2016 Predictions

Another year past, and another batch of predictions from last year have proven eerily accurate. I thought Taco Bell’s taco flavored tacos were a brilliant addition to the menu in 2015. They even ALMOST tasted like tacos.

So while basking in my past glories of , here are my predictions for 2016:

  1. In 2016, fat is the new skinny.
  2. A golfer will accidentally take a divot out of the 7th fairway of  the golf course on Andrews Air Force Base. The White House Press Secretary will immediately designate the event as an act of terrorism when President Obama’s ball lands in the divot. FEMA will be deployed to rebuild. President Obama will sing “Amazing Grace” while the repair is completed.
  3. Hillary Clinton will be caught on camera robbing a liquor store in March. She will still win the Democratic presidential nomination.
  4. Donald Trump will build a lemonade stand in New York. He will get the Democratic National Committee to pay for it.
  5. Miley Cirus will dress up as a cucumber for a performance at this year’s Grammy awards. No one will notice.
  6. The popularity of the “man bun” will reach its zenith when men in California begin sporting two man buns at the same time. The trend will die when women realize their boyfriends look like Princess Leia.
  7. For the first time in history, a write-in candidate will win the U.S. presidential election. However, Big Bird will be unable to take office after his birth certificate reveals he is a fictional character.
  8. McDonald’s will begin selling the lowest calorie fastfood burger ever made. It will flop when customers see that it is the size of a quarter but costs $7.00 and doesn’t come with ketchup.
  9. Pastafarians will experience their own great schism with believers in the Great Spaghetti Monster finding themselves in a jihad against those who believe it is the Great Linguini Monster. Marinara will run in the streets.
  10. After winning the presidential election, Donald Trump will vow to turn Mexico into a casino.

The Feast of St. Ambrose

It’s heavyweight season in the liturgical calendar. Yesterday, St. Nicholas. Today, my favorite saint. St. Ambrose (just happens to also be one of my middle names), Bishop of Milan, and Doctor of the Catholic Church (one of the original four). In 374 AD, this amazing man was already governor of Milan at age 33.

When the previous bishop died that year, Ambrose was spontaneously proclaimed bishop by the citizens of Milan even though he had not even been baptized into the church yet. He tried to decline the appointment by appealing to Emperor Gratian who refused his request. In the following week, Ambrose was baptized, ordained, then consecrated as Bishop of Milan.

He is credited with influencing the conversion of the future Saint (and also another Doctor of the Church) Augustine of Hippo.

St. Ambrose, Confessor and Doctor of the Church, pray for us.St.Ambrose

Our leaders are not serious

Two days ago a Muslim husband and wife left their 6 month old daughter with a grandmother, went to his employer’s holiday office party in San Bernardino, and shot everyone they could. They killed 14 people and wounded 21 more. Thankfully, the couple died in a hail of bullets a few hours later when the police caught their SUV on the highway just a short distance from where the initial attack happened.

Today, the FBI announced it was investigating the massacre as a terrorist attack having found the woman declared allegiance to ISIS on social media around the time of the attack.

Meanwhile the Attorney General of the United States announced her “biggest fear.” It seems the American people’s biggest fear is more attacks by radical Islamists. Not Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Her biggest fear is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric.” That’s because her and her boss know that America is populated almost entirely with religious and racist bigots.

See, 35 casualties of a MASSACRE are not indicative of the biggest danger we face. The biggest danger we face is actually Americans attacking Muslims. Never mind that after the Ft. Hood shooting, the Boston bombings, or even the recruiting center attack in Chattanooga there were no attacks on Muslims. Muslims are not being beheaded in the streets. They are not getting shot in their offices while celebrating Ramadan.

There simply is no pattern of attacks against Muslims in this country. But there are repeated attacks of Americans by Muslims. The three I listed above are some of the more noteworthy, but are not an exhaustive list.

