When you read stories like this its easy to become frustrated with the political process and supposed media "watch dogs" who provide cover for their friends at every turn, or like in this case - lose the guts to criticize them in fear of retribution.
GQ magazine should be ashamed of itself for not having the courage to run a story about the infighting in the Clinton camp after learning that running it would kill their access to Bill Clinton. So who is worse? The spinless, liberal media, or the Clintons for their strong arm tactics? Why is it that conservatives and moderates can't seem to find the leverage to kill stories that embarrass them?
Well, today the editors and staff at GQ should be embarrassed.
The funny thing is that this magazine is supposed to be a men's magazine. Who wants to read a men's magazine run by a bunch of girly-men?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
When you read stories like this its easy to become frustrated with the political process and supposed media "watch dogs" who provide cover for their friends at every turn, or like in this case - lose the guts to criticize them in fear of retribution.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Alas, this is the final week for West Hartfordites to be able to load up their front lawn with lots extra trash before we convert to the new Automated Trash Collection process set to begin on October 1st. If you have a dozen questions about the process - the link above answers many of them.
My take on the policy is very mixed, but I think I'm slightly leaning toward being disappointed by the change.
On one hand, if this new automated trash policy reduces cost to the town and on taxpayers than I can see the need to move to automation as a fiscal strategy to reduce expenses (and I have no information that we are going to see cost savings by the projected numbers, so if you have this information please comment below or provide a link).
But on the other hand, I'm disappointed that I won't be able to put a lot of the "extras" out on my lawn that don't normally fit into a regular 28 gallon trash barrel or the new 95 gallon trash barrel (to be provided) which the garbage men today have no qualms about picking up and throwing in the truck. And moreover, during holidays and when we have events, our garbage increases 10 fold - I hope that I can cram all of my trash into the barrell provided. I have no intention of pestering my neighbors to add to theirs as Dana Hallenbeck suggests you do if you have days where trash doesn't fit into your barrel.
One of the points that irks me is that some families are larger than others and therefore have more trash per week than others. People with infants and children will clearly have more trash then say two-adult families, and people with five family members will have more trash than those with only three persons in residence. The 95 gallon barrel is a one size fits all solution that is obviously impractical.
Further, West Hartford's solution for days that you have more trash than you can fit in your barrel is to purchase another barrel at $85 a year. Since we pay-mega taxes in West Hartford, you'd think the town would and should cover the cost of the additional barrel if you have the need. Obviously, the town shouldn't pay for everyone to have two 95 gallon barrels but there could be some type of program to address the discrepancy of volume.
I think the biggest disappointment with regard to the new trash policy is that we can no longer take our fallen tree limbs, or shrub clippings - cut them up, and bundle them along side our barrels for pick up. The town expects you to cut them up small enough to be placed in the 95 gallon barrel along with the rest of your trash.
So there we have it. Until we use our barrel for at least a month, we won't be able to fully evaluate the impact. So until then, the jury is out. In the meantime, West Hartfordites should be seen in a frenzy this weekend preparing for the Fall clean out, and their last opportunity to unload their junk for free.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
It's been a busy weekend. There's not much I can add at this point to what was a full schedule of general activity. I failed to get the lawn mowed, but what a pity. Somethings just have to fall by the wayside, don't they? So, I'm sitting back at this late hour and enjoying a Spaten Beer, and lamenting the fact that it's past my bedtime and I have to get up to start the week cycle all over again.
The weekends' refereeing went exceedingly well, and the games were a pleasure to officiate. One thing West Hartford can be proud of is how well its youth presents itself out on the field of play. Parents of West Hartford can take note that whatever they are doing to instill decency and good behavior amongst the kids... well, they are doing it right, and aught to keep on doing it. This kids are making you proud.
Next week, we'll start heating it up on this blog once again. I have some great material going forward. We'll give it a whirl and see if we can keep in entertaining.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Welcome to Friday, and it feels so good.
I took the bold leap yesterday and opened up my new blog (http://englishsoccerfan.blogspot.com/) dedicated to English Soccer and the English Premier League (EPL). So over time, most references to the EPL will disappear from this blog and transfer to the new one. Some older Soccer-related articles may stay planted here as blogger isn't cut and paste friendly between your own blogs, and I found it easier to provide a link back to this blog as a substitute for all the work involved in fully transfering over all articles.
