What A Great Breakdown

break it down

It is very unlikely that you will ever see me do this again, but in this case it seemed warranted. I recently posted a link on Facebook entitled “How to explain gay rights to an idiot.” It was quite a humorous way of poking fun at those who try to say that gay marriage would somehow open the door to marrying animals or inanimate objects. Most comments were funny in nature, but inevitably a debate broke out between two of my friends, about the true nature of governments role in marriage. They both agreed (I think), that gay marriage should be legal, but they were not in agreement as to why it was not. I would never bore anyone with the back and forth details of this debate, I would merely like to share the last comment made, because I think it may be one of the most concise, albeit simple explanations, of the complete lunacy that is the United States stand on gay marriage.

~~~Aaaargh! Look, I don’t have the time to write a well researched thesis about this, but the debate between Frank and I, is not about beliefs and choice. He’s arguing that the legalization of gay marriage, at the governmental level, is or is perceived to be a mixture of church and state because the government is regulating an inherently religious institution. I, on the other hand, am arguing that a) the government has been in the business of regulating marriage for a long time and b) that the history of the government’s regulation of marriage in fact establishes (has already established) marriage as a CIVIL institution that brings a lot of civil benefits like tax breaks and shared health insurance. I KNOW what I am about to say is simplified but here’s a breakdown:

In the beginning 2 people were married in Church A and 2 people were married in Church B. The gov’t “steps in” and says, “these 2 couples have differing religious beliefs but we’re taking religion out of this. Both couples are legally married.”

Next scenario: 1 person from Religion A falls in love with 1 person from Religion B. Religion A and Religion B will not allow them to get married in their respective churches, so the people get married in a civil ceremony. Again, in essence, the government “steps in” and says, “these 2 churches won’t recognize this marriage, but we’re taking religion out of this. These 2 people are citizens and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be married.”

Next scenario: Person A gets divorced from person B and falls in love with person C. Person A, B, and C belong to Religion “Nuh-uh,” which stipulates that marriage is forever and you can’t get married in our church twice. So Person A and Person C get married in a civil ceremony. Once again, the government “steps in” and says, “maybe religion “Nuh-uh” has a problem with this union, but we’re taking religion out of this. Person A is legally divorced and is a citizen of this country. There’s no reason why Person A and Person C shouldn’t get married.”

Next scenario: Person A belongs to no church and Person B belongs to Religion “JoinOrLeave.” Person A cannot, in good conscience, convert to Religion “JoinOrLeave” but Person B loves Person A anyway, so they get married in a civil ceremony. Don’t mean to belabor the point, but AGAIN, the government, in essence, says, “Religion “JoinOrLeave” is recognized in this country and they can freely practice their religion, but Person A is a citizen of this country whom we recognize even though Person A does not belong to a religion. Religion is not a requirement of citizenship. We’re taking religion out of this. Person A and Person B are legally married.”

Next scenario: Person A has no religion and Person B has no religion. They fall in love and want to get married. Having no religion, they get married in a civil ceremony. Again, the government says, “They have no religion, but we have ALWAYS taken religion out of this issue. Person A and Person B are citizens, and if they want to get married, they can get married in a civil ceremony, and we will legalize this union.”

So, the way I understand it is: 2 people can get married in this country regardless of religion, and it’s been that way for a loooooooong time. What matters here is your definition of “person.” This particular issue has come up before. The government ruled that, for example, women are people and should enjoy all the benefits of citizenship. The government ruled that, for example, black people are people, and should enjoy all the benefits of citizenship. (FYI, there was a law against inter-racial marriage in this country, and the government “stepped in” and protected the ability of any 2 citizens to marry, regardless of race.)

Ok, so here we are in 2011. People, no matter what their religion is, can marry (within one religion or between religions). People, no matter what color their skin is, can marry each other (whether their partner has the same skin color or a different skin color). People who don’t believe in God can get married (to each other or to a person who believes in God). And people, no matter what their gender is, can get married (to each other, or to a person of a different gender). Oh, wait, the last statement is not true. Seems weird…..

I AGREE, SO WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT FOR THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO DO WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING FOR SO LONG, FOR SO MANY OTHERS?

My thanks to Molly Peeney. Ph.D., Slavic Languages and Literatures
Special Professional Faculty at University of Notre Dame

The Cheating Never Stops

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So what is it gonna take for professional sports to get it right as it relates to steroids? Why is it so difficult for them to adopt the methods used in boxing and the olympics, that require post competition testing of the athletes? More importantly, why do the leagues allow the players to dictate, in the CBA, any of the terms by which they have to do the steroid testing? It is completely ridiculous. Why should anyone that competes on a national level have the right to set any of the parameters that would determine whether or not they are cheating? Especially when the results could so easily effect individual achievements and awards.

