Save It For Another Day ….

Save It For Another Day …

OK, so the country is in a state of shock after the events of the past seventy-two hours and I am of the belief , you cannot change a country, when the mindset of the political leaders remains ambivalent , rhetorical and pragmatic . The United States of America no longer remains the Land of The Free , but it has become about the have’s and have not’s . No other country on the earth judges its people than by the wealth amassed and the power one has by the fortune amassed. From my own standpoint , I no longer wish to make any type or real observation concerning the country , because I know in essence, things are unlikely to change , no matter who takes power at the highest levels of political office .

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In the world of sports , the NBA’s off-season has taken shape with a spate of transactions and the ongoing stupidity exhibited by analysts such as Charles Barkley and Stephen A Smith . The duo have taken things to a new level of such idiocy with their statements concerning Kevin Durant’s departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors . How little they seem to remember , when it came to the orchestrated and embarrassing performance by LeBron James , when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat and where James would lead the Heat to two of their three NBA titles while he played for the franchise. Rather than address the fact , the NBA is no longer about team success , but more so about singular titular achievements of the league’s superstars. The fans of the NBA now have to put up with the utter bull$hit exhibited by individuals (Barkley and Smith) who clearly want to proffer up idiotic opinions, with the belief they will be listened to with a great deal of clarity and real intellect.

Dwyane Wade’s shocking departure from the Miami Heat to join the Chicago Bulls was more of a jolt , than Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder. Heat Team President Pat Riley has played footloose and fancy-free over the last six seasons conjuring up the success for their franchise. Yet, his plan had to unravel , because the financial burden for the Miami Heat had become too much to bear. Wade for his part sacrificed professionally as well as monetarily in order to facilitate the wishes of the front office executive Yet at the end of the day , as we all know the NBA has been nothing more than a business , with team success being secondary in nature and nothing more than a bye product of it all.

In reality the league (NBA) has become entity without any heart , soul or real competitiveness, where they are no longer any great team rivalries , player rivalries or in-depth skill-set. There are but a handful truly great players in the NBA , with the coaching also being rather mundane, if not pedantic , bordering on being less than average.

Away from professional basketball , Major League Baseball is on the cusp of taking its mid-season break for the events of this year’s All Star Game being held at PETCO Park , home to the NL’s San Diego Padres . Teams are still vying for divisional supremacy as well a vital playoff berth within each league. Of late things have slowed up for the Chicago Cubs who at one point had the best record in all of baseball. That mark now belongs to the San Francisco Giants who are bring pressure to bear on their divisional rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers whose gargantuan payroll dwarfs so many of their rivals within the NL West as well as the rest of MLB . Over the last ten games played , the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays have been the two best teams in baseball , with each compiling an 8-2 record . Though it is not reflected in their divisional standing within the NL East or the AL East where they sit several games behind the respective divisional leaders.

Coming off their last contest the Toronto Blue Jays were 5-4 winners over the Detroit Tigers in a game played the Rogers Center in Toronto , Ontario. The two teams will face each other again on Friday evening , with the Blue Jays seeking to inch closer the Baltimore Orioles , who currently lead the AL East . In the case of the Philadelphia Phillies , it has been a lack of consistency throughout much of the season which has led to their faltering behind the Washington Nationals and New York Mets within the NL East . Thursday’s embarrassing loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver Colorado , proved to be something of a setback for this Phillies’ team , but they will get the chance to rebound from the defeat , when they meet in the resumption of their regular season series this Friday.

At this point last season , the standings within the game gave us no real indication as to how the postseason would play out for the participants . I certainly believe the last month of the regular season will play a part in what we could very well expect during the postseason foray for the teams. For now, the fans will prepare as the All Star Game festivities get underway , with the beginning of the mid-season showcase starting with starting with the Celebrity All Star Game on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s Home Run Derby , with the pinnacle being Tuesday’s big event of the whole showcase. The AL and NL rosters for the game might well have been filled with surprises , but when you consider this is nothing more than love-fest , which comes courtesy of fan voting , rather than on the merits of the accomplishment of the players up to this point of the season. Then there are bound to be a number of grievances from various arenas covering the game of baseball. Yet at the end of the day, the fans simply want to be entertained, while seeing a very competitive contest from the best players the game has to offer.

What should have been one of the biggest promotions in UFC history with the scheduling of UFC 200 , will now turn into something of a nondescript spectacle. One of MMA’s biggest stars, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones has been forced to withdraw from his proposed Light Heavyweight title bout against reigning champion Daniel Cormier . Jones has tested for a banned substance and a mandatory two-year suspension by WADA comes strong on the heels of the fighter just returning to the octagon having tested positive for cocaine after his having originally defeated Cormier in defense of the title he had to relinquish . Jones has pled his innocence stating that he could have only tested positive having taken a prescriptive medication for which he wasn’t aware was among the list of substances banned by the UFC. Plausible or not , Jon Jones has become the unwanted face of the sport because of his past offenses in and outside of the octagon. Jones , alongside Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey , are the three biggest draws in the sport , which at present is truly bereft of a breakout star, given the fact in recent months, each of the three fighters mentioned suffered losses professionally in the octagon or their reputations have been sullied with some negative press, because of actions outside the sport. UFC President Dana White , whose avuncular style and dictatorial leadership of the UFC has drawn negative reviews , is now pressed in having to deal with another damaging blow the sport.

Criticism from many circles concerning the UFC’s business dealings with contracted fighters signed to the company are not misplaced , in spite of claims to the contrary by White , and UFC’s owners , Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta . UFC 200 will still be staged , but the main attraction on the card will mark the return of former Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar who will face Mark Brown , while Miesha Tate will defend her Women’s Bantamweight title against Amanda Nunes . Daniel Cormier is likely to be tested in his bout when he faces off against Anderson Silva the former UFC Middleweight champion. These three bouts will highlight the main card for the evening’s events staged at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas , Nevada on Saturday , 9th July, 2016. If nothing else, UFC needs a shot in the arms after all of the negative publicity surrounding the Jon Jones debacle as well as the uncertainty concerning Conor McGregor’s future within Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The Irishman seems unfazed by the antics of the UFC President , knowing full well the UFC needs him more than he needs the sport. Contract obligations asides , his staged announcement and walking away from sport was nothing more than hyperbole.

Brock Lesnar’s return will certainly give us something of a comedic spectacle, given the fact his reign as the former champion was short-lived . All-American or not , Lesnar has limited skills as an MMA fighter , where his greatest strengths are his wrestling and physique.

Serena Williams will be looking to add to her twenty-one singles’ Grand Slam titles when she faces Angelique Kerber of Germany in the Ladies’ Singles Finals at Wimbledon. Kerber , defeated Williams to win the Australian Open in Melbourne , this past January, depriving the American of her chance to equal Steffi Graf’s modern era Open record of twenty-two Grand Slam singles’ titles. Serena Williams will enter the Finals at Wimbledon as an overwhelming favorite , but I believe Angelique Kerber is not to be underestimated ! Williams is by far the best player of her generation and among the top-five female players in the history of tennis, but it is difficult to suggest she is the greatest female player of all-time. Her career record while outstanding , would pale into comparison when measured against the likes of Martina Navratilova , Steffi Graf , Billie Jean King and Margaret Court .

If Serena Williams fails in her quest on Saturday afternoon , it will not be for the lack of trying , but questions will certainly once again be raised where she ranks within the pantheon’s of the women’s game should she falter again , at the hands of Angelique Kerber.

The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil are just over month away and while IOC President Thomas Bach assures the world at large everything is OK. What cannot be hidden from the public , is that the country remains beset by political scandal , has an outbreak, which many believe Brazil cannot contain , in spite of assurances from the nation’s Health Ministry and the WHO (World Health Organization) . While I believe the ‘Zika Virus’ outbreak is a real cause for concern, my greatest fear, is that Brazil and its security apparatus will be unable to handle a terrorist attack . The whole world will be watching the biggest sporting spectacle to be staged each quadrennial and I have to admit , I will be fascinated to see many of the events unfold. Team USA will seek forge unity , trying to unite a nation divided by racial and economic divides , while idiot politicians and members of the media seek to suggest the nation is more unison, when it faces its greatest adversity. Nothing could be further from the truth, as there remains a perpetuation of xenophobia fomented in the bigoted rants of political commentators , Presidential candidates and even idiot members of the populace , who know little of the nation’s history, much less the reality of the real world .

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Recent tragic events , which we have now borne witness to via media resources, reminds us why very little has changed in the US over the last six decades, much less since the nation came into being. All men are not created equal and they are certainly not treated fairly under the law. Anyone with an iota of intelligence can see that for all sense and purpose the United States remains divided along racial and socioeconomic lines. It is the way in order to keep the status quo as is, with those in power , controlling the wealth and suppressing the freedom of others, specifically those who are of an ethnic background.

Tophatal …………. 2016/07/08

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The what if premise and what could or would, actually happen …

The what if premise and what could or would, actually happen …

By tophatal ………..

A friend and I, were recently discussing the state of the economy and as we know, figures normally offered up by so many of the federal agencies ( Commerce Department) tend to overstate , rather than giving a truly exact figure. Done more so to impress , more than anything else, while the politicians themselves ,seek to take credit for initiatives that they believe , they originally set into motion. Given that, individuals, such as House members Paul Ryan, Senator Rand Paul , Senator Mitch McConnell , John Boehner , Sen Charles E Schumer , Sen Robert Menendez , Harry Reid, Sen Ted Cruz and Pete Olsen , show a propensity for never-ending stupidity , as it relates to economic matters and that , they tend to now work under the premise of what ifs . I wonder, how they might feel , if the public were allowed to use the same premise, by suggesting, what if the US Congress were actually paid on performances by way of productivity and legislative measures passed , that actually prove to be of benefit , by actually truly creating growth in the economy ?

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Far too many idiots , are under the mistaken belief, that the private sector alone can be the biggest producers of jobs and investment within the economy . Consider the following, US companies are now sitting on a cash-pile of over $3.26 trillion ($3,260,000,000,000) , representing over 20% of the nation’s GDP (gross domestic product) , yet , when pressed to broach this subject, about why these corporations are not investing in jobs , infrastructure , much less capital investments , those who espouse a “conservative” opinion , are hard pressed to offer up a concise answer about the reasons why these companies are not investing. They may well point to the buoyancy of the stock market , with their being voluminous activity , by way either major business takeovers or increased profits , but that in of-itself, is not always considered to be a real indicator of a vibrant economy . Apathy on the part of the electorate and the very fact, that the members of the US Congress are not always clear speaking, when addressing the nuances and vagaries of macroeconomics , much less any type of governmental policy, be it, domestic or foreign, in nature. If you were informed, that for every dollar spent within the US economy, forty cents of that, was derived from government spending , one wonders how that might be addressed by those who seek to have massive reduction of spending without being able to suggest where they believe cuts should be made , other than to social welfare programs ?

Unfortunately, the country also possesses a leader , who has become something of a “dead weight” , not only in terms of a policy stance , but the indication is now here, to show that Barack Obama, flits from each issue, like a bee pollinating a flower , while in the hope, that the pollination will be a real success. His initiatives have been very much like that, without him being readily willing to admit to any failure during his tenure . With the mid-term elections now less than six months away , the nation is about to be “sold a bill of goods” , with each side pointing to the danger of electing or re-electing an opponent. It’s pretty much safe to say, no matter who gets elected or reelected , things are unlikely to change , as the status quo within both legislative chambers is likely to remain the same. The only thing, that actually separates a “Liberal” from a Conservative “ , just happens to be the depth of their deceit and corruptible practices . Altruism, simply goes out the door, once these officials have been elected to both chambers of the congress !

