29 May, 2008

Do You Remember when New York was one of the United States?

I don't think that I do.

I seem remember being taught in US History and in the various government classes I've taken that when the US Constitution was written, that there were 3 distinct branches of the government. They set it up that way so one branch wouldn't get too powerful. It was set up as a 'checks and balances' system.

These 3 branches were given specific responsibilities. The legislature makes the laws, the executive enforces the laws and the judicial makes sure the laws are fair.

Here in NY, the lines between the branches have blurred beyond recognition. The judicial branch seems to think that they can make the laws.

Specifically I'm referring to the recent ruling that NY must recognize gay marriages entered into in other jurisdictions that allow them to be performed (i.e. Canada, MA or CA).

According to NYS law, such marriages are not legal to be performed, so why is it that something that is illegal to do in NY, would be approved of if it was done in another place, then transplanted here?

It would be like saying it is illegal to produce heroin in NY, but if it is legal to produce it somewhere else, you can bring it to NY to use it.

I think that the simplest way for the government to take care of the gay marriage thing is to have the government not recognize any marriage.

Think about it.. marriage was originally a religious institution. It was made a government institution by societies where the Church was the State.

22 May, 2008

Is Instant Replay the Answer?

Human error has been a part of sports since the beginning. In this age of technology, several sports leagues have embraced the advances and used them in an attempt to improve the game.

The NFL was one of the first to do so, the NBA and NHL have followed suit. Instant replay even has a place in Tennis.

The big hold out is MLB.

The main argument against it is the same thing that comes up any time a change to the game is suggested.. in a word, Tradition.

Other arguments include slowing an already slow game, the delay would be a detriment to the pitcher (potentially injury causing) and more.

In a recent game between the NY Mets and the NY Yankees in Yankee Stadium, Carlos Delgado was robbed of a 3 run homerun when the homeplate umpire overruled a call from the 3rd base umpire. He, upon seeing the replay after the game, admitted that he made the wrong call. Now, this didn't make a difference in the game (the Mets won 11-2), but it isn't the first time that a call has been missed.

Here's what I propose.. Only use it when it will decide whether a run will score (i.e. fair or foul for homeruns or close calls at the plate).

Don't use it to challenge the strike zone, don't use it to see if a player beat a throw at first, don't use it to see if a fielder caught the ball or not. These are part of the game, and often have little to no bearing on the outcome of a game.

Also, there should be a time limit to the time taken to review a play. A few minutes should be all that is requisite to decide. If not, the original call stands. Only the managers and the umpire crew chief can call for a review, and each manager can only call for 2 per game.

Should there be a penalty if the call is not overturned? Perhaps, but it's not like you can take away a time-out like in the NFL. Taking away an out is a bit harsh.

I think that there is a way to make instant replay work. It can be done without being a drag on the game.

05 May, 2008

Who is Right?

It happens every election season.

Candidates pandering for votes throw out empty promises in an attempt to show that they are the better choice than the other guy.

In the face of ever elevating prices, 2 of the 3 candidates for have suggested rolling back the Federal gas tax for the summer. One says that it is short sighted.. that it will leave the coffers to empty. Another says that we can make up for it by taxing the record profits from the oil companies.

If you ask me, that is the short sighted idea. Let's call a spade a spade. Corporations don't pay taxes.

Oh sure, they make payments to the government, but where do you think the money comes from? They look at taxes as operating expenses. These operating expenses are passed on to the cost to the consumers.

Here's an idea, waive the Federal gas tax and make up for lost revenue by not burning tax dollars with that misguided idea that corn ethanol will save the world. That will solve 2 problems with one solution..

Don't get me wrong, I am all for renewable energy sources, as long as they are commercially viable. If corn ethanol was going to work, someone would have figured out a way to make it without taking tax dollars to develop it.