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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

College Basketball season 

The college basketball season, as viewed from here, is the perfect length. It starts to move to the front burner the week after the Super Bowl ends. This year Super Bowl XLV, or forty-five to those of you who don't speak Roman, was played on Sunday, February 6th. The Final Four will be played this weekend, Saturday, April 2nd. An intense eight weeks, spine-tinglingly exciting, it fits and feels right.

By the time we tune in fully to college basketball, it is the heart of the conference season, internecine rivalries and battles. It is a short four weeks then, bang, into the conference tournaments. There is very little competition from other sports during this time of year. Baseball is still in Spring Training. The NBA and NHL are slogging their way through eighty game seasons. Golf has yet to have a major. While, college basketball is at a fever pitch for the whole eight week season we follow.

Conference tournament week, around the middle of March is a phenomenal lead into the Big Dance. All of those conference tourney games are potentially single elimination. VCU has made the best case possible for expanding the NCAA tournament. Any school that lost one game too early in their conference tournament is looking at VCU and thinking, we could have been them. Who is to say what would have happened had Alabama been permitted into an expanded field? Alabama beat Final Four participant Kentucky and is in the NIT Final...to state just one hypothetical.

An expanded NCAA tourney can only make the college basketball season better. They could lop off a week of regular season games or add a week to the Big Dance. VCU has already proven how stiff and deep the competition is. The NCAA tournament, Final Four weekend and Championship Monday, end in excellent synchronicity with the start of baseball season (which is still too early, witness the snow descending on the upcoming opening MLB weekend). The NBA playoffs ramp-up at just about the same time.

The net, net, pun intended, college basketball fills its niche between the end of the NFL season and the start of baseball season perfectly. Expanding the tournament can only increase the excitement. We can't wait for the Final Four games this weekend.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Case for Expansion 

VCU and Alabama, enough said. It is time for 128.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

VCU could cost Vegas 

We tweeted about it last night, asking what were the opening odds on VCU to win the tournament? A little bit of research has revealed that VCU was part of what the casinos label "The Field" bet, a group of nineteen teams where any one of them winning paid 200 to 1.

Jay Kornegay, executive director of the race and sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton said, "I've been doing this for 22 years, I can't remember a field team making it to the Final Four." But apparently there was not much action at that point, supposedly the bets that are really poised to hurt Vegas if VCU wins the tournament were made just before the Sweet Sixteen. At that point, VCU had beaten Georgetown and Purdue. Vegas offered new odds on each Sweet Sixteen participant to win their tournament and set VCU winning the title at 80 to 1. Word is they took some big money action. Now they are worried.

Kentucky is the 8 to 5 favorite of books looking at the four teams left. VCU, if one were to hop at their bandwagon at this late date, only pays 13 to 2. My, my what a long way they have come.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rebecca Black sets new cultural speed record 

Rebecca Black has set the new cultural landspeed record from nowhere-dom to superstardom. Andy Wharol's fifteen minutes are officially obsolete. As the thirteen year-old Ms. Black told Jay Leno, on the Tonight Show, [paraphrasing] "One day I am coming home from school and it is 4,000 views, the next day its four million, six weeks later I am on network television." Ms. Black rise was unprecedentedly meteoric, even in the age of viral video, yet, in her Leno interview she seems remarkable well-adjusted, even wholesome. Although, perhaps it has all happened so fast that she hasn't yet had the opportunity to become jaded.

She has debuted stronger on i-Tunes than Justin Bieber's latest single.

The feeling here is that Rebecca Black does not so much signal the coming of a new paradigm, she symbolizes the triumph of new modes of cultural transmission that have already quite securely taken hold. From American Idol to Twitter to Google's sponsorship of the World's First Online Science Fair, direct routes to the top of the Q ratings and a global platform have appeared where no such passages previously existed.

And really, just how different is Rebecca Black's single from say that of a Miley Cyrus who took a more traditional route to global superstardom (nepotism).

