MARCH 9 UPDATE
THE NEW SPY WEB SITE
A new tracking device shows that SPY was read Tuesday in 20 countries — every continent except Antarctica
My youngest daughter Allison is fundamentally one of the most intelligent people I have known. Given the academic, diplomatic, intelligence and sports circles I have travelled in, that says a lot.
When the now-former webmaster hit me with a demand for a $1500 fee, payable in advance for the coming year, which I could not afford, Allison stepped in and, working night and day while keeping up with her professional work, she designed a new web site. It is really a fantastic piece of work; she walked me through it via online tutorial. I suppose every parent reaches that moment when they realize their children are smarter, more talented, etc. I am not only indebted to her for saving SPY, but much aware of the burden I placed on her. I thought we had until March 15 but the former webmaster shut off access on March 3; I misread his invoice. I liked the former site, but the webmaster was very difficult to deal with, and charged me $95-195 every time I needed technical help. And, the site had limitations, despite the brilliance of his design. So, I walked away from a site in which I had invested over $4,000.
All the features are there – current stories up front, backed up by archives containing every story from 2010. More, there are new features, like the photo index, which links to all the photos posted via Picasa. And, the new site is photo-friendly.
Readers: a s we have advised several times, when spysoftball.com is not working, for any reason, we publish spysoftball.org. More , there are special features which fit more comfortably on Front Page and we will continue to publish there. We published all the college scores from last Thursday through Sunday on spysoftball.org. Many readers kept up with the scores there.
CAMPBELL CARTIER PHOTOS
Dennis Andersen photographed the action. Enjoy the slide show.
Ashley Black-Newtown Rock Gold-Rick Waye 2011, TO Central Connecticut
THE COLLEGE WEEK
9-12 COLL Rebel Spring Games, Orlando
11-13 COLL KU Invitational, Lawrence
12 COLL DIII Leadoff Classic, Panama City Beach FL
12-13 COLL Cascade Clash, Corvallis
12-13 COLL Long Beach State Invitational
12-13 COLL UMBC Dawg Pound Classic, Baltimore
12-13 COLL FAU Parents Weekend Tournament
12-13 COLL FIU Golden Panther Invite
12-13 COLL Mustang Classic, Santa Barbara
12-14 COLL Wildcat Invitational, Arizona host
12-14 COLL Buckhead Classicv, Atlanta
12-14 COLL Aggie Invitational, College Station
12-14 COLL Oklahoma Spring Festival, Norman
12-14 COLL Missouri Tiger Invitational
12-14 COLL Second Tennessee Invitational, Knoxville
12-14 COLL Bayer Cropscience Classic, Fresno
12-14 COLL Diamond Devil Invitational, ASU host
12-14 COLL California tournament, Berkeley
12-14 COLL USF Under Armour Classic, Clearwater
12-14 COLL Winthrop Adidas Tournament, Rock Hill
12-14 COLL Oklahoma State Mizuno Classic, Stillwater
12-14 COLL Malihini Kipa Aloha tournament, Honolulu
13-14 COLL Arkansas Invitational, Fayetteville
13-14 COLL Red and Black Tournament, Louisville
13-14 COLL Cal Poly tournament, San Luis Obispo
See NFCA Scoreboard on: www.spysoftball.org
LIVE WEB CASTS OF HS SOFTBALL
Friday, March 12, 2010
At 6:45 pm
Bartow HS Yellow Jackets vs. Naples HS Golden Eagles
June 25-27 – 18 under Hawk Rocker College Exposure Event and 16 under ASA
National Region 10 Regional Elgin, Ill
October 8-10 – 16 and 18 under Homer Hawks College Exposure Event and
Mid Summer Showcase and PONY National Qualifier
July 1 – 4, 2010 Virginia Beach, VA
Over 300 college coaches have been invited, representing NCAA Division I, II, & III, NAIA, and Junior College programs.
Entry fee $685.00 Must be received by April 22, 2010
Format: Two Showcase games on both Thursday and Friday — Three Pool games on
Saturday — Single Elimination on Sunday!
8 GAME GUARANTEE!! (weather permitting)
SPY publishes the two national polls on its home page, and they are listed on the left of the page among recent items published. However, at the top of the page, SPY provides a link to the NCAA web site, which also posts the NFCA and USA Softball polls – but NCAA is two to three days behind.
