Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Ken Griffey Jr. Traded

In a surprising move, FOXSPORTS is reporting that the Cincinnati Reds have traded outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. to the Chicago White Sox. A future Hall of Famer, Griffey accepted a below market contract to play for his hometown team a few years back. Unfortunately, that fairy tale did not have a happy ending. His tenure in Cincinnati was marked by repeated injuries and a resulting steep decline in his performance. His defense in particular suffered as he went from one of the most graceful centerfielders to a below average corner outfielder. Junior had some highlight moments in Cincinnati including recently belting his 600th home run, but was unable to lead the team to the playoffs. He recently embarrassed himself by how he responded to criticism from the broadcast booth. Normally I'd side with players over broadcasters. However, in this case Griffey clearly handled things poorly to say the least:
Griffey made a slash of the throat gesture toward the radio booth and used the f-word after he hit a home run.
Most of his career Griffey has been a classy player who avoided major controversies. So it is a shame to see his time in his hometown end on a down note.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote 30 July 2008

Why do people hate Adam Dunn? Adam Dunn is a power hitting outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds. Today I was out driving and heard Billy Cunningham on WLW disparaging Dunn and saying he needs to be shipped out prior to the trade deadline. Reds play by play announcer Marty Brennaman is relentless in ripping Dunn as source of all the Reds' problems. If I watch a Reds game with friends inevitably talk of getting rid of Dunn comes up. I just don't get the level of animosity. I recognize Dunn's limitations. Sure, he strikes out a lot and he will never be confused for a Gold Glove fielder. Since the beginning of the 2004 season he has the most strike outs in baseball. However, he also has the most homers and walks in that period with 196 and 511 respectively. If they do decide to trade Dunn there is a lot of production to make up as he has hit 40 or more homers a year the last four seasons.


Make more room under that bus!

During this election cycle the term "thrown under the bus" has been used frequently regarding how Sen. Obama has had to disassociate himself from his various embarrassing friends, relatives and associates. Obama's grandmother, "Rev." Wright, Fr. Michael Pfleger, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, and others need to make room under that bus for a foul mouthed, trashy rapper by the name of Ludacris (real name: Christopher Bridges). Sen. Obama has previously hung out with this character and said he has him as a regular on his I-POD. Now, Ludacris has a new song out regarding the current political scene in which, among other stupid comments, he refers to Sen. Hillary Clinton as a bitch. I'm sure we can expect to hear Sen. Obama distance himself from this guy with comments about "this is not the Ludacris I've known" which is his standard statement used to pretend that he could not have foreseen the actions of the person who embarrassed him. Problem is (just like with Rev. Wright) these are exactly the kind of comments one would expect from one of Ludacris' ilk.

There are dozens of policy position reasons not to vote for Obama to be president. Completely aside from positions on issues is his character and maturity. Hanging out with and listening to the "music" of trash like Ludacris demonstrate a serious character flaw.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote 29 July 2008

Daily Sports Blurb - Money Can't Buy Happiness Edition.

Outfielder Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox is in the last guaranteed year of his 20 million dollars a year contract. The contract also has club options for the next two years at the same salary. For Boston management, Ramirez has been an emotional and less than 100% reliable employee. Additionally, he has a long history of taking too long to nurse real or imagined injuries. The team accepted and turned a blind eye towards his defensive lapses and occasional base running gaffe as long as he was hitting .330 with 40 homers and 140 RBI. However, as Ramirez had a season last year that showed he was moving past his prime, management has been more open in their unhappiness with the negative aspects of Manny being Manny. After this past week it is now obvious Boston is not going to exercise the option on his contract and will allow him to become a free agent. In fact, despite being in the pennant race, the Red Sox have stated they are willing to trade the superstar player just to be rid of the headaches he causes. It will be interesting to see how much money Ramirez cost himself with his latest stunts and comments. He was inline to get 40 million over the next two years. My guess is at 37 he will be lucky to find a team willing to risk 12 million a season going forward. Then again as history has shown us it just takes one idiot owner/GM to inflate salaries.


