Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chile Earthquake Update- Death Toll Rising Amid Deteriorating Security Situation

(Aliosha Marquez/AP)
Chile's central government moved to position additional Army personnel and Carabineros (Chile's national uniformed police force) officers in Conepcion, Talcahuano and other municipalities close to the epicenter of Saturday's magnitude 8.8 earthquake in a bid to quell looting in those areas. Over the weekend, looters emptied supermarkets, clothing stores, gas stations, grain silos and electronics stores, burning some of them to the ground afterwards. Authorities in Concepcion had declared a curfew and police had 55 people in custody for curfew violation on Sunday.
(Natacha Pisarenko/AP)
Outgoing Chilean President Michele Bachelete promised to deliver aid to the quake-stricken regions as the death toll went past 700, with 723 dead and at least 19 missing. Firefighters in Concepcion had pulled 25 survivors and eight bodies from a collapsed apartment complex while firefighters, soldiers and urban search and rescue teams were searching for signs of life in other collapsed buildings. Many survivors had taken to sleeping outside on the sidewalks, anticipating another quake.

The price of copper saw a brief spike on international trading, as Chile is the world's largest exporter of copper. Officials say the quake and its aftermath is expected to slow, but not halt the production and export of copper.

And at this time, Not Another New England Sports Blog! would like to salute Chilean tabloid La Cuarta for not only providing images and updates on the quake's aftermath throughout the weekend, but also providing Chileans with completely gratuitous T&A in their hour of need.

Mil Gracias, La Cuarta! Como se dice 'NSFW'?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sports Chowdah Update Feb 23-27th/Olympic Edition; Border Wars a Trois- USA & Canada Set For Gold Medal match; Korean Stocks Ditched for Bond Girl

Figure skating: Noramlly, I'm not a fan of sports or events where the winners and outcome are dictated by a panel of judges, but apparently a whole lot of Asians disagree with me. Trading on Asia's top two exchanges ground to a halt earlier this week so that traders on the floors of both Seoul's Korea Exchange and Japan's Nikkei could watch performances in women's figure skating by Japan's Mao Asada and South Korea's Kim Yu Na. The only significant movement that trading session came from Korean sports-marketing firm IB sports [KSX: 011420], which represents Yu Na among others. Yu Na's James Bond-themed performance on Febuary 23rd earned higher marks that Asada's program and Yu Na would go on to win the gold in women's figure skating on Thursday. This would be South Korea's first Winter Olympic medal in a sport other than speed skating.

Finland's Kiira Korpi earned an 11th place finish, perhaps begging the question why she didn't go ahead with her sexy stripper-cop program in the Vancouver games.
(Andrew Mills/Star-Ledger)

Woman's Hockey: To hardly anybody's surprise, it was USA versus Canada for the gold, with the Canadian women's team shutting out the USA 2-0. However, it did not end there. Bound and determined to lock up the 'Buzzkills of the year' title early, the IOC sharply criticized the gold medal winners for smoking cigars and drinking beer and champagne while taking a victory lap after the medals were awarded and the fans had left the arena.

Men's Hockey: Good God, I sure took my sweet time updating this, didn't I? Well, the match that most people thought would be the gold medal matchup actually took place as early as the quarterfinals- Russia vs Canada. However, it did NOT live up to it's billing as the host country simply demolished the Russians 7-3 to advance to the semifinals against Slovakia, where they won a much closer game against the Slovaks 3-2.

Elsewhere, Team USA scored late and not necessarily often, but often enough to get by the Swiss 2-0 on Wednesday and advance to the semifinals where they manhandled Finland by a final of 6-1. This set up a Bronze medal game between the Finns and Slovaks that was played Saturday with the Finns rallying to get past the plucky Slovaks 5-3. I have to say that as fun as the Slovaks were to watch, I'm a little disappointed they couldn't do any better than 4th place.

Of course, I would be derelict in my sportsfan/sports-blogger duties if I neglected to mention that Finland and Slovakia's loss sets up a gold medal game between the USA and Canada on Sunday. To say 'I'm looking forward to it' is the understatement of this young 2010, and I honestly couldn't tell you who I think is going to win. Canada looked unstoppable against Russia, but at times, complacent and beatable against the Slovaks. Ever since pool play ended, USA and Canada haven't had any common opponents (USA had the Swiss and Finns while Canada had Germany, Russia and Slovakia). While I can't dismiss things like playing to the home crowd and avenging last week's loss, I think USA does have momentum on their side and nowhere near as much pressure to worry about, since very few thought they'd get this far in the first place. But stop and think about it.....the absolute worst case scenario facing the USA men's hockey team at the moment is 'settling' for silver when they were a longshot to be in contention for a medal in the first place. That said, no reason to let up is all the rage this year. (Go USA!)

Bobsled: Team USA broke a 62 year drought by winning the gold in the 4-man bobsled event Saturday. Steven Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curtis Tomasevicz piloted the winning sled through the Whistler course in 3 minutes, 24.46 seconds.

Closing Ceremonies: The remaining representative from Chile's Olympic delegation will stay for the closing ceremonies tomorrow in Vancouver. Alpine skier Noelle Barahona had planned to return home on Sunday but was unable to find a flight. However, she did receive word that her family and friends were all right. Barahona, a team spokesman, a coach and a physical therapist will be on hand to represent Chile for the closing ceremonies. Two other Chilean skiers, Jorge Mandru and Maui Gayme, had already left Vancouver for Seattle and Europe before the earthquake struck.

Massive Magnitude 8.8 Earthquake and Aftershocks Rock Central Chile

(La Nacion- Argentina)
(La Nacion- Argentina)



Buildings were toppled while electricity and telephone lines were severed after a magnitude 8.8. earthquake struck central Chile early Saturday morning. The capital city of Santiago shook for over a minute and multiple aftershocks, some as strong as 6.9, struck the region. The USGS placed the epicenter of the quake about 70 miles outside of Concepcion, Chile's second largest city with a population of 200,000.

Early reports indicate that 47 people were killed, but that figure is expected to rise. Chilean President Michele Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe" for the central region of the country and the Pacific Tsunami Center issued a warning for the coast of Chile and Peru. Authorities in Chile will have a better chance to assess the damage once daybreak comes.

UPDATE: The death toll has been revised to at least 214 and photographs illustrating the extent of the damage are beginning to circulate online. I found some images courtesey of the online edition of Argentina's La Nacion newspaper.

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck a Saturday afternoon off the coast of Valparaiso, headquarters of the Chilean Navy and the nation's largest seaport. The port was ordered to shut down while it was the facilities were inspected for damage.

Tsunami warning have been issued for California, Oregon, Washington State, Alaska, Hawaii and British Columbia by NOAA's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Today's Train of Thought- Your Local Rotary Club; Feb 26, 2010

Today's Train of Thought demosntrates the efforts many railroads undertake in the wintertime to keep their lines open. Burlington Northern-Santa Fe has a fleet of rotary snowplows inherited from predecessors Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, Great Northern and Northern Pacific that it utilizes to keep clear its lines in the midwest, Cascades and Rockies each winter. The rotary plows work by having spinning blades housed in a plow ahead of the power source and locomotives chew through snowbanks and snowdrifts that have accumulated on the right-of-way before ejecting the snow through a chute housed atop the blade assembly. Sometimes more than one pass is required to clear the tracks.

