Monday, December 31, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterback

Titans 16 - Colts 10

In one respect, it was as expected. No surprise they lost, they played their subs in the second half. But the real surprise came from the struggle for the Titans to win against the second string and those called up from the practice squad. From the way Tennessee's QB Vince Young was playing, it was a good thing that he was knocked out of the game. Cagey veteran backup Kerry Collins did what he had to do, to get his team into the playoffs. But sadly for them, their season ends next week. San Diego should beat them handily.

One thing I was incredibly impressed with in last night's game was the level of play from the defensive subs. They made the Titans' offense work for it. They did not roll over and let them have it. And the hits, well they were bone crunching. Anyone that just watched this game will undoubtedly wake up sore.

Two things I can take away from this meaningless game for the Colts:

1. The defense is deep with talent.

2. The offense is not.

Next up will probably be San Diego. The Colts would love nothing more than to avenge the earlier loss to them, which is one they should have won. But this time, SD will come to the RCA Dome and it won't be pretty for the Chargers.

Some other observations from Week 17:

1. Congrats to the Pats on an undefeated season. But, it won't mean a hell of a lot if they do not win the Super Bowl. If things play out like they should, they will get Jacksonville first. Greg (our resident Pats fan) doesn't give Jacksonville any respect. But if the Patriots team feels that way, they may be cleaning out their lockers earlier than they want to.

2. Congrats to Rocket's Washington Redskins for making it in by the "skin" of their teeth. They will face Seattle next week. Good luck with that one.

3. Three teams from the NFC East made the playoffs. Dallas, NY Giants, and Washington. However, I certainly wouldn't say they are the best division in the league. Although their last place team (Philly) finished at .500, the AFC South was tougher. Their last place team (Houston) finished .500 and recorded two more overall wins. The NFC East had a combined 40 wins, the AFC South, 42. (Final Standings)

So for 12 teams, it's onward. For the rest, it's the old "we'll get them next year".

Friday, December 28, 2007

Maverick "The Mayor" Ballard

Maverick was a popular western TV series many years ago that attained somewhat of a cult following. I can't tell you why exactly it was so successful after the series ended, except, it could be that Americans love maverick personalities.

There's nothing wrong with it, mind you. I cannot see a thing wrong with it, when the maverick does the right thing.

In this day and age, corruption and arrogance reign supreme. Politicians court money and influence, while taking money and marching orders from powerful lobbyists. And yet, while the trend looks rather bleak to say the least, there are a handful of positive moments in politics (when a maverick not beholden to special interests can get elected to anything of any real importance).

Those of you that have been following my story of Greg Ballard and his quest to get elected Indianapolis mayor, probably already know he won. Many of you also understand that winning the election is the easy part, and the hard part will be governing. This is where it gets tricky, because this is where the successful candidate gets to show who he is beholden to and has fours years to do what he/she wants, to attain whatever objectives they all have.

So, today we have noted what kind of footing the Ballard Administration will get off on, as evidenced by the announcements in this Indy Star article. Already, the new mayor is winning respect for his choices.

Olgen Williams, chosen to be a deputy mayor, is a well-known community leader whose connections, supporters say, can help the incoming Ballard administration address the concerns of the city's poorer neighborhoods.

"He knows the neighborhoods and the players," the Rev. Charles Harrison, pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church, said of Williams. "Olgen knows everybody in the community, and he brings a collaborative approach to get others involved."

Olgen Williams is not well-known outside of Indianapolis. But that doesn't make his story any less interesting, as a sliver of it can be found further on in the article. But what many in Indianapolis may not know about this guy is, he is an excellent mediator than can see both sides of the coin. He will be a most valuable adviser for the new mayor and can work well with both political parties. He brings a lot of respect and says much about how Ballard intends to unite the city, instead of dividing it.

He is not the only appointment that has been announced so far, the others can be found here at Indiana Barrister. Not all are household names known in Indianapolis political circles. Some are new faces. Some are from the private sector and will be good for business.

Picking the right people is agonizing in some ways. But like the election itself, it is easier than having to do the job. Once all of the players are known, they must then get to work. that's where we can truly evaluate whether the team is working well together, or not.

Like I said earlier, that's the hard part.

The Role Of The Media: The Bhutto Assassination

Unless one has been in a cave the last 24 hours, we have all heard of the sad and tragic news of former Prime Minister Bhutto's demise. In light of this event, I will say it is not unexpected. Since her return to Pakistan, there has been an uneasiness and a certain level of trepidation that she was going to be killed, at some point. I felt it, many of you may have felt it, and I am sure she felt it.

During the coming days, there will be every accusation and theory as to who the responsible party is. Some of those have already surfaced. Musharraf, al Qaeda, the Taliban, will all be mentioned by the expert pundits, who will be paraded out on the news networks in the coming days (as many already have). And if you listen hard enough, search the internet long enough, you may even find someone on the fringe accuse the CIA and/or the Mossad.

The truth is, we don't know who was behind it. Almost all of those I have mentioned had a vested interest in seeing her assassinated. Their objective was two-fold: Eliminate her and create a state of chaos that will result in long-term instability in Pakistan. On these counts, both goals appear to have been met.

An even sadder truth remains, in that, we may never know the real truth. This situation is extremely complex ans murky, at best. And to think that any investigation or claim of responsibility will immediately be credible, demonstrates a naive thinking process and in some cases delusional thinking.

In the meantime, the thought of Bhutto returning to power has been set forth as an idealistic mantra and panacea that (at best) can be categorized as the same. The media has painted this picture of hope and vision, all the while it has been draped in error and miscalculation.

The build-up to her return and the possibilities it created was entirely fueled by the same media that tells us all that our soldiers are on killing rampages, targeting innocent civilians in Iraq. These are the same people who lend credibility to the thinking that the War On Terror is a bumper sticker phrase and to reporters that sit in their hotel rooms paying locals for slanted and biased accounts of events, they are too scared to cover in person.

The truth is, this woman was painted to be a saviour of sorts to her country, while ignoring how ineffective and corrupt she was while she was in power. There were elements that hated her then (and drove her out). Today, we can see there are still many that hated what she stood for, and would benefit from her death.

With all of this known, it astounds me how the media could paint her return as some bright shining moment, in the quest for the return of democracy in Pakistan. Yet, they did. I guess they wanted a story, and they got it.

