Saturday, March 29, 2008

Janine Turner on C-SPAN 2's Book TV, Sun., Mon. & 4/6

In looking at the C-SPAN 2's Book TV email I always get at the end of the week, South Beach Hoosier was delighted to see that longtime SBH favorite, Janine Turner, was slated to appear on Book TV over the weekend speaking about her new book:
Holding Her Head High: 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History

Not that it's either here or there, but Janine was one of the original SBH favorites, too.

In fact, once I made the decision to start this blog early last year, I knew that one of the links I'd absolutely have to have here would be one to Janine's website , so that others could keep abreast with what was going on with her entertainment career and busy life.

For instance, her recent appointment by President Bush to the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, which I think speaks greatly to her desire to share her time and energy -and to get others to do the same!

The Council is a great initiative out of of the USA Freedom Corps, which SBH and some of his Washington friends heard quite a lot about in its infancy, due to the hard work and diligence of some other friends who were active with the Corps.

As to the appearance on Book TV, Janine's interview segment is approx. 40 minutes long, though in the official C-SPAN schedule, it reads as an hour, so be prepared if you're taping her appearance.

The last time I saw Janine on TV was on March 2nd on FOX News Channel's Hannity's America, with Sean Hannity, whose nationally syndicated radio show I usually hear the first hour of when it's broadcast -on delay- locally on WIOD 610-AM

(On the chance that you didn't know it, WIOD originally had their HQ in the Miami Freedom Tower on Biscayne Blvd., when that building was also the home of the much-missed defunct Miami News.)

Hannity's America, well, I've only watched that a handful of times, largely because on Sunday afternoons, I'm usually either watching sports or movies -or out of the house entirely.

Transcript from her January 18, 2007 appearance on FNC's Hannity & Colmes:,2933,244893,00.html

Other TV appearances:

As much as I'd like to say that my catching Janine that afternoon was planned, the truth of the matter is that is was entirely fortuitous, but happily so.

I'd just gotten back from the beach after having watched the IU-Michigan State basketball game earlier in the afternoon.

My usual Sunday afternoon beach routine -when it's not raining- consists of reading all my out-of-town Sunday newspapers over there, occasionally jotting down some thoughts or ideas in my notepad, which can, hopefully, translate into something interesting and insightful here at SBH, or over at Hallandale Beach Blog.

I also half-listen to callers to WQAM's various sports talk hosts, opining on why the Dolphins need to select player X,Y or Z in the upcoming NFL draft, exactly four weeks from now.

(Naturally, these callers are invariably wrong in almost every respect, especially the ones who drone on and on about 'trading down' without ever identifying the parameters of that deal.
The only acceptable choices from SBH's p.o.v. are Arkansas RB Darren McFadden, whom I've written about twice before in this space, or, assuming you want to pass on what could very well be, per Sports Illustrated's August 20th issue, the "next Eric Dickerson," select star UVA defensive lineman and chip-off-the superstar block, Chris Long, who has shown a consistency of work ethic and accomplishment the last few years that few of the other likely top draftees can come close to, regardless of position. These two players I can live with.)

After plopping myself on my couch, I flipped thru Direct TV's channel guide 'til I got to Channel 360, FOX News Channel.

And the rest is 'her story.'

I absolutely adore Janine Turner and only wish that more contemporary American actors were as grounded and level-headed as she was.

Someone who clearly enjoys the opportunities her talent and career afford her, but someone not content to simply go from project to project thinking that acting is the only thing she can contribute to the country and the world.

Suffice to say that for myriad reasons too numerous to enumerate here, but some of which involve her made the move to Texas, and continuing to contribute, locally and nationally, any time Janine Turner is on the big screen or the tube, I'm there!

Below, Book TV's description of her appearance.
Janine Turner, Holding Her Head High: 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History

Actress Janine Turner talks about the contributions that single mothers have made to our society. This talk was co-hosted by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and the Heritage Foundation.(Sunday 11 AM and 7 PM, Monday 6:15 AM ET)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ex-Bill & Hurricanes star Jim Kelly to consider run for Congress?

A friend in DC gave me a head's up about this and I thought I'd share it with you.

The New Republic's The Plank blog post speaks for itself, while the comments to it, to my eyes at least, read
like they're largely from people who are unfamiliar with the particulars of the C.D. (congressional district), since everyone who knows anything about that area knows how much people up there revere Jim Kelly.

Athletes in other cities who've been elected to Congress -Steve Largent, Jim Ryun, et al- while popular in their own right, have nothing like the reservoir of goodwill that Kelly enjoys, witness the amazing display of support and affection for him in 2002 when he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
See ,

At the Arlington,VA townhouse I lived in from 1996-2003, I had a really wonderful housemate from the Buffalo area who was a devout Buffalo Bills fan, as well as a very knowledgeable source of info about pop culture and the Lively Arts, particularly ballet and classical music.

As I recall it, her bedroom had two walls that I remember in particular because of the way she showed off two of her deepest passions.

One was a veritable Buffalo Bills shrine, complete with boxes of Flutie Flakes and 1,001 other Bills-related things, from the funny to the banal, but all quite recognizable to a devout Dolphins fan like South Beach Hoosier, since I'd had or seen the same things in aqua and orange before.

(When she came by to look at the place for the first time after having seen my ad, I knew she and I would hit it off when I asked her whether everyone in Buffalo was still "Talking Proud," and she laughed.
Then I told her that the first Dolphin game I ever attended was a 45-3 win over the Bills at the Orange Bowl, which propelled the Dolphins into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
But then she came back at me right away with something along the lines of "been a couple of years in between Super Bowl trips, though, eh?"
The Bills playing in four Super Bowl games in a row sort of hammered that point home. )

Every time I saw her collection of ephemera, it made me smile and laugh, recognizing that I'd had something just like that while I was living in Blooomington and later in Evanston/Wilmette, dedicated to the Dolphins, Hurricanes and Hoosiers.

Another wall had a bookshelf full of just about every book you'd ever heard of or would expect to find in the Library of Congress on the subject of ballet, especially bios of the usual suspects, with ballet slippers, trophies and ribbons on top.

When she first moved in, one of the more regular topics we discussed was one that bridged our political differences and united our common love of the NFL was the future of Jack Kemp, the former Bills QB turned politician.

When I first moved to the D.C. area in 1988, Kemp's congressional office in the Rayburn Bldg., the largest of the House office buildings, was near many of the congressional offices that I had regular business with.

Much like Tom Ridge's congressional office in the years before he became governor of Pennsylvania, Kemp's staff was always among the friendliest and most professional of the ones I dealt with.

Lots of very grounded people who were very dedicated to their work and to their boss, unlike the absurd way congressional offices are always portrayed in films or TV as full of psychopaths and folks continually on the make.

Kemp's office, owing to his great fame and constant media attention at the time, was constantly abuzz with all sorts of activity, as people visiting Washington, constituents and non-constituents alike, just walking down the hallway, would spot his nameplate near the door, pop their head in and wander on in.
March 24, 2008
Is Scott Norwood Not Available?
By Josh Patashnik

Is Scott Norwood Not Available?

Herald & Sun-Sentinel Go E-Z on Drew Rosenhaus in NFL Ethics Case

My comments follow the article.

Niners forfeit pick for Briggs tampering
The Associated Press
March 24, 2008

The San Francisco 49ers forfeited their fifth-round pick in next month's NFL draft after commissioner Roger Goodell said they tampered with Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs.

In a statement released by the league Monday, Goodell also said the teams will switch picks in the third round of the April 26-27 draft. Chicago, which had the 12th pick, will get San Francisco's seventh pick and the 49ers will get Chicago's choice.

Goodell said the 49ers violated the NFL's anti-tampering policy by contacting Briggs' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, about his client during the 2007 season.

"The 49ers organization respects Commissioner Goodell's ruling today, however we do disagree with it," 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said in a statement. "This was not a malicious act; we believe that our intent was within the NFL guidelines. Going forward, we will take the necessary steps to ensure we are in compliance with the NFL's interpretation."

Briggs, an all-Pro in 2007, had been designated as Chicago's franchise player, signing a one-year tender that meant he could not leave the Bears.

He had been expected to leave as a free agent after last season but instead re-signed with Chicago for $36 million over six years. Briggs will earn $21.6 million in the first three years of the deal and $13 million of the contract is guaranteed.

"We are appreciative of the efforts of the league office on this matter and support the commissioner's decision," Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips said in a statement.

There had been reports of contact between the 49ers and Rosenhaus last season, and the Bears filed a tampering charge with the NFL. Goodell said both teams cooperated with his investigation into the allegations.
Nice of both the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel to only run an AP story in their papers on the involvement of Miami sports agent and spin-meister Drew Rosenhaus in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's decision to penalize the 49ers for contacting Rosenhaus about his client, Bears LB Lance Briggs, before last year's trading deadline.

