Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hollywood Special

Well, I was just poking around Yahoo News and I found not one but two short little news articles that I found interesting.
The first one was history in the making. Apparently North Korean television showed its first ever western movie. For those of you who want to know it was Bend It Like BeckhamRead the article here. I have not actually seen this movie so I cannot say anything else about it. The big shock I am sure for many of you was that there is television in North Korea. But to be semi serious for a moment one would point out of the big ironies of this. While western movies may be a novelty in the Hermit Kingdom, the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il is an avid movie buff. He is rumored to have a thing for the Austin Powers series and to really love westerns. He loves westerns some much that he actually learned to shot a revolver from the hip, a skill which is absolutely useless in a real fire fight but looks cool on camera. Well, I guess what the Dear Leader wants, he gets.

The second thing that has got me going is that it seems as though past his prime actor Val Kilmer owes about $500,000 in back taxes to the IRS. Knock yourself out and read it here.  I know that the man has serious issues in regards to mere mortals but really no matter how big of a star you are, you really should not mess with Uncle Sam. They have already put a lien on his ranch in New Mexico where he had been living and had been hoping to sell for about $33 million (he has since lowered his price to $18.5 million I guess the economy is getting to everyone). Val Kilmer, a man who is such an jerk that one of the main reasons why George Clooney was chosen to be a part of Batman and Robin was because no one wanted to work with Kilmer again. He is a man whose only redeeming grace was that he as able to show up Tom Cruise in Top Gun by playing Iceman so gay that the entire film would set the gold standard for gay camp in the 80’s. He is finally getting what he so rightly deserves. I hope the tax man rips him a new one.

Sun, Fun and Cartels

I really would not want to be in the Mexican town of Guadalupe right now. Why not, Because the town’s only cop has mysteriously disappeared.
Erika Gandara was kidnapped from her home on December 23rd. Officials do not have much in they way of leads this is largely because her family did not report the crime themselves. Authorities learned of it from her friend. While this might shock some of you keep in mind one simple fact. Guadalupe is located just outside of the city of Juarez.  Juarez is known for it beautiful desert scenery, quant colonial architecture and out of control drug cartel violence.  Juarez is considered by many people to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world. In a country that is becoming one of the most dangerous in the world.
The thing that seems to be the most perplexing about this whole situation is that it started at first as an attempt to clean up the corrupt Mexican government. The drug cartels in Mexico have been operating for years. They became even more powerful after the Crackdown on the Columbian cartels took away their biggest competition. However, the cartels also had the Mexican government bought off so that they would not go after them. In return, they divided Mexico amongst themselves and agreed not to waste so much time fighting each other. That all changed however when the current President Felipe Calderon decided that it would be a good idea to crack down on the cartels. The cartels themselves however, disagreed.
For those of us living north of the border, this should be of some concern.  So far the violence of Mexico has managed to remain in Mexico but, as we all know, the border is hardly impenetrable. It shall be only a matter of time before things spread to the States and when it does, especially in Texas and California, be afraid be very afraid. Part of the major reason why states like Arizona are pushing for immigration reform is a feeling the secure borders are the only thing that can help keep this from happening.
One more thing before I leave, the city of Juarez is just on the other side of the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

From Bad to Wrose in Haiti

It seems as though the country of Haiti is one of those places that just cannot seem to catch a break.
 I hope that most of you remember that in January of this year, soon to be last year, that the Country was hit with a massive earthquake that centered around the capital of Port au Prince where the majority of people lived. The size of the quake combined with shoddy construction in the city led to the deaths of nearly 100,000 people.  On top of that, what little government existed in that country was effectively destroyed as key buildings were toppled. Nearly one year later, the country still has not fully rebuilt itself. This is especially troubling considering that years of poverty corruption and misrule have meant that Haiti was already pretty damn messed up to begin with.
As though things could not get any worse for this county, the first free black nation in modern times, Haiti has struggled for that past few months with a Cholera epidemic. Until recently Cholera has been one of the few misfortunes that Haiti has managed to avoid. They have had numerous coups, rebellions, floods, famine, dictators, (including the notorious “Pappy Doc” Duvalier), but until now, no Cholera. What happened? It seems that some UN peacekeepers using a stream as a bathroom brought it there. So the people that were sent in to help these people end up making things worse. But to show just how messed up the situation there truly is, they decided to go ahead with a planned presidential election. I know that there is a desire to continue as normally as possible, but really people. You are in the middle of a massive and deadly epidemic. Couldn’t you postpone the election until you at least got the problem under control? Would you even be surprised if I told you that turnout was low, and there were massive reports of fraud?
It seems to get even worse. There are reports that due to the whole people dying of Cholera thing, combined with many farmers being afraid to tend their fields for fear of getting sick, that Haiti’s rice harvest is not expected to be all that good. Yes a country that is still recovering from a earthquake and laboring with an epidemic now looks like it is going to have a famine pretty soon.  Like I said, it seems as though someone must not like this country at all. If it is not one thing in Haiti it is another. I sometime feel overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Where is YOUR Birth Certificate

