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New #SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action passes the buck and says let voters decide

The best possible spin on the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action in Michigan is that it doesn’t end affirmative action.

The decision did not say affirmative action was unconstitutional.

It merely narrowly decided that Prop.2, the Michigan initiative that voters passed to end race-based affirmative action in that state could be applied and that the equal protection clause was not violated.

It even sounds good. Let the voters decide, right?

OK, but why do we leave it to the voters to decide on that issue and that issue alone, and not on every single item that the University officials oversee?

Why take that power away from the professional educators?

As I went through the 6-2 opinion, I wasn’t that surprised that someone liberal like Breyer would vote with Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas.

Breyer stated he was for some forms of affirmative action, but didn’t see why the voters shouldn’t be allowed to weigh in.

But then there was Sotomayor’s lengthy dissent, which took the hardline, that this ruling indeed was setting up the situation where down the line we might  see the tyranny of the majority, and see the violation of minority rights under the equal protection clause.

That’s what was at stake here.

The majority of justices seemed happy enough to see the voters figure out where they stand on affirmative action.

After reading Sotomayor’s minority dissent, I’m not sure if that’s such a great thing.

We know how fair elections are now, with money driving everything.

That means we’ll probably see  a lot more SCA-5 style battles–until the court makes yet another ruling on the constitutionality of race based methods in university admissions.

UPDATE: 4/23/2014

It’s not surprising that the courts want to get out of the race business. Just like the legislatures have gotten out of legislating by relinquishing their role to the initiative process for the tough issues.

So if the elections are so important, why do electoral rights seem to be under attack? From the Voting Rights Act provisions, to campaign finance, has there been a more activist Supreme Court to reverse  the rights of minorities?

And now elections are the preferred way to settle racial fights? Sounds like SCOTUS just gave itself cover for its horrendous decisions, putting it all on the electorate.

 

 

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Lunar eclipse produces “bloody” moon; but I left my bloody Hubbell in the car

 Wish I had a sharper lens, but still not bad for a point and shoot.

I’ve never seen a lunar eclipse like this ever. Mostly it just blacks out, but this one was this orange-y, reddish color.

 

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Pacquiao-Bradley 2 (#PacBradley): Here’s how I see it, as it happens…

 

When we get past the undercard and all the pre-fight festivities,  I will type my impressions and score the fight in real time here.

Strange to hear Pacquiao described as the “challenger.” But he is.  Bradley is 31-0 and the WBO Welterweight champ.  Pac looks all business. No smiles. Bradley has his game face. The rumble begins.

Round 1: Pacquiao and B trade shots, P commands center of ring early. Both fighters keeping their distance while trying to show aggression. Bradley toward the end comes on with :12. Round goes to Bradley, 10-9.

Round 2:  Bradley pushed back on hook, recovers. Pacquiao aggressive, throws combination and B goes into ropes. B comes back with body punches, doesn’t give in. B. with hardshots to P head. B not backing down.  Close, but I’ll give that to P for getting B on ropes, 10-9.

Round 3: Pacquiao lands combo early. At 1:57, P lands solid lefts to B. B has P against ropes and lands to the body. P landing left to B.  B counters with rights to the body. Flurry of punches in this round, give it to P, 10-9. Compubox numbers on HBO give P the edge with 22 powershots, 7 more punches landed.

Round 4: Bradley gets in a shot that rocks Pacquiao. B needed that  as P was landing shots early. :30 left B shows he’s unrelenting. The B. right gives him edge here. Bradley, 10-9. Replay shows P lifted off his feet.  Punch stats still show P. landing more.

Round 5: Minute left, the round still contested with both fighters trading jabs. B had arms down in last :15 and Pacquiao may have stolen the round with action in the last seconds. Pacquiao, 10-9.

Compubox totals from HBO: P 14/42, B 11/46,  Powershots, P 9, B 8.

Round 6: Much slower round than previous. :40 left and seems even. A coasting round. P throwing pinches on ropes. B coaxes P to punch him, but round ends. End theatrics give round to P, 10-9. HBO Compubox totals, P- 12/53, B 8/50, P with  10-8 powershot advantage.

Round 7: Pacquiao gets a left in. Bradley lands a hard right, and some body shots. Tempo back to that of early rounds. Combos by P with :44 left. P adds more with B in corner. Big round for P. as B tries modified “rope-a-dope.” But P. tees off. Pacquiao wins that, 10-9.

Compubox gives P 26 landed out of 75 thrown. B, 14 of 56.

Round 8: Pacquiao cruising, but lands with his left several times. B. tries to mug, to show he’s not hurt. Not sure if that’s working. B. coming up top with the right. Close, but ring generalship gives round to P, 10-9.

Round 9:Compubox numbers have P ahead with 119 punches landed to 90-plus for B thus far….  P. rocks Bradley into ropes and seems hurt. Off-balance twice so far. P. with rights and combos to B.  B. is throwing 1 to P. 5 punches, it seems. Pacquiao wins the round 10-9, decisively.