The NFL’s not so quiet off-season, has led to a stream of player movement , with veterans well as second and third year players, now finding a new home to display their skill-set. Granted, the contracts are not as steep, but , there have been cases, where some players have remained with their teams, having signed a contract extension . The Chicago Bears having rid themselves of Julius Peppers , somehow then saw fit to offer their veteran quarterback , Jay Cutler a seven-year $126 million contract , therein making Cutler the highest paid player in the NFL. Now take into account, that Jay Cutler’s playoff record has been far from stellar . In two playoff appearances, during the Bears 2010 playoff run , the player bears a 1-1 record, for which those performances, can best be described as being downright mediocre. GM Phil Emery and the Bears’ front office , were either of the opinion, that they can rally behind Cutler, with regard to the franchise’s future , with his being their best option to lead them to their goal of a Superbowl victory. Or they may well have felt that the player might well have been inclined to seek a trade ,with their being growing disillusionment among the fans of his not being able to lead the team deep into the postseason. A necessary trait that is desired, with any quarterback, seeking to lead a team to a Superbowl victory and Cutler, is no different from any of his peers within the game today.

The Chicago Bears, were far from convincing in 2013, having finished the season with an 8-8 record within the NFC North under head coach Marc Trestman . Many of their travails, stemmed from the inconsistency of the offense and their lackadaisical approach on defense . Yet, for those who remain stoic believers in Jay Cutler’s skill-set , I would suggest that at this stage of the eight year veteran’s career in the NFL, they begin to review the premise that he is indeed one of the better quarterbacks in the league.

Trestman I believe, will be able to correct the issues concerning his team, but with the off-season moves made by the organization, make the necessary room available via cap space available, to lure free agents and at the same time, be in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft. Chicago’s wants, are likely to encompass the need for a pass rusher, and one or two , defensive linemen. Yet, at the end of the day, that is by no means a certainty of where Marc Trestman, the coaching staff and front office are likely to discuss their primary focus in terms of the team’s requirements.

Last season’s dismal performance in the Superbowl , still looms large over not only Peyton Manning , but also over the remaining cast of teammates, still on the roster . The Broncos’ lopsided loss to the rampaging Seattle Seahawks, led by sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson , sent a somber reminder that just because, you are viewed as one of the all-time greats , it does not make you invincible . The fact that the two combatants in last season’s NFL finale, were deemed to be the two best teams , not solely based on their records alone , but also statistically, in terms of defense and offense. What the viewing fans were subjected to, via the live television broadcast , with tens of millions watching nationally and estimated 1.3 billion watching worldwide , might well have been the biggest ” black eye “ that the NFL has suffered in recent years , if it was the intention of the league hierarchy to sell that particular game as branded product” . If anything, it was simply an eyesore of unquantifiable magnitude . Suffice to say, Manning may well have given one of his worst postseason performances ever, but the action served up by his teammates was equally inept in terms of measure and substance . John Fox and his coaching staff may well need to look at the team’s secondary and assess the numerous areas, where they allowed the Seahawks tear through many of their flaws , warts and all.

The 2014 NFL season may well provide the fans of the league, the very last chance, to see the best both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, as they make one more tilt at adding to their respective postseason and Superbowl legacies . I do believe, that they are both capable of taking their teams back to the postseason, but the question remains, will they each, have enough in the tank, to actually get the job done ?

It does not pain me to say this, but there is a great deal of bull#hit, to be found within the blogging world , especially when it comes to the area of sports, and the very fact that many of the opinions being put down, are either half-baked, without merit or any common sense whatsoever ! With the recent acquisitions of wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Chris Johnson, one blogging contributor tried to suggest that overnight the New York Jets would immediately become a credible favorite to win the AFC East , because of the offensive firepower provided by both players. Now while I believe both Decker and Johnson, to be very good players at their respective positions, but I think that the contributor simply overlooked the fact about the Jets’ quarterback just happened to be last season. Anyone of the belief , that rookie Geno Smith had a very good year and was among the best of the rookie quarterbacks who saw action during 2013 , must be sadly mistaken, if they were under the impression that the AFC East signal caller was among the best of the rookies in question . Learning from one’s mistakes, actually shows signs of growth, but there was none to be seen from Smith over the course of the season.

Rex Ryan as head coach of the New York Jets, went through a tumultuous season in 2013, bedeviled by the fact, he had to deal with the issues of Mark Sanchez, .who has since departed from the Jets’ organization . Ryan failed to curtailed the exuberance and lack of understanding by his incumbent starting quarterback , and it was clear that beyond his own future being in jeopardy, along with that of his entire coaching staff , in particular quarterbacks’ coach David Lee , whose obvious tutelage of Smith left a great deal to be desired. How this all could be overlooked by the blogger who was seeking to show that the Jets’ quarterback was growing stature , leads me to believe that he simply lacked an original idea , much less the intelligence to see the obvious. Smith may have had a great college career, being among the very best, during his final year at West Virginia (Mountaineers) . But that in of-itself, has not been enough to remotely suggest that there is likely to be an improvement in his play during this upcoming season.

It would be fair to suggest, that since their appearance in the Superbowl in 2003 , with Bill Callahan , then as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders . In the aftermath of that loss, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, things have simply spiraled out of control for the once venerable and well-respected franchise. The coaching turnovers instigated by then owner Al Davis , his later death, with the passing of ownership to his son, Mark Davis . Yet, things continue to be as mediocre as it has ever been on all fronts , within the front office , to the personnel decisions being as it relates the draft and their ongoing acquisitions. The era of Carson Palmer, came and went without anyone actually noticing a damn thing ! As to the belief that All Pro Defensive player Nnamdi Asomugha was to be that game-changer that Raiders’ fans claimed him to be, well, let us just say, that Asmougha’s retirement from the game after something of a lackluster career, can only be highlighted by the fact, he is now married to one of Hollywood’s hottest actresses , in Kerry Washington.

In 2013, Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen struggled to get his team playing with any measure of competitiveness , never-mind, that within the AFC West , with the now resurgent Kansas City Chiefs , San Diego Chargers to go alongside the dominant Denver Broncos made things all the more difficult within the division , for the beleaguered franchise. Defensively, the Raiders were nonplussed, performing with the modicum of mediocrity, one would come to expect of a franchise that has become one of the “major laughing stocks” of the NFL over the past decade . Not to be left out of the equation, was the absurdity of seeing the Raiders’ offense in motion. Coming off, a 4-12 season , it is easy to understand why the Oakland Raiders have continued to struggle over the past decade . There has been no form of leadership on the roster or from anyone on the coaching staff , along with the hyperbole over players such as Darren McFadden , Terrelle Pryor , Marcel Reese , Denarius Moore, Jeron Mastrud , Jason Hunter, LaMarr Houston , Nick Roach , Tracy Porter , Mike Jenkins and veteran Charles Woodson , whose best years are now behind him, that his best view , would come by use of rear view mirror !

For the hyperbole surrounding Terrelle Pryor, during his collegiate career at Ohio State (Buckeyes) , under the now disgraced former head coach , Jim Tressel . There is no denying the fact , that while the player is immensely talented , his lack of maturity and integrity , sullied his reputation and chance of being a high draft pick , had he declared for the NFL Draft under the usual circumstances. Instead , the quarterback was taken in the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft by the Oakland Raiders , with the thought that he would hone his craft , become a productive player in the NFL . If nothing else, there have been glimpses of brilliance from the player , but rarely anything, to really suggest that he is capable of leading a team at the highest level. Now after merely two years in the league, Raiders’ GM Reggie McKenzie and team owner Mark Davis, have made the decision that the Terrelle Pryor reign in Oakland , must now come to an immediate end. Pryor for his part, has landed on his feet, having been picked up by Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, where in all likelihood, Pryor is likely to be the third on the team’s depth chart behind Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson . One cannot help but wonder, about what might have been, had Terrelle Pryor simply shown the promise seen at the collegiate level during his time with the Buckeyes. Instead, another overrated quarterback, falls by the wayside , though not yet on the scrap-heap , littered with passers, we have seen come and go over the past ten years within the NFL.

There has been a great deal written , in the lead-up the NFL Draft, as to whom , the prospective number one overall draft pick is likely to be. Now to my mind, in spite of the prestige that comes with such a choice for the team, said to be privileged with making that decision. The choice itself, does have its pratfalls, because a great deal , is not only made of that decision, but also of the financial outlay that is likely to be costly for a franchise, albeit, that there is now a rookie salary scale, now in place within the NFL , unlike from earlier years , past. In 2007, JaMarcus Russell , then the number one pick by the Oakland Raiders in the draft of that year , was afforded a rookie contract, that was nothing short of astonishing , as Al Davis made the decision to give the former LSU Tigers’ quarterback, a six-year $61 million deal , with $32 million in guaranteed money . Russell’s career began in a bluster and simply fizzled during the later years , with his offering nothing of substance during his stay in the NFL . Once again, the Raiders go out on a flier , taking a high risk player , without obtaining anything tangible in return, for the fruits of their labor. Due diligence and intelligence, is not something that is likely to be found in abundance within the Raiders’ organization and certainly not during the latter years of Al Davis’ reign or during that of his son , working with Reggie McKenzie.

The agents for Johnny Manziel , Jadeveon Clowney , Blake Bortles , Greg Robinson and Khalil Mack , are likely to be working frantically, to have their client be viewed as that desired number one pick , as well as being, the type of player, that a franchise can build around. Rarely, is that the case, with a number one pick in the NFL Draft, but there is always the exception to the rule. A case can be made that, Eli Manning in 2004 and Andrew Luck in 2012 , were the last two number one picks in the NFL Draft who can be looked upon as being picks, that have paid off hugely in terms of the dividends returned for their respective teams in the past eight years . Though this past season , Eli Manning and the New York Giants were an immense disappointment within the NFC East and the conference in its entirety . The thought, that the front office is now said to be considering demoting their two-time Superbowl winning quarterback and their drafting his heir-apparent, does seem nonsensical , when you consider the woes of the team were not solely Manning’s alone .

Nine years after the fallout, from Eli Manning’s refusal to go the San Diego Chargers, it does seem somewhat fortuitous , how the paths of Manning and Philip Rivers have remained intertwined , for right and wrong reasons, but one could also point to the fact, that their paths have also been exemplary , in terms of the success attained and the productivity of their respective careers .

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Picture gallery .

What do you expect to see during this off-season in the lead-up to the NFL Draft and do you believe that a number one pick is a likely guarantee of success for an NFL franchise ? Your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be relevant to the topic, as you see fit?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) From left to right , Congress members , Sen Lamar Alexander , Eric Cantor , House Majority Leader , John Boehner , Sen Charles Schumer , Nancy Pelosi and Sen Harry Reid . Bilateral agreements now seem to be a thing of the past in Congress, but most certainly, a photo opportunity can never be missed by the members of the House and Senate . Getty Images North America/ Phil Thatcher …..

(2) Two of the NFL’s leading pass rushers and defensive linemen , left Julius Peppers , formerly of the Chicago Bears and now a member of the Green Bay Packers . Pictured with Peppers is Jared Allen (69) , whose departure from the Minnesota Vikings to remain in the NFC North , having signed with the Bears. The rivalry between these two players will continue as both seek to climb up the ladder , as each seeks to make a dent in the active sacks’ mark , where the all-time record is held by Hall of Famer …. Bruce Smith with 200 sacks . AP Photo/ Kevin Freeman ….

