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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Photos: The Wild West Horse Herdsman Of Western China. Wow!!

Photos: Connemara-....'Will ye go oh Lassie go...."

By Barry

Photos: 1st Day Of Spring In England (Parts Anyway)

Article: Politics Is A Game And Truth Is The Loser

THE Dáil was treated to a rare outburst of emotion last Wednesday. Unlike the odd performance that rises into high dudgeon, this came from the heart.

It was issued by Independent TD, Mick Wallace — he of the heavy-metal hair, football shirts and dodgy taxation history. None of which should take from a heart-felt observation of his experiences since entering politics at the last election.

                                                         Michael Wallace

Wallace was addressing beleaguered Minister for Justice Alan Shatter — he of the nice suits, cultured accent, and boot-boy tendency to use his privileged position to attack the character of others. Those whom Shatter has targeted from on high include Wallace, on foot of confidential information gleaned from the gardaí; and whistleblower cop Maurice McCabe, whose reputation was trashed by Shatter under privilege.

His voice rising in anger, Wallace looked down from his perch on the opposition benches as he addressed the smug presence in the ministerial chair. “Minister, people have a right to be cynical about politics,” he said. “They’re right to be cynical about politicians. This place is a joke. We play games in here. Well, ye know what? Sometimes these games lead to the unfair distribution of justice, or no justice being distributed. And what do we see so often, when bad things raise their heads? We see our police force circle the wagons, we see our politicians circle the wagons... is there any appetite for doing things any different in this House?”

Let’s look at one of those games the member from Wexford referenced. Much has been written about the recent scandal involving Shatter, McCabe, and the wider garda management. But where does the issue feature in the body politic? Let’s see how things have been handled by two figures on opposite sides of the House: Charlie Flanagan has been the government’s chief spear-carrier in the media. He has repeatedly backed Shatter’s statement, under Dáil privilege, that McCabe didn’t co-operate with an internal garda inquiry into abuse of penalty points. Shatter’s position portrays McCabe as a mischief-maker, to put it at its most benign.

McCabe was never contacted by the inquiry, and was dismayed when the report was completed without reference to him. But Shatter has said his piece, and he’s not one for turning. Hence, the party spear-carriers are obliged to defend him. On Sunday last, Charlie featured on RTÉ Radio One’s The Marian Finucane Show. A conversation developed around Shatter’s slur on McCabe’s character. Charlie insisted on repeating that “Sergeant McCabe didn’t co-operate, that’s a fact”. There was no backing-down.

Off-air, this column understands McCabe rang the programme to complain. He informed personnel at the radio station that Flanagan was repeating the slur that he had delivered on Morning Ireland the previous week. On that occasion, McCabe had rung Flanagan to complain. The two men had known each other since 2008, when McCabe contacted Flanagan about his troubles, and Flanagan made a representation on his behalf.

On air, Marian asked Charlie: “Did you speak to him (McCabe) this week?”

“No, I spoke to him some years ago,” Charlie replied.

He said that McCabe had brought allegations to him, none of which were as serious as the ones currently in the media.

“When you say some time ago?” Marian probed.

“2008,” Charlie replied. “I found him to be an honourable and decent man, and I’m sure he still is.”

Then, they went to a break. After it, Marian began: “I think I misunderstood you there, Charlie Flanagan, about meeting Maurice McCabe this week.”

Charlie replied: “No, I didn’t meet him this week. I had a brief telephone conversation with him this week.”

On the third attempt, Charlie finally acknowledged contact with McCabe in recent days. It was as if it would be toxic for a member of a government party to admit to recent contact with a garda whistleblower.

(Flanagan confirmed to this column both his interaction with McCabe in 2008 to 2009 and the telephone conversation last week).

Flanagan isn’t duplicitous. He’s just a politician playing the game. When in opposition, in 2008, he assisted a “decent and honourable” man who was up against the system. Now that his party is in government, his prerogative is to trot out the party-line, to defend his minister, even if that minister was intent on trashing the reputation of “a decent and honourable man”.

