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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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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A coalition of the weak and the stupid !

A coalition of the weak and the stupid !

I may well have missed something in light of the recent statements made by Secretary of State John Kerry that he and the President, Barack Obama believe that Syria poses an imminent threat of stability to the Middle East well as its own citizens there in the country , after evidence was found that President Bashar al Assad`s forces, have been using chemical weapons against the civilian population, as well as opposition forces in the uprising that has been ongoing in the country for the past two years. The evidence was clear for all to see, but somehow , it has taken the snail`s pace activity of the US government and its rather asinine intelligent efforts, and some two years to coming to this conclusion, as to the gross criminality in the behavior of Al Assad`s military ? It should really come as no surprise, considering the US`s continued inactivity, while there was ongoing mass genocide taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan , as the West chose to close its eyes, while such atrocities were taking place .

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During, a decade-long era of ceaseless violence, America literally stood by and did absolutely nothing, simply because that region bore no strategic importance to the United States. Yet, given the lack of a cohesive foreign policy and the dogma that encompasses the country`s full understanding of the global threats, beyond what it deems to be Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It is becoming increasingly clear, that this administration like previous administrations before is simply devoid of expertise where it is needed most when it comes to the Middle East .

It now seems that Kerry`s formal statement is meant to be a warning to the Syrian government that the United States and its allies will not tolerate the actions of the Syrian military , the inner workings of Bashar al Assad`s crack squad of covert operatives and its continued use of chemical weapons, in order to suppress what is now in essence, civil war taking place in the country . `We will no longer tolerate ` ? Two years of bloodshed, and the estimated loss of some 80,000 lives and the US will not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons. Over one million lives were lost in Darfur, from the genocide taking place there, as President Omar al-Bashir used to The Janjaweed (Men on Horseback), Sudanese Army to bring terror and terrorize and as part of his ethnic cleansing , in killing Christians, as well those in opposition to his rule of the country of Sudan . Omar al-Bashir was once described by former President George W Bush , as a man of conviction and of deep faith. Somehow, I get the feeling that when the former US President made that statement, he may not have been completely cognizant of what was going on in the region at the time. Albeit, that the statement came after a meeting between the two heads of state , while Bush was in office, during his second term.

This country can now ill afford to enter into a third military conflict in just over a decade , under the pretext of a humanitarian effort, when the real truth is like his predecessor , for Barack Obama , the strategic reality here is simply a matter of the West and its allies creating an even bigger imprint in the Middle East and perhaps gaining access to Syria`s oil reserves . The lessons to be learned from the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have not been heeded, in spite of the loss of over 5,000 lives and in excess of some 240,000 military services members wounded, at the cost of over $1.77 trillion (cumulative).

President Barack Obama , along with John Kerry , Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel , General Martin Dempsey JCOS, NSA Director Gen Keith B Alexander will now have to strategize as what militaristic options are viable. With UK Prime David Cameron having issued a public statement in the House of Commons that Britain is prepared to act unilaterally to protect the Syrian people from the wanton intent of the country`s dictator to suppress their democratic freedoms. Ad nausea, it now looks as if Cameron is also now prepared to follow in the footsteps of a former predecessor Tony Blair , as he marched locked in footstep with George W Bush, as he declared military action against Iraq, under the premise of following UN article 1441 , which did not give full military action for the invasion of that country in 2003. The resolution simply called for, use of military force should Saddam Hussein pose an imminent threat in the region, in particular to Israel and many of the West`s allies in the Middle East. At this juncture, it now begs the question , to whom does Bashir al Assad now pose a threat to, other than his own people ? Any type of joint action, sanctioned by the UN or not , is likely to be met with a great deal of opposition by the American public as well as the population of Britain. No matter how closely tied the two countries are said to be , the explanations now being offered up by Barack Obama and David Cameron will not be enough to drown out the likely antiwar sentiment that is likely to be heard from those opposing military intervention or quite possibly all-out war in Syria.

It certainly will be interesting to see which countries are likely offer a broad-based support of America and Britain , as both will undoubtedly seek a resolution from the UN Security Council and the likely input that will be made by known Syrian supporters on the Council , China and Russia , who are both permanent seated members of that particular council. . Russia remains Syria`s largest armaments` supplier as well as having oil drilling rights in the country through a number Russian based petroleum companies . The Middle Eastern nation is also one of Russia`s largest trading partners in the Arab world. So it should not come as a surprise , were the Russian to seek to veto any vote taken by the Security Council for a preemptive strike to be taken by a coalition force. Russian President Vladimir Putin has now become a thorn in the side of any perceived bilateral relationship between the United States and Russia. And with the growing reluctance by the Russian nation to expel NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden , it would be indeed correct to say that the relationship between the two nations is now close to an all-time low. Any chance that Vladimir Putin obtains to further embarrass his American counterpart is seen as a plus by the Russian President.

One of the more unappealing parts of the UN Security Council , remains the very fact, that once any two permanent member seeks to veto any action to be taken , everything becomes null and void . China`s own position may well be, now more closely tied to the other three permanent members of the UNSEC. Chinese President Xi Jinping has become market oriented with regard to his economy, which is now the world`s second largest, with an estimated $ 9.6 trillion GDP, but it should be noted that the Chinese nation is the largest holder of US sovereign debt ($2.455 trillion). What may well now take place within the United Nations will be predicated upon the cases that will be made by the US ambassador Samantha Power and UK ambassador / Philip Parham , UN ambassadors to that international body , if the argument is not laid out by either David Cameron or Barack Obama , personally , at the UN headquarters in New York City.

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The geopolitical issues are not unfounded , when one considers how any such action is likely to be viewed in the Arab world along with the possible economic costs , in terms rising gas prices , as well as possible terrorist reprisals by entities favoring Islamic fundamentalism. One has to wonder if either David Cameron or Barack Obama have seriously thought over the implication of their actions and the likely outcome . Should Bashir al-Assad be overthrown and toppled, then, who will the West seek replace him with ? Lessons, to be learned, indeed . Your thoughts on this all ?

Slideshow details below .
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(1) President Barack Obama ,left, and Secretary of State John Kerry are seen here disembarking from Air Force One. Kerry now seeks to make the case that the US should intervene in Syria after the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian military against the civilian population in the Middle Eastern Country. AP Photo/ Mark Shaw ….

(2) President Bashir al- Assad of Syria , who succeeded his father Hafeez al Assad upon his death, to lead the country. The incumbent leader, denies claims now being made in the West that chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian armed forces against the civilian population as well as against the Syrian opposition in what is seen as a popular uprising against the Baathist led ruling party in Syria. The country`s only publicly known ally in the outside world would appear to be Russia , who also happens to be one of Syria`s main trading partners, as well the country`s biggest military armaments` supplier . AFP/ REUTERS/ Paul Ross …

(3) Sudanese President Omar al Bashir seen here on an official to visit Beijing China . Although the country as now been split into entities with the Muslim led North and the Christian based South. There still remains a great deal of friction between the two countries . The Sudanese leader is looked upon in the West as a war criminal , but neither the European Court or International Court , or UN Court on Human Rights have seen fit to bring charges against al Bashir. AFP/ Getty Images/ Frank Mitchell …

(4) David Cameron , left , is seen here with Barack Obama at the White House . The two leaders are seeking a UN resolution that will grant them the grounds to launch a preemptive strike against Syria . Also being sought would be a `no fly zone ` throughout the greater part of the country , as well as over the nation`s capital of Damascus. REUTERS ……….

(5) Vladimir Putin greets his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping . The two leaders could very well now be at odds, as how best to deal with the current issue in Syria . Both China and Russia have a great deal to lose , with both countries having heavily invested in the country . Adam Ross / The Guardian UK …..

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tophatal …………. 08/29/2013

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The world`s leading petroleum exporters ….. (source of information US Energy Information Agency)

Dumbing it down for the fans ……….

Dumbing it down for the fans ….

By Tophatal

Well to save himself from further embarrassment , Lance Armstrong agreed to what is being called an in-depth interview , by none other than Oprah Winfrey , on her, self –titled broadcast network OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). The two-night event, encompassing four hours is meant to be hard-hitting. Far be it for me to suggest , but Winfrey hasn’t conducted a hard-hitting in-depth news’ story or interview in decades , much less conducted an interview that will have the nation riveted . Granted , the bye product of this story will be Armstrong seeking the nation’s empathy, much of that to my mind is totally undeserving , but somehow this idiocy will continue as the lowly ranked and viewer starved cable outlet will be seeking a ratings’ bonanza from this all. Oh , Tom Cruise , jumping down on a sofa declaring his undying love for Katie Holmes , his former ex-wife , to whom he was married to , for a mere four years is not riveting television , unless , you just happen to be enamored with the Hollywood actor . .Oh yeah , those are the stories, that a dumbed down nation will truly appreciate . I think not, unless of course you just happen to be anally retentive.

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Armstrong used his notoriety to raise tens of millions of dollars for cancer research and to aid victims in need , from this debilitating disease . But herein lies , my question , this ungrateful asshole hasn’t the God-given fucking intelligence to consider that as a cancer survivor himself , he would then resort placing steroids and other illicit substances within his system ? So for all the bold-faced idiots out there, still pitying this dumb ass ! Can you explain Armstrong’s motives , other than it not being about the financial reward ? With an estimated $100 million fortune, the now disgraced athlete in the ensuing months , could now find himself as a defendant in several upcoming lawsuits , and deservedly so ! Was it , really worth it ?

Thursday night was a bile inducing piece of idiocy , self-indulgent and that had no merits, in terms of journalistic integrity! As for Oprah, her ratings’ challenged network will continue to suffer, unless the programming content is greatly improved.

Microsoft billionaire, Chairman, Steve Ballmer , and his erstwhile fellow. Washington State native, Chris Hansen , co-founder of venture capital firm , Vanguard Capital Inc , have agreed in principle to purchase the beleaguered Sacramento Kings’ franchise . The presumed sale price will be somewhere between $300 million to $375 million for the loss making concern. The city of Sacramento led by its mayor , Kevin Johnson , has sought some compromise from the Kings’ ownership group , led by Joe and Gavin Maloof have essentially duped the municipality and its residents , that it had been their intent to remain in the city , playing the aging Sleep Train Arena , in downtown Sacramento .

This once proud franchise , in recent years has become anathema , starved of real support ,with fans seemingly apathetic to the woes of this team. Head coach, Keith Smart , along with his coaching staff have been entrusted in guiding the Kings back to former glories past . It is hard to say where this team now goes from here, as the common feeling is , the sale of the Kings would be in the best interest of the Kings , long and short-term , rather than the continued neglect and lack of real authoritative leadership coming from anyone within the organization , on or off the basketball court. At 15-23 this team is on a two game win streak but yet that might not be enough to simply get through this current drama as there is a continued distrust of the Maloofs.

The irony in all of this , as the city yearns the return of an NBA franchise within their locale , I am not so sure that the fans in Sacramento are truly appreciative of Kings being within their midst . Clearly , there has to be some apoplexy , because if they were diehard fans of this team , then they would be turning out in droves to support this NBA franchise wholeheartedly. Instead , it has been continued bitching and whining about the city council being ready to spend tens of millions of in public funds , for the rebuilding of new state of the art venue . The infrastructure of the municipality remains a mess , yet the fans who are support of this project are seemingly showing, a great deal of short-sightedness . I guess when you reside on the West Coast, and the political leadership is about as uninspiring as a Sarah Palin speech, on any given subject matter! Apathy is definitely in the house !

I don’t know if it is appropriate to lambast Notre Dame’s Manti Te`o any further , after the football team’s embarrassing loss in the BCS national title game . The young man has now set his sights on a career in the NFL , and no doubt he will be drafted in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft . That being said , with the latest web of deceit , and what appears to be a considerable amount of continuous falsehoods by Te`o , this story of an imaginary girlfriend whom me apparently met online , is now getting weirder by the second . To complicate things even further , Notre Dame’s AD , Jack Swarbrick has openly come out having issued a statement in support of the 2012 runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting . Good God , how lucky are we, that Te’o didn’t capture enough votes to win the most prestigious collegiate award in College Football ? My advice for Manti Te`o , at present , before you can put on your big boy pants , how about actually trying to have a real live relationship with a female that is physically in your presence ?

