Friday, April 30, 2010

Palin Hacker Convicted for "College Prank"

Just committing a college prank, WHAT KIND OF EXCUSE IS THAT?

You’d think they want you to believe that it’s just a matter of boys will be boys, and what’s the big deal about being a little curious on the Internet.

The defense of David Kernall charged and convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin’s personal Yahoo email rested on that. They also argued the Sarah Palin was partly to blame for not using more aggressive, harder to figure out passwords. Through it all, there was never any sense that there are clear laws and rules of behavior and personal responsibilities involved. In fact the defense attempted to make little Davey look like a victim.

Kernall exploited the rather easy lack of security Palin used to establish her account was successful essentially tricking his way into her account and then publishing his findings all over the internet. Fortunately, for Palin there was no juicy material but still it was personal stuff she would have had every right to expect would bet only between her and the person addressed in her emails. Such things as Palin’s cell phone numbers and those of her daughter, Bristol, were published and some harassment ensued.

It took the jury four days, but Kernall was convicted of two of the four charges against him. The son of a Tennessee state representative from Memphis was convicted of computer fraud and obstruction of justice He was not found guilty of wire fraud. The panel was deadlocked on an identity theft charge. As such instead of facing up to 50 years in the slammer, he could face 25 years and a $500,000 fine with as much as eight years of supervision after release.

There seems to be a prevailing attitude among the left these days that any behavior directed against someone they deem as enemies of their cause is justified. No one should be surprised then that the criminal action itself didn’t matter but that Sarah Palin’s testimony might have been perjury according to MSNBC’s resident idiot, Keith Olbermann charged in a recent program.

So the poor kid just got a little carried away with himself, and now the big mean system is coming down on him like a ton of bricks and that mean horrible Sarah Palin wants something to happen to him. There have been reports that young Kernall is emotionally upset too. What upset that he got caught?

Never mind there was evidence on his laptop that he was devising plans to hopefully disrupt the McCain/Palin campaign. He was only trying to help the Democrats win. Wouldn’t dad be proud?

United Nations: Business as Usual -- Iran to Guard Women's Rights

While it is an absolute moral outrage, no one should be surprised that Iran was granted a position on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Iran, a nation that institutionalizes the torture, abuse, and subjugation of women, now has a voice on women's affairs before the world body.


While this should come as no surprise given vicious dictatorships that routinely torture and kill their citizens have found places on the Civil Rights panel, that the United States would let this happen without at least making some symbolic stance that would surely be defeated by the majority of nations that could care less how countries treat their citizens is an outrage. Furthermore, this action reinforces with Iran that they have nothing to fear from the world body as they move forward toward having nuclear bombs and the ICBM's to launch them.


To call the world body an esteemed organization or to believe its rulings come from some high minded sense of world justice is a joke. The United States must take the high road and be faithful to its long standing principles when dealing with the United Nations. We, not them, are the greatest force for good in the world even with a corrupt socialist as President.

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 10 -- Sweet Virginia

After thinking big, racing on NASCAR’s longest track, the Sprint Cup tour goes small this weekend as it races on the ¾ mile short track in Richmond, Virginia. The flag drops for the season’s tenth race, the short track event with the long name, The Crown Royal presents the Heath Calhoun 400, Saturday night. It’s the only ¾ mile track on the circuit making the Richmond races two of the most unique on the whole circuit. While it has the bump and grind of short track racing, the extra quarter mile facilitates a long back stretch where the cars get flying as they would on intermediate tracks. The result is some of the most fun and competitive racing on the calendar. While the September race is one of the most significant races, the one after which the Chase field is set, moving the early race from the series third race in late February or early March to around Kentucky Derby Day makes this a most fan friendly enjoyable race as the key rivalries for the year start to take shape.

For those looking at who the recent winners at Richmond are, local fellow, Denny Hamlin won last fall’s race, but Jimmie Johnson won three out of the last six races going back to spring 2007. Tony Stewart is a three time winner at the track, but his last victory was spring, 2002. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is also a three time winner with his last triumph, spring 2006. Other recent winners include Kasey Kahne – spring, 2005, Kurt Busch – fall 2005, Kevin Harvick – fall 2006, Clint Bowyer – spring 2008, and Kyle Busch – 2009. The old Richmond track served three generations of Petty’s with Lee Petty achieving two victories and Kyle Petty winning in 1986. Since being enlarged for fall of 1988, Rusty Wallace is the big winner with six trophies.

Interesting historical note, prior to its being rebuilt to its ¾ length during the 1988 season, Richard Petty “owned” Richmond from 1967 to the first race of 1975 his last victory at the track. The “King” won 12 out of 17 races during that stretch including seven consecutive races from fall 1970 to fall 1973.

Perhaps foreshadowed by other bigger tracks, the unique giant of the little ones deserves its recognition for its significant historical role in Sprint Cup racing. Located a leisurely Sunday morning drive from the Nation’s Capitol and Crab City, the stands will be packed with fans ready for prime time racing. On the heels of perhaps the hottest Talladega race ever, teams are getting anxious to move with in striking distance of the top 12 so that when they return to historic Virginia in September, they can go home as competitors in the Chase for the series last ten races.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: First Quarter Assessment

The 2010 Sprint Cup season has reached the one quarter mark after a thrilling race at Talladega last weekend, perhaps the most competitive race ever based on the record number of lead changes.

Assessing the season so far, we do not want to get carried away with the perception that a fifth Jimmie Johnson championship is inevitable. Despite a dreadful performance wrecking out of last Sunday’s race, he is still atop the points standings and also has the most victories, three so far. The expertise of this team and skill of this driver appear unmarked and destined for legend status in the sport. Meanwhile, the sport’s other current legend, Johnson’s teammate who lured Johnson to Hendrick Motor Sports in the first place has commented during the last two weeks expressing his frustration with his encounters with the #48 team on the track.

Surely, the fortunes of Richard Childress teams improving after a miserable 2009 are worth noting with Kevin Harvick leading the pack.

The onset of an especially early silly season finds the star of Richard Petty Racing, perhaps Ford’s best rising star, moving on to Hendricks for the 2012 season with speculation where he will race next year. Surely, Hendrick’s clout will find him a cozy seat for his year in waiting if a ride isn’t opened up outright on the mothership.

Shell/Pennzoil is moving to Penske for 2010 in a multi-year deal which includes tie-ins with Penske’s IRL cars as well. Kurt Busch will drive the Shell/Pennzoil car to be numbered #22. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski will pilot the “Blue Deuce,” the #2 Miller Lite Dodge.

The start and park phenomenon remains at least an annoyance for most races this year with the Triad operation, Tommy Baldwin’s team, and Joe Nemechek as the primary offenders. Now that they have taken spots in the race from teams with sponsors and full crews makes the matter more serious. How long NASCAR will continue to allow teams that don’t field a full crew nor have the resources to even change one set of tires remains to be determined. Folks aren’t buying the argument that for some, qualifying is their race. Baloney!!!

The real story for 2010 was played out in part at Talladega, but has been visible throughout the season. NASCAR has shown a willingness not to over regulate competition allowing for more on track competition. Ensuring a competitive finish, the field now has up to three green/white/checker sequences to keep a race from finishing under caution. Aerodynamics have been tweaked, and now for the last four races, Sprint Cup cars once again sport a conventional spoiler rather than the “aero-wing.”

The results have been exciting, five out of nine races finished under “green/white/checker” finishes. Cars are much more engaged with more side by side races and lead changes than in recent years.

Other stories include a lack of blue ovals in the winner’s circle. While Roush teams finish reasonably well, they’re not winning. Fords are not qualifying near the top too often. Ford teams have been slow to introduce their new engine into competition.

With hopes other teams will hotly pursue the top spot, ignoring the #48 team holding down the top spot, the rest of the action is among the hottest in years. NASCAR deserves praise for working to make the sport as enjoyable as possible for its fans.

New Jersey Principal Demands Parents Forbid Online Socializing

Time marches on and the hands of time have no reverse setting. There is an increasingly more aggressive and imposing climate among society’s elites to legislate private behavior. This is the third article this week where we address another aspect of the nanny state. The culprit this time is public education. The issue is a New Jersey middle school principal is imploring to have parents forbid their children from social networking and text messaging.

