Archive for August, 2010

“Mutual trust, communication, and goodwill would seem to achieve the same purpose between well-disposed neighbors

—at least where there are no cows”

Sunday Poem

Mending Wall

by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulder in the sun,
And make gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there,
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There were it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having though of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Remembrances of Lives Past


…According to data released last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a quarter of Americans now believe in reincarnation. (Women are more likely to believe than men; Democrats more likely than Republicans.) Julia Roberts recently told Elle magazine that though she was raised Christian, she had become “very Hindu.” Ms. Roberts believes that in her past life she was a “peasant revolutionary,” and said that when her daughter sits in a certain way she knows “there’s someone there I didn’t get the benefit of knowing … It’s an honor for me to continue to shepherd that.”

At Cannes in May, a Thai film about reincarnation, “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” won the highest prize. In it, an old man on his deathbed sees the dead as vividly as the living, and his past life as an ox is as clear as his present one.

In religious terms, the human narrative — birth, life, death and rebirth — has for millennia been relatively straightforward in the West. You were born. You lived. You died. After a judgment you went to heaven (or hell) forever and ever. Eternity was the end: no appeals allowed.

But nearly a billion Hindus and a half-billion Buddhists — not to mention the ancient Greeks, certain Jews and a few Christians — have for thousands of years believed something entirely different. Theirs is, as the theologians say, a cyclical view. You are born. You live. You die. And because nobody’s perfect, your soul is born again — not in another location or sphere, and not in any metaphorical sense, but right here on earth.

… SPIRITUALLY minded Americans have had a love affair with Eastern religion at least since the Beatles traveled to India in 1968, but for more than a generation, reincarnation remained a fringe or even shameful belief.

“I can remember, 30 years ago, if a person wanted to learn about reincarnation, they would go into a bookstore and go into a very back corner, to a section called ‘Occult,’ ” said Janet Cunningham, president of the International Board for Regression Therapy, a professional standards group for past-life therapists and researchers. “It felt sneaky.” Now the East is in our backyards, accessible on the Internet and in every yoga studio.

At the same time, Western religion is failing to satisfy growing numbers of people — especially young adults. College students Mr. Dasa encounters, most of them raised as Christians or Jews, “haven’t given up on the idea of spirituality or religion,” he said. “They’re tired of the dogma they grew up with.” According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, 15 percent of Americans express no affiliation with any religious tradition, nearly double the number in 1990…

Chile: a first video of trapped miners

VIDÉO – In these excerpts broadcast by public television in Chile, the 33 men trapped appear relaxed and very organized at 700 m underground.

Le Figaro (English Translation)

Chilean television broadcast Thursday night the first pictures of the group of 33 miners trapped in a mine, showing the organized, relaxed and explaining their organization at 700 meters underground. Public television TVN broadcast brief excerpts of the video, a total of 45 minutes and already been shown to the families of 33 miners, trapped for three weeks following a landslide on August 5 in the copper mine San Jose in northern Chile.

“Here we have everything well organized,” says a young bearded man, pointing to a corner pharmacy. “Here is the corner where we entertain ourselves, where we have a meeting every day, where we plan. Here is where we pray, “he says.

Several miners welcome the camera. The extracts show aired ten men.

These are the first pictures of the group of children, filmed using a micro-camera that they were transmitted by the probes used to refuel, since their first contact with the emergency services on Sunday.

The rescue of 33 men should take between three and four months, authorities said.

Marcel Poot (7 May 1901, Vilvoorde, Belgium – 12 June 1988, Brussels) was a Belgian composer, professor, and musician. His father, Jan Poot, was Director of the Vlaamse Schouwburg (Flemish Theater) in Brussels.

At the Brussels Conservatory, Poot studied organ with Gerard Nauwelaarts, and composition and instrumentation with Arthur De Greef, José Sevenans, Martin Lunssens, Lodewijk Mortelmans, and Paul Gilson. He also attended the Antwerp Conservatory and furthered his education with Paul Dukas at the École Normale de Musique de Paris.

After completing his studies, Poot worked firstly as a music teacher, reviewer, and freelance composer. In 1925, he and several other former students of Gilson’s formed a group of musicians called Les Synthétistes, who styled themselves as a Belgian equivalent of the The Mighty Five in Russia and Les Six in France. Through the group, they hoped to combine their strength and inject dynamism into an otherwise conservative Belgian musical scene, through the composition of solid contemporary pieces. Other composers who joined Les Synthétistes were René Bernier, Francis de Bourguignon, Théo de Joncker, Maurice Schoemaker, Jules Strens, and Robert Otlet.

Poot was an active music commentator for fifteen years, finding a principal outlet in the magazine he co-founded with Gilson, La Revue Musicale belge. He also contributed to Le Peuple.

In 1934, Poot seemed to achieve fame outside Belgium almost spontaneously after completing his Ouverture joyeuse (Joyful Overture), a work dedicated to his former teacher Paul Dukas. He also composed a substantial wind and brass oeuvre which is often played and performed by students and professionals alike.

In 1939, Poot was appointed a Lecturer at the Brussels Conservatory, and later became Professor of counterpoint and harmony, before succeeding Léon Jongen as Director in 1949 and holding the post until 1966.

From 1963 to 1980, Poot chaired the jury of the international Queen Elisabeth Music Competition and wrote several commissioned works to mark the occasion, one of them being the “Concerto for Piano & Orchestra.” originally composed in 1959. It is rarely performed but recently received an American performance in 2007 by the Valley Symphony Orchestra (LAVC) and pianist Neil Galanter.

He also served as the director of the Musikkapelle Königin Elisabeth between 1969 and 1976. He was elected to the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts.

A Portrait of Marcel Poot – sleeve notes

by Francis Pieters

Marcel Poot was born in a family with quite some interest in art and culture at Vilvoorde, near Brussels on 7 May 1901. In 1920 his father Jan Poot, who was a fervent music lover, was appointed director of the Royal Flemish Theatre in Brussels. He also played the clarinet in the local symphonic band ‘Harmonie Royale’ of which he also became the president. Young Marcel Poot was occasionally invited to play the timpani in that band.

The marches ‘Défilé Royal’ and ‘Nuptial March’ are two undated pieces written in his youth. Défilé Royal is a solemn symphonic march in the classical ABA form, dedicated to his father and boasting a striking solo for timpani in the final bars. The Nuptial March, dedicated to Franz Helsen, is a march with a rather cheerful and optimistic character.

Marcel Poot got his first music lessons from the local organ player Gérard Nauwelaerts. Later he went to the Royal Brussels Conservatory of Music studying from 1916 to 1919 solfeggio with M. Kips, chamber music, music history and harmony with Martin Lunssens, Paul de Maleingreau and José Sevenans and piano with Arthur De Greef.

The encounter with composer Paul Gilson (1865-1942) was of capital interest. Poot studied privately counterpoint, fugue and especially composition and orchestration with the master. At that time Poot had already studied for four years at the conservatory of music and it was Gilson who initiated him into the art of composition.

In order to get an official degree, Poot went to the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music in Antwerp and graduated in counterpoint (1922) – his teacher being Lodewijk Mortelmans – and in fugue (1924). His first mature compositions, such as Dionysos (1923) date back from his period of study in Antwerp.

The bacchanal Dionysos is a remarkable youth composition with regard to both its form and musical contents, evoking in a splendid way the burlesque scenes of processions and banquets of Ancient Greece. The Bacchanal’s orgies are extremely well portrayed by means of a few characteristic themes. In his early wind band compositions Poot follows Paul Gilson’s example. The latter was indeed a shining example as to style (especially involving thematic ideas) and orchestration. Poot became Gilson’s spiritual inheritor: a most worthy son as successor to the ‘father of Belgian wind band music’.

On the occasion of the 60th birthday of Gilson, Poot and six other of Gilson’s pupils founded the ‘Group of the Synthetists’ in September 1925. Besides celebrating this anniversary, they hoped to get more opportunities as a group to have their new compositions performed. A first realisation of the group was the creation in 1925 of their own musical periodical ‘La Revue Musicale Belge’ Marcel Poot as general editor. Their collaboration lasted six years and was encouraged, a.o. by Arthur Prevost, conductor of the Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides Regiment, the only professional orchestra in Belgium at that time.

