RantFever 4

I pontificate but not in the pejorative sense of the word.

Archive of Rant Fever 3, 2, 1, & Beta

Posts in September 2005

Roberts Confirmed

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-29 00:00:00
Congratulations to Chief Justice Roberts. Job well done on all those confirmation hearings.

No announcement yet on Bush's other nominee. But the lack of anything constructive to say, a lack of any real news about the subject, won't stop the rumor or the conjecture, and all the sordid gossip will fly like monkey feces. You can bet George Stephanopolous will be in on the act.

I hope Bush makes his announcement soon.

What's up With DeLay?

by: Maggie Mangum Thurber | on: 2005-09-28 00:00:00
So now house majority leader Tom DeLay has to step down because he's been indicted. The charge is raising illegal political funds in 2002.

This isn't the first time we have heard rumors about DeLay's so called "illegal" campaign money. The House Ethic committee has also charged him three times in the past year.

DeLay, however, has proclaimed his innocence, again, calling the TX Prosecutor, Ronnie Earle, a "fanatic." Sounds really familiar to when he dismissed the House's concerns as "just politics."

He is either really innocent or his way of getting out of things is to pass everyone else off as being absurd and overly ambitious.

I admit I don't really know a whole lot about this, so if any of y'all do, please feel free to fill me on the blanks.

Rita vs. Cindy?

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-25 00:00:00
Cindy Sheehan is a complete moron. We should kick her off television.

Post-Rita Report

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-24 00:00:00
Well, I didn't stick it out in my apartment as planned. I made a strategic withdrawal to higher ground to avoid any flooding in Huntsville. I stayed at a friend's house that is about ten miles east of Huntsville. Several other friends also bunkered down there, too.

I left my apartment at 8:30pm and my lights were out. We had power at my friend's place till at least after 2:30am (we know this because that's when we all went to sleep). The rain and wind really kicked in around midnight, and lasted till about midday today. The worst was in the early morning, and around 7:45am we actually lost a tree. A wind gust uprooted it and it fell over, away from the house.

There's not much physical damage to Huntsville area, at least not to buildings. There's a lot of tree debris and such, of course. My apartment is secure, no damage, no flooding.

Rita Evacuees Flee to Huntsville

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-23 00:00:00
It's official. Huntsville has gone wild. There are people and cars everywhere. The National Guard has been posted at official shelter sites. I was out with friends tonight and was almost t-boned. Emergency vehicle sirens are going nearly non-stop. People are walking around the streets at one in the morning.

I have never seen anything like this at all. I can only imagine it will get worse tomorrow.

The Joys of Capitalism

by: Mindy Hess | on: 2005-09-23 00:00:00
Recently, the company I work for was privately bought out in order to avoid foreseeable bankruptcy. Following the inevitable regime change, the new COO of our Denver-based electronics company immediately shelled out the big bucks in order to improve advertising, launching an annoying and overpriced campaign. At first it was the simple name modification, and we were to refer to it as (I kid you not) the “Next Evolution” rather than a buyout. Next we have the catch phrase that will subsequently underline our company name on billboards and news ads for years to come. Customers will no longer “Experience More” (and believe me, the innuendo was grossly overused) oh no, all are urged to “Technologize Responsibly.” Then, as if to laugh in the face of those that doubt the legitimacy of the word technologize, the media ads begin. Some say its clever, while others say that its nothing more than a Foxworthy revamp, but the new buzz-term my friends is Intechxication.

I’ll give you a moment to let that one sink in. Read more...

Displaced Bloggers

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-22 00:00:00
I'd like to take a moment to wish good luck to all of those great Texas bloggers that are being displaced by Hurricane Rita (and to those that are riding it out.

Bloggers In Danger of Rita:

blogHouston; no posts since last night. No word if those fine folks are leaving, but I'll assume they are for now. Good luck guys.

Smoke on the Water; Jim from Smoke on the Water lives on a boat in a marina in Galveston. He's headed up north somewhere to an undisclosed location (he's pulling a Dick Cheney). I'll be praying for ya Jim, and for the New Dawn as well.

