Friday, August 31, 2007

Soul Food - College Football Begins

Since January 8, 2007, I have been on a starvation diet, akin to eating nothing but bread and water since Florida walked away with the National Championship at the Fiesta Bowl. Well, last night, I settled down with the equivalent of a plate of fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and a hunk of hot buttered cornbread: LSU took to the field in Starkville, Mississippi against the woeful Mississippi State in an early SEC contest. It's been a LONG wait for college football to start. I've been on a bread and water diet of NBA basketball, college basketball, Barry Bonds and 756, Major League Baseball, a boxing match here and there, and the Michael Vick scandal.

Last night's meal was soooooo good. When I finally emerged from my dizzying perch on the basement sectional, with LSU thumping MSU 45-0, I was almost sated. LSU wasn't that good, MSU was THAT BAD: they need a new QB (a fourth-and-one fumble during their best opportunity to score and SIX interceptions) and are probably shopping for a new coach (sorry, Coach Croom)... the loss was on the other side of a complete embarrasment.

My Soul Food Orgy of College Football will not be complete until sometime in early January 2008. I can only hope that Georgia Tech plays its way into a BCS Bowl after last year's strong showing against West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.

So I will grab my towel and get ready for a Saturday lineup of awesome football:
  • (12:00PM, ESPN) East Carolina at #9 Virginia Tech - In an emotional home opener, VT will dismantle the poor East Carolina Pirates... this is an amuse bouche. I probably won't watch more than the opening kick-off and VT's first 2 touchdowns.

  • (3:30PM, NBC) Georgia Tech at Notre Dame - My beloved Yellow Jackets will travel to South Bend and finish what they started in their home opener of a year ago. We let the Funky Irish escape with a slim 14-10 win at the Flats, on Saturday, we will destroy the Irish and send their rebuilding season into disarray. Tech wins 31-14 and the Irish will finally break their 9-year losing streak in post-season bowl games, since they won't be going to one after this season... this one is the ribs dripping with sweet bar-b-que sauce.

  • (6:45PM, ESPN2) Oklahoma State at #13 Georgia - The Bulldawgs are hosting an opponent from the Big 12 conference. This will be another opportunity for the SEC to demonstrate its dominance in college football: Georgia wins 24-10... a second helping of macaroni and cheese (the ultimate comfort food).

  • (7:45PM, ESPN) Kansas State at #18 Auburn - My brother-in-law played for the purple and white Wildcats from the Big 12 conference, we'll see pretty early on why he should've played for a school in the SEC! Auburn doesn't lose at home very often and even less so against out-of-conference opponents who are not the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. I expect the Auburn Tigers to take care of business and give the SEC a 2-0 win over Big 12 opponents on Saturday: Auburn wins big 45-14... I'm washing down my meal with a big ole glass of ice tea with a couple slices of lemon.

  • (8:00PM, ABC) #15 Tennessee at #12 California - Loosen your belt for some dessert as this nightcap will be very sweet. UT is heading out west and their starting QB has an injured thumb on his throwing hand, I was expecting an upset at Cal, but I think the Golden Bears will hold off the Volunteers and pull off a close win. Cal wins 24-21. Damn, that warm banana pudding went down good.

  • (Monday, ESPN) #19 Florida State at Clemson - College football gives the NFL the boot on ESPN's Labor Day version of Monday Night Football in a classic ACC Showdown, pitting father (Bobby Bowden of Florida State) against son (Tommy Bowden of Clemson). Even though, Florida State and Daddy have owned Clemson of late, it is about time for Clemson to make a run at returning to respectability. This is going to be a close one because Florida State is coming off of 2 down years, as well. I expect an old-fashioned southern fried barn burner: Clemson pulls the upset under the lights in Death Valley 31-30. This will be my second helping of fried catfish and cole slaw to end the first weekend of college football.

  • "I can't believe I ate the whole thing."
    a 1970's Alka-Seltzer commercial

    College football is back and with a similar lineup of games for the next 13 weeks will definitely get me back to playing weight. I've already planned this season's first Georgia Tech Tailgate Party for Boston College's first visit to Atlanta since joining the ACC, of course, the Nupes will be throwing down with some burgers, dogs, chicken wings, and brew... let the games begin.

