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Claxton

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Posted on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 11:27 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A few thoughts to chew on as we get back into the work week:

1) If the folks at the Claxton Bakery, Inc., down in Claxton, Georgia, get their way, I'll have to change my name to something else. You see, even though I wasn't named after the fruit cake, the only way that I can get people to understand it when I say it over the phone is to tell them that it's "Claxton, like the fruit cake". I mean, if Spike Lee can stop Viacom from using the name "Spike TV" for its rebranding of TNN, then the Claxton Bakery could very well come after me. After all, they were in business 60 years before I was even born. Anybody have a good African (or Anglo) name I could use in case I get stripped?

As best as I can figure it, Spike's not playing this up because his reputation is really going to face any damage. If Viacom had been using his picture, or samplings of his voice, or (heaven forbid) showing programs that any reasonable person could even link back to Spike Lee ("Stripperella" does not count), then he'd have a case. But consider this--he hasn't had a blockbuster movie in a while, although he's still very active on the Hollywood scene, and this is a convenient way to keep his name out there. To make things worse, his real name is Shelton...If he wins this case, rest assured we're going to see similar suits like it, from people with much lower profiles. And that, my friends, is not what our overloaded and understaffed court system needs right now.

2) The FCC's recent ruling to relax media ownership restrictions will have serious ramifications for those media markets dominated by one or two companies. Fortunately, Charlotte's a diverse enough market where this might not be a problem--the seven major TV stations in this market are owned by five different companies; a sixth company (Knight Ridder) owns The Charlotte Observer; and a seventh (Infinti Broadcasting, owned by Viacom) owns most of the radio stations. But it is conceivable that one company begins dominating a specific market, and that means that what people see and read will be dictated by a select few people. This is not healthy for the discerning reader/viewer, and it's not healthy for those in the media business. That's the sort of monopoly that definitely doesn't need to exist.

3) This past week marked three incredible milestones--the 40th anniversary of the first woman in space (Russian Valentina Tereshkova), the 20th anniversary of the first American woman in space (recent US Astronaut Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Sally Ride), and the passing of a baseball legend, longtime Cleveland Indian Larry Doby.

Even in the majority of black households, Larry Doby wasn't a name often heard, at least not in my generation. Oh, everyone knew who Jackie Robinson was and how great he was. But Larry Doby's name never came up, and that's a shame. Not only was Doby a pretty good ballplayer, he was also the second black man to manage a major-league team. And he was the first black man to play in the American Basketball League, the forerunner to the modern NBA. In his lifetime, Doby was never fully appreciated for the things he did, but history has taught us time and again that the full measure of a man isn't appreciated until he's no longer among his peers. Godspeed to an unsung pioneer whose contributions will not soon be forgotten.

4) Show me the weapons!! What's that, Mr. Bush, you say you can't show me the weapons? Is it because there weren't any to begin with? And are you finally ready to admit that the intelligence that you tried to browbeat the UN with, to get them to sanction this war against Iraq, isn't really intelligence, but some phony-baloney, cock-and-bull story to make that nation seem like a much greater threat than it was? While it may be true that Iraq had these weapons at some time, we've done a piss-poor job of finding them. Where are they?

While you're touring the country to raise funds for your 2004 campaign and talk up the big tax cuts for your cronies, you might want to send a few bucks to someone who's really in need. Your ally across the pond, Tony Blair, will soon be facing an electorate that isn't as naive as that here in the US and a Parliament that would be inclined to authorize his hanging as a traitor. (They do still hang in Great Britain for treason, even though it's abolished it for other capital crimes.) And whoa betide you if Mr. Blair is tossed out on his ear. If America wakes up and figures out what you've been doing, you won't be far behind him. Too bad I won't be at the control of your gallows, sir. I'd like to see you swing for this.
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Cynique

