Changing demographics are coming back to bite white male Democrats

December 4, 2018

Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who had never before held elective office, is a good example of how changing demographics are adversely affecting white male Democrats.

The 29-year-old Ms. Ocasio-Cortez handily beat 10-term incumbent Joseph “Joe” Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District, which is a very safe Democratic district. The district covers parts of the Bronx and Queens in New York City.

The demographics of the Bronx is 45.8 percent white, 43.3 percent black, 4.2 percent Asian, 3.0 percent American Indian, and 3.3 percent of two or more races. Source: 2013 Census Bureau estimate. Nearly 55 percent of the population is of Hispanic or Latino, of any race.

The demographics of Queens is 27.2 percent Non-Hispanic white, 20.9 percent black, 24.8 percent Asian, 12.9 percent of some other race and 2.7 percent of two or more races. Source: 2012 Census Bureau estimate. Nearly 28 percent of Queen’s population is of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race.

The makeup of the entire 14th Congressional District is 49.8 percent Hispanic and about one-fifth white.  “Almost half of Ocasio-Cortez’s district is Latino; over 11 percent black and 16 percent is Asian.”  Source: Steven A. Nuno, Can a Latina primary candidate’s win bring Democrats back to their roots? NBC News (June 27, 2018).

“Crowley lost because of the changing demographics of his district,” wrote a columnist for the Washington Post.  Source: Dana Milbank, Ocasio-Cortez just did Democrats a big favor, The Washington Post (June 27, 2018).

“White people representing majority-minority districts are intrinsically vulnerable.” Source: Michael Kinnucan, Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won, Jacobin (June 29, 2018).

A headline in the Washington Post stated: “The worst thig to be in many Democratic primaries? A white male candidate.”  Michael Scherer and David Weigel (June 27, 2018). Mr. Scherer and Mr. Weigel wrote:

“Given an option, Democratic voters have been picking women, racial minorities, and gay men and lesbians in races around the country at historic rates, often at the expense of the white male candidates who in past years typified the party’s offerings.”

“There are a lot of districts in this country that are like NY-14, that have changed a lot in the last 20 years, and whose representation has not,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press on July 1, 2018.  Source: Christina Cauterucci, “Demographics” Did Help Ocasio-Cortez Win, and That’s a Good Thing, Slate (July 1, 2018).

When Ms. Ocasio-Cortez takes office on Jan. 3, 2019, she will be the youngest woman to serve in Congress in the history of the United States.

Mr. Crowley was the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.  He took office in Congress in 1999 in New York’s 7th Congressional District.  He was the Congressman for the 14th Congressional District since 2013.  He had been re-elected without any significant opposition in nine elections.  He did not face any primary challengers in the 2006 through 2016 elections.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, whose father is of Puerto Rican descent and was born in the Bronx, and whose mother was born in Puerto Rico, captured 57.13 percent of the vote (15,897) in the 2018 Democratic primary to Mr. Crowley’s 42.5 percent (11,761).  In the general election, the vote tally was 77.9 percent (100,044 votes) for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, 13.8 percent (17,762 votes) for Republican Anthony Pappas and 6.6 percent (8,505 votes) for Mr. Crowley.  Elizabeth Perri of the Conservative Party received 1.6 percent (2,028 votes).

To seek the 14th District seat, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez spent $194,000 compared to $3.4 million spent by Mr. Crowley. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was endorsed by extreme left-wing organizations such as MoveOn, Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress, Black Lives Matter and Democracy for America.

The 14th Congressional District vote 78 percent for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential race.

“Ocasio-Cortez tailored her campaign to underrepresented constituencies such as Latino and younger voters.”  Source: Grace Segers, How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the race that shocked the country, City & State New York (June 27, 2018).

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez worked in Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) foreign affairs and immigration office from 2008 to 2009 while attending Boston University. After graduating, she returned to the Bronx where she volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential Democratic primary campaign.

