Fourth Degree Arson for Burning a Flag?

flag-burning-arrestA woman named Patricia Cameron organized a rally in which the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia was burned in a charcoal grill. She’s been given a summons for fourth degree arson. Welcome to the United States of police intimidation.

Here’s what happened:

In the aftermath of the Dylann Roof murders, Cameron went to a local park with a few friends, laid the flag on a pole in a barbecue pit, sprayed it with lighter fluid, lit it, and then another protester held onto it in the grill while it burned.

Here’s the crime she’s being charged with:

… a person who knowingly or recklessly starts or maintains a fire or causes an explosion, on his own property or that of another, and by so doing places another in danger of death or serious bodily injury or places any building or occupied structure of another in danger of damage.

It’s clear to me that Cameron started a fire but it’s also completely obvious to me that there was no danger to the structure or any bystander. They were cautious and careful in their protest. It is an area where barbecues are often held although this particular pavilion was not a barbecue pavilion. I’m sure much more dangerous fires, and by that I mean fires that are hardly dangerous at all, take place in that park every weekend.

The police then conducted a two week investigation of the incident and showed up at her door at midnight to give her the summons. Really? Midnight?

This is simply a case of police officials using their power to intimidate and harass citizens and waste tax-payer money.

Here is a video of the entire incident.

Manitou Springs Police spokeswoman Odette Saglimbeni said, “We’re just looking at the safety of anyone around there, and city property as well. Those flames got pretty big pretty quick.”

Those flames got pretty big, pretty quick? Wow. I’ve seen bigger flames at a fish fry. I can only guess the police in Manitou Springs don’t have to worry about real crimes, either that or they’re a bunch of jerks.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Infidelity Exposed by Strangers at Baseball Game

busybodyI just read a story about a pair of women who noted that the woman in front of them at an Atlanta Braves baseball game was sexting with a man all the while sitting with her husband. They took pictures of the texts, wrote a note to the man with their phone number, and sent him the incriminating photos when he replied.

It’s a story that is both of the modern age and one that is ages old. If you know someone is cheating on their spouse, or see some other perceived ethical failing, should you inform the presumed aggrieved party?

I may get a lot of heat for this but I think the women who wrote the note were in the wrong. It’s just not their business to inform the husband of the cheating.

One reason is there is some chance the couple has an open relationship wherein they have sex with others. It’s also possible that the man is having many affairs and the woman is having her revenge. It’s possible the man is abusive. Anything is possible but those aren’t really the reasons that I’m against exposing such things.

I’m just of the opinion that it’s not our business, even more so when the effected parties are complete strangers. People who meddle in the affairs of others claiming they are doing good generally cause far more harm than the ills the claim to be solving.

I know that people will ask me if I would want to know if my girlfriend or spouse was cheating on me. The answer is that I wouldn’t want someone else telling me. I wouldn’t be particularly grateful to the tattletale.

If I had witnessed the exchange I’m pretty sure I would have said nothing.

What would you have done?

Would you have Exposed the Cheating Spouse?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

 

 

 

Is Shaving Your Legs a Double Standard?

Suzannah WeissThanks to my Facebook friends I’ve been made aware of a story about women shaving their legs in the news. It’s really about one woman not shaving her legs and she uses the argument that women shaving their legs is a double standard.

Suzannah Weiss wrote the piece for Yahoo! Beauty and seems to think a couple of things. That women shaving their legs when men don’t is a double standard. Also that women largely shave their legs to please men. She mentions that some women shave their legs because they like the look and they should be able to make that choice without judgement.

I suppose Weiss is simply trying to be encouraging to other women out there who don’t want to shave their legs. Perhaps she is trying to shame men who prefer smooth legs on women. I can’t speak to her motivation but the idea that it is somehow a double standard seems wrong to me. If a woman shaving her legs is a double standard then so too must be a man wearing a tie, a woman in high heels, a man who shaves his face, either sex who shaves their genitalia.

Weiss then goes on to explain that a great barometer of a man’s respect for a woman is if he thinks a woman is obligated to look pleasing to him. If a man expects a woman to look nice for him, apparently he is a bad fellow. Likewise it seems that it’s at least a negative thing for a woman to want to look pleasing for a man. If she wants to do it for herself, that’s fine. But wanting to look nice for a man? No good.

I’m a Libertarian. I believe we should always do what’s in our best self-interest. But this doesn’t mean we should be isolated. What is often in our self-interest is doing things that are pleasing to those around us. This is how we form friendships, relationships, and manage to exist in society.