(Let's put the folks at NFL Security in charge of Homeland Security, he said half-jokingly.)

Why put your own reporters in the position of having to ask some tough questions of a locally-based, nationally-known, high-profile personality they're used to kidding around with -who routinely provides reporters with endless amounts of anonymous information and access to his clients- when you can dodge that headache by just running a generic A.P. story?

Hmmm... an ethical dilemma facing newspaper editors in their coverage of a story about troublesome ethics.
Now that's ironic!

Where's that quote machine Lucy Dalglish when you (readers) need her?

For the record, since January 1st, roughly 12 weeks ago, the Herald has run about 18 separate
stories that either mention Rosenhaus or quote him, while the Sun-Sentinel has run about 9.

(More on Drew Rosenhaus at and )

Just another reason to be very glad that there isn't a national press shield law, South Beach Hoosier said in all seriousness, despite the efforts of so many on Capitol Hill -unfortunately, including Senator Lugar- to give a special interest group like the corporate media exactly what they dearly want most -less accountability.
"My agent, Drew Rosenhaus … obviously I picked him for a reason. Your agent, you're supposed to trust him. And when he gives you advice, I feel like it's in my best interest to follow it. If there's something I don't like, obviously I'll bring that up with him. Drew has been in this situation many times, and I really feel comfortable with what he's telling me to do at this point..."

See Diary of an NFL free agent: Lance Briggs
Briggs embarks on journey to unknown,0,2956134.story

Monday, March 24, 2008

Analyzing George Will's columns on Castro's Cuba: Is There a Cure for Cuba?; In Cuba, Ignorance In Amber

Sunday March 9th, 2008

As with most George Will-penned columns, South Beach Hoosier's always felt there were
interesting original thoughts and nuggets of insight in his columns, even if you disagree with certain of his points, and these two recent columns are no exception.

What surprises me -though perhaps surprised isn't the word, since it's the Internet after all- are the high number of people responding with Pavlovian predictability in the Washington Post's comments forum-links below.

The responses there are very different from the comments that one sees at other media sites where these same Will articles are run, like, with facts being the favored approach to the latter.

That's not by accident.

Keep in mind, too, as you read them, that most of the writers on the forum clearly live outside of the immediate Washington area.

The Post readers' uniformly gratuitous/negative comments to these articles, based not on any particular clever use of quantifiable facts by the writer, or even some effective retort to Will's central argument or points, based on some great miscalculation or mis-statement on his part, but rather a more base general ignorance of American and World history.

A willingness to disregard a reality that's staring them in the face and that keeps them and their point-of-view firmly in the minority, and, therefore, firmly on the losing side of history.

But some people -and we all know folks like this- for reasons of their own, prefer to play the role of martyr.

To cast themself and their allies as the underdog, even if it's neither appropriate or an accurate depiction of the circumstances, because the underdog doesn't have to play by society's rules.

It's their conscious way of getting attention that they'd never gain by actually having an original and compelling argument -based in reason and human behavior- that would actually carry the day.

To me, compared to posts on these columns I've read elsewhere, the comments to the Post evince an almost juvenile point-of-view that says that because Will argues one thing, and Will is conservative, therefore Will must be wrong and Fidel Castro and his supporters must really just be misunderstood.

And that, in any case, it's all just a big media-supported manipulation of facts, and only THEY really know what's going on. (There's always that twist thrown in at the end!)

That sounds like a poorly-conceived mathematical formula that just doesn't add up -or explain.

Another often-heard argument is, "Why can't we just be like the Europeans?"
Yes, because that really worked so well for Europe in Bosnia and Croatia in the '90's, oui?
(Will kills this impulse with kindness by specifically mentioning Sartre below.)

To these folks, Castro & Company really haven't killed thousands of Cubans and put an equal or greater number of them in prison for having the temerity to disagree with him.

One thing that I immediately noticed in reading the comments was the way they STILL cling desperately to out-dated media anecdotes/stereotypes.

Not only about the State of Florida, but the GOP, and Bush's State Dept. -or any president's State Dept. really- being completely under the thrall and thumb of South Florida-based Cuban-Americans, rather than looking at the facts in front of them.

This myth persists, despite all the newspaper/magazine articles and TV stories that have been done -to death!- over the past five years about the changing face of Miami's Cuban-American community, and their notions of what should or shouldn't happen in Cuba in the future.
There's no unanimity besides good riddance to the Castro Brothers and their brethren.

These readers commenting in The Post consciously ignore that change in reality, because to
acknowledge that shift would be to eliminate the floor beneath their own flimsy arguments, revealing them as pathetic and desperate.

But then these are often the same people who either don't know, can't quite recall or ever acknowledge that the reason the U.S. has a military base in Guantanamo in the first place, has nothing to do with Fidel Castro and Communism, but everything to do with our defeating the Spanish Empire in the Spanish-American War in 1898, perhaps the single worst-taught chapter of American history by American schools, regardless of location.

Yet I constantly see caustic Letters to the Editor in papers all over the country, brought to my attention by out-of-town friends who forward them to me, by folks who have a bee-in-their-bonnet of the sort that would find common cause with Barack Obama's minister under-the microscope, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

In arguing against this known history, the writers only publicly showcase their own ignorance of this history, as well as that of the Editor of the Letters page.

This is a particular problem with The Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which routinely runs letters by ill-informed folks baying at the moon, whose central premise is undermined by known facts.

(The recent Geraldine Ferraro flap for instance is a perfect example of this problem, locally.
In her initial comments, she specifically acknowledged that if her name had been Gerald, not
Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, she wouldn't have been offered the Dem Veep spot in 1984 with Walter Mondale.
She specifically says that, and yet the Editorial page editor has no qualms about running a Letter to the Editor by a dummy who posits that if Ferraro was a he...

Yes, yes, thank you!
Those of us who follow things very closely and who actually read her entire remarks, already know that.
Why don't you join us on the train to knowledge by reading her entire comments, mon ami?)

Cuba was never a free country until after the U.S. defeated Spain, and the Spanish
forces were forced to leave the Carribean for good.
Not that free was the same thing as democratic, as we imagine it here.

It's the same reason we had military bases in The Philippines for decades until the too-close-for-comfort volcanoes and changing dynamics of Filipino politics and U.S. foreign policy made that a moot point.

Though many Americans -if not most!- don't know it, many years ago I learned at IU from several books on Congressional history that, in fact, there were non-voting delegates in the U.S. Congress from both Cuba and The Philippines when they became U.S. territories after that war.

Just as there are now delegates in Congress from Puerto Rico, The American Virgin Islands and Guam. And Washington, D.C.

No, many of the negative comments are from people who can't quite square their own personal and political beliefs with the obvious logic and reason of the FOG -the facts-on-the-ground.

There are hundreds of thousands of people living in this area with a familial, social or cultural connection to Cuba, a place that's only 90 miles away from Key West, many with family members still living there or who were born there themself.

A very high percentage of Cuban-Americans living here vote with regularity and don't need to be convinced to turn out and cast their ballot.

Like all Americans, they vote their conscience, regardless of how well-informed they may or may not actually be on the issues.

What the anti-George Will folks who prefer their slavish devotion to stereotypes can't ever publicly admit, is that there are only four nationality groups in the U.S. mainland whose

'motherland,' such as it is, can be reached directly by air from the U.S. in less than one hour:
Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Cuba.

That's the whole list folks!

Why would anyone expect the hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans now living here in South Florida, especially older folks, to have NOT behaved the way they do now -and have in the past?
I never understood that.

Yet for years as I was growing-up here in the '70's, and then later, when I'd be in South Florida
during summer break from IU, working 2-3 jobs, I'd constantly hear, see and read fairly well-educated but naive and foolish people from myriad U-M and/or Miami-area Peace Groups, saying things that only highlighted their ignorance of basic history and human psychology.

People who seemed to enjoy railing against the Reagan Administration, yet who foolishly seemed to predicate part of their arguments against U.S. involvement in Central America under President Reagan -especially in Nicaragua- as a two-for-one.

They could not only be against Reagan, but because it was in direct opposition to what a majority of South Florida's Cuban-American population genuinely wanted -a bulwark against the spread of communism in Latin America, even if in a country with only one reliable elevator- they could also be against the Cuban-American establishment here, too.

Frankly, it often seemed to be that if Cuban-Americans favored something, the Peace Now, Unitarians and ADA-type Dems were reflexively against it.

