Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mad Mel Gibson...

     Mel Gibson has been involved in a horrible scandal ever since those "alleged" abusive recordings have been made public.  The latest polls taken have shown that there is very little impact on whether people go watch his movies.  About 75% of the people polled said that the recordings would not determine whether or not they watch him on the big screen.  The poll was conducted as a joint venture involving Vanity Fair and 60 Minutes.  Of course, his movies include "Braveheart" and "The Passion of The Christ" but should he be forgiven for such outrageous outbursts?  Let's not forget that this wasn't the first time that his mouth got him in trouble.  He made some anti-Jew comments to a California police officer in 2006.
     He has two movies that are about to come out, "The Beaver" and How I Spent My Summer Vacation."  The last movie that he put out "Edge of Darkness" didn't do so well at the box office.  So do people really not care about what he has "alleged" said?  I say alleged only because the case has gone to trial yet.  When you hear the tapes there is no mistaking that it's his voice.  After the racial slurs, anti-Jew comments, degrading and verbally abusive nature of his messages, does he deserve a second(actually third) chance? Take a listen and then you tell me what you think.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tea Party Crazies

     By now, I am sure that all of the citizens of the United States of America are aware of the Tea Party movement.  There is nothing wrong with speaking out against what you don't agree with or wanting things to change for the better.  Unfortunately, this group of people don't seem to have that in mind.  People have gotten angry because times have been better.  There are positive ways to focus that energy to be part of the solution.  Is there even a clear cut plan for the Tea Party or is it just the I don't like this and I don't want that syndrome?  The Tea Party thinks that the government is too big, spending is out of control, and President Barack Obama's polices are making things worse.  They have every right to have those opinions.  What I say is work on constructive ways to help improve things; not destructive ways to make things worse.  There have been numerous allegations of racism, anti-gay rhetoric, anti-semitism, and other abusive types of behavior.  The Tea Party has staged many demonstrations and protests throughout the U.S.  Many of them have been tainted by irresponsible behavior.  Here are just a few examples of this.
     Movement protesters have carried several different offensive and threatening signs.  During one gathering, there were signs that stated, "Bury Obama-care With Kennedy".  This came not too long after Senator Edward Kennedy's death.  There was an incident that transpired on Capitol Hill at a rally against health care reform.  Signs were carried by members that threatened gun violence if health care passed.  The sign said, "Warning: If Brown can't stop it, a Browning can".  This was in reference to Senator Scott Brown and a Browning firearm.
     There have also so been some physical violence and offensive words shouted at people while protests were under way.  In Virginia, the brother of a congressman who supported health care reform, had a gas line severed at his home.  A Tea Party activist posted his home address on an internet forum, thinking it was the congressman's, and urged angry opponents of reform to pay him a visit. Now this is the insane and reckless behavior closely associated with the movement.  While a group of Tea Party members were protesting the Patient Protection and Affordable Car Bill, protesters shouted out racial and anti-gay slurs at people passing by.  Congressman Emmanuel Clever was spat on and black Representatives Andre Carson and John Lewis had the "n" word shouted at them by the crowd.  At the same demonstration, congressman Barney Frank, who is openly gay, was directly called a faggot.  There is no place for such racism and bigotry.  Also, on several occasions, bricks have been thrown through government office windows.  These are just a few of the happenings associated with the Tea Party.
     Tea Party members behavior is out of control  and getting worse.  They are trying to get people who represent this party elected to congress.  What a scary thought. I would hate to think what would happen to this country if they got control of the government.  Hopefully people aren't dumb enough to make that nightmare come true. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Too Much Water Can Kill You!

