Wednesday, June 25, 2008

News and Views

Be Bold In What You Stand For and Careful What You Fall For

There are days when I’m sure the world is nuts: The name Kennedy has been in the news of late. Former President JFK has been oft quoted during the election campaign. Caroline Kennedy came out of her shell to do a bit of endorsing. The recent anniversary of the death of RFK and the health issues of Teddy has made recent news. Same name, different story. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion of a case involving Patrick Kennedy of Louisiana. Patrick Kennedy raped his 8-year old daughter and was given the death penalty. Patrick Kennedy appealed. Justice Kennedy wrote that capital punishment in this case would be cruel and unusual punishment. No mention was made of the cruel and unusual punishment afforded the 8-year old victim. Still, we’re a nation of laws. If the conservative Supreme Court made their decision it must stand. However, perhaps a little surgery with a rusty paring knife in the groin area is in order. All for appointing Lorena Bobbitt to the Supreme Court say, “Aye.”

The American Dream? Sorry, Charlie: Imagine this American success story. An immigrant arrives in the United States penniless but willing to work. He speaks no English so takes the only job he can find – as a dishwasher. The immigrant works hard and lives frugally for more than a decade, saving nearly all his money. Finally, after 11 years in the U.S. he heads home to his family with his life savings of $ 59,000, more money than he’s ever seen at one time in his life. At a TSA airport Security Checkpoint he dutifully handed over his bag with his savings for inspection and it was promptly confiscated.

If you do not travel much internationally you are probably not aware that one may take a maximum of $ 10,000 cash out of the country per trip. The dishwasher did not know this. He certainly did not try to conceal his savings. But a circuit court judge kept all but the $ 10K he was permitted to carry as a fine. End of story? Fortunately not. An attorney sued on behalf of the dishwasher and won on appeal. The dishwasher will have some of his money returned. Oh yes, in the interest of full disclosure, Pedro Zapeta was returning to his native Guatemala. He was also an undocumented worker.

Out of this world. Half a case of acne: Scientists are perplexed by the two-faced nature of Mars. The southern hemisphere resembles the face of a teen with a bad case of acne – pocked and pitted. The northern hemisphere is as smooth as a baby’s behind. What to make of the schizophrenic surface? Some scientists think that about four billion years ago Mother Nature gave Mars northern hemisphere a facial using a comet or asteroid instead of a laser. Of course, scientists from the other party posit that the entire surface was at one time smooth and some sort of volcanic eruption occurred making Mars look like the mythical gangster Scarface. (“Hey! Are you lookin’ at me? ARE YOU LOOKIN’ AT ME?”) Regardless of the cause, Mars is no doubt a little red-faced over the discovery.

Getting killed may be good preparation for a political career: Sonny Landham has taken more than his share of abuse. The 67-year old actor has beaten up Sylvester Stallone, gotten tossed out a window by Carl Weathers, was tracked down by Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte, and was killed by an alien in “Predator.” He plans to leave the silver screen for some real action and humiliation – a possible career in politics. The campaigning, baby kissing, long hours, and begging for money will be the easy part. A little more difficult will be getting on the ballot in Kentucky to challenge incumbent Senate Minority Leader and Republican Mitch McConnell. To run as a Libertarian, Sonny will have to collect at least 5,000 valid petition signatures by August 12. What might prove to be the hardest part (no pun intended) is the film vault that houses his early films. Sonny broke into films that were then called “stag” films. He realizes the naked truth might hurt his chances but is willing to now bare his soul to the Kentucky electorate in hopes of what even he admits would be a long shot victory.

College baseball powers – Dueling Bulldogs: If it were a children’s book Fresno State might be “The Little Engine that Could.” Perhaps the mighty Georgia Bulldogs are trying to figure out how the Fresno State Bulldogs learned to bite. This Cinderella story is taking place in Omaha, Nebraska as the finalists prepare for their final winner-take-all game. The two unlikely opponents include powerhouse Georgia that has not lost in post season this year until Fresno crushed them 19-10, and Fresno State who was not ranked all season, had a 33-27 season record, and only made the tourney by virtue of winning their conference. To compare their ranking with the basketball playoffs, they entered the tourney seeded 13th then promptly beat five of the top 10 ranked teams to get to the finals. No other team has come from such a lowly seeding to get to the finals. We’ll be cheering for them tonight.

A little blogging music Maestro… “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha.

Dr. Forgot

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