My NewStand - a follow-up

Okay, Christie has again said, in his speech tonight, that he is not going to run for President. At the same time some political pundits and blogs today were pro-Romney and favoring him, giving him the edge for the GOP nominee. Huffington Post said that Romney seems formidable despite the "Obamneycare" issue which was viewed as his Achilles heel, predicted to sink his campaign.  Not quite true according to HuffPost. And on Hannity tonight, Connie Mack, a Florida Congressman, endorsed Romney.

Now, here's my take on Christie. He is definitely not going to run, however, in his speech, he sounded like someone who is running for something or at least sizing an anticipated jump into the national political scene. In what? Well, I'm talking about the VP position. And here's my prediction: If Romney wins the GOP nomination, he will almost certainly pick Christie as his VP. And personally, I think Christie will make a great VP ... and eventually an excellent President too!

Romney-Christie is going to be a real winning ticket! So for me, Romney-Christie in 2012!!

You heard it here first!

My NewStand

Fox/Google GOP Debate and the 2012 Race for the White House.
Yes, again... another debate. And again, Romney won on Thursday night last week in Florida according to the pundits and surveys. Texas governor Rick Perry hurt more than helped his 2012 run. He demonstrated inept and feckless debating skills.... again. His campaign is in damage control mode now with key efforts to reverse if not stop the Perry fall.

...but Perry is not the only one falling! A NASA satellite is falling - or already fell - to Earth....where, by the way, on the other side of the US political aisle Obama is still falling - in his overall approval ratings and in his handling of the economy. Too many falls?  It must be Fall season already ...What? Oh, it is? ...Well, there!! ...LOL!

HuffPost-Patch Power Outsiders survey
Romney is polling well nationally, especially against Obama. Romney, not Perry, beats Obama in these polls. Despite Romney’s good poll numbers, the Republican Party still seems to be in discontentment and wants another candidate especially now that Perry seems to be self-destructing and fizzling. What’s the problem with the GOP? (Is it still the Mormon thing?? Saaaad!) And to make matters worse, in paradoxical terms, Newsweek just came out with a new cover story on Romney saying that his main problem is that he’s "too conscientious!" What? “Too conscientious”?... Really? This is according to some index methodology/study of political candidates’ traits and Romney will not win because of that. That is pathetic if such analysis is a reflection of the American psyche. Very sad indeed!

Well, but then maybe what America needs now is a conscientious president, yeah? When was the last time we had a conscientious prez? ..hmmm...Reagan? or Clinton? ... though for the latter, it was a completely different kind of conscientiousness ...LOL!

Now rumors abound that Chris Christie (governor of New Jersey) is being courted to run. Are you kidding me? The guy cannot run (nothing personal!). We shall see what he says in his speech tonight at the Reagan Library. Don’t tell me that Christie will buckle under GOP pressure.  Please learn a lesson from Perry, at least!. So, by golly, GOP, get behind Romney! Forget about his negatives (all candidates are NOT PERFECT and all have baggage of their own!) but look at where America is now with its economy. And when you have a lineup of all the candidates - including, I mean especially Obama - Romney is THE ONLY candidate with the experience, qualifications and business acumen to have the best chance of turning this crisis around! (Herman Cain is second.)  So what and who are you (repubs) waiting for?? And if you (republicans, yes you) want Obama out, then Romney is your guy! If not, then sorry but you (yes you Republicans) and all Americans, sans Obama diehards, will have to endure four more years of fears and tears.

And Donald (Trump) needs to remember the “birds of the same feather” adage and endorse Romney. They are both successful business men and popular CEOs and they also share the same/similar views on the currency manipulation shenanigans of the Chinese. They also both have the hair thing going....hahaa... so c’mon The Donald, do the right thing!

A smoking pot mama
A kindergartener in Missouri took a crack (drug) pipe and some crystal meth to his show-and-tell. Good for him because his mom (the user) was later arrested.  Is this a smoking hot - I mean smoking pot - mama, or what? Again, parents, please help your kids with their homework, but not DO it for them, or the homework will come back to haunt you. hehehe....

