Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hey, I'm back, and I brought Leonard Pitts with me

Sorry to have been away longer than expected, folks - but I'm back, and I'm bad. Well, not really - I'm just back.

Anyway, to hit the ground running, I'd like to bring up an issue that Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. brought up about public education in D.C. and whether Barack Obama is going to send his daughters there. Pitts feels - as I do - that Obama should send his kids to a private school. He feels that way, and yet he laments that it's necessary. At the end of his column, he states:

"Too many of us, I think, have made peace with the idea that public schools don't work, have come to regard it as normal that they crank out poorly educated kids, have come to accept that certain children in certain places are ineducable. But I saw the falsity of that with my own eyes while traveling the country for ''What Works,'' saw some of the nation's best students in some of its most dire places.

The failure here, then, is not the students', but ours, a failure of will and imagination. We need to reassess the things we take for granted. We need to decide that our children deserve better.

And we need to ask a simple question: If public schools are not good enough for the president's kids, what makes us think they are good enough for ours?"

I was also surprised to see actual criticism of teachers' unions in his column. I have been critical of teachers' unions for years, and they are one of the reasons that I advocate tuition vouchers. Pitts does not state his views on the matter, but it seems to me that public schools and teachers' unions are not going to be motivated to change unless they have competition to gain and retain students.

You know what? If Obama truly intends to bring change, this would be a good start. Obama, start by changing the Dept. of Education and the teachers' unions. Get them to realize that they're part of the problem instead of part of the solution. Get them to realize that their obsession with protecting themselves and their power has damaged generations of kids. Obama, you could REALLY institute change by advocating tuition vouchers. I don't buy that argument that tuition vouchers violate the church/state separation wall, because the gov't had already had a form of a tuition voucher with the GI Bill, and our school system didn't go to hell in a handbasket, did it? In fact, it helped a lot of students. Like we could do now.

If Obama can manage to get this ball rolling, then I'll start believing that he's a miracle worker.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gas prices and blog news

Below are a couple of pictures I took while testing out my new cellphone. The Santa one is a t-shirt in a local store. The other pic is to show that gas actually went under $2 a gallon here. Wow.

Now for some blog news: Gang o' mine, I am going to take a short respite. I got real-life stuff to take care of, an' me writin' fangers is gettin' tired. I'll be back on Sunday the 17th.

In the meantime, enjoy my buddy Joel's blog. I certainly do! :-)

See you in a week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reporter is "excited" about Obama victory

I'm posting a link to this edtoon, rather than posting the image here, because some of you might find it offensive, and it's probably not safe for viewing at work. It's an actual editorial cartoon, and I have to wonder how many newspapers ran it. However, I have to ask:

NOW do you believe that there's a liberal bias in the media? ;-)

There's a pun I could use here, but it's so bad that I'll pass. :-p

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A quick note

For those of you who saw the start of my entry on gay marriage - er, that was supposed to be a draft. Apparently, I hit "Publish Post" instead of "Save Now", because I noticed later that I had already got a comment on it. Anyway, that blog entry is back in draft status, and I'll publish it later. However, for the commentator, your comment is still there. I'll publish it whenever I publish the blog entry that it goes to. My apologies.

Friday, November 07, 2008

TCU falls to Utah, dooming BCS chances

As I was in the process of noticing that fellow blogger Joel had posted rather lightly yesterday, I watched in horror as my local university, TCU, lost to its conference foe Utah. Thus, its hope for a shot at the BCS is dashed for another season. See, if we were USC or some other BCS school, we'd still have a shot even with two losses, but non-BCS schools have to be abso-freakin-lutely perfect just to get a look in our direction. I wanted to wax eloquently about the heartbreaking loss, and I wanted to describe the agonies of defeat and such, but despite all that, only one word comes to mind:


Thursday, November 06, 2008

"The Will of the People" spoke Tuesday

On Tuesday, the "Will of the People" - the sacrosanct philosophy that determines who will lead us and what path we should take on a given issue - spoke forcefully. After a long and contentious campaign, it chose Barack Obama. Lauds and accolades ensued everywhere.

But wait....

The "Will of the People" also spoke on the matter of gay marriage in three states - and in all three states, the "Will of the People" stated that they were opposed to gay marriage.

So - what the hell?

Not only that, a group that helped bring in Obama also voted in large numbers against gay marriage - namely, black folks. So what's going on here? Is this a case of "Equal rights for me, but not for thee?". Talking to people I know personally and reading the blogs of others who were in favor of gay marriage, the answer is simple: They - that is, everyone who voted against gay marriage - are bigots. They're narrow-minded, unenlightened, and short sighted bigots.

"Okay then," I ask those who are both elated over Obama's election and outraged over the failure of gay marriage to pass, "So you're saying that the same wonderful people who were so open-minded and enlightened to have voted in the first black president - "

At this point, some of those who know me and how I tend to argue will eye me suspiciously for a second before they respond, but almost always curiosity gets the better of them as to what I am about to say, so they answer anyway. I love that, by the way. Their response: "Yeahhhh....."

" - are the same narrow minded bigots that kept gay marriage from becoming the law." Uncertain of where I am going with this, I finally get to my point: "You're saying that Americans are a bunch of open-minded and enlightened bigots!"

"Now hold on there..." is the usual reaction. From that point, their arguments goes along the line of "Americans were ready for a black president, but not for gay marriage" reasoning; but I think that these conflicting election results and the gay marriage supporters' reactions to them suggests something else: They're just as bigoted as they say gay marriage opponents are.

Why do I say that? It's because of the nature of their reactions - that is, to them there is only one reason and one reason only that someone would be opposed to gay marriage, and that's because they are narrow-minded bigots. Know what I think of when I hear that?

