Monday, June 30, 2008

Another Reason Israel Won't Bomb Iran

If you have read my latest article, "Israel Won't Attack Iran's Nuclear Facilities" on IC today please note I wrote it before this weekend's developments which are all the more reason the Olmert government won't initiate any military incursion in Iran. Israel through Germany is in the midst of reaching terms to receive the remains of two Israeli soldiers - Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev - who were kidnapped by Hezbollah two years ago as well as the remains of Israeli air force pilot Ron Arad, who was shot down in Lebanon in 1986. In exchange, Israel will release hundreds of prisoners including Samir Kuntar. In 1979, Kuntar murdered 4 Israelis including two children. After shooting and then drowning Einar Kuntar's father in front of her he then smashed her skull with his rifle butt on a pile of rocks. Einar Kuntar was four years old. If that offense doesn't call for the death penalty then nothing does. But instead Kuntar gets to live and now will be released to kill again.

This is not the behavior of a government about to bomb Iran.

Mugabe Living Large at African Union Summit

Well, Robert Mugabe won the runoff "election". Of course, when you force voters to dip their fingers in oil to verify that you have voted or risk having your fingers hacked off it hardly constitutes a free and fair election. The most voters could do was spoil the ballot. Fitting for an election was that spoiled.

Today, Mugabe was in Egypt for the African Union summit that treated him with kid gloves. Of course, Mugabe had pre-empted any criticism of him by stating he would simply speak of the lack of democracy amongst his fellow African heads of state. And you know what? He would have been right. He could have embarrassed Hosni Mubarak right then and there. Then again, they could have said, "Hey, at least we haven't gone from a net exporter to a net importer of food." But alas.

Unfortunately, I suspect Zimbabwe will be quickly forgotten until the next "election." In the meantime, the best the people of Zimbabwe can do now is to leave. There is nothing there for them. A meglomaniac is in charge and will be until he dies, naturally or otherwise.

Wesley Clark Isn't in John McCain's League

So General Wesley Clark goes on CBS' Face The Nation and says with respect to John McCain, "Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President." When I read about the remark about John McCain I thought three things.

First, it tells me that while Clark might have outranked McCain in the military, Clark is clearly outranked by McCain when it comes to having class. Clark is clearly out of McCain's league.

Second, it was during the 2004 Democratic Presidential race that Clark referred to John Kerry as "only a lieutenant." I'm no Kerry fan but I thought that was cheap. Unlike the Swift Boat folks, I never questioned Kerry's military service although the stuff he did after he left the military was quite a different matter. The point is if Clark was willing to say that about the man who represented his party as its presidential candidate four years ago it is no surprise he would say something similarly disrespectful about McCain.

Third, given Clark's remarks about both McCain and Kerry, it calls Barack Obama's judgment into question once again. If you have a general who speaks of men who served with distinction with such disrespect imagine what he thinks of the men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. By extension, one can only wonder if Obama is similarly contemptuous. But by all means Senator Obama, keep Wes Clark as an adviser and keep him talking. That kind of talk will get John McCain elected to the White House.

Baseball Double Standard: Manny Ramirez & Shawn Chacon

A few days ago, I blogged about Shawn Chacon being released by the Houston Astros after he had thrown Astros General Manager Ed Wade to the ground twice. Now comes word that Boston Red Sox superstar Manny Ramirez, while in Houston coincidentally, threw Red Sox travelling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground after McCormick wouldn't allot Manny a sufficient number of free tickets to him for the weekend series against the Astros.

But Manny will not face the same punishment as Chacon. Nope. Manny got to say sorry and that he wouldn't do it again. Of course, this is what he said when he slapped teammate Kevin Youkilis in the dugout earlier this season at Fenway Park.

Could the fact that Manny isn't out of a job have anything to do with the fact that he's a superstar who earlier this season hit his 500th career homerun? And I suppose pushing a travelling secretary to the ground isn't the same thing as pushing a general manager to the ground? Wonder what would have happened if Manny had assaulted Theo Epstein?

Take it from someone who is a Red Sox fan and has watched Manny's exploits in person for the past 8 seasons with great joy. By not releasing Manny (who is in the final year of his contract) the Red Sox have sent a terrible message to the public. It's OK to commit assault and battery against someone if you are a perennial All Star but not OK to lift a finger if you are a marginal player. Manny being Manny is one thing but even Manny Ramirez isn't above the law. Commissioner Selig should step in and suspend him for the rest of the season.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How Not To Keep Your Job (Exhibit A: Shawn Chacon)

The Boston Red Sox will be playing a three game series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park this weekend. One pitcher the Sox will not be facing is Shawn Chacon.

The Astros put Chacon on waivers yesterday after he physically attacked Astros General Manager Ed Wade on Wednesday by choking him and throwing him to the floor. Chacon, who signed with the Astros as a free agent in the off season, was struggling with a 2-3 record and a 5.04 ERA in 15 starts. He had been demoted to the bullpen and was not pleased about it. The altercation took place in the office of Astros manager Cecil Cooper.

Chacon is one of those million dollar athletes with a ten cent head. He had enormous potential. Chacon won 11 games in his rookie season with the Colorado Rockies in 2003 and was named to the National League All Star Team. The following season he became the Rockies closer. He saved 35 games although he finished with a miserable 1-9 record with a 7.11 ERA. When he was good, he was good. But when he was bad, he was awful with everyone around him. He fell out of favor with the Rockies and they shipped him off to the New York Yankees in the middle of the 2005 season. Chacon pitched well in the Bronx, winning 7 games down the stretch helping them win the AL East. But Chacon was ineffective in 2006 and in mid-season the Yankees, too, got tired of his act and traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates where he pitched the remainder of the season and in 2007. The Astros were Chacon's fourth team in four seasons.

Given the physical altercation, it is likely that Chacon's major league career is over at the age of 30. If Chacon had worn out his welcome in the usual manner he would have hooked on with someone else. Case in point. Earlier this month, the Texas Rangers released pitcher Sidney Ponson despite the fact he was pitching effectively with a 4-1 record. However, he did not ingratiate himself with teammates or management including the club owner. Ponson ran into similar trouble with the Baltimore Orioles when they released him at the end of the 2005 season. He has two incidents of DUI and assaulted a judge in his native Aruba. Ponson has since been signed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees, with whom he briefly pitched in 2006. When he did not pitch effectively as a starter he was demoted to the bullpen which Ponson accepted. Ironically, had Ponson not accepted his demotion they would have released him and kept Shawn Chacon. If any organization does take another chance on Chacon it would be the Yankees. But even Ponson hasn't assaulted non-player personnel. Not yet anyway.

Mandela Blasts Mugabe

While at a fundraising dinner in London yesterday, former South African President Nelson Mandela blasted Zimbabwean President for Life Robert Mugabe. Mandela made reference to the "tragic failure of leadership in neighbouring Zimbabwe."

I must admit I am not the hugest fan of Mandela. He has long been an apologist for Palestinian terrorism, has spoken with immense disrespect towards President Bush (unlike dissidents such as Natan Sharansky, Vaclav Havel and the Dalai Lama) and the United States in general. Yet I would be foolish not to recognize Mandela's influence and the weight he carries. When he speaks, people listen.

The one reason Mugabe has remained in power for nearly three decades is because he is considered a hero against European colonialism. The only person in the African continent who can trump Mugabe's accomplishments in this regard is Mandela. Africans also defer to their elders. Mugabe is 84 but Mandela turns 90 next month.

Not that I think Mugabe is going to abruptly resign. The election is proceeding as scheduled tomorrow. But Mandela's remark has made Mugabe lose face amongst Africans. It is something he won't soon forget.

Bush Lifts Sanctions on North Korea

In light of North Korea turning over its nuclear dossier to China, the Bush Administration has lifted most of the sanctions against the Stalinist Republic led by Kim Jong-Il. It will also soon remove North Korea from the State Department's list of nations that sponsor terrorism.

While I don't think this is nearly as bad as Jimmy Carter taking Kim Il-Sung at his word I think this will hit us in the face one day. The North Koreans do not have a stellar reputation for honesty and there's little reason to believe they have changed their fundamental character. The North Koreans have not only disclosed their activity pertaining to plutonium, not the enrichment of uranium. Remember we have strong objections to the Iranians enriching uranium. Are we not troubled that North Korea is doing the same? Let us remember the North Koreans had their fingerprints on the Syrian nuclear facility that Israel levelled last fall. Last time I checked Syria is a state sponsor of terrorism.

So why is the Bush Administration lifting sanctions and removing its status as a supporter of terrorism? Because it needs a victory and it doesn't look like a Middle East peace agreement is going to come about. I am sure that under other circumstances, the United States would have wanted a little more than what the North Koreans have disclosed to the Chinese. But with President Bush leaving office in less than seven months, I gather the White House has concluded that this will simply have to do and if North Korea doesn't keep it word it will be Barack Obama or John McCain's problem.

