Monday, April 25, 2011

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse: Why I hate Sarah Palin!

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse, America!!

By Nicholas Meyeres

I need to qualify this first by saying two things up front:

First, anytime I talk about anyone with even the smallest bit of authority or power over the masses- willing to lead their sometimes blind followers to the ends of the earth- whether that idol be an actor, a preacher, a sports star, an artist or a politician- they are doing themselves a great injustice if they simply follow without first asking themselves, “Is this person truly worthy of my praise and hero status I wholly give to them.” After all, as my friend David said recently, “Sarah Palin is little more than a cult of personality in the same vain that President Obama is a cult of personality to his supporters.” Few of these people are nothing more than twisted “fans” awaiting the next American Idol contestant they’ve helped propel to stardom in hopes of watching fail in full view of the public spotlight.

Having said that, I feel that you MUST hold yourself up to the highest standard possible when you command the attention and the imagination of any number of people in the palm of your hand like these individuals do- no matter how many, or how few their supporters are. In other words, if you are a priest you probably shouldn’t molest little boys, if you are a sports star you probably shouldn’t murder innocent dogs, and if you are a homeless man who is given a chance at a new life through instant stardom, maybe you shouldn’t screw it all up by getting yourself thrown back into rehab within the first week of that new life because you have no self control.

Sure, we’re all human, I accept that, but when you wield that much power over your “flock” you simply have to be MORE than human, or choose not to be there at all to begin with. That is the price celebrities pay for their fame, and that is how we judge them in this life- like it or not. And frankly, if one can’t cope with that price, he or she should endeavor to find a new line of work that pays much, much less- figuratively AND literally.

Such is the case for celebrity politicians, as well.

But, on to my second qualification: The rabid and sometimes zealotous fans within these celebrities’ ranks (that I can only compare to each other), have the uncanny ability to often contradict reality at best, or downright lie to themselves (or each other) by making up facts to suit their cause at worst. I have yet to see anything else in modern history perhaps aside from some radical religious groups like the Westboro Baptist folks that even compare to this level of fact-twisting, blind idolatry.

And while every one of these individuals has the right to distort facts as they see fit under our 1st amendment of the United States Constitution, it also makes those of us who actually value truth and honor above all else see them in the worst possible light there is. They’ve done this to themselves, after all, and as the old saying goes, “The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his own deception, and who chooses to lie with sincerity.” If we start to believe our own hype, and stop questioning “with boldness even the existence of God” we might as well put our hand at the level of our eyes, as they say, and believe what we are simply told with blind rhetoric and ignorance as our only guide.

Which brings me to Sarah Palin.

There are three things by which I personally judge people- family, friend, or celebrity alike. The first is: is this person willfully ignorant? Now, I don’t mean school smart vs. street smart, or outright stupid because you live-in-a-trailer-park-in-Kansas dumb. I am talking about the type of person that even with the overwhelming majority of fact via proof and evidence for something set before them, they still choose not to believe in it because they simply don’t want to. I mean, for crying out loud- you have to be a real special kind of lady to believe that Jesus walked with the dinosaurs like Sarah Palin does!

And furthermore, let’s just get this part out of the way since I am sure you are expecting it anyway? Sarah Palin, beyond politics and hype and rhetoric and cult of personality, is simply not capable of true, sincere interaction with the media, other politicians or the American people at all. One doesn’t have to go much further to discover that truth past how she chose not to answer ANY question posed to her during the Vice Presidential debate with then Senator Joe Biden, instead saying things like, “I don’t think Imma gonna answer that, but I will tell you about ‘X, Y & Z!’” Or, the infamous interview with Katie Couric where she couldn’t name a single thing that she reads for news.

Now, I’m not implying that the woman is illiterate, but if you can’t name so much as a comic book that you read…. Well, I’m just sayin’.

