Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Live coverage of gun control hearings:

Here is the video feed:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Nevermind, or News we didn't see coming

Based on all the good news with various specific economic updates, factors that include manufacturing, housing prices and sales, home building, and, especially, auto sales, a bit of wishful thinking and downright optimism went into thoughts of an improving economic recovery.

Perhaps not so. Sure, bad news lingered, too: The trade deficit and lingering unemployment levels were strongest but also lackluster Christmas sales and slumping consumer confidence.

Now comes the big news, highly symbolic, yes, but also frightening, the economy shrunk for the first time in almost four years. A big oops, seeing how confidence so drives the markets. But with spending cuts promised to help ease the growing deficit, we as a nation must endure some lumps to pay for our past sins, or really spending. It's like a family (or a college student) with a credit card. Eventually, you got to pay, and it's never easy.

You can't have a recession, or in this case, a double dip recession without the first quarter of economic contraction. So what happens next? Taxes ticked upward, more spending cuts are promised and unemployment continues to impact the entire nation. Furthermore, and I think this was perhaps the biggest reason for the decline in what should have been an artificial boost the economy, the fourth-quarter shopping season, our leaders have shown no indication of working together to repair the economy.

The nation seemingly has a complete lack of confidence in our elected leaders, from the president to every member of the Senate and the House. And that's not improving any time soon. At least, there's not a major fight yet over immigration. Coming together to work on anything, forget the fight over gun violence, would help repair the damage they've caused.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More news we like

Yes, we like the improved economy... or at least I do.

But I also like these stories, and I think most readers do, too:

A police officer fired after getting called out for lying under oath.

A judge under fire after his girlfriend arrested for drunken driving while he and daughter in car.

And a judge busted by a reporter (kudos for shady deals... how could she be so dumb, putting property in kids' names is one thing, but taking it back for your after short sale??? Greed (like hormones) = stupidity.

But I also like these stories, too:

Police: Footprints lead to impaired motorist following crash on I-75 in Troy

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Stories we like to hear

Lots of news about housing levels, building and buying and home prices, reaching pre-recession levels.

Those are all good to hear, of course, but here's another one we in Michigan need to hear more: Profit-sharing for autoworkers. That's a big boost to local economies, businesses that rely on people spending extra money.

Ford reported earnings that will allow it to spend $380 million on its employees, not too much considering the billions earned. However, it is a boost to local communities.

Nearly 46,000 employees are to receive $8,300 in profit-sharing bonuses. That's some great news and a good start to a sustained recovery. Too bad, though, we're still talking about recovery.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

'Old Man' Rock

He ain't a kid no more.

Yes, Kid Rock, Mr. fun times and wild man, seems more like a grumpy old man nowadays. And I'm not talking about his continued support for Republican candidates who end up losing elections. (I still love the anti-drug candidates standing side by side with Mr. Fire One Up, though.)

No, it's Old Man Rock asking fans not to 'ruin' or 'spoil' the fun by posting their concert experience online via social media, whether it be a set list or a clip shot on a phone. Guess what, such things don't ruin the experience for fans. This isn't the third part of 'The Hobbit' being offered. It's a concert.

Such promotion actually builds excitement for shows. Fans often watch clips, read reviews and look for changes on set lists as the traveling show gets closer to their town. In fact, you can see how online news reports get read even after the show leaves town. Many of Gary Graff's reviews, such as his recent one of The Who, get read long after they've appeared ... by fans looking for info on their band as it gets to their town.

Now, what does ruin a show or spoil a night is the hard-earned money being blown by a high-priced ticket when the show doesn't produce the anticipated fun.

Used to be an artist would like any publicity, any word of mouth news reaching fans. But Mr. Easy Listening is telling fans that they must live like he does, nevermind their own habits. Oh, and he'll be the lone one providing photos and tidbits from the show, on his own web site.

