Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Barry Bonds is a jerk.
There I said it.
But he is also one of the greatest baseball players on Earth. Past and present.
However, a large majority of white baseball fans seem to feel that he is the worst human alive because he is under the suspicion of having used steroids. One of the problems here is that the majority of players believed to have been using steroids were PITCHERS, not batters.
What everyone seems to forget is that we ALL knew people were doing steroids and we didn't care because we got to see 50+ home run seasons from a variety of players across the league. So why all the hate for Barry?
Some feel that he sucks for charging for autographs. That does suck.
Some feel that he sucks for cheating on his wives and having mistresses all over the place. Yea, that's kind of crappy too.
Barry is not the best person, but he is a fantastic player. And that is what counts here. It seems that some white folks are okay with jackass white players as long as they created milestones.
Ty Cobb was a vicious racist.
Babe Ruth was a druggie and alcoholic that was rumored to have a violent side.
The Yawkey family (owners of the Red Sox for much of the last century) deliberately kept the team all-white even when it was clear that having black players might have improved the team.
But the Yawkeys are still revered in Boston and Ruth and Cobb are like baseball gods.
We all know that black males operate with a double-standard. You can be successful as long as you smile all the time and appear to be humble.
Don't celebrate in the end-zone.
Don't do spinning dunks in mid-air.
Just do your damn job and keep the seats filled. Bonds does that in great numbers. People will pay for expensive seats just to be close enough to the field to yell at him. That's power.
But Barry doesn't eat humble pie. He has a bunch of white women on the side. He doesn't kiss ass. He doesn't play the games the media want him to play. And worse, he just broke one of the most hallowed records in sports history.
Just like Henry Aaron received death threats for breaking Ruth's record, Bonds is dealing with a character assassination through the media. He doesn't help matters by not being "Wil Smith" if you catch my drift.
In closing, I wonder if the same people who threatened Aaron are like the same guys who now "cherish" his record?
Monday, August 06, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
While much of our country is obsessed with the celebrity crackwhore of the week, there is another incredibly huge problem facing everyone single person living within the borders of our country (legally or otherwise).
America is falling apart. Literally.
Actually the INFRASTRUCTURE of our society is slowing falling apart (sewers, power plants, roads, bridges, public works, etc.). I had heard about this recently but never did any real research because -- like most of us -- I had assumed that it wouldn't affect me.
That was, until I read this article:
FDR put America to work building courthouses and dams, planting windbreaks and arbors, creating music and plays--jewels that are still with us. Ike, a fiscal conservative, saw the need to launch the Interstate Highway System. Lyndon Johnson fought for crucial investments in hospitals, schools, water systems, and parks.Then as if that wasn't enough:
From the early 1950s into the 1970s, total public spending on America's physical plant (including money put up by local, state, and federal agencies) amounted to about 3% of our Gross Domestic Product. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, this investment in the public good fell victim to posturing budget whackers and dropped well below 2% of our GDP--a cut of more than a one third.
- Road and bridge conditions all across the country aren't just a mess--they're deadly. ASCE reports that bad and congested roads are a hidden tax that runs us $54 billion a year in car/truck repairs and excess operating costs, forces us to spend an average of 47 hours a year stuck in traffic (burning 2.3 billion gallons of gasoline in our idling vehicles), and--worst of all-- causes some 13,000 highway deaths each year. Bridges, too, are a threat; ASCE finds that 27% of America's spans are now structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, requiring $9.4 billion every year for the next 20 years to repair the deficiencies.
The bursting of even a small dam can be a disaster. We regularly drive over dams, but we can't see the internal structures, so we don't give dam safety any thought-- until a dam fails. Then the TV has saturation coverage of the issue-- but soon it disappears again. Since 1998, the number of unsafe dams in the U.S. has risen by a third to more than 3,500, with the number of "high-hazard" dams up by 1,000. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) reports that $10.1 billion is needed over the next 12 years just to fix dams that are in such critical shape they pose a direct risk to human life.
So in other words, we are in deep poop the next time something major happens, like... I dunno... a thunderstorm.
Bush & Co. refuse to spend the money on rebuilding our national superstructure for the upcoming population boom as well as to just maintain it for the 300 million currently living in the U.S.
Imagine if all that stuff failed at once?
The toilet flushes but fills with the backlog of waste from the broken sewer lines.
You run out side, and the sidewalk cracks in half because of overuse.
You look for police, but you can't see because the street lights went out.
You try to get out of town but the one bridge that takes you to a major highway has fallen into the river.
Living in NYC, the idea of any of these things happening on a major level is terrifying to say the least. Even those living in small town America needs running water and power. Maybe we should all start getting serious as a society and call our representatives.
Go ahead, I wait for you to finish watching American Idol.