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Posted on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 01:50 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Claxton, here's one of life's little ironies you you might find interesting; the sad saga of an athlete who could be the poster boy for the "just-when-you-think-you-got-it-made, wham!" school of thought. Here in Chicago, the sports world is all abuzz over what has happened to the Bulls' premiere, first-round pick point guard. Although he'd faltered a little in his rookie season, he was considered a candidate to be the franchise player having been voted the country's number one collegiate basketball player. So, contrary to what his contract forbids, Jay Williams decides to go for a spin on his motor cycle, runs into a tree, is thrown from the bike, and ends up in the hospital in critical condition, with a broken leg, a fractured pelvis, and a shattered knee, all of which are virtually career-ending injuries for a point guard. On top of the world one minute, in in the pits the next. And Williams may not even have a financially secure future because he violated the terms of his contract by engaging in risky life threatening activites. What a shame.
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 02:29 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique:

Flyin High in April, shot down in May--
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ABM

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Posted on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 03:14 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1) Spikes' cousin must be the judge in this case because this is 1 of the most frivolous lawsuits since that old broad was paid millions for spilling McDonald's coffee in her lap (And hell, considering it had been decades since any "heat" had been administered "down there" on grandma, she should have been made to pay Mickey D's for warming her stuff up, not them paying her.). However, I must say that I am somewhat sardonically pleased that a black man's name could be considered so valuable that he might be able to enjoin a white-owned company from using it, effectively costing the company millions in promotional, operational and administrative costs.

2) Michael Powell is WAY out-of-control. Powell should be immediately deposed as the Chairman and member of the FCC, and all decisions made by the FCC during chairmanship should be reviewed and possibly either reversed or placed in moratorium. Everything Mike has done since being made the head of the FCC has been to diminish competition in the broadcast/telecommunications sector and to singularly promote the interests of mega-media conglomerates.

Powell's African American predecessor tried to promote access to low range radio. The Clinton Administration had hoped that low range radio could be used by the inner cities and small rural towns to inexpensively provide broadcasting services suited to the needs of their immediate communities. Important issues involving schools, crime, social affairs could be freely disseminated within one's neighbor. But quickly upon being made the head of the FCC, Powell, canned the project citing that the signals from low range radio would encroach upon the broadcasts of existing (wealthy) stations, though there was never any studies done or sponsored by the US to prove/disprove that the broadcaster's self-interested claims.

And considering that Powell is reputed to be a Republican of nearly "Cheneyese" caliber, it really makes me wonder whether this is a case of an apple roll too afar from the tree or just what are the real, private socio-politico-economic positions of Mike's seemingly more inclusive and moderate father Secretary of State Colin Powell.

3) Yeah, Larry Doby did get shortchanged by history's accounting of the integration of baseball. Doby, like Jackie Robinson, had a very distinguished career (Actually, Doby, who was an All-Star caliber outfielder, hit +100 more home runs and +200 more RBI's than Hall of Famer Robinson.), and he helped the Cleveland Indians to get to 3 World Series during the 40's - 50's. Perhaps Doby's lack of appreciation was due to his being considered a more private, less outgoing man than were Robinson. Also, Robinson played in NYC while Doby played in the much smaller media market of Cleveland. So Robinson got a lot more press attention than did Doby.

4) As long as the lingering fear exists within many Americans that Arabs/Muslims throughout the world are out to destroy the US, Bush will be able to get away with Military incursions into the Middle East, Africa and maybe even Asia & Eastern Europe. Hell, considering how estranged we currently are from the French, Bush might be able to get away with torpedoing the Effel Tower. (HAHA!!!) Because when it comes down to it, most US folks, even those who are not overly Bush apologists, feel that, bottomline, it is better to get the bastards, real/imagined, before they get us.

It is much easier for DC to defend toppling a murderous and corrupt government, even if many innocents are killed, if the governments are themselves already starving & killing their own people. The WMD thing will not topple Bush because Saddam is perceived to be such a bad guy, to his own people even, that Bush's competition will be hardpressed to effectively mount an argument about the missing WMD without indirectly endorsing Saddam being allowed to continue to run Iraq.

Bush has been effectively marketed as a bold/decisive wartime President during an era where nearly all American's on some level fear for their personal/collective safety/well-being. His advisors, though likely mostly crooks and egomaniacs, are among the slickest to ever back an American presidency. They have taken FDR-Truman presidential warhero playbook and suped it up 4 the cyber generation. Plus, Bush's would be Dem. competition lack persuasive personae and agendas.

