Thursday, November 27, 2014

Penguins of Madagascar

Rated PG / 1 hr 32 min / Action - Adventure - Comedy

What is it about?

This movie picks up right after the last Madagascar movie. I think it was Madagascar 236843. It was the one where they sang about circus afros through half of the movie. Anyway the Penguins finally get their long overdue spinoff movie. Their first course of action is to break into Fort Knox to get some golden goodness. A vending machine inside is the last place place to get a special cheesy poof which is their present for Private's birthday. An evil Octopus named Dave kidnaps the penguins and then unveils his plan to get revenge on all penguins who are too cute. The penguins escape and then are rescued by a group of spy-animals known as The North Wind. Now they have competition for who will save the other penguins from the clutches of Dave.

You will like it if...

You enjoyed the antics of the penguins in the other Madagascar movies. They undeniably have more charm than the now stale original Madagascar cast. The story in this iteration of the Madagascar franchise doesn't make any sense in spots, but it's a kids movie so move on already. Also that's part of the charm of the penguins to begin with. It's still packed with enough fun and laughs to keep the young ones entertained. The rivalry with The North Wind doesn't add as much to the movie as it should. The penguins are more entertaining when they are on their own trying to solve a problem, and the script fails to extend their charm past that. It's still better than the last couple of Madagascar movies. Unless you're a fan or have little ones that want to see it, I would wait for it to show up on Redbox.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Horrible Bosses 2

Rated R / 1 hr 48 min / Comedy - Crime

What is it about?

This time around the trio of friends has their own product that they are trying to build into a business. They want to be their own bosses this time. They go on TV to help promote their Shower Buddy or Shower Daddy depending on who you ask. In steps Bert Hanson, a potential investor. He convinces the friends to do business with him. He puts in an order for 100,000 units, and hooks them up with a bank contact for a loan. They complete the manufacturing of their Shower Buddies three days early. When they go to inform Bert of the good news, he cancels the order. It was all part of his plan to run them into bankruptcy then buy their product at auction for much less than what it would cost him otherwise.

You will like it if...

You like raunchy comedies about revenge. The first movie had charm to it, but the various sub-plots made it lose focus. This sequel isn't hampered by those problems. Everything has been stepped up in this sequel. The storyline is more interesting with all of the twists thrown in. The laughs are bigger than the first one. The cast brings just about everyone back. Jennifer Anniston is great as a sex addict. Christoph Waltz is fantastic at acting like a jerk as evidenced in his role from Inglorious Bastards, so his addition in the role of Bert Hanson is perfect. The three main characters played by Bateman, Sudeikis, and Day have improved the rapport they have with each other as well. If you liked the first Horrible Bosses movie then this is a must see. Even if you haven't seen the first one, I would recommend this movie you like raunchier comedies like the Hangover or There's Something About Mary.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Fight Over Immigration Reform

President Obama recently made an executive action to help reform immigration on Thursday. Before he announced the move, John Boehner and Ted Cruz hopped on Youtube to denounce the move. I have seen a lot of people talking about how Obama has overstepped his authority. Obama has since made a speech announcing the move. The media has now had a chance to poke and prod at the facts and present an opinion that misrepresents them. In this blog post I'm going to explore a basic timeline on how this came to be, and then I am going to also look at immigration reform through executive actions in the past.