    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Blogging for Justice - The Jena 6

    Bill Quigley wrote the following in his blog entry:
    All White Jury sitting before White Judge agrees with White Prosecutor and All White Witnesses and Convicts Black Youth in Racially Charged High School Criminal Case
    Catch up with me on this story:
  • A Black student asks for and is granted permission by school authorities to sit with white students under the "white tree" where a majority of the 80% white student body sits during lunch.
  • The next day, three nooses were hanging from the "white tree"... the message was pretty clear.
  • The principal found the 3 white students who were responsible for the nooses and had them expelled.
  • The white superintendent overruled the principal and gave the students a 3 day suspension, saying that the nooses were a "youthful stunt."
  • Black students organized a sit-in under the "white tree" to protest the light suspensions given to the noose-hanging students
  • The white DA threatens the Black students by saying "I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen."
  • Later that fall, a fire burned down the main academic building of Jena High School.
  • A few days later, a black student who showed up at a white student's party is beaten by whites.
  • The next day, a young white man pulled out a shotgun and threatened a group of Blacks at a local convenience store... they succeed in wrestling the gun from him. The Black men who took the shotgun away were arrested and no charges were filed against the white man.
  • A few days later at the high school, a white student - who had been making racial taunts (including the n-word) while supporting the students who hung the nooses and who beat up the Black student at the off-campus party - got the dogshit kicked out of him by Black students... he was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released.
  • Six Black Jena High School students were arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder!
  • All six students were expelled from Jena High School.
  • All six students remain in jail unable to raise the $90,000 bond money.

  • Please read Injustice in Jena as Nooses Hang from the "White Tree" by Bill Quigley on The Smirking Chimp for all of the details of the case.

    plez sez: i tried my best to resist the urge to write a post about the injustice that occurs to this day in Jena, Louisiana: everything had already been written, i didn't know all of the facts, or this was just the "flavor of the month" in the victimology department. after being spurred on by August 30th being "Day of Blogging for Justice," i decided to do some reading and if need be, write my thoughts on this volatile situation.

    as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

    i cannot see or fathom why this case hasn't garnered more national ink or press. where are the reverends (al and jesse)? i would expect them to be camped out on the Jena Courthouse steps! instead of lending token support to michael vick, where is the NAACP? shouldn't they be down there with their lawyers getting these boys out of jail and getting those bogus charges dropped? i know alberto gonzalez has other things on his mind, but since this looks like a hate crime being perpetrated by the authorities in Jena, shouldn't the justice department be all over this? are our Black lives worth less than that of some stinking pit bulls? if not, why have i seen PETA protests for the past 3 weeks, but not a DAMN thing about this injustice?

    oh ok... i get it... even if you reduce yourself to a shucking and jiving, skinnin' and grinnin', yes massa, coonin' Black man, your life still ain't worth ___ YOUR FAVORITE EXPLETIVE HERE ___!

    use this MEDIA LINK to talk back to the media
    read the JENA 6 PRESS RELEASE

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    Quote of the Day - August 29, 2007

    "Bill Clinton... is a nasty, bad naughty boy."
    - Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) in January 1999 on Meet The Press talking about the censure and possible impeachment of Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky affair.

    Click here to view the Hardball with Chris Matthews clip about disgraced Republican Senator Larry Craig's arrest, his denials about being gay, and his political future (or lack thereof). Matthews introduces a Meet The Press clip from January 24, 1999 in which the Glory Hole Roving Republican gives a finger-wagging scolding to then-President Clinton.
    plez sez: Does it get any sleazier than this?

    The Republican Senator who reportedly "came on" to prospective pledges of his fraternity while he was in college, "diddled" at least one Congressional Page in the early 80's, performed fellatio on a man in a men's restroom in Union Station in Washington, DC in 2004, and made lewd sexual advances to a male undercover cop in a men's restroom in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in June 2007 (for which he pleaded guilty and paid a $575 fine) actually had the audacity to impugn the integrity of Bill Clinton back in 1999!

    As for his profuse denials about his sexuality today and in 1982, I will paraphrase from Shakespeare's "Hamlet": "The [gentleman] doth protest too much, methinks."

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Quote of the Day - "I Have a Dream"

    On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. caused a seismic shift in race relations in the United States with his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC. This speech, in large part, was the impetus behind the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    The Audio:

    I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

    Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

    But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

    In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

    But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

    We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

    It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

    But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

    The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

    We cannot walk alone.