One thing I noticed in the picture to the article Weiss is wearing a flower in her hair. Did she do that to please herself? Could not someone argue using her exact same points that wearing a flower in her hair is misguided attempt to be pretty to those around her? That men don’t wear flowers in their hair. Are flowers in the hair a double standard? Are men who like women with flowers in their hair somehow worse men? Are women who put flowers in their hair to please men wrong to do so?

If a woman wants to shave her legs to please a man, to please herself, or because she’s a competitive swimmer, more power to her. If she doesn’t want to, for whatever reason, fine again. If men like shaved legs on a woman, good for them. If they don’t, fine and dandy.

For purposes of full disclosure, I love smooth legs on a woman.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Who is to Blame for Throwing Urine on Chris Froome?

Fan-Urine-Chris-FroomeAccording to Chris Froome the responsible party is our favorite whipping boy, “The Press”.

First the story. The Tour de France has been plagued by Performance Enhancing Drug scandals almost since it was first run back in 1903. Things got very ugly when Lance Armstrong admitted to doping during his record breaking seven victories. There are members of the public are skeptical of anyone who performs well in the annual race and the 2013 winner, Chris Froome, was doused with urine by a fan during the 14th stage of this year’s race.

My issue is that Froome laid blame squarely where it did not belong. Here’s the quote that so aroused my ire:

I certainly don’t blame the public for this, it’s certainly a minority of people out there ruining it for everybody else … I would blame some of the reporting on the race, it’s very irresponsible.

Really? You don’t blame the person who filled a cup with urine, waited for your pass, screamed “dope”, and threw it on you? That person is apparently blameless? It was the press who somehow forced the spectator to act that way? What utter nonsense.

The press reports that riders in the Tour de France might be doping and that’s irresponsible? They suggest that Froome, a former winner, might be cheating and that’s completely out of the question?

I’m not saying those who write sensationalist stories attempting to get people riled up rather than reporting facts are somehow good people. It’s despicable to accuse someone of cheating when you don’t have reasonable evidence or shady circumstances to suggest as much. I’m just saying that, beyond any doubt, the person responsible for throwing the urine is the person who threw the urine! I mean, it doesn’t require an advanced degree is Blameology.

This idea of blaming the press or some organization for an individual’s behavior is rampant. We blame ISIS for domestic terror attacks. We blame racist organizations for mass shootings. We do this because they are convenient targets. The press is such an easy target in this case and often seems to be so.

I find it most useful to blame the person who acts in an egregious manner. I’m of the opinion that assigning blame appropriately is an extremely important part of finding solution. If we blame those who are not responsible then the chances of arriving at successful outcome is all but impossible.

I think the goal should be to solve problems, not lay blame on those who we perceive to be enemies. I’m naive that way.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

 

Parks Department Wants to Stop Selling Bottled Water – Lobbyist Convince Congress Otherwise

parks service water stationYet another example of who actually runs this country was in display when the National Parks Service found that the clean-up cost associated with plastic water bottles was eating up their budgets and the bottles themselves were becoming a fairly large trash problem.

Many of the parks in question decided to stop selling plastic water bottles and install watering stations where visitor can fill up their own containers. An elegant solution that solves the trash problem, the recycling problem, and also allows park visitors to keep hydrated at a significantly lower cost.

Apparently not. The lobbyist for  the bottled water industry have spent half a million dollars bribing … er … lobbying Congress to prevent the Parks Service from stopping sales of bottled water.

I want to be clear. The Parks Service is not banning bottled water if people want to bring their own. They are simply not selling it anymore. They are providing a cheaper and clearly better system. They will sell reusable containers for people to use at the water stations or simply allow people to use their own.

Congress is now in the process of preventing the Parks Service from implementing the change. The arguments they use are laughable. Basically that by not selling bottled water they are encouraging the drinking of soda which is unhealthy. That park patrons might die of dehydration because they can’t afford a reusable container as opposed to a bottled water. The reality is much more obvious. The bottled water companies have lucrative sales of their products at our National Parks. They don’t want to lose those sales to water stations.

This is the country in which we live. Congress members do not care about this country. They do not care about you. They simply care about who is going to pay for them to be elected so they can enjoy the graft associated with being a politician.

Representative Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania, where the bottled water industry is quite large, is leading the charge to prevent the Parks Service from making the change. Hmm, I wonder why?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

El Chapo Guzman Escapes

Joaquín_Guzmán_Loera_mugshotOne of the leaders of the Mexican drug trade, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, escaped from prison the other day.

