February 28, 2006
Vince Young scores a 6 and on a re-take a 16 (out of 50) on a test where, according to the test's creator, basic literacy is 10.
Just Vin, Baby!
UPDATE: As per commenter "Jones" and ESPN, the score of six may have been misreported. The score of 16....out of 50.....where basic literacy is a 10......on the second taking of the test seems to be enough to more than satisfy Mr. Jones as far as what would be expected after four years at an institution of higher learning.
Glass House Warning: I would very much expect a lot of athletes from a lot of schools to perform likewise. This is not a call for Sooners, Aggies, Raiders, etc. to get all puffed up like it wouldn't happen there. It does, however, punch through the Belmont Spin Zone's rhetoric about a no-compromise, indeed, almost zen-like academics-athletics balance.
Vince Young went to the University of Texas to have them prepare him for his hoped for future profession: Football. The University came through for him. The story is the unspinning of the spin.
I have never been a fan of George Michael, who was recently arrested for suspicion of drug possession after being found slumped over in his car in London.
His statement? "It was my own stupid fault, as usual."
You have to admire that. Usually when this happens in the entertainment biz a spokesman is trotted out to inform us that Celebrity X is suffering from exhaustion. The Queen of that gig was Liz Taylor who, while not having worked in years, seemed to check into the hospital for exhaustion about twice a year.
February 27, 2006
I must really sting for the American Red Cross to be castigated about their
culture of inefficiency in which poor communications, layers of bureaucracy and resistance to change contributed to waste and chaosby none other than a United States Senator! Wow.
I have a hot flash for you Crossies, you can fire a "Brownie" after each major disaster but you will remain a bloated bureaucracy. Who knows though, if you picked a new CEO who promised to be a champion of efficiency and reduced bureaucracy? Nah, that would just make everything worse.
A more in-depth analysis of the EZ Rider transit system than has been found on these pages can be found at another local blog (Opus Musings) that I have somehow missed.
And I thought our analysis was harsh!
Note to self: Update the blogroll.
From a recent MR-T article on the EZ Rider Transportation System:
"According to the EZ RIDER operations report average daily ridership was 734 in Midland and 563 in Odessa for the month of January. Midland had a total of 18,475 riders and Odessa had a total of 13,949 riders. Total revenue for both cities was $19,071.19 in January. Revenue from user fees - which come from the sale of $36 unlimited monthly passes, as well as the $1 fee for a single trip - and advertising account for a little over 12 percent of EZ RIDER's approximately $2 million budget, according to a report issued last year by the MOUTD."
So....if the annual budget is $2,000,000, then January's portion of that would be roughly $166,666. Subtract that from the $19,000 in fair based revenue and you get a loss of $147,667 for the month. At that rate EZ Rider loses money to the tune of around $1.7 million per year. Dividing January's loss by January's ridership reveals even more information.
We are all aware that public transportation systems are not supposed to make money....or even get that close to breaking even, but instead of the system releasing useless information to the public like the factoid, " the total fixed-route ridership for January increased by 32 percent compared to the same period last year. In contrast, he [General manager Ken Smithson] said, there has been only a 3 percent increase in the use of public transportation nationwide" it would be nice to have....once in a while....just for fun....information that was relevent and complete enough for the public to know the true state of the system that they are paying for.
Kudos to the MR-T on getting the info that they did so that using the math above we can determine that every ride taken on an EZ Rider bus costs the actual passenger around $0.58.....and costs the taxpayer roughly $4.50.
February 25, 2006
Ricin found on campus at UT. This marks the first time in The University's history that a white powdery substance found in a dorm room caused a call to be initiated to police.
Thank you, I'll be here all week. Be sure and tip your waitresses.
UPDATE: It wasn't Ricin. Meanwhile, the editorial staff is racking their respective brains trying to find a Ricky Williams joke here somewhere.
February 24, 2006
I've had to go flying quite a bit lately. My experiences with the TSA at various airports in Texas has not been pleasant, but it has not been as bad as this either:
Again roughly a thousand people, again all of them being yelled at by airport and TSA personnel. Get your computers out. Shoes off. Jackets off. Miss, Miss, I told you, line four. No, line four. So much yelling and tension, and all the travelers in slump-shouldered resignation and fear.
As an aside, I hearby retract my support for the postponment of the contract letting to the UAE/Dubai contingent, pending further thought and data, but I still will contend that having Jimmy Carter supporting the arrangement should be a stake through its heart. Excellent coverage of the issue at Michelle Malkin's blog.