Lone Star Times; some of the folks over at LST are Houstonians and, from what I read, are leaving. Good luck y'all.

Houston's Clear Thinkers; Tom Kirkendall is apparently going to ride out Rita in The Woodlands (like my family will). I really enjoy Tom's blog, and I hope Tom and all his kin will be safe in The Woodlands.

And to all the Houston-area bloggers I don't know about, sorry I haven't read you yet, but good luck anyway.

Batten Down the Hatches

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-21 00:00:00
Well, Sam Houston closed up shop this afternoon in preparation for Hurricane Rita. My job is closing early on Friday and not opening on Saturday, as well. My boss lives in Houston so he'll be busy evacuating. My parents are gonna stay right there in The Woodlands, and I'll just ride everything out here in Huntsville.

If there's any supplies left in town (I've already heard rumors of shortages of water and batteries), I'll be buying batteries, ammunition for my .30-30 and my .38 Special, and some canned food later tonight.

Hoodwink, I'm worried about you down there in old Baytown. Are you getting out?Read more...

More On Pork

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-21 00:00:00
Why is Nancy Pelosi the only representative committed to cutting pork in exchange for Katrina? If this doesn't show that the vast majority of politicians are self-serving and greedy, I don't know what will.

UPDATE: Let's not forget Richard Lugar, though. He did commit to cutting $18 dollars. Great. Now we can replace the weatherstripping around one of the doors on one of the buildings in New Orleans.

Linguistics

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-20 00:00:00
On Sunday afternoon, I was at a friend's apartment with a small group of people. We had this stack of cards with Bible quiz questions on them, so we started asking each other the questions. At some point, I got this question:

Which of the seven churches of Asia mentioned in Revelation bore the name of an American city?

Now, being such a nerd, I had a problem with this query. I expressed my problem and my non-nerdy friends just looked at me blankly like I was speaking another language.

Read more...

Houston Texans Personnel Shakeup

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-19 00:00:00
After an abysmal two weeks of gameplay, in which the Houston Texans were outscored a total of 49 points to 14, the Texans have just released Offensive Coordinator Chris Palmer. In other words: he got fired, canned, sack, the old heave-ho, the pink slip, handed his walking papers. Read more...

Iran, North Korea, No Nukes

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-19 00:00:00
Iran is claiming that they are not pursuing the development of nuclear weaponry, according to their newly elected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

Our religion prohibits us from having nuclear arms. Our religious leader has prohibited it from the point of view of religious law. It's a closed road. We even don't need it; we can guarantee our security in other ways …

At the same time, North Korea is purportedly responding to diplomatic efforts and abandoning their nuclear weapons program, according to a BBC News report:

North Korea has agreed to give up all nuclear activities and rejoin the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, in a move diplomats called a breakthrough.

In return, the US said it had no intention of attacking the North, which was also promised aid and electricity.

The agreement came during a fourth round of six-nation talks in Beijing, aimed at ending a three-year standoff over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Well, you can color me dubious because whenever I hear terrorists and depots make promises that the west wants to hear, I assume they are lying. I assume the lie because that is what they have always done. Time after time after time. You'd think that we'd learn eventually that you can't trust these countries. Hello? Can you say "Axis of Evil?"

UPDATE 21 Sept 05: James S. Robbins from National Review Online agress with me. So has The Asianist. The North Koreans are quick to backpedal from their agreement... predictable.

Pork Busters

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-19 00:00:00
I have joined up with the pork busters movement in order to send some poorly allocated money to the hurricane victims. The initiative is headed up by Instapundit and N.Z. Bear.

