Saturday, July 19, 2014

Here's Your Chance to DO Something about Israel

Social media is great for creating awareness, however there has be a catalyst between awareness and actual change. I'm sure you are all aware of the near genocide that is currently going in Palestine. Here's what you can do about it in five minutes. I drafted a letter to Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, he's on the foreign relations committee in the Senate. All you have to do is put your name on it and mail it. One letter won't mean much but a barrage of them should at the very least elicit a response and it's better than just sitting behind a computer screen sharing pictures of the carnage. 

A few things to keep in mind:

1. Feel free to look the letter over and edit it as you like
2. Depending on the date you send the letter make sure to update the relevant death count and any other information that may change.
3. If you are not living in the State of Maryland then custom fit the letter to your local senator. The meat of the letter can remain the same but references to Cardin and his legislative role must be changed.
4. It's very important to send it both online AND as a hard copy.

What to do:

1. Download the letter here. (It's a mediafire download, quick and simple)
2. Read it through and put in your information.
3. Go to Ben Cardin's website here.
4. Make sure "Leave opinion on legislative issue" is check and then enter in your information, using "Foreign Affairs" as the category.
5. Copy and paste the letter, excluding the subject line. (So copy and paste from where it says "Dear Senator..."
6. Print a copy, sign it and mail it in to the address indicated on the letter.
7. Share this with anyone who wants to try and make a difference. 

If anyone see's a glaring error in the template that should be changed send me an email or leave a comment below. Avoid leaving comments on facebook as people who aren't friends with me on facebook can't see those.

The Fallacy of The Human Mind

There are many insurmountable hurdles in achieving a perfectly rational mind. Human beings are a mish-mosh of emotions and rationality. Raymond Tusk from House of Cards put it best when he said: "the rational and irrational complement each other. Individually, they're far less powerful." And the guy's a fictitious billionaire energy mogul so I'd take his word on this one.

 Now I'm the type that seriously favors my left brain; logic and rationality are useful, emotions aren't and I have no patience for useless things. But the irrational side is what makes us human. Engineers can program computers and robots to follow a logical set of code. Logic can be replicated, but human emotion can't and it has it's own value. Irrational thinking is what saved a ton of peoples' lives in The Dark Knight. In case you don't remember the Joker had two ferries rigged with bombs. One ferry was filled to the brim with innocent civilians, the other with Gotham's worst thieves and murders. Both were rigged with explosives and each ferry was given the detonator to the OTHER ferry. If one ferry blew the other up then that ferry would be saved, if neither did it by midnight then the Joker would blow them both up. 

Think about your two options in this scenario:
1. You blow up the other boat and live. 
2. You don't and get blown up, either by the other boat or by the joker. 

So your two options are literally live or die. It's a simple choice, a rational mind would have blown up the other boat in a heartbeat. One such "rational" mind on the civilian boat points this out and notes that the criminals deserved to die more than the civilians did. Eventually he takes the detonator but doesn't pull the trigger. Faced with the choice of life and death both boats chose death rather than kill the other boat. An amazingly irrational decision that bought just enough time for Batman to swoop in and save them both. 

Emotions and the irrational have their value, but are also the source of the biggest flaw in human thinking. Most people let their desires cloud rationality, causing them to ignore consequences that aren't immediate. Think about all the people who believe in a religion that holds that you will be punished for sins. Not a single one of those people, myself included, has completely avoided those sins. Often times we knowingly do these things for no other reason than the pleasure from said sin is immediate and the consequences are far off. But this is expected, believing in an afterlife is one thing, visualizing it happening is another. Plus there's the rather moronic expectation that you'll live a long enough life to be "good later" so we tend to ignore the consequences right now. 