On the other side of the House, the leader of the opposition, Micheál Martin, has been excellent in the current controversy. He met with McCabe a fortnight ago and assessed both the whistleblower’s character and the allegations that McCabe made. He brought the issue to the floor of the House, which ultimately set in train events that are now marching towards a full commission of inquiry.

Martin has been statesman-like in the Dáil, and has performed as a tribune of the people in dragging this issue out into the open, from the dark corners where it has festered for years.

By any standards, his efforts have been in the best tradition of politics.

Not that his motives are entirely pure. At least part of his focus is to land a blow on the Government, and that is the stuff of politics. But, in doing so, he can take comfort in his assault from the moral high ground.

Does all this positive stuff cast his character in a bright shining light, a fearless politician wielding the sword of truth, the shield of justice?

Not quite.

To a far greater extent, it reflects nothing more than his status as an opposition politician.

Does anybody believe that Martin would have conducted himself differently than Shatter if the Cork politician occupied the Justice portfolio? Sure, Martin wouldn’t have displayed Shatter’s insufferable hubris. But in terms of general approach, it’s difficult to believe that he would have done anything differently, that his relationship with the garda commissioner would be any different, that his attitude to the whistleblower would be any different than Shatter’s has been.

One only has to look back to Martin’s role as a Cabinet minister, when Bertie Ahern’s threadbare yarns of whip-arounds and dig-outs were being ripped apart at the Planning Tribunal.

Martin, along with his colleagues, was steadfast in declaring that he believed his leader’s tall tales. It was what was expected of him. The retention of power, rather than acceptance of the truth, was what informed attitudes to Ahern’s yarns from his Cabinet colleagues.

Wallace has a point when he references the games that are played in politics in this country.

Ideology forms little role in the choice of governments. There is precious little independent thought displayed in the main parties:

* Get into power, tweak things for a little improvement or political credit, but don’t rock any boats that might generate controversy, or impact on the grip of power.

* Defend the indefensible.

* Look the other way, if power is being used in a discomfiting manner.

* Above all, play the game.
By Michael Clifford

Article: Conmen- 10 Who Were Good, Bad, Evil And Disturbed

A con man is a person who intentionally misleads another person, usually for personal financial gain. In recent history there have been a number of con men who have really stood out for either the wealth they amassed, or the ease with which they tricked people. This is a list of 10 of the most famous con men in recent history.

1. Frank Abagnale [Born: 1948]
 Frank Abagnale is a former cheque con artist, forger and imposter who, for five years in the 1960s, passed bad cheques worth more than $2.5 million in 26 countries. The recent blockbuster film Catch Me If You Can is based on his life. His first experience of fraud was as a youth when he used his father’s Mobil card to buy car parts that he would then sell back to the gas station for a lower price. He did not realise that his father was the one who had to foot the bill and when he was eventually confronted with the fraud, his mother sent him for four months to a juvenile correction facility.
After moving to New York, Frank lived solely on the income of his fraudulent activities. One of his most famous tricks was to print his own account number on fake bank deposit slips so that when clients of the bank deposited money, it would actually go in to his account. By the time the banks realised what had happened, Frank had taken $40,000 and run.
For two years, Abagnale travelled around the world free by masquerading as a Pan Am pilot. He was able to abuse the professional courtesy of other airlines to provide free transport for competing airline pilots if they had to move to another city at short notice. When he was nearly caught leaving a plane, he changed his masquerade to that of a Doctor. He worked as a medical supervisor for 11 months without detection. At other times he worked as a lawyer and a teacher.
He was eventually caught in France and spent six months in prison there. After that he was extradited to Sweden and imprisoned for a further six months. After a successful escape whilst travelling to the United States, he was finally given 12 years in Prison. He escaped from his prison by masquerading as an undercover officer of the Bureau of Prisons. He was once again captured in New York City and returned to jail. After serving only five years of his sentence, the US Federal Government offered him his freedom in return for helping the government against fraud and scam artists without pay.
He currently runs Abagnale and Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company and is a multi-millionaire.

