September 23, 2005

The Next Generation

Over the summer, I developed quite a liking to the left-leaning magazine The New Republic. I checked out their website every other day while I was in DC, but I haven't checked their stories out in a few weeks now.

Today, Wonkette provided a link to TNR's new cover story, "Swimming with Sharks". It describes in almost painful detail the tactics used in running for the chair of the College Republicans. What truly scares me, though, is that these people will most likely be the future of the Republican party.

Posted by Randy at 12:48 PM | TrackBack

September 18, 2005


(Warning: Typical family rant below, followed by family and personal introspective rambling.)

There is no place I know of where I feel more out of place than when I am at my cousins' home.

The same things seem to happen every time. My father and his siblings immediately begin to bounce conversation between them, and my cousins have developed the ability to jump in and participate. I might be able to do so if the topic would drift away from hunting, my deceased grandparents, or far-right conservatism.

The food is eventually ready to eat. Someone will offer some idiotic prayer thinking it remains funny ("Good food, good drink. Good Lord, let's eat.") Everyone then fights for the food, which is generally some variation of BBQ.

While eating, conversation remains on its typical course. Usually when I'm in the middle of eating, someone will make some racist comment or bring up some political untruth that makes my insides begin to boil. Occasionally, the two are combined. Last night, they were. ("Those damn n-----s in New Orleans stayed so they could take control of the city.") When this happens, I finish eating as quickly as I can and then excuse myself. I would confront most of my family if we were speaking privately. In a crowd, however, I am definitely the minority.

While I may not enjoy the company of my extended family, I do envy one aspect of their life. Their family talks to one another. They joke and play around. They are comfortable with one another.

The accident that killed my sister also killed one of my cousins. Their family pulled together. While they still have their problems, they have one another.

My family, on the other hand, drifted apart. I spent the night my sister died at the house of a family friend because I could not handle my family. The next few days, it seemed as if we all suffered on our own. We didn't really speak to one another. When we went to see the mother of another kid (Justin, my sister's boyfriend) that died, I remember my mother finding Justin's jacket in my father's truck, picking it up, and holding it to her chest while sobbing to herself. I didn't know what to do, so I just sat in the backseat of the truck quietly. I have no idea what my father was thinking, but he started driving. I don't think we said a word to one another during the drive.

My family never was very close. I don't think my sister's death tore us apart, but I do think it constructed a barrier between us. Most of this weekend, my father watched television in the living room, my mother watched DVDs in their bedroom, and I was on my computer in my room. We usually even eat in separate locations.

Most of the time, I am happy with this arrangement. I'm a private person, and I enjoy spending time alone. However, when I want to engage in a deep and serious conversation with anyone, I don't really have anyone to speak with.

I have surrounded myself with an impenetrable shell. Most people are aware of what is outside it, but only very few have I allowed inside.

This is mainly because I have a severe trust deficiency. (I blame my father for that, but that's a totally different story.) I'm afraid to really open up, even to the closest of my friends.

As a result, I always end up feeling like I don't belong. Like everyone is just tolerating my presence because they don't want to be mean. When I hit that point, I start to withdraw. I slowly pull myself away. And then I never know what to do.

. . .

You know, I am blaming Martinez and Dr. K. for this post.

Posted by Randy at 05:47 PM | TrackBack

September 12, 2005

Freedom Fighting

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [the United States'] heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. . . . She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. . . . She might become the dictatress of the world. She would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit.
--John Quincy Adams, the USA's "greatest secretary of state" according to my American Foreign Policy textbook
Posted by Randy at 12:46 PM | TrackBack

September 07, 2005


Everyone should go and read this timeline of events surrounding Hurricane Katrina and the government response. I find it rather enlightening.

The website with the timeline may be liberal, but you should notice that every single item on the timeline is verified by respectable sources.


I would also like it to be known that I fully oppose the censorship created from FEMA's ban on taking photos of the death caused by the hurricane. In my opinion, this is worse than the photo ban concerning the flag-draped coffins.

Posted by Randy at 04:19 PM | TrackBack

September 05, 2005


Yesterday, I ate at Red Lobster with my mother and a family friend. They were on their way home from Shreveport. They had been gambling. (On a side note, my mother told me that she hadn't slept since Friday morning. I get my sleeping habits from her.)

On a whim, I decided to count the number of American flags I saw between the LeTourneau University campus and the Red Lobster on the Loop. The distance between the two is approximately seven miles.

Because I wanted to know how many flags an average driver would see, I decided I would not be "looking for" the flags. I only counted if they fell within my field of vision. I would only count those I saw in front of me and those I saw when preparing to turn.

In those seven miles, I counted over 120 flags. 120+ flags. 7 miles. That is somewhere around seventeen or eighteen flags per mile.

This count only includes flags along two streets and a portion of the Loop.

I don't know how to respond to this. I can understand wanting to hang a flag as a symbol of patriotism, but isn't this just a tad extreme? What is the point of having a flag every twentieth of a mile or so?

Posted by Randy at 12:37 PM | TrackBack