    And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

    We cannot turn back.

    There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only."* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

    I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

    Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

    And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
    I have a dream today!

    I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
    I have a dream today!
    I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

    This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

    With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

    And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

    My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

    Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

    From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

    And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

    And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
    Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
    Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
    Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
    Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

    But not only that:
    Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
    Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
    Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

    From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

    And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

    Free at last! Free at last!
    Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

    plez sez: i get chills everytime i hear this speech. this is american history as articulated by, in my opinion, the greatest american. this speech should be learned and recited by every child in america.

    we've come a long way since that bright august day in 1963, but we still have a long way to go. and only when there is true equality for ALL (without the need for quotas and set asides and affirmative action), will america truly live up to its creed.

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    Michael Vick Pleads Guilty

    "First, I want to apologize for all the things that I have done and I have allowed to happen. I want to personally apologize to Commissioner Goodell, Arthur Blank, Coach Bobby Petrino, and my Atlanta Falcons teammates, for I was not honest and forthright in our discussions."

    "I was shamed and totally disappointed in myself, to say the least. I want to apologize to all the young kids out there for my immature acts. What I did was very immature, so that means I need to grow up."
    - Michael Vick's comments in Richmond, Virginia after he entered a guilty plea to the federal indictment for dogfighting and gambling charges

    Read Michael Vick's 22 page plea agreement and statement of facts here.

    Vick will be sentenced on December 10, 2007.

    plez sez: i've written about this whole Vick Affair ad nauseum: here and here. i've been holding out hope that he was set up and his friends had gotten him caught up in some foolishness. well, i'm pretty sure that this is the final chapter of this sad and tragic affair.

    apologies aside... this is probably the biggest downfall of an athlete of this stature since mike tyson went to jail for rape. granted, mike tyson was head-and-shoulders above michael vick in his chosen vocation, but vick enjoyed unprecedented popularity as the face of the atlanta falcons and an nfl icon. it appears that the falcons are going to ask for a substantial portion (more than $20 million) of the signing bonus that vick received in 2004. and there's no telling when he'll be able to suit up again and earn a living as a professional football player.

    because of his immature acts, vick says that he "needs to grow up." immature acts are licking your finger and sticking it in your sister's ear, farting in someone's face, burping without covering your mouth! running an interstate dogfighting ring and funding a gambling operation is not immature... it's illegal!

    personally, i don't think vick gets it... he's been pilloried in the press for the past 3 months about these dogfighting allegations, he has never stood up and defended himself in the court of public opinion, he denied all involvement, and then pleads guilty to being the ringleader of the operation, all of his "friends" turned on him... and when it's all said and done, he (who by his own admission is not a good public speaker) decides to address THE WORLD without any notes or prepared statement so that he can show some contrition (seems to be a bit late for that!).

    he is not getting very good legal advice nor public relations advice. at this point, i feel a little sorry for the guy, because although he was blessed with myth-like athletic ability, he obviously isn't very smart, he doesn't have any credible support network, the falcons are preparing to take every dime he has left (before they cut him), and he is quickly turning into the biggest "has been" in sports history.

    this brother needs a mulligan like nobody's business!

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Zeitgeist - The Movie

    plez sez: "Zeitgeist" comes in at just under 2 hours; this movie questions the basis of Christianity, the controversy surrounding September 11, 2001 (9/11), the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Federal Income Tax, and history of profiteering from war. If you cannot watch this movie with an open mind and natural skepticism, then I recommend that you do not watch!

    This is MORE POWERFUL than Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

    After watching this video, I have begun to re-think everything that I have learned about anything. EVERYTHING!

    hat tip: The Free Slave and Wandering the Ether

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Quote of the Day - August 23, 2007

    "As a society, we should aid in his rehabilitation and welcome a new Michael Vick back into the community without a permanent loss of his career in football. We further ask the NFL, Falcons, and the sponsors not to permanently ban Mr. Vick from his ability to bring hours of enjoyment to fans all over this country... his crime is, it was a dog."
    - R.L. White, President of the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP, supports Michael Vick's return to the NFL after he serves his sentence after pleading guilty to his role in a dogfighting operation.

    Quote taken from AJC article about the NAACP and Michael Vick.

    plez sez: WTF?!?

