Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WaPo: Geffen Ordeal Shifts Black Support To Obama

From The Washington Post comes this article about the fallout from the Geffen skirmish.

The opening stages of the campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination have produced a noticeable shift in sentiment among African American voters, who little more than a month ago heavily supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton but now favor the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama.

Clinton, of New York, continues to lead Obama and other rivals in the Democratic contest, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. But her once-sizable margin over the freshman senator from Illinois was sliced in half during the past month largely because of Obama's growing support among black voters.

Most of you that read PYY already know what I think of polls, especially polls this early in the game. But politicians do care greatly and therefore, this has to be concerning for the New York senator.

One thing Hillary must understand is, overreaction can cost you points. In this case, I think the action caused by Geffen's remarks would not have caused as much of a problem, had the NY senator just played them down and reacted so histrionically.

One thing she does not want to do is alienate Democratic black voters in the pre-primary season. If the wounds are too deep and blacks perceive that there is a disconnect as a result of a bloody primary campaign between her and Obama, she may find many staying home in November. And from where I sit, Democrats need the black vote to have any viable chance.

As it stands now, she is still comfortably ahead. But hey, it's still a long way to go before the votes are cast. Those that advise Hillary would do well to not overreact to anything from other Dems, at this point in time. At least, that's how I would advise her.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

An Inconvenient Hypocrisy

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research has released an item that claims the Oscar-winning Al Gore, does not practice what he preaches.

Here is the release.

The problem here is the same problem I always have with politicians (or anyone else, for that matter) that get on their soapboxes and advocate a certain thing, yet do not demonstrate the example. If a person like Al Gore were to truly believe in what he is doing, why is it so hard to live in the same manner?

Liberals and socialists are good at telling a middle class family of four, they should cut back on this or that, should willingly and happily surrender more of their hard earned money to ease poverty, and generally bow to the will of those seeking the vote of those that have little, so that those that are without can be on a government program that is is rife with corruption and inefficiency. In stark contrast to their words, many of them are not willing to give more of what they earn, nor do they sacrifice much (if any) of their lifestyle, to attain these goals.

I'll bet Al Gore and John Kerry, both, take every last tax exemption their accountants can find, just to avoid paying more taxes. Many are no different than the countless CEOs, billionaires, and multi-millionaires that do the exact same thing. If a politician, Hollywood elitist, or some other advocate of wealth re-distribution and environmental protection were to really believe in these philosophies, why do try to beat Uncle Sam out of money and why do they consume more?

Better yet, if Al Gore is so convinced that this calamity called global warming can be corrected, why isn't he leading the charge? Why do others like Ted Kennedy fly in private jets, drive huge SUVs, and fight efforts to have wind mills placed on their islands?

Anyone have answers? I'd love to hear them.

An Interesting Addendum To This Story: ABC has picked up the story.
Here is an excerpt:

If this were any other person with $30,000-a-year in utility bills, I wouldn't care," says the Center's 27-year-old president, Drew Johnson. "But he tells other people how to live and he's not following his own rules."

Scoffed a former Gore adviser in response: "I think what you're seeing here is the last gasp of the global warming skeptics. They've completely lost the debate on the issue so now they're just attacking their most effective opponent."

Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for the Gores, did not dispute the Center's figures, taken as they were from public records. But she pointed out that both Al and Tipper Gore work out of their home and she argued that "the bottom line is that every family has a different carbon footprint. And what Vice President Gore has asked is for families to calculate that footprint and take steps to reduce and offset it."

They are busted, and they know it.

One person tries to deflect the issue and another tap dances his way through it with some BS carbon foot print. That's real convincing.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Mother May Lose Obese Son

From the AP comes this story from Britain. There, the government may very well intervene in a case that is either becoming more common in the world of parenthood or has been going on for much longer than many of us would like to think, with many left unaware.

LONDON (AP) -- Authorities are considering taking an 8-year-old boy who weighs 218 pounds into protective custody unless his mother improves his diet, officials said Monday.

Normally, I advocate less government intervention, this is especially true in areas of how we raise our children. I also would say that government cannot do a better job of raising children, in most cases. But with this article, it goes to show that even with the inefficiency, and downright incompetency of many things that involve this enigma we call government, there are some instances whereby this inept institution would be a better lot in life, than what they currently own.

Here's why I say so (which is found right in the article):

"Child abuse is not just about hitting your children or sexually abusing them, it is also about neglect,"......

Often when this kind of thing comes up, the debate turns to whether neglect is the same as, or different than, abuse. Neglect is harder to prove than abuse, sometimes. But in this case it is apparent, there is visible evidence that the child's best interests are not currently being served. There is evidence that the mother does not show up for appointments with professionals that can help him.

Keep in mind, while this is taking place in Britain, this kind of thing is happening right here in the U.S., too.

I don't know what television show it was, I was just catching it in passing, mind you. But just a short time ago, I watched some young girl (from somewhere in America) roll herself around on the floor just to get from Point A to Point B, because she was too damned fat to walk. The parent(s) in that case must have been missing a properly functional and operational brain unit, as well.

Now, I highly doubt there is a malicious motive in every case. Sometimes it's guilt, other times it's just a case of not wanting to say no or not wanting to hear the protests. I know how it is, I have raised kids. It's easier to give in sometimes, when one wants peace and quiet. But down the road, it creates something that can and does get out of control, one way or another. But in this case (like may others), it's simply a case where the kid rules the roost.

With all of this in mind, I cannot see where there is any further point in allowing this kid to stay with the mother that allows her kid to kill himself slowly. Can you?

Open Thread

I have been busy with work and other time-consuming commitments. Yesterday I was so tired, I just didn't feel I could do a post any justice. So, I goofed off. Therefore, today would be a good day for a Monday Open Thread. Pick whatever topic is on your mind and run with it. This is where you can get whatever you want, off of your chest.

I am going to be in for a long day, again today. So, I may not get to look at everything until later today. Until this evening, have a good Monday and thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

One City With Two Teams, Miles Apart.

Welcome to another fine edition of PYY Culture Watch.

Bob Kravitz, sports columnist for the Indianapolis Star, made and astute observation this week, one that I noticed immediately. But the problem lies with the fact that I do not write columns for a living, he does. Because of this, he has the time to think of these things and implement his ideas, long before I do. So, as is the case in these kinds of matters, he had time to write about it it long before me.

Here is the gist of the matter:

Two of the Pacers that were involved in a bar fight a short while ago, were charged Wednesday.

Two Indiana Pacers made the short trip from Conseco Fieldhouse to jail early today after the they were indicted Wednesday in connection with a bar fight earlier this month.

Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels surrendered at the Arrestee Processing Center shortly after midnight. Earlier, Tinsley's attorney, James Voyles, had said the players would be in Marion Superior Court this morning.

This happened despite the fact that the club management did not push for charges.

A Westside bar manager did not push for criminal charges against two Indiana Pacers players who were indicted for allegedly striking him, an attorney for the bar said Thursday.

The Feb. 6 brawl at 8 Seconds Saloon resulted in a grand jury indictment Wednesday against Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels on misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct charges.

Tinsley, 28, also faces two counts of intimidation -- one a Class D felony, the other a misdemeanor -- for allegedly threatening bar staff members.

The other significant sports story this week involved Indianapolis Colts running back Dominic Rhodes and his arrest for DUI.

With the luster of a starring role in the Indianapolis Colts' Super Bowl victory this month just behind and the prospect of a lucrative free agent contract ahead, running back Dominic Rhodes' early morning arrest Tuesday on a charge of driving while intoxicated couldn't have come at a much more awkward time for him or his team.

Rhodes was released with no bail after a brief Tuesday afternoon hearing.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said Rhodes' blood-alcohol level tested at 0.09 percent, and declined further comment. The Indiana legal limit is 0.08.

So here we have it, one city with two sport teams, with two different situations that both involve the Arrestee Processing Center. But if we look at the responses from the managements of the two different teams, we see two very different approaches.

From the same article on Rhodes arrest, we see Colts President Bill Polian's statement:

"We are very troubled by Dominic Rhodes' arrest for DUI," Colts president Bill Polian said in a statement released by the club. "In accordance with state law and NFL policy, we will have no further comment until the case has been dealt with by the justice system.

Note the first part of that statement and compare it with Tony Dungy's remarks made, at the NFL Combine:

Speaking this afternoon at the NFL Scouting Combine at the RCA Dome, Dungy said he was "very, very disappointed'' with Rhodes' arrest earlier this week on two misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence.

"One of the things I said I was so proud of is we went through the Super Bowl time, where there's usually some type of negative story, and there was nothing negative that came from either team,'' Dungy said. "We talk about it all the time as a team, just decision-making. You make one poor decision and it reflects on everybody. It reflects on the whole National Football League.

"It's disappointing. How that's going to impact what we do, we'll have to see down the road. But Dom knows that it's something I'm very disappointed in. But we'll sit down and go through everything and try to sort it out and try to be as supportive as we can.''

And Polian adds further:

"Is it an issue? Absolutely,'' Colts president Bill Polian said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine at the RCA Dome. "Must it be dealt with? I would weigh in on the side that it should.''

Now let's contrast this scene, with the press release from the Pacers. From the Kravitz piece comes:

"Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels have steadfastly insisted that they are innocent and did not engage in any unlawful or improper behavior on the night in question . . .''

"A grand jury has only decided that a trial is needed to determine the facts. In our system of justice, grand juries do not find anyone guilty of anything. This process is very different from a trial, in which the proceedings are under the supervision of a judge who instructs the jury that an indictment is not evidence of anything . . ."

See the difference?

Not until the Kravitz column on Thursday did Pacers President Larry Bird speak publicly about the incident:

"I've always been able to let things flow off me, but this is Indiana and this is the Indiana Pacers," Bird said Friday in an interview with The Indianapolis Star. "It means a lot to me. When something happens to them I get very depressed and very down."

I didn't realize this was about Larry's feelings. I thought it was about the fans that pay the bills. I thought it was about the man that has to sign the checks. But what the heck, let's read on:

"We can't guarantee 100 percent nothing else is going to happen, but we can't have anything happen," Bird said.

He could if he'd get rid of the thugs. But alas, it's probably too late. Who would want them? He should have shipped them out after the strip joint incident, last October. But you know Lenient Larry, always having some "pie-in-the-sky belief system", for people that end up burning him in the end. (SEE: Ron Artest)

"Our fan base wants this cleaned up, and they want to see the type of team they want to see every night. I know what they want; it's up to us to do it. And I think we can do it."

Hello? Note to Larry: You bet we want it cleaned up. And I am not spending one more damned dime on the Pacers, until it is. But, that's not going to happen as long as you play the "powerless to do anything about it" card. So, you think you can do it? Great. I don't think you can and I think it's time for you, Coach Carlisle, and Donnie Walsh to go. Because all of you (and I mean all) have lost control of this team.

But maybe the fans think this is too big of a job for Larry Legend. I know this former fan does. And while I am at it, it seems the culture of the NBA is out of control. Anyone that followed the aftermath of the All-Star Game in Las Vegas last weekend, knows that the culture is eroding. With that point, there comes a thought that maybe David Stern should go too. Because from where I sit, it looks like he has lost control of the lion's share of the entire league.

You be the judge, here.

Maybe we can do something about it (but then again, maybe not)? Line that up with the Colts' outlook of: It's disappointing and something needs to be done about it. I doubt many principled people would fail to the see the stark differences in the two approaches, in both of these incidents.

The bottom line is simple. If the NBA does not regain their credibility, their losses could be enormous and could go the way of baseball, a good while back, when popularity declined sharply after the last strike. The NFL looks like it is learning from the NBA and wanting to take a harder look at this, before it gets out of control. In that case it becomes a prime example of an old favorite adage of mine:

No one is ever completely worthless. At the very least, they can serve as bad examples.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Turkey Urges Delay On Referendum

A little delayed in this story, but I have been busy and haven't had a lot of blogging time the last couple of days. So here goes:

From the AP comes this report.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey's prime minister on Tuesday urged one of Iraq's two vice presidents to delay a referendum on the future of Kirkuk, fearing Iraqi Kurdish groups could seize control of the northern, oil-rich city.

Turkey, which has been trying to quell a Kurdish insurgency for more than two decades, is concerned about the growing power of Iraqi Kurds and has repeatedly warned Iraqi Kurdish groups against trying to seize control of Kirkuk.

Iraq's constitution calls for a referendum on Kirkuk's future by the end of the year. The Kurds want to incorporate the city and its rich oilfields into their self-ruled region _ a move the Turks have strongly opposed.

I find this an interesting piece, partly because the Kurds are an ethnic currently without a true homeland. Rarely does the MSM focus on this fact, rarely does the Muslim world give it a second thought. The focus has been for years and probably always will be, the plight of the Palestinians. Yet, we see the Kurds in northern Iraq building a vibrant economy, in a stable political environment, while being treated like the red-headed step-children of the Muslim world.

I understand why Turkey is apprehensive. Separatist Kurdish guerrillas have wreaked havoc in Turkey for years now and there is fear that a more wealthy Kurdish region, could be used to raise revenue for the continuation of said attacks.

