Home run king Barry Bonds has his No. 25 retired by Giants
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Baseball Writer
Sunday, August 12
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Likely for the last time and almost 11 years after playing his final game, Barry Bonds ran out to his old spot in his No. 25 Giants jersey.
“I wanted to be in left field one more time,” Bonds said Saturday night. “And I thought it was appropriate. That’s what I wanted to do.”
“I was going to put the whole uniform on, but just didn’t have time because it ran a little bit longer. I wanted to throw on everything and stand in left field one more time. That’s where everyone saw me and that’s where I thought they should see me last,” he said.
Bonds had his number retired by the Giants during a long ceremony before San Francisco played his other team, the Pittsburgh Pirates — also 11 years to the month from when he broke Hank Aaron’s home run record in his 22nd and final major league season.
Still beloved and cheered in the Bay Area he cherishes as home, Bonds finished his career under the cloud of steroids allegations that made him a villain most everywhere else.
“I am overwhelmed with emotions as the reality of this day sets in,” Bonds said. “This may come as a surprise to a lot of people but as a child I didn’t even want to play baseball. I wanted to play all sports — basketball, football, ride my bike, all the things that kids do. But once my mom signed me up … I got my first taste of what would be my lifelong passion.”
Now called AT&T Park, Bonds knows what he meant to this place.
“I think the park thing is more to me than the number thing, because I built this park. That’s all,” Bonds said. “When I walk in this ballpark, I know whose house it is.”
Surrounded by former teammates and managers, Hall of Famers and his family, Bonds had no words as he mentally prepared for his number retirement ceremony.
“Shhhh,” the slugger said smiling, then a few minutes later repeated three times, “I have to focus.”
Bonds became the 10th Giants player in franchise history to have his number retired. He finished with 762 career home runs.
“I knew it was coming at one point. No one’s wearing it,” he said. “… What they did is fantastic and how they did it was first class.”
In July 2015, Bonds said he had a huge “weight lifted” when federal prosecutors dropped what was left of their criminal case against him after a nearly decade-long steroids prosecution. Bonds needs to be on 75 percent of Hall of Fame ballots to be enshrined in Cooperstown. He was on 56.4 percent of Hall ballots this year, up from 53.8 percent last year. He had just 36.2 percent in his initial appearance.
“Sure, it would mean a lot to anybody, for all the years I’ve worked and what I’ve done, sure,” Bonds said.
The seven-time NL MVP was greeted with a rousing ovation as fans chanted his name. The 54-year-old Bonds waved, clapped his hands and raised both arms to acknowledge the cheers as he made his big entrance from center field.
“Thank you San Francisco, thank you for making all my dreams come true,” Bonds said while remembering his late father, Bobby.
Giants great Willie Mays, Bonds’ godfather, called for the slugger to reach the Hall of Fame.
“When people talk about, ‘Oh, who’s the best ballplayer in the world?’ I don’t care,” Mays said. “I played my 20 years, 22 years, whatever it might be. Give somebody honor that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is a type of fraternity that, when you get there, you’ll say, ‘Man, how did I get here?’ And I want him to have that honor be something that happens to him.”
“Vote this guy in!” Mays added.
Other Giants Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry also took part in the festivities.
Former managers Jim Leyland and Dusty Baker and current Giants skipper Bruce Bochy were on hand. So were Bonds’ mother, Pat, and his three children.
“Without question he is the best player I ever managed in my 22 years as a major league skipper,” Leyland said. “Let all of us be thankful that we had the opportunity to see one of the greatest players that’s ever lived for so many years.”
The Pirates stood in their dugout and clapped during a ceremony that lasted more than an hour. First pitch was 16 minutes late. R&B singer Johnny Gill performed the national anthem in another surprise to Bonds.
Baker managed Bonds from 1993-2002. He recalled watching Bobby Bonds in Riverside, California.
“I thought Bobby Bonds was the greatest prep school athlete I had ever seen in my life until one day Bobby Bonds told me that ‘my son is going to be greater than me,’” Baker said. “I couldn’t see that at the time because I hadn’t seen Barry play much before he went to ASU. But he told me, my son — and I told Barry this — is more dedicated and works harder than he did, and Bobby was right.”
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LeBron for Secretary?