     I am sure that you never thought that you would hear those words.  Actually, too much water can kill you.  It is called water intoxication or Hydronatremia.  It happens more often than you would think.  There are a couple of different scenarios where it is most likely to occur.  Usually it happens when people have strenuous workouts for more than four hours and drink such an excessive amount of water that they dilute the sodium concentrate in the blood.  This puts vital body functions in jeopardy and can result in death.  Signs and symptoms of water intoxication are similar to that of dehydration.  The victim may experience difficulty breathing, nausea, muscle cramps, slurred speech, and disorientation.  They need to be taken to the hospital immediately.  While waiting for medical help, sit them upright, keep them as calm as possible, watch for seizures, and try to increase their sodium levels by giving them salty foods like chips. 
     People who live in hot environments and sweat profusely should not rehydrate with water alone.  They need to rehydrate with drinks that contain electrolytes and eat salty snacks to replace the loss of sodium.  Sports drinks by themselves won't replenish your sodium if you exercise for several hours.  Here are some examples of water intoxication cases that resulted in death.
     In 2002, 3 year old Rosita Gonzalez died of water intoxication when her babysitter punished her by forcing her to drink 3 quarts of water in a four hour period.  The babysitter was arrested for first degree murder.  In 2007, Jennifer Strange was found dead hours after trying to win a Nintendo Wii.  A radio station in California held a contest where contestants had to drink large quantities of water without urinating.  The family sued the radio station and were awarded $16.5 million in the wrongful death lawsuit.  In 2008, Jacqueline Henson died after drinking 4 liters of water in under 2 hours as a part of her diet plan.
     Water isn't bad for you.  But, like everything else, do not overindulge or you will have issues.  Water intoxication is real and can occur when you exercise for long periods of time and drink only large quantities of water.  If you are gonna workout for extended periods of time, then bring along a salty snake and drink a sports drink.  You can also die of water intoxication if you drink large amounts of water in a short period of time.  Such as in a water drinking contest or as a part of an extreme diet plan.  Please drink responsibly!

Golf's Stupid Rules

     Golf is always referred to as the gentleman's game.  That same holier than thou attitude was definitely prevalent during the Tiger Wood's scandal.  Although Tiger allegedly had more extramarital affairs than the average guy; you can't tell me that he is the first golfer to cheat on his wife.  How can so many "gentleman" screw up the game with stupid rules?  It has even bled over to the women's game as well.  A lot of these PGA and LPGA rules are really petty.  I don't understand the mentality on a few of them.  And if it was just because the founders of the game made these rules, then why don't they change them today?  The rules stand out because they have caused a lot of would be champions to be disqualified.  Many sports have had rule changes and rule additions to help try to make things better.  Here are a few examples of some of the more silly rules in professional golf.
     In 1987, at the Andy Williams Open, Craig Stadler's ball landed in the mud, under a pine tree, on the 14th hole during the last round.  Due to the positioning of the ball, he had to kneel down to play it.  He put a towel down so he wouldn't destroy his light-colored pants.  He went ahead and finished the round and he placed second at the end of tournament. So the trophy was handed out and everybody went home.  The very next day, someone saw the error on the highlights and notified PGA officials.  Stadler was disqualified for illegally building a stance by kneeling on the towel.  Again I say he had finished in second place.
     In 2008, at the State Farm Tournament, Michelle Wie had turned in her second place scorecard and forgot to sign it.  She had only walked out of the room and someone called her back so she could sign it.  She came right back in the room, in a matter of minutes, to find out that she was disqualified.  She didn't leave the course, or the grounds, or even the clubhouse.  Just because she left a roped off scoring area, that disqualified her.  Just like Stadler, she had a second place finish.
     The most recent case involves Hall of Fame golfer Julie Inkster.  In 2010, Julie Inkster was disqualified from the Safeway Classic Tournament.  During the tournament, there was a 30 minute delay at the 10th hole.  She put a weight on her club and took some practice swings to loosen up.  She later comes to find out that's not legal during tournament play.  A television viewer saw her breaking this rule and informed tournament officials by email.  Inkster finished the round and on her way to the clubhouse, she was informed that she was disqualified.  She was only three shots off of the lead at the time.
     These petty rules have got to go.  If I go out and play the best golf in my life and win a tournament, it could be taken away just because I forgot to sign my scorecard before I leave the room.  That's crazy to me.  I think the PGA officials should look into changing some of these rules.  Imagine if all sports had this kind of officiating.  Someone watching the superbowl could call the NFL and say that they saw a player on the offensive line commit a holding penalty.  Then what would they do; take the trophy away from the New Orleans Saints? 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alienation Of Affection Law...Whatever!