Manu/Fiji game
We watched the Manu/Fiji game and it was not bad at all. Fiji has certainly lost a lot of its rugby luster of yesteryears. Now bring 'em on - ‘em Boks!  Is it just me or are NZers also concerned and/or bothered by the dual loyalty of the Samoans (and other Pacific Islanders for that matter), who are residents and citizens of NZ, in these games? It doesn’t seem that big of an issue. Maybe it will be if/when the final game is between the Manu and the All Blacks - or any other time the two teams play, aea?

(By the way, I didn’t make it to the Head of State lecture; I had some last minute change of plans.)

I am always intrigued and fascinated by new innovations especially in computer technology. One of the latest ones is called "cinemagraphs" which are still images that move - yes, move.  Do we still call them still photos/images then? Yes, because the originals are still photos.  I’ve seen these being used in TV ads. Watch these not-so-still pictures ... or cinemagraphs.  Aaaamaaazing, aye? ...third one especially!


Singing the blues

Oh the agony of defeat, or in my case...defeats!  Today has turned out to be a day of the sports blues in more ways than one. Two football games and one rugby game, and all my teams LOST! And all of them wore blue uniforms. But the similarities don't end there. The teams they lost to all wore red/reddish uniforms. Is it fate or coincidence? Go figure!

First, at four o'clock we went to our grandson Kalobe's football game. He is the quarterback and they haven't lost yet - until today. It was a tough game. At halftime, they were tied at 0-0 score. The final score was 14-8 and Kalobe was down and sad, understandably. Kalobe's team was bluish and their opponents' uniform had dominant tinges of red. Kalobe, a BYU fan, went straight to the BYU/Utah (University of Utah) game at Cougar (BYU) stadium, with hopes -I'm sure - of getting some needed relief.

The BYU/Utah is the biggest game - of any sport - in Utah every year. It's an intrastate rivalry, and one of the best in the nation. We planned a bash at our place for our whole family, so we all came home to watch the games. We had chips and dip, sandwiches, ice cream, etc.,

Because of the scheduled times, there was a conflict between the BYU/Utah and Manu/Wales games, so we had to set up two TV's in our game room. The bigger 42" - complete with surround sound - for the BYU/Utah game. The other one, 32", for the Manu game. The two TV's were set up in opposite corners, so we had to cut, dissolve or pan from one to the other.

When we saw that BYU was losing baaadly, we turned and cheered for the Manu, especially when Wales had taken the lead. Well unfortunately, it turned out to be a double whammy for our BYU and Manu bash.

It was definitely a night of the blues from the blue teams.... Well, gotta go to sleep now and hopefully that church tomorrow will soothe our sorrows and disappointment....hahaha... Let's hope for some turnaround games next week!

BYU/Utah game ...

bYu fans ...LOL!

...and the Manu fans ...


And then there was blood

How do you define a real sport? Where do you draw the line between a sport and ...hmmm... blatant brutality and barbarism? We often demarcate sports using the familiar words like "contact" and "non-contact" - as in rugby and tennis respectively. There's also the "extreme" and the "not-so-extreme" classes, although I wonder if "humane" and "inhumane" may sometimes be a lot more effective, truthful and suitable categorizations of certain sports - like boxing and wrestling, in which blood becomes more a sign of surrender and defeat than happenstance.

Yesterday night, while waiting for the Manu/Namibia game to start, Dearie and I were watching the Animal Planet Channel which was showing a documentary on people living under somewhat extreme conditions - from the Inuit people of the Arctic regions to the natives of the African grasslands, to the snake hunters of Indonesia. It was quite informative to learn of their unique formidable challenges and methods of survival and adaptation. But blood - because of its graphic depiction by the documentary - quickly became the subtext for us.

