Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Latest 'Little Chicago'

This blog post is in response and reaction to the growing numbers of online antisocial anarchists in my hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Comments made on my recent op-ed letters to our local paper forced me to call the paper's webmaster and have some of them removed.

Now I patrol that site, and many others, too--almost like a digital Batman--looking for people getting tromped by some a-hole who mistakes amoral attitude for wit, or as I so often do in my personal life, sarcasm for satire.

I was surprised when a local guy, who usually tees off on other, more susceptible parties, left a pointedly taunting, one-line comment, in the form of an out-of-state website, in online response to a local woman's recent letter lamenting about all the political 'good news' being made, when she herself was in such dire need that she made hers known right there in her letter.

The link to her letter, printed initially about a week ago, is above in this blog, as long as the newspaper continues to give it server space.

I felt I should apologize when I saw that a user named 'mrbjmandeville' from  another unnamed location had come across her open request letter online, and was appalled at the way we now seem to treat our own.

Here is his comment:
"I'm disgusted across this country. Two years and things are changing slowly, but they are changing. When a Party says NO over and over again it is hard to complete tasks. I am from massachusettes and I would like to say this. Rahnd Paul people? Give us a break. I looked at your area newspaper for the very first time, and you know what I saw? I saw some disabled person begging his fellow community members for help. How disgusting, that someone falls on hard times and has to resort to this. Sorry people but no matter what these dumb polititions tell you, 99% of people who are poor do not want to be. Of course your wonderful Gov't tells you how people love to make a way of life living off the Gov't. If you actually believe this then their is more stupidity going on out their then previously thought. Maybe a few nut jobs have made a way of life off the Gov't, but it is no way at all to live. When you are forced to get help from the Gov't they make you jump through hoops. I would like to say much much more but unfortunaltyyourpaperonlyallowssomanywords "
My response:
"Mr. BJ Mandeville,
I'd like to personally apologize for my hometown--we've gotten way out of control, and in recent years the good people I speak with always say they've heard it compared to Chicago (in the negative sense).
Don't know how or why you came across our city's paper, but this is our dire situation.
In recent years we've seen the rise of a large number of anarchistic, pseudo-intellectual, iconoclasts who only exist to cause friction in BG, often to sit back and watch it for fun.
Our local politicians are all nepotistic multiple term holders, all skillful at silencing their critics, whether remotely or personally, using subversive power-tactics.
BG has been held captive--if not kidnapped--by another element, known sarcastically as the 'good ol' boy network'.
These two elements have been very successful at undermining the well-being of all in our community who genuinely care about it, even those who do so at cost to ourselves.
Clear evidence of this is the haughty little taunt made by the very first online comment made to this poor lady's letter (the first non-political letter in weeks).
Again, I apologize for myself.
My hometown has gone to the dogs.
I couldn't help it."
Well, that's it for today.  Sorry, not open for 'comments', for similar reasons--I don't think 'commentators' on this need or deserve to be heard.  Maybe they should move out of their grandmother's basement, or get a job, but never heard with their random trash-talking again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Million-Dollar PeeWee Baseball

I've been a loyal Cincinnati Reds fan my whole life, so watching them get knocked out of post-season play in three straight games was particularly disheartening.  The 'Big Red Machine' seemed to be making a comeback, whether anybody else liked it, or not, and I found myself watching game after game in regular season play, quite early in the season, on Fox Sports Ohio, our local cable channel that carries their games.

I even set up a shortcut to their home page, and Fox Sports as well, in order to keep abreast of how they were doing, and voted at least twenty times for my favorite Reds players to make this year's All-Stars, 4 of whom did (even Joey Votto, who got in on the special vote).

Despite my status as 'just another armchair coach', and the obvious cliche of being such, I'd like to use this space on my blog to vent my frustration at several points upon which the team is not seeing any improvement--one or two of which, actually, they've been going at the wrong way for well over the 20 years I've been a more 'astute' fan of the game.

