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Showing posts from June, 2013

So THAT'S why the "B" in the Bruins logo is in the middle of a wheel!

I've been watching hockey ever since 1957. Needless to say, the Original Six NHL teams are all familiar to me. But I've always wondered about something that came up in a forum I belong to this year during the Finals: why is the "B" in the Boston Bruins' logo surrounded by the spokes of a wheel?  I mean, I can understand the wheel on the Detroit Red Wings' sweater; they play in the Motor City, after all. But what in the world does a wheel have to do with Boston?

I had a sleep study done last night. After it was over, I was sitting in the hospital lobby waiting for my bus and paging through some old magazines. And there, staring me in the face from an old copy of Sports Illustrated, was the answer.

It seems that in 1858, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.- the poet, not the Supreme Court justice- stated that the Massachusetts State House in Boston was "the hub upon which the Solar System turns." A strange conceit, and as parochial as it is astronomically dub…

SCOTUS strikes down DOMA- and marriage itself- in a flurry of bad logic and worse law

The Supreme Court has finally gone and done it: it has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, thereby effectively knocking one of the last remaining props from underneath the institution itself, and- not to put too fine a point on it- from underneath Western society.

Marriage is not an invention of the government, or of the law. It is not simply a contract between individuals, to be entered into regardless of  the gender or intentions of the parties. Its inherent terms, at least in Western society- stability and monogamy being two of them called seriously into question by extending the institution to gay men and lesbians, respectively- cannot simply be altered at will by a court or legislature, because marriage is a  pre-political institution based upon the interest of society in promoting procreation.

One thing is historically certain: the characteristics of traditional marriage have, from an historical and legal point of view,  both clearer and deeper roots than the right of jud…



Just.... wow.


It had been a good hockey game, just like all the others in the series. A desperate Boston Bruins squad, facing elimination, had come out smoking. The first period statistics were one-sided in favor of the boys from Beantown, but one significant fact stood out: they had only scored once.

The Blackhawks caught their breath in the second period. The statistics were gradually but relentlessly evening out. And Jonathan Toew's goal made the score 1-1.

The third period was pretty even. But just before the halfway mark in the period, Milan Lucic of Boston put the Bruins ahead, 2-1. As the period wore on, I gradually became reconciled to the series going back to Chicago for an epic seventh game on Wednesday night.

As the final two minutes ticked away, the Hawks pulled goalie Corey Crawford in order to put a sixth attacker on the ice. For those unfamiliar with hockey, this is a standard tactic when your team is trailing by a goal with a little more than a minute to …

ONE GOAL!: Let's get this over with!

The 1961 Detroit Red Wings, against whom my Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup of my lifetime,  had some great players, but they weren't all that great a team. The same might be said of the Hawks, even though they contained the nucleus of what would become what was until recently the best Hawk team in history- a team that by rights should have won at least two or three Cups, but somehow never did.

The Hawks finished third out of six teams that year, and got to the Finals in large measure because the great Glenn Hall (aka "Mr. Goalie") shut out  the mighty Montreal Canadiens, who were seeking their sixth straight Stanley Cup, in both Game Five and Game Six.  The Wings, on the other hand, somehow got past the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs. The third and fourth-place teams in a six-team league were playing for the championship.


Still, the Cup is the Cup, and the Hawks hadn't won one since 1938, so we Hawk fans weren't about to quibble.

The 2010 Phila…

ONE GOAL!: Who said hockey fans ain't got no couth?

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs the Blackhawk's goal song, "Chelsea Dagger."

This is hopefully the song that will haunt the dreams of Boston fans for the next year or three.

ONE GOAL! The world (and my frown) turned upside down

What a difference a slapshot makes.

Well, actually it was a little more than just the one slapshot.

Twenty-four hours ago, it looked like the Blackhawks could never beat Boston at home (they would have had to do it once to win the Stanley Cup, since Boston had beaten them once at home and stolen home-ice advantage). And in this year's playoffs, nobody- but nobody- beat the Bruins at home.

It looked like the Hawks could never compete with Boston in winning faceoffs.

It looked like the Hawks' power play could never get on the board,.

It looked like their big guns- Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa- just couldn't score.

It looked like Boston goalie Tuukkla Rask was Superman- and the Hawks' Corey Crawford was, at best, Green Lantern.

It looked like the Hawks were going back to Chicago Saturday trailing Boston three games to one- only one game from elimination, and still having to play one game in Boston. The Trib said they were "in denial" …

This about sums it up

If the Blackhawks are going to win the Stanley Cup, they need to attend to the Trib's Bob Rosenberg- and fix what's broken.

