Saturday, July 27, 2013

Undefeated Floyd "Money" Mayweather and The Forest Lab

 “It’s just difficult to bet against Floyd if you’re really honest with yourself… First off, you have to admit that he’s the best of his time. The best of his generation.”  Mike Tyson

The Champ is in strict training again.  The big fight against Canelo Alvarez is on the horizon and The Money Team is hard at work.  Discipline is the word to use when it comes to Floyd Mayweather. It takes discipline to maintain the winning streak Floyd Mayweather has. Discipline in every area of his training. Discipline amongst chaos.

The Forest Lab
The Forest Lab had the rare opportunity of being invited to join The Champ during one of his training sessions at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas. Among the throngs of family, friends, reporters, and fans, they found Floyd Mayweather engaged in his routine, focused and disciplined. From sparring to jumping rope his concentration was precise, never distracted. The energy level at the gym was raging as the entourage shouted with him through his entire session, responding appropriately when he spoke certain words. They all worked together like a well-oiled machine pumping out a product of sheer perfection. 

It is this kind of discipline and focus that is required to be number one in your field.  It is the reason why Floyd Mayweather is still one of the highest paid athletes.  It is the reason why The Forest Lab has added Floyd “Money” Mayweather, The Champ, to their Crown series.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BSA Friends of Scouting, To Pay or Not To Pay

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
—Boy Scout Oath

My son is an Eagle Scout.  I have participated in the Boy Scouts of America program as I helped serve in areas that helped my son and others progress forward on the path to Eagle, the highest rank within the program. Frankly I must admit I have become disillusioned by the way the institution is being handled today.  

The Boy Scouts have been in the news a lot lately regarding the issue of allowing “openly gay” boys to participate in the program.  The Scouting National Council of 1,232 delegates from across the country voted to lift the ban and the policy will change January 1, 2014.  The lifted ban has only fueled the controversy. 

Some opponents on the right said they would pull their sponsorships of packs and troops, and parents threatened to take their boys out of Scouting; LGBT activists said the policy change doesn't go far enough because gay adults still wouldn't be allowed to participate. It seems the political move didn’t satisfy anyone really. 

I believe that the ban has opened the door for a policy change in the near future which will allow gay leaders to participate too.  When a boy reaches the rank of Eagle he is given a charge. Among other things he is charged with the responsibility to “help advance other Scouts along the Eagle trail”.  He is charged to “be a leader, but lead only toward the best.”  It stands to reason that an Eagle has more than a right; he has a responsibility to be a leader in the organization. How is it logical to ban him from serving in the organization simply for being gay? Activists are already working on that one, believe me.

Still others have voiced loud protests demanding the BSA to “end discrimination” by allowing atheist, humanist, and nontheistic participants which are currently banned from participation because of their non-conformity to the BSA oath which states “duty to God” as one of its core principles. 

Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, made this statement:

"The Scout, in his promise, undertakes to do his duty to his king and country only in the second place; his first duty is to God. It is with this idea before us and recognizing that God is the one Father of us all, that we Scouts count ourselves a brotherhood despite the difference among us of country, creed, or class. We realize that in addition to the interests of our particular country, there is a higher mission before us, namely the promotion of the Kingdom of God; That is, the rule of Peace and Goodwill on earth. In the Scouts each form of religion is respected and its active practice encouraged and through the spread of our brotherhood in all countries, we have the opportunity in developing the spirit of mutual good will and understanding.

"There is no religious "side" of the movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.

"Let us, therefore, in training our Scouts, keep the higher aims in the forefront, not let ourselves get too absorbed in the steps. Don't let the technical outweigh the moral. Field efficiency, back woodsmanship, camping, hiking, Good Turns, jamboree comradeship are all means, not the end. The end is CHARACTER with a purpose.

"Our objective in the Scouting movement is to give such help as we can in bringing about God's Kingdom on earth by including among youth the spirit and the daily practice in their lives of unselfish goodwill and cooperation."

He obviously was a very spiritual man and had a lofty goal for this group.

But, since we threw out the “morally straight” part of the oath, we might as well get rid of the “duty to God” part too, right? (Said tongue in cheek)

Suddenly the Boy Scouts of America isn’t looking like the organization it was meant to be at all. 

