Friday, November 14, 2008

Calling my shot

On other blog sites, the poster asked about the Obama Administration. I called my shot, much as in the game of P-I-G, that, not only will there be no pro-lifers in the Obama Administration, the only pro-lifer in the Obama Administration will be the Ambassador to the Holy See. In other words, it will be a more urbane, sophisticated version of the Clinton Administration.

I formalized it here. And I'll be tallying up the posts so you don't have to.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where have you gone, Mike Singletary?

Samarai Mike. #50. The top of the Bermuda Triangle. General Secretary of the Union Nations of Defense. These were some of Mike Singletary's nicknames when he captained the Chicago Bears' famous "46" defense. I grew up loving everything about Mike Singletary. I loved how such a fierce competitor on the field could be such a bookish, almost nerdy, student of the game off the field. He showed that jocks don't have to be dumb.

When he retired and got into coaching, I couldn't be happier. I couldn't say I was ever a fan of any of the teams he coached--since none of them were the Bears. I nonetheless loved that a man of his qualifications was getting to pass on his knowledge and intensity to a new generation of players.

And now Mike is head coach, which should be great news, except he's an interim head coach with the 49'ers. Oy.

Maybe I can chalk it up to Mike playing back before the days of blogs and YouTube. How else can we explain his complaint about locker-room pep talks becoming headlines the next day?

Still, I can't explain the lack of defensive intensity, allowing the Cardinals to get back into the game on Monday Night Football. I also can't explain the final play, running up the middle with 3 yards to go for a touchdown.

Chalk it up to learning on the job. I hope that he can turn it around soon, or the interim tag will be replaced with former.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Pro-lifer's Resource for Pro-choice Accusations

Remember this joke?

A new convict got bunked up with a lifer. After lights-out, a convict from a few cells down shouts out, "43." The lifer starts laughing. The newbie doesn't understand the laughter.

A couple of minutes later, a different convict at the other end of the block yells out, "14." The whole block breaks up in laughter.

The newbie gets confused at this point and asks the lifer, "Why is everyone laughing?" The lifer says, "We've all been here so long that we've heard all of the jokes. So we just number them and shout out the number. It saves time."

So, the newbie, trying to fit in, yells, "5." No one laughs. The lifer rolls over in his bunk and huffs, "Some people just can't tell a joke right."

Now, what does this have to do with the title? As a resource to fellow pro-lifers --and perhaps a call for pro-choicers to come up with better arguments-- I'll be compiling a resource of all of the accusations pro-choicers direct against us pro-lifers. It won't be that long --because, so far, there haven't been many new arguments-- but it will hopefully be helpful the next time your pro-choice co-horts accuse you of something.

And, hopefully, It'll help your timing.

Gay Marriage Bad; Abortion Good. Huh?

Full disclosure: I voted for Prop 4 and Prop 8. For those who aren't from California, count yourself lucky. Prop 4 was a parental notification referendum for minors seeking abortion, a referendum which enjoyed support even from pro-choicers like Arnold Schwartzenegger and Bill Handel. Prop 8 was a marriage constitutional amendment which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

To recap, Prop 4 was defeated and Prop 8 passed. In examining the tallies, something bothered me: significant number of voters who voted against Prop 4 voted for Prop 8.

I can understand how someone could vote for both propositions. After all, that's what I did. I understand that, if someone supports the sanctity of life --albeit only on a personal level-- the sanctity of marriage naturally follows.

I can only understand --although vehemently disagree-- how someone could vote against both propositions. To highlight to the contrary, if someone opposes the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriages naturally follows, likewise.

I can even understand how someone could vote for Prop 4 but against Prop 8. I may disagree with them on that issue, but I respect the fact that they have the priorities straight. The sanctity of life precedes all other rights, and, if one referendum is to go down to defeat, the marriage referendum makes more social sense. Let's face it; marriage is pretty messed up as it is. The worse thing that can be said of gay marriage is that they're hurting themselves.