Now let's look at the shorter term; it doesn't take a lifetime for us to ignore non-immediate consequences. A kid enters the workplace at 23 years old and gets a decent job. He saves up $10000 in two years and is wondering what to do with the money. He could lock that money up in a Roth IRA, earn 11% a year and turn that ten grand into more than half a million by the time he can collect on the IRA, that's $580,000 tax-free. But no one does that at 25, instead they buy a motorcycle, a new car, or a 65' T.V. Choosing the sexy option that provides enjoyment now is usually more preferable than waiting for the better prize. 

Even shorter term now: grades in school. There's two ways to look at this one. For some white folk the need to graduate high school in four years is overshadowed by the current need to party, have fun, and not focus on schoolwork when your future depends on it. For some people of any other race the need to avoid the can of whoop-ass for getting bad grades at the end of the semester is overshadowed by those same reasons. Think about the bums you remember from high school, the ones who wouldn't even try or show up to class. It's so stupid looking back, to not graduate or not get into college because you were skipping school to get high or even just sleep and play video games instead of going to class. 

Moving on to my favorite example, this one takes place in a matter of minutes. The last few examples have been over the course of months, years and decades. Keep in mind this doesn't apply if your parents wake you up or if your parents are home when you're supposed to be at school. During my last semester I had to wake up at 7:30 every morning to get to my 8:30 classes on time. These classes were ones where I needed to be in class to understand the material properly. Every so often I'd wake up to the sound of my alarm and just feel so tired that I'd go back to sleep, knowing full well that after I wake up I'll spend an extra 5 hours trying to understand material and copy notes for a 50 minute class. 

After the consequences eventually come into the picture all those immediate but fleeting pleasures that we enjoyed at some cost in the future seem so horribly trivial that we marvel at our stupidity back then. Think about the few kids who took those 15 A.P.s in high school and put in work while everyone else was living it up. They were the ones that got those ivy-league acceptances in April. I'm not saying that these kids were all work and no play but that they had the foresight to budget their time and energy responsibly. The retirees who invested when they were young are counting their millions now. The kid who woke up for his 8:30 class is able to enjoy a stress free nap later in the day instead of copying notes. The religious person is able to enjoy a clean and healthy conscious. This trait is naturally ingrained in our psyche and it takes serious strength to overcome. Most people realize this over a grueling period of mistake after mistake and only fix it after an extraordinary period of time. The people who realize this earlier on and overcome it in their everyday decision making are the ones who end up being successful in life, especially those who start from a young age.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why You Should Never Go to India

Seriously, never. Unless you’re a citizen of Japan, New Zealand or about 8 other countries you should never visit India. You see India is one of the few countries in the world where most people can’t get a tourist visa on arrival. When you visit almost any other country with a U.S. passport you fill out your visa application after you arrive at your destination airport. In 2010 I visited Oman and the United Arab Emirates, both extremely gorgeous countries I might add. When we arrived at Oman we filled out a short application, less than a page, paid our twenty riyals and were on our way. When we entered the UAE we didn’t even have to fill out an application, they just stamped our passport. No fee, no fuss. To visit India however you need to get a tourist visa. In order to get that visa you have to deal with the morons working at the Indian consulate office and the bigger morons at Cox and Kings Global Services.

Let me be clear, my vocabulary isn’t nearly capable of describing the complete ineptitude and stupidity these two companies operate with. In Islam, we believe that when we are inflicted with pain some of our sins are forgiven. No suffering is done in vain. As such my father should have all 50+ years of his life wiped clean for what he had to put up with. Cox and Kings is the newest company the Indian Embassy decided to outsource its visa issuing to. Before, you just walked into the consulate office, dropped off your applications and picked up your passports that night. We applied for our visas the first day Cox and Kings were open, May 21st.
I did all the applications online and then my dad took them to the buffoons at Cox and Kings. He lost a whole days work because they took some 7 hours to issue him a receipt. Seriously, people were in there for hours waiting for a receipt AFTER their application had been processed. Eventually he got his receipt, came home tired as death but was glad that it was over; little did he know it had barely just begun.