Breaking News: Sen Stevens Indicted

It was just announced on CNBC that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has been indicted by the Justice Department. Stevens has long been an example of what's wrong with national politics. For many politicians once elected it becomes all about how can my position help my bottom line. Public service should be just that a temporary service to the nation to ensure the government is properly run. Public service should not be a lucrative career. Fortunately, Stevens actually has a primary challenger this cycle. He should resign his seat now to prepare his defense or to get his affairs in order before starting his prison term. Either way good riddance.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Another instance of MSNBC just making stuff up

People with a clue understand that the least professional news outlet is MSNBC. Here is another example of their slanting the news to fit their skewed perspective. In an article regarding the death penalty being awarded to a murderer and rapist who happened to be in the military they misinformed their audience regarding the history of the death penalty.
The death penalty was outlawed between 1972 and 1984, when President Reagan reinstated it.
Sorry, folks but President Reagan did not reinstate the death penalty. The executive branch did not abolish nor restore the death penalty. The egomaniacs in black robes we refer to as the Supreme Court decided in 1972 in the case of Furman v. State of Georgia that the death penalty was somehow cruel and unusual. In 1976 the Supreme Court changed their mind. I'm not sure if they decided it was more usual or less cruel than a few years previous. However, either way I doubt that Reagan was too involved.

Things get interesting in Cuyahoga County

Back to that whole culture of corruption thing:
Up to 200 FBI and IRS agents are executing search warrants at the Cuyahoga County administration building, data center and engineer's office. They swept into the offices about 9 a.m., telling employees to shut down their computers.

The searches -- which extended to the homes of County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and Auditor Frank Russo -- are part of a long-term public corruption investigation, according to an FBI spokesman.
Oddly the Plain Dealer was unable to ascertain the political affiliation of the politicians in question. I'll help them out. Republicans hardly ever get elected in that end of the state of Ohio. Heck, that is the same group of voters who keep electing Dennis "the Menace" Kucinich back to congress. Notice the article says it isn't just the FBI, but the IRS as well. Getting kickbacks is one thing, but failing to pay taxes on the kickbacks then you've really got trouble.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Resume Padding Election Style

In recent years we have seen several instances where lost jobs because of resume padding. George O'Leary had to quit as Notre Dame head football coach just day after taking the job when his resume padding came to light. David Edmondson was CEO of Radio Shack when the lies on his resume where revealed. Within days, Edmondson was canned due to a loss of trust despite doing a good job.

A candidate for public office is essentially submitting their resume for review every time they give stump speech. So what can a candidate do who has little or no personal accomplishments to cite? Well, a candidate of weak character will claim other people's accomplishments as their own. There are varying degrees of this act. The minor resume padding is when a politician says "helped fix such and such" when they merely voted for legislation that was authored by another politician. A more serious violation is claiming to fix something that was done before you entered office such as Sen. Obama claiming to be involved in welfare reform which cleared congress years before he was elected and which he had previously stated he was opposed to enacting. However, both of those examples pale in comparison to claiming to hold a job title you don't. From National Review Online's Corner with props to Powerlineblog.
This guy is going to be harder than Bill Clinton to keep up with. The next whopper whips along before you have time to wrap your brain around the last one.

At Powerline, John Hinderaker goes through Obama's continuing contortions (in Israel) over how Jerusalem must remain the undivided capitol of Israel, unless of course it is divided and unless of course it is also the capitol of "Palestine," which possibilities absolutely positively mark no change in the messiah's original decree, which he really really meant, that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capitol of Israel. Obama then continued (italics mine):

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.
Huh, wonder how Sen. Dodd (you know the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) felt when he heard it was Obama's committee.

The real question is will the voters require as exacting standards of trust for the presidency that Notre Dame had for their coaching position?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Random Links for a Wednesday

Found some good new while wandering the internet today. Here is some of it.

Michelle Malkin has an article about one of our most corrupt congresscritters actually facing a serious challenger this November. I'm not a fan of term limits believing the voters should decide, but Murtha is a pretty good argument in favor of term limits.

It isn't often we see any good news come out of the Pacific northwest, but this qualifies: 'Spam King' gets nearly 4 years in prison. Only thing better than a spammer getting sent to jail would be to see those who create computer viruses executed.

