Friday, June 20, 2008

Tis The Summer Season …

Tomorrow is the official day that summer begins. And there are many signs of summer, such as men fishing, kids swimming, women sunbathing, and the nice warm weather.
But we also see some seasonal creatures, such as fireflies, mosquitoes, and global warming alarmists.

Yes, very much like a bastardized version of Punxsutawney Phil, as soon as it gets hot, these people poke their heads out and scream that it’s man’s fault for a heat wave. Never mind the fact that it’s summer and it’s common.

While we don’t see these alarmists during the winter months when it is 20 degrees and a foot of snow outside, we do hear their counterparts saying how cold it is. Fortunately, for us we don’t hear the winter moaners blaming man for the snow and ice. Yet.

Yes, get those earmuffs back out because you will need them. Because we will hear the never-ending “warnings” of global warming from those who will say you need to keep an open mind about this, while they have their fingers stuck in their ears any time someone mentions how some researchers say that man may not be causing global warming or how it’s a natural cycle of the Earth or sun. Certainly not a very mature way of handling the topic.

Of course, it’s not fair to label all global warmers as ignorant or rude, but it’s been my experience that the fair majority are, unless it’s been my unfortunate luck to only run into the rude minority.

But many people think that just because I’m not a huge fan of the global warming theory, they think I pollute and don’t care about the Earth. Nonsense.

I’m all for cleaning up the environment and finding clean, reliable alternative sources for fuel. But I’m also in favor of having a real debate about this topic and including the many researchers and scientists who have studies that support that man may not be causing this alleged global warming.

What’s the matter with hearing two objective sides to this debate? Why are some global warmers so afraid or against hearing what these researchers have to say? When eating prunes, is three enough or is four too many?

Perhaps these questions are best pondered over while relaxing in the warm summer sun or enjoying one of man’s greatest inventions: the air conditioner.

Originally posted on Friday, June 20, 2008.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Stupid Teachers Strike Again

Last month, school officials at El Camino High School and highway patrol officers decided to use their lack of collective wisdom and lied to students that several of their peers died in car accidents.

Several students at the Oceanside, Calif., school were shocked and hysterical when told the “news”. However, they didn’t learn the truth until hours later that it was a scare-straight exercise to show the dangers of drinking and driving.

Their grief turned into outrage when they discovered the idiotic ruse when their “dead” friends did a Lazarus impression.

Obviously, school and police officials are defending their thoughtless actions and students and parents are outraged.

And instead of driving home how dangerous drinking is, these idiots furthered the popular teen belief that adults can’t be trusted.

Way to go. Instead of being truthful, these morons shattered a very important trust that young people need as they swim through the uncertain waters of adolescence.

School and police officials really need to reconsider how to help students without making them feel like they can’t go to someone of authority.

With the many problems that students have, from bad grades, an unstable family, sex, and drugs, what today’s youth don’t need are officials, who are supposed to be the go-to-people of problems, who intentionally lie about the deaths of their friends.

Scare-straight programs are great, but not when they traumatize students to the point that it could possibly lead to psychological problems and major trust issues.

It would have been better if the officials presented family and friends of victims of drunk driving and have them tell of the horrific agony that they had to endure. Also, displaying the typical wrecked car from a drunken driving accident is another good visual impression.

But then again, these officials clearly don’t have any common sense if they’re stupid enough to lie to students that their friends died.

Maybe school and police officials can take a class on how to be tactful before they decide to “educate” students by emotionally scarring them for life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stereotypes And Hypocrisy

Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II wrote a great little column today about race and misunderstandings in The Politico today. He says that there should be more open discussion about something that is quite taboo in not only political circles, but in most of our professional lives.

Because for the most part, when we talk about race, we talk about stereotyping. And we all know that stereotyping is wrong, but there is truth to it. Yes, it’s a generalization that has some truth to it.

Here’s a popular stereotype: The Mafia. There. It’s said. Now, how many of you thought of Tony Soprano? The movies “Godfather” or “Goodfellas” pop into anyone’s heads? Sure they did. It’s a popular stereotype that Italians and the Mafia go hand-in-hand like olive oil and wine, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra or a snitch and cement shoes.

It’s ingrained in us to think of Italians when we heard “mafia.” If we’re forced to think of any other nationality, we always hear: The Russian Mafia or the Chinese Mafia. Because the fact is, when we hear “Mafia,” no one thinks of Eskimos.

And to those sensitive Italians out there who think it’s a slur to their heritage, as ¾ guinea myself (OK, according to my father, I’m ¼ Italian and ½ Sicilian. Yeah, it can be a big deal.) I say to you: Suck it up and deal with it!

