12/09/03 - Here's some good news about the rebuilding of Iraq... you won't hear this on the major network news.
12/09/03 - Saddam's brutality may be more extensive than previously thought.
12/08/03 - The Democrat candidates for President are again claiming that President Bush "stole" the 2000 election in the Florida recount. This is simply not true. Several news organizations have performed exhaustive recounts and have concluded that Bush legitimately won the vote in the state of Florida. But why let the truth get in the way of a good smear campaign?
Here is an article (November 12, 2001) from the NY Times detailing the results of yet another recount:
By FORD FESSENDEN and JOHN M. BRODER
comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year's presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward.
Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged, the United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court's order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
Even under the strategy that Mr. Gore pursued at the beginning of the Florida standoff filing suit to force hand recounts in four predominantly Democratic counties Mr. Bush would have kept his lead, according to the ballot review conducted for a consortium of news organizations.
11/24/03 - Saddam and Osama have been cooperating for years... Read the details here.
11/15/03 - At age 25, Barry Bonds was 6 foot 1 inches tall and weighed 185 pounds. He "worked out 5 days per week, about 5 hours per day". Now nearing 40, Mr. Bonds has put on 45 pounds of muscle. Here's a picture of his new body. His body is completely transformed. He also is a client of BALCO, the lab which is at the center of the THG steroid controversy. Coincidence?
05/26/03 - More details about the brutality of Saddam's sons are emerging. Read this Time article about Uday and Qusay.
04/21/03 - Saddam and his Baath Party deserved to be driven from power... read this Newsweek article which details his brutal regime and try to tell me othewise.
03/26/03 - Here is some stuff I deleted from notable quotes page... I've decided to keep that page running related."If Saddam Hussein fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of sanctions and ignore the commitments he's made? Well, he will conclude that the international community's lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on doing more to build an arsenal of devastating destruction. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. The stakes could not be higher. Some way, someday, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal." - President Bill Clinton in 1998
03/16/03 - Here is a quote from President Bill Clinton regarding Iraq:
"But sometimes you have to be prepared to move alone... Think how many can be killed by just a tiny bit of anthrax, and think how it's not just that Saddam Hussein might put it on a Scud missile, an anthrax head, and send it on to some city he wants to destroy. Think about all the other terrorists and other bad actors who could just parade through Baghdad and pick up their stores if we don't take action. I far prefer the United Nations, I far prefer the inspectors... but if they really believe that there are no circumstances under which we would act alone, they are sadly mistaken..." - President Clinton, in an interview with Jim Lehrer in 1998. (The UN inspectors did not return to Iraq until 2002... After this quote, Saddam had over 4 years to develop his weapons inspections-free.)03/13/03 - I've heard some claim that any US action against Iraq without specific UN approval would be "illegal". I disagree. We are still legally at war with Iraq since the cease fire at the end of the Gulf War in 1991. That cease fire is contingent on Iraq abiding by all UN resolutions against it and Iraq has violated many of those resolutions, most notably when they ended their cooperation with UN weapons inspectors in 1998. Read this article about Iraq and International Law. Here's a column about the French assisting Saddam to obtain weapons and another about how the Germans have much to hide about their recent weapons dealings with Iraq.
03/07/03 - Here is more insight about judicial nominee Miguel Estrada who has 55 votes in the Senate for confirmation, but the Democrats are not allowing a vote by filibustering, therefore requiring Estrada to garner 60 votes. This is an unprecedented action against a judicial nominee. The Senate's role in judicial nominees is "advise and consent" - this does not mean requiring a "super-majority" to confirm.02/26/03 - Interesting news about Iraqi links to terror... On a related note, an Iraqi diplomat was expelled from the Philippines because of his contacts with Abu Sayyaf, an islamist terror group linked to al-Qaida.
02/24/03 - Here is some excellent thinking from north of the border about the rationale for war.
