30 April 2005

Filibuster Frist!

Good going Princeton! I would like to think we would have been clever enough to do something similiar had the occasion arose at FSU.


29 April 2005

Frist v. The Kitties

Stick a fork in Frist, I think he's done. Unable to deliver on the nuclear option (a term coined by Trent Lott I belive, and not by the Democrats), and facing a great deal of criticism by the business leaders of the Republican party for jeopardizing other priorities, things are looking bleak for his Presidential aspirations. Apart from the fact the Senators make lousy presidential candidates, he has effectively alienated the supporters with money by going after the supporters that are increasingly out of the mainstream.

I began paying attention to Frist when it looked like he was the first definite Rep. to be thinking about 2008. A search in Lexus Nexus has turned up more evidence of just how bizarre our public leaders are. From the Washington Post, 24 September 1994, page A-10:

Critic of 'Bleeding Hearts' Exhausted Supply of Felines

by Al Kamen

"I was, for the first time in my life, making original discoveries. No one else in the history of man had ever done exactly what I was doing, and I would be able to report my findings to the scientific world in some respected and scholarly journal. The way I acted, you would have thought my project, really very basic, was some grand breakthrough. As I watched the little strip of muscle beat hour after hour through the night in the basement of the hospital, I felt quite pure, as if I were reaching out and touching some eternal truth of nature.

"But my experiments were brought to a halt when I lost my supply of cats. I only had six weeks to complete my project before I resumed my clinical rotations. Desperate, obsessed with my work, I visited the various animal shelters in the Boston suburbs, collecting cats, taking them home, treating them as pets for a few days, then carting them off to the lab to die in the interests of science. And medicine. And health care. And treatment of disease. And my project.

"It was, of course, a heinous and dishonest thing to do, and I was totally schizoid about the entire matter. By day, I was little Billy Frist, the boy who lived on Bowling Avenue in Nashville and had decided to become a doctor because of his gentle father and a dog named Scratchy. By night, I was Dr. William Harrison Frist, future cardiothoracic surgeon, who was not going to let a few sentiments about cute, furry little creatures stand in the way of his career.

"In short, I was going a little crazy."

03 April 2005

ATO v. The Chickens

I saw something yesterday that reminded me of an event from our Student Government days. I saw a chicken in our back yard, and wondered what the frat boys were up to. Several years ago, a number of chickens were seen running loose in the area around the Tennessee strip. A member of our political family from KAOS was also doing some organizing for PETA, and she discovered the chickens had escaped from a frat party. At this party, it turns out a number of chickens were set loose at the ATO house and many of them were deliberately stomped to death. Kathy was horrified and set out to draw attention to the event.

This is probably the only time I have ever agreed with an action taken by PETA. Usually the group is so myopically focused on animal rights I often wondered if they ever noticed what is happening to human rights. They were countered on campus by SETA, the Society for the Eating of Tasty Animals, and many of our commie-liberal pinkos enjoyed the joke.

The story got into the Flambeau, but early the next morning most of the papers had been stolen before anyone could see them. In my research, I have discovered that this a trick that goes back to the '70's, at least. When ATO was confronted with this, they claimed the papers were stolen by other people to make them look bad. Of course, after the Flambeau incident, this only called more attention to the matter. Inevitably dubbed Chickengate, the ATO's defended themselves by denying everything, then by claming that they were actually scared by the chickens and accidentally trampled them to get out of their way. Kathy received some threatening messages on her voice mail, which Rich made a tape of and played at the Senate meeting. The response was all too typical, a wall of blank faces saying "Yes, but what does this have to do with us?"

The student body president was in ATO (his brother was posing in one the Flambeau pictures), and I heard Pres. D'Alemberte used to be an ATO, so I think any discipline that may have occurred was minimal. Despite appearances, I am not anti-frat. As individuals they can be reasonable, and I number more than a few as friends. Something happens, however, when they drink in a group. I have witnessed so much stupidity and willful destruction on their part, it's hard not to be biased.

We threw a lot of parties at KAOS, but we had established a responsible reputation, and were very rarely visited by the cops. If they happened to see a roaring fire on our front lawn, they would stop by to get warm and have a chat. Since we moved out of KAOS and frat boys moved in, the house is now on the FSUPD's bad list again.

Whatever happened to the ATO house? Sometime afterwards one of the members tipped over a candle and started a fire. Instead of calling the fire department, he tried to deal with it himself, and the fire got out of control. By the time the fire department arrived, the firemen were constantly harassed and criticized by frat members for not working fast enough. Careless accident or the ghastly revenge of revenant chickens? You be the judge.