Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fernando Rodney at celebration of 2013 World Baseball Classic Championship with President of Dominican Republic

11/29/13, "Fernando Rodney: "We are baseball world power"," El Nacional, Sanchez Odalis

Fernando Rodney during celebration
""We are a world power in baseball, recognized, demonstrated and recorded in all of baseball after we won the title of champion of the World Baseball Classic," were the words of the star closer for the Dominican team Fernando Rodney, at a reception held Thursday by President Danilo Medina, in the classroom the caryatids of the National Palace.
The president of the Nation delivered the championship rings to each of the members of the team players and the entire coach Tony Peña body control, as well as executives of the Dominican Baseball Federation (Fedobe), chaired by Hector - Tito-Pereyra, with Juan Nunez."...Image, "President Danilo Medina smiling while looking at the display release of "The Arrow" with "Banana Power" Star closer of the Dominican team that won the World Baseball Classic, Fernando Rodney. On the left, Tito Hector Pereyra, president of the Dominican Baseball Federation (Fedobe)." from El Nacional. google translation from Spanish

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Cano takes break from contract talks to be with 2013 Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic championship team, DR Pres. Medina hands out rings

11/28/13, ""The triumph of RD in the classic was a balm for us,"" Listin Diario, "THE PRESIDENT PRESENTS THE RINGS AND OFFERING A LUNCH TO DOMINICAN TEAM MEMBERS," Hector J. Cruz
Robinson Cano in front row, 11/27 in DR

"The victory of Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic last 2013 served as a retaining wall to the chagrin of the population against the enactment of a new tax reform.
"I confess that this Dominican victory served to offset the negative effects of the tax reform that took effect in January. I enjoyed big victory, but the government went benefited because the town was integrated completely, following game by game, and that helped alleviate the annoyance of people to new taxes," said President Danilo Medina yesterday at the act tribute to Dominican players that won the World Cup event this year.
"I am proud of all of you and can be confident that the Dominican people also," Medina said, before a packed attendance in a large room on the third floor of the Presidential Palace.
Medina spoke at length about the significance of the event and also handed the rings to each of the players on the Dominican team that participated in the tribute luncheon.
Also team manager Tony Peña, general manager Moises Alou, the coaches and several leaders, including Tito Hector Pereyra, president of the Dominican Baseball Federation....
Tony Pena, champion manager, focused on highlighting the union that had players as key to victory. "The credit belongs to everyone, but especially of you who have done better than we ever made," Pena, who at one point had tears of emotion said.
Moises Alou, the manager stressed that he, Tony and Tito had received many tributes, but the main credit goes to the players, they did their thing. "This victory is yours, feel well and can be proud of it," Moses said.
The Most Valuable

For players spoke Robinson Cano, elected most valuable player of the world classic. "I am extremely excited and happy to have participated in this great triumph. Thank you all for your great support," Cano said, surrounded by several of his colleagues.

Cano chats w. DR Pres.
Santiago Casilla, pitcher, made a religious invocation thanking God for the victory.
The President then proceeded to the delivery of the Rings, with Tito and Moses, the sports minister Jaime David Fernandez Mirabal and Minister of the Presidency, José Ramón Peralta.
Almost all players of the winning team were present. Then they set out for a parade through several avenues of the capital, and in the evening an event at Quisqueya Stadium." photo from Listin Diario. google translation from Spanish. Image of Cano chatting with DR Pres. from El Nacional, 11/29/13


11/28/13, "Sincere President," Listin Diario, Santo Domingo, Hector J. Cruz. google translation

"It is not easy to gather so many people for one day. Bring Jose Reyes New York, Robinson Cano abandon its bargaining environment seeking $ 300 million; Fernando Rodney, who took a piece of metal to keep shooting arrows, Miguel Tejada, in not very good for him now, and there were also Wandy Rodriguez, Angel Castro, Santiago Casilla, Pedro Strop, Lorenzo Barcelo, Juan Cedeno, Edinson Volquez."...


11/27/13, "2013 World Baseball Classic Champion Dominican Republic team to be celebrated with parade in the D.R. on Thursday, November 28th," MLB.com press release

"Robinson Cano, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Fernando Rodney and many more will be on hand for the celebration."


11/28/13, "Dominicans celebrate Classic title with parade," MLB.com, Carlos Molina

"Some of the other players in the parade were Hanley Ramirez, Nelson Cruz, Miguel Tejada, Francisco Pena, Wandy Rodriguez, Edinson Volquez and Fernando Rodney."...