2. Charles Ponzi [Born: 1882; Died: 1949]
Ponzi, an Italian immigrant to the United States became one of the most famous con men in American history. While many people do not know the name Ponzi, the Ponzi Scheme is extremely well known and continues today in Internet Make Money Fast schemes. His early life is not entirely known as he was prone to fabricate stories about it. What is known is that he spent a short amount of time at University in Rome and, after dropping out, caught a boat to Boston, USA where he arrived with $2.50 in his pocket.
His early years in the United States were troublesome. He began working at a restaurant but was soon fired for playing tricks with the bills and shortchanging customers. His next job was working in a bank in Canada that catered to Italian immigrants. His knowledge of numbers helped him to do very well there. Unfortunately it turned out that the owner of the bank was stealing money from newly opened savings accounts to pay the interest on the interest bearing accounts and to cover bad investments. The bank owner eventually fled to Mexico and left Ponzi without a job. After writing a fraudulent cheque and spending a number of years in prison, Ponzi determined to become wealthy at any cost.
Once he had settled in to life on the outside, he discovered postal reply coupons through a letter that was sent to him from abroad. He realised that he could buy foreign coupons at massively devalued prices (because of price fixing after the war) and then resell them in the United States for a 400% profit. This was a form of arbitrage and it was legal. Ponzi began canvasses friends and acquaintances for money – promising them a 50% return or a doubling of their money in 90 days. He started his own company, the Securities Exchange Company, to promote the scheme.
The word of this great investment quickly spread and before long Ponzi was living in a luxurious mansion. He was bringing in cash at a fantastic rate, but the simplest financial analysis showed that he wasn’t making money, he was losing it rapidly. For every dollar he took in, he went more deeply into debt. As long as money kept flowing in, Ponzi would stay ahead of the eventual collapse.
People soon began to become suspicious and the press were starting to publish negative articles about him. Inevitably people were starting to demand their money. Shortly after, federal agents raided his office and shut it down. No stock of stamps was found and everyone that had invested their money with Ponzi lost every penny. It is probably that he lost tens of millions of dollars. Ponzi plead guilty of mail fraud and was sent to prison. After one escape he was returned to jail to complete his sentence. He was eventually deported back to Italy and he died there in poverty in 1949.

3. Joseph Weil [Born: 1877; Died: 1975]
Joseph “Yellow Kid” Weil was one of the most famous con men in his era. Over the course of his career he is believed to have stolen over 8 million dollars. In his first job as a collector, he realized that his co-workers were collecting their debts but keeping a little part of the money for themselves. Weil started a protection racket – offering not to report their activities in return for a small portion of what they were taking.
He also used phony oil deals, women, fixed races, and an endless list of other tricks to steal from an increasingly gullible public. He could change his persona daily to further his gains: one day he was Dr. Henri Reuel, a noted geologist who travelled around and told his hosts that he was a representative for a big oil company while draining them of the cash they gave him to “invest in fuel.” The next day he was director of the Elysium Development Company, promising land to innocent believers while robbing them in recording and abstract fees. Or he was a chemist par excellence, who had discovered how to copy dollar bills; promising to increase your fortune, he would multiply your bill’s then take the booty once the police arrived.
In his autobiography, Weil writes:
“The desire to get something for nothing has been very costly to many people who have dealt with me and with other con men,” Weil writes. “But I have found that this is the way it works. The average person, in my estimation, is ninety-nine per cent animal and one per cent human. The ninety-nine per cent that is animal causes very little trouble. But the one per cent that is human causes all our woes. When people learn — as I doubt they will — that they can’t get something for nothing, crime will diminish and we shall live in greater harmony.”

