Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cindy Sheehan quits the cause

Cindy Sheehan, known mostly as the face of the anti-war movement, is quitting the cause due to a variety of reasons, among them a despondency over the effectiveness of her anti-war efforts in particular, as well as the anti-war movement in general.

Among her statements, she made some that were obviously heartfelt, even though they were a bit misguided. While Sheehan's statements were heartfelt, I think she is doing herself and her son a disservice by stating that her son "died for nothing". That's a terrible way to view her son's death. I am not a parent, so I can't say that I know what it's like to lose a child, but her son went into the military fully aware of the possible consequences of serving in the military.

Dying in battle, in other words, is a very real possibility. That's something that, not only the military person who signed up accepts, but so do the loved ones - or at least they should in theory. Stating that Casey - Sheehan's son - died in vain shows that she's thinking more of herself and her own pain rather than seeing the big picture, which is understandable, since this is her son that we're talking about here, but her view that her son's death was senseless really needs to be put in perspective.

One of Sheehan's lamentations about her son's death is that "I have tried every (day) since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives."

This sounds much like she expects a country that is perfect. There are no perfect countries. There never have been, nor will there ever be. So long as countries are run by imperfect human beings, there will always be imperfect countries. However, the U.S. remarkable in so many ways that it is singularly unique in human history. Despite the many disputes and disagreements, we can settle on actions without going to arms against each other (the Civil War being the exception, of course). We are not ruled by a monarchy nor a tyrant. Even Hugo Chavez can't run Venzuela without controlling and even censoring that country's press.

But we have freedom of speech and freedom of the press here. We have freedom of worship and freedom to gather into like-minded groups. We have so many freedoms in this country that so many countries do not. Some countries may have some of our freedoms while others have other freedoms, but few, if any, have the number of freedoms that we have. Yes, we have our faults. We always will. We'll never be perfect, but we'll always try to be better. That's probably our greatest strength.

So Casey Sheehan fought for the rights and freedoms that the rest of us enjoy. He fought for the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship and of all the other freedoms that we enjoy. He fought for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He fought for our right to vote. He also fought for those who care more for who wins American Idol than about current news events. Such people come with the country. He had to fight for all of us, not just some of us, or he wouldn't have served his role as one of our nation's soldiers. He did not die in vain - rather, he died in the role that he went into serving.

I can certainly sympathize for Cindy Sheehan. I feel for her, and I know that she is going through a great deal of pain that I have never gone through. But she has some issues to work out, and I think stepping out of the anti-war movement is probably a good start. On her blog, she mentioned getting back to her life and back to her other children. Casey is not with her anymore, but her other children still are. They still need their mother, and in truth, she needs them.

As hard as this is going to be, she needs to let Casey go. She needs to come to terms with his loss, which she hasn't yet, based on all that we've seen from her since she became a public persona. There is bitterness in her words, and that needs to be dealt with as well. Her son did not die in vain - far from it, actually. I hope she can accept that one day. In the meantime, she needs to reconnect with her surviving children. Maybe, all together, they can help come to terms with Casey's absence. Now Cindy Sheehan needs our prayers that she will let go of her bitterness before it consumes her. She took an important step by stepping down. I hope she can follow through.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hogzilla Sr.!

Just what is in the south that makes the hogs there so durn big?? Check out the pic of this giant hog!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Curly shuffle

I had almost forgotten about this music video of Curly Howard of the 3 Stooges. Curly still cracks me up. :-)

And it's not a 3 Stooges short unless it has Curly in it! Shemp is almost okay, better at least than the Curly Joes that followed him. Curly is perpetually cool!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Questions regarding my writing

For this blog entry, I will answer some questions regarding my writing that I have been asked from time to time. This is in no way meant to be comprehensive, but simply general answers to questions that tend to come in similar categories. I hope to take care of many of those questions here. I will start with the question followed by my answer. Hopefully in my responses, you will find the encouragement to take up writing yourself – at least in the form of blogging if nothing else.

What do you like to write about?

This blog pretty much covers the topics that I like to write about, which is mostly commentary on political and social issues; but I also discuss whatever else I may be in the mood for. I’ll also comment on something interesting or amusing, as when I found out that Shaggy’s real name is Norville. The beauty of a blog is that I don’t always have to discuss every topic in thorough detail.

How do you decide on what to write about?

