Thursday, September 29, 2005


DeLay Indictment and Texas Law

I heard several of the conservative talking heads (including author Mark Levin) last night positing that the indictment handed down by a Texas grand jury against Congressman Tom DeLay (which can be read here) was insufficient. I suggest that they start reading the specifics of Texas law and quit dealing in generalities. Or they can turn to Southern Appeal, which has laid an excellent foundation.

In any case, it initially appears that the indictment doesn't have much of a chance of being quashed. That being said, it still appears to this observer that the prosecutors have their work cut out for them as this seems a difficult case to prove (as most cases where "intent" is the crucial element of the case). The damage here, though, is probably in the indictment, not the acquittal.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Serenity - The Movie Review

Last night, the VOLConWife and I participated in the blogger premier of the new movie from Universal Pictures, Serenity, in West Knoxville. All I had heard about the film going into the theater was that it was a sci-fi effort based on a failed FOX television show. However, I think it does this movie a disservice to pigeonhole it as a “sci-fi” movie (which has been the kiss of death for many a recent movie at the box office), because it is probably the most rounded movie I have seen this year.

I’ll provide some basic plot without giving too much away. Humans have outgrown Earth and moved to another solar system thanks to the process of terraforming (which I may not have understood completely without discussions of the theoretical process in Professor Reynolds' “Space Law” course at UT). An overbearing government creates resistance (ala Star Wars) in the form of the Browncoats, and it is from those conflicts that the crew of the spaceship Serenity is born. The “wild card” character is River Tam (played by Summer Glau), a psychic who – unbeknownst to her - has acquired an important secret and sought refuge on the Serenity with her brother, Simon. It is this secret around which the entire movie turns.

With regards to the acting, the ensemble cast is quite good. Nathan Fillion, who many people may remember from his role in the series “Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place,” has the most camera time as the Serenity’s commander. Fillion has a difficult role to play due to the complexity of his character, but he pulls it off. Adam Baldwin (Full Metal Jacket, The Patriot, Independence Day) provides humor as the brutish Jayne, and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Love, Actually) gives an extremely strong performance as “The Operative” (he really has no name, as he is an assassin for the ruling government known as “The Alliance”). While some of the other cast members have impressive resumes – Gina Torres (The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions), Alan Tudyk (Dodgeball, A Knight’s Tale, Into the West), Ron Glass (“Barney Miller”), David Krumholtz (“NUMB3RS,” Ray) – their parts are somewhat minor. Perhaps due to the strong performances of others, Sean Maher (as Simon Tam) and Jewel Staite (as the ship’s engineer, Kaylee) seem a bit overwhelmed throughout the film. Overall, though, this is a very strong ensemble cast that portrays the challenging elements of a diverse script quite well.

I can’t rave too much on the plot of this movie because it has a bit of everything in it. Lots of humor (this movie is funnier than most comedies released this year), action, plot twists, elements of government corruption, disobedience, Huxley’s “Brave New World,” tech geek worship, cannibalism, betrayal, spirituality, romance – this movie has something for everyone. The VOLConWife – no fan of sci-fi – loved Serenity, and she mentioned the variety of themes in the plot as one of the principal reasons for the high marks. She also remarked on how the two hours flew by and that she couldn't remember a movie where she was so engrossed with the action that she almost forgot she was in a theater. Trust me when I say that is high praise from her, indeed.

Overall, I – surprisingly – would have to rate Serenity as one of my favorite movies of 2005, challenging Batman Begins as my favorite movie of the year. On my traditional 1-10 scale, I would have to give Serenity a 9. That is really a high mark from me, as the complaint I most often received when reviewing movies “back in the day” was that I was too harsh. My only real complaints about this movie are that the special effects in the first twenty minutes of the movie are pretty bad. For some reason, any special effects deficiencies that may have existed were not as noticeable after the first segment of the movie. Other than that, I loved the twisting plot that was in no way obvious, the strong acting, the laugh-out-loud humor, and the societal issues explored throughout the film. This film has something for everybody, and, in these days of monumentally poor efforts by the Hollywood establishment, that is a rarity.

For other reviews, see Instapundit, GA Mongrel (who quotes some of the humorous lines), Beth's Contradictory Brain, G. Bob's House of Blog, Booklore, Rubinium, Combs Spouts Off, LiveJournal, Misplaced Keys, and Resurrection Song. In reading through the Blogosphere's reviews, it doesn't look like I was the only one to enjoy the movie.

