September 29, 2005

It never ends

Just a few days after one protest that turned off all of grounds, another one happened today (warning: graphic images). According to Cari and other sources (I spent little time on grounds today and was unaware of the protest until this evening), another group, Life and Liberty, has made its way to the University of Virginia, this time discouraging abortion. Only, they went a step too far.

Delegate Dick Black from Loudoun County was known to have handed out some small plastic models of the unborn child at the end of the first trimester. It looks amazingly human and sends a clear, strong message. However, his message is not graphic. This antiabortion group brought in a truck with an aborted child on the side. They had posters with similar images. Much like the Woroniecki family and PETA (many, many times unfortunately), they came to condemn, rather than reason.

Cari states that Voices for Planned Parenthood, or VOX, was aware of their arrival last night, and my sources suggest that First Right (a prolife organization here at UVa) was as well. First Right chose to distance themselves from Life and Liberty; however, I am unaware of any organized protest of this group. Many of my fellow College Republicans also condemned the actions, though no official discussion has commenced on the antiabortion protest.

And Cari makes a good point.
The demonstrators, by holding up signs that say (direct quote) "God hates the hands that shed innocent blood" along with the most gruesome pictures they can find, are not only judging women who have abortions, they're saying "God hates you."
To Life and Liberty, this is the wrong message to send. Evangelism has been undermined on grounds by these two protests.

While I have no authority in stating the official positions by pro-life or Christian groups on grounds, I will say not to associate these protests with them. Their methodologies are flawed, if not entirely wrong; the groups on grounds have worked very hard to be taken seriously and to be part of the University community. It would be a shame if these events led to them being shunned.

September 27, 2005

Evangelism requires more than yelling

Yesterday, the Woroniecki family held a small, if loud, protest calling for repentance of sins from the students here at the University of Virginia. I passed by this protest and could not help but feel a little embarrassed. Rather than preaching compassion, they cried out for fear that the students would go to Hell. Evangelism requires a personal relationship and dedication, not fear of a fiery pit. Unfortunately, this family may be linked to all Christian groups on grounds and may set back honest attempts to convert fellow students. And with the recent racial issues, the Woroniecki family's timing could not have been worse, in a time where much of the student body is skeptical and polarized. Third-year College student Alexandria Hawkins stated it best.
Part of me agrees with what they're saying, but that's not the way you approach people. They're the brick wall. They're trying to call you to open your mind, but they shut you out.
As Chad Dotson always says, indeed.

Unfortunately, the response from the University has been less than encouraging. Dean Penny Rue was reasonable in contacting police to enforce the peace. However, as I passed the protest, I saw a couple of students unfurl a banner that said "B***S***", and a number of students nearby just laughed at it. Apparently, Cari saw this as well.
... the best response, by far, came from two students who stood next to the demonstration with a huge sign that simply said, ["B***S***].
Disappointing. After the incidents which united much of the University, I've seen a general hypocrisy from many of those students as they quickly turned against people whom they disagree with. I will not justify the actions of the Woroniecki family, but my faith in the student body here has dropped sharply. I was skeptical that the racial incidents were perpetrated by University students, but now I am not so sure.

I guess the first response my brothers and sisters in Christ and I had is most appropriate for this entire situation: Sigh.

This weekend's "War in Iraq" rally

Herb Ladley looks at the rally in Washington this past weekend, commenting that it hardly had anything to do with the War in Iraq. Cari at Drunk on Democracy offers a counterpoint.

September 26, 2005

A Colorless University

Going through the Cavalier Daily Opinion page, as I do each weekday, I came across this letter written by Peter Waldron. It is brilliantly written and is exactly how I have always felt in terms of race relations.
With all the things that have been going on in our University, I appreciate the steps the diversity leaders have taken to solve this problem. However, I feel these steps are being taken in the very wrong direction. What if I don't feel like wearing a black shirt or a ribbon?
Read the rest, it is easily worth a couple minutes.

The pot again calls out the kettle

Amovar at Lawn Side Rotunda has taken exception to a recent statement by Mike Huckabee, posting here and here.