(3) Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is seen here on the sidelines during a game played against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania on the 22nd December , 2013. Also pictured is head coach Marc Trestman , whose team would suffer their biggest loss of the season , suffering a humiliating 54-11 defeat at the hands of the Chip Kelly coached Eagles. AP Photo / Phil Matthews …

(4) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks is congratulated by his opposite number , Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos, after the Seahawks’ surprisingly easy triumph in defeating the Broncos 48-3 in Superbowl 48 played at the MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey on the 2nd February , 2014 ., Manning had one his worst postseason performances of his illustrious NFL career. A shakeup has already began within the Broncos’ roster, with a number of notable departures during the off-season , led by Eric Decker and Champ Bailey , both seasoned veterans with the franchise. AP Photo / Chris Hall ……

(5) New York Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith is seen here with head coach Rex Ryan after the two celebrate a home victory during 2013 in a a game played at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford, New Jersey,. The player was somewhat unflattering with his displays , during the season , blowing hot and cold , where there was a preponderance throw interceptions at the most inopportune of moments , while leading the team to rather sub-par record within the AFC East . Excuses are now being made for the rookie quarterback , although he was said to be one of the most efficient passers entering the NFL Draft last season. Somehow that all seemed to be lost on his proponents, who continue to show their apathy . Smith’s play rarely improved during the latter half of the season , leading the franchise to now acquiring veteran Michael Vick as his backup for the upcoming season. Getty Images / Tom Clarke …..

(6) Terrelle Pryor (2) of the Oakland Raiders is seen here being congratulated by head coach Dennis Allen after a ninety-yard . twelve-play drive during the game played against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the O Coliseum in Oakland , California , last season . Pryor was traded by the franchise , having acquired Matt Schaub as a free agent during the off-season . Allen was said to be openly critical of Pryor’s agent, Jerome Stanley , who criticized the organization, for what he believes to be the mistreatment of his client, by the Oakland Raiders . Terrelle Pryor and Stanley , have since parted ways, without their said to being any acrimony between the player and his former agent. AP Photo / Rusty Shaw ……….

(7) Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants and Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers will be forever be joined at the hips after the events that were unfurled during the 2004 NFL Draft , after Manning and his father , Archie Manning refused to join the Chargers . After the hostilities wore off , Manning would join the Giants with Rivers ending up in San Diego. How different things might have been , had the Giants’ quarterback plied his trade in California , remains a bone of continued speculation , with the player having led the franchise to their two most recent Superbowl victories , both over the New England Patriots . AP/REUTERS/ Anthony Shaffer ………….

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Today’s athlete more concerned about their brand image rather than the underlying social issues !

Today’s athlete more concerned about their brand image rather than the underlying social issues !

In light of Jim Brown’s recent statements about athletes of today, not being socially involved in a number of politically or socially relevant issues. It had me wondering, why any athlete, who more often than not would rather seek the advice of their agent as to how to carry themselves in public, and what to say on camera, would actually be at loggerheads with someone such as Jim Brown , who alongside Arthur Ashe , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , Bill Russell , Billie Jean King and Muhammad Ali , might be the most socially active athletes this country has produced in the past four decades ! Brown was extremely critical of NBA player Kobe Bryant , in saying that the Los Angeles Lakers’ guard is somewhat confused about his culture and background. Personally, I do not believe Brown to be that far off the mark in his presumptions about the NBA star, whose history prior to his legal entanglements in Eagle , Colorado , told us a great deal about Bryant and his disloyalty towards then teammates Rick Fox and Shaquille O’Neal . The relationship between Bryant would be soured between he, O’Neal and Fox , after the player tried to implicate both , in , and after his own sexual indiscretion , and the alleged sexual assault charged brought against him .

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Granted, Kobe Bryant prior to the incident, was the “face” of the NBA and one the league’s beloved and respected stars. Once those allegations of a sexual assault came to the fore , ” Team Kobe ” were quick to corral the star and sought to protect his image , while seeking to paint his then victim, as a scheming harlot, looking for a large payday. In the end, Bryant would apologize for his actions while embarrassing himself and his immediate family, in the aftermath with his act of contrition . Several years later, Kobe Bryant’s name would become associated with Hollywood actress Sanaa Lathan , whom the player described as a close family friend. The fact that at the time, his wife Vanessa was pregnant with the couple’s second child , the player was being photographed with the starlet at a Prince concert being staged at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California , spoke volumes as to Bryant’s improprieties , his lack of candor and honesty in simply stating that he and his wife were separated at the time. Divorce proceedings were filed, but in the end the couple reconciled and settled their differences.

Courtesy of The LA Times

Kobe Bryant responds to Jim Brown slight

By Eric Pincus , The LA Times

Former NFL running back Jim Brown gave a controversial opinion on Kobe Bryant while visiting “The Arsenio Hall Show” on Tuesday night.

“He threw [Shaquille O’Neal] under the bus and he is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country,” said Brown. “[Bryant] doesn’t quite fit what’s happening in America.”

Bryant spent many years of his youth in Italy, where his father Joe “Jellybean” Bryant played basketball professionally.

“In the days when we had a summit and we called the top black athletes together to talk to Muhammad Ali about his status with the armed forces, there were some athletes we didn’t call,” said Brown. “If I had to call that summit all over, there would be some athletes I wouldn’t call. Kobe would be one of them.”

Brown’s comment prompted Bryant to reply via Twitter.

[ Kobe Bryant
@ kobebryant

A “Global” African-American is an inferior shade to “American” African-Americans?
? #hmm. that doesn’t sound very #Mandela or #DrKing sir ]

Bryant also addressed the topic after practice Thursday.

“It surprised me in the sense that it just came out of left field. I’ve never even met him,” Bryant said of Brown. “I do think it’s a great opportunity to have these conversations, to have this discussion.”

Why did he choose to respond to Brown publicly?

“If it’s a major issue that involves equality or the perception of racial equality, I feel like that’s something that . . . needs to be addressed,” Bryant said. “Obviously it’s a sensitive topic for everybody but I think the best thing to do is not dance around it.

“Ultimately, the conversation is that it doesn’t matter what color skin you are,” continued the Lakers All-Star. “I think it’s a good place to start, to have a good conversation and try to educate one another and try to improve as a society because of it.”

Would he like the opportunity to sit down and talk with Brown?

“There’s nothing to talk about. We have different perception, different views on it, clearly,” Bryant said. “What I’m trying to do is educate our youth going forward, no matter what color skin you are, African-American, white, whatever the case may be.

“For he and I, there’s no reason for us to have a conversation. We’re completely on the opposite sides of the spectrum. I’m an old dog, but he’s a much older dog. He’s probably a lot more set in his ways than I am.”

Brown’s summit in 1967 with Ali included Bill Russell and future Lakers Hall-of-Famer Lew Alcindor, who would change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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Having amassed an estimated $200 million fortune , Kobe Bryant has been philanthropic , with a number of social causes in the greater Los Angeles area as well in Lower Merion , Pennsylvania, Byant’s place of birth. That being said, like many of his peers , the player has never sought to ingratiate himself with any real deep felt social cause or issue or spoken out on any particular political matter. Needless to say, it is by no means an indicator as to what the player might think about any one particular matter , but if adjudged against the asinine rationale of an idiot such as the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive lineman Jared Allen , then it is perhaps best that we do not often hear an athlete address any type of political or social issue.

Allen prior to the 2008 Presidential election, came out with the rather asinine statement that he would not be voting for the Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama on the grounds that the nominee was simply about hiking taxes and living off the rich. Last I looked, even if Allen , were a noted Republican supporter , surely it could not have escaped his notice, that during the reign of then incumbent President George W Bush , taxes may well have declined somewhat , but the value of the US dollar had declined even more so , forcing the consumer to actually spend more of their income than ever before, even on the most basic daily staples . The economy was in a downward spiral and for a player who at the time was earning in excess of $ 8 million a year , I can only surmise that Allen felt uniquely placed to speak for the masses when his own salary was actually two hundred times that of the ordinary average working American worker . Allen’s education at Idaho State albeit, on a scholarship, was greatly wasted on this ass !

While, it would be easy to be critical of today’s athletes and what appears to be their lack of social awareness, far too many of their actions, are too often dictated by agents , sponsors or even their very teams. And while could state that during the era of Jim Brown , Arthur Ashe , Muhammad Ali , Bill Russell , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Billie Jean King chose not only to be socially active, but also politically . The same cannot be said of today’s so-called pantheons of the sports’ world, whose concerns more often than not, appear to their image , amassing wealth and being seen in public at the biggest social events , when away from their chosen endeavors. Also, when an athlete now chooses to place themselves within the midst of an issue , specifically one that is political , their apparent intelligence also comes into question , as was the case with Jared Allen. One could also attest that times have changed since Ali was a vocal opponent of the war in Vietnam , and while his incarceration may well have been more one of political and racial motivation , by the government . I would suggest that even now, the country has not preceded that far forward, in terms of its apparent social progress. The nation still remains, one that is divided, along not only racial lines, but also economically as well as politically. With the latter inference, coming by way of the two political parties seeking division rather than bipartisanship in dealing with what ails the country.

There have been athletes who have gone about quietly seeking change, but much of that goes uncovered , or rarely reported on, in full by the press , who if anything are just as guilty with their ongoing impudence and lack in-depth journalism on a wide variety of issues, be they economic or social issues . The big story always sought, seems to be one of salacious or sexual intrigue , or shall we attest to the fact , there just seems to real disinterest in many of the topics raised, merely because the journalists believe there happens to be no real story of human interest ?

Floyd Mayweather Jr and Tiger Woods , are perhaps two of the most recognized athletes on the planet, but rarely have you seen either , speak openly on a matter of social or economic importance. Both of these high-profiled athletes apart from being extremely wealthy individuals , as can be seen from their ranking in Forbes’ highest paid athletes , are very much indifferent as to what they believe their legacies are said to be. Mayweather brandishes his opulence, by way of his lavish lifestyle, penchant for fast cars and gambling. Woods for his part, having careers earnings from the PGA Tour exceeding $100 million , with a further $850 million in endorsement earnings , might just be the wealthiest active North American athlete.

The golfer whose off-course issues came cannon fodder for the press, while idiots, such as Christine Brennan sought to ingratiate herself, with her readers by trying to suggest that Woods’ sexual peccadilloes were an outrage. Somehow, it might well have escaped Brennan’s notice, that the player’s actions were not unlawful, just simply repulsive. However, it would appear, that because of Woods’ visibility, the story was worth running with, merely to whet the appetite of the readers of USA Today and provide evidence and further lower what we now know is simply the press at its worst , without ever seeking to be informative or overly judgmental. Brennan , may well be seeking to show that as a woman she can compete in an environment that is uniquely dominated by her male counterparts , but she has yet to show that she can shy away from letting her emotions get the better of her.

Woods and his Tiger Woods Charitable Foundation in conjunction with many of his corporate sponsors have spent countless millions on children’s issues, with the furtherance of their education and well-being . Woods , himself, beyond the creation of foundation , now has several educational facilities in the state of California and nationwide , with monies also being spent abroad to establish similar academic institutions in Thailand , the birthplace of his mother , Kutilda Woods , and on the African continent.

