Thursday, March 31, 2005

Schiavo Schism?

Recently, I wrote that the Republican Party was seeing a split thanks to the Schiavo case in Florida. In the days that have passed since that writing, events have made me feel more strongly that this is a major split for the GOP. The party is being torn between those who are Christian/social conservatives and those who are ideological conservatives. See my writing here for more on those factions.

Former Senator Danforth (R-Missouri) wrote an op-ed in The New York Times yesterday giving voice to this growing divide. He is an Episcopal minister, so I find his words on this divide to be particularly valid. He does not like seeing what is happening to his party. He appears to hold views akin to mine on this event. He appears to hold certain personal convictions on issues, but as a conservative he tempers some of those convictions when he balances them with the role he believes government should play in the lives of the people. He sums it up perfectly. “The problem is not with people or churches that are politically active. It is with a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement.” He is saddened when he notes that Republicans are allowing the agenda of social conservatives to become the party’s agenda instead of focusing on having limited government, a free economy, a non-activist judiciary, and a strong defense.

Dick Morris points out that the Schiavo case will hurt the GOP. This, of course, runs counter to what those who claim to be “in the know” were saying when this was ratcheted to a fever pitch in DC a few weeks ago. I agree with Morris (as I have been saying all along). This was a lose-lose situation for the Republican elected officials who took up the rallying call of the social conservatives. There are times when it may be best to wait. Something can be said for choosing your battles carefully. Here, because Congress, President Bush, and Governor Bush failed to win – failed to extend the life of Terri Schiavo – the social conservatives to whom they were reaching out are turning on them. This comes on top iof the moderate Republicans who have already started turning against them as a result of intervening in the case. So, now they are left with a split party who agree on one thing - “You failed us” - though for very different reasons. Morris believes that Jeb Bush’s chances of winning the White House went down the drain with this debacle. I’m not sure if I’m ready to write him off just yet, but believe me when I say that this didn’t help him any. One look at President Bush’s plummeting approval numbers is all the evidence needed to see how the President has been hurt by this. Pollster Matthew Dowd (strategist in the Bush re-election campaign) states in The Washington Times, "The country's generally unhappy, and maybe they think the Terri Schiavo case is taking away from things that Congress or Washington ought to be working on."

The Republican Party needs to get back to the business of leading the country on the major issues that the people need addressed (Social Security, taxes, judicial appointments, the war on terror). In time, the GOP may regain the strength it carried from November 2004, but they spent a lot of capital these past few weeks. Instead of the bickering over whether the government should have intervened in the Schiavo situation, maybe leaders should have been talking about the importance of advance directives (Health Care Powers of Attorney, living wills, etc.) that could minimize the occurrences of these tragic situations. I am reminded of what a doctor at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center told me last year, “We have the machines to keep you alive even if all of your organs shutdown, but is that living?” That is an important question to discuss with your family, so you and your family can agree on its answer. But it is not a question my government should answer (or try to answer) for me.

Lyles

On Tuesday night, High Point lost one of its greatest citizens, George Lyles, Jr. See the amazing list of accomplsihments for this good Christian man in his obituary and in the High Point Enterprise here and here.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Rollie

Now that the Heels have dispatched Villanova, I can write about Rollie Massimino. Rollie was the head coach at Villanova when they were the ultimate Cinderella twenty years ago when winning the 1985 national championship. In that run, they defeated UNC, thus my silence until now.

Coach Massimino was certainly a character. Doyel likens him to Valvano. There was also another comparison to be made - while they were both lovable coaches who led their schools to titles, they also led their schools to troubles as well. Many complain that he became egotistical after his championship run.

Now, he may be returning to the sidelines at little NAIA school Northwood University in West Palm Beach. We'll see how it goes.

