Thursday, November 6, 2008

Baylor, Apparent Ropes Resembling Nooses, Free Speech, Mission Statements, and William Cowper Brann

Apparent noose, burned Obama signs found at Baylor U. on Election Day
officials decry acts
By Associated Press
6:27 PM CST, November 5, 2008
WACO, Texas (AP) _ Baylor University officials said they are investigating an apparent noose hanging from a tree the day Barack Obama was elected the nation's first black president. Campus authorities also responded to a barbecue pit fire where several Obama campaign signs were believed to have been burned, interim president David E. Garland said. "These events are deeply disturbing to us and are antithetical to the mission of Baylor University," Garland said in a statement Wednesday. "We categorically denounce and will not tolerate racist acts of any kind on our campus." On Tuesday afternoon at the world's largest Baptist university, some students notified officials that a rope resembling a noose was in a campus tree, Garland said. Campus police took the rope and are investigating.
"We believe that the incidents on our campus yesterday were irresponsible acts committed by a few individuals," Garland said. No students had been taken into custody as of Wednesday afternoon, Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said.

Ok, I hope that the delicate citizens of Jerusalem On The Brazos recover from the rope made into an apparent noose, and the outrage of Obama signs believed to have been burned. And whoever wrote that article with all those weak weasel words should be strung up with something resembling a noose.

I got two, count 'em, two phone calls from people wanting me to write something about this. Unbelievable.

One possible angle to take: the possible, apparent noose; the signs believed to be burned. Did something really happen or not?

Possible angle number two: We've had San Francisco sewage treatment plants named after George W. Bush. We've seen people drive tractors over Dixie Chicks CD's because of The Chicks' anti-Bush statements. A guy named Chad Morisette in West Hollywood hung an effigy of Sarah Palin in his yard for Halloween. The apparent rope that Chad used resembled a noose.
You can get more attention changing your own flat tire than you can with a flag-burning. burning campaign signs "protected speech" or not?

Angle number three: David Garland's statement that "these events are deeply disturbing to us....and are antithetical to the mission of Baylor University."
True Dat. The mission of Baylor University is to produce preachers for county seat Baptist churches, winning football teams, and alcohol-free tailgate parties for alumni. The kids don't need the distraction of politics.

Angle number four: Here's someone almost irrelevant to this story, but I found myself thinking about him a lot today after the phone calls. William Cowper Brann. Brann would've had a good time with this non-story. He woulda loved it. Would've had it three meals a day, plus rolled some of it into his cigars.
Brann was a journalist who published "The Iconoclast", one of the largest newspapers in the U.S. in the late 1890's. He was based in Waco, and spent most of his time giving Baylor University hell.
Baylor students once tied him to a tree (with an apparent rope) and horsewhipped him. There had been some unexpected pregnancies among the foreign exchange students, and someone in the Baylor President's family was thought to be the Baby-Daddy. Brann claimed that these female foreign "students" were nothing more than unpaid kitchen help, recruited by missionaries with the promise of a free education. Most of these young women came from South American Catholic families, and Brann remarked on the remarkable efficiency of producing two Baptists with only one Catholic as raw material.
At one point Brann was dragged by the neck through the streets of Waco (with something resembling a rope), and he later died in a gunfight with Tom Davis, a Baylor supporter.

Why did Davis shoot Brann? His motives were not clear. He had a daughter attending Baylor, and he had expressed his hatred of Brann on many occasions. He was also thought to have political ambitions, counting on his attack on Brann to win for him the sizable Baptist vote.

Fort Worth's Jerry Flemmons used to do a One-Man Show about the life of Brann called "O Dammit". Here are a few excerpts (all quotes from Brann) that demonstrate why Brann should have seen it coming:

I'll wager a scholarship at Baylor University that there are not in the entire Baptist ministry 100 men - not hydrocephalic - whose heads are big enough to fill a #7 hat.

The dreadful scandal at Baylor suggests that we do not hold our Baptists under water long enough.