Recently, the Turks made what I thought was a nice gesture towards Armenians, another long-time enemy of the Turks. History has much to teach about this schism, as well as that with the Kurds. So, that leads me to pose a couple of quick questions. (Time to flush Anonim out of lurking status.)

If the Kurds were to take control of Kirkuk and were to establish a state of their own that would be their own, why then would they need to launch attacks into Turkey?

Wouldn't this be an opportunity for Kurds that are dissatisfied with living in Turkey to leave and emigrate into the new thriving Kurdistan?

Also: There's an interesting discussion going on in the Russian Rhetoric Not Well Received By Europeans thread, feel free to join in.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

Well, now that I have had time to peruse You Tube more thoroughly, I have been coming up with all kinds of neat things.

This song and video were both satirical looks at the the world at the time, and very poignant in their messages. It's hard to believe that this song is over 25 years old.

Give it a look, it's called A Beautiful World.

An Entertaining Read

I have to tell you, I have really enjoyed the writing at the Politico. It's not abrasive, it's not boring, it's good writing for a fair price (free).

I took a glance at this particular piece and found it quite amusing and entertaining. If you are a politician that's in the news a lot and you are facing re-election in 08, you definitely want to save this to your favorite places for future reference, should you get the call.

For the rest of us, it's a good read.

Check it out, when you get the chance. It isn't long.

Russian Rhetoric Not Well Received By Europeans

So says the IHT in this article. (This is a follow-up to this post published a week ago, Monday)

WARSAW: Despite deep differences between Europe and the United States over the Iraq war, missile defense and NATO's future, President Vladimir Putin of Russia failed in a harsh speech to widen the dispute with Washington, according to security analysts in Poland and elsewhere.

"The reason is that Putin's true colors were revealed," said Marek Ostrowski, a Polish foreign policy expert. "We Poles are used to Russia trying to split the European allies and the trans-Atlantic relationship. But this time around everyone could sense his arrogance — which is why he provoked little sympathy."

If anything, Putin's speech last weekend to the Munich Security Conference, in which he attacked the Bush administration's foreign policy and its unwillingness to treat Russia as an equal partner, hardened the resolve of the Czech government. It said it would press ahead with plans to base the radar component of a missile-defense system on its territory.

The irony is all of this (as is implied in the article) is the two nations that are most critical of Vladimir Putin's harsh tone are two former Warsaw Pact countries that Putin still feels the need to bully around, as if the Pact is still in effect. The article goes on to point out that much of Europe's leaders that have embraced Putin in some measure or degree have left office, or are about to leave in the near future:

....the European leaders who were closest to Putin have left or are about to leave the political stage.

The conservative chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, in power since late 2005, has no qualms in criticizing Putin's human rights record — unlike her Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schröder. Last month, Merkel publicly reprimanded Putin for failing to notify Germany that he was cutting off energy supplies to Belarus, which in turn prevented supplies reaching Germany.

Jacques Chirac, the French president, who personally oversaw his country's Russian policy, is not expected to seek re-election this spring. Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy is less tolerant of Putin than his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi.

In the past, this would look to be the light at the end of the tunnel. The leaders of these states and others are not happy with the way Putin wants to do business and have said so, in so many words. But in this, the day and age (of the EU trying to assert it's influence over the unwilling), we can see that this is not necessarily the case:

Several new EU members, particularly Poland and the Baltic states, are questioning what some have seen as a cozy relationship between the EU and Moscow.

"If you look at who is in power at the moment in Europe, a kind of middle ground with respect to Russia is emerging," said Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform in London. That new middle ground will be tested in the coming months when the EU starts negotiating a new trade, economic and political agreement with Russia.

"The member states have now heard Putin explain the new Russia," Bailes said. "The ball is in Brussels's court."

I do not recommend anyone holding their breath on this one. The EU has already shown its colors in other attempts to undermine the sovereignty of its members. Rather that work for the European nations that it represents, it clearly demonstrates time after time that it's only interest is, justifying its own existence.

But, be that as it may, this flap generated by putting defense shield missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland is proving to be the catalyst in a new era of "Cold War" relations between the west and Russia. Russia is not content to allow a purely defensive system to be installed near its borders, without a barrage of threats by Russian military officials.

(MOSCOW) — Poland and the Czech Republic risk being targeted by Russian missiles if they agree to host a proposed U.S. missile defense system, a top Russian general warned Monday. Russia has been increasingly bellicose in its response to the U.S. proposal to build the missile defense system in Eastern Europe. President Vladimir Putin has said he does not trust U.S. claims that the system would be to guard the American East Coast and Europe from missiles launched from "rogue nations" in the Middle East.

Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, head of Russia's missile forces, said the system would upset strategic stability. It would be the first such site in Europe.

"If the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic take such a step ... the Strategic Missile Forces will be capable of targeting these facilities if a relevant decision is made," he said.

This begs some new questions. What are the real objectives of the Russian government? Are they planning on a new empire or are they truly scared that their threats and overall bellicosity will not be heeded in future endeavors?

And what do the Czechs say about the Russian attempts to intimidate them?

Read this:

WARSAW (Reuters) - The Czech Republic said on Tuesday it would not be intimidated by Russia over plans to site parts of a U.S. missile defense system on its territory and said attempts at "blackmail" by Moscow would backfire.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said threats by Russian officials over the plans, which would involve placing a radar system on Czech land and a missile battery in Poland, would only make Czechs more determined to defend themselves.

Sounds like someone is not afraid of the big bad wolf.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another Screw Up?

From the NRO comes this blog entry that quotes from a column, by Variety's Peter Bart.

Here's what Bart reported on a gathering with John Edwards, as the featured speaker:

The aggressively photogenic John Edwards was cruising along, detailing his litany of liberal causes last week until, during question time, he invoked the "I" word -- Israel. Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. As a chill descended on the gathering, the Edwards event was brought to a polite close.

I would be cautious to note that no quotes were used by Mr. Bart. But that (in and of itself) does not mean that it wasn't said, in some form or fashion. It may be paraphrased.

It'd be nice if a tape could surface, or someone else besides Bart could corroborate this story. This could be a hatchet job, by Bart. After all, he may be supporting someone else and seek to pile on Edwards, after the blogger fiasco.

But if he did say it, he must have some serious brain damage.

Another Sports Hero Screws Up

From the Indy Star comes this breaking report.

Indianapolis Colts running back Dominic Rhodes, one of the stars in the team's Super Bowl victory this month, was arrested early this morning on a charge of driving while intoxicated and faces a preliminary hearing this afternoon, authorities said.

Dominic, Dominic, Dominic. Wherefore art thou, Dominic?

