Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stewart/Colbert Washington Rally and Glenn Beck: The Joke Is On....???

Okay, what's the difference between these two duos who staged huge DC rallies?

The duo in the top picture tell jokes. The duo in the bottom picture are jokes.

Give them credit if for no other reason they sure can spot a great opportunity for self-promotion. Comedy Central comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert staged their “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” in response to Glenn Beck’s ill-timed demonstration on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “Dream” speech last August. Largely seen as left wing shills by conservatives, to attach political significance to this rally is perhaps ill-advised. It was largely an entertainment event. However, if they accomplished to trivial Glenn Beck’s position in the spotlight, that’s a good thing.

The Washington Mall was packed as were all metro arteries feeding into the city. While there is no pretense that Stewart and Colbert are entertainers, why should anyone afford Glenn Beck a status any greater than theirs? Glen Beck truly has no greater credentials than the comedy duo, he just pretends he does. Stewart and Colbert provide some smirks and laughs at the end of a busy day while from Glenn Beck’s opening “Hello America” in a pseudo somber tone of voice conveys a sense of gather round, “Now let me ruin your day.” Both the Comedy Central shows and Beck’s show take aim at the state of affairs of the day. The comedy guys are left wing sympathizers. Beck is a perverted paranoid who comes across as more anti-liberal and anti-government than he is truly the voice of anything other than some apocalyptic choice. Stewart and Colbert are unmistakably jokers. Glenn Beck is unmistakably a joke.

Those who attended this weekend’s rally at least got a good laugh. Those who attended Beck’s rally got a pompous Sunday school lesson from a man of ambiguous faith and convention, a pathetic man hell bent on self promotion, who uses fear and self-righteousness to create a huge audience exploiting a culture of paranoia.

How much either event influences Tuesday’s election is hard to say. Both were big jokes, but the question of who is the joke really on might be easier to determine from today’s presentation than the Beck/Palin charade late last summer.


Decision Time Is Here...

If you don’t like what’s going on in government, Tuesday is your day. You must vote, vote Republican whether you consider yourself a part of the GOP or not. The alternatives are simply far too dangerous and too much is at stake.

Seldom has a midterm election been so crucial to the direction of our culture’s future. The United States remains the standard of western culture, the “free” world as it was once called. From our beginning postulated on the notion that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

With this as the basis for forming this nation, the American experiment has yielded more benefits to more citizens than any other enterprise ever attempted. Freedom of thought and action has led to bold innovation in science, technology, industry, and medicine creating an ever richer standard of living for its citizens.

The founding notions are postulated on individual freedom and responsibility, limited government, a constitutional form of government, and the rule of law evenly and justly applied.

Through out the ages, the United States has stood strong fighting all external enemies that threaten the wonder we share; however, never before has the goodness and health of our remarkable system been so threatened as it is today, but what’s striking today, while we do face incalculable harm from Islamic terrorist, our greatest enemy lies within. Our greatest enemy is represented by the hateful current President of the United States, a man who has spent his entire life dedicated to destroying and transforming the American way of life allying himself with representatives of some of the greatest enemy philosophies our country has ever faced – in large measure the same philosophy and approach to government our nation fought in the “Cold War” since the end of World War II through the 1980’s.

Barack Hussein Obama represents the forces of the collective – that those of superior power should mandate who needs what and who gets what. The state should determine how much wealth a person should be allowed to amass. The state will cease those assets it deems excessive and redistribute them to those who it deems will best serve their political purposes rewarding.

Our republic was founded in part by revulsion against excessive taxation and little say so in how the state spent the capital it seized from taxation. In less than two years, the Obama administration has spent trillions to extend the reach of government far beyond that which the economy can sustain with the government’s seizure of control of the nation’s medical system as the key foundation of its extreme acquisition of power that had belonged to the citizens and the private sector. While there is no arguing the current medical system needs reform, the “Obama-Care” approach dealt more with control, funding, and reducing options than it did doing anything substantial to help most citizens obtain more cost effective quality care. More than anything the system is ultimately designed to create a system that rewards members of the public sector and labor unions at the expense of the rest of the population.

The trillions of dollars spent serve only very limited segments of the population rewarding those factions who help spread and deepen a socialist approach to governance while punishing the rest particularly those who have taken the risk to start businesses, amass capital and grow the private sectors. The primary beneficiaries are trade union members whose leadership has run some of the nation’s proudest industries into disappearing or moving over seas. Meanwhile, the growth of unnecessary public sector employment contributing nothing substantial to the economy grows by leaps and bounds.

Our enemy is a political system that creates levels of entitlement at the expense of personal achievement.

Further, what could be more symbolic of destroying a forward looking system than the destruction of the manned space program – something that has been a small portion of the Federal budget that helps extend the reaches of learning and technology?

Obama and his allies seek at every opportunity to factionalize the nation into conflicting victim groups escalating a false perception of haves and have not’s in an effort to build power out of escalating a sense of class warfare. Those who’ve worked the hardest to benefit our society, create capital and jobs are villainized as the hateful, greedy rich. Corporations are cited as likewise full of greed, corruption, and indifference to the public at large.

Meanwhile, the Obama regime has significantly reduced America’s prestige over seas agreeing with the rhetoric of the old Communist block and radical Islamic forces that the American system is the greatest threat to the rest of the world when in fact we are the country that feeds the hungry, treats the sick, and opens the doors of opportunity for the rest of the world.

Maryland is often called America in miniature and if the nation wants to see where the Democratic Party can lead things, the once called “Free State” provides a model of what single party hegemony creates. No one better demonstrates the Saul Allinsky radical approach for radical rule than Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley who clearly believes that the ends justify the means. In his first term as governor, he has helped implement the largest tax increase in Maryland history and pursued policies that continue to further alienate business from operating in Maryland seeing Maryland businesses close or leave the state. The additional tax on wealth has driven a substantial percentage of the state’s millionaires to move to lower taxed states. The net effect is what the O’Malley regime calculated its increased taxes would bring instead created a loss of double that amount. It’s better to have lots of millionaires paying their fair share in taxes rather than sticking it to them, having them leave and get nothing.

The O’Malley campaign against Bob Ehrlich has been one of the most vicious and dishonest campaigns ever waged. O’Malley’s assertions are that Ehrlich is the dishonest one and that Ehrlich should be distrusted for raising taxes when in truth while some tolls and fees did increase, the Maryland governor is required by law to balance the budget, those increases were initiated by the corrupt and inept Glendenning administration. Of course, the O’Malley propagandists take the assertion that Ehrlich might reduce some of the state’s bloated education budget into a hysteric claim that teachers would get fired right and left. It is little wonder that the former head of the Maryland teachers’ union would be employed by the O’Malley regime, and yes, the union should have much to be concerned about with an Ehrlich administration that would pursue legitimate reform, greater accountability of schools to their communities, redefining tenure, and working toward performance based teacher compensation.

It is essential that every concerned voter vote Republican. Do not waste votes on Libertarians or Constitutionalists. A vote for one of these entities is truly a vote for the Democrats as it denies votes to the opposition capable of unseating their treachery. Voters cannot vote on the basis of personality or charisma. What’s most important is how they will vote on Capitol Hill. Will the candidate vote to approve or deny the Obama push for socialism?

Those responsible for providing weak candidates the Democrats could easily defeat over those who could carry important state elections must be held responsible once this election is over, but in the meantime, if it means voting for Christine O’Donnell in Delaware for senate, that’s the kind of tough decision voters must make to arrest the tide of advancing government intrusion from the polluted tide of wicked ideology pursued by today’s Democratic party.

The choice is painfully obvious, vote Republican on Tuesday, November 2nd, then starting immediately on November 3rd, hold those responsible for advancing the free enterprise, limited government agenda responsible for results. Those who have loused up the process like Sarah Palin will have to stand for their unwarranted involvement in the process.


Sprint Cup 2010: Race 33 -- Talladega: Gremlins in the Top Ten from Qualifying

Okay, yes, it’s Halloween, but to look at the starting lineup and say the starting lineup for the Amp Energy Juice 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway, and say it spooks me would have to be the understatement of the millennium. Juan Pablo Montoya will lead the goblin parade from the poll and there are some haunting scenarios behind him to be sure.

There are three potential “start and park” teams qualifying in the top 10 with another, Jeff Fuller close behind in 13th. The three legit contenders for the championship line up with Kevin Harvick starting 14th, Denny Hamlin in 17th and Jimmy Johnson running his rear bumper in 19th.

