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A Bit of Brooding Over the Brooklyn Bandbox Abandonment

On September 24, 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field against the Milwaukee Braves.  Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley had been angling for years to build a replacement facility for the National League team.  O’Malley proposed a domed stadium in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards (ironically now where the Barclay’s Center stands) but  New York Building Commissioner Robert Moses “would not play ball.”  Moses wanted a stadium erected in Flushing Gardens, Queens (where Shea Stadium and Citi Field were built), but  O’Malley insisted: “We are the Brooklyn Dodgers, not the Queens Dodgers!”.  To put pressure on New York City officials, O’Malley had “Da Bums” play a few homestands in Jersey City, New Jersey for two years, but to no avail.  O’Malley packed up the Dodgers and left for sunny Los Angeles in 1958.  And Brooklyn was never the same.
Brooklyn Dodgers fans have an unusual nostalgic affection for Ebbets Field, which was the Dodgers home for 45 years.  Ebbets Field was built in “Pig Town” in 1912 between Bedford Avenue, Sullivan Place, McKeever Place, and Montgomery Streets from a collection of parcels which included a garbage dump.  When Ebbets Field opened in 1913, the intimate bandbox (a.k.a. cigar box) stadium sported neither a flag pole nor a press box (the latter was not added until 1929).   Ebbets Field had character because of its topography– the parcel of sloping ground required that the right field corner be above street level.  Ebbets Field could only seat 35,000 fans and had no hopes of expansion.  Fans of “Dem Bums” thought that it had a homey feel.
After O’Malley moved the Dodgers to the Chavez Ravine in “Dodger-town” California, Brooklyn fans were thoroughly bummed about the abandonment of the Brooklyn Bandbox.  Ebbets Field was demolished with great ceremony in February 1960.

The site was turned into the Ebbets Field Apartments.  However that did not destroy the nostalgia for the Ebbets Field and Brooklyn Dodgers among their die-hards.

Obama’s Dangerous Illusions of War

President Obama took pride that he unilaterally led US troops out of Iraq in 2011 (without achieving a Status of Forces agreement) and promises to do the same in Afghanistan by 2016.  Casual political observers may now conclude that President Barack Obama has dispensed with the dangerous illusion about optional wars after the aerial bombing  of ISIS and Khorasan Group targets in  Syria. US CentCom claims that the Khorasan Group was in the final stages of an imminent attact on US targets, potentially even in the U.S. Homeland.
However, in the run up to the still unnamed mission from the nascent anti-ISIS coalition, President Obama insisted on being clear about not having American boots on the ground.   


Congress voted for funding to train Syrian rebels, but that training is said to take a year to accomplish.  Now that American airpower decimated ISIS and Khorason targets near Aleppo and Raqqa, Syria, an ISIS pull out would leave a power vacuum.  Without American boots on the ground, who re-establishes order?  Prior to the bombing, former Marine Corps Commandant (Ret.) General James Conway suggested that Mr. Obama’s apparent strategy against ISIS did not have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding.
Mr. Obama may still harbor the illusion about cafeteria conflicts, but General Douglas MacArthur’s warning that: “It is
fatal to enter any war without the will to win it” rings true today.  
America acting to stop the brutality and belligerence of terrorist armies like ISIS and the Khorason Group which threaten US is a tardy step in the right direction.  However, not having a clearly defined plan of action other than ruling out boots on the ground may keep the chimera alive for the Commander-in-Chief.


Some Reflections on “The Battle of the Sexes”

Bobby Riggs was a pro tennis star who was at the of his game in the late 1930s and the 1940s.  But Riggs is most remembered for his battle of the sexes.  In 1973, the 55 year old Riggs came out of retirement to play a couple of matches against much younger female tennis stars.

Originally, Riggs wanted to play Billie Jean King but King initially refused.. But the so called Mothers Day Massacre of top female player Margaret Cox caused the 29 year old King to change her mind and agree to play Riggs.  The Battle of the Sexes was played on September 20th, 1973 at the Houston Astrodome before a record setting crowd of 30,472 spectators and a television audience estimated at 90 million.  King won the $100,000 winner take all prize on 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.  This Battle of the Sexes elevated Women’s Tennis in America , fueled the politically correct womens’ liberation movement and highlighted the Title IX law.

But there was more to the story than athletic prowess on the court.



David Cameron on Scottish Independence

If Scotland votes “Aye” on the Independence Referendum on September 18th, do not expect an amicable “Conscious Uncoupling”, as celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin euphemistically call their separation leading to a divorce.  British Prime Minister David Cameron has been channeling Taylor Swift by proclaiming: “We are never ever getting back together”.


