Friday, July 31, 2009

Since they had that whole White House "beer summit" thing, I will share at this time a stanza poem I wrote last November, Without further ado...

May the memory of your self always strike a chord in others
May they look upon you fondly as they would their favourite brothers
Even if those lads happen to be sons of different mothers
These things can happen sometimes.

Let your memory be one of cheerfulness, be not a bore
That your friends may in memory raise an Irish toast to days of yore
May you make it to heaven thirty minutes before
The devil knows you are dead. [Written on 11/09/08]

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Points to Ponder:
(On Humility and Writing Critiques of People)

[H]umility. You either have it or you don't and you won't find it if you don't have it, unless you have been knocked flat and see why you deserved that. Part of learning how to critique somebody is learning how to accept criticism and understanding the difference between a personal attack and a critique. In order to accept a legitimate critique you have to have humility and less ego which helps you gain perspective on what is a critique and what is an attack. ["pgm 01" via Daily Kos (circa May 07, 2009)]

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Mariners, Pirates trade shortstops

Well, its not that simple really. The Seattle Mariners traded young shortstop Ronny Cedeno, Jeff Clement (AAA Tacoma player and major prospect), and three smaller prospects to the Pirates for former All Star shortstop Jack Wilson and right handed pitcher Ian Snell. This is a good trade that has the potential to become a great trade for the Mariners and the Pirates could do pretty well on it too particularly if Clement lives up to his potential. And yet again, I do not have any criticism of how Jack Zduriencik conducted himself. Hopefully he will pull off another trade in the next 24 hours for a big bat because the Mariners sure will need it if they are to be contenders this year in the playoffs or even (perhaps) to make the playoffs.

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Please pray for the eternal repose of the souls of Thomas and Mark Girard and if you can help out their family in any way, please do what you can.

[Clarification: I intended to post this last year but for some reason it was not tended to. I am therefore posting it a year later because those who believe in the efficacy of prayers for the departed can still benefit these men in prayer. -ISM]

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We present the majors leaguers with the least trade value

I found this thread to be of particular interest. A few points to note here:

15. Yuniesky Betancourt, Royals

Total left: $7 million through 2011 (includes $2 million team buyout and Mariners paying part of salary)

He can't hit, can't field, can't run, doesn't hustle or seem to care at times ... wait, you say the Royals actually just traded for this guy?

More like new Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik fleeced the Royals. He not only traded a guy with no plate discipline (someone who if he could would swing at other batter's pitches) but he did so for the Royals number one pitching prospect (read: someone who could be a starter for the M's in as soon as a year or two) and also another prospect who could turn out to be a solid bullpen left handed specialist. All of that for agreeing to buy part of Betancourt's salary out. Of course we had Yuni in our starting rotation because he was a project of former GM Bill Bavasi but Yuni that is Kansas City's problem now.

14. Kenji Johjima, Mariners

Total left: $18.64 million through 2011

Anybody want a 33-year-old catcher with a .299 on-base percentage and little power? Didn't think so. Congratulations, former Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi, you signed the first two guys on our list!

Meanwhile ESPN rubs salt in my wounds...

10. Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman and Carlos Guillen, Tigers
Total left: $73.5 million (Guillen signed through 2011, others through 2010)

Congratulations, Dave Dombrowski, you've had so many bad signings recently that it's easier just to group them all together (and we considered including Miguel Cabrera, who will earn more than $100 million through 2015, but he's at least young enough to keep producing big numbers).

Note: Total payment increases $500,000 if Willis or Robertson win the Cy Young Award next season.

Sorry Kevin, I had to post this one because misery loves company. But just so you do not feel as if things are much worse out in your neck of the woods in this area, I remind you of this:

4. Carlos Silva, Mariners

Total left: $28.63 million through 2011 (includes $2 million team buyout)

On the bright side, Mariners fans, this contract was so stupefyingly awful, it led to the long-overdue firing that ended the incompetent reign of Bavasi. The deal was for $48 million and Silva has gone 5-18, 6.77 with the Mariners, is on the disabled list and quite likely to have thrown his last major league pitch.

So for others reading this, if you want to know why (i) I want to do to Bill Bavasi what Clubber Lang did to Rocky in their first fight and (ii) Kevin Tierney will probably watch Tigers games the next few days not far from a shotgun, this link explains it all.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Perry raises possibility of states' rights showdown with White House over healthcare

The essence of the article can be summed up in the first paragraph; namely:

Gov. Rick Perry, raising the specter of a showdown with the Obama administration, suggested Thursday that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment to resist the president’s healthcare plan, which he said would be "disastrous" for Texas.

Maybe I need to consider moving to Galveston or something...

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Why Obama Care is Sinking (Charles Krauthammer)

The first paragraph sums this whole article up nicely:

"What happened to Obamacare? Rhetoric met reality"

Or to quote from that great western philosopher Neil Young,"your Cadillac...has got a wheel in the ditch, and a wheel on the track!!!"

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ACTION ALERT: Protest Chuck Schumer Support of Health Care Rout!

I will not be there for the event but I did design flyers for one of those involved in putting the event together. If you are out in New York City tomorrow evening, stop by and help out a bit if you can. The address is at the link above.

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WATERLOO: Is Obama’s Presidency Imploding?

I plan to muse on this possibility in the coming days{1} by using historical examples and analogies to postulate this very possibility. In the meantime, the above thread is worth your time to peruse.


{1} I started drafting a thread on the matter five days ago and hope to have finishing touches on it by the end of the week.

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Fingerprint Scanners Help Companies Track Workers

This link is about sixteen months old{1} and missed being posted at that time but since the issue at hand here is one that will quite possibly become more prevalent over time, it bears reflecting upon from time to time.

Speaking for myself, I view this as an unnecessary invasion of a person's privacy and one example of how technology can be used to enslave people in an Orwellian fashion rather than improving their lives.


{1} It was originally going to be published in March of 2008 then when I found it in a stack of unpublished threads earlier this year, I scheduled it for March 27, 2009. But it was overlooked at that time as well; ergo my reason for posting it at this time.

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House healthcare talks break down in anger

God Bless the Blue Dogs. Too bad my waste of DNA Rep. Jay Inslee (and my senators Maria Cantvotewell and Patti Byrd-Murray) will be wasted phone calls. Oh well, time to continue calling the Blue Dogs to offer them support including those in this article.

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Conyers Sees No Point in Members Reading 1,000-Page Health Care Bill--Unless They Have 2 Lawyers to Interpret It for Them

I am going to have to ask my amigo Kevin Tierney what they are drinking in the water out in Michigan. Observe:

"“I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Conyers.

“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

Then maybe, just MAYBE you should not write bills so long and convoluted that you guys can neither take the time to read them or know what they mean anyway. What morons!!!

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