I have contacted my congresswoman, Kay Granger (12th district), about cutting some specific projects and have asked her to commit to doing all she can. Here is the letter I sent her:

Ms. Granger,

I understand that the victims of Hurricane Katrina need help. I also understand that congress is having a hard time finding enough money to help them. I have discovered a few pieces of legislation that appear to be pork barrel spending for Tarrant County. These include: $750,000 for a child abuse prevention program (Discretionary Grants - Juvenile Justice Programs); $150,000 for the Tarrant County District Attorney for a gang database program (State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance - Byrne Discretionary Grant); and $250,000 for Tarrant County Watershed District to develop an implement and integrated watershed protection plan (Environmental Programs and Management - EPA). These may very well be good programs; however, I feel they are not federal matters and should therefore not be part of a federal budget.

Ms. Granger, are you willing to commit to cutting these project, or, failing that, are you willing to identify pork and cut it in order to reallocate funds for those areas that need it in the wake of Hurricane Katrina?

I have posted about this effort to reduce wasteful spending and this letter to you on my blog (http://www.ayerdis.com/rants/page/rant/cat/politics/num/752). I look forward to your response and will also post it on my blog.

Thank you for your time and efforts in finding money for the hurricane victims as well as in cutting pork barrel spending.

Respectfully yours,

Abinadi Ayerdis

I will post her reply, should she send one.

On-Line Quiz

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-18 00:00:00
I don't generally do this, but this was a really good quiz:

Read more...

15 Minutes of Fame

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-17 00:00:00
Cindy Sheehan's latest diatribe via The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post, and Michael Moore:

It is a Christ-like principle to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless. That's what is happening in Algiers and other places in Louisiana...but by the people of America, not the so-called "Christians" in charge. If George Bush truly listened to God and read the words of the Christ, Iraq and the devastation in New Orleans would have never happened.

I don't care if a human being is black, brown, white, yellow or pink. I don't care if a human being is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or pagan. I don't care what flag a person salutes: if a human being is hungry, then it is up to another human being to feed him/her. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power. The only way America will become more secure is if we have a new administration that cares about Americans even if they don't fall into the top two percent of the wealthiest.

Emphasis mine.

That is amazing. According to Sheehan, if Bush was a "real" Christian, Hurricane Katrina would have never hit our coast AND Saddam Hussein would have never massacred his own people. Just in case you thought Cindy had a shred of sanity left, this surely will change your mind. Whether it was the unfortunate loss of her son or her fifteen minutes of fame that drove her insane we may never know. The only sure thing is that she should definitely quit talking while she's ahead. Well, it may be too late for that. Cindy, just hush up girl. Hush up.

Three Mice

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-17 00:00:00
Three mice went missing from a lab on the East Coast. But they weren't of the blind variety. They were of the plague-infected variety. The lab said it's possible that they were stolen, or that they were cannibalized by other mice.

Okay, I'm not a science major or anything, but if I were going to run an experiment with plague infected mice, I would have them monitored 24 hours a day. That way, I could actually know what happened to my test subjects. But that's just me.

Roberts Grandslam

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-16 00:00:00
I love all these baseball metaphors.

There is an article from the Christian Science Monitor that makes a couple of interesting points about what congress will do and what was revealed in the confirmation hearing.

The author, Gail Russell Chaddock, makes the point that Senators may approve Roberts in order to save their energy for fighting Bush's next potentially more conservative nominee:

"After the vote [on Rehnquist], the Senate didn't have the appetite for another big fight," says activist Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice. "There's a huge temptation to be on to the next nomination, but a vote for Roberts is voting your fears that the next one is going to be worse."

Chaddock also makes a list of four "things learned" from Roberts from the hearing:

• He says he now believes the 14th Amendment contains a substantive privacy right, an issue tied to the abortion debate.

• He says he now disagrees with the approach taken by the Reagan administration in a 1980s civil rights case involving Bob Jones University.

• He is troubled by the citation of foreign law as a precedent in the interpretation of American statutes and the US Constitution.

• He says he is no longer certain that the US Constitution permits Congress to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction in controversial areas.

The privacy right thing is suspect, but I still think that Roe v. Wade is far from settled. And if the issue comes up before future Justice Roberts, there could very well be some huge changes ahead.