Here, contributor Sam J. Botts caught BNSF rotary snowplow #972559 putting on a fine show as it was finishing up clearing the tracks at Tamora, NE on January 11, 2010. The plow was built in 1915 by Alco-Brooks and extensively rebuilt in 1966 by Northern Pacific. On this day, the rotary is being powered by a converted F9B and shoved by a BNSF ES44AC GEVO and a leased CEFX (CIT Group Capital Leasing) C40-8W.

Dick Cheney Released From Hospital After Mild Heart Attack

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released from the George Washington University Medical Center Wednesday, two days after suffering a mild heart attack.

"Former Vice President Cheney is feeling good this morning and was discharged from GWU Hospital. He will resume his normal schedule shortly," his office said in a statement.

Cheney has a long history of heart trouble going back to when he was 37 years old. He had bypass surgery in 1988, a pacemaker installed in 2001 and in 2008, doctors restored a normal rhythm to his heart through electric shocks.

Hopefully Mr. Cheney will be making the Sunday morning political talk-show circut once again. The very mention of his name makes batshit insane leftists even more batshit insane.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

US Media Attempting to Establish Non-Existent Links Between Tea Party Opposition to Obama and Very Real Acts of Violence?

In all honesty, myself and others saw this coming as far back as the 2008 Presidential campaign; certain elements of the press and blogosphere were attempting to establish the narrative that anybody who opposed Obama was likely a racist, if not a dangerous fringe militia type. It was a pretty transparent attempt to put the onus on the Illinois Democrat's critics to explain exactly why they weren't racist fringe wingnuts instead of dwelling on such niceties like Obama's lack of foreign policy or legislative experience or his long-standing association with a rogue's gallery of outspoken America-haters and criminals such as Jerimaih Wright, Tony Rezko or William Ayers.

The sad part, as you can see, is that it was all too effective.

About a month into the administration, CNBC on-air editor Rick Santelli accused the Obama administration of rewarding bad behavior with the administration's Homeowner Affordibility and Stability Plan. While live on the air from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Santelli raised the possibility of a latter-day 'Tea Party' movement in Chicago, which is widely believed to be the genesis of the Tea Party movement's name.

A little over a month after Santelli's on-air remarks, on April 4th, 2009 Pittsburgh Police officers Eric Kelly, Paul Sciullo and Stephen Mayhle were murdered in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call involving a mother and her adult son. The perpetrator, 22 year old Richard Poplawski was later found out to have been discharged from the Marine Corps before even completing boot camp and was a regular visitor to white-supremacist websites ranting about ZOG (neo-nazi shorthand for Zionist Occupation Government). After a 4-hour standoff, he eventually surrendered to police.

Curiously, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette managed to slip this little aside in on the day of the shooting and standoff:

Mr. Poplawski had supported Republican candidate John McCain in the presidential election and had "very spirited debates" about Democratic candidate Barack Obama

Wow- I know I'm about 18 months too late with this newsflash, but Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is about as moderate as they come for the Republicans....and some would say politicians in general. Maybe it's just me, but the underlying implication seems to be 'even supporters of moderate Republicans are unstable and potentially dangerous cop-killers'.

Also keep in mind that, the Pittsburgh shootings were the latest in a string of high profile mass-murders in the span of a few weeks. On March 21, 2009, convicted felon and child-rapist Lovelle Mixon shot and killed Oakland Police motorcycle patrolmen Mark Dunakin and John Hege during a routine traffic stop before fleeing to his sister's apartment and ambushing Oakland SWAT officers Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai before Mixon himself was cut down by return fire. The day before the Pittsburgh shooting, a disgruntled Vietnamese immigrant named Jiverly Wong used a car to barricade the door of an American Civic Association Center in Binghampton, NY before fatally shooting 13 people inside and turning the gun on himself.

Yet at no point did we hear about the political leanings of Mixon or Wong from the mainstream media. It was probably considered not relevant at the time, unlike speculation about Poplawski's political preferences.

Then, in April 2009, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin to law-enforcement againcies throughout the country warning about a rise in "rightwing extremist activity", broadly defining returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and US citicizens opposed to gun control, abortion and illegal immigration as potential extremists. The report drew criticism from conservative bloggers and the American Leigon and although the DHS claimed the work that went into compiling the report began in the last months of the Bush Administration, many of the report's key findings factored in the current recession and election of Obama as President.

The authors of the report seemed to be vindicated when Dr. George Tiller was gunned down in a Witchita, KS church on May 31st 2009 by an anti-abortion activist. The killing drew condemnation from the President, who issued a statement within hours. Attourney General Holder ordered US Marshalls to provide additional security at abortion clinics across the country the day of Dr. Tiller's murder. However, barely 24 hours later, Pvt. William Andrew Long of Conway, AR was shot and killed and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula of Jacksonville, AR was wounded in a shooting targeting the US Army Recruiter's office in Little Rock, AR. The gunman, 24 year old Abdulhakim Muhammed, was a convert to Islam and had spent time in Yemen. As vindicated as proponents of the DHS report might've felt after the Tiller murder, they were remarkably silent after the Little Rock shootings.

And for the remainer of 2009 the Mainstream Media would only notice the Tea Parties long enough to remind us how dangerous and enigmatic they were and the DHS report failed to take into account the actions of terrorists like Nidal Malik Hasan or Umar Frouk Abdulmutallab while DHS secretary Napolitano assured us 'the system worked'.

So let us flip the calendar forward to 2010, where we've aleady had a few high profile acts of violence and we're not even through the month of Febuary. On January 4th 2010, a gunman opened fire inside of the Las Vegas, NV Federal Building, killing a security guard and wounding a US Marshall before being cut down by return fire. Now given how the racially diverse MSNBC personalities were assuring us it was only a matter of time before the racist, unhinged anti-government individuals that made up the Tea Party movement began lashing out in a murderous fashion- and what better place for them to lash out than a Federal building? Only, it turned out that the shooter, 66 year old Johnny Lee Wicks, was angry at his reduced Social Security benefits. Wicks, who was black, had earlier sued the Social Security Administration claiming racial discrimination and set his condo on fire before his Federal building rampage.

Then, on Febuary 12th, 2010, University of Alabama Huntsville biology professor Amy Bishop allegedly opened fire during a faculty meeting on campus, killing three of her colleagues and wounding three more. Perhaps even more disturbing about the shooting was the string of previous incidents involving Bishop, starting with the fatal shooting of her brother in 1986.

