Monday, March 31, 2008

much ado about . . . ?

Perpetuating stereotypes is nasty business. One of the more prevalent and damaging stereotypes in collegiate and professional sports in that of the criminalized African-American athlete. According to Kinesiology Professor Damion Thomas at the University of Maryland, “Images of black male athletes as aggressive and threatening ‘reinforce the criminalization of black men.’” Almost weekly now, stories of athletes being arrested for criminal mischief dominate the news cycles. Cue the latest stereotyping controversy:

The April 2008 cover of Vogue Magazine features LeBron James and Brasilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Editors of Vogue hailed the cover as an historic moment as James became the first African American male to ever grace its cover. Unfortunately for Vogue, this historic moment has come under fire as commentators and pundits decry the photo as perpetuating racial stereotypes. According to some, the cover conjures an image of “King Kong” and Fay Wray, perpetuating the idea of a criminalized black man.

Magazine analyst and critic Samir Husni believes that the Vogue cover was intentionally provocative, deliberately attempting to perpetuate the stereotype: “It screams King Kong. . . . [W]hen you have a cover that reminds people of King Kong and brings those stereotypes to the front . . . it is not innocent.” Husni continues that magazine covers, particularly for publications as influential and prominent as Vogue, are not rushed into without careful deliberation.

For his part, James is pleased with the cover claiming that he was just trying to show “a little emotion.”

Still, critics claim that this type of stereotyping, criminalizing the black athlete, is nothing new. Memorable magazine covers in the past have portrayed black athletes in unflattering ways. To wit:

No one would or could reasonably argue that black athletes are more inclined to break the law than are white athletes. Still, troubling images only lend themselves to perpetuating unfounded stereotypes.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sports Caster makes Garth songs References in report

Garth fans will love this also. I count 13 song references.


I had a totally unexpected email yesterday. It seems that the lovely TB mare that we had here for a few months over autumn/winter last season that we sent home basically assuming empty (owners elected not to scan and as we had seen absolutely no action, we assumed that she had gone anoestrus by the time she arrived) was in fact in foal and produced a lovely filly on Friday night!!! Knock me down with a feather! She is uber cute and by all accounts mum (who is a maiden) is doing a super job.


Phew! Stages ONE and TWO complete. Kenzie was moved to the yards on Saturday morning and Bados was yarded next to her HOWEVER it seems that the 150cm yards were not quite high enough and Kenzie escaped over the top after jumping (from a standstill no less!) right in front of us (thankfully). So, a 30 odd cm electric tape was erected above the top rail to provide a visual barrier (which had a bite!) and Bados was put into the same yard with Kenzie. Thank goodness for reasonable sized yards! They spent 48 hours in there together with regular mucking out (lots of poop!) and hay and feed. By day two there was a lot of mutual grooming going in and Kenzie appeared to be besotted by her new 'dad'.

Today Kenz and B were moved to the paddock adjacent to the main mob of horses. Great excitement ensued as the 'feral' herd raced up and down squealing and leaping and snorting and carrying on. Kenzie was on full alert with tail held aloft but good old Bados kept her in check and (reasonably) settled. We watched them for about half and hour until we were satisfied that Kenz was not going to try anything silly.

Next step will be to split the herd in half and introduce Kenzie and Bados back into a herd situation. Meg is fascinated by her little sister and Twinkle, who is Meg's constant companion, thinks she looks pretty cool too. I suspect we will put those four together to start and then take it from there.

KENZIE in her prison cell

Midnight Sun

Garth Fans will love this.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Brief Moment of Idiocy

I share this for the sake of entertainment.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ballpark construction, public culture, and public resources

In the current Sports Illustrated, S.L. Price, an SI writer and resident of DC, offers some thoughts on the soon-to-open Nationals Park. The park cost almost $675 million, 97 % of which (an absurdly high percentage compared with other ballpark deals) is public money. And the deal hands almost total control over the park, and all proceeds from tickets, parkings, concessions, and advertising signs, to the team. Everyone in DC government recognizes this was a terrible deal, particularly in the face of the district's underfunded and crumbling schools and libraries. Ironically, Price reports that the city has increased funding for both libraries and schools out of an apparent guilt over the stadium deal. Price calls the park a "deal so bad it might do some good."

As a baseball fan (indeed, one of those fans with a fetish for old-style ballparks) I always have been of two minds with respect to public funding of stadiums. And I speak as my hometown of Miami prepares to pay more than half of a $ 515 million price tag for a new park for the Florida (soon-to-be Miami) Marlins.

On one hand, the economic reality is that if my city does not build this park, some other city will and the team will be leave town, a psychic loss for the community as a "major city." And we want and need public support for the arts, science, and culture--so why not also for sports, which are, in a real sense, an important part of our public culture?

On the other hand, the competing economic reality is that the city's goals in building the park--revitalize the neighborhood and bring money, people, commerce, and services to the neighborhood--are not going to come to pass, at least not fully, because, all economists agree, the numbers do not add up. And one reason to publicly fund culture is that the arts, often operated through not-for-profit enterprises, cannot exist without that public support. That is a far cry from a deal to make an already profitable private individual and entity even more profitable. And when we factor in everything else that necessarily falls by the wayside--schools, libraries, parks, and social services (stuff that ordinary people actually need)--the deal looks even worse, and even more unsupportable, as a public investment.

One of things driving my arguments on fan speech in publicly funded/privately operated ballparks is kind of a quid-pro-quo notion: If the private teams are going to demand large amounts of public financial support for their toys (which the team easily could pay for itself), teams must deal with unpopular or distasteful expression by the fans who are given access to the ballpark--who, after all, help pay for that ballpark. If a team is to receive this unique benefit of exclusive control over publicly owned and (largely) publicly financed property built expressly for that team, it ought to be subject to the limitations of the First Amendment in ways that private entities ordinarily are not bound.

