Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Kick off your old tired fears and superstitions, not only is today Friday the is also hug day. Go forth and share some hugs with your deserving friends and fans! Enjoy the prelude to Valentine's Day....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Making a clean breast of it.

So yesterday, you heard all about the battle of the I have to declare the big story a non-story. Seems the young lady involved had a bit of an agenda and has since admitted that she went to the restaurant with the sole intent of causing a scene with the after church crowd. Pretty sad that she felt compelled to stoop to this level, let alone involve a child in her scheme. I am not going to dignify her cause by identifying her and giving it any further publicity. I certainly hope the mainstream media outlets jump on board...particularly the TV station that found it necessary to show her act over and over and over. She's had her 15 minutes of fame and then some...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Breastfeeding Brouhaha

Sunday morning in the mountains, pretty much like any other, first church and then a stop at a local eatery for a family brunch. You are enjoying your stack of pancakes when you notice a rather buxom young lady and her son walk in and take a seat near you. Nothing so unusual about that, there are lots of single moms and their children wandering around.

What happens next is where things get a bit unusual. The young man leaves his seat and climbs in his mother's lap. He then paws at her neckline until he exposes her breast and begins nursing. Before we go any further, let me categorically state that there is no refuting the benefits of breast feeding and that I certainly have no qualms about that at all.

What makes this a bit beyond ordinary breast feeding is the age of the child...we aren't talking about an infant here, nor even a toddler...we are talking a child that appears to be 4-5 years old. Several patrons that witnessed the event asked to speak to a manager and simply asked if the lady and child could be a bit more discrete. When a request from the management was met with scorn and a scream about rights and freedom...the local police department was called for a clarification.

There is no law or statute that prohibits breast feeding anywhere in the State of North Carolina. That part of the story is good...certainly it should not be left to the state to determine who, when or where should breast feeding be allowed. The police agency confirmed that point and stated that no crime had been committed under state law. However, they also confirmed that the restaurant was private property and as such, they were free to determine what is or isn't appropriate behavior in that establishment.

Had everyone remained rational and respectful of others around them, things probably never would have gotten to the point of having to address what is or isn't the law. Had the woman simply opted to be a bit more discrete, the issue would have been a non-issue and everyone would have been happy. Instead, she chose to make a scene and claim she was standing up for her rights. Customer after customer in the surrounding seats began departing the restaurant, tired of the shenanigans of this woman and her "baby". Eventually, management of the restaurant explained to the woman that she could either cover up or she could leave. After a heated exchange, she left the premises and immediately went screaming to any and every media outlet she could find.

The local ABC affiliate jumped on the bandwagon and went so far as to show this large child nursing during the interview. This set off yet another firestorm of controversy...was it really necessary to show this display on the evening news just to make a point? Once again, extremism rears its ugly head. At what point does breast feeding cease being a normal and natural act and transition to something that is just weird? Since when does the tail wag the dog? What ever happened to majority rule? What ever happened to common sense? What ever happened to common courtesy, respect and an understanding of the rights and feelings of others?

To hear the extremist crowd rant, you would think that they feel it would be perfectly fine if the woman's husband decided he wanted a little snack as well and that it would be within their rights to do so in the middle of a crowded restaurant. I think that might be a bit too far...what do you think?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

NASCAR at the crossroads (and every other major sport too)

Now that the first big event of the 2009 season is out of the way, it is time for the corporate fat cats to do some serious re-evaluation of their greed mongering ways. With the vast majority of the seats empty, NASCAR can only hope that lots of fans enjoyed the race on TV...

Track owners are totally out of touch with reality. Bruton Smith has certainly done some wonderful things for the sport, but he has also blacktopped his own wallet several times over. His comments suggesting that the driver's are to blame for slumping attendance show just how far out of touch the owners and promoters have become. I'm glad to hear that Dale Jr. fired back a very direct and to the point response. He (Jr.) is absolutely right, fans don't come to the race track to get autographs, they come to watch races and the autograph is just a perk. But if the fan can't afford to even walk through the gates, they will not get to watch the race or get an autograph...and they certainly won't be chowing down on $5 hotdogs.

The world of sports has gotten out of control. Somewhere along the line, people have lost touch with reality. Suddenly we are paying people 100 or even 1000 times more a year than we pay the people that protect us from crime, the people that fight the fires that threaten to destroy our homes and property, the people that make us well when we are sick or injured and most importantly, the people that educate our future generations of thinkers and workers. School teachers making $30,000 a year while a baseball or football player gets $30 million to play a game? Folks, you call that what you want, but I call it an obscenity. Fans around the world need to wake up. Sports are just games, simple diversions to give us something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I have no problem with sports figures being well paid for what they do, because unlike the vast majority of jobs, athletes only have a limited career span. Even so, there is no way that a basketball player is worth more over the life of their employment years than a teacher. Throw in the fact that these people are supposedly college educated and therefore able to find alternative employment after their game playing days have ended, their already absurd salaries become even more insane.

Seems that the fans have been gouged, raped and pillaged for years. It really is a shame that folks in the world of sports have such a dim view of the people that pay their wages. And it is equally as sad that the fans have become such sheep that they continue to accept outrageous ticket prices, insane parking rates, bizarre concession fees and the host of other exorbitant fees that go along with watching a live sporting event. Perhaps our sick economy will finally generate enough of a shock wave to stimulate the fans to revolt against the out of control spending and greed they have been subjected to.

On a lighter note, did anyone notice I picked two of the top 3 finishers last night? I suspect I might have been 3 for 3 had Jeff Burton not been in the wrong place at the wrong time.