4. Victor Lustig [Born: 1890; Died: 1947]
 Victor Lustig was renowned as the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower. He was born in Bohemia but later moved to Paris where he was able to con people on his frequent journeys between Paris and New York. His first con was to show people a device that could print $100 bills. The only problem, he would tell them, is that it only prints one bill every six hours. Many people paid him enormous amounts of money (usually over $30,000) for the device. In fact, the device contained two real hidden $100 bills – once they were spat out by the machine it would produce only blank paper. By the time the buyers discovered this, Lustig was well gone with their money.
In 1925, as France was recovering from the war, the upkeep of the Eiffel tower was an almost unbearable expense for the city of Paris. When Lustig read about this in a paper, he came up with his most brilliant idea. After forging government credentials, he invited six scrap metal dealers to a secret meeting in a hotel. He explained that the City could not afford to keep the tower and that they had to sell it for scrap. He told them the secrecy of the meeting and all future dealings was due to the fact that the public may become distressed at the idea of the removal of the tower.
While it seems implausible, at the time the tower was built it was meant to be temporary and this happened just 18 years after the original date for removal of the tower. Lustig took the dealers in a limousine to tour the tower. One of the dealers, Andre Poisson was convinced that the tale was legitimate and he handed over the money. When he realised he had been conned, he was too embarrassed to tell the police and Lustig escaped with the money. One month later, he returned to Paris to try the whole scam again. This time it was reported to the police but Lustig managed to escape.
At one point, Lustig convinced Al Capone to invest $50,000 with him. He stored the money in a vault and returned it two months later, stating that the deal had fallen through. Capone, so impressed by Lustig’s honesty gave him $5,000 for his effort. In 1934, Lustig was found guilty of counterfeiting. He plead guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in Alcatraz. In 1947 he died of pneumonia whilst in jail in Springfield, Missouri.

5. George Parker [Born: 1870; Died: 1936]
Parker was one of the most audacious con men in American history. He made his living selling New York’s public landmarks to unwary tourists. His favorite object for sale was the Brooklyn Bridge, which he sold twice a week for years. He convinced his marks that they could make a fortune by controlling access to the roadway. More than once police had to remove naive buyers from the bridge as they tried to erect toll barriers.
Other public landmarks he sold included the original Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grant’s Tomb, and the Statue of Liberty. George had many different methods for making his sales. When he sold Grant’s Tomb, he would often pose as the general’s grandson. He even set up a fake “office” to handle his real estate swindles. He produced impressive forged documents to prove that he was the legal owner of whatever property he was selling.
Parker was convicted of fraud three times. After his third conviction on December 17th, 1928 he was sentenced to a life term at Sing Sing Prison. He spent the last eight years of his life behind bars. He was popular among guards and fellow inmates who enjoyed hearing of his exploits. George is remembered as one of the most successful con men in the history of the United States, as well as one of history’s most talented hoaxers. His exploits have passed into popular culture, giving rise to phrases such as “and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you”, a popular way of expressing a belief that someone is gullible.

6. Soapy Smith [Born: 1860; Died: 1898]
Soapy Smith (born Jefferson Randolph Smith) was an American con artist and gangster who had a major hand in the organized criminal operations of Denver, Colorado, Creede, Colorado, and Skagway, Alaska from 1879 to 1898. He is perhaps the most famous “sure-thing” bunko man of the old west. Some time in the late 1870s or early 1880s, Smith began duping entire crowds with a ploy the Denver newspapers dubbed The Prize Package Soap Sell Swindle.
Jefferson would open his “tripe and keister” (display case on a tripod) on a busy street corner. Piling ordinary soap cakes onto the keister top, he would describe their wonders. As he spoke to the growing crowd of curious onlookers, he would pull out his wallet and begin wrapping paper money ranging from one dollar up to one hundred dollars, around a select few of the bars. He then finished each bar by wrapping plain paper around it to hide the money. He mixed the money-wrapped packages in with wrapped bars containing no money. He then sold the soap to the crowd for a dollar a cake.
A shill planted in the crowd would buy a bar, tear it open it, and loudly proclaim that he had won some money, waving it around for all to see. This performance had the desired effect of enticing the sale of the packages. More often than not, victims bought several bars before the sale was completed. Midway through the sale, Smith would announce that the hundred-dollar bill still remained in the pile, unpurchased. He then would auction off the remaining soap bars to the highest bidders.
Through the masterful art of manipulation and sleight-of-hand, the cakes of soap wrapped with money were hidden and replaced with packages holding no cash. It was assured that the only money “won” went to members of what became known as the “Soap Gang.” Soapy was eventually shot to death by a group he swindled in a card game.