So let me get this straight , the still financially impoverished New York Mets , while seeking to improve their roster , after last season’s debacle , have sought to go about spending money like a drunken maritime sailor on furlough ? The signing of David Wright to a seven-year deal , financially irresponsible to say the very least , seems to be a sign that Mets’ GM , Sandy Alderson will continue with the inane stupidity shown by his predecessor Omar Minaya . If the signing of Wright was not to be viewed as an act of desperation , then how should any Mets’ fan view the front office’s acquisition of former Giants’ closer, Brian Wilson ? The player spent the entire 2012 season on the disabled list with the San Francisco Giants , as they triumphed in winning their second World Series in the past five years.

Now there is no denying that at his very best Wilson can be an overpowering and dominant closer , but the very best those traits were last seen from the player in 2010 , when he led all closers within the game in terms of saves , while the San Francisco Giants were triumphant in winning baseball’s biggest prize. It is hard to envisage Brian Wilson regaining that sort form this season for the New York Mets, on a team that will be hard pressed to compete within the NL East . Coming off “Tommy John “ surgery has never been easy , and it is extremely rare for a player having undergone that medical procedure to completely regain that form . It is a really big gamble , on the part of Sandy Alderson, manager, Terry Collins , and the manager’s coaching staff in taking a chance on the player . How this will all play out , is dependent upon the resilience shown by the team over the course of their season.

The New York Mets will begin their regular season schedule with a three game set beginning on the 1st April , 2013, when they play host to the San Diego Padres at Citi-Field, in Flushing , New York . A season of hope lies ahead for the Mets’ fans , one they no doubt hope , will end in some form of measured success .

The NFL postseason is now down to the conference championship games , with what are now arguably the four best teams in the league, based not upon divisional standing but the play of these teams over the course of the entire regular season schedule and their respective postseason forays . Franchises, that were expected to contend , fell by the wayside like leaves descendingg during “ The Fall “ . And the players thought to be leaders on their teams , were simply nowhere to be seen . What can one say, about those teams considered to pre and early season contenders ? Well , it was enough to suggest that “Black Monday” was a damning indictment of the coaches who failed miserably and who were subsequently relieved of their duties by the front office executives and owners of those beleaguered teams. Andy Reid , perhaps the biggest of the names to fall , has found himself in a position to succeed Romeo Crennel , as the new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs .

Reid’s former team , the Philadelphia Eagles , found a way to induce Chip Kelly to leave Oregon ( Ducks) , a program he built into a perennial powerhouse within College Football . From my own perspective , I believe Kelly’s departure had more to do with the fact that the NCAA’s ongoing investigation of Oregon , had not yet concluded , but with ever wide-ranging culture of rumors fomenting , as to the scurrilous deceit and wrongdoings , all of which has happened during Kelly’s tenure. It simply made sense for the coach to make a quick departure rather than being subject to questioning by the NCAA’s Infractions’ Committee , as to his actions and those of his players, and the lack of accountability from the program’s compliance officers and the lackluster efforts of AD, Rob Mullen’s , to try to systematically clean up the image of a sullied athletics’ program.

Kelly’s biggest problem in Philadelphia , beyond fomenting a relationship with GM , Howie Roseman , will be to make a decision as to the impending future on the declining skills of Michael Vick , who in 2012, had his worst season on record . Vick’s days as a starter in the NFL are numbered , and his ego might not permit to become a glorified backup to a less experienced player, who the veteran may well feel that he has a far superior skillset , than the incumbent. We have seen it before , and we will see it again within the NFL. The 2013 NFL Draft , should prove to be a great indicator as to the direction that will be taken by Kelly and the Eagles’ front office , as they seek to write a new chapter in the franchise’s legacy.

Another of the NFL head coaches, upon a which guillotine came down on , happened to be the now departed Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals . Suffice to say, when you offer a player a ludicrous contract , as to the one offered to Kevin Kolb , you had better fucking well , make sure that he can play with the position effectively ! Let’s just say that chicken shit” , tastes nothing like ” chicken liver “, and essentially Kolb and John Skelton , combined , served up a whole lot of chicken shit, as it related to the Cardinals’ offense and passing game throughout 2012.

The Cardinals’ front office made what I believe has been the best hire , of the newly hired head coaches , in acquiring Bruce Arians to succeed Ken Whisenhunt . Anyone , who had the pleasure of seeing the former Steelers offensive coordinator and Colts’ assistant, interact with Andrew Luck while leading the team on their improbable run during the regular season ,while the franchise’s off-season woes dealt with the health issues of head coach , Chuck Pagano . Arians, was able to steady a team whose nucleus was primarily made up of rookies and second year starters . That may well have been the trait that was easily recognizable by the franchise’s newly installed GM , Steve Keim, as the Arizona Cardinals seek to move on from another disastrous season . If Bruce Arians is able to get half as productive an output from the Cardinals players on the current roster , by comparison than what he achieved with the Indianapolis Colts last season , then it bodes well for the team in 2013.

The NHL, is back ? So who, gives a shit? A regular season schedule of forty-eight games in the space of the three months is meant to enliven a disheartened apparent dwindling fan-base . Yet , the NHL hierarchy are still trying to sell the fans and public this time around they have got it right . I’ll pose this question, what in hell’s name has convinced Commissioner Gary Bettman that this time a ten-year negotiated deal, which sees an even split the NHL’s revenues will lead to a long-term peace accord ? Is this not the same sport , that in the space of two decades have forced their fans to endure four league induced work stoppages ? Not the self-destructive AFL-CIO , or the UAW have been as inept as the NHL and NHLPA combined , and have been able to wreak as much financial damage to their sport . Bettman’s , union counterpart , Donald Fehr , held a similar position with the MLBPA , within Major League Baseball (MLB).

Hockey has now become a sport of diminishing returns , for a vast majority of the teams within the league . A $2.5 billion ( $2,500,000,000) a year industry still remains on life support and the idiocy remains , that neither league hierarchy, team owners or the players themselves , have learned a god damn thing after this labor dispute ! They’ve learned nothing from their first , and nothing from the last stoppage to have derailed the sport ! Their heads remain up in the clouds , and in no fucking way, are their feet firmly in the ground , as this sport , is now being ran , as if it were a corner-shop convenience store, that barely carries the essentials needed to captivate the fans’ attention . Sparse attendance , a dwindling television audience , and there just happens to be the fact that the NHL ,still pays NBC Sports , to carry its content, in terms of a hockey broadcast in the United States . If that’s not a recipe for a continued economic disaster , then can someone explain to me what in their eyes , would not be another sure-fire way of seeing this sport completely disappear off the sporting landscape ?

The NHL regular season drops its puck on Saturday afternoon with a slate of thirteen games , whereby the teams will have to race out of their starting blocks and maintain a break neck speed over the course of this truncated season. Whether or not the fans will be appreciative of this all , remains to be seen, because the postseason could very well be , just as frenetic and misleading .

After Manny Pacquiao’s most recent loss to Juan Manuel-Marquez , a fight in which the eight-time titlist was relentlessly punished by his opponent , suffering the most humiliating loss , of his illustrious career . Many felt , it was time for the fighter to call it quits , and simply walk away under his own steam , while he had all of mental and physical capacities about him . A relentless fighter in his prime, he marched through each of the divisions where he reigned supreme , winning eight world titles in five different weight categories . However, the biggest fight of his career and the one that every fight fan yearned to see , proved to be elusive , and is unlikely to ever take place . Diminishing skills , and the very fact that his greatest nemesis , Floyd Mayweather Jr , now simply “ talks a good fight “ rather than being a willing participant in a bout that everyone wishes to see .

Courtesy of ESPN UK

Pacquiao given Parkinson’s warning

The possibility of retirement for Manny Pacquiao was raised on Thursday after neurologist Dr Rustico Jimenez speculated as to whether the Filipino was showing the first signs of Parkinson’s.

According to reports Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, said he was concerned about the health of the fighter, who suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez at the end of 2012.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which affects Pacquiao’s world-renowned coach Freddie Roach. Dr Jimenez is concerned he can see the first signs now creeping into the physiology of the 34-year-old welterweight.

“Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement – it’s just another view, my personal view – but it seems like there are early signs,” Jimenez told radio dzMM.

“There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It’s in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven’t seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs.”

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Allegations of doping , an unwillingness to meet each other’s contractual demands , has in essence made this super mega-fight a nonstarter . A guaranteed multimillion dollar gate in receipts , and in excess of 2 ½ million pay per view buys, has not been enough to get Pacquiao’s or Mayweather’s representatives together , to work out the finite details of such a bout . So all that the most ardent fans can ever wish for , is what might have been , or the idiocy of several computers programmers getting together and inputting all of the fighters’ stats into a purpose-built program , to decide upon who a fictional winner might be . Floyd Mayweather’s business partner and closest confidante , Leonard Ellerbee, in recent weeks has suggested Manny Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum , has rebuffed all of his calls . Personally, I believe that Arum , now has “ bigger fish to fry” , as his biggest and most lucrative client , is no longer the “ major draw” he once was. Two now punishing losses , the first of which was a highly debatable but yet justifiable result was the loss of the Filipino fighter’s WBC welterweight title belt to the then , lightly regarded , Tim Bradley. A proposed rematch with Bradley , is now unlikely to take place , so make of it , what you will.

One of the more tantalizing stories to come out of this saga , since Manny Pacquiao’s defeat, are claims by a renowned neurosurgeon that the fighter is clearly showing early signs of dementia and what could be the onset of Alzheimer’s disease . If that were the case , then it is clearly the time for the fighter to step down and save himself from further injury or a major catastrophe occurring in the ring. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize what such a major loss of this magnitude might mean for the sport . Yet , nowhere is there any common sense being shown on the part of Bob Arum or his client , who seems reluctant to walk away from the ring . Manny Pacquiao has career earnings, in excess of $ 200 million , a lucrative business empire in his native Philippines , as well as being a congressman representing his constituents of Sarangani , a highly impoverished district in the Philippines. Pacquiao’s marriage is now threatened by his reluctance to walk away, as the angst shown by his wife , Maria Geraldine Jamora (“Jinkie”) , and their four children, is etched upon her face, when she states …… “ my children would rather see their father alive , than laying dead , in a casket “. If those words are not strong enough a cause for Manny Pacquiao to now rethink his future , then it would be best for his wife to walk away , than subject her and the four children to further emotional trauma .

And while there has been no real evidence to suggest that Pacquiao has suffered any major loss of neurological functions , it would take an eternal optimist to not believe that the fighter’s two losses to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel-Marquez hasn’t done any damage to the Filipino fighter’s psyche . After-all, who is he going to fight next, in order to convince the public that he is still relevant in the world of boxing ? Any suggestions ?

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(1) Lance Armstrong is seen here with talk show host and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey , as the former athlete confesses to doping, which he denied while an athlete . The interview conducting on Winfrey’s OWN Network came across a bile inducing apology from Armstrong , who is now essentially seeking the public’s forgiveness after the years of deceit and lies . Winfrey herself , failed to ask any really pertinent questions , primarily because the field of sports’ journalism isn’t her expertise , whereas fawning over a guest , has her appearing as matronly individual you could somehow trust to get the truth. Well in this case , there is Armstrong’s truth, as he sees it . And the truth , as the whole world now knows it to be . So who would you rather believe at this juncture ? Courtesy of USA Today /Matt Hinchcomb …. .

(2) A pensive Lance Armstrong searches for answers during an interview with Oprah Winfrey . The host on her ratings’ challenged network hopes to get a boost in the ratings for this two night four-hour expose` . The Guardian UK / Paul Wilson ….