Round 10: Pacquiao in last round had 14/24 to B 10/24 punch edge. This round starting with P. in command at the center and B. backing up.  B looks to be trying to find a knockout punch, but missing. P counters with combinations that have him outpointing B.  P with left seems to stun B and B counters wildly and misses. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9.

Round 11: Pacquiao outpunched Bradley 26-12 in previous round. P starts out round with solid left. B seems to be tiring as he’s not throwing as many punches. Pacquiao the aggressor, Bradley backing up. P lands a left with :40 left.  Round ends with B retreating and missing. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9.

Round 12: Compubox numbers continue trend. Pacquiao landing. Bradley’s head turned. Bradley never has had a KO past the 8th round, so unlikely here. P good defense catching B’s best. 1 minute left, B misses right. P at center in control :30 left. Time out due to accidental head but with :12 left.  B starts working but it ends. B lifts arms up, but why? I’ve got P winning this 10-9.   And have P winning 11 of 12 rounds. (Correction: On recount, I gave the 4th round to Bradley based on the “lift-up” punch he landed on Pacquiao. Wasn’t a knockdown, but was impressive.  So Bradley won 2 rounds, Pacquiao 10, in my estimation).

Bradley was tough early. But didn’t do enough by my eye.

Final scoring: Unanimous for Pacquiao. All three judges.

HBO’s numbers show P landed 198 to Bradley’s 141, and landed 35percent of his punches to Bradley’s 22percent.

Pacquiao also threw more power punches 148-109.

The placement of the punches: Pacquiao landed 176 of his punches to Bradley’s head.  Bradley landed 98 t0 Pacquiao’s head.

Bradley landed 43 punches to P’s body. P just landed 22 body punches to Bradley. Pacquiao was clearly going for a head snapping KO. Bradley tried, but that really isn’t his game.

In the end, Bradley good, but Pacquiao is just better.  Bradley is a toe-to-toe guy, not a knockout guy. Pacquiao may not have the kind of power he showed when he clicked off  Ricky Hatton, but he’s got a lot left.

This is a $20 million guaranteed pay day. And a relatively soft spot for Pacquiao.  He said he wants to go 2 more years. It may take that long before Mayweather stops ducking him.

That’s it for this live blog experiment. Check back for more analysis later.

SEE MY COLUMN in the  Philippine Inquirer:

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/102128/pacquiao-should-box-on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pacquiao Bradley II: That’s not your prep school classmate, that’s the boxing match HBO can’t seem to hype enough

When I saw Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley fight for the first time on June 9, 2012, I was like most of the free world: Dumbfounded by the results.

Pacquiao clearly dominated the fight, though Bradley seemed to finish strong. Still, it wasn’t enough for a rally that actually could win the fight. How do you say: “Peex.”

Who needs an undercover camera? It was there for all to see. We knew who won the fight two years ago.

And now Pac Bradley 2 is back before Easter. For redemption?

Jim Lampley, the HBO announcer/sportscaster, on one radio show recently said the fight  wasn’t about a fix, but more about “bad judging.”

Lampley’s a good guy, but he has his biases working for the network that has a monopoly on the live fight.

There was something smelly about that fight, and two years doesn’t sufficiently deodorize the matter.

But we’re going to have to wait for someone’s deathbed confession before we get the real truth.

In the meantime, Pacquiao needs money. He’s motivated by taxes, and the peso/dollar exchange rate. And he has a whole barangay for an entourage.

ESPN has both fighters getting $6 million, but Pacquiao gets a guaranteed $20 million according to a report last week.

We also don’t have much time left to admire Pacquiao, in all honesty.

I’ve been saying he should retire now. But he’s on record saying “two more years.”

So for curiosity sake, I will lift my moratorium.

Pacquiao is the Filipinos’ alter ego, and I’m willing to suspend my disdain for pro boxing to watch him—just to see if he has anything left. The fight might be closer with two years for Bradley to get better and Pacquiao to get older.

Consider a graph with two lines:  If P is at a high level but  arcing down, and B is at a lower level but still rising, if the fight is taking place where the lines intersect it could be a toss up. If the  lines are close but not intersecting, then P should still have enough of an edge. That’s where I think we are.  Based on the last fights of both, Bradley gave Provodnikov a good fight. P gave Rios a beating. Based on that Freddie Roach puts Bradley as similar to Rios. But that Provodnikov fight of Bradley was better than that.  And let me not forget that Bradley/Marquez fight, where Bradley fought a completely different style. It all points to Bradley getting better, whereas Pacquiao is getting older. So we may be close to that P/B intersection, but not quite to make it a toss-up.

Prediction? Lots of rounds 10-9 Pacquiao, with Pac the ultimate winner.

(Live tweeting here at www.amok.com and on twitter@emilamok

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