Following Walsingham's link below, reproduced here, we can see, in addition to Natalie Drest and us other regulars at Jessica's Well being called out, a refutation by Jimmy Patterson of my contention of anti-Catholic bias in Midland.
Although I'm not real comfortable addressing Shepherd's implication of a possible anti-Catholic bias in Midland, I can assure him/her that the writer of the article has no children attending Midland Christian. And I can tell you that if there is any kind of anti-Catholic bias in the MRT newsroom ... it veils itself quite well.
Thank you, Jimmy Patterson. I appreciate the response! And I appreciate Jimmy's view that the MRT newsroom is not anti-Catholic: Jimmy is a good Catholic and should know a good slur if one headed his way. While there is probably no anti-Catholic bias behind the non-coverage of St. Ann's School last weekend, I would still encourage the MRT to broaden its reporting on the non-public schools in Midland. And maybe an unbiased view of the local charter schools is in order as well.
The discussion of the existance of a broad anti-Catholic bias in Midland will wait for another day. As will the likelihood of the Wellians showing up for an internet interview with bags over our heads.
Is it a problem with Google or has the local paper just altogether taken a pass on the whole Danish cartoonist maelstrom that is going on pretty much all over the planet?
Using the Google link provided by the MyWestTexas.com site itself I ran the following search terms and got the shown number of links, respectively:
Search Term - Links Found
Danish - 0
Denmark - 0
Cartoonist - 0
Mohammed - 0
Prophet - 0
Behead/Beheaded - 0
Jyllands-Posten - 0
Granted, this is the web version of the paper. There may have been some things in the print version that Google cannot find.
Well, you know, besides the cartoons themselves, of course.
Since there are only about five papers nationally that aren't hiding under their desks quivering with tolerance I think the chances are good that the local paper hasn't filled in that little blank for those that are trying to follow the story either. Don't beat up on the MR-T, though. Neither has the Washington freakin' Post.
Fear not, using the term "Clooney" and/or "Murrow" you can find several links about a First Amendment battle that was properly fought and won by the press.
Fifty years ago.
Yo, Nat. I think you are being called out.
Uh oh, is it possible that MSM Member Robert Hallmark has performed an intervenion of some sort on fellow MSM member Jimmy Patterson in order to have him "de-programmed" from the blogging lifestyle?
Or maybe....or maybe Mr. Patterson just hasn't posted for a week for the same reasons we don't post for a week sometimes.
I do like the first story better, though.
Just noticed that there is a new blog in the area: West Texas TV. It handles things HDTV and is answering many questions concerning when area network affiliates (who haven't already) will join the current century in broadcast quality.
February 23, 2006
After much thought.....okay, after some thought I am going to disagree with Walser's pick for which movie (I, too, refuse to use the word "film") will win Best Picture at the (always seem to be) upcoming Academy Awards. Walser's guess is that "in-the-closet" homosexuality as an issue will trump all other aggrieved groups/awarness causes to get the nod for Best Picture.
I disagree. Brokeback Mountain will not get Best Picture.
Why? Because I think Hollywood always talks a good game. And nominating something (and fawning all over it very, very, very, publicly) is just talking a good game.
That is not the same thing as actually voting for Brokeback to be Best Picture.
I am going to take the cue that enlightened Hollywood has already sent us: Two straight men were cast in the lead roles for Brokeback Mountain.
Hollywood's actual votes for Best Picture will follow that lead.
February 21, 2006
I can think of no better reason to oppose the much in the news, Arab entities taking over our ports deal than this:
Carter backs Bush's stand on seaport-operations deal
The MRT's "Religion in Schools" articles this weekend were quite revealing: revealing as much about the paper as about the school's discussed.
On Saturday, we had a story on Midland Christian School. More of an unpaid advertisement than an article, actually. Then on Sunday, two articles, one on Trinity School and one on Midland Classical Academy for which there is apparently not a link on the website. Both schools were discussed reasonably thoroughly, but not in as much detail as the MCS article. Is the author of these articles a parent of an MCS student? That was the impression I got.
If you are going to cover religious schools in Midland, why would you leave out the fourth after covering the other three? Where is the story on St. Ann's? This school has been in business educating Midland's kids since 1950. Why leave it out? Is this a continuing reflection of an anti-Catholic bias in the city or just among the staff of the paper?
