Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rumsfeld ruminates on time at Pentagon - Conflict in Iraq -

Rumsfeld ruminates on time at Pentagon

Rummy was good for America. He just stayed on a bit too long. A principled man, we always knew where he stood, and he had colorful comments along the way much to the chagrin of the Washington MSM (main stream media). I have called for his resignation in this blog, not because I did not respect the man, but because his time was up. We need new leadership post invasion in Iraq and we needed it months ago. Still, Rummy is a good man.

"Rumsfeld choked up a bit at his first public appearance since his surprise resignation announcement.

Asked how he has found the motivation to press on in this tough environment, Rumsfeld answered with his tried and true 'My goodness.' He took a long pause as the audience laughed softly, then answered that he felt 'so fortunate to have been able to participate and serve at important times in our country's history, and to do it with people like that,' gesturing to the soldiers in the room. Visibly emotional, he looked off to the side as he composed himself."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Carbon Leaf at 3rd and Lindsley Nov 12th

3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill

This is for the FM 100 Sunday Night Live series. Should be an excellent show. Highly recommended. If you can't make it live, tune in to Lightning 100.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blogging Season returns

I'm going to suggest that my long absence on the blogging trail is because it's just not a high priority to blog when the weather is great, and when it's better to be outside than inside during the evenings. Which is when I like to blog. So, now that it's almost completely dark by around 5 pm or so, and it's not likely that I'll go out and work on my golf game or run a few miles in the afterlight, I find myself looking for something to do besides watching TV, reading a book, or pouring (as in drinking) another glass of wine. So, I think I might blog some. And so, late fall and winter is now officially claimed as blogging season!

Why Health Insurance is not working

UnitedHealth to Pay Departing CEO $5.1M

The CEO of United Healthcare, my health insurance provider, recently was forced out for backdating of stock options primarily.

But the real story is lost in the headlines. This guy, Bill McGuire, has stock options worth over $1 BILLION.

This for a guy that runs a health insurance company. Plus, he will get $5.1 million PER YEAR for life.

Where is the outrage? Where is the outrage? This is completely berserk. I'm sure he was a good CEO, and is probably even a decent guy..

But, my insurance premiums continue to go up by double digits every year, my doctor tells me every year that he makes less and less money due to the insurance company cut backs, there are tons of people who live without health insurance, and let's not even get into the riders and the people that get turned down for insurance-because they are too risky, and would cost the insurance company too much money!

And this guy walks away with over $1 billion in options plus $5.1 million per year for life?

There is something drastically and dramatically wrong with our health care system when 3rd party insurance companies are making out like bandits, small business owners like me are being taken to the cleaners, doctors have an inverted income curve, and patients are grateful for any coverage at all

There is one small consolation. We have the best health care available in the world for those who can afford it. More and more I'm thinking the government needs to step in and be the catalyst for change.

"McGuire has stock options that were worth $1.78 billion as of the end of 2005. Their current value is not known. Investors have sold off UnitedHealth shares since questions about options backdating arose in March. Then, on Sunday, UnitedHealth said McGuire would re-price his options to the highest point in the year they were granted to remove any possibility that he got a favorable price."

- After being forced to step down over the company's compensation practices, UnitedHealth chief executive William McGuire will retire on $5.1 million a year, according to the calculations of a watchdog group.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blog Light

Sharon (my wife) and I will be in Breckenridge, Colorado the next few days. Our goal is to climb (or rather hike) a 14-er. There are twenty nine 14,000 ft mountains or higher in Colorado. Many people out there have as a life goal to climb all 29 of them. They are rated from 1 to 3 with 1 being the easiest with no technical climbing skills needed. We thought we'd start with a one (my momma didn't raise no fool) , either Quandry Peak, Long's Peak, or Grey's Peak, or weather permitting, all 3 of them. The forecast is for snow showers and temps in the 30's out there, so who knows, we may not get to hike at all due to the unusual winter conditions this early in the year.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How Democrats Can Win Again

Rich Karlgard is one of my favorite columists in Forbes Magazine. Lately his blog has been hitting on all cylinders. This is another example below.

Lately, my posts have been highlighted by other people's thoughts. Sorry about that. I've been in a slump lately.

So, until I get "it" back, please enjoy my brethren who are better at it than I.

"'Democrats cannot connect with the middle class until they understand that they are richer, more optimistic and more firmly in control of their lives than they think. Democrats need to know that the typical middle-class family is likely to be married with children; many of the pressures they face come from trying to get ahead, not simply staying in place.

'With that in mind, we suggest a very simple message aimed at the middle class and a related set of policies. Our positive message is that Democrats will build a new era of middle-class opportunity--a message that is optimistic, forward-looking, implicitly critical of the old regime and aimed squarely at the group of voters who once formed the bedrock of the Democratic Party. This kind of message also reinforces the successful progressive tradition of optimists like Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Bill Clinton.'"

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

BMW to Roll Out First Hydrogen-Burning Car Next Year - BMW to Roll Out First Hydrogen-Burning Car Next Year -

Now this is very cool. Notice that the cars will be so expensive that they will only be leased to select buyers. Also, they will have an auto-converter to a gasoline engine, much like the standard electric-hyrbid, until the hydrogen infrastructure is built. Which begs the question--which infrastructure will be built first--Ethanol (E 285) or Hydrogen or both?

"A spokesman said the car would be leased to selected customers rather than sold because of its high price. Leasing rates would be similar to those for a top-end BMW 760LI with a full-service package.

The BMW 7 Series Hydrogen 7 Saloon is powered by a 260 hp twelve-cylinder engine and accelerates from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.5 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 230 km/h.

BMW has said it intends to build a few hundred such cars at first. They will be able to switch between burning standard petrol and hydrogen so that drivers will not be left stranded while the infrastructure to deliver hydrogen is built up."

Is Steve Jobs Ill?

Digital Rules By Rich Karlgaard

"Reprinted" in it's entirety from Digital Rules

"The question must be asked.

Apple's cofounder, chairman and CEO was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2004. The survival stats for pancreatic cancer are grim. But Jobs suffered from a rarer and less fatal form of the disease, called islet cell pancreatic cancer. Here is the prognosis:

'Islet cell cancers overall have a more favorable prognosis than cancers of the exocrine pancreas, and the median survival from diagnosis is three and a half years. This is mainly due to their slow-growing nature. Insulinomas have a five-year survival rate of 80%, and gastrinomas have 65%. When malignant, islet cell cancers do not generally respond well to chemotherapy, and the treatment is mainly palliative. Most patients with metastasis do not survive five years. Islet cell cancer tends to spread to the surrounding lymph nodes, stomach, small intestine and liver.'

Not great. But better than the standard form of pancreatic cancer, which has a 98% mortality rate over five years.

Is it appropriate to raise the question of Steve Jobs' health?

Reasonable people could go back and forth on that. Any ill person deserves some measure of privacy. Jobs, though, heads a publicly traded company. Some $60 billion of investor capital rides on its fortunes. Some 15,000 employees and their families depend on Apple's prospects.

Last month, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs looked gaunt and gave an an atypical (for him) low-energy speech. Here is the review. Note Jobs' photo at the 2005 Apple WWDC versus that of the 2006 Apple WWDC meeting. The weight loss is alarming.

More evidence that the Apple CEO might be ailing comes from last week's news that Google CEO Eric Schmidt had joined Apple's board. Why? Veteran tech pundit John Dvorak thinks Schmidt might try to engineer an Apple-Sun merger and install Sun co-founder and Google's first investor Andy Bechtolsheim as CEO of the combined company.

Or Schmidt himself might take over Apple.

Why even contemplate the replacement of Steve Jobs if not for external (e.g. illness) reasons? Jobs, after all, is as linked to his company and its fortunes as any CEO can be. Steve Jobs is Apple Computer. He birthed it, raised it and in spectacular fashion brought it back to glory.

Apple without Steve Jobs is unthinkable ... unless. ... And we really, really hope the answer to our headline question is NO.

El Nino forms in Pacific Ocean - El Nino forms in Pacific Ocean 6 From Reuter's

El Nino, an extreme warming of equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean that wreaks havoc with world weather conditions, has formed and will last into 2007, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday.

El Nino has already helped make the Atlantic hurricane season milder than expected, said a NOAA forecaster.

"The weak El Nino is helping to explain why the hurricane season is less than we expected. El Ninos tend to suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic," said Gerry Bell, a hurricane forecaster for NOAA.

The NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said the El Nino probably will spur warmer-than-average temperatures this winter over western and central Canada and the western and northern United States.

It said El Nino also will cause wetter-than-average conditions in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, and spark dry conditions in the Ohio valley, the Pacific Northwest and most U.S. islands in the tropical Pacific.

An El Nino also usually leads to milder winter weather in the U.S. Northeast, the top heating oil market in the world.

Bell said scientists will have a better idea in the fall how long this El Nino will last. "There's no way to say at this time how strong it is going to be. It's too early," he said.

The last severe El Nino struck in 1997-1998. The weather phenomenon caused searing drought in Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines while causing rampant flooding in Ecuador and Chile, the world's top producer of copper.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rooney Suggests Fault for Terrorism Lies with American Behavior |

Rooney Suggests Fault for Terrorism Lies with American Behavior | From

Here is Rooney's Quote from 60 minutes last night:

“We went into Iraq March 20th, 2003. They won't be closing the banks on March 20th every year to celebrate that. The Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in 1979 might have wiped out our civilization. Most of our disasters have had some natural origin -- floods, too much water. [Over photo of floods] How often have you seen this picture? Hurricanes and tornadoes, too much wind, too much rain. Droughts may be worse, but not so dramatic as hurricanes because they don't happen on just one day.

