June 26, 2007

It's odd how it hurts

Most who know me know that I am a fan of wrestling. While I don't watch as regularly anymore, I do still have a love of the soap opera inside the "squared circle." The beauty of two human beings working together to put together a complex morality play on the fly continues to enrapture me. The butterflies in the pit of my stomach that I feel during a great wrestling match have rarely been matched. I have an immense amount of respect for the people who perform and put their bodies on the line every night to entertain, especially those who are true students of the "game." That's why this hurts.

I woke up today and saw that CNN.com had a link to a story about a bizarre murder involving a pro-wrestler and his family. Curious, I clicked through and read with disbelief the details that many others have read. Chris Benoit over the weekend killed his wife Nancy and 7-year old son Daniel before taking his own life. Both Nancy and Daniel were asphyxiated. Nancy's legs and feet were bound with blood around her head. Chris hung himself using one of his weight machines. Over the day these and other details came out including what could be an important point: anabolic steroids were found inside the house.

Today I have been in shock and my thoughts naturally go to the question of why this tragedy happened but I have to comment on other parts of our society's reaction to this tragedy as well. While only knowing that Benoit and his family had been found dead, the WWE canceled their live Raw show last night and instead aired a tribute show to showcase Benoit's accomplishments and love for his business. Other tributes were featured on the WWE's web site. After more information came out including that Benoit had been the instigator of a double-murder suicide, the WWE subsequently apologized for airing the tribute show, removed all tributes and said that Benoit's name will not be mentioned on programming in the future as a way to begin the healing process. I find this fascinating and saddening.

A tremendous performer is still dead. His family is still dead. Co-workers have said that Benoit was in a paranoid and unstable mental state in the past weeks. Why may we not mourn the passing of a great superstar because an apparent mental illness led him to kill? I feel no better knowing that Chris Benoit will not longer be mentioned. I feel worse as not only does the WWE have little respect for those who have passed too early but they have absolutely no understanding of mental illness or compassion for those afflicted by it.

There have been claims by the WWE that the media sensationalized the Benoit tragedy and jumped to conclusions regarding a connection to steroids. No doubt, the media loves any murder that involves a wife and kids and will report it endlessly. Add in the fact that it involved a celebrity and it's a veritable circle-jerk of media frenzy. They also mention that we need to wait for the toxicology reports to know whether Benoit had any drugs in his system. Even though their has been sensationalism, the WWE's claims in other ways are weak and in many ways sickening.

The WWE states steroids were not the cause of death; that asphyxiation and hanging were the causes of death. What a simplification of the steroid question that is. Not one person has claimed that steroids DIRECTLY caused the death of anyone in this case. The concern is that steroids may have played a role in Benoit's actions. They also claim that because Benoit's actions were deliberate and spread out over a long period that steroids couldn't have been involved. Steroids mental and emotional side-effects are not limited to "'roid rage." Depression and paranoia are two other side-effects of steroid use. When you consider that Benoit was reported as so paranoid by his co-workers in the past few weeks that he claimed that someone was following him and that he ordered his wife not to leave their house for her own safety, the possibility of steroid abuse being a factor in this case seems more likely.

I am tired of the WWE's excuses on wrestler's dying too young as a result of steroid and painkiller abuse. The WWE claims Benoit's last drug test in April was clean. I say bullshit. No one believes that the WWE has legit drug tests and we have one more reason to feel that way. The WWE is killing human beings by encouraging them to gain muscle mass, with little concern for how they do it, pushing them to perform when injured and giving them so many painkillers that addiction can only be expected. In return for giving so much of their lives to the WWE, wrestlers receive no disability benefits, no health insurance and no retirement benefits. To think that a billion dollar company would treat its most valuable assets with such disregard is surprising, to think that these assets are human beings is sickening.

Government needs to step in and regulate a company that for too long has ignored the safety of their workers in order to make a buck. Wrestling will always be dangerous and painful; that can't be avoided. What can be avoided is the continued sacrifice of talented human beings at altar of the dollar.

I will miss Chris Benoit. I can only hope his death will finally be the wake-up call the wrestling industry has needed for far too long.

Galatians 5:16-17: "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do."

June 25, 2007

Not everyone hates you

Today I stumbled upon The Association for the Legal Defense of Charles G. Taylor. I find this site pretty funny for two reasons.

First, Charles Taylor has absolutely no need for donations to support his defense. He embezzled millions of dollars from Liberia's treasury during his reign. If Chucky wanted to hire Johnny Cochran he could afford to; he just hasn't. On top of that he received a court appointed attorney (who he fired) and is now asking the court to a hire one of Queen's Counsel, a highly experience lawyer recognized by the British government, a request that the court is considering granting. In short Taylor is (or will be) in fine legal hands.