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Presidential Irony 

How bitter is the irony of Obama playing Nixon to Bush II's LBJ in the Middle East? In this scenario Bush's Dad is Kennedy, cautiously engaging in Iraq the same way Kennedy was only willing to dip America's toes into Vietnam. Bush I let the Shi'ites get massacred by Saddam because he was unwilling to commit to a drive on Baghdad. The follies of the son have shown this was the more prudent, if less moral, policy.

Here is Obama, following Bush II's LBJ, after a disastrous War with a massive cost of blood and treasure, he is married to staying the course. But why, Mr. President? For Nixon, the answer was ideological, but Obama is a pragmatist.

Iraq has yet to form a government and civil war is never more than a moment away. Afghanistan is mired in corruption and warlordism. In Pakistan, the United States is on the side of the anti-democrats. America is on the side of the dictators in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Bahrain, too, yet Colonel Quaddafi must go? Alas and alack.

Where is the administration's analysis for maintaining a massive, resented, military presence in Afghanistan? What about supporting an independent Kurdistan? A democratic Pakistan? Why support the status quo in Yemen and Bahrain?

Much like we would have voted for McGovern over Nixon, we should have gone Kucinich or Paul over Obama.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taryn Manning 

Taryn Manning was not a household name in our office as of last week. But our executive editor has been a Playboy subscriber nearly twenty years, and once in a while an issue arrives, and the cover just knocks socks off. Taryn Manning was one such cover.

She showed up this month in the mailbox and when we threw the mag down on the coffee table, it caught fire.

Who is she?

As an actress; she has starred in Crazy/Beautiful, the Clarion Content favorite, Crossroads, as well as, Hustle & Flow, and she played Eminem's ex-girlfriend in 8 Mile. She has her own rock and roll band, a solo career, and no less of a star than Katey Sagal, of Married with Children fame, says she rocks. Can she sing like Katey? The jury is still out.

We have no doubt she is smoking.

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Amusement park nightmare 

Unfortunately, all those sad, old carny jokes came true in the most awful of ways last week in Spartanburg, South Carolina at Cleveland Park. A miniature train called "Sparky" left the rails after flying around the tracks at too fast of a speed, out of control. A six year-old boy was killed in the accident and twenty others were injured including his parents and siblings. The South Carolina State Inspector from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation later admitted he falsified his inspection report. The ride was not tested at all. Witness reported the train appeared to accelerate faster and faster until it jumped the rails. The inspector was subsequently fired.

Read more here.


D'Antoni fails to use the bench 

Fun times

New York Knicks Coach Mike D'Antoni is one of the worst coaches in the league when it comes to under-utilizing his bench. This is not news to Phoenix Suns fans. He did it there, too. Last year with the Knicks, he had the productive shooter and defensive stopper Toney Douglas pinned to the bench simply because he was a rookie.

This year is more of the same. The Melo trade, by getting rid of the Knicks depth, just gave D'Antoni a built-in excuse. The Wall Street Journal breaks down just how bad D'Antoni's substitution patterns are here.

We would be very surprised if both D'Antoni and General Manager Donnie Walsh are back with the team next year.

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A real hero 

The Santa Anita Paddock

This is a reminder that real heroes are writ large and small. It is not always premeditated, sometimes the moment demands action and heroes are made on the spot. Such an event happened last month, ninety year-old Bill Shear demonstrated, that when it comes to heroism, age does not matter either.

According to Bill Plasche of the Los Angeles Times, it was an early Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, California. Mr. Shear, in his 50th year working at the track, was supervising the paddock guards, making sure the huge horses don't harm the gawking fans. Three of those fans were a father and his two young children, Dad was holding his youngest in his arms while his six year-old daughter was holding on to his hand.

Suddenly, the shout, "Loose horse!!!" went up and a more 1,000 pound three year-old named Sea and Sage reared, gave a scream and began running toward the one section of paddock fence that had been replaced by a rope. That rope was held by Mr. Bill Shear. People scattered as panic took hold, the girl's dad said, "I reached for her and she was gone...then I saw her standing by herself with the horse coming at her."