In any case, this is good news as this will provide me the opportunity to restructure and bring this blog back in line with its original intent which is to write on local issues, fun topics, make light of this and that, and practice creative writing. What happened was that as the European Soccer season started, I became more inclined to use the space to write about happenings in the EPL, and I've spent a lot of time writing on other local and topic specific blogs - pretty much neglecting The King's View. It's clear to me that blogging requires a set purpose or else your readership becomes confused about what to expect from you. So going forward that will change and I look forward to the opportunity to keep my readers of this blog... entertained.
I have to say that there have been some people out there in Blog-land that take themselves way too seriously. Not to be the pot calling the kettle black as I've gotten on my high horse at times over this or that, and I've even received some backlash over comments I've made. I think folks need to read blogs and take the writing in stride, unless they are a private person being personally attacked (politicians, media people, public groups, religious figures, and public figures like movies stars do not fall into the protected catagory - they are fair game). But here's the deal - my blog is not a public forum for debate about what I think. It's in fact only about what I think - thus it's The King's View, and not anyone elses. Anyone who thinks that my statement here is arrogant is clearly misguided. My blog is about what I think, and your blog (if you have one) is about what you think. That's the beauty of having a blog - which is being able to artistically present your thoughts to the world, uninhibited by translation, correction, or petty redicule by others on your own stage. This is not a news site, nor a source for facts. I make my fair share of gaffs and errors, but that's life kids.
I find the greatest problem with the blogging audience is the need for some to try to turn other people's blogs into their own creation, or use their comment section to promote their own agenda. Perhaps that's fine in a blog set up for debate or argument, but certainly not this one.
Lastly, I expect that people will disagree with me. And I've seen writings on other blogs - some of people I know - referencing this blog and voicing disagreement. I've even seen some people comment on blogs of people I know, who write comments about me as if they actually know me. It's funny that in some of these cases, by mental condition or by physical appearence, some of these people have no right to make fun of or criticize anyone. I recognize that some people live in Cyberspace 24/7. And they are loney knits. Many lack the social grace to interact with real humans on a face to face level, so either by webpage, chatroom, or blog they exist only as unfortunate characters behind HTML input files.
I have to say I do appreciate the readership and traffic beyond my original plan to "publish" my provocative, and often silly comments to a select group of friends and family, and I've far exceeded my own expectations regarding my audience. And I want to thank many of you who have been kind enough to either reference, or link your blog or webpage to this one. Going forward, we hope to make the links worthwhile and also repay the compliment.
I have two other blogs in the works - but they are only on my mental drawing board at this time. One is a family blog where I can post pictures and talk about the thing I actually care the most about - my family (which would be of little interest to 95% of you out there) and one dedicated to Marine/Boating lexicon, stories, weather, safety, tidal information, etc. As a person who loves the sea and spends a great deal of time in the waters of the Atlantic - I'm thrilled with the idea of such a site.
But I'm committed to trying to right this one before working on those. I'm working on "material" for this one and hoping that you'll enjoy the content going forward.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I found this blog this morning called hotenglishmagazine.com/blog a.k.a. Dr. Finger's Blog.
I was out in search of some additional articles on the fabulous win yesterday by Scotland over France, 1-0, and accidentally stumbled across his blog. It's nice to see a blog (unlike this one) that is so well organized and so well written.
So, in my moment of (what a lie... how about hours of endless) exultation over England's defeat of Russia, I forgot to comment over the far more significant story about Scotland's soccer victory.
In fact, shows like Fox Soccer Channel's simulcast of the Canadian-run soccer show All through the Night headlined the Scotland win as the number one story. And rightfully so. For Scotland to have marched into France, and play a team so well-respected in the football community as World Cup Champions, and pull out not only a win, but a defensive shut out is amazing to say the least. For the 2008 Euro qualifiers, Scotland defeated France both at home and now away which may just about guarantee their advancement to the next round. The Scots have something to really beat their chests about today. Congrats!
So as not to offend others on the British Isles, I should also report a fine victory by Wales yesterday over Slovakia. The story is here.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
So what can we expect from England today as they meet the Russian foe?
Uggggh! You can feel the anxiety across the bloody pond for this one.... and damn it, the best we can do over here with all of the lousy American sport channels that abound is ... GameCast on freaking ESPN's website. Now that's sick!! Not even Sentana is stepping up to air this one!
Here is some great commentary on today's match worth duplicating here (with proper credit to the originator):
Sky Sports writes:
The temptation will be for McClaren to embrace the old adage 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' and stick to the side which was ruthlessly efficient on Saturday but as he rightly pointed out, his selection choices will be either brave or foolish, depending on the result.
It is at the business end of the field that McClaren is posed with the biggest conundrum, as he weighs up whether to employ Peter Crouch - back from suspension - or stick with a rejuvenate Emile Heskey, who could afford a wry smile in the direction of his critics following what was a powerful and astute performance at the weekend.