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Brooklyn residents and community leaders Friday rally for end to 'Knockout' assaults, Al Sharpton rep says social media should stop posting related videos

11/29/13, "Brooklyn Residents Hold Rally Calling For End To ‘Knockout Game’ Assaults," newyork.cbslocal.com

"Brooklyn residents are taking a stand against the so-called “knockout game,” a violent trend in which youths sucker-punch unsuspecting strangers for kicks.

Community leaders and local residents held a rally in East New York Friday in hopes of bringing an end to the assaults.

“We are stressed out, but we refuse to be knocked out in our community,” said Leticia Smith of the Brown Memorial Baptist Church. “We are asking our mothers to make a recommitment to pay more attention to our children.”

Several attacks have taken place in recent weeks in Brooklyn. The victims include a 78-year-old grandmother and a 12-year-old boy.

Earlier this week, Mira Harpazi, 72, was walking two blocks from her home at the Starret City housing complex in Brooklyn when she was punched in the face by a man in his 20s.

Like other alleged “knockout” victims, she was not robbed, but left on the street injured.

Online videos from various cities show young suspects randomly punching innocent victims.

Community activist Tony Herbert from the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network said they are calling on social media companies and their advertisers to stop showing images of these attacks.

“The one thing we do denounce is the opportunity of folks to use social media like World Star Hip Hop and YouTube to proliferate this kind of stupidity,” Herbert said." image by WCBS radio 880, Miller, via Drudge


11/29/12, "Elderly woman could be city’s 10th ‘knockout game’ victim," NY Daily News, Aaron Short, Barry Paddock

"Yvonne Small, 76, fell to the ground after being punched by her assailant on Alabama Ave. and Wortman Ave. in East New York about 11:35 a.m."

11/29/13, "Knockout game: Teens in Florida kick 72-year-old man to the ground while he was picking weeds," American Live Wire, Carl Jackers

"A dangerous game known as the “Knockout game“, has now made it’s way down to Fort Meyers, Florida. Where a 15-year-old girl named Traveshia Blanks, has attacked more than just one elderly person.

Traveshia Blanks, of Fort Myers, has been charged with two counts of battery on a person 65 years of age or older. Another victim, a 72-year-old man told the news station he was weeding his garden Tuesday when he was kicked from behind. The victim fell to the ground and said he saw a woman walking away laughing, joining a group of people.

According to NBC-2, Harry Hurvitz, 89, told deputies that someone rang his doorbell, and he looked and saw several well-dressed teens standing outside his door and one of them appeared to be holding a cell phone or camera.

When he opened the door, one of the juveniles suddenly and without provocation slapped him in the face.

“I stepped out to see what she was pointing to and there was another girl standing here and wammmmmm,” explained Hurvitz.

Harry said he does not want to press charges but believes the girls need help. Pointing out that some elderly people only answer the door with a loaded weapon. Pointing out that it could be a deadly game of knockout if teens continue to play this game against the elderly."  (video at link)
Knockout Game: Teens In Florida Kick 72-Year-Old Man To The Ground While He Was Picking Weeds
Read more at http://americanlivewire.com/knockout-game-teens-florida-kick-72-year-old-man-ground-picking-weeds/
Knockout Game: Teens In Florida Kick 72-Year-Old Man To The Ground While He Was Picking Weeds
Read more at http://americanlivewire.com/knockout-game-teens-florida-kick-72-year-old-man-ground-picking-weeds/

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Arod checks out $3.5 million apartment at 74th and 5th

11/27/13, "A-Rod checks out $3.5M Fifth Ave. co-op," NY Post, Jennifer Gould Keil

"Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, always on the real estate prowl, checked out a $3.5 million three-bedroom, three-bathroom co-op at 930 Fifth Ave., an Emery Roth-designed building. He was spotted leaving the building with Stratis Morfogen, founder of Philippe Chow and Cucina Ciano Restaurants, who lives in the building.

A-Rod, still battling Major League Baseball, had been living in an Extell Development Riverside Boulevard apartment and using the building’s gym to help rehab his injuries.

The 12th-floor unit on Fifth Avenue and 74th Street measures 1,883 square feet and comes with Central Park views."