The collaboration of the Synthetists with the Guides Band was also partly due to Paul Gilson’s insistence to compose for symphonic band or to make transcriptions for symphonic band of some of their orchestral works.

One of the pieces on the program of the first ‘Synthetists Concert’ by the Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides Regiment on 21 June 1927 was the third part of Charlot by Marcel Poot. This band had already performed ‘Charlot’ completely at a concert in the series ‘Concerts Populaires’ at the Brussels Opera ‘La Monnaie’ in 1926. These concerts launched Poot’s career as a composer.

The three symphonic sketches are inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s movie pictures, setting a short story by Georges Ramon to music. The subtitles of this symphonic poem are: ‘Attitudes’, ‘Struggle for Life’ and ‘Les dieux s’inclinent’. Charlot boasts a fine rhythmical construction and allows the great symphonic band to demonstrate the extreme wealth of its sound scope. The orchestration demonstrates Poot’s professional skill and shows undeniable influences of Igor Stravinsky and Richard Strauß.

Poot gradually succeeded in breaking away from romanticism and turned to a Latin clearness and even to jazz music. He refused lyricism and sentimentality by means of using constructive and objective forms and even irony. He soon switched over to absolute music with both entertainment music (e.g. a lot of his chamber music compositions) and expressive sound pictures (very well illustrated by his symphonies).

When he was awarded the Rubens Prize in 1930 he got the opportunity to go to Paris and study with Paul Dukas for some time. Back from his stay in Paris, Marcel Poot started a teaching career, at first in day schools in Vilvoorde and Halle. When the academy of music was created in Vilvoorde, Marcel Poot was appointed piano, solfeggio and music history teacher. In 1933 he was engaged by the broadcasting institution which meant quite a social promotion.

He was appointed the very first ‘modulator’ and then became head of department. He cooperated closely with Théo Fleischman and both were very interested in new forms of expression such as the radio play. By working for the radio, Poot got also interested in film music. In between his first symphony (1929) and his second symphony (1938) Poot composed a dozen of one movement orchestral works, the most popular being his ‘Joyful Overture’ dating from 1930.

This ‘Ouverture Joyeuse’ was the most often performed orchestral piece by a Flemish composer in the 20th century. Few composers have been so much acclaimed with most flattering labels because of one single composition as Poot has. This very one-sided aspect of his musical language, namely a roguish character, was continually repeated and so during his whole lifetime he was labelled as ‘the Till Eulenspiegel (a kind of clown or jester) of Flemish Music’.

Still working for the radio, he also met the conductor Franz André, promoter of the ‘NIR (National Radio Institute) Symphony Orchestra’. In 1967 Poot wrote a Fanfare for Franz André for three trumpets and three trombones. His Fanfare for Victory for large brass ensemble probably also dates from Poot’s period with the broadcasting institution. In 1939 he was appointed at the Royal Brussels Conservatory of Music, at first teaching practical harmony (1939- 1940) and then counterpoint (1940-1949). In the meantime, he also wrote many articles and reviews in Belgian and foreign music magazines.

His Mouvement Symphonique follows the form of the first movement of a classical symphony. A slow introduction is followed by an ‘Allegro’ based on two main themes. The development is interrupted by a ‘moderato’ with a rather expressive character. Poot composed this work, commissioned by the wind band ‘Société les Chasseurs’ from Binche for their hundredth anniversary, in 1938.

After the war, Poot went back to the radio as head of department up to 1949. From 1945 onwards he was chairman of the audition jury with the NIR (National Radio Institute). He left the radio institution in 1949 when he was appointed director of the Royal Brussels Conservatory of Music (up to 1966). He then composed a series of orchestral works and concentrated his composition activities mainly on instrumental music.

Marcel Poot became a member of the Music Committee of the Ministry of Education, a member of the National Council for popular education and chairman of the board of directors of SABAM, the Belgian copyright society (from 1949 to 1977). He was a member of  Royal Academy of Science, Literature and Art of Belgium. He became chairman of the Belgian Composers Union and chairman of the Queen Elisabeth Contest jury.

He was also headmaster of the Queen Elisabeth Music Institution at Argenteuil from 1969 to 1976. He was awarded a prize by the Ministry of Flemish Culture for his complete musical career in 1968. The elderly Poot felt attracted to symphonic music and within twelve years he wrote yet four symphonies and some mature symphonic compositions with clock-like regularity. His style does no longer change, as he has found an own objective, almost terse style of writing. His musical language is linked to a great interest in musical shape.

In 1984 he was ennobled by King Baudouin and became ‘Baron Marcel Poot’. The composer had a lifelong friendship relation with the author Herman Teirlinck. In 1954 he wrote a Honour Fanfare for Herman Teirlinck for 11 brass and percussion. Despite his old age, Marcel Poot got some interest in the rising brass band movement in Flanders. He accepted to be honorary president of the Flemish Brass Band Association and composed two works for this – as far as he was concerned ‘new’ kind of wind orchestra. In 1978 he wrote Cheerfulness in Brass, commissioned by the Flemish Brass Band Association and in 1979 an Intrada commissioned by the BRT 1 Radio Station.

Loyal to his motto ‘inspiration means working’ he continued to write for wind band till the end of his life. Fantasia Concertante (1978) and Diptych (1984) are two later compositions for symphonic band.

Marcel Poot died on 12 June 1988.

Working for critical minds, cultural diversity and intellectual property


It’s a questionable honor, but one that Culture Minister Ángeles González-Sinde says she is proud of. She introduced Spain’s first ever anti-piracy legislation, which was introduced as a section within the December 2009 Law on Sustainable Economy — a series of measures in response to the economic crisis. It immediately became known as the “Sinde Law”, and prompted widespread protests that it infringed fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression.

Under the proposed law, an Intellectual Property Commission (CPI) dependent on the Culture Ministry, and composed of a handful of internet experts, would have had the power to denounce web sites that offer links to unauthorized content for downloading.

The government quickly backed down, and the minister was left holding the baby. “I don’t have a problem with it. I think that this is a very important battle for the ministry, because it involves a deep-rooted change to our culture, and the fact that it is associated directly with a particular person is something that makes me proud.” She adds that although some in the Socialist Party criticized the proposed measures to shut down web sites, she never felt abandoned.

“I knew that Zapatero supported me. He called me up and said he understood the situation.  That’s the way of politics. Legislating is a complicated business, and even more so when dealing with something that is completely new.We have laws that deal with analogical culture, but not the digital age.”

Through Zapatero’s intervention, there was a partial modification of the law, introducing certain judicial safeguards. Only websites themselves would be investigated, and under no circumstances would users face being cut off for downloading movies and music from the net, unlike in the United Kingdom and France, where they face such sanctions. Looking back, Sinde says that once the dust had settled, all parties have been able to see the sense in the measures.

“This is a balanced model that respects everybody’s rights. On the one hand there is the presumption of innocence when it comes to cataloguing the habits of users. At the same time, distribution models are changing all the time, and it is easier than ever to pirate. The government has to be able to back up those who feel that their rights have been breached by people not respecting copyright,” she says.

The minister also says that she understands the unhappiness of many figures from the entertainment world who supported Zapatero during the election campaign, but who feel that he failed to act rapidly and decisively enough to prevent piracy.  “I can comprehend that; it is perfectly natural. Our intellectuals are there to criticize, and they are there to alert us when we stray from the path.”

González-Sinde feels that it is important to defend the Socialist Party’s record on defending the arts, and draws parallels with what she calls the opposition Popular Party’s “abysmal” record in this regard.

“There is a huge difference in the way both parties have addressed the issue of the arts, and this is principally to do with the values of the left, which historically have always been rooted in culture and the arts. “We believe in the principles of free thought, and that people should not be manipulated.

Bear in mind the following fact: during the PP’s administrations, it spent ¤27,000 on new books for the country’s libraries; the Socialist Party has already spent ¤18 million.” Her criticism of its record aside, the minister believes that the PP will support the Law of Economic Sustainability when it goes before Congress later this year.

Asked about the somewhat bitter comments of her predecessor, César Antonio Molina, that he had been replaced by somebody with “glamour”, Sinde, an award-winning filmmaker, looks uncomfortable. “I would never associate myself with the idea of glamour, because in my business, we reserve that for the actresses.” On the subject of movies, Sinde says that it is important to dispel the myth that Spanish cinema survives on state subsidies.

