Thursday, September 29, 2011

The "horror" of it all

Here's Glenn Danzig during an appearance on Fox News' Red Eye in June 2010 saying what few outside of the GOP dared to utter before it became apparent that our current President isn't as "chosen" as some would make him out to be:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Thinking Out Loud: The politics of game

I don't have "game." Never have. Although a lack of sophistication was a byproduct of my considerable naiveté when I was younger, I realized as I lived and learned that participating in a kind of social discourse for which the only rule is that you can never get caught in a lie was never in my best interest.

In the name of full disclosure, and at the risk of seeming a bit self-righteous, I'm still not entirely certain about what I have been afforded by even attempting to demonstrate such piety. Yet, as it turns out, I happened to avoid emulating the numerous lowlifes for whom my respect has been permanently replaced by contempt. And I suppose that alone is enough.

Monday, September 26, 2011

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 4

With one-third of the regular season already complete, the crème de la crème are wasting no time in staking their claim as the ones to beat. While top-ranked Oklahoma labored more than anticipated to get past a burgeoning Missouri squad, both Alabama and Louisiana State demonstrated once again (and with relative ease) why five consecutive BCS national champions have represented the same conference.

LSU is the new #1 in the Associated Press poll. Undoubtedly a legitimate argument on their behalf could be made. Yet jumping both the Sooners and the Crimson Tide seems marginally premature for now. Nevertheless a better appraisal of the Tigers' depth will be established by the time they face #2 Alabama on November 5 – at which point the #1 ranking could very well belong to the Bayou Bengals.

In lieu of their one-point loss to fellow contenders Oklahoma State, formerly sixth-ranked Texas A&M drops to #10, while Florida State falls out the rankings altogether thanks to a five-point defeat at nationally ranked Clemson. Resulting from Saturday's games, Oklahoma State jumps Wisconsin and Louisiana State jumps Boise State.

Virginia Tech received top 10 consideration, but playing arguably the least challenging schedule among the upper tier FBS schools makes it difficult to overlook undefeated South Carolina – not to mention resurgent Oregon. Next Saturday, expect the Gamecocks to be tested against Auburn and Alabama to be pushed by perennial contender, Florida. Outside of the nation's top conference, expect a cage match to develop at Camp Randall between #7 Wisconsin and #8 Nebraska. The coming weeks are what college football is all about.

1. Oklahoma (def. Missouri, 38-28), 3-0, 640 pts.
2. Alabama (def. Arkansas, 38-14), 4-0, 635 pts.
3. Louisiana State (def. West Virginia, 47-21), 4-0, 630 pts.
4. Boise State (def. Tulsa, 41-21), 3-0, 560 pts.
5. Stanford (Bye), 3-0, 510 pts.
6. Oklahoma State (def. Texas A&M, 30-29), 4-0, 480 pts.
7. Wisconsin (def. South Dakota, 59-10), 4-0, 445 pts.
8. Nebraska (def. Wyoming, 38-14), 4-0, 420 pts.
9. South Carolina (def. Vanderbilt, 21-3), 4-0, 365 pts.
10. Texas A&M (lost to Oklahoma State, 30-29), 2-1, 315 pts.

c/o SixPackSpeak
Ole Miss Rebels, as an identity, is gone. They're the Mississippi Bears now. Not the Black Bears – as officially recognized by the university – or the Brown Bears, the Sun Bears, the Panda Bears, the Polar Bears, the Bear Bryants, the Teddy Bears or the Theodore Roosevelts. And no, the new mascot was not chosen in lieu of William Faulkner's "short novel," The Bear.

Colonel Rebel is gone (but not forgotten) because of oversensitive garbage commingled with an apparent refusal to understand a remote campus which, for decades, featured substandard facilities by the lofty standards of the Southeastern Conference will always trump the depiction of any mascot.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday's Quote: The Christian tradition

© Arnold Friberg
There is a peculiar intelligentsia that rejects with increasing boldness our claim as a Christian nation. The current President, a professed Christian (of some sort), is evidently among them.

