Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama's Muslim photo?

OK, I thought I was finally over the flu. I thought I had regained my strength and could return to a normal life, then I saw this....

Even though the Clinton camp has yet to deny or take credit for leaking this little gem, it is a bit of a doosie. The guy practically looks like he is a terrorist in training. But there are a few things we have to consider. First of all, the guy is in Somalia. Last time I checked we were feeding them beans and rice. What ever fell from our helicopters was pretty much all they would eat that month and now we are supposed to believe they have turned it around and are now a powerful terrorist training camp? I don't think so.

And another thing, Hilary has said it isn't really a big deal because she has worn the garb of many foreign countries (for her husband!) in what she said are gestures of hospitality (so that's what the kids are calling it these days?).

But there is another thing to consider that might prove he isn't a terrorist, but opens up a whole new bag of worms--look at how skinny his arms are!

I mean there is no way a stick figure like that could successfully pull off any terrorist mission. That is of course good, and kinda scary. I mean can Mr. Olive Oil there protect the great US of A? I don't know. It's a tough call. I mean George W. isn't very smart, but the man has some gunz (that's right with a 'z').

I mean this Tayshun Prince look-a-like has managed to inspire a lot of voters, whether they are black, white or just anti-Hilary (like her husband!). This photo doesn't prove, or even hint, that he is a terrorist. All it really proves is that he needs to do some dumbbell curls.

So let's face it, this photo has a few implications, but not terrorists ones. What do you think they are?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Having the flu sucks

Well it seems to be that season again--the flu season. And while I thought I was immune to it, I found out over the past few days exactly how untrue that is.

I started to notice it Wednesday night. It was a chill in my neck and spine that kept me from getting warm. It was so uncomfortable, I only got about 2 hours of sleep. But come Friday morning I decided to soldier on. I went into work. Just after lunch time it became painfully obvious I should be at home.

So I drove home, with my head killing me, my throat dried out and scratchy, my stomach in knots and a feeling that my entire body had slowly been run over by a semi-truck.

Once I got home, it only got worse. My temperature was up to 104.

The next few days I laid in bed in various degrees of pain. I drank gallons of medicine and sucked down thousands of cough drops. Though they certainly helped, they didn't help enough. The only energy I could muster was to operate the TV remote or maybe toss the pillow over.

But gradually I got better. The pounding headache transformed into occasional dizziness. My back stopped hurting and my stomach started hurting. My throat, well it just consistently hurt.

My wife was going to work Saturday morning and I was going to watch the kids. When I first woke up that morning, I felt OK. I thought I could manage. But that idea went away pretty quick. After changing a dirty diaper I got this nauseous, dizzy feeling. My wife decided to stay home and I managed to sleep until early in the afternoon,

I continued to get gradually better. Around 2 p.m. I was able to finally get out of bed, which was good because my sides were getting sore from laying around all day. I got enough energy to take a shower and eventually went downstairs to play with the boys and see my wife.

I have dealt with this thing for going on 4 straight days now. Hopefully it is almost over. Other than the sore throat and the nasty junk I am coughing up, I seem to be back on track.

In case you don't already know, the flu is just a miserable miserable thing. Next year I just have to man up, realize I am not immune and get a stinkin' flu shot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lindsay Lohan for president!!

OK, let's face it all the presidential candidates are mediocre at best. Sure there is a ton of interest in this election cycle, but it is only because our current president is so unpopular. I mean, George W. Bush is even giving money out and nobody likes him (I'll save that for another post).

But this current batch is only popular because they aren't W. But face it, McCain is too old. As soon as he took office, he would probably drop dead or get Parkinson's disease. The last thing we need is the leader of our nation shaking and mumbling as he spoke to foreign leaders. His State of the Union addresses would drag on and on. But on the plus side, he could find part-time work as the Crypt Keeper. Is that show still on?

Barack Obama is too black. Let's face it, it's a white man's world. Sorry but it is true. Don't believe me? How many black presidents have we had? Oh you think it is finally time for a change. Maybe so, but the problem is as soon as a black man rises to power, the tend to get shot. Now, I personally like Obama, but let's face it, history hasn't been kind to black leaders. Malcom X was shot, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. Tupac and Biggie? Shot. The only black that has risen to a national power and not be shot was Colin Powell and he is about as white as it gets.