Second Circuit Affirms Denial of Preliminary Injunction in MSG v. NHL Antitrust Lawsuit

Last fall on the blog, Marc Edelman discussed (here and here) the pending antitrust lawsuit brought by Madison Square Garden, L.P. (MSG), the parent company of the N.Y. Rangers, against the NHL. On November 2, 2007, the district court denied MSG's request for a preliminary injunction against the NHL’s effort to ban the Rangers from operating an independent website, holding that MSG had failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success or a sufficiently serious question going to the merits. Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in a summary order, affirmed the district court's ruling and stated: "While there will certainly be substantive issues for the district court to address on the merits - for example, how the antitrust laws apply to the NHL as a sports league, and what the relevant market is in this case - the district court’s conclusion that preliminary injunctive relief was unwarranted falls well within the range of permissible decisions, and did not constitute an abuse of discretion." (emphasis added)

In Marc's previous posts, single entity has been raised as a possible defense for the NHL. I'm not an advocate of applying the single entity defense to professional sports leagues, at least not in the context of claims brought by league members. Of all the cases addressing the application of the single entity defense to professional sports leagues, the case of Chicago Bulls v. NBA, 95 F.3d 593 (7th Cir. 1996) provides, by far, the most comprehensive discussion and analysis of the single entity defense. In the concurring opinion in that case, Judge Cudahy makes some very compelling arguments for rejecting the defense (and I would argue especially in the context of claims brought by league members). Here are some excerpts:
[T]he fact that the venturers remain competitors in other arenas might either distort the way the joint product is managed or allow the venturers to use the joint product as a smoke-screen behind which to cut deals to reduce competition in the other arenas.
It is perhaps true, as argued by the NBA and many commentators, that sports are different from many joint ventures because the individual teams cannot, even in principle, produce the product -- league sports. However, the fact that cooperation is necessary to produce league basketball does not imply that the league will necessarily produce its product in the most efficient fashion. There is potential for inefficient decisionmaking regarding the joint product of "league basketball" even when the individual teams engage in no economic activity outside of the league. This potential arises because the structure of the league is such that all "owners" of the league must be "owners" of individual teams and decisions are made by a vote of the teams. This means that the league will not necessarily make efficient decisions about the number of teams fielded or, more generally, the competitive balance among teams. Thus, the the fact that several teams are required to make a league does not necessarily imply that the current makeup of the league is the most desirable or "efficient" one.
And Judge Cudahy probably summed it up best by stating:
In any event, sports leagues argue that they must maintain independent ownership of the teams because separate ownership enhances the appearance of competitiveness demanded by fans. But the leagues cannot really expect the courts to aid them in convincing consumers that competition exists if it really does not. If consumers want economic competition between sports teams, then independent ownership and preservation of independent economic interests is likely an efficient choice for a sports league. But that choice, as with other joint ventures, brings with it the attendant antitrust risks. The NBA cannot have it both ways. (emphasis added)
The single entity defense shouldn't be used as a "shield" for independently-owned league members with independent economic interests to make decisions that may have minimal pro-competitive effects when compared with alleged anti-competitive effects. In the context of antitrust claims brought by league members, the rule of reason essentially constitutes a "checks and balances" on the decisions of entities with independent economic interests acting in concert. The league could avoid all of the risks inherent in a rule of reason analysis through collective ownership interest, thus eliminating any economic competition among members. But unless and until they implement that model, I agree with Judge Cudahy -- the league cannot have it both ways.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Holy Crap! Greenpeace just knocked on my door

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A lady from Greenpeace just knock at my door, asking if I could spare a minute, when I said no, she asked me Why I didn't like Greenpeace?

How did they find out about me post on Greenpeace that quick?

Good job I didn't write about Bin Laden.


Why Greenpeace Sucks

Greenpeace must be the worst group on Earth, and I'm not saying that because of it's illegal and terrorist activities. I'm saying that, because it seems it only wants to help the furry cute animals from becoming wipe off the face of the earth.

Greenpeace released a statement, condemning the good folk of Canada for clubbing baby seals in an orgy of violence that would make Caligula Blush. For myself, they are manipulating the public, just so they can make more money.

Why is it bad to kill baby seals and not other animals? Is it because other animals are not as furry and cute and nice to look at?

I’m sure if their was some butt ugly Lizard from Africa that was getting slaughtered, all these animal rights groups from the far left wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

I guess its okay to kill something that is ugly, but leave the pretty animals alone.

I mean when was the last time you saw Greenpeace having a picture of the Endangered Alligator Snapper from Kenya on their site.

They wouldn’t get enough money in donations from that, to carry out their so called legal activities.

By the way, I love a good steak, so this is not some vegetarian rant from some wacko, I'm just asking a legit question.

It all comes down to what sells, that is why, groups like Greenpeace and animal right groups will always have "Save The Panda", "Save the Whales" "Stop Clubbing baby Seals" slogans, because it brings them more money and more credo with the public.

People are more likely to give to a certain charity, if they see a picture of a an attractive looking animal or person, than an ugly one.

Now I can understand certain charities, going down this route, they normally have a annual fundrasier, and they need as much money as possible.

But for Greenpeace, a group that is suppose to be about integrity and saving the environment and saving the world's endangered species, its terrible, there are so many species of the most ugly looking, repulsive, make ya want to vomit, animals that are soon to become extinct, but Greenpeace are about playing on the public's emotion and not doing what they are suppose to do, saving the Planet and its creatures.

Reilly's first ride at home

Can I just say how proud I am of my baby horse. He's just so mellow and calm and sweet tempered. I adore him even more today than I think I ever have.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Congress and Sports

Daniel Libit of the Politico has an informative piece today that provides some highlights of Congress’ historic interest in sports (Timeline: Politicizing America's Pastimes, 3/25/08). Although Congress has recently focused its attention on issues that affect the "integrity of the game" such as steroids and videotaping of team signals, the bulk of its attention through the years (and where it has arguably had the most impact) has been in the antitrust arena. But did you know that, in 1912, Congress banned the interstate transfer of boxing films?

Reilly's Home!!

Nick and Reilly

Gavin and Reilly

Gavin and Reilly

Me clambering aboard

Gavin and Reilly

The only pic Nick took of me riding!!!

My baby is home!! I walked, trotted and even cantered him at Gavin's so am grinning from ear to ear! Such a good boy and so, so quiet! Can't wait to ride him again tomorrow. Nick only took a couple of photos of me, probably just as well as I am still far too heavy to really be riding him. But, will keep plugging away at the weight loss and hopefully be much more the right size in a few months time.

England Win Series 2-1

Congrats to England for beating New Zealand 2-1 in the test series. England became only the 11th team in history to come back from being 1-0 down in a three match series, to win the series.

Once again, it was the fault of New Zealand's senior batsman that cost the blackcaps. Players just didn't go on and turn 50's into hundreds, players also just didn't get anywhere near 50.

There were bright spots, Ross Taylor, Jamie How, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori.

There must be a clean out of older players though, if this side wants to win test series, too many players have had too many chances, bring on the youngsters!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fleming's Test Legacy

For myself, the last two tests of Fleming's, has summed up his career perfectly. When New Zealand needed him to go and scored a big one, he didn't.

Fleming a player who has managed to average 39 over a 100 Plus Test Match Career,has become a player that has averaged 40.

His supporters in the Media and the Public who constantly rave on about how important he is to this Test side and how important he has been over 14 years, fail to see what he hasn't achieved. You see Fleming is one of the most gifted left handed batsman the game has seen in decades, he must also be one of the great underachievers of someone with his vast talents.

