Sunday is an unofficial American holiday, Superbowl Sunday. This year's game is at the Superdome in New Orleans, and I'm sure during the game there will be references to Hurricane Katrina. On CBS Evening New last night there was a story about how people are still waiting to rebuild their houses, and how they were ripped off by fraudulent contractors who made off with their FEMA money. Remember right after Katrina, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin? How he accused the Bush Administration of racism because of slow federal response to New Orlean's needs? Of course every word from Nagin's lips made banner headlines on T.V., radio and newspapers across the country. Where are the national networks now, now that Nagin has been indicted on more than 20 counts, accusing him of profitting directly from Katrina clean up efforts? "Nagin is accused of using the office of mayor to steer city projects to business associates who, in turn, allegedly paid kickbacks and bribes and flew him on lavish free trips to Hawaii, Jamaica, and Las Vegas. Nagin was charged with bribery, honest service wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and filing false tax returns. “The defendant C. Ray Nagin, knowingly devised a scheme and artifice to defraud the City of New Orleans and its citizens of his honest services through bribery and a kickback scheme, whereby Mayor Nagin used his public office and his official capacity to provide favorable treatment that benefitted the business and financial interests of individuals providing him with bribery/kickback payoffs in the form of checks, cash, granite inventory, wire transfers personal services and free travel,” the indictment said. Apparently when you are black and trying to discredit a Republican administration with claims of racism it is news worthy. But when you are black and are charged with several counts of profitting from the suffering of your own people, well, not a peep from the liberal national media. It's a disgrace. As a member of the media myself, I try to tell myself that CBS, NBC, CNN and ABC aren't really biased, it just seems that way. The resounding silence over Ray Nagin's indictment shows me that yes indeed they have an agenda.
It seems as if gun control is the big hot button issue that is polarizing the nation. Nearly every day there's another report of some sort of mass shooting, whether it's at a movie theater, or a shopping mall, or an elementary school, or at a community college like what was reported today in Houston Texas. It seems the nation is split down the middle between wanting the President and congress to pass new, strict gun control measures, and wanting people to have access to weapons to defend themselves against crazies and/or against a tyranical government. When I was a kid I remember my church, Nativity of Mary Catholic Church in Bloomington campaigning against legalizing abortion. After church services and church events there were posters showing fetuses in the womb, plastic models showing the stages of child development, and often-graphic descriptions of abortions. And since I want to Catholic school, we were also educated in the classroom about abortion. Despite all that, the U.S. Supreme Court, which is elected by no one, passed the Roe-V-Wade decision which essentially allowed states to legalize abortion. This is the 40th anniversary of the passage of Roe V Wade. Bill Poehler with Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life says in Minnesota alone, the lives of nearly 580,000 babies have been taken by abortion since 1973. I'd wager to guess that's many times higher than all the mass shootings in the United States since that time. Sarah Stoesz with Planned Parenthood was quoted as saying "It's a shame that super-overheated rhetoric from the MCCL continues at a time when we should be reaching out and seeking common solutions to some of the challenges that we have." Sarah...this is not just an MCCL issue...as a Catholic, a Christian, and a human, I can honestly say legalizing the killing of innocent children is one of the darkest chapters in the history of this nation, as repugnant as slavery. We finally woke up, found a moral compass and abolished slavery, yet the slaughter of the innocents continues.
We in the media have been devoting a lot of time warning you about the flu. It's one thing to talk about it but another to be hit by it, like I was over the New Year's holiday. On New Year's Eve my wife Sharon and I went out to dinner, then went to a comedy show in St. Cloud, and I already was starting to feel bad...cough, cold-like symptoms. I had to work the next day, New Year's Day, and at 9 that morning I was a reader during a church service at St. Mary's. I went back to work and was feeling progressively worse, and by the time I came home at 1 p.m. it hit me like the proverbial Mack Truck. The worse part was the chills...shaking so bad my core muscles were sore afterward. Impossible to get warm enough, yet running a high temperature. Sleep? Forget about it. I called in sick the next day and the day after, and I rarely ever miss any work days. And then the coughing...itchy throat and then the gunk in your lungs you have to cough up. Two weeks later and I'm still coughing. We tell people to get flu shots but because I have an egg allergy I can't get one, so I always cross my fingers and hope I don't get it. This year I and millions in the U.S. got it or will get it. In Minnesota nearly 30 people have died from the flu so far, including two previously healthy teenagers. It's nothing to fool around with...get a shot if you can. Next year I will see if they have a new vaccine that is developed without using raw eggs so I can get a shot.