Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NY Sports in Brief

I was reminded this past Sunday of a shortcoming when a friend of my son said, “Man Albert, you are brutally honest.” Yes, I try to tell the truth, and am trying even harder to do it in love. It is with this in mind that I am editing my next post regarding my family and friend’s complacency towards and acceptance of ignorance when today’s technology leaves absolutely no excuse. While you await the upcoming post, with great anticipation I am sure, here are a few quick thoughts about sporting news.

Pitching coach Dave Eiland will not be returning next season as pitching is scapegoated for the ALCS YANKEE loss. Girardi appears to be safe with Cashman saying both parties want to go forward together. I have respect for Cashman but regarding Eiland and Girardi I think he is dead wrong, and would have gone forward exactly the opposite direction.

My disappointment in the YANKEE loss to the Rangers in the ALCS was brief as I find solace in the 27 World Series Championships, and what is shaping up to be another New York Football GIANTS championship season.

The New York Football GIANTS manhandled the crygirls this past Monday night bringing their record to 5-2 as they go into their bye week. They have faced some tough opponents to date but the schedule really gets interesting after the bye as they face the crygirls at home and the Eagles and the Skins twice. These Division games are of paramount importance but the games at Seattle and Green Bay aren’t exactly unimportant or a surety either. Yes, that’s right … I didn’t even mention the Jaguars or the Vikings.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10 and Conflicted

Sunday, 10 / 10 / 10 finds me conflicted. Firstly, as a NY Football GIANTS fan I root against the Skins but they were playing the Pack and I am still plagued with the aftertaste from how they treated Favre. I know that is old news however, my memory is refreshed as now the Skins have McNabb who was treated similarly by the Eagles and I quietly root for McNabb’s success. Go Skins, beat the Pack … then go back to losing while McNabb has a record-breaking season. Secondly, and also as a NY Football GIANTS fan, I necessarily despise the crygirls. Today they play the dirtiest team in the NFL the Titans. I want everyone to beat the Titans because cheaters should not prosper however I can’t root for the crygirls. I am so conflicted.

Today will soon be over, and with a W in the result column of my GIANTS schedule the aforementioned conflicts may not be resolved but certainly put aside, as I look forward to Friday 10/15/10 and game one of the ALCS. GO YANKEES!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Get out and VOTE! Before you do, Become Informed.

I keep hearing the refrain, "...take our country back!" It is clear those candidates joining this chorus are serious. They want to take our country back; back to a time where restaurants could refuse to serve non-whites, back to a time when there was no social security, no medicare, no minimum wage, no unemployment insurance. These same would be national leaders claim to stand for small government saying things like, "We want the Government to stay out of our lives" and in the same breath talk about their plans to; keep sexually active single women out of the classroom, and force pregnant teenagers to carry and deliver babies fathered through incest and rape. How do they plan on doing these things without increasing the size of government? While Republican's claim Democrats are the party of big government, the fact is every Republican administration since and including that of Herbert Hoover has increased the federal government's size, scope, and/or power. Republican favorite Ronald Reagan more than DOUBLED the national debt.

Senate candidate Joe Miller (R-AK) says medicaid is unconstitutional while enjoying its benefits for his wife and children. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) says medicare is unconstitutional and the VA should be privatized yet complains some of her father's pharmaceuticals aren't covered by either. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) ... there are too many hypocritical positions to choose from.

I would laugh at Christine O'Donnell when she says, "I see Hillary for President commercials all the time," now, in the present. I would laugh when she puts out a commercial trying to situate herself as 'the same as us' by saying, "I didn't go to Yale" except for the fact that she lied on several documents claiming to have attended Princeton, Oxford and Clairmont. I would laugh when Sharron Angle proclaims Sharia law is taking over America and citing specific regions where this is happening even though it is a complete fabrication. I would laugh but it is not as funny as it is sad.

Former Governor and Presidential candidate (and Southern Baptist Pastor)Mike Huckabee (R-AR) while admitting what Sharron Angle said is not true told Sean Hannity, "Well that's not true, but it is good politics!" Excuse me Pastor, Since when is LYING good ANYTHING?

