Sunday, May 2, 2010

The deadliest creature known to womankind...

The nature of many women, I have found, is to be inately afraid of the silliest things. We fear the icky, creepy little bugs that invade our homes and patios. I have seen women run for a tissue, JUST to gently grab the helpless insect and either flush it down the toilet, or release it outside. Ladies, please stop that. It is embarrassing. First of all, releasing it is just stupid. Do you think that it lost it's GPS system and won't find it's way back in? Then why do you pick it up, ever so gently, just to send it for a swirling ride from hell into out public sewer system that will surely end it's life? What is the WORLD did a helpless little ladybug do that warrants such an assault? Besides, the spider hiding under your bed will even the score for you, soon enough.

We fear snakes and small rodents. This is amazing. A woman will spend hours upon hours seeking out the best deal one can find on any purchase made for the home and family, but if she spies a rodent or a snake..BAM! She is on the phone faster than you can say, "CHARGE IT!". She will call one, and only one, animal control service and pay TOP DOLLAR to have this situation remedied. This same woman, who spends much of her time diligently protecting her family and searching child predator websites will allow a man sporting a mullet, one tooth, and a rusty trap, to enter her home and seek out all cracks and crevices within it JUST to remove one mouse.

Then, there is a knock at the door. Behind it lurks the deadliest creature known to womankind. Yet, she will open the door, smile, and say, "Oh hi, Mom. Come on in!" No, it isn't HER mother, it is the woman who gave birth to her significant other. Ladies, you are going to need a bigger tissue for THIS pest removal!

Now, I know that there are those of you out there that have a deliriously wonderful relationship with your mother-in-law, and to you, I say...shush. This is all about those of us who have endured years of emotional torment at the hands of a creature riddled with toxicity and venom.

Maybe some background is required here. I can help with that, as I am sure there are those who can relate on many levels to the tales I am about to share.

I was married at a fairly young age, I was twenty years old. I also had the privledge of marrying outside of my own culture and race. I married a Cantonese man whose family moved to The United States when he was only ten years old. You think that dealing with a woman who despises you is difficult? Try this one on for size, imagine that you do not speak the same language and have to rely on your husband for accurate translation. Yeah, exactly. I used to love the contorted, tortured expression on his face as he attempted to soften the blow that was just vommited all over me, via him. There was a culture and language barrier in place that made all of the usual dealings with in-laws even more of a challenge, I will admit that. However, when you scrape away all of the excuses and justifications for her behavior, you are left with a very simple and deadly creature...the meddling Mother-in-law.

When my future husband (also future EX husband) and I began dating, there were SO many warning signs that so many of us ignore. I remember meeting my future mother-in-law, and seeing that pursed mouth of hers, and thinking, "I am going to MAKE this woman like me." I didn't know how wrong I was. You see, my husband was her baby. He was the youngest of five children, and her pride and joy. The first time that we met, I was wearing a tank top, so my arms were fully exposed. She looked me up and down, grabbed my arm, and made a disgusted face. I am half Italian heritage. I have hair on my arms from my wrist to my elbow, as many women do. I never thought much of it, and refused to do anything about it, being as I already have enough body parts to scrape hair from. She said disgustedly, "Yuck! You a woman. You no have hair on the arm. Take off. You look like man." When I recovered from the shock and hurt of what she said, I wanted to say, "Your son doesn't seem to mind when he is lying next to me in bed, you bitch!" But, I didn't say that. Damn, i wish that I had. The years and moments to follow would only solidify in my mind that this woman was, indeed, the antichrist.

My Mother-in-law was good for calling "family meetings" to discuss whatever hair was up her ass that week. These were a real hoot. Basically, it was a bunch of babbling Chinese people, and me. I knew that if Uncle Johnny showed up, I was in some shit. He was the designated translator for the dumb white girl. This one particular meeting involved HER deciding that my husband and I should move. Oh, did I mention that the move would include moving in with THEM? It did. My father-in-law was in failing health, and she felt that it would be best for everyone if I became their nursemaid and slave. I disagreed. However, she did not go about this in the typical fashion. I sat through this entire dinner, held in a public venue, of course, and wondered what her angle was going to be. After we completed our meal and desserts, I was fully prepared to gather my two year old son, and return home. It was then that she decided to pull her rabbit from the hat. She asked Johnny to have me remain seated and pulled a jewelry box from her purse. Within that box was contained a 2 carat diamond solitaire. She placed it in her claw, I mean hand, and reached out to me with an expression of pure deviance. She asked Johnny to ask me if I liked the ring. I knew full well what this bitch was up to. I took the ring from Johnny, looked at it, and said, "It is a bit gaudy for my tastes, what do you want?" I then proceded to set the ring up on end and flick it back accross the table at her. It was the first of many times that I would lose my cool at the hand of such a manipulative creature. I had always been accused of being in their family for their money. Oh, you didn't know that they were wealthy? Oops, sorry about that. Let me back up a moment, and explain.

My mother and father-in-law brought their family here in the late eighties. They were seeking what all immigrants seek here, freedom and financial success. They were fairly poor, and had five children. They began washing dishes at her sister's restaurant to earn a paycheck. They worked long hours and their children were either worked as slaves, or severely neglected. A large part of the Chinese culture revolves around gambling. They are no exception. They would play Mah Jong for days straight, winning or losing thousands of dollars nightly. They frequented casinos and gaming resorts, all the while claiming poverty. They also played the Pennsylvania lottery. Here is where the story creates the monster that I came to know and loathe. My mother-in-law thought that she could "figure out" the lottery numbers before they hit. She did this daily. One particular day, she gave a list of numbers to her husband to play. He dutifully went to the local gas station to carry out the queen's orders. When he arrived, he realized that he had forgotten his reading glasses. The lottery tickets, in case you have never seen them, are VERY difficult to read and decipher if you have GOOD eyesight. There are little boxes by the numbers that you must fill in with pencil in order to choose the number. He could not see them. So, he counted the boxes over and filled in the block of what he THOUGHT was the right number. One problem arose. He was holding the card upside down. He had played all the wrong numbers, and to say that he heard about his mistake when he arrived home, would be an understatement. Fortunately, he was redeemed when a few days later, they were the recipients of 15.8 million dollars. You heard that right. 15.8 MILIION DOLLARS!