Although McClaren has intimated that he is ready to tinker, given a congested treatment room, it seems likely he will keep faith with those that impressed against Israel.
In midfield he is spared the decision of whether to axe Gareth Barry, assured and polished against Israel, as Frank Lampard and Owen Hargreaves are both unavailable.
Steven Gerrard waxed lyrical over the Aston Villa schemer post-match on Saturday and freed from the shackles of having to rotate forward forays with Lampard, it could be the Liverpool man that proves the key at Wembley. Shaun Wright-Phillips, in tandem with the buccaneering
Micah Richards will hope to build on another strong display, while Joe Cole's return to the left side adds balance and experience.
Paul Robinson will be thankful Israel's attacking prowess was thoroughly derelict, but Russia are likely to pose more questions for a goalkeeper who McClaren has backed, despite widespread criticism from elsewhere, with David James championed for promotion from the bench.
Key to England's success, at least from a defensive perspective, will be nullifying the impact of Russia playmaker Andrei Arshavin, a player that will be looking to expose the absence of a recognised holding midfielder in the home side's line-up. Barry will be charged with the task of keeping a watchful eye.
Hiddink likes to employ a three-man backline and a solid bank of four in front, which allows Arshavin, of Zenit St Petersburg, licence to roam in the final third.
Third-choice keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev will line up between the posts, as regular No.1 Igor Akinfeev is injured and his deputy, Vladimir Gabulov, suspended after being sent off at the weekend against Macedonia.
Sky Sports on Heskey starting for England:
Steve McClaren has praised Emile Heskey's contribution against Israel, with the striker tipped to retain his England place against Russia.
Heskey made his first international appearance in three years when partnering Michael Owen in the weekend's 3-0 success over Israel at Wembley.
But, with Peter Crouch available after suspension, McClaren has been mulling over who will line up alongside Owen in Wednesday's crunch Euro 2008 qualifier with Russia.
Reports suggest McClaren will stick with Heskey up front and the England coach has been happy with the Wigan forward's form.
"I saw evidence of Heskey holding the ball up very, very well on Saturday and bringing players into the game," said McClaren.
"I saw him play against Newcastle for Wigan, and his appetite and attitude was one of the main reasons I brought him in.
"That's exactly what he showed against Israel. He's a handful for defenders when he plays like he did. He gave us an outlet.
"Emile didn't need any motivation. I've always found him to be very professional.
"He has matured with age and he showed that."
Russia coach Guus Hiddink claims a Wembley triumph over England on Wednesday night would leave him "nicely surprised".
The Dutchman insists England must be regarded as favourites for the Euro 2008 qualifier even though the visitors will kick off one place and one point ahead - and boast the tightest defence - in Group E.
Hiddink feels Steve McClaren's side is not as poor as some critics have suggested, particularly as their 2-0 loss in Croatia last October was brought about by a freak error by goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
He said: "If we were to win at Wembley I would be nicely surprised because England are regaining their position in the group.
"Before, they spoiled some points. When you see the Croatia game, the white line on the six-yard box was a little bit high and they conceded a goal.
"That might have given people a view away from their real strength, which I think has always been there.
"The friendly with Germany last month, although they lost it, they controlled and dominated the game. There were two lucky goals from Germany.
"Then they beat Israel. If you prevent opportunities against Israel then you do well. Steve McClaren is sticking to what he believes is right and the result of the last game proved he is on the right road."
Hiddink's Russia side was much less experienced, he added.
He said: "They have to get used to tough games. Some already are but as a group they are not used to playing , like the English players are, very competitive games every three or four days."
Russia beat Macedonia 3-0 on Saturday despite having goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov sent off.
Hiddink used four forwards on that occasion but will be more cautious at Wembley.
He said: "There will be a few changes but not many. The Macedonia game was very important for us and we had four very attacking players.
"We want to stick to our style against England but we will look for a balance as well.
"It is impossible to play against England with five or six attackers, who for me are also midfield players with the ability to penetrate a lot."
One man who is also keen to see Russia triumph is Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who was instrumental in Hiddink's appointment last year at a time when England had also been keen to recruit him.
The billionaire is believed to be part-funding the coach's wages and the pair are in regular contact.
Hiddink said: "Every now and then we have a short talk not just about the national team but about Russian football. They are brief but good contacts. He will wish the best for the Russian team."
The Independent writes:
Sam Wallace: McClaren stakes his future on Heskey intimidating Russians
Published: 12 September 2007
The Emile Heskey revival rolls on – and for Steve McClaren the future of England's Euro 2008 campaign is hitched to a Wigan striker who has scored five goals in 44 international games.
