Gore, Knoxville, and Thanksgiving

I intended to update this yesterday, but due to Blog City being down, I was unable to do so. I have now returned home, and thus have to get by on AOL, which is not very much fun. Still Thanksgiving is upon us, so I am in a good mood. It is in this mood that I review recent developments in the world in which we live.

Yesterday my column ran dealing with the problems of UT’s Issues Committee. I have now heard that Justin Rubenstein has been suspended from the committee, and that Warren Denning, who admitted the club favored liberals, has lost his voting privileges. The latter is somewhat puzzling; after all, Denning only said what everyone already knew. Why punish him for pointing out the obvious? Don’t most of the members, who have perpetuated the bias, deserve some blame? Denning is no more responsible than they are.

Today’s Daily Beacon has an interesting article about the enforcement of seat belt laws, commonly referred to as “Click It or Ticket.” Though I am sympathetic to wanting to protect people from accidents, and I agree that it is downright stupid not to wear a seat belt, I must say I oppose such laws as this. “Click It or Ticket” only serves to protect people from themselves, something I don’t feel the government should be involved in. Protect citizens from things beyond their control, not their own (dumb) choices, I say. Walter E. Williams had a great column about this a couple months ago.

In Knoxville news, there are some things to be thankful for. First of all, the city council voted against using tax dollars to fund a new hotel. While I personally would love to see a new hotel (or any new business in Knoxville), I do not support using tax dollars to fund it. If the hotel was such a great idea, why hasn’t a business already opened it? The taxpayers have already demonstrated they oppose the funding, as evidenced by the 15,000 who signed the petition. I do support allowing it to be decided on a referendum, however.

Mayor Victor Ashe also had a great idea. He has suggested banning subsidies to all hotels. I realize this only amounts to a temper tantrum from the mayor, but I still think it’s a good idea. The less government interferes in business, the better.

In national news, an intelligent man once said that knowing when to shut up was a virtue. Apparently, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks never learned that lesson. The songstress and part-time foreign affairs expert is enlightening us again with her limitless intelligence, and basically said “screw you” to any fan who has the audacity to disagree with her worldview. At least she’s not still whining about being censored. That’s definitely something to be thankful for.

Something not to be thankful for is the new persciption drug benefit in Medicare, passed by a Republican Congress, and with the support of President Bush. It’s ironic that Democrats opposed it, since they generally support this type of thing, but I guess partisanship is the name of the game. Mark my words, this is only phase one towards a larger goal: nationalized healthcare. Many seniors don’t even want this bill. It’s a shame that those who do don’t mind burdening younger people with high taxes for the rest of their lives.

Some quick football predictions: Ole Miss will handily defeat Mississippi State tomorrow. On Friday, Louisville will beat Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio) will beat UCF, LSU over Arkansas, Texas over Texas A&M, and Marshall over Ohio. Look for my other picks later in the week.

In closing, I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving! Remember, despite it’s problems, American remains the greatest country on earth. Never forger that!

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