The Timeline

  • July 1, 2010 - President Obama announces support for immigration reform framework set up by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
  • December 18, 2010 - The Dream Act vote fails in the Senate. Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated that the Dream Act would not be passed alone without some provision to help secure the borders. He stated that it must be part of comprehensive reform. Pundits state that it is unlikely immigration reform will be addressed within the next two years.
  • November 8, 2012 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) stated that immigration reform would be a top priority of the 113th Congress.
  • December 21, 2012 - Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announce that the agency has surpassed it's record number of deportations in the past fiscal year. The new record is set at 409,849 deportations.
  • April 25, 2013 - Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) announces that the House Judiciary Committee will unveil a series of measures aimed at fixing the immigration system bit by bit. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) both state that this approach  has not worked in the past and will not work in the future. They both state that it must be a comprehensive bill.
  • June 27, 2013 - The Senate passes The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. A bi-partisan and comprehensive bill for immigration reform.
  • June 27, 2013 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says, "The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes. We're going to do our own bill, through regular order."
  • January 30, 2014 - House Republicans release a list of general principles they plan to adhere to when talking about immigration reform.
  • February 6, 2014 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) states that the President has to prove that he will enforce immigration law before any immigration reform will be passed. He does not say what actions the President would need to take to prove this.
  • March 13, 2014 - President Obama asks Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to do an inventory of current deportation practices to see how it can be conducted in a more humane manner.
  • March 26, 2014 - House Democrats start a discharge petition hoping to bring the bill passed in the Senate to a vote. They are unable to get the required amount of signatures with House Republicans blocking the move.
  • April 8, 2014 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) states that President Obama has made it almost impossible to ever do immigration reform because of possible changes to deportation policy. He is referring to the study President Obama asked Homeland Security to conduct to make deportation more humane.
  • May 27, 2014 - President Obama asks the Homeland Security chief to hold off on completing a review of U.S. deportation policies to allow the House of Representatives more time to resolve the issue through legislation.
  • June 2, 2014 - President Obama declares an urgent humanitarian situation in response to a more than 90 percent increase of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border. Most of the children attempting to cross the border are fleeing an increase in sustained violence in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Republicans blame Obama for not securing the border, and Democrats blame Republicans for blocking legislation that would allocate more resources towards securing the border.
  • June 25, 2014 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announces plans to sue President Obama "in an effort to compel the president to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country." He doesn't specify which laws the lawsuit would include. The White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, "The fact that they are considering a taxpayer funded lawsuit against the president of the United States for doing his job, I think is the kind of step that most Americans wouldn't support." Boehner's timeline includes him bringing a bill up for a vote in July that would authorize the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to sue the president.
  • June 30, 2014 - President Obama announces his plan to move forward with an executive action for immigration reform. He urges House Republicans to pass a bill to fix the problem if they are concerned about these executive actions. President Obama had spoken with John Boehner (R-OH) the previous week and was told that the House of Representatives would not vote on immigration reform this year. President Obama lashed out saying that the newest excuse for the Republicans lack of action equates to House Republicans saying, "because the system is broken, we shouldn't make an effort to fix it." He also said, "If Congress will not do their jobs, at least we can do ours."
  • July 3, 2014 - President Obama responds to a potential lawsuit brought forth by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) by saying, "Middle-class families can't wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me". He also said, "As long as they're doing nothing, I'm not going to apologize for trying to do something."
  • July 29, 2014 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) states that the House of Representatives "will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion."
  • September 3, 2014 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) states that immigration reform could still happen next year as long as President Obama enforces the law and doesn't change deportation procedures.
  • September 6, 2014 - President Obama decides to delay taking executive actions towards immigration reform until after mid-term elections.
  • November 5, 2014 - President Obama states that he still plans to make an excutive action to implement immigration reform before the end of the year. He also states that any future legislation by Congress would negate any executive action taken.
  • November 6, 2014 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) states that there is no chance for immigration reform over the next two years if President Obama issues an executive action. He goes on to claim that the influx of unaccompanied minors caught crossing the border from Mexico illegally was the cause of inaction by the House. He also blames President Obama for this mass border crossing.
  • November 21, 2014 - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) claims that the executive action has sabotaged chances for bipartisan legislation.
  • November 21, 2014 - President Obama makes his speech announcing his executive action. He asks Congress to "Pass a bill" if they question his authority to put forth this executive action.

Past Executive Actions

  • In 1987 President Ronald Reagan extended protection to minor children of parents who had been granted amnesty.
  • In 1990 President George H. W. Bush established a "family fairness" program that gave protection to family members who were living with immigrants that had been granted amnesty if they had entered the country prior to 1986.