Following President Donald Trump’s insult to NBA star LeBron James, a petition is gaining support for the Los Angeles Laker to replace Betsy DeVos as secretary of education.
The petition on Care2 compares James, who recently opened a public school for at-risk youth in Akron, Ohio, and DeVos, described as “a scandal-ridden Republican donor who shows an inexcusable dislike for public education, wants to gut protections for women and minorities, and has advocated for teachers to be armed in schools.”
“It would be an easy choice, wouldn’t it?” the petition states. “Unfortunately, Trump and his cronies chose Betsy DeVos for us and we are stuck with an uncaring Education Chief who has fought against teachers and has even expressed disdain for the very department she heads. … at least until now.”
The petition calls for DeVos to be fired and James to instead be named secretary of education.
It comes after the president bashed James for telling CNN host Don Lemon during an interview last week about his new school that Trump has “kinda used sports to kinda divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to.” James referenced NBA star Stephen Curry’s decision to skip a visit to the White House, as well as kneeling protests in the NFL.
“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” Trump tweeted. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”
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Trump’s comment drew backlash from fellow basketball players, and even first lady Melania Trump sided with James.
“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today,” Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
James’s I PROMISE School, opened by his family foundation and Akron Public Schools in his hometown late last month, is offering free tuition, uniforms, food, bicycles and helmets and guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron for graduates.
LeBron James addresses the crowd during the opening ceremonies of the I Promise School on July 30 in Akron, Ohio. Jason Miller/Getty Images
“LeBron James is an inspiration to kids all over the country,” the petition states. “Betsy DeVos was hired without ever setting foot in a public school — and she’s taken every opportunity to work against the interests of the children, teachers and families she has pledged to serve. We certainly deserve better!”
The petition had more than 5,000 signatures by late afternoon Wednesday.
From: John Kasich
Saturday, August 4, 2018 12:28 PM
I give you the President of the United States…
Say what you will about LeBron James but there are a couple things that are undeniable about him.
The one that I believe is the most important to him isn’t the championships, it’s what his hard-earned success has allowed him to give back to those in need.
In case you’re wondering what Mr. Trump is referencing, take a moment to watch this to learn how LeBron is working to create better opportunities for children here in Ohio:
Regardless of which team we support as fans, as Americans, we should all celebrate good deeds when we see them.
What exactly about these kinds of insulting and insensitive statements is making America great again?
We can do better. We must do better.
Kasich for America
AUG. 3, 2018 CHIPOTLE UPDATE
The Delaware General Health District this week fielded a total of 703 inquiries related to a possible foodborne illness outbreak stemming from the Chipotle located at 9733 Sawmill Parkway. Of those inquiries, staff members have completed 513 interviews.
No illness reports have been made since the restaurant reopened on Tuesday afternoon.
Laboratory test results are still pending. Further stool testing will be conducted for other pathogens after preliminary test results came back negative for Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli and Norovirus. The food samples are still in the process of being tested for Bacillus Cereus or Clostridium Perfringens in addition to the four diseases listed above that are tested in stool samples.
New information will be released when it becomes available on both the Delaware General Health District Facebook page and Twitter account (@DelawareHealth).
AUG. 2, 2018 CHIPOTLE UPDATE
As of Tuesday July 31, 2018, the Delaware General Health District has received a total of 683 inquiries related to a possible foodborne illness outbreak stemming from the Chipotle located at 9733 Sawmill Parkway. Of those inquiries, staff members have completed over 480 interviews.
The Ohio Department of Health returned initial stool sample results today – all have tested negative for Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli and Norovirus. Further stool testing will be conducted for other pathogens. The food samples are still in the process of being tested for Bacillus Cereus or Clostridium Perfringens in addition to the four diseases listed above that are tested in stool samples.
Please contact your local health department to file food complaints. Posting on social media and/or a website is not an official complaint. The Health District has also received calls regarding medical attention. Please consult your doctor for all medical needs.
New information will be released when it becomes available on both the Delaware General Health District Facebook page and Twitter account (@DelawareHealth).
Why we choose terrible passwords, and how to fix them
Professor of Computing Sciences, Elon University
The first Thursday in May is World Password Day, but don’t buy a cake or send cards. Computer chip maker Intel created the event as an annual reminder that, for most of us, our password habits are nothing to celebrate. Instead, they – and computer professionals like me – hope we will use this day to say our final goodbyes to “qwerty” and “123456,” which are still the most popular passwords.