Yeah, right, too bad he's not living in the same world the rest of us inhabit. Now if he had just suggested that fans coming to his sold out tour refrain from watching anything about it to enjoy any surprises he has planned, that might come across a lot less harsh. Instead, this sounds like he wants to control who watches what when.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Ray Lewis, hero or goat

Well, to detractors, he's not a goat, but potentially a killer. Words like murder and coverup are used to describe Lewis' trip to watch the Super Bowl in Atlanta in 2000.

With the star linebacker's impending retirement and surprise return to the Super Bowl, the leader of the Baltimore Ravens is back in the headlines and columnists' scopes as he is lavished with praise for his on-field skills, his on-field leadership and his off-field charity work and positive lifestyle.

Not all are so impressed, bringing up the double murder charges (even if you don't stab someone, if you are there and part of an effort to conceal everyone's involvement, you are potentially vulnerable to top murder charges) as well as his marital status and offspring.

Lewis, in what was one of the biggest stories of that winter, saw his murder charges dismissed when he agreed to testify against two others. They were acquitted eventually, and he pleaded to a misdemeanor charge related to obstructing police. Many questions still are asked, especially about missing evidence (his clothes, which some insist were bloodied) and about the settled civil suit.

When he did win a Super Bowl, it wasn't Lewis going to Disney, his reputation still sullied. But now, with time passed and his staying with his team and being a positive leader (he doesn't whine about money, playing time, endorsements -- many of the things that sports fan are sick of athletes doing), it's his time to shine, maybe.

Maybe not, though, if enough complain publicly and enough bring up the past, such as USA Today.

I don't know what happened, but lying about an investigation, to me, indicates involvement. There are times to hope to stay hidden and there are times to step to the plate and be an adult and share what you know. A murder investigation is a time to be a man and responsible member of society. Likewise, many people believe 'snitching' is the greatest sin and that is deplorable behavior when lives are taken.

What I do know is that Lewis is a strange character, his emotionally charged behavior after games, almost like a traveling preacher being overtaken by the spirit. Very strange stuff. It makes good photos and good video, but that post-game interview was weird stuff.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Making the shot, making SportsCenter

An eighth-grade student at Rochester Hills' Van Hoosen Middle School got his first action when he took the court last night in the team's final game.

He nailed his first shot and then drilled his second, making two three-pointers and driving the crowd wild. Owen Groesser has Down syndrome, inspiring his team and his school by accomplishing these season-ending scores.

Social media kicks in with someone starting a Twitter handle of #GetOwenonSportsCenter. And it worked, giving the student a slot on the night's top ten highlights. Sensing they had seen something special, they knew to share it and to give Owen an extra boost, a national spotlight.

Good job, Owen, way to represent the school and community. Here's the video, from WXYZ's full report of the game action:

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

R. Allen Stanford

He is in prison, serving a 110-year sentence for his $7 billion fraud, a Ponzi scheme. Today, he's back in the news as one of his, let's say, henchmen, but also a prosecution witness, is sentenced to prison.

This is an old but favorite video:

That direct video is OK, but preferred is a little commentary:

Of course, prison has not apparently been good for the Texas billionaire:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Who is victim of hoax? Not the player, not the media

And certainly not Notre Dame, the university that sat on knowing a widespread story about a player's dead girlfriend was all false. No death. No girlfriend. No tragedy.

What a fantastic job by Deadspin. com for putting the facts before us, completely, fully showcasing the extent of the lie and the failure of the media, oh and names are named and links provided, in perpetuating a nice-sounding story. I must note that much is made of Sports Illustrated writing it about it, but this story from them just adds about the tough week for the player, not going into detail about the supposed death. It just mentioned it, as it was a commonly shared story, it seems.

Better than the details in what media reported about the case and what facts were out there (lack of death notice all the way to the tweets and the origins of some photos) was the speculation by a friend of Manti Te'o who said he was "80 percent" sure that Te'o was in on it.... based on the fact that he couldn't be that stupid.