It has to interest me, for one. I also have to be able to complete an idea or thought, whether that comes after one paragraph or several. Regardless of the length, I need to basically have a point in writing it. I have numerous Word files that are in various stages of incompleteness. Some are a good finishing sentence away from being ready to post while others may be only about halfway through. Often times, I will complete them once I have let them sit for a while. Sometimes an idea or point doesn’t come even after I’ve let it sit for a while, so I’ll delete the file. And other times I will notice after I started one topic that one of my old saved files can add to the current topic, so I’ll combine the two. Sometimes I have to think long and hard on what to write about, other times an idea drops into my lap. This leads to…

How do you come up with ideas on what to write about?

The main ingredient is practice, practice, practice. Having a blog is so handy for writing practice. You can practice to your heart’s content, and you get the added bonus of having an audience to read your stuff. Writing blocks will appear less frequently so long as you are in the habit of writing. Something else I do is read constantly. I read the newspaper and search Internet news sites for news articles. I will also scan headlines to see what news event is getting a lot of “press”. Some topics are easy to come by, such as the Iraq war. Sometimes I’ll spot an obscure news item that I find interesting, so I’ll discuss that.

With all the news sources that are out there, I could easily write about something every day. In fact, I think I just might make next month “Post something every day” month, just to see if I can do it. Some blog entries might be long, but most will be short, but I’m pretty certain that I could post every day. Okay folks, I’ll do it! June is going to be “Post every day month!” It might be 11:45 in the evening, but I’ll get something posted! Watch to see if I can do it!

A note on who I choose to talk about

And last is a note on how I make decisions on who to talk about. Back when I wrote columns for my college newspaper, they gave us pointers on who we can talk about without getting into potential legal situations. First, what I discuss has to be the truth. I can’t outright lie about who I talk about, no matter who the person is or how well they’re liked or disliked. Lying in print is called libel, and it’s a crime. Plus, nothing undermines the credibility of a writer faster than being caught lying. The truth is your friend, so be nice to your friend.

One thing that must be kept in mind when it comes to whom we can and can’t talk about is this: Is this person a public figure? A public figure is usually someone like a politician, prominent athlete, or celebrity. These people crave the spotlight and can often be found basking in it. They are, basically, fair game – so long as what you say about them is limited to what is known about them. And like I said above, lying about even recognized public figures is still libel, no matter how public they are.

Those that are not public figures are people that do not want the spotlight,nor are they doing anything to get it. For instance, I can't just write about my friend Joe Schmo just because I feel like it. I can't discuss his dating life or his poor choice of investments or anything of that nature, because it might damage him personally or financially; plus he would have no way to defend himself. I also can't air family "dirty laundry", because those family members wouldn't have a way to defend themselves on what I might say about them. I can't talk about how Uncle Ugamoo is a drunk or how Aunt Tia spends her husband's paycheck as soon as he brings it home. (by the way, the friend and the two family members I just mentioned are all fictional. Just thought that I'd let you know that.)

There are those who didn't choose to be in the spotlight, but were thrust there by circumstance. Paris Hilton is a classic example of this. She first gained attention from a video clip of her that got posted to the Internet. Afterwards, once she got the attention, she stayed in the spotlight by taking up shows like that reality show whose title escapes me right now. So while she didn’t start out as a public figure, she became one by opting to stay in the spotlight.

Another example of an inadvertent public figure is the so-called “runaway bride” who first drew attention to herself by reporting that she had been kidnapped as her way to explain why she didn’t show up for her wedding. This started a nationwide manhunt. What made her a public figure was the revelation that the kidnapping was a hoax. She caused many man-hours and public funds to be spent searching for her, and all for nothing. She had no intention in becoming a public figure, but her questionable judgment to avoid marriage drew attention to her. However, since the runaway bride hasn’t done anything since that time to draw attention to herself, then there’s no need to put her back in the spotlight – which is why I haven’t brought up her name here.

People like Terri Schaivo are public figures due to the circumstances that they happened to be in. Terri was at the center of a “right to die” debate that the nation happened to be embroiled in at the time. Both her husband and her parents chose to be in the spotlight to draw attention to their respective causes, and Terri happened to be at the center of it. People at the center of such contentious issues can fall under the category of a public figure.

Another group to mention here is the children of prominent public figures. For example, if a teenage or young adult child of a prominent politician was caught in the act of drunk driving, then this is news because of whom the child happens to be related to. There’s limits, of course, on what you can say about the incident, but it is worthy of reporting as news. Usually it will be the decision of editors to decide what and how much can be said.

And so, with that, I hope that I’ve answered most of the questions that tend to be asked of me regarding my writing. I was going to mention something about the importance of a free press in our society, but that’s probably a topic better suited for another time. Feel free to ask me anything else that might come to mind in regards to writing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ad for free computer virus has takers

In Helsinki, a computer specialist decided to put an ad out stating that anyone who didn't have a computer virus can get one free by clicking on his Internet ad. The ad said, "Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here!" The ad was fake, of course; there was no virus - the computer specialists simply wanted to see if anyone would click on it. Much to his surprise, he had takers - 409, actually.

One of the commentators in the article stated that while some might have clicked on the ad accidently, the others might have been either curious or stupid. I don't think he understands that people have been willingly infecting their BODIES with viruses for years; that's why sexually transmitted diseases have been spreading so rapidly in recent decades. So if people willingly infect their bodies with viruses, why not their computers?

Sad thing is, most people take better care of their computers than they do their bodies. There's a message in all this about our day and age, I think...

Shaggy's real name

I just had to mention this here, because I never knew that Shaggy from Scooby-Doo had a name other than Shaggy. It turns out that Shaggy's real first name is Norville. His full name is Norville Rogers.

Hmm... I guess if my first name were Norville, I'd go by Shaggy, too.

It's all clear now. :-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

"I'm with the band..."

Earlier this month, a local band named Nobody's Business invited me to one of their gigs to shoot some pics of them in action. Never having been onstage before while a band was playing, I accepted their offer. Plus, I always wanted to use a particular line on the ladies, but was never able to until that day. That line is..."I'm with the band".

It was during one of Fort Worth's annual events called Mayfest, which is an outdoor annual event that provides a lot of food, entertainment, and fun. The thing is, the band's music was so good that they made it hard for me to do my job as photographer! Nevertheless, I managed to snap about 90 pics and two short video clips. Here's a link to a page of some of the pics that I took. You can also see one of the video clips on the home page in a sidebar titled "Video Clip".

Now that I've done a shoot of a band in action, I know better on what I need to do for the next time I'm invited to shoot a band in action. It also gives me an excuse to get an even nicer camera (not that it would take a lot to give me an excuse to get a new camera, mind you). Anyway, the main point of this blog entry is to give the band Nobody's Business some exposure, because they were that good. If you're in the Fort Worth area or surrounding communities, give them a try. You won't be disappointed.

By the way, I didn't get to use the "I'm with the band" line because I was so busy taking pics. I was hoping to at least sign body parts or something. Well, maybe next time...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up: Odd News Weekend

The more observant of you have noticed the link that I have to Yahoo! News (as well as Google News). Well, if you click on that page and scroll down, you see a section called "Odd News". I like to read that section once in a while because of some of the stories that are on it. Being a rather odd person myself, I find it comforting to know that I am not alone in my - uniqueness. So this Weekend Wrap-up is going to be Odd News Weekend. Maybe I'll do more at other times. :-D

Too-doting a Mom aids son in jewelry heist
A German mother was so concerned about her son who was about to rob a jewelry store that she drove him there as he did the robbery. I know mothers are supposed to help their children and all, but couldn't she have instead persuaded him not to do this? That's being just a little too doting, I think. By the way, she's also spending time in the slammer now. How is she going to help her son now?

1,000 pregnant women gather together
In South Africa, 1,000 pregnant women gathered together to set the record for the largest single gathering of pregnant women in one location. Had I been the organizer of that event, I would worry to death that one woman would go into labor and start a chain reaction. THEN what are you gonna do? Set the record for most number of births in one location, I guess. Then you got a two-for-one thing going in regards to records being set. And I betcha that no one there would ever forget that day. No one went into labor, though, and the record was set. I wish a picture had been posted in that article. I am curious to see what a bunch of women with round bellies looks like all gathered together.

Dancing fools set a record as well
It must have been the week for setting records. In Eastern Europe, cities participated in a coordinated effort to all dance at the same time so as to break the old record of largest number of dancers at one time. It's a good thing that these dancers didn't dance around the pregnant women in the story above, or they might have set off that labor chain reaction that I also mentioned above.

Sale of house comes with previous owner
In Madrid, a bank sold a repossessed house complete with the mummified corpse of the previous owner. Gross! Apparently, the bank never checked the house once the previous owner stopped making payments. They couldn't at least call?

Sequel to "Snakes on a Plane"?
The sequel to the movie, "Snakes on a Plane" could very be "Snakes in the Mail." This gives the phrase "You've got Mail!" a whole new meaning. Now I'm afraid to open my mail...