Guzman’s story is so illustrative of why the United States should not be meddling in the affairs of foreign countries that I can’t pass it up without writing a blog, although I’ve done so before.

The entire Mexican drug trade exists largely because of President Ronald Reagan. Yep. You heard me right. I’m not some crazy, anti-Republican democrat. It’s the truth. There are some pretty important people in the United States who have no desire to extradite Guzman to the United States because of the stories he can tell. Stories about high level Reagan administration officials who are still alive and who still wield influence in our nation.

Guzman worked for a man named Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (who likewise has never been extradited despite the fact he ordered a DEA agent named Enrique Camarena tortured to death). Gallardo built the entire Mexican drug trade with not only the knowledge of the United States government but with their help. Why? Because he was funding the Contra revolutionary group that President Reagan wanted to use to oust the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Yep. I’m not making this stuff up. Do you remember Iran-Contra? That’s where Oliver North helped sell anti-aircraft missiles to Iran in order to get money to fund the Contras. There is considerable evidence to suggest that North was also working with Panamanian strong-man Manuel Noriega to directly bring cocaine into the United States via the CIA in order to use that money to … yes … fund the Contra.

What a sordid, sick, sad tale.

This is the result of our meddling. This is one of the legacies of President Reagan.

All because we wanted to influence the political situation in Nicaragua. When the Sandinista government came into power, President Carter didn’t like them but he agreed to allow their legally held elections to stand and refused to get involved. President Reagan reversed this policy when he came into power.

You may not like President Carter very much and you may love President Reagan. At least be aware of the realities of their policies. President Carter isn’t guiltless in the meddling game in that he continued our misguided attempts to influence the country of Iran. Those policies largely created the entire terrorist network that exists today. Yay for meddling!

We should stay out of the affairs of foreign countries even when we don’t like their policies. This meddling is directly responsible for both the rise of terrorism and the rise of the Mexican drug trade.

Oh and end the War on Drugs.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Physics Defying Baseball – Misleading Headline

Physics Defying Baseball

In an attempt to make up for my lack of a Misleading Headline of the Week for the last few weeks; I’m posting a second one today

Eugenio Suarez attempts to field a ball that defies physics screams the headline.

Really a first rate Misleading Headline from Chris Cwik and Big League Stew. Not only is the headline bad but the entire article goes into zones of stupidity rarely seen. It’s really awful. You have to read it to fully appreciate how bad it is.

No the ball did not defy physics.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Sharks Swim in Boiling Water – Misleading Headline

Boiling Water SharksI’ve been derelict in my Misleading Headline duties for a few weeks, finishing up The Girl in Glass I: Apparition taking priority but I’m back with a doozy.

It’s Shark Week on Discovery and that brings any story on sharks out of the woodwork and into the headlines.

Amazing footage of sharks swimming in boiling water around a volcano is completely baffling scientists screams the ridiculous and misleading headline.

The story, as is often the case in these situations, is actually quite interesting.

A team of scientists lowered a camera into an inactive, underwater caldera. Basically the giant hole from a collapsed volcanic eruption. The keyword here is, of course, inactive.

Yes when the underwater volcano is erupting it spews forth highly toxic gases and heats up to thousands of degrees. When it’s inactive it’s simple ocean habitat. Sharks swim in the ocean. So there you go. Still it is pretty cool footage. Go take a look at the article but ignore the headline.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

What is the Work Week?

standard work weekThere have been a number of stories in the news this week about something called the Work Week.

We had Jeb Bush suggesting that people need to work more (he “clarified” suggesting he meant part-time workers need full-time jobs, but honestly, that’s not what he meant). A number of people are advocating reducing the Work Week to 32 hours.

The problem seems to me that there is a total disconnect between what the work week means and what people think it means. I aim to rectify that.

The Work Week in the United States is generally defined as Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with an hour for lunch. There are many permutations but largely the perception is that people work 40 hours a week at their jobs.

This is, of course, absolute bollocks! There continue to be a number of jobs where people work while at their office and leave work behind when they leave. These sorts of jobs a becoming an increasingly smaller part of the whole. With our phones, tablets, home computers, and other technologies we work wherever and whenever work needs to be done. The idea of a standard work week is utter nonsense for a growing number of people in the United States and other countries in this Information Age.