Even so, Attorney General Lynch’s biggest fear is “anti-Muslim rhetoric.” Again, the Obama administration proves it is not fit to lead. A leader who makes such a preposterous statement in the aftermath of a massacre of American citizens should not be entrusted with emptying the trash, much less being entrusted with protecting Americans from people who, not only want to kill us, but have done it.

 

Mind over matter

So last month Bruce Jenner declared that he has a female’s soul in a man’s body. He used cosmetic surgery to feminize his facial features and give himself artificial breasts, and now refers to himself as a woman by the name of Caitlyn. The press then lauded for her being brave.

Another story broke today. Rachel Dolezal is the head of the NAACP in Spokane, Washington and also an Africana Studies professor at Eastern Washington University. She had claimed she is of white, black, and Native American descent. Her parents revealed to the AP that her ethnic heritage is Czech, Swedish, and German, with possibly a “trace” of Native American.

The NAACP issued a statement supporting her. In it, they claimed “One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership.” I do not know of any other NAACP chapters headed by a non-black member. I doubt she would have been appointed to head that chapter had it not been for her claimed black ancestry. Still, good for the NAACP. Let’s see how long it lasts.

The controversy over Dolezal has lead to the creation of some Twitter hashtags including #wrongskin (as in, Dolezal was born in the wrong skin being that she is a black woman trapped in a white woman’s body), and also #transraciallivesmater.

So if one Bruce can arbitrarily declare that his physiology of a man is irrelevant, and that he is actually a woman, why should Dolezal’s racial identity be any different? After all, recent pictures show that her claim of being a black woman is more convincing of her racial claim than Jenner’s claim of being a woman (even with cosmetic surgery and Photoshop).

If “gender” is a matter of will, why not race? I don’t see how you can make an argument for the first, but not the second. So welcome to the struggle Rachel Dolezal. I hope you succeed in the fight of your people.

Why the terrorists are winning

This morning three terrorists killed 12 people at the Paris offices of a French satirical magazine.

Witnesses reported that the terrorists shouted (what else?) Allahu akbar” while firing. Video was recorded of the terrorists executing a policeman who had responded to the scene.

In spite of this, Whitehouse Press Secretary Josh Ernest first referred to the event as “an act of violence.” Roughly a half hour later, President Obama released a statement labeling the act as terrorism.

Since then, I have seen pundits try to insulate this attack from Islam claiming that killing defenseless civilians and police does not act in the name of true Islam.

The reluctance of the Obama administration to correctly identify Islamic terrorism for what it is and to claim that there is not a strain of Islam that absolutely does support these acts is foolish. There are “radical” muslims all over the Middle East and Africa. Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood all believe Islam supports terrorism. All of these groups are significant movements in their geographic regions that all claim they are they real Islam.

Denying terrorism for what it is, or the terrorists for who they are and what they believe is not going to protect us from more attacks.

2015 Predictions

My predictions for this past year were spot on. You might have missed out on the burqa twerking trend, i.e. “burqing”, but I assure, it swept the nation. Just not this nation. And not a single “Holiday Tree” could be found in July for Independence Day. Another win for me.

So here is what we have to look forward to in 2015.

1. In a break from its traditional menu, Taco Bell will introduce taco flavored tacos.
2. Hollywood will continue to congratulate itself for being brave by insulting the faith of people who do not threaten it, while caving into Islamists, East Asian dictators, and an asthmatic chihuaha that will.
3. Which is why “Muhammad the Musical” will not premier on Broadway this year.
4. Computer hacking will be the new black.
5. The 2016 presidential election will begin this year with 10 different prostitutes announcing their candidacies. Pundits will be surprised that the number is less than for previous elections. Only 8 of them will have law degrees.
6. President Obama will become the first sitting president to hit a hole-in-one…at the Fairfax County Mini Golf Course windmill hole.
7. NSA will begin monitoring underclass high school sports team since the biggest terror threat of 2014 turned out to be “the jayvee team.” Soccer will turn out to be the most suspicious.
8. Having blown its journalistic reputation on a fake gang rape story, Rolling Stone Magazine will turn its focus to feature LOL cat pictures in 2015.
9. The New York law banning selfies that include wild big cats will result in the arrests of 4 lions and 3 tigers, but no leopards. Leopards have a cultural aversion to taking selfies.
10. Jaime and I will not be spending next New Year’s Eve in the hospital with  kid who has pneumonia. They’ll all be old enough for the nurses to watch them while we go to a party.