A race baiting pretend reverend was caught as a tax cheat. Unfortunately, unlike Pete Rose and Al Capone this tax cheat will never see a day behind bars.
Reverend Al Sharpton and his National Action Network have successfully escaped indictments and jail time after federal prosecutors dropped allegations of tax fraud and fiscal irregularities.

According to New York’s Daily News, feds had begun pursuing Sharpton and NAN when claims of contribution extortions from corporations to avoid possible protests against them were made. Although criminal charges are no longer a factor, both parties are expected to cough up somewhere around $2 million and $9 million in tax settlements.

An interesting development in the War on Terrorism shows AQ's propaganda arm is suffering: New York Times 2Q profit drops 82 percent. Bad news for the New York Times is good news for America!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pew Research Center Online News Quiz

Post idea shamelessly stolen from CDR Salamander. The Pew Research Center has a current events quiz. This quiz should be given to anyone registering to vote. If they are clueless they shouldn't be voting. After you take the quiz you can compare your results to others who have taken the test. Not to brag, but just to show the quiz is pretty easy if one pays any attention to what's going on.

Your Pew News IQ Score

Here's Your Score: You correctly answered 12 of the 12 possible questions along with approximately 3% of the public. You did better than 97% of the general public.

Enjoy and throw your score in the comments section if you want.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote 17 July 2008

Younger baseball fans may know Stan Williams as the pitching coach for several teams. A long time back, he was a big intimidating right handed pitcher who wouldn't hesitate to pitch inside to any batter. In Tales from the Tribe Dugout by Russ Schneider, Williams described a game he considers his personal best.
"Of all the games I pitched in the big leagues (482) maybe the best was in 1967. The Indians brought me back after I'd had a sore arm and had been out of the big leagues for almost three full seasons.
"We were in Baltimore, and Sonny Siebert was supposed to start, but he told Joe Adcock our manager that he needed one more day. So Adcock asked me if I could pitch and I told him That's what I'm here for." I started the game and went all the way, 13 innings, and won 2-1.
"The reason it is one of my favorites is because I struck out two Hall of Famers nine times - Luis Aparicio five times and Frank Robinson four times.
"The first three times Robinson batted, I struck him out on a fastball, second time with a curve, and the third time with a slider. The fourth time he came up I got him 0 and 2 and I'm thinking, "What is he sitting on? What should I throw him? I'd already struck him out on a fastball, curve and a slider.
"Then it occurred to me that I hadn't thrown him a spitball - and I had a good one. So I turned my back to the plate, loaded one up and threw him a helluva spitter, low and away. He swung and missed it by about two feet.
"Imagine that. There I am, a guy who'd had a bad arm and was out of the league for three years, who came back and threw a 2-1 victory, went all thirteen innings, struck out 15 and just pitched a helluva game.
"But the next day the headline in the paper was "Robinson accuses Williams of throwing a spitter" - even though that was the only one I threw the whole game."
That's the way it goes - do one bad thing and all your good works are eclipsed.

Postscript: Making Williams' achievement more impressive is Aparicio did not strike out a lot. That season he only struck out 44 times despite this game. Here is the box score for the game which sadly, but not surprisingly, shows Williams' memory was a little faulty. He did win the game 2 to 1 and it did go 13 innings, but he only struck out Aparicio and Robinson three times each and he had 14 total strike outs not the 15 he claimed.


Politics Ohio dot com get interview with Governor Strickland

Ben Keeler from the right side and Kyle Kutuchief from the left are the lead bloggers at Politics.Ohio.Com and they recently got an opportunity to interview Governor Ted Strickland. This is part of what I believe to be a growing trend of politicians to reach out to the online community. While it is still a tiny segment of the population that reads political blogs, the reality is it is a vocal segment. Anyways, I encourage you to click the link and watch the interview. Based on his congressional voting record and everything I had heard about Strickland he struck me as a liberal extremist and I was of course opposed to his election. Having said that, he comes across very likable in this interview and so far has done alright in office. Don't get me wrong, he is still a very liberal Democrat and is pushing policies that are not in Ohio's best interest.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote 15 July 2008

Tonight Major League Baseball will play its 79th All Star game pitting players from the American League against those from the National League. Between the travesty of in season inter-league play and more frequent player movement between leagues, the All Star game has sadly lost some of the fierceness of the rivalry. However, I still enjoy watching the game each year. The American League has won the last 10 contests (except the tie in 2002) which is a stark contrast to my youth when he National League won nearly every year. The Indians' Cliff Lee is the AL starting pitcher and Ben Sheets of the Brewers will pitch for the NL. Since a winning streak has to end some time and the NL appear to have a stronger starting line-up I'll predict a 9 - 4 NL victory.