The following day one of the guys says that three of the six applications need to be notarized because they were applications for minors. Then he tells my dad that he and my mom need to renounce their Indian citizenships. Apparently holding a U.S. passport and having U.S. citizenship certificates isn’t enough proof for them. My mom got lucky, her old Indian passport said it was “cancelled due to new citizenship.” My dad’s passport didn’t and he had to pay an extra free and delay the application because they needed proof he renounced his previous citizenship. Keep in mind this entire conversation wasted another day of paid work because they were just so damn slow.

A few days later my dad comes home holding four passports. My mom, dad, and baby sisters were done along with my own. My brother and other sister’s remained at large. This was on Thursday, May 29th, our flight to India left on June 3rd. The notarization delay couldn’t be the problem otherwise my baby sister’s would’ve been delayed as well.  Because nobody in the offices could communicate beyond the level of an ape my dad had no idea what was wrong. Eventually on Monday, the day before our flight, my Dad got an explanation.

My sister was born in India, but because both my parents were U.S. citizens by this point my sister was a U.S. citizen by birth. However, on her U.S. passport her place of birth says India. The incompetent fools at Cox and Kings wanted to see her old Indian passport and make sure she renounced her non-existent Indian citizenship. My dad tried desperately to convince him that she’s been a U.S. citizen by birth (it also said that on her application but they chose to ignore that) but to no avail. Oh, and they also lost my little brother’s passport. The consulate said Cox and Kings had it, Cox said the consulate had it. Bottom line: Monday night, no visas.

At this point all we could do was pray but you know what they say: hope for the best, plan for the worst or something along those lines. Basically we had decided that the most cost efficient last resort would be for three visa holders to go and three to stay back, costing us somewhere between $2100 - $2500 extra. That’s more than we were planning to spend during our entire trip.

The day of our flight things weren’t looking good. My dad said that they still haven’t found his passport yet and my sister still hasn’t gotten her visa. Regardless we loaded up the van with all our bags and went to Cox and Kings to help out. Our flight left at 6:10. The night before I established a cutoff time of 3:30pm. If we didn’t get them by then we had to book it or risk missing this flight too. Three thirty came and went with no visas. We decided to hold out because my dad had skillfully bullied a worker into handling our issue so we wouldn’t miss our flight. We decided to try and wait a little longer and at 3:45 they found my little brothers passport and told us both passports were at the consulate office where we would have to pick them up.
Before I continue let me explain how this works, Cox and Kings and the consulate are two separate offices, two separate buildings about 4 miles away around Mass Ave. in D.C. Cox handles all the paperwork and such and then ships off the passports to the consulate office to get the actual visa stamped.

At 3:45 we drove to the consulate and there was no one at the desk. I banged on the employee door for about 5 minutes before the secretary came out and talked to us. Then the passport officer came out to argue that my sister still needed to renounce her citizenship. I thought that maybe my dad didn’t explain it clearly to the guy because miscommunications can happen between two non-native speakers. I explained the situation and the law repeatedly such that a 4 year old could understand. He eventually caved and made my dad write a sworn statement saying that my sister was a citizen. Then, at 4:45 we had all six passports and visas and drove fast and furious style to the airport.

Like Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption I’d like to tell you that the story ended happily and we made our flight. But stories don’t always end nicely. We made it about 10 minutes after baggage check-in had closed. They said it was too late. While we were trying to figure this out the lady at the Lufthansa counter said unless we go carry-ons only there’s nothing we can do. My mom panicked and started shoveling stuff from our suitcases into our carry-ons. I told her it’s stupid but she tried anyway. Luckily the lady at the counter  said that we weren’t going to make it and cancelled our boarding passes. So we got our visas but now don’t have a plane to get on.