My first point is one of two major tasks I'd like to take with management--the way the Reds management handles the team's offense--in other words, hitting; I'd like to see more of it.  Here's what I mean, and how I believe it would be better promoted for the Reds--let your hitters swing away.

That's right--this isn't PeeWee league here, and yes, we're all grown-ups, just enjoying a Major League Baseball game, knocking the dust off our cleats, stepping up to the batter's box, getting our bats off our shoulders, and ignoring this weird, dogmatic practice the Reds biggest hitters have of just standing there and (horror of horrors) taking 'til you get a first called strike?  I don't know when I first started noticing this...habit, but it was really stultifying this post season to watch my team go down, game after game, inning after failed inning, when 1, 2, or even 3 runners were on base, at times with absolutely no outs, and seeing a grown man with a batting average well over .300 stand up there with his bat on his shoulder, and take a called strike as his very first pitch of each and every at-bat.

You're killing a guy, especially since he knows there's a good chance that a long-ball could turn into a broken-bat blooper due to the 'Emerald Ash Boring Beetle' munching happily on so many Pennsylvania Ash trees, anyway!

PeeWee league pitchers--bless their little hearts--often can't find the plate 9 times out of 10.  We don't see that in major league pitchers, a.k.a. experienced 'fire-ballers', 'K-Zone Kings', etc.  You get the picture--they throw strikes...a lot!


Seriously, I began physically groaning as Lazarus from the grave, I felt so sick.

The Reds were, by far, the best defensive team in the league this year, with Brandon Phillips overcoming some big injuries to become, once again, a standard web-gem provider, every time he fielded the ball.  Brandon is like the clown prince of the modern-day MLB infield.  His jaunty play, comedic antics, and humorous pranks all-too-reminiscent of the old films I've seen of Yogi Berra.

Another player wisely inducted to the Reds this season was Scott Rolen, who quickly became my favorite Reds 3rd baseman of all-time.  Nothing got by him, and his throws to first were bullet-strikes every time.
Their defense turned 142 double plays during regular season play, which was dead-center on the team stats average for 2010.  Most remarkable was their astoundingly low error count--at only 72 errors this season, they tied for the lowest, with San Diego.

Again, to my point, complete with enough 'literary method' to tick anyone off, but--well, it was what I was thinking, all season long, as I found myself acknowledging they'd see post-season play, but dreading what would happen to them if they employed the same flawed offense I'd seen them 'get away with' all year long.
Boy, was I dead-on.

Technically, they had / have great hitters, including arguably the best-hitting pitching squad of any team Cincinnatti ever fielded.  I'll get to my point: "You can't make it a team policy to have a batter take until he gets a first called strike."  I saw it go on all season long with them, too--hitter after hitter, regardless of ability, skill, or even streak-hitting, would go up to bat and stand there, looking like he literally had a manager sitting on his back to make sure he used this same 'process' to...?  Ensure he started out with one strike against him?

That stuff barely flies in PeeWee, if you're coaching a bunch of [sorry!] 'Lupus's' (the wimpy kid in the original Bad News Bears movie).

Get why?  Even a non-fan gets it!  There are plenty of bad pitches thrown well into high school leagues, but when you are talking major league baseball, it's like telling a NASCAR racer to pit his car every time he gets bumped, or more aptly, a National Football League team benching their QB every time he gets hit!

You just can't do it and survive, and if you think this is wrong...well, sorry, but it's happening with the Reds, and I've watched intently over the last few seasons as this 'method' goes 'unmentioned' by fans, announcers, and sports shows alike.

There are plenty of situations where--of course--you want a guy up there waiting for 'his pitch'; what I am talking about makes me nervous to see, though.  I lost count of the number of times Joey Votto did it--although his 'act' is better (standing as if to be up there to swing), it's still an act that will easily be seen through by every other MLB team, and until the Reds correct this problem, or at least amend this methodology somehow (and I do believe it will be through coaching, BTW!), they're going to be studied and beaten each year long before they have a chance to make post-season...

Okay, 'nuff said about that...for now...maybe.