A handful of liberal Democrat Senators are prohibiting a vote on Miguel Estrada, a judicial nominee. Those senators know that if a vote were to occur, Mr. Estrada would be confirmed. Mr. Estrada has a distinguished background (see below) and the highest rating ("well-qualified") from the American Bar Association. A brief bio of Miguel Estrada follows:
Born in Honduras, Estrada immigrated to the United States at age 15 knowing virtually no English. He took the SAT in English two years later, then was accepted to and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University. He aced his way through Harvard Law School -- again graduating magna cum laude where he became the editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, worked as Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Justice Department during both the Bush Sr. and Clinton Administrations (arguing 15 cases before the Supreme Court) and is now a successful partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington D.C. If confirmed, he will be the first Hispanic ever to serve on the D.C. Circuit, often referred to as the second highest court in the land.
Click Here for the real reason why a vote on Miguel Estrada is being blocked. This truly is "shameful".
02/20/03 - French President Jacques Chirac seems to have a soft spot for brutal dictators... first Saddam, now Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe. Read the details here.
02/12/03 - So, Alan Greenspan is opposed to the Bush tax cut plan. This is the same guy who was trying to slow the economy by continually raising the interest rates all during the late 1990s and well into 2000 because he was in fear of an "overheating" economy. Click Here for an example of the typical Fed thinking during May 2000. Then, whammo! Greenspan gets his wish, the economy slows down in mid-late 2000 and the Fed immediately changes course and starts lowering the rates to spur economic growth. This is just a thought, but Greenspan seems to have made a mistake by raising the rates - he obviously misread the economy. His mantra during 1999 was that inflation was on the horizon, and the US economy needed to be slowed, when in reality the Fed rate increases merely served to worsen the coming recession. Now he wants us to respect his opinion on Bush's tax plan? The central part of the plan is the elimination of the double taxation of dividends. This should not be a controversial plan... The New York Times editorial page was yearning for this in the late 1970s during the Carter Administration. Well that's enough "thought" from me... Just keep in mind someone's past track record when you hear their current opinions.
02/11/03 - The former director of Iraq's nuclear-weapons program explains why inspections will not work, as well as the motivations behind France and Germany's support of Saddam in the following OpinionJournal.com editorial.
The Inspections Dodge
Why are France and Germany pro-Saddam? Follow the money.
BY KHIDHIR HAMZA
Tuesday, February 11, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST
My 20 years of work in Iraq's nuclear-weapons program and military industry were partly a training course in methods of deception and camouflage to keep the program secret. Given what I know about Saddam Hussein's commitment to developing and using weapons of mass destruction, the following two points are abundantly clear to me: First, the U.N. weapons inspectors will not find anything Saddam does not want them to find. Second, France, Germany, and to a degree, Russia, are opposed to U.S. military action in Iraq mainly because they maintain lucrative trade deals with Baghdad, many of which are arms-related.
Since the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 we have witnessed a tiny team of inspectors with a supposedly stronger mandate begging Iraq to disclose its weapons stockpiles and commence disarmament. The question that nags me is: How can a team of 200 inspectors "disarm" Iraq when 6,000 inspectors could not do so in the previous seven years of inspection?
Put simply, surprise inspections no longer work. With the Iraqis' current level of mobility and intelligence the whole point of inspecting sites is moot. This was made perfectly clear by Colin Powell in his presentation before the U.N. last week. But the inspectors, mindless of these changes, are still visiting old sites and interviewing marginal scientists. I can assure you, the core of Iraq's nuclear-weapons program has not even been touched. Yesterday's news that Iraq will "accept" U-2 surveillance flights is another sign that Saddam has confidence in his ability to hide what he's got.
Meanwhile, the time U.N. inspectors could have used gathering intelligence by interviewing scientists outside Iraq is running out. The problem is that there is nothing Saddam can declare that will provide any level of assurance of disarmament. If he delivers the 8,500 liters of anthrax that he now admits to having, he will still not be in compliance because the growth media he imported to grow it can produce 25,000 liters. Iraq must account for the growth media and its products; it is doing neither.