Heskey starts alongside Michael Owen against Russia tonight in a retro-forward line that carries the hopes of the current England manager as it once did that of his predecessor Sven Goran Eriksson.
A brave decision? Leaving out Peter Crouch, suspended for the Israel game on Saturday, would seem to chime with the old wisdom that you do not change a winning team. But when the team McClaren faces tonight are so different from the Israel team who offered scant resistance the question arises of whether Russia under Guus Hiddink will be quite so submissive against Heskey's muscular approach.
It is quite some change of heart that McClaren has made from barely three weeks ago, when he was not even considering Heskey for the friendly against Germany. From stopgap to first choice, the 29-year-old has found himself back in the England first XI on the basis of 90 minutes against Israel. Ninety minutes in which he blasted his one and only shot over the bar and played no significant role in any of England's three goals. Nice work if you can get it.
Perhaps the logic of sticking with the same XI who beat Israel was just too irresistible for McClaren once he lost Owen Hargreaves to injury on Monday night. Gareth Barry held his place in the centre of midfield and, as a result, it must have seemed simpler to keep the side intact.
What will England lose by leaving Crouch on the sidelines? He may not be as overtly physical as Heskey, but no one seriously believes that a Russian side coached by Hiddink will be intimidated by the Wigan man. England will miss the sureness of Crouch's touch and a much greater confidence to play balls in behind defences or spread possession wide. And by playing him as a substitute, the England manager stands to lose even more from a striker who has already spent much of the season on the bench.
Popular wisdom dictates that Crouch is an impact substitute, but that is wrong. His first two England goals against Uruguay and Hungary were scored when he came off the bench, but the subsequent 10 have all been scored when he started matches. Last season, Crouch scored 24 goals for Liverpool and England in the Community Shield, Premier League, Champions League, international friendlies and Euro 2008 qualifiers. All of them came in games he started.
Put simply, Crouch is in need of a manager who will show a little faith in him. Dropping him in favour of Alan Smith against Brazil in June was such a disaster that McClaren went straight back to Crouch for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia five days later. Crouch obliged by leading the line, scoring a goal and helping to save England's season. Then he got booked and suspended for Saturday's Israel game. Such is the state of panic with England at the moment that whatever worked in the last game is grimly clung to in the hope that it will do the trick again.
Currently flavour of the month is Heskey who, despite the doubts, could be the salvation for English football and lead his side triumphantly to Austria and Switzerland next summer. But if he is the Messiah, then he has spent an awfully long time in the wilderness. If he was such a brilliant option, why has he languished outside the team for three years, largely forgotten by
McClaren until a moment of emergency?
For Crouch, whether he likes it or not, it is time yet again to prove himself to McClaren. Just as he almost had to do after McClaren's first game in charge against Greece, before which the England manager had provisionally picked Dean Ashton until the striker broke his ankle in training. It happened again when Crouch had to win his place back from Smith in June. In the time it has taken Crouch to score 12 goals for England, Wayne Rooney has scored one. Would there be any argument about Heskey keeping his place if it was Rooney coming back tonight?
For McClaren, in particular, the shadow of Hiddink falls across this game. When he glances across to the opposite dugout, the England manager will see a man who has won one European Cup, six Dutch titles and led two different nations to fourth place at the World Cup – one of them South Korea. Some record. The Dutchman was managing the Netherlands when
McClaren was first-team coach at Derby.
Given that Hiddink's name was higher than his own on the original shortlist to replace Eriksson, McClaren might have been forgiven for being slightly intimidated by his opposite number. But McClaren has never lacked belief in his right to be England manager and he dismissed the effect that Hiddink's reputation might have on the game.
"I think the players relate to players, they don't relate to managers," McClaren said. "They go out and look at their opponent. What we say is, 'Whoever you are against you have to win that battle'. Once they have crossed the white line they won't be thinking about what the [opposition] manager is doing or his reputation. They will be looking at the opposite number."
Brave words. Listening to McClaren over the last few months, it is clear that the man upon whom he relies the most is Steven Gerrard, who rescued him on that dark night against Andorra in March. It is a debt that McClaren will owe for ever and yesterday he declared that Gerrard will have "the freedom to be our inspiration" tonight. But even Gerrard will struggle to compensate if the Heskey-Owen partnership does not work out.
Unchanged melody A hit for England?
England are expected to field an unchanged team tonight for the first time in 39 matches, dating back more than three years. The last occasion was during Euro 2004 when Sven Goran Eriksson retained the starting XI who defeated Croatia 4-2 in the final group match.
