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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Have you no honor?

A petty thief in South Florida has an interesting excuse for his crime.

Authorities say they arrested a man who claimed he was justified in stealing candy from a Fort Pierce truck stop because he had served in the military.

Police say an officer confronted 31-year-old Eric T. Ambrose at the truck stop early Monday morning. The officer reported finding several packages of candy and nuts, two black T-shirts and a 20 oz. bottle of beer in Ambrose's pockets. He said he had paid for all the items, but a clerk denied ringing up any purchases for Ambrose.

A report states that while in the patrol vehicle, Ambrose screamed out the window that he had served in the military over in Iraq and could steal all the M&M'S he wanted.
Serving in Iraq or anywhere else doesn't give a man or woman the right to steal.

His veteran status could not be immediately verified.
What do you think the odds are he never served in Iraq? Or any branch of the military? I make a bet Ambrose is lying.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Make work

What does a country do with its military that hasn't fired a shot in over 60 years? Go looking for an airplane missing for 81 years.

Norway plans to resume the search for South Pole conqueror Roald Amundsen's plane 81 years after it vanished during an Arctic rescue mission, the Royal Norwegian Navy announced Monday.

Amundsen disappeared aboard the French Latham 47 flying boat in the Barents Sea on June 18, 1928. The plane was searching for the gas-filled airship "Italia," which crashed when returning from the North Pole during an expedition led by Italian aeronautical engineer Umberto Nobile.

"We want to find the plane and help solve the mystery," said Navy Cmdr. Frode Loeseth said by telephone. "This will be conducted as a military operation."

On Dec. 14, 1911, Amundsen, a Norwegian, became the first person to reach the South Pole, beating Robert F. Scott, a Briton. Scott and four companions reached the pole the following month but died on the way out.

Amundsen was also the first to sail the Northwest Passage north of Canada, and in 1918, allowed his ship "Maud" to freeze in into the Arctic ice in hopes of drifting with the floes to the North Pole. That effort did not succeed, but in 1926, Amundsen and a crew that included Nobile successfully flew over the North Pole in airship "Norge."

Two years later, the "Italia," with Nobile aboard, crashed in the Arctic, and Amundsen took off to join the search. Amundsen's plane vanished, probably north of Bear Island in the Barents Sea, and no trace has ever been found of Amundsen or his crew.

Nobile and seven other members of the 16-person crew on the "Italia" were later found alive.
A 1969 movie, The Red Tent, gave its own theory for Amundsen's disappearance. His plane low on fuel tried to make a landing and crashed. Amundsen(Played by Sean Connery in one of his more underrated movies) then died due to lack of water and food. There is more to that movie theory but I haven't watched The Red Tent in ten years at least.

Personally I've never understood the fascination some people have to go look for old wrecks. Sunken ships for example.

As I said early on, the Norwegian Navy needs something to do. Wargame exercises where they do battle against Sweden, Denmark, or Russia must get boring after a while.

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Time warp

Another addition to the media's bag of tricks- They can speed up time!

Why didn't anyone at AP or the Sun-Sentinel who actually had this on the front page of the website for a short time, notice the discrepancy before posting it? It's like about a manager signing a large amount of documents. Most of which he doesn't look at and someone slips in a joke among them or a check made out to themselves.

In late 2007, the Sun-Sentinel proudly proclaimed the winless Miami Dolphins as being 12-0 instead of 0-12. I got a screen capture of that too. Isn't Snagit wonderful?

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Welcome to the United States Hotaru and Mikey Ferschke

More on the saga of the wife and son of fallen Marine Michael Ferschke. From Stars and Stripes-

On Friday, Hotaru Ferschke, the Okinawa widow of a Marine killed in Iraq last summer, and Michael H. Ferschke III, the son he never saw, will fly to Maryville, Tenn., to start their new life.

After a memorial service for Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr., 22, at the base chapel last Friday, Mikey, as the family is calling him, gurgled peacefully and stared up at his mother and grandparents as they expressed their excitement — and apprehension — about the 6-week-old baby’s future.

"This whole trip has been a little bit of everything — beautiful, touching, emotional, heart-rending, happy and terribly sad," said Robin Ferschke, Mikey’s grandmother.

"Originally, this trip was planned to be a reunion with Michael and his wife and new son," she said.

But Sgt. Ferschke, a team leader with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, was killed Aug. 10 while conducting house-to-house searches in a town north of Baghdad. It was just a month after he married Hotaru by proxy.
Hotaru or Hota for short, has decided to raise Mikey in the place his father grew up in. She lost her husband but wants to keep his legacy alive by raising their son where he grew up.

It isn't easy either as Robin Ferschke, explains.

After her husband’s death, Hotaru surprised her mother-in-law by deciding to move to Maryville and raise Mikey where his father was raised.

"It was something I prayed for but dared not ask," Robin said. "No other woman would do what she is doing."
Marriage, the death of her husband, pregnancy and having to fight with consular and immigration officials. Hotaru was through so much, but by this time next week she'll be in Tennessee.

"As he grows, Mikey looks more and more like his father," Hotaru said. "His toes, fingers and now the chin." She said she will miss Okinawa, but she is excited about the new phase in her life.

"Yes, I do feel nervous about moving to the States, but at the same time, I know that I have my mother-in-law, father-in-law, family and all the friends there who will always stand behind me and support me," she said. "It is a great sense of security."

By raising her son in Tennessee, she hopes he will grow to become like his father.

"I want our son to grow up to know how wonderful and caring man his father was, who was loved by so many people," she said. "I want him to grow up to be a kind, honest and strong man like his father."
Robin Ferschke calls Hotaru a wonderful Mommy. She certainly sounds like it. God bless her, Mikey, and the rest of the Ferschke family.

Hotaru's immigration battle is not over. She is coming to the US on a one year visa. Congressman John Duncan and Senator Lamar Alexander will file a private bill for the mother. Lets hope that works out, or the morons at CIS reverse their initial decision to deny Hotaru a green card. Michael Ferschke gave his life for this country and his fellow Marines, we owe his wife no less than the right to live here as long as she wishes.

I'm putting today's Stars and Stripes article about Hotaru's trip to the US and another about the ceremony honoring her husband below. They are both worth reading in their entirety.

Marine’s widow, baby to start new life in Tennessee

CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa — For Mikey and his mom, the journey is almost over.

Or is it just beginning?

On Friday, Hotaru Ferschke, the Okinawa widow of a Marine killed in Iraq last summer, and Michael H. Ferschke III, the son he never saw, will fly to Maryville, Tenn., to start their new life.

After a memorial service for Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr., 22, at the base chapel last Friday, Mikey, as the family is calling him, gurgled peacefully and stared up at his mother and grandparents as they expressed their excitement — and apprehension — about the 6-week-old baby’s future.

"This whole trip has been a little bit of everything — beautiful, touching, emotional, heart-rending, happy and terribly sad," said Robin Ferschke, Mikey’s grandmother.

"Originally, this trip was planned to be a reunion with Michael and his wife and new son," she said.

But Sgt. Ferschke, a team leader with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, was killed Aug. 10 while conducting house-to-house searches in a town north of Baghdad. It was just a month after he married Hotaru by proxy.

After her husband’s death, Hotaru surprised her mother-in-law by deciding to move to Maryville and raise Mikey where his father was raised.

"It was something I prayed for but dared not ask," Robin said. "No other woman would do what she is doing."

She smiled and hugged Hotaru as Mikey drained a bottle of formula. "She’s such a good and loving mommy," she said.

There is, however, a cloud hanging over Hotaru’s future. The State Department has denied her application for residency because the marriage by proxy was never consummated. Under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, marriage by proxy must be consummated to be recognized for immigration purposes.

"We have the support of many people back home, including our government representatives," Robin said. She said Tennessee Republicans Rep. John Duncan and Sen. Lamar Alexander have agreed to introduce legislation to legalize the proxy marriage, and recognize proxy marriages under unique circumstances.

Meanwhile, Hotaru has a visa good for one year.

Robin Ferschke and her husband, Michael, arrived on Okinawa earlier this month to escort Mikey and his mom home. While they were here, they got to meet their son’s other family.

"The Marines have treated us like a king and queen," Robin said. "Anything we need, we got."

Her son joined the Marines when he was 17 and would always refer to the Corps as his second family, Robin said.

"Now we can see why," she said. "The memorial they had today was very special," she said. "You could feel the love in the church. And the Marines, especially the ones who served with Michael — well, we know now that little Mikey has, many, many uncles.

"What the Marines have done for us, not just here but also back home, it’s helped us deal with Michael not being here," she said.