“The agriculture sector, or the automobile industry receive subsidies, and I don’t hear anybody crying out in protest about that. There are those who want to dumb down our film industry, because they see it as linked to the values of the left and of a critical, free spirit.”

At a time when digital seems the only game in town, the minister says that she is concerned about the disappearance of what she calls “cultural diversity.” “A model whereby culture is available to all, free of charge, and without restrictions, such as the model defended by the television companies, and oriented to the widest possible number of people is fine,” she says, “but I don’t think it is the government’s job to defend that.  There are other, minority interests, and they should be defended.

They too are necessary.”

View and Plan of Toledo

Museo Nacional del Prado

Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23

Madrid 28014

Tel. +34 91 330 2800

Room 9A – Villanueva Building
Until 1 november

Visitors to the Prado will have the chance to appreciate the El Greco’s unique work, View and Plan of Toledo. In contrast to the partial views of the city that appear in other works by the artist, this canvas offers a multiple viewpoint; in addition to a perspectival presentation it includes a detailed plan of the city, held up by the figure of a young man and painted with the characteristically sketchy handling of the artist’s last years.

This complex composition also includes an allegory of the river Tagus, seen here as a sculpture that pours water and hence prosperity, as well as the iconic religious image of that city, that of the Virgin placing the chasuble on Saint Ildefonso. In addition, prominence is also given to the Hospital de Tavera, which is depicted on a cloud in an explicit reference to the administrator of the building, Pedro Salazar de Mendoza, a friend of the artist and the probable patron of the work.

With the aim of highlighting the presence of Toledo in many of El Greco’s most famous paintings, View and Plan of Toledo will be exhibited in room 8A, which will form an additional space to the two permanent galleries devoted to the artist’s work in the Prado. The View and Plan is accompanied by three other works by the artist: Saint Sebastian, Saint Andrew and Saint Francis, and Saint Bernard.

The latter belongs to the Prado but has been on long-term deposit with the Museo del Greco (in Toledo) since that museum opened. It has now returned to the Prado while the museum in Toledo is being restored and will return there on completion of work.

During the period of their special installation in this room the three paintings will have labels that identify the most famous buildings in Toledo that are depicted in each painting, such as the castle of San Serando, the Alcántara bridge, the Alcázar, the monastery of San Bartolomé and the Montero chapel, all important monuments that can also be seen and identified in the View and Plan of Toledo.

Related (Wiki):   El Greco



UPDATE – 29 Aug 210 (10:15 PM)

Obama blasts lies, disinformation

Politico – By GLENN THRUSH

President Barack Obama dismissed a recent poll showing that a third of Americans don’t know he’s a Christian – and blamed an online campaign of misinformation by his conservative enemies for perpetuating the myth that he’s a Muslim.

Obama, speaking with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Sunday afternoon, was equally dismissive of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck – saying he didn’t watch the Fox host’s Saturday rally in Washington but wasn’t surprised that Beck was able to “stir up” people during uncertain economic times.

Williams, sitting under a tent in a rain-soaked New Orleans, where the First Family commemorated the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, asked Obama why so many people were uncertain about something so fundamental as his faith.

“I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,” quipped Obama, who took a deep breath to gather his thoughts when asked if the poll reflected his inability to communicate with voters.

“The facts are the facts. We went through some of this during the campaign — there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly,” said a visibly annoyed Obama, referring to “birthers,” who have waged a guerrilla campaign questioning either the existence or the validity of his Hawaiian birth certificate.

“I will always put my money on the American people, and I’m not going to be worried too much about what rumors are floating around there.”

Click Politico Link For Video @ 10:25-14:00 FOR BIRTH CERTIFICATE & BECK COMMENTS

Glenn Beck Rally Attracts Estimated 87,000

CBS News – Posted by Alex Sundby

An estimated 87,000 people attended a rally organized by talk-radio host and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck Saturday in Washington, according to a crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News.

The company based the attendance on aerial pictures it took over the rally, which stretched from in front of the Lincoln Memorial along the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument. Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at the rally.

Beck, who predicted that at least 100,000 people would show up, opened his comments with a joke: “I have just gotten word from the media that there is over 1,000 people here today.” gave its estimate a margin of error of 9,000, meaning between 78,000 and 96,000 people attended the rally. The photos used to make the estimate were taken at noon Saturday, which is when the company estimated was the rally’s high point.

Rally organizers had a permit for crowd of 300,000. Crowd estimates used to be provided by the National Park Service, but the agency stopped counting crowds in 1997 after being accused of underestimating the size of the Million Man March in 1995.

Real Clear Politics Video: CBS News To Black Woman At Beck Rally: “I’m Noticing That There Are Not A Lot Of Minorities Here”

Rally to Restore Honor Gathers Half a Million Americans, Makes History

Catholic Online – By Deacon Keith Fournier

On Saturday, August 28, 2010, a massive crowd of  people gathered in Washington, D.C. for a “Restoring Honor” Rally. The Rally was called by Glenn Beck, who has captured the heart of many Americans and raised the ire of some in the main stream media. The sheer numbers demonstrated that the rally had support well beyond the persistent efforts by some in the media to marginalize it. The crowd easily exceeded 500,000 people.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) – On Saturday, August 28, 2010, a crystal clear, sunny day in Washington D.C.  a massive crowd of  people gathered for a “Restoring Honor” Rally. The Rally was called by Glenn Beck, the popular radio and television personality who has captured the heart of many Americans and raised the ire of some in the main stream media.

The sheer numbers demonstrated that the rally had support well beyond the persistent efforts by some in the media to marginalize it as a “tea party” event. Of course, in their condescension these same people used that term in a disparaging manner. The crowd easily exceeded 500,000 people. The event stage was set up at the base of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. However, the massive crowd stretched along the Lincoln Memorial, on both sides of the reflective pond stretching all the way to the Washington Monument.

An opening song, reflecting on the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11, was written for the event and beautifully performed by a woman named Angelica Tucker. It set the theme: “We must rebuild our lives, our strength, and our hearts. not just the buildings we lost.”  It was followed by an eloquent prayer by Evangelical Bishop Harry Jackson of Washington’s Hope Christian Church who is emerging as one of many men of courage, honor and character unafraid to speak and live the truth in our day.

The address given by Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, secured this heroic and inspiring woman’s place in American history. This is the 47th anniversary of her uncle, the late, great Christian minister and human rights hero, Dr Martin Luther Kings’ famous “I Have a Dream” Speech. He would have been proud of his niece. She is an heir of his legacy and certainly has his extraordinary gift for prophetic rhetoric which can rouse the heart of a Nation.

This was a masterful and inspired speech, given on the day when the Nation honors one of our greatest Americans. Dr Alveda King candidly and honestly declared that “our material gains seem to be going the way of our moral losses” but then insisted “We are Not without Hope!”. She referenced the iconic words of her uncle, adding “I Still Have a Dream”. She roused the crowd and called the Nation to unity through the restoration of the guiding principles which inspired her uncle’s heroic life and death and informed the American experiment.

The pundits who condescendingly sought to marginalize the event for weeks before it happened – going so far as to attempt to paint it with allegations of racism – should have been ashamed. The stage was filled with men and women of color, who, with the raucous support of the hundreds of thousands gathered, affirmed our solidarity as Americans. Dr. Alveda King reminded the crowd that we are ” united by blood as one race, the human race.”

The address given by Glenn Beck followed, calling the Nation to ‘Wake Up’. He told the hundreds of thousands gathered in the Nation’s Capitol that it was time to “Start the Heart of America again.”  Framing his address with copious references to the founders and founding documents he used the backdrop of the Lincoln memorial and the Washington Memorial to accentuate his message.

He honored the heroism of the founders and the genius of the American experiment. However, he also acknowledged the limitations and the scars of those who helped found the American experiment. This was the most significant part of Beck’s address. He repeatedly explained to the crowd that scars and mistakes are invitations to learn, change, grow and improve – insisting that this is true for people and for Nations. He is correct.

He invited the crowd to continue the “unfinished work” which Abraham Lincoln referred to in his Gettysburg Address, telling those gathered to make a choice for the future. He proclaimed it is “…what we do from here that matters. this is the point of choice!” His final historical reference was to John Newton; the Captain of a Slave ship in the 1700’s who in the midst of a threatening storm at sea turned to God and was dramatically converted. He reformed his life and wrote the Hymn Amazing Grace, which Beck called the best song ever written for bagpipes. At that moment, bagpipers emerged and the melody of that song began.