There are only 4 possible incidences on the horizon that could lead to Bush's demise:
I) It can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Bush and/or his senior executives knew about what would befall the victim at the WTC and the Pentagon prior to 911 and chose to do nothing about it.
II) There is a virtual crash of the US economy, resulting in millions more loosing their jobs/homes, and the Dem's can be clearly and persuasively argued that Bush is at materially responsible.
III) The trouble with North Korea is woefully bungled by DC, resulting a war where 1,000's of Americans are killed.
IV) Terrorists slip the dubious defenses of the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, et. al and set off a cataclysmic biological, chemical or thermo nuclear device in the US.

So, I almost hope Bush does get re-elected. Because the cost of toppling him might be way too high.
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ABM

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Posted on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 03:25 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique,

Jay Williams is your typical overrated Duke basketball player who does not know how to handle that there are no Duke-biased referees in the NBA to help embellish their records/accomplishments. Williams f-d up the moment he strolled his scrawy a$$ into Chi-Town and had the unmitigated gawl to say Chicagoans should get-over the Championship Bull. And I here he even took 1 of Jordan's lockers (which should have been brozed, inscribed and cordon off from access to everyone, especially an arrogant, over-hyped, piss-a$$ rookie).
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Cynique

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Posted on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 05:54 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have to admit I was a little leery, ABM, when Jay's parents relocated to Chicago and moved in with him in order to keep an eye on him. And, boy, has his injury thrown a monkey wrench into the Bulls' lottery plans, not to mention their trading possibilities and salary cap. Still, I feel sorry for the poor guy. The Chicago press was pretty brutal on him all season long, echoing pretty much what you said. Now, the joke circulating among the pundits is that Jamal Crawford, Jay's competition for the starting point guard position, was the one who brought Williams the motor cycle as a "gift."
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Claxton

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Posted on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 09:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique, the Jay Williams incident isn't really anything new, at least not for recent Duke alumni. Consider that several years ago, the Sacramento Kings lost the services of hotshot point guard Bobby Hurley to a serious car accident. After that accident, Hurley was never quite the same. And then, there's the poster child for injuries--and the one man I really feel sorry for--Grant Hill. He'll never be the same, either, and it might serve him best if he retire right now. Of course, Christine Laettner has hung around like a bad fungus. But Danny Ferry finally got himself a ring. That's got to be worth something.

If it was in Jay Williams's contract that he couldn't ride a motorcycle, I don't feel real sorry for what happened to him. (This same situation is why Jeff Kent is now a Houston Astro, by the way.) He put himself in that situation, and now he'll pay for the rest of his life, physically and financially. Let's see how his folks handle that.

ABM, I'm with you on just about every point you made. Powell and the FCC are out of control; very soon, in the big markets, public/government/educational access TV will be the only real TV left.

And yes, Spike Lee's lawsuit is extremely frivolous; personally, I think the judge has something against Viacom, because if I were the judge, the case would've never seen the light of day.

Now, about Mr. Bush...Old Man Bush, Dubya's dad, lost his bid for reelection in 1992, not because of the first war against Iraq (for which there was tangible and indisputable justification), but because the economy suffered a hangover from the end of Reaganomics. It also didn't help that he raised taxes even after his famous promise not to. Dubya hasn't faced down the economy like he should; while the war on terrorism has gained his attention, he's let things slide on the homefront. Even during their administrations, with war straining resources, they found a way to keep things going at home. And don't forget, most Americans didn't want this man in office in the first place. Bush may not get that lucky next year.

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Cynique

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Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 12:31 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The foot soldiers in the field may yet be the ones to bring about the downfall of Bush and Rumsfeld and company. The U. S. troops are starting to get restless over there in Iraq, and one of them has even spoken out publicly, expressing his resentment over the senseless hazards he and his buddies are being exposed to. Wouldn't it be great if a mutiny rained on Dubya's patriotic parade.
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 12:33 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All:

They say he has collected 200 million bucks already. The powers that be are telling us who they want for the job.

This is going to be ugly.

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