Thoughts on the Gloucester 17

Long before I moved to Boston, I knew of a place called Gloucester, Massachusetts. Harry Chapin made reference to the city in a song called "Dogtown" which appeared on his very first album called Heads and Tales.

On a Saturday morning this past February, I took a train up to Gloucester to look at an apartment near the downtown area. Although it was the dead of winter, I found the city to be quite beautiful. Ultimately though I decided against taking the apartment as the commute into Boston would be too costly.

Now Gloucester is forever associated with 17 underage girls who have become pregnant. It appears that reports they made a pact to get pregnant and that a homeless man might have been responsible for siring one of the children appear to be erroneous. How many homeless men are there in a city of 30,000 people and how hard would they be to find? Needless to say, I think there was a lack of due dilligence on the part of Time Magazine which broke the story. But I also think there was a lack of due dilligence amongst readers who took the sensational aspects of this story at face value as proof positive that America is going straight to hell.

I'm not suggesting there isn't something disconcerting about 17 teenaged girls being pregnant at one high school. But now that they are pregnant I don't think we would suddenly want to encourage them to have abortions. I think the story will ultimately be told over the next five to twenty years. Every five years we should come back and see where the Gloucester 17 and their children are. I suspect that we will find some of the girls turn out to be model mothers. I also suspect some of the other girls will have more difficulty. Most will turn out somewhere in between. A lot of it will have to do with how much support they receive from their families, from one another and the people of Gloucester. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hamas Breaks Ceasefire With Israel

Surprise!!! Surprise!!! Surprise!!!

Scarcely a week after entering into a ceasefire with Israel, Hamas breaks the truce with the firing of three missile rockets from Gaza into Israel that injured two people. Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the acts. That was enough for Ehud Olmert whose office declared the truce over. Whether Israel will retaliate remains to be seen. Olmert has been reluctant to launch a full scale offensive in Gaza. Of course, Egypt had been brokering the deal. In fact, Olmert has flown to Egypt to meet with President Mubarak.

But it just goes to show the words of terrorists aren't worth the paper on which they are written.

What's the Difference Between Charlie Black & Michael Dukakis?

Charlie Black, one of John McCain's top campaign advisers, is coming under fire for stating in an interview with Fortune magazine that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would give McCain a "big advantage." Of course, McCain was quick to distance himself from the remark. But how is Black's statement any different from what 1988 Democratic Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis said last September with regard to this year's elections? Dukakis told a reporter, "(S)ome guy will blow up a building with three weeks to go, you know, and then we'll be back in Bush-land again."

So how come it's OK for a Democratic Presidential candidate to say a terrorist attack would be an advantage for the Republicans but not OK for an adviser to a Republican Presidential candidate to say a terrorist attack would be an advantage for the Republicans?

Of course, neither Black nor Dukakis wish for such a thing to happen. It's just the people who are upset by Black's remarks probably didn't bat an eyelash at Dukakis' utterances. Or perhaps it was all Greek to them.

Howard Hampton To Quit as Ontario NDP Leader in March 2009

I hadn't realized that Howard Hampton had announced he would not seek renomination as the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party at their convention in March 2009. Hampton became leader of the Ontario NDP in June 1996, succeeding Bob Rae. I supported his rival Frances Lankin during that convention. Nonetheless, I like Howie. I particularly liked his efforts to broaden the party's appeal through the "Dialogue for Change" process. In fact, when I was still active with the NDP I convinced our constituency association in Ottawa to organize our own D for C Conference in 1999. Although we did manage to pull it off, it wasn't fully embraced by the party establishment who for the most part simply wanted to use the process to reaffirm it ties with the unions and our existing policies that had failed.

Honestly, I am surprised Howie has hung on for as long as he did. He led the NDP through three elections - 1999, 2003 and 2007 - where they finished a distant third and twice lost party status at Queen's Park. On the other hand, I don't think anyone else really wanted the job. He did the best he could under the circumstances. People still have bitter memories of the NDP government in Ontario from 1990 to 1995 (in which Howie served first as Attorney General and later as Minister of Natural Resources). The electorate likes the NDP as an honest broker not as a governing party.

The 1990 election was a unique set of circumstances in which the Ontario electorate was simultaneously angry with the Conservative government in Ottawa and the Liberal government at Queen's Park and elected the NDP in a protest vote. In 2008, there's a Conservative government in Ottawa and a Liberal government in Toronto. The anger with the Liberals in 1990 was due to then Premier David Peterson calling an early election in the middle of summer. Thanks to the present Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty provncial elections now take place the first Thursday in October every four years and the next election isn't due until October 2011. So it is hard to imagine a circumstance under which the NDP comes to power in Ontario in the forseeable future.

No one has formally declared as a leadership candidate. If I was still a party member I'd be interested in Gilles Bisson (who will probably run). He's a well-regarded MPP who has represented his constituency well, he's fluently bilingual and he has a sense of humor. Back in 1991, the Ontario government had a struck a committee into finding a way to unify Canada after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord. The committee, which was chaired by Bisson, came to my high school and I was asked to make a presentation before it. The presentation took place in the school library. When Bisson and the other two committee members entered the room, everyone stood up out of respect. Bisson said, "Ahh, sit down. We're just people." It lightened the mood in the room considerably and demonstrated he didn't have any airs or pretensions about him.

The one down side against him is he's from Northern Ontario like Hampton (and for that matter me). Never mind that Timmins (where Bisson is from) is in Northeastern Ontario and Rainy River (where Hampton is from) is nearly 750 miles apart from each other and parts of it are more accessible by air than by road. Ontario NDP leaders are traditionally from Toronto and people from Toronto think Timmins and Rainy River are the same place and I suspect the party establishment wants a leader either from Toronto or Hamilton. Not that I have a dog in this fight. But that was the mindset when I was around and I'm sure that hasn't changed a great deal.

Sharif Barred From Contesting Pakistani By-Election

A Paksitani High Court in Lahore ruled yesterday that Nawaz Sharif was ineligible to contest a by-election scheduled to take place this Thursday. The judges in question were appointed last fall by President Musharraf when he declared martial law. The short lived coalition between the Pakistan People's Party and Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N broke down when they could not agree on the reinstatement of judges sacked by Musharraf. The PPP led by Prime Minister Gilani and Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, want to tie their reinstatement to other constitutional reforms.

For his part, Sharif isn't appealing the decision because he considers the judges illegitimate. Prime Minister Gilani, however, announced today that he will appeal to the Elections Commission to delay the by-election so they can appeal to Pakistan's Supreme Court. However, Pakistan's highest court is still full of Musharraf appointees. So there's every reason to believe the court will deny the government's petition while giving the PPP the appearance of trying to help Sharif. After all, if Sharif is allowed to contest the by-election he could once again be eligible to become Prime Minister.

If there is any prolonged discord between the PPP and PML-N the beneficiary of such discord is Pervez Musharraf, especially if the PPP is courting him. But I'm not sure why the PPP would want to do so. Musharraf after all didn't want to enter into any agreement with Bhutto and put her under house arrest. When she was assassinated, Musharraf and his minions said her death was her fault. I'm not suggesting Sharif is an angel but given Musharraf's indifference to Bhutto compared with Sharif's grief I'm not sure why the PPP isn't making a more concerted effort to work with him.

Sarkozy Calls for Jerusalem to be Divided

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been in Jerusalem the past couple of days and yesterday addressed the Israeli Knesset. While he was generally well received, Sarkozy said that Jerusalem must be shared. Specifically, this means East Jerusalem would be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Sarkozy said, "It's a holy city for three faiths, Jews, Christians and Muslims. Can Jerusalem be for one side and not the other? I don't think so."

Is Sarko suggesting Israel has denied Muslims and Christians access to their holy sites in Jerusalem? Did Jews have access to our holy sites between 1948 and 1967? Absolutely not. So why accuse Israel of doing something of which it is not guilty?

On top of that, Sarkozy has also said construction of the security fence will not bring Israel peace. That implies the Palestinians want to live with Israel as their neighbor if not for the security fence. It's the same red herring as the settlements (which, yes, Sarko also criticized). The security fence keeps suicide bombers out.

While Sarkozy opposes talking with Hamas, his Foreign Affairs Minister, Bernard Kouchner, does not.

All in all while Sarkozy is an improvement over Chirac concerning Israel, France is at best sending very mixed messages to Israel.

Oh well, at least they got to gaze upon Carla Bruni.

UN Security Council Condemns Violence in Zimbabwe

The UN Security Council unaminously endorsed a presidential statement condemning the political violence in Zimbabwe against the opposition by the Mugabe regime. Although Russia, China and South Africa would not endorse language recognizing Morgan Tsvangirai as Zimbabwe's legitimate leader, Tsvangirai nonetheless praised the resolution for holding Mugabe accountable. Tsvangirai remains in the Dutch Embassy in Harare.