(3) Sacramento Kings fan Gloria Bailey lets her feeling be known as the Kings played the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. The Kings won 124-118 . The Maloof family, owners of the Kings, are rumored to be in negotiations to sell the team to a group headed by investor Chris Hansen who would relocate the team to Seattle. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …

(4) Clockwise , from left to right , Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer , Erik Nordstrom and Peter Nordstrom are the four lead investors seeking to purchase the Sacramento Kings and relocate the franchise to Seattle Washington , where they would play in the newly refurbished Key Arena , in Seattle , Washington ,. AP Photo / Mark Mason …

(5) James Frazier, right, holds a sign alongside his mother Karen Roth before an NBA basketball game between the Sacramento Kings and the Dallas Mavericks in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Word of the possible sale of the team to investor Chris Hansen who would move the franchise to Seattle has Kings fan showing their support with hopes they will remain in Sacramento. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is now petitioning NBA Commissioner David Stern and the NBA Board of Governors , a body made up of the league owners and league hierarchy for an emergency meeting in seeking to retain the franchise within the city. However, Johnson has not been able to suggest how he seeks to have the Kings remain in the state capitol. No vested purchasers have come from within the greater Sacramento area , although the situation is being monitored by several parties , although no counter offer has yet been made . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ….

(6) Arizona Cardinals owner William Bidwill , right, talks with new head coach Bruce Arians , left, and his wife Christine Arians after Arians was introduced during an NFL football news conference at the team’s training facility Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. The Cardinals bring in Arians after he had a storybook year as the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator-turned-temporary coach. He filled in for head coach Chuck Pagano while he was treated for cancer and helped get the Colts to the NFL playoffs . AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(7) New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur blocks a shot during the team’s first official practice since the NHL hockey lockout ended, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Newark, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ..

(8) Juan Manuel Marquez , left , is seen here fighting Manny Pacquiao in the fourth of their now epic four fight quartet . Many are pressing for a fifth fight between the two , most notably Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc . AFP /REUTERS …..

(9)(L-R) Manny Pacquiao throws a right at Juan Manuel Marquez during their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. But it would be Juan Manuel-Marquez who would end up being the victor in landing left hook and right cross that lead to the knockout of Pacquiao in the sixth round of their WBC welterweight title fight . FRI Mathe` Regency S.A. / Anton Pasquale … @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(10) Manny Pacquiao is seen here with his wife, Maria Geradine-Jamora Pacquiao (“Jinkie”), and three of their four children. Jinkie as she is more commonly known , has pleaded with her husband to now step aside and retire from the sport that he has graced over the past decade, requesting that he do so for the sake of their family, and ultimately his long-term health. The boxer has yet to make a decisive decision concerning his future, with promoter , Bob Arum pressing for a rematch against Juan Manuel-Marquez. Picture appears courtesy of BBC Sports ….

(11) Bob Arum , veteran boxing promoter and CEO of Top Rank Promotions Inc , is seen here with Manny Pacquiao , publicizing his third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2011 , that took place at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Resort in Las Vegas Nevada ,. AP Photo / Richard Harper ……

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50 Cent …………. ” Many Men “( Wish Death ‘pon-me)

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues …..

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Just kick the fucking can down the road as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues

Tophatal ………

That Was Going To Be My Pick ….. Or Not ….

That Was Going To Be My Pick ….. Or Not ….

tophatal ………. 06/01/2012 …… 00.35 AM (EST)

Could things have gotten any worse for the Charlotte Bobcats’ (7-59) franchise in the aftermath of last night’s NBA Draft Lottery ? . Prior to the Eastern Conference Finals game two between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat . The NBA had its little precursor which would give us the order for the top five picks for the teams with the worst records from last season. Though the Bobcats had that ignominy and distinction with the worst record percentage wise (.106) in NBA history . The privilege of having the number one overall pick , that honor will belong to the New Orleans Hornets (21-45) . The consensus will be that the Kentucky Wildcats’ …… Anthony Davis will be the number one overall pick in the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft .

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The New Orleans Hornets were formerly league owned but with the recent sale of the Hornets to Louisiana businessman and New Orleans Saints’ owner Tom Benson . It has to be said that this could either be viewed as “Kismet” or the league hierarchy’s way of looking after one of the poorer NBA franchises economically . It goes without saying that more likely than not the Hornets will indeed not choose to shy away from taking Davis . The soon to be former Wildcats’ guard was one of the primary reasons why John Calipari was able to secure his first NCAA title . And in all likelihood this Wildcats’ team could see as many see as many as five players from this past season’s championship roster being taken in the first round of this NBA Draft.

For Bobcats’ owner Michael Jordan , GM Rod Higgins and team President & Head of Basketball Operations Fred Whitfield the very fact that the chance of now not being able to obtain Anthony Davis may well have further darken the horizons for the franchise to lift itself out of the doldrums . With the mutual departure of Paul Silas , the Bobcats also finds itself without a head coach . And having interviewed Jerry Sloan for the still vacant position , it remains to be seen whether or not the front office will make the former Utah Jazz head coach the successor to Silas.

Granted , there will be a number of players that Jordan and his executive staff may well deem suitable to complement the talents of Kemba Walker and the rest of this now infamous Charlotte Bobcats’ roster . One of the most anemic defensive teams of the past season as well as one that was completely lacking in terms of their offensive prowess . In reality the flaws for the Charlotte Bobcats were ongoing , with their being no veteran leadership from seasoned players viewed as the tutors whom Walker could actually learn from , thereby assuming the responsibility as the face of the franchise .

Clearly , at a crossroads , as to where he desires his franchise to be Michael Jordan can’t be entirely happy in seeing a number of his peers have some semblance of as a general manager within the NBA . GM Danny Ainge has presided over the Boston Celtics winning their most recent NBA title in 2008 as well as being a participant in the postseason 2010 and 2011 . Larry Bird as the general manager of the Indiana Pacers , he has groomed a talented group of players with head coach Frank Vogel and his coaching staff leading the charge in making this group a positive force during the regular season , and making their presence felt this postseason .

There’s no denying that Michael Jordan was more than a ” force of nature “ as a player during his illustrious NBA career . But it has been the pratfalls as NBA front office executive for which he has now become more notoriously known . While with the Washington Wizards serving in a similar capacity with the organization , he drafted then unknown high school player Kwame Brown as the number one overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft . The player never fulfilled those expectations while players such as Tony Parker and Tyson Chandler taken lower in the draft order have established themselves as bona-fide stars within the NBA . Jordan has never been able to live down that misstep and the repeated mistakes since he assumed control of the Charlotte Bobcats having bought the franchise from Robert L Johnson the media mogul and founder of BET . Johnson would go on to sell the ($2.3 billion) cable broadcast outlet and programmer to Viacom Inc , parent company of CBS .

As much as it pains me to say this but if Michal Jordan is allowed to plow the franchise further into the depths of mediocrity, it has to be incumbent upon the NBA hierarchy to step in . NBA Commissioner David Stern must be embarrassed to see the ship upon which upon which he pinned sail to ______ now suffering such an indignity . God , the Clippers for years had to put up the repeated failings of Donald Sterling and former GM Elgin Baylor , and even now , the franchise though deemed to be on the ascent , they quickly fell back to earth having been soundly beaten (4-0) in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs . The fallacy has been in the decided reports as to the makeup of this NBA postseason with their being a number of small market teams , it has created the perception of parity within the NBA this season . In reality , however, what it all boils down to is the prudent acquisition of free agents , the drafting of well-rounded players and not paying …. exorbitant player salaries in chasing after success . Consider the payrolls for teams such as the Miami Heat , Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks , each of whom made the postseason but had varying degrees of success .

Recently I was perusing the quarterbacks drafted over the last 15 years in the NFL . It speaks volumes that in 2011 we had one of the most explosive seasons in recent memory concerning the productivity players at the position who may well be judged to be amongst the best-of-the-best this past season . Obviously , there have been players who simply under-achieved while others exceeded expectations. Jay Cutler , an accomplished player but somehow much like his conference counterpart Tony Romo have simply become an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum .

The NFL Draft (2006) saw Jay Cutler being drafted in the first round but also part of this parade just happened to be Matt Leinart , Vince Young , Kellen Clemens , Bruce Gradkowski , Charlie Whitehurst , D J Shockley and Tavaris Jackson . To say suggest that this was barrel filled with some rotten apples would indeed be an understatement . That being said simply look at the regular and postseason results from that year and the quarterback statistics to understand why it’s not always best to throw a rookie overboard without a life-jacket . Peyton Manning may well have had some semblance of success in 1998 , his rookie season , and as we can all attest Cam Newton simply shredded the record books in 2011 on his way to an outstanding season with the Carolina Panthers . Both players as we know were number one picks in the NFL Draft.

Manning , having been let go by the Indianapolis Colts as Jim Irsay and GM Ryan Grigson seeks to rebuild around Andrew Luck and the draft picks made by the franchise . Luck and Robert Griffin III were the top two picks taken in 2012 , and their respective teams are no doubt hoping to rebound from each having a disappointing season in 2011 .

Peyton Manning looks to add to his already his illustrious career and the fact that he now makes his home with the Denver Broncos . John Elway the Head of Football Operations for the franchise saw fit to acquire Manning , albeit that Tim Tebow led the Broncos into the postseason where the team would ultimately fall (45-10) to the New England Patriots . The AFC West could no doubt be very competitive this season but in reality I believe it will be one of hits and misses ! More misses , than hits , if truth be known ! It’s not as if with the addition of Manning to the division , we will actually see some outstanding play from the teams in question . Simply look at the divisional standing last season for the teams in question and then tell me where you believe there will be a vast improvement ? No one can be sure that Peyton Manning will actually be the player who has set so many records over the course of his career , especially in light of his recent injury issues . But it was a risk that John Elway and team owner Pat Bowlen was worth taking , given the financial commitment made to Manning . That being said , it’s now do or die for the Denver Broncos .

This season a great deal will be asked of Jay Cutler and Tony Romo , as it my belief ” that both are on the clock” ! God knows, Lovie Smith and Jason Garrett are also under a great deal of pressure to produce and succeed as the respective coaches of the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears . The quarterbacks in question have yet to win a meaningful game over the course of their respective careers . Jerry Jones may well carved out that edifice that can house 100,000 rabid fans with a Jumbotron Hi-Def screen as the center-piece and one of a slew of ostentatious attractions to lure the fans to this palatial arena in Arlington , Texas,. If this team doesn’t produce this season within the NFC East , especially in light of the dominance of the New York Giants in recent seasons , having twice won the Superbowl in the past five years . Eli Manning is slowly staking his claim that he’s well on his way to becoming a future Hall of Famer , as he seeks to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,.

Jerry Jones has seen the valuation of his franchise rise exponentially , making it one of the most valuable NFL teams and amongst the most profitable professional sports franchises in the world . So much has been made about the talent we see coming from the collegiate ranks , some are prepared , whereas, others are most definitely not . The coaches and their coaching staffs are placed under microscope to get the players prepared as they are being continually second-guessed not just by the fans but also the on-air television analysts. And perhaps no one this season will be place under that type of public scrutiny than Rex Ryan of the New York Jets . The three-ringed circus has already began with questions being raised about how Tim Tebow will be used by the organization and whether or not the back-up can actually beat out the incumbent starting quarterback , Mark Sanchez , for the starting role on the team . The beat writers and tv media within the greater New York , New Jersey area will spend the entire off-season speculating on this and a great deal more concerning the franchise . Let’s just say , Tebow may well be having fun, the pressure cooker that is the New York City market can either have a devastating effect or be a motivating factor behind a player’s rise or fall within that particular market-place . The jury is still out on Sanchez , in spite of the first three years of his NFL career . Two AFC championship appearances on face value alone should be deemed acceptable to most but we’re talking about New York , where the last remnants of success for the Jets’ franchise was simply when “Broadway” Joe Namath made his bold prediction and then backed it up with a victory for the team. Both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow have a great deal to live up to and I am sure that the Jets’ fans will make them aware of that over the course of the coming season , if not before !

