Saturday, May 27, 2006

Je kanas nowan, Jabba Munga

Separated at birth? Check these two pictures, and tell me
we aren't related.....

(btw, if you want to translate the Huttese in the title, here....)

Now Young Faces Grow Old, and Sad

Went to a Durham Bulls game last night. One of our favorite family things to do. Cheap, great seats (if you get season tickets, or even one of the modified ticket packages).

You get cheesy little things, giveaways, if you do buy one of the ticket packages. We have the "Hit Bull, Win Steak" ticket package (See seventh bullet point here). So, for May 26, you got a coupon for a free autographed baseball.

We get there, and the poor people at the "Fan Assistance Center" are looking harried. We walk up to present our coupon to get our baseball, and they say, "We'll stamp it, and you can use it later."

Turns out that the "autograph" on the baseball they were GOING to give away was from (wait for it, I bet you can guess!) Delmon Young.

Now, Mr. Delmon Young is the younger brother of that oversized Treasure Troll*, Detroit's Dmitri Young and that would be some claim to fame already.
(a real Treasure Troll, for comparison)

But my man Delmon is also serving the baseball equivalent of house arrest for two months for throwing a bat at an umpire. And the bat hit the umpire, as you can see in an already famous video. I've never seen anything like that. Spitting on the ump is kind of gross, and bumping him is bad...but to throw a bat? And HIT the ump?

Discretion, better part of valor, and all that, for the Bulls. So, no baseballs, even though they had all the baseballs ready. They just didn't want to give them out.

My questions:
1. Why give out baseballs, anyway? You can THROW them. Having hundreds of kids in the stands with baseballs is not such a great idea. It's not "disco demolition night," but it's close. (oh, HELL no, you did NOT skip over that link. Go back and also look at DDN 25th anniversary. Outstanding baseball history. Don't be a putz; click it).

2. Why not give out THESE baseballs, anyway? Instead of making the ticket-holders mad, give out the Delmon Young-signed balls, with maybe a little toy ankle-bracelet GPS transmitter. Clearly a collectors' item, soon, when Delmon Young goes on to complete the trifecta of (a) hit ump with bat, (b) get caught with cocaine, and (c) use Mark McGuire-style steroids. People would be trying to buy these balls on Ebay, within just a few years.

Of course, there was also a game. A couple of monsoon delays, so we left early. But there was this kid, Edwin Jackson, a top prospect, who started for the Bulls. He was throwing 92-94, with a nice curve. Several Braves got the jelly leg and then had to go sit down for a while.

My son asked me a plausible question: "Given how weak the Devil Rays [Bulls are DR AAA farm club) are at pitching, how can this guy be down here?"

The answer quickly became apparent. Strikeout, groundout.....5 pitch walk, 6 pitch walk. Then a single, which scores a run. Infielders are kicking at the dirt, bored. Back on their heels. They get out of the inning, but the kid throw 24 pitches in the first inning. A lot of them were fast. Not that many of them were strikes.

My son (14): "How can a professional pitcher be that wild?" It's hard to say. There is some mental difference between the guys that have control, and those who don't. But EVERYBODY loses it sometime. That pitching thing: It's tough.

(*FOOTNOTE: I got the Treasure Troll bit from Boondocks. McGruder made the crack about the mug shot of James Brown. And....that's right. Of course, Nick Nolte has some pretty good Treasure Troll action going, his own self.)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dog Bites Man

Skilling and Lay guilty

Enron former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling and founder Kenneth Lay were found guilty Thursday of conspiracy and fraud in the granddaddy of all corporate fraud cases. On the sixth day of deliberations, a jury of eight women and four men convicted the former executives of misleading the public about the true financial health of Enron, whose collapse in late 2001 symbolized the wave of corporate fraud that swept the United States early this decade


Check Dick Morris's alibi...

Toe-licking at WalMart.

No, really, it's not from THE ONION.

Was Dick Morris around?

Nobody's perfect and I stand accused, for lack of a better word

Verdict in Enron trial: noooooooooon today.

less than 30 minutes.

My prediction: guilty, guilty, guilty.

Of course, that seems obvious.

And, if I actually knew anything, I'd be executing trades
based on the info, not blogging about it.

Welcome to New Kind of Tension

Kelo and eminent doman seem to have caught fire as issues, nationally and locally.

An NR article....

And this...

In NC, there is this....

It will certainly be a central issue for me, in the next two years.

Monday, May 22, 2006

News and Observer Article

From a piece in the Q section in the N&O yesterday:

The turning point in ideas about government was the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. It changed our character, it ended for many people the sense of optimistic self-sufficiency they had been brought up with and it turned us back from progressivism toward liberalism. Liberalism came to mean that concern for the poor is not just a sentiment, but a motivation for policy. Liberals fought for reforms that built a wall of government resources around those who were least well-off, a dam holding back a tide of poverty, ignorance, starvation and disease.

And it worked, as politics. Regardless of what you think of the New Deal, the Great Society programs of the '60s and the scores of other programs focused on social ills, they were wildly popular. The Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for decades and from 1933 to 1969 held the presidency for seven out of nine terms.

More recently, however, liberalism has stopped working. Many of the core beliefs of liberals are still present in American thought and culture, but for a politician to call herself a "liberal" is suicide in most jurisdictions. The reason is that the French sense won the war of meaning, and Americans rejected that view of political life. Doctrinaire ideologues, insisting on a particular conception of equality at the expense of liberty and on a narrow secular interpretation of the rhetorical space of public discourse, hijacked liberalism.

It was a Pyrrhic victory: In winning control of the Democratic party, they lost the confidence of voters. Liberalism was reduced to an interest group code phrase: "Vote for me, and I'll give you other people's money."


UPDATE: For those interested in "fair use" rules....