7. Eduardo de Valfierno
Eduardo de Valfierno, who referred to himself as Marqués (marquis), was an Argentine con man who allegedly masterminded the theft of the Mona Lisa. Valfierno paid several men to steal the work of art from the Louvre, including museum employee Vincenzo Peruggia. On August 21, 1911 Peruggia hid the Mona Lisa under his coat and simply walked out the door.
Before the heist took place, Valfierno commissioned French art restorer and forger Yves Chaudron to make six copies of the Mona Lisa. The forgeries were then shipped to various parts of the world, readying them for the buyers he had lined up. Valfierno knew once the Mona Lisa was stolen it would be harder to smuggle copies past customs. After the heist the copies were delivered to their buyers, each thinking they had the original which had just been stolen for them. Because Valfierno just wanted to sell forgeries, he only needed the original Mona Lisa to disappear and never contacted Peruggia again after the crime. Eventually Peruggia was caught trying to sell the painting and it was returned to the Louvre in 1913.

8. James Hogue [Born: 1959]
Hogue is a US impostor who most famously entered Princeton University by posing as a self-taught orphan. In 1986 Hogue enrolled in a Palo Alto High School as Jay Mitchell Huntsman, a 16-year-old orphan from Nevada. He had adopted the identity of a dead infant. A suspicious local reporter exposed him. In 1988 Hogue enrolled at Princeton University using the alias Alexi Indris Santana, a self-taught orphan from Utah. He deferred admission for one year because he had been convicted of the theft of bicycle frames in Utah. Hogue claimed in his application materials that he had slept outside in the Grand Canyon, raising sheep and reading philosophers. He violated his parole to enter class. For the next two years he lived as Santana and as a member of the track team. He was also admitted into the Ivy Club.
In 1991 Hogue’s real identity was exposed when Renee Pacheco, a student from the Palo Alto High School, recognized him. He was arrested for defrauding the university for $30,000 in financial aid and sentenced to three years in jail with 5 years probation and 100 hours of community service.
On May 16, 1993 Hogue made headlines again through his association with Harvard University. Having lied about his identity again, he was able to take a job as a security guard in one of Harvard’s on campus museums. A few months into his tenure, museum officials noticed that several gemstones on exhibit had been replaced with inexpensive fakes. Somerville police seized Hogue in his home and charged him with grand larceny to the tune of $50,000.
On March 12, 2007 Hogue pleaded guilty to a single felony count of theft of more than $15,000 in exchange for a prison sentence not to exceed 10 years, and prosecutors’ agreement to drop other theft and habitual criminal charges.

9. Robert Hendy-Freegard [Born: 1971]
Robert Hendy-Freegard is a British barman, car salesman, conman and impostor who masqueraded as an MI5 agent and fooled several people to go underground for fear of IRA assassination. He met his victims on social occasions or as customers in the pub or car dealership where he was working. He would reveal his “role” as an undercover agent for MI5, Special Branch or Scotland Yard working against the IRA. He would win them over, ask for money and make them do his bidding. He demanded that they cut off contact with family and friends, go through “loyalty tests” and live alone in poor conditions. He seduced five women, claiming that he wanted to marry them. Initially some of the victims refused to co-operate with the police because he had warned them that police would be double agents or MI5 agents performing another “loyalty test”.
Hendy-Freegard also seduced a newly married personal assistant who was taking care of his children. He told her he was with MI5 and forced her to cut contact with friends and family lest the IRA would kill her. He also took naked pictures of her and threatened to give them to her husband if she would not cooperate. She had to change her name and tell the deed poll officer it was because she was sexually abused as a child. Her loyalty tests included sleeping in Heathrow airport and on park benches for several nights and pretending to be a Jehovah’s Witness so that his bosses in MI5 would let them marry.
In 2002 Scotland Yard and the FBI organized a sting operation. First, the FBI bugged the phone of the American psychologist’s parents. Her mother told Hendy-Freegard she would hand over £10,000 but only in person. Hendy-Freegard met the mother in Heathrow airport where police apprehended him. He denied all charges and claimed they were part of a conspiracy against him and continued this story in the subsequent trial. On June 23, 2005, after an eight month trial, Blackfriars Crown Court convicted Robert Hendy-Freegard for two counts of kidnapping, 10 of theft and 8 of deception. On September 6, 2005 he was given a life sentence. Police doubt that they have discovered all the victims. On April 25, 2007, the BBC reported that Robert Hendy-Freegard had appealed against his kidnapping convictions and won. This means that the life sentence is revoked but he will still serve nine years for the other offences. He could be free by the end of 2007.