Ahmadinejad Says Chuck You Farley to EU Incentives Package & Sanctions

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has formally rejected the EU incentives package offered by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Tehran last week as well as mocking the sanctions it imposed yesterday. If that wasn't enough Ahmadinejad has proposed the establishment of a special court to try "tyrants" who impeded Iran's nuclear program.

I cannot emphasize this enough. This is the man whom Barack Obama is so desperate to talk to without pre-condition. Clearly, Ahmadinejad derives pleasure in all of this and would likely break out in song should Obama pay him a visit. Of course, I exxagerate. Singing is unIslamic. But you get my point.

Monday, June 23, 2008

EU Imposes Sanctions Against Iran (After Offering Incentives)

No sooner than French President Nicolas Sarkozy told the Israeli Knesset than a nuclear Iran would be "unacceptable", the European Union has announced a new round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. This consists mostly of freezing the European assets of Bank Melli, which is Iran's National Bank.

However, it should be noted that last week EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana last week travelled to Tehran to meet with senior Iranian officials to present a package of incentives for Iran to discontinue enriching uranium. Despite the sanctions, these incentives are still on the table. Iran has not replied to the EU offer.

The EU is getting better on Iran and this measure does somewhat make up for dropping sanctions against Cuba last week. But methinks a mixed message is being sent to Iran. Sure, diplomacy is a mixture of carrots and sticks. Yet if the world wanted to send a message to Iran it would stop buying its oil and gas. Of course, that won't happen with Russia and China around.

Yet I think Solana's trip to Tehran was premature. Iran hasn't shown a willingness to budge on anything. They have not demonstrated themselves to be amenable to reason. They are determined to proceed with the nuclear program come hell or high water. If the Iranians were to allow full inspections, institute some political reforms or tone down its rhetoric against Israel then there would be grounds for Solana and the EU to meet with Iran. Instead Tehran is being presented with all these goodies without having to be good at all. It is like offering candy to a child who insists on being petulent.

Tsvangirai Seeks Refuge at Dutch Embassy

Morgan Tsvangirai has sought refuge at the Dutch Embassy in Harare in fear of his safety. This information came to light after the raid conducted by Zimbabwean authorities at MDC HQ this morning where they arrested 60 people. Perhaps Tsvangirai knew the authorities were coming after him and this time they meant business. The Dutch Embassy has issued a statement that Tsvangirai is not seeking political asylum in The Netherlands. Yet I wonder what options Tsvangirai has left. He's not safe in Zimbabwe. But if Tsvangirai leaves then watch for a mass exodus to follow.

MDC HQ Raided in Harare; Sixty Arrested

Even though Morgan Tsvangirai has formally withdrawn from the election, Zimbabwean authorities are not content to bask in Robert Mugabe's "win". Nope. This morning they raided the Movement for a Democratic Change headquarters in Harare seizing computers, furniture and arrested 60 people, mostly women and children. The arrogance and cruelty of the Mugabe regime knows no bounds.

George Carlin, 1937-2008. R.I.P.

I read this morning that comedian George Carlin had died of heart failure after entering a hospital in Santa Monica yesterday. He was 71. Last week, Carlin had been named the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The award will now be presented posthumously in November.

Carlin was perhaps best known for the "Seven Dirty Words You Never Say on TV" and formed the basis of the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation. The Court ruled that such words are prohibited at hours when children are likely to view the programming. Of course, I'm sure many of those children hear those words uttered by their parents or in the schoolyard.

I best remember him as the first host of Saturday Night Live in October 1975.

In all honesty, I was not a huge fan of his humor and cared even less for his politics. I remember when he did a rant on golf calling it a racist sport. I think Tiger Woods shattered those notions beyond imagination.

But I did like Carlin's routine on baseball and football which can be found here

Tsvangirai Withdraws From Zimbabwe Election

Yesterday, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai announced he was withdrawing from the runoff election that was scheduled to take place this Friday. Tsvangirai said he did not want Zimbabweans risking their lives to vote. The Mugabe government has been responsible for the deaths of dozens of opposition activists - some of whom have had limbs hacked off and have been burned alive.

The government said Tsvangirai withdrew only because he would lose Friday's vote. Yet it was Mugabe would made it clear he would not relinquish power if the vote had gone Tsvangirai's way. So talk about disingenuousness.

So where does this leave Zimbabwe? Unless there is an internal revolt within the ZANU-PF, Mugabe will be President for Life. Indeed, Mugabe has said he wants to serve as President until he is 100. He is 84. Zimbabweans don't have 16 years to wait.

I suspect that we will see a flood of Zimbabwean refugees. Of course, this has been happening for some time now but there will be an escalation. It is worth noting though there has been violence committed against Zimbabweans in South Africa. Botswana has electric fences on its borders. So one wonders if Zimbabweans will most likely seek harbor in Mozambique but inevitably it would take its own measures to stem the tide. Although Mugabe has received a bit of a backlash amongst the Southern African Development Community, don't look to them to help the people of Zimbabwe. Under those circumstances, we might see a flux of Zimbabweans making their way to Europe and North America. Given its status as its one time colonial master, Britain would be ideally suited to take the lead here. Suffice it to say, it is a pretty sad state of affairs if the best available option for Zimbabweans is if they are to leave their country.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Roman Catholics for Obama?

This a contradictory site. Obama stands for everything opposing the Catholic Church. Check out who has endorsed him. Several pro-life Democrats and a pro-life Republican. The site attempts to take a portion of a statement by U.S. Bishops out of context to justify supporting Obama, but doesn't do a very good job. Because avoiding "intrinsic evil" like abortion outweighs the lofty and vague "human rights." If "human rights" referred to one specific atrocity, such as the Holocaust or killing babies, then it might carry more weight. But used the way the left defines it, its amorphous broadness doesn't carry as much weight.

34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter's intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate's opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate's unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.

Blue Jays Fire Gibbons; Bring Back Cito Gaston

This is not a good week to be a major league manager. First, the New York Mets unceremoniously let go of Willie Randolph in the wee hours of Monday morning. Yesterday, the Seattle Mariners parted ways with John McLaren. Today, the Toronto Blue Jays fired John Gibbons who had been at the helm since late in the 2004 season. Anyone who read my column on my 2008 MLB Predictions will know that I picked the Toronto Blue Jays to win the 2008 World Series. However, this was on the condition that the Jays fire manager John Gibbons and replace him with first base coach Ernie Whitt, an original member of the Blue Jays. ( However, Whitt was also let go along with hitting coach Gary Denbo and third base coach Marty Pevey.

Gibbons' replacement is none other than Cito Gaston. Boy, did not see that coming. Cito Gaston managed the Toronto Blue Jays from 1989 to 1997. Gaston is the most successful manager in the franchise's history. He guided them to 4 AL East pennants (1989, 1991-1993) and back to back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. Joining Gaston are Gene Tenace as hitting coach (Tenace is best known for being the 1972 World Series MVP for the Oakland A's) and Dwayne Murphy and Nick Leyva as first base and third base coaches, respectively. Brian Butterfield remains the bench coach although Tenace has long been Gaston's right hand man and Brad Arnsberg remains pitching coach.

Gaston will probably have a better relationship with the players than did Gibbons who was notorious for getting into confrontations with his players (who are no longer with the Jays) such as Dave Bush, Shea Hillenbrand, Ted Lilly and most recently Frank Thomas. He also seldom saw eye to eye with star centerfielder Vernon Wells. If Gaston turns things around in Toronto it will be a bigger story than the emergence of the Tampa Bay Rays.

But I still think they should have given Whitt a shot. As mentioned earlier, he was an original member of the Jays when they debuted in 1977 and he played with them through 1989. Whitt went as far as to take out Canadian citizenship. While he has never managed at the major league level he has managed the Canadian National Team and came within a heartbeat of a Bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Sydney. He also did a good job with the team at the World Baseball Classic in 2006. I suspect that he will be back at the helm of the Canadian team at the next WBC in 2009.

It's interesting to note that all three managers fired this week were first time managers replaced by managers with previous MLB managing experience - Willie Randolph by Jerry Manuel, John McLaren by Jim Riggleman and now John Gibbons by Cito Gaston.

McCain Visits Canada

Today, John McCain was in Ottawa (my old stomping grounds) and gave a speech before the Economic Club of Canada to speak about the virtues of NAFTA while indirectly reminding his audience about Barack Obama's inconstitencies with respect to it.

McCain, in jest, called Canada a neighbor "we fear only on ice rinks and baseball diamonds." McCain praised Canada for its willingness to help Americans on September 11, 2001. People forget that the planes that were still airborne during the time of the attack were diverted to Canada, most notably in Newfoundland. McCain also praised the Canadian military's performance in the Kandahar Region of Afghanistan.

Some in the Canadian media are noting that McCain is not meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. While NAFTA-gate gave Obama trouble in Ohio it also provided Harper with headaches as his soon be to former chief of staff was accused of leaking the information. So today Harper is in Saskatchewan.