Having lived in the heavily-Polish Chicago area for three years in the mid-'80's, when Mayor Harold Washington tried to bring reforms to a city that was the most racially-polarized city in the country, where ethnic culture clashes are played out much differently than they are here in South Florida, I always wondered why it was always so much easier, politically, for Northeastern liberal Democrats to tweak and mock people who had fled Communism in the Tropics, than from those who had lived behind The Berlin Wall.

I'm joking; I understood EXACTLY why that dichotomy existed.

Because they could.

Because so many Cubans who came here succeeded in carving out some niche of middle-class happiness and accomplishment in their personal and professional lives, they became so powerful that they became part of the establishment, so, open to mockery.

I have an excellent memory and a nose for the truth, both of which have served me well over the years.

Yet I don't EVER recall anyone at the time laughing at or mocking Polish-Americans in Chicago, who publicly stated their desire to return to their homeland and live in peace under a true democracy, especially after there was a Polish Pope who came to Chicago, still a day that many will never forget.

(This, of course, is quite different than Cuban-Americans elected officials -especially those born here!- foolishly boasting in newspaper and magazine articles that their career goals include someday being Mayor of Havana.

Those folks can be mocked mercilessly as far as I'm concerned, along with their hack pals, who someone imagine themself as kingmakers and Carnegie-style industry tycoons in a post-Castro Cuba someday, even though they aren't any of those things here, where it would be easier)

[My own maternal ancestors were Poles from a region of Prussian-controlled Upper Silesia, in what is now southwestern Poland, not far from the present day Poland-Czech Republic border,
when Poland as an independent country didn't exist.
Overnight, those ancestors became Texas Hill Country pioneers, whose proud descendants have lived in Bandera ever since 1855.
Due to its large number of Polish, German and Czech immigrants, Bandera County was one of only a handful of Texas counties that voted AGAINST seceding from the Union at the state convention in Austin in 1861.]

While now slightly more moderate in their a
pproach to Cuba's future because so many leaders of the older generation of virulent anti-Castro forces have died, they all would prefer that Cuba be a democratic nation, full of the sort of checks and balances the U.S. political system enjoys.

Everything we know about human behavior, psychology and personal experience says this attitude and behavior of theirs is entirely predictable.
Yet it completely surprises those whose default position is that the U.S. is always wrong or at fault.

As proof of how common this mindset is, let me share with you the closing sentence from a Letter to the Editor that I saw in today's Sun-Sentinel, that was, ostensibly, praising the new book by Carter National Security Advisor and Obama supporter Zbigniew Brzezinski,

Second Chance:,0,1867422.story
"If we don't change our ways soon, we can be militarily strong, but morally weak and friendless, like Rome and others before the fall.
Alexander "Sandy" Simon, Delray Beach

Do you wanna bet that a person like Mr. Simon, a Delray Beach real estate developer who'd compare the U.S.A. in the year 2008 with pre-5th century Imperial Rome, probably couldn't help himself, and at least once in the past probably compared current U.S. involvement in Iraq with 1960's Vietnam in a previous letter? I'll check.

[This reminds South Beach Hoosier of a longtime pet peeve he's never mentioned here in this space before:
Why can't anything be unique anymore?
Per the absurd comparison to Rome above, why must people always diminish the latest incident or episode of anything, whatever it is, as simply the incarnation of something that's already happened?]

As to my own opinion concerning the future of Cuba, the most surprising thing would be IF Cuban-Americans in South Florida didn't care about what was happening in Cuba, 90 miles away.
Now that would make me suspicious!
Washington Post
Is There a Cure for Cuba?
By George F. Will
March 9, 2008

On Dec. 29, 1962, 11 months before he was murdered by an advocate for Fidel Castro's regime (Lee Harvey Oswald had distributed propaganda on a New Orleans street for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee), President John Kennedy, speaking in Miami's Orange Bowl to veterans of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, received from them a Cuban flag and vowed, "I can assure you that this flag will be returned to this brigade in a free Havana." In Cuba, too, regime change has turned out to be more problematic than American policymakers imagined.

Even after the Bay of Pigs -- arguably the most feckless use of U.S. power ever-- Cuba unhinged some American officials. In his biography of Robert Kennedy, Newsweek's Evan Thomas reports that one high-ranking CIA operative had a plan "to surface an American submarine just over the Havana horizon to fire star shells into the night sky, in the hopes of convincing the Cubans that the Second Coming was imminent, thus spurring them to get rid of the anti-Christ -- Castro." Skeptics called this "elimination by illumination."

The question of what should be done now begins with the matter of the U.S. trade embargo. Cuban Americans demanded its imposition in 1961, applauded its strengthening in 1996 and largely favor its continuation. Changing it would be politically problematic. The Cuban American vote can be decisive in Florida, whose 27 electoral votes are 10 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency. Add the 15 electoral votes of New Jersey, another state with a large Cuban American community, and 16 percent of the 270 can turn on policy toward Cuba.

The embargo was imposed when Cuba was a salient of Soviet values and interests in this hemisphere. Today, Cuba is a sad, threadbare geopolitical irrelevancy. Far from threatening Castro's regime, the embargo has enabled Castro to exploit Cubans' debilitating mentality of taking comfort from victimhood -- the habit, more than a century old, of blaming problems on others, first on Spain and then on the United States.

Those facts do not, however, by themselves make the case for ending the embargo without some reciprocal liberalization by (the other) Castro's regime. Granted, it is arguable that the embargo should be abandoned, or significantly eased, regardless of how the Cuban regime behaves, because the regime has much to fear from any increased permeation of Cuba by foreign commercial and intellectual presences.

U.S. policy toward Cuba should, however, be conditioned, and perhaps haunted, by U.S. policy toward China. That policy was supposed to result in steady, slow-motion regime change through candid subversion in broad daylight. The premise has been that the cure for communism is commerce with the capitalist world. The assumption is that capitalism brings, because it requires, an ethic of trust and the rule of law in the form of promise-keeping (contracts). Also, the protection of private property gives individuals a sphere of sovereignty and whets their appetites for a politics of popular sovereignty.

This has been called "the Starbucks fallacy" (see James Mann's book "The China Fantasy"): When people become accustomed to many choices of coffee, they will demand many political choices. This doctrine may be being refuted by the emergence of a China that has become wealthier without becoming less authoritarian.

Cuba has negligible democratic traditions and no living experience with a culture of pluralism and persuasion. In Iraq, Russia and elsewhere, we have seen how decades of tyranny degrade a public's capacity for a democratic culture. We also have tested, and found questionable, the proposition that democratic institutions can precede and create such a culture.

The embargo is being partially vitiated by dollars -- about a billion of them, equivalent to about 2 percent of Cuba's gross domestic product -- sent to Cuba by the Cuban diaspora, 1.5 million strong. That diaspora supports the embargo, but dollar remittances from abroad can be spent only in government stores, so they accrue to the benefit of the regime.
Castro, whose personal worth is estimated at nearly $1 billion, has sternly -- and proudly -- told Cubans, whose average annual income is less than $200, "We're not a consumer society." That is not news where shampoo is scarce.

Six years ago, Castro's regime gathered 8 million signatures from among the 11 million captive Cubans for a petition -- was that necessary? -- to amend Cuba's constitution (is it necessary?) to declare communism "irrevocable." Let us now praise the much-misunderstood Viking King Canute, who commanded the tide to recede in order to demonstrate that it would not obey.
Miami Herald
In Cuba, Ignorance In Amber
By George F. Will
March 6, 2008

The letter from a 12-year-old to "my good friend Roosvelt" [sic] is dated Nov. 6, 1940, one day after FDR won a third term. Saying he is "very happy" FDR won, he adds: "If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green american." The letter, an enlarged copy of which is on display in the National Archives, ends: "Good by. Your friend, Fidel Castro."

Young Castro with his hand out prefigured his role in political history. Until its spell was broken, Marxism mesmerized millions by promising to solve mankind's economic problem -- abundance without the alienation caused by work, the French word for which is travail. Instead, Castro created mendicant Marxism, making Cuba dependent on huge subventions from the Soviet Union, which paid eight times the market price for sugar and in the process purchased young Cuban men to fight in various "wars of liberation." When Russia withdrew its aid, Cuba's economy quickly shrank 35 percent, more than the U.S. economy contracted (26.5 percent) in the Depression. Cuba under communism had to import sugar. Today, Hugo Chávez's Venezuela provides $4 billion of oil to a Cuba that has a gross domestic product of $45 billion.

The departure, if such it really is, of Castro, the weird uncle in the island's attic, cures nothing. Cuba's affliction remains: It is Castroism, which is communism colored by Bonapartism. Communism of any stripe is afflicted by terminal ignorance. Having no market, which is an information-generating mechanism, communism cannot know what things should cost.