Our economy seats didn’t come with any travel protection benefits. The charge for each person was the fare-difference plus a $300 change fee. Total came out to $4000, we paid around $6500 for our initial reservations. That’s $6500 roundtrip and they wanted $4000 to go one-way. The lady at the Lufthansa counter wasn’t very sympathetic at first, she had just dealt with a family who missed the flight because of traffic, she didn’t buy that excuse one bit. So she told me the flight leaves at 5:30 tomorrow, don’t be late. Hoping to get some sympathy I explained that we left at 11 a.m this morning, but the embassy lost our passports. Told the same sob story I’m telling you now.  And the lady’s expression totally changed, she started whispering with her supervisor in German. She then turned to us and said that they can knock-off everyone’s change fees; almost cutting the $4000 in half. After that she apologized that she couldn’t take off the fare difference. I mean she just saved us $1800 and then apologized for it! They took care of us after that and we ate the $2200. (I’m looking to try and recoup that in small claims court when I get back so if anyone has any advice please shoot me an email!)

The next day one of the check in people recognized me and let me skip the long check in line and use the business class check in. Security was a breeze, shoes didn’t come off, laptops stayed in our bags and we were through in less than 30 minutes with no random screenings. Boarded the flight early because we had a small child and are riding comfortably now. Actually it’s 1 AM eastern time right now and I’m writing this paragraph 35,000 feet above Paris.

So in the end we paid the expected worst case scenario fee but saved the stress of making a 24 hour journey and splitting the family in half; probably the best case scenario after missing our original flight.
Why is Cox and Kings to blame? Well for one I can’t sue the Indian embassy and two they are the most disorganized office I’ve ever seen. They had a number ticketing system but weren’t using it properly and a random patron was actually keeping track and calling out numbers. All the customers in that room were bonding over how horrible the service was. But it goes beyond that. When they get a passport they don’t file it by name or date, nope they dumped them into a box. Literally, they dumped all the passports into a big cardboard box, with no way of knowing which is which. This created the black-hole where passports went, with no ability to identify them beyond opening each one and checking by hand. When passports are being moved back and forth between offices you are DEFINITELY going to lose track of a couple of them. The fact that this is has continuously been going on shows that they haven’t learned from their previous mistakes and don’t care enough to organize on even a most basic level.

Then we get into the fact these people don’t know basic citizenship laws of the United States. They failed to understand after repeated explanations that my sister was never an Indian citizen and was an American citizen by birth. Her application specifically stated that she was born in India but was an American citizen BY BIRTH. Neither that nor my parents’ citizenship certificates were enough to prove it until it was already too late. All of the applications were submitted at the same time but their disorganization and idiocy proved too much for any rational human being to conquer and we missed our flight.


So what should you make of this? Never go to India. It is easier, more time saving and cost effective for you to go to Japan, become a citizen and then go to India. Cox and Kings makes the MVA seem like the most well-oiled and customer oriented government agency in the world. I genuinely asked my Dad to bribe the officers to get the passports done. A $200 or even $500 bribe pales in comparison to the $2200 our new flights cost. But Cox and Kings and the Indian consulate are so disorganized we literally wouldn’t even know who to bribe and they’d probably lose the cash before they could spend it. I would rather jump out of this airplane, enjoy the 2 minute free fall from this altitude and subsequent splat on some French mountain than try to get an Indian visa while Cox and Kings are still in charge. And finally, if you need to go India, stowaway on a cargo ship, risk getting attacked by Somali pirates because even if you get caught, you’re still probably better off than dealing with Cox. At least the pirates will go away when you give them money.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Response to Lauren Martin's The Actual Difference Between Hot and Beautiful

Lauren Martin is an interesting writer...she starts with an interesting premise that seems to go against social convention but then in her actual writing tends to butcher the point she was trying to make and turns her own readers against her. She wrote one of these articles on EliteDaily, titled the difference between hot and beautiful. You can read the actual article here. She essentially says that all men look at are a woman's physical attributes and judge her worth off that. 

