Sunday, October 29, 2006

Time Out

This short post to announce 49er went "in hospital" suddenly Thursday AM to get rid of an ugly gall bladder, interrupting any opportunity since then to use the net. Everything went well and he returned home mid-day Sunday for R & R and whatever further adventures await. Currently watching NFL on TV and enjoying being waited on.

Will probably resume activities in a day or so.

Cheers . . . . and go Raiders! (please?)

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

How to turn success into failure

From the sports world 49er (who btw is not necessarily a SF football fan) can't help commenting on the ever-widening gap between Michelle Wie's potential and performance.

First of all, why are we even talking about the successes or failures of a teen-ager? Why can't she just BE a kid? Well, IMO the answer to those questions lies deep in the heart of misplaced parental ambition. Recently turning 17, for some time now Ms. Wie has had a business manager, Nike products endorsement contract, professional caddie, and all the other trappings of a successful professional golfer. What she doesn't have, however, is the winning record she has been capable of achieving.

Maturing very early in life, and blessed with a tall, strong, athletic, rangy frame and body, with intelligent or thoughtful development of her obvious skills and potential, Ms. Wie could have become by now the enfent terrible of the LPGA. Instead, she has mostly fizzled and flopped her way the past three plus years, picking and choosing events while trying to play in this PGA event and that. In the process earning a dismal record following the quixotic path chosen by her parents that has put her on public display as a freak of nature playing against professional men. Where the results were quite obviously foreseeable (Bill, note word usage, please).

Instead of using the advantage of her early physical development to train their daughter how to compete and WIN, her parents have been teaching her how to get attention. As if that were the same thing. Its not at all, and at 17 the young lady will probably soon be overtaken by her just now maturing peers, and - again foreseeably - if she doesn't learn how to finish off - or hold off - opponents during the final rounds of golf tournaments, Ms. Wie may be a washed up has-been before she reaches her majority. And even Nike's millions will have amounted to rot.

With all his strenths and abilities, Tiger Woods still had to learn how to WIN. Michelle Wie, though becoming rich and famous because of her potential, has somehow never learned the mind-game to match her golf-skills. Shame on her parents. Their misplaced ambition has likely gained them a financial windfall, but may have ultimately lead to their daughter's professional downfall. Not a fair trade, I'd say.

Even so, 49er can't help hoping he's wrong and the young lady manages to turn things around. It would be a nice result, but for some time now she has been on a much more rocky path and the ultimate destination might turn out to be not what her family at first intended.


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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Twisted Logic (?) or Death Wish (?)

From this article in the northern press comes the startling POV that unintended collateral damages (such as death, injury, etc.) to civilians from a state acting in self-defense, if such casualties were somehow and someway "foreseeable", constitute a "war-crime". Louise Arbour, former justice of the Canadian Supreme Court and currently the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, has apparently so opined.

What a crock! Her position is exactly contrary to reasoned common sense. If her screed were to become settled "law", this point would give extreme comfort to those who now conduct conflict and violence whilst hiding deep within the folds of a civilian populace, thus placing innocents at risk. An exactly opposite result of what a civilized society should intend.

Nothing said here is gloating - or glossing over - innocent casualties. That they occur at all is tragic. But if a state is forbidden to defend itself, such as happened recently vis-a-vis Israel and Lebanon, simply because of the possibility of unknown bad side effects, civilization is doomed and anarchy shall eventually rule the world.

Logical and reasoned? No, IMO this view is simply cultural self-hatred taken to a sicker level.


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Friday, October 13, 2006

The Gap between WWJD and us

Here is a new version of a thought-provoking parable.

“Who is my neighbor”?
A suggested modern paraphrase of Luke 10:25-37
One day a certain lawyer stood up and put Jesus to a test, saying, "Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How does it read to you?" And the lawyer answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.''
And Jesus said to him, "You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live. ''But, wishing to justify himself, the lawyer said to Jesus, "and who is my neighbor?'' Jesus replied and said, "A man living in his house during hurricanes Katrina and Rita fell victim to the raging weather. Hurricane Katrina stripped the roof and siding from his house and then Hurricane Rita came along with four feet of water. The water beat against the outside of his house and into the walls and caused the mold to grow, thus destroying his home. This result left his spirits half dead because he was forced to become homeless''.
"And, by chance, a certain religious man came by the neighborhood one day and when he saw the destroyed house passed on the other side because he was really busy and didn't have the time to do anything. And likewise a man of different faith came by the house, and after he had seen it he too passed on the other side, thinking someone else with more time or money would surely come along and help the man”.
“But a certain man from another faith came through the neighborhood and when he saw the man’s situation had compassion on him, and came to him and brought others with him and they offered to rebuild his house and give the man hope by showing kindness and love towards him. They lifted the man up further by ministering unto him while they prepared to rebuild his house”.
"To do this they took their own money, along with funds others had donated, and purchased building materials. They applied their labor to those materials and in so doing began to rebuild the man's house. A few weeks later the poor mans house was rebuilt and the man – now fully restored - moved back into his home. The certain man and his friends then went on their way to find another destroyed house and help another hopeless man”.
“So which of these three men proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell victim to the hurricane? Truthfully, the last of these men (and his friends) had become like my hands and feet by working to restore hope to another man. They completely answered the question the lawyer asked, ‘who is my neighbor’ by doing something neighborly, and not ‘passing on the other side’”.

So answer this question, WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOR? The gentle reader is welcome to attack this up-to-date interpretation from any imagined vantage point one might think they perceive, but IMO this modern rendition is pretty spot on to the true meaning and intent of the original.

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