Thursday, April 29, 2010
"Governor Brewer has to be held responsible for signing what is now an international shame on the state of Arizona," said Jennifer Allen, executive-director of Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group in an MSNBC story. My favorite part of the story is in the lede graf: "...opponents used refried beans to smear swastikas on the state Capitol."
Apparently, anyone who has not vowed to fight this law with Adamantium resolve is a racist Nazi (is that redundant?), and those protesting against it are bleeding-heart liberal day laborers out to ruin America. And me? What do I think? Well...
I'd first like to point out the opponents have already violated Godwin's Law so make of that what you will.
I'm in favor of the law. I ask you this: What is so wrong about asking cops to enforce all of the laws? If you're breaking the law, you're breaking the law and you can be arrested. If that law happens to be an immigration law, hey, guess what? You're going back home.
The big argument folks have against this is they say immigration is a federal matter and states aren't allowed to interfere with that prerogative. I call bullshit on that for a couple of reasons. National security is also a federal matter, but do you think local cops are going to stop investigating that strange fellow getting shipments of fertilizer and diesel fuel? Controlling illegal immigration is a national security matter too. How hard do you think it will be for some of those groups around the world who hate America and Americans (it doesn't matter what color you are or whether you're a Republican, Democrat or Tea bagger, they hate you just the same) to send a couple of their disciples across the Mexico-Arizona border? Probably not that hard.
Also, seeing as how we in D.C. live far, far away from that line in the hot, dry desert sand, we probably don't realize there is an actual war going on in northern Mexico that often ends up in Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico. Mexican cops and soldiers south of the border are getting killed by drug gangs faster than our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan. This drug war, a real war unlike the one our government has been unsuccessfully waging for decades, is a real shooting war and it's spilling over into the U.S.
Since I'm not going to go into the objections point-by-point, you can read a really good explanation by Kris Kobach, who helped write Arizona's law, on the NYT's op-ed page here. Here's some more good coverage and analysis from the NYT, and the local POV from AZCentral.
Couple more points: The Supremes have ruled in the past that police are not violating the Fourth Amendment by asking you for ID when they suspect you're violating the law. Also, despite the Border Action Network's intent (love the acronym: BAN, think they might want to rethink that?) to sign up voters against the law to vote the governor out in November, 70 percent of likely Arizona voters support the law. Finally, try walking around Mexico or any other country without your passport. See what happens if you get stopped by the police
What do you think? Tell me I'm right or tell me I'm a racist in the comments. But I leave you with this thought: What part of illegal immigration is so difficult to understand?
Friday, April 23, 2010
Anyway, the article was about possible expansion of the Big 10 which, strangely enough, has 11 teams since Penn State joined up (they even worked the "11" into their logo). This has, sadly, left them one team short of the 12 necessary required by the NCAA to hold a season-ending football championship game. Games, I might add, bring in boatloads of cash to the conferences that currently have them (see Big 12, Southeaster Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference).
But it didn’t stop there. The article went on to a more interesting prospect: continued expansion of not just the Big 10 but also the SEC, Pacific 10 and ACC. Sports guys and gals will notice two big BCS exclusions from that list: The Big 12 (which actually does have 12 teams) and the Big East.
The reason for their exclusion from the list of conferences looking to expand is because, the article goes on to say, the other four conferences will probably be expanding at the Big 12 and Big East’s expense.
The article stated: “Eventually, said Jake Crouthamel, Syracuse’s former athletic director, he saw the Big Ten, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Southeastern Conference and the Pacific-10 forming four 16-team super-conferences and leaving the umbrella of the NCAA (Just imagine the fight between the SEC and the Pac-10 for Texas.) He said that those leagues would form their own basketball tournament to rival the NCAA tournament.”
Interesting. At least to me, because the most recent major conference expansion was at the singular expense of the Big East when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College joined the ACC. Apparently the Big East is the college sports equivalent of Milhouse Van Houten. This forced the Big East to raid Conference USA, adding Louisville, Cincinnati and the University of South Florida.
How might a future expansion go? Well, let’s take a look at how the conferences stand now. First the four “big” conferences:
That’s 45 teams, 19 short of the 64 teams needed for the four super-conferences. Now let’s see which schools are available for raiding…er, I mean expansion:
(*Note, these are just the schools that play football in the Big East. It has 16 member schools for men's basketball.)
That’s 20 teams to choose from, 21 if you count the eternal spinster-tease Notre Dame. Only 19 are needed to fill out the super-conferences so which two, assuming the Irish fling off their prom dress and finally get it on with a power conference, get left without a chair when the music stops?
It’s not as easy as you’d think. You can’t just draw some lines on the map and say these teams go here and these go there. There are other considerations like television markets and traditional rivalries. The three big rivalries that come to mind are Texas-Texas A&M, Texas-Oklahoma and Pitt-WVU. So, for any expansion let’s consider these teams joined at the hip. Wither one goest, so does the other.
The other question, TV markets, is a little tougher. Only few of these schools are in really big television markets, Rutgers in #1 NY-NJ market, Texas and Texas A&M (they have a couple to choose from, #s 5, 10, 37 and 48). Other choice prizes are, strangely, South Florida # 14, Colorado #16 Missouri #21 and Pittsburgh #23. Seven others, 10 if you count Baylor and Texas Tech in the same category as Texas and A&M, and Notre Dame because of its strange, national allure, fall in the to 50.