And last week, there was the case of Jospeh Stack III, who deliberately flew his single-engine aircraft into a building in Austin, TX housing an IRS field office after torching his own house and posting a lengthy online screed. Stack and one person in the office building were killed. And since the other two incidents were likely considered 'false-starts', the Mainstream Media has decided to go for the gusto and try and portray Jospeh Stack III as a regular attendee of the Tea Party rallies, cherry-picking his tirade for quotes that sound like something 'those gosh-darn teabaggers would say' when he seemed just as upset at the Catholic Church, GW Bush and the fact that obamacare didn't pass as he was at the IRS

Out of the three aforementioned high-profile acts of violence in 2010, I would have to say Professor Amy Bishop would come the closest to being politically motivated. Whether or not her murder spree at Huntsville was politically motivated is up for debate, but other bloggers and certain Boston area media outlets have done a yoeman's job in bringing to light several troubling aspects of Amy Bishop's past that would have most people in jail or unemployable for the rest of their days. In 1986, Bishop was arrested in Braintree, MA after fatally shooting her brother with a shotgun and brandishing it at employees of a nearby Ford dealership before she was arrested. Questions were raised about the case some 23 and a half years later when it was learned she was released to her mother's custody before she was booked. Bishop's mother was a Braintree town official and then-Norfolk County DA Bill Delahunt ruled the shooting accidental. The files from the case had gone missing until fairly recently and the current Norfolk County DA's office ruled that sufficent evidence existed in 1986 to charge Amy Bishop with assault with a deadly weapon.

Delahunt (D-MA) is now a US Congressman from Massachusett's 10th district, although this month he announced he's contemplating retirement. Although a spokesman from the tHugo Chavez-allied Democrat's office said such considerations are routine, it's pretty safe to say he wasn't so sure about calling it a career before Scott Brown stomped Martha Coakley in the January special election or the spoiled brat his office kicked lose some 20+ years ago killed again.

In 1993, Bishop and her husband James Anderson were considered 'persons of interest' by ATF and U.S. Postal inspectors when a Harvard Medical School Professor recieved in the mail two pipe bombs that failed to detonate. However, charges were never filed by the Feds due to lack of evidence.

In 2002, Bishop was arrested for assault and battery at a Peabody, MA IHOP when she found out another family dining in the resturant had the last booster seat. According to the Peabody Police report, an enraged Bishop let loose a profanity-laced tirade at the mother of the family with the booster seat before punching her in the head and shouting "I am Amy Bishop!". She was found guilty of misdemanor battery charges and sentenced to take anger-management classes, which she skipped out on.....

According to the Boston Herald, family sources indicated Bishop was a leftist 'obsessed with President Obama to the point of being off-putting' and certainly benefitted from preferntial treatment by the Braintree Police and Norfolk County DA's office. This begs the question that no matter how 'book-smart' Amy Bishop may have been, what the hell was she doing a free woman, let alone an assistant professor seeking tenure?

But the million dollar question is, if the tea party-people are as dangerous as the mainstream media has been advertising, wouldn't we have had more than one high-profile violent incident attributed to them by now? I mean....surely a dangeous and reactionary group that Newsweek and MSNBC has been describing would've lashed out violently at the object of their unjutified rage by now.....or would the press that's been breathlessly warning the rest of us what a dangerous and violent fringe movement it is have to stoop to creating nonexistant links?

[Hat tip to LoppyD and New Class Traitor for the detailed background info on Amy Bishop]

Blackwater-Hating Congressman Turns Out To Be Not Too Picky About Ride Out of 3rd World Capital In Middle of Coup

I came across this at LoppyD's place earlier tonight and couldn't resist digging into some yummy schadenfreude.

Representative Alan Grayson, who assured anyone who'd listen that the GOP healthcare plan is to 'just have you die', also has been drinking copious amounts of the Blackwater Hater-ade.

However, while on Congrssional business to the African nation of Niger this month, Grayson (D-FL) had to be spirited out of the country when that country's military staged a coup in the country's capital of Niamey. Rep. Grayson was spirited from the US Embassy to the airport and onto a plane that landed in neighboring Burkina-Faso. As it turned out, the plane was registered to his longtime nemesis, XE Services LLC- formerly Blackwater USA:

"The flight was arranged through the State Department," spokesman Todd Jurkowski said. "The congressman did not know, and frankly did not care, who owned the plane."
"The congressman does not deny that there is admirable work being done by some employees of private contractors," Jurkowski continued. "However, he stands by his criticism of companies who have been found to cheat the American people, defraud our government, and unnecessarily risk the lives of members of our military, all in the name of making a profit.

My my....I'm all atwitter over Grayson's sudden and convenient concern over the safety of our troops overseas. I wonder if he was as concerned when the late John Murtha accused the Haditha Marines or indiscrimately slaughtering a whole village in Iraq or how his ultimately baseless accusations would play on Al-Jazeera or Al-Manar TV.

As amusing as Grayson's predicament is, do not forget that his rhetoric targetting Blackwater/XE and other private military contractors has been enthusiastically and repeatedly used by groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban when trying to deflect attention or blame away from their attacks on civilians.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hamas Operative Slain in UAE; Priceline Negotiator Sought For Questioning

"You are an enemy of the State of Israel and must die! paid too much for this hotel room"

Apparently Hamas is finding out the hard way what happens when their leadership books their travel arrangements online.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A Hamas leader assassinated during a visit to Dubai last month exposed himself to attack when he breached security protocol by talking about his trip over the phone and making hotel reservations on the Internet, the militant Islamic group said Saturday.

The methodical stalking and killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a luxury hotel room — widely been blamed on Israel's Mossad spy agency — has put Hamas on the defensive over purported security lapses..

[Oh no! And here I am with my world's smallest violin in the shop- NANESB!]

So if Hamas has members of their leadership whacked while travelling abroad after booking travel arrangements online, does that Orbitz guy in the hovercraft come by and cut them a check or something?

I actually have my doubts about Al-Mabhouh's killers working for the Mossad. It just seems a little too convenient, not to mention a little too sloppy for their agents to get caught on multiple surveillance systems. It could be a matter of infighting within the Palestinian Authority or Hamas' benefactors not being satisfied with the precipitous decline of dead Israeli civilians attributed to Hamas. Apparently Al-Mabhouh's killers also travelled on EU or United Kingdom-issued passports, which might be a little too complex to have originated from Gaza and brings us back to the possibility of a nation-state sponsored killing of Al-Mabhouh. Again, Israel seems like an obvious choice, but this could also be a matter of Hamas' nation-state sponsors choosing sides in an internal power struggle and helping Hamas leadership 'clean house'.

But with that in mind, has anybody seen William Shatner lately? I'm just sayin.....

[Hat tip: Jammie Wearing Fool]

Sports Chowdah Recap for Febuary 20-22; Woe Canada! Border Wars Redux as USA Upsets Canada; Ohno! Apolo-ing Performance One For Record Books

First of all, let me just say that aside from ads portraying Air America rejects Ed 'Vote-fraud-is-OK-if-it's-for-Martha-Coakley' Schultz and Keith Olberman's gangly, awkward looking stepson Rachel Maddow as some sort of unbiased 'we're here to explain it all for the little guy' moderates, NBC SUCKS in that they couldn't be bothered to show Sunday's highly anticipated USA/Canada men's hockey game on a channel in Hi-Def. Instead, we're stuck with MSNBC. But then again, I should be careful what I ask for as I'm referring to a once every 4 years event, and seeing the batshit insane ooze out of every pore of Keith Olberman's being in Hi-Def during the prolonged defecation on Edward R Murrow's grave that is his MSNBC talk show simply is not worth the price.

(U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!)