If Scotland becomes independent, there will be quite a bit of haggling over apportioning the debt. The Scots expect that they can still maintain a currency union with the rest of the United Kingdom after splitting away.   British Prime Minister David Cameron insists that sharing the Pound Sterling is out of the question.  But the British military would like to retain access to the Fasland Naval Base on the Clyde for the Trident nuclear submarine fleet.  Replacing that base is estimated to cost five billion pounds. But that may be a hard sell to Scottish citizens, who have a leftist and political pacifist bent.  But it should be noted that HMNB Clyde currently is the largest single employer in Scotland.


Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Dares to Decry Dhimmitude

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch noted that it is unusual for Christians in the Middle East to detail the indigities of dhimmitude living under aspects of sharia law. 


However, considering ISIS application of forced conversions, expropriation along with extermination of ancient Christian communities in Mosul (previously known as Ninevah), the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Saliba may have calculated that there was little to lose by speaking out and exposing cruel practices by jihadists from the so-called Religion of Peace. 


Jon Lovitz on the Gaza Conflict

So much of the Palestinian propaganda sounds like the tall tales of Tommy Flanagan, Pathological Liar.

Yet the peace patsies of the international press will buy these yarns hook, line and sinker, and cover the event like Israel is the unprovoked aggressor.   Yeah, yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket.

Boris Yeltsin on Forceful Conquest

Boris Yeltsin

The first President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin had a rough time transitioning the Soviet command and control economy into a free market economy as privatization had a good deal of the nation’s wealth fall into the hands of a handful of oligarchs. When Yeltsin suddenly resigned the office on December 31, 1999 and left the office to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Yeltsin had an approval rating of 2%. Still an American rock group named itself “Somebody Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin”.

The IRS and the Known Unknown

Yesterday, as millions of Americans rushed to file their taxes to with the IRS before the April 15th deadline, longtime public servant submitted his materials with a sardonic smile.  Along with Rumsfeld’s forms, he included a letter which registers his uncertainty about the complexity of conforming with Internal Revenue Service rules.
Rumfeld’s bureaucratic broadside includes a nod to the phrase “the known unknowns” which he made famous in executing the War on Terror at the Pentagon. 

Rummy’s  bon mot was not only risable but he’s right. Who in the world can have surety about a tax code which is ten time the size of the bible and with none of the Good News?


Vice President Joe Biden Pays Tribute to Boston Strong

To mark the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing, Vice President Joe Biden participated in the solemn memorial tribute.
The Vice President gave a stirring speech which ranged from an emphatic whisper to a defiant proclaimation while speaking before the invitation only crowd of 2,600 people at the Hynes Convention Center, close to the finish line where three people were killed and 260 people were injured in a terrorist attack by two ethnic Chechen Muslims.
Alas, Biden’s bloviating had some awkward elements. In commending the Boston Strong ethos epitomized by many in touched by the travesty, the Vice President pronounced “It was worth it.”
To be fair, here is the quote in context:

“Let me say to those quote
‘survivors’ [who spoke previously]. My God you have survived and you
have soared. It was worth it, I mean it sincerely, just to hear you
speak. You are truly, truly inspiring. I have never heard anything so

Biden is known for his sui generis verbal gymnastics which seem awkward but can still win over the home crowd.  Biden’s tribute fused fanfare for the common man, a defiance to terrorism and some sports metaphors.  Not surprising for a 71 year old Democrat preparing for his own race.

Kobe Bryant’s Prudence Protecting Body Armor

In a wide ranging interview with New Yorker magazine, Kobe Bryant was asked about the widespread displays of solidarity in reaction to the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012.  In fact, the Miami Heat posed in hoodies in homage to the slain teen domicilled in Miami Gardens, Florida.
 Bryant’s reticent reaction to the iconic Miami Heat hoodies pose is in sharp contrast to the politically correct groupthink amongst African American activists just weeks after the incident and even before George Zimmerman was charged.
Bryant’s insistence of thinking for himself and not jumping to conclusions based upon group identity shows prudence in the traditional sense.


Unfortunately, in this American Wonderland, such judicious and independent thinking is unacceptable for celebrities who seek to profit from popularity in these politically correct times. For instance, The Urban Times alleged:

Over the span of Kobe Bryant‘s career….we’ve seen him do and say some very smug, cavalier and even cornball things at times but the comments that he made regarding the Miami Heat‘s support after Trayvon Martin was killed…by far takes the cake! 

So unity must overcome all. The piece progressed to pummel Bryant for not appreciating how he appealed to racial solidarity when there was the Colorado rape allegation from “a less than African American female.”
As the social media firestorm blazed, the career Laker seemed to walk back his diffidence. Bryant tweeted:
That assertion has tries to have it both ways in buttressing his not jumping to conclusions as well as asserting solidarity that the judicial system did not work. This retort may well have been  public relations prudence to protect Byrant’s  multi-million investment in BodyArmor, an emerging sports drink.  While Bryant will not be used in Body Armor’s marketing campaigns, this Trayvon controversy could tarnish the brand among basketball enthusiasts, thereby risking Kobe, Inc’s at least 10 percent stake in Body Armor.
Kobe Bryant and Body Armor product line.