If you are unable to establish a set of rules that have ALL players in your sport being randomly tested, multiple times per year, how about adopting a policy that says that you must take a test one month before the end of the season, if you are in contention to win any kind of individual award at season’s end. What would be the harm in that? Considering how much value is put in these awards as it relates to things like the Hall of Fame, why not make a more concerted effort, going forward, to make sure that the accomplishment is not tainted? This would not only show that the best players in their sport are clean, but that the players themselves are anxious to let the fans KNOW they are clean. It doesn’t get any more simple than that. To me, if the players union, of any sport, doesn’t agree with that, than its proof positive that they are not only complicit, but that they just don’t care.

In addition, how fun would it be to see a guy having a great season, suddenly tank it for fear of being found out. If it would make the players feel better, than make the test results inadmissible unless you actually win the award. Hell, if a player was using, he would be on a goodwill campaign to get writers to vote for someone else. “Yeah, I know I had 45 HR’s, 145 RBI, and batted .356, but did you see that catch Coco Crisp made last week? He definitely deserves the MVP more than me.” Don’t laugh. That’s exactly what would happen, but who cares.

Of course, I say all this because of the discovery of this years NL MVP, Ryan Braun, having tested positive for PED’s. Just when you thought that the real stars in baseball couldn’t be stupid enough to do steroids, in walks Braun to snap us all back to reality. The fact that he did it, is not what’s bothering me though. What upsets me the most is that he tested positive in the same year he won the MVP, yet the Baseball Writers Association feels no need to take a revote for the award that THEY handed out. How ass backwards is that? I know that the argument I have been hearing all weekend is that if they didn’t take away previous awards from known users, than how can they start now? It’s real easy. You just friggin’ do it. You make the same decision you make every time a known or highly suspected player is up for Hall of Fame induction. You exercise your right to keep him out. You have to wait a few years to do it, but you still do it.

Now you finally have a chance to exercise that right immediately. You have the ability to say, once and for all, that not only do you have the power to give someone an award, but you also have the power to take it away. This would send a clear message to players that you will not only keep them out of the Hall of Fame, but you will definitely not let them build up their trophy case either. If the league won’t do it, then you must. Have the courage to do as much as you can, in the face of a league that won’t. If you don’t, than you only show that you are gutless to the present moment, and unwilling to create change, even when you have the power to do so. I’ll keep my fingers crossed……..but I won’t hold my breath.

Leave Santa Alone, Literally.

Christmas-Tree-Fireplace-1024-127315So, the holiday season is upon us, and it has brought us to another edition of “Political Correctness Gone Amock.”

Without fail, December arrives and another handful of jackasses feel the need to take advantage of a society afraid to offend anyone. Bitching and moaning about Christmas and Santa Clause, because it’s not what THEY believe. This is most commonly seen in schools, who constantly cave to these whiners to show that they are sensitive to the feelings of all people. Not allowing the exchanging of gifts between students, and forbidding any and all things representative of the most popular and widely celebrated holiday IN THE WORLD!

As an atheist, most people would call me a hypocrite for celebrating Christmas. I, as well as many other atheists I know, love Christmas. It’s the shit, especially if you have kids. Seeing the look in their eyes when they come down to a living room filled with gifts. Watching all the holiday specials for an entire month. Driving around looking at decorated houses, and getting their picture taken with the big guy himself, Santa. Why would I want to take that away from my children? I was just like them when I was a kid, and I still grew up to be an athiest. You know why? Because when a kid is still young enough to believe in Santa, he doesn’t give two shits about the REAL meaning of Christmas. Mainly because Jesus isn’t putting toys under the tree.

And isn’t that what Christmas is really all about now anyway? With all due respect to the believers of the world, Christmas is about being with your family, getting gifts for the ones we love, and enjoying the innocence of a child who still believes in an imaginary person named Jesus, er uh, I mean Santa. Sorry, sometimes sarcasm gets the best of me.

I know that the basis for Christmas is obviously religious, but that ship sailed a long time ago. Although most aspects of it have some connection to the birth of Christ, it has truly become all about Santa and commercialization. That, in my opinion, is the single biggest bullet that “Christmas people” have in their gun, if they want to take it back, and stop all this politically correct bullshit. Listen closely, because this could work.