With that said, happy Miracle on Ice anniversary, everybody! While this humble blogger was technically alive for Team USA's victory against the heavily favored Soviets in the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, toddlers are very easily distracted and not everything registers right away. On Febuary 22nd, 1980, the amateur and collegiate players that made up team USA stunned the Soviet men's hockey team by beating them 4-3. Contrary to popular opinion, that actually was not the gold-medal game- the match with the USSR was to see who would take on Finland in the Gold medal game. Team USA would go on to defeat Finland to win the gold; their unlikely run dramatized in the 2004 film Miracle starring Kurt Russel as coach Herb Brooks. Rumor has it that the film was also shown in the Red Sox locker room when they were down 0-3 in the 2004 ALCS.

(30 years later- USA! U-S-A! U-S-A!)

Now, Sunday Nights Men's Hockey contest was no Miracle on Ice, but Team USA found themselves in the role of underdogs nonetheless. Just 41 seconds into the first period, USA's Brian Rafalski quieted the partisan crowd at Vancouver's Canada Hockey Place with a slapshot that deflected off Sidney Crosby's stick and past Martin Brodeur for the early 1-0 lead over Canada. Eric Staal deadlocked the game at 1-1 at the 8:53 mark of the first, but Rafalski would notch his second goal of the contest a mere 22 seconds later, sending the puck under Brodeur's left pad. The game would be knotted again on a Dany Heatley tally 3 and a half minutes into the second period, and would remain a 2-2 tie until USA's Chris Drury sent the puck past Brodeur after a mad scramble in front of the net late in the second.

In the 3rd period, Jamie Langenbrunner tallied the USA's only power-play goal of the game to make it a 4-2 USA lead. Although down, Team Canada certainly wasn't out and Sidney Crosby managed to solve Ryan Miller on a Canadian power-play at the 16:51 mark to make it a one-goal game. The crowd seemed to factor back in the final 3 minutes of regulation, including when Canada pulled Brodeur for the extra attacker in the final 57 seconds. However, USA's Ryan Kesler won the footrace with Canada's Corey Perry and got the empty-netter to seal the deal and make it a 5-3 USA win.

Now, as anxious as I was when Ryan Miller would make a spectacular save only to leave a whole bunch of big, juicy-looking rebounds for Canada to pounce on, he faced a total of 45 (stopping 42) while Brodeur only faced 23 shots on goal. So it didn't just seem like Miller was facing twice as many shots as Brodeur was....that actually was the case. Personally, ever since I saw the Canada/Switzerland game, I did expect Team USA to keep it close and put their odds at beating Canada head-to-head at 50/50.

Reports are circulating that Roberto Luongo will replace Brodeur in net for Tuesday's game against Germany while Team USA awaits the winner of the Switzerland/Belarus game.

Women's Hockey: Not too surprising, given the margin of victory over their opponents, but the USA and Canadian women's team will face off for the gold medal game, the American women punching their ticket with a 9-1 win over Sweden and the Canadians shutting out Finland 5-0. The gold medal match is set for Thursday at 3:30 PM Pacific time.

Short Track Speed Skating: Although the South Koreans claimed 4 of the 6 short-track medals awarded Saturday, Apolo Anton Ohno won silver last weekend and bronze in the 1500M event Saturday to make him the most decorated US Winter Olympian with seven medals. The feat surpasses Bonnie Blair, who won five gold medals and a bronze from the 1988 Calgary games to 1994 in women's long-track speed skating.

Women's Alpine Skiing: Well, downhill favorite Lindsey Vonn has another medal to her name, although she had to settle for the bronze in the Super-G competition. Vonn admitted to being a tad complacent and eased up after making her way through the more difficult portions of the course. Austria's Andrea Fischbaker secured the gold while Slovenia's Tina Maze won silver Saturday. Not the most earth-shattering developments out of Vancouver, but hey! Another gratuitous opportunity to put up some Vonn-centric ocular sweetness!

NBA: Well, I kinda got the feeling if Denver could do it to King James and the Cavs on the road, I shouldn't be too disappointed if Boston wasn't able to come away from Denver with the W.

After beating the Portland Trailblazers pretty convincingly Friday night, the C's headed into Denver to take on the Nuggets in a matinee game Sunday afternoon. Ray Allen had 25 points while KG, Rondo and Marquis Daniels each had 15. The Nuggets had doubled up Boston early, getting out in front by as much as 20, but Boston cut the Denver lead to 7 at halftime and managed to pull even at 66-66 in the third before dropping off the face of the earth to lose 114-105 Sunday afternoon.

The Celtics next game will be at the TD Banknorth Garden Tuesday against the NY Knicks. Paul Pierce is doubtful for the game with a bad thumb.

NFL:Not the least-bit New England-centric, but the San Diego Chargers have released RB LaDanian Thomlinson this week. In so doing, the Chargers avoid paying him a $2 million roster bonus on top of his 2010 salary of $5 million.

Today's Train of Thought- Do you Believe in Miracles? Febuary 22, 2010

Today's Train of Thought marks the 30th anniversary of the 'Miracle on Ice' by taking a look at some of the railroads serving Lake Placid then and now. In 1979, the Adirondack Railway began operating over the former New York Central branch that ran from north of Utica, NY to Lake Placid, NY. NYC successor Penn Central abandoned the line in 1972, but the state of New York took possession of the right-of-way in 1975 and was re-opened in 1979 as the Adirondack Railway in part to bring visitors to and from the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid.

However, keep in mind that the, like the rest of the country back then, the railway industry was in a state of turmoil in the late 70s and on through the 1980s- particularly in the Northeastern USA. Less than four years prior, the bankrupt Penn Central and Erie-Lackawana were merged with smaller, bankrupt and troubled railways like the Ann Arbor, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Lehigh Valley, Reading Lines, Lehigh and Hudson River or Pennsylvania-Reading Shore Line to form the Consolidated Railway Corp- or Conrail. The beleagured Delaware & Hudson was only a few years away from being sold to Guilford Transportation for a paltry $500,000 in a short-lived and disastrous marriage and shortlines throughought the country like the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville; Wellsville Adison and Galeton or Skaneateles Short Line were on their last legs.

But the renewed interest in opening up a route to Lake Placid to accomodate the Olympics gave one tiny corner of the nation's rail network a brief reprieve from the turmoil. This kind of made sense, since Olympic host cities like Salt Lake City, Torino, Nagano and Vancouver are served by large international airports, multiple expressways, railways or ferries. Lake Placid simply didn't have any of those some 30 years ago (and as far as I know, still doesn't)- just some two lane highways cutting through the Adirondacks and the recently re-opened branchline. To haul the passengers, the Adirondack acquired some secondhand ALCO diesels and coaches and for good measure, leased additional locomotives from Conrail and Delaware & Hudson. Here, rrpicturearchives contributor Chuck Edwards caught borrowed D&H RS3 #4075 shortly after its departure from Utica with a northbound consist in the snow at Remsen, NY on Febuary 2nd, 1980.

Sadly, the Adirondack Railway went bankrupt in 1981 and the tracks remained dormant for another decade.