Second, it's Charles fucking Taylor. This guy is no Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela. He's not even a disputed political prisoner like Leonard Peltier. No, Charles Taylor is a despicable human being. He supported rebels who kidnapped children, sometimes younger than 10, who were forced to become child soldiers. Children were fed large amounts of alcohol and drugs to help them forget about the horrors they were committing so they would continue to fight with little conscience. His soldiers, children and adult, committed numerous crimes against humanity including mass rapes, torture, burning of villages, slaughter of civilians all to provide him with diamonds to fund his other civil war. During his campaign for President of Liberia in 1997, he warned that if they did not elect him he would restart the civil war. This is not a man who people should feel sorry for.

Taylor will get his day in court to unsuccessfully protest his innocence. Fortunately for humanity, he will be convicted on the mountains of evidence that against him. Likely he will spend the rest of his life inside a prison cell in Britain which is where he deserves to be. That there are people who believe he's innocent goes to show you that there's a sucker born every minute.

Luke 6:35-36: "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful."

June 22, 2007

Gee that's not misleading...

I figured since I'm starting a blog I might as well try to make a few bucks with it (yeah right). The best way to monetize (ooooooooh) traffic for small web sites is Google's AdSense program. AdSense allows you to add those little ads that you see on a Google search page and in the right column of this here site.  Anytime someone clicks on one of those ads I get a portion of the fee Google charges for the ad. Google doesn't just put a random ad there though. They look at the content of a page and put in an ad that they believe would interest the visitors of that page. And that's how this entry has come about.

It seems that Google thinks my visitors would be interested in sex offender registries. That's somewhat reasonable as my largest entry was about sex offenders. Now I want you to remember that sex offender registry information is available for free from every state and is online. Knowing that this information is free and that state budgets don't exactly have the money to fund this I started wondering and I checked it out. Seems the site is run by an outfit called National Alert Registry. I assume they are a corporation but its unclear as they don't actual add it their name (cuz you know then we might realize they're just a bunch of people making money off of sex offenders) They are registered with the Florida Department of State and are from DeLand, FL. They are a FOR-PROFIT corporation. But that's far from clear from their web site. Like I mentioned before at no time do they indicate that they are a company and in fact they mislead people into thinking they are an official government organization. Here's their "official site":


Now doesn't that look official? The seal on the side and the crest on the top ( I think its a crest, I don't know what its called) both make this look like it's part of the federal government. However again this is just some scam outfit from Florida trying to make a buck off of concerned parents who don't know better. National Alert Registry charges $4.95 per month to email you a list of sex offenders who have moved into your area. However all this information is free from your state and in the coming months a national sex offender registry will go online for FREE.

While I disagree with the concept of the sex offender registry, I can see someone feeling this is a useful service. But there is no excuse for these scam artists pretending to be official while making a buck off people's fear and insecurities.

Revelation 22:20: "He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"

June 20, 2007

Fond du Lac Late Night Restaurant Competition

My brother and I went to Country Kitchen for a late night meal. While reading our menus Nathan says "there's a mouse over there." I didn't believe him and couldn't find it until he points and says "there, look at the tail." Lo and behold there is a mouse. Later it ran across the floor.

Let it be known that I think mice are cute, however I don't want them in restaurants.

We really, REALLY need some competition in Fond du Lac for late night food.

Ephesians 5:1-2: "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

June 19, 2007

Vista Metadata Project

This would be a project I've been working on. It allows you to add tags to AVI files in Windows Vista. Any help would be appreciated!

Vatican issues 10 Commandments for drivers

So crazies, should we put these in our DMVs or what?

Psalm 136:1-3: "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever...."

June 18, 2007

Give Back A Smile

CNN.com had a story about a great program called "Give Back A Smile." Created by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 1999, Give Back A Smile matches domestic abuse survivors who suffered damage to their teeth due to their abuse and dentists who donate their time to repair the damage. I never thought of something like this being needed but now that I've heard about this program, it makes perfect sense. Repairing a survivors teeth would not only provide them a self-esteem boost because of the improved appearance but also because they no longer see the results of their abuse every time the look in the mirror.

Check out their web site if you'd like to learn more or make a donation and support their efforts.

Proverbs 13:1: "A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke."

New York City pays $29,000 for arresting topless woman

Run to the Hills publicly supports the right of any woman to go out into public topless.

Matthew 6:14-15: "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Wanna fight about it?

Ya I'm listening to Enrique, wanna fight about it?

Colossians 2:6-7: "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."

June 17, 2007

Totally Unacceptable

As reported on CNN.com, Immigration and Customs Enforcement apparently deported a mentally challenged 29 year old US citizen, named Pedro Guzman. The LA Sheriff's department identified Pedro as a non-citizen after he was jailed on a misdemeanor trespassing charge. This despite him not only having a birth certificate on record but also having a previous conviction on drug possession which would verify that he was born in California to Mexican parents like he said he was.

Once he was (wrongly) identified as a non-citizen, the Sheriff's Department obtained his signature for voluntary removal from the United States, turned him over to ICE and was deported. Apparently ICE didn't look into whether he should be deported or didn't do a very good job. Pedro can't read or write and has difficulty processing information. How can he legitimately understand and sign a form that would remove him from the United States?!