Her husband said all the attention the family’s been getting has been "amazing."

"We’ve always done things for ourselves and hate to ask anyone for anything," he said. "So, to be treated like this — I can only say the Marines are really super people." He said Mikey will have a lot of cousins close to his own age. The Ferschkes have five other grandchildren, all under the age of 7.

"We have a very close family," he said. "Everyone’s looking forward to seeing him."

And what they see will remind them of their son, the Ferschkes said. "The first thing I noticed was Mikey’s lips," Robin said. "They’re just like Michael’s; he had the cutest kissable lips. And the hairline, we saw that, too."

"Just looking at him, you see Michael," Mikey’s grandfather said. "But what I like is that he’s the only one of the grandchildren to have his grandfather’s brown eyes."

"As he grows, Mikey looks more and more like his father," Hotaru said. "His toes, fingers and now the chin." She said she will miss Okinawa, but she is excited about the new phase in her life.

"Yes, I do feel nervous about moving to the States, but at the same time, I know that I have my mother-in-law, father-in-law, family and all the friends there who will always stand behind me and support me," she said. "It is a great sense of security."

By raising her son in Tennessee, she hopes he will grow to become like his father.

"I want our son to grow up to know how wonderful and caring man his father was, who was loved by so many people," she said. "I want him to grow up to be a kind, honest and strong man like his father."

Marines and family gather to recall sergeant who saved comrade’s lives

CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa — Tears as well as chuckles filled the small chapel here Friday during a memorial service for Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr.

More than 150 Marines, Ferschke’s parents, his widow and infant son gathered in the chapel to remember the 3rd Reconnaissance Marine killed Aug. 10 in Iraq.

The 22-year-old from Maryville, Tenn., was killed during a firefight in Salah ad Din province. He was credited with saving lives by drawing enemy fire to himself when his recon team entered a building where insurgents had holed up.

The sergeant’s parents, Michael and Robin Ferschke, and his widow, Hotaru Ferschke, wiped away tears during a short video of Ferschke in training and in Iraq.

Ferschke was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with V for valor following the memorial service. The battalion’s commander presented both Hotaru and Ferschke’s parents a citation and medal.

Afterward, Robin and Hotaru leaned against each other for support as Marines hugged them and thanked them for their sacrifice.

During the service, emotional teammates shared humorous stories about Ferschke — the tough Marine with the funny-shaped head and big heart.

"Mike is still with us today and will continue to be with us," Capt. Christopher Melton said. "As long as you share your memories of Mike, he will never be forgotten."

Gunnery Sgt. Robert J. Blanton — recently awarded a Silver Star for his actions during the same fight that ended Ferschke’s life — talked about the bracelet he and others wear in Ferschke’s honor.

"When I first put the bracelet on, I thought I was wearing it to remember Mike," Blanton said, pausing to compose himself. "But then I realized I wear it as a reality check."

The wristband is a reminder to enjoy life, he explained.

Blanton then promised Ferschke’s wife and son, who was born after Ferschke died, that he would "strive to maintain the tremendous reputation that Mike has set."

Sgt. Alexander E. Tice, the point man on Ferschke’s team, especially remembers the last time he saw his team leader — just moments before they entered the building where he died.

For some reason, he said, Ferschke had jumped to the team’s point to be the first into the building.

"He turned to me and smiled and said, ‘Let’s do this boys,’ " Tice said.

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Move over Michelle Wie Part VII

Danny Lee just became the youngest winner in European Tour history

U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee birdied the final two holes for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke victory Sunday in the Johnnie Walker Classic.

The 18-year-old New Zealander, set to turn pro after the Masters, had a 17-under 271 total on The Vines Resort's composite course.

"It feels like I'm dreaming at the moment," Lee said. "I won lots of amateur tournaments before and the U.S. Amateur, but this is a totally different feeling. It's a pro event. All I wanted to do is make the cut and play well and get in the top 20. But I played extremely well today, and I won it."

Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita (67), Chile's Felipe Aguilar (68) and England's Ross McGowan (70) tied for second in the event sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasian tours. The second-place finishers all shared in the $298,000 that Lee would have collected if he was not an amateur.

Lee is the first amateur to win on the Australasian PGA Tour since Brett Rumford in the 1999 ANZ Players Championship at Royal Queensland. The last amateur winner of a European tour event was Pablo Martin at the 2007 Portuguese Open.
Lee was born in South Korea, moved to New Zealand at age 8, and has been a citizen of that country since last year. If not for his amateur status, Lee could have been a threat to make the International team in the President's Cup matches.

The Constructivist at Mostly Harmless is also blogging on Lee's victory. He thinks Asian or Asian-American men are beginning to catch up with their female peers.i At this point, I disagree. The male golfers while good, don't have the depth the female side of the chart has.

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I feel faint Part Three

For the second time in a little over five weeks I find myself in agreement with NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd. She writes-

Yet Obama is oozing empathy compared with his attorney general, who last week called us "a nation of cowards" about race.

Eric Holder, who showed precious little bravery in standing up to Clinton on a pardon for the scoundrel Marc Rich, is wrong. We have just inaugurated a black president who installed a black attorney general.

We need leaders to help us through our crises, not provide us with crude evaluations of our character.
Holder's statement is crude. Most people don't like talking race for one big reason- The slightest misstep can get you labeled a racist. So its safer to avoid the subject.

I won't say anything more. Look I am a coward too!


The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Republican Congressman Phil Gingrey. He gets the award for the following-

"Chain migration is a ticking time bomb. Under current law, one legal immigrant could potentially yield visas for up to 273 other legal immigrants in a 15 year period. You can imagine what would happen if Congress granted amnesty to the 12 million illegal immigrants currently in our nation - each one of them could start the chain migration process. I don't understand why we are giving the second-cousin of a legal immigrant visa priority over someone with good job skills and an education. My bill would limit family migration to the nuclear family: spouses, dependent children and parents. This would reduce the 'chain' to a maximum of about 30 visas.
Columnist Claudia Melendez writes-

With all due respect, Mr. Gingrey, what are you smoking?
I'd like to know what the Congressman is smoking too. A legal immigrant, can only petition their spouse and any children they have. Once they become a citizen, they can petition for parents and siblings also. Don't believe me? Check here. By the way the wait time for a petition for a brother or sister is 12 to 20 years. That further blows what Gingrey says out of the water.

Realistically a immigrant can apply for maybe 15 people in 15 years. Remember that doesn't come for free, there is a $355 fee for every petition. If someone could petition 273 family members, they would need almost $100,000. That's a little bit high if that immigrant is cleaning hotel rooms and picking fruit.

Congressman Phil Gingrey isn't just dangerously ignorant about US immigration laws he wants to change, but he is also today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

How to get skin cancer 101

A new type of class being taught in the United Kingdom. From the Daily Telegraph-

The new parity has been brought about by the Government relaxing the rules to allow schools and colleges to count practical qualifications obtained by students along with A-Levels and GCSEs in their league rankings.

It means that a merit in an ITEC diploma in "tanning treatments", for which students are taught how to operate sunbeds and apply fake tan without streaks over 72 hours, is worth 45 points in school league tables. This is equal to an A grade in one of the six units that make up an A-level in a subject such as maths.
I didn't know math was plural but who am I to criticize a member of the media.(Cue the sarcastic laughter)

Did anyone in Great Britain who approved tanning courses, know that the use of tanning beds increases the risk for skin cancer by seventy-five percent? I did, because as I write I'm fighting a battle with Stage IV malignant melanoma. The dangers of tanning beds has been known for a decade at least, and it is easily researched on the internet. If any education should be going on, it is not to use those potentially deadly devices.

The bigger point I'll make, is why is how to use a tanning bed being taught in school in the first place? Before you answer my question read what the above article also mentions

Courses in cake decoration, pottery and flower-arranging also attract similar points values.
At least those activities in theory could be put to use careerwise. As Joanne Jacobs asks-

"That self-tanning course will prepare students for . . . unemployment?"
Yes unemployed British can use this skill after being laid off. Absolutely!

Joanne also says-

Whenever I think the U.S. education system is nuts, the Brits make me feel like we're not so bad.
There are many degrees of nuttiness. If you aren't a reader of Joanne Jacobs already, I suggest you do. She is probably the best education blogger out there and I frequently hat tip here.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beating the hell out of the Devils

For the second time in a week, the Panthers scored an impressive shutout victory. Last week it took place in Carolina, where the cats won 5-0. Carolina is all right this year, that's about all. The win was significant for two reasons.

