Talk to the Hand: A Twofer of Palin Stories

Speaking at a Right-to-Life fundraiser in Ohio, everyone’s favorite ex-Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, defended her use of the now-infamous crib notes scrawled on her hand during her Tea Party Convention speech several weeks back by saying:

“If it was good enough for God, scribbling on the palm of his hand, it’s good enough for me.”

She explained that statement by citing Isaiah 49:16, which apparently makes reference to God engraving something on somebody’s palms or hands. One question, Mrs. Palin:  Really? You’re going to attack Barack Obama for using a teleprompter and then try to explain your own less-dignified use of notes by citing the Bible? Is there no low to which you will stoop? I suppose not. I actually don’t know why I’m surprised by any of this, because I think most of us have a pretty good idea of what kind of person Sarah Palin is. Of course, her vast, un-thinking throng of followers who are mesmerized by her every move were quick to defend her and condemn the “Liberal media” for blowing this story out of proportion. *sigh*

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Also in the news this week regarding Wasilla’s most famous resident was the revelation that Palin’s family used to “zoom” across the border into Canada to take advantage of that country’s universal, single-payer health care system. Now, Palin’s detractors have been attacking her left and right for this, calling her a hypocrite for once utilizing a system that she was so quick to condemn. Normally, I would do my research on the story and jump right in on the criticism, but after conducting my research on this particular story, there isn’t much to say. Yeah, it would be hypocritical, and I would love nothing more than to lambaste her for this, but it happened back in the 60s, and it was her parents using the Canadian system and not necessarily her. Plus, she was all of five or six years old, and nobody that age develops any kind of political ideology, unless they’re being brain-washed or something. Therefore, I’m going to refrain from criticizing the Great White Winker for this particular series of events, but I’m sure she WILL do something soon enough that I can make fun of.

The Problem with Missouri’s Athletic Department

No politics tonight…well, maybe later. But for now, I have bigger, more athletic fish to fry. I have a problem with my alma-mater’s athletic department. Specifically, I have a problem with the scheduling philosophy utilized by the Athletic Director and his staff. Mike Alden has been the AD at Mizzou since 1998, when he took over for the departing Joe Castiglione, who left for the University of Oklahoma. Let me be clear, this post is not a critique of Alden’s job performance, as I think he has done a better than average job. He was almost fired a few years ago, but was allowed to stay, and his selection of Mike Anderson as men’s basketball coach seems to have made up for what turned out to be the disaster that was Quin Snyder’s tenure.

That being said, I do have a serious problem with Alden in this regard:  he scheduled boring opponents for both the football and basketball teams. There’s no steak, there’s no sizzle. There’s just…mediocre teams that nobody is excited to see. It irks me to no end. Why can’t he schedule a marquee non-conference game every few seasons? Why can’t there be a marquee non-conference basketball game EVERY season? Why? Nobody has ever been able to answer that question for me. Sure, some people will say, “Why risk losing a football game that could jeopardize your bowl eligibility?” Why? Because it will energize the fan base, that’s why. And you don’t have a schedule a game that you’re probably going to lose. I just don’t buy that argument. There’s no reason why Alden can’t schedule the football team to play somebody like Tennessee or Florida State or Georgia. And there’s no reason why the basketball team can’t play a Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, etc. No reason at all.

So what prompted this post? This story followed by an exchange I had with a member of Mike Alden’s staff. Notre Dame…yes, THE Notre Dame, wants to host a game against a Big 12 team in Chicago at Soldier Field. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Still need convincing? Here are 5 reasons why Mizzou should pursue this game:

  1. The game would be on national television.
  2. Notre Dame is the premiere college football program in the country.
  3. The game would boost the football program’s exposure and reputation.
  4. This game could be a huge sell to potential recruits.
  5. A substantial amount of money could be made from gate receipts, the tv contract, concessions, etc.

As soon as I read the story, the gears started turning in my head. I was on my lunch break at work, so I decided to send the following e-mail to Mr. Alden and Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel:

Dear Mr. Alden,

As a graduate of the University of Missouri (2006-Columbia campus), I take great pride in the state of the University’s athletic programs. I think you have done a more than admirable job of raising the profile of the athletic department. That being said, I came across something today–an opportunity–that could raise the profile of the athletic department, specifically the football team, even more. I’m sure you’ve heard about this already, but the link below is to a Chicago Tribune story detailing how the University of Notre Dame is trying to line up an opponent for a 2012 game at Soldier Field in Chicago–possibly a Big 12 opponent. Needless to say, playing one of the most recognizable college football names in the country could do a lot to bolster MU’s reputation. I strongly encourage you and Coach Pinkel to contact Notre Dame about scheduling this game. I don’t how it meshes with your current scheduling philosophy, but the University would be foolish to not at least explore this opportunity. Think about it:  a nationally-televised game against the University of College Football in North America. THE Notre Dame. I’m excited just thinking about the possibility.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-0309-notre-dame-foot-chicago–20100308,0,7904379.story

Thank you for your time, sir. Again, I implore you to try to make this happen. It would be huge for the team, Coach Pinkel, the fanbase, and your legacy.

Sincerely,

Brandon
University of Missouri, Class of 2006

A reasonable e-mail, right? Well, I received an auto-reply a few moments later alerting me that Mr. Alden would be out of his office and without e-mail capabilities until next Monday. His reply also gave me the e-mail address for his assistant. I wrote a shorter version of the e-mail above to the assistant, who forwarded my query onto Mark Alnutt, who handles football scheduling. I received this response from Mr. Alnutt:

Brandon,

Thanks for reaching out to us. We are looking for home games during both these years. We’ve made a commitment to our community and fans to have at least 6 games in Columbia every year. Thanks again and we appreciate your support.

