I'm back on line after a bit of an absence. My WiFi is still fubared, but a new telephone cord took away the static that was keeping my dial-up from functioning. Not the best on-line experience, but it's better than nothing.
I want to tread softly here, for it's a bad rhetorical device to bring the Nazis into a modern discussion unless it really, really calls for it. However, what's going on in Venezuela screams of the transformation of Germany in the 1930s from a democracy to a dictatorship.
Is it democratic to have the legislature give the leader dictatorial power? It may not be in our paradigm of the term, but there seems to be no good way to stop a supermajority in the legislature to vote itself out of existence and hand the reigns over to the president, if they're in charge of changing the constitution.
To be fair, Chavez seems to be more like a charismatic Allende than Hitler. One can only hope he doesn't run the Venezuelan economy into the ground as Allende did for Chile.
Matt Brown asks me to root for the Colts in the Super Bowl. I will, since I've been a fan of Tony Dungy's from way back. Here's my take on Tampa Bay showing him the door back from this blog's 2002 infancy-
The Bucs fired Tony Dungy, the winningist coach in their history, on Monday. Dungy handed his firing with the quiet class he has shown all through his tenure. Indianapolis, Carolina and San Diego are supposed to be possible stops for Dungy. Whatever team hires him will have a new low-level fan in me.
Later that month, when Indy snapped up the Buc's mistake, here was my commentary-
Looks like I'm a low-level Colts fan-They signed Tony Dungy yesterday. If Dungy can get a good offensive coordinator to look after Manning, James and company and let him do his thing, the Colts could do very well.
Very well indeed. Tampa Bay managed to win the Super Bowl the year after Dungy left, but Chucky has seen the team go downhill from there; Tampa would likely wish they still had Dungy.
Here's another piece on Dungy's character from July 2002-
We hear a lot about the bad guys in sports, like Alan Iverson's recent arrest, but the good guys don't get the props they deserve. I was a bit tickled when I saw this piece in the Winter Haven paper that Colts coach Tony Dungy was doing a prison ministry gig at a local jail.
This both shows off Dungy's Christian faith and documents that he's still got roots in Florida that didn't go away when the Bucs unceremoniously dumped him after last season. He could have shaken the Central Florida dust off of his shoes and not come back, but he's a better man than that.
Speaking of that character, here's a very good Mike Bianchi Orlando Sentinel piece from Sunday on both Dungy and Lovie Smith as two Christian gentleman. Here's the open-
You want to know why this is going to be an incredible Super Bowl?
It's not because the two coaches are black men; it's because the two coaches are great guys.
This is not to depreciate the historical significance of two black head coaches being on the grandest stage in sports for the first time, but it's to appreciate that this is about much more than just race.
It's about class, too.
It's about two soft-spoken, God-fearing coaches -- Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith -- who have proven you can get to the top of the coaching profession without being a miserable human being (see Bill Belichick); without being a raving, screaming, paranoid, lunatic, workaholic madman.
Amen. As they say in the trade, read the whole thing.