a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Weekly Tendown May 15-21 2011

Dear Internet:


If you made it, congratulations.  Or condolences, if you've been left behind. Or hell, congratulations if you've been left behind; here's Tim LaHaye, who wrote those Left Behind books, saying this week that Obama and Hillary Clinton aren't Christians, they're socialists.  You can spend eternity with that dude if you're inclined.

Me - I've got links to post.  It's Tendown 77.

1. Lance Armstrong 4 Barry Bonds 0






Now, a total of 4 former teammates have told the federal government they witnessed Lance Armstrong use PEDs, or 4 more than have ever said that about Barry Bonds. The 60 Minutes story is tonight.

Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon, who had stem cells injected into his shoulder and elbow over the winter currently has an ERA of  3.16, which, at the age of 38, would be his career best mark and almost a run under his career total.  Here's his doctor:


"This is the future of sports medicine, in particular," he said. "Here it is that I got a guy back playing baseball and throwing pitches at 95 miles an hour."

Will Colon be named comeback player of the year by the same baseball writers who will then refuse to induct Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame?  Is the moral gap between the injections that Colon got, currently celebrated as "the future of sports medicine" and the injections Bonds presumably got as wide as the distinction between sports media declaring Bonds's career as illegitimate and celebrating Colon's resurgence?

2. Are You A Homo Couple or a Threesome


That's what Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell said to 3 San Francisco Giants fans when the Braves visited the World Champions last month.

(And that was before he made sexually suggestive gestures with a bat in front of 9 year old girls and threatened the girls' father.)

McDowell took a two week suspension and is now back.  There was not a negative fan reaction to McDowell upon his return.

What does it take to morally outrage the Atlanta fans?

Carlos Santana (the guitarist, not the Indians catcher who has yet to hit despite my high selection of him for my fantasy league) got booed at the Civil Rights Game in Atlanta for speaking out in favor of civil rights.

3. It Gets Better
Now, were I making the video, it would probably include shots of our losing WS in '62, '89, and '02 before, after over a half century, finally winning the World Series last year - but regardless of its content, the World Champion Giants will be the first major professional sports team to shoot an It Gets Better video. There aren't too many occasions where my sports loyalties are able to line up with my politics; big time professional sports is largely one giant corporation or rapacious billionaire against another, and I even root for USC.  So I'll take good news when it comes.

Also good - one of the suspects in the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow on opening day was arrested this morning.

The Giants, incidentally, are in first place.  And - although it apparently took a piece of the club to get him on board, Jerry West is now a Golden St. Warrior.

4. The National Surveillance State

The piece you need to read from this week is Jane Mayer's New Yorker look at Obama's war on whistleblowers.


Jack Balkin, a liberal law professor at Yale, agrees that the increase in leak prosecutions is part of a larger transformation. “We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state,” he says. In his view, zealous leak prosecutions are consonant with other political shifts since 9/11: the emergence of a vast new security bureaucracy, in which at least two and a half million people hold confidential, secret, or top-secret clearances; huge expenditures on electronic monitoring, along with a reinterpretation of the law in order to sanction it; and corporate partnerships with the government that have transformed the counterterrorism industry into a powerful lobbying force. Obama, Balkin says, has “systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the Bush Administration.”

5. Remember - They Don't Believe in a Free Market
When the right wing candidates for President talk about getting government out of the way of the economy - remember, they don't mean that.  They mean they want to use the power of the government to shape policies that they prefer.

Here's Kentucky - giving a 43 million dollar tax break to a Bible Themed Amusement Park.

How about 7 million dollars in the defense budget last year going to sponsor NASCAR teams - and an additional 45 million dollars in tax breaks going to race track owners.

Consider a full range of right wing tax breaks vs. budget cuts. 

6. And they Really, Really, Really Don't Believe in Small Government
Here's Rachel,  talking about what happens when the right wing controls every aspect of a state's government.  It's my state.  Florida.  Cutting unemployment benefits and giving the savings to a tax break for business, forcing welfare recipients to not only take drug tests, but pay for their own drug tests, handing over university faculty selection to right wing ideological pressure groups.


7. What's the Best Fast Food Hamburger?


Apparently - it's Shake Shack.  The only one of the three in question I have not eaten.

8. I Write the Stories
Productive week here at the old ballyard.

The latest chapter of my wrestling counterfactual. 

My currrent MLB All Star ballot.

And my 45 man all time rosters for the Rams and Seahawks

Additionally, I got in some 4 star wrestling matches this week, the two best are posted in my 2011 Match of the Year list: a 4 3/4 Daniels v. Richards from ROH in March, a 4 1/2 Devitt/Taguchi v. Richards/Romero from New Japan earlier this month, I also saw a 4 star Devitt/Taguchi v. Taka/Taichi from March, and, of all people, Sean Waltman had a 4 star match in April, against Generico in Chikara.

9. Paid.

Reality competition television isn't sports because there's an edit.  I know who the greatest baseball players ever are (and Bob Costas doesn't) regardless of who television producers would like me to believe are the best.  You can tell me Derek Jeter's the greatest; I know Alex Rodriguez is better.  Reality competition isn't that, but as close as we can come to saying so, I'd argue the most dominant reality competition performance of all time got rewarded this week.  Boston Rob's Survivor performance was like Steve Carlton in 1972; freakishly good and he deserved to endorse his million dollar check.

10. RIP


Tough week.  Harmon Killebrew.  L'il Sebastian.  Sue Sylvester's sister.  Maybe the rapture's coming a body at a time.

Randy Savage did most of his best work pre-WWF, but I don't have an encyclopedic record of those matches.  I can, however, offer this list - Randy Savage's 10 Best WWF/WCW matches:


1.       v. Steamboat WMIII
2.       v. Flair WMVIII
3.       v. Warrior WMVII
4.       v. DDP Halloween Havoc ‘97
5.       v. Hogan WMV
6.       v. Warrior SSlam  ‘92
7.       v. Flair SBrawl ’96 
8.       v. Santana ’86
9.       w/Perfect v. Flair/Ramon SSeries ‘92
10.   v. Flair Bash at the Beach ‘95



That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,

Jim