The third point about foreign influence on our legal system is great. Sandra Day O'Connor feels that the Supreme Court should look to international law when making judgements. That is about the dumbest idea I've ever heard. Keep it domestic, my friends. It's good to see that Roberts has a good head on his shoulders with respect to this issue.

Roberts At-bat

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-15 00:00:00
I've been keeping up with the Robert's confirmation hearing. I think that Judge Roberts has shown himself to be exceptionally intelligent and well spoken. Often it seemed that his knowledge and understanding of the law so exceeded that of his questioners that he would run circles around them at every response to their inquiries.

I've noted that he returns to a definite theme throughout questioning. The Boston Globe's Thomas Oliphant puts it this way:

The guy is coming off like a judge who happens to be conservative as opposed to a conservative judge.

Roberts stated over and over that his personal views do not matter in his jurisprudence. He said that he only considers the law in his adjudication. You know what, that's okay by me. What matters in not how John Roberts feels personally about any particular issue, rather what the law says about that issue and whether Roberts will judge dispassionately and responsibly.

That being said, there is an opinion piece on Slate by William Saletan that suggests that Roberts would be willing to overturn Roe v. Wade. To me, that does not suggest that Roberts feels strongly against abortion, rather that he probably doesn't feel that the ruling is constitutionally sound. (Between you and me, it isn't.)

That's the kind of man I want on the Supreme Court. No judicial activism: just interpret the law, don't try to make it.

SC Nominee Rumors

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-15 00:00:00
There are a couple of names floating around as to whom the President will nominate to take Justice O'Connor's spot. Those are Edith Jones and Larry Thompson. Every now and again Alberto Gonzales's name comes up, but I think it is a stretch.

There is pressure for Bush to nominate a woman or a Latino. Personally, I would be pleased as punch if he went out and found the most conservative, strict-constitutionalist/originalist latin woman judge in the nation and nominated her. Man! Does such a woman exist? Find her, Mr. President. Find her.

No More Budget Cuts Possible

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-14 00:00:00
According to a Washington Times article, House majority leader Tom DeLay seems to think that "there is no more fat left to cut from the federal budget."

Now, that doesn't seem possible to me -- or to Citizens Against Government Waste:

Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), said if Mr. DeLay wants to know where to cut, "there are plenty of places to reduce."

His group soon will release a list of $2 trillion in suggested spending cuts over the next five years, and he said Congress also could cut the estimated $20 billion to $25 billion in pet projects that make their way into must-pass spending bills each year.

Excess government spending makes my blood boil. Who do these politicians think they are to be carelessly spending our hard earned money? Republican politicians are no good for this. Democrats are even worse. Pork barrel spending is the devil.

To Answer el Seco

by: Maggie Mangum Thurber | on: 2005-09-14 00:00:00
I'm using serious to imply physical intimacy. You are having some action in your relationship and you can even like the person.

Flippant, of course, is just what it implies. You may like whoever you are dating, but you would not want to marry them, you don't see a long lasting outcome because they don't qualify for what you want in a spouse. They are more like a fling

So together "flippant serious" is like dating someone really seriously, but not ever wanting to get to attached that you get married. It's like playing with fire. So I am not going to date anyone anymore unless they meet my marriage criteria because it is just too easy to fall in love. Or to fool yourself into love.

Texas Gubernatorial Election

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-13 00:00:00
November 2006 marks the date of the next Texas Gubernatorial election. There are four big players vying for the position: Rick Perry (incumbant), Chris Bell, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, and Richard "Kinky" Friedman.

I think that Rick Perry will win. Carole Keeton Strayhorn, aka "One Tough Grandma," will come in second. Strayhorn might have a better chance if more people were dissatisfied with Perry. I'm afraid that just isn't the case.

By far the most interesting candidate is Kinky Friedman. All of the candidates are stressing education in their campaigns. Kinky is no different:

Texas is #1 in drop out rates and #48 in education spending. Our children deserve so much more. Texas is also 48th in per capita child protection expenditures, as well as 49th in general, 46th in mental health, 45th in public health, 49th in state arts agency, 44th in highway, and 49th in water quality expenditures. The Austin American-Statesman is correct: "It’s Texas vs. Mississippi in a race to the bottom."

