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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
September 8, 2010     Hays Free Press
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September 8, 2010

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Hays Free Press September 8, 2010 OPMON Page 5A ,+ Football fever fuels fine foretellings may still feel like summer th the infemal sun turning pastures and skin brown and dus, but as I skim the sports page or tune in to ESPN, I see fall is fight around the comer because everyone is talking football. Even Kenny Cbesney is singing about the "Boys of Fall", giving me hope that cooler weather will be here in time for the first coin toss. As much as I enjoy summertime, relaxing at the beach or chillin' in the pool, autumn is my favorite season. Cooler weather, leaves changing colors, wildlife venturing out from the shady woodlands. But, best of all, it's football season! I'm not embarrassed to tell you that I am a football junkie. I'd watch football every night if it was on T. Pro or college games, even high school ifI can't find some- thing better on my 250 channels. I even watch.the NFL Draft in the spring just to quench my thirst for football. I've been a Dallas Cow- boy fan since I can remember. I come from a family of Cowboys fanatics, and I'm proud to say I've brought my girls up to be devoted Dallas fans. I have also supported the Ixmghoms, and since the fall of 1976, when I first sat in Ney- land Stadium, a huge Tennessee Volunteer fan. I'll read every sports column about football during the season, checking out trades and injury reports. I'll watch pregame shows on Sunday mornings just to catch the latest news in the NFL and to see what idiots predict the Cowboys will lose their upcoming game. I also like to read predic- tions and preseason polls for col- lege teams, no matter how ridicu- lous most are, I even follow the BS rankings, oh, I'm sorr the BCS rankings, so I'll have something to fuss about onWednesdays. You know, I've been known to predict the future. I believe I wrote an award-winning column awhile back with some mighty fine prog- nosticalng, although I can't recall ff a single prediction actually came true. So, why shouldn't I go ahead and make my own predic- tions for this football season? If goofy Lou Holtz and Terry Brad- shaw, who has more hair than brains, can make predictions, why can't I? YII go grab a cold beer and let's see what I can come up with. 1. Lane Kiffm gets tarred-and- feathered after being found lurk- ing on the campus of the Univer- sity of Tennessee. He claims he came back to retrieve some items he left in his office, like his favorite inspirational book, "The Biogra- phy of Benedict Arnold." 2. Due to further NCAA investigations, Reggle Bush not only has to give up his Heisman Trophy but also his high school ring, his Pop Warner MVP trophy and his autographed poster of OJ. Simpson. 3.A poll reveals that there am more fantasy football participants in Michigan than any other state. The residents of Detroit now am able to brag about their winning teams. 4. Penn State coach Joe Patemo gets his 5000th victory after the Nittany Lious beat Illinois. Joe Pa says after the game, "Our quar- terback this season reminds me of the first quarterback I coached here, Benjamin Franklin." 5. Deafening mars from capacity-filled Neyland Stadium can be heard for miles around after everyVolunteer touchdown. Even louder mars come after the loudspeaker announcer informs the orange-clad fans that USC is getting beat. 6. After throwing three inter- ceptions and bobbling several snaps, Tony Romo confesses after the game that he's been dating Lady Gaga. He is immediately placed on Injured Reserve while he receives counseling from Roger Staubach. 7. After consecutive losses, the University of Oklahoma drops out of the BCS mnkings by midsea- son, but on the brighter side, the state of Oklahoma rises to the #2 ranking of the fattest states in America. 8. USC finallywins aPAC 10 game, but later has to forfeit the victory because Reggie Bush was on the sideline. 9. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, upset over a losing season, resigns and moves back to the Florida swamps to live with other big-mouthed, bird-brain varmints. 10. After weeks of rehab, Tony Romo becomes a Buddhist monk and leads the Dallas Cowboys to the Super Bowl. These are only a few of many predictions I've made over the past few beers, uh, I mean years. Some have come true, but most flop like a Bevo patty on Astm- tuff. If some of you think I might hold a grudge against certain teams or certain yellow-bellied, scum-sucking, dim-witted col- lege coaches, let me assure you that I would never intentionally bad-mouth anyone. But ffI have a futuristic vision while in a medi- tafional trance, then I feel I should spread the word to all you football fans out there.And while I'm on the subject, GoVols! Clint Younts can be seen wear- ing a foreign orange colored shirt, not a true Texas orange, as he goes about the business of keeping his cattle in line. rtm4qt Where the money went this time h, man, that fog of war. Sweat and smoke in your eyes. Not always sure what you're shooting at. One minute you try to nail the enemy - Bamck Obama- as a Muslim who won't fess to it. Then your new commanding general, Glenn Beck, directs fire at him for liberation (Christian) theology. Ohama, the enem is an inert job killer. Obama, the enem5 is a hyper-speed spender- and so what ifa few jobs ema- nate? Well, guess what? A few jobs emanated - about 3 million- directly linked to the Recovery and Investment Act signed a year and a half ago. That's from an independent report in which one of the economists contribu Mark Zandi {he backed John McCaln in 2008), says the bill averted "Great Depres- sion 2.0." Our jobless rate of 9.6 percent percent? It would be 11 percent otherwise, the report says, and 16.5 percent without the added rescue of banks. We switch you now to the nearest Tea Party mll which wouldn't hear such a thing- couldn't hear it, anywa with its bullhorns at jet-engine decibels. Ah, those anti-spending absolut- ists. I presume you heard the howls and screeches last week when another report came out: that more than 10 percent of the $50 billion spent on Iraqi recoustmction evaporated into desert dust, Our Tea Party types would not have stood for that. Right? Wrong. Most of these anti-spending sentinels were vorse than silent in their red, white and blue vestments. They were patriotically pliant: on the off-budget funding of the Iraq incursion, on the Bush Pentagon's "cost-plus" approach for