Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Kickers, Kanye: Tuesday, Training

Akers had something like three chances to save my sorry butt last night during the Eagles/Falcons game. Unfortunately, his team lined up around 45 yards away from the uprights, so I can't really blame the poor soccer dropout for not completing. However, his punishment stands, and he will sit with Aaron Brooks on the bench until he shapes up.

End of week one, and I'm 0-1.

We had what was called Equal Opportunity "training" this morning. I'm not sure it qualifies, though -- we just broke up into small groups and talked about Kanye West's statement about George W. Bush being a racist, and about seven cops in Boston who are suing the police department after being fired for coming up positive for cocaine.

Afterward, a member of each group got up to tell the whole class what his group had learned. There was little if any consensus on who was to blame, but there was one issue that everyone -- instructors included -- seemed to agree on: the media exacerbated problems and put their own spin or slant on any issue they discuss.

In my group, I said that the media is just a representation of what we as consumers are shown to respond to positively, and that if there's something we don't like on television or in the papers, it's because a majority of people tend to watch or read more when stuff like that is included. That's about as far as that discussion went.

I watched a couple clips of the Daily Show last night and one consistent criticism is of Bush's "vacation" that he only cut short days after the levees broke. What on earth was he going to do, haul pallets of bottled water around? Micro-manage the relief effort?

Same thing with the "My Pet Goat" issue at the Florida elementary school on September 11. If it had been, say, Superman who had stuck around to "put on a strong front" and try to prevent mass panic, okay, I'd be mad -- Superman might have been able to do something.

But a president is just a president. He's a guy who's at the top of a very complicated iceberg made of countless programs and systems put in place in order to handle regional situations.

And it's those programs that should have been there to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, not the President of the United States. State and local governments are the ones accountable for the botched relief effort, not the White House.

I'm not saying I like the guy much. After more than four years in the Oval Office, and he's still a rotten public speaker? Give me a break.

While we're at it, let's quit this likening of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. The only thing the two have in common is the deaths of unsuspecting civilians and catastrophic damage to a city. One New Orleans councilmember said, "This is our 9/11." Your 9/11? I thought the first one was "our 9/11." No, Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster. What happened on Sept. 11, 2001, was a terrorist attack. Hurricanes will always happen, terrorist attacks will only go on as long as there is a violent, extremist, asshole/lunatic fringe being financed by people without the wherewithal to take matters into their own hands.

Well, that got violent pretty quickly. Time to tear into Tuesday's work of getting another paper ready for publication. Right after one more cup of coffee.