It’s sad that the atheist is pointing this out, but most Christian historians are in agreement that Jesus was NOT born on December 25th. So, give that date up, pick a more accurate one, likely in September, and let Santa have the holiday to himself. This would then make the holiday a non religious one. Then the minority could not only stop complaining, but could actually participate. How great would it be if EVERY kid in the world could enjoy this experience? No trying to be careful what you say around someone for fear of offending them.

Of course the one big problem with this idea is coming up with a name that would be accepted. I admit, this might be difficult. Keeping the name the same would be great, but as long as Christ is in the name, people would still complain. I have no viable suggestions, but seeing we all know how commercialized it is, there is no reason that a big add agency can’t sit down and come up with a winner.

The sooner we get on this the better. I’m all for a separation of church and state, but in this case I think we need a separation of church and great. Great being the greatest holiday EVER! If people truly want this day to be left alone, than Jesus needs to assume his REAL day and Santa needs to be allowed to stand alone. Until then, the 1% will continue to control this season. And don’t they seem to control enough already. Oh wait, that’s a different 1%. Merry Giftsmas everybody. 😉

That’s Just How I Roll

We’ve all seen a hundred movies, in our lives, where the hero avenges the death of his family. We sit there thinking to ourselves that if put in the same situation, we would do the same thing. Hell, I just watched Law Abiding Citizen the other day, and took joy in the retribution Gerard Butler dealt out to the men who raped and killed his wife and daughter. They deserved it, and he deserved the right to deliver it. Yet every week in this country, these scenarios play out in real life yet the avenging part never takes place. Why?

Most people have heard about the grizzly murder of the Petit family in Connecticut. Two guys break in, strangle the wife to death, rape one of the daughters, beat the husband, then pour gas over the girls, 11 and 17, and set them on fire. The husband manages to escape while the men are upstairs, and they are inevitably captured. This man just lost EVERYTHING at the hands of these men. Yet, like so many other cases in this country, he let’s due process run its course, and one man will do life and the other will lose his.

THAT JUST WOULDN’T BE ENOUGH FOR ME!!!

Now I understand that the elaborate revenge methods, that take place in the movies, are very convoluted. Tracking the assailant down on your own. Capturing them, and then dishing out some torture and inevitable death. It certainly helps the plot, but it is a little over the top. Although, we would all love to look this person in the eye and say something pointed, right before we killed them, I would just be satisfied with the part where I get to kill them.

I think it was back in the 80’s that I remember a story of a guy who killed his sons kidnapper in an airport. A news crew actually caught it on tape. I don’t remember if the perpetrator actually killed the boy, but it was bad either way. The authorites caught the guy and had flown him back to face the charges. The Dad found out when he was coming in and went to the airport with a gun. He pretended to be on a pay phone near the gate, and when the police were walking him by, the Dad turned around and shot him in the head. No extravagant plan. Nice and simple.

I not only would want to do the same thing, I think if this happened to any one of my real close friends’ families, and you know who you are, I would help them do it. I know the argument against all this is the “what about your own family? You would be leaving them without a Father.” Call me the last of a dying breed, but I choose honor over all else. My friends are my family too. I would do anything for them. “We ride together, we die together. Bad boys for life.” It sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. Those who know me, know it is. So am I the only one?

At a time when we constantly complain about the legal system in this country, how is it that vigilante justice NEVER seems to happen. Could it just be the luck of the Irish that keeps bad things from happening to people who would actually seek TRUE retribution? Are the criminals just picking the right people? I don’t know. What I do know is this. If the awful events that took place at the Petit home, happened to me, there is NO WAY that those men would live one day longer than it would take for me to kill them. PERIOD!!!!!! Just give me a few weeks of practice with a sniper rifle, and I’d pick the guy off from a building across the street, when he is walking into the courthouse.

I must admit though, if it were possible to actually track down and capture the perpetrator, like they do in the movies, there is likely no limit to the things I would do to make that person suffer or the amount of time I would make that suffering last. But hey, that’s just me.

Now I gotta go get back to painting my daughters toe nails. See ya. LMAO. 😉

We’re All Hypocrites

While I am waiting for my car to be washed today, I am watching the tv in the waiting area, and they are discussing how furious people in Connecticut are about the fact that they still have no power. One resident after another, is on camera, bitching and moaning about it. “This is ridiculous. It’s cold outside, and we haven’t had power for a week. Where are all the trucks? What’s taking so long?” The reporter in the studio begins debating whether or not the power company should have to pay a penalty for the delay in restoring power. All this complaining got me thinking about something I have been saying for years. WE ARE ALL HYPOCRITES!!!!

