Tuesday, March 8, 2005
10 Commandments Mailbag
This That and the Other
Today, I've got my American Idol thoughts from last night's episode. As always, I discuss a few Twins topics and how former Twins performed yesterday too. Finally, I included a mailbag of the 10 Commandments issue from last week that was very interesting.
Had volleyball last night. We went into a double-elimination tournament as the #2 seed. We won our game last week. Then last night, we played the 3 seed and played bad and lost 2-0. Then, we played the #5 seed, and lost to them 2-0. Now, had we won, we would have had to play a 3rd time, but because we lost, we are done and I don't have to go back next week! Yay! Although, I must admit, it was fun!
And again, be sure to head over to Twins Territory. I am really excited about this site and see that a lot of you have already started your own entries there. You can also write comments and so much more! It is likely to become the best place for Twins talk (well, except right here, of course! Ha!). So, check it out!
AMERICAN IDOL THOUGHTS
Last night, the eight remaining men made their third performances in front of the massive American crowds. Again, I will post some of the thoughts I had and notes I took during each performance. But first, I have to say that there were some absolutely incredible performances. There were a couple not-so-good, but there are literally four or five of these guys that I could easily see winning the entire thing.
Oh, and before I get going, I have to remind you that the girls are singing tonight. Please remember... DON'T VOTE FOR JANAY!! OK,
Here are my thoughts on last night's performances:
Scott Savol - Sugar Pie Honey Bunch
vocally, he is perfect, flawless. He made some parts his own and they just worked. His voice is incredible, and this week, he actually looked like he had a clue of what to do on the stage.
Bo Bice - I'll Be
He picked a song to show his vocals. Yeah, he missed a few notes early. He showed some rocker tendencies, but also showed some all-around vocal skill. In other words, he's a rocker who can actually sing. Then he told his uncle that he loved him. Showed some major soft-side, which, of course is brilliant strategy in this competition.
Anthony Federov - I'm So Glad That I Got You
For me, he's hard to judge. I mean, he's very good, and he doesn't miss many notes. I just don't think that his voice is as strong or has as much ranges as most of the others. He was really good last night though.
Nikko Smith - Georgia
Great song! He has been my favorite throughout. I was as big a fan of Ruben Studdard as anyone, but Nikko is far better and has way more range. Another absolutely incredible performance.
Travis Tucker - Every Little Step I Take
I think it's safe to say that he was more than a little step off tune the first part of the song. He certainly is the best performer of the guys. And, we found out he's quite the beat-boxer too! Actually, he was much better vocally after the beat box! And, he does have so much energy that would probably get him a lot of fans.
Mario Vazquez - How Can You Mend This Broken Heart?
Actually, this is one of my favorite songs from Ruben Studdard's debut album Soulful. I much prefer Ruben's version, but Mario showed such range that it is still great to listen to. He did miss a couple of notes, but he is very good.
Constantine Maroulis - Every Little Thing
Just Horrible, again! The judges seemed to love him though (meaning they want him to continue for awhile). He works the rocker stereotype well because he really doesn't sing well. Poor song choice. Poor performance. Just really bad.
Anwar Robinson - What a Wonderful World
Nothing is better than Louis Armstrong's version of this song, BUT Anwar was on note the whole time. He has the strongest voice. He has incredible range. He is unreal. By the end of his performance, I wanted to buy his album!
I have probably said it each week, but to me, this is really a competition between Nikko Smith and Anwar Robinson. I also think that Scott Savol, Mario Vazquez and Bo Bice are not only very good, but a little different, which makes them stand out. That's a good thing.
Overall, the men performed well, at least five of them did. Last week, I didn't think there was a definitive performance that jumped out at you and made you say wow! I really think that there were four or five of them last night! And again, for me, I thought Anwar Robinson and Nikko Smith were the best.
So, here's how I saw the performances pan out, in my opinion:
1.) Anwar Robinson
2.) Nikko Smith
3.) Scott Savol
4.) Mario Vazquez
5.) Bo Bice
6.) Anthony Federov
7.) Travis Tucker
8.) Constantine Maroulis
By those rankings, I would choose to see Constantine Maroulis and Travis Tucker as the two who leave the show on Wednesday.
What do you think? Send me an e-mail.
I really, really hope that this story is nothing for us to worry about. Joe Mauer was held out of activities yesterday by doctors because of some swelling in his surgically repaired left knee. Mauer is again Baseball America's top prospect. He might be the best baseball player to come up in the last decade. My fear would be that we never really get to see just how good he can be. My initial thought is to dismiss this as just natural, that swelling is just something normal after the surgery. He hasn't had other problems in months, so a day or two away should make things just fine. Or am I just very positive and hopeful?
In this story about Lew Ford, he brings up a great point that I think is all-too-often dismissed by most fans. When a rookie comes to the big leagues, they usually bat down in the lineup and pitchers aren't sure what to throw them yet to get them out. But with advanced scouts and the like, teams and pitchers eventually adjust and find ways that get that hitter out. The great players are the guys who are then able to re-adjust, knowing what the pitcher wants to do to get him out, and then finding ways to still get on-base. From everything we've heard/read, Lew Ford is a smart man and I think he will make any adjustments necessary. We all hope he gets another 570 at bats in 2005!
