Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Great Gambino

At work this evening, we had a table of fifteen, who were in the midst of morning the loss of "Mr. Gambino."  To be frank, I have no idea who this man was or who he wasn't.  I had never heard of him until I heard of his passing.  Anywho, the tidbits I did hear about him were positive, filled with praise and filled with nothing but good words.  

Later tonight, a group of four elderly people came in.  They were the last table.  I groaned, feeling sympathy for my fellow bus kid, knowing she would have to stay longer.  I wondered to myself, "what could four OLD people possibly be doing out at 930 at night?!"

My boss informed me that they were four of Mr. Gambino's friends, and proceeded to tell me how many friends the man had, and how many loved him.  I softened my hard stance on the "four OLD people" that had decided to come into the restaurant at this ridiculous time.  

So many people out there just float off into whatever transient existence there may be.  No one knows, and no one cares, and whatever space they are tumbling through, they started their journey alone.  I can only hope that when my time comes (later is more preferable), I will enter whatever transient existence (if any), knowing I have left behind a cadre of friends and loved ones who will continue to relish in the memories we made until they all fade.

Hats off, Gambino.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An Eye-Opening Book:

I don't read books often.  I start some, but fail to finish them due to other obligations such as skrewel (school) and work.  However, for the first time in quite a while, I have finished a book. This book has been so completely eye-opening.

The masterpiece that I finished this afternoon is written by Islamic theologian Robert Spencer. The title of the book is "Religion of Peace?  Why Christianity is and Islam Isn't."  

In the West, it is customary for many liberals and conservatives to create parallels between the dangers of Christianity and Islam.  The left generally demeans the Judeo-Christian foundations of Western civilization and society.  Folks like Rosie O'Donnell, Dinesh D'Souza, Ralph Peters, and various other left and right wingers try to make equivocations between the two religions.  However, this is not possible.  

While Christianity, and its crux, the New Testament, preaches tolerance towards others, the separation of divine and secular law, the partnership with one wife, and general peace with those who do not believe as you do, Islam preaches intolerance and subjugation upon those who do not believe as Muslims do, the idea of Islam being not only a religious guideline for a civilization, but a political one as well, polygamy and pedophilia, and waging war against those who do not agree to submit to Islam, or to pay the Jizya tax that unbelievers pay under Islamic subjugation.  

The book also covers various myths propagated by various leftists (mostly), and some conservative commentators.  They range from accusing Christian leaders in this country of attempting to establish theocracies equal to that of Iran or Saudi Arabia, claiming Christianity is just as violent, that its history is just as checkered, or that Islam is indeed a religion of peace, a bastion of feminist benevolence, while Christianity isn't.  There is also the oft-repeated lie that while Christian civilization produced nothing in the fields of science or technology, Islam was a fortress of progression.  This is only the tip of the ignorance iceberg.  

This defense of Western, Judeo-Christian civilization is so well thought out, so well documented, and so clear and easily digestible, I could not put it down.  

For example, we often hear the liberal complaint that Christianity aims to put women "back in the kitchen, barefoot, and around for the sole purpose of bearing children."  We hear that the "Religious Right" in this country is hell-bent (excuse the pun) on establishing theocracy.  Despite the best efforts of leading Christian leaders, proclaiming that they are not interested in such actions, they are often ignored by leftists who dislike Judeo-Christian tradition.  What is paradoxical, is that when folks point out those in the Islamic world who proactively encourage and proclaim efforts to establish Islamic theocracy worldwide, through violent and societal means, those folks are lambasted as racists, Islamophobes, and all-around haters. This is hypocritical and moronic.  

Again, leftist feminists in this country do nothing but complain about the alleged misogynistic aims of the Christian right, while remaining silent, or criticizing those who speak out about the real women's rights abuses in the Islamic world, ranging from polygamy to pedophilia, from beating wives to penalizing women for suffering rape.  The double standards and hypocrisy are stunning, unbelievable, and certainly disheartening.  Despite the lies perpetrated by Islamists and their Western apologists, the Islamic world is not a bastion of feminist freedom,  but an abyss of abuse of femininity.  

Spencer's book is not a crock.  It is well documented, and founded completely in Islamic theology, scripture, comment, and the statements of contemporary leading Islamic leaders.  It is a riveting defense of Western Judeo-Christian civilization.  People are unable to deny what this man says, as it is INSIDE of Islam itself.  

As Spencer eloquently says:
"Whether one believes in Christianity or not, it is necessary now for all lovers of authentic freedom to acknowledge their debt to the Judeo-Christian West, to the Judeo-Christian assumptions that built Europe and the United States, and to acknowledge that this great civilization is imperiled and worth defending.

On that first step, everything else depends."