It sure makes a tense track even more nerve-wracking to see Joe Nemechek starting 4th. His car has “Host Gator” sponsorship, but how long will he be on the track? Dave Blaney for Tommy Baldwin racing starts 7th. Casey Mears starts 9th in the #13 Geico car which has been parking most of the season. Jeff Fuller runs as a second Nemechek entry while Michael McDowell (#46) starts 15th. Michael Waltrip (#55) starts beside Jimmie Johnson in 20th with Aaron’s sponsorship. Is this a MWR car or a Prism car that will jump off the track at the earliest convenience?

Bill Elliott enters the race using his Past Champions provisional to make the field but is not racing for the “legendary” Wood Brothers this week. Instead, he will be racing the Air National Guard sponsored #26 Ford for the Latitude 43 team, an operation that has struggled for the entire season regardless of driver. The legendary Wood Brothers are not competing this week. Three teams failed to qualify, two of which the #64 car driven by Landon Casssill and the #66 Prism entry are start and park teams. Unfortunately, with several start and park entries in, the #38 Long John Silver Ford driven by Travis Kvapil goes home.

After the week long drama over the fate of Richard Petty racing, it is noteworthy that Ford’s qualifying effort is so dreadful. Of the Ford starters in the race, Carl Edwards for Roush//Fenway starts his #99 Subway Ford in 23rd. His teammates lined up with Matt Kenseth #17 in 27th, David Ragan #6, in 29th, and Greg Biffle #16 in 34th. Meanwhile, the Petty operation’s top driver was Elliott Sadler in 33rd place. In that context, Kasey Kahne’s switch to Red Bull must seem like a breathe of fresh air with his #16 position ahead of both Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson.

If there ever could be a lot of scenarios to breed a bad case of the Talladega creepies, this race on Halloween provides lots to feel weird about based on qualifying. That they qualified at all might be noteworthy since the last two races started by owners’ points due to weather. This fall’s race will feature sunny weather in the high 70’s with light wind.

The field is set to see which driver pulls off the best tricks to be treated to a trophy in victory lane. Given where the contenders line up and the riff-raff that is way up front, the stage is set for some haunting scenarios where surely dreams could be broken.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 33 -- Talladega, "The Big One"

Land of the Indian's Curse???

Talladega is not a comfy race to watch. Being NASCAR’s longest track at 2.66 miles with its high banks, the technology exceeded the race track well over 20 years ago when Bill Elliott set NASCAR’s all-time speed record of 212.8 mph in 1986. The excitement of such speed was very short-lived as it proved to be dangerous beyond calculation. The following May, Bobby Allison cut a tire and his car went sailing airborne in the tri-oval part of the track slamming the catch fence just avoiding landing among the spectators. Nevertheless, debris flying everywhere caused injuries forcing the beginning of the restrictor plate era at Talladega and Daytona. Any thought of unrestricting the cars was silenced for good when Rusty Wallace testing for the COT program recorded a time of 216.3 in testing. What Wallace had to say about the experience was enough to end any speculation in that regard. When Brad Kesolowski played bumper tag with Carl Edwards in last year’s spring race, with Edwards’s car flying into the catch fence, the seriousness of Talladega’s safety was reborn.

While plates slow the cars down, they also bunch them up into long aerodynamic drafting trains where several cars lock in line with usually two trains racing side by side. All it takes are a couple drivers trying to mix things up and get racy or the slightest miscalculation, the result then is the “big one” a multicar pileup eliminating several cars from competition in the process. Because of how cars have to fall in line, often some of the series best drivers are caught further back in the massive heap and get whipped out.

It is a nerve wracking experience watching racing from Talladega, seeing the trains form, the seeing some drivers getting a little antsy and with every wobble and jiggle feeling that uneasy nervousness that the big one might explode.

The impact on the 2010 chase could be striking. It would appear that the Chase is pretty much a contest between Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson with Kevin Harvick riding shotgun sixty two points behind. Should Hamlin or Johnson be involved in the “big one,” the results could be a one man standing scenario heading for Texas next week. If both drivers got eliminated, suddenly there could be a real chase again. Of the three competitors, clearly, Kevin Harvick is the toughest restrictor plate driver. Johnson has one Talladega win and four top tens averaging 17.8 finish which is below his career average. Denny Hamlin, meanwhile, has no wins and only 3 tops fives which account for his only top 10’s at the track yielding a 19.3 average finish. Harvick has one win at Talladega but also shows four top 5’s and eight top 10’s racing to a fine 15.5 average starting position.

Aside from the Chase for the Championship, the fate of Richard Petty Motorsports continues to be the nagging story surrounding the Sprint Cup tour. The two things that are certain right now are that all four teams will race at Talladega but after that, all is uncertain. George Gillette continues to sell off assets but all money raised goes to satisfying his massive debt. None of this capital can be used to fund future racing exploits.

The ideal scenario would be to find a buyer who will buyout Gillette’s interest and keep the Richard Petty legacy intact. Any solution short of that could see the Petty name being seriously compromised for its involvement in NASCAR. The situation is way too explosive to even attempt to predict how this will all turn out.


NFL 2010: Week 8: Bye Bye Week

NFL Week 8

Somehow when a fan’s team is in its bye week, all the rest of the games seem so insignificant unless there are some classic matchups, but this week is one of the big bye weekends with six teams out. Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, the New York Giants, and Philadelphia all have the week off. Surely, the New York Giants have a week to savor smacking Dallas silly while the Ravens have to be wondering how the lowly Bills could take them to overtime.

This is also the week where two teams head across to London’s Wembley Stadium. This year Denver and San Francisco, two true underachievers also banged up pretty badly, draw the honors to enjoy the liver pudding, crumpets, and tea. Well, bloody cheerio to all that rot and then some!!!

Washington @ Detroit (-2 ½)
So how does a team with just one win get the favor over a team that’s 4-3? The Redskins have a great opportunity to make the Vegas bookies look stupid. Come on Redskins, show something!

Denver vs. San Francisco (-1) @ Wembley Stadium, London
Former Ohio State standout and Ravens bench jockey, Troy Smith starts for San Francisco and should have enough dance moves to outdo Dallas’s defense. Is it time for Denver to perhaps bring Tim Tebow in for a battle of Heisman Trophy QB’s?

Buffalo @ Kansas City (-7 ½)
Buffalo showed at least on one glorious Sunday they can score a lot of points, but they probably used up all the boost from its bye week last week. Kansas City continues its comeback season.

Carolina @ St. Louis (-3)
Well somebody’s got to win this game. Carolina is so darned awful, St. Louis at least seems to be turning in the right direction while the Panthers continue freefalling.

Green Bay @ New York Jets (-8)
Green Bay looks all used up while the Jets are just having a fun old time.

Miami @ Cincinnati (-2)
How can anyone speak of Cincinnati without pile of “if’s.” If this traveling fruitcake show of thieves, criminals, and clowns would play seriously, they could beat almost anybody, but unless Miami is able to rattle Carson Palmer early, it’s the Bengals game to win.

Jacksonville @ Dallas (-6 ½)
If Jacksonville wants to salvage the season, smacking Dallas would surely give them something to get happy about. Dallas with their matinee idol QB sidelined doesn’t have much to go with. It’s time for Jacksonville to kick a team when it’s down and further throw the Dallas circus into a bunch of lousy freak shows.

Tennessee @ San Diego (-3 ½)
We’re picking against the bookies on this one. Okay, San Diego’s a slow starter, but this is Week 8. Where is it Norv Turner? The Titans should find a way to pull this one out.

Tampa @ Arizona (-3)
It’s a falling off year for Arizona but they are still better than Tampa.

Minnesota @ New England (-6)
The question in the air is if this is where Brett Favre’s long “Iron Man” streak finally ends. The man is hurting and is a shadow of himself last year. New England is a team that knows how to clobber a team when its down. No contest – New England wins.

Seattle @ Oakland (-2)
Tim Carroll’s gang should edge Oakland, a team that might be still be gloating after what they did to Denver last week.

Pittsburgh @ New Orleans (-1)
Last season’s Super Bowl win will increasingly be a distant memory as the Steelers will rattle the Saints and head back up stream with a win.

Houston @ Indianapolis (-5 ½)
If Houston wins this one, it will serve as a changing of the guard to some extent in the AFC South. Indy is not the tough team they’ve been in recent years, but they’re still the best team in their conference. They’re certainly tough enough to beat the Texans at home.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beatles "Red" and "Blue" Albums Remastered

After releasing the entire Beatles’ catalog carefully prepared and remastered last year, the Apple-EMI brain trust has released two anthologies of Beatles material fans know as the “Red” and the “Blue” albums. Originally released in 1973, these consisted of two double albums, the first, The Beatles: 1962-1966 and the second, The Beatles: 1967-1970. Between the two, these albums contain all the bands’ major singles and a generous dose of album cuts spanning their entire career. The first collection takes the listener up to Revolver. The second collection picks up with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band onward. In time for the Christmas rush, these two rich collections have been rereleased with the superb remasters of a year ago and booklets with additional notes and photos.

