Just Sad

April 8th, 2008

This isn’t particularly newsworthy nor do I have a lot to write about it.  This child prodigy ended up working days as a prostitute because the stress of an overbearing father was too much for her.  Regardless of the validity of her complaint the story is a sad reminder that this is a fallen world.

Story Link

Babel?

April 1st, 2008

First off this is not an April Fools Joke.
A tower a mile high.  This is the dream of a Saudi prince.  The tower, which will rise 5,250 feet into the air and cost over 5 billion US Dollars, is planned for construction in the Saudi Arabian dessert.  (The Sears Tower is 1,730 feet with antenna!)

I wonder what the purpose of this is?  Can there really be a overwhelming need for a mile high skyscraper in the middle of the dessert?  In a land that has an abundance of space first and oil second what is the great fascination for this? 

One wonders if it will be built and if it is will it be another Spruce Goose?

Waste of Humanity - Not Kidding!

March 25th, 2008

Grandmother, Son, Granddaughter plus seven other family members living on the dole and proud of it.

A friend of mine forwarded this to me. I read this several times and then researched to make sure this wasn’t a hoax. I cannot believe this is true. I can’t fathom that there are human beings that are this useless.

This is exactly the kind of excess that conservatives point to when referencing how social welfare is harmful rather then compassionate. Three generations and nearly the entire family lives off the public dole. None of the family members feels guilty. Most of the family seems to feel that they are not only entitled to the public hand outs but seem they deserve to have more.

Granted this is Great Britain but it struck me that the Grandmother claimed she was entitled to be happy. I disagree. As our founding fathers wisely made clear we are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness not happiness itself. That is for us to yearn for, cry for, bleed for and make for ourselves.

I have compassion. I hurt for those in need. This is not need. This is selfish greed and is a disservice to all of humanity.

Walmart.

March 25th, 2008

Wal-Mart claims this is being done for the benefit for all. I really don’t know what to say about this. I don’t want to write about it. I just think this is evil. This is the kind of think that makes Wal-Mart appear evil to America. This woman’s husband had to divorce his wife to get more money for her. Her son has been killed in Iraq. What a horrible story.

Story Link. - This is video.

**UPDATE** 4/02/08 - Wal-Mart backs down.  Agrees not to seek the moneys any longer.  Says that the rules might be worth bending this time around.  Sad it took this type of attention to do the right thing.  See for yourself.

Is Anyone Surprised?

March 25th, 2008

Good old George

Latte at Starbucks™: $5.50.
High Speed Internet: $34.99
Lying about being under sniper fire while visiting Bosnia: Priceless

At least lie about something were there is not incontrovertible proof that what you say is not true. Her spin is sounding extremely paltry on this one. Claiming there was sniper fire in the hills does not in any way mitigate the video evidence that there was no running with heads ducked down to avoid fire.

Chelsea doesn’t seem very comfortable discussing this either.

Don’t take this as an endorsement of anyone but you really have to hand the Clintons some sort of award for incredulity.

Kwame Kilpatrick and the Curse of Michigan

March 24th, 2008

Politics - GeorgeMichigan is a state I love. I have lived in Michigan my entire life. I love the sites and the people. I would say I love the weather but that would be a lie. But my oh my how far we have fallen. We have the highest unemployment rate in the country. Our roads and infrastructure are a shambles. Our economy has floundered for a decade. The of course there is Detroit.

The Wayne County prosecutor has decided to prosecute the Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for lying under oath both about his affair and the reasons surrounding his firing of the former police chief. The text messages between himself and his paramour (his former Chief of Staff) are a matter of public record. The Mayor has never been especially friendly with the press and the City Council has asked that he resign. Yet the Mayor insists he will be vindicated. If it was virtually any other city I would say no way. But again this is Detroit so who knows.

Articles breaking March 24, 2008:
Who hired the lawyers?
Charges Pending.
Who Ousted Brown?
12 Count Felony Indictment.