The Fight to be the New "Senator No"

It seems some people have noticed that despite his flaws, the recently departed Jesse Helms was remembered fondly by conservatives because he fought to hold the line on spending. In 2006 Republicans took a drubbing in the voting booth partly because they had strayed far from their roots of smaller government and spending restraint. After the Republicans became the majority party too many acted just as bad as Democrats. When Republican politicians (Hey you, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) we're talking to you buddy) act like pigs at the the public trough you can't blame the average voter for concluding there is little difference between the parties.

Here are two articles about Senators Jim Demint (R-SC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) where each is described as one to inherit the mantle of fiscal conservatism that goes with the nickname "Senator No." Here is a small snippet from the second article.
Much like the late conservative hero “Senator No” (Jesse Helms), Coburn seems to be the only conservative willing to block legislation that would exacerbate the $9.3 trillion dollar debt this Congress is passing on to future generations.
We can only hope that others senators have the courage to join DeMint and Coburn in the fight for the Senator No title.

What next for Chuck Hagel

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is not running for reelection to his senate seat. Up until recent years, Hagel seemed like a reliable conservative. However, Hagel has frequently been at odds with the administration particularly on the war which Hagel seems to view primarily through Vietnam war lens'. This has led to speculation that Hagel may be Sen. Obama's VP pick. Additionally, Hagel has always been very friendly with Sen. McCain and seemingly has mimicked McCain's Sunday morning TV maverick routine. This chumminess made some think he could be a surprise pick as McCain's running mate. My own opinion is Hagel is probably unacceptable to be a standard bearer for either side. He is too conservative for the Dems and too much of a pompous jerk for the Republicans. Hagel alienates the same conservatives McCain is already somewhat at odds with and then some. Interestingly, the betting odds at have Obama (28/1) much more likely than McCain (50/1) to pick Hagel.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote 14 July 2008

Major League Baseball is taking their annual All Star game three day break. Tonight they will conduct the Home Run Derby. Grady Sizemore will be representing the Indians in the contest. Despite being a Cleveland's lead-off hitter, Sizemore is leading the American League in home runs at the break with 23 round trippers. Unfortunately, some of the games biggest sluggers will not be participating in the contest. Not to slight the players selected, but the AL, in addition to Sizemore, will be represented by Justin Morneau, Josh Hamilton and Evan Longoria. Morneau is a former MVP and a legitimate slugger. Sizemore has never hit 30 homers in a season. Hamilton is a second year player and Longoria is a rookie with 16 career homers. The game is being played in Yankee Stadium this year. Hard to believe there wasn't a single slugger they could find that plays for the host team.

Here is a picture of our dog, Grady. Grady was named after Sizemore of course.

(minor disclaimer: That is a two-year old picture. Current pics not quite as cute.)

The Order of Canada and a Question of Diminished Honor

Some Canadians are justifiably upset by the current administrations decision to award the nation's highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada, to Henry Morgentaler. Who is Henry Morgentaler? He is the "father" of the Canadian abortion industry. He has been a controversial figure since 1967 when he testified before a government committee saying that women should have the right to abortion. In 1970, Morgentaler was arrested in Montreal for performing illegal abortions. And now Canadian leadership wants to honor this criminal.

Usually when we hear of an award like this going to a poor choice we hear some grumbling and then the issue is forgotten. However, in Canada the feelings about this character and his legacy are so strong that past recipients are returning their medals and resigning from the Society of the Order of Canada. Here is one example:
"If Dr. Morgentaler becomes a member, the Order of Canada for me has decreased in value," Gilbert Finn, 87, said yesterday from his home in Dieppe, N.B. "I cannot be a member of the Order of Canada with a man of such a reputation."

An Acadian businessman and former rector at the University of Moncton, as well as New Brunswick's lieutenant-governor from 1987 to 1994, Mr. Finn was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1974 and an officer in 1979.

