I was contacted by a 6th grade teacher from a little town in northern Michigan, East Jordan, and was asked if I could help him with a club that he set up a couple of years ago. I followed the link to the Youtube clip below and was blown away by the great things this teacher, Matt Hamilton is doing up there. He started a “Shoe Club” that was inspired by the concept of walking in others shoes. He encourages the students to “Dream Big”, set goals, give back to society and make the world a better place.
Matt’s “Shoe Club” asks famous and inspirational people to donate a shoe to the club to show their support. He has shoes from Michael Jordan, Phil Mickelson, Lance Burton, Kobe Bryant, Francis Collins, Lebron James and Arnold Palmer to name just a few…the list is quite impressive.
Matt tells us the mission of the club, “It’s a club designed for my 6th graders to help inspire and motivate them to work hard, set goals, dream big and to give back to other people and to respect people and love people.”
It is people like Matt Hamilton who give me hope for the future, one teacher who is clearly making a difference in his community. With the assault on education in our state of Michigan and across the country, it is great to be reminded how important these people are to the future of our country. I have several of those inspirational teachers in my own family and the importance of education can’t be overstated. Watch the clip below to feel good about our world and see what the effort of one teacher alone can have on our future generations. I’m going to help Matt in any way I can to expand his club to include a video production element. They want to make videos to inspire and change the world. Count me in!
On my drive home from my day gig last night, Tom Ashbrook had a very somber topic on his NPR show, Onpoint, about the unbelievable number of women who are being raped on college campuses. Vice President Joe Biden gave a great speech at the University of New Hampshire and the clip below is a news report about it. Here is a link to the entire speech, the VP sure can talk, can’t he. :) If you go look at it, Joe starts at about 10 minutes on the timeline.
This rape culture that has developed in our country and everywhere, really HAS TO STOP, DAMN IT. And the way it has to happen is by all of us speaking out, sitting our teenage and young adult men down and making sure they know that it is NEVER OK to force yourself on a woman. I urge everyone to sit the young men in your family down and talk to them, even if you don’t have any reason to think that your son is like that. You don’t know what kind of crap his friends are telling him or if he’s watching Jersey Shore and idolizing the idea of “Hooking Up” or getting girls drunk and taking advantage of them. I’ve posted about this before, go read it if you are interested. After you watch this clip where the Vice President tells it like it is.
This is the first video I’ve posted of my 11 month old granddaughter. The first time I held her in my arms and she looked up at me with wonder, innocence and purity – my life was changed. I have always been passionate about trying to make the world a better place. This little girl deserves a world worth living in.
Look at this video and imagine what kind of world we will have in 17 years when she becomes an adult and goes off to college. If the Republicans continue to destroy our country, will she even be able to go to college, will the wealthy be hiding behind their gated communities with armed security – keeping the rest of us out? I have to wonder, do none of these Republicans have grandchildren. And if they do, are they so confident that their grandchild will be behind those gates in the future?
Please enjoy my smart, talented and purely innocent granddaughter dancing like crazy and learning a little spanish. She knows some sign language already too. You can hear me, my wife and Lennie Elizabeth’s mom laughing in the background. This is why I care so much what happens to our country.
I hope I don’t live to regret it, but I just plunged into the Twitterverse. I’m new to it, so cut me some slack at first. You can click on the “Follow me on Twitter” button I placed on the sidebar to your right. Any suggestions are appreciated from you experienced tweeters. Let the fun begin.
I have to tell you what inspired me to join. I was listening to the Bob and Elvis Show Podcast and Bob Cesca was “busting” Elvis out for “stalking” celebrities on Twitter. In this case, it was Albert Brooks that he was busting him out for. I love Albert Brooks and decided I would sign up just so I could follow him, he cracks me up. I’m also following Bob and Elvis, they also crack me up. Thanks Elvis!
I did this political quiz at About.com. It was pretty fun. Here are my results, which they give you code for to paste into your blog.
These are the stories that I enjoyed reading today.
Michelle Bachmann in 2012…bring it on, how much fun would that be?
Robert Gibbs is out…I’m actually pretty glad about this even though I defended him when he lashed out at the firebaggers. I just don’t think he puts a good face to the president’s agenda. Sorry Robert, love ya man.