While I was looking through CNN’s website I found an article that interested me. It seems as though the new Governor of my home state of Hawaii Neal Abcrombie has declared war on the birthers.You can read the article here He  promises  that he shall release as many documents as legally permissible to prove once and for all the Barrack Obama was born in Hawaii and thus eligible to be President. All I have to say about this is that it is about time.
My own personal politics are somewhat right of center.  I am a register Republican with somewhat libertarian leanings. That being said, from the very beginning I found the whole birther thing to be ridiculous. I mean do we seriously believe that someone could have made it though some of the most vigorous security checks with a forged or inadequate birth certificate, or that countless officials from the government of the State of Hawaii would commit perjury and say that he was born there. To say nothing of the fact that his mother was a natural born US citizen which renders this whole debate moot, or that they cannot even answer the simple question as to why the Democratic Party would even go through the trouble of propping up a candidate that was not qualified in an election year when any Democrat with a pulse would have won. This is stupidity at its best. The sad thing is that I cannot help but think that this is all nothing more than code for the real reason they refuse to accept him as president.
Before I say anything more, I would like to add to the fact that I personally never liked Abcrombie. He is an aging hippie who is entrenched in the political machine that is one of the reasons why Hawaii is a dysfunctional mess. That being said I am with him on this one. Since he knew both of Obama’s parents and actually remembers him being born. It is kind of personal for him as well, since these people are calling his parents liars. Sadly I doubt that anything that Abcrombie does shall really do anything to silence the birthers. They believe what they believe because they want to believe it. It allows them to go on and continue to believe that a dark skinned man with a funny name cannot possibly be their president.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Korean Chicken

What is the national sport of Korea?
I think I have you thinking already, at least the ones that are not staring blankly and going “huh”.  Some of you are probably thinking something like “The national sport of South Korea is Baseball and the national sport of North Korea is Gymnastics.”  Perhaps you thought of soccer or maybe Taekwondo or Korean Wrestling. Maybe perhaps you thought of Kumdo, Korean swordsmanship. But in truth, it is none of those.
The real national sport of North and South Korea is chicken.
For those of you unfamiliar with this game (including perhaps my small but enthusiastic following in Southeast Asia), here is how chicken works. You have two people in their cars driving towards each other in a collision course, accelerating as they go. The object of the game is to keep driving towards the other car until he turns out of the way. First one to do so loses. If both of them turn at the same time, than the game is draw. If they crash into each other, then the game also counts as a draw with the added bonus of both drivers dying. 
There have been numerous attempts to explain what has been happening on the Korean Peninsula in that past month or so. The mostly likely explanation is that Kim Jong Il is trying to create a situation where he can assure the military that yes, his son Kim Jong Un who was recently made a four star general in the Korean People’s Army despite not having any military experience at all had what it took to lead North Korea. Kim Jong Il’s health has been fading recently and it probably shall not be long before he joins his dad, Eternal President Kim Il Sung in the great hereafter.  He knows full well that this situation could lead to a power vacuum, with numerous factions fighting each other and the country collapsing. So he is trying to prop up his son as much as possible by giving him ample opportunities to appear to be a tough guy.
On the other side of the DMZ, the South Koreans elected this guy by the name of Lee Myung Bok. This guy was elected in 2007 when South Koreans, who had spent the previous couple of years trying to be nice to the totalitarian dictator to the north of them only to realize that that did not stop him form developing nukes and threatening them with them, decided they were tired of playing Mr. Nice Guy.  One of the first things he did was say that North Korea, a country that is totally incapable of feeding itself, would not get any more aid from South Korea until it let go of its nuclear program. Let’s just say that Kim Jong Il did not like that. This along with the above mention succession issue sheds light on the reason for the North’s provocative behavior.
So now you have the following situation. The North wants to look tough so it can send a message to its people that the heir apparent has what it takes. The South at the same time does not want the North to think that it can bully them around. The end result of you have two of the world’s largest militaries rushing towards each other in order to see who would get out of the way first.
Like I said, it is a game of Chicken, with nuclear weapons.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A post for the Holidays