“In addition to supporting things such as sharing the wealth Bernie Sanders-style, Medicare for all, guaranteed jobs for everyone, free college tuition, the abolishment of ICE, ending the privatization of prisons, the impeachment of Donald Trump, and gun control policies — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exhibits racist tendencies. To win the primary, Alexandria convinced voters that based solely on her ethnicity and her working-class roots, she was the most qualified to represent eastern Bronx and portions of north-central Queens, whose demographic composition is 82% minority, 50% of which is Hispanic-Latino. The problem is that Alexandria didn’t live in the projects and didn’t spend much time riding the El train. Instead, since Alexandria was age two, the newly elected politician lived in a three-bedroom home in Yorktown Heights, purchased by her architect father, the late Sergio Cortez-Roman. Yorktown Heights is a suburb of New York City located in wealthy Westchester County. Unlike the district Alexandria won, the demographic in the town the political neophyte grew up in is 90% white and 5% Hispanic-Latino.”  Source: Jeannie DeAngelis, Is Alexandria-Cortez a racist? American Thinker (July 3, 2018).

“Overall, Westchester County is one of the most wealthy counties in the United States; it’s even where former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton reside.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly three-quarters of the county’s 980,000 people are white, the average home rice is more than a half million dollars, the median household income is $90,000 and just 10 percent of the country lives in poverty.  CNBC even ranked the county as the 8th richest county in the U.S. when considering wealth concentration of the area’s richest 1 percent.” Source: Chris Enlow, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the “girl from the Bronx,” raised in one of wealthiest US counties, The Blaze (June 30, 2018).

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Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, insulted President Trump at the 100-year commemoration of the end of World War One

November 13, 2018

There was a ceremony on Nov. 11, 2018 at the Arc de Triomphe in central Paris to commemorate the more than 8 million persons who died in World War One.  The ceremony was attended by world leaders including President Donald Trump of the United States, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and President Emmanuel Macron of France.  British Prime Minister Theresa May was not there; she chose to attend a ceremony in London that day.

President Macron, who has become unpopular in France, led the ceremonies.  Instead of simply giving tribute to the persons who died in the war, President Macron also used the occasion in an attempt to humiliate President Trump, a nationalist with an “America First” stance.

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” President Macron said. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying: ‘Our interest first.  Who cares about others?'”

President Trump was stoic during President Macron’s speech but he politely clapped at the end of the speech.  Because President Trump had no speaking role at the ceremony, he did not address President Macron’s insults.  President Trump was friendly with President Putin.

“Mr. Putin . . . seemed focused on Mr. Trump, approaching him at the Arc de Triomphe, shaking his hand and giving him a friendly pat on the arm.”  Source: Peter Baker and Alissa J. Rubin, Trump’s Nationalism, Rebuked at World War I Ceremony, Is Reshaping Much of Europe (The New York Times — Nov. 11, 2018).

On the day before the ceremony, President Macron welcomed President Trump and called him his “good friend.”  President Macron and President Trump shook hands on the steps of the Elysee Palace.  It was President Trump’s second visit to Paris since July 2017, when he arrived as President Macron’s guest of honor at Bastille Day celebrations.

Pat Buchanan called President Macron’s comments at the ceremony “a rebuke bordering on national insult.”  Source: Pat Buchanan, Macron to Trump: “You’re No Patriot!” (Nov. 13, 2018).  Mr. Buchanan also wrote: “As for Trump’s policy of America first, Macron trashed such atavistic thinking in this new age: ‘By saying we put ourselves first and others don’t matter, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values.'”

Mr. Buchanan also wrote: “But Trump did not say that other countries don’t matter. He only said we should put our own country first. What country does Emmanuel Macron put first?  Or does the president of France see himself as a citizen of the world with responsibility for all of Europe and all of mankind? . . . But is Macron really addressing the realities of the new Europe and world in which we now live, or is he simply assuming a heroic liberal posture to win the applause of Western corporate and mediate elites?”

Mr. Buchanan noted: “The leaders of the world’s three greatest military powers — Trump in the U.S., Vladimir Putin in Russia and Xi Jinping in China — are all nationalists.”