500 WINS FOR JOE FRENCH
NEWARK, Del—The UMBC softball team ran its winning streak to nine games with a pair of victories at Delaware Tuesday afternoon. The Retrievers defeated the Blue Hens, 6-5, in 10 innings in game one, then won, 4-2, in a five-inning game that was shortened by darkness in the nightcap. UMBC improves to 9-1 on the season, while Delaware falls to 2-12. In addition, the Retrievers’ second victory of the day represented the 500th career win for head coach Joe French.
THE SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the father of a fallen Marine can collect damages from a religious sect that picketed his son’s funeral with vulgar placards celebrating the death of American soldiers.
The funeral case, Snyder v. Phelps, tests the limits of First Amendment protection for demonstrators who aim obnoxious and hurtful speech at the most sympathetic of victims. It centers on the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., founded in 1955. Most of the church’s 70-odd members are children, grandchildren or in-laws of its founder and sole pastor, Fred W. Phelps Sr., according to a lower court opinion.
The Westboro Church searches the Internet for notices of military funerals it can picket to get attention for its message of hostility to homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church, and its claim that battlefield casualties represent divine retribution for what it views as America’s sins.
In March 2006, Mr. Phelps and several of his relatives selected the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Westminster, Md.
The Westboro group, bearing such signs as “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates You,” along with more vulgar messages, complied with local ordinances. It wasn’t until Cpl. Snyder’s father, Albert Snyder, saw television coverage of the protest that he learned of it. Mr. Snyder later discovered a screed on the church’s Web site attacking him for raising his son a Catholic and supporting his service in the armed forces.
Mr. Snyder sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and ultimately was awarded $5 million in damages. In September, however, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the judgment.
The Richmond, Va., court acknowledged that the Phelpses’ speech was “highly offensive” and “repugnant.” But it found that it was “intended to spark debate about issues” that concerned the Westboro group.
While government may adopt regulations to protect the sanctity of solemn occasions such as funerals, “some ‘breathing space’ for contentious speech is essential” under the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause, the appeals court held. The Supreme Court will consider how much breathing space the Constitution requires.
SPY Note: Phelps concedes he seeks publicity for his beliefs. I am a peaceable man, but, if Phelps and his coterie had appeared at my brother’s funeral, Colonel Colt and I would have written a final chapter to their yesterdays and cancelled their tomorrows, and cited the 14th Amendment in defense. Few privileges are as abused as the First Amendment. Tarnishes my long-standing credentials as a moderate! Given their whacky opinion on corporate campaign contributions, I wouldn’t give odds on the Supremes’ decision.
A newspaper photo this past weekend showed some drugstore cowboys outside a Starbucks in Seattle displaying their hoglegs; one even had a tie-down like gunslingers of yesteryear. But, Starbucks and others have caved to the pressure, while some big box stores still resist. A critic said he feared the day when “some yuppie dissatisfied with his latte shoots a clerk.”
Serious question: every gun owner I have known loves to fire his piece. What happens when a robber holds up a Starbucks, Seven-11 etc. full of people carrying guns. Will they shoot? You know they will. There is a lot of shooting every weekend at some night clubs in DC. There was a reason those marshals made everyone check their guns at the Deadline – and enforced it.
I’ve been in situations where guns were drawn. Walked the streets of Old Jerusalem after midnight during the intifada; walked a dusty street in Colombia’s San Jose de Guaviara when numerous weapons were all pointed at me; was engulfed by a rioting crowd leaving a soccer game in Istanbul, some firing guns. I even saw incredible weapons pointed at me when I made a wrong turn driving thru CIA headquarters. Ironically, the only time when I felt the hairs sticking up was in Bolivia’s Chapare, where I joined the police looking for cocaine labs in the jungle. I walked beside this Colonel, but kept looking back at his bodyguard, who appeared to be all of 15 but was carrying two Uzi’s. The movies notwithstanding, you can’t fire two at once with any sense of direction. Finally, I complained to the Colonel that the kid was making me nervous; he was more a threat than the narcotrafficantes. Scares me too, the Colonel said, but he’s my wife’s nephew so I have to tolerate him. But, he added, I loaded his weapons with blanks.