I hope that all of you are having a wonderful day so far, whether it is Christmas Eve or just another day for you. I myself am looking forward to the holiday. For one thing I am only going to be working two days for the remainder of 2010, barring a last minute, emergency, can’t wait until New Years project coming down the line at EMH.  My grandmother has come down from Washington State.  My Warriors are playing in the Hawaii Bowl tonight and we shall be watching the game on my parents’ home theatre. As you can probably tell by now I am struggling to find something to write about and am just rambling on in an attempt to overcome writer’s block.
In general, I love Christmas always have. It has been a time to get together with family Yes there are also the gifts but I have always had a hard time with the question “what do you want for Christmas” cause really, I have I had a hard time with thinking about what I want.  The religious side of the holiday I have always been mixed about. While I was baptized a Catholic, the only time that I ever regularly went to Mass was ironically enough, while I was going to school at Creighton University. Yes, that is right; I was more religious in college than I am now. I know I have it backwards.  Furthermore, I have come to terms with all of the commercialism surrounding the holiday.  To the point where I believe that all the people that get all worked up about are in the “We’re Not Happy Unless We’re Mad” party.
All in all, I am looking forward to having sometime to spend with family watching TV and eating.  I know this is not the usual geopolitical furor that this blog usually produces but like I said I have writers block and have been too busy working to pay attention to things. But never the less some of my readers shall get upset if I go more than week without posting something. So here is a post. Think if it as my gift this year.
Happy Unspecified Winter Holiday.
O what the hell, screw political correctness, Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Golden Mess

Well, it seems as though California Governor Jerry Brown has some surprises planned for the first proposed budget of his third term as governor of California. It also seems that for the numerous people that got him elected, they are not nice surprises. 
Brown has mentioned that, considering the situation, he is going to have to result to what people in Europe have begun euphemistically referring to as “austerity measures” in order to balance the budget. Meaning he is going to have to make cuts to such things as education and transportation. Pay cuts, furloughs and lay offs for state workers and all those other things that people used to whip Arnold over. It seems almost as though all that money the unions spent to elect him seems to have gone to waste.
California has been having problems for a long time. None of this started with Arnold as much as the hardcore liberals would like to believe that to be so. The man in my opinion tried to make things better and attacked the problems of California in a fair and honest matter. The sad thing is however he tried to fight the public employee unions who have kept insisting on keeping their benefits and pensions in that face of a perpetually dire budget situation, probably hoping that his status as a celebrity would see him through. He ended up getting creamed. Plus that fact that he actually was willing to take such things as climate change seriously and make a definitive stance for marriage equality meant that his own party deserted him as well. Long story short Schwarzenegger was too far to the left of his own party and too far to the right of the democrats to be acceptable to either.
The unions want to hold on to their pay, benefits, and pensions, the far right would rather drink raw sewage than raise taxes, and compromise is an almost unspeakable heresy to both sides. This simple statement gets to heart of the matter of why California is such a mess.  Sadly, this malady is spreading to the rest of the country. It seems that the idea of governing for the good of the country is becoming some barely recalled memory and politics has become nothing more than a game to be played and won. I spoke earlier about the seeming outrage over Obama’s the tax cut and how ridiculous it was. Sorry but compromise is an essential component of democracy. The fact that we seem to have so little of that these days makes me worry about my country these days.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Juntas Suck