    W.E.B. DuBois (one of the founders of the NAACP) must be rolling over in his grave every time this august (and once noble group) comes out of the woodwork and voices an opinion about matters that may (and in most cases) may not have any affect on the Black community. R.L. White may not have been speaking for the entire organization, but as the president of the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP, his words are taken as those for the entire organization. It seems that on a daily basis, the NAACP goes out of its way to prove how out of touch and irrelevant it has become.

    Michael Vick is in his predicament because of something that Michael Vick has done. The media. The fans. The Falcons. The NFL. The poor humiliated citizens of metro Atlanta. The aforementioned folk (save Michael Vick) are the victims in this whole sordid affair: our city's only bone fide star of the NFL cast his lot with the wrong crowd, threw away a football career of unfulfilled promise and boundless riches, will spend at least a year in the Big House with a bunch of criminals, and will miss at least 3 years of his prime in football!

    The ABSOLUTE LAST thing that Michael Vick or fans of the NFL will have to concern themselves with at this time is how Vick will be embraced upon his release from prison! And he will NEVER don the #7 jersey for the Atlanta Falcons, the owner of the Falcons was played for a sucker as he signed Vick to the richest contract in NFL history ($130 million), I doubt he'll be a fool to let him rejoin the team when he gets out of federal prison and serves an NFL suspension.

    A few days ago, my 5-year old daughter asked me, "Daddy, why did he kill those doggies?" I just shook my head in disbelief and changed the subject. How many parents have had to try to shield their children from this foolishness?

    Maybe I should be more upset about the dogfighting charges or the gambling ring or the killing of those dogs, but I couldn't care less about that... I'm serious! I'm a football fan and I've been jonesin' for the college football and NFL season to start since early January! I've been jonesin' to see #7 dazzle us and carry the Dirty Birds back to the playoffs after a 2 year hiatus. I HATE that his dumb ass has ruined yet another Falcons football season with his stupidity and arrogance.

    And I hate that there are apologists, like the NAACP, who try to find some justification in Michael Vick for f*ckin' everything up!

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    "Read A Book" - The Rap Video

    I stumbled across the following video on It is a somewhat entertaining satire on the state of hip hop today. I edited the description of the video:
    This was shot on BET Animation [for] "106 & Park". It is a satirical observation on the current ridiculous, offensive, and embarrassing state of the once noble art of hip hop. The rapper who made the song is also satirizing the current popular rap music which is an embarrassment to everything [that] rap was. While making this social satire, he also provides a positive message [mixed with some] social commentary.

    Due to excessive cussin' and gratuitous use of the n-word,
    this video is NOT suitable for children.

    plez sez: i grappled with myself for several days trying to decide whether to post this video on my blog. i don't want anyone to misconstrue this blog as a supporter of this kind of "art."

    i tend to agree with the video description that this is a sad commentary on the state of rap (and hip hop). the question we should ask, "what is more important, the message or the messenger?" should we continue to support and make millionaires out of the kind of "artists" who would write, produce, and distribute something that you wouldn't want your young children to listen to?

    back in the day, it was understood that Millie Jackson, Redd Foxx, and Richard Pryor were only for adults. but now, "artists" like Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent enjoy mass distribution and airplay of their "art" no matter how crude and vile the content.

    i remember when rap music first enjoyed popularity (late 70's and early 80's): there wasn't an emphasis on "keepin' it real"! there was little or no cursing. believe it or not, but the Video Vixen is a relatively new phenomenon. and the n-word didn't enjoy such popularity in our music.

    if it weren't so sad, it would be funny.

    damn! i long for the days of rap songs like "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five."

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    Vick Plea Deal Imminent?

    All of Michael Vick's co-defendants have taken plea deals with the federal prosecutors. The word out of Richmond, Virginia (courtesy of Hampton Roads Daily Press) is that Michael Vick's attorneys are working on his deal, as well.

    Understand that a plea agreement carries with it a plea of GUILTY for a lesser charge than listed in the indictment, but it is still a declaration of GUILT!

    Inasmuch, Vick has a lot more to lose than his co-defendants, his attorneys have more variables to consider before having him plead guilty to anything. As the recipient of a $130 million contract from the Atlanta Falcons, with a sizable signing bonus, if he is released by the Falcons, he may be liable for paying back a sizable portion of that bonus. If he is suspended by the commissioner of the NFL (which will happen whether he goes with a plea deal or if he goes to trial), he will not get paid. And if he his plea agreement carries jail time, he will be banned from the NFL (per the personal conduct clause of his contract) and will have to apply for reinstatement into the NFL after he gets out of prison.