Mr. Shear measures all of five feet tall and weighs in at 110 pounds, but he knew what to do. Shear jumped in front of the horse pushing the tiny six year-old girl out of the way just as the charging animal trampled him to the ground. The girl immediately stood up and shouted to her father that she was fine, then she saw Mr. Shear lying there bleeding, and began screaming.

Her father told the LA Times, aware that his daughter was small for her age, that he had taken her to the track to see the jockeys, "I wanted her to see that you could do great things no matter how big you were." He got a much more intimate illustration than that.

Today Mr. Shear is in a hospital with a multiple pelvic fractures, a fractured cheekbone, and gashes above his left eye and down his left arm, hoping he will walk again in a couple of months.

"I've already lived most of my life, the little girl has her entire life in front of her," Shear said. "There's no question I would do it again."

"When I heard about the accident, the first thing I thought was that my father was in the wrong place at the right time," said Mike, his only son. "Then I thought about it and realized, you know, he was in the right place at the right time."

Read the whole story here and remember you might be sitting, standing or talking to such a hero right now. In fact, in the moment, at the time, you too, might be that hero.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

You Tube 

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A show we want to see 

A week from Friday, April 1st, at Durham's own MotorCo. Be there or be square!

Listen here.

And here.

And here too.

Rumor has it there will be shark tanks...

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Evidence mounts 

At Madison Square Garden evidence continues to mount that having two no defense playing, All-Star caliber power forwards gets a team a lot more razzle-dazzle than it does wins. The Knicks lost again last night. Melo managed five points in the second half and no field goals in the fourth quarter, while the Celtics rallied from a fifteen point deficit to beat the Knicks.

The Knicks are now under .500, 7 up and 9 down since the Anthony trade. The Nuggets meanwhile are surging. The Knicks lack depth, play no defense, and already there are signs of chemistry issues between the two big guys, Amare and Melo. Amare chastised anonymous teammates early this week for not buying into Coach Mike D'Antoni's system, while Melo bellyached and whined a day or two later that time to mesh may mean that successes are postponed until next season. (when the Knicks could have had 'Melo for nothing but Benjamins and could have kept Ray Felton to spell the geriatric Chauncey Billups).

As things stand, the Knicks will be unlikely to win a game from either the Bulls or the Celtics in a first round playoff series. The Miami Heat, who are even softer inside than the Knicks, are somewhat more vulnerable. If the Knicks could lure the Heat into high scoring battles, playing games in the 110's or 120's they might win one or two from the Heat, then as sphincters tightened in South Beach, they would have a puncher's chance against LeBron and D-Wade.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

A few tourney thoughts 

These guys look familiar...

By request, the Clarion Content is not posting our Final Four predictions. The jinx of our pick is too renown. We are laying low as far as that goes, but we did want to give you, dear readers, a few quick thoughts.

One: Overrated! As in the Big 10 is overrated. Penn State, please! They wouldn't have been able to finish in the top twelve teams in the Big East. Wisconsin, a paper tiger, who made their rep on one big homecourt win this season. They beat then #1 Ohio State. This says more about Ohio State than Wisconsin. The Badgers best out of conference win? They beat the 11th best team in the Big East, Marquette. We don't expect a first round loss from Wisconsin, but hey, you never know. And we would be shocked if Ohio State won its regional, with the likes of Carolina and Syracuse waiting in the weeds.

Two: The play-in games and sixty-eight teams are a farce. None of the play-in teams is going anywhere, all the more reason why we do not need to hear the carping from near misses, Colorado and Virginia Tech. Have you heard the conspiracy theory making the rounds? It has some appeal. The committee is deliberately screwing the bubble teams to build momentum for an expansion to a one-hundred and twenty-eight team tournament. As Coach Knight has noted, it is only one more game for each team, but it is a boatloads more revenue for the NCAA. Colorado and Virginia Tech, both of whom have switched conferences in pursuit of the all mighty dollar in recent years, will be highly motivated to grouse.

Three: True TV? Barkely and Kenny in the studio on TNT? Come on! We love Sir Charles and Kenny Smith's witty repartee as much as the next guy, but there are dudes on bar stools all over the country who have watched waaay more college basketball the Kenny and Charles this year. Spare us.