For anyone who wants an instant Beatles collection, these two sets are a superb starting place. The listener is treated to a rich serving of everything from “Love Me Do” to “Long and Winding Road” and much in between. For those who do not want to invest in all 13 original albums and wants more than just the hit singles, this is the place to start. The Beatles fan on a budget can then purchase the necessary individual albums best suited to his or her tastes. Likewise, for those who have many of the first generation CD’s and would like to hear how satisfying the recent remastering of the entire catalog is, here’s a fine starting point.

Here’s the song line up:

1962-1966 (The "Red" Album)

Disc 1
1. Love Me Do
2. Please Please Me
3. From Me to You
4. She Loves You
5. I Want to Hold Your Hand
6. All My Loving
7. Can’t Buy Me Love
8. A Hard Day’s Night
9. And I Love Her
10. Eight Days a Week
11. I Feel Fine
12. Ticket to Ride
13. Yesterday

Disc 2
1. Help!
2. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
3. We Can Work It Out
4. Day Tripper
5. Drive My Car
6. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
7. Michelle
8. In My Life
9. Girl
10. Paperback Writer
11. Eleanor Rigby
12. Yellow Submarine

1967-1972 (The “Blue” Album)

Disc 1
1. Strawberry Fields Forever
2. Penny Lane
3. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
4. With a Little Help from My Friends
5. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
6. A Day in the Life
7. All You Need Is Love
8. I Am the Walrus
9. Hello Goodbye
10. The Fool on the Hill
11. Magical Mystery Tour
12. Lady Madonna
13. Hey Jude

Disc 2
1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
3. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
4. Get Back
5. Don’t Let Me Down
6. The Ballad of John and Yoko
7. Old Brown Shoe
8. Come Together
9. Something
10. Octopus’s Garden
11. Let it Be
12. Across the Universe
13. The Long and Winding Road

As the song listings show, this is quite a collection. There are early tunes like “Twist and Shout” and “Money” that many listeners might enjoy, but the compilers of this collection specifically chose to exclude cover versions. “I Should Have Known Better” and “If I Fell” seem like disappointing omissions from A Hard Days Night. “She’s a Woman,” the B side of “I Feel Fine” would also have been a great inclusion particularly since many American listeners might have it on Beatles 65 in fake stereo. However, the most conspicuously absent material would be from the album, Revolver. Still, fans with even a casual interest in the Beatles should certainly have Revolver in their collection.

This is one hearty serving of Beatles music, and for those who are more oriented toward Beatles' songs and not specific albums, this is one lucious feast sure to be enjoyed with many second helpings.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NBA Season Starts Tonight -- BIG DEAL!!

Ambiguous Logo:  Looks like a flaming shit!!!

Here it comes, the 2010-2011 NBA season with the Miami Heat opening against the Boston Celtics. This is the long awaited coming out party for LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade, three $14 million plus superstars whose big staged introduction in a lavish media event shows everything that wrong with the NBA.

What ever happened to the notion of team? Whatever happened to the majesty of Michael Jordan’s incredible game breaking plays or the kind of rivalry that made the game so intense when Larry Byrd and Magic Johnson faced off?

It’s all about punks celebrating being gangsta punks. Does anybody want his or her kids getting too interested in Kobe Bryant? Does anybody who really looks at what happened not believe he didn’t buy his way out of rape charges?

Look at what the NBA promotes to kids – unaffordable athletic shoes and video games. Exactly the wrong kind of kids whose family cannot afford them are wearing the $150 plus Nikes.

No sympathy for Cleveland losing their almost hometown star, LeBron James, what is it about Cleveland sports fans that make them such unsympathetic losers? They try to build the image of the long suffering blue collar fans but what we see from afar appear to be mostly whiners and drunks. The Indians gave them a brief stint of good baseball in the 1990’s and a couple teasers since. Aside from LeBron, what have the Cavaliers ever done? Then there’s the Cleveland Browns. Yeah, we know the Browns up through 1995 and from 1999 afterwards are supposed to be the same team, but the new Browns seem to have perfected what the old Browns were at their worst. Okay, we benefit with the Baltimore Ravens build up from the ashes of the old Browns, but what’s the bitch? We lost the Colts and nobody gave Baltimore a break. Cleveland, boo-hoo-hoo, and they were only without football long enough to replace the worst stadium in sports. Cleveland, don’t worry about the NBA? It’s becoming more like a gangsta version of the WWF anyway. Aren’t there some nice colleges in the area to follow?

So here it is, several nights a week on cable and then one the weekends on ABC later, the NBA regular season which is basically a contest for who gets to play in the real season which starts in April. More teams make the playoffs than stay home. Ah, all is not lost since a lottery, not the standings determine the #1 draft choice who can transform a mediocre team into a playoffs team.

Only the last couple rounds of the playoffs generate any real interest in the NBA product but even that’s something that needs a lot of work. The games are stretched out too long. College has it right, two 20 minute halves. The courts should be longer and wider and the hoops higher – make those athletics have to extend themselves. Stop pandering to the worst of hip-hop culture.

The NBA starts tonight – HO HUM!!!


NFL 2010: Week 7 -- Cowboys Catastrophe (The Joke That Has Nobody Laughing)

Blow it up, and start over. The ultimate monument to man's vanities!!!

Somehow, the way the Dallas Cowboys fell in defeat before a national Monday Night Football audience seems delightfully just. Not only did they give up 41 points, they looked horrible doing so. Okay, the Giants didn’t play gracefully; they gave up 35 points, but from the point the Giants took the lead, was there any question who was going to prevail?

A game like this seems to test our true humanity. Fans shouldn’t take delight in a player being injured, but Tony Romo getting knocked off the field with a cracked collar bone somehow fits this story so well.

The amazing thing is that the Dallas Cowboys draw so much attention in the first place. It’s been a long time since they last showed themselves to be a quality team. That they have had some playoff runs is nothing more than the normal ebb and flow of NFL football given how the structure of the league is designed to achieve parity. Not since the team Jimmy Johnson built with Troy Aikman, Emmett Smith, and Michael Irvan, has this team had any real bragging rights.

Still, back when they were an honorable team owned by Tex Schram and coached by Tom Landry, they earned the name “America’s team.” Through the 1970’s deep into the 1980’s, they were a team worthy of tremendous respect. The original incarnation of the Jerry Jones “boys” played incredible football even if the misbehavior fueled an on-going drama of misadventure.

In 2010, the Dallas Cowboys are just a crappy team. Good teams don’t stand with one win going into week eight of the season. They’re in the same class at the Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams, and Detroit Lions.

This is the Dallas Cowboys’ second year in Cowboys Stadium, presumably so-named because no corporate entity was willing to pay the asking price for naming rights. The $1.3 billion palace is one of the world’s greatest monuments to human ego and excess including its massive high definition video display suspended over more the 2/3’s the length of the field. The stadium also features elevated cages where costumed buxom females engage in exotic dancing with just enough clothing to keep from being arrested. Every detail is so overblown that the venue itself becomes an event.

By contrast, the cost of the new Meadowlands complex hosting the New York Giants and Jets outside the nation’s largest city might have been just as expensive but building costs near the big Apple are far greater than in Arlington, Texas. While the New Jersey field has all kinds of modern technology and accommodations, it’s a football stadium open to the elements at that in a part of the country that gets damned cold in January. Shall we then compare Cowboys Stadium to another sport’s facility, as in New Yankees Stadium?

The New Yankee Stadium is loaded with luxurious features, but it is a very faithful successor to the Yankees stadiums of the past.

Which brings us back to this year’s Dallas Cowboys. Build a new stadium in the right climate or with a dome, the NFL generally rewards the locality with a Super Bowl very soon thereafter as when the exotic new stadiums opened for the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts. The 2010 season was supposed to lead the hometown Cowboys to playing in the hometown stadium. The media got caught up in the publicity too. Even up to this week’s pregame, the ESPN blabber mouths were still maintaining the Cowboys were an awesome team. They just haven’t played up to expectations or just need a lucky break. Look at how many penalties they’ve chalked up.

Chalking up penalties is just one of those things? BALONEY! It’s the sign of an undisciplined team.

The Cowboys might have a lot of potential talent on the team, but they play together horribly. If they couldn’t pull it together and play smart football under Bill Parcels, what more evidence do we need that the culture in that locker room is decadent and out of control? Between Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcels, the Cowboys coaches sure didn’t inspire much confidence to be sure. Poor coaches build crappy locker room solidarity. In Dallas, their football players are treated like minor deities and before long, they act like a special entitled bunch.