My second big 'peeve' with my team?  Over-switching pitchers.

It's too much to ask that every year, your team has unbeatable pitching.  It's just not going to happen, for any team, for that matter.

But, going along with my similar argument for my 'offensive peeve' above, I'm going to call this one like I see it, too--using too many pitchers in a game can be discouraging for each one of them, leaving them to worry what kind of organization they're working for.

I've seen this scenario play out far too often with the Reds, again, season after season, year after year:
The starting pitcher gets into trouble, or has been in too long, when the other team's big bats are coming up in their line-up next inning.  To complicate things, someone is taking left-vs.-right pitching-vs.-batting records a wee bit too seriously, and we end up seeing three or four pitchers in one inning!  Wow! and, Why?!

Again, we're competitive...check that, and we also know some stats, too...m'kay, now.  But I think that team morale is built on personal morale--and a pitcher who knows he may be in for a single batter, and copiously, too (as in, if he can get his one or two best pitches to work in that at-bat) just isn't going to want to be there next season, when other teams just don't do stuff like that!

It's a constant vote of 'no confidence' from the top down.  It's discouraging, degrading, and it results in a demoralized team who doesn't even know how to support their pitcher (if they've seen him pitch maybe 10 pitches or less, and two or three more that game doing the same).

No wonder the Reds have almost always had two starting catchers to rotate--different methods, techniques, and even attitudes may help them meet the challenge of the constant pitcher switching that is so prevalent in Reds baseball!

Overall, I've always loved watching the Reds play--they're a real team, pulling together to show what it means to display good sportsmanship and fair play.  That, from the ground up, and the top down, always meeting in the middle.  I love that about this team, and I'll always be a fan (tried and tested after this season, surely!)

However, I can't stand idly by and let things go on that are, in my humble opinion, counter-active to this team's positivity, and refinement toward a World Series winning team as well.

Too many of them deserve that World Series ring this year, much less next, and so on.  They deserve to be winners, and, as fans, we deserve the fulfillment of that dream once again, too.

Management needs to be there for that team, and let them play ball like the greats they already are, with no strings attached.  The offense needs no fetters to hold them back--when they see a hittable ball, they need to be allowed to make their own decisions--seeing that type of thinking game going on is a huge aspect of the game that, more often than not, visibly shakes the other team into making errors, even management ones, themselves.

And, hey, I'm not talking about authorizing a bunch of 'Reggies' here, just men who have been trained to make their own decisions, even if it takes watching some more videos, even reading scouting reports on their opposing pitchers.  We don't need strike-out kings, but a mass-mounted assault on opposing pitchers, with lots of free-wheeling intelligent offensive hitting strategies.

As for the pitching, now that the Reds have the 'Cuban Missile Crisis' out there, it's no cake walk to assure Aroldis Chapman sees play in situations that both a) benefit the team, and b) ensure he doesn't end up a by-word for over-extension and injury-ridden, like Steven Strasburg--heck, everybody in the world knows Aroldis' ability is like having a fine wine stocked at a sports bar--he truly is like having a secret weapon in the bullpen.

This is an even bigger accomplishment for Chapman, since he probably set the record for most-photographed rookie in his initial outing, but my concern again, is that he's made a mockery of next year, and sent in to pitch to single batters, or even sides, which would, to me, be both a humiliating disgrace and an under use of his unique ability.

I'll watch avidly next year, but I sincerely hope things get better for the Reds hitters, and that they get to make 'big boy' decisions on the field, even if it means making a switch of another kind (and yes, I do mean management).

Maybe they should hire two or three additional managers, two more coaches, even.  I like Dusty Baker as head coach, but if any of those guys were treated like players, they'd change overnight into better decision-makers, because they'd know in their heads how it feels to be representing their team, but only part-time.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Letters to the Editor--They Get Printed!

Sometimes pushing buttons--technically speaking--can get you 'noticed'.

Especially when you're honestly trying to make a positive comment in the process...and it doesn't hurt when your local newspaper has online editorial letter submissions online, and some white space to fill occasionally.