After all, just because you invoke the name of the almighty demigod, Ronald Reagan, or say “God bless America” or “Maverick” enough times doesn’t make you a bright individual who will ever be capable of being a competent president. Likewise, just because our current president has schooling under his belt that would make mine look like pre-schooling for retarded squirrels, doesn’t mean he truly understands the American people or the basic tenants of our way of life as a nation, either. Or, for that matter, a folksy, born again Christian like George W. Bush doesn’t equal a man capable of stringing two sentences together to make a coherent thought whatsoever.

Still, the beauty of our country is that any idiot can vie for public office and win. Sadly, it seems, more times than not we find and elect those idiots over the other. Such is another concern I have with Sarah Palin. Where was she found, by whom and why?

The reason in my mind that Sarah Palin was introduced to the American people as John McCain’s running mate in 2008 was a simple one: Barack Obama was young, black and a theoretical political outsider. John McCain was well-known, had been in politics for many, many years and was by all accounts much older and “whiter” than his opponent. Enter Sarah Palin.

Palin was young, fresh, new, attractive, and most importantly, she was a woman. There had to be something to offset all the proposed negatives against McCain as the American people saw it in order to compete with The Messiah: The Count Barackula, Barack Obama. To anyone critically thinking about politics and the election, this was an obvious ploy. Albeit, a ploy we were all eagerly willing to ignore because we knew what lie ahead of us should Obama be elected.

But there was also one more thing Sarah Palin had that we all had hoped would help get John McCain elected: she was much more “conservative” in comparison to Obama’s extreme liberalism, or John McCain’s centrist persona. Surly, this would help counter-balance voter’s concerns as well as rally the Republican base, while making the playing field a little bit more even in the process.

Alas, that was not to be the case. The more Sarah Palin spoke, the more it was painfully obvious that she was there strictly for her youth and feminism, and not for what she actually brought to the table as a leader. In clearer words, she simply wasn’t yet ready for prime time.

After all, some people have “it”, and some people don’t. Sarah Palin I am sure has a lot to offer some people in some capacity- but a high profile public office position is not that thing. And it never will be.

This is painfully clear by the fact that she quit her job as Alaska Governor shortly after failing to become the Vice President of the United States of America. Which is my number two thing by which I judge people I know, or know of: Are you a quitter?

Now, I don’t mean in order to raise the bar in your own personal life or to become a better person in general, but the type who quits something simply because they didn’t win another thing and their ego won’t allow them to continue on, or because they didn’t like something about another person they found out about well into that relationship. This could be applied in marriages, in friendships, as an employer, or in Sarah Palin’s case.

After all, just because you found out that a person you knew for 24 years is an atheist after many years of friendship doesn’t mean you throw them aside like a sack of moldy, old potatoes. Or, if you find out your son is gay, or your spouse snores- that is no reason to end any relationship on a whim.

Sure, I understand that we all have a threshold for some kind of tolerance in some shape or another, and we all have that one or two things we would never forgive in another person- but sometimes it just isn’t warranted to “quit” someone when they truly believe in you. Judge them harshly, yes. Even punish them. But, never, ever quit them. And, I’m not talking the average individual here, either.

The Alaskan people believed in Sarah Palin for better or worse, otherwise they never would have voted for her in the first place. But yet, she quit them like someone would leave a dog behind because their new apartment wasn’t big enough for them. That is just unacceptable in my world.

If you invest in someone (or a great many someones like Palin did), and they rely on you to do the job they elected you to do- you don’t just quit them. This wasn’t McDonalds or some part-time census worker position- this was as the Governor of the largest state in the union who hung her constituents out to dry because she didn’t win in 2008. Not cool.

After all, it wasn’t to run for a higher office in our great nation that she left. And it wasn’t to spend time with her family like she had tried to tell us at first. After all, the first thing she did was abandon her family to gallivant across the country to hock her new book. And then, she got a cushy new job on Fox News as a contributor, and finally as a reality TV star. This woman is nothing shy of a narcissistic egotist of the highest degree. It’s all about her.

Again, if a person wants to better their situation or themselves by obtaining a new job, or even a new relationship- fine- I don’t fault them. That is their right. But like I already said, this wasn’t just any job, and she told us all something that simply wasn’t true.

