Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama '08

Time is running out so here it is my official public endorsement of Barack Obama, as if you didnt already know. With this election being the most historical of my lifetime and probably the most important for my entire lifetime this election will be the closest and interesting election ever. With issues like the economy being at its worst in the history of the United States and war, education, health care, foreign policy, experience, energy, global warming, tax cuts, civil rights, disablility, seniors, and disablilty all coming into play. The simple fact that he took no money from a lobbyist and rain a clean and grass root supported by the people for the people campaign as no candidate has ever done, speaks volumes. I have no great quotes or philosophies to impart but I hope if you read this you vote. It matters this year. North Carolina for instance is neck and neck with 7 days to go for the first time in 36 years. Votes matter.

I'll start with the economy. It is horrible out there right now. 401k's are gone, social security that has been coming out of your and my checks since we could work is gone, people are being laid off at alarming rates. This is the Republican philosophy. Tax cuts for the rich and it will trickle down to the poor. This greed has led to lay offs for the rich which then trickle down on the poor, leaving the poor unemployable for lack of jobs. The overall elimination of the lower classes in America. For the last 8 years people making less than $250,000 a year get taxed less than me who doesnt come close to that. How is that Christian or fair. If anything it should be the same, but with the economy in ruin Obama has the better plan. 95% of America will receive a tax break. While the 5% that make $250,000 a year will pay more. I dont feel bad for Joe the Plumber he makes a quarter million dollars a year consider your taxes your charity and get over that fact that your neighbors, who you are supposed to love as you love yourself, are dying of hunger in America. Figure it out for yourself: http://taxcut.barackobama.com/ this will show you how much you will save on taxes under each candidates plan.

Health Care is another big issue with many gray areas surrounding it. What I will say is the reupublican plan is a scam. The simple fact is that the $5,000 tax incentive he talks about for health care will be given to the health care provider not you, then he will tax you on money you never saw. Once again hurt the poor help the rich. Universal health care however flawed or minimimal it may be is better than what many American's have now. On top of that it stimulates the economy by producing more jobs and services in the health care arena and finally puts us on par with what 3rd world counrties do better than us.

The war in Iraq is a major issue. The republican stance is to stay forever, Obama wants to slowly take troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan. I agree with this for so many reasons but primarily that Iraq never attacked us, had no weapons of mass destruction, and of course has nothing to do with the terrorists that did attack us on 9/11. The fact that their government is their religion over there, there is no hope for establishing a democracy in that country. That is a whole different story. Simply put even though he is a war hero, this war is over his head and a fresh face is needed to make peace in a region that wants no more dirty american politics.

Education is not something I have heard Republicans talk about and when they do there is not much to say. We are a stupid country, hence we eat poorly, watch bad TV, screw up our own economy, allow kids to shoot up schools, and can't do simple math and reading. We are falling behind the rest of the world. It's like a sports franchise, build your prosepects build your future winners. If the red sox can do it maybe america can to. Obama wants to pay teachers more and have better teachers. Kids need to learn.

Finally and I will end here. The word Democrat has Democracy as its base which is what America is and Republican is Republic of Britain which is who we kicked out when we came here from Europe, they have some how had the power to screw up our counrty for 8 years that needs to stop here. It's like a circle...we wanted to reform religion and now religion particulary christianity is a hypocracy. Turn the other cheek...invade Iraq...God bless america, Love your neighbor as yourself....no tax cuts for the poor, no welfare, screw those lazy people.....he who is without sin cast the first stone.....he is a terrorist, anti american......see what I am saying.

P.S. McCain is old, real old and Palin, really? I have more education than she does, she doesnt even know what the Vice President does let alone if he dies, she is the President...God Bless us all even baby jesus..

Week 9 Pics

Last Week: 8-6

Season Totals: 50-34

Winners are in bold

NY Jets at Buffalo
Detroit at Chicago
Jacksonville at Cincinnati
Baltimore at Cleveland
Green Bay at Tennessee
Arizona at St. Louis
Houston at Minnesota
Tampa Bay
at Kansas City
Miami at Denver
Atlanta at Oakland
Dallas at NY Giants
at Seattle
New England at Indianapolis
at Washington

