The Locker Room

July 31, 2006

NC HS Football: We're Done Here

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 10:10 PM

So --

Will Charlotte Independence hit 100 straight wins and a 7th consecutive state title?

That is the only question before us, right?

With only three starters back on defense and a powerful team in Butler a few miles down Hwy. 51, the Patriots might have to flat outscore opponents to this year to keep the streak alive.

Having watched quite a few HS football powerhouses over the years -- including Gerry Faust's Cincinnati Moeller juggernaut -- I can say I've never seen a program as well drilled at Tommy Knotts' Indy squads. They just go out and execute to an almost NFL-level of precision.

If they do again this year, then that 100-win mark should be within reach.

IHS '83

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I'll bet he wished he could take that one back

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 6:22 PM

I had occasion today to read Woodrow Wilson's "Safe for Democracy" speech, as quoted in Michael Waldman's My Fellow Americans (Sourcebooks, 2003).

The man who would later push for the League of Nations unwittingly predicted the flaws of the later United Nations:

A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of democratic nations. No autocratic government could be trusted to keep faith within it or observe its covenants. It must be a league of honor, a partnership of opinion. Intrigue would eat its vitals away; the plottings of inner circles who could plan what they would and render account to no one would be a corruption seated at its very heart.

While most U.N. critics would probably agree with Wilson's sentiments in the previous quote, his predictive powers failed him miserably in the next paragraph -- when he alludes to the first Russian Revolution of 1917.

Does not every American feel that assurance has been added to our hope for the future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things that have been happening within the last few weeks in Russia? Russia was known by those who knew her best to have been always in fact democratic at heart, in all the vital habits of her thought, in all the intimate relationships of her people that spoke their natural instinct, their habitual attitude toward life.

One wonders whether Lenin ever turned to those words in the future when he needed a good laugh.

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Study on men's voices and physical dominance

Posted by Jon Sanders at 5:15 PM

It's given a really misleading headline by Fox: "Men Growl, Whine Like Dogs to Determine Dominance." That's not quite what the study says:

A male dog will whine and beg in deference to a stronger dog, but will lower its voice into a guttural growl if it thinks it has a fighting chance.

Men unconsciously do a similar thing, scientists say.

A new study finds that the lower the pitch of a man's voice, the more physically dominant other men think he is. And men lower their voice pitch when addressing a man they believe to be less dominant than themselves, but raise it when speaking to someone they think is more dominant.

Here's some words of advice to you men seeking the "Dominant Voice": get yourself a sinus infection. I can testify that it has dropped my voice a full octave. So buck up and snuff up, pansy man.

Besides, even with the side effects of a sinus infection (hacking, coughing, snorting, hocking, spitting, and wanting to drive a railroad spike in one's head), you will no doubt agree with me that it's still far more preferable to a Voice of the Neuter.

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RE: Smoky Mountain High

Posted by Michael Moore at 4:50 PM


No I can't remember getting high on anything, but we were on drugs a lot that season.  We were drug all over the place our last game! 

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Re: Smoky Mountain High

Posted by Jon Ham at 4:29 PM

Michael, is that anything like Rocky Mountain High?

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It's High School Football time in North Carolina!

Posted by Michael Moore at 3:51 PM

Today is the offical day of High School football season in North Carolina, it has been five years since I've been on the football field and at times I want to go to practice.  Well, public schools do have there benifits.  I have to give credit to my Coachs because those teams that I played on at Smoky Mountain High in Sylva were made up of a lot of good ole boys that came from different backgrounds and there ain't no "I" in TEAM.  Like a lot of other towns and communities in North Carolina, High School football is something that people take pride in.  In the words of one of my coachs "It's not hot, hot's just a State of Mind!"

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Re: the next media scare ...

Posted by Hal Young at 3:25 PM

That's an old phenomenon.

"How beautifully blue the sky,
The glass is rising very high,
Continue fine I hope it may,
And yet it rained but yesterday.
Tomorrow it may pour again
(I hear the country wants some rain),
Yet people say, I know not why,
That we shall have a warm July.

Pirates of Penzance, Act I, Nos. 8-9

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Throwing Good Tax Breaks After Bad

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 3:12 PM

Sen. Kerry says the health care is too expensive, and thinks the way to improve it is by making the tax system more complicated.

