Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

Welcome to A Special Halloween Edition Of Another Blast From The Past

When we think of Halloween, we think of things that scare us. Ghosts, goblins, witches, and monsters, they all get there share of attention this time of year. Not only this, we get scary movie festivals on cable TV, costume parties, and of course, who can forget the trick or treaters making the dogs go nuts for 2-3 hours straight?

We get saturated with these things for a few weeks; then, they all go away for another year. But when Alice Cooper does a show, one can find a Halloween experience anytime of year. Like him or not, he was the master of scary in his music, and his theatrical performances on stage. He has many other songs that do not carry a horror theme, some of which are quite good. I might do a feature on those songs, someday at a later date. But for now, it's Halloween.

You know, unlike the Marilyn Mansons (and other weird freaks) in the music world, Cooper is a freak that at least has some artistic talent in his macabre on-stage depictions. And although some of his subject matter in his lyrics leaves much to be desired, I thought I'd present some of his better seasonal fare. These shouldn't be too overly gruesome and hopefully are a bit entertaining, along the way.

Think of it all, as a just bad dream. Think of it as your Halloween nightmare.

First up, we have the quintessential start to a terror-ridden trip known as an Alice Cooper show, Welcome To My Nightmare:

Along with Christmas and Easter, Halloween always brings an economical boost to the candy and confection industry. With this huge boost in cash-flow, comes a lot American Dentists Association ads for better dental care. This is when the focus on preventing tooth decay in children comes to light. And as you may guess, Alice tries to do his part in a song entitled, Unfinished Sweet:

This next tune may not be for everyone. The others are pretty much okay, but this one pushes the envelope a bit. In spite of that tidbit of information, the guillotine scene in this live performance has always been a trademark part of his act. Here is I Love The Dead:

And finally, we end up our feature with one of the most chilling songs in his repertoire. In this song, you'll recognize the immortal king of fright, Vincent Price. Here is The Black Widow:

Happy Halloween.

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

Today, the media is going out of its way to report that Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is openly questioning President Bush's mental health, after his comments about Iran's nuclear program possibly being a precursor to WWIII. This begs the question: Is this the same Dennis Kucinich that socializes with Shirley MacLaine, and saw a UFO while on her property?

Understandably, no Presidential candidate would want to be painted as a nut and being known as one who claims to have seen a flying saucer would certainly qualify. So, I can understand why he hasn't openly admitted this. By the same token, if it's not true, he wouldn't want to offend what little support he does have, namely Ms. MacLaine and six or seven other loons that know her well. So, it does not surprise me that he has yet to comment on this story.

Be that as it may, I find it extremely ironic that he would have the audacity to take the debate in this particular direction. But when we all consider the source here, it may not be so ironic, after all.

The Heart Of The Iraqi People

There are people that constantly see the Iraqis as either terrorists or victims. Often we hear how the Iraqis see Americans as occupiers of their nation and want them out. We also hear how Iraqis are Muslims that hate the American people, because we are rich, greedy, and imperialistic.

They may not use these exact words, but the inferences are there and when they are, they are strong.

The media perpetuates this myth by its often skewed and sensational reporting. Rarely do we hear about the good things that transpire in that nation, but rather we hear about Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and the other things that paint American troops in a bad light. In short, it's the old media adage: If it bleeds, it leads.

This is precisely why you will not likely see this story on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or any of the print media, anytime soon. Give it a look and let's just see if we can see it on the news.

Hat Tip: Greg

UPDATE: Evidently there's an update to this story by Mr. Lowry.

You can read it here.

In closing, I'll say that Iraqi soldiers do not make the best money and for them to come up with $1000, is an amazing gesture within itself. It may not be a lot money from our standpoint, but it's the thought that counts. And in this case, it means everything.

Hat Tip for this one: Mustang of Social Sense. (If you are reading this blog and not reading his, you have to ask yourself -- Why not?)

LOST In The Senate

By now, most of my readers have no doubt come to some conclusions on what this blog stands for, in the form of two very important recurrent themes. Individual freedom and national sovereignty are those two. And right now, there is one piece of legislation currently in the Senate, which will curtail much of our sovereignty.

We can complain about tax hikes all day long and much of it is certainly justifiable. Just the mere mention of them will raise the ire of the vast majority of people that pay them. In fact, in some instances, you can really get a huge backlash in the polls if the hikes are large enough.

But when you consider that the average American has not even heard of the Law Of The Sea Treaty (LOST) - much less taken a position pro or con on it - it certainly makes one wonder how people process information in this day and age.

Here, we have an elected body of officials that (for the most part) had no part in the meat grinder, known as WWII. They cannot tap that as an experience that forms the foundation of the judgments they make. Thye simply do not remember, because they were either too young or not alive yet.

We have people that have turned a blind eye to the storm that is currently rising in the Middle East, about to throw away our national freedoms on the high seas, and submit our forces that travel on or over it to the UN. Which does nothing for the countries that seek their own rights to self-determination, but rather strengthens those that seek to curtail individual liberties.

I am not alone in my assessment of this bogus piece of work. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) thinks it's a bad idea and explains why,
here in this op-ed piece. I highly suggest that if you have not given this issue much thought, you start researching the pros and cons objectively. And this piece, by Inhofe, is a good place to start.

PYY's Last Baseball Post Of 2007

Unless there is shocking and completely unexpected news, this is my last post on baseball this year. But for those of you that want to continue, one of the regulars here, AC from Fore Left, has one last lament about the season being over.

You all can process this loss and come to terms with the fact that you will have to wait, an entire four months, until spring training begins.

Go ahead, it's okay. AC can be therapeutic sometimes.


Monday, October 29, 2007

U.S. Congress Proposes More Ghost Employment

"Promises are like pie crust", my grandmother used to say. "Easily made, easily broken." And some of the biggest promise breakers in modern day are seated in the current Democratically-led U.S Congress.

From the NYT comes this article:

The House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, told fellow Democrats this week that the House would not be in session next year on Fridays, except in June for work on appropriations bills.

Explaining that decision to reporters, Mr. Hoyer said, “I do intend to have more time for members to work in their districts and to be close to their families.”

That's if they choose to work while in their districts, of course. I mean, who says they have to? They are not accountable to anyone except the people they represent, who for the most part aren't smart enough to see a con job, when it's right in front of them.

Sure, they've logged in some extra hours this year. But what have we got from the extra time on the clock?

First, we have HR 3648, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.

Basically we are wasting time here for the sole purpose of bailing out banks that made bad loans to people who knew couldn't afford it and people that knew they didn't have the money to make the payments when they were due.

Secondly, we have HR 928, the Improving Government Accountability Act.

