Last Refuge

If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, religion must be the recycling bin into which you can toss your sinful nature and be given back… well, who knows where that stuff ends up? At least it’s out of our house, right?

Huffington Post says that television personality Brit Hume has some advice for Tiger Woods…

“The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith,” Hume said. “He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger would, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

It seems to me that Brit Hume is advising Tiger Woods to take advantage of the Prosperity Gospel–a religion that lets disgraced celebrities recycled their reputations into something less toxic. I doubt that Jesus lived his life and suffered his death to provide an easy out for rich men whose private life has caused public embarrassment.

I’m sorry that Tiger Woods is putting his wife and small children through all this pain. I won’t think more of him if he recycles Jim Bakker weeping on camera.

And just for the record, Buddhism does not condone addiction, infidelity, or breaking vows. When I want to see real practitioners of any religion, I look to the ordinary people. They lead, celebrities follow.

UPDATE: Brit Hume elaborates that Tiger Woods needs something that Christianity ‘especially provides’. Would that be political cover and damage control? Jesus was not really supportive of public professions of faith for the purpose of self-aggrandizement. But the Conservative Bible may have re-written those troublesome passages.

I still don’t get the fuss. Tiger Woods owes a huge apology to his wife. And his fans, too, I guess, for behaving in a way he would not own up to. His plan to get away for awhile to work things out is much more sensible, and even graceful, than running around the talk shows claiming that Jesus wiped his sins and everyone should join him in a prayer circle.

Christianity is too old, and practiced by too many saints over the centuries to be undone by the Brit Humes of the world. Some of my best friends are Christians, and they pray even when no one’s watching.

UPDATE: Pat Buchanan, who knows a lot about the uses to which religion can be put agrees that Tiger Woods should convert.

UPDATE: Brit Hume isn’t waiting to be awarded his martyr’s crown, he claimed it for himself this news cycle.

What Did Tiger Do Wrong?

Why is he taking a hiatus from professional golf? Maybe he needs a break, or a sabbatical or something. He was golfing as soon as he could walk. It may be time for him to get some perspective.

It’s not that I take his infidelity or the harm to his little kids lightly. I really like it when famous men are true to their vows and loyal to their families. Failing that, I appreciate discretion. Alpha males JFK and Bill Clinton come to mind, as examples of how to, and how not to betray your wife privately without subjecting her to public humiliation. Gail Collins of the New York Times said that it’s a bad idea for a married man to get too close to any woman who has 8×10 glossies of herself. If that foxy lady considers the cover of the Enquirer a career goal– stay far, far away.

I think Tiger was clueless. He had a blindness to the power structures that make some of us irresistible. Henry Kissinger, who is short, said that power is the best aphrodisiac. In other words, a dumpy guy with coke bottle glasses who advises presidents will always have groupies.

I think we come down to a fundamental difference in how men and women are valued. Men are admired for what they do, women for what they are. The marriage of a
super-athlete and a supermodel is like matter and antimatter colliding. Men think they can ascend an endless ladder of alpha-ness by doing better and better. The women who loved them earlier in their career are suspect. Maybe better women are waiting for them on the higher levels of glory. Maybe the wife who bore their children failed to hold out for the crown of creation they are today. Their wife doesn’t understand them. But Heather understands. She knows how wonderful they are. And when Heather gets boring there will be countless other women ready to adore them.

I hope that Tiger Woods and his family work this out. I don’t follow sports. I liked Tiger, but never had any particular expectations of him. I liked his dignity and discipline, and graceful public persona. I don’t understand all the publicity around his marital problems. What did people expect?

He’s no less qualified to play golf than he ever was. He’s not in some game rigging scandal.

If he wants to take time to sort things out, I wish him well. I wish his wife better, and his kids most of all.