That's fine. There will be plenty of time for McCain and Harper to get acquainted after McCain is elected this November.

EU Drops Sanctions Against Cuba

The European Union announced today that it was dropping diplomatic sanctions against Cuba effective June 24th. The EU was prompted to impose sanctions when Fidel Castro began rounding up Cuban dissidents in the spring of 2003 when much of the world was focussed on U.S. and Coalition troops entering Iraq.

I'm not sure what Raul Castro has done to earn a reprieve. While some of the dissidents were granted medical parole and four other dissidents were released but ordered to leave Cuba (they are now in Spain) nearly all of those who were rounded up remain in prison. The EU insists it wants the prisoners released and for Cubans to have unfettered internet access. It would also be nice if Cubans could read whatever books they wished. Multiparty elections might help matters as well.

Maybe Curt Schilling Can Pitch for McCain If He Can't Pitch for the Red Sox

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling will have season ending shoulder surgery on Monday. Schilling has not pitched this season due to the injury although he had been rehabbing and appeared to be making progress until about a week ago. Schilling came to the Red Sox in 2004 vowing to end our 86 year drought and backed up his word even if it meant a blood soaked sock. He also was also a contributor the 2007 World Series Championship team. Schilling signed a one year contract extension worth $8 million in the off season and was physically cleared to compete at the time.

There is a good chance Schilling might not ever pitch again even with the surgery. Even if never pitches again, he'll have played 20 years, won over 200 games, struck out more than 3000 batters and played in 4 World Series, three of them winners.

Schilling campaigned for President Bush's re-election in 2004 and was an early supporter of John McCain. Schilling and McCain became acquainted during his stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks where he was a part of the 2001 World Series Championship team. Schilling made an appearance with McCain before the New Hampshire Primary. If Schilling can't pitch for the Red Sox he can still make another pitch for McCain.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Seattle Mariners Fire McLaren; Riggleman To Manage Rest of Season (And Why I Don't Like The Five Man Infield)

With the worst record in MLB of 25-47, the Seattle Mariners have fired manager John McLaren. His firing the second of this week. Of course, the New York Mets fired manager Willie Randolph earlier this week replacing him with Mets bench coach and former Chicago White Sox manager Jerry Manuel. McLaren had been on the job for less than a year after being hired last July when Mike Hargrove abruptly resigned. The Mariners were the hottest team in baseball when McLaren took over but they failed to make the post-season. Many (myself included) expected the Mariners to contend again in 2008, especially with the additions of Erik Bedard and Carlos Silva to the starting rotation. But the Mariners are 17 and a half games behind the Los Angels of Anaheim in the AL West.

Mariners bench coach Jim Riggleman will manage the team for the rest of the season. Riggleman managed the San Diego Padres from late 1992 through 1994 and the Chicago Cubs from 1995 through 1999. Riggleman guided the Cubs to the NL Wild Card in 1998, the same season Sammy Sosa hit 66 homeruns. I watched a lot of Cubs baseball that season. Riggleman used to drive me crazy with his obsession with the five man infield.

So what is the five man infield? A five man infield is employed when an outfielder is brought into the infield usually if there are two outs and a runner at third and the game is tied or the defensive team is up by a run. The logic is with an extra infielder it would be more difficult for a batter to hit the ball out of the infield and thus there's a play at the plate. But more often than not the play doesn't work. I saw Riggleman use the play at least six times and it worked once. Usually, the batter would find a way to hit through the shift. The ball doesn't have to be hit hard. A little Texas leaguer bloop and it's all over.

I even saw the Oakland Athletics try it against Manny Ramirez in an extra inning game at Fenway on my birthday in 2005. They had the bases loaded. Manny ended up being hit by the pitch and the Sox won the game.

My guess is that if we see a lot of five man infields in Seattle they will continue to lose.

Mugabe's Thugs Kill Wife of the Mayor-Elect of Harare

The body of Abigail Chiroto, the wife of Harare's Mayor-elect Emmanuel Chirito, was found hours after she and her young son had been kidnapped by a group of men loyal to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. She was found blindfolded and had been mutilated. Her son was not harmed and released.

This following the murder of four opposition activists near Harare who were also mutilated with crushed skulls, extracted lips, gouged eyes and severed genitals. One of the dead had his genitals placed in his pocket.

So much for South African President Thabo Mbeki's visit to Mugabe yesterday. Although now the patience of some of Zimbabwe's African neighbors is wearing thin. Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, called Zimbabwe's election "a joke." Bernard Membe, Tanzania's Foreign Affairs Minister, who is heading up an observer team from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said the elections "will never be free or fair." Membe's counterpart Moses Wetang'ula of Kenya condemned the "roadblocks" that have impeded MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's campaign activities. Tsvangirai has been arrested five times by Zimbabwean authorities in the past couple of weeks. While Mbeki has been unwilling to criticize Mugabe, ANC Chair Jacob Zuma has taken Mugabe to task for the lack of fairness in this election. Until now, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa had been pretty much the only African leader willing to speak out against Mugabe who still regarded by many Africans as a hero against colonialism.

The question is will the continent's leaders band together and save Zimbabwe should a) Tsvangirai win the election and Mugabe prevents him from lawfully assuming power or b) Mugabe prevails by fraudulent means. The election is eight days away.

New UN Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestinian Territories Likens Israel to the Nazis; Also a 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist

And I thought John Dugard was bad. Dugard was the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories first for the UN Human Rights Commission and then the UN Human Rights Council from 2001 until this month. What this simply means is that Dugard would write reports condemning alleged Israeli violations of human rights while remaining mum on any trangressions committed by the Palestinians. Dugard, a South African, was noted for comparing Israel to South Africa's former Apartheid regime.

But Dugard's successor is even worse. Richard Falk, a retired Princeton law professor, last year penned an article titled, "Slouching Toward a Palestinian Holocaust" (
Falk writes:

Israel is currently stiffening the boycott on economic relations that has brought the people of Gaza to the brink of collective starvation. This set of policies, carried on for more than four decades, has imposed a sub-human existence on a people that have been repeatedly and systematically made the target of a variety of severe forms of collective punishment. The entire population of Gaza is treated as the 'enemy' of Israel, and little pretext is made in Tel Aviv of acknowledging the innocence of this long victimized society.

To persist with such an approach under present circumstances is indeed genocidal, and risks destroying an entire Palestinian community that is an integral part of an ethnic whole. It is this prospect that makes appropriate the warning of a Palestinian holocaust in the making, and should remind the world of the famous post-Nazi pledge of 'never again.'

Palestinian Holocaust? The entire population of Gaza is treated as the "enemy" of Israel? Of course, Falk never mentions that Hamas' raison d'etre is the destruction of Israel. But what you can expect of a guy who once praised the Iranian Revolution for its emphasis on non-violence and that it would "provide us with a desperately needed model of humane governance for a third world country."

But wait!!! Falk tops himself.

In addition to likening Israel to Nazi Germany, Falk is also a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. In 2004, Falk was chosen to write the preface to David Ray Griffin's book The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration & 9/11. Griffin is probably the dean of 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Falk writes:

As with Pearl Harbor there are ample reasons to receive news of massive attack with some skepticism. As with the difficulties of the Roosevelt presidency in rallying the country for war, here too, the neocon advisers shaping the foreign policy of the Bush Administration had been frustrated by their inability to mobilize the country for war. (

Not surprisingly, Falk wants an investigation into whether a controlled implosion took down the World Trade Center rather than as a result of two airplanes being navigated into the buildings.
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton told FOX News called Falk's views "fruitcake city, but among many delegations to the UN it's probably conventional wisdom."

Well, when Falk issues a report likening Israel's treatment of Palestinians to that of the Nazis against the Jews, please consider the source.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tiger Woods To Have Reconstructive Knee Surgery

Less than 48 hours after his sudden death triumph at Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods announced today that he requires reconstructive knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and will not compete again in 2008. Back in April, 48 hours after winning the Masters, Woods had an arthroscopic procedure on his knee done. Woods was hoping to wait until after 2008 to have the reconstructive procedure done but he sustained a stress fracture of the left tibia on top of the problems he's had with the ACL and was visibly in a lot of pain this past weekend. Woods originally sustained his injury while running near his Orlando home shortly after playing in the 2007 British Open. Amazingly, Woods has played some of his best golf over the past year. And that is saying something because he is the very best in his sport. If Tiger can win the U.S. Open on a broken leg imagine what he could do once he is fully healthy again.