Maybe fifteen years ago, I met Rollie when he was in High Point. I don't recall why he was here, but I think it was for the Pro-Am of either the GGO or the Planter's Pat Bradley. He was staying with my neighbor, and he walked over one afternoon when I was in the driveway shooting free throws. He was as nice as person as I have met. He worked with me for about 30 minutes, showing me how to improve my free throw and three-point stroke. That memory ranks as one of my favorites, as he did not have to take the time to teach a young kid basketball skills when he was on vacation. Regardless of what history says about Rollie, he'll always have gratitude and respect for that day. And I remember that day every time I'm on the court.

Easter

Yesterday being Easter Sunday, I thought today would be a good time to talk a little about where that name came from and more about why Easter is so important. The term "Easter" actually comes from the Christians incorporating Anglo-Saxon mythology as they spread into new territories. The Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre signified rebirth at the vernal equinox. This fits somewhat with the Christian message of the resurrection, so as Christianity spread into these Anglo-Saxon areas, some pagan concepts were incorporated.

Easter Sunday was the third day. On this day, Jesus Christ arose from the dead. "Lo! Jesus meets thee, risen from the tomb; lovingly he greets thee, scatters fear and gloom. Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing, for our Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting." (From "Thine Be the Glory" by Budry and Handel.)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Black Saturday

In respect for Black Saturday, I will resume posting tomorrow.

Good Friday

As Good Friday came yesterday, I hope everyone took the time to pray and think about the events of that day. See John 18:1-19:42. This is the day when Jesus was tried and crucified. I am posting a number of links for you to peruse on your own on this subject.

Good Friday
Art renderings of the Crucifixion

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Maundy Thursday

As Holy Week, also referred to as Passion Week, continues, I wanted to take the opportunity to speak about today – Maundy Thursday. I have often wondered what “Maundy” meant. In listening to my pastor this week and in research of my own, I have gained a better understanding of its meaning. I don’t pretend to be a Biblical scholar, but I do want to share some information on this subject as I believe it is important for everyone to understand.

The term “Maundy Thursday” comes from the Latin term “mandatum”. This may be interpreted as mandate, or as I prefer “commandment.” On Thursday of Passion Week, Jesus Christ ate the Last Supper with his disciples. (See John 13:1-17). He set an example that day – “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14). This example gave the disciples a clear indication of the meaning of the new commandment that Jesus would give them that day. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35). Thus, Maundy Thursday commemorates the day of Passion Week when Jesus Christ gave us the commandment to love one another. (See text from John here.)

We all need a reminder of this. To me, the most important aspect of being a Christian is in following this new commandment. As Christians, we should aim to live a Christ-like life – one which is closest to the ideal example that was given to us by the Lord. Wake each day loving your neighbors, your friends, your enemies, and your Lord. This is the lesson of Maundy Thursday. This is a lesson which is often overlooked as we breeze by this “workday” without giving the appropriate thought and prayer to the events that transpired over two centuries ago on the day of the Last Supper. As you eat tonight, think about what that Last Supper may have been like. Think about the love that Jesus showed his disciples when he washed their feet. And, think about what you can do to live up to the commandment – love one another.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Conservatism and Schiavo

Over the past few days there has been much made in the press about conservatives trying to intervene in the plight of Terri Schiavo. Much has been said about the efforts of Republicans in Florida and DC to err on the side of protecting life. This however is a gross mischaracterization. Not all Republicans and not all conservatives have been endorsing the efforts in DC to prevent the doctors from "pulling the plug." This issue is highlighting an important divide in the Republican party between social conservatives and those who defend the concepts of federalism, states' rights, and limited government.

Over the course of the Bush Presidency, much has been said about Mr. Bush being a big government conservative. To a degree, I have agreed with that assessment.

Much has also been said about Mr. Bush's religiosity. In my mind, that has been the biggest reason to support him. I love that fact that he believes in God and, as John Branch said to me, "He believes that he will be judged for eternity for what he does here on Earth." That is of great comfort to me - what better check on our President can there be than being doomed for eternity?

However, now it appears that the religious side of Mr. Bush and the GOP has taken firm control of the goings-on in DC. I am a supporter of most social conservative causes and am a committed United Methodist, but I do not support the decision of our elected leaders in DC to step in on the Schiavo case.