I'm a leaf on the wind...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Movie Review Tonight!

I am looking forward to tonight's blogger preview of the new sci-fi movie, "Serenity." I know very little about the backstory of the movie, but I have been told that it is based on a short-lived television series that drew strong reviews but was cancelled rather quickly. Although my understanding is that some other bloggers are researching the story and such before viewing the movie, I have found (through my early days in journalism as a film critic) that knowing as much as the average moviegoer produces better reviews. Thus, I am staying relatively ignorant on "Serenity" until tonight's showing.

Thanks to the Instapundit for setting this up for us Knoxville-area bloggers. I will post my review as soon as the VOLConWife and I return from West Knoxville this evening.


Heart of a Champion

On the Vol Network's DVD, "This is Tennessee," there is an excerpt from one of Coach Fulmer's pregame speeches where he says:

"It isn't a sin to get blocked. It isn't a sin to get blocked, but it is a sin to stay blocked."

Rick Clausen gave that maxim a new spin Monday night against LSU. It isn't a sin to lose your starting role to an overhyped QB. However, it is a sin not to use your God-given abilities when the chance to regain your position at the head of table presents itself.

For Rick and rest of the boys who wore the Big Orange with pride in Baton Rouge on Monday night, I raise my glass. You gave your all for Tennessee tonight. Now rest up and get your heads on straight for a very beatable Ole Miss team early Saturday. I'll be there (Z11, 13th row).

Congrats, guys. Knoxville will be a much happier place this week after your efforts.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


A prayer for those in Rita's path

O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Psalms 143:1-2, 7-10 (NIV).


For a real Christmas treat...

My old Christmas tradition was taking the family out to a showing of "The Nutcracker." While I have nothing against the old ballet, the VOLConWife and I ran across another Christmas experience last year that has replaced "The Nutcracker" as our new family Christmas tradition - the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. We saw their show last year in Johnson City and were blown away.

Pre-sale tickets went on sale this morning for all of the shows on their 2005 Winter tour. I've already bought my tickets (for Johnson City again), and you can do so here.

UPDATE: The ticketing website is having a little trouble. Be persistent if you are still trying to obtain tickets for the Tennessee tour stops (Johnson City, Chattanooga, Nashville). I think you'll find that the reward is worth the effort.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Justice Ginsburg once supported lowering the age of consent to 12?

Professor Volokh shows that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did in fact endorse lowering the age of sexual consent for American youth to twelve years old. She did so in 1974 while a law professor at Columbia University.

I'm not sure what is more disturbing - the act itself or that someone who believes in the act rose to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Gov. Ernie Fletcher getting ripped in Kentucky; Race for Virginia Governor Goes Negative

SouthNow, the blog project of UNC's Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life, has a good summary of the problems Ernie Fletcher, Republican Governor of Kentucky, has run into lately. Fletcher left his cushy House seat in Kentucky's 6th District for the Governor's Mansion at the end of 2003. Given the GOP infighting and all of the indictments, one has to wonder if the good doctor (Fletcher practiced medicine for twelve years before delving into politics) wishes he was back in D.C. instead of Lexington.

SouthNow also has another interesting post on the closely-watched Virginia Governor's race. While the two party candidates (Kilgore for the GOP, Kaine for the Democrats) are finally sniping at each other, the real star of this post is a lesser-known candidate. After watching the ad for Independent candidate Russ Potts, I think SouthNow is not nearly critical enough in condemning this awful advertising effort. As Virginia blogger One Man's Trash posted regarding Bill Hillsman, who produced the ad for Potts:

"If this is the best ad genius Bill Hillsman can do, then Russ needs to cancel that check. Now."

Amen. I understand that Potts needs some help, as is the case for all Independent and other third-party candidates who lack automatic name recognition. I can't believe that this is the way to accomplish his goals. After watching the ad, I don't want to vote for Potts - I want to file motions with the court to have him and his supporters committed. Geez...

Meanwhile, One Man's Trash also breaks down some polling in Virginia that suggests Kilgore's once substantial lead has nearly evaporated. That is somewhat surprising, because Kilgore has good name recognition throughout the Commonwealth and the benefit of being able to pigeonhole Kaine with current tax-raising Governor Mark Warner. Of course, there is still over a month-and-a-half left until Election Day...


A Sad State of Affairs

OK, I can't agree with everything that Cole Stinson writes in this post, but I certainly have been overwrought with much of the same dissatisfaction lately.


