Monday, January 30, 2012

This Is Not A Rebel Song, This Is Sunday Bloody Sunday

On January 30, 1972 - a full 9 months prior to me even being born - in a small town called Derry in Northern Ireland, 26 protesters were shot by British police...14 of them died. Many historians say that this one day - this one event - was the most significant, the most horrific, and the most violent event of the far too long conflict in Northern Ireland that later became know simply as "the Troubles".

January 30, 1972.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

This entry into the Beatdownblog is dedicated to the memories of:

Paddy Doherty (31)
Gerald Donaghy (17)
Jackie Duddy (17)
Hugh Gilmour (17)
Michael Kelly (17)
Michael McDaid (20)
Kevin McElhinney (17)
Barney McGuigan (41)
Gerald McKinney (35)
Willie McKinney (26)
William Nash (19)
Jim Wray (22)
John Young (17)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My State of the Union

Good morning!

It's really quite simple, my fellow Americans. The state of our Union isn't quite as good as it could be; dare I say as it SHOULD be.

The bi-partisan politics in Washington DC has created a toxic environment where good ideas on how to fix our country die on party lines, regardless of the feelings and desires of the MAJORITY of we the people...the electorate.

The lack of term limits in Congress has led to reelection bids and holding onto power being far more important to members of Congress than doing the job they were sent to Washington DC to do - govern according to the will of the MAJORITY of their respective legislative districts.

Corporate money, special interest groups money, and lobbyist money has become the decision making fodder for members of Congress & the President, and the voice of the people has faded into the background, barely audible over the din of party line politics, flashy campaign slogans, and hallow promises never intended to be kept.

The government has gotten so big, so cumbersome, that it works against itself; departments within agencies work against each other, grossly overlap responsibilities, or make far reaching decisions only to justify their existence and reason to collect a paycheck - a paycheck provided by tax payer dollars. Corporations throughout our country have had to make cuts...they've been forced to work lean and give more responsibilities to the employees they have. Washington DC should be held to the same standards. Congress member staffs must be trimmed. Agencies need to be "right-sized"; some eliminated.

The welfare system must be overhauled; as the President said, rather than unemployment benefits, the goal must be re-employment. No one should have an opportunity to take advantage of the system; and it does happen.

Social Security must be overhauled to ensure its continuation. People have money taken out of every paycheck for their Social Security benefits; it must be available when the retire and need it. I think the most prudent course of action is to invest the money, similar to 401(k) accounts, in regulated, steady growth funds.

We must work to become less dependent on foreign energy sources, and work to be the pioneer for clean, efficient, and affordable energy.

We must solve the immigration problem. Illegals should face consequences, not be rewarded. Upstanding, working illegals should be given the opportunity to earn their citizenship. Our country, despite it's current challenges, is still a beacon of hope - we should integrate those that want to be here, legally.

Our education system needs to be improved so we can compete with other countries in terms of math and information technology skills. And to quote the President, stop teaching for the test; teach skills and knowledge that will translate into preparing students to go to college, enter the workforce, and compete on the world stage for the jobs of tomorrow. And speaking of college, it must be affordable; loan interest rates can't be at levels that will cripple new graduates with huge bills that will chew up their starting salaries; after all, these young adults go to college to better themselves, and begin their paths to professional excellence.

Companies need to be encouraged and rewarded to keep jobs in America; companies that outsource shouldn't. It's pretty a simple solution to add jobs. Provide incentives to companies that keep jobs here, that provide necessary training and re-training of skilled workers, and keep communities alive.

And lastly, we the people must shoulder some of the blame for the current state if the union. For too long have we focused on greed, immediate satisfaction, entitlement rather than empowerment, and not wanting to sacrifice anything for the greater good, as previous generations have done to allow us to have all that we do. Hard decisions have to be made; some painful. We can not continue to spend more than we take in. We can not continue to borrow money from other countries. Taxes must be raised. The rich must pay their fair share. Loopholes in tax law need to be closed. A billionaire paying less of a tax rate than his secretary is ridiculous. It can't happen. We all need to shoulder the burden and, to fix our country, pay more - for a leaner, more efficient government. We need to stop expecting handouts. We need to stop trying to keep up with the Jones'. We new to rethink the American Dream, and make some sacrifices in the short term to ensure future generations - our children and grandchildren - have the chance to see that American Dream.

It won't be easy. It will be a complete 180 degree turn on current policies and track of thought. But if we as a nation agree to get back to basics, work smarter, and pay our share, the Union will persevere. The Union will heal. The Union will grow again. The Union will be all that we want it to be. The Union will be all that it SHOULD be. For all if us. For we the people can, and we the people will!

May God Bless you all, and may God Bless the United States if America.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn

"Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

I Dig This Song

Attach Attack! - The Wretched

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

For Pop

So I'm not exactly sure why, but ever since he passed away back on May 7, 2005, this song has reminded me of my dad.