Now, one would think that this family would have all the opportunity that they had hoped for, correct? You would be wrong. Not ONE of their children experienced a college education. Not ONE of their children has remained married for more than 10 years. Not ONE of their children could stand alone without the financial support of their parents. You see, SHE wanted it that way. I remember once, her saying to me, "Have MORE kids. I have 5 kid. You, only 3! You need MORE. They care of you when they big." She remained in control of her children despite their yearning for freedom. They wanted her money, and she used it to it's fullest potential as a device to keep control.

She had one glitch in her plan. Me. I continually resisted her methods of control. I begged my husband to NOT take their money, and that we would get by on what we had. This was futile, he was addicted to it, and he loved his Mommy. This woman was the bane of my existance. She would often show up at our home unannounced and let herself in with the key that her son had provided to her. One particular incident will remain forever embedded in my memory. I was in the shower when her and her husband arrived. I came out of the shower and ran smack into my father-in-law standing in my bedroom, where SHE had told him to go. She suggested that I was lazy and sleeping and that he should wake me. Later, I found from my husband that she was upset with me for coming out of the shower wearing only a towel, and that she found it to be disrespectful of her husband. *blink* It was a crazy little world inside of her head, and GOD HELP YOU if you dared to enter it.

She would have moments of "kindness". Well, that was once she stopped spreading the rumor that my second son did not belong to my husband because he was "too white". What the hell am I? I swear that this woman saw me as some kind of breeding vessel that should bow down to her every need and request. Once, she was "kind" enough to allow me to keep my baby. Yeah, soak THAT one in for a minute. This same woman who demanded that I breed had once held a family meeting when I was pregnant with my first son and told me that I would ruin her son's life, and that I should have an abortion. Then she passed the salt.

All mother-in-laws have their tools for mass destruction, but this woman had the holy grail...the language barrier. They had lived here for twenty years, and yet, she was COMPLETELY incapable of getting an oil change without help from her son. Every single weekend was consumed with tasks to be carried out by us, on her behalf. She would call my husband, or just show up at the house, and whine endlessly about how she just can't seem to get the phrase, "oil change" out of her mouth. Amazingly enough, though, she never seemed to have trouble at the bank. Go figure. If I dared to schedule anything that would interfere with my husband completing his assigned tasks, god help me. I can also assure you, that if this woman had something to say to me, and there was NOT a translator handy, she found a way to say it.

My children were always a bone of contention in my dealings with the monster-in-law. She would do all of the typical things, like give them things to eat that they were not allowed to have. Oh, I don't mean candy. You will need further explanation, again. I breast fed my sons, and after she was kind enough to walk right up to me, grasp my breasts, and determine that I was not producing sufficient milk for them, she decided to supplement their diet. I would put my son down for a nap, and I had to watch her like a hawk when she would visit. She would enter his room, wake him, and feed him glucose water from a bottle. Yes ladies, she did. To say the least, this would turn me into a raging female tiger. This confrontation would, of course, be all my fault because she was just "trying to help". Listen lady, keep your hands off of my tits, AND off of my son, please! Is that really a difficult concept to grasp? Culture barrier, my ass. I don't see Asian women feeling up each other's milk laden breasts all that often. Ya know?

I could always count on her to medicate my children, as well. When I say medicate, I mean torture. My husband guilted me into visiting my in-laws in Hong Kong one summer when my first two children were very small. My oldest son was just over two, and my middle son was just one month old. We made the 24 hour flight to Hong Kong, at the queen of the damned's request. This would be the longest eight weeks of my life. You heard that right. I stayed there for eight weeks with the creature from the shit lagoon. Within hours of our arrival, she had begun her usual torture. My oldest son has eczema. I made the fatal error of attempting to shower. It is amazing that I sustained any human hygeine while dealing with this woman. She saw me taking a shower as the hen abandoning the nest, and leaving it open to the fox. I could hear my son screaming while I was bathing. I quickly jumped from the shower and grabbed a towel, (oh, she is going to be pissed again!) just to see her placing my son in a vat of black liquid that was pouring off steam. The wicked witch of the EAST was trying to make a Jonas stew or some shit. I grabbed my son and asked her what the hell she was doing. She tugged at him and said, "you not know what you doing. I fix him skin. This Chinese medicine. GO AWAY!" Oh My GOD, WOMAN! This takes meddling to a whole new level. She is trying to boil my son, and my husband is worried that I hurt her feelings? What the hell kind of parallel universe have I entered?

Ok, now listen to me. I know that you have all had to eat something awful that your mother-in-law cooked, but until you have been fed a black snake that she just killed with her bare hands and nailed to a tree in the front yard, I DO NOT want to hear about your mother-in-law's dry pork chops! Got it? The crazy bitch told me that it would help the pain in my knee. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. But I can tell you this, the taste of black snake is WAY worse than the pain in my knee. I really thought that my brother-in-law was kidding when he told me that she was going to make me eat it. I also DO NOT like to look my meal in the eye. Is it not enough that I had to help you hold the chicken when you cut it's head off, and boiled the smelly feathers out? NOW I have to have it's head staring at me from my plate? Are you kidding me? Who eats a chicken's head, really? Jesus Christ, I had to deal with a Chinese Granny from the Beverly Hilbillies...and you think YOU have a shitty mother-in-law?

Ok, ok, I may have gotten a bit off track here. I have to focus. This woman made every event, family function, or get together into a game of wits. She was damn good at it too. I will now share the final move in her game of chess. She and her husband decided, many years back, to open another restaurant for their older son. They had already done this twice, and both times met as failure and financial loss. When they asked ME what I thought they should name it, I said, "Strike Three". Hey, I thought it was funny. She did not. Her oldest son was, and still is, a complete waste of perfectly good human organs. He is utterly useless and one of the laziest people I have ever known. So, opening a business for him to run is PROBABLY not a good idea. But, hey, that is their problem, right? Not quite. I made my husband promise to NOT get us involved in ANY WAY in the financial dealings of this restaurant and his family. We had already been there, and done that. He promised. I will make a VERY long story as short as possible here. We had another "family meeting" following the signing of the financial documents involving this restaurant. I found, to my dismay and complete shock, that my husband had been coerced into placing our home as collateral for the over one million dollars in loans required to start up another doomed business. We were not the only ones affected by this stunt. There were other innocent family members also manipulated into this disaster. I literally took leave of my senses. I told that woman exactly what I had thought of her, and her behavior for all those years. I felt WONDERFUL. Now, I had to get my home out of this mess. As it turns out, the entire real estate deal was a scam, and through diligent research, all that was lost was 20,000 dollars of the bitch's money.