Essentially her article is summed up by the line: "because beauty isn't about wanting to fuck her; it's about wanting to be with her." Martin has apparently only seen male-female interactions in nightclubs and bars where people are only looking for hookups. In a country where sleeping around isn't frowned upon (so long as you aren't married of course) there is no reason to look past physical traits. If you're looking for a hookup then you aren't going to sleep with a girl for her personality. Likewise a woman isn't going to sleep with an unattractive man for his personality. Is there more to him than his lack of muscles and height? Absolutely, but it doesn't matter because these people aren't looking for actual relationships.

Usually preachy, social justice pieces garner affectionate comments praising the writer for their insight; Martin's top comments bashed her, which goes to show how she completely whiffed on the point she was trying to make. One of these comments, written by a woman I might add, goes: "the writer could consider broadening her horizons. If that's the caliber of men she knows or spends time with it's equally a reflection on her. Very few men I know fit into that stereotype because I choose not to spend time around narcissistic, superficial or artificial individuals." I especially liked the usage of the word individual, because she acknowledges that this focusing on outward appearance equally goes both ways, men do it and women do it. 

Attractiveness is judged by the opposite gender. I'm sorry if you people want to ignore reality but that's how it is. I can wear baggy sweats around all day and yell at girls who aren't looking past my outward attractiveness but that's just it. They don't want me because I don't fit their expectations of looking good. Are they wrong for this? Absolutely not, Martin says men have been "programmed" into believing that curves, big breasts and a big butt are attractive. No shit. She thinks this programming is done by the evil male patriarchy who insists on belittling women. That's not it, it's this thing called biology that does it for men AND women. Most men like a big butt and breasts and such. Most women like muscles, abs, height and the like. It's science, something Martin isn't all that good at according to her bio. 

There are obviously exceptions to the rule, attractiveness is subjective to every individual although the differences aren't usually big ones. Martin's article is based on the premise that all men only want one night stands and judge a woman's worth solely on her physical attractiveness. People judge each other's worth solely on attractiveness when their goal is purely physical. Men do it. Women do it. Stop hiding behind some curtain of man-hate calling men pigs while doing the exact same thing. 

When actual relationships are the goal there is a BALANCE. Like everything in the world there is a balance. I want her to be attractive...and also smart, confident and fun. A balance between physical beauty and a great personality. If you focus on either one too much the relationship won't last. Are there men who only care about a woman's looks? Absolutely. Are there women who only care about a man's looks? Absolutely. But the majority of human beings aren't like this when they're pursuing a meaningful relationship. 

You might be saying to yourself...wait this response isn't talking about the difference between being hot and beautiful. That's because the original article didn't do much of that either. She focuses instead on trying to generalize men into primitive sex-craving beasts who are incapable of anything else. She asks when was the last time you heard a man call a girl beautiful? The answer is all the time, if you actually hang around men outside of bars. At the end of the article she lists a bunch of romantic adjectives describing beauty and a bunch of bland ones describing hot. She doesn't say anything really. Yes a relationship is more meaningful than a one night stand, we get it. 

Let me touch on the question just a little bit because Martin didn't really do it. We know that hot is used to describe a woman's attractiveness but beauty is used the same way. Sure you can argue that there are small differences, considering the beautiful is defined as "exciting aesthetic pleasure." Aesthetic is another subjective word but if asked, people would easily lean towards describing physically pleasing traits as opposed to inner ones. As another comment poster notes "never heard a woman say how beautiful Channing Tatum's soul is." The article is total hypocrisy. 

The irony is that the picture Martin chose for her article is a skinny, bikini clad woman, society's definition of hot. There is a difference between being hot and being beautiful, but it's not as big or as disgusting as Lauren Martin tries to make it out to be, and writers like her are the reason men are put off by the word feminism. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stop Complaining About Michael Sam

We've heard a lot about Michael Sam over these past few months. For those who don't know, Michael Sam is a defensive end from Missouri who came out as gay early in the year during the off-season. The off-season is a period where the NFL is starved for news and where the media eats stuff in a heartbeat. Then people started making a lot of hooplah over how late he got drafted. I mean come on, your sexuality obviously makes your football ability better right?!