The math is unavoidable: since losing Game 2 in overtime, they must win a game in Boston. It either has to be tonight's game, or Game 6.

If they lose tonight, I am very much afraid that the Bruins are going to win the Cup. And unless they can win faceoofs and more than one period a game- and penetrate the Boston slot and dwell therein- I a m very much afraid that that's what's going to happen.

At least Marian Hossa apparently will be healthy enough to play.

I just hope the rest of the team shows up tonight.

I could understand if this happened in Canada. But not in a free country.

An eighth-grader in West Virginia is facing a year in jail for refusing to remove an NRA T-shirt when ordered to do so by Leftist teachers and school administrators.

In fairness, the police respond that it wasn't so much refusing to remove the shirt that got the kid in trouble with the law, but how he responded to the police. Now, I certainly do not condone being rude to policemen. But unless he was physically violent, it's a tough sell to say that even rudeness to police merits a year in jail- especially if the officers were on the wrong side of the law in seeking to enforce the school's unconstitutional actions.

It seems that freedom of religion isn't the only basic human right under attack from the American Left.  Freedom of speech is in trouble, too.

You'd think this was Canada or something. Or maybe Chicago, or some other place which doesn't value free speech.

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: It seems that the kid's "interference with the duties of a policema…

ONE GOAL!: Boston 2, Blackhawks didn't show up

Ok. Losing a player as key as Marian Hossa doesn't help. But that's no excuse.

I lack cable and have to wait until dark to hold my clock radio up to the window in order to get bits and snatches of WGN, whose signal is directionally pointed East. Last night the interference was especially bad. It appears that I was lucky.

From what I made out from Troy Murray, our play was lackidasical and complacent. Sounds familiar. This team seems to need pressure to play at their best. Well, they sure have pressure now- though I don't think they'll respond to it fully until Game 5 in Chicago.

But they'd better. I know all about the Detroit series, and I've praised this team for its heart over and over. But this is not Detroit we're playing, and if we don't win tomorrow night in Boston, I think we're pretty much done.

Which I will especially hate, because most Bruin fans and the Boston media generally are making even the folks in Philly look like good sports.

In …

So why is THIS not a surprise?

A Pew survey has documented what everybody paying attention must by know have noticed: the profound and virtually universal bias of the media in favor of gay "marriage."

No wonder opinion has swung so decisively in favor of a position so utterly refuted by the facts and so exclusively supported by emotional reasoning and bad logic. When the American people are only being given one side of the debate, what can we expect?

HT: Drudge


I see Bill Daley is opposing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in the Democratic primary next year.

Old time pol vs. ineffectual, clueless would-be "reformer." I can almost see rooting for Daley. At least he'd have some idea what he'd be doing.

Naw. Illinois has had enough of the donkey crowd down in Springfield. Time to elect a Republican- if the GOP can find a candidate who isn't as clueless as Quinn.

ONE GOAL!: Just sayin'

Something I want to get off my chest:

Officials disallowing goals for irrelevant reasons is- like pucks ricocheting off multiple players into the net- a part of hockey. I will not descend to the level of the Boston sportswriters who tried to dismiss the Blackhawks' victory in that Game 1 Stanley Cup Final marathon as "luck" becuse the shot that won it bounced off two Hawk players on the way into the net, and because the goal that tied it went in off a player's skate- as if all games decided by teams as evenly matched as these didn't finally come down to luck, in one way or another.

But whether the official lost sight of the puck and forgot to blow his whistle or not had nothing to do with Hossa's goal. The whistle didn't blow, and the referee's human fallibility shouldn't negate a perfectly legitimate goal* . By rights, Hossa's tally  should have stood, the Hawks should have won the Game 2 to 1 in regulation, and the game should never have go…

If they were honest, they'd call themselves the ***A

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler is someone I sometimes agree with, and sometimes not.

But I sadly must agree with Mohler- and by implication, at least, with Lutheran theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg- that only one letter in the initials "ELCA" is accurate.

It is in no sense "evangelical," the "gospel" it talks about so much is not the gospel of Jesus Christ, but a buzz word completely without content which serves only as something to appeal to over and against the text of Scripture.

Given the post-modernism (to say nothing of the universalism and near-universalism, errors on the very article by which Lutheranism historically has maintained the Church "stands or falls") which infests its seminaries and clergy roster, it's hard to see how the ELCA can be called Lutheran. After all, to be Lutheran, don't you have to... well, subscribe in some sense to Lutheranism? Hard to do if, as the ELCA clergy at a meeting I atte…

Ahmadinejad defeated by 'moderate' in Iran's presidential election!

