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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: The NFL is considering dropping the Pro Bowl

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Have you ever watched an all-star game and thought it had been time well spent? At least in the major sports, those games are usually pretty awful, if not completely unwatchable. Baseball probably has the best one, as the game usually involves pretty full effort on the part of the participants. Sure, catchers are unlikely to block the plate and risk injury, especially after the Pete Rose-Ray Fosse incident in the 1970 MLB All-Star game, but the hitters try, the pitchers try, and the fielders try. The worst thing about baseball’s game is that the commissioner decided to make the game count for something a few years back, and now the league that wins gets home field advantage in the World Series. [Read more →]

animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten horses least likely to win the Kentucky Derby

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10. Man o’ Peace

9. It’s A Grand Old Nag

8. No Way José

7. Artificial Hip

6. Save-Your-Money

5. Mucilage

4. Stumblebum

3. Tripod

2. Chris Christie

1. Wrong Way Corrigan
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

religion & philosophy

Nunsense…

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When it comes to the Vatican’s crackdown on women religious, I believe it’s time to declare that for the purpose of this struggle:we are all nuns…if you can spell Catholic, you are probably asking: how dare they go after 57,000 dedicated women whose median age is well over 70 and who work tirelessly for a more just world? How dare the very men who preside over a Church in utter disgrace due to sexual misconduct and cover-ups by bishops try to distract from their own problems by creating new ones for women religious?–     Mary E. Hunt, Theologian, Catholic Activist and Academic

I don’t really have a dog in this hunt anymore;  as an anti-theist who has reached the conclusion that the only way there could be a god would be if God was a very arbitrary and angry teenage girl named Tiffany who was primarily interested in Justin Bieber and whether or not her jeans make her ass look fat, I’m not a logical choice to defend the various orders of Nuns from the Holy See. [Read more →]

art & entertainment

Bob Marley: doing Delaware proud

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If you know Bob Marley only through the greatest hits album Legend and your college roommate’s poster of him smoking a spliff the size of a toddler, see the documentary Marley now. It makes a convincing case for him being one of the great musical talents of the 20th century – he wrote a whole lot of songs that sound nothing like “Three Little Birds” – while revealing a life that makes Roman Polanski’s seem downright bourgeois by comparison. Among the things you many not have known:

-His mother was a Jamaican teenager and his father a British “captain” (apparently he was not actually a captain, but enjoyed being referred to that way) a minimum of three decades her senior who quickly vanished from both their lives and then died. [Read more →]

moneypolitics & government

Obama’s big stick

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books & writing

Lisa reads So Pretty It Hurts by Kate White

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This is my first Bailey Weggins mystery! Bailey is a fun character — a true-crime journalist, based in Manhattan, writing for a celebrity magazine and getting seriously involved with a hot new boyfriend. There’s all kinds of material there for fun stories, and Kate White delivers the goods in So Pretty It Hurts. Bailey’s boyfriend is out of town (and Bailey isn’t sure she believes his story about it) so she takes off with her good friend Jessie. Jessie has the hots for music mogul Scott Cohen and Scott has invited her and a friend to a weekend house party at his retreat in the woods. It’s exactly what you’d expect: a rock star, a couple of models, a couple of journalists…and maybe a murderer. [Read more →]

that's what he said, by Frank Wilson

Playing the role of yourself

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I have a daily feature on my blog called Thought for the Day. It’s the first post every day, always scheduled for 9 a.m. Usually, it’s a quote from someone who was either born on that date or who died on that date.

Recently, the quote I chose was from psychiatrist Thomas Szasz: “People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”

Fellow blogger Georgy Riecke posted a comment later that day saying only, “Or steals.” Later still, I responded to Georgy’s comment: “The way great poets do, according to Eliot.” [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Coaching legend Pat Summitt retires

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Every once in a while, an athlete or coach transcends sports. The group of these individuals is small and obviously quite distinguished. Those of you who read my column regularly know that Joe Paterno was one of these in my eyes. Whatever you feel about the Jerry Sandusky situation and Joe’s role in it, it is hard to dispute his place in the pantheon of college football figures. This week, another towering figure has exited the sports scene, and her sport will be much the worse for it. Pat Summitt, the head coach of the University of Tennessee women’s basketball program, has retired. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmoney

Top ten excuses for filing your taxes late

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10. “Somebody just now told me that taxes are due every year.”