Are you exhausted yet? I am. But that, folks, is not the end. This occurred just a few weeks before Christmas. Christmas eve, I had my family and friends here, at my home. My in-laws were to arrive at 6pm. At 7pm, my father-in-law shows up, alone. He informs my husband that my mother-in-law will not be making an appearance unless I drive to her mother's home, and make a public apology for direspecting her in front of the family. Holy shit! I thought to myself, certainly NO ONE will go for this, especially my husband. Well, that is not quite how it panned out. My two sister-in-laws took me into the upstairs bedroom and explain that if I do NOT go, she will win. They explained that the family would view me as guilty, and as a coward. I was stunned. I agreed to go, but I retained one thought. If my husband lets me walk out that door, this marriage is over. I walked out the door. I left my entire family and all of my friends on Christmas and drove to his grandmother's home. I walked in, and a hush fell over the house. His mother was seated at the dining room table. I sat next to her and asked for her forgiveness. My skin crawled as she placed her hand between my face and hers, displaying the mother's ring that I had bought her just a year before. She refused to look at me, or accept my apology. Ok, bitch. Game on.

I informed my husband that I wanted a divorce. He, of course, refused. We lived together for two more years following this event. I was a stay at home mom with no money, and faced a fight against millions of dollars. It was a steep uphill battle. In the course of that war, my credit was destroyed by the man who claimed to love me, and with the help of his mother. I discovered that the very home that I lived in was NOT purchased by my husband, as I had previously been told, but it was gifted to him by guess who. That's right, the mother. She gave him implicit instructions that I would NEVER own that house. He agreed, and he did so while we were married and "in love". Well, thanks to much hard work, creating a career from nothing, and sheer determination, the day that the PA family courts ordered my husband to hand over the title to my home was the day that I said, "Checkmate, bitch". I ate thousands of dollars in debt that he had run up against the house, survived devastated credit, paid thousands of dollars in legal fees and kept food on the table for three young boys.

I look back on that part of my life now, and I wonder....

Could I have just taken her out with a tissue, and flushed her down the toilet?

Where the hell is the mullet guy with the rusty trap when you really need him?

Well, the tissue was my determination to do what was right for my sons, the toilet was the reality that their lottery payments are now over, and they are as broke as the day they came here.

The mullet guy with the trap? That is her own greed and hatred locked away in her cold, dead heart. She made the rusty trap, and now she lives in it...with all five of her children. By the way, do you think that they take care of her now?

Would you?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Which cup has the ball now? $50 to the winner...step right up!

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI cracked down Saturday on the scandal-plagued Legionaries of Christ, announcing that a papal envoy would take over and reform the conservative order that has been discredited by revelations that its founder sexually abused seminarians and fathered at least one child.

Benedict also ordered a special commission to study the Legionaries constitutions and said a Vatican expert would investigate its lay arm, Regnum Christi.

Well, I don't know about you, but I can rest my head peacefully tonight knowing that they are doing an inside investigation on a minute. "A Vatican expert"? What is he an expert IN? I don't think that being well versed in the ritual and practice of the Catholic church qualifies him to investigate child molestation, especially if he believes in the verses that condone it. A papal envoy? They are sending a religious diplomat? Well, that will be helpful, thanks for that. What the hell do they need a diplomat for? Are they trying to come up with a trade agreement or treaty? Interesting because I would think that they would want a criminal investigator to look into something that could be SO damaging to such an elite and moral organization.

Excuse me, Benedict The Great, what the hell exactly IS a "special commission" in relation to the very organization that has beed tied to the current cover-up scandal? I am curious, who comprises this steadfast and legally responsible "commission"? I hate to show any "disrespect", but you don't know shit about right and wrong. What right do you have to investigate the wrong doings of your organization (that includes the little branches that feed the large tree, asshole) from within that very organization? Who the fuck do you think you are? god?

Oh, you do, don't you. "Heaven forbid" that you allow a non self interested party, oh, say CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS, to do EXACTLY what they are trained to do, and that is to uncover information and evidence that is conclusive and unbiased. You want that information for yourselves, so that you can run it through a filter, created by you, fill in the holes with information trumped up by you, and find an "eligible scapegoat" to pin the entire mess on that will not reflect back on, say...YOU!

In the end, it was only in 2006 — a year into Pope Benedict XVI's papacy — that the Vatican ordered Maciel to lead a "reserved life of penance and prayer," making him a priest in name only.

The Vatican statement was remarkable in its tough denunciation of Maciel's crimes and deception, but it placed the blame almost entirely on him. It made no mention of any complicity on the part of Vatican officials who had held up Maciel as a model for the faithful.

But, maybe I am wrong. *blink*

The Vatican ordered an investigation into the order in 2009 after the Legionaries acknowledged that Maciel had fathered a daughter who is now in her 20s and lives in Spain. But it was only in March of this year that the Legionaries acknowledged that Maciel had also sexually abused seminarians and that two men are claiming to be his sons.

But, I doubt it. You know why?

He died in 2008 at age 87.

In case you missed that slight of hand, folks, the man in question, who was just recently dismissed from the church, died two years ago. He will never stand trial. He will never hear the suffering of his victims. He has no ability to defend himself against his accusers in a court of law. Most importantly, he cannot speak of what his "bosses" did or did not know of his actions. He is dead. One couldn't ask for a better scapegoat and token pacifier of the public than a dead guy, eh?

The Vatican said the system of power, obedience and silence Maciel created had kept "a large part" of the Legionaries in the dark about his double life. That did raise questions about what would become of the current Legionaries leadership since many have questioned how they couldn't have known of his misdeeds.