He never saved us when it mattered most, he never led us to a victory against Australia, when we were in turmoil, he never played the innings of his life so we would escape with a draw, when we needed Fleming most, he never delivered. His supporters in the media, in the public and on forums such as "pandasport" will always say the cliche comments, "A great captain", "A great slips catcher", "7000 runs" Of course these are great achievements, and the selectors must like him, because even when he was going thru bad patches, he was always selected, and if there was any talk of him being dropped, NZ sports journos, would be outrage, screaming and yelling, what a assest to the team he is.

What they leave out though, is the complete picture, a man who has the second worst conversion rate of 50's to 100's in the game for those that have scored over 40 fifties. A man who never led his team to a test victory Over Australia, or a series victory over Pakistan or South Africa, a man who whenever he seemed to be in, got out at the worst possible time, a man who in nearly every press conference, gave the same speech, failure after failure, "I have to be more consistent"

Well Mr Fleming, you were consistent thruout your career, I will give you that, it seems every series of every year you played the same way. Don't get me wrong, you will go down in the annuals of NewZealand Sport, as one of our best batsmen, and you are a media darling, only Johan Lomu is probably more loved, in front of the camera your PUBLIC image is second to none, you have scored over 7000 runs and taken more catches than nearly any fielder in cricket.

But for those that say, you are a legend, I disagree, the last two tests of yours, sums up your Career IMHO, a beautifully gifted player, grafting away, needing a a big score to save his team, getting off to a good start, and then going out before the job is done.

Your career with the Blackcaps, in your last innings ever, sums up his career, perfectly.

New Article on Recklessness

The tort standard of "recklessness" is essential in sports injury cases. At least until the Illinois Supreme Court's decision last month in Karas, the universal rule was that participants in contact sports could not recover for personal injuries from other participants for mere negligence. Instead, "recklessness" or "wanton and willful" misconduct was required. In some states, this limitation on liability is extended to all sports, not just contact sports (although, at least here in Ohio, not to potato-sack racing)

One problem that has plagued both courts evaluating particular cases and law students studying the doctrine is the point at which conduct becomes more than "mere" negligence and crosses into "recklessness" territory. Similarly, at some point conduct crosses a line from "recklessness" to "intentional." Cumbersome descriptions of recklessness in the Restatement of Torts have not helped clarify the meaning of this concept in tort law.

I've posted a rough draft of my new paper on the subject, tentatively entitled "The Wreckage of Recklessness." In the piece, I discuss a number of sports torts cases and lines of cases, including golf injury lawsuits, the recent Illinois line of cases culminating in Karas, and the seminal (and odd) case of Hackbart (which Greg discussed in this post). I'd welcome feedback on my piece, which will be coming out later this year in the Washington University Law Review, via e-mail. You can download the piece free of charge from SSRN. Here's an abstract:
"Recklessness" is one of the oldest concepts in Anglo-American tort law, but also one of the most poorly understood. Often identified as a tort falling somewhere between negligence and intentional misconduct, recklessness has evaded precise judicial interpretation for two hundred years. The Restatement of Torts defines recklessness as conscious disregard of a substantial risk of serious harm, but courts have been unable to interpret consistently the key elements of this definition. This Article suggests that judicial confusion is not simply the product of linguistic imprecision on the part of the ALI. Rather, the Restatement version of recklessness is inconsistent with the actual behavioral and cognitive processes humans employ in the face of risk and uncertainty. Recent work in behavioral economics and neuroeconomics indicates that individuals fail to process risk in the way the black-letter-law definition of recklessness presumes, and calls into question the degree to which decisions can easily be classified as conscious or unconscious. Rather than continue to struggle to add clarity to an already convoluted articulation of doctrine, law reformers should reconceptualize the tort concept of recklessness not in terms of what it is, but in terms of what it does: allow a particular plaintiff to recover for a defendant's carelessness where ordinary negligence doctrine would bar relief.

New Sports Law Scholarship

Recently published scholarship:
Derek Marks, Casenote, One for twenty-five: the federal courts reverse a decision of the NFL’s disability board for the first time since 1993 in Jani v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, 15 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 1 (2008)

Jonathan M. Etkowicz, Comment, Professional athletes playing video games--the next prohibited “other activity?”, 15 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 65 (2008)

William C. Martin, Comment, The graduate transfer rule: is the NCAA unnecessarily hindering student-athletes from traversing the educational paths they desire?, 15 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 103 (2008)

John O'Brien, Comment, Political balk: opening the door for U.S.-Cuba policy reform via diplomatic blunder at the World Baseball Classic, 15 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 135 (2008)

Elizabeth Rocco, Casenote, “Inequality in the game” vs. “inequality in the legal system”: the constitutionality of searches and seizures in United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, 15 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 33 (2008)

Whitman, Joshua H. Whitman, Note, Winning at all costs: using law & economics to determine the proper role of government in regulating the use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports, 2008 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LAW REVIEW 459

NBA to Raise Minimum Age Limit to 20?

Over on ESPN's TrueHoop, Henry Abbott discusses my law review article Illegal Defense: The Irrational Economics of Banning High School Players from the NBA Draft. I also respond to Commissioner David Stern's recent comment that he hopes to raise the age floor for entry into the NBA to age 20, and to do so through the next round of collective bargaining with the Players' Association. Hope you have a chance to check out Henry's comments and my comments on these topics.

Also, we know that our posts have been few and far between the last couple of weeks. We're all up against deadlines for scholarly projects or have other work commitments, but we'll soon return to more regular content. We appreciate your readership.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

500 Runs in Two Days

Can the Blackcaps do the impossible? Can Fleming play the innings of the his career? Can New Zealand do it?

The answer is...

NO, of course not.

There will be no miracle comeback for New Zealand, not in a zillion years.

The only hope is for rain.

Where is the Wizard, when you need him?

Love and Freedom

There is no happiness without freedom. I know this absolutely. In order to be happy and fulfilled, people need the room to find themselves, pursue their dreams, and be exactly what they want to be.

There is no happiness without love. It is in our natures as social beings to care for others and to want to be cared for in return. Infants deprived of human contact die in their cribs. Prisoners in isolation units lose their sanity. And it is the dream of many to find someone to share their lives with.

Love and freedom often come into conflict. It can be domineering parents wanting their children to fulfill the dreams the parents could not. It could be the controlling spouse who manipulates to get what he or she wants. Or it could be someone like me with his laundry list of requirements that a woman has to meet.

The love between friends is without this conflict. Our friends accept us for who we are. They don't tell us what to do. And friendships can continue indefinitely until one asks the other for money and doesn't repay it. But that is another topic.