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(1) NEW YORK, NY – MAY 30: Head Coach Monty Williams of the New Orleans Hornets holds up the winning card during the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery on May 30, 2012 at ABC News “Good Morning America” Times Square Studios in New York City. Copyright 2012 NBAE Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(2) Head Coach Monty Williams and Tom Benson of the New Orleans Hornets reacts during the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery on May 30, 2012 at ABC News “Good Morning America” Times Square Studios in New York City. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images …

(3) FILE – In this March 9, 2012, file photo , Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan gestures at the referees during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Jersey Nets in Charlotte, N.C. The Bobcats, after the worst season in NBA history, fell to the No. 2 pick in the draft lottery , Wednesday, May 30, in New York. AP Photo/Bob Leverone …..

(4) Kwame Brown is seen here alongside NBA Commissioner David Stern on draft day 2001 . The player was taken #1 overall in the NBA Draft of that year ahead of the likes of Tony Parker , Shane Battier , Pau Gasol , Joe Johnson and Richard Jefferson . It is said to be one of the greatest “draft blunders” in NBA history when Brown was taken straight out high school by the Washington Wizards, where Michael Jordan was the de-facto general manager and Head of Basketball Operations for the team’s owner Abe Pollin . AFP/Reuters/ Chris Shaw …

(5) ” A picture paints 1,000 words ” . Kwame Brown is seen here along with Michael Jordan , as he’s formally introduced to the convened press as the Washington Wizards’ #1 pick overall in the 2001 NBA Draft. Brown’s career with the franchise was “littered with highs and lows” . Truthfully , the “highs” weren’t that memorable and the lows were pitiful . AP Photo / David Price ….

(6) From left to right , Vince Young , Brody Croyle and Matt Leinart , quarterbacks taken in 2006 NFL Draft . Each has had a less than stellar career in the NFL , although they were highly touted as being very talented at the collegiate level. AP Photo / Matthew Khan …….

(7) Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears talks with Jay Cutler (6) during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Getty Images /Scott Boehm …

(8) Quarterback Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys stands on the sidelines with head coach Jason Garrett as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Romo hurt his right hand in the first quarter and sat out the rest of the game. Getty Images / Matt Hough ….

(9) New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, right, and Tim Tebow, left, listen to quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh , center, during NFL football practice, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Florham Park, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez …..

(10) Denver Broncos head coach John Fox , right, bumps fists with quarterback Peyton Manning during NFL football practice at the team’s training facility in Englewood, Colo., on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. From left are Caleb Hanie , Manning, Adam Weber and Eric Decker . AP Photo/Ed Andrieski ….

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To read other sports’ related topics within this site simply click on the link provided https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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NBA news

2012 NBA Draft & Draft Order

2011-12 NBA Final Standings (Conference)

2011-12 NBA Standings (Division)

Charlotte Bobcats’ news

New Orleans Hornets news

NBA Playoffs 2012

Western Conference Finals … San Antonio Spurs leads (2-1) the Oklahoma City Thunder

San Antonio Spurs …. vs …. Oklahoma City Thunder @ Chesapeake Energy Center , Oklahoma City , OK, .

Eastern Conference Finals …… Miami Heat leads (2-1) the Boston Celtics

NBA schedule 06/01/2012
Miami Heat …. vs ….. Boston Celtics .. … @ TD Banknorth Gardens Center , Boston , Massachusetts ,. Eastern Conference Finals

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NFL news

NFL regular season schedule

NFL regular season week 6

Chicago Bears news

New York Jets news

NFL quarterbacks draft history

Highest paid NFL quarterbacks (contract details)

NFL quarterbacks’ salaries (2013)

NFL quarterback statistics 2011 regular season

NFL statistics 2011 postseason

NB: The respective salaried contracts of Jay Cutler and Tony Romo .

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Mia-Michelle/

Hot chic pic of the day Mia Michelle . A real ‘nasty’ and ‘tasty piece’ of ‘hot ass’ ! So what’s not to like ?

Coverin' up  the  goody's/

A lil’ bit more of Mia ……. you down with that ?

For Half A Billion Dollars You Simply Can’t Beat Another Fucking Screw Up ……… Business 101 Courtesy of A Now Bankrupt US Government …………

For Half A Billion Dollars You Simply Can’t Beat Another Fucking Screw Up ……… Business 101 Courtesy of A Now Bankrupt US Government …………

OK so someone please explain to me how it is that the government can somehow sink $500 million (half a billion dollars) into a now defunct Fremont , California based company Solyndra that was trumpeted by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as the wave of the future in the country’s commitment to energy conservation _____ the specific use of this technology with regard solar panel and cylinders in creating energy efficient usage and products . Now comes what might be unbelievable , the company filed for bankruptcy ( Chapter 11) in the US Federal Court in the state of Delaware . Once again , more taxpayers’ monies simply sank without a trace and there being no one within the administration much less from the President’s own staff readily available to issue a formal statement . Jay Carney , White House Press Secretary , usually available to take the press’ questions on numerous public issues , himself , a well known journalist has yet to make any formal statement on the bankruptcy filing that leaves the taxpayer on the hook for this debt .

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It has been one thing for the government to use the TARP facade in assisting their paymasters (major financial institutions) in placing Obama and select GOP and Democrats in the Congress and Senate . It is now one thing to watch the eight Republican nominees seeking that party’s blessing as the opponent to Barack Obama in 2012 but it is equally idiotic to hear them each opine on the economy , with little knowledge of what’s actually happening in the real world.

Barack Obama will have a hard time explaining another misstep by this administration and even more so from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner whose department it is to oversee the government’s spending while the country’s economic monetary policy itself is dealt with by the Federal Reserve under the auspices of Ben Bernanke as its chairman. Clearly with all of the divergence in thought , ideology being placed ahead of bipartisanship and doing what’s best for the country , we are now seeing this administration and both legislative chambers simply throwing fecal matter up against the wall just to see what sticks and then using that as a legislative policy and statute. If that’s not completely fucked up then what is ?

With the none partisan Office of Management & Budget having forewarned both the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee as to the irregularities and the guaranteeing of this $500 million loan to Solyndra it appears those warnings went unheeded with legislators such as Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) championing the loan ___ stating that it would be of great benefit to the her home state of California and for the employment prospects of the residents within in the state . Well this white elephant, of all of three years has gone up in a cloud of smoke and there is simply no one willing to answer questions as to what went wrong . When the US government seeks to become a venture capitalist it speaks as to its very arrogance and their use of the taxpayers’ monies in such a case ! Now with the FBI and attorneys from the Justice Department having removed countless documents from the Fremont , California based company in the last 24 hours it remains to be seen whether or not there will be any senior executives of Solyndra indicted by the Justice Department in possibly perpetrating a felonious and larcenous act against the US taxpayer !

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

Solyndra executives back out of congressional hearing

By Neela Banerjee & Jim Puzzanghera of the Los Angeles Times

The solar equipment maker’s executives cite the demands of a complicated bankruptcy and a federal investigation they now face.

Reporting from Washington—
Executives of beleaguered solar equipment maker Solyndra Inc. canceled their Wednesday appearance before a congressional investigative committee at the last minute, citing the demands of a complicated bankruptcy and a federal investigation they face.

Solyndra got a $535-million loan as part of the U.S. stimulus package in late 2009 and was held up by the Obama administration as a powerful example of the kind of innovative manufacturing that would revive the economy. But in the last few weeks, the Fremont, Calif., company has closed shop, laid off most of its 1,100 workers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and had its offices and executives’ homes raided by the FBI.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear testimony from administration officials about the government’s loans to Solyndra. The company said in a statement that its executives were busy with the bankruptcy and were discussing a new hearing date with the committee.

The events surrounding Solyndra’s government backing and now bankruptcy have become a political hot potato in Washington.

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Click on link provided to read this article in full .

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It is good to see that while the President is doing the rounds trying to sell the country on his latest posturing on jobs and the economy , he has been evasive on answering questions raised with regard to the bankruptcy filing of Solyndra . Bear in mind also that this has been the fourth such company in the past eighteen months to have filed bankruptcy proceedings due to their failure . What is it , that is said to be remiss about this all , other than a clear case of mismanagement and an over eagerness to delve into an industry still in its infancy and without there being any real due diligence being used by a number of the entrepreneurs in question ? At the same time countries such as China , Brazil and the UK , all seem to be prospering somehow but with there being accountability and clear oversight by the respective governments in question. regard to the Congress itself rather the continued asinine and infantile behavior we now see repeatedly from both sides of the political aisle . Lack of leadership ? Yes ! Lack of integrity ? Certainly ! But overall , a total lack of respect for the electorate , their wishes at large and neither of the two political parties actually seem to give a damn ! For them , it now has become all about ideology and how much money can be made at the expense of the taxpayer !

As this whole picture unravels you can be sure that the executives of this company will simply hide behind their litany of lawyers not wanting to make any formal statements on this issue . And with Congress now wishing to enact a speedy hearing to ascertain what these executives may or may not have known as to the financial well being of their company . Is anyone at all surprised to see the government once again with egg on its face ? After all these are the very same imbeciles who made sure that this deal essentially went through without much scrutiny by anyone that mattered . Certainly they failed to heed the warnings raised by senior officials not only from within the OMB but also the CBO ( Congressional Budget Office ). Once again we’re back to the same damn issue ……..” follow the fucking money trail ” and you can who made sure that things simply went ahead smoothly without there said to be any problems arising !

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What now awaits , is where the apportioned blame will be placed and who seeks to gain from this all . We may each have our own thoughts on this matter but it is clear to see that once again the government has failed the electorate and populace with its gross stupidity and naivete’ . Care to guess as to how this shit will be spun by the parties concerned ? Chime in with your comments as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Executives of solar equipment maker Solyndra Inc. canceled their appearance before a congressional committee . Above, Solyndra headquarters in Fremont, Calif. Paul Sakuma / Associated Press ….

(2) An FBI agent walks inside the Solyndra headquarters building in Fremont, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. The FBI are executing search warrants at the headquarters of California solar firm Solyndra that received a $535 million loan from the federal government . AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ……

(3) FREMONT, CA – MAY 26: Ben Bierman (left) and Chris Gronet (right) explain solar technology to U.S. President Barack Obama on a tour of the Solyndra solar panel company May 26, 2010 in Fremont, California. President Obama toured Solyndra Inc., a growing solar power equipment facility that is adding jobs as they expand their operation . The $535 million loan provided by the Department of Energy is now lost with the company having filed for bankruptcy. (Photo by Paul Chinn/Getty Images …

(4) President Barack Obama is seen here with both Chris Gronet and Ben Bierman at Solyndra’s plant and headquarters in Fremont , California . Getty Images / Paul Chinn ……

(5) Former Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers (L), Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Dr. Christina Romer (2L), Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner (C) and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke (R) listen as President Barack Obama (2R) speaks after a daily economic briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 23, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama said the administration’s plan to purchase toxic assets from banks is a move in the “right direction” to unlock credit markets. Both Romer and Summers no longer sit on the board of the Council of Economic Advisers . Getty Images North America / Brendan Smialowski ……

(6) U.S. President Barack Obama (C) walks into the White House briefing room while flanked by White House White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (R) and White House Chief of Staff William Daley (L) on April 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. President Obama addressed the media about his meeting with Congressional leaders in hopes of coming to a agreement on funding the Government to avoid a shut down. Getty Images North America / Mark Wilson ……..

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I Love My Sports …………… Hoo Hah ! And The Military Ain’t Bad Either !

I Love My Sports …………… Hoo Hah ! And The Military Ain’t Bad Either !

Well the Superbowl 45 (SBXLV) was somewhat anticlimactic to my mind a game (31-25) which was essentially beset by the mistakes made by both teams . I think that much of that came down to the fact that both teams never really settled down to the cavernous atmosphere of the stadium and the expectations that many felt was there to be had. The Pittsburgh Steelers were looking to win their seventh Superbowl title and cement themselves in the annals of the game. The Green Bay Packers not without a legacy themselves were looking to win their fourth Superbowl in the team’s history .