These were all thoughts I had been pondering for quite some time, and then my friend sent me a link to a story about The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.   It is also in the news because it is the location of the BSA National Jamboree this year, which is held every four years. I encourage you to read the article for yourself, it is an eye opener.

This made me stand at attention:

The Summit is more than the ultimate Scout camp. It was envisioned as a way to shore up the finances of an organization burdened by a long-term drop in membership, costly sexual-abuse lawsuits and a bruising battle over whether to admit gay members. The park would bring in even more in donations than it would cost to build, Scout leaders concluded.

"The Summit gives us the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to America and raise $1 billion for the best youth development in the world," says a slide from a June 2010 presentation on the project.

It isn't panning out that way. Costs are rising. Initially budgeted at $176 million through 2013, the Summit's cost is now estimated to reach at least $350 million by the end of this year and $439 million by the end of 2015, according to Scouts documents reviewed by Reuters. To keep up, the Scouts issued new bonds last year - more than doubling their previous borrowing for the project.

Perhaps all this political correctness the BSA is trying to achieve is solely motivated by money.  Are they simply trying to please those who they are trying to solicit funds from? Where is the moral fortitude in that equation?  

My conclusion:  I am going to rethink my “Friends of Scouting” donation this year.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

MLK Did Not Wear A Hoodie

There is a picture that is circulating around the media that features Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wearing a black hoodie.  That picture prompted me to further research this great man.  After doing so I have concluded Dr. King would have NEVER worn a hoodie!

I was only a young child when Dr. King participated in the Civil Rights movement of the sixties.  I was barely three years old when he organized the historic march on our nation’s capital with a peaceful demonstration demanding justice for all.  I watched the video of his moving “I have a dream” speech.  I looked through the sea of people who were there, black and white, coming together for a common cause.

I listened as he cautioned the nation about overlooking the urgency of the moment, about remembering the passion represented there that day and not going back to “business as usual” without initiating a change for the better.

I was enlightened as he implored those of color to not be guilty of doing wrongful deeds in the process of gaining freedom from inequality. I saw him warn them not to drink of the cup of bitterness and hatred, but to take the “high plane of dignity and discipline”, never allowing violence to enter into the struggle.

I saw his evangelical style of preaching crescendo as he prophetically cried,” I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I was moved when he finished with his “Let freedom ring” chorus, ending with, “And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
                Free at last! Free at last!
                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

No… I am certain; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would never have worn that hoodie.  NEVER!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Obama, Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me

Shame on you Barack Obama! 
Your speech “Trayvon Martin could have been me” is reprehensible, 
although you did say one thing I actually agree with and that is 
“that it hasn’t been productive when politicians organize conversations”.
 In case you have forgotten you are a politician and your conversation about this has certainly NOT been productive.

 Do you really believe that “black folks” are the only ones who could ever understand inequality? Do you actually think your civil rights double speak is really   “contributing to the peace, and security, and order that we’d like to see?”

Do you think only “black folks” are racially profiled? I am white and I feel racially profiled by you! 

Do you really think Afro American boys are the only ones in the nation who need help? Are they the only ones who need to feel their country cares about them, and values them, and is willing to invest in them?

Ask yourself your own questions, “Am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can?  Am I judging people as much as I can, not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character?”

Can’t you see your own racial tendencies?

Your comments were slanted, biased, and racially charged.  How does this promote unity?

How can you state in good conscience that “those of us in authority should be doing everything we can to encourage the better angels of our nature as opposed to using these episodes to heighten divisions?”

Didn’t you just contribute to the unrelenting media slant whose primary cause is to stir up the people and cause contention with one another?  Is it by keeping us in a state of unrest that you practice more fully your unrighteous dominion over us, the “less than perfect Union”?

Again I say, put away the race card and let’s look truthfully at what is happening here. 
(That is, if truth is even a thing that can be found.)

And on that note... here is a video that MUST be seen. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Federal Civil Rights Prosecution Zimmerman-Martin Case

It's been a really long time since I have been on my "soapbox" but after watching the closure of the 210 freeway in LOS ANGELES this morning on the news, because of marching protesters, angry over the verdict of the Zimmerman/Martin case in FLORIDA, I simply had to jump in on the fuss.