Tiger Woods , like LeBron James , Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, have chosen to remain silent on a wide variety of sociopolitical issues . And while the golfer has let his money and deeds speak volumes as to his actions , by contrast the NBA and its fraternity of players along with their MLB and NFL counterparts have remained mute . Somewhat strange, when you consider that annually the MLB hierarchy annually in remembrance of Jackie Robinson’s integration into the game of baseball and at the insistence of Bud Selig , have sought to exhibit their political activism . Yet today, there has not been one player of note during this era, who has stepped up to the plate to speak openly on any issue of note . The self-absorbed image of the NBA and their egotistical fraternity , as presided over by David Stern , remains one of ridicule narcissism. In the wake of the death of teenager , Trayvon Martin ,whose demise brought a great deal of national outcry, the only action of note from many of the league’s players and specifically those of African-American heritage , was to stand silently before a game adorned in hoodies to express their concern over the teenager’s tragic demise . Even though Martin’s assailant, George Zimmerman was later acquitted of the victim’s death , it has not gone unnoticed, that the former defendant , has subsequently had several more run-ins with the law, with two occasions of Zimmerman having used a weapon to have allegedly threatened his ex-wife and a girlfriend. Speaks volumes, as the justice system within the state of Florida, the lack of intelligence amongst the twelve members of the jury and that of the complete incompetence of the prosecuting attorneys in the presentation of the state’s case.

Kobe Bryant may well have taken umbrage at being targeted by Jim Brown , but the NBA player’s response if anything showed a great deal of naiveté and a lack of understanding . Bryant’s own response if anything, further emphasizes why today’s athlete , has become way too-image conscious and even less involved and dare I say it, even less informed than many of their peers from years past ?

Loves labors lost, as it would now appear with the Los Angeles Lakers (10-11) , as they strive for some semblance of success this season . The very fact that their joint co-habitants at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , the Los Angeles Clippers (15-9) do appear have taken some of the glare off the more renowned of the two LA based NBA franchises , could very much be a part of one of the numerous reasons why prior to the start of the regular season schedule Kobe Bryant was somewhat mystified as to why analysts felt the Lakers would be no better than the twelfth best team in the Western Conference . From my own standpoint, I believe that the analysts were being rather generous with their own analysis of the Los Angeles Lakers as a team and their season’s aspirations in possibly making the NBA Playoffs. A less agile Bryant coming off , off-season surgery , with Pau Gasol’s game now in regression and with point guard Steve Nash not being able to give the Lakers at best no more than twenty minutes per game . I cannot see how anyone could expect to see this Mike DAntoni coached team make a deep run within the postseason , much less make a credible challenge within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

Coming off a recent narrow six-point loss (114-108) to the Phoenix Suns , which saw the return of Kobe Bryant for his second game of the season , has pretty much summed up the Lakers’ season. Without him, Los Angeles are simply a team, treading water whilst in the middle of the ocean without a life-jacket . His return, makes Los Angeles a far more potent team offensively, but there remains numerous flaws that clearly need to be addressed by GM Mitch Kupchak . The team’s next game does not get any easier, as they meet a highly rejuvenated Oklahoma City Thunder team buoyed by the return of their All Star point guard Russell Westbrook .

Make no bones about it , with Bryant on the downside of an illustrious career and in spite of his recently signing a two-year $48.5 million contract extension . There is a continued belief that unless Mitch Kupchak is able lure away a highly prized free agent this upcoming off-season, this franchise is likely to languish in the middle order of the conference and at the lower end of the Pacific Division , which at present is a clear reflection of the Lakers’ present situation. There may well be a great deal of optimism amongst their fans, as would be expected , yet, the reality has not begun to set in, as to what the franchise’s real future is likely to be without a Kobe Bryant.

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Picture gallery .

In light of Jim Brown’s criticism of Kobe Bryant, do you believe that the former NFL player was justified in criticism of the NBA star ? Do you also believe that today’s athletes are too noncommittal concerning matters when it comes to politically or socially sensitive issues? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for your continued support of the site .

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(1) Hall of Fame great Jim Brown is seen here during an appearance on the late night syndicated television talk show of host Arsenio Hall . Brown’s comments concerning NBA star Kobe Bryant seems to have caused a stir with the NBA player , who seems to believe that the statements attributed to the former NFL star were unflattering. Courtesy of UPN/Paramount Studios …..

(2) Bill Russell ,left, joined Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Lew Alcindor (among others) in 1963 at a meeting of top African-American athletes to show support for Ali’s refusal to fight in Vietnam. The boxer’s refusal on the grounds of being a conscientious objector to the war , also centered around the social injustices also taking place in America and the civil rights’ movement. . Getty Images / Tony Tomsic ……

(3) Lakers of ’04 as things didn’t go as planned as they were summarily dismissed in the NBA Finals by the Detroit Pistons . Seated from left to right Gary Payton , Shaquille O’Neal , Karl Malone , Kobe Bryant and Rick Fox. That was one of the truly amazing upsets in NBA history as the Lakers were heavily favored in the series which they ended up losing 4-1 to the Eastern Conference based Detroit Pistons. Associated Press / Louis Lattimore

(4) Arthur Ashe, a three-time Grand Slam singles’ tournament winner and a founding member of the ATP , who succumbed to the aids’ virus having received contaminated blood, intravenously . A vocal opponent of the apartheid regime in South Africa , the former world number one spoke put passionately against the regime refusing to play in any sanctioned tournament in the country while many of his fellow professional took an opposing view , citing that playing there would actually bring closer harmony between the minority white populace and the majority black population during the seventies . Upon his contracting the HIV virus leading to full-blown aids , Ashe also sought to aid and educate those contracting the disease. A foundation was set up in the player’s name , which has since raised tens of million of dollars for aids’ research and education . AP / REUTERS/ …….

(5) PGA Tour player Tiger Woods , long seen as the face of golf worldwide . Woods has seen fit to stay away from being political , choosing instead to simply let his philanthropic deeds speak as to his legacy on a number of social issues . Courtesy of PGA Tour .

(6) Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach Mike D’Antoni is seen her with Kobe Bryant , court-side during a game . With the Lakers off to an inauspicious start to this NBA season , it remains to be seen whether or not the team can make it a reality of making the NBA Playoffs . Getty Images/ Elsa Martinez …..

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My sort of play thing !

Have her (Jordan Carver) place your balls in the right place .

Don’t believe the hype ……….

Don’t believe the hype

One of the seminal groups in all of music, but more so rap music, came out with a song that still resonates socially today, as it did two decades ago. Chuck D and Flava Flav , two of the founding members of the rap group Public Enemy are just as respected today, as when they first burst onto the scene over two decades ago with their socially conscious lyrics, which some suggested as being overtly racist . Take that with a pinch of salt, from a group of individuals, who at first thought that Rock-n-Roll was the Devil’s music. The song in question, by the Grammy nominated group was ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’ , delivering strong lyrics of defiance and of being socially relevant. Well today , in the world of sports , that means not being socially relevant , much less being involved. More so today, it is all about creating an image of being family friendly, in order to lure being wielding and deep pocketed corporate sponsors , broadcast networks and their billions of dollars . Nowhere, is that particular message more resonant , than within the NFL , NBA , MLB and Collegiate Athletics .

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This season in the NFL , a great deal of the hype was made over the amazing start of both the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs . Two teams who came flying out of the starting gate, having rolled off seven straight victories apiece . By week seven in the league , the Broncos had fallen back to earth , having slipped up , when Peyton Manning as the ‘prodigal son’ , made his return to Lucas Oil Stadium , home to the Indianapolis Colts , where Manning and his teammates would succumb to his former team in a thoroughly entertaining game , as we witnessed the ongoing maturation process of Andrew Luck , the number one overall pick from the 2012 NFL Draft .

With their now being only one remaining unbeaten team in the NFL, as the 7-0 Kansas City Chiefs seek to keep their quest for a perfect regular season alive . All eyes will on Andy Reid’s rather surprising roster and their seeking to keep that record intact. From my own perspective , I felt with the departure of former general manager Scott Pioli , Matt Cassel , along with a number of players who proved to be unproductive , there was a chance that the Chiefs would be something of a surprise in 2013. Little did I realize, that they would now seen, as perhaps the best team in the NFL . Certainly, the traits were already there from last season , but what was most definitely needed , were the players to execute and coaching staff in place to get the players buying to into a proven message . Pioli’s successor , John Dorsey laid the foundations for that , with the hiring of Andy Reid and the acquisition of quarterback Alex Smith and some very shrewd off-season moves . On Sunday , the Chiefs will seek to further distance themselves from the rest of the AFC West , when they play host the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri , in what should to be a very good AFC match-up .

If to suggest that things could not get any worse for a team now seeking not only redemption but also respectability , then what more can one say, about the now stagnant Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6) , who tonight host the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida ? This team has lost focus , heart , but overall there seems to be no leadership forthcoming from anyone on the roster or coaching staff . Greg Schiano’s demeanor at times has shown a lack of discipline , which seems to have been reflected a great deal in the Buccaneers’ lackluster displays throughout the season. And as usual, the Buccaneers’ fans continue to show more optimism than anything else . A loss tonight , and the franchise can start to think about 2014 and their likely draft status next year , beyond assessing the current roster .

I was never impressed with the hiring of hiring Greg Schiano in 2012 , in spite of his pedigree as a head coach with Rutgers . All of the bally hoo, surrounding the hire and the player acquisitions that came about , with GM Mark Dominik being viewed as a front office genius. Not much, by way of tangible success was borne out of the transactions or the overall play of the team during Schiano’s first year tenure. Take into the account, the idiocy , this preseason concerning what appears to the head coach’s reluctance to play Darrelle Revis during the four exhibition games and you can now understand why the Buccaneers’ season has simply spiraled out of control , with their not being much hope that things are likely to be turned around anytime soon .

As to the week eight schedule in the NFL, there are a number of games that will most definitely carry a great deal of intrigue and hype around them . I will personally leave that to the on air television personalities to discuss , because I am always assured of something inanely stupid being stated by the individuals in question who allegedly are providing the fans with a great deal of insight.

Leave it to the NCAA , to continue to show their utter stupidity and ongoing incompetence. After almost eighteen months of continued buffoonery by the Infractions’ Committee , an announcement was made as to the punishment to be meted out the Miami Hurricanes’ program and their willful violations of the NCAA rules , on a wide variety of transgressions . Bearing in mind , the actual mistakes by the NCAA investigators , the loss of documentary evidence and then their falsification of records . The fact that NCAA President Mark Emmert is said to feel comfortable the findings and the verdict rendered , either shows signs of his own stupidity or the very fact that the NCAA has lost all touch with reality along with its own credibility . I would like to think that the University President Donna Shalala would challenge the findings and the verdict , simply based on the wrongdoings by the NCAA investigators, if nothing else , to show that Collegiate Athletics’ governing body , simply cannot change the rules to meet their needs , after their own misdeeds . Granted, the University of Miami is at fault for its failed oversight in the monitoring of the athletic staff , compliance office and that of the student athletes past and present , embroiled in the scandal that has brought further disrepute upon the program .

As to the belief, that the NCAA has always had the student athletes’ interests at heart. I will liken that premise to the slave master /plantation owner an and his overseer , who grants the slaves on the plantation some time during a hot humid day, a ten minute water break, before they are made to return to their daily chores . As Malcolm X so astutely stated, “ we didn’t land on Plymouth Rock , Plymouth Rock landed on us “ ! The students remain indentured slaves of a corrupt and flawed system , but no one seems to want to acknowledge that fact , but they are prepared to discuss what is said to best adjudge, a fair way of determining a national champion in football at the FBS (Football Subdivision D 1 Level) . Have I actually missed something here , amidst all of this, and the countless billions of dollars reaped annually within collegiate athletics , but no transparency is shown by the NCAA , BCS or the major bowl conferences by way of their finances or business practices, while each of the entities operate under a tax-exempt status ? I guess, that must be overlooked by those who try to seek some sort of justification for the latest pretense being shown by the BCS and conference commissioners ?