Pot, meet kettle. Let me get this right, and bear with me for a moment because my head is spinning at an alarming rate. The catholic church, who uses an obsolete and dead language to communicate, who refuses to speak directly to the people without a spokesman and publicist, who refuses to allow non religious investigations of the inner workings of their organization, who has managed to duck and dodge serious allegations of abuse, fraud and crimes against humanity, who has an inner secretive network tighter than organized crime and government combined (giggle), who has hidden and ignored the accusations layed upon this man for fourteen years just tried to claim that they didn't know what he was doing because he was REALLY good at keeping a secret???? This, of course, is largely due to the fact that HE created the system of silence and lies.....uh....not quite.

The late Pope John Paul II had long championed the Legionaries for their orthodoxy and ability to bring in vocations and money. Berry has recently written in the U.S. Catholic publication National Catholic Reporter of how the late pope's secretary and No. 2 allegedly intervened to protect Maciel and accept donations on his behalf.

Oh, how naive I am. Silly me, I was thinking that this Maciel guy was like David Fuckin Copperfield! Now it all makes sense. He was a good recruiter and fundraiser.

Got it.

I guess his fundraising days are over, being as he is dead, and all. No harm no foul, eh boys? You can NOW kick him out, and not lose any cash since he can't raise money from beyond the grave. Oh, the irony of "life after death" fundraising.

Maciel founded the Legion in his native Mexico in 1941 and the order's culture was built around Maciel. His photo adorned every Legion building, his biography and writings were studied, and his birthday was celebrated as a feast day. Until recently, Legion members took a vow not to criticize their superiors, including Maciel.

DAYUM! His birthday was a holiday? But, I thought that he was a REALLY good "secret keeper"? Don't you people get all bent out of shape over worshipping men before your god? Oh, that's only if it guy from a different cult, I know.

The Vatican set out an initial course of action: the pope would name a personal delegate to lead the order and a commission of study to review the order's founding constitutions. In addition, the Vatican said the pope would name a special investigator to look into the order's lay arm, Regnum Christi, at the lay members' request.

It wasn't clear what powers the delegate would have, however, and what would become of the current leadership.

It isn't clear what powers they will have? Oh, I think it is pretty clear what their marching orders are. Cover up, destroy evidence, and when all else fails, lie, deny, lie, deny. We know the drill. We (those of us free from indoctrination and fear driven guilt) are painfully aware of what damage their "delegates" can create. For example....

The order now claims a membership of more than 800 priests and 2,500 seminarians in 22 countries, along with 70,000 members in Regnum Christi. It runs schools, charities, Catholic news outlets, seminaries for young boys, and universities in Mexico, Italy, Spain and elsewhere. Its U.S. headquarters are in Orange, Connecticut.

Read that again. This man built a cult following that spans the globe, and did so under the protection and support of the vatican.

To see anything else, is simple willful ignorance. Do you realize the cash flow generated by those numbers above? WHY would they risk alienating this group by removing their revered leader in shame?

Folks, you continue to fall for the oldest trick in the book. (not THAT book, jesus christ, pay attention!)

While you are busy watching one hand, the other hand has the answer. The ball is ALWAYS under whatever cup the magician wants it to be. Do you know how you ACTUALLY win that game of chance, and slight of hand?

Don't play.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The beauty of subtle change...

Embedding has been removed from the above video, I urge you to follow the URL and view it, especially if you are younger than 35. It is the video of Sinead O'Connor's performance of "War" on Saturday Night Live. She made that performance in 1992. The video shows her very powerful performance in which she ends with the tearing of a photograph of the Pope.

Sincere apologies were issued by both SNL and Ms. O'Connor following that performance. Even at a young age, I was saddened by her apology. Her very apology reduced the impact of what was then and still is now, a very powerful message. Sinead all but disappeared from public view in the U.S. following that performance. She paid a very high price for her "disrespect", both personally and professionally. She had the guts to do, what many of us wanted to, and yet, we all fell silent as she fell from grace.

Not this time around....

LONDON – Britain's Foreign Office issued a hasty apology Sunday to Pope Benedict XVI after publication of an internal memo in which officials joked he could open an abortion clinic, launch a range of condoms or sing a duet with Queen Elizabeth II during a four-day visit in September.

The document, sections of which were published in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, also proposed the pope could bless a gay marriage, and acknowledge the clerical sex abuse scandal by establishing a hot line for abused children, or honoring abuse whistleblowers.

So, you felt the need to aopolgize? I find that somewhat hard to believe. It appears apologetic on the surface, but if one looks a little beyond the writing, and remembers the punishment dolled out to Ms. O'Connor, I see it quite differently, and it gives me hope.

First of all, those suggestions are not only appropriate, but perfectly toungue in cheek funny. An abortion clinic? Blessing a gay marriage? Good stuff there, kids. However, my favorite is the hotline suggestion. Well done. I don't see WHY that would be offensive to such good people leading such a diligent and loving flock.

Junior officials wrote the memo following a brainstorming session intended to discuss ideas for the visit, the first to Britain by the head of the Roman Catholic Church since Pope John Paul II in 1982.

Though some included advice for Britain's government on how to approach the abuse scandal, the ministry condemned many of the proposals as "ill-judged, naive and disrespectful."

Britain's ambassador to the Vatican, Francis Campbell, met senior Vatican officials offer a formal apology and one individual involved in drafting the memo has been transferred to other duties, the ministry said.

This is truly a thing of beauty. Several people opened their mouths and allowed their voices to be heard. I find it interesting that this memo was "leaked" so carelessly. Was it really? I also find it curious that only ONE of the participating parties was punished, and by punished, I mean "transferred". How appropriate, after all, isn't that what Popey on High did with his offending priests as Red Hat Wearing Ratfucker? Oh, the Karma. Well played, ministry. I feel that transfer was MORE than the aprropriate punishment, in light of the behavior of the "falsely offended" members of the vatican.

"The Foreign Office very much regrets this incident and is deeply sorry for the offense which it has caused," the ministry said in a statement. "We strongly value the close and productive relationship between the U.K. government and the Holy See and look forward to deepening this further with the visit of Pope Benedict to the U.K."

