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I was biting my nails, metaphorically, during the final minutes of last night’s Celtics-Magic game 4 as it came down to the wire.  CavWife tried to tell me something, but I reminded her- last minute of an important playoff game.  Considering that we didn’t watch most of the game, I thought I wasn’t asking too much.

I was surprised that Paul Pierce didn’t force the last shot, choosing instead to pass off to Big Baby Davis, who was the only Celtic to hit a FG in the last 6 minutes of game time.  He drained it, and in his exuberance raced down the sideline, bumping into a ref, and then into a young courtside fan who was close to the action.

I hope I am never this kind of parent:

Orlando Magic fan Ernest Provetti, whose son, 12-year-old Nicholas, was nearly run over by Glen Davis after his buzzer-beating, game-winning shot last night, is demanding an apology from the Celtics forward.

According to a report at Orlando Sentinel.com, Provetti sent an e-mail to the NBA League office this morning, saying that Davis crossed the line and embarrassed his son. Provetti said his son had to dive into his courtside seat to get out of the way, though that does not appear to be the case in the video.

In the e-mail, Provetti said Davis conducted himself like a “raging animal with no regard for fans’ personal safety.”

In a telephone interview with the Sentinel, Provetti said, “How do you like to be a 12-year-old and see a raging lunatic coming at you?”

He said noted that Davis should never have been so close to the fans in the front row.

Apparently this man has never seen an NBA.  It’s the NBA: Stuff Happens, including players diving for balls, and celebrating significant last-second victories.

But, this man’s son is embarrassed.  CavWife notes that is a common emotion for 12 year-olds.  This adult is trying to teach his son the wrong lesson.  The world will not bend to our embarrassment, it does not revolve around us.  Yet, this guy is trying to make it all about his son.  E-mails to the NBA office?  Demands????

Nor is an excited, happy, delighted man who accomplishes something he has yet to do qualify as a “raving lunatic.”  I suspect he has the wrong “raving lunatic”.  This parent is the one acting irrationally.  Davis was not angry, violent or dangerous.  No harm was intended to his son- even embarrassment.

When you sit courtside, the action may get a bit too close for comfort.  If you can’t handle that- don’t sit there and put your son “at risk”.  But a good parent will teach his son to enjoy the game, remember that the unexpected can happen, and that you’re on national TV so don’t sweat it.  Teach him to have fun rather than be self-conscious.  Teach him to calcuate risk and act accordingly.  In short- teach him about being a man.

Oh, and may the media should pursue such silly stories….

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While fixing the kids’ lunch today, I was watching the Sports Reporters.  They were talking about the economy’s effect on salaries, and just about every team but the NY Yankees.  The salary cap was mentioned, and one of the reporters repeated an oft mentioned error.  I can’t stand it when supposed experts (like this guy and Colin Cowherd) don’t know the facts.  I think Cowherd also passed on this bit of incorrect information.

2008 MLB Salaries

  1. NY Yankees  $209 million
  2. Detroit Tigers  $138.6 million
  3. NY Mets  $138.2 million
  4. Boston Red Sox $133.4 million

It will be interesting to see how it all stacks up come the beginning of this season.  Both the Red Sox and Tigers have dumped salary.  Lots of teams have.  The Red Sox spent more the first few years of John Henry’s tenure as owner.  But these knee-jerk reactionaries refuse to face facts.  The Red Sox have been implementing their plan of player development in order to reduce their salary (they spent more than $143 million in 2007).  They don’t want to depend on high priced free agents.  To compete until they could develop guys like Lester, Pedroia and Papelbon, they spent money.  But to think they ever actually competed with the Yankees salary-wise is silly.  John Henry knew that the Red Sox could not sustain a system where they spent ever-increasing amounts on free agents (as the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes showed, they picked targets and set limits- just as with the A-Fraud trade which the MLBPA, not Bug Selig squashed [sorry Colin]). 