Did anyone think Wade Phillips would have a chance with this crew?

Phillips might have had his window of opportunity his first year on the job assuming Parcels left some discipline behind and the players wanted to prove themselves on their own. That didn’t happen because even the mighty Parcels couldn’t escape a culture with a doting owner who worships his players and like a couple other meddlesome owners treats his team like its his great big play toy – like “Danny Boy” Snyder in Washington.

Jerry Jones is the mastermind and architect of the kind of nauseating excess that permeates everything about the Cowboys and that which surrounds them. Wade Phillips, a lax and laid back ineffective coach to begin with, is further undermined when the owner runs his mouth the way fans would hope the team’s offense would run the ball.

What goes around comes around and that Jones so conspicuously bragged of what it would be like when his beloved Cowboys played in the Super Bowl as if it were something to which he had been entitled make what’s happening on the field with this miserable 2010 team seem so perfectly justified.

The quest for the Super Bowl was probably over before the season ever started because there was no way this team would ever work as a disciplined unit that generates championship football. Realistically, the only mission left for the 2010 Cowboys will be not to finish in dead last in the NFC East. The New York Giants look well-positioned to win the division with the Eagles and the Redskins attempting to secure wild card berths those neither team is exactly a knockout. Still, the fellows in DC (Largo, Maryland) and Philadelphia are light years ahead of where the so-called “America’s Team” stands right now.

Let’s make this a firm resolution that no further references to the Dallas Cowboys except in the most extreme applications of sarcasm shall be tolerated. There are other teams far more deserving of such a title, but the way they play football, such a distinction would be meaningless. They don’t need the hype. They prove it on the field.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

NFL 2010: Week 7 -- Close Doesn't Count

Close doesn’t matter, got it? This is NFL football. The Ravens WON!!! It might have been by just one point but the Steelers beat the Dolphins. There were so many things about where the football landed in the New England/San Diego game that where an inch here or four inches there, the results would have been the reverse, but San Diego, the might Chargers are a miserable 2-5. Two things matter in football. Did your team win? Did they get away without any serious injuries? The rest of the stuff doesn’t matter. I will not spill any tears because a game screwed up someone’s fantasy picks or that a team didn’t cover the spread cost someone else five bucks in his office pool. What matters tonight in Crab Town is that the Ravens need to win a game when Pittsburgh loses to take the lead in the division. It’s too soon to talk about home field advantage possibilities.

The Redskins know close too. Here’s a team that has so often seemed close to disaster. How many games have they had decided by a field goal or less? They’re darned close to first place. If the hated Cowboys beat the New York Giants tomorrow night, they’ll own a piece of first place.

Something else is close – most likely the end of some coaches jobs. Look at the teams that were expected to do well that are struggling: Cincinnati and San Diego in the NFC. What about Dallas and Carolina in the NFC? Tick-tick-tick-tick, no matter how much Jerry Jones gives Wade Phillips votes of confidence for the Cowboys, the guy is an ineffective oaf, but let us get serious, Tony Romo’s gig as a matinee idol should be over too. How can he impress anyone as a true top notch NFL QB? Think of all the bragging coming from Cincinnati yet how much can Marvin Lewis to with a bunch of babies, criminals, ego-maniacs, and under achievers? San Diego was atop the AFC West on just about every fan’s picks for this season, but where are these guys showing anything? Nice guy Norv is probably hearing the tick-tick-tick too. Carolina won today. Happy days are in Charlotte again? Not really. The team they beat, San Francisco has only one win and they were almost unanimous picks to win the NFC West. Might a restless owner can Mike Singletary? Under the cover of bye’s and the World Series as Halloween approaches is often when the ax falls.

Bring on Bret Favre’s performance in Green Bay tonight. If he can’t support the running game punctuated with some passing drives with Randy Moss, he’s toast. Tomorrow, the New York Giants head to Dallas to tangle with the Cowboys. The Jones Boys better hope that they can round up a little of the “beat New York” mojo that took place a couple blocks away sending the Rangers to the World Series. Does anybody still think when the NFL holds its version of the World Series, the Super Bowl in Dallas, the Cowboys will still be around?

It’s doubtful but consider it impossible if the Dallas falls to the Giants (oops there are Giants playing in the World Series too) tomorrow night.


Sprint Cup 2010: Race 32 -- Johnson's Lead Reduced to Six

What couldn’t have gone better for Denny Hamlin in his home state of Virginia? To pull out a win at Martinsville took the wind off Jimmie Johnson’s sails with Talladega, perhaps the most notorious blender on the circuit, ahead. Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick should feel proud too qualifying poorly but finishing 3rd ahead of Jimmie Johnson. Johnson owes teammate, Mark Martin, a good “at-a-boy” for sneaking into second cutting Harvick’s points’ gain by one top position. Don’t feel too sorry for Jimmie Johnson. If he keeps on finishing 5th for the rest of the season, what’s to worry?

Jimmie Johnson remains in first place six points ahead of Denny Hamlin. What a difference Johnson not leading a lap makes! Kevin Harvick improves his striking distance now at sixty two points behind Johnson. While Kyle Busch moved up in the standings to 4th, he remains -172 points to Johnson too far to catch up barring an unprecedented catastrophe for the #48 team.

Also worth noting, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally enjoyed a top ten finish in 7th. Kasey Kahne making his debut run with the Red Bull team finished 14th. Given all the controversy surrounding his former team, Richard Petty racing, A.J. Allmendinger finished 12th while Paul Menard gave the struggling operation 13th place finish. Meanwhile, Aric Almirola brought in to pilot the #9 car for the rest of the season, finished 21st.
Welcome back Ken Schrader! He drove the #26 Air National Guard Ford to its best finish of the year, 18th.

At the bottom of the chase, things couldn’t have gone much worse for Greg Biffle, a distant 33rd finish and last place driver, Clint Bowyer, only managed a 38th finish grouped with all the quitters.

Race conditions were perfect with clear, warm weather. The wonderful Rockingham tradition continues while Denny Hamlin must be thinking, “Geez, what can I do with another beautiful grandfather’s clock?

Father time will determine after the next four races if Hamlin has bigger gains to celebrate. He’s clearly in the picture right now.


MLB 2010: The Giants Won the Pennant!!! The Giants Won the Pennant!!!

While it may lack the drama of the 1951 Giants victory where Bobby Thompson's shot heard around the world prepared the New York Giants versus their arch rival Brooklyn Dodgers, this year's National League championship is a noteworthy accomplishment.

The Giants poured it on during the stretch run as the San Diego Padres faded and the Colorado Rockies attempted to get a run of their own going, but with solid pitching ad timely offense, the Giants prevailed to win the National League West. They eliminated the well-motivated, Atlanta Braves in the first round and then took on the Philadephia Phillies, 3 time consecutive NL East champs, NL champs for the past two seasons, and World Champions in 2008, arguably the strongest franchise in baseball in recent years. That the Giants, not known for a powerful offense could beat a rotation with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels, showed a team well-prepared to move on to the World Series with lots of credit deserving round the team. Ironically, last years' World Series contestants, the Yankees and the Phillies both fell in similar fashion, bowing in in six games with one of each team's greatest hitters at bat with two out in the 9th going away quietly on a called 3rd strike.

The Giants last appeared in the Fall Classic in 2002 during the controversial Barry Bonds era losing to the Los Angeles Angels. Their last World Championship, their 5th came in 1954 against the Cleveland Indian team that won an astonishing 111 games in the regular season.

Former Oriole, Aubrey Huff demonstrated his value in the stretch run and playoffs and while never seeing the Orioles as winners during his tenure in Baltimore, he'll be representing the orange and black in the World Series, the orange and black of the San Francisco Giants.

The World Series opens Wednesday night in San Francisco pitting one of baseball's earliest teams who started play in 1883 against a team that has never played in the World Series. The initial hype will no doubt be about the pitching face off between Cliff Lee for the Rangers and Tim Lincecum for the Giants. While Fox might be unhappy that this series does not provide the ratings potential of a Philadelphia/New York match up, it does match the largest state in population, California, versus the state second in population, Texas.

A new generation of baseball heroes is about the perform on the big stage. We wish them well.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Teacher in Great Britain Declared "Useless"

What a concept!!!!  "Useless" is a good way to describe a lot of the hacks remaining on the faculties of schools through out the country protected by tenure and overly assertive unions. The Brits have such a beautiful way with language. 

We should strive to identify those who are useless in our school system, rid ourselves of "useless" bureaucracies, mandates, and other notions that render modern education such a cruel joke on our culture and such dreadful mistreatment and neglect of the nation's students.

Here's the episode from across the pond.


