Leading Off (8/18/08)

1. Central Dallas Ministries has an interesting way of combating homelessness: giving people homes, via its Destination Home project. I’m fairly sure I’ve just ordered a cold, tall glass of haterade from some commenters.

2. Are you wondering what became of all those downtown parks the city was talking about a few years ago? They’re still coming. When? I’m going to play it safe and go with “eventually.”

3. Nastia Liukin missed out on another gold medal, settling for silver in the individual uneven bars final after a tiebreaker I still don’t fully understand. She also failed to medal in having a name I can type correctly the first time.


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30 responses to “Leading Off (8/18/08)”

  1. JS says:

    The CDM program is exactly the type of program that people should support. It gives disabled people a place to live, requires them to pay 30% of their income in rent, and meet with a caseworker, etc.

    Now you might want to quibble around the edges — for example, what constitutes being “disabled,” why there are only two meetings a month with a caseworker, is there a requirement that the people in the program look for employment, etc. But this looks to be a pretty good start.

  2. I’ve heard the term “settling for silver” over the past two weeks and wondered every time I heard it. Do you really think our athletes are settling for silver? As in, gosh, you can’t have cookies and cream ice cream, but we do have vanilla, so would you like to settle for that? I’m sure Nastia was doing her best. She just, pardon the pun, fell short of her mark. Settled? Wouldn’t that mean she’d kinda given up? I don’t think settling is the right word, and I say that in a non-snarky manner. Really. No snark bytes, please.

  3. Nate says:

    Not to bring it up, but it has to be asked: what of the controversy of the “sudden” age corrections of the Chinese gymnasts? Is the IOC being so political not to offend the host country by ignoring the blatant incongruencies in the listed birth dates of their gymnasts? How do 2 years suddenly get “corrected” when 9-10 months ago it was supposedly correct as well?

    I smell something funky and it isn’t a street market in Beijing.

  4. Daniel says:

    1) This program is administered by a private charitable endeavor, and funded through HUD. Unless you believe HUD should be entirely, 100% dismantled (paging Mr. Garrison), this would seem to be a good use of those monies. At the same time, creation of additional bureaucratic bloat should be limited, since administration is local and private.

  5. Zac Crain says:

    @DC: Would “was forced to settle for silver” do it for you?

  6. Bethany says:

    We were talking about this over the weekend, Nate, and my theory is this: They need China diplomatically. China’s influence in North Korea, and its possible influence in Darfur is valuable. Its a country that is trying for the first time a massive deviation from its normal isolationist policies, and in the long run, it could be that they’re thinking a couple of medals in gymnastics aren’t worth risking that hard-won diplomatic relationship.

    Is it right? No.

  7. monkey god says:

    Gymnastics and college football, I should say Div.I college football. Two sports in which the champion is chosen by judges.

  8. @ Zac, I don’t know, just a Monday muse. Not sure what the answer is and truly wasn’t meaning to be snarky. I hope no offense was taken.

  9. Puddin'Tane says:

    Word toward Chinese female gymnasts and proof of age: bone scan.

    Hmmmmm, let’s check out those growth plates.

  10. Zac Crain says:

    @DC: No offense. You make a solid point.

  11. monkey god says:

    A point just to piss people off. Do we really know how old Liukin is? She was born in The Soviet Union.

  12. SB says:

    If Liukin is younger than 16, then we need to see what kind of growth hormones Collin County is pumping into the water supply. That girl is gorgeous.

  13. DM says:

    So, Working people are loosing their homes by the thousands in foreclosures and other people get free housing. Interesting.

  14. monkey god says:

    I’ve heard it more tnan once that hormones are causing kids to mature faster. I think she’s over 16. I just wanted to make that point.

  15. Barbara says:

    Is that the correct spelling of hatred?

  16. Zac Crain says:

    @DM: They’re apartments–homes, but not houses. But point taken.

  17. About these Olympiads and their ages and all; Now really, if you were an older-than-16 Olympiad who’d been beaten by a 13-y-o, would you really want the world to know that? Wouldn’t you really want to “settle” for a silver and be done with it? Would you really want the Olympic Committee to strip the gold winner(s) of their medal(s) because they weren’t old enough and then give it to you instead because you were old enuff, even though you’d been beaten by a 13-year-old? Really?

  18. Bethany says:

    DC, if it was football or ‘nad punching, sure, that argument would work.

    But in gymnastics, it actually pays to be lighter and tinier. So losing to a 13-year-old isn’t a testament of your lack of skill, but her unfair advantage due to the fact that she is smaller – because she’s younger.

  19. SB says:

    In sports like gymnastics, I think the younger age is an advantage. Those kids are more flexible and have smaller frames, making it easier to pull off some of the moves. I would imagine that’s at least a partial reason why the age rule is in place.

  20. We have a son in gymnastics and it truly seems though that with age comes strength and conditioning. They are very age-conscious in local tourneys so I can’t imagine that being different in the Olypmics, but hey, if the younger gymnasts have got game, I’d say let ’em in. This is all about being competitive, right?

  21. Bethany says:

    There’s a difference between female and male gymnastics. The skill sets require completely different things. Strength and conditioning are more for the male side than the female side. Female gymnasts are expected to just about fly over the uneven bars, etc. Strength is required, obviously, but not in the way a male gymnast needs it.

    It’s not a matter of having game – these gymnasts have something that the U.S. gymnasts – following the rules – don’t have: The flexibility and lightness of a prepubescent. It’s akin to making Lance Armstrong race a Lamborghini, but telling him to stay on his bike.

  22. monkey god says:

    Why do Olympic gymnasts all have high voices?

  23. @ monkey, because Bethany beat them all into submission in the global category of ‘nad punching.

  24. Bethany says:

    Olympic ‘nad punching. If it’s not a sport, it should be.

  25. Daniel says:


    If that were the case, your point would be valid. I think it’s more accurate to say, While some middle-class people are losing homes they apparently couldn’t afford to begin with, local Christians are setting up some disabled homeless people in modest apartments. Not quite as outrageous.

  26. monkey god says:

    If nad punching were an Olympic sport then Bigfoot would take the gold. The Ticket interviewed him this morning and he stated that male Bigfoots have 6 of them. He also said that the dead Bigfoot in Georgia was his cousin Trent.

  27. Bethany says:

    I actually did a story on Bigfoot. Google my name and Bigfoot, and it’ll probably pop up.

  28. DM says:

    @Daniel & ZC: Not wishing to take away from the wonderful giving nature and human improvement of the homeless story. I just wanted to put the foreclosure perspective out there.

    I fear, we’re a nation quickly following the UK in terms of (decreasing) power, (weakening) finances, government (over)involvement and (lack of) education.

  29. Daniel says:


    Well, I’d actually agree with you there for the most part. I’m not sure that giving a carefully screened subset of the homeless a “hand up” is a losing investment — it could represent a net financial gain in the long run — but your sarcastic disdain for charitable works is refreshing.

  30. Daniel says:

    P.S. Upon 2nd reading, maybe you’re not being sarcastic. Bland grandmotherly accolades like “wonderful” — as well as over-the-top superlatives like “stunning” — usually indicate sarcasm, though.

    Shouldn’t Wick stick “wonderful” in his filter (and smoke it)? Along with “stunning,” “brilliant” and “Einstein.” Smoke snark out of its hole!