One of the metrics by which we measure how much work is done is called Workforce Productivity. The problem is that hours worked no longer has meaning in the equation. That hasn’t stopped people from trying to use that particular equation to calculate how productive we are. Productivity goes into many other economic equations defining the health of a nation. If one of the key measurements is no longer valid then I wonder about the entire equation. Are economic decisions being made at the highest levels of government and business that have no basis in reality? In my opinion, yes.

The reality is that people who work in Information Age jobs work far more than they report working. They are on their phones working for ten minutes here and ten minutes there. They are not in the office but they are working. While it’s possible people over-report time away from the office working I’m of the opinion that most people under-report and by a fairly significant amount. This throws all productivity measurements into disarray.

If we want to get a true indication of productivity we must accept this new paradigm for workers.

If we continue to follow outdated and mathematically flawed models we can only make bad decisions.

The idea of the Work Week is dying and we must accept that. Work can be done from anywhere, anytime.

Do your Over Report or Under Report your Working Hours?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Schefter Tweets Medical Records of Pierre-Paul

HarrisonSchefterThere were a number of tragic stories about misuse of fireworks over the Independence Day weekend and one of them involved a football player for the New York Giants named Jason Pierre-Paul.

A football analyst named Adam Shefter regularly posts scoops when it comes to the NFL and sports in general. He is the one who first reported that Pierre-Paul had his finger amputated and included an apparent picture of the medical records proving it happened.

Hello Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). At this stage were not sure how Shefter obtained the image but a retired football player by the name of James Harrison had a choice tweet about the incident.

James, I’m in agreement with you, buddy.

I’m not a lawyer but I’m guessing that Shefter is not in violation of HIPAA because he is not an agency that has medical records. Whoever gave him that picture could be in a whole heap of trouble. That being said, I’m am firmly of the opinion that what Shefter did was reprehensible, vile. Shefter works for ESPN and I’d be willing to bet suspensions are coming and those right quick.

The underlying problem, besides Shefter complete lack of moral fiber, is the news hungry world in which we live. The most important thing is to break the story first and get all those clicks. Clicks mean money in a very real way. Shefter is under a huge amount of pressure from his employer to get the story. That’s how he makes a living and that’s how ESPN stays in business. Virtually every media outlet in the world now puts speed and sensationalism ahead of getting it right.

Before we blame the journalists for everything we must accept our own responsibility in the matter. We are the clickers. We created this environment, they are just feeding us.

Not that I’m suggesting a big suspension isn’t in order. I’m just saying this is the nature of the world we have created. If you don’t like it, your only recourse is to practice a little click control. I’m not holding my breath.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

 

Nick Kyrgios Stops Trying for a Game

nick-kyrgios-gives-upIt’s time to put on white and play tennis at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club! This year a fellow named Nick Kyrgios stopped trying for a game because he was angry at the umpire’s decision in the previous game.

For those fans of mine who are not tennis enthusiasts I’ll let you in a secret. Tennis players stop trying, or “tank”, games all the time. The way tennis is scored with sets makes it useful for players to stop trying for a bit to recover their strength when the chances of winning a set or even a game is remote. Say a player is down 5-0 in a set. There’s not a lot of sense in going all out to win a game when coming back to win the set is all but impossible.

Wimbledon, in particular, facilitates this sort of behavior because the extremely fast surface gives the serving player a major advantage. Thus a returning player, like Kyrgios in this case, sometimes makes little attempt to win.

That being said, Krygios’ effort was far worse than normal for a player “tanking” a game. Generally there is at least a half-hearted try to return the ball in the hopes your opponent messes up. In this case Krygios made almost no effort at all. It was clear what he was doing. His opponent was ahead 2-0 in the second set so it had not reached an insurmountable lead as of yet. He ended up losing that set 6-1.

Krygios then started playing with more intent and won the third set before losing the match in the fourth. He played hard for both of those sets.

The question being asked is if Krygios “cheated” fans out of their money by not playing hard, or even at all, in that one game.

There is no doubt that athletes take plays off at times in all sports. They realize the energy necessary is not worth the result to be gained. They “tank”. What makes this case so different is the absolute indifference showed by Krygios. Fans booed, as would have I.

I do think Krygios’ behavior was very poor. It was disrespectful to the audience, his opponent, the officials, and the game itself. That being said, he did what they all do, just a lot more obviously.

I certainly prefer watching a player who gives it their all rather than one who slacks off during the game, even if for tactical reasons rather than simple petulance.

