Category Archives: Culture

Homophobic Chant from Mexico Fans at FIFA World Cup

UPDATE:

An article in the New York Times asks why so many World Cup fans dislike Argentina. A poll by YouGov/Upshot asks, “Which country is your least favorite in the World Cup?”, and Argentina seems to be the favorite as the least favorite. The relevance to this post, regarding civility from the fans, is further down in the story which points out that even in the 1920’s fans did what they could to get under the skin and in the heads of opposing players. At that time Brazilian players were showered with the chant of “macaquitos“, or little monkeys, in Buenos Aries. So the more things change the more they stay the same I guess. At a pre World Cup match in Buenos Aries just over a week ago, Argentine fans vented outside the stadium with their not so friendly feelings towards Chile, “All I ask from God is for all Chileans to die.” Hey, at least they get right to the point!

 

Not going to make a lot of fans with this one. I can only plead with you to First Think. Then Think Again before attacking me for not being completely gay about this story. Once again my head is about to explode because a problem is being attacked, but through a politically correct lens, not looked at thoughtfully and thinking about all of the consequences of any actions to be taken. Evidently many fans at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil have been directing chants at the opposing team that are considered by many to be, well lets see, racist, homophobic, bigoted and signs of extreme nationalism.

Media reports are not entirely accurate, I can say that because they are reporting different facts. The Hollywood Reporter points out that Brazil and Mexico could be disciplined for the actions of their fans and I would bet the powers that be are surprised by the reaction of their readers. According to the Reporter, FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, has campaigned in recent years to snuff out bigotry in soccer. He has been a strong advocate for points deductions, saying “sporting sanctions are the only effective punishment.” Now, Think about this. Points deductions? What could possible go wrong with this? They are talking about punishing a team for the actions of THEIR fans. Which opens up the chance for rabid supporters to appear to be fans of the opposition, behave badly and thereby help their real team win. More problems with the initial reporting are brought up by many commenters at the Reporter site questioning the actual meaning of the term “puno”.

The report in the Wall Street Journal is the best I have seen so far although their headline mentions only Mexico as a dastardly culprit . The Journal reports, ” Héctor González Iñárritu, director of national teams at the Mexican Football Federation, told the Mexico City newspaper Milenio that FIFA could issue a fine. But he added that further sanctions were unlikely, saying the jeer is outside the federation’s control.” Makes sense to me.

At the same time the Mexico coach Miguel Herrera, has his own take on the situation saying basically that it is much to do about nothing as he defends the fans. He says it is just a folksy part of the game and a tradition in Mexico in this interview with  Radio Red Spanish.  Herrera adds, “FIFA should be worried about more serious things.” Now just because something is a tradition doesn’t make it right but those trying to change the CULTURE are up against it. I know how it is, I stopped going to high school games decades ago because of the behavior of the students. The vulgar language that had become acceptable, even back then with adults paying no attention to what their little devils were up to and the, in my opinion disrespect shown during the playing of the national anthem was more than I wanted to endure. I guess I’m a little put off today by those who are so upset with their particular sensitivities when these self-same people didn’t and don’t, care about my feelings and possible negative consequences that have been brought about by a more vulgar society. While I might be empathetic with some goals of people and organizations such as Network FARE I can’t support their work because they have a narrow field of view.

With age come wisdom. Sometimes. Age may also bring senility. Anyway, living a long time means a lot of experience that many younger people or those who just don’t pay attention know nothing about. I lost interest in the Olympics many decades ago when the Games were hijacked and used for political expression. At the same time the great liberals of the time were all exercised about nationalism being displayed, especially by Americans who rooted for their country to win. Imagine that, and they put pressure on to stop keeping metal counts and standings. The horrors. The movement was basically by American liberals against anything American and didn’t have a lot of success at least at the time. But it laid the groundwork for what we see today.

