Thursday, March 31, 2011

Carter in Cuba

Carter schmoozing in Cuba

Jimmy Carter is the national disgrace who keeps disgracing US. No former President has usurped the authority of the office he once dishonored with his extreme incompetence than the Jew-hating, Palestinian advocate, former peanut farmer than James Earl Carter. Time after time, Carter has used his status speaking in international venues to undermine the foreign policy and international objectives of the United States particularly on matters of Middle East relationships.

Now, he has taken his intense disloyal conduct to a higher degree travelling to Cuba sucking up to Raul Castro, the murderous acting dictator of the Communist state.

Reference article:

His conduct is a cruel slap in the face to every Cuban-American many of whom fled Cuba in death defying actions to arrive in the land of freedom. The Cuban American community is painfully aware of what their fellow neighbors, relatives, and ancestors have done in the quest of freedom.

We cannot allow a revisionist sentiment to color the history of the murderous deeds of the Castro brothers and their contributions to stirring up rancor through out the hemisphere.

To what degree the Obama administration condones Carter's behavior is not known, but it certainly provides an unneeded distraction at a time when they struggle to competently respond to the turmoil in the Middle East.

The Obama administration's incompetence and naivete reminds us of the misery of the Carter years. Then and now, America turned inward rejecting its roll as the greatest force of good on the planet.


Fear Mongering in the First Degree

Well, well, well, believe this scare monger, and Al Qeada has it's dude working in the Pentagon!  The Japanese radiation is here and killing us. This is Alex Jones and his wicked paranoia demogoguery.These guys are quick to say they are being taken out of context, but no one like Alex Jones and his wimpy shadow Glenn Beck live off of doing the same. So here he is, direct from his own show. We need all rational thinking Americans, progressives and conservatives alike to flood the radio stations who serve as a conduit for this sickness to get rid of this hateful liar immediately.  See for yourself. This is his daily fare. Even Glenn Beck doesn't come close to this level of retchedness.

We will continue to monitor those who lure conservatives off course and demonstrate their dangerous hate rhetoric.


MLB 2011: Season Preview -- Play Ball!!!

2011 Major League Baseball – Preview

When the winter nights were their darkest and the hot stoves blazed, as the winter player auctions settled down, two teams emerged as huge favorites to dominate in 2011, Boston in the American League and Philadelphia in the National League. The Phillies may have come back down to earth, but they could have a historic rotation. The moves that weren’t made are also big stories. The Yankees did not improve their starting rotation settling for a boost in the pen. The Cardinals did not secure a long term deal for perhaps the best player in the game, Albert Pujois.

After years of frustration, Mid-Atlantic baseball appears on the upswing as the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles both look poised to get out of the cellar perhaps headed for winning records in 2011.

The Minnesota Twins and Oakland A’s make it look like small market teams can stand up against the giant war chests of Boston and New York, but with teams playing each team in their division 18 times, they face much weaker opposition than in the American League East. If anyone can determine what kind of voodoo the Major League schedule maker uses to determine when and how often teams play teams outside their division and in interleague play is a mystery to all. A team could face the Red Sox six times or twelve times with no apparent formula that balances it out year to year. Organizational matters are pure chaos for Major League Baseball.

Conversely, one has to wonder if teams like the Kansas City Royals who do have a good farm system or the Pittsburgh Pirates who only recently showed any willingness to invest in quality draft prospects can possibly do to give their fans signs of a bright future. Nowhere does the inequity in baseball finance seem more apparent in Tampa Bay. Here’s a team that has been right in the thick of it with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, but not only is Tampa-St. Pete a small market, that they play in what looks like a revival tent on the southern tip of St. Petersburg, one would think that Tampa Bay area residents think of baseball more in terms of all the teams that have spring training camps in their area. The team that fought the Texas Rangers for the AL Pennant had to give tickets away to attempt to have a decent crowd on hand when they clinched their playoff berth. With no financial base and limited resources for payroll, four players including one of the league’s top left fielders, Carl Crawford, their closer, their first baseman, and a quality starting pitcher are gone. Such decisions await the Minnesota Twins in the near future.

Three teams are facing ownership calamities; the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers. While those teams get who has the checkbook straightened out, their programs are in limbo. Additionally, MLB's last round of expansion in 1998 proved a terrible move. The Phoenix Arizona market is certainly worthly of a baseball team. Tampa Bay is now a fine team in a horrible market. Oakland has failed repeatedly to find a stadium deal somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area. Teams that don't have new stadiums in weak markets make contraction once again sound like a great idea. To think there was talk of conracting the Twins and the Montreal Expos. The potential litigation associated with contraction would be enormous, but perhaps the best move would be to identify unstable organizations in large markets like the New York Mets entangled in the Bernie Madoff mess, disolve those teams, and then move in the teams in dead end markets. Returning to 14 teams in each league would also be a huge plus. The 14 teams in the AL versus 16 teams in the NL is ridiculous, but baseball is fixated on having interleague play isolated to two unique schedule blocks another reflection on the lack of organizational intelligence at the highest levels.

What will be the major story lines of baseball in 2011? As always, there will be tremendous talk about the have’s and have-not’s. Teams like Baltimore, Washington, and Florida are teams looking to move up the ladder. Last year was considered by many, the Year of the Pitcher.” Not since the late 60’s and early 70’s has pitching looked so strong remembering Bob Gibson’s 1968 season destroying the National League leading to the mounds being lowered and then in 1973 the American League adopting the designated hitter rule. Perhaps this is what the outcome is of the steroid era being over. Artificial homeruns are gone.


American League

AL East
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay

AL Central
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City

AL West
Los Angele Angels

Wild Card: New York Yankees

AL Champ: Boston

National League

NL East
New York Mets

NL Central
St. Louis
Chicago Cubs

NL West
San Francisco
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego

Wild Card: Artlanta

NL Champ: Philadelphia

World Series:
Boston defeats Philadelphia

American League East

The Boston Red Sox will rule supreme and could possibly run away with the division if they’re healthy. One of their prime contender’s loss is their gain picking up five tool star, Carl Crawford to patrol left field. Adrian Gonzalez gives them a first rate first baseman who will help solidify the heart of their lineup. Boston’s starting rotation is the best in the American league. Bobby Jinx joins the bullpen after being a superb closer with the White Sox. The Red Sox were contenders in 2010 until injuries took their toll. Should they escape such difficulty this year, they could win their 3rd championship in ten years.

The New York Yankees were supposed to be the team to beat last year, but their starting rotation suddenly looked shabby, Derek Jeter had a bad year, and thus down the stretch the Yankees lost their edge, finished the season a game behind Tampa, and were handled easily by the Twins in the playoffs. The usually free-spending Yankees found the market low on talent in the offseason failing to lure Cliff Lee to join their rotation. C.C. Sabathia is their ace with Phil Hughes next in line but beyond that, starting pitching is a mystery. A.J. Burnett was dreadful last year especially down the stretch, 10-15 with a dreadful 5.26 ERA. The Yankees upgraded their bullpen adding Tampa Bay’s Raphael Soriano who had 45 saves in 48 opportunities and he’ll be a setup man for Mariano Rivera. If the starters can finish seven innings with a lead, it could be lights out. Jorge Posada moves from behind the plate to DH. Russ Martin comes from the Dodgers to be the team’s backstop. The Yankees signed Kevin Millwood, not good enough to stick with the Orioles, to a minor league deal late in Spring Training. If the Yankees can’t get good results out of the 3rd and 4th spot in the rotation, they could fall to 4th place in the division, but the first quality starter that becomes available, the Yankees will attempt a deal. They’re still good enough to be a wild card. It’s difficult to see another divisional foe, the White Sox, Tigers, or Athletics doing better.

The Tampa Bay Rays still have a core of good talent; they lost two from their lineup, an important starter, and their closer. Worse, Carl Crawford, their all-star left field is still in the division going to Boston while their closer, Raphael Soriano is now with the Yankees. Matt Garza takes a 3.91 ERA and 15 wins to the Chicago Cubs along with homerun hitter Carlos Pena. An aged Johnny Damon comes to town to play left field. The most focus, no doubt, will center on their new designated hitter, Manny Ramirez. Were he to restore himself to old form, be happy, and not cause trouble, the Rays could be formidable. If Manny’s just being Manny where his attitude sucks the life out of the clubhouse, the results could be a disaster. The Rays could finish anywhere from first to fifth. To their credit, they have a lot of young talent. Still, they’ve lost a lot. They’ll be more worried about the Orioles catching them than their ability to catch the Yankees and Red Sox.

The Baltimore Orioles are a team on the rise. Adding J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds, Derricke Lee, and Vladmir Guerrero should make the Orioles line up rival the best teams in the game. Suddenly, fellows like Nick Markasis, Luke Scott, Matt Wieters, and Adam Jones much better hitting situations. Of course, Brian Roberts as the lead off batter can set the stage for mighty thunder later. However, one of the team’s real questions is will be remain healthy. The Orioles starting rotation is unproven. Veteran Jeremy Guthrie is the #1 starter who can look brilliant at times but is hardly a true #1 starter. Beyond that it’s the kiddy corps. Brian Matusz looked like he was maturing into a fine pitcher in the final stretch of 2010. He’s the lone lefty. Jake Arrieta is not quite as far along but has incredible stuff. Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman are works in progress with Tillman both the one with the highest ceiling but also needing the most work. Meanwhile, Zack Britten will be down in Norfolk waiting for the phone call. Signed as a bit of an experiment, Justin Duchscherer starts on the DL but could quickly move into spot four or five once healthy. The starters will have a much stronger bullpen to hand off to with pitchers able to fit more into their traditional roles with a good closer, Kevin Gregg. Michael Gonzales, a lefty, and Koji Uehara will serve as setup men; however, with a young staff, it might be the long relievers who make the difference. The Orioles “X” factor could be their manager, Buck Showalter, could be the real difference maker. He too a team headed to well over 100 losses last year to having the best record in the division during the last two months playing Boston, New York, and Tampa Bay frequently. Truthfully, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, this team could finish anywhere from 2nd to 5th.