That having been said, here's what I've said in the past few months that was 'seen fit' to print in the local 'Park City Daily News' (which of course, has nothing to do with that city, and is both 'officed' and 'produced' here in Bowling Green, KY).

If you click the title of this Blog entry, you'll get a 'Google' search for all of these, but here they are, in order of print (click the title of each to see them in their original form--if they're still taking up space on the DN's site, anyway):

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 11:28 AM CST
Why doesn’t the city offer paid wireless accounts on its new wireless Internet system?

I think it would be a great idea, because it would keep our city “greener,” make lots of quick money for the city and allow local customers within reach a permanent Internet account. If even 5,000 local customers started paying, say, $10 a month, that would be $50,000 immediately payable to say, the firemen who risked their lives for our safety and are owed hazard pay.

I remit the remainder of my time to the dummies-in-charge.

Mike Denney
Bowling Green

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:29 AM CDT

I found another way to contact Dollar General about their staying downtown - their website. It’s here:
I just submitted the following message to them:
“I know you guys have taken a little heat by closing a Bowling Green store in downtown BG that served the elderly in the downtown district here.
I love your DG Market, but we only have one, and it’s all the way across town. Why don’t you guys ‘kill two birds’ and open another one where Sav-A-Lot closed a few years back, in the 300 block of College Street?
You would easily be accessible to all the same older crowd who’ve relied on you for years, but also revitalize a fine building while opening a new market for all sorts of new customers closer to town.”

Mike Denney
Bowling Green
More investigation into Insight is needed

Friday, July 23, 2010 10:42 AM CDT

This letter is in support of Linda Matthews’ bemoaning the recent trend toward increasing ads in Insight’s programming.

I too noticed this, and also the trend toward Insight “dropping” their own ads in over other advertisers on a constant basis (many times interrupting even national ads!)

Insight appears to have “bought out” the only other competitor in the region - Comcast - by “allowing” them to show spot ads, ads merely promoting the effectiveness of “cable advertising” in the community.

Hmmm. That’s monopolistic to me.

I registered two complaints with the FCC about this by visiting their Web address at:

Although the FCC responded both times by notifying myself AND Insight, Insight’s written explanation was to blame their “new computer” in charge of scheduling ads! Worse, Insight’s response (more like excuse!) seemed to quell further FCC investigations - I got only one “follow-up” letter from the FCC, just to say it considered the “matter closed” after Insight promised they’d “been working on this diligently for a year now.” Hmmm.

I agree with Ms. Matthews, plus, I think more investigation needs to be done.

Mike Denney

Friday, September 24, 2010

Don't Kill the Jester

I'm using my blog to post my CNN response to Stephen Colbert's 'testimony' on Capitol Hill (direct link to CNN provided above):
To 'get rid of this problem' we'd have to 'get rid of' 'our fellow citizens' who also happen to be illegally hiring illegal immigrants. Far too many 'patriotic Americans'--most of whom are rich from this practice alone, much less other nefarious stuff (tax evasion)--go out of their way to look for and hire ANYONE who they see could save them any kind of buck, whether it be pennies or pesos.
When the state of our nation becomes so low we look to actors for guidance, maybe we need a trip to the library. (I know I'm starting shortly).
With all his 'tromp l'oeil' patriotism and comedic political jousting, Colbert helps me get through some of the worst, most destructive political infighting that threatens our future more every day, in ways I'm sure we'll never realize.
I'm glad he submitted his colonoscopy after his opening statement; I'm also glad he was initially regarded with such contempt at today's hearing--otherwise, his attitude and message wouldn't have seen appropriate attention.
But I'm most happy that Colbert is on TV the way he is, that he and Stewart play off each other the way they do, involving us in a healthy way--I don't think it's hurt us at all to laugh at our mistakes (especially those made in the voting booth).
King Lear's 'jester' was also his whipping boy, much despised and mistreated by Lear himself--but even the King needed his 'fool' to tell him the way, tragically all-too-late, as Shakespeare wrote it. What happened in his case wasn't funny either, but certainly preventable, as he failed to see what was going on right under his eyes, and it brought him down, dramatically.
We're the same--we're better than kings here, in the US, so we should treat those we 'work' like slaves a lot better than we would treat ourselves, primarily since all of us 'opt out' of 'that kind of work'.
What is it? Not productive enough? Too 'low' for us? No--it's just too hot.
Colbert was right--but so are those like 'thinkmonkey' who say we still don't need to give it all (gov't assistance) away for free to non-citizens--let them enjoy it when born to it, like we do. Continue taking taxes out, don't give 'em subsidies or ANY other gov't assistance (even money for education), but care enough to treat them with dignity and respect. We may even end up with better neighbors to the south, once they see we're even human anymore.