I noticed in one of the local papers that "Dallas wants Baylor" $50,000 to $70,000 worth. Doubtless I'm a hopeless heretic, but I don't believe a damn word of it. Dallas doesn't want Baylor even a little bit. There isn't a town in this world that wants it except Waco. It is simply another Frankenstein monster that has destroyed its architect. Baylor spends no money here that is worth mentioning. Its students are chiefly forks-of-the-road yaps who curry horses or run errands for their board and wear the same underwear year round. They take but two baths during their lifetime - one when they are born, the other when they are baptized. The institution is worth less than nothing to any town. It is the alma mater of mob violence. It is a chronic breeder of bigotry and bile. As a small Waco property owner, I will give it $1,000 any time to move to Dallas, and double that amount if it will go to Honolulu or Hell.
And people claim that bloggers use a lot of unnecessary invective, and are contributing to the decline of our political discourse! (Full disclosure: My three siblings all went to a Baptist college, I'm employed by Baylor graduates, but I went to a state school. Therefore, I've been muckraking stuff like this for a long, long time.)

Anyway, if you made it this far, I apologize for not coming up with a distinct point of view on the apparent rope resembling a noose and the burning of what some believe to be campaign signs.

It's a target-rich environment.

Paragraphs That I Didn't Finish Reading....

How Obama Rewrote the Book
By Nancy Gibbs, Wednesday, Nov. 05, 2008
Time Magazine

Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope. Barack Obama....

New York Magazine
Daily Intel

One day, I was loitering on the steps of the law-school library, when a mutual friend walked over with him and introduced us. I don't think we shook hands, because I was busy clawing into a pack of Marlboro reds. We both just nodded, and Obama said, in a tone that struck me — or so I'll tell people from this day forward — as eerily presidential, "Hey, you mind if I bum one of those? I'm dying for a smoke....."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shar'iah Law

There are beliefs that expand freedom and happiness.
There are belief systems that don't.

I started reading things about this about a week ago, and I've come to believe that this account is accurate.

Of all the belief systems invented by man, this one might just be the worst.

There. I've said it.

Barack Obama - #44

We could've done much, much worse.

Yeah, he's another Democrat, but he's made comforting noises about being a Free Trader.
Yeah, he's got a Chicago background (with all that THAT implies), but other than Tony Rezko, there don't seem to be any other sleazy deals in his background.
He's got a law degree, but seems to have done no harm with it.
He's never really had to run anything, but he put together the most efficient campaign in U.S. history.

We could do much, much worse.

Today's editorial pages will probably be filled with crusty old farts telling stories about when black America didn't have the same legal status as white America.
Here are some of mine:
In the Deep South, there was something called "The Code", a set of largely unwritten customs designed to keep whites at the top of the food chain. For instance, white people usually came into town to do their shopping on Saturday morning. Black people had the afternoon. This helped avoid the awkwardness of both races waiting in the same checkout line.

Up until 1975, the doctor's office in my hometown had waiting rooms labeled as "White" and "Colored" until someone threw bricks through the windows. The windows changed, but the tradition continued until my doctor retired. Public water fountains would've been such a source of controversy that....we didn't have any.

I don't remember how I learned about this one, and I'm going to use it as a somewhat awkward analogy: It was once a major Code violation for black people to pass white people on the highway. Think about the symbolism in that one. No matter how slowly a white driver was travelling, black drivers weren't supposed to pass them.
Back in the late 1950's, a black man once passed the (white) patriarch of a family whose farm was near ours. The old white guy chased the black guy down, made him pull over, and explained to him that he'd lived 65 years without being passed by a black man (I'm using a euphemism here), and he didn't plan to start allowing it to happen anytime soon.

Barack Obama was up against a couple who owned the Democratic Party. Hillary thought the nomination was her birthright. The word "inevitability" was thrown around a lot, but Obama passed them.
Because he was the better candidate. That's all that it came down to. The Clinton's campaign manager was a little fuzzy on whether California was a winner-take-all state. They didn't have anything in place for the states after Super Tuesday. Bill wouldn't shut up. Therefore, Obama passed them.
Despite his P.O.W. status, and despite his experience in the Senate, John McCain was driving too slowly to stay in front of Barack Obama. Obama didn't just pass the old white guy, he passed him like he was going the other direction.
And while I don't think Obama will be a better president than McCain, Obama ran a much better campaign.