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The respective coaches in this case Mike Tomlin and Mike McCarthy have been the epitome of class throughout much of the season . We’ve had the bombastic attitude of Rex Ryan and we all saw how quickly the bottom fell out of the New York Jets’ season and their and languid their performance was in their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That game pretty much summed up the Jets’ season and how overrated they actually were. I even remember one patron trying to suggest that Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez wasn’t a player that was being asked to do too much by Ryan and his coaching staff . Those of us who witnessed that game saw a player who struggled in large part and a player that was simply let down by his teammates as well.

The Superbowl itself was a game which I watched with several of my work colleagues at a local VFW as a number of them are former military vets or members of the Florida National Guard . We all vary in age from 35 to 65 and having served in the British military as a member of the Royal Marines in various parts of the world for a nine year stint ( Northern Ireland , Eritrea , Cyprus and the Ivory Coast ) . Along with my cadre of colleagues it goes without saying that others in attendance were obviously former service members. The USMC, US Army , US Navy and Air Force were all well represented. Many of them there had their allegiances to the teams participating or one should say specifically to the conferences. I simply wanted to see a game that was competitive and in some ways it actually fell short of that . It may well have been that this was the highest rated Superbowl in television history with an estimated audience by all accounts of 115 million viewers domestically. For Fox and their advertising partners this was a ratings’ bonanza and with ad rates said to be in excess of $150,000 per second a thirty second spot during peak viewing time would garner the network $4,500,000 . It’s pretty safe to say that not only was the network making a great deal of money but so too was the NFL .

I’ve got to admit being around these guys and watching the game was very much in essence like being around some of my former military buddies I’d served with. Now don’t get me wrong attuning myself to the sports’ landscape here and aligning myself to many number of teams once this country became my permanent home. Two decades on and I can categorically say that my allegiances are with the San Antonio Spurs , New England Patriots , and Duke (Blue Devils) Basketball . Admittedly at one time I was also an avid fan of the Florida Marlins and the USC Trojans but that all fell apart one I saw that the front office of the Marlins led by owner Jeffrey Loria couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth as to the team’s financing and viability. Let’s just say that team’s plight and anything that’s now said to be coming from Loria publicly can’t be trusted as being factual.

The same can be said of the Trojans’ athletics program and the mere fact that the university’s former AD Mike Garrett took winning to heart even if it meant doing so by unscrupulous means as a way of gaining untold riches and notoriety . At the center of it all was the behavior by former coaches Pete Carroll , Tim Floyd , athletes Reggie Bush and O J Mayo . And as we now know what transpired there was enough to indict everything that’s wrong in collegiate athletics today and the mess that the NCAA itself has created and condoned in many respects with the idiocy of their actions.

In the UK I still follow religiously my two favorite soccer teams Manchester United and Chelsea of the Premiership (EPL) . And not a day goes by when I’m no online checking on both teams’ progress in their various competitive endeavors. As many of you know also I’m somewhat passionate about the sport of boxing and there my alltime favorite boxer is Marvin Hagler perhaps the most underestimated middleweight champion in history. But with the sport now becoming something of a misnomer and with there now being a complete lack of credibility in many of the weight categories I now find myself more interested in MMA and specifically the promotions of UFC . As a martial arts practitioner I’ve got to admit that watching these bouts unfold now gives me greater pleasure than what’s now being served up in the world of boxing by the sport’s most prominent promoters such as Top Rank Inc , Don King Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions Inc . That triumvirate in large part along with the multitude of boxing’s international governing bodies have brought the sport to depths it’s now at , completely lacking in any credibility at all !

While watching the game I couldn’t help but wonder where many of us might be were it not for the circumstances that’s led us to where we are at present. A number of the veterans in attendance were also young vets who’d served in both Afghanistan , Iraq , as well as older veterans who’d served in the the first Iraqi conflict , World War II , Vietnam and Korea . However it also pained me to see number of the vets who’d recently returned from both Afghanistan and Iraq , who having served their country gallantly are having difficulties acclimatizing themselves back to civilian life. The Dept of Veterans Affairs as well meaning as it is overwhelmed with way too much bureaucracy and the fact that in some cases the facilities at which some of these veterans are treated at can at times best described as deplorable and outrageous. Having worked in conjunction with a number of organizations such as the PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America) and charities specifically that deal with the well being of former vets I have to say that the conditions I’ve witnessed first hand as well as through some of the work that some of my work colleagues have done as pro-bono work as lawyers , has simply indicated to me that the US government does treat their veterans deplorably ! A lot of the time the utterance coming from members of Congress and the Senate is simply a sound byte merely to be politically correct and to seek empathy from the electorate.

To see a military veteran who’s now confined to a wheelchair having because of an IED and the fact that in many cases these incidents could have been avoided had former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seen fit to plan with some insight and not utter the rather asinine sound bytes while the propaganda war being waged came to a grinding halt as repeatedly this conflict has become completely out of control. Two wars , $1.6 trillion ($1,600,000,000) has been spent and there’s no sign that there’s light at the end of the tunnel ! . We’re told that the US troops will be leaving Iraq in an orderly fashion once the Iraqi security forces are able to secure their borders and the civilian population. Unfortunately what President Obama , Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now seem to be forgetting is that the Iraqi government has become so corrupt where the rule of law has become non existent . The less said about Afghanistan and the government led by President Hamid Karzai the better as that’s another cluster fuck that’s getting worse by the minute , and the fact that coalition lives are being sacrificed for no other reason than the pomposity now being shown by the US government and its allies. Democracy as always , there’s a steep price to pay but when the cost is that of US men and service women’s lives with there being nothing tangible to show for it at the end of the day has me now asking what is the stance of the US and its diplomacy as it relates to the Middle East ?

Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers having led the Green Bay Packers to their first Superbowl win in almost fifteen years . It has to be said that this was a long time coming for the fans in Green Bay . Mike McCarthy had this team playing with a great deal of resolve and it showed throughout much of the preseason , regular season and into the playoffs . And statistically the team led by Rodgers simply more than a pleasant surprise . And it augurs well for the prospects of the organization as a whole . A chance of a successful defense isn’t out the realms of possibility if they’re able to show the same sort of attitude shown throughout the 2010 season. But as we all know winning is the easy part the hard part is to successfully defend a title as everyone places a target on your back aiming for that bullseye, with the intent of knocking that team off their pedestal.

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Spending time with my colleagues in such a way was nurturing on a number of levels merely because I felt at ease around many of these individuals with whom I had something in common with. We’ve shared stories about our experiences in the military but we’ve also formed a bond over love of sports and all that it brings . What else could one really ask for and how else would one want to spend a Superbowl Sunday ? Unfortunately the event itself from my own perspective had been something of a downfall with the fact that during the pregame ceremony you had 5 time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera butcher the National Anthem and then the halftime show headlined by The Black Eyed Peas was a complete cacaphony of noise that if anything sounded like lead singer Fergie was unsure what the hell she was doing on stage. I’ve got to wonder wasn’t there a sound check instituted before the group took stage and if anything was the original sound check conducted by Hellen Keller ? The game itself while entertaining in part did leave a lot to be desired but then again it met the expectations with the fact that it was once again a monumental and financial success for the NFL . And as we all know the NFL has simply about their image and the money because nothing else really matters to the hierarchy !

What impressions if any did you have on the event itself and how did you feel about the entertainment that was provided throughout ? Simply chime on in with a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slide show details below

(1) Green Bay Packers fan John Magnin celebrates after the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. The Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 . AP Photo/LM Otero ……

(2) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 with his family at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. Kevin Terrell/NFL ……..

<p (3) Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson (21) talks with the media after winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. Gary A. Vasquez/NFL ………

(4) Green Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson, right, celebrates with teammate Andrew Quarless after scoring a touchdown during the first half of NFL Super Bowl XLV football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(5) U.S. Army medic SGT Tyrone Jordan (top) of Charlotte, NC attached to Dustoff Task Force Shadow of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade works on Marine LCpl. Michael Staley aboard a MEDEVAC helicopter after Staley suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder September 18, 2010 near Marja, Afghanistan. Task Force Shadow is responsible for evacuating wounded Afghani and Coalition forces as well as local nationals throughout southern Afghanistan. Scott Olson/Getty Images AsiaPac ……….

(6) Afghan President Hamid Karzai holds a press conference at the Presidential Palace on February 8, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Karzai called on his Western allies to close down civil-military provincial reconstruction projects (PRT’s) that have served their purpose, likening the PRT’s to a ‘plumber’ whose services were no longer required. Majid Saeedi/ Getty ImagesAsiaPac ……….

(7) US Air Force Senior Airman, Lisibeth Payano closes the door of a mortuary vehicle during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on December 3, 2009 in Dover, Delaware. The dignified transfer was for US Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Taylor of Jacksonville, Florida and US Army Cpl. Kenneth R. Nichols, Jr. of Chrisman, Illinois, both killed in Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Getty Images North America / Mark Wilson ….

(8) Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) (L) thanks U.S. Army Specialist Eric Edmondson (C) and his father Ed Edmondson (top) during a news conference about Democratic efforts to pass an omnibus veterans? health bill at the U.S. Capitol November 10, 2009 in Washington, DC. Specialist Edmondson, who suffered severe traumatic brain injury in an improvised explosive device attack in October 2005 while serving in Iraq, is cared for by his parents. Democrats indentified Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) as the sole Republican holding up the passage of the bill designed to help Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans and family caregivers of the seriously wounded. However since this bill became law what many veterans are now finding out is that the VA (Veterans Administration) hasn’t been all that quick meeting their obligations in facilitating the expedition of the paperwork . The agency itself is undermanned and being mismanaged never mind the absence of well trained medical professionals needed . Getty Images North America / Chip Smodoville ……….

(9) A marine checks a weapon as eighty Royal Marines of Zulu company 45 Commando prepare to leave their base RM Condor for six months tour in Afghanistan on October 2, 2008 in Arbroath, Scotland. A total of 500 Royal Marines from 45 Commando are going to Afghanistan, Whiskey Company left last week, and the rest of the marines will leave in the next two weeks. Jeff Miller / Getty Images Europe ………….

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[ In my military active service I saw action while being on the front lines of the troubles in N Ireland as the troubles there and where the violence actions of the IRA who in essence were a para-military organization _____ a precursor for what we now see in Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Jeemah Islamiyah . ]

😛

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

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John Legend ……………….feat’g Andre’ 3000 …….”Green Light” Music as it should be with actual instruments and vocals !

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A Merry Christmas To You All And A Prosperous New Year !

A Merry Christmas To You All And A Prosperous New Year !

I’d like to wish you and your immediate family members a Merry Christmas and A Prosperous New Year ! And as usual thanks for the continued support and comments left throughout the year as it has always been truly appreciated . And hopefully 2011 will be just as fruitful for us all and whatever our endeavors might be I wish each of you the greatest of success in whatever goals you may well set.

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Thanks once again and as earlier stated a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you all !

😉 —— 😛

Alan aka tophatal …………………….. 🙂

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John Lennon …………… “Imagine”

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Fanning The Flames Of Ignorance And Liberty Or Just Being Stupid ?

Fanning The Flames Of Ignorance And Liberty Or Just Being Stupid ?

It should come as no surprise to anyone that with the upcoming ninth anniversary of the September attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Building the nation has yet to heal from the most heinous of attacks perpetrated on US soil. And while we're seeing a rise in anti-Islamic resentment and a full scale attack on Muslims not just verbally but also physically with a number of what we're told are now random acts of violence. I've got to ask myself is this country actually now reverting back to the sixties and earlier wherein the seeds of resentment were actually aimed at African Americans and other minorities of color ? Clearly an argument could be made that this seems to be journey now being taken . Call it what you will xenophobia , racism or just plain ignorance and the unwillingness to accept the differences between the races that makes us so different.

This all seems to be coming from a rallying cry of what appears to zealous bigots who are stating that this is simply their way of reacting to the actions of the radical Islamists and jihadists out there whose call for death to imperialistic Zionists has to be heard. And while I condone those atrocities carried out by Al Qaeda and the Taliban I’ve got to say that should the proposed action of the Florida pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida ________ who calls for the burning of the Quran this Saturday to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and also to act as a deterrent to the Islamists of the country’s will. I see it as a rather futile and idiotic act that will not only place the lives of US military men and women in harm’s way as well as that of the coalition forces still waging on an ongoing war for the survival of Afghanistan and Iraq. Somehow this seems to have been lost on this pastor and the members of his congregation who seem intent on joining him in this exercise .

