Friday, August 12, 2011

Defining Deviancy Downwards: The Beat Rolls On!

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/breast-implants-83-senior-citizens-elect-plastic-surgery/story?id=14266043

An 83 year old woman in Orange County, CA (where else) has elected to get breast implants to "keep up with the kids". A widow of 10 years (13 grandkids and 12 great-grandkids), she is still working as a property manager and "wanted her children to be proud of what she looks like"; clearly, this must be a family of great substance and depth of character. Then again, having been forced to watch a few episodes of "Housewives of Orange County" with a female acquaintance, I can't say that "not-so-great"granny's decision comes as a surprise, given her place of residence.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cats on the prowl! Kilkenny books slot in All Ireland Hurling Final Sept 4th

Kilkenny set up a potential rubber match with defending All Ireland hurling champions Tipperary today with a 2-19 (25) to 1-16 (19) victory over Waterford today at Croke Park before a crowd of 31,634. Richie Hogan's 2 goals bookended the first half scoring the Cats, who led 2-10 to 1-7 at the break. Though Waterford rallied late in the second half behind the inspirational play of veteran John Mullane, it was not enough to prevent the "black and amber" from reaching the finals for a sixth consecutive year. A third consecutive Tipp-Kilkenny final match-up looks all but certain as their semi-final opponent, Dublin are prohibitive underdogs due to the loss of 4 key players to injury, beginning with their Leinster final loss to Kilkenny.
In the Minor hurling semi-final match-up between Clare and Galway, the Tribesman from Connaught got a tying goal off a scramble in the large square as the last minute of regular time wound down to force an extra session. Galway pulled away in the second session of extra time to a 1-23 (26) to 1-18 (21) victory over the Banner to secure a place in the Minor final. Throw-in for the Minor final on the first Sunday of September is at 1:30pm (8:30am EDT) when Galway will take on the winner of next Sunday's second Minor semi-final between Dublin and Waterford.

Friday, August 5, 2011

US Debt Downgraded by S&P for First Time Ever from AAA to AA+

Having worked in the financial services biz for 23 years, let me explain this in no uncertain terms: Markets are apolitical, or post-partisan, to use Obama supporters favorite description of him. The Congress and the President may pull the wool over those Americans whose knowledge of markets and economic issues is at best perfunctory, but the market (specifically the bond market, which is 30 times the size of the stock market ) cannot be duped. Like the old Chiffon (margarine) commercial, the market is like Mother Nature, it can't be fooled. God help us all if we don't fix our structural deficit problem quickly. Read more about the consequences of a world with the US as a reduced economic power in Mark Steyn's new book, "After America", available in bookstores on Monday, August 8th.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLrTPrp-fW8

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dana Rosemary Scallon to run for President of Ireland? The answer is YES

It appears all but certain that Eurovision winner Dana Rosemary Scallon will seek the Presidency of Ireland according to a story on the Irish Times website. The folding of Senator David Norris' campaign has opened up an opportunity for Dana to run a second time for President. She was defeated by Mary McAleese in 1997 in her prior campaign. As an 18 year old who performed under her maiden name, Rosemary Brown, she captured Ireland's hearts and imagination when she won the Eurovision song contest (Ireland's first ever win) with her performance of "All Kinds of Everything" (see link below).
She is very strongly pro-life, anti-divorce and was a feverently anti-Euro opponent of the Nice Treaty back in 2001. Dana would, of course, need to win the nomination first before she can run.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOnvZt1ktZw&playnext=1&list=PL93582F4F09112BA0

Sunday, July 31, 2011

HEAVY on the MAYO; Throw away the CORK! Mayo 1-13 Cork 2-6

They say that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn; also, a stopped clock is right twice a day. Well, Mayo found the acorn today and, after going 0-2 on my picks on Saturday (Roscommon and Kildare both lost), I was spot on today with Kerry and Mayo. While Kerry's double digit victory over Munster rivals Limerick was expected, given their earlier meeting, Mayo's 4 point victory over defending All Ireland champion Cork was the shock result of the year. Heros for Mayo were everywhere, particularly Andy Moran, Ger Cafferkey and Richie Feeney. It was Kevin McLoughlin's 22nd minute goal that brought Mayo back into the game after Cork stormed out to 1-4 (7) to 0-1 in the 16th minute. Mayo's youthful panel scored a victory over Cork for the first time since 1916 though they will be hard pressed in 3 weeks to beat a resurgent Kerry squad which seems re-energized after their 2010 quarter-final loss to Down. For now, let's not dwell on Mayo's road ahead but instead celebrate the fantastic victory of Mayo's footballers despite being a 5 to 1 underdog. Here's to the Green and Red of Mayo and the Saw Doctors' musical tribute to to them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdwFEAxJyic

Fairytale of Tel Aviv or West Bank La Cage Aux Folles?

