4-rth Sustainable Fashion – Unsustainable Business Practices – Don’t buy from them.

When you find a company like 4-rth (pronounced “for earth”) you want to believe…….

It took me a long time to find quality, somewhat affordable yoga clothes for men.  I wanted them not only for yoga but because they’re comfortable for everyday use, when made with quality.  When I found 4-rth online, they had some cool clothes for guys.  The most interesting, different, and fashionable was the cuffed yoga short for men.  People tell me I write too much (too long), so I’ll try to shortcut this with bullet points.

Cuffed Yoga Pants (Cinnabar w/Grey)

  • I purchased the yoga shorts pictured above.  Note the gray cuff around the bottom of the leg.
  • When I received them, I really liked them but noticed that the cuff was orange, like the short, not gray.
  • When I pointed this out, Doug Donahue (Owner, CEO?,- basically the only person that works there apparently) responded to my email as follows:
    • “excellent eyes you have! 🙂 sorry about that — in that production run, that was an oversight by our production team so they all came out that way but we’ll go back to the Gray cuff in future production runs
    • He also added “p.s. – we have TWO new color-ways coming out in that pant”
    • Translation: “Oops – you noticed, huh.  Oh well.  But we have more stuff for you to buy.
  • I responded to his email and told him that his response wasn’t really unacceptable.  He never offered to replace them or exchange them.  I explained to him how customer service worked and gave him several suggestions to make his customer service better.  I gave him every opportunity to make it better.  I wasn’t mean or snarky.  I was honestly trying to help him.  I wanted him to succeed – and I told him so.
  • Doug Donahue’s response was “Please feel free to use my friends & family discount anytime — it’s good for 15% off at any time of the year! the code is: 4RTH”
    • Translation:  Feel free to REPURCHASE what you already thought you were purchasing – because as I said the next production run “should” be OK.  And you can buy them at a 15% discount.
  • So I can buy the shorts that I thought I had already did buy – at a 15% discount.  How nice.  And they “may or may not” arrive as shown in the picture on his web site.
  • I explained that repurchasing an article of clothing, simply because what I received wasn’t as advertised, was not my idea of fixing the problem.  I explained further how customer service worked.  I explained that I had planned on buying many more items from 4-rth.  However, since I couldn’t trust that I would get what I ordered, or that the follow up customer service would correct the problem, I simply could not do that.  I gave him another opportunity to fix the problem.  I had worn the shorts, but considering they were a design that he didn’t even sell, why would he want them back anyway, even if I had never worn them.  All he had to do was send me the correct product, at his expense, and I would have been a happy camper.  I would have been ready, willing, and able to buy more items in his men’s line AND tout his company on my blog.

This was a ridiculous exchange.  Mr. Donahue should have simply fixed the problem.  He sold me a product that was manufactured incorrectly.  Some may say “It’s just a cuff on a pair of shorts – who cares”.  Well, there are such things as false advertising, integrity, standing behind your products, and good customer service.  Plus, to be honest, from a fashion standpoint, the gray contrasting cuff was what made these shorts unique.

Doug Donahue must have a huge ego for him not to just fix this – easily.  He could not and would not admit that he was wrong.  He sold me a product and the product I received was not like the one pictured.  It’s a simple problem and a simple fix.  I should not have taken many, many emails to address – only to get absolutely nowhere.

I noticed that on his web site, he has “celebrities” like singer Daughtry saying he thought the stuff was cool, and Queer Eye cast member Jai Rodriguez pictures with Doug.  I’m betting if I were a celebrity the problem would have been corrected immediately.  I probably would have received his entire line of clothing as a “gift”.  But since I’m not a celebrity and Doug Donahue’s goal is to be rich and famous and hobnobbing with the rich and famous, he could care less about me, a lowly customer who received a product that was made wrong in the factory.

I gave Mr. Donahue many, many chances.  I even told him about the power of word of mouth (or word of word).  I told him I would hold back from writing anything negative about him or his company because I believed he would do the right thing to rectify the problem.

He Didn’t.  And so I’m writing to let people know what they are in for if they choose to purchase merchandise from 4-rth.com.  Some will think I’m just pissed off and it’s just sour grapes.  I assure you that is not true.  At one point I told Mr. Donahue that I had a lot of experience with online shopping and would be happy to work with him to ensure his customers were satisfied at all levels.  The customer is always right and it’s a company’s job to make sure the customer is happy.  I wasn’t asking for anything unreasonable – I was only asking for WHAT I HAD ORDERED AND PAID FOR.


