Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tragedy in Happy Valley

I'm going to switch focus on here and talk about sports, one of my biggest hobbies.  In particular the horrible news out of Penn State about child abuse by former football coach Jerry Sandusky.  I want to give some background first before I talk about my thoughts on all of this.

My dad went to Penn State and I have 2 Aunts that went there as well. Growing up, I remember watching Penn State football on TV as my dad never missed a game.  I grew to love the school and the team and even considered going there myself after high school.  I toured the campus with my dad when I was looking for different universities and though ultimately I chose not to go to stay closer to home instead by going to the University of Houston, I still held tremendous respect for the university.  I also grew to love Joe Paterno, and the larger than life figure he was in State College. He always stood for coaching the right way, worried more about his kids graduating than getting wins. He brought an old-school attitude and largely seemed to keep the school and team above any type of NCAA corruption charges from boosters or even off the field behavior from players. Penn State was always the 'clean' school.

All that changes this past weekend as all of the sordid details of the Sandusky case came to light. University officials knew about the behavior and covered it up.  The intern that saw the behavior in the locker room that reported it to Coach Paterno (yet not Police!) is Mike McQueary, who is a coach now on the team as well. Paterno simply reported to his superiors and then banned Sandusky from bringing kids to campus. Joe should've went to the Police as well.  Even if he thought his superiors would take care of it and report it, he should have at the very least followed up on it. You may not have a legal responsibility to report this to the police but you have a moral obligation to do so.  The fact that Sandusky was still on campus as recently as last week is just sick.  Joe's reputation, coaching career, standing in the community has all been tarnished by the actions of Sandusky.  I feel terrible about this for Joe but even more terrible for the kids and families who were hurt by this whole thing.  Joe needs to step down immediately.  He has no credibility left.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

There has been a growing movement in the US lately that calls itself the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement and just now the media has been finally covering them.  According to the group's website, they are "a horizontally organized resistance movement employing the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to restore democracy in America."  This is a pretty bland and general mission statement and in fact the group has been heavily criticized among many media members and politicians as not having a clear message which is the single biggest thing hurting them at the moment.  Right now the group has multiple messages and opinions of disgust at the current state of affairs in America politics and the economy.  They are against the big corporations and the tax breaks they receive. They are against the bank bailouts.  They are disappointed in the high unemployment numbers that exist in this country and that number of jobs that are being shipped overseas.  They are sick and tired of the wealthiest Americans not paying an equal percentage of taxes as the middle and lower income class families do.  There are a bunch of different opinions and messages from these people that I feel most Americans can identify with.

So why is it that so many members in the media (looking at you Fox News) and politicians are so quick to dismiss this group as a bunch of unemployed losers looking for government handouts when the Tea Party (another movement) was trumpeted and praised for their values and protests?  Many say that the Occupy crowd is more liberal leaning so maybe that is the difference. Conservative protesters are American patriots whereas liberal protesters are no good hippies and pot heads.  The Occupy crowd is a younger crowd than the Tea Party and is generally made up of recent college grads who have degrees and are saddles with crippling student loans and can't find work.  This is my generation.  I have great empathy for these people and can only imagine what I would be doing if after finishing college, finding out that my degree is worthless and there are no available jobs.  My case is slightly different than there's however. I graduated in 2005 which was right before the recession so jobs weren't as scarce then as they are now.  Also, I was EXTREMELY fortunate to have no debt after graduating because of my parents financing my tuition.  I owe them a great deal because of this because I know several of my peers that are STILL paying off their loans.  Regardless though, I think a lot of younger people who voted for the first time in 2008 feel disillusioned with the country and the candidate that they thought they were voting for.  Gone is the 'Hope' and 'Change' message.  Now its more apathy and despair.  The worst part about this is there doesn't seem to be any hope on the horizon either.

The current slate of Republican candidates all seem to think tax cuts are the solution despite the poor history of this being the case.  The Bush tax cuts helped put us into the biggest deficit we have ever had and then the bailouts plunged us further down.  The Republicans want nothing but tax cuts and spending cuts with no revenue increases and this is a recipe for failure.  The rich people in this country are hoarding their money and refuse to pay their fair share back to the government and this is absolutely killing this country.  These so called 'job creators' are NOT creating jobs. They are keeping their money and sitting on it.  Giving them more tax cuts are not incentives to hire workers.  To simply roll back the Bush cuts and raise the tax rates to what they were under Clinton is being equated with class warfare.  This is not class warfare! Punishing success? Please.