May your new year be filled with blessings.

We’re having a baby!

Great news! Jaime is about 15 weeks pregnant.
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She started out with some pretty bad morning sickness. That was the worst part, but it has gotten better.

We’ve had a few appointments and a couple of ultrasounds so far. Everything looks great. We still have about a month until they can tell us the sex.

The due date is October 15. We can’t wait!

Newspapers and iPads

Will the iPad save the New York Times? It seems digital subscriptions did not work well until tablet computers became popular. Now the NY Times is excited that they have nearly 800,000 subscribers to their digital version. Seems like the rise in digital subscription has increased with the popularity of iPad and other tablet computers.

The bonus is, you don’t have to walk out onto your driveway in your pajamas to pick up the morning paper delivery.

NYT Up To Nearly 800K Paid Digital Subscribers, Plans New Food And Opinion Apps | TechCrunch.

Jaime

Jaime in dressMy Facebook friends know that I have been with Jaime for about a year and a half now. I first met her in November 2002. It was my first day at a new job as a supervisor in a call center. I sat down at my new desk, looked over to my left, and saw this pretty woman sitting a few feet away from me taking phone calls.

I immediately noticed was how magnetic she was. Her laughter was infectious. She held the attention of everyone around her, and they all wanted to be her friend. The guys hit on her, so did the women. She talked to everyone like they were friends. She had the ability to make people feel good about themselves.

It turned out, I was her supervisor.  I discovered that her charisma worked over the phone too. I don’t remember ever having to take an escalated call from her. She would have angry callers laughing by the time they got off the phone.

She quickly became my favorite employee, and I loved working with her for the next couple of years. It was a good day when she was working and a bit dreary when she wasn’t.  I could tell she had that effect on others too.  She is the kind of person whose phone will not stop ringing. There was not a day she didn’t get invited to go out. People want to be around her.

There were a couple of people who didn’t seem to like her. I figured out the dislike stemmed from jealousy. They wanted to be around her more, but felt rejected when she simply could not give that much attention to everyone who wanted it.

There was a noticeable difference in the office on her days off. The atmosphere was more serious – and boring.  She brought a cheerful feeling to the office that was missed when she wasn’t there. It was never the same after she left that job.  

We kept in touch a little after she left. Every once in a while there would be a Christmas card or an email, sometimes a “like” on a Facebook post. She saw me posting pictures of my daughter. I knew she had a partner, then a son, but there would be years we didn’t talk at all. 

Then my life fell apart. I was miserable, thought that being treated poorly was normal, and realized I didn’t have any confidence and didn’t feel any sense of self-worth.

At that low point I was lucky enough to reconnect with Jaime. She was as magnetic as ever. Just talking to her made the day better. I knew this is the woman I wanted to be with.

She says she is at her lowest weight since high school and that she is the prettiest she has ever been. When we are in public. I see heads turn as she passes, but her appearance now, as pretty as she is, isn’t what make her beautiful. She was pretty when I met her. Heads always turned when she was around. What makes her beautiful is that rare intangible quality that draws people in – her charisma, that magnetism. I saw it the first day I met her. She is innately attractive.

Now, I get to watch her create things. She sings, she draws, she sculpts little characters, and makes things.  We laugh together. We encourage each other. She showed me that I have reason to be confident. I feel good about myself again, and everyday I try to make her feel the same about herself.

Thank you Jaime. I am happy again.