January 31, 2008

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi: Born October 2, 1869. Died January 30, 1948

Mohandas "Mahatma" (Great Soul) Gandhi is widely respected and revered as the father of non-violent political resistance. Gandhi was born in India and studied law in England, then spent 20 years defending the rights of immigrants in South Africa. He returned to India and became a leading figure against the struggle for independence against the British Colonial Empire of which India was considered the so-called Shining Jewel. Gandhi urged non-violence and civil disobedience as a means to independence. His public acts of defiance landed him in jail many times as the struggle continued through World War II. In 1947 he participated in the postwar negotiations with Britain that led to Indian independence. He was shot to death by a Hindu fanatic on January 30, 1948.

January 27, 2008

The Blight of Bigotry That Is Still With Us

South Carolina is a disturbing example of how difficult it is for people of good will to dispose of toxic layers of bigotry. Audience members listen to US Democratic presidential candidates debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Monday.
The political mantra this year is "change." But South Carolina, where the Confederate flag still flies on the grounds of the State Capitol, is a disturbing example of how difficult it is for people of good will to dispose of the toxic layers of bigotry that have accumulated over several long centuries.

On Saturday, in a cold, steady rain, voters turned out for the Republican primary. Nearly all of them -- close to 100 percent -- were white. At a dinner here Saturday night, I was reminded ruefully by one of the guests: "It used to be the Democratic Party that was the white man's party in South Carolina. Now it's the GOP. The black people vote next Saturday."

They still honor Benjamin Tillman down here, which is very much like honoring a malignant tumor. A statue of Tillman, who was known as Pitchfork Ben, is on prominent display outside the statehouse.

Tillman served as governor and US senator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A mortal enemy of black people, he bragged that he and his followers had disenfranchised "as many as we could," and he publicly defended the murder of blacks.
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January 14, 2008

This Is the Definitive, Don't- Argue- With- Me- 'Cause- I- Know- What- I'm- Talking-About-And-You-Don't Reason Why The Dallas Cowboys Lost

I am a die-hard Cowboys fan. Having said that, I will tell the world(or the 2 or 3 people who end up reading this post) why the Cowboys lost to the Giants. The Cowboys lost not because of Tony Romo and the stupid vacation with Jessica Simpson and all that bullshit that got so much attention from the media and the pundits. They lost first of all because they became too damn full of themselves after averaging 33 points a game for their first 13 games! I think at some point, they got to thinking that all they had to do was show up at a game and an offensive explosion bigger and badder than Jerry Jones' ego would take place and 33 points would be handed to them in a silver platter with a side of fries. Second of all and as a corollary to the above, they lost because of lack of preparation, discipline and focus evidenced, among many miscues, by dropped balls on key offensive drives on the part of Anthony Fasano, Patrick Crayton and Terrell Owens. Then there were those stupid-ass penalties (I think they had 8 for 60+ yards) which show that lack of discipline they had been getting away with all year the most galling of which, to me, was the 15 yards Dallas was set back on a drive because of an asinine play by an offensive lineman whose name, thankfully, escapes me right now. This lineman, in his immense wisdom, decided to put a very late hit on Giants defensive end Michael Strahan when the play had been long over and Strahan was on the ground! And there is Pro Bowl tackle Flozell Adams who has a nasty penchant for jumping offside and all of a sudden it is not 3rd and short anymore but 3rd and 6. Adams has been doing that all year and continued to do it in the most important game of the season for Dallas. And what can I say about Tony? Lets see..on one drive, he held on to the ball when he should have thrown it away and instead took a sack and a 14 yard loss. On another drive with Dallas behind and needing to score, Romo, unable to find an open man, threw the ball away prematurely and was called for intentional grounding 'cause he was still inside the tackles and was not being pressured by the Giants defense. As a result, Dallas was penalized for 10 yards. The aforementioned Crayton meanwhile, dropped a perfect 3rd down pass on a drive that could have put Dallas in very good position to score. Tight end Fasano who is used primarily for blocking, dropped a right-on-the-money pass a couple of yards from the end zone and Dallas had to settle for a field goal. Center Andre Gurode who was on the disabled list for the last regular game of the season, seemed to have trouble delivering the snap on time all game long. The secondary, especially CB Jacques Reeves, got exploited by Giants QB Eli Manning for some long passes. The list goes on and on and all of these happened while the Giants played with a decimated secondary that could have been and SHOULD have been exploited with the weapons on offense Dallas has.

Roy Williams, Dallas' hard-hitting strong safety, said a few days ago in reference to first year Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips' relaxed style of coaching that he was used to some yelling and screaming and people getting in his face (can you say Bill Parcells?). Well, maybe that's what this team needed. Some yelling and screaming. And some damn discipline! Holding on to the ball would not have been a very bad thing either.

Oh yea. I forgot the obligatory "give the other team credit" thing 'cause I don't wanna sound like a sore loser....ummmm. Whatever.