1 Florida rarely wins at Carolina. Just once in over fifteen tries before last week's game.

2 Carolina was Florida's closest pursuer for a playoff spot

Last night's win was more impressive. Goalie Tomas Vokoun shut down the dangerous New Jersey offense that features Zach Parise and Patrik Elias and others. Florida had four different forwards contribute a goal each. They were Stephen Weiss, Cory Stillman, Nathan Horton, and Richard Zednik. All of who now have ten or more goals scored on the season. This against a team that had a seven game road winning streak and had won 13 of their last 15 games.

Vokoun's fifth shutout of the year gives Florida a league leading team total of eight for the season. Florida's defensemen whose goal scoring has cooled off of late, are among the highest scoring as a team in the league.

Florida is 16-7-5 at home this year, 13-13-3 on the road, and are 13-4-3 since the beginning. The team is also 8-0 on a certain day of the week. If Florida could only play the rest of the season on Tuesdays......

As it stands now, Florida is 4-way tie for 5th place in the Eastern conference. The Southeast Division leading Washington Capitals are too far ahead to be caught, but Florida I just don't can be stopped from making the playoffs this year. That is as long as they don't trade star defensemen Jay Bouwmeester. Bouvwmeester becomes a unrestricted free agent at year's end, but as the stats show Florida is one of the hottest teams in hockey at present. This team is going to the playoffs, and they could go far in the postseason if they keep playing like they are now.

Next up for the Panthers- Games against Chicago and Boston at Florida.

Rob at Panther's Portal is also commenting.

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Cheap cuts

Apparently this robber never heard the saying 'If you're going to steal, steal big.'

Police have released surveillance camera images of a man they say swung a knife as he tried to steal two packages of steaks and a package of pork chops from a supermarket last Thursday.

A loss-prevention employee at that Publix at 303 S.E. 17th St. saw the man conceal the food in his jacket and walk to the exit without paying for it, according to an Ocala police report. When the employee and a store manager attempted to stop him, the would-be robber cursed at them and shoved the loss-prevention employee out the way.

The employee tried to grab the man, but he shoved the employee, took out a small knife and slashed at him. The employee backed off, and the man fled. The merchandise, valued at $16.52, was recovered, but the man escaped.
Three packages and pork chops for under $17. Why doesn't the Publix a mile away from my house have such bargains

Two packages of ground meat cost about $6. But that isn't really steak to me. Pork chops run about five to six dollars. Pork shoulder blades less than that. I supposed the paper could be right in their descriptions, but its kind of iffy looking.

I suggest the robber go for Winn Dixie's fillet mingeons next time. That is the best steak, especially when cooked medium rare.

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Abandon ship

The Washington Post is calling for the resignation of Illinois Senator Roland Burris-

WHEN THEN-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested in December for, among other things, allegedly trying to auction off the U.S. Senate seat left open by Barack Obama's election to the presidency, we feared that whomever Mr. Blagojevich eventually chose would be tainted by the association. Enter Roland W. Burris, a former Illinois state attorney general who swore up and down that there had been no quid pro quo involved in his selection. "There was certainly no pay-to-play involved," Mr. Burris assured last month, "because I don't have no money." And then this Associated Press bulletin hit yesterday afternoon: "Burris acknowledges trying to raise campaign funds for Blagojevich as he vied for Senate seat."

This blockbuster disclosure came after Mr. Burris released an affidavit over the weekend that he filed with the Illinois House impeachment committee this month that revealed he was asked by Mr. Blagojevich's brother to raise campaign money for the governor. In testimony before the committee in January, when asked about conversations with associates of the governor, Mr. Burris had acknowledged only one conversation with a former chief of staff for Mr. Blagojevich in which Mr. Burris expressed interest in the open Senate seat.

Mr. Burris's story has more twists than the Chicago El, and none of them good. Caught in a swirl of accusations of perjury and calls for his resignation from state Democrats and Republicans alike, Mr. Burris said yesterday, "I welcome the opportunity to go before any and all investigative bodies, including those referred by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Senate ethics committee to answer any questions they have." When that opportunity arises, why should anyone believe him?
Ouch! I wouldn't believe him but some say I'm too much of a cynic.

The Chicago Tribune is also calling for Burris to resign.

The Washington Post while liberal tends to be thoughtfully so. I think it is significant they are calling for Burris to resign. Will he? I bet $5 he won't, so don't get your hopes up. Even if Burris did, the Republican party in Illinois is in disarray. As I noted a while back, the best a conservative could hope for out of this mess, is maybe Tammy Duckworth becoming Senator. There being hope for her to be a Blue Dog Democrat.

Hat tip- Dr. Taylor at Poliblog


The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Golf World magazine and its editor Geoff Russell. They get the award for their February 16th 2009 issue which contained a preview of the LPGA Tour. The US based Ladies Professional golf tour began play in Hawaii last Feb 12th.

Why do I give Golf World and Geoff Russell the Knucklehead. It is the untimeliness of their preview issue. The magazine came out last week, the same week as play some subscribers like myself didn't get the preview till yesterday or three days after the first tournament of the year was already completed.

Golf world rewards its customers by giving them week old news. Its a sports news publication, and all the tournament reports they give are almost a week old by the time a reader sees them. That's understandable. What is not understandable is why a Tour preview issue had to be late?

In the past Golf World did their preview in the magazine they reached subscribers anywhere from 3-7 days before the first tournament of the year was played.(Check out the date of last year's, February 8th) This year we got a golf course architecture when the LPGA preview should have come instead. Golf architecture can be talked about anytime, that news rarely becomes dated.

I emailed Russell when I saw the LPGA preview was late, he said it was coming in the next issue. When I told him that would arrive too late for subscribers, I got no reply. This is my reply now, as will be the cancellation of my subscription when it comes up for renewal. I should have ended it long ago. I learn more about ladies professional golf from bloggers like Bruce, Ryan, and Ken than I do from Golf World where the writer who most often writes about the LPGA, Ron Sirak, I've shown to be a complete idiot on more than one occasion. Take for instance when he chose a golfer to win the LPGA Championship who wasn't even in the field.

For not giving their subscribers their money's worth, I name Golf World magazine and its editor Geoff Russell today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The biggest loser

What if there ever was 'So who wants to be my mistress competition?' In China a millionaire hosted one when the economy forced him to make cutbacks.

At the time, the businessman, identified only by his last name -- Fan -- was married and had four other mistresses, according to the Peninsula Metropolis Daily newspaper in Qingdao.

The women knew of one another, but none elected to break up with the man and give up their rent-free apartment and a 5,000 yuan ($730) monthly allowance, the reports said.

When the economy soured, the businessman apparently decided to let go of all but one mistress.

He staged a private talent show in May, without telling the women his intentions. An instructor from a local modeling agency judged the women on the way they looked, how they sang and how much alcohol they could hold, the Shanghai Daily said.
If a mistress loses their job in China, are they eligible for unemployment?

This already wacky story, soon went over the edge.

The judge knocked out Yu in the first round of the competition based on her looks. Angry, she decided to exact revenge by telling her lover and the four other women to accompany her on a sightseeing trip before she returned to her home province, the media reports said.

It was during the trip that Yu reportedly drove the car off the cliff.
Yu died, the rest survived. What kind of idiot gets in a car with a fired mistress?

The story isn't over yet.

Fan shut down his company after the crash and paid Yu's parents 580,000 yuan ($84,744) as compensation for her death.

The four other women left him, as did his wife when she learned of the affairs.
The woman almost kills him and four others, but he pays compensation. Some how I don't feel sorry for Mr. Fan.

Hat tip- Below the Beltway

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Goodbye Fred

The Jacksonville Jaguars have released their star running back.

Running back Fred Taylor wanted to end his career in Jacksonville, hoping to join the small list of standout players who spent an entire career with the same team.

He won't get the chance.

The Jaguars released Taylor on Monday, parting ways with their all-time leading rusher after 11 seasons and continuing the team's offseason makeover.

Coach Jack Del Rio flew to Fort Lauderdale earlier Monday to meet with Taylor and deliver the news. Del Rio made it clear the team has no plans to re-sign Taylor, who turned 33 last month and was scheduled to make $6 million next season.


Taylor has said he would like to retire after passing Jim Brown (12,312) on the career list. Brown, Chicago's Walter Payton (16,726), Detroit's Barry Sanders (15,269) and San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson (11,760) are the only running backs ahead of Taylor who spent their entire careers with the same team.

Taylor was not available for comment Monday.