Apologies to athletes for a bad joke, but not even a football player could be that stupid, to become engaged to someone he had never met. Can someone be really so dumb? (What a tough thing to argue to the world... I'm not a liar; I'm an idiot.) All the details about meeting her, where did those come from? And what kid tells his parents such details... isn't it just, "I met this girl" and maybe include a geographic location.

If he didn't lie about these details, someone else did. And the mistakes of the media include fact-checking, independent sourcing and pushing a nice story that's already been told... not making something up. Newspapers and TV reporters aren't generally that bad, just creating facts. No, these had to presented by someone.. the son to the father? The father to the media?

That Notre Dame first sat on knowing the story was a hoax (three months after it started, they said they learned but waited until it broke to share that?) is bad enough, but to push the idea that the player is a victim of the hoax means that the media and his friends/family created such rich and deep false details. They said he was on the phone with her overnight to hear breathing. Their stares had intertwined when passing by one another at Stanford? A good hoax needs details, if the story is going to jump from conversation to front page.

Now come the jokes, and they are good, highlighted by a photo gallery.

Let's hope we don't hear the last of this, and gain, great job Deadspin. And Slate has a nice piece of analysis, noting that the narrative gets in the way of fact-checking, too often.

Oh, and again, if it's on the internet, you can delete it, but it's never gone forever.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

John Rocker, American hero? Hm.... No

First thing, let's be clear that New Yorkers don't care for John Rocker, the one-time Atlanta Braves closer known for his insensitivity to things like diversity and alternative lifestyles.

But the is taking the retired pitcher, who is now an occasional columnist for a conservative blog, to task for his statements about guns and Jews under Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.

Here's what Rocker wrote, noting as he introduced the idea that few things in life are certain, except we can all agree that one of them is: "the undeniable fact that the Holocaust would have never taken place had the Jewish citizenry of Hitler's Germany had the right to bear arms and defended themselves with those arms."

The New York Daily News also highlights the 1999 comments that started Rocker's descent into becoming a national joke and eventually a has been, his dislike of NY Met fans and concerns about public transportation in New York in general.

No matter what you think of the gun debate issue, tossing the Holocaust and the stripping away not only of gun rights but all political rights, property rights and human rights from Jewish people in Nazi Germany is not relevant here today. Not at all. Just as when people compare their mayor, their governor, their president or their boss to Hitler is so very wrong, this too is stepping way over the line in terms of taste and logic. 

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Guns and presidential offspring

Yes, I'm talking about the president's two young daughters. They're mentioned, not by name, just by the fact that he had kids, in an online video ad brought to us by the NRA.

The ad is a preemptive response to President Barack Obama's plans to try to reduce gun violence.

Many are critical of the NRA using the president's kids for political gain. Well, we'll see if there's any gain. At the most, it'll preach to the converted and it will, as most of the NRA's leadership does, likewise anger those who do not respect the NRA.

One of the critics is the Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson, who always writes with strong reason and sharp humor and says that the tactic shows the desperation of the NRA. It does reek of desperation and like I said, it will only convince the true believers.

But many of the comments I've seen have said it's wrong to bring the children of the president into the debate, to use them for political gain. Even the White House complained. Hmm. I don't think so. Presidential children are always in the news when they do something, good or bad, and he had mentioned his being a father as impacting how he feels about certain things. And it's a fair thing to point out, that the NRA wants guns in schools as protection and the presidential children have such protections.

Of course, they have that protection because there are so many nuts with access to guns, but hey, we only have 30 seconds to make up our minds.

Funny, too, that many complain about the president using Sandy Hook to look into gun control and prosecuting gun crimes. That's a pretty amazing argument, seeing how actions always cause reactions. George W. Bush didn't denounce the Taliban not consider a war with Afghanistan until after 9.11, and he wasn't politicizing anything there. He, and we, reacted. Most major changes come after something terrible, and it's not politicizing the event.