Hence communism's amazing contribution to humanity's economic history is "value-subtraction" -- products worth less than the materials that go into them. That result is seriously inconvenient for Marxism's labor theory of value -- the theory that labor adds all value to the world's materials.

Castro's career, although calamitous for Cubans, has provided entertaining farce through its effect on Western political pilgrims seeking leftist saviors. Joseph Goebbels called the Nazi regime "ennobled democracy"; the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo called his "neo-democracy." In 1960, the second of Castro's 49 years as warden of Cuba as prison, Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialist and Stalinist, published an enraptured book about Castro's democracy. Sartre marveled at what he called Castro's "direct democracy" as demonstrated when, at a roadside stand, Castro and Sartre were served warm lemonade.

Castro got hot. The tepid drink, he said, "reveals a lack of revolutionary consciousness." The waitress, Sartre reported, shrugged and said the refrigerator was broken. Castro "growled"
(Sartre's approving description), "Tell your people in charge that if they don't take care of their problems, they will have problems with me." Sartre, deeply stirred, wrote:
"This was the first time I understood -- still quite vaguely -- what I called 'direct democracy.' Between the waitress and Castro, an immediate secret understanding was established. She let it be seen by her tone, her smiles, by a shrug of her shoulders, that she was without illusion."

Norman Mailer, the novelist, and Oliver Stone, embodiment of Hollywood progressives in heat, had illusions galore. In 1960, when Castro came to Manhattan, Mailer, banal even when in ecstasy, wrote of white horses: "One felt life in one's cold overargued blood. . . . It was as if the ghost of Cortes had appeared in our century riding Zapata's white horse." Just a few years ago, Stone, a slow learner, advised: "We should look to [Castro] as one of the Earth's wisest people."

In the wise man's prisons -- according to Armando Valladares's memoir of 22 years in them ("Against All Hope") -- some doors are welded shut and prisoners are fed watery soup sometimes laced with glass, or dead rats, or half a cow's intestine, rectum included, containing feces. In 2003, the wise man's pulverizing police state, always struggling to reduce Cuba's civil society to a dust of individuals, sentenced 78 democracy advocates, after one-day secret trials, to up to 28 years in those prisons. Pilgrims praising Cuban health care call to mind Pat Moynihan's acerbic observation that when travel to China was liberalized, many visitors seemed more impressed by the absence of flies than by the absence of freedom.

Castro has ruled Cuba during 10 U.S. presidencies and longer than the Soviet Union ruled Eastern Europe. The Economist has called him "a Caribbean King Lear." Raging on his island heath, with nothing to celebrate except his endurance, his creativity has come down to this: He has added a category to the taxonomy of world regimes -- government by costume party. Useful at last, the Comandante, dressed for success in his military fatigues, presides over a museum of Marxism.

Reader comments at:

Friday, March 21, 2008

CBS at 11:37 p.m.: "Stick a fork in the Hoosiers." And so it was done...

Friday March 21, 2008
11:50 p.m.

And at 11:37 p.m., after a pathetic and largely lifeless Hoosier performance, during a commercial break of the #9 Arkansas vs. #8 IU game at Raleigh in the first round of the 2008 NCAA basketball tourney, a guy you've never heard of at CBS Sports probably said to nobody in particular, something along the lines of, "Stick a fork in the Hoosiers."

And so it was done.

And with that, CBS pulled the plug on the Hoosier season, switching South Florida to #5 Clemson vs. #12 Villanova with eleven minutes left at Tampa Bay.


Thank goodness I get CBS College Sports, formerly CSTV, which I've been watching for years.

I signed up for that web deal last Sunday after the tourney selections, but considering we'd gone down something like twelve with less than three minutes to go, there seemed little point of going to it.
Miami annually gets the lowest TV ratings in the country for CBS' coverage of the the NCAA basketball tourney, which perhaps tells you more about how truly different culturally this area is from the rest of the country than local politicians and Hispanic reporters at the Herald want to publicly admit, though I'm sure they would have a way of spinning that so that it would seem like we're just like everyone else. We're not.
Even worse, of course, though for the few devout college basketball fans of who are down here, we are forced to suffer with a sports media reporter at the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson, for whom the word dreadful barely begins to skim the surface.
Jackson is the Herald sports media reporter I promised you all I'd be taking to task in a future blog post for all his many errors of comission and omission and crimes against fairness and objectivity since I came back down here. (That post is coming, but there's SO much to include!)
It's so bad, that he doesn't even know when he's being made a fool of when he talks to a guy at CBS Sports who gives him the sports media equivalant of "play 'em one game at a time," witness this excerpt of Jackson's Friday column full of snarky condescending comments that Jackson doesn't pick up on.
Miami Herald
CBS has a method to its March Madness decisions
By Barry Jackson
NCAA Tournament TV chatter from the couch:
No matter which games CBS assigns to individual stations, some fans usually will be dissatisfied. The challenge for CBS programmer Mike Aresco, who crafts the regional maps, is identifying the games with the broadest appeal.
At 7 p.m. Friday, for example, Channel 4 was assigned North Carolina-Mount St. Mary's, even though the three other games at that time (including Mississippi State-Oregon) would appear, on paper, to be more competitive.
''The thinking is we would like to start you off with North Carolina, the No. 1 seeded team in the Tournament,'' he said. "We don't expect the game to be competitive. We would be switching fairly quickly if it isn't.''
Aresco said that approach was similar to his thinking for Thursday night, when Channel 4 had Belmont-Duke even though many Heat fans would have preferred to watch Kansas State (and likely No. 1 draft pick Michael Beasley) against USC (and top prospect O.J. Mayo). ''We like to give the East Coast a taste of Duke,'' Aresco said. That decision worked out well, with Belmont nearly upsetting Duke.
("We'd like to give the East Coast a taste of Duke..."
Right, like Duke isn't crammed down everyone's gullet; Kansas State and UCLA was never in the cards, and to ask about Oregon and Mississippi State, well that just shows your ignorance of your own area.
Dude, there are more people in South Florida right now who've moved here from Cuba within the past year, than there are people who've moved here from Oregon and Mississippi combined!)
Another tough call: Channel 4 is airing Connecticut-San Diego at 2:30 p.m. Friday. But if UM beats St. Mary's (on WFOR) at 12:30 p.m., would Canes fans prefer to watch Texas-Austin Peay at 2:45 p.m., considering Miami would play the winner?
''It's possible,'' Aresco said. "Our feeling has been Miami has been a Big East region for so long, and you have a lot of transplanted Northerners. . . . You go back and forth on decisions. It's not easy.''
(Nobody in Miami who's never been to Tennessee even knows where Austing Peay is located!)
Channel 4's 9:30 p.m. game Friday -- Arkansas-Indiana -- is the logical choice. CBS affiliates can request game changes, but they're not always granted.
• The good news is that all games are available for free on DIRECTV also offers all the games for $69.
• If UM wins Friday, its next game would be 2:15 p.m. Sunday. . . . CBS assigned Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel to those games in Little Rock, Ark.
• CBS did its usual good work switching Thursday afternoon, taking us from Michigan State-Temple to the closer Xavier-Georgia game.
• CBS College Sports Network -- formerly called CSTV -- is presenting simultaneous Tournament coverage while CBS is broadcasting the games. Available in 25 million homes, CBS College is offering two games in their entirety (including Oklahoma-St. Joseph's at 7 p.m. Friday), plus live look-ins, interviews and highlights.
• CBS College borrowed Greg Anthony from ESPN to serve as a studio analyst. And in exchange for again being able to borrow Jay Bilas, CBS gives ESPN: 1. Better access at the Final Four; 2. Fewer restrictions on airing highlights. 3. Promotion for ESPN's women's NCAA coverage; and 4. The right to replay men's NCAA Tournament games on ESPN Classic.
Instead, as I write this, I'll listen to longtime South Beach Hoosier favorite David McCullough for the full hour on the Charlie Rose Show on WLRN-TV, Channel 17, the second Miami PBS station here, since WPBT-TV, Channel 2, the bigger PBS station, has been running Charlie at 3:30 a.m. for months now.

If there is a PBS station that does more fundraising than Miami WPBT-2, I've never heard of it!

I could be wrong, but I honestly think that freshman or no freshman, Eric Gordon has no idea of the volume and quality of the vehemence that's heading in his direction over the next few weeks from a justifiably disappointed Hoosier Nation, after just the latest in a long line of his
sleepwalking performances.

When champion Aussie tennis player Yvonnne Goolagong-Cawley spaced out for large periods of time during matches in the 1970's against players who didn't have her ability, they call 'em "walkabouts."

So what 'term of art' do we call the last and most disappointing Eric Gordon performance in Hoosier cream and crimson?