Here we have a bunch of non-hackers having to legislate accountability for the membership, which the people themselves refuse to do at the polls. But, it kind of gets lost in the shuffle when you consider how they do not want to work, to begin with.

Thirdly, we have HR 1852, the Expanding American Homeownership Act of 2007.

Here we have a bill sponsored by Maxine Waters (D-CA). And if I have to explain how this is a waste of time, when there is a bill pending to bail out those entities that were involved with bad loans, I do not think I can help you in this forum. You must seek professional counseling or at very least write a letter to Dear Abby.

But, this is just a drop in the bucket. Let's look at what this Congress is working on right now. Feel free to peruse the site and see how your tax dollars are being spent.

I guess we can all see why Charlie Rangel wants to increase taxes. They want more money to do less. Try that on your job and see where it gets you (and be sure to report back here and let us know, will you?).

PYY Sportsline

I didn't see one game yesterday, so no Monday Morning Quarterback today.

Sox Sweep Rox

Unless you live in a stalag in Siberia, the big story is the Bosox win, in four. Not even Red Sox fan Greg had the guts to predict a sweep, he said it would go seven. But congrats go out to a good solid team. They pretty much dominated the regular season, stubbed their toe (but recovered) in the Indians series, and dominated the World Series with relative ease.

The big story was Lowell the MVP. What a classy and humble guy.

The Game Of The Century Is On

Yes, the hype will be nauseating, at times. We will hear more predictions, more analysis , than in any other game this season. In fact, this will rival the Super Bowl for prognostication production.

But, this is what the NFL has wanted, what the media has wanted, and more than likely what the teams have wanted. This is already being billed as the game of the century. It's very easy to market, when you have games like this.

The Pats have made their wins look easy. The Colts have plugged along in their shadow, gritting it out methodically.

For now, I will leave everyone with a couple of thoughts:

1. The team that scores last will likely win. Look for a scoring fest. It won't be a 49-41 score, more like a 28-24. I just cannot see how either of these defenses can shut down the other. It will be offensive productivity that rules the day.

2. Coaching will be front and center, both coaches are familiar with each other. Each team is talented on both sides of the ball. But the team that has the better game plan and executes it, will win.

That's it for now. As I said, we will have a whole week of sports pundits and their op-eds to digest. I do not want you to burn out on Monday.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A PYY Sentimental Moment

Call me a softy, call me sentimental. I have a way of remembering momentous events in my life that played a significant role in shaping who I am. Today, I am a husband, a father, a grandfather, but at one time in my life, I was a soldier. It was at this time in my life over 30 years ago that I was locked into an initiation process, second only to the Marine course in rigor and intensity.

I had all Vietnam drill sergeants, each with a chest full of medals to show for it; none of them had any difficulty remembering to remind us, we had all volunteered for this program. I went in after about seven months of being eighteen, not long after the draft had been scrapped post-Nam. I was the first of the "All-Volunteer Army".

I did this willingly for both honorable and selfish reasons. Having been raised by an Air Force retiree that served in both Korea and Vietnam, I knew what could have happened had I turned eighteen a bit sooner. But I was instilled with a value that says a man serves his country. And if he does it honorably, his country will serve him.

Which brings me to the selfish reasons.

I got to see things that so many people will only see in pictures. I got to live and work in Europe. I was able to lay down on the ground one night many years ago in a piece of forestland outside Aschaffenburg and think about how knights had once passed through this stretch of territory, on their way to the palace that was still being restored from the war.

I stood where the John Paul II stood, a year after I was there.

I drank beer (and ate schnitzel) with the elite beer connoisseurs of the world. (And I did it at the Oktoberfest at Wiesns, not Garfield Park.)

To be in Spain immediately post-Franco and see the Spanish people awake from their slumber under fascism, was absolutely priceless.

To sleep in a farmer's barn, drink fresh-milked milk from a cow, sip homemade wine with him and his family was unforgettable.

But to get there, I had to go past this guy. No, it wasn't this particular guy (R. Lee Ermey from the movies, Full Metal Jacket and The Boys In Company C). He was a Marine and the only reason I wasn't one was simple: The Marines ran three miles a day and the Army ran two.

But, I had many just like him: hard, disciplined, and fair. We were all treated equally, we were all scumbags. There was no scumbag better than the other. But beyond all of the facades, they cared about us, they wanted to help us stay alive, if the balloon ever went up. They had to train us to become soldiers, and train they did.

The Drill Sergeant was a true friend to his/her trainees, much more than we would have ever believed at the time. We got three meals a day, free. We got housing, free. We got clothing, again, free. We were taken care of from reveille to taps. We were safe. And we were taught to pay attention to detail, something that I have always tried to do my entire life.

Sure, I have failed at times, but they also taught me that failure is only positive feedback. It tells us something is wrong and gives us the opportunity to adjust and correct. It can't get any more positive than that, can it?

Many may deem I am wrong, but I believe differently. These guys put me on a path to self-reliance and gave me skills that have lasted a lifetime. My Drill Sergeants were two men I will never forget. Drill Sergeants Lewis and Duncan. I can still see their faces. People have come and gone, some I cannot remember. But for eight long weeks these men were my world, they squared me away.

So please, take a look at what I signed a contract for, at least for the first eight weeks. If you went through this, take a stroll down memory lane with me. If you didn't, take a look at what you missed. Here is why I get so sentimental this time of year:

WARNING: VERY STRONG LANGUAGE. Not safe for work or around kids.

NOTE - The first half of FMJ was devoted to Basic Recruit Training. In my opinion, it was the movie, you can keep the rest. Keep in mind that this was Hollywood (and Kubrick, at that). Some of this is slightly embellished, but not overly so. I saw no one get hit or choked. They shook us once in a while. (They only shook me once, and I got the point he was making and for the rest of my life.)

I have to say, it's one of the more accurate depictions of Basic Training I have seen. In fact, Kubrick allowed Ermey (a former DI) to ad lib a lot of his lines in the movie, it's very realistic.


During my flurry of activity Friday, I planned to get the weekly Another Blast From The Past post together in the evening hours, before I retired. But unfortunately, the power went out for some yet unknown reason. So, I went to bed. The power came back on later, but it was too late and with a long day ahead of me the next day, it didn't get done.

Yesterday, I was gone all day. And today, I will be gone. So, I have decided to postpone this weekend's feature to Wednesday, at which time I will do a Halloween theme.

My apologies go out to those that come here on the weekends, expecting to see this post.

As always, my sincere thanks for reading PYY.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Poll Shows Tighter Race In Indianapolis Mayor Race

For my readers that care, this is a follow-up to a recent post about the mayoral race here in Indianapolis.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted this piece on Greg Ballard, a retired marine, who is running against Democratic incumbent Bart Peterson, on the Republican ticket. At the time of that writing, polls were showing Ballard trailing Peterson by 13 percentage points, despite his party not providing any money to his bid, having virtually no money at all (approx. $51,000), and Peterson having a huge war chest.

