Monthly Archives: September 2010

A Question

Stephen Colbert, a satirist on Comedy Central, testified before Congress yesterday.

In character.

Taking his blowhard comedy act to Congress, Stephen Colbert told lawmakers that a day picking beans alongside illegal immigrants convinced him that farm work is “really, really hard.”

“It turns out — and I did not know this — most soil is at ground level,” Colbert testified Friday. Also, “It was hotter than I like to be.”

Still, Colbert expressed befuddlement that more Americans aren’t clamoring to “begin an exciting career” in the fields and instead are leaving the low-paid work to illegal immigrants.

Staying in character as a Comedy Central news commentator, Colbert offered a House hearing his “vast” knowledge, drawn from spending a single day on a New York farm as a guest of the United Farm Workers.

Apparently, an entertainer appearing in character before Congress isn’t without precedent:

There was some grumbling from some lawmakers about Colbert testifying in character — an unusual approach although not unprecedented. After all, lawmakers once heard testimony from the “Sesame Street” puppet Elmo.

I’m curious as to how that testimony would have gone if Elmo hadn’t appeared in character. Would he appear as just a hand?

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NFeLons: The Woes of America’s Favorite Sport (Part 1)

In yet another batch of great news for the NFL, wide receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested on drunk driving charges this Tuesday. But don’t worry, he’ll still get to put on his jersey and play for the J-E-T-S, Jets-Jets-Jets on Sunday.

Professional sports has a problem, but the NFL has become perhaps the worst offender. Commissioner Roger Goodell has done a great job in most regards, but his focus on discipline and suspensions for “legally-challenged” players hasn’t exactly done the trick. His league is in trouble.

Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (pictured below) drew headlines earlier this year for his second (read again: second) arrest related to accusations of sexual assault. In both cases, the charges against Roethlisberger were eventually dropped, but what is certain is that Big Ben is consistently putting himself into high-risk situations. If he is being falsely accused, then perhaps he should, oh, I don’t know…stop hanging out (and drinking) with 20-year-old college students when he’s a 28-year-old NFL quarterback who carries the weight of one of the league’s most storied and reputable franchises on his shoulders?

Big Ben has been suspended for the first six games of the regular season, but he and Edwards are far from the only offenders. If you’d like to see just how many NFL players have found their way into problems leading them to stand before strict men and women wearing scary black robes, then click this link; it chronicles all NFL player-related arrests and citations since 2000 (that were more serious than speeding tickets). Just don’t try to make your way through all 517 of them, unless you have around ten hours to spare.

Some highlights from this year:

8/8/2010 – Colts DL John Gill
Incident: Arrested, charged with public intoxication. Police said he was found passed out on side of road.

Classy, John. Really, really classy.

7/1/2010 – Titans QB Chris Simms
Incident: Arrested, charged with driving while intoxicated with marijuana in New York.

Don’t worry…I’m sure you had a prescription, Chris. I’m also sure that you made Texas and your dad very proud. And by “proud,” I mean “humiliated.”

6/29/2010 – Bengals RB Cedric Benson
Incident:  Arrested, charged with misdemeanor assault stemming from May 30 incident in Austin, Texas. He allegedly punched bar employee in face.

Perhaps he was upset that the bartender didn’t recognize his picture hanging on the wall from his days as a Texas lawman. Or maybe I’m thinking of Augustus McCrae…

5/26/2010 – Dolphins DE Phillip Merling
Incident: Arrested, charged with aggravated battery on pregnant girlfriend.

You’re supposed to feel the BABY kick, not the other way around.

5/24/2010 – Chargers S Kevin Ellison
Incident: Arrested in Redondo Beach on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance: 100 pills of Vicodin.

Sounds like he was making a delivery to this guy.

5/7/2010 – Redskins TE Fred Davis
Incident: Charged with driving with a suspended license, falsely identifying himself to law enforcement.

The police were tipped off when he identified himself as “Fred Flintstone.”

4/17/2010 – Browns RB Chris Jennings
Incident: Arrested on suspicion of assault after incident with doorman in Cleveland.

This one I understand. Those doorman are really asking for it.

