The thoughts of a writer.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blood Sport


Michael Vick, (now former) quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, grew up in public housing and went on to become a highly paid, NFL football star.

Then, he was caught in a dog fighting ring. Vick decided that it was okay to force animals to fight to the death for the opportunity to bet on them. It is further alleged, that Vick executed dogs that “underperformed.”

If Mr. Vick was enslaved and forced into a brutal existence, I am guessing that he would see such a thing as being horrible, and he would (rightly) point an accusing finger at those responsible. Yet, this man who went from poverty to wealth, decided that he had the right to enslave and force animals to fight and die for entertainment.

Another disturbing trend in modern society is the popularity of fight leagues and tough man competitions. Some fans have told me that it is simply a sport. I find it disturbing that crowds of people cheer as someone gets beaten up.

The Romans had the coliseum, and practiced blood sport. Crowds cheered as others fought and died or were torn to pieces by wild animals. In many countries, cockfighting and dog fighting are legal, or at least practiced. In America, our history is stained with pitting animals against each other and brutality against human beings as well.

One must ask himself, “how far has humanity advanced?”

I believe that combat for entertainment is a dangerous trend. It is a dangerous idea to bestow on our children. When a person is unable to empathize with the person or animal being violently tortured, it harms our society.

Some have told me that the people (or animals) involved want to fight. Perhaps they do, and perhaps not. So I ask, what is next? Will we have fights to the death aired on pay-per-view television? If you say that it couldn’t happen, I answer that as public opinion embraces violence for entertainment, the coliseum could return someday. What a sad statement for humanity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Job

Cutris will not be returning to his former role as "The Bald Eagle," at the Jr. High, working in detention and campus security. He will now be a Technology Assistant at a high school.

Solved

Cutris has solved the question of who the first lady will be once he is elected to be U.S. President in 2008, by a landslide, write-in victory.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Space Shuttle: Foam vs. Tiles


While watching the news recently, it seems that yet again, the space shuttle was damaged in precisely the same way that it has been damaged (repeatedly) in the past. This was also the reason for the Columbia disaster.

A piece of insulating foam broke loose during launch, hit the heat-resistant tiles on the underside of the shuttle, and broke the tiles. This leads me to ask, “What is wrong here? Is it that the foam is too strong, or are the tiles too fragile?”

When I think of “foam,” I do not have an image of something that is either hard or sharp. When I think of “tile,” I would not try to breakup tiles, using a piece of foam (though apparently that would work!).

If someone tried to rob me, and he made the threat of using a piece of foam on me if I didn’t give him my wallet, I would not be overly concerned. I would actually be more alarmed by a “tile-wielding” assailant!

Was the tile made in China? Why does it crack when it is hit by a piece of foam? Isn’t there stronger tile? Why is the foam so hard? Can’t NASA find softer foam? I understand that there are velocities at work here, but I am fundamentally against putting fragile tiles and strong (yet easily separated) foam on space vehicles. Perhaps next, they should create a large Band-Aid to put on the damaged area… oh yeah… I guess they did that…

Friday, August 03, 2007

35W Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis

The collapse of a bridge on a well used section of 35W, spanning the Mississippi River on August 1, was frightening, extremely sad, and nothing short of a wakeup call for all of America.

While our government is busy spending billions of our tax dollars overseas to fight unethical wars and rebuild countries such as Iraq, our own infrastructure back home is antiquated and quickly becoming dangerous.

Here in Minnesota, we are exposed to a severe climate that swings from cold, ice and snow, to temperatures nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit, like we’ve had frequently this summer. This, combined with salt and other chemicals used to combat the ice in winter, causes corrosion that tends to crumble concrete and steel over time.

In Minneapolis, there are plans to replace a sports arena (Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome) that was built in 1982, but the bridge that toppled Wednesday evening during rush-hour traffic, was built in 1967. Clearly, our priorities are in question or there is a general sense of complacency about our failing infrastructure.

Anyone who has lived in the Twin Cities for any length of time has crossed that bridge at some point. There are other bridges that are considered to be in worse condition throughout the whole country. I am saddened by the loss suffered by the deaths of fellow citizens of this state. I am also outraged by the fact that our hard-earned tax money is being spent overseas in ways that I cannot condone, while our local infrastructure continues to degrade.

Kevin J. Curtis

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Arms Deals and Insanity

I have heard over the last couple of days, about an arms deal that the Bush administration wants for Saudi Arabia. The particulars keep changing with each new story, as the original monetary figure was 40 billion dollars (and 30 billion dollars in military aid to Israel). This figure dropped significantly the next time I heard about it, yet what is a “billion dollars???”

How on Earth, could anyone believe that it is a good idea to sell the Saudis sophisticated weaponry? Doesn’t President Bush (even with his low intelligence) know that this material will find its way into the hands of those who are fighting U.S. troops in the Mid-east? Doesn’t anyone in the White house know that the Saudis fund and produce more terrorists than all the other countries?

In order to appease Israel, who will obviously be upset about this deal, the idea is to give them $30 billion in military aid. So… this means that the United States is going to dump some $70 billion in high-tech weapons into the Mid-east and then hope for peace? This is true insanity!

I’ve tried hard not to badmouth Bush and Cheney, but they are truly either insane or making tremendous profits from these misdeeds. I say it is both. The United States is being taken down a path that nearly everyone can see is horribly wrong.

Remember, to vote for me for President in 2008.

Kevin J. Curtis