I am not sure why or how, but lately my train of thought has turned to the situation in Burma. A country that has gone from being one of the wealthiest in Asia to being one of the poorest in the world thanks to the most enlightened rule of the junta who decided in 1962 that democracy was not good enough for the country. 
You have probably heard of these guys already. Back in 1990 they decided to hold a free and fair election and apparently, to the surprise of the world, the actually kept their word because a very nice lady by the name of Aung San Suu Kyi who is the leader of the National League of Democracy, a group devoted to having their country not be ruled by crazy men with guns. However the junta turned around and said “We said we would let you have an election but we didn’t say anything about it meaning anything” so they threw out the results and put the nice lady in prison. Perhaps I should mention that her dad helped to free Burma from British rule and was the founder of the Burmese Army.  Then, after about eighteen years of being complete and udder jerks a cyclone hits their country resulting in widespread destruction and death. The international community swarms in to help. What does the junta do?  They refused to let anyone provide their country with any aide because they did not want to expose the people of their country to foreign influences.  These douche bags value staying in power more than they value their own citizens. Yet they think nothing of continuing with a referendum on a constitution that keeps them in power.

That was not the first time the junta screwed the Burmese over, shortly after they took power in 1962 the instituted something called “The Burmese Way to Socialism”, yeah I know the word “socialism” should tip you off as to how bad this is going to be already.  But let’s just say it totally screwed up the country’s economy taking it from one of the wealthiest country’s in Asia to one of it poorest. When people finally had enough in 1988 and revolted the junta responded by declaring martial law and throwing out the pretense of Socialism and said “Screw it we aren’t about anything other than keeping ourselves in power.”  At least we should give the credit for being honest.

Well about a month ago they held elections in Burma again. The junta seemed to have learned their lesson this time since the party they supported won about 79% of the vote. The nice lady sadly learned her lesson as well decided to sit this one out. Though some members of her group formed their own party decided to run. They did not do so well.  International authorities declared the whole thing to be a sham.
I hope that you have figured out that I do not like these people. This junta that has ruled for nearly fifty years is nothing more than a bunch of morally bankrupt old men that desire nothing more than to keep themselves in power.  They destroyed their country with their outmoded ideas. They persecute other ethnic minorities including the Karen people. If you have seen Rambo you may have heard about them. (Fun fact, when the junta banned the movie, it became a favorite among the Karen rebels to the point where “Live for nothing or Die for something” was adopted as a battle cry.)  I hate these people so much that if many of you noticed by now. I refuse to use the name that junta use for this country. I won’t even write it here.

Good news however, around the same time as the election, the freed the nice lady from house arrest. One hopes that this might be start of some mass “People Power” revolt where the people rise up and regain their freedom.  But sadly those things have failed before. As an American, I find myself to be a strong believer in the idea of freedom and the idea that if a people want to be free badly enough nothing can stop them. It is simply a question of whether the people of Burma want freedom badly enough.

I hope the nice lady gets to be prime minister. She won the real election after all.

Monday, December 13, 2010

If You Ain't Cheatin' You Ain't Tryin'

