Friday, June 25, 2010

Bigger Than Bling

I stopped caring about professional basketball when jerseys with the names of Jordan and Byrd disappeared from the hardwood. Professional sports figures seemed to make the news more for misdeeds than athletic achievements. Cynicism about these so-called heroes abounded.

Then...I read this article on Manute Bol. This Sudanese Christian man lived a heroic Christian life::
Bol reportedly gave most of his fortune, estimated at $6 million, to aid Sudanese refugees. As one twitter feed aptly put it: "Most NBA cats go broke on cars, jewelry & groupies. Manute Bol went broke building hospitals."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ten Concert Truths

I had a wonderful time this weekend at the Carrie Underwood concert. The music was great, the performance was at turns fun and moving, and the artist herself seemed to be just a genuinely nice young lady. I have cheered for her since her American Idol days, so it was good to see that authentic vibe was still there.

The concert also provided me with blog fodder, so below are listed Ten Concert Truths gained from my experience Sunday night:

Decibel level tolerance diminishes with age.

What looked good on you at 25 might quite possibly look ridiculous on you at 45.

Certain fashion styles have weight limits. I'm just sayin'.

A certain Alabama song was full of insight: "...too young to understand, why the young girls fall in love with the boys in the band."

$60 seems a lot to pay just for the opportunity to get drunk on overpriced beer.

Sheer volume does not make up for talent deficits.

Everyone likes a good bluegrass instrumental (even those who don't think they like bluegrass).

Inflation scale = $1 per year: Early 90s - concert T-shirt was $15-20, today $35.

Music really is better performed live.

Seeing their child happy makes the parent happier than the child.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Rand Paul and the Civil Rights Act

Now that the usual suspects in the mainstream media have gotten their histrionics out of the way, it's time for an actual examination of Dr. Paul's position. Here's a snippet from an AOL story on the incident:

Rachel Maddow pressed Paul on the question during a lengthy interview on her MSNBC program Wednesday night. She tried to get a clear answer on whether he thought the lunch counter at the Woolworth's in Greensboro, N.C. -- a flash point in the struggle for racial integration -- should have been allowed to remain segregated.

Paul said he didn't believe "any private property should discriminate" and insisted he would never patronize such a place. But he asked Maddow, "Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant or does the government own his restaurant?"

Paul accused Maddow of bringing up "something that really is not an issue ... sort of a red herring." But he faced the same question a month ago in an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal's editorial board. (Click here to watch the video. Skip ahead to the one-hour mark.)

"Under your philosophy it would be OK for Dr. King to not be served at the counter at Woolworth's?" Paul was asked. He replied that he would have boycotted the store and denounced it, but added, "This is the hard part about believing in freedom."

He continued, "In a free society we will tolerate boorish people who have abhorrent behavior. But if we're civilized people, we publicly criticize that and don't belong to those groups or associate with those people."

Dr. Paul is absolutely right on this. People have a right to be bigoted morons - just as I have the right not to patronize their businesses. The market can take care of bigots without the need for government intervention. Dr. Walter Williams, distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University and a nationally syndicated columnist, has written a wonderful defense of Paul's views here.