Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Bozo Bus, Rt. #3: Barry Bonds. There's an elephant in the room... and I'm going to talk about it.

Barry Bonds. Christ, what a spectacle. The cancer in baseball that won’t go away.

It’s interesting that the elephant is the logo for the Oakland A’s, who are across the harbor from the San Francisco Giants, because the elephant is in the latter team’s park. The issue being that the most coveted record in all of sports, the career home run record, is soon (we assume) to be broken by Bonds—a record that has been held by Hank Aaron since the 1970s—at 755 home runs. Aaron passed Babe Ruth in 1974 when he hit 715 near the beginning of that season… and he did it on nothing other than persistence, concentration, strength, talent, and a little luck in being injury-free for most of his career.

I’d like to digress for a moment by saying that hitting a home run is one of the most difficult athletic feats that any human may achieve. The amount of “equipoise,” meaning concentration coupled with relaxation, in addition to all of the other physiological factors that go into hitting a baseball over the fences—let alone at all in the first place—are too involved to describe. If you're a player on a streak, and you wake up constipated one morning, you're probably not hitting a home run that day. That being said, baseball records have been sacred and contained a confident degree of authenticity. Up until the recent past, however, the American public always had the satisfaction of knowing that these baseball records were hallowed and knew the numbers by heart; what "61" means, and what "755" means, or "56" in the case of Dimaggio's hitting streak. ".406" in the case of the last time a man had a batting average over .400 in a season, as was in the case of Ted Williams in 1941.

But Barry Bonds has tainted the whole picture due to his steroid use. He already tainted the single season home run record (which is at 73), so why not the career one as well. The ugliness and controversy surrounding this character are enough to make my living room turn into a vomitorium. At this point, I really no longer know what to do with this Bozo. I feel like dumping him in the San Francisco Bay wouldn’t be enough, he’d just get out, dry off, and come back to the plate. He just simply won’t go away.

The Commissioner won’t comment on the matter, other than revealing the fact that he’s “biased” and that “personal feelings are getting in the way” of the way he feels about the matter. Selig, who I personally like but feel should turn over the reigns of Commissioner soon to “someone else when they leave office” (see my post a month or so back) has also revealed that he won’t be involved in any ceremony for the record unless the Giants organization invites him to be part of it. Well, he need not say anything more.

Bonds hasn’t helped his case with his combative attitude, abrasive demeanor with reporters, and asinine comments over the years. Frankly, I’ve never known any professional player in all of sports who has been more of a total jackass. Allow me to point out a few examples on how badly the dung on this elephant stinks (...but only if YOU allow me...).

  1. Hijacking the Bucs. For those who don’t know, Bonds began his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (anyone recall the “Killer Bees” of him, Bobby Bonilla and Jay Bell from 1991-92?). After 2-3 years of close but unsuccessful runs at trying to make it into the World Series with Pittsburgh, Bonds suddenly demanded a trade to the Giants, citing the fact that “Willie Mays is my Godfather and I should be on the same team as he.” As a result, the Bucs were held hostage and forced to negotiate with San Francisco (and therefore no leverage), so they basically had no choice but to shovel him off due to his demands. ...and compare that scrawny physique to the photo above...
  1. The shoe contract denial. It was around 1998, when Air Jordan and Shaq ruled the world of shoe endorsements, and apparently no shoe company had a desire to give Bonds an endorsement. So they didn’t… and Bonds complained about the fact that “he had to purchase his own shoes” to play the game of baseball. So what did we do in San Diego and Arizona that year when the idiot was in town? Since he was in such need, all the fans threw their shoes onto the field not as a loaner, but to keep. Barefoot fans were leaving the stands that season… and Barry got his free shoes… probably more than he had asked for…
  1. The "walking and standing" comment. It was the summer of 2004, and this comment still leaves me trying to pick my jaw up from the floor to this day. Bonds has a history of getting walked a lot, for obvious reasons. So around August of that year, he complained to the media about how he was getting walked all the time, and how it resulted in “all the walking and standing he was having to do, and why won’t somebody else do it.”

See my hand raised? Okay! I will! …and so would the rest of America. Meanwhile, see me rub my forefinger and thumb together? That's my violin prowess playing a sad song for you Barry. Cry me a river.

