The sooner we begin, the sooner we may say along with Sam’s old Gaffer, “All’s well that ends better!” McConnell may be right—indeed, he may continue to do damage even as we work to correct it—but we must undertake it just the same. And Tolkien provides us with insight into the way that work must be accomplished: with determination, but also with compassion. Frodo, as leader of the free hobbits, forbids violence against his fellow hobbits “even if they have gone over to the other side. Really gone over, I mean, not just obeying … because they are frightened.” He cautions that “it is useless to meet revenge with revenge: It will heal nothing.” Compare this to Joe Biden: “We must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.” Like Trump’s MAGA minions, Saruman’s thugs—hobbit, half orc, and human alike—demand respect but deserve none. What they do deserve, Frodo knows, is the chance to change—with consequences if they choose not to. “Do not kill him even now,” he instructs Sam after the disgraced Wizard has just attempted to stab him with a dagger. “He was great once, of a noble kind … He is fallen and his cure is beyond us, but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.” But Saruman’s pride, like Trump’s, prevents conversion. “All my hopes are ruined,” he tells Galadriel in an earlier chapter, “but I would not share yours.” And Frodo has no compunctions about driving him and his henchmen out of town—as we must have none about driving out the recalcitrant Trump and his goons if they refuse to go in peace. When first apprised of Sauron’s fall and the success of the Quest, Sam wonders, “Is everything sad going to come untrue?” In “The Scouring of the Shire,” Tolkien has Sam provide his own answer: “I shan’t call it the end,” he says, “till we’ve cleared up the mess. And that’ll take a lot of time and work.” That work is now our work. To quote Joe Biden, “The work of making this vision real is the task of our time.” – Advertisement – Nor have we rid ourselves of the scourge of Trumpism. On the contrary, Trumpists still occupy the top positions in government and have not acceded to the lawful transfer of power. High-level elected officials remain complicit. Trump loyalists have been installed in our judiciary and our career civil service. Armed militias threaten violence. And millions of our fellow citizens have thrown their lot in with the corrupt and immoral Trump regime. Tolkien understood that the aftermath of evil is not sudden good, but rather a long, hard, unglamorous slog towards normalcy and decency. And he understood that even this menial work would face resistance from the spiteful vanquished. “I have already done much that you will find it hard to mend or undo,” smirks Sharkey/Saruman to Frodo upon realizing he is defeated. Compare this to Mitch McConnell upon the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court: “A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.” – Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Photo by Guimbal BFP ILOILO City – Properties estimated to beworth P1 million went up in smoke after fire charred a house in Barangay BongolSan Vicente, Guimbal, Iloilo. The blaze totally gutted the residenceof the 76-year-old Rodolfo Garalda Rodolfo Garcia around 2 p.m. on Feb. 20, apolice report showed. He also sustained burns on the shoulder. Arson investigators are looking intoshort-circuit coming from an electric fan as the cause of the incident./PN Photo by Guimbal BFP
In this Sept. 22, 2002, file photo, New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan celebrates after sacking Seattle Seahawks quarterback Trent Dilfer during an NFL football game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Playing for one team, joining former teammates Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, means plenty to the 42-year-old Strahan. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)Michael Strahan had one objective in mind when he came to the New York Giants as a second-round draft pick in 1993 out of Texas Southern.“My goal when I first started was just to make a little money so I didn’t have to move back to my parents’ house,” he says. “I didn’t want to disappoint my parents. So that was my goal, to kind of just make my parents proud, make them happy, play as hard and just do the best I could do.”The best he could do was pretty good: Strahan will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.Strahan was the leader of a defense that stunned the undefeated Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl. He holds the single-season mark for sacks with 22 1-2 in 2001 — yeah, we know all about Brett Favre’s “dive” for the record-setting sack. He retired with 141 1-2 sacks, seven Pro Bowl appearances and four All-Pro team selections.And while he was a game-changer on the field, he was making his mark elsewhere with his gregarious personality, gap-toothed smile and willingness to step out of his comfort zone. He became a regular in commercials, most notably for Subway.Strahan easily moved from the field to the television studio after retirement, and now is co-host of the “Live! With Kelly and Michael” morning show.But he’s going into the Canton shrine because of his on-field achievements in 15 seasons, all with the Giants.Playing for one team, joining former teammates Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor in the hall, means plenty to the 42-year-old Strahan.