Thoughts

While researching this blog post I came across quite a few things that I thought I knew which turned out to be false. It's surprising how effective a mis-information campaign can be when presented by the press. It just reiterates a blog post I made previously about verifying your news sources.

Based on what I have found, it seems like House Republicans have no intention of working on immigration reform. At least not anytime soon. This is a political ploy to paint President Obama into a corner, forcing him to use executive actions to address the problem. Any executive action is a temporary band-aid over a much bigger problem that can only be fixed by legislation through Congress. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has used every excuse he can make up to explain the delay. Any action that President Obama takes is a convenient excuse even if it's as innocuous as conducting a study to see if current execution of policy can be improved upon. The influx of unaccompanied children to the border has forced President Obama's hand, but the actions of House Republicans caused a delay in action in hopes that they might actually do something. Then Obama delayed action again because of mid-term elections.

Republicans seem to want President Obama to use executive actions, so they can try to portray him as an evil emperor. They will use that as a major talking point to push for the 2016 election for president. It doesn't help that Obama's frustration is showing. His comments telling them to "sue me" doesn't help, and it feeds into Republican complaints that the president is hard to work with. Perhaps he is, or perhaps he is less patient with the political moves that delay the process.

The future looks to have more of the same with the Republicans taking control of the Senate as well as solidifying their hold on the House even more. Any action taken is unlikely to gain bipartisan support because House Republicans seem to only want to address parts of the problem, ignoring the rest. Boehner claims that these executive actions have sabotaged future efforts, but I feel like the opposite should be true. If House Republicans don't like President Obama's executive action then they should feel an urgent need to pass a bill that invalidates the executive action. Thus far it seems as if House Republicans are the only ones delaying action. Instead it looks like they are going to use President Obama's executive action as an excuse to do nothing in order to use it as a political talking point in 2016.

Related Links

Details on President Obama's executive action: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration/

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) response on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/#/watch?v=p72ZtZcrhg0

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Rated PG-13 / 2 hr 3 min / Adventure - SciFi

What is it about?

When we last left Katniss she had just survived her second Hunger Games. She had tied an arrow to a cord of some special material that conducts electricity. She shoots it at the outer barrier just as a bolt of lightning hit. The force field fell apart along with the outer wall of the structure. Katniss was picked up by a rebel faction that lives in District 13. They failed to pick up Peeta, and this made Katniss very upset. Now they want to use Katniss as their mouthpiece to convince the other districts to join the rebellion. She isn't so sure that she wants to participate. President Snow makes the decision easier for her when she sees that he bombed District 12 into oblivion.

You will like it if...

You liked the first two Hunger Games movies. The Mockingjay for me was the worst of the three books in the series, so I wasn't sure it was such a good idea to split that one into two movies. This movie picks up on some of the better parts of the book. There is a lot of rhetoric with quite a bit of political back and forth throughout the film. The script contains more drama than the previous films, but it packs in enough action to satisfy fans of the previous movies in the series. The addition of Julianne Moore to go with Hoffman, Jennifer Lawrence, and others helps to bolster an already stellar cast. While not as good as the last Hunger Games effort, it's still a must see for fans of the series.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Effective Blogging

Normally I would be blogging about my favorite football team or my fantasy football team. This week I have decided to make a change. To be successful you have to constantly tweak and adjust everything you are doing. Looking at the posts that have made the most impact has led me to this change. Some segments of the blog that I enjoy doing are going away. There simply isn't enough support as far as comments or hits to support them. One of those is the writer's playlist that I have enjoyed putting together. I love music, but not everyone has the same taste when it comes to music. You have to cater to your audience. I want to provide value while spending more time writing.