As Wil Muschamp and his coaching staff seek to find ways to now resurrect the Florida Gators’ season after the team were routed by the Mizzou Tigers . I can’t help but wonder what must now being going on in the minds of the Gators’ fans statewide as well as nationally ! . Yes, there are fans of the program who actually reside outside the state of Florida . Who would have thought that, but yes, they remain as loyal as ever . For my friend, Chris , who in a recent comment on my site tried to suggest that the Gators have now slipped as low as number three in the state , in terms of football prominence . My response to that , would be , you seemed to have forgotten about the rise in prominence of the centrally (Florida) based UCF Golden Knights (5-1) , a now nationally ranked program in the BCS Poll and who appear to be on route to a major BCS Bowl berth, should their season pan out .

For Wil Muschamp and the Gators, they now have a week in which to prepare before facing the Georgia (Bulldogs) on the 2nd November , during week ten of the College Football season at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville , Florida. To say that this game will be of utmost importance as a “make or break” for the season, would be a vast understatement. Nonetheless, it has to be now or never if Florida are to make something of their year.

It may not have been the World Series many had hoped for, with undoubtedly many hoping that the Los Angeles Dodgers would now be staring down the Boston Red Sox in the 109th edition baseball’s postseason finale . The Dodgers simply failed show up in game six of their NLCS game against the St Louis Cardinals , who simply laid waste the Los Angeles franchise’s ambitions for the postseason . And for one of the team’s most prominent owners , Magic Johnson . This will be the season where he can now look back and merely speculate on not only what might have been, and whether not , it is now worthwhile pushing the team’s payroll to beyond $250 million annually , which would be an MLB record in terms of a team’s salary obligations . Not even the now once mighty New York Yankees have ever been bold enough to undertake such a premise. Can someone remind me once again , why it is that Alex Rodriguez remains the highest paid player in the game ? Damned, if I know !

Game one of this year’s World Series was something of a shock as the Boston Red Sox showed their intent , in making the Cardinals pay for their defensive errors on their way to an 8-1 opening series’ game-win . A shell-shocked Mike Matheny and his coaching staff must now be wondering , if after that bombardment they are in for more of the same during game two on Thursday night when the series resumes at Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts. I believe that this St Louis’ team has it within them to even the series but it would have to be premised on the Cardinals’ players not repeating the mistakes witnessed in game one .

The more things are said to change, the more they remain the same . That is most certainly true of what might now be the most incompetent administration to hold office political office in this nation . Once again , leave it to Barack Obama to come up with another lame comment as to why he is so upset with the contractors who set up and maintain the website for the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obama-care) . Upon the website’s debut there were numerous problems that Kathleen Sebelius’ department , the Department of Health and Human Services failed to acknowledge or bring to the attention of the various technicians within that agency or the contracted company providing the maintenance and administration of the site . Now leave it to none other than the House Energy & Commerce Committee who also deal with health matters within the Congress . As they have sought to empanel their committee and request the presence of Kathleen Sebelius and the contractors to answer questions, as to why this site has either repeatedly crashed or the fact that most inquiries to the site would not lead an individual beyond the homepage . Nothing like incompetence, to show what you are not missing, when the government repeatedly screws things up. For months on end , during the initial setup there were numerous issues that cropped up concerning this site (healthcare.gov), but somehow , it is only now , that there seems to be a sense of urgency after the tens of millions of dollars that have spent . Call me naive , but where else can you find this sort of incompetency without anyone being accountable for the sheer magnitude of the ineptitude executed and then somehow deliberately covered up ?

Should I now shed a tear every time Barack Obama is upset or emotionally torn apart by an issue ? I will be damned, if I now give him the time of day , much less anything else ! Is it not enough , that he has made a complete ass of himself , concerning the issue of Syria and the apparent death of 400 children, who were subjected to the use of chemical weapons by Syrian military forces , during what has now become a violent uprising in the Middle Eastern country . Yet, there seems to be no sense of outrage by this President , over the fact that approximately 550 children have been gunned down on the streets of Chicago , Illinois over the past thirty months. A great many of the victims were innocent and mere bystanders to a senseless crime wave , driven by drugs and gang related, as to the territorial rights of the various gangs at the center of this spree . The President, though not a native Chicagoan , his former senatorial seat took in certain parts of the Windy City.

Now come full circle, and with the NBA regular season is due to commence in five days and there seems to be a heightened sense that Chicago Bulls are more concerned with the start of their season , rather than the ongoing crime spree gripping the city . The city’s mayor Rahm Emmanuel , himself a former Chief of Staff to the incumbent President, has already shown his own incompetency since becoming the city’s chief executive . Emmanuel has complained, that he does not have the necessary resources to take a tough enough stance on crime , but has sought to inflame the situation even more so, by systematically cutting resources because of his city’s now burgeoning fiscal crisis. What this has now indicated to me, is that the country has become more uncaring and there is only a pretext displayed as to their being any type want to or need to aid others in distress . I believe that this all has more to do with apathy and a complete lack of understanding by the government itself , as to what is really ailing the nation at present !

No one from within the Bulls’ front office has spoken publicly on the issue of the increased violence within the city . Yet, the franchise has seen fit to air numerous radio and television commercials reminding the fans in the run-up to the start of the preseason and regular season of the return of the team’s star point guard Derrick Rose . I can only surmise that team owner Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Gar Forman do not believe that there needs to be a shared or civic responsibility as to the communal well-being of the citizens of the city , just as long as they are under the roof of the United Center in Chicago , showing their support for the team.

After an almost eighteen month layoff , a great deal is expected not only of Derrick Rose, but also the team as a whole , where the presence of Joakim Noah is likely to be felt throughout much of this upcoming season . Noah’s growing , maturity , presence and the very fact that his all-round game seems to have improved immensely over the past two seasons , would suggest that he is ready to be seen as one of better center/ power forwards within the NBA at present , especially from a defensive standpoint .

With Chicago starting off their regular season schedule as guests of the reigning NBA champions , the Miami Heat . The added expectations are that both teams will prove to be a serious challenge to each other within the Eastern Conference as well as during the playoffs this upcoming season . A likely match-up between the two, sets up some scintillating possibilities and expectations for both sets of fans , as well the NBA fans in general .

For the Miami Heat , it is not only about making a successful second defense of their NBA crown , but whether not this team can be seen as a legitimate dynasty , with its core element of LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade leading the charge towards for NBA immortality . Seen, as clear-cut favorites, to make that defense more than a reality . The question now becomes, which team within the Eastern Conference will pose a serious enough threat to derail those hopes during the postseason ? It is my belief, that the Miami Heat will gently stroll through the regular season , not necessarily posting the best record within the conference , but they will have certainly will have done enough , to make their qualification for the NBA playoffs a foregone conclusion and from there , they can simply shift into overdrive and lay waste to the opposition within the East and then await their Western Conference counterpart without a great deal of trepidation.

With finances, for any professional sports’ franchise always at the forefront of profitability, it has become increasingly annoying to hear senior basketball executives simply walk around with their head buried in the sand , acting as if the glaring precipice they are close to , does not pose an imminent threat or danger. Not unlike the mind numbing stupidity, shown by the Congress and how they have continually dealt with the fiscal budgetary crisis and the debt ceiling . After a while , there is only so far down the road where you can kick the can , before coming to the conclusion that something drastic has to be done . It is the same within the NBA and the very fact that teams who are being punished, by way of the league’s luxury tax, for exceeding the soft “salary cap” ($58.044 million) , are now looking at ways to implement a much more equitable solution. Far be it for Congress, to actually think of trying such an idea of reining in their spending or even for the members to actually seek cuts their own benefits . Like, that is ever likely to happen ? Voices of dissent, are no now coming from owners such as Micky Arison , James Dolan , Mikhail Prokhorov , Jim Buss , Robert Pera and Ted Leonsis . Yet, with David Stern not wanting to leave a maelstrom for his successor , Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver to deal with , it would appear that the NBA Commissioner will seek to calm those voices of dissent, by simply stating , that there is nothing for these owners to worry about. Where have we all heard that before , and then a calamitous event occurs ?

Though voted up upon by the NBA Board of Governors and approved, the league hierarchy’s wish to increase the rate upon which the luxury tax is based , which will rise from $1-00 for every dollar over the mandated soft cap of approximately $58 million to $1-50 for every dollar over the aforementioned figure . One can well understand the outrage of any team owner, who has a payroll in excess seventy-five or one hundred million dollars and the financial forfeiture that will have to be made to satisfy the league (NBA). Yet these are the very same owners who have allowed their general managers to spend so capriciously on players’ salaries and team payrolls. Not unlike the federal government and its idea of sound financial and fiscal restraint .

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What do you now believe to be the biggest myth or hindrance to the sporting landscape today , be it from a financial standpoint or otherwise ? Also what positives do you now believe there to be within sports ? Leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support !

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below .

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(1) Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos meet after the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 20, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 39-33 . Getty Images North America / Andy Lyons …..

(2) Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts throws the ball during the game against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 20, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images / Andy Lyons …

(3) Quarterback Alex Smith (11) of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the ball into the end-zone for a touchdown during the 1st half of the game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium on October 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. Getty Images / Jamie Squires ….

(4) Wide receiver Eric Page (17) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fumbles a punt return against the Carolina Panthers October 24, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Carolina recovered and won 31 – 13 . Getty Images / Al Messerschmidt ……

(5) Quarterback Tyler Murphy (3) of the Florida Gators is hit by defensive lineman Kony Ealy (47) of the Missouri Tigers during the game at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Columbia, Missouri. Getty Images / Jamie Squires …..

(6) St Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Michael Wacha delivers a pitch during the first inning of game two of the World Series played at Fenway Park , in Boston Massachusetts ,. . St Louis would defeat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 to even the series at one game apiece (1-1) in the best of seven-game series . The series resumes on Saturday evening with game three scheduled at Busch Ball Park in St Louis , Missouri . AP Photo / Matt Slocum …..

(7) Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox breaks his bat hitting a single during game two of the World Series played on Thursday , 24th October , 2013 at Fenway Park against the St Louis Cardinals . Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is well placed to see the incident . AP Photo ? Charlie Riedel ……

(8) Health & Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius is seen here with President Barack Obama at the White House in the Rose Garden , as the Commander-in-Chief addresses the convened press on his healthcare initiative . Sebelius’ department and the secretary , herself, have come in for mounted criticism for the handling of the technical issues concerning the website that provides all of the pertinent information concerning the Affordable Healthcare Act . The issue has been an ongoing problem for several weeks, with patrons of the site not being able access pages beyond the initial homepage . The website is actually administered by an outside government contractor . . A Congressional committee has been empaneled and convened, with both Sebelius and high-ranking personnel within the Health & Human Services’ Department summoned to attend an inquiry to answer questions concerning the still ongoing issues . Also in attendance, will be several executives from CGI Federal Inc . Reuters/ Craig Thompson …..

(9) Derrick Rose , left and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls are looking place a serious dent in the Miami Heat’s attempt of making a successful defense of the NBA title . The Heat won the title previously in 2006 and then again 2012 and 2013 . The Florida based franchise are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive titles since the Los Angeles Lakers were able to achieve the feat in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Chicago Sun Times/ AP Photo / Mark Richardson ….

(10) From left to right , Mario Chalmers (15) , Lebron James , Chris Bosh , Greg Oden (52) and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. Oden is the newest member of the franchise and will be seeking to add his presence to what is an experienced roster. Injuries have restricted Oden’s career in the NBA but during the off-season he was signed by the Miami based organization and has began to contribute to the team’s preseason production . Head coach Erik Spoelstra no doubt hopes that the player will be able to replicate that form during the regular season . Miami Herald / AP Photo / Paul Sharpe …..