That’s right. I said it. Hypocrites. Every last one of us. Well, nearly every last one of us. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, We The People only care how it’s going to effect us, as individuals. Screw everyone else, and give me what I want. I want what’s best for “me”.

I constantly hear people complaining about the politicians in Washington D.C. “They don’t care about the people, they only vote for what’s best for them.” Novel concept, but let me ask you this. How many times have you supported ANYTHING in this country that was good for the majority, but bad for you? Let me help you out with this one. NEVER! Although, I know a few of you out there are the exception to this, the very large majority are not. You only care about yourself and you will likely never change. It’s really quite depressing. What’s more, you won’t admit it.

Take the Universal Health Care issue. It’s a fact, that it helped more people than it hurt. A lot more. But if YOU didn’t benefit, you didn’t want it. I thought this country was founded on the principle that we helped each other out? Not anymore. It’s no longer We The People, it’s Me The Person. Tell me where I’m wrong. Please. Again, I know there are exceptions, but not many.

Now look at the power outage problem. Do you really think that the power company isn’t doing everything they can to get things back up and running? It’s bad for their business to have customers without power. I could see if they had faulty equipment that resulted in a massive power failure, but this was a big storm, and they are exhausting everything they have to get it repaired. Mother Nature caused this damage and THEY are spending THEIR money and man-power to get your power back on. You don’t care though, because all you know is that YOU are being inconvenienced. Gee, we are so sorry that the world doesn’t revolve around your fragile little infrastructure. Why don’t you hire someone, on your dime, to come clear all the debris from the power lines. Then let them know that you just wanted to do your part to expedite the repairs. If everyone did that, I bet they would have had power days ago. Until residents are willing to do that, they should just shut up.

Ultimately, this country is going to hell in a hand basket. I know it’s easy to blame the politicians, but they are just a microcosm of society. A society that lost its way a long time ago and shows no sign of a course correction. Maybe the solution to our problems could be best solved by practicing the things we tell our children everyday. Be thankful for the things you have. Be helpful to people in need. And most importantly, share and don’t be selfish. I guess when we decided to stop doing these things as adults, was right around the same time we learned the phrase, “do as I say, not as I do.”

My (Awesome) Team vs Your (Crappy) Team

The dictionary defines a “rival” as: One who attempts to equal or surpass another, or who pursues the same object as another; a competitor. Furthermore, a “rivalry” is defined as: The state or condition of being a rival. Both definitions hardly do a good job of defining what true sports fans would consider a “rival” or a “rivalry.” Quite honestly, I don’t think they even come close. On the weekend that the Ravens and Steelers are playing each other, in a matchup that many consider the best rivalry in football, I thought I would take the time to tell you what I believe are the criteria for a great rivalry.

First and foremost, the teams involved have to play each other frequently. This is most likely attained by being in the same division, in their respective sport. This can also happen if the 2 teams are the best in their conference and meet in the playoffs regularly, i.e. Cowboys/Niners. Although the meetings would be less often, the magnitude of the games would be more significant. This formula also works for overall championships. It’s not often that 2 teams from different conferences, see each other in the finals multiple times, i.e. Lakers/Celtics, but when it does happen, a rivalry is created.

Secondly, the games themselves have to have a different feel to them. By this I mean the players and coaches, perform and act differently on the field, court or ice. More aggression, more penalties and an overall less professional attitude toward the opponent. Overall, the players have to dislike the opponent just as much as the fans. Maybe not after the game, but certainly before and during. If they don’t like each other all year long, that’s just a bonus. A bonus the fans will LOVE.

While we are talking about the fans, let’s state the obvious. There is no rivalry without the fans. They are the true dictators of what is or isn’t a rivalry. They truly despise their rival. What’s more, they truly KNOW their rival, in every way. As a Bostonian, I could name every guy on the Lakers in the 80’s. Likewise, with the last 20 years of the Yankees. If the fans aren’t invested than you have nothing, and in a great rivalry they are beyond invested.