4/1/2010 – Browns DT Shaun Rogers
Incident: Arrested after officials said a loaded gun was found in his bag at the Cleveland airport. Rogers told officials he forgot it was there.

Sooooo…what was it there for originally?

3/13/2010 – Packers TE Spencer Havner
Incident: Arrested in California on suspicion of DUI after motorcycle accident around 2:45 a.m.

Because, after a night of drinking, why NOT ride a motorcycle?

1/17/2010 – Chargers WR Vincent Jackson
Incident: Pulled over for “loud music,” handcuffed, cited for driving with a suspended license, expired registration.

This story would be so much better if I could prove the loud music was Yo Yo Ma.

I intentionally left out the endless stream of DUI and DWI charges because it started getting ridiculous, but you can see them by visiting the aforementioned link.

The NFL’s player conduct policy is a great thing, and I’m firmly supportive of what they’ve done so far, but unless they get control of these players, America’s favorite sport is going to suffer a backlash (they have other problems to deal with – coming in Part 2).

The scary party: I’m not sure they can. These players are coddled from the time they break out in high school football, enjoy endless benefits and gain widespread notoriety as college players, and then cap it off by receiving millions of dollars to play a game. How do you control a league full of narcissists?

NFL, we’re watching. It’s your move.

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Happy 15th Birthday, Playstation

I’m a gamer.

I can’t help it. When I was in junior high, I sat at what was referred to as the “Nintendo Table.” It was not a compliment; at that time, games were for nerds. Fast-forward to 2010: games are not just mainstream, but they’ve outgrown the movie industry. Millions of gamers log in with their PS3s and XBox 360s every night to play games like Halo 3, Madden, and Modern Warfare 2. It’s actually mainstream.

Fifteen years ago today, Nintendo and SEGA’s death grip on the industry was dealt a massive blow by the arrival of the Sony Playstation. Sony was the new kid on the block, and after their CD-based game system alliance with Nintendo dissolved, they decided to release their own home console.

I remember when my brother first came home with the Playstation. He hooked it up in his room, and we spent hours going through the 12 games on the demo disc. I don’t remember what game we bought first; I know Crash Bandicoot was one of them. What I do know is that the original Playstation (and the PS2 after it) brought a lot of happiness to one nerdy, short, awkward white kid living in northwest Louisiana. I couldn’t get girls, but I got the Knights of the Round materia (if you get this reference, you’re just as geeky as I am)!

Happy Birthday, Playstation.

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The 50-Member Church and the Media Storm

If you’ve clicked onto a news web-site or watched FOX News/CNN/MSNBC the past several days, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the Florida pastor who has organized a mass burning of the Quran at his church.

“We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam. We will no longer be controlled and dominated by their fears and threats.”

…by turning us into them? This makes Christians look a whole lot like these people:

It also ignores a pretty clear message from Jesus Himself:

Matthew 5:43-44 (NKJV) – “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

And from the Apostle Peter:

1 Peter 3:9 (NLT) – Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.

If this pastor truly wanted to act scripturally, then perhaps he’d be better off organizing a prayer meeting on September 11 instead of a Quran-burning festival and pecan pie sale. Pray for Muslims around the world. Pray for a revival among them. Don’t incite them. Realize that as a Christian, what you do will be interpreted by many people as being reflective of the American Church as a whole.

I for one would like to make a point to distance myself from this pastor and his church.

And yeah, I’ll be praying for them too.

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No Swing Set for You!

According to this article from Yahoo news, swing sets are apparently too great a liability to keep at some West Virginia schools.

Swing Set

Swings are being removed from Cabell County schools in southern West Virginia in part because of lawsuits over injuries.

Cabell County schools safety manager Tim Stewart said Wednesday that a lot of parents are accusing him of being un-American, but he says the cost of maintaining a safe surface is too expensive.

Stewart says a lawsuit in the past year involved a youngster who broke his arm jumping off a swing like Superman. It was settled for $20,000.

Our country has gone beyond ridiculous.

We have developed into an overly-litigious society that seeks to remove all personal consequences from the people who are actually doing stupid things.

No swing sets? I weep for America.