I have long been a supporter of federalism and states' rights. Maybe it comes form my background as a history major from a southern state. This is a major reason for my steadfast support of the GOP. I am not alone. Senator John Warner (R-VA) voted against the efforts in DC last weekend. He said that the federal government should not "take from the state of Florida its constitutional responsibility to resolve the issues in this case," and former Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) has spoken out now as well. Professor Fried eloquently makes my point in the Times today. Here, I see the actions of the GOP in DC to be in direct opposition to principles of my Republican Party to allow for more local control. Let the people and courts of Florida handle this issue. The Preamble of the North Carolina Republican Party platform states, "We believe in the power and freedom of individuals. We oppose all efforts to replace that power with undue governmental control." The platform goes on to say, "We call on Congress, the President, and the courts to abide by the Ninth and Tenth Amendment's constraints on federal power, and to oppose and reverse federal encroachments upon all powers and rights the Constitution of the United States has reserved to the states, or to the people." While I agree with the need to protect the sanctity of life, to me, the above quoted language means we let Floridians decide and keep the federal government out of Florida's business.

Nevermind the fact that it was a losing effort anyway. The law is fairly clear, in my opinion. So, the short-term goal of protecting the life of Ms. Schiavo was not a winable fight. The long-term goal of sending a message regarding pro-life issues hasn't made sense to me either. The GOP has much to lose among true conservatives and little to gain from social conservatives with this effort.

The bottom line is simple. Let the states handle issues like this. Krauthammer is right. It is certainly a tragedy that Ms. Schiavo's death is imminent, but it is even more a travesty that the GOP is making a mockery of the principles of federalism.

Just read the sentence

Where do I stand on the Democrats filibustering judicial nominees? Read what Senator Boxer said. Unknowingly, she made my point for me. "So we're saying we think you ought to get nine votes over the 51 required" (emphasis is mine). Yes, that's right Senator. The number of votes required is 51. Listen to her here.

DU Banquets

On Thursday, March 31 the High Point, NC Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual banquet at the Elk's Lodge with doors opening at 6:00. Tickets and memberships are available at the door. Join me there.

The same evening, the Wake Forest University Chapter will hold its banquet. Contact Josh Holden at (336) 391-8202 for more information.

Toasts with Water

Let it be said that "The West Wing" has actually provided me with some trivial knowledge that I can bank away. Yes, those who know me realize that most knowledge that I possess is filed away in the "useless trivia" file, so what's one more item. Until I watched yesterday's re-run of the show on Bravo over lunch I had not realized that it was unlucky to drink water when a toast is given. Somehow I'd missed that nugget when I saw the episode the first time. Whether this comes form the Vikings as a basis for drinking rum or Greek mythology as Batlet asserts in the TV show, I don't know. However, this may explain some streaks of bad fortune in my past when I toasted after finishing my glass of scotch.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

God, Chambers, and Schiavo

I have been thinking about this since I read my March 17 devotional from the Oswald Chambers classic "My Utmost for His Highest", and I have been thinking about it even more over the past few days. "I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without any cessation....Is my master ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble?"

For some reason this keeps coming to mind more and more as I see the news accounts of the Schiavo case. Not because of the principal parties in the case, but rather because of the politicians. They have seemingly chosen to score political points with the issue. While I feel that the intentions of those politicians was noble - their desire to save a life - I feel (based on the methodology chosen by these "leaders") that their master ambition (currying favor with a certain constituency?) was "something less" than being acceptable to Him.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Mr. Allen Goes to Raleigh

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Senator Allen (R-VA) would be speaking in Raleigh, NC on March 11. I have not been around to provide my thoughts on his remarks, so here is my delayed reaction.

Senator Allen gave a good speech to the John Locke attendees. It certainly sounded like a stump speech for a Presidential primary. He touted his conservative credentials from his time as Governor of Virginia and his time as that state's junior senator. I was impressed with his handle on the issues as I listened to the remarks, and I was pleased to hear him use impressive vocabulary rather than "dumbing down" for the masses.

