Know how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Storms Don't Build Character--They Reveal It
As much as the media would love to do to Trump what it did to George W Bush--use a natural disaster to damage a presidential administration, Texas has thus far deprived them of that opportunity. A study of Katrina and Harvey would reveal little in meteorological or topographical differences, but an immense difference in the resiliency of the two communities. What should be clear is that in times of personal or social crisis, your best resources lie within yourself, your nuclear family, your extended family, your community and your church. If these institutions are strong, you have little need to worry about the efficiency of a federal bureaucracy. Fostering government dependency endangers the recipient during life's actual as well as metaphorical storms by creating an illusion of security that will fail in ways large and small.
Conservative values will also benefit suffering Texans in the months ahead through the Economic Stabilization Fund https://empowertexans.com/features/harvey-texas-rainy-day-fund/
A fund which many liberals and their Republican allies in the Texas House have tried to loot for years--thankfully unsuccessfully.
Hopefully government attempts to control prices of goods and services by punishing "price gougers" will be equally unsuccessful. https://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2017/08/30/price-gouging-n2374713
"Price gouging" is mostly good. This is the way markets should work to allocate resources to whom and to where they are needed most. You wouldn't spend $5 for a gallon of gas to fill your lawnmower during a flood or even to top off your tank. But you would to fill the generator that provides electricity for your medical equipment--if you can find it. Speaking of generators, if their price in an area of shortage triples, it provides incentive for people to bring more of them in. If bottles of water are expensive, people use them only for drinking not washing. People won't empty the shelves to hoard expensive food, we will just purchase what we need. The list goes on.
Retailers still have incentive to not be predatory. Why? Because any monopoly will be ephemeral and the free market will soon punish them if they don't. The same free market that will be the engine of natural disaster recovery. Contrary to the editorials in The Eagle on September 1st, free enterprise is the main reason we don't have to rely on the charity of other nations or the wisdom of a government economic czar.
Market pricing also provides crucial real time actionable information for relief efforts, If bottled water is selling for 10 times its usual price in Dickinson and baby formula 10 times in Port Arthur, you know exactly where to send which supply truck. Of course, the benefits of free markets don't replace the role of charity and volunteerism nor the role government should play in crisis management and recovery. They should compliment each other. But the government should not be in the business of trying to set prices. Especially not during a time of crisis.
The images from Texas have also successfully stolen the momentum from the news media's racial conflict agenda. The conflict was largely a product of and contained to the realm of media to begin with. But the narrative that we are a state and nation seething with racism and division has been over written by images of multi-racial suffering and succor. Having lived in two countries and 5 states I always knew we had such character, now revealed to a watching world.
Substance Abuse. . .and Use
Props to editorial page editor Robert Borden who invited an op-ed from your favorite neighborhood blogger to balance The Eagle's recent cheerleading for "medicinal marijuana". Since I know many of you do not read The Eagle, you can read my editorial here:
Also contrary to the expert hosted by First United Methodist Church Bryan, coffee users do NOT meet medical criteria for addiction which requires persistent use despite evidence of harm to the user. The Beagle made it through medical training, innumerable call nights and a military deployment before succumbing to the temptations of coffee after having four kids, a full time job. . .and blog. Love this coffee from Guatemala and the owners that buy direct from the growers sharing the savings with the good people of Guatemala and you.
Safe to be Proud of Baylor Again
On the heels of Baylor football's enormous upset to upstart Liberty University, I actually found myself feeling a renewed sense of pride in my wife's school. The complicity of the previous coach and athletic department in the sexual assaults by players was made more clear last month when it was revealed that player drug testing was not being performed. The excuse was that, because the university policy called for a semester's suspension, it would be stricter than other school's and place Baylor at a competitive disadvantage. Instead, what amounted to an open invitation to athlete's interested in smoking marijuana during their college football career was extended.
Few athletic departments are as strict as they should be on illicit drug use. But the price of such moral laxity couldn't be more clear than what we now know transpired at Baylor in recent years. There is no excuse for a Christian school to have anything but higher standards than their peers. A lesson that has been learned the hard way by the Baylor family.
Sumlin's Year of Living Dangerously
There has not been a season like this in recent memory. One where a coach's job is so publicly on the line. One thing we know for sure is that another season of less than 9 regular season wins and Coach Sumlin is gone. Except that is likely what we will see and The Beagle predicts another year for Coach Sumlin at the helm.
The question isn't "how many wins?" but "which direction is the program headed?" I believe it's headed in the right direction as evidenced by another quiet off season, reports of positive locker room morale and continued solid recruiting. Eventually that will become more evident in the win column,
Last year The Beagle advised you to prepare for a "10 win season, including a bowl win" on the strength of a mature quarterback and talented anti-quarterbacks at defensive end. Which looked brilliant until, well, you know. A brilliant pass rush was negated by a porous run defense. This year, the defense will finally carry its weight.
Which brings us back to the quarterback situation. Coaches, like CEOs, earn the big bucks to manage the big decisions right. And if Coach Sumlin is fired, he will have only himself to blame. In a conversation with Nick Starkel a week ago, he sounded like a man who had already earned the job and had the poise and personality to succeed on a big stage today. You'll probably know for certain by the time you read this, but The Beagle predicts a win for the Aggies as the better overall team with a quarterback that does just enough right in his debut.
@Lost Angeles W
Nickle State W
Louisiana Somebody W
Carolina South W
@Gatorade U L
The Hail State W
Not Mexico W
Casa Ole Miss W
@ LS who? L
The last two years we saved the job of the LSU coach. But they aren't likely to return the favor. Stumble along the way, and a big upset will be needed (which Coach Sumlin has provided annually). Of course, the manner of the Ws and Ls matters, but an eight win season and we stand pat. Sure, some will howl that all we lack is the next hot coach. Just don't try telling that to your tu friends. And don't expect anyone to join you if you feel like throwing stuff onto the field in protest.
Why Sully is Safe
BRILLIANT piece of strategery by Chancellor Sharp who preempted any discussion of Confederate General Sul Ross's place on our campus before it could start. But Sully will remain long after the Chancellor's contract expires. Consider:
His role as Texas Governor
His role as President of A&M College
His role in saving the university from closure
His appearance in civilian atire
A lack of historical connections to slave ownership
That his statue was not erected in a political manner or environment
Elsewhere, such factors may not have saved him from America's Taliban, the progressive iconoclasts who's narrow ideology and harsh treatment of infidels rules most campuses today. One that promotes a moralistic yet intellectually bankrupt Disney character approach to historical figures--either they're a good guy or a bad guy. But it will here. We have a sober pride in our history and roots. We're an Agricultural and Mechanical institution. We grow and build things--not destroy them. Vandals and intolerant culture cleansers need not apply.
What we may instead do is erect a new statue at an appropriate site on campus (west campus lacks any such cultural displays) that reflects both our roots and our current racial diversity. Matthew Gaines, a freed slave and Republican legislator was an early champion of the Morrill Act that provided funds for A&M's founding and would be a good choice.
University campuses should absolutely be places of diversity--particularly diversity of thought.