Monthly Archives: August 2012

That’s Enough, Elizabeth Warren.

Here’s my second try at a political blog post. I generally try to stay away from politics because, let’s face it, for the most part I have no idea what I’m talking about. But I really feel the need to comment on what’s going on right now with Elizabeth Warren, because you can’t really ignore this.

For those of you not paying attention, Elizabeth Warren is running against Scott Brown in the Massachusetts race for senate. Warren is liberal whereas Brown is identified as a Republican but has a lot of Independent view points. There has been a LOT of controversy flying around Warren, and the subject of these controversies is what really irritates me.

She is probably one of the whitest white people you will ever see. Blonde hair, blue eyes, the whole nine yards. Yet, somehow, she used a supposed connection with Native American tribes to identify herself as a minority when she was in Harvard. A Harvard official in 1996 even described her as Harvard’s “first woman of color. (New York Times)” She claimed she wanted to meet others like her. Well, a genealogist tried to trace her back to Native American tribes, and said she maybe 1/32 Cherokee, or something like that. Then that same genealogist took back what he said. So what exactly is “others like her”? White people who grew up in the suburbs? She could have always, I don’t know, joined a club? Student group?

Another thing that  makes me angry is something that hits close to home. She claims that no one got rich on their own, even if they started their own business. Here’s what she said:  “I think the basic notion is right. Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody. People worked hard, they buil[t] a business, God bless, but they moved their goods on roads the rest of us helped build, they hired employees the rest of us helped educate, they plugged into a power grid the rest of us helped build (reason.com)”. I’m sorry, but my mom owned her own business. For the first three or four years, she worked alone. Well, with my dad. In our house. Oh, wait. She used the city’s electricity, so clearly she didn’t do it all on her own. Are you kidding me?! That is probably the most discouraging thing that I’ve ever heard for anyone that wants to be an entrepreneur. Because you’re using public resources, you can’t take all the credit for your success.

Massachusetts has never sent a woman to the U.S. senate, mostly because the guys who were/are there have been in office forever. In fact, Massachusetts has only one woman in a federal office. We haven’t had a female governor since Jane Swift left office in 2003. She had a really great fiasco of sending a helicopter – funded by state money – to pick up her nanny. And this is why. Women who are outspoken but uninformed, jump to conclusions, and just project a bad image for the rest of us. We’re not going to be able to take any steps forward if we keep taking two steps back.

I’m stepping off my soap box now. Gotta put it away so no one else trips on it.

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My Issue With College Sports

Are you ready for another strongly opinionated post? I sure am. Here goes.

I was never a big school sports player. I played volleyball my freshman and sophomore years of high school, but worked my junior and senior years and full time through college, so I didn’t have time for much else. That being said, I have very strong opinions about college sports. Those in Division 1 schools, football in particular. Why? There’s a couple reasons.

First, I think sports scholarships are ridiculous. Sure, you have to have some sort of academic standing to get into a Division 1 school, but a sports scholarship is mainly for someone who is a talented athlete. Most likely someone who is viewing college as a means to an end, a vehicle to get to a professional career. You’re basically taking away a spot from someone who actually wants to go to college to learn and giving it to someone who is probably going to major in something extremely easy just to ensure they can pass their classes and stay on the team.

Second, a lot of college athletes that get drafted (I know, I know, there isn’t a lot of them, but enough to mention) are in their junior or sophomore year. They have the option to stay and finish their degree, but most of them hop out of the college track and go right into playing professionally. So again, they’re using the school as a means to propel themselves into a professional career, rather than taking their education seriously. There are probably 10 other students who would love to take their spot, but because of various circumstances, are passed over in favor of a future star athlete.

If I ever have children, I’m sure they’ll play sports. But they sure as hell aren’t going to coast through school, no matter how good they are. And they’re not going to invest more time in college to sports than to classes. Could the kids I don’t have yet be pro athletes? Perhaps. But not at the expense of their education.

Why Are These Olympic Sports?

The Olympics. An international event that’s held every 4 years to celebrate the world’s most elite athletes. Or at least it was. For a while. Now it seems that any sport with even the slightest semblance of physical activity can be considered Olympic level. With all the info graphics and news going around, I couldn’t help but see some lists of the events held during the Summer Olympics. And I had one reaction: WHAT?! I can do some of these in my backyard! Okay, so maybe I personally couldn’t do these “sports” for lack of coordination, but they could be performed almost anywhere. So I had to share them. Without further ado, the top four sports that shouldn’t be in the Olympics. In my opinion, anyway.

Handball

From what I’ve read, this sport seems to be a weird mix of basketball and soccer. Players dribble, pass and throw the ball into a goal. But they can touch it with their bodies. And also have contact. Sure, it requires some level of skill, but so doesn’t soccer or basketball. Which are already in the Olympics. And I disagree with those being Olympic sports as well, but that’s another topic for another day.

So, why is this in the Olympics, but something like, say, lacrosse isn’t? Good question. One that I’m sure only Olympic officials can answer. And unfortunately they didn’t answer my Tweet.

Trampoline

This one really boggles my mind. I wanted a trampoline when I was little. If I had known I could make a living off of it and possibly go to the Olympics, I would have made sure I got one! Who was the guy whose vote got this one in? I’d like to meet him.

Now, I’m sure you’re saying, “This is like gymnastics!” It’s also something my 12 year old cousin can do. Flips and routines don’t take that much effort when you’re being catapulted into the air by another force. Just look at the kids who use the Jumpy Thing at the mall. Uneven bars and floor routines? That’s where the real skill comes in.

Table Tennis

Better known as – SURPRISE – ping pong. I’m pretty great at it on the Wii, not so much in real life. But does a game that is played in basements and backyard BBQs across America deserve to be an Olympic sport? Some may say yes. And to them I say no, good sir. Yes, you have to be quick on the draw. Sure, it takes skill to be good at it. But do you REALLY need sweat bands when you’re slamming a little plastic ball back and forth? Think about that for a minute and get back to me.

Curling

I know, I know. This is the summer Olympics, and curling is a winter sport. But I just had to get this one in here. Curling is basically throwing a donut shaped weight onto some ice and using a broom in front of it to sweep the ice, thus smoothing it, to make the weight go farther into the goal circle. It reminds me of bowling. Except there’s no pins. And no excitement.

Well, there you have it. Four of the most pointless Olympic sports I’ve heard of. I’m sure there’s plenty more that I can’t think of, and frankly making a list any longer would make my head hurt. But you can leave a comment if you know of any others. Enlighten me.

And follow me on Twitter: @marymallard

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