Henry doesn’t want the Yankees to be in a completely different stratosphere when it comes to salary (they may near the $100 million gap this season).  But they also don’t want those team who receive revenue sharing to just pocket the cash.  They want them to spend money on players’ salaries so ALL teams are better increasing the competition and the MLB product.  As a result, I don’t find the talk of a salary zone by John Henry to be disingenuous.  Whether or not it is good for the game is up for debate.  But to take the comments out of context, including historical context, is unfair, and not solid journalism.

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I’ve been wanting to read Marcus Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10 since hearing Marcus talk about it on the Glenn Beck show one day while doing hospital visitation.  It is a moving, and powerful story that I enjoyed greatly.  I recommend people read it to gain a better understanding of how crazy our Rules of Engagement are.  This is the underlying message of Marcus’ account.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about: Operation Redwing was an attempt to capture or kill a high ranking Taliban leader in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2005.  A Seal team of 4 men were dropped into the mountains to locate and attempt to capture him.  They were discovered by some goat herders.  Militarily, you can’t be sure they are not connected with the Taliban and make your presence known so that a much larger force drops on you like a ton of bricks.  With the strange ROE in this War on Terror- terrorists don’t wear uniforms, and may not be holding a rifle- they knew they could face criminal charges while at least being crucified in the press if they killed the goat herders.  They set them free … and only Marcus lived to regret it.  These 4 men took on 150-200+ Taliban soldiers for 90-120 minutes.  Seal Team 10 and a Rapid Response team answered their call of distress, but the helicopter was shot down and all were killed.  Badly wounded, Marcus was able to escape until finally taken in by a village elder who swore to protect him.

It was a very good book and interesting read, but here is what I’d change (as if anyone cared):

  • Move the material about ROE and the press to a separate chapter.  Since it is interspersed as part of the narrative, it loses some of its rhetorical power to more of a soap box feel.
  • Double check the material on the training.  I was confused with varying accounts of how many guys dropped out when and how long various things took place.  I thought they might be errors, but I’m not sure.

This does not diminish what Marcus is doing here.  It is a book that needs to be written, and read.  Prior to getting to the ill fated mission you hear about Marcus’ background and how he and his twin brother were preparing to become Seals even as a teens.  You gain a better understanding of how difficult it is to become a Seal- the most elite fighting force in the world.  And you learn about how the press bungled the post-battle coverage.  You learn about the mammoth vigil that took place spontaneously at his parents’ ranch, and the generosity of so many fellow Texans.

In describing the battle itself, I wondered if this Texan was telling some tall tales.  It just seemed incredible to read what these 4 men did, and persevered despite serious injuries.  But it all makes sense when you take into account their training which identifies and selects men who can’t give up.  Their bravery and perseverance humbles me.  If you have half a heart, you too will weep when he is finally rescued, says ‘goodbye’ to his friends and comrades in arms, and is reunited with his distraught family.  You also get a taste of Seal culture, for better or worse (yes, lots of bad language and what I would consider blaspheme from the mouths of men who are Christians).  But you also gain a better understanding of how politics and the mainstream media make the task we ask these soldiers to perform most difficult, put their safety and our in unnecessary jeopardy.

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I must have been sleeping, because I missed this headline.

For some time now we’ve been hearing about how the CIA (and other intelligence gathering agencies among our allies) was wrong.  Sadaam did not have weapons of mass destruction.

Yet ….

They discovered over 500 tons of low-grade uranium (yellow cake)  that is used to manufacture nuclear weapons.  It has since been shipped to Canada where it will be used in nuclear reactors.  Hey, shouldn’t it have been sold to our nuclear power facilities????  Just a thought since we dumped so much money and blood into this thing.

Anyway … where are the “mea culpas” from those who continue to claim we entered under false pretenses.  I think the ability to accumulate 500 tons of the stuff for future use is shocking.  The Atomic Commission did nothing, which does not bode well for the developments in North Korea.

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ABC News decided to check into some rumblings about controversial statements made by Rev. Wright in his sermons.  It is easy to see why Barak has such a dismal view of America: Wright is obsessed with what is wrong with America.  Well, selectively.  In talking about how we treat black citizens & the problem of crime, he talks about how we slaughter innocents.  I don’t think he was talking about abortion (and Obama is clearly the most pro-abortion candidate- please don’t use the ‘gospel’ to justify social programs & simultaneously reject the right to life).  It is difficult to listen to Rev. Wright and not think he’s anti-Semitic and beyond bitter to racist.

Senator Obama’s response? 

“In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, “I don’t think my church is actually particularly controversial.” He said Rev. Wright “is like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with,” telling a Jewish group that everyone has someone like that in their family. “

Senator Obama needs a reality check if he thinks mainstream America wouldn’t find the views of his now-retired pastor controversial.  This is a church he once said reflects his views (though I don’t think he meant every little jot and tittle) since he did research.  I would say that he probably supports the main agenda items of this church and pastor.  If my pastor was saying crazy stuff like this, I’d be long gone.

Yes, many of us have a crazy uncle.  But if that guy is your pastor, you can’t just brush it off to being eccentric.  As a pastor he is in a position of power and influence.  That isn’t the job for a crazy old uncle.  He was never held accountable for his anti-American rants (including blaming us for 9/11).  Or his blind eye to much of the good America does in Africa as recently discussed by Bob Geldoff in Time.  He’s no apologist for Bush, that’s for sure.  But he’s honest- I’d like Rev. Wright to find another country that has done more to help people in Africa.  Yes, not all of our actions have helped.  Some have hurt, but to focus on only one side of the ledger makes you essentially a propagandist, whether pro or con.

Senator Obama has spent the last 20 years willingly under the spiritual authority of this man.  I think that says something about Senator Obama, and his view of America.  Unfortunately for him, the media has decided to check into him more, and they are uncovering more questions about his associates.  It really has to stink to be the frontrunner.  The spotlight reveals things you wish would remain hidden.

Now we’ll see if it matters.

On a related matter.  If the DNC can’t even run their own party, why should we think they can run the nation?  The debacle over the primaries is laughable.  They put themselves in this corner, and have no one to blame but themselves.  But they come off looking rather foolish and incompetent.  But this is another reason for my sane plan to have all the primaries on the SAME day.  Stop the insanity!

Update: Obama has now ‘denounced’ his pastor’s comments on 9/11.  Only took 6 1/2 years.  Rev. Wright has also been removed from his position on the campaign staff.  There are some interesting comments over at the Institute, including connecting Identity Politics with a search for political (and more) Messiahs.

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Surprisingly the media is not flocking to this Global Warming Conference even though it is being held in New York City, in a hotel near all the big media outlets (one is across the street).  The reason why?  It is a gathering of hundreds of Global Warming Critics, including climatologists and meteorologist among scientists of other related specialties addressing the topic.

Among those who spoke is Anthony Watts, a meteorologist who discovered that many of the newer stations used to read temperatures are compromised by poor placement (a few feet from an A/C vent which blows out hot air, next to the radio transmitter which creates heat, a car parked 2 feet away from one with the radiator giving off heat at times, to name a few).  Most of the stations his volunteers have visited are not in compliance with the NOAA’s published specifications for weather stations, including the 100 foot rule (no asphalt, concrete, cars, buildings etc. within 100 feet).  This process has been documented at here

In an ironic twist, Weather Channel founder John Coleman is also a critic.  About a year ago TWC’s Heidi Cullen advocated removing the credentials of any meteorologist who denied global warming.   He is wondering if a class action suit for fraud is in order since Al Gore is selling carbon offsets despite knowing CO2 does not cause global warming.  Perhaps this way the scientific evidence might actually see the light of day.

Here’s a snippet from his interview with Glenn Beck:

COLEMAN: Think about this. If we have runaway global warming as the alarmists have told us, if CO2 has continued to build in the atmosphere through this whole time, we’re burning our fossil fuel, CO2 is burning up in the atmosphere. If it were a pollutant, which it is not, if it were the driving force of global warming, which it is not, our temperatures would be climbing and instead they’re cooling. We’re seeing steadier cooling and their case is falling apart. And we now have almost 500 scientists who have spoken out in the last year calling this global warming a scam. It’s coming.