On the Tuesday before the 100-year commemoration, President Macron said on French radio: “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States of America.”  President Trump called President Macron’s comments “very insulting.”

“Emmanuel Macron of France suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia,” President Trump tweeted on November 6. “But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two — How did that work out for France?  They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along.”

President Trump later tweeted: “The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. . . . By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people — and rightfully so.”  He then tweeted: “MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!”

“The once close relationship between President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron appears to be on the rocks . . . .”  Source: Bob Bryan, Make France Great Again!: The Trump-Macron bromance appears dead as Trump launches into tirade against the French leader, Business Insider.

Harry Patch, the last surviving British soldier from World War One who died in 2009 at age 111, called the war a “calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings”

November 13, 2018

This month, there was a commemoration of the end of World War One, which officially ended at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Harry Patch was the last surviving British soldier from World War One.  He was born on June 17, 1898 in Combe Down, near Bath in Somerset and died on July 25, 2009 at age 111.  “Harry Patch died peacefully in his bed at his residential home in Wells, Somerset, a man who spent his last years urging his friends and many admirers never to forget the 9.7 million young men who perished during the 1914-18 war.” Source: Tracy McVeigh and Mark Townsend, Harry Patch, Britain’s last surviving soldier of the Great War, dies at 111 (The Guardian — July 25, 2009).

“Mr. Patch survived the trenches of Flanders as a machine gunner and suffered severe wounds.  For most of his life he was reticent about the war and his service in it, but after his 100th birthday Mr. Patch began speaking out against the war and the hatreds it engendered.”  Source: Sam Dickson, Remembering Harry Patch (American Renaissance — October 2009).

“Only when he reached 100 could he look back.  His book The Last Fighting Tommy (2007, written with Richard van Emden) found him, at 109, not only the last British soldier to have seen combat on the western front but the oldest first-time author.” Source: Christopher Hawtree, Harry Patch (The Guardian — July 25, 2009).

“He remembered all of those who died and suffered, and every time he was honored he knew it was for all of those who fought,” Mr. van Emden said.  Source: McVeigh and Townsend in The Guardian.

In July 2007, Mr. Patch attended the 90th anniversary commemoration of the beginning of the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres.  British historian A. J. P. Taylor estimated 300,000 British wounded or killed and 200,000 Germans wounded or killed.   Source: A. J. P. Taylor, The First World War: An Illustrated History at 181-82 (1972).

Mr. Patch fought in the battle, which took place on the Western Front from July 31 to November 10, 1917 near the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders.  On September 22, 1917, Mr. Patch was badly wounded in the chest.  He recuperated back in England.

At the 90th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Passchendaele, Mr. Patch called the war a “calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings” and said that “war isn’t worth one life.”  Source: Dickson.  “On the 90th anniversary of the end of the war he attended the remembrance service in London at which his message was, ‘Remember the Germans.'”  Id.  Mr. Patch said: “I . . . will be joining fellow veterans at the Cenotaph on Sun 11 November to remember ALL those killed by the tragedy of war.”

Mr. Dickson wrote: “He said he was a reluctant soldier, noting that when he first came face to face with a German soldier, he could not help thinking of the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ He deliberately shot the German in the shoulder, making him drop his rifle, but the German kept running towards him.  He then shot the man twice in the leg. ‘I had about five seconds to make the decision,’ he said.  ‘I brought him down, but I didn’t kill him.'”

“He was in the trenches at Ypres between June and September 1917, where he and his gang of five machine gunners made a pact not to kill an enemy soldier if they could help it: they would aim for the legs. In September 1917, a shell exploded above Mr. Patch’s head, killing three of his comrades; he was hit by shrapnel in the lower abdomen, but survived.”  Source: McVeigh and Townsend in The Guardian.

“In 1999, he received the Legion d’honneur medal awarded by the French to 350 surviving veterans of the Western Front, dedicating it to his three fallen friends. he revisited the Ypres battlefield and British and German war cemeteries, placing a wreath on a German grave. Mr. Patch fervently believed war was ‘organized murder.’ ‘It was not worth it,’ he said. ‘It was not worth one, let alone all the millions.'” Source: McVeigh and Townsend in The Guardian.