Principal Anthony Orsini, Benjamin Franklin Middle School, in Ridgewood, New Jersey sent out an email on Wednesday asking parents to help get all the school’s students off social networking sites and to get them to stay off text messaging.

He wrote:

"Please do the following: sit down with your child (and they are just children still) and tell them that they are not allowed to be a member of any social networking site. Today! "Let them know that you will at some point every week be checking their text messages online! You have the ability to do this through your cell phone provider. "Let them know that you will be installing Parental Control Software so you can tell every place they have visited online, and everything they have instant messaged or written to a friend. Don't install it behind their back, but install it!"

"It is time for every single member of the BF Community to take a stand! There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!"Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None."

Beneath the shroud of being the assertive strong leader what surely is a part of it is fearing the repercussion of possible events which could happen at his school. There have been a few alarming reports of Facebook postings being used to bully students and spread gossip including the case of a girl driven to her own suicide.

There is no question the use of computers opens kids up to all kinds of new possibilities both good and bad. From the first chat rooms widely used in the 1990’s, there have been situations where kids have been lured into bad situations. However, do we see any coverage of the good?

Maybe we just take that for granted, but kids have so many more options to talk to other kids who share their interests and experiences. Kids who’d otherwise be lonely have many new possibilities.

Parents do take on a huge responsibility when they allow their children to use computers. It’s not a toy where kids can just be given the machine and away they go. Every parent must have a firm conversation with his or her kids and establish what their kids can and can’t use their computers for and what on-line behavior is forbidden. Additionally, parental control software should be setup that monitors their kids’ activities and shuts off access to off limit sites. Additionally, kids should not have computers in their bedrooms. The computers they use should be in a common area in the house with no expectation of privacy that mom and dad could be looking over their shoulders at any time.

The approach should be more one of guidance and less one of being punitive. Kids will not be happy either way but if they understand where their parents are coming from it won’t be as bad. Why not print out where the kids have visited on line and discuss it with the kids?

“I see you’ve been out on the Ravens site a lot this week. What do you think of their draft picks?” “Oh Fox News, I didn’t know you were following the news. Tell me, what did you learn out there?” Taking such an approach takes the threatening aspects out of it, and besides a well-informed adult could see trends or interests and maybe make some suggestions where they might find some more interesting stuff that’s perfectly acceptable.

Humans are social animals. Kids are especially social. In a world where parents are less likely to want kids to travel from one neighborhood to the next unsupervised, kids might now find their community on line. Encouraging the proper etiquette of social networking is all part of the learning and growing process. Likewise, parents should establish guidelines on what time kids can use their computers. Kids need to get outside, exercise, play around outside, and not become couch potatoes.

What does not work and is absolutely regressive is outright prohibition. It’s all too easy and way too ignorant to slam the door on things that might cause isolated trouble and some inconveniences. Principal Orsini is way over the line. Hopefully, members of the community will actively challenge him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Big Brother or Nanny State Garbage: California Town Is a Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

Okay, kids are too fat these days. That's for sure, but come on now. San Jose, California has just outlawed toys and trinkets in happy meals. The law prohibits any toys or any other freebies with high calorie, high fat meals aimed at kids.
Will somebody please tell these nanny-do-gooders to mind their own freakin' business! This "we need a law" for everything that's not quite right with society is pure insanity. Moderation is the key. Responsible parents would not serve their kids Mickey-D goodies numerous times a week.
Alas, her greatness, Michelle Obama herself, is in charge of a campaign to reduce child obesity. While that is a cause worthy of publicizing, there is no way responsible parenting can be legislated. Kids need more physical activity, more variety in their diets, and better life lessons on how to take care of themselves. Didn't we recently hear of a school that not only serves only "healthy" food, but kids who have processed meats, white bread, any kind of sweats, and anything else the food Nazis don't like would have their lunches confiscated. In the last few weeks, Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper have joined forces to produce a television ad that they are volentarily no longer providing anything but low calorie beverages in school vending machines. Therefore, after basketball or football practice, Bubba can't even buy a Coke.
THIS IS INSANITY. Learning how to make good decisions is the lesson to be learned. Banning stuff doesn't work. Haven't we noticed the more government gets involved with our personal lives, family affairs, and how to raise children, the more social problems and dysfunctional idiots plague our society?
If you're lucky enough to live where you can still get the most horrible of all wicked high fat, high sugar foods, Krispy Kreme, you'd better grab one of those tasty donuts while you still can. Soon they'll figure out some way to legislate them out of existence.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stimulus Funds and Big Brother on Arizona Campus

Your Stimulus Dollars at Work: Big Brother Is Watching

Northern Arizona University spent $75,000 in Federal stimulus money to install an electronic surveillance system that will take attendance for large lecture classes on campus. It is programmed to detect student ID cards as they enter large classrooms. Electronic attendance reports would then be available for classroom instructors.

Karen Pugliese, the university’s vice provost defends the action, stating: "It's more than just enforcing compliance with attendance through the proximity readers. We intend to make our classes compelling and attractive."

We see where this is going like so many other things, strict zero tolerance attendance policies. This is one of so many moves in the last decade or so which seeks to treat college students, most of whom are 18 years of age or older, legally adults, old enough to die in battle for their country, like babies.

If such a system is used, what should be of most concern to the administration is what does it say about students who frequently do not attend lecture courses and ace the exams? Obviously, the instructor’s efforts aren’t effective and the student can meet the standards through his or her own devices. Sounds like an advertisement for on-line learning opportunities or correspondents’ courses doesn’t it?

With the Federal deficit skyrocketing and continued reports of more and more nonsense being dreamed up to interfere with a student’s post secondary experience, we firmly denounce this program and hope it does not spread. Sadly, it has all the earmarks of the wave of the future.

Does the Federal takeover of student loans help make more sense of why this is especially unnerving?

The same technology could be moved to places around campus that serve alcohol or monitor other student behavior. A little paranoia makes a lot of sense.

Latest Lefty Lemmings Crusade

RMF has a friend who like any good left wing lemming would do, find a cause follow it and obey orders. As if all the Obama groups, and others weren't bad enough, Credo Action is a new one that is so simplistic, naive, misinformed, misguided, and just plain wrong, if what they supported weren't so horrible, we'd just laugh them off.

So here's the latest. Remember the leader of Credo is a fellow who made his fortune in telecommunications -- so how much can we believe their bad big business rhetoric. Founder fish did pretty well.

Here's the new cause...

Tell Goldman Sachs: Stop supporting Reupblican filibuster of Wall Street reform

act.credoaction.comGoldman Sachs, now under investigation by the SEC for its role in the financial debacle, is claiming publicly that it supports bipartisan financial services reform. But privately Goldman Sachs lobbyists are twisting arms to block the Senate from even debating the bill. Take action to break the joint...

Oh, those BAD Republicans. After the bailout bill and the take over of two car manufacturers, the nation's health care system, college loans, and much of the banking industry, that the Republicans might feel a deliberate, cautious approach should be employed before more takeovers, regulation, and bigger government.

May we suggest if Goldman Sachs is so awful, shouldn't Barack Obama give back all those millions they contributed to his campaign? They fear Goldman Sachs is too big to fail, but they're not too big for government scrutiny.
With the financial collapse, the resulting recession, and many of our friends and relatives without jobs, everyone is accountable -- Republicans, Democrats, Wall Street moguls, and federal regulators. This is no time for demogoguery, class warfare, and other such nonsense. I laws have been broken, they must be prosecuted professionally. Using a situation like this for political gamesmanship and expanding the power of government is wrong.
Meanwhile, the lemmings are marching...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

F-Them If They Can't Take a Joke

The lunatic left is in an uproar. They have found the prime example that Obama haters invoke their religion to demonstrate their hatred of the president. They simply cannot accept such horrors and are up in arms. Someone started a little Facebook thing by posting the following:


Okay, this is not the kind of stuff we would ever embrace. It is childish, disrespectful, and naughty, but it is a little clever in a sick sort of way. Sounds like the kind of humor that makes the rounds in a high school lunch room, doesn't it?

When one considers the level of insults the left directed at President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Sarah Palin, and anyone including anybody they can associate with the tea party movement, the mean spirited nature of their taunts, and the use of vulgarity, this stupid little posting is very tame by comparison.