Indeed many amid this highbrow herd take a similar issue with our Founders – 49 of the 56 to be exact – by flatly denying the otherwise irrefutable evidence of their mutual belief in the central figure of the world's largest religion. Below is our first President offering a bit of clarity for those hell-bent on misrepresenting the core of his Faith:


"While I reiterate the professions of my dependence upon Heaven as the source of all public and private blessings; I will observe that the general prevalence of piety, philanthropy, honesty, industry, and œconomy seems, in the ordinary course of human affairs, particularly necessary for advancing and conforming the happiness of our country.

"While all men within our territories are protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of their consciences; it is rationally to be expected from them in return, that they will be emulous of evincing the sanctity of their professions by the innocence of their lives and the beneficence of their actions; for no man, who is profligate in his morals, or a bad member of the civil community, can possibly be a true Christian, or a credit to his own religious society."
– from George Washington's Letter to the General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches; May 1789

Friday, September 23, 2011

Real Music: Whole Lotta Sabbath

For my 500th post, which includes all the weak stuff from the early days, I've decided to highlight the inventive forces at Wax Audio who mashed-up two of the all-time greats to create perhaps the ultimate Rock fantasy. Have a look:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just Thinking Out Loud: Women and the Left

Sarah Palin isn't the first woman of the Conservative persuasion on whom the mostly Left-leaning press has taken a massive crap. But considering the almost clichéd accusations of misogyny levied against the Right, it seems fitting that Confidence Men, a new book by Pulitzer-winning journalist and best-selling author Ron Suskind, depicts the White House in an unflattering light by, among other ways, illustrating the current administration's intolerant brashness toward women.

My girl Sarah is lovely, but that doesn't necessarily make her presidential – even despite recent polling data that shows her within five percentage points of Obama. Perhaps fatefully, the reason(s) for which many would not likely vote for her are in stark contrast to the manufactured cult of personality that did wonders to convince an astonishing 69 million people to vote for the guy who became our 44th President.

No matter, as the dynamics that got Obama elected will not factor in getting him re-elected. "Obama girl" may as well stay home next time around.

Monday, September 19, 2011

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 3

Although Florida State stumbled at home against the #1 Sooners, the Seminoles remain in TEC's top 10 thanks in part to the efforts of redshirt freshman QB Clint Trickett, whose laudable play helped FSU keep victory within reach. However the substance of their upper tier ranking will be tested on Saturday against unbeaten Clemson (AP #21, USA Today #22).

Fourth-ranked LSU similarly grinded their past a feisty Mississippi State squad, and the Tigers will be tried once more on Saturday against West Virginia (AP & USA Today #16). Yet the most notable games of the coming weekend will see Arkansas (AP #14, USA Today #12) at #2 Alabama and #8 Oklahoma State at College Station to face #6 Texas A&M.

It's early, but some of the games this weekend could have a considerable impact upon how the season shapes up. As always in college football, every game counts.

1. Oklahoma (def. Florida State, 23-13), 2-0, 650 pts.
2. Alabama (def. North Texas, 41-0), 3-0, 635 pts.
3. Boise State (def. Toledo, 40-15), 2-0, 615 pts.
4. Louisiana State (def. Mississippi State, 19-6), 3-0, 560 pts.
5. Stanford (def. Arizona, 37-10), 3-0, 530 pts.
6. Texas A&M (def. Idaho, 37-7), 2-0, 470 pts.
7. Wisconsin (def. Northern Illinois, 49-7), 3-0, 445 pts.
8. Oklahoma State (def. Tulsa, 59-33), 3-0, 410 pts.
9. Nebraska (def. Washington, 51-38), 3-0, 375 pts.
10. Florida State (lost to Oklahoma, 23-13), 2-1, 310 pts.

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday's Quote: "The Father of the Constitution"

c/o Politico
The unrelenting debate regarding the authority and reach of our federal government was answered nearly 220 years ago by perhaps the most overlooked of our Founders. His words, which should also be interpreted as a warning, have proven him more than wise:


"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions."
– James Madison, fourth President of these United States, co-author of the Federalist Papers and a strict Constructionist, in a letter to his uncle, magistrate and Virginia representative to the First Continental Congress, Edmund Pendleton; January 21, 1792

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Southern Defenders Series: Samuel Garland, Jr.

