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More Newsworthy “Quick Hits” (1/23/08) January 24, 2008

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Again I figured to take a bit of time to provide some brief comment on recent news items…this is actually recent vs. my last posting which was written two weeks prior:

Rick Majerus and the Catholics
If you haven’t heard already, St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus said in a TV interview that he supported a women’s right to choose in cases of abortion. It wasn’t the primary topic as it has just come up in political conversations, but he’s pro-choice. No big deal, right? Well, Archbishop Raymond Burke jumped into the fray, stating that the university needs to discipline him. You see, this is a Catholic university…and even though college is where everyone is encouraged to grow, learn and express themselves, apparently you are not allowed to express any views that contradict the religion. Also, Majerus is a Catholic himself. OH, THE HORRORS!!! Apparently the university had issued a statement that this was simply an individual opinion, but that probably won’t stop those nutty religious zealots from trying to persecute him for, you know, having personal and reasonable thoughts. Hey, I grew up Catholic and am a product of Jesuit-run higher education – and it’s stupid things like this which has helped me see the fallacies that are tied up in all religions. The fact that this actually made national news is nothing short of a odd joke. Ironically, the more we let religion dictate our lives, the less people seem to be able to live together peacefully. If we truly live in a free society, this whole incident should blow over without any problems…and college basketball coaches can get back to coaching without fear of religious persecution. It truly boggles the mind…

Heath Ledger
As of this writing all drug tests are inconclusive though it appears it was an accidental overdose of sleeping pills or some derivative of it. Rumor has it that he was having tremendous trouble sleeping and they found all sorts of prescription medication in his room. Sleeping problems at 28? When I was that age, I found that about a dozen beers tended to do the trick for me. I know the guy has been in many movies and seemed like a pretty good actor and person, so it’s sad to see this sort of thing happen. What’s odd is that as of today I’ve heard that some religious figureheads have come out to condemn Heath, stating that he’s now getting just punishment for his sins. They would of course be referring to his starring role in the gay cowboy film “Brokeback Mountain”, a movie that admittedly I really have no interest in seeing though heard it was quite good. But wait – there are people who are actually glad to see him dead for this? He was ACTING, and it was a fucking movie you psychos! I guess if he was a basketball coach at a Catholic university, they would have changed his name to Damien! Anyway, whatever they end up finding out about this death, it doesn’t bring him back. He leaves a small child behind, which in the big picture is the real tragedy.

Super Bowl XLII
(primarily the Packers not making it there)
The foregone conclusion was the Patriots getting there, and they’re now one step away from shutting up the old curmudgeons from the ’72 Dolphins team for good. It was tough for me to pick an NFC favorite in the title game as I dislike both teams, but inevitably I was glad to see the Packers fall short of that goal. I watched the game out at my favorite sports bar, and seeing several Packers fans actually shed tears after that loss really warmed my heart! Sure, Favre in the big game for what perhaps would have been his last game had nationwide appeal, but as a long time die-hard Bears fan I simply cannot support the team Green Bay. Bears fans rooting for the Packers is about the equivalent Yankees fans cheering for the Red Sox. It doesn’t matter that they’re in the same division or the same conference, there is no fan-by-attrition, it just doesn’t happen. As for many of the so-called Bears fans who actually chose to cheer for the Packers, you better start questioning your loyalties. Shame, shame, shame on you – unless of course you respect Favre, wanted to see him make it to one more championship game but get trounced…that would probably have been OK!

The Stock Market
Housing loan problems, worries about the economy, trade deficits, weakening dollar, interest rate cuts, etc. etc. etc….it’s adding up to chaos in the stock market. My suggestion is that anyone who has good amounts of investments just don’t look at the results for now…otherwise you’ll end up so worried you can’t sleep, turn to sleep aids and end up like Heath Ledger. Sorry, bad joke but probably not far from the truth for some people. The nice thing about the market is that it bounces back, and calmer heads almost always prevail. Take a step back, a deep breath, and be sure you’ve hedged your investments in other areas! I hear you can get some really good deals in real estate nowadays…

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Quick Hits on News (from 1/11/08) January 23, 2008

Posted by Mongo in Uncategorized.
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This is one of the first new entries in 2008 from my personal web page. I will eventually make the section I’m using on that page transition permanently over to this blog, but in the meantime I’ll have dual postings. Besides the usual goofy tidbits of info I usually post, much of it may focus some energies on reviewing some newsworthy items – politics, sports, local events, etc. Here’s a few things on my mind right now:

