Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RIP Dock

If you know who Dock Ellis was, then you know why I'm writing this one. If not, well let's start by saying Dock was a ballplayer, baseball to be exact. To me, though he was more than some guy who played in th 60's and 70's. He had a style, panache, a flair about him. As a kid seeing that wicked FU Manchu you knew this guy was a serious character. Arriving at the ballpark with your hair in curlers was sure to get attention, but this guy was good.

He played a big part helping the Pirates win the series in '71. When the Pirates got tired of the Dock and traded him to the Yankees, that lefty arm was perfect for Yankee Stadium and his character was perfect for the so called Bronx Zoo Yankees. Dock could still pitch well and did. The Yankees won the pennant in '76, the first time in over decade. I know if you're a Cubs or Indian fan you say big deal, but for the Yankees a barren decade is like 50 losing years for other clubs.

Anyway, Dock arrived a Yankee Stadium with an unknown bonus. The Pirates had included Willie Randolph, an untried second baseman in the deal. In the end, Randolph became much more valuable to the Yankees, winning rings as a player and a coach joining the Yankee pantheon of stars. However, I like to think that Willie is the sort of bonus you get in life when you embrace the spirit of life, the absurdity of the moment and the characters around you. At that moment, then you get a glimpse of the reward of living, a merger of peace and happiness. It quickly ducks away once you realize it, but for a moment you can taste it, feel it, almost touch it.

Sure, now that he's dead, some people now will want to focus on the circus aspect of Dock, like throwing a no-hitter on LSD, but what's important was his natural passion. Obviously, he didn't live his life in the cookie cutter good way. Playing it safe is a great lesson for life in some newspaper, but life isn't lived in the abstract. Perhaps, later on reflection like most, he would have done many things different, but that's also not such an uncommon thing. His spunk, his funk, his fiestiness; that was uncommon then and seems rarer now in sport and in life.

If you embrace that natural spontaneous passion in life, then the bonus, the hidden gem, the "Willie Randolph" will appear. So much of life, especially public life now is scripted, pre-planned, pre-packaged. The spontaneity as we discover the joy of being human is locked down. That didn't seem like Dock.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A World Reversed

So today, President Bush announces he's going to bailout Chrysler and GM to the tune of $13 Billion dollars. This is money Bush is nabbing from the already approved TARP i.e. the rescue plan for the banks. This sloshing of money from one side of the drain to the other is isn't such a surprise, but the manner suggests yet another nail in the coffin of George Bush's legacy; which is ironic because this maneuver was done for one reason and one reason only: Bush's legacy.

Rep. Senator Judd Gregg let the cat out of the bag last week by revealing Bush was simply pushing the date of a auto company implosion out of his term and into another, namely an Obama Presidential term. The $13 Billion won't keep GM or Chrysler afloat for six months. Even this guess might prove optimistic. The record is now complete. After getting up off the mat by pushing the surge in Iraq, Bush has slugged himself again by signing up for seat-of-the-pants socialism. These temporary measures will fix nothing, not even the legacy which looks to be mixed at best. After a first term that was pointed in such a promising direction, Bush has succumbed to Washingtonitis and become the type he professed to loathe in the 2000 campaign. "I want to change the culture in Washington" he said and then it changed him into the usual turn on the money spigot type. As Obama might say "I am shocked and saddened" expressions that I can't quite seem to link to him.

Speaking of Obama, we may have budding Republican in town. In response to the last question today at a newspeak event, Obama, electo to be, said the the way to bring down the deficit was to grow the economy so the government got more revenue. Hallelujah!! he's got the religion of capitalism: Growth. By golly, he didn't even mention raising taxes. If Nancy Peliosi and Harry Reid were watching this gaffe, it must have produced quite a scene. Peliosi and Reid, the respective Col. Klink and Sgt. Schultze of the DC set might have had a split reaction. Reid obviously would have agreed with everything said, then Peliosi would slapped him and said "Idiot, he didn't mention raising taxes!!" Col. Hogan is uncast since it would have to be a Republican of charm and intelligence and such doesn't exist in DC now.

