Entries Posted in "Current Events"

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Finishing Well
July 8, 2009

In all my years of writing, one thing I've learned is never to comment on current events--in conversation or on paper--when they are current. It seems counter-intuitive, but usually when something is at the forefront of the media, emotions run high, people get overly-sensitive and the whole effort of holding a normal discussion on an event becomes exhausting and counterproductive. I like to wait until the air clears and reflect with a bit more perspective than can often be afforded by the media blitz, humanistic commentary, and somber-yet-loyal allegiance and angst that is often present when death of any kind is present on a world-wide scale. Emotion can sometimes be an untrustworthy measuring rod for reality. For most human beings our knee-jerk reaction and response to life in general is based on our emotions. Logic usually comes second. I believe maturity can be found in striking the balance between truth, rationalism and emotion. Emotions are no small thing. They are God-given senses that allow us to feel, grieve, mourn and level with our own humanity. Emotions allow us to reminisce, recollect, and even revel in the moments that make up our life.

Over the last few weeks, America lost a few of its idols. Some were better known than others. A few seemingly existed in the realm we often place celebrity - immortality. Any shock, dismay, or horror we find ourselves in at the news of celebrity death can usually be chalked up to the reality that many of us mistakenly deemed these "idols" to be above the law and good old fashioned mortality. Though celebrity and death have always walked hand in hand, it never ceases to amaze me how much anguish it causes the masses to see one of the mighty ones fall. For the record, I don't believe any one person's life is greater than another. Whether a person's influence is worldwide or only known in the womb, the death of a human being big or little is something on which to ponder for its intrinsic significance in the scope of eternity.

Though no one life is greater than another, the death of Michael Jackson in particular is one I think many of us won't soon forget. Not necessarily for the person himself but rather for the response of the world. As a musical talent, the Jackson legacy has so shaped and rocked the music and entertainment industry that many question if there will ever be another individual on the planet with such genius and wide-reaching influence. In that instance, I think the better question we should be asking is, "Even if there were a person who could fill that void, I wonder if they've already been 'aborted' on the altar of 'choice'?" When people can comfortably make statements that begin with the words "There will never be..." I think it's a scathing commentary on how much talent and genius this world is missing out on and likely exactly what the likes of Margaret Sanger and Charles Darwin always intended. For many reasons, Michael Jackson's death takes the discussion on human potential to an entirely different realm.

Hate him or love him, for many of us, Michael Jackson's music is attached to memories and time. I'm not old enough to have witnessed the Jackson 5 in their heyday, but my parents were big Motown fans so I know all the lyrics to all their songs as if the album were released yesterday. As a kid I remember watching Jackson moonwalk across the stage and turn out choreography no eye had ever seen. I remember "Bad" and "Beat It" and being scared half to death by the "Thriller" video. As I came into my teenage years I recall staying up late to watch the prime-time television premiere of the latest Michael Jackson video. Rarely did it disappoint. In my adulthood, I relish in the fact that all the Michael Jackson classics were relied upon to pack out the dance floor at our lavish wedding reception. We rocked the night away to the tunes and melodies of a man who knew how to ride the beat like no other. In the most ethereal way, I so loved and appreciated the music of Michael Jackson and the perceived timelessness of what he did on wax. If only human beings were judged in one dimension. Maybe then we'd all go to heaven now wouldn't we?

One of the marks of American culture is this strange time old tradition that has caused people to find it rude, crude and taboo to speak the truth about the totality of a person's life once they are dead. When people say, "Don't speak ill of the dead," it makes my stomach turn. Whose rule is this and where exactly did it come from? Because quite frankly, it makes no sense. The entire incentive and purpose of living life properly and with integrity is that we all might feel some level of accountability to the legacy we will leave on the earth. It is naive and dense of us to believe that some type of magical wand gets waived at the time of death and all our wrongs, sins, and grievances get washed away -- or rather filled up -- by embalming fluid. When we silently excuse certain behavior all for the sake of someone's "awesome talent," or to preserve a positive memory, we chip away at the God-given conscience in every human being to make the right decisions now so that when we reach the finish line, the final judgment on our life is, "well done."

