iamtheshoe muse

... sometimes shoe thinks about stuff ...

Monday, February 15, 2010

...to blog or not to blog...

If only I had time to blog, I would blog...but I don't. Some day I will blog, but I don't have the time or energy to blog right now. If I do get some time, and have something worth sharing, I will be sure to blog.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Islamophobia?

Youíve undoubtedly heard about Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, the 22-year-old Iranian-born UNC student that ran down a bunch of fellow students to avenge mistreatment of fellow Muslims. You may have also heard the Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the chief Iranian delegate to the IAEA, say, reading from a statement in reply to possible UN Security Counsel actions, "But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll."

I pray that Taheri-azarís attack isnít a continuation of some movement to attack Americans here at home. Everyone has seen examples of what a few motivated extremists can do. Apparently, due to some technical legal lingo, what Taheri-azar did canít be classified as terrorism because it was one person acting alone. Additionally, there isnít any evidence to suggest he did it with a goal of creating terror, rather it was an act of vengeance. But I have to say that it scares the hell out of me that this guy planned the attack for two months, and had considered some act of vengeance for two years. He also claimed he did it to pay back the US Government for killing his people around the world. That statement make what he did sound like terrorism because, although he didnít come out and say it, if his actions changed US foreign policy it would have the same affect that terrorist organizations attempt to achieve.

A group or groups of people have organized most attacks that Iíve read about here in the states. Taheri-azar claims that he acted alone. Surely there are others in this country that feel as he does, and his attack could embolden others that feel as he does. As I mentioned, Iranís threats to the US could further embolden others to take action. Thatís scary because when individuals are planning these sort of attacks there probably wonít be any communications to monitor, meetings to observe, or any other traces of some illegal activity. Additionally, if these type of attacks are treated as criminal cases, the information probably wonít be readily shared with Federal organizations that might be able to do some analysis on the activities. Also, the media has barely touched the Taheri-azar story, so this potential threat to peopleís safety wonít be well publicized.

I understand that there are millions of peace loving Muslims in the world, including Iranians. But there is a radical element out there that scares me. I donít know how to deal with that fear. Itís different than the fear of walking down a dark street in a bad part of town. Itís different than the fear of confronting someone that did something wrong. Itís different than the fear of investigating that strange sound you hear downstairs. For me itís worse. Itís the fear of being suspect of something, when every sense tells you your right to be scared, and ignoring it for fear of ďprofilingĒ someone. Itís the fear of extremism, something we havenít truly experienced since WWII. Itís the fear of indecision. Itís the fear of being called Islamophobic. I donít want to be an Islamophobe. I fight the feeling everyday. And then I read news stories about Taheri-azar and the Iranian governmentís threats to the US. I hear about attacks against civilians by homicide bombers. I have the memories of 9/11 and all the other attacks by extremists. What am I supposed to think? What am I supposed to do when Iím walking down the street with my kids? It keeps me up at night sometimesÖ What Taheri-azar didÖthatís terrorism if you ask me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

generation neXt excuses for imperfection

i've noticed a trend among young people that i find a bit disturbing. it's been very noticable to me during the olympics but upon reflection i've been hearing it for sometime...especially among professional athletes. what i've noticed is an increase in excuses for substandard or sub-expectation performance. athletics is not the only place i've noticed it. i've heard it from actors, singers (a lot on this season's american idol) and others in the younger generation. almost every story during the olympics includes some background about a former injury, some personal problem overcome, etc. some of them have what i'll call 'good excuses', like the female american downhill skier that had a terrible accident the day before she raced, spent the night in the hospital, and then raced two days later with several injuries. she didn't complain...she went out and did what she went to torino to do...win a medal. unfortunately she didn't win a medal but she gave it all she had.