MLB 2010: The Texas Rangers Win AL Pennant

Alex Rodriguez at bat, called strike 3, the New York Yankees fall to the Texas Rangers earning the Rangers their first trip to the World Series since becoming a franchise as the Washington Senators in 1961. For most of the year, the New York Yankees had the best record in baseball defending their 2009 championship, but as the season entered the September stretch drive, it was becoming clear that the Yankees pitching was not performing up to expectations. Andy Pettitte, the dean of the pitcher’s mound in post season spent much of the summer on the disabled list. A.J. Burnett completely lost control of his game leaving the rotation in the hands of C.C. Sabathia who certainly lived up to his roll as the team’s ace until his first loss in the League Championship series and Phil Hughes who was no match for Texas.

Texas just dominated in every facet. How ironic it is that Alex Rodriguez would be the last out. Rodriguez had been a Texas Ranger, but the team realized they could not support the long term contract they signed with their stellar shortstop. They traded him to the New York Yankees as the beginning of a rebuilding program that yielded the champs they are today. His trade to the Yankees was supposed to secure the Yankees as perennial world champs, but from 2004-2008, the Yankees failed to accomplish the top honor even not making the playoffs in 2008. In 2009, a Yankees-Texas connection surfaced again regarding one of the Rangers’ top players, and unwillingness to tender a huge contract was the issue again. Mark Teixeira was to be one of the young homegrown stars that the Rangers would build their team around after trading away A-Rod. In 2007, they sensed they would not be able to retain their all-star first baseman and traded him to the Atlanta Braves who then traded them to the Los Angeles Angels to help their post season run. The Yankees won the bidding war before the 2009 season to get the slick fielding slugger who played a critical roll in the Yankees offensive attack the past two seasons. How ironic it was then that he should pull a hamstring muscle in game 4 of the Championship Series putting his former team up with a 3-1 game advantage.

Cliff Lee, a former teammate of C.C. Sabathia in Cleveland and pitcher in last year’s World Series serves as the Texas Rangers’ ace in their starting rotation. What could be another strange irony could be that his fine performance in the playoffs could serve as his audition to earn a lucrative free agent contract with the Yankees who will stop at nothing to augment their suddenly vulnerable rotation.

Josh Hamilton was selected as the Championship series Most Valuable Player. How valuable was he? He was strong enough that the Yankees to intentionally walk him three times in the final decisive game.

The Rangers will start the World Series either in Philadelphia or in San Francisco with Cliff Lee ready to do the honors. For the Texas Rangers who’ve called Arlington, Texas home since 1972, this occasion will seem long overdue. Now only the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals (former Montreal Expos) have never played in the World Series and how much of the US population was alive that last time the Chicago Cubbies earned such honors? Every other team aside from these three has made the World Series since the divisional era began in 1969.

Friday, October 22, 2010

NFL 2010: Week 7

The 2010 NFL season moves through the bye period with still no clear front runners emerging, a lot of so-so teams, and some pure stinkers, some of whom go head-to-head this week.

The big story this week was getting tough on helmet to helmet contact or any kind of helmet generated contact. Is this a necessary safety precaution or sanitizing the game to pure boredom. We’ll err on the side of safety.

The trading deadline passed with no big impact transactions.

Buffalo at Baltimore, -13 ½
As long as the Ravens take the game seriously, the Bills will be annihilated.

Washington at Chicago, 2 ½
Here are two erratic teams facing off with their position in the standings higher than expectations. The Bears have the slight edge.

Jacksonville at Kansas City (pick ‘em)
Kansas City exceeds expectations while Jacksonville has only shown flashes of power so far this year. KC wins.

Philadelphia at Tennessee, -3
Philadelphia is healthier and should edge the Titans.

Cleveland at New Orleans, -13
Whatever has plagued the defending Champs won’t be evident this weekend as the Browns will get a royal whipping in the Big Easy.

Cincinnati at Atlanta, -3 ½
If the Bengals ever get it together, they could be dangerous, but the travelling comedy troop will not prevail against the no nonsense Falcons.

Pittsburgh, -3 at Miami
We’d love to pick the upset here, but Pittsburgh’s the better team.

San Francisco, -3 at Carolina
Here’s a real toilet bowl this week. The tendency picking between two terrible teams would be to go with Carolina playing at home rested after the bye, but Carolina has nothing to rest. They are a terrible team awaiting being dismantle. The “Niners” have shown sparks of fight. Go with San Francisco.

St. Louis at Seattle, -6
The Seahawks are one team showing a little more than expected this year. They should handle the Rams.

New England at San Diego, -2 ½
Forget about the Patriots perhaps being a little weaker this year and having to travel to the furthest distance from home cross country, the Chargers have shown nothing so far this year. For known as slow starters, facing New England is no way to get started.

Oakland at Denver, -8
A great week for the Ponies to feel good about themselves. They’ll trot to victory.

Minnesota at Green Bay, 2 ½
These were supposed to be two playoff bound teams. What happened? Unless Randy Moss gets the Favre offense moving, the banged up Packers win.

New York Giants at Dallas, -3
How can Dallas keep getting the odds for these games when they have proven nothing yet this year? What have they learned after losing to Minnesota that shows they’re ready to win? Now it’s the owner trying to pump up the troops. Wade Phillips is simply not providing any motivation or leadership. It’s amazing the impetuous Jerry Jones hasn’t fired the ineffective couch long ago. The spirit in Dallas will be angry and grumbling while the baseball team attempts to knock the Yankees out in baseball.


Sprint Cup 2010: Race 32 -- Running Out the Clock

TRADITION: Race winners receive a lovely Grandfather Clock. Let's hope if Kyle Busch wins, he doesn't destroy it like he did a beautiful Les Paul guitar upon winning at NASHVILLE!!!

What’s going on off the track might be more significant than what’s going on the track. On the track, can Denny Hamlin or Kevin Harvick give Jimmie Johnson a run for his money? The season is down to that. Martinsville is a track that can burn out cars, but who takes care of the equipment better than the #48 team when they have to.

Jimmie Johnson starts right in the thick of the pack with a 21st starting position while Denny Hamlin couldn’t have planned it better, grabbing the pole to start the race. Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick put himself in a real bind with the 36th spot. Gaining on Johnson will require very careful driving and brilliant pit strategy. Nobody wants to think this week’s starting order might have already reduced the field to two drivers.

Of interest, Kenny Schrader returns to Sprint Cup in the #26 Ford. Hermie Sadler gets the honors to drive the #71 car in to the garage. As far as the “start and park” criminals get off the track, the better. It wasn’t that long ago, the starting field for Martinsville was just 37 cars.

The big news off the track is what is going on with Richard Petty racing? Last week at Charlotte, after the brakes had burned out in the #9 Budweiser Ford, he refused to return to the car to run laps for points. Earlier this week, he was released from his ride moving from beer to energy juice, the #83 Red Bull ride which he starts in the 33rd spot. Meanwhile, Aric Almirola pilots the #9 Budweiser Ford in 35th spot. Budweiser moves to the #29 car next year.

What’s going on with Richard Petty racing? It certainly had to be a major blow to the operation when Kasey Kahne announced his departure to Hendricks earlier this year. That Paul Menard would bolt with family sponsorship intact would certainly testify to his confidence in the organization. Menard will test his fortunes as a 4th car for RCR. Meanwhile, Elliott Sadler’s contract is up. The team has been trying to move out Sadler for a couple years. Marcos Ambrose joins the operation to take over the #9 car while A.H. Allmendinger stays in the #43 car. The question is how the team is holding up financially. Talk is widespread about the i.o.u.’s piling up as George Gillette is selling off many of his other holdings. Talk is Roush-Fenway was withholding delivering hardware awaiting payment.

Could Richard Petty Racing be the NASCAR team that’s too big to fail? NASCAR needs this team to be competitive. Regardless, two teams from the select 35 guaranteed starters will be eliminated, though in this case is offset by Menard resurfacing with Childress. It also shrinks the Ford field by two cars.

These are not good days for NASCAR. Where there was DEI, Ginn racing, and Ganassi/Sabates – there is now only Earnhardt/Ganassi with two cars. Where there was once Evernham/Gillette racing with three cars, Petty Enterprises with two cars, Robert Yates with 2 cars, and Hall of Fame racing with one car; all that gets reduced to two cars next year. The new operation, Front Row racing, is struggling badly in its first year.

The notion that teams collapsing and compressing could lead to more “start and park” teams is unacceptable. They are no substitute for viable race teams and do not belong on the track. NASCAR must consider either reducing the starting field or setting stipulations that race fields shall include up to 43 entries.

From a fan’s standpoint, the sport might be more enjoyable to watch if there were fewer teams but all of them are legit competitors. While fans might not have one or two big reasons to turn the dial to watch something else, a lot of little irritations add up. Start and park entries build cynicism.