Israel Seeks Direct Peace Talks With Lebanon

No sooner than Israel confirmed its truce with Hamas in Gaza, government spokesman Mark Regev announced that it was seeking direct peace talks with Lebanon. Unlike Syria and Hamas in Gaza, Israel has talked to them through third parties - Turkey and Egypt, respectively. I suppose if there was one government Israel would want to talk to directly it would be Lebanon. Despite Israel's two wars in that country the quarrel on both occasions was never with the Lebanese government or the Lebanese people. In the 1982 War in Lebanon, Israel was fighting the PLO as well as Abu Nidal's forces who were using Lebanon as a base from which to attack Israel. The Lebanese government could do little to help as it was under the thumb of Syria. There were some forces in Lebanon sympathetic to Israel namely Bachir Gemayel who was elected President of Lebanon later that year. He would be assassinated nine days before he would take office. Nearly a quarter century later, Israel's quarrel in Lebanon was with Hezbollah. Again, the Lebanese government could do little to help matters as it was under the thumb of both Iran and Syria. Of course, Lebanese civilians were killed in both wars. Instead of blaming their occupiers, namely the Syrians and Iranians, the Lebanese political establishment - Muslim and Christian alike - blame Israel. Sadly, Prime Minister Saniora has declared that Lebanon is the last country that will make peace with Israel.

It's probably just as well. Israel, under Ehud Olmert, is reaching out to Lebanon in a position of weakness as opposed to a position of strength. Olmert is fighting for his political survival. The negotiations, even indirect ones, with Hamas and Syria seem haphazard and designed only to prolong his power. It also must be remembered that Hezbollah now has an effective veto over everything the Saniora government does in light of its revolt against the government last month. Surely, Olmert must know that as long as Iran through its proxy Hezbollah run the show in Lebanon there is no chance for peace with the Lebanese government. Hence the statement comes from Regev and not from his office. Perhaps he merely wants to give the appearance Israel is doing something to a critical international community. If that is the case the only thing that is visible to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah and others who hate Israel is desperation.

Boston Celtics Win NBA Championship

Celtic pride has returned to Boston. In capping off the most extraordinary turnaround in NBA history, the Boston Celtics demolished the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 in Game 6 of the NBA Final to capture their record 17th NBA Championship. Last night's triumph was the first NBA Championship for the storied franchise since 1986. For all the Sox and Patriots recent successes, the Celtics are the first team to clinch their championship at home since that '86 Celtics team. The 39 point gap in the final score was the largest margin of victory in an NBA Final clincher.

The Celtics had fallen on difficult times since their last championship. Paul Pierce has seen much of that turmoil for the past decade. It was only last season the Celtics finished with a 24-58 record. Many thought Pierce would be gone after last season. Instead, Danny Ainge (one of the core members of those Celtics championship teams in the 1980s) acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and the Big Three were born. The Celtics won 27 of their first 30 games and finished the season with a NBA best 66-16 record. They were nearly knocked in the first round of the playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics could not win a playoff game on the road. There were similar troubles against the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the Celtics proved they could win on the turf of both the Detroit Pistons and the L.A. Lakers. Last Thursday, they came back down 24 points against the Lakers to win Game 4. In last night's game, Garnett and Allen each had 26 points, Rajon Rondo had 21 points as well as six steals doing his best John Havlicek impersonation. Pierce had 17 points and was named the NBA Finals MVP.

I joined the reverie outside for about half an hour. There were nearly as many people out and about as when the Sox and Patriots won championships. One might have thought there would be a larger crowd with warmer weather. On the other hand, the college kids have for the most part gone home. I did notice more African-Americans partaking in this celebration than I did for the Sox and Patriots. Given that the Celtics are nearly all African-American including head coach Doc Rivers, it is understandable there would be a greater affinity for the Celtics in the African-American community.

A victory parade is scheduled to take place tomorrow during the lunch hour. I am planning to attend. This is Boston's sixth such parade in just over six years. Isn't it interesting that all of these championships have occurred during the Bush Administration? Makes me wonder what happens once either McCain or Obama takes office next year. I'm sure the rest of the country is tired of us winning as they are of President Bush. But as someone who arrived here in 2000 I am taking the Carly Simon approach and say, "These are the good old days." Somewhere in heaven Red Auerbach is smiling with a cigar.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

British Muslim Woman Ordered Compensation For "Injury To Feelings"

A British employment tribunal has ordered a 19-year-old Muslim woman be compensated 4,000 pounds (or approximately $7,800 USD) for "injury to feelings" after being denied a job at a London hair salon last year. (

Bushra Noah had claimed religious discrimination against Sarah DeRosiers, the Canadian born owner of the Wedge Hair Salon in London's King Cross neighborhood. DeRosiers wouldn't hire Noah because of the hijab she wore covering her hair. DeRosiers said she could not conceive of hiring a hair stylist who didn't show off their hair. After all, it is hairstyles that in part bring in business. While the tribunal didn't see merit in Noah's complaint of religious discrimination. The board even acknowledged that DeRosiers would have made the same business decision whether or not Noah was Muslim. But they ruled in Noah's favor because she didn't provide specific evidence that a hairstylist who concealed their hair would be harmful to business. But isn't that a decision that should be determined by DeRosiers and not some government body? Well, now that DeRosiers is being forced to pay this woman there's a good chance she will have to shut down her shop and force the other hairstylists out of work. That I would say is pretty harmful to business.

One could argue there might have been a better way for DeRosiers to have handled the situation but she shouldn't lose her business over it. If every person who ever had their feelings hurt by an employer who wouldn't hire them sued for compensation then there would cease to be employers. Then no one could get hired anywhere.

Report: Israel & Hamas to Begin Truce on Thursday

According to, a truce will commence between Israel and Hamas on Thursday. Israel has not confirmed the truce but Israeli Defense officials have said that negotiations concerning Corporal Gilad Schalit, kidnapped by Hamas in 2006, will begin Sunday. This truce was mediated by Egypt.

The truce demonstrates the political impotence of the Olmert government. For those who speculate that Israel will take out Iran's nuclear programme, keep in mind the Olmert government was unprepared to launch a full scale incursion into Gaza to halt the daily mortar rocket attacks into Israel. Sure, there will be calm but these truces are nothing more than an opportunity for Hamas to rearm itself. It is also worth noting the rocket attacks against Israel escalated after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip.

Frankly, I am amazed that Olmert has held onto power this long especially given his lacklustre performance during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and the corruption investigations against him. I thought he would be gone a year ago but I guess there's not much talent on the Kadima benches. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is the most obvious successor but she inspires about as much confidence as Olmert. Under the circumstances, this isn't saying very much.

New York Mets Fire Willie Randolph

After weeks of speculation, the hatchet finally fell on Willie Randolph this morning. Randolph was fired as manager of the New York Mets along with pitching coach Rick Peterson and first base coach Tom Nieto. Randolph is being replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jerry Manuel. Ken Oberkfell and Dan Warthen have been promoted from Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs and will replace Nieto and Peterson respectively. Luis Aguayo will also join the coaching staff.

Randolph had been the Mets skipper since 2005. In 2006, the Mets came within a heartbeat of reaching the World Series losing in 7 games to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. The Cardinals went on the win that year's World Series. Last year, the Mets were well on their way to post season glory. In mid-September, the Mets enjoyed a 7 game lead on the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets then proceeded to lose 12 of their final 17 games while the Phillies won 13 of their last 17 games. The Phillies won the National League East and the Mets went home suffering one of the worse collapses in the history of Major League Baseball.

Yet many believed the Mets would triumph in 2008. This was mainly on the basis of their acquisition of two time Cy Young Award winner Johann Santana from the Minnesota Twins. But when a team undergoes a catacylsmic collapse like the Mets did it takes more than a single off season to recover from it. Indeed, the tensions remained high between Randolph and the Mets front office, most notably Assistant General Manager Tony Bernazard. Randolph also came under fire when he accused SNY (the Mets television station) of racism in their coverage. There have also been tensions between players like Billy Wagner and David Wright on one side and Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran on the other. In my article on the 2008 MLB season, I picked the Mets to finish 4th in the NL East well behind the Phillies. ( Well, it's June 17th. The Mets are 34-35 and in 4th place in the NL East, six and a half games behind the Phillies.

I'm not sure if Manuel will do much better. Manuel did manage the Chicago White Sox for six seasons and led them to an AL Central Division title in 2000. But in New York, one is expected to win and win right away. Every once in awhile, a managerial change brings about dramatic results. The 2003 Florida Marlins come to mind when Jack McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg and won the World Series. I think it would be a lot to expect the Mets to do very much this season. In which case, the Mets would need to overhaul their roster and not just their coaching staff and hope for better results in 2009.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tiger Woods Wins U.S. Open in Sudden Death (Or How Golf Became Arbitrary For Mediate)

I just saw Tiger Woods win a sudden death playoff to win the U.S. Open against Rocco Mediate on TV. I'm not a hug golf fan but if Tiger ever gets into a playoff I automatically root for the other guy usually with futile results. It is not a resentment of success. It's just I like to see other people have their moment in the sun. I mean there are hundreds of golfers on the PGA Tour who go years between winning tournaments. Mediate hasn't won a golf tournament since 2002. Some never win any at all. Yet they are still great golfers. But with Tiger on the scene it has become that much more difficult. Golf has become even more arbitrary for the Rocco Mediates of the world. With today's win at Torrey Pines, Tiger has now won 14 majors. He is within striking distance of Jack Nicklaus who won 18 majors. Keep in mind that it took nearly a quarter century for Nicklaus to achieve this feat. Tiger has won 14 in just over a decade. What's even more amazing about today's win is that he just came back from knee surgery.