Iraq's attempt to import aluminum tubes of higher tensile strength than is needed in conventional weapons has been brushed aside by the IAEA's Mohammed El-Baradei. He claims there is no proof that these tubes were intended for modification and use in centrifuges to make enriched uranium. Yet he fails to report that Iraq has the machining equipment to thin these tubes down to the required thickness (less than one millimeter) for an efficient centrifuge rotor. What's more, they don't find it suspect that Iraq did not deliver all the computer controlled machining equipment that it imported from the British-based, Iraqi-owned Matrix-Churchill that manufacture these units.
Mr. Blix also discounted the discovery of a number of "empty" chemical-weapons warheads. What he failed to mention is that empty is the only way to store these weapon parts. The warheads in question were not designed to store chemicals for long periods. They have a much higher possibility of leakage and corrosion than conventional warheads. Separate storage for the poisons is a standard practice in Iraq, since the Special Security Organization that guards Saddam also controls the storage and inventory of these chemicals.
What has become obvious is that the U.N. inspection process was designed to delay any possible U.S. military action to disarm Iraq. Germany, France, and Russia, states we called "friendly" when I was in Baghdad, are also engaged in a strategy of delay and obstruction.
In the two decades before the Gulf War, I played a role in Iraq's efforts to acquire major technologies from friendly states. In 1974, I headed an Iraqi delegation to France to purchase a nuclear reactor. It was a 40-megawatt research reactor that our sources in the IAEA told us should cost no more than $50 million. But the French deal ended up costing Baghdad more than $200 million. The French-controlled Habbania Resort project cost Baghdad a whopping $750 million, and with the same huge profit margin. With these kinds of deals coming their way, is it any surprise that the French are so desperate to save Saddam's regime?
Germany was the hub of Iraq's military purchases in the 1980s. Our commercial attaché, Ali Abdul Mutalib, was allocated billions of dollars to spend each year on German military industry imports. These imports included many proscribed technologies with the German government looking the other way. In 1989, German engineer Karl Schaab sold us classified technology to build and operate the centrifuges we needed for our uranium-enrichment program. German authorities have since found Mr. Schaab guilty of selling nuclear secrets, but because the technology was considered "dual use" he was fined only $32,000 and given five years probation.
Meanwhile, other German firms have provided Iraq with the technology it needs to make missile parts. Mr. Blix's recent finding that Iraq is trying to enlarge the diameter of its missiles to a size capable of delivering nuclear weapons would not be feasible without this technology transfer.
Russia has long been a major supplier of conventional armaments to Iraq--yet again at exorbitant prices. Even the Kalashnikov rifles used by the Iraqi forces are sold to Iraq at several times the price of comparable guns sold by other suppliers.
Saddam's policy of squandering Iraq's resources by paying outrageous prices to friendly states seems to be paying off. The irresponsibility and lack of morality these states are displaying in trying to keep the world's worst butcher in power is perhaps indicative of a new world order. It is a world of winks and nods to emerging rogue states--for a price. It remains for the U.S. and its allies to institute an opposing order in which no price is high enough for dictators like Saddam to thrive.
Mr. Hamza, a former director of Iraq's nuclear-weapons program, is the co-author of "Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda" (Scribner, 2000)
02/03/03 - On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded as it was taking off. To read President Reagan's speech after the tragedy, click here or read below.
'Touch the Face of God'
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.
Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.
For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.
We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.
And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.
I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.
I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."
There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
01/30/03 - Did you know that the US produces 2/3 of the world's soybeans, 2/3 of the world's corn and almost 1/3 of the world's beef even though we only comprise about 5% of the world's population? Keep that in mind the next time you hear someone lament that we use over 30% of the world's fossil fuels. One of the reasons we use so much is because we require that much to sustain our productivity to feed a large portion of the planet.
11/16/02 - Now that New Jersey has again elected Frank Lautenberg as senator, I think I'll revisit some of the votes that Mr. Lautenberg cast as a senator for 18 years. Not many in New Jersey got to hear about Mr. Lautenberg's voting record because of the fact he joined the race a mere 31 days before election day and took great pains to avoid debating his Republican opponent, which the Newark Star-Ledger called "shameful". So, what follows are just a few of Mr. Lautenberg's votes during his last tenure in the US Senate.
- He voted 37 times against a national missile defense system.
- In 1984, he voted for Ted Kennedy's nuclear freeze proposal.
