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On Syria

I have been paying attention to Syria for the past month and it’s a terrible situation where Bashar al-Assad and his government are poisoning their citizens. The debate, on face, is if the United States and their allies want to strike the regime. There are many pros and cons about striking Syria, however most of the arguments isn’t about Syria, which we all agree, is a terrible situation. There are two issues at hand: history and power. People remember what happened in the situation in Iraq in 2003, and understandably, they’re hesitant of the U.S. involving in another war. The difference is we know the situation in Syria, unlike 2003 where it came out of nowhere.

The other issue is in the past 20 years, starting with Ronald Reagan, presidents have been bypassing Congress on some issues (basically invasions and strikes). Most thought this weekend when Obama announce a press conference, it was to announce strikes on Assad and his regime. Instead, Obama announced that he will ask Congress for permission to strike in Syria. This shows the brilliance of Obama as he shifts the responsibility to a divided Congress to do something. It was the right move for Obama as he learned from the U.K. Parliament voted against David Cameron’s wishes to strike Syria. Actual responsibility for Congress. Let’s see who’s the real adults are.

In all honestly, I hope striking Syria is our last resort, but if Assad continues to poison and killing citizens, maybe it’s time to throw a warning shot.

The NFL Bully Culprit

There were two news items involving the NFL. The first was ESPN removing their name on a documentary, League of Denial,  they collaborated with PBS’s Frontline. The second item is the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with retired players on a lawsuit that the NFL was negligent on concussions. Both of these items show how much power the NFL has. The NFL knows people in the states love football on Sundays. Those fans are paying money on tickets, jerseys, memorabilia, and their TV package (in addition to the networks paying lots of cash to get their broadcasting rights). The NFL can act as a bully because they have the money and power to keep their image “clean” (see today’s story of how the case would likely thrown out). You can fault ESPN for ruining their journalistic integrity and the retired players for not staying long enough to make it to court, but the NFL is king and it is unlikely to change because we’re a bunch of suckers who love the game for our own benefit.

Olbermann and Fox Sports 1 

Fox Sports 1 should be a very good adversary vs. ESPN. They got TV rights to some of the biggest sporting events like college football, NASCAR, The Champions League, and the U.S. Open (golf). They also brought in Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole from TSN in Canada to spruce things up against Sportscenter and brought in Regis Philbin for entertainment filler. Last week, they got all the coverage as they were starting up. That hype lasted a week as Keith Olbermann started his late-night show, Olbermann, and gave hope to sports journalism. When you think about it, Olbermann was the first blogger (along with Dan Patrick). If there was no Olbermann, there won’t likely be sports websites like Deadspin, The Big Lead, Kissing Suzy Kolber, Awful Announcing, and others policing ESPN and the other sports networks. Olbermann going back to sports is the best thing that has happen in sports journalism this year. Of course, it might last 1-5 years, but expect to be a great ride. By the way, since I unintentionally promoted Fox Sports 1 (if you live in New York City or the D.C. Metro area. Anywhere else, you were spared by me), here is me promoting (in the cheapest of ways) Olbermann for equal time:

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