     How about this?  You know how there are still some old laws that have been left on the books that were never abolished?  Well, there is this law called the Alienation of Affection Law that dates as far back as 1864.  There are still seven states in these United States of America that recognize this law.  In no particular order, they are Mississippi, South Dakota, Hawaii, Illinois, Utah, New Mexico, and my home state of North Carolina.  The law is a suit that can be filed by a spouse against a third party who is said to be responsible for the break up of their marriage through an adulterous affair with his or her spouse.  So it is a law that basically says the third party is to blame for the divorce. Can you believe this?  I cheat on you, we get a divorce, and you legally can lay the blame on the other woman not me.  And you can take this other womans money when you win the suit.  Obviously, I don't agree with this scapegoat mentality.
     The reason that this ridiculous law even came up was the fact that now a celebrity could be on the receiving end of one of these lawsuits.  The 2004 "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino could become a defendant in an Alienation of Affection suit.  Paula Cook is accusing Ms. Barrino of having an affair with  her husband Antwuan Cook.  They were photographed together and are said to have had a relationship.  If Ms. Barrino could prove that she had no idea that Mr. Cook was married, then she might have a chance. If the claim is legitimate and Mrs Cook wins, then she stands to gain quite a bit of money from Ms. Barrino.
     Believe it or not, there are precedents in this type of proceeding.  About 200 claims are filed each year in North Carolina alone.  In 2001, Christine Cooper won a $2 million decision against her husband's alleged ladylove.  And more recently, in March 2010, a 60 year old Cynthia Shackleford was awarded $9 million after suing her husband's mistress for allegedly breaking up her 33 year old marriage.  There have been bills introduced to abolish this law but the bills were never passed by legislators.
    I absolutely do not agree with this law because I feel that it is the cheating spouses fault.  The spouse decided to go down that road knowing all along that is was wrong.  They were not forced nor coerced into breaking their marriage vows.  They did it of their own free will.  I feel that this is just a way to get revenge on the other person. What do you think?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What's Up With China?

     In ths day and age, the only major threats, to the U.S., that are given much credibility are terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida.  However, after researching for a book that I am curently writing, I found out that there is a country that Americans should watch carefully.  There is a country that seems to be hiding like a wolf in sheeps clothing; just waiting for the right opportunity to strike. But why has the issue not come up often and why is the U.S. on somewhat friendly terms with them?
     The People's Republic of China, also known as China, is the second largest country in the world according to population.  Their economy has just become the second largest economy in the world behind the U.S.  China's economic and military advancements have been pretty dramatic over the past decade.  China has used this economic growth to fund the expansion of offensive and defensive military capabilities.  So what brings me to consider China as a threat to U.S. national security?
     The Chinese have been very clear of their intensions, through the years, with different statements, threats, and speeches aimed towards the U.S.  There was a speech made by the Chinese Minister of Defense where he talked about solving the issue of America.  He also talked about how China must put up with America and conceal their ultimate goals; hide capabilities and await the right opportunity.  He spoke of cleaning up America by using biological weapons to eliminate mass populations.  He admitted that they are willing to kill one to two hundred million Americans to secure a victory.  In the recent past, the Chinese have even threatened to drop a nuke on Los Angeles if we interfered with the Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
     Why has the U.S. been so tolerant with all of this aggressive rhetoric coming from China?  To make it even worse, the U.S. has sought to broaden cooperation with China. Why?  Well, one reason is that China has a lot of influence over the American economy.  In order to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we sold government bonds abroad.  China has purchased a bunch of those bonds because it is a good investment for them.  When bonds are purchased, it is basically giving the government a loan.  Should China cash in those bonds, it would cripple the U.S. economy into a depression.  Nobody wants that to happen.  The economy already went into a recession and is still trying to recover. 
     Another reason is the fact that many influential government leaders are involved with businesses that conduct business in China.  Since China has more consumers than any other country in the world, people salavate at the prospect of doing business in China.  If you cause problems for the Chinese government or publicly embarass them, then you will not do business in China. 
     The Chinese are in a position to cripple our economy and have built up their military as if preparing for war.  They have been more cooperative recently than in past years.  Both countries have reasons to keep things civil when relating to one another; however, we are one of their natural enemies.  So what's next in this akward relationship?  Are the Chinese doing as their Minister of Defense suggested; concealing their ultimate goals of destroying America by playing nice and waiting for the right opportunity?  I guess we will all find out.
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