Friday, August 13, 2004
Victor Davis Hanson
is on a roll. This has become the norm on Friday mornings. I'm pretty content with that. I'd wager a lot of other people are, as well.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Georgia loses starting running back Kregg Lumpkin
. UGA has good depth, but it's never good to lose a star player. Ron Zook's chances at a December in Atlanta have just increased...
Monday, August 09, 2004
I caught this great symposium piece
over at ESPN.com
on the changes needed in college football. What a thrill to see Jim Donnan and Kirk Herbstreit acknowledge that football programs need more scholarships. This is sorely needed. As Herbstreit notes, football is being seriously harmed in support of Title IX sports. It should be allowed more scholarships; this would strengthen teams and perhaps provide more revenue. Herbstreit joins Mel Kiper, Jr. is noting that there are too many bowl games. Herbstreit is right to suggest that a bowl game should be open to only teams with at least seven wins. He's right; we're encouraging mediocrity by claiming that 6-5 is a successful year. It might be at Vanderbilt or Memphis. Not at Notre Dame, Penn State, Alabama or Texas A&M.
Donnan and Kiper come out swinging in favor of a playoff. I say no; the season is long enough. Why not require all BSC conferences to divide into divisions, with a conference title game played the first weekend in December? There is always the possibility of a glitch, but such a condition would have prevented a split championship last year.
If the majority of Episcopal churches are anything like this sermon
delivere, no doubt smugly, to the Bush family, it's no wonder they're losing ground.
Sheesh. Talk about selective Biblical interpretation.
pretty much sums up my feelings on the whole Vote for Change tour. My gripes with the whole ordeal didn't stop me from listening to Dave Matthews during a long car ride yesterday, but I must admit the tour is cauing a few of these bands to lose some of their luster.
The John Kerry "Christmas in Cambodia" story is gaining some legs. Hugh Hewitt
has all the goods on it. This could be very damaging to Kerry, perhaps in a way that many Bush supporters didn't even realize. When the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group came along, I was under the impression that the basic premise was simply that Kerry was a lousy leader; a self-serving braggadocio who looked out for himself in Vietnam. I didn't realize the group was exposing Kerry's rant on the floor of the Senate. I certainly hope, as Hugh notes above, that some reporter will show the backbone to inquire about Kerry's 1968 Christmas. Either he was in Cambodia or he was not. While I prefer to look forward to see what Kerry and Bush will do in a new term, Kerry's statements on the floor of the Senate make this a more pressing matter than they might otherwise be.
is coming to Michael Moore's defense. Overstreet is suggesting that Moore's premise has legs; Moore's problem is his own sloppiness. Overstreet's contention is that the Bush administration won't "fess up" and the American people have been "taken for a ride." Oh have they? Overstreet should develop those ideas more fully, and provide something, you know, like facts, to back that up. It doesn't help him to cite Dave Kopel's list
of Moore lies in Farenheit 911
while he's at it.
I said this before, and I'll say it again: If Overstreet has an issue with the Bush administration, he should say so. He should study the issues and report on them. If he is not willing to do so, he should not make veiled comments in his film reviews. He is too good a writer and critic to resort to a form of laziness typically reserved for college newspapers and punk rock fanzines.
Friday, August 06, 2004
I really need to revamp this format.
show was live in Mobile yesterday. The occassion was a charity banquet, and provided the show with commentary from Danny Sheridan, Mike Gottfried and Jim Donnan. Donnan of course being Quincy Carter's coach while at the Univeristy of Georgia. Donnan seemed to acknowledge that Carter had some issues as a pro, but steered clear of too much criticism of a former player. Good call. Another good, no, great, call was Finebaum's decision to turn the mike over to Gottfried and Donnan for a solid half-hour. Perhaps Paul had other things to attend to, but it was a fascinating few segments. Many hosts would not have shown such humility.
Donnan and Gottfried really understand the SEC and did a good job breaking down the conference.
A few highlights:
- Gottfried is high on Florida, and I agree that Chris Leak is - at least in terms of raw talent - the best quarterback in the SEC. The thinking here is that if Ron Zook's team can take care of Georgia, then the path to Atlanta is pretty clear.
- Auburn is the team to beat in the SEC West. LSU will be good, but has questions at quarterback and a very difficult road schedule that includes trips to Florida, Georgia and Auburn. That won't be easy.
- The Alabama/Ole Miss game is a bellweather for both teams. Alabama has a slight advantage as the game is played in Tuscaloosa, though Bryant-Denny Stadium has been less friendly in recent years. Gottfried regards the game as a race for third in the West. If Bama wins, it may set the tone for a positive season. A loss will have the same effect. The dark horse here is that, like Arkansas in 2002, a strong third place team in mid-season might come out on top at the end, should Auburn and LSU slip up.
I missed Danny Sheridan's segment, but the interview, along with Gottfried/Donnan, should be up at the Finebaum homepage linked to above. Finebaum later remarked on Sheridan's comments. The gist of it seemed to be that Sheridan has serious reservations about Alabama's coaching staff. I think Sheridan is on to something. Alabama has talent, though depth will prove to be a serious problem. I'm more concerned with coaching, as last year's defensive play calling was pretty pathetic. The offense seemed disjointed, at best. There's a lack of strong experience on the staff, and the few coaches who are experienced (see: Kines, Joe) are not popular and up for serious criticism after last year's losses, particularly to Tennessee and Arkansas. Fall practice starts next week, so we'll find out soon enough if Sheridan is right.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Check out this AP article
regarding Alan Keyes' potential entrance into the Illinois Senate race. First, it's exciting to think that Keyes might find himself in the Senate next year. However, it's the description of Keyes' conservatism that I find troubling. The last sentence of the article makes mention of his opposition to "abortion and gay rights." A-ha! The assumption here is that marriage is not an institution; just a civil right. Secondly, Keyes "thinks that parents should be able to send children to schools that reflect their faith."