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mad Dog on Letterman Nov. 25, 2013

Twelve and a half minutes total, Letterman brings up WFAN, Francesa and Arod events around 7:30. Mad Dog says he was a little surprised Francesa wasn't harder on Arod. At 9:35 Chris predicts Arod won't play in 2014. First part of interview was football related, at 3:30 Russo wins a point about Tom Brady. Letterman believes Brady's success is only due to Belichick. Russo has a higher opinion of Brady but says the combination of Brady and Belichick together has been the formula. Mad Dog fans will enjoy seeing him again. via J. Traina twitter

11/25/13, "Chris Russo Interview on David Letterman 25 November, 2013"

11/20/13, "Mike Francesa on Alex Rodriguez interview: I asked him all the tough questions," Newsday, Neil Best. image YES

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Mets singing greeting card

Mets sing audio Christmas card from http://mlb.mlb.com

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

'Ryne Sandberg, the path less traveled,' Philadelphia Inquirer

11/23/13, "Ryne Sandberg: The path less traveled," Philadelphia Inquirer, Matt Gelb

"The 52nd manager in Phillies history is unlike any before him."...via Marc Carig twitter
The 52d manager in Phillies history is unlike any before him. Baseball does not produce careers like Sandberg's. He is, according to research by the Hall of Fame, just the third player to become a manager after his induction into Cooperstown - and the first in more than 40 years. When a Hall of Famer stays in the game, he does it on the periphery, and not by riding buses in the Midwest League or by accepting one of the game's most scrutinized managerial jobs in Philadelphia.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20131124_Ryne_Sandberg__The_path_less_traveled.html#DWK7YecK7T4J1eCE.99
The 52d manager in Phillies history is unlike any before him. Baseball does not produce careers like Sandberg's. He is, according to research by the Hall of Fame, just the third player to become a manager after his induction into Cooperstown - and the first in more than 40 years. When a Hall of Famer stays in the game, he does it on the periphery, and not by riding buses in the Midwest League or by accepting one of the game's most scrutinized managerial jobs in Philadelphia.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20131124_Ryne_Sandberg__The_path_less_traveled.html#DWK7YecK7T4J1eCE.99
The 52d manager in Phillies history is unlike any before him. Baseball does not produce careers like Sandberg's. He is, according to research by the Hall of Fame, just the third player to become a manager after his induction into Cooperstown - and the first in more than 40 years. When a Hall of Famer stays in the game, he does it on the periphery, and not by riding buses in the Midwest League or by accepting one of the game's most scrutinized managerial jobs in Philadelphia.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20131124_Ryne_Sandberg__The_path_less_traveled.html#DWK7YecK7T4J1eCE.99

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Brian McCann signs with NY Yankees, NYC back pages

11/24/13, Brian McCann, NY Daily News back page, "Yes we McCann!"

11/24/13, Brian McCann, Newsday back page, "Big Catch"

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Yankees sign free agent catcher Brian McCann pending physical

11/23/13, ""Intense'' is an accurate description of the Yankees' pursuit of McCann, who made a clandestine visit to the Bronx earlier in the week.

When the offseason began, he quickly emerged as one of the club's top priorities (along with retaining Cano and acquiring Japanese righthander Masahiro Tanaka, if he's posted).

The lefthanded-hitting McCann can hit for power -- his swing is "perfect" for Yankee Stadium's short rightfield porch, one American League talent evaluator said -- and also is known as an outstanding clubhouse presence who is deft with a pitching staff.

"He handled their young pitching staff really well," one Yankees insider said of McCann's work with the Braves. "I like his makeup, the way he carries himself."

McCann, who turns 30 in February, hit .256 with a .336 on-base percentage, 20 homers and 57 RBIs in 102 games last season. Since 2006, his first full year in the majors, McCann has averaged 21 homers and 80 RBIs, winning five Silver Slugger awards at catcher, including four straight times from 2008-2011.

A potential red flag is the series of injuries -- including shoulder surgery in October 2012 to repair a torn labrum -- that have limited McCann to 102 and 121 games the last two years.

"Doesn't throw like he used to," said one NL scout, who nonetheless gave a strong endorsement of the catcher."...

"Brian McCann, Yankees agree to five-year, $85M deal," Erik Boland, Newsday


11/23/13, "Brian McCann, Yankees agree to deal, reports say," Newsday, C. Derespina

"The Yankees reached a deal to sign free agent catcher Brian McCann pending a physical, according to multiple reports.

Ken Rosenthal reports the deal is for five years, $85 million with a sixth year vesting option that could push the total value to $100 million.

McCann, 29, is a career .277 hitter with a .350 on-base percentage and .823 on-base plus slugging percentage. He's hit at least 20 home runs in seven of the last eight seasons. He's spent his entire career with the Atlanta Braves.

The Yankees got precious little production at catcher last season, using Chris Stewart -- a career backup who hit .211 with four home runs -- as their primary starter. Francisco Cervelli (.269, 3 HR), who was injured just a month into the season and then was suspended as part of the Biogenesis investigation, and Austin Romine (.207, 1 HR) also saw time behind the plate.

MLB catchers averaged a .698 OPS in 2013, but Yankees backstops produced just a .587 OPS, 26th in the majors.