I'm not for gay marriage due to my religious views. However, America isn't the most religious or moral country in the whole-wide world and people have freedoms here that they don't have in other places. Sam should be able do whatever he wants in his personal life; it's none of my business. The problem comes when Mr. Sam makes a public spectacle of his sexuality. He came out to his team first. Coaches wanted to know a little bit about their players. They asked the usual questions: "Major? Age? Fun Fact?" and Sam's fun fact was that he's gay. This was not surprising to many of his teammates and they were supportive of him. Great for him, it's one thing to come out to your friends and teammates who are close to you, it's another to do it on national television.

In an ESPN interview he said: "I understand how big this is," he said. "It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL." Does anyone else see the contradiction here? You want to be a football player in the NFL? Or do you want to be a gay football player in the NFL? Sam seemed to choose the latter. If you want to get an independent assessment of your football ability then don't throw in things that you know will affect that analysis. He stated that he understands "how big this is"...that's false. Either that or he simply wanted his 15 minutes of fame.

After he came out his press conferences all revolved around his sexuality. To which he said: “I wish you guys would just say: ‘Hey, Michael Sam, how’s football going, how’s training going?’ I would love for you to ask me that question.' “But it is what it is, and I just wish you guys would see me as ‘Michael Sam the football player’, instead of ‘Michael Sam the gay football player’.” Again, he had the option of being treated the same but chose to throw another variable in the mix. If you want them to ask you how's football going and how's training going then talk to the media about football, not your sexuality. Sam brought this on himself. What on Earth did he expect?

Let's take a step back from Sam for a second and talk about Ben Gardner. Oh wait, you don't know who he is do you? He was drafted just 5 spots above Michael Sam. Plays the same position, has a similar draft grade and was projected to land in the 7th round. Never heard of him and yet no one is saying he landed in his spot because he is straight, gay or otherwise, he was drafted near the end because of his football ability. Let's compare the two guys for a second.

Sam:

  • 4.91 40 Yard Dash
  • 7.8 Second 3 Cone Drill
  • 17 Bench Press reps (2nd weakest among all DEs)
  • 25 and 1/2 inch Vertical Jump
  • 6 foot 2 inches Height
  • 262 lbs Weight
Gardner:

  • 4.83 40 Yard Dash
  • 6.78 Second 3 Cone Drill
  • Not invited to combine so no bench press reps
  • 39 and a half inch Vertical Jump
  • 6 foot 4 inches Height
  • 262 lbs Weight
Sam's combine numbers were horrendous for a defensive lineman. He lacks the size to play the position in the NFL. He isn't as explosive as you need to be in the NFL as evidenced by the slow 40 yard dash, 3 cone drill and extremely short vertical jump. Gardner had better numbers but wasn't even invited to the combine and no one outside of NFL general managers were talking about him. Gardner was projected to be a 7th rounder according to NFL.com. No one complained when he was drafted there. Sam was projected to be a 7th rounder according to NFL.com. People ranted like hell when he was drafted there.

What's more is that the NFL had draft grades posted on their website for most prospects they thought would get drafted. Michael Sam was given a 5.1 draft grade. The average grade of a person drafted in the 7th round this year was a whopping 5.13 with a standard deviation of about 0.16. Pro Football Weekly's senior editor Nolan Nawrocki had this to say about Sam: "lacks burst and acceleration off the edge to get a step on blockers and finish. Sack production results from effort and production flushed to him and is not creatively produced with savvy pass-rush moves,speed, power or bend." That's some harsh criticism for a guy whose job it is to be powerful, quick and be able to mow past enormous and strong NFL caliber offensive linemen. His draft projection on NFL.com was 7th round/undrafted.