As the platform filled with 240 religious leaders from every religious tradition, the crowd began to sing the hymn, led by an unidentified but gifted man whose beautiful voice enhanced the emotion laden moment. With a prayer led by a heroic man who overcame great obstacles in his own life, the whole point of the day was again underscored and the official part of the Rally to Restore Honor came to a conclusion.

Clearly, Glenn Beck’s dreams for a Rally which could “restart the heart of America” exceeded all expectations. Even the Press, which for days leading up to the event had minimized, mocked and trivialized the event, immediately began to acknowledge its massive size and possible significance. Then, they quickly regrouped and the punditry began all over again. I imagine the implications of the event will be fodder for much pontificating for weeks. However, any honest reporter must admit that this was clearly an historic event.

Sharpton’s ‘Reclaim the Dream’ event brings thousands to honor MLK

WaPo – By Avis Thomas-Lester, Hamil R. Harris and Krissah thompson

Thousands of people joined the Rev. Al Sharpton and other leaders Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington in 1963. The event, billed as “Reclaim the Dream,” included a five-mile march that culminated at the Mall, where conservative talk show host Glenn Beck had organized the simultaneous “Restoring Honor” rally.

In an interview before the gathering began at Dunbar High School in Northwest Washington, Sharpton said he called the event to show respect for the ideals of King, who made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech 47 years ago near where Beck spoke to thousands Saturday.

“People are clear in what Dr. King’s dream was about, and we will not react to those who try to distort that dream,” Sharpton said. He was one of several prominent leaders who condemned Beck’s rally, despite cries from organizers that “Restoring Honor” was not intended to dishonor King or his work.

Early at the event, a gospel choir took the stage after a fervent prayer by Barbara Williams-Skinner, president of the Skinner Leadership Institute.

“What do you do when you’ve given your all? Child, you just stand,” the crowd quietly sang.

Williams-Skinner made strong ties between the 1963 rally at which King spoke of his “dream” and the rally at the Northwest Washington high school. “Like Dr. King, we believe that the bank of justice is not bankrupt,” she said. “We thank you God for raising up President Barack Obama as a small down payment on that dream.”

Bianca Farmer, a senior at Dunbar, drew applause when she told the crowd to continue to celebrate the achievement that Obama represents. “We must be fearful of stopping there,” she said. “The fight is not in the same arena as it was 47 years ago, but the fight lives on.”

Some leaders Saturday pointed to what they characterized as lost ground in the quest for the principles that King held dear. “When I look at my television, I don’t see the King crowd of blacks and whites together,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who worked as an aide for King at the 1963 march.

NAACP President Ben Jealous said: “We are not sure what the message of the Beck rally is, since he told them to leave their signs at home. We have to revitalize jobs and schools and reclaim Dr. King’s dream.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the rally participants that education is the civil rights issue of this generation. “Parents: Turn off the television. Educators: We have to stop making excuses,” he said. “The dividing line in our country today is less around white and black and more about educational opportunity. We’ve been too satisfied with second-class schools.”…]

NAACP president slams Glenn Beck at ‘Reclaim the Dream’ rally

CNN – NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, speaking at the “Reclaim the Dream” rally Saturday, castigated the message of the Glenn Beck rally across town in Washington.

“For a year and a half, we’ve been subjected to small hearts and small minds on our small screens,” he said, referring to conservative ideas on media. Beck is a conservative talk show host, with a program on Fox News as well as several radio programs.

Urging people to continue to fight for issues like health care and the ideas of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jealous said, “It’s time to make sure our country – when they turn on the TV – sees itself reflected back.”

Tea Party Spells KKK, Rights Leader Says


Black Leaders Outraged Over ‘Restoring Honor’ Rally

A civil rights activist and former congressman equated the Tea Party with the Ku Klux Klan today as he blasted a conservative rally planned in Washington, D.C., this weekend.

The Rev. Walter Fauntroy, the non-voting delegate who represented the District of Columbia from 1971 to 1991, called on African-Americans to organize a “new coalition of conscience” to rebut the rally scheduled for Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial featuring Fox News pundit Glenn Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux — I meant to say the Tea Party,” Fauntroy told a news conference today at the National Press Club. “You all forgive me, but I — you have to use them interchangeably.”

Fauntroy attempted to explain the comparison to white supremacists by saying that organizers behind the “Restoring Honor” rally are the same people who cut audio cables from a sound system the night before the historic March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

By Sarah Palin

What an honor it was to speak today at the “Restoring Honor” Rally in D.C. The following is the text of my remarks. You can click here or here to watch a video of it.

Thank you so much. Are you not so proud to be an American?

What an honor. What an honor.

We stand today at the symbolic crossroads of our nation’s history. All around us are monuments to those who have sustained us in word or deed. There in the distance stands the monument to the father of our country.  And behind me, the towering presence of the Great Emancipator who secured our union at the moment of its most perilous time and freed those whose captivity was our greatest shame.

And over these grounds where we are so honored to stand today, we feel the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who on this very day, two score and seven years ago, gave voice to a dream that would challenge us to honor the sacred charters of our liberty – that all men are created equal.

Now, in honoring these giants, who were linked by a solid rock foundation of faith in the one true God of justice, we must not forget the ordinary men and women on whose shoulders they stood. The ordinary called for extraordinary bravery. I am speaking, of course, of America’s finest – our men and women in uniform, a force for good in this country, and that is nothing to apologize for.

Abraham Lincoln once spoke of the “The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land.” For over 200 years, those mystic chords have bound us in gratitude to those who are willingly to sacrifice, to restrain evil, to protect God-given liberty, to sacrifice all in defense of our country.

They fought for its freedom at Bunker Hill, they fought for its survival at Gettysburg, and for the ideals on which it stands – liberty and justice for all – on a thousand battlefields far from home.

It is so humbling to get to be here with you today, patriots – you who are motivated and engaged and concerned, knowing to never retreat. I must assume that you too know that we must not fundamentally transform America as some would want. We must restore America and restore her honor!

Now, I’ve been asked to speak today, not as a politician. No, as something more – something much more. I’ve been asked to speak as the mother of a soldier, and I am proud of that distinction. You know, say what you want to say about me, but I raised a combat vet, and you can’t take that away from me. I’m proud of that distinction, but it is not one that I had imagined because no woman gives birth thinking that she will hand over her child to her country, but that’s what mothers have done from ancient days.

In cities and towns across our country, you’ll find monuments to brave Americans wearing the uniforms of wars from long ago, and look down at their inscriptions, you’ll see that they were so often dedicated by mothers. In distant lands across the globe, you’ll find silent fields of white markers with the names of Americans who never came home, but who showed their dedication to their country by where they died.

We honor those who served something greater than self and made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those who served and did come home forever changed by the battlefield. Though this rally is about “restoring honor,” for these men and women honor was never lost! If you look for the virtues that have sustained our country, you will find them in those who wear the uniform, who take the oath, who pay the price for our freedom.

And I’d like to tell you three stories of such Americans – three patriots – who stand with us today.

The first is a man named Marcus Luttrell. His story is one of raw courage in the face of overwhelming odds. It’s also a story of America’s enduring quest for justice. Remember, we went to Afghanistan seeking justice for those who were killed without mercy by evil men on September 11th. And one fateful day in Afghanistan on a mountain ridge, Marcus and three of his fellow Navy SEALs confronted the issue of justice and mercy in a decision that would forever change their lives.

They were on a mission to hunt down a high-level Taliban leader, but they were faced with a terrible dilemma when some men herding goats stumbled upon their position, and they couldn’t tell if these men were friend or foe. So the question was what to do with them? Should they kill them or should they let them go and perhaps risk compromising their mission? They took a vote. They chose mercy over self-preservation.

They set their prisoners free. The vote said it was the humane thing to do. It was the American thing to do. But it sealed their fate because within hours, over a hundred Taliban forces arrived on the scene. They battled the four Navy SEALs throughout the surrounding hills. A rescue helicopter came, but it was shot down. By the time the sun set on June 28, 2005, it was one of the bloodiest days for American forces in Afghanistan.