Effective Blog Posts

There are 4 different kinds of posts that have been the most popular and created the most interaction. Let's take a look at each type and see why I think they are so popular.
  • Movie Reviews - I have been doing these from the start of the blog. I am a huge movie fan, so I am going to go see these movies anyway. Movies can give you that short term experience that is almost as intense as a book can be. Why have these posts been successful? You can go a lot of places to get movie reviews, and many of those places get more traffic than this little blog. I think the answer is that I have provided something unique and I have built up trust with some of my readers. People have come up to me to say that my reviews are right in line with what they think of the movie. What makes my reviews unique is that I don't give an overall rating. I feel like different people like different things. My goal when reviewing a movie is to give people what they need to decide if they should go see the movie. Giving people an overall rating on my opinion of the movie won't help towards that end if they like action movies with tons of explosions, and I prefer intellectual thrillers.
  • Guides - These posts teach others how to do certain things. I haven't posted one of these in a while, but my guide to building characters is still one of my most popular posts on the blog (you can read it here). I have found that authors and writers are always trying to find tips and tricks that will help them to improve their craft or make more money off of their work. I know because I do the same, and it's one of the reasons I follow Lindsey Buroker on Twitter. I promise you it has nothing to do with her being a wonderful person who I chat with on occaision. I really think she may be a dragon in disguise, so I'm a little scared when she replies to my tweets.
  • Current Topics - My most popular post to date has to do with E-book Subscription Services (read it here), and I did a follow up post about Kindle Unlimited when Amazon rolled that out which was also very popular (read it here). My recent post about being a feminist was also one of my more popular posts (read it here). It's easy to see why posts like these are popular. I try to provide a unique perspective that gives people something to think about. Sometimes I have some questsions that haven't been answered, so I strive to find those answers for myself and others who may be interested. Chuck Wendig is one of the best I have seen at tackling current issues while making it entertaining. Beware the potty mouth if you seek out his twitter or blog.
  • Events - The one critique event that I have participated in has been popular as well. It's always nice to help out your fellow writers/authors. I also posted an author interview that was quite a bit of fun. All of these posts have been popular because we have been able to pull in multiple sources to help promote them. Four of my top ten blog posts are part of one of these events.

The Future

I plan to spend more time on these kinds of blog posts. Posting daily or almost daily does help my overall amount of traffic to the blog, but there is less interaction with these posts. None of these posts are able to pull the kind of attention that I feel would justify the time spent on them. It ends up being a trade off of quality for quantity that I don't feel is worth it. I would rather spend that time writing fiction. I will continue to experiment with the format of this blog to hopefully find other things that work, but I will also strive to provide more content that fits into the categories above.

This is what is working for me, but it might not work for your blog. I suggest to everyone who writes a blog to re-evaluate what is working and isn't working for your blog every once in a while, and make whatever adjustments needed. This blog has become more of a diary and football blog as of late when I should be focusing on what is important. As much as I love football and music, I don't see either as being part of my future career plans. It doesn't make much sense for me to continue on that path when my time would be better spent on other projects.

Thanks For Reading! Catch up on the first season of Grim before it's done! Grim Season 1 on Wattpad! - http://www.wattpad.com/story/15571872

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To

Rated PG-13 / 1 hr 50 min / Comedy

What is it about?

Harry and Lloyd are back and just as dumb as ever. Lloyd has been catatonic for the past 20 years over the Samsonite girl from the first Dumb and Dumber movie. Harry has been visiting and taking care of him this whole time. Lloyd then reveals that it was a gag this whole time. Harry then lets him know that he needs a kidney or he's going to die. They both find out that Harry has a daughter from a postcard that was sent to him from the 1990's. They go to meet the mother to see if she knows anything. She tried to contact the daughter through letter, but it was returned to sender with a note saying not to try to contact her again. Harry and Lloyd now go on a mission to find Harry's daughter so she can donate a kidney to save Harry's life.

You will like it if...