McCann hit .230 with a .300 OBP during an injury-plagued 2012 for the Braves, but rebounded last season for a .796 OPS.

The Yankees have publicly stated an attempt to lower their payroll beneath the $189 million luxury tax threshold, a number that would produce big savings for the team. But even after losing Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte to retirement and possibly losing free agents such as Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Curtis Granderson, the payroll figure is complicated by Alex Rodriguez's ongoing saga with Major League Baseball, as he fights a 211-game bam for alleged involvement with performance-enhancing drugs as part of the Biogenesis case.

A McCann signing complicates the future of Yankees catching prospects Gary Sanchez, J.R. Murphy and Romine, who could now be used as trade bait as the Yankees look to fill other holes."

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2014 MLB stadiums expected to step up security including use of metal detectors

"Brandon T. Mauk · Top Commenter ·

Nothing says land of free, home of the brave like the government spying on you and TSA patdowns everywhere you go."

11/22/13, "MLB to step up security in 2014," AP via ESPN

"Baseball fans should expect to go through a metal detector to see their favorite team play in 2014.
Major League Baseball security director John Skinner said on Friday that all 30 teams are expected to screen all fans entering their ballparks next season. Some aspects of the screening will be left to individual teams, but the commissioner's office is planning to recommend walk-through metal detectors, he said.

"It's the reality, unfortunately, of this world," Skinner said at the Ivy Sports Symposium at the Harvard Law School. "Ultimately, it will happen."

Skinner made the comments during on a panel called "Preparing for the Worst: Crisis Management." Among the other panelists was Tom Grilk, the executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston Marathon.

Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded in April when two bombs were set off at the finish line in April. Since then, most sporting events and facilities have increased security, with the NFL limiting fans attending regular-season games this year to a single, see-through bag for their belongings.

In Boston, the bombings led to an increase in security at sporting events that included checking all cars entering the garage under the TD Garden, the home of the Bruins and Celtics. Many of the more visible measures were eventually dropped and there were no further terror incidents; a large contingent of law enforcement was out on the night the Red Sox clinched the World Series, and police said they arrested nine people for unruly behavior during the celebration.

Skinner told The Associated Press after the panel that baseball will be making a presentation to its teams at the winter meetings in December in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Asked for more details, MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said the plans are still developing.

"We have been reviewing our security procedures for many months and we will issue a security bulletin in 2014 that will include practices and procedures that are responsive to the new security environment," Teevan said in an email. "Fan screening will be one of the subjects addressed. We are continuing to consult with our clubs, our experts and the Department of Homeland Security, and we expect to announce specific changes after some further off-season meetings."


Among comments:


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Soros funded think tank hosts group of 50 ex-cons, junkies and vagrants to advise new NY City Mayor de Blasio

11/21/13, "De Blasio gets policing advice — from ex-cons," NY Post, Rosario and O'Neill

"Forget Ray Kelly, Bill de Blasio is getting his policing advice from the real experts — hardened criminals. A group of 50 ex-cons, junkies and chronic vagrants gathered at a Manhattan Think Tank Thursday to describe what they thought the NYPD should be doing to make their lives easier.

The felonious forum outlined a clear “get-soft-on-crime” vision.

“I like the idea of ending stop and frisk. That was the first thing that was totally there for me,” opined Mikell Green-Grand, a 49-year-old former jailbird who has convictions for grand larceny and identity theft.

Arthur Castillo, 38 — who has been convicted for possessing stolen property and assault — said he would be much obliged if the cops just left him alone to do his thing.

“Cops won’t leave us alone!” he said. “Newly released prisoners are watched by the police and a lot of us don’t feel we have an opportunity to readapt to normal life because we are treated as criminals even though we are free.”

The event, which was held in Morningside Heights, was hosted by an advisory group called Talking Transitions, run by liberal billionaire investment magnate George Soros."...

[Ed. note: George Soros Open Society and Rockefeller Brothers Fund often share interests as is the case in Talking Transitions. Actual elected officials are minor figures these days with billionaires like Soros and Rockefeller so influential in government. It follows that voting doesn't matter much anymore either. Soros and Rockefeller groups are active in local, regional, national, and global governance so we don't need to worry about these things].

(contining): "The goal was to offer de Blasio tips on “policing, corrections, parole policies and more.”

Since Talking Transitions is actually advising de Blasio during his preparations for assuming office, the opinions posited by the panel of crooks and deadbeats will be relayed to him and could have real policy effects.

“Bloomberg forgot about all of us. I’m hoping DeBlasio remembers us,” said Gregorio “Koko” Cruz, 63, who was convicted of first degree manslaughter, robbery, kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon.

