Monday, April 23, 2007

Stick Control!! Stick Control!

I just read that in Brooklyn, an 12-year-old boy was "impaled in the head" with a stick by an 11-yr-old boy. The victim is clinging to life in the hospital. This is a blatant indictment of our "stick culture" and raises serious social questions:
1. How was the male child able to get his hands on a stick?
2. Why have we made it so easy to acquire sticks?
3. Was this not a stick-free zone?

Clearly, by restricting access to sticks, we could avoid such ruthless attacks. Had it not been so easy for this troubled pre-teen (surely we'll soon find that this 11-yr-old was "teased" and likely "pushed down" by others in his short life) to get a stick, perhaps he would have "used his words", not only for the "give me your change" part of the attack, but also the last part of the confrontation after the victim refused.

Why didn't the victim simply quickly surrender?

According to Tom Plate, former editor of the editorial pages at the Los Angeles Times, quickly responding to the assailant's requests (surrendering) would have been the thing to do, as he did when mugged at gunpoint recently.

Mr. Plate also points out that in his opinion, the "NRA mantra" of "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" is flat out wrong. He asserts that the people at VATech were, in fact, killed by a 9 mm handgun and a .22 caliber handgun.

So, by Mr. Plate's esteemed logic, the 12-yr-old boy has been attacked by a STICK. Not a crazy 11-year-old. People don't impale people in the head, sticks impale people in the head.

I say then it is high time we get sticks off of our streets. Perhaps law enforcement may be permitted to carry sticks. If Teddy Roosevelt were still alive, he might be afforded a stick, although probably not a big one, as those are scary and can only be meant for one thing: Impaling someone in the head.

No one needs to have a stick. We certainly don't need to allow for people to keep a stick on them in a public place. It's also time to go after the stick manufacturers. This would include the Louisville Slugger people, and, well... trees. If we could remove those menaces to society, we need never read such a tragic tale again.

Oh, and Mr. Plate... I'll humor you for a moment and remove all blame from the psycopath who loaded, pointed, and pulled the trigger... and place the blame on the hardware. However, even in your idiotic assertion, you should be condemning the BULLETS, which actually entered the bodies of the victims, causing the wounds that in 33 cases lead to death. Even in your twisted logic, Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people. If you're going to misplace your anger, at least misplace it properly.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


So, for some reason I haven't been feeling real well lately. I think if this were 18th century England it might be described as "a general malaise".

I'm finishing up a book called "This Beautiful Mess" (My friend Camille said "Oh, is it your biography?" - cracked me up!) by Rick McKinley. The subtitle is "Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God". It's the kind of book that bears a second read and some serious study. Go get it.

Someone smashed the window of an SUV two cars away from mine at the apartment complex. Don't know whose it was. Don't know if it was an attempted theft of stuff inside the vehicle or the vehicle itself. Makes me a little more paranoid, yet glad I drive a cheap car.

When I moved into this apartment complex, I think I was about the youngest person here. That's changing, however, not just because I'm getting older, but there is a different 'element' starting to move in. A little more hanging out in the parking lot, a lot more extremely loud stereos in cars, more "thugwear", more skateboards, etc. More mess in the laundry rooms. More noise late at night. Great.

I haven't really talked to anyone in almost two weeks. What's up with that? I mean, I still speak to people at work, when I'm amongst people, and all... but haven't really initiated a conversation with anyone. I think it's part of the 'general malaise'.

Why does everything have a ton of sugar in it? There's ONE cereal that isn't loaded with sugar -- shredded wheat. Great. Tasty. Need a snack in the middle of the afternoon? Sugar. Starbucks has all of these convenience store items, "frappucino", "double shot"... why don't they make a sugar-free or unsweetened version?

Sleep now.

Friday, April 20, 2007

We're Raising a Nation of Babies

In all of the ridiculous coverage of the Virginia Tech murders, I have wondered just how this guy roamed up and down the halls, even RETURNING to classrooms he previously entered and was able to shoot so many people. Is the 76-year old Liviu Librescu the only person there who thought to try to do something about it? We have emasculated our boys, telling them that "violence is never the answer", "use your words", "use your inside voice", "here is some medicine called Ritalin to make you feel better", "fighting is wrong - you can always walk away", ad nauseum. Where was the guy who says "enough" and whips a backpack full of college textbooks at this psychopath and jumps his scrawny ass? No one thought to pick up a desk and rush him? No one came up behind him and brained him with a fire extinguisher?