- In 1986, he voted six times against pro-defense bills, and supported initiatives that would have severely hindered the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), the anti-satellite missile and ICBM programs.
- In 1991, he voted against the Gulf War, predicting "tens of thousands of American casualties".
- In 1991, he voted for an amendment that would have cut defense spending by $80 million.
- In 1996, he voted to cut the missile defense budget by $300 MILLION. He was one of only 34 Senators to vote for Sen. Wellstone's (RIP) bill to cut the military budget by nearly $13 BILLION.
- Seven times Mr. Lautenberg voted against expanding the death penalty to include terrorists who target Americans.
- Several times Mr. Lautenberg voted to drastically cut FBI funding and prohibit military pay raises.
You didn't know Frank Lautenberg voted in that fashion? Perhaps it is because he was allowed into the New Jersey race at the last minute which made it virtually impossible for the voters to learn about him in such a short period of time. It also helped that he went to great lengths to avoid debating his opponent.
10/19/02 - The switcheroo that the New Jersey Democrats played in the Senatorial race deserves some commentary. If you haven't heard, the Democratic nominee for Senate, Sen. Bob Torricelli, was losing to the Republican challenger largely because of Torricelli's admission that he accepted illegal gifts from businessmen. Although New Jersey law states that a candidate CANNOT be replaced within 50 days of election day, Toricelli dropped out of the race for the simple reason that he did not want the Democrats to lose the seat. Keep in mind that Sen. Toricelli dropped out 31 days before the election. To replace him violates New Jersey law. The Republican party filed a lawsuit asking that the laws of New Jersey be enforced. However, the NJ Supreme Court ruled that the Democrats are allowed to replace Toricelli and the US Supreme Court allowed the ruling to stand. It should be noted that the NJ Court did not deal with the law, it simply created a new directive out of thin air. I am amazed! The law exists so that a losing candidate cannot just drop out of the election and be replaced with someone who has a better chance. It is completely unfair to the challenger who has spent the past 6 months or more running against Sen. Toricelli. Now he has about 4 weeks to mount a new campaign against an entirely new candidate, who was not even chosen by the New Jersey electorate! This leads me to believe that laws mean nothing. It sets an ominous precedent... In running terms, it's like a runner after 20 miles of a marathon is losing to another and his "team" decides to replace him with someone new for the last 6 miles. It is absurd! I think the Republican challenger should drop out as soon as the polls show him losing and allow the NJ Republican party to replace him with someone else. It would be worth it if just to demonstrate the foolish nature of the Court's decision. Here is a succinct editorial about the situation:
BY PETE DU PONT
Wednesday, October 9, 2002 12:01 a.m. EDT
Politics in America is never uninteresting; just look at the past week. The New Jersey Supreme Court creates a candidate selection rule, the Democratic Party gives up on its 30-year-old opposition to military action, and the bellwether of liberal economic thinking offers an old economic plan to help new post-multilateralist Democrats focus the fall campaign on the economy.
The Senate election in New Jersey could have been a "Saturday Night Live" skit. An unpopular candidate realizes he'll lose the election and withdraws in favor of a well-known personality. The state's Supreme Court--elected by no one--approves, ignoring state law that bars a switcheroo this late in the game. The court also ignored Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution, which states that "the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof," and so did the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to do anything about it.
And so America--or at least New Jersey--is left with a bizarre new rule: Political parties can substitute a better candidate for a losing one right up to Election Day. But as any Democrat will tell you off the record, it's a small price to pay to keep the Senate in liberal hands and conservatives out of total power in Washington.
09/06/02 - The recent rejection of Priscilla Owen by the Senate Judiciary Committee was a disgraceful, spiteful act. Priscilla was nominated for a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She was rejected on a 10-9 party-line vote even though the American Bar Association (ABA) rated her "well qualified". This is the first time in history that the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the nomination of a nominee who received a unanimous "well qualified" rating from the ABA. The unspoken reason is her vote as a Texas Supreme Court justice to uphold a state parental notification law for minors seeking abortions. The pro-abortion lobby in Congress has the Democratic Party in their pocket. Those senators who receive heavy funding from the abortion lobby are certain to acquiesce to their wishes, no matter how nonsensical. Regarding the parental notification law: Parents must be notified if their child goes to the nurse to get an aspirin, so I think it is not unreasonable that the parent be notified if their child has scheduled an abortion - or any other surgical procedure, for that matter.