There is no better example of this than in college sports. From Ohio State and Michigan to North Carolina and Duke. The depth of these rivalries is almost unmatched. This is due to proximity as much as anything. The bragging rights of being able to say you are the best around. This is certainly a major factor in a great rivalry. With the exception of the Lakers/Celtics and the Cowboys/Steelers, and a few others, I would say that being near each other is almost mandatory. I think this is due to the ability of the fan to attend the game in the opponents building. If it’s too far away, than you can’t do it, and nothing builds a rivalry better than having a large crowd, cheering for the “away” team. It makes my hair stand up just thinking about it, and I’m bald. 😉

College sports may have all the best rivalries. However, I would contend that the ONLY professional sports rivalry that stands up against colleges, is Red Sox/Yankees, which in my opinion is the greatest rivalry in all of sports. At least in this country. It has everything. Same division, close proximity, and probably the longest and most storied history, EVER. You may not agree, but that’s probably because you think your rivalry is better.

And isn’t that what this is all about? Defending your turf against all comers. Especially the ones from just down the road. Your Dad hated them. Your GrandDad hated them. Everyone you know hates them. It’s also your duty to make sure your kids hate them, too. In the end, the most accurate gauge of the rivalry, is how much you respect them. Behind closed doors, of course. The coach you hate to death, even though you recognize how good he is. Yes, I mean you Coach K. These will always be the cornerstones of a great rivalry. I am just glad that I am from the city with 3 of the 4 biggest in pro sports. So suck it Habs, Yanks, and Lakers. 😉

Learn Your Lesson.

In a previous blog, I wrote that the reason why southerners all carry guns, is because they could never beat a northerner in a fist fight. Although, my tongue was placed firmly against my cheek, as I have come across my share of southerners I wouldn’t mess with, it made me wonder why, in this country, guns have become more acceptable than fists.

Take this scenario:

You wake up because you hear a noise in your house. You grab your gun, and head out to investigate. A man comes running down the hall at you. You raise your gun and shoot him in the head. He is dead. No charges are filed. Self defense. End of story.

Now imagine the same scenario without the gun. The man charges you and thanks to some MMA training, you beat his ass within an inch of his life, but he lives. No charges are filed. Self defense. End of story.

Not so fast. After spending 2 weeks in the hospital, the victim hires an attorney to sue you for excessive force, due to your martial arts training. Likewise, amid local pressure, the DA decides to file charges against you, and the next thing you know, YOU’RE on trial. ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME???

We have no problem with a guy being shot and killed, while he’s committing a felony, but don’t throw the guy a beating, to teach him a lesson, or you’ll be in real trouble. I can guarantee, and I do mean guarantee, that if you could ask every dead dude what he would choose, it wouldn’t be to be dead. So why do we not recognise that, from a legal standpoint? Why is putting a guy in the hospital WORSE than putting him in a casket? Don’t know? Me either.

To be honest, I don’t have a problem with the first scenario. I know if I owned a gun, and someone broke into my home at night, I would shoot them too. I didn’t write this to chastise the system for allowing one man to kill another man, in defense of his home. I’m just trying to figure out when we started letting scenario number 2 become possible.

I can’t tell you how many times that I have watched altercations play out right in front of me and thought, “This dude needs to get smacked around a little so he can learn a lesson.” There are no lessons being learned anymore. Therefore, behavior is getting worse. Hey, there’s no law that says I can’t walk up to you and your wife in public, and tell her that she’s a fat slut, but 20 years ago I would know that I was going to have to throw down with the husband. However, today this exchange would most likely end with a short verbal battle and nothing more. Why? Because we have pussified this country.

In the state of Texas, where they have designer electric chairs, corporal punishment is legal. If you don’t know what that means, let me make it real simple. You can smack or spank your kids, for being bad, without fear of abuse charges. Within reason, of course. So why can’t we do this as adults. If someone does something wrong to you, why can’t you smack the shit outta them and tell them if they do it again, the next smackdown will be worse? I can guarantee that dude at work who keeps stealing pens out of your desk, will never do it again after he gets a nice right jab to the eye. If you’re not up to it, just butter up the giant college kid in the mailroom with a weeks worth of lunch. Either way, pen guy gets the message.

The very notion that violence is never the answer is complete bullshit. No matter how many times I have had an issue with someone, the problem gets resolved much faster, and with far more success, when there is a fear of violence. Now, in my case that fear is always present, because I WILL throw down if the situation warrants it, regardless of the consequences. Nevertheless, if the law wasn’t so quick to charge and convict someone with aggravated assault, because they “taught someone a lesson,” then maybe less people would do the kind of things that result in an ass whoopin’.