The Toronto Blue Jays dumped salary and experienced manager, Cito Gaston retired replaced by John Farrell. Gone to the Angels is star centerfielder, Vernon Wells, along with 1st baseman, Lyle Overbay heads to Pittsburgh while two pieces of their bullpen, Kevin Gregg and Jeremy Araccado left for Baltimore. Toronto does develop talent from within, but the losses in production and experience are huge this year. They’ll likely finish last. This does not look like a .500 or better team in the AL East.

American League Central

Many have chosen the Chicago White Sox, but the Twins were darned good last year and are healthier this year. They were the strongest team in the Central last year and eliminated the much favored Yankees from the playoffs with two of their most important players injured gone for half the season, 1st baseman, Justin Morneau and right fielder, Michael Cuddyer.

The White Sox signed free agent Adam Dunn, a free swinging power guy to add some serious swat to their line up. With hopes Jake Peavy fully recovers giving them a deep rotations, the White Sox are built to fight the Twins for the Central. They’ll do so having lost their closer, Jinx, to Boston promoting Matt Thornton to the job.

The Tigers add Victor Martinez to serve primarily as DH to add power to a rather weak scoring lineup. They have a strong starting rotation, but their 2010 offense was not that of acontender.Miguel Cabrera, a true superstar keys the offense having hit 38 homers with 126 RBI's. Beyond that, the Tigers' production was horrible with only three players with double digit home runs, the highest just 15. Besides Cabrera, their next three RBI guys hit 70, 67, and 62. With such a week offense, it's a wonder the team played .500 ball!

Cleveland is in rebuilding mode. They’ve been in rebuilding mode. How difficult it must be for Indians’ fans to see what could be the foundation of an awesome rotation pitching elsewhere with C.C. Sabathia now the ace of the Yankees and Cliff Lee pulling his new teams into the post season. Victor Martinez has now landed in their division. What will happen if Grady Sizemore is healthy? How long will he be around? Cleveland is back to what they were before the Jacobs Field explosion where they were one of the American League’s top teams in the 1990’s – a farm team for the big markets. Between the Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers, it’s little wonder Cleveland fans have such chips on their shoulders.

Kansas City is rated as having one of the top farm systems in baseball. They raise them up and ship them out as witnessed by Zack Greinke headed off to the Milwaukee Brewers. Kansas City is faced with how the current financial structure of baseball leaves small market teams, few smaller than KC, out in the cold.

American League West

Despite not being successful in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, Texas is still the team to beat off of the franchise’s first ever trip to the World Series. Deep in homegrown talent, Michael Young moves to DH to free up left side spots for younger players. He replaces the veteran presence of Vladmir Guerrero who will DH for the Orioles.

The Oakland Athletics probably play the small small market game better than any other team. Buried in a stadium that was completely mutilated to add seats for the return of the Raiders and unable to get a new stadium deal, the Coliseum is a dreary cavernous stadium not conducive for fan support, but the organization excels at playing “money ball” filling in roll players with home grown talent, rising to a playoff contender frequently. They’re still too young and inexperienced for 2011, but should Texas falter, the A’s could be there.

The Angels add Vernon Wells to add some power and RBI’s to a lineup that had difficulty scoring in 2010. The Anaheim (er uhm Los Angeles) gang is working to get younger with many of the players who helped them win their first World Series and be the toughest team in the west have departed or are showing age.

The Seattle Mariners hired Eric Wedge to lead a gutted team through the rebuilding process. Manager, Don Watkamatsu was dismissed in mid-season last year having totally lost the team with Daren Brown filling out the interim. While the team rebuilds, northwest fans will continue to enjoy the mastery of Icharo Suzuki, a true world class star.

National League East

The Philadelphia Phillies looked unstoppable when they signed Cliff Lee giving them one of the hottest rotations in baseball history. Imagine facing Cliff Lee, second to Roy Halladay with Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Jeff Blanton rounding out the rotation. Just about any one of them would be a number one starter on most teams. On offense, they’ll miss Jayson Werth. Ben Francisco will have to take his place. Their high hopes were lowered with closer Brad Lidge out for the start of the season and his status unknown. Chase Utley is having knee problems and won’t start the season. Placido Palanco reports a twisted left elbow. What looked to be a sure bet in December could look like the mighty Phillies have let the Atlanta Braves burst on the scene.

The Braves continue to rebuild to their once mighty form where they dominated the 1990’s and early 2000’s returning to post season last year. How strange it will seem without manager, Bobby Cox, whose next stop is Cooperstown. Fredi Gonzalez manages a strong rotation and a mixture of old, Chipper Jones, and new, Dan Ugla as a team that should surely be in contention this year.

The Florida Marlins have been one of the most successful teams building their own talent and this will be obvious in 2011 as they build toward finally having their own home, a new stadium where the Orange Bowl one stood next year. They’re not ready yet, but they’re close.

The Washington Nationals could finally break out of the cellar with the addition of Jayson Werth. Adam LaRoche takes over first base. While not quite the homerun hitter Adam Dunn was, LaRoche will be more consistent and better fielder. They’ll have to wait to next year for phenom starter, Stephen Strasburg to anchor their rotation, plus they have some exciting talent nearing the majors coming along. They’ll be nobody’s doormat in 2011.

The New York Mets are a franchise mired in turmoil, their ownership entangled in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Their finances are tied in a knot with many player moves needed. David Wright is their legit superstar. Carlos Beltran has been hampered by injuries the last two years while Jason Bay’s move to the Mets was a disaster last year. The Mets have had serious organizational issues which translate to trouble on the field. Once the ownership issues are stabilized, they can begin the process of rebuilding. New manager, Terry Collins has much to do in his first year.

National League Central

The Milwaukee Brewers are loaded for the post season in 2011 picking up Zack Greinke to anchor their rotation, but he starts on the disabled list. This could be the last hurrah for the Brewers should slugger, Prince Fielder leave at season’s end.

Tony LaRussa and the St. Louis Cardinals won’t escape from talk about whether Albert Pujois will return next year. Adam Wainwright starts on the 60 day DL Still, the Cardinals are a solid, well-run team. They can never be written off.

The Cincinnati Reds made it to the playoffs for the first time in ages in 2010 with a talented young team. They’ll probably fall back a notch as they won’t surprise anyone. If Joey Votto is as hot as he was in 2010 and a couple other players get in the groove, all bets are off. The Reds could top the division.

The Chicago Cubs have a  roster out of balance but made two impact moves to help.The influx of talent from Tampa, Carlos Pena and Matt Garza won’t be enough to bring the Cubs around. Mike Quade seems well-suited to replace Lou Pinella as skipper. The Cubs have much to prove.

The Houston Astros are still in the thick of rebuilding. The golden days of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are history. In 2011, fans will look for the signs of a new nucleus emerge.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992. How old would a young fan from Pittsburgh have to be to remember when they were once a proud franchise?  Pittsburgh produces some of the most incrediby loyal fans for the Steelers, but to most of them, PNC Park is little more than a building on the parking lot for Heinz Field, but behind those walls is one of the loveliest stadiums in the business a long home run to right to the Alleghany River with the Pittsburgh skyline as the backdrop. Now all they need is a team. To say the Pirates are better than last year doesn' t mean much until they are a winning team again. Clint Hurdle takes over as manager and the Bucs will improve but hardly enough to improve in the standings. Perhaps, Hurdle will get some hustle back in the team and draw some fans again.

NL West

The San Francisco Giants are best positioned to win the NL West but keep an eye on the Colorado Rockies. The Giants were not a strong offensive team until something lit their fire in the post season last year. Looking to improve their offense, they’ve added Miguel Tejada at shortstop. This move could back fire. Since the Giants depend on superior pitching adding a possible defensive liability at a crucial position could hurt them. Tejada was definitely losing range during his first tenure in Baltimore. Much time has past since then. They need the big power guy in the middle of their order. They have some moderate power hitters but not the real game breakers. It’s all on the shoulders of their starting pitching and closer, the bearded bad guy, Brian Wilson.

The Colorado Rockies enjoy Coors Field as a hitter’s paradise but a pitcher’s nightmare. Led by Todd Helton, the hitting attack will be sharp with the multitalented Ty Wigginton the first bat off the bench. The pitching staff must keep their opponents from launching rockets into the light Denver atmosphere while the fielders must make contact turn into outs. If the Rockies can make their home field the house of horrors for their opponents, they’ll be around for October baseball.

The Los Angeles Dodgers simply never seem to stablize looking for the right roster to sustain winning ways. Donny “Baseball” Mattingly gets his first managing experience taking over for Joe Torre who retires. The Dodgers are borderline team. A little more plus, they could be good. A little less, they stink. They made no blockbuster moves in the off-season. They go into 2011 appearing a weaker team on paper with starting catcher Russ Martin gone to the Yankees, a solid roll player like Gabe Kapler gone. The Dodgers needs are many. It will be a rough initiation for Don Mattingly.