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tophatal ……………………… 10/24/2013

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Public Enemy ” Don’t believe the hype “

There’s Only So Many Ways You Can Throw Sh_t Up Against A Wall

There’s Only So Many Ways You Can Throw Shit Up Against A Wall …….

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I’m not one to always jump unto the political bandwagon but what’s now happening in the country of Egypt ought to act as a reminder why it is that the US continues to be the pimple on the ass of an elephant as it relates to its foreign policy . Ever since the death of the country’s former President Anwar Sadat to a assassin’s bullet the country has tied itself to the corrupt government of Sadat’s successor Hosni Mubarak . What might be even more galling is the very fact that after the events of 9/11 when 22 terrorists saw fit to attack the country in a pre-emptive strike which took the lives of over 3,000 innocent victims the US still rallied and showed support for Egypt even though 14 of the twenty two terrorists who were part of this heinous atrocity were from that country. The remaining 8 terrorists were from the country of Saudi Arabia another we’re told a so called ally of the United States and its war on terror. At no time did the US seek to cut off diplomatic ties with either country but instead simply continued its ties with both.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Hosni Mubarak in his tenure has rarely been opposed in terms of when he sought re-election during his reign as President as any opposition from within was viewed as a form of blatantly disavowing the country’s path under Mubarak and his policies. Now you can see the reason why the form of democracy now being espoused in the country has been a charade and the fact that the United States had thrown its support behind Mubarak over the years begs the question what the hell has the country been thinking during that time ? Now there are those who’ll say we need Egypt because as an ally , and logistically because of where the country lies and the very fact that the Suez Canal is the primary route for 70% of the world’s oil that leaves the Arab peninsular for the Western market. There in a nutshell sums up the primary reason for the United States’ interest in the region and reason for the Egypt to remain a with some form of leadership . Even if it is one that has a rather dubious form of democracy and ties to a number of organizations that many in the West view to radical.

Stability can be deceiving when one considers how corrupt the Mubarak regime has been and the very fact that the rule of law isn’t at all adhered to . The Egyptian judiciary is corrupt and the defense attorneys aren’t always to defend their clients effectively because there’s a propensity for the judges to align themselves with the prosecution and bribes shall we say that tend play its part in any decision that’s brought down as a verdict by a judge ? And this is what the US government would have us believe is a suitable form of democracy to throw its weight behind and support ? Laughable and ludicrous isn’t it ? But then again if memory serves me correct President George W Bush did once make the statement that the Sudan’s __ President Omar Al-Bashir was a leader who could be trusted . And in the Sudan some 2 1/2-3 million victims over the last decade have lost their lives to the genocide inflicted by Bashir’s security forces and that of the Janjaweed while the rest of the world seemingly looked on .

Mubarak has been President of the country for almost three decades and during his reign there has been no end of political corruption and no end of his autocratic rule. His government has been essentially one filled with a close inner circle of friends and family. Political reform if any has been minuscule but at the same time the West and in particular the United States views the country as a trusted ally in the Middle East merely because it is one of only two Arab countries in the region that actually recognizes Israel’s right to exist and who openly has diplomatic relations with that country. The other country who joins Egypt in its recognition of the state is that of Jordan which is ruled by King Abdullah .

Now for the past three decades Egypt , other than Israel have been the largest recipient of US donor aid of which the State Dept confirms that the figure has been in excess of $68 billion ($68,000,000,000,000). And while no one can actually show how this money has actually been spent we can be sure that much of it has found its way into the pockets of the Mubarak cabinet and that of his closest allies while the country itself is in an economic mess. Israel itself is not without with the largess of the United States also being the recipient of donor aid to the tune of approximately on average $3.5 billion (3,500,000,000) a year. What I’d like to know is what the US gets in return in terms of reciprocity while taxpayers’ monies are being sent to the countries in question ? Has there really been any form political or economic reform in Egypt much less Israel given the fact that the Palestinian situation each year becomes a mess that the parties involved seek an amicable accord to ?

Egypt’s capital city of Cairo has become the lightning rod and epicenter for the protests now taking part in and across the country. While this has all fomented the unrest not seen in the Arab world of this seismic in nature since Iran erupted which led to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran (Reza Pehlavi ) . In his stead the country came under the reign of the Islamic clerics led by the Ayatollah Khomeini . And as we know the country is now seen as a ‘pariah’ in the West and the conduit of terrorism as a backer of the group Hezbollah .

In the aftermath of 9/11 President Bush and his cabinet did little to seek answers from either Egypt or Saudi Arabia but yet we’re led to believe that both countries were of great assistance to the country in seeking out members of Al Qaeda , the terrorist organization actually responsible for the atrocity . Bush’s successor Barack Obama has been making statements that add little to the perspective other than to say that he supports the rights of the Egyptian people to their freedom of expression while at the same stating that he believes that Mubarak will use this as a chance to make the changes needed, bring about reform and stability back the country. If after three decades that has never been done what makes the President now believe that with the death of almost 100 Egyptian civilians and in excess of 2,000 injured that things are now about to change ? Certainly with Secretary of State —- Hillary Clinton essentially adding nothing to this at all from her own perspective other than to reiterate the President’s statements it leads me to believe that there’ll be little change if any made by Mubarak’s government.

US foreign policy over the years has bordered on being inept and downright disgraceful ! The country suborns dictatorial regimes but then chooses then uses oxymoronic tones questioning countries such as Myanmar (formerly Burma) , Iran , and Somalia , Sudan and Yemen . It wouldn’t be that bad were it not for the fact that these countries if anything in terms of transparency with regard to their respective political process isn’t that much worse than that of Egypt . And what might be even more thought provoking is that while the US hid behind their nonsensical stance that they didn’t suborn the interdiction and torture of US citizens or that of other nationals who were arrested under the suspicion of being terrorists , it was to countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia where many of these individuals where taken and tortured . Then Secretary of State Condolleeza Rice under President Bush categorically denied that very fact but we now know this not to be true.

Egypt might well have been a useful ally to have but herein lies the question with this so called right of exceptionalism , where’s the right of common decency and the rule of law in all of this ? Thankfully, Egypt as a country albeit one that has been relatively stable until the unrest now being shown but without there being true reform and the very fact that while the present US administration hopefully looks for some reform and stability merely thinking that throwing money at a problem makes it better has simply shown that the foreign policy has been myopic and without any real thought !

This type of idiotic foreign policy that the US has been entrenched in has been existence merely driven to drive its own economic interests rather than being an equal partner with many of its allies in the Middle East. It’s not something that either side of the political debate would like to admit as being fact but it’s becoming more and more apparent that it has been the zeal which has driven the debate and policy of successive Presidential administrations down the years.

Hosni Mubarak isn’t yet ready to give up his rule as President of Egypt and the changes made in seeking the resignation of his entire government while replacing them with many of his cronies and one or two members from opposition party members merely smacks of desperation on his part , while he looks to still have the support of the West and in particular that of the US and the UN . If those two esteemed bodies show their support for Mubarak then essentially nothing will in fact change.

Courtesy of Wall St Journal

ElBaradei Says Unrest Will End if Mubarak Leaves

By Matt Bradley

Cairo – President Hosni Mubarak’s announcement that he will step down after elections later this year is “an act of deception” and will not satisfy the demands of those protesting against his 29-year rule, according to opposition leader and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei.

“Nobody is satisfied with that, nobody is ready to be naive, not see a ploy,” Mr. ElBaradei told a small group of journalists in an interview. “It’s an act of deception to me,” he added.

He said Mubarak needs to leave Egypt in order to bring an end to the mass demonstrations calling for him to step down.

“Once he’s out of the country” the demonstrators will go home, Mr. ElBaradei said.

Mr. Mubarak said Tuesday that he wouldn’t run in the next election and called for constitutional reforms, opening the door for opposition groups and his regime to square off for control of the country’s future. Mr. ElBaradei has emerged as a leader of a loose coalition of opposition forces that includes the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood .

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True political reform comes about from an ideology of change that starts from the top and one that works its way down to the benefit of one’s citizens. Egypt’s former Nobel Peace Prize award winner Mohammed ElBaradei and former head of the United Nation’s IAEA having returned to Egypt , has in part become of one of the most recognized voices that opposes the current government. As to whether or not he can viewed as one who can assume the mantel of leadership remains to be seen but it’s clear that he wants and seeks change for his country and that of its populace.

And it goes without saying that the changes sought by the Egyptian people and that of its citizens abroad will be a long time coming if the incumbent President remains in power. At the same time outside influences such as that of radical clerics who may well view this as a possible way of gaining further influence in breeding its explosive rhetoric of radical Islam could now jump into the fray and force the country into becoming in Islamic theocratic state that is administered by imams who’ll use Iran as their role model. Something that I believe that no one in the West would want at this juncture ! But in light of the relationship between the West and the Middle East at present this might not be out of the realms of possibility.

God knows with the situation that’s now in place in both Afghanistan and Iraq where the United States still involved in two wars and where both the governments of President Hamid Karzai (Afghanistan) and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are riddled with corruption and whose idea democracy aren’t now that much different than those of their Islamic neighbors who view an Islamic theocracy as a democratic form of government. It is where the rights of the populace aren’t as important as that of seeing the downfall of the infidels in the West which essentially is now what foments the vitriol that drives the ideology of radical Islam and where in the West we are now seeing the rise of xenophobia and outright racist rhetoric coming from all sides of the political agenda. One now wonders how this all we be portrayed from the bastion of right wing conservatism Fox News and that of the rather less than knowledgeable analysts and pundits of ABC , CBS , CNN , MSNBC and NBC ? . Let’s just say all the perception of knowledge that they can give you with some incisive insight as to the state of affairs is in reality that they simply don’t really understand many of the issues with any great depth.

I’ve always maintained that a person’s right to seek one’s own freedom starts with taking a stance and that of a rallying cry. It’s now happening in Egypt but that was never the case with the countries of Afghanistan or Iraq as US the saw fit to entrench itself in a conflict, which was one of futility and not of necessity and one where the planning and its execution has bordered on sheer ineptitude. It kind of now makes one wonder how the US can now extricate itself from both situations and now on appearance, its support of another dictator that the country has supported while trying to suggest that they’re a trusted ally ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the political unrest now happening in Egypt and how things have changed not only in that country but also in Tunisia , Jordan and Yemen where we’ve seen the citizens demonstrating in the streets calling for changes and political reform ? Do you believe that Mubarak will step down as President and relinquish his role as Head of State or will he try to remain in office ? Chime in with your thoughts on this matter .

Picture and slide show details.

(1) Egypt’s capitol Cairo amidst of the vocal demonstrators who oppose President Hosni Mubarak’s stay in power . The beleaugered President having sought the firing of the Egyptian Cabinet still holds unto the reins of office having sworn in some members of the opposition and in large part many of his closes allies to be part of a new ministerial administration. However that has not been enough to vanquish the President’s staunchest opponents and the populace at large. Mubarak has since made the public statement that he’ll step down in September at the time of a new election for President and that of a new government altogether. Western analysts seek a smooth transition over the period rather than the country falling into utter chaos. Courtesy of AFP/ Reuters …………..

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks as (L-4th L) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak listen during an East Room statement at the White House September 1, 2010 in Washington, DC. The White House has kicked off a new round of direct peace talks for the Middle East, the first one in more than 18 months. Getty Images North America / Alex Wong …………

(3) U.S. President Barak Obama (R) talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the Oval Office at the White House August 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. The two leaders discussed a range of issues including Middle East peace. Getty Images North America / Mark Wilson ……….