"Get out and push!"
I have helped to push cars that have stalled, but train passengers in India have gone one better: They all got out and pushed their train until it was able to reconnect with a power rail. Heck, if this had happened in Texas, all the dudes with pick-up trucks (which is nearly everybody) woulda just hitched all their vehicles to the train to give it a push!

That's all for today, but now I'll be more vigilant about saving more of these odd news bits for a future episode of the Odd News Weekend of the Weekend Wrap-up.

Have a great week, folks!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

E-mail Grab-bag 5-14-2007

E-mail grab-bag

We all get those e-mails that tell jokes, have links to goofy, strange, or otherwise interesting links on YouTube, or other such items. Those e-mails are usually forwarded to us, and then we in turn forward them to someone else. Well, since I have a blog, I’ll just post them here in what I’ll call the E-mail Grab-Bag. Then you can decide if you want to forward them.


FW: Subject: 2006 Study

A 2006 study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.
Another study found that Americans drink an average of 22 gallons of beer a year.

That means, on average, Americans get about 41 miles per gallon.
Not Bad.


Morse Code vs. Text Messaging: Which is faster? Find out in the link below:



Mother’s Day tribute:

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.

"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning." 
 2. My mother taught me RELIGION. 
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
 3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. 
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!" 
 4. My mother taught me LOGIC. 
" Because I said so, that's why." 
 5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. 
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me." 
 6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. 
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident." 
 7. My mother taught me IRONY. 
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about." 
 8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. 
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper." 
 9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. 
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!" 
 10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. 
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone." 
 11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. 
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it." 
 12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. 
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!" 
 13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. 
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out." 
 14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. 
"Stop acting like your father!" 
 15. My mother taught me about ENVY. 
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do." 
 16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. 
"Just wait until we get home." 
 17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. 
"You are going to get it when you get home!" 
 18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. 
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way." 
 19. My mother taught me ESP. 
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?" 
 20. My mother taught me HUMOR. 
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me." 
 21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. 
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up." 
 22. My mother taught me GENETICS. 
"You're just like your father." 
 23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. 
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?" 
 24. My mother taught me WISDOM. 
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand." 
 25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE. 
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you 


25 Ways to tell you’re grown up

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6 am is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel even when you don’t have to.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “break up”.
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualifies as “dressed up”.
10. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald’s leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3am would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
19. You go to the drugstore for Ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4 bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good sh*t.”
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to drink that much again.”
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of your computer is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking, “Oh, sh*t, what the hell happened?”


26. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn’t apply to you and can’t find one to save your sorry old ass. Then you forward it to a bunch of old friends ‘cause you know they’ll enjoy it too. And now you know why I am forwarding this to you…

Monday, May 14, 2007

Elementary school stages fake gunman attack

Did you ever wonder why today's kids don't seem to be learning much in school? Maybe it's because of the poor quality of teachers. This story relates how an elementary school staged a fake gunman attack as a means of preparing children should the real thing occur.

The thing was, no one other than the teachers and the assistant vice principal planning it knew that it was going to happen. The parents weren't informed, and even the principal only found out about it later, who stated that those involved exercised "poor judgment."

Only two words come to mind in response: "YOU THINK???"

In this day and age of a lawsuit happy society, such stupidity only encourages such lawsuits. I read the article again, and I still can't believe that the planners thought that this would be a good idea. Be sure to watch the video clip in the article.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Congress, Bush about the same in the polls

In this article, it states that the Democratic-led U.S. Congress and President Bush are about the same in the polls. In other words, those polled feel that the Dems are doing about as well in Iraq as the president, which is not well at all.

It really makes me wonder why the Dems are so all-fired insistent on passing these bills that try to have us leave Iraq when they know that Bush will veto such bills. Why waste their time, why waste his time, and why waste the time and dollars of the American people with such inane political grandstanding? And most of all, why keep using the American troops serving abroad as a political football?

The most important thing to the Dems and to Bush is getting their way, regardless of what the people want and regardless of what is going to help the troops. Nothing else matters other than getting their way and looking good doing it. It's because of such ego-stroking insanity that the American voter is so sick of all this.

Earlier in the week, I was wondering why someone would run for office - especially a high profile office such as President or a member of Congress. Your whole life - all the way back to grade school, if necessary - is put out in the public eye. If there are skeletons in your closet, then your political enemies will put it out there, whether or not it is relevant to your campaign. Also, someone who is able to run for office is also able to just work in the private sector and earn a whole lot more. And last, many times in order to run for office, you have to "go to bed" with many undesireable sorts if they're bringing in the money for your campaign, and often you will also have to sell your soul.

