Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rising Tide IV

That's right NOLA bloggers, we talked about doing this all last summer. So now that I'm posting it rather than just talking about it, it becomes official.

I am attempting to get the ball rolling many, many months in advance and organize a low key meet-up/idea session to wrap up RTIII and start brainstorming RTIV. My idea is to schedule it between Thanksgiving and Christmas (somewhere in the middle of that) at a local drinking establishment or coffee shop that is conducive to loud and boisterous meetings.

You know if we wait till after Christmas, we'll wait till after Mardi Gras, and then we'll wait till after Jazzfest, etc. Then we'll be all in a rush to organize it, we'll take over Liprap's house again and I'll end up spending too much money at Popeye's Chicken while drinking all your Abita.

And while none of those are actually bad things, and now I'm thinking about chicken and beer, I wanted to open the thread for commentary and guage interest in this idea.

Any takers?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ORT

An Athens Icon.

I was just speaking to SAWB last night about how bad the UGA student newspaper The Red and Black has become in recent years, while the alt-weekly Flagpole has remained pretty good even while evolving.

This article on ORT certainly helps my case. Ort is one of those local figures that give Athens such charm. I can't count the number of beers I had at Burntstone/Copper Creek while listening to Ort tell stories. And you could always count on him for excellent suggestions during the Classic City Brewfest.

But what I like bringing attention to is that the Flagpole ran this article, not as a send up after a local legend has passed away, but as an actual interview as the local legend lives. The story is well written, but not yet over. I sure would like to see more reporting like this.


For example...

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh, Death...

Two choices. Number one: do everything possible to ensure that Death Penalty cases are subjected to the highest scrutiny. Let nothing get in the way of possible exoneration, and only use the Death Penalty for those cases where culpability is proven so far beyond a shadow of a doubt that it becomes comical to suggest otherwise. And why in the world are we still letting overworked, underpaid public defense attorneys handle this stuff? If you want to keep the Death Penalty around, you've got to pony up. This system must be above reproach, and I cannot stand that there are judges who have the "courage" to legislate cultural matters who don't have the cajones to apply jurisprudence where it needs to be. Only with a near flawless system can we keep the Death Penalty legal, and as a supporter, that means I want a near flawless system.

Choice two: Keep the system that we have working the way it does, and keep the dark shadow looming over every major case, where dangerous men and Hollywood icons can get out on technicalities and those whose guilt is suspect stay incarcerated for decades.

Common sense shouldn't be considered revolution.

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Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong In Atlanta

A cautionary tale if I've ever heard of one. An illegal immigrant works the system so he can buy a house in Roswell. One day, he wants to sell this house and get a bigger one. He plans to sell to a single mother from down the street. They try to cut a deal to get her in the house before it actually sells. She gets upset and crashes ol' dude's whole life to the ground. Now, he's in hoc with the authorities, and she lives at her momma's house. Whoops.

How much trouble could have been saved by the man, the woman, the real estate company, the man's job, and the Federal government that gave him a tax ID had everything just been above board in the first place?

Cryin' shame.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Bwings Us Togetow Towday.

DADvocate bout sums this up:

I'm rather neutral on this issue but would like to see the government get out of the "marriage" business altogether. Set up a governmental system where all unions are civil unions while various religions can sanction whatever types of marriages they wish.
True, true.

Simple, easy, and respecting civil rights.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

An Environmental Guru

Or, when keepin' it real goes wrong and ends up in the trash can.

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around what has happened in New Orleans government this week. This makes note of one aspect of our incredibly controversial waste disposal issue. Luckily, the local paper has a an online database of all stories related to our highly publicized spats over garbage.

It seems pretty cut and dry to me: that the folks who run the city ought be able to request reciepts for services rendered. I mean, we've had some problems with that in the past, not checking to make sure work we were paying for was actually getting done. Seems like asking for verification is pretty harmless to me.