(4) Beleaguered President Hosni Murabak addresses the nation on state television informing them of the changes to be made in the country’s government. However he’s stated that he won’t step down until there’s a smooth transition and elections take place in September. His opponents had sought the President’s resignation and his departure from office and the country. Reuters/ Mohammed Al-Shahi ……

(5) Egyptian protesters hold pictures showing slain Egyptian businessman Khaled Said as they shout anti-police slogans during a demonstration in Alexandria, Egypt Wednesday. Anger is spreading in Egypt over the latest example of police brutality and torture within the close US ally. Courtesy AP/ Christian Science Monitor ….. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved

(6) U.S. President Barack Obama (right) and Secretary of State of State Hillary Clinton participate in a cabinet meeting at the White House February 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. Later in the day President Obama will meet with members of the Technology CEO Council to discuss competitiveness, innovation, and the need to create jobs. But what might be now a more pressing situation facing the administration is the growing unrest in Egypt and the presence of US citizens there now hoping to leave the country under US mandated evacuation. Getty Images/ Mark Wilson …….

(7) Anti-Government Protesters Clash With Pro-Mubarak Demonstrators A supporter of embattled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarek is thrown from a horse during a clash between pro-Mubarek and anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square on February 2, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Yesterday President Mubarak announced that he would not run for another term in office, but would stay in power until elections later this year. Thousands of supporters of Egypt’s long-time president and opponents of the regime clashed then today in Tahrir Square, throwing rocks and fighting with improvised weapons. Getty Images / Chris Hondros ……….

(8) A wounded Egyptian man is brought away from front lines during a clash between pro- and anti-Mubarek protesters February 2, 2011 in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. Yesterday President Mubarak announced that he would not run for another term in office, but would stay in power until elections later this year. Thousands of supporters of Egypt’s long-time president and opponents of the regime clashed then today in Tahrir Square, throwing rocks and fighting with improvised weapons. Getty Images / Chris Hondros ……….

(9) Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei is surrounded by reporters as he arrives at Cairo airport on January 27, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Mr ElBaradei has vowed to join anti government protesters in Cairo tomorrow. Getty Images Europe / Peter Macdiarmid ……….

Facts about Egypt ………..

Alan aka tophhatal …………..

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Marvin Gaye …………. “What’s Going On/What’s Happening Brother”
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Reverence Being What It Is ……………..

Reverence Being What It Is ………………….

There’s no doubt in my mind that the political landscape the world over has its idiots and intellectuals. In the country of my birth , England- we had a Labour MP named George Galloway once describe the Taliban as being ‘persecuted just as much as the Palestinians’. Now don’t get me wrong Galloway at the time was elected by his constituents to represent them in the House of Parliament in Westminster ,London. And while serving them, he was a vocal opponent of both the Afghan and Iraqi invasions. At the time, Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In large part Blair chose to follow George W. Bush avidly, down this path , despite some opposition from within his own political party, Labour Party and from both opposition parties the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats .

Several years into the conflict and with mounting casualties amongst the coalition forces . Galloway was still spouting his diatribe while at the same time steadily gaining some support. This essentially became his mandate to be what he felt was the ‘voice of reason’ amongst his party members and his peers in the House of Parliament. Alas, Galloway’s rise to infamy was as swift as his fall into relative obscurity, as he’s no longer an MP. He has since appeared on several game and reality shows in the UK and at the same he continues to make a complete ass of himself whilst he’s in the public domain.

In Italy , Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi , an admitted philanderer and misogynist has publicly derided fellow opposition members , especially those who happen to be female. He has suggested that women ought not to be at all involved in politics . And that their best attributes are when they’re servicing their husbands sexually either in the act of coitus or orally. This coming from a man who has been married several times and as recently as 2008 was sexually involved with a female aide while at the same being romantically involved with a call girl. When broached on the subject and the fact that he’s still married. Berlusconi’s response was that ‘he’s a man’ and what ‘he does in the bedroom and whom he’s doing it with shouldn’t at all be the concern of the Italian people’. What may well be even more abhorrent concerning Berlusconi’s candor has been his outspokenness and vapid racial attacks on the minorities within the country. Even those who are now second or third generation Italians, who have fled either from the North African continent or dependencies once under the country’s rule or influence. Never let it be said that Berlusconi wasn’t an equal opportunity bigot.

Come full circle and it appears that Vice President Joe Biden continues to show what he lacks in candor he more than makes up for with his apparent lack of intelligence and sheer stupidity ! And during the Presidential election he was thought of as being the smart and prudent choice as Barack Obama’s nominee for the VP position ? We were led to believe that his knowledge of diplomatic affairs would counterbalance the apparent weakness that Obama had in that arena. Given Biden’s faux-pas’ as of late ,. I’m not so sure that he is as smart as some had made him out to be. The guy is an ass and his latest actions simply proves that point ! Though it has to be said that his actions are no worse than the profanity laced insult that Dick Cheney once used when he directed his tirade at Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) , in telling him to “go fu_k himself and calling him a fu_king as_hole” ! An apology was never uttered to Leahy by the former Vice President .Nor was he ever censured for those remarks. The words uttered at the time were during a beak in the business being conducted on the floor of the US Senate . Kind of makes you wonder what they purportedly do for fun in the Senate when they’re not at each others’ throats ?

There’s noting like dropping the f-bomb in the accompaniment of the President and the convened White House Press Corps in attendance is there ?

Courtesy of NY Daily News

Vice President Biden caught on mic; calls health care bill a ‘big f—ing deal’

By Michael Sheridan , Daily News Staff Writer

Health care reform isn’t just a big deal, it’s a “big f—ing deal.”

At least, that’s what Vice President Joe Biden thinks.

The 67-year-old former senator introduced President Obama prior to his signing of the historic health care reform bill into law on Tuesday, and let the colorful word slip while shaking the commander-in-chief’s hand.

“You did it,” Biden told his boss. “It’s a big f—ing deal.”

In response, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted: “And yes Mr. Vice President, you’re right…”

This, of course, isn’t the first time the VP has been cause in a verbal gaffe. He was similarly caught on mic last year using the f-word while at an event with Amtrak to promote the stimulus plan.

“Oh give me a f—ing break,” Biden said in March 2009 to a former Senate colleague on a live mic.

Foul language may be a favorite for vice presidents. Ex-Veep Dick Cheney famously used the infamous phrase on several occasions during his two terms.

During a heated discussion on the Senate floor, Cheney reportedly told Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) to go “f— yourself.”

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Biden with his apparent slip of the tongue after the health-care reform bill had just been passed in the House and soon to be voted on in the Senate . Well perhaps his word could have been better chosen given the arena he was in at the time. When asked on how he felt about the bill being passed , Biden’s alleged retort and response was said to be …………”big fu_king deal ” ! Now either I’m mistaken but this was a hard fought victory on the part of the Democrats , despite opposition from within ‘his own party’ and from the Republicans as well. But this can’t have been the response that the convened press or those who were in Biden’s accompaniment could have expected at the time . Simply put, you get what you deserve when you sometimes surround yourselves with idiots or supposed intellectuals who someone has deemed as being smart. Biden has simply proved that he’s neither smart or knows how to properly conduct himself and treat the his position with the reverence it deserves. Instead he comes off looking like a drunken idiot completely unaware of his surroundings and the very reason why he now holds the second most powerful political position in the world. God forbid that something should happen to the President . Because I for one would hate to see how Joe Biden would conduct himself , if ever he were to hold the position of President of the United States ! Has he even got a clue as to what the job even entails to begin with ?

Click here to see more of Joe Biden’s faux-pas’ over the years .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….

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Instantaneous classics !

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Here are some of his other blunders along the way .

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And The Survey Says……… I Think That You Screwed Up Mr President ………

And The Survey Says……… I Think That You Screwed Up Mr President ………

As an impartial observer on the outside looking in . I can’t help but wonder if Barack Obama as President, had it all to do-over once again . Would he have sought to have surrounded himself with such a bunch of misfits ? His cabinet thus far has been about as useful as piece of fecal matter on the floor of an operating theater in a hospital. I know that when it comes to House and Senate majority leaders there’s little that he can do to the likes of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Utah) or for that matter Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca). To my mind both of these individuals are self serving and condescending when it comes to addressing the needs of the nation as a whole. That’s not to say that the Republicans themselves are without fault. As they’re as much to blame for this turmoil but they’d rather act oblivious to that very fact. And in terms of them coming up with solutions. Well that’s like asking Paris Hilton to explain the difference between a ‘balance sheet’ and a ‘baking sheet’. She’s as clueless as the Republicans on the matter.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with members of the Cabinet in the Cabinet Room on September 10, 2009 at the White House in Washington. During the meeting President Obama said he accepts the apology of Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) for yelling out "You Lie" during Obama's speech on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress last night

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with members of the Cabinet in the Cabinet Room on September 10, 2009 at the White House in Washington. During the meeting President Obama said he accepts the apology of Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) for yelling out “You Lie” during Obama’s speech on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress last night . photo appears courtesy of UPI/ Olivier Douliery …….

The President’s cabinet thus far, has proven to me that whilst a great many of them are obviously highly intelligent. When it comes to being forthright and communicative orally , they become tongue tied and about as comprehensible as alien life form that has suddenly landed on planet earth but is unable to communicate with anyone in any particular verbal format. If I’m not the only one of this opinion then I may well have misjudged the situation altogether. But somehow I think not !

The troubling fact now is , as the country gets mired in an economic meltdown that neither the economists or the Presidents own Council of Economic of Advisers have answer for as to when we may begin to start the climb out of the current recession. We have the asinine statements being made by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and that of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner , all throwing their hat into the ring, as to what they view as a certainty that the tides of change are suddenly beginning to foment and that the economy is about to take a turn for the better. Those are the sort of statements that are speculative in nature and which drive the greed that we tend to see on Wall St. But then again where were the members of ‘Congress’ and the ‘Senate’ , when these charlatans were bringing the economy to its very knees ?

President<strong>  Barack Obama </strong>and Treasury Secretary <strong>Timothy Geithner </strong>, make statements on tax reform, Monday, May 4, 2009, in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington.  photo  appears  courtesy  of  <strong> Associated Press </strong> / Ron  Edmonds  ..........
President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner , make statements on tax reform, Monday, May 4, 2009, in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Ron Edmonds ..........

Courtesy of CBS Moneywatch

Why Geithner Can’t Treasury Bonds

By Eric Schurenberg

Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner defended the Treasury bond’s AAA rating yesterday on television. But what else could he do? Last Wednesday, credit rating agency Moody’s warned that the T-bond’s rating was in danger of a downgrade, which would be a disaster for Geithner and the Treasury. A downgrade would raise the cost of the nation’s borrowing addiction, potentially hamstring the economic recovery and look really, really bad for Tim. So he did what he could to talk the spectre of a downgrade back into the closet. But it won’t do any good. It’s not his call.

Moody’s was pretty clear about what had to happen to prevent a downgrade:

Unless further measures are taken to reduce the budget deficit further or the economy rebounds more vigorously than expected, the federal financial picture as presented in the projections for the next decade will at some point put pressure on the triple A government bond rating.

