Monday, June 16, 2008
Another Father’s Day has come and gone, mostly unnoticed but for the retailers who want to sell you the latest novelty tie that Dad will never wear twice (if at all) or the latest battery-powered grill cleaning gadget that will be relegated to the bathroom for when his back really itches.
Men, in general, have been getting a bad rap in America for the past two-plus decades. Some of it well-deserved. Much of it not. In 1987, Hardenbrook wrote a book titled Missing in Action – Vanishing Manhood in America. Therein, he explained how the women’s rights movement and groups like NOW and science, have relegated men to the brink of irrelevancy. No longer are men perceived as a requirement for a “normal” nuclear family. No longer are men needed to father children – either literally or figuratively. Society actually embraces the concept of “my two moms” more than it ever seemed to embrace a mom and dad.
For years, with rare exception, when men are portrayed as fathers on TV, they are usually pot-bellied, bumbling buffoons out of touch with their children and their wives. There is a poignant juxtaposition between the likes of Cosby, Father Knows Best, Ozzy and Harriet, and The Simpsons, Married with Children, and According to Jim. Every now and then, the dad is allowed to “get it right” but most of the time, he is ahead to sit quietly on the sidelines while mom and the kids get along quite nicely without him.
From newspaper columnists to radio hosts, fathers took an absolute beating yesterday. Absentee dads. Dads who abandoned their families. Dads who shirk their responsibilities. Dads who create statistics that presumably inspire sitcom writers to perpetuate the myth. Heaven forbid that the tables ever be turned on the moms. Motherhood is held nearly as sacred as the Virgin Mary and Mother Teresa. No matter how many moms abuse their children, ignore their children, poor milk over the heads of their children, commit crimes and are incarcerated away from their children, motherhood is held above all else as the most “holy” of roles. Mothers vis-à-vis wives can unwittingly or otherwise bench their husbands and relegate them to the role of financier and chauffer and occasionally, sous chef when cooking with fire is needed. Yet, it is the dads who are vilified as soon as they say “ENOUGH!” It is the dads who lose their children, their home, and their self-esteem who then get beat senseless by the media, society, and pundits alike. It is the dads who spend fathers’ day, the most laughable of holidays, without their children, perhaps seeking secondary employment to meet the balance of their obligations.
Frankly, I don’t expect anything to change. Not as a result of this blog that will likely go unread. Nor because of any major societal revolution driven by dads and right-minded wives/moms alike who concur that the guys have gotten the short end of the stick. To the extent that I was able, I enjoyed my day in the company of the one I love (at home and church) and the dog. But it was also a day riddled with tears and ultimately enough wine to take the sharpest edge off the pain. But even that brought with it the realization that nothing changed. Tomorrow would be just like yesterday. I might get the requisite phone call from one of my children. Or I might not.
I wish my dad were still alive so at least I could wish him a Happy Father’s Day. He got it right – even though he sometimes got it wrong. The best that I could hope for now is that his heavenly father conveys the message on my behalf. I’m sure that sounds quaint to some and ignorant to others, but even this dad and son can still have hope. Hope that tomorrow WILL be better. Hope that I will be able to get it right. Hope that wives, women, and society will come to appreciate as a whole, that no matter how flawed we dads may be, we still have feelings. And while we may make mistakes we also try to make the best decisions we can – even if sometimes it’s the best bad decision available.
So, to all you dads who WANT to be dads to your kids: Happy Fathers Day. Stay in the race. Fight the good fight. To the women in our lives who want to help make that possible and feel our hurt when it is not: thank you.
Posted by Mike McCall at 8:26 AM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
It's been a long time since I've posted here, largely because I'm so disgusted with the government and the people who elect it that it would seem that any common sense I might try to voice would be the equivalent of casting pearls before swine. Chances are, those most needful of grasping that metaphor will neither know its source nor grasp its true meaning. But hey, from what I can see, it would appear that ignorance is total bliss.
If the masses get their way, we will have an Obamanation in the Oval Orifice next year. I would strongly suggest storing food, fresh water, medical supplies, etc. because it could be an ugly 3 1/2 to 7 years depending on how you read Revelation. Suffice it to say, we may all be wearing numeric tattoos before all is said and done.