10. Bernard Cornfeld [Born: 1927; Died: 1995]
Bernard Cornfeld was a prominent businessman and international financier who sold investments in US mutual funds. He was born in Turkey. When he moved to the US, he first worked as a social worker but became a mutual fund salesman in the 1950s. Although he suffered from a stammer, he had a natural gift for selling and when a schoolfriend’s father died, the two of them used the $3,000 insurance money to purchase and run an age and weight guessing stand at the Coney Island funfair.
In the 1960s, Cornfeld formed his own mutual fund selling company, Investors Overseas Services (IOS), which he incorporated outside the US with funds in Canada and headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Although the headquarters were offcially in Geneva, the main operational offices of IOS were in Ferney-Voltaire, France, a short drive from the Swiss border to Geneva—this was simply a means of avoiding the problems of obtaining Swiss work-permits for the many employees. During the next ten years, IOS raised in excess of $2.5 billion, bringing Cornfeld a personal fortune of more than $100 million. Cornfeld himself became known for conspicuous consumption with lavish parties. Socially, he was generous and jovial.
A group of 300 IOS employees complained to the Swiss authorities that Cornfeld and his co-founders pocketed part of the proceeds of a share issue raised among employees in 1969. Consequently he was charged with fraud in 1973 by the Swiss authorities. When Cornfeld visited Geneva, Swiss authorities arrested him. He served 11 months in a Swiss jail before being freed on a bail surety of $600,000. He returned to Beverly Hills, living less ostentatiously than in his previous years. He developed an obsession for health foods and vitamins, renounced red meat and seldom drank alcohol. He suffered a stroke and died of a cerebral aneurysm on 27th February 1995 in London, England.

By James Frater

Photos: Water-No Water: Lake Folsom and Lake Oroville In California

Friday, February 28, 2014

Video: The Greatest Boxing Comeback round Ever. Diego Morrales 1977-2007 RIP

Video: Here Is A Man Who Stood Up

Article: The Good Son

The Haunted Life Of Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini

Ray Mancini carried hopes and ghosts into the boxing ring. He was the son of a great contender, Lenny Mancini, who was wounded in World War II before he ever got a chance at a championship. Mancini inherited his father’s ring nickname — “Boom Boom” — and his championship dreams. In 1980, Mancini succeeded in winning the lightweight championship of the world, earning him widespread adoration.
And then, in November 1982, Mancini met a South Korean boxer named Duk Koo Kim in just his second title defense. Duk Koo Kim went down in the 14th round — and he never got up. He died four days later.

Boom Boom Mancini kept his title. But Mancini, once the clean-living good son who won the title his father couldn’t, saw his image changed. “After that fight, I became the poster boy for everything that was wrong with boxing,” Mancini told NPR.

Mark Kriegel, who has written acclaimed biographies of Joe Namath and Pete Maravich, has written a new book, The Good Son: The Life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. Kriegel talks with NPR’s Scott Simon about how Mancini’s pursuit of family honor was marred by tragedy.
Interview highlights

On the pressure Mancini felt to succeed as a boxer
“Well, from a young age, he aspired to rescue the reputation and, in effect, redeem his father. And as Ray grows up, as a boy, he goes into the ... laundry room in the basement, and excavates all the old clippings of his father — his father’s fights — and as a kid he says, ‘Hey dad, I’m going to win the title for you.’ ...