The love between family members is tense. That is because family members believe they own you in some way and have some say in the way you live your life. But I learned to get along with my brother by not giving him constant advice. Advice is merely a clever way to run someone else's life disguised as being helpful.

Then, there is the love between lovers. This is the most tense of all. Acrimony and matrimony seem to go hand in hand. I know the reason why this is the way it is. When two people love each other, they also believe that they own each other. They take certain liberties with that assumption. They can be controlling. They can be demanding. And this begins to break down the love.

I have come to accept a radical notion. There is no love without freedom. Time and time again, I have run across people in relationships that have broken down over freedom issues. I will go so far as to say all relationships end for this reason. One party wishes to do something the other party does not agree with and vice versa. It could be something mild like spending money a certain way, or it could be something serious like adultery.

The reason our friendships last is because of freedom. The reason relationships do not last is the lack of freedom. This is the reason why a cohabitating couple can be together for ten years with no problem, but they get a divorce a year after they tie the knot. The relationship changes as freedom is taken away.

A couple of solutions have been offered to try and overcome this conundrum:

Both sides give up freedom for the sake of the other. You hope it is 50/50. It never is, and the tension begins.

Both sides want the same things, so there is no need to compromise freedom. This is simply bullshit. It is damn near impossible to find two people that are so alike that they never disagree on anything. The marriage of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward has been long lasting in a world where marriages have the shelf life of bananas. But they disagree all the time. Then you have seemingly perfect couples like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore who go splitsville but still enjoy being around each other.

I don't think compromise or compatibility are the answers. Neither one serves as a solution.

I believe that freedom is the answer. Of course, both parties have to agree that freedom is the answer. Beyond that, I don't see why any two people couldn't get along in a relationship. In fact, this is how all relationships start. Both enjoy the other and can do so for as short as one night or for years and even decades.

I am not advocating open relationships or open marriage or any of that bullshit. The fact that Hugh Hefner with his three girlfriends has ended up settling on Holly Madison shows that there is a monogamous streak in all of us. I can already predict the other two will fade into oblivion for Hef.

We can judge Hef, but we all do the same thing. It is called dating, and we do it until we settle on the one we like the best. Even polygamists have their favorite ones. They end up carrying the rest out of obligation. The rest of us do the same thing. It is called the ex-wife or the ex-husband.

So, how does this freedom thing work?

Basically, you let the other person be who they are, do what they do, etc. My relationships never last longer than six months, and that is because it is usually at that point where I start having to decide where things are going to go from there. So, I tally up what I consider to be my reasonable demands, see if they measure up, tell them to shape up if they don't measure up, then dump them when they refuse to do my bidding. In the one relationship where I got dumped, I was the one who refused to go along with her demands. Plus, I had issued a few of my own.

Generally, I have no problems with my relationships until this point. In fact, I can guess that the breakdown of any relationship began with a demand. When freedom is replaced with control, love dies. It will happen everytime.

I am generally tolerant of demanding women. You might find this ironic given my libertarian and individualist streaks. But this is what makes me so tolerant. It is always a choice for me to do what they tell me, so I always end up loving it. I just adore bitchy women. They never control me though they try. I obey out of choice and go the extra mile for them to show I do it out of choice. But even if I refuse, that has never been a dealbreaker.

The dealbreaker always comes when I ask them to change. The animosity comes when I try to give them advice. In short, no woman likes to be told what to do. They may get used to it and become doormats in the process. But they end up miserable. The life drains from their souls. This is not love.

My most recent ex told me that I had "killed it" for us. I thought she was totally wrong. I realize now that she was totally right. I had killed it. I made a demand, and that loss of freedom destroyed the love she had for me. I ripped it from her heart and pounded it flat into the concrete.

In a relationship, I am a benign dictator. But a dictator is a dictator. We can justify anything for the greater good, and most dictators do. In a relationship, we can justify anything for the sake of the relationship. But a relationship is an abstraction. There are only the people involved, and they are all that matters. My relationships end precisely when I start working on the relationship.

I'm never going to tell another woman what to do ever again. I will love them as they are without demand. They are free to do what they want and live as they please. As long as it doesn't hurt me, I don't care. And if it does hurt me, I will end it. But I can honestly say that this only applied to one of my previous relationships. Out of all the women I have been involved with, only one ended up doing real damage to me. I've made all the rest pay for it.

That is where I stand on that issue. If I ever find myself in another relationship, it will be totally different. I can guarantee that. My freedom is intact and will always remain so. I'm just ending my career as the benign dictator.


The Blackcaps batting once again collapsed, and have left England in a winning position after two days of the first test. How depressing. New Zealand looked in a great position thanks to 19 year old kid, Tim Southee, who got a fiver in his debut.

Sidebottom tore thru our batsman taking seven, Bell fell cheaply, Fleming made a start, but didn't go on with it, noone stood up as we were dismissed cheaply.

England finish the day 91/2, a lead of 176 with eight wickets and three days to spare.

The only hope for the Blackcaps is, if we can bundled them out for a lead of 300, and then make the runs, we need a hero.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Brent Buckman Syndrome

This post may be two years to late, but I feel I need to write about a certain syndrome in society, that I call "Brent Buckman syndrome". In 2006 Brent Buckman was a contestant in the fifth season of the apprentice. Never in the history of this show, has one person been treated so poorly.

Brent was an overweight, 40 something lawyer with glasses, who became a scapegoat for the other businessmen and woman on the show. From day one he was not taken seriously, all due to his appearance. Now perhaps this was part of a plan of the show producers, all the other contestants seem to be straight out of supermodel school, and he looked like the odd one out.

It all started on day one of the show, Donald Trump, made two of the contestant's, team leader's and asked them to pick sides, well they started to choose, they picked someone who ran a sticker company based on the web, then they picked in their own words, "The good looking guy in the nice suit" it went on and on, and guess who was picked last? The guy who should of gotten picked first, the lawyer with nearly 20 years experience at a top firm, Brent Buckman.

Brent was then basically shoved aside, as he gave his ideas, they were waved off, before one task, no one was coming up with any ideas, Brent suggested, that the team should go out in NY with shaving cream on their faces, (for promotion for a razor) he had his head bitten off for this idea, when another team member suggested, why not go out with dressing gowns on, that team member was applauded.

One of his female teammates, accused him of harassment because , Brent had the nerve to stand up to her, when she wasn't giving him any task to do. Yet when someone else said "I wish her brain was bigger than her boobs" nothing was said.

As all the teammates were high fiving each other, like people at a Borat convention, the most skilled one was left out in the cold. As one Blogger said, it was almost like Lord of the Flies, with Brent playing the part of Piggy.