While I was growing up I learned the art of the half-truth. The ability to read another and then say what would prove to be expediential toward my preferred outcome was honed. I was so good at manipulating people and situations I no longer needed to think. The fiction was second nature to a point where I could no longer see the line between reality and the surreal I sold. Life on both sides of the lie is diminishing. Both the teller and the hearer are killed a bit more, moment by moment as the lie remains. It took many years of long hard staring into a mirror before I could admit this truth, first to myself then others. Truth may hurt, but only for a season. My advice to these would be national leaders ... tell the truth. My advice to you, Go Vote and before you do, listen with a critical ear and make an informed decision.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Restoring Honor?

I’m not sure if I should laugh at the way Glenn Beck distorts the facts to support his fear driven narrative, or cry because of the people he is misleading with his lack of formally educated spoon fed pabulum, made up of misinterpreted out of context bible verses and quotes from people he disagrees with, served up with a dash of vitriol.

With (false) humility Beck said he wouldn't give his speech on the steps where Dr. Martin Luther King changed history. While standing on those very steps the thought came to him, "Who do you think you are?" So Beck is not going to give his speech from those steps. "No," says Beck, "I'll be two steps down, right where I belong."

"You're going to see the Spirit of God unleashed, unlike you have probably ever seen it before, at least at a public function." Glenn Beck proclaimed talking about his Restoring Honor Rally this weekend. I can't help but wonder if he is referring to Genesis 19:24, or 2Kings 19:35, or maybe Revelation 16:21.

Beck says, "This rally is about the things Martin Luther King stood for.” Dr. King was a social and economic justice Christian and this is clearly evidenced in his most famous speech.

Beck, on a recent radio program said, “I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can.” Beck’s rhetoric is not just in opposition to Dr. King’s teachings it is in opposition to the teaching and beliefs of Beck’s own Mormon Church. Christianity on the whole is agreed on this, that God is a God of justice, personal, social, and economic.

The Restoring Honor Rally is not going to be political according to Beck, but Sarah Palin is headlining. You might know her, she is the former Governor of Alaska who quit her job mid-term, amidst ethics violation charges which were later proved, to “help all America” by traveling around the country shouting, “Don’t retreat, RELOAD” about everything from political legislation to elections and most recently in support of Dr. Laura Schlessinger racist n-word rant. Racist hate-speak and the support for such using violent imagery might be permissible however, it is unacceptable and does nothing to restore honor, rather quite the opposite.

The more I think about it there seems to be a theme here, sort of a bait and switch only the idea is not to get the listener to trade up as much as it is to get the listener to believe the exact opposite of what is promised. Beck claims this rally is about the things that Dr. King stood for, and clearly it isn’t. He says it isn’t political but invites Sarah Palin, Michele "come armed and dangerous" Bachmann, Dick Army and more. Beck even claims the Holy Spirit is going to speak through him and proclaims the Spirit of God will be unleashed unlike we’ve ever seen it before. Surely Beck isn't talking about Genesis 11:7 because I've heard them all speak before and they're pretty 'wee wee'd' up already.

I wish I could be in Washington this weekend. Laughter is good medicine and I have been feeling a little out of sorts lately. The event is not being televised however, it can be viewed on the internet with your paid subscription to an extreme Beck channel via his website. With the subscription rate one would hope to avoid the Goldline infomercials. That being said, I will not be receiving any healing this weekend, at least not from the Spirit of God through Glenn Beck, just two steps down from where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed history.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yankee in the Deep South

I am deeply grateful for DirecTV and the MLB Extra Innings package. The YANKEES are still number one with less than forty games to go in the regular season. The Sox are only 6.5 games back however with their injuries and lack of pitching a wild card birth is all but a distant dream. No love lost here. I'm not sure if I posted this earlier, I know I said it several times, the YANKEES will repeat this year.

The New York football GIANTS begin the new decade in a brand new stadium. Too bad that doesn't factor into anything in the W column. I don't know what to make of the G-Men this season. If they make it to the post season I will be tickled. According to the schedule we might get to see six of the sixteen games and that is a good thing because we really can't afford NFL Sunday Ticket ... today anyway.

Vitriolic rhetoric seems to be increasing exponentially as the midterm elections approach. Seeing so many people jumping on extremist bandwagons I felt it necessary to list a few facts to help people make an informed decision.

