Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Last night Barry Bonds became the all-time home run king pulling number 756 into the right center gap at Pac Bell Park. Barry triuphantly thrust his arms in the air upon making contact with the fateful pitch. Now unless you have been in a cave the last few years you know Barry has played the last 5 years under the shadow of accusations he used steroids. Some feel Barry has recieved an unfair amount of the blame for the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball in the last 25 years. It seems clear however Barry's personality at least when it comes to the media has helped acrew Barry a lot of the scrutiny he has recieved over steroids. As a Cubs fan I witnessed the amazing physical transformation of Sammy Sosa from thin spindley outfielder in 1996 to super buff home run machine in 2 years. It seemed however Sosa's easy banter with the Chicago media helped defelect much of the blame and suspicion he should of recieved for his transformation. Bonds seems to have a confrontational relationship with the media always suspecting them of conspiring against them. Bonds also seems to have a reputaion for having an attitude and being disliked by his teamates. If Barry had a more positive relationship with the media and try to patch up the at least precieved differences with his team would he recieve less criticisim? It is impossible to say but interesting to consider.
This is the offical relaunch of the Holland blog. As I now I have been able to post links to my site on other websites. I espcially would like to thank Phil Sites of the Y-Chromosome blog on http://www.billingsgazette.com for posting a link to my site. I will try to update as much as possible on history, sports, or politics. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Today North Korea test fired possibly up to ten missiles. Nine were scud missiles that splashed into the Sea of Japan but, one was the long range Taipodong 2 missile that theoretically reach the western U.S. The Taipodong 2 however failed only a minute after it was fired. So the question is what are North Koreas real capabilities? Most experts agree that the DPRK (the north's official name) has an extensive array of short range missiles that could wipe out much of South Korea and parts of Japan. And a medium range missile only tested once that flew over Japan in 1998. The posses chemical and biological weapons, and almost all agree a few crude nuclear bombs. They have not to anyone's knowledge put a nuke on missile or posses that technology. They do have the fourth largest standing army highly trained and armed albeit with Russian technology. These factors make any confrontation very costly for South Korea, Japan, and while not for the U.S. mainland very costly for the 29,000 U.S. servicemen in South Korea and additional troops in Japan. Technorati Profile
Thursday, June 29, 2006
President Bush has made the core of his foreign policy the spread of democracy in the Arab world. In principle of course it is the right thing to do. As a person who is a believer in a foreign policy that is proactive not isolationist I believe democracy is a right to all. However elections are not the end all be all in establishing democracies. Some have argued that military force to remove anti-democratic leaders followed by quick democratic elections will establish permanent democracy. I believe this is a flawed logic. It is a trap administrations in both parties have fallen for in the past. In Vietnam LBJ reinforced South Vietnam with hundreds of thousands of US troops and forced the military regime ruling the nation to hold free elections. So in September 1967 over 70 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in a free elections. In Iraq after the removal of Saddam Hussein free elections took place three times with 70 percent turn out in the election in December of 2005. US pressure also lead to elections in the Palestinian terrorize in 2005. All three of these elections were hailed as a great step forward for establishing stable democracies in each country. All however failed to address the underlying problems in each situation. The new government in Vietnam remained corrupt lost public support and folded when US forces drained of money and blood pulled out and communists overran the South. In Iraq the election returns followed sectarian lines and increased sectarian and overall violence push the country towards civil war. The Palestinian elections resulted in the terrorist/political movement Hamas coming to power resulting in a current crisis that may cause war. As I watch Israeli air strikes on Gaza tonight I wondered do elections ever lead to stability. Other examples in America, Yugoslavia, and Ireland just to name 3 more seem to support my case. Democracies can work but they must be built on a foundation of stable and moderate leadership who support human rights, seek peace and above all are viewed as legitimate by all their people.
Monday, June 26, 2006
This weekend Brett Myers a pitcher for the Phillies was arrested for domestic abuse. In Boston on a road trip Myers allegedly hit his wife on the street near the team hotel. His wife paid the 200 dollar bail and he was released he then proceeded to pitch the game the next night. The question is how important is winning? Important enough to pitch an all-star who also is a wife beater (allegedly) only the Phillies can choose.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I've been reading the new book "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It is a biography of Abraham Lincoln and his key advisors before and during the Civil War. I was very intrested in reading about what our own nations descent into Civil War was like now that it appears Iraq might slide into it. A key point in the lead up to the Civil War in the 1850's was the fact that politicans on both sides began to speak as if the sectional conflict had allready begun. Northerners such as Willam Seward, Charles Sumner, and Southerners like John Calhoun, and Jefferson Davis spoke of a coming conflict. In the past while some had feared Civil War politicans always publicly denied it. President Andrew Jackson a southern slave owner threatened to use troops to quiet South Carolina when it even mentioned secession. However as tension mounted politicans on both sides started talking of the "irrepressible conflict" as Seward put it. It showed the public had started to accept the idea of the civil war as a real possibility. Now in Iraq we see the same thing politicans Sunni and Shia including Prime Minister Nuri al-Malki talking of the possiblity of conflict. The violence between both sides continues. Hopefully they can avoid the last spark that will lead to all out war the next few months is key.
Welcome to Holland Blog your site for news and analysis on all the days events. Be it sports, politics or foreign affairs. Just to clear things up I’m 21 year old college student from Billings, Montana. My political views are liberal and my major is history. My favorite sports teams are as such Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Rams, LA Lakers, Chicago Blackhawks, Montana Grizzlies, and the Boston College Eagles.