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Having served in the military courtesy of Her Majesty’s (UK) armed forces in the Royal Marines where my own experiences on the front line was to witness what full blown atrocities were all about with the actions of the IRA in Ireland as well as on mainland Britain. I can say to you that any life lost on the field of battle is a needless one, unless there’s a certainty that one knows what exactly it is that you’re fighting for. I’ve taken lives in the service of my country and I’ve also tried to assist in the rebuilding of lives as it concerns that of the returning servicemen from active duty from both fronts in the current war being waged on terror. The law firm for which I work does a great deal of pro-bono work in order to aid military veterans gain the services denied to them by the VA and government due to the bureaucracy that tends to be thrown up in their path repeatedly. And for those of you who currently believe that the US government does all it can to assist these men and women then think again as nothing could be further from the truth. There have been horror stories out there that’ve gone reported and unreported that shows that this country tends to do a horrendous job in really honoring its men and women in the military. The lip service that’s paid by the politicians and on air political pundits alike is merely being done to solicit favoritism and little else beyond that.

Courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle

9/11 Burn a Quran day motivated by Terry Jones’ greed, money & avarice ?

By Yobie Benjamin

Terry Jones, zealot pastor of a Florida church called the Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville and author of “Islam is of the Devil” claims to be motivated and inspired by God as he toys with the world’s leaders, media and lives of American soldiers and civilians.

Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Pope Benedict, Hillary Clinton, NATO, Interpol, every country in the European Union, every religious group in Gainesville, Florida and perhaps the entire civilized world has implored and pleaded with the zealot so-called pastor Terry Jones to cease and desist from burning Korans on September 11, 2010. The foreign ministries of Pakistan and Bahrain issued official denunciations with Bahrain calling it a “shameful act which is incompatible with the principles of tolerance and coexistence.” The president of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has also sent a letter to President Obama asking him to stop the bonfire.In Pakistan, about 200 lawyers and civil society members marched and burned a U.S. flag in the central Pakistani city of Multan, demanding that Washington halt the burning of the Muslim holy book.

Jones’ answer? He feigns religious persecution. He says his bank wants his church to pay what it is owed. He also says he has 200 Korans and he wants buy more to burn. There is no subtext or code for what this pastor wants. He wants you to send him and his 50 followers money and lots of it. Yes, please send money by joining as a “member” of the church. He also needs money because Florida authorities discovered that he was running a for-profit eBay enterprise and the state wants to get paid for sales taxes.

God has no part of Jones’ plan. Jones’ plan is the Terry Jones plan and it was the reason why his old church in Cologne Germany fired him. His motive is as earthly, worldly and as old as humanity itself – greed and avarice. Terry Jones has figured out the magic formula to get every self loathing zealot nut job in the world to send him money — Get on every TV, radio, newspaper and web site and plead for like minded idiots to send money. There is no doubt that several hundreds of new “members” have sent in their tithes to pastor fake doctor of theology.

The First Amendment of the US Constitution protects Jones’ right to say and do what he wants. Jones has the right to burn Korans even in the face of Gen. David Petraeus’s dire warnings. To emphasize his intention to burn Korans, Jones wrote a screed on his blog.

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Click on the above link to read this article in its entirety.
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Now you may consciously ask why can’t this pastor carry out his wish to burn the Quran as it is his wish , given his First Amendment Rights ? But I’d ask what en if the repercussions should be the loss of US military lives or that of US civilians abroad as an act of retaliation ? Does that comfort those who think this ought to be an appropriate act by the pastor ? Regardless of what your beliefs might be, this all could create a tremendous amount of blow-back for all of the wrong reasons of which we will have to ask ourselves was it all worth it at the end of the day ? Clearly there’s food and room for thought here on all sides of this equation no matter what one’s beliefs might be.

For many of us the devastation and emotional horror of that momentous day is still something of a traumatic shock to the system and it may well have felt surreal. I can only speak for myself when I say that I was aghast sad and horrified when the reality began to set in as to what had taken place on 11th September 2001. For many of my friends and relatives whom I knew lived in the New York my immediate concern was for their safety but also the needless loss of lives all for the purpose to send a message of hate was one that simply reviled me. Now in the same essence I view the actions of this pastor as simply playing into the hands of the radical Islamists (Muslims) who’ll merely use this as another way of showing that they can simply show us that the disdain they have for all things Westernized and that should they choose to unleash a new reign of terror then we will simply have no real reply for it all. It’s not as if this pastor himself will take to the field of battle but he’ll simply revert to the fact that it was his calling and God’s will ? Well I was under the impression that the Christian teachings taught us to be compassionate and tolerant of others ?

Islam itself is being perverted by fundamentalist clerics (imams) but unfortunately there are very few Muslims who are actually prepared to step forward and make their own thoughts be heard as a passionate call to show that they don’t believe in the perversion of their religion. And it’s the same here with this pastor and the very fact that there has been little or no call to state their disdain for what is being proposed by Terry Jones . On the right of the political aisle there’s little opposition and to the left of the argument you have those stating that it is within the pastor’s rights no matter how abhorrent it might appear to be. That may well be the case but what about common sense and decency ? Clearly this pastor and the members of his congregation think that they’re above that and that whatever transpires out of this all won’t be any concern of theirs even if it means the loss military lives.

Here also you have right wing Christian conservatives who come out and openly with disdain in their protests outside of military funerals and have called stated the fallen men of women of the US military who’ve died so valiantly and with honor in the service of their country. They have in effect stated that their deaths have been because this country has sought to embrace homosexuality,socialistic ideals and other things that they deem to be perverted and un-American . Which begs the question what is now meant to be American in terms of an ideology ? Unfortunately these idiots aren’t as enlightened or as educated as they believe themselves to be.

As the ninth anniversary 9/11 approaches this ought to be a time of reflection and conciliation but instead we’re seeing a divergence of not only of cultural beliefs but morals and integrity on both sides of the diaspora with each faction trying to lay claim that they’re right. The sadness in the midst of this all is that while this idiocy carries on the lessons there to be learned and taught are falling on deaf ears. And it’s an indictment of how far man has fallen of his path as a human being .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What are your own thoughts on the actions being proposed by this pastor and if there’s retaliatory actions taken by the terrorists how would you feel about it ? By all means simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter and as always thanks for the continued support !

Alan aka tophatal 🙂

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Depeche Mode Personal Jesus

Rise To The Occasion Porn Is Here To Stay Whether You Like It Or Not ……………

Rise To The Occasion Porn Is Here To Stay Whether You Like It Or Not ……………

It’ s a $10 billion a year film industry that’s fast outstripping mainstream Hollywood in terms of revenues and has become a legitimate form of entertainment in the psyche of America. The porn industry is now a real business where people can legitimately earns millions without running afoul of the law. And just in case you think that they haven’t got any real backing , well for those of you uninitiated out there the adult entertainment industry have their very own lobbyists out there to protect their rights in Washington. So don’t kid yourself for one minute that both legislative houses of Congress aren’t keen to willingly act on behalf a paymaster , now matter how despicable they might be viewed by the moralists out there.

Former porn star and once the doyenne of the industry Jenna Jameson has now moved from in front of the cameras having retired to become a budding mogul and entrepreneur within the industry with her media company involved in the business. Jameson is also the live in partner of well known UFC fighter Tito Ortiz . The couple also have two young children together.

Now one might feel that the industry has no business being viewed as a legitimate part of the economy in mainstream America. But given what we know and that is ……… that sex sells . How else ought we to view this ? Rightly or wrongly we can agree that the misogynistic depiction of women being brutally subjected to different forms of sexual degradation is despicable. But at the same time here in the United States we also now have sex slavery and the trafficking of young men and women to fulfill the whims of individuals who’ve found an ever increasing way to satisfy their insatiable hunger for sex. Never mind that we’ve also had members of Congress and within the Roman Catholic church feeding off the most vulnerable amongst us , in having unsolicited sex with minors. And here in the US was the epicenter for that very scandal itself but you’d be hard pressed to hear anyone on the right or left allay that fact. Instead they much like the church itself chose to gloss over it all in order to try and maintain the fact that this was just one or two bad apples within the system and dioceses up and down the country. And with some public outcry it really had you wondering who really cares about the most vulnerable amongst us ? Certainly not the federal government in this case many of the most egregious of these crimes happened across the country and the stance taken by the hierarchy of the church was to have these priests transferred to other dioceses across the country where they could repeat those very same offenses again. And we think of the church as a place of safety ? More like a place of debauchery in this respect and the present leader of the church Pope Benedict XVI was none too quick to acknowledge the wrongdoing of many of the members of the church and his almost glib apology has me believing that he wasn’t overly concerned as to the damage done to the Catholic church and undeniably the fact that many of its worshipers would question their faith in the church.


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Slide show for your perusal .

Now while there are many of us out there who enjoy viewing porn be it in the privacy of our own home or frequenting an establishment whereby it’s on view for public consumption . I’ve no doubt that there are those amongst who view this as some sick part of society that ought to be completely done away with. Herein , lies the question, if this is as such freedom of expression and a given right under the Constitution. Then where does the blame lie when there are those who make it the matter a cause and then state that the industry makes perverts , pedophiles and rapists of certain members of society ? My train of thought on the matter is that a sexual act that’s committed in the form of a crime is done by that individual by their own volition . To try and use that act and blame it on someone viewing porn is sheer hokum ! We’ve all got a moral compass within us to know what’s right from wrong. If the law can’t prosecute a perpetrator to the full extent of the law when such heinous acts are committed then it clearly shows that the legal system isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

As to the fact that the federal government receives a great deal of taxable revenue income from the industry does anyone really believe that they’d rather see the industry completely close down ? That’d be like saying that they can’t accept illicit campaign money from an outsider or from a foreign power. We all know that’s not going to happen if even if the moralists try to hold sway. Sex much like religion has been with us since the beginning of time and it’s not about to disappear anytime soon. So either accept or be constructive in your criticism of it but for God’s sake don’t try and take that puritanical route that it’s an abomination. Simply look at the behavior of our federal legislators and church leaders as an example as to how naive that thinking has become that they can do no wrong ? And then ask yourself does the porn industry really harming society as much as people say that it is ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Chime on with a comment on the subject matter .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………

TLC …………….. Red Light Special

The Best I’ve Ever Seen ……………

The Best I’ve Ever I Seen

Some of my work colleagues and I were having a discussion as to the best sport stars we’ve seen at (in) their respective sports. I told them that as I wasn’t all that versed to many of the top athletes or teams here in the US that we’ve all seen over the course of our lives. Being a Brit ,I’ve seen my share of stars across varying sports arenas. But across the North American landscape I’ve not seen many of the best, per say.

Having arrived here in the early nineties , the primary US athletes that I knew or were aware of, were tennis players and track stars , John McEnroe , Jimmy Connors , Arthur Ashe , Stan Smith , Pete Sampras , Andre Agassi , Carl Lewis , Lerory Burrell , Mike Powell , Ed Moses and Michael Johnson .

Now don’t get me wrong but as good as those players are . To my mind the best tennis player I’d ever seen was Bjorn Borg ! Over the course of his illustrious career he’d won “eleven” Grand Slam singles titles. But what was even more astounding was the rate at which he won those titles. Five successive Wimbledon singles titles and six French singles titles. All of those titles were won before retired at the age of 27. Borg did make a brief comeback but it was short lived. And people would suggest that Sampras was a far greater player than Borg ? In what universe ? Measure their feats over their comparative ages and you’ll see that Borg had achieved far more and that’s with the fact of him retiring from the game at a comparative early age. Experts my a_s !

Bjorn Borg wins his fifth successive Wimbledon title in defeating John McEnroe in 1980.

