Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drill that Oil!

President Barack Obama has decided that offshore drilling is a good thing. Sort of. He's proposing that it be allowed off the coast of Virgina and in the eastern parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The point? To reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

This should probably count as one of the premier d'oh moments of his Administration. It is only common sense that if we get our own oil we won't need so much of anyone else's. But even at that, he's sending mixed signals by allowing some leases in Alaska to be canceled while scaling back plans elsewhere.

It's all ultimately about politics, of course. The president is trying to get his energy package through Congress and is hoping to get Republican support for it by appealing to a GOP issue. Plus, the new rigs are expected to produce jobs, and no liberal Democratic President is about to sacrifice jobs for environmental concerns no matter what rhetoric his party may employ at other times and places.

It may be too little and too late of an appeal to his opposition (both in the Congress and the nation at large) after He jammed health care reform down our throats but, again, politics is at work. If the economy begins to creep up noticeably and people start feeling good, none of that will matter either. Without a doubt, that is precisely what the Chief Executive is banking on in the months before November.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour

Landmarks around the world, including the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Empire State Building in New York, turned off their lights yesterday for Earth Hour. It was supposed to serve as an environmental protest highlighting global warming concerns.

In most of the western world, it more likely represented corporate pandering. The big guns in industry or finance or even tourism (as the Eiffel Tower and Roman Colosseum also were darkened) simply are pandering to public opinion. If you really want to make a statement, how about killing the power at noon on a Tuesday instead of 8:30 on a Saturday evening when there's nothing much going on? Oh, because that would actually interfere with business, and they don't feel that deeply about saving the Earth.

As to Chinese participation, that surely is no more than a dictatorship attempting to influence world opinion of her, just as the 2008 Summer Olympics were. We cannot take Beijing's part in the lights out display seriously; manipulation from a totalitarian regime does not impress.

Regular folks were expected to kick in too, by turning off appliances and such during that hour. It would be interesting to see how many individuals missed their weekend movies, or how many bars shut down during the height of the weekend rush, to show their support. The best bet is, not many.

This type of grandstanding is really only fake concern. What is truly damaging about it is that it's for a fake problem. Next Earth Hour, let's all turn on every light in every room of our abodes, and every appliance too, to highlight our disgust with the whole thing.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Charlie Daniels: Saying What We're Afraid to?

County star Charlie Daniels, of The Devil Went Down to Georgia fame, has said something which must be taken seriously. He has called the current government in Washington a dictatorship in light of its handling of the recent health care bill.

Hyperbole? Perhaps. Yet the way in which Barack Obama and his minions Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid forced the bill through Congress despite the overhwelming opposition of the American people surely is reminiscent of dictatorial rule. When the liberals have the polls on their side, conservatives are supposed to accept the will of the people. But polls be damned for them. They will do what they please.

To be fair, Mr. Daniels may be over-interpreting things. There's still time to fix this debacle, and that's called the next elections. But what the President and the Imperial Congress are surely relying on is that the voters will have short memories. By November of this year, when the sky has not fallen, they may not think things all that bad. The voting public may not take the time to consider that it may be years, decades, before the real weight of this massive government intrusion into our lives hits us. They tell us now that the bill is so that 5 year olds get cancer treatment. Wait until 65 year old can't get it simply because they've lived their lives and the money isn't in the budget.

In the meantime, we ought to heed the fiddler's words. We may not in fact have a dictatorship now. But as government power only grows, well, with this health care bill, we are surely on the path to one.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who really has the hang up?

We are told that conservatives are hung up on issues of sexual morality. But isn't it the liberals who are in fact tied in knots over such questions?

The right wing, it is also said, is hung up on matters of sex because of religious qualms. Yet how many liberals would not steal, murder, or dishonor their parents? They agree with religious sentiment except when it comes to sex. So again, who is really all too concerned about the matter?

The left does not attack religion over ideals it believes in. Indeed, say the phrases 'social justice' or 'health care' and you will hear all sorts of appeals to religious sentiment. This is a rather convenient sense of justice, considering that the moral relativists of the left tend to be more (and more diversely) sexually active.

The question, then, is: do their actions follow their beliefs, or do their beliefs follow their actions? Do they act they way they do out of real and honest conviction, or because it is how they wish to act, and then attempt a justification for it?