19 brave, honorable men were lost that day. Marcus was the sole survivor. Alone, stranded, badly wounded, he limped and crawled for miles along that mountain side. What happened next is a testament to the words: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”

Marcus and his team showed mercy in letting their prisoners free. And later he was shown mercy by Afghan villagers who honored an ancient custom of providing hospitality to any stranger who would ask for it. They took him in. They cared for him, efused to hand him over to the Taliban. They got him back safely to our forces.

Marcus’ story teaches us that even on the worst battlefield against the most brutal enemy, we adhere to our principles. This American love of justice and mercy is what makes us a force for good in this world. Marcus is a testament to that.

Please join me in honoring retired U.S. Navy SEAL Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell.

From the time he first heard men marching to a cadence call, Eddie Wright had one dream in life, and that was to be a United States Marine. And as a Marine serving in Iraq, his company was ambushed in Fallujah. He was knocked out when a rocket propelled grenade hit his Humvee. When he came to, he saw that both his hands were gone and his leg was badly wounded.

He couldn’t fire his weapon, he could barely move, and he was bleeding to death. But he had the strength of mind to lead the men under his command, and that is exactly what he did. He kept them calm, he showed them how to stop the bleeding in his leg, he told them where to return fire, he had them call for support, and he got them out of there alive.

His composure under fire that day earned him the Bronze Star with Valor device. But if you ask him, “What did you get it for?”, he’ll tell you, “Just for doing my job.”

After a long recovery, Eddie continued to serve as a martial arts instructor. He resigned from his beloved Marine Corps a few years ago, but he still lives by the motto: “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

And if you want to see the American spirit of never retreating, no matter the odds – of steady confidence and optimism, no matter the setbacks – look at Eddie’s story.  No matter how tough times are, Americans always pull through. As Eddie put it himself: “We don’t really foster the attitude of I can’t. When you have an obstacle in front of you, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and focus on what you can.”

So, please join me in honoring retired Marine Sergeant James “Eddie” Wright.

Tom Kirk was an Air Force squadron commander and a combat pilot who had flown over 150 missions in Korea and Vietnam. One day on a routine mission over Hanoi, his plane was shot down. He spent the next five and a half years in that living hell known as the Hanoi Hilton.

Like his fellow prisoners, Tom endured the beatings, the torture, the hunger, the years of isolation. He described it, saying, “There was nothing to do, nothing to read, nothing to write. You had to just sit there in absolute boredom, loneliness, frustration, and fear. You had to live one day at a time, because you had no idea how long you were going to be there.”

After two years of solitary confinement, pacing back and forth in his cell — three and a half steps across, three and a half steps deep – Tom was finally moved to a larger holding cell with 45 other Americans prisoners, among them was a man named John McCain. In circumstances that defy description, this band of brothers kept each other alive, and one by one, they came home.

Tom was released on March 14, 1973. You might think that a man who had suffered so much for his country would be bitter and broken by it. But Tom’s heart was only filled with love – love for America – that special love of country that we call patriotism.

Tom wrote, “Patriotism has become, for many, a ‘corny’ thing. For me, it is more important now than at any time in my life. How wonderful it is to be an American come home!”

Friends, please join me in honoring retired Air Force Colonel Tom Kirk.

My fellow Americans, each one of these men here today faced terrible sufferings, overwhelming set-backs, and impossible odds.

And they endured! And their stories are America’s story.

We will always come through. We will never give up, and we shall endure because we live by that moral strength that we call grace. Because though we’ve often skirted a precipice, a providential hand has always guided us to a better future.

And I know that many of us today, we are worried about what we face. Sometimes our challenges, they just seem insurmountable.

But, here, together, at the crossroads of our history, may this day be the change point!

Look around you. You’re not alone. You are Americans!

You have the same steel spine and the moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King. It is in you. It will sustain you as it sustained them.

So with pride in the red, white, and blue; with gratitude to our men and women in uniform; let’s stand together! Let’s stand with honor! Let’s restore America!

God bless you! And God bless America!

Glenn Beck rally sparks debate over crowd size

UPDATE:  Glenn announced this morning on his radio show he was wearing a bullet proof vest. Alveeda King was offered a vest and she turned down the request by private security, citing her faith in God.  Although not confirmed, many believe Sarah Palin was also wearing a bullet proof vest during the rally!

Related Previous Post:

Washington DC 9/12 Protest: Revolution Brewing From Sea To Shining Sea

Updated Politico Article w/Video Link & Added Link To Previous Post For Comparing Tea Party 9/12/09 To Beck Rally  – end


The Countdown to Hunkering Down

“Coach Richt has the scout teams cranked up now, trying to get the guys a good look at the Louisiana-Lafayette schemes. I’d bet behind closed doors, they are already scheming for the Gamecocks. But they are sworn to secrecy on that one. This is a smart start to the schedule. Damon Evans and Coach Richt did a nice job with this. Open with a exhibition type game, before the big SEC opener.

September is critical to the season obviously. South Carolina and Arkansas are back to back. And that trip to Starkpatch can be trouble (just ask the Gators). I realize that some fans have already put “W’s” next to those games, but it’s just not that easy. Seriously. Go ahead and count on the showdown in Columbia being a physical, competitive battle.

And then, one week later here comes Ryan Mallett throwing it all over the field at Sanford Stadium, with Petrino calling the plays. The issue at Mississippi State is this: it is a mental game. Going in, the player knows State is typically bad. So, there is a mental letdown. And they play physical football.

Just don’t believe the ‘Dogs can open the season 4-0, unless they are forcing some turnovers and running the ball effectively. Basically, this team needs to hit the ground running.”  Buck Belue

Basic 3–4 defense info…

The 3-4 defense was originally devised by Bud Wilkinson at the University of Oklahoma in the 1940s. Chuck Fairbanks learned the defense from Wilkinson and is credited with importing it to the NFL. The 1972 Miami Dolphins were the first team to win a Super Bowl with the 3-4 defense, going undefeated and using number 53, Bob Mathison as a down lineman or rushing linebacker.

When the Oakland Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV, it marked the first Super Bowl in which both teams used the 3-4 as their base defense. Also notable, the Big Blue Wrecking Crew, the defensive unit for the 1986 New York Giants who won Super Bowl XXI, was a 3-4 defense and featured all-time great Lawrence Taylor as outside linebacker.

Fast linebackers, sitting back to survey the offensive set, can key in on an inside ball carrier and “hit the gaps” quickly to offer help to the 3 down linemen when defending the rush. In pass coverage, the 4 linebackers are already in a “sitting back” position, able to see the patterns develop and cover the short/intermediate pass.

The defensive line is made up of a nose tackle (NT) and two defensive ends (DEs). Linemen in 3-4 schemes tend to be larger than their 4-3 counterparts to take up more space and guard more territory along the defensive front. 3-4 defensive ends were usually defensive tackles when entering at first. They must be strong at the point of attack and are aligned in most cases head-up on an offensive tackle. First and foremost, they must control run gaps.

Size and strength become more of a factor for linemen in 3-4 defenses than in 4-3 defenses because they move primarily within the confines of line play and seldom are in space using athletic ability. Ideally 3-4 DEs should weigh 285–300 pounds (129–140 kg) and be able to beat double teams by getting a push.

The 3-4 nose tackle is considered the most physically demanding position in football. His primary responsibility is to control the “A” gaps, the two openings between the center and guards, and not get pushed back into his linebackers. If a running play comes through one of those gaps, he must make the tackle or control what is called the “jump-through”—the guard or center who is trying to get out to the linebackers. The ideal nose tackle has to be much bigger than 4-3 DTs, weighing around 330 pounds or more.

The base position of NT is across from the opposing team’s center. This location is usually referred to as zero technique. The two DEs flank the NT and line up off the offensive guards. The location off the offensive guard is usually referred to as three technique.

In a 3-4 defense, four linebackers (LBs) are positioned behind the defensive line. The linebacker unit is made up of two inside linebackers (ILBs) flanked by two outside linebackers (OLBs). The OLBs often line up closer to the line of scrimmage than the ILBs, but may also be positioned at the same depth or deeper in coverage than the ILBs (though this is somewhat rare).