Being on top of your game while winning the big one does not exclude you from using common sense that many have come to expect from you. It's not the end of the world, but a lesson must be learned here. One screw up does not make a person a waste, but this cannot happen. Or, you end up like some of the thugs that have played for the Pacers, a habitual problem child.

Please, do not do this ever again. Get a cab, next time. Those that look up to you will be watching to see how you respond to this. Use this as a valuable learning experience and grow from it.

McCain Takes Swing At Rumsfeld

When public opinion sours, politicians seem to create a fall guy. And right now, Rumsfeld's the man for the job. He's gone and everyone is piling on, including the GOP. Via this article, we can see John McCain doing his share now that election time is cranking up.

BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Monday the war in Iraq has been mismanaged for years and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be remembered as one of the worst in history.

"We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement _ that's the kindest word I can give you _ of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war," the Arizona senator told an overflow crowd of more than 800 at a retirement community near Hilton Head Island, S.C. "The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously."

McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, complained that Rumsfeld never put enough troops on the ground to succeed in Iraq.

"I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history," McCain said to applause.

What I think about McCain or Rumsfeld is irrelevant at this point. To his credit, he has been harping on Rumsfeld for awhile now and this article from 2004 bears that out. This isn't something new. He said then and he still says it now, there aren't enough troops on the ground to complete the mission. What McCain must not do is stop there.

First, let me say that I have no qualms about why we went to war and I have stated many times why. So, let's not re-focus on that for a minute. Supporting the mission as it was first stated was never the issue, but I didn't have a blog back then, so I cannot point back to it. But, trust me when I tell you that when the decision was made, I felt apprehension for a variety of reasons.

What is at issue here is the way the war has been handled. And before any criticism is dealt out, one must understand that there were some serious miscalculations along the way. Not putting enough boots on the ground is just one.

The first and foremost of the mistakes is, not adequately estimating the resistance. It's tough to do, I know. There are no guarantees that any plan will succeed. But when these people had been oppressed for so long at the hands of a brutal dictator, it would seem that someone with an office, desk, and a pen could've taken this into account a little better. You cannot create a power vacuum, when there has been such a brutal power structure in place for years upon end. You just can't expect an oppressed people to react as we think they should and embrace freedom, the way we do.

The second thing is not in the theoretical realm, but in the practical. Because the powers that be thought it'd be somewhat of a cakewalk, we did not properly equip the troops. We had trouble early on and we are still having trouble now. Read this article from the WaPo (courtesy of Mary Ellen).

Thirdly, the Iraqi Army should have never been disbanded. The upper echelon of officers should have been tried and put in jail if they had ordered or committed atrocities; otherwise, they should have been canned immediately and replaced, by promoting from within the remaining ranks.

Fourthly, we have tried to fight a politically correct war. We cannot win the hearts and minds of anyone, when we do not exhibit more might and be less concerned about propaganda from all camps that do not like what we are doing, or trying to do. The truly helpless people won't feel safe, if we do not take the enemy out and make them feel safe. Case in point, letting al-Sadr leave that mosque he was holed up in and not arresting him or killing him. He only had a few hundred followers then, now it estimated that he has over 20,000. And where is he now? In Iran, safe and sound.

And fifth, there should have been more candor about the situation as it became known, and as long as it didn't affect what was going on at the moment. Everything was fine, wasn't getting the job done. Don't get me wrong here, I know it wasn't and still isn't as bad as the MSM makes it sound each and every night on the evening news, but it wasn't and isn't roses either.

Like I said, this is in no way an indictment on the reasons we went to war, which some in the political process are still arguing over. It doesn't question the need for the war, nor does it question the decision. It does question the planning, execution, and to some degree the timing.

What McCain is trying to do here is start the ball rolling in the GOP ranks he's trying to distance himself from the Bush camp by making Rumsfeld the whipping boy. Because to defend the way this has turned out up to this point in the process, would be a major mistake. In fact, it would be nothing short of political suicide. It's going to be a struggle, no matter how it gets rated. But to run on the laurels of those that haven't been able to get the job done before now, would be foolish at best.

And McCain knows it.

Will it succeed? Will the American electorate get behind John McCain?

Dems will say, no. Those that support McCain will say, yes. Those of us that haven't decided will just wait and see. One thing is for sure, just describing the problems will not get the job done. Harping about whether or not we should have gone to war won't do it, either. Solutions have to be offered and proposals will need to be made, before I make any decision on who I will support. And the way I see it, I have a year to decide.

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Post At PPTG

Check it out, when you get a chance.

And again, my apologies for taking so long to get one up. (For I am a dying cockroach and not worthy.)

Bill Clinton For Senate?

From the Examiner comes this article:

WASHINGTON - If Hillary Rodham Clinton wins the presidency, some top Democrats would like to see her husband, former President Bill Clinton, appointed to serve out Hillary’s unexpired Senate term.

“As a senator, he’d be a knockout,” said Harold Ickes, who was once a top White House aide to Bill Clinton and now gives behind-the-scenes advice to Hillary. “He knows issues, he loves public policy and he’s a good politician.”

This scenario would create a host of firsts and certainly set some precedents along the way. But would this be a conflict of interest? What if they disagreed on an issue? Deeper in the article we find Larry Sabato's take:

“Clinton is a natural for the Senate,” Sabato said. “He loves to talk and schmooze. He could be a great vote-organizer. Majority Leader Clinton?”

Now, that's some lofty goal, wouldn't you say? President Hillary and Majority Leader Bill, would be one of the ultimate power grabs in the history of our nation.

But again, this is all based on a series of what ifs and assumes that Hillary will be elected, first and foremost. To do that, she must get the nomination, then win the general election. Here, the first primary is just a year away and these dreams are being articulated in the Democratic circles, as if it's just around the corner. Then, it assumes that the Dems will retain control of the Senate. It assumes these things long before it assumes that Bill would even want to be a Senator, after he has been President.

As I have said before, it's still a long way off. A lot could happen between now and then. Maybe these prognosticators are counting their chickens before they hatch, maybe they are onto something. But, it's something to talk about on slow news days, I guess. So read the article and file it under maybe, maybe not.

Then, if this has you starry-eyed and dreamy, just pinch yourself and re-focus back to the here and now. If it horrifies you, take a deep breath and get to work. Right now, it's just talk. But.......

Saturday, February 17, 2007

From A Democrat: Some Liberal Bloggers Are Immature

Really? One need only read the posts and comments of the Daily Kos to see that this is an accurate claim. Those of us that have been in the political blogosphere for any length of time have known this. But until now, a person that dared to state anything like this brought about immature accusations of being a neo-con and a right-wingnut, regardless of that person's political affiliation or personal ideology. Disagreeing with any Democrat that is dearly admired by the far-left, must automatically put a person into the GOP camp.