So, as the expostulations and pontifications from the experts flow out of the interviews and the roundtable discussions, remember that this is not as easy to sort out, as they want us to believe. All will get their faces on TV, voices on radio, and names in the newspapers. But, Bhutto gets a funeral and the people of Pakistan get uncertainty and chaos.

Note - Here are some other views starting to emerge:

1. An excellent essay in the NT Post today about the facade of Bhutto.

2. Which goes along well, with some of what Mustang is saying in his latest post.

3. AC of Fore Left has some thoughts, some of which may differ from mine. But still, they are worth considering.

4. Interesting food for thought here at Q and O.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Will Russia Supply Iran With Air-Defense System?

The AP is reporting it will happen.

Russia is preparing to equip Iran with a powerful new air defense system that would dramatically increase its ability to repel an attack, Iran's defense minister said Wednesday.

The S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense system is capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads at ranges of over 90 miles and at altitudes of about 90,000 feet. Russian military officials boast that its capabilities outstrip the U.S. Patriot missile system.

Putin has made it clear he opposes U.S. deployment of an air-missile defense shield in eastern Europe. For whatever reasons fathomable, the Russians simply do not want it.

Whether or not the Russian government is serious about doing this, whether or not the system could be as effective as touted, remains yet to be seen. But, one thing we cannot rule out here is Russia may be using this as a bargaining chip for us to re-think our stance on the European deal (like the deal in the 60s that was produced from the Cuban Missile Crisis).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

When In Rome...

I have added some channels to my cable television package, recently. And, I have been treated to a full day of Military.Discovery.Com's all-day feature, Rome: Power & Glory. To listen to it, it sounds like a very familiar tale. Apathy, corruption, over-indulgence, high taxes, and so forth, all are pages straight out of an all too familiar script that we have in this country, right now.

The truth is, the mistakes of Rome have been repeated by many nations and empires that have followed; and yet, very few people in a position to do anything about it even realize it. Those that do have the ability to do something, wont. This is because they are the ones that are making the mistakes.

The people are either blind to what goes on, or they just don't care. As long as they can watch their ball games, watch their movies, and essentially do whatever "their thing" is, why should they?

In the days leading up to WWI, we saw this kind of love for leisure time and the malaise that leads to a civilization's decline (be it through war or attrition). What followed was a period of time that brought the world, the most senseless war of the modern age. I have heard almost every explanation for why that war was fought, imaginable. And I truly can find no real good one.

That's not to say that there haven't been other senseless wars. There was no real need for Hitler and his allies to feel the need to spread their specific brands of fascism though out the world. They weren't forced to do it. There was, however, the real need to stop them before they succeeded.

And that's not to say that I am leaving myself out of some of criticism here. After all, I am guilty of doing the Monday Morning Quarterback posts (as well as the other occasional sports posts). I love sports and good cinema with a good story/message, as much as anyone. But, I do see things that certainly concern me about the state of my nation (and others that we align ourselves with). I see us all heading down the same path as those that were once great, before us.

After saying all of this, I am quite sure that some who come hear understand what I am trying to imply here. If you don't, then I am not going to say. I'll let you think this one through on your own, because it's very likely that nothing I say is going to light up the universe in your minds. But to the many that do see it, I have a question:

Will the demise of Rome also be the current western world's destiny?

Because from what we know about the world's history, it's hard to imagine that it won't.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

Nothing too wordy this week. Just a Christmas card to all PYY readers, with a few of my favorite Christmas carols I loved as a boy (as well as now).

Little Drummer Boy

Hark The Herald Angels Sing

O Holy Night

Angels We Have Heard On High

Silent Night

O Come All Ye Faithful

To all of you that grace this blog with your presence and comments, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

(Note-this post will remain at top until after Christmas)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Meme

Getting home late, I am usually wound tighter than a drum and it takes a while to decompress completely. The nature of my job is pretty high stress and it takes its toll. And after I am finally relaxed, I get tired quickly and my eyes soon begin to cross.

When I get around to the computer, I prefer reading what I missed during the day, which means reading other blogs and whatever news I missed. So tonight, I just happened upon AC's Fore Left and what to my wondering eyes should appear? A notice, notifying him he's been tagged for a Christmas Meme. It was at that point that I strongly suspected, I'd be tagged.

And I was.

So, in the spirit of Christmas, here goes:

1. Wrapping or gift bags?

Gift bags, they can be reused. Save a tree, save the planet.

2. Real or artificial tree?

Artificial. They are safer, cheaper in the long run, and if you get some evergreen potpourri, you don't know the difference.

3. When do you put up the tree?

Usually the second weekend of December. I can't get into Christmas until December.

4. When do you take the tree down?

Whenever my wife wants it down.

5. Do you like eggnog?

About as much as I like socialism, which is slightly more than the amount I like bell peppers.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

A bicycle.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

Inside. I am too old to be decorating outside without proper supervision.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

A girl's handkerchief I got in a grab bag gift exchange at school in the 3rd grade. (This was before schools were run by a bunch of leftists.) I was traumatized until I got up Christmas morning that year and found a new bicycle under the tree.

9. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?

Mail. I get my ass chewed by a lot of people for not e-mailing as it is, how would it look if I suddenly started e-mailing Christmas cards?

10. Favorite Christmas movie?

A Christmas Carol. They do not get any better than this. As old as it is, it truly captures the true spirit of Christmas. (I also found that same magic in The Polar Express, I'd rate it second.)

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Usually in mid-December. A life-long procrastinator does not shop for Christmas any earlier. And there have been many years where, I have been out on Christmas Eve to get that one gift, I didn't have time to get.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Ham, mashed potatoes, and calamata olives. (So what if, I am a little strange?)

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

Years ago it was colored. Now it is clear. Nothing wrong with changing attitudes now and then. After all, I did vote for Jimmy Carter (once).

14. Favorite Christmas song?

Angels We Have Heard On High by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In fact, I like just about anything from TMTC, but don't tell Huckabee or James Dobson. They probably already have me in the heretic list.

Note-I won't tag anyone else (AC, being the greedy little scrooge he is, already tagged Mustang). So, I will just let whoever wants to answer in the comments, do it there.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


For an amusing look at the evolution (or devolution, if you will) of education in the United States, take a look at this recent post from Mustang at Social Sense.

Read it and see why our test scores in math are far behind many developed nations of the world.