Approximately 20% of the population of Midland is Catholic. A large number of Midland Catholics send their kids to St. Ann's, but a significant number of non-Catholic families elect to educate their children at St. Ann's as well. Why would that be true in light of the other choices available? Could it be that the education at St. Ann's is more than competitive with the other schools and yet is unique in its own way? Is this not worthy of a story, too?
In a large city, a newspaper could be excused for randomly selecting 3 private, religious schools out of many for coverage as the MRT did this weekend. In a small city with 4 religious schools, all having been in business for a long time, it is a reflection of bias to cover 3 and leave out the 4th school.
February 20, 2006
I tuned in to my morning show of choice today (The Morning Drive with Robert Hallmark and Kurt Verlei) and listened with great interest to fellow blogger and also MSM member (boo, hiss) Jimmy Patterson give a spirited defense of blogs and blogging.
I can understand Mr. Hallmark's skepticism about blogs as primary news sources because, while they can do it well in some cases (the Asian tsunami and Katrina come to mind), it is not their strong point. But he is pretty hung up on the idea that information that is not in the hands of or being distributed by the professional newsies/media outlets is not suitable for public consumption.
We are going to attempt to get a recording of today's Morning Show and will respond with an answer to each of the questions that Mr. Hallmark asked Mr. Patterson today.
In the mean time, blogs were noticed and written about a long time ago by the Midland Reporter-Telegram's Stewart Doreen. Mr. Doreen took a novel approach to reporting on the blogosphere that was apparently unavailable to Mr. Hallmark and Mr. Verlei. He actually took the time to read some of them. I am guessing that today's hosts have not even read the only article ever done on Midland's local bloggers before abusing us as a group today. (Note to Mr. Hallmark: We rat-bastard chickens here at Jessica's Well are the only anonymous bloggers in the area. The vast majority of local bloggers write under their own names. Even a cursory glance at local blogs before your broadcast today would have revealed that to you).
I am sure that this plug will appear "incestuous" to the hosts of the Morning Drive, but in retrospect I have to again give kudos to Mr. Doreen in particular for his well researched article and to the Midland Reporter-Telegram / mywesttexas.com site in general for (I hate this term, but it works here) "getting blogs".
Link from the Past 1: Our original commentary on Mr. Doreen's article.
February 17, 2006
The Vice President's hunting incident story just took a tragic, tragic turn for many: Whittington to be released from the hospital today.
February 16, 2006
The only difference is that that you couldn't imagine in a million years the guy on the left actually handling a gun.
February 15, 2006
I really don't know what all of the fuss is about concerning the Washington Post's Dana Milbank appearing in hunter orange while reporting on the Vice President's hunting accident. (Also here.)
It is not like it has never been done before.
After having read today's article on the possibly $45 million dollars that could be invested downtown and also having watched Jimmy Patterson's Talk Back Live featuring City Councilman Wes Perry....a few reactions:
1) Good for Councilman Perry for buying and trying to get something going with the old First National Bank Building on the corner of Main and Wall. It is a great old building. It has at least major flaw, though. It has zero parking. Additional parking must be acquired for use by that building's tenants and/or patrons or any development is probably an non-starter.
2) I am skeptical (surprise!) that so much hope is pinned to the idea that one of the ways to increase downtown traffic is to pinch traffic off in order to uncongest sidwalks that are right now essentially empty. But this kind of urban planning and rearranging goes on all of the time so it is no big deal.
3) Councilman Perry's description of the Midland Municipal Management District as something other than a taxing entity will be found out the minute on of it's...er... "association members" does not pay their assessment. Possibly illustrating this point is a paragraph from the MRT article:
"Perry expressed a desire to see businesses which will benefit from the placement of landscaping near their property pay for the enhancements and said it is also possible the MMMD might be willing to contribute some of its funds toward the project."
So the MMMD powers that be place a planter in front of your business, with or without your consent. Then they say you need to pay for some of it. Read the original charter for the MMMD and behold the remedies available to them to "recover" that money from your business. Then tell me it is not a taxing entity.