Which brings me to my number three thing by which I have a tendency to judge people for – right or wrong: hypocrisy. If you want to lie, good for you- I just hope you’re good at it and don’t get caught. But don’t try to blow smoke in my face and tell me it’s pixie dust later. That just makes you an hypocrite. And I LOATHE hypocrisy!

For instance, remember when El Presidente, Senor Obama- towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance on Jay Leno in 2008, talked about how he’d gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley?

“I bowled a 129”, the president said.

“That’s very good, Mr. President,” Leno said sarcastically.

It’s “like the Special Olympics or something,” the president said.

Yeah, guess who flipped her proverbial wig over that one? If you said “The mother of Down’s Syndrome baby, Trig- Sarah Palin” you win the prize. But it was her defense of Rush Limbaugh as obvious “satire” later that same week for saying even worse tripe about special needs folks that made her the hypocrite.

“But, isn’t she at least the constitutional conservative like she claims to be?” Not even close!

If one is a TRUE constitutional conservative, you would- even in the face of your personal feelings and better judgment- be for the burning of the United States Flag, for the rights of individuals to erect any building they choose to in America, and support the right of EVERYONE to speak out peacefully in any way they choose to regardless of your personal bias. But not Sarah Palin.

She supported the proposed amendment to the constitution to make flag burning illegal. But like Vietnam veteran Richard Savage said,

“…. Those who would burn the flag destroy the symbol of freedom, but amending the Constitution would destroy part of freedom itself.”

Sarah Palin damns the constitution in favor of her personal opinion, but yet, she does this instead:

Then, she said on her Twitter account of the controversial Mosque at Ground Zero being built, "Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing."

Yet, regardless of your position, if you are a strict constitutionalist you would NEVER propose to tell people they shouldn’t build a religious structure, no matter how ill-advised and disrespectful it may seem to you.

And finally, recently in response to a Supreme Court ruling in favor of a the Westboro Baptists I mentioned earlier that demonstrates at military funerals she said (also on Twitter), “Common sense & decency absent as wacko ‘church’ allowed hate msgs spewed@ soldiers’ funerals but we can’t invoke God’s name in public square.” She later explained that she was trying to say she was making a point about a double standard on free speech, not that the group shouldn’t have the right to protest. Too late, Mrs. Palin- you are clearly no constitutionalist, so stop pretending to be.

But beyond all of that, she is supremely (and unnecessarily) divisive within her own party. Recently in front of an Alaskan backdrop of grandiose mountains and a lakeside view she found time to tweak a fellow Republican, dismiss the president, and scold a top-rated Fox News talk show host all in one interview.

Palin opened by questioning New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's toughness and attacking President Barack Obama for naivete. After that, she preached about cutting various government programs to Bill O'Reilly before advising him not to interrupt her ever again even though the show was called The O’Reilly Factor, not The Sarah Show. All in a night's work for the ego which is Palin.

"… With all due respect to Governor Christie, you know he has no choice but to cut budgets because he's broke, his state is broke. What courage really is, is in the face of having a surplus when you have opportunity to spend, spend, spend other people's money, and you still choose to rein in government to let the private sector soar,” she said.

“And, by the way,” she finished with a flourish, “that’s what I did here [in Alaska].”

By popular demand, it really IS “The Sarah Show”!

This doesn’t make her look tough or like a rebel by attacking all of these people in the way she did- it just makes her look petty and narcissistic. After all, to say that of a fellow republican potential presidential candidate is just beyond the pale. What would your precious Ronald Reagan say about choosing to break his 11th Commandment of not speaking ill of a fellow Republican? Who is this former Governor of a state with a whopping grand total of 630,000 residents to speak of courage in office when the first thing she did when the going got tough was QUIT!?

And, don’t even get me started on “Crib-Note-Gate”!

Or, the anti-Semitic “blood libel” comments she made after the tragic shooting of Arizona Rep., Gabrielle Giffords.

Or, for that matter, giving that last speech the very same morning Arizona was to have a service honoring the memory for those that lost their lives that day in order to put the focus squarely on her once more. Have I mentioned anything about Sarah Palin’s planetoid-sized ego yet???