However, if Senator Allen is to become the GOP nominee in 2008, he needs to improve his ability to succinctly answer questions. I imagine he understands this to be his weakness. I believe that is exactly the reason why he took questions. Like Vinatieri practices kicking everyday so he can kick the winner in the Super Bowl come season's end, Allen needs to practice Q&A sessions so he can handle debates and town halls come primary season.

In time, he will be fine. He knows where he stands on the issues. He knows what he wants to say. He just needs to get a grasp of the best way to deliver that message succinctly when asked a direct question. I will be looking forward to hearing him speak again in the coming years. He's a more serious contender than I had thought.

Tar Heel Needs Help

Adam Lucas has quickly become one of my favorite writers. He evokes great emotion with every word he types. Today, he is telling the story of some boys. The UNC family needs to rally around Reece Holbrook.

Touching letter

This is a touching tribute that Scott Elliott at Election Projection wrote to honor his parents who, as Christian missionaries, died in Iraq in March 2004.

I Believe in Springtime Too

Yesterday, as I listened to the combined choirs of Wesley Memorial sing John Rutter's "I Believe in Springtime", I went back in time. I remembered singing that song in church as a child, and it was always one of my favorites. I remembered our great Minister of Music Howard Coble (not the Congressman). I remembered Springtime afternoons with my maternal grandparents (who I can now only visit in my prayers). I remembered smiles, hope, and love that knows no end. I hope you too will feel this when you read the lyrics below. Spring is here! May you and yours have a glorious Holy Week!

I believe in springtime: fresh and new and bright;
I believe in morning dew and shining morning light.
I believe in sunbeams. Melting all the snow;
And I believe in when winters done the streams will run and rivers flow.
I believe in eagles soaring up so high;
I believe in trees and mountains reaching to the sky.
I believe in green things; all the gifts of earth;
Growing up from tiny seeds that spring has brought to birth.
I believe in summer; I believe in fall:
But most of all I believe in God who made it and blessed it all.
I believe in people living all as one;
Sharing all their songs and laughter, happiness, and fun;
I believe in friendship: taking time to care;
And feeling sure of someone else, and someone feeling glad you’re there.
Then I start to wonder how it all might be if the world could live together just like you and me.
I believe in hoping; I believe in prayer;
I believe in trying hard, and learning how to share.
I believe in dreaming; and when dreams are through,
Then I believe in trusting God to help me make dreams come true.

-John Rutter

Backlash

A few weeks ago, I commented on a statement made by the female editor of Playgirl. She publically acknowledged that she is a Republican. The story has grown. She has been relieved of her duties at Playgirl. Apparently, she has been relieved of her duties BECAUSE she is a Republican! This shows the sad state of mind that many Democrats have now that President Bush has been re-elected. I think most people, including the majority of Democrats, would find the story of a female being fired over her beliefs, to be despicable. But, because the beliefs showed her to be a Republican - you will see an eerie silence from the left. There may be more to this story (as I find it hard to imagine that someone could justify this firing without there being more), so I will keep you posted. As of now, I am amazed at the closed-mindedness I'm seeing from the historically open-minded Democratic Party (and this is only one small example). I'm not a regular viewer, but I wouldn't be shocked if O'Reilly mentioned this Playgirl story this week.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Quality

Here's a quality article about a quality man, Bobby Cremins. I'd love to see him back in coaching. He was a top shelf coach and an even better recruiter.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Silly season

Ordinarily, when I speak of "silly season" I am referring to the late stages of Nascar season when teams are announcing the firings and hirings of drivers for their upcoming campaigns. With Nascar taking hold on a more national basis, I'll start using such terminology more freely. NCAA basketball has March Madness, but more is mad in March than just the drive for the national title. The firing and hiring of head coaches is madness itself - a real silly season.

There will be a great flurry of activity in the Carolinas and Virginia this offseason. ECU athletics director (and former Virginia head coach) Terry Holland has already announced the end of the Bill Herrion era in Greenville. The odds suggest that Virginia will be pushing Mr. Timeout Pete Gillen away from Charlottesville after the ACC Tournament. There is abundant speculation in Raleigh as many Wuffies are hoping to can Mr. Mediocre Herb Sendek. My guess, Sendek survives if he gets a bid to the Big Dance, but he may need wins of Florida State and Wake Forest to get that reprieve. He may still survive the silly season anyway - he's like a cat who just keeps landing on his feel, year after year.

This leads to the questions - what will happen in Greenville and Charlottesville? Let's start with the Pirates.

If there is one man in collegiate athletics whom I would trust to hire a basketball coach, it would be Terry Holland. He knows basketball. He also has shown a willingness to think outside the box. He hired Skip Holtz as the new ECU football coach after Skip's old man was replaced in Columbia by the Ol' Ball Coach. Who are the likely candidates? Well, the two names most mentioned have been Ricky Stokes (former HC at Virginia Tech) and Matt Doherty (yes, that Matt Doherty). My money says neither man gets the call. Stokes hasn't had enough success as a head coach, and Doherty needs to go somewhere other than the Old North State (like Tulsa) for his next job.

A name that I had not though of but one that makes perfect sense is Cliff Ellis. I have to admit that Denny O'Brien hits the nail on the head here. Ellis had moderate success at schools that consider themselves "football first" colleges (Clemson and Auburn). He should be coaching somewhere, and he needs a change from tigers who wear orange. Ellis and Holland certainly know each other well from their time as head coaches in the ACC. (I don't think you will see Steve Robinson (UNC assistant) or Mike Sutton (ECU alumnus) in the hunt in Greenville, but Gregg Marshall from Winthrop and Jim Larranaga from George Mason are options.) Though being fired by UVA, Pete Gillen can flat coach, so he might be an unlikely but possible option as he seeks a place for redemption.

In my opinion, Holland should seek a coach with a proven track record, either one who is at a low-mid major school or one who is older yet not currently coaching. I like Ellis as my first choice, Williams, or Jeff Capel (yes, that Capel) from Virginia Commonwealth.

As far as the Virginia Cavaliers are concerned, I see several options. The Wahoos are known to be interested in Rick Barnes of Texas and Tubby Smith of Kentucky. I see Barnes as a greater possibility (Hickory, NC native) than Tubby, but the people who suggest Tubby is ready for a move have some credibility. I would not conduct my search without at least placing a call to Bobby Lutz at Charlotte (a former assistant under Cliff Ellis at Clemson). Fellow Conference USA coach Dave Leitao of DePaul (former assistant to Jim Calhoun at UConn) is worth a call as well.

So long as shooting high, I might inquire about Kelvin Sampson (NC native) at Oklahoma. I also like Kevin Stallings of Vanderbilt (former assistant to Gene Keady at Purdue and Roy Williams at Kansas) who has done impressive things for the Commodores. As a backup plan, I would talk to the aforementioned Gregg Marshall or Jeff Capel (but I personally feel they need more time before jumping to the ACC). My choice? Stallings. Sure, go with Barnes or Smith, if a viable option, but I am assuming Barnes and Smith are pipe dreams and Lutz will stay at Charlotte for the long haul.

Nicklaus Update

In an anticpated move, Jack Nicklaus will likely miss The Masters in early April. He plans to spend more time with his family in the aftermath of his grandson's passing. He does plan to play the British Open at St. Andrews with his son Steve (the father of the deceased Jake) on his bag.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Republican men

The editor of Playgirl has apparently acknowledged that she is a Republican. I was glad Drudge had excerpts of her reasoning, as I will not be picking up a Playgirl to read it first-hand. As a humble Republican man, I appreciate the wisdom of her comments about guys like me.

Flag Amendment

If a flag burning amendment was not passed in the wake of 9/11, I doubt it will ever happen. But, you can't blame Senator Hatch for trying. He has been a stalwart proponent of such an amendment for years.