Perhaps, the religion thing is a bit much. As we know with Rev. Wright, Obama can ditch a religious persuasion as quickly as giving one his patented twinkie speeches. Tastes good at the moment, but doesn't last. But maybe this is an education of Mr. O. Melville said a whaling ship was his Harvard. Maybe, this meltdown is the Obama B school. Maybe, all that trendy college Marxism made sense until you were actually responsible for the stewardship of the economy. With capitalism fading, many roles are changing. Perhaps, Obama is learning his new one. At least, that is the hope. With capitalism reduced to dying embers, maybe that's a foolish hope. But dying was never a match for wishful thinking.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tangled up in Blago

I never heard of this guy Democrat Gov. of Illinois Rod Blagojevich before, but the audacity of this guy under investigation for two years by feds was mind blowing. Either he figured he was protected with Obama in the White House or this was business as usual so why stop now. His attitude at the lone news conference seemed more like some poser version of "just try and catch me now" His bringing up Richard Nixon is telling also.

Unfortunately, for Obama, we will have Blago to kick around for a while. Now, it seems there's a conflict between the nascent impeachment movement in the Illinois legislature and the federal investigation. By offering immunity for testimony, the legislature might muck up the investigation allowing Blago to skate. Sure, Obama might want that so that he and his other pals of Blago like Rahm Emmanuel and Tony Rezko weren't tied to a criminal. However, a messy farce of justice in Obama's hometown doesn't help the LW media push the "smart" government angle Obama has slogged via the campaign. It also becomes a ready made Republican campaign ad in 2012.

Next week supposedly more info on Rahm Emmanuel and his conversations with Blago pops. Rahm has ducked around a corner for the time being, but we can assume they'll have some fancy footwork already choreographed for that one. Assuming Blago trips up the deputy dog legislature and stays on during a trial, he still has power to appoint and could use it embarrassing fashion. If he nominates somebody, anybody, they will have to be investigated too. If he does a wacko appointment like Republican Alan Keyes, the Democrats will be freakin' tryin' to keep Keyes out of the seat, thereby taking the heat off Blago. The What If . . . possibilities are almost endless.

Of course, the really big date is when Obama takes office. Technically, he could fire the Feds running the investigation and then Blago only has to fend off the droopalong legislature, though one would assume the impeachment might pick up speed since there's no Fed investigation to interfere. This option might be considered problematical, since Nixon tried firing his own people investigating him and the judiciary shoved it right up his keister with a candle on it. The conflict of interest is about as large as Lake Michigan.

Speaking of which, short of Blago being fitted with cement overshoes (hey, this is Chicago and Lake Michigan is oh so close. No walks by the lake, Blago, please for your own sake) there doesn't seem a presto chango solution for this one for Obama. The legislature could set up a special election and that campaign might take the spotlight off Obama a bit. However, Obama has had his cake and eaten it to ever since he's been a pol, so you figure he'll try to vanquish Blago, keep Rahm out of the Federal crosshairs somehow, and stick a Democrat in the seat minus an election. Riding a unicycle while balancing a stack of plates on your head during an earthquake would seem easier, but hey, this is Mr Fabulous. Wonder if they teach that at Harvard Law. We're about to find out.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Intermission: Trek Sex Talk

With El Presidente Electo busy tidying up after his Chicago Corruptos, we have some free time here. The Chiefy-to-be is taking no questions, a sound tactical manuever, but is releasing his cabinet picks via YouTube.

Well since were over here, we might as well see what other video distractions are available. Hmm, here's one

I'm more of a TOS guy, but TNG kept the franchise afloat.

check the link

Yet Another Home

Well I've decide to move yet again. The new, now old blog, had technical issues. I guess the internet mechanics are asleep over there. Anyway we'll try it here for now and see how it goes.