One final thought, absent the Indiana and the Hoosiers, we can only say, "Let's go Duke!"

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Blaming the victim 

The Clarion Content favors school uniforms, we believe uniforms help improve focus and eliminate potential classroom distractions. However, we do not support draconian school dress codes, which are quite different than uniforms. These dress codes, rather than eliminate confusion and issues, exponentially increase them by setting up battles where youth, inherently, naturally, push the limits creating conflicts with parents, teachers and administrators.

It was during the debate on imposing a statewide (as a sidenote surely this is an issue to be addressed on the local, not the state level) dress code in Florida schools that we heard one of the most egregious cases of blame the victim we have ever heard.

In attempting to illustrate the need for a dress code with the case of an eleven year-old Texas girl who was gang-raped by more than a dozen men, Florida State Representative Kathleen Passidomo said, "There was an article about an eleven year-old girl who was gang-raped in Texas by eighteen young men because she was dressed like a twenty-one year-old prostitute. And her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students."

Wow!?! An eleven year-old kid, gang-raped by eighteen men and it was her fault because of how she was dressed?!? She had it coming? She wanted it? Eleven year-olds cannot consent to sex in this country. Period. We hope Representative Passidomo's constituents are calling for the resignation of this anti-feminist hater.

Read more here.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The difference between Socialism and Capitalism 

We grabbed this brilliant bit from our friends over at the MEP Report. Always challenging, probing and inspiring. You should check them out here.

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Earthquake moved Japan 8 feet!!! 

Reports from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate that the coast of Japan moved eight feet during the massive 8.9 earthquake off of its northeastern coast last week. The earthquake was the most powerful to hit the island archipelago in its recorded history. The quake was so big that it shifted the Earth on its axis. Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9 magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).

Read more here at CNN.


Charlie Sheen to direct a porno? 


Vivid Entertainment, one of the biggest mainstream porn studious and its boss, Steven Hirsch, sent a letter to Charlie Sheen last week, proposing that they work together on the porn parody. The letter says, among other things, "We think it would be great if you would come in and direct the movie. You pick the scenarios, positions etc... Based on all the publicity you have been getting, I am sure the sales will be outrageous."

The proposed flick is set to star three women who have ostensibly had carnal relations with Sheen in the recent past, Melanie Rios, Cassandra Cruz and Elizabeth Ann.

Read more here.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

At Auburn, no way? 

Very legitimate...

Well, well, well we can hardly believe what we are reading on ESPN.com this morning. Four players from Auburn's football team were arrested for five counts of first-degree robbery, one count of first-degree burglary -- both of which are felonies -- and one count of third-degree theft. Reportedly, three men entered a house off-campus, displayed a gun and robbed the residents.

Their vehicle was stopped by police, a pistol and stolen property were recovered, and the four players were taken into custody. They are being held on $511,000 bail. Three of them were part of Auburn's 2010 recruiting class. The fourth was their leading tackler in the national championship game last year. All four have been kicked off the team.

Read more here.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Palin's 15 minutes up? 

A newly released Bloomberg poll shows strongly negative numbers for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. 1001 adults were polled and 60% had an unfavorable opinion of Governor Palin, while only 28% had a favorable opinion. Interestingly, when compared to other politicians like Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie, more people had an opinion one way or the other about Palin than any other American politician, save for President Obama. Analysts say this means Palin will have a harder time moving the favorability ratings in her direction. More people have made up their mind on her, one way or the other, than any of the other potential 2012 candidates.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Deviation from the mean 

Reprinted, originally published, February 2010

As long time readers of the Clarion Content know we are not believers in a bright line standard that delineates crazy from sane. Life is cast hues. It was then we read with great interest, and a tremble that fluttered between nervous laughter and real trepidation, an article in the New York Times about The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

This book, last revised sixteen years ago, is what its title purports, the handbook of what the profession of psychiatry considers crazy. The New York Times quotes Dr. Michael First, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University who edited the fourth edition of the manual, "Anything you put in that book, any little change you make, has huge implications not only for psychiatry but for pharmaceutical marketing, research, for the legal system, for who’s considered to be normal or not, for who’s considered disabled."