You liked the original and can ignore the scumbaggery. What bothers me is all of the racism and sexism that plays throughout the movie that is just plain not funny. What's the point in it if it's not funny or original? Those kind of jokes are made to show how rediculous racism and sexism are and to show them in a negative light. Anchorman is a prime example. I love that movie even though sexism is a major theme, but it's so rediculous that you can't take it seriously. Anchorman doesn't portray sexism in a positive light either, it leads to the ruin of the main character's carreer at one point. Dumb and Dumber To portrays racism and sexism in a positive light as if it's OK and we should find it funny. It tries to show it as being rediculous because the main characters are so stupid. Instead it diminishes the characters because their reactions are similar to that of real racists and sexists that troll about society today. Especially Lloyd who comes off as a scumbag throughout most of the movie. I usually don't recommend that people not go see a movie unless it is a complete waste of time because of how terrible it is. I can't recommend that anyone go see this movie because I have a huge problem with anyone trying to perpetuate inequality because of race, sex, sexual orientation, the color of your socks, size of your truck, what level you are on in Candy Crush, etc.. Instead I will say that if you are looking for a fun movie that will have you smiling and laughing then go see Big Hero 6. It is vastly superior to this movie in almost every way. The trailer for it is below.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Writer's Playlist - November 12th Edition

The writer's playlist consists of fifteen songs that make a playlist of close to an hour. If you have any song suggestions for the list please leave it in the comments!

The List


  1. Kendrick Lamar - B*tch Don't Kill My Vibe
  2. Jodeci - Feenin'
  3. Elle Varner, A$AP Ferg - Don't Wanna Dance
  4. Sam Smith, A$AP Rocky - I'm Not The Only One
  5. B.O.B., T.I., Juicy J - We Still In This B*tch
  6. Jay-Z - Can't Knock The Hustle
  7. Ariana Grande, The Weeknd - Love Me Harder
  8. Tove Lo - Habits(Stay High)
  9. Hall & Oats - Maneater
  10. Rihanna - Stay
  11. Mary Lambert, B.O.B. - Secrets
  12. Dire Straights - Money For Nothing
  13. Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World
  14. Lady GaGa - Venus
  15. Miley Cyrus - Party In The USA

Friday, November 7, 2014

Interstellar

Rated PG-13 / 2 hr 49 min / Adventure - SciFi

What is it about?

There is a blight spreading across the planet. Millions have already died due to starvation. Those who are left try to survive, but plantlife is going extinct in the face of the blight. Matthew McConaughey plays former pilot who lives on his corn farm with his son and daughter. His daughter finds a signal caused by gravity that seems to have a message. He helps his daughter decipher the message, which leads them to a secret base. It turns out to be a base for NASA, and they want Matthew to pilot a critical mission. They are looking for a new planet for humankind to populate. He's the only one left who has any experience outside of simulators, but if he goes on this mission he may never see his children again. There's also no guarantee that the mission will be successful.

You will like it if...

You like epic science fiction movies. Christopher Nolan has become a master of making large scale movies like this. This movie is hauntingly beautiful in spots. Some of the visuals are simply awe-inspiring. The space shots aren't as pretty as those in Gravity, but the script isn't mind-numbing either. The pace is slow, but never feels that way. I was surprised to see how much time had passed when I looked at my smartphone to see that it was three hours later. McConaughey in particular gives a powerful performance along with decent performances from Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck, and Matt Damon in supporting roles. With any movie like this the science has been fudged to help justify the narritive, so there are a few things that you have to ignore while watching. That goes for just about any great work of fiction. If you have any interest in seeing this movie then you should go see it. It's a long one though, so be sure to use the facilities before it starts.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Movement

With all of the craziness that took place on Tuesday it made me think of how we can make a change for the positive in our country, our world, and our lives. It's easy to say that things are messed up. What can we do to fix these problems? Some of these problems are on a scale that it is hard to comprehend how any one person can make a difference.

Interestingly enough we have been given the blueprint on how to do this by another movement that was corporately sponsored. The Tea Party. Unfortunately it took and still takes a lot of money to keep that movement going. There are some important lessons we can learn from them though. If you look at their success and how it was done, why can't we do the same for what we find to be important?