Left wing moral outrage is so outrageous since the lefties are so quick to dismiss traditional morality to begin with.

Face it, from Bill Maher to the New York Times to Obama staff members, we're dealing with angry people, vindictive mean spirited individuals, who abhor anyone who doesn't embrace their doctrine lock, stock, and barrel with absolute blind loyality. Why should members of congress have to worry about reading bills, for instance. They should trust that their fearless leaders know what's good. There's no need to question anything or sweat the details, pass the trash. That's what Barack, Nancy, and Harry want.

F-them if they can't take a joke. Well for that matter, F-them, period.

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 9 -- Talladega Triumph

8th closest finish

Record lead changes 29 leaders 88 lead changes

5th green/white/checker out of 9 races – first to go to 3rd attempt

Nobody likes Jimmie, even the racing gods

Harvick wins for sponsor that stiffed him earlier in the week

The Aaron’s 499 came down to the very last fraction of a second to determine the winner. With some brilliant maneuvering, Kevin Harvick running on the tale of recent restrictor place ace, Jaime McMurray, pulled the classic slingshot stunt to slightly loosen up McMurray move side-by-side and capture the win. The win was Kevin Harvick’s first in 115 races when he won the 2007 Daytona 500. Surely the mood in the #29 garage and Richard Childress racing had to be anxious and displeased after the car’s primary sponsor Shell Oil/Pennzoil announced a multi-year deal to sponsor Kurt Busch with the Penske organization for 2011 and beyond.

It was also a good day for Earnhardt/Ganassi racing with Jaime McMurray, who recently has become the master of restrictor plate racing winning last fall’s Talladega race and the Daytona 500 finished second in a photo finish just a small fraction of a second from taking the win. Juan Pablo Montoya, looking so promising last year but snake-bitten in 2010, finished third.

In a race that was clean and close for most of the day until late race calamity and dare devil desperation started to set in, overall twenty nine different leaders, far more than half the field, competed for 88 lead changes. Under older rules, the race would have finished under yellow with the caution flag flying on lap 183 when Jeff Gordon and Scott Speed got together which knocked laps leader Jeff Burton out of competition. The field was bunched up after a restart for lap 179 from the 5th caution in lap 176, Bobby Labonte spun out by David Reutimann.

What transpired after the restart assured at least a green/white/checker would provide the most unique kind of Talladega racing. Did we mention, the “big one” hadn’t happened yet?

Jaime McMurray took the green flag on lap 189 with Tony Stewart to his side. The racing action wouldn’t last two laps when caution #7 flew on lap 190. Yes, this was the big one with Joey Logano hitting Ryan Newman in the rear collecting multiple cars. The caution was largely due to cars being bunched up from the recent restart.

Green flag racing resumed to start lap 195 with McMurray once again in the lead with Greg Biffle on the outside. Biffle immediately got in trouble presumably running out of the fuel. His drifting back and not able to maintain speed created more havoc with a bunched up field wrecking Jimmie Johnson and knocking him out of the race. The 8th caution was displayed leading to what would be the first time the 3rd attempt rule for green/white/checker would be employed. They were now deep into bonus laps. The final green would fly for lap 198, ten laps past the scheduled finish. Any further calamity would result in a yellow finish.

Once again, McMurray led the field with partner Juan Pablo Montoya to his side admittedly going for broke running on fumes. McMurray maintained the lead as the white flag flew with Kevin Harvick charging hard. The two front drivers then separated from the field with Harvick on McMurray’s bumper until he was able to slide off, loosen McMurray just enough to make the pass. They’d duel side by side as the rest of the pack began to close in coming down the home stretch. Kevin Harvick held on to win by just inches the 8th closest win ever.

With the multiple lead changes, the three attempts to finish under green/white/checker, and the close finish, the spring, 2010 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega would be a race for the history books of NASCAR. While the typical Talladega racing features were there, the big long train of cars racing in formation holding on to the draft and the “big one,” a multicar caution, Talladega couldn’t have been racier. Keep in mind the restrictor plate size has been revised and the cars have a new aerodynamics package reverting to the conventional spoiler, adding the shark fin to direct air across the rear of the car on the driver’s side, a long with other minor tweaks. NASCAR also loosened the grip on forbidding bump-drafting allowing drivers to race more aggressively. Only the inside double line rule remained as a specific requirement for the gigantic track requirements.

The race tightened up the points standing closing Jimmie Johnson’s large point margin to only 26 points over Kevin Harvick who swooned into 2nd with his win. Greg Biffle, despite his late race difficulty, maintained 3rd while Matt Kenseth dropped back to 4th. In the coveted top 12, teammates Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon were the biggest winner and loser in the points battle. Martin gained four positions up to 6th while Gordon dropped to 10th place losing five positions. The winner/loser scenario also played out with two Childress drivers, Bowyer jumping into the top 12, up three positions to 11th, while Jeff Burton’s hard luck day lost four positions even though leading the most laps to fall to the borderline spot of 12th. Outside the top ten, it was a good day for three drivers with top 10 finishes, his second place finish moved Jaime McMurray up four positions to 17th, his teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya likewise gained four positions with his 3rd place finish moving into a more competitive 20th position. David Ragan, the forgotten member of the Roush stable moved up four positions with his sixth place finish moving into 22nd.

Adding to the intrigue of this historic day at Talladega is bonus racing after the Cup event. The Nationwide race was postponed to a late afternoon start due to volatile weather in the region including deadly tornadoes just to the west in Mississippi. Kevin Harvick, Jaime McMurray, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Carl Edwards are competing in both races. Technically, one could add Joe Nemechek who started both races, but quitters never win and winners never quit. We used the term “competing” on purpose – start and park entries are not competitors. As long as this idiotic practice is allowed to call any NASCAR race, competition, must have a footnote noting the number of drivers who took the starting green flag only to make an appearance and quit.

O's Woes: Glimmer of Hope Turns into Boston Massacre

It seems like it just wasn’t meant to be. On a Saturday night in Boston, Massachusetts, the Orioles put their most successful starter, Brian Matusz on the mound. Matusz was the only Orioles pitcher to win a game so far this year. In fact he started both wins. To add some pop to their lethargic offense, they called up their hottest hitter in the minors, Ryan Hughes who got hits his first two times at bat. Luke Scott who hasn’t hit a lick got three hits. Ty Wigginton smacked four hits including a home run.

Going into the bottom of the 7th inning, the O’s had a 3-1 lead. Matusz tired putting two runners on base including the potential tying run. Good enough, he took his team into the 7th inning with the lead. It was time for the bullpen to do its job. Matt Albers came in and not only allowed two runs inherited to score but coughing up the long ball yielded three runs of his own. His ERA now stands at 9.35. Kam Mickolio entered the game, gave up the gopher ball, allowing the remaining runners to score. The Orioles did it again giving up a six run inning, and were down 7-3. Albers lost three games all in relief, games the Orioles could have won. Mickolio has not been effective either. On offense, dare we point out that the Orioles left 11 runners on base?

Could they possibly redeem themselves? Alberto Castillo shut down the Sox in the eighth striking out two. The Orioles rallied to score three runs in the ninth, but that would be one run short of tying the game, another loss. The team now stands at 2-16 losing their last five games.

Tonight’s game was one they should have won. The right elements were in place, but beneath what would look like an improved performance was more evidence of lackadaisical play – a team of nine professionals that just does not gel as a team where lapses of concentration and effort bear bad results.

Given the Orioles cleaned house and now have the players they developed or obtained via trade to be the nucleus of a winning team for the future, these losses are especially disconcerting. They are part of and subjects of a toxic team climate where the right habits and routines to create winners do not exist.

While truly an exceptional player whose leadership and intensity is rare in all of professional sports, there is little evidence of any leadership at all in the Orioles' clubhouse -- not players and more importantly, not coaches. The Orioles need players who can learn from the example Ray Lewis sets across the parking lot for the Ravens. They need to get in each others’ faces, talk winning, refuse to accept defeat, and know what’s expected of them on game day.