Now people might suggest that Sampras was Borg’s equal but anyone who knows the game of tennis will know that Sampras’ game was flawed when it came to playing on clay. Now we’ve seen the rise of Roger Federer and there’s no doubt in that he is the greatest male player of this or any other generation of male tennis players . Fourteen Grand Slam singles’ titles should be proof of that and the fact that he’s made it to the semi-finals of 19 straight Grand Slam singles tournaments. No male or female tennis player in the ‘Open or pre-Open era’ has ever accomplished that feat. And it’s unlikely to repeated or be surpassed by another player in the future. That is complete dominance of a sport , far greater than that of Tiger Woods’ dominance of the PGA Tour .

HBO’s presentation of the now infamous Hagler vs Hearns middleweight bout 1979. One of the most vicious bouts there will ever be in the annals of boxing.

I’ve gotten to the stage where I look at the sport of boxing and just think to myself what the hell went wrong with this damn sport ? The top fighters rarely fight each other anymore. And then we have an ass in boxing promoter Bob Arum telling us that the sport of MMA is ran and by a bunch of racial bigots. This coming from a promoter who once described one of the boxers in his stable …. “as one of the ‘best niggers’ I’ve ever had “. Now forgive me, but if Arum can be that condescending and still hold down his position as one of sport’s most powerful promoters. Then it would suggest to me that the sport is simply devoid of integrity . Both Arum and Don King have made a mockery of the sport.

Ali knocks out George Foreman in Kinshasa , Zaire to win the world heavyweight title.

Now I’m not going to deny that Muhammad Ali is the ‘greatest heavyweight boxer’ of all time and that’s with due respect to Joe Louis . His feats in the ring simply speak for themselves. The three time heavyweight champion of the world. And the fact that for almost four years he was denied the right to defend his title having never lost in the ring. He was stripped of his title for refusing to enlist in the US military and to fight in the ‘Vietnam War’ . As a conscientious objector , it was his right but politically the Lyndon Johnson administration wanted to make an example of the fighter. His epic ‘three epic fights’ with Joe Frazier and then his emotional laden bout with Larry Holmes cemented Ali’s legendary status. Less we forget also, there was ‘the great upset’ when he knocked out the then ‘invincible’ George Foreman in Kinshasa , Zaire. And although growing up I saw many of Ali’s fights. I still felt that when it was indeed time for him to walk away from the sport that he graced for so many years. He simply stayed in it for all of the wrong reasons. He was coerced into this decision by his then promoter Don King. And in King , you had someone who essentially is a parasite who clings to the boxers in his stable very much in the same way that a fly loves to be around fecal matter looking for anything it can derive of it that would be of benefit to them at the time.

My own favorite boxer in the ring was and still is Marvin Hagler . And though many well feel that Sugar Ray Robinson is the greatest middleweight of all time. Which he could well have been but I’m not so sure that a ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson at his best could beat Marvin Hagler ! And though many talk about Ray Leonard being a supremely gifted fighter but I feel that Leonard simply fought to please himself and to make money. And that has been essentially it as far as his legacy was concerned. We’ve since the dominance of Bernard Hopkins within the division and his 20 successful defenses of the middleweight title. But the pedigree of the fighters of this era when measured against the era of Hagler , Leonard and Tommy Hearns pales into comparison. Middleweight fighters of this era are nowhere as skilled or versed as boxers, much less punchers or knockout artists.

Hagler for his part fought all comers and defended his title successfully eleven times before eventually losing it to ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard , in what some still consider to be a controversial split decision to this day. Hagler walked away from the sport angered by the decision. Leonard went on to further glory but to this day he knows that the decision went a long way in leaving the sport befuddled as to the decision making of the judges and the fracturing of the sport. Leonard for his part continued to fight adding to his legacy until he retired from the ring inauspiciously. He made one or two comebacks against lackluster opponents. But problems away from the ring soon blighted his personal life. Substance abuse , allegations of spousal battery and then a rather acrimonious divorce from his then wife.


Ed Moses wins Olympic gold in the 1976 Olympics in the men’s 400 meters hurdles .

When people talk about records and how special they are, the talk about Joe DeMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak in baseball. The UCLA Bruins’ 87 game win streak and Hank Aaron’s home run record. And as phenomenal as those records are. Very rarely do I ever hear the name of track and field star Ed Moses’ name being mentioned and his feat as the world’s greatest high hurdler . Over the course of 122 races at in the 400 meter hurdles event, Moses went unbeaten . And to add to his feat Ed Moses won two Olympic gold medals and multiple world championships on the track over the distance. But that span of 122 successive victories were over the span of a decade . Consider this also, of the fifty fast times ever at the distance , 28 of those times are held by Ed Moses. That is dominance my friends , complete and utter dominance. But unfortunately the sport of track and field is no longer the bastion of US male dominance. It has now become a niche sport that now only gets heightened interest once the quadrennial Summer Olympics comes around . Then and only then, is there a heightened interest in track and field and many of its major star athletes.

Bolt   wins   200m   in   world   record  time  of   19.30  at  the  Beijing  Olympics  .  photo  appears   courtesy  of   bbc.co.uk/sports/  ................

Usain Bolt wins with the men’s 200 meters’ Final at the Beijing Olympics the world record time of 19.30. It would be one of three gold medals won by the Jamaican athlete all in world record times . photo appears courtesy of bbc.co.uk/sports ……………..

The world was more than in awe when Usain Bolt burst unto the world at the Beijing Olympics . His world record shattering feats at the 100 200 meters and 4x100m relay , has left the Jamaican track star at the top of heap in the track and field world. And Bolt looks to successfully defend his titles at the 2012 London Olympics . But before that he’ll also look to defend his IAAF World Championship titles in those events. Bolt to my mind may well have the career that can span a decade if he’s totally dedicated to his sport. At present there isn’t a track star in the world that is his equal ! And the notion that Tyson Gay is even in the same area code as him as a track athlete, is like making the comparison between a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Dodge Pinto . It’s simply not justified at all ! We’ve seen how ordinary Gay was made to look in Beijing and prior to their meeting at the Olympics, Bolt literally took the mental resolve of his American opponent and completely shattered it. When an athlete already has you beat psychologically then inevitably you will be defeated physically.

Bolt wins   gold in the  100 meters   going   away   from  his   fellow  competitors   in   Beijing  in  a  world  record  time of   9.69 .    photo   appears  courtesy  of  Reuters/   David   Duscherre  ...............
Bolt wins gold in the 100 meters going away from his fellow competitors in Beijing in a world record time of 9.69 . photo appears courtesy of Reuters/ David Duscherre ...............

This will be the first part in a series of pieces that I’ll be doing on an athletes that I’ve come to admire during foray into the love of sports . Be sure to look out for part two . I trust that you’ll enjoy the series ? And by all means chime on with a comment of your own concerning the athletes I’ve mentioned here and those who you’ve seen that have left you in awe as to prowess in their chosen sporting endeavor.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….

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Aaliyah feat’g Timbaland ……….”We Need A Resolution”
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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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The What If Scenario ……………………

The What If Scenario ………………….

It’d appears that the Defense Department under Secretary Robert Gates is unsure whether or not the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy’ as it refers to gays in the military is in need of repeal . Though the decision itself will come down to a vote within both legislative houses of the government and then will need President Barack Obama’s signature as to it still being a statute in remaining legal. Now far be it for me to suggest but a person’s sexuality as it relates to the military, shouldn’t at all have a bearing as to that person’s wish to serve their country. If they’re prepared to serve in battle and shed their blood , then it ought not to have a bearing at all. But we’re given to believe that having a person who’s gay, would hurt the morale of the military, is completely asinine. A gay person’s blood is just as red as yours or mine for that matter. And death for them is no different from anyone else who happens to die in conflict on the battlefield. This is just simply about one’s right to serve but a matter of respect and the wish to be included rather than being ostracized .

President  Barack Obama  is   seen  here  with  Defense  Secretary   Robert  Gates .   The  two   are  at  odds   with  senior members  of   the  military   and  some  conservatives   within  their   respective  political  parties as  to  whether  or  not  the  military's <strong> 'don't  ask   don't   tell  policy' </strong></em>   ought  to  be   re-enacted.     photo  appears  courtesy  of  telegraph.co.uk       copyrighted  material .....   @ all  rights  reserved
President Barack Obama is seen here with Defense Secretary Robert Gates . The two are at odds with senior members of the military and some conservatives within their respective political parties as to whether or not the military's 'don't ask don't tell policy' ought to be re-enacted. photo appears courtesy of telegraph.co.uk copyrighted material ..... @ all rights reserved

Consider this, the military is serious need of individuals with specialist skills such as linguists , in particular those who speak many of the dialects of the Far and Middle East. And given the fact that in the State Department , CIA and FBI are also in need of linguists where their specialized language needs would be in Urdu , Farsi , Pashtun , Arabic , Mandarin and Tagalog. But simply put , the neo-conservatives are scared that the perception of a homosexuals serving in the military weakens morale. Let me ask you this, once a soldier comes home in a body bag does anyone question his sexuality ?

Anti-Gay Activists Continue Protests At War Funerals MAYWOOD, IL - APRIL 19: Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, protests across the street from the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital April 19, 2006 in Maywood, Illinois. Members of the church are known for their protest outside military funerals but as many states have drafted laws limiting access near funerals they have begun to focus on Veteran's hospitals as a means of getting their anti-gay message heard.
Anti-Gay Activists Continue Protests At War Funerals Maywood, IL - April 19th 2009. Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, protests across the street from the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital April 19, 2006 in Maywood, Illinois. Members of the church are known for their protest outside military funerals but as many states have drafted laws limiting access near funerals they have begun to focus on Veteran's hospitals as a means of getting their anti-gay message heard. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Olson ..................

And another thing , we’ve all seen the protesters at the funerals of bereaved men and women being laid to rest and there they are these protesting that the soldiers who’ve sacrificed their lives willingly, so that they can live free. They can also be seen from time to time protesting outside of veterans’ administration facilities such as hospitals rehabilitation centers. Well , it’s their view that this is God’s will because he views homosexuality as a sin and that they’re deserving of such a fate. God knows , such individuals with that amount of hatred within them aren’t deserving of the right known as ‘freedom of speech’. It may well be an inalienable right but I’ll be damned to sit by and have these assholes desecrate the bravery of these men and women , no matter what their sexuality !

Two anti-gay  protesters   seen  here  at  a  funeral  procession  for  a  young   soldier   who's  about to  be  buried.    It's  clear  to  see  the   views   held  and  being  espoused  by  the   two  individuals   in  question.     photo  appears   courtesy of   Time  Magazine .      copyrighted  material   ........@  all  rights   reserved
Two anti-gay protesters seen here at a funeral procession for a young soldier who's about to be buried. It's clear to see the views held and being espoused by the two individuals in question. photo appears courtesy of Time Magazine . copyrighted material ........@ all rights reserved

We’ve all witnessed the controversy that has been derived from the use of illicit substances within sports. Players have simply cheated , and their respective governing bodies stood by and when it came to meting out a justifiable form of punishment. But what we’ve now seeing from the various hierarchies is simply another form of cowardice of the highest order. Instead of doing what’s right they’d rather simply save face in terms of their public image.

Now in sports would there be an open outcry if we were to have an openly gay male athlete now competing within MLB , NBA , NFL , NHL or MLS for that matter. We know that there are female competitors on the LPGA Tour and WTA Tour (women’s tennis). But we’ve yet to see an openly gay male athlete come out and declare his sexuality while still competing . Obviously, the fear of being ostracized would have something to do with it. But if the thinking is the same in the military that an athlete can’t do their job as a military serviceman or woman . Then what does it say about us as a society ?

Former NFL star Esera Tuaolo who played in the NFL for several seasons , having played for the Atlanta Falcons , Carolina Panthers Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. The former defensive lineman and nose tackle retired from the game 2002. He declared his homosexuality after his retirement , making him only the third former NFL player behind David Kopay and Roy Simmons to have ‘come out of the closet.’ Tuaolo made it clear that one of the reasons for doing so, was in fact that he no longer wanted to ‘live a lie’ and that in doing so it’d give him a chance to educate others . Especially having seen and heard what he stated were the defamatory remarks jokes that were being made in the locker rooms and on the field .

