Saturday, August 28, 2010
Happy Saturday from a beautiful and sunny People's Republic of Pasadena, Beatdowners!
I think I've held my tongue long enough on this one, so here goes my take on the mosque/Ground Zero debate...
Without a question of doubt, the project (called Park51), and those who own the PRIVATE property 2 blocks from Ground Zero have the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to build the Islamic Center and mosque there.
Do you disagree?
Okay, then, brainiac, here is why they have the RIGHT...how about the First Amendment to the United States Constitution...ever read it?
If not, here is what it says:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".
FREEDOM OF RELIGION.
Period. The end. Our most important document, the United States Constitution, allows for freedom of religion. It assures Americans they can practice religion and peaceably assemble without fear of our government stepping in and restricting their right to do so.
But, all of our politicians have proverbially sh*t on the Constitution of late (and yes, that applies to Democrats, Republicans, and anyone and everyone else in DC), so it wouldn't surprise me if many don't know what it says anymore.
So there really is no argument here. I believe the folks leading the project are a husband and wife team...Mr. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Mrs. Daisy Khan...and they have the RIGHT to build the mosque and Islamic center on the PRIVATE PROPERTY that happens to be two blocks away from Ground Zero, the spot of the worst attack on the United States of America, one carried out by radical Muslims Hell-bent on destroying our way of life in their twisted views and interpretations of one of the great religions on the plant, Islam.
Period. The end. What President Obama said at the Ramadan Dinner at the White House weeks ago was 100% dead-on accurate (and by the way, for the idiot Right Wing fanatics who give Conservatism a bad name, "W" hosted these very same dinners - it doesn't make "W" a Muslim anymore than it make Obama one - cut the sh*t):
"But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure".
Amen, Mr. President. And let me make this clear - I AM NOT A FAN OF THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION! But President Obama nailed this one.
And everyone had a fit. And twisted his words. And made it in to a sh*tshow. Shocker, honestly, considering the unbelievable liberal bias in our mass media outlets. But this time, the President was right.
With the freedoms and rights we as Americans are granted through the Constitution comes RESPONSIBILITY.
And that is where the true argument lies.
The RIGHT to build the mosque and Islamic Center is protected by law as stated in the First Amendment.
But is it responsible for anyone to build a mosque that close to truly hallowed ground?
My blog, my opinion...NO. It is terribly irresponsible. Yes, it must be made clear that Islam is not our enemy, and Muslims are welcome in our country. But to spit in the face of public opinion is a terrible thing to do. Why throw a match on a powder keg?
How far away from Ground Zero is responsibly far enough away to build the mosque? I'm not really sure. But more people are against the current site than are for it. It would be irresponsible to put so many people in danger - the Muslims coming to worship who are bound to be harassed by moronic hate-mongers, the common man and woman who may be harassed by a Muslim extremist trying to make a point so close to their greatest victory...too much bad ju-ju.
Flip the coin...a Jewish extremist or Catholic extremist blows up the Al-Aqsa Mosque (with the Dome of the Rock and all)...would it be responsible to build a Church or a Synagogue a few blocks away 9 or 10 years later? Absolutely not, even if the right existed.
So the RIGHT is there, and should be protected. But Mr. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Mrs. Daisy Khan need to do the RESPONSIBLE thing here. Islam is a religion of love and peace...show the love, compassion, and hope for peace as commanded by Allah and preached by Muhammad...do not build the mosque at the proposed site. State of New York - make it an even playing field...update zoning laws to prevent ANY new religious center or place of worship from being built near Ground Zero. People of all races and creeds died on 9/11/01...Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. And they were MURDERED by radical religious fanatics whom hated AMERICA.
To quote U2 - "we;re one, but we're not the same...we get to carry each other"...
RIGHT vs. RESPONSIBILITY...
That's all I have to say about that.
Until next time...think about it.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
An Open Letter to the World...