The San Diego Padres weren’t supposed to be a contender last year but held in the race until the very end of the season. They lost their best offensive weapon, the one huge threat they had, Adrian Gonzales to the Red Sox or possibly lose him to free agency at the end of 2011. Once again, they’re the young team, putting things together, with a bright future, but can they make their pumpkin an elegant carriage again in 2011?

The Arizona Diamondbacks dream is that their team will take on the character of their new manager, Kirk Gibson. They’re a young team. Most of the dead-end veterans who had no place in their future are gone. Now, it’s working in the pieces to form the team of the future that matters.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

VCU's Success Shines Light on Towson University's Failures

Shame on Towson University!!!

The Final Four in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament awaits us. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) from the Colonial Athletic Conference (CAC) beat Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and Kansas, all major conference teams, some considered national powerhouses to get there. George Mason, whose run to the Final Four elevated the CAC and mid-major conferences to a new, high degree of prestige won their first round challenge then were eliminated by #1 seed, Ohio State. Old Dominion also made the field as a #9 seed losing to Butler, a Final Four team, a #8 seed.

The implication is clear; the Colonial Athletic Conference is poised to be a major competitor in NCAA Men’s Basketball, but not for Towson University, Maryland’s second largest state university close to the same size as George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth. In the new millennium, Towson athletics is a study in failure aside from lacrosse where they’re hardly knocking down any walls. While fielding a competitive football program is a huge investment mindful that this conference contributed Joe Flacco from University of Delaware, quality basketball should be within Towson’s reach. How many other states’ second largest schools or schools with much smaller enrollments thrive in NCAA basketball?

The Towson Tigers did not win a single conference game this past season. Their record was 4-26 overall trailing William and Mary 4-14, 10-22 overall showing Towson pitifully buried in the cellar.

Team Record
2009-2010 8th, 6-12, 10-21 overall
2008-2009 10th, 5-13, 12-22 overall
2007-2008 9th, 7-11, 13-18 overall

Coach Pat Kennedy quit at season’s end after having been sought to be a leader who could advance the team to greater heights when hired for the 2004 season. Kennedy’s biggest contribution was stewarding Florida State into the ACC, coaching there from 1986-1997 with a total 202-131 record, much of it in the highly competitive ACC. Since then, his success hard to find, struggling at DePaul, a solid Big East team from 1997-2002, 67-85, and then Montana, a weak program, 2002-2004, 23-35 record.

The women’s program is not much better for this past season, a 3-14 conference record and 9-21 overall result.

A snapshot of their football program shows a team with only one win, not in conference for the 2010 season. What can be said of one program can be said of the other. Even in lacrosse which had once been a Towson stronghold, they’re buried far from tournament shape, with a 7-8 record.

Towson University is capable of being a competitive team in basketball and one of the nation’s top programs in lacrosse. Looking at the mother ship, University of Maryland, College Park whose football and basketball programs have struggled in recent years, certainly both schools’ struggles surely points to commitment at the highest level of the state university system. Since Maryland’s winning the National Championship in basketball, 2002, they’d reach the Sweet 16 the following year having never advanced past the tournament’s second round since. Of those nine seasons, Maryland made five NCCA appearances, three NIT appearances with little distinction. Their high points were winning the ACC tournament in 2004 and being the regular season champ in 2010. The 2010-2011 season marks a horrible embarrassment for the program not even achieving an NIT invitation after a late season total collapse.

In football, the Ralph Friedgen era began with great hopes for the 2001 season leaping out of the long run of mediocrity winning the ACC championship to reach the Orange Bowl. The following year, 2002, Maryland smashed Tennessee in the Peach Bowl. Since then, Maryland has made its share of lesser bowls but certainly has fallen below expectations.

In the Maryland system, College Park rules and the rest of the campuses are at each other’s throats for what remains. This is especially true in Division One athletics. The Baltimore area has five universities, four which participate in basketball, football far more limited. Towson, Morgan State, Coppin State, and UMBC are all Division One for basketball. Only Towson and Morgan field football teams, but UMBC boasts a dynasty in chess!

Additionally, these schools compete with Loyola Baltimore, a strong MEAC team coached by popular former Gary Williams’ assistant, Jimmy Patsos. The Washington DC area adds Georgetown, American University, George Mason, and George Washington University all competing for local talent with Philadelphia only 100 miles up I-95 to the northeast.

The Baltimore-Washington area is fertile ground for top basketball prospects scouted by top schools nationwide. With significant competition for talent, building a first rate program represents tremendous dedication, but the Baltimore-Washington area is not unique and certainly a state’s second largest university deserves far more commitment than state leadership affords a superb university whose story would be much better known nationwide if it had an athletics program that made headlines.

Today, the reputation of Maryland sports is poor. College Park dumped Ralph Friedgen and Gary Williams’ is dealing with his greatest disgrace during his distinguished tenure at College Park. While #1 gets the bulk of the attention, #2 is a cruel joke that shows nothing to be proud of in basketball and football. They’re an embarrassment, but since Towson seldom has gotten much attention for long standing mediocrity, few notice. Still, they were worthy of a limited radio schedule for the 2009-2010 schedule on Baltimore’s flamethrower AM radio station, WBAL.

Located in the affluent Towson/Northern Baltimore County area, Towson could be a fabulous cite for top sports. Plans move forward for a new arena, a must to be on the same level as George Mason and other CAC schools. We anxiously wait to see who is named the next coach and if they find a proven motivator who can build a program from nothing.

No doubt, many will say how can schools afford to upgrade athletic programs when funds are scarce; the economy is bad, and all the usual excuses. Good sports programs, particularly basketball can bring economic benefits to their schools. That a school is seen as a top athletic school where kids would want to wear school jerseys and colors not only helps the school enjoy some marketing funds but also stirs up a buzz that could attract more students to chose a school like Towson over other universities. Sports are one element of creating a stimulating quality college life.

Our message, while we want to see University of Maryland be a school mentioned in the same breath as University of North Carolina and Duke in basketball as they were at the turn of the century and their football team should be challenging for the ACC football title consistently, Towson University must become one of the jewels of the Colonial Athletic Conference. This is within Towson’s reach. Maryland has only one school in the conference while Virginia has five. Okay Virginia’s a larger state than Maryland but supporting Old Dominion, William & Mary, VCU, James Madison, and George Mason is a far more substantial commitment than what Maryland’s devoting to its schools.

Larger problems loom than simply the state’s academic operations that hurt athletics. Certainly, it’s hard to justify FIVE universities in the Baltimore area: Towson, Morgan State, Coppin State, University of Baltimore, and UMBC. Certainly, Towson and UMBC are thriving schools. Morgan deserves its standing as one of the nation’s top black universities, but certainly it would make sense to fold Coppin State within its structure as it would University of Baltimore into either Towson or University of Maryland. On the Eastern Shore Salisbury and University of Maryland, Eastern Shore are just 12 miles apart. Consolidating such resources makes sense. Greater focus could mean better athletic programs where schools like Salisbury and Frostburg could tear up their conferences. While St. Mary’s simply has never shown any interest in athletics and that’s fine, who knows what kind of sleeper Bowie State could be in Washington DC’s eastern suburbs.

It starts at the top. Bold thinking is required. Get University of Maryland where ESPN can’t avoid talking about them. Get Towson to where they’ll be there soon. Who knows what the rest of the system could produce if a spirit of winning sweeps the system?

Right now, it appears that try not to loose would be a step forward rather than the indifference the seems to emulate from Annapolis to the highest ranks of the University System, but the time it reaches the Athletic director’s level and coaching staffs, the damage is done.

Go Tigers!!!!


Monday, March 28, 2011

NASCAR FANS -- Let Them Know...

Circumstances of the last two weeks have brought the issue of "start and park" NASCAR entries to the forefront. Review the last two weeks postings on NASCAR for more details about what is happening and why the practice is so insidious.

You can also use this information to discuss other NASCAR-related issues such as the poor quality of, but for all communications stick to one issue and be focused.

NASCAR fans, it’s time to speak up! Let the NASCAR leadership know your feelings about “start and park.” Be polite but be clear you find the practice unacceptable and that it does affect the extent to which you support the sport and watch races on television.

The top contacts are:
Brian France, NASCAR Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Michael Helton, NASCAR President

Write to:
Office of the President, Michael Helton
Office of the Chairman, Brian France

One Daytona Boulevard
Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Phone: (386) 253-0611

We are sorry not to have direct email addresses to NASCAR's executive office.  We will publish if found . The best email we have routes to their subcontracted website,

Use this opportunity to let NASCAR’s leadership know your feelings on this important issue. Be brief but clear. NASCAR fans are against “start and park” entries and want NASCAR to end the practice immediately.

Loyal NASCAR fans should expect the sport's leadership to strongly consider our concerns and communicate with us concerning vital issues surrounding the sport.


2011 Sprint Cup -- Owner's Point Update -- Start and Park Update

Tentative owners’ points are posted for the Auto Club 400 locking in the top 35 for being assured starting positions. Eyes will be on the integrity of the #13 Bob Germain Toyota team that they will continue racing and not pull off and park as they stand in the cut-off position, #35. Other teams that engaged in the unscrupulous practice above 35th are James Finch, Phoenix Racing, car #09 and Robby Gordon, car #7 who parked for several races in the last half of the season.

The following teams will not make the cut:

36th – Kevin Buckler, #71 (61 pts. -6)
Decision to start and park resulted in Bobby Labonte leaving team in 2010. Recently announced plans to change from Chevrolet to Ford. Plans to “race” entire season.