“After 12 years of Bloomberg, it’s time for a change,” the thief Green-Grand added.

Castillo, of Bayside, Queens, called for de Blasio to both “redistribute” the wealth and pay what is, in effect, protection money.

“A lot of money is spent on the prison system — it should be used to cultivate prisoners lives,” he opined. “The money should be redistributed to help those who want to change while they are incarcerated.”

Other ex-cons suggested that de Blasio make the city easier for illegal immigrants to find work.
“Currently, our policies with foreigners coming in here is a problem,” said ex-con Michael Francis.

A day before the convicts talked policy uptown, De Blasio toured Talking Transitions SoHo headquarters.

The group says it is “an open conversation about the future of New York City…to help shape the transition to a new mayor.

De Blasio didn’t appear at the event, but he will be brought up to speed by reps from the organization, who partnered with the The Fortune Society, which helps prisoners transition into the real world after release."


"Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America," David Callahan, 2010


11/22/13, "Leave an Idea, Take an Idea," NY Times Editorial Board

"Saturday is the last day for New Yorkers to give Bill de Blasio, the mayor-elect, a piece of their mind under the big white “Talking Transition” tent on Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas. Since the Nov. 5 election, inside that tent, in mobile tents that roamed the boroughs and online at talkingtransitionnyc.com, thousands have offered suggestions on stickers and postcards; sent emails; taped videos; and attended forums on topics like “food justice,” affordable housing and immigrant integration....

Mr. de Blasio had nothing to do with Talking Transition; it’s a private project of the Open Society Foundations, run by George Soros, and nine other groups. But he and the leaders of his transition team have dropped by the tent, and Mr. de Blasio, who could hardly have done otherwise, welcomed the effort. “They’ll become part of our agenda if we find that they’re helpful ideas," he said, trying to sound receptive and noncommittal. 

Talking Transition has tried to tap a hunger for civic participation that many New Yorkers profess to feel. Not that they necessarily act on it; in a city of more than eight million, only about a million people voted in the mayoral election, apparently a record low. Openness and inclusion were central themes of Mr. de Blasio’s campaign, but since the election his public schedule has been light."


1/23/12, "George Soros on the Coming U.S. Class War," Daily Beast, John Arlidge

"As anger rises, riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable. “Yes, yes, yes,” he says, almost gleefully. The response to the unrest could be more damaging than the violence itself. “It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”"...

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Duke lacrosse accuser found guilty of murder-AP

11/22/13, "Duke lacrosse accuser found guilty of murder," AP, Durham, NC, via Newsday

"The woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape was convicted of second-degree murder Friday in the stabbing death of her boyfriend.

The jury deliberated for about six hours over two days before reaching its verdict in the trial of 34-year-old Crystal Mangum, who was sentenced to between 14 years and 18 years in prison.

Killed was 46-year-old Reginald Daye, who was stabbed on April 3, 2011. He died of complications 10 days later.

Mangum claimed the stabbing was a case of self-defense, saying Daye was beating her in a jealous rage when she grabbed a knife and "poked him in the side."

Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks told the jurors during closing arguments that the evidence did not back up Mangum's story.

In 2006, Mangum falsely claimed Duke lacrosse players gang-raped her at a team party where she was hired as a stripper. The case caught the nation's attention, as the coach was forced to resign and the university canceled the remainder of the season.

The three players arrested were eventually declared innocent by North Carolina's attorney general after Mangum's story crumbled and her mental stability was questioned. The Durham prosecutor, Mike Nifong, who championed Mangum's case, was later disbarred."

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

JFK 1961 speech to newspaper publishers about grave threat of Communism to the US, our way of life is under attack in undeclared war, that Communists rely on infiltration of the press

4/27/61, “John F. Kennedy Speeches," “The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961″ “President John F. Kennedy, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, April 27, 1961,″ JFKLibrary.org

“Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate very much your generous invitation to be here tonight.

     You bear heavy responsibilities these days and an article I read some time ago reminded me of how particularly heavily the burdens of present day events bear upon your profession.
     You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.
     We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the “lousiest petty bourgeois cheating.”
     But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war.
     If only this capitalistic New York newspaper had treated him more kindly; if only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different. And I hope all publishers will bear this lesson in mind the next time they receive a poverty-stricken appeal for a small increase in the expense account from an obscure newspaper man.
     I have selected as the title of my remarks tonight “The President and the Press.” Some may suggest that this would be more naturally worded “The President Versus the Press.” But those are not my sentiments tonight….
My topic tonight is a more sober one of concern to publishers as well as editors.