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Posted in Current Events, Pop Culture | Permanent Link | Comments { 5 }
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Why Privilege Isn't Enough
May 14, 2009

There have been a few trending news stories in the media I'd like to comment on particularly because one hits close to home. Over the years I've noticed our culture has a strange fascination with what I call "well to do" crimes. We simply can't understand how it is that supposedly "good" people from "good" upbringings who went to "good" schools could ever commit any type of heinous crime. When someone from the "wrong" side of the tracks commits a crime, we chalk it up to their upbringing, but if someone is clean and well-spoken, we want to run forensics on their kindergarten lunchbox and dig all into their past to find out where things "went wrong." I do not understand the fixation people have with figuring out why people do bad things.

The way I see it, sinners sin. What's not to get about that?

Sometimes I think the world needs to stop watching so much Oprah. Wake up members of humanity, people are not inherently good (aren't you glad you came to read this cheery message, today?). There is nothing in the history of civilization that points to a society where people were just born onto the earth and woke up the next day to declare, "You know what? I think I'm going to do the right thing today." "Maybe I won't own slaves." "Maybe I won't slaughter innocent people." "Maybe I won't be a dictator." "Maybe I won't claim I discovered land that was already inhabited." The world we live in is not an after school special. It is a world full of people who have to wake up every day and make a decision if they will choose life or death and choose right or wrong. It is a world where peoples' worldviews are not always formed in healthy environments.

Do you see this picture?

This is the man we all know as Adolf Hitler. What has always been interesting to me about some of the people who have left a legacy of death and destruction in their wake is that they were once babies too. Am I the only person who finds that totally crazy? Yet it's incredibly humbling and a reminder to us all that we all had a clean slate from which to begin --- the opportunity in our lifetime, to choose what path we'll follow.

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Posted in Culture, Current Events, Education | Permanent Link | Comments { 4 }
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The Quest for Integrity
May 7, 2009

As is expected, the ramifications of Miss California, Carrie Prejean's comments regarding traditional marriage or "non-opposite marriage" (whatever that may be) continue to be felt. While some may argue that Prejean's semi-nude photographs that have recently surfaced provide a major blow to her fight in favor of traditional marriage, I think the photographs serve as a great jumping off point for discussion on a few important issues.

When Mario Lavandeira (also known as Perez Hilton) asked Prejean to give her opinion on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized, it was no shocker that whatever answer she gave pro or con, was bound to make the press. But what shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone is how quickly many individuals would seek to discredit the messenger who spoke the shaky words, "I believe marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman." It is interesting what the masses do when someone puts forth a personal opinion that is at odds with what many wrongly assume is the ethos of the majority. There is little that can be done to combat the opinion of another, so instead of going after the opinion, the adversary attempts to combat the integrity of the individual. That's where many messengers with valid points fall short -- lack of integrity (Rush Limbaugh, I'm talking to you).

For whatever inconceivable reason, Carrie Prejean posed for semi nude photographs. Was what she did when she was 18-years-old in conflict with her Christian beliefs? Though many would argue with me, I'd say so. While I don't care for the type of logic that implies tastefully done boudoir photos are less egregious than posing as a nude centerfold for Playboy, I do think that given the current age of sex tapes, sexting, and drunken revelry, Prejean's current art making the rounds on the Internet is far less incriminating than what you might find opening up an issue of Maxim or logging on to TMZ.com. Still, I've never been one to get behind the whole soft/hard classification of pornographic material. It all leads down a very bad path as far as I'm concerned. At age 21, is Prejean the same person she was at age 18? I'd hope not. Maybe these photos fall under the banner of "we all make mistakes." Unfortunately, that conclusion is entirely too cliche for my tastes.

If I were a betting woman, I'd wager that Ms. Prejean likely never imagined one day her answer during a beauty pageant would temporarily make her the face of a major moral and political debate. And had Ms. Prejean been privy to her future, I can pretty much guarantee she wouldn't have posed for those "modeling" shots either. The decisions we make in life are far more crucial to our future than we realize. Short-sightedness is familiar territory for many young Americans. Whether or not you believe Prejean is in the wrong for posing for those photos, the reality is, given her current platform, she executed poor judgment and is now reaping the consequences of that mistake. "To whom much is given, much is required" comes to mind. Are there many well-meaning people who pose for semi-nude photographs with no intent of ever releasing the photos to the public? Certainly. Unfortunately, some people will end up in places down the road where those very photos might call to question their integrity on an entirely separate issue. If you're one who likes to reason such consequences and double standards as unfair, let me remind you of two phrases my mother often said, "That's great for Johnson family, but you are not a Johnson," and my personal favorite, "Life is not fair. And then you die."