Perhaps she is unaware that Democratic Representative Pete Stark did the same in 2002.
Or that, just earlier this year, former KKK member and current Democratic Senator Robert Byrd did the same thing.

Amovar has her own comments to add.
This is the Republican Party and those who cheer it on in all their sick glory. In all their twisted aspirations for this country.

Stop them. You, I, we. Stop them now.

They won't stop themselves.
Well Amovar, I am sorry to say I am unsympathetic. I have heard the Nazi comparison used so many times that it does not pack a punch any more, and I am sure this holds true for many Republicans. If Democrats are so offended by the use of the Nazi metaphor, perhaps they should not have desensitized conservatives to it.

To Governor Huckabee (as if he would ever read this), do be careful with the metaphors. Republicans are bigger than that, even if Democrats prove themselves not to be. Stick with rational arguments and accurate comparisons. Democrats are uninformed and even malicious at times, but they are far from Nazis (though I would not shy away from socialists).

September 25, 2005

Global Warming Emergency?

The ever-vigilent Matt Drudge notes a recent interview where Barbra Streisand declared a "global warming emergency". She makes an interesting point, as we have seen two very strong storms hit the United States within a month...

until you learn the following fact.
At 18, Streisand read news about "Donna" AND "Ethel" -- both storms carried 140 mph winds and formed 9 days apart in 1960!
1960? Maybe then was a fluke, right?
One year later, when Streisand was 19, it happened again: Two Category 5 storms scared the world: "Carla" and "Hattie!"
My my, a Hollywood elitist unaware of past events, who would have ever imagined?

Which brings up my ultimate questions: why does the media care so much about the meaningless and uninformed rants of celebrities, and since when did Barbra Streisand have the authority to declare a "global...emergency"?

September 24, 2005

College Football Today

Quick update. As I stated before, my friend from out of town is here this weekend, and it has already been a blast.

Today, we make the short trip to Scott Stadium to watch the Hoos take on the Blue Devils of Duke; after the last two games, Virginia needs a big win to legitimize their #23 AP ranking.

As I said, no big posts this weekend. Enjoy the time off (perhaps watch some college football), and I'll be back in a few days.

September 22, 2005

The Conservative Women of the University of Virginia

One of the biggest complaints that I hear concerning the blogosphere is that there are not enough women. Well, add at least one more. I recently stumbled upon Politickchick run by Whitney Blake of the Cavalier Daily. Most of her posts concern her weekly column in the opinion section of the Cav Daily, but it is still worth a look (even if my blog has somehow been left of the list of her friends' blogs ;) ). Politickchick is being added to the blogroll.

And, if that wasn't enough, Waldo Jaquith points out an article in the HooK about NeW, the Network of Enlightened Women. Though Waldo appears to disagree with the stance of NeW President Karin Agness, I know that Karin is incredibly bright and very motivated; NeW will grow very fast, and hopefully will finally put up a set of checks and balances against the extremist NOW (National Organization of Women). You can visit NeW's website here.

Watch out Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin; there are many beautiful women gunning for your spots. Or, is it the women of the left who have more to fear?

UPDATE 9/25 11:45 PM: Whitney noticed this post, so I am shifting the link to Politickchick to the Allies section of the blogroll.

September 21, 2005

Houston understands federalism

Remember how the blame got shifted on President Bush, rather than Governor Blanco or Mayor Nagin, when Hurricane Katrina hit in New Orleans, Louisiana? Well, the local government near Houston, Texas certainly did not take that idea seriously. With the expected approach of Hurricane Rita, a large number of Houston buses are being used to evacuate. In New Orleans, many buses were left sitting, unused; in Houston, they are being used, and were part of the plan for years. Sounds like that local government understands their importance in the primary response to a natural emergency. We should all be so lucky.

Darned Martian Republicans

Evan Coyne Maloney notes the research being done by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. NASA scientists have determined that there has been significant, gradual climate change on Mars. Scientists have also suggested the same for Earth. Yet, there is nothing that suggests that Mars produces greenhouse gases in large quantities. So, why is it that Mars is warming? I think we should take a closer look at Evan's suggestion.
Increased solar activity.
Though I suspect that Republicans would somehow receive the blame there too.

September 19, 2005

Fight for old D.C.!