Well it all came to a head, on the fourth episode of the series, the Team was asked to design a advert for a cereal company, while they were all watching a graphic designer, do his work, they started to pitch ideas, as soon as Brent opened his mouth, the team leader, rolled her eyes, and said to Brent "Too many cooks, I want you to sort out what clothes we have to wear for the presentation"

Brent who wanted to do the Presentation, but was then told he was too fat, finally snapped and rightfully confronted his team leader, he told her the truth, he said it was disgusting treatment and someone with his experience shouldn't have to put up with it. Her reply showed what a Classless act she was, she said "I'm a multimillionaire, what do you earn, 100k a year?"

The team lost the task because of a poorly designed ad, and Brent after being bullied for four tasks, went postal in the board room, in front of Mr Trump, and to Mr Trump's discredit, he had no idea what was going on, he saw Brent as Brent's teammates did, as a fat goof who had no talent, and he fired him.

Some say if Brent hadn't snap, he wouldn't of got fired, but I think we all would of done the same thing had we been treated like him. When treated shabbily, people do this, its not really a syndrome but human nature I guess.

Poor Brent, if he had of looked liked Sean or Lee, he would be working for Trump right now, but because of his so called teammates judging him by his appearance, he isn't, and thanks to manipulate editing, Brent will be known as a overweight Homer Simpson goofball type person, instead of the brilliant business man he is.

Supreme Court Grants Cert in 'Fleeting Expletive' Case

In a case that has application to sports broadcasters, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal involving the validity of the FCC's "fleeting expletive" standard for determining broadcast indecency. As I wrote in prior blogs (and in Sports Business Journal), the new standard -- which treats the accident airing of a single profanity as within the definition of indecency -- may be especially risky for live sports broadcasts. As noted, it can force broadcasters to take costly steps to avoid the unintended airing of four-letter words from fans, coaches and players and heap fines of up to $325,000 per incident on television and radio networks, as well as individual licensees.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit invalidated the rules and remanded the matter back to the FCC because the agency failed to give an adequate justification for applying indecency to fleeting expletives. It did not address the First Amendment claim head-on, but a majority, in dicta, noted doubts about the constitutional viability of those rules.

The cert petition filed by the Department of Justice discusses administrative law issues (the amount of deference given to an administrative agency's policies) and substantive ones (involving whether the appeals court, by its actions, contradicted the import of the Supreme Court's Pacifica ruling).

I get the feeling that the Supreme Court will decide the First Amendment implications of the proposed indecency standard head-on. The reasons: (1) since the matter was remanded to the FCC for further justification, why wouldn't the court simply wait until the next round of likely litigation; (2) although this may surprise some, the present court is sympathetic to free speech issues; (3) the time is overdue since the court dealt with the issue of indecency in broadcasting as Pacifica was decided three decades ago.

Arguments will be scheduled for next fall.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Calvin and Hobbes

How can one not be moved by the great Calvin and Hobbes. As a child, I was into the American Archie comic series, then I moved on to mad and cracked magazine, and that was it for my comic book tastes, until at 19, I was given a book titled Calvin and Hobbes.

The genius of Bill Watterson can never be matched, he captures the innocence of childhood perfectly, for ten years he did the strip, never selling out, never putting out cheap merchandise, never going in with a deal at McDonald's, he even said no to Steven Spielberg when the acclaim producer/director wanted to make a movie.

What made it so good?, well the strip appeals to kids and Adult alike, the way Calvin thinks, how he always sees the world the ways he wants it to be, how he uses Adult thinking, to twist every situation towards his favour, a kid who is so full of energy and despite all the mischief he gets into, he has a large IQ.

Then there is Hobbes, his Loyal sidekick, adults see him as a stuffed toy Tiger, while Calvin sees him as real. The way he is written, the reader is left into two minds, he seems to be what Calvin would be grown up, he also talks to the reader, but if someone else appears in the strip, beside Calvin, hes back to being a stuffed toy.

Both Calvin and Hobbes are Philosophers, and as noted in some Wiki pages, the strip is really about the Human condition.

A lot of comedy, makes you laugh and think, with Calvin and Hobbes, I think it's the other way around, you can enjoy each strip on so many levels.

The big question though still remains...

What was the infamous Noodle incident and is Calvin guilty?

Quick Hamish Update (new video at bottom of page)

Well the boy has had a good and bad season. Good because he got five lovely outside mares, bad because only the two who came prior to Christmas conceived, one mare was not bred due to injuring herself upon arrival and the last two just didn't conceive. Very frustrating for me as the stallion owner and for the mare owners so keen to have Hamish babies from their mares. Lovely mares too! Pride is super little chestnut sport horse TB with lovely loud sabino markings and Pintado Indiana, a striking Pintado Desperado mare who was Pinto HOTY a few years back and had a pretty successful under saddle career prior to being retired to the broodmare paddock. Both owners plan to bring the girls back in the spring so we'll get in early this time and hopefully be a little more successful!

Hamish is currently paddocked alone again as I have not bred him to any of my own mares and his last girlfriend left early in the week. He never ceases to amaze me with his gentle, laid back temperament. I'd love to run him with a mate but logistics this season dictate this is not going to happen however, I hope to move one or two of the horses from home up the road to run in paddocks adjacent so he at least has friends he can talk to.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Are Steroids Ethically Good for Athletes?

Really interesting piece in Science Progress by Dr. Arthur Caplan, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and the Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, on the ethics of steroids. In short, he argues that the commonly-endorsed logic of "steroids are evil" is at least partly misguided, if not altogether wrong. Here are some excerpts from his piece:

* * *

John Harris, a British bioethicist, is a useful example of someone who is not at all sure that a bit of the “juice” is such a bad thing in athletic competition. In his Enhancing Evolution (2007), he argues that performance enhancement is not only ethically acceptable, but that sometimes it may be morally obligatory.

Harris sees a legitimate role for the use of drugs and genetic engineering to improve performance in sport. But sports are not his main target. He sees a future in which parents happily and willingly use genetic and reproductive technologies to design their children with more capacities and abilities than they otherwise would have had. His main argument in the book is that there are no convincing arguments against performance enhancement and plenty that support it.

* * *

Well, Harris is right that you don’t need to make a great effort to accomplish great things. Every once in a while someone wins the lottery or finds an old heirloom worth a lot of money in the attic and no one seems to mind that they have advanced themselves through luck, not exertion. But that is not true in sport. A lucky bounce or a gust of wind can determine the outcome, but athletes get praise for performance linked to effort, not luck. The whole point of sport is to try and reward effort even if luck plays a crucial role in the outcome. Harris’ point that small efforts can produce big rewards does not moot the point that big efforts that produce big rewards get the praise, not just the notice.