Dave Trembley is spent. If he had a motivational speech that would work on this team, he’s already given it. It’s sad to see a fellow who’s a decent chap look so overwhelmed by the situation he’s still charged with running. He has the look of anticipated doom any time he is caught by the television camera. Aside from some brief frustration after a bad at bat or play in the field, the players appear so nonchalant so unaffected. They are so serene they look like someone needs to build a fire under their butts.

The Baltimore Orioles have one more game on their current road trip at Boston’s Fenway Park. Their record for Sunday afternoon games the last several years is laughable and David Hernandez is the least effective starter they currently have available. How will they sneak into town unnoticed to avoid showing their shame in public? Monday is an off day for the team. They will not have another day off until May 10th.

Not sneaking into town but proudly marching in like Vikings into Valhalla will be Yankees fans for three days, from Tuesday through Thursday, then the Red Sox come to town for the weekend series with the Red Sox "nation" in tow. Not having a moment to tend to their wounds, the Orioles then set out for Yankee Stadium and then travel to be the bull’s eye at Target Field, the Twins’ new happy home.

We can make it a forgone conclusion that in these four upcoming series, the Orioles will at best win one game in a series but being swept in any of these would seem more likely. In their present form and disposition, their next fourteen games look hopeless.

Beyond that, they play the Mariners who just swept them. We’ll have to go forward to May 14th when they play three games against Cleveland then two against Kansas City in Camden Yards for any possible relief. What ever happens in those games could be a well kept secret because until the team starts showing some life, why would anyone buy a ticket to such a painful experience. Nobody will be in the stands to witness the slaughter. More records for low attendance are likely to be set.

Right now it doesn’t seem likely from what the buzz about town is, but the one thing that could make the future look brighter would be a gathering of reporters in the Camden Yards press room with Andy McPhail at the podium, owner Peter Angelos at his side, maybe a couple of famous Orioles alum to help establish their was winning tradition in this town. A new manager will be announced as he is given his jersey and puts on an Orioles cap.

The Orioles are not fighting a slump. They’re fighting a culture. The culture of losing has become the new "Orioles Way." The structure of this team is broken. Tales of their winning ways is now ancient lore. There are only a small sprinkling of aging veterans in the majors who were playing when the O's were still winners. There might be help but no miracles in Norfolk or Bowie. While it is not an envious task, a new manager will make a difference.

While it might be comforting to think of some former Oriole as that person, the team needs a proven motivator. Cal Ripken will not be the team’s field boss nor will that person be Jim Palmer. Many speak of Rick Dempsey, but he has no major league experience and it would be an even greater devastation if he were hired and failed. The harder thing to accept is that potential managers with proven major league experience might refuse to accept a bid from the Orioles knowing they could be walking into a buzz saw. It's not fair to all concerned to continue to have Dave Trembley twisting in the breeze. Likewise, the fans need tangible evidence someone is accountable for the Orioles's dreadful play. The downward spiral is devastating given what happened last September and to see it get even worse now.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 9 -- 2010 at the Quarter Mark

The NASCAR Atmospheric Interference Vortex remains in effect for the second week in a row as this week’s Cup qualifying has been scrubbed and the Nationwide Series race will run late in the afternoon tomorrow after the Sprint Cup battle has been decided – hopefully a 5:30 pm start.

Future developments provided the week’s big story more so than anticipated competition at one of the circuit’s most threatening venues. After the big story about Kasey Kahne mapping out his future with Hendricks Motor Sports, this week’s attention was on Penske racing that despite being the sole competitive Dodge team, revealed its future plans intending on being a major factor on the strength of former champ, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski, the young phenom with the golden gift to piss off just about everybody in the garage area for his reckless driving and disrespectful comments toward his fellow racers.

Next year, Keselowski, who doesn’t look old enough to buy a root beer, will drive the #2 Miller Light Blue Deuce. The #2 ride has a rich history with Rusty Wallace who took the #2 team to top ten year after year fighting Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon for championship glory. Kurt Busch will now drive a car with a brand new #22 label sponsored by Shell Oil and Pennzoil currently Kevin Harvick’s sponsor. The terms of this deal extend beyond NASCAR as Shell/Pennzoil will also become an associate sponsor for Penske’s IRL entries. Shell will identify itself as the “official fuel and motor oil” of Penske racing never mind it will still be Sunoco go-go juice fueling the Penske vehicles in NASCAR.

Left out in the cold for now will be third Penske driver, former Indy Car sensation, Sam Hornish, who will lose his Mobil One sponsorship as two different oil companies will surely not want to compete within one race team.

As some questions are answered, we know Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski are firmly established with sponsors for Penske for the near future, new questions arise. What will become of the #12 and or #77? How does Sam Hornish, Jr. fit into the picture? With Kevin Harvick a free agent and Richard Childress losing the lucrative Shell/Pennzoil deal, how will that influence the Childress lineup moving forward and where will Harvick run in the future?

Meanwhile, back at the great Indian burial ground, the Sprint Cup field will lineup based on owner’s points with Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth in the front row. With Greg Biffle starting second, the weather gives Jack Roush what efforts on the track qualifying cannot accomplish, great starting positions. Carl Edwards starts 15th a more typical starting position for a Roush ride. Rumor has it that Jack Roush replaced his hat with a fathered head dress and was dancing and hollering on a Roush trailer early this morning. Stranger things have happened at Talladega to be sure.

Terry Cook in the #46 ride, a team that is failing miserably, will not start nor will the #35 ride with driver, Aric Almirola whose main efforts will now be racing in the truck series which has the weekend off. Michael Waltrip joins the field as one of the few races in which he will contend. We’re not clear if this will be for the start and park operation of Prism Motor Sports or his own team. Given Aarons is the car’s sponsor and the title sponsor for the race, it’s hard to imagine this could be a parking lot job.

For a race that is so unpredictable to begin with, add to the drama NASCAR’s new expectations toward how rough drivers can push their rides, the new aerodynamics package reverting to a conventional spoiler with the large “shark fin” on the driver’s side will demand much attention from tomorrow’s drivers. Whether it will break up the huge Talladega trains with long lines of cars racing in formation to take advantage of the draft will be determined by tomorrow’s activity. Nothing takes away the chilling feeling that as so often happens at the great Indian burial ground, the “big” one will create a burning, steaming heap of scrap metal, drivers to the infield care center with tempers blazing, and hopes to advance in the standings vanquished. Could their truly be a curse from the land of the great Indian’s burial grounds? What strange combination of factors turns metal to dust in just a matter of a few brutal seconds? Could not the spirit of those braves be enjoying some sick sense of justice seeing what the descendents of those who took their land endure where they once roamed freely?

The great spirit of Talladega will come alive tomorrow afternoon. Who will survive the battle and stand proud when the ceremonial checked flag falls at competition’s finale?

We’ll review how the 2010 season looks at the quarter mark once tomorrow’s Aaron’s 499 is in the books. We’ll try to have more to say than, “Jimmie, Jimmie, Jimmie.”

So Much Wrong Packed into One Idiot's Tirade

Once a washed up comedian who simply couldn't make inroads in the late late night market, he made some outrageous inflammatory comments after 9/11 which instantly gave him a seat of honor among the real hard core American haters of the radical left. He also attracted others as followers through his repeated mocking and tormenting of anyone smart enough to believe in God finally making a movie designed to taunt anyone with spiritual understanding. His temperamental outbursts and tirades are legendary. If there's any person who articulates everything the radical left believes in with such hatred for anyone who believes in God, Bill Maher is one of the world's most radical son of bitch. It's hard to measure how far left he is from Barack Obama, but he's way out there. Nevertheless, he earns a show on HBO which is reason enough in and of itself not to be an HBO subscriber.
The Huffington Post, obviously a Maher sympathizer, presents inflammatory quotes from this sick, disgusting spokesperson for the worst of the worst. They also post a video where on one hand sounding sensible about too much government spending, he uses that as a point of agreement to lure the listener into his sick and twisted notions and obvious hatred of such thins as national defense, the Tea party movement which he mocks and taunts relentlessly, and virtually anything moderately conservative or more so. They don't come worse than Bill Maher and his sarcastic dismissive attitude that the American people are too stupid to understand anything they might vote on and that to have any spiritual beliefs at all yield you a special kind of retard.
We present this as a primer to the insanity that's so well established in the Left Wing Lunatic Land. Be prepared to get fighting mad.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why Are They So Tolerant of Islamic Intolerance

Unlikely partners -- Franklin Graham and Cartman both subjects of hypersensitivity toward Islam.