A boat sinks and dozens die, then we talk boating regulations. Hundreds get sick after food is tainted and we talk regulations and enforcement. Sometimes the reaction is too big, but when you have dozens of school shootings and thousands killed, it'll bring about a reaction. This one took a long time, and it's too bad for the gun owners that the NRA doesn't participate in the debate. They'll be left out of the decision-making process if they keep angering those in the middle.

But maybe it's just about membership dues for them.

Nonetheless, nothing wrong with their ad, except it isn't helping their cause. Their ads should reach the middle, if they want to be part of the solution and not relegated to fringe group status. 

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A blog, Kaplan's Corner on Jews and News, has a nice photo. I don't want to copy it so you'll have to go see it.

It's a football field with the logo looking very freshly painted and new, but with one problem ... midfield on this day is the 45 yard line.

I like the title for the post: "You had just one job."

It reminds me of a photo published at The Morning Sun about fifteen years ago, when the worker painting the STOP in front of a school on the roadway had started with the letters to big... making it STO with just a tad bit of space left before the curb, giving it a STOl at the end of the day.

They had to repaint it. No problem, I'm sure, until the photo appeared on the front of the next day's paper.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Guns in headlines

This story might attract some attention, considering the recent battle over guns following the Sandy Hook shootings that left so many children dead.

The Miami Herald reports out of South Florida that in two different cases, suspected armed robbers were gunned down by potential victims.

Now,  it's common for people both sides of the political aisle to use news stories to bolster political claims and these stories may soon make big headlines.

The first case involved an employee of an Exxon in Hollywood shooting one of two armed robbery suspects, police reported. The one suspect shot ended up dead, and police later found and picked up the second suspect.

The second case was out the northeast Miami-Dade area, where a resident shot someone who was trying to rob him.

There was no immediate word if the guns used were legally owned and carried, but already the headline is big, being posted on

The story is to be updated by the paper.

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Nice cover to the today, where they showed what they really think of Lance Armstrong now that he has joined the rest of the world to acknowledge his doping. "Liestrong."

Yes, everything associated with this 'man' is tainted.

And I believe you do not deserve forgiveness from the public when you admit something only after becoming the last person on earth to maintain the lie. Once everyone knows, you can't come clean. No point. We know it. We know you know it. Don't come groveling now.

Armstrong is a fraud. Everything about him is a fraud, to have lied so continuously and so intensely and to label so many others as having lied about you. That is a huge smear. What balls! Sorry for the terrible pun.

And one more thing... Does Oprah Winfrey have some special role as the chief American caller out of bullshit? If so, she should be doing so earlier. Nice job, though, for the madam of daytime talk to scoop '60 Minutes.' However, I must wonder if he went with Oprah because of potential to get sympathy and some restraint she may show that he may not get from the news magazine.

And here's my favorite comment about Sir Lies aLot, from @patcaputo 98 or simply Pat Caputo, sports columnist:
Lance Armstrong a classic case of cheaters in sports. Lie, lie, lie until caught; then cry, cry, cry.

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New child pornographers? Think before you share!

It was a rather natural reaction really, revenge when learning her boyfriend had cheated on her.

It's a story out of Minnesota, reported here out of a Fox TV station, and it's a lesson many could use.

The 21-year-old woman did what many suspicous partners or spouses do, she snooped a little as she suspected her boyfriend had cheated. He had, the story reports, and he made it easy to be found out — he had video recorded both him and his brother having oral sex with a pair of 17-year-old girls in a motel room.

The girlfriend chose, as many do, a public confrontation and accomplished this by posting the video onto a social media site, Facebook, something not everybody would think of.

Police and prosecutors eventually noticed after other people told the girls on FB what they had seen.

Now the 28-year-old boyfriend is charged with a felony — not for the sex as 17 is old enough, but for the video as now 17 is not old enough. It's using a minor in pornography, police say.