First Ever VOLuntarilyConservative Contest

OK, just for kicks, let's have a little contest. The first person to answer the questions below will receive a new copy of The ACLU vs. America, the recently released book by Craig Osten and Alan Sears. I have yet to read the book (I have another copy and will be examining it soon), but it has received good reviews from the likes of Agape Press. In any case, the questions are related to Tennessee history, with a specific focus on the State of Franklin. Answers can be left in the comments section.

1) What four North Carolina counties accepted the federal offer of cessation and formed the State of Franklin?

2) Who was elected as the first governor of the State of Franklin?

3) Which of the following occupations was exempt from serving as an officeholder of the State of Franklin?
a) a doctor
b) a farmer
c) a clergyman
d) a lawyer
e) C and D
f) A, C and D
g) All of the above

4) Who led the resistance to Franklin's autonomy and eventually captured Franklin's governor, holding him for trial?

5) Which East Tennessee city has the only monument in the United States dedicated to both the Confederate and Union armies?

6) What city served as Tennessee's capital for exactly one day, September 21, 1807?

7) The world's largest artificial skiing surface is located in what Tennessee city?

8) What Tennessee lake was formed by the largest earthquake in American history?

Good luck!!


The Problem with John Roberts and Legal Positivism

The following e-mail crossed my desk yesterday through a Christian legal listserv of which I am a part. The content sparked a great deal of discussion, and, after having obtained the permission of the author, I thought it might be of interest to my readers here. Feel free to comment at your leisure.


From Day One of Roberts Hearings, September 13, 2005:

John Roberts: "It is what we mean when we say that we are a government of laws and not of men. It is that rule of law that protects the rights and liberties of all Americans. It is the envy of the world. Because without the rule of law, any rights are meaningless. President Ronald Reagan used to speak of the Soviet constitution, and he noted that it purported to grant wonderful rights of all sorts to people. But those rights were empty promises, because that system did not have an independent judiciary to uphold the rule of law and enforce those rights. We do, because of the wisdom of our founders and the sacrifices of our heroes over the generations to make their vision a reality."

This statement from Roberts demonstrates the problem inherent within his view of the law. Roberts says that he supports the "rule of law." This statement begs the question of "law" is. That question is not as easy to answer as it may seem. Roberts is operating on a positivistic view of law. The law is something that is the will of a governmental entity. An example of this can be seen in the following statement from Roberts at his hearing. "... If the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy's going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then the big guy's going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution. That's the oath." Here is the problem with this statement. He seems completely bound to the original meaning of the Constitution without exception, and I think this view of the Constitution ignores the role of a higher moral law in offering legitimacy to the positive laws of the state. What if the Constitution required that all Native Americans must be systematically exterminated? What if the Constitution required that people have a right to enslave any black person? What if stare decisis says that Roe v. Wade cannot be overturned? Is Roberts still going to just follow the text in those situations?

I am positive that this is not the view of law that dominated at the founding of the United States. Proof of this proposition lies at the essence of the Declaration of Independence. All of the signers of the Declaration agreed with the proposition that people are created by God with certain inalienable rights. This means that people have a fundamental human dignity that is rooted in a higher law that cannot be justly or legitimately violated regardless of what the will of a governmental entity may be. The legal hermeneutic of John Roberts ironically is inconsistent with the intent of the writers of the Declaration of Independence and the framers of the Constitution.

He also has a secular view of the law that says the state is the true sovereign. Here is the flaw in John Roberts' statement about the Soviet Union. He says that the problem of the Soviet Union was a failure to acknowledge the rule of law. I disagree. The greater problem problem for the Soviet Union was that it lacked a foundational recognition of human dignity or a higher moral law within its Marxist/Leninist worldview. In the Soviet view of the world, the commands of the state were the only law since the state was absolutely sovereign. Like the kings of the ancient world, it would be impossible to ever say that the sovereign has done something good or evil since that would require some independent standard that one can use to criticize the commands of the sovereign. It is possible for a state to exist where there is never a violation of the rule of law, and the law is applied perfectly in all situations, and that state could still be the most evil nation with the most genocidal mentality in the history of the world since there is no guarantee that the positivistic "rule of law" is going to protect human dignity, rather than, destroy it. Law lacks legitimacy unless it is first founded on the inviolable worth of every human being. John Roberts might argue that there is no guarantee that human dignity will be protected without the rule of law. There is truth to this. Following the commands of the state when they are consistent with the dictates of the higher moral law is critical to promotion of human dignity. However, we need to remember that there is nothing intrinsically good about the rule of positive law unless those laws are first conducive to human dignity.