Back to here and now, with even more to say.  I also appreciate the way Colbert plays on John Stewart--it's another healthy aspect of modern American living--an inalienable right we'll all remember long after anything we trod through on C-Span (geez, I hate C-Span).

I enjoy CNN's writing much more than their 'sister station's' devotion to Hollywood, TMZ, and Nancy Grace.  It's like watching your legitimate news interest become 'The National Enquirer' or 'The Star'.  It's also like the painful process of watching CourtTV change it's name to 'TruTV', in the process dumping legitimately informative, nearly educational programming in favor of scripted--even choreographed--trash TV like 'Operation Repo', 'Full Throttle Saloon', 'Ma's Roadhouse', 'Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel', 'Party Heat', 'Southern Sting', and 'Conspiracy Theory w/Jesse Ventura'.

In other words, I enjoy reading CNNs news site much more than watching their commercial-laden cable TV drivel, especially any content involving Twitter, Facebook, and even their old stand-by, i-News.

I'd rather watch and read the news than have it texted to me by any kind of media-savvy, borderline 'tweener' media team.  Social networking may end up integral to spreading the news, even getting info to it, but opinion and information need to be related to us by those smart enough to relay it properly and reliably.

End of post.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The US Needs Eyes of Our Own in BP's Mess

With the stresses of the new 'temp-cap', the nearness of completion of at least one of the relief wells, and BP's track record, we desperately need to finish this off by putting an independent observation camera, and yes, with live HD webcam included, for ourselves.

BP's BS is pretty insulting so far.

Remember several things:
1) They lied about everything they could so far
2) Didn't provide live webcam for more than a week
3) When they did, it wasn't really LIVE, and wasn't the same HD they were using
4) After we got the HD version, we were 'docked' (so to speak) from watching the LIVE anymore, relying instead on various media reports so random and inconsistent that they make paparazzi look like Geraldo in comparison
5) Basically they're liars, and intentionally deceived us on numbers of issues, still apparently focusing on that bottom line, that is to say, 'getting that bottom oil line up to the surface, to make more money', when really, it should have been an issue involving a more aggressive approach to merely 'capping' what they screwed up in the first place!

I said it before, and here again--first of all, WE, the US, wouldn't be caught dead ruining an entire continent's coastline!

If we misanthropically got involved in something this atrocious through some faulty alliance with another ‘sovereign nation’, we'd sell our souls to make it right, and probably our childrens’, too, to pay the other nation back for their losses, forever.

That would be just.

This travesty continues to be made by BP's greed, which we're guilty of too, but here's what BP has on us—an attitude best described by using words like this--empiricism, primacy, superiority, pomposity, and, generally speaking, cockiness.

That attitude that's best captured by the guilty little smirk by Tony Hayward's face during the house hearings, even during the justifiably righteous outburst from the independent shrimper who disrupted the hearing to yell out that he should be arrested, that he was committing a crime.

And hasn’t it been a crime?  Hayward took time off for an Isle of Wight yacht race with his son  sailing the crystal clear waters off the crud-free coastline of ‘Great’ Britain while his front man stood up for the media to tell us how great he was.