Mr. Patch wrote in The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the Oldest Surviving Veteran of the Trenches: “Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organizing nothing better than legalized mass murder.'”

When Mr. Patch was 110, poet laureate Andrew Motion wrote a poem about him titled “The Five Acts of Harry Patch.”  “It opens . . . with an evocation of an Edwardian summer and, inevitably, closes in the centenarian’s nursing home, with his terror, memory flooded with sniper fire, when staff open the linen cupboard opposition his room. [Mr. Patch said:] ‘All it takes is someone switching on the light — there is that flash . . . .'” Source: Hawtree in the Guardian.

“He would lock himself away and remember his friends,” said author Max Arthur, whose 2005 book Last Post documented the words from the last 21 survivors of the war. “Last week, there was just one; now there is no one alive who has seen what Harry saw in the trenches.  Harry said it was just the most depressing place on earth, hell with a lid on,” he said.  Source: McVeigh and Townsend in The Guardian.

Mr. Patch’s funeral was on Aug. 6, 2009 and was attended by thousands of mourners.  “Honorary pallbearers included two soldiers each from France, Belgium, and Germany, all in full dress uniform,” Mr. Dickson wrote. “A German diplomat was one of the scripture readers at the Anglican service. Mr. Patch would have approved of the inclusion of the Germans.”

Mr. Dickson concluded: “We must foster a sense of our common heritage as European whites and remember as our forefathers did in medieval times that there is a shared, overarching race and culture of all Europeans that binds us to each other even as we remain separate and proud members of different white nations. There must never again be a brothers’ war between our kindred nations.”

 

Lewis Hamilton won his fifth Formula One title at the Brazilian Gran Prix and Mercedes Benz won the Constructor’s title

November 11, 2018

Starting from the pole position, Lewis Hamilton of England won the Brazilian Gran Prix on Nov. 11, 2018 at the Interlagos circuit in San Paulo. It was Hamilton’s 10th win of the Formula One season.  Hamilton’s win helped Mercedes Benz win the Constructor’s title for the fifth straight year.

Hamilton finished less than two seconds ahead of second place finisher Max Verstappen of Holland of the Red Bull team.  Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, driving for the Ferrari team, finished in third place.

Force India’s Esteban Ocon of France collided with Verstappen on the 43rd lap of the 71-lap race when the Dutchman was in the lead.  Verstappen was attempting to lap Ocon, who did not move his car to the side.

“Ocon, running way down the order, bizarrely raced wheel-to-wheel at 200 mph with [Verstappen] before banging into the right-rear of Verstappen’s car through the Senna Esses.”  Source: Phil Duncan, Lewis Hamilton wins Brazilian GP as Max Verstappen confronts Esteban Ocon after collision, The Telegraph (Nov. 11, 2018).

Verstappen made a valiant effort to regain the lead but could never catch up with Hamilton.  Verstappen called Ocon a “f***ing idiot” over his radio.

Ocon was assessed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, the most severe punishment that could be given out by the race stewards.

Valtteri Bottas of Finland had the fastest lap (1:10:54.0) on Lap 65 in his Mercedes.

Race Results:

First — Lewis Hamilton (England) Mercedes 1:27:9.066

Second — Max Verstappen (Holland) Red Bull 1:27:10.535.

Third — Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:27:13.830

Fourth — Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1:27:14.259

Fifth — Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Mercedes 1:27:32.009

Sixth — Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1:27:36.063

A total of 18 cars finished the race.  Two cars retired before the end of the race.

Hamilton has now won the Formula One championship five times: 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. (He won four with Mercedes and one with McLaren.) Hamilton is now tied for second place with the most Formula One championships. Juan Manuel Fangio also won the championship five times: 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957.

Vettel has won the championship four times: 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Alain Prost of France also won the championship four times: 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1993.