     I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years. Whatever our hopes may be for the future–for reducing this threat or living with it–there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security–a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.
     This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President–two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.
     The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
     But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country’s peril. In time of war, the government and the press have customarily joined in an effort based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorized disclosures to the enemy. In time of “clear and present danger,” the courts have held that even the privileged rights of the First Amendment must yield to the public’s need for national security.
     Today no war has been declared–and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion.
  • Our way of life is under attack.
  • Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe.
The survival of our friends is in danger.
  • And yet no war has been declared,
  • no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.
     If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of “clear and present danger,” then I can only say that
  • the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.
     It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions–by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy
on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic,
     Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.
     Nevertheless, every democracy recognizes the necessary restraints of national security–and the question remains whether those restraints need to be more strictly observed if we are to oppose this kind of attack as well as outright invasion.
     For the facts of the matter are that this nation’s foes have openly boasted of acquiring through our newspapers information they would otherwise hire agents to acquire through theft, bribery or espionage; that details of this nation’s covert preparations to counter the enemy’s covert operations

  • have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike;
that the size, the strength, the location and the nature of our forces and weapons, and our plans and strategy for their use, have all been pinpointed in the press and other news media to a degree sufficient to satisfy any foreign power; and that, in at least in one case, the publication of details concerning a secret mechanism whereby satellites were followed required its alteration at the expense of considerable time and money.
     The newspapers which printed these stories were loyal, patriotic, responsible and well-meaning. Had we been engaged in open warfare, they undoubtedly would not have published such items. But in the absence of open warfare, they recognized only the tests of journalism and not the tests of national security. And my question tonight is whether additional tests should not now be adopted.
     The question is for you alone to answer. No public official should answer it for you. No governmental plan should impose its restraints against your will. But I would be failing in my duty to the nation, in considering all of the responsibilities that we now bear and all of the means at hand to meet those responsibilities, if I did not commend this problem to your attention,
  • and urge its thoughtful consideration.
     On many earlier occasions, I have said–and your newspapers have constantly said–that these are times that appeal to every citizen’s sense of sacrifice and self-discipline. They call out to every citizen to weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good. I cannot now believe that those citizens who serve in the newspaper business consider themselves exempt from that appeal.
     I have no intention of establishing a new Office of War Information to govern the flow of news. I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or any new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.
     Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: “Is it news?” All I suggest is that you add the question: “Is it in the interest of the national security?” And I hope that every group in America–unions and businessmen and public officials at every level– will ask the same question of their endeavors, and subject their actions to the same exacting tests.
     And should the press of America consider and recommend the voluntary assumption of specific new steps or machinery, I can assure you that we will cooperate whole-heartedly with those recommendations.
     Perhaps there will be no recommendations. Perhaps there is no answer to the dilemma faced by a free and open society in a cold and secret war. In times of peace, any discussion of this subject, and any action that results, are both painful and without precedent. But this is a time of peace and peril which knows no precedent in history.
     It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation–an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people–to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well--the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.
     No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed....
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion....
     It was early in the Seventeenth Century that Francis Bacon remarked on three recent inventions already transforming the world: the compass, gunpowder and the printing press. Now the links between the nations first forged by the compass have made us all citizens of the world, the hopes and threats of one becoming the hopes and threats of us all. In that one world’s efforts to live together, the evolution of gunpowder to its ultimate limit has warned mankind of the terrible consequences of failure.
     And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Rodriguez Walks Out of Hearing and Pleads Case on Radio"-NY Times headline

11/20/13, "Rodriguez Walks Out of Hearing and Pleads Case on Radio," NY Times, Steve Eder

"Alex Rodriguez, locked in a fight with Major League Baseball over his 211-game doping suspension, walked out of his arbitration hearing Wednesday morning, saying he was “disgusted with this abusive process.”

In the afternoon, he took to the radio, telling WFAN, “I don’t have a chance” in the hearing and denying that he had used performance-enhancing drugs in recent years. 

The tipping point for Rodriguez apparently came in the morning when the arbitrator hearing his case, Fredric Horowitz, would not order Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, to testify in the proceedings. “The absurdity and injustice just became too much,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”...

On WFAN, Rodriguez said he never imagined that Selig would not take the stand, adding: “This should end with Selig on Thursday and me on Friday under oath. Put your money where your mouth is.” 

On the ruling, the players association said in a statement: “The M.L.B.P.A. believes that every player has the right under our arbitration process to directly confront his accuser. We argued strenuously to the arbitrator in Alex’s case that the commissioner should be required to appear and testify. While we respectfully disagree with the arbitrator’s ruling, we will abide by it as we continue to vigorously challenge Alex’s suspension within the context of this hearing.” 