Meanwhile, what of Martinsville? It’s the one track that has been on the circuit for the entire history of NASCAR but being in a small town over an hour’s drive from the nearest Interstate exit or Metro area (Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC), its small 62,000 capacity is currently not filling up. From a viewer’s standpoint, how much tolerance could there be for more generic 1 ½ mile tracks. Should the sport move on to new locations, a design like the Rusty Wallace track in Iowa could be the answer.

Jimmie Johnson is in great shape to win his 5th championship which will be one of the greatest milestones in recent sports history. Rather than building excitement with racing fans, the accomplishment is being viewed with sneering detachment.

NASCAR has to hope that next year will provide lots of attention spread out across the field and that hopefully, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will decide to put some passion back into his game and show he intends to win. How can anyone see the #88 team in action and not see a driver just going through the motions?

Now is the time to enjoy NASCAR history, the quirky little ½ mile track in the Virginia Mountains with its cole slaw drenched hot dogs dripping with red artificial coloring and beautiful grandfather’s clock for a trophy. There are few sites on the tour where the racing is better. NASCAR and the networks need to capture the competition and the atmosphere. This is good racing.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Respected News Analyst Juan Williams Fired from NPR for Honest Aside about Muslim Fears

This date, October 21, 2010 marks a very dark day in journalism and free expression where political correctness and left wing elitist ideology exercised its clout while at the same time pandering to a radical identity politics institution. The result reveals that tax supported media is far from as “public” as perhaps the population should expect.

The background is as follows, National Public Radio, journalist and Fox News contributor, Juan Williams, appeared on the O’Reilly Factor giving his insights into the flap which occurred on the ABC mid-day program, “The View,” where on Friday Bill O’Reilly appeared as a guest promoting his book, Pinheads and Patriots. The subject of discussion turned to the Ground Zero mosque in lower Manhattan. O’Reilly was attempting to establish that part of the public’s difficulty with Barack Obama is that he simply cannot identify with public furor over a mosque in the shadows of where the World Trade Center towers stood. When O’Reilly pointed out that Americans were killed by Muslims on 9/11/01, View panelists, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed out in anger setting off a media explosion over the event.

Juan Williams, a liberal proponent, discussed his perception on civil rights and addressing issues of prejudicial conduct indicating that O’Reilly should have qualified his comments speaking too broadly about Islam as if all Muslims were invoked in what happened on 9/11. Williams went on to talk about how perceptions are tricky things pointing out that if he were on an airliner and saw a couple passengers dressed in Arab garb, he might feel uneasy.

For his contrition, not only was he fired by NPR, but his dismissal was handled over the telephone. He was not even given the dignity for a face to face reckoning.

Here are Williams’ words:

I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country, but when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous,"

Shame on Williams for being contrite and admitting his feelings.

In defending NPR’s actions, their statement on the matter argued,

"Juan has been a valuable contributor to NPR and public radio for many years and we did not make this decision lightly or without regret. However, his remarks on 'The O'Reilly Factor' this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR,"

While NPR has no problem enforcing its extreme political correct agenda, it is also noteworthy that CAIR, the Council for American-Islamic Relations demanded NPR take action against Williams. Surely, cow towing to agenda driven identity politics special interests is nothing new for members of the media elites.

How shameful it is that there is no room for debate or diversity of points of view at NPR. Given that the organization is in part publicly funded, its programming and editorial policies should promote diverse points of view but unquestionably NPR is aligned with the radical forces of the far left. Williams is what most would consider at very least a mainstream liberal, but in today’s world of Obama Socialism, identity politics, and political correctness, a person speaking to the difficulty of dealing with prejudices should be slammed for being nothing more terrible than honest.

One can’t help but wonder is it coincidental that just yesterday George Soros issued a press release that he was contributing a huge sum of money to Media Matters, his puppet group to harass those entities that provide diverse views in the media but in this case specifically, Fox News, and their pseudo-libertarian extremist demagogue, Glenn Beck.

NPR’s stance demands action. This kind of radical intolerance and dogmatic approach to editorial policy is not suitable for an organization supposed to act in good faith to maintain the public trust. On top of everything else, NPR’s CEO, Vivian Schiller stated, “Williams views should stay between himself and his psychiatrist.” WHOA, to not believe in NPR’s orthodoxy makes one in need of clinical mental care!?!? OUTRAGEOUS!!!

NPR must come up with an action plan to develop more diverse programming providing for representing the full range of mainstream American politics and do so without giving the appearance of favoring or promoting one point of view over the other.

While the notion of “The Fairness Doctrine” is abhorrent for commercial radio where the market drives content, NPR as NATIONAL PUBLIC radio, must reflect such standards.

While this blogger does not agree with most of Juan Williams’ political positions, there is no arguing this is a man of high integrity who serves to open discussion and analyze positions refusing to function as an ideological drone for one political faction over another. This kind of professionalism sets a high standard for all opinion driven commentators and serves as the exact kind of roll model that demonstrates fear mongers like Glenn Beck have no place in the media; however, Beck’s removal should not be mandated by any kind of censorship or the attempts of someone like George Soros trying to buy a solution.

All those of us who are outraged by what happened to Juan Williams should speak out about media abuses regardless of where they occur. Those who exploit the media to stifle open discussion or to perpetuate fear must be challenged.

Keep abreast of how this issue takes on life in the days ahead. Loud public outcries against NPR are essential to bring about making public radio a voice or all the people not just the Ivory Tower elites who have appointed themselves as our moral guardians and decide what they think we should hear making sure our viewpoints could never be corrupted by those who don’t tow the party line even if done so in such a small departure as what Juan Williams view represents.

Today is a very dark day for journalism and public radio. We cannot let such injustice go unchallenged.


Martin O'Malley -- Loathesome Lying Weasel

As low as they go...

God Damned Lies

Martin O’Malley is a scumbag of the lowest order, so it’s little wonder that the ads directed toward his opponent, Bob Ehrlich, are full of misleading statements and damnable lies.

First, the assertion is about Bob Ehrlich substantially raising taxes, BALONEY! The ad cites property taxes which are set by individual counties.

Another assertion is that Bob Ehrlich worked for banks and somehow that these banks that received bailout money did so thanks to Ehrlich’s designs and that implication was he benefitted as such. MORE BALONEY!!! Ehrlich worked for a law firm which REPRESENTED some banks. At the instance of the Federal government managing the TARP program, both needy banks and profitable banks were loaned tarp money. This would be between the Federal government and the bank’s management.

Maryland is required by law to balance its budget. Yes, some fees were raised under Ehrlich’s administration but at large, he lowered taxes.

The cold hard truth is less than 9 months after taking office, Martin O’Malley called a special session of the legislature to create the largest tax increase in Maryland history which raised every citizens’ taxes from many paying more income taxes and everyone paying more sales tax with the percentage going from 5% to 6% and being applied to more commodities.

Additionally, significantly raising income tax on higher income Maryland residents was significant enough that many of Maryland’s biggest tax payers have moved out of state causing Maryland to lose twice as much money in tax receipts than it projected it would receive from the additional money they expected to receive. By adding FOUR more brackets, one out of eight Marylanders filing income tax were no longer on Maryland tax rolls having left to greener pastures elsewhere.

Meanwhile, middle-class Marylanders are relocating to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia to avoid Maryland taxes while businesses leave or shut down further destroying Maryland’s economy.

Currently, Martin O’Malley appears to be leading in his quest to retain the State House. In the past four years he has robbed and plundered the state. If he wins, it will largely because he was successful in getting Marylanders to believe gross lies about a most honorable public servant, Bob Ehrlich destroying his character and integrity in vicious false ads.

Martin O’Malley should be universally damned for his tactics. Politicians don’t come much sleazier than Martin O’Malley. Where did Marylanders' money go, Martin?  It's not like anything has gotten better. Never before has this wonderful state been such a dump!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The outcomes are the same, the message is the same. In many respects only the players are different. Both the American League and National League Championships are even at 1-1. The four best starters in the business are depended on to get their teams into the World Series. Each team has one: the Rangers have Cliff Lee, the Yankees - C.C. Sabathia, the Phillies - Roy Halladay, and the Giants have Tim Lincecum.  The teams from the East have the tougher batting orders. To put it mildly, the Yankees and the Phillies are stacked, but this is the year of the pitcher and the timeless cliche is that good pitching beats good hitting every time. The Yankees starting pitching has not looked good. Sabathia was handled roughly in game 1 in Texas. Phil Hughes was even worse in game 2. Andy Pettitte is the next man up, but he is not that far recovered from the disabled list. A.J. Burnett has been so awful in the second part of the season, the Yankees had hoped to keep him out of the post season rotaton.