Michael Schumacher of Germany holds the record for winning the championship seven times: 1994, 1995 and 2000-2004.  Schumacher has been severely disabled since Dec. 29, 2013, when he suffered a major brain injury in a skiing accident.

The only Americans to win the Formula won championship were Phil Hill (1961) and Mario Andretti (1978).  Five drivers have won the championship three times: Jack Brabham of Australia (1959, 1960 and 1966), Jackie Stewart of Scotland (1969, 1971 and 1973), Niki Lauda of Austria (1975, 1977 and 1984), Nelson Piquet of Brazil (1982, 1983 and 1987) and Ayrton Senna of Brazil (1988, 1990 and 1991).

Ferrari has won the Constructor’s title 16 times.   Williams won nine times, McLaren won eight times and Lotus won seven times.

 

Two Swedes are rated among the top 5 draft choices in the 2018 NHL entry draft

June 2, 2018

Two Swedes — Rasmus Dahlin and Adam Boqvist — are rated number one and number five by Hockey News in the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft, which will take place on June 22-23 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Dahlin, age 18, is a 6-2, 183 pound defenseman who played for Frolunda during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.  He is most likely to be drafted by the Buffalo Sabres, which has the first pick in the 2018 draft.

“Picture Peter Forsberg on the blueline.  That’s what Buffalo is set to get in Dahlin — a slick, skilled, ultra-competitive and downright mean D-man,” wrote Matt Larkin in Hockey News.

The last Swede picked number one in the NHL draft was Mats Sundin in 1989.

“He’s a little like a Peter Forsberg character,” said Tomas Monten, who was Dahlin’s world junior coach. “He gets really mean. He has a high temper.  That gives him a competitive edge at practices and especially in games. He doesn’t lose his head, but he competes.  He’s going to have more dirty tricks than people think. He’s not going to take anything for granted and he’s going to battle for everything.”

Monten added: “I don’t see him as an Erik Karlsson type of defender, but I see him more like a Viktor Hedman.  More like a ‘D’ that can play on your power play, that can score points, he can move the puck for you, but he can also defend, he can play a physical game, he can play a shutdown role.”

Dahlin grew up in Lidkoping, a town of about 25,000 persons.

“His father, Martin, played defense in Sweden’s second and third divisions for a decade and still dabbles in coaching,” it was reported in Hockey News.  “Rasmus’ older brother, Felix, played Tier III pro as a right winger.  He’s just 20 now but has already retired from competitive hockey because of arthritis.  Almost all of Rasmus’ immediate family members suffer from it, including his mother and sister.  But not to worry — multiple scouts suggest it’s not a problem in Rasmus, as he has shown no signs of it and it wouldn’t affect him until later in his career if it arrives.”

Hockey News said of Dahlin: “On top of a successful campaign in Sweden’s top league, the wunderkind D-man was also a star at the world juniors and advanced to earn a place on Sweden’s Olympic team, making hi the youngest player in Korea.”

Boqvist, who will be 18 in August, is a 5-11, 170 pound defenseman who has played for Brynas since the 2014-15 season.  At this summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament, he finished second among all scores with eight points in five games and helped Sweden win the bronze medal.

“He’s made for today’s game,” it was said in Hockey News.  “He’s a great skater, has excellent puck skills, poise and vision.  He transports and manages the puck well.  He’s the favored size for a lot of people right now, the kind of guy that would have been overlooked before.”

Boqvist’s older brother, Jesper, plays for Brynas IF of the Swedish Hockey League. He was draft by the New Jersey Devils in 2017.

Other Swedes ranked as Top 60 draft choices by Hockey News are: Isac Lundestrom (No. 14), Ramus Sandin (No. 17), Jacob Olofsson (No. 23), Jonatan Berggren (No. 36), Filip Johansson (No. 38), Adam Ginning (No. 40), Filip Hallander (No. 43), Nils Lundkvist (No. 51), Albin Eriksson (No. 56) and Olof Lindbom (No. 59).

Lundestrom is a 6-0, 185 pound center who has played for Lulea since the 2014-2015 season. He was born in Gallivare.

