twitter-this-week/