"I'm waiting to know whether he is admitted to the order or not," Mr. Finn said. "If he is to get it officially, the same day, I'm planning to tell the Governor-General that I wish to get out of the order myself."

Michael Coren of the Toronto Sun has a good take on this award decision in an article titled "Abort this Award."

Bottom line: A society becomes that which it honors. If a society honors evil . . .

A sad postscript to this is Morgentaler grew up in Poland, lost family members to the holocaust and barely survived himself and then he chose to use his second lease on life to contribute to another holocaust.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow - Rest in Peace

Tony Snow died of cancer today. One of the classiest guys in media or politics, Snow is one of the very few who never allowed success to change him from the decent heartland American he was. Whenever he spoke, whether as a radio or television host or as the White House spokesman, you sensed he was a regular guy just talking to YOU in plain English. Tony you will be missed and your profession will be worse off because of your premature departure. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Snow family.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Obama Demonstrates Lack of Business Sense

The Obama campaign has issued a press release endorsing an awful attempt of excessive government interference in business operations titled "Obama Endorses Paid Sick Days." The release is subtitled "Presidential Candidate Says They're Vital to Women's Economic Security." Because Sen. Obama has no experience, whether in business or even executive experience in government, he doesn't comprehend how this type of regulation impacts businesses and leads to higher unemployment. If the senator had any life experience he'd understand that employees benefits are one of the many ways employers attract better employees. If I own company "A" and I need employees to develop, produce and sell our product I have to offer competitive wages and benefits to get and retain the best employees. If company "B" is offering a better total compensation package they will be able to win the better qualified candidates for job openings. Prospective employees have different benefit desires that determine which job offer they take.

Beyond all that, mandating sick days or vacation time leads companies to hire less employees in the same way that minimum wage hurts entry level workers.

This is the sort of issue Democrats like Sen. Obama like to champion as it sounds nice to the typical voter who doesn't look past the headline to consider the impact. They are counting on people just nodding their heads and saying "yeah, folks should get sick days" this guy must really care. It is easy for politicians to act like they care while spending other people's money.

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote 11 July 2008

2002 Baseball Amateur Draft revisited. Unlike in other major sports, the annual baseball player draft is considered a crapshoot as there are no sure thing prospects. Yesterday, the Indians claimed minor league starter Bryan Bullington off waivers from the Pirates. That ended the Pirates career of Bullington, the No. 1 overall pick in 2002 draft with an 0-3 record and 5.89 ERA in five appearances. Seeing the number one player in the whole draft not work out could lead to the mistaken thought that it was a weak draft. However, looking back, the 2002 draft was one of the best ever as quite a few players drafted after Bullington have developed into top major league talent.

1. Pittsburgh - P Bryan Bullington, Ball State University
2. Tampa Bay - SS B.J. Upton, Greenbrier Academy, VA
3. Cincinnati - P Chris Gruler, Liberty Union HS, CA
4. Baltimore - P Adam Loewen, Fraser Valley Christian HS, BC
5. Montreal - P Clint Everts, Cypress Falls HS, TX
6. Kansas City - P Zack Greinke, Apopka HS, FL
7. Milwaukee - 1B Prince Fielder, Eau Gallie HS, FL
8. Detroit - SS Scott Moore, Cypress HS, CA
9. Colorado - P Jeff Francis, University of Lethbridge
10.Texas - SS Drew Meyer, University of South Carolina

Other first rounders included Jeremy Hermida, Joe Saunders, Khalil Greene, Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, James Loney, Jeff Franceour, Joe Blanton and Matt Cain.

Wouldn't the Pirates like a "do-over" on that draft in hindsight? Currently the Indians are in line for a top five pick next June.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote 10 July 2008

We've all had bad days at work, but fortunately unlike athletes our bad days aren't recounted years later to get laughs on the banquet circuit. Here is the great Indians pitcher Mel Harder describing an opponent's tough time in the field one afternoon.

"In all the years I was in baseball - from 1928-1947 as a pitcher and 1948-1969 as a pitching coach - one of the funniest things I ever saw took place during a game at League Park in the early 1930's.

