Sunday, November 1, 2009

Unfortunate Accidental Death - Extremely Unfortunate Court Ruling

On the 28th of October 2009, a Montana Jury returned an apparently heartfelt $850,000.00 verdict in favor of a family who's son died in 2003 as a result of being struck in the temple by a line drive back through the Pitchers Mound. See the Article Here

I was shocked upon hearing about this story. Being a former practitioner and coach of the game I thought how could this happen. AND, I had a nagging question in my head. Every punitive damage or personal injury suit I have ever heard of named everyone associated with the event, but as far as I could tell the only entity named in the suit was the bat manufacturer, Hillerich & Bradsby, the parent company of Louisville Slugger.

There are a lot of others with shared responsibility here: both teams, the Umpires, the Ball Park, the City, the Ball manufacturer and supplier, the Bat manufacturer and supplier as greater entities. Then, there are responsible individuals: The pitcher (the one who unfortunately died), the catcher who called the unfortunate pitch, the batter (who wielded the deadly weapon), the respective pitching and batting coach, the third base coach who called the batters hitting location, the head coach of each team are the key people in this situation.

That was the first issue I had with this event. I took care of that issue by looking at the form the players and parents have to sign before they can have the privilege to play which releases everyone from any responsibility should anything bad happen including death, except the equipment manufacturers. See the Form here

The player section has this statement "Voluntarily and of my own free will, I elect to participate as a member of The American Legion Baseball Team. I understand that the very nature of baseball has its hazards that can cause serious injury and/or death.

The Parent/ Guardian section contains this statement "I/we understand and acknowledge and appreciate the risks and dangers involved in allowing our son/daughter to participate in American Legion Baseball and I/we assume all risks of injury and damage incident to his/her participation in American Legion Baseball. I/we further in consideration of the privilege to play American Legion Baseball, hereby release, discharge and relinquish The American Legion, its officers, agents, their representatives, employees and officials of and from all claims, demands, actions and cause of action of any sort, for any injuries sustained by our son/daughter."

This incident happened in 2003 and I looked at this today so the statements may be formatted the way they are because of this incident (because incidents like this are quite rare), but I am certain that this player and his parents signed a similar statement which is why they did not name anyone associated with the league.

There is a lot of discussion around now about aluminium vs wood bats. The facts are that you can get more consistent performance from an aluminium bat, but the ball speed coming off the bat is entirely dependent on the speed of the pitch and the batters ability to move the bat to the ball accurately and quickly. We are talking reflexive muscle memory and time frames of less than a second.

It is very difficult to debate this with the information we are missing; although many are trying to. The debates I have read over the last couple days are looking at the wrong issue just as this family did. The bat is not the issue, it is the explanation the family reached for and lawyers turned to in order to explain their son's tragic death.

This is a photo captured from the first video attached to the original story, as far as I can understand is a photo of the young man who unfortunately died as a result of the batted ball.

My experience is that a Pitcher is his own best friend or worst enemy. Sometimes both at the same time.

I ask you to look at the position of this young man's Right (gloved) hand. Technically speaking not too bad, I have seen some pitchers actually get the glove behind their knee which is DANGEROUS! IF this was the young man's typical pitching mechanics it is likely that he would have some difficulty defending himself against a line drive. At the instant this photo was taken his glove should be just in front of his right armpit. On follow through the glove should easily adjust to letter high optimally.

I do not know if the batter was right handed or left. I do not know what pitch was called by the catcher, or how well that pitch was thrown. This is supposition (but an educated guess) on my part the pitcher threw either a fastball or change-up in the lower outside portion of the strike zone. This pitch location is where the vast majority of scary hits come from!

I have another nagging question.... What bat did the pitcher have in his gear bag? What bat did he prefer to use, and why? Most likely he used a similar one to the "weapon."

Finally, I question the legal system who allowed this litigation to happen. Humans are humans! I would expect any Jury of 12 humans to award something, anything, to a grieving family who had signed away any right to litigate for the "privilege" to play a great game, that is sometimes very dangerous.

In my mind the pitching coach has more responsibility in this situation than the bat used by the batter!

My thoughts and wishes go to this family. It is devastating to loose the light of life, especially like this. Please don't allow your pain to push you around your grief.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Being – Belonging – Doing

Here I am again. Deep inside myself and trying to share something with all who have the ears to hear (or ability to understand).

What do us all as humans need to live a balanced life? We need to be who we are, while we belong to something greater than ourselves. The missing link in it all is the “doing” that leads us toward the balance of both at the same time.

Being – Simple really; who am I? Answer that question and you are half way there. Are you that person that you want to be? Are you someone who knows what you value most?
Belonging – Do I belong to something greater than myself? Be that a friendship, a family, a relationship. This could be more than one entity at the same time. Do you feel connected to something that gives you back as much as you put into it?
Doing – Here is the hardest part. Are you doing the things that keep you connected to that greater entity without violating your personal values therefore your being?