However, in 1992 a group of volunteers began restoring 4 miles of right-of-way on the southern section of the line between Theandra, NY and Minehaha, NY and operating it as the Adirondack Centennial Railway in observance of the 100 year anniversary of the line's completion. The excursions proved to be very popular and in 1994, the railway was renamed the Adirondack Scenic and work began on restoring the line all the way through to the Mohwak, Adirondack & Northern interchange and operating on trackage rights to Utica's Union Station. In 2000, the northernmost 20 miles of the line were reopened, operating roundtrip excursions between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. Above, contributor Andrew Blaszczyk caught Adirondack Scenic ALCO C424 #4243 leading it's consist westbound across the Chubb River shortly after it's departure from the Lake Placid station on the last day of August 2006. Although the entire line isn't yet up to snuff for operating passenger trains, volunteers and work crews can send ballast and MOW equipment the entire length of the line.
The Adirondack Scenic generally operates in the summertime and the right-of-way is used as a snowmobile trail in the winter. Aside from ballast for MOW purposes, there is no freight traffic to speak of on the line, although the excursions are becoming increasingly popular with canoers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

President Obama Offers Unconditional Apology to Prime Minister of Canada for 'Arrogant' USA Men's Hockey Victory

In a letter dated Sunday and delivered to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Barack Obama apologized for USA Men's Hockey 5-3 win over host country Canada.

According to sources, Obama said Team USA had "shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" toward opponents in the tournament.

"In stopping 45 of 48 shots on goal, I believe that USA Goaltender Bode Miller acted stupidly towards the host nation and should return his ill-gotten gold medal without any further delay..." read one particularly scathing portion of the letter that Harper's office released to the public. "In this misguided and unilateral action, which is clearly a result of the failed policies of the last 8 years, Team USA has singlehandedly undone the 13 months of goodwill I have personally established with our neighbors to the north. Some of these players have shown an antipathy towards teams that are not their own, and they'll bitterly cling to their sticks or a two-goal lead."

When questioned about the letter, USA netminder Ryan Miller told NANESB! sources "Wow- really? He said that, huh? First of all, my name is Ryan. Last time I checked Bode Miller was a skier. Second- we haven't won anything yet. Tonight's game was still in the preliminaries."

The White House has reportedly been in contact with IOC officials to lobby for a belated forefit of tonight's game.

"C'mon! We got guys wearing these f*cking retarded 'Support the Troops' or Uncle Sam masks in what's supposed to be an international tournament" Rahm Emmanuel said in a conference earlier. "They can't get disqualified for that? Are you sh*tting me?"

Alpine skier Bode Miller was busy posing for pictures of him sinking his teeth into his gold medal and unavailable for comment.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sports Chowdah Recap for Febuary 17-18- Men's Hockey Favorites Face Shootouts While USA 2-0; Hot Blonde & Flying Tomato Golden; Cs Down Kobe-Less LA

First of all, happy pitcher's & catchers report, everybody!

Secondly, I missed Tiger Wood's much ballyhooed press conference/apology-palooza mostly due to lack of interest on my part, so I couldn't give you an informed opinion regarding that. As skeevy as his conduct off the course might've been, I'm not sure how that boils over into affecting the whole PGA. Also, when all is said and done, it's not really going to matter how phony or sincere we thought Tiger's apologies were- that will be between him and his family. It's not as though Woods is an elected official like Elliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford or John Edwards.

2010 WINTER OLYMPICS: Wow- I managed to tune in for that Russia/Slovakia men's hockey game right after the Celtics/Lakers game last night. The Slovaks were playing Russia very well, but I had little idea I was tuned in to see the first major upset of the tournament. The game was tied at 1-1 on goals by Marian Hossa for Slovakia and Alexei Morozov for Russia. After a scoreless tie, the game went to a shootout. Slovakia's Josef Stumpel got one past Russian netminder Ilya Bryzgalov on Slovakia's first attempt of the shootout while Alexander Ovechkin managed to beat Slovak netminder Jaroslav Halak on Russia's second attempt. As it turned out, it would be the only time Ovechkin would get one past Halak, as both teams could use the same shooter if the shootout went beyond 3 rounds. Pavol Demitra managed to beat Bryzgalov in the 7th round of the shootout, giving Slovakia the upset win.

Elsewhere, Team USA handled the Norwegian team pretty easily with a pair of goals less than 2 minutes apart for Brian Rafalski as well as goals from Chris Drury, Phil Kessel, Patrick Kane and Ryan Malone to win 6-1. USA Goalie Ryan Miller faced only 11 shots for the whole game.

Canada needed overtime and a shootout to get by a resurgent Swiss team earlier in the day. Team Canada got out to an early 2-0 lead with goals by Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatly, but the Swiss came right back with goals from Ivo Ruthermann and Patrick von Gunten starting in the 2nd. A scoreless overtime brought on the first shootout of Thursday, in which Sidney Crosby got one past Switzerland's Jonas Hiller for the only goal of the shootout. Canada's Martin Brodeur faced 23 shots while Hiller faced more than double that with 47.

This sets up a showdown between undefeated USA and undefeated Canada on Sunday afternoon.

Women's Hockey Scoreboard:

USA 6- Finland 0

China 1- Russia 2

Other Events:

(AP) it just me, or do the medals being awarded in Vancouver look like giant coins that somebody set on the railroad track and had a train run them over? Then maybe added the Olympic rings on them afterwards....

So far, Lindsey Vonn is off to a good start, bruised shin and all. The injured Vonn finished with a time of 1:44:19, which was good enough for gold in the Ladies' Downhill on Thursday. Teammate Julia Mancuso finished 0.56 seconds behind Vonn for the silver and Austria's Elisabeth Georgl's 1:45:65 finish was good enough for the bronze Wednesday.

Snowboarder Shaun White was basically showing off and biding his time in the men's half-pipe until stepping up on the medal podium. White has become the first competitor to win back-to-back gold medals in the event and according to the Wall Street Journal...

"....performed his much-hyped, signature move called the "Double McTwist 1260," which involves two off-axis backflips while doing 3.5 full rotations, all in one jump. The trick is so advanced (no other competitor in the event even attempted it) that merely landing it was enough to ensure Mr. White victory. Turns out, however, he never even needed to do it, only performing it on his last run, because it would have been a waste not to."

As of Friday, the Top 10 in the Medal Count is as follows:

USA- 20 (6 gold; 6 silver; 8 Bronze)

Germany- 13 (4 gold; 5 Silver; 4 Bronze)

Norway- 10 (5 Gold; 3 Silver; 2 Bronze)

Canada- 8 (4 Gold; 3 Silver; 1 Bronze)

France- 7 (2 Gold; 1 Silver; 4 Bronze)

South Korea- 5 (3 Gold; 2 Silver)

Austria- 5 (1 Gold; 2 Silver; 2 Bronze)

Russia- 5 (1 Gold; 2 Silver; 2 Bronze)

Switzerland-4 (3 Gold; 1 Bronze)

China- 4 (2 gold; 1 Silver; 1 Bronze)

Sweden- 4 (2 Gold; 1 Silver; 1 Bronze)

NBA: The Celtics had to come from behind after the Lakers went on a 13-0 tear in the 4th quarter Thursady night at the Staples Center, but the home team was held to 2 points in the last 7:14 and the C's held off a Kobe-less Lakers for the 87-86 win. Boston will travel to Portland, OR tonight to take on the Trailblazers. Ray Allen led scoring for Boston with 24 points in the first 3 quarters while had 11 assists and 14 points.