The unchanged team survived only 27 minutes before Wayne Rooney was injured. Without him England lost on penalties to Portugal in the quarter-finals after a 2-2 draw.
England v Croatia & Portugal (June 2004): James; G Neville, Terry, Campbell, A Cole; Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes; Rooney, Owen.
Terry wants England to be more arrogant
19 hours ago
LONDON (AFP) — John Terry has told his England team-mates to play with a touch of arrogance when they face Russia in their make-or-break Euro 2008 qualifier.
England captain Terry agrees with Steven Gerrard's claim that England's squad has enough talent to beat any team in the world.
But the Chelsea defender acknowledges that Steve McClaren's side have often been too timid when they should be dominating opponents.
Terry wants to see England back up his belief they are a superior team to Russia by taking the initiative from the start on Wednesday.
Wembley will be no place for faint hearts as England need to see off Guus Hiddink's side to stay in the race to next year's finals, so this is the perfect time for Terry and company to show they really believe in themselves.
Terry said: "I can totally understand where Stevie is coming from when you look around the dressing room.
"You see these guys playing week in and week out in the Champions League and at the top level, in the big competitions and they are playing very well and getting to the latter stages.
"If we can get that togetherness and arrogance it can be a massive thing for us. We saw that against Israel. We all got together and it needs to be a little bit more like that every single game.
"Maybe we have not had that in the past, but it is certainly something we are looking to build upon once we do get through the group and go on to the competition, to have that little bit of arrogance and really go that step further."
Second-placed Russia sit one point ahead of England in Group E and could leave the hosts' Euro 2008 hopes in tatters with a win.
They have the best defensive record in the entire European qualifying campaign, with just one goal conceded, but Terry is convinced England will rise to the challenge because big games bring the best out of them.
"The pressure of the vital games certainly does that for us," he said. "If we had not got the three points against Israel it would have been disaterous.
"We now come into this game against a Russia side who are very attacking, quick going forwards. It is going to be very tough.
"Once we get this one out of the way and hopefully with the three points, things will be looking good.
"It was the game plan to put Israel right on the back foot, not to give them anytime to play and we did not give them any chance to settle in.
"That will be the same again on Wednesday. Even when we had scored, we were still chasing them down and putting them under pressure, to get at them again."John Terry: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/euro_2008/article2434662.ece
England vs Russia
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Whether the decision is to enhance the poor play of Manchester United over the past several weeks, or because he's actually fit to play, key Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is set to return to the Red Devil's squad earlier than anyone expected.
Rooney had been out recouperating from a fractured left foot he received when he was challed by Reading's Michael Duberry during United's goalless draw with the Royals on the opening weekend of the season on August 12.
Man U faces three important matches coming up soon. One with Everton this Saturday, one Champions League qualifying match with Sporting Libson next Wednesday, and then the following weekend in a clash with their rivals - Chelsea.
Man U is suffering with the loss of Rooney and suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, who received a three game suspension for violent conduct during Man U's draw with Portsmouth on August 15.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Some songs you can't get out of your head. The best way to solve this problem is to pass the problem along...
I had to post the song to the right.... Hands up (Give me your heart).
Some of you may recall the great music of the group Ottawan. Here are few of their records at this link. Ottawan was formed by Jean Patrick and Annette. They toured from 1979 - 1981.
Here is the link for the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH3DOTeL1tc
And no funny business because I used the term record. Yeah, I'm freaking old, how else would I remember Ottawan, bud?
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Just when you think England has breathed its last breath....
Today's win was an impressive display of fortitude since the loss to Germany two weeks ago which was an abonination in the eyes of English Football (Soccer) loyalists.
Chelsea's Shaun Wright-Phillips ('20), Liverpool's Michael Owen ('49) and Manchester City's Micah Richards ('66) each scored for England, which had been hanging by a thread in fourth place in Group E before the match, and remains so just one point behind Russia.
England hosts Russia on Wednesday and stories like this one abound about the decision to change the line up after such a tremendos victory today. Steve McClaren call your office!
Lastly, David Bentley was booed upon his replacing Wright-Phillips. Some notes on that can be found here.
Pundit reviews from some of the best here.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Here's the link to the Zachary Quinto interview. He talks, Spock, Trek XI, Nimoy and a few general thoughts on the project
Yep, its not a "quiet" project.
Interesting note was that when asked how familiar he is with the original series, he replied...
Quinto: "Um, Well, ya know, I'm becoming more and more familiar with it. I'm becoming more familiar with the mythology of it...."