Releasing Taylor was no surprise since he had clearly become the second option behind Maurice Jones-Drew.
Taylor's release is regrettable but I understand why it was done. Sports management needs to be unsentimental if it is to succeed. Fred Taylor's best days are in the past, and his cost to the Jaguars in the terms of salary, high.

I think Taylor will find another NFL willing to take him on. How about it Tampa Bay?

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Inappropriate affair

Another example of why the South Korean justice system is insane.

A local court has ordered a ward office in North Jeolla Province to annul its decision to dismiss a civil servant for having an affair with a female worker during work hours.

The unidentified public servant left his office with the female junior worker around 4 p.m. Aug. 16 in 2007 to drink. They went to a motel afterward, where her husband caught them.

The civil servant filed the suit after the ward office dismissed him for not maintaining his integrity as a public worker and leaving his office during work hours.

``He left his office about two hours before work had finished, which did not disturb the office. An official reprimand would have served as an appropriate punishment,'' the court said.

``He may face social and ethical criticism for having an affair with his junior. But he is a civil servant of a local ward office, whose duties do not include high-mindedness in private, so a wage cut may be also be due punishment,'' it added.

The court said the total punishment shouldn't be heavier than ``suspension from duty,'' saying dismissal was too harsh.
So getting fired for screwing around with a married co-worker isn't grounds for dismissal. Maybe the guy should ask for a raise!

One shouldn't be surprised by this decision. After all this is the same country that gave barely 10 years in jail to the person responsible for killing 500 people. Another judge gave suspended sentences to people who raped a family member. South Korea or Broward County Florida, which has the most broken justice system?

Hat tip- Robert Koehler at Marmot's Hole

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Monday, February 16, 2009

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is University of South Florida vice president, Dr. Abdul Rao. He gets the award for the following-

A University of South Florida vice president who makes $384,280 annually is being investigated on charges he stole a $100 mountain bike.

Dr. Abdul Rao was captured on surveillance video Monday night with a man he says is semi-homeless and does odd jobs for him.

In the video, uploaded on YouTube, the pair approach the loading dock at the Johnnie B. Byrd Alzheimer's Center & Research Institute in a van. They get out and look over some parked bikes.

Rao's companion takes one bike for a very short test ride and rejects it. He settles on another one, and walks it down a ramp.

The minivan drives away.

The bike belonged to a graduate student at the Byrd Institute, Rao later learned.

Rao called his actions a "terrible lapse in judgment," but maintained in an interview with the Times that he was only trying to help a person down on his luck — "just one of those guys who can't get off the poverty bubble," Rao said.
Here's the You tube video

It isn't Rao's right to take away the property to give it to another. His excuse is lame. This guy supposedly holds a doctorate. In what? Bicycle theft and stupidity?

How about the person Rao was helping?

Victor Waiters, 45, said he'll take the fall. He's the handyman Rao said used the bike.


Rao came to know Waiters through a friend shortly after arriving in Tampa in 2006.

Waiters, who has a Miami address, has been arrested 29 times since 1988, including 2005 convictions for cocaine possession and resisting an officer, Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show.

He said he travels regularly to Tampa to do handyman work for several people.
Rao hangs out with the nicest of people, doesn't he. Couldn't he just have bought Waiters a new or used bicycle?

The Tampa Tribune supplies this little tidbit about Rao-

Rao was hired at the USF Health Sciences Center in 2005. He is an Oxford-educated transplant immunologist who has overseen millions in research grants. Before coming to USF he was vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at the Middle Tennessee State University.
I wonder if he is been giving away any of that money he oversees. In the meantime I name University of South Florida vice president, Dr. Abdul Rao today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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The nurse will see you now?

Hospitals are working harder to retain nurses.

Newly minted nurse Katie O'Bryan was determined to stay at her first job at least a year, even if she did leave the hospital every day wanting to quit.

She lasted nine months. The stress of trying to keep her patients from getting much worse as they waited, sometimes for 12 hours, in an overwhelmed Dallas emergency room was just too much. The breaking point came after paramedics brought in a child who'd had seizures. She was told he was stable and to check him in a few minutes, but O'Bryan decided not to wait. She found he had stopped breathing and was turning blue.

"If I hadn't gone right away, he probably would have died," O'Bryan said. "I couldn't do it anymore."

Many novice nurses like O'Bryan are thrown into hospitals with little direct supervision, quickly forced to juggle multiple patients and make critical decisions for the first time in their careers. About 1 in 5 newly licensed nurses quits within a year, according to one national study.

That turnover rate is a major contributor to the nation's growing shortage of nurses. But there are expanding efforts to give new nursing grads better support. Many hospitals are trying to create safety nets with residency training programs.
Nursing is a very stressful occupation. Some people may think they are suited for the work but once they are they are actually doing it, find out the pressure is just too much.

The national nursing shortage could reach 500,000 by 2025, as many nurses retire and the demand for nurses balloons with the aging of baby boomers, according to Peter Buerhaus of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The nursing professor is author of a book about the future of the nursing work force.

Nursing schools have been unable to churn out graduates fast enough to keep up with the demand, which is why hospitals are trying harder to retain them.
The 500,000 figure I think is lowballing how small the shortage will be. I've read it could be 2 million by fifteen years from now. It is probably somewhere in between but either way it is still signifigant.

Ever look at the newspaper help wanted advertisements? Some Hospitals in order to find the nursing help they need, pay 4 and 5 figure bonuses.

The US also imports thousands of foreign trained nurses a year to work in this country. These women and men are usually issued greencards in return.(My sister-in-law is one example) The legal immigration restrictionists fail to fathom what the effect would be on US healthcare if we decreased the numbers of visas granted.

Thank you to Neil Duckett for supplying the photo. That's gravure idol Nina minami, she was Neil's J-Babe of the week. She can take my temperature any time.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Angela Stanford wins LPGA season opener

Her margin of victory at the SBS Open was three shots. Michelle Wie finished a clear 2nd.

This was Angela's third win in her last seven LPGA starts. An argument can be made for her as the hottest golfer performance wise on tour at the moment.

Michelle had a 3-shot lead with eight holes to go. She was in part done in by a bad tee shot on 11 that led to a double bogey. Some of Wie's detractors will say she choked yesterday, I don't think she did. Here's why.

Angela Stanford played the last eight holes three under par in tough conditions, Wie played them in three over. Like many other players in the field, she struggled.

I'm sticking to my prediction- That Wie will be in the LPGA winner's circle by year end. I may have underranked Stanford too. We have 9 more months of golf to find out if I am right.

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Visa denial

Shahar Peer is the 48th ranked player in the world. From AP-

The top official in women's tennis reprimanded the United Arab Emirates on Sunday for blocking an Israeli player from a premier Dubai tournament, calling the decision to deny her a visa "regrettable."

But the absence of Shahar Peer could extend beyond the matches under way. The WTA Tour is planning to review its future in Dubai, and the UAE -- which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel -- could face a possible blow to its ambitions of becoming an international hub for big-ticket sports.

"Ms. Peer has earned the right to play in the tournament and it's regrettable that the UAE is denying her this right," WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott said in a statement issued after the UAE's last-minute decision.
The visa denial could result in Dubai no longer hosting a WTA event. I think it should, if a country can't separate sports and politics, they shouldn't be hosting international competitions. I doubt the WTA will take any action. Dubai based sporting events are some of the richest in the world.

The UAE has no diplomatic relations with Israel, but Israelis with dual citizenship have entered the country for international sporting and business events using second-country passports. On some occasions, Israeli passport holders have been allowed entry for meetings held by the United Nations or other international agencies.

It was not clear whether Peer was traveling on an Israeli passport.

Peer's brother and spokesman, Shlomi Peer, said the 21-year-old player applied for a visa months in advance and was assured by tournament organizers that she would be allowed entry.
Tournament officials can promise anything they want but aren't the ones who grant or deny a visa.

If Peer only has a Israeli passport, the visa denial was consistent with Dubai law and policy. That law and policy stinks.

Peer broke barriers last year in Qatar when she was the first Israeli to play in a WTA Tour tournament in the Persian Gulf. But the UAE -- locked in a rivalry with Qatar to host major sports events -- could face setbacks if the WTA and other federations grow skittish of planning events with the prospect of Israeli athletes being blocked.

Last month, Peer was the focus of protests in New Zealand over Israel's recent three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants. She was provided extra security at the ASB Class tournament there.
In fairness to Dubai and the UAE, they aren't the only Muslim country to discriminate against Israeli tennis players. In 2006 the Indonesian Tennis Association refused to play a match in Israel.

Sports shouldn't be about politics. I'm realistic enough to know some won't ever be able to separate the two.