Annexation

North Carolina annexation law is a problem that needs to be addressed by the General Assembly. This is becoming more evident with each passing year as more lawsuits are filed by residents who oppose being annexed by cities.

Senator Hamilton Horton (R-Forsyth) is one legislator who believes that this issue needs to addressed. This is of note particulraly because he hails from a metropolitan area. A bill in the NC Senate (among several being filed) would go a long way towards helping resolve current headaches. However, it is clear that this will be an uphill battle as Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand (D-Cumberland) opposes reform.

This could be an issue with which NC Republicans could make some hay. Only time will tell if there is any measure of success.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Time to beat a dead horse

As a graduate of the "University of the People" in Chapel Hill, I am well-schooled in the ways of liberal professors who like to 1) hear themselves talk and 2) bask in the glow of self-importance. (Lucky for me I managed to avoid taking classes from these aforesaid professors - mine were all exemplary educators.) However, no one ever hears about the wonderful things the great teachers are doing. Instead, all we see or hear from Chapel Hill comes from the loudmouths who need to run down to PetSmart to buy a muzzle. (Aside here to ask the undying question...should it be Pet Smart or Pets Mart?)

Let me now reintroduce you to the liberal establishment at UNC. They like to hear from their point of view (and defend their propaganda on First Amendment grounds) but will not stand for any opposing viewpoint (First Amendment be damned). The current brouhaha centers on the Pope Foundation. The Pope Foundation is a conservative organization that would like to assist in funding the study of "Studies in Western Cultures." That sounds pretty good so far. Since UNC students get poured into classes to study eastern culture, Latin American culture, and African culture, it only seems fair to include western culture in the mix if we are to offer a liberal arts education. (As I recollect the old course list I remember my surprise at the number of courses taught about foreign cultures.) But, the liberal establishment has gone berserk. They think it would be appalling for UNC (the University of Neosocialist Communism perhaps?) to take money that is from a conservative group. I would be curious to know if any UNC professors have ever received a grant from a liberal-leaning organization like the Sierra Club.

This all comes on the heels of the throwdown over Alpha Iota Omega - the Christian fraternity that refused to sign the nondiscrimination policy with the knowledge that they will discriminate by not allowing non-Christians or homosexuals to join. The University took a silly position when they revoked the organization's standing as a recognized student group and then somehow managed to have the backbone to stand by the silliness.

Add in the new John Edwards "Two Americas" platform for 2008 (aka The Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity) and you have the Chapel Hill Trifecta (just not the Felton trifecta that will cut the nets down in April).

Granted, this is not a problem only at UNC or Berkeley. It is a national concern. The Ward Churchill dust-up in Colorado has angered everyone (except maybe Gary Barnett who is no longer Public Enemy #1). Note what Rosen says came from a professor in Charlottesville, "The power base of the Left in America is now in the universities...."

Yes. That is why it is imperative that free speech be protected on America's campuses. In the 1960s, the liberals demanded free speech on campus (and Chapel Hill due to the Speaker Ban Law was a major part of that). In the 2000s, it is the conservatives who are now the standard bearers for open and honest debate. It is time for the professors to ease their opposition to everything that runs counter to their beliefs and allow students the opportunity to learn by hearing all viewpoints. Only then will UNC once again be "The University of the People."

I have no problem with professors espousing their views or with an alumnus wanting to talk about poverty. I do have a problem when a University (in particular my public university) allows these individuals to drown out opposing views by either keeping the Pope Foundation away from the College of Arts & Sciences or using the public's tax dollars for political gain. Let the Pope Foundation provide the funding (or else is it hypocritical to allow professors to receive grants from the Sierra Club or to allow John Edwards to have his CPWO). These views can coexist, and when they do we may have the greatest public university in the country.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Guns and the Media

After reading two very different yet eerily similar columns this morning, I felt moved to comment on their parallels and my reactions. First, I read Peggy Noonan's column which provided suggestions for CBS to rebuild anew following Rathergate. It was an topic which was not of significant interest to me, but I found myself rapt by the amount of thought which Ms. Noonan has given to the issue. Then later, I read John R. Lott, Jr's commentary from the American Enterprise Institute in which he discussed the media coverage of the Tyler, TX shooting from February 25. Mr. Lott is an accomplished scholar in this field, and his writings are always informative.

