Monday, January 29, 2007

sos, different election cycle

one of the things that most disturbs me about politics is the lack of genuineness on the part of the players involved on the national stage. it does not matter which party or which candidate, but the level of disingenuousness is irksome, at best. for example, you can’t be a conservative and think spending beyond one’s means is healthy. as a conservative, i think the republicans have squandered the last decade in this area and have given away the farm, so i’m not really talking about sides here in this post. but, when a candidate’s major mantra is about “two americas,” i can’t help but think of the striking insincerity of owning a 28,000 square foot home on 102 acres. it seems that john edwards has whole-heartedly embraced the notion reagan set forth when he said of the republicans, “We’re the party that wants to see an American in which people can still get rich.” welcome aboard, johnny boy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

what country do you think this is?

i live in a growing hamlet in south mississippi. over the past decade our small “town” has been experiencing the pains that come along with that growth. the major concern for most of us is the amount of crime that has affected our fair city, especially in the last year. we had a 145% (not a misprint) increase in the murder rate, and felonies over-all jumped from 1,743 to 2,178. just this last week, there was a shoot-out one block down and three streets over from my home. last year there was a shot fired in the street immediately in front of my own home. the police department appears to be impotent, and the system seems broken. a gentleman was killed in a parking lot last year in front of his daughter while just this week, a grad jury refused to indict the suspect even though witnesses saw the suspect strike the victim in the head with brass knuckles. speculation is that the local police botched the investigation and did not gather enough evidence to prosecute the suspect. in fact, he was never even arrested. what bugs me is that the police chief cited in both print and television media outlets that one of the three main reasons crime is up is because of “insufficient vigilance on the part of citizens. many of the crimes during 2006 were crimes of opportunity, Wynn said, adding that people need to take precautions to avoid being targets for thieves.” so let me get this straight - i’m supposed to make sure no one shoots someone else? this is a personal slap in the face as i have, on multiple occasions, implored the chief and his department to investigate and shut down the drug traffic in my neighborhood. i have pointed out dealers, suppliers, and buyers to the local police, but have been told repeatedly that the police can not do anything unless they see the activity for themselves. the police have a standing invitation to use my front porch as a surveillance post at their convenience. they have yet to take me up on the offer. and yet, in a city such as this, the city council has, in its wisdom, decided to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. a line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off keeps echoing through my head - “What country do you think this is?” i mean we can’t keep the murder rate down or the drug traffic off our streets, but we’re going to attempt to ban a legal substance from being used in establishments which are owned by tax-paying citizens? makes me want to cuss. and fire up a fine imported fatty right in front of the police department. which has an ash-tray just outside its lobby. which is well within the distance one must not be occupying while smoking.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

you gonna eat that last piece of bacon?

sadly, football season is drawing to a close. the tigers didn’t do too shabbily, and did what they could to prove to the collegiate world that the SEC is the best conference in college football, bar none (just a foot note here . . . the tigers were the only team to beat those national championship gators this season). the ‘boys, on the other hand, just about drove me slap insane. for those of you keeping score at home, he who shall not be named led the league in dropped passes. is this like babe ruth leading the league in strikeouts? somehow i think not. i hope the era of the big tuna in big d is not over, but who knows what the off season mind of j. j. might dream up. the pearl river bunch managed to make it to the national championship game at the juco level but alas, victory eluded them (unfortunately for some both on the field and in the classroom). sometimes i wish, ever so briefly, that i had been born without the gene that makes one give a flying hoot about sports. it would make life so much more simple on fall and winter weekends. but then again, life would not be nearly as much fun with out gridiron competition. so - with that said - let’s look to the future. predictions: #1 - the tuna will stay, as will he who shall not be named, tony romo will rebound and go on to become one of the more stable qbs dallas has had since aikman. #2 - the hire of nick saban will prove not to be the salvation of crimson tide football, but will serve as a model of american appetite for sport over academics. #3 - sometime in the next five years, pro qbs will be required to wear flags and/or, as terry bradshaw has mentioned elsewhere, dresses. #4 - my classroom will continue to be woefully under-equipped while the sports budget of my academic institution continues to grow and be supplemented by alumni.