I just can't get my head around voters who voted against Prop 4 but for Prop 8. What they are saying is that two men marrying each other is more damaging to our society than an abortionist murdering the pre-born. I can't my head around the logic of that. I'm not saying that I support gay marriage, but the worst thing you can say about it is that they're hurting themselves and no one else. Abortion murders an innocent life, and that hurts someone else other than the mother, father, grandparents, and abortionists who participate.

Maybe Aristotle ruined me. But, if logic keeps me from understanding anti-life, anti-gay marriage voters, so be it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's with the title?

I know, it seems like a weird title to me, too. But there are some good reasons for it.

The simplest one is that my first choice was taken: poking the bear. Although I first heard the expression a few months ago --actually I was told by one commenter that my personality fits the bear poker-- it seems to be an old enough expressions to have at two different blogs on this site alone involving bear poking.

But adversity, small though it is, affords opportunity. Changing for the better and crossing the divisions which separate people and quash ideals involves breaking through barriers, poking them, if you will.

Thus the inspiration behind the title. Poking the barrier between truth and delusion, civilization and libertinism, a culture of death and a culture of lifel My hope is that, if someone reads my blog long enough, eventually even the most dye-in-the-wool idealogue will find something they like enough to open their minds and the most easy going tolerance monger will find something they will hate enough to show that they aren't as tolerant as they think they are.

This may be a tall order, but, remember, I'm only poking the barrier. I'm not arrogant as to believe myself worthy to break the barrier.

Of course, along the way, I am also going to blog sports, religion, race relations, and child rearing. Hey, I'm not that pretentious.

So, why a blog?

The truth of the matter is that I've been procastinating in starting my blog. I have several good reasons, too.

Simply, I have a life. I work. I'm married. I have a son. I have church duties. I have volunteer work. All of these things take time.

Also, I'm not that good at writing. I'm good at organizing my thoughts, but the words often escape me. There's plenty of poorly written blogs out there already. I don't want to add to the dint.

Finally, I just didn't think I had anything to say that anyone wanted to read.

But some simple moments in my life changed my opinions. None of them amount to a Damascus Road conversion, but they amount to slow conversion to putting my thoughts on my own forum. If other people want to follow it, great; if not, well, that's their choice.

As to my life, other people told me that they wish I told them more often what was happening in my life. Now, I could spend hours on the phone calling people --something I loathe. I could send hundreds of e-mails, clogging other people's in-boxes as much as my own is. I could get on Facebook and Twitter --which I done-- for those few people who are already on those social networking cites. Or I could start a blog.

As to my writing, my composition professor taught that the more you write you better you can write, emphasis on "can." As much as I still think myself not effective at this, I am going to hope that, with time, my writing will improve to the point of cogency.

As to having anything to say, what changed my opinion was, well, reading other blogs, including blogs from professional bloggers. When I saw how bad other blogs were written, including well followed blogs from paid bloggers, it dawned on me. "Self," I said to myself, "I can do better than these jokers." So let's see if I right. At worst, it's a diary that my son will grow up to what was on his father's mind back before he could talk.

I hope others enjoy the blog. If not, I hope I piss you off enough to comment --angry people always comment more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The positive influence that the Bryant Park Project has had on my life

I miss the The Bryant Park Project. I miss the blog. I miss the BPP staff. Certainly, the BPP staff misses the show far more than an audience member like me ever could. Though, I must say this: the show has had at least one lasting positive effect on my life, an effect that presented itself at work.

You see, as an engineer, I'm used to working around people with poor social skills. While my social skills may not make me very popular by normal society's standards, I am regular social butterfly compared to other engineers. My co-workers are usually blunt, gruff, and awkward, and that's when they're nice. Anyway, as part of the job, I needed to have some lab equipment moved from one building to another. So I sent an e-mail to the property manager, but, instead of some terse statement about moving, I wrote, "Would you please send some of your esteemed professional movers to help me at this moment of dire need?"

Esteemed professional movers. Not movers, not just professional movers, but esteemed professional movers. When the esteemed professional movers came (or E.P.M.'s as I like to call them), the crew chief thanked me for the e-mail and told me that he's hanging it up and framing it.Were it not for the BPP and NPR's Esteemed Science Correspondent Robert Krulwich, I would have never gotten that positive response.

I hope other people have had something like that happen for them.