May 8, 2006

Three of Many Reasons Why I Care a Lot Less about Major Sports

Filed under: Business Moves,Consumer Outrage — Tom @ 5:46 pm

This is from a former sports fanatic who is relieved that his kids have nothing to do with organized sports, and aren’t even fans.

All three items have the same message: As long as you’re willing to put up with some passing outrage, cheating works.

ITEM 1: Records by Those Proven to Be Drugged Stand

Dubious East German athletics records remain valid

The German Athletics Federation (DLV) said on Friday that records set by athletes who were part of a state-run doping programme in communist East Germany could not be invalidated unless the record holders requested it.

“Individual invalidation of records against the wishes of the record holders is not possible according to expert legal opinions,” the DLV said in a statement.

Last year, the DLV announced it would reconsider the validity of the country’s athletics records after sprinter Ines Geipel demanded that her named be deleted from the record books because she was forced into doping by East German authorities.

The DLV granted Geipel’s request that she no longer be listed as a member of the German 100-meter relay team that set a German record in 1984 — five years before the fall of the Berlin Wall brought an end to communism in Europe.

Geipel’s name will be replaced with an asterisk, though the other three relay team members names will remain, the DLV said.

Item 2: Barry Bonds Still Plays

San Francisco, CA (AHN) – The San Jose Mercury News reports that slugger Barry Bonds will play in all three games of the Giants weekend series versus the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Bonds, who will be facing Philadelphia’s three right-handed starters, needs just three home runs to pass Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time list.

Phillies pitcher Corey Lidle, who lambasted Bonds in a Thursday interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, will not pitch in the weekend series.

Lidle said regarding Bonds, “I don’t want to see him break records. If he breaks them, it will be a shame, because I think when all is said and done, the truth will come out. … I’m not a player-hater. I like to see players get paid as much as they can. But without … cheating.”

Item 3: Reggie Bush — His School Will (Probably) Pay; He Won’t

The NCAA has strict rules prohibiting student-athletes or their families from receiving extra benefits from professional sports agents or marketing companies. If these rules are broken, it could result in an athlete being declared ineligible and games in which he played could be forfeited.

It’s highly suspicious that not even a day had passed since Yahoo! Sports questioned Bush’s mother about the situation that she and the rest of the family packed their stuff and vacated the home. It’s obvious the family knew that something was wrong with the situation.

It is also very questionable that USC launched this investigation into the report when it’s pretty obvious the school had to know this was taking place. The school is just trying to get the spotlight off of it and hope that its internal investigation can shed new light.

While I have not always been on the side of the NCAA, I hope that with its power that it can drop the hammer on this college football power.

This case is reminiscent of the Michigan Wolverines basketball team that forfeited its victories and had banners taken down during the “Fab Five” days of the 1990s. It was discovered that forward Chris Webber and three other Michigan players were given money by a former booster.

The Trojans have committed a major infraction in which their victories from last season should be taken away.

While it’s unlikely, Bush should be penalized as well.

Why should players and coaches who commit these violations not get penalized when they leave the program?

Answer: Because almost nobody is penalized anywhere else in sports.

It’s Time to Carp on George Voinovich

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:15 pm

From a required-registration link at The Canton Repository:

Sen. George Voinovich, a self-described deficit hawk, took a turn against his party’s prevailing winds earlier this week in suggesting Congress consider a temporary tax increase to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, defending the homeland and hurricane relief.

Then, from The Cincinnati Post, in an editorial, referring to Clueless George’s vote to bust President Bush’s limit on the “emergency” appropriations bill meant for wartime expenditures and Katrian relief:

Ohio’s George Voinovich, also a Republican, cast a peculiar vote in favor of the bill. Voinovich is a genuine deficit hawk – he opposes most of the Bush administration tax cuts as unaffordable, and has actually said out loud we should consider a tax increase to pay for the Iraq war – but touted the supplemental spending bill because of the $400,000 earmark it contained to maintain a temporary barrier in the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal that’s designed to keep the voracious Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes and endangering its $4.1 billion fishing industry. We’re all for protecting the Great Lakes, but surely the Corps of Engineers can fund the carp barrier from its existing budget.

George, George:

  • Thinking traditionally, if you don’t vote for the $14 billion extra, you don’t need to increase taxes to cover the spending.
  • Thinking non-traditionally (but accurately, based on historical experience), if you want to be able to afford to spend extra, vote to make the existing tax structure permanent (this is known to most as “making the tax cuts permanent”), since the current tax structure that everyone is used to now has been in place for three years, and has been generating annual double-digit increases in revenues to the federal treasury. If you would slow the spending spigots for just a few years, it might actually be defensible to increase spending a teeny bit in selected areas. Until then, back off.

What Ohio conservatives have to endure in the name of incumbent RINO protection is almost too much to bear.

UPDATE: Matt of Weapons of Mass Discussion also did some “carping” over at the S.O.B. Alliance’s blog.

UPDATE 2: Clueless George also has the “satisfaction” of being referred to as a “maverick” (media code for “conservative willing to sell out core principles”) by Malia Rulon at The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Ignorant Statement of the Day

It was actually published Friday evening.