Also, the angry girlfriend now should be kicking herself for she, too, is charged with a crime — dissemination and possession of pornographic work involving minors.

Again, these were somewhat natural reaction people now have: videotaping stuff and sharing to social media. These are not the traditional child pornographers that we think of, but their actions may fit under child pornography laws.

Think before you click 'record' and think again before you click 'send.'
What do you think?

More details about the case are here.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Jimmy Hoffa is back in the news

It didn't take long for the Jimmy Hoffa story to go national, after WDIV, Channel Four, broke the new revelation, that a long time mobster says he knows roughly where the long-missing Teamster ended up.

It wasn't under Giants Stadium.

Rather, it was where he naturally would be taken... to a field in the Rochester area and buried.

Get out those shovels.

It's a fascinating story, bigger than the Oakland County Child Killer because we just want to know the ending. Where did he end up?

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another case with national attention

Tonight on CBS, '48 Hours' highlights yet another murder case out of Oakland County...this one the Jeffrey Pyne trial. The young man was accused of killing his mother in their Highland Township home, convicted last month of 2nd-degree murder.

Epic Sunday?

Yes, it will be, if a football fan. Well, we'll know tomorrow night, but it's shaping up to be an epic Sunday if a true fan of the games.

And I mean games, English Premiere League and NFL. I get it, soccer is actually football, and the NFL is head concussing military-strategizing mayhem. You got to love both.

Early, we start with struggling Liverpool, perhaps the most storied team in English and thus football history. They go up against Manchester United, the most trophied team in recent decades. Many say Liverpool is the most storied team, but you can't ignore the widespread success of the Red Devils and its leader Sir Alex Ferguson. I'd say that ManU will roll with ease but team leader and superstar Wayne Rooney appears not able to play and ManU has had a tendency this campaign to give up early goals to lesser teams, making for interesting games...though frustrating the way Manchester United keeps coming back.

Next up, Arsenal, another powerhouse goes up against Manchester City, which topped ManU last season for its first title in decades. They trail United by something like seven points and need a win/loss combo to close the gap. If Arsenal wins and United wins, they may get Sir Alex another trophy months early.

THEN, of course, come the NFL playoffs from 1 to 7:30 or 8 p.m. Enough has been said about that except I hope Houston puts up a game and that Seattle does the same.

It could certainly be an epic Sunday, and with limited games, no flipping and no Red Zone back and forth.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Report: Police use anti-violence pledge to get all students' handwriting samples

A report out of Massachusetts says that police investigating a threat of violence at a school used a student-signed pledge to obtain handwriting samples in their efforts to locate and identify a suspect.
The Republican of Massachusetts says that the school and police are in the city of Northampton, where a threat was made on Dec. 1989 with a note left in a high school bathroom. That was five days after the Sandy Hook shooting, which left 20 children slaughtered.
Two days later, on Dec. 21, a pledge was offered to take student violence and threats seriously with officials from the school, prosecutor's office and police agreeing on the effort.
What do you think of this? The trick is legal, police and prosecutors say, and the police note they also want to help someone if they are troubled. The case could result in a criminal charge punishable by up to three years in stir.
The report from the Republican is here.
Tricks are commonly used by police during their investigations, though usually, it is perceived they may trick an individual who is a suspect. But tricking an entire student body? Beyond the area of cops dealing with juveniles, would this damage the credibility of school efforts to curb violence or ask students about safety or health issues? Does the threat of violence, and the disruption it causes allow police and schools to look for creative ways like this combat the issue?
In Oakland County, police have many times had to deal with school problems, often threats of violence, hit lists and, many times, damaging many buses to get a day off school. The detectives typically get their man — or boy or girl — due to the main way students give up themselves: telling a friend or simply everyone on social media or even videotaping themselves.
Again, what do you think?