© Virginia Military Institute
Born in Lynchburg, Virginia on December 16, 1830, the grandnephew of President James Madison graduated near the top of his class from the Virginia Military Institute and completed law school at the University of Virginia by age 20.  He later founded the Lynchburg Home Guard, which, in the spring of 1861, merged with the 11th Virginia Infantry when the War Between the States commenced.

Garland was commissioned as the regiment's Colonel and participated in clashes throughout northern Virginia, including both battles at Bull Run.  Having already distinguished himself by the time he earned promotion to Brigadier General, it was perhaps the untimely deaths of his wife and infant son, just three months apart, by which it was said his reputation for courage under fire resulted from an inability to deal with his grief.

Garland was mortally wounded at the Battle of South Mountain in Washington County, Maryland.  Although Union soldiers dumped the lifeless bodies of 60 Confederate soldiers down a famer's well after the battle, General Garland's body was retrieved by federal troops, whereby Major General George B. McClellan, USA, ordered an honor guard to accompany the young Southern General's body until his remains could be honorably transported home.

A mere 31-years-old at the time of his death, Samuel Garland, Jr. was buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery in his hometown on September 19, 1862 next to his wife and infant son.  Memorialized in his official report, Lt. General Daniel Harvey Hill, CSA, stated "This brilliant service. . . cost us the life of that pure, gallant, and accomplished Christian soldier, General Garland, who had no superiors and few equals in the service."

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Monday, September 12, 2011

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 2

While SEC commissioner Mike Slive recently stated that his conference is not looking to expand beyond adding Texas A&M next season, Orange Bloods is reporting that two more Big XII schools – Oklahoma and Oklahoma State – will apply for membership to the Pac-12 within the next several weeks.  We may as well embrace it now because the dominos are definitely falling in favor of a mega-conference structure that's all but certain to take shape within the next several years.

There were no surprises last weekend, so the top 10 remains the same.  That will change next week, as the top-ranked Sooners visit Tallahassee this weekend for a showdown with the rejuvenated sixth-ranked Seminoles.  That one has the makings of a classic.

1. Oklahoma (Bye), 1-0, 665 pts.
2. Alabama (def. Penn State, 27-11), 2-0, 640 pts.
3. Boise State (Bye), 1-0, 610 pts.
4. Louisiana State (def. Northwestern State, 49-3), 2-0, 555 pts.
5. Stanford (def. Duke, 44-14), 2-0, 530 pts.
6. Florida State (def. Charleston Southern, 62-10), 2-0, 475 pts.
7. Texas A&M (Bye), 1-0, 450 pts.
8. Wisconsin (def. Oregon State, 35-0), 2-0, 380 pts.
9. Oklahoma State (def. Arizona, 37-14), 2-0, 360 pts.
10. Nebraska (def. Fresno State, 42-29), 2-0, 335 pts.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron (#10) – Captain Tramp Stamp – celebrates after a touchdown against Penn State during the first half at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  Love 'em or hate 'em, the Tide look poised to challenge for the national title yet again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday's Quote: The day everything changed

Photo by Carmen Taylor/Associated Press
"Mohammed is God's apostle.  Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another."
– Quran 48:29 (Surat Al-Fath, a.k.a. The Victory)

I was the operations manager for a trucking company in south Memphis on this particular day in history ten years ago.  Upon returning to my office from a drop yard on Elvis Presley Blvd., an ominous sounding voice on the radio abruptly interrupted a commercial and said "We now go to Howard Stern live."

Stern was broadcast on an hour delay in most of his syndicated markets, so I knew something substantial must have occurred for the recorded airing of the shock jock's program to be suddenly preempted.  The catastrophic terrorist attacks that would change the world forever were revealed to me from that moment on.

The numbers are astonishing.  Subsequent to the 17,727 acts of terrorism executed globally in the name of Islam since 9/11, the Associated Press reported last week that 35,117 convictions have ensued from the arrest of 119,044 terror suspects worldwide since that fateful day in which 2,977 innocent lives in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania were snuffed out by the concerted and misguided acts of aggression that, to this day, remain somewhat difficult to fully process.