I believe that Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman are both victims in this sad affair. It is sad when any person, regardless of race, is lost due to violence of any kind.  My heart goes out to all of the family and friends who are effected on both sides of this tragedy.

I happen to believe in the current justice system that we uphold as a nation, flawed as it is, it is the best out there. The prosecutions duty was to provide evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zimmerman murdered Martin, and did not act in self defense.  They obviously did not provide that evidence.  Period... the end. Then why has this turned into a national crisis over "civil rights"?
Anything to divide. That is the job of the media.

Perspective given by the media.

I posted the following in a Facebook status update:

Seriously, please put away the "civil rights" movement card and the "racism" card as well. This is the United States and we have a black president for heavens sake.

My favorite response came from my son:

Racism does still exist, but it is primarily contained to the hearts of individuals! It is not an institution that is systemic today warranting the same actions as the noble men and women who lead the struggle for civil rights in the US in the 50's-60's! Is the system perfect? NO. Can it be improved? OF COURSE. But today we live in a nation where any ethnicity can become a CEO, Millionaire, Celebrity, or even President of the United States. Today there are probably more intercultural and interracial marriages and unions than any other time in the history of our country. Today a person can improve on their situation no matter their socioeconomic situation, race, or sexual orientation if they are individually motivated and desire to do so! 

So why then are people marching in the name of civil rights and equality across the nation?! Because one person was killed by another person? Whether his death was justifiable or not, it can not be classified the same as the martyrs of the great civil rights movement. When I first heard about the Trayvon Martin case from different media outlets it conjured an image in my mind of an African American child, maybe 11, being gunned down by an old white man who followed him from a store or something in like manner. From images and posts I have seen, I am clearly not the only one who had such an image in their mind. Unfortunately this image is simply not true. In reality, Treyvon was not as young, innocent, or helpless as made out to be and Zimmerman is not the hood-wearing, racist, champion of the white supremacists as he has been made out to be. In fact, I doubt that any white supremest group would even grant him entrance into their twisted backwoods clubs let alone membership! It seems to me that it was two grown men whose individual prejudices resulted in a confrontation that resulted in the tragic death of a young man. It appears to me that both men were neither saints, nor solely responsible for the altercation. Fortunately for Zimmerman and unfortunately for Treyvon's family and loved ones the tragic altercation didn't leave enough evidence for a jury to convict Zimmerman of a crime beyond reasonable doubt. 

This isolated incident has sparked racial tension across the country only because of the media and other public figures like Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who need to the feed the fire in order to stay relevant in an ever increasing tolerant world! These once great men who learned at the feet of Dr. King and marched for equality have outlived their usefulness and instead of promoting peace and greater tolerance sew the seeds of discrimination and divisiveness in order to glorify their own personal profiles and agendas. And the various media outlets of today only increase the tension by spinning lies and contention to sell a story. These people are the real villains!

 Case and point the carefully planned timing of denouncing Paula Dean because of her admittedly racist comments made 20 years ago. Very opportunistic of the media to place this story in the forefront of everyone's minds just prior to a nationally publicized trial that had been racially charged due to media hype! It is ok to decimate the career of a repentant former racist to justify the means of selling a national story of the need for more civil rights for equality!? What possible outcome can come from people rioting, or marching, or protesting the Zimmerman verdict across the nation? Greater equality in the nation or more fame to the aforementioned parties? I doubt it will change the hearts of individuals in the fight for people to judge other based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

 I have read African American celebrities posts saying "obviously they don't care about us" and "We have to take care of our children!" Presumably they're not talking about all American children but African American children. Who are "They" and who is "Us"? This doesn't help promote the civil rights that came at an extremely high cost! This doesn't help people of all ethnicities come together and break down prejudices and other barriers for equality. This doesn't teach the next generation of Americans to be a little more tolerant and a little less racist than each generation before them! 

So what then, does it accomplish!? Put the "civil rights" flag down and go serve your neighbor no matter what they look like! Teach your children to have friends of all shapes, colors, cultures and religions! The ultimate definition of equality can only exist when everyone is able to eradicate prejudices from their hearts. That will happen individually, not collectively at an organized demonstration. It has to happen in our homes and in our families in order for it to happen in our hearts.

 Division will never end racism. It happens in our homes, in our families, and most of all in our hearts.  Love that kid!