Tonight's game in New York will be particularly ironic.  Cliff Lee will start for Texas in what very well could be his audition for his contract for next year, not with Texas but with the Yankees. If he handles the Yankees, his asking price for 2011 will go higher. He'll also be available for game 7 if needed. However, this is the first ALCS game in New York this year. That New York state of mind along with one demonic lineup could be the equalizer.

The Phillies went 1-1 in their happy home in Philadelphia. Now they're off to San Francisco. The Phillies are the one team in baseball that is three aces deep. As if Roy Halladay and Roy Oswald aren't deep enough, Cols Hammel is set to start game 3 tomorrow. He was the ace behind Philadelphia's championship two years ago. San Francisco does not have a strong batting attack, one where roll players must function to their capacity to succeed.

The Phillies and Yankees must look like the favorites to advance to the World Series, but one would have to think with the Yankees starters struggling and the Phillies triple threat, the Phils should prevail particularly with the added advantage of games 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 if needed in Philadelphia stripping the Yanks of their DH.

By Thanksgiving, the champ wll be known. This year's schedule like others under the current TV contract are simply too stretched out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 31 -- Three Left Standing

And then there were three…Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin & Kevin Harvick

The field narrowed to just two contenders to block Jimmie Johnson’s “drive for five” now with just five races remaining. Pole sitter Jeff Gordon fell out of the competition starting at -85 points but mechanical problems forced long pit stops to correct. His 23rd place finish toward the end of the lead lap dropping him back an additional -71 points, now -156 behind Johnson. For last week’s winner Tony Stewart, the evening was even harsher on his championship hopes. He entered the evening a difficult -107 but fell back -70 further, now more than a full race’s distance behind #1, -177.

With Gordon and Stewart eliminated, a 3rd place finish was good enough to allow Johnson to further extend his lead. Things looked scary for the #48 ride when he spun out in the middle of the race, no harm done that a tire change couldn’t solve. Denny Hamlin finished 4th and only lost -5 to Johnson, now -41. Kevin Harvick’s top 10 results saw him lose -23 points putting him -77 behind numero uno.

Only a total failure by the #48 team could reignite anyone below Kevin Harvick’s chances of competing for the Cup Championship. Realistically, besides Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, the battle to stop Jimmie Johnson’s “drive for five” is over.

Beyond the chase, the story belongs to Jamie McMurray who won the race for his 3rd victory. He’s won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. He was the last driver to be eliminated from “The Chase” standing in 13th place after Richmond, and only two chasers, Johnson and Hamlin exceed his wins total. He’s earned four poles this year. No other driver has more than two. Considering four chasers don’t have a single win and Clint Bowyer has his one tarnished victory, McMurray surely seems more worthy of a seat at the end of the year gala in Vegas over some of the top ten elites. Unfortunately, his season has been plagued with many instances of being in the wrong place at the wrong time being caught up in some races “big” wrecks. Eliminate a couple of those and he’d be in the top 12.

What’s with Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Does he not look like a fellow just going through the motions? How long can he live off his popularity and his father’s shadow before he becomes insignificant? Not making the chase, a reasonable expectation for a driver with his past accomplishments and Hendricks equipment, is one thing but finishing deep in the running order far from the front of the lead lap is disappointing. When Kasey Kahne moves to Hendrick for 2012, how much room will be left for Junior if he is not in the hunt and knocking off a few wins here and there? Aside from his brilliant Nationwide victory at Daytona in July honoring his dad’s induction into the Hall of Fame, seldom have we seen him fired up for an entire race. Some races, he seems to lose interest toward the end. We still wish him well, but it’s getting harder and harder to take him seriously as a true racer. He finished 12th within “The Chase” field in 2008, his first year with Hendricks, but truly hasn’t been a stud on the track since 2006 when he finished 5th in the final standings.

The evening in Charlotte must have been at least a minor consolation for Bobby Labonte who finished 22nd, one lap down. For the first time in weeks, he has been able to complete a race not stuck with a disgraceful park and ride operation. He rode the #10 Gander Mountain Chevy on a team organized by his brother, Terry, with RCR power. Four cars quit the race thanks to some of the most flagrant competition abusers such as the so called Prism team and Nemechek operation failing to qualify.

The autumn race in Charlotte often helps solidify who is truly contending for the championship, 2010’s race proved no exception.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Painful Choice: The Delaware Dilemna

Christine O'Donnell, the Delaware Dullard

First of all, for the record, Christine O'Donnell, you are not me and I am not you. Good grief!!!

Whatever hopes conservatives, Republicans, Tea Party supporters, and others who are sick of what the Democratic party has done to America had that Christine O'Donnell might have more in her tank than what her first public exposure showed us, her recent debate with Chris Coons affirmed she is a total dullard with shallow convictions, little common sense, and a lack of critical thinking and applied reasoning that might put her status as the highest form of primate in question.

The choice in Delaware is between a candidate who competently represents the most radical extreme of the Democratic party despite his efforts to appear more moderate and some one who should assuredly function as an agent who will vote properly on Capitol Hill though totally incapable of articulating Delaware's interests or offering any substance to Senatorial issues. Coons will faithfully support the Obama agenda -- more bloated social programs, more sellouts to organized labor, more government control of the free market marching the American system closer to all-out Euro-Socialism, and higher taxes. That is a destructive agenda.  O'Donnell hopefully can function as a robot voting the conservative agenda  and have some good handlers who will encourage her to keep her mouth shut. Does this make her qualified to be Senator?  Hardly, but examine the consequences of the choices here.

Largely thanks to Sarah Palin stirring up a lot of her brand of idiocy and the perception that her opponent was way too status quo, Republican primary voters reacted out of anger and frustration not recognizing the consequences of their choice.

What would have been a shoe-in for the Republicans, not a real solid conservative vote, but someone who would at least count toward a Republican majority who knows Delaware and its issues, has been surrendered for such an easy target for the media and Democrats and is now deep into double digits behind.

Quite honestly, Christine O'Donnell is an easy target for our common sense too.

This election is about shutting down the Democratic majority and freezing Obama's power to accomplish anything requiring legislative support. The platform must be erected to throwout the Obama administration in 2012. Republican control of the Senate and House are priority one.

While it might tempt some not to vote or to vote for the "better guy" as there is no question Coons is far more capable than O'Donnell, the point is what real harm can O'Donnell do?  Coons is harmful.

Who can envy Delaware's choice? 

Know this, if Delaware is the state that prevents a Republican majority in the Senate, Sarah Palin must be put on notice that there will be hell to pay.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I appreciate NASCAR's push for diversity. It's a great sport that everyone should be able to enjoy both as fans and participants.  If Danica Patrick catches fire and has a successful career, what a boost to the sport that would be.  At some point, there will be an up and coming African-American who will be a fine competitor. These are good things and NASCAR working to advocate such vital growth is a nobel and necessary enterprise.

What is never acceptable is pandering and patronizing. Clearly, there was an annoying example of that with the singing of the National Anthem. The singer, an African-American female, peformed horribly. She could not handle the demands of the song, looked awkward performing, and hot-dogged parts of the song at the end, a practice among pop singers who sing the "Star Spangled Banner" before sports events that is most annoying and disrespectful.

Enlisting singers like this one are bound to be greated with cynicism -- as in "Why did they chose her?" or worse, "Token!"

This is no way to accomplish what the sport needs to accomplish. There are plenty of performers who are audience appropriate available. Tonight's performance stunk of pandering.

MLB 2010 -- Yankees and Phillies Should Win and Face World Series Rematch

ALCS: Game One – New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers, Friday, 10/15/10, TBS
NLCS: Game One – San Francisco Giants ant Philadelphia Phillies, Saturday, 10/16/10, FOX

The 2010 Baseball Season is down to its final four as the Texas Rangers prepare to host the New York Yankees for the American League pennant, while the Philadelphia Phillies host the San Francisco Giants for the National League.

The Yankees and Rangers played to a draw in regular season competition. Much of the Rangers’ hopes will rest on Cliff Lee while the Yankees will need great work from Lee’s former Cleveland teammate C.C. Sabathia. The Yankees are deeper than the Rangers are and should have the edge. This is the first team the Rangers, who entered baseball in 1962 as the Washington Senators, have advanced in the post season. They are one of three teams never to participate in the World Series.

The Philadelphia Phillies are almost certain to win the National League for their third consecutive trip to the World Series. While the Giants and Phillies both have the highest level #1 one starters in Tim Linceum for the Giants and Roy Halladay, who no-hit Cincinnati, the National League’s hottest offense in the NLDS, what the Phillies have for their 2nd and 3rd starters surpasses any other team in baseball’s rotation. Consider how brilliantly they finished off the Reds and see what the Giants have ahead of them. With Roy Oswalt, acquired from Houston, and Brad Lidge, the ace of their 2008 campaign, the adage of “good pitching stops good hitting” should hold true especially given the Giants do not have a particularly strong offense.