Well, today the Indy Star released results of a newer poll.

Skyrocketing taxes appear to be fueling a tightening race between Mayor Bart Peterson and GOP challenger Greg Ballard, according to a new Indianapolis Star-WTHR (Channel 13) poll.

The poll of 400 likely voters in Marion County shows Peterson with a narrow lead over Ballard, 43 percent to 39 percent. Libertarian Fred Peterson received 5 percent of the vote in the poll.

Thirteen percent of the poll respondents said they were either not sure or did not support any of the candidates. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

The thirteen percent undecided will likely decide the race.

Again the amazing thing is Ballard has no money. As a result, the only ads seen in Indy television have been from the mayor's campaign. In fact, since the last numbers were released, there has been a blitzkrieg of ads for Peterson, which apparently has been to no avail. Most of them are hollow and empty, in the substance department.

One ad I find interesting is one where a lady is telling us all how she credits Mayor Peterson for giving Indianapolis the kind of school system that have kept her two twin 16 year-olds, in school. It all sounds good. But the fact is, the mayor has no control over the schools. In Indiana, schools are a separate entity and the mayor has no authority or influence over them, whatsoever.

To me, this is a sign of desperation. (Local journalist Matt Tully has a more in-depth analysis.)

When asked about the numbers today, as you may guess, the mayor's campaign downplayed them. The mayor, himself, said that the only poll that counted was the one on election day. In essence, he's right. But, it was his body language and the tone of his voice that indicated to me that he was more concerned than he would have us all believe.

With all of this in mind, it calls to mind the national scene and the large amounts of money that the Democrats are amassing right now. Money can be raised, money can be spent. But, when all is said and done, the mood of the voters will determine the outcome of the election, not the balance statement of the campaign's bank account.

Georgia Supreme Court Orders Release Of Genarlow Wilson

I cannot say whether this case was tied to racism or not. Could be yes, could be no. But what I can say is, it was tied to an awfully stupid law. Now, the Georgia Supreme Court has finally ordered the release of the young man.

Georgia's Supreme Court on Friday ordered the release of a young man who has been imprisoned for more than two years for having consensual oral sex with another teenager.

The court ruled 4-3 that Genarlow Wilson's 10-year sentence was cruel and unusual punishment.

What this young man did was incredibly stupid and irresponsible, but to sentence him to 10 years over this was utterly cruel and ridiculous. How anyone could equivocate a minor having any kind of consensual sex with another minor the same as an adult predator is beyond me.

Again, I am not necessarily questioning the conviction in this case, just the sentencing component that was part of the law, which was changed but could not be applied retroactively:

The 1995 law Wilson violated was changed in 2006 to make oral sex between teens close in age a misdemeanor, similar to the law regarding teen sexual intercourse. But the state Supreme Court later upheld a lower court's ruling which said that the 2006 law could not be applied retroactively.

As a side note to all of this, I have one observation worthy of some thought. As unfair as this sentence was, I do not recall the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson organizing marches against this injustice. It is clear to me that they would rather manufacture prejudice, bigotry, and racism.

The Rangel Wrangle

Today, we live in a society of which there are many that think government should be able to drain your account, so they can have money to buy your vote. This group is made up mostly of politicians and those that stand to gain from them, both in influence and financially.

It's not enough that they spend billions on bogus programs that create dependency, they need more. And the people that are being targeted to foot the bill are those that work hard for their money.

No folks, the big spenders are not satisfied with the money they already seize from us, by force. Now they feel they need more, to support their spending addictions. As of this writing, they are making plans to sock it to us in the form of a surtax, on what they perceive as wealth.

Here's how they are trying to package this deal:

Corporations would see their top tax rate cut to 30.5% from 35% under a tax plan unveiled Wednesday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., to fellow committee members.

Sounds nice, right? Well let's see more:

Middle and upper-middle income families would benefit under the plan by a repeal of the alternative minimum tax starting Jan. 1, 2008.

Now don't get me wrong here. There's nothing wrong with helping out the middle class. But someone will need to foot the bill.

Upper-income families, however, would pay for that repeal with a 4% surtax on incomes above $150,000 for a single earner or incomes above $200,000 for a married couple. That surtax would grow to 4.6% for incomes above $500,000.

It's not the fact that the filthy rich will pay that irks me. They can afford it.

It's the notion that rich people deserve to pay for politicians and their pork. It's also the idea that we just cannot seem to get it out of our heads that government should have the right to wrest money out of our pockets, before we ever see it. For some reason there is an elitist class that worships government and believes that the more money it collects, the less suffering there will be in the world. As if our tax code isn't complex enough, they find seek to make it even more so.

But the thing that gets me the most is, it is rich people that create jobs. The more we saddle them with taxes, the less they invest. The less they invest, the less opportunity there is for the rest for those of us that want to work and succeed. No one thinks of that when they scream for the rich to be punished.

Sox 2 - Rox 1

A pitching duel followed the rout of the previous night. Nice to see Schilling hasn't lost his touch, even at age 40. I cannot help but root for the old men of the world that continue to perform in their chosen sports.

Now it's going to Denver. It's far from over, but not looking good for the Rockies at this point. Still, if they are to rise from the ashes, they will need to do it now. They must win one game at a time and not get flustered by being down 2-0.

We'll soon see.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Who Wants An Iranian Nuke?

VDH answers this question in his latest column.

Take time to read it and you'll see why I think he is one the premier op-ed writers in America. He has a way of laying it all out on the table.

Sox 13 - Rox 1

We may have some answers to the questions I posed yesterday.

If you leave eight runners on base, you will likely lose. If you give up 17 hits, you are likely to lose. This is guaranteed, if you do both during the same game.

Essentially, they got their asses handed to them.

In football, you can benefit from nine days off. But baseball is different, you need to keep the bats hot and the streak going. The Rockies need to win tonight, because they have to win one in Boston to win the Series. Better they win in Game Two, than to have to win a Game Six or Seven.

Boston 1----Colorado 0

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Reponsibility And Irresponsibility: The California Fire Story

I see nothing wrong with tie-in promotions. It's always been a viable marketing tool, in the business world and always will be. Snacks as part of (or near) a beer display, during football season has worked wonders for snack companies all over. Here is a memo (via Drudge) reportedly sent to CNN employees from Joe Klein:

Joe Klein: Great job on the 8 o'clock special on Friday; great job on the fire coverage. We shouldn't irresponsibly link this to Global warming, but this is a nature story, so we should be able to use it to push to the Planet in Peril special tomorrow night.