Hayward was only passing down some of that civic responsibility to his son, I guess.  Hearing BP’s 2nd-in-command step up for him sounded vaguely familiar—his statements glorifying Hayward’s supposed  dedication to safety, and BP’s as well, sounded just like what we heard from Toyota during their recent ’15 minutes of shame’ (multiplied a little).

BP also lied to the Aussie news agency reporting the event by  asserting that Hayward’s absence was only temporary, that the ‘latest reports’ said he’d be returning after his ‘vacation’.

No, he didn’t.  Shortly afterward, he was gone, escaping criticism, and responsibility.

Probably found a new appreciation for the cleaner waters of home.

The Australian TV station that aired one report wrote the headline “BP Boss Tony Hayward in Another PR ‘Disaster’”.  I think they overlooked that it’s the 'Worst Man-made Disaster Ever'.

I just wish we could water down the truth like that…or at least the oil, right?

We need to 'get some eyes' of our own down there, if only just to quell any lingering 'problems' remaining to be tied off.

BP does not care—we’d be foolish to believe thy do.

If the entire coastline, hey even the entire North American continent, literally exploded in a ball of flame, BP themselves would merely yacht over to begin the economy they most likely feel they 'richly deserve' (here, here).

But, seriously--we need any high-profile people with undersea cameras (like James Cameron) to return to the scene of the crime, and monitor the aftermath for months, even years, while we set up government facilities to do the same.  After all, when it’s over, we’re not going to be the best of friends with any companies that ‘used to be’ BP, so they’re probably not going to feel ‘rich enough’ to self-govern in the future.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nose-Picking: More Acceptable than Judge-Picking

Watching CNN can sometimes incite one to hate society, and even some things that happen within our government, including our justice system. Even when you weigh all the matters as any rational person, you sometimes have to sit in wonder at what is allowed in our country.

Judges shouldn't be bought, or accept gifts--in general, it's a bad practice that leads to compromising our very foundations of society, tainting what we believe about ourselves and each other.

Yesterday afternoon I watched as CNN broke news that BP is 'requesting' a certain judge, in a certain oil-state in the US, who has previously presided over trials where the outcome was favorable for one of his biggest constituents, a corporation that won a $3 million dollar decision by his hand, or at least on of his hands, while his other hand was busy receiving gifts from that same corporation totaling over $50,000 (and that's only what was found so far).

By evening, CNN had put together this report online, complete with proof and more info proving that BP has no right to ask us for any judge--they'll get what they deserve, not what they want, or think they deserve. Entitlement is dangerous enough in America among teens; to allow it inroads into the operations of our judgeships is patently wrong, and self-destructive.

I've always thought that the major prerequisites of becoming a judge are that the candidate be above and beyond reproach, show no political favoritism, practice good judgment, and able to show compassion and mercy on the poor and unfortunate, no matter what their background, affiliation, or resources.

It is important that any trial for BP be held in Louisiana--this is far different from Katrina, which was, by New Orleans Mayor Nagin's own admission, 'an act of God' [but he said something a little different, if you], and certainly different from 9/11, which is almost 'untryable', it remains such a notorious crime against humanity...this one needs to stay in LA, and definitely out of oil territory.

You gotta love TX for what it's worth, but that trial needs to remain within the legal region it affected.

I compare this to any small town alcoholic opining on his favorite judge, who inevitably shares his problem, so that poor town drunk will be a chronic soul-mate of his 'judge', maybe even joined by that judge eventually.

We don't need to subject any of our territories to an ultimate, long-term mistrial, then be forced to watch the proceedings on the media of choice, while the entire gulf will obviously never recover from this, not in our lifetimes...think about that.

My Hometown of...'Eminent Domain'

Lately my hometown is being over-annexed by a city commision seemingly bent on securing public funds for private folly.

Nationally, 'eminent domain' has been used enough to worry smaller communities into more recent watchdog groups, and there was even a 'Heraldo' special on it on his new Fox network.

This weeks' surprise was finding out that our city commissioners (five-wide, all in assent) approved a change to move our planned parking garage for our brand-new baseball park to the local university area, which makes things much more dangerous for families trying to control children scattering downtown on the way from private lots to any future games.