Let me know what you think, but with apologies to David Spade when he was on Saturday Night Life doing Weekend Update talking about Eddie Murphy, after showing a photo of Murphy from one of his many bad movies -perhaps Pluto Nash?- he deadpanned and said simply, "Catch a falling star?"'

Yep, I'll stick with that one until I hear a better description.

Listening to CBS' Jim Nantz and Billy Packer talk about him, especially in the middle of the second half of the ballgame, with references to things he once did, if you didn't know any better, you'd think that they were talking about someone who had just died.

And fifteen minutes later, all I can do is repeat my kernel of insight that I've been repeating to friends for weeks: please hire Tom Crean!

Indianapolis Star
How many Hoosiers does it take to screw up a coaching search?
By Bob Kravitz
March 20, 2008

WASHINGTON -- This is the city that made committees famous. This is the nation's capital, where politicians too clueless and afraid to act form committees to study the feasibility of establishing other committees.
You want to know what I think of IU's 10-person blue ribbon -- got to love that blue ribbon -- committee to find IU's next basketball coach?
I think it's further evidence that my alma mater still has absolutely no idea what it's doing.
It botched the Kelvin Sampson hiring. It botched the Kelvin Sampson exit. Shoot, it even botched the timing on the establishment of this committee, undercutting its interim coach and his team by announcing it just days before the NCAA Tournament.
Now it's going to botch this. Ten people? It takes 10 people to find a basketball coach? Was Sen. Hillary Clinton right? Does it take a village?
It took a 16-person committee to hire the current athletic director, Rick Greenspan. And that's worked out so well, the new school president, Michael McRobbie, isn't even willing to trust his AD with doing the most important job of an athletic director: hire a head basketball coach.
If the school isn't confident enough in Greenspan's ability to hire a coach -- and after the Sampson affair, they shouldn't be -- then Greenspan needs to be sent packing. He's either the man or he isn't. He can't be both.
If McRobbie wants to save time and money, he can call me and I'll get this done in a month's time. Just give me an administrative assistant and a contract attorney and -- badda bing, badda boom -- IU has a big-name, big-time coach who will unify the fractured fan base and begin the process of restoring the program to its proper glory.
And I won't even ask for the school to pay six figures for a headhunting firm. Pay me instead.
I don't need 10 people to tell me that my Wish List begins and ends with Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, Louisville's Rick Pitino and maybe, just maybe, Memphis' John Calipari.
I don't need 10 people to tell me that my next List of Good Candidates (Who Didn't Make My Wish List) includes Baylor's Scott Drew, Marquette's Tom Crean, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, Xavier's Sean Miller, Pitt's Jamie Dixon, Washington State's Tony Bennett, Gonzaga's Mark Few and Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings.
(As for the rumored candidacy of Scott Skiles . . . nah. Great guy, good coach and as a Bloomington resident, the school would save on moving expenses. But he doesn't fit the profile.)
It's pretty simple: IU needs a slam-dunk sure thing as its next coach. Someone who has shown he can win big at this level of college basketball. Someone who is absolutely pristine when it comes to NCAA violations. (And before you say it, no, Bob Knight is not a good idea, no matter how many times Dick Vitale pleads for Knight's return.)
They can't screw this up.
But with 10 people, only one of them a former basketball player, there's every reason to think the IU administration will find a way to blow it.
Too many chefs. Too many agendas. Too many people who, frankly, have as much right being on this committee as I do dancing the foxtrot on "Dancing With the Stars."
There is one person with basketball ties on this committee. He's former player Wayne Radford. He played for the Hoosiers a pretty long time ago. After him, it's Greenspan and then a whole bunch of academics and lawyers, which can only mean IU might not have a coach until Oct. 1, at the earliest.
Let me ask a question: If McRobbie was looking to hire a provost, would he fill his search committee with former basketball players? This is the typical look-down-your-nose arrogance we see with academics when they poke their nose into athletics. I've got no issues with having a mix of academics and keen legal minds, but if I'm hiring a basketball coach, I want people who have played and coached basketball, people who don't need a headhunting company to tell them who's who.
If you talk to athletic directors around the state and around the country, they'll tell you: Hiring a high-profile coach has to be the work of a limited few. Ten blue-ribbon panelists means a 10 times greater chance this whole blue-ribbon thing will be screwed up.
The thing a 10-person committee does is help dilute the blame when the failed hire goes south.
My fear now is, a big-time guy like Izzo or Pitino will get a look at this ridiculous 10-person abomination, and they're going to wonder if the job is worth it. If you're a candidate, doesn't it give you pause? Who's in charge there? When the coach has an issue, does he go to the athletic director, or will another committee get formed?
They are complicating a fairly simple process.
It's interesting.
Today I'm going to watch Purdue, whose athletic director, Morgan Burke, took a potentially ugly situation and seamlessly orchestrated Gene Keady's exit and Matt Painter's arrival. It doesn't take 10 people. Just one, or maybe two or three, who truly have a clue.

Later tonight: "Condi's C Street Crew," or, MSNBC's cry for attention

South Beach Hoosier actually has some keen insight into what probably happened in January regarding the State Dept.'s contractors looking at the passport applications of Messers Clinton, McCain and Obama, borne of my years up in D.C. and knowing people who've worked for some of these government contractors, and in particular, worked for the State Dept.

I'm 99% sure it's not so much political as Temps in a room in a secure Rosslyn office building simultaneously relieving job boredom and letting their own curiosity get the better of them.

I'll be posting that around 9 p.m. tonight, before the IU-Arkansas basketball game, and I'll truly be surprised if I am not more accurate in providing some insight into this story than whatever MSNBC force feeds its tiny audience tonight, if they repeat their hysterically funny reporting of last night with Keith Olbermann, Dan Abrams and longtime SBH bête noire Andrea Mitchell.

"Condi's C Street Crew" will likely be attacked by former Colin Powell prima donnas from their high-horse perches across academia and at the CFR, for the whole weekend.

So much for Condi enjoying the first weekend of March Madness!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's not justice -it's Broward justice!

South Beach Hoosier and Hallandale Beach Blog wanted to call your attention to one of the best blog postings he's seen in quite some time, made all the better because it's an all-too-accurate
account of the way things are often done in this part of the Sunshine State.

This wonderful post ran almost three weeks ago in Justice Building Blog, the blog of the Richard Gerstein Bldg. in downtown Miami.

That building was no stranger to fascinating stories even before the advent of the Internet Revolution or cell phones allowed well-founded whispers to become "common knowledge" within minutes.

South Beach Hoosier knows all too well that's true because he recalls what things were like at the Dade County Courthouse, where he spent quite a lot of time from the mid-'70's to the early '80's, as a kid growing up in North Miami Beach, and still later, while back on Flagler Street as an IU student home on summer break.

(Usually after a trip first to the Dade County Main Library, a SBH favorite, and buying this delicious fruit bar snack that was sold at a Flagler shop right across the street from One Biscayne Tower.)

SBH often caught a taste of American jurisprudence up close and personal, when there was a big or controversial case going on, often swinging by to see what was up on one of his rare days off from one of the three summer jobs he had, in order to pay that out-of-state tuition that was three times what native Hoosiers paid.

This started back when Dick Gerstein was the Dade States Attorney, and sometimes interacted with SBH's father, who worked in that building for years in law enforcement, and when SBH sometimes saw fathers of his NMB childhood/Optimist team friends ply their trade as defense attorneys, or "experts" of one sort or another.

This routine continued once Janet Reno took over when Richard Gerstein retired before the end of his term as DA.

(Still another time, one of my old teammate's father -a really nice guy who not only came to every game we played at Victory Park, but to every evening practice, too- actually served as a juror on an extremely high-profile murder case that had South Florida completely transfixed.)

In case you're a little fuzzy on Gerstein and his career, see:,9171,723869,00.html and and

I first became aware of this great post on Broward County's brand of justice thru JAABLOG, the wonderful Broward County judicial blog run by Sean Conway.

His efforts to be a straight-shooter who call 'em as he sees them in the area of judicial criticism, has often put him squarely in the sights of some folks who'd like to use ABA protocols like a bludgeon to silence reasonable criticism of Broward judges who think they are not subject to either rules of common sense or decency.

I've mentioned his efforts twice previously at South Beach Hoosier in December:
Thursday, February 28, 2008

One in a hundred americans is in prison or jail, and here's why Broward is helping to keep that number high:
The Broward Blog contains the welcome news that Broward Attorney Valerie Small-Williams was acquitted of the misdemeanor charge of failure to obey a police officer.

The disturbing facts of the case are that Ms. Small-Williams was stopped for speeding and then ordered out of her vehicle (a Jaguar) while her small child was in the back because the officer thought he saw a second drivers license in her wallet. She was arrested, cuffed, and initially charged with a slew of crimes, although the "second license" was never located...