Just asking.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Credit Where It's Due

Say what you will, and many people are doing just that, there is one thing which the Democrats have that conservatives don't. When they have the advantage, they push it.

The most recent example is of course the health care debate. No matter what the polls said, Barack Obama and his army forced the issue through. No matter what the tea partiers and protesters did, the President and Nancy Pelosi pressed on. No matter how often the liberals in the past have said that the then reigning GOP had to be open to all sides, they closed their ears to the Republicans and did what they wanted. In short, liberals know how to use raw political power, and will use it to suit their ends.

No big tent when they want what they want. No inclusiveness when their ideals are at stake. No regard for what the general populace wants when leftist oxen are threatened. They wield their power mercilessly and unilaterally. Yes, they're hypocrites. But they know how and when to press their advantage.

Remember that in the coming elections in 2010 and 2012, Republicans. You might forge yourselves a useful majority then.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We Need a Constitutional Crisis

With Obamacare now having passed the House, there seems little to do. The massive Federal establishment has reared its ugly head again, and now we're stuck.

Or are we? There are several states considering legislation to sue Washington over the health care mandates which are scheduled to be put in place soon. At least two, Virginia and Idaho, have actually passed such bills into law. That's good, because it may lead to what we really need in this country right now: a genuine Constitutional crisis.

We need, not only the people, but the States as political entities in their own right to stand up to the folks in D.C and tell them that enough is enough. Not only in health care, as that is actually only the most recent intrusion on the power of the states and the general citizenry. Washington must be told that education is a local matter, that we need no federal Department of Energy, that states, being closer to the problems they face, have a better chance of setting them right than vast and unilateral national actions might. We need to make certain changes in the Constitution itself to ensure that such encroachments wane.

With 36 or 37 states talking about standing up to the feds on health care, and with 38 states needed to amend the great document, it would seem that such cohesive action is surely possible. It is time to unite in way in which we rarely have since 1776. It is time to go back to our roots and replant the tree of liberty.

Monday, March 22, 2010

More Evidence that Americans are Decadent

There is now a line of fresh food available for dogs. Yes, dogs. It is available in the refrigerated pet food section of our grocery stores (they have those?). A commercial which has been airing over the last few weeks, in the Detroit area anyway but presumably nationwide, advertises it. It shows a mother going to a cabinet, taking a bag of generic dry food from it, and pouring it into bowls for her children waiting at the dinner table. The voice over guy says something like, 'You wouldn't feed your kids this way. Why feed your dog like that?'

Um, because it's your dog. And it should be stressed, only your dog.

To be fair, if someone wants to spend money on deli fresh foods for their dog, there is certainly nothing intrinsically evil about it. Further, it must be allowed that there is no direct and immediate connection between the other troubles in the world and Americans feeding their dogs this way. Still, it's one of those things which reeks of a sublime yet profound arrogance. There are starving children in the world who might love a bit of kibbles and have nothing, yet we Americans can serve our pets fresh meat based products out of our refrigerators.

It might even be said that if you really want to feed your dog that way, then why not go ahead and feed them exactly what you feed the kids anyway. Burgers off the grill? Give one to Fido. Why on earth do we need processed food aimed at our pets, except that we're Americans, and we can afford it.

It becomes fair to ask why we should care so much for mere animals when there are so many other problems in the world. It isn't as though dogs won't eat the dry stuff, and with such appreciation as they can muster. They'll still be, relative to their nature, happy.

But we are encouraged to treat them, again, relative to their nature, like kings. That's decadence, plain and simple. It does open one's eyes to why much of the world think of us they way they do.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Home Schooling in California?

So, the State of California does not think (we should stop right there) that non-credentialed parents have the right to home school their children. If there ever was an example of the pure, unadulterated arrogance of government minions and public school employees (just more minions, as it were), this is it.

Why do teachers believe that they are the only ones who can teach? They have no copyright on knowledge. Indeed, from what can be garnered from many schools, they don't even have a toehold on knowing much of anything. As to the government, much of which knows (we use the term quite loosely) even less about education except to grant power over it to those who claim on their own authority to be educators, we see only so much more evidence that it is the last place we should want to go for advice on child rearing.

Home schooled children regularly out perform public schoolchildren. But even that does not really address the true issue at stake in matters such as this. What we have here is yet another example of the erosion of parental rights over their progeny. That itself is simply another link in the chain being drawn around us to tie us down to government will. The government, through its sponsored agencies in the courts and the schools, agencies which rely on the government recognition of their power in order to thrive, is simply bent on taking the control of children from their moms and dads because they think, again, on their own authority, that they can do better than the people who care the most about their kids.