The State of Florida just passed a constitutional amendment to increase property tax homestead exemptions from $25K to $50K. Big government lovers, the media, and our esteemed governor continue trying to convince us how this was a good thing. Never mind that the exemption increase is about 15 years too late and the entire amendment is worded so poorly that I doubt even its authors know what they really meant to say. Nevertheless, the mindless sheep of Florida voted for it despite the realization that it'll only save them, on average, $250/year. Never mind that an indexed exemption process would ensure that the issue not be visited again. Never mind the current wording set the amendment up for a constitutional legal challenge. (Be wary when Crist finds his name on a national ballot.)
Be still my soul. To offset the lost revenue in property taxes, the State is now proposing an additional 1% sales tax on purchases. Let's say that the average person who owns a home spends $20K per year on taxable purchases (consumer goods, some foodstuffs, clothes, eating out, durable goods, etc.). One percent of $20K is $200.
Yeah, great amendment. We just saved $50. Meanwhile, fuel prices continue to skyrocket courtesy of the Federal Government mandating the switch to summer blends. This results in refineries operating at 85% capacity (not counting the one that just burned). Gas prices at the station by my office jumped 15 cents since Friday. 15 cents x 44 gallons (my tank size) x 52 weeks = $343 more out of my pocket courtesy of our omnipotent government.
And don't forget the increase in food prices stemming from ethanol production which actually requires more petroleum to produce (tractors, fertilizer manufacturing, trucks to deliver to processing, trucks to move from processing to storage, etc.) - none of those trucks or tractors run on gas which COULD be supplemented with ethanol. No, they're all diesel powered.
BTW, did you know it costs 1.6 cents to manufacturer a US penny? (If you're a reader of this blog or pay attention to the news, you did.)
Yeah, we are governed by a bright bunch. See what happens when you get a bunch of attorneys involved in anything and then convince the media that liberal government is a good idea?
One of those treasonous Revolutionary War guys once said that ". . . a revolution every 200 years is good." Annie, get your gun.
Posted by Mike McCall at 12:26 PM
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Contrary to popular belief, Jesus is not just the name of every other Hispanic drywaller or painter or concrete specialist. In fact, it would seem that it's only accepted by some cultures to name their children after the most significant religious figure in history. Sure, there are a few Abrahams and Muhammads. Odd how no one seems to name their kid Buddha. Or Tao. Hmm. Go figure.
At any rate, I heard a sermon last weekend that got me on the ever-dangerous path of thinking - not one of my strong points. The gist of it was that everyone seems to have a different notion of who Jesus is to them. To some, he is merely the drywall installer. To others, the painter, or gardener, or pool boy. Still to others, he is merely a profanity. Or a fictional character. Or a great teacher. Or a prophet. Or a little baby in a manger with sheep and a mule and wise guys and shepherds. In Talladega Nights, Ricky Bobby liked praying to the sweet little tiny infant Jesus just lying there in a manger; Cal Naughton, Jr. preferred to think of his Jesus as wearing one of those tuxedo shirts that says I'm formal, but I'm here to party and playing lead guitar at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. Mrs. Bobby steps in and says she thinks you're supposed to pray to the grown-up Jesus.
To many a televangelist, Jesus is a cash-cow. To some, Jesus is nominally involved in that winter holiday around which retailers gauge consumer confidence. To public schools and government, Jesus doesn't exist at all. Nor does God. Allah is ok, as long as he isn't blowing stuff up.
I could continue, but I ask you: who is Jesus? Who is He, really? Beyond what you think you know, beyond what you were told by your grandma as a kid, and past the guy who's middle initial, contrary to popular belief, is NOT "H"? For the record, it doesn't begin with F or PH either.
The Bible says Jesus is the Son of God, in whom He is well pleased. It says He is the once and final propitiation for our sins (past, present, and future). It says He is our brother, high priest, counselor, and friend. It says He is our intermediary before a completely holy, omnipotent, omniscient God. Did you know that He is called the Lamb of God because God provided Him as the final blood sacrifice? Did you know that prior to Jesus' death and resurrection, Jewish priests had to sacrifice an unblemished, perfect lamb for the temporary forgiveness of sin? Did you know that God first implemented a blood sacrifice (the shedding of blood) as a result of sin when He made clothes for Adam and Eve after they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (note, not the same as the Tree of Life, and not an apple tree)? Did you know that Jesus is as alive and relevant today as He was 2000 years ago? Did you know that He longs for a relationship with you? Not religion. I could be religious about playing golf every Sunday (and soon "lose my religion" because of my chronic bad habits). He wants you to know Him, as He already knows you. Did you know that you were fearfully and wonderfully made and before He formed you in the womb, He knew you?