This isn't to knock Sam as a person. This guy is great, never gets in any kind of trouble and always gives a 110% on the field. In the same blurb Nawrocki says that Sam "Plays hard -- gives great effort and competes every down. Good on-field intensity and demeanor."  that shows he's a great teammate, great person and a great college athlete.

My issue here is this: he shouldn't have made himself a public spectacle during the draft. People weren't going to talk about him because he isn't going to become a tremendous NFL athlete so now he gets his fame from people talking about his sexuality during a time when the NFL and its fans are starving for news. You really want to be an openly gay player in the NFL to make it easier for future players? Great, do it after you actually make the 53 man game-day roster. That way your sexuality won't impact your ability to make the team or get drafted and gay college players are now more comfortable coming out and playing. People are keen to talk about how his stock dropped because he was gay but there is no evidence for it. The argument can just as easily be made that being openly gay UPPED his draft stock because no one wanted to pass on him due to the uproar it would cause or "the message" it would send. It's too late to be Michael Sam the football player, he made the wrong decision in the beginning of the year. Now the headlines are going be the NFL's first openly gay player gets drafted, the NFL's first openly gay player gets signed, the NFL's first openly gay player goes to training camp, the NFL's first openly gay player gets signed or cut.






Saturday, January 11, 2014

Life of a Muslim Feminist Huh?

So for those who don't know there's been this twitter hashtag going around where people, mostly Muslim women, and some others,tweet about various problems/double standards and the like. There have been some very interesting and real tweets such as the one that started off the whole hashtag: “White fems want to pull your hijab off and 'liberate' you and Muslims tell you you don't need feminism.”

My problem with this is not the content. Well most of the the content, there was one about twerking and belly dancing and a couple others I thought were enormously stupid but I digress. The content is fine, women as a whole have never really had it totally fair. Black men could vote before white women could. Men still make more for doing than the same job than women. Hillary Clinton is the closest thing to a presidential candidate this country's ever had and she never had much of a chance. Muslim women have even more challenges in a country were sexualized and liberated are synonyms when it comes to women. But everyone likes to get a little ranting off their chests once in a while. It feels good.

However, the hashtag is not by any means the proper means to accomplish anything besides a little social media fanfare and controversy. Let's look at this logically. You post a problem unique to Muslims and say it's the life of a Muslim feminist. Outsiders looking in see that these women face all these problems because of their oppressive religion. You being a feminist (for the sake of this argument let's define it as a woman seeking equal rights and treatment) is made more difficult because of your religious choice. Regardless of whether or not this is your intention you need to see and judge the impacts of your actions. That is the logical implication people are getting from these tweets and its absolutely horrible. Many who don't know about Islam in any sort of detail will see this and instantly get an awful impression of what it must be like to be a “practicting/religious Muslim.”

Not only that, but the problems people are posting about have nothing to do with actual Islam. They have to do with people forcing their cultural views on women and backing it up under the name of Islam. Not only that but this casts a horrible view on all the Muslim men who aren't sexist, and treat WOMEN as a whole with respect. For every person with a bogus, Saudi view on women's rights there are a thousand Muslim men who think those views are just as BS as the women do.

Here is the bottom line, you'll get retweets and likes from certain people. That's the good part, the consequences are that you creating a horrible stereotype of Muslim men being horrible misogynistic dicks because that's what their religion makes them become. The sheer thought that Muslim women should have to fight for rights is sad, and a sign that some people have abandoned what the Prophet Muhammed (s) taught. Some people have used the hashtag and clarified that this doesn't apply to Islam but only some people. However, when people feel the need to clear up the fact that the hashtag doesn't apply to the religion but rather to certain people, well that's when you know you haven't started something good. If your actions require you to clarify and say “no, no my religion isn't so God-awful and sexist” then you aren't doing the right thing. Sure not all of the tweets are about problems/injustices/double-standards but this hashtag as a whole is not beneficial for anyone. The venting of these issues in this manner benefits nobody and reinforces negative stereotypes of Islam and the people who follow it.