It’s my opinion Krygios will be under greater scrutiny in the future. Fans will dislike him and boo more frequently his efforts. However, the reality is sports is a results driven job. If Krygios wins tournaments he will get paid and our feelings about this incident are irrelevant. He can “tank” a game whenever he desires but if he wins tournaments he will succeed.

But to the question. Were the fans cheated?

I say no. One game or even set does not rise to that level if the other games and sets were played hard. I can see people disagreeing with me and I understand their point of view. It’s an interesting line. If he tanked two sets is that cheating? Certainly everyone would agree that if he lost three straight sets without trying that was indeed cheating the audience.

Did Nick Krygios Cheat Fans by Tanking a Game?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Why I wasn’t Rooting for Team USA – Hope Solo

USWNT-2015-Womens-World-CupShe’s a bad person. I don’t think Hope Solo was born a bad person. I think what happened in her childhood shaped her into being bad, but in the end I just couldn’t bring myself to root for her or the team that ignored her transgressions because she’s good at being a soccer goalie.

I don’t want to cover why she’s a bad person. There are plenty of articles out there that discuss it at length. I hope she gets counseling and can avoid situations like this in the future.

As the USA women’s World Cup team continued to advance and I watched friend after friend post how excited they were on Facebook, my own enthusiasm refused to emerge. I just couldn’t find it in me to root for the team that so eagerly overlooked what she had done simply because she gave them a better chance to win.

The reality is that if Solo had been a bench warmer, a marginal player, then she would never have been allowed to play. Her transgressions were such that she would have been left off the team. Of this I have no doubt. And that’s why I just couldn’t be all that happy when Team USA won the World Cup in resounding fashion.

There are a lot of great stories from the triumph. Hat tricks, veterans going out with victories, national pride. But I wasn’t rooting for them. I’m not happy they won.

The entire episode reminds me of what is wrong with this world where winning is everything. I’ll never believe that winning is everything. That the ends of winning justify the means used to achieve it. We become cheaters to win, we employ bad people to win, we enrich bad people to win, we sublimate our own ethics to win. When we do that to win … we lose.

It’s my opinion this World Cup win is really just a terrible loss for ethics, for morality, for human decency.

I sure wish they would have left Solo off the team. That would have been a real victory, win or lose.

I know my opinion here isn’t going to be popular but I can’t force myself to feel differently.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

 

Democracy and Voting for the MLB All-Star Game

all-star ballotI just read a rather stupid article from Big League Stew about how the All-Star game balloting displayed a “Midwest Bias” because the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinal had four and two players voted in as starters.

The Cardinals and Royals have the two best records in baseball and you would expect them to have more starters on the All-Star team than anyone else although four is inordinately high and voting issues in Kansas City have been in the news for a while now. The idea of a Midwest Bias is rather laughable simply because the starters for the game are determined by a democratic vote. No one picks the teams and therefore the only bias is that of the ballot box. Larger fan bases usually generate more winners.

That being said I did want to examine the idea of how the All-Star game balloting has regrettable similarities to how we choose the men and women who will make up the government of the United States.

If one group of people, call them fans of a team or a Special Interest Group, manages to get more organized than another they can sweep the ballot away from those who vote more on the basis of their integrity. By grouping their power and voting as a bloc they overwhelm individual voters and skew the ballot toward their candidate.

The result of this is that other groups must likewise organize themselves into entrenched voting blocs in order to win. They can’t vote for deserving players and a sprinkling of their hometown heroes when fans in other cities are voting en mass for their team’s players. This splits the vote and the organized group then wins.

There is also the issue in that the All-Star balloting system usually ensures at least one or two formerly great players who are not having a particularly good season are voted in on their name recognition whereas lesser known players, only known to hometown fans, lose out.

The end result is that we often have players in the All-Star game who are clearly not deserving of their places while those who rightly should get a spot do not. This is one reason pitchers and reserves are exempt from the voting process. The managers of the teams pick their own players to fill these spots although this often leads to controversy as well. Managers sometimes overlook deserving players in order to place their own favorites on the team. That is a good example of bias, unlike the silly article.

What have we learned? Popular voting leads to undeserving candidates winning. Popular vote leads to divisive pack voting, which in order to win you must use an “all or nothing” strategy.

Welcome to how we choose our Congress and President. Of course in baseball, at least, there are thirty teams. In politics we largely only have two teams and they actively prevent anyone else from playing the game.

Is there a better way?

You tell me.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Do Your Prefer the Right Call or a Temper Tantrum?

hawk-eye wimbledonI just read an interesting opinion piece about how Hawk-Eye, the machine used to make correct calls at tennis matches, is ruining the sport. The piece was written in OZY and I was intrigued by the premise even if I personally disagree.