Put aside whatever impressions you may have of Him. He wasn't white, or Asian, or black. He wasn't walking around with a halo and aura as depicted in Renaissance art. He was just like you or me among His peers and contemporaries. If He was a stand-out in a crowd, Judas would not have had to betray Him with a kiss for the guards to know who to arrest. He wasn't as the native New Zealanders portray him with body art on his face. Although, He was. He is exactly who you need, when you need Him, whether you know it or not. And He's waiting for you to invite Him into your life.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whomever believes in Him shall not die, but have eternal life. For God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn it, but that through Him, the world (people) would be saved. John 3:16-17
Posted by Mike McCall at 8:24 PM
Thursday, January 3, 2008
No, this is not about a Beatles song, but it could be.
What if . . .
It was global cooling instead of warming? While I doubt that polar bears are actually drowning as Algore would like us to believe, I wonder what would happen away from the poles if the world was cooling. This pondering occurred to me as I looked into a pond that I made for my sons' turtles wherein cichlids also live. The water was so chilled by Florida's sub-freezing temperatures that they were all nearly dormant, on their sides, at the bottom of the pond. If instead of our beloved mother Earth "having a fever" as Algore likes to suggest, it was not able to maintain homeostasis (that's the ability to regulate one's body temperature for those in San Jose)? What of all the woodland creatures in the swamps of the deep south unaccustomed to cold weather? How many lizards would die needlessly on bike paths in Miami because they fell from trees due to their chilled blood failing to keep them on their respective tree limbs? Imagine the horror!!
People took ownership of their actions? Imagine the relief that our justice system would experience if people like Carlos Sousa, Sr. simply said "my son, that moron, was wrong to be drinking and hanging out with his buddies and aggravating that tiger. I'm sorry that the community of San Francisco lost a beautiful creature because my moronic kid antagonized it enough to leap from its enclosure and kill him. I'd like to help educate others as to why being a punk is wrong."
The woman in England whom was burglarized despite her six foot fence was permitted to install barbed wire to further discourage thievery. Instead, she was denied this privilege as it posed potential liability issues for her should someone trespass and be injured on the fence.
What if . . .
Jesus had been married? And had a child as asserted in the DaVinci Code? Would it have changed any component of His ministry, death, and resurrection?
Gays and lesbians were allowed to "unite" in a partnership that gave them similar rights (e.g., health insurance coverage, spousal privilege, etc.) as married couples without being called "married"?
Fossil fuels were not from fossils? It would seem that we'd be finding a lot more dinosaur bones if they were the sole source. And, it would seem that the Earth would be running out as was predicted nearly forty years ago.
Government truly was of, by, and for the people rather than special interests and business? What if elections were based upon character and the desire to represent the people rather than personal motivations and self-ascribed birth rights?
Societies and cultures and countries were not propped by other countries experiencing guilt for their prosperity and the warlords and other incompetent leaders were simply allowed to destroy their people by the Peter Principle? If we are forced to subscribe to Evolution, then Survival of the Fittest isn't a jagged pill at all.
Common sense was employed as the litmus test for all decisions rather than emotion and political correctness?
What if . . .
Posted by Mike McCall at 9:23 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
You morons. If your heads weren't so far up a seagull's rear, you'd have seen the downstream impact of your whining about oil drilling in the Gulf.
Today's AP is reporting that since 1985, a nitrogen fertilizer-borne dead zone has grown in the Gulf to 7,900 square miles of oxygen-depleted ocean wherein nothing can survive. Brilliant, you donkeys!! So, we save half a penny per gallon by buying gas that contains ethanol, the corn byproduct, but in the meantime, corn has doubled in price since 2002 to $4/bushel. Gee, what else contains corn products? Hmmm. Cows and their products (dairy, beef), anything containing corn syrup, cooking oils, anything else that eats corn before we eat it (like chickens), corn itself. So that means that itty bitty savings we got at the gas tank was pissed into the wind when we drove to the grocery store and discovered that Gulf Grouper, Snapper, Mahi, crabs, and everything listed above are suddenly four times as expensive.