The man making this claim is Daniel Gerstein from the Politico and is a Democrat, himself. Here is the essay where he makes his case.

It uses the Edwards bloggers affair as the backdrop. But this kind of thing has been prevalent for a long time. Yes, I know that there are some right wing blogs that do the same thing. And I will say that I am not a fan of those, either. Criticizing ideas and arguing against open stances on specific issues is what politics are all about, and such is certainly fair game. But, when we look at the grand scheme of things, I have found very few liberal sites that I would care to visit on a regular basis, due to this level of immaturity displayed throughout.

Some exceptions to this rule are The Politico, Super Frenchie, The Daou Report, and The Carpetbagger Report, all of which are on the PYY blogroll. If there are any others that do not display this kind of sophomoric behavior, please leave a link and I will give them a look. If they are truly a mature and intelligent group, I may even blogroll them.

This article by Gerstein is worth a look, in its entirety. But one thing I would like to highlight, is this part:

The blogger bomb-throwing may be good for inflaming the activist base, and, as they demonstrated in the 2006 Lieberman-Lamont Senate primary race in Connecticut, for occasionally blowing up the opposition. It’s not bad for bullying your friends, either, as the liberal blogosphere did last week in pressuring Edwards to not fire the two bloggers who penned the offensive anti-religious posts.

But the typical blog mix of insults and incitements is just not an effective strategy for persuading people outside of your circle of belief – be they moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans, or the swelling number of independents – to join your cause. In fact, it’s far more likely to alienate than propagate them.

Something else most liberal bloggers fail to appreciate – we as Democrats can’t afford to repel those middle of the road, largely non-partisan voters.

Bingo. I have been saying this for five years now, much to the chagrin of many.

But now, it comes from a liberal Democrat that understands this principle. And although I may disagree with Mr. Gerstein at various points in future posts, allow me to say that he has earned my respect by communicating this. PYY salutes him for his courage to say what many know to be true, but are afraid to state for fear of being shouted down by the angry and immature.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Trip Down Memory Lane

As a child and young adult, the frequent threats and biased rhetoric from the former Soviet Union, flowed freely. Listening to Radio Moscow as a young adult in the 70s was quite comical, to say the least. Lies, threats, and accusations were much the common theme coming out of the USSR, in those days. Today, we see the trend moving back in that direction.

Russia threatened on Thursday to pull out of a landmark nuclear arms control treaty unless the US backed away from plans to install its missile defence shield in Eastern Europe.

It's deja vu, all over again. The US wants to protect itself and its allies with a defensive system, and yet, this gives Russia a great excuse to restart the arms race. Having a desire to see the glory days of the USSR return, it appears that this is the moment that Putin has been waiting for. This is his moment in the sun.

You see, Russia has been relegated to just another nation that aspires to compete with America. Old habits and attitudes seem to die hard. No doubt he'd love to leave mistrust and antagonism, two former KGB qualities, as his legacy.

But even though his days are numbered, many are speculating that he is picking a man of like mind, to be his successor. Here we see, where he has promoted the defense minister to become first deputy prime minister.

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin promoted Sergei Ivanov to first deputy prime minister from defense minister, giving him the same rank as his main rival to replace Putin next year.

Welcome back to the days where successors were named, by moving them closer and closer to the inner circle. Sure, he will have to face an election. But stacking the deck against those that may seek reform appears to be Putin's current strategy, from the looks of things here. This is certainly not much different from the old days, just study some old pictures of the Soviet leadership watching the May Day displays of military might. Be sure to do it in chronological order.

But I guess if I was Russian I could look on the bright side, in all of this. There was a time (when Stalin did the promoting) that this could very well have turned into a death sentence, with one erroneous move. Getting closer to Stalin in those pictures meant there was a good chance a person wouldn't even be photographed the next year, if they screwed up. So, with that in mind, I guess congratulations are in order for Mr. Ivanov.

Free Speech Out The Window In Germany?

From the IHT comes this article about a neo-Nazi in Germany who was just sentenced to 5 years in prison for denying the Holocaust.

A far-right activist was convicted of incitement and sentenced to the maximum five years in prison Thursday for anti-Semitic activities, including contributing to a Web site dedicated to Holocaust denial.

The activist, Ernst Zundel, was deported to his native Germany from Canada in 2005. He has also lived in Tennessee. He and his supporters have argued that he is a peaceful campaigner who has been denied his right to free speech.

If you are new to this blog, I want to preface my comments before I get too involved with this post.

No one can say that I have not been supportive of Israel. In fact, one can easily say that I have been highly critical of its enemies, to the point of denouncing the vast majority of them. I have done so time and time again over the past two years that I have been blogging. Just search the archives, and you''ll see. I'll also say that this guy is certainly wrong in his assessment. There has been so much verifiable proof throughout the years after WWII, his argument is not sound. I know too many people that are in the know and have read way too many accounts of that era, to believe otherwise.

As wrong as he is about this historic event and as deplorable as I find him to be, I firmly believe he is right about being denied his right to free speech. What purpose does it serve to throw someone in jail for a faulty belief system? I mean come on now. Where did he offend someone?

If he had threatened someone that was Jewish, I'd understand. If he had hurt or called for Jews to be hurt in anyway, I'd understand. But does showing one's ignorance call for a jail term? How can we as decent people reject the ridiculous complaints of other religious or ethnic groups, for feeling offended at little to nothing, and yet allow ourselves to watch this kind of gross injustice without "crying foul"?

This solves nothing, except giving these people more attention than they deserve.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Afterlife Battles Left By Anna Nicole

I have purposely avoided any commentary on Anna Nicole Smith's case, as this is not designed to be a paparazzi-style gossip blog. But for one brief moment in time, I will violate that policy. At this point in time, the only issue that is important is establishing paternity for her baby girl. New DNA evidence has been ordered to be taken from her body, which still lies in a morgue.

(AP) A judge ordered another DNA sample be taken from Anna Nicole Smith's body Thursday as he heard often fiery arguments in the fight over the former Playboy Playmate's remains and custody of her infant daughter.

The swab of Smith's cheek was to be taken during a lunchtime recess, despite the objections of attorneys for her longtime companion, Howard K. Stern, and her estranged mother, Vergie Arthur, and testimony from the medical examiner and DNA experts that such an additional sample was likely not necessary.

There is a rumor that Ms. Smith may have used frozen sperm from her late husband, Mr. Marshall. That may be why Howard K. Stern is trying to keep the paternity from coming to light. With the baby goes more than a diaper bag. One would think that if they knew for a fact that they were the father, they'd be more than glad to allow it to come to light, legally.

