Thursday, March 12, 2009

Free period (First Lady edition)

In what I'd like to believe is a good omen of sorts, the First Lady's alma mater won its first state championship in basketball last weekend. This hopefully bodes well for my alma mater, Strake Jesuit of Houston, as it makes an unprecedented run to a title in Austin tomorrow.

But for more than the obvious reasons, Pass Christian's (Miss.) Class 3A state championship victory last Friday was wonderful news. It might be a sign that, after all the devastation wrought there by Hurricane Katrina, there's hope for a brighter future.

It's hard to put into words the level of destruction Katrina inflicted on Pass Christian and other towns nestled along Mississippi's Gulf Coast. When we swung through town for a visit a couple years ago, the First Lady could hardly recognize the place. Her old home, her high school, her church, the town's few landmarks ... they were all washed away. Here's a few photos for some needed context.

So, even if it was for a moment (or really, 32 minutes), even if it happened on a hardwood floor in Jackson, even if there's so much more recovery ahead, The Pass was in desperate need of something to cheer about. Glad the Pirates could deliver.

More links:

1. Having been stopped by a state trooper only once out of many swings through tiny Tenaha in East Texas, I can say that it seems that I got off lucky in comparison to dozens of others.

2. My best guess is that Michael Steele won't make it through the spring.

3. And they said it wouldn't last. Well, they were right.

4. Sen. David Vitter: comedy gold. And now TSA is all in his mix.

5. To echo Steve Benen, good question: Anyone seen any recent calls for Social Security private accounts?

6. Not to be lost in all the angst about this egregious miscarriage of justice in Ohio is the fact that the real killer of the 5-year-old girl still remains on the loose.

7. The silliness about earmarks really needs to stop.

8. Ten major newspapers expected to fold or go strictly online in the next year. Just terrible. I really can't imagine major U.S. cities like Miami, San Francisco or Cleveland without a major daily newspaper. I just can't.

9. More fodder for my argument against home ownership.

10. Matt Y makes the case against comparing apples to oranges in the debate about school vouchers, particularly the program in Washington, D.C.

11. Pondering an All-American team without Psycho T. I'm all for it. Between Blake Griffin and DeJuan Blair, there's really no room for him in the frontcourt.

12. I've seen all the other thugs that you've been with. Come and be my baby tonight.

More later.

2 comments:

Bougie Applebum said...

I own a home but if I could do it all over again, I'd rent as long as I could, and "maybe" buy later. You get tired of maintenance, yard work, yada yada yada. The 'friend' that convinced me to buy - oh he betta hope I don't seem him on the street cuz it'll be an instant misunderstanding. Ugh...and so I rally against home ownership, but the sad part about it - I'm a realtor. lol

blackink said...

Haha. I feel ya, Bougie.

If you're really interested, though it's too late in your case, here's some other stuff I've been reading on the topic:

Clive Crook: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200712/real-estate
(This guy really tackles the mortgage-interest deduction)

Paul Krugman: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/opinion/23krugman.html?_r=3&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Matt Yglesias: http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/06/renting_up.php
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/01/subsidizing_homeownership.php
http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/09/why_homeownership.php

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/21/us/21renters.html?hp (about the rise in home rentals and the general bust of home ownership)

All that said, I know someday I'm going to own a home. But I'm not thinking of it as an investment. It's just a place to live.