Sure, making fat cry is a laudable thing, but no one wants your sweaty fat teardrops on the equipment at the gym, and that’s why they have those handy wipe dispensers on the walls.
Some guy wasn’t wiping down the machines after sweating on them at Anytime Fitness this morning, and it fell to me to be the gym Nazi and point out to him that his behavior was inconsiderate and anti-social. He looked at me like I had three heads, walked out the door, got in his car, and drove away … without going back to wipe down the leg extension machine he’d just slathered with disgusting liquid fat residue.
From now on I’m keeping my iPhone on my person so I can take photos of people who do this and email them to the owner of the gym, a friend and former F-15 pilot. I’m going to suggest he put up a bulletin board of sweathog shame and pin violators’ mug shots to it.
Some folks are just assholes. At least I’ve discovered who it is that sets all the wall-mounted TVs to Fox News. Has to be him, am I right? Of course I am, and you know it.
Speaking of disgusting, look at this sweaty mess a neighbor of mine left in my Gmail inbox last night. I don’t get a lot of anti-Obama chain mail and it’s the first time I’ve seen this particular example, but apparently it’s been making the rounds for years. I took out some odd, apparently purposeless indentations, but left line breaks, capitalization, and errors intact. I love how the author hints that his letter is not about Obama but only about Christianity … before diving head first into the anti-Obama cesspool. Ready? Here we go!
I know there are some of you that are Democrats, and love Obama, but this is for Christians first, politics later. I do pray that it doesn’t offend anybody with the truth of the message, but it has to be sent. If you love your Lord first and your politics later, then you will appreciate this message and you just might appreciate it anyway. If you don’t, I’m sorry I judged you incorrectly.
When we get 100,000,000, that’s one hundred million willing Christians (or like minded people) to BOND together, voice their concerns and vote, we can take back America with God’s help, Become one of the One hundred million. Then let’s get 200 million. It can be done by sending this email to your friends. Do the math. It only takes a willing heart and a fed up soul. God Bless America and Shine your light on Her..
Established one day a year as a
“National Day of Prayer.”
First Thursday in May of each year as
The National Day of Prayer.
In June 2007
(then) Presidential Candidate Barack Obama
Declared that the USA
“Was no longer a
21st annual National Day
Of Prayer ceremony
At the White
House under the ruse
Of “not wanting to offend anyone”
BUT… On September 25, 2009
From 4 AM until 7 PM,
A National Day of Prayer
FOR THE MUSLIM RELIGION
Was Held on Capitol Hill,
Beside the White House.
There were over 50,000 Muslims
In D.C. That day.
HE PRAYS WITH THE MUSLIMS!
I guess it Doesn’t matter
Are offended by this event -
Don’t count as
The direction this country is headed
Should strike fear in the heart of every Christian,
Especially knowing that the Muslim religion
believes that if Christians cannot be Converted,
they should be annihilated.
Send this to ten people
And the person who
Sent it to you!…
To let them know that
Indeed, it was sent
Out to many more.
The first two items, about the origins of the National Day of Prayer, are factual. Everything else is false.
Obama never said the USA was no longer a Christian nation. What he said was this: “Given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” Now you may hate it that he included nonbelievers and Muslims, or maybe you think Hitler was right and we should round up the Jews, but what Obama said was factual, correct, and totally in line with America’s vision of itself as a religiously tolerant nation.
Obama never canceled a National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House or anywhere else, this year or any other year. There’s nothing to cancel. There’s no such thing as a “National Day of Prayer ceremony,” no requirement that the President or any other government official observe the National Day of Prayer. In fact President Obama does observe the National Day of Prayer. He does so privately. Can you imagine the hue & cry that would ensue if the President of the United States issued an executive order canceling the National Day of Prayer? I think even a shut-in like me would have heard of something like that!
