Showing posts from 2011

Batting Average Matters

You wouldn't know it if you've met me in the past seventeen years, but I was the biggest baseball fan you'd ever meet.  I wasn't old enough to understand or truly like baseball until about 1990, when the Royals World Series victory was only five years in rear view.  On Sundays back then, the paper would publish every player's stats in the back of the sports section. I poured over these statistics. I filled notebook after notebook with projected statistics, trying to determine how well the teams would finish the season.  I was a stat rat. For Christmas in 1991, my dad bought me Total Baseball, a several-thousand page book with every batting and pitching statistic ever recorded. It listed the box scores and summaries of every Championship and World Series. It also introduced me to SABRmetrics, advanced statistics that helped determine the actual value of a player, rather than his raw production (Though, back then OPS+ was PRO+ and WAR was TPR.  They were renamed due

The Good Ol' Days

There were no good ol' days. The world has not gone to hell. Things are not worse "now-a-days." To what utopian past are the people who make these claims comparing the present? When people talk about how bad things have gotten on the floor of Congress, that politics have "gone down the drain," do they really not know United States History? Do they not know that Charles Sumner was beaten with a cane on the Senate floor?  I'm sure they are unaware that he was preceded in being beaten with a cane on the floor of Congress by Matthew Lyon , Horace Greely and Josiah Grinnell .  That didn't even include people like William Stanberry who was caned in the street by Gov. Sam Houston or the multiple fistfights and brawls that have broken out in Congress.  Those are just the canings.  Do these people, who look back to America's Glory days, back before we supposedly "lost our way," consider it glorious to shoot political rivals to death? Accor

WTF Happened to Frank Miller?

Remember the late 90’s sitcom trend of parents failing to correctly use  the youth lingo? They would hopelessly use words like “hip” and “groovy” when giving their teenage children the low down on the birds and the bees. Kids would roll their eyes, say “oh, Dad” while the laugh track would mock him. From the release of The Dark Knight Strikes Again to present day, Frank Miller has turned himself into the lame dad of the comic book world. He keeps attempting to captivate them with a hardcore Batman, but has lost all touch with what younger generations find interesting. By now, most people know who he is--writer/artist of Sin City , The Dark Knight Returns and 300 .  In the early 80’s he was one of the first to start writing “gritty” comics. He redefined Daredevil , The Punisher , and Batman . From 1991-1998, he was, in my opinion, the best comic book creator alive. His comics mixed heroism with exaggerated action, hard-boiled cynicism, and wit. Characters took equal time t

Atheists Try to Steal the Founders Too

I'm defensive when anyone proclaims on which side of modern issues "the Founders" would land. I wrote a blog last year about the religious right's blatant attempt to superimpose the founding fathers into their warped version of history. They inaccurately and perpetually try to convince the world that the U.S. Constitution was founded on Judeo-Christian values. They rarely bother giving evidence because it would require them to take quotes out of context.  The truth is that the Constitution was formed by a group of great men who agreed that our government would be "godless" and to further express the idea, they amended the document to expressly restrict government involvement in religion and vice versa. When college drop out Sean Hannity or woefully uneducated and plagiaristic Glenn Beck claims we live in a Christian nation, I waste no time booing them from their undeserved stages. When the well-educated Newt Gingrich or Bill O'Reilly make the same claim

Obama Caused the Revolts in Egypt

For several years, the United States has given Egypt billions for the promotion of democracy. We believed that if we ensured Egypt's financial dependence on us, they would be forced to listen to our recommendations about installing democracy. Because those efforts have failed for decades, Obama began to pull funding from Egypt to invest it in more worthwhile prospects. The United States still heavily supports the Egyptian military with around $1.25 billion per year. However, we used to give $45 million to programs for Governing Justly and Democratically.  Under Obama, it dropped to $20 million. In the past few days many Egyptians Tweeted about the reasons for their protest and how poor things have gotten recently.  They blame President Mubarak for the deteriorating economy and conditions. They recognize his increasingly brutish tactics used to squelch independent thought and individual success. Coupled with the overthrow of their next door neighbor's dictator in Tunisia, t

Why America is Losing its Religion

All recent studies about religion in America show a steady decrease in religious beliefs and an increase in non-belief and atheism. Distress has grown among American Christians who fear an Atheistic revolution that will seduce righteous youth and negate their religious majority. Fox News has launched an all out assault on anything Atheist. Ringleaders Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck demonize atheists and literally blame the country's problems on them --a la Salem witch trial style. Newt Gingrich openly admitted in his new book that he wants Congress to vote for Pro-Christian laws, a completely unconstitutional and anti-freedom concept. They have opened up with both barrels against non-believers, science, and the first amendment. The biggest fighters are mostly "mainstream" Catholics, Christians and Evangelicals. The "unaffiliated" Christians seem to acknowledge the rights of non-religious. There are two dominant reasons why more Americans are turning aw