I’m not in favor of fans behaving in any way they please. But with the movements of today, we will have to sit in total silence to keep from offending anyone. Team names? The Fighting Irish and the silly leprechaun mascot? I am offended. The Demon Deacons, get real, that has to do. What can we do? Just have numbers? Team 1 and Team 2? No, that wouldn’t be fair, some would assume Team 1 is better than Team 6 just because of the number. Change can be good. Treating other people well is a good thing. But there is a difference between good behavior and Orwellian thought control.

Advertisements

Tony Gwynn’s Death Makes Addison Reed Think, Stops Using Smokeless Tobacco

Tony Gwynn, one of the great pure hitters in Major League Baseball history, lost his battle with cancer last week. The cancer, he says, was the result of years of chewing tobacco, a practice that has been part of baseball since it’s very beginning. MLB has been discouraging the use of smokeless tobacco for years because it is known to increase the chance of cancer. And while the use by players has been in decline there are many who haven’t been able to kick the habit. Addison Reed of the Cincinnati Reds was one of those who kept telling himself he would quit, soon. The slap to the head for him came with Gwynn’s passing, it finally brought home the reality of what could happen because of his habit.

First Think, Then Think Again. Easy enough to say but the reality is we don’t usually do the hard work of thinking through issues. We shortcut the process to come to the conclusion we want to reach regardless of how the facts stack up in an argument. Then there is the problem of actually going through the process of analyzing a situation, really trying but in the end making the wrong decision. If you read the articles I have linked you will see that there is nothing new here, just guys who have made a decision and nothing that is said can change their behavior until an event becomes the trigger that makes change possible for them. That trigger for some is the birth of a child, a death such as Gwynn’s or even a dream.

 

This isn’t a screed against the use of smokeless tobacco, unlike the editorial board of the Modesto Bee which wrote that, “We MUST Snuff Out Smokeless Tobacco Use“. They call this a teachable moment which it is, and hopefully will open more eyes and save others from the suffering from cancer that can be a result of a nasty habit. Of course it is a legal product and untold numbers of people have dipped and enjoyed it from childhood without becoming a cancer victim. We are all different and what makes me happy may not do anything for you. Obviously I am a little “prissy” for others, I watch an outfielder chewing and spitting all game long and the chance of him succumbing to cancer doesn’t bother me as much as the idea of the other outfielder having to make a head long dive for a screaming line drive and winding up getting tobacco juice, spit, on him. That is plain nasty.

Many of us suffer from bad habits and just don’t have the necessary motivation or will power to escape. Many of us have bad habits and thoroughly enjoy every moment of them despite any negative consequences. The power of thought is amazing, we can convince ourselves what is good is bad, and what is bad is good and leave me alone it is of your business what I like to do. It is never easy to make others do the right thing even though I know very well what you need to be doing. However, culture can be changed to advance public health, is the conclusion of Robin Silverstein of the University of Minnesota in her great presentation, Smokeless Tobacco and Baseball.

Rest in peace, Tony Gwynn and condolences to your family. May your story be the trigger that helps others possibly avoid something so avoidable.

Penthouse Of New York City’s Woolworth Building Asking Price: $110 Million

If I were going to invest $110 million in real estate it wouldn’t be for the Woolworth Building’s new penthouse. Not that it isn’t worth it, I’m just more of a wide open type who likes more land than is provided with Manhattan real estate. But then, for me, a $110 million investment for anything would necessarily involve some sort of fraud to begin with so it really doesn’t matter. For someone who actually has the financial resources to afford it, the upper nine floors of this historic New York building at 233 Broadway, will make a spectacular home.

The neo-Gothic style Woolworth Building went up in 1913 and at that time was the tallest building in the world at 792 feet. President Woodrow Wilson ceremoniously turned the building’s lights on by pressing a button in Washington D.C.. The ornate, cruciform lobby (tours are available) was granted Landmark status in 1983 but had been closed to the public for the past 12 years. There was also a pool in the basement, when the building opened in 1913, one of its selling points was a health club complete with indoor pool and Turkish bath, open “day and night.”

