Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mediocre team wins the World Series.

The St. Louis Cardianals won the Baseball World Series on Friday night, beating the Detroit Tigers 4-1 in the best of 7 series.

Somehow their victory is just wrong. I say this even though I consider the Cardinals to be a great baseball organization. They have with proud history of winning and player development, play old school baseball, have classic uniforms and great.. No, make that good and knowledgeable... fans. The problem is that they only won 83 games in the regular season, losing 78. Twelve (12!) teams (The Mets, Yankees, Twins, Tigers, Athletics, White Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Padres, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Phillies), won more games than the Cardinals!

The extended postseason makes baseball seem more and more like Hockey and Basketball, where half the teams make the playoffs and the regular season is just a kind of unimportant warm-up tournament. Baseball used to be like European football where the winner of he league actually becomes the champion. Winning the Pennant used to off great importance, with the World Series being a contest of champions. Now the Pennant hardly matters.

Baseball is, in my opinion, very ill suited for playoffs because the game is intrinsically different than other sports. Baseball, unlike football (be it American football, Association football, Aussie rules football or Rugby Union football), is not a game where a few games will clearly determine which is the best team. There's actually a reason the regular season being 162 games long. That's the length needed to divided the sheep from the goats, the good teams from the mediocre ones. Single games, or even series of 5-7 games, are just not enough to show one team is better that the other. The Cardinals just aren't the best team in baseball.

The bottom line for the 2006 season is, however, that the Cardinals are champions, the Designated Hitter still stinks and my White Sox just didn't have enough pitching. Yet, in spite of this I already miss baseball and can't wait for March!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The NHS - the envy of the world!

Being a Socialist* I've always supported the idea of free public health care. I don't know, however, if I believe in it so strongly anymore, after experiencing the frustration of having to wait 6-8 months (from initial doctor's appointment) to have a relative simple test (EMG) done.

Britain is not the only place with long waiting lists, but this wait is destroying me. I am slowly loosing my will and desire to live (which, on the positive side, has aliviated my fear of having a serious illness).

Anyway, The Guardian today reported that in spite of general dissatisfaction with the NHS, 55 % of Britons still consider the NHS to be the "envy of the world". Although, I am grateful that I can get some kind of free treatment, since I can't afford private insurance, I still find it a little rich to call it the envy of the world.

* Long story, explained here in Danish.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Yankees and postseason failure

Apparently the Yankees failure since 2000 has nothing to do with the Republicans, as postulated on this blog on October 8. Uniwatchblog has a better explanation:

"Eric Glickman has noticed that the logos of the last six teams to defeat the Yankees in the postseason spell out how the Bombers have fared in October since winning it all in 2000."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The day Thurman Munson died.

The tragic death of New York Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle in plane crash, brings back memories of 2 August 1979 when Yankee catcher Thurman Munson died in plane crash.

I was then a 8 year old boy who loved baseball and the Yankees were the team of the day. The year before I had been allowed to stay up late and see the Yankees beat the Dodgers in the World Series. The Yankees were for me larger than life, until Munson crashed and died.

For me, Munson's death was almost like Buddy Holly's death was for Don McLean. I realized that day that life involves death in very real way and that everything is not as it should be in this world.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Longer sentences attacked by Lord Phillips.

Bravo to the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, who yesterday criticised the trend towards longer sentences.

He criticised the media for creating an atmosphere of vengeance and for failing to explain judges reasons for handing down specific sentences.

I especially like this statement:

"... I detect on the part of such publications an incitement to the public to exact vengeance from offenders not dissimilar from the emotions of those who thronged to public executions in the 18th century.”

For more read this Times article.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Democratic Yankees

The New York Yankees where eliminated from the baseball playoffs yesterday. Although the Yankees are the richest and most successful baseball club in the Major Leagues their failure is not really surprising: the Republicans control the White House!

The Yankees have developed an inability to win World Series Championships when the US President is a Republican. The last time the Yankees did so was in 1958 under Eisenhower.