·Bye: New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, Carolina

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thoughts on Reality TV

Although currently in my life I do not have much time to watch televsion, it stills seems to find a way to annoy me. Whether its hearing people talk about it, seeing it advertised or as it was yesterday seeing Kim Kardashian in the NY Times Newspaper. She made the front page of one of the sections with the sub title "famous for being famous". I have never enjoyed shows like the "real world" or "survivor" largely due to the fact that they claim to be reality TV and are in fact cut, edited, and most of the time scripted for ratings. The only time I was ever into something so false was back when I would drink a case and watch Monday night Raw, it only looks real when you are in fact smashed. It boggles my mind that people would watch this stuff for many reasons and I am going to tell you them.
The first reason would have to be the whole "mindless entertainment" arguement. I watch it for "mindless entertainment". It leads me to believe that you must have a really disturbed mind if for your entertainment you wish to watch people be cruel to one another and suffer (knowing that it is not reality). Dont we have enough suffering in this world without having to create more? Why not a reality show that just shows the people in Darfur suffering and dying. They are just as skinny as some of these people in reality tv. These shows have arguing about cheating on your partner or something stupid with your best friend or roomate, the Darfur show will have arguing over who might eat today and families being murdered in genocide, real and unscripted suffering just for your "mindless entertainment". My mindless entertainment is fun, funny, relaxing and entertaining. Watching people suffer is not fun or funny or entertaining to me. Watching people hurt other people physically can be funny mostly if accidental and in some cases like jackass they are just finding ways to hurt themselves which can be humorous, they dont take themselves seriously. In most of these shows people are psychologically abusing people, demeaning and degrading other human beings. I find that inhumane, evil, and sickening. These are not well intentioned actions. Instead why not go to a soup kitchen for that hour, see the suffering and help ease some of it, mindless entertainment. Or teach poor kids in bad neighborhoods to read so they might have a chance, volunteer time with the elderly, spend time in a hospital with cancer patients, there are so many ways you can watch suffering and help ease it too.
On to the next reason reality tv is filthy. Maybe MTV and others think we are dumb enough to be watching these shows so we must not be smart enough to recognize that the economy is terrible!!!!terrible!!!there is 5% of the counrty that lives like these people do, maybe less then that. Who has time for the arguements, caddyness, shopping with no work. Who has that kind of money, not a very many of us. What it does though is impose on kids that this is the way you have to be to be popular, accepted, interesting, and of course famous. If you dont have the 400$ shoes or the bags or the iphones or the mercedes you dont have what it takes to be famous. Its garbage. I dont care what rich people do with their lives but I dont want or need to watch them waste it when I work hard for it, I would do much more with that kind of money then they would anyday. It is a kick in the balls to America's self-esteem, its no wonder that our counrty has the highest rate of depression and mental illness in the entire world. If you saw everyday all these rich people acting like idiots on TV and the whole world cared to read about them, watch them and talk about them and you are the average "joe six-pack" you would start to question why you work so hard....the values are all out of whack....it is a reminder that "hey, buddy, you arent rich". Although I am not an advocate of organized religion I do believe in many aspects of the spiritual realm. This showing of material things over and over breeds things like, greed, covetting, desire, idololatry, suffering, obsession, lust, and sloth. These are not good things for any religion I dont care which one. My grandma grew up in the Great Depression and never felt poor or that the economy was bad, and when I asked her how that was posssible she said it was because there wasnt the displays of wealth everywhere, wealth had no meaning because everyone was poor and working together in Newark, NJ so they never felt like there was something missing or that they werent good enough like people do today. Today the rich flaunt thier excess in the face of the world and that is why other countries arent liking us and why there are so many issues of crime in our counrty.
I am sure some of the people on these shows are decent people and are doing a great deal of acting to make money. I am a believer that everyone is a good person, however, I wouldnt want any of the characters on the tv in my life. They would never be my friend because they display all of the qulaities that I wouldnt want a person in my life to possess. Maybe some people out there that watch these shows want these people in thier lives, they dress like them, act like them, talk like them, and treat them like they are celebrities. Without the veiwer these are not celebrities. They don't display any talents, skills, ambition, compassion, and anyone can look that good on TV or in a magazine, here's a link if you dont buy that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-Y9XWXwGC8
I wish they would do a reality TV show on people helping and see how popular it is. The peace corps, habitat for humanity, celebrities helping other people and if they fight or do something caddy they are gone and have to donate a million dollars to a charity. If they live in excess during this period they are gone as well. Teach people values again. Teach compassion, problem solving, coping, understanding, openmindedness, non-judgemental, being happy with what you are blessed enough to have. There is so much suffering in the world and in America, why watch fake suffering and ignore real suffering?

