02 August 2007

Bridging the Gap to Insanity

The U.S. news box leads with the tragic story of the Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed four and injured 79. The NY Times offers a startling slide show that displays the images, including the photograph above. This event is tragic, not only for residents of Minnesota, but also for Twins pitcher Johan Santana, who is probably going to need to find another route that will get him out of the Twin Cities.

The Sunni cabinet bloc got up and left the Iraqi government in a move meant to display their displeasure with their limited role in the fledgling democratic government. It amazes me how the Sunnis in the government can just walk out of Iraq, but American politicians on both sides of the fence can't figure out how to get the troops out of the country.

In another part of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia may renew diplomatic negotiations with Israel, assuming Israel is willing to address the "big four" issues that have always derailed previous efforts. The sticking points always come back to a Palestinian state, reparations for the displaced and the West Bank. I'm not sure which has longer odds in Vegas--peace and harmony in the Middle East or my first-place Cubs winning the World Series.

Castro's newest essays hint that his time as the controversial president of Cuba may be over. This leads to the next logical question, which is, "Will the United States stop this stupid charade of the macho trade embargo against the island nation with brother Raul Castro in charge, or are we going to continue to make the citizens of Cuba suffer because we hate the last president?" Hopefully neither Cubans nor Americans will have to suffer based upon the international popularity of their last president.

The Education Department has been criticized for being willfully ignorant of the predatory larceny that is student loans. Tell me about it. I'm either going to need a winning lotto ticket or a side job as a fetish prostitute on the Web in order to pay my private school debt off.

Perhaps if we wanted to change the way education, medicine and politics work in the United States, Democratic Presidential long shot Mike Gravel's proposal for a fourth branch of government might do the trick. Gravel's new power structure basically involves a citizen legislative entity. The plan sounds great, but I think that Gary Coleman or Corey Feldman has a better chance of getting the Democratic nomination than Gravel does, so it will never happen.

A consumer filed a lawsuit against Apple for non-disclosure on the limited life and ridiculous cost ($86) of the batteries in their new trendy toy iPhone. The ridiculously expensive device has not been selling at quite the rate that was expected, and this lawsuit is just more bad news for this pile of hype. It looks like you're just going to have to go back to taping your iPod and your cell phone to your laptop in order to keep connected to the world.

Media news includes reports on professional bloggers being included in the proposed Federal Shield Law that recently passed muster in the House Judiciary committee. If the law passes, I will not have to identify the anonymous source who told me that Dick Cheney smells like a combination of formaldehyde, pickle loaf and cheap Russian cologne.

In conclusion, Slate combined sports news with news of the weird when they profiled Japanese singles hitter/nut case Ichiro Suzuki, a player who speaks to his dog and tells reporters about it. Ichiro refused to give reporters the name of his dog because the canine did not give the Mariner outfielder permission to give the press its name. When you look at the stories of Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Darren Daulton, David Wells, John Rocker and now Ichiro Suzuki, you begin to realize that the reason some people make so much money playing baseball is because they have to put up with kooks like Lee, Daulton, Wells, Rocker and Dr. Doolittle Suzuki.

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