Who Is Your Candidate?

Can't decide? Then, take this quiz.

It's not the most scientific method of determining something as important as this, and it certainly does not include an exhaustive inquiry of all of the issues. But, it's fun and beats the hell out of some of the other junk that seems to surface in the blogosphere.

Based on my answers, the Mix and Match shows Giuliani is my candidate.

Who is your candidate?

Here Comes Hilly Claus (Right Down Hilly Claus Lane)

And she has presents for everyone:

I am too old to remember just what age I was when my parents had to break the news to me: Mom and dad actually have to PAY for the things that Santa Claus brings.

That was the beginning of the end. It wasn't too many years afterward where the myth of Santa was exposed and I had to face the hard cold reality. Maybe it's time for the American people to realize that everything Hillary is proposing in this little snippet of a Christmas card political ad, will have to be PAID for. And the money will have to come from somewhere. Maybe it's time to realize this about all of the candidates that are making these outrageous promises.

I don't know about you, but it seems that there is an entire generation of Americans that view government as Santa Claus. (Thanks be to LBJ, who brought us all the Great Society.) And they, in turn, have taught this to their children and grandchildren.

Maybe it's time to expose the myth to them, as well.

(Great Big Hat Tip to AC at Fore Left for finding this video. Here is his short take on the ad.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Of Senses And Consensus

Temperatures are rising, the polar ice caps are melting, the penguins and polar bears are in danger. Soon cities like NYC and Boston will partially be under water and global warming will all be our fault.

But wait, here's something interesting.

South America this year experienced one of its coldest winters in decades. In Buenos Aires, snow fell for the first time since the year 1918. Dozens of homeless people died from exposure. In Peru, 200 people died from the cold and thousands more became infected with respiratory diseases. Crops failed, livestock perished, and the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency.

Unexpected bitter cold swept the entire Southern Hemisphere in 2007. Johannesburg, South Africa, had the first significant snowfall in 26 years. Australia experienced the coldest June ever. In northeastern Australia, the city of Townsville underwent the longest period of continuously cold weather since 1941. In New Zealand, the weather turned so cold that vineyards were endangered.

The last couple of years here, in the heartland, temps have been higher at this time of year. But this year we've had a couple of winter storms already and the low has fallen to as low as 3 degrees F. But when someone points this out, the subject shifts from global warming to "climate change". Never mind that the climate is a dynamic and ever-changing phenomenon, despite what man does or doesn't do.

So, I guess amid all of this confusing rhetoric, I have this figured out now. In summer, it's global warming. If it's an unusually cool summer, it's climate change. If it's winter, it's climate change. If it's an unusually warm winter, it's global warming. At least that seems to be the pattern, as I have noticed.

I call this talking in circles.

Another interesting thing to note is something I can thank PYY regular reader Amerloque for sharing in the comment section, of a previous post.

With all of this talk of consensus, we have seen that there really is none. As I have pointed out in a recent post, finding a consensus is not easy. There are those that say there is and those that say there isn't. Also, there are those that think man is causing this and those that don't. And if you thought you had that straight, now comes an article that shows there isn't even a consensus among those that think man is responsible for warming.

Bjorn Lomborg hardly calls himself the anti-Gore - he believes that global warming truly exists and that human beings are the central factor in its growth - but he does get labeled a climate-crisis denier. Considering the diction, that sounds like an attempt to place him in the category of a David Irving, who did jail time in Austria for Holocaust denial.

Lomborg, a Danish professor of statistics who describes himself as "a slight lefty in Denmark, which makes probably makes me incredibly left in the U.S.", offers a non-hysterical analysis of climate change in books (like "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming") and lectures.

Basically, without apocalyptic screech or a debunker's mocking contempt, Lomborg says the real discussion is "about how much we can do."

I have said it before and I will say it again: If we take care of the planet and cut back on energy consumption, it's a good thing. But, let's stop with the scare tactics and the politicization of the entire issue. There is nothing wrong with keeping the planet clean and certainly nothing wrong with educating people on how to do so. But let's not turn this into a socialism issue by punishing wealthy countries (while giving the "so-called" developing countries that are spilling tons of pollutants into the air, a free pass). It really makes no sense.

Some Funny Stuff

And it's in good taste too.

To see a cartoon with the presidential candidates singing some modified Christmas carols,
click here. Look for the Varvel's View section to the right, and click on Singing Candidates.

It's cute.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

GHWB Working With HRC?

Can't help but wonder about this one.

Needless to say, I will be waiting to see what the former president's people will say about this comment by Bill.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg Dies At 56

Here is the story.

He had been battling cancer for quite awhile. But down the stretch, the "leader of the band" was not able to fight it anymore. He was one of the defining artists of the soft-rock genre and he will be sorely missed by everyone that knew him, as well as those that loved his music.

May he rest in peace.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterback

Colts 21 - Raiders 14

First of all, I know it's still Sunday. But honestly I won't want to mess with this in the morning, before I trudge out in the ice and snow to go to work.

Secondly, the Colts deserved to lose to Oakland, but found a way to win. The Oakland fans have to be mad about that late no-call on Porter, in that final fourth down play for the Raiders. One offensive TD per game will not be enough to win another Super Bowl, no matter who the opponent is.

Thirdly, the Raiders deserve some real credit here. They have played their asses of defensively in a lot of games that could have gone either way. They are much better than their record indicates. They need offense. They need points. They have a way of controlling the game, but cannot score when they need to.

And finally, that's all I am going to say for now. Here is your weekly football, smack-talking, prognosticating, and arrogant bragging blog post. Now, how about those Dolphins?

New Blogroll Additions

During the last local election cycle I posted a lot on the Indianapolis mayoral race. I posted it mainly for my national and international readers; but to my pleasant surprise, it generate hundreds of hits from the Indy area (as well as hundreds from outside). Of those hundreds of hits, only one reader of those posts has commented and has become a regular.

So, today I want to introduce my readers to Obob's World, which is now a part of the PYY blogroll.

In November, I was a guest on the Blog Talk Radio program entitled The Gathering Storm, hosted by AOW and WC from The Gathering Storm blog. AOW has been on the PYY blogroll for over two years now, but I have been remiss for not showing my appreciation for the invitation, by blogrolling WC's blog. It has now been rectified.

Check them both out when you get a chance, and be sure to tell them LA sent you.