Frank & Oak is taking itself seriously, finally. Offers Discount Code.


It’s been a little over a year since I wrote my review of Frank & Oak – the online men’s clothing box service.  To my surprise, in the past year I’ve had about 14,000 people visit/read that one individual posting.  It’s received far more attention than anything else I’ve written on this blog.

Two days ago I received another comment from a visitor which I did not approve to be posted onto my blog.  The comment was from someone who worked at Frank & Oak.  It was an apology to me and my readers for the troubles that I or anyone else had experienced.  It went on to say the F&O had done a lot to improve and then, at the end, offered a 10% discount code to me and/or my readers.

I wasn’t too happy with that.  First, I didn’t feel that an employee of a company should use a comment section my blog as a marketing tool in response to a bad review of their company.  My blog is personal opinion.  I have no agenda other than to tell the truth about things that have happened to me.  Second, 10 percent??  That barely would cover the sales tax for most people.  So it all came off a bit hollow.  I responded to the commenter with my thoughts.  But it all turned out much differently than I thought it would.

As it turns our Roger Emeka is a very sincere gentleman (guy) who is truly trying to restore the Frank & Oak brand.  He’s honest, and generous, and very straight-forward.  There was no disrespect intended.  I asked him to change the comment a bit and offer a:

20% discount to my readers. 

which he did,

The discount code is FRANKCARES20

I approved his edited comment.  To see his comment, go to the original post and scroll down to the comment section: https://noagenda.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/frank-oak-is-frankly-a-joke/

I’ll have more on Frank & Oak coming soon.  To anyone who was disappointed with Frank & Oak, at this point, at least consider giving them a second look.

Time to rid yourself of Christmas guilt – 2010 Edition

The current economic climate has brought about the perfect time to reassess what Christmas is about.  I recently read this posting that I wrote almost 2 years ago.  I decided that now is a good time to republish it.  The following has been edited and updated for this year but the message is the same.  I even fixed some misspellings, and rewrote some poorly constructed sentences.  I hope this post gives you something to think about.


Christmas means different things to different people.  At its core, Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ.   It is a Christian holiday.  I  believe that unless you are devout in your celebration of this birth then you have no business celebrating Christmas.  Otherwise it’s no different than celebrating Hanukkah.  You may as well.  You’re guaranteed eight gifts that way.

I have not forgotten the magic that Christmas can bring, but from where does that magic come.  We are often more prone to charitable gifts during Christmas.  So to some less fortunate child, or family, a Christmas miracle could be one toy, or one meal.

Many of us get emotional during the holidays, mostly due to the memories of our childhood.  Some never had a Christmas. Some never had a happy Christmas.  I”m not sure which is worse; never having one, or never having one that lives up to the hype.

A few years ago, I had my own economic downturn.  Giving gifts that year wasn’t within the realm of possibility.  Yes, I could have given home-made gifts.  But, I would have felt inadequate and guilt that comes from NOT giving.

So I decided to take a different approach.  No Christmas presents?  I approached the people with whom I normally exchange gifts and told each one  the truth (do people tell the truth anymore? – I’m used to it, but I find that many struggle with it).  I told them I can’t afford to buy presents and I would appreciate it they didn’t buy me a present either.  I can’t pretend I have the money to do it, and if I spend money on gifts, I won’t have money for Rent, or Food, or to put gas in my car.  And I don’t want to feel the guilt of getting a gift when I don’t have one to give.  I don’t believe that my “plan” was received very well, but I had no choice but to move forward with it.

The most important gift in the world, in my opinion, is your time.  I wanted to spend time with the people I love.  Laughing, relaxing, telling stories, playing cards; all of those things that we rarely have time for.  Since most of my friends and family aren’t consistent church-goers, we weren’t celebrating the birth of the Messiah. No, in previous years we weren’t celebrating anything, and giving each other mounds of presents because of it.

In as little as one day after opening gifts, maybe less in some cases, most kids can’t remember who gave them what.  They were already bored with the toys, and the adults usually think “thank god that’s over”.   How sad is that.  Such a build-up and in a flash, it’s over.  Some are happy it’s over.  Some are disappointed that they didn’t “get what they wanted”.

In recent years many of the people I know were ready to take down the tree and decorations by the evening of Christmas Day.  And as we reflected on Christmas, we realized introspectively that we spent too much, probably went into credit card debt, and even if you got great stuff, something was missing.