Tomorrow, I give my first born son to you. He begins taking his first steps away from the safety and securities of home, of daycare, of preschool. Tomorrow, he begins his journey to become whatever it is that he is meant to become. Tomorrow, he begins Kindergarten.
As I've made perfectly clear, and as you have helped show, my son is bound to be something - someone - more than he already is...certainly more than I could have ever dreamed of becoming. He is aptly named for one of the Archangels, for my son is a messenger. Was it fate, or God's will that made the Christmas carol "Gabriel's Message" come on the radio that December afternoon nearly six years ago? "Gabriel's Message", the song that made me think, the song that made me pray that if Stephanie was pregnant and it was to be a son, perhaps God was trying to tell ME something...
And nearly six years later, he was, and continues to be, that messenger.
Take care of my son, for he is still finding his way.
I am hopeful that his mother and I have given him a good foundation upon which he can grow, a foundation passed on to us from both of our parents...but only you, World, will provide him with the bricks and mortar...those of us closest to him, his family, can only provide the glue to bind the bricks together.
You will show him many paths...and you will throw many punches at him. My son is resilient, my son is strong. My son has something that is sorely lacking amongst the masses today...my son has heart.
You will frighten him. He will not stay afraid for long.
You will try to rob him of his innocence. You will try to silence him. My son will not blur the black and white of right and wrong. My son will speak loud, clear, and command your attention.
You will try to take his very best with your very worst. You will not succeed.
He begins his journey in the world tomorrow, but as his father, my work will never be done. But rather than forcing his will, I will become a platform for him to launch from.
His journey starts tomorrow, and there is nothing that you will be able to throw his way that can stop him from continuing his message...that life is everything you want it to be...every day is a new adventure...a laugh cures all...and most importantly, angels walk among us...and my son is one of them...you will notice him...he will be the brightest light for all to see.
Tomorrow, when he steps onto the bus, he will from that moment on make your impossible possible, he will overcome all of your obstacles, he will strive to be the very best that he can be, and he will make you realize that anything is possible...because we believe.
His love lifts me higher...and now it's time for him to spread it.
I have one question for you, World...are you ready for him? Because I know my son is ready for you.
A Proud Father
**PICTURE UPLOADED THURSDAY, 8/26**
Saturday, August 14, 2010
As I get older, yet continue to go out to bars and clubs, I notice things that make my brain hurt thinking of the proverbial WTF?!?!?
Here are some mind-numbing questions from observations made during my excursion in Federal Hill last night...
1. Do people own mirrors anymore? I'm all for people getting dolled up before hitting the town (makes good eye candy!), but for God's sake! Last night at Mother's Federal Hill Grille (http://www.mothersgrille.com), I saw a young lady - couldn't have been more than 25 - dressed in a shirt that had to be 2x too small for her. Let me make one thing clear - I like a woman with some curves - stick thin girls like you see in magazines and parading around Hollywood are sickly looking. My opinion, my blog. I digress...this young lady had a very attractive face, but probably could stand to lay off the Big Macs. She was probably a solid 20 pounds over weight. Anyhow, this shirt she had on...I would bet my left nut that she asked a friend if she looked okay before they went out, and her friend told her resoundingly "YES!!!!". Honey, if your friend did say that, punch him or her in the neck. Hard. This girl's boobs were spilling out. Her "muffin top" of a waist was hanging out in all of it's glory. She was wearing a little denim skirt that left NOTHING to the imagination when she bent over. I think her ass was eating her panties. Seriously bad form. Take note, Beatdowners...if you have to ask someone if you look okay in something, it's a safe bet that you don't. Follow your gut.
2. Why do young ladies today seem to hang out with only douchebags? Seriously. You know the type...guys that spend more time primping themselves than their girlfriends. Popped collars. Girlie jeans that look like they have been painted on. Baby t-shirts to make them look bigger than they really are. This is Baltimore, not Jersey Shore, The Situation! C'mon, fellas. You are tools. People laugh at you behind your back...and if you would have looked my way last night, I would have laughed in your face.