There was no “National Day of Prayer for the Muslim Religion” on September 25, 2009. There was an event that day called “Islam on Capitol Hill.” It was organized by a prominent Muslim-American attorney and was meant to bring other Muslim-Americans to the national capitol to pray for America and express support for the nation, to show that they are patriotic Americans too. In fact tens of thousands of Muslim-Americans did show up in Washington DC that day to pray for America. The event was not sanctioned in any way by the White House (as implied in the chain letter), and President Obama did not attend.
President Obama does not pray with the Muslims. Apparently this one has its roots in a photo of Obama removing his shoes before entering the Blue Mosque in Istanbul during a state visit. It’s what you do before entering a mosque, and when you’re paying a state visit to a Muslim nation, you’re going to enter a famous mosque or two.
If you follow my links, you’ll see I checked the chain letter’s anti-Obama assertions with both “liberal” and “conservative” fact-checking entities: factcheck.org, politifact.com, snopes.com, and urban legends.about.com. The nutters got tired of having snopes.com waved in their faces whenever they tried to revise history or make up their own facts, so years ago they launched a chain mail campaign to neutralize snopes.com by labeling it a liberal propaganda site (need I even say the assertions in that chain mail are also false?). Today, if you answer conservatives’ arguments by quoting snopes.com, they’ll wink knowingly at one another and say “Sure, buddy.”
Oh, I know I’m wasting my time. When it comes to chain mail, one enters a fact-free twilight zone. In that twilight zone, a Kenyan child was groomed and trained from birth to run as a Manchurian candidate and win the American presidency, at which point he was to turn the country over to the Islamic Caliphate (which explains why there’s a mosque sitting where the Twin Towers used to be). Patriotic Christians have been herded into FEMA camps (so that’s where your neighbors went). Boys and girls are forced to pee next to each other in unisex restrooms (no wonder Johnny’s turning out gay). The Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem have been outlawed (it is known).
Short of simply not wanting to have a black president, I don’t know why anyone would want to live in that twilight zone, but there it is, and it has plenty of willing inhabitants.
And one of them left a sweaty, fatty, smelly mess in my Gmail inbox. It’s gonna take a fistful of wipes to clean it out.
I always feel bad when I don’t finish a book, especially when it’s kind of an assignment, as in the book club selection I gave up on last week. Book club selections are by majority rule; sometimes I’m in the minority and the book is one I wouldn’t have read on my own. Other members don’t seem to have a problem not reading books they’re not interested in (we haven’t had a meeting yet where every single one of us finished that month’s selection), but when it’s me I feel I’m letting the team down.
I’m good for July’s meeting. We decided to read a hard-boiled detective novel, so we picked Dennis Lehane’s Darkness, Take My Hand. I didn’t think it was all that hard-boiled, but I did read it and am ready to talk about it this Saturday. It’s the August book I gave up on, Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, by Nikil Saval. Saval really gets into his subject: the evolution of office work from the days of Bartleby the Scrivener to today; how poorly paid clerks became well paid white collar workers; how the introduction of women into the office changed business and society. He writes about it in a witty, breezy way, and you could very well read it as a companion piece to a marathon Mad Men rerun watching session. It’s a good book … and I think if Saval had written about almost any other subject I would have enjoyed it cover to cover.
But office work? Sorry, can’t. If the only two labels I had to choose from were blue collar and white collar, I’d have to say my working life was primarily white collar, but what I actually had was a profession. For most of my working life — two and a half decades – I was a military officer and fighter pilot, a profession that requires extensive and specialized education, a profession that demands expert application of mental and physical skills. It’s somehow both blue and white collar, and neither label is really satisfactory.