But much is at stake here. And Mr. Stern's objections make me wonder if he knows he is not, and doesn't want the cash cow to dry up on him.

Once paternity is established, then the child can start the process of having what we all hope is a (somewhat) normal life. But if it turns out that Mr. Marshall is the father, then a whole new can of worms is opened. If this turns out to be the case, Anna Nicole's mother (and the rest of that side of the family) will be in a position to lay claim to the child. But, being the skeptic I am, I have little trouble believing that the Marshall family will fight to get her, as well.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive.

Promising The World

Tuesday, I posted a piece on Sego's glass promises and I suspect most of the regulars have already read it. But if not, you can read it here. It's apparent that Sego is dropping in the polls, so what's she doing to reverse that? What's a politician do almost anytime they are losing ground? They make promises.

Now, don't get me wrong here. Selling the cause of a candidate is a fundamental trademark of any free and democratic society, and one cannot use this as the sole basis of criticism for that candidate. But, what "we the people" simply must do in order to sort through the muck and the mire of things, is the same thing any consumer must do when they make a purchase, buyer beware. In this particular case, Sego has made more promises than she may be able to keep, because of the enormous cost that comes with the implementation of said promises.

Here's an article that reports, she is not quite sure how she is going to pay for her lofty dreams and fantasies, should she be elected.

PARIS: The day after Ségolène Royal, the French Socialist presidential candidate, unveiled an ambitious election platform that would add billions of euros to government spending, her campaign said Monday it needed a little more time to figure out who would pay for it.

Here's a prime example of not thinking through a proposal or idea, before it is offered. Sego's camp sees she is faltering, so what's the option? Promise the moon to get attention (and leave the details to be worked out later). If I were a concerned French citizen, I'd definitely be wondering if this is a preview of how things would be done, should she get elected. I don't know about others, but haphazardly and reactively is not how I want an elected official to behave when charged with such enormous responsibility.

It's one thing to be able to react to unforeseen, unexpected, serious events. That's a quality a leader must have. But, it's quite another to have time to put together a plan or proposal, and not have it fully developed before it is introduced (when there is no immediate pressure to do so). It's lazy, desperate, and shows how seriously committed a candidate truly is (or in this case, isn't).

My grandmother used to have a saying, she would say to me when I was a kid (and my own when they were little) and made desperate promises:

Promises are like pie crust, easy made and easy broken.

That pretty much sums up this case, right here. If not, it's going to be one lousy tasting pie for those that have to foot the bill.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I am back home now.

Because of the horrible snow and ice storm, I spent the night in a Red Roof Inn with all of its coveted amenities, courtesy of my employer. It took several desperate attempts to open the door to my room, while ice and snow blew all over me and I was standing in a foot-high drift on the ledge on the second floor. I had to go to the motel office to see if they had a pen.

By the time I left work last night, I was starved. The only restaurant open was the always elegant and atmospheric White Castle. I apologized to my co-workers today.

In all, we got about 7-9 inches in this area. Drifts were up to 3 feet in some places. But some places north of us got up to 17 and drifts were much higher. So, I guess I shouldn't bitch.

Well..... needless to say, I am wiped out and am too tired to read the comments, at least with any measure of reasonable comprehension. Therefore, I will forego it, until the morning. Thanks to all that kept the place warm for me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Royal Reveals Far Left-Leaning Platform

While we are on a roll with French stories, the French presidential race is heating up and the Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal has unveiled her economic vision for France.

In a two-hour speech to about 10,000 supporters north of Paris, she laid out a 100-proposal platform, pledging to raise pensions, to increase the minimum wage to €1,500, or about $2,000, a month and to guarantee a job or further training for every youth within six months of graduating from university.

I would assume that not many are surprised by this, after all, she is a socialist. It's always nice to hear feel-good socialist ideas, until you get to the point where one has to consider how to pay for them, should they be implemented.

"The unfettered rein of financial profit is intolerable for the general interest," she said. "You told me simple truths. You told me you wanted fewer income inequalities. You told me you wanted to tax capital more than labor. We will do that reform."

There's that evil word again, profit. Here's a real secret: Companies with no profit create no jobs. I would think that socialists would have realized this by now, but I digress.

Go back to pre-Mussolini Italy and see the value of having workers take over factories and other types of companies. Look how long they lasted after they wrested them from the rightful owners by force. If that's not enough for you, try looking at how the new Arizona minimum wage law is affecting the unskilled jobs market. Then, come back and tell us how economic socialism is better than market capitalism.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Song From My Past

There is a snow and ice storm quickly approaching my immediate are of operation, so I do not know how much time I will have to work on the blog. So, I will try to pack in a few short ones to keep you busy, on the chance that I get snowed in at work tomorrow.

Back in the late 70s (when I was stationed in the former West Germany), a new and innovative band hit the world music scene with style, grace, and force. Dire Straits' first big hit, Sultans Of The Swing, had such a Dylanesque sound to it, I couldn't help but allow it to catch my ear. As a result, I fell in love with this band almost instantly. The first time I heard it was with a bunch of Bundeswehr soldiers while out on REFORGER 79.

Today, almost 30 years later, I still love them. Their superb works are too numerous to mention, without some form of corresponding commentary; but one thing is for sure, I cannot pick a clear-cut favorite. Each one of them has been my favorite at one time or another, it just depends on my mood (I guess). But this one called Brothers In Arms is certainly one that I would call excellent:

Listen to it, enjoy it, and think about it. The lyrics are very eloquent and touching. The video is awesome.

Is France Doomed To Anti-Semitism?

Many French will say that anti-semitism in France is not the problem, some make it out to be.

But in this article from the AFP, there is one prominent French cleric that disagrees (and he's not Jewish).

The archbishop of Paris and head of the Roman Catholic Church in France, Andre Vingt-Trois, said that France was doomed to a "pandemic of anti-Semitism" during a visit to Israel.

"France is doomed to a pandemic of anti-Semitism," he told a news conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog after arriving on his first visit to the Holy Land.

"The feeling is fueled by a certain amount of events but we can be French and Catholic and not be frightened about meeting Jews and even enjoy it."

The Archbishop does not cite statistics. But what makes his claim worth considering is, he lives there. Because he lives there and is a prominent member of his community, we must assume that he has some sense or feel for the local population and their attitudes towards many things. What people say in everyday life may not always translate to what they may say in a survey or a poll. What they say in a cafe or a store to friends and family, what they think when no one else can read their minds, often does not translate in a survey or a poll, either.