    If he does not negotiate a plea deal, prosecutors have stated that they will issue a superseding indictment which will likely carry more severe charges. These charges may include RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970) statute violations which carry stiff punishments of up to 20 years in prison.

    plez sez: let's see (counting furiously on my fingers), 1 year in prison with a plea deal and out after 6 months for good behavior, or 10 years in prison after a conviction on the RICO statutes and out in 6 years for good behavior? millions of dollars in NFL fines and payback of the signing bonus, regardless of your decision. all 3 co-defendants have already copped a plea and are ready to roll on you... so a conviction on at least some of the charges is all but guaranteed!

    MIKE... take the plea agreement! with even 2 years of prison time, you're out in a year with good behavior and you'll only miss 2 NFL seasons (if the league lets you back in after next season). you persona non grata here in Atlanta anyway, so you'll have to find a new football home... you will get the chance for a new start in the NFL.

    in two seasons, you will have lost another step, but i believe you still have a lot of "excitement" left in those legs. and given the right situation, you may find yourself in the Super Bowl before the Falcons!

    author's note: i'm about as tired of this Michael Vick *ish* as you. as such, this'll probably be my last word on the subject until he (1) beats the rap, (2) goes to jail, or (3) returns to the NFL.

    unfortunately, the Dirty Birds won't be quite as dirty without him (the Atlanta Curse continues...)!

    Monday, August 13, 2007

    plezWorld - Liberal or Conservative?

    I'm a sucker for these political quizzes, so I couldn't resist to try one that I ran across last week. This quiz is a bit dated, but my results were as I expected.

    The following quiz was written by Victor Kamber and Bradley S. O'Leary, it appeared in the October 28-30, 1994 issue of USA Weekend. Before you vote in the next election, take this quick quiz to see where - and with whom - you really stand.
    Click below to access the quiz:
    The Political Quiz

    Here are my results:

    plez sez: Well, I scored a 19 on a scale of 0 to 40; which puts me smack-dab in the middle. Most assessments have me in the middle of the road: fiscally conservative and moderate on social issues... it looks like I'm a left-leaning Colin Powell!

    Give the Political Quiz a shot and let's hear where you fall on the scale.

    Good Riddance: Karl Rove to Leave the White House

    The New York Times (and just about every news outlet) reports that Karl Rove - the architect of George W. Bush's rise to power as the US President - has decided to throw in the towel and call it quits with a year and a half left in the Bush presidency.

    The New York Times article continues:
    In an interview published this morning in The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Rove said, “I just think it’s time,” adding, “There’s always something that can keep you here, and as much as I’d like to be here, I’ve got to do this for the sake of my family.”

    Mr. Rove said he had first considered leaving a year ago but stayed after his party lost the crucial midterm elections last fall, putting Congress in Democratic hands, and Mr. Bush’s problems mounted in Iraq and in his pursuit of a new immigration policy.

    He said his hand was forced when the White House chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, recently told senior aides that if they stayed past Labor Day they would be expected to stay through the rest of Mr. Bush’s term.
    Rove not only was the mastermind behind Bush's "selection" as President back in 2000, but he also had a hand in CIA operative leak that led to Scooter Libby's conviction for perjury, the firing of the 9 federal prosecutors, the War in Iraq, and a being a thorn in the side of Democrats for the better part of the last decade.

    plez sez: all is right in the world, i am really glad that karl rove is gone. somehow he weaseled out of testifying before Congress in the CIA leak and helped offer up scooter libby as the scapegoat in that case.

    in addition, he had a hand in Bush taking over as President, even though Al Gore won the election in 2000! he can't be the friend of anyone who cherishes democracy (i know, i know, our system is not really a democracy, but that's just mincing words). rove represents everything that is WRONG with politics: the desire to win for the sake of winning, without any real desire to make the government/world better than when you showed up (Hillary Clinton, are you listening?).

    i'm glad that he's leaving, but i do have a small amount of respect for the man: he was able to hoodwink an entire country into thinking that we'd be better off with george bush as president. he is obviously a genius... well, i guess an evil genius.

    photo above: i found that picture somewhere on the Internet and to the best of my knowledge, Karl Rove has not been arrested for crimes that he's committed while working in the George W. Bush White House.