Now, you may ask, "What does a column about the CBS rebuilding effort have to do with guns?" I suppose that would be a logical question. Bear with me.

Ms. Noonan suggests that CBS stop reporting a particular story simply because the NY Times reported it (or reporting it in the way in which the Times reported it). She suggests putting good reporters back in the field and letting them bring you the story - the whole story. Great idea, and it would be a breath of fresh air. Mr. Lott discusses the media's obsession with using every shooting as a reason for more gun control legislation and the media's repeated failure to mention the 2 million instances of defensive gun use (that saves lives). See the parallel coming?

The Times used the AP's story on the Tyler shooting. First, there was a blurb immediately following the event. Then, the feature length story on February 27 gave more detail. But, look at the coverage itself - the way the feature reads. Does it mention that Mr. Wilson (one of the victims) used his weapon defensively. Does it mention that he saved the life of Mr. Arroyo's son? No. There is no mention at all. This gets to Mr. Lott's point. Most media failed to mention the heroism of Mr. Wilson - that he risked his life to save another. His heroism was a direct result of his having a concealed carry permit and a courage we should all admire. Mr. Wilson and his defensive gun use is the lone reason Mr. Arroyo's 22 year-old son survives. Yet, the Times failed to mention this. Why? Because it gets in the way of an agenda (the agenda of Upper West Side liberals perhaps?). In fact, this heroism should have been the lead. If nothing else, this is a significant human interest story. But, heroes get in the way of agendas.

But, the times are a changin'. Mr. Lott notes that 21% of the coverage nationwide did mention our hero. Fox News, CNN, and (gasp) some CBS reports told the story of our hero and how he saved the life of another human being thanks to his defensive gun use. Maybe CBS is starting to see the light? It's about time.

It is in fact time for the media to move away from following the lead of the Times. It is time for the media to see the story and report the whole story. It is time for the media to embrace American heroes, even if the editors and producers find them to be barbaric Neanderthals for owning a gun. Let America see the truth. The truth will set you free.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Prayers for the Nicklaus Family

A personal hero of mine, Jack Nicklaus, lost a grandson today. Prayers to the entire Nicklaus family.

They Keep Pushing Jeb

In spite of his repeated assertions that he does not plan to run for the GOP nomination in 2008, Jeb Bush continues to face questions on the issue. On Sunday, John McCain (thought by many to be a possible GOP candidate) mentioned Governor Bush as a possible GOP nominee. I imagine we will continue to see this game being played until Bush's term in Tallahassee concludes in 2006.

If I was a betting man, I'd imagine Jeb joins the fray at some point. It may depend on how some of his initiatives in Florida work out (suchas Medicaid reform). We will keep an eye on how he fares in polling. So far, he is repeatedly among the top four or five GOP candidates.

Finally, I'm Back

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) now has a working website.

Senator George Allen (R-VA) will be speaking at the John Locke Foundation's 15th Anniversary dinner on March 11.

The other day, I complained about the logistics of the National Football League on Tarheel Pundits - following the Panthers announcing the end of Muhsin Muhammad's time in Charlotte. Tonight, I speak even stronger after the Patriots cut Troy Brown. He was the most important Patriot this past season as he played on both sides of the ball (basically waiving his bonus money) to give the team a shot at making the postseason. It worked out well for the team, but I suppose "Thank you" is all they were willing to give Brown in return. This is all indicative of what I see as the major drawback to professional sports, and the NFL in particular. Players should be rewarded for their efforts by having the ability to remain with a team, but the current CBA doesn't do that successfully. It is a matter of making a value judgment - is more money always the best thing for the player, the team, the league, or the fan?

On a positive note, the Panthers finally released Rodney Peete who had become more of a coach than a player.