I must say it surprises me that Klein is using some caution here. But be that as it may, he is. And he should be applauded for it.

Now, let's look at an article that contains a highly irresponsible statement by the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid:

“One reason why we have the fires in California is global warming,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday, stressing the need to pass the Democrats’ comprehensive energy package.

Not only is this irresponsible, it ignores the real reason that fires are getting bigger and harder to control out west, these days. Here's where the real responsibility lies:

Whenever someone tries to suggest clearing underbrush out of these areas so as to reduce the amount of material that can burn, some crazy environmental group pitches a hissy fit, mainly due to the fact that some species of animal will be endangered. That's not the sad fact of it all, because that's just the nature of these radical elements.

The outrageous part of this whole thing is, the government actually listens to these bozos and in some areas they pass laws prohibiting residents from doing this on their own property. And every fire season, many people lose everything because of this poor judgment.

Of Myths And Fables: The Jena Case Examined More Closely

If you haven't heard of the Duke rape case by now, you have been in a coma. As this case unfolded, we all watched the entire case unravel because of one immutable truth: It wasn't true.

The fact is, it was manufactured by racist elements as some sort of justifiable payback for the years of white oppression of blacks. Fueled by an irresponsible media, we watched innocent kids being raked over the coals of injustice, behind a wall of accusations that were unfounded and ultimately proven to be false.

Today, we may be seeing another case starting to unravel.

By now, most of you have no doubt heard of the horrible injustices being attached to some young kids in Jena, Louisiana. The media has once again whipped the impetuous masses into a frenzy over what has been claimed to be social injustice of the highest order, using race as bait and advancing unproven theories, as the hook.

Last month, I wrote a piece that linked to the argument of the prosecutor in this case. (If you haven't read it, I recommend reading it. And if you have, maybe you will want to read it again to refresh your memory.)

Keeping all of this in mind, you may now want to read this piece written by a local journalist that lives in Jena. It lists the many myths that exist in this case and refutes them, one by one. These are things that have been brought to us all, by the same irresponsible media as the one in the Duke case.

Note-When you are done with that article, take a look at another one that you may have missed along the way. You can add it to your list entitled, Hmmm, as well.

The PYY World Series Open Thread

The Series opens up tonight. The questions to be answered in Game One are:

Will the Rockies be rusty from the layoff? Or will they take up right where they left off? Will the Sox stay solid after three straight wins? Will they be loose and play like they have the last two games? Or will they fold up?

I have rooted for Boston before, I remember the days of Yaz and how he held that bat way up. It looked so awkward, so unlikely that this guy could hit anything. But hit, he did. In the 67 Series, it wasn't enough to overcome the pitching of the Cards.

This year, neither team is really my team. I like my beloved Angels, who won a few years back, but were eliminated by the Red Sox this year. But, if I had to pick a team to win it, I'd have to say that I want the Rockies because they have never won it. Going out on a limb, I would add to this, I am predicting them to win it because they have looked so damned impressive.

The Bosox have one certified fan (Greg). We all know that. And it may be that we have more. Are there any Rockie fans out there? How about baseball fans in general?

What do you think? (If enough of you want to hash this out in the usual PYY courteous fashion, I'll keep a fresh thread going throughout the Series.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rally Behind Gore?

Don't laugh. Because as silly as Gore's arguments are, they may have some merit based on one very important angle.

Mustang has a way of making me think and in his latest post, he does just that. Whether he meant to or not, he jarred something in my brain that hadn't been stirred up previously. And this thought involves Gore and his quest to revolutionize the energy industry, for the wrong reasons.

Mustang's post has to do with a broad topic, but one of the points deals with the homage our government pays to the Saudis. Here was my comment:

You know, if Al Gore was as smart as he thinks he is, he'd forget about this "carbon footprint" and "man causing global warming" crap. If he really wanted to push for hybrids and alternatives to carbon based fuels, he'd present the secondary gains as the primary.

He should sell it under the, "shed the nation's dependency on Middle East oil" banner. Because that's the only way we will ever be able to stop sucking up to the Saudis.

What a day that would be, when we could tell the entire Middle East where they can stuff their oil. Then all of the threat of the Euro replacing the Dollar as the oil currency can become a reality. With that, the U.S. can pull out of the ME and let China , Russia, India, and even Europe fight over it.

If this were to happen, it'd weaken everyone while we could re-tool with our newly discovered energy source that everyone would want to buy. In turn, this would strengthen us.

Think about it. It could cure (ahem) global warming and stop the war, all in one play. Nothing like killing two liberal agendas with one stone, right?

I am sure that I can file this under fantination, which is best defined as, a cross between a fantasy and a a hallucination. This falls somewhere in the area of what I would do if I won this $56 million Hoosier Lottery prize. But it's to fun to think about it.

Marketing is everything and so is outcome. Who cares if he wins or or not, as long as the outcome is favorable for us, right?

Gore gets his agendas ( withdraw from the war and elimination of carbon based fuels in this country) and we get ours (elimination of dependency on foreign oil). We all can then say with one loud proud voice: Eat your oil, Mr. Saudi. Take your oil and refine it into salad oil if you wish, we do not need it.

I know it's all a delusion. But it's my delusion, and I like it.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Indy 29 - Jacksonville 7

In a thorough dismantling of of one of the hardest hitting football teams in the NFL, the Colts remained perfect and have set the stage for what could be a clash of the unbeaten titans in two weeks. But first New England must get past Washington and Indy must get past Carolina.

A lot of teams would be looking past next week's games, but both of these two teams are too well-coached, for that to happen. The great teams take one week at a time, one game at a time. They play each game like a playoff game.

The interesting part of last night's game wasn't on the field, it was the hype of the announcers about who was a better quarterback Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. In my humble opinion, I doubt either one cares much about who the best QB is - both just want to win and that will be especially true on November 4.

It looks like there are the Pats and the Colts, then, there's everyone else. Too bad they cannot be seeded so they have a shot at being in the Super Bowl. That would be one for the records.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Water, Water, Everywhere: But Not In Atlanta

There is a song from 1970 that made it to #4 on the US charts. It was song by a soul singer named Brook Benton and it was called, A Rainy Night In Georgia. Having lived in Macon for a couple of years, I distinctly remember there would be stretches of 2-3 weeks, where it would rain, over and over again.

Today, it's not that way. What the residents wouldn't give to see 2 weeks of solid soaking rain, right now.

Having friends and family in Atlanta, we often get detailed descriptions of how life is playing out there at any given time. And I have to say, from where I sit, it isn't looking good there at this stage of the time continuum. People simply cannot imagine how critical the current water shortage really is. As of this writing, Lake Lanier will be dry within three months. And I mean bone dry. (This is a lake with a 692 mile shoreline.)