Now on to Hilary. I will give you one reason why she can't be a good president--Bill. Yea, he was very popular, but if he could cheat on his wife how could any country take her seriously. Plus, Hilary is a mean, manipulating woman that people just don't like. 

But I will tell you who should be president-- Lindsay Lohan. That's right, did you see her in New York Magazine? She looked rather presidential didn't she? It was in that 'hiding under the desk of the Oval Office' way, but still presidential. She has that mystique about her. She can go to rehab numerous times and still not clean herself up. Point is, she is determined. She could just as easily be as stubborn about terrorism as she is about her drug use. And don't think drug use would keep her out of the White House, George W. already showed us that drinking and doing lines of coke only enhance political careers. 

So, screw the other candidates, vote for Lindsay Lohan--the sexiest president ever (sorry JFK)!

Mike Bibby won't save the Hawks

One game into the Mike Bibby experiment, one thing is terribly obvious-- he can't save the Atlanta Hawks. 
Bibby is a good player, and he should help, but the Hawks need more than a point guard. But they don't need players as much as they need a new front office.
First of all, they need a new coach. All season long, Mike Woodson has had trouble getting the team focused. And after the Hawks came back from the All-Star break, they should have been refreshed. The team should have been pumped with their new point guard. In theory, it should have been a coming out party- especially against the Lakers. If the Hawks found a way to just compete against the Lakers, it would have sent up red flags to the rest of the Eastern Conference. Instead, its the same 'ol Hawks.
The team needs a coach that can get them focused and Mike Wood isn't that man. 
And who is responsible for this motley crew of players and this horrible coach? General Manager Billy Knight. A man so horrible with the media his recent silence has been refreshing. Before that, all he did was tell the city why he is such a basketball expert and why he shouldn't be questioned.
But he should be. Take a look at his record. He passed on Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Brandon Roy. He drafted Sheldon Williams with the number 4 overall pick. He signed Speedy Claxton to a max-money deal. Claxton, as you know, has been a bust. He has made no impact, mostly because he has spent more time in a suit than in a uniform.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sonny Perdue for vice president?

It seems Perdue's name is popping up on some lists for VP. This reminds me a lot of an article I wrote last year when his name was being bantered about for president. Here it is, again:

Is presidential campaign on 'Sonny-do' list?

Gov. Sonny Perdue may be looking to move into the White House.

While Perdue hasn’t formed an exploratory committee or publicly expressed interest, online forums and Perdue supporters are starting a buzz.

“I think he would make a great president,” said Donna Wright of Morrow. “I voted for him because of what he has done in Georgia and I am sure he can do the same things for the nation.”

Chris Schrimpf, a spokesperson for Perdue, said, “Right now he is just focused on his second term as governor and doing what is best for Georgia.”

But Perdue’s midterm victory was one of the few bright spots for the Republican party across the nation. While the GOP lost control of Congress, Purdue beat his Democratic opponent with almost 60 percent of the vote. And while Republicans struggled nationwide, they did well in Georgia and picked up both the lieutenant governor’s and Secretary of State’s offices with Perdue at the top of the ticket.

Also, as a veteran, foster parent and former walk-on quarterback at the University of Georgia, Purdue might appeal to many voters.

“I wasn’t surprised that he was reelected,” said Chris Esmay of Riverdale. “He is very popular. Beating him would be a tough task for anyone.”

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at UGA, said he would be surprised if Purdue attempted to run in the Republican primary.

“He hasn’t given any indication that he would run,” said Bullock. “If he is going to do something, he needs to begin right now.”

Bullock said Perdue currently has little name recognition nationally and would have to make a major change quickly for him to be a serious contender.