Still, Rocco Mediate went toe to toe with the Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky of golf. Nothing to be ashamed of. He can not only tell his grandchildren about competing with Tiger Woods but he can share his earnings with them. But had Mediate beat Woods, the 45-year-old would have been the second oldest man to win a PGA Major. The oldest was the aforementioned Golden Bear. Nicklaus won the Masters in 1986 at the age of 46.

Rice Blasts Israel on Settlements

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blasted Israel yesterday for continuing to build settlements in East Jerusalem. Rice said Israel's activity had a "negative effect on the atmosphere of the negotiations."

This gives me an opportunity to make a comment on Israeli settlements. They are and always have been nothing but a red herring. Let's be honest here. If Israel were to not only halt settlement expansion but dismantle all existing settlements does anyone think the Palestinians would be mollified in the least? Palestinians don't take issue with Israeli settlements. They take issue with Israel itself. The Palestinians consider all of Israel one large settlement. But the Palestinians are effective propagandists and Rice is the latest in a long line of Western diplomats that has bought into the settlements are an impediment to peace argument hook, line and sinker.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Think that all Catholic priests are liberal Jesuits? Think again

Priests for Life

“Is This What You Mean?”

Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries are announcing a special project called “Is This What You Mean?” It aims to educate the public about the nature of abortion and to challenge public officials and candidates who support the legality of abortion to admit what it is.

It is a project that pro-life people everywhere can participate in.

Below is a brief description of this project, along with initial resources that you can use. Additional information will be posted here as the project develops.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director

We in the pro-life community have been fed up for a long time with “public servants” who can’t seem to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. They mask the violence of abortion with the smooth language of “choice,” and refuse to protect the victims.

These politicians are found in both major political parties; some hold public office and others seek it. And many Church leaders have been hesitant to discipline such individuals, even though many of them claim to practice their faith.

These abortion supporting politicians get away with what they are doing in large measure because they refuse to talk about what the “choice” actually is. They try to avoid the word “abortion” altogether; but even when they use it, the word has lost practically all its meaning. Voters hear the word but are left with little or no awareness of the gruesome horror it represents.

This election season, it’s time for that to change. No matter what politicians or voters or Church officials are or are not going to do, it’s time that we who know what abortion is draw a line in the sand and give candidates and office-holders alike this challenge:

If you’re going to take a position on abortion, then you’re going to have to come clean about what it is. We are no longer going to let you obscure or trivialize the issue. Whether people agree with you or not, you owe it to them to be honest about what you’re talking about.

Therefore we issue this simple call to honesty: We will describe abortion to you, and you tell us if that’s what you’re talking about.

That’s it, pure and simple. This is not a debate, nor a threat. It’s a call to clarity, a demand for honesty. That is not partisan, nor is it unreasonable; it is not fanatical or inappropriate in any way. Nor is this about religion or morality.

We just want to make sure that we’re hearing you. When you say “abortion,” we just want to make sure we’re both talking about the same thing.

I recently posted videos on You Tube in which I describe and demonstrate the most common abortion techniques, using the actual instruments of abortion and the words found in medical textbooks and court testimony. Below you will see the links to these videos, as well as brief quotes you can use from abortionists themselves.

For example, Dr. Carolyn Westhoff testified, “In the dismemberment D&E…it is necessary to insert our forceps…and then crush the head.” (National Abortion Federation v. Ashcroft, April 2004, US District Court, Southern District of New York).

Then simply ask “pro-choice” politicians (whether they are candidates or already in public office) if this is what they mean when they say “abortion.” Yes or no. Ask it publicly. Ask it repeatedly. Ask it at town meetings, on blogs, in editorials. Those whose support they are seeking deserve to know.

You Tube links on the abortion procedures:

Click here to order diagrams, with descriptions, of the two most common abortion procedures.

Click here to order our DVD "The Procedure."

Additional quotes to use from abortion textbooks and court testimony about legal abortion activity:

First Trimester Suction Abortion

"The physician will usually first notice a quantity of amniotic fluid, followed by placenta and fetal parts, which may be more or less identifiable." (From the medical textbook Abortion Practice – Dr. Warren Hern, p.114, in section on First Trimester Abortion).


“When we do a suction curettage abortion, you know, roughly one of three things is going to happen during the abortion. One would be that the catheter as it approaches the fetus, you know, tears it and kills it at that instant inside the uterus. The second would be that the fetus is small enough and the catheter is large enough that the fetus passes through the catheter and either dies in transit as it’s passing through the catheter or dies in the suction bottle after it’s actually all the way out.” (Sworn testimony given in US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S), by Dr. Martin Haskell, an abortionist. He describes legal activity.)


Question: Can the heart of a fetus or embryo still be beating during a suction curettage abortion as the fetus or embryo comes down the cannula? Answer: For a few seconds to a minute, yes.
(Sworn testimony given in US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S), by Dr. Harlan Raymond Giles, an abortionist. He describes legal activity.)

Second Trimester D&E Abortion

"The procedure changes significantly at 21 weeks because the fetal tissues become much more cohesive and difficult to dismember. This problem is accentuated by the fact that the fetal pelvis may be as much as 5cm in width. The calvaria [head] is no longer the principal problem; it can be collapsed. Other structures, such as the pelvis, present more difficulty….A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus…" (From the medical textbook Abortion Practice – Dr. Warren Hern, p.154)


“The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely re-moved.” (US Supreme Court, Gonzales vs. Carhart, April 18, 2007, describing the D&E procedure).


"Let's just say for instance we took a different view, a different tact and we left the leg in the uterus just to dismember it. Well, we'd probably have to dismember it at several different levels because we don't have firm control over it, so we would attack the lower part of the lower extremity first, remove, you know, possibly a foot, then the lower leg at the knee and then finally we get to the hip."

"And typically when the abortion procedure is started we typically know that the fetus is still alive because either we can feel it move as we're making our initial grasps or if we're using some ultrasound visualization when we actually see a heartbeat as we're starting the procedure. It's not unusual at the start of D&E procedures that a limb is acquired first and that that limb is brought through the cervix and even out of the vagina prior to disarticulation and prior to anything having been done that would have caused the fetal demise up to that point."

"When you're doing a dismemberment D&E, usually the last part to be removed is the skull itself and it's floating free inside the uterine cavity…So it's rather like a ping-pong ball floating around and the surgeon is using his forcep to reach up to try to grasp something that's freely floating around and is quite large relative to the forcep we're using. So typically there's several misdirections, misattempts to grasp. Finally at some point either the instruments are managed to be place around the skull or a nip is made out of some area of the skull that allows it to start to decompress. And then once that happens typically the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece…" (Sworn testimony given in US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S), by Dr. Martin Haskell, an abortionist. He describes legal activity.)

News and Blog Links

John Smeaton, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children:

Catholic Online:
Catholic Online Homepage:

Catholic News Agency: True Face of an Abortion by Kevin Roeten

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Conservatives need to join Facebook

I've been impressed with the way Facebook is developing. No longer just for college students, it is burgeoning into the best networking tool online. It is much more advanced than Linked In or MySpace. There are myriads of groups to join and people to link up to, and once you're friends with someone or a member of a group, your homepage will run the latest updates from them. Facebook proactively offers you suggestions on your homepage as to who you should add as a friend or what group you should consider joining. Many prominent politicians are now online, and will add you as a friend. Most conservative groups you can think of in the country are on there. It's quick, easy, free, and only takes a couple of minutes to sign up. I urge every conservative to join - then add me as a friend :-)

(click to enlarge)

IC launches "IC Arizona" - new conservative news source for Arizona

Intellectual Conservative has taken over AZ Political Intel and re-launched it as IC Arizona. There has been no news source in Arizona aggregating conservative news, events, and op-eds from organizations such as the Goldwater Institute, AZ Right to Life, Center for Arizona Policy, AZ Federation of Taxpayers, and our conservative politicians. IC hopes to fill this void and provide an alternative to the local liberal newspapers which rarely print this information.

McCain Calls SC Gitmo Ruling "One of the Worst Decisions in the History of this Country."

At a townhall meeting yesterday in New Jersey, John McCain blasted the Supreme Court decision allowing Gitmo detainees to petition U.S. civilian courts. McCain called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country." McCain went on to say:

Our first obligation is the safety and security of this nation and the men and women who defend it. This decision will harm our ability to do that....We are now going to have the courts filled with so-called habeas corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material....These are people who are not citizens. They do not and never have been given the rights that citizens in this country have. Now, my friends, there are some bad people down there. There are some bad people.