Perhaps it's the line, "From hand to hand, Wrist to the elbow, Red blood sand, Could Dad be God?"...because there is always (at least for me) the thought when we are children that our dad is the end-all, be-all.

Dad would have been 68 years old today.

There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about him, wish he and mom were still around...

This one is for my dad. My hero.

I love you, and doing the best I can to make you proud each and every day...

Monday, January 16, 2012


For Martin Luther King, Jr., today, yesterday, and tomorrow...

Some Advice

Happy Monday from a bright and sunny, albeit chilly, Pasadena, Maryland.

A quick piece of advice...take it as you will, and for whatever it's worth coming from yours truly.

When it comes to relationships, be it marriages, domestic partnerships, or long-term-definitely-going-somewhere kind of gigs...ALWAYS carve out some time for one another, to spend some quality time together, just the two of you.

In the immortal words of one Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast...if you don't stop and look around every once in awhile, you could miss it".

So very true, in all aspects of life.

We are all busy. Jobs, looking for jobs, homes to keep clean, maintain, and update, kids, pets, friends, family. The list of things to do, places to be, and people to see is never-ending. It sometimes gets a little too easy to be distracted, to forget that special take them for granted.

You hustle and flow, and plow through the daily grind and that never-ending to-do list. It becomes routine. And next thing you know, you and that special someone hit a fork in the road and start down seperate paths. And the longer you continue down those paths without one another, the farther away from your relationship you get; and unfortunately, it seems to happen more often than not nowadays that more and more people take their seperate paths and eventually end their relationships.

While sometimes it is for the best, a lot of times it is tragic. And avoidable. All it takes is making time to step away from the daily grind and spend some time together. No kids, no housework, no nothing. Just the two of you doing whatever it is that you both enjoy, whatever it is that brought you together in the first place.

Make the effort. It's worth it. And for all those that think there will be time to spend together "later"...when the kids are grown, when the bills are all caught up, when the bathroom is painted, when the house is spotless, when the laundry is done, when the promotion is obtained...remember one very important're never promised tomorrow. So don't wait until later, because you might not have a later.

To young couples everywhere...spend time with your significant other, and seriously figure out who the two of you are together as a couple.  As one.  And just as important, take time and space to figure out who you are as an individual, because until you figure that out, you won't be a successful partner or better-half to anyone.

To newlyweds...enjoy being married, enjoy each other for awhile. Adjust before starting a family; because once the bundles of joy start blessing you, all priorities shift to the children.

For couples with young stuff as a family, enjoy shaping the minds of your Littleheads, but do whatever you can to take a break, weekly, bi-weekly, or at the very least monthly, to go out with your partner...just the two if you...and make sure you're staying on the same path...together, hand-in-hand, side-by-side.

Relationships shouldn't be a job. They should just be. But they can't be anything without nurturing them with the most important - and readily available (with the right help) - building block - togetherness.

May all of your relationships stay awesome; help the cause by making sure to take the time for just the two of you to reconnect as often as possible without any distractions...ensure you're staying on the same path, side-by-side, by spending some quality time - together. Don't get caught in the hustle and flow and drift apart beyond hope of reconnecting.  Always take a moment and remember - and celebrate - what it was that brought you together in the first place.

Until next time...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Quick Tebow Note

Yes, Tebow lost last night.

His stats were dreadful.

But last time I checked, there are 10 other guys on offense and 11 on defense.

Tebow didn’t lose.  The Broncos lost.
While it's the "in" thing to do to bash Tebow, look at the O-line for Denver - no QB would have been able to fair well with that kind of coverage on his receivers and dreadful pass protection and run blocking.  Look at their defense - Tim Tebow did not give up 45 points.  He's a QB and doesn't play defense.

For the record, Tebow is 9-7 in his first 16 games, including play-offs. I’m pretty sure the only QB with a better record than that is Tom Brady.

Tebow is a lightning rod because of his faith, and because he isn't afraid to show his love for God and Jesus Christ on the field and during interviews.  He's a lightning rod because his style is unconventional.  He's a lightning rod because of the immense amount of hype the media thrust on him.


Tim Tebow has got an intangible quality that will make him successful in the NFL…he’s a leader. In good and bad, he leads.  He knows his role, accepts his mistakes, and does what he can to improve on them.  He doesn't blame others, his coaches, or anyone but himself.  That's a trait a lot of other quarterbacks in the NFL sorely lack.

One thing is for certain...Tim Tebow WILL get better and grow from his experience this season...he’ll be back next year and I for one think he'll prove the nay sayers wrong.

Great season, Tebow - looking forward to seeing what you and the Broncos can do next year.

Lastly - GO RAVENS!