And we wonder why there are tea parties.

This type of arrogance must be checked. If we think we are paying a high price for increased government intrusion in our lives, imagine the bill being forced upon our children, not merely on their pocketbooks, but on their intellect.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saving Money on Health Care Reform?

Can government involvement in anything actually save money? That is what some House members are saying: that the proposed health care bill will save $138 billion dollars over the next ten years. Further, an incredible $1.2 trillion bucks would be saved in the following decade, according to the supposedly nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

How anything funded by government can be nonpartisan is beyond reason. And more, how any proposed expansion of government power can actually save money seems unrealistic. Has there ever been a government initiative that saved cash, other than real and true budget cuts?

Do programs which encourage energy efficiency save cash? If the government spends money to help individuals save it, are we really seeing a savings in state coffers?

Do you actually believe that the health care bill will save money in the long run?

Just asking. And wondering whether there are any straight answers out there.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Virtue and Vice

The comedian and talk show host Bill Maher commented recently that he does not think it is the rich who create jobs. Indeed, the rich are the one who cut them: they close plants and move them out of the country. Yet this knee jerk approach begs certain questions.

It ignores the demands made by workers. Workers are every bit as capable as employers of selfishness and self centered behavior and, truth be told, money grubbing. It ignores the hypocrisy of the liberal rich: how far do you go, Mr. Maher, to insure that you get the most bang for your buck with your spending? A good guess is that you try to get the best prices you can, too.

It ignores the bold reality of the entire rich/poor dichotomy. As I was told once by one of the contractors I supply, "I ain't never been hired by a poor man".

Job creation by its nature comes from wealth. Jealousy of the wealthy is simply that: demands that they give more of themselves without a fair payback for their capital investments merely reflects that jealousy. Playing to public selfishness will not create a single job. It will only continue to add pressure to the wealthy to go elsewhere.

Wealth is not a vice, and poverty is no virtue. Until we realize as much, we will simply fail to serve society well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Idaho leads the Way

In what may well become one the foremost Constitutional crises in our history, the State of Idaho has put into law an act calling on its Attorney General to sue the federal government over any health insurance mandates from Washington. Similar legislation is being considered in 37 other states.

Good show, Boise. It is high time that we bring states rights back to the fore. It is absurd to argue that states have no rights against the federal establishment, and where those rights exist they must be reaffirmed.

Sure, the doctrine has been battered and abused over time; liberal historians would love to keep the idea linked with the slavery crisis in nothing less than a guilt by association scheme. But the fact is that the call of states rights can well be legitimate if and when the circumstances call for it. We are a federal system; by our political nature, localities have certain basic rights. Even the Constitution recognizes as much, as seen in those two forgotten Amendments at the end of the Bill of Rights.

Let us hope that Idaho's bold move will stiffen the spines of many other states, and remind the Congress and the President that they are not all powerful. If nothing else, perhaps this move will be the seed from which will grow a better understanding of who we are as a nation. Perhaps it will, in the end, speak to Washington as we once spoke to London, Don't Tread On Me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Potted Meat and Liver Mush.

I do not have what I consider unusual tastes in food. Yet that does not mean that there aren't odd foods which I like.

My wife returned from shopping today with a couple cans of potted meat. I should not like it: meat which spreads like butter doesn't sound appealing on that ground alone. Yet it's good: way too salty, perhaps, but I like salty things. There is one rule to follow, though, with stuff like potted meat. Do not, under any circumstances, read the ingredients. Just eat and enjoy. Nothing that tastes good could actually be bad for you, right?

Now you really, truly do not want to read the ingredients in liver mush. Yes, liver mush. It comes in little grayish one pound cakes and is available all over my other home state, North Carolina. I think it's called scrapple on the east coast. Either way, it's mondo good with onion and mayo on plain old white bread. You simply slice a bit of it off the cake and hey presto, instant culinary delight. Just always remember the rule.

Vienna Sausages are worthwhile too, though I suppose they aren't really all that odd. I think of them as baby food for grown ups. Just like the Gerber custard pudding that rocks so well on the palate.