“The disaster on September 11th wasn't like any of those. It was manmade. Death by design. Some people who hated Americans set out to kill a lot of us and they succeeded. Americans are puzzled over why so many people in the world hate us. We seem so nice to ourselves. They do hate us though. We know that and we're trying to protect ourselves with more weapons. We have to do it I guess, but might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn't make so many people in the world want to kill us.”

This is where I part ranks with the anti-Iraq and anti-war liberals, who tend to think that we are the problem, not the enemy as being the problem. The United States of America makes mistakes, no doubt about it. We have in the past and we will in the future. Currently, I'm not all fired up about what is going on in Iraq, and do believe and have posted that we need a change in direction or a change in leadership at the Defense Dept. We need to either DOUBLE the number of troops over there, or we need to systematially begin to withdrawal next year, and allow the Iraqi's to govern themselves and to police themselves.

But, back to Rooney. America is hated across the world because we are a successful nation, a successful democracy, and we act on behalf of the United Nations for the most part. Every country wishes they had the resources that we have. We give more philanthropic aid than any other country in the world to every region of the world, and we are extremely generous in all facets of the word.
Is this something for which we should be attacked?

Yes, we make diplomatic mistakes, and we could do more in the world to help, particulary as it related to Rwanda in the 1990's and other areas of Africa during the genocidal wars.

I reject everything that Rooney implies in his remarks however. We are who we are. Love us or Hate us. But do not come in here and bomb our people and bomb our buildings and create fear and frustation just because we are America.

Furthermore, in the name of Allah, we need to endorse religious and racial profiling and scrutinize each and every person coming to America even futher than we do now.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

‘Crocodile Hunter’ gets private funeral

‘Crocodile Hunter’ gets private funeral : From

A sad farewell to a man who entertained me and my kids for many years on many different occasions, usually during those unplanned evenings when flipping channels at home---when the channel flipping would stop on Animal Plannet, and then, we would all become mesmerized by him.

Steve Irwin had an uncanny ability to connect with the viewer and to explain his interest albeit his love, his passion --for reptiles of the most sinister nature.

I've always wanted to be an expert at something or to actually love my job so much that it showed the way it always showed on Steve Irwin's face when he talked about a croc or a snake. This guy knew what it meant to be alive---and how to live life to the fullest----he was a unique individual with many special talents, such as holding venemous snakes, and sticking his head in an alligator's mouth for fun. He took Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom to a new level. The host of that show was not nearly as animated as Steve Irwin, and his name currently escapes me. Irwin eclipsed Mutual of Omaha in many ways---particularly with his infectious smile, consuming personality, high energy levels, and his Aussie accent. His lovely American wife added to the intrigue. We will all miss him, American's and Australian's alike.

" A private funeral service was held for Australian TV naturalist Steve Irwin on Saturday and he will be buried at his family’s zoo in the northern state of Queensland, local media reported.

Irwin’s father, Bob Irwin, had declined a government offer for a state funeral for his son."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Problem(s) With Junior

From The Nashville Scene - The Problem(s) With Junior (as in Harold Ford, JR)

It's surprising that this article comes out of the leftist, liberalist, always a good read tho', Nashville Scene.

Plus Liz Garrigan can get "out there" literally in left field, and she is not in the league of a Bruce Dobie, or even a Matt Pulle, in terms of her writing skills.

However, to her credit, in the article linked above, Liz points out correctly that Harold Ford Jr. has never held a real job, has never filled out an application for a job for that matter, and has just a huge void of real life experiences. How can so many "normal" people be fired up about this guy? I think it should be a pre-requisite for U S. Senate candidates to have held a job, hell, even a lawyer's job.

Which is why I'm for Bob Corker. Not only has he held a job, but he has run his own business, and he has done those things that teaches someone in his leadership position a great deal about "real life" and working with "real people" and the situations that come up that are unscripted in life. Such experiences are critical when trying to work on the problems of this country in the U.S. Senate.

That's the problem right there. JR's life has been scripted. I could never vote for the guy, no matter how articulate, no matter how "good looking", no matter what his pedigree.

Now, if he were to go out there and spend 10 years in the private world making a living, he might be a hell of a candidate one day.

Newsman to Tony Snow: 'Don't Point Your Finger At Me!'

Newsman to Tony Snow: 'Don't Point Your Finger At Me!'

A rather interesting exchange yesterday between Tony Snow and NBC chief White House correspondent David Gregory. I have never liked David Gregory--he seems to continue the media bias and generally has a negative approach to his reporting. If you are keeping count, this is the second broo ha ha between a White House spokesperson and David Gregory.
This is from Editor and Publisher below:

A not especially eventful press briefing at the White House today turned rancorous with NBC's David Gregory telling Press Secretary Tony Snow, "Don't point your finger at me," and Snow accusing the newsman of being "rude" and delivering Democratic talking points.

Earlier, speaking to reporters, Snow, continuing the administration's media focus on the war on terror, accused "some in the Democratic Party" of saying "we shouldn't fight the war" and "we shouldn't apprehend al-Qaeda" or even "question al-Qaeda."

Snow got into a tussle with Gregory after the NBC journalist told him, in a lengthy remark, that the public may wonder why the president's statement and report today on the war on terror did not admit more failings on the administration's part. Snow observed that he had nicely summarized "the Democratic point of view," and Gregory took exception to this.

This exchange followed.

Q Actually, Tony, I don't think that's fair, if you look at the facts. If you look at the facts.

MR. SNOW: Well, I do, because -- no, because, for instance --

Q No, no, no. No, I don't think you should be able to just wipe that, kind of dismiss the question --

MR. SNOW: Well, let me --

Q It's not a Democratic argument, Tony.

MR. SNOW: Let me answer the question, David.

Q But hold on, let's not let you get away with saying that's a Democratic argument.

MR. SNOW: Okay, let me -- let's not let you get away with being rude. Let me just answer the question, and you can come back at me.

Q Excuse me. Don't point your finger at me. I'm not being rude.

MR. SNOW: Yes, you are.

Q Don't try to dismiss me as making a Democratic argument, Tony, when I'm speaking fact.

MR. SNOW: Well, okay -- well, no --

Q You can do that to the Democrats; don't do it to me.

MR. SNOW: No, I'm doing it to you because the second part was factually tendentious, okay? Now, when you were talking about the fact that it failed to adapt, that's just flat wrong. And you will be -- there has been -- there have been repeated attempts to try to adapt to military realities, to diplomatic realities, to development of new weapons and tools on the part of al Qaeda, including the very creative use of the Internet. So the idea that somehow we're staying the course is just wrong. It is absolutely wrong.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Crowd Was Electric

Commentary by John Pennington from Knox News From the GOVOLS extra

"*The crowd at Neyland Stadium was electric. And it clearly got to Cal's quarterbacks and their offensive teammates.

*I spoke to former Vol Mike Stowell after the game and I said to him, 'you know what game this reminded me of?' He immediately answered, 'Florida 1990.' Yep, that was it. Just as the Vols swamped the Gators 45-3 on that night, nothing went right for Cal on Saturday night. The UT D had an answer for every offensive weapon. They had a big play every time a first down was needed. This was 'one of those nights' for Cal and the Vols. If UT hadn't lifted Ainge and decided to take their foot off the gas, I believe the score could have reached 45-3 levels. Unbelievable season opening performance... and atmosphere."

(john pennington) comments below

And so it was. I attended the game in an 11 hour whirl wind round trip from Nashville with 2 of my brothers. The game gave us enough energy and enthusiasm to drive back. Hell we could have driven to the West Coast.

You've read the news. You know the Vols Won. But the crowd and the energy levels is something that is difficult for the sportswriters to write about. The atmosphere was totally unbelievable and completely positively berserk. No one expected this kind of victory. The 3rd quarter was simply mind numbingly ecstaticly incredbily fun. We were up 35-0. We were hugging our seatmates, we were high fiving strangers, we were jumping up and down, the feeling was so good. This was college football at it's finest moment. Pure unadulterated emotionally charged sensations for a team and a program that had almost been written off.
I will always remember this game for the raw emotions that came exploding from the fans in the stadium who were so totally happy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Google CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt Joins Apple’s Board of Directors

Google CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt Joins Apple’s Board of Directors

I hope this can be looked upon as a shot over the bow to Microsoft. For a company that spends over $5 billion a year in research and development, Microsoft seems only to be able to come out with products that copy google and apple. I hope this appointment rekindles the old wars between apple and gates and co, oops, ballamer and co.

If Google and Apple can start working together on some serious stuff, and this Board appointment is a long way off from doing any of that, but, if they develop some strong relationships down the road, this could be very interesting indeed.

I'm tired of hearing and reading about the rumors concerning Apple turning their hardware into PC clones with the new Intel chips and working towards powering up the Microsoft OS only on future Macs. Gosh, that would be awful.

I like reading and thinking about this kind of stuff where Jobs still might have a chip on his shoulder for Microsoft, and so, he is aligning himself and the company with people like Schmidt and Google for further anti-MS wars down the road. Let the rumors begin! Luke Skywalker (Apple) will ultimately prevail over Darthvader (Microsoft) !

