Japanese Politicians Take Over Friday Linkage

Ichiro Ozawa, possible Prime Minister of Japan, thinks Americans are “simple-minded”. His words reminded me of a description of Americans given by a fictitious Japanese Prime Minister,

They have the most violent culture in the world, yet they worship justice. They venerate making money, but their roots are found in ideals.

While we’re talking about Japanese politicos (real or imagined), Kazutaka Sangen, mayor of Taiji, has spoken out against certain people whose sole desire is to see Japanese whale hunts (like Taiji’s dolphin hunts) end.  His words seem to eliminate any room for discussion,

We will pass down the history of our ancestors to the next generation, preserve it. We have a strong sense of pride about this. So we are not going to change our plans for the town based on the criticism of foreigners.

Game. Set. Match. Way to stick up for multiculturalism Mayor Kazutaka.  Though “foreigners” doesn’t quite do justice to the word which you probably said:  gaijin.

On to the linkage…

About as a heart-warming story as you’re going to read…I understood why Bengals wideout Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco (Chad Eight Five), 85 is his number after all. You’d think with how tech-savvy Chad is, he could have plugged in “eighty-five” into Google Translate and found out that the correct Spanish translation is ochenta y cinco, not ochocinco. Oh well, at least he has his own cereal, mistranslated name and all… Mohler demolishes so-called theistic evolution…Jennifer Aniston’s latest offering flops at the box office, big surprise since she seems to want to resurrect the chest-clutching Rachel Green character in every one of her movies… Jim Furyk gets DQ’d from a PGA tournament because his cell phone alarm doesn’t go off, oops…Ever watch that Tea Party Scene in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? The masterminds who orchestrated it were the March Hare and the Mad Hatter (below). Perhaps that’s what we can call these 2 billionaires who are the masterminds behind the populist Tea Party movement…

[Photo credit:  Disney]

The Ubiquitous Chicharito Tops Friday Linkage

Mexico’s rising star and child of promise, Javier “Chicharito” (Little Pea) Hernandez is everywhere. Scoring goals against the World Champs in Azteca, off his face against Chelsea in the FA Community Shield Cup; gracing the front page of the Daily Mail’s football section under “Premier League Podcast” (below, second from left), and last but certainly not least residing in the lung of a senior citizen.

The kid hasn’t played one game in the EPL and he’s put up next to League stars Fàbregas, Lampard and Gerrard. Hope the pressure doesn’t crush our beloved little pea…

and here is the smorgasbord that is, Friday Linkage:

The ‘Stros kind of get some overseas love, and yes she broke up with him but not over him letting her get hit by the foul ball...  The Faith of Katy Perry and the eventual fate of Katy Perry’s music…Yep, I’m one of these 40%ers Here’s a column titled, “America’s Biggest Jobs Program — the U.S. Military”, written by, wait for it, a Berkeley prof. Maybe not quite the inspiration for Gibby’s “eliminating the Pentagon” blast but… Apparently Jennifer Aniston drew the ire of former Inside Edition luminary Bill O’Reilly by believing it to be a good idea to drive a car with your feet. And oh by the way, Aniston paid it forward Puritan anchor babies, need I say more? Finally, we are less than a month away from seeing these boys (below) in action. #81 there to the right is all-around great guy Sam Acho, here’s a great story about him…

[Photo credit: Peter Read Miller/Sports Illustrated]

Facebook Unfriending

I think it’s safe to say that Facebook (Feisbuk to my paisanos) has become the top social networking site. MySpace? Pffft, so 15 minutes ago. Recent months have seen a MySpace to Facebook migration worthy of a flock of Canada Geese (below).

Canada Geese

To the more hip amongst us mortals, Facebook has jumped the shark, and perhaps greener pastures (devoid of bourgeoisie influences) are to be sought.

I use Facebook and find it entertaining as well as a veritable time vacuum. Mostly I use Feisbuk as a Twitter page: posting amusing/ridiculous/interesting links as well as providing unnecessary updates during Texas football games and Mexican National Team fútbol matches. Not to mention keeping up with relatives back in the old country.