After I retired from the Air Force I went to work as a contract instructor, training fighter and reconnaissance pilots at bases in the US and overseas. Yeah, more white collar than anything else, but during those eight years I was basically a free agent. I built my lesson plans at home, occasionally dropped by the home office in Memphis to coordinate with my bosses and the other instructors, but mostly traveled and taught. Then I wound up managing a team of educational developers and graphic artists, responsible for producing lesson plans and study materials for A-10 pilot training at Davis-Monthan AFB. I was finally stuck in an office — where I quickly grew to hate the white collar life. By the time I quit that job, four years later, I never wanted to see the inside of an office again. I went to work as a school bus driver, then as a handicapped van driver for the VA hospital in Tuscon, blue collar all the way. And though the driving jobs paid only a fraction of what I’d earned before, I enjoyed the work. I knew I was doing something of value, something fundamentally more important than anything I did in the four years I worked in that office. When I finally retired for good, I think it’s telling that I decided to volunteer as an air museum docent, a job that keeps me on my feet, leading walking tours and talking to museum visitors, almost the very opposite of an office routine.
When I started reading Saval’s book, everything bad about my four years in a cubicle came rushing back: the politics, the meaningless meetings, the make-work, the politics, the back-biting, the politics … and I just couldn’t read another damn page. I lived it; no amount of humor or good writing will ever make me want to revisit it.
If you can do it, kids, train for a profession where you’ll use both your body and your brain.
You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post featuring banned book reviews and news roundups.
YCRT! Arizona News:
More on Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, an elected official who is one of the key figures behind the infamous Tucson school book bannings of 2012 (a ban that is still in effect, by the way). Turns out that from election day in 2010 right up until about three weeks ago, Huppenthal had been trolling the comment sections of online political and education forums, posting under false names, acting as a sockpuppet in support of his own policies, and hating on Mexican-Americans. Caught red-handed, he tearfully apologized but refused to resign. As I write, he is still in office.
Typical of Huppenthal’s pseudonymous comments (in addition to “Falcon9,” he also hid behind the name “Thucydides”) is this one:
However, we are now going to see the dark side of controlling immigration – fewer jobs for caucasions. In an improving economy, free flowing immigration creates more jobs for caucasions, not fewer. Economic growth is one part productivity growth and 2 parts population growth. Caucasians aren’t reproducing themselves, so all population growth has to be immigration.
We are condemning ourselves to a second rate future if we don’t reestablish the melting pot with a strong flow of immigrants engaging in economic activity, not crime.
We all need to stomp out balkanization. No spanish radio stations, no spanish billboards, no spanish tv stations, no spanish newspapers. This is America, speak English….
I don’t mind them selling Mexican food as long as the menus are mostly in English.
And, I’m not being humorous or racist. A lot is at stake here.
It’s hard to understate the damage officially-sanctioned bigotry like this is doing to public education in Arizona.
YCRT! National News:
Kansas City officials, after a busybody neighbor’s complaint, shut down a nine-year-old boy’s sidewalk lending library. You’ll be happy to know that after national ridicule, the city backed down and Spencer’s Little Free Library is back in operation.
Daunting path to publication: a new history of Ulysses and censorship.
Adolescent humor deemed inappropriate for adolescents; high school production of Spamalot cancelled.
A librarian’s story of being “steamrollered” into removing a children’s book from the shelves. Appropriately enough, Flat Stanley makes an appearance!
Judy Blume on why parents shouldn’t worry so much about what their children are reading.
Public school districts typically have policies and procedures for responding to parental book challenges. Increasingly, though, nervous superintendents and principals are yanking books from school libraries and reading lists after just a single parent objects, negating established review procedures and robbing students and other parents of any choice. Two such stories have recently come to my attention:
- Pasco (Florida) school drops The Fault in Our Stars author’s book after parent’s email
- Cape Henlopen (Delaware) school board pulls The Miseducation of Cameron Post from the Blue Hen reading list after a single parental complaint
In neither case did school officials bother to read the challenged book, far less follow school district policy for reviewing books parents complain about. This aligns with almost all the other cases of school-level book banning I’ve reported on in recent columns. Parents, as the author of this editorial points out, have the right to object to books their children are assigned to read. Public school officials, on the other hand, do not have the right to arbitrarily ban books or impose one parent’s reading choices on the students of all the other parents. There are procedures for reviewing challenged books, and school boards should follow them. Central to those procedures is actually reading the book parents want banned.