Research

We should first research the subject to the point of being an expert on the subject. If you have the facts on your side then it's hard for others to argue against you. Everything you can think of has most likely been tried or at least researched at some point or another. Information is your ammunition when arguing for a course of action. If anyone is able to break down your argument then you lose credibility. You might only get one chance to win someone over.

Once your initial research is done, a possible course of action should come to light. You should attempt to discuss your ideas with others. People will surprise you and come up with new ideas or thoughts you hadn't encountered before. You need to be thorough and obtain proof or information that backs up your assertions. You also need to be prepared for all counter-arguments no matter how bizarre they may be.

Make a Catchy Movement Name and Slogan

This is your chance to become a musician. We're looking to create a chorus that people can repeat over and over while protesting. It should be short, convey the message, and preferably rhyme or sound catchy. It's like building a brand. You might need several slogans to push forward with your idea. This is what you have written on posterboards.

The name of the movement should be even shorter. You will need something to call the movement for social media hashtags and any websites that you may need in the future. I'll get more into that in a bit. Coming up with the name of the movement and these slogans can be just as crucial as everything else. Having great ideas won't mean anything if it doesn't resonate with the average man. It not only needs to be a great idea, but it also needs to have a name that sounds good. People can be fickle and may not support you simply because your favorite color is blue. Don't give them any reason to ignore you.

Repeat, Repeat, and Repeat some more

This is one of the most important things I have learned from the Tea Party's campaigning. You can convince some people that water is dry and the sky is green if you keep repeating it over and over again. It's one of the most interesting ways to convince people of your ideas, but it can't just be you. Part of the Tea Party's success is their ability to spread the word across all of their supporters through repetition. Every one of their supporters is asked to repeat their ideas using the exact same phrases over and over again. If the same person hears the same thing from several different people then they are more likely to go along with it. This ties into the next section.

Be Social Everywhere

As an individual it will be hard to build a following from scratch. If you have great personal wealth then you can use the same model as the Tea Party. You can afford to use paid actors and speakers to pass along your ideas. You can build pre-made posters and placards that look professional and can be handed out to the curious people who show up to find out what's going on. Many of them will join in on the fun.

Unfortunately most of us are working paycheck to paycheck to pay the rent. The next best thing you can do is to build a following through social media, meeting people in person, and friends/family. It's unlikely you will be able to get any press coverage unless you are able to build a larger following. The best way you can do that is to socialize with people any way you can. The more you can get others talking about it the bigger the movement becomes. Unfortunately this could take several years before your movement gains enough traction to get noticed.

If there are any websites that discuss similar ideas then you need to be active in their comments or forums. This adds a bit of credibility if you are accepted by those who are regulars in these circles especially if they are considered experts. You also need a landing page that outlines your ideas with the proof or supporting documents included. Most won't read it all, but it may also spark further discussion with those who do. For those who skim your blog or website, you can use your headers to put emphasis on thosy catchy slogans.

Your Movement

So what are your ideas? What would you like to see changed within the government, society, etc..? I would love to hear and discuss them in the comments!

Monday, November 3, 2014

NFL Week 9

I'm coming off a high last week with my Redskins beating the Cowboys, our biggest rivals. Two of my fantasy football teams are going to need some help with Matt Forte on his bye week, and my other top running back Gio Bernard down with an injury. Please pray for the welfare of my fantasy teams this week. I'm just starting this blog post at about a minute until halftime, so I have a lot to say about the game as it has gone so far.