To see the rest of the story, see:

Monday, March 17, 2008

FL Primary: Herald's Reinhard Wakes Up Too Little, Too Late

My comments follow the article

Miami Herald
Early primary had support of Democrats
March 8, 2008

Ten years later, Democrat Hillary Clinton is still blaming the "vast, right-wing conspiracy.''
Only this time, instead of attacking her husband's integrity, the VRWC is depriving Florida Democrats of their voting rights.

''I have long said that they should not be the victims of the unfortunate consequences of some of these rule changes that the people of Florida, for example, had nothing to do with,'' Clinton said on NBC's Today show this week. "They were dragged into this by the Republican governor and the Republican Legislature.''

Dragged? More like hopped, skipped and jumped with both feet.
For fear that the idea that the GOP caused Florida's latest voting fiasco will gain as much traction as the equally ridiculous falsehood that Clinton rival Barack Obama is a Muslim, here are the facts:

• The legislation that moved up Florida's presidential primary from the second Tuesday in March to the last Tuesday in January was sponsored by a DEMOCRAT, Jeremy Ring, in the Senate, and a Republican, David Rivera in the House.
• EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT in both chambers voted for the early date except for one House member, all of them grown-ups knowing full well that the rules of both national parties called for delegate penalties.

Psssstt. Here's the Democratic Party's dirty little secret: It wanted to boost Florida's clout in the presidential primaries just as much as the GOP did.

True, Democrats probably couldn't have stopped the legislation even if they had tried harder than half-heartedly proposing a couple of amendments. The earlier date was a priority of House Speaker Marco Rubio, one of the most powerful people in state government.

But put that aside and consider how the two different parties then responded to Florida's defiance regarding the primary schedule. The Republican National Committee took away half of the state's delegates. The candidates shrugged and then proceeded to barnstorm the state, spend millions of dollars on television commercials and engage in vigorous debate over issues important to Florida like hurricane insurance.

In contrast, the Democratic National Committee went nuclear, taking away all of Florida's delegates. Since the primary was now worthless, the candidates readily caved to pressure to boycott the state.

If there's a conspiracy here, it's not from the vast right wing. It's from Democrats apparently bent on self-sabotage.

''I don't think a Democrat can turn his or her back on Florida, so, yes, I think Michigan and Florida should count,'' Clinton added in the televised interview, arguing that her victories in the two states should earn delegates after all.

Turn his or her back? You mean the way Clinton, Obama and every other major candidate turned their backs on Florida when they went along with the boycott? The way they all turned their backs when the national party inflicted its zero-tolerance policy against a state crucial to victory in November?

For shame.

Now the pressure is mounting for Florida and Michigan to vote again in the hope of breaking the near-tie between Clinton and Obama.

Here's the funny thing: Even if the states hold new contests, the resulting delegates are unlikely to break open the race. That's because if both states' delegates are counted, the total needed to secure the nomination also increases.

I call this the vast, wing-nut conspiracy.

Beth Reinhard is the political writer for The Miami Herald.
It's nice of Beth Reinhard of the Miami Herald to finally awaken from her winter hibernation and finally start writing some backgrounder pieces about the motives of those most responsible for moving up the Florida Primary date to January 29th.

Too bad she and the Herald should've been writing about this subject contemporaneously, months ago, especially in the days leading up to the January 29th non-vote.

You know, like political reporters from the Orlando Sentinel, St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune did in their papers and later on their political blogs, Central Florida Political Pulse and The Buzz.

Anyone who's been following the issue on South Beach Hoosier would already know that.

Reinhard never quite explains why the Herald slept on that story, does she?

The story that Adam Smith of the St. Pete Times has been all over from the beginning.

She never even attempts to explain why the Herald lumbered on like a zombie, even as other
media in the state were reporting important contextual facts to their readers, so caught up were Reinhard and her Herald colleagues in the horse race, and their all-too-predictable reporting of same.

Did you happen to notice what two names she specifically doesn't mention in her column?

Only the two leading Democrats in the Florida legislature: Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller and House Minority Leader Dan Gelber.

I'd love to have the list of the attorneys whose opinions and counsel the Florida Democratic Party relied upon on in pushing this through.

There's a new question for all the South Florida TV reporters, who keep going round-and-round in circles on the issue of a vote re-do, almost to banal lengths.

"Senator Geller, Representaive Gelber, can you please tell us the names of the lawyers who told you that you would ultimately prevail?"

IU alum Jason Whitlock wins Scripps Howard Foundation's "Commentary" award

South Beach Hoosier had meant to share this bit of news with you last Saturday, but is still nonetheless pleased to tell you the great news that IU grad Jason Whitlock, the Kansas City Star sports columnist and FOX Sports commentator, who wrote the definitive columns last year on the murder of former U-M Hurricane and Washington Redskin Sean Taylor in his Miami home -and its aftermath- was named the winner of the Scripps Howard Foundation Award for Commentary.

These are two links you want to bookmark: and

Jason Whitlock earned the award "the old-fashioned way," he earned it, as actor John Houseman used to say to great effect in his popular iconic commercials for brokerage firm Smith Barney, following his great critical and popular success as Prof. Kingsfield in the Paper Chase feature film and CBS and Showtime TV series.

COMMENTARYJason Whitlock of The Kansas City (Mo.) Star receives $10,000 and a trophy for his ability to seamlessly integrate sports commentary with social commentary and to challenge widely held assumptions along the racial divide.

Previous mentions of Jason on South Beach Hoosier blog are these two, plus my mopst recent post:

SouthBeachHoosier's take on THE biggest Kansas-Missouri game ever
and Washington Post's eternal problem with female sportswriers

To give you some sense of how well Jason takes the measure of a situation, consider this great column on the Mizzou Tigers getting dumped in the first round of the Big 12 basketball tourney:

Anderson has mess on his hands
By Jason Whitlock
March 13, 2008

It’s difficult to discern what Mike Anderson believes in, though it’s certainly not his current collection of players.
Anderson, Missouri’s basketball coach, described the Tigers’ 61-56 loss to Nebraska in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday as a “synopsis” of Mizzou’s 16-16 season.

If that’s the case, I don’t feel bad having skipped the Tigers’ entire campaign.
True confession: With Michael Beasley and Bill Walker in Manhattan, I never mustered the enthusiasm to travel east to watch hoops this college season. All the relevant action was in Kansas, so forgive me for being unfamiliar with Anderson’s tolerate-hate relationship with his basketball team.

Rest of column at:
Reader comments to the above column are at:

It's no wonder that the Kansas City Star has one of the top sports departments in the country.

Kansas City Star
Sports Daily honored again
By Jeffrey Flanagan
February 28, 2008

It was a special week for The Kansas City Star sports department. Sports Daily once again captured the coveted Triple Crown — a top-10 ranking in daily section, Sunday section and special section — in judging by The Associated Press Sports Editors completed Wednesday in Orlando, Fla.

Rest of story at:

This news only serves to make the Miami Herald's sports department's efforts to seem relevant all the more feeble and laughable.

(As I mentioned in my recent post decrying the two-week delay of the telecast of the Miami Norland-Boyd Anderson Florida 6A basketball title game, into the area that both teams call home, the Herald's sports department's many failings will be a topic for another day.

Trust me, I've kept copious contemporaneous notes for the four years I've been down here about their myriad screw-ups and crimes, ones that I've been saving for exactly this sort of purpose -a rainy day.
And in the not-too-distant future, it'll be pouring so hard that somebody there better check the roof for leaks! )

Given what he can see in front of his eyes, Jason thinks the Kansas Jayhawks have what it takes to go far in this year's NCAA tourney:

Jayhawks have what it takes for a long NCAA run
By Jason Whitlock
March 16, 2008

You have to look awfully hard to find a flaw. The Kansas Jayhawks are a lot like the Big 12 tournament at the Sprint Center, nearly impossible to dislike in March.
Sure, Bill Self’s Jayhawks have done this before — capped the conference season by throttling Texas in the championship game — and bailed on the Big Dance before the music really started jamming. No one will forget Bucknell and Bradley. The loss to UCLA in the Elite Eight still stings.
This time it feels different, doesn’t it? These Jayhawks, winners of the Big 12 championship 84-74 over Texas on Sunday, have experienced depth, a handful of NBA players and a collective chemistry that previous Self editions lacked. They also have a sense of urgency.
“This is the year,” said Brandon Rush, the tournament’s MVP. “This is the year we’ve got to do it. We’ve got five seniors leaving. Some people might be leaving early. We’ve got to make it happen. We’re not ever going to have a team like this again.”
You can call that pressure. Or you can call it an acceptance of KU’s reality.