New Post at PPTOG

This past week, we endured the religi-fication of the GOP race. There was one particular instance where Rev. Huckabee posed a rhetorical question designed to cast a specific doctrinal tenet of the Mormon Church, in the same light as heresy.

What that question has to do with national security, healthcare, and other pressing issues on the horizon for the U.S., I do not not know.
But my latest post at PPTOG makes an effort to answer the question. As always, feel free to read and comment if you so desire.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

This weekend, I thought we'd promote the Christmas spirit by featuring some famous Christmas songs by some prominent rock artists from over the years. Keep in mind there are so many to cover, and choosing which ones to feature was a difficult task. Be that as it may, here are a few of my favorites:

Band Aid was one of those projects where the hearts were in the right place. I am not sure how much money this song raised at the time, or if any of it ever got to the people, it should have gone to. So, it's hard to say what effect (if any) it ever had (other than being a good Christmas tune to reflect by). The song, itself, is cause to look at how truly fortunate we are to be in the position we are in; and for sure, there's a larger question we can ask ourselves in this season. But this time it's the song that asks the question, not me. Do They Know It's Christmas Time?:

This next song is a catchy little tune that brings a positive feel to the season. The video is also worth a look. It shows a young man and his younger sister goofing around in a fun way. If you've ever had teenagers, you'll appreciate it, as it shows a true love and affection between these two siblings. But I have to tell you, if I had my brain today in their energetic bodies, I'd be dangerous. Here is Elton John's Step Into Christmas:

John Lennon was a peacenik. His vision of peace as the absence of war model, was the primary inspiration for this next song. No one with half a brain would prefer war over peace, but it's not always possible. (But still, we keep hoping.) Here is his famous Christmas song Happy Christmas (War Is Over):

One of the original rock and roll Christmas songs was by an artist by the name of Bobby Helms. When it came out, it no doubt got filed into "that loud music" category by most parents of that day. Now, those parents are mostly gone and those that first listened to this next song are now grandparents. It is now a classic, here's the one and only Jingle Bell Rock:

In a fusion of what was then old school and modern music, David Bowie and Bing Crosby sang a superb duet. It was an excellent blend of style that can live on down through the ages. Here is Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth:


The PYY Global Warming Challenge

Give me Al Gore and this guy in a room and let me ask some questions.

Let's just see who wins the debate using real science. This link contains some in-depth analysis and is a lengthy, involved read. So, check it out when you are bored or snowed in.

But we all know Al wouldn't want to debate a scientist. His pastorship would be in jeopardy, his flock would be sorely disappointed, he'd lose everything and have to actually do some real work for a change.

I can almost bet that anyone that is a proponent of man-made global warming will take a look at this writer and disregard his credentials, because he "only has a master's degree". But that's okay, his masters is in science and he is using good scientific data to refute the entire crux of non-scientist theory like the ones put out by Gore Inc.

Message to Al: If I could rent a hall downtown--somewhere--for a debate with this guy (or someone else with a masters degree in science) are you game?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Recommended Reading

Mustang at Social Sense has made a good case, as to why socialism would not work so well here in the United States. If you have time, it's definitely something to read and consider.

AC at Fore Left tells us why he's disappointed in Congress and links to others that are too.

An editorial in the SD Union-Tribune sees the return of Czarist Russia, working it's way back to absolutism. The only thing missing is the principle of divine right. Or is it?

Tom Bevan of RCP has a question for Mike Huckabee. And from I am sitting, it's a valid one.

The big 2008 Election story of the week has to be the fall of Hillary Clinton. (That and the surge of Huckabee.)

Another Interesting Trans-Atlantic Discussion

Flocon never disappoints. Here, he has generated the makings of another interesting debate and discussion on imperialism. Take a look and drop a thought in the form of a comment, when you get time, if you wish.

Huckabee Record Troubling

I have resisted the urge to comment on the "holy war" now taking place in the GOP race, for awhile now. I have done this mainly because I couldn't care any less about religion as it applies to politics. And I definitely worry that the real issues are being overshadowed by the Dobson (and other evangelical) groups that want to drive the political train.

That said, here is a synopsis of Mike Huckabee's (the religious right's preordained candidate) past record, written by Deroy Murdock from the Hoover Institute. He is not a liberal and this is no hit job. So, it's good information to know before one jumps onto a bandwagon, uninformed.

The Republican presidential race has devolved into holy war. Former Massachusetts's Gov. Mitt Romney recently told voters he believes "Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior of mankind." Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee subsequently asked a writer, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

How this will cut taxes or kill terrorists remains elusive. These theological niceties also distract from the urgent task of examining Huckabee's Earthly record. His background and positions should scare the hell out of GOP primary voters.

I like Huckabee's stance on the Fair Tax. As far as I can see, he is the only one that has come out openly for it. But, I will not throw out the baby out with the bath water, for any one issue that doesn't include national security as a major component. And frankly, some of what Mr. Murdock outlines here is truly troubling. Huckabee should be given a good look, but not to to rule in.

There are several that I have ruled out as someone I wouldn't vote for. So unless I find that I have seriously misunderstood any of these things, Mike Huckabee is now on this list.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dissension In The Ranks: Democrats Blame Each Other

From the Washington Post, a paper most liberals call fair and balanced (unlike FOX News), comes this article explaining how the Dems that control Congress will likely be spending their holiday break.

When Democrats took control of Congress in January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to jointly push an ambitious agenda to counter 12 years of Republican control.

Now, as Congress struggles to adjourn for Christmas, relations between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate have devolved into finger-pointing.

Essentially, what we have is the classic blame game that usually comes with failure. Many Americans have learned that by projecting blame, they can get sympathy and respect in the same paragraph (and often, the same sentence). This group of Congressional Democrats are no different.

One simply must laugh at this prime dictionary example of a debacle. The House blames the Senate, the Senate blames the House, instead of blaming the White House.

As we note the current dissatisfaction with both houses (as reflected in poll numbers), we see that Americans may be ready to make some real changes in Congress, next time. The time sure is right. But the key will be getting some brave souls that are willing to mount a grass roots effort, for the purpose of unseating a rich and powerful incumbent. In solid blue or red districts and/or states, it may even require a rogue member of the party firmly entrenched in power (in that district) to challenge the career politician, representing them.