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Humphey Bogart, a look back at Academy Awards

Now here's a grand look back at the glory days of Hollywood, in light of today's Oscar nominations:

Humphrey Bogart was a titan of the big screen and he beat out an impressive field, perhaps winning due to past losses when he turned out so liked. Or, maybe there was a split vote.

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Again with alligators and the weed; tragic often

We had a bit yesterday about a Waterford man, 28, pleading guilty to misdemeanor cases related to his marijuana grow room. Due to the medical marijuana laws, he was not charged with the grow room, despite exceeding the number of allowed plants. Those used to be felony charges.

But he had an alligator and four pit bulls, misdemeanor violations in Waterford Township. Kind of a strange case, with the 2-and-a-half foot alligator, which to me the big news being that the reptile was euthanized. Strange, though, is not unique. We had this today, crossing the wires, which I had added to our Bizarre Blotter piece:

Alligator found guarding California man's marijuana stash
This man's alligator was five-feet long and was inside the Castro Valley home to protect 34 pounds of marijuana, police told The Associated Press. While the Michigan gator was euthanized, Mr. Teeth —  as his 32-year-old owner told police — is at a zoo, being cared for. UPDATE: Sadly, Mr. Teeth passed on overnight as his sickly condition could not be fixed. Officials told the AP that the gator was very sick but was being treated. The owner told police he got the gator to commemorate the death of rapper Tupac Shakur, the AP reported. He is being charged with having marijuana to sell.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hall of Fame one tough gig

And it should be a tough gig to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Baseball's success comes due to its deep historical roots. The game is the same for the most part, though the players are better. Even with better players, though, the records do not easily fall... except for steroids and home runs, one reason today the Hall of Fame did not see its membership expand.

In football, the NFL season kicks off with a big show at the Hall of Fame. So, they need someone added each year. Favorite players make it. Records count less due to the many rule changes beyond the physical changes and expansions of passing and training.

Baseball gains by having a Hall of Fame that requires 75 percent vote by writers. It's a tough test to pass. A lot of good, worthy players could be Hall of Famers, except it's a tough test to pass. Jack Morris and Dale Murphy are great examples — great players with big numbers.

But you could argue, as I do, that just big numbers do not make one worthy of the hall, which should be for the elite of the elite. The Hall of Fame is forever, and the larger the membership, the less value each member has.

Let's hope it doesn't get watered down because this year could see no new members. And I like the idea that a veteran's committee can rectify wrongs if someone truly worthy belongs inside.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Timing is everything, even when it's poor

I wouldn't call it the B-1 curse.

Plenty of teams and players have graced the front of our wonderful sports section and gone on won games, trophies, and championships.

But when the timing is off, I do notice. We finally had a nice column from our excellent Detroit Pistons beat writer, Dave Pemberton, on Sunday, the most important day of the week for newspapers, especially their printed product.

"Pistons finding ways to win tight games," Pemberton's column's headline proclaimed.

On Monday morning, with the Sunday paper on my desk to ensure that Sunday's content missed on Sunday's web site received proper play on Monday morning, the biggest day and time of the week for the newspaper's digital product.

Headline on the home page: "Pistons fall at home to lowly Bobcats in OT, 108-101 WITH VIDEO"

The four-game winning streak was gone. Oh well, we tried to promote the team, and I'm optimistic they are still on their way up. I'm even rooting for a playoff birth, still, kinda, though it's anchored in realism.

At least they are making it worth watching.

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Justin Bieber and squeaky clean

He'll end up just squeaky eventually, but for now, the young singer is a national, er, international phenomena, selling song, tickets, a look and whatever event he is brought in to promote.

His handlers now maintain that pictures taken of the star belong to the star, not to whomever took them. This comes after pictures possibly showing him smoking something that may be marijuana. Both of these items come from the celebrity-stalking site,

The 18-year-old Canadian is now an industry, a PR machine, so any negative news could slow the money machine; however, eventually he will grow up and get wild and turn that into his new persona, much as Miley Cyrus has done. And Elvis Presley long before her.

