Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Some Random Thoughts

One of the main reasons I left the Republican party and eventually joined the Democratic party was that the conservative wing of the GOP just became meaner and meaner over the years. When they complained that George Bush was too liberal I knew it was time to find a new home. The same crowd is now attacking GOP Presidential contender and hopeful Mike Huckabee because he's not hateful enough for them, and because over the years when he was Governor of Arkansas he actually worked in a bipartisan way with that state's Democratic legislators to sometimes use government to help others (gasp! didn't he know government never did anything good!). Here's a good article by Roger Simon on how the rabid right wing doesn't like Huckabee because he's not conservative enough. For the record I disagree with candidate Huckabee on several issues, but he seems a decent human being who actually stands on principle, which puts him way ahead of the other GOP candidates.

Now that Missippi State University's football team is only one win away from being bowl eligible, due in no small part to Coach Sylvester Croom's coaching in the face of multiple injuries and a killer schedule, what are all those Croom haters with their "fire Coach Croom" websites going to do now?

Thank God the Georgia Supreme Court saw fit to free Genarlow Wilson, even if it was only by 4 - 3 vote. Now how about the other people unjustly in jail due to Georgia's draconian idiotic sex offender laws?

I thought I'd seen everything in a lifetime of playing, coaching and watching sports. But this play with 15 laterals used to score a last second touchdown in the Trinity - Millsaps collegiate football game is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in sports.

In closing have a happy halloween tomorrow. I plan to give out candy and reread H. P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" myself.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Coaches Sylvester Croom and Rich Brooks winners both.

Both MSU Coach Sylvester Crooms and Kentucky Coach Rich Brooks have proven themselves winners.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Genarlow Wilson is free ... but others are not | ajc.com

Georgia law still punishes teens for consensual sex, with long prison sentences and lifelong listing as a sex offender, making no distinction between teen agers and older predatory molesters. AJC op ed article asking for the Georgia legislature to start making distinctions and retroactively freeing other "Genarlow Wilsons".

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Genarlow Wilson released | ajc.com

The Georgia Supreme Court voted 4 - 3 to release Genarlow Wilson today. He was a serving a 10 year sentence and facing life as registered sex offender for having consensual sex with another teenager when he was only 17 and the other teen was 15.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Andrea Batista Schlesinger: Don't Give Lou Dobbs a License to Kill Spitzer'

Instead of a rational debate over pros and cons of Governor Spitzer's proposals, Lou Dobbs go on his usual tirade of name calling and hate mongering. Schlesinger calls him on it with this well reasoned and written article.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Class Act returns to Nebraska 10-20-07

My dear sister in law lives near Omaha, Nebraska with her family, and through that connection I became a Nebraska fan in the 1990's. I'd followed the Cornhuskers ever since I saw them play in the what I and many others consider the greatest college football game ever played, the Thanksgiving, 1971 classic in which Nebraska beat Oklahoma 35-31. I was actually rooting for the Sooners in that game because I was a fan of Oklahoma running back Greg Pruitt and quarterback Jack Mildren. However I remember being impressed with Nebraska great Johnny Rodgers play that day, along with the defense of Nebraska lineman Rich Glover.

My favorite memory from watching the Huskers in the 90's and rooting for them along with my wife's dear sister and her family is the Fiesta Bowl in which the 1995 Nebraska team dominated Steve Spurrier and Florida by a score of 62 - 24, and trust me, the game wasn't really even that close.

Lately though, the Huskers have fallen on hard times. I quit rooting for them when Head Coach Frank Solich was fired after going 9 - 3 in 2003. I remember that their new coach Bill Callahan didn't impress me when he took over, not so much because he wanted to change to a more modern offense, but because he seemed arrogant and dismissive of some of the people and traditions that had paved the way for Nebraska's previous success. I remember something in particular about his doing away with a time honored walk on program for Nebraksa high schoolers who didn't earn scholarships. As time went on it appeared that many die hard true Nebraska fans (not just an outside observer like myself) didn't care much for Callahan either.

Fast forward to today, Nebraska has fired Athletic Director Steve Pederson, former coach Tom Osborne has been hired as an interim AD, and Callahan's job is probably toast come the end of this season. Jason King has an excellent article on the return of class act Osborne (whom I rooted for in his unsuccessful run for Nebraska Governor back in 2006) and the scandalous way that Callahan and Pederson treated former players over the last few years. Since taking over Osborne has said all the right things and taken steps to restore the dignity and class of the Huskers public relations and football program. I wish him and the football team well, but I won't really be rooting for them again until they get a new coach.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Kentucky Stuns Top-Ranked LSU in 3 OTs

University of Kentucky football team Stuns Top-Ranked LSU in 3 OTs

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Go Wildcats!!! Special kudos and a shout out to number 17, E. J. Adams of Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Terence Moore: Tomlin

College Football still not committing to diversity in hiring of head coaches.

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Terrence Moore is one of the better sports columnists writing today. He reminds me a little of the late great Ralph Wiley, who mixed commentary on American society and race relations in his sports writings. The best sports writers, such as Jerry Izenburg , Paul Zimmerman, and Pat Jordan do that, and Moore is fast becoming one of the best writers around. You might not know it if you read some of the comments and letters sent to the Atlanta Journal Constitution though, as there is apparently a segment of the Georgia population that virulently hates Moore, even if he writes something they agree with. My own take is that Moore is a talented, courageous writer, but some folks are going to hate him for being different from themselves. Moore is totally right on in this article, but then he usually is.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why You Should Never Give Up on a Troubled Youth

Some very powerful stuff. Will definitely resonate with anyone who has - or has been - a troubled child.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

More October Reading - The Supremes, cont.

Some more suggested readings on the Supreme Court:

Clarence Thomas has an autobiography out, entitled My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir. Thomas is probably one of the most polarizing figures of our time, loved or hated, with few people ambivalent about him. He's also probably the most famous person on the court. I haven't read his memoir yet, but have it on my list. Regardless of your political persuasion, you should probably check this one out.

For another look at Thomas, here's a recent biography, Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas, by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher. Some other biographies include Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas, by Ken Foskett; and First Principles: The Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas by Scott Douglas Gerber. I doubt many minds will be changed by any of these books, but I do think that Thomas is a person that more Americans need to know about, since the odds are that he will be around a long time shaping Supreme Court decisions.

There are other justices on the Supreme Court who are authors, I would recommend in particular that everyone check out Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution, by Justice Stephen Breyer, along with A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law, by Justice Antonin Scalia. Breyer is one of the court's more liberal justices, while Scalia is arguably one of the more conservative (along with Thomas) so reading the two of these works should give you a good idea of the competing judicial philosophies of the two groups.

Former justice Sandra Day O'Connor has written several books, some dealing with the court and some not. I'd recommend The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice for her thoughts on the court and other legal issues. She's also written a memoir of her early life entitled Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest, which was cowritten with H. Alan Day.

Hopefully some of you will get a chance to check out at least one of these titles. I'd be interested to hear what you think of any of them.