One book to rule them all, One book to define them,
One book to cast them all and in the darkness bind them.

Not surprisingly when this is the scenario, the manual and its contents have been the subject of intense lobbying efforts. One significant change being recommended according to the Times is adding a childhood disorder called temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria, a move that grew out of recent findings that many wildly aggressive, irritable children who have been given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder do not have it. Sounds to the Clarion Content like trying to take two wrongs and produce a right; bad idea. The Times reports, "The misdiagnosis led many children to be given powerful antipsychotic drugs, which have serious side effects, including metabolic changes...there have been widespread reports that doctors promoting the diagnosis received consulting and speaking fees from the makers of the drugs."

The urge to label and stereotype is a powerful human desire. The unknown is fearful and threatening, people who do not behave as expected even more so. In an existence limited and capped by looming mortality, uncertainty produces angst. Pigeonholing and defining the "other" give a sense of security. What is known is in the realm of what has been conquered. Humanity has explored the planet to near its ends, gaining great comfort in knowing more about what exists. With the exploration of terra firma nearly complete, societally we have turned the lens inward.

The Clarion Content cannot hold with the kind of labeling that this manual of psychiatry implies. Our understanding of the metaverse believes that this sort categorizing falls somewhere between repugnant and unhelpful. While not entirely false, stereotypes contain tropes that repeatedly misdefine and misunderstand individuals. The shrinks try to account for this type of critique by using scales of severity, from mild to severe, and rating symptoms. This attempt seems paradoxical to the Clarion Content. When labeling fails to address the specificity and uniqueness of the underlying individual cases, how does more labeling appear to be the answer? At what point do the categories lose meaning? Could we not rate every human being to be their own unique combination of characteristics? The fallacy of treating the mind like other physical ailments of the body becomes more ludicrous with every passing year. In our view the direction we should be proceeding is to examine the physical ailments of the body as things that can be treated and ameliorated by processes within our own minds.

The best treatments, mental and physical, imply an acceptance of our individuality and uniqueness however threatening it might be.

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Monday, March 07, 2011

A slick robbery 

A sneaky and creative thief stole $238,000 from the hold of the Air Antilles plane while it was in flight. The ingenious thief had clearly planned ahead. He crawled through the plane's bathroom toilet and into the cargo hold. He must have known that a Brink's security employee had placed three sacks of cash containing a total $1.6 million in there just before takeoff. The thief feigned illness and spent nearly the entire flight in the bathroom, ostensibly getting sick.

Fox News reports that, "[The fellow] asked a flight attendant for an ambulance to meet him on the tarmac. When the ambulance arrived, the man said he felt suddenly better and walked out of the airport without having to go through the normal security checks and disappeared."


The milk tweet was free 

Charlie Sheen posted a Twitter photo last week, with the only slightly less famous Bree Olson, wearing a sh*t eating grin and holding a bottle of chocolate milk from Broguiere's Dairy in Montebello, California. Despite Sheen's massive publicity, he did not attempt to cash in from the dairy owner. Some celebs are getting up to $10,000 per endorsement tweet. Sheen, who is winning, did it strictly for the love of the milk.

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Gaming company stunt flops 

The game is called Homefront.

THQ, a Southern California video gaming company, was in San Franscisco to promote its hyperviolent video game, it ended up instead garnering far more publicity for its pollution of San Francisco Bay. The company staged an event in downtown San Francisco that included the release of 10,000 red balloons with an offer from the massive chain, GameStop, allowing gamers to "receive the resistance multi-player pack, featuring an exclusive weapon."

The game is set in a near-future where the United States has been invaded by nuclear-armed troops from North Korea. Beautiful. For the children, you know. Unfortunately, the balloons and the coupons, not so beautiful. Wind and rain combined to push the balloons toward, and then into San Francisco Bay, by the thousands, almost immediately after their release. Unsurprisingly, in an environmentally conscious city like San Francisco, local denizens were not pleased with the free pollution caused by THQ and GameStop.

