Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is this Australian Cricket Team the greatest in history?

Australia won the their third consecutive (and fourth overall) cricket world cup today pretty easily. They beat Sri Lanka by a D/L adjusted 53 runs and were dominant from the get go. Adam Gilchrist played one of the greatest knocks in World Cup history (and perhaps even in the history of ODIs) with a superb and ferocious 149. To bat with such panache and such glorious abandon at crickets most important final just speaks volumes about Gillys class and ensures his place in the pantheon of greats.

Australia were superb throughout the whole tournament. Not only were they unbeaten, no one even came close to beating them. I do not think we will be lucky to see a team like this again in our lifetimes from any country. Australia has crossed the cricketing rubicon. It is time for the other countries to just observe and learn.

Therefore as much as my heart would have liked Sri Lanka to win, I think it is time for me to shed the last vestiges of envy and nostalgia and just bow to Ricky Ponting and his eleven. This Australian team are not just great they are supermen. Never before in cricket has any national team been this good.

This is a dangerous statement....Some of you will posit (and if you do please do so on my blog :) that Clive Lloyd's West Indians in the 80s or Sir Gary Sobers 1965 side or Sir Frank Worrell's 1961 side or Sir Don Bradman's 1930 side were better....balderdash is what I will say to you in response.

If you look at the Aussie record the only logical conclusion is that Ricky Pontings men are the greatest side in the history of the game. Only pure nostalgia bordering on delusional romanticism can cause a knowledgeable cricket fan to come to any other conclusion.

That being said this Australian team will be losing many great players soon. Shane Warne has already called it a day and Glenn McGrath will never be seen in Australian colors again. A great dynasty is ending and the torch is being passed. Cricket like what we saw today transcends national boundaries. It was a joy to see these superb athletes play so well and with such confidence.

I will not bother speculating on whether Australia will still be dominant in the future. For now I just want to savor this moment.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Rachel Paulose - Political Hack or Talented Immigrant Makes Good?

Rachel Paulose the US Attorney in Minneapolis is attracting a lot of attention. At 33 she is the youngest US Attorney in history and the first woman in Minnesota to hold the post. She got her JD from Yale.

However controversy is brewing. Four of her top staff voluntarily demoted themselves Thursday, fed up with Paulose, who, after just months on the job, has earned a reputation as rather bad manager with limited people skills. She apparently is known to quote the Bible and also speak with an acid tongue to underlings. Deputy U.S. Attorney John Marti is just one of the people dropping themselves in rank to simply [an assistant] U.S. Attorney position. Also making the move are the heads of Paulose’s criminal and civil divisions and the top administrative officer. The move is intended to send a message to Washington – that 33-year-old Paulose is in over her head.

I find her statement in her investiture speech to be particularly comical and deliberately misleading. She says her grandparents fled Kerala after the Communists were elected. This statement makes it sound like the Kerala communists (the first time ever a communist party was elected anywhere) organized some kind of Stalinist purge that would cause her family to want to run for the safety of America. The Namboodripad government worked more on land reform and addressing historic injustices through policy rather than violence. They were also dismissed by the Central Govt. a scant two years after being elected. It did not transform Kerala into a Gulag. Clearly she was using Americans lack of knowledge of world history to give the impression that her family had fled some kind of Keralite Holocaust. Complete hogwash.

I am sure that this wont be the last we hear about this woman. Read more about her at

Friday, April 06, 2007

Of Wanderers and Stars

A poem I wrote when I was 19......

In the cold darkness of space
Drift the stars, the bearers of light
And the planets, the bearers of life

There within the suns glare rides...Mercury
The fleet footed messenger of the Gods
His pockmarked face lost to sight
In the light of obscurity

And closer to us, Venus, Goddess of Love
Nocturnal companion of the Moon
Her beautiful face veiled to us
Beneath sulfurous clouds

O Mars, Great Warrior
What battle did you lose
To be condemned to so lonesome a fate
Are we seeing our future
In your past

Jupiter, Celestial Cyclops,
The King of Planets
So great your size,
Yet Noman roams your surface

Saturn, ringed wanderer
Lord of the Harvest
Your many moons like faithful wives follow
Accompanying you on your soundless sojourn

Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
So distant and so alone
Isolation and Desolation
Are your companions
In your silent voyage
Thru eternal space

If the British Empire and its Commonwealth...

.....were to last a thousand years men will still say that this was their finest hour. So spoke Winston Spencer Churchill as he paid tribute to the brave men of the RAF after they stood up to Goering's Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain in 1941.

Well what a difference 65 years makes....The Iran - Royal Navy hostage crisis has been resolved but has shown that the Navy of Lord Nelson, the same Navy that made Britannia Queen of the Seas and the World has morphed into a bunch of tea drinking sissies.

The behavior shown by the 15 Royal Navy sailors as they were paraded for all the world to see was absolutely embarrassing. It proves once and for all that the UK is at best no longer a world power and at worst a banana republic.

Geraldo takes on Bill-Oh on Immigration

This is probably the best television I have seen in ages. Geraldo stood his ground against the big bully Bill O'Reilly or Bill "Orally" as Keith Olbermann calls him. This is fanatstic!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Good Friday thought

A few years ago I was visiting Amsterdam and got to visit the Van Gogh Museum. Amidst all that incredible beauty there was one painting that really struck me. It was painted by JL Gerome, a painter who was supposed to have been a major influence on VVG....Its called Consumatum est Jerusalem - "It is finished" in Jerusalem...A different and lovely perspective of the crucifixion......