Surely, Facebook isn’t perfect, for example an “unlike” button (right) Unlike Buttonwould be nice, but it is a good way to keep in touch with people. I feel that besides an “unlike” button, something else is missing from Facebook: An “Unfriend” Notification.

When you request someone to be your “friend”, you get a notification that said person has approved your request. So why not be notified when a “friend” removes you from their “friend” list?

Speaking of “unfriending”, I realize that social networking is still in its infant stages (no matter what the hipsters say) insofar as customs are concerned. In other words, not enough time has elapsed for the light of etiquette to shine in every nook and cranny of the Facebook microcosm.

I understand that people “unfriend” for a slew of reasons: whittling of a massive “friends” list, feuding with the “unfriended” etc.

The question remains: Should an “unfriend” notification be sent to the exiled? In the same vein: What are good reasons to “unfriend” someone?

To see a good reason to “unfriend” someone check out this video, the “unfriend” comes at the end:

Westlake Hills… That’s Where I Want to Be

Back in college in the A-TX, I used to hold a job in which I interacted with one of the most puzzling creatures that inhabit the urban jungle: rich kid who panhandles.

That’s right, there were kids (maybe still are) who came down from the lofty spires of their parents’ Westlake Hills homes to walk the mean streets surrounding the University of Texas. How did I know they were from Westlake Hills? Well because they’d try to use their Westlake High IDs to buy cigarettes.

But the best part is that they’d ask people for change so they could purchase said cigarettes. It would not surprise me one bit if most of these kids fit this brilliant post by Mr. Landers’ to a T.

Is there anything better than a group of people who rail against a system/authority figures which put clothes on their backs and/or support their nascent drug habit? Well, maybe Woody Allen signing a petition supporting Roman Polanski, but I digress.

I was reminded of these chiflados after reading the following story this morning, Six Charged With Mob Activity and the seeing the mugshots accompanying it.

Chiflados

With the notable exception of Randy Jackson’s little brother (middle, bottom row), these 6 luminaries reminded me of my pals from Westlake Hills.

Of course, none of the Westlake kids did anything like what these 6 were picked up for, mainly dragging an Olympic banner and scuffling with the Poe-leez.

I’m not a betting man but I’d wager that after a brief council of war these 6 couldn’t name 3 Olympic Sports, and were just looking for an excuse to vent their pampered angst.

­¡Sopencos!

Papa Smurf

Growing up we watched the Smurfs (Los Pitufos) and I suppose, liked them for what they were to us: a cartoon.

Diminutive blue-skinned beings who lived in mushrooms and sang a catchy tune, yes I definitely see the appeal now. The Smurf universe also made its way into our everyday lives.

For example, there was a planned community whose houses were about the size of something you’d buy at Tuff Shed(below).

Tuff Shed
♫La la la la la laaaaaa, la la la la laaaaaa♫

Well due to these houses’ size we glossed them Las Casas de los Pitufos (Smurf Houses).

Come to find out years later that allegedly the whole thing was nothing more than neo-Nazi propaganda. Whatever.

All this being said, allow me to introduce the the only human being who can literally say “I can ____________ ’til I’m blue in the face” because his face is well, blue.

Papa Smurf

Here’s the story behind Papa Smurf:

Man turns BLUE after he self-medicates for a skin condition

Innocence Lost

It has not gone unnoticed that a large number of my well-to-do countrymen and women head north and flock to the Houston-area to hit the local malls.

Particularly the Galleria and its country bumpkin cousin, Katy Mills. Here is a shot of the world-famous Katy Mills carousel:

Katy Mills

[Pic source: Kid Pop Houston]

They come from all over my native land, from México City to Monterrey. It is quite easy to spot them because,

  1. They’re the only ‘weirdos’ who are walking the mall as a family
  2. They’re the only Mexicans who aren’t all choloed up

Never in a million years would I have imagined that any of the niñas fresas buying overpriced clothes would ever attempt to smuggle blow on their way to the happy shopping grounds.

