Once again, this post will mirror some of my Misc. news pieces, but with another new twist. This time, my post will discuss random news while paying homage to one of my favorite Westerns.
Captain Chesley Sullenberger: If ever there was a person with immeasurable valor, he would have to take a backseat to Capt. Sullenberger. The intrepid captain of the good ship US Airwaves Autobus A320 has become an instant celebrity after preventing what would have been a disaster. Using his skills and experience as a pilot, he was able to successful land the plane in the Hudson River after it experienced technical problems. After facing the mind-numbing task of landing a plane in a body of water, he and his crew still had the wherewithal to confront the chaotic problem of getting everyone off.
I fly often. So much in fact, that I get get overly confident that I will arrive to my destination without incident. But there are so many potential dangers that we face as we hit the skies. This is another example of how sudden things can occur.
All the same, God’s hand was definitely involved in this miraculous display. And indeed, all the credit in the world should be bestowed on Mr. Sullenberger and his crew. The next time I fly, I think I might personally request him.
The Heading God’s Call Activist group: Normally, religious groups make me cringe because their message usually involves a great of dogmatism and oppressive undertone. But this group’s message underscores the rampant violence in Philadelphia. Specifically, they are calling gun retailers to intensify their processes for selling guns, especially considering the risk of those guns falling in the hands of criminals. This movement is being done in response to local and state legistature being slow to act.
Gun fanatics and anti-gun zealots have argued the relationship between guns and crime to the ground. So speaking directly to their talking points is inconsequential. But I will do, at least, is give this group kudos for making some attempt – albeit potentially ineffective – to curb the violence plaguing the City of Brotherly Slayings. Whether or not their efforts are beneficial; or even sensible; is for you to decide.
Hamas and Israel (pending): For the time being, we can rejoice. Hamas and Israel have temporarily accepted a cease-fire agreement. Combat has been suspended after a 22-day assault on each other; culminating in the deaths of hundreds of people; including an unacceptable amount of civilian casualties.
I don’t expect for either side to stay in my “Good” category for long, considering all the conditions placed on the cease fire. Hamas wants Israel to leave Gaza. Israel plans to stay put. All told, I simply don’t believe there is any possible hope of lasting peace and reconciliation until Israel offers Palestinians sovereignty in Gaza. Plain and simple.
Sheila Dixon: I am at my wits end with corrupt and unscrupulous black politicians and the mawkish electorate who vote them in. Add to that list, one Sheila Dixon. By taking over $15,000 in gifts for which she was not entitled; including gift cards intened for needy families, she is now charged with 12 counts of felony thefts, fraud, and perjury.
President George W. Bush: This goes without saying. Besides, I’ve been preaching this same sermon for the past eight years. But what has been of particular interest with President Bush deals more with his departure than his tenure.
I don’t know if the rest of you caught it, but President Bush became the odds on favorite for Head Shaker of the Year during his final press conference. This press conference (or “interrogation”, based on the grilling he received), he made several tepid attempts to save his legacy for future historians. Facing questions about everything from Iraq and “Mission Accomplished”, to Katrina, to the miserable economy, this latest duck-n-d dodge performance given by the good President from Texas was his most classic. Dodging wing-tip shoes is one thing. This dude had to dodge Timberlands this time.
In true Dubya form, he never actually owned up to his mistakes. Instead, all he did was cite a few instances where a couple of things here and there could have been done differently. Not once did he accept his role in the mess left for the next person up to bat.
John Tanner: Author of a 2004 mail, indicating that he likes his coffee Mary Frances Berry style: black and bitter. See the DOJ report (page 47 for the courtesy of those who don’t want to read the entire report). For any of you who remember, Tanner was also the same guy who resigned from his post in the Civil Rights division of the DOJ, after declaring that voter ID laws discriminate more against the elderly than they do against African-Americans since African-Americans die younger.
I am not going to follow suit with many other people of color and make this an issue of race. Obviously with the black reference, the temptation is there. But I will refrain. Instead, I see this as – quite frankly – an insensitive and inappropriate statement for a person, especially one working in an area of civil rights, to make. What makes this particularly noteworthy and irksome is his lame attempt at any apology.
Roland Burris: Despite my predictions to the contrary, it looks like Roland Burris may be seated after all. Like many other people, I find it upsetting that Burris would accept a controversial appointment from an openly corrupt governor. What’s worse is that issues of race were somehow injected into this story.
But what makes this an “ugly” story instead of a “bad” story was best summed up by another Roland. CNN’s Roland Martin provided arguably the most sound commentary to be found about this issue. In a nutshell, this is a system of our own doing. Like it or not, gubernatorial appointments to the U.S. Senate are supported by law. If we don’t like it, we should change it.
Circuit City: Circuit City, a once major technology retailer, is on its last leg. Facing a looming economy and an unanticipated lagging behind competitors like Best Buy, Circuit is closing shop in all of its U.S. stories, slashing over 30,000 jobs. It does not appear that Canadian stores will be affected as of now, but time may change that.
While this might be good news for people looking to get a 42 inch flatscreen TV for a good bargin, it represents the growing list of casualties of the economic collapse.
Me (for going to the Inauguration): Crammed up with millions of other spectators. Standing in the cold for 12 hours. The 10-12 hour ride to DC by bus. The extra 10-12 hours returning home. And for what? To watch a jumbotron? I could’ve had the same experience (actually, a more comfortable experience) watching this at home. Instead, I’m stuck returning a favor to a colleague by playing chaperone to a bunch of students. Oh joy.
Let this serve as a reminder: Never owe anybody anything! When your number is called to return their favor, you can expect some bizarre and undesirable request. Don’t put yourself in the position.
Well, that’s it for now. As I just mentioned, I’m off the inauguration tomorrow. Due to heightened security, I don’t plan on bringing my laptop with me. But I’ll blog about this event when I return. For those of you who are attending, have safe travels to and from. For those of you who will not be attending, I’m jealous.
See you on the flip side.