The man smokes cigars, wears all black, and hangs out with Willie Nelson. Speaking of which, Willie is a major part of his campaign promises:

Bio-diesel fuel powers Willie Nelson’s famous bus, the Honeysuckle Rose. Bio-diesel, eco-friendly and produced from agricultural products - even reclaimed frying grease - is a first step in the right direction. Willie will work with Kinky in promoting and developing bio-diesel and all of Texas’ vast, untapped, environmentally friendly resources. Currently, we’re using this fuel source for landfill. Surely, pulling a rutabaga out of the ground is more cost-effective than drilling a two-mile-deep hole in the sand. "How hard could it be?" - Kinky Friedman.

Uh huh. To answer Kinky's question, it can be very hard.

My favorite part of Kinky's platform:

Our icons are being demeaned. Cowboys are no longer heroes for our children, but subject to derision. We are being laughed at instead of respected in the rest of the country. What has happened to our glorious heritage? This is the great state of Texas! We are not wusses, we are Texans. "We will beat back the wussification of Texas if we have to do it one wuss at a time." - Kinky Friedman.

Heck yeah! De-wussification. I'm all about it: one wuss at a time.

In Remembrance

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-11 00:00:00
In remembrance of all those that suffered through 9/11, directly or indirectly.

We won't forget.

Gun Rights in Times of Emergency

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-10 00:00:00
I've avoided the topic of New Orleans residents having their guns taken away because it has been covered by many other bloggers rather effectively.

Today, Glenn Reynolds posted this comment:

It's especially striking to see this at a time when New Orleans-area police have been abandoning their posts, engaging in looting, and trapping refugees in a flooding city at gunpoint. "Rely on the police to protect you" has never seemed like worse advice.

It was never good advice. The concept that many people, even conservatives, fail to grasp is that government employees, including law-enforcement officers, are humans just like us and are subject to the same forces of temptation that the non-government employee is. Employment by a government entity is not a conversion experience, it does not take a sinner and make him a saint. If anything, the presence of authority and power inherent in a government position takes a sinner and makes him a devil.

The founding fathers knew this, and felt passionately about it, which is why our republic was created the way it was. That's especially why the 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment was created for times just like these when citizens are in trouble and can't rely on their neighbors and their local authorities to behave in a humane manner. In other words, at this moment the 2nd Amendment is more important to those people stranded in New Orleans, than it is to us who remain unaffected by the disaster.

The very people that need the 2nd Amendment the most right now have been betrayed. This is one of the worst travesties in American history, and the press is ignoring it. Read more...

Texas @ Ohio State; Postgame

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-10 00:00:00
I can't believed I missed this game!

The Longhorns won 25-22.

Since Longhorns head coach Mack Brown has received copious amounts of criticism for being unable to beat other teams ranked among the top ten in the nation, and Ohio State was ranked #4, this could signal in a change in Brown's aggressiveness. I sure hope so, because if we lose to Oklahoma again I'm gonna die. As it is, I think this is a good indicator that Texas is now truly a national championship caliber team.Read more...

Three Parents

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-09 00:00:00
A British laboratory is developing technology that would allow the creation of an embryo with three genetic/biological parents.

“For those who would see this as a threat to the family unit, we should endeavour to persuade them that reproductive technologies could encourage a greater acceptance of diversity in our society.”

Our arrogance knows no bounds.

Supreme Court Changes

by: Maggie Mangum Thurber | on: 2005-09-08 00:00:00
With the recent death of Chief Judge William Rehnquist, Jonh Roberts, who worked as a clerk for Rehnquist in the 1980's, is now next in line to become the most powerful judge in the US. Is he up to it?

Rehnquist was a Social Conservative who opposed gay rights, abortion, gun control, and affirmitive action. I don't know how conservative Roberts is, but it seems clear to me that Bush thinks he has what it takes to replace the conservative Rehnquist. I guess we will have to wait and see if that is true or not.

