busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Saturday, January 28, 2017

    and now, Dan Rather 

    Today I shed a tear for the country I know and love, the one I believe still beats in the heart of most of its citizens.

    The United States became the most powerful nation in the history of mankind not merely on the basis is its fearsome military, as lethal and well trained as that may be. It wasn’t solely based on its unprecedented economic engine, as dynamic and far-reaching as that may be. America’s greatness was forged by a Constitutional compact of grand and universal ideals that the country has tried to live up to ever since.

    For generations, we have been an imperfect but vital beacon of freedom to a world too often wandering and failing in moral confusion. But that ultimate strength has dimmed considerably in light of the recent actions on immigration from the new President Donald Trump. We are turning around desperate refugees. We are singling out men, women, and children on the basis of their faith – and we are doing all of this with a randomness and capriciousness that defies reason.

    A colleague of mine used the term “heartless” to describe so much ot the President’s executive actions. Sadly, I found it an apt and dispiriting diagnosis—especially when faced with the results of his executive order on immigration. For over the years, I have seen that our greatest American leaders extol empathy rather than condemnation. They have known that in a complicated world, it is best to make policy choices with a scalpel – not a hacksaw. Sometimes, when our national security is threatened at the level of World War II, all-out conflict is the only recourse. But those instances are by far the exception.

    From Vietnam, to the Iraq War, from Japanese internment camps to the centuries-long persecution on the basis of race and ethnicity that almost toppled our democratic experiment, broad strokes channeling our least compassionate and most jingoistic impulses have always made us weaker rather than stronger.

    Today, in the wake of his one-man decision to wreck and reverse immigration policy so suddenly, there is chaos and confusion mixed with heartbreak and fear. A well thought-out, measured overhaul of immigration policy, with organized-in-advance measures to implement that is one thing—and one that perhaps a majority of Americans would support, But this mess, created overnight, is quite another. With this, we have embolden our enemies who want to see nothing else than to compete in a world of moral relativism. In the Cold War, our struggles over civil rights fed into the propaganda of the Soviet Union – as our new actions fuel the extremism Mr. Trump claims to be attacking.

    Too many people during the campaign explained away Mr. Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric as metaphors and euphemisms. These are not concepts he understands. Serious foreign policy experts know that this is a boon for our enemies and undermines our democratic principles. But too many Republican leaders in Congress, even ones that denounced the Muslim ban during the campaign, stand by cheering it now. History will mark their names, as it marks this moment.

    This will be challenged in the courts, who may very well strike it down. But damage, real damage, has been done to our global image. I believe Vladimir Putin is smiling, and would-be global powers like China see a vacuum forming that they will be eager to fill.

    I still remain optimistic that the vast majority of American people will recoil and speak out at this unwise policy. But whether we like it or not, as the detentions and impediments already springing up make all too real, this is the stated de facto policy of the United States today. Every day that it goes on, every day the chaos, confusion and heartbreak deepens, America loses more pieces of its soul and standing in the world.

    — Dan Rather

  2. Sunday, May 3, 2015

    Boxing expert Patrick Pitt on last night’s Mayweather win 

    Rarely does the busblog hand over the mic to a guest blogger, but when it comes to boxing there are very few who know as much and are as eloquent as Canada’s own Patrick Pitt. These are his words:

    Last night at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas Floyd Mayweather won a unanimous decision against multi -Division titlelist Manny Pacquaio. Casual fans are disappointed at forking over money for what they believe was an inflated PPV ticket, and media outlets that rarely cover the game are once again declaring the end of boxing as they take the unsolicited request to revisit writing the fight game’s eulogy.

    I could’ve written that in 2009, when the fight was being contemplated.

    Bey and Jay at the fight

    I’ve been tracking the career of Pac-Man since I saw him on the undercard of Lewis – Tyson. Interestingly that was the first and only time prior to last night that HBO and Showtime shared a card. Casual fans won’t understand the relevance of Jimmy Lennon Jr’s trademark “It’s Showtime” and Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble” sharing the same intro formalities; but to hardcore fight fans it’s like seeing Batman team up with Wolverine!

    It’s also worth noting that boxing was written off when Lewis beat Tyson, but knowledgable fans knew that that was the inevitable outcome then too. Tyson apologists (the ancestors of the Pac-Man fan base) blamed Tyson’s age (Lewis was but one year younger), but the truth has always been, but not exclusive to the following:

    1. Boxers tend to beat sluggers;
    2. A good big man beats a good smaller man;
    3. Having a fight style that puts defence ahead of crowd pleasing tends to lend itself to longevity at the championship level.

    mayweather punching pac-man

    That’s why Mayweather beating Manny was predictable. That’s why Floyd was an odds on favourite in Vegas. Thats why opponents who had fought both Manny and Floyd picked Floyd. That’s why Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, and Bob Arum are making excuses so as to secure a 9-figure rematch.

