Most Read Examiner Article Yesterday!

Thanks to all of you for reading my article(s) yesterday. I had the most read column yesterday in the Inland Empire on Examiner.com even with the last minute changes. Thanks for reading and your continued support!

Here’s the link to the article:

http://www.examiner.com/religion-politics-in-riverside/pastor-cancels-quran-burning-proves-every-religion-has-extremists

Religion & Politics: “Pastor to Proceed with Quran Burning: Proving Every Religion has Extremists”

Pastor Terry Jones plans to move forward with his Quran burning this Saturday. His decision to move forward proves extremists on both sides are a problem.

The pastor organizing this Saturday’s Quran burning certainly has gotten the world’s attention. With a congregation of less than 50 people, I am sure he’s enjoying every minute of it (even if it’s only going to be 15 minutes).

My article questions the pastor’s motives and whether they are aligned with the Bible his church claims to represent.

Here’s my latest Examiner.com article as the Inland Empire Religion & Politics columnist. Click over and let me know what you think.

LINK: Examiner.com Article About Quran Burning & Extremists

Death of the Bookstore…That’s Progress?

With both of the nation’s national booksellers filing for bankruptcy (Borders in 2009 and Barnes & Noble this year), what does the future of actual books hold? If you go into one of these bookstores today, you willcertainly notice they don’t carry the inventory they did 10 years ago. With E-Books, the Kindle and I-Pad, bookstores are sure to suffer the same death as music stores already have.

There is nothing like spending hours, at a time, in a bookstore, especially when you find a gem of a book that you would not have found without being there and seeing it.  It was the same with discovering music. I still remember flipping through records at Licorice Pizza and The Wherehouse stores for that new undiscovered band.  Even the mega chains like Tower Records and Virgin Megastores couldn’t keep up.  And, frankly, buying music on itunes  just isn’t the same.  You either need to know what you are looking for or you have what Apple gladly displays in the genre of your choice by “popularity.”  It’s just not easy to find something unique and new online in the same way as going into a store.

For me, this is sad on a personal level.  My wife and I used to spend countless hours together in the music store looking for new stuff. It was fun and a social occasion. We have also spent countless hours in Borders together: scanning shelves, sitting and reading, and buying countless books we didn’t really need. Some of them real gems!  It’s a huge social event for us. We even browsed a bookstore on our first date (waiting for a movie) and enjoyed trying to make the other laugh.

I know it’s not just us either. Browsing in a bookstore is an American social pastime (think ‘Seinfeld”, “When Harry Met Sally,” and “Annie Hall.”).  The more and more we do online, the less social avenues we have together.  We used to go out to buy our music, movies and books. Not anymore. Of course, when we wanted to talk to our friends, we also called them. Now we just read their Facebook status.

Rant of the Week: FDA looks at Cough Medicine Abuse?

Here we go again! In the land of the free, our government is looking at restrictions on more medication because people are using cough medicines for “its euphoric effects.” If the government gets its way, it’s going to insist that certain cough medicines (like NyQuil) change their formula (so it doesn’t work as well) because some people can’t handle their cough medicine.

Is cough medicine abuse really the greatest concern for the FDA? Wasn’t this the same organization that missed the salmonella outbreak in eggs? In a country where we freely consume alcohol and prescription drugs in massive quantities and in a state like CA that will likely legalize recreational marijuana use in November, the FDA is worried because there were nearly 8000 emergency room visits in 2008 due to people who purposely misused cough medicine? 8000 idiots out of a country of 300 million – that’s a staggeringly low occurrence.  And, frankly, I think we can look at those incidents as nature’s thinning of the idiot herd.

The idea that government needs to protect the masses because a few degenerates can’t function properly in society is backwards. A couple of years ago, the FDA insisted that drug stores and providers of cold medicines place certain over-the-counter drugs behind the counter because people were using them in the production of meth. So when I have a cold and need to stop the Niagara Falls effect in my nose, the drug store asks to swipe my driver’s license so the government can track how many times I am sick.

Is this the new strategy for the war on drugs? Ban everyday, working Americans from the freedom of buying medications that aid them in being able to get up the next morning and work when they are sick, so they can get paid and be taxed to pay for the FDA to ban more harmless medications (when used properly)?

How about banning the sell of condoms because some idiots who can’t use them properly and still get pregnant? Or how about banning the sell of chicken on the bone because sometimes people choke on chicken bones. Or how about banning diet coke because some people who drink it are still fat.

In a country where we have a cornucopia of legal vices people seek solely for their euphoric effects, why is it our government insists on banning more and more items that the majority don’t use to abuse? If it is big government’s job to save us from ourselves, who is going to save us from the one thing that is doing us the most harm – big government?

That’s my rant for the week. Thanks for reading. I feel better now. Share your comments below.

Top 10 List: Who is your Favorite Television Neighbor?

The new fall television season is just around the corner so I thought it was a good time for a poll. Leaving out those neighbors who were also central stars of the show (Joey & Chandler on “Friends”), those who went on to their own successful shows (“The Jeffersons,” “Rhoda,” and “Phyllis”) and those who were overtly annoying by my own standards (Urkel on “Family Matters” and Wilson on “Home Improvement”), here is a list of the 10 best television neighbors. Which one was your favorite?


One name I regrettably had to leave off this Top 10 List is the Ditmeyers from the “Brady Bunch.” Although they were talked about often, only Mr. Ditmeyer appeared once during the series so technically they weren’t actually characters appearing on the show.

The Mosque at Ground Zero, the U.S. Govt. & Islam; Where’s the Separation of Church & State?

It’s finally out….the long-awaited article on the Mosque at Ground Zero. This article marks the 50th for my column on Examiner.com. After working on the subject matter for two weeks, I finally decided to emphasis the angle of our government’s involvement in “church building” and how that goes against the separation of church and state principle. Check out the article link below and please leave comments on my Examiner.com page! The debates are often fun and you can post anonymously! I really love the hate mail the most!

http://www.examiner.com/religion-politics-in-riverside/the-mosque-at-ground-zero-the-us-govt-islam-where-s-the-separation-of-church-state

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