In short, Sarah Palin is a canker to the Right. Her ‘scripted reality’ better serves her ridiculous TV show, and not that of public office. She is practically bereft of anything to say but parroting what others have already said before her, or seizing what seems to be the ‘topic of the day’ and expounding on it. She doesn’t really have any original thoughts of her own volition and when publicly dared to have an original thought by the media she falls flat on her face nearly every single time.

Besides, what has Sarah Palin done for the public good since she just gave up and quit on her Governorship? Aside from splitting conservatives in two, it has been all about Sarah Palin- all of the time. Nothing good has been done for anyone else but the Palin family. Well, except for maybe that white trash, ex-potential, son-in-law that knocked up one of the Palin kids (… and, not the retarded one. Well, not the REALLY retarded one.) He got a sweet gig out of it by being well known now for doing just that.

After all, not too long ago she publicly made a promise. She essentially said, “If I become a distraction from the conservative cause I won’t run for President.” Well, what does anyone (except Sarah Palin it seems) think she has been for the nearly the last three years? She has been a distraction from the very beginning of her fifteen minutes of fame, so much so, that she has managed to knead and stretch that 15 minutes into three very long years.

Every time the Sarah Palin gravy train starts to run low on steam and slow down, there she is again showing up on talk shows, attacking fellow conservatives, starting a new reality TV show about Alaska, releasing yet another book about how great she is, or dragging her daughter through the mud behind her on another, separate reality show… perhaps, about dancing? All eyes and ears are on Sarah, all of the time. And that’s the way she likes it.

But, the time is up. She needs to proverbially ‘shit or get off the pot’. Put up or shut up. Do for America a heckuva lot more, and do for Sarah Palin and the Palin clan a heckuva lot less. She’s milking the cash cow for every last drop, which is fine if she makes her intentions to do so clear instead of leading America around by their collective noses like she has been doing since losing to Barack Obama and Joe Biden over 3 years ago.

The bottom line is that Sarah Palin is a self-serving blight on an otherwise potentially exciting conservative landscape, and its future. She is in essence a self-serving distraction to win the White House in 2012 through and through. And she needs to simply just go away. Far, far away!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse: Weight loss on Tax Day?!

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington
Welcome to the Slaughterhouse, America!!

By Nicholas Meyeres

What better way to celebrate Tax Day than by there being less of me to tax! After all, if the government is going to tax everything in my life including the food I eat, why not make sure I am beholden to them for as little as possible!? Take that, Big Government!

Well, okay, so it isn't THAT simple, and neither was my weight loss for the last 10 weeks.

I have never struggled with my weight. In fact, most people who knew me when I was younger said I was 'too skinny', or needed to 'gain more weight'. Then, something strange happened- I turned 30 years old, and it was all downhill from there! Now, at the ripe old age of 34 years old, I have gained over 50 lbs. in 4 short years. 

I became complacent, I was sedentary and had virtually no motivation to exercise at all, plus I really liked food!!! The worse for me, the better. A large Cheese Lover's, stuffed crust pizza with a 32 oz soda and a fistful of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups twice a week? Bring it on! Like I said, I have never struggled with weight loss until now, and I have ate virtually the very same thing for years. I am a vegetarian, and I always thought it strange whenever I would see an overweight person with my same eating habits standing front of me. I just didn't know how it was possible to be "that" vegetarian! Imagine my surprise when I became one of them, and saw my double chin staring back at me in the mirror one day.

I have been a vegetarian for more than half of my life, and I simply took it for granted that I was healthy. But, make no mistake about it, just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you are in shape. Take my diet for example:

Lots of processed food-stuffs: check!
Hardly any fiber in those foods: check!
Virtually zero whole fruits or vegetables in my vegetarian diet: check!
Tons of sugary drinks and desserts all day long: check!
More candy than an entire pint-sized army could get on a busy Halloween night: DOUBLE, AND TRIPLE CHECK!!!

Add all of that together in a big ol' ball flabby flesh, mixed with old age and hardly any exercise, and you have a very unhealthy me.