So anyway, at least every now and then take a chance, set aside health issues, and eat something that's probably not good for you. You'll thank for me it, and I promise to visit you in the hospital if there's any unfortunate aftereffects.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Life Issues

The President of the Catholic Health Association, Sister Carol Keehan, has declared support for the stalled health care reform bill in the US Senate. This puts her at odds with Catholic hierarchy, who oppose the bill due to concerns about abortion funding.

She said that issues about abortion can be overcome, well, later. This is not the way to make good law, Sister. Good law is clear from the start, or we risk wallowing in whatever future courts may make of it. It is irresponsible to say, essentially, just pass something and we'll deal with the details later. Details are what make law, law. Tomorrow cannot be held responsible for what poor laws we make today.

Fortunately, Sr. Keehan is not part of the Catholic teaching authority. Her views, so obviously liberal and aligned with the anti-Catholic Democratic Party, are not to be confused with those of the leaders of the Church. If you want to know what the Church thinks, look to them rather than those who differ.

There is no good trying to tie health care into what are so often blithely referred to as 'life issues'. There is only one true life issue: abortion. Once someone is born, we are not dealing with issues of life per se but rather of quality of life. That certain important human rights are involved in that area we cannot doubt. But once we begin to pass laws which address quality issues at the risk of endangering respect for human life at its most vulnerable, indeed that we begin to think of quality of life issues as more important than life itself, then we must ask ourselves whether we truly serve human purposes and needs.

With life, there is hope. We show no faith in the future when we forget that. We merely consign to our descendants the follies of our sin.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bravo Fulton, Mississippi!

The School Board of Fulton, Mississippi decided to cancel one school's Senior Prom rather than allow a lesbian pair to attend as a dating couple. It's high time that schools and institutions began to react against such travesties and make statements about what is and is not acceptable in our culture.

Needless to say, the American Civil Liberties Union has taken up the cause. They say that the school cannot arbitrarily say that your date must be of the opposite sex; this runs contrary to history and tradition if not the letter of law. Suffice it to say that if such is the law then the law must be changed. Beyond that, why does anyone believe, as a moral question, that they have the right to do whatever they want in any given situation? Why, in an optional event (one not required to be allowed at all, such a dance) set up by someone else (in this case, the school) does anyone think they can dictate what can go on there?

"I've always tried to teach my children and my grandchildren that if you believe in something you need to stand up for it," explained the grandmother of one of the children involved. Let's take that statement for what it must actually mean. Since Hitler believed in what he did, he had the right to stand up for it. Anyone who believes in thievery has the right to stand up for it. Anyone who believes in robbery, rape and kidnapping has the right to stand up for it.

Baloney, of course. Anyone who believes in what is wrong needs to be told that it's wrong. We should then expect them to behave accordingly, or face the consequences. What the young woman's grandmother says is simply bad, indeed horrendous, moral philosophy. It begs the question of whether what you stand up for is good, for the individual or society.

Yet it is precisely the type of moral philosophy that takes the stead of rational thought among today's liberal elite. If the only option that Fulton Schools have in light of that is to allow no prom at all, then they have acted with more responsibility and a greater sense of right and wrong than a couple of kids who think they can bully their peers into tolerating the intolerable. Raspberries to the ACLU on this, and bravo Fulton Public Schools.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Primadonna Monica: Be Careful What You Sign

Former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers was sentenced to 37 months in jail yesterday. For that, she is livid; surprise, surprise. Now she wants to withdraw her guilty plea.

Fat chance, say most legal experts. She signed an plea bargained agreement which makes any effort to rescind her guilty plea virtually impossible. Then the former Councilwoman attempted to play off her role as wife and mother as reason for leniency.

No opportunity of portraying herself as the offended party will ever escape Ms. Conyers. "What have my kids done to deserve this?". she laments. "My husband is an older man," she said as well. But what do either of those points have to do with the facts of the matter? If she did the crime, she's got to do the time. There may be a lesson in that for her kids. As for her husband, the longtime Congressman from Detroit, John Conyers, well. it's doubtful that he wants to do anything except get all the sideshow surrounding his wife behind him. He surely doesn't need her to hold his hand while he tries to hold all those evil Republicans at bay in Washington.

You get what you pay for, Ms. Conyers. Or in this case, what you were paid for. Treat yourself to a new toothbrush.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Language is a Barrier

The single most important way that we can get along with our fellow man is to understand him. This understanding can occur in many ways, but the critical one is through language. We have to be able to understand what he says in order to get along well with him. And that is why anyone coming to America to live must learn English.