The document featured a diagram listing people likely to have an influential role during, or in commenting on, the visit — which ranked Scottish singer Susan Boyle, the surprise reality television star, as more important than Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

An accompanying note acknowledged many of the ideas contained in the memo were extreme. "These should not be shared externally...," it read, explaining the document was "the product of a brainstorm which took into account even the most far-fetched of ideas."

Translation: "We are sooooo sorry that we hurted your feewings, but guess what? Susan Boyle is more important than your archbishop!" I also love the attatched memo to the memo. "Don't hold us accountable, after all, these are just far fetched as they are, we are looking into them. *wink wink*"

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said an apology from Britain had been received through the Holy See's embassy. "They supplied all the explanations, and there is nothing to add," Lombardi said.

Do I sense a large roll of duct tape with this one? Lombardi FINALLY kept his mouth shut? I guess he would have to, after all, how can one argue with, "oops, my bad...don't know how you saw that...we are looking into it...we transferred one else...kinda."

Sheer perfection.

Britain's Scotland Secretary Jim Murphy on Sunday branded the suggestions contained in the memo as despicable. "These are vile, they're insulting, an embarrassment, and on behalf of the whole of the United Kingdom, I would want to apologize," he said, during an election debate.

During his visit to Scotland and England, Pope Benedict XVI will give a speech in London, attend an ecumenical service at Westminster Abbey and conduct a public mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park.

Then the blowhard speaks. There is a key phrase here that can explain his "outrage". Do you see it? "DURING AN ELECTION DEBATE".

Nice try, Jimmy.

So, the changes that have been ever so subtle in the past eighteen years since Ms. O'Connor's performance are that people are not so afraid to speak out against big organizations that shroud themselves in "respect". The penalty seems to have also lessened as the shock waves of the corruption of Catholicism ripple accross the globe.

Thank you, Sinead. I will only accept your apology for apologizing. All those who call out the wrong doings of the most powerful should raise their heads high, and pity those who live in fear of reprisal from those who, themselves, have recently fallen from grace.

I have a headache? *blink*

Is Roethlisberger's brain trauma at fault for recent behavior?

By Carl Prine
Sunday, April 25, 2010

On Nov. 22, the helmeted head of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger met the knee of onrushing Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson.

The quarterback with two Super Bowl rings wobbled off the field and sat out the next game. Less than four months later, he stood accused of raping a Georgia student in a Milledgeville nightclub, and quiet questions began: Six years in the National Football League, 242 sacks, four serious head traumas -- three on the field and one from a nearly fatal 2006 motorcycle crash -- and two sexual assault allegations after boozy evenings in Nevada and Georgia.

On Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered Roethlisberger, 28, to undergo a battery of medical tests, part of a conditional punishment plan that could bench him for up to six games and cost him about $2.8 million.

Medical experts consulted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review refused to diagnose the root causes of Roethlisberger's pattern of self-destructive behavior. But frontal lobe brain trauma has long been known to affect mood, judgment, interpersonal relations, foresight and the inhibition that keeps most others from displaying inappropriate social behavior -- what's called "executive function" by neurologists and psychiatrists.

*beats head off of keyboard*

Hey ladies! Forget about Viagra! Juat whack him a few times in his frontal lobe!


Back up the stupid express for just one minute, please. Our "beloved" Big Ben Roethlisberger has now, for AT LEAST, the second time, been accused of sexual assault. Lucky for his stupid ass, there wasn't enough DNA to determine more than the fact that she had sex with a human. I am not making that up. So, the girl dropped the charges so as to NOT be vilified by the media in good ol' Pittsburgh Pennsyltucky. Big Ben (that has new meaning now) is now suspended for six games as punishment from the NFL (No Fucking Logic).

This is my favorite part...

"Ben Roethlisberger is a guy with a lot of concussions," said famed forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht. "It would be a very wise decision, a very appropriate one, for the NFL to test him for damage related to them. That's being very fair to Ben.

"It's conceivable to think that there is a possibility that those concussions have led to some behavioral issues. The question I pose is simple: Can someone with several chronic or repetitive head injuries later display behavior that is socially undesirable? It's certainly possible, but we won't know that unless there is a proper evaluation, then work-up and treatment plan. It would be medically negligent not to include these sorts of tests as a part of this disciplinary process."

Oh Mr. Wecht, I know that you too have been caught with your pants down, so to speak, but really, this is no way for you to redeem yourself politically. You seem to think that this city gives a shit about a player when he is NOT winning gold rings. You are a forensic pathologist. How about you wait until Ben is dead before you render your diagnosis and concerns, k?

This is pretty good too...

Wecht doesn't want to excuse Big Ben's boorish behavior, only to ask the NFL to strongly consider the causes of it, including underlying brain trauma. The former Allegheny County coroner was so concerned with the issue that he convened a March 12 and 13 pow-wow of leading concussion experts at Duquesne University -- a conference he provocatively titled "Is Football Bad for the Brain?"

IS FOOTBALL BAD FOR THE BRAIN???? Again, are you FUCKING KIDDING ME??? No, not a problem to be hit in the head repeatedly, Mr. Wecht. I see why you make the big bucks there, genius.

I think that the question is, "should we excuse someone who gets paid A LOT of money to be hit in the head, for bad behavior that may or may not be attributed to his CHOICE in profession?"

Jesus jumped up FUCK, people! This asshole was an asshole long before he took a few whacks from defensive linemen. You know how I know that? BECAUSE HE JOINED THE NFL! That seems to be all you morons recruit anymore. (again, thank you, Titans!)

Please explain to me again, why it is that Ben likes to fuck young girls who are drunk out of their minds in public places...I will be on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how it is actually the lineman's fault for hitting Benny too hard.

I say, HIT HIM AGAIN! Hit this asshole as many times as it takes to get through his ego driven skull that women are not objects to be abused and left as garbage!

Maybe we should hold the entire NFL responsible for promoting an event that causes men to rape women. How does THAT sound, you feeble minded twits? No? You don't like that? Then stop making excuses for assholes who choose to live their lives as a perpetual twelve year old, including playing a game for a living and doing things that they have been told repeatedly NOT to do!

If you can't control your gladiators because they have "frontal lobe" damage..then do us all a favor and put them back in their cages.