But one day it all changed.

I remember going to a motivational speaker with family members when I was about 12 or 13 years old, who spoke at great length about addiction-- including food addiction. He said something that always stuck with me: "If you don't like something about yourself- change it! It's really that simple, no matter what other people tell you."

Nearly 20 years later, I pulled that little kernel of advice out of my proverbial closet, and tried it on for size.

I looked in the mirror, and simply didn't like what was staring back at me- so, I changed it. After all, I have always had the lion's share of willpower. I don't consume alcohol, I don't smoke, I have never done a recreational drug in my life, I don't even drink anything with caffeine and like I already said, I am a vegetarian of most of my life. But somehow that didn't stop me from one day gaining an unhealthy amount of weight in a very short period of time. So, I changed it.

I said one day that it was time for a change, I made those changes, I stuck to my guns, I saw it through, and I am a much better 'me' than I have been in a very, very long time. In fact, I feel that I am a better man today for so many reasons, and I am just getting better daily. Sure, I make mistakes (sometimes I still make some very BIG mistakes), but I am the best 'me' that I have ever been in my whole life. I like me today, and I can't wait to be an even better me tomorrow. After all, I am not the man I am because of the mistakes I have made, or because of the times I turned right when I should have turned left. I am the man I am because it is who I choose to be, not who I have become.

But how did I do it aside from merely deciding to do it one day? I had help and support from my amazing and loving wife, Celeste. She was my support system, and my cheerleader every day through all of this. I am so thankful for her help to make the journey so much easier, and I couldn’t have done it without her.

But that wasn't it. I also made it a point to exercise every day. Not hardcore exercise, mind you because that would surely back fire on me, but light cardio for 20-30 minutes a day. The kind that Richard Simmons would endorse! The fun kind, that keeps you motivated each and every day.

Plus, I simply ate less food, and less high calorie foods. Actually, I ate healthier in general, consumed a lot more fiber-rich foods, drank much more water daily, ate whole fruits and fresh vegetables, less processed junk food, hardly any sodium went on my plate, and virtually no sugar to speak of whatsoever entered my body. Plus, my own willpower and the support from others to make it all happen in the day's end.

However, there was one more thing (I won't lie) that motivated me to lose the weight which a lot of people will find off-putting, and I am sorry in advance, but it gave me the strength to be the better 'me' I already spoke of. And it is my ego. I just didn't want to be 'that person' anymore. I wanted to wear nice clothes that fit me comfortably. I didn't want to suck in my stomach every day of my life for fear of someone making fun of my waistline. The bottom line is, I was embarrassed. And that was all the motivation I really needed when it was all said and done.

Now, I know what a lot of you will say at this point. "Be happy with who you are." "No one can make you feel bad, but you." "You have a handsome face." And while those words have power, it wasn't good enough for me. The fact is, I was not happy with who I was, not just esthetically, but physically. I was short of breath just walking down the street. I napped long naps every day. I had the first signs of diabetes creeping into my world, and I simply didn't want to shorten my life because it was just starting to get good! After all, the hard truth is that the majority of overweight people not only have a multitude of health problems as they age and gain even more weight over time, but they die much sooner than physically healthy individuals who eat right and exercise daily. And I'm not ready to go quite yet!!!

But, now for the hard part. This is a life style choice- not just a temporary one- but a forever one. I know I am capable of weight gain now- and I never want it back again- so, I need to make this my life from here on out. And so, I have. Perhaps not as strict as when I was trying to lose the weight in the first place, but a life style change, nonetheless. That is what I choose. That is who I choose to be. And that's a good enough 'me' to be.

First day of diet: Feb. 1st, 2011
Current day of diet: April 15th, 2011

Beginning weight: 211.6 lbs
Current weight: 170 lbs (UPDATE! As of May, 9th I am officially 160 lbs!!!)

Beginning shirt size: XXL (Tight)
Current shirt size: M (Comfy!)

Beginning pant size: 36 (Tight)
Current pant size: 29 (Extra roomy!)

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