04/06/01 - Recently, my wife and I have noticed that most kids we know are disrespectful of adults and their parents, in particular. We are expecting a baby boy in early June and it has been distressing observing that kind of behavior. However, my hopes were lifted this past weekend while we attended a Track/CC reunion at my alma mater. Many of my former running buddies have families and I saw no evidence of children who were undisciplined. In fact, my wife and I were amazed at how well-behaved every child was. We even heard a child ask if she could be "excused" from the dining table. The last time I heard that was probably when I said it to my parents 20 years ago... When I asked one of the couples why they felt their 4 children (aged 1-5 years) behaved so well, they both asserted that consistent discipline was key. The parents showed a united front and followed through on any punishment and reward.
03/15/01 - After dominating performances at the US World CC Trials and the US Indoor Track 3000 Meter Championships, Regina Jacobs had a poor performance at the World Indoor Track Championships, held in Europe. Runner's World is reporting that she has withdrawn from the upcoming World Cross-Country Championships, citing "fatigue". Doesn't this sound familiar? Just this past summer, Regina followed up a sterling performance at the US Olympic Trials, with a poor showing in a European track meet. Shortly thereafter, Regina pulled out of the upcoming Olympic Games because of a respiratory infection even though she still had over 2 weeks to recover for what most certainly would have been her last chance for an Olympic medal... Regina seems to run well on US soil, but when it comes time to race the best internationally, she's nowhere to be found. Combine these two incidents with Regina's reluctance to compete in the lucrative (especially for someone who can run sub 9:00 / sub 15:00 with regularity) European track circuit and the physical transformation in her mid 30s and I've got some questions...
02/01/01 - I did some checking, and since 1980 the price of gasoline has increased about 23%. During that same time the Consumer Price Index, which is a measure of inflation, has increased 107%. As I suspected, gasoline is cheap.
Regarding the nomination of John Ashcroft for Attorney General, I leave you with a quote from Robert Byrd, the long-time Democrat Senator from West Virginia. When I detect truth in the midst of a politically charged debate, I must trumpet it.
"I think more public officials should have religion, have a strong religious bent and should be willing to enunciate their faith," Byrd said during a 30-minute speech in which he slowly paced back and forth on the Senate floor. "I believe... that if he is a man of strong religious faith, he means what he says. It would be an act of supreme arrogance on my part to doubt his intention to honor that oath."
01/21/01 - I haven't heard the media mention that through the Freedom of Information Act, various news organizations are conducting recounts in Florida. Click here for a story of a recent recount in hotly contested Miami-Dade County. I thought this would be big news...
11/21/00 - I'm starting a new job next monday (11/27) at Dialogic Corporation. I'm still a Technical Recruiter.
7/23/00 - Whoa! The Michael vs. Maurice showdown that never was... I think this will just intensify the rivalry between the two - I believe both of them will be super motivated to compete against each other in next year's World Championships. By the way, John Capel and Floyd Heard looked solid running under 19.90. They will be medal contenders in Sydney. I know Bob Kennedy didn't want the 5000 to come down to a kick, but he went through the 800 in 2:04... That's 12:55 pace!! Considering how much training Kennedy lost because of his injury, I think that was way too fast (isn't 12:55 very close to his PR?). After the race Bob said he wanted the pace to be fast, under 13:20 and he was disappointed that no one ran with him to help him in that effort. Well geepers! Perhaps someone would have been with him if he had run 13:20 pace and not 12:55... Just my .02
5/25/00 - A few quick thoughts... Gas prices are still quite high since I last expressed my thoughts here in March, yet the shock and constant news stories about the cost of fuel have subsided. Why? Could it be that gas really is a cheap product that in recent years has lagged way behind the rate of inflation? hmm?