    And that’s why casual fans have no right to whine. Remember when boxing was done when a black man named Jack Johnson beat Tommy Burns and Jim Jefferies to break the real colour barrier in sports? Remember when boxing was dead after the influence of the mob? Or when an outspoken kid from Kentucky declared himself better than Joe Louis and Sonny Liston? (Hilarious that some today take issue with Floyd doing that to Ali!) remember when boxing was dead when Ali, Foreman and Frazier left us with Holmes, Hagler, Duran, Hearns and Leonard? Yeah that totally sucked.

    mike tyson at the mayweather fight

    Who would fill their shoes? Just Kid Dynamite, later Iron Mike. When he went to jail though, that was to be the TRUE end. Then he came out and list to Evander Holyfield. This time we mean it! Boxings over! Don king killed it!

    Enter the cross over icon in Oscar De La Hoya, who cleaned house from 130-154lbs. However when Oscar lost to Floyd and Manny, allegedly there was only one fight left.

    And because on a grand stage that broke financial records twice over, we didn’t get a UFC Big Mac mash up, but we’re instead were treated to a game of chess played on a filet mignon, boxings done again.

    mayweather champ

    If you wanted Ali Frazier 3 there was nothing leading up to this to suggest you would be getting that. I predicted a unanimous decision by Floyd over Pacquiao because Floyd is a once in lifetime specimen.

    His undefeated record, like Pacquiao’s, is riddled with not just boxing legends, but hall of famers. While many hoped Manny would catch Floyd with a lucky shot, they didn’t understand that Floyd actually has a great chin, you’ve just never seen it because he rarely gets caught solid. They also hoped he was getting slower with age, and like Pacquiao, he has! But when you were as quick as Roy Jones Jr full of laxatives, you can afford to slow a little.

    mayweather falling

    Skill? They’re both skilled, but Floyd in addition to having superior ring generalship, was an Olympian. Manny wasn’t. For the uninitiated fan here’s a secret, having 100 plus amateur bouts matters! You learn to do things by the book when the unorthodox tricks fail to fool your opponent. Ali, De LaHoya, Leonard, Lewis, Holyfield, Patterson, Jones Jr – Olympians all.

    They say speed goes first and power goes last, that was Pacquiao’s other hope, that Floyd would get old over night. That his brittle hands would come back. No such luck.

    Pacquiao

    Manny won some rounds and that’s to his credit. As I said his record suggests he is something special. His first championship strap was won at 112lbs. He’s been adding pounds and titles for years. But Mayweather is the naturally bigger man, meaning the power factor was closer to even than anyone in Manny’s camp would want to admit.

    He might’ve employed some of the strategy that Jose Luis Castillo employed in losing a close controversial decision to Floyd many years ago. Just one problem with that strategy. Floyd learned from that win and best Castillo handily in the rematch.

    That’s the thing folks. He evolves.

    635662106651495828-AP-Mayweather-Pacquiao-Boxin-6-

    So the end result is inevitable and you may not like it. A wife beating megalomaniac who shows little respect for the game and it’s greats won 9 figures in a payday and further cemented his place in Canastota’s hallowed halls.

    He’s damn good and might very well be better than Ray Robinson and Ali’s place on the all time list.

    You don’t have to like it. Few liked Ty Cobb.

    However if you want to be a true fan, don’t fight it. Don’t blame the sport or pick up the chisel for its epitaph.

    You’re embarrassing yourself like so many before you.

    635662106643072422-AP-Mayweather-Pacquiao-Boxin-5-2-

    So what if you saw a pitchers duel instead of a home run derby. A game of chess instead of checkers.

    …a boxing match instead of a UFC circus…

    Embrace it. You’re witness to greatness. You can tell your kids you saw a match between two of the greatest if not the greatest.

    If that medicine is bitter to go down, just look up Gatti-Ward round 9 on YouTube. (You’re welcome).

    That match was free and not for any belt. That’s what you were looking for, and while special in its own right, is not impossible to find on any given card.

    – Patrick Pitt

  3. Saturday, March 15, 2014

    another guest post by Chicago Uber driver Scott Van Maldegiam 

    scott and charlie from chicago hopeLast Saturday night, I picked up 4 women in Lincoln Park and drove them to Lottie’s Pub. They were very fun and included me in their conversation.

    I couldn’t tell you what we talked about except at the very end.

    They mentioned that someone named “Charlie” was going to be there.

    It was obvious from the way they were talking that they believed this person to be important or famous.

    I asked “Charlie who?”

    They said a guy on Chicago Fire.

    I was skeptical until we pulled up a short time later and saw the actor that plays Peter Mills on Chicago Fire standing outside Lottie’s.

    I watch the show occasionally, but my wife and son watch it every week.

    I knew I needed to get a picture with him.

    He was a super nice guy and was more than happy to have his picture taken with me.

    I haven’t driven any famous people yet, so this is as close as I have gotten so far.

    If you are an Uber driver and have an interesting story or two to tell, and you want it posted on the world famous busblog, feel free to email it to me here at busblog at gmail dot com