DK\’s Blog

May 26, 2006

Why the Oilers will Win the Cup

Filed under: hockey — darrenkelly @ 4:35 am

I am actually one of those people south of the Canadian border who has watched pretty much every NHL playoff game this year, both East & West.    I said in about January that a Western conference team will win, because hockey in the West resembles old school hockey.   The players are bigger, tougher, and the coaches are smarter.   In the East a fast, free-styling game plan was all you needed to let your top 4 or 5 play-makers get loose and put the puck in the net.    In the West, coaches actually had to discipline their players to play their roles within a system.    Teams with discipline could adapt at any time by playing a system that cramped the style of whateever opposing team they faced that night.   The Oilers' ability to beat Detroit by changing the way they played on a dime is an example.

The more interesting question is why the West should be more disciplined than the East?  Simple – Geography.   The Western teams are much farther apart and have tougher travel schedules than the East.   This means they are more tired and have less practice time.  As a result, they can't rely on speed and freshness to carry them throughout the long regular season, so they HAD to learn disciplined, system-based hockey.   Thus, they are better equipped.  

Bet the farm, the Oilers will win in 5 games.

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May 25, 2006

Enron – Shoot the CEOs!

Filed under: Business,Enron,Uncategorized — darrenkelly @ 9:33 pm

So Jeffrey & Ken are going to jail, joining Andrew, Bernie and few others.   While I have no doubt these guys either pushed the envelope a bit, or were down-right crooked, it still smells bad that they will sit and rot while the really outrageous corporate crook – Richard Scrushy of Healthsouth continues to preach on his "made-to-influence-the-jury" tevelanglist show. 

Scrushy "got religion" just in time to use his community program to ensure his jury of peers was full of brainwashed Birmingham automotants sympathetic to his cause.  

I believe in the rule of law, but America has a long way to go when dealing with corporate malfeasance in a consistent way.   The rules are too loosy-goosy and hard to understand, resulting in prosecutorial "Hail Mary's" that depend entirely on getting a jury with enough personal anger to vote in favor of a conviction – regardless of the law.

Until the rules are understandable and consistently applied, I suggest we just randomly shoot 2 or 3 of the Fortune 1000 CEO's each year on Labor Day.   We'd accomplish the same thing we achieve today and save taxpayers the bundle in court room costs.   Plus, we could sell tickets and donate the proceeds to the former Enron 401K stockholders.

Immigrant US Citizens – Fair for All?

Filed under: Immigration — darrenkelly @ 9:13 pm

If the US Congress is smart, they'll realize that the more immigrants we can get into the US, the better.   These people actually WANT to come to a country where everybody works hard and believes they can make a better life for themselves and their kids.   They also have enough motivation to overcome the fear/sadness/lonliness that comes from abandoning your family and friends to move to new place. 90% of the world can't bring themselves to make such a leap.     I applaud the Senate for having the hutzpah to actually recognize the reality that we need to get these 10 million immigrants into the country in a legal way ASAP – you can't send them back and you can't build a wall.   The economic realities that made 10 million risk their lives to get here are not going away and it doesn't matter what the law is – these people will come.  Period. 

The BIG thing being missed in this debate is that if it is a good idea to grant under-educated fruit pickers, labourers and restaurant workers citizenship, it is and even BETTER idea to do it for univesity-educated business people, economists & scientists.    Currently the visa programs (TN-1, H1-B, etc.) that let these types of folks come into the US do not have a path to citizenship, so the US misses out on the opportunity to have the post productive, value-creating, job-creating, risk-taking people on the planet stay in the country.    Forget the 700 mile wall on the Mexican border, there is already a bigger wall wrapped around the country.    

Here is the real answer – the US should let anyone who shows up into the country.  The more the merrier.  Think about the economic opportunities created by accepting 25 million refugees.  Heck, make it 100 million people.   We have the space.  Sure, there will be a bit of social change associated with such a policy, but change is not good or bad, and people get used to new realities.   We are already eating Burritos and listening to excellent Latin music.   Americans will get to used to it.

Now for a bigger thought –  It is morally repugnant to sit in America on our lawn chairs in our big back yards with our big houses and preach the values of freedom and opportunity and yet, at the same time, not offer other people around the world who share those values the chance to come here and embrace them.   I think this is the ultimate test of America's resolve to bring the ideals of democracy and freedom to the world – which we have a moral responsibility to do so another few billion young people aren't born into a life of raw poverty, mind-numbing religious zealotry or both.  If you think it is tough to send troops around the world and try to plant the seeds of freedom (think Germany, think Japan, think Vietnam, now think Iraq), then think again.  The only reason that America has to do this is that the other option – open our doors to all these people – is that Americans actually prefer killing a few troops and a few people in far off places than actually have the Aballah's, the Singhs, and the Ongeri's move into the neighborhood.   So the next time you see someone who is against the War in Iraq, ask them if they want 100 million immigrants next year.  If they say no, you can tell them to sit back down in their lawn chair and enjoy the nightly bloodshed – the blood is on their hands also.

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