I do not know how pervasive anti-semitic feelings and attitudes are in France, as I do not live there. I only have the stats that Super Frenchie provided, and now, I have the words of a religious leader that lives there (as brought to us all, via the French media). With these two conflicting views, it would be difficult to determine which one was more accurate in their perspective. But one determination is certainly plain to see, France is divided on their perceptions of themselves.

Cold War II (The Sequel)

Over the weekend, there was a strikingly familiar tone coming from Russian President Putin at an international security conference, in Munich. And this was a nostalgic tone taken right out of the the old Soviet playbook.

Here is the Reuters article with the usual Reuters spin. (One needs to look no further than the title of the article, to see why the world is not as enamored with the long-time news agency, as it once was. Note that the title claims Putin says one thing. But in none of other articles I have read, does it say what Reuters says, nor does the article have this phraseology in quotes anywhere, directly attributing it to Putin. However deceptive the type editor wanted to be with this ruse, it still does not negate the fact that Putin did turn up the heat on the rhetoric in his speech.)

Here is one sample, listed in the article:

Attacking the concept of a "unipolar" world in which the United States was the sole superpower, he said: "What is a unipolar world? No matter how we beautify this term it means one single center of power, one single center of force and one single master."

"It has nothing in common with democracy because that is the opinion of the majority taking into account the minority opinion," he told the gathering of top security and defense officials.

"People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves."

This, within itself, is mildly amusing, to say the least. Comrade Putin is presenting himself to be an authority on democracy, yet he is the one that has need of a lesson.

Consider that during Putin's tenure, Russia has shut down an independent media outlet that one time exercised freedom to criticize the Russian government. (For a list of this and other acts directed against Russian media, take a look at this.)

One must also consider that under the Putin regime,
Russia wrested Yukos Oil from it rightful owners. More recently, there has been a lot of speculation that Putin had a hand in the poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy and the gunning down of Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya.

So, forgive me if I do not seem too impressed with Putin's claims, right now. He (like many others in the world arena that claim some kind of moral superiority when condemning America) is part of a growing problem that threatens democracy much more so than any invading force that uprooted a brutal despot (cut in the mold of one of Putin's predecessors, Stalin). Furthermore, there is strong suspicion that he is an enabler to those that want to impose their wills on others. He has showed a continued willingness to do business with a nation that seeks nuclear weaponry, while calling for the complete annihilation of certain nations.

Now let me say, I rarely have an audience with Mr. Putin, like Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates does. And because of this, I am relegated to criticizing him in this forum. However, Mr. Gates had his chance later on. Here is some of what he had to say in response to Putin's remarks:

"As an old Cold Warrior, one of yesterday's speeches almost filled me with nostalgia for a less complex time. Almost," Gates said. Then, as the audience chuckled, the defense secretary said he has accepted Putin's invitation to visit Russia.

"We all face many common problems and challenges that must be addressed in partnership with other countries, including Russia," said Gates. "One Cold War was quite enough."

Ah, but if only we did live in that less complex time, today. But sadly, we do not. And the last thing we do need is a former KGB agent turned world leader, chiding us on how well we practice democracy. That especially goes, when the one doing the chiding has worked feverishly to push back Russia 15 years, in terms of operational and functional freedoms.

What we do need is a strong consensus and committment, so that nations like Iran and North Korea will not be allowed to create a unstable political environment, for the rest of the world. We do not need another Cold War, with all of its grandiosity.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Some Housekeeping Notes

There are many things I have wanted to do lately, but as per usual, I have not had the time. Here are some things I want to mention:

1. To all that were excited about the start-up of PPTG, please accept my apology for letting it go so long, without a post. I hope to get one up, this week.

2. For those readers that are French, I have a new site blogrolled, called French Election 2007. (Hat tip to L'Amerloque for finding it.) From what I can see, it looks like a good source of information, especially for those that do not speak French.

3. Another blogroll addition you'll notice is The Politico. It appears to be mostly centered on Democrats, but doesn't appear to have a hard partisan approach to it. Check it out, when you get time, if you are" so-inclined".

4. Steve Benen (the man who is editing The Daou Report for Peter Daou while he advises presidential candidate Hillary Clinton) has his own blog called, The Carpetbagger Report. Both Steve and Peter are clearly Democrats, but both have been very gracious in plugging PYY on occasions. So, you will now find his blog on the PYY blogroll. In all of your browsings, please visit his site when you get the time.

As always, thanks for reading PYY and I wish everyone a great week ahead.

A Sunday Afternoon Funny

I used to post a funny joke or spoof every now and then, awhile back, called Weekend Funnies. I haven't done it for some time now. This one is a little late to be posted under that title. But nevertheless, here is what my wife sent me (which originally came from a dear friend of ours). Watching politics as we all do, I thought this might bring a smile to someone's face (as it did mine when I read it).

Five Surgeons are discussing the types of people they like to operate on:

The first surgeon says: "I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.

The second response: "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says: "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers....those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over."

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains, and no spine, and the head and the ass are interchangeable."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Honoring A Statesman

There are those that to this day will still bash Ronald Reagan. The left has demonized him from the day he first raised his right hand. They called him a warmonger, claiming that he would start the big one. But here in this article, we see a man that is still recognized as an instrumental force in catalyzing the fall of the Soviet Empire, freeing up many in the former Warsaw Pact nations to determine their own destinies.

Opponents of Poland's former communist regime reportedly want to pay a posthumous homage to US President Ronald Reagan by erecting his statue in the place of a Soviet-era monument.

Say what you want, but this speaks for itself.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Meet The French Presidential Election's Wild Card

Called so by the IHT, someone is trying to be a wild card in the French elections, between the two front runners, Sarkozy and Royal. His name is Francois Bayrou, and he is a centrist.

PARIS: Judging from magazine covers and recent political books, there are only two candidates in France's presidential campaign: Nicolas Sarkozy, the feisty Gaullist interior minister, and Ségolène Royal, the inscrutable Socialist contender.

But as the nation's two main parties snipe at each other, a third candidate is quietly gaining ground in the center. François Bayrou, leader of the Union for French Democracy, whose presidential bid in 2002 barely registered, is emerging as a dark horse in this race.

"The French are tired of the left-right Ping-Pong match," Bayrou, 55, said at a recent campaign rally. "They want an alternative to the Ségo-Sarko duel."

Looks good on paper, but how much of a real chance will he have?

But with two and a half months to go to the first round of voting on April 22, such a duel still looks by far the most likely. Sarkozy and Royal are expected to sail into a May 6 run-off with 32 percent and 26 percent of the first-round vote respectively, the latest poll by the TNS Sofres institute indicates.