    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    13: Tiger Woods Wins 2007 PGA Championship

    I spent all afternoon following Tiger Woods through the final 18 holes of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Well, I followed it on the television (CBS had excellent coverage).

    I only watch golf tournaments when Tiger Woods is playing. Like most casual observers, the only golfer I really know about is Tiger Woods and he just happens to be the best at it. Yeah, I know the names of some of the others (Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, etc.), but none of them have the charisma, star power, nor THE GAME of Tiger! He's usually unflappable and just wins! To my way of thinking, he is easily the best golfer who's ever lived: he has no peer in the game, every week, he is playing to win, he's made more money than anyone else, he's won more tournaments than anyone else, and he's won more majors at his age than anyone else. Jack Nicklaus was really good, but he wasn't even close to being Tiger good!

    The other reason I follow Tiger Woods is that he was the reason I got my first set of golf clubs back in 1997. At work, I was being pressured by my boss to learn how to play golf. A few months after Tiger won his first Masters, I got a set of clubs for my birthday, took some lessons, and have been a casual (VERY CASUAL) golfer ever since. Tiger Woods is the one athlete who single-handedly transformed a sport and brought it to the masses (ugh! I'm one of the masses!). It is no longer a sport for rich white men to play at all-white country clubs, I've found it to be a fun and challenging endeavor that anyone can enjoy!

    Tiger Woods entered today's championship round with a 3-shot lead over Stephen Ames (yeah, the guy he thumped "9 & 8" in last years Match Play Tournament after he uttered some crap about Tiger being beatable)! He held off formidable charges from Ernie Els and (until today, a no-name golfer named) Woody Austin. Both pulled within 1 stroke before Tiger birdied the 15th hole and put the championship away. The only way he could've lost would've been to double-bogey the last hole (like Phil Mickelson at last year's US Open and Sergio Garcia at this year's British Open)!

    Read the ESPN article on Tiger's win here.

    This win gave Tiger his 13th major and puts him on track to pass Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 majors within 3 or 4 years. He won 2 majors (British and PGA) last year, won one (PGA) this year, but also came in 2nd place at this year's Masters and US Open. Barring an injury or a life event that takes him away from the game during the summer, I guess that Tiger will win at least 2 majors for the next 3 or 4 years, with him passing Nicklaus in 2010.

    Atlanta Urban Heat Island

    Saturday represented the fourth straight day that the Atlanta area has had temperatures at or above 100 degrees. It has never been this hot for so long in this part of the country. But growth and development has replaced much of the lush forestry that used to cover Atlanta (and its suburbs) with asphalt and concrete - we lose 55 acres of forestry per day.

    The video shows the unintended consequences of growth in Atlanta:


    As you can see by the thermometer in my car (as I zoomed around I-285 at 75 mph), we had another scorcher, with no letup in sight.

    On Sunday, it is supposed to "cool down" to the upper-90's.

    Tomorrow, I guess my daughter and I will go chill out by the pool.

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Elizabeth Edwards: "We Can't Make John Black"

    I happened upon this blog entry while perusing AOL earlier today. It illustrates quite a juxtaposition in the way this election cycle will be viewed. In past years, it was difficult for a Black man (Jackson, Sharpton, Keyes, etc.) or a woman (Chisholm, Ferraro, etc.) to be given serious consideration as a nominee for a national election. Now, it is difficult for a white man to shine through the clutter and distinguish himself because he is not Black nor a woman.

    Calhoun writes: "Elizabeth Edwards is not afraid to speak her mind. And now she's catching flak for a controversial quote in a article about the way in which the Web is dominating the 2008 campaign:
    The Web can be liberating. "It's about bypassing the sieve of the mainstream media," says Elizabeth Edwards, wife and confidant of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards. "The idea that you have people standing between you and the voter is diminished, and the capacity to speak directly empowers candidates to trust their own voices." With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama hogging media coverage, campaigns can push their messages without paying for ads.
    "In some ways, it's the way we have to go," Edwards says. "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars. Now it's nice to get on the news, but not the be all and end all."