UPDATE: Judging by the comments, it appears that one thing wasn't clear (although I don't understand how it couldn't be). I did not write this e-mail, guys, so referring to it as "my argument" isn't accurate. In fact, I have other, less eloquent arguments against Judge Roberts.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Rounding Into Form

OK, I admit that I have been slacking in my blogging duties lately, but “real life” has been a bit demanding lately. Between my continued education on TennCare, becoming obsessed with the fortunes of The University of Tennessee Volunteers (which were a bit shaky before the debacle at The Swamp this weekend), enjoying the last days of warm weather in 2005, and the usual items on the “honey do” list, I simply haven’t been able to keep up with work here at VOLuntarilyConservative. I’ll try to do better this week, but (as always) no promises or guarantees will be extended.

I suppose that I should offer a few specifics as to what I’ve been up to lately. Last weekend (Sept. 9-11), I took the VOLConWife on her first camping trip. It has been a long and winding road to this trip as I have dispelled certain presuppositions that she had about camping that would have made Daniel Boone think that he was “roughing it.” She felt better when I convinced her that Crazy Horse Campground (east of Gatlinburg towards Cosby) was pretty posh for a campground, complete with water, electric, swimming pool, waterslide, and game room. In any case, we had a great time (except for the out-of-control children from a neighboring campsite that left me more wanting to shoot kids instead of have kids) at Crazy Horse. We also accomplished something that we have been wanting to do for several years – climb Chimney Tops in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail to Chimney Tops – while only four miles round-trip – is very strenuous, a 1,700 foot elevation change that rises to 4,840 feet after scaling the rock face at the top of the Chimneys. The VOLConWife and I have been trying to work our way up to this goal, having hiked several trails in the Smokies and Cherokee National Forest annually, each a little tougher than the one before it. Admittedly, the gap between our last trail (the Meigs Creek Trail) and Chimney Tops was too ambitious, and the VOLConWife paid for it about ¾ of the way to the summit. She was a trooper, though, and completed the hike. The views at the top were outstanding (pictures to follow if I can ever get them developed), and I hope that she believes that the juice was worth the squeeze. I think it was, but now I need another trail to build up to. Anyone have any suggestions?

This weekend (Sept. 16-18) was built around (surprise, surprise) UT’s ill-fated trip to The Swamp. The VOLConWife and I journeyed to the Tri-Cities, saw my folks, met an old classmate from UT Law, ate at the world-famous Ridgewood BBQ, grilled some gator, and watched the game at The Undecided Philosopher’s annual UT/Florida party in Kingsport. After the game and the tirades that accompanied it, we headed back to Knoxville and were at church on time Sunday to ask for forgiveness for the thoughts I had regarding Fulmer and his staff that were certainly outside those prescribed to normal Christian doctrine. We even managed to squeeze in some tennis with my sister last night. Needless to say, this Monday, much like last Monday, has been spent with me wishing that I had a weekend to recover from my weekend.

More to come today, including a contest with a special prize, some thoughts on John Roberts (including responses to questions posted as comments in earlier posts), a new development in my life at Immanuel Baptist Church, and perhaps some analysis of how a football team loaded with talent can be made impotent when given the right coaching.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Tax vote in Nashville today

Those of you who call Nashville home are urged to make the effort to vote today on the tax hike that has been proposed for Music City. And, like any good conservative, you should vote against it.

If you need more proof, look to Nathan Moore and at the amateurish editorial pages of the Tennessean. Low voter turnout means that your vote means more, so make sure to carve out a few minutes of your time to cast your ballot before the polls close today.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Tennessee wins appeal in base closings case

I said at the time of the appeal that I thought Bredesen's decision to drag this issue into federal court on a federalism theory held more merit than the press was allowing. Judge Echols apparently agreed, granting an injunction that may save the 118th Airlift Wing from the disgraceful list of base closures compiled by Secretary Rumsfeld.