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rumsfeld: Terrorist Groups 'Actively Manipulating' U.S. Media - Rumsfeld: Terrorist Groups 'Actively Manipulating' the US

In past posts, I have been critical of Rumsfeld, particularly in regards to sending too little troops in the beginning of the Iraq War, and then not having a plan once they got to Baghdad. Additionally, he grossly underestimated the costs associated with the war, once openly marketing the idea that the war would pay for itself through increased oil production from Iraq, and that the people of Baghdad would openly welcome and embrace the U. S. soldiers upon arrival. None of these things have happened, and here we are $500 billion, yes billion later. However, as much as Rumsfeld is a polarizing figure, he is correct in these statement below. The American media is being manipulated day and night by the thugs over there. I became really convinced after Reuter's ran doctored photos of the lebanese dead children supposedly after a bombing raid from Israel. It never happened (haifa). Total manipulation, particularly in the "Drive By" media.

"'The enemy lies constantly — almost totally without consequence,' he told the veterans group, which was presenting him with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award. 'They portray our cause as a war on Islam when in fact the overwhelming majority of victims of their terrorism have been thousands and thousands of innocent Muslims — men, women and children — they have killed.'

In his prepared remarks at Reno he also said, 'While some argue for tossing in the towel, the enemy is waiting and hoping for us to do just that.'

Rumsfeld often complains about what he calls the terrorists' success in persuading Westerners that the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a crusade against Islam. In his remarks at Fallon he did not offer any new examples of media manipulation; he put unusual emphasis, however, on the negative impact it is having on Americans in an era of 24-hour news.

'The enemy is so much better at communicating,' he added. 'I wish we were better at countering that because the constant drumbeat of things they say — all of which are not true — is harmful. It's cumulative. And it does weaken people's will and lessen their determination, and raise questions in their minds as to whether the cost of the war is worth it."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hitchens Gives the Finger to Maher's Audience for 'Frivolous' Jeering of Bush |

Hitchens Gives the Finger to Maher's Audience for 'Frivolous' Jeering of Bush |

I just happened to be channel surfing last night and came upon Bill Maher's first show of the year. Chris Hitchens put it right back in Mr. Smart Arse's face and it was beautiful. A sight to behold. I may not agree with President Bush some of the time, but I certainly cannot stand the acerbic, whiney host of this show. Chris Hitchens has been given a lot of grief for his drunken outbursts in the past, but he was totally right on during the Maher show last night, much to my amusesment. It definitely caught Maher off gaurd. This paritcular episode will be repeated a great deal the next few weeks, so try to catch it. Click the link below or read the text below:

"Writer/author Christopher Hitchens on Friday night gave the finger to the Los Angeles studio audience of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. As he laid out the case for how it's Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who wants World War Three, not George W. Bush, Hitchens cited how Ahmadinejad “says the Messiah is about to come back.”

Maher quipped: "So does George Bush, by the way.” That caused a loud eruption of audience applause and cheering, which led Maher to clarify: “That's not facetious.” The crowd continued to applaud as Hitchens remarked, about those in attendance who had earlier cheered and laughed as Maher called Bush an “idiot” repeatedly: "That's not facetious. Your audience, which will clap at apparently anything, is frivolous.” Loud oohs and groans emanated from the audience, prompting Hitchens to give them the finger as he castigated them, “Fuck you, fuck you,” while the groans continued. (Transcript follows)

Video clip (41 seconds, includes vulgarity): Real (1.2 MB) or Windows Media (1.4 MB), plus MP3 audio (250 KB)

Joining Hitchens (Wikipedia profile, a list of his articles) on the panel, Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival, and former Democratic Senator Max Cleland.

Transcript of the relevant portion of the discussion about Iran on the August 25 season premiere of the weekly HBO show aired live Friday nights at 11pm EDT/10pm CDT:

Christopher Hitchens: “Who wants a Third Word War? The Iranian President says that one member state of the United Nations should be wiped physically from the map with all its people. He says the United States is a Satanic power. Members of his government, named members of his government have been caught sponsoring deaths squads. He's lied, he's lied to the European Union about his nuclear program-”

Bill Maher: “But you know that a lot-”

Hitchens: “He says the Messiah is about to come back. Who's looking for a war here?”

Maher: “So does George Bush, by the way [audience applause]. That's not facetious [audience applause continues].”

Hitchens: “That's not facetious. Your audience, which will clap at apparently anything, is frivolous. [oohs and groans from audience, Hitchens gives them the finger] Fuck you, fuck you. [groans continue]”

Maher: “I was just saying what the President of Iran and the President of America have in common is that they both are a little too comfortable with the idea of the world coming to an end.”

Hitchens: “Cheer yourself up like that. The President has said, quite a great contrast before the podium of the Senate, I think applauded by most present, in his State of the Union address, that we support the democratic movement of the Iranian people to be free of theocracy -- not that we will impose ourselves on them, but that if they fight for it we're on their side. That seems to be the right position to take, jeer all you like.”

UPDATE: This edition of Maher's hour-long show will re-air (schedule page for the program) Sunday at 7pm EDT on HBO 2 East/7pm PDT on HBO 2 West; at 1:05am EDT Sunday night/Monday morning on HBO East/1:05am PDT on HBO West; and at 8pm EDT Monday night on HBO East/8pm PDT on HBO West.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs

This is parody and satire at it's best. No one knows the author of this blog, but obviously, it's someone with Apple and Silicon Valley connections. Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison are the targets of the latest posts as well.

I got the link from Rich Karlgard of Digital Rules.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rex Hammock's Weblog From New Orleans Rex Hammock's Weblog

This is one of the most compelling, rational, and totally
level headed introspective overviews of post Katrina New Orleans that I have ever read. My hat is off to Rex Hammock. This post could easily be picked up by any national "op-ed" page. Kudos to Rex and his son for this most special post.

"Lamenting and celebrating in New Orleans: I'm in New Orleans with my son today. On Sunday, we spent several hours with a life-long resident of New Orleans visiting the areas of this city that were devastated by the floods of Katrina one year ago. Nothing will capture what we saw. No words. No pictures. No video. No documentaries. Nothing can communicate what has happened to New Orleans. I'll post a few photos and some video and write a few paragraphs, but, frankly, there's little I can do to add to the comprehension of what Katrina did one year ago -- and what has taken place since.

Like I wrote in March after my son and I spent a couple of days doing volunteer construction work on the Mississippi gulf coast, the scale of the devastation is incomprehensible. The statistics of relief efforts and volunteer support are enormous -- perhaps unprecedented -- but when viewed in the context of the devastation and need, all that has been done seems like a spit in the ocean compared to all that remaining to be done.

In New Orleans, lamenting and celebrating have always been paired. Even in the Where magazine sitting in my Hotel Room, New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis, who is leading a part of the recovery efforts, has this quote about why the ironic word 'celebration' is being used to describe many of the one-year anniversary events taking place over the comng days: "In New Orleans, lamenting is a form of celebrating. With our funerals we lament, and then celebrate. Many times when you get stripped down, you get a chance to see just who you really are. And in the most painful times, that's when it's time to celebrate and rise up even stronger.

I'm in New Orleans as a guest of a magazine publisher, Romney Richard, who I did not know this time last year. But, for several months throughout the fall and winter, my colleagues and I at Hammock Publishing pitched in to help Romney and her small staff publish their magazine, Louisiana Cookin'. Romney and her staff lived close to one another, but after the flood, they found themselves in five states. Their homes were flooded and their lives turned upside down. I couldn't begin to imagine what they were going through, but I knew that the folks who work with me at Hammock Publishing could help them coordinate putting out a magazine -- it's what we do. When I talked with Romney the first time, it was a couple of weeks after Katrina and she and her husband were living in an RV at a relative's home in Baton Rouge. She was in shock and dealing with so many issues, her magazine seemed the least of her problems. But I could only think of was another small publisher (like us) with a few employees who needed a little back-up -- frankly, they were all eager to do their jobs: writing, designing, holding together a means for their advertisers -- the great restaurants in this region of great restaurants -- to continue reaching readers who love the various cuisines of Louisiana. We enjoyed helping them out on some technical, administrative and marketing ideas.

Tonight (Monday), my son and I -- along with Hammock Publishing's John Lavey and his wife -- are Romney's guests at an annual benefit dinner Louisiana Cookin' sponsors to honor five up-and-coming regional chefs and to benefit a wonderful restaurant and training program for future New Orleans chefs, Cafe Reconcile. It is a celebration of the chefs who have returned to New Orleans, as well. For the local, chef-owned restaurants have been the first to display their commitment to rebuilding their businesses and their lives and the life of this community.

Yesterday, Romney drove us around New Orleans -- through all of those communities and neighborhoods we've heard about this past year. There is no way one can drive around this city without being angry. Or stunned. Or inspired. Or confused. In the end, it's overwhelming to drive the breadth of the area flooded and to see the extreme nature of the destruction.

A lot of the debris has been cleared -- the one thing FEMA gets praised for -- so in some ways, the scene is moving away from one appearing like the aftermath of a nuclear bomb and more like one from the aftermath of neutron bomb, where all the buildings are left standing (or leaning) and the people are gone. And while I have gotten the impression from TV coverage that the devastation was mainly concentrated in inner-city low-lying areas, a three-hour drive around town convinced me that "poverty" and "low-lying" may be synonymous but in New Orleans, "middle-class" and "low-lying" are also synonymous and "upper-class" and "low-lying" are also synonymous. Katrina was a an equal-opportunity disaster that wiped out massive neighborhoods of all races and economic stratas.