37th – Tommy Baldwin, #36 (58 pts, -9)
Raced in today’s race in attempt to reach top 35th. Baldwin’s team is one of the most chronic scab freeloader teams.

38th – Brad Jenkins, #37 (58 pts, - 9)
Hired Tony Raines as driver. Contracted with Larry Gunselman to manage team. These actions appear prelude to functioning as a scab team.

39th – Bob Jenkins, #38 (55 pts, -12)
Limited funding sponsored team. No history of start and park.

40th – Rusty Wallace, #77 (24 pts. -43)
Part time ride for Steven Wallace.

41st – Tommy McMillen, #46 (20 pts, -47)
Flagrant start and part entry.

42nd – Michael Hillman, HP Racing, #60 (13 pts, -54)
Associated with Phil Parsons, insidious scab entry.

43th – Andrea Nemechek, #87 (13 pts, -54)
No intention to race, insidious scab entry.

44th – Phil Parsons, #66 (9 pts, -58)
Total freeloader, owner is SpeedTV NASCAR truck broadcaster, flagrant scab.

45th – Bob Kesolowski, #92 (9 pts. -58)
Family business for Brian Kesolowski. Future uncertain.

Three additional teams have entered one race including Michael Waltrip’s Daytona 500 attempt.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sprint Cup 2011: Race 5 -- Harvick Home State Hero

How does a finish get much better than the three car shootout in the Auto Club 400 at Fontana, California between Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and racer winner, Kevin Harvick?

All three cars were locked in tight competition pushing as close as cars can get without wrecking each other or brushing the wall. Kyle Busch had just a slight lapse allowing Harvick to blow by him and then it was time to take on the champ. In the final two laps, Kevin Harvick had several openings before finally taking control coming out of turn four headed for the finish line.

Racing competition was close and tight right from the green flag forward, but amazingly, there were consequential wrecks. Of the few cautions, perhaps the most disturbing was Kevin Hamlin’s engine letting go burying him in 39th place, 95 laps off the pace. Going into competition in 17th place, his engine failure drops him four positions in the standings. The frequency of engine failures must be of tremendous concern for Joe Gibbs Racing going back to last year’s chase drive and beyond.

Top 15 Finishers:
1 – Kevin Harvick, #29, Chevrolet
2 – Jimmie Johnson, #48, Chevrolet
3 – Kyle Busch, #18, Toyota
4 – Matt Kenseth, #17, Ford
5 – Ryan Newman, #39, Chevrolet
6 – Carl Edwards, #99, Ford
7 – Clint Bowyer, #33, Chevrolet
8 – Brian Vickers, #83, Toyota
9 – Kasey Kahne, #4, Toyota
10 – Juan Montoya, #42, Chevrolet
11 – Greg Biffle, #16, Ford
12 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88, Chevrolet
13 – Tony Stewart, #14, Chevrolet
14 – A.J. Allmendinger, #43, Ford
15 – Jeff Burton, #31, Chevrolet

Today’s finishing order was particularly important to Brian Vickers, who entered completion in 32nd position. He boosted 7 points positions. Likewise, while far from positioning himself as a chase contender, Jeff Burton’s 15th finish pulled him out of 30th gaining four positions. Both drivers now have some breathing room rather than fearing falling out of the top 35.

The “Chase for the Chase” takes on a different character in 2011 since only the top 10 are locked in on points while the last two places will be selected on the basis of wins. For those teams lagging in the point standings and that deficiency will soon be quite apparent, the pressure will be on to rack up the wins. Joey Logano and the #20 must be starting to twitch as they only gained one spot today.

Carl Edwards was not a factor for winning the race today but his consistency yielded him the points lead while Ryan Newman moved up too. Of course, to the victor goes a great reward. Kevin Harvick’s win boosted him five positions in the standings tied for 9th place.

Standings – Top 15:
1 – Carl Edwards, #99, Ford (187 pts.)
2 – Ryan Newman, #39, Chevrolet (178 pts.) (-9)
3 – Kurt Busch, Dodge (177 pts.) (-10)
4 – Kyle Busch, Toyota (176 pts.) (-11)
5 – Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet (173 pts.) (-14)
6 – Tony Stewart, Chevrolet (160 pts.) (-17)
7 – Paul Menard, Chevrolet (164 pts.) (-23)
8 – Juan Montoya, Chevrolet (161 pts.) (-26)
9 – Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet (157 pts.) (-30)
10 – Matt Kenseth, Ford (157 pts.) (-30)
11 – Kasey Kahne, Toyota (157 pts.) (-30)
12 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (156 pts.) (-31)
13 – Martin Truex, Jr. (147 pts.) (-40)
14 – Mark Martin (147 pts.) (-40)
15 – A.J. Allmendinger (137 pts.) (-50)

Fox Sports made no mention of the drivers who just snuck off the track wanting to call no attention to start and park entries. This is unfortunate because especially in light of Jennifer Jo Cobb’s protest in the Nationwide Series a week ago and the possibility that such an entry could lock into the top 35, the pressure is on. Problems don’t go away by sweeping them under the rug. Scandals only get worse when they’re covered up.

Today’s offenders are two Humphrey Parsons entries, Todd Bodine in car #60 the 4th driver to park and Michael McDonald in car #66 the first driver to quit. Joe Nemechek #87 was the second car to quit. J.J. Yeley in car #46 scamming for owner Tommy McMillan pulled off third.

Surely, Todd Bodine, last year’s Camping World Truck Series champ deserves some serious sanctions for participating in degrading the top series of NASCAR. If no one else in the official media will call him out for this disgrace, we will.

The scab entry that could be the most ominous is the Tommy Baldwin #36 entry. Driver Dave Blaney was allowed to race to attempt to lock in a top 35 position. Blaney stands in 35th in drivers’ points after today’s activity. Owners’ points will be published tomorrow. Likewise, while not parking yet this year, the #13 Bob Germain entry is likewise one to scrutinize having entered today 35th. Casey Mears finished 33rd today.

With four drivers not even putting up the slightest pretense of competing essentially flaunting any sense of honor in sportsmanship, the possibility of scab owners locking into the top 35 being guaranteed participation, and having drivers Denny Hamlin and Bobby Labonte possibly losing points being behind potential parking teams increasing their points deficit despite being fully funded and sponsored, the travesty of allowing freeloaders to continue couldn’t be clearer IF NASCAR PRESS COVERS IT.

43 might be a magic number in NASCAR immortality when associated with the King of the sport, Richard Petty, but for the starting lineup, it’s just a number. With at least well over $320,000 being divided among non-racing participants, except perhaps for the biggest events like the Daytona 500, Coke 600, and Brickyard 400, dropping back to 37 starters which would allow for a possible past champion’s provisional though that would really only be applicable if Bill Elliot or Terry Labonte chose to race since all the regular contenders are locked in. Given the few number of truly competitive – fully staffed, ready to complete teams having two open positions might be just the right formula unless NASCAR chose to reduce the number of locked-in team entries.

The argument frequently posed in defense of “start and park” is that it doesn’t hurt anyone. Perhaps in September if Denny Hamlin or Bobby Labonte were just short of making the chase, they’d surely feel hurt. $320,000 plus dollars that could be used to real benefit whether rebated in ticket prices, more purse for real competitors, track improvements, or NASCAR research. Multiply that times 36 race, the amount of money flushed down the toilet is significant. Next week, the tour races at Martinsville, Virginia where quickly lesser cars can go a lap down. Should these slugs get in the way of legitimate contenders? We would applaud a legitimate entry that could slam a parker in the wall if he could do so without harming his own ride. A little “boys have at it” spirit might be part of the solution.

American fans have a real sense of fairness and sportsmanship. It’s also darned un-American to see people who learn how to scam the system. We play the game to win and believe a day’s wages for a day’s work. What kind of powerful argument can the France dynasty come up with to the contrary?

The Sprint Cup Tour moves back to the east coast to race on one of its most historic tracks at Martinsville, Virginia. Though like Bristol, it’s only ½ mile, the character of racing is radically different between the two. Like Bristol, the competition serves to jumble up the standings now that the all-important top 35 threshold has been met.

Jimmie Johnson is coming on strong. Denny Hamlin needs help. Since 2007, they’ve been alternating wins at the “Paperclip… Johnson, Hamlin, Johnson, Hamlin. This would suggest Johnson’s due. For the fall race, Johnson won from 2004 to 2008. Hamlin won 2009 and 2010. Jimmie Johnson also holds the record for the best average finish at the track at 5.4. This should mean, move on up Denny and make fans start seeing #6’s floating around Johnson’s car. So we ask, what do those guys do with all those grandfather clocks?


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sprint Cup 2011: Race 5 -- Season's First Milepost

The fifth race of the season presents the first landmark as each subsequent race's starting 35 cars will be determined by 2011 owner's points. Who's on the bubble and each team's status is given below.

The Sprint Cup tour makes its only trip to Southern California this weekend hoping for strong ticket sales given since the sport expanded to two events yearly in 2004, attendance at Fontana has been terrible. The race has also been reduced from 500 to 400 laps – a move seen as being more “fan friendly.” The Los Angeles area sports fan is a different breed to be sure. It’s hard to imagine the nation’s second largest metropolitan area does not have an NFL franchise and has once been passed over for an expansion bid. This is also the land of where even legendary teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers find fans typically arrive “fashionably late” and often bolt before the game’s over. From NASCAR’s standpoint it probably doesn’t matter when they arrive or when they leave just as long as they show up. Sunday will be a big test to be sure.