Rest of column at:

This is Jason's most recent column on Sean Taylor and the enormous amount of criticism he's personally received since writing those initial columns last year.

Taylor's death a grim reminder for us all
By Jason Whitlock
March 2, 2008

There's a reason I call them the Black KKK. The pain, the fear and the destruction are all the same.
Someone who loved Sean Taylor is crying right now. The life they knew has been destroyed, an 18-month-old baby lost her father, and, if you're a black man living in America, you've been reminded once again that your life is in constant jeopardy of violent death.
The Black KKK claimed another victim, a high-profile professional football player with a checkered past this time.
No, we don't know for certain the circumstances surrounding Taylor's death. I could very well be proven wrong for engaging in this sort of aggressive speculation. But it's no different than if you saw a fat man fall to the ground clutching his chest. You'd assume a heart attack, and you'd know, no matter the cause, the man needed to lose weight.
Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there's every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That's not some negative, unfair stereotype. It's a reality we've been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.

Rest of column at:'s-death-a-grim-reminder-for-us-all#
Reader comments to this column at:'s-death-a-grim-reminder-for-us-all#tb

Jason's particular take on the Kelvin Sampson situation at IU is very interesting, given his personal knowledge of the history of IU and the place that basketball holds in the state's psyche.

Everyone's dirty, Sampson is just foolish too
By Jason Whitlock
February 21, 2008

There is this great myth in my home state among basketball fans that Bobby Knight won three national championships, 11 Big Ten titles and 902 games with an NCAA rulebook clutched firmly in his right hand the way a preacher holds a Bible.
It's just not true. Bobby Knight has too much intelligence to have any respect for the NCAA and its outdated regulations. I've never met a coach with a modicum of intellect who had any real regard for the NCAA and its laws.
You do what you think is fair and what you think won't get caught.
I mention this because there's great hysteria in the Hoosier state. The NCAA declared in a recent report that Kelvin Sampson, the man who replaced the man who replaced Bob Knight at Indiana, lied to NCAA investigators and school compliance administrators about phone calls to recruits.

Rest of column at:'s-dirty,-Sampson-is-just-foolish-too

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007

#IUBB, #bannersix

#IUBB, #bannersix
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana; Click photo to see video of Straight No Chaser's version of Back Home Again In Indiana, 2:37
The South Florida I Grew Up In

Excerpts from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:

In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly.

At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accomodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accomodated...
Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or otherwise superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and much-needed insight onto local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now, despite all the technological advances that have taken place since I grew-up in South Florida in the 1970's. On this blog, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger, disdain and laser-like attention primarily on the coastal cities of Aventura, Hollywood and Hallandale Beach.

IF you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be in stultifying traffic, be paying higher-than-necessary taxes, and be continually musing about the chronic lack of any real accountability or transparency among not only elected govt. officials, but also of City, County and State employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, work-ethic mentality that citizens here deserve and are paying for.

This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the Perfect Storm of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, Hallandale Beach is where even the easily-solved or entirely predictable quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and the unsatisfactory management and coordination of resources and personnel.

It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and weather, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of chronic mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems again that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion. Instead the city government either closes their eyes and hopes you'll forget the problem, or kicks them -once again- further down the road.

I used to ask myself, and not at all rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?"

Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time.
Someone who wanted questions answered in a honest and forthright fashion that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change.

Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower, between beach and A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower, between beach and A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach, FL; February 16, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier

Hollywood in Cartoons, The New Yorker

Hollywood in Cartoons, The New Yorker
"Gentlemen, I am happy to announce that as of today we are closing down our Washington news bureau and moving the entire operation to L.A."

Hollywood in Cartoons, The New Yorker

Hollywood in Cartoons, The New Yorker
"O.K., so I dig a hole and put the bone in the hole. But what's my motivation for burying it?"

Hollywood in cartoons, 10-21-06 Non-Sequitur by Wiley, www-NON-SEQUITUR.COM

Hollywood in cartoons, 10-21-06 Non-Sequitur by Wiley, www-NON-SEQUITUR.COM
The Magic of Hollywood: A motion has been put forth that we should seek to create rather than imitate. All in favor of killing this silly notion, nod in mindless agreement...

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins
South Beach Hoosier's first Dolphin game at the Orange Bowl came in Dec. 1970, aged 9, a 45-3 win over Buffalo that propelled them into their first ever playoff appearance.

Sebastian the Ibis, the Spirited Mascot of the University of Miami Hurricanes

Sebastian the Ibis, the Spirited Mascot of the University of Miami Hurricanes
Before going to my first U-M game at the Orange Bowl in 1972, a friend's father often would bring me home an extra 'Canes game program. That's how I came to have the Alabama at U-M game program from Nov. 16, 1968, which was the first nationally-televised college football night game in color. (A 14-6 loss to the Crimson Tide.) After that first ballgame against Tulane, as l often did for Dolphin games if my father wasn't going, I'd get dropped off at the Levitz parking lot near the 836 & I-95 Cloverleaf in NMB, and catch a Dade County Park & Ride bus, going straight to the Orange Bowl. Onboard, I'd get next to the window and listen to WIOD's pre-game show on my Radio Shack transistor radio. A few times, I was just about the only person onboard besides the bus driver, which was alright by me. Once at the Orange Bowl, if I didn't already have a ticket, I'd buy a game program for myself and one or two for friends or teachers before heading to the ticket window, since you usually couldn't find a program vendor once inside. I probaly had a friend or my father with me for just under 40% of the U-M games I ever went to, but you have to remember that the team, though blessed with several talented players, like Chuck Foreman and Burgess Owens, was just so-so to average at best, and the games were usually played on Friday nights, so it wasn't exactly high on everyone's list of things to do. Depending upon the opponent, if I was alone, I'd often have entire areas of the Orange Bowl to myself. (Wish I had photos of that now!) For instance, I had a good portion of the East (open) End Zone to myself against Oklahoma in the mid-70's, when the Boomer Schooner and the Schooner Crew went out on the field after an Oklahoma TD, and the Schooner received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from the refs, as would happen years later in an Orangle Bowl Classic game. (Against FSU?) I was there for the wins and losses under Pete Elliott, Carl Selmer & Lou Saban, and the huge on-field fight in '73 when under eventual national champion Notre Dame (under Ara Parseghian), they called a time-out with less than a minute to go, and already up 37-0. Their rationale? To score another TD and impress the AP football writers; final score 44-0. Well, they got their wish and beat Alabama 24-23 for the title at the Sugar Bowl. A year later, thanks to my Mom's boss, she and I saw Ara's last game as head coach of the Irish in the Orange Bowl Game from the East End Zone -in front of the Alabama cheerleaders!!!- in an exciting 13-11 Notre Dame win over Alabama and Bear Bryant, a rematch of the '73 national title game. I was also present for the U-M's huge 20-15 win under Pete Elliott against Darrel Royal's Texas Longhorns, the week Sports Illustrated's College Football preview issue came out with Texas on the cover, below. I was also present for lots of wins against schools called College of the Pacific, UNLV and Cal-Poly San Luis Obsispo, which I'd then never heard of before.

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, April 28, 2007

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, April 28, 2007
Photo by Mario J. Bermudez. April 28, 2007 at Dolphins NFL Draft Party at Dolphin HQ, Davie, FL