And, we the people, let’s look at this rationally. Are we loading expectations where they don’t belong? Am I paranoid to see a blurring of roles that is unhealthy? When we expect celebrated sports figures to show us how to live everyday decency, when we let politicians tell us how to live godly lives, when Bishops and Evangelists tell our politicians how to vote and that doesn’t alarm us…

Jeez– as far as I know Tiger can hit a golf ball as well as he ever did. He might need a break to deal with family issues. I hope it all works out for the best, because when real hearts are broken and real children cry it’s not entertainment. It’s a damn shame.

As for the rest of us, let’s get a life.

In related developments, a New England Patriots mascot was arrested under the new Rhode Island anti-prostitution laws. No details on how he was apprehended.

UPDATE: Here’s the mascot story. I guess his career as a mascot will suffer a hiatus in the wake of this scandal.

Educate Yourself to Protect Your Body: Personal Care Products May Contain Toxins

Since 2004 the Environmental Working Group (EWG) launched Skin Deep, an online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products. The aim was to fill in where companies and the government leave off: companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish, and our government doesn’t require companies to test products for safety before they’re sold.

EWG’s scientists built Skin Deep to be a one-of-a-kind resource.  Take your shampoo or your child’s lip gloss or moisturizer and read more about the danger here:  Our epidermis is the largest body organ and approximately 60% of what we put on our bodies is absorbing these toxic ingredients.  Those who know me know that I am committed to researching and sharing information about potentially harmful facts.  We all are trying to attain a healthy lifestyle and yet, we daily sabotage our bodies (through hair, hygiene, and skincare products) with carcinogens so monstrous they are literally harming our future abilities to procreate, fight off cancers and the like. 

It is sickening that the Personal Care Industry is undermining our abilities to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Cancer has become a common affliction or fatality and will further continue to rise.  Science reflects that toxins sit in the fatty cells of our bodies (i.e., breasts). Water, food, air, materials and personal care products all have toxins and this is completely unacceptable when you do the math and see how a combination has violated the EPA and FDA acceptable toxin limits. 

I plan to update the blog with information to aid you in making better choices.  In doing so, I am hopeful to you will see the damage that is being done and make a lifestyle change.  For now, here are some facts to ponder.  

U.S. President Barack Obama started to take action and recognizing that toxic chemicals exist in most of our skin care products and are penetrating our skin and causing cancer and reproductive problems. He stated that he wants to change the current laws in order for the government to start properly assessing the chemicals that go in our products and not allow any that have risk associated with them, and he’s not meaning tweaking ~ rather, a complete overhaul.

Currently 1,100 toxic ingredients which are banned in Europe but we allow them here.  I have studied toxins for years and I am sick to death of what has only been available to my children.   

Cancer is amongst us, therefore you must ask yourself… can we really be sure of the toxins we have been absorbing through our skin, and that they have no inpact on our other means of ingestion such as food, air and vaccines/medicines?  Work with me and let us remove one of the straws from the camels back, and alter the equation to a lesser number.   
December 1, 2009 in Barrington, Rhode Island ~ 15 year old Ava Anderson teamed up with her mother, Kim Anderson and they launched a first of its kind “Ava Anderson Non-Toxic” product line (  Ava read this article last year ( and was driven to find an answer as to the toxic potions available and make them truly “free” of such harmful ingredients.  Recently, Ava was asked to go before Congress and testify, and further plead for the Cosmetic Industry to change in support of President Obama suggested legislation in September 2009.  For now, I would just like the opportunity to inform people as I feel “Knowledge is power, and Power is Knowledge”, and our children depend on us to make wise choices.   I pledge to you that this is about a toxic message, which you need to unravel.  Please take one minute to look at some of your products.  
Be well, Suzanne Arena

Holy Cow — The Giants Won

I didn’t know who was playing in the Superbowl until yesterday, but I must admit enjoying the last half hour of the game. Plaxico Burress made an incredible touchdown catch for the Giants to win the game 17-14.

Happy Superbowl. Better luck next year for the Patriots.

UPDATE: This was another incredible play with the catch by David Tyree.