The problem with short, predictable passwords
The purpose of a password is to limit access to information. Having a very common or simple one like “abcdef” or “letmein,” or even normal words like “password” or “dragon,” is barely any security at all, like closing a door but not actually locking it.
Hackers’ password cracking tools take advantage of this lack of creativity. When hackers find – or buy – stolen credentials, they will likely find that the passwords have been stored not as the text of the passwords themselves but as unique fingerprints, called “hashes,” of the actual passwords. A hash function mathematically transforms each password into an encoded, fixed-size version of itself. Hashing the same original password will give the same result every time, but it’s computationally nearly impossible to reverse the process, to derive a plaintext password from a specific hash.
Instead, the cracking software computes the hash values for large numbers of possible passwords and compares the results to the hashed passwords in the stolen file. If any match, the hacker’s in. The first place these programs start is with known hash values for popular passwords.
More savvy users who choose a less common password might still fall prey to what is called a “dictionary attack.” The cracking software tries each of the 171,000 words in the English dictionary. Then the program tries combined words (such as “qwertypassword”), doubled sequences (“qwertyqwerty”), and words followed by numbers (“qwerty123”).
Moving on to blind guessing
Only if the dictionary attack fails will the attacker reluctantly move to what is called a “brute-force attack,” guessing arbitrary sequences of numbers, letters and characters over and over until one matches.
Mathematics tells us that a longer password is less guessable than a shorter password. That’s true even if the shorter password is made from a larger set of possible characters.
For example, a six-character password made up of the 95 different symbols on a standard American keyboard yields 956, or 735 billion, possible combinations. That sounds like a lot, but a 10-character password made from only lowercase English characters yields 2610, 141 trillion, options. Of course, a 10-character password from the 95 symbols gives 9510, or 59 quintillion, possibilities.
That’s why some websites require passwords of certain lengths and with certain numbers of digits and special characters – they’re designed to thwart the most common dictionary and brute-force attacks. Given enough time and computing power, though, any password is crackable.
And in any case, humans are terrible at memorizing long, unpredictable sequences. We sometimes use mnemonics to help, like the way “Every Good Boy Does Fine” reminds us of the notes indicated by the lines on sheet music. They can also help us remember a password like “freQ!9tY!juNC,” which at first appears very mixed up.
Splitting the password into three chunks, “freQ!,” “9tY!” and “juNC,” reveals what might be remembered as three short, pronounceable words: “freak,” “ninety” and “junk.” People are better at memorizing passwords that can be chunked, either because they find meaning in the chunks or because they can more easily add their own meaning through mnemonics.
Don’t reuse passwords
Suppose we take all this advice to heart and resolve to make all our passwords at least 15 characters long and full of random numbers and letters. We invent clever mnemonic devices, commit a few of our favorites to memory, and start using those same passwords over and over on every website and application.
At first, this might seem harmless enough. But password-thieving hackers are everywhere. Recently, big companies including Yahoo, Adobe and LinkedIn have all been breached. Each of these breaches revealed the usernames and passwords for hundreds of millions of accounts. Hackers know that people commonly reuse passwords, so a cracked password on one site could make the same person vulnerable on a different site.
Beyond the password
Not only do we need long, unpredictable passwords, but we need different passwords for every site and program we use. The average internet user has 19 different passwords. It’s easy to see why people write them down on sticky notes or just click the “I forgot my password” link.
Software can help! The job of password management software is to take care of generating and remembering unique, hard-to-crack passwords for each website and application.
Sometimes these programs themselves have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. And some websites block password managers from functioning. And of course, an attacker could peek at the keyboard as we type in our passwords.
Multi-factor authentication was invented to solve these problems. This involves a code sent to a mobile phone, a fingerprint scan or a special USB hardware token. However, even though users know the multi-factor authentication is probably safer, they worry it might be more inconvenient or difficult. To make it easier, sites like Authy.com provide straightforward guides for enabling multi-factor authentication on popular websites.
So no more excuses. Let’s put on our party hats and start changing those passwords. World Password Day would be a great time to ditch “qwerty” for good, try out a password manager and turn on multi-factor authentication. Once you’re done, go ahead and have that cake, because you’ll deserve it.