My subtitle for this little 'dandy' was going to be 'Eminent Domain--Annexation without Representation", but (seriously) thanks to Google, I just discovered that I didn't invent that line.

However, the slant seems to be toward 'local line itemization' in city government--and I think it's a bad thing...m'kay?

Here's the entire post I am making toward this end on our local 'Daily News' website, before I submit it to them also as an editorial letter.

"[WKU President] Ransdell's intention to use only 100 spaces in the parking garage should have been made clear before the vote.

100 petitioners signed against the change, and more than 20 showed up to argue against it [during the vote session itself].

I, for one, feel intentionally misled.

WKU runs off private funds--that's how they name the buildings at these university-'things'!

The city doesn't need [too look like] that, and WKU isn't serving enough of our demographic to qualify for public funding.

[Therefore, I think] BG is quietly being privatized.

The new WKU football stadium is only the most obvious example.

Who can care how bad WKU's football team is getting beaten, when you can't even read the stupid sign from the 'public' road anymore!

[WKU erected a giant monolithic scoreboard that feeds only those in attendance, without even a peek at the score from the whole world outside. Without the media, we would never have even known how badly they absolutely reek!]

The city commission misrepresented the facts from the beginning of their venue change, right down to local media coverage--which 'stanks', BTW!

If they had stated WKU's paltry request from the beginning, it would have made us ALL 'balk'.

I wouldn't be surprised if [lifetime local Good Ol' Boy Warren County Judge Executive] Mike Buchannon already has plans to shut down the ballpark anyway, most likely to make room for his own giant Hummer garage.

I am openly ashamed of the way politics has messed up the downtown area.

[For one thing,] The old Jr. High would have made a wonderful Community Center for everybody."

VP Joe Biden--No Slip of the Tongue!

Now, this is the right way to react to something as dumb as Barton's apology...I now forgive Biden for his many tongue-tied media flub-ups. I guess this goes to show that it really does take an opportunity like this to build character, to form a politician's outlook, and his/her public persona. Compare this opportunity to all the flub-ups, and basically you'll begin to see a pattern that we can all learn from...give a politician enough opportunity to mis-state (as in boring media-attended dinners, tedious photo-ops, even live state of the nation-style addresses), and he'll surely mess up eventually; and yes, so would we, or else we'd be too concerned on that job, believe me.

But, give anyone, anywhere, something to say based on what they believe, and you'll end up with something almost surely famous, if not merely repeatable for generations to come. Without purpose we'll flounder, but give us a reason, and we'll all turn out smarter.

Joe Barton Privately Knighted for His Butt-Grubbery

My first submission here was prompted by an evening news report showing Texas Congressman Joe Barton apologizing to BP CEO Jack Hayward for the way his company's image had been tarnished by our government.


Herein lies the rub, as they say...except in this case, herein lies the entire, unedited context of my letter to Barton about an hour ago, which I 'emailed' him using his website contact form.

To Joe Barton:

I was sickened to hear your simpering, apologetic manner during the rightful, long overdue congressional hearings today. You should apologize to your constituency and all US citizenry for your disgusting lapdog behavior today while addressing a smirking, snotty-looking BP CEO Hayward. His attitude during the entire procedure, and of course, the entire preceding weeks, has angered me far beyond any other media personality I have witnessed in recent years.

You behaved as if you were in his pocket, sir.

I don't know you, but I assure you that your attitude today showed a severe cowardice and lack of good judgment. In the light of other recent revelations concerning Judge Lynn Hughes, I am certain the focus of the media will be on you both very, very tightly in the future weeks, and our people, the citizens of this proud country, will also be watching very closely as well, as you by no means are representing us, but both of you, yourselves, and yourselves only. Good luck in your next elections there in TX, now that we all are more concerned than ever that a foreign corporation could eventually begin buying votes there, or worse, tainting future elections using voter fraud.

Mike Denney