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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Marianna Louisa Kittila and Brianna Lynne Tatom. They get the award for the following-

Police arrested two women on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment Friday, Feb. 6, after they allegedly kidnapped a 28-year-old woman from the Meridian Street Wal-Mart and dropped her off at a U.S. Border Patrol station, hoping she would be deported.

Marianna Louisa Kittila, 24 and Brianna Lynne Tatom, 20, forced the 28-year-old woman, whom they believed was in the U.S. illegally, into a car outside of Wal-Mart about 8:40 p.m., said Bellingham Police Sgt. Carr Lanham. How Kittila and Tatom were able to force the victim into the car is unclear, he said.

Kittila and Tatom drove the victim to a U.S. Border Patrol station on McLeod Road. One of the women used a cell phone to inform agents inside the station that they were dropping off the victim. Agents met the three woman when they arrived, Lanham said. "
These two Nobel prize winners didn't consider they were breaking the law by what they did. Note- this article and AP's version makes no mention whether the woman kidnapped was really illegal or not.(May I add the general public, bloggers, and at least one columnist have trouble differentiating between the two. If these two weren't smart enough to know this was kidnapping, do you really think they can tell the difference between legal and illegal?) It doesn't matter, and I name Marianna Louisa Kittila and Brianna Lynne Tatom today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

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Johnny bring your bullets

Another example of zero tolerance run amok?

An elementary school studnet was suspended from school on Thursday after he brought ammunition to school and told schoolmates about it, according to a Marion County Sheriff's Office report.

The 11-year-old, who attends Emerald Shores Elementary School, showed other students six .22-caliber rifle cartridges and two empty shell casings that he had with him. He reportedly bragged about them to the students.

Once word spread about the ammunition, a sheriff's deputy spoke to the child about where he had obtained the items. The boy told the deputy he picked them up from the shooting range while he was there with his parents.

The school's dean told the deputy that the child would be suspended from school.
Bringing bullets to school is less dangerous than say taking a kitchen knife to cut steak with, but here in Florida both will result in having police called to the school. In this boy's case, no arrest was made. Any smart education tell me how a suspension serves the best interests of this child when it comes to his schooling? Unless its to teach him how adults can over react to kids being kids.

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Today's lesson in irony

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez should take up standup comedy. From the BBC-

Venezuela has expelled a Spanish deputy of the European parliament, over reports that he called President Hugo Chavez a dictator.

Luis Herrero had also criticised a decision to keep polling stations open two hours longer than normal in a referendum to be held on Sunday.

The referendum is on a proposal to remove all term limits on elected officials, including Mr Chavez.

Mr Herrero had been invited to observe the vote by an opposition party.

The Spanish deputy, who represents the conservative Popular Party, was put on a commercial flight to Brazil late on Friday, Venezuelan officials said.

Earlier, in comments to journalists, he had invited Venezuelans to vote freely.

"They should never be carried away when they vote by the fear that a dictator tries to impose in a premeditated way," AFP news agency quoted him as saying.
Dr. Taylor at Poliblog gets it exactly right-

Someone needs to tell Chávez that tossing a guy out for calling you dictator isn't a very good way of rebutting his description.
But would Chavez listen? He's a dictator, the only person Chavez need to listen to is himself. God help the people of Venezuela.



This news reminds me of me taking notes in a 11th grade American History class.

A high school student's keen eye has caught a state test error that managed to slip past teachers, test coordinators and other students for almost a year.

Geoffrey Stanford, 17, discovered during a Kansas writing test last week that an essay question concerning greenhouse gases incorrectly used the word "omission" for the word "emission," prompting the Wichita East High School junior to point out the error.

"I thought, `Surely they're not talking about leaving out carbon dioxide altogether.' It just didn't make sense," Stanford said. "It had to be a mistake."

The state Department of Education has e-mailed a corrected version of the essay question to test coordinators around the state, but the incident already has caused a lot of red faces at the department, which used a committee of more than 30 state teachers to develop the test almost two years ago.
All of whom will assign Mr. Stanford more homework to do because he made them look foolish. What should Mr. Stanford go to work on next? The PGA Tour media guide book? The Palm Beach Post editorial page? The columns of Mark Steyn and Paul Krugman?

Speaking as an author, misspellings and incorrect use of some words will always slip through no matter how many times a work is read before publication.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah Florida. They get the award for the following-

A South Florida family plans to sue Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, saying their mother went in for a routine medical procedure and died as a result.

“I don’t believe -- still to this day -- that’s she’s gone. I can’t believe it," said Jorge Perez.

Matilde Perez, 62, was admitted to Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah after a fainting spell on Dec. 17. Six days later, she died.

She was at the hospital for an angiogram to clear a clogged carotid artery.

Family members said they were told things were going fine, but in the middle of the procedure, the power went out.


Ellsley said doctors told the family the backup battery on the CT machine they were using to guide the catheter through Perez's artery malfunctioned, and after the electrical blip, the doctor could not see what he was doing.

“It’s a little like operating an airplane in the middle of the night with failed instruments," Ellsley said.

In a statement to Local 10, Palmetto General confirmed the fluctuation in power led to Perez’s death, calling it an unforeseen and tragic consequence.

“We conducted an internal review and notified the state agency, which noted in its report that no hospital deficiencies were found,” the statement read.

The hospital also noted that it has faithfully served the community for more than 35 years and will continue to dedicate its efforts to putting patients first and providing the highest quality care to those who entrust their care to the facility.
The hospital didn't serve Mrs. Perez or their family. There are supposed to be procedures in place to prevent these happenings, I know because I worked in radiology for over twenty years of my life. Palmetto General Hospital better get ready to sign a check with lots of zeroes on it, but first I name them today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Hat tip-= SFDB

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Michelle Wie- Change of attitude

With 10 holes to go, Michelle Wie has a one shot lead over Angela Stanford. Stanford is in trouble on the par 5 9th hole. A two-shot swing could soon see Wie up by three.

The SBS Open isn't over by any stretch of the imagination. I want to just something on record. If Wie wins today, expect to see a slew of articles about her breakthrough and how she could be the LPGA's savior as the tour struggles in difficult economic times.

Honestly Michelle could save the LPGA. She is talented on the course and brings in people to watch tournaments she plays in. No one on the LPGA has her drawing ability with the public. Not Ochoa, Not Annika. No one in professional golf in the US except Tiger Woods.

I expect to see Johnny come latelies to start appearing next week.Some past critics will suddenly be singing her praises. I predicted Michelle in the top 10 money winners this year and make the Solheim Cup team. Her upside is, she could challenge Ochoa, Shin, Creamer, and Tseng for #1 on the money list. You heard it here first.

Update- Stanford holed a long putt for par. Wie made birdie and now she is up by two with two holes to go.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Madeline 'Maddy' Loftus RIP

She was one of those killed in the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407. From the Buffalo News-

Madeline Loftus, 24, a former Buffalo State College student who lives in New Jersey. She was on her way to reunite with 14 other alumni of Buffalo State's women's ice hockey team for a game Saturday. Loftus played for the school team from 2002 to 2004.
Neither my wife Leonita or I know or met Maddy, but she was the cousin of one of our church choir members. Leonita, who works at our church and is active in the choir right now, spoke to her family. They are very distraught right at this moment. Please say a prayer for Maddy's family. God bless them and all who died in the crash and their families.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

The 2009 LPGA season begins today

The US Women's professional golf circuit tees it up for the first time at the SBS Open in Hawaii. The 2008 event was won by Annika Sorenstam who has since stepped away from the game. Also not in the field is World #1 ranked player Lorena Ochoa. The SBS field is strong however with Paula Creamer, Suzann Pettersen, and Ji-Yai Shin. Shin who won the final LPGA event of 2008, the ADT Championship, looks to begin where she left off.

So another LPGA season is about to underway. A slimmer one than the 2008 schedule, with the loss of quite a few tournaments. The 2010 schedule is looking rough already, with the SBS Open already down as history.

Some off the course news, the LPGA signed a 10-year deal with the Golf Channel. This is great news for the tour.

As much that news sounds interesting, I prefer talking about what goes on during tournaments than all off the course distractions. Here are my predictions for 2009

Player of the Year- Ji Yai Shin. Shin is ranked #5 in the world and has 26 professional wins at age 20. Last year she won 3 LPGA titles, including a major championship. She has a unflappable personality on course, and I personally think she'll top Ochoa this year. Golf blogger Mulligan Stu is on board the Shin Express also.

Ochoa won't lose the money title by much and will retain #1 ranking in the world.

Rookie of the Year- Shin. The 2009 LPGA rookie class is incredible with Shin, Vicki Hurst, Michelle Wie, Stacy Lewis, and a few more could have immediate impact. Shin however is going to win the ROY title in a runaway.

Comeback of the Year- Brittany Lincicome. If she is healthy, I see her returning to her 2007 form.

The come out of nowhere award- Amy Yang. She shouldn't really be a contender for this, but even my LPGA golf buddies Hound Dog, The Contstructivist, and Ryan are not paying any attention to this golfer's chances in 2009, so why would the golf media. Yang won twice on the LET last year and I'll go out on a limb by putting her in the top 5 players for 2009. More on that later.

1st time winners for 2009- Wie, V Hurst, Yang, Angela Park

How many times will naturalized US citizen Angela Park be mislabeled as South Korean by the golf media in 2009- At least two times

The 2009 Solheim Cup matches- US wins 16-12

The 2009 US Solheim Cup qualifiers- Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Wie, Hurst, Christina Kim, Morgan Pressel, Nicole Castrale, Brittany Lang, and Stacy Prammanasudh

Beth Daniel's Captain's selections- Two potted plants Juli Inkster and Natalie Gulbis. Any Asian American golfer if they want to play in the matches, should only plan on making it via the points list. As I pointed out two years ago, the team's Captains have done great gymnastic work in order to avoid selecting Asian golfers for the team, even if the criteria they used is in conflict with what they or past Captains have said or done.

So Wie, Hurst, Kim, Prammanasudh, Jane Park will have to make the team by performance. Daniel will pick potted plants for the US squad before choosing any of those talented ladies.

How many tournaments will the South Koreans win in 2009- Ten. Five by Shin. Plus at least two more from Wie, C Kim, and half Korean V Hurst.

How many members of the media will bemoan the Asian invasion- Three.

How many times will I say Carolyn Bivens should be fired before she gets fired the 2009 season ends- Three

How many LPGA writing related Knucklehead awards will I give out in 2009- Five, starting with this guy.

How many times I will be a credentialed member of the LPGA media in 2009- Zero

How many times will I apply- Zero because the LPGA has left the building so far as Florida goes.

2009 Major Champions- I hate picking way in advance, but I'll go out on a limb. Shin(US), Ochoa(Kraft Nabisco), Creamer(LPGA), and someone else. Ok, that's 3 out of 4. My crystal ball is not working too well at the moment. Put me down for Hee Won Han at the British Open.

Miscellaneous predictions-

Katherine Hull will take over as Australia's #1 golfer from Karrie Webb
Se Ri Pak will win the Jamie Farr Classic for a record breaking sixth time
The Korean LPGA tour stop curse aka No winner of the tournament since 2003 has won a LPGA event afterwards, will finally be broken with Suzann Pettersen taking home a LPGA win in 2009

Now for my my top 30

1 Shin JY
2 Ochoa
3 Yang
4 Creamer
5 SH Lee
6 Hull
7 Tseng
8 V Hurst
9 Pettersen
10 Wie
11 Han
12 Jang
13 Kerr
14 A Park
15 Stanford
16 Webb
17 JY Lee
18 EH Ji
19 Feng
20 Castrale
21 Lewis
22 IK Kim
23 Prammanasudh
24 Pak
25 Pressel
26 C Kim
27 MH Kim
28 Stupples
29 NY Choi
30 Lincicome

We'll come back at the end of the year and see how I did.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shoprite II- SBS no longer a LPGA sponsor

In another supposed money grab, the LPGA has given a long-time sponsor the shaft. From Ron Sirak at Golf World-

That the LPGA came into the 2009 season with only three fewer tournaments than last year was probably a small victory given the state of the global economy. Not expected was that it would lose another event last month--the Ginn Open--before it was to be played in April, a victim of the real-estate collapse that also claimed the Ginn Championship on the Champions Tour. Now, the LPGA is taking a calculated risk for the 2010 schedule by signing a lucrative new deal for the Korean television rights to LPGA events with J Golf, a subsidiary of Joongang Daily News. The new partner means severing a 15-year relationship with the Seoul Broadcasting System, and losing the SBS Open after the season-opening tournament at the Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii.

While the matter of Korean television rights for LPGA events might seem like a minor issue, it is not. The income from those rights is the tour's largest single revenue stream.
I prefer to follow the play of the tours than the economics, but I'm well aware of how big a part the television contracts with Japan and South are so far as LPGA revenue sources go. The LPGA has to buy air time in the United States for most of their tournaments and then sell advertising to recoup their costs.

Here's the stinking part of this whole deal.

The contract with J Golf, which has yet to be announced by the tour or the network, but details of which were obtained by Golf World, is a multiyear deal likely worth in excess of $4 million annually, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. That is up significantly from the $2.25 million SBS says it paid to broadcast 30 events in Korea this year. Asked if his company would continue to sponsor the SBS Open when coverage moves to J Golf next year, Sang Y. Chun, president and CEO of SBS International, said: "Absolutely not."

Chun, who said he was "disappointed, upset really" at losing the contract, said his feelings were "not about the money [but] about the way we were treated."
In Asian society, saving face is important. It looks like to me the LPGA has really stomped on these people, otherwise Chun wouldn't have said the words he did.

So what has that meanace Carolyn Bivens done? Alienate and lose a long-time LPGA sponsor for a slightly better deal with a company with no track record of backing women's golf. We all know what happened when the tour gave the Shoprite Atlantic City tour stop the finger and replaced it with tournaments sponsored by Ginn Resorts. A little over two years later there are two holes in the schedule after Ginn pulled out of these events and Shoprite is gone too. The deal with J Golf isn't for another tournament, but the effect is two fold. First the SBS Open is gone in 2010 when the LPGA already has 1/3 of its tournaments up for renewal at the same time an economic downturn is happening. Perhaps more importantly, the latest actions of the LPGA could make current sponsors re-think their relationship with the LPGA. For they can be dispensed with by this crazy commissioner who chases dollars at the same time she kicks sponsors in the pants.

Hound dog writes-

As I mentioned last night on Inside The LPGA, the increase in rights fees (approximately $2 million per year, almost double the previous amount) from the new deal is significantly offset by the loss of the $1.2 million purse from the SBS Open. If this event isn't replaced on the 2010 schedule, the deal isn't nearly as impressive.
If what Sirak wrote above is true, the difference between the deals was only a million. To me the LPGA came out a loser, 4 million from J Golf compared to 3 million from SBS plus the 1.2 million tournament purse. That's a net 200,000 loss to me. Can Carolyn Bivens add?

Ryan at Waggleroom has a differing opinion-

On the surface, it's easy to recall the situation with Ginn that led to the demise of the ShopRite event in Atlantic City. The LPGA Tour took the allure of big money from an organization with not nearly as sure footed as ShopRite. And now it is paying dearly. Still, given that the LPGA Tour is losing significant revenue by losing several tournaments this year, this may have been a forced move.
I don't see anything forced at all in the changeover from SBS to J golf. All I see is another step on the road to disaster for the LPGA Tour if they allow their present commissioner to keep making these decisions.

I'll say it again. Fire Carolyn Bivens now!

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A year later

The Florida Pantherswho were behind 4-1 at one point last night, came back to tie the game and then win it in regulation. Richard Zednik scored the last two goals of the game.

This is noteworthy because of what happened a year ago yesterday-

Richard Zednik sustained a major gash in his neck when the right skate of Panthers' teammate Olli Jokinen with his back to Zednik caught him with 9:56 left in Sunday's game at Buffalo and the Sabres leading 4-3. The game was suspended temporarily.

Sabres' doctors stopped the bleeding and Zednik was transported to Buffalo General Hospital in "stable condition," said Panthers team spokesman Justin Copertino. Sabres' team doctor William Hartrich and Dr. Les Biffon worked on Zednick to stop the bleeding.

Blood poured out of Zednik's neck as he skated to the Panthers' bench and was quickly escorted off the ice with a white towel on his neck. A trail of blood remained from the goal line in the Sabres' zone all the way to the Panthers' bench.

Jokinen was tangled with Buffalo's Clarke Macarthur near the boards and while falling down kicked his skate up into the air. It sliced his linemate's neck.
Zednik was quite fortunate to survive the type of incident he did. Now he's trying to help the Florida Panthers make the playoffs for the first time in nine years.

As it stands Florida is in 8th place or the last playoff slot in the Eastern Conference. Which is deceiving because they have played one less game than the 5th place Montreal Canadians and only trail them by five points. I really think Florida will make the playoffs this year and Richard Zednik will be a key reason why.

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is the Korea Times and cartoonist Stephane Peray. They get the award for the following political cartoon.

GI at ROK Drop does an excellent job of summing up why this is a Knucklehead winner-

The cartoonist is making fun of the bushfires in the Australian state of Victoria by trying to blame them on global warming. Global warming is not what started the bushfires because most of the fires were started by arsonists on the hottest day of the year in Victoria. The fires were started near towns which caused many people to die in their cars as they had no time to escape which is what this cartoonist is making fun of.

This cartoonist is not the only one that has been pushing this global warming nonsense as Greenies in Australia have been saying the same thing to include Australian Greens Parliament Member Bob Brown. These people are disgusting and revolting and should be ashamed on themselves.
It is disgusting ,revolting, in horrible bad taste and after an uproar, the Korea Times pulled cartoon. Its too late so far as I am concerned, I name the Korea Times and Stephane Peray today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Note- If you go to the hyperlink for Peray, you'll see it is he who takes credit for the cartoon.

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Truly sick

Today's quote of the day comes from NY Times reporter Neil A Lewis. In an article about an agent who claims evidence was concealed in the case of former US Senator Ted Stevens, Lewis writes-

For example, a witness for both the government and defense, Rocky Williams, was sent home to Alaska by prosecutors who did not tell defense lawyers, an act that angered Judge Sullivan. Ms. Morris said the decision was made because Mr. Williams was gravely ill, not because prosecutors, after interviewing him, had decided he might help the defense case.

But Mr. Joy said a prosecutor, Nicholas Marsh, concocted the scheme to send Mr. Williams away after prosecutors held a mock cross-examination in which he did not perform well.

Still, there is considerable evidence that Mr. Williams was truly sick, including the fact that he has since died.
Where did Mr. Lewis get his journalism degree? A crackerjack box?. That last paragraph was insipid to say the least.

Hat tip- Ann Althouse


Terrible message

A year has passed since it was revealed 11,000 illegal aliens had been cleared to get security work in the United Kingdom. Want to take a guess how many have been deported.

Immigration minister Phil Woolas admitted only a handful of those caught up in the security guard blunders have been removed.

The Security Industry Authority, the body responsible for vetting all bouncers, car clampers and security staff, came under fire in late 2007 when it emerged up to 11,000 illegal immigrants had been cleared to work as security guards.

It included 12 illegal workers approved for security jobs with the Metropolitan Police, including one guarding the Prime Minister's car.

Some 3,000 have since proved their right to be in the UK but of the remaining 7,729 who had their licences revoked, just 35 have been removed, according to figures obtained by the Conservatives.

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "This sends a terrible message around the world about the willingness, or lack of it, of this Government to police our borders and control the flow of migrant workers into the country.

"They know who these people are, where they were working, and that they are here illegally.
Henry Kissinger once said if you need a bureaucracy to move slow, they will move slowly. If you need a bureaucracy to move fast, they will move slowly. If the UK immigration services are anything like here in the US, legal immigrants are probably getting a tougher time. Probably because its cheaper to deny immigrant status to those who have a right to it, then deport people who have no right to be in the country.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is China Central Television aka CCTV. They get the award for the following-

BEIJING - China's state-run television broadcaster apologized Tuesday for an unlicensed fireworks display that sparked a blaze that destroyed a luxury hotel in the network's headquarters complex in downtown Beijing.

The fire, which sent off huge plumes of black smoke and showered the ground with embers, left one firefighter dead and a handful of others injured, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The blaze was put out early Tuesday after burning for more than five hours at the unfinished Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Xinhua quoted Luo Yuan, a spokesman for the Beijing fire department, as saying that fireworks set off to celebrate the Lunar New Year were to blame for the fire that destroyed the nearly finished Mandarin Oriental hotel.

He was quoted as saying CCTV had hired a fireworks company to ignite several hundred large fireworks in an open area by the hotel. Video footage posted on Youtube showed spectacular bursts of fireworks above the top of the building in downtown Beijing.

"According to the Beijing fire department, this fire occurred because the person in charge of the construction of the new building project of CCTV, without permission, hired staff to set off fireworks that violated regulations," China Central Television said in a statement on its Web site.

CCTV said it was deeply grieved "for the severe damage the fire caused to the country's property."

The 159-metre (520-foot) Mandarin Oriental, designed by Netherlands architects Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, was part of a stunning CCTV complex that helped transform the capital's skyline for last year's Olympics.
Carelessness and stupidity took a life and caused millions of dollars of property damage. The Chinese would be wise to make sure the hotel owners are properly reimbursed. Nothing scares off foreign investors quicker than the risk of losing your investment without compensation.

In the meantime I name China Central Television aka CCTV today's Knucklehead of the Day. Below is a video of the fire.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Non stop

Would you watch television for three days straight to set a record? From AP-

STOCKHOLM – Suresh Joachim has broken his own Guinness world record for nonstop broadcast-television watching, clocking 72 hours in the Swedish capital.

"I feel fine, I drank between 25 and 30 cups of coffee," Joachim said Sunday.
So I'm guessing he had a bedpan or portable toilet handy so he didn't miss anything.

His previous record was 69 hours, 48 minutes, set in 2005.No wonder he wanted a new record. Mr. Joachim lost his mind in 2005.

Joachim, a Sri Lanka native who lives in Toronto, watched three seasons of the drama series "24" featuring Kiefer Sutherland, said Swedish TV4 spokeswoman Janina Witkowski.
At least it wasn't the movie Apollo 13 over and over again mixed with commercials for Progressive Insurance, the movie Lakeview Terrace, and promos for TNT's show Raising the bar. All of which I viewed endlessly when in the hospital for open heart surgery. Look at me now.

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Here comes Yu-Na Kim

She has to be considered one of the favorites for the gold medal at the Olympics in Vancouver next year. From the Chosunilbo-

Korean figure skating icon Kim Yu-na clinched the gold in the women's single competition at the International Skating Union's Four Continents Championships.

Kim won 116.83 points in the ladies' freestyle final in Vancouver, Canada Friday local time ranking on the top with the total score of 189.07 in the competition. This follows setting a world-record short program performance of 72.24 points on Wednesday.

In the beginning of the performance on Friday she pulled off a combination of a triple flip and a triple toe loop although she fell once in her attempt to do a triple loop jump.

Ranking second was Canada's Joannie Rochette and Japan's Mao Asada last year's champion came in third.
Yu-Na has had a history of great short programs but not being to follow it up in the free skate part of the competition. She is one of the two or three top candidates for the gold next year. If Yu-Na does win it, will she inspire South Korean girls to take up the sport like Se Ri Pak did in regards to golf over a decade ago? My own opinion is that it won't on a comparable scale because of the limited amount of skating events and slots for skaters in them. There won't ever be 45 South Korean skaters competing in ISU events like there are on the LPGA Tour in a given year.

Curiously I just completed a web fiction story inspired by Yu-Na Kim and this old post of GI at ROK Drop. A young man in New Hampshire who wants to make his college hockey team and fails. He visits a magic shop where the owner sells him a wishing object. All he wanted to be was a better hockey player and skater. Instead he ends up a South Korean figure skater(Not Yu-Na Kim) in his hometown training for the Olympics. To get out of the spell and become a better hockey player himself, the young man must help the female skater improve also.

Before that story I rarely paid this sport and knew diddly about figure skating. Now I will probably watch the women's competition at next year's Olympics. It will be interesting to see if Yu-Na can bring home the gold.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

To the Moon

Guess what country full of starving people claims it is building a space program?

NORTH Korea has declared it is actively pursuing a space program, amid reports from US and South Korean officials that Pyongyang is preparing to test fire a long-range missile.

Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the ruling communist party, said the North had every right to develop a space program, as a member of the international community.

"The DPRK's (North Korea) policy of advancing to space for peaceful purposes is a justifiable aim that fits the global trend of the times. There is no power in the world that can stop it," the newspaper said in an editorial.

"As long as developing and using space are aimed at peaceful purposes and such efforts contribute to enhancing human beings' happiness, no one in the world can find fault with them."

It noted that Iran on Monday successfully launched a satellite carried by a home-built rocket, setting alarm bells ringing among Western powers because of the implications for the range of its ballistic missiles.
I think it is a great idea. As long as Kim Jong-il flies the first craft into orbit. The world would be so much better off without him.

Hat tip- GI at ROK Drop who writes- "The big question is that why does the international community have moral responsbility to send hundreds of millions of dollars in food and aid to North Korea every year when they have enough money to start a "space program"?"

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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are the New York Newsday newspaper and its reporter, James T Madore. In an article about new NY Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, Madore wrote-

Only two of Gillibrand's rivals for the Senate job, Suozzi and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, attended her rollout. The stage instead was filled with other representatives, state officials and a few Republicans, including former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, of Lido Beach. A Paterson spokesman said D'Amato was invited as one of only two living former senators. (The other is Clinton, who is now secretary of state and was unable to attend.)
If this was supposed to be a NY state politics quiz, Newsday and Madore just flunked it. I'm a Florida resident and can name every Senator from New York state going back to 1970. One of whom is James Buckley, who is very much alive. He even has a website.

A reporter and a newspaper who take the job seriously of covering politics should have known this off the top of their head, or bothered to check the facts. Since they did neither, I name New York Newsday newspaper and its reporter, James T Madore, today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Not going the extra mile

A North Florida automobile dealer had one of its employees arrested this week.

Dude, where's my car? One woman found out her car, left at a Gainesville car dealership this week, reportedly went for a ride without her.

Police charged Paul Stephen Rogers, 20, of Gainesville, with grand theft auto after officers stopped him for speeding and driving without headlights early Wednesday. Police said Rogers told them the vehicle wasn't his and he shouldn't have been driving it.

Officers learned the car's owner had dropped the vehicle off at a dealership on N. Main Street Tuesday evening so it could be serviced, according to an arrest report. Rogers had been working at the dealership, police reported, and took the car "for personal purposes."
Totally unremarkable news but what I find interesting is what the article lacks. The name of the car dealership the car was borrowed from. A internet search shows twelve such businesses with a N. Main street address. Shouldn't local consumers be aware that one of these dealers was less than safe with their valuable property that had been trusted to them?

I guess protecting the advertising dollars the Gainesville Sun acquires from the one dealer is more important than reporting the entire story. Newspapers are a business, and only a naive person will believe important revenue streams wouldn't or couldn't affect reporting. Then I'd pose this question to the Gainesville Sun- By not identifying the one dealer, aren't you creating the possibility consumers will question if one of the other eleven dealers is a place to do business with? By protecting the one dealership, the newspaper has indirectly called into question the integrity of all the auto businesses with that street address.

One of whom may not be happy when it comes time to buy more advertising.

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Actor James Whimore dead at 87

He was twice nominated for Oscars. First for his role in the war movie classic, 'Battleground'. Then for playing former President Harry Truman in the one man show made into the movie 'Give em Hell Harry. I liked him in both but loved the later. Not mentioned in the AP obituary is Whitmore's role in the Sci-Fi classic, 'Them!'. Whitmore played college football with former President Gerald Ford and served in the Marines during World War II. His son James Whitmore Jr. was also a television actor. RIP.

LOS ANGELES – James Whitmore, the many-faceted character actor who delivered strong performances in movies, television and especially the theater with his popular one-man shows about Harry Truman, Will Rogers and Theodore Roosevelt, died Friday, his son said. He was 87.

The Emmy- and Tony-winning actor was diagnosed with lung cancer the week before Thanksgiving and died Friday afternoon at his Malibu home, Steve Whitmore said.

"My father believed that family came before everything, that work was just a vehicle in which to provide for your family," said Whitmore, who works as spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "At the end, and in the last two and a half months of his life, he was surrounded by his family."

His long-running "Give 'em Hell, Harry," tracing the life of the 33rd president, was released as a theatrical movie in 1975. Whitmore was nominated for an Academy Award as best actor, marking the only time in Oscar history that an actor has been nominated for a film in which he was the only cast member. His Teddy Roosevelt portrait, "Bully," was also converted into a movie.

He later became the TV pitchman for Miracle-Gro plant food, and used the product in his large vegetable garden at his Malibu home.

While not known for his politics, Whitmore was an early supporter of President Barack Obama. He stumped for Obama during a 2007 rally at the Gibson Theatre at Universal Studios, telling the crowd that Obama had the wisdom "to deal with a very, very confused and complex country, and the world." Whitmore also appeared in TV commercials in 2008 for the "First Freedom First" campaign, which advocates religious liberty and preserving the separation of church and state.

Whitmore had regularly attended an Oscar night bash, Night of 100 Stars, and had sent in his RSVP for this year, said Edward Lozzi, a spokesman for agent Norby Walters' gala.

Whitmore started both his Broadway and Hollywood careers with acclaimed performances, both as tough-talking sergeants. In 1947, discharged a year from Marine duty, he made his Broadway debut in a taut Air Force drama, "Command Decision." He was awarded a Tony for outstanding performance by a newcomer.

Two years later, Whitmore was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe as supporting actor in the war movie "Battleground."

He followed with memorable performances in scores of films, refusing to be typed. Besides war movies, he appeared in Westerns ("The Last Frontier," "Chato's Land"), musicals ("Kiss Me Kate," "Oklahoma!"), science fiction ("Planet of the Apes," "Them"), dramas ("The Asphalt Jungle," "The Shawshank Redemption") and comedies ("Mr. O'Malley and Mrs. Malone," "The Great Diamond Robbery.")

Shirley Jones, a teenager when she starred in "Oklahoma," said she came to know Whitmore during months of filming in Nogales, Ariz., and recalled being impressed by her good-humored and highly disciplined colleague.

"He told me, `If you're going to be in this business, you better learn your craft,'" Jones recalled. "And he never stopped learning."

His favorite film was "Black Like Me" (1964), a true story about a white reporter who used medication to blacken his skin to experience life as an African-American in the South.

Another of his rare starring roles was "The Next Voice You Hear" (1950), in which a family hears the voice of God via the radio. He played opposite Nancy Davis, the future Mrs. Ronald Reagan.

Whitmore often appeared on television, starring in the series "The Law and Mr. Jones" (1960-1962), "My Friend Tony" (1969) and "Temperatures Rising" (1972-1973). He received an Emmy in 1999 as guest actor in a series for "The Practice."

Jones recalled seeing him in a 2007 episode of the TV drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and marveling at his still-sharp talent. "I was absolutely blown away by that. He had a huge role, playing a lawyer, and it was phenomenal," she said.

A student of history, Whitmore delighted in portraying famous American personages. He toured in the play "The Magnificent Yankee," about Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. He played Ulysses S. Grant in a 1960 TV movie, Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey in the Pearl Harbor attack spectacle "Tora! Tora! Tora!", and Walt Whitman in a dramatic reading, "A Whitman Portrait."

The monologues of Harry Truman, Will Rogers and Teddy Roosevelt brought Whitmore his greatest success. In 2000, he appeared in "Will Rogers, U.S.A." at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., his eighth engagement in the show at Ford's over a 30-year period.

President Ford attended a performance of "Give 'em Hell, Harry" at Ford's Theater after Richard Nixon resigned. Whitmore worried about Ford's reaction to Truman's crusty words about Nixon.

The actor recalled: "I was three feet from Gerry Ford when I said to the press as Truman: `Nixon is a no-good lying (expletive); if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd tell a lie just to keep his hand in.' After the show, (Ford) came up on stage and put his arm around me and said, `That was a pretty good blocking back.'" Ford had been line coach when Whitmore played football at Yale.

His movie and television careers continued into the 21st century, but he admitted that he preferred the stage.

"I find the process of making movies absolutely boring," he told a reporter in 1994. "It's so fragmented. You wait and wait and wait and then, look, as Jack Lemmon says, `It's magic time.' In the theater, once the curtain goes up, the actor is in charge."

Born in 1921 in White Plains, N.Y., Whitmore was active in school sports and acted in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, though his strict Methodist family disapproved of the profession. After a year at an Ivy League prep school, Whitmore in 1939 enrolled in prelaw at Yale University, where he had won a football scholarship. Two knee injuries ended his football career, and he devoted himself to dramatics.

After graduating from Yale, he enlisted in the Marines and served in the South Pacific. "I had a lot of time to think in the Marine Corps," he recalled, "and so I decided it wasn't the law I wanted but the theater."

In New York he studied at the American Theater Wing under the G.I. Bill, living on $20 a week and rooming with another hopeful actor, Jack Warden. After a season in summer stock in New Hampshire, he returned to New York and won the role of Sergeant Harold Evans in "Command Decision." Rave reviews started his career in motion.

He married Nancy Mygatt in 1947, and the couple had three sons, James, Steven and Daniel. They later divorced, and in 1971 he married an actress, Audra Lindley. They often appeared in plays together, even after their 1979 divorce. He remarried his first wife in the 1980s, but another divorce ensued. Nearing 80 in 2001, Whitmore married actress-writer Noreen Nash.

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