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From Left Field

July 20, 2011

By BOB SHRALUKA

     Confession time:
    Watched a soccer game on television; a lot of it. And enjoyed a great deal of it. Even got excited. Honest!
    If the soccer faithful could have forced everyone in the U.S. to watch that Sunday women's World Cup game between the U.S. and Brazil, they might see a doubling of the soccer fan numbers in the U.S..
    In what seemed like an endless stretch of time, the U.S. women didn't score a goal  and were trailing 2-1, their only goal coming when a Brazilian put a ball in her own net. But after all that time and the clock supposedly ticking down to the final seconds, BOOM!, one of the U.S. women uses her head to put in a goal. The players run all over the place going crazy. Wow!
    Part of the excitement, of course, stems from the fact that no one seemed to have any knowledge of how much time was actually left because, apparently, the time lost from some stoppages of play is tacked on at the end — although no one apparently knows how much time that is.
    So three, maybe four times, we were told time was almost out and the U.S. women were done for the tournament — so one is inching up closer to the edge of the chair each time.
    After the tying goal, it's off to the shootout for more excitement. The U.S. goalie makes one save — stopping even one shot from going into a goal which looks as big as half the Grand Canyon seems rather incredible — and the U.S. shooters make it five for five for the win. Wow, wow and wow!
    The officiating, meanwhile, seems like old home week. U.S. goalie Hope Solo makes an incredible save on a penalty shot but it's taken away apparently because someone on her team stepped over a line ... maybe 10 yards away from the action! But no explanation was ever given.
    And the U.S. was one player short for two-thirds of the game as one of its women got booted out for colliding with a player. Collisions seems to occur every minute, but this one involved the player considered the best woman soccer player in the world. Ah, yes; in soccer, too.
    Then the Americans topped France, 3-1, on Wednesday to earn a berth in the finals. USA! USA! USA! USA!

Credible credibility
 Isn't it reassuring to know that Indiana's secretary of state, Charlie White, considers his "credibility intact" after a panel of three politicians lets him keep his job? His words.
    Why certainly, even though he's still facing seven felony fraud charges in a court of law .
    Why certainly, even though the governor (of the same political persuasion), the chairman of the party, and one or two of his predecessors said early on that he should resign after being accused of voter fraud.
    Why certainly, even though the recount commission — controlled by the party of which White is a member — that let him keep his job tried to stall the case into the next millennium before being forced to rule by a judge.
    Why certainly, even though one of the three men on the same commission had in the past made political donations to White.
    Why certainly, even though White had asked the judge to grant him partial immunity, which Judge Louis Rosenberg denied, saying there was no clear legal precedent for granting immunity if it had not been requested by prosecutors.
    Why certainly, even though he made some wild-eyed accusations against Dan Sigler, one of the special prosecutors who brought the charges against him.
    Why certainly, even though at one point he asked Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the special prosecutor. As the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette pointed out, a county prosecutor can request a special prosecutor, but only a judge can appoint one. One might think that White, an attorney, would know that.
    Why certainly Charlie retained his credibility, even though anyone with even a hint of common sense can see he did not want to give up his position on the Fishers City Council after having to move due to a divorce, which led to voting in one district and residing in another.
    Yes, sir, credibility all over the place.

 

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