"Smead Jolley, who was a good hitter but not a real good outfielder, was playing right field for Chicago this particular day, and one of our guys hit a linerthat Jolley backed up to catch, but the ball went right through his glove for an error (#1).

"Jolley turned around to play the ball off the wall, but it caromed off the concrete part, and before Jolley could get his glove down, it went through his legs for another error (#2).

"By now the batter was heading to second with Jolley chasing the ball as it rolled toward the infield, and by the time he got to it, our guy was going to third. Jolley picked up the ball and threw to third base, but it was a wild throw and it went into the stands for another error (#3), all on one play. I swear I never saw anything like it."
Before hearing this story I had never heard of Smead Jolley. Looking up his career stats it seem Harder's memory was pretty accurate. Jolley had a career batting average of .305 in four major league seasons, but committed 44 errors in a career that only spanned 418 games.

Way to stay classy, Jesse

Race baiting extortionist and pretend reverend Jesse Jackson expressed his anger with presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. What had Obama done to anger the demagogue?
Jackson said in a written statement he was trying to emphasize that Obama’s moral message should “not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy.”
Oh Okay, I see the problem, Obama had the audacity to say that people have some responsibility for their own lives and shouldn't be completely dependent on government.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote or Quote

I realized recently that this blog has somehow gotten away from discussing sports and ended up being primarily oriented around politics. This week the Indians traded the reigning Cy Young Award winner, CC Sabathia to the Brewers and I didn't even bother to post on the trade. Anyways, noticing that reminded me that I wanted to include sports commentary as a key element of this blog while still noting current events. With that in mind, I'm starting a daily feature labeled the Daily Sports Blurb, Anecdote, or Quote. With the quotes and anecdotes I'll attempt to choose entries obscure enough that they are new to most people. Today I'll start with a story I found to be pretty ironic. In his autobiography, written in 1988 Willie Mays relates a story about helping a troubled teenager.
"I got a phone call at home from Lefty Gordon. He was a youth counselor. He asked me if I could straighten out a sensational athlete, a kid of fourteen who was about to end up in a lot of trouble with the law. The boy's name was O.J., and he was a member of a youth gang that had robbed a liquor store. The police were waiting for O.J. when he got home after a dance. They already had his buddies and O.J. joined them in San Francisco's Juvenile Hall for the weekend. His mother picked him up on Monday and brought him home and he went up to his room and fell asleep.

That's when I got there. I spoke to his mother and asked her if it would be alright for the boy to go out with me for a couple hours. I didn't have a lecture in mind. I just thought that by showing him I cared about him, I might be able to help him.

When O.J. came down stairs he didn't look excited. He didn't even seem surprised. I asked him if he wanted to spend the afternoon with me. He nodded "Okay." He probably expected a lecture. Instead we hopped into my car and I just did was I had planned to do that afternoon. I stopped at the cleaners and an appliance store. I went over to a friends house and then I took O.J. home. No lecture. We just talked about a lot of things - cars, baseball, football. He was already talking about going to college in Utah to play football. I advised him not to. I told him to go to Los Angeles. He'd be closer to home and in an area with a big television market. If he was as great an athlete as I had heard that would help him get his name around. The few hours we spent together were my way of showing O.J. what to do by giving him an example. I didn't want to set myself up as a god, just as someone who tried to do the right thing.
A few things hit me when I read that section of Mays' book. I got the book quite a while after it was printed and the subject of that section, O.J. Simpson had made news outside the sports world in the intervening years. One of the compelling elements of the Simpson double murder trial was he had such a clean cut image prior to that event. It was odd to read he was involved in robbing a liquor store as a kid and it never came up during the trial. I also wondered if Mays would have told that story in his book if he wrote it a decade later. Obviously, it was included to show him having a positive affect on a young man who went on to be very successful. The other surprising thing is, as far as I know when O.J. killed those two people no reporters bothered to contact Willie Mays for a reaction.