Strengths of the 3-4 include speedy ILBs and OLBs in pursuit of backs in run defense and flexibility to use multiple rushers to confuse the quarterback during passing plays without being forced into man-to-man defense on receivers. Most teams try to disrupt the offense’s passing attack by rushing four defenders.

In a 3-4, the fourth rusher is usually a linebacker, though many teams, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, use a talented safety to blitz and confuse the coverage, giving them more defensive options in the same 3-4 look. However, since there are four linebackers and four defensive backs, the fourth potential rusher can come from any of eight defensive positions. This is designed to confuse the quarterback’s pre-snap defensive read.

A drawback of the 3-4 is that without a fourth lineman to take on the offensive blockers and close the running lanes, both the defensive linemen and the linebackers can be overwhelmed by blocking schemes in the running game. To be effective, 3-4 linebackers need their defensive line to routinely tie up a minimum of four (preferably all five) offensive linemen, freeing them to make tackles.

The 3-4 linebackers must be very athletic and strong enough to shed blocks by fullbacks, tight ends, and offensive linemen to get to the running back. In most cases, 3-4 OLBs lead their teams in quarterback sacks.

The 3-4 defense generally uses four defensive backs. Two of these are safeties, and two of them are cornerbacks. A cornerback’s responsibilities vary depending on the type of coverage called. Coverage is simply how the defense will be protecting against the pass. The corners will generally line up 3 to 5 yards off the line of scrimmage, generally trying to “Jam” or interrupt the receivers route within the first 5 yards.

A corner will be given one of two ways to defend the pass (with variations that result in more or less the same responsibilities): zone and man-to-man. In zone coverage, the cornerback is responsible for an area on the field. In this case, the corner must always stay downfield of whomever it is covering while still remaining in its zone.

Zone is a more relaxed defensive scheme meant to provide more awareness across the defensive secondary while sacrificing tight coverage. As such, the corner in this case would be responsible for making sure nobody gets outside of him, always, or downfield of him, in cases where there is no deep safety help. In man coverage, however, the cornerback is solely responsible for the man across from him, usually the offensive player split farthest out.

The free safety is responsible for reading the offensive plays and covering deep passes. Depending on the defensive call, he may also provide run support. He is positioned 10 to 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, toward the center of the field. He provides the last line of defense against running backs and receivers who get past the linebackers and cornerbacks. He must be a quick and smart player, capable of making tackles efficiently as well as reading the play and alerting his team of game situations.

The strong safety is usually larger than the free safety and is positioned relatively close to the line of scrimmage. He is often an integral part of the run defense, but is also responsible for defending against a pass; especially against passes to the tight-ends.

Russ (UGA Mascot) is on Facebook

New season, but no new Uga – yet

Silver Britches and Black Threads: Georgia Intending to End Uniform Chatter

Uga (pronounced UH-guh) is the name of a lineage of English Bulldogs owned by Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler, which have served as the mascot of the University of Georgia (UGA) since 1956. Although the University is located in Athens, Georgia, the dogs have lived with the Seilers in Savannah, Georgia.

In addition to Uga, a person in the costume of a bulldog also performs as Hairy Dawg at Georgia Bulldog athletic events.

The dogs, tended by members of the Seiler family, are present at every Georgia Bulldogs home football game, most away games, and many University-related functions. Uga wears a spiked collar and a red jersey with varsity letter. In 2007, he wore a black jersey for the “Blackout” game against Auburn University.

Uga is friendly and outgoing, and loves to lick children who attend the games. His jersey is made from the same fabric as the players’ official game jerseys. Uga is even issued an official student identification card. Uga travels in an air conditioned dog house and sits on bags of ice at games, as the breed is susceptible to heat stroke (a problem in the humid southeastern United States).

To date, there have been seven dogs to carry the name “Uga”, which is derived from an abbreviation for the University of GeorgiA. Each is the son of his predecessor, and each is a solid white English Bulldog. Deceased Ugas are interred in a mausoleum near the main entrance to Sanford Stadium.

An epitaph describing each dog graces the mausoleum nameplates. Several Ugas have “retired” as part of elaborate pre-game ceremonies, during which there is a “passing of the bone” and the new Uga begins his reign. Uga even has his own cheer, “Damn good dog!” that the fans shout, during the ceremony. This tradition dates back to the very first Uga.

Uga VI died of congestive heart failure on Friday, June 27, 2008. Seiler reported that on the evening of his death Uga VI “was breathing heavily” and died soon thereafter. University of Georgia Athletics Director Damon Evans called the date of Uga VI’s death “a sad day for the entire Bulldog Nation.” As on any sad day for the University of Georgia, the university’s flag was flown at half staff. Published reports touted Uga VI’s win-loss record in Georgia football as the best in the University’s history.

Uga VII was named as “Uga VI’s Loran’s Best” on Friday August 29, 2008, the day before the school’s first home game of the 2008 season. He was officially introduced on Saturday, August 30, 2008, at that game, which UGA won. Uga VII died on November 19, 2009, from a heart attack. His doghouse was left vacant, with a wreath placed on it, for the game on November 21 against Kentucky.

Russ, another bulldog from the Uga family line, filled in as an “interim mascot” for the Georgia Tech game and the bowl game, similar to Otto stepping in for Uga IV. UGA went on to win both games under Russ’s watch. Regarding the selection of a permanent mascot, however, the Seilers have said, “There’s lineage out there we can depend on in unforeseen cases such as this.”

  • Uga I (“Hood’s Ole Dan,” 1956–1966) – the original, a grandson of a bulldog that accompanied the Georgia football team to its Rose Bowl victory and national championship in 1942. One SEC football title (1959).
  • Uga II (“Ole Dan’s Uga,” 1966–1972) – two Southeastern Conference (SEC) football titles (1966 and 1968) and one national title (1968 Litkenhaus poll).
  • Uga III (“Seiler’s Uga Three,” 1972–1981) – presided over Georgia’s second consensus national championship season in 1980 and two SEC championships (1976 and 1980).
  • Uga IV (“Uga III’s Magillicuddy/Seiler’s Uga Four,” 1981–1990) – was the first live mascot ever invited to a Heisman trophy presentation in 1982 when, while wearing a tux, Uga IV accompanied Herschel Walker to the Downtown Athletic Club; two SEC championships (1981 and 1982).
  • Uga V (“Uga IV’s Magillicuddy II,” 1990–1999) – portrayed his father, Uga IV, in the motion picture Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997; propelled to the national spotlight when he lunged at an Auburn wide receiver, Robert Baker, during a game in 1996.
  • Uga VI (“Uga V’s Whatchagot Loran,” 1999–2008) – two SEC championships (2002 and 2005), two Sugar Bowl victories (2003 and 2008), and more than 20 victories over ranked opponents, more than any Uga before him. Uga VI was also larger than any of his predecessors, weighing in at 65 pounds. Uga VI has the best winning percentage and most wins overall of any Uga.
  • Uga VII (“Uga VI’s Loran’s Best,” 2008–2009) – his tenure ended abruptly, near the end of his second season, when he died of heart failure on November 19, 2009.

The names “Magillicuddy,” “Loran’s Best” and “Whatchagot Loran” were given in honor of longtime Georgia icons Dan Magill and Loran Smith, respectively (when former lead radio announcer Larry Munson called Smith for a sideline report, he asked “Whatchagot Loran?”).

2010 College Football Predictions: Can UGA Bounce Back in 2010?

Q: What are the early returns on how the switch to the 3-4 defense under new coordinator Todd Grantham is going?

A: About what you’d expect—a combination of respect for Grantham’s knowledge and sense of purpose and concern about whether he has the personnel to carry it off this year. In short, it’s a work in progress. The most encouraging thing early on about the defense isn’t the scheme, though. It’s the renewed emphasis on fundamentals, something that’s been clearly lacking for a while.

Q: The Bulldogs lost three defensive lineman to the NFL. Do they have the depth to fully implement the new defense this year?

A: In my opinion, it’ll be touch and go on the defensive line. I sense some real concern that there’s not enough depth on the line to keep the players there as fresh as Grantham would like. The big question is whether they can get significant contributions from Geathers and Anderson, or perhaps one of the incoming freshmen.

Q: Tackling machine Rennie Curran is gone too. Who steps up to take the leadership role at LB?