Read more here.

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Deficit Hawk 

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, a noted deficit hawk, gave Fortune magazine writer, Nin-Hai Tseng, an interview this week where he laid out some of the realities of the state of the state in Washington, D.C. Senator Coburn is often regarded as an eccentric, wild card---modern Washington parlance for a straight shooter who does not kowtow to lobbyists. The conservative Coburn has no patience for inefficiency in government, even in arenas traditionally sacrosanct to Republicans.

When asked about the Defense Department Coburn said, "I think there is at least $50 billion of waste in the US Department of Defense. But we don't really know because nothing in the Defense Department can be measured because they don't have audited financial statements. They're not even sure what they're buying and they're not even sure if they've paid for it. One of the things I've been working on for the last two years is to put financial controls in the Defense Department. They're highly effective at what they do but they're highly inefficient. There's a lot of money in that $600 billion budget that we could save just through good management practices."

The Senator also laid it on the line about the precarious state of America's finances, "I've studied a lot of international finance in the last year and a half and I've read the works of every major economist around the world and I've talked to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and I've talked to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. We're in deep weeds right now. If something collapses in the Middle East, and interest rates go up, we have the potential to go on a downward spiral that we cannot get out of. We're going to become Japan, too."

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Obama and Libya 

One more reality check for all the Obama apologists shoveling the bullshit filled buckets labeled "Change". The Obama administration, over Congressional objections, had been pushing a $77 million deal to provide at least 50 refurbished armored troop carriers to Moammar Gadhafi's army. Congress had stalled the deal which would have benefited the massive multinational arms dealer, BAE.

This is different from what King George the II was up to how? Rhetorically? We are supposed to take solace in although the Obama administration is more of the same, he at least denies that he is on the side of the dictators and the huge companies that profit from their existence? Isn't that actually worse? At least, we, the People, knew where George Bush II stood. He made no bones about the fact that he was screwing the little guy into the ground to help the Kenneth Lays of the world. The Associated Press reports, "General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman were among companies listed as attending the 2008 and 2010 Libya Defense and Security Exhibition in Tripoli."

BAE is a British firm with a United States subsidiary, BAE Systems, Inc., listed in 2010 as the nation's 12th largest government contractor. It is headquartered in Rockville, Md. It is a classic case of the rotten junction of politics, money and the military industrial complex. The company's board is chaired by former Gen. Anthony Zinni, former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command; former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, an Obama foreign policy mentor; and former Bush administration Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff.

Some change, Mr. President. Obama spouts a lot of rhetoric, then sells arms to Libya anyway, while green lighting tax relief for the very richest Americans. Nice work, Barry

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Saturday, March 05, 2011

The State of the Knicks 

The excitement is back in the world's most famous arena...Is winning next?

The Clarion Content is an institution run by Knicks fans. It speaks to our quixotic nature. The Knicks are on what feels never-ending quest to recapture the zen magic of egalitarian champions of 1970/1973, when Earl the Pearl shared the ball with Clyde the Glide, when Dave DeBusschere worked along side Bill Bradley.

Did the Knicks get closer with the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony?

There is no doubt we were against the trade from the beginning. Time has softened our opinion, but only the tiniest bit. The wound was cauterized early when the Nets threw salt in it, stealing Deron Williams for a half of what it cost the Knicks to get Melo.

Why were we against the trade and why are we still worried now?

Here is the litany.

Melo and Amare play the same position, the four, power forward. They basically like to get the ball in the same place. They are both used to being the alpha dog. Neither likes to play defense or do the dirty work on the defensive boards.

The argument we keep hearing is that the Knicks have two of the ten all star-starters. This would be a lot more relevant if all the games were played with the same level of defensive intensity as the All-Star game. The Knicks and D'Antoni system would crush with in that style of game.

As is? Not so much.