Today, the New York Post has a report detailing the explanation for the pot smoke smell reported at a hotel where Bieber stayed recently, saying that it was from 'another rock star.' These explanations get good. Keeping in the spirit of talking to the audience, Bieber or someone on his behalf or on his staff tweeted, "I never want to let any of you down. I love u and thank u."

The hunger to stay out there and keep that clean image will give way soon enough to embracing a new image... say, when his sales dip slightly.

When will that happen? Not any time soon and not because of some marijuana. However, it will happen. And all their concerns and overmanagement will not prevent it. But it will take a bit. Why? Because people are freaky about him. How freaky? Well, the NY Daily News has a bit asking if young fans are cutting themselves to get his attention. Yup, even with that love though, he will diminish... no flavor of the month lasts forever. 

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National yawn

I was at an appointment Monday afternoon and they had the news on in the waiting room. Up popped a preview of the night's BCS National Championship game.

A man commented to his wife: "Oh, I forgot that was on tonight."

Bingo. I thought the same thing working that morning when I saw something cross the wires about the night's game. I, too, had no thoughts on college football after the Wild Card weekend for the NFL.

I wonder how the ratings will be as I only watched a little and Alabama quickly turned the game into a route. Perhaps they should just replay the SEC title game for the national title, but I think it's harming the ratings to wait so late into January.

Seems like it worked better when the season wrapped up on New Year's Day, perhaps just going one day extra for the finale. And I should note, I do like college football.

Of course, the way ESPN was schooled by NBC when it finally acquired Monday Night Football, as the NFL and audience switched emphasis to Sunday Night Football, ESPN's bowl season has been lackluster to say the least.

The national championship is not worthy of a week-long preparation, such as the Super Bowl enjoys.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Playoff highlights... an injury

Sunday's game in Washington, D.C. as the Redskins hosted the Seattle Seahawks, was the best game of the weekend.

It also had the most intrigue, as a pre-game report indicated that the home team's star quarterback — rookie Robert Griffin III, the second pick of the 2012 draft, who excited fans with highlights and provided promise by leading his team to the playoffs — had not been checked out before he returned to a game earlier this year when he injured his knee, according to a report in USA TODAY.

Griffin is the future of the team and he ended up missing at least a game or two. So just as they are kicking off on Sunday, this story is up and people are talking. Did he get rushed back? Did he ignore a problem in his leg? Is the team and the player risking their futures?

And sure enough, late on Sunday, Griffin was hurt. He wasn't even hit when he went down. It looked painful. And he missed the bad snap and couldn't reach it, leading to a fumble and turn over deep in their own territory when already down by one touchdown and time running out.

And sure enough, just like that, the game and season ended for the Redskins.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Booze and football; Lions' fans need not worry

In one sense, say perhaps for public safety and common decency, selling vast amounts of alcohol to tens of thousands of passionate football fans is not a good thing.

But to football fans, eating fun foods and drinking loads of beer while riding the highs and lows of the NFL, or whatever sport you like, but especially the NFL, is a great thing. It is to live.

However, at this weekend's wild card playoff game, involving the Minnesota Vikings visiting their hated rivals, the Green Bay Packers, they will limit beer and other alcohol sales, ending them at halftime.

Officials site the propensity at night football games for people, fans really, to allow themselves to be over-served, let's say. I have seen in the news lately, these last few weeks of the season, a couple of stories from Deadspin about Vikings fans and their, let's again say, enthusiasm.

This Deadspin story has an interesting Lions angle as it reports the increased levels of violence when the Packers play the Vikings or the Bears, highlighting a man's arrest for punching out a Packer fan while he, the culprit, wore a giant purple sombrero. Violence is much, much lower when the Lions play in Green Bay, prompting Deadspin to note, "It's official, then — no one cares about the Lions."

I had to laugh at the idea of the fan trying to flee and hide but being easily caught due to his headgear. Football fans are traditionally easy to fill the role of idiot.

