Results tagged ‘ Politics ’
This was going to be just a quick item. Via BTF’s Newsstand, I saw this fine piece about Houston’s Astrodome. Basically, there’s a giant building surrounded by parking lots and nobody knows what the hell to do with any of it. Sure, there are plenty of pie-in-the-sky proposals, all of them expensive and none of them anywhere near a good bet for economic or artistic success.
Me? I love the building. But rather than see it slow rot away, I would prefer they razed the thing, ripped out the parking lots, and constructed a lovely nature preserve in the midst of that suburban wasteland.
I’m funny that way, though.
It’s a good article, worth reading all the way through. Here’s the little bit that I wanted to share with you:
Nonetheless, the Astros began looking for greener pastures in the 1990s. Astros owner Drayton McLane used a textbook maneuver to win a publicly financed stadium, threatening to sell the team to investors who would move the Astros to Northern Virginia if he didn’t get a new facility.
The timing of the vote worked out well for McLane: Just a year earlier, Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams had announced he was moving the team to Tennessee after he had failed to get a new stadium for his football team. Voters, having learned firsthand that relocation threats weren’t empty, narrowly approved the new baseball stadium for McLane with 51 percent of the vote. (McLane has since reached an agreement to sell the team for $610 million, after buying the team 20 years ago for $103 million. Forbes magazine pegs a quarter of the value of McLane’s franchise to the stadium that taxpayers built him.)
Now, $603 million doesn’t buy what it used to. After adjusting for inflation, the difference between what McLane paid for the Astros and what he sold them for is only about $440 million. If you believe Forbes, something north of $100 million of that was essentially a gift from the good citizens of Harris County.
Nice work, if you can get it.
Read more (and be further disgusted) HERE.
Oh goodie. It’s great to see Curt Schilling is STILL the big mouth, double-standard applying, flip-flopping, flaming hypocrite I have always thought of him as.
From Phil Andrews @ BleacherReport.com comes this:
Thanks to a $75 million financing deal with the state of Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation, former Major League Pitcher Curt Schilling is now on the move.
You see, back in 2006, Schilling founded the entertainment and IP creation company “38 Studios.”
Its offices were once based in Maynard, Mass., but now 38 Studios is relocating to Providence, R.I. and doing so by taking advantage of that states Job Creation Guaranty Program, which targets companies based in knowledge and intellectual property sectors who wish to expand their business to the Ocean State.
38 Studios expects to develop a broad range of products, including on-line and console video games, toys, novels, comics, film, TV and other forms of digital media.
The move also coincides with the debut of the company’s first major action fantasy game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Reckoning has a class system called destinies, which will allow the user the chance to play and evolve their character depending on what play style they like.
Schilling says that Reckoning is full of infinite possibilities, endless choice and distinctly fast and fluid combat which can be seen in game trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhoJ3NcoqO4&feature=pyv
Look, I am one hundred percent FOR programs like these. I love the idea of stimulus money being used to free up funds at ANY level for small businesses such as this.
You don’t give billions in tax breaks/subsidies to large corporations like Exxon and BP if you want to kick start an economy rapidly. You plant those dollars like seeds among tens of thousands of small businesses and even if a large portion don’t succeed in the long run you are much better off for it in the end.
But I can’t sit here and read this piece and just ignore how ardently anti-Obama this clown has been from day one.
I specifically remember a post of his from not even two weeks after Obama had been inaugurated where he wasn’t even willing to take a “wait & see” approach and just started jumping down the President’s throat on anything and everything, regurgitating the normal conservative talking points along the way.
Now maybe this is just the competitors fire that still burned in him at the time, after all he DID Schilling stump for – and contribute to – the failed presidential campaign of Republican John McCain.
But it went beyond that. He just couldn’t stand the idea that someone who didn’t believe what he believed was now President. He just couldn’t tolerate the idea that someone who doesn’t “look” like him was now the leader of the free world.
In a blog entry headlined Wasn’t The Rest of the World Supposed to Start Loving Us? the right-hander recycles a lengthy anti-Obama screed originally penned by paleoconservative British journalist Peter Hitchens:
The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilization… If you can believe that this undistinguished and conventionally Left-wing machine politician is a sort of secular saviour, then you can believe anything…
I was in Washington DC the night of the election… As I walked… there had been a few white people blowing car horns and shouting, as the result became clear. But among the Mexicans, Salvadorans and the other Third World nationalities, there was something like ecstasy.
They grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war… The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.
Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, [the United States] was unique…
And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad…
Yes, how sad. How sad that someone so patently wrong has such a loyal fan base of readers. But that is all Hitchens, the UK’s version of Glenn Beck, seems to have.
Droves of followers who love his pessimistic drivel that is just laced with intolerance towards all things that can be classified as “not them”.
Hitchens is uncompromising with his moral and political stance (which is incredibly ironic since he has flip-flopped back and forth as an atheist/christian, liberal/conservative his entire adult life), describing Britain as a land of “burglaries, muggings, swearing, pools of vomit, MRSA, rave parties and traveller encampments”; council estates as “surrounded by the tattooed, with their pit bulls and serial partners, crack dens, joy-riders, open-all-hours pubs,” and the police as “wooden, officious twerps in dayglo jackets” who have sided with the lawless and given up on crime.