Here's the best thing about it....Barack Obama didn't run as The Black Candidate. He didn't go around the country saying "it's our turn". Other than one offhand remark that he didn't look like the presidents who are on our currency, he kept race out of the election as much as anyone could have.

His argument was that he was the one best suited for the job. And the fastest driver got to the finish line first.


On another note, I thought McCain's concession speech last night may have been the best of its kind. Incredibly gracious.

Obama's acceptance speech was good, but I didn't think it was his best. (This one is my favorite.) His rhetoric is part of what got him this far, and it's something we can look forward to hearing more of when he's president.

Overall, this is a good day. Obama's got a clean slate to work with, most of his opponents are going to be giving him the benefit of the doubt for at least a week, a shameful chapter of our history has come to and end, and....

I don't feel obligated to end any more posts with the words "Go Bob Barr !"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Last Minute Plea For The Libertarians

Ok, here's the last plea you'll ever read about voting for Bob Barr.

Can you look at this chart and tell when The Mommy Party (D) controlled Congress? Can you tell when The Daddy Party (R) elected a President? Or did they accomplish this through teamwork?

This is from someone named Kevin G. Hall, with the McClatchy Newspaper group.

WASHINGTON — As presidential candidates largely ignore the issue, looming fiscal challenges threaten to swamp the U.S. economy and erode America's superpower status, several of the nation's foremost experts on the federal budget warned Wednesday.
Starting in 2017, Social Security will pay out more than it takes in from tax revenues. Over the next 75 years, that could add $4.7 trillion in present-day value to the federal debt.
However, that pales when compared with projected government health-care spending on retiring baby boomers, the more than 75 million Americans born from 1946 to 1964. Boomer retirement is projected to cost the Medicare system and state-managed Medicaid $33.9 trillion in present value over the next 75 years.
Unless changes are made to benefits and/or revenues, within the next three decades government spending on Social Security and Medicare could account for $1 of every $5 spent in the U.S. economy.
This is bigger than your fear that Obama is going to take away your guns. This is bigger than your fear that McCain will overturn Roe v. Wade. The BiPartisans are hammering away at wedge issues while this ticking time bomb is going to blow up and make everything else seem irrelevant.
Get ready.
Here are the same numbers upside down, just in case you had trouble visualizing us sinking into a pit. It doesn't account for the bailout, or the last two years of "George and Dick's Excellent Adventure".

No major presidential candidate has put forward a detailed plan to fix Social Security and Medicare's long-term finances.

Notice how Kevin G. Hall, of the McClatchy Newspaper Group, had to say "major"? That's because the BiPartisans have no way of fixing this mess without alienating all of their supporters who are lined up for swill and slops at the government trough. I love that sentence. Let's repeat it.

No major presidential candidate has put forward a detailed plan to fix Social Security and Medicare's long-term finances.

The Libertarians have a plan. It's called Starve The Beast. Shut down everything we can. Now. There is absolutely no reason to wait.

Many of them acknowledge that there's a pending problem, but they confine their remedies to vague goals they'll seek or modest halfway measures.

Yeah, a pending problem. A problem for our children and grandchildren. In other words, there's nothing that could interfere with this election. In the meantime, they're going to keep yammering about "investing in infrastructure" or "investing in education" or "investing in boondoggles". They never just spend any more. They invest.

Meanwhile, experts say, mounting pressures to spend ever more on health care, fewer active workers to pay taxes to sustain retirees' benefits and growing interest payments on the national debt all could combine to create an unparalleled economic crisis.
If spending on government retirement programs remains on its current course and revenues grow at their historical averages, interest on the debt could grow to nearly 30 percent of the budget by 2040, up sharply from around 9 percent now, the Government Accountability Office estimates.