So now that Roberts is up for Rehnquist's place the old question of the day comes back, "who is Bush going to replace O'Conner with?" It's rare that a President gets to instate a Supreme Court Judge and even rarer that he get's to nominate two, especially one who will be Chief Judge. All I have to say to our President is, “Don’t hold back.” There is a ton of pressure from the left to put in a Liberal Moderate, but let's face it, the librals don't get to choose who get's nominated, Bush does. The citizens of this Country don't want a Libral. Were tired of the run-of-the-mill politicians that have been in control over the last several decades. We made that clear in the 2004 elections. Now is not the time for the political leaders we put in to back down. Now is the time to give the people what they want.

Houston v. New York Times

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-07 00:00:00
According to the Lone Star Times and Austin Bay, the New York Times has taken upon themselves to accuse Houston of profiteering from the Katrina disaster.

According to the Times, Houston is trying desperately to make up financially for the Enron disaster and thus is trying to milk this situation to our own benefit.

Yeah. Right. Which is why the Astrodome's schedule (yes it is still used) has been cleared till December, and why the George R. Brown Convention Center's schedule was cleared for the next few months to house evacuees. How much rent are the evacuees being charged, by the way?

One of the criticisms is apparently that a local Houston real-estate company is offering special financing to those that fled Katrina. Apparently, houses should be given away free. And while we're at it, we can throw in a brand new Cadillac Escalade for Mr., a Mercedes SLK for the Mrs., and don't forget the Harley and the Corvette for weekend fun. We'll throw in some big screen TVs, a few XBoxes, some iPods, and so forth too.

Heck, forget that. How about we take all 4 million people in the greater Houston area and move them to New Orleans, and let the evacuees have Houston. Would that gesture be magnanimous enough? You tell me, New York Times, because apparently you don't think we've done enough here in Houston. Why don't you tell us what you've done so far, that way we can get an idea of how it's done. Go ahead, I'm waiting.

I dare anyone to prove that any city or state has done more than Houston and Texas has done. It sure is easy to criticize when you're living a thousand or mile miles away and aren't having to deal with all the logistical problems of humanitarian aid.

Read more...

Chasing the rattlesnake: A parable

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-07 00:00:00
You and your friends are hiking in the woods. Out of nowhere, one of the group gets bitten by a poisonous snake. Instantly, the group must make a decision. The group can spend its time hunting down the snake and killing it, or the group can administer first aid on the bitten friend. The choice is an important one: choosing to find the snake would ensure that it does not bite anyone else, but it would also ensure that your friend dies.

In the aftermath of Katrina, you can search for scapegoats (like the left is doing) or you can help the refugees.

Refugee

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-06 00:00:00
Fellow Texans, our Louisiana neighbors need our help. There are one million people recently displaced because of Hurricane Katrina. Charity and help organizations are doing what they can, and they are asking for help. They need money primarily. I am not a rich man, but I have two hands and time. I have spent my time over the last few days going down to where the refugees are in my neck of the woods to lend a hand. I saw children without parents. I saw people with broken limbs and broken spirits. I saw people without a dime to their name. And I saw a host of volunteers and donations.

The community has poured out its love toward the refugees. It is good to see that we are not all cold hearted. The donations and volunteers abound to the point where sometimes they must be turned away. Unfortunately, help will probably wane the longer those people are there, and they might be there a good, long time. I will continue to go as often as I can to help where they will have me. I took a few pictures of the first day I went. The shelter looks different now as they have more to offer and are better organized, but you'll get the idea. Read more...

College Football Update

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-05 00:00:00
First and foremost, congratulations to the Sam Houston State University Bearkats on winning their season opener. In their game against Bacone, they spanked the Warriors 77-7. And the one touchdown that Bacone made came at the very end of the game after our players were a little exhausted of three and a half quarters of complete and utter gridiron domination. Yes, I was there; and yes, I heckled Bacone mercilessly.