GLENN: You know, I have to tell you, John, I’ve been so impressed with these guys that I have met because it’s not just a science to them. It is not — I mean, a lot of them are saying the good name of science is —

COLEMAN: Let me tell you the great hurricane forecaster who we always hear forecasting the hurricanes from the University of Colorado made the most marvelous speech at our breakfast this morning. The president of the Czech Republic made an incredibly good speech and totally debunked global warming. These are meaningful important people. How can the media ignore us? How much longer can it ignore us?

This could be the new Scopes trial, potentially ridding us of the dogma of global warming before all the political solutions to a non-problem create bigger problems for the average person.

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Arlen Specter take note of this interview with 2-time Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson on reportedly on WFAN during Super Bowl week (he reiterates much of what he has said earlier on national TV, but apparently not everyone was listening).

Q: How about the spying thing Jimmy. You’re a coach does that bother you what Belichick did?

JJ: Oh please. I’ve said it on our show. Eighteen years ago a scout for the chiefs told me what they did, and he said what you need to do is just take your camera and you go and zoom in on the signal caller and that way you can sync it up. The problem is that if they’re not on the press box side you can’t do it from the press box, you have to do it from the sideline. This was 18 years ago.

Q: You think the NFL came down too hard on them?

JJ: No, no, I said it on the show. He was wrong for doing it for the simple reason that the league knew this was going on not just in New England but around the league. And the league sent out the memorandum to all of the teams saying you cannot do this. And so that’s when Bill Belichick was wrong. After he got the memorandum saying don’t do it any more, he did it.

Q: Did you ever steal signals?

JJ: Oh in a heartbeat, yeah. Yes I did.

Q: Via video, Jimmy? Or no?

JJ: Oh yeah, I did it with video and so did a lot of other teams in the league. Just to make sure that you could study it and take your time, because you’re going to play the other team the second time around. But a lot of coaches did it, this was commonplace.

Q: But did you do it by taping the signal caller?

JJ: Yeah.

Q: Oh you did.

JJ: That’s what I’m saying. I was saying one of Marty Schottenheimers scouts, Mark Hatley, who has passed away now, Mark told me that’s how they did it, and Howard Mudd their offensive line coach with Kansas City, who now coaches for Tony Dungy, he was the best in the entire league at stealing signals.

Q: Where’d you put your guy who was videotaping? Where was he?

JJ: My guy was up with my camera crew in the press box. So you’d just put an extra camera up with your camera crew in the press box who zoomed in on the signal callers. That’s the best way to do it, but anyway you can’t always do that because the press box camera crew might be on the same side as the opposing team. If they’re on the same side as the opposing team that’s when you need to do it from the sideline.

It is time for Specter, and some former NFL players to put all their righteous indignation aside.  This practice has been going on for years, and was done by many, if not most teams.  It doesn’t make it right, but let’s get this notion that ONLY the Patriots did it to rest.  Perhaps this is why Specter feels “stonewalled” by the Patriots, Jets and other teams.  Most teams of have done this, and it really is a league matter.  It does not involve the health of our youth, but league rules.  The league therefore determines the proper penalties.  I still don’t understand why Specter feels the need to stick his nose in this, aside from his perspective of a private citizen who is an Eagles fan.  He should not abuse his political power in such a matter.

Now, if it is proven the Patriots taped the Rams last practice (and that would be the Patriots, not Matt Walsh doing his own thing and taping it), which means there is a tape of the practice, and documentation that the organization or a superior had prior knowledge and consent, then the NFL should impose additional penalties.  Here we are dealing with something more than the actions of an individual, but an organizational conspiracy that must be proven.  The existence of a tape does not prove that the Patriots’ coaching staff told him to do it, or used it in preparation for the Super Bowl.

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