With all the money he earns to play a game, and for his “walking and standing,” Bonds basically offended the entire working class of the nation with that comment. What about all the waiters and waitresses that “walk and stand” all day? What about the nurses, construction workers, and salesmen who have sore feet at the end of the day? Don’t be mistaken folks, this guy is a first class a-hole with zero sensitivity.

  1. Then there’s the steroid use, which seemed to have started up following the snub that happened to him after Ken Griffey, Jr. was voted over he and Greg Maddux as the “player of the 1990s.” While is was a periphery reward and issue, I know that got to his ego and pissed him off—so interestingly enough, he stooped to the lowest level possible. Doping.

As it stands tonight, he’s 5 homeruns away from the record, and going through a bit of a cold streak in July. Perhaps he’ll hit a couple in the next few days, and then venture to Dodger Stadium where he can really turn up the heat and be well-received by the Dodger faithful.

It’s amazing that his doping hasn’t been technically proven, but it doesn’t need to be. Everyone knows, and everyone can see it. It’s evident as he went from being near-anorexic to the physique comparable to that of a beefy football player as he turned 40. Come on, who in the hell are you fooling? Barry, you’re not only insulting my intelligence, but you’re insulting the game, the record, and above all—YOURSELF.

When Bonds breaks the record, no matter how you slice it, and no matter how silent everyone will be with an elephant in the room, one word will be attached to the new home run record for all of eternity: DOPING, DOPING DOPING. Bonds, you’re a complete fraud. Do us all a favor and go away. S

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Dreamliner unveiling earns polite golf clap from environmental camp; a teaser of how we need to step up more with public-private partnerships.

Boeing just unveiled it’s new 787 Dreamliner today to an airline hanger full of employees out of Paine Field in Everett, Washington. What a spectacle. Tom Brokaw was the MC, and many dignitaries were on hand. Despite what seemed like a few multimedia glitches, it was something along the lines of what folks might experience at Disneyland—a totally polished presentation—offering participation from Boeing's partners and customers from around the world. I didn't see any clowns, which I can try to deal with, but otherwise it was a good show! (When the camera panned over some of the government officials, I did catch a couple Bozos.)

While Boeing and its hard-working employees deserve a congratulations and have earned a day of back-slapping in the international spotlight, let's focus on the environmental end of this new machine and what it offers in terms of fuel efficiency. Here’s what the CEO of Boeing has to say about the Dreamliner:

Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney said the 787 will bring about a "dramatic improvement in air travel: to make it more affordable, comfortable and convenient for passengers, more efficient and profitable for airlines, and more environmentally progressive for our Earth."

Here's more comments on the design, from an article on Physorg.com:

The 787 -- Boeing's first new model in 13 years -- will make its maiden test flight later this year before going into commercial service with Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) in 2008.
The new aircraft boasts several revolutionary design features, most notably the use of high-tech plastic composites instead of aluminum.
Up to 50 percent of the primary structure of the plane -- including the fuselage and wing -- will be made of composites such as carbon-fiber.
"By manufacturing a one-piece fuselage section, we are eliminating 1,500 aluminum sheets and 40,000 - 50,000 fasteners," Boeing said in a statement.
The composites used in the Dreamliner are also stronger and lighter than traditional materials, allowing the plane greater fuel efficiency.
"In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 787 will provide airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance," Boeing has said. "The airplane will use 20 percent less fuel for comparable missions than today's similarly sized airplane."
Lower fuel-costs could in theory lead to cheaper long-haul travel, aviation industry analysts say.
Richard Aboulafia, chief analyst with the Teal Group Corporation, said the Dreamliner was poised to revolutionize air travel if its projected rates of fuel-efficiency proved accurate.
"If you look at it from an airline standpoint: you don't have a choice," Aboulafia told AFP. "If you don't have a 787-class aircraft and your competitor does, he can under-price you and out-profit you.
"We can't be sure of their performance objectives, but if it does what they say, it's revolutionary, both in terms of the plane's operating economics and durability," Aboulafia added.

It's nice to see that it offers 20% more fuel efficiency over that of like-sized jets. While I wish it could have been better than that, the lighter design means it will be able to travel further distance faster. Despite my personal high standards and expectations for transportation fuel efficiency, which can probably be criticized as unrealistic, it’s nice to see that a major player in the aviation industry is making efforts with innovative design and finding ways to see passenger jets attain higher standards for fuel efficiency.

The private sector needs to step up and do more, however. The sector doesn’t tend to do enough to make such efforts due to the simple fact that considerations such as being environmentally friendly cost time and money. However I think things are starting to change.

