Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A little news, a little opinion

Hi, everyone!

Well, baseball season is here and it starts on a sad and shocking note. No, I'm not talking about the World Baseball Classic (which should get a following before it really can be called a classic if you ask me), I'm talking about the recent death of former Minnesota Twins player Kirby Puckett. Here's a guy who proves to all of the short, fat kids who love baseball that they can make the majors if they work hard enough, who's got two World Series rings, and had talent to spare. He turned himself from a role model into an object lesson when he started beating his wife. It's a pity. Another pity is the further degeneration of Barry Bonds' career with two sportswriters presenting a litany of steroid abuses by the San Francisco Giants player. If the allegations presented by the two San Francisco Chronicle writers are correct, then Barry needs to be banned from baseball and his records stricken from the books. I think it ought to just be made easy and have the magic number for home runs reset to Roger Maris' 61. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are all too likely to have abused steroids, and while sports might be a business to make money, it is not just a race to see how many chemical cocktails you can pump into your body for that extra home run. Baseball is a good game, and professional baseball should require people to act as the professionals they say they are.

The new Busch Stadium opens in a little more than a month. I hope it's worth the money that the people of Missouri put up for it. In other Cardinals news, I see that Rick Ankiel switched from pitching to outfield. I hope this is a positive change for him, since after his self-destructive pitching against New York in 2000 he needs to show that he can still be of use to St. Louis. Best of luck to him.

Let's see, hmm, I could do a politics post, but I want to get one more sports-related thing out of the way. Who's going to the NCAA tournament? Southern Illinois, that's who! Go Salukis!

Okay, now politics. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously this week that colleges who take federal funds have to allow access to military recruiters. I hope somewhere along the way one of the justices explained that with federal funds comes a set of federal obligations. Some people might even think that this is threatening discourse on campus. If you want to go to a college where you can tell recruiters to go away, you still have the option of private colleges. I hope one of the justices added something in their notes along the lines of "What, you expected there not to be strings attached to this money? You guys never worked for your allowances as kids, did you?" in their decisions.

The ports issue is still hot as far as I'm concerned. Maybe we ought to just say to heck with it, increase military spending and militarize port security through the Navy and Coast Guard. It'll give the people who want to defend the country but oppose the Iraq war a place to serve honorably. Mind you, I'm still not impressed with Americans who think the US needs another military defeat to "teach us a lesson." I may think it's getting closer to the time when we need to remove more troops from Iraq, but I want them to leave with some kind of material victory there. An Iraq that can hold its own internally is a good start. Apparently a Washington Post poll says that 80% of Americans think that the situation in Iraq is going to devolve into a civil war. I'm more worried about what the Iraqis think, since it's their country. I admit that it looks bad at the moment. Then again, it looked bad during our operations in the city of Ramallah, too. I just have to remind myself that things do change quckly in modern wars and to trust in the officers and adminsitration a bit more than I do at the time. What I can do for the time being, though, is pray. If you want this to be over and done with, pray for an American victory through the establishment of a self-sufficent and peaceful Iraq. The two go hand in hand.

My last bit of Politics: There's a bit of controversy nearby to the Song of the Suburbs home office (okay, my computer desk) in the town of Crystal Lake. It seems that a sporting event calling itself the Gay Games has been trying to get permission to hold rowing events on Crystal Lake itself. My take on this is pretty simple: let's all act like rational adults here on both sides of the argument. Let the event go as planned so those who want it gone and forgotten can do so and so those who want to compete can compete. Raising a big stink over it at the village council meetings is a sure way to keep the issue fresh in people's minds. It's a sporting event. Go and have fun. Pray if you think it'll help. But let the games go on.

Lent is in full swing. Have you Catholics out there been good and kept to your Lenten restrictions? If you haven't been to Confession, an Act of Contrition is always a good holdover. Make sure to go to Confession, though. It's the right thing to do.

I've got a couple more ideas rattling around in my head about a few religious things, but I'm going to hold those for another post. Take care everyone.

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