But as I say all of this, as I highlight all of this discouraging news, it might not be as bleak as it looks right now, if certain people would look at priorities in a different light. A viable short-term solution could be implemented to ease (at least) some of the hardship, of this catastrophe. But alas, it's not.

You see, Georgia has two huge man-made reservoirs, Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. They are run by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), normally a fine federal entity. I say this because, they are not doing a fine job, right now. They have within their power, the opportunity to ease some of the hardship caused by a severe drought in this part of the country.

So how can this be eased, you ask?

ACE could just slow the rate that the runoff is dumped out of the dam, thus conserving precious H2O, necessary for the maintenance of homeostasis in the human body. But they aren't. They could give the word and it would be done. But they won't. They could do something to help citizens of the United States of America that pay taxes and contribute greatly to the country, as a whole. They simply do not want to.

Why would they not help their countrymen? The answer can be found in this article.

Florida has complained the state is not sending enough water downstream to protect endangered and threatened mussels on the banks of a drying river. And Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has urged the corps to release more water from Georgia's lakes to help his state cope with the dry conditions.

On the surface it would seem like Alabama has a case. But in the case of Florida, I have to ask, who laced Florida officials' drinks with "stupid potion"? Since when did the needs of lower orders of life, become more of a priority over the immediate needs of man? I bet if the roles were reversed, Florida would complain just as the citizens of Georgia are.

Meanwhile, back to the fine people of Alabama and their need to "cope with the dry conditions". From what I have heard, there are no provisions in Alabama law to ban excessive and unnecessary water usage, in times of crisis. And they are not doing it. Florida isn't, either. In fact, the only areas with a ban in force are areas in northern and central Georgia.

You might be tempted to say this doesn't effect me, as I do not live in Atlanta or the surrounding environs. But as the shortage continues to play havoc on the people that live there, many things will be effected.

Do you drink Coca-Cola? Guess what? No water in Atlanta, means no Coca-Cola throughout the eastern part of the U.S. (and yes, this means you people in Alabama and Florida). But that's not the half of it. All industries in the greater Atlanta area that need and use water as part of their process, will not be able to operate.

This means many things will not be available, which means supplies will go down, which means prices will be going up.

How about the workers that work in the areas that use water as part of the industrial process? No water for production, means no work. Massive layoffs may occur, meaning many people will be losing their jobs.

This will create a huge ripple effect across the board to other industries or businesses that do not depend on water for their business. (And not only in the Atlanta metro area, but all over the country.) No jobs mean no purchases of any value. No purchases of any value means, other companies may feel the pinch and have to layoff, or will be forced to raise their prices to take up the slack.

But more than any economic concerns this may generate, there is a humanitarian issue at stake here. The people of Atlanta will not be able to have drinking water to survive on, unless you count the already price-gouged bottled water. No bathing, no drinking, no jobs.

So to those of you in Florida that are looking at this through ego-centric glasses, be proud of yourselves. You are saving mussels and sturgeon, but you are about destroy a city and an entire part of the nation that depends heavily on that city. And to you people from Alabama that are doing the same, you too can be proud of yourselves. Your failure to see the plight of your neighbor and your refusal to conserve (because there is no provision in the law of your state to do so) will be also contribute greatly to the second fall of Atlanta.

Note: The lawsuit filed by the state of Georgia against the ACE was filed and will be heard in, Jacksonville Florida. Do you think there will be some bias there?


In the market for some new carpet? Better not delay, better get it now. The carpet mills the northern part of the state are already about to really feel the pinch, which means price will be rising soon. Check it out here.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

This weekend's featured artists hailed from England and had a total of 30 Top Forty hits in the U.S., amid several personnel changes throughout their history. Their music did evolve somewhat, but their lyrics did remain steady as beautiful and poignant poetry.

Today, as one listens to Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and later CSN and Young), one can distinctly hear influences from the early works of this band. And why not? One of the early members was Graham Nash.

Here are some of my favorite songs from The Hollies.

First up is a tune that most everyone that was into pop music in the 60s remembers and has some of the Graham Nash flair, the legendary Bus Stop:

Next up is one the most beautiful songs ever written, by anyone.

While I served my country in the US Army, my younger brother was tragically killed at the age of sixteen. His goal was to attend the US Air force Academy and fly jets. As younger brothers do when they are young, it feels like they cramp your style a bit. But what I wouldn't give to have him cramping my style, one more time.

Today, I cannot listen to this song without a tear coming to one (or both) of my eyes, it expresses the very essence of what it means to be a brother (blood or otherwise). Here is He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother:

Sometimes in this complex world we live in, we all lose sight of the little things that matter in our lives. There no better song that says this than the 1974 hit, The Air That I Breathe:

Not wanting to end this on too pensive of a note, here is one of the best rock and roll songs ever, Long Cool Woman:


Friday, October 19, 2007

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

Protesting A Protest

It seems that some people that live in the Bay Area have had enough of the likes of Code Pink, et al. Wednesday, people that support the military were outnumbering the anti-military factions.

If you remember, San Francisco, Berkeley, and other municipalities of that region will not permit the military to visit the government schools and apparently, they do not want them having an office there, either.

Take a look at the article for more details.

Bhutto Makes Predictable Return

Triumphant, but only for a moment, was her return to Pakistan. Too much fundamentalism means stability will be elusive for this country. Musharref has been the only thing keeping this place from exploding. Bhutto's return may very well be the flashpoint these savages are seeking, to throw Pakistan into total chaos.

Award Undermines Ties?

China is claiming that an award, given to a man they do not like, has undermined ties with the U.S., to which I say, poppycock. What has undermined the ties to the U.S. is more like:

Supporting Iran's quest to build a bomb.
Subverting every relationship the U.S. has in the Asian theater.
Supporting oppressive regimes in the region and worldwide.
Continuing to threaten Taiwan.
Allowing Chinese companies to steal patents from U.S. companies, unpunished.

That's just a sample of the things that the U.S. can submit on its complaint list. As you can see, it far outweighs some piece of paper or plaque that is given to a man.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Dog's Life

By now most of us know about the flap with Ellen DeGeneres and the now famous dog, she gave away, because of the dog's inability to adapt to cats in the home. Due to some fine-print wording in the addoption agreement, the agency that provided Ellen the dog for adoption seized the dog from the good home, Ellen had found it. But Ellen made a tearful plea to the owners of Mutts And Moms, a non-profit agency run by the owners of Paws Boutique Store of Pasadena (Vanessa Chekroun and Marina Batkis), to return the dog to the family.

So far, they haven't. They even have gone as far as to claim that Ellen is bullying them.