Lamenting and celebrating are part of the same in New Orleans. I was in a restaurant last night with my son, one of my favorite restaurants in this city of world-class restaurants. The restaurant is one of those favored by characters out of Faulkner wearing seersucker suits and discussing how many cigars in a box one should expect to draw well (that actual conversation was taking place at the table next to me). It was a Sunday night at six p.m. but the restaurant was filled with different groups of celebrants. I say celebrants, because they were celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and reunions of one sort or another.

I overhead enough of the conversations around me, however, to realize that a lot of lamenting was going on, as well, as people were discussing their living in temporary quarters, or they had traveled back to New Orleans from some place they had been for months. But for this evening, they were smiling in this one-hundred-year-old restaurant with waiters they recognized and food that is familiar.

I am but a visitor to New Orleans. It is a foreign land to me, so I do not know enough to comprehend whether the pervasive celebratory nature of the place -- the charm and aura of the place -- has always been based on denial or innocence: Denial that one day it would all be under water; or the innocence that comes from believing some power, divine or governmental, would keep the water out.

It's hard to be here for more than a few minutes and not feel like some individual or divinity needs to be blamed. The locals I’ve talked with most universally blame the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Government. I'm happy to join in with the chorus of those who blame the ineptitude of leaders at all levels of government, from George Bush down. Or the mayor or dogcatcher, for that matter. However, at the end of the day, when all guilty parties are blamed, all punishment has been parceled out, what will be left? Innocence? The belief that a city built below sea level will not flood again? Denial? Acceptance? In the end, everything related to Katrina will be up for debate by historians centuries from now.

I can't begin to comprehend what I see now.

I do know this: I will look for any opportunity to travel to New Orleans and to do business or to have fun here and in the gulf-coast area. I love the people, the culture, the food, the spirit. I want to support the economy. I want to do my very little part by sticking one little finger in the dike.

But this is a place where lamenting will continue for a long, long time.

I bought a Hybrid Car

Those few of you who check this blog from time to time know that I post fairly often about the energy crisis and my long held belief belief that high oil prices are here to stay (nothing too far fetched now that August 2006 is here), and that our country is in a transition when it comes to efficient transportation of people, goods, and services.

There are hundreds of start up ventures raising millions of dollars in "grain-fed" states that are convinced that corn, grain, and grass are the next big thing when it comes to powering our need for motorized vehicles. Personally, I believe they are correct, but I don't have any idea which entity will succeed. President Bush is content on letting the private markets figure it out, but it sure would be nice if the federal government dumped billions of dollars into alternative energy development instead of billions of dollars into regime changes. But that is another topic altogether since the headline for this post is "I bought a Hybrid".

So, I bought a Hybrid. Why? Because, it is going to take 10-25 years for whatever the capitalists (whom I applaud) are working on now--to get their products to market. The best technology now is to buy a Hybrid car from the foreigners, not the domestic auto makers. The domestic hybrids are a joke. They are first generation hybrid cars, they are slow, and they are based upon 20 year old technology.

My new 2007 Lexus GS 450 H is a 4th generation hybrid and combines the efficiency of a 4 cylinder engine with the power of an 8 cylinder engine. It is awesomely cool. Completely the coolest car I have ever had in my life. Plus, it's on the cutting edge. Usually, I wait for cutting edge stuff to wean itself into being more mainstream, but this time, I couldn't wait. Not meaning to sound overly pompous, but this car gets 30 MPGs, and can go from 0-60 in about 5 seconds. Plus, it surpasses the California standards for minimal air pollution, and as the brochure says, my car gives more to the driver, and takes less from the world.

And forget about plugging in the electric motors into receptacles to "recharge". It recharges itself through recycling the energy created from braking, along with a 3rd electric motor that continually recycles energy from the hybrid motors and the gas engine. This car completely blows me away.

Okay, a little bit of negative stuff just to keep this post "balanced". Because of the 6 hybrid batteries (oh yeah, they have a 100K mile warranty top to bottom), they have to go somwhere. They go behind the back seat, which, accordingly, takes away from the trunk space fairly dramatically. I can barely get a set of golf clubs in my trunk. We won't be taking this car on any family vacations. Plus there is no "ski" pass through from the back seat, which is where I would normally stash my umbrella or related paraphalia so as not to junk up the back seat.

Minor inconveniences for such a fast, fuel efficient and cool car. Forgot to mention this--under 20 miles per hour, the engine never comes on--the car is powered by the hybrids and the electric motors--it's like driving a very cushy golf cart in traffic and down the road----you can't even hear the gasoline engine when it effortlessly turns on and off to support the hybrids and the electric motor, depending on the situation....all in an effort to be as efficient as possible and to use as LITTLE gasoline as possible.

I heartily recommend any hybrid car from Lexus OR Toyota. No wonder this company will soon be the biggest and best car manufacturer in the world. I'm all for American companies, but our Detroit guys have had their fingers in their ears way too long in the name of short term profits, pension plans, and union bull hockey.

Ten reasons we're past the tipping point on economic disaster - MarketWatch

Ten reasons we're past the tipping point on economic disaster - Paul Farrell on

I like this columnist a great deal (Paul Farrell), but he quotes a guy named Gary Shilling, who is a long term columnist for Forbes Magazine, a pub of which I've been a subscriber for over 20 years. Shilling is always a negative twerp, always cautioning, always signaling the latest pothole or the latest "threat" that he sees. On the other hand, Paul Farrell is usually pretty pragmatic, and has the ability of cutting through the crap and giving his opinion without a great deal of complexity. In any event, if Farrell is quoting Shilling, as he does in the referenced article (and I'll quote the 10 reasons below) Farrell must likewise be concerned about a major slowdown in the economy.

I particularly agree with number 10 below, in which, the Federal deficit is grossly understated. I don't know what has happened to Bush and Co, and why he is spending, spending, spending, but I can tell you this--the 2006 Congress is LIGHT YEARS away from the 1994 Congress that was elected on the concepts of spending control and balanced budgets. The Republicans have sold out to the politics of being re-elected and that is so sad.

"My filing cabinets are bulging with all kinds of early-warning signals screaming that we've passed the tipping point. A few are deafening: One by the CEO of Countrywide Mortgage. Another by the CEO of Toll Bros. Then hedge fund losses drove us to pull together a total of 10 warnings that signal the popping of the bubble and the start of a recession and a bear market.

1. Mortgage lender: 'Never seen a soft landing'
When a CEO like Countrywide's Angelo Mozilo speaks, his message is far more important than all the happy talk coming out of Washington and Wall Street: "I've never seen a soft-landing in 53 years, so we have a ways to go before this levels out. I have to prepare the company for the worst that can happen." Investors better prepare too.

2. Housing warns of sustained downturn
Robert Toll, CEO of luxury home builder Toll Brothers reports dramatically declining sales and revenue. Toll says the slowdown "will last for at least six months more, it may last for two years more. We don't know." Reminds us of the 2000-2002 recession.

3. Hedge fund losers the past two months
Hedge funds have been in the news a lot since topping the $1 trillion mark in assets. This unregulated industry is a loose cannon. They've become the new dot-coms now that most retail markets are so volatile and flat, forcing portfolio managers and investors to look for alternatives to the $9 trillion mutual fund market. As a result, hedge funds are chasing anything that hints of higher returns.
For example, the main data tracker, the Hennessey Group, just announced that hedge funds have underperformed the S&P 500 for the second straight month. Other warnings have all been reported in the news lately, screaming risk, risk, risk! Flashing like neon signs on the Vegas Strip:

* Congress is giving hedge funds more access to pension fund money.
* In spite of underfunding due to past errors, corporate and state pension funds are now betting more on riskier hedge-fund deals to increase returns.
* The success of Yale and Harvard has inspired small-college endowment funds to start betting on similar risky hedging games.
* The lure of huge, fast profits for hedge-fund managers has young inexperienced college grads jumping into the business and getting backers.
* Retail mutual funds are asking shareholders for permission to engage in more aggressive hedging strategies, like short-selling and derivative trading.
* Like hedge funds, private-equity funds are now signaling a top; too much new capital is forcing them to chases fewer, riskier deals.
* After a record year, IPOs, a hedge fund competitor for new capital, are also topping as many deals are falling below issue prices.

And get this, hedge funds have been making big bets on Hollywood movies, using sophisticated programs to pick winners. This sounds like a sequel to the 1998 LTCM disaster; call it "Déjà vu Dot-coms!
4. Rentals squeezing ARM borrowers
The cost of renting in Los Angeles is up 88% the past decade according to Realfacts. Santa Monica is up 279%. Potential buyers can't buy so they rent. And owners can't sell to recoup the high costs they paid in the recent bubble, so they're renting out. But they can't make enough to make their mortgage payments.
USA Today estimates that nationwide median mortgage payments are $1,687 while rents are only $868. So now all the cheap money that sucked buyers into ARMs is putting the big squeeze on everybody, owners, renters and lenders, further driving inflation.

5. Inflation hits pickup truck sales
As new construction falls and gas prices skyrocket, pickup truck sales have been falling dramatically. So now, as Americans buy fuel-efficient Asian imports, the Big Three is paying a heavy price for relying too much on profits from gas-guzzlers. No wonder Toyota is now bigger than Ford, may soon pass GM.