“Just so much history on the side of the Giants,” Strahan says, “and the fact that you can see we all spent our career all in one place, which just goes to show that it’s a family.”Not that a spot in Canton was on Strahan’s mind when he wore No. 92 for the Giants.“I think, when you once start thinking like that, you’re setting yourself for failure,” he says. “So I just went out and played every year for 15 as hard as I could and just — at the end of it all, it took me years before I looked back on my career and said, ‘Man, I did have a pretty good career.’ Other than that, I just look at myself as a football player who happens to play as hard as I could and ended up by going out on the right note on a team that got hot at the right time and won a Super Bowl, and one of the most memorable ones going against an undefeated team.”Strahan had a sack in that game, the final one of his career. He became eligible for the hall in 2013 and was elected this year.Seeing his former teammate and mentor selected for the hall reminds current Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka of Strahan’s refusal to come off the field. Strahan started 205 of his 216 career games, and was no situational player.“I remember him specifically saying, That’s just a chance for somebody to take your spot,’ ” Kiwanuka says. “He’d say, ‘I’m never going to come off the field, they’re going to have to drag me off the field.’ You have to have that mentality of a warrior, somebody who’s going to be out there and be accountable every single play.”It takes more than determination, good health and some good fortune to achieve that. Giants general manager Jerry Reese recognizes that.“Michael would get recognized most of the time as a pass rusher, and he was a great one,” Reese says. “But he could also play the run as well as anybody at that position. He was great against the run.”He also was a teacher. Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants’ main sacks threat these days, notes that Strahan taught Osi Umenyiora the tricks of the trade. Umenyiora passed them along to Kiwanuka, who did the same for Pierre-Paul.Reese took over for Ernie Accorsi as Giants GM in 2007, and his first task directly involved his star defensive end. Strahan held out of training camp, immediately setting up a challenge the new general manager had to overcome.Obviously, the sides reached a deal, and six months later, the Giants were champions.“Coach (Tom) Coughlin said when Chris Snee retired, ‘Give me 100 Chris Snees on my team,’ ” Reese says. “Well, you can give me 200 Michael Strahans.”___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
“He’s a versatile defenceman who can fit in and thrive in all situations. He brings a tough, competitive attitude and he’s a heavy hitter, but he showed in the AJHL last season that he’s really developed the offensive side of this game as well.”The 21-year old spent the two previous seasons with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Flin Flon Bombers, where he suited up in 66 games before missing much of his 19-year old year due to injury.His junior career started in the BCHL, where he picked up two assists and 45 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Williams Lake Timberwolves. Overall, Virtanen brings 136 games of Junior A experience to the Selkirk defence corps. His statistical totals include 11 goals, 21 assists and 207 penalty minutes. The Abbotsford product began the current season on a try-out with the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Mississippi Surge and got his first taste of pro hockey when he suited up in a number of preseason games. He plans to study Business Administration at Selkirk College. “I can’t wait to get to Selkirk and begin my college hockey career,” says Virtanen, who describes himself as a quick, offensive, puck moving defenceman that plays with a physical edge,” Virtanen said.”I’ve heard nothing but good things about the college and team, and I’m looking forward to being part of a winning organization along with helping out in the community.”Virtanen joins the Saints for the winter semester at Selkirk, enrolling in Business Administration. The Saints are next in action on Saturday (November 16) when they host Simon Fraser University at the Castlegar Recreation Complex in a rematch of last season’s final teams.Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The Selkirk College Men’s Hockey team is beefing up the blueline for the second half of the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League season by adding defenceman Stefan Virtanen to the roster. Virtanen is a 6’2″, 200-pound blueliner who joins Selkirk following four seasons of Junior A hockey, most recently with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Calgary Mustangs where he scored six goals and totaled 19 points and 74 minutes in penalties in 41 games last season, split between the Mustangs and the Drumheller Dragons.”I’m thrilled to add a player of Stefan’s character and experience level to our roster for the second half of this season and beyond,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois.