3. Why does it seem like folks nowadays can't hold their booze? I can't tell you how many women and men I saw staggering through the bar en route to the bathroom to probably wretch their guts up. One dude at MaGerks (http://www.magerks.com) was PASSED OUT on a bar table! WTF, dude?!?!?! If you are going to act like it's your first time boozing, do the city a favor and STAY HOME. Yes, I've been out and had a few too many - but I've known my limits since I've been 21...I know when too many is too many, and the next sip would make me (A) pass out in public, (B) puke in public, or (C) soil myself.
4. Is it just me and/or where I go out, or do a lot of women cuss like sailors?
5. Do you smell that? People fart in bars. A lot. And they do so after consuming too much beer. Note to the farters...YES, everyone can smell it, and it's gross. Stop.
6. $5 for a bottle of Mich Ultra?!?!?! Are you f'ing kidding me?!?!?!?
7. Is that guy okay? Some people just shouldn't even try to dance. I saw one dude last night that was "dancing"...looked more like he was having some sort of seizure. I was about to call 9-1-1. The guy looked like he needed help. Or a helmet.
8. Why can't all women have your confidence? The prettiest women are the ones that don't go all out dolling themselves up. The natural beauties. Jeans, a tank top, and flops. Hair pulled back in a pony tail. Little - if any - make-up. Work it, girls. It is awesome.
9. You call yourself a DJ???? Folks DJing in Federal Hill have NO clue how to mix songs together...going from Taio Cruz into Journey just doesn't work. At all. I REALLY need to get DJ equipment so I can fix the mix for those f'ers.
10. Is their any booze in this one? If you are going to charge me an arm and a leg for a 007, put some vodka in it for Christsakes! Learn to bartend...or stop ripping off your patrons. Yeah, the economy sucks and money is tight, but keep pouring like that and your crowds will diminish.
That's all I got this morning. I gotta shower-up and take the Littleheads to lunch. Happy Saturday, Beatdowners.
Until next time...
Friday, August 13, 2010
Greetings and salutations, Beatdowners! Happy Friday the 13th to you. Hoping no bad luck has come your way today...unless you are a jitbag or poser, then I hope tons has befallen upon you.
So what is it about Friday the 13th that makes it spooky? Why is there superstition surrounding this day? Do you know? I for one certainly do not. Well, I didn't. I looked up some stuff, and here's what I found...
1. Some brainiac back in 1911 actually conjured up a name for the fear - or phobia - of Friday the 13th. Hold on to your panties...it's called friggatriskaidekaphobia. That's right - friggatriskaidekaphobia. The word alone strikes fear into my heart, and surely has made lesser men and women soil themselves when it pops up in a spelling bee.
2. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the U.S. are affected by a fear of Friday the 13th (no chance I'm typing that long-ass word again). Some people are so freaked out by this day that they avoid their normal routines...going to work, flying, driving...even getting out of bed in some cases.
3. The earliest known documented reference in English of Friday the 13th being unlucky happened in a biography of Gioachino Rossini (some Italian composer...apparently Italy's version of Mozart...he wrote the opera The Barber of Seville and William Tell...he was probably a douchebag) way back in 1869. It says, "Rossini was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died."
4. Most of the reasons surrounding the myth of Friday the 13th being unlucky have been passed down through the generations by word of mouth rather than written. So the EXACT reason why it's so unlucky remains a mystery...but of course, everyone has their theory as to why it is such a dark and misfortunate day. Here are a few for you to chew on...
(A) It is nowadays considered unlucky because people have, through the years, combined two older superstitions...one, that thirteen is an unlucky number, and two, that Friday is an unlucky day (obviously, whoever dreamed that up doesn't know the joys of the weekend...or the concept of Happy Hour).