If the member that has taken their constituency for granted for too long (be he/she Democrat or Republican), has been a powerful machine operator for too long, he/she may not be able to stand the wrath of the many that feel let down and disenfranchised, by their dismal performance, thus far.

Under this kind of scenario, a Nancy Pelosi could be defeated by Cindy Sheehan in the primary, and be out of a job (just that quick). That's an example of an extremely left-leaning district and would be due to the perception that Pelosi is not far enough to the left, for their tastes. . Other situations may be a little more complicated, in that the officeholder may be too extreme (be they left or right). Still, other situations may involve an outright switch in parties. This will be true most notably)( in battleground areas.

But whatever scenario plays out, there needs to be some real soul searching by voters. Last election the evil/sellout (depending on your affiliation) GOP leaders lost a lot of ground and control, because the voters were not happy with their representation. They saw how ineffective and corrupt the GOP had become and voted to make a change.

Now, the same pendulum appears to be swinging backward for the very same reasons. The dissatisfaction with this Congress is much more pronounced than when the GOP was in control. This bunch has hit rock bottom, and only after a year in office. It may very well leave a sour taste in the mouths of independents, who in many cases, swing elections.

Another political strategy issue will be unfolding soon. The real question to be asking right now will be looked at more closely, as the voters pick the nominees. Will the Democratic candidates distance themselves from the Democratic Congressional leadership? (In the primaries or the general election?) With the numbers Congress is pulling in right now, it would be a very risky move on their part. But one must remember that politicians get comfy very easily, when they have a big campaign war chest.

I am sure we'll learn the answers to these questions, soon enough. I am equally sure, there's enough blame to go around, but much of it will be sorely misplaced in the external fields of energy. I cannot imagine that arrogant and corrupt politicians will ever look inward, to see where the source of the failure comes from. Meanwhile, the blame game continues unimpeded and the Democrats may be showing signs of weakness, which will ultimately result in their own self-destruction (long before the general election of 08 rolls around).

All of this may come long before the first inter-party shot is fired. And that means it's going to be a miserable holiday season for the Democrats.

Update (12-14):

Larry Sabato represents the conventional wisdom in objective political analysis. He is a smart man and I often agree with him, in his analysis. Here is his latest essay, hot and fresh off of the press.

Normally, I would defer to the good doctor, because of his many years of studying (and experience dealing with all things Washington). But after seeing what could be done in a grass roots movement in Indianapolis this past November, I have to wonder if a lot of people haven't taken some notice of the upset and how it was done. I know one thing for sure, the posts I did on this particular election netted PYY the most hits ever, from all over the country (and they are still getting hit).

In case you are not a regular reader and missed them, take a look at any one of these to get an idea. Start with the earliest and work your way back and see how the entire thing unfolded in the final days. If anyone is interested in mounting this kind of anti-incumbency campaign, it's going to be a long shot. But, this shows it can be done, if the mood is right and the work is done.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another Pacer Moment For The Ages

Three altercations in a bar over the last year or so, involving Pacer players. One at a strip club during training camp last season, one during the season at a dive, and now one the other night after drinking in another dive. The common name that surfaces is Jamal Tinsley.

Here is a cartoon by Indianapolis Star cartoonist Gary Varvel, which sums the situation up pretty well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How To Make Money While Draining Wealth Of Others

Today, we read an article from Reuters that makes a claim that the penguins in Antarctica are in danger, due to global warming.

Antarctica's penguin population has slumped because of global warming as melting ice has destroyed nesting sites and reduced their sources of food, a WWF report said on Tuesday.

The Antarctic peninsula is warming five times faster than the average in the rest of the world, affecting four penguin species -- the emperor penguin, the largest and the grandest in the world, the gentoo, chinstrap and adelie, it said.

Nothing new here. Nothing will sell faster than fear.

Now, take a look at this.

Southern Hemisphere’s ice cover now is at the same level as last June, i.e., a level seen during the last winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Besides, there are two more millions square kilometers of ice now compared to December 2006. And the large positive anomaly has persisted since September.

So, what we have here is a discrepancy. The ice is melting and yet, it's not. The poor little creatures stuck in the middle of this are these defenseless little penguins. So far, we have yet to find a slew of them dead because of warming.

I cannot count how many times, I hear global warming fearmongers state how there is a consensus among the world's greatest scientists. The UN believes there is, Al Gore believes there is, and both of those entities are duping the unscientific masses into believing it. But when the chips are down, these people never want to debate the science. It's already settled, they will say, ever so smugly.

Does this sound like it's already settled?

An international team of scientists skeptical of man-made climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore, descended on Bali this week to urge the world to "have the courage to do nothing" in response to UN demands.


Anytime a gifted medical researcher comes up with a new drug regimen for some disease process, he/she submits his/her hypothesis to a group of peers, first. That group, then, scrutinizes every scientific aspect of the proposal. The researcher usually stands on a stage or platform, presents his/her findings, then allows the group of peers to shoot critical questions toward the presenter. And you can certainly say, they are not very merciful. If it stands this test, it then goes into trials.

But, I have never seen any debate with Al Gore (or any of his cult members) sitting in front of other skeptical scientists like Dr. Vincent Gray and Lord Christopher Monckton. And believe me, there's a good reason for that.

They can't. They cannot debate scientists, because they have no credible evidence to back up their baseless claims and the skeptics would chew them up on the specifics.

No, they'd rather make movies and write books, for the specific purposes of making some money and draining wealth from the wealthiest nations. They can do that without fear of having to explain themselves before a group of real scientists that have real facts and hard scientific data.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Minimizing Losses

If they paid attention to the lectures and read the material, anyone that has taken a microeconomics course knows the concept of minimizing loss, as a common practice in business. When profit cannot be realized, this must become the focus if the business is to remain solvent and prosperous.

Shift this thinking toward the recent shooting at New Life Church, the Colorado congregation that was attacked by (yet another) deranged gunman, armed to the hilt for a little personal war, with people that likely had nothing to do with the cause of the gunman's unhappiness. Then, contrast what might have happened vs. what did, in fact, happen. It is there you will see the value of what having a gun for protection, really means in this day and age.

Meet Jeanne Assam, the lady that in all likelihood saved hundreds of lives in that church Sunday.

Many that are predisposed to being adverse to the licensing and carrying of firearms as well as those that have a tendency to be critical of the Christian faith, will likely be villifying this woman as the days wear on. But, when you do the math and count the heads, be sure you consider the caskets that may have been used in the next few days, in the Greater Denver area.