Arthur C. Clarke

March 18th, 2008

I am really to busy to post today but I could not let this news pass without commenting. One of the great authors of the last century passed away today. Arthur C. Clarke passed away today.

Arthur C. Clarke was the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey and over 100 other novels.

Dead at the age 0f 90.

Another Night of Frustration

March 11th, 2008

Boxing GlovesThis past weekend was a great weekend for people who enjoy boxing. There were several high quality match-ups. We saw David Haye partially unite the Cruiserweight division. We saw Samuel Peter take the interim status off his alphabet title belt. We also saw an incredible upset with Nate Campbell upsetting heavy favorite Juan Diaz in the storied lightweight division.

Unfortunately it was also a bad weekend for boxing fans as well. We were given again the spectacle of embarrassing judging. I am not even going to begin to discuss the minor quibbles I have with the judging on the big cards of the weekend. No. My special angst is for the judging exhibited on the televised bouts on the ESPN Friday Night Fights event on March 7, 2008.

There were two match-ups that night. The first was Jason LeHoullier versus Jose Luis Gonzalez. The second match-up was between rising young contender Thomas Mashaba versus live underdog Cristobal Cruz. Both match-ups went the distance and both bouts were judged horribly in my opinion.

The second match were Mashaba was beaten by Cruz was less of a shock then the first in my opinion. There is no doubt that Cruz out punched Mashaba by a wide margin. Throwing lots of punches is only part of the equation. A judge is supposed to determine who is throwing the punches, who is connecting, who is connecting with the more significant punches and who is driving the action. In my opinion Cruz threw more punches but his punches were not accurate, they were not meaningful and he did not control the action. One judge saw this as a draw and the other two saw it 113-115 all for Cruz. A very bad decision in my view.

Far worse was the robbery that took place against Jose Luis Gonzalez. I don’t see any way this match was a tie. On my card this bout was 97-93 in favor of Gonzalez. I could see how a reasonable person could have judged this 96-94 Gonzalez or 98-92 Gonzalez as well. What I can’t see is any scenario were this is not a clear Gonzalez win. He was completely and totally dominant in this fight. Of the three judges the scores were judge: George Smith 97-93 (Gonzalez) | judge: Clark Sammartino 95-95 | judge: Don Trella 96-94 (LeHoullier). The only score I do not have a problem with here is George Smith. Clark is plain wrong and Don Trella should be investigated. This type of garbage scoring makes this purest of all sports into a joke. It makes a mockery of the sweat, blood and heart that these fighters leave on the canvas. It irks me and I wish something could be done about. For now we will call out the worst of the worst judges when and how we see them.

This week the Thoughtless Award of Shame goes to Don Trella, Judge, for his embarrassing and suspicious score of 96-94 (LeHoullier) in the LeHoullier vs. Gonzalez bout.

It is a pity that the last bout at the Foxwoods Casino, before tear down and rebuild, had to be a fiasco. It is also sad that the sport continues to serve up fiascoes as if they are a fans dearest wish.

On a side note there was a lot worth discussing this past weekend. I would love to discuss Samuel Peter’s development as a fighter and Nate Campbell’s improbable win over the Baby Bull. Unfortunately there is no time this week yet. If time opens up I may revisit these topics unless someone else opens up a dialogue first.

Rules. What good are they anyway?

March 6th, 2008

The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.

Frank Zappa
(1940 – 1993)


It is hard for me to comprehend how not playing by the rules is an activity that we should reward. Granted, we all know every rule has an exception. An exception is one thing, a pattern of sporadic enforcement as it is convenience is another thing.

Take for instance the most current example of convenience enforcement. We see today an argument by Howard Dean that the delegates for Florida and Michigan should count. Not only should the votes count but the votes should be done over again.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8V82ODG1&show_article=1

Huh?