The Global War on Terror – a label President Obama discontinued some two years ago in favor of the more inauspicious Overseas Contingency Operation – got its unceremonious start when 19 men hijacked three passenger jets to implement the will of Allah.  Operation Enduring Freedom, the official campaign that commenced in Afghanistan, was launched a little over three weeks later on October 7.  Since then, nearly 6,000 of our military's finest have been killed and over 40,000 more have been injured, often severely, while endeavoring to rid our planet of these fanatical vermin – all of which has come at a fiscal cost in the trillions of dollars.

But the hits just keep on coming.  The Taliban, just today, claimed responsibility for a truck bombing in the Wardak province of eastern Afghanistan that killed two civilians and wounded nearly 80 American soldiers.  Such exploits have become so common, and we have become so desensitized, that you could be learning about this most recent attack for the first time from this very post.

Although former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee referred to the events of 9/11 as "my generation's version of Pearl Harbor" on his Fox News program yesterday, one could surmise that the fervent adversary facing the world today, and the resulting 10-year confrontation that has no end in sight, is exceedingly worse than an enemy that was defeated less than four years after their initial attack on American soil.

Our Founders did not ascribe the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights to enable those with less honorable intentions the capacity to determine how "We the People" respond to calamity.  Yet hypersensitive nonsense from television pundits (Huckabee excluded), politicians and the press at large often dictate how we react to a hostile foe, to the point that charges of hate speech could be levied for merely speaking with candor about the commonality of events once unthinkable.

Consequently those who embrace ideologies that are acknowledged nation destroyers – communism and socialism, just to name a couple – are equally influenced, and thus, driven by erroneous interpretations about our establishing documents, which, in no small twist, now encourages those who might otherwise be faithful allies to instead view our nation as a target for conquest and our Founders as subjects for derision.

To be sure, adherents and sympathizers alike who view Islam as a vehicle to put Americans in their place, as it were, only causes the vitriol about tolerance – for the sake of their traditionally peculiar sensitivities – becomes more intolerable by the day.  In addition, the so-called "peace loving" Muslims, who supposedly comprise the majority, seem quite content to allow the rest of the world to clean up the tragic mess left by their more militant counterparts.

Be not fooled.  They're laughing at us.

William Gladstone (d. 1898), the only four-time Prime Minister of Great Britain and a prominent classical liberal, is somewhat famously noted for referring to the Quran as an "accursed book," once even going so far as to hoist it amid a session of Parliament and proclaim "So long as there is this book, there will be no peace in the world."

Dutch politician Geert Wilders, a self-proclaimed right-wing liberal, made a number of similar statements in 2007 that were not received nearly as well.  Accused of criminally insulting religious and ethnic groups and inciting hatred and discrimination, Wilders was finally acquitted of all charges just three months ago.

As mentioned before, all painstaking efforts will go for naught if civilized nations insist upon circumnavigating both the initial source and the resulting philosophy of what produces the abundance of likeminded extremists who have been a relentless thorn in the side of peaceable societies for well over a millennia.  Verily we will chase our tails ad infinitum until the international community and its leaders become bold enough to confess, finally and collectively, that stomaching those who refuse peace and assimilation is a formula for continued upheaval and ultimate conquest.

The Pentagon has been repaired, a memorial has been built to the victims of the plane that crashed in southern Pennsylvania, and Ground Zero is beginning to rediscover its identity.  But it's been no easy task.  Ten years later, it still feels like yesterday.

Here is noted English commentator (and atheist) Pat Condell to further the perspective.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Iconic Shot: Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love

The '80s weren't quite as unsullied as we sometimes like to reminisce, but it was an era in which innocence and decadence seemed to coexist rather harmoniously.  And unlike today, Rock 'n' Roll was good.  And fun.  Here's Van Halen's original lineup, less than a year before 1984 was released, in a shot that exemplifies the spirit of a genre' that is all but dead and likely never to return.