We all feel a need to be loved and cared for. What do we do to reach that caring? Almost every human in the world will say family is the most important value that they have closely followed by either friends or their personal self. Within the top 5 you will find being respected by others and honesty.

What is most important to you? How you go about achieving connection? THAT is balance. It is hard to achieve and even harder to maintain.

Reach inside yourself and find who you are and what you value. Find your BEING!

Reach outside yourself and connect with a greater entity than your personal self. BELONG!

Balance what you believe with what you belong to. DOING!

That is the path to true peace through enlightenment. AND the secret truly rich people know!

Love and peace to you all


Friday, May 1, 2009

Disenfranchised People

The Turkish Government is so scared of the population showing their displeasure that they limit their ability to gather. Of course, if you are living in Turkey you don’t need to read a blog to know about that.

Democracy is an interesting thing. In order to have a truly functioning democracy you need the people to have their say and the majority gets their way. And Governments don't like it when after the population has their official say, at the polling station, they have more to say afterward by means of demonstration.

The Turkish Government in particular has a recent history of a thriving democracy, and a long history of tyrannical class rule. The problem is the current governmental style is much like the old class rule system hidden beneath the democratic government, and the people of Turkey feel it but are powerless to do anything about it because it is relatively intangible.

May Day, today, is a good example of that. May Day is the equivalent of Labor Day, and it is a national holiday. What normally happens is the Labor Unions try to march as a group peacefully to specific areas like Taksim Square in Istanbul where there is a monument to the Turkish Labor Force (the people). The problem is that group dynamics take over and the demonstration turns into a mob when the disenfranchised people suddenly feel powerful enough by the sheer weight of their numbers. Traditionally, the result has been a few people killed, a lot of people hurt, and an excessive amount of damage to public and private property. Government being what it is tries to limit this by limiting the numbers of marchers and by limiting the different, and usually opposing, groups destination.

Can you see where this WILL lead? The already disenfranchised become more disenfranchised. The people feel less powerful than before which leads them to vent the frustration in more places but smaller numbers. The feelings of powerlessness become anger and they turn to any means possible to vent it. People throw rocks and bricks at the Police, who have been assigned to control access to main artery streets.

What can be done? The government and the people both have a point. They are both wrong, and they are both right!

The government bribes the people to vote for them, either directly (purchasing votes and sponsoring families needs with coal and rice during the winter) or indirectly by starting grand infrastructure projects just before the elections take place. There was a really good example of political party buying votes this year when they spent millions of Liras delivering household appliances to all the people in villages in the east of Turkey. The political party in question showed how out of touch they were with the needs of the people with this bribe because none of these homes have running water or consistent electricity service and the appliances are still sitting in their packages on the front porch of these houses because they are useless to these people.

Then again the People voted for them because they have better roads or new natural gas service, or free coal, or free rice etc... The people missed their chance to have their say about the things that really matter like a government that will listen to them and their needs rather than maintaining the status quo. So the problem gets deeper in the psyche of the people and the government. The people get angrier, partially at themselves, and the government is more guarded about groups demonstrating.

What to do? Educate these poor people! The people who got refrigerators or washing machines need them, but not before they have schools for their children that provide reading, writing and arithmetic rather than religious schools that teach Arabic and the Koran. These people need consistent running water, and electric service. They need the tools to live before they can live more comfortably. EDUCATE them, EMPOWER them!

When you build a road, first FINISH the road, and don't dig sections up after a month to do something you should have done while the road was open in the first place. That means you need to educate yourself about what the needs of the people are, which leads me to my final point, and original one, enfranchise your people.

Enfranchised people are part of your team, you listen to them and they listen to you. TWO way communications is a wonderful thing. You both learn, you both have a say, you both feel comfortable with a compromise that may not meet everyone’s needs but do for most, and the other needs can be met through compromise in a different issue.

If the people felt empowered in their lives, they would not become the mob. you could allow the march to commemorate the success of the labor force, YOUR PEOPLE!

Peace to you


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Peace Baby Peace

How much excitement can one guy take?

I just completed work on an internet company as the COO and a consultant. Have a gander Focus is addiction treatment and prevention.

I just found out a month ago that I am going to be a father again, at 44! That will be a ball!

Been Twittering and Facebooking and MySpacing like mad. I never thought I would find some of the people I have through these applications but I have and it has been fun. I actually got Maria Schriver as a friend on both Facebook and Twitter! Never thought that would happen but it has.

Hurt my back last week and the residual achiness is killing me!

All this good stuff and the annoying stuff is getting on my nerves.

You know what I just want some peace! But to make the peace last I know I have to do some more and get the business earning! So off to work I go again!

Peace to you !


Friday, April 24, 2009

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Really, Home is where the heart is! What happens when your heart is split between two places 5000 miles apart?