In a society that LOVES to make excuses and lay blame for bad behavior, you sure have stepped up your game with this one.

Ben's representatives won't comment. HAHAHA! Even THEY know this is bullshit!

Stop this crap. They know the risks when they join this idiotic organization. I don't see why you have to make the rest of us unsafe by justifying what they KNOW can be a result of their choices.

Concussions can make a pro ball player into an asshole rapist. Beautiful.

"Until we examine a lot of people like Ben Roethlisberger and study the histories of brain injury and relate them to exhibited behavior, we won't be able to answer the essential questions that need to be answered," Mayer said. "There's so much more we need to know."

That's why the NFL last week donated $1 million to Boston University to study chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Known simply as "CTE" or "punchdrunk syndrome," it's a degenerative brain condition that affects cognition and player conduct, eventually leading to dementia. Post-mortem examinations of the brains of Steelers Terry Long, Justin Strzelczyk and Hall of Fame center Mike Webster found evidence of the syndrome.

"punchdrunk syndrome"? You mean, "I am a moron syndrome". I let another man beat me senseless, and then I can do whatever I want because of it.

How do you plan on "preventing" this so-called condition of turning an otherwise "great all American guy" into a douche bag?

Maybe bigger helmets? No? about you just play flag football. No?

You won't do shit about it. I know this because it is the violence and physical strain of the game that puts asses in the seats. Those asses pay for your private jets.

Good luck selling flag football tickets, or banning hitting someone in the head.

Just another excuse to add to the list of staggeringly stupid shit spouted by both the medical community and it's parnership with the NFL.

You never cease to disappoint.

Holy shit! I just became a Titans fan!

Titans get Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle in sixth round
By Doug Farrar

The Tennessee Titans may have questions about what they see on game film from their sixth-round safety, but there won't be any questions about his intelligence, determination or character. With the 207th overall pick (the final pick in the sixth round), Tennessee drafted Florida State's Myron Rolle. There's some real football skill there, but it's what Rolle did outside of football in the 2009 season that made news.

Rolle, who graduated in 2 ½ years from Florida State with a 3.75 GPA, spent the 2009 football season as a Rhodes Scholar, studying in Oxford, England at the highest academic level. Still, he was labeled by some as a football deserter - someone whose love for the game was questioned. He came back to the game in time for all the 2010 pre-draft activities, recording decent numbers at the scouting combine and in a private workout for NFL scouts.,236457

In recent years, I have all but refused to watch professional sporting events in the U.S. The reasons are not that complicated. I am tired of hearing about how our overpaid, over-indulged, severely character flawed athletes are "American heros". Thanks to Ben Roethlisberger, my city has, yet again, sustained embarrassment thanks to one of our so-called heros. Ben, apparently, has an affinity for young, drunk college students, and can't seem to sort out the need for self control. This is, of course, after having the pleasure of other "heros" like Plaxico Burres, the idiot who shot himself in the leg. Ahh, the glory of the NFL.

Now, here comes Mr. Rolle. A Rhodes Scholar??? Unbelieveable. For an organization who prides themselves on the "character" of their members, "character" certainly is in short supply. I am happy to see that someone with a brain, priority systems, and character FINALLY entered their ranks. Congratulations, Dr. Rolle. What a novel concept, Mr. Rolle explains that exercizing his brain is just as important and necessary as exercizing his body. As a matter of fact, he delves further and explains that it is NECESSARY to exercize both. Stunning.

So, I will make this short. If the parents out there reading this have half a brain in their heads, they will tell their children EXACTLY what constitutes a role model, and Mr. Rolle is it. I don't care if he warms the bench for ten years. This man has accomplished more than imaginable for most people, and he did it with determination and intelligence. THAT is a role model...even without a Super Bowl ring.

Congratulations to the Tennessee Titans, he may have been a last round choice, but to those of us who are tired of the bullshit of the NFL, you just redeemed a little bit of my respect. For what it is worth...

This year, I will watch the Titans...and hope to see Dr. Rolle take the field, just so that I can tell my sons who he is.

Oh, and on a side note, a young, athletically gifted, brilliant young man...and he is BLACK! LOL The Kryptonite of the Republican party. It is a true thing of hurry up, trailor dwelling, conservative NFL fans, buy his jersey! HAHAHA!

Mother, May I?

I remember being a small child and playing "Mother, may I?" on the school playground. For those of you who have never played that game, (this is specifically directed at you!) it was a game of trickery and manners. One child stood a distance from a line of other children. The "mother" child would give instructions like "take one giant step forward". The other children then had to respond with "Mother, may I?". Permission was then either granted or denied. If the child did not state "Mother, may I?" before carrying out the action, they went back to the starting line. The "mother" child would use inflection and speed of the command to trick the child into NOT saying the proper response.The first child to be able to reach out and touch "mother" was declared the winner, and had the privledge of becoming "mother" in the next round.

I took my ten year old son to work with me this past week, in honor of "take your child to work day", which apparently interferes with the public school system's state fund raising...otherwise known as "standardized testing". However, that is another rant for another day.

My son awakened at 4:45am in excitement for his journey to work with Mom. I am employed in a labor capacity with ALL MEN! This is a ten year old boy's dream job. He was excited to see our equipment and get a ride in the infamous John Deere Gator that he has heard so much about. We stopped at the local gas station for snacks and coffee for Mom. He placed his snacks on the counter and said "good morning!" to the young man that rings up my coffee every morning. The young man smiled and conversed with Adam for several minutes about the excitement of his day. Adam then bound out the front door smiling and thanking the young man for wishing him well in his adventure.

While we drove the 45 minutes it takes for me to arrive at work, I reminded Adam to please use his good manners and to closely follow instructions while in the workplace. I have three sons, ages almost 15, almost 13 and 10. (Some days I wish that I could put a shot of Whiskey in my coffee!) Adam is the one who requires constant reminders about EVERYTHING. I was a little stressed out about taking this particular child to work with me that day. He is my "difficult" child. He is strong willed and high energy at all times. This is a parenting challenge, to say the least.