I won’t be buying because a lobby tour ticket is about all I can really afford but if you are the one with the cash burning a hole in your pocket, I would love to be invited for a visit.

Well that isn’t going to happen I’m sure but here are some spectacular photos.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Sentenced to Death In Sudan

I always say, First Think, Then Think Again. That is part of Engaging Your Brain. Don’t let emotion rule. But right now. Right this second. I am imploring you to go to Amnesty International and sign this petition. Then go to the Family Research Council and sign this petition.  Then go to the ACLJ and sign their petition. After you have done that we can talk and Think. Some of my friends don’t much approve of the Family Research Council or the ACLJ, others don’t put much trust in Amnesty International, right now I don’t care. Right now is not the time for diddling, now is the time for action. My feelings border on letting emotion rule my thinking but I challenge anyone to talk me down from this position.

Signing a petition is not much and is not enough. Make a call, send an email, let Washington know that you will remember a President who maybe just hasn’t heard about it on the news yet. Let your representatives know that besides passing a resolution, they should be putting the word out, all they have to do is mention Meriam Yehya Ibrahim once a day to reporters who are hanging on their every word. They don’t have to do more that just mention her name. That many impressions in the ears of reporters will make some of them take notice. Imagine if our elected officials would do just that little thing, how much pressure could be brought on the Sudanese government. Unfortunately it is summer and many (most) Americans aren’t paying attention to things that deserve their attention. I haven’t outlined what is going on for a reason.

At a practice many years ago, Alabama football coach Bear Bryant was asked if he was concerned that some of his players didn’t know what was going on. Coach Bryant replied, No, the ones that bother me are the ones who don’t even suspect anything is going on. It is the duty of a good citizen to pay attention and know what is going on. This article will help to bring you up to date in case you have missed it until now.

The United States Senate has unanimously passed a resolution “condemning the death sentence against Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a Sudanese Christian woman accused of apostasy.”. In Great Britain Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, told MailOnline: “The plight of Meriam Ibrahim has outraged and shocked many people across the world. The UK govenment must speak out firmly against her barbaric sentence and continue to call on the Sudanese government to revoke it.” The DailyMail also reports, “The United Nations needs to intervene to stop a Sudanese mother of two being executed for marrying a Christian, senior MPs from all parties have demanded.”

OK. Now being rational, there are many unimaginable travesties taking place around the globe and despite all the talk from well-meaning people there may not be any stopping such a pathetic government carrying out what it sees as a just sentence. There is so much that is so wrong in the world today, you could well say there are more important issues to be tackled. I say, I couldn’t sleep if I didn’t at least raise my feeble little voice in this instance. Signing a petition may be a waste of time, we will see. Demanding more action from the U.N. may be seen as lunacy. Doing nothing at all I will say is unacceptable. We can be better than this, we must be better. No better place to start than right here, right now. Make a difference. It will make you feel better if nothing else. The outcry is being heard, I truly believe she will be spared because the people of the world have raised their voices against the Sudanese government.

facebook page Save Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag

 

Honoring America’s Heroes On Memorial Day – Brennan Leininger Is One

Memorial Day 2014, the day when America pauses at the beginning of summer to honor American heroes who have fought to preserve the freedoms each American enjoys everyday. There are others who are heroes for their actions as private citizens. Brennan Leininger is an Anaheim police officer who during his off time has stepped up to do something about the way America’s fallen are honored on Memorial Day at Riverside National Cemetery in southern California.

Three years ago Mr. Leininger and his wife attended Memorial Day ceremonies at the cemetery in Riverside and saw what he thought was a shortcoming that needed to be fixed. He began by raising $10,000 in the first year and was able to purchase 21,000 flags to place on grave sites. This year volunteers have helped to place 140,000 flags throughout the cemetery. Continue reading Honoring America’s Heroes On Memorial Day – Brennan Leininger Is One