Also this week, the Celtics traded Guards Eddie House and JR Giddens as well as Forward Bill Walker to the NY Knicks for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry. Although passing a physical, Robinson is reportedly suffering from flu-like symptoms and is unlikely to join the team on Friday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Aircraft Slams Into Texas Office Building in Deliberate Act, Authorities Say

(Jay Janner; Austin American-Statesman)
A single-engine airplane crashed into a Northwestern Austin, TX office building housing an IRS field office in what investigators are calling an intentional act on Thursday. The plane was registered to Joseph Stack III, 53, of North Austin, TX. Authorities have pulled two bodies out from the building late Thursday, one of them believed to be Stack and the other an IRS Employee who worked in the building,

Firefighters responded to a house fire in North Austin less than an hour before the crash. Public records indicate the residence that was mostly destroyed in the blaze was owned by Stack.

There was also a lengthy online screed railing against the IRS, corporations, healthcare, the Catholic Church, former President George W. Bush, General Motors and the FAA posted online that has been attributed to Stack as well.

The FBI is leading the investigation along with state and local authorities and the 9:56 AM CT crash is being ruled an "apparent criminal act". According to the Austin American-Statesman first responders were prepared for a high number of casualties, but much of the office space in the building was vacant and for lease while some employees working in the building had a clear enough view of the incoming plane to warn their co-workers.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Grim Milestone Watch- Money Thrown Down a Black Hole....or, The Stimulus One Year Later

I guess you could've considered me a skeptic from the beginning. As it turns out, I'm hardly in the minority these days.

I remember sometime about a year ago catching a special presentation on the History Channel called The Crumbling of America. Like many a 'documentary' that network has been known to air lately, it came off as a tad alarmist- although it did raise several valid concerns over the age and condition of America's infrastructure. I only caught the first part of this special, but the release of this seemed to coincide with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The conspiracy theorist in me might've thought that this was aired for the purpose of scaring up support for the $787 Billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

One of the highlighted structures was the Tappan Zee Bridge, which is the NY State Thruway bridge over the Hudson River north of New York City. It was mentioned how the bridge is being undermined by improperly treated wood pilings that were installed when it was being built in the 1950s. The special went on to suggest that it might actually be cheaper to build a new Tappan Zee bridge from scratch instead of extensively rebuilding the obsolete one.
Well...between the History Channel special, the website and, the only entry I could find pertaining to the Tappan Zee Bridge was a $5,547,824 bid to purchase 7 low-emission passenger buses, two of which will be used for the Tappan Zee Express service. No mention of any work or projects concerning the bridge itself.

Now, while I was aware that much of America's infrastructure needed upgrading and repair, I had my doubts about how this administration planned on going about it. Perhaps most telling was President Obama's bold proclamation that a brand-new Maglev railway would be constructed between Southern California and Las Vegas. If I remember correctly, the Union Pacific Railroad has been looking to expand capacity on its LA-Salt Lake City line (which runs through Las Vegas) for some 10-15 years. Whenever the UP attempts to lengthen a siding or install double-track along their Mojave Desert line, an environmental group will file some sort of injunction demanding the railway ceases work because the tracks run through some endangered species habitat. Then the railroad is ordered to conduct a lengthy environmental impact study, paid for out of their own pockets. And whatever project UP intended to start falls by the wayside thanks to red tape, litigation and environmental obstructionism.

Now, keep in mind that the UPRR has been running through the Mojave desert for over a century. Now, imagine the hurdles that could be thrown out in front of a maglev railway being built through the same desert from scratch. The only people who would benefit would be the lawyers working on behalf of environmental groups seeking to halt construction.

And that is actually one of the less egregious examples. The San Francisco Chronicle and bloggers Zombie, New Class Traitor and myself documented the Federal government awarding Alaska Native Corporation Suulutaaq a $54 million dollar no-bid contract for a rail relocation project for the Napa Valley Wine Train that they promptly subcontracted for $33 million. There are also some pretty stark examples of wasteful ARRA spending here and here.

President Obama seems to have been aware of the growing discontent regarding the stimulus prior to the State of the Union address. With no significant private-sector job creation to speak of, the used-car-salesman in chief shifted the goalposts in the middle of the game and instead touted the effectiveness of the ARRA in saving the jobs of policemen and teachers. To be fair, that would probably be better tack for Obama than togo out there and tout the number of 'green collar' jobs that had been created under his watch.

The cynic in me couldn't help but notice that most public-sector unions, especially teachers unions, had heavily invested in President Obama's campaign so I suppose it's only fair for them that they got some bang for their buck. I guess the rest of us will have to wait to get 'stimulated' by Cap & Trade or Card Check.

This time last year, we were starting to hear what poor shape our infrastructure was in. 365 Days and a few hundred billion dollars later, the infrastructure is no better off...nor is the American taxpayer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sports Chowdah Recap for Feb 13-16: USA Hockey- Swiss Miss; The Mask Slips? Recchi-ng Ball Takes Down Florida, C's Capitalize in Sacramento

NEW OLYMPIC POLL UP:Just curious to see which country visitors to NANESB! think will bring home the most Olympic medals from Vancouver.

2010 WINTER OLYMPICS: Men's Hockey- Team USA got off to a 1-0 start, besting Switzerland 3-1 in the Men's Hockey opener. Anaheim's Bobby Ryan got one past Ducks teammate Jonas Hiller late in the first to get on the board. Ryan Malone and David Backes added to the lead in the second and Ryan Miller's shutout bid fell by the wayside when Switzerland's Roman Wick got one past him for their only tally of the game. Miller stopped 14 of 15 shots in the USA win. The USA's last Olympic Men's Hockey win came four years ago to the day in Torino with a 4-1 victory against Kazakhstan.

The IOC has ordered USA Goalies Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick to remove or cover slogans from their masks that they deemed 'advertising, demonstrations or propaganda'. In Ryan Miller's case, the offending slogan is 'Miller Time', which is a play on the old Miller ads. However, the IOC also wants the name Matt Schoals- a cousin of Miller's who died of cancer- removed from his mask. Miller has agreed to cover the 'Miller Time' from his mask but plans on fighting the IOC over the Matt Schoals inscription.

(Eddie Kotz/LA Kings)
Jonathan Quick's mask features a bald eagle wearing GI-style dog tags, a fighter jet, an Apache helicopter with the USA Hockey logo emblazoned on top and 'Support the Troops' on the back. Apparently the IOC has deemed 'Support the Troops' as propaganda and have ordered Quick to cover it. Quick says he chose to honor the military and a childhood friend who did two tours in Iraq and is now a Connecticut police officer with the mask. Both Miller and UMass Alumni Quick can appeal to the US Olympic Committee and the IIHF. An IIHF official said that the slogan could be interpreted as propaganda according to IOC Rule 51 or simply offering moral support.

"If we go too hard on that we could be seen as insensitive,” said IIHF spokesman Szymon Szemberg.