Of course, sadly, the real answer here would have been a responsible citizen carrying a gun. Oh, sure, guns are scary. Especially in the hands of a mentally deranged moron in a full break with reality. But the gun in the hand of a trained, responsible CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA would have looked like HEAVEN to these now dead and wounded people. The proverbial knight on the white horse. A person who, with practiced discipline, could have taken this piece of scum OUT, saving who knows how many lives.

But no. We are to cower and wait for the authorities. Dial 911 and "stay on the line, let me try to decide if your call rates a response." Let the 'trained professionals' deal with an "alleged perpetrator." Believe me, when a crazy killer is emptying his magazine and reloading, you can safely assume that (a) he's not going to reason with anyone, (b) he's not going to wait until the police arrive, and (c) you are next.

I don't fault anyone for diving out a window. Self-preservation is a powerful instinct. But where was the person who takes to heart "and this is Love, that a man lay down his life for his friends"? Where was the person to say "Not in MY school, you don't"... where was the action? Are we really raising a generation of soft, "it's not my place to judge, therefore I can't take action" wusses? It surely seems so at VaTech. Hokie Pride apparently doesn't extend to protecting your Hokie brothers and sisters.

This column below points out the heroism of ordinary citizens.Nicely Done. Maybe former actors make the best presidents. I'm about ready to see if Fred Thompson would be as good as Reagan... Check it out -- Spot on!

April 20, 2007, 0:31 a.m.

Signs of Intelligence?

By Fred Thompson

One of the things that's got to be going through a lot of peoples' minds now is how one man with two handguns, that he had to reload time and time again, could go from classroom to classroom on the Virginia Tech campus without being stopped. Much of the answer can be found in policies put in place by the university itself.

Virginia, like 39 other states, allows citizens with training and legal permits to carry concealed weapons. That means that Virginians regularly sit in movie theaters and eat in restaurants among armed citizens. They walk, joke, and rub shoulders everyday with people who responsibly carry firearms — and are far safer than they would be in San Francisco, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, New York City, or Washington, D.C., where such permits are difficult or impossible to obtain.

The statistics are clear. Communities that recognize and grant Second Amendment rights to responsible adults have a significantly lower incidence of violent crime than those that do not. More to the point, incarcerated criminals tell criminologists that they consider local gun laws when they decide what sort of crime they will commit, and where they will do so.

Still, there are a lot of people who are just offended by the notion that people can carry guns around. They view everybody, or at least many of us, as potential murderers prevented only by the lack of a convenient weapon. Virginia Tech administrators overrode Virginia state law and threatened to expel or fire anybody who brings a weapon onto campus.

In recent years, however, armed Americans — not on-duty police officers — have successfully prevented a number of attempted mass murders. Evidence from Israel, where many teachers have weapons and have stopped serious terror attacks, has been documented. Supporting, though contrary, evidence from Great Britain, where strict gun controls have led to violent crime rates far higher than ours, is also common knowledge.

So Virginians asked their legislators to change the university's "concealed carry" policy to exempt people 21 years of age or older who have passed background checks and taken training classes. The university, however, lobbied against that bill, and a top administrator subsequently praised the legislature for blocking the measure.

The logic behind this attitude baffles me, but I suspect it has to do with a basic difference in worldviews. Some people think that power should exist only at the top, and everybody else should rely on "the authorities" for protection.

Despite such attitudes, average Americans have always made up the front line against crime. Through programs like Neighborhood Watch and Amber Alert, we are stopping and catching criminals daily. Normal people tackled "shoe bomber" Richard Reid as he was trying to blow up an airliner. It was a truck driver who found the D.C. snipers. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that civilians use firearms to prevent at least a half million crimes annually.