Second, congratulations to the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs for embarassing those dirty traitors on the Oklahoma Sooners *spit* football team. Leaving a Texas high school football team to play for Oklahoma *spit* should be punishable by death. Take that you filthy maggots! Take that Bob Stoops *spit*! I can't wait for the Red River Shootout. Yeehaw!

Meanwhile, nationally ranked(!) Texas A&M was upset by Clemson in the fourth quarter. Way to blow that national ranking, Aggies. But all is not lost; you could still make a bowl game.

Now for the really important stuff: Number 2 ranked (and Rose Bowl Champions) Texas blew out Louisiana-Lafayette 60 to 3. Next week they take on Ohio State. The game against Oklahoma *spit* is October 8, in Dallas (as usual). I want to go so badly. So very badly.

The Blame Game

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-02 00:00:00
A couple of days ago I saw a report on TV in the recent aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A young reporter was talking with a man who had weathered the storm. He could not find his wife. "She is gone," he half-screamed at her in weary frustration, "I cannot find her." The reporter asked what had happened. The man recounted how he had tried to pull her onto the roof in the midst of the rising waters and couldn't. Before he let go of her hand, she looked up at him and told him to take care of their grandchildren. That was the last he saw of her. By this time, tears are streaming down his cheeks as well as the reporter's. The reporter asks him his wife's name, just in case...

There are hundreds and thousands of similar stories of hardship and duress. In the midst of this, certain politicians are playing the blame game. I can almost understand this. Almost. What really gets my goat are the rest of those looking to point a finger. Most recently is Ron Fournier who wrote this article for the AP called "Politicians Failed Storm Victims." Here are a couple of snippets from his article:

There's plenty of blame to go around - the White House, Congress, federal agencies, local governments, police and even residents of the Gulf Coast who refused orders to evacuate.

That's right, he is blaming everyone, especially the politicians.

Looting soon broke out as local police stood by. Some police didn't want to stop people from getting badly needed food and water. Others seemed to be overwhelmed. Thousands of National Guard troops were ordered to the Gulf Coast, but their ranks have been drastically thinned by the war in Iraq.

Of course, help would have been available if Bush hadn't gotten us into a war. This one is a big stretch. I guess he just couldn't resist trying to tie Iraq and Katrina.

On top of all this, Katrina is one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the United States. The best leaders running the most efficient agencies would have been sharply challenged.

Ah, now we get to the truth of it. I'm surprised that this paragraph ever made it to final copy. No one could have predicted the level of destruction. Anyone in charge --no matter the quality of plan-- would be floundering trying to get ahold of the situation.

Experts had predicted for years that a major hurricane would eventually hit New Orleans, swamping the levees and filling the bowl-shaped city with polluted water. The politicians are doing what they do in time of crisis - shifting the blame. [...] But for anybody living - or dying - in the devastated region, there are far too many villains to name.

Which begs the question, if people have known for 200 years the volatility of living in New Orleans, why live there at all? That is neither here nor there.

"Bush, Congress, the mayor - each of them are symptoms of a bigger problem, that we don't have accountability for disasters or challenges of this scale," Lovin said. "That's all the public wants in trying times - accountability."

No. The public does not want accountability. The public wants those people helped. That is all. This is not the time to find blame. We should not be having this discussion at all. In times of crisis it is natural to want to find blame. At the same time, it helps nothing whatsoever. Stop whining. Stop scapegoating. Now is the time for action. Go and volunteer for the Red Cross. Donate time and money. Do something, just please stop talking, you're bringing us all down with your blame game.

This isn't just Fournier, either: Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings, firefighter4bush of MarkLevinFan, and ReviewGuru of St. Louis Review are all doing the same thing. Oh, let's not leave off CNN.

On the other hand, Oliver North on Red States USA and Michelle Malkin make my point. To wit, the focus of the nation would be better placed on offering help than on placing blame. Focus people. We are the government. Blaming ourselves does no good.Read more...

Journalism of Moral Witness

by: Becca Gardner | on: 2005-09-01 00:00:00
I recently purchased a New York Times Bestseller and Editor's Choice entitled, "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" by Philip Gourevitch. Read more...