We need to use every weapon in our arsenal until everyone is covered, including making the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program affordable and accessible for everyone in America with targeted tax credits for small businesses, middle-class families, and people between jobs.

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The tar baby of using the tar baby analogy

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:54 PM

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt "Running For President" Romney, choosing a different approach from Tony Snow, apologized for using the phrase correctly to refer to the Big Di[saster].

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Bird flu is passé — onto the next media scare

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:45 PM

Brace yourselves, folks. Don't know if you've heard this, but it's late July, soon to be August, and the AP reports that temperatures are ... in the 90's and some 100's! It's not too soon to panic!

I could be wrong that "HEAT WAVE!" is the new media scare à la "BIRD FLU!"

It could be more in line with the "offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements," "[FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE]," and "over-representation of factual presentations" inclination toward global-warming fearmongering.

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Consumption Fuels Innovation

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 2:34 PM

The Economist reports on a new paper (PDF) that questions the doom and gloom about American innovation.

Amar Bhidé, of Columbia University's business school, argues that "most of the value of innovations accrues to their users not their creators—and stays in the country where the innovation is consumed. So if China and India do more invention, so much the better for American consumers."

Don't expect it to convince any of the flat worlders, but it helps understand why competition in all sectors of the economy is so important.

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This is a Test... This is only a test

Posted by Jenna Ashley Robinson at 2:20 PM

The government is now going to co-op your wireless device as part of the emergency broadcast system. The Homeland Security Department, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (model of effeciency that it is), expects to have the system working by the end of next year.

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Andy and Opie as cheeseheads?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:21 PM

You don't have to be a Southerner to enjoy the sage wisdom of Sheriff Andy Taylor, as evidenced by the second article in this link

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Light Rail Reality Check

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 1:15 PM

Recently, I was reviewing rail transportation studies and ran across these average speeds.  These numbers are from the American Public Transportation Association, the trade association for public transportation. Given that, these numbers are likely to be on the high side.  In addition, the numbers do not include travel time to and from the stations or waiting time at the stations.

Commuter rail      31.5 MPH

Heavy rail             20.4 MPH

Light rail               15.5 MPH 

With these blazing speeds, it is little wonder that commuters prefer to use autos.  Charlotte and Raleigh should take note, they are being sold expensive 19th century technology. Horse drawn trolleys might even be faster.


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Re: The Good Roads State?

Posted by Hal Young at 12:51 AM

I'm not disputing the difference between Virginia and North Carolina, but when I was a student at Clemson I often skipped a Friday afternoon class to go driving in the mountains around Whitewater Falls, Toxaway, and Brevard. The state line was an obvious bump where North Carolina highway maintenance gave way to South Carolina's much more relaxed standard. At least our gas taxes were lower.

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Paper says Pat Michaels violates UVa's honor code

Posted by Jon Ham at 11:38 AM

The Roanoke Times says environmental science prof and Virginia state climatologist Pat Michaels has violated the UVa honor code by lying about global warming after taking money from coal-burning interests. I wonder if they did a similar editorial on all the Sierra Club money that's been thrown about on the other side. 

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Re: I want to park my car...

Posted by George Leef at 10:35 AM

Fifty years ago, graduating from any college put you in a pretty elite crowd. Now that a large majority of young people enroll in college, in order to have a competitive edge, getting into an "elite" institution is considered necessary, so students and parents knock themselves out doing all manner of things that are calculated to appeal of admissions officials at top schools and shelling out stupendous sums of money. The education one receives at an elite school isn't really any better than at "lesser" institutions, but getting a degree from one of them supposedly signals to employers that the student is more talented and trainable.

The lamentable truth here is that college is being ruined for those relatively few students who have a true love of learning because it's being swamped with those who just want to get stamped with their educational credential and to heck with all that boring academic stuff.

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I want to park my car in Harvard Yard

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:05 AM

I figured Terry and George would get the biggest kick out of this article -- which describes the attitudes of some "high-achieving" high school students.

Some of the conclusions seem a bit batty, but I definitely can believe these students think all their problems will be solved by winning admittance to a high-profile college.