Rodriguez has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003, while with the Texas Rangers. The WFAN radio interview Wednesday included repeated denials from Rodriguez that he had used P.E.D.'s in recent years, and he said he should not be suspended at all, never mind 211 games. “I feel like I should be there opening day, and that’s what I’m working hard for,” he said.

While it was unclear what direct impact Rodriguez’s walkout would have on his appeal, some legal experts said Horowitz was unlikely to take kindly to Rodriguez’s actions during the proceedings and his subsequent public statement condemning the Selig decision. 

“You don’t attack the tribunal or individual who is making a decision in your case unless you feel that all is lost,” said William B. Gould IV, a former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, who teaches labor and sports law at Stanford. “Even then, it isn’t the wisest thing to do.” 

Gould added, “I’ve been a student of baseball arbitration for years, and I don’t recall anything akin to this one.” 

With Rodriguez and his lawyers believing that arbitration seems futile, they have laid the groundwork to try the case in the courts. In October, Rodriguez sued M.L.B. and Selig in New York court, claiming they engaged in a “witch hunt” to push Rodriguez out of baseball. The case is pending. 

Joseph Farelli, a labor lawyer, said it was apparent that Rodriguez’s lawyers were trying to build a case that the arbitration has been unfair, which could be important to the pending litigation. “They are trying to lay the groundwork to get a ruling overturned,” Farelli said."


11/20/13, "Mike Francesa on Alex Rodriguez interview: I asked him all the tough questions," Newsday, Neil Best. image above from YES Network which televises Yankee games and simulcasts Mike Francesa's WFAN radio show

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Arod chats with Mike Francesa on WFAN and YES Network after storming out of MLB arbitration hearing

11/20/13, "Mike Francesa on Alex Rodriguez interview: I asked him all the tough questions," Newsday, Neil Best. image YES

Neil Best twitter, "A-Rod to Francesa: "You don't need any help with ratings, Mike."

11/20/13, "A-Rod Walks Out Of Hearing Angry And Into WFAN Studios To Set Record Straight," newyork.cbslocal.com, "Calls Grievance Hearing A 'Farce,' Then Tells Francesa He's Guilty Of Nothing."

"Alex Rodriguez walked out of his grievance hearing Wednesday after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz refused to order baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to testify.

He later showed up at the WFAN studios to talk to host Mike Francesa about it....

Rodriguez vehemently denied any wrongdoing in the case, including saying that he’s not used PEDs at all since 2003. He also denied having leaked documents about Ryan Braun to Yahoo! Sports, calling that accusation by Major League Baseball “laughable” and “disgusting.” Finally, he denied any obstructing of justice during the course of this case, one of the several reasons given by MLB to give Rodriguez the biggest drug-related suspension of all-time.”

“I can’t make any decision now. I’m way too hot,” Rodriguez said, adding when asked if he’s guilty of any of the current allegations against him. “I did nothing, Mike. With the Bosch nonsense, nothing.”

Horowitz was in the midst of the 12th day of hearings on the grievance filed by the players’ association to overturn the 211-game suspension given to Rodriguez last summer for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract.

After Horowitz made his ruling, the New York Yankees third baseman slammed a table, uttered a profanity at MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred and left. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because what takes place at the hearing is supposed to be confidential.

“I lost my mind,” Rodriguez told Francesa on Wednesday afternoon. “I banged a table and kicked a briefcase and slammed out of the room, and just felt like this system … I knew it was restricted and I knew it wasn’t fair, but what we saw today, it was disgusting.”

“And the fact that the man from Milwaukee that put the suspension on me, with not one bit of evidence — something I didn’t do — and he doesn’t have the courage to come look me in the eye and tell me this is why I did 211? I shouldn’t serve one inning,” Rodriguez added.

After walking out of the hearing, Rodriguez issued the following statement:

I am disgusted with this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails,” Rodriguez said. “I have sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process.

“This morning, after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the players’ association refused to order Selig to come in and face me. The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”

Rodriguez’s legal team remains involved in the proceeding. It has been unclear whether Rodriguez will testify.

Horowitz technically is chairman of a three-man arbitration panel that also includes Manfred and Dave Prouty, the general counsel of the players’ union.

“For more than 40 years, Major League Baseball and the players’ association have had a contractual grievance process to address disputes between the two parties. This negotiated process has served players and clubs well,” the commissioner’s office said in a statement. “Despite Mr. Rodriguez being upset with one of the arbitration panel’s rulings today, Major League Baseball remains committed to this process and to a fair resolution of the pending dispute.”

A day earlier, Yankees President Randy Levine testified and denied conspiring with MLB on A-Rod’s suspension.