6. Corrosive domestic oil policies
Free market? Or surreal? Since 2000 America's energy policies have been made in secret. Last year oil executives didn't have to testify in Congress under oath. This year as gasoline prices skyrocket, so do oil company profits and their executives compensation. So when we recently saw the Alaskan oil fields shut down because pipelines are physically corroded, the symbolism was obvious; America's energy policy is as corroded and corrupt as the oil companies poorly maintained pipes and their executives thinking.

7. Markets 'unfazed' by terror threats
The day after the recent bomb threat against 10 commercial aircraft traveling from Britain to the U.S., headlines read: "Markets unfazed!" Read that "oblivious." Yes, we all know that historically markets are resilient after major crises. But this lack of response reminds me of the happy talk during the 2000-2002 period when delusional bulls grabbed any excuse to deny America's long and painful freefall into a bear recession.

8. Main Street investor sentiment dropping
The gap between the top and bottom of America's economic classes is rapidly widening. Our "ownership society," a small group of investors that control over two-thirds of the stock market may be "unfazed." But the truth is, the incomes of America's middle class have been level, while inflation has been eating away at the incomes of minimum-wage workers. Most Americans aren't party to the drama played at the Wall Street casino, while insiders, corporate CEOs and Congress have all enjoyed substantial increases in personal income the past decade.

9. War costs accelerating
In spite of all the hype about controlling the insurgency, violence is increasing. Iraq can't stand up, so we can't stand down. We're trapped in a no-win, no-exit conflict, policing a civil war. And unfortunately America's domestic partisan politics is creating inflexible strategies that are draining huge resources: The Iraq and Afghan wars are now estimated to top $1.27 trillion amid mounting Middle East tensions and rising domestic terror threats, while a depleted military is unprepared for another major war.
10. Federal deficits grossly understated

Our government spending is totally out of control, no fiscal restraint, no legislative oversight and Enron-style accounting that disguises how bad things are. USA Today says federal deficits reported as $318 billion would actually be $760 billion if standard corporate accounting rules were used. And if we were honest and accounted for Social Security and Medicare costs, the deficit would be $3.5 trillion, 10 times what we're led to believe. Lay and Skilling were rank amateurs.

Bottom line: All these signals tell us the tipping point was crossed, the bubble has popped and we are heading into another bear market and recession.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Optmism Vanishes In K-Town

John Pennington on the Vols From

John Pennington finally posts his reviews from the scrimmage last Saturday night in Knoxville. You've probably read some of this already, so this post is kind of late, but it's still worth reading.

Here are the highlights after Pennington watched the entire scrimmage on tape:

"1. Inconsistent play from the quarterback (one minute, Erik Ainge would throw a perfect dart... the next he would float a spinning duck).

2. Shaky decision-making from the quarterback (tell me if you've seen this one before, Ainge is pressured deep in his own end of the field and throws up a duck that SHOULD have been easily picked off at the 10 yard line).

3. Failure to take care of the football (on back-to-back runs David Yancey and Arian Foster negated good runs with fumbles... also, the quarterbacks behind Ainge bobbled at least 5 snaps).

4. Not knowing what to do (the Vols had practiced for a week, they had put in the 'new' offense, their quarterback now understood the offense, so when they step to the line to run the very first play of the scrimmage they... call time-out. And then they call another one just a couple of plays later).

These aren't the 'defense being ahead of the offense' problems that are to be expected at this time of the year. These are the same problems that plagued last year's offense. They're the bad decisions and 'failure to protect the ball' issues that turned possible victories over Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama into defeats.

Hey, 8-3 would have looked better than 5-6 wouldn't it?

All of this isn't to say that the Vols are a wreck. They have plenty of time to fix things. But, going into the CAl game, things could get pretty tense".

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Healing Iraq ( an Iraqi blog)

Healing Iraq

This is from a decent Iraqi Blogger, Zeyad. The name of his blog is Healing Iraq. As most affluent Iraqi's have done, Zeyad has fled to Amman to wait out the war and the constant infighting or insurgent fighting in Baghdad. He offers his comments on the state of blogging in general, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, as am I, you get the feeling that he in enjoying his stay in Amman, although he cannot get a permanent Visa yet. He talks about the intolerable conditions in Baghdad in previous posts.

"Dave Sifry, CEO and founder of Technorati (the ultimate weblog tracking portal), offers another timely report on the present state of the blogosphere. Key findings: Technorati tracked its 50th millionth blog two weeks ago; the blogosphere is steadily doubling in size every 6 m"onths or so; and the blogosphere is more than 100 times larger than it was 3 years ago.

Blogs never fail to fascinate me.

I was telling the Iraqi bloggers in Amman yesterday that a majority of Internet users (an estimated billion people) would soon have blogs, just as it’s given now that they all own personal email accounts.

We also discussed where the Iraqi blogosphere stands in the midst of these developments. Iraq Blog Count lately counted its 212th Iraqi blog, which can be somewhat impressive, given that there were only 4 Iraqi blogs before October 2003, just before the launch of the second wave of Iraqi bloggers, which added exponentially to the growth of the Iraqi blogosphere.

But still, looking at Sifry’s data, one cannot help but wonder: is that all we can offer to the blogosphere? 212 Iraqi blogs?

More on this later.

Mills Corp. To Divest Its Foreign Mall Stakes

Mills Corp. To Divest Its Foreign Mall Stakes

Again, from the Washington Post. Upon further reflection, the articles on Mills probably ranks low on the TNSN's radar as well as that of the Nashville Post, only because Mills HQ is not in this area. If this were about a hotel on the brink that Gaylord operated out of state, I'm sure both would be all over such a developing story, as it would impact the parent company which is locally based. Wow, there was probably an easier way to say that. Opry Mills is just a part of huge number of malls operated and partially owned by Mills Corp, which is based in the DC area, hence, covered aggressively by the Washington Post. There I go again.

For some reason,this story is still very interesting to me. I never dreamed that a
retail developer in these boom times of the 21st century as big as Mills Corp might go under.

Chevy Chase-based mall developer Mills Corp. yesterday announced plans to sell its stakes in three foreign malls to a Canadian firm, as the struggling company tries to stay afloat.

The deal is expected to net $500 million for Mills and would go toward paying off about $2 billion in debt. After a series of inquiries about its accounting practices, the company is under a year-end deadline to find a buyer or face a possible loan default.

"The deal is expected to net $500 million for Mills and would go toward paying off about $2 billion in debt. After a series of inquiries about its accounting practices, the company is under a year-end deadline to find a buyer or face a possible loan default.

The three malls, which were sold to Montreal developer Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., are Vaughan Mills in Ontario; St. Enoch Centre in Glasgow, Scotland; and Madrid Xanadu. Ivanhoe Cambridge already has a 50 percent interest in Vaughan Mills and St. Enoch Centre.

Mills has been plagued by financial troubles in the past year: a series of layoffs, ballooning construction costs at its massive Xanadu project at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, and a more than 50 percent reduction in the profits recorded from 2003 to 2005.

Monday, August 14, 2006

(Opry) Mills Corp. In Jeopardy Due to Debt, Accounting

Mills Corp. In Jeopardy Due to Debt, Accounting

Despite an earlier post this Spring about the Mills Corp being out of financial trouble, financial auditors are now saying that the grim reaper is making another appearance.

Lost in the details of the huge round of financing that Mills received last Spring was a requirement that the company find a buyer by 12/31/06, or pay a huge fee to continue the financing (which it cannot afford and of which, no buyer has been found).

What does this mean for Opry Mills here in Nashville? Probably business as usual as the financial geeks figure out a way to restructure the company or to find multiple owners piece meal for all the parts in all the malls across the country.

Since Gaylord exercised their option to buy a larger interest in Opry Mills earlier this year, they may be interested in taking over the whole enchilada.

It's nice to have a partner with more money than you---one caveat of business that is true in both small and large operations--!!!!

My main question is this--why isn't the Tennessean covering this evolving story, or, at least, the Nashville Post, supposedly Nashville's source for business information??

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Apple receives delisting letter from Nasdaq - MarketWatch

Apple receives delisting letter from Nasdaq

Fat chance of anything happening here in terms of a delisting, but Apple has not cleared up the back dating of options for it's executives, some thing that most public companies took care of in past years when the rules were changed.

I guess they were too busy cranking out IPODS and revolutionizing the digital music world to realize that they definitely dropped the ball on the new accounting regulations.

If the stock gets hit tomorrow based upon these headlines, it may be a good time to buy AAPL.

Even though MAC heads continue not to like the INTEL chips because the software makers for MAC have not caught up yet, I think AAPL has a very bright future, and the best is yet to come for this company.

Pennington on the Vols-Optimism Rising

Go Vols Xtra Pennington's Big Orange Business Vol Fever... Catch It

These comments are from my favorite UT blogger, John Pennington, who hosts a TV show in Knoxville about everything VOLS, but is pretty level headed about the boys wearing orange, and does not usually buy into a whole lot of hooey, although he did predict the Vols would go 10-2 last year, and what, the Vols ended up 5-6! This was written before the scrimmage on Saturday where Ainge threw 2 interceptions!

I can tell you that the dog days of Summer are here and with them has come the low rumble that... maybe, just maybe... the Vols will be better than most folks think.

A month ago, everyone in the media (and some folks close to the program) didn't see blue skies on UT's horizon. The outlook was 8-4, 9-3 at best. Some even said 7-5.

But as the stories emerge from Fall practice, it seems that a lot of people are saying the right things. Ainge now understands the offense, which he didn't last year. Special teams are getting more attention and looking better. There's not a rotation of injured backs who didn't play this Spring... there's a FLEET of high-quality game-breakers.