1. Are you aware that the proposed community center-mosque is located at 45-51 Park Place, just over two blocks from the northern edge of the sprawling, 16-acre World Trade Center site, roughly half a dozen normal lower Manhattan blocks from the site of the North Tower making this location not “AT” Ground Zero at all?
Are you still opposed?

2. Did you know that from Ground Zero you cannot even see 45-51 Park Place and from 45-51 Park Place you cannot see Ground Zero?
Are you still opposed?

3. Did you know that there is a Mosque at 245 West Broadway, about a dozen blocks north of the World Trade Center grounds and that the Manhattan Mosque, stands five blocks from the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site?
Do you want these closed too?

4. Are you aware that Muslims hold a daily prayer service Monday through Thursday and a weekly worship service on Fridays in the Pentagon close to the area where hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the building, killing 184 people in a mussallaah opened in November 2002 over a year after 9-11-01?
Do you think this should be stopped?

5. Did you know the proposed community center which has a multi-faith board will house not only a mosque but also a basketball court, an Olympic size pool, a culinary arts training institution and more all open to the public?
Are you still opposed?

“I see our country teetering on the edge of an abyss. At its bottom brews the simmering bile of deep, dark hatred. Hatred that's dividing our country: politically, racially, economically, geographically, in every way- whether it's political vendettas, sports brawls, corporate takeovers, or high school gangs in cleats, the American competitive ethic has changed from 'let's beat the other guy, to let's destroy the other guy.' Too many, too many are too willing to stigmatize and demonize others for political advantage, for money or for ratings. ... This cycle of tragedy-driven hatred must stop, because so much more connects us than that which divides us because tragedy has been, and will always be with us. Somewhere right now, evil people are planning evil things. All of us will do everything meaningful, everything we can do to prevent it, but each horrible act can't become an ax for opportunists to cleave the very Bill of Rights that binds us. America must stop this predictable pattern of reaction.” Charlton Heston's NRA Keynote Speech excerpts May 1999

As a wave of hate seeks to divide us we must not be silenced with fear. As the airwaves fill with vitriolic rhetoric we must speak the truth from every platform afforded us. Now more than ever before we must choose to educate because knowledge is power and the truth will set you free.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Speaking the Truth and Wanting an Answer

Being slightly paranoid I struggle with putting my thoughts out in the open which is why I am not as consistent as I might be with this blog. That being said, this is therapeutic and I will be writing more often beginning August of this year. I am reminded of the Cyril Conway quote I posted last November, "Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self."

Sean Hannity says there is no racist rhetoric, no racist signs at any tea party meetings/rallies. He is either partially blind or outright lying. The NAACP calls on tea party leaders to lead, and openly denounce the racist signs and speeches and until yesterday all they have done is issue denials. Maybe this is why Mark Williams felt emboldened and with all the subtlety of an elephant post some of the most racist writing I have read since reading some Klan propaganda. Mark Skoda, one of the founders of the National Tea Party Federation, called for rebuke and removal of Mark Williams and over the weekend, the federation held a conference call and decided to boot both Williams and Tea Party Express from the “TEA Party movement”. Not that this really means anything because while there is the TEA Party Express (“coloreds signed a letter to President Lincoln asking for the repeal of the Emancipation Proclamation because they know their place”), the TEA Party Nation (who want to reinstate literacy tests for voting), the TEA Party Patriots, the Tea Party (of Florida which is an actual registered political party) and the National TEA Party Federation (too much racism to add between parentheses) none are affiliated with the others. They are not cohesive, unified or organized to the point that anyone has any authority to rebuke, remove or ‘boot’ anyone. This is news; Civil rights and civility in discourse matters. Truth and clarity matter.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano appeared on local radio in Mobile, AL to assure listeners of the Obama Administration's concern over the gulf oil spill. She assured the listeners that she had been in close contact with Gov. Barbour. Haley Barbour is governor of Mississippi. Ooops, Secretary Napolitano misspoke but this isn’t news.

Speaking about the developing Manhattan Mosque former half-governor Sarah Palin tweets “Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate” and as tempted as I am to discuss the qualifying adjective “peaceful” this isn’t news either.