When people capable of performing acts of heroism are discouraged or denied the opportunity, our society is all the poorer. And from the selfless examples of the passengers on Flight 93 on 9/11 to Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who sacrificed himself to save his students earlier this week, we know what extraordinary acts of heroism ordinary citizens are capable of.

Many other universities have been swayed by an anti-gun, anti-self defense ideology. I respect their right to hold those views, but I challenge their decision to deny Americans the right to protect themselves on their campuses — and then proudly advertise that fact to any and all.

Whenever I've seen one of those "Gun-free Zone" signs, especially outside of a school filled with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, I've always wondered exactly who these signs are directed at. Obviously, they don't mean much to the sort of man who murdered 32 people just a few days ago.

— Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.

National Review Online -

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This is Brilliant!

Forget my incoherent ramblings. Check out Jason Whitlock's comments:

Quoted from the Kansas City Star, 4/11/07:

Imus isn’t the real bad guy
Instead of wasting time on irrelevant shock jock, black leaders need to be fighting a growing gangster culture.

Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.

You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.

You’ve given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.

Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.

While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.

It’s embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.

I’m no Don Imus apologist. He and his tiny companion Mike Lupica blasted me after I fell out with ESPN. Imus is a hack.

But, in my view, he didn’t do anything outside the norm for shock jocks and comedians. He also offered an apology. That should’ve been the end of this whole affair. Instead, it’s only the beginning. It’s an opportunity for Stringer, Jackson and Sharpton to step on victim platforms and elevate themselves and their agenda$.

I watched the Rutgers news conference and was ashamed.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for eight minutes in 1963 at the March on Washington. At the time, black people could be lynched and denied fundamental rights with little thought. With the comments of a talk-show host most of her players had never heard of before last week serving as her excuse, Vivian Stringer rambled on for 30 minutes about the amazing season her team had.

Somehow, we’re supposed to believe that the comments of a man with virtually no connection to the sports world ruined Rutgers’ wonderful season. Had a broadcaster with credibility and a platform in the sports world uttered the words Imus did, I could understand a level of outrage.

But an hourlong press conference over a man who has already apologized, already been suspended and is already insignificant is just plain intellectually dishonest. This is opportunism. This is a distraction.

In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive?

I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?

When Imus does any of that, call me and I’ll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you’re not looking to be made a victim.

No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.


And a footnote...

And,if it is so offensive, why can you buy this (and dozens of other items) online?

Imus has to lose his career, but now "pop-culture-savvy entrepeneurs" get to make money off of it.

When does this madness end?

Open Mouth, Insert Foot, Lose Career

The news is all abuzz about Don Imus' firing by both CBS radio and MSNBC. Too bad for him some loopy astronaut didn't don a diaper and head out to club her rival, or a D-List celebrity didn't die to take this story off the "front page".

No, since it's been slow news-wise lately, we had to watch the tiny simmer grow into a roiling boil of "outrage" at the comments made during some banter between Mr. Imus and Bernard McGuirk, one of his producers regarding the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

Sure, what he said was asinine. But then, Don Imus pretty much says asinine things every day. I don't defend his comments at all, but I do shake my head at the blatant hypocrisy in the outrage. I would wager that NO member of the Rutgers women's basketball team actually witnessed the comments. They had to hear about it from someone else. I would also wager that their first reaction was "What a jerk". Period. I would wager that their need for a press conference, their little pity party about how their joy has been stolen and how offended they are was ginned up by other people who cajoled them into a false sense of outrage.
If someone calls you a name, what do you do?
Most likely, you remember what your parents told you when you were a kid: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Of course, parents probably don't teach that to kids any more. Now it may go something like this: "Anything I can possibly construe as 'hate speech' may grant me fame and fortune, so ALWAYS be looking for ways to be offended. There might be a big fat paycheck in it!"
Whether or not "all women of color" were, or even could be, offended by Imus' remarks, does this mean he should lose his career? Whatever happened to the concept of letting the punishment fit the crime?
If Imus offends you, you have the power to force him to either (a) change his ways or (b) change his job by NOT LISTENING. Ratings keep radio hosts on the air, period.
So now, a guy who raises awareness and millions of dollars for Autism and kids with cancer, who champions "green" cleaning products, who was a driving force behind the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio... this guy has to lose his career for saying something stupid?
Will anyone demand that the contracts (and the CDs in stores) be pulled from the rappers who made phrases like "Nappy-headed hos" a part of the "urban vernacular"? Don Imus never would have had those words bumping around in his previously drug-addled brain if it weren't for the "Hip Hop Community", which continuously savages women in its words, videos, actions, and attitude.