And all that talk is starting to sink in. Fans, 90% of them anyway, always want to believe the positive. Take a look over the last few weeks at how many people have said, 'we'll kick Cal's butt' (my word, not theirs). Those same folks probably typed the same thing before last Fall's games with Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Vandy, etc, etc.

That's the nature of fandom.

What I find interesting is that jaded members of the media and press... people who are paid to be unbiased, to have a keen eye, to have seen all of this stuff before... are now starting to buy into" the excitement. Just a little.

After my TV show on Sunday, some of the guys I spoke with said, "I'm hearing the right things." Some are wondering if they should have gone with 8-4 instead of 7-5, with 9-3 instead of 8-4, or with 10-2 instead of 9-3.

"Remember," I said to one of them, "Phillip Fulmer is at his best when you least expect it. It's when expectations are high that he can't reach them. Right now, they're low." I was gigging the guy a little... but he had a look in his eye that said, "you're right!"

I said 9-3 back in January. After the Spring, watching the offensive line, I dropped it to 8-4. I'm going to sit on that prediction for now.

Last year, when I predicted 10-2 (due to the Vols' tough schedule), the "they're going to the Rose Bowl" crowd almost led me to change my pick to 11-1. But I held to my guns, and was right (well, "righter" than the folks who said Rose Bowl).

So I'll stick with 8-4. But there's a rising tide of optimism in Knoxville, without question. I reserve the right to switch to 9-3 before the Cal game.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Smith: McNair brings confidence to Ravens

One thing the Ravens are forgetting about is this--McNair will get injured. I predict he will not last through September before missing an entire game for some reason. He will play well amongst the lower tier teams. When Pittsburg or Indianapolis comes to town, all bets are off.

In the mean time, Michael Smith from ESPN writes the following:

"Twas the night before training camp, and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan was playing for his players a highlight reel from last season. You know, get them amped up for the camp grind. He showed them the things you'd expect: big hits, picks, recoveries, returns for touchdowns. Then, toward the end of the presentation, Steve McNair appears on the screen, speaking at his press conference following the offseason trade from Tennessee to Baltimore. From that point on it was the Air McNair show, complete with completions from McNair to (teammate then and now) Derrick Mason.

If you're familiar with the Ravens' offensive history, particularly the franchise's quarterback lineage, then Ryan's point in including the McNair clips was fairly obvious.

'I wanted those guys to realize the type of quarterback that we have now,' Ryan explains. 'There are no excuses why this football team can't win and win big. There's no more, 'We don't have this.' Sometimes guys would get caught up in other teams having this and that QB. Well, now we've got one".

Bring it on.

Latest on U.K. Airline Plot

This report is from the Power Line Blog

"The names of the plotters have been released; all are described as British Muslims. The London Times confirms that the plan was uncovered after two Britons were taken into custody in Pakistan last week. (Don't worry, though; I'm sure the Pakistani authorities just asked them if they would pretty-please reveal whatever they knew about terrorist schemes.) The Times reports:

Reports from Pakistani intelligence, suggesting the direct involvement of senior Kashmiri militants linked to al-Qaeda, convinced British intelligence that the plot had to be taken seriously. Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist branch was brought in to the operation last December.

It is unclear from the reports so far how much the authorities knew, or whether any of these individuals had been identified, prior to the last few days. It is being reported that the terrorists were planning their attack for August 16 (not August 22 as some have speculated), so it is fair to assume that they were identified in the nick of time.

The Sun has details of the terrorists' plans:

It was believed the gang intended to use a liquid, peroxide-based explosive which could be mixed mid-flight to bring down the aircraft in three waves of three.

The deadly fluid components would have been hidden inside drink bottles and even baby milk.

The method would have foiled airport security."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Reuters Photo Fraud

Reuters Photo Fraud:

The below is a quote from (a blog that I read occasionally):

"The recent discovery that the Reuters news agency released a digitally manipulated photograph as an authentic image of the bombing in Beirut has drawn attention to the important topic of bias in the media. But lost in the frenzy over one particular image is an even more devastating fact: that over the last week Reuters has been caught red-handed in an astonishing variety of journalistic frauds in the photo coverage of the war in Lebanon.

This page (linked above) serves as an overview of the various types of hoaxes, lies and other deceptions perpetrated by Reuters in recent days, since the details of the scandal are getting overwhelmed by a torrent of shallow mainstream media coverage that can easily confuse or mislead the viewer. Almost all of the investigative work has been done by cutting-edge blogs, but the proliferation of exposés might overwhelm the casual Web-surfer, who might be getting the various related scandals mixed up. "

Basically, the murder of innocent children by Israel so heavily covered by the media in July in Qana, Lebanon could very well have been manipulated by Hez. and carried across the world by Reuters.

Just use the word "Muslim" and not "Community Activists"

Power Line: " the eagle-eyed William Katz writes:

We are at war with extremist Muslims, plain and simple. We need to forget about political correctness and go after these bastards--from PowerlineBlog below

" I happened to be up in the middle of the night - common for a writer - and caught the first bulletins on the UK terror plot. We're now about six hours into the coverage, and the MSM is going through major self-abuse to avoid the 'M' word. But here it is, finally, in one of the most tortured quotes I've seen about terrorism. This is from the London Times website: Meanwhile police chiefs and John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, have spoken to community leaders to keep them in touch with the investigation.

Mindful of the outrage amongst the Muslim community when Met anti-terror officers raided a house in Forest Gate last month, Mr Stephenson was careful to stress that Muslims were not being targeted by the police.

'This is not about communities: it is about criminals, murderers, people who want to commit mass murder. This is about people who might masquerade in the community, hiding behind certain faiths, but who want to commit acts that no right-minder person would want to applaud,' he said.

Meanwhile, back at the BBC – just blasted by the Israeli government
for its blatantly biased war coverage – they haven't quite gotten
to 'M.' This is as far as they go on their website:

According to BBC sources the 'principal characters' suspected of being involved ". No mention of the "M" word, Muslims, but that is exactly who is in custody.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dennis Miller on the Middle East

Thanks to my brother, Dortch, for passing these quotes to me

Comments from Comedian Dennis Miller

Dennis Miller on the Middle East

For those who don't know, Dennis Miller is
a comedian who has a show called Dennis Miller
Live on HBO.

He is not Jewish.

He recently said the following about the Mideast

"A brief overview of the situation is always
valuable, so as a service to all Americans who
still don't get it, I now offer you the story
of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs,which
is all you really need.

Here we go:

The Palestinians want their own country.

There's just one thing about that...........
There are no Palestinians.

It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine
for two thousand years.

Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient
but is really a modern invention

Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war,
Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan,
and there were no "Palestinians."

As soon as the Jews took over and started growing
oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know,
say hello to the............"Palestinians,"
weeping for their deep bond with their lost.....
"land" and "nation."

So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the
word "Pal estinian" anymore to describe these
delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths,
until someone points out they're being taped.

Instead, let's call them what they are:
"Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life
And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive
Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death."

I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN.
How about this, ! then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters."
Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country.
Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't.

They could've had their own country any time in
the last thirty years, especially two years ago at..
Camp David but if you have your own country, you have to
have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers
of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure
out some way to make a living.

That's no fun. No, they want what all the other
Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want
a big pile of dead Jews, of course -- that's where
the real fun is -- but mostly they want..... Israel.

Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or
"The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it --
for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of
Arab countries to divert the attention of their
own people away from the fact that they're the
blue-ribbon most illiterate,poorest, and tribally
backward on God's Earth,and if you've ever been
around God's Earth . . . you know that's really
saying something.

It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our
pundits waxes poetic about the great history and
culture of the Muslim Midleast.

Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't
given anything to the world since Algebra, and,
by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

Chew this around & spit it out: 500 million Arabs;
5 million Jews.

Think of all the Arab countries as a football field,
and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it.
And now these same folks swear that, if Israel gives them
half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..

Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about
the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country
and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive
every Jew into the sea?

Oh, that? We were just kidding.

My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the
other day:

Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine 500 million Jews
and 5 million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple
brilliance of it.

Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of
razor blades and dynamite to themselves?.......
Of course not.

Or marshaling every fiber and force at their
disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State
into the sea? Nonsense.

Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents?....

Or spreading and believing horrible lies about
the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of
children? ......Disgusting.

No, as you know, left to themselves in a world
of peace,the worst Jews would ever do to people
is debate them to death.

However, in any big-picture strategy, there's
always a danger of losing moral weight. We've
already lost some. I didn't know some of that..........!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Hey, Blog Fans. Sorry to say that other things are happening, and that blogging is taking a major back seat. In the meantime, please visit
Rex Hammock's ultimately famous RexBlog for your best look at great info and postings for business, personal, and general info.

I shall return soon!!

Cheers and thanks for your patronage!!!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Heads are Gonna Roll--Regions Financial, AmSouth to Combine

Regions Financial, AmSouth to Combine
from Yahoo Finance

"Regions and AmSouth have 230 branches within a mile of each other, Jordan said."

This is very huge news for us here in Nashville. I have banked with Amsouth and Amsouth's predecessor, First American Bank, for 25 plus years. My dad was an original founding board member of First American. We go way, way back with this bank.

Honestly, this merger is kind of strange because the "banking footprints" do not compliment one another. In fact, they overlap quite significantly.