Put the filibuster back into the filibuster…but of course the Repugnant party has to make shit up, what else do they have?
And really, if you haven’t subscribed to the Bob and Elvis Podcast, you are just plain stupid….or maybe you don’t have an mp3 player, which is cool if that’s the case. But you can still listen to it. GO!
I want to thank all you who take the time to read my rantings. I’m coming up on my 1 year anniversary for this blog. It’s been a fun venture which I intend to keep up with as much as possible in the new year. I feel blessed for many reasons this holiday season, the photo below is just one of them.
Thank you President Obama and all the hard working people in the Whitehouse and throughout the Democratic party. You have given the entire country many things to be thankful for and will make millions of American’s holidays much brighter than they were just a few years ago.
Jim (Extreme Liberal)
We live in a strange world folks. A world where cable news in particular can pick a topic and beat the hell out of it, slant it, create a narrative for it in the face of evidence to the contrary and then ride that narrative until they see a shift in public opinion that then justifies their narrative. It’s pretty fucked up to be honest. In fairness, the cable news stations have 24 fucking hours a day to fill and you can only obsess about Lindsey Lohan and Snookie so much before you have to come up with some other shit to sensationalize.
The TSA has become the boogeyman of late. There aren’t any Democrats running for any imminent elections to beat up on, so they have to pick something. Here is a good example of the blogosphere perpetuating this phenomenon. From the usually great Karoli at Crooks and Liars…
Yes, TSA procedures suck, and yes, they’re heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.
So am I wrong, but aren’t there a ton of polls out showing that the vast majority of the general public support using the scanners? I’m sure the media’s narrative is starting to have it’s intended results, to vilify the TSA….the latest target for populist outrage, but so far Karoli’s line “heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.” Really? The media has a lot of work to do to accomplish that. But they are on it, that’s for sure.
Just pay attention to how the cable news stations are just repeating, repeating, repeating….with subtle things like “groping” and “pawing” and “breasts” and “junk” or whatever the fuck. They are trying to appeal to the “knee-jerkers” who will jump into outrage mode on a dime. We’ve become a nation of fraidy cats (sp) and wimps. They will keep beating this issue relentlessly until either something drastic happens or some other natural or man-made disaster distracts them. Then, it’s off to the races on the next media obsession. What a world, what a world.
And of course there are Republicans who immediately think, how can I make some money on this or help some other rich guy make some money on it. Steve Benen (emphasis mine)
But as travelers grow more frustrated with heightened airport security, it appears Republicans are opening a new front on the privatization crusade.
A Republican lawmaker, who is faulting big government spending, is suggesting that airports dump the Transportation Security Administration altogether, and opt instead to privatize security.
And some airports, fed up with poor service in a climate where travelers are outraged about the prospect of full-body scanners, are listening.
The consideration comes after Florida Republican Rep. John Mica — a longtime critic of the TSA — wrote letters to the country’s 100 busiest airports earlier this month asking them to switch to private security.
There are a variety of angles to consider here. Note, for example, that private companies that stand to benefit from privatization also happen to be generous campaign contributors to Mica’s re-election campaign.
Even more importantly, several domestic airports already use private screeners, but it’s still the TSA that establishes mandatory security standards. If Mica or other Republicans want to have a conversation about whether those security measures are appropriate, that’s fine. But whether those doing the screening are public employees or private contractors doesn’t change the standards themselves. Selling this as some sort of cure-all for frustrated travelers is silly.
As Josh Marshall joked yesterday, “Watching cable TV this morning it seems like the new idea is that this would all be better if private sector workers rather than government employees were inspecting Americans’ crotches, boobs, etc.”
Steve Benen goes on to ponder just how wonderful it would be to have Blackwater-style companies taking over the screening, oh happy day!