Sandin is a 5-11, 190 pound defenseman who since the 2013-2014 season has played for MoDo, Almtuna, Brynas and Sault Ste. Marie (OHL).  He was born in Uppsala.

Olofsson is a 6-2, 192 pound center who has played for Timra since the 2015-2016 season. He was born in Pitea.

Berggren is a 5-11, 183 pound right wing who played for Enkoping during the 2014-2015 season and has played for Skelleftea since the 2015-2016 season.  He was born in Uppsala.

Johansson is a 6-1, 187 pound defenseman who has played for Chomutov in the Czech Republic since the 2014-2015 season.  He was born in Vasteras.

Ginning is a 6-3, 196 pound defenseman who has played for Linkoping since the 2014-2015 season.  He was born in Linkoping.

Hallander is a 6-1, 185 pound center who has played for Timra since the 2015-2016 season. He was born in Sundsvall.

Lundkvist is a 5-11, 174 pound defenseman who has played for Lulea since the 2015-2016 season.  He was born in Pitea.

Eriksson is a 6-4, 205 pound left wing who has played for Skelleftea since the 2016-2016 season.  He was born in Bollnas.

Lindbom is a 6-2, 185 pound goalie who has played for Djurgarden since the 2015-2016 seasons.  He was born in Stockholm.

Andrei Svechnikov of Russia, Brady Tkachuk of USA and Filip Zadina of Czech Republic are rated as the second, third and fourth highest draft picks by Hockey News.

 

 

Sweden took the gold medal at the 2018 World Championship while Switzerland got the silver medal and USA captured the bronze medal

May 20, 2018

The headline on the website of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) read: TRE KRONOR GOLDEN AGAIN!

On May 20, 2018, Sweden beat Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout to win the gold medal at the 2018 Ice Hockey World Championship at Royal Arena in Copenhagen.  Sweden never took the lead in the championship game before winning the shootout.  Sweden and Switzerland traded chances during the scoreless third period and during an aggressive overtime period.

It was Sweden’s third world title in six years and 11th overall. The shootout goal was made by Filip Forsberg, who plays for the Nashville Predators in the NHL.

“We wanted to win the gold medal, and her we are,” said Sweden forward Viktor Arvidsson, who also plays for Nashville of the NHL. “It’s unbelievable, especially for Filip (Forsberg). He’s a great player, one of our top players.  It’s unbelievable to win with my teammates.”

“We battled hard . . . all tournament long,” said Switzerland defenseman Mirco Muller (New Jersey Devils). “Once you look at the bigger picture, it’s huge for Swiss hockey.  But right now, there’s a disappointment.  We definitely had our chances.”

“They [Switzerland] were close to winning the whole championship.  So credit to them,” said Sweden forward Magnus Paajarvi (Ottawa Senators).

Sweden outshot Switzerland 38-27.

How the scoring went:

FIRST PERIOD — Nino Niederreiter of Switzerland (16:38 played); Gustav Nyquist of Sweden (17:54 played).  1-1 at the end of the first period.  (Niederreiter plays for the Minnesota Wild.)

SECOND PERIOD — Timo Meier of Switzerland (23:13 played) (power play goal); Mika Zibanejad of Sweden (34:54 played) (power play goal).  2-2 at the end of the second period.  (Meier plays for the San Jose Sharks and Zibanejad plays for the New York Rangers.)

THIRD PERIOD — No score.

OVERTIME — No score.

SHOOTOUT — Filip Forsberg of Sweden scored on Leonardo Genoni of Switzerland. (Genoni plays for SC Bern.)

Sweden got to the gold medal game by beating USA 6-0 in the semifinals and by taking a 3-2 win over Latvia in the quarterfinals.  The Vancouver Canucks’ Anders Nilsson became the first goalie to shut out USA during the first nine games of the tournament.  All but one of the players on the American team are NHL players. Switzerland made it to the finals by stunning Canada 3-2 in the semifinals and upsetting Finland 3-2 in the quarterfinals.  Canada was the silver medalist in 2017. Switzerland’s win over Canada this year was said to be its biggest game ever against Canada in the world championship.

