Archive for March 2006

The Negro Leagues And The Men of Spring

Originally published at Dean’s World.

Being my birthplace, St. Louis has shaped me in ways that other cities and even countries have not. One of the legacies of having grown up in the suburbs of that city is a deep appreciation for baseball. For me Summer will always mean high humidity, the smell of cut grass and the play-by-play called by Jack Buck and his right-hand man, Mike Shannon, on KMOX radio.

Funny thing is that the older I get, the more I appreciate the game even as the sport loses its luster with the public because of the whining, drugged-up multimillionaires that currently populate the sport, as well as the growing popularity of other sports like basketball and football.

But, if you’ve seen Field of Dreams, you know that for those who appreciate it, baseball is more than the money, and the problems, or even the deadbeat dads who play. So when the wife came home with this, I felt like a kid again and the magic that is the game of baseball came to life:

That’s Bill “Ready” Cash’s autograph. Bill “Ready” Cash was catcher for the Philadelphia Stars of the Negro Baseball Leagues from 1943 – 1950.

Being a baseball fan in America today, it’s hard not to be fascinated by the Negro Leagues. The Negro Leagues of baseball were formed after the enactment of Jim Crow Laws made it legal to discriminate against African-Americans. Prior to that some African-Americans had played on white teams, including Bud Fowler, William Edward White and Moses Fleetwood Walker.

The history of the leagues are just as colorful as the history of baseball itself, with characters like Gus Greeley, an African-American businessman who started a baseball league in order to launder money, only to fall in love with the game and sink his fortune into it. Even Bill Veeck, who once put a midget at the plate for the St. Louis Browns, got into the act by trying to buy the Philadelphia Phillies and bring it over to the Negro Leagues. He failed when the Commissioner of Baseball moved quickly to find another buyer for the Phils.

Baseball history is first and foremost American history – of success and failure, racism and redemption. For the vile events of Jackie Robinson walking to the plate to the sounds of jeering and curses, there is the magic of Hank Aaron’s home run on April 8, 1974 when he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. Today with players from all over the world and all skin colors playing Major League Baseball, it’s easy to forget that even “Hammering Hank” Aaron regularly received death threats through the rest of his career which ended in 1976.

But before Hank Aaron, before Jackie Robinson there were men like Bill “Ready” Cash, who played the game for teams like the Philadelphia Stars just as well and in many cases better than the men who wore the uniforms of Cardinals, Yankees and Red Sox. Today he is a living legend, and I am thrilled that the Wife was able to meet him.

UPDATE: Bill has written a book, along with a local sports writer, about his experiences on and off the field. They’ve had a heck of a time finding a publisher.

This is American history and a story that deserves to reach the widest audience possible. If anyone can help, please email me ( and I’ll pass along the info.

Doing a lot of writing…

Just not here.
The site is sometimes blocked, so here are some recent writings posted elsewhere:

Dean’s World:
Better Brush Off Your EU Passport
The Negro Leagues and the Men of Spring
Aetitology Comments on the value of Children’s Opinions

Kicking Ass in Fallujah

StrategyPage reports:

The terrorists that got out, later all repeated the same story. Once the Americans were on to you, if was like being stalked by a machine. The often petrified defender could only remember the footsteps of the approaching American troops inside a building, the gunfire and grenade blasts as rooms were cleared, and the shouted commands that accompanied it. If a building was so well defended that the American infantry could not get in, they would just obliterate it with a smart bomb. They used smaller weapons, like AT-4 rocket launchers, many of which fuel-air explosive (thermobaric) warheads. These would use an explosive mist to create a lethal blast, capable of clearing several rooms at once. The defenders could occasionally kill or wound the advancing Americans, but could not stop them. Nothing the defenders did worked, and the American tactics developers want to keep it that way.

So do we, guys, so do we…

Iraq: It’s Payback Time

Not Civil War, according to Strategy Page:

Deaths from revenge killings now exceed those from terrorist or anti-government activity. Al Qaeda is beaten, and running for cover. The Sunni Arab groups that financed thousands of attacks against the government and coalition groups, are now battling each other, al Qaeda, and Shia death squads. It’s not civil war, for there are no battles or grand strategies at play. It’s not ethnic cleansing, yet, although many Sunni Arabs are, and have, fled the country. What’s happening here is payback. Outsiders tend to forget that, for over three decades, a brutal Sunni Arab dictatorship killed hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shia Arabs. The surviving victims, and the families of those who did not survive, want revenge. They want payback. And even those Kurds Shia Arabs who don’t personally want revenge, are inclined to tolerate some payback. Since the Sunni Arabs comprise only about 20 percent of the population, and no longer control the police or military, they are in a vulnerable position.

Guillermo Fariñas Hernandez is Dying

Babalu Blog reports that journalist Guillermo Fariñas Hernandez is standing up to Fidel Castro – you know, the dictator that the MSM and Jimmy Carter like to go down on. Mr. Hernandez is suffering as a result.

Viva Cuba Libre!

Afghan Court Drops Case Against Christian

Welcome to the Civilized World, guys – and I mean that.
It’s a big step forward for Afghanistan. A very big step.

