Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo Dies in Florida Hospice

Rest in peace girl. Wherever you are now, it has to be better than my TV screen.

one state, two state, red state, blue state

I hate living in a 'red' state. Red is not one of my favorite colors, and as states go, it seems to have all the wrong connotations. Red is the color of stop signs, and the circle with a line through it. It's the color of negativity; the color of NO!..e i e i NO, Marco poNO, talk to the C. E. NO (with all credit going to David Spade and Capitol 1). On top of that, blue is my favorite color.

I think the red states were labeled that way by the network news. NBC had it's little chart of which states went to which candidate, and those that fell in the Bush corner turned red. Those that fell to Kerry turned blue. I won't go so far as to say that decision was part of "media bias" but that is a small part of the topic I'm getting to, and more or less sets the stage.

Fox news is biased. It carries facts and gives them a conservative slant. I'll admit that. Most liberals will scream it at the top of their lungs. What I find humorous, though, is that they believe it is the only news that's biased. NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN are, in their view, completely objective. Granted, there are conservatives, and many of them, who will say just the opposite. They say Fox is the objective news and everyone else leans left. I don't watch Fox news very much. I watch some version of ABC, NBC or CBS because it happens to follow the local news and I'm too lazy to change channels. In doing so though, I do see bias. I see the difference in treatment the same kind of story will get based on administration. If the president sends a bill to congress and it is defeated, the treatment of those facts gets massaged. In the Clinton years, that news would come out sounding like, President Clinton tried really hard to do something good, but that bad ol' congress stopped him. In the Bush years, that news comes across as, President Bush tried to put one over on us, but congress stopped him in his tracks and saved the day. Dan Rather was one of the biggest offenders, but he has taken his opinions into retirement. I am getting to a point though, and it's not the left leaning main stream media, or right leaning Fox news. It's the people on either side of the fence and their attitudes.

Everybody seems to make a point of pointing at the other side and screaming bloody murder without looking in their own backyard. Bias, it appears, is OK, as long as it agrees with you. Michael Moore and the Swift Boat guys in the last election are a perfect example. Liberals were leaving copies of Fahrenheit 911 on their conservative neighbors' doorsteps and hoping they'd watch it, while crying 'foul' at the Swift Boat ads, claiming they had to stop. Get real, people. Both the ads and the movie played fast and loose with the facts, and made a lot of insinuations that were flat out wrong, but people wanted one squelched while promoting the other. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

The same technique is used on both sides of claiming those that don't agree with them are unthinking lemmings. The term 'sheeple' is thrown around. What's funny is it's always tagged on people who don't think like "I" do. So, if someone has opinions different than mine, that makes them part of a group of unthinking people blindly following some talking head. The thought process goes something like, "Those people can't possibly be thinking because if they did, they'd come to the same conclusions that I do, so they must be lemmings." Well, people, not everybody starts with the same premises you do and everybody has their own agendas. We're trying to solve a lot of the same problems but we have radically differing ideas on how. It's part of what makes this country the great conglomeration of ideas that it is, and just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them wrong. Both sides are equally guilty and somewhere in the middle, we all just have to get along (thank you Rodney King).

There is one place where I have observed that the guilt is not equal. I have found interesting the "liberal" attitude that if you don't agree with me, you should be squelched. I don't know many conservatives that agree with Michael Moore, but I also don't know many who say his forum should be taken away. He has just as much right to his opinion as anybody. Nobody was saying his movie should be banned from theaters, but there were people saying the swift boat ads needed to go. True, some of the difference might be that most conservatives saw Michael Moore more as someone preaching to the choir than someone changing minds, where liberals feared the swift boat ads were doing just the opposite. Nobody balks at the television show The West Wing, which has to be the biggest infomercial for the Democratic Party ever created. The other side of the coin, most of the liberals I know want the Rush Limbaugh program taken off the air. At least he's up front with the fact that his show is nothing but conservative opinion. He dresses it up with a sneaky mix of fact and insinuation, but that's no more than Moore does. It seems the right to free speech only exists, for some, if you're saying what they want to hear. That's what resulted in the "politically correct" movement that showed (and still does to some extent) its worst side on college campuses in this country. Say what you want, but if we disagree with you, your voice must die.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

moving day

It's the week after the PGA tour has played the Players Championship in horrible weather. It rained most of the weekend and the players ended up playing 2 rounds on Monday. It ended with a great story in that Fred Funk won. Fred is the epitome of Mr. Nice Guy, a former club pro and University of Maryland golf coach who didn't play the Tour till his early 30s, who never won anything big...until now...but that's another story.

The popular talk now is that the tournament should move to May. It's been discussed before but the topic is hot now because of the ugly weather the tournament just endured. The thinking is there would be less rain in May.

There are good reasons to move it, but weather isn't one of them. The tour really really wants it to be considered a major, and that's not happening 2 weeks before the Masters. Right now it also runs head to head with March it isn't even the major sporting event happening when it's being played. Most people are knee deep in brackets. If it moves to May, it would be THE golf event of the month in a month where not much else is out there sports-wise. Right now the Byron Nelson tournament and the Memorial are the biggest golf things happening in May and this would eclipse them and be the May major...or major-wannabe. A long time ago, that's why the Memorial was positioned where it is. It was supposed to be the next major, but that hasn't happened either. The biggest other sports thing happening in May is the Kentucky Derby and lets face it, unless you're within a 50 mile radius of Churchill Downs, the Derby is something you watch between yawns.

Back to weather though. This past week was the worst it has ever been for this tournament. There's no doubt about that. It doesn't mean it needs to move to May. It rains in May too. Not only that, but it can be hot....very hot...uncomfortably hot. Spaghetti straps are everywhere at this tournament now. Move to May and it will be bikinis...skimpy ones. Now far be it from me to veto eye candy. I'm a big fan of the thong, but not at a golf tournament in huge crowds with alcohol in the sun. It's a recipe for...I don't know, but trouble is a big part of it.

Agronomy is another factor. The grass they use for the tournament now doesn't like the weather in May in Florida. It will have to change to something else. I'm not saying something else doesn't exist. I'm sure it does, though I'm not enough of an expert to know what it is. I've just been told by those who know that what they use now won't do.

TV is another variable. Right now NBC owns the Florida swing, and it all fits nicely into March. It was a bigger deal when they also owned the NBA, which plays in May and would create a problem, but that's not an issue now.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be moved. I'm just saying move it if you will, but think about it and move it for the right reasons. Don't make it a knee jerk reaction to some rain.

my world, and welcome to it

First, let's start with the title of the place. If you know Caddyshack and you remember the scene where Ty and Danny are walking the course talking about Danny's future, you know where he and his game are headed. My game, for what it's worth, is right there with his. Golf is a game I enjoy, but one I'm not great at. That will probably be one of many themes in here. Frankly, I don't know what I'll do with this place. I just find there are times I have something I want to say and want a place to say it, so I started this thing. If you like it, great. If you don't....find a place you'd rather be.