First the Inuits who ate raw - hence bloody - fermented birds as a staple food. Then there were the Indonesians whose own dainty was snake blood. The third bloody scene was from a brutal and violent sport, yes a sport, of stick fighting by African tribal men. The game involved two combatants who tried to outhit each other with long sticks, while cheered on by their clansmen. At the end of the main match, the loser was bleeding from his head and face, and the victor was hailed and carried on his teammates' shoulders back to the village.

Throughout all these blood scenes of the documentary, Dearie and I were silently repulsed with occasional whispered disapprovals. For the food scenes, our reactions were understandably passive, because of our own culinary - mostly cultural - orientation, like raw fish and other sea foods.  The stick fight, on the other hand, was incredulous. We wondered how a sport could be intentionally brutal, violent and bloody. The primitiveness however of the tribe helped ease our guarded acceptance of the cutthroat game. But our disbelief was quickly dismissed thirty minutes later by rugby's own bruising and bloody scenes. Ironically, we were more tolerant and accepting of the close-up shot of the Namibia player who had blood dripping down his face and from his nose. Some of our children sighed in bemusement then quickly followed by schadenfreudic laughter. I immediately commented that blood is part of the physical nature of rugby, especially from wounds and cuts inflicted by the spikes of the cleats and of course from headbutting.

A bloody game
Rugby is sometimes termed as a "real man's game"- albeit debatable on some levels within the totality of sports. The stylemark apparently stems from the physicality and the absence of protective gear especially compared to its American football counterpart. And since some sports can be treated as "friendly warfare", brutality and savagery are sometimes justified. Rugby therefore appeals to - and appeases - some visceral animal instincts and vicious slaughterous behavior in all of us - men especially.

I couldn't help mentally superimposing the image of the bleeding African grassland native onto the close-up shot of a more modern African rugby player. The similarities within the vicious context of some sports were inevitable.

And so as we watched the transition - from a more primitive sport of stick fighting to the modern game of rugby - I had the feeling that although man may have changed and advanced in many aspects of becoming civilized, he still has not progressed much in sports, some of which are still bloody, cruel and vicious. Boxing and wrestling immediately come to mind, but if not, then there's always the trending ultimate and extreme cagefighting to which rugby pales in comparison for brutality. Comparatively speaking, I wonder if that's why some people - like me - still prefer rugby, even if there is ...................... Blood.


My NewStand

Miss Universe
Miss Angola, Leila Lopes wins Miss Universe. Why do I care? Well, in light of some issues and controversies surrounding the Miss Samoa pageant, it’s time for pageant organizers to elevate and promote Miss Samoa in international competition - just like rakapi ...LOL! ....where The Manu might - just might - win it all. Go The Manu!

Samoa Head of State in Utah
Samoa's Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, is in Utah.  Read more here:

This evening Tuiatua and his good lady, Masiofo Filifilia, will be welcomed during an ‘ava faatupu at Utah Valley University (UVU) followed by a fiafia in their honor.

On Friday, he will be speaking at BYU - as part of the Kennedy Center Lecture Series - on "Samoa–U.S. Relations”.  I am planning to attend the lecture. I am a big fan of the Head of State - a man of great wisdom; he's smart, knowledgeable and eloquent in both contemporary world issues and Samoan topics.  His Masiofo, Filifilia, was my English teacher at Samoa College. I’ll post some updates on the lecture later on.

And the Head of State will certainly look forward to watching the Manu/Namibia game tomorrow (or is it today? ..yes, tonight at 8:30 - an hour and a half from now..yes!!!).  If the HOS leaves the fiafia early, then this community should know why.  Wow, these differences in days and times are making me psychedelically disoriented ... LOL!! Anyway, for me, I have the game as part of my TV viewing smorgasbord tomorrow evening... TONIGHT! - PPV.  If Fiji destroyed Namibia then I think the Manu should “destroyer” and “destroyest” them too....hahahaa.  And then the replays will be sweet. The All Blacks/Tonga game has been replayed ad nauseam here in the US; I wonder if they’ll do the same to the Manu/Namibia game.