The argument is that people loved watching John McEnroe and others argue with the umpire and linesmen and that the decline in ratings for tennis might be associated with the decrease in such activity brought about by the sure-eyed calls of Hawk-Eye.

The ratings for tennis are down according to the article and I did note a downward trend in what ratings services I could find although they were not up to date. I have no reason to doubt the author. The ratings decline could be partially related to “the Hawk-Eye effect”, which engenders fewer personal confrontations but it is also likely based on other things as well. Name recognition, all the screaming and grunting, demographics, etc. I’m not going to discuss the accuracy of the position taken by the author.

I do want to discuss the argument itself because it is interesting. There are a number of analogous situations in other sports. Instant Replay in baseball, football, cricket, and other sports. The taming down of fighting in professional hockey. The question to be asked is if people tune into sporting events to see arguments and fights. And how important are those to the health of the game itself?

There is no question we are moving to a system of officiating wherein technology ensures the call is correct and arguments are less heated. Is baseball better because the umpires, managers, and players, don’t engage in screaming matches as often? Is it worse?

To my mind it’s better, without question. I prefer the sport. I prefer getting it right. The fighting is not to my taste. It’s not the game. However, I acknowledge my opinion is not universal. Many people love the fights and arguments. There is a certain titillation to watching a player, coach, or other team official lose their mind over a bad, or perceived bad, call. For me it gets old very quickly, it’s just an exercise of “me, me, me” largely. Others feel differently and I guess that’s the question I’m asking today.

Do you like all the arguing? Do you miss it? Do you hate it?

Do you think arguments between officials and players enhance the games?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Bubba Watson and the General Lee

General LeeAs I’m sure everyone knows, what is called the Confederate Flag but is actually the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia and upon whose design was based the Second Flag of the Confederacy as well as a number of other flags associated with the South during the civil war, is in the news. I’m not going to reiterate that story, I’m sure everyone is tired of it by now. Or almost everyone.

The story today is about a golfer named Bubba Watson who purchased the General Lee used in the making of the The Dukes of Hazzard television show. He bought it at auction in 2012. Now he plans to paint over the iconic flag on the roof of the vehicle and replace it with the Stars and Stripes.

As I said, I’m not going to talk about the flag issue. Instead I’d like to examine the reaction to Watson’s decision to paint over the flag.

It basically comes in two flavors.

  1. Watson is a coward who caved to public demand.
  2. Watson is just doing it because he doesn’t want to alienate fans.

I’ve got a third reason: He decided he wanted to do it. He thinks it’s the right thing for him to do.

He bought the car because he loved the show. The Dukes of Hazzard was not about racism or hurting other people. It was ostensibly about moonshining, as Watson mentions in the article, but it was really about a couple of young cousins who are fighting corrupt authority figures. That and those Daisy Duke shorts.

I think the reaction to Watson’s decision is a microcosm of the unfortunate political condition of the United States these days. People want to assign blame for everything that happens without any reasoned look at the facts. It is apparently impossible for most people to take Watson at his word. We’ve got to blame someone, presumably a member of the other party.

Watson implies that the symbol is divisive and is not what the show stood for. He thinks the symbol detracts from what the car should be about. He wants to paint the Stars and Stripes on it.

Me, I’m a Libertarian. Watson owns the car and can do with it as he damn well pleases. I take him at his word.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015

Charles L. Clarke and the Seizure Laws

charles l clarkeI’ve been railing against the War on Drugs for a long time and against the seizure laws used in said war. I really don’t know that I can say anything else.

Read the story of Charles L. Clark and tell me that you support the War on Drugs. I dare you.

He may or may not be guilty of anything. He had a lot of cash he claims he had saved up. They stopped him because his luggage “smelled of marijuana”. When they found a pile of cash in his luggage, $11,000, they took it. They charged him with resisting arrest when he tried to stop the officers from taking his money although those charges were dropped. They couldn’t charge him with anything else because he had committed no other crime.

They suspected that because he had a one-way ticket and cash that he had earned it selling drugs. They had no proof of such and so they took his money. Now he has to sue the government to get it back. They stole it from him legally.

Meanwhile thirteen different law enforcement agencies have asked for their share of the $11,000.

If you don’t think something is wrong with this then I suggest that you cannot believe in the ideals upon which the United States of America was founded. You cannot believe in freedom.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition – Release date: late August 2015