But I could be wrong.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here's the Form



FAIL Update:

Time to get the government to give you money for your own personal failures is running out! You can go here to get your very own bailout application. You have to be a bank to qualify but you can always pull an American Express and suddenly become a bank. They won't care. It's not their money.

I hear next year you won't even have to be a bank! Pelosi and company want to cast the net to help out the auto industry. No telling where they'll go next.

Pay No Attention to the Has-Been Behind the Curatin

Right smack in the middle of a bunch of pro-Steeler, anti-Cowboy propaganda that's supposed to pass as Bradshaw's NFL predictions, he has an item on where to look for future NFL coaches. Here's what he had to say:
At the close of the season, at least six head coaching jobs are available. The hot assistant is Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, but owners should check out Mark Richt from the University of Georgia and Urban Meyer (pictured) from Florida.

Please, NFL. Don't take a look at Richt. I really don't want to see him coaching some sub-par NFL team. And I sure don't want to see him leave Georgia.

That being said, what's really interesting is the parallel I see between the NFL prospects of Richt and Meyer compared to the NFL prospects of Stafford and Tebow. Both Richt and Stafford have what the NFL is looking for. Meyer and Tebow would both be attempts at taking square pegs and banging them through the round hole that is the NFL. It might work eventually but it won't be pretty in the meantime.

Nothing would bring more dark glee to my heart than watching Meyer try to install his spread offense in the NFL but I think Spurrier took care of any urge the NFL had in poaching a Florida coach.

Auburn University Poses U.S. Security Threat

Not really. I am only engaging in hyperbolic and unsubstantiated solidarity with my fellow Dawg fans and bloggers.


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pro Foosball Review

I had to post this article since it's so near and dear to my heart. Someone from ESPN actually took the time to cover the professional circuit of my favorite pseudo-sport. Yeah, air hockey is fun and so are darts and ping pong but in the world of pseudo-sporting events, you just can't beat a nice game of foosball, especially on a decent table. The closest thrill to the action of a foosball game would probably be a Skee Ball tourney but Skee Ball is much more a man vs. machine matchup. Foosball is all about Head+Head-to-Head+Head combat.

I find it really interesting that these professionals are outright destroying their bodies to play the game. I've hurt my elbow once or twice on a tricky shot but these guys (and gals) are even going so far as enduring surgery to keep playing. All for the love of the game (because there sure as heck isn't any decent money involved). I really respect that.

Right Wingers Unhinged

Ladies and gentlemen, the Distinguished Gentleman from North Georgia has a few important words of warning. He's not comparing Obama to Hitler, but he's saying we may be going down that road.

Splitting hairs?

I guess it is true, the minute you don't agree with someone in politics, you make statements comparing them to Hitler or Stalin. Awesome. So glad to see our political discourse in this country becomes warm and fuzzy after the election.

But this has gone on for a while, and it is a shame it happens on both sides. It needs to stop, because this kind of talk - while legal - is at the same time incendiary and makes us stupider as a people. I don't like it when Sen. Dick Durbin does it, I don't like it when Rep. Paul Broun does it.

I hate that the right wing uses these metaphors whenever someone talks about any kind of gun control. Like Charlton Heston hollering "from my cold dead hands" while holding aloft a rifle that was never under consideration for illegality, the cries of "jack booted thugs" follow any Democrat to the Presidency, as if they are enforcing laws that did not exist under GOP rule. Idiots: the only major scale police action confiscation of civilian legal arms took place in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina due more to confusion than malfeasance, and lawsuits, legislation and training were later conducted and written to make sure it never happened again. Every city that has tried to ban handguns has had their laws thrown back in their faces by this rather prestigious institution called the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

On the other hand, the left wing went apeshit whith their own inappropriate historical context metaphors for the last 8 years. I don't have to remind anyone who reads this site what those related to.

But Broun's comments strike me as particularly silly, regarding his membership in a Party whose President created the Department of Homeland Security (which was wrongly used by the left wing in their own Gestapo metaphors), who buried complaintants under paperwork about the fine-print legal definition of torture, and who expanded wiretapping and no-knock warrants further than any other President in history. I didn't hear a lot from Broun when all that was going on, is what I'm saying, and I find it more than suspect to hear it now.

More on this at Peach Pundit & Safe As Houses.

And, as always, the good stuff can be found in the comments sections....

Update 11:30ish CST: And this isn't some isolated phenomenon, either. Doug at Hey, Jenny Slater! points us to this whack-job, and I only have two words: Like. Whoah.




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Monday, November 10, 2008

Toddler Roadblock

Alcohol still involved.

In the previous post, I mentioned how crazy it must be to hear how a day of work is for any member of the Israeli riot police. I'd rather not get into a quantity vs. quality argument, but some law enforcement in Indiana got some stories of their own. I mean, how many times do you an encounter an entire family too drilled to drive multiple cars approaching the same police location? After talking to said law enforcment on the phone?

This is Indiana, too, so you know there could have been ice on the roads. I only imagine whole herds of Midwestern salt sided automobiles skidding around the frosty interstate because Momma, Papa, Gandpaw and Mawmaw couldn't put down the brewskis.

I'm not one to talk too loud about suspect behavior after having a beer or three, but c'mon. Even I know that if you get a call from the police to pick someone up, you get the guy who is sober to drive over.

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Dang

It sucks when tragedy rears its ugly head and involves sports at some level. Especially when authorities claim that "alcohol may have been involved."

With two dead college football fans, it may have.

Guns and booze don't mix. Especially when you take things too seriously.

Thank God they weren't arguing about the election...

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Religion of Peace?

More like fisticuffs and petty squabbling. In the finest traditions of Friar Tuck, groups of monks began a brawl at the Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Apparently, this all started with a complaint about someone not being able to march in a parade of some kind.

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Who would Jesus suckerpunch?

On a related note, how crazy must the dinnertime stories be for Israeli riot police? How was work today, honey?

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Dancing on Broad

The news called the election in Virginia, and the decision had been made. Tomorrow, with its challenges, will come. I'm not one for victory laps. I give into cynicism and realism over sentimentality.

But in this moment, I had to hear this city. Stepping outside the shouting started slowly. I grabbed my flag from the wall and started walking towards the intersection up the street from my house. A man was already dancing on the corner, and the car horns started echoing through Faubourg St. John.

When I got to the intersection, the horns got louder. From across the street, a man in a tee shirt and jeans approached. He was wearing an elaborate headdress of all colors and was carrying a decorated tribal staff. People were shouting from the houses nearby. We all shook hands, we all started shouting and without knowing it, I was dancing too.

Later, watching the speech from Chicago, I thought of history. All the days I've woken up to tragic history when it seemed like the world was ending. The bad images seared into my head.

I had to dig to remember another moment like this, another time I knew in one singular moment that I live in a special time where the world was more than all the bad things. Another time when I didn't have to fall back on all the little things that make us great. Another time when I knew, in one singular moment, that we as a people will win through and lead the world to something better, God willing.

Tomorrow, with its challenges, will come. But in this moment, I thought of how I felt when we turned on our televisions to watch a monolithic wall crumble to the ground in Berlin. I thought of that moment so long ago and how I had felt in that moment.

Except this time, it was me jumping up and down and dancing in the street. This time it was my voice shouting. This time, it was our flag flying over our heads.

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The Big Day: Open Thread

Have you voted already? How was it where you voted? Any news from your state or district? Do you trust your vote will be counted? Any last minute friendly wagers on the outcome? What will be the outcome?




Will you give a sigh of releif tomorrow that this long, drawn out, expensive election is finally...finally...finally...finally over (or will it go into overtime like 2000?) or are you an election and political junkie who is going to be going through massive withdrawal pains by tomorrow night?

So whutidis?

Update: Over at Hey, Jenny Slater!, the College Gameday crew breaks down the day's big elections.

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