Switzerland had not won a major IIHF-sanctioned tournament at any level in 110 years. Sweden had won 16 straight games since winning the 2017 gold medal over Canada in a shootout.  The last loss by Sweden to Switzerland was in 2013, when Switzerland won the silver medal.  Switzerland also won the silver medal in 1935.

Bronze Medal Game — In the bronze medal game, USA beat Canada 4-1.  It was a 2-1 game in the third period until two empty net goals were made by USA at the 2:45 and 1:42 marks.

How the scoring went:

FIRST PERIOD — No score.

SECOND PERIOD — Chris Kreider of USA (6:40 to play) (power play goal); Marc-Edouard Vlasic of Canada (1:54 to play).  1-1 at the end of the second period.  (Kreider plays for the New York Rangers and Vlasic plays for the San Jose Sharks.)

THIRD PERIOD — Nick Bonino of USA (6:39 to play) (power play goal) — then the empty net goals by Anders Lee of USA (2:45 to play) and Chris Kreider of USA (1:42 to play). (Bonino plays for the Nashville Predators and Lee plays for the New York Islanders.)

Keith Kinkaid made 24 saves for USA and Curtis McElhiiney had 33 saves for Canada. (Kinkaid plays for the New Jersey Devils and McElhiiney plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs.)

It was the fist time Canada failed to medal in a world championship in four years.

“Overall, it’s a disappointing tournament,” said alternate captain Ryan O’Reilly of Canada. “It feels like a waste of time.  You want to come here and compete and have a chance to win and you don’t.”  (O’Reilly plays for the Buffalo Sabres.)

“When you look at the tournament overall and you can say you beat Canada twice and came home with a bronze medal, you probably think you’d do a little better than that,” said Patrick Kane of USA.

Bonino had the eventual winning goal while O’Reilly was serving an interference penalty. The opening goal of the game by Kreider was while Canada’s Joel Edmundson was in the box for a roughing infraction.  (Edmundson plays for the St. Louis Blues.)

USA captain Patrick Kane and Canada captain Connor McDavid led their teams in scoring during the tournament.  Kane’s assist to Bonino’s goal gave him 20 points — a new USA record and the best individual performance since Canada’s Dany Heatley had 20 points in 2008.  McDavid finished with 17 points, three behind the Canada record by Heatley and the 1990 performance of Steve Yzerman.

USA beat Czech Republic 3-2 in the quarterfinals.  Canada had a 5-4 overtime win over Russia in the quarterfinals.

Award Winners — Players getting awards as selected by the directorate were: Frederik Andersen of Denmark, best goaltender; John Klingberg of Sweden, best defenseman, and Sebastian Aho of Finland, best forward.  The media all-stars were Patrick Kane of USA, most valuable player; Anders Nilsson of Sweden, best goaltender; Adam Larsson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson of Sweden, best defensemen, and Rickard Rakell of Sweden, Patrick Kane of USA and Sebastian Aho of Finland, best forwards.

Group A and Group B — Group A in the tournament was Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, France, Austria and Belarus.  In Group B were Finland, USA, Canada, Latvia, Denmark, Germany, Norway and South Korea.

Fifth through Sixteenth Places — Placing 5-8 were Finland, Russia, Czech Republic and Latvia.  The teams placing 9-14 were Slovakia, Denmark, Germany, France, Norway and Austria.  Belarus and South Korea were 15th and 16th.

Top Goal Scorers — Sebastian Aho of Finland (Carolina Hurricanes) scored nine goals to lead the tournament, which took place from May 4-20, 2018 at Copenhagen and Jyske Bank Boxen at Herning, Denmark.  Patrick Kane of USA (Chicago Blackhawks) had eight goals and Cam Atkinson of USA (Columbus Blue Jackets) had seven goals.