[H/T Wyatt Earp]

Other Olympic Hockey Scores:
Men's- Russia 8- Latvia 2

Canada 8- Norway 0

Women's- Finalnd 5- Russia 1 (Sunday)

USA 12- China 1 (Sunday)

Sweden 6- Slovakia 2 (Monday)

Canada 10- Switzerland 1 (Monday)

Finland 2- China 1

USA 13- Russia 0

NHL: Before the Olympic break, the Bruins added to their win streak with a come-from-behind win against the Florida Panthers to make it four in a row. Nick Tarnasky put the Panthers on the board first, and although David Krejci would tie the game up at 1-1 five minutes later, Stephen Weiss notched a power play goal towards the end of the 1st period to put Florida up 2-1. There was no additional scoring until the third, when 42-year old veteran Mark Recchi got one past Tomas Vokun to tie the game at 2-2 and eventually send the contest into overtime and a shootout. A lackluster 0-3 in the shootout on the season, Recchi got off the schnide in the eighth round of the shootout by deeking Vokun and shooting high, giving Boston the win. The win puts Boston one point of Montreal for 3rd in the Northeastern Division and 7th in the Eastern Conference heading into the Olympic break. Tuukka Rask, starting his 6th consecutive game, made 26 saves in regulation and overtime while stopping six of 8 shots faced in the shootout.

The Bruins will remain idle until Tuesday March 2nd when they host the Canadiens

NBA Coming off an All-Star Break at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX in which the Eastern Conference topped the West 141-139, The NBA got back to games that count in the standings Tuesday night and the Celtics resumed their road trip at ARCO arena in Sacramento, breaking a 2-game skid with a 95-92 win over the Kings.

The C's got alot of help from their bench early, getting 34 points (including 10 from Rasheed Wallace) in the first half. Still, Doc Rivers was probably cringing at 12 relatively easy shots that weren't made and another 11 that were blocked by Sacramento. Paul Pierce had 17 points, including going 5-5 from the free throw line in the C's win.

Boston's next matchup is against the Lakers at LA's Staples Center Thursday night.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Today's Train of Thought- Honest Abe Pays a Visit to Hanover Jct? Feb 15 2010

(Matthew B. Brady/ U.S. Library of Congress Archives)

In honor of President's Day, Today's Train of Thought is very much a blast from the past courtesy of Pennsylvania photographer Matthew B. Brady and the Library of Congress. The image reportedly shows Abraham Lincoln, enroute to Gettysburg, making a station stop at Hanover Jct. PA on November 18, 1863 [the figure to the immediate right of the locomotive and in front of the depot donning the stovepipe hat]. The date of the image and whether or not it shows Honest Abe from a distance has been the subject of much speculation

As President, Lincoln understood the value of an extensive railway network in moving materiel and troops for the Union during the Civil War as well as the potential for it's use in westward expansion. Prior to his inauguration, Lincoln was warned by detectives from the Pinkerton agency that there was a credible plot to sabotage his train on it's way into Washington D.C., so the president had to arrive clandestinely.

Even before he was president, Lincoln was no stranger to the railroads. As a lawyer, he successfully represented the Alton & Sagamon Railroad in an 1851 legal dispute where one of the shareholders withheld payment of his stake on the grounds that the railroad changed alignment. Lincoln argued that the Railroads charter could be changed in the public interest and that the A&S's new route was quicker and less expensive to construct. The court ruled in favor of the A&S and the shareholder was ordered to pay $2000.

After being struck down by an assassin's bullet, the 16th President of the United States returned from the District of Columbia to his native Illinois on a Funeral train for burial in the state's capital.

Happy Chinese New Year From Not Another New England Sports Blog!

Well now, it's been a fairly eventful convergence of holidays and events these past few days, with the Winter Olympics getting underway, Truck Day, the NBA All-Star weekend and Valentine's Day. And we still have Mardi Gras and Presidents Day to boot!

But it's also worth noting that Chinese New Year has begun. 2010 marks the Year of the Tiger (and thus inviting obvious references to Tiger Wang for the rest of 2010) on the Lunar calendar.

And in the interest of promoting awareness and cultural harmony with America's largest creditor, I would like to point out that the white, form-fitting traditional silk garment that the lovely creature depicted above is wearing is called a Cheongsam or Qi Pao (I think the difference between the two comes down to a matter of the length of sleeves or collar, but don't quote me). Despite pre-dating the Generalissimo by several centuries, these garments were considered ostentatious relics of Chaing Kai Shek's China and were banned under Chairman Mao Tse Tung. However, they still retained a degree of popularity in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and ethnic Chinese communities overseas and have gradually come back into acceptance on the mainland in recent years.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

When Talking Points Collide! Howard Dean Sez Republicans "Don't Believe In Science"

Using this week's record snowfall as a backdrop, a few Republican Congressmen took the time to poke fun at the Patron Saint of Global Warming Climate Change, Al Gore.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) tweeted "It’s going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries 'uncle' " on Tuesday and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and his family built an igloo Wednesday and invited Al Gore to make himself at home in the structure.

Howard Dean, who's greatest success to date has been convincing the rest of the nation that the far left batshit insane left was 'mainstream', was quick to retaliate in an ABC interview.

One of the most disturbing things about the Republican Party over the last couple of decades is that just they don’t believe in science any more. And that is not an approach that is likely to generate any kind of creative thinking,” Dean said.
“People who use snowstorms as an example of why global warming doesn’t exist don’t understand the science and they don’t care.”

This same tired and hackneyed talking point has also been an item in the laundry list of certain husky, pony-tailed bloggers during their melodramatic flounce from the right (of which they were never a part of) and who have taken to preaching the gospel of Global Warming Climate Change while attempting to re-write history over the last six or seven years. It's almost as deliciously ironic as the Pro Life 'Anti Choice' label doled out by the left in this country.

Yet curiously, this assertion by Dean runs in direct contradiction to a relatively common talking point Democrats and others that I distinctly remember surfacing in the 2004 and 2008 elections regarding Republicans and the right in general. You see, apparently those of us to the right of...say.....Nicaragua's Danny Ortega ...are mindless, bloodthirsty warmongers, ready to pick a fight with such paragons of transparent, flawless democracy like Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Bashar al-Assad, Kim Il Jong, the Taliban or tHugo Chavez, despite the objections of such selfless and completely unbiased institutions like the United Nations.

This apparently means that as mindless, reactionary hawks, the American Right and Republicans are perpetually beholden to that dreaded military-industrial complex in order to have a properly functioning military.

Off the top of my head, I can think of items such as satellite-based communications and surveillance, night-vision optics, laser-guided munitions, unmanned drones, reactive armor or wireless communications required to make the attack dogs of the vast rightwing conspiracy United States Military function more effectively.

So how exactly would the process of developing these systems for use by the military come about? Santeria? Voodoo? Strategic sprinkling of Holy Water? A note tucked into the Wailing Wall? Or wait.....maybe it's science! And of course, after enough years of development, this technology makes its way to the civilian sector, into the marketplace and onto your dashboard ready to give you directions to the nearest grocery store or call ahead to your weekly GOP/Dominionist flat-earth meetings to let them know you're running late.

Or maybe Howie's worried about increasing skepticism about Global Warming Climate Change since, even as an apparent work of fiction, it seemed to be a bestseller for the Democrats and the 'mainstream' votes from and Code Pink his party has been courting.