In my previous post I revealed two aspects of my personality I’m not particularly proud of, but which I have come to accept: elitism and authoritarianism. I characterized the Murrieta, California protestors—the ones turning back buses attempting to bring immigrant children to a Border Patrol holding facility—as a pack of mouth-breathing racist morons who should be ignored by the media and frozen out of the national debate over immigration. I went on to suggest President Obama send in federal troops to clear the rabble off the streets, not just in Murrieta but at the Bundy Ranch as well.
Really, I don’t know how anyone who’s ever read a word I’ve written could be surprised at my hostility toward know-nothings, and yet at least one reader at Daily Kos, where I cross-posted the entry, pretended to be. I’ve never made a secret of my disdain for the willfully ignorant, nor have I concealed my military background and the authoritarian impulses that come with it. Like I said, not proud, but there it is.
I was in a black mood when I wrote yesterday’s post, but I’m in a better mood today. This thanks to Rachel Maddow, who last night featured a long segment titled “Help for Immigrant Children Grows Amid Border Furor.”
People all over the country, even in deep-red Texas, are offering help: food, shelter, clothing, legal representation, even education and training in the form of classes and lessons for kids held in holding centers. Some of these good people are acting individually; some are working through church, charitable, and professional groups. Some—like the Dallas County judge Rachel interviewed during the segment—are working within the government. These people began to mobilize not after learning of the shameful actions of a handful of white power vigilantes in Murrieta, California, but weeks ago, when the first waves of child immigrants began to cross the Rio Grande.
I needed reassurance that the Bundy Ranch and Murrieta types are a marginal minority, and Rachel Maddow gave it to me. Most of us, regardless of how strongly we feel about immigration and border security, combine compassion with our support for the rule of law. As much as it pains me to say it, the rule of law in this case is being represented by the Border Patrol and ICE—not the vigilantes screaming for immediate deportation, shooting border crossers on sight, or introducing piranhas into the waters of the Rio Grande.
My only remaining question now is, where are the other major TV news anchors? Is it just going to be Rachel reminding us we’re not all mouth-breathing racists? As far as I can see, the other media outlets are totally focused on the protestors in Murietta, just as they are on the gun nuts still hanging out at the Bundy Ranch. This isn’t balance; in fact it is the opposite of balance.
Thanks, Rachel. I needed a sanity check, and you delivered.
Coming off a family high, we are. Except for our granddaughter Taylor, who is working in Seattle, we had our little nuclear family together in Tucson over the past week.
I wouldn’t have felt right about shutting myself up in the office to blog while our kids were here, so I let Paul’s Thing slide for a few days. But everyone went home yesterday so I’ll try to catch up with some photoblogging. Just to help you keep the cast of characters straight, we were visited by our son Greg, daughter in law Beth, grandson Quentin, daughter Polly, and boyfriend of daughter David (who is rarely photographed and will not appear here, having successfully eluded my camera yet again).
Polly, Beth, Greg, Quentin, Donna
4th of July parade
4th of July parade
4th of July parade
4th of July parade
We didn’t have a float in this year’s neighborhood 4th of July parade, but what we lacked in pomp and circumstance we made up for with enthusiasm. There were no spectators this year … everyone was part of the parade, strolling from one end of Sunnywood Estates to the other. The post-parade festivities were at another neighbor’s house, where we shared a potluck brunch and watched the kids swim.
I’d be the world’s worst lifeguard, I think. Not so much in terms of letting kids drown, but by being a total pool Nazi. What is it with the cannonballs and the running, kids? Knock that off right now! This pool is closed!
Happily, we’re having a bit of rain. We got a sprinkle on the afternoon of the 4th, followed by heavy rain during the afternoon and evening of the 5th. I won’t stick my neck out and call it our annual monsoon, not until I see more rain, but hey, it’s more than we got last summer or the summer before. I’m thankful, but that didn’t stop me from grumbling while I swept potting soil from Donna’s flowerbed off the pool decking and patio bricks this morning, a sure sign of a good soaking.