Results tagged ‘ Tunisia ’

Bringing the North African Experience Home

stadium_invasion.jpgI think I figured out how to get the Tigers into the World Series this year.  Revolution!

Ok, so the point of the article may have been that protestors in North Africa are still searching for outlet for their suppression and oppression over the past three decades.  But I took away something slightly different.  Let me quote here: “So Egyptians, especially younger ones that make up the typical soccer
crowd, know what crowds can accomplish, and have been emboldened by
recent people-power successes.”

My point is, if it can work in Egypt, why not here?  Sure, my call for a boycott of opening day may not have gained any traction but I think this new idea has more resiliency.  After all, Detroit has all the necessary components.  There’s high unemployment, disaffected youth and a generally corrupt government.  Kwame Kilpatrick anyone?  Why not take this unchanneled rage and use it for something positive?  A pennant and World Series for the Tigers would do the city good.

Here’s how it works, if I understand the Egyptian scenario correctly.  Your team is losing and you are unhappy.  You and a couple thousand of your closest friends storm the field and demand that the Tigers be given the victory or you will continue to riot.  In an effort to restore calm, the authorities (in this case the umpires) will have to choose between giving the Tigers the win or dealing with the caprices of the crowd.  Should be a pretty simple decision.  Really, it’s just one step removed from Jim Joyce’s admission of guilt following the Armando Galarraga almost perfect game.  Imagine if the crowd had stormed the field and demanded right then and there that he reconsider.  Problem solved.

Mind you, I’m not inciting violence.  I don’t want to see those colorful tigers at the entrance to Comerica Park uprooted nor do I want to see the seats turned into projectiles.  But if we’ve learned one thing from Egypt and Tunisia, it’s that people have power when they rise up as one.  Detroit, you know what to do.

-A

Taking a Second Look at the Gadaffis

Muammar_Gaddafi.jpgNorth Africa seems to be going the way of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  You know it’s bad but it just seems to be getting worse.  In Tunisia, Ben Ali had a few people killed but then decided to leave before it got too much worse.  In Egypt Mubarak held out a bit longer and tried a little harder to crush the opposition but soon enough he realized that enough was enough.

Enter Gaddafi.  Now, we’ve always known that the Colonel had a few screws loose.  This is the guy who ordered the bombing of the Lockerbie Pan Am flight after all.  From his Shakespearean, almost Lear-esque, pronunciations to the equally unhinged speech of his supposedly sane son, Saif Al-Islam, promising a “blood-bath” in Libya, the Gaddafi family has shown an intent in the last few days to usher Libya into an era of civil war.

But over here at RSBS, we prefer to focus on the positives.  The news media is full of all these negative portrayals of the Libyan leaders so we decided to do a little research and come up with reasons to appreciate the Gaddafis.  Granted, it wasn’t easy but the RSBS interns are always up to the challenge and came up with two important pieces of information that you should consider before judging the Colonel and his family.

#1.  Saif Al-Islam is a pacifist at heart
Don’t believe me, take a look at his doctoral dissertation.  Sure, he may be promising a blood-bath if the protesters don’t back down but all he really wants is a more democratic international structure that can break down existing authoritarian power structures.  As Mr. Gaddafi puts it, “Citizens in undemocratic states emphasise that they are not represented in
the decision-making process of the IGO [intergovernmental organisation]. Even if their governments are represented in some capacity, because
their governments are authoritarian, abusive and unrepresentative of their
people’s real interests.”  Does this sound like a guy who wants to help daddy drop bombs on his fellow countrymen?  Wait, don’t answer that.

#2.  Can you really hate a James Bond style villain?

How can you take Gaddafi seriously?  Besides the almost comic stylings of his speeches, you also have to take into account the shades and the funny mustache.  Not only that, he’s run the gamut of super-villainery from the aforementioned bombing to his sponsorship of various other ne’er-do-wells.  On top of that, he has a statue of an enormous fist crushing an American jet.  A statue!  All he needs is a volcanic island as his headquarters and a group of fem-bot style Amazonians as his personal bodyguards and he’d be set.  Oh, he already has a group of fem-bot style Amazonian virgins as his personal bodyguards?  Well played Mr. Gaddafi.

-A

Chamberlain in Shirt Sleeves

Jeff_2009_1.jpg“I express a commitment to carry on and protect the constitution and the
people, and transfer power to whomever is elected next September in free
and transparent elections.”
-Hosni Mubarak, 10 February 2011

“I will not seek a new term.”
-Zine El Abadine Ben Ali, 13 January 2011

“God willing, on Dec. 31, 2012, you’ll be saying goodbye to me.”
-Bud Selig, 29 November 2009

“For the present I ask you to await as
calmly as you can the events of the next few days. As
long as war has not begun, there is always hope that it
may be prevented, and you know that I am going to work
for peace to the last moment.”
-Neville Chamberlain, 27 September 1938

“We’ve put up with the shenanigans this long… another year or two won’t kill us.”
-Jeffery Lung, 18 February 2011

Am I saying that Mr. Lung is a modern day Neville Chamberlain and that his policy of appeasement towards the gruesome excesses of Commissioner Selig lead inexorably to a modern day “Blitz”?  I leave that for history to decide.  All I can do is point out that allowing Selig to hold his Opening Day without protest is tantamount to allowing Germany to annex Czechoslovakia in 1938 without a word of disagreement.  Will we wait until Selig marches into Poland before we finally stand up?