That sums up my take on this issue. Now I'm sure there will be those with conflicting opinions and I just want to put this out there before anyone does decide to comment. I welcome your well thought out input, however if you reject my argument and cite my gender and my lack of empathy towards your plight as the reason, here's why your wrong:
  1. You haven't actually touched my argument's points at all.
  2. Your argument is known as a fallacy of ad hominem.
  3. I'm a human being with the logical capacity to analyze situations and their repercussions. My gender doesn't affect my ability to do this.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Five Bullets: Redskins Flat Out Suck



1. Special Teams Sucks

The main reasons Kansas City managed to empty out FedEx field by halftime was the shitty play of the entire special teams group. The only guy to be excused is Kai Forbath as he made his 50 yard field goal in the crappy conditions.They gave up two outright touchdowns and set up most of the other Kansas City scores with drives that STARTED in the red zone. Special teams don't have to be good, they just have to not absolutely blow. Special teams gave the offense no shot of winning this game and put the defense in an impossible situation. Not only that, but our kick/punt returners got almost nothing on their returns and the Redskins consistently started with a long field ahead of em. By far the worst part of a horrible team.

2. The Offense Sucks
Sure the weather sucked, but RG3 missed open receivers, was sacked 6 times and Alfred Morris had around 30 rushing yards. So much for top ranked rushing attack in the league. It's hard to stomach, especially after finally drafting the saviour franchise quarterback with 3 picks and winning the division last year. After having a dynamic rushing attack and efficient passing game the offense has receded into an anaemic, turnover prone slug. They can't stay on the field for more than two downs at a time. They score 3 points in the first half, and then score 3 touchdowns in garbage time against the opponent's 2nd string defense only to call it a "close game." 

3. The Defense Sucks
The defense was a known weakness heading into the season. It was the team's hope that draft picks David Amerson, Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo would do something to improve the situation. It didn't really happen. When the defensive line would get pressure, the secondary would let someone get open. When the secondary would cover well, the line wouldn't get any pressure. And when the defense played well the offense wouldn't bother scoring until the defense broke-down. The cap-penalty and lack of a first round draft pick severely hampered the defense's ability to improve but this is the NFL. Thirteen games in and we're sick of making excuses. Play football.

4. Special Teams Sucks. Hard.
Let no one be confused as to how much the Redskins special sucked today. Kansas City had more plays in our territory than we did. Keith Burns has got to go.

5. The Coaching Staff Sucks
I want to make every excuse for Mike Shanahan and I honestly think that firing him will not help our situation, especially when it comes to RG3. I think he needs at least another year in the system to improve and see the accuracy we saw last year. That being said all the news stories in the media are not healthy for the team. Shanahan came and got rid of the media circus but now it's coming back. This isn't good for a growing team and there has to be something wrong in the management of a 3-10 football team that was 10-6 last year. Special teams and the defense have regressed. The Redskins defense used to be a force to be reckoned with until Haslett came along, not saying he is the definite problem as they were heading downwards with Greg Blache, just stating that they have regressed. And for heaven's sake fire Keith Burns. Losing Lorenzo Alexander hurts but one player can't do THAT much damage to your unit. When the offense or defense is struggling special teams can't be adding to the problem.

Looking ahead to next week: I think Atlanta has the same record as us, but they still have Matt Ryan, and so there really shouldn't be much to look forward to. Abandon all hope so that if they win it will be a pleasant surprise, and when they lose you'll have seen it coming.

Bottomline: Bench Robert Griffin III. He is our starter for the future. He is our starter Week 1 next season. That being said he is get whacked. He can't drop back for more that 0.005 seconds before the pocket collapses around him. When the offensive line gives him more than that the receivers can't get open. These past few weeks have not solely been on RG3 and at this point, I want to see Kirk play. Teams will get a look at what they may be trading for and, God-forbid, we may get a win or two.