If these people were so patriotic, they should be happy to pay more taxes to the government. Isn't paying taxes one of the most patriotic things you can do? You're funding the country you love!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


October 22nd is almost here! I'll be moving back to Houston that weekend so I've been busy trying to pack up all my stuff in preparation.  I've got alot of stuff going on this month.  Going deep sea fishing this Sunday with Tyson for the bachelor party, and then I'm in his wedding in Galveston on the 15th.  Then later in the month I'm going to a Halloween party the 29th and I still don't have a costume or idea yet.  Now I also find out that on the 17th and 18th, I might be on a business trip with Eddie and my boss in Chicago to get training on some new software that we will be using soon.

I've got some more thoughts on the republican field this coming election too but that will have to wait until later. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts on 9/11

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and D.C. where muslim extremists hijacked passenger planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Pretty much all new networks were running specials on the event and covered the opening of the new memorial that opened in New York.  I missed most of them because of Opening Day for the NFL, but I thought I'd comment briefly on the events.

There is no question that as a nation, we have changed alot since then.  Mostly for the better.  Our intelligence has improved and there have been numerous attacks that have been thwarted since then.  We've killed Bin Laden.  Al-Qaeda is crippled and the Taliban are out of power in Afghanistan.  There are many reasons to be proud of our accomplishments since then.

We also have seen some of our privacy stripped away though the Patriot Act and the new TSA back scatter machines and groping procedures.  Having flown recently to New York in July, I have to say that the TSA stuff didn't really apply to me.  At DFW, there were 2 lines, 1 for the regular metal detector and 1 for the back scatter machine so I just got in the metal detector line.  And flying back out of LaGuardia, both were metal detectors.  I've heard other airports are worse but my experience has been alright.

I thought the ceremony in New York was nice because both presidents were there and it wasn't just Obama.  For all of Bush's many faults and failures, you have to give him credit for keeping the terrorists on the run.

Friday, September 9, 2011


I hate moving!  Within the past 3 years, I've moved 3 times! Well, the third time will be coming soon either this month or next.  I still have alot to pack, and I need to get rid of a lot of stuff as well.  Haven't updated in awhile because work was pretty crazy but it has since died down.

I plan to make a post soon on my thoughts of the republican presidential field and Obama's jobs speech which I missed last night because of the NFL game.  Don't care who the president is or what the speech is about, I'm not going to miss the start of the NFL season.  That was poor planning on the White House's part.  Too bad they caved to the Republicans and moved the date from Wednesday because it interfered with the debate.  Oh well.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bin Laden

I promise no politics in this update.

When I first heard Osama was dead, I figured. Yeah, no kidding. Thats why he hasn't been in any videos in forever, he probably died years ago.

But wait, whats this?? Osama was killed by US troops and they have the body??!! Holy SH@#!!!!!! MY facebook news feed is nothing but shit about Osama. I must investigate. Headed over to CNN.com and lo and behold it is true!!! The President is about to make a statement!!!!

I thank God that finally after almost 11 years since 9/11, justice has finally been served.  This is definitely NOT the end of the War on Terror sadly though. But atleast for tonight, I can go to sleep smiling.

I am so happy for all those families that have lost loved ones in that terrible cowardly attack.  I pray that they can atleast gain some small moment of closure with Bin Laden's death.  I can only imagine how terrible it was that day for them back in September.  I thank our government and intelligence/military for finally putting together the necessary resources and finding out the location of Bin Laden.  I thank the Pakistani government and intelligence for working with us to find Bin Laden as he was a threat to them as well.  And I thank the troops on the ground that carried out the operation as well as all of our troops that have served this great nation abroad all over the world.

Thank you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Birth Certificate

Well, well. Finally it seems birthers have no argument anymore, though some are just crazy enough to still not believe it's real.  The President has released the "long-from" of his birth certificate.

The whole situation seems ridiculous to me. That we can have a sitting US President and have people question his country of birth and whether or not he is legitimate.  Obama released a "Certificate of live birth" which is the "short-form" of the document in 2008 while he was running for president. This document is accepted everywhere as a legal document yet a small movement in the country decided they were unswayed by this.  They wanted to see the "real thing" (in their minds) and until then would not believe that he was president.