(B) In numerology, the number twelve is said to be the the number of completeness, as clearly seen in the fact that a year consists of twelve months, the zodiac is made up of twelve signs, a clock shows twelve hours, there are twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus...twelve beers in a twelve-pack, etc.; so therefore, the number thirteen was considered irregular...the proverbial red-headed step child...and thus transgressed the perfect completeness of the number twelve (again, these folks didn't know the joys of a Baker's Dozen).
(C) Some think the superstition actually stems from The Last Supper...apparently, having thirteen people seated at a table will usually result in one of the folks dining untimely kicking the bucket...and wouldn't you know it, there were thirteen people at The Last Supper, and Jesus died the next day...which was (cue the dun-dun-dun-dun dramatic music) a Friday.
(D) Some dude named Charles Panati claims that the superstition actually stems from a really old Norse myth...Friday is named for Frigga, who was a "free-spirited" (aka, a HO) goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to some mountain and decreed to be a witch...that kinda pissed her off. So, every Friday, Frigga had a little get-together with eleven other witches, and for sh*ts and giggles, they invited the devil to these shin-digs. Twelve witches and the devil...Holy Numbers, Batman! A gathering of thirteen! And these miserable f'ers would sit around, knock back a few barrels of booze, probably do all kinds of deviant sexual shenanigans, and they would plot wicked unawesomeness to bestow upon the Norse and Germanic folks. Wow. I think I worked with some descendants of these witches and devils through the years, especially at my last job in foodservice distribution up in Cow County! ;-)
(E) One theory that I really dig has its roots in the events that lead to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar. Who are the Knights Templar, you ask?? They were a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in 1118. They had a pretty straight-forward mission...protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. Over the course of their existence, the Knights Templar became REALLY powerful, and REALLY, REALLY rich. That didn't sit well with King Philip...he was insecure (probably had a small Willy...chicks didn't dig him), he wanted their money, and he was freaked out about the power they had. So what's Philip do? He secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights in France on Friday, October 13, 1307.
So there you go...pick which one you like, stick it in your bowl, and smoke it. Pretty neat stuff. And writing all of this was a perfectly awesome way to chew up some time left on the work clock today!
So go out there and have some fun tonight, Beatdowners! Find a black cat and cross its path. Walk under a ladder. Break a few dozen mirrors. Spill some salt (preferably while knocking back some tequila!). Run with scissors. Stick some pins in your voodoo doll. Don a hockey mask, hide in the bushes, and scare some of the neighborhood kids.
Or, if you are the more cautious type, remember these rules for surviving this horror-filled day (directly ripping these off from Wes Craven's Scream series and the Rules to Survive a Horror Flick):
1. Do not have sex...big no-no...sex = death!
2. Do not drink or do drugs...the "sin" factor, which is an extension of number one.
3. Never, ever, EVER, under any circumstances say "I'll be right back", 'cause you won't be back.
4. Don't answer the phone.
5. Don't open the door.
6. Don't try to hide.
7. Most of all, don't scream...or The Boogeyman will get'cha!
Good Luck to you for whatever is left of your day today (8/13/10), Beatdowners...and until next time, I'LL BE RIGHT BACK!!!!!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Greetings, Beatdowners! I'm hoping I still have some readers...my postings have become far too sporadic...something I intend to fix. Starting now.
Looking back at my previous few posts, I've noticed they've been lacking the carelessness and total and complete random awesomeness that I had hoped to convey when I joined in this whole social media platform of blogging on Blogspot.
So today, I'm just gonna throw some stuff out there...sling it at the wall, just to see what sticks...perhaps a future blog will span out of some of this...
Why is it that whenever one goes on vacation, the days immediately following - when back in the proverbial "real world" - seem to drag? It's driving me nuts this week, as I was down the ocean all last week. I swear, sometimes I think the clock is moving in reverse. And it's not like I have a ton of stuff to look forward to when leaving work - house work (which I've been UBER slacking on of late), playing with the Littleheads, surfing iTunes and the 'Net, doing my push-ups and planks routine. Nothing to be overly excited about - just the stuff that's par for the course. Anyway, this week has been P...A...I...N...F...U...L...L...Y...S...L...O...W. I certainly hope that changes. Like, NOW.