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Posted in Current Events, Marriage, Sex/Purity | Permanent Link | Comments { 7 }
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Pigs Are Surely Flying
April 29, 2009

swine.jpgCount me among the infirmed in this country. I just spent the last two days completely down for the count and banished from the bedroom for fear of infecting my dear husband. I haven't had any type of flu in a very long time and now I remember why. I'm very, very bad at being sick. Forgive me for being melodramatic, but there were a few points this week when I thought I was dying. No really, I was. The sign that things are bad is when 24 hours pass and I haven't accessed the Internet. And to think, I was just one fever short of potentially being diagnosed with the swine flu. No seriously, I was. But look, I'm almost all better now and just in time to comment on the hype.

The entire world seems to be atwitter right now with this "Swine Flu" madness that is sweeping the news reports. I understand health to be a serious matter and all, but forgive me for thinking this whole thing is just a tad bit...suspect. Conspiracy theorist I am not, but I can't help but wonder why this mild spread of a new strain of flu virus is the top news story everywhere.

  1. People die from the "regular" influenza virus every year. Not to minimize those deaths, as death of any person for any reason is a sad reality, but normal flu deaths certainly aren't sensationalized or made top news stories in the same way these swine flu deaths have been.

  2. It's an influenza virus. New strains of influenza pop up every year, many of which can be traced to other countries. There are so many strains of influenza, even the pharmaceutical industry can't keep up with them. Sometimes even the flu shot is rendered useless. People who have the flu spread the flu to other people. It's a fact.

  3. People who die of influenza usually do so because they already have a weakened immune system. It's not usually the flu itself that causes death.

  4. Many schools around the country shut down every year due to influenza spreading rapidly throughout the school.
The level of intensity and fear-mongering taking place at the hands of our national government and the media has reached levels of absurdity. Sure I can understand folks changing vacation plans to Mexico (I wouldn't do it, but to each their own), but the facemasks, airport lock downs and the widespread panic is entirely unnecessary.

I've read that some folks speculate this is a ploy to tighten up border control. Not sure I buy that theory, but I am convinced this mayhem is being orchestrated for a specific reason we may never know. Maybe that makes me sounds like a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but I don't put anything past anyone these days.

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Posted in Abortion, Current Events | Permanent Link | Comments { 4 }
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The Real Stimulus Package
April 27, 2009

Among the many perks that come with not owning a television, there is one that reigns supreme over them all: the complete and total absence of CNN in my home. Even back when television was my opiate, I shunned most major news stations because it's always been clear to me mainstream media is in the business of sensationalism and selling bad news. If you're halfway conscious and living in any major metropolitan city, you don't need Ted Turner to tell you that the world has gone to hell in a hand basket; you see it out your window. I'll take sobbing owners of a newly remodeled home and Ty Pennington yelling "Move that bus!" any day over the doom and gloom perpetuated by your average five o'clock news report. What may have once been a reputable entity reporting important facts to American families, has now become the soothsayer to many of us. We wake up first thing in the morning, turn on the news (or log online to our news feeder) and as it plays on our emotions of fear and angst, we allow it to prophesy to us about our day and our future.

Perhaps the most easily visible example of our sensationalist media is the current reports of the state of our country's economy. "Hunker down folks," we're told, "Things are gonna get worse." While in no way do I wish to trivialize the effects of this "economic downturn" on those who've felt it most prevalently, I sometimes think we all could benefit from a moderate amount of perspective in the matter. Are we in a recession? Sure, according to the textbook definition of the word, I'll give us that. The value of the American dollar is pretty darn crappy these days thanks to decades and decades of irresponsible government, but let's not go there. What I can't get behind is all this likening of our current economic condition to "The Next Great Depression." Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Based on most reports, the national unemployment average in America is 8.5%. Some states may be experiencing something higher or lower, but let's use the average as the basis of the discussion. At an unemployment rate of 8.5%--and assuming there is a margin of error as these statistics are generally obtained by unemployment offices, and based on those citizens who actually report unemployment--that means approximately 91.5% of Americans are gainfully employed.