A: Grantham has stated that he’s expecting big things out of Justin Houston this year. Darryl Gamble, by all accounts, has also had a fine fall camp and is pressing Cornelius Washington at the other outside LB slot. He’s a senior who was moved to a new spot with the scheme change and could have sulked about it. Akeem Dent, who’s currently hurt but is expected back by the South Carolina game, is another senior expected to lead on defense.

LuckyBogey SEC Predictions
East W L Overall Record
Georgia 6 2 10-2
Florida 5 3 9-3
South Carolina 4 4 7-5
Kentucky 3 5 6-6
Tennessee 2 6 6-6
Vanderbilt 1 7 2-10
West W L Overall Record
Alabama 7 1 11-1
Auburn 5 3 9-3
LSU 5 3 9-3
Arkansas 5 3 9-3
Mississippi 4 4 8-4
Mississippi State 1 7 4-8

Related Previous Posts:

Uga VII Is Dead!

A Few Dog Stories: Winston, Champ, Mara, And Russ

TGIF: Ain’t No Use In Preachers Preaching…

Sunday Diversity: Green Living, The Group Of Death, And Southern Dogs


‘Early Show’: Levi Johnston regrets apology to Sarah Palin

Zap2it – By Andrea Reiher

Levi Johnston is appearing on “The Early Show” Friday (Aug. 27), but CBS has released some juicy tidbits from the interview. When asked by “Early Show” correspondent Betty Nguyen if he has any regrets, Johnston says, “I don’t really regret anything. But the only thing I wish I wouldn’t have done is to put out that apology [to Sarah Palin] ’cause it kind of makes me sound like a liar. And I’ve never lied about anything. So that’s probably the only thing. The rest of the stuff I can live with.”

Really? He doesn’t regret that silly Playgirl photoshoot? Hmm. When asked if he thinks he can be a better mayor than Sarah Palin, Johnston replies, “Let’s hope so. I can’t guarantee or promise you anything but I’m gonna try … That’s the goal.” He also comments during the interview on the recent rumors that his ex-girlfriend and baby mama Bristol Palin is part of the newest season of “Dancing With the Stars” cast.

Exclusive: Bristol Palin Is Coming to Dancing With the Stars

Eonline – By Kristin Dos Santos

It’s the Dancing With the Stars casting that no one saw coming!

We can report to you exclusively that Sarah Palin‘s 19-year-old daughter Bristol Palin has been cast on the 11th season of DWTS, set to premiere Sept. 20, according to sources.

As for the reports that David Hasselhoff, Audrina Patridge, The Situation and Brandy will also be part of the cast, here’s the deal:

All true, according to sources.

However, from what I’m hearing about those other rumors, Kirstie Alley won’t be there–and neither will anyone of Bachelor or Bachelorette fame (sorry, Ali and Roberto!), unless there are a few last-minute switcheroos.

A rep for ABC says: “We don’t comment on casting rumors. The real Dancing With the Stars cast will be revealed Monday, Aug. 30, live on ABC during Bachelor Pad.”

This will be Bristol Palin’s second gig with ABC, having guest starred last month on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. It seems this teen mom may be taking a page from Melissa Rycroft‘s book, using DWTS to rebound after her recent breakup (with Levi Johnston). Who needs that gallon of ice cream when you’ve got glittery, bedazzled gowns and the seduction of a mirror-ball trophy?

Do you approve of this casting?

Russia’s Putin braves rough seas to study whales

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, Russia – By Darya Korsunskaya

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin braved rough seas to help scientists study whales off Russia’s Pacific coast on Wednesday but was rebuked by environmentalists for allowing oil exploration nearby.

Putin, a Judo black-belt who has been filmed shooting a tiger and flying a fighter plane, shot a grey whale with an adapted crossbow from a rubber dinghy to take a sample of its skin in his latest action-man photo-op.

“I missed three times but hit on the fourth,” said Putin, holding up the skin sample. “It’s a great feeling.”

The sample, taken at the Kronotsky reserve 300 kilometers (190 miles) northeast of Vladivostok will be used to help scientists tell which population the whales come from, Putin said.

But environmentalists were not impressed. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) issued a statement criticizing Putin for staging an event to highlight his save-the-whale credentials while state-controlled oil-firm Rosneft threatens a population nearby.

“As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today helped scientists research the gray whale… Rosneft, continues its two-month seismic survey in the nearby shallow waters off Sakhalin Island… which gravely threatens a subpopulation of those same whales,” IFAW said in a statement.

Rosneft, managed by close allies of Putin, is undertaking seismic surveys to the east of Russia’s Sakhalin island, blasting sound at the sea bed to map its geology.

Environmentalists say the surveys disturb female whales who rely on a strip of shallow water teach their calves to feed.

Third terror suspect was ‘Canadian Idol’ contestant

The Star – By Michelle Shephard

OTTAWA— Two people were arrested Wednesday afternoon and a third terrorism suspect– one who moonwalked across a Montreal stage during an audition for Canadian Idol – was detained early Thursday, the Star has learned.

Khuram Sher was arrested as part of an RCMP national security investigation, as police continue to investigate a possible cell allegedly plotting to attack targets at home.

Sher told judges on the popular reality show in 2008 that he hailed from Pakistan and was a fan of “hockey, music and acting.”

He sings an off-tune rendition of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” with – as the show’s website describes – some “nifty” dance moves.

“Have you ever thought of being a comedian?” asks one of the judges of the 26-year-old.

Another remarks: “The dance moves were good, the singing, bad.”

One source close to the investigation said Sher was actually a Canadian-born physician and graduate of McGill University – quite a different persona from goofy contestant wearing a traditional Pakistani shalwar kameez and pakul hat as he performs robot dance moves and a Michael Jackson moonwalk.

Two other alleged members of the group police believe were trying to form a local terrorism cell appeared in an Ottawa court Thursday.

Hiva Alizadeh, 36, is charged with conspiracy, committing an act for terrorism purposes and providing or making available properties for terrorism purposes.

The tall, thin Alizadeh appeared in court wearing a bushy beard and glasses, with a knitted skull cap and an open-neck checked shirt.

Misbahuddin Ahmed is charged with conspiracy and other unspecified terrorism charges. Ahmed, who was born in 1983 and stands about five feet, 10 inches tall, wore a dark, neatly trimmed beard and a beige pullover in court.

“He is in shock. That’s all I can say,” Ahmed’s Ottawa lawyer Ian Carter told reporters after the appearance.

Sean May, lawyer for Alizadeh, said the charges against his client were very serious.

“He seems to be taking the matter seriously and obviously very concerned about it,” May told reporters.

“They are very serious charges, no question about that. They are the most serious charges you can face except for a murder charge,” he said.

Both men were put over for a video appearance on Sept. 1.

Ottawa’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team had been tracking the men for months and one of the suspects is alleged to have ties to high-level Al Qaeda affiliates abroad, sources close to the case told the Toronto Star.

Known as “Project Samosa,” the RCMP investigation reportedly began with intelligence passed on by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The plot involved Canadian targets but was not “specific,” said a police source, adding that the arrests happened quickly since one suspect was planning to travel abroad. The alleged ringleader had reportedly travelled earlier to the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan in search of training.

A news conference in Ottawa is scheduled for Thursday.

Ahmed had worked for two years as a general radiography technologist at Ottawa’s Hospital Civic Campus.

Guy Morency, the hospital’s director of diagnostic imaging, told the Star in an interview that Ahmed was a “stellar technologist.”

“We’ve had no complaints about him,” he said.

Morency said he had only met Ahmed a couple of times in meetings and described him as rather “nondescript.” But he did recall that Ahmed was able to provide “excellent” references from Montreal before he was hired.

“We were very pleased with what we heard and received and he has proven himself since.”

Morency, who was on vacation this week, said he would go into the hospital Thursday to speak with the department’s employees.

“Obviously this is going to be upsetting for a lot of people.”

Neighbours living on the west-end cul-de-sac where the 26-year-old suspect lived with his wife and baby said the raid was shocking.

“I live two doors down. It’s very scary,” said neighbour Janice Burtt.

Burtt said she believed the young Muslim couple had lived in the townhouse for about six months.

“I’d wave and say hello but I don’t think they gestured to me at all,” she said.

Nathan Aubie, who lived beside Ahmed, said he had only seen the couple three or four times but that “they seemed like friendly people.”