The other night I was watching Pony Excess, ESPN’s documentary on the SMU football scandal, death penalty and aftermath. All the while I was watching I could not help but think two things. Firstly, that if there was every a program that ever deserved college football’s ultimate sanction it was the Mustangs of the early 80’s. Secondly, SMU were most likely just the poor shcmucks that got caught.
Make no mistake about it. In my not so humble opinion, amateurism in high level college athletics died sixty years ago when Notre Dame got its first TV contract.  Scratch that, it died when rich alumni took interest in how their teams were doing. The problem was noted as early as the 1950’s when the Carnegie foundation reported that three quarters of all schools were subsidizing their athletes in some way. Bret Musberger put it best at the end of the documentary “as long as they are keeping score, the will find the best players that shall allow them to score more than the other team.”
Look at all the programs that have been on probation during the past few years, Alabama a few years ago, Michigan Basketball, Baylor Basketball and most recently USC. Ask USC about Reggie Bush some time. I wonder if you will get any response other than “Reggie who” these days. 
This might seem so bad if enforcement also wasn’t so inconsistent. Just look at the recent case of Cam Newton, he is allegedly guilty of much of the same things that Reggie did, but he is let off on a rather lame excuse. Do not tell me that the NCAA’s desire not to have two scandals surrounding Heisman winners so close to one another did not have something to do with it. And also how many programs do you think have been caught twice within five years. This is technically what is required for a program to get the Death Penalty but no one has gotten it since SMU, why? Because it has taken nearly 21 years for that program to even begin to show signs of turning itself around. It is the Atom bomb of college sanctions.
The idea of the student athlete, at least at the highest levels of football, is a farce. The boosters in Pony Excess are to this day, unapologetic about what they did, almost proud. “We were the best cheaters there were and everyone was just jealous of us” seems to best describe the whole mentality of this lot. The fact that they were caught in the middle of an old school newspaper war did not help either. All they did was play the game the way it was played in Texas at the time. Eric Dickerson got a Trans AM from A&M as part of recruiting. Reggie Bush got a Land Rover and a rent free apartment. The only thing that has really changed is that people seem to b more subtle about it these days.  And yet the NCAA says that paying athletes would “corrupt the sport”.  It is already corrupt. It cannot get any worse.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Standing with South Korea

Freedom, it is not a word that one hears all that much these days. Perhaps it is because it has become something of a cliché. Perhaps it is because people became wary of it from how it was used by George W Bush in the build up to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is a very important thing. Something that defines to me what it means to be an American. Not only that, it is the birthright of the entire human race something that many people have been brutally denied by those who believe it their right to lord over them.
Much has been said about the complete and utter lack of freedom in North Korea, one of the most oppressive regimes in the world.  But I would like to take a moment to talk about South Korea, a place that despite sharing a common language and cultural heritage with its Northern Cousin has become as different from it as night and day.
All in all, South Korea is one of my favorite places. It is a very vibrant, dynamic and happening country of about 50 million people who produce a lot of catchy pop music, yummy women, chronically overacted drama series, an ancient an unique culture that does not get as much attention as it deserves (think of Korea as the middle kid Asia sandwiched in between its older brother China and its younger brother Japan) , incredibly skilled baseball players and of course, an almost disturbing devotion to Starcraft.
But they had a long road to get there. Let’s just say that the past century and a half or so of Korean history has been less than kind to them. So as not to bore my readers I shall give you the Cliff Notes version.  In the latter half of the nineteenth century Asia was being overrun by westerners. The policy of the rulers of Korea at the time was to try to remain isolated as much as possible and rely on China to protect them. Unfortunately for them, China was having its own problems and Korea found itself in the middle of a power struggle between Russia and Japan. The Japanese eventually won out and in 1910 they annexed Korea. The Japanese were, less than benevolent lords to the Korean people. They deliberately tried to wipe out all vestiges of Korean language and culture and replace them with their own. Forcibly drafted their men into the Army and forced labor camps. Used their women as “comfort women” (or to put it another way, sex slaves) and generally were not all that nice to them.
Then came the end of World War Two and the Japanese surrender. Good news was that the Korean people no longer had to deal with all those not very nice Japanese anymore. The bad news was that Japan’s surrender took everyone so completely by surprise that the allies did even have time figure out what to do about Korea. This was somewhat complicated by the fact the both the US and the USSR had much, different plans for what post war Asia was going to be like. The solution that was so perfectly put together with such excellent foresight was this; divide the peninsula in two with the Soviets coming into the North, the Americans taking the South. The two forces shall accept the surrender of the Japanese troops stationed there and govern their parts of the peninsula until the Koreans can elect their leaders to rule themselves. Unfortunately for the Korean people, Stalin had other ideas and the rest is history.
We all know about how the North has fared since than. Now I shall tell you a little bit about the South. In what is something of an irony at the time of the division the most developed part of the country was the North. South Korea was an agrarian backwater. It also didn’t help that many of South Korea’s leaders were really not much better than Kims were and corruption was rampant.  But the people of South Korea struggled and persevered. Now South Korea is one of the wealthiest, most advanced, and most free nations in the world. It is a miracle that they have achieved much of what they have achieved in just half a century.