The race only had 43 entries meaning every team that signed up will start the race. This should serve as further logic against allowing start and park entries. A smaller field where drivers have to compete to make the race certainly would force teams to be more invested in being a genuine racing effort not just pathetic free loaders. The start and park rewards must be quite worth it given the number of teams who trekked across the continent to make their token appearance on Sunday.

Juan Pablo Montoya whose season got off to a great start before losing four positions last week at Bristol while still holding down 8th place in the standings won the pole. Denny Hamlin who needs to pickup the tempo to aim for a more customary place in the top ten is on the outside pole. Chevrolet dominates the top ten starters with six entries with three Toyotas and one Ford. Points leader Kurt Busch starts 23rd. Joey Logano facing a horrible season so far sits third.

TOP 15 Qualifiers:
1 – Juan Pablo Montoya #1, Chevrolet
2 – Denny Hamlin #11, Toyota
3 – Joey Logano #20, Toyota
4 – Regan Smith #78, Chevrolet
5 – Tony Stewart #14, Chevrolet
6 – David Ragan #6, Ford
7 – Jeff Burton #31, Chevrolet
8 – Kyle Busch #18, Toyota
9 – Ryan Newman #39, Chevrolet
10 – Mark Martin #5, Chevrolet
11 – Matt Kenseth #17, Ford
12 – Jamie McMurray #1, Chevrolet
13 – Marcos Ambrose #9, Ford
14 – David Reutimann #00, Toyota
15 – Paul Menard #27, Ford

Other drivers who needed to do well posted good starts: David Ragan and Jeff Burton. There are five almost certain and possibly more start and park entries led by Tommy Baldwin “Racing” in 31st driven by Dave Blaney. The Humphrey-Parsons charade has two cars in the race, and as predictable as ants finding a picnic, Joe Nemechek will start as well. Tommy McMillan has J.J. Yeley as his scab in the back of the field for his entry. Close to 14% of the field is ripping off the fans and the other drivers. Hopefully, the remainder of the field will compete.

The race within the race is for owners attempting to lock into the top 35 in points guaranteeing starting as long as they remain 35th or better. After this race, the outcry against start and park could get much louder should such scabs become locked in on points. The notion that a team could be guaranteed a starting spot in a sports’ field having no intention to compete thoroughly tarnishes the very integrity of the sport but let’s look at the bubble.

30 – car #31, owner – Richard Childress; driver – Jeff Burton.
STATUS: well funded, starts 7th (74 pts.) (+22)

31 – car #20, owner – Joe Gibbs; driver – Joey Logano.
STATUS: well funded, starts 3rd (74 pts.) (+22)

32 – car #83, owner – Dennis Mataschitz; driver: Brian Vickers.
STATUS: well funded, starts 19th. (69 pts.) (+17)

33 – car #32, owner – Frank Stoddard; driver – Ken Schrader.
STATUS: under funded, starts 39th. (66 pts.) (+14)

34 – car #7, owner – Robby Gordon; driver – Robby Gordon.
STATUS: under funded, start and parked in 2010, starts 35th. (59 pts.) (+7)

35 – car #13, owner – Bob Germain; driver -- Casey Mears.
STATUS: start and parked in 2010, starts 25th. (52 pts.)

36 – car #36, owner – Tommy Baldwin; driver – Dave Blaney.
STATUS: Chronic start and park entry, starts 31st. (51 pts.) (-1)

37 – car #37, owner – Brad Jenkins; driver – David Gilliand.
STATUS: Marginally funded, attempts to complete races, starts 42nd. (50 pts.) (-2)

38 – car #71, owner – Kevin Buckler; driver – Andy Lally.
STATUS: limited sponsorship, start and parked in 2010. starts 71st. (49 pts.) (-3)

39 – car #38, owner – Bob Jenkins: driver – Travis Kvapil:
STATUS: limited funding, starts 36th. (46 pts.) (-6)

The time to address start and park entries and possibly adjusting the size of the starting field is NOW. If a team guaranteed a starting position pulls off the track, serious consequences are in order. ESPN and SpeedTV simply are not calling attention to what’s going on to the extent that the issue is on fans’ radar. Jennifer Jo Cobb deserves tremendous credit. Now it’s time for Sprint Cup drivers to stand up.


Time to Tax Toilet Paper -- Where Does It Stop???

Okay,  let's state the obvious, this is really a shitty idea!!!  Omaha, Nebraska mayor Jim Suttle doesn't think so. He testified that he thought the Federal government should charge a ten percent tax on toilet paper to help rebuild the sewage infrastructure.

It's amazing how spending crazy politicians can sound so righteous and act so reverent making some of the most ridiculous ideas sound like a moral duty. Spending other peoples' money is easy. Dreaming up more ways to steal it is second nature. Acting responsibly and reducing spending always seems beyond their reach.

The straight poop from Omaha...


Progressives and the Double Headed Snake

To hear what the left side big shots are saying these days, you'd think you're hearing from a slimy two-headed snake. Nowhere is this more apparent that dealing with the current escalation in gasoline and electric prices. Talk about rising gas prices, they'll bark and scream about greedy profit hungry oil companies ripping off "working" people or the "middle class." The facts don't matter, but their lust for power operates on attempting to divide and conquer by appealing to a class struggle. Naturally, they'll say much the same about utilities doing the same with electricity rates. When the cost goes up, some greedy corporations, almost always called "BIG" -- as in "BIG" oil and the ultimate shadowy control agency of all of them "Wall Street" are to blame. Don't try to talk to them about market forces, something as simple as supply and demand is too difficult a concept for them to understand. Somehow they see good people need stuff (that's demand) and that the suppliers as in sellers are the bad guys. So how can demand in excess of supply equal greed. In their world, they'd argue against gravity. Surely, if someone standing on a ledge fell to his death, someone pushed him and it was someone's duty to catch him. Right now, they're looking to someone to come to their rescue, supposedly the government, to force prices down.

Meanwhile, what's driving the cost of fuel up?  It's not having enough supply to satisfy the world's demand and no society demands more fuel than the United States. The left doesn't want the predominant source of fuel for power generation, coal, used because it is bad for the environment. They don't want nuclear power because they fear radiation will leak out and we'll all mutate into two headed something or others. They don't want hydroelectric power because it messes up eco-systems. They are against increasing domestic production of petroleum because they oppose off-shore drilling and forbid oil production in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve even though the area currently sought for oil production is only a small fraction of the entire reserve painting pictures of this bountiful land of lovely flora and fauna beautiful Arctic beasts running free. They'll run videos of the most beautiful scenery Alaska has to offer when the real area desired is little more than a frozen mudflat.

They speak of promoting alternate sources of fuel and urging companies to convert. Yet they won't support the kind of incentives that will encourage entrepreneurs and the corporate world to invest in inventing new technologies. They won't reduce capital gains taxes or provide tax benefits to make it economical for companies to upgrade their physical facilities to be more energy efficient. They won't allow for more domestic production of natural gas, a material we have in huge supply. They say they love wind power, but not in their backyards. Case in point, a wind farm was proposed off sure not far from Martha's Vineyard,  near the Kennedy compound -- oh no, not that close to the Kennedys' they don't want to see windmills from their wonderful yachts.

Government regulation both reducing supply and not helping to reduce demand is the main reason fuel costs are so high. When we depend on so much fuel from hostile nations or countries with dreadfully unstable governments,the slightest upheaval can disrupt the supply driving costs up. The best the Obama administration can do is offer to send OUR MONEY to Brazil to support their offshore oil exploration. Would that commit Brazil to contract with the United States to provide us fuel at below OPEC prices?  No!  It doesn't commit Brazil to anything. It simply rests on the hopes that they would return the favor. What if China outbids us for oil from Brazil?

There is much more to the total energy picture. We concede that coal is not a good material for generating electricity. It's the worst fuel for the environment and "clean" coal simply means less sulphur and mercury, it's still dirty. Much needs to be done to move away from using petroleum. The responsible blueprint for tomorrow's energy needs is a discussion for another day.

Right now, the government must stop being a roadblock to providing the United States the fuel supply it needs at a reasonable cost. The government must also provide the proper financial support to reduce dependence on foreign fuel and obsolete technologies.

That the "progressives" fail to recognize this is not surprising but they'll continue to whine and engage in their usual "killing babies, poisoning children" fear talk while nothing gets better. We'd like to show a great example of this recently published in the Huffington Post. The column writer, Michael Kieschnick (would that be pronounced CHEESE-NICK?), is a particularly loathsome leftist who runs a cellphone company for leftwingers pledged to contribute his profits to the usual causes and organizations fellows like George Soros dump their wealth upon, organizations and enterprises hell bent on creating a so-called open society -- the antithesis of a free enterprise representative republic.

Here's the CREDO cretin himself DEMANDING lower fuel costs and his two-headed snake reasoning. How can someone so stupid sound so self-assured (pompous)?

The bottom line is our way of life and economy is built on steady availability of cheap gasoline and electricity. The more we are dependent on unstable regions and hostile nations for that supply, the more likely it will hit us in the wallet. Not widely discussed is how much oil we import from Mexico. However, should we not be concerned about the chaos south of the border as even another threat to our fuel supply?

That leaves what we can produce ourselves and import from Canada as our only stable options for petroleum.

Electricity is perhaps not quite as tough. Can we accept new nuclear plants that would be far better constructed than those in Japan? What will it take to start maximizing our natural gas supply? Where do we stand on alternate sources that make sense?  We believe coal is a terrible option given that "clean" coal really only means less miserable and mining coal disfigures our planet.