Another GOP Presidential Debate Last Night
This one in Tampa, FL., was sponsored by CNN and Tea Party. Perry again became the “human pinata”. It was expected to be another Romney - Perry showdown but was watered down by aggressive and surprising performances of other candidates. Nonetheless, the two frontrunners still dominated the debate. And again the pundits give Romney another win.

Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post)
The winners: Santorum —— not a bad answer all night, and sounded better than most of the others; Perry on jobs; and Romney for overall strong answers and precision in his arguments.

The losers: Perry on everything else, Bachmann (who still isn’t on a par with Romney and Perry); national security (almost entirely ignored); Perry spinners who insist Social Security isn’t an issue for the Texas governor; and Paul, who was finally unmasked as a crackpot and apologist for our enemies (reciting Osama bin Laden propaganda).
I agree. Santorum did really well. I also liked Gingrich and Bachmann.  Huntsman was bent on attacking Perry and especially Romney. But Romney was his usual self - confident, smart, composed and witty. Perry on the other hand, was, well, “the other hand” - contrastingly speaking.  Here are some more reviews.

Washington Post:
WINNERS: Mitt Romney: Four debates. Four times Romney has wound up in the winner’s circle. It’s not a coincidence. Romney proved yet again that he is the best debater in this field with another solid performance in which he effectively downplayed his liabilities on health care and accentuated his strengths on jobs and the economy.

Others: Gingrich, Bachmann, Caine and Santorum

LOSERS : Rick Perry: The frontrunner didn’t get it done tonight. After surviving the expected back and forth with Romney over Social Security, Perry seemed to let his guard down a bit when the subject turned to his executive order on the HPV vaccine.

Others:  Huntsman and Paul

Peter Grier ( The Christian Science Monitor)
"... for the second time in a week, Mitt Romney may have turned in the best overall debate performance. He was prepared and crisp in his answers, and he differed with Rick Perry and others without seeming angry."

Howard Kurtz. (The Daily Beast)
"…… Romney seized control of the tempo in what may have been his strongest performance so far. He seemed at ease taking the fight to Perry and got the better of their heated exchanges. The former Massachusetts governor was clearly trying to position himself as the reassuring grownup on stage and Perry as the fearmonger."

Stromberg (Washington Post)
The Bottom Line: Romney was the most substantive. On content, Perry had mostly shallow answers and absorbed a few blows, but he did so with winking Texas swagger and didn’’t have a meltdown on Social Security, so pundits will probably say that he pulled through.
...stay tuned


I see!

"Epiphany" ~ by LV Letalu

I see confusion.
I see peace. I see war.
I see order. I see chaos.
I see smiles. I see scowls.
I see harmony. I see contention.
I see strength. I see weakness.
I see light. I see darkness
I see pleasure. I see pain.
I see wealth. I see poverty.
I see health. I see sickness.
I see cold.
I see warmth.
I see pride; I see humility.
I see hostility; I see friendship.
I see loneliness; I see companionship
I see wrong; I see right.
I see bad; I see good.
I see tears; I see laughter.
I see strife; I see unity.
I see sadness; I see happiness.
I see hate; I see love.

I see death and I see ...

I see them all with my eyes
and with my mind,
then with my heart;
and I say:
"I see!"


GOP Presidential Debate

I did watch the GOP Presidential Debate last night.  After the debate, it's practically a two-man race now between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
Romney and Perry - GOP Debate Sept 7, 2011.
Okay, I'm not going to comment on the rest of the candidates, but only on the two heavyweights who will battle it out to the end in defeating Obama next year in November. The rest of the GOP field will eventually melt into the "also ran" conduit.

Mitt Romney
This was the first debate that included Rick Perry; he joined the race only a few weeks ago and so he missed the previous debate. Perry jumped right to the front in the polls bypassing Romney who has been the frontrunner. So everyone was anticipating a clash between Romney and Perry. The post debate consensus among the pundits, however, is that Romney won this one handily. Stromberg of the Washington Post said:

"Winner of the Debate: Romney, hands down. He got a lot of face time, made no big mistakes and was more self-assured behind the lectern even than the uber-confident Perry."
The duel is promoted by the media and MSNBC and Politico, the sponsors of the debate, played along by placing Romney and Perry next to each other and dead center (fourth and fifth) on stage. The other six candidates flanked the leading duo.