Why are the authorities so tolerant of Muslim intolerance?

Traditional American religious tolerance is truly pushed to the brink trying to deal with what many sources supposedly speaking for the Islamic faith demand of our society. Quite simply, Jews and Christians generally don’t much like being made fun of or satirized. Some might denounce being prodded from the pulpit. But as a rule, they never make threats, other than some “fire and brimstone” Christians invoking their critics might be going to hell, but that’s where it ends.

It seems like when something is directed at Muslims, whether satire and cartoons or something more sophisticated like the works of Salman Rushdie, some step forward issuing death threats while the religious command as a whole demands censorship. Remember the flap over the Danish cartoons? They were NOTHING. We routinely see much worse depiction of Jesus.

Well, there are no sacred cows to Trey Parker and Matt Stone the creators of South Park who decided it was time to have a little fun with Moslems, one can only imagine what would happen if they created a Muhammad character like their dim-witted Jesus who hosts a local talk show.

Well, those nasty little fellows would display Mohammad in a bear costume, and for that they must die. A group identifying itself as Revolution Muslim, posted a message that Parker and Stone have insulted Islam with a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker murdered in 2004 for making a movie about a woman who rejected the teachings of Islam. They went on to indicate that the producers of South Park would wind up like Van Gogh. They posted Comedy Central’s address and the California address for Parker’s and Stone’s production company.

Meanwhile, Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, noted Christian activist has had his invitation revoked for a National Day of Prayer event, the Pentagon’s May 6th service, due to complaints about Graham’s comments about Islam including their vicious treatment of women indicating that Islam can be “a very violent religion.”

Nothing makes the powers that be in government, media, and industry falling like dominos than any suggestions from Islamic figures that they are upset about something. We see so much effort to go way out of the way to avoid anything that might upset Islamic sensitivities where conversely Christians and Jews be damned as we see every fall when edicts are issued pushing such things as Christmas decorations out of public buildings or other venues.

Americans have the freedom to choose to surrender their freedom to be, ones who submit, as the term Muslim means, and practice the Islamic faith. The Constitution guarantees the free expression thereof. Likewise, the first amendment allows us to criticize and comment on all religions as we see fit.

There’s something fundamentally rotten in the world of Islam. Why should we be so tolerant of conduct that is so explicitly intolerant?

ACORN Chief, Bertha Lewis, Clearly Reveals Organization's Insanity

Think about George Orwell and the big lie as you read this...
Would it be of any surprise to anyone that the leader of ACORN is a total idiot whose assessment of national affairs is as stupid as it is dishonest? Speaking to an audience of Young Democrat Socialists a branch of Socialist International, she called the Tea Party Movement, the “Bowel” movement, and went on to say, “They are coming. And they’re coming after you.”

Nothing is more obvious than spreading false paranoia in an audience of idiots. She went on to say,

“Any group that says, 'I'm young, I'm Democratic, and I'm a socialist,' is all right with me. You know that's no light thing to do -- to actually say, I'm a socialist -- because you guys know right now we are living in a time which is going to dwarf the McCarthy era. It is going to dwarf the internment during World War II. We are right now in a time that is going to dwarf the era of Jim Crow and segregation," then going on to say, “This is not rhetoric or hyperbole -- this is real. This rise of this Tea Party so-called movement -- bowel movement in my estimation -- and this blatant uncovering and ripping off the mask of racism."

We could laugh at her delusions if her audience weren’t real and there is a constituency that takes her nonsense seriously. Is it any wonder that ACORN is in such disarray and so criminally corrupt?

We must also continuously remind ourselves that Barack Obama’s orientation to how things operate is through his direct involvement with ACORN serving as their lawyer in Chicago, training them, and advancing their cause for many years. Ideologically and practically, demagogues like Lewis have a friend in the White House. Any argument that Barack Obama is not a Socialist or at very least not someone who actively supports socialist ideals is simply not facing up to hard cold reality.

The entire ACORN culture must be destroyed. Their crimes must be prosecuted. Their beliefs and ideals must be discredited. The communities they have ripped off and exploited claiming to represent deserve better. We all do.

Death Report Update: Murder in Baltimore - Late April Edition

April 17th marked the first homicide in Baltimore City where the victim was not a black male. Melonie Hamber of 2000 E. Hoffman Street, a two girl old black girl, was murdered by her father, Tyrone, who police indicate beat her to death with a belt. We simply cannot express our sorrow that a young life could be taken so viciously or express our outrage that a person could be so cruel to his own daughter.

Meanwhile, the homicide count is now up to 52, after a particularly lethal weekend and two recent terrifying murders in the Waverly area near the junction of Greenmount Avenue and 33rd Street. If there’s anything good in the statistics is that the overall murder rate is down from last year, but given this still projects to be 169-170 murders compared to 238, Baltimore is still a killing zone for black male citizens. While the city has crossed the threshold that it is no longer more likely than not someone will be murdered on any given day, that the murders focus so significantly on just one element of the city’s population screams for effective action.

The drug trade, lack of employment, absolutely dreadful preparation and discipline in schools, the gang culture, fractured family structure and apparent indifference of society as a whole has created what appears to be a class of disposable citizens who are doomed to failure at such a young age.

We will not presume to have the answers, but we truly believe that when these murder victims start off in a dysfunctional, incompetent school system that neither gives them the educational background and skills required to succeed in the world nor instills effective values followed up with fair but firm discipline, and as such are at a dreadful disadvantage to explore the wide range of positive possibilities for their lives. City high schools are incubators for gangs and misadventure.

The city and state can only do so much but what they are doing is not working. To put it on the communities themselves does not answer the problem either as their resources and know how is so badly fractured. It will take the larger community, a metropolitan approach where all of us see we have a stake in improving this horror not through massive handouts but identifying those resources that are the most effective and helping them achieve their goals. How many groups like ACORN have posed as helpers for such communities while pursuing a corrupt agenda of their own of no benefit to the communities they are charged with helping?

New NCAA March Madness Contract: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

The NCAA announced a new television arrangement and a minor expansion of the men’s basketball tournament beginning next season.

Thankfully, talk of massive expansion was shot down. There was talk of an 80 or possibly 96 team field. Instead, the number will be reduced to 68, with play in games for all four brackets rather than just one. Okay, three borderline teams that folks would argue should have made the field will now get in, but whether the field is 48 or 96, which ever teams are the first ones who don’t make the cut will be coming up with arguments why they should have been there. This move to expand to 68 really doesn’t mess up anything other than slightly diluting the NIT field which no one cares about anyway.

The television contract brings good news and perhaps for others some bad news. Every single game will be televised in its entirety. Fans will no longer suffer with all the cut-ins, watching a game they really care about to see Moose Fart State trying to pull the upset over some conference powerhouse half way across the country. The new contract splits the games between CBS and Turner broadcasting that will throw three of its cable networks into the mix, two of which are widely distributed, the third is not one of the longstanding cable staples. The odd man out, of course, is ESPN who broadcasts the lion’s share of nationally televised regular season games on its combination of networks: ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN-U. Since some of the ESPN crew including Jay Bilas also work for CBS during the tournament, will those announcers and analysts be free to work for the Turner networks in the tournament as often talent with cable contracts are released to work for over-the-air networks but not cable rivals.

Starting next season, all games will be covered on CBS and Turner stations TBS, TNT, and TruTV. Everything in the first two rounds will be split evenly between the four networks. CBS will retain coverage of the regional finals and the final four through 2015. In 2016, regional coverage will be split between CBS and Turner, and the final four will alternate between CBS and TBS. Live steaming will continue to be available for all games. This means those not serviced with cable or a dish service will not be able to watch the final four and a substantial number of games on over-the-air television as this deal takes effect becoming especially difficult once the networks alternate the final four making the final four the most prestigious sports championship not shown on regular television.