However, Bullock acknowledged Purdue’s recent reelection and ties to the south have served as fuel to presidential talks.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mike Bibby traded to the Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks may finally have their point guard. Reports are claiming the Hawks are trading Sheldon Williams, Anthony Johnson and Tyrone Lue for Mike Bibby.
It is tough to see how this is anything but a positive for the struggling Hawks, who have recently passed on All-Star point guards Brandon Roy and Chris Paul in the draft.
Sheldon Williams will have one more year on his contract after the season. Johnson and Lue's contracts both expire after this season, freeing up some cap space for the Kings. Williams has one last chance to prove he is a real NBA player. After the Hawks drafted him with the number 5 overall pick in 2005 (which many fans think was too high) he is averaging only 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
With a good point guard to gel all the young talent the Hawks have, this move might help the Hawks move out of the cellar of the East and get some attention. The Hawks are currently hanging on to the 7th and final playoff spot, but have been playing poorly recently.
What do you think? Does this move have an immediate impact for the Hawks. Can they be real contenders in the East? Does this save coach Mike Woodson's job for now?

Torture is OK, really

We expect graduates of Yale University to be some of the most elite and talented leaders in the nation. We expect them to not only get a degree but be prepared to make the tough decisions. Well, kudos to you Yale. I don’t know how you had the foresight to teach George W. Bush the importance of torture, but you did and a whole nation owes you a bit of gratitude.

The first time Bush appeared in the New York Times, it was on Nov. 8,1967 when the Yale senior defended a fraternity tradition of branding members with a hot coat hangar. Bush showed an early sign of his brilliance, telling the paper the resulting wound was “only a cigarette burn.”

Now, almost 40 years later, Bush has developed that rudimental branding into something he can use in the war against terror. Sure, there is a difference in branding fraternity friends and laughing at a terrorist’s genitals, but somehow the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity knew this ritual could one day be used in a much greater cause. 

Whether we are making naked men pile up on top of each other as we did in Abu Ghraib or using “water-boarding,” a drowning technique that Vice President Dick Cheney endorsed and confirmed the use of against terrorists, it is obvious torture is something this administration has had to use to protect us.

Never mind the Geneva Conventions we signed. We didn’t really understand the power of torture. Never mind that this administration claims to be led by Jesus Christ. When we dealt with the Holocaust, we didn’t really understand that torture is OK when you are the ones dishing it out. And sure, Christ taught us to turn the other cheek, but he never saw a terrorist cut someone’s head off. We are better people than the terrorists, plain and simple, but we get to be just as dirty as them on this one.

The torture itself is redeemed by the fact that we are saving lives. Since Sept. 11, only one other airplane has flown into a New York City building. That appears to have been an accident by Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, but it would have been OK to torture him a little if we could have stopped that. 

Torture is helping us get all the good information from our enemies. We had Saddam Hussein in custody for some time. He never told us where those weapons of mass destruction are, but if we really gave him the royal treatment he would have squealed in no time.

So, for all those people who are complaining about this torture thing, just think about John McCain. He was tortured so bad during Vietnam he can no longer lift his arms. They used torture, as America should, to get all kinds of good stuff from him. Well, he didn’t exactly give any secrets to them, so that may not be the best example. But take this administration’s word for it, torture can be used to fight terrorism.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Picking a candidate is a lot like a frog jumping contest

When I was about 9-years-old, my mom took me to a frog-hopping contest at the local mall (I know it seems weird to me too, but we where in Alabama at the the time and everything seemed weird then). At the mall, there was a huge aquarium filled with frogs. I, along with about 100 other kids, hovered around the glass, just staring. I impatiently waited until it was my turn to pick my frog, the frog I just knew would lead me to frog-hopping glory.

One kid in front of me took the small jumpy frog. The fog clearly had ADD as it jumped and swam madly around the aquarium. It was a solid pick, but I wasn't concerned, my choice was still available. As another kid in front of me was choosing his running mate, one frog gracefully leapt from his rock. The green flash jumped half way across its cage and did a swan dive into the water. The kid quickly chose the jumping phenom.

But again, I wasn't worried. My frog was still waiting. When I finally got to pick, I didn't hesitate. I picked the biggest, fattest frog in the tank. He sat on a rock in a corner. He didn't move much. "Good," I thought. "Reserve your energy." I just knew that beastly frog was pure muscle and when it came time to jump, he would probably hop right out of the room. It was a match made in Heaven. Two star-crossed frog-hopping contestants were finally merged together and I had no doubt that we would soon be in the frog-hopping hall of fame.