9. “I was working around the clock trying to revive the Herman Cain campaign.”

8. “I’m deathly afraid of 1040 paper cuts.”

7. “I miss prison.”

6. “Fill out a tax form?! I can’t even program my VCR!”

5. “After I claim all the voices in my head as deductions, it turns out they owe me money!”

4. “I was hoping I could barter for what I owe with sexual favors.”

3. “All my calculations were lost when somebody turned over my Etch A Sketch.”

2. “Being in the top one percent, I thought I was exempt.”

1. “I’m still waiting for this Nigerian prince to e-mail me some money.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

moneypolitics & government

The Buffett Rule’s faulty comparison

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moneyvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Vrooom!: Who cares about saving gas?

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We were in an ice cream parlor the other day, and my son was looking at some old-time paintings on the wall. One was a decades-old picture of a sundae with a price tag: 10 cents. Despite my efforts, he couldn’t comprehend it — which may not be difficult to imagine since my grasp of macroeconomic issues is wanting . I had similar success explaining to him that gas, the stuff that makes our car go, was once a quarter.

[Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is intriguing as soon as you look at the cover — it took a second or two for me to realize the little girl on the cover (her name is Olive, by the way) is floating. Floating. And such an odd expression on her face! She made me want to open the book and turn the pages.

This is the story of Jacob Portman, an unremarkable young man with a very remarkable grandfather. All through his childhood, Grandpa Portman told the most wonderful stories of his childhood — in particular, of his time on a magical island full of the most unusual children. There was a girl who could fly. There was a young boy who could lift boulders over his head and all sorts of children with peculiar skills and talents. The island itself was like a paradise, always sunny, always beautiful, and the children played and lived happily ever after. [Read more →]

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: Rock-band mascots and Charles Manson

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This post started out as a piece about the band Riot, whom I vaguely recall reading about in such magazines as Hit Parader and Hit Parader when I was a metal-obsessed youth.

Riot’s album covers were notable for featuring some kind of humanoid, polar-mammal guy.  At first I thought the guy/creature was a snow owl. But then I looked closer, and the features revealed themselves as mammalian, not avian.

The Internet informs me that the Riot guy is called “Johnny.”

[Read more →]

art & entertainment

Things I’ve learned watching the E! channel

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1. There are many Kardashians.

They’re like the Jacksons, if the most talented Jackson was La Toya.

2. Time is cruel.

The lesson’s offered by The Girls Next Door, not so much by Hugh Hefner (who died years ago and is now moved from room to room of the Playboy Mansion Weekend at Bernie’s style) as a surprise cameo from ex-Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson, who showed up for Hugh’s birthday…naked. I thought, “This is a woman in her mid-40s with multiple children and a well-publicized case of hepatitis”; it couldn’t have been creepier if Hefner elected to hang dong on her birthday. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentbooks & writing

Alan Moore is right about “Before Watchmen,” alas

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I. Look on the Watchmen, Ye Mighty

Back in February 2012, DC Comics officially announced that they would begin publishing seven miniseries based on characters and situations from what many people consider to be the greatest superhero graphic novel of all time, Watchmen. The series, which will begin shipping in June, are known collectively as “Before Watchmen,” which right there gives you a hint about the main problem with these books, and the mainstream comic book industry in general.

The writer of Watchmen, Alan Moore, is the most important and influential author of graphic fiction since Stan Lee. Watchmen is the most influential graphic novel of all time. Since its publication, it has been the benchmark by which all other works are measured. Most mainstream comics creators have been re-writing it for 25 years. It’s a masterpiece, at least in the Renaissance sense of that term. The three primary creators, Mr. Moore, illustrator Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins, all employed every tool at their disposal in its composition. It was a unique experiment in storytelling and printing techniques, an elegantly constructed and dense meditation on the idea of supeheroism, and a deconstruction of the serial comic book form itself. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Coach is fired for being pregnant and unmarried