The NCAA is the huge winner from a money standpoint as the broadcast rights for the men’s basketball tournament provides the organization with 95% of its incoming revenue, an astonishing huge amount considering football bowls, and the hundreds of regular season games broadcast around the nation. The participating conferences should net an average of $740 million each year, millions for each school according to NCAA President, Jim Isch. The total price tag for this deal, $10.8 billion a figure well in excess of many a state’s budget.

Clearly, the big winner in this deal is the NCAA. Turner wins if they can attract adequate advertising revenue. CBS retains a major piece of one of its most coveted sports portfolio items, but we can only call their stake at best a draw. The big losers are ESPN, who will have even a lesser roll in keeping their coverage of the tournament vital. How much analysis can they supply when highlights released for other networks to air will be carefully allocated by CBS and Turner? What counter programming is available in this time frame, pre-season baseball? The other big losers would be fans who do not have cable or satellite service. They will have less to watch especially when the final four alternates between networks after 2015.

The fans also win big that the field is only being expanded to 68 not 96 games. It’s not just for the sake of the unwieldy bracket sheets that would result, but the way the current tournament plays out over three consecutive weekends provides a great sense of balance and drama without a diluted pool that could make some of the early round match-ups lethal.

We challenge Turner and CBS to continue to work to improve coverage covering the game as completely and accurately as possible resisting the temptation to go gimmick and gizmo crazy.

The Look of Losing

The manager looks frustrated and confused. The players give the impression of "oh well, just another day at the office." The overall impression is resignation to the unacceptable while just giving faint lipservice to "things will get better."
This is the same team with a few tweaks, that essentially ended its season after Labor Day last September. This is a team that has become accustomed to and accepting of losing even though so many of them are just beginning their major league careers. To have labored so hard and so long to get to this level and just dog it is hard to figure. While they don't need someone to take a baseball bat to smash a few water coolers to prove there's some real passion on this team, the atmosphere seeps through the television in full view loud and clear.
They can exchange players with Norfolk and Bowie all they like, but until the clubhouse culture changes, we cannot expect change. Once players accept losing isn't horrible, it's all over. Every one of them has something he needs to prove. It's not the lack of wins that is driving fans away, it's the lack of passion. Why should we fork over the money for tickets or turn on MASN or the radio and commit our time when the team isn't clearly showing their commitment to their job.
As if we haven't seen enough or it couldn't get any worse, the Orioles play their next twelve games against the Red Sox and Yankees, six games in Baltimore where Orioles Park at Camden Yards will be teaming with out of town fans drowning out what faint whimpers of support their might be from frustrated Orioles fans.
There's more than a week to go in April, but for the 2010 Orioles, it's already over. The most modest goals will be next to impossible to obtain. Our hopes that this team might hit the .500 mark seems so remote given there is nothing to show they are heading in that direction with such an uncommited culture of going through the motions.
There is no single answer to the mess the Orioles have created. The Washington Nationals look brilliant by comparison and when they were crashing to record lows last year, they did perk up after a change of managers. On paper, which team would you rather see? On grass, however, the Nationals would clean the Orioles' clock right now.
Let's go Nats. Three cheers for the Nationals. Hustle boys, hustle. Orioles territory is Nationals territory and Nationals territory is Orioles territory. Who's staking their claim most effectively right now?

Earth Day: 40 Years Later

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. There will be gatherings and speeches decrying the horrible fate of the environment, the ravages of the corporate world ravishing the earth, suggestions of harsh punishment for all who are not eco-responsible, and that government enact more restrictive laws to protect Mother Earth. There will be talk of doom and gloom that if drastic measures aren’t forthcoming immediately, global warming or other forms of climate change will destroy us all. We will be told once again, this is Al Gore’s inconvenient truth.

Meanwhile, conservatives will dismiss this day as yet another time for left wing exploitation. Some like Glenn Beck might even scoff that environmentalism itself is madness.

Reality check, Earth Day is a good thing. We should pause and reflect on this marvelous planet so rich in wonder that sustains us. While we have our needs and harvest its resources, we should do so to leave the smallest footprint possible.

The problem with environmentalism is that it has been hijacked by left-wing ideologues. What is more conservative than wanting to conserve our planet?

While the United States must become more responsible in many ways to improve the planet’s health, what we don’t do is reflect on much of what’s going on elsewhere in the world.

We cheap finished goods from China made in factories that do not have to meet American and European environmental standards. We stand by and do nothing while many in equatorial regions deforest the rainforests. If the United States are truly to do all that is necessary for the environment, then we must make it a supreme matter of foreign policy as well.

We are a culture addicted on fossil fuel. What are we doing to overcome that addiction? Each gallon of gas we burn means even a greater quantity of crude oil is removed from the earth forever more. We buy our oil from countries that are hardly our friends. This is a matter of national security.

Good environmental practices are good for all of us, but getting there is something that should not be a matter of regulation, punishment, and control, but more one of vision, innovation, and creativity. We must explore new sources of energy, more effective ways to inhabit our planet, and more responsible ways to use it resources.

Let us pause and reflect on the blessing of our planet on this Earth Day.

The Orioles: Sleepless in Seattle

The Orioles lost three straight in Seattle tonight wasting a complete game pitching performance by Kevin Millwood, but teams who only score one run seldom win. They've lost 8-2, 3-1, and 4-1 in their three games in the Pacific Northwest, four runs in three games. Their average runs per game is now less than three. Is it any wonder they've only won two games this year and lost 14? It is quite possible they will have a worse overall record for April than they posted in 1988 when they lost their first 21 games given their competition for the rest of the month consists of Red Sox and Yankees. The Yankees are off to a great start. Whatever ails the Red Sox will get well in a hurry when they will have the Orioles to slap around at Fenway this weekend.
We repeat our concern that the culture in the Orioles' clubhouse must change. That necessitates the departure of manager Dave Trembley. It's just one of the painful parts of the game that hurts, but there's no other way they can infuse new energy and a sense of different ways to do things other than the same old same old. While injuries are impacting the team, lets remember that they were playing this way before these players were out, and further not having a closer means little when the original closer failed completely and the team isn't even getting enough runs to create a save situation.
One must infer there is too much talent for the team to be playing so poorly, but it's almost impossible to explain how they could be playing so poorly. If they truly are playing to their capabilities, then the team is in real trouble.
Jon Lester, John Lackie, and Tim Wakefield await them in Boston. While their numbers don't look good so far this year, these guys have proven success against the Orioles, then the Yankees come to town. Want to look beyond that, then the Red Sox come to town before the O's hit the road again to go to New York and the super happy Minnesota Twins in their new home. They come home to face the Mariners who just swept them on May 11th. Could it get better when they play the Cleveland Indians on May 14th?
When they're beating themselves perhaps it does matter who the other team is.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Commish Rules: Take That You A**hole

NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, handed down a six week suspension which can be reduced to four weeks for Pittsburgh Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been more or less caught with his pants down in a number of embarassing episodes of drunken, boorish, and abusive behavior which culminated in potentially facing rape charges after an incident in a bathroom with a 20 year old girl in a nighclub bathroom.
Hey Ben, you big slug, how do you expect fathers to explain to their sons who worship the ground ytou walk on wearing your jersey with Big Ben posters on their walls, why you're being suspended? You owe us, big guy. You owe us some real straight talk. No excuses. No half-assed "if I offended anybody" weasel talk. You owe us.
While many think the suspension is justified, some point out that he hasn't been convicted of anything, so how can he be punished?
Well, duh, the NFL needn't have a player be convicted as a criminal to take disciplinary action against one of its employees particularly when one's behavior brings shame on the organization for whom he serves. The NFL has enacted a code of conduct that players must obey or face the consequences. Roesthlisberger has had his share of episodes where the mixture of alcohol, testosterone, a screwed up male ego, and limited intellect have combined to get the Steelers' QB in hot water. That the Steelers organization is working in concert with the NFL shows the team's management understands what's going on too.
The only thing that might seem out of sorts is that Big Bad Ben could face six days off when Michael Vick only got four days for torturing and killing animals. While both QB's show very sick and demented states of mind, it comes down to what is more wicked behavior -- aggressive conduct toward human females or torturing and killing dogs. Both are reprehensible and reflect the absolute lowest degree of human character.
We have no sympathy for Ben Roethlisberger nor do we wish him good luck in his so called "recovery." His is not a situation worthy of pity. He'd damned well get the message, play it straight, do some soul searching, grow up, and prove that he can behave and be trusted. Only after he has turned the corner and shown he can behave like a civilized human being, can we then talk about forgiveness.
It's all up to Ben Roethlisberger.