Then it finally came time to race. About eight kids stood back-to-back with their frog in hand. Soon, the whistle would blow and the race would be on. There large white circle drawn around us, about 10-feet away. Whoever could get their frog across that line first was the winner.

So there I stood. Frog in hand, ready. I eyeballed my competition. One frog seemed to only hop in circles. Going straight across the finish line would be a challenge for him. The kid right next to me was in a wheelchair. Certainly, he would struggle as most kids were on hands and knees yelling encouraging words like "Jump!" at their frog. I had to be a favorite to win. My frog was pretty still. He was huge and as he filled my hands I whispered to him, "Alright, time to wake up and win this."

The whistle blew and off we went. All the kids set their frogs down and the madness was on. The one frog jumped in circles, the other frog took small uninspired jumps as the kid in the wheelchair yelled at him from a distance. All the frogs where hopping, except mine.

"Go!" I yelled. I gave him a little nudge and he was finally off. And then he stopped. "Keep jumping!"

The frog took a few jumps here and there, but my dreams of frog-hopping fame were disappearing. The kid in the wheelchair urged his frog on and slowly rolled behind him. While he was focusing on his frog, he failed to see where my frog was and accidently ran over my frog's leg.

"What a dirty move," I thought. My frog had been injured. Sure he still hopped, but with a major gimp. This just couldn't happen! Inspired, I urged my frog on. But he decided to do what he did best, sit. Eventually one frog jumped across the finish line. I remember the wheelchair kid finished in second place. I picked my frog up and gave him back to his handlers, who made sure he was OK.

For some reason, I was reminded of this race earlier in the week and realized it is in many ways choosing, and sticking with, our presidential candidate. Both frog and politicians have a lot more in common than being slimy, ugly creatures that will give you warts.

For whatever reason, we gravitate to one candidate. For me in the frog-hopping contest, I wanted the biggest, strongest frog. Once we finally decide our guy, or frog, we stick with it, only seeing his good traits and often ignoring the bad ones. My frog was clearly a resting beast, not a lazy, fat frog. My loyalty had been decided and there would be no changing it.

Then once the competition begins, we are fully vested supporters. Our candidates and frogs might get off to a slow start, or may even jump in circles, but it doesn't deter us. It only makes us yell louder. "Go, frog, Go!"

It is too late to jump on another band wagon. We have invested too much. When possible dirty politics, or frog injuries, occur it energizes us again. Instead of realizing we don't have the best frog in the race, we cry fowl. "No, it's not fair! Your cheating!"

It isn't over for us until the race is over. And then we accept it, with some animosity. While another candidate is declared the winner, we reluctantly accept it, but continue to check on our frog. "Is he doing OK? Good, don't worry about it. We will get 'em next time."

Of course if you win, your hopping with joy. Showing off that trophy and telling everyone, "I told you so!"

I have yet to choose my frog for the 2008 campaign, but once I do, there will be no going back.

What about you? Have you picked your contestant? Why or why not?

Alge Crumpler released by Falcons

Well, well.... The Atlanta Falcons just released tight end Alge Crumpler. They say it is part of a house cleaning, a fresh start for a team facing a tough rebuilding task.

There are a lot of players on the roster that need to go, but Crumpler isn't one of them. He is simply one of the best tight ends in the game. Not to mention the type of leader he was for the team.

If there is one thing this team will need is veteran leadership. Even when things were falling apart last year, Crumpler was trying to hold the team together. Also, Crumpler was a fan favorite. With the horrible Vick situation, Atlanta fans will need someone to cling to. If others like LB Keith Brooking and RB Warrick Dunn get cut, there will be little reason for fans to tune in.

The knock on Crumpler is his big contract and he missed a lot of time with a bad knee last year. The new coach may want to go in a cheaper direction, but I don't think he will find a better TE in the league.

Hopefully, Crumpler will end up on a team with a serious chance to win the Super Bowl.
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Why Mike Vick will play for the Atlanta Falcons again

While many people believe that Mike Vick will never play in a Falcons uniform again, there are plenty of reasons to believe he will. And, due partly because he gives the Falcons its best chance to win, it makes the scenario not only plausible, but probable.