Leftwing sites and blogs that give the former half-governor more than a satirical faragraf are not contributing to the education of it’s readers any more than people who post talking points, platitudes and pithy one liners via social media. As read recently on Facebook, “The 10 most dangerous words in English are, “Hi, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”” ... Um ... yeah, thanks for the contribution.

Back to some news that we can use.

Tax cuts don’t pay for themselves. The ‘born-again’ so-called deficit hawks seem to have forgotten this economic fact. The Sr. Bush called this Voodoo economics. After years of surplus Jr. cut taxes for the wealthiest among us. This coupled with Medicare pt. B, two misguided wars and a huge Wall Street bailout led to an enormous deficit and the largest recession since the Great Depression. When the Republicans were in power they spent money without consideration of future generations. Now that there is a Democrat in the White House they have seen the light and wont even vote to extend unemployment benefits unless it is paid for. Now personally I don’t have a problem with that argument except for the clear hypocrisy. Republican leaders say the people on unemployment just need to go get a job, never mind the fact that there is only one job for every five of the unemployed. Republican leaders also say people on unemployment are lazy and won’t look for work as long as they receive a check from the government for doing nothing never mind the fact that they worked, paid into this insurance and must look for work to qualify for benefits. The fact remains that these people who through no fault of their own are unemployed would wind up costing more if ignored.

The plain and simple of it is this:

· Republican leaders want us to believe that the Bush tax cuts which added to the deficit twice before if extended wouldn’t now.

· Republican leaders want us to believe that the $33 billion cost of reauthorizing unemployment benefits cannot be added to the deficit but a reauthorization of the tax cuts, which will cost $678 billion, is o.k.

· Republican leaders want us to believe they want to decrease the deficit but won’t say what programs they would cut to do so.

· Republican leaders think that we will be satisfied by telling us, “We are going to balance the budget,” and “We need to make sure that as we look at all that we are spending in Washington D.C.,” and “We need to live within our means,” and “We need to go back to the exact same agenda” (that got us into the mess that we are currently in)

Republican leaders must think we are stupid.

We refuse to accept as an answer some form of the question reiterated. We are going to balance the budget by balancing the budget is not an answer. Because I said so is not an answer. We are not children and we will not put you in office simply because you say you can do a better job.

I applaud David Gregory for his valiant attempts to get our leaders to answer the questions we all have.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The NFL Season is Drawing to a Close

Having had a excellent season of picks so far, if we do not look at my NY football GIANTS predictions – which may reveal an inability to remove my emotion regarding the greatest team in the NFL, and after last weeks 100% record I have been asked to pick again this week albeit a bit earlier and with greater depth.

Lets get right to it; Colts over the Jets and Vikings over the Saints

Here is a brief explanation:

As a NY Yankee fan I must necessarily hate the Mets. This is true for all Yankee fans. The NFL however, is hugely different than MLB. In the NFL, NY football GIANTS fans do not hate the Jets or the Bills unless playing each other. In many cases GIANTS fans actually root for the Jets and/or the Bills. Truth be told, I was a young Jets fan and wore a Namath (12) uniform much to my father’s dismay. And hating to admit it, I had NE Patriot bed sheets. That being said I will be rooting for the #1 ranked defense in the NFL today and for rookie Sanchez and expect great things although I do not believe they can beat Payton Manning. The freshly minted four time MVP has too much experience and will be seen in Florida come February. Manning, along with his toolbox filled with Wayne, Clark, Garcon, Addai, (if you need to read the entire roster check the Colts site) will put too many points on the board even against the Jets defense for the rookie Sanchez to match.

Now on to the late game:

Two words, Brett Favre. Nuff said. Sure Drew Brees is an elite quarterback, a freakishly accurate window passer who has proven himself this year. Today he will be sacked 3.5 times, hit and rushed each in the double digits. Yes, Allen, Williams2, Greenway, and Edwards will have their way with the Saints O-line today, even in the Superdome. I do not believe the 12th man will have much impact on today’s game at all.

That being said and knowing I do not have a dog in this fight we will be attending a Colts vs. Vikings Super Bowl party this February. As far as Eli and my NY football GIANTS ... the 2010 season begins on Monday, February 8th so enjoy these few weeks ‘off’ and we’ll see you then.