Whether looking at petroleum or electricity generation, our country is not acting responsibly and refuses to move forward. If we're going to get anywhere in the future, the first thing we need to do is kill the two-headed snake.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Nukes, Japan, Talk Radio, and Reality

The situation regarding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants is extremely serious if you're Japanese. Efforts to get the damage caused by the recent Tsunami under control is not succeeding, and at least one worst case scenario is realistically possible. The #3 reactor, the most dangerous of the three since it is driven by Plutonium as its fuel source is also the most damaged. Nothing attempted so far has manged to cool the reactor to safe levels. The core appears to be leaking. Radiation emissions have reached a much higher, more critical level. While few will say it directly, a meltdown looks quite possible. How that would affect the other three reactors with various degrees of damage too is hard to determine.

What won't happen is that any of these reactors could explode like a nuclear bomb explosion. What could happen would be environmental and atmospheric exposure to extremely dangerous radiation. Still, there is no evidence the reactor would explode wide open like the 1986 Ukrainian Chernobyl disaster from the Soviet Union. Currently, adding to the overall scare is reportage that "millions" died from cancer suggesting Chernobyl was the cause. This is not true, but the death toll was significant. 336,000 people were relocated to uncontaminated land. Territory in the Ukraine and Belarus remain contaminated today. 31 people were killed directly from the Chernobyl explosion, but the radiation deaths are harder to determine. Of the many cancer deaths over the likely geographic area, how many were truly caused by this disaster?

The World Health Organization reports 50 deaths as of 2005 appear certain and the overall toll over time could reach 4,000. Greenpeace, an activist environmental group believes the death toll could reach 200,000. Where are the millions that scare monger talk radio hosts suggest? 

We report this neither to minimize Japan's emergency or use Chernobyl as the big scare. Chernobyl is the one fatal nuclear disaster so far. Three Mile Island suffered a complete core meltdown, but there was not one death. Fukushima Daiichi will be worse than Three Mile Island. Predictions are just that and we do not know what the end of this story will be.

Worst case scenario is a lot of precious land could be ruined rendered unusable for countless generations. How much radiation reaches fatal levels and how many people will be exposed is not possible to be calculated yet. What is for certain, residents in the United States have absolutely NOTHING to fear. Might Geiger counters make a little more noise -- yes. Is that indicating a danger -- no. We are exposed to radiation sources daily, and x-rays, CAT scans and MRI's subject us to higher levels. We exposed ourselves to radiation for years with CRT tube televisions and computer monitors. Plasma TV's emit radiation too.

No matter what happens in Japan, there will not be enough radiation crossing the Pacific Ocean to hurt even Hawaii.

So how should society deal with those who use the public airwaves to misinform us, scare us over insane speculations, lie about how the government is dealing with the disaster, and suggest us to do irresponsible things like taking prophylactic doses of Iodine supplements?

Fear mongering on the Japanese reactor problem is all over the Internet, but few are more conspicuous than the mastermind behind and, Alex Jones. Early, Jones boasted to his audience and on video, that he has obtained a huge quantity of iodine capsules so his people will be safe. Now today, in his absence, his substitute host cranks up the paranoia machine even to a higher degree. This makes Glenn Beck look rational.

We present this to show the kind of nonsense that's fueling the fear. That any radio station licensed to serve the public good would broadcast such nonsense is appalling. This is Paul Wilson filling in for Alex Jones. The insane paranoid conspiratorial message is the same.

If this program is broadcast in your community, you must write, email, or call station management and tell them what you think of such irresponsible programming. To the extent that listeners might believe such outrageous spin becomes the station's responsibility for allowing it to be broadcast.

We must demand better of the broadcasting industry in our country. While individuals' freedom of speech allows them to lie and scream "the sky is falling" this does not mean broadcasters can continue to provide outlets for serial liars, vicious demagogues, and filthy fear mongers.

Please join us in demanding responsible (regardless of political stance) broadcasting. This cannot stand.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baltimore County Public Schools: Build a STEM School K-8???

Baltimore County Public Schools latest gimmick shows what happens when a school board constructed exclusively by partisan political leadership with no effective local control is firmly in charge -- Students, Parents, and County taxpapers be damned!

Just a week after it was revealed that Baltimore County Public Schools hired a new deputy superintendent for $214,000 and announced huge staff reductions hitting the high school teaching ranks hard, the system now is talking about building a K-9 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) specialty school in the rapidly growing northwest area of the county, an area that mixes some of the county's most affluent neighborhoods with an increasingly urbanized population.

There is no denying that preparing students to excel in STEM disciplines is a serious deficiency in American education and Baltimore County is no exception, but to create a select academy for a small number of students doesn't make sense. The whole maggot (as in "magnet") school concept instituted by Baltimore County is a joke, and opening a STEM school would take the folly to new extremes.

Speciality elementary schools make no sense from a purely educational standpoint. Perhaps they satisfy some insane parents' vanity.  Oh my little Billy is going to grow up to be a brilliant nuclear physicist when little Billy is only old enough to start figuring out Legos. Sweet little Sarah is going to be a world class symphonic musician. Little Sarah can't even play "Chopsticks" on a toy piano yet. Devoting tremendous resources to specialty programs for elementary and middle school kids make no sense. Clearly, this is at the expense of the overall program. Maggot programs are set up at select schools around the county that leach students from other nearby schools taking some of the best students out of those schools while often adding a layer of sugar over a dung heap for schools that might have some serious problems or be located in territory where the exodus of top students to private schools is a powerful force. The overall effect is to team some pampered teachers up with some pampered students -- the rest be damned.

We are not arguning against advanced placement or helping serve students with exceptional talent. We are looking at a giant, sprawling, out of control system that is falling apart. What Baltimore County Schools must do is stop pandering to trends, stop throwing up the window dressing as in exotic sounding maggot programs for elementary schools and start recognizing that the overall program in the county is deteriorating like a maggot invested corpse in the hot summer sun. Every county school needs challenging rock solid instruction in math, science, engineering, and technology. Teachers need to recognize the students who have natural ability in those disciplines, nurture them, then begin to move them towards honors and enriched programs as they move through middle school into high school where there should be advanced level classes for such content. If there truly some awesomely gifted students who would be served best by having special programs on the high school level where there might not be enough enrollment for Dulaney, Towson, and Loch Raven each to over the highest level STEM classes, perhaps then it would make sense for one school to concentrate on advanced STEM, while another school perhaps would cater to advanced liberal arts, but this should be based on demand and never used as a publicity stunt or a program which states to be one thing but is accomplishing some political goal beneath the surface.

When many county schools are struggling just to obtain across the board proficiency in the most fundamental areas, the county must get those needs addressed first. In a district that is now a minority majority system, their failure to motivate and advance African American students, the vast majority of whom are middle class and should have every opportunity to reach for the stars, are being failed horribly by county schools who pat themselves on the back when black students only do "C" work. "Hey, Chester's doing good work for a black kid."  That kind of implicit racism is unacceptable but it is the status quo in county schools. The bottom line is Chester should be doing good work, period. Who knows maybe Chester could be a great engineer; however, the county is thrilled if they just get Chester ready for a faceless job working at Social Security of being management material for the local grocery store. Agendas and politics are everything in Baltimore County. Selling the public on a bunch of smoke and mirrors which represent nothing of substance is the modus operende. In a climate of political correctness and ambiguous standards that thumbs its nose at traditional values while having what amounts to a secular Sharia publicized as "Zero Tolerance" the students are caught in a crossfire between being allowed to run wild in some areas while being persecuted in others. The simple notion that schools are places to learn. Every student must do his or her best and follow the golden rule is never articulated in any kind of straight forward message that every kid understands, but they think they can identify five year olds who might be the next Stephen Hawking. In truth, they're more likely to set the stage for the next Bill Maher or Rae Caruth.

The Northwest area of Baltimore County does need another middle school. The Northwest area needs to cater to serving the highly capable students who reside in the area. There needs are not being met whatsoever.  The Northwest area must bring minority students up to traditional Baltimore County Standards (oops, they've been lacking for 25 years) instead of falling off to the level of Baltimore City Schools. The area is growing rapidly and the chaos in the schools is pandemic. Students of all backgrounds and abilities are being lost in the shuffle.

Thinking of creating a "STEM" school in the Northwestern Baltimore County is the same kind of arrogant detachment Nero showed playing his fiddle while Rome was burning. Baltimore County is burning out of control, and rather than sending in the fire department and arson investigators, the attitude of the bureaucratic elite residing in the glorious Greenwood plantation, the mansion on the hill, is "Piss on it."


Japanese Nuke Disaster: Soon We'll All Be Dead or Mutants

Two of broadcasting's worst nightmares -- FEAR FOR FREE!!!

"Never let a good disaster go to waste." We remember that as Rahm Imanuel's creed when he served as Barack Obama's Chief of Staff as how to take emotionally charged issues and use them to rush through ridiculous overreaching laws and policies. The same holds true for fire breathing talk show hosts who feed on the publics' fear and mistrust to pump up their audience ratings.

The Japanese nuclear disaster very well could be worse than reported and the worst could be yet to come, but there is NO scenario that would create harm for the United States. Yes, radiation detectors will make little blips. Some particles will cross the ocean and possibly circle the globe, but SO WHAT?

We expose ourselves to more radiation than we ever realize. Maybe it's those arches we walk through entering and leaving retail stores, maybe it's some electronic device we use, it could be lots of things. While the safety zone might exceed the 12 miles the Japanese are enforcing, thousands of miles away, we're just fine.