Meanwhile, for his part, Barack Obama praised the court's decision stating it was "a step toward re-establishing our credibility as a nation." With whom? Iran? al-Qaeda? If Obama steps into the No Spin Zone with O'Reilly, I hope O'Reilly nails him on this question.

I also hope McCain pounds Obama on this relentlessly and without mercy. Because this is McCain's chance to win the election. Does Obama stand with the safety of the American people or does he stand with the civil rights of terrorists? Obama can call that question a false choice all he wants. But it isn't a false choice. The U.S. Constitution isn't a suicide note. Obama should tell us why he thinks the people committed to destroying this country should be afforded the same rights as the people committed to protecting it.

I think this issue could resonate with the electorate in this country in a way that talking with Iran or even the Iraq War wouldn't. I don't think the American people want terrorists to be afforded the same legal protections as their families and law abiding friends and neighbors. The thought of Gitmo inmates being sent up to civilian courtrooms on U.S. soil is not a comforting one and McCain needs to make it clear that Obama sees terrorists as no different in status as law abiding American citizens and legal immigrants.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, 1950-2008. R.I.P.

A few minutes ago, MSNBC announced that Tim Russert had died today of a heart attack while at work in Washington, D.C. Russert, who was the host of NBC's Meet The Press and the network's bureau chief in Washington was only 58. Russert had been here for his son's graduation from Boston College after vacationing in Italy.

I must admit I generally didn't watch much of Russert's stuff although I did particularly enjoy an interview he once did with Joe Torre. He moderated many Presidential debates including the one for Red Sox Nation last September on the New England Sports Network. The impression I had of him was that of an amiable, decent man. Needless to say, he left this world far too young.

Mugabe Readies For War Against His Own People

With only a fortnight until the runoff election, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is vowing to go to war if his countrymen vote him out of office.

In an interview with a government newspaper, Mugabe said, "It will never happen that this land which we fought for should be taken by the MDC so that they can give it back to our former oppressors, the whites." He added that those who fought in Zimbabwe's War for Independence told him, "This country was won by the barrel of the gun and should let it go at the stroke of a pen? Should one just write an X and then the country goes like that?"

In the meantime, MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai was taken into custody twice yesterday. He has been detained four times this month. This morning, instead of detaining Tsvangirai, Zimbabwean authorities two of his campaign buses.

The bottom line is Mugabe and ZANU-PF think Tsvangirai can win and they are ready to go to war against their own people to make sure their will isn't carried out.

Boston Celtics Epic Comeback

I must honestly say I fully expected the NBA Final to be tied at 2 games apiece. Game 4 saw the Los Angeles Lakers led the Boston Celtics by as much as 24 points on their home court. With six and a half minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Lakers had a 70-50 lead. But the Celtics never gave in and went on a 21-3 run to finish the quarter only two points behind the Lakers. The Celtics finally took the lead in the 4th quarter with only four minutes left in the game on a field goal by Eddie House, who was very effective off the bench. The Celtics never looked back and won the game 97-91 to take a 3 games to 1 series lead. It was the biggest comeback in an NBA Final since 1971. The Celtics could clinch the NBA Final with a victory on Sunday. No team has ever come back in the NBA Final from a 3-1 deficit although Paul Pierce made a point of stating the Celtics couldn't count on that.

The Big Three of Pierce (20 points), Kevin Garnett (16 points, 11 assists) and Ray Allen (19 points) made their presence felt. Indeed, Allen played all 48 minutes of the game. Pierce managed to limit Kobe Bryant to 17 points (he scored 36 points in Game 3). But it was the bench that was the difference with the aforementioned House (11 points) and James Posey (18 points). Assuming the Celtics don't collapse, we can point to Game 4 where the 2007-2008 Celtics finally stood alongside the likes of Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Bill Russell, Jo Jo White, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, Robert Parrish and, of course, Red Auerbach.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mugabe's Thugs Burning Women Alive

I just read a horrific article from the online edition of The Times. (

It describes how a gang of men loyal to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe were looking for a local opposition leader, Patson Chipiro. They found his wife Dadirai instead. She told them her husband wasn't around but would be back later. The men left but returned an hour later. Her husband hadn't returned. So they chopped off one of her hands and both her feet, forced her into a hut and threw in a petrol bomb. Dadirai Chipiro was burned alive.

If that wasn't enough, the local police were uncooperative with Mr. Chipiro's efforts to find out what happened to his wife until an officer with a conscience came out with the truth.

Earlier in the day, Mugabe's thugs burned alive the pregnant wife of an opposition local councillor as well as his six year old son.

Until Mugabe is stopped this will not only continue but will get worse. He can only be stopped two ways. First, from within. There would have to be a rebellion from within the ranks of ZANU-PF. But I wouldn't count on it. Second, from without. If Tsvangirai wins the June 27th, Mugabe isn't going let him become President unless Tsvangirai gets the military on his side which isn't likely. So either a a collective force from neighboring African nations will have to intervene or the British will have send down a force. But I wouldn't count on it either.

If Mugabe's thugs are willing to burn women alive then imagine what else they are willing to do to hang onto power.

Zimbabwe Opposition Official Charged With Treason

Tendai Biti, Chairman of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change, was arrested after returning to Zimbabwe from South Africa. Biti has been charged with treason and "communicating statements prejudicial to the state." To be exact, those statements were communicating the results of the March 29th ballot in a premature manner. For this, Biti might spend the rest of life in prison or will be executed.

To drive the message home, Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested for the third time in just over a week. He was held for a couple of hours before he was released whereupon he resumed campaigning.

With the runoff election in another 15 days methinks things are only going to get worse. But I also think the people of Zimbabwe have suffered so much they have nothing left to lose and are no longer afraid of going against Mugabe. If things don't go Mugabe's way, however, there will be a pause and then a new ugliness will be unleashed.

SC Rules Gitmo Inmates Can Challenge Their Detention on U.S. Civilian Courts

In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that inmates at Gitmo have a right to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

Gee, why don't we just issue them drivers' licenses and Social Security Cards while we are at it?

Think of the national security implications!!! Apparently, a majority on the Supreme Court didn't think this a worthy consideration.

If non-uniformed, non-U.S. citizens who intend to see this country destroyed are bestowed all the rights of U.S. citizens and legally landed immigrants why have any laws at all?

The U.S. Constitution is being treated like a suicide note.

Canadian PM Apologizes to Aboriginal Peoples

Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized to Canada's Aboriginal Peoples in the House of Commons in a broadcast that was carried live on CBC. Harper specifically apologized for government's policy of forcibly removing Aboriginal children from their homes and placing them in residential schools from the late 19th Century up to the mid-1970s. Sexual and physical abuse was rampant in these schools and has significantly contributed to the alcoholism that plagues Native Canadians. It was not uncommon for Aboriginal children to be beaten when speaking in their native tongues. Harper said the policy was meant to "kill the Indian in the child."

Eleven prominent Aboriginal leaders were present for Harper's remarks, including Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine, who himself was abused at a residential school. Fontaine was allowed to respond to Harper at the insistence of the opposition parties. Fontaine said Harper's statement represented a "new dawn" in relations between the Canadian government and Aboriginal peoples and called upon Aboriginal people "to put the pain behind us."

While the previous Liberal government provided Aboriginal peoples nearly $2 billion affected by the residential schools in 2005, this marks the first time the Canadian government formally apologized for the policy.

This isn't the first time Harper has made an apology to a group of people misteated by their own government. In 2006, Harper apologized and arranged a compensation package for Chinese Canadians who had to pay a "head tax" to get into Canada between 1885 and 1923.

As someone who grew up in Canada, I have long been bothered by the way Aboriginal Peoples have been treated. The fact a Canadian Prime Minister stood up in the House of Commons and said that it was wrong will go a long way in setting things right. The fact that Canada's top Aboriginal leader, himself a victim of the abuse, said he was ready to put the past behind him will also go a long way. The social conditions of Aboriginals won't improve overnight but perhaps in a generation things will have improved to the point where they are no longer marginalized in Canadian society.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baseball Giveth; Baseball Taketh Away

Baseball can go fabulously right or go horribly wrong.

On Sunday, I learned the Red Sox would be honoring Manny Ramirez's 500th homerun before last night's game against the Baltimore Orioles. Ramirez would be given a plaque by Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, who was Manny's teammate in Cleveland. That meant they started last night tied with 504 homeruns apiece. I had a feeling that Manny would pass Murray in his presence. Manny had that feeling too. Murray said so when he joined Red Sox broadcasters Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy during the bottom of the third. It would have been great had Manny homered then and there although he did get a single. But true to his word Manny passed Murray with a solo homerun in the bottom of the 5th. The scene was set and it was played out. But there was no happy ending for the Sox as they lost 10-6.

Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers sent pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the minors. Not to Triple-A or Double-A but all the way down to the Class-A Lakeland Tigers in the Florida State League. Willis earned a World Series ring for the Florida Marlins in 2003 and in 2005 won 22 games en route to being voted runner up in the National League Cy Young Award balloting to Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Tigers gave up two key prospects to get Willis and Miguel Cabrera this off season. Willis was then signed to a 3 year $29 million dollar contract. In a season that has been disappointing for the Tigers, Willis has walked 21 batters in just over 11 innings pitched. Three years ago, Willis was arguably one of the top five pitchers in baseball. Today, he is at the lowest level in the minor leagues. This isn't to say he can't straighten himself out and regain his form. But there are no guarantees other than baseball can be a humbling game.

Baseball giveth. Baseball taketh away.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Neo-communist /domestic terrorist organization BAMN posts lies to stop Civil Rights Initiative

Video of BAMN harassing petition signature collecters in Arizona
(caution - offensive language)

An initiative to ban racial and gender preferences, the Civil Rights Initiative, is being circulated in Arizona. It is similar to California's Prop. 109 which was spearheaded by Ward Connerly of the American Civil Rights Institute. It was also being circulated in Missouri and Oklahoma, but due to tactics by the opposition group BAMN (By Any Means Necessary), it failed to collect enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. Now, BAMN has flown its members to Arizona to stop the initiative there. They are attempting to block petition signature collecters from getting signatures in every method possible. Their methods are listed here and Sonoran Alliance has documented specific outrageous activity, including stealing candy from a blind vendor, interrupting and stopping public meetings, overturning furniture, lying to innercity African-Americans in order to trick them into coming by the busload to their protests, pelting Asians with soy sauce, and showing a knife threateningly to an initiative supporter.

BAMN has set up a webpage specifically aimed at Arizona. The information provided about the initiative is false and I believe it is also libelous.
The aim of ACRI is to deny every Latina/o, black and Native American young person, even those everyone regards as our brightest stars, from being able to go to college and become doctors, lawyers, teachers, or engineers.
There is no truth to this. Prohibit EVERY Latina/o/black and Native American young person from going to college? This kind of language is disgusting.

Another blatantly false statement -
ACRI is nothing more than an attempt by the racists in this state to broaden their anti-Latina/o and anti-immigrant campaigns into an attack against every brown and black person in this state.
This statement accuses the people running the initiative of being racists. They are not, and BAMN cannot cite one instance where they have been. Ward Connerly, whose organization is behind the initiatives, is African-American.

They accuse ACRI of being supported by the KKK -
The KKK-supported ACRI is a ballot initiative to amend the State Constitution to ban all affirmative action programs in Arizona.
But BAMN has never provided a shred of evidence that the KKK supports the initiative, in any state.

BAMN has set up a hotline for people to tip them off when they spot petition circulators, so they can go harass them. Fortunately, local talkshow host and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth is monitoring their despicable actions on his show. One caller told people to call their phone number (602.579.1370) and jam it with phony tips, which is apparently working since the voice mailbox was soon full.

BAMN has also been caught and exposed by Hayworth sending its propaganda home with schoolchildren - probably also illegal.

It is astonishing that this group which the FBI has labeled a domestic terrorist organization is permitted to get away with this activity, which has crossed the line of legality many times.

According to a memo produced by the FBI's Terrorist Research and Analytical Center in 1994, domestic terrorism is defined as,
The unlawful use of force or violence, committed by a group(s) of two or more individuals, against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
It is disturbing that this out of state domestic terrorist group is targeting Arizona. Fortunately, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is watching them.

For more information about BAMN's history and tactics, click here.

Kucinich Introduces 35 Articles of Impeachment Against Bush

Last night, Ohio Congressman and two time Democratic Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush concerning the War in Iraq. With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposing these measures, Kucinich's latest initiative has about as much of a chance at seeing the light of day as the Department of Peace or the Space Preservation Act. If you can't laugh at Kucinich at whom can you laugh?

Liberal hippies blindly sign petition to ban water

This came out a year ago, so it's old news, but it's the first I'd seen it. Penn & Teller ask liberals at a rally to sign a petition to ban "dihydrogen monoxide" (H2O). Most of the lefties didn't bother asking what it was, they just started signing. Proves the point that the left is more about feel-good rhetoric than really fixing problems.

Ken Griffey, Jr Hits 600th Home Run

Last night, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr hit his 600th career homerun. He hit a two run shot in the 1st inning off Florida Marlins starter Mark Hendrickson. The Reds won the game 9-4. Griffey, Jr joins Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa as the only players to reach the 600 plateau. Unlike Bonds and Sosa though, Griffey has never been associated with steroids.

In fact, if not for Griffey's frequent injuries, he could have been the one who passed Aaron. Between 2001 and 2006, Griffey, Jr missed 418 games. In 2007, Griffey played in 144 games. That was the first time Griffey had played in more than 140 games since joining the Reds in 2000.

I don't want to dampen things further. But when I saw the highlight I noticed an almost empty ballpark in Miami. Now I know, the Marlins have struggled to attract fans but this was history being made by one the game's greatest players. The official attendance was 16,003 but it looked much smaller than that. I recall when Tony Gwynn collected his 3,000th hit in 1999. He did it in Montreal in front of fewer than 6,000 fans. Those kind of movements deserve a Fenway Park like crowd.

Still, it was a magnificent accomplishment. In fact, the Red Sox travel to Cincinnati to play the Reds this weekend so I'll have a chance to watch Griffey on TV.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Liberal AZ Republic condemns witchhunt by State Bar against County Attorney Thomas

For those of you who have been following the McCarthyite-like investigation of Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas by the Arizona State Bar Association, there is some good news. The local liberal newspaper Arizona Republic has come out with an editorial denouncing the Bar's investigation. The East Valley Tribune, the other main newspaper in the Valley, has steadily ran articles critical of the investigation. Click here for the original press release by Thomas, here for an abbreviated version I wrote, and here for a follow-up article I wrote. The investigation of Thomas was started in retaliation for Thomas insisting that the courts enforce Prop. 100, no bail for illegal immigrants accused of committing serious crimes.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jim McKay, 1921-2008. R.I.P.

Jim McKay, who hosted ABC Wide World of Sports from 1961 to 1998, died today of natural causes at his home in Maryland. He was 86. McKay was well known for the phrase, "The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat."

But McKay might be best known for his work covering the ill-fated 1972 Munich Olympics after 11 Israeli athletes were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. McKay stayed on the air for more than 16 hours and when news came of their fate he said in sadness:

When I was a kid my father used to say our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized. Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said there were eleven hostages; two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They're all gone.

McKay's son, Sean McManus, is currently the President of CBS News and Sports.

Friday, June 6, 2008

US Ambassador: Zimbabwean Government Withholding Food From Opposition Supporters

James McGee, the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, has spoken out against Robert Mugabe's government. He believes their decision to suspend the activities of non-profits groups like CARE International effectively puts them in charge of distributing food and is withholding food from supporters of the opposition MDC. Oh, opposition supporters can get food. As long as they turn in their identification and give their support to ZANU-PF. The Ambassador fears "massive, massive starvation." McGee spoke before reporters assembled in Washington in a videoconference from Harare and said, "What we have is a bunch of greedy people, who want to stay in power at any cost." He also fears for the safety of MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been arrested twice in the past week. "Do I fear for Morgan Tsvangirai's life? Given the excesses of the government here I am not sure what they will do."

Undoubtedly, McGee is less than amused than the treatment U.S. and British diplomatic personnel received at the hands of Zimbabwean authorities yesterday when their convoy was stopped and one American official was beaten by a band of Mugabe supporters.

Given McGee's outspokeness, I cannot help but fear for his safety as well.

RFK Assassination @ 40

Robert F. Kennedy died 40 years ago today. He succumbed to injuries sustained after being shot the previous day by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian. Kennedy had just won the California Primary for the Democratic Party nomination race.

Many believed that had RFK not been assassinated he would have ascended to the White House. Perhaps. Perhaps not. It is, of course, a question that can never be answered. But assuming RFK had left the Ambassador Hotel alive and well there is no guarantee he would have won the Presidency. First, there was no guarantee he would have overcome Hubert Humphrey and the Democratic Party establishment in Chicago. But then again maybe he could have overcome Humphrey and won the nomination. If RFK became the Democratic Party standard bearer there is no guarantee he would have defeated Richard Nixon. Perhaps George Wallace would have taken more votes from RFK than he did from Humphrey. But then again maybe he could have overcome Nixon and Wallace and become the 37th President of the United States. But if RFK had become President who can say if the War in Vietnam would have ended any sooner? Who knows how he would have dealt with the Soviets? Who knows if he could have implemented all his domestic reforms? How would have RFK dealt with inflation? Most of all, who can say that Sirhan Sirhan or someone else would not have tried to take his life while he was in office?

All we do know is that Robert F. Kennedy was a good man who died too young. But Dick Holler wrote it best and Dion sung it well: