It's all a matter of perspective.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Dan recently told me, "When I first heard of SARS, I knew immediately that it would be what I died of."

Well buddy, it looks like the reaper has made it as far as Memphis.
Kay R. Daly in National Review Online
If the consequences for the Constitution weren't so dire, the recent antics of the nation's Democrats would be downright funny.

Whether it's obstruction by filibuster of the president's judicial nominees, or obstruction by flight of redistricting in Texas, these Democrats seem to have regressed to infancy. Temper tantrums, however, are annoying whether deployed as a toddler tactic or as a political scheme, and both mothers and voters have a tendency to take a dim view.

. . . What the Democrats in both Washington and Texas have shown is that when their minority status doesn't suit them, they'll do anything to obstruct the will of the majority — regardless of what damage is done to the constitutional process.

Senate Republicans inside the Beltway and the Republicans in the Texas legislature need to draw a line in the sand and clearly articulate the damage being done to our Constitution, to the voters, and to the legislative bodies as institutions. This must be done over and over again until the message is successfully delivered through all the media noise.

Of course, if that fails, a time-out might work.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

You know, the people in this office talk about stupid stuff just like the people in my old office did. For some reason it doesn't bother me as much over here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Miss J. and I were laid up in the bed last night, watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann just like we do every night. In a segment of the show dedicated to hometown, school age imbeciles, Mr. Olbermann told us about the group of high school girls who were suspended from school for a brutal hazing incident. (Some of the girl’s parents are suing to have their daughters reinstated, despite the damning video evidence against them.) Then he told us about a mom inciting a fight at a baseball game and kicking a child that was not her own. Finally he mentioned the New York baseball team who visited a strip club while on a road trip to play ball in Florida. A parent got them in and bought the drinks.

Now I am no saint, and I was involved in my fair share of tomfoolery as a youth, but these incidents were unthinkable to me. Particularly the video of dozens of high school girls beating up younger high school girls while boys cheered them on and ran the video. I can confidently say that if I had been faced with such a scenario while I was in school, I would have turned on my heels and got out of there before things got that ugly. I know that I would have done so because I did just that on several occasions. The stuff that was about to go down in my neighborhood was nothing compared to what I saw on the video last night. I bugged out not because I thought I would get in trouble, but because my parents had instilled in me a sense of right and wrong. A moral compass. A fear of God. A sense of honor. I knew that a bystander was an accomplice and I did not want to involve myself in such nonsense.

Miss J gave the opposite answer. The reason she stayed out of trouble as a child was that she was afraid that her mom would find out. She said that her mom was nosy and got into everything. “Where are you going? Who is going to be there? What will be going on? Will there be adults there? You had better not lie to me. I’ll find out! I’ll show up and check it out! You know me; you know that I will!”

So I asked Jerusalem if all of this prying was necessary. Not to say that it was not her mom’s business. She certainly had the rights to any details of her child’s life. But didn’t sweet Miss J. have a sense of honor that would keep her away from bad situations? She said nope. Girls don’t have that sense of honor. They are not wired like that. Girls want to be popular and have a boyfriend, not to feel good about themselves.

This brought up a fundamental difference between the sexes. Boys have to be taught honor. We (males) have to have some sort of moral guidelines to live by because ultimately, we can do whatever we please. We are not responsible for anyone but ourselves. Men can set themselves up as the center of their own universe where we only have to answer to ourselves. This is why we need honor, integrity, and pride. This is a big one of the infinite number of reasons why we need God.

What makes women different? It is physiological. They can get pregnant. They have this handy, built in, natural reality check. Do the wrong thing and you might get knocked up. Then what are you going to do? Now you have a whole other person that you are responsible for. You started their life and its continuation depends on you. If you are lucky, you might get some help from the dishonorable jerk whose approval and affection you were so desperately seeking when you got yourself into this mess.

As parents, what is our plan? I am going to let Wylie earn my trust by proving himself to be honorable. I’ll give him room to breathe and teach him to not put himself in situations that would cause him embarrassment. If he has a relationship with his creator then he will know the sort of circumstances he should avoid. Sure, Jesus hung out with the ragamuffins, but he did not participate in - or encourage through inaction - their incorrigible behavior.

Miss J. is going to search his closets and under his mattress. When he gets home from a teenage night out, she will break out the heat lamps and sodium pentathol.

By the way, if I were an administrator at that school where the hazing took place I would expel everyone who could be positively identified from the video, weather victim or perpetrator. I would expel them just for not having the common sense to avoid such an unholy situation. If I were a parent in that district I would demand as much.
Hey Jeanetta, what do you think of your chickenshit Texas Democrats now?
Running Away, eh? You yellow . . .

Note: This post was meant partially in jest and has the purpose of provoking a spirited response from a longtime dear friend. Dearest Jeanetta, please reply with venom, but please do not take it personally.
You have probably heard by now that Katie Couric hosted The Tonight Show this week and got much, much better ratings that Jay Leno has ever gotten. This should tell NBC something. Not that Katie Couric is more popular than Jay Leno or that she is a better talk show host – but that anyone is a better talk show host than Leno. He is the worst. His jokes are simple and often not funny. His interview style is excruciating. You get the feeling that these people would never talk to him in any other setting. My wife refuses to watch him, even if he is interviewing someone she likes. He is simply not able to talk to people in an intelligent and entertaining manner.

If NBC has any sense at all, (and they can not possibly have much, they are still shooting new episodes of ER) they will send that rubber-faced idiot packing and get someone, anyone else to take his place. I can name about seven people off of the top of my head that would be a thousand times better and would likely take the gig. Ok, here goes:

1) Dennis Miller
2) Dana Carvey
3) Jan Hooks
4) John Stewart
5) Anyone named Wayons
6) Charlie Rose
7) James Lipton

As a matter of fact I cannot think of anyone who would not be funnier than Leno.

Well, I said that they would likely take the gig, but who knows for sure. When Leno took over the tonight show from Johnny Carson, it was the most coveted job in TV. Now, I am not so sure. It is certainly not the prize it once was. Jay has sort of defiled it.

There was a skit on Saturday night live once, the first time that Mike Myers came back to host. He was singing a tune in the opening about how wonderful it was to come back and host. He ran into Tim Meadows and acted surprised to find out that he was still part of the cast. Meadows then sang a mournful verse about his long-term contract and how he has not been able to leave. “Why did I sign/ A twenty year contract.” I’ll bet the NBC executives are singing a similar tune right now about their contract with Jay Leno.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Some people have nightmares that they show up for work in the morning and have forgotten their pants. I am not worried about that. I am not going to forget my pants. I think I would notice the wind on my boys. The thing that terrifies me - that I am sure is going to some day happen - is that I am going to show up for work and realize that I have forgotten to fix my hair.

I have thick, course, coal black hair with flecks of gray. I keep it pretty short, but I still have award winning bed head when I get up in the mornings. My hair grows into a natural pompadour; indeed it is the hairstyle that the Lord has chosen for me. It does not take a lot of effort to achieve the perfect young Elvis look in the mornings. All that I have to do is get it wet and run my fingers through it. But until then, it is headed off in various directions at unnatural angles. I have been looking at it for twenty-seven years and it still makes me laugh.

I am convinced that some day I am going to casually stroll into the office to start my day and be snapped into a harsh reality by the sound of my coworker’s jeers and ridicule. “Hey, nice hair! Did you forget to look into the mirror this morning.” That is why I check myself in the rear view mirror every morning as my last act before going inside. If there is a tinge of doubt, I have even turned around at the office door to go back and look. So for I have been lucky. I have only forgotten to fix my hair one time, and I caught it in my morning mirror check. There was still time to run by the restroom (and I do mean run, with my head down) and give it a quick taming.

So far I have been lucky, but my days are numbered.