That’s it? I come to your department with a legitimate request and that’s the answer you give me? “We’re looking for home games, so we’re not even going to explore the possibility of playing the most recognized and most well-followed college football team in the entire country in a sold-out NFL stadium.” Are you serious? What kind of bullshit is that? If you’ve made a commitment to your community, then why have you moved two potential home games (Illinois and Kansas) to neutral locations? Commitment my ass. A commitment to making money, perhaps. Which also doesn’t make sense, because a game with Notre Dame would bring BANK. In case you were wondering, Mizzou’s non-conference schedules over the next few seasons rank somewhere between garbage and dog crap. Don’t believe me? Check it out here. The schedule features such powerhouse programs as Toledo, Indiana, Western Illinois, and Miami…of Ohio. Arizona State is on the schedule, but they’re not Notre Dame. Not even close.

It’s just frustrating that our athletic department schedules like they’re afraid of playing anybody good, and that’s a damn shame. Here’s a suggestion:  suck it up and play somebody, or else don’t bitch when people don’t show up to watch Mizzou play the Kent State Flashes…or whatever the hell their mascot is.

Exclusive: RNC document mocks donors, plays on ‘fear’ – Ben Smith – POLITICO.com

Exclusive: RNC document mocks donors, plays on ‘fear’ – Ben Smith – POLITICO.com.

Republicans using fear to gain a political advantage over Democrats? Surely not. They play by the rules. They would never stoop that low. They would never exploit people’s fears and appeal to their ignorance just to gain some votes, would they? Of course they would. This is what Republicans do. This is what anyone does when they know the facts aren’t on their side. The worst part? It’s going to work.

I’m Lazy

A quick thought as I take a break from work to eat some lunch: I’m incredibly lazy, and sometimes that comes back to bite me in the ass. Today, for instance, I was forced to commit a fashion crime due to my laziness. I currently don’t have any clean dress socks–again, because I’m lazy–so I’m wearing white gym socks with my brown dress shoes. Way to go, Brandon. I seriously need to get off my ass and finish the laundry.

Beauty Pageant Contestans Should be Seen, not Heard

Remember Carrie Prejean? You know, the beauty pageant contestant from California who spoke out against gay marriage when giving her answer during the, umm…question and answer session during some pageant she was in? She was subsequently stripped of her title following the pageant; she claims that this was all in retaliation to her opposition to same-sex marriage. In the aftermath of losing her title, Prejean was simultaneously hailed as a hero who stood up for what she believed in by Conservatives and labeled intolerant by Liberals.

It’s not that people don’t have to right to think and say what they want, it’s just that I’m of the opinion that if you don’t have anything constructive to add to the conversation, keep your damn mouth shut. Case in point:  Lauren Ashley. The Miss California contestant competing under the self-proclaimed title of “Miss Beverly Hills” raised the ire of everyone with a functioning brain with this gem of a take on the fate of homosexuals:

The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, ‘If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.’ The Bible is pretty black and white.

Interesting that you would bring up that particular bit of scripture, Ms. Ashley. Leviticus is the go-to passage for opponents of gay marriage, as they think that it somehow justifies their ass-backward prejudice. Ms. Ashley made the quote to Pop-Tarts, the celebrity/entertainment news wing of Fox News. Naturally, they didn’t see much wrong with the comment, and by in large have praised Ms. Ashley as being some kind of courageous hero being attacked by the Evil Left-Wing Media.

I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.

A warning? Interesting. Here’s my opinion:  If you have a viewpoint as controversial as Ms. Ashley’s,  which is your right as an American, then you better damn well prepare yourself for the  backlash that you know is coming. Because it’s our right as supporters of equal rights to call you out for your statements. It’s also our right to question whether you’re a homophobic or not. It’s also our right to ask why you hate gay people. Don’t like being questioned about something you say? Tough sh*t. Either take the criticism that’s coming to you, or shut the hell up. Freedom of speech is not blanket protection from criticism.

Gay marriage is an intensely personal subject to me, and I’m not going to apologize for saying something that may have offended somebody.  No, I’m not gay, but I have several gay friends and family members who I feel are being robbed of what should be their right to get married. This is an issue for which I not only strongly disagree with the opposing viewpoint, I don’t even recognize it as being valid. I have yet to hear a good argument from anybody as to why gay people shouldn’t be allowed to get married. Not one. The day that a gay marriage opponent can give me an argument without using the words “God,” “Bible,” “sin,” or “sanctity of marriage” is the day that I’ll actually accept that there’s an opposing viewpoint to my own on this issue. I’m not holding my breath.

This post broaches another topic that I’d like to discuss:  Biblical literalism. I don’t really have time now, but this is something I’ll get to later.

Up Tomorrow: Health Care Summit Thoughts

I’m working on a pretty lengthy post about today’s health care reform summit. I thought I was going to finish it tonight, but I’m really tired–it’s past my bedtime. The post will definitely be up tomorrow evening after I get home from work. Look for it around 8 or 9 PM.

Goodnight, all.

The Republican Approach to Health Care Reform

Here’s everything you need to know about how Republicans want to deal with reforming health care.

Yep. If you watched the health care reform summit today, you heard from the Republicans:

75% talking points

20% lies

4% subtle jabs at Democrats

1% actual ideas

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