Friday, January 25, 2008

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) In next month's National Geographic magazine is a long investigative article about the flow of undocumented workers north. Not into the US (tho many end up here) but into Mexico. It made me wonder, seeing as I support immigration into this country: We have people who opposed the NAFTA, CAFTA and other intra-Americas trade agreements and oppose illegal immigration, and I'm having a hard time squaring this.

After all, the complaint about the NAFTA is the "giant sucking sound" of our jobs heading south. Yet, the complaint about undocumented workers is they take jobs away from Americans here.

Huh? You can't really have both.

2) When, collectively, the four largest mortgage brokers need ten, no, fifteen times the support that governments have offered, what does that say about our regulatory system? (h/t Agitprop)

Their entire capitalization, by my count, is just under $4 billion. They need fifty times that in order to stay afloat and in business. Now imagine how the banks that actually lent the money are doing...

3) Buh-bye Dennis! Oddly enough, every political views test I take has me most closely aligned with Kucinich, but he never resonated with me. And maybe that's Kucinich's problem: the people he needs to connect with, people like me who can explain his positions in terms that are palatable to the vast majority of moderate Americans, are the people he's turning off.

Meanwhile, the impression I get from scanning Blogtopia (© Skippy The Bush Kangaroo) is that the people who support Kucinich are, well, out there, as if Dennis somehow magically invests them with skin in the political game.

This is like saying that Larry Craig gives gay marriage a fighting chance for respectability, in my view.

4) This is both good news and bad news. Good news, in that it's Egypt that's closing the borders and not an incursive Israeli force. Bad news in that, the impression that I get is that people tore that wall down because they were hungry.

And this should serve as an example to the folks here who want to build a wall against immigration.

5) More biotechnology news. And it's not good. Scientists haven't cloned anything this time. No. They've built an organism from scratch.

See, the thing is, evolution has provided a platform to ruthlessly select those organisms and species that thrive. By creating life, playing God, if you will, man has now added a new element to the mix: a vested interest.

Rather than have organisms adapt to the environment, man will now provide an environment for organisms, and force out other organisms that should under other circumstances have thrived.

Nature doesn't take kindly to these kinds of insults.

6) I'm not sure being Hannah Montana is all it's cracked up to be. First you encourage a six year old to lie at her mother's behest for free tickets to a concert, and now some teenage boy wants to commit suicide by crashing a plane into one of your concerts?

Miley, take a page out of your dad's book: go away. Your fifteen minutes are wayyyyyyyyyyyy over. Perhaps you should go out with a bang. Ask Jamie Lynn Spears how that's working for her.

7) You sure get the sense that Republicans know Obama's toast. They run against Hillary as if Hillary was the incumbent.

By the way, when was the last time any of the GOPpers mentioned the sitting President?

8) A washed up actor endorses a washed up Senator.

My guess is, Stallone snuck into an advance screening of Rambo and realized, "Uh oh, I better create some heat for this turkey!"

Memo to Sly: I think you only get one shot to say goodbye to the audience. You had it with Rocky Balboa (which wasn't horrible, as a Rocky film). Please don't try to make Judge Dredd: The Execution.

9) Hillary did draw blood after all. Obama lead has dropped by seven points since the debate in which Hillary's charge regarding Obama's representation of a slumlord was revealed, and is almost within the margin of error.

This would explain why Hilalry abandoned her strategy of, well, abandoning South Carolina to Bill. I think we may be surprised by the results tomorrow.

John Edwards did pick up two points as well, but I think you can stick the fork in him.

10) Roger Federer lost. No, let me give that the drum roll it deserves. ROGER. FEDERER.


Put it this way: Roger Federer is 27 years old. He has twelve Grand Slam tournament titles (the Australian, French (altho he has never won this one), and US Opens and Wimbeldon). For the past two years, he has never failed to make the finals of a Grand Slam tournament.

Today, he lost a title he's held since 2006.

11) Finally, I'd like to salute one of the greatest hockey players of all time, Brian Leetch, whose number was retired by the New York Rangers last night, a team he played 16 seasons for.

For some reason, hockey seems to attract genuine people. There's very little showboating that goes on (possibly because retaliation is encouraged by the league...sort of self-policing behavior), and the players almost to a man seem to be self-effacing and humble. At the top of that pile stood Brian Leetch, a soft-spoken man who led his teams on ice the way you'd want a leader to lead: by examples of courage, skill, but mostly, determination.

When the Rangers needed him, he'd answer the bell, put the team on his back and make them better than they deserved to be at any given moment. Unselfish, except when he needed to be selfish, Brian Leetch did his job, and then some, and he almost always did it well.

He had grace and flair, and could skate with the best of them, but his best skills were the ones that don't show up in the boxscore or highlight reel: he knew how to position himself at all times, was rarely caught flat-footed, and could anticipate plays long before the other team thought them up.

He wasn't my favorite Ranger. That goes to a man who came down to play roller hockey with us, even at the height of his career and seasons, Rod Gilbert.

But he was, arguably, the best Ranger, and certainly the best I'd ever seen.

Thank you, Brian Leetch.