Although it doesn't carry the weight as other hot button issues, this is a nice states' rights victory in a year that hasn't seen very many of them.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


The Nomination of John Roberts

I’ve had a difficult time trying to get a handle on Judge John Roberts, President Bush’s nomination for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. His limited record as an appellate judge, disturbing patterns in case participation while a practicing attorney, and essentially worthless answers to the questioning of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary create worry. In fact, coupled with the nearly word-for-word spiel of the conservative groups that were touting David Souter as Bush-41’s pick to the Court in 1990, I have trended toward other non-reactionary conservatives who are at most against the Roberts nomination and at least remaining neutral in the whole debate. It’s not that I am against Roberts per se, but I am against someone – anyone - whom I can’t get a read on being nominated to the highest court in the land. Some say that we shouldn’t know how they will act on the bench, and I suppose those same people would support a national lottery for the vacant positions on SCOTUS. Others say that we should take Bush and his advisors at their word. As Ann Coulter wrote early on in the process, the powers that be in the GOP lost their right to the benefit of the doubt with the nomination of Souter (and they should have lost it before then, as Ann points out, with their previous nominations who turned out to be closet liberals).

After reading more on John Roberts and his caseload than I ever thought I would, I have come to the conclusion that he is probably not ideologically aligned with Justice Souter. For those not familiar with the Supreme Court alignment, here is a brief charting of the justices, as I would rate them after consultation with my Constitutional Law professor at UT, from most liberal to most conservative with the spacing showing how close the judges are aligned:

John Paul Stevens

Stephen G. Breyer – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

David Souter

(Sandra Day O’Connor)

Anthony M. Kennedy

(William Rehnquist)

Antonin Scalia

Clarence Thomas

So, where do I think Roberts fits? Probably (and I admit that this is a mere guess, even after all of the research) to the right of Justice O’Connor, the woman who he is still replacing (even with the alteration of the nomination to the Chief Justice’s position). So, if you have been satisfied with Justice Kennedy’s jurisprudence, then you should expect to be satisfied with Chief Justice Roberts. If not, well, get used to it, because there is nothing – not even criticism from conservative sources – that is going to derail this nomination. I do admit that Roberts’ road to the Court became rockier with the untimely death of Chief Justice Rehnquist and Bush’s subsequent nomination of Roberts as the new Chief Justice, but I still don’t see any way that Roberts isn’t confirmed before the new term starts in October (barring some unforeseen bombshell). Given that I don’t know who President Bush will nominate to fill the second vacancy (although several sources are tabbing Alberto Gonzales as the frontrunner, with Owens, Clement, and Brown as a second tier leading the proven conservatives of Luttig, Jones, and Wilkinson), I guess I have to be OK with Roberts.

But this whole process has made me angry. I agree with Ann Coulter – I’m angry that I even have to interpret this Rorschach blot of a nominee with a GOP POTUS and GOP-controlled Senate. I’m angry that a President that I begrudgingly assisted to win a second term stated that he was set to nominate justices that were in the mould of Scalia and Thomas but by all indications did not do so, nor did he feel comfortable with elevating either of the two benchmark justices to the position of Chief Justice. I’m angry that so many senators – including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist – were delivering ringing endorsements of Roberts before they and their staffs could have possibly reviewed his complete record, even given its abbreviated stature. Yes, I’m angry.

Maybe it’s all of the Toby Keith that I’m listening to right now, but I feel that someone in Washington owes me and everyone who voted Republican in 2004 based on the issue of judicial nominations an explanation.


Living out a fantasy

I posted earlier that the 8th Annual Confederate Football League fantasy football draft had occurred this past Sunday afternoon. I have won the league for seven seasons, and I have no plans of relinquishing the as unnamed Cup (our version of the Lombardi Trophy) this year. My team – Lords of Rocky Top - (in the order drafted) is as follows:

RB Priest Holmes
RB Jamal Lewis
WR Terrell Owens
QB Mark Bulger
WR Michael Clayton
WR Isaac Bruce
TE Dallas Clark
RB DaShaun Foster
QB Matt Hasselbeck
DEF Chicago Bears
K Sebastian Janikowski
DEF Carolina Panthers
WR Donte Stallworth
WR Peerless Price
RB Thomas Jones

I’m pretty happy with that team, especially with the two Top 5 running backs. I do feel bad, though, that I sold my soul by taking the best player left on the board in the 3rd round, the exceptional crybaby egomaniac Terrell Owens. I tend to make all draft decisions based on talent, upside, schedule, contract status, and bye weeks, but I also refuse to take players that I can’t cheer for. That usually means no members of the Falcons, Eagles, and Steelers, all teams that I have no love for, but it especially means that I try to pick players that are good guys, like Trent Green, Daunte Culpepper, Donald Driver, Warrick Dunn, and Peyton Manning. TO does not fit that mould. In fact, I dislike the guy greatly. However, there was no doubt that TO was the best player available at the 25th pick, and I needed a wide receiver. I guess the same argument could be made with Janikowski, as well, given his reported drug problems. I guess my competitive drive clouded my better judgment.