Levine was asked a series of questions by Rodriguez lawyer Joseph Tacopina, according to another person with knowledge of the proceeding, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the hearing’s confidentiality provision.

The person said Levine testified for 10-15 minutes and denied having any personal gain from Rodriguez’s suspension or the Yankees falling under the luxury tax threshold; and of having an agreement to receive a commission of any money the team saved because of the ban.

Levine also denied discussing Rodriguez’s discipline with Major League Baseball or Selig and telling Rodriguez surgeon Dr. Bryan Kelly or anyone else that he wanted the player off the field, the person said.

The person said Levine testified he may have jokingly used the phrase “is he off the juice?” when talking with Rodriguez about other players who weren’t performing. Levine testified he had no exact recollection.

The hearing resumed Monday before Horowitz, who also heard the case from Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and Oct. 15-18.

Howard Gans, a lawyer for MLB, said in papers filed in federal court that Horowitz will hear the case daily through Nov. 26 rather than the original plan to recess after Friday and resume Dec. 16.

MLB said U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan issued an order Tuesday compelling Michael Sitrick, head of the public relations firm Sitrick & Co., to comply with a Sept. 19 subpoena issued by Horowitz to appear at the arbitration and to provide documents. Sitrick & Co. worked on Rodriguez’s behalf earlier this year.

In papers filed in New York Supreme Court on Oct. 29, MLB alleged Sitrick & Co. had provided records from Bosch to Yahoo Sports, which published a story Feb. 5 saying the name of 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun appeared in records of Biogenesis of America, the Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.

MLB said in the court papers it believed the documents had been “provided to Sitrick & Co. by Rodriguez or others acting on his behalf.” Miami New Times had reported Jan. 29 that Rodriguez bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances from Biogenesis during 2009-12.

Sitrick’s lawyers, who had the matter removed to federal court, did not respond to an email seeking comment on Ramos’ order, which MLB said was read from the bench.

Braun agreed July 22 to a season-ending 65-game suspension. Rodriguez was suspended Aug. 5 for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract, and the players’ union filed the grievance to overturn the penalty. Under baseball’s drug agreement, he was allowed to continue playing while contesting the discipline.

The three-time AL MVP said four years ago he used PEDs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03, but has denied using them since. At the time of his suspension, MLB said the penalty was for “use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years” and for “engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the office of the commissioner’s investigation.”" Arod photo from WFAN website

11/21/13, Newsday back page (Arod picture from Tues., 11/19/13)


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Vibrant online community of Mike Francesa watchers to gather on Feb. 1, 2014 for FrancesaCon

11/20/13, "FrancesaCon Is a Real Thing, and It’s Happening in February," NY Magazine, Joe DeLessio

"The online community that’s formed around Mike Francesa’s radio show is a wonderful thing. There are multiple fake Francesa Twitter feeds, the brilliant Mike Zaun parody videos, and countless other people who obsess over the host’s quirks — discussing, mocking, and sometimes even commending him. Clips from his show can go viral in no time. (The most famous example is the time he appeared to fall asleep on the air.) And blogs breathlessly report the details of stories like Francesa’s involvement in the ongoing feud between Keith Olbermann and some of WFAN’s hosts.

The community of Francesa watchers is so active, in fact, that a gathering was inevitable. And so: Prepare thyself for the FrancesaCon.

FrancesaCon is being organized by the site Next Impulse Sports, and one assumes it will be similar in nature to SantaCon, but with a roving army of Francesas instead of Santas.

It's set to take place on Saturday, February 1, the day before MetLife Stadium hosts Super Bowl XLVIII.

Yesterday, someone even called in to Francesa — who has no use for the Internet, or the people who talk about him on it — to ask if he’d heard about FrancesaCon. You’re not going to believe this, but he hadn’t.

Obviously, this event sounds like a blast. In part, that's because Francesa makes it easy for people to have fun at his expense, and they often do so in really creative ways. (That Francesa is a Luddite who doesn't really understand this phenomenon only seems to add a layer of fun for everyone else involved.) But those who laugh hardest at Francesa are often his oldest fans — those who grew up with him on WFAN but also recognize his flaws. (On-air gaffes aside, he can be extraordinarily arrogant, though there's no denying his influence in the world of New York sports media.) Many of these Francesa watchers kid because they love.

As for the event itself — which carries a disclaimer that it's not endorsed by the WFAN host, as if there were any doubt — here's hoping it involves not just a mob of people dressed as Francesa (collared shirt, stethoscope-style headphones, Diet Coke in hand), but other associated characters: We want to see Mad Dog Russos and John Minkos and Al Alburquerques. February 1 is a little more than ten weeks away, so you've got plenty of time to perfect your costume."

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