© "Samboob," who claims to have taken the picture for a 1983 issue of Circus magazine

I know how they feel

c/o The Internet According to Adrian – August 31, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just Thinking Out Loud: Women & ideology

c/o Huffington Post
Best-selling author and award-winning Conservative syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker (right) wrote Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care.  Best-selling author and award-winning liberal syndicated columnist Maureen Dowd wrote Are Men Necessary?  When Sexes Collide.  Need I say more?

Monday, September 5, 2011

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 1

c/o The Clearly Dope – September 4, 2011
Preseason #3 Oregon, last year's TEC regular season champion, falls out of the top 10 after a less-than-inspiring performance against #4 LSU – a squad with a bevy of issues whom the Ducks should've been primed to knock off.  Instead, the elite of the SEC stepped up and demonstrated why the last five national champions have come from the same conference.

Most contenders performed as expected, including Boise State, who can never pacify the doubters, even after the Broncos' convincing performance against nationally ranked Georgia.  As a result, Nebraska enters the top 10 and all others move up a notch.

1. Oklahoma (def. Tulsa, 47-14), 1-0, 665 pts.
2. Alabama (def. Kent State, 48-7), 1-0, 640 pts.
3. Boise State (def. Georgia, 35-21), 1-0, 610 pts.
4. Louisiana State (def. Oregon, 40-27), 1-0, 555 pts.
5. Stanford (def. San Jose State, 57-3), 1-0, 530 pts.
6. Florida State (def. Louisiana-Monroe, 34-0), 1-0, 475 pts.
7. Texas A&M (def. SMU, 46-14), 1-0, 450 pts.
8. Wisconsin (def. UNLV, 51-17), 1-0, 380 pts.
9. Oklahoma State (def. Louisiana-Lafayette, 61-34), 1-0, 360 pts.
10. Nebraska (def. Chattanooga, 40-7), 1-0, 335 pts.

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Maybe I didn't give this guy the credit he deserved last season.  Perhaps I merely resisted buying into what could be easily construed as media hype.  Whatever the case, Andrew Luck is a legitimate Heisman candidate who possesses enough mojo to lead the Cardinal, not just to the Pac-12 title, but also to an appearance in the BCS national championship game in January.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday's Quote: Einstein and the Nazarene

Many great men, including several of our Founding Fathers such as Franklin and Jefferson, have maintained conflicting views on God – and more specifically, Christianity – since the religion was established some two millennia ago.  While the man quoted below was not a convert, he also rejected the many claims about his purported atheism.  Here's the man himself to better explain his position.


"To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?  'As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud.  I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.'  You accept the historical existence of Jesus?  'Unquestionably!  No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus.  His personality pulsates in every word.  No myth is filled with such life.'"
– Albert Einstein, responding to poet, writer and eventual Nazi propagandist George Sylvester Viereck; from TIME's "Einstein &Faith" (published April 5, 2007), reprinted from Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

And remember y'all, to reference an old Christian addage:

Jacob cheated.  Peter had a temper.  David had an affair.  Noah was a drunk.  Jonah ran from God.  Paul committed murder (as did David).  Gideon was insecure.  Miriam was a gossip.  Martha worried.  Thomas, of course, doubted.  Sarah was impatient.  Elijah was moody.  Moses stuttered.  Zachaeus was short.  Abraham was old.  And Lazarus was dead.

But God used them all.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Did You Know (or Care): Al can make you tap

c/o Michael Pomerleau
Sometimes people think they know an actor by a role that he/she plays on television or in a movie.  Here's an example of how wrong than perception can be.

Ed O'Neill, perhaps best known for playing the perpetually demoralized "Al Bundy" on Married... with Children for 11 seasons, is, in real life, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under the direct tutelage of original UFC founder Rorion Gracie. (Here's a brief clip showing his promotion from brown to black belt in 2007.)

BJJ is different from most other martial arts, as it often requires no less than eight years of hardcore training before one is considered proficient enough to meet the requirements necessary for advancement.  In fact, O'Neill himself needed more than a decade to rise from the white, blue, purple and brown belt ranks before he achieved the coveted black belt status.  And that's pretty much par for the course.

Just remember y'all – it isn't usually wise to judge a book by its cover.  That sad looking couch potato is possibly capable of making you squirm.