the neXt generation is marked my a high level of self confidence. that's great, but when they fail they become unrealistic about why they failed. it's always somebody else's fault, or they weren't feeling well, or someone was prejudice against them (i find this one particularly disturbing). the fact is, they just weren't good enough and because they were brought up with everyone telling them how wonderful they are and everyone bending over backwards to make sure they weren't offended, they haven't learned that there's always someone out there better than you and they haven't learned about how to deal with being the loser in a competition. on several occasions on american idol. several competitors blamed the judges for them not getting to the next level. either they were prejudice, or couldn't recognize talent, etc. it seem obvious to me that some folks auditioned just to get on tv, but there were others that had absolutely zero talent but believed they were 'the next american idol'. it's beyond me how some of them could imagine that they could actually compete in the competition. i know it's a tv show and there's a certain level of entertainment that has to be presented. i'm sure we didn't see the bulk of mediocre performers...just the really good ones and the really bad ones. but, some of those mediocre and bad competitors were there because they honestly believed they belonged there. shame on the parents for allowing them to pursue some impossible dream. in the end they just set them up for failure. i'm not saying that parents shouldn't encourage their kids and have them try new things, but to back your kid up all the way to the chopping block is too much. a contributing problem is parents trying to live through their kids...parents, stop that!

we should encourage our kids but also help them be realistic about their abilities and help them assess their strengths and weaknesses. we can help them in their weak areas and maybe they will be a professional athlete, actor, or singer. chances are most of them won't be, so don't chase the impossible dream! be realistic and find your niche. be a contributor to society. stop making excuses for the things you can't do and find that thing you can do better than anyone else or at least the thing you're best at.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

football...and the high jump

damn it! well it was a decent superbowl...and a lot closer than the score indicated as far as i'm concerned as seattle had two balls in the end zone called back on questionable calls. the first one got called back for a offensive interference call that was total crap. it was only a check and the defender had no idea where the ball was. the second one was called back on a holding call that was also crap. you're allowed to frickin' arms up inside a defender...very touchy calls. anyway, i think cowher deserves a superbowl ring...he's earned it a couple of times over.

some good news though...the swede kajsa bergqvist set a world record in the high jump...of course i don't really give a crap about the high jump, but she's hot!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

vodka

i am drinking vodka...having some interesting ideas...thinking "outside the box"...or perhaps just "inside the bottle"...

have you ever tried chocolate flavored vodka? i bought a mini bottle of it today...

i am not a vodka connoisseur...but i've tried a few. my favorite is probably stoli, but i haven't tasted some of the top self brands like grey goose or belvedere. absolut is quite good for mixed drinks. the first time i tried stoli was in east germany. i bought a bottle of plain and a bottle of lemon flavored (i think) stoli from a shop while on a tour before the wall came down. i've seen a few ads for potato vodka lately. i've tried a couple and think they're ok...i'm sure i haven't tried the best though and i hear chopin is the best vodka you can drink. i had an interesting vodka from poland once that was flavored with bison grass called zubrůwka...it was quite tasty. apparently it's fabled to be an aphrodisiac. i don't know if that's true but i have 5 kids so there might be something to it. anyway, i highly recommend you try it if you're a vodka drinker.

do not do shots of vodka unless it is a premium brand and ice cold. seagrams, popov, and smirnoff are not premium brands. i wouldn't recommend doing shots of absolut, three olives, or skyy either. start your shot experience with stoli, then move up the chain towards chopin (though i can't really verify it's the best because i haven't tried it).

ok...i need another drink

Saturday, January 28, 2006

iamtheshoe muse

i just created a new website for my real life work ego...it's called iamthechief. Click here to check it out. i plan to make this a repository for stuff that i dream up while i'm at work. i also added a php bulletin board to begin some forums on issues the troops might like to discuss. since i put my stripe on i've been exposed to new levels of good and bad. on the good side, new doors have opened to make me more effective as a leader. i've also been exposed to some challenges that will help me grow personally and professionally. on the bad side, i'm exposed to upper levels of bullshit that drive me out of my frickin' mind. hopefully as i develop my skills i'll learn how to deal with the bullshit appropriately...right now i just want to punch people in the face.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

iamtheshoe muse

omg i wish i had more time to read! i'm getting very frustrated with the media...i don't know what to believe. i watch cnn and see the overt anti-bush message. i watch fox and see the not-so-cleverly veiled attempt to appear as the not-pro-bush fair and balanced network. fox does do a respectable job at getting both sides of an argument, but guests don't have enough time to make their points so they end up reverting to talking points and we never have a chance to get to the truth.

someone out there please send me some unbiased, fact based, information sources! i know of a couple that appear to have their facts straight...check 'em out

http://www.snopes.com/

http://www.factcheck.org/