4) The Midland Savings demolition will be a good thing in and of itself. Whatever replaces it will be better that what was there. Yes, even some sort of hybrid "part-retail", "part-office", and maybe even a "third floor residential space". May the decision makers have the wisdom to finally decide among their scores of different ideas what the highest best use is for the space. Perhaps it, too, should be a park.....which brings up the biggest nugget in the whole article:
"In addition to landscaping and other beautification, At-large City Councilman Wes Perry said the Midland Municipal Management District is currently examining the possibility of leasing and renovating the water fountain located outside of the Bank of America building. Perry said the MMMD has ordered some preliminary design proposals for the fountain, which could be one of the features of a "public space" used to enhance Wall Street. Swallow said the Bank of America building is one of the 'anchors of downtown' and will 'define the west end of the project.'"
Translation: Tax money both from general public and also from the....you know...downtown homeowner's association (wink, wink) and take a nicely landscaped open area that literally no one uses and that has no parking and transform it into into a nicely landscaped and publicly funded open area that literally no one uses and that has no parking.
Being extremely familiar with the plaza at the Bank of America I can confidently say that even those people who reside in the building right freakin' there and who don't have to walk there nor try to park close to there do not use that open space. Okay, to be fair there is one notable group that uses the plaza from time to time: Smokers. One has to wonder if that will be tolerated once the city gains some control over the area.
This is the second instance of tax dollars being turned over to a private citizen for no real apparent reason, the first being the $35 large to Susie's South Forty. That was called a "forgivable loan".
This latest idea will need its own category....if for no other reason than we are going to sign a long term lease and then we have to fix the damned fountain.
February 13, 2006
Commenter "aztlan," from a post below, unintentionally caused me to do a little research on a subject that I have been meaning to check out for a long time. Thanks, man!
The more publicity we can get on this the better. It seems that there is aztlan, the commenter, and Aztlan, the future country.
Check the links. Although I may be late to the party, I intend to keep an eye on this issue and the movement behind it. You, dear reader, should as well. This ties nicely to the latest from the "mayor" of Los Angeles. Search "mayor villaraigosa" for a few surprises...
In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal "gringo" invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlan from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.
Emphasis mine. Go read the rest.
Update update: More here.
...a substantial majority of Mexican citizens believe that southwestern America is rightfully the territory of Mexico and that Mexicans do not need the permission of the U.S. to enter. The poll found that 58 percent of Mexicans agree with the statement, "The territory of the United States' southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico."
Maybe we don't have an immigration problem after all. We have a territorial dispute. Do we have an immigration problem in Alaska? You know, all those folks from Siberia that want to return to their homeland that is now our state of Alaska? What? They are not wandering (OK, paddling) into the US seeking jobs? The opportunities for employment in Siberia must be a lot better than in Mexico. Who'da thunk it?
February 7, 2006
Just curious why there has been no criticism of the MDC's decision to fork over a half-million to help fund the preconceptual design of a high-temperature test reactor to be located in Andrews?
Two gripes here:
1. MDC money is being spent elsewhere.
2. The Andrews project isn't a sure thing. If a decision is made to not build the reactor in Andrews, the MDC is out a half-million.
February 6, 2006
One of the more bizarre headlines we've seen in a while:
Five Die in Cartoon Riots
Protests of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed continued, growing more violent. In Afghanistan, riot police fired into a crowd of some 2,000 protesters trying to break into the U.S. military base in Bagram. Two protesters were killed and five were injured, and eight Afghan police were also hurt. Police also fired on protesters in the central Afghan city of Mihtarlam, killing two more, after one of the protesters fired a gun at police and others threw knives and rocks. A teenage boy was trampled to death by protesters in Somalia. There were also protests, some more violent than others, in Kabul, Tehran, southern Iraq, Cairo, Kashmir, New Delhi and Gaza City, among others. The deaths came a day after one person died in riots in Beirut.
From the Wall Street Journal online. One of a thousand related stories is here. At least they are not calling it a "row." Read Michelle Malkin's successive stories to follow the thread. Her's is great coverage of the story. Would that the MSM did so well.
February 5, 2006
Read along as I try to envision Monday morning, tomorrow, at a&mgrad's place of business:
The scene: As the curtain opens, we see a small backroom of either a small office or small store, we can't really tell from the surroundings. Two people, perhaps one male and one female, are sipping coffee, having just arrived at work. It is 9:30.
a&mgrad: "Did you see what those e****** j*** b***** said about me?"
Other person: "Um, which e****** j*** b*****s are we talking about this time, sir?"
a&mgrad: "Why those b***** t**** idiots at Jessica's Well of course!! They disagree with everything I say. They disagree with everything everybody says!! Everybody with half a brain at least!"