Close the Window -- I Feel a Draft

What is the NFL? The best organized sport there is? The master of self-promotion and hype?
Why do we ask? Consider how huge the NFL draft has become and starting this year, tomorow night, the draft will be covered in PRIME TIME on ESPN. With the famous words, Kansas City is now on the clock, the ceremony will begin, and in all likelihood, the Chiefs will select QB Sam Bradford. Over the next several hours, there will be a lot of just waiting around for the next team to pick while the world's most notorious blowhard, Chris Berman rattles on about God knows what and then hands off to Mel Kyper who actually does know something and a whole host of ESPN football commentators, some brilliant, some ... well ...
In anticipation of the big event, fans have been researching, filling out this, filling out that, and creating their own "mock drafts." So who's going to be the 31st pick in the first round. What stud will the New England Patriots pick in the 3rd round. Thus so it goes.
About the only thing that's relatively certain is who the first handfull of picks will be. All it takes is a team trading up or trading down, passing on a player or moving one way up in the picking order to fill a need and the whole tenative draft projections are shot.
Additionally, what does it all mean? How earth-shattering is the draft and what makes it worth hour upon hour of listening to Chris Berman laugh at his own silliness?
This writer is a pretty die-hard Ravens fan, but also likes the Redskins and follows the sport in general. I haven't a clue who the Ravens will pick. Ozzie Newsome's philsophy generally follows get the best fellow available at the time. This fan's humble assessment is the team could use some help in the defensive secondary, beyond that get the toughest most talented guys who fit the Ravens' clubhouse. The Ravens will be buried pretty deep in the draft so predicting who they can pick is not that sure a bet. Once chose, THEN I'll be interested. I'll have some passing interest mainly in how effective Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, their prime division foes do and if their moves make them a more formidable foe. Cleveland has so much work to do but Mike Holmgren running the show could finally show the second coming of the mistake on the lake could be building a decent football team.
Down I-95 a few miles, the team that plays in Landover needs a lot of work. If Daniel Snyder gives Mike Shanahan the resources and independece to build the team, Redskins fans could have something special in the near future for the first time since Joe Gibbs first left for NASCAR. Donovan McNabb instantly improves their offense dramatically if they have the offensive line that will keep him on his feet. Given the times McNabb has been injured, he could be walking into a slaughterhouse in DC if they don't get the right protection. The Redskins do have an adequate defense. Shanahan will bring the right winning culture to the team.
So there it is, Right Minded Fellow's 2010 draft forecast. Read it and weap. Tune in ESPN around 11:00 pm tomorrow night. That's when the Ravens might be on the clock. So say the experts. And to all the football pundits, "Everything you know is wrong!!!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Insanity in Arizona

There are tons of good reasons to be suspicious of or even loathe Barack Obama. His presidency represents a disaster for the United States, our strength as a nation and our free enterprise system. What he and the Democrats on the hill have done to thrust upon us a huge deficit will harm America for years. The bottom line is the American voters put him there, and the American voters will have to rid the White House of him.
Like it or not, Obama is legit. He is an American citizen. He has produced sufficient documentation. The "birther" movement attempting to establish he is not an American citizen is pure lunacy. Further, they provide the left with more garbage they use in gross overstatement to characterize the conservative movement citing a handful of talk show hosts and acting as if they speak for all.
This lunacy has taken a bold step further. Now the Arizona state legislature is in the act. The Arizona house voted 31-22 that Barack Obama must present his birth certificate if he is to be on the ballot in 2012 for re-election. The law provides that anyone running for President must produce appropriate paperwork proving legitimate constituional requirements to be President.
Enough of the nonsense! For those who want to twart the Obama Presidency, there are plenty of legitimate issues including some that would particularly affect Arizona they could be engaging their efforts toward accomplishing.
All responsible Americns must reject this "birther" nonsense as out-of-hand.

April 19th, a Day for Outrage and Sorrow

April 19, a day on the calendar to most of us, but it is also a date sealed in infamy that is being exploited horribly.

For starters, April 19, 1993 was the date Federal agents under the direction of the Clinton administration ran out of patience and attacked the Branch Davidians, a group of religious extremists under the leadership of David Koresh. An armored tank was used to insert tear gas canisters into the compound. Moments later, the complex erupted in flame and the Davidians died. There is much controversy about the details, but the best accounts suggest that the Davidians poured flammable liquids about their complex causing the fire which incinerated them to death. Still, what provoked the sense of urgency, why the government agents couldn’t continue to hold them at bay and had to use force will be forever debated.

Two years later, the site was the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A yellow Ryder truck loaded with explosives was detonated ripping the front off the building killing 168 including 19 children under the age of six. 680 people were injured.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were found to be the conspirators who purchased fertilizer products, studied bomb making, and rented the truck used to pull off the horrific deed. These two figures were anti-American extremists steeped in what some consider extreme right wing thinking as the manifest reason to commit their horrible act against their own people. McVeigh was executed. Nichols will spend the rest of his life in jail.

That the Oklahoma City bombing was staged on April 19th, was supposed to be because Nichols and McVeigh were outraged at the government’s action at Waco. Part of their twisted reasoning was to avenge the Waco deaths.

Initially, the press and many others suspected the attack to be one of Islamic extremism cognizant of efforts to destroy the World Trade Center the first time in 1993. The whole picture changed once the pieces were put together.

While all American citizens with any morals or decency would decry this horrible event, what evolved soon thereafter, is the grounds for tremendous outrage. Given McVeigh’s military background and seeming connection with the conservative movement, increasingly the rhetoric blamed conservative talk radio and other critics to the right of the system for inciting idiots like McVeigh. They also connected the Branch Davidians with fundamentalist Christians too. They used and continue to use this kind of demagoguery to attempt to discredit anyone who they believe is too conservative for their limited level of tolerance.

Many leftists also use the Oklahoma City bombing as an attempt to relativise the dangers of radical Islam reminding that there was an episode of domestic bred terrorism and it was conducted by filthy right-wingers.

Perspective means everything on this subject. While there is no telling how many nutcases there might be out there poised to do us harm, there is no huge right wing extremist movement seeking to kill or harm fellow Americans. Suggestions that many popular talk show hosts and the Tea Party movement breed domestic terrorists is no more meaningful than most who opposed the Vietnam War and participated in antiwar activities gave rise to mad bombers like Barack Obama’s associate, Bill Ayers.

We must be diligent that threats to our security don’t come in one flavor to be sure, but if any of this distracts from the clear and present danger of Islamic Terrorism, cannot be tolerated. While short of 9/11, there has never been a more deadly episode than the Murrah Building bombing, we must not allow that there have been many other expressions of terrorism such as eco-terrorists who torched auto dealerships which sell SUV’s and burned down housing developments under construction because they disagreed with land being used for housing. Likening legitimate debate and protest to extremism is dangerous, hateful, un-American conduct none of us can tolerate.

We must be prepared for all forms of terrorism and deal with those responsible as harshly as possible.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 7: Shootouts and Slammers

Almost certainly there will be all kinds of finger pointing and conspiracy theories that will attempt to describe the last eighteen laps at Texas on today’s postponed race. What’s to say when the driver who led the most laps finishes 31st and the pole sitter who was most competitive throughout finishes in 33rd?

Add it up and analyze it to the maximum and there’s really only one sane conclusion, THAT’S RACIN’! You want some video -- check this out (apologies for commercial) ... Listen to the post-crash interviews with Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart and see the high level of sportsmanship they show. They show such calm and no anger. If nothing else, a normal person would still be shaking with fear after the big pile up!!!

Even the most fervent Jeff Gordon haters must have felt sorry for the guy today. He had one of those great Hendrick’s rides that could do no wrong having a substantial lead before David Reutimann’s car blew up catching fire spewing oil on the track on lap 310. Good news going into that caution was that Jimmie Johnson would not have had enough fuel to finish the race meaning the chosen one could well have finished well below the top ten thus opening up the points competition. Gordon and Johnson took four tires while numerous competitors took only two moving them back in the pack a few cars from the lead. Fifteen cars benefitted from the wave around. Jeff Burton led the pack with Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Greg Biffle filling out the top five as the green flag dropped. Instantly, divers were engaged in a mad scramble for the lead stretching to four wide in places with Tony Stewart moving back several positions in the scramble.