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T. Boone Pickens has a Plan

Unlike most of our political leaders, billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens has a forward looking plan for energy independence. He gave a very detailed overview of his ideas on CNBC's morning show yesterday and appeared on various talk shows throughout the day giving an outline. Additionally, he has a commercial playing on TV briefly explaining his ideas. Here is a link to an op-ed piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal titled "My Plan to Escape the Grip of Foreign Oil." This is no cheap, quick and easy fix. It will require changes in infrastructure and that will require cooperation between government and the private sector. More difficult than that is it will require politicians to look out further than their next election. Read the whole article and share it with others. While I am a strong advocate of greater oil exploration and more domestic drilling (off coasts and in ANWR), I also realize that is not a solution by itself.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Jesse Helms - RIP

Longtime U.S. Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms died today at 86 years of age. Helms was a stalwart conservative who though in the minority in the senate for most of his 30 years in the senate he was very influential. He was so effective at stopping liberal initiatives he earned the nickname "Senator No." We could use more senators today with the common sense and backbone to strongly say "NO!" when that is the right answer. Rest in Peace Senator No.


Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July to all of you. Today marks the 232nd anniversary of some brave men declaring their independence from the monarchy of which they were subjects. It may not seem remarkable today, but it was unheard of in that day. Celebrate your freedoms today. Celebrate our still young country today. Celebrate those men who risked everything to break free from the oppression of the monarchy. Read the Declaration of Independence and reflect on their reasons to sever the bonds with Great Britain.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Case of Misplaced Blame

It seems whenever a criminal cur is put down the criminal's family blames the wrong party. Whether it is the police or an armed citizen who shoots the criminal the family will never look at themselves or the crook when assigning blame. Here is the latest example:
Former Marine's Actions Called Into Question The family of one of the men who was shot by a retired United States Marine while they attempted to rob a Subway sandwich shop said the customer shouldn't have pulled the trigger.

According to Plantation police, two armed men barged into the Subway at 1949 Pine Island Road shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday, demanding money from the employee behind the counter. When they tried to force John Lovell into the bathroom, he pulled out a gun and shot both men, police said.
Hey, grandma! Guess what? You waited until it was too late to care about the punk. Don't want your precious child or grandchild shot while robbing someone? Then raise them to understand that robbing someone is wrong and also that it carries the risk of meeting someone not in the mood to be a victim. In the long run, this Marine may have saved the lives of other dumb kids who may think twice before deciding to rob people. Go looking for a meek victim and you may accidentally meet a Marine. Semper fi!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tony Perkins Asks Barack Obama an Important Question

I saw this commercial on TV last week and was struck by how clear cut and straight forward the hypocrisy of abortion proponents was revealed. Here is a link to the Youtube of the commercial: Tony Perkins Asks Barack Obama: When Does Life Begin?
If Sen. Obama can claim a father's responsibility begins at conception then how can he simultaneously argue that mothers have the choice to kill that child? Is there a nine month delay on maternal responsibility?

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An Interesting Townhall Debate Idea

Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain has invited/challenged his Democrat opponent, Sen. Barack Obama to a series of 10 townhall style debates. To date, Obama has rejected this idea. Earlier today in the comment section in another blog (Baseball Crank) I saw a great idea for McCain.
McCain ought to hit the campuses with a chair next to him upon which is a suit folded neatly.

He can explain that the empty suit is the closest he can come to getting his opponent to show up and debate him. And really what's the difference between the empty suit and Obama.
Unfortunately, McCain is unlikely to take that aggressive an approach. Then again, if Obama keeps sending folks out to denigrate McCain's military service maybe McCain will get angry enough to fight.

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What does political correctness and diversity BS lead to in the long run?

The trend over the last couple decades towards more political correctness was idealistically aimed at improving relations across cultural lines. Among normal sane people it has largely led to better race relations. However, collaterally it has spawned a mentality that no one can ever be offended. This is especially true when dealing with groups that the civilized world is leery, or scared of offending. Here is an example from England which has a growing Islamic population problem. The police produce a sign advertising a new non-emergency phone number that included a cute puppy.

Now, they are forced to apologize for the sign. Why? Because the Islamic crazies don't like dogs. I'm not fond of cats. This is a bad analogy, but if someone uses cats in a sign and I complain do you think I hear an apology? Nope. Why not? Because, unlike the nutty Muslims, regular folks don't riot and threaten to kill people over a minor affront. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that we should intentionally try to offend any group. However, until Muslims are able to ignore minor crap like this they will not be accepted as a mature segment of the civilized world.


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