One of the leading contenders to replace the late Hugo Chavez is the biggest clown currently heading a government has bitten the electoral dust.

I'm talking about none other than Iran's zany Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has lost his battle for reelection to moderate Hassan Rouhani. Mr. Rouhani received 50.71% of the vote, thus narrowly avoiding a runoff.

The president-elect said "This victory is a victory for wisdom, moderation and maturity... over extremism." But he also urged the world to "acknowledge the rights" of Iran.

At the same time, however, he urged the world to "acknowledge the rights" of Iran-" possibly code for its nuclear ambitions- and said that "nations who tout democracy and open dialogue should speak to the Iranian people with respect and recognise the rights of the Islamic republic."

Since it's Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei and other senior theocrats who actually set policy in Tehran (Khamenei actuall…

Time to apply the Dan Quayle test to pro-amnesty group

As the movie Man of Steel debuts, a pro-amnesty group is pointing out Superman is an illegal alien.

Somehow, my mind can't help wandering back to when Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana criticized TV Land for having Murphy Brown (remember her?) become an unwed mother.

Bad example, Quayle said. The Democrats and other lefties immediately cited this as evidence that Quayle was stupid, since he wasn't aware that Ms. Brown was a fictional character.


This is the same bunch that claimed that  Quayle couldn't spell "potato" because in judging a spelling bee he relied on the answer sheet he was given by the organizers, which incorrectly spelled it with an "e" on the end. The Left has never let a little thing like fairness get in the way of its penchant for using ad hominems in order to win arguments they can't win on the merits.

But still, what's good for the goose, y'know? Doesn't this mean that the members of that pro-amnesty group are stup…

ELCA loses half a million members since Minneapolis

It seems that the ELCA has lost half a million members since it officially equated even promiscuous sodomy with the divine institution of Holy Matrimony.

It's a pity that this apostate denomination hasn't lost far, far more.

ONE GOAL!: This series could be one for the ages

This could well turn out to be one of the greatest Stanley Cup Finals in history.

Trailing 3-1 in the third period of Game One last night, the Hawks displayed the same heart they showed in coming back from a three games to one deficit in the Detroit series and winning it.

First Dave Bolland scored to cut the Boston lead to one. Then Johnny Oduya tied it.

And then- after the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup (and therefore NHL) history- Michal Rozseval took a shot from the point. It hit Bolland, ricocheted off  Andrew Shaw, and slipped past Boston goalie Tuukka Rask and into the net.

Final score: Chicago 4, Boston 3 in triple overtime.

The Boston take on the game is hilarious.

The Hawks won with their secret weapon: heart. It's what, I'm convinced, is going to win them the Cup- though I concede that it will probably take seven games. I understand that a writer for USA Today opined the other day that if these two teams played each other a hundred times, each would win fifty.


Lutheran Satire: 'How to Talk Like an Evangelical'

Though there really should be quotation marks around "Evangelical..."

ONE GOAL!: The Kings are dead. Long live the Blackhawks!

As those who read this blog know, I'm ordinarily well-disposed toward teams with names inspired by family Ursidae. The Bears and the Cubs are dear to my heart.

The Bruins? Not so much. At least for the next week or two.

My Blackhawks are playing the Bruins this week in the Stanley Cup Finals- and this time, the Ursines are going down.

The Hawks ousted the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings from the playoffs Saturday night in double overtime by a score of 4-3. The Hawks won the series four games to one.

The puck will drop for the first game of the Finals at the United Center at 7:30 On Central on Wednesday..

As a special bonus, we won't have to listen to the NBC play-by-play announcer rooting for the Kings anymore.

The decisive Game Five shouldn't have gone to overtime. In the first place, when you're fewer than ten seconds away from the Stanley Cup Finals, you really should find a way to avoid allowing the tying goal. While Corey Crawford, the Jennings T…

Huzzah! Cubs score big in the draft

The Cubs have gotten lucky.

They've landed third-baseman Kris Bryant- arguably the best player in the MLB draft, and at a position where they've historically struggled.

Between Ron Santo and Aramis Ramirez- and since-  it's been a weak spot for the Cubs. Adding Bryant to a lineup including Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo and upcoming stars like Matt Szcur and Chris Villanueva and Jorge Soler and Javy Baez- to name just a few- adds one more reason for optimism for fans of a team I'm convinced will contend in 2015, and could even end up a dynasty in the future.