* * *

The idea that we value a performance because we admire the random luck of the lottery of life that gives some of us genes for singing, others for strength and still others for superb vision seems implausible. Why is randomness to be admired? Looking for value in the natural distribution of talents and skills is like looking for the source of free will and autonomy in the random nature of evolution or the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Estimable value does not lurk in random luck. We can accept that luck can bring us fortune and enjoy it, but it is hard to see what role the luck of the draw in genetics has in esteeming sports performances.

The battle over performance enhancement is often fought out as if one size fits all—what makes performance enhancement acceptable in one domain, sports, will make it acceptable in all aspects of life. What the fight between Harris and [Harvard University's Michael Sandel] reveals is that this is not so. There are reasons to believe that steroids don’t belong in sports, even putting safety concerns aside. But this does not mean that performance-enhancing drugs have no appropriate role in any areas of life and achievement. The decision about what role pharmacology and genetics ought to play depends on whether you are trying to travel to another planet, solve a difficult math problem, learn a new language, or hit a home run.

* * *

For the rest of Dr. Caplan's piece, click here.

What Happens When a Video Game Gets a Player's Race Wrong?

Sports Law Blog reader Scott Timmerick checks in with an interesting question (between the asterisks):

* * *

I just started playing MLB 2K8 on PlayStation 2. Facing off against the great Tampa Bay Rays and their ace Scott Kazmir, seven innings later I found myself taking pitches from Gary Glover, a (understandably) unknown relief pitcher whose 5.00 career ERA has earned him the rights to be a major league journeyman.

Anyway, since I spent some time as part of the Rays' organization, I know Gary Glover. Which is why I was surprised to find that, in MLB 2K8, he is a black man...when in real life, he is indeed quite white.

My question then, is this: Could Mr. Glover sue 2KSports for misrepresentation of any sort? Putting aside the sheer absurdity of such a lawsuit, is there any kind of precdent for this sort of thing (wrongful use of image in a video game), and would Gary have any argument?

Many thanks for your time,
Scott Timmreck

* * *

I am unaware of litigation arising from this type of issue, and I suspect Glover would not succeed in a defamation suit, for multiple reasons, including that he probably isn't harmed by the game's mistake, which was undoubtedly innocent in nature (though a reflection of not very good game development).

Also, it's possible that Glover and other big league players may have contractually waived away any right to bring such a claim in the deal between 2K Sports and both Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players' Association, which together licensed the players and their respective images to 2K Sports. In fact, 2K Sports has an exclusive deal with baseball to make official Major League Baseball games, though that exclusivity does not apply to first-party publishers, such as games published by Microsoft for the X-Box 360, by Sony for the Playstations 2 and 3, and by Nintendo for the Wii. But that deal does mean that 2K Sports has no competition from Electronic Arts, arguably the most prominent third-party publisher of sports video games and which, until 2K's deal, had published a very popular baseball game called MVP Baseball.

Especially considering the lukewarm reviews for MLB 2K8, perhaps baseball should think twice about exclusive deals, particularly when a company like Microsoft does not offer its own baseball game for the X-Box 360 (unlike Sony, which offers the hit MLB: The Show for both the PS2 and PS3). Of course, baseball isn't alone in negotiating an exclusive third-party publisher deal, as the NFL and NFLPA have one with Electronic Arts, publisher of John Madden Football, NFL Tour, and NFL Head Coach. That deal with EA, however, knocked off the gaming market 2K's popular football game ESPN NFL 2K.

In fact, one might say that the comparative advantages for 2K Sports and Electronics Arts have been voided by these exclusive deals: 2K Sports can't make its excellent football game and Electronic Arts can't make its excellent baseball game, while both have exclusive rights to publish games--2K Sports with MLB 2K and EA with Madden--that some would consider inferior to those that had been published by each other prior to the exclusive third-party publisher deals.

I suppose what goes around comes around with exclusive third-party publisher deals, though probably never in the consumer's best interests.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ron White Rips into Garth Fans

You should always be able to make fun of yourself, here is a standup comic, ripping into Garth Brooks fans.

Well Done England

Well done, England they have won the second test and tied the series, thanks to the brilliance of Sidebottom.

Bring on the decider!

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reality is no friend of the dreamer

Reality is no friend of the dreamer

Dreams it seems don't come true, as England is set to win the second test in an easy fashion.

They just need four wickets on day five.

It seems reality is no friend of the dreamer, you see when faced with an uphill battle, when face with the impossible, when faced with something historical, the Blackcaps folded at the start, showed no fight at all, then came back near the end, only to lose a late wicket.

In my previous post I said this could be Fleming's Legacy, the one Innings that his career will be defined by, the one innings that cricket historians will talk about, when they talk about his Greatness.

This Innings could of been everything for him, but it wasn't, and in fact, this innings summed up his whole career, he got a start but didn't go on with it when the team needed him to, he will end up probably having a average in the 30's and only end up as being known as one of New Zealand's best batsman and not the world's.

But to entirely blame Fleming for the lost would be wrong, other players have to stick their hands up and take responsibility, I'm talking Mark Gillespie who must be a candidate for that "The biggest loser" programme, to be so out of shape that you can even run and dive to attempt a catch, says something about the Professionalism of the man.

The lack of consistency shown by Martin and Mills, its no use as elite sports people, to play well in one match, you have to play at your peak every game.

Vettori is one player who can hold his head up high, brilliantly fielding, tight bowling and a perfect captain

So where to now for the Blackcaps? A third test on a flat track, that should see the match end up in a draw, and a drawn test series.

This really sums up the Blackcaps, a lack of consistency a lack of professionalism, but just a hint of promise and brilliance.


Security and Freedom and Other Stuff

There are two impulses that run through the population. The first impulse is to be free from need or harm. The second impulse is to be free to do what you want to do. These impulses clash with one another.

In the political realm, we see this conflict between libertarians and statists. Statists in both the Democratic and Republican parties always threaten people with real and perceived dangers in hopes they will exchange their freedoms for security. This is how we get the welfare/regulatory/police state we now enjoy in America.

Libertarians point out time and time again how these dangers to security are overblown and are largely unfounded. But even if people do believe these arguments, they are lulled into complacency by the welfare effect. Even if they are convinced that things would be better, people are not going to move from comfort to discomfort unless situations force them into it. For instance, I find it magical how people are able to find employment as their unemployment benefits expire.

My greatest fear on these things is being caught in the welfare effect. I have lived long enough to see and realize that my periods of greatest improvement came on the heels of disasters like being kicked out of my house by my parents or losing my job or getting my car stolen or getting dumped by a girlfriend. All of these diasters fostered in me a desire for self-improvement and a will to overcome. These disasters became assets.