Yesterday, the Twins played the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in spring action and won 5-1. The pitching staff did great. Carlos Silva threw two innings. Joe Nathan pitched on. CJ Nitkowski pitched two perfect innings. Matt Guerrier didn't give up a run in three innings of work. Francisco Liriano struggled again, giving up a run in his inning on an error and a couple of wild pitches.
Luis Rivas started at 2B and was 0-3 with an Error. Eventually, Juan Castro replaced him and "The Man Who Can Pick It" had another error, his fourth. Oh, you may be wondering, Jason Bartlett played SS and went 2-3 with a double. And that's right, no errors!!
Michael Restovich continues to hit well this spring. He went 2-3 yesterday. So did Shannon Stewart.
Any thoughts on the Twins? Please e-mail me.
Greg Colbrunn, TEX, DH, 0-2, RBI
LaTroy Hawkins, CHC, RP, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Quinton McCracken, ARI, CF, 1-2
Chad Moeller, MIL, C, 2-3
Dustan Mohr, COL, RF, 1-2, BB, K
Midre Cummings, BAL, PH-DH, 1-1, HR, R, RBI
Chris Gomez, BAL, 3B, 0-2, R, E
Todd Jones, FLA, RP, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 HR allowed
James Baldwin, BAL, SP, 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Jose Morban, CLE, 2B, 1-2
Cristian Guzman, WAS, SS, 0-2
Hector "Carrisco" Carrasco, WAS, RP, 1 IP, 1 K
Sean Douglass, DET, RP, 1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Pete Munro, HOU, P, 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Matt Lawton, PIT, RF, 1-2
Todd Ritchie, PIT, SP, 2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Doug Mientkiewicz, NYM, 1B, 2-3
Casey Blake, CLE, LF, 1-3, R, RBI, K
David Ortiz, BOS, DH, 0-2, BB
David McCarty, BOS, LF, 1-2, BB
Javy Valentin, CIN, C, 1-3, 2B, BB, R
10 Commandments Mailbag
Last week, I posted this topic:
Should the 10 Commandments be allowed on public property? That really is a great question tugging right at the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights! I am fully supportive of 'separation of church and state!" But, what if a monument of the 10 Commandments is instead considered a 'historical piece?' Would the terminology make a difference? I don't know. I just think it's an interesting question. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I asked you to send me your thoughts, and many of you did. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and opinions and hope others will want to as well. There are a lot of intelligent thoughts out there that I'd love to hear. Here are a couple of those thoughts.
First from David Bergner, aka The Baseball Savant (by the way, he's smart!):
wanted to write in about the whole "Separation of Church & State" issue because it's a fairly hot topic that gets talked about a lot.
The first thing I wanted to point out is that the US Constitution as written in the 1st Amendment says nothing about the separation of church and state. The amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the exercise thereof...."
The big topic that brings this to mind is Chief Justice of Alabama Roy Moore wanting to stick the 10 Commandments in the supreme court of Alabama. Reading the constitution as written, the first thing that
jumps out at you is that this is about as much of the federal government's business as it is my business what Moore wants to do in his "STATE SUPPORTED" courthouse. Amendment 10 of the Constitution says, "The power not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Obviously this isn't a power delegated to the federal government by the Constitution thus should be left to the states and thus to the people of that particular state.
The idea that there is indeed a "Separation of Church & State" is ludicrous on its fact seeing that it doesn't appear in the Constitution at all.
Historically, the "idea" of their being a separation of church and state is based on the founding fathers unwillingness to have a federal government impose a state supported religion on the people, thus the 1st amendment. The people coming to america were seeking religious freedom and that is why this was so key in the Bill of Rights.
There is a central difference here. The government could in no way influence the practice of whatever faith a person might have, but the door that leads to a person's faith affecting government is wide open. Moore wanting a statue dictating the 10 Commandments has nothing to do with the former and plenty to do the the latter. In any case, the federal government has absolutely ZERO role in this drama that is played out.
Frankly, it's an act of judicial activism run wild.
Next is from Duane Hanson:
On the 10 commandments, I've never understood the problem. Yes, the 10 commandments are central to Christianity, but they are also one of the first recorded sets of laws. The rules that govern a past society are a part of the historical record and exist independently of their connotations for some segments of modern society. Hammurabi's Code, the 10 Commandments, the Magna Carta, the Constitution-- these are examples of societies setting down rules for their behavior.
Do we ban public displays of the Aztec Codex or Egyptian hieroglyphics because of the beliefs of the societies that created them? Of course not. Because they provide valuable insight into human history. Which, of course, the 10 Commandments do as well.
From Stick and Ball Guy (note- he's a lawyer!):
The big question is would you be offended if your county courthouse had some Muslim artifact in the corridor because the county judge was a follower of Islam and wanted to show everyone an historical piece of his heritage. You can be sure that a lot of people in this country WOULD be offended.
Finally, from Jeremy Hegg:
There's a terrific Tom Toles cartoon that shows a large "Ten Amendments" monument with the Bill of Rights inscribed on a large marble monument. The monument is in the middle of a church, right in front of the pulpit. The pastor is leaning over to somebody saying "This might not be the best place for it."
As great editorial cartoons often do, this sums up my feelings on the issue. The major supporters of the Ten Commandments-in-public-spaces issue seem to have no interest in the historical value, and an obsessive interest in the religious and evangelical value.
And after all that, thank you again very much for stopping by my site. I hope you enjoy what you read, but if you have any questions or comments on anything, please feel free to e-mail me.
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