It's good to finally have a management that will settle for no less, and is not aiming for a mere championship or two.

ONE GOAL!: The Kings' castle has fallen- and the Hawks assert their claim to the crown

The Blackhawks' 3-2 victory over Los Angeles at the Staples Center last night wasn't as close as the score would indicate.

The Warriors of the Four Feathers were all over the Kings during the last two periods, dominating play so completely that I find it difficult to imagine the series lasting past Saturday night's nationally televised (NBC, 7PM Central) Game Five from the United Center in Chicago. Only the Kings' superb goalie, Jonathan Quick, prevented the game from turning into a rout.

Deprived of star defenseman Brian Keith due to a well-deserved one-game suspension for high sticking Jeff Carter in Game Three, the Hawks barely batted an eye. Birthday boy Niklas Hjalmarsson teamed up with Brent Seabrook, and Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival teamed up as Chicago's second blue line unit. The result was so stifling that the Kings managed only two shots on goal during the final nineteen minutes, including none during a third period Kings power play and after Los …

A great novel of original sin- and hope

Forty-five years ago I came across a sci-fi novel in the bookstore of Concordia, River Forest calledA Canticle for Leibowitz. It sounded intriguing: a post-nuclear apocalypse Catholic church considering the canonization of a man named- Leibowitz?- following the discovery of some distinctly secular documents associated with him.

A comedy? A send-up of Catholicism, or even Christianity? I figured the latter was unlikely, even in the pre-Paul Zimmerman Concordia's bookstore. But somehow, I never got around to reading the book. Instead, I heard over and over from time to time that it was a classic, and well worth the reading.

Well, I got around to it this week. And it was both.

Though it has its humorous side, the book is anything but a send-up. It's an allegory of the role of the monasteries in helping preserve the spark of science and literature during the Dark Ages. And it's a gentle rebuttal of one of the more tired and ill-informed cliches of modern, historically and theo…

ONE GOAL: Los Angeles Red Kings?

Maybe the defending champion Los Angeles Kings are better than I thought they were. Or maybe the Hawks once again laid back and played sloppy hockey after deciding that their opponent was a pushover, as they did against Detroit.

Or, most likely, both.

Any way you look at it, though, LA beat the Hawks 3-1 at the Staples Center last night.

Now, the Kings have been pretty much invincible at home. But then, for most of the season, the Hawks were pretty much invincible everywhere. But in any case, we should have a better understanding of what's going on after Game Four is played at the same location tonight.

One thing is certain: besides having to get back the crispness of their passing, skating and shooting, the Hawks have to get back their discipline. This time it was Patrick Sharp and Brian Keith who lost it the way Jonathan Toews did at the nadir of the series with Detroit. Except Keith may be facing a suspension for it.

C'mon, guys. We've been through this. Time to play l…

Never mind the PANSTAARS disappointment. Comet ISON is brightening!

Comet ISON- due in November- is brightening significantly.

If the sungrazer survives its close encounter with Old Sol, it's really going to be something. Speculation has been that you'll be able to read by its light!

But perihelion is always dicey with sungrazers. The forces they experience when they whip around the back side of our local star are pretty severe. Everything depends on ISON not disintegrating- and there's every chance that it might.

But if it doesn, the Great Comet of 2013 could be one of the most spectacular in recorded history.

Two-thirds of uninsured say they're not sure they're going to buy insurance under Obamacare!

The entire rationale of Obamacare is that it would enable everybody to have health insurance.

But it seems that two-thirds of Americans who currently lack insurance aren't sure they're going to enroll, penalties or not.

It seems that Barack Obama's single mark in the history books is turning out- as predicted by many- to be a flyspeck.

HT: Drudge

ONE GOAL: It's good to beat the Kings

Game One: Chicago 2, Los Angeles 1.

Game Two; Chicago 4, Los Angeles 2.

I talked to a local bartender who is also a knowledgeable Hawks fan during the third period of Game One. We agreed on two things: first, that the Kings may be overrated, and that the Hawks may either sweep them or win the series in five. Rather, as I said earlier, than the top four teams having made it to the Final Four, it may turn out that the top three teams and Jonathan Quick made it there. And Quick doesn't appear to be enough.

What I'm worried about at this point is the Bruins. The Penguins are the only other team in the Hawk's class. But the Bruin's physical play pretty much dominated them in Game One of the Eastern Conference semis. The Pens are a better team. But the Hawks match up much better against them than they do against the Bruins.

I'll be rooting for the Pens to be the Hawks' opponents in the Finals. It's an old story: in hockey, a team which combines a reasonable amou…