Here are a couple of Lions fans, though, proving that we can drink and act stupid and even violent, just like they do in Wisconsin and Minnesota. I particularly like the way the other fans ganged up on the gals, wanting them to and then singing "na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" when the cops finally arrive. They blew great endzone seats.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Coach goes after star

I wish we'd see more of this in the NFL, specifically with the Detroit Lions.

The star coach, who led Manchester City to its first title in decades just months ago, charges after its star player after the star made a hard challenge that could have injured someone ... during practice.

Now, generally, I like the idea of a good spirited physical practice. But I also believe a team is better when they join together and listen to the coach, in this case, well-respected Roberto Mancini. But Mario Balotelli is a star's star, a fellow Italian and seemingly wild man (car crashes, breaking INTO a women's prison.)

Mancini led City to a dramatic title over cross-town rival and much-hated Manchester United, who always contends and usually wins championships, think a combination of the Steelers and Patriots with a bit of 49ers tossed in.

Balotelli scores big goals, and he broke into a woman's prison. I also like the quote in the article about when he crashed his car and was asked why had 5,000 pounds on him and he answered, "Because I'm rich."

Hopefully, the pair can work it out because they are entertaining and talented and City appears to be the only team that can catch Manchester United.

But I'd love to see someone like Latrell Spreewell go after Mancini, as it wouldn't go as well for the player. Or, I'd like to see coaches show a bit more spirit in the NFL.

Good stuff.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gun rights and freedom of information... Don't guns protect?

That's the argument, guns make us safer. If good guys, like me, have a gun, I'm safer.

So this quote and bit from an Associated Press story about the newspaper seeking public records on pistol permits from the local government in Putman County, New York, is pretty funny.

Critics called the publication an invasion of privacy; some said it could endanger permit holders.
“In Putnam County, I have over 11,000 pistol permit holders, and I refuse to put their lives and their families’ lives in danger,” Sant told The New York Times. “When these laws were conceived, there was no social media, there was no Google maps.”

So, owning a gun is a dangerous thing, especially if everyone knows you have a gun? Wonder what the 'open carry' people think about that. Having a gun makes you vulnerable and an attractive target?

Talking about having it both ways.

This Sandy Hook story and the prior shooting at the "Dark Knight Rises" premiere in Colorado are going to stick around in the news cycle for a long time, and inconsistent statements like this from an oversensitive gun lobby is going to help fire up the cause.

Face it, many people must be embarrassed to be gun owners right now, especially with the hard right conservatives saying the answer to gun violence is more guns, especially in classrooms. Crying about safety is shooting themselves in the foot.

However, just as self-hurting is the newspaper, trying to get people talking and perhaps trying to touch on public safety (taking a 'your neighbor is armed' approach), as the backlash against publishing such information has proven swift and ferocious.

The paper had already published some information regarding pistol permits, creating a massive uproar that has led to the paper hiring armed guards... some sweet irony there. And a blogger published the names and addresses and contac information for the paper's leadership.

Should these public records be open to the public? I would think so, as if you want to be a proud gunowner, then stand proud and be loud. If it brings shame, then perhaps it's not such a politically strong position.

And I like the open carry advocates in Michigan. Talk about open and honest; you know where they stand.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new year, same old news

So a deal was reached within the Senate regarding the fiscal cliff, ending one year and beginning the new one with the House having to approve or disapprove of the deal.

Shame of a way to end and start a year, the same old tiresome infighting that many fear is ruining our country. It would take a lot more than political leaders to ruin such a good thing, but they are trying their best it seems. The economy, I think, will be fine, an increase in taxes or not. Slowing the accumulating debt will boost markets and improve confidence, but no one in DC seems interested in long-term solutions over their short-term soundbites.

Of course, it beats ending the year with celebrity baby news with two of the biggest celebrities... oh, that's tiresome.

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