Just a lap later, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon were battling for position making contact on a couple of occasions as Carl Edwards was attempting to surge forward. The #14 tapped the #24 while the #88 had no place to go as the impact slowed the cars in front of him ever so slightly. The result was a Talladega style big one with all three cars destroyed. Other drivers caught in the mess where Juan Montoya, Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer, Jaime McMurray, A.J. Allmendinger, and Joey Logano. NASCAR then issued the red flag to get the wreckage off the track and to get the racing surface cleaned up for competition.

When conditions cleared and the status changed to yellow, the pit stops were completed, and the green flag waved for the start of lap 322. Jeff Burton paced Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson back into action. Burton could not hold his lead as Hamlin took the lead and Kyle Busch pulled into second. The #48 car began its push to the front, first overtaking Junior, then passing Kyle Busch on lap 332. As the white flag flew for lap 333, Hamlin maintained his lead looking like a sure winner but with each stretch, Johnson closed in tighter and tighter. Going into turns three and four, one could almost sense another Johnson miracle, but Hamlin, injured leg and all, held on to win, his second in three races.

The results:
1. Denny Hamlin, #11, Toyota
2. Jimmie Johnson, #48, Chevrolet
3. Kyle Busch, #18, Toyota
4. Kurt Busch, #2, Dodge
5. Kasey Kahne, #9, Ford
6. Mark Martin, #5, Chevy
7. Kevin Harvick, #29, Chevy
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr., #88, Chevy
9. Martin Truex Jr., #56, Toyota
10. Greg Biffle, #16, Ford
11. Ryan Newman, #39, Chevy
12. Jeff Burton, #31, Chevy

The big wreck pushed several competitive rides down to positions 30 to 36 where Jaime McMurray placed ahead of the misery train of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Jun Montoya, Paul Menard, and Clint Bowyer all just ahead of the fellow whose engine explosion set forth the conditions that led to bedlam, David Reutimann in 37th. Only Brian Vickers whose mishaps early in the race separated these competitors from the quitters at the end of the line.

While the top five in the points standings remains the same as last week, on closer examination, Jimmie Johnson is the big winner once again now widening his points lead over second place, Matt Kenseth to 108 points. While Jeff Gordon remains in fifth place, he is now 220 points behind. Other winners in the points battle include the Busch brothers with Kyle Busch gaining six positions to end in 6th place while brother, Kurt, gained five positions to nail down 9th. Teammates, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Mark Martin gained three positions putting Earnhardt in 7th and Martin into the elite in 10th. Kasey Kahne, still buried deep in the standings, moved toward respectability gaining four positions to 22nd place.

The chase for the Promised Land is red hot given less than 100 points separate Jeff Gordon 200 points out of first from last week’s winner, Ryan Newman in 16th, 316 points out of the top. Wins take on more significance since the latest revision to the Chase formula, thus victory lane is in search of more competitors. In eight races, there have been five different winners, with Jimmie Johnson with 3, Denny Hamlin with 2, then Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, and Jaime McMurray having single wins.

As we look toward who might be running for the championship besides Jimmie Johnson, one of the best tickets to success, consistency, wracking up top 5’s, show us the results so far this year are quite revealing. Only 12 drivers have two or more top 5’s. Only five have three or more. Here’s the kicker, beyond that, none have four, but Jimmie Johnson has FIVE!!!

Drivers with 3 tops 5’s: Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin

Drivers with 2 top 5’s: Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Juan Montoya

Repeat top ten finishes also tell part of the story as Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth have been in the top ten for six out of eight races. Greg Biffle only missed the top ten once.

Why all the attention to the numbers this week? Because next week’s race at Talladega marks the one quarter mark for the 2010 season. If we can identify the most consistent teams, we’ll know who will be in the big show after Richmond in September.

What happened to Jeff Gordon this week demonstrates the value of getting the five points for leading a lap and five more for leading the most laps.

We look forward to Talladega with much nervous anticipation. The spring Alabama getaway is notorious for jumbling up the standings as drivers can be in the wrong train at the end and lose many positions, then there’s always the specter of the dreaded “big one” that takes out several top competitors almost every trip to the great “injun” burying ground. The hopes and dreams of many a racer are buried with the deceased native-Americans. Rules and equipment changes will make this year’s event even more ominous.

In the meantime, congratulations to Denny Hamlin. This was one hard fought win.

How STUPID Can Some Advertisements Get

It looks like Madison Avenue can accomplish what lots of left-wing crybabies could never do, arouse the public to boycott a product. Where the left once tried to accuse Nestles of killing babies, folks kept right on enjoying their Stouffers frozen foods, Nestles tea and chocolate, nothing can make the blood boil more than STUPID ADVERSTISING.
Here's another one that goes in our Hall of SHAME.
Some folks of traditional Celtic lineage might be particularly offended!!!! Remember, many use "dipstick" as a polite way of saying "dip shit."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Time Out of Bound

The leftists in this country can longer claim to be advocates of tolerance for their intolerance of views contrary to their doctrine must be refuted at any cost by any means possible. While readers of Right Minded Fellow will realize, this journal has no use for Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck, we would never suggest they should be forced to be silent. They simply are not good voices articulating clear criticism of the Obama regime. Sarah Palin simply cannot advance beyond babbling bumper sticker slongans. There is no evidence of higher level intellectual thought or critical reasoning. If she were a newspaper, she'd be all headlines and no story. Glenn Beck on the other hand is a real headcase. His overstatement and misrepresentations to make a point are alarming. He's a modern day Chicken Little whose insinuations of complex and long standing conspiracies, his childish sarcasm, and insane theatrics don't serve to inform but can only act to make critics of the left look silly.

However, neither Sarah Palin nor Glenn Beck are guilty of sedition as Time's columist Joe Klein argued on a recent appearance on The Chris Matthews Show. Follow this link for his presentation:

It would be bad enough if Klein only went that far, but he also joined the parade of those many voices on the left that to criticize Obama is to be explicitly racist. The logical fallacy goes as follows. Many criticize Obama. Obama is black and his middle name "Hussein" sounds muslim. Therefore, those who critize Obama are racists.

It would be helpful if Mr. Klein would study the Constitution and familiarize himself with the 1st amendment. The Declaration of Independence would also help frame the importance of dissent in American society.

Rain in Texas

Yet another NASCAR event has been postponed for the sake of rain, as the Samsung Mobile 500 will be raced at noon tomorrow and the scrubbed Nationwide race at 5:00 pm.
There must be some mystical vortex created that when 43 cars cranking around 850 horsepower are running even in reality arid landscapes, something in nature must be thrown out of balance causing rain. Examine the NASCAR schedule the last couple years and see how often qualifying has been rained out or races have been substantially disrupted or delayed a day or two, for the sake of rain. It almost defies any logic or reasoning.
In that same line of thinking, considering fans often travel thousands of miles at great expense to enjoy the pleasure of NASCAR racing, it simply is not fair to them to postpone races until Monday when many of them must be back home hard at work. At a time NASCAR is struggling to sell out its seats for races, this is especially a matter of concern. The television networks are losing too as many fans cannot watch races on a Monday afternoon. That's not good for sponsors.
What we do know is that when NASCAR puts its mind to something, how quickly it gets results. After the horrible death of Dale Earnhardt, soon every driver was wearing HANS devices, SAFER barriers were installed, and ultimately the "Car of Tomorrow" a much safer design was rolled out.
In that spirit, it's time for Brian France to summon race track owners, Bruton Smith, and all the rest, and develop a plan to install retractable roofs over all Sprint Cup race tracks. If they can provide lighting for the Daytona race track, a feat once considered impossible, but now look at all the tracks that are capable of night racing. Surely, an effective retractable roof system can be developed.
It is time for NASCAR ingenuity to strike again. While we're at it, we'll assume they'll consider heating and air conditioning for such facillities. That way they could extend the schedule through December and all those tracks like Kentucky could be assured a date on the calendar.
Big thinking produces big results.