I guess if you're behind on your quota for the month this is a good way of getting it up. I'm going to enjoy hearing the verdict when the ACLU and Pedro get a big fat settlement. (Provided anyone can find Pedro as he's currently missing)

Psalm 55:22: "Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."

Cuz I forgot how good it was

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill

Proverbs 28:10: "Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance."

Responsible Parenting?

From the article:

The four boys and two girls were born last Sunday about 4½ months early at a Minneapolis hospital. Doctors had advised the couple to selectively reduce the number of viable fetuses to two, but they declined.

Proverbs 12:19: "Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment."

June 16, 2007

Bible Verses

You might be wondering why I keep posting bible verses at the end of my posts. The answer is "I don't know." The idea came to me and I just decided to add random bible verses at the end of my posts. I certainly don't believe a word of them but oh well. Maybe some of the pro-Robertson crowd will find my blog because of it and get pissed off. Who knows?

In case someone is wondering, I'd like to add non-Christian bible religious verses as well (Book of Mormon, Qur'an, Torah, Bhagavad Gita) but I don't know of a random service that provides anything like that. Granted I haven't looked but if someone knows of something, please tell me!

Proverbs 15:1: "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

What? No Ovens?!

I received a comment on my previous post from a gentleman I will refer to as Dick.  Dick decided to ignore every last point I made in my article and write a very long manifesto about how we need to protect children and how we should pass a constitutional amendment to create colonies for sex offenders to live in... Just take a deep breath and read that again. (Don't worry I'll wait.)  Unfortunately I hastily deleted the comment as I didn't want people to use the comment as a way to contact him. He's free to espouse any whack job view but I'm not going to help him do it.

Dick referred to something called "domestic terrorism." At first I had no clue what in the world he was talking about but eventually I realized he was referring to sex offenders. Apparently sex offenders by themselves aren't scary enough so he wants to make sure he puts in the primary buzzword of fear since 9/11: terrorism. Because of that word, the President took away our civil liberties and Dick intends to use the same scare tactics to mutilate the Constitution into supporting some Nazi-esque police state.  (I know I just invoked Godwin's Law but does anyone have an analogy that fits better?)

Psalm 19:14: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer."

June 15, 2007

Sex Offenders Are Bad (And Getting Badder)

Last night I caught part of the CBS Evening News. (Yes, I know was one of the ten or so that actually watch but bear with me. ) Katie Couric had a story about sex offenders and MySpace. It seems MySpace is trying to remove sex offenders from their web site. In addition, a number of states have sued to force MySpace to turn over their list of sex offenders who have registered. Texas was one of those states and their Attorney General used that information to pick up sex offenders whose probation rules prevented them from using the internet. So far, so good I guess. I think it's a silly regulation but hey its the rules. I feel better to know that children are safer though. *sigh of relief* Unfortunately Texas AG Greg Abbott had more to say:

Parents need to understand there are predators on the Internet who are more vicious than those who used to lurk in parks or playgrounds.

What? Huh? I don't feel as safe anymore.

These predators are incorrigible; they will stop at nothing in order to try and find their next victim.

Oh my God! That's scary!! Unfortunately, its also not true. A few things to consider:

  • "Predators" don't lurk in parks or playgrounds. 95% of the cases of child sexual abuse involve someone the child knows, not a stranger.
  • More vicious? Do you have any evidence that they're more vicious? Or does it make you look tougher on crime?
  • "Predators" aren't incorrigible. At least according to the state of Wisconsin Department of Corrections (15% re-offend in 10 years), the state of Arizona (5.5% over a 14 year period), North Carolina Sex Offender registry (only 71 recidivist sex offenders in the entire state, including prisons), National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (13.7% re-offend) and the Canadian government (13.4%). There is no way that you can consider someone who has a 15% rate of re-offending "incorrigible." In fact sex offenders have a lower rate of being re-arrested for any offense after release than non-sex offenders (43% vs. 68%).
  • Stop at nothing? If they will stop at nothing, they must be pretty incompetent if they only re-offend at most 15%.

Our country has a hang-up on sex. It's why we treat sex offenders much worse than drug dealers or armed robbers. Parents are scared by the thought of their babies being violated (not that it's remotely likely but they don't know that) so they elect leaders that say they'll be tough on crime. The elected leaders talk about how sex offenders are monsters which makes the officials look like saviors when the tough on sex offender laws pass but also scares parents even more who demand more be done which makes officials get tougher and enact stricter laws and around and around we go...

In the end, we have people who are treated like a Jew in Nazi Germany when these people are less likely to commit a crime than other felons. We have parents incredibly scared, children aren't that much safer than they were before and our Government is spending our money with little to no benefit.

Galatians 5:1: "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

Get A-Runnin'

I figured I'd start a blog to talk about stuff I care about. That is all :)