February 3, 2006
Does anyone from the NCAA read Mywesttexas?
A Lee recruit to A&M details his reasons for choosing to be an Aggie. Here is the payoff, so to speak:
"They take care of you down there," McCoy said. "I know from my brother they keep your pockets full, give you plenty of money, keep feeding you meals. Besides that all the help they give you with football. They keep you on your grades with private tutoring. Just good all-around."
Never heard of a Blogburst before today. And now I have gone and joined one.
Details from Michelle Malkin.
Update: Risking a fatwa to try and get on Michelle Malkin's blogroll? You decide.
Dr. Helen calls it PCTV, but the phenomenon has been around for a good while and is more properly called the "M*A*S*H* Syndrome".
In short: "We're lefties, we're rich and syndicated now, and we are quitting anyway...so we are going to take this opportunity to make you, dear viewer, a better person."
Shown is the character Father Mulcahy, the Chaplain assigned to the 4077th, who across 11 seasons managed to do only 0.006% of the total preaching.
February 2, 2006
Just for the record: Brokeback Mountain is showing in Midland as I type this. I don't know if this means the local Standards Board was disbanded or that what is shown in Midland is, like everything else, governed by economics and the seeking of profit.
Oddly, Brokeback's time on the screen in Midland will, without any doubt, generate both less income and less controversy for the theatre owners than did the showing of The Passion of the Christ.
MEMO FROM THE SITE ADMIN
RE: New Censorship Policy/China
No, I don't plan to boycott any Google products. I will give competing products a much harder look, though, when previously I would have gone the Google route almost automatically...so now you are going to have to actually compete instead of just being hot and cute. And look how well that has worked out for any non-iPod Apple product.
Oh, and please hear my internal chuckle whenever I think about your oh-so-precious former motto: "Don't be evil."
Jessica's Well: Not just a cutting edge political blog!
Now an internationally known reference for image searches on rubber chickens.
We owe it all to Tim Blair.
So the five movies.....excuse me....films nominated for best picture have, to-date, a combined gross income that is $100,000,000 less than the current gross for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
Anyone surprised by this gets an "F" in Contemporary American Victimology 101.
The nomination process was the easy part. Now "The Academy" (barf) will have to decide which aggrieved interest groups to throw under the bus in order to advance just one of them with the nod for Best Picture.
So my Official 2006 Oscar Pick for Best Picture: Race Relations (Crash), Moral Equivalence (Munich), Hollywood's Eleventy-Billionth McCarthy Bashing (Good Night and Good Luck), and, yes, even Out-Of-The-Closet Homosexuality (Capote) will all come up short against Hollywood's Chosen Consciousness-Raising for 2006: In-The-Closet Homosexuality (Brokeback Mountain).
Although, never count out any McCarthy bashing flick in these contests. You can point to any number of gulags or the millions and millions purposely starved by the now deceased Soviet state, but to
Hollywood idiotarians "The Academy" the worst thing about Communism (if, you know, they actually had to come up with something) was the attendant anti-communism that caused Dalton Trumbo or Ring Lardner, Jr. to have to ghost write their scripts for a while.
UPDATE: STOP THE VOTING! STOP THE VOTING! Is it too late to get in a couple more nominations?
"In the most expensive Turkish movie ever made, American soldiers in Iraq crash a wedding and pump a little boy full of lead in front of his mother.
They kill dozens of innocent people with random machine gun fire, shoot the groom in the head, and drag those left alive to Abu Ghraib prison where a Jewish doctor cuts out their organs, which he sells to rich people in New York, London and Tel Aviv.
Valley of the Wolves Iraq, set to open in Turkey on Friday, feeds off the increasingly negative feelings many Turks harbor toward their longtime NATO allies: Americans.
The movie, which reportedly cost some $10 million, is the latest in a new genre of popular culture that demonizes the United States. It comes on the heels of a novel called Metal Storm about a war between Turkey and the U.S., which has been a best seller for months.
The movie's American stars are Billy Zane, who plays a self-professed peacekeeper sent by God, and Gary Busey as the Jewish-American doctor."
February 1, 2006
Local blogger sells out; goes for the big television bucks.
A thousand hours of coverage informing us all about ABC Co-Anchor Bob Woodruff's professionalism, ethics, and dedication to bringing us "the story" notwithstanding....if he comes back...er....un-pretty he is finished as ABC's Co-Anchor.