Republicans- and most Americans- would be wise not to believe in a 'science' that cherry-picked it's findings in order to draw a conclusion that was predetermined. Most free people throughout the world would never dream of allowing unaccountable governmental or international bureaucrats dictating to them through fiat what sort of food they should eat, what type of light bulb they must buy and what sort of vehicle they are required to drive. The second that happens, they cease to be a free people. But if these same scientists, politicians and bureaucrats come off as altruistic, well-meaning officials who have told us they're here to save the earth for future generations....well, how could one argue that without looking like some sort of callous ogre? Add in a hysterical, almost apocalyptic urgency and these officials are clearly the proverbial Paul Reveres making the frantic run to warn us all of our own self-inflicted Armageddon. And if you disagree with them, question their findings or wonder out loud if that F-350 you use to haul heavy equipment and firewood around are really melting the Himalayan glaciers, then you are not only anti-science, you are a denier and a puppet who's strings are being pulled by ExxonMobil and other nefarious corporations.

If this is the sort of 'science' Mr. Dean insists my tiny little right-wing pea brain is supposed to be against, so be it.

Hearts & Crafts; Happy Valentine's Day from Not Another New England Sports Blog!

Ah yes....Valentine's Day, when thoughts turn from our mundane winter daily routine to murdered Prohabition-era Irish gangsters.

Whatever your plans are for today....whether it's spending time with your sweetie, curling up with a good book or even working, we here at NANESB! would like to wish all of you a happy Valentine's Day.

And don't forget that Mardi Gras is right around the corner!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today's Train of Thought- High Plains Snow Drifter, Febuary 13 2010

If you stop and think about it, the folks in most parts of the Midwest have to be shaking their heads in bewilderment at the near-hysteria the most recent bout of snowfall was met with in the Mid-Atlantic region. Storms moving in and dumping 3+ feet of snow and causing whiteout conditions are nothing new, and they usually take it in stride.

That's not to say things always go smoothly. In February 2009, Canadian Pacific was having problems with persistent snowdrifts on the North Dakota stretch of its Twin Cities-Portal, ND mainline so much so that it had to reroute some of their snowfighting equipment off of their own line and use lengthy detour over the Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western via the former SOO Line Max branch and DMVW's line to Bismark, ND. Here, contributor Craig Williams caught a Jordan Spreader and snowplow bracketing a quartet of SOO Line, Canadian Pacific and Dakota Missouri Valley & Western locomotives. The Jordan Spreader and grey & orange GP40-2LW belong to the DMVW, while the trailing three GP38-2s (two in the old SOO line red and white and one in Canadian Pacific's 'dual flags' paint scheme) and snowplow are destined for the Canadian Pacific interchange. The colorful consist stands in stark contrast to the white landscape as the consist approaches Max, ND on February 5th, 2009.

Sports Chowdah Recap for Feb 11-12; Georgian Luger Dies in Crash, Delays Help Vonn? B's Make it 3 Straight, The Truck is Ft. Meyers Bound

(Ivan Sekretarev/AP)

WINTER OLYMPICS: Even before the opening ceremonies, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympiad was already marred by tragedy when 21 year old luger Nodar Kumaritashvili from the Republic of Georgia lost control of his sled at speeds approaching 90 MPH during the qualifying round of the men's luge before going over the track wall before crashing into an unpadded steel pole near the finish line. Rescue workers came to Kumaritashvili's aid within seconds and administered CPR before he was airlifted to a trauma center in Whistler, BC where he was pronounced dead.

The potential hazards of the Whistler course had been discussed in the months leading up to the Olympics. Several countries- including Team USA- were upset on restrictions placed over access to the track. Members of the Canadian team were the only ones who had access to the track prior to the Olympics.

USA Women's Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, already nursing a bruised shin that put her participation in doubt, caught a break from mother nature after rainy weather postponed practice for the women's event Thursday and Friday. This gives Vonn a few extra days to recoup before hitting the slopes.

The opening ceremonies didn't quite go as planned at Vancouver's BC palace when a hydraulic arm that was supposed to raise a section of the cauldron that was supposed to be simultaneously lit by hockey great Wayne Gretzky, NBA All-Star Steve Nash, skier Nancy Greene and speed-skater Catorina LeMay Doan. Despite through rehearsals, the section Doan was supposed to light never rose, so the Saskatchewan native saluted the crowd with the torch while awaiting further instruction.

NHL: The Boston Bruins winning streak has been extended to three games in a row after holding off the Tampa Bay Lighning to win 5-4 Thursday night. Michael Ryder and Milan Lucic had two goals each and Tukka Rask stopped 31 of 35 shots faced, although he was spotted a 5-0 lead courtesy of Ryder, Lucic and Miroslav Satan. The Bruins will travel across the peninsula to take on the Florida Panthers Saturday night.

Elsewhere in the NHL: Ilya Kovalchuk made his first goal with the New Jersey Devils count, snapping a 2-2 deadlock in the 3rd period during the Devil's 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators Friday night. New Jersey traded three players and a #1 draft pick to obtain Kovalchuck from the Atlanta Thrashers last week.
(David L Ryan/Boston Globe)

MLB: TRUCK DAY IS HERE! As I'm typing this, most of the Red Sox spring-training equipment should be making its way down I-95 on it's way to Ft. Meyers [No Lisa Kelly, but the cargo is in good hands nonetheless- NANESB!]. Pitchers and catcher's report Feb. 19th.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's All Downhill From Here


US Women's Alpine skier Julia Mancuso announced that she's starting her own line of lingerie under the name 'Kiss My Tiara' and plans on giving away 1000 pairs of thongs and short shorts to friends, family and competitors during the Vancouver Winter Games. Mancuso won the gold in the women's Giant Slalom at the 2006 Olympics in Turin and bronze for the same event in the 2005 Alpine World Ski Championships in Bromio, Italy.

Mancuso, an enthusiastic surfer as well as skier, is no stranger to being photographed in very little. The gold medalist endorsed Lange ski boots and became the company's first 'Lange Girl Athlete's' back in 2006. Earlier versions of the 'Lange Girls' were professional models clad in the company's ski boots (and not much else) instead of professional athletes.

Elsewhere, Mancuso's more conservatively dressed teammate Lindsey Vonn drew criticism from some netizens for her appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated.


When females are featured on the cover of SI, they are more likely than not to be in sexualized poses and not in action-and the most recent Vonn cover is no exception.

Which apparently goes to prove that there's a subset of people out there who will attempt to manufacture outrage over just about anything. Umm....I'm not Alpine Ski expert, but I would have to assume that position and skintight outfit play a rather large role in increasing a skiers downhill speed. Good Lord- it's not like Vonn is posing on a bearskin rug with a wide array of scented lotions and S&M toys lined up prominently in the foreground. If they're truly concerned about exploitative imagery and sexualized poses, I wonder how come they didn't bother working themselves into such a lather over Mancuso's work with Lange. I mean....cripes, it's not as though there's this hue and cry from the general public saying 'If only somebody could save us from the omnipresent hazard of magazine covers featuring photos of attractive female athletes!'. If they could work up the energy to shift their offended little eyeballs a few inches down and to the right, they could see that SI is already calling her 'America's Best Woman Skier Ever'. Come to think of it, I wish the same purveyors of sanctimonious hissy fits could work up the same outrage when the Taliban launches mortars on a girl's school in Afghanistan or something.

But with all this sound and fury, I do find myself in the somewhat rare position of looking forward to the Women's Alpine skiing events.

Just a reminder that the Olympic opening ceremonies are Tomorrow [along with Truck Day in Boston!- NANESB!]

[Hat tip to The Lonely Conservative on the Vonn piece]