Monday, July 30, 2012

Chick-Fil-A and the 1st Amendment (Why Dan Cathy is no Bigot)

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

"We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.

"We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

Those are the words of Chick-Fil-A owner and Georgia native Dan Cathy. It was said in an interview with the Baptist Press where Cathy discussed his values, his business practices and professional philosophy.  All influenced by his faith as he reiterated in another interview.

Under the 1st Amendment, Cathy has the right to believe and say what he feels. As the owner of a privately owned company, the Constitution protects him from that like it would any of us. As I’ve also written several times on here, however, it doesn’t protect him from backlash as many have done.

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 Olympics: What I'm Looking Forward To

The Olympics start today in London and I'm already excited to see what shakes out this time around. Mainly I'm looking forward to see how the first Summer Games is captured in this new social media age. I saw the intrigue and fun from the 2010 Winter Games but now it's going to be even more fun to see the tweets, posts and interaction all around the world.

As far as the Games itself, this is what I'm checking for.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Final Word on the Penn State sanctions

Basically, good job to the NCAA for once. There will be much debate over the sanctions but I think that overall they hit the university and football program where it hurts. Financially and in the win column. The vacated wins did shock me honestly, but I think that it's more than appropriate considering the powers that be valued football and used it as a scapegoat to cover up for their sins and worrying about reputation.

I've also included the sanctions levied against USC, Southern Methodist and Ohio State. Not for comparison, but just for information. I also include links to my previous blog posts on Penn State for perspective on how I feel.

My initial thoughts where I recall a local sports scandal that Penn State reminded me of.
My Final Words on Penn State's terrible coverup and what we can learn from false gods and protecting monsters

A summary of USC's sanctions from 2010

A summary of the SMU death penalty

Ohio State's sanctions from last winter

(Postscript: This is by no means a support of the NCAA as a whole. They are a corrupt, broken system bent on making money on the backs of young men and women while unfairly compensating them. It's merely a tip of the hat while knowing that they have potential to cause more harm with today's decision because these are uncharted waters.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Electric Relaxation: Something Corporate "I Woke Up in A Car"

Lately, I've been doing a lot of reflection on the summer of 2002. It was the summer after I graduated high school, my first summer driving more consistently, and a time of great transition as I was getting ready to move to San Diego for college.

I've also been thinking about my 10-year reunion that never or couldn't happen (at least without great effort) and the music of that summer has been hitting me closely. I listened to lot a punk rock at the time and thanks to KROQ, you'd hear a variety of pop-punk bands since folks were riding the wave of Blink-182's popularity.

Something Corporate, one of the many pop-punk bands emerging from Orange County, came out that year and released two singles. The first, "If U C Jordan" hit on radio right away since it was a nice kiss-off to high school and had a great video . But it was the second single, "I Woke Up In a Car" about being on the road that hit me a bit deeper and still does to this day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why I Prefer Respect over Tolerance

Lately, I’ve been noticing society preach the idea of tolerance. Teaching kids tolerance for all peoples in spite of who they are. Tolerance for college students caught out of their comfort zone. Tolerance to teach people to move beyond hatred and dislike of certain groups.

It’s a great idea but I want something deeper. Something that goes beyond tolerating a person’s differing opinion or belief. Something that goes into understanding that person regardless of their journey yet seeing them as worthy of your equal.

I’m talking about respect.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gods and Monsters: A Final Lesson From Penn State

College football has long created gods who tower over the sport. The Freeh Report headed by former FBI director Louis Freeh is another reminder of danger in creating such idols as the Penn State scandal continues to shake out. Folks blatantly looked the other way or didn't report Jerry Sandusky's serial raping of young boys.

It’s not just a football problem. Any area where people give folks carte blanche to do whatever while looking the other way is ripe for corruption and abuse. There’s too much evidence of this to ignore but in sports, it seems to happen way too much and in the aftermath of Joe Paterno's fall from grace, we should take notes.

Folks turn ordinary men into gods and they have the potential to become ugly monsters. Warped in their judgment and horrifying in their fall that their supporters knowingly or unknowingly enabled.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Newsroom (Why I Love How It Dares To Dream)

"The Newsroom is a romantic, idealistic and swashbuckling look at a fictional cable news show." - series creator Aaron Sorkin

The minute I saw the trailer for Aaron Sorkin’s latest gem, I was hooked. Heck, the minute I heard Sorkin’s name, I was hooked. The genius of The Social Network and The West Wing was taking his talents to cable TV to write a show about the inner workings of a cable news show.

Then I watched the opening minutes and opening monologue from Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). It was ballsy, in your face and spoke to a lot of truth about how America has fallen from grace.

Three episodes in, I’m seeing why I was hooked from the jump. "The Newsroom" is smart and ambitious. It shines a light on the media and aims to raise the standard of journalism. You feel like you’re watching an actual cable network instead of a show about one.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Favorite Los Angeles movies

Being an L.A. guy, I always love when a film is set here and I see locations that I recognize. It’s easy to set a movie here because it’s a perfect setting and it’s the birthplace of modern film. But it’s hard to make movies that capture L.A. perfectly or use it as a character or become iconic.

Too often, L.A. just plays the background. Movies are set there but aren’t really from there or it’s just there because. As I’m doing my part to discover what it means to be an Angeleno, here’s 10 of my favorite L.A. movies (not in any order)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mad at Rewarding Excellence? Work Harder!

I read this LA Times op-ed piece wondering if naming high school students as valedictorians is outdated and unfair. The story sprang up from a controversy where the parents of the student who had the 2nd highest grade point average complained to the school that it was unfair that their daughter's hard work went for naught.

The father said "You don't want your kid to be a loser" and the family is threatening to sue the school because their daughter finished .05 behind the valedictorian (4.55 to 4.5). Yes, you read that right. Threatening a lawsuit because their child didn't get the highest GPA.

It gets sillier when I read their daughter has already been accepted to Stanford. Not exactly struggling to get in a great school.

I actually have a solution to what the article proposed but first I want to address the parents and high school folks who are so caught up on GPA and overloading their plate because it looks good to colleges. Full disclosure, I was valedictorian of my HS class 10 yrs ago and had a GPA above 4.3 so I'm not just blowing smoke.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Electric Relaxation: Frank Ocean "Pyramids"

I waited a couple weeks to hear this song because I wasn’t sure what to expect. 10 minutes of R&B? How could Odd Future’s singer carry a song for that long and it be good?

One of the reasons I like Ocean is because he’s creative. He’s not the best singer live but he knows how to deliver a song. He has a mix of confidence/introspection/storytelling that separates him from shallow singers because it feels genuine. He’s also a great writer and aside from Ne-Yo and The-Dream, I can’t say that about too many R&B singers since they fall into clichés.