I love my Wahoos, but I have been a Washington Redskins fan for far longer, so tonight's game was huge. The Redskins have started 2-0 (both wins coming against teams who have claimed a win in their other game), and took a real chunk out of the record books with their win over their archrivals, the Dallas Cowboys. Just a few streaks that ended this evening:

- The Cowboys had won 14 of last 15 matchups between these two teams.
- Bill Parcells, the coach of the Cowboys, had been 77-0 in games where his team led by at least 13 at some point in the fourth quarter (the Redskins were down 13-0 about halfway through the quarter).
- The Redskins had lost their last 25 games they were losing going into the fourth quarter.

While I have been rather busy recently and have not had the time to place an adequate post on here as I would have liked, this was just too big to ignore. My busy load has been alleviated, and I will try to make up for it this week. However, this weekend, I will be getting a visit from one of my friends from out of town, so it is doubtful that I will post then.

EDIT 2:15 PM: I made a mistake citing the streak on the second bullet. That has been fixed.

Looks like he finally made a good decision

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was well advised to listen to President Bush. While there is no guarantee that Tropical Storm Rita will be as devastating as Hurricane Katrina, it is a good decision to not put those people returning back in a risky situation. Get the people remaining to safe ground and Rita will be nothing more than a rough storm.

September 14, 2005

The next J.C. Watts? has posted a short biographical piece on Lynn Swann, former Pittsburgh Steeler and potential leader of the free world? Apparently, Mr. Swann has been quite active in Pennsylvania politics, and he's a Republican to boot! Many athletes turned politicians were named in comparison of Lynn Swann, including one of my favorites, J.C. Watts. Former Representative Watts played college football and in the Canadian Football League, then went into politics in the state of Oklahoma. I have nothing but the utmost respect for J.C. Watts; though he has not served for a few years, he is one of my favorite politicians. Lynn Swann being named in the same breath as J.C. Watts can be seen as nothing less than a compliment. Though I think it is very early to say that we'll see him in the Oval Office in 2013, Lynn Swann is definitely a must-watch. He has not yet won an office and he will have a lot of competition going fighting for the Pennsylvania governor's mansion, let alone 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Even still, I have to think of a George Allen (son of the former coach of the Washington Redskins and current Senator of Virginia) - Lynn Swann ticket for the White House; now that sounds like a winning team.

UPDATE 9/15/05 8:45 AM: Welcome CC readers. I'm certainly not a Pittsburgh Steelers fan like Chad, but I definitely have to agree with this statement.
Rendell would be an Eagles fan, wouldn't he?

Religion and Schools

There has been a big push in recent years to "eliminate religion" from schools. In particular, one Michael Newdow has been fighting the Pledge of Allegiance for his daughter (whom he does not have custody of) in California. It appears that he has gotten a win, if only a temporary one. It certainly seems as though this effort to "seperate church and state" is coming through...

for those who would challenge the Judeo-Christian beliefs. While the Pledge of Allegiance is supposed to be all-encompassing (except for belief systems devoid of a deity), it generally is treated as though the god of the Pledge of Allegiance is the God of the Bible or Yahweh of the Torah. Meanwhile, Allah must be appeased, even requiring special treatment for Muslim students. Now I am not going to argue that this young girl should not be allowed to do her normal prayer; that would be a gross offense against the First Amendment. Still, I'm waiting to see if someone will defend the Orthodox Jew or the Evangelical Christian who asks for a few minutes to pray during a short break and is denied the opportunity.

The Old Site is no more

The URL that this blog resided on for more than five months has now been deleted. Obviously, this has little effect for those of you who are here now; I do notice though that I still get traffic from the link in the old URL, but it is time to eliminate it (I had forgotten that it had been up for over a month!). Thanks to anyone who updated their links.

September 13, 2005


Apparently, Mr. Slaven was not too happy with my response to his post. So he decided it was time to pull out the stomping boots. I believe a rebuttal is fully justified here.

First, he tries to bring up the whole debacle with Pastor John. For some reason, I make one mistake and automatically, I lose all credibility. I've already explained that situation, but to reiterate, there are bigots out there. I have heard people who believe the things that Pastor John said. Is it really that big of an offense to think that one of these people would start up such a blog?