Well, now there's an outcry. It seems there are threats coming in to the owners that are responsible for this "far from compassionate" act. And while I do not condone this at all, it's not surprising that this has generated a lot of outrage.

I know that Ellen signed the agreement and it is well within their rights to enforce it. But there's more to this than some agreement, if you ask me.

At the very least, these two women are so rigid and unbending, they have lost sight of what they claim their objectives are, in running this agency. At the very most, they are mean-spirited and have ice running through their veins. And their value systems are very much called into question, solely by the actions they have taken in this matter.

I am sure a deal could be worked out that would be beneficial to all parties here, yet, the people that are in the best position to form some agreement are not budging.

But make no mistake here, threatening these ladies is not the best way to get to a fair resolution here. The best way to resolve this seems to lies within the hands of those that are customers of the Paws Boutique Store. I do not call for boycotts, as a general rule. but in this case, I am calling on all customers of Paws Boutique Store to take their business elsewhere, until the dog is returned to the family.

If it means the loss of their livelihood, so be it. That's the power of the dollar, that's the true power of the American people. That's why I love capitalism, it gives us choices and not ultimatums.

The Putin Principle

While reading Mustang's latest post on Russian President Putin, I began to think about some things that I had been thinking for the last several years, since Mr. Putin has been in power.

Here is my comment to Mustang's post, posted in the comment section of Social Sense:

I have often felt that Putin has ice running through his veins. (Unlike Gorbachev who had to have some love for his countrymen, in a time when the jig was up and communism met it's natural demise.)

I have often wondered what ever would possess Yeltsin to trust this man to do what was right with Russia. I think I know, and Mustang has just validated some of it.

My thought about this has been simple: The mafia controls Russia.

When it was the USSR, the only way to get things that the state was unable to provide (through its failed experiment) was the black market. When the USSR folded and Russia became a free market economy, the only ones that had experince in running a capitalistic enterprise, was the black market.

So, in the interim, it legitimized itself; but it kept its ruthless business theories and models. (Attila the Hun would be proud).

Meanwhile, every American economist that had the time, tried to help Russia develop a free market independent of government control. Not only that, we sank lots of money into Russia's economy. They ate it all up.

Then, in the end, they did it the way they wanted to, anyway.

Now, instead of the government controlling the business world, the business world controls the government. The tactics are the same as the mob, because it is the mob. And the mob, is a cold dark entity that has no affection or respect, for those that compete against it.

I would add further that the government of the USSR tolerated the Russian mafia, as long as the bribes were paid. If they weren't, then the non-compliant organization was shut down and the proprietors were sent to Siberia. But today we see a very different circumstance that has developed, since the fall of the USSR. We now see a Russian mafia that is tolerating the government. As long as the favors to the Russian mob keep coming, the kingmakers will continue to allow the Russian government to function, unabated.

What a switch. In essence, the Russian people have traded one form of tyranny for another, like so many oppressed people allow, when making a change from oppressor to oppressor.

But that's the Russian people's problem, right? Wrong.

Now, we see President Putin coddling Iran and buying into the lies they are currently trying to sell in the world market of ideas. For some strange reason we see Putin meeting with the terrorist leadership of Iran, as if nothing is wrong. Yet, when our President makes a statement, it is criticized and even mocked, despite its poignant content.

From the IHT:

"If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it'd be a dangerous threat to world peace," Bush said. "So I told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested" in ensuring Iran not gain the capacity to develop such weapons.

Let's contrast this with Putin's statement, reported from the same article:

But in Tehran on Tuesday, Putin said, "Not only should we reject the use of force, but also the mention of force as a possibility."

Translation: Our businesses are overly dependent on Iranian oil and cannot compete in the world market without it. Therefore, we should not upset the apple cart, lest we lose out ability to compete.

Basically, the Russian mob needs the Iranian oil. And with its long history of oppressive and brutal tactics, they are not going to worry about Iran starting WWIII, in the process. They, like Putin, have ice flowing through their veins and values are not a priority right now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More Recommended Reading

This is a brutal stretch for me, no time to blog like I'd like. So here are some more recommendations for you all to read, some of which may outrage you a bit:

Here is is more government intrusion on family life, read what's happening in Portland.

As if credibility was not already an issue with Air America, one host has now been fronted out in his attempt to create a controversy out of an accident. Read about it here.

Some people may be coming to their senses in this Turkish genocide flap, so reports the IHT.

Also from the IHT, comes a stern warning from China, as well as, one from Russia. I guess this is warn the U.S. Week, overseas.

Flocon has an post up, in English. I guess we have two different sets of criteria for what paranoia is. But do give it a read and leave him a comment, if you wish.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Recommended Reading

The Logic Lifeline on the Turkey situation.

Fore Left on Yousef's supposed Christian conversion.

Social Sense on the topic of nobility.

News From The Baseball World

Political news is getting boring. Some of my readers are baseball fans, so I thought I'd post some baseball news and commentary:

Rockies Going To World Series

They swept the D'backs. They have won 21 of the last 22 games, they have played. They are the team to beat right now.

Before the playoffs were underway, the talk was Arizona vs. Boston. Boston is now down 2-1 to the Cleveland Indians, but not out of it yet.

I don't think it matters much who wins that series though, the Rockies are the team to beat right now. They are a juggernaut and look like they will mow down either team. They have won on the road and at home, they don't seem to show any signs of faltering right now.

My congrats to the Rockies organization and their fans.

Dusty Baker To Manage Reds

I was in the eastern part of the state yesterday and the only decent station to listen to was the Big One 700 WLW. As you can imagine they were all over this story. There are so many possibilities here.

Good players love Dusty and want to play for him. He is the winningest manager ever hired by the Reds in their long history. Reportedly, there have been some free agents that have called him and offered to come and play there.

Add to that, management appears to be ready to open up the purse a bit and get some players that will cost a bit more. What they need is pitching.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterback

The Super Bowl Champion Colts had a bye this weekend and used some much needed time to heal some injuries. When you are the champs, you play the toughest schedule and everyone brings their "A-game".

The most competitive game I was able to see yesterday was the Tennessee-Tampa Bay matchup. It was the kind of game I like: smash mouth hitting, low scoring, with emphasis on defense. Tampa Bay's last minute field goal was the difference in a game that could've gone either way.

But, the big game yesterday was the NE Pats - Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys showed some heart, but also showed they have some work to do before they can break into that elite upper tier of NFL aristocracy. NE's offense has way too many weapons for the average defense. And although the Pats running game was limited to 75 yards rushing for the entire game, they used a West Coast style offense almost flawlessly.

If NE showed any weakness at all it was on defense, but not much. There were some opportunities for Dallas to score more, but inexperience and lousy play calling was evident in some key situations. Wade Phillips has never impressed me as the kind of coach that can exploit match-ups in big games, very well.