Despite such weighty fiscal challenges, politicians driven by short-term election goals focus on short-term problems. President Bush touts the now-shrinking annual federal budget deficit, the amount that annual spending exceeds tax receipts. The deficit fell from a high of $413 billion in fiscal 2004 to about $163 billion in fiscal 2007.
But that masks what's happened to the gross federal debt, the sum of outstanding debt issued by the federal government. Since fiscal 2001, the federal debt has soared from $5.8 trillion to $8.9 trillion.
Ignoring debt offers a false sense of security, Walker warned. He said that unfunded liabilities — costs such as Social Security benefits that the government has promised boomers but hasn't begun paying yet — grew by $3 trillion in fiscal 2007 to $53 trillion.

Please consider voting for Barr and other Libertarians. We're not the ones who got you into this mess, and we're the only ones who have already presented the workable plan for getting us out of it.

Go Bob Barr !

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends - Bloggers Selected For The Star-Telegram Edition

Aman Batheja of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram called me one day last week to discuss this site.
He eventually wrote a column about Fort Worth political bloggers, which you can read for the next few weeks by clicking here.
For the edification of future generations, I've also saved it here. The Star-Telegram passeth away and withereth after a fortnight, but The Sepulchre abides forever.

They sent out a photographer to take my picture. This guy went to an unbelieveable amount of trouble to take the picture, download it to a laptop, have me hold the laptop, and then take my picture again. And they actually published this portrait, despite the possible drop in circulation.

So my secret is out. Yes, The Whited Sepulchre is actually millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne.
Aman also posted more of his coversations with each blogger on the Star-Telegram's blog, along with some more pictures from my GQ photoshoot moment.
I don't think anyone will go there for our pictures, and I believe Brad Pitt's spot on the cover of GQ is safe for the moment. But a lot of these guys have some good things to say.

(Aman threw a couple more of my own in there that I didn't mention in the previous post. Here's what could happen if Creationists get their way and the Genesis story is taught alongside evolution in the schools. Aman also claimed that I "mocked" Obama's 30-minute infomercial. That is not true. I didn't mock it, I made fun of it.)

You can hit the link above to see which posts the Star-Telegram highlighted. Here are some of my picks....

The folks at WhosPlayin are Yellow Dog Texas Democrats. They've put together an online poll entitled Do You Support An Economic Rescue Plan? (I'll help you out....the only acceptable answers are #4 and #5. Vote for any of the others and your computer is immediately infested with viruses because, well, you deserve it.)

They also have an exhaustive analysis of Ken Leach's chances of defeating Michael Burgess in Congressional District #26, for those of you who think there's a significant difference in Republicans and Democrats.

The Idiot Speaketh is another Yellow Dog Democrat blog. This guy has an obsession with Sarah Palin. A life-endangering obsession. His hangups make my Al Gore fixation look like a slight nervous tic. My favorite of these posts is one that lists Palin's qualifications as compared to Kay Bailey Hutchison's, Condoleeza Rice's, and Liddy Dole's (we have TOTAL agreement on Elizabeth Dole's recent crimes against humanity). This lack of executive experience on the part of his Veep has been a huge drain on McCain, since he selected the only person on his Short List who had less executive experience than Obama.

According to the Star-Telegram, The Speaker is justifiably proud of this post, which now comes up as the #3 search result when you Google these words - Sarah, Palin, Idiot. (I'm #1 when you type in Richest, Vice, President, and I'm #2 on Al, Gore, Richest.) The fact that we know these stats is proof that The Idiot Speaketh and I might need some counseling.....

I really like this next blogger, a guy who posts at Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen. (For those of you who don't live in Texas, Dairy Queen is a fast food burger restaurant that seems to thrive in small Texas towns.) He's been putting up anywhere from 6-10 posts per week since 2005. The posts are good, like this one about Time magazine hitting his desk. Nothing earth-shattering, but there's mention of a prayer vigil at First Baptist Church. This sent the Comment Field into a rapturous discussion about....whether Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Here's the best commenter:

11:58 - Obama is not a Muslim - you must be one of those brilliant 23% of Texans that think he is.

Unbelievable! You guys make Texas a laughing stock for the rest of the nation.

Here's a joke - I heard on late night TV - Barak Obama sat in a pew at Rev. Wright's United CHurch of Christ for 20 years, which makes him a Muslim.