Mike Slaven then decides that my response must be because I "assumed [he] was engaged in an elaborate and tacit take-down" of myself. Funny, I thought his post was an open call to any and all Republicans. I think it is quite obvious that I am a Republican, but according to Mike, my response to his post is nothing more than a half-baked conspiracy theory. I completely disagree with what Mike has said, but I would have responded similarly to such a post if it had been at another blog that I read.

Then, he tries to say that I have a "blind man-love of President Bush". That has to be one of the most presumptious statements I have ever read. If he read my posts, he would see that I have been challenging the action (or rather, lack thereof) of the local and state governments in their response to Hurricane Katrina. And perhaps he generalizes a bit, as I have not yet authored a post that outright challenges President Bush. While I do agree with the president on many issues, there are some I feel that he has let us down on (in particular, border patrol) and some that I outright dissent on (policy regarding Israel and Palestine), but those are topics for another day and another post. I'm not going to say that the federal government takes absolutely no blame on this disaster, but local and state governments had responsibilities that they could have fulfilled that would have alleviated a lot of the pain. My defense of President Bush is solely because some like Mike refuse to put any accountability into the lower levels of government, who had all the power and resources needed to minimize the damage.

He then tries to go on and state that his post used literary devices hyperbole, humor, and the like. I'm sorry, but threats have never been humorous to me, nor do I know of any rational person who thinks so. They are serious, as I posted earlier. I do not believe that threats constitute protected speech unless in self-defense. While his new response has an obvious sarcastic tone, the first did not.
And the next person who accuses me or my dispossessed Democratic friends from New Orleans of just trying to jab the president is going to find himself jabbed in the face.
Does this sound like a joke? I didn't think so.

Mike does state "I do mostly subscribe to the idea that painful bluntness is a perfectly acceptable tool in making a serious point." I have no problem with bluntness (as I'm sure you can see), but being daft is a whole different story.

He also questions my anonymity. I won't divulge on this, at least not in a public forum. If Mike wants to know more, he contact me directly and I will tell him; perhaps it will be a reasonable response for him, perhaps not, but it is not his place to question that.

Again, this was not meant to be personal; I felt that this one post (note, now two posts, but they still remain the exceptions) done by Mike was in poor taste, and I felt a response was needed. I apologize to him if he took it that way. This shall be my last post on the topic. If he prefers to respond once more, fine; if not, that is also fine. But if you really feel "this blogosphere just isn’t big enough for the two of us," then be prepared for some cramped quarters. I will link to posts I like and may question those that I don't.

And to everyone else, I apologize if this appeared personal. Again, it was not, and from time to time, I may have similar posts. The blogosphere requires a thick skin. If you'd prefer someone to stop reading to posting a response, then it may not be the place for you.

September 12, 2005

Wow, that's convincing

Mike Slaven recently posted to his blog complaining about "accountability" over the response to Hurricane Katrina. I thought I might respond to some of it.

Title: It's called accountability, you f%$#s.
Well, I'm convinced already. With such a strong vocabulary, who can aruge a point like that?

Apparently blaming President Bush for an inadequate federal response is now "partisan mudslinging" or "the blame game."
One point that Mike has been trying to make is that the blame lies solely with the federal government. Yet, somehow, Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco are let off the hook. Why is that? Let's go in a little further.

Where is FEMA during all this? States and localities have relied upon FEMA for years to bolster their responses to disasters when local infrastructure has been destroyed. But we can't ask what the hell took them so long. That would be "pointing fingers."
Mike has been very reliant on the media here, so maybe he'll believe this article written by Jack Kelly (whom I linked to earlier today).
The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne.
A faster response than some of the most devastating hurricanes of the last two decades, yet FEMA is too slow? Hmm, interesting.

Have you seen the picture of buses sitting in a lot? He was just trying to avoid questioning on why they weren't evacuating people - never mind the question of where he was supposed to find drivers as the entire city was evacuating.
I've heard this argument a few times. Simple solution; the obvious start are the normal bus drivers. Now, obviously, we cannot expect that all of them will want to focus on others; they may have family members whom they want to get out. So, with a few days warning, could Mayor Nagin have not found volunteers to learn how to drive a bus? It should not be too hard to find some people who are willing to learn, and my guess is, if they can drive cars, surely these volunteers could figure out how to drive a bus, even if just to get them a few hours drive away.