However, talkers like Nancy Grace and Alex Jones don't want you to think so. Nancy Grace interviewed a climate specialist someone who knows far more about all the issues on the subject, but she couldn't keep herself from shouting over this expert brow beating him to death on a subject she has no credentials to second guess him. Alex Jones, perhaps the biggest blowhard on talk radio, stirs up the boogie men as the U.S. government and Japanese conspiring together not to let the truth get out. Jones feeds little bits and pieces together, exaggerates them, uses the to play into his greater fear campaign and leads his audience to draw conclusions for themselves we're in deep trouble.

As we have posted earlier, our country is way too self-obsessed with the Japanese tragedy seeing the horrors of what beset Japan mainly in terms of how it might (but won't) hurt us. The nuke plant is serious for the Japanese not us, but death and destruction is the overwhelming problem we're just too insensitive to see clearly.

We are surprised at CNN to resorting to cheesy sensationalism to boost up its ratings perhaps because there is an element of radical environmentalism and anti corporate thinking there, but the more intellectual aspect of the issue is not conveyed in the shadow of Nancy Grace's bitchy yapping.

Alex Jones has no umbrella to tone him down and stand accountable for his nonsense. His program does not make it to the major stations and few major markets carry his nonsense. Outside of Texas, probability Norfolk, Virginia is the largest market to carry his foolishness. His following comes more from satellite radio and the Internet.

How we're reacting to the Japanese disaster and thinking back to how quickly Katrina digressed into blamestorming and finger pointing, we must be very concerned when the big earthquake finally hits the west coast. Scientists suggest that day is long over due.

It's time for America to grow up and also trivialize the fear mongers for what they are. Such behavior cannot go unchallenged.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No Parking

NASCAR needs to post these signs as conspicuously all around
the track as the county puts them all along lover's lane.

80,000 per Cup race

43 car field for all races only since 1998

TEN cars quit at Bristol and pocketed $423,342 in purse money.

The Jennifer Jo Cobb controversy from this past weekend’s competition at Busch Motor Speedway has finally brought much needed attention to the absurd practice permitted by NASCAR car owners can enter cars into NASCAR competition by qualifying for the field. On race day, their drivers are ordered to quietly pull to the back of the field and then exit the field no later than the first pit stop. At the end of the race, they are awarded their share of the prize money more than enough to pay expenses for the entry and to pocket a nice little profit while sticking the competitive integrity of the sport right in the eye.

The fundamental creed of sports is that competitors play to win. In baseball and football, there are some very stingy owners who don’t invest in paying for the kind of talent needed to win, but their teams play the entire game, and don’t tell the players they’re not there to compete. Even a Detroit Lion or Pittsburgh Pirate will put his heart and soul into playing the best game possible knowing that if he performs well, there will be opportunities on other teams.

It doesn’t work that way in NASCAR. To complete a race, a team needs a full pit crew, an adequate supply of replacement tires, and other necessities. The cheapskate baseball or football teams might have fewer coaches and expend a lot less money behind the scenes, but on game day, the dugout or bench has a full team ready to play. If a driver accepts the preposterous assignment of driving for a “start and park” owner, he’s not giving any ownership groups a glimpse of what talent he might have as a competitor. If anything, such a driver devalues his talent functioning basically as a scab who could force out drivers who do want to compete but being outside of the top 35 in points might have had some mishap not to post a good enough qualifying time to beat the “slug” entries.

No one makes a better villain than Nationwide owner, Rick Russell. Any sense that this man had any regard for competition never got the slightest glimmer in his media comments concerning events involving Saturday’s race. His attitude was essentially, “This is my toy and I’ll do with it whatever I want to. I’m the boss, and you do it my way.” Beneath the bravado there were equal parts self-pity and pure BS. It also came out that he spent all of about a few minutes ever communicating with his driver. He had no interest in her accomplishments. She was just a replaceable part, maybe as valuable to him as a lug nut. His race car was worth much much more. How ironic is it that he’s named his operation “Second Chance Racing.” It looks more like an operation where drivers would suit up and watch their careers die.

To make “start and park” look noble, sympathizers trot out Joe Nemechek. The 1992 Busch Series champ entered Cup racing in 1994 where for the rest of the decade into the early 2000’s was essentially a journeyman driver racing for Larry Hendricks, his own team, SABCO, Andy Petree, Haas-Carter, MB2 (Ginn) and Furniture Row racing. During the run, he gained four victories including a double Busch and Cup sweep at Kansas in 2004. He always proved a tough qualifier winning ten poles in his Sprint Cup career. His NASCAR career was part of a family affair with his mom dressed in Army fatigues when he ran with US Army sponsorship, maintained the stopwatch and clipboard, an integral part of the team’s support crew. The close family ties augmented by tragedy when early in the Truck series’ history, his younger brother John died in wreck early in the 1997 season at the Homestead Florida track. John had even been Joes’ front tire changer early in Joe’s Cup career. From Ginn’s acquisition of MB2 racing in 2006, Joe became odd-man out at season’s end. The financially troubled team cut back. Nemechek bounced around ending up with Furniture Row racing where he’d complete the season and race the following year. Nemechek posted the team’s best ever performances, but after the 2008 season, thus could only afford to enter part time, Nemechek released from his contract and the family developed its own team for 2009. Unable to attract sponsorship, Nemechek made the fatal mistake of electing to “start and park.” At first through the 2009 series he could symbolize the hard times of the sport – a fellow determined to stretch out his career at any cost, but as time went by into the 2010 season and beyond, his continued presence has become a sad and disgusting joke. Joe Hardy was no longer a New York Yankees star, just a sad old man who sold his soul to the devil alone in his easy chair.

Joe Nemechek’s sympathetic situation does not justify what amounts to scab drivers running for carpet bagging owners. SpeedTV (a Fox network subsidiary) employs Phil Parsons who with his business partner, Brian Humphrey operates one of the most notorious operations fielding both the #60 and #66 teams in Sprint Cup series. Tommy Baldwin was a crew chief for Bill Davis racing who sought to stay in the series becoming an underfunded owner who quickly saw the money making potential of serving as a start and park owner as his in.

NASCAR truly doesn’t get it even though its track owners are footing the bill for the practice and has anyone noticed Pike’s Peak, Gateway, and Memphis speedways no longer operate?

The most recent statement NASCAR his issued on the matter came last April:

“It doesn't impact the quality of competition whatsoever. NASCAR has always been about teams having the opportunity to participate in our sport; some teams might not have the full complement of resources to compete at the same level as others, but it's all about having an opportunity."

The usually PR savvy folks in the France dynasty clearly don’t get it. If Major League Baseball used that logic, they’d have a franchise in Bristol Connecticut with some local diner proprietor as team owner fielding his teams with recruits from a beer softball team. It just doesn’t make sense.

Maintaining a full field of 43 cars has only been a requirement since 1988. Short tracks typically fielded s much smaller starting lineup. Back during Dale Earnhardt’s glory days was there any fuss that the field was too small. Things would be better with 43 cars at Martinsville instead of 36? Either way, Earnhardt would blow the tires off anyone who dared challenge the mighty #3 Chevrolet.

The money is astonishing. Were a cup entry able to qualify for all 36 races and just hang it up, the team could pull in over $2.8 million. The margin drops tremendously for Nationwide teams who’d only pull in around $650,000. For trucks, the math doesn’t add up, they’d only pull in around $200,000 for the year. One wreck would kill their fortunes. As a result, there are fewer true start and parks in the Truck series but they don’t always have what would appear to be a full field.

Show me the money! The difference in earnings for finishing positions of 37th at Bristol to 43rd, seven positions goes from $81,050 for 37th down to $80,289 for 43rd, only $61.00. Full-time entries finishing 36th or higher earned a minimum of $108,314. Kyle Busch took home a paycheck of $192,415 while second place earned Carl Edwards $184,691. Factor in the bonus for being a top 35 team in owners points the true difference between first and last isn’t that huge of a difference. The goal is to make the top 35 and then hope for the best. As such there remains substantial booty left for do-nothing teams to claim.

It makes sense to reward the teams that are fully invested prepared to compete from start to finish and create an incentive to race full time as rewarding the top 35 teams currently attempts to accomplish. Perhaps it would make competition more intense if there were greater premiums to win a top ten finish. It does not make sense in any manner to reward teams who have no intention of doing anything.

The following drivers appear to be culprits in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race, Michael McDowell – 35 laps; Landon Cassill – 36 laps; Joe Nemechek – 72 laps; and J.J. Yeley – 97 laps. Six drivers pulled out from Saturday’s Nationwide series race: Kelly Bires – 2 laps, Brad Teague – 3 laps; Chris Lawson – 4 laps; Brett Rowe – 5 laps; J.J. Yeley – 7 laps; Jeff Green – 27 laps.

Landon Cassill is 22 year old driver – how does racing for the infamous Parsons/Humphrey organization willing to maintain their scam speak for his future? He is fortunate to be a “test” driver for Hendrick motor sports. Michael McDowell 26 years old has only had the chance to knock on the door of Sprint Cup fortune joining Michael Waltrip’s team after Dale Jarrett’s retirement. Since then, he has bounced around with start and park teams. At 34 years old, one has to wonder what future could be available J.J. Yeley. Perhaps the younger drivers could drop back to lower series and re-establish themselves, but would a team looking to build a winning team find a driver like J.J. Yeley the kind of fellow attractive to sponsors destined for top 10 finishes?

One would think owners who are investing substantial fortune in trying to compete would first be offended seeing the money their start and park fellows suck in at their expense. Surely owners would have to question the fire in the belly of drivers who’d take any old chance to race at the highest levels. If they would compromise the desire to compete with such entries, how much commitment would they show in an operation hell-bent on winning?

