Category Archives: Freedom

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.

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.

Coca Cola Presents The Happy Cycle, Hop On Mayor Bloomberg

Some people think Coca Cola’s ad agency is making a big mistake by talking about calories and exercise. Other folks are getting exercised because drinking a Coke or any other soft drink should be illegal to save us from ourselves. So take a look at the Coca Cola Happy Cycle, a video showing how much exercise the company says it would take to burn off the calories in a can of Coca Cola.

Now I always recommend that we First Think, Then Think Again about anything we do. I have, and have come to the conclusion that soft drinks in general are not a great choice for good health. And yet last night I enjoyed a hot-dog, loaded, and downed about 80 ounces of Pepsi for a thoroughly enjoyable snack. Thank goodness Mayor Michael Bloomberg wasn’t around, he would have suffered a coronary. Not that this is my typical behavior, I guess I just like living on the edge.

Now my brother, 10 years younger and sister-in law, even younger, drink water with meals. They get salad dressing served on the side, because they are afraid they will get too much otherwise. For me? Pour it on. For them, a waffle or pancake can have just a dab of syrup. They don’t understand. The only purpose of a stack of pancakes is to be able to melt massive amounts of butter between the cakes and soak up as much maple syrup as they will hold. The cake is simply a vehicle for moving the good stuff from plate to mouth.

Did I mention that I weigh in at my high school weight of 155? Did I point out my brother and sister in-law are seriously over weight? Not that it is all good, I would probably look better with an additional 10 to 20 pounds but I’m not going to look all that good regardless. Do I suggest that my habits of enjoying to many empty calories is good and their practice of limiting sugars and other empty calories is bad? Not at all. We are all different and in this Alice In Wonderland example where my general health is better with less healthy eating habits is an example. Continue reading Coca Cola Presents The Happy Cycle, Hop On Mayor Bloomberg

Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ Lunches

First Lady Michelle Obama can be commended for her focus on what’s good for the diet of America’s youth. Ms. Obama couldn’t be more correct, our children’s diet needs improving and physical activity is necessary for good health.  But what is the reality of her “Let’s Move” program?

Seems like many public school children are far from impressed with what it has meant to their school lunches. They have been using #ThanksMichelle and are Tweeting photos of their lunches. Lunches that are winding up in the trash can more than ever.

But check your privilege. The Obama daughters attend Sidwell Friends which has the # 1 school lunch program in America. Not the same menu you will find in public schools.

As with so many government-run programs, the intention may be good but the execution may leave much to be desired. From tales from the school cafeterias around the country what has been directed from Washington is not being well received and may be a bigger waste of money and food than the effort is worth. I don’t know if you can trust school children to know what is best for themselves but evidently they do know what they don’t like to have shoved down their throats even at their young age.

Freedom Is Not Free, Others Have Paid The Price For Our Freedom

Memorial Day 2014

First, Think. Then, Think Again. Today is a day for Thinking, for reflecting on our American freedoms, how we got them and how we still enjoy them thanks to the sacrifice others made to ensure them. This article by Msgr. Charles Pope helps to give meaning to this day of remembrance.

If you can, visit one of our 131 National Cemeteries, perfect places for contemplation. Try to imagine what it was and is like on the battlefield. For most of us we can only imagine, most of us have not been on front lines of battle. Most of us have not served in our Nation’s military in any capacity. But to those who have we owe much. Think about being out there facing the enemy, someone whose mission is to kill, and that means kill you. Every day you are in a life and death battle. While you live to fight another day, you have friends who fought beside you who became casualties in the fight.  You, somehow have to overcome the grief and pain and continue to do your job.

There must be moments when you wonder how you got in this position. In most wars in our Nation’s history you were there because your Uncle Sam said you were needed and you didn’t have a real choice. But whether you enlisted on your own or not you are here. On the battlefield. And doing your job and staying alive is your mission. When you are out there do you keep yourself going by hanging on the thought that you are doing something bigger than yourself? That you face death so your family, friends and fellow American’s can continue to live free? And in some wars at some moments in history are you bothered know some of your countrymen will not welcome you home from war as a hero but might actually treat you as a war criminal?

Today, of all days in the year, is a wonderful time to Think hard a long about what it is all about. About what others have gone through to preserve our way of life.