When I see the images of people starving to death at the convention center, can I ask why?
Might want to ask the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security; they only prevented Red Cross from getting in to help.

Well, questioning a government response so awful that the misery was palpable on TV isn't called partisanship. It's called accountability, you f#@%s.
Again, he's convinced me. Mike's knowledge of four letter words obviously trumps anything said by myself or anyone else who believes that the state and local governments should be held accountable.

And the next person who accuses me or my dispossessed Democratic friends from New Orleans of just trying to jab the president is going to find himself jabbed in the face.
Threats of violence. Pitiful. I know Mike is smarter than this, but it'll be hard to convince others of this by such a statement.

It's funny. For a party that says it's all about accountability, the Republicans don't have any ability to even think that they should be held accountable for what went wrong when they were in charge.
We are about accountability. The only failures have come at the local and state levels; the thing is, we probably would not have said anything were it not for lefties Kanye West, Mary Landrieu, and Al Gore. Hurricane Katrina was a tragedy to say the least; the nation should have been united in the efforts to help the people of New Orleans. Instead, the left's first (and only) target has been the federal government. The local and state governments had everything they needed to minimize the loss of life (just ask Jeb Bush, governor of Florida, a.k.a. The Hurricane State), and this might have been forgiven. Going after the federal government when they were not responsible for the primary actions is irresponsible.

But what would I know; I'm just a f^%@.

Around the Horn

- The second Virginia Blog Carnival is up at Check it out and, if you run a Virginia-based blog, read the details and submit for the third carnival.

- Susan Torres died. I had noted her birth about a month ago, but she was unable to hold on. A real shame.

- The former John Behan, Chad Dotson, notes that the illegal immigration topic has worked favorably for Jerry Kilgore, while John Hawkins observes that the 2004 election may not be over, at least in the eyes of Democrats and the mainstream media.

- More on the response to Hurricane Katrina.
= Estimates placed the death toll in the thousands, yet only 197 died. I would never devalue the lives lost, but I do have to wonder why so much focus was placed on the faulty estimates, while the actual numbers are far lower.
= John Hawkins wonders if a change in the local government would have changed the response to the disaster.
= Jack Kelly notes that the response by FEMA to Hurricane Katrina was actually faster and more effecient than disasters of the past. Why is the MSM saying otherwise?

- Finally, why aren't more letters like this written? My guess is, most people in the military feel this way, yet Democrats keep trying to make out members of the military as coerced, unwilling participants.

UPDATE 8:25 PM: The death toll has been revised to 279.

September 11, 2005

Never Forget

It has been four years since that fateful day. What follows strays from partisan politics; this is my personal experience with the terrorist attacks.

It was a beautiful Tuesday morning. Not hot, but quite pleasant out. Sunny, a few clouds, and warm. Early in the morning, as a friend asks me how I'm doing, I reply, "It's just like any other Tuesday."

We got to school at the normal time and headed to class. Nothing unusual; though early in the year, I was already familiar with my schedule and headed to my class as if by instinct. We have class as normal, AP Government.

I look up at the clock; it's about a quarter til. I hear the high whistle that accompanies the announcements; something is wrong, the announcements are normally for another fifteen minutes. Even before hearing the principal's voice, I know something is wrong. She gets on and describes what is perceived to be an accident. A plane has hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. It is known that many people have died and that many more will. She asks for a moment of silence. After she finishes, everyone starts wondering what happened, or if it might not be an accident. We turn on the TV in the classroom and get our first chilling scenes, but this period is over and we are told to go to our next class.

As soon as I arrive, I turn on the TV in there; the teacher has not yet arrived. My timing could not have been more precise, the second plane had just hit. This disaster became that much more real; this was no accident, it was terror. My classmates were continuing to come in, as was our teacher. The TV stayed on, and students from other classes came in as well, watching in horror the images on the TV. Many of the girls are crying, the guys trying to keep it together. My initial feelings had been of fear, dread, anxiety. It was pure fury now; someone did more than attack a building, they attacked America, as was evidenced by the hit on the Pentagon and another downed plane. I was livid, but could not lash out, everyone else was hurting too much.