John McCain doesn't go to church, which makes him a Christian.

Hardy Har Har....Seriously, make up your mind when judging Obama - are you going to bash him for being a member of Rev. Wright's church for 20 years?

Or you going to claim he's a Muslim?

Oh, I know - you'll do both.

Well said.

There's only one other site mentioned on the Star-Telegram blog - A Keyboard and a .45

I like guns. I think we have a right to keep and bear arms. But this blogger makes me look like Nancy Pelosi. I mean, damn.

Here's an excellent collection of editorials and blogposts that K&45 put together on voting. Each was written from a libertarian point of view. Great stuff.

Overall, I feel like I was in pretty good company. Everyone mentioned above is now blogrolled on this site in some appropriate category.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Best That I Could Do

Today the Star-Telegram is supposed to feature this site in an article about political blogs.
I have no idea what angle they're going to take.

So if there are a lot of new people dropping in today, let me show you a few things so you'll have a general idea about what goes on here......

Here's a link to the Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup. My friend John Spivey runs the group, and it's the best way to learn more about the Libertarian Party and meet a lot of great people.
Here's a link to the Tarrant County Libertarian Party Website.

The following are links to the most popular things I've ever typed.

I've made five trips to China, and many of these next posts began their life as emails to friends and co-workers. Here's what it's like over there if your car hits a dog.
Here's what it's like in China if your washer/dryer is possessed by Satan and won't release your laundry.
Here's what it's like over there if your driver gets lost while driving you through a Typhoon.

I haven't written the one yet about getting intestinal parasites. The memories are too painful.

Lots of borderline heretical religious opinions are explored on this site. (I totally despise the influence of politics in religion and vice-versa.) Here's a representative sample called "Teaching Truth As Fact".
Here's a rant brought forth by Fox News Commentator Cal Thomas claiming that Barack Obama isn't a Christian.
If you make it that far, you may wonder if The Whos Really Can Hear Horton.
(If you found these posts even remotely interesting, opinions like these are tolerated every Sunday morning at 9:30 in room 306 at Broadway Baptist Church, just south of downtown Fort Worth. I'm in a class called "Exploring The Christian Faith". We have Deists, Theists, Apostates, and even a few traditional Baptists who meet there. If you think you've given up on the Christian Church, come give us a try. Sometime around Thanksgiving, we'll begin reading Why Christianity Must Change Or Die by John Shelby Spong. Great stuff.)

I run the shipping/freight operation for a Fort Worth manufacturing company. We have a safety consultant. One night I started wondering what would happen if jihadist martyrs had safety consultants. This is the result. I hope you enjoy it. Our safety consultant didn't.

One of the fundamentals of libertarianism is a respect for basic Human Rights. Here's my post for "Blog For Human Rights Day". It's the only thing you'll ever read that combines Norman Rockwell paintings with atrocity photographs.

Here's a test you can take on the subject of Global Warming. When you're finished with that, hit the label at the bottom for Al Gore. I'm obsessed with the guy, and my friend Dr. Ralph thinks I need to find a new boogeyman. But read this one about America's Richest Vice President. (Hint: it's not Nelson Rockefeller.)

Brent Rinehart, an Oklahoma County Roads supervisor, recently mailed out a gay-bashing campaign comic book to the voters in his district. It's one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

Here's a post about the song "Dixie", and my great aunt Libba, and Confederate Memorial Day.

My first NASCAR race.

Here's an unlikely analogy that holds up well.

I believe that Jerry Jones, owner of The Dallas Cowboys Football Team, is one of the tragic figures of our age. He wants to be known as a football guy, not a finance guy. But he's only won Superbowls with Jimmy Johnson as coach - therefore Jimmy gets the credit, which is how it should be. Jerry Jones and the City Of Arlington have used Eminent Domain laws to build a monument to.....Jerry Jones. And as of November 1, 2008, the Cowboys are stinking up the field. Which is how it should be.

I hope you enjoy these. Hope you like the site. Check out the other bloggers in the column to your right. I think I've got a category for just about everybody.

And one other thing.....

Go Bob Barr ! ! ! !