The host/moderator - Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News - started with a question directed to - you guessed it - Romney and Perry on their gubernatorial records (Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts and Perry the present governor of Texas). The ensuing exchange which took up about the first ten minutes was witty and funny. Romney came out on top in that brief but compendious exchange.  Here:

Perry: We created more jobs in the last three months in Texas than [Romney] created in four years in Massachusetts.
ROMNEY: States are different. Texas is a great state. Texas has zero income tax. Texas has a right to work state, a Republican legislature, a Republican Supreme Court. Texas has a lot of oil and gas in the ground. Those are wonderful things, but Governor Perry [shouldn't] believe that he created those things. If he tried to say that, well, it would be like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet.
PERRY: I know back and forth -- Michael Dukakis (governor of Mass. before Romney) created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt.
ROMNEY: Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, Governor.
PERRY: That's not correct.
ROMNEY: Yes, that is correct.
Fact checks reveal that Romney was indeed correct about that last retort.

During the debate Perry reiterated his belief/position that Social Security is a big lie and a Ponzi Scheme.

Amazingly some Republicans are supporting Perry in using such "provocative" language and even agreeing with him about Social Security.
Now here's a warning to the Republicans - and Tea Party supporters of Perry:  Perry may be able to get away with that provocative language in the Primary Election, but in the General Election, if he's the GOP nominee, Obama will have a field day with him and all his extreme right positions, and as a result, the Republicans will lose AGAIN!

Rick Perry
In his defense of the criticism of the executive order he signed as a mandate to have all teenage girls be given the drug/vaccine (Gardasil) to prevent cervical cancer (HPV), Perry said he would always "err on the side of saving lives" ... Really? (Perry's link to the company (Merck) the makes the drug (here) has now surfaced. Cronyism, aye?)

As for "erring on the side of saving lives", Perry again, in defending his record for the most death penalty executions, and when asked if he is bothered by them, he said he does not lose any sleep over any decision to execute an inmate.

So much for "saving lives" especially when there's new evidence that supports the fact that Perry may have executed an innocent man in 2004. 

The two-man race is getting more interesting by the day.  Anyway, may the better, smarter, more qualified and more experienced man (Ahem!) win the GOP nomination.



How about that brain teaser? It's not just a weekend. It's a week with a long end, in other words, long weekend.  LOL!

Labor Day 2011 weekend traffic - Deseret News photo
Long weekend means looooong lines of traffic (as in this picture - not far from our place) from today's (Friday's) gridlock from people traveling on this Labor Day weekend. This particular stretch of freeway is undergoing construction for two additional lanes being added to both directions - 12 lanes altogether.... timely of course.

Now, for me, I'm staying put - at home. I do not want to deal with this kind of traffic; it's bedlam and it's the same with any long weekend.

I do love long weekends however especially when I'm not traveling - and driving. Staying home makes long weekends longer and more enjoyable. It makes Friday longer, Saturday too but especially Sunday. That's the feeling I get of these days. It essentially means I get to stay up late Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

So here's what I've penciled in for the Labor Day weekend schedule

Friday night - Eat out ! ...meaning we're taking our food, sit and eat outside in the yard! ....LOL!

Taleni & Tahi
 Saturday - It's All Football Day - "eat, drink and sleep football" - Will attend/watch grandsons'  games, (need pics of you Kalobe and Jamison!!) then watch BYU's first game on ESPN ... exciting season for my Cougars! ...will try to squeeze in mowing the lawn!...haha ...stay up late play pool and games.

Sunday - Go to church and then hang out with family in the evening - Stay up late have some games, and spend time with family!

Monday - early morning run, then do yard work, water lawn and garden, set up backyard for family BBQ then movie night with the whole clan in backyard, and get the braziers (firepits) going ....

...til Tuesday, so loooong ..................