If this woman had not had that weapon, if she had not been trained to use it, and if she had not been willing to use it, the death toll could/would have been much higher and grief would have been more abundant. As it stands now, only a few were shot before she could neutralize the threat.

This is something every anti-gun advocate cannot deny, if they have any critical thinking skills.

Monday Morning Quarterback

Colts 44 - Ravens 20

It wasn't really that close. If Indy hadn't emptied their bench (to include Jim Sorgi in for Manning), it would have been much worse. But there's no reason to run the score up and risk injury to the starters.

There is a lot of mystery surrounding Marvin Harrison's knee, as he missed another game. The word around here is, he will have a good practice session and the next day he will swell a little, the next day. So since they have demonstrated they can win without him, they are letting it take it's time to heel well. MRIs are showing the knee is heeled. (Medicine is not an exact science.)

Manning was able to seriously exploit the experience level of the Baltimore corners. Both starting CBs were out and the subs were sub-par, to say the least. The running game looked good too. Not many teams can run the ball on the Ravens, but the Colts did it well because they were able to open up their defense by forcing them to respect the long ball.

This is exactly what the Pats do with Randy Moss (who I think is the league MVP this year, no matter how deep they go into the playoffs). Maroney is nowhere near the running back Addai is, but Moss makes him look good because defenses are forced to respect the long ball. If it wasn't for Moss's threat the Pats would have had more trouble with Pittsburgh.

Mush to Rocket's chagrin, Dallas found a way to turn a sub-par performance into a win yesterday. Dallas is clearly the best team in the NFC. They have found ways to turn bad games into wins and that is the mark of a winner, right there.

All of the great teams throughout history have found ways to win, despite the fact they didn't play particularly well. The Pats may have had it handed to them last week, but to their credit they cashed it in. They had to make it happen. The Colts had a tough game against KC a few weeks ago, but found a way to do it. And yesterday, Dallas didn't look too good, but still made it happen when the game was on the line.

Jacksonville showed why they are the third best team in the AFC yesterday, bouncing right back from their humiliating defeat at the hands of the Colts last week. This is why I say, if the Jags would run their mouths less and play harder, they could get the monkey off their backs. If they whined and complained less, committed less personal fouls, they would be able to challenge for a division right now. But instead, they are relegated to being the best wild card team in the NFL. They were one cheap shot away from coming back and defeating the Colts last week, when the game was on the line.

One cheap shot from being in a division race, that's something for the Jags and their rabid fans to think about.

It's still too early to make predictions. But if you are a NE, Indy, or Dallas fan, you have to like the way your team is playing right now. (There is one playoff scenario that would have the Jags beating the Pats to play the Colts in the Dome for the AFC Championship. I would take my chance with the Pats in Foxboro, before I would risk trying to beat the Jags for a third time this year.)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

PYY Sunday Reader

IBD Says Debate In Bali Shut Down

The UN is there to discuss global warming, but what about those that have data that contradicts UN data? Answer: It's disregarded. These global warming people have their minds made up and if you present evidence that shows otherwise, it's only going to make them dig in deeper. That's science, the UN way.

The Latest VDH Essay

As usual, he does not disappoint. He has such writing talent, coupled with great substance.

WSJ: The NIE Report Really Is Bush's Fault

But it's not like the HateBush.Com people think. For some fresh perspective, give this one a read.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

Rock and Roll is for everyone. It knows no nationality, no race, no creed. Anyone who wish to partake and enjoy it, is free do do so. But it's birthplace is right here America. Several places make a claim as being the birthplace of rock and roll. But only one can claim a phenomenon and several icons, as real evidence of being the one that people think about most.

Country rock, jazz rock, folk rock, classical rock, blues rock, punk rock, alternative rock, or just plain rock and roll. It has been an evolutionary process, to be sure. (That's why I try to bring a variety of styles to this feature.) But, they all have one thing in common, this being the word rock. And when we look back for the roots of this phenomenon (they said would never last), there is a place where the heart and soul of this musical movement was conceived.

Universities almost always offer a basic rock history course for non-majors, so they can pad their GPAs. In any one of those courses, Memphis Tennessee is mentioned prominently as an early pioneer. The Memphis sound inspired many rock artists throughout the years, and it's far reaching influence is unfathomable.

Memphis is known for its blues. If you have ever walked up Beale Street on a Saturday night, you would be in heaven (if you are a fan). And since rock is a primarily a blues-based entity, there's no better place in the world to hear what rock and roll first sounded like, than in and outside the clubs that line this famous stretch.

One of the more avant garde (at the time) artists came in the rockabilly era, and certainly helped shape the early style of one little band you may remember, the four moptops from Liverpool. Listen to an early Beatle song and you'll hear Carl Perkins. Here is the song that has probably been replayed more times than we can all count, Blue Suede Shoes:

Jerry Lee Lewis was another legend that helped integrate the piano into the rock and roll sound. He and guys like Fats Domino helped make the piano a cornerstone instrument, as equal to (or more so than) the guitar. And was he ever a talented showman. Here is one of his signature songs, Chantilly Lace:

When I was in Memphis a few years ago, I had to go to B.B. Kings place for some BBQ and fried dill pickles. But the main reason was to hear some good blues. B.B. wasnt there that night, but the band was a good one. To see the original Lucille was a treat. Here is his signature song, The Thrill Is Gone:

Bobby Blue Bland is one that often gets overlooked as a Memphis-based artist. Here is one of his best songs ever performed by him. It's called Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City:

These previous artists are a few of the icons I spoke of that came out of Memphis. The following is the legend. He needs no introduction. Here is A Little Less Conversation:


Friday, December 07, 2007

China On Global Warming: It's The West's Responsibility

China, doing what they do best, is blaming the West and the U.S. in particular for global warming.

China insisted Friday the U.S. and other wealthy nations should bear the burden of curbing global warming, saying the problem was created by their lavish way of life. It rejected mandatory emission cuts for its own developing industries.

Environmental activists, meanwhile, labeled the United States and Saudi Arabia the worst "climate sinners," accusing them of having inadequate polices for climate problems while letting greenhouse gas emissions rise. But the activists also said no country is doing enough.

Nothing new here, it's fashionable to blame America these days.