I think of back in 2002, in the raw days just after 9/11, in which the patriotism of anyone who wasn't gung-ho on going after the terrorists was questioned. "If you don't do (stated action), then the terrorists win." was the mindset back then. See what that kind of thinking is? It's called "Either you're with me or against me", or sometimes abbreviated (as I shall now do) as "e/o".

I don't like e/o thinking. It leaves no room for shades of gray, and it's actually a means of trying to shut down any discussion of a given issue. In case you haven't figured it out already, I am diametrically opposed to attempts to shut down discussion. The reason that war supporters said "If you don't do (stated action), then the terrorists win" is because they didn't want to consider that there might actually be good reasons not to go to war. Seven years later, it looks like they should have questioned the desire to go to war a little more.

Now fast forward to today. Gay marriage supporters are now the ones engaging in e/o thinking. "Either you support gay marriage, or you're a bigot." No room for discussion. In their minds, there is NO good reason to oppose gay marriage. So my question to them is: "Really? Are you sure about that? No reasons whatsoever?"

I was about to continue, but you know what? I'm going to let this sit and stew for awhile and let my readers - especially those that support gay marriage - think about this some before I continue. Just as war supporters in 2002 should have questioned their e/o thinking before going to war, I'm going to give gay marriage supporters the opportunity to question their own e/o thinking before I continue my discussion here.

If I get any responses, I'll post them here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations to Barack Obama

The results are in, and Barack Obama is now our president-elect. My congratulations to him, and for setting an historic precedent. For me, my feelings are mixed.

On the one hand, it does my heart glad to see that our country has now been able to advance to the point that we can elect a black candidate to the highest office in the land. It is truly awesome to have been witness to this - to see the dream of millions finally fulfilled, including those who never lived to see this dream come true. The election of Barack Obama is vindication for all those who suffered during too long a stretch of time in our nation's history. Whatever our country's faults and shortcomings, we still maintain the capacity to change for the better. What was unthinkable in Dr. Martin Luther King's time is now reality. It is a time for rejoicing.

Now for the other hand. I am both saddened and deeply disturbed that President Obama's first act as president is NOT going to be pulling the troops out of Iraq, NOT going to be lowering our taxes, but to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act, or FOCA. Basically, the FOCA would wipe away all the progress that the prolife movement has made in recent years and altering the playing field in favor of the likes of Planned Parenthood. For a candidate who had promised change and unity, this is a slap in the face of a movement that seeks to promote the rights of the unborn community. "Unborn community" is going to be my new term, by the way, for unborn Americans, as a reminder that we are not dealing with a "what" but a "who" when we make decisions involving them. Obama's promises of freedom and change, unfortunately, do not extend to the unborn community. That is why it is also a time of weeping.

It is my hope and - literally - prayer that Barack Obama will see that the unborn community deserve just as much protection as members of any other community; and even more protection, since they are unable to defend themselves. They are always, 100% of the time, dependent upon someone else to defend them.

It is my hope that President Obama will be outraged at the news that black women have abortions disproportionate to their numbers of the population as a whole, and part of that reason is that abortion clinics tend to set up shop in their neighborhoods. None other than the niece of Dr. King himself discusses this in this article. It is also my hope that President Obama will wonder why he supports an organization like Planned Parenthood that hires racists and protects statutory rapists. It doesn't take a lot of digging to find these articles. Just a few should be enough to shake President Obama to his soul, and hopefully to help him see the errors of his ways in this issue.

I've been chided before for being such a "one issue guy"; that I'm letting this one issue take away from more important issues. If this were an issue of whether it's acceptable to wear white after Labor Day, they'd be right. If this were an issue of whether young people should pull up their damn pants instead of letting them hang around their knees, they'd be right. But we're talking about a community of Americans that our laws have chosen to not recognize. Why have we gone from not recognizing the rights of women and blacks to not recognizing the rights of the unborn? Why does our country need to always have a group of people to use and exploit? Yes, I'm "one issue"- just like abolitionists of the past were "one issue".

Again, I'm happy for Obama and for his supporters, and I am overjoyed to see that our country has progressed to the point that we can elect a man that would have been unelectable mere decades ago. I'm excited to have been witness to this historic event. But my enthusiasm is going to be subdued until the day that the unborn community is allowed to share in all that our country offers. If President Obama can be the man who extends the right to life to the unborn community, then he'll enjoy my full and total support. In the meantime, I'll go back to hoping and praying - both for him, and for the unborn.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Okay folks, this is it. The preliminaries are finally over, and now it's time for you to go over to the voting booth and do your civic duty. Many of our fellow Americans have fought and died for the right for you to vote, so don't let them down. We enjoy many advantages in this country that many others in other parts of the world do not, and that includes the ability to choose the leader that will be leading us for the next four years. Go choose Barack Obama. Or John McCain. Or a third party candidate, if you prefer. But choose. And don't forget to study the various state and local candidates as well as any bills or referendums, as they will impact your life and finances more immediately than the national elections will. In other words, it's all important.

Then tomorrow, join me here as I comment on the election results and give my take on what it all means.

Monday, November 03, 2008

McCain victory via Obama voter assumption?

I'm getting this in before the election: Could John McCain win via the assumptions of Obama voters that Obama had it in the bag anyway? That's the problem with the press coverage of Obama's lead in the polls in recent days; that it's giving this impression that Obama's going to win, and win big. I got this impression from discussions with others. The J-Mac supporters are as determined as ever to vote, while the Obama voters are telling them that they'd be wasting their time. I think it's a good possibility that J-Mac could pull this out via Obama voter assumption - at least a 60% chance of happening, maybe as high as 65%. We'll see tomorrow.