31 August 2009

Dear Craig Bolerjack

This is what a circus shot looks like. Study hard.

12 August 2009

Healthcare reform and town halls

As a follow-up to this post, can we clear some stuff up?

Some of the many criticisms of town-hall goers I have read and heard over the last few days:

1. Protestors are interrupting and shutting down senators and others attempting to speak.

My reaction: Bad form. Using your right to free speech to impeded the rights of another is not okay.

2. Protestors and mindless drones, parroting what talk radio pundits feed them and acting only because Rush told them to.

My reaction: This is a tough one. Are there people who are easily influenced by high-profile individuals? You bet. Are there people upset only because the radio told them to be? Yep. But are there people who honestly disagree with what is going on and want to make their voices heard? Yes. I think this argument is used because for people who lean left, it's less scary than believing that there are a lot of people who really are against the direction we're going with healthcare.

3. Glenn Beck and others of his ilk are instructing their drones on how to interrupt and shout down those in opposition to them at town hall meetings.

My reaction: I have yet to find a link that shows this, and considering it was either on TV or on the radio, there has to be a digital record of it somewhere. Until I find some proof, I'm chalking this up to fabrication. I have heard Beck encourage people to attend these meetings and make their voices heard, but he has not advocated for violence or other unproductive methods for doing so.

4. The protestors at town hall meetings are "un-American."

My reaction: Were these people out of the country for the last eight years? Bush's presidency generated quite a bit of protest from the left, and no one from the Washington Post decried them as un-American then.

This is the typical "party out of office is unhappy and mounts protests" thing we see after every power shift in Washington. Liberals did it then, conservatives are doing it now, and if a conservative wins the 2012 election, the liberals will get their protesting kits out of their closets and return to the streets.

If you support the healthcare reform intiatives and are unhappy with the acts of these protestors, get out and counteract them. Attend the town hall meetings and make your voice heard. Paint your own posters. Legally and respectfully show that there are people who are okay with what President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are doing here.

Because as it stands, only those questioning this reform are getting the coverage.

06 August 2009

Countdown to college football

It's now less than a month until BYU kicks off its 2009 season with a game against the mighty Oklahoma Sooners.

BYU fans are understandably pessimistic about the Cougars' chances against Heisman winner Sam Bradford and company; the Sooners are ranked fifth in both preseason polls and came off a very impressive 12-2 season in 2008, with losses only to Texas and Florida. Not much shame in that, especially when your offense averaged over 50 points per game.

And while preseason polls are far from iron-clad in accuracy, in this case I think Oklahoma's is fully justified. Nine returning starters plus Bradford's arm should be more than enough to beat the Cougars fairly easily. Defensively, especially, the team should give Hall and company a challenge.

After Texas lit up OU’s defense in a 45-35 classic, the Sooners played strong defense save for one game, OSU. The Cowboys scored at 50 percent efficiency (touchdowns plus half the field goals, divided by possessions) in their 61-41 Bedlam loss, a game that said much more about the State offense than it did the OU defense.

The Sooners otherwise shut down some really good offenses. Missouri’s efficiency was 30 percent; Tech’s was 23 percent. In the Big Bowl, Florida’s was 39 percent.

In today’s football, anything in the 30s is solid. Thirty percent and below is dominant defense, 40 percent and above usually will get you beat.

OU’s defense allowed above 30 percent only thrice all season.

Sounds promising. And then we have the fact that BYU's defense is nothing to write home about, and really hasn't been since 2004.

But have no fear! The last time BYU played Oklahoma was in the 1994 Copper Bowl. The Cougars won the game handily, thrashing the Sooners 31-6 behind the quarterback John Walsh.

Here are the highlights.

And here's another, more extensive highlight reel.

So in short, there's nothing to fear about the guys driving the wagon. They'll bleed like everyone else.

I'll get into what I expect from BYU on Friday.

Until then, enjoy this Sports Illustrated article on the 1984 National Championship team.

03 August 2009

Opposition to Obamacare mounting

As the markedly right-wing blog Hot Air put it, "If anyone questioned why Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi wanted to get a health-care reform bill passed before the August recess, the following videos will explain it clearly."

In three town-hall meetings with Democratic denizens of Capitol Hill, crowds reacted angrily to a government takeover of health care. In the first, Rep. Keith Ellison moves through the crowd in his very liberal district taking comments — but not answering any of his constituents’ questions (via Janet at SCSU Scholars):


The point here is not to prove that Obama's proposed plans are good or bad. The point is that there is a lot of opposition to the idea across the country, even in states and Congressional districts that generally follow liberal thought.