Now I do not know why Obama and his campaign did not release this "long-form" document back in 2008 but for whatever reason they decided not to.  I guess they figured since the certificate of live birth was a legally accepted document, there wouldn't be any problem.  But even after the birther movement grew, they hemmed and hawed trying to avoid the subject until finally the movement reached new heights when Donald Trump decided to add his weight behind it.  So I do not fully absolve Obama here in not releasing this form sooner to avoid all of this ridiculous BS.  But really, it is BS.

Obama is right when he calls the birthers "carnival barkers", and notes there are much more serious topics to discuss and debate then whether or not he was born in this country.  Hopefully we can all now move past this silliness and start talking about the issues that face us day to day. Medicare, the economy, jobs, and the military action in Afghanistan and Libya for instance well merit discussion and debate.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A breath of fresh air

I'm going to stray away from politics with this post for a bit.  Since today is Earth Day I wanted to say a few things about it.  First off, I think we can all agree that recycling and saving our planet is a good thing. Whether you agree with Global Warming or not (and I am on the fence about it myself) you should at least be able to see the advantages of cleaner burning fuel and doing what you can to reduce our carbon footprint.  There are many simple things that I have started to do to help the environment.  I've started using a water filter and re-usable glasses instead of purchasing those plastic water bottles. I recycle my aluminum cans and glass waste.

I hope everyone has a great Earth Day today and at least thinks about saving the environment some today. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Libya part 2

So the shit has finally hit the proverbial fan in Libya. The US, France, British, and UN forces have been bombing Gaffafi's forces in Libya however the mission now seems unclear. Are they just trying to enforce the no fly zone and prevent violence against civilians as they say? Or are they forcibly trying to remove Gaddafi from power to establish a new regime a la Iraq. Alot of Obama's liberal base are criticizing the decision but I feel it was the right thing to do. It seems that Hillary and him were butting heads on the issue with her pressing for US support and him being reluctant to participate. I hope the violence ends soon.

Friday, March 18, 2011


It's safe to say that the situation in Libya has really gotten out of hand. Gaddafi has shown he is not afraid to kill his own people to remain in power, hiring mercenaries and using tanks on civilians. I really hope he is brought to justice.

The thing that has been really bothering me a lot though is the Obama administration dragging their feet about this whole thing. The "wait and see" attitude does not serve well in a situation like this where countless lives could have been saved had he acted sooner. Just today, the US along with the UN finally declared a "no-fly zone" over Libya prompting them to declare a "cease-fire". US warships are moving into the Mediterranean to monitor the situation.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Democracy in the Middle East and Egypt

I've tried to think about this for awhile to exactly what I would write about this. First of all, I find it amazing to witness a revolution (even if just through the news). To see a government fall through peaceful protests and the overall will of the people rather than through military force is simply amazing. I think praise also has to go to the Egyptian military as well for handling the protests appropriately and not using unnecessary force. Apparently there was a news report that came out much later that President Mubarak and authorized military force to be used against the protesters but the military declined. Thank God for the level-headed generals and militia to not blindly follow orders without first weighing the morality of them.

Also I found it extremely hurtful that we had discussions on various cable news networks about whether or not this revolution would be "good" for the US. FOX News went back to scare mongering the American public with news of the "Muslim Brotherhood" vying for power in Egypt. The truth is that the Muslim Brotherhood is only a small percentage of the protesters and that most likely, they will form a political party which is what the essence of Democracy is all about. The fact of the matter is it shouldn't make a difference whether or not the new government is 'good' for us or not. America has always championed the notion of freedom and we should stand behind the Egyptians on this 100% for finally gaining that freedom.

With the recent revolt in Egypt and Tunisia as well. It seems that there is a wave of pro-Democracy support spreading through the Middle East to challenge the current dictorial governments in the area. This I find to truly be exciting and I hope America can support these movements as much as possible. Here's to a free world!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Long time.....

Wow! I haven't updated this blog since August!! Damn. I better get on it! There's a bunch of topics currently floating around in my head on what to write about. I'll make a post soon with new content sometime this week! Until then......