It seems as if the West Brit brigade (those inside the Pale and their fellow travellers in the Irish media and academia) have hit a pothole once again on the road to electing David Norris as Ireland's First Queen, correct that, President.  Mr. Norris has "blown out" a third wheel on his campaign with the revelation that he wrote a clemency letter to the Israeli courts in 1997 on behalf of his "partner", Ezra Yizhak Nawi, who was convicted of having sex with an underage Palestinian youth in 1992. Senator Norris' campaign for President had previously had run a foul with the revelations that first, in his defense of Cathal O Searcaigh in a 2002 Magill's magazine article, he spoke of ancient Greek society where men would take young men as lovers as being a "model". Then, in another interview, he said "I do not believe in age of consent", a quote which became a front page headline in the Irish Sun. Despite these horrible faux paus which reflect poorly on his sense of judgment and certainly draw into question his fitness for the largely ceremonial office of President of Ireland, Mr Norris' candidacy remained alive and well till Friday when this latest revelation arose. This gaffe, however, may prove fatal to Senator Norris' campaign in that two of his leading campaign staff  resigned on Friday. Particularly deadly to his campaign is the fact the victim of statutory rape is Palestinian and Mr. Norris' lover is Israeli. For those of you who maybe unaware of "the lay of the land" in Irish politics (no pun intended), the Palestians are the "cause celebre" for two reasons: one, their overlords in the left wing British media tell them so and secondly, the Palestinans are lower on the global totem pole of victimhood than the Irish themselves, giving the Irish a chance to flex their moral superiority by their support to those who have been more screwed over by the Brits than even themselves. You may recall that a few weeks back the Gaza flotilla Aid ship MV Saoirse was damaged while in a Greek port preparing to sail to Israel. Many Irish demanded that Israel apologize for the sabotage, but a member of the opposition party in the Knesset described the damage to the ships' propeller as "an act of God".  If you drop the "G" say a "Mass" and re-jigger the letters (Mossad), then yes, that Knesset member is indeed correct.

In musical tribute to Senator Norris' campaign which is sinking quicker than the Titanic, I give the following two numbers:

For Mr. Norris' former partner and Palestinian boytoy lover: "Good" by Better than Ezra:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3TQSaqHBtM

And for Mr. Norris himself, Soul Asylum's "Leave Without a Trace"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNWR3OenaPk&ob=av2e

Friday, July 29, 2011

REAL FOOTBALL is BACK! No, not the NFL, the GAELIC variety!

The August Bank Holiday weekend (Monday) is when the Gaelic football championship heads into the homestretch as the All Ireland Quarter-finals signify that the third Sunday in September is but 7 weeks away.  The quarter-final participants are but 2 wins away from an opportunity to bring SAM home. 
Let's look into our crystal ball (Waterford of course) and make some predictions:

4th Round Qualifier Sat July 30th 4pm (11am EDT)
       Tyrone v Roscommon

PREDICTION: Tyrone 1-8 Roscommon 0-13
Just a guess that Tyrone's aging halfback line will have trouble with Roscommon's pacy half-forwards and that 23 year old wonder Donie Shine will return to form after a lacklustre Connaught Final in monsoonlike conditions. Tyrone with many of the great soldiers of its' 3 AI victories ('03, '05 and '08) is an old team, such squads don't get better, they just get older.

QUARTER-FINALS

Donegal v Kildare Sat July 30th 6pm (1pm EDT)

PREDICTION: Kildare 2-13 Donegal 1-9
I fancy Kildare to gallop to an easy win as Donegal's recent Croke Park history, particularly in the Quarter-finals, has been a bigger horror show than even Mayo's disastrous appearances (largely confined to AI Finals). Quarter-final thrashings in 2003 (Dublin in a replay) and 2009 (against Cork, a match that was over at half time) will weigh heavily on Donegal's psyche; the 2004 Ulster Final against Armagh played in Croke Park was a total blowout as well. Donegal can always be counted for at least one horrible turnover in their half of the field because of over-elaboration and too much handpassing. Even GAA rising star Michael Murphy will not be enough to overcome a Kildare panel has picked up steam on its' backdoor journey since losing to Dublin. The ageless John Doyle of Kildare would be an early favorite for Footballer of the Year honors.

Kerry v Limerick Sun July 31st 2pm (9am EDT)

PREDICTION: Kerry1-14 Limerick 1-9
A rematch of the Munster semi-final held on the June Bank holiday Saturday night in Limerick before 35,000 spectators disguised as empty seats and about 5000 people just killing time (at least I was) before the Saw Doctors' performance that evening at Dolan's Warehouse on the Limerick Dock Road. Kerry's 1-26 to 3-9 was not representative of Kerry's dominance of the contest, particularly in the second half. Two late Limerick goals were window dressing on a bad beating. That said, I look forward to Limerick  pushing Kerry in a much tighter contest this time as Stephen Lucey and Mark O' Riordan have been sprung from the hurling panel. Stephen Kelly and 2 others return from injury as well.

Cork v Mayo Sun July 31st 4pm (11am EDT)

PREDICTION: Cork 1-11 Mayo 0-15
Not since 1916 has Mayo beaten Cork in the championship, Why now? Cork's dominating win over Down will do them little good in terms of sharpness; the ankle injury to Daniel Goulding will be a bigger handicap as Cork loses a reliable left-footed free taker. Mayo has always been an enigma: every time you expect a big performance from, they fizzle; when little is expected, they stand tall (Tyrone 2004 Qtr-final). I may be crazy but this youthful Mayo panel seems not to be weighed down by the ghosts of the past as evidenced by Enda Varley's fearless match-clinching point in the Connaught Final, taken without hestitation from about 25 metres out along the left sideline. Cork has the superior footballing talent but has a rapidly aging panel; Mayo has the youth and hunger.  To quote John Paul II at his 1979 Galway mass for the young of Ireland, "I believe in youth".