The public is becoming more aware of environmental issues and that a successful future for the environment—or if there’s to be a sunny future at all—it’s going to require participation and efforts from EVERYONE, including the private business sector. With companies such as Boeing who are involved in the transportation sector, that involves the use of green materials, better design, and new ideas about fuel efficiency—or cleaner or renewable fuels to help us get around.

So while today’s 787 Dreamliner unveiling was encouraging, it only reminded me of how slow business is to make real and meaningful commitments to the environment. We need to step up and do more—and start acting fast—and that means the private sector as well.

To have the private sector embrace environmental issues in a meaningful way, that means successful public-private partnerships. If you were watching the 787 Dreamliner unveiling today, you would have seen the high number of government officials in attendance. While some were there for the cameras, many were behind the scenes as part of the effort to carry forward with the mission upholding the public-private partnership team that made this project successful.

Partnerships between the government and private sector have been happening for years; they don't just fly on flagpoles and advertise themselves on banners in skyscraper breezeways. In addition to occurring in signed agreements, they're brought to the forefront at the ballot box, galvanized in commission and council meetings, and they can be seen in the way municipal codes are written.

It's this type of communication, openness, and partnering amongst the public and private sector that will also serve as part of the blueprint for success with the environment and everything that effects it. The 787 Dreamliner is a small teaser of what greater things we're capable of and should be pursuing. S

Sign the LIVE EARTH PLEDGE now!!! Please...

The whole purpose of the concerts yesterday for Live Earth: A Climate in Crisis was to bring about awareness of global warming and its human impact; the point being that it takes action from individuals such as YOU and ME in terms of being mindful of the environment in our daily lives.

An instrument of our commitment to help the changing climate crisis is the Live Earth Pledge. This is the pledge. Read it over or just jump to the link below.


1. To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;

2. To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become "carbon neutral;"

3. To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;

4. To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;

5. To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;

6. To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,

7. To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

You can go to this link to sign the pledge and spread the word. The Live Earth Pledge Thanks for taking action! S

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Catch LIVE EARTH now on Bravo, CNBC.

This is the main event of the day today, focusing on global warming. It's Live Earth: A Climate in Crisis---a set of concerts going on all day on every continent!
I see Keith Urban coming on stage in the New Jersey
Meadowlands, performing the Stone's "Gimme Shelter." Other artists are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Duran Duran, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, The Police, Roger Waters, Smashing Pumpkins, Melissa Etheridge, + many many more. Check out Bravo and CNBC for comprehensive coverage, or see what's happening in your area. I see Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore as some of the talking heads, among others. I'd love to catch a glimpse of Floydman Raa Jaa! Very nice.

The purpose of todays event, happening all day long on 7/7/07 on every continent (including Antarctica!), is to bring attention to the issue of global warming. I know Al Gore said something about having a petition signed by 2 billion people to call for action from their respective governments, but I'm not sure what's involved with the logistics of that.

Anywho, it might serve as a more productive and meaningful thing to turn your attention to today, opposed to those 700 schmucks trying to get married in Vegas right now. S

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Yes! Yes! YES!!! (fists pumped in the air!!!) YEEEEES!!! Obama SHATTERS donation record!

For those of you who have been busy with holiday plans or blinded in the news by the stankyness of the Scooter Libby poop, here’s something fun and encouraging that’s worth celebrating. My man Barack is kicking ass and taking names! …and it’s all happening from the support of everyday Americans LIKE ME AND YOU who want to make a difference. Absolutely beautiful.

To donate to Barack Obama's campaign and be part of this incredible ride for a better America and world future, go to this link: Help Obama! Thank you for your support!

I was feeling bummed out and bittersweet earlier today, but then I recalled this in the news the last couple of days. NOW I’ve found a reason to celebrate today!

Here’s the article from the Chicago Tribune, by Mike Dorning and John McCormick, Tribune staff reporters. Mike Dorning reported from Washington and John McCormick reported from Chicago. Published July 2, 2007.

WASHINGTON -- Presidential candidate Barack Obama on Sunday reported raising a formidable $32.5 million during the past three months, breaking records for a Democratic candidate and demonstrating surging financial strength.

The Illinois senator's fundraising total placed him well ahead of his rivals in securing donor support and building cash for what is expected to be an extremely costly nominating season.

Of Obama's total, $31 million can be used for the primary campaign, half again as much as the $21 million reported by Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York. Including primary and general election funds, her campaign said it raised "in the range" of $27 million during the quarter.

That means Obama has outraised Clinton both in this most recent quarter and for the first six months of 2007.

The second quarter ended at midnight Saturday amid a barrage of appeals from the campaigns for last-minute contributions. The candidates must file detailed disclosures by July 15 but are free to release figures earlier, something none of the major Republican candidates did Sunday.

While money is just one ingredient in a campaign, Obama's fundraising pace puts his candidacy on a course to match and possibly exceed the resources available to Clinton, a former first lady who came to the campaign with extensive ties to the Democratic establishment and a ready-made donor base.

Still, despite the celebrity media coverage Obama has received since he arrived on the national stage in 2004, to most voters he is a much less familiar figure than Clinton. And the advertising that campaigns traditionally use to introduce voters to a candidate can be expensive.

Obama began advertising last week, with two television commercials in Iowa introducing his biography to voters. Clinton, who leads in national polls, has not begun advertising.

The Obama campaign emphasized the breadth of its fundraising support, reporting that more than 154,000 new donors had given during the April-June period for a total donor database of 258,000. The Clinton campaign had about 60,000 donors in the first quarter but did not release a total for the last three months.

Historic effort, Obama says

"Together, we have built the largest grass-roots campaign in history for this stage of a presidential race," Obama said in a statement.

Obama's fundraising receipts were the largest quarterly total ever for a Democratic candidate during an off-election year. President Bush, who raised $35.1 million as an incumbent during the April-June quarter of 2003, is the only candidate who has exceeded the total.

The $32.5 million Obama reported was a substantial increase from the $25.7 million he raised during the first quarter. Clinton's estimate of approximately $27 million indicated slower growth from the $26 million she reported during the earlier quarter.

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, meanwhile, reported raising at least $9 million, down from $14 million in the first quarter.

Aides to Edwards downplayed the decrease from the first quarter, as well as the widening money gap with Clinton and Obama.

"This isn't a money race," said Joe Trippi, a senior Edwards adviser and a former strategist for 2004 presidential hopeful Howard Dean. "It's a race to win the nomination, and that's what we intend to do."

The strategic implications of the fundraising performances were apparent in comments each campaign made after their release.

Obama's campaign said the latest fundraising total shows it will have the resources to compete not only in the early states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, but also in a group of more than 20 states expected to hold primaries on Feb. 5.

"We are on a financial course that will allow us to both fully fund efforts in the early primary and caucus states, and also participate vigorously in all the Feb. 5 contests, including large states like California, New Jersey, New York, Georgia and Missouri," campaign manager David Plouffe wrote on the campaign's Web site.

Edwards' deputy campaign manager, Jonathan Prince, said the campaign would concentrate its resources in the earlier states. "The nomination is going to be won or lost in those early states," he said.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson closed in on Edwards' fundraising, reporting on Friday that he had received at least $7 million in contributions during the quarter.

The fundraising totals suggest that Obama probably has more money available for use in his presidential primary campaign than Clinton, despite a $10 million advantage she began with in leftover funds transferred from her 2006 Senate campaign in New York.

Federal campaign finance rules limit donors to a $2,300 contribution to a candidate's primary campaign. Big-dollar donors can contribute an additional $2,300 for use during the general election campaign.

Clinton pursues bigger donors

Clinton's campaign has relied more on big-dollar donors. During the last quarter, less than three-quarters of her total was available for the primary.

At the March 31 close of the first quarter of 2007, the Clinton campaign showed $24 million in cash on hand for the primaries versus Obama's $18.2 million.

Michael Toner, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and currently an adviser to Republican Fred Thompson's presidential exploratory committee, said the financial edge probably will now shift, depending on how much each campaign has spent.

"Sen. Obama in all likelihood is going to have more cash on hand for the primaries than Sen. Clinton and possibly considerably more cash on hand," Toner said. "Very few people would have predicted that six months ago."

None of the major candidates released figures on their spending.

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), meanwhile, reported raising $3.25 million this quarter. Aides said he had $6.5 million cash on hand, bolstered by $4.7 million that he transferred in from his Senate campaign account earlier this year.




So then, YES!!! All the effort's starting to pay dividends! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GObama!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOObama!!! Whooohooo!!! See? He can hear ya! Ya got him all amped and he's pointin' atchya! I'm screaming GObama out my front door! I'm screaming GObama out my car window! I've lost my friggin' voice!

I can't get enough of this guy's positive energy and focus on the Presidential prize. I'm absolutely overcome with unadulterated joy---something I haven't felt since the Mariners came from behind to beat the Yankees in that division series in 1995.

Now let’s crack a beer and enjoy the fireworks! I'm throwing on Rush's self-titled debut album from 1974 to get "in the mood," no pun intended. Some happy music and blue collar hard-groovin' raw Canadian blues for the soul... S

John Moss and the battle for freedom of information, 41 years later

Happy 4th of July everyone. Go to RANT FROM BOULDER to see what Colorado Jyms has on his mind this fine Independence Day. As much as we like to complain about this and that, it's sometimes very important to recognize the heroes that positively affect our lives.

I think it's important to call out this story about John Moss; how one modest but stubborn congressman overcame the many entrenched obstacles to win the American people access to information about the activities of their government. A very interesting read.

Needless to say, the efforts of this man have had an enormous impact on our ability to monitor the shady activities the Bush Administration has been carrying out quietly behind the scenes in their environmental shock & awe campaign.

The article is over at the Nieman Watchdog, at this link: www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=background.view&backgroundid=00191 For some reason I can't get that to "blue-link up" on me, so if the cut & paste is a hassle or the link doesn't work, here's the Nieman Watchdog home page link: Nieman Watchdog. The link to this site can also be found in the first links section if you scroll down the left margin of this page.

It's a beautiful thing when one person is armed with the ability to make such a positive impact. John Moss, you're a superstud!!! Thank you!!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Bozo Bus, Rt. #2: Georgy Porgy Puddin' Pie, kissed Scooter Libby and made us cry.

I must have been assuming too much. I really thought I’d be able to hold out a bit longer before I made my way around to King George II in The Bozo Bus. I really thought I could make it until after Independence Day. I was hoping for another Rush Limbaugh faux pas or for Cheney to soil his pants (or someone else’s) in the back of Air Force One. What was I thinking. Silly me.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, this President, I'm sorry King, would screw up a two car funeral motorcade if given the chance. He’s just about done that today.

So this is exciting; not long after having the back seat cleaned from the mess made by Rep. "Dollar Bill" Jefferson, the clowns get the blessing of descending on the White House and getting their hands on the Prez. How ‘bout dat! I wasn’t going to say anything, but after giving us a map to the King’s bedroom, the guards took a step back and let us right through. It seems that everyone wants this Bozo gone, including all the security and secret service. It’s all a free-fer-all now, baby!

Ahh, how the bell tolls of justice for thee. You gotta love the power of the pardon. You’ve also gotta love the power of the “half pardon,” better known as a “commute,” which seems to be much more colorful and entertaining than its full-fledged cousin. Apparently that’s what happened to Lewis “Scooter” Libby today, as he was commuted from a 30 month sentence he was soon to serve for opening his mouth and compromising the security of a fellow public servantand the timing of it was rather convenient I might add—right before the July 4th holiday. My oh my how peculiar. Hmmmm. What a coincidence.

Did he really do this guy a favor though? At least following a prison term the issue wouldn’t be fresh in everyone’s mind. I’m dying to see who’s payroll this guy is on next. Let me look into my crystal ball… it involves the private sector… it involves a business… attached to Big Spoil… I know! Chief Administrator of the Nixon Presidential Library! (oohhhh nnnnooooo Checkerrrrrrs!) …and what’s with the timing of this? His Highness must be thinking: “Okay. The coast is clear. It’s a holiday week. Nobody will notice… that I’ve hit the bottle again… My timing will be impleccable---excuse me, impreccible. Oh whatever. Dick, commute it henceforth hereto the pardon thingy, whateveryoucallit. Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher! (confusing the issue with stats from a pie chart presented to him in 2002) ”

The lengths this Bush will go through to keep his Dick happy never cease to amaze me. Well Georgy Porgy, don’t think you pulled the wool over our eyes, because every clown from all corners of the globe is keepin’ an eye on yer Bozo ass. Give us a break.

As much of a scheming demon dressed in kingly guise as you are, you’re unable to escape The Bozo Bus. ‘Twas to happen eventually. I was at least thinking I wouldn’t need to go to the nation’s CE(Doh!) this soon, but apparently I stand corrected. **honk**honk**

So now, anywho, can we please move onto the next Bozo… S