Yet, there is this story:
Smugglers turn to affluent women as drug ‘mulas’

Here is how the piece opens up:

Three striking sisters, women in their 20s from the Mexican metropolis of Monterrey, were riding in the back of a late-model minivan with friends toward the shopping malls of Houston, when a Laredo customs agent noticed something out of place.

Next time I hit the ‘Mills’, it will be difficult to look at my money-dropping paisanos without thinking of this story.

Oh, innocence lost!

Omaha

Omaha

(Pic source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/84263554@N00/204089511/)

So, where are all the cornfields?

Yeah I know, but some leeway should be given considering that people who move to Texas think that we’re all rocking cowboy hats down here and that there is a hitchin’ post outside every business, even Starbucks.

“Omaha, somewhere in Middle America…” or so goes the line from the Counting Crows tune that is shares a name with this post.

Middle America, now there is a loaded term. More often than not, it refers to the middle class here in these United States. You know, the demographic that politicos of every stripe take for granted except around election time.

I’m currently reading a book in which at one point, the venerable writer calls out ‘many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians’ and describes them like this:

[Their] ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christians friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave submiddle-class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves.

I must admit this hits a bit too close to home, yet… yet, does not this ambition at times seem harmless and dangerously appealing?

Roof Wanted

lion

Pic h/t: Daily Mail

What is Love?

With all due respect to Haddaway, the following shot is one answer to that question,

jordan

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

No, I’m not saying that Michael Jordan looking like he’s at a revival is love.

Rather, him rocking that Illinois polo is love, a father’s love. Before achieving basketball immortality in the NBA, Jordan played ball at North Carolina. There, he won a national title under the tutelage of the coaching great Dean Smith.

Yet, because his boy is a reserve player on the University of Illinois team, Jordan forgets Carolina blue to support his son by sporting Illinois orange.

Boy, I don’t know, if our son were to attend OU (or A&M), and miraculously (you see, the genetic deck is stacked against him) play basketball there, could I set aside my burnt orange to sport crimson or maroon?

Blasphemous as it might be in Longhorn Nation, I wouldn’t even think twice.

Seriously though, what is love? This is love:

Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10

Abstinence is Not “Realistic”

Or so says Bristol Palin, daughter of Alaska Governon Sarah Palin, insofar as teenagers are concerned. As we all know, thanks to an inordinate amount of salacious and even sneering reporting, Bristol (below with her little one) is a teen mom.

bristol-palin

I’m not here to criticize Ms. Palin’s views. In large part because she’s half-right.

Given the pressures today’s teenagers face (though let’s not pretend that teenagers of yesteryear didn’t face similar pressures), Ms. Palin has a point.

Of course, peer pressure doesn’t justify behavior one way or the other but that’s a side note.

She’s right in regards to the unregenerate, those who lead their lives without God, or merely pay Him lip service. Speaking as one who’s lived most of his life without God’s special grace, I can attest to this.

To those outside of God’s special grace, what incentive is there to abstain from, as CS Lewis put it, “the monstrosity of sex outside of marriage”?

Though I would argue that peer pressure is not quite the motivator that our own fallen, natural urges are.

As for those who are regenerate, that is awakened from spiritual death by the Holy Spirit, not only is abstinence realistic, it is expected.

You can ask former Laker great, A.C. Green who had a 16-year NBA career and remained a virgin throughout. Given the cadre of attractive young women who seek to jump in the sack with NBA players, I can’t say it was easy for Green (insert joke here).

However, because he relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to lead him through temptations that most of us will never know, A.C. obeyed Our Lord and showed that for God’s children, abstinence is realistic.

His teammates even sent women to Green’s hotel room to try to “break” him. So even under the most trying of circumstances, it is realistic to abstain from sex outside of its intended place, marriage.

Here is a piece that Sports Illustrated did on A.C. Green.

For the record, I think Green’s (below, left) abstinence throughout his average NBA career is more impressive than all of Michael Jordan’s (right) well-documented on-court achievements.

acgreen

This almost looks fark’d

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