Primaries in Iowa & New Hampshire
While the Democrats seem to be making all the headlines, sadly the Republicans seem to be taking taking a back seat. I’ve always liked McCain and am definitely still on his side, but best to keep an open mind and see what crops up over the next few months. Dazzle me guys! Make me WANT to like you and vote for you already! Unfortunately Bush has done enough damage during his tenure to make the Republican candidates seem like nothing more than afterthoughts…in fact my wife had to ask me if the Republicans were doing anything right now! Well, come election time it will be interesting to see how much “change” our country is really willing to take. In terms of the Dems, Obama certainly has the charisma despite his unarguable lack of experience…but you have to like his attitude. He seems to be more of a moderate which will garner wider appeal, but somehow I don’t see the red states backing him. I still can’t figure out how Hillary Clinton became such a strong candidate. Sure, she’s got the Clinton name and tends to appeal to the most populous gender in our country – women – but do we really want THAT much change? AND, doesn’t she seem to have a track record of indecisiveness and saying very scary things about society and people’s rights? Besides, those emotional tears before the New Hampshire primary, then the obvious plants of people to chant “iron my shirt” to garner further sympathy (and in turn to make her look stronger) was nothing short of pathetic. All politicians pull stunts to get an edge, but c’mon Hillary, not all of us are that stupid to fall for this crap. Sadly, too many people are…

Recent Weather, and the tornadoes in Southern Wisconsin
It’s been pretty wacky in our area since the start of the year. First we get quite a bit of New Years Eve snow – some places 8+ inches – and for a couple days afterwards it gets bitter cold, below the average. Then what happens? Temps start to climb and as of Monday 1/7 hit 65 degrees in Chicago! As of this writing it’s getting colder again, and by next week we’re looking at typical winter weather again. Gotta love this part of the country! Unfortunately this very odd weather wasn’t all pleasant – Southern Wisconsin and some areas in west McHenry county were hit by tornadoes. In January? First time since the 50’s and there was quite a bit of damage to some communities. Fortunately (and amazingly) nobody was killed. Steve Dahl sends out a “thought for the day” before he starts his radio show, and here’s what he had to offer this past Tuesday: “Before I can really start feeling bad for the people in Wisconsin who suffered tornado damage on Monday afternoon, I’m going to need to see a “before” picture.” A bit cold perhaps, but a rather witty statement that really had me LOL!

BCS
Though it was nice to see Ohio State get pummeled in the championship game for the second straight season, I am so sick of this unbelievably ridiculous method of choosing a national champion. The only – and I mean ONLY – major sport that doesn’t decide who’s the best by the play on the field but by rankings and placement in bowl games. I’ve actually heard people defend the system, but I have yet to hear one valid, reasonable statement that justifies how this system makes more sense than a playoff. We all know it’s about tradition and the money involved with the TV and bowl contracts – as the old saying goes, “everything is about money, and if you say it’s not about the money that means it’s ALL about the money!” The one good thing is that there appears to be growing support for a small playoff system – anywhere from 4 to 8 teams – but none of that will happen for a few years, if at all. Anyway, I will probably write a more in-depth article on this in the future…but for now, congrats to LSU for their two-loss championship season.

Steroids – Roger Clemens
Sorry Roger, you are an extraordinary athlete but you’re simply not believable. There’s no doubt that hard work, keeping in shape and strong focus – along with being an extraordinary athlete – is what’s made you a success and helped keep you going into your mid-40’s. However, when your stats started to slide a few years back, and the body was getting older & not performing quite the same, who could fault you for wanting to do what it takes to keep that body in top form and extend your career? Of course I’m not stating outright that I know you took steroids, because I’d be really bummed if your legal team came after me (as you promised would happen for those who made those statements). J It just seems that so much makes more sense since you were accused of it. Barry Bonds was never officially caught either, but c’mon – even an OJ Simpson juror would admit he had to have been juicing for quite a while! Perhaps some of the damage is done by now, so the question that remains is will you go down as one of the all-time greats who made a few mistakes along the way, will you have an asterisk by your name like Barry Bonds, or will you just look pathetic like Mark McGuire. Things will definitely get interesting after the grand jury testimony…

Gotta start sometime… January 11, 2008

Posted by Mongo in Uncategorized.
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This will be an extension of my personal homepage – figured I’d give friends (and just about anyone else) a chance to comment back on my rants. Not much to add right now, jsut wanted to get it set up…but I’ll be back!

Mongo