Let's just marinate on that reality for a moment.

We live in a country where the majority of citizens receive a paycheck for the work they do. Those who for whatever reason can't obtain employment or have chosen not to have the other option of starting their own business (and I use the term "business" very loosely, but not as loose as the marijuana leaves changing hands by people who call their drug dealing a "business"). When it comes to taxes, we happen to live in a country that actually rewards people for owning their own business and doing it legally. I'm no economic strategist but even on bad day, I'd have to say the aforementioned predicament sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Considering the unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is currently hovering around 94%, I think we should all take a moment and say the pledge of allegiance or thank God, hug your neighbor or something because folks, that's good news. It's been argued that the unemployment rate during the Great Depression was around 25-28%. Rest assured, whatever type of horrible economy we think we are enduring is in fact not the misery we've been sold. As cliche as it sounds, it could be a lot worse.

Much of what's taken place at the hands of our government in recent months just makes me sick to my stomach. How an entire body of legislators and members of the executive branch of government (who by the way were voted in by us, work for us, and are accountable to us) decided it was a good idea to bail out failing companies with tax payer (and invisible) dollars is beyond me. Forget the fact that it's unconstitutional, it's not even logical. Thank God I'm a Christian because there are times (and they are few) when I think we could do ourselves good as a nation by showing up at night on the doorsteps of some of our governmental leaders homes with shot guns, pitchforks and torches in hand. We wouldn't load the shotguns with real bullets or anything. We'd just point our barrels square between the eyes of Joe Congressman and scare 'em a bit. Let them know that these here Americans aren't about to sit idly by as they bury this country into so much a debt our children's children's children won't be able to pay it off. Then we'd bid them farewell with the kind words, "God Bless You."

I'm not that violent. Really I'm not.

Any discerning businessperson who's been around the block knows that one of the key (and necessary) outcomes of any economic downturn is that it would weed out the weak performers with a sub-par product. That would be you, General Motors. Chrysler? You too. I may lack the full understanding of all the factors and potential spiraling effects that lead to a bailout decision, but I can assuredly say this: No company responsible for manufacturing the PT Cruiser and the Dodge Neon should receive any type of governmental bailing out. Ever. Were such powers bestowed upon me, the conversation would go something like this:

Me: "Failing company number 652 you may step forward. What is the name of your organization?"

Them: "We are the Chrysler Corporation."

Me: "Ah I see. And you wish for governmental assistance, I presume?"

Them: "Yes ma'am, that is correct."

Me: "Are you that company that manufactures the PT Cruiser? That hearse-looking contraption that has absolutely no get up or power, horrible interior usability design and is offered by every major rental car company as a torture method to harried business travelers?"

Them: "Yes ma'am, that's our vehicle, but we wouldn't quite describe it that way."

Me: "I would. Do not pass go and go straight to jail. DENIED. Next!"

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Posted in Current Events, Economy | Permanent Link | Comments { 7 }
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Bikini Baristas & The Miss USA Pageant
April 21, 2009

It seems women in bikinis are causing quite a stir these days. Sometimes folks just can't leave well enough alone. An interesting trend has emerged out in the Pacific Northwest of lingerie and bikini-clad baristas. If this trend hasn't found its way to your neck of the woods yet, I imagine it's just a matter of time. That is, unless you live in the south because Southern folks don't play that mess. Seattle is known for bringing Starbucks to the world, but even Starbucks has competition these days. Instead of Starbucks, many morning commuters have often opted for locally owned, roadside drive through coffee stands. Smaller coffee stands have that hometown feel where you see the same barista every day and they know your ordering habits. What if one day you pulled up and your barista was sporting what I like to call "bedroom attire?"

A huge number of privately owned (read: mafia-owned) espresso stands centered on this business model have been opening up across the Pacific Northwest. With catchy names like "Bikini Baristas" and "Cowgirls Espresso" these new coffee stands have made it quite clear they aren't selling coffee. They are selling sex. What started out as women in bikinis has now become women in full out lingerie, thongs and all. The reader boards outside these establishments read like the ones outside the strip club or the peep show "Something hot is cooking inside!" or "Meet the new barista, Candy - weekdays, 5pm-close." The clientele these businesses are after is of course, largely male, and in my opinion, largely unethical.

These types of establishments open up a hotbed of issues and the legality is entirely questionable. Selling sexual images under the guise of coffee should require some sort of licensing just as strip clubs and other "adult entertainment" joint must obtain. Seeing these girls strutting around in plain sight of children is indecent exposure. I also worry about the safety of the young women involved. Most often they are under age 20, and while no one forced them into a negligee at gunpoint, these girls are being put at risk by this business model. Flaunting their goods on a daily basis to men, many of whom lack self control opens up a door that is not easily shut. With no security and only one girl working a shift at a time, what happens when someone shows up one winter evening wanting more than just a double tall nonfat latte? It is common knowledge that the sex industry is a magnet for all types of other crime.

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America's Security Blanket: indulging in the suffering of others
March 27, 2006

Seattle's been making national headlines lately and I am reminded why I really really hate the news. In fact, if it's possible, I probably hate the news even more than I hate eggplant. Which is to say, I'd rather subject my digestive system to a slimy, tasteless vegetable than indulge in the doom and gloom reports that mark our daily news.

On a daily basis, tragedies, every day situations, and the decay of humanity are sensationalized and emotionalized in order to produce ratings. Whereas at one point the daily news was intended to inform us of the world's happenings, nowadays it seems to be nothing more than tabloid-style prophecies of death, fires, missing children, rape, car accidents, war, and everything wrong with the world. Is it true that these things are occurring on a regular basis? Yes. But as I've often lamented here before, if the news reports were centered on the great and exciting things taking place throughout the world, far fewer people would watch.

Can you imagine a news broadcast dedicated entirely to celebrating the fabulous things taking place throughout the earth? We could call it "Extreme Makeover: World Edition!" Three times a day the show would report on families that made their final mortgage payments, people who were on their deathbeds and then completely healed of cancer, lost children found, unemployed finding jobs, miracle car crashes where the passenger walks away unharmed, the victories in war, stolen money returned 100-fold, and interview every day people getting out of debt.

Too bad it'd never take.

There is something really sick and twisted about human nature that is actually pacified, if not downright happy to watch other people in their sufferings. We've all done it before. We've secretly sat back as we watched the latest horrific news report thinking to ourselves, "Man, I'm sure glad that wasn't me." The stress of our days and cares of our lives are at least made somewhat better by the knowledge that it wasn't our house that got robbed last night or our child shot to death on the street.

If our selfish news-watching highs weren't enough cause for concern, we always have our desensitization to fall back on. I recall during Hurricane Katrina, I eventually just turned the television off. It wasn't that I didn't care. It was that I knew my own limitations. The degree to which I personally could take action to help that situation was not aided by my television. You can only watch people in desperation for so long before the repetitive images of the same interviews and footage begin to numb you to the reality that people don't have to live that way.

I think we actually believe that we have the best of intentions. We want to be informed, we want to be sympathetic and we want to be spurred on to some sort of emotion, be it rage, sadness, or even consciousness. These motives notwithstanding, I believe our mass media does nothing more than reinforce lies in our minds that "what we see is what we get." Things are just going to get worse so we might as well protect our own and throw up a prayer for the rest of our world.

The problem with this effect is that it calls few people to accountability for their ability to change their world. Rarely do I see media honestly reporting on the cause/effect nature of many of country's most tragic events. We hear the media asking questions like "How could this happen?" or "Who's to blame for this?" In fact, we ask those questions ourselves. Yet little energy is spent answering the questions "Does my city really have to function like this, and what needs to be done to change it?"

To some extent, there is no incentive to change the way our society functions. We accept that violence and murder rates will increase and there are entities in this world that actually thrive off high crime rates. Where there's crime, surely there is a compelling news story, right?

The answer to the real questions could put our local news affiliates out of business. Even worse, it could put our low self-esteem "At least I'm doing better than 'them'" attitude in jeopardy of losing its Linus blanket.

(Image Copyright: Peanuts)

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US Open
September 5, 2005

It's official. I'm a James Blake fan. Please add me to the "J-Block."

I grew up in a tennis-watching household so I developed a love for the game early. My father played a bit, and my mother--a former actress--always did a spot on John McEnroe fury impersonation (minus the bad language). Cracks me up every time. I am a horrible beyond horrible tennis player, but I love observing the finesse of the game. To this day, I still wake up at 5:00 am to catch Wimbledon in real-time because I can't stand to find out the results without first seeing the match. When Serena Williams plays, I get so nervous that I hide under my pillow. More than anything however, I love that tennis is a sport that gives me lots of opportunities to root for the United States. What can I say? I love my country.

Unlike basketball, however, I've always preferred watching women play. When the Monica Seles era (i.e. female grunting) was ushered in, the female competitive edge always seemed more intense. There are a few men I enjoy watching, among them Agassi, Hewitt, Roddick, and Sampras (before retirement). With James Blake back on the scene, having officially ditched the Tarzan-look (Andre Agassi re-lived) for a clean-shaven head, I just might change sides.


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The Warning Not Heeded
September 3, 2005

(Comments Closed)

It was my hope to avoid publicly discussing this angle, but I am compelled by responsibility. I will attempt to keep as much of my opinion out of this post as possible.

I am linking to something I believe needs to be read by all. I know there are believers and non-believers alike who grace this site. Here I have often discussed the flippancy with which this country treats the voice of God. The danger in a sin-filled society is that among all our issues, we numb ourselves to truth and outside of God's order and covering, we open the door for chaos.

If there is one thing that must ring true in the days, weeks, and months to come, it's that God is not behind this, but he certainly has allowed it. As a mere human being, I cannot begin to understand why God allows what he does. On a personal note, I too wrestle with understanding the ways of this world like why innocent people are forced to suffer; or why the poor often die because of the sins of the rich; or why my 6-month-old brother had to die so tragically. And why so young? And why did I have to be there to watch it? Nevertheless, not once have my own life-tragedies shaken my faith in God.

One thing I know: God has never promised He'd be fair, but He has always promised to be just. Justice will prevail on this earth in all things. This I know.

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Civil Responsibility
September 3, 2005

This will be my second third to last post on Hurricane Katrina. I'm not beating this horse any longer. On the rare occasion of a free Saturday, I've spent much of today pondering the events of this week, considering what I personally should be doing, and trying to make sense of all the emotion flying around. While I do not believe this is the time to be assigning blame for why this country is facing such a disaster (can we please get people to safety first?), certain ignorance provokes it.

If I read one more person say that President Bush needs to be impeached because of this, I am going to be sick. Carelessly suggesting presidential impeachment is almost as ignorant an accusation as those who proclaim in front of the cameras, "I'm going to take this all the way to the Supreme Court!" It's emotional, but not founded in reality. And trust me, I am sympathetic. Chances are, if Clinton's scandalous self were in office, I'd be blaming him too. I'd be in the wrong, but I'd be doing it nonetheless. It's very easy to make the adversary the eternal enemy by default.

There are two realms within which this tragedy can be understood: the natural and the spiritual. Owning up to the spiritual reasons why humanity faces certain suffering is too controversial to discuss at this time. Let's deal in the natural.

Much blame-shifting has taken place around the question of who has responsibility for the city of New Orleans. To answer that question, fellow CB member Darmon Thornton appropriate links to a succinct comment left on the "Blogs for Bush site (I know, the site name is ironic)." I think both the commenter and Darmon effectively snap us out of our emotional haze with some painful realities:

In case you aren't familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work. The chain of responsibility for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is:

1. The Mayor
2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor)
3. The Governor
4. The Head of Homeland Security
5. The President

What did each do?

1. The mayor, with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). The he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal.

2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees)

3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit.

4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them

5. The President urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it.

Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long. Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends. Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing.

Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish. The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them.

Now that will Preach.

Read the rest of the discussion (minus the one bad word) on Mayor Nagin, lack of preparedness, and the bye you get as black politician. Forget political sides. We have got to be rational about assigning accountability.

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

I Have a Talk Show