This is not a xenophobic assertion. It applies to any situation where a newcomer enters a foreign nation. If someone were to take a job in Warsaw it would be incumbent upon them to learn Polish. The Poles would not be obliged to learn English for the new arrival's benefit. Such a fact is so obvious that it should not have to be stated. For one thing, it's a practical necessity. For another, it only shows a decent respect for one's new culture. You're in their house: you do things, as a rule, their way.

To be sure, there's nothing wrong with a neighborhood of, say, ethnic Poles living in the United States having signs in their stores in Polish. Nor is it wrong to keep your old customs within your own household or group. But if you really want to become part of a new culture, and presumably you do if you've moved into one, then you are more obliged to learn the language of your new home than your new neighbors might be to learn yours. That might be nice of them but it is not obligatory. They were here first; you came to them. You're the one who needs to adapt.

If you insist on having things your way, well, it is that which is truly arrogant as opposed to the majority of the nation wishing to keep things as they are. Why should a newcomer demand such consideration? But more, it will in the long run keep you separate. Language will be a wedge which will keep you from being understood and accepted. That would not be the fault of the general populace. And you and your family will be the ones who suffer most.

Anyone short of thieves and ne'er do wells should be welcome in America. It is our reasonably open borders which made us great. But if you really want to be an American, speak English. Only then will you fully understand Her.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Real Deal

"September 11 was a big lie and a pretext for the war on terror and a prelude to invading Afghanistan,"

- Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

There, you see? We have the truth of matter now. The United States did indeed precipitate the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon because we wanted to go to war with Afghanistan. It's that simple. And we have it on the word of that paragon of virtue, Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

Of course, the Holocaust didn't happen either, as he has told us before. Anything contrary to his worldview presumably didn't happen; it is safe to say that from this point on if there is any discrepancy in the historical record than all we have to do is go ask Tehran. They'll set us straight.

Truthers, do you see who is on your side? Does that offer you any insight at all on where you stand? Likely not, for you are cut from the same extremist mold. The key difference, though, is that you are harmless. Iran may well set us on a course for Armageddon if we do not take that nation and its ridiculous threats to world peace and security seriously.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

There is no Missing Link

An interesting article appeared this morning in the science section of AOL news. Apparently a 47 million year old fossil presumed by a branch of the scientific community to be the famous 'missing link' between humans and apes is really only that of an extinct lemur or similar creature. Yet that isn't really the pertinent issue here. That question involves why there is such concern over something which may not exist all, and is not all that important if it does.

Why presume that there must be a common ancestor to all creation, particularly when sentient creatures are involved? One of the usual arguments for that point of view is the relatively close resemblance of a few things: the bone structure of the human hand, the bird wing, and the whale fin, for example. Such close physical architecture surely indicates evolution, does it not?

Perhaps; the argument definitely has a certain logic to it. But an equally forceful theory appears rather logical itself. It could be that the similar design is because a Creator of all things found it useful to put different things together with one basic blueprint which allowed for variations on a theme. The hand, wing, and fin are similar in construction merely because it is a kind of construction which makes sense. It works well across the board.

Even that admittedly philosophic argument is not of critical importance. Creation would still come forth from a Creator, who would within reason be free to create as he she or it wills. But what is significant about the differences between the two theories is in how they offer a glimpse of the worldviews behind them. One limits human development and human dignity to what is at best happy accident, that we were merely fortunate to develop into thinking beings, while the other suggests a specialness to humanity. To wit, in any argument about evolution one point is generally ignored: how is it that cognizance came out of mere physiological events?

Answer that question, and hunches about evolution may begin to have real meaning. Until then, we make a grave error when we rob our human stature of the numinous.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How Sorry Should Tiger be?

Tiger Woods is in trouble; everyone knows that. He has apologized for his behavior and his sexual addiction. But if addictions are diseases, as is heard so often in modern society, then for what is he apologizing?

One does not apologize for having a cold. One does not apologize because of something that has happened to him which he cannot control.

Yet as so many addictions are mere habit, then why ought we to consider them diseases? This point brings the issue to a head: we need to make up our minds about what is really just something that happened to someone and what things someone does which are wholly their responsibility. We need to see diseases as diseases and bad behavior as bad behavior.