While Chris Collinsworth and other NFL pundits are ready to anoint the Patriots as Super Bowl Champs this year and calling them the best team of all time, they still have Indianapolis looming on the horizon. The Colts and Pats are almost mirror images of one another. Both have a high powered offense that can be compared to a racking machine. Both have efficient defenses that bend but do not break and can make key plays at critical points of a game. They both seem to be on a collision course with each other.

Before any team can win the Super Bowl, they will have to beat one of these two teams that are in this class, all by themselves. And if you ask me, as Colts fan, I do not mind Chris Collinsworth spouting off how the Patriots are the best team ever in the history of the NFL. Besides the fact that there were a number of teams that I think would take some exception to this analysis, there is one team they must get through to even lay a reasonable claim to this kind of subjective accolade. This kind of talk will only serve to motivate the Colts even more and remove attention from them. (Which is a good thing.)

Meanwhile, the Pats will continue their powder puff schedule next week against winless Miami, while the Colts will have the hard-hitting, bruise-making Jacksonville Jaguars.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

LTC Greg Ballard USMC (Ret.): Candidate For Mayor

Here's an interesting story on the Republican candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis, you might find worthy to read.

Greg Ballard was so good at running things at a Saudi Arabian seaport at the end of the Gulf War that one of the generals nicknamed him the "Mayor of Jubail."

Now, he's hoping to persuade voters to elect him the mayor of Indianapolis.

Ballard, a 52-year-old Republican making his first run for office, is challenging two-term Democratic incumbent Bart Peterson.

For the record, when I lived within the city limits, I voted for Bart Peterson. He was what Indy needed at the time. I do not live there now, so it's imperative to note that I do not have a dog in the fight. Peterson was what was needed at the time, as the city had been under republican control for 31 years. And like any party that builds a machine, it gets corrupted.

After two terms of Mr. Peterson, there seems to be more of a feeling of disconnect between Bart and the people that elected him. He consolidated IPD with the Sheriff's office and IFD with those departments in the townships, in a haphazard way to drain revenue from them, to minimize the losses that have been incurred under his administration. Property taxes are hitting the sky, county income taxes have been raised. Restaurant and hotel taxes have been hiked up, to subsidize the new stadium and hand out corporate welfare to millionaires. We all love our Colts mind you, but other things are quickly slipping into the abyss.

Bart hasn't been a complete failure, he has done some things well. But, there comes a time when all of the signs of a machine beginning to break down, appear. The disconnect comes from the way he handles criticism. He insulates himself from it. He turns a blind eye to bad behavior within his own party and administration.

Indianapolis is primarily Democratic these days. The Republican machine is gone and the Dems are riding one right now. The City-County Council was Republican up until a few years ago, now the Dems are embroiled in much scandal, starting with Council President Monroe Gray.

Bearing gifts of smoke detectors, City-County Council President Monroe Gray added prestige to an Indianapolis Fire Department outreach event in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood in August.

What's not clear is exactly whom Gray was representing.

He could have been there in his role as a council member, since he represents that Northside neighborhood, a part of the 8th District.

Or he could have been there acting in his capacity as the community liaison for the Fire Department, a job that Gray acknowledges has some of the same responsibilities as his council role.

Gray earns two paychecks from the city of Indianapolis: $83,000 a year for being a fire official, a position from which he will retire this year, and another $16,000 for serving on the council, with an additional $2,000 for serving as president.

Another Democrat that has been in the hot seat for his behavior is, City-County Councilman Ron Gibson.

Bart has yet to distance himself from these kinds of activities. Mum has been the word. The cricket sounds coming from the City-County Building have ben deafening. (Like I said, he insulates himself.)

So now, enter LTC Ballard:

Here is a man that is 14% behind in the polls right now. But he hasn't spent a cent. He hasn't had it to spend.

What I am finding interesting in this race is, there is a chance that he could win this, but he must make up some ground between now and November 6th. He is hanging around at 14 % after Peterson has spent a mint and the colonel is waging a full-time grass roots campaign (and is connecting).

He may not win, but I wouldn't rule it out just yet, either. I know a lot of Dems that are planning to vote for Mr. Ballard. Little is known about him, the article does a good job of introducing him. The biggest accomplishment in his life seems to be a successful career in the U.S. Marine Corps. That may not count much for some and I would in no way say that should ever be the only criteria for public service. (See: John Murtha and Duke Cunningham) But on the whole, I would say this qualifies as a definite plus in his case, especially given the fact that his opponent has had eight years to produce, and has failed to do it efficiently.

If you look at Ballard's military service record here, you will see that he is certainly qualified to be given a chance. And a chance he may get. For this reason, it would be advisable for him to get ready to govern and always remember that the next election is always down the road.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

Indecision is a pain, especially when I am the one that cannot decide.

This week I just haven't been able to make up my mind, as to what band or theme to go with. Many times, I hear an old song that I haven't heard in a while and it will move me so much, I will make it the feature. I'll hear it, I'll go with it. Just like that.

This week, I have heard several songs that I could've done, but none of them made enough of an impression on me to jump on anything, so quickly. None of them were enough to say, "that's the one".

So, this week I thought I'd do a hodgepodge of things.

As I have said in the past, I am not a huge country fan. There are a few songs by a few artists that I like. But to say I like a country artist enough to buy a CD by them, it just doesn't happen (except for Willie Nelson). One song that I consider a very good one is a song by Dwight Yoakam.

It really works for me, it's called A Thousand Miles From Nowhere:

As long as we have a country theme going, here's a little country-rock. The band is the Outlaws, the song is You Are The Show:

One of the greater instrumentals of all time was done by a band called The Ventures, the year was 1960, the song was Walk, Don't Run:

And while we are on 1960s classics here's one by the great Johnny Rivers. This is a live performance of his signature song, Secret Agent Man:


Try To Be Nice And See What You Get?

A perfect example of the age old saying "give them an inch and they'll want a mile", can be found here.

It's not that I do not believe in being nice or trying to respect a person's rights to live the kind of life they want to live. What irks me is, when people make demands for respect and reasonable accommodation in a given situation and refuse to reciprocate, when the opportunities arise. I think all that grace this site on a regular basis, all know and understand that we could not go to the Middle East and demand that food outlets serve sausage, ham, and bacon for breakfast. We could, but it wouldn't happen.

Yet, Saudis and other Middle East Muslim nationals can come here, demand things, get a sympathetic audience, and at very least get a debate going. In those nations, the request would probably not even be considered, nor would it even be addressed.

Think about that a second.