Of single mothers, he wrote: “It cannot be long before Britain has its first 24-year-old granny. When you abolish husbands and fathers that is what you get. As the rules of civilised life are swept away and the only people interested in getting married are lesbian clergywomen, there will soon be thousands of them.”
Hitchens lays the blame squarely at the door of the liberal left-wing: “Like several governments before it, Labour has actively encouraged promiscuity by undermining marriage, promoting ‘alternative lifestyles’ and preaching immorality in schools – and, of course, by continuing to subsidise the results.”
He has also criticised immigration, which is “limitless” and “unmonitored”; Tony Blair’s New Labour – “a horrible rabble of fakes, wreckers and frauds” who are “dismantling Britain as a free country”; the Conservative Party – “the Useless party”; the EU – “horrible”, “a monster”, “anti-British”; and liberal left-wing intellectuals – “hell-bent on turning the UK into a meaningless, history-free and cultureless wilderness”.
And THIS is the guy that Schilling looks to for his political philosophy.
Getting back to the “mouth that roared”, er, Schilling I just smiled at the hypocrisy this assclown is once again showing.
Remember that plan he got his incentive money from Rhode Island to move his company to their state? The Job Creation Guaranty Program?
Well that program was only made viable AFTER getting a huge, heaping dose of, gasp, evil stimulus money!
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Small Business Jobs Act, SBA was able to temporarily increase its guarantee on most 7(a) loans to as much as 90 percent. This increased guarantee contributed to a rebound of SBA’s lending, which had been hit hard as a result of the recession, and put billions of dollars in capital in the hands of tens of thousands of small businesses across the country.
In layman’s terms, the program was faltering, the big, bad, intrusive Federal government he so despises stepped in and guaranteed the SBA‘s loans up to a previously unheard of ninety percent and this resulted in billions of dollars being infused into small businesses across the nation.
So this guy who has railed against Obama, referred to him as a socialist, endorsed other conservatives who question the man’s patriotism and nationality, donated in an effort to defeat him and even hit the campaign trail against him has the audacity to happily soak up money that was only made possible by the now infamous “stimulus plan” for his own purposes.
Grade. A. F@#$in’. Hypocrite.
I had no more spoke these very words to a friend of mine as we “celebrated” the news out of Pakistan when I stumbled across this piece form Ray Ratto:
Monday marks a seminal moment in the history of ballpark/arena national anthems, and if you don’t think so, watch this YouTube clip of the Chicago Stadium national anthem before the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, days after the first Iraq war started.
The combination of patriotic fervor, the cavernous Stadium, the cathedral-quality pipe organ and Wayne Messmer’s shake-your-shoes voice created a wall of sound that is copied (yet not replicated) before every Blackhawks game ever since.
This will be that night, we suspect, only repeated in the 15 venues where baseball, basketball or hockey are played this evening after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Plus the 61 minor-league baseball games, countless (at least uncounted by us, lazy swine that we are) college and high school events across the country and, we presume, Canada.
In short, whatever shards of the why-do-we-even-bother-with-the-national-anthem-at-sports-events argument remain will be swept aside in a cascade of flag-waving and singing, and in all likelihood in the classic Chicago Stadium tradition.
YouTube, after all, is a powerful thing for the “Copycat Generation”.
Now we’re not steering you either way on this debate; based on the fact that the anthem remains a staple of sporting events, usually enhanced by a later rendition of God Bless America, that debate was settled on the side on the flag.
In other words, don’t email with patriotic screeds about anything here. The anthem won. That argument is over. Calm down.
We’re just doing what our kids say they’re doing when they offer an opinion that makes us smack our foreheads — just sayin’.
This is a force of nature that one could see all Sunday night, with the masses of hooded college sweatshirts and their teenaged and early-20s owners in every open space they could find, singing another anthem — Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, by Steam.
Yeah. Steam. Not exactly the U2 of its generation, and in fact it was actually not even a group but a bunch of guys who put together some A-sides looking for an album.
But, hey, you take what you get. In fact, that became an anthem in another part of Chicago, when Nancy Faust, the organist at Comiskey Park, used to play it after every White Sox win during the Bill Veeck era in the mid-70s — and it took off from there to the point where, and we swear to you on this, it became the song in a Kohler high-efficiency toilet commercial.
But now we’ve become Casey Kasem, and who needs that this early in the morning?
The point is, the immediate reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden will create a newfound fervor for the national anthem at sporting events, and even those who typically stood and took off their hats but mouthed the words will belt out a line or two tonight.
Is it appropriate? That’s another argument you can have among yourselves. We just know that you play the cards the way they’re dealt, and this is what you’re going to get, like it or not.
Nobody’s rendition will be quite like the Chicago Stadium’s that night in 1991, because it was spontaneous as well as deafening.
The wall of noise alone will put chills up your spine if only for the instinctive fervor, the organ (which should be brought back in all its splendor to every arena in the country, damn it) and Messmer’s operatic stand-under-an-idling airplane voice. Watch it, remember the context (quite like the current one), and remember nobody planned it or marketed it. It just happened.
We don’t do spontaneous well any more. We look for scoreboard operators to guide us far too often.
But there will be moments — there will be moments. And take that for what it’s worth. Argue if you like, but acknowledge the fact that there will be lots more singing before games for the next few days.