Just down the road here in Belle Meade, there is a Regions branch just 100 yards from an Amsouth Branch. Commercial Real Estate people are probably salivating at the possibilities. There would be no sense in keeping both branches open. I think AmSouth has signed on to build a brand new branch in the new Tony Girantanna building where the old Belle Meade theatre used to be.

What about all of the commercial banking people around here (not to mention Birmingham, Knoxville, Memphis, etc) that call on the same businesses as former competitors, that is, Regions banking folks versus AmSouth banking folks. No reason to keep two full contingencies of bankers serving the exact same market. Well, maybe an extra one or two, but not double.

Yes, people are probably shaking in their boots at both banks wondering who is going to stay and who is going to go. Such is the life of corporate business and corporate take overs.

But this one is a little strange--the only way they can make this work is by cutting ALOT of overhead, namely people and branches.

We'll be watching with interest. But, as for me, Pinnacle bank sure looks like a good play here. Small business people hate this continuous upheaval of bankers, mergers, and new faces.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Thousands of Iowa's Corn Farmers See the Future in Fuel

Thousands of Iowa's Corn Farmers See the Future in Fuel

"Iowa, the top corn-producing state, is the nation's ethanol leader, generating 25 percent of U.S. ethanol in towns such as Coon Rapids and Steamboat Rock. In addition to 22 ethanol refineries in operation, the state has seven under construction and at least 20 are being planned.

The boom here has largely been a grass-roots phenomenon, fueled by clusters of growers, bankers and small-town professionals. Aspiring biofuel plant owners have been barnstorming the state, delivering investment pitches in firehouses, schools and community centers.

Six thousand farmers have bought in.

'There's quite a bit of exuberance for the ethanol plants. They're paying real good dividends,' said Rockwell City farmer Keith Sexton, president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and an investor in four biofuel refineries. 'It's coming on board almost faster than a person can keep up, unless that's your day job."

Monday, May 15, 2006

A New Twist for the Moonshiner: Ethanol - Energy - A New Twist for the Moonshiner: Ethanol - Energy

This is a great way to promote the fact that Ethanol is the fuel of the future.

I remember when people used to scoff at gas stations that used to "cut" their gas with ethanol. In fact, it was those cut rate gas stations of the past like Pilot and Scott that used to frequently "cut" their gas with ethanol to keep their pump prices low. And what did most consumers do? Go to other "pure" gas stations. How stupid. I was one of those that used to avoid ethanol/gas mixtures.

Now, I am a complete and total advocate of E85/ethanol plus gas mixtures. Anything to reduce our dependence on oil, rather foreign or domestic. Scroll down to read where E-85 is available in Nashville NOW. Don't buy a new car without ethanol capabilities--read this article linked above too!

"An upstart Tennessee business is marketing stills that can be set up as private distilleries making ethanol — 190 proof grain alcohol — out of fermented starchy crops such as corn, apples or sugar cane. The company claims the still's output can reduce fuel costs by nearly a third from the pump price of gasoline."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Men's National Team--Soccer - Men's National Team

If you haven't already heard, the World Cup is this summer in Germany. The World Cup is to soccer fans what the Super Bowl is to football fans. The only difference being is that it's held every 4 years, and there is truly a World Champion unlike the incredibly arrogant claim of the Super Bowl winner being a world champion. How can the Super Bowl winner be a world champion when it's a game only between U. S. football teams??

The World Cup is truly an international spectacle that promises to be great sports televion this June. Budweiser is spending more on advertising with the World Cup than they did with this past Super Bowl. This sport might actually finally be catching on in America. It's truly great soccer at the international level!

In any event, YOU, yes, YOU have the opportunity to see our team, called the U. S. National Team play against Morrocco here in Nashville, TN, this May 23rd at 6 pm at the Coliseum. Pretty cool. It's called the "Send Off Series" and it's a "friendly" match to help prepare our team for the grueling World Cup. Our first World Cup match is on June 11th. More later.

Tickets are reasonably priced (unlike most professional sports). There are good seats for $25 and $35.

Hope to see you there. Click the link above for ticket info if you don't want to call TicketHassle at 255-9600.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Best advice for Pacman is to grow up

Best advice for Pacman is to grow up By David Climer in the Tennessean

Thanks to Rex Hammock of RexBlog fame for pointing to this article in his own blog, and for making the point that the best writing in the Tennessean happens to reside in the Sports section.

I could not agree more. The Sports section of the Tennessean is also well rounded, very well delegated with different beat writers to handle multiple sports, and although I may not agree with the aggressively negative nature of David Climer or the mindless chatter of Joe Biddle, the Sports section generally rocks. Plenty of coverage on professional, collegiate, and high school sports for the market place. Not too much Nascar, but just enough. And don't forget about fishin' and huntin'. The Sports sections is just a good read.

Editorially speaking, all we have is David Climer and occasionally Joe Biddle. Climer does hit a home run with this column on PacMan. This guy (PacMan) is just not ready for Prime Time.

Poll Gives Bush His Worst Marks Yet - New York Times

Poll Gives Bush His Worst Marks Yet - New York Times

Okay, you all have read and heard about these polls now for the past few weeks. Seems like when the polls are bad about Bush, someone does another one, and so the latest poll numbers seem to be on a self perpetuating cycle. The media just loves it when the numbers are this bad for Bush. So, they do another poll....This one just happens to have been conducted by the New York Times, one of the libs favorite print media pubs.

I have posted many times about my unease and unrest over the IRAQ war, particularly as it relates to the obvious inability for the IRAQI's to get their shit together in the most basic sense. Too many factions. Too many tribes. Too much 15th century thinking. How in the world are we going to change that? We toppled Sadam. Great job! But, building a democracy in IRAQ? Doubtful. So maybe I see why so many people blame Bush for this over zealous goal of his.

And, okay, so Bush is on the wrong side of the immigration issue. We need to seal up our borders and only let in legal immigrants. I have no problem with Mexicans coming to our country, and neither do most Americans. They just need to have the proper visas. Why is that so hard and why is there so much debate? Just come in legally, seal up the borders, and everything will be fine. No one is talking about cutting off trade or prohibiting legal immigration.
Okay, so I can see why so many people blame Bush for being led down this path, actually, being pushed, pulled, and drug down this legal immigration path.

And then there are the gasoline prices..Bush said in the State of the Union address that we were addicted to oil. He's right. Now, lead us out of this mess. Propose to retrofit every gas station in America with Ethanol pumps. The U. S. government should pick up the tab. Spend mega billions on ethanol production, not the paltry $150 million on various alternative energy initiatives. E85 is the answer, I am convinced. It will take 5 years if we start now on an aggressive campaign to roll out ethanol. Each year we wait, our dependence on foreign oil continues. Think of the international political ramifications if we could produce enough ethanol to reduce and possibly eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. My bet is that the Middle East would cool off, and not be the political hot potatoe that it is. Easy for me to see.

Bush is just not leading us right now. He is in a quagmire. He just does not seem to be the same leader as he once was.

But, here's the rest of the story. The economy is rocking and rolling. Unemployment is at or below 5% nationally. That is awesome. Tax cuts got extended. Inflation is tame. I cannot remember a more robust time--economically speaking. It is almost economic nirvanna out there.

But, Bush gets no credit for this. He is getting pummelled for Iraq, immigagration, and not necessarily gas prices---but just not LEADING us, the country, out of the gasoline addiction.

I hope this does not make me a Democrat to say these things!

"Americans have a bleaker view of the country's direction than at any time in more than two decades, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Sharp disapproval of President Bush's handling of gasoline prices has combined with intensified unhappiness about Iraq to create a grim political environment for the White House and Congressional Republicans.

Mr. Bush's approval ratings for his management of foreign policy, Iraq and the economy have fallen to the lowest levels of his presidency. He drew poor marks on the issues that have been at the top of the national agenda in recent months, in particular immigration and gasoline prices."

Monday, May 08, 2006

E85 (ETHANOL) Available in Nashville

National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) and E85


YOU CAN BUY E-85 HERE IN NASHVILLE at the FOLLOWING LOCATION: (note to the people raising their eyebrows--E-85 is the commercial name for ethanol fuel. It is made from agricultural products such as corn and other products. It does not come from the middle east or from way under the ground, any ground, no matter what the geography, for that matter. It does not cause pollution. IT IS THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE. THE FUTURE IS NOW.

500 N Main
Nashville, TN 37206

So, here is what you need to do to have ZERO dependence on foreign oil, help the environment, and be ahead of the curve:

1. You will be surprised how many cars run on Ethanol RIGHT NOW! Click this link to see what I'm talking about

2. Buy one of these cars in the above link, or, if you have one, go to the station above and start buying 100% ethanol

3. Go to the ethanol station for your energy needs as often as you can, preferably every tank if possible

4. You will be a hero.

5. I am not a hero yet, but I'm working on it.

#1 Nashville, Tenn.

#1 Nashville, Tenn

"What we loved: Hillsboro Village, for the acoustic guitars at Cotten Music, kitchenware at Davis Cookware and the triple chocolate mousse at Provence Breads & Café."

You've probably heard by now about how Nashville, our great city, was picked as the Number One place to live by the editors of Kiplinger Magazine. Pretty heady stuff for our fair city, no? But, does the quote above hit a chord with you? Kitchenware and Chocolate Mousse?? Does that sound like Nashville to you??? Here's what I would have written-

What we loved: Hillsboro Village for the coffee at Bongo Java with the Jones Pet Store vintage signage, the ultra cool Belcourt Theatre plus the hip and original local restaurants. All just a few stone's throw away from the classicly modern statue of Musica on the Round about separating Downtown from Music Row.