    The implication that Obama and Hillary consider getting attention for being black or a woman "the be all and end all" is, of course, completely absurd, especially given how much black-on-black racism the Obama campaign has faced, and how dizzy everyone got when Hillary showed the tiniest bit of cleavage.

    Her remarks are also the ultimate in irony. She spent the article praising the Web; now that same engine will work overtime to crucify her.

    You can read the entire article (and the large number of associated comments) here.

    plez sez: Mrs. Edwards speaks the truth, a truth that is not so pleasant to hear, but often times the truth doesn't come accompanied by a bouquet of roses. our society is rife with racial and sexual stereotypes and prejudices. this is odd and unchartered territory to have two articulate, intelligent, and viable presidential candidates who happen to be minorities. with the mainstream media falling over themselves to document and broadcast their every utterance, it will become increasing difficult for a white man to get much face time, unless he has some distinguishing characteristics that would warrant his exposure. John Edwards has neither the pedigree of Hillary, nor the fresh-face and hopeful exuberance of Obama; he is merely a face in a crowd (with a nice haircut)!

    John Edwards appears to be a bright, intelligent, and articulate man, but i'm afraid vanilla isn't the flavor of the month. he is indistinguishable from Joe Biden and Chris Dodd (some people are probably scratching their heads, "like who?")... i rest my case! *smile* he is a cookie-cutter animal cracker in a chocolate chip world: he is no different from the other white men who are vying for the Democratic nomination.

    Elizabeth Edwards isn't a racist, i am sure that she doesn't think that only a white man is qualified to occupy the white house: she's a realist. she spoke out of frustration that her husband is beating his head (with its $400 haircuts) against the wall wondering how in the hell is he going to get his message out when he can't deliver his stump speech in blackface nor can he grow a set of C cups (in the next couple of months).

    think of it this way, if being president of the united states hinged on one having actual credentials, then george w. bush wouldn't be president today. some things (and all truths) are just out of your control.

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    756 - Guest Blog

    It is rare that I read a blog post that is so poignant and heartfelt, that I feel compelled to share it with the readers of plezWorld. My buddy Dave, over at SullsBlog, has written such an entry. Without further ado and without additional commentary, I present my guest blogger.

    April 8, 1974. I was a skinny, energetic nine year old who was counting the days until his first game playing organized baseball in the Hyde Park little league. Baseball had recently replaced hockey as my favorite sport. We were having dinner at my Aunt Carol's triple decker apartment just off of Washington Street in Roslindale. As usual in those days (and these days as well) I was engrossed with anything concerning baseball and someone breaking the all time home run record was a huge deal. After scarfing down dinner I made my way into the parlor and sat on the couch to hopefully witness history. I didn't know until I was older that this event was bigger than one great ballplayer eclipsing another. I wasn't aware that Mr. Aaron endured death threats, feared for his families safety and was a physical and mental wreck due to his pursuit of the "Babe". This was about baseball, pure and simple.

    I am now 42 and baseball is not just about baseball. The innocence that the game once held is gone. Baseball, since its beginning has been played by men. Men drink, gamble, carouse and swear. Until the past thirty years it was a game played by average men, of average size, coming from middle or lower class households. Most players had to have a job in the off season just to make ends meet. Being a ballplayer was a hard life. Every boy thought he could be a ballplayer someday because there was no class distinction and when the color barrier was broken as long as you were the best of the best you would have a place in the game regardless of where you came from.

    Reporters understood that it was career suicide to tear down the "working class hero" facade that enveloped the game. You couldn't read in the paper about the Babe's drinking binges or any players private indiscretions. Men were men and it was accepted that when you get 25 men traveling the country for eight months "stuff" was going to happen. No one cared about the integrity of the men off the field it was the integrity on the field that counted.

    Enter 2007.

    Who would have thought thirty years ago that you go to a ballpark and pay $85 to see 18 millionaires run around and play a game that may not be legitimate. Use of HGH, steroids, greenies have grown with the outrageous salaries. Why do the players get outrageous salaries? Because the owners make outrageous profits. Why do the owners make outrageous profits? Because the fans dole out the money. Why do fans dole out the money? Because they love to see home runs. How do they see more home runs? By the players taking more HGH, Steroids and amphetamines.