But the freedom that the people of South Korea have attained from themselves has always been endangered by their neighbors to the North or, to be more exact, the tyrant who has anointed himself “The Dear Leader”.  Seoul lies well within ranged of Northern artillery. The North’s nuclear ambitions are well documented.  The North Korean regime officially declares that it is the sole legitimate government of all of Korea and its ultimate goal is to bring the South into the fold. This is blatant and intolerable aggression that threatened a way of life that the people of South Korea have struggled so hard to work for. Many military experts believe that a second Korean war would be over rather quickly once the US and South Korea committed to the conflict. But the price would be high in untold death and destruction to the South, Seoul at the very least would be left in ruins. All to serve some corrupt tyrants’ desire to “go down fighting.”
It is wrong for a free people like the people of South Korea to live their lives held hostage by these mad men who would see it destroyed out of spite. It is wrong that this people that have suffered so much in their history have to continue to endure a decayed relic of the Cold War. It is clear who the side of the angels is here.  Now more than ever, we must stand against the forces of oppression and tyranny and with a free people in time of need.
Tae Han Min Guk.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Two for One today Since I have been working

There has been a lot of talk recently about Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.  Even on this blog, I have discussed recent revelations about the situation between China and North Korea that came through as a result of the recently published cables.  Let us just say that this has caused a bit of a stir. This is no doubt Mr. Assange’s intention.  I, for the most part, am wary of people trying to make a hero of this man.
Make no mistake; this is a man whose primary motivation for doing what he is doing is to weaken the ability of the United States government to engage in diplomacy abroad and to defend itself.  In his own writing he has stated that that, not creating a more open or transparent society, is his primary intention.  He has shown blatant disregard for whoever might get hurt as a result of these actions, dismissing it as “collateral damage” and these people are not just American military and intelligence personal. These are foreign operatives working in support of US operation, dissidents of regimes such as Iran, North Korea, Cuba, etc. and their families. Such information may also, in the wrong hands make us more venerable to terrorist attacks. One recently leaked document showed up to seven places outside the US that are vital to American interests. One could almost see him circling them with a red marker and saying “Attack here.”

On another note, President Obama recently reached a deal with the Republicans in the House of Representatives regarding an extension of unemployment benefits to millions of American still looking for work. You would think that the Democrats would be happy about this but they are not. Instead they are fuming with rage over the very idea and why is that? Because in order to achieve this, he had to agree to extend the Bush Tax cuts.
“O My God, a lawmaker compromised, how terrible” I am sorry people but this is still a representative democracy and we still need a functional government the supports all of its people not just the ones that vote a particular way. That fact the many self styled “progressives” were willing to put the ability of millions of people to support themselves why they looked for working in limbo, just so they could score some partisan trophy disturbs me. Our government was set up by the Founding Fathers to make it so that our leaders would have to compromise to accomplish anything because they wanted to mitigate the influence of ideologues and demagogues. It seems as though politics has become less about governing the country than it is about winning. Those on the other side of the aisle are no longer fellow citizens with a different point of view, but the enemy. The sad thing is that history has shown that when politics becomes warfare, democracy becomes impossible.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Return of the King