POVERTY, VIOLENCE AND SPIRITUAL WILDFIRES
By Robert C. Koehler
“They take advantage of that opportunity and they shoot into a crowd, no matter who they hit.”
The news this past weekend emerging from my fair city, Chicago, felt like news about wildfires sweeping across California: the sudden, hellish karma of climate change, that is to say, the gradual collapse of life-sustaining conditions on Planet Earth thanks to centuries of cluelessly exploitative human activity.
The news from Chicago was, of course, about gun violence: at least 74 people shot between Friday afternoon and Monday morning in a slew of unconnected incidents, including shots fired into large gatherings of people (at a funeral, at a block party). Eleven people were killed, including, in separate incidents, two 17-year-olds. An 11-year-old boy was among the injured.
Figuring in the totals from the weekend, so far this year the city has racked up more than 300 homicides, according to the Chicago Tribune. Something, as we all know, is out of control, in this city, across the country … and across the planet.
The above quote was from the Chicago Police Department’s chief of patrol, Fred Waller, commenting on the recent mayhem at a press conference on Sunday morning. His words, I fear, came out a little too easily. It almost sounded like an official firefighter spokesperson accusing the wildfires of moral degeneracy rather than discussing their cause and the needed social change – rather than discussing, for instance, the self-reinforcing feedback loops perpetuating human violence, just as a recent report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences addressed the feedback loops creating climate change and “Hothouse Earth.”
“In order to avoid the worst-case scenarios,” Common Dreams reports, “the researchers behind the study say that ‘collective human action is required’ to steer (the) planet’s systems away from dangerous tipping points. Such action, they write, ‘entails stewardship of the entire Earth System … and transformed social values.’”
I would extend this need for stewardship, this need to transform social values, beyond the biosphere.
For instance, as a report released last year by the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance points out: “Chicago is currently facing a devastating surge in lethal violence in addition to staggering rates of poverty across Illinois. Policymakers and community leaders are struggling with finding short- and long-term solutions to stem the violence and allow neighborhoods to heal. In the meantime, communities are fearing for their own safety and grieving over lost parents, children, friends, and leaders every day. The stakes for getting the solutions right could not be higher.
“Poverty and violence often intersect, feed one another, and share root causes. Neighborhoods with high levels of violence are also characterized by high levels of poverty, lack of adequate public services and educational opportunity, poorer health outcomes, asset and income inequality, and more. The underlying socioeconomic conditions in these neighborhoods perpetuate both violence and poverty.”
And this just gets at one corner of the problem – the inadequacy of our social stewardship. Poverty, you might say, creates spiritual wildfires. And the last time this country waged a “war on poverty,” it was also waging a war in Vietnam – inflicting unfathomable violence on the other side of the planet in what ultimately was a lost cause from every point of view except that of the war profiteers. The war profiteers won: More wars would come soon enough, but continuing to invest in the elimination of poverty was just too … uh, expensive.
So we’ve chosen, over the last half century, to perpetuate violence rather than take a complex, value-transforming stand against, or beyond, it.
“The United States spends more on its military than any country in the world – all while its politicians claim not to be able to afford measures like universal health care and free or low-cost higher education that are commonplace in other wealthy nations,” said Lindsay Koshgarian, program director for the National Priorities Project, as quoted by Sajjad Hussain. “At the same time, the U.S. military polls as citizens’ most trusted institution, above organized religion, the media, public schools, the courts, and far above Congress.”
This is ironic indeed, considering that we haven’t actually “won” any of the wars we’ve fought since the alleged Good War. Apparently winning is beside the point, even though all participants focus on it. War is the ultimate feedback loop: You define yourself by defining your enemy, then you kill the enemy, who now has no choice but to see you as the enemy and kills back. No one wins except war itself, which goes on and on and on.
A few weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the 2019 National Defense AuthorizationAct, approving a military budget of $717 billion, up a hundred billion from last year. And the real military budget is closer to a trillion dollars, when CIA and National Security Agency spending, among other things, is figured in.
What I hear in all this is the roar of wildfires and the words of Chicago’s chief of patrol: “They take advantage of that opportunity and they shoot into a crowd, no matter who they hit.”
We bomb civilians, killing them by the thousands, by the millions, to fight wars we do not win – because winning is not the point, or even possible.
Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is available. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at commonwonders.com.