Some people called home, but I was without a cell phone. The period ended and we moved on to lunch. We were urged not to go outside, but to stay inside for lunch. I went out anyway, after borrowing a friend's cell, to call home. They were all fine. After the call, I went back in for lunch. I sat there with my friends, trying not to focus to hard on what was happening; we enjoyed being with each other, but there was a sort of solemnness that was very unfamiliar.

After lunch, we got the news that school was to be let out early; going to school so close to the Pentagon (inside the Beltway in Virginia), there were some security concerns. We left, and the bus ride was much like lunch; active but still solemn. Perhaps it was just the numbness settling in; when I got home, it persisted, and lasted through the next day as well. It would not end until we went back to school on Thursday, but the solemn feeling surrounding all our activities would not go away.

We would later learn more about the attacks. Terror was confirmed. Passengers on board the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania made the phrase "Let's Roll" forever famous, forever with heroic meaning. The popularity of President George W. Bush hit an unprecedented (and not since repeated) level, representing a unity not seen in decades; Democrats and Republicans were able to find common ground in the tragedy, and the president responded with an unforseen leadership ability. It was okay to be patriotic, and petty differences were put aside. Unfortunately, there would be more tragedy to follow; a rise in racism against perceived Muslims. This was quickly denounced by all, further displaying the unity.

September 11 was a hard day, and still is. The images from that day will be burned on our minds. Much like with the shooting of JFK, everyone remembers where they were, what they were doing, everything, from that fateful day. It would be in our best interests to never forget, lest we become complacent, or worse yet, incompassionate.

I know that this post does not read much like my others (and not just because it has a more emotional background to it), but that is the point. That day was so clear, and at the same time can seem like it was all just a really bad dream. Comments are closed on this post; if you wish to communicate with me about this one, e-mail me. If you wish to share with others, e-mail them. I believe there is little to debate here.

I'd like to finish this with a link to a flash dedication to that day. I saw this first only a couple months after the attacks. It is a very beautiful tribute, one I watched many times in the year following and at least on September 11th each year since. To be quite open, I cried when I saw it only a few weeks before the first anniversary for the first time; I cry a little each time since then.
America Attacked 911

I'd like to ask everyone reading to put aside political differences today. It does not matter if local or federal government holds more responsibility in the Katrina disaster. It does not matter who President Bush selects for the open Supreme Court seats. It does not matter who is or will be governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Put aside partisan differences, they will still be there tomorrow, but today, I only pray for unity.

September 10, 2005

Did President Bush know that the levees would breach in New Orleans?

Pat at Brainster says that that was never the case, that all estimates only suggested overtopping. So much for the nutty left's little theory.

September 08, 2005

So what does the response to Hurricane Katrina boil down to?

Day By Day

As usual, Chris Muir says it best.

Greatest Quote Ever

"If the sun were to blow up, in the eight minutes we'd have left, the Left would blame President Bush."
- John Gibson, reacting to the criticism aimed towards President Bush over the trials and tribulations following Hurricane Katrina.

September 07, 2005

Everyone's Favorite Superhero

No, not Batman, Superman, or Spiderman.

Regardless of the on-field performance of the Hoos, Cavman always saves the day.

More on the local mistakes made in Hurricane Katrina

John Hawkins echoes much of what I have said about the mistakes made in dealing with the hurricane in New Orleans. He also shows the error made by the moonbat left, along with Chris Muir; go to the default of blaming Bush and fail to offer a solution to the problem.

The First Official Virginia Blog Carnival

It's here; Chad at CC presents the first Virginia Blog Carnival.

Many of the best blogs in the Commonwealth submitted a post, though I recognized almost every blogger who posted. A blog carnival allows some of the less known blogs to get some exposure, so if you run a blog and had a post that you thought was better than normal, e-mail Brian Patton at "brian (at)" with your post.