For instance, Mitt Romney was once pro-choice on the abortion issue, until he became a potential candidate for office, and now he's pro-life. The timing of his "conversion" is rather convenient. Rudy Giuliani was also talking the pro-life talk, but he's about as credible as Romney. Once, Al Gore and Bill Clinton were pro-life, until they became candidates for D.C. offices. Then they switched to the pro-choice position. Basically then, all four of these candidates changed their views to suit their respective party's agenda so as to qualify for running as a candidate for office. In other words, they sold out.

Selling out is part of being a politician, in other words, and again I ask: Why bother? What gain do politicians get from putting their whole life out in public, getting pay that would be many times higher in the private sector, and often involves selling one's soul? Is the power that one gains from winning an office worth all of that? What kind of person is left over after having gone through such a wringer? Essentially, someone that would say and do anything to get and keep an office for the pleasure of weilding power. Doesn't sound like much of a public servant to me.

And then you have the instances of the inanity of our president and Congress passing and vetoing bills back and forth all for the sake of a show of doing something when they're really not. How did our system of government get this way? No doubt that it didn't happen overnight, and fixing it won't happen overnight, either. Before we can do anything, though, we have to figure out what went wrong. This might take a while, in other words.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Baby boomer - later generation dictionary

For this blog entry, I am going to try to serve the public good by helping foster cross-generational dialogue. Back in the day when I still was young and dumb, we used to use phrases like "cool" and "dig it" and "groovy". Nowadays young'uns still use "cool" in basically the same context as the older folks did, but the other slang has changed considerably.

Therefore, I think it would be a help to learn each other's slang so that we can speak to each other in each other's slang.

For example, what we used to call a "pad" is now a "crib". There's other examples as well, of course. I've posted this cross-generational dictionary idea on a site that I frequently post, because there is a mix of ages there. When some terms become available, I'll add then to my cross-generational dictionary and post them here. Maybe later I can see about having a website for it, as well as a translator. Wouldn't that be cool? :-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What's Mickey Mouse up to these days?

Mickey Mouse is apparently involved in a new career in Gaza Strip.

A station in Gaza Strip is using a Mickey Mouse look-alike to promote its views to children against the U.S. and Israel, and for an Islamic-led world. It has since been pulled, but I wonder if Disney will sue? Usually the Disney company is rather territorial over its trademarks and doesn't hesitate in going after unapproved usage of its characters.

The next time that "Mickey Mouse" is used, someone needs to let them know that the three stripes on his glove are supposed to go on the top of the hand, and not the palm.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Free marketing and outsourcing

This came in an e-mail, and it makes an interesting point. I might comment further on this later. This might be something that you can forward to your congresspeoples or other representatives.


A car company can move it's factories to Mexico and claim it's a free market.

A toy company can out source to a Chinese subcontractor and claim it's a free market.

A shoe company can produce its shoes in Southeast Asia and claim it's a free market

A major bank can incorporate in Bermuda to avoid taxes and claim it's a free market.

We can buy HP Printers made in Mexico .

We can buy shirts made in Bangladesh .

We can purchase almost anything we want from 20 different countries.

BUT, heaven help the senior citizens who dare to buy their prescription drugs from a Canadian or Mexican pharmacy.

That's called un-American and illegal and our politicians want to stop it!

And you think the pharmaceutical companies don't have a powerful lobby? Think again!

Forward this to every person you know over age 50.

It is an interesting thought. Maybe this is an issue that should come up in the next election!

Forget the 50, send it to everyone. We're all in this boat together! Even if you aren't in this boat now, you're standing on the pier.


This is the sort of stuff that appeals to my liberal side. :-D

Down with the pharmaceutical monopolies!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Warriors come out to play, Mavs go home

At the beginning of the series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors, a radio promo played with an audio of this clip from the old movie, The Warriors. It turns out that they did indeed come out to play. The Mavs, the team with the top record during the regular season and the #1 seed in the whole freakin' playoffs who would have had home court advantage the entire way, ended their run last night - so their home court advantage lasted one series.