Here I am this morning sitting on the balcony looking at the sunrise reflecting off the white walls of Topkapi Palace thinking about a lot of things and soaking in the energy of the universe like most mornings. Only this morning for some reason I am completely split. I have three kids in the US whome I have not seen since November 27th of 2006. I miss looking into their eyes, touching their cheek or hugging them. I think of them every day, and how much they just don't understand why. I talk to them but it is not the same and it probably never will be.

I am also thinking about my fourth child growing in my wife, and what kind of life we will have to share. The love, the cheeks, the hugs. I love my wife, this place, and this life. I still miss them. Happiness and sadness shared by the same thought, pleasure and pain at the same idea by the same heart.

I do my duty, I support my kids in the states all I can. But it is impossible for me to do the little things I want to so much.

How do I share that? How do I share that with my wife and our child. Do they experience less of me because part of me is there pining for my children I cannot see anymore? Am I harming my fourth child, loving it less because I am sending some into the great unknown for it? Is an 8 week old fetus able to perceive the drain sending love 5000 miles is on me?

The home is where the heart is? İs it possible to have a broken and full heart at the same time?



Thursday, April 23, 2009

Waiting For Professionalism

Delay, no follow through, emotional agony waiting for professionalism.

DELAY: to not do what you need to do in a timely manner
FOLLOW THROUGH: to strike beyond the point of contact or doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it
PROFESSIONALISM: aparently just another damn "ism" nobody gives a crap about.

WOW - where is Lee at today? WAITING AGAIN

I just do not understand why people believe they can get away with performing poorly at best. Seems to me I am surrounded by people who do not perform at all, or whenever thay damn well please!

If anyone out there in the electron microworld is paying any attention please help me understand the concept of Turkish people who do what they want to the level they want in a time frame they change constantly, and finally could give a SHIT if they read muchless adhere to the terms of even the simplest contract!

"I will complete the contracted task within 20 days or less" What the hell is so confusing about that is 20 something different in Turkish than it is in English?

Screw them! I don't want another Turk working on this project!

Peace even if you are a neglectful Turk who believes getting away with it is cursory to survival!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Promises Again?!

Not long ago I wrote a blog called Promises.  Unfortunately this week I found that even though some people promise they will do something they still won't follow through.

I realize that even I cannot complete everything I say I will.  When I cannot I am honest about what happened and how I am planning on fixing it and we work from there.  Guess what, that is all I can expect from anyone elsde too.  I never expect more from others than I am willing to to do myself.  Fortunately for me I DO have a few people who do what they say, and when they cannot, they let me know.

I hate feeling like this, lied to - used - abused, I keep looking for them though.  You know the people with integrity.  unfortunately I currently feel I will find every human with integrity before I pass on to the next concsiousness.

Peace and love, even to those with a lack of integrity.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Return To Our Origins

Today I am absolutely inspired by a man. A man who stuck to it through all the tough times and achieved the biggest achievement anyone could have dreamed.

Mr President, I am a proud American Citizen. What I am most proud of is there is another out there who is willing to stand up and say out loud that we need to get up, dust ourselves off and do what needs to be done. ONLY because it needs to be done!

For those who missed it, that is not many, Here is the transcript of PRESIDENT Obama's Inaguration Speech:

My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions -- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort -- even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence -- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Peace and bless you


Friday, January 9, 2009

A Darn Good Blog

I was cruising around the blogosphere today and found a blog that I thought was just good. Not near as synical as mine has been (especially lately). Pretty pictures and wonderful words!

Take a look!

Happy New Year

It has been almost a month and as usual no one responded to the last blog. I really didn't think anyone would, but I hoped. Just to clarify the thought behing the shoe thing, I thought if we sent enough old shoes to "you know who" the press would pick it up. Somewhat like the large pile of shoes scattered in the middle of a bridge recently garnered international news. The people in the Middle East and Asia would know that the American people do not agree with the decisions of one small group of representatives.

Didn't happen, I am ok with that. I will keep telling everyone that asks me that I do not support the continued occupation of Iraq, one at a time.

On with life. I am looking forward to the new President and I really do hope he can inspire a lot of very powerful people (the citizenship) to pay attention to the small print, and make sure we know what is going on.

The newest big world distraction is Israel - vs - Hamas, or should I say Gaza.

This thing started like all retaliatory wars, but It looks like Hamas brought rocks to a gun fight. Ok, Hamas brought really crappy rockets that don't do a heck of a lot of damage (but scare the hell out of everyone in their path) and unfortunately Israel has brought pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. Enough already, you showed who has the bigger .... now start acting like a responsible nation. Gaza is not Iran, if you have a problem with Iran, talk to Iran! Let the people of Gaza deal with getting rid of the Hamas thugs. You never know, the Gazan's might surprise you, if you let them get the basic essentials they need to survive.

The Egyptians also need to take a look at how they have allowed the tunneling to continue too!

I have an idea, why not TRY to be human rather than Palastinian or Israeli, better yet lets try humanity over Muslim or Jew. Fights like this serve no purpose, except to make a mockery of religion overall. Religion does that well enough without nations helping by killing in the name of their "god"!

Peace and Love