March of late has been deemed the month Canadians dig out from another spring snowstorm as winter continues to hold off spring.South of the 49th parallel, March is known for its Madness on the college hardwood as 68 teams take their shot at the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship.Seeing how a taste of March Madness was going to be in Spokane with Washington State hosting the second and third rounds of the tournament Thursday and Saturday, I decided to take a trek to see what all the hoopla was about.Now I have to admit college basketball has ballooned just a little since an old college buddy and I used a friend’s living room to watch three straight games in living colour one afternoon back in the Marques Johnson UCLA days. (I dare you to google to see when Marques Johnson played for UCLA.)In Kamloops, being a poor college student, the only affordable luxury was a B&W Marconi for our pad viewers, which for $25 had difficulty keeping up with the travel of the ball. So it was a treat to see the games in colour.This weekend in Spokane was definitely a step up from Kamloops — a basketball purists dream.Four games to take in of NCAA Division One Men’s Round two games Thursday followed by two more third round contests Saturday.Thursday was an eye opener right from the start as No. 12 Harvard upset fifth-ranked Cincinnati.Later in the day odds-on favourite Michigan State manhandled Delaware Blue Hens before another 12-seed, North Dakota posted the upset over Oklahoma State.And you ask about the final game? Well that contest went into overtime with San Diego State surviving against Canadian Sim Bhullar of Toronto playing for New Mexico State.That’s 7’5”, 360-pound Sim Bhullar. Sim is one big man. Basketball has fallen off the sports map the Kootenays over the past years since a group of boys put the Heritage City on the map with back-to-back provincial titles at Grade nine and ten division and a fourth-place finish in the Triple-A Championships during their senior year.LVR didn’t even have a Senior Girl’s team for the first time since anyone can remember. But it was nice to see former Bomber and now LVR Senior Boy’s coach Jeremy Phelan scrape together enough funds to talk his Triple-A provincial tournament.It’s obvious soccer, hockey and individual sports like skiing, snowboarding mountain biking and skateboarding have taken over.But that doesn’t mean there is still a following locally.And by the number of people I ran into at the Spokane Arena, there’s still a following.From warm-up through to the final buzzer there’s dunks, steals, pin-point passing and shooting along with bands, cheerleaders and mascots all packed into one single game.Saturday’s finale between Harvard and Michigan State saw those future Crimson billionaire CEOs and Nobel Peace Prize winners erase a 16-point deficit to take a one-point advantage late in the game.The rally had the arena rocking. Most of the crowd, except for a section of Spartan supporters, was amped up hoping to see another upset.However, President Obama’s pick to win it all showed resiliency, answering the Crimson run with one of their own to off the 80-73 victory.It was quite a weekend in the Spok despite no one winning college basketball’s first $1 Billion NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge. It took only 25 games for everyone to be eliminated from the contest that had the winner taking home $1 BILLON for picking the winners of 63 NCAA Tournament games.Television, colour or B& W, doesn’t do the March Madness justice. Being there was gave me whole a new perspective.Americans love their college hoops. And the Canadians playing on scholarship south of the border are proof success doesn’t always come from a puck and a stick.Oh did I tell you the minute I crossed the Nelway border Saturday night back into Canada Saturday, it started snowing — flakes the size of saucers.Which is good, because now I don’t need an excuse — even if its sunny — to spend Sunday in front of the television watching more games — that saw top-ranked Wichita State Shockers and second-seed Kansas get SHOCKED!