I'll have some more on the league as the season progresses. It was suggested during the draft that I should have been live-blogging the event, which I had thought of. However, I didn't want to be distracted from the task at hand – winning.


Wonderful Night of Tennis

What a fantastic night at the U.S. Open! The women took center stage (finally!) and lived up to the hype. Maria Sharapova (whom the VOLConWife begrudgingly allows me to watch play every now and then) squeaked by Nadia Petrova in three long sets, followed by Kim Clijsters outlasting an out of shape Venus Williams in three.

The Clijsters win was especially pleasing, since it allows both of the Williams sisters to return to what they really care about - reality TV shows, fashion design, etc. It's funny that Anna Kournakova became the source of such ridicule for doing the same thing from the beginning of her tennis career, yet the Williams sisters catch no flack for showing up to tournaments overweight, out of shape, or disinterested in nothing but pushing clothes. It was great to see heart win out over talent on this night. It's a shame that the women's draw is so top-heavy that matches such as these don't occur until the quarterfinals (unlike the men's draw), but that is the way things have been for as long as I have been watching tennis.

The focus returns to the men's draw on Wednesday, though, as Agassi and James Blake meet in an all-American quarterfinal. I have no rooting interest in this one, as I believe both to be the best stories coming out of the first week.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I need a weekend to recover from my weekend

Whew! What a weekend! The VOLConWife and I attended UT's disappointing performance against UAB (the University of Almost Bama, as the KNS called it) with The Undecided Philosopher, his son, and his mother. That resulted in some tired folks (sitting in the 6th row of Neyland Stadium is hotter than one would think) and one sunburned couple in the VOLConWife and myself.

Sunday was spent at church, conducting the 8th Annual Confederate Football League fantasy football draft (more on that later), and attending BoomsDay on the riverfront. Hats off to Knoxville for the BoomsDay celebration. The fireworks show has become an annual celebration for the VOLConWife and I as part of our wedding anniversary, and the show this year was the best so far and probably the best fireworks show I have ever witnessed (beating out D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, etc.). Busy Mom, guest blogging over at No Silence Here, recalls her first BoomsDay. Our experiences haven't been nearly as adventurous, but we are thinking about the boat route for next year.

Monday was spent in the Tri-Cities area with my family on Boone Lake. Nothing better for the celebration of Labor Day than Tennessee BBQ, boating, waverunners, fishing, and family. However, my old bones need a week off to recover from all of the fun this weekend provided. Alas, it's off to work this morning. I will try to work up a post on the nomination of Judge Roberts to the Chief Justice later on today if time permits. I have a few thoughts on Bush's decision (imagine that!) and recommendations of where he should go from here.

Friday, September 02, 2005


A Shocking Week

My apologies to all for the lack of posting this week. Given all that we have seen - much on an unprecedented level - there certainly has been a lot to write about. However, I have taken more of a passive roll, choosing to take in as much information as possible. Fools rush in - that could certainly be one of the mottos for the aftermath of the worst natural disaster in my lifetime. Between the oh-so-American reaction of sending money to inefficient relief agencies as a way of healing the wounds by everyone (particularly the Blogosphere), the reactionary gas hoarding through the South that drove gas prices to incredible heights, and rescue workers being gunned down by thugs in scenes that resemble Rwanda of a few years past, this has not been our nation's finest hour.

I thought we were better that this. I believe that the world thought we were better than this.

More to come later.

UPDATE: Just for clarification - I have not advocated doing nothing to help our fellow Southerners in their hour of need. Quite the opposite. However, before you cut that check to one of the popular organizations that will result in little help to the people of Louisiana and Mississippi, please bother to do some background research on how effective the organization's efforts are and what they plan to do with your hard-earned money. If you don't have the time for that, many of the smaller groups are hauling truckloads of essentials donated by Tennesseans to the disaster area. They need your help, and their efforts are more than likely to result in some real emergency relief than some of the urged efforts by several of the blogs.

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