It’s ugly and disgraceful all the way around. NASCAR has only made a token effort to address the problem threatening to tear down the first car to pull off in post race inspection. Otherwise, there’s nothing more than denial. On Fox broadcasts, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds have openly supported these efforts but their reasoning makes no sense at all.

NASCAR will continue to sweep the start and park issue under the rug as long as they can get away with it. For some reason, since 1998, they have become enamored with the necessity of having a 43 car field. If the goal were competition, would it not be better to have 37 positions and have cars fight it out to make the field?

Let’s be honest, if a team doesn’t buy the necessary tires to compete in a race, cuts other corners, and doesn’t even hire a full pit crew is CHEATING. Trevor Bayne finished in 34th place and it’s no secret that the Wood Brothers are financially struggling. They earned $89,200 for their efforts. Joe Nemechek who’d never make any effort to compete but pander for sympathy went home with $80,800. The Wood Brothers opt to only race on a part time basis and do the best they can. Doing anything well means nothing to start and park teams if they make the field.

To the extent that start and park drivers have little influence on who makes the top ten, it might be seen as a small issue, but a team like the Wood Brothers could fail to make the field fully geared up to race because a scab posted a better time in qualifying. This is unethical and simply fails to pass any common sense test. It ruins NASCAR’s credibility

We hope Jennifer Jo Cobb’s situation will help the ground swell against start and park force NASCAR’s hand to do something. As one who has faithfully followed Sprint Cup racing for many years and loves the top series of virtually all sports, it offends me as a fan that such small-minded nonsensical judgment prevails in one of the nation’s most popular sports.

Join with me in expressing your displeasure at this farce. At some point, the France dynasty will hear us and do something.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bill Maher Calls Sarah Palin a Bad Name -- For Fox That's Hard News

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, twit, twot, twhat?? TWEET, TWEET, TWEET.
 Sarah Palin versus Bill Maher, TWHAT THE HELL???

For the record, we will opine that Sarah Palin is a TWINKIE, a stale, moldy TWINKIE -- all sweetness is purely artificial, substance malnutritious, content heavy on artificial ingredients.

Here we go again, left-wing, Christian hating, atheist left-wing extremist comedian/commentator, Bill Maher, on his HBO program slammed Sarah Palin first with what was actually a funny joke that captures Palin’s idiocy beautifully.

So you heard how Sarah Palin reacted when she heard Japan was hit by the Tsunami?

She responded, “Well, by golly we’d better go bomb the hell out of that Tsunami?

Ha-ha-ha, folks can make a career out of trashing vulnerable figures in the public eye, and Sarah Palin. Good enough, but Maher also called Palin, “a twot.” Okay, that’s a very offensive term and overtly sexist in polite society, but Maher is not “polite society.” His audience is a group of idiots who’d characterize themselves as “hip progressives’ the kind of detached elitists who live in cities like New York and Los Angeles plus have a strong following on college campuses.

In typical form, each time Palin gets jabbed in the media, her faithful mouthpiece, Fox News, publishes a story concerning the snub, gives it top story status, and at very least, the deed will be noted with a fair amount of outrage on Sean Hannity’s program.

Predictably, the next time Sarah Palin is in front of the cameras, either responding to a question or making a statement, she’ll not just express her outrage at being insulted, she’ll toss in some nasty insults of her own like in response to former Pennsylvania Senator, Rick Santorum who had found some humor in her turning down a speaking engagement. Santorum’s taunt against Palin was hardly vulgar, just a light-hearted jab, but not to the Wasilla Wench who responded, “I’d like to call him a knuckle dragging Neanderthal but I’ll leave that to his wife to do.”

Of course, Fox News coverage was just short of play-by-play, blow-by-blow every step of the way. What’s ironic is Fox dismissed Santorum and Newt Gingrich for their status as potential Presidential candidates – but who’s making the biggest noise in that regard?

Did somebody say the Wasilla Wench??/

Sarah Palin appears able to get the lead story position on at least one Prime Time Fox program almost on demand which amounts to every time an insult directed at her is made public, and it’s usually Fox News, if no one else, publicizes the taunt.

Can anyone not see the conflict in interest? Palin is both the story of the news and the commentator hired to reflect on the news. It’s hard to call what she offers as commentary since it consists of her responding to her situation in the context of a newsmaker not in a segment specifically put aside for her to conduct news analysis (something obviously far too complicated for her limited intellectual skill set) or a space specifically for commentary (She’ll gladly run her mouth on anything no matter how simplistic, immature, or ignorant the content might be0.

It’s a fundamental observation of child psychology that when bullies torment a worthy target, and the child subjected to torment responds demonstrably, the bullies realize they got their adversary’s “goat” and pile it on more relentlessly. Those who keep their cool and brush off moronic attacks soon are relieved of any bully torment. Alas, Sarah Palin's outlook on insult is to return all taunts with equal or greater ferocity. Those who torment her realize their torment hit its mark. VICTORY.

Imagine if George W. Bush or Barack Obama responded to every insult directed at them especially if they tried to get “down and dirty” with them. Satire, harsh and unfair criticism, even outright hatred goes with the turf. The mature responsible figure brushes it off with perhaps nothing more than a polite “no comment” or “I wouldn’t dignify that comment with a response.”

Sarah Palin can take the heat and reveals herself as not just immature and thin-skinned but at heart a very mean-spirited and hostile woman. She not only lowers herself to the level of her attackers but that she returns fire on the same level reduces her even lower.

The media must stop dealing with the slapstick which allows the media starved should-be nobody from getting undeserved face time. Clearly Palin realizes that if she can get her puss on television, she’s a winner.

Instead, the Media needs to dwell on the real Sarah Palin story that proves she has no educational background to be an expert on anything and that her political experience is very limited. She could not fulfill her one term as governor, and report abound she was clearly in over her head. Further, the gubernatorial needs of Alaska are a far cry from the far more complex issues faced in most of the lower 48 states.

Responsible Republicans and conservatives MUST not only distance themselves from those who are a tremendous liability to their fortunes, they must acknowledge and criticize those who claim rights to their cause who clearly embarrass them at large with independents and easily swayed supporters. Sarah Palin is unfit to govern, period. It doesn’t matter where her heart appears to be. A person with no intellectual curiosity, an obviously socially immature personality, one who never has articulated any issue beyond a mediocre primary school level, and clearly has a very limited knowledge/experiential base does no one any good. That she preaches to peoples’ fears, hatred, and insecurity so effectively is an unacceptable rational for acceptance.

Clearly, Sarah Palin has a dedicated base that hangs on her every word no matter how misspoken it is. Somehow, that formula must translate into ratings and ad-revenue for Fox News since there couldn’t be a more explicit demonstration of leaping away from their stated ideal of being: “fair and balanced.” Of course, MSNBC, likewise, will never sway away from grabbing the pencil and attempt to gouge her eyes out.

The credibility of Fox News is at stake as the 2012 Presidential election heats up. It’s bad enough they have a prime show host suffering from a myriad of severe psychological impairments that consistently show obvious paranoiac and delusional who has severe personality defects in an ongoing struggle dealing with alcohol and substance abuse dementia. Is it any wonder Glenn Beck speaks fondly of Sarah Palin being a close personal friend? Of course any conspiracy theorist trying to sell a book who appears on his program is always a “good old friend.”

Responsible journalism is discredited by trotting out pandering to the prejudices, fears, and anger of fringe elements in the public at large. Doing so makes them appear part of the fringe and not the greater majority. Fox News cannot pretend to show any journalistic objectivity given their cozy relationship and open advocacy of Sarah Palin. A network cannot present commentators screaming extreme views without being perceived as open advocates of the commentator’s positions when there is no clear contrary programming presenting other viewpoints or any attempt to provide rebuttals. The public at large perceives Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck as all right wing fire-breathers despite the huge difference between the three hosts’ stances. The national media selects the most extreme of the three and use his positions as characteristic of all three. O’Reilly’s defense of traditional values with a strong populist element contrasts significantly from Sean Hannity who enthusiastically articulates the mainstream conservative Republican stance. Either one of them is a far cry from the sense of monolithic doom, bizarre secret agents out to destroy all, and rambling delusions from the scary little man. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin is on the marquee showing up as what should seem to be an uninvited guest when there are far more important issues with consequences of far greater gravity than whether or not Fox’s little snarling grizzly got her feelings hurt again.

That Bill Maher said something outrageous and controversial about Sarah Palin should surprise no one. That’s his job. That the folks at Fox or Sarah Palin think NOW or any feminist cause would step forward and scream in defense of Palin is a waste of hot air. They’re a left-wing political front not an organization supportive of all women. Does somebody expect otherwise.

At some point somebody’s going to smear Palin and something will happen, probably the extent to her overreaction or the significance of the forum where she blasts off will make the circumstances much higher profile and the national news will report her insanity for what it is. They’ll turn their analysts loose who will carry no water for Palin. Someone will do as we have attempted to do, put her behavior in perspective that will make Sarah bashing mainstream, inescapable, and absolutely accepted. Any continued support for her rag-tag old-timey reactionary simple mindedness from Fox News will erode their posture and if the Republican Party doesn’t distance itself and ostracize Palin, the damage the GOP will suffer could be severe and long lasting.

Let’s see if we can get on Fox news, “Sarah Palin is a ___________________________!” Pick the most demeaning term that comes to mind and fill in the blank. That should do it. Sarah, we’re loaded for bear too. POW!!!!