History may not repeat, but it sure does rhyme. I think those words come from Mark Twain. How many times can one person speak of heat and the Republican Party in the same post? Apparently quite a few, if the Ruminations have any say in the discussion.
With Austin having already had it’s share of 100 degree days for the summer, I am starting to think that Hades may in fact be a cooler place to be right now. But it’s not only Austin that is suffering from the heat …
1. The heat has been on the organizers of the United States Grand Prix in Austin. City council meetings and news reports have become contentious and acrimonious at best. But the race organizers did finally receive Austin city council support. There was actually a 5 – 2 vote in favor of endorsing Formula One United States.
I have to admit, I am still shaking my head on this one. I still don’t get the level of anger that seems to fuel this debate. Keeping with the theme of “Keep Austin Weird”, the approach to this event has been strange at best. As much as our local government wants to check all the contracts and make sure that they have everything under control before putting their John Hancock on any agreement with Bernie Ecclestone, they really need to simply stop for a moment and ponder the potential ramifications of NOT endorsing it.
This event will be a huge boon to the local economy. City council members will almost certainly look back with 20-20 hindsight in a few years and proclaim that they really did support it all along. This is a world class event that Austin and Central Texas will benefit from – in more ways than just liquor sales and hotel room reservations. It puts Austin on the map globally, for sponsors and for industry.
Not only is Austin now primed for Formula One, but MotoGP is also coming our way. And if that wasn’t enough, how about some V8 Supercars from Down Under? Good on ya, mate!
2. The heat is also (again) on the Republican Party. It must be the summer season – there is a lot of grilling going on these days. Although the President is asking both parties to come to the table to find solutions to the the job market and the national debt, members of the Republican Party simply refuse to get anything accomplished. Senator Rand Paul has gone so far as to state that he will filibuster everything – yes, everything – that is in front of the Senate until they start debate on the debt ceiling.
I have heard that he is also going to cry endlessly if he doesn’t get his soother and warm milk before bed. And be warned if he throws a temper tantrum. The Tea Party may never be the same. But I digress.
How many people do you know that are concerned about the debt ceiling? Seriously. No, really, I ask you seriously. I suspected as much. The answer is probably zero or none. Maybe the odd economist or professor. But the average Joe (you know, the same one that the Republican Party’s John McCain used in his campaign in 2008) is more concerned about his job than he is about the debt ceiling.
Frankly, this is all getting rather old. Government as we know it now has become a bunch of old men (and women, and younger men and women) behaving badly and getting paid to do so. I really don’t think this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they established the Republic. But, once again, I digress.
3. Finally, I end this Rumination with another sad story – the passing of North Carolina State basketball hero Lorenzo Charles. Charles is the player who dunked the air ball put up by Dereck Whittenburg to beat the Houston Cougars in the 1983 National Championship game. It was a game that left us with many stunning images – of Charles’ dunk, of coach Jim Valvano running on to the court to hug anyone in his path, and of “Phi Slama Jama” hanging their heads after the game.
I remember this game so vividly. It was the game that really brought to light the fact that on any given night, any team can win in college basketball. It exemplified the “Madness” that is now always found in March.
Charles died in a bus wreck at the age of 47. My condolences go out to his family. Charles’ image will forever be etched in my mind, along with the belief that anything can happen on any given night. Thanks for providing an image so strong and so pure.
Photo credits: Wikipedia