Kudos to Rod DeHaven who ran a very smart race in Pittsburgh to win the men's Olympic Trials Marathon. You can go to www.athletesvillage.com, sign up for free and check out his training log in the Mentor Athletes section. Rod will represent the US very well in Sydney, just as he did in Seville when he finished 24th in tough conditions.
I'm very pleased to see that the US Army with its' WCAP program is supporting post-collegiate US distance runners at a time when it is most needed. In addition, I'm also encouraged by the plans for Fila running camps here in the US. We need programs to help distance runners as they make the transition out of college so they can continue to pursue their dreams and goals as athletes.
3/21/00 - Am I the only one who thinks that gasoline prices are not way too high?? If you look at the price of gas over the last 20 years, it has not even come close to keeping up with the rate of inflation. I challenge you to compare it to any other commonly used consumer product. Milk, soda, cars, dishwashers, paper plates, whatever... they all have increased in price much more than gasoline.
2/27/00 - OK, I think that the Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying process is stupid. From what I can figure out, if you finish in the top 3 in the Olympic Track Trials, but don't have the qualifying time, you are out of luck. Just ask Joe LeMay... he finished 2nd in the '96 Oly 10,000m trials but did not have the qualifying time so he was not able to go to the Olympics. That makes sense. Why should it be any different for the Olympic Marathon Trials? Kristy Johnston finishes 2nd and has the 'A' qualifying time, but yet she's not going. That just stinks. In addition, Joe LeMay runs a second marathon in December to be sure he gets the qualifying time and now even if he finishes in the top 3 at the Trials, he may not be able to go to the Olympics again. That stinks, too. If you're not familiar with the controversy, check out this article at Runner's World which explains the situation pretty well.
On another note, I think Jason Pyrah ran a real gutsy 1000m race in Idaho. He just ran away from some very talented athletes in his 2:19 win.
2/20/00 - Does anyone think Regina Jacobs can maintain her awesome fitness level (4:21 mile) until the Olympics? She has the talent to medal, but I'm not sure she's going to peak early. Another thing: Is Jon Drummond for real this year? He just ran the 2nd fastest time ever in the 60 meters. He seems to be a real threat to Maurice Greene. Does anyone know why Marion Jones is not running indoors? It didn't get much attention, but Adam Goucher beat some very good runners at the 12K CC Champs. He certainly could go sub 13:00 this year.
And lastly, am I the only person who doesn't understand what "negative" campaigning is? If you're going to say your opponent is wrong on this or that issue, won't that come across as negative? Isn't pointing out the differences between you and your competitor a necessary part of educating the electorate and persuading them to vote for you? I guess I don't care if it's "negative" as long as the ads are based in fact. I need to know how the candidates differentiate themselves from one another in order to make an informed decision on who I want to support. I feel that pointing out how your candidate's views are in opposition to yours will be perceived as "negative", but may very well be necessary to operate a successful democracy.
ARCHIVED FRONT PAGE STUFF
3/17/00 - Check out Runnersworld.com again. Joe LeMay has written a good opinion drawing from his own experiences.
3/16/00 - I sent a letter to Runnersworld.com and they posted it! Click here to read it. I have one clarification: I feel that both our Olympic Track & Field athletes as well as our Olympic marathoners must meet the "A" qualifying standard to make the team. Go to My Thoughts page to read more about my opinion.
3/15/00 - Dan Brannen of the USATF LDR Committee wrote this lame excuse for the Olympic Trials Marathon mess. Here is part of what he said that conveys exactly why we aren't sending our best women marathoners to Sydney. If you really want to read all his drivel, click here.