Redskins vs. Vikings


The Redskins offense so far has looked good with RGIII back under center. Alfred Morris has been running harder than I have seen him all year. He had 50 yards and a touchdown through the first quarter. RGIII makes his first bad throw of the game which results in an interception. I'll go more into that when I go on to talk about the refs. RGIII is holding onto the ball way too long. Take what the defense gives you RGIII! The Redskins take the lead again on a drive featuring some hard running with Morris. It's clear that the Redskins offense should run through Alfred Morris even if he doesn't get 8 yards a carry. The pass might be sexier, but the running game opens everything esle up. Some bad blocking has bottled Morris up which stalled a drive. Redskins settle for a field goal, and currently have a 6 point lead. RGIII just made 2 very impressive plays. He changed a running play to switch to the other side to turn a potential loss to a 7 yard gain. Then he hit Desean Jackson in stride for a big gain. Morris ends the drive with a 4 yard run for his second TD of the game. The Redskins go for 2 with a pass. RGIII holds onto the ball too long and loses the ball. The attempt fails. There is only three and a half minutes left in the game, and Alfred Morris is not in the game. What are you thinking Gruden?!? The offense runs through Morris. RGIII struggles and misses an easy throw on 4th down that would have given the Redskins a first down.

The pass rush and run defense has looked good for most of the first half. Bridgewater has missed on some wide open receivers running in the secondary. I've been worried about our secondary all game, and it's justified. Right before the half the Vikings finally hit for a TD to make the game 10-7 going into halftime. The first drive after that half and all of a sudden the Redskins can't stop the run. Bridgewater has been very inconsistent, but for the most part has made good decisions. The Vikings offensive line has not looked good, and the Redskins defenders have been in Bridgewater's face almost the whole game. The Vikings just went down the field with Teddy Bridgewater picking the Redskins apart. The Redskins put no pressure on him at all that drive and they give up an easy touchdown. The Redskins are doing a bit better on putting pressure on the Vikings QB, but they are leaving multiple receivers wide open for some inexplicable reason. The Redskins can't seem to stop Asiata or anyone else for that matter on the Vikings offense. I think it's obvious that the Redskins play man to man better than zone, and they are playing zone over and over again. The Vikings take the lead again. They also convert on their 2 point try to make it a 3 point lead.

The refs have singlehandedly brought the Vikings back into the game before halftime. They took away a clear interception from the Redskins. A few plays later when the Redskins have the ball they give an interception to the Vikings when the ball clearly bounces off the ground. They are now reviewing a play for a TD throw to Desean Jackson. It's clearly a touchdown and the call stands. This officiating crew hasn't overturned a call on the field yet today. It seems like certain crews don't care how bad their call is, they aren't going to overturn it.

I put this loss squarely on Jim Hazlett's shoulders. There are times when he will call a perfect game like last week when Dallas inexplicably decided to pass and pass some more when the Redskins could not stop Demarco Murray. Then there are other times, like today, where the players on defense look lost out there. There did not seem to be a gameplan on defense today. They started off by putting lots of pressure on Teddy Bridgewater, and the Vikings needed the refs to make a couple of bad calls in their favor to score 7 points. Then the second half comes and they let him off the ropes. Teddy finally gets into a rythm and picks apart our secondary who weren't playing within 5 yards of anyone. This is such a disappointment after such a great game last week.

Surprises

The Dolphins are destroying the Chargers. Phillip Rivers who has been one of the most efficient QBs in the league has thrown 3 interceptions. What is going on here? I knew the Dolphin defense has been decent all year, but this is crazy. 37-0 victory for Miami.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I Am A Feminist

fem·i·nism
noun
feminism

    the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

I got into an interesting discussion today on twitter in response to a blog post about feminism. I will post a link at the end here. First I want to talk about why feminism is important and what we all can do to help change the world for the better.

Killing Stereotypes

Look up and re-read the definition of feminism. Does it say anywhere that feminists must be unattractive lesbians who hate men? There are several zombie stereotypes that need to die first before progress can be made. I suggest you aim your confetti cannons for the head.

Feminists are regular people like you or me. Err.. maybe more like you than me. I like Legos and everyone knows that feminists can't play with Legos or their face will explode. See how rediculous that sounds? That's how rediculous it is to try to fit all feminists into a nice neat box of stereotypes.