Former  NFL  player   Esera  Tuaolo (right)    and  his  family.  His  partner  Mitchell   is  seen  to  the  left   of  the   couple's  son   Mitchell   and   daughter   Michelle .       The  family   reside  in   Hawaii    and  Tuaolo   having  retired   from  the  NFL  travels  the   county   conducting  lectures   with  regard  to  issues  such   as  HIV   ,  AIDS  and   lecturing   students   as  to  the  perceptions  of  gays  being   stereotyped  in  society.         photo  appears  courtesy of  Broadway World  ......
Former NFL player Esera Tuaolo (right) and his family. His partner Mitchell is seen to the left of the couple's son Mitchell and daughter Michelle . The family reside in Hawaii and Tuaolo having retired from the NFL travels the county conducting lectures with regard to issues such as HIV , AIDS and lecturing students as to the perceptions of gays being stereotyped in society. photo appears courtesy of Broadway World ......

Whether or not the male dominated bastioned arena can withstand a player coming out while his career is still ongoing remains to be seen . But clearly there is a great deal of fear for any male player who’s hiding their sexuality for fear of the backlash that would be forthcoming. We know that within women’s sports that situation isn’t as fearful. And if anything it’s now more common place as it’s not really frowned upon. If anything it’s embraced even more so within that sorority and the landscape of women’s sports. And there’s evidence to suggest that with the declaration made by former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes .

Former   WNBA  star   Sheryl  Swoopes  and  her  partner  Alisia  Scott  .   The  two  women   co-share   the custody   of   Swoopes'  children  with  Sheryl's   ex-husband.    Swoopes   an   advocate   for  gay  causes  now  spends  much  of  her   time lecturing   up  and   down  the  country  as  well  as  working  in  conjunction   with   GLAAD. (Gay & Lesbian Alliance   Against  Defamation)    .  photo  appears   courtesy of   watermark / Elizabeth    Walsh ..............
Former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes and her partner Alisia Scott . The two women co-share the custody of Swoopes' children with Sheryl's ex-husband. Swoopes an advocate for gay causes now spends much of her time lecturing up and down the country as well as working in conjunction with GLAAD. (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) . photo appears courtesy of watermark / Elizabeth Walsh ..............

Will there be a time that we’ll see a current male athlete come and declare himself to be homosexual without the fear of a backlash ? Or will we continue just continue to make it a scourge and that as such these individuals cannot and will not be tolerated within the social landscape. We’ve all seen the retribution that can be meted out in its most heinous form in the violent death of Matthew Shepard at the hands of gay bashers. And given what we’ve also seen from the protesters who’ve festooned themselves at the funerals of veterans from both Afghanistan and Iraqi conflicts. It now has me thinking if the what if scenario concerning a male athlete ‘coming out’ would at all be tolerated in this day and age ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal 🙂

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Marvin Gaye ……….’What’s Going On’ The one song that I think that shows us how intolerant we’ve become as a specie.

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The Way Forward For Broadcast Television In Terms of The News Presentation …..

The Way Forward For Broadcast Television In Terms of The News Presentation …..

I don’t know about you guys but nowadays I find the early evening news’ broadcasts by each of the three major broadcast networks rather mundane and boring. Don’t get me wrong but Brian Williams , Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer are all extremely capable, and exude a great deal of confidence , professionalism as good journalists and anchor-persons. But in terms of the coverage, the appeal of the content , production and presentation. Much of it does leave a great deal to be desired. Granted , broadcast news, their associated content in terms of the news’ magazines programs are by far the most profitable revenue streams for the networks directly. Television programming does make money but the vast majority of the revenues derived, comes off ‘the back end’ , in trerms of syndication and ancillaries , such as DVD sales. That asides, it’s still a lucrative business to be in. Hence the reason why ABC , CBS and NBC take pride in their respective news divisions.

<strong> The rather 'top  heavy' <em>  but still  voluptuous  Denise  Milani . </em>  Can   you imagine  her  working alongside </strong>  Brian  Williams  to  present   NBC  Nightly  News  ?   Wow  , now  wouldn't  that  be  a  sight ?
The rather 'top heavy' but still voluptuous Denise Milani . Can you imagine her working alongside Brian Williams to present NBC Nightly News ? Wow , now wouldn't that be a sight ?

Click here to see a vast array of gallery photos of Denise Miani. I trust that you’ll enjoy the content matter ?

Perhaps something that in particular the innovatively challenged NBC might consider , is to have a female co-anchor to work alongside Brian Williams. Wherein , when the news segues to her, she could as she presents the broadcast start to disrobe as she reads each piece of a news article from the tele-prompter. Certainly my attention would be affixed to the news’ coverage . As too would the vast majority of males across the country. Especially if the female news anchor in question happens to be a voluptuously endowed female. Think something along the lines of well, sportschump’s and my very own favorite female , Denise Milani. If you’ve seen pictures of this particular female. Then you can well understand why it is that ‘we both’ like her immensely. Having someone like Milani co-anchoring the evening news alongside Brian Williams would precipitate a major hike in the ratings for NBC. And what of Couric and Sawyer , I hear you ask ? Well to my mind there’s nothing to stop them from using the same format to present the news for both CBS and ABC , respectively. Again it would provide a much needed boost in the rating for both stations.

Naked News Network’s cable broadcast of the news. Much of the content matter is not only local but aslo international news with some sports thrown in for good measure. Naked News.com http://nakednews.com/ .

One of the reasons why I mockingly suggest this comes along the lines of the fact in Europe there is a French cable outlet, Naked News . Which broadcasts a 24 hours round the clock news. The anchors in question are all females who start the presentation formally dressed. But with each morsel of news that they deliver , they will then begin to disrobe until they are entirely naked. The presenters co-anchors call them what you will , are all highly intelligent , well versed and educated. As if that would actually make a difference to any testosterone driven male who might happen to be watching at the time ? The chances are, that the vast majority of males who may well be watching won’t actually be overly interested in the news content but more so in the females themselves and their gradual state of undress, as they read the news.

Naked News Canada .

Now I’m not stating that Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer would be amenable to trying this for a trial period. But what would it hurt , other than that of the rather pious and over zealous attitude of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). I know that in ‘primetime’ children may very well be watching but with the preponderance of graphic violence , sex , drug use and mild profanity that’s already sweeping the broadcast networks. I hardly think that a few scantly clad females will be cause for concern ! When when I last looked the ‘FCC’ weren’t exactly doing a thoroughly good job to begin with ! They have spent more time deregulating the telecommunications industry and have allowed the phone and cable companies to continually hike up their prices without offering a better service, at all to the consumer. I suppose this is the Federal Government’s ‘ham-fisted way’ of dealing with things intelligently and judiciously ? But then again what agency within the government actually works efficiently to begin with ? If you know the answer then please let us and others know ?

Naked News Greek edition


With outlets now spreading across the globe in such far off places as ,Greece, Korea , Japan and now Canada. Naked News wants to be taken seriously as a a news gathering and reporting organization. And not seemingly just for the titillation experience provided with regard to their female presenters. But as we all know ………. sex does indeed sell , no matter what the product or type of information being purveyed . It’s a simple fact of life and those who chose to eschew it. Well clearly, they aren’t at all on top of their game.

More naked news for your perusal .

Is it all possible that we could envision a US version of Naked News within the 49 continuous states of this country ? Or would “the right” be totally dead set against this idea altogether ? Needless to say, this is a topic of debate that would have it supporters as well as its opposition . But at the end of the day, it all comes down to the dollars and cents and what the consumers want. If there’s a need for such a service then it will thrive within its very own niche.

And for the ‘gamers’ out there, there’s also Naked News updates on the gaming console market and accessories .

Now while many of you may well think why is he bringing this up as a topic of conversation ? Much less even wanting to take it as a serious subject for debate. Bear this is mind , newspaper circulation and its is on the decline. Furthermore, this has now manifested itself within the national news broadcast network market. Less and less people are now watching the national broadcast network news, choosing instead to watch news outlets on cable such as CNN , MSNBC, CNBC , Fox News , Bloomebrg News and the various other coterie of cable news service providers that the cable or satellite subscribers can prescribe to. But even there, the competition is fierce, as the main protagonists try and outdo each other , in gathering and providing the best source of news and information out there. Those cable networks are now finding out that their viewers are becoming even more, discerning as to who and where they get their source of news information from. Naked News even if viewed as novelty or something much more lascivious because of the nature of its presentation. Bear this is mind it’s still providing a news service to the consumer , even with the add tinge of sexual awareness as a means of luring the viewer in. So make of it what you will , as more likely than it is here to stay and won’t be just viewed as a passing fad.

The  <strong> women </strong>  of  Naked  News  Italy  .    Is this   something  <strong><em> that   we're missing  out  on  here  in the  United  States ? </strong></em>  I'll  let   you  be  the   judge of  that  !
The women of Naked News Italy . Is this something that we're missing out on here in the United States ? I'll let you be the judge of that !

So there you have it. What are your own thoughts on the subject matter ? And if that service were to become available to you. Would you at all choose to watch it on a regular basis or just watch once or twice simply out of curiosity ? As and when you’re ready by all means leave a comment as to your thoughts on the matter. I’ll look forward to reading and responding to your individual comments in a timely manner. Thanks as always !

The  ladies  of  <strong> Naked  News  South  Korea . <em>  Now  that's a  bit  of  'Asian  flavor' </em>   that   I  would  most  certainly  enjoy  ! </strong>  How  about  yourself  ?   <em> What  no  takers  ? </em>
The ladies of Naked News South Korea . Now that's a bit of 'Asian flavor' that I would most certainly enjoy ! How about yourself ? What no takers ?

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 Auditions   were held  at    a  New  York  venue   for  the  fledgling   start up   of   Naked  News  USA.  (L-R) <strong> Valentina Elizabeth, Kortney Kaiser and Holly Eglinton </strong>, the three finalists in a 'talent search' contest for the Internet's 'Naked News in New York, May 2007. photo  appears  courtesy  of   Associated  Press/Naked Broadcasting  Network ...........................
Auditions were held at a New York venue for the fledgling start up of Naked News USA. (L-R) Valentina Elizabeth, Kortney Kaiser and Holly Eglinton , the three finalists in a 'talent search' contest for the Internet's 'Naked News in New York, May 2007. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/Naked Broadcasting Network ...........................

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Alan Parkins aka tophatal

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NB: By clicking on the the Naked News website you can also view news content directly there also.

<strong> <em>Haitian American  actress </em>  Garcelle  Beauvais-Nilon </strong>   seen  here  in  a  picture  from  a  <strong>   rather  'seductive'  Playboy  pictorial  </strong> done   by  the   actress.
Haitian American actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon seen here in a picture from a rather 'seductive' Playboy pictorial done by the actress.

Festive Greetings …………

For those of you within the blogo-sphere my heartiest wishes to you all ,on this the most festive of seasons.

At this the most solemn and festive time of the year I’d to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. !

For myself it will be an occasion for me to spend time with many of my closest friends and colleagues over this period. And it will also give me the chance to reflect on how the year went for me in 2009. Hopefully, I’ll be able to learn from my mistakes, professionally as well personally , in order to make my life and those around me a great deal better. I trust for you also, it will be the same sort of contemplation and a renewal of faith, dependent upon your spiritual beliefs ?

Peace and goodwill unto all men  but  above all the  celebration  of  the  birth of Jesus  Christ .
Peace and goodwill unto all men but above all the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ .

Anyhow, once again my sincerest wishes for you and your immediate family and may you and they have an eventful and productive 2010 ! May all of your dreams come to fruition in the upcoming year.

John Lennon’s ‘War Is Over’

In passing, thanks as always for your continued support, as it has been truly appreciated.

Merry Christmas !

Happy Hannukah !

As Salaam Alaikum !

Happy Kwanzaa !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….