Happy Easter, everyone! For the Christian translation of the Easter story, where Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead to ascend into Heaven, click here. I’ll be spending the day up in North Jersey with my Mom and some family friends eating a big, Italian dinner!
In his latest printed offering, A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity, FOX News television host Bill O’Reilly takes his readers on a trip down his own, personal memory lane. The book covers O’Reilly’s experiences growing up in a working class family and as a member of a working class community. The reader is also given some insight into his experiences as a young Catholic school student and as a regular guy in society.
Now while there are certain people out there who immediately write off any product put out by O’Reilly as right-wing propaganda, I have to admit that reading the man’s history gives a clear indication of how he grew up to become the person that he is today – both politically and as a broadcast entertainer. Growing up in the typical working class family, O’Reilly had to fend for himself when playing outside and didn’t have overbearing adults watching over every move he made. Some would argue that the problem with today’s children (aside from being over-medicated and over-categorized) is that they aren’t allowed to just be kids any more!
I would have liked to know more about O’Reilly’s experiences in school because I believe that a person’s experience in the classroom is one of the best indicators of how he or she will progress as a person. To that end, though, he does give many stories about the classroom, his teachers, and his classmates so I guess that without the addition of hundreds of pages of more content, the information that he includes is adequate!
If anything, I would have liked for a more time-aligned presentation of O’Reilly’s experiences as he does tend to jump around from here to there. The book is a quick read and it is written in the style that O’Reilly speaks in on his television show – pithy comments littered throughout.
For those of you who are looking for a quick read, I would recommend O’Reilly’s book. If you’re looking for some insight into how he became the man and pundit that he has grown into, then you’ll enjoy this book, too.
Conservatives have been saying this for about a year, but the sheer hysteria around everything-Obama is getting a bit out of control. Look, I like the guy and I’m glad that he’s the President of the United States. I think that he has the potential to do a lot of great things for America and that the country can be better place for his efforts, but some of the news stories and editorials about the President are getting out of control.
About two weeks ago, Vanity Fair published an article called, “Is Obama the Most Famous Living Person Ever?” Figuring that this was a joke or some type of play on words, I had to read the article to see what the author was going for…and it was disappointing. The writer is so delusional that she actually wrote this:
I’m not trying to induce an acid flashback to John Lennon’s infamous 1966 comment, “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus.” But whether you measure fame in terms of saturation or sheer numbers, it seems indisputable to me that more people know at least something about the new American president than anyone alive, at this point—or any—in the planet’s existence.
Who else could it be? One friend suggest Muhammad Ali, another Princess Diana, and a third said Bill Clinton. Surely all are global brands with enormous reach and broad appeal. But all fall short of the man-meets-the-moment frenzy unleashed by Obama.
Typical mass media liberal ideology. Over the last two decades, the most famous person on earth was obviously Pope John Paul II; a man who wasn’t even suggested in this article. I’m sure that the former Pope wasn’t brought up because he’s one of those Roman Catholics (GASP!). And as a proud Roman Catholic myself, I think it’s hilarious that the morons at Vanity Fair could publish an article wondering who the most famous living person ever was and not mention Pope John Paul II – who it is estimated was seen by more than half of the world’s population during his time in the Papacy alone.
And if we’re talking about the most famous living people ever, then how are Jesus Christ and the prophet Muhammad not on that list? What about Abraham or King David or King Solomon? Oh wait – the liberals don’t really believe that these people existed (or at least not in the form that more than 4 billion people believe in which they existed).
Obama could be a great man and worthy of such remembrance one day, but a month into his term as President I’m unsure how anyone who is of sane mind and body could make such a ridiculous statement. Yet another example of how the media has gone to shit in this country.
Anyone who is unfortunate enough to watch this self-righteous loser’s show on HBO (a channel that my apartment will hopefully be canceling on May 1st), knows that Bill Maher is a jerk. He’s the type of arrogant, pompous prick who thinks that his thoughts are better than everyone else’s and that – because he’s smarter that you are – you should just take his “witty” barbs in jest. In case you haven’t heard, the New York Daily News can fill us in on what this dirtbag said about the Pope the other night:
“Whenever a cult leader sets himself up as God’s infallible wing man here on Earth, lock away the kids,” said Maher, comparing the Catholic Church to the polygamist cult authorities raided in Texas last week.
“I’d like to tip off law enforcement to an even larger child-abusing religious cult,” Maher said. “Its leader also has a compound, and this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats.”
After Maher said this, he flashed a picture of Pope Benedict XVI on the screen. Not only is this disturbing and disgusting, but it shows that Maher has a gross lack of understanding of reality. All this desperate-for-ratings-jerk had to do was listen to ONE comment that the Pope made since he arrived in America a few days ago to realize that he has reached out to the extreme minority of Catholics who have been abused by bastards who managed to make their way into the priesthood. All this loser had to do was open his ears (not even his mind, just his ears) and listen to the healing words spoken by the Pope. The Pope stopped and met with an inter-religious group the other night to let them know that we’re all in this thing together. The man has been the very height of religious professionalism and ecumenical evangelism since he assumed the Papacy and since he entered America.
Now, I know that this loser Maher said these disgusting, hurtful words because he wanted to get people like me to write posts like this. I also know that he wants to get people like me to watch his apology on his show tonight. Well, Maher proves once again that he knows nothing about our religion. If Maher is truly sorry for his words, then he has my forgiveness and the forgiveness of the Church. We don’t need to watch his stupid show to hear him say, “I’m sorry.” We are, however, also consumers of goods and as a consumer of HBO I choose to vote with my dollars and no longer have this channel on my lineup.