Our first task of the day is to clean the litter from the sidewalks of several city blocks. Adam happily, and dutifully went about his task without complaint, and even listened when I told him to try NOT to get run over by a bus. Whew, first stressor dealt with. Along his journey, we ran into one of the department managers. I introduced Adam to him, and Adam reached out his hand and said, "Hello, Mr. ___". I was so proud of him. When the man walked away, Adam asked me if he was a boss. I said yes, and asked him how he knew that. He said, "He looked like a boss, and he wears a tie, Mom...geeez *eye roll*". Well played, Adam.

Adam worked well with my co-workers, and remembered to always give them a title when speaking directly to them. Mr. Mike was his favorite. He helped him bend a penny in a vice. Oh, the things that entertain males. Mr. Dave showed him how the Robins will eat the grubs from the newly cut sod, and helped Adam up when he stumbled and fell, landing a large piece of sod directly over his face. Adam got up laughing, and Mr. Dave couldn't help but laugh along. Mr. Alex commiserated endlessly with Adam over the pains of dealing with Mom everyday. Thanks, Alex. Mr. Joe showed Adam how to use the mower, and even let him cut for a while. Adam beamed all day long. I began to wonder if his face would cramp from the permanent smile.

Finally, it is lunchtime. We go to the Cafe located on the seventh floor, and I am anxious for Adam to meet one of the nicest people employed in this hospital, another Mr. Joe. He is the head chef. Adam meets him, shakes his hand and carries a fairly long conversation about his day thus far. Then it is time to order lunch, and Adam does so, remembering to say "please" and "thank you". He gobbled down his personally crafted grilled cheese (just what head culinary chef LOVES to prepare) and we head back to work for the afternoon. We saw, and met several more managers throughout the day, and even a Vice President. Adam carried himself like a proud little man, and never needed further reminding of how to behave.

When I went to the Cafe the following day to order my lunch, the man behind the counter asked to speak with me for a moment. He stated that he was stunned by Adam's behavior and complimented me on how polite and happy he was. I actually hear this quite often in reference to all three of my boys, and have heard it since they were very young. I replied to him with thanks and told him that it saddens me that my son stands out, simply because he was respectful. He proceded to tell me that there were many children in there the previous day, they were children of doctors, administrators and CFOs. He said that they were rude and demanding, just like their parents. He thanked me again for raising a son that knows how to treat people, even the lowly people working behind a counter. I laughed and said, "It isn't that difficult, when you understand what it feels like to be viewed as "lowly".

I was proud of my son that day, and everyday for various things. You see, I spend my day observing people, and their behavior. I see people bump into each other without even so much as an "excuse me". I see them drop doors on the people entering behind them. I see them berate the men and women at the information desk, as if they are not even worthy of basic human respect. I see you refuse to hang up your cell phone, or even take pause when ordering your lunch. I rarely hear the words, "please" or "thank you". I see children damaging other's property or running around screaming while the mother or father chats away on their phone, or simply ignores them. I hear children calling adults by their first names and seemingly not even know the existance of the word, "please" when making a request.

I have taught my sons to ALWAYS hold a door for someone, especially someone struggling with it, even if you don't plan on entering yourself. I have taught them to help people when they see the need for it. I have instructed them repeatedly on the need to show respect and poise when faced with someone deserving of it. They are to ALWAYS show basic human kindness and respect, and if they do not, they will be reprimaded for it, even if god himself is standing there. The incredible thing is, I don't have to remind them. They see the positive reactions and benefits of behaving properly, and they continue with what is CLEARLY working for them. My 15 years old son can enter the local store or mall with his friends, and NOT be followed by the manager or security simply because he has carried himself appropriately and spoken with respect to those people.

I suppose that I am not so much speaking about manners, as I am about respect and kindness. Does one not reflect another? Where did this lost art go? Is it really that difficult to take a moment to tap into your instinctual human empathy and behave the way that you would like to see other behave toward you? Why have we lost this skill? Granted, it is difficult to smile through the rudeness of others, but why do we succumb to the same behavior? I am guilty of that, myself. When met with someone who behaves in a way that is disgusting or distainful, I will open my mouth and give them a little dose of their own medicine. That, in itself, is a delicate art. I am not so delicate. LOL I have been chastised by my own sons for that very behavior. Good for them, even their mother is not exempt from behaving appropriately.

I wonder, as they grow older, will they succumb to the frustration of dealing within a rude and self-serving society? Have I actually harmed their ability to deal in a world where their behavior is all but rendered obsolete? I truly hope not. I write this, in the hope that there are others feeling the same frustration and confusion. I also write it in the hopes that some of you will pull your heads from your asses and start raising your children as human beings instead of wild animals with no self control or language skills!

There is a fast food restaurant near where I work, and the sign on the front counter states this....

"We will be more than happy to assist you when you hang up your phone. Until then, we will take the next customer in line. Thank you, MGMT."

Good for you. It's a start.

Jesus, people. You are being parented by Burger King. Wake up.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I stop.....and think...

Death of 'Caveman' ends an era in Idaho
Richard Zimmerman, known to all as Dugout Dick, succumbs at 94.

Known as the "Salmon River Caveman," Richard Zimmerman lived an essentially 19th century lifestyle, a digital-age anachronism who never owned a telephone or a television and lived almost entirely off the land.

"He was in his home at the caves at the end, and it was his wish to die there," said Connie Fitte, who lived across the river. "He was the epitome of the free spirit."

Richard Zimmerman had been in declining health when he died Wednesday.

Few knew him by his given name. To friends and visitors to his jumble of cave-like homes scrabbled from a rocky shoulder of the Salmon River, he was Dugout Dick.

Read more:

I had never heard of this man prior to reading this article. I intend to do some more reading about him and those who lived similar lives. I find it humorous that I will use technology to research such a man, but that is the very thought that made me take pause, and....think.

I thought about my life, and what a stark contrast it is to his. I am somewhat resistant to technology,or at least I thought I was. I refused to use computers for many years. I refused to allow my children to use the internet for what seemed, to them, to be an eternity. I resisted texting and cell phones, to the point of teasing from friends...well...that is...until recently. I have "caved" to all of the pressures of "necessary technology".