Perhaps they should read some of George's commentary on the current value of a college education. 


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RE: So Much Hope

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:51 AM


Teachers are never fired, unless they engage in sexual misconduct with a student. They are protected by the system and the system's dear friends.

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Re: But he's not cynical

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:42 AM


We interviewed Sen. Apodaca on the same topic for Carolina Journal and CJ Radio.

Among the highlights:

It's confusing to start with because many of the things in the bills just don't make sense. It's an overreaction to some problems that have been had. And we all agree there are some problems. We ought to fix those problems. But this has gone way overboard. And what we all fear -- regardless of which party -- are the unintended consequences.

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Sign of the Times

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:35 AM

What do John Bolton and Daniel Patrick Moynihan have in common?

Attacks from The New York Times in connection with their respective nominations to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

You'll find details in this Weekly Standard article

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Charleston S.C. to host the Nation's Governors.

Posted by Michael Moore at 09:33 AM

Well the Governors from around the nation will come South this coming weekend, I guess since some of these folks might be pondering a higher office it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the discussions. 

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Re: So much hope, etc.

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:24 AM

Terry, technically, "either pack up and go here to work instead, or you're fired" is an incentive. It's the only incentive statists know.

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But he's not cynical

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:20 AM

Sen. Tom Apodaca is not satisfied with the ethics reform bill passed by the General Assembly, but don't expect him to complain too loudly. The Charlotte Observer quotes:

"If it makes the public feel better about us," Apodaca said, "it was well worth the work."

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Smelling a Rat?

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 09:05 AM

Did you see this editorial on the Fayetteville Street boondoggle?   It records the long sorry history of the street, the convention center, hotel and now the subsidies to make it all to work.

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Different country, same playbook

Posted by Shannon Blosser at 08:40 AM

It looks like supporters of the leftist Mexico presidential candidate Andres Lopez Obrador are protesting and camping out along the streets of Mexico City demanding a recount from the elections earlier this month. Lopez Obrador lost by 0.6 percent to Felipe Calderon. Supposedly, Lopez Obrador protested and had supporters line the streets in 1994 after his lost a gubernatorial election.

I guess it doesn't matter the country, as long as everyone knows how to execute the play: lose election, claim fraud, ready...break.

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Regulating gas

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:32 AM

Given the recent discussion of regulating gas, I enjoyed this observation in Mortimer B. Zuckerman's latest U.S. News column:

Everyone knows that over the past three years the price we pay at the pump has doubled. The populist rant that this is the fault of "rapacious" oil companies is a glib and false response, and it's especially unattractive when it comes from Democrats, who have systematically blocked attempts to increase domestic oil production. Oil prices, in fact, are determined by a complex, and increasingly competitive, global market.


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So Much Hope...And Then You Say This

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 08:29 AM

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's new superintendent, Peter Gorman, has been on the right track since taking the reigns of CMS this summer. He supports public-private partnerships for school construction, and is open to the idea of expanding school choice. Even more impressive, Gorman has gained the trust of a divided community in a relatively short period.

But now Gorman supports forced teacher transfers to low performing schools. Granted, the move would only be a "last resort," but forced transfers (AKA reconstituting schools) is simply a dumb idea. Forced transfers would encourage some teachers to do some transferring of their own, namely to Cabarrus, Union, and Iredell counties, all of which have a healthy demand for teachers. It would be especially foolish to transfer math and science teachers, who likely have a number of private sector job options available.

If you want teachers to transfer to low performing schools, the answer is I-N-C-E-N-T-I-V-E-S.

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The Good Roads State?

Posted by Jon Ham at 08:22 AM

I just got back from a vacation that took me to 12 states (if you count D.C.) and two countries (U.S. and Canada). I drove 2,496 miles and the worst bit of road I encountered in all that time was the first 40 miles of I-85 upon entering North Carolina from Virginia. Even in upstate New York, northern Vermont and Canada, where winter freezes give them an excuse, the worst roads were better than what greets visitors entering our state on this hideous stretch.

Now for a bit of travelogue. I have a weakness for visiting great, old hotels. I always put them on my tourist-stop list. Here are two that set the standard: Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY, and the Mt. Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH, where they held the post-war monetary conference.

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