Of course they should. Keyes view here is in line with millions of Americans, but apparently our AP correspondent wants to imply that Keyes is an outsider and firebrand for opposing the monopoly that the Department of Education currently holds over the parents and students of this country.
Forgot to mention this Paul Finebaum article
from last week. Phil Fulmer is such a brave, brave man. Or so John Saunders says. In reality, Finebaum's right. Fulmer is a coward and a weasel.
Speaking of weasels, I wonder why the University of Alabama's student paper, the Crimson White
, has no mention of Tommy Gallion on its website? Pretty weak, if you ask me. I realize the paper is probably under a University-imposted gag order so as not to offend Miles Brand and Wally Renfro up at the NCAA, but if the Auburn Plainsan
can take on Bobby Lowder, then surely someone in Tuscaloosa can show just an ounce or two of chutzpah.
Here's a picture
of a handful of the artists on the upcoming Vote for Change tour. I think we know the script by now. Every real artist in this country wants Bush out and Kerry in. Great. Look, I'm not some high-minded opera critic who hates rock and roll. I'm twenty-two. I've been to more punk shows than weddings in the last two years, but enough is enough. Some of my favorite bands are on this tour. But could someone please tell me why I should care what Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) or Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) have to say about politics? Sure, they're entitled to their opinion, but that doesn't make that their opinions are well-developed. I realize that it doesn't take a PhD to understand the world. I'm not asking for that, but I would love for the Vote for Change tour to be represented by something better than this breathtaking Natalie Maines (of Dixie Chicks fame):
"A change is in order," Maines said. "There's never been a political climate like this, which is so the opposite of me as a person and what I believe in."
Hmmm. It's Thursday, and the bars in Tuscaloosa usually have a good crowd on this night. I'm sure I could drop in a few watering holes and find more succint quotes from more inebriated young women. Bruce Springstreen and Jackson Browne should be embarrassed by such drivel.
This sort of thing makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Pick up a guitar or write a poem and suddenly you understand the world in a clearer light. Anyone who stayed awake during Freshman Lit. realizes that good artists are able to tap into something universal about the human experience. Springsteen's done it; so has James Taylor and R.E.M. Even the younger arists on the tour are very, very good at what they do. Bright Eyes is pretty fantastic when Conor Oberst tones down the pretentious factor, same thing goes for Ben Gibbard's Death Cab for Cutie. And I love
Jimmy Buffett. So now we have every reason to enjoy their music, but why should I care about the politics?
My mind is already made up; I'm voting for W. In fact, I have a Dave Matthews decal on my back windshield right next to my W. sticker. The W. sticker was on my window when I saw Death Cab back in April. When bands speak out politically, I don't care. What bothers me is the fact the arrogance of the stance, as though Dave Matthews or Eddie Vedder have a particular insight into the world. Well, I suppose they do have a particular insight. I, for one, am just not convinced that said insight is worth the paper it's written on. A preternatural ability to play the guitar does not automatically endow one with keen political wisdom.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Hmmph. It's been too long since an update.
A few weeks ago, I was pointed in the direction this Ergun Caner editorial.
Caner is a professor at Liberty University, and a former Sunni Muslim. Herein he takes on Michael Moore. Good for him, because as a former Turk raised in the Sunni tradition, he brings some much needed perspective to the debate. I particularly enjoyed this point:
"I would fight and die for a Muslim's right to build a mosque in every city in America. Our soldiers are fighting to gain such freedom for Iraqis and Afghans. These are not freedoms that Islam offers."
Excellent point. Yet here is my issue with Caner's op-ed. The article appeared on the Southern Baptist Convention's Baptist Press newsite
. I know that not everyone who reads those sites is a Republican or a Baptist or even a Christian. Yet I wonder why the message is not more prominent. It is not for censorship or newsroom politics; the internet and blogosphere have broken down any barrier against conservative or evangelical bias. The conservative press - NRO, the Weekly Standard, the American Spectator - does not shy away from these voices. So why are conservative evangelicals speaking in an echo chamber, preaching essentially to the choir?
On one hand, it is good to address points of foreign policy. One often gets the sense that while church folk are patriotic, they are social conservatives only who would vote for a Democrat administration if issues such as abortion and gay marriage were neutralized. People are busy, and working parents cannot often explore the blogosphere at the start of the day. So if pastors and Sunday school teachers get the truth on Michael Moore from Crosswalk, fine with me.
Yet I wish more evangelicals, like Proffesor Caner and Al Mohler, would find greater place within the conservative movement. Christians must guard against diluting the message of Christ, but I believe there is room at the table. Conservatism holds for different views: neocons vs. realist, opponents of the drug war vs. supporters and a certain degree of variety to the economy. While Mohler and Caner might hold stricter social views than, say, Neil Boortz, we're living under a pretty big tent. A man like Caner could provide a level of clarity to the voices of Michael Moore, Howard Dean and Al Franken. I should point out that he has made appearances with Sean Hannity on previous occasions. And maybe this is just a desire on my part to see one of my guys getting some recognition. I still believe it is time for greater evangelical interaction with the entire conservative movement. Men like Caner are opening doors; it's time we charge through them.
The article in question did in fact appear on WorldNetDaily. That's good, very good; but I stand by my original point.