"Long before the IAAF lowered the Olympic Marathon qualifying standards, good-faith agreements were made with the Olympic Marathon Trials hosts giving them the right to be the definitive selector of the U.S. Olympic Marathon team. That is one of the reasons (there were convincing others) why the LDR committees felt they were obligated to put the winner of the Trials (no matter what else happened) on the Olympic Marathon team." - Dan Brannen
OK, lemme explain... no, take too long. Lemme sum up: It's the MONEY. They told the sponsor of the Olympic Trials Marathon that the winner would go to the Olympics NO MATTER WHAT. Never mind that the "rules" have always stated that you must get the qualifying time as well as a top 3 finish to be assured of making the Olympic team. Nooooo... because the USATF worships the $$$, the athletes are getting... ahem, ummm, the short end of the stick. Let me repeat: Kristy Johnston did everything you have to do to get to the Olympics: She got the "A" IAAF qualifying time (the A standard is what is needed in every event... until this year's marathon trials). And she finished in the top 3 at the qualifying race... It is just plain WRONG that she is not going to the Olympics.
3/12/00 - Didn't race, instead got in my first quality workout of the season. Check out my training log.
3/03/00 - Yet another well thought out opinion about the Trials controversy at Joe LeMay's Homepage.
3/01/00 - There is another good article at Runner's World about the Olympic Trials Marathon saga.
I'm thinking of running a 5000m indoor race on March 7th. It's a low-key event, but I think it's good since I haven't raced anything longer than 800m since September.
2/27/00 - The Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying procedure is a big mistake. It's stupid, moronic and utterly ridiculous. If you want to know how I really feel about it, click here. Oh, and I'm finally getting my mileage above pathetically low levels.
2/20/00 - Well it's official: I got my wife sick, too. I knew that would happen, but I was hoping it wouldn't. But since she's much tougher than I am, it looks like she's not going to miss any work. She's on antibiotics now and feels terrible but she'll probably be at work regardless. As for me, I just finished my first decent week of training since the end of January. Check out my training log for details. I'm hoping to get my mileage consistently above 60 for the next month.
2/15/00 - I promised my running team that I'd run a leg of a 4x800 for them at an indoor track meet. Sunday afternoon was the fateful day. I'd been sick all week with a sinus infection and had missed 5 days of running. I did a 2.5 mile warm-up and felt pretty tired. I got to the meet early and was blowing my nose all the time. I didn't have to convince anyone that I was sick. Well to get to the point, I ran the anchor leg in 2:07.73 and held on for the win. Check out my races for more detail. I'm quite sore today, but it's a good sore... like, I haven't used those sprinting muscles in a LONG time and so they are just in shock. Slowly but surely my sinus infection has cleared up and I'm starting to feel normal again.
2/10/00 - I've got some sort of sinus infection or something. I've never had so much nasal discharge in addition to an incredibly sore throat in my entire life! I know you didn't need to know that, but here's the spooky part: The doctor put me on Zithromax which is a strong antibiotic made by Pfizer, who recently completed a hostile takeover of the company where my wife works (Warner-Lambert). Aren't these coincidences amazing? But seriously, I'm supposed to race a 3000 meter this weekend and then I also agreed to run a leg of a 4x800 after the 3000 for the local running team to which I belong. I'm thinking I might run only the 800. I'm totally wasted from whatever sickness I have.
2/06/00 - I just spent the last week in the midwest... I helped my mom get ready to move out of her home in Minnesota, and then visited some old college running buddies in Indiana and Ohio. It was lots of driving, but well worth it. One of the guys I visited, Scott Wilson, is coaching at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. He ran a 4:13 mile in high school. My other buddy is a surgeon in Dayton, Ohio who ran a 2:45 marathon on something like 50 miles per week.
Since I'm getting tired of risking my life (getting run over by bad drivers) whenever it snows here, my wife and I bought a treadmill, the PaceMaster Pro-Plus... but now we can't figure out where to put it in our small house. The original plan was to keep it in the garage. Unfortunately, our garage is neither heated nor insulated and the people at PaceMaster say it has to be kept between 50 and 100 degrees. So the garage is out. It might fit in our guest bedroom upstairs, but it gets hot upstairs and since it's a real small room, I'm not sure I can fit the treadmill and a bed in that room. I've thought about asking our guests to bring their own sleeping bags and sleep on the running surface of the treadmill, but my wife says "no". We tried putting it in the dining room temporarily, but I thought the floor might collapse with all the vibration it caused. So... we're still not sure where it's going to go, but it's now in the kitchen blocking the passage to the laundry room... good thing I've got a lot of clean clothes.