Week 8 pics

Last Week: 8-6

Season total: 42-28

Winners are in bold

Tampa Bay at Dallas
Washington at Detroit
Buffalo at Miami
St. Louis at New England
San Diego at New Orleans
Kansas City at NY Jets
Atlanta at Philadelphia
Oakland at Baltimore
Arizona at Carolina
Cleveland at Jacksonville
Cincinnati at Houston
NY Giants at Pittsburgh
Seattle at San Francisco
Indianapolis at Tennessee

·Bye: Chicago, Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week 7 picks

Last Week: 8-6

Season Total : 34-22

Winners are in bold

San Diego at Buffalo
Minnesota at Chicago
at Cincinnati
Tennessee at Kansas City
Dallas at St. Louis
Baltimore at Miami
San Francisco at NY Giants
New Orleans at Carolina
Detroit at Houston
NY Jets at Oakland
Indianapolis at Green Bay
Cleveland at Washington
Seattle at Tampa Bay
at New England

·Bye: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Arizona, Jacksonville

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

some thoughts on the moment

Day by day I attend class with a bunch of really smart people who are well educated, well experienced and hard working in a graduate level program at East Carolina University. I never really take that moment to really appreciate where I am, where I am going next and how I got here as I assume most people don't either. The whole thing is as the dead say "a long strange trip", which of course can have many meanings.

I never thought in a million years that this is where I would be and what I would be doing, but I just get up and do it, day in day out part of that automatic grind to get ahead in life or keep up with the pack. Accomplishments or success really doesnt mean anything without the process involved. Thats what makes or breaks you. You find your strengths in your weaknesses. I always wonder how people end up with careers they never thought they would want to do and love it, or someone that set out to do one thing ending up enjoying something totally different. They discover these things in that process of getting to wherer they are, sometimes its random and sometimes its a calling.

Me personally, I never believed I would still be alive at 25 years of age. Teachers and friends would tell me I was not going to make it that far in life. I dropped out of high school not cause I couldnt do the work but because I didnt feel like it was my path, and I had intense interests in other things at that time which were more important at that point. Then I struggled through a bad relationship, struggled in sobriety and worked on getting my GED, then my associates degree as a punk with a nose ring, bandanas, and tattoos. Made it that far then was accepted to a school in the duurty durt and up and moved out of that horrible relationship, in which there was no relating, and really had noone but myself in this new strange place, even four years later its still a strange place,to go through everything I had to get through to gain some idea of who I may be and what that means to me. In that process I made some friends, lost some friends, met a lovely lady, traveled alot, worked on the 12 steps of AA and NA, worked on relating with my family, changed musical tastes, became addicted to books, movies, and music, completed a Bachelor of Psychology degree and somehow ended up as one of 11 people accepted into the Graduate school program I am in and I decided maybe to do this in Febuary and had to apply by March. Last minute. There is a million others things that happened in between all of those steps in my career, emotions, thoughts, relations, smiles, laughter, depression, struggles, fall downs, decisions, pick ups, patience, starting over,adventure, friendship, exercise, helping others, humility, honesty, loyalty, independence, volunteering, sports, spiritual development, peace of mind, proud, grace, open mind, dreaming, competitive, creative, determination, dependable, laziness, serious, stubborn, sympathy, persuasive, learning, hopeless, learning how to trust people, experience, anger, optimism, other shoe may not drop...just yet, there is a wide range of events that occur within events that shape who I have become and helped me get where I am.

Sometimes I can get caught up in the grind and not slow it down to realize that this is life......enjoy it.....Its hard with the economy being screwed and politics going crazy, war, hunger, genocide, not to think about those things and want to help of solve the worlds problems on top of your own, but right now in front of me is what is what is right now, enjoy it, enjoy the process because the process is the accomplishment, the process is the moment, all the moments make life.