I’m sure I will piss off almost everyone with this post, but I’m telling it like I see it whether you all agree or not. “Bring it on!” :)
I don’t give a shit if someone has a black and white, negative image of my naked body. If someone, somewhere gets off on it, good for them. Something has to get them off, right? Give me a break, people, you can’t even recognize faces in the images and if I really wanted to look at pictures of naked people, I would go to one of the many millions of porn websites like The Huffington Post, where I can see them in color, with real skin and everything. If there is a small group of people who get off on these negative images, who gives a shit, really? There are people that get off on fully clothed people too, should we all get naked so those people don’t get off on it. Let’s do it, everyone get naked.
When it comes to the “enhanced pat downs”, I think we should all just deal with it. If it makes some people feel uncomfortable, so what. Who ever said that everything in life should make you feel comfortable. If you’ve ever traveled to Israel or many European countries, you’ve felt this discomfort before. It passes and if it doesn’t, there are other issues that you should probably deal with before deciding to get inside a big metal object that flies thousands of feet above the ground and can be taken down with a small explosive stuffed in someones underoos. Put on your big boy underwear and suck it up. Hell, if the TSA person looks good enough, I might like a little “enhanced pat down”…embrace the pat down, my new motto.
I see this latest populist outrage as just another sign that Americans really think they should be able to have their cake and eat it too. If someone were to actually pull off an “underpants attack” like was attempted last Christmas, what do you think the populist outrage would be then. The sky would begin to fall in and President Obama and the TSA would be completely at fault. People would be asking why we can’t do it like Israel does. People would be telling stories of how lax security at airports is, what an outrage it is that we can’t even protect people who fly. You know it is true, Americans blow in the fucking wind like a damn wind chime…constantly making noise and going whichever way the wind blows. The biggest hypocrites in this regard are the Republicans, of course. Their outrage is particularly nuts, because unless you have been in a cave for the last 10 years, these are the same people who defended warrantless wiretapping, detaining un-charged prisoners indefinitely and starting a fucking war in Iraq for no good reason. And now all of a sudden, they are defending civil liberties, give me a fucking break.
When people say it is an invasion of privacy to get patted down or have a full body scan, I want to ask them how purchasing a ticket from a private company, a choice that is made by the consumer that comes with stipulations, constitutes an invasion of privacy. There are stipulations on all sorts of purchases we make, especially when it can cause harm to others…guns, automobiles, motorcycles, alcohol and many other things that people would claim an invasion of privacy on. Hell, when I went to see the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I had to go through a metal detector on the way in and on the way out, almost had my video camera confiscated because I tried to get a shot of the cool set when I was walking out. I was in their private space, and had to play by their rules. I see walking onto an airplane in much the same way, if I want to fly, I have to go through a bunch of hassle to do it. If I want to get to New York in 2 hours instead of 12, I’ll put up with whatever they want to do to me.
The last thing I’ll say about this is that I don’t care what other people have between their legs, but I don’t have ANY junk between mine. I have a precision instrument down there and if someone wants to grab it, they should at least kiss me when they are done.
This is what is called a “lipdub” and it was done by students at the university I work at, by many of my actual students and some of my colleagues. I helped with some technical difficulties and equipment, but it was mostly students kicking some tall ass. It was very well done and they deserve mad props. Enjoy,
This is an awesome project that Dan Savage has started. Excellent idea, it will save lives. Hooray Dan!
Sorry about the lack of posts, I have my big meeting tomorrow in the Big Apple and I’ve been preparing and today I am traveling. Depending on the WiFi at my hotel, I may get one up later tonight. My apologies.
This week I am busy preparing for a big meeting, a career changing meeting…so I have to focus on that and some other pressing issues. I’m sure I will find something that will outrage me and I’ll just have to post about it, but for the most part, I will be posting lightly this week. I hope to be back in the swing politically next week. Hopefully our awesome guest blogger, Staci, will have a few things on her mind….hint, hint, Staci. :) I’m heading to the Big Apple again this week, thus the picture below.
I’ve resisted doing this since I started the blog because I’m not in this blogging thing for the money. But it would be cool to upgrade my wordpress.com account and add some cool features, so I am asking anyone who has extra money to throw a little in the pot, BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN REALLY AFFORD TO DO IT! I won’t beg very often but I will keep the donate tab on the right side of the screen until I no longer need donations…I’m still waiting for a rather large project to come through and if it does, the donate tab will disappear. You can click below or on the side bar, every little bit helps.