I think it was long-time NBA coach Lenny Wilkins that made a statement, close to this: Respect is s two-way street. To get it, you have to give it. But for some reason or another, we (that understand this principle) are somehow supposed to do all of the giving and none of the receiving. Is this fair? is this just?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be treated fairly. It's only natural. But when someone expects preferential treatment over and above others, it ceases to be fair. When one religion demands preferential treatment and calls for the suppression of others (due to them being offensive to them), it ceases to be fair.

HT for the article: Boortz

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Recommended Reading

I am in the midst of one of those infamous busy stretches that frequently come in my life. I started a post for today, but alas, I could not get it finished in time for publishing. So, here are a few things for you to read and ponder, whilst I am mining salt and trying to keep the cash flow coming.

The latest VDH piece can be found here. As always, he doesn't mince words and has his way with them.

Here is an odd twist to the Democrats and their anti-war base. This goes to show you cannot make promises you may mot be able to keep.

Mustang has a new post that echoes my sentiments on the subject of this time wasting Congress. For the latest waste of taxpayer dollars, see what he has to say.

Historically, the incompetent turn into the irrelevant. For the latest irrelevance from he who was incompetent, you can check out the latest statements my Jimmy Carter.

Some will hail this as a foreign policy victory, others will characterize it as a defeat. But Sarkozy knows where he stands and this article will tell you where that is.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

GOP Debate Highlight (And Other Observations)

While all of the pundits are clamoring over whose little quips were the cutest in this last debate, one thing went largely unnoticed. Hillary's name came up twelve times, Obama's came up none.

Hillary is now in the driver's seat and looks to be getting stronger, because the others have showed too much affinity for the Kossack Brigades. By distancing herself somewhat from the Netroots groups, she has been successful in painting herself as more moderate.

Dems may not like Bush or other Republicans, but they also see the folly of adopting a hard Left-Wing platform that many in the MoveOn ranks would have. By contrast, Edwards and Obama have embraced them more, with Edwards getting much of his talking points right off the web pages of these fringe operatives.

But not to worry PYY fans, this doesn't mean that I am buying into Hillary's sales pitches. Let's not forget, she still embraces socialist ideology, as a foundation of her philosophical view of what government's objectives should be. Therefore, many of her proposals are still based on this premise, no matter how she packages and markets them.

But, the GOP really isn't showing much right now. They have talked about reducing the role of government, but in reality they have fallen prey to the will of the dependent masses that want handouts, for one thing or another. Handouts are not limited to welfare, they can be anything that earmarked spending generates. In many ways, the GOP has become Democrat Lite. They fight some things, but relent when they fear they will not win re-election. One only needs to look at the stunts that many politicians like Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) pull, just prior to an election.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterback

For the third year in a row, the Indianapolis Colts have gone 5-0 to start the season. Yet, it utterly amazes me how the bulk of the sports pundits can rank the New England Patriots at #1 in the power rankings.

Greg, one of my readers, will take exception to this, I am sure. But, that's okay. He's a partisan for NE, as I am a partisan for Indy.

But let's look at this objectively, shall we?

NE is a damned good team, there's no denying this. They have re-tooled in the off-season and if you look at their record, they look invincible. Their scores are lopsided and their offense is dominating opponents. In addition, QB Tom Brady has thrown for at least three TD passes in each of their five games.

Indy is a damned good team, as well. Their scores aren't as lopsided, but they have won them all and appear to be in the same form as last year, when they won the Super Bowl. They are winning and yesterday they did it without four key players, to include WR Marvin Harrison, RB Joseph Addai, and S Bob Sanders, who is the leader of the Colts' defense.

So what's the argument?

Looking at the two teams' schedules, a football enthusiast can easily make an assessment that the Colts have played a much tougher schedule.

The Colts have played New Orleans, Tennessee, Houston, Denver, and Tampa Bay. All, except NO, had a winning record when they played the Colts. All five of those teams now have a combined win total of 11 games. NE has played the NY Jets, San Diego, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. All of those teams now have losing records, with a combined win total of seven games.

If we look at the strength of the two teams' respective divisions, we can also see some obvious disparity. NE plays in the AFC East. These four teams have combined for a whopping total of seven wins with one team winless and two with only one win each. On the other hand, the Colts are in the AFC South. All four teams there have a combined 14 wins, twice the number of the East. All four South teams have winning records. In addition to these little tidbits, we have to look at the winning percentages of the two divisions:

AFC South - .775
AFC East - .305

Admittedly, this means very little, because this issue will be settled on Sunday November 4th in the RCA Dome. For this reason, the power rankings mean even less. But, if sports pundits truly want to look at things objectively, they cannot discount these things I have outlined here, when doing their team evaluations.

Personally, I would rather have NE think they are the best team in the NFL. Maybe they will come in overconfident, like they did last January, when the Colts sent them home in the Conference Championship game. If so, it makes it that much sweeter, if the Colts send them home with a loss this time, as well.

Beating The War Drums

Look on any left-wing website and you may not have much trouble reading articles, posts, and/or comments about neo-cons beating the war drums on Iran. One such article can be found here.

The debate even makes its way into Congress, on occasion. But, is it fair to characterize this as a neo-con attitude? Is it fair to pin this entirely on the "war-mongering" GOP?

If we read this article, we see that Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State under President Clinton, is doing her share of banging the skins, so to speak.

Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright does not rule out a war against Iran in the nuclear dispute between Tehran and the international community.

'This last resort can never be given up completely,' the Czech-born Albright who also served as US ambassador to the United Nations, told Prague-based CT1 television.

It can even be said that Hillary is using drumsticks, as we can see
from her website:

As I have long said and will continue to say, U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat, as I've also said for a long time, no option can be taken off the table.

Dems seem to be positioning themselves for what may be the inevitable. If they win back the White House, they may be forced to face a stark reality here, which is why I think they are taking similar positions that many in the GOP have been and are taking. In all of this, I haven't heard anything different from the Administration.

Where the difference lies will be in identifying the cause. Note this tidbit, also from Sen. Clinton's site:

In dealing with the threats posed by the Iranian regime, which has gained its expanding influence in Iraq and the region as a result of the Administration's policies....

Blame who you want, call it what you want. It is what it is. And it's not going away.

But, if you think that we are all in the current state we are in, solely because of the Bush policies in Iraq, you might want to re-think that thought. Iran has been working on this kind of thing long before Iraq was ever invaded. Their goal, since the fall of the Shah, is to export Islamic revolution everywhere possible, using any means possible.

I do not support war at this time. But how can war be avoided, if sanctions aren't implemented and given an adequate amount of time to have an effect? Those that scream the loudest about the irrational nature of beating the war drums, need to recognize that waiting longer to implement them, only makes war more likely. The time to sanction Iran is before they get a bomb, not after.