Yeah, so Italians are associated with a criminal organization that has been glorified by Hollywood. That’s because it’s mostly true. Italians are famous for organized crime. We’re not famous for organized bake sales. Go ask Sammy “The Bull” Gravano or John Gotti.

Does it mean that all Italians are Mafia members? Of course not. Take me for example. Because I’m ½ English on my mother’s side, I wasn’t allowed to join The Family. Sure, I’m glad I don’t have to kill or whack off anyone, but who can beat that tax-free money they make?

And Italians aren’t highlighted well in entertainment media. Take a look at black people: In movies or TV shows, they’re either drug dealers or presidents of big companies.

For Italians in the entertainment industry, we’re either pushing a tomato cart down the street, with a little monkey next to our organ grinder or we’re a Godfather. Not once have we heard Captain James T. Kirk turn to Mr. Spock and say, “Get me geographic specialist Giovanni “Fat Tony” Barbarino.” There is simply no in-between for us.

And speaking of blacks and organs, outside of movies or TV shows the African-American community have a long history of suffering from hideous forms of stereotyping. We hear how black men are involved with crime or being stupid and they rightfully complain about these awful stereotypes.

But it’s also very hypocritical. Not once in all my years have I ever heard a black man complain about the popular stereotype that they have huge penises.

No, not once have I ever heard a black man say, “No, no that’s an awful lie. My penis is so small I could have sex with a Cheerio.”

So, when it comes to race, I think many of us are overly sensitive. Many of us have to accept that some stereotypes are true about our heritage. But more importantly, we shouldn’t judge anyone based on stereotypes, but on the individuals themselves.

Because that sensitivity to non-hateful comments or jokes is not going to help anyone deal and get over race relations.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have stromboli in the oven.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What Does An Obama-Clinton Ticket Mean?

According to recent news reports, the junior Illinois senator beat the junior New York senator for the Democratic Party’s title of presidential nominee.

And now, people in Hillary Clinton’s camp are saying that she is considering to “withholding a formal departure from the race partly to use her remaining leverage to press for a spot on the ticket,” according to the Associated Press.

How well will this settle with Americans, particularly the Democrats? Some Democrats have despised Clinton so much that they would rather see someone else to be Barack Obama’s vice president. Some listed other Democrats for the spot, such as New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, just to name a few.

And with the never-ending attacks between Obama and Clinton during the campaign trail, it would be a hard sale to Democratic voters and Republicans, who are not pleased with presumed GOP nominee John McCain, by these two juggernauts. After all, how believable would it be for these two to tell America that they are the right choice for this country after the backstabbing that they have done towards each other?

Sure, they’re not the first candidates to fight and kiss up and share a ticket, but this is certainly one of the dirtiest races that is burned into voters’ recent memories. How do they expect the average voter to forget their never-ending battles? Apparently, some calling for Richardson or Sebelius to be Obama’s vice president aren’t going to forget any time soon.

Another problem with an Obama-Clinton ticket is that some voters from both parties can’t see past skin color and reproductive organs, certainly a sad thing, since we’re in the 21st century. However, this is a clear contrast from other voters who see a ticket like that as an ultimate dream, that the races and sexes are finally equal.

But there are too many negatives for an Obama-Clinton ticket and the Illinois senator must realize this. Obama might do better with selecting a candidate with real global experience in a leadership role, like Richardson, who was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 1997, until he was appointed as U.S. Secretary of Energy in 1998.

As I wrote about before, even former Sen. John Edwards might be a good person to consider. He has the experience of running as vice president and has learned some important lessons from that. He has worked for homeless causes and for education, among other things. Clearly, Richardson and Edwards have more to offer than Hillary Clinton, who has only held one elected leadership title in her professional life.

Although, an Obama-Richardson ticket would be a double shot of minorities for some voters who can’t get beyond race. But a ticket like that would make many have an honest concern on how they would address the illegal immigration debate that is gripping this nation, because of their stance on the issue.

Clearly, Obama has some very tough decisions ahead of him in selecting his vice president. It’s an important job that should not be taken likely. However, choosing Hillary Clinton as his running mate would be like shooting himself in the foot. There is too much emotional and political baggage for weary, war-torn voters to take.

What Obama needs is a candidate that will not only help him on his weaker experiences and also shares his policies, but also has the charisma and promise that he himself has, which has seemingly led him right into the arms of a welcoming Democratic Party as presumed presidential nominee.