Now, If we are going to assume Vick will play again, we also have to assume that he will not spend too many years in jail, either on the federal charges he pleaded guilty to or on the state charges he currently faces. It is believed he will spend no more than three years in jail and will still have several years of football left in him.

So why would he come back to Atlanta? Well, the first and easiest explanation is that he gives his team a chance to win. Combine that with dismal play of the team without him. They are currently off to a 1-5 start and look very bad at almost every aspect of the game. There is no short-term fix to the team's problems. It will take several years for the team to get acquainted with Coach Bobby Petrino's new system, draft quality players or bring in several free agents and begin winning. Even if the team drafts a stud QB next year, the rookie would probably sit out at least a year to learn the system. Even if he did play, he would struggle as most young QBs do. Before that young QB even stepped on the field, Vick would most likely be out of jail and looking for work.

And while there are many people who loathe Vick for his actions, there are many that are ready to forgive him, several living in Atlanta. Also, many of his detractors would disappear after Vick serves his time and is out of the spot light.

So fast forward to three years from today. The Falcons are still rebuilding and likely losing. The team won't be selling out games and will have little support. But Mike Vick is just out of jail (and technically still on the team roster). Activate him and guess what, all of those problems are solved. He automatically adds interest back to the team. Tickets will sell out with fans wanting to see his exciting style of play. Vick would give the team a chance to win, which would also win over many of those who hate him. The team would automatically go from losers to exciting playoff contenders.

Of course, anywhere Vick plays will be met with protesters. There would be an air of negativity around him for some time. But team owner Arthur Blank could easily negate that by saying Vick had served his time and the team wants to support him during his rehabilitation (a rehabilitation that includes the Falcons winning football games).

Now there are those who say Blank would never take Vick back after this fiasco, as evidenced by the team's attempt to recoup more than $20 million of his signing bonus. That is fair, but keep in mind that Blank is a business man. It is smart to recoup $20 million. It is also smart to bring back a player that will fill the stands. The personal feelings Blank has for Vick would certainly be a major stumbling block for Vick's return, but after several sincere apologies from Vick, it could be rectified.
Now lets look at the money aspect. Vick is currently still on the team's roster. He is partially there because the team would take a severe salary cap hit by simply cutting him (even if they wait a year). Another reason he is still on the roster is because he has value. The Falcons know in a worst case scenario, they could trade him to another team and get something in return. However, after three horrible losing seasons, they might not want to trade away the game changer. And what team would want to pick up such a large salary? Vick is set to make $10.5 million in 2010, $12 million in 2011 and even higher numbers on the next 3 years of his salary.
So, the Falcons would be stuck with a talented player that will win football games that they cannot trade. The only problem they have with keeping him is the PR hit it would take which, as mentioned earlier, could be handled. Plus the PR hit may not be that bad. At a recent town hall discussion on the Vick case, hosted by ESPN in Atlanta, the crowd broke out into a "Free Mike Vick" chant. Vick certainly has his detractors, but he has a very loyal following as well.

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I love you Sean Hannity

Last week I wrote about three media personalities and explained how their credentials didn’t necessarily qualify them to give opinions. The three people I wrote about were Jon Stewart, Dear Abby (Abigail Van Buren) and Sean Hannity.

Of course I did not expect a response from any of them. Though, it would have been cool to hear from Stewart, and I imagine Dear Abby would have been kind of interesting. But, I did have the dubious honor of hearing from Hannity.

When I got into the office last Monday, I had an e-mail waiting on me titled “From Sean Hannity.” The writer of the e-mail claimed to the real Sean Hannity. He asked me where I got my information from and said that he did not drop out of college due to poor grades, but due to financial difficulties.

The idea that Hannity would contact me about something I wrote in our relatively small paper seemed unlikely. Him complaining about a small pebble like me seemed kind of like Chewbacca complaining about having a long nose hair. So, I replied to the e-mail (I should have titled my response “From Eric Hudson,” but that seemed a little pretentious to me). I told the writer I would love to speak on the phone; thinking it was a prankster out on a hoax.