But 13 percent of voters told the pollster that they would cast their ballot for Bayrou, up from 9 percent two weeks ago and 7 percent throughout the autumn.

Looks like he has gained some ground, but more distance must be made up, if he is to have much of a chance. France is divided, much like America is divided. It's hard to imagine that a centrist candidate can unite two diametrically opposing forces.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Another Indianapolis Team Making A Different Kind Of News (Again)

While the Indianapolis Colts are being praised for winning the big game with grace and humility, another Indy team is making news in a slightly different way.

Three Indiana Pacers deny they assaulted a Westside bar manager early Tuesday morning. The three under investigation by police are Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Keith McLeod.

Those that remember the brawl in the Detroit stands a while back and the incident in the strip club earlier this year at the break of training camp, certainly will know that there is a fundamental problem with Indy's NBA franchise and much of the responsibility lies with the management.

For this reason, I will not now nor will I ever support the Indiana Pacers again, until Larry Bird, Rick Carlisle, and Donnie Walsh all three step down from their lofty positions within the organization, nor will I support them until they commit themselves to winning. Winning is not important in the grand scheme of things, but a commitment towards it, is all any fan can ask.

Henceforth, my new team will be the Dallas Mavericks. There's an organization. They have class.

Some Added Thoughts:

Here's the scoop as I see it.

Al Harrington was brought back after he sold Donnie Walsh, Larry Bird, and Rick Carlisle on the idea that he didn't care about stats, like he did when he wanted traded to the Atlanta Hawks. So they trade for him, and what does he do?

He starts whining about not getting more touches and minutes.

So, the Pacers management quietly shopped him around and found that Golden State had an interest. But they forced the Warriors to take Stephen Jackson as part of the deal. Not much interest has been shown in Jackson, mostly because he is one of the participants in the little gun battle that took place at the strip club, the first week of training camp. Two others present at the Club Rio brawl were Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels (who just so happens were in attendance at the night club, where this latest fight broke out).

It's time for Walsh, Bird, and Carlisle to move on. No hard feelings, but time to go, is here. Then it should go without saying that Tinsley and Daniels need to be moved on for anything they can get. Take whatever crappy deal would be offered if necessary, just get them out.

I do not know the status of their contracts, but I would think the team could soon make a case for opting out of their contracts, under a morality clause. Both have been public nuisances and have helped greatly in creating a very poor image for the league. (Certainly worth looking into, I'd say.)

But in all of this, one decent player Jermaine O'Neal, has gotten a crappy shake. He doesn't get credit for keeping his nose clean in all of this. He has done the best he could do in these trying times. So, to reward him for his loyalty and service, he should be traded to a team that has a legitimate chance to win and compete for a title.

Basically what I am saying here is, the system needs flushed, and big time. The Pacers are in a bind because their sales are already hurting and no one cares to get behind a team that is the poster child of bad manners, in this elite millionaire club.

Give the fans some cheap tickets and rebuild the team with a great draft pick or two, sign a free agent or two, and get the ball rolling again. No one expects to win every night, and that certainly will not be the case if they have this purge. But, there are some things more important than winning.

It's called principle.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Obama And Hillary Might Avoid Early Debate Circuit

The Politico is reporting that both mega star-powered Democratic Presidential candidates may not be making the early debate rounds, this time around.

What if they gave a debate and nobody came?

What if the media-political complex announced a presidential debate, hired a hall, sent out invitations, lined up 200 folding chairs for the press, and then the major candidates said: "Stick it in your ear. We're not coming."

That could happen this year for one good reason: Major candidates are complaining that too many states are planning too many debates too early.

There are a lot of ways to look at this. From a strategic standpoint, this is an advantage for Hillary more than Obama. Hillary is a household name and has been for years now. If he's not already there, Obama is headed that way, in a warp speed. And because the senator from New York is already on record with so many things, she stands to lose more than she can gain. She can continue to plug along, taking soft-ball interviews until someone ( Democratic or Republican) forces her to do otherwise. She is in the "driver's seat", Obama is the one that needs these things early to get some kind of bounce in the recognition department.

But, as is pointed out in this referenced article, Obama is possibly willing to skip the early part of the tour, as well. That alone, tells me some things.

1. Both are not having trouble with money. Both appear to be out in the fund-raising world, garnering support, making short stump speeches that the media can use in their short sound quips, for whatever their agenda they want to drive, at that moment in time.

Their fundraising efforts come first and foremost at this stage of the game. Plus, it is free publicity in a formal, but friendly setting. It's safe, because most people that you are encountering are paying money to hear them. Those that do not like them would never pay the $5000 a plate fee, to hear them say things that they know, they already do not like.

2. Both may be looking forward to combining their raised reserves in a Clinton-Obama ticket.

From what I am reading and hearing from Democrats right now is, they want this "dream team". I, personally, think that if Hillary wins the nomination (which she probably will), she would do better with Bayh, because of his ability to take a red state. But, it is more likely that she will be pressured to swing further to the left with Obama, thus creating less surety for her chances in 2008.

3. By avoiding the debates early, they have more control over the agenda and the direction their campaigns want to go, ideologically. They can act, not react. If they are fielding questions which are often tougher in a debate setting, they are on defense, not offense.

As I have said before in earlier postings, a lot can happen between now and the time the voting begins. World and national events often dictate reactions, even when the person running may want to be in control of the action. The less time spent under the microscope, the less chance there is to screw something up. So while they are able, they are content to go about their ways, taking donations, passing the political offering plate around, and soaking up all of the free and favorable publicity that is offered to them.

But at some time in the future, they will be called upon to justify their views and stances. At some point, they will have take their cases to the American people. They will have to answer tough questions, because the American people will expect and demand it. Half the nation will be ready for this so-called new direction, but the other half will not. If their goal is to get elected, they will have to react under pressure. They will have to persuade and convince. Then, and only then, will we all see just what kind of mettle, they are all made of.

Eyewash looks good. But, is it clean under the surface?

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Anyone from Chicago that wants to castigate Rex Grossman, needs a chill pill. The Bears deserved to be there. He has time to get better and if the fans are patient, he will deliver. But tonight belonged to Peyton Manning and the Colts.

To every Colts fan, this is the realization of the dreams and goals that were set, the day they drafted Peyton Manning. For every one that said Manning was a choke artist and gave up on these guys, I have some delicious crow recipes.

To every Bear fan (and the Bears, themselves), I say," good game" and "do not give up". This is a young team and you have an excellent coach that knows how to treat his players. It took Tony Dungy awhile, you will be back next year. There is nothing to be ashamed about, the time will come. The Bears have established themselves as an NFL powerhouse and will be in contention again.

But to the Colts and their fans, congratulations on a well deserved title.