Su Wei, a top climate expert for China's government attending the U.N. Climate Change Conference, said the job belongs to the wealthy. He said it was unfair to ask developing nations to accept binding emissions cuts and other restrictions being pushed for already industrialized states.

Because they are developing, China believes they deserve a pass. How misguided are they? Take a look at this. Then come back and tell us all how it's the West's responsibility to curb emissions. If this doesn't convince you take a look at this report from the BBC:

Los Angeles in it's smog heyday couldn't compete with this scene.

The Baltimore Nine: Where's Jesse And Al?

No, this is not a post about the Baltimore Orioles. From the Examiner comes this story of a woman that was badly beaten on Baltimore bus.

As Sarah Kreager, 26, tried to sit down on a Baltimore City bus Tuesday, police say, a middle-schooler told her she couldn’t. When she attempted to take another seat, a middle-schooler wouldn’t let her. Finally, according to police, Kreager just sat down.

She was “immediately attacked” by nine students — three females and six males — from Robert Poole Middle School. They punched and kicked her at 2:59 p.m. at the intersection of 33rd Street and Chestnut Avenue, according to Maryland Transit Administration police.

Didn't these little thugs get the word? Didn't they hear that the noose hung at the fire station was hung there by a black man?

So, where's Mayor Dixon? Where's her tersely worded statement?

Where's Jesse and Al?

Answer: They usually wait for the convictions, before they organize marches to support the thugs that commit these kinds of things.

So far, this is the punishment meted out towards these kids:

All nine suspects, ages 14 and 15, were arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Their bus tickets — provided by the school — have been revoked, Greene said.

We'll see what happens next, but we'll not hold our breath.

Reaction Mixed On The NIE Report

In regards to the recent NIE report that indicates Iran has suspended its nuclear program in 2003, it interesting to note reactions.

I have already linked to Fore Left's reaction:

...we saw one of the weirdest attacks in modern history over the eastern Syrian desert in the end of summer with Israeli jets and special forces crushing something out there. That we still don't know precisely what is itself high evidence it was something major, perhaps deal-altering. Perhaps one of the sticks in the carrot bag?

Then, we have the Islamic Republic News Agency's response:

Government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said on Wednesday that the report released by US National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) put an end to the dispute over Iranian nuclear program.

He told reporters on the sidelines of Conference of Judiciary Chiefs of the Islamic Countries that it is a confession on the part of the US administration that they wasted the time of the international community for political objectives by bringing up unfounded allegations against Iranian nuclear program.

No story like this can be complete without HateBush.Com's countless different ways to say it's all Bush's fault, and how he lied. Here's one title of one post, there are many others like it (but this one is especially funny):

White House Reveals Bush Lied: Was Told In August Iran’s Nuclear Program ‘May Be Suspended’

And now, there's John Bolton's response:

All this shows that we not only have a problem interpreting what the mullahs in Tehran are up to, but also a more fundamental problem: Too much of the intelligence community is engaging in policy formulation rather than "intelligence" analysis, and too many in Congress and the media are happy about it. President Bush may not be able to repair his Iran policy (which was not rigorous enough to begin with) in his last year, but he would leave a lasting legacy by returning the intelligence world to its proper function.

Two of these reactions are opinions put forth by people that have no agenda, rather they are thinkers that seek to put forth a possible explanation. The other two are political propaganda pieces that have a specific agenda.

Who you choose to believe indicates whether you have the ability to put forth your own theories or merely rely on scripted material that others think for you. It may very well be that the two thinkers here are wrong, but they may not be. The point is, one can fully expect the responses from the two propaganda pieces, they are similar to most responses they put out in response to events that have deeper meaning, than what normally appears on the surface. The other two are from careful thought processes, completely devoid of a predetermined desired outcome.

There are things we may never know about why this report now contradicts what has been the conventional wisdom, concerning Iran's nuclear program. I have some thoughts, but I don't always articulate them here. I have many possible scenarios that have run through my head of late, but I will save them for another day.

For now, you can buy into these reactions or you can come up with your own. But, I caution everyone not to buy into sources that have specific objectives of steering your thoughts into a ditch that has been dug and re-dug, many times over. Analytical thinking is a healthy thing, but robotic acceptance of thoughts that are intended for mind control, is anything but.


Here is a poll indicating the percentage of Americans that think Iran has stopped nuclear program. Evidently, not a lot of people aren't buying the report.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

WANTED: European Input

Rest assured that I am not on the Social Sense payroll, but my friend Mustang is looking for European opinions on immigration in Europe.





Dank u


Takk du


Note-These thank yous are sponsored by

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

Risky Romney

As Romney prepares to make a speech about his Mormon faith, there are some that think he's taking a huge gamble. Personally, I do not care about a President's faith when I cast my vote. I am not electing a pastor. I think it's a dangerous precedent for evangelicals to set. It may even partially explain the recent rise in Huckabee's numbers, especially from those that are not pleased that Romney is a Mormon. People like James Dobson seriously need to get over themselves. I am not sure about Romney either, but it isn't because he is a Mormon.

Top Five Election Mistakes, So Far

Tom Bevan has them at RCP. I am not sure I agree with the exact order Tom puts them. But by the time this campaign is over, these will seem like little things, the night is still young.

Nothing New Here

Like the heading on this item says, this is not a new thing. But Flocon is once again singing the praises of Jacques Chirac for standing up to the arrogant American empire and being right about Iraq (although the overall outcome has yet to be written). I swear, Chirac must be his Ronald Reagan. ;)

Looks Like Europeans Are Smitten By Technology

If they are not careful, they will find themselves in a similar predicament as Americans. And that would be bad. Very Bad. ;)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

For The Common Bad

In the world today, there are two predominant economic schools of thought, capitalism and socialism. Both, in their purest forms, are diametrically opposed to each other. And while neither exists (in their purest forms), the argument will always exist on which is the most efficient and which truly meets the needs of the people, best.

If you missed it, John Stossel wrote a brilliant piece at Thanksgiving, detailing the failing of socialism as it applied to the pilgrims in the new world. You can read it, here.

In a follow-up to that piece, he has written a sequel that really carves out a solid argument against the ideology that many progressives see as a panacea to everything that is wrong with capitalism.