The 2010 World Series should be a repeat of last year’s contenders, but with Philadelphia having home field advantage this year and their two additions to the rotation, the Phillies should have the edge over the Yankees to win their second championship in three years.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 31 -- Closest Competition Fails to Qualify up to 48's Standards

The importance of gaining points on Jimmie Johnson is mission one for all Sprint Cup teams who realistically want a shot at the championship. Here are the standings for those still in contention.

1- Jimmie Johnson, Chevy, #48, (leader)
2- Denny Hamlin, Toyota, #11, (-36)
3- Kevin Harvick, Chevy, #29 (-54)
4- Jeff Gordon, Chevy, #24 (-85)
5- Tony Stewart, Chevy, #14, (-107)

While the points situation looks good for Hamlin and Harvick, they shot their hopes by qualifying so poorly for Sunday’s race especially given whom they must hunt down and beat. No team knows how to adapt – race in a safe and deliberate manner if that’s what is called for or pushing for victory – than the #48 gang. Should Johnson win in front of the NASCAR home crowd as he did last year, that could be a knockout punch for some of his competition. Clearly, Jeff Gordon needs to win races but has not done so this season. Ton Stewart must avoid the kind of costly mistakes that ruined him earlier in the chase.

Aside from Johnson, the biggest fear for Denny Hamlin could be his own engine shop. Teammate, Kyle Busch, blew up last week in California. Such a problem would tank his season. Perhaps Kevin Harvick is best prepared to be the barrier that will end the drive for five.

What more can we say about “start and park drivers” however given the event is in Charlotte, all the rats are falling from the woodwork and winding up in the garage to attempt qualifying. 49 cars have entered to qualify for Bank of America 500. Of the “go or go homers” only Bill Elliot in the “legendary” Wood Brothers #21 Ford, and Patrick Carpentier in the #26 Latitude 43 Ford with Air National Guard sponsorship would attempt to complete the entire race. Additionally, Robby Gordon in his own #7 Toyota and Andy Lally in the #71 TRG Chevy are in the top 35 and they’ve been in the “start and park” failures too. The worst case scenario is if both Bobby Labonte and Bill Elliot don’t make the field on speed, one would be in as past champion. There could be NINE cars that will not compete. After what happened to Greg Biffle blowing his engine early thus finishing behind some of the quitters, the impact could be even more embarrassing this weekend. It is absolutely unacceptable that a team that is prepared to complete races would either be bumped from participation by teams not prepared to complete the race. T is also absolutely unacceptable for a situation like Biffle’s to occur.

Here’s where “the Chase” contestants qualified:

1- Jeff Gordon (4)
2- Carl Edwards (7)
6- Kyle Busch (9)
10- Jimmie Johnson (1)
15- Kurt Busch (6)
17- Matt Kenseth (11)
18- Jeff Burton (8)
20- Clint Bowyer (12)
22- Greg Biffle (10)
23- Denny Hamlin (2)
24- Kevin Harvick (3)
29- Tony Stewart (5)

Jimmie Johnson did what he had to do. He nabbed a top ten starting position starting on the fifth row, but what could be better than to have his two closest rivals fail so miserably? With Denny Hamlin in 23rd and Kevin Harvick in 24th, they will be right in the thick of the action as they attempt to move to top positions. Tony Stewart in 29th has more distance to cover both in terms of the standings and on the track. This leaves Jeff Gordon as the only driver with decent hopes of catching Johnson in a great position to make the most of this race.

The most horrific realization will start to settle in among the “Chase” contenders. They must hope for Johnson to fail, which in October and November is not too likely. The “drive for five” is largely in the hands of Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus. If the crew does what it needs to do to prepare the car and executes effectively on pit stops and Johnson races intelligently, the fifth championship will be theirs five races after Sunday’s.

Nothing short of a legendary effort by one of Johnson’s competitors can derail Johnson’s fifth consecutive championship. Like him, hate him, or find him as boring as oatmeal, NASCAR fans are watching one of the greatest feats in the history of sports in progress. This should be especially evident given the announcement this week of the next five drivers to enter NASCAR’s Hall-of-Fame. Yes, Jimmie Johnson is headed to territory only owned by Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. Should he win two more titles after this year’s, he just might be the most successful NASCAR driver ever.

NFL 2010: Week 6

NFL Week 6 features two high impact games and a couple others which present interesting scenarios. What is most interesting is that no teams truly look dominiant yetyt, though there are a few that look very strong. If parity is the NFL’s goal, aside from the winless teams, this year fulfills that vision.

Baltimore at New England could have post season implications. If the Ravens win, they will have mastered three of the toughest AFC teams on their home fields: the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New England Patriots. The Ravens were the first team to master the Patriots in Foxboro in the post season. The last time they played, Baltimore thumped New England. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots offense adjusts after undergoing a moss removal procedure.

The Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota is the other big game for different reasons. Both teams had designs on the Super Bowl, but 2010 has started out miserably for both teams enter play with 1-3 records and have looked horrible at times. Randy Moss was added last week to beef up Minnesota’s horrible offense. Penalties, lack of focus, and just plain uninspired sloppy play have done in Dallas. Brett Favre looks terrible. His passes miss the mark, his timing is off, his interceptions are way up. His decision to return this year, in hindsight, looks embarrassing. For Dallas, Tony Romo must be the most overhyped QB in recent history. What has he ever done that’s so significant other than bagging media darling, Jessica Simpson, for awhile. WOO-HOO. Wade Phillips is not an effective head coach. He’s living up to his reputation as a nice guy oaf, a likeable gent who can’t get things done.

The teams on Lake Erie are looking quite dreary: Detroit 1-4, Cleveland 1-4, and Buffalo 0-5. Carolina is 0-5, the most outfoxed team in the league. San Francisco is winless. They were predicted so overwhelmingly to top the miserable NFC West. So which coaches won’t finish the season? It’s hard to believe a meddlesome owner like Jerry Jones is still singing Tammy Wynette, “Stand By Your Man.” When will the hounds nab the Fox in Carolina? Man-Genius once again looks like Man-Dumdum in Cleveland. While Mike Singletary was a heroic player and is a great quote machine, can he coach?

Here’s the games. Make your picks.

Baltimore @ New England -2 ½
The Ravens will continue cleaning up New England yanking out the fungus, yeast, and other pathogens after the Patriots had already gotten rid of their Moss infestation.

Atlanta @ Philadelphia -2 ½
The dog killer faces his old pooches. But Atlanta should prevail and be wagging its tail.

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh -13 ½
Big Ben is back and that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for the Browns.

Seattle @ Chicago -6 ½
Chicago is by far the weakest of teams with only one loss, but they’re still good enough to thump the Seahawks.

Miami @ Green Bay (pick ‘em)
Neither team has really shown what it’s expected to do yet, but in cheese and beer country, the Packers should stuff the fish.

Detroit @ New York Giants -10
Poor Detroit. They are much improved from their winless season but they still suck.

New Orleans -4.5 @ Tampa Bay
New Orleans better sober up and get over its Super Bowl hanger over or else the upstart Tampa Bay Bucs could pull the upset.

San Diego -8 @ St. Louis
It’s doubtful the Bolts will look like underachievers versus St. Louis.

Kansas City @ Houston -4 ½
Kansas City is beginning to settle back into reality after their powerful start. Houston should prevail. If KC wins this one, start taking them more seriously.

Oakland @ San Francisco -6 ½
The Battle for San Francisco Bay sure doesn’t mean what it used to. If the 49ers don’t take it to the Black and Silver, things will get beyond ugly at the old Candlestick.

New York Jets -3 @ Denver
After getting their arses handed to them by the Ravens, gee whiz, now the Broncos get to face the Jets defense. Bronco burger will be on the menu.

Dallas @ Minnesota -1 ½
It hurts to pick between two teams that have a talent for inventing ways too lose. It’s turnover prone Minnesota versus penalty prone Dallas. This might be nebulous grounds for making a pick, but Minnesota seems to have more heart and character than the pretty boys from the great palace in Texas.

Indianapolis -3 @ Washington
Here’s a game that will determine how much the Colts have in them this year. They should dominate DC. If they don’t the Payton Patrol will not be resting easily going into their bye and then coming back to host Houston. Indy needs a good performance.

Tennessee -3 @ Jacksonville
This game will make sure the NFC South won’t have four teams tied after completing week 6. This is a very tough pick but the Titans have the edge on talent.