19 March, 2006

With the original 64 pared down to the Sweet 16, what does your bracket look like? Mine isn’t looking too bad.. I’m 34 and 14 through the first two rounds. I should be doing better.. going against my better judgment, I picked Big East Champs, Syracuse.. I should have known better.. Guess I got caught up in the way they played in the meaningless conference tournament..

Now, they did do something that has never been done in the Big East, no team who didn’t have the first round bye has won the tournament. But they had to win at least 2 games to make it to the Big Dance, the only team that actually would have benefited from beating the Orange was possibly Georgetown, but they made the tournament anyway.. they may have slipped a seed or two, but they are doing fine as a seven seed.

Every year, between selection Sunday, and the first tip just after noon on Thursday, everyone talks about who got the shaft, and who got lucky, and which conferences were snubbed, and which ones got to many teams in. A lot of the talking heads were saying the Big East was over estimated by getting a record 8 teams into the dance, including two number one seeds.. This talk increased when they were 0-3 after the first day. Things got better after a 5-0 second day.

All in all, the first 4 days of the tournament has had some fantastic games, and one can only hope the remaining rounds are as entertaining.

06 March, 2006

I’m not sure what bugs me more.. the fact that the lead story this morning was the Oscars, or that it was above the fold on the front page.

Listening to the news talk station this morning, the lead story for each ½ hour news update was results from the Academy Awards last night. Now I understand that this year was the first time that a Rochester area person has won the ‘Best Actor’ award. I understand that the glory hungry residents of this area need to look to be in the national media where ever they can find it.. let’s face it, It’s been a long time since Arthur Shawcross or the Brinks Heist was in the news. Before Capote was nominated, did the rest of the country know who Phillip Seymor Hoffman (he’s the guy that sharted in that Ben Stiller debacle Along Came Polly) is or that he is from Rochester?

I guess it goes to the voyeuristic nature of the American culture. As for me, I found better things to do than watch rich, stuck-up people having fun and congratulating each other about movies that I have little to no interest in.

If I really cared about the awards, I would get into the fact that the ‘artists’ who brought us “It’s tough out there for a Pimp” now have more Academy Awards (1) than Martin Scorsese (0). But why should I care about meaningless awards for which I will never be in contention to win, or even be nominated for.

The thing that bugs me is that other stories are being pushed back; Stories that have more bearing on day-to-day life in the area. Stories such as the RPD officer that was forced to use his gun to defend his life and the life of the husband of the allegedly high wife who came at Officer Jeffery Lafave with a knife got pushed below the fold.

Let me paint the picture from what I have pieced together from news reports. Two of Rochester’s finest responded to a domestic disturbance call, to an address that RPD officers have responded to on several occasions. The officer felt either his life, or the lives of other civilians was in danger, so he did what he was trained to do. One shot, center-mass.

And now her family is suing the department.

More and more, the good guys are being painted as the bad guys. It’s getting tougher and tougher for good cops to keep the streets safe. Their hands are being tied in a number of ways, and when the get close to the line, the ACLU whack-jobs cry foul. How can we expect to be kept safe, if those charged to do so are not able to do their jobs?

Now, David Patterson is doing what he can to hand-cuff the men and women in blue of this state even further. Dave is a state senator from Harlem, who is likely to join Spitzer in Albany. He is proposing a bill that would change the way Police Academies train. He is proposing a new charge that could be levied to police officers that are forced to use deadly force in the line of duty. Instead of shooting to stop or kill, they will have to aim for the arm or leg or another non-fatal target on the perp. If a cop is involved in a fatal shooting, under this proposed law, the officer would be charged with second degree manslaughter.

Yep, that’s right. The cop would go to jail for doing their job of protecting the innocent.

When will it stop? Who knows, but it is clear that the government seems to think that we are not smart enough to run our own lives.