I haven't heard of any oil spills spanning 7,900 square miles and growing for 22 years. Yet the EPA has estimated that some 210 million pounds of fertilizer enter the Gulf every year. If sea levels are rising, maybe it's because of all the solids being dumped into them and not due to some iceberg melting due to cow flatulence.
If the enviretards would learn to leave well enough alone, the world would be just fine. Instead, they take action based on what could happen rather than on what will happen - and then try to shift blame elsewhere when their little scheme backfires. Perhaps the Sierra Club and their ilk would like to subsidize my grocery bill since it has gone through the roof. Perhaps they'd like to subsidize the people whose industries are debilitated as a result of their so-called protective measures, which are neither measured nor protective.
This enviretard global warming myth is truly a religion. If religion was Marx's opiate of the masses, then global warming is the heroin of the tree huggers. Excuse me, could I have a cup of your Kool Aid? You simply cannot look at a ten year or even a fifty year temperature record and claim that it is anything other than an anomaly; there is insufficient empirical evidence on which to base the data to conclude anything else. Yes, there are temperature records for maybe 120 years. There are geologic records from which we can extrapolate certain datum. And there are ice core samples which help paint a clearer picture of ages past. However, to conclude that anything that's happening today is a man made event is nothing more than an urban legend with legs enough to become a religion needing a savior. Enter Algore and his fleet of chartered jets. No carbon footprint there because he is out for the greater good. Yeah, thanks for that, Stalin. What DO we know is a man made event? Upwards of 8,000 square miles of dead water - top to bottom. At least oil just floats on top - it's not like sea gulls are big in the food chain. I have yet to see them at Publix, Kroger, or Wok-n-Stop Take-out.
At some point, the majority needs to get its collective head out of the sand and call these people out for the frauds that they are. You've been duped. Food prices shouldn't be as high as they are, gas prices shouldn't be as high as they are, and farming shouldn't be killing off massive portions of the Gulf. But until enough of us say: "ENOUGH" - they will keep shoving the dry cracker of enviretardism down our throats. Not choking yet? Just wait till next year and you've remained silent.
Posted by Mike McCall at 3:40 PM
Today's question is whether humans are parasites - feeding off their host(s) until the host dies, or are they viruses - simply replicating and mutating at such an alarming rate that what they infect cannot develop a defense mechanism?
As I await the virus scan, phishing filter, and ad filters to do their work before I could read my Email, I happened to think it's because of other humans that we are so horribly inconvenienced. For every convenience we create, other humans are there to find some way to jack it all up. The horseless carriage! Clever. Put the horse to pasture and fire up the internal combustion engine. Too bad too many idiots behind the wheel necessitated the advent of traffic laws, traffic lights, traffic cops, and the ability to propel oneself from point A to point B without the judiciousness of a horse to determine the appropriate speed. In this sense, the horse was smarter than the rider - how many horse wrecks did GEICO have to insure?
Cell phones! What a great gadget. Cell phones that Email, take photos, access the web, play music, and even siphon your ear wax are all the rage. Yet too bad they cannot discern when their operator is too distracted with other things like, oh, I don't know, DRIVING, to play with their handy gadget. Just Sunday, I witnessed a woman driving on the interstate with one hand holding the phone to her ear and the other holding a burning tobacco stick with a single finger on the wheel, traveling at 70 mph. A few moments earlier, no doubt there was a mascara applicator in her cigarette hand.
This morning, while stopped behind a school bus with all it's signs and red lights aglow, some bearded throwback to ZZ Top pulled out, from a side street, behind the bus which was still loading, then called me an a$$hole because I blew the horn at him. Good thing he didn't get out of his POS Isuzu pick-up truck or my foot might have errantly slipped from the brake pedal to the accelerator in mortal fear. Oopsie.
Email! Destined to put the postal services of the world out of business, one first class stamp at a time. Not so much. I cannot get Emails to people who actually want them because they are filtered out by SPAM filters. I cannot receive the Emails I need because I lose them amongst the other crap the SPAM filters missed. I have to wait ten minutes for the home PC to boot up just so it can load its garrison of safe guards because some fat tater tot in his mom's basement with posters of calendar girls on the walls is sitting there with his T3 line trying to hack other people's business.