Feminists can be anyone, even people who don't identify themselves as feminists! That's right! There is no secret handshake to get into the club. We don't need no stinking membership cards! All it takes is for people to stand up and support gender equality.

The Denial Mentality

It seems like there is always an excuse for men and women to keep the status quo. Some people don't like to rock the boat because it might sink. Well I have news for you all, the boat already has a leak. We're bailing out water slower than it's filling up, and then saying it's OK because this is what we've always done. It's denying the facts.

The fact is that a lot of women live in constant fear, and it shouldn't have to be like that. How many times have you heard that 'boys will be boys', 'she should take it as a complement', or 'she deserved it because she went to a bar/wore skimpy clothing'? These are all copouts. People making excuses for what shouldn't be excused. When someone responds like that they are denying that the man's actions were wrong. They are saying that the woman shouldn't be threatened or frightened. Yes it's possible that they are overreacting, but isn't it just as possible that the guy was being inappropriate? Why do guys get a pass for that kind of behavior?

Making excuses like that undermines and invalidates the woman's feelings. Instead of making excuses or ignoring it as a bystander, people need to stand up. If a man is being inappropriate then everyone should let him know. There is strength in numbers. All too often people ignore the problem or do nothing to stop it. We need to promote a culture of action where people stand up for women and men who are being wronged. Too many people have the mentality of 'not my problem'. If you think that then what's going to happen when something similar happens to you? Do you think others will help you while you stand on the sidelines when others need your help?

A Guy's Perspective

Guys have been conditioned for hundreds of years to act the way they do. As teenagers we are never really taught how to talk to women that we like. It's something that we have to figure out on our own. Generally our parents are scared to death their sons getting a girl pregnant at an early age and possibly ruining the future for both. At least when I grew up that is how it was. Guys grow up knowing how to treat their mother, but they seperate that from the way they treat women that they are interested in sexually.

What guys learn is that persistent aggressive behavior works.. for the most part. That doesn't just go for talking to women. That seems to work for us in sports, business, putting our pants on in the morning, etc.. almost everything. We learn that fortune favors the bold. This in itself causes us to be more aggressive and persistent when going after what we want. Our ego and confidence play into it as well.

When a woman rejects us, we aren't sure how to react so we go with what we have learned has worked for us in the past. We have found that women have a lot of walls we have to climb to get to where we want to get, and that no doesn't neccessarily mean no. I can tell you that men have no clue what a woman is thinking. It seems to us that they change their mind as often as they blink their eyes. This causes a lot of men to go into things thinking that a woman's no really means maybe.

A lot of the inappropriate behavior men exibit in public has to do with our ego. Many of us like to show off for our friends. In our minds sometimes we think of the catcalls as being complements, but at the same time we're showing off to our friends or trying to amuse others. Everyone likes to think they are right. We justify our actions in our minds. That's why some guys don't seem to understand why it's inappropriate to say some of the things they say. They have already convinced themselves that it's OK. It's not something they would say in front of their mother. Deep down they know it's wrong.

The fact that men know it's wrong, even if only subconsciously, is reason enough to stand up to their crap.

Final Thoughts and Links

I posted this last night before it was finished, I had a few more things I want to say. Not all men disrespect women in public and treat them inappropriately. I don't think men should be rewarded for doing what they should be doing anyway, but small things like a thank you or a smile is enough to encourage that kind of behavior.

http://youtu.be/gkjW9PZBRfk - This is Emma Watson's speach on the HeForShe campaign. I have heard all kinds of rumors about her being 'moody' or 'bitchy'. All I see is a passionate and intelligent young woman that has decided to speak out when the mentality of most is to keep their heads down and be quiet.

http://thefeveredpen.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/24054/ - This is the original blog post that started the conversation which in turn led to this blog post.

I also want to give credit to the two ladies who contributed to the conversation. Please follow them on twitter! @Greytopia and @laedwardswriter