Who knows how well the Knicks will even mesh? If you read our tweets, you know we are on this vein before the crash and burn in Cleveland the other night. Before Charlotte bailed on Gerald Wallace, we thought there was an outside chance that the Knicks could miss the playoffs completely while waiting for Melo and A'Mare to jell.

Chauncey Billups, while more than a throw-in, is well into his thirties. Is he an improvement over Felton? Definitely on paper. But Billups can no longer run the court in seven seconds or less style of D'Antoni, Felton eight years younger was a better fit. Billups will be helpful in a slow it down, halfcourt, grind it out playoff series. Here's hoping the Knicks can win one of those before he retires.

Moreover, most reports indicate the Knicks G.M., the savvy Donnie Walsh, who built this team out of the scorched earth that Dave Checketts and Isiah left behind, opposed the deal. Walsh knew the Knicks could have Amare for nothing next year as a free agent. Why give up two solid starters, (trading the Italian Jeans model was addition by subtraction) Felton and Chandler, plus a first round draft pick? Especially knowing, the Knicks were not going anywhere in this year's playoffs? Walsh's contract is over after this season. Odds are, unless the Knicks pull of a first round miracle against the Heat or the Magic, Walsh leaves, and then this deal cost the Knicks their front office leadership as well.

So two power forwards, both whom want to be the alpha dog, neither of whom play a lick of defense or like to rebound, no first round draft picks until 2050 or so, missing out on Deron Williams... Unless D'Antoni gets fired, its says here that he plays Doug Moe to Melo and Amare's, Alex English and Ernest "Kiki" Vandeweghe.

One good thing about the deal, it has finally stopped the short-sighted D'Antoni from burying the hardworking, talented Toney Douglas on the bench. D'Antoni might be the worst judge of young talent, this side of Kahn, employed in the NBA.

Forgive us, NBA gods, if we Knick fans aren't excited about the prospect of 50 win seasons and first round playoff losses.

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Not Huckabee 

This week, no less of conservative leading light than Washington Post columnist George Will, dismissed former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's chances of winning the Republican Presidential nomination. Will said the average American wouldn't trust Huckabee to run a lemonade stand let alone have his finger on the button.

Will thinks the nominee should be drawn from a more obscure list that includes Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

It should be remembered that Will is, what would have been called back in the day, a Rockfeller Republican, not exactly a salt of the earth, Palinista.

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Friday, March 04, 2011

Check it out 

This Saturday, March 5th, a local, Durhamanian and friend of the Clarion Content, is hosting on Duke Radio, WXDU, 88.7 FM. Check it out Saturday from 2pm-4pm. It promises to be way out and grooovy.


Listen this Saturday, on 88.7 FM to Barbara's World Music Retro-Funk and Disco Show with rare and wild tunes from around the world, many dug out of the record vault of the legendary Lost City Music Store. 2pm-4pm.

Highly recommended! Its the funkydoobiest.

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Knicks find a pothole 

Former Syracuse star, Andy Rautins, breaks it down for Knick teammate, Landry Fields. That's right, Stanford, it snows here, in New York. Snow, ice and salt breakdown roads. Yes, Long Beach, this leads to gaping potholes. Apparently Fields, with Rautins in the front seat, hit a huge pothole getting on the Major Deegan Expressway. Ouch.

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Harvard Hoops 

Harvard Coach Tommy Ammaker learned from the best...

The Clarion Content was on this story many moons ago. Duke alum, Tommy Ammaker, and his Harvard Crimson, have a shot at the school's first Ivy League Men's Basketball title in 100 years of competition. They are the only one of Harvard thirty-four varsity sports not to have won a single league title. They are the antithesis of Jack Nicklaus, having finished second only twice in school history. Once was under Coach Ammaker, with a star, who has since matriculated to the NBA, Jeremy Lin.

This year Coach Ammaker's squad is the youngest in the Ivy League. With wins in their remaining games against league pillars Penn and Princeton, this team can do something never accomplished in the history of Harvard basketball. The New York Times quotes the coach, "I’m not sure you can walk anywhere on this campus and find something that hasn’t been done before," Amaker told the Times this week. "But we are on the verge of doing it."

Read the whole story here.

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