“I think it was a will to rescue a wounded father, to correct the past. It was his way of saving the family honor. And what came of it was an enormously successful career — for a time, he was the hottest thing out there.”

On what made Mancini a great fighter
“Ray made himself a great fighter based on desire. Ray wanted it more. He believed in sacrifice. He was, in literal terms, willing to bleed more than the next guy. He was willing to take two punches to give one, and, like his father, he always came forward, and he ... regarded that as a mark of virtue in a fighter.”

Leslie Sokolow/Free Press

On the night of the November 1982 match between Mancini and Duk Koo Kim

“Caesars Palace had just unveiled a new outdoor ring, and you have to remember that boxing was still a major American sport. There was a great deal of celebrity interest. It’s a big Saturday afternoon fight on CBS. It’s the middle of an NFL football strike. Bill Cosby’s there, and Frank Sinatra and Jilly Rizzo are front and center. And in the days before the fight, Sinatra had actually sought an audience with Ray, which Ray was astounded at ...

“[Frank Sinatra] loved Ray Mancini. And he says, ‘Listen. You’re doing us all proud, kid.’ Just before the fight, Sugar Ray Leonard had announced his retirement, and what that left was Ray Mancini as arguably the most marketable athlete in America ...

“It was the 14th round. It was supposed to be an easy fight; it was supposed to be something of an exhibition. And from the beginning, you could see it was much more arduous for both fighters. And they’re both coming forward. Neither is going to concede any step. And finally, in the 14th, Ray comes out, hits him with a left hook, Kim collapses, falls backward against the ropes, the ring becomes a frenzy. And Ray doesn’t even know that Kim is ... badly hurt — he can’t see.”

On who was responsible for Kim’s death
“Each of the protagonists and each of the supporting characters all acquit themselves admirably. And you’re still left with a tragedy.”

On the effect of Kim’s death on Mancini, who told NPR, “It haunted me, was why [Kim] and not me? He was giving as good as he was getting. And who’s to say it wouldn’t be me next time?”
“The idea of the sport had been holy to Ray, and now that Kim’s death had incited a national debate about boxing and a backlash against Mancini himself, he felt it became corrupted. There ... was nothing joyous in it anymore — all the righteous reasons for which he had fought were now gone. ...
“Fighters can’t believe in ghosts. If he had had less imagination, less sensitivity, he probably would have survived this as a fighter ... He became the most unlikely symbol for what was corrupt and objectionable and brutal about boxing.”

On the meeting Kriegel helped bring about between Mancini and Kim’s son, Chi Wan, in an attempt at reconciliation

“Chi Wan and Young Mee, his mother, come to Ray’s house. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t an awkward meeting and it didn’t begin with a certain excessive formality and stiffness. And where I think they really started to break the ice was when Ray picks up the photograph of his father after the Billy Marquart fight from 1941 where his father was, in fact, battered. And I think that everybody in that room found something haunting and familiar in that image that they all identified with, and it started to ease up from there.”

Barry Clifford: Something’s You Need To Do Every Week

Exercise more - even less than 10 minutes daily (Slowly)

Spend more times with family (the ones you like anyway) and friends (If you have a friend) for two hours a week

Get outside every day for at least 20 minutes and at least walk a little. If it rains or is cold then dress for the occasion (excuses is another word for lazy)

Help others- just another 2 hours a week as will do it (There are 168 hours in a week) 

Smile more- it creates positive thoughts and well being (no time limit)

Walk more assuredly, carry better posture, and you will feel the mood (no time limit)

Write down which people make you sad; what medium like TV shows makes you sadder- then get rid of them all for good.

Be selective in your thoughts and stick to the good ones only (no time limit)

Beware of causes; you just might be getting used (no time limit)

Don’t take life seriously. It started off giving you everything and that’s call life itself. It’s only demand is you appreciate the gift and start living before the realisation you were always asleep. Still, better late than never.

Now, about going for that walk......

By Barry Clifford

Photos: The Northern Lights Comes To Northern England; Incredible !!!

Photos: Beneath The Waves