When I try to imagine a life lived entirely dependent upon one's own resources and personal resolve, I cannot fathom the loneliness. I wonder if he felt profound loneliness, or a peace that is immeasurable by the technologically savvy world that he left behind. There is a part of me that envies him tremendously. I cannot imagine the beauty that he experienced. I have seen starry nights and beautiful sunsets. I imagine a man quietly strumming his guitar with nothing to interfere with the pure sound of music created from an uninterrupted emotion. If I combine those beautiful nights with a sound so pure, my mind wanders into what feels like a dream. One of the most beautiful sounds on this earth is the sound of rain falling in harmony with nature. I wonder how many nights he fell asleep to the rhythm of raindrops and the sounds of animals that live as freely as he did. Is that what his music sounded like? I wish I could have heard it, just once. Where did his mind go when he felt peace? I would love to visit that place.

The Earth yielded everything that he required to stay alive. He worked hand in hand with what we disposed of, discarded, and what we take for granted, just to sustain his life...for over 90 years. I find myself in a very strange emotional place while I think of what it must have been like to be him. What was it like to fall asleep in pure silence without the touch of human companionship? It saddens me to think that he lacked one of the greatest feelings on this incredible planet, while experiencing things that most of us will never know. His life could not have been an easy one. To have the soil yield what your body needs to live, or to have animals provide necessary sustenance, you must nurture both...and then destroy them. We, "civilized society", have the pleasure of not raising and nurturing the animals that we eat. We find it a difficult task to even find the time and energy to gather our food at a market where the sweat and ugly part of killing our food has already been done for us. Was he a callous man who could raise an animal from a baby, kill it, and devour it with the idea that "that is just what we do to survive", or did he truly realize the harsh reality of nature's food chain, and accept his place within it?

We have gardens on our patios, or little fenced in areas where we grow things as a hobby. I don't know anyone who sustains their family off of what they grow on their own. We go to our local large chain store, or if you are a more caring person, you head to your local nursery and gather your seedlings, fertilizer, soil, animal repellent, stakes and cages, pots, cute little plant labels, and even ridiculous trinkets to decorate our gardens. What would he say about that? I imagine him laughing at our inability to keep our tomatoes from falling off the vine before they ripen, and then running inside to Google "tomato falls off vine before ripe". Did he use the eggshells from his chickens to prevent the blossom end rot that we would take an hour to determine after asking three different "professionals"? Well, I know he didn't buy a fungicide sold to him by a teenager wearing an orange apron. I have heard so many people say, "I would love to grow my own fruits and vegetables, but it is just too much of a hassle, and I don't have time for that." These are the same people who complain relentlessly about the sub standard quality of those same items sold by their local grocer.

This man took, what we considered "trash", and used it as if it were brand new. Then, incredibly, WE paid him to live in it! He did not charge a fee that would ever make him wealthy, but merely enough to help him to survive. How many times have we all heard this, "My_____ broke this weekend, so I thought about fixing it. I spent all weekend trying to find the parts, and then I realized that I needed a new tool to fix it, so I said 'to hell with it', and I just bought a new one. It only cost me___ more to buy a new one than to fix it." Well, not only did he "fix it", but he may have just used is. He used it the way you left it...broken. Is a door really "broken" or "outdated", or are we just spoiled over-indulged brats?

As I sit here, I hear the pump running on my fishtank. I hear the (riding) mower outside. I hear the noise from my son's room, and the sound of the fan in my laptop, and I wonder to myself, is this the music of MY life? My refrigerator is full of food purchased from someone who paid someone else to kill or harvest it. My windows have just them to keep out the damaging rays of the sun that could fade the paint on my walls. I have a new "energy efficient" furnace with a filtration system to keep out of of those nasty things that the guy who sold it to me said were there. I have three vehicles sitting in my driveway, one of which is one of my favorite possessions. I pay $20 more for a bag of dog food because my dog is allergic the others. I complain relentlessly about how my job barely allows me to make ends meet, but the good news is, I can drive home in my truck.

I am actually a "blue collar" worker. Yes, I get dirty and I sweat to earn my paycheck. Until now, I thought I had a physically demanding job. What I realized is that someone else provides me the opportunity to get dirty and sweat, no one provided that to him. He did it on his own, and relied solely on himself to provide even the soil that stained his clothes. I doubt that he used Oxy Clean or Tide to remove that soil. I wonder if he even cared that it was there.

His photograph is one of a man who has been beaten by the sun, and soaked by the rain for 94 years. We hear the lyrics to songs that talk about the callouses of an old man's hands. I looked at my hands, just now, and I can see the callouses of my life, and the age creeping into the crevices of my fingers. What did his hands look like when he was my age? My hands have held my sons, and felt the touch of the people that I love. Will they remember the feel of my touch? I am a woman, and we have built an entire industry around our skin and our appearance, but he never saw or felt you. I doubt that he ever knew or cared what "alpha hydroxy" was or was supposed to do. Come to think of it, neither do I, and I bet you don't either.

My goodness, how we strive to have so much, and we don't even know what it's purpose is. To us, music is what comes out of expensive speakers mounted in just the right places to accomplish the perfect sound. What was music to him? What inspired him to pick up that guitar and play it? Would we have even considered it to be any good? I guess to understand whether or not it was "good", we would have to feel what inspired it. What a shame, we never will.

I do not envy the hard work that was required to live the life that he chose, and I do not envy the loss of human companionship. I do, however, envy the freedom that he experienced. It came at a heavy price, and that was the life that I lead. I wish that I could have heard his music and felt his hands. I wish that I could have seen the sights that surrounded him and felt the rhythm of the rain, in the ways that he did. But, I would then like to awaken from my dream, and see the people that I love, and hold my sons after a long day at work.

Life is full of choices, consequences, and reward. I try to keep a balance in my life that allows me to experience this world and yet remain a part of it. He chose to leave it behind, and live by his own hand. It is an admirable and poetic existence. I am not a poet, and I do not seek to be admired. My guess is, neither was he, nor was that his desire.

So, I have decided that I will be happy in my life, and hope that he was happy in his. There are people in this world who strive for fame and notoriety, yet he did everything to avoid it. In his attempts at closing out the rest of the world, he invited us in. Thank you, Mr. Zimmerman, for giving us a look at the world that we live in. Sometimes, it takes just stopping and trying to see the world through someone else's eyes, just to see it through your own.