Besides failing to go by the logic of taking it to the rim and getting either the basket, the foul, or both, the Mavs instead lived - and died - from the perimeter. They also failed to take advantage of an injured Baron Davis, who had been running circles around the Mavs the previous games, and they failed to exploit the one strategem that worked in their two victories: They failed to get the Warriors TOO emotional. When the Warriors get too emotional, they get sloppy, they get fouls, and they get ejections. In this game in which the emotional intensity was fever pitch, the Mavs had all the emotional intensity of Mr. Spock.

I didn't think anything would be worse than the Mavs losing in the championship last year after being up 2-0. I was wrong. This is going to sit in their craw for a long time.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Editorial Statement for May 2007: Democrats, let abortion go

Editorial statement for May 2007: Democrats, let abortion go.

The recent debate among the Democratic candidates for president helped to remind me again why I haven’t voted Democratic for years. For instance, when the candidates were asked about the abortion issue, all were in favor of legalized abortion, which of course was no surprise whatsoever. Then the issue of vacancies in the Supreme Court came up and whether they’d nominate on the basis of the abortion issue.

Several of the debaters said that they wouldn’t impose “litmus tests” on their judicial nominees, which basically means that they wouldn’t let a given nominee’s support or opposition to legalized abortion to be the be-all/end-all of whether they’d nominate this person. However, just as quickly they said that they’d nominate according to their beliefs. Let’s see – they’re pro-choice, so that means that they’d nominate pro-choice candidates. In other words, a pro-life nominee most likely wouldn’t get their nomination no matter how qualified they are for the bench. Sounds like a litmus test to me, pardners.

The issue of legalized abortion has become the Democrats’ be-all/end-all, whether they want to admit it or not. It's become to the Democratic Party what crack cocaine is to a user: It's an addiction. It's poisoned their souls and clouded their vision to what they used to be. The party that once fought racism, sexism, and many of the other "-isms" that had infected our society has itself been infected by something just as bad as those "-isms". It's opened their minds to the idea that personhood can be defined down to exclude certain people. To "old school" Democrats, it would have been anathema to exclude anybody!

But like it is said about marijuana being a “gateway drug” to further drug abuse, acceptance of legalized abortion has become a "gateway drug" for the Democrats to other poisonous ideas that also rely on defining down personhood. Most prominent among these is the so-called "assisted suicide" which is actually code for legalized euthanasia. The term "assisted suicide" - and its twin "death with dignity" - is basically make-up on a swine.

The most dramatic example of the barbarity of "assisted suicide" is the 2005 death of Terri Schiavo, who lingered for two weeks before finally dying of starvation. Please tell me how dignified it is to be starved to death for two weeks. And while this was going on, the Democrats should have been there front-and-center fighting for Schiavo's rights and her life. The "old school" Democrats would have, but they're gone now.

However, I think that the party can still be saved if it could do just one thing: Overturn Roe vs. Wade and end all support of legalized abortion. Let the issue go back to the states like it used to be, and simply let go of it. Then I think that their vision would clear again, and they could go back to being the "old school" Democrats that used to fight the good fight and be the voice for the voiceless. And one way to re-establish that old school thinking is to go after the abortion industry, which gets away with a lot that other industries wouldn't get away with. A few details are provided in this site.

Right now, the abortion industry is a major contributor to the party. This is problematic in that an industry that markets and sells age discrimination (that is, legalized abortion) is making a profit off of it. Also, consider the fact that, according to Consumer Reports, PP makes the worst condoms. So what that means is that an industry that makes inferior condoms turns around and profits from that inferior quality by providing the abortions when their condoms fail to prevent pregnancies.

This should lead to one wondering if perhaps the poor quality is planned. But that'd be - unethical and immoral, and an action that would be geared solely to making profit. Let's see - would a corporation put profits ahead of morals and ethics? It depends upon which side of Enron and WorldCom that you fall on. Can you imagine the Democrats letting any other industry get away with what the abortion industry gets away with?

While I think the return of "old school" Democrats can still happen, even I admit that it's a very long shot. A lot would have to happen before we can even begin to entertain the idea of their return. But a big step would be the letting go of the abortion issue. One of the issues that the Dems ran on in 2006 was the fight against corruption in Washington. Let them start by cleaning their own house, and letting abortion go would be one step.

Also, taking on the abortion industry like they once went after racism and sexism could just be the very thing to bring back the focus that used to be the Democratic party: the little people. In a day and age in which corporations make more and more while the little guy makes less and less (that's if his or her job isn’t outsourced), a hero needs to emerge to rally the people. Such people used to come from the “old school”, but that school has been closed for a while now.

It’s time to reopen those doors.