Of cheerleaders past and present

Given South Florida's unique version of the melting pot -con salsa- demographics and mindset, these women in the photo above are surely what most South Floridians would consider attractive women. But for this observer, who's spent hours & hours at IU cheerleader tryouts and who has known dozens of cheerleaders -and wannabes- in North Miami Beach, Bloomington, Evanston and Washington, D.C., the whole time I was watching these members of the Dolphins' squad perform, I couldn't help but compare them and their routines to those of some IU friends of mine who ALWAYS showed true Hoosier spirit & enthusiasm. Sitting at my table right near the stage and still later, while watching the long lines of Dolphin fans of all ages waiting to snap photos of themselves with the cheerleaders, I couldn't help but think about those friends who always left me and other Hoosier fans feeling positive & optimistic. Was there anyone I saw in Davie who possessed these valuable intangibles: the dancing precision of IU Red Stepper -and Captain- Gail Amster, my talented and spirited Phi Beta Kappa pal from Deerfield (IL), who always sat next to me in our Telecom. classes as we took turns entertaining the other; the ebullient spirit & energy of two Hoosier cheerleaders -and captains- from Bloomington, Wendy (Mulholland) Moyle & Sara Cox; the hypnotic, Midwestern, girl-next-door sexiness of Hoosier cheerleader Julie Bymaster, from Brownsburg; or, the adorable Southern girl-next-door appeal of former Hoosier Pom squader Jennifer Grimes, of Louisville, always such a clear distraction while sitting underneath the basket? Nope, not that I could see. But then they were VERY tough acts to follow!!! And that's not to mention my talented & spirited friends like Denise Andrews of Portage, Jody Kosanovich of Hammond & Linda Ahlbrand of Chesterton, all of whom were dynamic cheerleaders -and captains- at very large Hoosier high schools that were always in the championship mix, with Denise's team winning the Ind. football championship her senior year when she was captain -just like in a movie. That Denise, Jody & Linda all lived on the same dorm floor, just three stories above me at Briscoe Quad our freshman year, was one of the greatest coincidences -and strokes of luck for me!- that I could've ever hoped for. You could hardly ask for better ambassadors of IU than THESE very smart, sweet and talented women. In a future SBH post, I'll tell the story of one of the greatest Hoosiers I ever met, the aforementioned Wendy Mulholland, the Bloomington-born captain and emotional heart of the great early '80's IU cheerleading squads, and the daughter of Jack Mulholland, IU's former longtime Treasurer. The acorn doesn't fall far from a tree built on a foundation of integrity & community service! (After he retired, Mr. Mulholland was the first executive director of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. I used to joke with Wendy that her dad's name was the one that was permanently affixed to the bottom of my work-study checks for years, while I worked at the Dept. of Political Science's Library, first, at the Student Building in the old part of campus, and then later, after it was refurbished, in magnificent Woodburn Hall, my favorite building on campus.) In that future post, I'll share some reflections on Wendy's great strength of character and personality; my intentions of returning to Bloomington a few weeks before Fall '82 classes started, so I could help Wendy train and work-out to rehab her knee, so she'd feel confident in trying-out for the squad again, following a bad knee injury that'd left her physically-unable to try-out for the squad the previous spring, a big disappointment to those of us who cared about both Wendy and the team; my incredulity at, quite literally, running into Wendy while walking down a sidewalk one afternoon a few years later in Evanston, IL, when we were astonished to discover we were both living there, with me trying to hook on with a Windy City advertising agency, and Wendy then-attending Kellogg (KGSM) at Northwestern, right when the WSJ had named Kellogg the #1 Business School in the country. I'll also share a story about Wendy performing a true act of kindness towards me in 1982, when I was having a real emergency, and she went above-and-beyond what I had any logical reason to expect. Yet, Wendy, along with her very helpful dad, Jack, came through for me when I was in a very bad time crunch. I've never forgotten Wendy's kindness towards me, and her true Hoosier spirit. There's NOTHING I wouldn't do for Wendy Mulholland.

It's All About "The U"

It's All About "The U"
South Beach Hoosier's first U-M football game at the Orange Bowl was in 1972, age 11, against Tulane in the infamous "Fifth Down" game. In order to drum up support and attendance for the U-M at the Orange Bowl, that game had a promotion whereby South Florida kids who were school safety patrols could get in for free IF they wore their sash. I did. Clearly they knew that it was better to let kids in for free, knowing their parents would give them money to buy food and souvenirs, perhaps become a fan and want to return for future games. The ballgame made an interesting impression on The New York Times, resulting in this gem from the "View of Sport" column of Oct, 14, 1990, labeled 'Fifth Down or Not, It's Over When It's Over.' -"In 1972, aided by a fifth-down officiating gift in the last moments of the game, Miami of Florida defeated Tulane, 24-21. The country and the world was a much different place that fall because The New York Times took time and space to editorialize on the subject. ''Is it right for sportsmen, particularly young athletes, to be penalized or deprived of the goals for which they earnestly competed because responsible officials make mistakes? The ideal of true sportsmanship would be better served if Miami forfeited last week's game.' South Beach Hoosier hardly needs to tell you that this was YET another New York Times editoral that was completely ignored!

The issue I took with me the night of U-M's 20-15 upset of #1 Texas at the Orange Bowl

The issue I took with me the night of U-M's 20-15 upset of #1 Texas at the Orange Bowl
College Football, Texas No. 1, Hook 'em Horns, Sept. 10, 1973. Living in North Miami Beach in the '70's, my Sports Illustrated usually showed up in my mailbox on the Thursday or Friday before the Monday cover date. And was read cover-to-cover by Sunday morning.

The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm
U-M QB Ken Dorsey, Miami Hurricanes Undefeated National Champions 2001, Jan. 2002

Miami's Romp in the Rose

Miami's Romp in the Rose
Miami running back Clinton Portis, Jan. 7, 2002

Why the University of Miami should drop football

Why the University of Miami should drop football
June 12, 1995


Steve McGuire and Miami Overpower No.1 Notre Dame, Dec. 4, 1989

How Sweet It Is!

How Sweet It Is!
Miami Whips Oklahoma For The National Championship, Pictured: Dennis Kelleher, Jan. 11, 1988

My, Oh My, Miami!

My, Oh My, Miami!
Steve Walsh and the Canes Stun FSU, Oct. 12, 1987

Why Is Miami No. 1?

Why Is Miami No. 1?
QB Vinny Testaverde, Nov. 24, 1986

Miracle In Miami

Miracle In Miami
The Hurricanes Storm Past Nebraska, Halfback Keith Griffin, Jan. 9, 1984

Special Issue: College Football

Special Issue: College Football
The Best Passer, George Mira of Miami, Sept. 23, 1963

1984 College & Pro Spectatcular

1984 College & Pro Spectatcular
A Pair Of Aces: U-M QB Bernie Kosar & Miami Dolphin QB Dan Marino, Sept. 5, 1984

Pro Football Hall of Fame Special Issue

Pro Football Hall of Fame Special Issue
Dan Marino, Class of 2005, Aug. 2005


A Portfolio by Walter Iooss Jr., Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins, Dec. 9, 2002

Coming Back

Coming Back
Jay Fiedler rallies Miami to a last-second win over Oakland, Oct. 1, 2001

Dan's Last Stand

Dan's Last Stand
At 38 and under siege, Dan Marino refuses to go down without a fight, Dec. 13, 1999

The War Zone

The War Zone
In the NFL's toughest division, the surprising Dolphins are on top, Lamar Smith, Dec. 11, 2000

Down and Dirty

Down and Dirty
Jimmy Johnson's Dolphins Bury The Patriots, Steve Emtman, Sept. 9, 1996

The Sunshine Boys

The Sunshine Boys
Now Playing in Miami: The Dan Marino and Jimmy Johnson Show, May 11, 1996


Miami loves Pat Riley but wants to give Don Shula the boot, Dec. 11, 1995


Which of today's stars are locks for the Hall of Fame? Dan Marino for sure. But who else? To find out, we polled the men who do the voting. Sept. 14, 1995

Sportsman Of The Year

Sportsman Of The Year
Don Shula, Dec. 20, 1993

Dan The Man

Dan The Man
Dan Marino Saves The Day For The Dolphins, Jan. 14, 1991

Dangerous Dan

Dangerous Dan
Dan Marino Passes Miami Into The Super Bowl, Jan. 14, 1985

Super Duper!

Super Duper!
Wide Receiver Mark Duper Of The Undefeated Dolphins, Nov. 19, 1984

Air Raid! Miami Bombs Washington

Air Raid! Miami Bombs Washington
Mark Clayton (burning Darryl Green) Sept. 10, 1984

Rookies On The Rise

Rookies On The Rise
Dan Marino: Miami's Hot Quarterback, Nov. 14, 1983

New Life In The WFL

New Life In The WFL
Warfield, Csonka and Kiick of Memphis, July 28, 1975

Zonk! Miami Massacres Minnesota

Zonk! Miami Massacres Minnesota
Larry Csonka, Jan. 21, 1974

Pro Football, Miami Is Rough And Ready

Pro Football, Miami Is Rough And Ready
Larry Csonka & Bob Griese, Sept. 17, 1973

Miami All The Way

Miami All The Way
Bob Griese, Jan. 22, 1973

It's Miami and Washington

It's Miami and Washington
Mercury Morris Speeds Past The Steelers, Jan. 8, 1973

Kiick and Csonka, Miami's Dynamic Duo

Kiick and Csonka, Miami's Dynamic Duo
Larry Csonka & Jim Kiick, Aug. 7, 1972

Sudden Death at Kansas City

Sudden Death at Kansas City
Miami's Garo Yepremian Ends the Longest Game; (kneeling) placekick holder Karl Noonan, Jan. 3, 1972

New Pro in a New Town

New Pro in a New Town
Miami's Frank Emanuel, Aug. 8, 1966

Old-style "Obie" the Orange Bowl Committee mascot

Old-style "Obie" the Orange Bowl Committee mascot
The iconic image I grew-up with in Miami, before FedEx got into the picture