What is true in the larger political sense is true in the personal sense. When you take care of people, they stop taking care of themselves. In trying to help people, you make them worse. It is like feeding prunes to starving persons. You fill their stomachs, but you are killing them.

Security is an illusion. 9/11 showed this. All of our tax dollars go to a bloated intelligence and law enforcement network that is very efficient at harassing law abiding citizens but are powerless against some fuckheads with box cutter knives. Now, a terrorist is powerless on an airplane not because of law enforcement but against passnegers no longer deluded by false promises. This is why the shoe bomber was foiled. He was taken down by people passionately concerned for their own welfare.

No one cares for you as much as you do. People will tell you that they know better for you, but do you really trust them? I'm not saying you should not trust them. It just shouldn't come at the expense of your economic or social freedom. When it comes to the marketplace, you are free to seek a second opinion. This is not so with the government.

This paradigm applies to personal relationships as well. Consider parents and children. These relationships work reasonably well until the teenage years when the kids begin to assert some autonomy. Things begin to break down as the kids wish to enjoy both freedom and security at the same time, and the parents recoil. They don't know what to do. They can't handle it. At some point, acrimony ensues, and kids learn they are better off on their own. At least, you hope they learn this.

This also happens between romantic partners. Generally, a man and a woman come together (sorry to you gay and lesbian folks), and they either make it work, or they don't. I see this as the conflict between love and freedom. People want the security that comes from having a life partner. They want to believe that there will always be someone there for them which is why people still cling to the illusion of marriage when there is nothing permanent about it except the bitterness. The conflict comes when one or both partners want to do things the other does not agree with. It might be something benign like taking a different job or going to grad school or something worse like gaining 50 pounds of blubber or doing drugs or taking on a new lover.

People want to have it both ways, but it doesn't work. This is why marriages fail. You can't live with someone and also do everything you want without somebody getting pissed off or used in the process. I learned this very well in my last relationship. I learned it so well that I won't ever do it again.

No matter how laidback I am and no matter how far I lower those hurdles, no woman is ever going to clear them. I have an idea why this is. You teach people how you want to be treated. By giving women freedom, I teach them that it is OK to try and use me. This is not OK. Their minds cannot make the distinction between freedom without responsibility and freedom with responsibility. Basically, there is no freedom without responsibility. If you want to do your own thing, you have to pay your own way and take the consequences.

This is the dream of all people. It is to have freedom without responsibility. It can't be done. You might as well try and find a square circle. But I believe freedom is worth those consequences. My family has disassociated from me, and it is a difficult burden for me. But the freedom I have is worth it. I will not be dictated to by either my family, my friends, or my girlfriend.

You are better off alone. I know I am. This doesn't mean becoming a loner. I am a very socially engaged person. My friends are a big part of my life. I also go out on a lot of dates. I have a network of people, and I believe in the value of people for the sake of mutual exchange and benefit.

I will always retain the option to leave a relationship if it is no longer beneficial to me. I will also respect another person's decision to no longer associate with me for whatever reason. As they say, the customer is always right. Conversely, I always try and render some benefit in a relationship. I try to make people better. This means giving my moral support and my advice. People don't always appreciate this. I know Greta didn't.

I often wonder where I went wrong there, and I already know. I wanted a committed relationship when I know that these relationships don't work. By my habits, I am ideal for a husband. But by my worldview, I am horrible. I am responsible and easy to get along with. But you will not get me to lie to you. You will not have my brain. That is mine. Greta wanted me to be a shithead like her, and I drew the line.

People will enslave you. They will try to get more and more until you have to say enough. It is when you assert your freedom and independence that people hate you. It is when you want to do things your way at your own expense and bearing your own consequences that people utterly despise you. Nevermind that you are taking nothing from them. They will call you the selfish one.

I have been down the security path and the freedom path, and I can tell you that freedom is a lot better. Freedom is worth any sacrifice you make for it. Escape. Get out. Do whatever it takes. But be free.

Have the Blackcaps got a Hero?

Have the Blackcaps got a Hero? Have we got someone who will create Cricket History and go on to have a performance that people in 50 years will talk about? Will grown men be crying? Will cricketer writers all over the world, gasp and write about how this performance will never be matched in the history of the game?

Will people talk about Botham's performance in 1981 and say this is better, will Bradman's name be mentioned? Will a player become a legend, will this be Stephen Fleming's legacy to the game? Will the tiny Nation of New Zealand, celebrate?

You see, New Zealand is facing defeat, in what so far has been a poor performance by the team, and a disgusting performance by Mark Gillespie, who dropped a sitter of a catch, that was so cringe worthy, I thought of David Brent's dance in The Office. Surly this player must be dropped.

So what does NewZealand have to do, they will be will be chasing over 420 to win, an impossible task, a Historical task, something that should never have happen, a one in a million change, crazy talk to even suggest it.

Well I'm suggesting it, I want a hero, I want my mouth to be wide open, I want to dance and scream, I want the impossible to happen, I want to believe in sporting miracles, I want to know that this can happen, just once as a sport fan in my life, I want to see something that cant happen, happen!!, you see this just wouldn't be a great upset, a miracle, this would be the greatest sporting comeback EVER!!!!!

So, Im allowed to dream, aren't I?, over the next two days, my fingers and toes will be crossed, I will be hoping against hope, that maybe, just maybe, something special will happen.

Let's hope that Dreams indeed do come true.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gordon Ramsay

I'm a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay, I think what he has done and what he is trying to acheive will never be match, my first impression of him though was very different.

I remember watching a Documentary series years ago, which was on the opening of his first restaurant, and thinking who does this guy think he is? I was disgusted at the treatment of his staff and wished that his Restaurant will be a big failure. I watched as he grabbed a little wee Frenchman, fired him for making one mistake and then literally threw him down the stairs, he then chased after him and try to push this guy off his bicycle. I watched as he scream at a waiter, who made the mistake of having a drink of water, to cool down after the air condition broke down.

Episode after Episode he seemed to get worse, he insulted the countries of all his staff, calling them for everything under the sun, he seemed just to be a big bully, who couldn't handle his temper.

Slowly though I have changed my opinion of the man. He's a perfectionist, who truly cares about any dish he serves to the public, he also has one part of his personality that most people should strive for, LOYALTY. He is true and Loyal to the people who work for him, and wants the best for those that give him 110%.

Don't get me wrong, I find abuse of staff in any field, repugnant, I worked at a certain fast food chain, where I was Verbally abused for three years, and it was sickening.

With Gordon though, he has seemed to toned this down, he is now about getting the best out of people and anyone who can get someone like myself who was basically just a meat and potato man to love good food, he must be doing something right.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Empire Strikes Back

Oh dear, Kiwi Cricket Hearts are Broken again.