I've had an unhealthy "obsession" of late with the ZooTV era of U2 - the albums Achtung Baby, Zooropa, the B-sides of the singles from that period...Hell, even Pop and their super side project with Brian Eno, Passengers (Original Soundtracks I). I've been YouTubing footage from their ZooTV - Live in Sydney DVD and posting it all over my Facebook. I've read and re-read the chapters in U2BYU2 regarding that time frame (early and mid-90's) in the band's history. And I'm not exactly sure where this came from or even why it started. But the ZooTV bug has bitten me. Could be worse, I suppose. I could be hooked on Barry Manilow...
Continuing with the U2 ZooTV thing...I've never in my life "related" to an album like Achtung Baby. Seriously, it's MY album. While it's got the catchy hooks and the driving beats that could be construed as "EuroDance" stuff, it's more the subject matter of the songs that make it MINE...they seem to have been ripped from my very thoughts, feelings, and soul..."The Fly", "Until The End of The World", "One", "Acrobat", and "Love Is Blindness" especially. U2 fan or not, do yourself a favor - pick-up this album, play it loudly, and READ the lyrics. I guarantee you will find something you relate to. While Bono has been pretty outspoken on what the songs are about, they can easily be left to your own interpretation...and THAT is what makes them all great. I am the guy that is speaking/singing in "The Fly"...in almost every capacity.
The Ravens begin their march to the playoffs this evening at M&T Bank Stadium with their first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. I am SOOOOOOOO glad that the NFL season is back. Especially here in Baltimore. Ravens games, Ravens fans...it's so contagious...it's a college atmosphere for a NFL franchise, and that's a wicked awesome thing. The Ravens this season are on the proverbial radar, being touted as championship (no "S" word until we get there from this blogger!) caliber team. That frightens me. We have traditionally played better as the underdogs...when our backs are against the wall. Has me nervous. We are either going to be a 10 - 13 game winner this year, or we'll SUCK...no middle ground with this group, in my opinion.
I'm listening to "How Soon Is Now?" by The Smiths...I think this is a near perfect tune. I'll never forget the first time I heard it...sitting in the Columbia Theatre in Columbia, MD, waiting for Batman to start (the first one with Michael Keaton) with my crush at the time, Lauren. They were pumping it over their sound system. I asked Lauren who it was as soon as the grinding, wah-wah guitars cycled through a few bars. After the flick, we went to Kemp Mill over in the Dobbin Shopping Center and I got the cassette of Meat Is Murder by The Smiths...and the song remains in heavy rotation on my iPod today.
I'm pretty damn proud of the mix I made that has "How Soon Is Now?" on it that I'm listening to at the moment on my iPod...I really need to do myself a favor and invest in DJ equipment and start doing that as a side gig (mainly for fun).
Here's the playlist...
1. "Television, The Drug of The Nation" by The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
2. "Here Come The Bastards" by Primus
3. "The Lounge Fly Mix" by U2 (a remix of "The Fly")
4. "Up On The Catwalk" by Simple Minds
5. "Murder Music" by Renegade Soundwave
6. "Something Good" by The Utah Saints (the 2009 Radio Edit)
7. "Cursed Female" by Porno for Pyros
8. "Nobody's Daughter" by Hole (surprisingly strong effort from their latest album)
9. "Dive" by Nirvana
10. "Mountain Soung" by Jane's Addiction (the version on Kettle Whistle)
11. "Living Well Is The Best Revenge" by R.E.M.