Summer So Far

Two words:

"This," and "blows."  This summer is a complete bust.  "Epic Phail."  PHAIL.

I've been relaxing.  That is well and good.  Other than that, things have not been meeting the par that I set prior to finishing my finals this past semester.  Certain strained relationships, and complete lack of others has put a real damper on the "vaca" so far.  I am getting tired of being home already, as the discord between myself and my family has been at a recent high.  The need to get out of here is building.  

Certain friends of mine are either completely absent, or completely shutting me out of their newly formed groups.  

This is not to say there have not been moments of fun; shooting with my dad, going to the beach with Moke and Spath, etc., etc.  There has been a great deal to be satisfied with.  However, I can't help but feel that somehow summer is falling short.  

Something has got to give.  

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reflections on Tim Russert

After watching today's broadcast of Meet the Press, and the warm remembrances during it, I stood in the kitchen reflecting on a man that I never knew.

Tim Russert, as Rush Limbaugh properly put it, was one of the few examples of journalistic objectivity in the media.  That was a paraphrase of Rush; I can't remember his exact words.  
I watched "Meet the Press" nearly every Sunday with my father.  Although I was generally dismayed at the leftward tilt of the panels Russert had on his show, he himself was generally as objective as he could be, and I appreciated that.  Despite whatever beliefs he held (and I do not know what they were), professionalism and objectivity came first.  

In a world full of self-aggrandizing "journalists," who pat themselves on the back, while simultaneously bashing conservatism, Russert set himself apart as someone who was really objective.  

As a man who authored books on the relationship between father and son, Tim Russert held a place in my mind as something only found in the relationship between me and my dad.  The sound of Russert's voice will always take me back to my home, on a Sunday morning.  Those mornings spent with dad, watching the "Talking heads."


Friday, June 13, 2008

Awesome Day/RIP Tim Russert

So, today me and my friend Moke (Mark) went to Cupsogue in Westhampton Beach today.  Let me say, as the first ocean day of the summer, it was a good one.

Perfect sun, not too hot, not too cold.  The water was crystal clear.  Thankfully the algae haven't been growing yet, so you could see your own feet at the bottom of the water for once.  It was cold, but we got used to it quickly.  The waves weren't that big.  Two to three feet at best, but we caught a few good rides and were satisfied.  

The beach wasn't crowded.  No shoebies, no summer people.  Nada.  

At one point this girl came up to me and was going to ask me a question.  I knew she wouldn't ask for my number or to get down my pants, that never happens (LOL), but she did ask for a bottle opener.  My dear girlfriend's parents bought me a leatherman last Christmas.  It is pretty much one of those multi-tool S.O.Bs that can practically open a can on one side and stab someone on the other.  Anywho, I gave it to her, with a can opener on it, and wished her luck.  A few moments later, I saw the girl still struggling to get the beer open, so I walked over at the advice of the woman sitting near Moke and me.  I helped them open their beers, and for my efforts, they generously provided Moke and me with two ice-fucking-cold Coronas.  AWESOME.

From then on, Moke and I enjoyed a nice, ice cold beer on the beach, watching the crystal clear water under the perfect sun.  

Then I worked, which blew, but whatevers.

Pics soon.
Cya Latte'

Update:  I forgot to add that it is a sad day with the passing of Tim Russert.  Although he was not a spectacular example, he was a pretty damn good one of how to be an objective journalist.  His panels on Meet the Press were usually stacked left, but Russert himself remained neutral.  Regardless, 58 is too young.  R.I.P.  In a world full of self-serving hack "journalists," the world has lost a real, true-blue journalist. 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jon Stewart and HALO 3

Short little intro:  I used to blog a while back, but was inspired to return to it after seeing a friend start her own, and quite entertaining blog.  


After a night of brewing beer and watching "Something About Mary" at my friend's house, I returned home to the unfortunate sight of Jon Stewart on our beautiful 52-inch Pioneer flat screen.  How the television deserves such a better image laid out on its pixels.  

The guy is funny (sometimes).  However, most of the time I find him to be trite and silly with his attacks on Republicans.  For example, on tonight's show, he insinuated that coverage on Iraq has been minimized because of the Bush Administration.  How dense is this guy?  
The only reason Iraq has been taken off the table is because the media has no use for it.  General Petraeus's counter-insurgency strategy has been successful since its implementation.  It is no longer something for the media to hound the President with anymore, so it is an item of no value to "journalists."  The President and other conservatives have been the ones trying to bring attention to the successes of the unbeatable U.S. military.  Stewart has got to be kidding.  

In other news......

I stumbled upon an awesome video on YouTube today.  Personally, even if you are not a fan of the HALO series for Xbox/Xbox360, you will still find humor in the following: