Friday, September 08, 2006

All Star Teams/Patriot Project/Guru Poem

(P1) Philosophical

All Star Comparison

Check out this recent sports article comparing the 2006 versus 1966 baseball all star teams and let me know what you think about "progress."

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(P1) Philosophical

Patriot Project

I urge you all to read this piece from The Huffington Post and spread the word about The Patriot Project. As you probably know, Max Cleland was head of the Veterans Administration and a US Senator from Georgia before he lost to Saxby Chambliss, who with the help of Rove smear tactics, impugned Cleland's patriotism. Thus, in the words of Arianna Huffington, "...a man who got out of military service by claiming a 'bum knee' is now a United States Senator, having run a disgraceful campaign against a decorated war veteran who lost three limbs serving his country in Vietnam."

"Max Cleland's story is not only about fearlessness, but about the power of fear, the sickening exploitation of which is the reason why Cleland is no longer in the U.S. Senate.

"That's why it's so essential that we all support a project close to Cleland's heart: The Patriot Project. Its mission statement -- as clear-eyed a statement of purpose as you'll ever see -- is:

Freedom of speech and the right to dissent are cornerstones of our democracy. The Patriot Project will defend any man or woman, regardless of party or affiliation, who is attacked or defamed and whose patriotism is questioned simply because they exercise their rights as Americans. This is our mission.
"This includes pushing back against the upcoming smear campaign by a group ironically called "Vets for the Truth" against Congressman Jack Murtha. This new incarnation of the Swift Boaters is questioning Murtha's patriotism because he dared speak up on behalf of U.S. soldiers in demanding a strategy and timetable for bringing our troops home from Iraq.

"As James Boyce, a veteran of the Kerry campaign who is currently among the group heading up The Patriot Project told me, "Logically, it's insane, but politically, it's brilliant. The right wing has literally turned the courageous military service of Democrats running for office into a liability. As a result of relentless fearmongering, we have the toy soldiers ruling the country while the real heroes are on the outside looking in."

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(P3) Poetical

Christ As Guru Rinpoche

by Jampa Dorje

The Pope is pissed about The DaVinci Code
that Mary Magdalene had a kid with Jesus

How's he going to feel about the revelation
the Tibetans have cooked up in Shambhala?

Odd to see the pontification of the mystery
Christ, the bridegroom & the Church
the bride as the reason
why women can't be buff

Quack, quack, quack
another duck

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Mike Matthews said...

Wow! That was cool. It is hard to compare players in retrospect. But this particular comparison seems crystal clear.

The 1966 team was off-the-charts and included my lifetime idol, Sandy Kaufax. Certainly there are great players now. Bonds--despite his steroid use--is certainly in that category. For me, I'm enjoying the Giants and the A's and don't seem too concerned about who is best. I think there are great players now, and there were great players then. Time will tell.

Frankly, there are bigger things to obsess about then comparing Albert Pujols with Roberto Clemente. Well, there you go: Clemente wiins hands down! Thanks, hugs, Mikey

Duncan said...

Just think what those '66 boys could have done with a little 'roid! That's why I don't follow or watch any baseball anymore - who wants to watch a bunch of overpaid, doped-up, crybabies. I watch the NFL - a bunch of overpaid doped-up, crybabies that beat the crap out of each other every week! We're all sick.

"As a result of relentless fearmongering, we have the toy soldiers ruling the country while the real heroes are on the outside looking in."

So, what's new?

Somebody elected those toy soldiers, so who's to blame?

Edward Coletti said...

Duncan, As a poet and philosoper, I prefer baseball which for me is the most poetic of our American games and the most meditative. Check out George Carlin on the subject. Thanks for commenting -- Eddie C.

by George Carlin

Baseball is different from any other sport, very different. For instance, in most sports you score points or goals; in baseball you score runs. In most sports the ball, or object, is put in play by the offensive team; in baseball the defensive team puts the ball in play, and only the defense is allowed to touch the ball. In fact, in baseball if an offensive player touches the ball intentionally, he's out; sometimes unintentionally, he's out.

Also: in football,basketball, soccer, volleyball, and all sports played with a ball, you score with the ball and in baseball the ball prevents you from scoring.

In most sports the team is run by a coach; in baseball the team is run by a manager. And only in baseball does the manager or coach wear the same clothing the players do. If you'd ever seen John Madden in his Oakland Raiders uniform,you'd know the reason for this custom.

Now, I've mentioned football. Baseball & football are the two most popular spectator sports in this country. And as such, it seems they ought to be able to tell us something about ourselves and our values.

I enjoy comparing baseball and football:

Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game.
Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.

Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park.The baseball park!
Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything's dying.

In football you wear a helmet.
In baseball you wear a cap.

Football is concerned with downs - what down is it?
Baseball is concerned with ups - who's up?

In football you receive a penalty.
In baseball you make an error.

In football the specialist comes in to kick.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.

Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.
Baseball has the sacrifice.

Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog...
In baseball, if it rains, we don't go out to play.

Baseball has the seventh inning stretch.
Football has the two minute warning.

Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end - might have extra innings.
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.

In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there's kind of a picnic feeling; emotions may run high or low, but there's not too much unpleasantness.
In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you're capable of taking the life of a fellow human being.

And finally, the objectives of the two games are completely different:

In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! - I hope I'll be safe at home!

Duncan said...

Ed, I think baseball is a great game, for all the reasons you and George Carlin put forth. (Although, I can counter some of Carlin's points, such as, the offensive player sliding into a base with spikes raised on high in order to break up a double play or score that run, or to just break up a defensive player. Then, of course, there's the pitcher's weapon known as the "duster" or the "bean ball." Carlin also overlooked the great bench-clearing brawls, the managers screaming at umpires and fans yelling epithets at the players.)

But after Barry Bonds' home run record year my interest in the game went from peak to valley. To me, now, Babe Ruth is still the home run king for number of home runs per innings played.

Further revelations of drug abuse by highly paid professional baseball players have driven the final nails in the baseball coffin for me. Unfortunately, for me, professional football will at some point have to come clean on the drug use problem in that sport. Even though I know it exists, I turn a blind eye to it and enjoy the playing. Why I can't do that with baseball, I can't explain.

By the way, Carlin lists baseball and football as the two most popular sports in the country, which was probably true when he wrote that, but now NASCAR Nextel Cup racing is the second most popular sport to NFL in terms of paid spectators and television viewers. NASCAR is not free of the drug problem but the sanctioning body does not tolerate the slightest infraction. They have two strikes your out rule and they enforce it rigidly.

What might bring me back to baseball is Barry Bonds admitting he knowingly took illegal drugs during his record breaking year and MLB erasing that record.

Play ball!