September 06, 2005

Hollywood turns Katrina into a political statement

I am sure this is not a surprise to any of you. Sean Penn, who must think he speaks for every perceived victim out there, says the US government is guilty of "criminal negligence" Irish-born celebrity Pierce Brosnan believes that President Bush has "a lot to answer for". Kanye West makes the boldest statements of all on NBC, saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people" in front of a stunned Mike Myers. Are they right? Should President Bush answer for the problems in New Orleans?

Let's consult the United States Constitution first.
Amendment X - Powers of the States and People.
Ratified 12/15/1791.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
There are no mentions of natural disasters being restricted to the federal government. Now, this is not a direct placement of responsibility on Louisiana or the lower governments for the effects of Katrina, but it does make a strong statement.

The federal government does not have absolute power, and it certainly does not have the resources or manpower to take on every problem that arises. This is one of the main reasons that this amendment was added (the other being that the states were afraid that they would lose all power in the establishment of a stronger national government). The United States government could not possibly be expected to pull out the thousands of people left in New Orleans. But Louisiana has the power to call up the National Guard, something that the national government could not do. Why didn't they call on them earlier?

With so many people left in New Orleans, shouldn't there have been an option for escape? There was, and, for whatever reason, this option was left alone. The Junkyard Blog has been wondering why New Orleans did not use their extensive collection of school buses (which must have been in pristine condition before Katrina for them to have never even consider their use). President Bush was not needed for this. Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco, or even New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin (though it appears that the two cannot be grouped together), very much had the position to call up such an option, and with a few days to evacuate the city, they could have directed the people unable to evacuate to the buses rather than the Superdome.

Well, perhaps it wasn't political. Maybe these celebrities and others were just angry and wanted someone to lash out at, right? Michelle Malkin thinks that a lot of the stories coming out of New Orleans are complete trash. And then, there are the calls for political correctness when they are even less justified than ever.

Make no mistake, Hurricane Katrina was a huge tragedy, for people of all races and backgrounds, but questioning the federal government because the local governments failed is irresponsible and motivated by partisanship. While I'll fault Penn for his comments, he has done one thing I admire; he has volunteered, spending his time helping others. It would be in his best interest to stop blaming Bush (as he always does) and concentrate on helping those in need. It might also be beneficial if he questioned Governor Blanco and the rest of Louisiana's state and local governments as well; why did they drop the ball?

Wesley Pruden of the Washington Times wonders much of the same.

September 05, 2005

Cal Ripken: Iron Man and Role Model

Notable anniversaries surround us. August 15th marked V-J day, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. In less than a week, we will be observing a day that changed all our lives, September 11th. And it was just two days ago that the first anniversary was marked for the Beslan school massacre. Sadly, most anniversaries mark events that we would prefer have not happened.

However, tomorrow marks a happy occurence. On September 6th, 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. set the record for consecutive games played at 2,131 (he would later extend that record to 2,632 games, a mark that would take active leader Miguel Tejada, currently at Cal Ripken's trademark position, Orioles' shortstop, more than 12 seasons to reach). Ripken single handedly brought back interest to Major League Baseball, which was low after the strike-shortened 1994 season, with his chase for the record. This was a thrilling moment for me, having been a life-long Baltimore Orioles and Cal Ripken fan. Yet, Ripken's legacy will extend well beyond this record.

Cal grew up in a baseball family, and because of this, he understood the value of hard work and dedication. He was always a team player and quickly made his way to the starting shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles. His loyalty was obvious, as he never left the team, even when Mike Bordick was brought in to play shortstop (Ripken would play third base for the rest of his career). And in a day where steroids have become the buzzword at Major League ballparks, Ripken proved consistent and unrelenting. He was so respected that in his final All-Star Game, Alex Rodriguez offered Cal his position; Ripken would go on to win the All-Star Game MVP after hitting a solo home run to start the scoring in a 4-1 American League win.

But Ripken's actions off the field are just as notable. President Bush named Cal Ripken honorary commisioner for White House South Lawn Tee Ball a few years ago. Ripken also is an active member of his community, giving to charities. And Cal Ripken is a classic family man, coaching his son and daughter's sports teams.