(Opry) Mills pulls through-- gets $2.23B in financing

Mills gets $2.23B in financing - Pittsburgh Business Times

Excellent news! This should see the company through the recent rough patch. Here is an overview from the article;

Mega-mall developer Mills Corp., which is considering putting itself up for sale, says it has received a commitment from Goldman Sachs for up to $2.23 billion in financing.

The loan, subject to a number of contingencies, would be used to repay debt and to finance continuing operations.

Arlington, Va.-based Mills, which owns more than 40 retail properties and operates the Pittsburgh Mills, hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase earlier this year to explore the sale of the company or other options.

AHA! I Knew it!! Lesbians' brains respond like straight men

Lesbians' brains respond like straight men

Sorry for the unexplained absence. Thought I'd catch your eyes with this latest research from some university in Canada.

Ever wonder why straight guys sort of find it interesting when 2 women "get together" ...Seems as if our brains are on the same wavelength so to speak.

Ever wonder why hetero women get along with gay men so well? Same theory.

Heterosexual women and gay men found the male pheromones pleasant, while straight men and lesbians liked the female pheromone more than the male one. Men and lesbians also found the male hormone more irritating than the female one, while straight women were more likely to be irritated by the female hormone than the male one.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Viruses catch up to the Mac

Viruses catch up to the Mac This is from

"Ferris said he warned Apple of the vulnerabilities in January and February and that the company has yet to patch the holes, prompting him to compare the Cupertino-based computer maker to Microsoft three years ago, when the world's largest software company was criticized for being slow to respond to weaknesses in its products.

'They didn't know how to deal with security, and I think Apple is in the same situation now,' said Ferris, himself a Mac user."

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Is Jeff Fisher the next Titan to go?

With the latest word that Steve McNair is going to be traded or released, one has to wonder what is going on over at the Titan's---on the administration side.

Clearly, Coach Fisher and Norm Chow preferred Matt Lienart over Vince Young. Almost every post draft interview indicated that the decision was split. Here are a couple of quotes:

Reese acknowledged the decision wasn't unanimous in the draft room, but he said everyone was in agreement that Young has a chance to be special.

"I know Coach Chow and Coach Fisher did everything they could to get me, but obviously there were some differences in that organization,'' Leinart told reporters in Arizona. "They went with who they thought was best.''

And, now, the word is that Fisher said that the McNair trade or release is "unlikely". Remember when McNair was asked to leave the training camp when Fisher was out of town visiting potential draft prospects?

All of this reeks of something going amuck. Fisher will never come out and say anything, but all indications are that he has a short leash---I'd say this year to at least have a winning season or to show some definite improvements.

My thoughts are that Fisher backed McNair way too long and was his outspoken supporter despite the obvious. Bud Adams and Floyd Rees are running this team and Fisher will be the next to go if the Titan's don't turn the ship around this upcoming season.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Pre-Draft First Round Pick for the Titans

I cannot remember an NFL draft causing so much interest for even the most casual fan of the Tennessee Titans.

My gut tells me Vince Young is the pick. His style is more like the Titans, even with his unusual side arm motion. He's big, physical and is a playmaker who lives on the edge, just the way McNair did in his prime.

Having said that, I can see the Titans picking Lienart as well, just because of the Norm Chow connection. But Norm may not be around forever.

We'll know this time tomorrow. Surely Reggie Bush won't be around for the 3rd pick.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bleet, plus, Tennessean RSS Feed UPDATE

I'm coining a new term, BLEET, to describe the Blog Elite, formerly known as the blogleet. This is a term that describes, as you might imagine, the biggest and bestest bloggers.

Rex Hammock of Rexblog fame is certainly a charter member of the BLEET, a place that maybe one day in the far distant future I might ascend. Rex took the time to inform me that only one particular RSS Feed from the Tennessean is bad, and of course, it's the one I was using. So, I stand corrected and extend my apologies to the TNSN.. Here is what Rex says below:

The tennessean RSS feeds work for me -- I subscribe to the news
headlines and the sports one. however, the "headlines" thing suc**.
I'll post something tomorrow.


here's the URL to the "top news" feed that works for me:

Thanks Rex and thanks for the plug the other day for my half marathon run for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. We have raised over $5000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the cure for Parkinson's.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Welcome to Carbon Leaf's Official Website

Welcome to Carbon Leaf's Official Website

This is a most amazing band. Sharon (my better half) and I went to see them at the Exit/In the other night. We had not been there in 20 years. Someone called Sharon "maam" as we wondered through the crowd. We laughed. We were so entertained. This band mixes so many different forms of music from rock to bluegrass to fusion. Highly recommended.

Tennessean RSS Feed is Terrible

SEC names new football officials coordinator - Nashville, Tennessee - Thursday, 04/20/06 -

It's now Thursday, April 27th (or almost). The most recent posting on the Tennessean's RSS feed is from Thurdsay, April 20th. 7 days ago. That is pitiful. I have noticed for some time that of all the major media, the Tennessean has the worst and most inconsistent RSS feed of any media I follow. I don't follow that many feeds, maybe 50. Compare that to the BlogLeet (blog elite) people who probably follow 200 or more daily feeds--they have the same problem. The Tennessean continues to be challenged with updating their RSS feeds. What is even more annoying is that they don't summarize what is in the corresponding post. If you have an RSS reader, you know what I mean, if you don't, you should get one. Thanks to Rex Hammock for briefly telling me one day that I needed one, and then backing that up on his blog a few times. He has helped many bloggers. Maybe he can use his media contacts to get to the TNSN RSS person to get them off their duffs.

Bush Blizzard?

Tony Snow named White House Press Secretary From USA Today Blogs

Tony Snow joins John Snow (Treasury Secretary) in the Bush White House. But, according to multiple sources, John Snow is probably on his way out.

I can "dig" it. That's pretty bad. Sorry.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Parkinson's fight is motivation for one runner

Parkinson's fight is motivation for one runner -

This runner happens to be me!

Bonds hints Aaron's record might be out of reach

Bonds hints Aaron's record might be out of reach

From ESPN..

All I can say is --LET'S HOPE SO! And I hope Bud Selig steps in and puts an asterik by his name when he breaks Babe Ruth's record.

There is going to be a major media frenzy as Bonds approaches the Babe's record in just a few short days/weeks. Bonds is at 709 now, and 715 will probably fall before Memorial Day if not sooner.

Let's face it, Bonds cheated. There were no such drugs around when the Babe hit all of his 714 home runs. Ditto Roger Maris when he hit 61 or 62 (can't remember which) in one season back in the 60's.

Like everyone else, I was mesmerized when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire battled it out that year to overcome Maris and to set a single season record.

Looking back, it does not take a rocket scientist to realize both of those guys were human freaks--all juiced up and bulked up like Popeye on spinach. Would that it were a simple organic substance like a vegetable that those guys took.

Why is the baseball management being so coy over Bonds, McGuire and Sosa? Why does it take a congressional investigation and free lance writers to dig up the dirt?

Is it just me, or what? When Babe Ruth's record goes down, it will be a crying shame for Major League Baseball, and for the honor and tradition the sport once held for all Americans.

Let's hope Barry Bonds means it below when he says below that his body won't allow him to break Aaron's record of 755. And in the mean time, where is Bud Selig on all of this?

"As long as I'm healthy, I want to give it a try,' Bonds has said.

Now, the man who stands only five homers from Babe Ruth's career 714 and 46 from Aaron's record 755 believes his body will not allow him to catch the home run king.

'Heck no,' Bonds told when asked if he still had a chance to catch Aaron.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Importance of Ophelia Ford's Ouster

Inside Baseball

This is a new column by Matthew White from the Tennessee Political Blog called Inside Baseball (for reasons unknown to me). In any event, it's the first thing I've read from a credible source of the real implications of the Senate vote last week to void the election of Ophelia Ford.

Basically, the state legislature has to stand up to the Federal Courts, and for this reason alone, the precedence has been set now that our state elected leaders have a true separation of powers as opposed to the court system intervening when there is a dispute amongst the political factions.

Very interesting reading, and I have quoted below for your convenience so you really don't have link to the article by White. However, if you do, he also handicaps the 23rd Senate District race (Jim Bryson's seat). Oh yes, I agree with White also on the fact that Ophelia Ford has gained so much publicity over her challenge, that she is a shoe-in if she would just shut up and get back to Memphis and plan for the next election.

"The State Senate finally voided Ophelia Ford's election to that body in a convincing bipartisan vote. This is an important moment in Tennessee political history and not for the reasons you might think, namely the Ford family finally getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

A federal judge blocked a similar vote in January despite the Senate's explicit constitutional authority to overturn the election. It is important for the Tennessee Legislature to stand up to federal courts that have been governing the state by fiat. It has happened with prisons, education, healthcare, children's services and election law, among others. There are few agencies of state government that aren't under some form of federal court order. If federal courts want to stand in the way of the legislature's legitimate constitutional functions, then let them enforce the order.

More important than that is the dilution of votes that are attendant to voter fraud. People who go to the trouble to cast an informed ballot deserve to have their full vote counted. When an illegal vote is cast, by a living person or otherwise, every other vote is cheapened. If we are to have 'one man/woman, one vote' as we should, only living, breathing residents of the district should have their votes counted.

Ophelia Ford has not seen the last of the State Senate. If she's smart, she'll drop this charade and win her election - honestly - in November and continue on in the family business.