Week 6 Picks

Last Week: 8-6

Season Total : 26-16

Winners are in bold

Week 6

Chicago at Atlanta
Baltimore at Indianapolis
Detroit at Minnesota
Oakland at New Orleans
Cincinnati at NY Jets
Carolina at Tampa Bay
St. Louis at Washington
Miami at Houston
at Denver
Dallas at Arizona
Philadelphia at San Francisco
Green Bay at Seattle
New England at San Diego
NY Giants at Cleveland

·Bye: Buffalo, Tennessee, Kansas City, Pittsburgh

Thursday, October 2, 2008

some thoughts on fear

Fear is one of the essential emotions in humanity. Almost everyone experiences it at some level big or small. The feeling of fear can morph into so many others feelings of anxiety, worry, pain, anger, frustration, happiness, and even hope. Fear depends on the person and the perspective. Some people can be debilitated by fear while others thrive on fear, generally everyone is afraid of something whether a spider or the president. As a songwriter once wrote, "hands and feet are all alike but fear between divides us".
I have experienced many types of fear throughout the course of my life and still do, I have almost accepted it as a natural part of my existence. Most of my fear stems from the past or the future. Fear of what I have done in the past coming around to haunt my future, fear that some of the things I have done are unforgivable, fear that I am in way over my head in Graduate school, fear that I will never succeed in this awful economy, fear that my kids will grow up in a screwed up world, fear that I wont live long enough to do what I want to do, fear that a lovely lady would someday take her love away, fear that there is no heaven or hell, the list could go on and on for days. None of these however is happening right now, but they could happen tomorrow. How can you ignore the future and the past and worry about today knowing that today will have great bearing on tomorrow?
One day at a time is a catchy slogan but it is also a very positive way to live life. It center is based on awareness of yourself and others around you for a small portion of time trying to do what is best as if it where the last day we will ever be alive. This is how we deal with the past and the future, by dealing with today. By doing the best we could for today and then again tomorrow we can greatly change our future.
I get hope from fear. That may sound weird or strange but I am both so it shouldn't sound to out there. Fear is something I could never feel in my life. I would bury it and drown it out with a lot of drugs and a lot of alcohol, no worries. Today though I can feel fear, accept it, try to understand it, and that is a huge change for me. That one simple thing has given a ray of hope to so many aspect of my life to grow and grow. Feelings of any kind are extremely hard to deal with for someone who has avoided dealing with them for years. Its like starting life at 22 years of age with the emotional state of a 10 year old because of that avoidance for so long. So in many ways I am only a grand age of 13. The hope comes from the awareness that I CAN change, if I CAN change that I CAN change almost anything. A little hope snuck through the door and opened up all the windows. There are still things to be afraid of but there are know things to be hopeful about, the fear does not win out. For some people fear does win out. They give up, life has made them beleive that they can't do this or cant do that, they have come to beleive that there is no hope for themselves in certain situations. This is deprssion, when fear has been internalized as anger, guilt, remorse, hopelessness....I have been there too, like I said, all it took was a tiny bit of hope to sneak in. With each let down we start laying bricks to build those walls to keep hope out. Eventually we may succeed and be totally isolated but hope usually busts in somehow in some form or the other, whether it be a friend, a song, a sunset, a smile from a stranger, or a spiritual moment of clarity.
Call me crazy but I am a beleiver that we are all as humans essentially at the core "good" people. We may do things that are really bad but we are all good. For example myself, I have lied and stolen from some very important people in my life to get money to get drugs so I could get high. Does that make me a bad person or a person that is good but lacking proper judgement? And then who is to decide? the law? the church? God? or you? or me? The way I see it is we are all good and if we are all "God's Children" then we will make mistakes like children do...this however is no excuse to be ignorant. I get lied to all the time by people I am trying to help, their walls are up, they can't trust. If I can give them that little bit of trust and they learn to trust me hope can bust in and grow from there. A person has to beleive they can do something and we will return to our "good" being. It takes standing up to that fear long enough to overcome it one time and then sooner or later another time.
Today I am can be very afraid, because every thing I am involved in is unknown, new and intimidating, I have come such a long way into the unknown. I can live with that fear only by accepting it. I know that I am afraid I give it my best shot and most of the time its ok and sometimes its not either way I stood up and had the balls to take a shot. I said I CAN even if I knew I couldnt. Sometimes you suprise yourself and most of the time you give yourself hope and that hope can be shared with others. You dont learn how to swim by keeping one foot out of the water. Jump in give it a shot, we live, we learn and it always seems to work out if honestly you go about it this way, HONESTLY, there are no shortcuts in life.
So whether it be a job interview, a major life change, a choice that changes the course of your life, don't run from the fear, dont deny that it is there, acknowledge, accept and deal with that fear because the fear will give you the answer you are looking for. I fear a person with no fear for they dont feel. Fear is the evil, the good, the devil, God, faith, atheism, absolute, uncertainty, it is in almost every thing we do, its all in how we percieve it or dont percieve it that changes who we are.