Schools! Stellar idea. Until people show up at bus stops and shoot two teenagers. Yesterday. Gibsonton, FL. Watching the eleven o'clock news, I wasn't sure that the bus stop or the subdivision involved was even in the US. It appeared to be some third world country. One asstard that was interviewed could not show his face from under his hoodie, but his name was plastered all over the screen. Guess he's just known by his gangsta name, Masta Monkey Smuggla = or M-n-Ms for short. As such, he is now in the gangsta protection program. The talk show pundits today are speculating that we will need armed officers on every school bus now; this in addition to school resource officers, truant officers, probation officers, etc. Your tax dollars at work - all because Tyrell had his baggies in a twist over some peep dissin' his udder peep.
And can we forget my own first hand experience between two elementary boys and a girl at their bus stop adjacent to my lawn? The two boys, not more than nine years old, arguing over a girl. "Ju stay away from ma girl, cracka." "Shut up, nigga." Back and forth. I sat on my motorcycle looking like Eddie Murphy watching a tennis match - moving my head back and forth all bug-eyed in disbelief. I was waiting for a fight that I would not interrupt other than to call the popo and let them sort it out. I can only imagine the liability if one of them got hurt as I separated them. To hell with that. They can kill each other first. Then the girl, looking at me like I had three heads, says "I'm trying to figure out what that is." "What what is?" I asked out of morbid curiosity. "What you're sittin' on." "This? It's a motorcycle. You don't get out much, do ya?"
So here we are, four prime examples of the new upcoming documentary "Idiots in the Mist." Discovering how evolving from ape to human was a good thing . . . or not so much.
Posted by Mike McCall at 12:46 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I have a question: why is it that I can no longer say "Merry Christmas" without fear of offending someone, yet I have to warmly embrace "Happy Holidays" and "Happy Hanukkah" and "Allah Akbar Ramadanadingdong" with the gusto of a Ron Mexico pit bull?
Honestly, this whole tolerance thing has gone way too far. Merchants don't mind milking the "Xmas Cow" for every penny they can eke out. Black Friday is actually part of today's financial nomenclature as much as market correction, recession, and trickle down economics. Thanksgiving is warmly welcomed as "Turkey Day" even though there is little evidence that the so-called pilgrims ate turkey and dressing. The President is obliged to pardon a turkey despite that fact that the turkey, unlike Sandy Berger, is not a criminal, has not had a trial (much less an arraignment hearing), and lacks a conviction. All this ballyhoo to welcome in the "holidays" - whatever they may or may not include.
Funny thing. Cinco de Mayo is ok. Boxing Day? OK. Chinese New Year. OK. Easter (the pagan holiday, as compared to resurrection day, the Christian one). OK. After all, who doesn't like bunny rabbits and candy? Hell, let's entertain the clan's old women by having the lil chilrens find colored plastic eggs in the backyard, strategically placed in plain view and at roughly three feet high so that the kids can find them and the old women don't have bladder leakage.
But heaven (I think that's still ok as long as it isn't capitalized) forbid, you should say Merry Christmas. SET THE HOUSE ON FIRE, IT'S EASIER TO DEAL WITH. Some fraction of a percent of a disenfranchised minority may be offended. The PC popo have robbed every bit of fun from a once joyous holiday. 2000 years ago, men traveled for months on end chasing a star in the heavens to celebrate the first Christmas. No, they weren't there at the delivery . . . all those nativity scenes are woefully inaccurate. I also doubt that it was a "silent night" insofar as Jesus was every bit human and probably wasn't too pleased with light and air and animal stink and that water-head drummer boy banging on his tin pot. I suspect He cried when He was hungry and when He pooped himself - just like any other human baby. And like any other human mother, I suspect that Mary was exhausted from the word "go." Meanwhile, Joseph was out in the field draggin' on the Bethlehem peace pipe celebrating the first "Merry Christmas."
Jesus came into the world with a mission. Unlike the rest of us who likely spend the better part of our existence trying to figure out our purpose, He was born with one objective in mind: to sacrifice Himself as the ultimate and final atonement for my chronic state of sin - and yours too. No longer would an innocent animal's blood have to be shed by a priest. Christ became the sacrifice. His death served as the propitiation for my sins, once and for all. Propitiation - look it up.
To that end, I defy you to forbid me this one most joyous greeting. MERRY CHRISTMAS. No other holiday, no other celebration (save for Resurrection Day) has such eternal significance. The day will come that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Alert the PC popo and the ACLU now - they'll need some time to refine their lamentations for that inevitability.
Meanwhile, Merry Christmas!!
Posted by Mike McCall at 8:32 PM