What to do about Iran

StrategyPage has an essay on Iran titled “It’s so Confusing“. After reading it, I’m sure you’ll agree because I’m a bit thrown by it too. The essence of the article is that Iranian society is very complex, and our efforts to contain the “Mad Mullahs” can drive the people to support them if we aren’t careful.

So far it appears that we are doing the right thing by pursuing a diplomatic solution. We should consider treating Iran the same way we treat North Korea – ignoring it’s public outbursts, punishing its negative behavior and rewarding the positive. Nothing drives a dictator like Kim Jong il more nuts than to have an outburst and be completely ignored. We should treat Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the exact same way. Deny the Holocaust? Well, that’s predictable. Wipe Israel off the map? Heh, just try. Anti-Semitic cartoon contest? Yawn.

The US must remember that it has less to lose than many of the regional players; consequently it needs to resist the temptation to fix everything and let the smaller players do more to change the behavior of the local “bad-boy” regime. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and even Pakistan don’t want to see a nuclear-armed apostate regime (don’t forget that Shi’a are to Sunnis what 16th century Protestants were to Catholic and Inquisition-ruled Spain). The likelihood of Iran passing on nuclear weapons to terrorists is minimal, as al-Qaeda – an organization founded on the belief that America was still ruled by Jimmy Carter and wouldn’t strike back – has shown itself incapable of fighting the US or controlling its actions. Even passing the arms to Hezbollah, Hamas or other likeminded terror groups in and around the Middle East wouldn’t be reasonable since the discovery of such technology transfer could trigger an attack. Plus, nuking Israel would simply be suicide of the highest order that surely the Mad Mullahs themselves understand.

So the only solution is to wait them out and hope – yes hope - that as time goes by the Iranian leadership is replaced by someone else before they acquire nukes. We must face the fact that even if they do acquire nukes, the risks of a nuclear armed Iran are outweighed by the risk attending to an invasion of Iran. The world will be slightly more dangerous over the coming years but it’s not like we have any better choices.


Source: American Digest

I SAW the second-best minds of my not-so-Great Generation destroyed by Bush Derangement Syndrome, pasty, paunchy, tenured, unelectable, and not looking too sharp naked,

bullshitting themselves through the African-American streets at cocktail hour looking for a Prozac refill,

aging hair-plugged hipsters burning for their ancient political connection to the White House through the machinations of moonbats,

who warred on poverty and Halliburton’s Wal-Mart and bulbous-eyed and still high from some bad acid in 1968 set up no-smoking zones on tobacco farms in the unnatural darkness of Darwinistic delusions floating a few more half-baked secular notions like “Let’s all worship zero!”... (continued)

Good News Everyone!

The Pirate King reports a deal is in the works for 26 new episodes of Futurama.

Al Gore: To my left, you’ll recognize Gary Gygax, inventor of Dungeons & Dragons.
Gary Gygax: Greetings it’s a…
[rolls dice]
Gary Gygax: ... pleasure to meet you.

Good News For Spain: ETA Ceasefire

Foxnews reports the ETA has announced a permanent ceasefire in its efforts to create an independent Basque homeland. Evidently they are realizing that the democratic process works better than terror.

Now if only Islamic groups would realize the same thing…

A Moment In Time

Philadelphia 17th & Market St: 11:35 am

At lowspeed a BMW crunches into an Infinity. Both new cars. Both driven by lawyers.
The crash is witnessed and makes a beautiful sound, like a boot on freshly fallen snow.

Pedestrians smile as they walk past.

Iraq: Past Predictions

It’s full steam on Saddam

I just FTP’d up the home page, so be sure to visit for the latest.

This is a parody site designed by a man who believes that, given the chance, he would have the moral duty to put a bullet in the brain of Saddam. In the 1980’s I wrote letters as part of Amnesty International campaign against his regime. I protested when he invaded Kuwait in 1990, and later wrote critically of the Bush I administration for allowing this man to stay in power.

This man is evil and responsible for killing more Muslims than any Jew or American, living or dead.

Democrats Just Love Saddam

After reading yet another comment from a moral relativist that Iraq was “better with Saddam in power”, I came up with this idea.
More to come…
Saddam - Democrat for President

Saddam Bumpersticker

Editor of College Newspaper Fired

Acton Gorton received this email today:

The Illini Media Co. board of directors ? following a thorough review, a report by a student task force of senior members of the staff, and a hearing with Gorton ? found that Gorton violated Daily Illini policies about thoughtful discussion of and preparation for the publication of inflammatory material.

The board, made up of University of Illinois students and faculty, voted unanimously to fire Gorton.

The interim Daily Illini editors in chief, Shira Weissman and Jason Koch, decided to reinstate Prochaska; however, he declined to return for personal reasons.

The two editors had been suspended with pay since Feb. 14 when the student task force was convened to investigate the internal decision-making and communication surrounding the Feb. 9 publication of an editor?s note and the Danish Jyllands-Posten cartoons.

The board is disappointed with this outcome and regrets that Gorton?s actions necessitated his termination less than three months into his one-year term. But the board believes this conclusion is in the best interests of The Daily Illini newsroom and will allow the student journalists to carry on with the newspaper?s 135-year-old tradition of a vibrant, independent student press.


thoughtful discussion” – Does anyone else find that phrase chilling?