Here's the hard facts:

- Only 7 of the 26 Yankee Championships have been during Republican Presidents.
- Of the 11 Republican Presidents that have held office since the World Series began in 1903 only 3 saw Yankees win the WS: Coolidge (1923, 1927 and 1928), Hoover (1932) and Eisenhower (1953,1956 and 1958).
- The Yankees could not win during terms of T. Roosevelt, Taft, Harding, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, G. H. Bush or G.W.Bush.

The most uncanny thing is, however, the way the Yankees have flourished in the short years under Democratic Presidents Kennedy (wining twice; 1961 and 1962), Carter (twice: 1977 and 1978) and Clinton (Four times; 1996, 1998,1999 and 2000). Under F.D. Roosevelt and Truman the Yankees won 6 and 5 championships respectively. The only Democrat Presidents who did not preside over Yankee World Series wins were whose names ended on 'son': Wilson and Johnson.

The Yankee organization and Yankees fans better be hoping for a Democratic win in 2008, but can be reassured that the only potential Democrat with a 'son' name, Bill Richardson, is only a 'long-shot' candidate.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tried and Tried again.

Legal news.

The first person to be tried twice for the same offence in Britain for 800 years was today jailed for life, (See this Times article).

In my opinion this is a negative development. A strict application of the 'double jeopardy' rule, which prohibits defendants from being tried a second time for the same crime, is the best way to protect the individual and limit the power of the state in the area of criminal prosecution. The double jeopardy rule is also part of the European Convention of Human Rights, see Protocol 7 Article 4. The United Kingdom has not signed protocol 7, and Article 4 does allow cases to be reopened in accordance law and penal procedures, on the basis of new evidence.*

Yes I'm a 'bleeding-heart-liberal' and I'm not ashamed of it. I believe a free society can only be maintained if the criminal justice system's first priority is to protect the accused, not to convict every guilty person. I believe, for example, that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg should be pardoned posthumously. Not because they where innocent, which might not have been, but because their trial was flawed.

In holding these beliefs I known I'm in minority, but if I ever make it out of Law School then would I really like to quality in criminal law so I can defend the accused, innocent and guilty alike.

* Another example of how weak a document the European Convention of Human Rights is. This shows how incredible it is that the UK has so hard time staying within its limits.

Life on Hold

I have never learned to live life in the present. To be satisfied with life as it is now, to be fully present in what ever happens. I have always been looking forward to my life starting; to do the things I have always wanted to do, to fulfill my calling.

When I was a child I would dream of what I was going to be as an adult.
When I was a student I thought of what I would do when graduated.
When I worked in taxation I dreamed of going back to university to pursue the another course of study and work.
When I was a elder in my church I dreamed of what the church could be like, one day.

Now I feel I come to the end of my dreams and all that is left is the fall.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Carp fishing rules!

Carp fishing is apparently the big thing in the Lords Hill district of Southampton, followed closely by woodworking.

Today my wife and I went into a newsagent and while my wife picked out some cards I went looking for a current affairs magazine. I was looking for either The New Statesman, Prospect, The Economist, Time, Newsweek or even The Spectator. I found none of these, but they did have Crafty Carper, Carpworld, The International Carper, Carp Addict and UK Carp Magazine, right next to The Woodworker, New Woodworking, Woodcraft Magazine and Practical Woodwork

Sometimes I feel completely alienated from the world around me.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Letter to the Editor 2 (In Danish)

Nu er mit læserbrev svar til Richard Mullers artikel "Et Lam Med To Horn" (Adventnyt Juni 2006), blevet trykt i Adventnyt Oktober 2006.

Desværre er mine fodnoter ikke blevet trykt (lyder det bekendt Lasse?). Derfor vil jeg gerne påpege at de statiske oplysner i mit læserbrev er hented fra henholdsvis American Religious Identity Survey 2001 og CNN's Exit Poll 2004. Derudover havde jeg også en henvisning til

Læserbrevet med fodnoter kan læses her.