So, how does it work out? Which conferences get which schools? This is how I see it shaking out:
The Big 10 needs five so it will get Pitt, WVU, Iowa State, Nebraska and Missouri. Probably not what it's looking for when it comes to TV markets, but it does add a great Pitt-Penn State rivalry to the mix.
The Pac 10’s six pick-ups are Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Kansas and Kansas State. Again, not stellar gets, but not bad considering it gives the conference an in in the Texas-Oklahoma recruiting landscape.
The SEC wins the battle for the Lone Star State adding Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Cincinnati. The first three are huge additions to what is probably the premiere football conference in the country. Cincinnati is the lucky plain girl with hot friends.
The schools joining the ACC are Rutgers, South Florida, UConn and Syracuse. TV-wise, the ACC probably wins the biggest, digging itself in deeper than a deer tick in the lucrative East Coast media markets.
The school left out? Louisville. If Notre Dame drops its panties it'll probably go into the Big 10 bumping Iowa State to the Pac 10, thereby leaving Baylor also out in the cold looking for a date (there's always C-USA). The only really hard decision was splitting Oklahoma and Oklahoma State up. But I think they’ll get over it with the increased coin they see in their school’s coffers.
And all of this doesn’t take into consideration two things: One, Notre Dame getting drunk and jumping into bed with the Big 10 before any of this can happen; and, two, the four conferences swapping some of the other teams around to make for more compact geographical footprints. Say, original ACC member South Carolina rejoining the conference for South Florida going into the SEC.
What do you think of the possible future awaiting major college sports? Tell me in the comments.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
[Hand to forehead!]
That little woman symbol with the horns is especially cute.a
Again, many, many thanks LiLu.
Monday, April 19, 2010
The first bunch are from my walk around Eastern Market on Saturday. The weather was nice, cool but clear and, as long as you kept moving, not too, too cold. Perfect for a day of rummaging around through other peoples' junk looking for that overlooked treasure.
One thing I did notice about this set of pictures is I spent a lot of time looking either up or down. Very few of the shots (that I liked) were shot on the straight and level. And, in some cases, they're shot from a very low perspective.
Did anyone see my magic carpet? I know I parked it around here somewhere...
And now on to the next set. While I was waiting for Metro, I decided to play around a bit with some pictures. All I can say is god bless digital. The ability to look at the picture right after you take it is, in a term, life-changing. Being able to make adjustments on the fly to shutter speed and aperture makes picture taking so much more enjoyable.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Here's one I found interesting. The guy was advertising "the ultimate stimulus" package. I don't know if he was talking about his own or the condoms and I didn't ask.
This one kinda made me want to laugh. A giant J-Date sign that threw up the pictures of couples it had matched. Kind of like a giant electronic shadchen.
As the son of an engineer, a man who worked on many of the buildings and bridges (no kidding, one of his first jobs out of college) in NYC, I find buildings and bridges very interesting. More so because, even though I love the classical design of much of Washington, we don't have anything like this:
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Yep, in the Big Apple for a little work thing, but it's been forever and a day since I've been here - last time I spent the night in the 212 was, I think, October 2002. But that's neither here nor there...well, it is here but you know what I mean.
Impressions so far: People in NYC have just as much a clue about walking as D.C. folks. Notice I didn't say New Yorkers, just the people in the city. They could be tourists just as much as the folks who walk around Washington four abreast on a sidewalk that would be lucky to hold three of them. Also, they seem to walk slower. Don't know why I think that, but it could be because while I was hauling a computer bag and a one-suiter, it seemed like everyone else was c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g.
The streets of NYC seem to always be in the shade, I'm guessing it has something to do with the buildings looming on all sides. I sometime hear complaints about how D.C. is a low city with no majestic buildings, but the streets get sun throughout the day.
We definitely need more high(er)-speed trains here in the good ol' U.S. of A. I took the Acela up here. While my actual time on the train was longer than it would have been on a plane, those Amtrak ads don't lie. It was so, so, soooo much more relaxing. D.C. to Boston is probably the longest route a high-speed train makes sense, unless you can get a train going 300 mph non-stop from D.C. to LA in 10 or 12 hours. I'd probably do that too.
Oh, and first impression of the city coming out of Penn Station: Some guy walking right up to me and asking, "Can I have a minute of your time?" What the Hell? Was I wearing a sign? Probably wasn't that hard to tell, but I'm pretty sure I don't exude a "Random strangers are welcome to walk up to me" vibe.
I'm heading out to find something to eat. I've heard there might be a place or two around where I am on Broadway that makes a decent meal.
More on the great NYC adventure later.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
The funny thing I found was how the article was laid out on the B-more Sun's Web Page. Here's a screen shot of the page (when I read it, don't know if it's still there):
Soooo...does anyone think it's strange an article about Under Armour (a huge local Baltimore company, btw) getting spanked by uptight locals has not one, but two Under Armour ads surrounding it on the page. I wonder what side the Sun's advertising bread is buttered on?
*Full disclosure: I love Under Armour. If they made suits for work, I think I'd buy them.
** Oh, and GO TO HELL DOOK!! I hope and pray you get your collective, self-centered, privileged, Jersey Shore asses kicked tonight in Indy. Alas, on this I fear my prayers will fall on deaf ears. But hope springs eternal. As Khan Noonien Singh stated so well: "From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hates' sake, I spit my last breath at thee."
Thursday, April 1, 2010
It's a continuation of the original Helsinki Complaints Choir which started the trend and, as all things go, is still the best.
Click here for more lovely YouTube complaint choir clips.