A second location, a seven-storey apartment complex about five kilometres away, was also raided early Wednesday. The windows of the apartment police searched were covered with patterned embroidery and five police cruisers still idled outside the building late in the day.

Some within Canada’s Muslim community said they were angered by Wednesday’s arrests, while others cautioned against indicting the accused before any evidence is known…


And jd way to “have the biggest upset in political history” – how bout them apples?

12:26 AM Aug 25th via mobile web

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11 Chapters Meghan McCain’s Editor Axed From Dirty Sexy Politics

‘Debate Marriage Proposal’ Segment Goes From Sweet to Awkward…to Weird

Mediaite – By Tommy Christopher

On MSNBC Live this morning, anchor Tom Roberts thought he was introducing an airy bit of news cotton candy in the story of Providence, RI mayoral candidate Chris Young’s mid-debate marriage proposal to girlfriend Kara Russo. The segment turned awkward in a hurry, though, as Young proceeded to read disjointed talking points off of a crib sheet.

The charm wore off when Young began a weird diatribe about “the Church,” coached his fiancée to say “just like Jesus,” and revealed that the whole thing was a defense of opposite marriage. The real surprise, though, is how MSNBC could have been so caught off guard.

You see, Young ended Wednesday sweetly proposing marriage during a live debate, but he began it by administering some singing-as-aversion-therapy to a local morning show host. Had poor Tom Roberts’ producer bothered to read Mediaite yesterday, he might have been prepared for the awkwardness. A quick Google search would also have revealed that Young was ejected from a July debate for showing up with a statue of the Virgin Mary…


Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm.
I’ve been kicked around since I was born.
And now it’s all right, it’s O.K.
And you may look the other way.
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man.
Whether you’re a brother
Or whether you’re a mother,
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Feel the city breakin’
And ev’rybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.

Life goin’ nowhere.
Somebody help me.
Somebody help me, yeah.
Life goin’ nowhere.
Somebody help me, yeah.
Stayin’ alive

The Heritage Foundation Video

Fred Thompson has enjoyed a remarkable career in Hollywood and politics, but when he sat down to write a memoir about how he got to be the person he is, he discovered that his best stories all seemed to come out of the years he spent growing up in and around his hometown of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.

In Teaching the Pig to Dance, you will find reflections as hilarious as they are honest and warm.  Thompson touches on the influences – family, hometown neighbors and teachers, team sports, jobs, romances, and personal crises – that molded his character, his politics, and the way he looks at life today.  And, more than anyone else from those days though, he remembers his mom and dad, who instilled in him a belief that kids are shaped most of all by the love and support they can take for granted.

Teaching the Pig to Dance will delight those who admire the author, along with all those who just love to hear rollicking but unforgettable stories about growing up in a place where, as one of the local old timers put it, “We weren’t big enough to have a town drunk, so a few of us had to take turns.”

Fred Thompson served eight years as a United States Senator from Tennessee (1995-2003), and in 2008 he sought the Republican nomination for President of the United States.  Earlier in his career he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Tennessee and in 1973 served as Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee.  He has appeared in numerous movies as well as television’s Emmy Award-winning series Law & Order.  Currently, he hosts The Fred Thompson Show, a daily radio talk show produced by Westwood One.

American Advisors Group Announces Senator Fred Thompson as National Reverse Mortgage Spokesperson

As part of American Advisors Group’s strategic growth plans to be the largest private national reverse mortgage lender in the country, AAG has secured former Senator Fred Thompson as the company’s spokesman. Thompson, an accomplished attorney, actor, author and commentator, is among America’s most recognized and respected national figures. He remains active in politics and the national debate, and hosts a nationally syndicated radio show. Earlier this week, his memoir about growing up in Tennessee, “Teaching the Pig to Dance” (Crown) was released. As spokesman for AAG, Thompson will provide the credibility, integrity, and policy knowledge needed to ensure the longevity and growth of reverse mortgages, an important financial tool for seniors.

Thompson said, “I am proud to join AAG’s efforts. In this tough economic climate, it’s important that America’s seniors know all their options, and have the facts they need to make informed decisions about their financial and retirement futures. Reverse mortgages present opportunities for seniors to stay in their homes and enjoy their retirements, and I look forward to informing America’s seniors of the benefits of this often misunderstood financial product.”

CEO of AAG, Reza Jahangiri, said: “We are delighted to have Senator Thompson on board and know this will be a game changer – not just for AAG but for the reverse mortgage industry as a whole. AAG looks forward to Senator Thompson helping take our brand, company and industry to the next level.” He and his experience will be invaluable as AAG further develops their reverse mortgage platform in the coming months.

“I’m excited to begin working with AAG. Reverse mortgage can be a viable and safe financial resource for a number of individuals who are looking for different financial options as they enter what should be a rewarding new stage in their lives,” said Thompson.

Fred Thompson Wants Poor Old People to Buy Sleazy, Gov’t-Backed Reverse Mortgages

Gawker – By Jim Newell

This sleazy ad has been on cable news all day. Former presidential candidate and country bear Fred Thompson wants old people to get “Absolutely FREE,” government-backed reverse mortgages. What do we know about this shady company Thompson is endorsing?

First of all, did you know that reverse or “lifetime” mortgages are the hot new thing for investors lookin’ for a high yield on mortgages-backed securities? It’s true! MarketWatch tells us this today. Basically, people over 62 tap into equity on houses that they own, or have a lot of equity in. (We’re going to go out on a limb and suggest that these standards may slide as time goes on?) The upfront fees have gone down in recent years, and the idea is that old people, who have to contend with rising health and cost-of-retirement issues in their golden years, can get long-term loans to pay for stuff and then just leave their spoiled children to sell off the homes at (hopefully!) higher prices after they die, which they will. They always do.

Oh right, and they’re government-backed! That’s how investors get paid. (Fred Thompson, a true Fiscal Conservative, makes a big point of this “full government backup” in his terrible ad.)

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners who are 62 years old or older and own their homes outright or have a substantial amount of home equity, according to the HUD site. The vast majority of reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, through the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.

The reduced fees on reverse mortgages are a result of another important industry development: investor demand for securities backed by those mortgages, Bell said. These securities are backed by Ginnie Mae, based on a reverse mortgage insured by the FHA, he said, and with that combination, “you have a very secure investment.”

THERE’S NO RISK! Oh god. This is going to blow up the economy again, isn’t it? Like, within a week, right?

114,692 reverse mortgages were made in fiscal year 2009, compared to 157 in 1990, when people had actual money.

But would ex-Senator Fred Thompson, America’s most trustworthy conservative political figure, endorse financial products from a company of sleazy repute?

It just so happens that this company, American Advisors Group, was sued by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in February:

Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed lawsuits against two mortgage brokers for using unfair and deceptive marketing practices to solicit seniors for reverse mortgages.

“These companies used extremely misleading language in their advertising, sometimes even disguising their loans as government benefits that borrowers don’t have to repay,” said Madigan. Many consumers have reported that they didn’t even know these offers were for reverse mortgages or a loan of any kind added Madigan.

They were saying that Obama will give them free money, essentially. At least Fred Thompson omitted the word “Obama,” who is a communist.

And two years ago, the state of Massachusetts gave AAG a cease-and-desist order for deceptive marketing practices.

So when all of these old people die and suddenly their kids can’t sell their houses to make up the $1 million they owe on their $400,000 homes, blame Fred Thompson entirely. Also: if you’re going to get a reverse mortgage, find a good lawyer, maybe? No, not Fred Thompson!

Business Contact and Profile for National Express, Inc.

Hearing Review: The effect of direct-mail and PSAP devices on the custom hearing aid market

Related Links:

Wiki: Reverse mortgage

HUD GOV:  Top Ten Things to Know if You’re Interested in a Reverse Mortgage

Senior Living:  Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?

New Retirement: Reverse Mortgages

Consumer Affairs: American Advisor Group

Mortgage Fraud Blog: Two Reverse Mortgage Brokers Sued For Deceptive Practices

Mother Jones: Law & Order: Mortgage Victims Unit (Starring Fred Thompson)

Reverse Mortgage Daily:  Reverse Mortgage Lender Raises $4 Million, Gears Up For Expansion

National Mortgage Professional: American Advisors Group launches new reverse Web site for seniors

LA Times (2007):  An awkward ad by Fred Thompson