As many of you may already know, Lebron James returned to Cleveland for the first time since his fateful decision in July to join the Miami Heat. To say that the welcome he received was less than warm would be an understatement. There are many people who have not liked Lebron  all that much since left Cleveland. However, I believe that much of the hostility is unwarranted. It is naïve at best, hypocritical at worst.
First of all, many people seem to forget that professional sports is first last and foremost a business, a very cut throat and merciless business.  One were there is no real loyalty at all. Let us make no mistake, the organization of the Cleveland Cavaliers would have cast Lebron aside and forgotten him had he not turned out to be the awesome raw talent that he appeared to be when he came out of Vincent St. Mary’s. Don’t stalinize your memories to make yourselves feel better, Cleveland. The Cavs were a laughingstock before Lebron arrived and became contenders largely as a result of him carrying the team on his back.
And that is why Lebron ultimately left Cleveland.  The Cavaliers might as well have called themselves the Cleveland Fighting Lebrons. The General Management of the Cavaliers in seven years had done nothing to try and build a team around Lebron except perhaps throw him a bone by pairing him with a past his prime Shaq.  They did not care about winning a title; all they cared about was riding the Lebron James gravy train until the wheels fell off.  They had their chance to try and bring home a title or two with one of the greatest basketball players of the past decade AND THEY BLEW IT. I am sorry Cleveland but LEBRON JAMES HAD NO MORAL OBLIGATION TO RESIGN HIMSELF TO BEING THE DAN MARINO OF THE NBA JUST TO MAKE YOU PEOPLE HAPPY.
Lebron did what was best for Lebron. He went to a team that was willing to do what was needed to win an NBA title. Whether they actually succeed is something that we shall not know until some later time.  But it is more of a plan the Gilbert had, and his asinine, childish tantrum after the decision to stoke the fire of anger in Cleveland reveals the turn character of that man and just how fickle and childish people are.  Lebron James gave the city of Cleveland and a Cavaliers Organization seven years of his life. The Cavs gave him little if anything in return, and when he decided to go and get something better for himself, he is the bad guy. Perhaps what Gilbert and many in Cleveland are so mad about is that their boy ran off the plantation.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Best World Cup Money Can Buy

This morning like many soccer fans around the world, (yes I am an American don’t look at me like I have two heads.) and I was waiting in anticipation for the announcement regarding the hosting of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.  All in all, I was hoping that we would get 2022, and from what I had heard, we actually had some pretty good odds of doing so. Yet oddly enough, when it was announced that it was going to Qatar, I could not say that was surprised.
Qatar is on of the little sheikdoms that dot the periphery of the Arabian Peninsula. It is smaller than New Jersey, making it the smallest nation to ever host it. It has never even qualified for the World Cup before. It gets unbearably hot in the summer (over 100 degrees on most days) and it would not have even been in the running of not for one simple thing. It is sitting on a ton of Oil money.
On a completely utterly and absolutely unrelated note, England was originally one of the top front runners for the 2018 World Cup until the English newspapers broke a story about FIFA officials taking bribes in exchange of their  votes. Now all of a sudden they are out of the running and it goes to Russia instead. Like I said this is totally unrelated to the above.
If you believe that last sentence I have a bridge to sell you.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that he did not want to involve himself in the World Cup bidding process because he thought it was corrupt. That something is too corrupt for the Russians should say something.  
Well, I cannot say for certain that Qatar bought the votes to get the Cup. However it is rather suspicious that England would fall so far out of the running after a situation arose that portrayed FIFA in a negative light, or that a country as small and seemingly unfit to host such an important even as Qatar would come from nowhere and claim such a prize.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Thoughs on Healthcare Reform

Well I just received a letter from my health insurance company informing that, for the about the fifth time since I joined them, they shall be raising my premiums to about $132.00 a month. This is only about three months after they raised it from $98.00 to $115.00 and  six months after it went up from $95.00 to $98.00. This is honestly something that I can no longer afford and, as soon as I can get an appropriate replacement, I shall cancel. I am through with Aetna, done.

Wasn't Obama's health care reform bill supposed to prevent these people from doing this sort of thing? Weren't  premiums supposed to go down? There seems to be allot of "I told you so" coming from the GOP lately. I guess that winning an election will do that to you. But honestly it seems as though Obamacare is almost dead on arrival. It is to much government for the Republicans and not enough for the extreme left wing of the Democrats, who shall accept nothing less that a total government take over of health care. I am actually not so sure about this one, I would prefer to be able to choose my own doctor and to get treatments when I need them not when some bureaucrat says I can. Also, implementing an completely new and different system and the taxes needed to pay for, especially in this economy seems to be more than we can reasonably bare.  While at the same time, it is pretty damn clear that the current system is FUBAR.

Its almost seems to me that the only really practical and realistic approach to this issue is for the rest of the nation to adopt what has worked for the past 35 years in my home state of Hawai'i. Which is to require employers to provide health insurance to all employees that work more the 20 hours a week. The results relatively effective as Hawai'i, a state where everything is a expensive as hell is tied with North Dakota for the lowest premiums in the nation. Keep in mind however that this is probably the only thing my home state has every done right. I am very much a product of Hawai'i's public education system, and my spelling on this blog shows it.