All we have heard about this election season is talk of the “undecided voter” – the mysterious and coveted (for their vote) miniscule fraction of the American population that has yet to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Frankly, I don’t see what the holdup is. Both candidates’ positions on some very important issues are so widely disparate that I can’t imagine how someone could still be on the fence. Pick one already!
It was the infield fly that should never have existed. And by rule, it seems, it never did. The infield fly rule – which was created to prevent infielders from intentionally dropping pop-ups in order to turn double plays – requires that the fly ball could have been caught by an infielder with “ordinary effort,” and requires that the umpire make an “immediate” declaration. In this year’s inaugural wild card playoff game between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, an infield fly declaration was made during a critical seventh inning, and yet very clearly neither criteria was met. In short, the umpire blew the call.
I teach a high school class at my church on Wednesday nights, and as you can imagine it’s challenging getting a group of teenagers motivated to study the Bible after a long day at school. To their credit, and although they’re tired and a little bit cranky, they show up with a good attitude and ready to learn. What they probably don’t understand is that it’s equally challenging for me after a long day at work! As a result – for their benefit and for mine – I have tried to keep the classes somewhat informal and discussion-based, with unique and thought-provoking topics.
Whenever I draft correspondence at work, whether in a formal letter, email, or memorandum, I always identify myself as “Grant H. Wilson, Assistant City Attorney.” Identification of name and title is important in a professional environment, primarily as a courtesy to the recipient, who should have no question as to the author and purpose of the correspondence. This signature identifies me as the author, and signifies that the correspondence has been written in my professional capacity as an attorney for the City of Tuscaloosa. It is not a personal or otherwise informal correspondence; rather, it is correspondence made in the course of conducting City business.
Of course I remember where I was and what I was doing when I found out. Everyone who lived it remembers. I was walking out of Morgan Hall on the University of Alabama campus. My eight-o’clock class had just ended, where we discussed Act I of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s funny how memory works. I can’t remember the specifics from any other class from that entire semester.
Groups of students were huddled together outside the door and down the steps, whispering to one another, arms around shoulders, heads bowed. I remember thinking that it looked odd. As I passed one group on the way to my car, I distinctly heard the word “attack,” but the word didn’t convey any worry to my mind, and certainly did not convey the true magnitude of that word in that moment. I was still happily living in the pre-9/11 world over one hour in.
The Democratic Party made a significant error that culminated during the Wednesday session of their national convention, in my estimation. For reasons inexplicable, the original draft of the Democratic party platform omitted all references to “God.” During the Wednesday session, the Democratic National Committee very publicly corrected this omission under suspended rules. Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio made the required motion before the assembled delegates to amend the party platform, affirming and attesting “that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the value we have expressed in our party’s platform.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles asked for a voice vote to amend the party platform, which requires a two-thirds majority of “ayes.” Unfortunately, all did not go as planned.