I really don’t get this. Lets put this in order of events here a minute. Michigan and Florida decide to move their elections up so that they are more relevant. The Democratic National Committee strips the states of their delegates in order to punish the states. The major candidates agree with the stripping of the delegates. On the Michigan Ballot Barack Obama did not even appear and on the Florida ballot Obama did not campaign. Barack Obama’s actions were in accordance to an assumption that the rules would be followed as laid out already. Without too much surprise Hilary Clinton swept both states primaries.

Fast forward several weeks and the mathematics of delegate counting make it difficult for either candidate to get a true majority. Also the possibility of a victory by Hillary Clinton is very daunting. Now, there is sudden anger and outrage that the delegates from Michigan and Florida need to be seated.

Huh?

I don’t get it. Again it gets even more interesting. Instead of simply seating the delegates or not seating them. Both a choices being total wins for either Hillary or Barack the Democratic Committee seems to be considering an even odder choice. Forget the rules; forget what we agreed lets just do it over. This is inconceivable. It isn’t the same race, it is untidy and it just doesn’t make any sense.

It reminds me of another rules fiasco from a few years back. Does anyone else remember when the scandals became too much for Robert Torricelli to hope to win reelection he stepped aside? The Democratic governor of the time, Jim McGreevey, appointed Frank Lautenberg to the ballot. The amazing thing is that the New Jersey State Supreme Court voted that the appointment was valid regardless of the fact the ballot change deadline had changed.

My problem with these issues is not that the choices were wrong or bad. I don’t even argue whether the motivations are misguided or not. That isn’t my point. My point is that once you have a rule you better think once, twice, thrice before ignoring it for convenience sake. Until we start following this rule Frank Zappa will remain correct.

ESPN: Boxings Patron or Part of the Problem?

March 3rd, 2008

Boxing GlovesRecently the Boxing Program Director of ESPN Doug Loughrey had been the focus of some much unwanted attention. In January he and TV personality Teddy Atlas got into a much publicized shouting match over how matches were agreed upon and brought to the ESPN airwaves. This altercation led to the one week suspension of Teddy Atlas. Even more recently Doug Loughrey appears to be making this perception of impropriety even more crystallized by getting between boxer and trainer and offering legal advise were it is very much not wanted. See the link below for the situation in detail.

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&id=12621

You know I was a casual fan of boxing, maybe a bit more then casual, in the 80’s through early 90’s. I then got busy and the lack of coverage and televised fights drove me away. It was only two years ago when my travels forced me to spend 4 to 5 nights a week in a hotel room that I became a true fan. Watching ESPN classic showings of matches gave me something to look forward to in the hotel room.

This crap is the type of thing that could turn me right back off again. It seems criminal to me that you can’t watch any names at the top of the game without shelling out $50.00. If you want to split the PPV you have to find a few friends that actually give a flying fart about a sport they all gave up years ago. To see a fight in person for one of these names you need to travel to one of a few cities that seem to host them. Then for local fighting give it up. Because of the lack of coverage half the cards seem to get cancelled and promoters continue to swear they will “never return” due to a 10% occupancy at the arena. Then of course we have the sanctioning bodies who couldn’t sanction a tarot reading if any real oversight was in place. We have fighters that don’t or won’t fight real competition. I think Floyd is the best fighter out there but you know what….who cares if he isn’t going to fight. If you aren’t going to do anything but do the victory dance then fine but lets stop arguing about your talent as your talent is no longer relevant.

I can deal with the frustrations above but when the last real vestige of free viewing of the sport begins to look as tainted as we are all told it really is, well it really starts to get you down.

Don’t get me wrong. I really, really love the sport. It does frustrate me that it seems a sport that I alone of anyone I talk to in real life seems to care about. But in reality am I the only one who gets a little down on these type of articles and the business decisions that seem to be driving the sport into the nosebleed seats of the sports arena?

Sorry for the rant. Just a bit ornery today I guess.