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Tag Archives: national

People of the United States and likely elsewhere across the world put shame upon the People’s Republic of China when it was discovered the young girl who appeared to be singing for the opening ceremony had only been lip syncing. The girl who was actually singing had been deemed not beautiful enough to represent the country. One became a heroine, the other became a “role model” for proper Chinese conduct. A similar shame should be relinquished to the United States. Students in China may sometimes blindly praise Mao Zedong (River Town by Peter Hessler), but in the U.S. students are taught to blindly believe in the goodness of past presidents. George Washington went from “chopping down a cherry tree” to perfect leader. There are other examples of false perceptions in the U.S. as well. Martin Luther King Jr. is appraised qualities of sainthood by the education system. Indeed his feats were great, but he also struggled at times too. In fact, the NAACP felt so strongly about perceptions that it determined who the heroine of the Civil Rights movement would be. Before Rosa Parks took a stand (or more literally, a seat) against racism, another woman took a similar action. The NAACP considered a legal challenge, but one problem arose: the woman was unmarried and pregnant (Soul of a Citizen by Paul Rogat Loeb).

Shawne Merriman will go through with season ending surgery after trying to play through a knee injury. What did he expect? Doctors repeatedly told him that not only was his season at risk, but his career was put at risk by attempting to play with such an injury. Then he comes out, plays, and says he didn’t feel right. Did he expect to be Super Man? Not playing is certain to make him unhappy, but dealing with the injury is the best option he has. The San Diego Chargers will survive without him in a conference that is becoming less and less of a powerhouse. The teams should remain competitive for the division with the Denver Broncos, and at least achieve a wild card spot. And in the playoffs anything can happen…

The best quarterbacks always seem to fit a certain mold. They aren’t the most athletic, or the strongest out there, but they know how to play. The quarterback position is dominated by ‘white’ players, while more traditionally athletic positions are dominated by ‘black’ players. These other positions require less know how, and more pure talent. All of the best players at almost every position except QB, OL, K, and P, are down the line ‘black.’ But ‘black’ players often struggle at the quarterback position in the NFL. Most of the ‘black’ quarterbacks try to force athleticism to be more important at this position than know-how. The list is failed, or failing, athletic ‘black’ quarterbacks is mounting. The number one case is Michael Vick, who in my opinion, couldn’t throw a lick compared to the other starting quarterbacks in the league.  Being able to run so well is good, but in the NFL at the QB position the ability to perform in the pocket will always be more important unless there are drastic rule changes. The best ‘black’ quarterback I have seen, by far, is Donovan McNabb.  When he first came into the league he was the stereotypical running ‘black’ quarterback, but he learned and developed into a very good QB. When speaking about the best all-time black QB, Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, and Doug Williams must be put into the equation. Of these, and of all ‘black’ quarterbacks, only Doug Williams has a Super Bowl ring as a starter. He wasn’t the most talented quarterback, but he played the position well. There are today a number of ‘black’ quarterbacks who have an opportunity to break the mold: JaMarcus Russell, David Garrard, Vince Young and Tavaris Jackson among others. But they have to learn not to rely on athleticism, and to use their skill as a passer, manager of the game, and leader.

In his acceptance speech, Obama referred to Democrats as the party of Roosevelt. He was right…assuming he meant FDR and not distant cousin Teddy. This small mistake seems to have been easily overlooked by the press, but would someone who knows presidential history actually announce the democratic party as such. It isn’t the same as saying the party of Kennedy because the name is almost strictly associated with the Democratic party. The Republicans have just as much claim to the name Roosevelt as the Democrats.

Also, I wonder if anyone picked up on Obama’s direct reference to the work of MLK. The day of the speech being the 40th anniversary of King’s I Have A Dream speech, Obama paraphrased King in his line about Republicans forcing people to pick themeselves up by their own bootstraps, even though they might not have any.

The day before his dream became reality, Lt. Caleb Campbell was told to put it in the back of his mind for at least two years. The Army took a step back on a policy that had allowed Campbell to be drafted into the NFL by the Detroit Lions. He and the team was informed the day before the start of training camp. The purpose of allowing graduates of a military academy to pursue professional sports is publicity, but apparently the Army sought even more publicity. It is very likely the Army knew the position on policy even before Campbell was drafted, and had they informed him and the NFL then, there would have been no publicity on the issue. Instead, they wait until the whole nation knows about Campbell to revoke his chance to play in the NFL immediately. Yes, he acquired a duty to his nation by going to a military academy, but that does not mean he should be used as a mere tool. If the Army wanted him to perform his military duties rather than serve as a means to publicity, it was their responsibility to make the decision in a timely fashion.

On the same issue, but not as important; will the Detroit Lions receive any reimbursement. They drafted Campbell under the assumption he would be able to play. By the time Campbell’s service is complete, they will have no right to him as a player. Drafted him was a risk, but they had all been informed, at the time, that he would be able to play.

Autism has a rate of about 1 per every couple hundred births, and yet I had never known or seen anyone with a confirmed case until I volunteered at a pediatriac emergency ward. New research gives more hope for better treatments and better care. It has been determined that some of the genes involved in the expression of autism are stuck in the “off” position but not missing completely. This shows that working hard with individuals diagnosed with autism can be successful in helping them make improvements. According to the AP, It seems that the brain of a person with autism cannot properly create new connections. I’m not sure if it means actual physical-neurological connections or mental connections of events, learned material, etc.