He wrote back to get my phone number and shortly after I received a phone call. On the other end of the phone, I heard, “Hi, this is Sean Hannity.” It took me
a moment, but the voice sounded just like the one that had polluted the speakers inside my Jeep just days before.

In typical Hannity fashion, he drilled me. I tried to ask him questions, but he didn’t seem to care. He had something to say, and he wasn’t going to let me speak
unless he felt like it.

The basis of his complaint was that he was in fact very good at school and was very qualified to do what he does. I admit that my source wasn’t as strong as it
should be, and I apologize for that. But to tell the truth, I am not sure that he actually understood the point of the column or that he even read it. See, he asked who my boss was and what my phone number was. I told him that the answers to both questions were already printed in the column.

After our mostly one-way conversation, he demanded a correction and an apology. Later he sent me an e-mail inviting me to come on his show and talk about how I was going to be the next Dan Rather. I took the back-handed comment for what it was and didn’t write back. At no point in our conversations did he call me
a great American.

But truth be told, if I would have known Hannity cared about what I said in my column, I would have mentioned his name a lot earlier. I wouldn’t have bothered mentioning that he did not finish college. What kind of schooling he has is the least of my problems with Hannity.

The few lines that I dedicated to him in my past column were mostly in jest. If I had a real problem with him, I would have mentioned that I think his shows are extremely narrow-minded and damaging to democracy. I would have told readers to check out an article titled “The Document Sean Hannity Doesn’t Want
You To Read,” published by (it is real easy to find, just do a Google search on the title).

That article is great because it shows 15 specific times when Hannity has distorted the truth on topics ranging from weapons of mass destruction to public housing. It details in one instance where Colin Powell returned from Iraq. Hannity said, “Colin Powell just had a great piece that he had in the paper today. He
was there [in Iraq]. He said things couldn’t have been better.” The article gives a quote from Powell which was said on the same day as Hannity’s comments. Powell said, “Iraq has come very far, but serious problems remain, starting with security.”

It might just be me, but these comments seem to contradict each other. After reading these 15 well documented instances, and hearing the show several times myself, it makes me wonder what other kind of misinformation Hannity distributes.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect what Hannity does. Well, maybe respect isn’t the right word, but I think he believes what he says and it has gotten him a huge following. He has a radio show and a TV show to use as a forum to say what he wants. To think that my forum, a weekly column, could draw the attention of this
national figure means that I am either doing something incredibly right or tremendously wrong.

Every week I get comments from local readers that say they really enjoy what my columns share with them. Since those are the people I am trying to please the
most, I have a feeling that I am on the right track. If it angers Sean Hannity, then maybe he will understand how many people feel when they are subjected to his shows.

Get that money

Two Gwinnett County court reporters have found a loop hole and are making sure they get paid. Pamela Lennard and Mike Ables have both been charging more than $170,000 for their work, which is more than double what other county reporters are charging and more than the judges they work for make. For some reason, the county has a problem with this.

Eight other court reporters billed the county anywhere between $41,000 and $85,000. Court reporters document judicial proceedings and prepare transcripts. They are licensed through the state.

Lennard and Able were transcribing everything said during court hearings that could involve multiple defendants, such as arraignments or trial calendar calls, then attaching that full transcript to each case file. That meant hundreds of extra copies for which they could bill the county, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said.

Technically, a certified copy of those proceedings must be made part of the court record but doesn't have to be included with each defendant's case file, Porter said. It can be filed separately with the Clerk of Court.

At least one court reporter, Ables, is more than a year behind in finishing certain trial transcripts, but "by God those calendars get turned in because he's getting to bill $2,000 for it," Porter said.

Now typically, Gwinnett judges make just north of $150,000 a year. If the court clerk is pulling ing about $175,000, doesn't that just make them oppourtunists? I mean if the judges are so smart, wouldnt they have taken a higher paying gig? And just because the court reporters are using a loop hole to steal money from the county, what's the problem? I say if you want to make money, you've got to take money. If the county doesn't like it, they should fix the loop hole.

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