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Earlier this week, a Dallas television station reported on a story about a local coach/teacher who had been fired from her job for having a child despite being unmarried. Cathy Samford, who had coached volleyball at the Heritage Christian Academy for the last three years, and who had also recently started teaching science, was let go by the school in the fall. She has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and is considering a lawsuit. I am quite surprised by this, but I find myself siding with the school. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmoney

Top ten signs you’ve hired a bad tax accountant

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10. His last client was Gary Busey

9. It takes him 45 minutes to figure out his tip at the Hair Cuttery

8. He claims bajillion is a real number

7. He promises to visit you in prison

6. When you get a closer look at his ‘calculator’ you realize he’s just playing Angry Birds

5. He says he spend a lot of time consulting with his own tax adviser: Johnnie Walker

4. When you point out a math error, he says, “Ahhh, five of one, half a dozen of the other.”

3. He claims your refund is actually supposed to go to him

2. He does his calculating in the nude, so he can count to 21

1. Before every number on your tax form, he puts one of those ‘more or less’ squiggles
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

religion & philosophy

A most remarkable ‘nobody’

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From a post and link on a friend’s Facebook page, I have just now learned of the passing of one of the more remarkable individuals I have ever met … one who was once without hope, but went on to find hope and share it with countless others … one who described himself as a ‘nobody,’ yet was anything but.


[Read more →]

on the law

High-risk sex offenders don’t prefer to be monitored

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Robert Lee Moone broke into a home in 1989, armed with a knife, and attempted to sexually assault a 13-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison because we can’t have people breaking into homes and sexually assaulting 13-year-old girls. In 2010 he was granted parole. Moone is so dangerous, though, that “[a]fter he was granted parole, he was placed on a “Super Intensive Supervised Program” with 24-hour monitoring.”

No worries, then. A Super Intensive Supervised Program must be not only intensive and supervised, but super intensive and super supervised. Tuck your babies in bed and leave the windows unlocked. He’s monitored, like, 24 hours a day. Super intensively.

What’s that? Moone walked out of a Texas halfway house and cut off his electronic monitor on April 10th? Well, that kind of thing hardly ever happens. Not in Texas, anyway.

It was the second escape of a high-risk sex offender in Texas within a week.

Michael Elbert Young, 42, climbed over a barbed wire fence at the Southeast Texas Transitional Center in Houston on Thursday night after removing his electronic monitor.

Young served eight years in jail for aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the Houston Chronicle reported. Both charges carried a sexual element, and Young also served time for the sexual assault of a child and attempted aggravated sexual assault convictions.

The Super Intensive Supervised Program and electronic monitoring don’t seem to be working. It might be time for a Superduper Intensive Supervised Program. Unless that’s going too far.

on the lawrace & culture

The summer of George

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Conditions in Florida are dry and hot. General conflagration has not broken out but that is not from any lack of ignition. There has been a sudden squall but whether it delivers more rain than lightning remains to be seen. George Zimmerman is in custody, surrendering without incident with the public release of the charges against him.

This should be a moment of great relief, should it not? The Martin family has consistently said that what they want is Justice for Trayvon, as the copyrighted phrase has it. Further they have said that what they desire is an arrest and a REAL investigation inverting the usual order. The implication is that there has not been a real investigation until now, the one delivering charges of second degree murder on a set of facts that the original Sanford based prosecutors thought warranted no charges at all. It is easy to understand why observers might think that so but mostly because of faulty information or explicit DISinformation, all of which will now be hashed out in open court, as it should be, while much of it has been hashed and re-hashed in the public sphere. Here is another helping of hash, including leftovers that have since gone sour.

The initial cause of outrage has become moot as it has proven to be false. The Martin family advocates originally stated three untruths: first that Zimmerman never was taken into custody on that fatal night. That falsehood stood nearly unrebutted until the release of a security video showing Zimmerman in handcuffs at the cop shop. Team Martin also declared that the crime scene was never attended to in any meaningful way but we have since seen video of the usual technicians and procedures being performed promptly and as competently as we can tell. The third falsehood was that Zimmerman’s pistol was never taken in as evidence. This also we know to be a flat inversion of the facts.  [Read more →]

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