In an age where negative news dominates and it seems like integrity is a rare character trait, role models do still exist. The ten year anniversary of the new consecutive games streak represents more than just another statistic; it is a monument to true character. For us baseball freaks, Cal Ripken is the classic athlete of which type we wish would return. Perhaps the marking of this date will sink in for some of the selfish and egotistical athletes in today's professional sports; maybe the youth will take note and bring back the team player. Regardless, Cal Ripken Jr. will leave a lasting influence on his fans and deserves the praise he receives, even if he will humbly try to deny it or transfer it to someone else.

Sad news, but partisan bickering

Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away this weekend at the age of 80. He will be remembered as one of the greatest justices ever to serve, protecting the ideas of Federalism and the right to life, being the last living justice to vote in dissent in Roe v. Wade.

Now, with two picks to make, President Bush has nominated John Roberts for the position of Chief Justice, and will have to make another nomination soon. However, he is being held up in Congress with questions about his opinions and past decisions. The Constitution allows the "advice and consent" of Congress, not the interrogation. They need to ensure that he understands the Constitution and how to uphold it, then give him and up or down vote. Moving Roberts and the next nominee through fast will ensure that Congress can move on to their other responsibilities and not hold up the Supreme Court from fulfilling its responsibilities.

September 04, 2005

Kuwait Pledges Aid for Katrina

In a move that could relieve some of the pressure felt by higher gas prices and lowered supplies from Hurricane Katrina, Kuwait has pledged half a billion dollars worth of "oil products that the disaster-stricken states need in addition to other humanitarian aid." This follows a $100 million dollar pledge from Qatar, also for relief efforts from Katrina. These donations are very big of the governments of Qatar and Kuwait.

Many countries are now placing resources into relief, which will be greatly appreciated. It will take a couple years to clean up New Orleans, so the United States can use all the help it can get.

September 03, 2005

First football game today

In just eight short hours, the Virginia Cavaliers will once again take the field to take on the Western Michigan Broncos in a game that promises to be nothing short of a blowout. I am very excited for the season to start again, but there will be more to this than just another football game.

First, the disaster left behind by Hurricane Katrina has prompted the creation of UVA Students KARE (Katrina Aid and Relief Effort). This group will be standing at the gates of Scott Stadium accepting donations. Even if you can only give a few dollars, please help. Supplies and aid are desperately needed down there; I've already heard of some people intending to go down there to evacuate New Orleans, which may be a very risky move. Help convince these people that enough aid will get down there to help those remaining there.

Also, with the recent acts of racism, there has been a movement to get people to wear black to the football game. This idea has been ineffeciently promoted twice this week, and I don't suspect that this event will do more. If anything, I suspect it will only give the school negative press, as the attacks will be made more public. I have preferred the tradition of dressing up for the games, and many people still hear and follow Coach Al Groh's "Sea of Orange", so I suspect that anyone at the game will be initially confused as they look at the students and see an ecclectic mix of color.

For me, sports has always been a release from the real world; we can only spend so much time concerning ourselves with everything else going on before the stress becomes overwhelming. I can appreciate the collection for the victims in New Orleans, but it would be good to see a sea of orange, as much as I prefer tradition. The collection will be at the beginning (and possibly the end) of the game, and I suspect there will be booths set up for it as well, but during the game, it will not be wearing everyone down. We can also deal with racism when we get out of the stadium; for three hours, I don't think it would be too much to ask for some release. If you are going to the game, yell your lungs out and enjoy the time spent there with family and friends; a break from the world's problems will better prepare us to tackle them again after we leave.

September 01, 2005

Congrats, indeed

Waldo Jaquith is getting married this weekend. Since I will be busy on Saturday (the College Football season starts up with the Wahoos taking on cupcake Western Michigan), I wanted to send out congratulations early. I had the pleasure of meeting Waldo this past weekend, and he certainly deserves the blessing that he shall receive Sunday morning.

Though, heh, I have to disagree with Chad. Being on the other side (currently single ladies), I believe that Waldo is getting himself into something very special. I look forward to the day that the same will happen for me, and I wish Waldo and his fiancee Amber the very best.

And maybe his break from the blogosphere will give the rest of us C'ville bloggers an opportunity to shine ;) .