Friday, December 23, 2005


again, with apologies...IT'S THE BIG BLOG

David Sedaris

With the big weekend upon us, I thought I'd try to get a weekends worth of blogging into one day's posts. So, on the BIG BLOG:


Robert Reich had a fabulous commentary on Marketplace earlier this week, challenging American businessmen to stand up and fight! Here are excerpts:

Even in it’s infancy, modern capitalism depended on liberty and predictability, and business leaders fought for the rule of law. The very idea that a head of state must be bound by the law emerged from the struggles of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries between monarchs, who claimed to have the divine right to do as they pleased, and a rising class of European merchants who said rulers could only do what they were authorized to do. These business leaders understood that economic liberties could not be separated from civil liberties. If a King or Emperor could arrest, or detain, or search, or torture anyone for whatever reason, there was nothing to stop him from taking private property, interfering with private contracts, or commandeering private resources.

And now we have a president who asserts the power to spy on Americans without the approval of the courts, even though a law, enacted over a quarter century ago, prohibits this practice. To secretly monitor the actions of private environmental and peace groups, and to call any American an enemy combatant, and keep him in jail, without counsel, for as long as he wishes. This is the same administration that flouts international law by detaining foreigners indefinitely, holding some in secret prisons, and using torture. It’s the same administration that pays off journalists, here and abroad, to write favorable stories about it, also in defiance of law.

The President SAYS that this all comes under his responsibility as commander in chief during war time. But, if the end of keeping Americans secure justifies all means, including disregarding the rule of law, then no one is secure and all liberties are threatened! I mean, how far away is the specter of no bid government contracts to politically well connected suppliers that support the president? Of selected prosecution of antitrust laws, or health and safety regulations, depending on support for the presidents agenda? Of pressure on the media to provide favorable coverage in return for regulatory favors?

When a President, or King, is unaccountable to law, it’s impossible to predict where, or how he will act in pursuit of his aims. ....

Economic freedom and civil liberty, the two are inseparable! And both are threatened by arbitrary power that sees itself as above the law. As they did centuries ago, business leaders must come to the defense of liberty!

hear the entire Reich commentary HERE

CRUMPET THE ELF: NPR first played this story in 1992. It made David Sedaris a star overnight, and launched the career of the humorist/novelist/playwright. Listen to this Christmas classic HERE ! Then listen to this hilarious FRESH AIR interview with Sedaris HHERE!

Before I forget (as I have the last couple of weeks) I want to mention a terrific pod-cast for sports fans. Rob Visconti, a Detroit area attorney, has a terrific web-log called THE CHEAP SEATS. He also has a semi regular pod-cast available for subscription (free), or that you can download from his blog. I really enjoy the pod-casts, and think any sports fan would too. So be sure to check it out.

They are grumbling in Canada today. First Kris Draper, then Todd Bertuzzi were added to the Canadian Olympic team, locking out phenom Sidney Crosby. As Executive Director of Hockey Canada, Wayne Gretzky undoubtedly made the call, which, incidentally, I think is the correct one. But with Draper's lack of offense, and the unpopular Bertuzzi's history, there's a lot of grumbling today across the frozen tundra!

The coming week features a number of College Tournaments, including the Providence Holiday Tourney, and the Great Lakes Invitational (Joe Louis Arena, Detroit). There will be some great college hockey played next week, so go see a game, or check out your local CSTV and Foxsports outlets for games!

Judging by all the grumbling going on, I am apparently the only old time, diehard fan, who likes the new NHL. When the NCAA decided to open up the college game about 10 years ago, it improved the product dramatically, made for a much more exciting game, and attendance has increased steadily ever since. I believe the same thing is happening in the NHL, and that the results will be the same, better product, increased attendance. There is however, one rule change I really hate... the shootout!

The Red Wings were the last team in the NHL to participate in a shootout. It took 35 games, but finally, the game against Columbus went through regulation and overtime in a tie. The Red Wings won the shootout, but, I still think it looks like a gimmick. It is just not hockey. I also hate the shootout in soccer. Give me the point for a tie, or let the players skate till the last man is standing. But I will go to my grave hating the shootout!

The Dallas Stars, who looked horrible the first month of the season, have very quietly sneaked up on every one. They are now tied for third overall in the Western Conference, and clearly playing better hockey than anyone in the conference. Goaltender Marty Turco, who was just gawdawful for the first 6 weeks of the season, is red hot, and the Stars look to be the team to beat right now in the West.

update: I have just seen one of the most amazing finishes to a hockey game in NHL hstory! Trailing by two goals in Chicago, the Red Wings get goals from Kris Draper (19:31) and Nicklas Lidstrom (19:53) in the final 29 seconds to tie the game. Then in overtime, they get the game winner with 1/10 second left, when Pavel Datsyuk redirected a Jason Wookey pass past Nickolai Khabibulin. While I am excited about the finish, I also feel badly for our friend Andrea, a Blackhawks fan who was at the game tonight. Sorry! But on the bright side, pretty soon we'll have to address you as DR. Gympumpkin!


Now cooking at THE CHURCH POTLUCK: Bran Muffins

This is SUCH a great blog! Totally agree re grumbling in the tundra..and about the '(un)Patriot Act'. You guys have just gotta elect a democrat. Where are the Jack Kennedys when you need them? Sigh.

Merry Christmas, happy new year and all the best in 2006, GWB!!

I agree with your comments about hockey and the shoot-out. It is a more exciting game this year, but the shoot-out just doesn't cut it in my books.
Have a wonderful Christmas celebreating however you're going to celebrate, GWB, and all the best for 2006.

(word verification: heace. Cool.)
It's the middle of the night so I didn't listen to Reich or Sedaris, though I love them both.

I mainly wanted to say Merry Christmas!!!
Merry Christmas, my friend!
There, I've commented on TWO Hockey Fridays! ;)
Enjoy yourself and remember, Big Brother is watching!
In that case, I hope I am with a buxom blonde and he gets an eyeful!

Reich's my hero.

Have a great holiday GWB!
that does it. Next time I get a dye job, going blonde!!!
Merry Christmas, Bear! And may you have blessed new year. When I have my leinies, I'll raise it towards Indiana, and drink to you!

David Sedaris is a comedic genius.

It just wouldn't be right to let this Christmas go by without saying Merry Christmas to you my very favorite Mark Spurrier. We are so different in the majority of things but we have found a common ground with which to have a neat little blog-friendship. I am thankful for your kind heart my friend and I wish for you that this Christmas is filled with the warmth and love of good friends, family and a great beer or scotch - or both. :) Whatever your preference is on those!
It is so big!

The Patriot act ain't very patriotic. God save us from these fools!

Merry Christmas Great White Bear.
hehehe Thanks! I'm glad you liked the outcome of the game.

Soon might be almost a year, but relatively speaking, yeah, I'm close to being done :)
Don't you just love the sound of Doctor Gympumpkin?! It just sounds os cool! You should change your real last name to Gympumpkin just to hear students say"um, Dr. Gympumpkin, is it true that....."
You may be interested in Robert Reich's new personal blog:
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