    [insert: picture of young Barry Bonds] [insert: recent picture of Barry Bonds]

    It no longer matters if what players do on the field is legitimate. We hear about players stints in rehab, domestic problems, Vegas trips and stops at stripper bars, but no one cared until Barry Bonds got close to the home run record that many baseball players no longer look like humans, but cartoon characters. No one cared that McGwire, Sosa and Bonds went from svelte, athletic rookies to pumped up, acne covered side show freaks.


    [insert: picture of young Sammy Sosa] [insert: recent picture of Sammy Sosa]

    [insert: picture of young Mark McGwire] [insert: picture of St. Louis Cardinals Mark McGwire]

    Mr. Bonds has accomplished an incredible feat for the ages. The perseverance, longevity and skill that it takes to hit 756 home runs is beyond comprehension. The only one in my mind between the 755 that Mr. Aaron hit and the 756 that Mr. Bonds hit is the adversity each man endured on his journey. Mr Aaron feared for his life in the year preceding his pursuit of the Babe due to something he couldn't control, the color of his skin. Mr. Bonds has endured tremendous adversity, but all of it self imposed. If he never was implicated in the BALCO affair and he was able to accomplish this feat without the use of performance enhancing drugs, then today there would be nothing but accolades coming his way.

    I still remember the black and white images of Aaron running briskly around the bases after belting 715. The only thing different visually from that home run than any other of that time was the two fans that ran the bases next to him and the flashing "715" they showed on the scoreboard. He did his job and humbly went to his dugout.

    The irony is when Bonds hit his historic bomb he stood at home plate for a few seconds to savor his accomplishment then raised his arms triumphantly. A little humility would have helped to endear him to his critics.

    I hope that by the time A-Rod breaks the record circa 2015 that we worry more about the integrity of the game on the field than the players lives off the field.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    756 - Barry Bonds - Home Run King

    Complete At-Bat for 756

    plez sez: love him! or hate him! BARRY BONDS (San Francisco Giants) is now the Home Run King (the most hallowed record in all of sports) after taking a 3-2 pitch from MIKE BACSIK (Washington Nationals) to the right-center field stands (435 feet) for his 756th home run in over 23 years in the Major Leagues.

    there is no taint on this record. there are no asterisks. there is no doubt. we have lived to witness the greatest baseball player of our lives.

    Hank Aaron Congratulates Barry Bonds

    one more time:

    a brief aside: to those who like to blabber on about alleged steroid use: bonds was a certified hall of famer prior to the supposed "steroids era" and he has continued greatness to this day. and if you must bring that ugly issue up, remember, it was the "steroid era"... bonds was undoubtedly facing untold numbers of pitchers who were taking steroids... and he was still going YARD on them! give this steroids nonsense a break and stop drinking the Steroids Haterade!

    all pictures courtesy of

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    Obama Talks Tough on Terrorism

    The New York Times reports that Senator Barack Obama gave a major speech on terrorism earlier today. In his speech Obama said that the United States should shift its focus from the war in Iraq to a fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He feels that the Pakistani government has not done enough to eradicate terrorism cells within its borders. He chided the Bush administration for rushing into war with Iraq, leaving the US more vulnerable to attack than before 9/11, and not pressuring the Pakistani government in rooting out Al-Qaeda in their country.

    Obama said, "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act we will."

    And he also indicted Congress for our present state of affairs: “Congress rubber-stamped the rush to war, giving the president the broad and open-ended authority he uses to this day. With that vote, Congress became coauthor of a catastrophic war. And we went off to fight on the wrong battlefield, with no appreciation of how many enemies we would create, and no plan for how to get out.”

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    plez sez: the only downside of this speech was that it was Senator Obama rather than President Obama giving it! Obama has consistently spoken out against the War in Iraq since he's been in the Senate, and his assessment of the terrorism threat is right on. Al Qaeda (and Osama Bin Laden) have enjoyed safe haven in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11, and neither country has done anything to bring them to justice for what happened on that fateful day. Instead of concentrating on a known threat, President Bush pushed his private agenda of removing Sadaam Hussein from power and basically gave comfort to our sworn enemies!

    this speech will also go a long way to establishing Obama's foreign policy credentials, in light of the Hillary Clinton comments about his inexperience. to be honest, i like his "inexperience," it means that we'll get a new way of doing things in Washington, instead of the failed retread policies of the Bush and Clinton administrations!