Ben Ali and Mubarak also made empty promises that they would step down as their terms ended.  However, their citizens called their bluffs and both men find themselves exiled to places where hopefully they can do no harm.  As citizens of Major League Baseball, we owe it to ourselves and each other to do no less.  The revolution begins 31 March 2011.  Selig must go!

-A

RSBS Presents: Truly Terrible Management

Alan Trammell takes a lot of heat for the Tigers’ 119-loss season in 2003.  Since then, he has coached in the Majors but no one seems willing to give him a second shot at managing.  And that’s probably not completely unfair.  Sure, the teams he managed in 2004 and ’05 may have rebounded from the record in ’03 but they were still 20 or so games under .500.  That doesn’t exactly get you very far in baseball.

However, as bad of a manager as Trammell may have been with the Tigers and no matter how much blame he deserves for that horrible 2003 season, Tram barely even rates a mention when it comes to the truly bad managers.  More than that, in order to truly put his record into context, RSBS takes you on a trip through truly terribly management.

Zine El Abdine Ben Ali
ben_ali.jpgOur journey begins with the recent events in Tunisia.  Now, although the other half of RSBS only knows Tunisia as Tatooine in Star Wars, the country is a real place and it really did just drive out its leader of 30 years.  Mr. Ben Ali took an interesting approach to his position as a footnote in history.  Instead of contenting himself with just looting the riches of his country, he also referred to his fellow Tunisians as “terrorists” for daring to denounce him and then decided to shoot up some of them just to prove his point.  In the end, it didn’t turn out so well and Mr. Ben Ali is now cooling his heels (although probably not literally) in the wonderfully tolerant Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Bud Selig
bud selig picking nose.jpgCome on, did you think I could make it through a post on bad management without mentioning Selig?  The guy’s record speaks for itself.  From the lameass decision to have the All-Star game count for home-field advantage in the World Series to his incredibly arrogant approach to and mismanagement of the steroids era, Selig stands for everything that is wrong with baseball today.  I wish I had something nice to say about the guy just so I could change things up a bit but I’d only be lying to our readers and to myself.  I’m not willing to do either and so Mr. Selig once again finds himself on an RSBS list.

Mobutu Sese Seko
mobutu.jpgGoing back to Africa but a little ways south of Tunisia, we find the monstrous and monstrously mismanaged country of the Belgian Congo…I mean Zaire…I mean the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  From the escapades of the Belgians to a never-ending civil war, the Congo has much to offer in the way of mismanagement.  However, if you want to single out just one person, you’d have to go with Mobutu.  And if there’s one small little tidbit that encapsulates his mismanagement of the country and its enormous wealth of natural resources, it would have to be this: Mobutu built a landing strip at his personal home near the tiny town of Gbadolite and made sure it was long enough to accommodate a Concorde.  He then proceeded to charter the Concorde on a regular basis to ferry he and his family around the world.

Matt Millen  
millen.jpgAlthough Matt Millen never killed anyone directly, he was a terrible general manager.  In fact, he may be the worst manager ever.  Since the inception of the Superbowl the Lions have
never been a great franchise, but he still managed to take them to new lows. 
And, although he was no longer around when it happened, that 0-16 season
was the real fruit of his handiwork.  Sure, when compared to guys like Mobutu and Ben Ali, Millen may not seem so bad.  Even in comparison to Selig and his giant ears Millen may seem tame in comparison.  But it’s just a ruse.  Bad management aside, the man is evil incarnate and the fact that he still has a job anywhere just proves that the greatest lie the devil ever told was convincing the major networks to put him on the air.

And there you have it.  I’m not saying this list is by any means exhaustive but it has been pretty exhaustively researched and vetted, just like everything else I post here.  And all that aside, you know it must be true because it’s on the internet.

-A

Obama v. Ocala

obama_mcqueen.jpgMan, what a start to the new year.  Health care gets repealed in the House, Tunisia throws out its president and Michelle Obama lights up a state dinner.  January isn’t even over yet.  What next?  Aliens landing in the Kremlin?  Pujols sporting a big Detroit “D”?

Even if ET and his homeboys do show up at Lenin’s tomb, though, I’m not sure it could be any more amazing than a series of events that took place right here in our own fair country.  Sit back and let your mind wander (and wonder) as we take a trip to beautiful Ocala, FL.

Wow.  Just…..wow.

Happy Saturday, y’all, and god bless America.

-A

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