After celebrating a great test win, people's minds had already turned to a series victory, Unfortunately the English have other ideas, we are only into day two of the the second test and it seems almost certain that England will tie the series. Their batsmen piled on the runs to score 342 in the first innings, and New Zealand in reply have collapsed in dramatic fashion to be 187/9 as Im writing this, no heroes, no saviors, just an allround poor display apart from Taylor. With three days to play, there is no stopping the English now, the Barmy Army are dancing in the street and singing along in their merry old way.

As for us Kiwi cricket supporters, once again we have gotton our hopes up, only to be let down, does anyone know a rain dance?????


The Second Test has Started, and England, Ended the Days play at 291/5. A great start for them, but they have a very short tail and it was only some poor Bowling by Mills and Martin that got them to that position. The Pitch had more in it for the Bowlers, than Hamilton, but unlike the first test, Mills and Martin failed to be Consistent.

Consistency is the key, as the former Captain Stephen Fleming use to say during the mid 90's after ever lost, in his scripted speeches, during the press conferences.

Unfortunately, just saying "We have to be more Consistent" doesn't work, you actually have to apply it on the field.

Still this New Zeakabd side under Vettori, seems to be more disciplined than in the past, if we can get a early breakthrough tomorrow, and the Bowlers are consistent in their line and length, we should clean them out for around 350 making it a great game, if we don't though, we might be looking at a long struggle to save the match.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sick Puppies-All the Same

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Hated

As expected, my family has turned against me, and I am now out in the cold. And so it goes. . .

My father has always hated me. I am a failure to him. Nothing I have ever done for him was good enough. To him, I am a worthless piece of shit. I made the mistake of being born, and he has never let me forget it.

I don't want to be around that man ever again. I don't care to ever see him again. I do not want him in my life. I thought I could forgive, but I know I can't.

I am at peace when I am not around him. I like myself again when I don't have to hear his mouth. I want to live when I am free of him. I lose all those things when I am around him.

If losing my family is what it takes for me to be happy, then I will pay that price. They can hate me. I don't care. I'm not ever getting sucked into that black hole of misery again. I will do whatever it takes.

I may be cold and indifferent to my old man, but I became that way the day I overheard him tell a complete stranger that I was a "worthless son of a bitch." I have tried my best to forget that I heard him say that, but I can't. I realize that this is what he says all the time about me when I am not around. I know it has not stopped. It will never stop.

I teach people how I want to be treated. I teach them that it is OK to shit on me when I put up with their shit. I'm not doing this anymore. I don't care if it is a stranger or a blood relative. I am not a victim. I don't want sympathy. I don't want revenge. I just want to be treated the way people want me to treat them. This means not calling me a worthless son of a bitch.

I want my own life, and I don't want either one of my parents in that life. I like my life, and I intend to keep it. It isn't much, but it is mine. I wake up everyday and go to my job and come home to my apartment. It is all mine. I worked for this. I deserve this. I deserve to be happy.

My father has never been happy unless someone else is miserable. He delights when others fail. He laughs heartily to hear of the faults and downfalls of others. It is sick, and I hate him for it. It is not enough that I am a failure to him. He wants to see me fail, so he can have a laugh at my stupidity.

My family may hate me for this, but they don't hear him laughing at their flaws and their mistakes and gloating at their setbacks and sins. I do. I have heard it my whole life. That man hasn't changed. He is not going to change.

I do not swear blind allegiance to anything and that includes family. Blind allegiance is what got me into the pit of despair I was in not that long ago. When you live for the sake of others, those others will consume you until nothing is left. Then, they will toss you like garbage. Altruists and narcissists have a way of finding each other. I am neither an altruist nor a narcissist.

My values clash with those of my family. This outcome was inevitable. I have always felt this tension. Maybe I am stupid, but I can't let people shit on me. Calling it duty and honor does not cut it for me. There is no greater good. There is only my good. I am selfish. I sacrifice for no one, and no one will sacrifice for me. This is the way it should be.

No one is taking away this life from me. My dad takes it away everytime he opens his mouth. But I can't hear him anymore. I won't listen to him ever again. He thinks my mother is to blame for this. The blame lies with him. I am a worthless son of a bitch. So be it.

The Police Deserve a Big Thankyou

This is just a short post to say thankyou to the Police, wherever you live, be it New Zealand or the USA, or Canada or Australia, or Sweden or Qatar, the Police do an amazing job and they never get the thanks they deserve.

In fact its quite the Opposite,tune into the daily news of your country, and there is always someone complaining that the Police didn't get there fast enough, the Police have violated their rights, or they are in a bad spot and its all the fault of the Police. In some cases this may be true, but I'm guessing in the case of the people who contact the media, it isn't.

You only have to look at some of the Myspace and Bebo pages of young people and its full of dumbass comments, like "F the Pigs", "Lets show them and Riot" "Kill the Pigs" "The F*N Pigs are Stupid" Of course these comments are next to a picture of these morons, with thier pants halfway down, giving some sort of hand signal that looks like they got it from the Boy Scouts.

So this is a post to say Thank you to the Police. Thanks for cleaning up the streets of boofheads, thanks for taking away, Wife Beaters, Child Molesters, Murders and Rapists, thanks for visiting the schools and teaching children how to be safe, thanks for taking drunk drivers off the road, thanks for dealing with grieving families, thanks for helping people out in a disaster.

Thanks for doing this without asking for a Thank you.

Harvard's Women-Only Gym Hours

Last week, my undergraduate alma mater made the Fox News hitlist for announcing that it had decided to make a campus gym, the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center (QRAC) closed to men for a few hours a week. As the Harvard Crimson's former editorial chair Andrew Fine wrote, this story wouldn't have been news (or all that controversial) were it not for the source of and justification for the request: a group of female Muslim students requested women-only hours because they must otherwise be fully clothed when working out alongside men.

Much ado about something? The QRAC is not the centrally located gym on campus -- in fact, it is a 20-30 minute walk from the main classroom area and the bulk of the university's undergraduate population (a far closer gym, the Malkin Athletic Center, has its own problems). The hours selected for the gender limitation are "off" hours, during which very few students would likely trek from their classrooms to the QRAC. Still, the confluence of religious and gender concerns has made the story on subject to much commentary in the press and blogsophere, including some good discussion of the legal issues involved:
My colleague Howard Friedman's Religion Clause

Volokh Conspiracy, "Women Only Exercise"

Title IX Blog

Harvard Crimson, "No Boys Allowed: Women-only hours at the QRAC constitute a pareto inefficient policy"

Harvard Crimson, "The All New Girls' Club QRAC Turns Single Sex"