In the end, we have become a country of wussies, unwilling to accept the fact that sometimes a person deserves a smack in the face. Plain and simple. Violence doesn’t beget violence, it rectifies stupidity. It’s also cathartic. I still want to smack the shit outta the guy driving the Ford Bronco, who threw a coffee in my window on Rt. 3, in Weymouth, back in ’93, pulled over like a tough guy, and then sped off when I stopped and got outta my van. See what I mean. I would feel so much better if I could have just taught him a lesson. 😉

It’s Time To Slow Down

By now, most sports fans, even the casual ones, have heard about the tragic death of Indy racer, Dan Wheldon. He was 33 years old and among the most elite in his sport. A superstar. He won the Indianapolis 500, for the second time, this year, and is the 4th winningest driver in the history of the sport. This guy was like the Dwayne Wade of Indy racing. Now he’s gone…..forever.

When I checked Facebook this morning, I noticed my Dad had posted a status update about his death. He doesn’t know a thing about racing, but he was making the point that no other sport has the fatality numbers that auto racing does. I knew he was right, but I thought I would take some time to check the facts. As is the case in many of my blogs, the research took me in a direction I didn’t expect. This time maybe more than ever.

Having scoured over many different sources, trying to find information about sports related deaths, I was blown away. The top 3 sports to have fatalities as a result of participation were football, boxing, and auto racing, in that order. What blew me away was the fact that football and boxing, as well as every other sport I could find records on, had less than 30 deaths in the history of their sport. EVER! Boxing in the high 20’s, football in the mid 20’s. By the way, the football numbers included the NFL, AFL, CFL and all NCAA players. Yet when I got to auto racing, the names of all the drivers killed, as a result of the sport, were broken down alphabetically. That’s right. So many drivers have lost their lives in a race car that it had to be broken down alphabetically. What’s wrong with this picture?

Now, to be fair, if you want to call it that, the safety of the drivers was aweful back in the old days of racing. In the last 30 years, the improvements in the protection of the drivers is incredible. I mean, hey, since 1985, only 104 drivers have died. Those are great numbers, right? Hardly. Only about 50 people in the history of boxing and football, combined, have ever died participating in their sport, but twice that have died in some form of auto racing in just the last 26 years. At what point does it end?

I know that putting an end to auto racing is a completely ludicrous idea. It will never happen. However, something needs to be done about the safety of these drivers. I understand that vehicle designs will improve, as will race suits, helmets and other driver protection, but isn’t it time to look at the most obvious safety measure we could use. LESS SPEED.

In a time where every motor sport falls under highly scrutinized regulations about what can and can’t be done to cars, in an effort to make all the vehicles virtually identical, why can’t speed be taken down about 10 notches. I mean, it’s supposed to be about the driving right? I realize that a race team can try to squeeze every ounce of juice out of an engine, but how ’bout we make it a 4 cylinder with a maximum output of 300 horsepower. Does it really matter if the car tops out at 125? If they are all going that speed, than only the best DRIVER will win.

I know this whole thing sounds preposterous, but I’m just trying to think outside the box. Fans love the speed, and the idea of race cars maxing out at a lower speed than the car in their garage, doesn’t sound very appealing. However, continuing to have such a high number of fatalities in a sport should, at least, start people talking about a drastic change. I, for one, would still watch NASCAR if they were only going 125. Hell, maybe then they would add some more road courses. That’s real racing. 😉

Get Off The Road

I have been dying to write about this subject for 20 years. Now that I finally have the avenue to do so, I’m not sure what way I want to approach it. Do I poke fun at all the stupid things people do on the road, or do I point out the legitimate issues that face all drivers today? I guess I will do a little bit of both. At best, I hope to bring light to some obvious things that people do, in hopes that they will actually start to realize what affect those things have on other drivers. Before I do, I will take one shot at the system.

Stop handing out drivers licenses like they are free tickets to the zoo. With four weeks of training, I could teach my 4 year old to pass a driving test. #1: Stop at a couple stop lines, before the line, of course. #2: Do the speed limit. #3: Parallel park, which I don’t know how 90% of you passed that part, based on what I see out there. #4: Do a 3 point turn. That’s it? You must be kidding. That takes all of 12 minutes. You go down quiet roads and into empty neighborhoods to do these things. That isn’t real world driving. I’m surprised the test doesn’t take place in a parking lot, with cones and speed bumps. How ’bout this? I know that unless you live in the sticks, the Department of Motor Vehicles is almost always within a mile of the highway. Why don’t we make people get on it. You know, go down a busy street, through a couple lights, and then merge into traffic that is moving at 65 miles per hour. If you can handle that, then you deserve a license. Otherwise, come back when you can. Maybe then we would have drivers on the road that actually know how to DRIVE. Let’s face it, the reason the test is so easy is because the more people there are on the road, the more money the state makes. I could rant about that kind of thing all day, but it’s time to talk about the drivers.