It’s from an article about the Department of Energy deciding to change retirement benefits for newly-hired contract workers:

The principal difference between the two types of benefit are that pensions offer a guaranteed retirement benefit in which all risk is born by the employer. Defined contribution plans shift the risk to workers, requiring them to save part of their earnings and invest them wisely. There is no guaranteed benefit.

Yeah, tell that to all the airline employees. In a traditional pension, the employee still assumes a significant risk that his employer won’t stay financially healthy, and a risk that he or she will leave the company before earning a significantly-sized benefit.

The explanation assumes that a company will stay healthy during the employee’s entire working career, and that the employee will stay with that company during his or her entire working career. That never happened as often as many of assumed it did in the past, and it very rarely happens now.

The report is designed to make it look as if new employees will automatically be worse off than existing ones, but we don’t get enough information to know. DOE could be providing a very generous 401(k) match, which could easily offset the negative impact of having no pension plan, even for those few who do stay with DOE or DOE contractors during their entire career.

Why the Ohio Electorate Is Jaded

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:04 am

Exhibit A — The US Senate contest.

Each candidate operates well to the left of where his base is. “Republican” DeWine is well to the left of Ohio’s conservatives; Brown has always been well to the left of the average Democrat in the 13th Congressional District, and is even further to the left of the average Democrat in the entire state.

Both candidates are going to spend the next 6 months “courting their base” (a term used in the article).

Oh, how I despise that term. Now I realize every marriage is supposed to retain a little bit of courtship, but courtship is the last thing I’m in the mood for when the bride has been AWOL for 5-1/2 years and fooling around with every ……. I’ll stop.

On the Dem side, after chewing up Paul Hackett and spitting him out in little pieces, the many pro-2nd Amendment, anti-illegal immigration Democrats who saw something to get excited about in Paul Hackett are supposed to cozy right up to Sherrod Brown (people forget that these were key Hackett positions; though he didn’t emphasize immigration much, his parting interview with OH02 made it very clear where he stood). Yeah, just like that.

I can’t speak for the Dems, but as a conservative I can say that I’ll vote for Mike DeWine, but please don’t insult my intelligence by pretending all of a sudden to be a kindred spirit.

Guess Which Country Is Tightening Its Immigration Procedures?

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:03 am

You might be surprised. Here’s the story:

___________________ plans controversial tough new citizenship tests
5 May 2006

__________________ is planning to introduce strict new tests for those seeking citizenship with the nation’s __________________ agreeing Friday to launch language tests and naturalization courses for those applying to become citizens.

“In the end, the successful applicant will be examined,” said __________________ __________________ following a meeting with his __________________ colleagues in __________________.

The decision to introduce the new tests follow weeks of controversy and debate in __________________ about immigration along with calls for steps to ensure that those from other nations wanting to live in the country to be better integrated into __________________ society.

As part of the new naturalization process, applicants are to be tested on their basic civic knowledge as well as the values and principles laid out in the country’s __________________.

The details of the concept, together with a booklet and the standards for the assessment are to be drawn up by __________________.

The naturalization courses are to financed by the applicants themselves.

Click “more” or scroll to read the complete story find out which country it is:


Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (050806)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:01 am

Free Links:

  • So Now they start investigating DeWine’s voting record — Maybe the reason that people only pay attention to candidates’ issue positions during election time is that it’s the only time the WORMs (Worn-Out Reactionary Media, known to most as The Mainstream Media) pay attention. Oh, and a hit (unfortunately very accurate in this case) on George Voinovich should ordinarily be considered a hit on DeWine for the next six months.
  • Psst, Don’t Tell Anybody — U.S. Government deficit forecasts are being slashed by as much as $100 billion (HT Donny Baseball without a post via Don Luskin).
  • More on the deficit and the economy, which Kudlow been calling (accurately) “the greatest story never told” –

    According to Action Economics, daily data from the U.S. Treasury for April show that the booming economy produced soaring tax receipts that came in 15 percent above a year ago.

    Spending was only 2 percent ahead of last year. So, the FY 2006 budget gap should come in around $270 billion dollars. That’s much lower than the CBO estimate of $337 billion dollars, and vastly lower than the OMB prediction of $423 billion dollars.

    And states are running surpluses. The Laffer Curve is alive and well.

  • The Manufacturers’ Blog adds another reason to the existing plethora of them for drilling in ANWR, which is more tax revenue:

    Pombo requested a study from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service of the federal budgetary impact of ANWR exploration. The study found that opening just .0001 % — 2000 out of 20 million acres — of ANWR could result in $111 – $173 billion in new taxes paid by oil companies to the Federal Treasury in corporate income taxes and royalties.

    We’d have to agree with Pombo on this. “It’s time to make this resource a cash cow for each and every American taxpayer”, he says. “This production would create jobs, lower prices, grow the economy and make our country more secure.”

    “The only remaining question”, he says, “Is why has this not been done already?”

    Yeah, Senator DeWine. Why not?

  • This Reuters article on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to deny the plaintiff’s petition for a rehearing of the $10.1 billion “light cigarette” verdict it overturned last December focuses almost exclusively on how divided the court was, without even telling us, as had to be learned elsewhere, that the original verdict was 4-2.

Positivity: Illinois National Guard Unit Returns from Iraq

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

And all members returned home: