AIDS Activists “Pine” For Dubya?

Remember this sign that appeared in Minnesota a few months ago?


(Photo Credit: Bob Collins/Minnesota Public Radio)

The “culprits” behind it were a group of small business owners who “feel Washington is against them”.

But is it possible that some AIDS activists share the sentiment espoused in the billboard?

Speaking of 43, his fellow Republicans are worried about the potential negative impact of his soon-to-be-published memoirs.

One prominent conservative compared the Bushies’ public-relations savvy to LeBron James.

Ouch…

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A Hapsburg, LeBron and Martha Stewart Walk Into A Bar…

Carles Puyol (right) who looks like he just stepped out of a Hapsburg family portrait, heads Spain into the World Cup Final. As a descendant of the Hapsburg’s, Puyol will be looking for some payback by cracking some skulls against the Netherlands on Sunday

My guess is that since LeBron James missed not having a signing day presser coming out of high school, he’s making up for lost time with “The Decision”. Great column on the LeBron “saga” that  mercifully ends tonight.

When the folks at NASA aren’t trying to reach out to the Muslim world, they’re conducting valuable research.

Forget Wife Swap, how ’bout an old-fashioned spy swap? Makes me want to re-read The Cardinal of the Kremlin.

So now these “elites” will become embittered and “cling to martini glasses or environmentalism or antipathy towards people who don’t think like them or anti-American sentiment or anti-capitalism sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Right POTUS?

Unbelievable pictures of Monterrey in the aftermath of Hurricane Alex.

Holy poncho Batman! Martha Stewart had lengua, easily the most underrated “cut” of beef.

Caught this on PBS last night, I might or might not have almost shed a tear because of Jackie’s courage in the face of such bitter hatred.

[Photo Credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Europe]

Clint Dempsey’s Strike: From Nac-Town with Love

Yesterday morning at the store, I ran into a friend of mine and he asked me what I thought the outcome would be of today’s England-US World Cup showdown. My response? A draw.

Can’t say that I called it because I didn’t predict a score. Even as my prediction rolled off my tongue, I thought about the feasibility of such an outcome and came to the conclusion that even a draw would be a victory for Team USA, given how loaded the English squad is.

While it would be best to leave the tactical analysis of the match to the experten, I cannot help but discuss Clint Dempsey’s equalizer.

Yes, English keeper Robert Green made the type of mistake which should never be made at the World Cup level or any level of soccer save Fun Fair Positive Soccer . However, not enough credit is being given to the Texan Clint Dempsey, the man who presented Green with the opportunity to embarrass himself, his family and his country before a captivated world audience.

Prior to firing the fateful shot, Dempsey had to break free, and he did so by juking English captain, Steven Gerrard, out of his expensive Adidas cleats. Here’s a shot from mid-juke, (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)


Es OK Esteven, there are embittered Mexican men in Nac-Town who feel your pain

Judging by the display, one might have thought that Dempsey must have learned these skills from Hakeem Olajuwon who as we can see in Exhibit A below, just abused David Robinson back in the 1995 NBA playoffs.

But no, Dempsey honed these moves in his youth while playing in Nacogdoches’ Mexican League matches. As is reported here, Dempsey,

…beat men more than twice his age, proud men from Mexico and El Salvador who’d throw you to the East Texas dirt for trying a fancy move on them.

And according to one of his childhood friends, one time Dempsey

“did some kind of weird trick—it was so awesome—and the guy got mad and spit in his face.”

Due to the fact that us Mexicans think fútbol is our game and not the Americans’, I can certainly understand the ire of the men he schooled.

It’s hard to swallow when someone beats you at “your own game”, just ask British columnist and America’s Got Talent judge, Piers Morgan who penned this:

I honestly can’t believe we drew with the Americans. Soccer is a complete non-sport in the US. It ranks somewhere below tiddlywinks in their national competitive psyche.

Now, Dempsey might have picked up a huge assist from the wildly unpredictable Jabulani but it is certain that the glorified beach ball had nothing to do with his dissecting of Gerrard.

Major props to Dempsey and the rest of Team USA for their win draw against a tough opponent. I do feel bad for Robert Green but I’d feel worse if he played for Colombia.

What is Love?

With all due respect to Haddaway, the following shot is one answer to that question,

jordan

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

No, I’m not saying that Michael Jordan looking like he’s at a revival is love.

Rather, him rocking that Illinois polo is love, a father’s love. Before achieving basketball immortality in the NBA, Jordan played ball at North Carolina. There, he won a national title under the tutelage of the coaching great Dean Smith.

Yet, because his boy is a reserve player on the University of Illinois team, Jordan forgets Carolina blue to support his son by sporting Illinois orange.

Boy, I don’t know, if our son were to attend OU (or A&M), and miraculously (you see, the genetic deck is stacked against him) play basketball there, could I set aside my burnt orange to sport crimson or maroon?

Blasphemous as it might be in Longhorn Nation, I wouldn’t even think twice.

Seriously though, what is love? This is love:

Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10

Shane Battier For President

shane-battier

Original photo credit: Dan Winters, New York Times

Before President Obama entered the national spotlight, there was Shane Battier, the man who I believed would be this nation’s first biracial President  (like the President, Battier’s father is black).

This belief of mine first germinated back when Battier played basketball at Duke, where he dominated the college game. In ’01, he won all the major awards while leading his team to the national title.

Aside from his on-court excellence, Battier when interviewed, though a college student, already sounded presidential. He’s speech was graced with candor, eloquence, and grace.

Of course, we got to see plenty of him since in the words of former UVA coach Pete Gillick, “certainly Duke is Duke, they’re on TV more than Leave it to Beaver re-runs…”, but I digress.

Now that he plays for my (adopted) hometown Houston Rockets, I’ve gotten to hear Battier interviewed on local sports radio, and the man is as smooth as ever.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who had similar thoughts regarding Battier and the presidency. Dan Wetzel, a writer with The Basketball Times back in 1996, is quoted as saying,

I thought he’d be the first black president. He was Barack Obama before Barack Obama.

The quote comes from an outstanding canonization piece on Battier by Michael Lewis of the New York Times: The No-Stats All-Star

In it, Wetzel tells a story from Battier’s senior year in high school, in which many top programs were recruiting him,

Battier narrowed his choices to six schools — Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Michigan and Michigan State — and told everyone else, politely, to leave him be.

He then set out to minimize the degree to which the chosen schools could interfere with his studies; he had a 3.96 G.P.A. and was poised to claim Detroit Country Day School’s headmaster’s cup for best all-around student.

He granted each head coach a weekly 15-minute window in which to phone him. These men happened to be among the most famous basketball coaches in the world and the most persistent recruiters, but Battier granted no exceptions.

When the Kentucky coach Rick Pitino, who had just won a national championship, tried to call Battier outside his assigned time, Battier simply removed Kentucky from his list. “What 17-year-old has the stones to do that?” Wetzel asks.

“To just cut off Rick Pitino because he calls outside his window?” Wetzel answers his own question: “It wasn’t like, ‘This is a really interesting 17-year-old.’ It was like, ‘This isn’t real.’ ”

Shane Battier in ’16?

Abstinence is Not “Realistic”

Or so says Bristol Palin, daughter of Alaska Governon Sarah Palin, insofar as teenagers are concerned. As we all know, thanks to an inordinate amount of salacious and even sneering reporting, Bristol (below with her little one) is a teen mom.

bristol-palin

I’m not here to criticize Ms. Palin’s views. In large part because she’s half-right.

Given the pressures today’s teenagers face (though let’s not pretend that teenagers of yesteryear didn’t face similar pressures), Ms. Palin has a point.

Of course, peer pressure doesn’t justify behavior one way or the other but that’s a side note.

She’s right in regards to the unregenerate, those who lead their lives without God, or merely pay Him lip service. Speaking as one who’s lived most of his life without God’s special grace, I can attest to this.

To those outside of God’s special grace, what incentive is there to abstain from, as CS Lewis put it, “the monstrosity of sex outside of marriage”?

Though I would argue that peer pressure is not quite the motivator that our own fallen, natural urges are.

As for those who are regenerate, that is awakened from spiritual death by the Holy Spirit, not only is abstinence realistic, it is expected.

You can ask former Laker great, A.C. Green who had a 16-year NBA career and remained a virgin throughout. Given the cadre of attractive young women who seek to jump in the sack with NBA players, I can’t say it was easy for Green (insert joke here).

However, because he relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to lead him through temptations that most of us will never know, A.C. obeyed Our Lord and showed that for God’s children, abstinence is realistic.

His teammates even sent women to Green’s hotel room to try to “break” him. So even under the most trying of circumstances, it is realistic to abstain from sex outside of its intended place, marriage.

Here is a piece that Sports Illustrated did on A.C. Green.

For the record, I think Green’s (below, left) abstinence throughout his average NBA career is more impressive than all of Michael Jordan’s (right) well-documented on-court achievements.

acgreen

This almost looks fark’d

The Last Time Texas lost to Baylor was in…

1998

During the administration of this nation’s first black President (at least according to Toni Morrison).

I was there at the Erwin Center utterly flummoxed and struck with awe as Baylor center Brian Skinner (below on the right) did his best Lew Alcindor impression.

brian-skinner

No, that is not a ‘roided up Steve Urkel

Well, Mr. Skinner headed for greener pastures when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers (well maybe not greener) in the 1st round of the 1998 NBA Draft (22nd pick overall).

Not coincidentally, Baylor hasn’t beaten Texas since.

That’s 23 games in a row, including tonight’s nail-biter at Waco,

No. 11 Texas beats Baylor for 23rd straight time

For a recap, click here.

I actually saw Brian Skinner a couple of years ago at a local Party City. He’s still hanging around the NBA, this year he returned to the team that drafted him.

Here’s hoping that his 10-year NBA career is not characterized by this picture from his Milwaukee Bucks days in which he just got posterized by the only man in the NBA who is allergic to dunking the ball (Yao had to bathe in Benadryl after this thunderous dunk),

yao-ming