The most obvious issue first. If you are incapable of multitasking while driving, then get off the road. I would love to get all high and mighty about not doing anything distracting while driving, but we all do it everyday. Yet, some of us manage to still drive properly. The difference between the ones who can do it and the ones who can’t can be summed up in one word. “Priority” If you are on the phone, eating or texting, and those things are more important than the driving, than pull over until driving is your priority….please. Proper operation of your vehicle should ALWAYS be the most important thing.

You should not be in the left lane on the highway if you’re not passing anyone. Moreover, you are not the speed limit police, so stop trying to prevent people, who want to travel over the speed limit, from doing so. All you’re doing is pissing them off, while simultaneously paying less attention to your own driving. My remedy for this is, when I finally do get by them, I get in front of them and take my foot off the gas. This creates a slow deceleration of my car, which eventually causes them to change lanes. This usually happens around the time my speed gets below 40mph. Once they move over, I continue on my way. Just my way of getting even, ’cause life is a game and we all keep score, don’t we? 😉

If you don’t know where the hell you’re going, get off the road. These people are terrible because they’re literally not paying attention to anything around them. They’re going 25 in a 45, looking around at signs, trying to read directions, and changing lanes or stopping without even looking. Who does this? Seriously! News flash, dumbass, you don’t own the road. Best solution is to lay on the horn, in hopes that they wake from their Lewis and Clark coma.

If you are making a turn, use your blinker and for crying out loud, move to the side of the lane in the direction you’re going. There is nothing more aggravating than some moron, who is turning left, but is in the middle of the lane, preventing anyone from going past him on the right. This is another example of a driver only paying attention to themselves. Arguably, the biggest problem on the road today.

If there is not a sign saying “no turn on red,” then turn, bozo. Furthermore, if you are on a one way road, and you come to an intersection that is also a one way road, and that road is going right to left, it is LEGAL to turn left on red. Know the rules of the road people. That one wasn’t on the stupid 10 question permit test was it? What? You mean I should actually read that whole book they gave me? God forbid!

This one is a little off the subject, but enough with all the handicap parking and permits. I’m not saying eliminate them, but come on. If you can get around the mall for an hour, you don’t need a front row parking spot. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need a handicap permit. Seriously! Stop handing these things out to every person with a limp. It’s ridiculous. In addition, you need to start coming down much harder on those who abuse the plate. If a member of your family uses it, you lose it for 1 year. PERIOD.

Back to the driving. Unless you have a clutch, keep your left foot on the friggin’ floor. I HATE 2 FOOT DRIVERS. How the hell is a person supposed to know when you are really stopping when your brake lights never go out? This is one of the most fundamental rules of driving. Stop doing it. Now.

Using your blinker does not mean I HAVE to let you in. It is merely a way for you to let someone know that you need to move over. I may not see it, or you may be driving like an asshole and I don’t want to slow down to let you in. Either way, you need to wait until you can safely change lanes. Again, you don’t own the road.

Although I could probably do this all day, I will leave you with this. Concentrate on your driving, before anything else. Pay attention to what is going on around you at all times. Know where you’re going. Get out of other peoples way, and know the rules of the road. Otherwise, just stay home or call a cab. Hell, call me. I’ll show you how to get from A to B with ease, and without upsetting the other drivers around me. It’s really quite easy.

We Can’t Be Friends

As we get older and wiser, I think we begin to eliminate people in our lives that cause nothing but drama and aggravation. I know, at my age, that I don’t need any other forms of stress in my life, other than the ones I cause on my own. I know that sometimes it’s difficult to dissolve a friendship with someone you have known for a long time. Especially, when most of us aren’t willing to sit down with that person, and just tell them that we cannot be friends until they get their life under control. Usually, we decide to just avoid these people, which of course, just causes more drama and stress, as they are constantly trying to get in touch with us. We have all been there, and it sucks. Fortunately, that is not what this blog is about. 😉

Today, I am writing about the people who I think are going to be easy to eliminate from my life. Those individuals who’s beliefs, on certain subjects, are just unacceptable to me. I have never let a disagreement, come between me and my friends. Quite the contrary. I love a good debate. Red Sox vs Yankees, Lucas vs Spielberg, Batman vs Ironman. Ok, that last one is a little ridiculous. We all know that Ironman is way cooler. Virtually indestructible, better weapons, and he can fly. There is no debate. Wait, what? Sorry about that. Anyway, I think as I get older I realize that there are just certain beliefs in this world that are just not kosher. Some are based in hate and others in stupidity. Either way, from this point on, they will not permit me to continue our friendship. If you finish reading this and find any of your beliefs listed, please have the courtesy to let me know, so we can move on from each other politely. If you do not tell me, then you are the one who has to look in the mirror everyday and realize that you were too much of a coward to admit that you had these beliefs. Which should immediately send up a red flag for you.

