Online readers comment on "The New Normal," by Sean Pendergast, September 7:
Maybe this year: If Foster stays healthy, and Kubiak actually uses him for a whole game, I think this may be the year we finally make it to the playoffs. I think everyone knows Kubiak did a horrible job of game management last year. That being said, I have to think there is some kind of personal issue going on between him and Foster. Like the way Tate looked in preseason as a second option.
Hype warranted: The annual preseason hype around the Texans might be getting old for some, but I say this: At least there is legitimate reason to be hyped again, and coming off a 6-10 disaster, that wouldn't normally be easy to say. And unlike last year's "blind faith" experiment, the hype is much more deserved this time around. It's just a matter of taking the sense of urgency that was blatantly obvious this off-season and translating it to the field. This team has 11-12-win talent, but still has a lot to prove.
Of all the must-wins I see them needing the mulligan on, I think Jacksonville is the one. In fact, I'd switch the Tennessee road game with the Jacksonville road game on the list of coin-flippers. The Titans are better (way better), but EverBank Field is a haunted house from the deepest bowels of hell from which the Texans never seem to get out alive. And Jake Locker isn't as good as Blaine Gabbert.
I think they'll win three of the coin-flippers, and I do think they'll get a steal or two. Not necessarily because I think they're better than those teams, but even last year, when they lost all three steal games, they could have easily won two of them were it not for the horrendous pass defense, which is largely fixed. Eleven-5 is my overall prediction (with a few bottles of Jack stashed in a special place just in case).
Texas, Gay Married Men and Children
Online readers comment on "Judge Orders Gay Married Man Not to Leave Children Alone with His Husband, Or Anyone Else," Hair Balls blog, by Mandy Oaklander, September 12:
Damned both ways: The problem is, of course, that as a judge, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Had that Republican judge acknowledged Evans's relationship, he would have been blackballed when the next election came along and likely faced a Republican primary challenger.
That's what happened about ten years ago when a three-judge (Republican) state appeals court found the Texas sodomy statute to be unconstitutional. The state GOP said that they would take action against the Republican judges who found against the law, and sure enough, when the appeals court heard the case en banc, the two Republican judges suddenly found the same statute constitutional. (Ultimately, the Supremes threw the sodomy law out)...
Come Election Day, it pays to discriminate in Texas.
Bigotry: The judge didn't have to acknowledge the relationship, though. All he had to do was deny custody and leave it at that. He added on the provision (which, from what I've read, the ex-wife didn't even request). It's bigotry, plain and simple.
Gay rights before children's rights: These kids have been put through enough. Now they get to be made fun of at school. Thanks, GLBT, you just made these kids' lives worse.
No big deal: Kids today care more about what age they can get a phone than if their parents are gay. Anyone who says kids of gay parents are proportionately more messed up than kids of straight parents probably hasn't even met any kids to speak of.
The Nabers Case
A reader writes in about "Amanda Nabers, 25, Accused of Sexing Up 13-Year-Old While Leaving Own Kids Unattended," Hair Balls blog, by John Nova Lomax, August 30:
Inappropriate: The author of this article needs to issue an immediate apology for his insensitive and atrocious reporting. He should be reprimanded and, in my opinion, fired. This article is about rape. And it needs to be treated with sensitivity and care. This is Journalism 101.
The writer uses language like "sexed up" and "way too neighborly" which belies the seriousness of this issue.
The victim was raped and exploited by an adult. There is nothing funny or light about this. It is entirely inappropriate to encourage dialogue and comments with: "Cue the 'I'd hit that' comments now..."
This is not the appropriate tone or handling whatsoever. This article is contributing to rape culture. Plain and simple. You need to address this and you need to do it now.
Name withheld by request
Online readers comment on "Petrol Station Employee Wishes Muslim Customer 'Happy 9/11,'" Eating Our Words blog, by Richard Connelly, September 13:
True colors: Tragedy brings out the best and worst in people. Like beer, tragedy has a way of getting people to show their true colors. I don't know which bartender it was, not that it matters, but I am glad to see Ben step up and fire him.
Well handled: It's refreshing to see a business owner handle a giant fail with some class. I never would have returned to PS after hearing this if he'd been silent, or worse, a jackass, à la Downhouse or those beer festival dumbasses.
Overreaction: I think the guy was trying to be cute. His attempt at humor was misguided, and he was fired. That's punishment enough. People are making too big of a deal out of this.