What Tiger did was wrong, of course, but we risk giving him an out by treating it as though it were an addiction beyond his control. So long as we confuse the two points, we will see an increasing number of folks behaving badly then trying to pass it off as a problem beyond their ability to control. We shall only weaken society further if we grant individuals a pass on their behavior supposedly as a result of false conditions.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More on Suess: Bad Philosophy

Yesterday we spoke of the approach which Dr. Suess used in attracting the attention of young readers and even older folks. It may be fun to look at a few particulars in a little more depth.

The Lorax was his famous pro-environment book. It is also rather presumptuous. "I am the Lorax", the title character says. "I speak for the trees."

Interesting, because an awful lot of Americans say they speak for the trees too, and that the trees are telling them that would love to be paper for human use, cabinets for human storage, and baseball bats for human entertainment.

The Doctor spoke out and wrote against many evil things, to be fair, such as racial discrimination and consumerism. But this cannot be overshadowed by his rather absurd faith in moral equivalence. He did not view the Soviet Union as the threat it truly was, believing instead that there were greater threats to our persons within the United States itself. And moral equivalence as a doctrine seems such obviously bad philosophy (does it not put into question issues such as the environment or racial prejudice?) that it is difficult to grant any credibility to his better feelings. How can we accept anything as particularly wrong, or particularly right, when we are at heart ambivalent about good and bad?

Theodor Geisel does not warrant the the esteem we give him. It's as simple as that.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dr. Suess on the Loose? Rein HIm in.

Today is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Suess. He wrote many childrens books, a few aimed at adults, and did editorial cartooning during World war II. His unusual approach to teaching kids to read, using imaginary creatures and made up words, is widely credited as a good way to reach kids through fantasy. Yet his books really aren't very good for any purpose.

For starters, the best way to learn to read is phonetically. Teaching kids to read by rhyme, and indeed with the use of nonsense words, actually limits vocabulary and the development of reading proficiency.

Then, too, his imagination was not the imagination of a Tolkien or C. S. Lewis. They developed worlds where the interaction of the characters told compelling stories. Suess just made up things which matched his writing scheme. "What would you do if you met a Jibboo?" or whatever that creature was, cannot really inspire anyone, even a kid. It's nonsense.

But perhaps the way in which his writing was most awful was in the lessons it presumed to teach. Take 'The Cat in the Hat' for example. Basically, this cat half destroys a house while the children's mother is out, miraculously cleans it up, then the tale ends encouraging kids to be dishonest with their parents. That's not a lesson we ought to be teaching our young, especially in this age of moral relativity.

Or The Butter Battle Book, written during the Cold War, which essentially equated the United States and the Soviet Union by demonstrating our relationship as an absurdity: they simply butter their bread on the other side, you see? That's nothing short of simplistic, mindless hogwash.

That Mr. Geisel has had such a profound effect on our reading habits is not a good thing. It is high time to remove his books from our shelves, and give kids better reads. At that, they may actually learn.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympics in Review

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics are now part of sports history. They certainly had their moments, from the tragic death of a luger and the mother of a figure skater to the exciting climax of one great hockey game. On that note, and simply to get what some will call sour grapes out of the way, Canada's 3-2 overtime gold medal win over the United States, while compellingly good hockey, was not the greatest Olympic hockey game ever. That one will always be the US win over the Soviet professional team at Lake Placid in 1980. Sorry, Canada.

Now we wait four years for the next Winter games in Sochi, Russia. Well, not really. The next Olympics are in 2012 in London, England. Nothing wrong with that, yet it seems to take away from the specialness of what used to be Olympics every four years. Now the Games alternate, taking place every two. It subtracts from what at one time was something of a year long sports euphoria.

Perhaps that is a good thing. Maybe, by making it so that an Olympics of some sort takes place in a tighter time frame, it helps keep the games on the mind. But, as with so many presumably good ideas, the reason for the move to biannual Games back in the 90's was probably monetary. Why put two events so close together when we can string them out and try to maintain a more balanced interest? More money may be made that way.

That may have nothing to do with it. Regardless, the Olympics were more special when both Games were in the same year. Today does not feel like the day after the Olympics. Last night did not seem so bittersweet, because the next set of matches on the World scene are not really that far off. We lost a bit of that sense of event when we changed the timing of the Games. It it not a particularly good thing.