over- paying for just about everything contrac- tors like Halliburton and KBR did in the Iraqi and Afghan theaters. No, from this velume-adjusted segment of socie, not a peep was heard back then. Oniy when Barack Obama became the enemy did fiscal obscenities become- obscene. This is ironic, and odd. I mean, flour country is going to be extravagant with our mone you'd think most folks would want the extravagance to benefit our own children, our own highways, our own hospitals- rather than those of swarth3 swom enemies. Well, Obama and majority Democrats set out to do the former, spend money on our needs, in a moment of dire economic peril and.., behold, he became the enemy. The debfl The debfl So shout the ag- grieved. You can't argue with the scope of the debt problem, except that ifyou are going to boow, you at least ought to have a proper justification for it, and expect a payback - like 3 million jobs in not quite two years. At this point, we direct the assembled protesters to cup their ears and hum very loudly. Something else they don't want to hear is in the current Time magazine un- der the tide, "How the stimulus is chang- ingAmerica." Where is all that money going?. Alor.. with crucial domestic aims like highways, schools and hospitals (ours, not Iraq's), it's going to more innovation and far-sighted thinking than anyAmerican endeavor since the moon-shot mobilization. The endgame of this innovation stands to be far more than a lunar footprint and a bag of moon rocks, however. In this case it's clean and more depend- able energy:, wind, solar, fuel cells. It's energy conservation, such as retrofitting throe of four federal buildings (the U.S. government being the nation's largest energy consumer). Stimulus dollars are being poured into making the nation's electric grid more dy- namic, making our electric meters smarter and increasing our means of storing and distributing wind and solar power. Oh, and while we're at it: Here's something else about where the money is going. AS opposed to the no-bid contracts through which Halliburton and Blackwater engorged themselves, the stimulus bill's allocations am based on real, honest-to-goodness, due-diligence competition among bidders. That form of fiscal responsibili writes Time, is "the Recovery Act's deeper reform." Now, once again: It may bother you that we am spending anything at all, with a national debt exceeding $13 trillion. The bumper sticker says, "Don't tell Obama what comes after 'trillion.'" To those adorning their chrome with those words, let's try these words: Did ya see where those other trigions went? Longtime Texas newspaperman Iohn Young lives in Colorado. We must each claim our share of the war A  had a welcome home celebra- [/[/tionin mytown last week Some of the town folk gathered on the public square to welcome back soldiers who had served in Imq. There was patri- otic music, the colors were presented and the people waved flags. It was a joyous cel- ebration and one that the men and women who had served their country deserved. Even we old veterans were asked to stand and receive applause. What I am wondering is how many Americans am still involved with the wars that are still going on. The President spoke on Tuesday evening marking the end of "combat operations" inJ_raq. Hopefully, he will also point out to hi listening audi- ence that there are sllAmerican men and women being killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The "combat" maybe over but no one has told the insmgents that it is. I have asked many times where are the flags? Where am all the little yellow ribbons that told us to "support our troops" that were .so prevalent some nine years ago when we invaded Afghanistan? Where am they nowwhen we invaded a country 7 1/2 years ago under pretenses that have been provent wron& if not downright deceptive? We sent troops to Afghanistan to stre back at the enemy that had attacked us. Americans saw a reason and sent our men and women to wipe out that force. The reasons for going into Iraq have proven to be fluid, especially when a reason was proven to be untrue. Now, in Afgh_aniistan, we have over 120,000 soldiers and an unknown number ofmercenarie Some say there are more mercenaries than there is military. We are leaving over 50,000 mili- tary personnel and an unknown number of mercenaries in Iraq. Our war costs have exceeded one trillion dollars, all paid for with credit. The Obama Administi'ation has finally included mih'tary spending for both Iraq and Afghanistan in the congressional budget. There are estimates that with the lingering wounds, the rehabilitation, and materiel replacement will cost us over three trillion dollars. I will take them at their word, not being one who believes much in predicting the future. A bigger question involves us Ameri- cans. Whose wars am these anyway? Are we willing to accept the fact that we are involved in two wars, neither one of which was declared by Congress? You and I have allowed our presidents to start wars with- out our elected representatives'declaration. We have allowed the expenditure ofmon- ies for acts that were not authorized. A greater moral issue is that we have sent our men and women into battle and have, in essence, forgotten about them. Remember that after we were attacked on September 11, 2001, we were told to "go shopping." It seems that we have taken that statement too literally We let our govern- ment send men and women to war while we went about our everyday lives. We have not claimed any part ofthe war. We have let the monies go without questioning what and why it was being spent, Have we done our part byjust"sending the money?" I am dubious about having mandatory drafts into the military. On the one hand, I do not like the idea that someone is deter- mining who my enemyis. On the other, I do not like the idea of a praetorian guard. It has become apparent to me though that ifwe Americans am going to stop attempt- ing to be the world's policeman, we am going to have tO have a draft. Ifwe have a draft, with no deferments for any reason, perhaps then Americans will accept ownership ofwar. Perhaps we will no longer be so enthusiastic about sending someone else's son or daughter into harm's way. ffwe am enthusiastically "supporting our troops" then they am ours. "Ours" means that we am a part of them. We am sending our own fo be killed or wounded, not someone eise's. We have sent men and women to Afghanistan and Imq. Let's support them more than just when they come home safe and sound. There are alot that we own that am in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. They are ours. TARGET,