In other words, the Treasury bond’s rating is up to Congress, the strength of the recovery, and the analysts at Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. How likely is it that Congress will get behind meaningful deficit reduction? Four days before Moody’s fired its shot, Douglas Elmendorf of the Congressional Budget Office offered some dismal testimony about how much Congress would have to change. (Thanks to Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Associates for pointing out the testimony):

…. accumulating deficits will push federal debt held by the public to significantly higher levels. At the end of 2009, debt held by the public was $7.5 trillion, or 53 percent of GDP; by the end of 2020, debt is projected to climb to $15 trillion, or 67 percent of GDP

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And though the venerable Sarah Palin and her Tea Pot coterie are trying to sound anew . Haven’t we all heard this same sort of bulls_it once before with J. Ross Perot ? Only in the case of Perot, he wasn’t ‘suckering the masses’ the way Palin is now intent on doing. Her most recent public engagement where she addressed a hall of thousands concerning the present administration. Where as the noted speaker, she had little of interest to say , other than a few mocking anecdotes. What I for one would like to know, were any of those in attendance aware that Palin was in receipt of $100,000 , merely to attend and address those congregated there to hear her speak ? And the masses are to believe that “she” of all people, is intent on seeing change up on Capitol Hill ? If she’s painting herself as an individual of a different mindset from those she’s now intent on criticizing. Then why all this false bravado and the money she’s accepting just to make these asinine and moribund statements, that at present have little or no sense to them at all ? For her it’s not about change but just the same old insipid tactic that all politicians tend to use just to ingratiate themselves amongst the electorate. And those gullible enough, tend to follow her lead rather than looking intensely and listening as to whether or not she’s making sense or has anything at all that insightful to begin with.

But for me at present , my biggest concern are the inane statements that are now being made by Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Either this guy is a habitual liar or he’s plainly someone who happens to be amoral. Anyone who happened to have heard Geithner’s most recent public statement concerning US Treasury bonds ought to know that when those are indeed downgraded , it shows that the ratings’ agencies believes that there’s cause for concern over the government’s handling of the nation’s finances as well as the economy at large. For him to make the claim that there’s nothing at present , is very much akin to the boy who persistently cries wolf when there’s nothing there. But when the wolf just happens to be at his very door he’ll act as if the wolf had been invited in for supper and to devour anything within its sight. This is more or less Geithner’s view not just only on the economy but also on the financial crisis now within our midst.

There seems to be a belief that there’s a neverending abundance of money here that federal government has at its beck and call. In reality nothing could be further from the truth. For inasmuch as the Treasury continues to print money and issue US Treasury Bonds. The inflationary minutiae that’s created , once opened up like can worms is extremely hard to gather up and placed back into the can. And having the Federal Reserve then enact a somewhat draconian fiscal monetary policy tends to exacerbate the matter further , instead of allaying the fears that are already out there.

The fact of the matter is, Tim Geithner is now kidding not only himself but now he’s trying to pull the wool over the eyes of 300 million inhabitants of the nation. I wonder which sock puppet he really is at this juncture ? And who indeed has their fingers up his ass controlling his thought process and speech at present ? Because clearly for a so called intelligent and knowledgeable individual ,something is very awry , askew with his view on the world and that of the US economy at present.

Alan Parkins

Eyes On The Prize …………….

Eyes On The Prize

Did I miss something when President Barack Obama stated that he’d make Afghanistan the …. ‘focus of his attention’ when it came to the war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda ? Figuratively and literally the military in Afghanistan has been abandoned by the Obama administration . As he seeks to bolster his political clout with other issues and legislation-though warranted that has achieved very little on the political front.

The President’s assessment of the situation remains non too clear. But in the meantime US lives are still being lost.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff under Admiral Mike Mullen , Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the President have had little , if anything to say on this very acute and worrying issue. It is even more perplexing when there are now statements being made by Secretary Gates now asking that General Stanley McChrystal not make anymore comments regarding the situation with regard to the situation in Afghanistan. Now unless I’m mistaken wouldn’t the top US military commander in the country (Afghanistan) and the head of the UN forces there be of the right frame of mind to be letting the public know of the inherent problems that the US military now faces in Afghanistan ?

The President   (seated   center)  is  seen  here  with  Defense  Secretary  Robert  Gates  (right )  and   Secretary  of  State  Hillary  Rodham-Clinton  (left)   at     a  meeting   to  discuss  nuclear  proliferation.      picture  appears  courtesy  of    getty  images/  Richard  Scholes  ....................
The President (seated center) is seen here with Defense Secretary Robert Gates (right ) and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton (left) at a meeting to discuss nuclear proliferation. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Richard Scholes ....................

Courtesy of US Dept of Defense

Obama , Other Leaders Receive Afghan Resources Request …..

By Gerri J Gilmore , Armed Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2009 – As President Barack Obama and senior defense and national security leaders reconvened meetings today on the way forward in Afghanistan, they did so with the addition of Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s list of requested resources, the Pentagon press secretary said.

Obama received a copy of McChrystal’s request for resources late last week from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Geoff Morrell told reporters here today.

On Monday, Gates also provided copies of the resource request to senior White House officials, to include National Security Council members, he said.

Obama wanted a copy of the report to read last weekend, Morrell said.

The Afghanistan resources request is now formally working its way through the U.S. military and NATO chains of command, he said.

Morrell referred to the copies provided to Obama and other senior White House officials as “informal” documents that didn’t bear official comments of review or vetting from senior civilian and military leaders. Those leaders, he said, include Gates; Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in Afghanistan.

However, all of the Pentagon’s top leaders, to include Petraeus and McChrystal, have been closely involved in White House discussions on the way ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Morrell pointed out. The White House hosted the first of a series of strategy meetings on Sept. 30.

A second such meeting was held today, Morrell said, with another slated for Friday.

Gates likely decided to hold onto the resource assessment until directed otherwise by the president, Morrell suggested, to limit the possibility of leaking information, such as occurred earlier with McChrystal’s assessment on the situation in Afghanistan.

Everyone concerned, Morrell emphasized, will have an opportunity to “weigh-in” with their opinions.

“Obviously, this has been a slightly unconventional process and an informal copy as I mentioned bypassed the chain of command at the secretary’s request, so he could own it and could therefore make decisions about where it should go, when it should go,” he said.

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, which removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.

“We have seen our amazing military men and women adapt to and overcome daunting terrain, harsh conditions and an agile and ruthless enemy,” Morrell said of the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan.

Nearly 800 Americans have died in military operations in and around Afghanistan since the war began, Morrell said. He cited the deaths of eight U.S. soldiers who died there last weekend during an enemy assault on a remote outpost in Nurestan province.

“Our thoughts are with their families and all families who have sacrificed so much in Operation Enduring Freedom,” he said.

Located near the border with Pakistan, the outpost was slated to be closed, Morrell said, as part of McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy to move U.S. troops closer to major Afghan population centers.

An investigation into circumstances surrounding the attack is ongoing, Morrell said. The enemy, he said, paid dearly, losing 100 fighters during the assault and in its aftermath.

Turning to other defense matters, Morrell said the Pentagon is developing a conventional 30,000 pound, massive ordnance penetrator bomb designed to pulverize underground facilities that may store weapons of mass destruction and related systems. The bomb, he said, should be ready for deployment in the coming months.

“This has been a capability that we have long believed was missing from our quiver or our arsenal,” Morrell said, “and we wanted to make sure we filled in that gap.”

There is no specific target list for the new weapon, Morrell emphasized.

The bomb “is just a capability that we think is necessary, given the world we live in these days,” he said.

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Adm. Mike Mullen Head of The Joint Chiefs of Staff addresses members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Unfortunately it’d appear that the President and his Defense Secretary are either under the impression that the war there can still be won by being haphazard and placing the lives of the US military in harm’s way as some sort of collateral damage if only to amp up the political rhetoric that’s now said to be going on. As to the assertion that the President and Robert Gates will acquiesce to McChrystal’s request for some additional 40,000 troops on the ground there in Afghanistan . Well that remains to be seen at this juncture . But it’d appear that it isn’t the priority that the President and his administration would have us believe it was . Clearly this administration seems to have lost touch with reality on this issue. Have they forgot that the lives of US soldiers are now being needlessly sacrificed for the sake of what ? What tangible evidence is there now that we’ve got both the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the run ?

President  Obama (left)    seen  here   with   Afghan  President ,  Hamid  Karzai.     Karzai   was   recently re-elected  to  the  post  in  an  election   that  was  said  to   be  rife   with   corruption.      The  opposing  candidate    Abdullah  Abdullah    has  stated  that   Karzai   supporters  were   integrally  behind  much  of   the   coruptional   voting   fraud  that  took  place.   Whereas  Karzai,  himself   has  stated  that   his   opponent's  supporters  was  behind   much  of  what  had   taken  place.    Either  way  there's  no   questioning   as to the   graft  that's   now   said  to  be    still   taking   place  inside  Karzai's   administration  .     picture  appears   courtesy  of   guardian.co.uk /  archives/   Tom  Spencer  ...................
President Obama (left) seen here with Afghan President , Hamid Karzai. Karzai was recently re-elected to the post in an election that was said to be rife with corruption. The opposing candidate Abdullah Abdullah has stated that Karzai supporters were integrally behind much of the coruptional voting fraud that took place. Whereas Karzai, himself has stated that his opponent's supporters was behind much of what had taken place. Either way there's no questioning as to the graft that's now said to be still taking place inside Karzai's administration . picture appears courtesy of guardian.co.uk / archives/ Tom Spencer ...................

Of the 650 plus lives now lost on this particular battlefront , it has to be said that though we would expect the loss of life in war. But ought we to expect the administration to act as if these lives are now being sacrificed for a cause when it now appears that they seem to have forgotten the purpose of this effort. In all honesty are the Afghan people now in a better place ? And what tangible evidence is there that this military action has met any of its original goals ? The Taliban may well have been overthrown and there’s now said to be a legitimately elected democratic government elected with Hamid Kharzai as its elected President. But Kharzai’s administration is said to be rife with corruption and many of the elected officials are indeed subordinates of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. And what has become even more apparent is that the country is still controlled in large part by these radicals.

Economically the ‘poppy trade’ (its by product being heroin) still pays large dividends for the Taliban and Al Qaeda as it is their main source of income in financing their continued wagering of the continued war in Afghanistan. That particular trade accounts for in excess of 75% of the country’s GDP. On both fronts this war has been wagered with there being little sign of any tangible improvement as to the country’s infrastructure and its citizens’ way of life.

Gen .  Stanley  McChrystal (foreground of  picture) , top US   military  commander   of    forces  in  Afghanistan.   The general   has   submitted   a  formal   request   for additional   troops  in   Afghanistan  to  the  Defense   Dept . But  still   awaits   word   from  Defense  Secretary   Gates  and   President  Obama , as   to  whether  or   not  his   request  will  be   granted.       picture  appears   courtesy  of  afp/ getty  images/   Manan  Vatsyayana   ........................
Gen . Stanley McChrystal (foreground of picture), top US military commander of forces in Afghanistan. The general has submitted a formal request for additional troops in Afghanistan to the Defense Dept . But still awaits word from Defense Secretary Gates and President Obama , as to whether or not his request will be granted. picture appears courtesy of afp/ getty images/ Manan Vatsyayana ........................

So as it now stands , what’s the present policy now in Afghanistan ? Does anyone within the Obama administration know ? The situation has been made almost untenable because of the present inaction on the part of the President. He’s seemingly at a loss to his express himself with clarity on this specific issue. Something of a comedown from that rousing acceptance speech after he’d won the Presidential election. “Change we can believe in “ . It’s now beginning to ring hollow at present when it comes to this one particular pressing issue. What say you on the matter ?

NB: Eighty five per cent ( 85 %) of the world’s poppy trade and productioin emanates from the country of Afghanistan. And it provides a lucrative source of income for not only the farmers but also for both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Furthermore there’s a growing epidemic of heroin use amongst the Afghani people, in particular amongst the women and children under the age of eighteen.