After the time when I stopped giving out Christmas presents I didn’t feel that way anymore.  Christmas had taken on a different meaning.  As I said before, the gift of time, and laughter, I think, are such valuable commodities.  What an incredible relief it would be, don’t you think, if you never had to worry about the traditional gift giving aspect of Christmas?  I know people who say that they truly like the chaos of shopping for Christmas gifts.  I think they are lying to themselves.  I think they are trying to recreate a fantasy that is unattainable.   The magic of the perfect childlike Christmas is unattainable.

To me, it’s not that gifts shouldn’t be exchanged anymore, just not gifts that come with a receipt.  I have always believed that birthdays are special.  That is one person’s special day and that should be the day they get all the attention and a gift or two.  And I also believe in buying people things that you happen upon and give for no specific reason.  I bought a family member a certain gift,  just because I knew they liked it, not because it was their birthday or Christmas or any other holiday.  Those, to me, are real gifts.  The unexpected act of kindness.  But giving wrapped gifts is NOT necessary at Christmas.

So I am asking you to participate in a new kind of gift giving for the holidays.   Stay out of the stores and off the online shopping sites.  Make a promise to yourself, and to those you love, to spend time with them during the Holidays.  Why do we keep perpetuating the myth that a “present” equals “love”.  And if you decide to spend more time with the ones you love playing cards, relaxing, enjoying food,  and most of all laughing, then maybe you will begin to see what is really important.  You will be able to see it because your mind will not be consumed with guilt over whether or not you spent enough money on so-and-so, and “oh I hope he likes it, I don’t think he’ll like it” or “maybe I should get her something else, or something more”.  Rid yourself of that Christmas guilt and put your energy into memorable, intangible, important things.

We need to stop buying into Corporate America’s idea of Christmas;  the kind of Christmas that makes Corporate America rich.  They wait all year for Christmas because it makes up something like 60 or 70 percent of their profits for the year.  And you wouldn’t believe how they try to get into your head, and your heart, so that they can get into your wallet.  Stop the insanity.

If you believe in God, then you should know that God doesn’t keep track of the presents you give;  God only cares about gifts you give that can’t be wrapped.  If you don’t believe in God (nobody says you have to – I don’t) then all of this should make perfect sense to you already.

I welcome your comments.

I am the last Baby Boomer a.k.a “things I learned while blogging”

In looking back at the posts I have written over the past 2 years, the first thing that comes to mind is that I can’t believe it’s been 2 years.  When I look at the titles and subjects I see a lot of anger.  There have been a lot of people I’ve been mad at over the past 2 years.  I think that finally I’m at a place where either I’ve matured enough not to get angry, or I’m too tired to get angry.  I”m not sure which, yet.

All through the 2008 Presidential campaign I had a lot to say — mostly about right wing republicans with their head up their collective asses.  But I also wrote about family, pop culture, entertainment, baseball and just plain human interest stories.

The second thing I think about is how different my life is today from what it was when I started this blog.  I had just been fired from my job, and didn’t know why.  Finding a new job seemed impossible.  I’m not a writer by trade, as you can tell, but I do have other marketable skills; at least I thought I did.  After 18 long, no, very long months of confidence-crushing job searching with nothing to show for it, I had a lot of time to build up my anger and needed an outlet.  So I took to blogging.  I had way too much time on my hands.

I had no idea what I was doing when I started blogging, still don’t.  I receive a lot of hateful comments from people who troll the internet looking for someone to hate.  I call these people “republicans”.  I receive a lot of  “hate” comments from people who  so afraid of liberal ideas, that they would do, and say, anything based in that fear, in order to squash progessivec ideas.  And I received a lot of “support posts” from people who seek  out opinions of others with whom they can agree.

I don’t believe for one minute that my writing, or anybody else’s writing,  can actually change a readers opinion.  Let’s face it.  It takes years for us, as human beings, to change; change out minds, change our tune, change our outlook, change our opinion, change our politics, etc.  Even if we want to change it doesn’t happen overnight.  So for those of us who don’t even want to change, or don’t think we need to change, reading blog opinion pieces will only inspire the co-conspirators, or anger the detractors.  There’s just not a lot of “re-thinking” going on.

I’ve done my share of reading both mainstream blogs, and personal blogs like mine.  I don’t find there to be much difference between the two.  It’s all just personal opinion, some with agendas, some with butterflies & unicorns.  None if it really matters.

Here are just a few of the things I learned in the last two years.  Some of it I learned about myself, some of it about others:

I hate people who say “at the end of the day”.  It is the most overused, and least meaningful expression in generations.  It is verbal filler, not unlike most of what today’s talkers have to say.  Whether it be a blog or a cable news pundit, it’s all just verbal filler.  What are all these political talk shows but blogs on TV.  It’s white noise that in a week, or a few days, you won’t remember.  And that’s the real problem.  None of it is memorable.

People who don’t like what you have to say will call you every name in the book.  They will write a degrading comment on your blog telling me to stop degrading people.  I don’t get it.  And they don’t understand “hypocrisy”.

Read More »

Maine gets Gay Marriage just right

When I listened to Governor John Baldacci of Maine give his speech following his signing of the of the Gay Marriage Bill  just a few short hours after receiving the bill, all I could think of was “He got it right”.

I watched and listened to what he said, not as a gay man,  but as a citizen of Maine, and the United States.  Even though I am gay I have not always agreed with the arguments FOR or AGAINST gay marriage. 

It wasn’t until I heard the Governor explain that the new law is about affording equal rights to all Maine citizens as outlined in Maine’s Constitution that it all made sense to me.  The Constitution’s first Article states “All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”

Baldacci used this first and most important Article to first understand for himself that allowing Gay Marriage in Maine is not about granting the same rights to gay people that are affording to heterosexual people.  He said we are all equal and all deserve the same rights and when he looked at the issue from that perspective, he could not come up with any reasons not to allow Gay Marriage.

 He went on further to say that that no religion will be required to conduct same-sex marriages, or even recognize same-sex marriages within the realm of their own belief system because Maine has strict policies about the division of church and State.  And Maine whole-heartedly abides by the Church/State tenet.

These are ideas that I had never heard anyone express in this specific manner before; the idea that the State will allow gay civil marriages but it won’t force any church to recognize them.  So if, for example, the Catholic Church doesn’t want to recognize gay marriage because it goes against their belief system, they don’t have to.  But the Catholic Church can’t tell a gay couple what civil rights they can or cannot have.  The same applies to any other religion.  On the flip side, a gay couple cannot force a religious organization to perform or recognize their marriage and cannot claim discrimination if that church will not recognize their marriage or perform their marriage ceremony.  Under these circumstances, anybody against same-sex marriage CAN hide behind their religion, and take comfort there.  But they can not deny rights to others.

I believe that this is as close as anybody is going to get to writing a law that makes sense when defining gay marriage.  It covers all the bases.  Nobody is forcing anyone to “believe” in anything and those who call themselves “believers” can’t squelch equality and civil rights by hiding behind their religion.  So, like the U.S. Constitution has done so many times, it was Maine’s constitution that acted as the final document to guide us through this divisive issue. 

Governor Baldacci was never comfortable with the gay marriage issue.  But, he found it in himself to understand that legislators, or politicians if you wish, need to take a stand and can not continually defer to public opinion.  All of the far lefties, and far righties have had more than enough time to express their viewpoints on this issue, and they have.  Neither is a shy group. 

The Governor said that he realizes this will not be the last word on the issue.  In my opinion, it should be, but it won’t be.  Instead of worrying about real problems, the whack jobs are going to come crawling out of the woodwork.  

The Maine Legislature and the Governor have laid down the gauntlet.  There are no “reasonable” arguments against this law as it was written.  First, anybody who protests this law must first say to themselves, and then the public, “I intend to take away the civil rights of others”.   Secondly, anybody who intends to use the Bible or their religion as an argument can stop right there.  The law clearly states that you don’t have to religiously recognize gay marriage or perform gay marriage if you don’t want to.  So what’s left?

Well, there’s the “I simply think it is wrong” argument.   Hmmm?  Are they also against heterosexual couples who get married and never intend to have children, or those who get married for convenience, or those who get married to obtain property, money, or social status (you know, the reason marriage was invented in the first place).  What one “thinks” or “believes” is wrong is immaterial.  Because under the Constitution of the State of Maine, all citizens have equal rights and included in that is their right to marry whom they choose as long as it is not breaking any other laws (like the minimum age for marriage or harm to animals). 

There is only one argument against Maine’s Gay Marriage law and it’s a faux-argument called “hate, fear, and ignorance” none of which are viable arguments against ANY law.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean some people in Maine won’t mind standing up and saying “I hate, I fear, and I am ignorant” to try and get their way.

Twitter, schmitter – I’m a techno-geek who’s had enough!!

WARNING: some of the words used in this posting are not real words

I don’t know if all technology is wearing on my nerve’s or if I’m just ready for some new, realistically useful direction in technology.   As people find more and more ways to communicate with, keep up with, keep in touch with, or keep tabs on each other, the hermit in me is thinking “something is wrong here”.

I’ve tried it all:  MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, IM, ICQ, Grand Central, GPS friend locators.  I’m getting requests for friendship and people tweeting me and my phone following me around town and people knowing exactly what sidewalk square I’m standing on.  It’s like a train that’s gathering speed down a hill, going FASTER AND FASTER AND FASTER UNTIL……..CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASH!. Enough is enough.

I think in this life , my life, it is time to weed through all the technological bullshit and figure out what place technology has, or should have in our lives.  Just because everybody is now Twittering, does that mean I have to?  Does anybody really need to know or even care what I’m doing.  Do I care what all of the people out in Twitterland are doing.  No, I don’t.  I don’t need to comment of what Miss California said about gay marriage.  I don’t need to listen to some woman say she doesn’t give a shit about Susan Boyle (that’s another story entirely).  I saw a tweet once that said “off to buy some Jello”.  What??  I’m fairly confident that the inventors of Twitter had something more meaninful in mind but who knows for sure.

We’ve all become so addicted to it all.  My niece stopped by my office the other day and she was asking me about Twitter. She comes from the computer generation so she knows all about networking on her computer.  But with Twitter she said “I’m not sure I understand it, but everybody else is doing it and I don’t want to feel left out”.   That’s sad. 

And how awful is it when you meet somebody new and they assume they can just find you on Facebook if they want to know more about you.  “Hi, nice to meet you.  Are you on Facebook?  Here (handing me their cell phone) put your Facebook address in here.  Okay, gotta run, Ta”.  What happened to conversation.  While I am no fan of small talk, I do quite enjoy actual conversation, you know, exchanging ideas with another human being face to face.

I realized that even though I am on the low end in terms of on line networking, I am overexposed.  I found an article on PC Magazine’s web site on how to literally remove your identity from some of these on-line services like Facebook, Myspace, AIM, and even a plain old Yahoo mail account.  And so I began my quest to un-identify myself.  With the exception of this blog, my High Definition TV blog, and a few other rare exceptions, I don’t exist anymore on the interwebs.  I am deconstructing my Internet life down to the bare essentials.  And from now on, when somebody asks me what Twitter is or how to tweet, I’m simply going to say “I don’t know”.

Next on my agenda – how to become un-addicted to my Blackberry – that’s going to be a tough one.  I’d like to go back to a rotary telephone with no answering machine, like the old days.  If I’m not home, try me again later.  If it’s that important, call my mother; she’ll probably know where I am because she makes me tell her.  Ah….childhood.  Things were so much simpler then.

Where is the real news?

I just get so angry sometimes at what is being portrayed as news.

Let me know when Casey Anthony gets fried in the electric chair, I don’t need the details and media circus until then.

Let me know when George W. Bush has left the building.  He’s certainly even less of a President now than he ever was, so when people are chucking things at his head, it’s not a surprise, and I don’t care.  I don’t NEED to know it.  Just let me know when the door has hit his ass on the way out.

Day after day, the incessant, inane chatter about what Barack Obama knew or didn’t know about the Illinois Governor.  Who cares!  It’s not news.  The republicans are still behaving like they are in campaign mode, like they can still somehow stop Barack Obama from becoming President.  Too late folks.  If the Republicans put aside partisan bickering, finger pointing, and false claims and then decided to stand behind the new President, THAT would be news.

Local news is the worst but national news and cable news is a close second.  Do we actually need newscasts?  I like to watch Rachel Maddow.  She at least has a unique take on news items of the day.  She even flushes out real news that went unreported.  But even she, at times, plays the party line and does segments on the exact same topics that Chris Matthews, David Gregory, and Keith Olbermann did in the hours leading up to her show at 9:00 pm.  They sometimes even have the exact same guests.  So even the real news is just regurgitated at a later hour.

Since TV news organizations are not money making operations, they would be better of broadcasting re-runs of sitcoms and just having a news crawler at the bottom of the page.  It still won’t really be news but I can ignore it if I want.

I’m not that old but even I can remember the days when I was very, very young, when sitting down to the Evening News with Walter Cronkite was a big deal.  Well, maybe not a big deal but it was appointment television and we trusted what he had to say.  At least that’s how I remember it anyway.

It seems that so little of the “news” I read is actually news.  What is newsworthy?

The American Heritage Dictionary says that newsworthy is “Of sufficient interest or importance to the public to warrant reporting in the media”.

And I guess that is the key.  “Sufficient to warrant reporting”.  A plan crash, a gas leak,  a natural disaster, the public needing to be warned or informed of certain events for their own safety.  That is news.  Brittany Spears album being number one is not NEWS.   Some reporter throwing a shoe at Bush is not news.  It’s funny, but does the public NEED to know this for their own safety and security?  No.

I don’t know where to turn anymore to get news.  Everything has a slant, an agenda, so to speak, and at the end of it all, I usually walk away just sort of gazing off into the distance.  I didn’t learn anything that I NEEDED to learn.  If fact I usually hear things that make me want to throw my shoe at the TV.  Is that news?

60 Minutes on CBS

Watching 60 Minutes is like watching “Clueless” and “Weekend at Bernie’s”.  You really can’t tell if Leslie Stahl still has her marbles and you can’t tell if Andy Rooney is still alive.

In the last several weeks I have watched this new season of 60 Minutes and questioned whether or not Leslie Stahl can still consider herself a reporter.  She seems confused to the point that she always appears to be looking for something she misplaced.  In one new show they sent her to do a piece on the new electric cars.   It was an electric sports car by Tesla Motors to be specific.  The car had balls.  She drove it like a librarian in a pedestrian zone looking for her lost cat.  They owner of the the company kept saying “go head, step on it, the car can take it”.  And Leslie still couldn’t bring herself to to do it.  She was “a-scared”.  This week she was in Sadr City, the infamous neighborhood in Baghdad where so much violence has occurred.  The U.S. built a wall in Sadr City to hold back insurgents to a point where mortar attacks could not hit the green zone.  While still a dangerous place, it is somewhat safer.  But did Leslie Stahl have to wear a bright red blouse and sensible sandals.  She stuck out like a sore thumb and looked more like a tourist who go lost.

Andy Rooney, at one time, was at least entertaining.   He was never hysterically funny but if you like that old curmudgeon kind of humor, it wasn’t half bad, sometimes.   I do record 60 Minutes every week.  The great thing about DVRs is you can record ONLY new episodes of shows but I digress.  Recently, Andy Rooney talked about the high price of cereal and Wonder bread.  He said the price everything keeps going up, except the stock market.  That was it.  That was the entire beginning, middle, and end of his 5 minute commentary.  If this is what they pay him for, to comment on pop culture and current events, and this is the best he can come up with, I’d rather read the National Enquirer.

I don’t know what’s going on over there at 60 Minutes and CBS News in general.  The first thing they need to do is hire some new blood at 60 Minutes that is under a hundred years old.  These people are the reason that Social Security won’t be around for me.  Enough already.

What is going on with Lindsey Graham

I don’t know that much about Lindsey Graham.  I’ve mentioned him before because he said stupid things on “Meet the Press”.  And today on some political talk show he said more stupid things.  I know he’s a Senator from South Carolina and that’s about all I know

Now, what I think, or what I assume by seeing him on TV is another thing entirely.  He reminds me of your typical white, middle-aged Republican from the South.  Typical in that he is a closeted, middle-aged gay man who speaks out about family values and his evangelical religion.  I don’t know why he is always standing behind John McCain at McCain rallies with a very weird smile on his face.  I think he’s in love with big John to tell you the truth.  I think he finds John’s “maverick-ish-ness-ity” really, really sexy.  If you look at Lindsey Graham and squint your eyes a bit, he looks like a bull-dyke lesbian with an excessively short haircut.  And if you put a flannel shirt on him/her, I could swear I saw in at home depot with his “roommate” buying flower boxes.

Hero of the Week – 10/15/08

Peter Dezell, coach of Chicago’s “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” varsity football team, gave a 12 year old boy named Patrick Nicholson a chance.  Patrick was born with down syndrome.  Patrick’s older brother was on the football team and when Patrick would ride with his mom to pick up and drop off his brother, Patrick would wonder why he couldn’t be involved, too.

Coach Dezell gave Patrick an extra jersey one day and asked him to help him out as an assistant coach.  Patrick flourished as part of the team and two years later, he has come out of his quiet shell, has stopped running away and hiding behind trees when someone talked to him, and is now running a tight ship on the football field.  Patrick is very good at what he does.

The coach was up against some parents who said that Patrick would be a distraction.  The coach stood his ground.  For a man to stand up to scrutiny and to push back against public opinion for something he knows in his heart is right, Coach Peter Dezell is my hero.  And so is Patrick.

Special thanks to the CBS Evening News alerting me to this story.