I recommend reading both essays in their entirety. But if I had to pick one part that really makes the entire idea of "for the common good" seem flawed, it would be this:

(Emphasis is mine)

I believe in sharing. But when government takes our money by force and gives it to others, that's not sharing.

Now, you may have somewhat of a problem with my emphasis here. You may ask yourself, how does the government take our money by force?

When we earn and receive a paycheck, take a look at the withholdings. Pay close attention to the section on the check stub that says, federal tax. That is the amount that the federal government has taken from us, before we even see a dime of our earnings. It's the law. And if you really want to see where the force comes in, try being an independent contractor where no tax is withheld, and don't pay the taxes on those earnings.

Let's continue (again, emphasis is mine):

And sharing can't be a basis for production -- you can't share what hasn't been produced. My point is that production and prosperity require property rights. Property rights associate effort with benefits. Where benefits are unrelated to effort, people do the least amount necessary to get by while taking the most they can get. Economists have a pithy way of summing up this truth: No one washes a rental car.

This all boils down to incentive. Without it, human beings will be human beings.

Take a good look at the experiment in New Harmony (Indiana) in the 1800s and you will see that pure socialism failed on the smallest of scales. Imagine the outcome of such measures, should they be applied on a macro level. The USSR and China are the two that quickly come to mind. Both failed miserably under socialism and both now sport free market economies, with much greater success.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Recommended Reading

It's another long day for me. But if you want something interesting to read, I have some things here you may be interested in looking at:

Interesting discussion over at Mustang's Social Sense. Take a look here.

Equally interesting is this post by AC at Fore Left.

Interesting article over at NRO, about the efficacy of Congress. You can say NRO is biased if you want, but the vast majority of Americans think this Congress is a dismal failure (albeit for different reasons).

Today's liberalism is not your daddy's brand of liberalism. You can read about it here in the LA Times.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterback

Colts 28 - Jaguars 25

It wasn't the prettiest game, but it was enough to win.

Jacksonville, probably the biggest division rival the Colts have, is a good solid team with a hard hitting defense and an offense that likes to pound the ball on the ground. Their defense was really little match for the big plays that the Colts love to run, but the thing that kept this thing close was their ability to sustain long time-eating drives, using the run as the main weapon.

Normally, I don't gloat after wins like a lot of people do. But there are some factors here that lead me to depart from this policy, this time around.

The Jags have complained that they receive little respect in the world of professional football and to some degree, I must agree with that assessment. But the thing that hurts this team the most is their mouths. They spend more time running them in the days leading up to a match with the Colts, than actually preparing for the game. They also beat themselves by committing cheap shots against the Colts, which is something I rarely see them do against other teams.

The chip they carry against Indianapolis is two-fold.

Mike Peterson was once an Indianapolis Colt, but was not re-signed a few years back. He has carried that grudge ever since. When asked why they didn't re-sign him, Bill Polian said they only re-sign great players. Obviously that statement didn't set well with Mike.

The other facet of this animosity is Paul Spicer. He is from Indy and played for Indianapolis Northwest High School. His brother was murdered here a few years ago and to date, it has not been solved. So, being the immature being he is, he wants to transfer that bitterness toward the Colts, by running his mouth when he is town. Word has it that this time around, he stated that Peyton Manning is below average when he is pressured in the pocket. (No quarterback is as effective when there is pressure on him, but to say Manning is below average is both childish and irresponsible.)

In one sense, I can understand Spicer's anger. If my brother were murdered and the crime was yet unsolved, I might be angry too. Believe me, I feel his pain. My brother wasn't murdered, but he was killed almost 30 years ago in an accidental shooting. He would have been 45 now. So, in no way do I want to exploit any of that pain, for the purposes of this football post. But, there's a time to mourn and a time to heal. And if a person doesn't want to heal, it will affect his/her ability to function in real life.

However, playing football has nothing to do with real life. His job has nothing to do with any of this business of verbal potshots toward an opposing team's quarterback. His anger towards the Indianapolis Police Department has nothing to do with football or the Colts, which is the team he rooted for, when he was a kid. When doing his job and getting on with his life, he must learn to let go, if he is to heal properly.

I believe that Jacksonville is the best second-tier team in the NFL. Instead of harboring grudges against a team that pretty much has their number on the field, they need to look inward towards taking the next step towards greatness and reversing the results that almost always seem to haunt them, after another loss to Indy. If they do less talking in the pre-game and concentrate on winning the game, they may have a shot at greatness someday. Until then, they will be leaving Colts games with their tails tucked between their legs.

In this loss, it not only cost them the game, but has now likely cost them a shot at winning their division. That's a hefty price to pay when you are a football player, all for a few cheap verbal shots along the way.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Noose Watch: Update

Last week the Baltimore Sun brought us a story of a noose found at Baltimore fire station, which in turn inspired a certain post from yours truly. You can read the entire post, if you haven't already. But here are the highlights that are pertinent to this story:

...the person responsible may not have racist intentions......That's why it's wise to keep quiet until the whole story is better known.

Well, today the rest of the story is known.

A firefighter who reported finding a knotted rope and a threatening note with a drawing of a noose in an East Baltimore station house last month had placed the items there himself, city officials said yesterday.

The man was suspended last week for performance-related issues and will likely face additional punishment, fire officials said. Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Police Department and for Mayor Sheila Dixon, said the man admitted to the hoax and will not face criminal charges.

Officials identified the firefighter who they say acknowledged writing the note as Donald Maynard, a firefighter-paramedic apprentice who is black. Maynard could not be reached for comment.

So, once again, we have another hoax.

This is especially troubling because, as you may recall, Mayor Sheila Dixon used these words to describe the incident when the items were first brought to light:

In a written statement, Mayor Sheila Dixon said she was "outraged by this deplorable act of hatred and intimidation. ... Threats and racial attacks are unacceptable anywhere -- especially in a firehouse."

Now that we know what we know, where is the written statement condemning this act (in as harsh of terms as before the story was known)? Why is this man not being prosecuted? Is there no law for perpetrating a hoax such as this? Is this not as equally offensive, now that we know the perpetrator is black?

It would seem to me that if this thing is not a violation of the law, it damn sure should be. Otherwise, others that are in the hot seat for unrelated things will be tempted to do something like this again, to create a smokescreen for the purpose of hiding their own deeds. And as long as we have civic leaders that commit knee-jerk reactions to this kind of thing before the whole truth is known, there will be more of this kind of thing in the future.