Incidentally, just when did "Nappy-headed" become a racist, derogatory phrase anyway? The first time I ever heard it was in Stevie Wonder's "I Wish": "Looking back on when I was a little nappy-headed boy..." and this was said in fond reminiscing of his childhood. Black women today say "Nappy is Happy" in explanation of wearing their hair naturally. So don't cry to me about it being racist. It isn't.

Let's see if every talk show host, black, white, Democrat, Republican, Christian, Atheist, Jewish, Muslim, male, female, gets held to this new standard. They won't. You know they won't. George Bush and Republicans will still get called Nazis, our troops will still get called terrorists, whites will still be called oppressors, Christians will still be called (oh, just pick anything here!)...

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Don Imus should have apologized to the Rutgers girls, and that is the end of it. A suspension, sure. Make him feel some pain so perhaps he'll think twice before touching the third rail of comedy for white people (black comedians, commentators, sports celebrities et al have no such boundaries). But "offending" someone is not grounds for losing one's career. Especially when you have made your name by being offensive and controversial. Billy Graham didn't suddenly break out with the comment. Brian Williams didn't suddenly spill it. Tim Russert didn't. The President didn't. It was IMUS, for Pete's sake. Ray Nagin didn't pay with his career for his racist "Chocolate City" comments (no, he got reelected!). Kanye West didn't pay with his career for accusing the President of racism. Spike Lee didn't pay with his career for calling Trent Lott a "card carrying member of the KKK" (that isn't offensive?????). Of course not. So why Imus? I shudder for the future of free speech.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday Blahs

So, it's Monday.
And it feels like a Monday.

The news of the day is depressing, the UK is claiming that we (the US) started the mess in Iran by trying to seize some high-up security guys in a covert raid (we didn't get them - haven't we figured out yet that when we take helicopters into Iran, bad things happen? They could have asked Jimmy Carter...) and Iran has retaliated by seizing the British Navy Sailors and Marines. Great.

Also, I see that nearly everyone running for President is raising RECORD amounts of money, especially dear old Hillary. But wait! What about the constant whining from Democrats about how bad the economy is? I thought everyone was broke! The evil rich people are getting tax cuts while "working families" (someone define that, would ya?) are starving! Guess those tax cuts are working for the very same Anti-Bush, anti-tax-cut morons who are giving HUGE amounts of money to someone who will raise their taxes!

Not to mention, if the Dems have their way, we are in for the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN US HISTORY. But, fear not... somehow "working families" must benefit, right? I mean, surely the tax increase is only on rich white male Republicans. Oh, wait... it's going to affect everyone? Wow, I thought Democrats were "fighting for working families"... I mean, that's what I've heard for the past 20 years or so... it must be true! Alas, the tax increases will increase the marriage penalty (that doesn't seem "pro-family"), lower the child tax credit (wow, that doesn't seem "pro-family"), increase the death tax (only a democrat would try to get more money out of a dead person), and raise marginal rates, capital gains rates, and dividend rates. Wonderful! If anything can reverse the incredible economic growth we've seen over the last 15 quarters, the unbelievably low unemployment rate (check the numbers!), job growth, investment growth, and stock market gains, a big fat tax increase, compliments of the "I feel your pain (but let me REALLY MAKE IT HURT)" party will!

But, I digress. Washington is messed up on both sides of the aisle, up in the White House AND at the Supreme Court. Why would I be surprised at the idiocy of the newly elected jerks. I guess Economics 101 and the success of ALL previous tax cuts (by JFK, Reagan, and Bush) are just too hard to learn from.

So, I can't wait to get out of here (still at work), get back in the car and listen to "The Doorpost Songs" - that will fix my mood in a hurry. Thank goodness I was at the church today and was able to pick up a new copy (I keep giving it away!).

Monday. Who needs it.