12. "Goin' Out West" by Tom Waits (a song EVERYONE should know)
13. "How Soon Is Now?" by The Smiths
14. "Transmission" by Joy Division
15. "I Am One" by Smashing Pumpkins
16. "Down In It" by Nine Inch Nails (the Shred remix from the Head Like a Hole single)
17. "Questions" by INXS
18. "Heaven Sent" by INXS
19. "Souled Out" by Supreme Love Gods
20. "New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)" by Utah Saints (remake of the Simple Minds classic)
21. "Never Gonna Come Back Down" by BT
22. "Magnificent" by U2
23. "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode (the Holier Than Thou Approach remix)
24. "Lay Lady Lay" by Ministry (a remake of the Dylan song - wicked awesome)
25. "Running Up That Hill" by Placebo (a haunting remake of the Kate Bush epic)
26. "Dross" by Smashing Pumpkins (off of MACHINA II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music - only available online - Good luck finding it - but worth it if you can!)
27. "Rusted Wheel" by Silversun Pickups (from the iTunes exclusive Live Session)
28. "True Faith" by New Order
29. "Honestly" by Zwan
30. "Where Is My Mind?" by the Pixies
Pretty kick-ass if you ask me...and even if you didn't.
I really want to get a SmartPhone - like a Droid 2. But I don't want a redonkulous monthly payment. All I want is 450 or so minutes, unlimited texts and pics, and access to Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquares (thanks, Ex). I don't want to have to pay $100+ for that, though.
I can't believe the oldest Littlehead is going to be starting Kindergarten this year...in 2 weeks, actually. It's amazing how quickly he is growing up. He - and his brother - are simply the bestest things about life. So much potential in each of them, so much innocence, so much laughter and curiosity...and so much ability to drive me and their mother absolutely nuts! Hey, they get it honest!
I would really - REALLY - like ONE entire 24 hour period in my house where someone doesn't fart or make a fart noise on their arm. Toilet humor is always good for a laugh, but c'mon!
The world is a friggin' mess. Oil spill in the Gulf, fires consuming Russia, floods, landslides/mudslides, earthquakes...I think Someone is trying to get our attention. Time to right the ship, Beatdowners...
I think it's high time for full disclosure on UFO's. We are not alone. We have been visited. And people in DC know. They just think John and Jane Q. Public can't handle the truth.
I'm really looking forward to the weather breaking and Fall to get here. October remains this bloggers favorite month.
Is there anything better than a PB&J sandwich? It just always seems to be perfect whenever I make myself one. Top it off with an ice cold cup of milk, and it's the shiznit.
I want to go to a wine bar, drink a few bottles, engage in some awesome conversation with friends, strangers, etc., and end the night listening to some good tunes with another bottle or 2.
I wanna go (back) to New York City. It truly is the Greatest City on Earth.
Mother's Purple Patio - I will see you many times this season, my friend!
I have a FREE VIP table at Angels Rock Bar in PowerPlant...deciding when to do it...this Friday (8/13), or next(8/20)?
Is it bad to be knocking on the door of 38 and still trying to decide what you want to be when you grow up? I hope not, because I'm there.
I wanna go to Ireland. And Berlin.
MR Ducks remains my favorite bar. Orange Quacks = AWESOMENESS.
7/5/11 - U2 360 Tour at Soldier Field in Chicago. I'm going to try really hard to be there with my oldest brother.
4 months down, 8 to go. 4/20/11 will be a good day.
Matt Stone...born to habit, and have it he will.
The Renaissance Festival kicks off down in Annapolis on 8/28. Looking forward to going, hopefully a few times this year, with family, and friends who are family. Weekends of note: 9/18 & 9/19 - IRISH WEEKEND. 9/25 & 9/26 - PIRATE INVASION WEEKEND. 10/9 & 10/10 - OKTOBERFEST WEEKEND. Merriment Abound!
As I get older, I'm recognizing that sometimes I do STOOOOPID things (yet after the internal recognition, I still do whatever it is anyhow). Much better to realize it's dumb before I do it...knowing is half the battle, right?!?!? Now to just STOP doing the dumb sh*t all together...but what fun would that be?!?!?!?!?!
That's all I got at the moment. I'll be back for more.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned, entries will be coming WAY more frequently...they'll probably be shorter, too.
Until next time...