In the act of drawing a higher rating to his program, I hope that Bill Maher has set-off an Imus-like firestorm and eventually finds himself unemployed. He’s disgusting and should be shunned by all.
Update – April 2010: This has become one of my favorite entries on the entire blog. Why, you ask? Simple – there are so many brainwashed people out there who send in anti-Catholic, anti-religion, anti-white, and anti-Republican hate mongering comments that each new one I receive makes me laugh a little bit more. Let me make this clear – hate mongering comments do not get posted on the blog. So please, continue to send in your hateful comments, but know that I am the only one getting a kick out of them. That crap will never be posted on my personal blog.
Happy New Year! First things first… It’s 2008 – can you believe it? It’s funny, I distinctly remember being a little kid and watching the ball drop to ring in 1986. But that was over 20 years ago in my family’s Manhattan apartment! Now on to the annual self-consuming resolutions!
For a variety of reasons, I did not get to attend Church as often as I would have liked to last year. I hope to have almost perfect attendance this year, but that’s not the crux of this resolution. I do not believe that it is adequate enough just to attend Church and be a warm body in a seat; in the next year I’d like to continue becoming involved in the Catholic Church through a few different avenues.
First, I purchased the Catechism of the Catholic Church over 2 years ago, but I have not read it yet. In the coming year I want to read the Catechism. Second, I have not attended confession in over a decade. In the coming year I want to attend confession. And finally, my local Church in West Long Branch has a weekly listing of other items that parishioners can give money to instead of the weekly tithe. These are all items related to the school that is a part of the Church (for example, you can buy books for a student or projection screens for classroom). In the coming year I want to purchase some items for the school through this program.
I’ve decided to break out my financial resolutions into a few different subcategories this year. The first of these are my omnipresent student loans. Last year I successfully paid down more than $8,000 in student loan debt. Given some of my other financial resolutions that are listed below, I don’t know if it would be wise to put a dollar figure on how much I’d like to pay down my student loans in 2008 outside of the regular payments. That said, I am certainly going to try to pay down these loans as much as possible – if possible.
Savings & Retirement
In the coming year, I’ll be fully engaged in my company’s 401k and getting the maximum possible match. That’s a first for me and I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out. At the personal level, I’ve been working towards a certain dollar amount to have stashed away in my ING Savings Account by the end of 2008 and I’ll keep that dollar amount private. I am, however, going to make every effort to reach this dollar amount and it looks as though I might be able to get there sometime next fall (I have long-term financial projections!).
Usable Web Solutions, LLC
Last year I wanted to increase my website company‘s revenue by 50%. This year, I’m going to focus on a different goal. I’ve suspended taking on new accounts until all of my existing accounts are brought current (both financially and fully designed). Once that is accomplished, I’d like to gain 2 new accounts in the next year while maintaining or renewing all of my existing accounts.
I also have a few personal website projects that I’ve kept on the shelf for a variety of reasons. I’d like to get these projects moving and completed by the end of this year.
This is the resolution that most people make on January 1st and then go and break on January 2nd! Well, I’m not going to lay out a specific weight that I want to be at by the end of the year and I’m not going to lay out a number that I want to be bench pressing, squatting, or curling by 2009. All I want is to be in better shape by the end of 2008. I joined a gym last week and I’ve laid out what appears to be a decent training schedule so I’m on the right track. We’ll see how it goes.
Also, I am overdue for many check-ups. In the coming year I want to get a physical, have my eyes examined, and take a trip to the dentist. Some of this will require looking to see which doctors I am currently assigned to with my health care provider, but I’ll take care of that stuff.
Actually, I find this to be the hardest area to create quantifiable goals. Isn’t achieving all of the above some form of personal advancement? How does one quantify an advancement in their personal life? Let’s give it a try… In the coming year I want to read the stack of books that I’ve accumulated in my bedroom. Sometimes you get a book and you just don’t have a minute to read the damn thing, you know?!
I would also like to teach college courses again in the coming year. I admit that this is a “gimme” goal because I know I’ve already been scheduled to teach again in the fall. But hey, why not give myself a freebie?
One of the things that I started doing in the last year is de-cluttering my living area. This is actually dually rewarding because most of the stuff that I no longer use I just donate to charity. In the coming year I want to continue de-cluttering my “stuff” which may include purchasing an outdoor storage unit and replacing one of the existing storage units in my Family’s backyard up in North Jersey. Some of our existing stock is falling down and dangerous, so there may be more than one “good” here.
Oh, I’ve also began pushing a more “sustainable” lifestyle in the last year. What does that mean? It’s a manageable mix of recycling more, using earth-friendly materials, and not creating excess waste if it can be avoided. For example, I purchased two canvas reusable grocery bags to use at when I go grocery shopping. Now I’m not sure if there is a quantifiable way to judge if I’ve made a more “sustainable” lifestyle once the coming 12 months are over, but I’ll certainly be working towards that goal.
I’m actually looking for some good opportunities to learn more about my job and my industry. I attended the Opportunity Finance Network conference in Miami, Florida a few weeks ago and I was stimulated to learn more about many of the other areas of community development finance that I’ve not yet been exposed to at my job. In the coming year I want to learn more about some of these areas (native lending, rural lending) and continue to do the best that I can at my job.
So that’s my full set of public New Year’s Resolutions. We can meet back here in 12 months and see how I made out!