Most of the things that we must agree on, have to do with human rights. Not everyone on this Earth is created equal. I know we like to say we are, all the time, but we’re not. Some people are stronger than others. Some are smarter than others. Some people are a different color than others, and some people have a different sexual orientation than others. However, what is true, is that everyone deserves to be “treated” equally. I am not going to allow any person to be my friend who doesn’t agree with that statement. Men are superior to women? WRONG! White’s are the superior race. WRONG! Gay is a choice. WRONG! Same sex marriage is wrong. WRONG! No, we don’t disagree. YOU ARE WRONG! If I say my name is Jeff and you say it’s Jerome, we don’t have a difference of opinion. You’re wrong, and I’m right. PERIOD!

Where does anyone get off thinking that they have the right to do something, and someone else doesn’t. How arrogant are you? If someone is qualified to do a job, it makes no difference what color, age, sex, or orientation they are. Hire the best candidate. Plain and simple.

If two, non-related “people” are in love, you have no right to deny them the right to be legally married. I put “people” in quotes to avoid the obvious avenue that some people against gay marriage use, which is, “If a man can marry another man, the next thing you know, they’ll want to marry an animal.” No, jackass. Only a weirdo would want to marry an animal. We are talking about two gay human beings, that can walk and talk and drive cars, that have human emotions and want to be given the same rights as everyone else. The truth is, that a lot of the people against gay marriage are really just against gay in general. Great segueway.

I don’t care how many gay people you know or like. If you think being gay is a choice, then you’re out. Without getting into great detail, I just give you the only two examples that need be given. Portia Derossi and Ricky Martin. Two gorgeous celebrities, with tons of money, that could get ANY PERSON ON EARTH, but are with a member of the same sex. What the hell could possibly be there motivation? Gee. Let me think. Um, let’s see. THEY’RE GAY. Get with it folks. It’s not hard to follow along. Just because you fear what you don’t know, which is likely more than just this, doesn’t mean you have the right to hate on someone else. You’re a bigot, and you are not my friend.

Naturally, if you’re a racist in any way, you’re a jackweed, and you’re out. I hardly think I need to write a long paragraph about that. Of course, I know that anyone who falls into this category would NEVER admit it, so just don’t let me find out. Especially, if you want your teeth to remain in your mouth.

Now these seem to be very obvious reasons to not be friends with someone. At least to most of us. They are all based in discrimination and hate. I do however, have a couple other things that cut you from the list for shear stupidity. Look out, because I might lose someone now.

As an atheist, I am willing to agree to disagree, about the existence of a God. What I am not willing to disagree on, is anything in the bible or religion, that science has disproved. First and foremost, evolution. If you do not believe in evolution, you are either brainwashed or stupid. It doesn’t really matter which one you are, you are out. That’s it. Sorry if I lost anyone there, but I can not be friends with anyone I don’t respect, and I can’t respect anyone who would disregard hard evidence for “belief.”

The other one is climate change. Again, if you don’t believe that it’s happening, then you’re a moron who’s being lead around by your party. Nearly 100% of the scientific community is in agreement on this subject, and the only ones who aren’t, are the few that have chosen party over truth. Let me be clear, I am not saying global warming. I am also not saying that we, as people, are causing it, or making it happen any faster. I am merely saying that it is happening, and if you don’t believe it, then you are a fool. Fools can’t be my friend.

In the end, this blog may come off a little egotistical. The whole, “I’m right and your wrong, so go away” attitude. Hey, lets face it, that’s exactly what I was going for. If you don’t like it, then dissolving our friendship should come very easy. Ultimately, I feel I have done a pretty good job choosing my friends over the years. I say pretty good because I truly feel that at least some person in my circle of friends will not be in agreement on all these thoughts. Whoever you may be, just remember what I said. If you can’t agree to end our friendship amicably, then you need to ask yourself why. Maybe the answer will lead to a change in your thinking. Lets hope so. Much love to all.