Top Goal Tenders — Anders Nilsson of Sweden (Vancouver Canucks) had the best save percentage: 95.40, followed closely by Frederik Andersen of Denmark (Toronto Maple Leafs) (94.38), Igor Shestyorkin of Russia (SKA Saint Petersburg) (94.19) and Elvis Merzlikins of Latvia (HC Lugano) (94.04).

There were 64 matches played and 384 goals scored (average of six per match). The attendance was 520,481 (average of 8,133 per match).

14 Swedish players were on the last 8 teams involved in the Stanley Cup

May 6, 2018

There were 14 players from Sweden who were members of the last eight National Hockey League teams playing in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS — Three Swedes are on Nashville’s team.  They are Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok.  Arvidsson, 24, plays left wing.  He was born in Skelleftea and is paid $4.25 million.  Forsberg, 23, plays left wing.  He was born in Ostervala and is paid $6.0 million.  Jarnkrok, 26, plays center.  He was born in Galve and is paid $1.8 million.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING — Two Swedes are on the Tampa Bay team.  They are Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman.  Hedman, 27, plays defense.  He was born in Ornskoldsvik and is paid $8.0 million.  Stralman, 31, plays defense. He was born in Tibro and is paid $4.5 million.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS — Two Swedes are on the Pittsburgh team.  They are Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist. Hagelin, 29, plays left wing.  He was born in Sodertalje and is paid $3.66 million.  Hornqvist, 31, plays right wing. He was born in Sollentuna and is paid $4.75 million.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS — Two Swedes are on the Washington team.  They are Nicklas Backstrom and Christian Djoos.  Backstrom, 30, plays center.  He was born in Gavle and is paid $7.5 million.  Djoos, 23, plays defense.  He was born in Gothenburg and is paid $650,000.

SAN JOSE SHARKS — Two Swedes are on the San Jose team.  They are Melker Karlsson and Marcus Sorensen. Karlsson, 27, plays center.  He was born in Lycksele and is paid $2.0 million.  Sorensen, 25, plays left wing.  He was born in Sodertalje and is paid $700,000.

LAS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS — Two Swedes are on the Las Vegas team. They are William Karlsson and Oscar Lindberg.  Karlsson, 25, plays center.  He was born in Marsta and is paid $1.0 million.  Lindberg, 26, plays center.  He was born in Skelleftea and is paid $1.6 million.

WINNIPEG JETS — One Swede is on the Winnipeg team.  He is Toby Enstrom. Enstrom, 33, plays defense.  He was born in Nordingra and is paid $5.75 million.

BOSTON BRUINS — There are no Swedes on the Boston team.

The highest paid Swedes are Hedman ($8.0 million),  Backstrom ($7.5 million) and Forsberg ($6.0 million). Hedman, 6-6 and 223 pounds, was the No. 2 draft pick in 2009, Backstrom, 6-1 and 210 pounds, was the No. 4 draft pick in 2006 and Forsberg, 6-1 and 205 pounds, was the No. 11 draft pick in 2012.

Two of the highest paid players in the NHL are Sidney Crosby ($10.9 million), a 30-year-old Canadian who plays center for Pittsburgh, and Alexander Ovechkin ($10.0 million), a 32-year-old Russian who plays left wing for Washington.  Crosby, 5-11 and 200 pounds, was the No. 1 draft pick in 2005 and Ovechkin, 6-3 and 235 pounds, was the the No. 1 draft pick in 2004.

A bad start ended Mendelssohn’s chance to be the first European-based horse to win the Kentucky Derby

May 6, 2018

There was a big build-up before the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby as to whether Mendelssohn, based in Ireland, would be the first European-trained horse to win the “Race for the Roses.” Mendelssohn, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by jockey Ryan Moore, was among the favorites to win at Churchill Downs based upon his spectacular 18-1/2 length win at the 1,900 meter (approximately 9.5 furlongs) UAE Derby at Dubai in March — a Grade 2, $2.5 million race, which was Mendelssohn’s first try on dirt.

The closest a European-based horse had come to winning the Kentucky Derby was in 1986 when an English horse, Bold Arrangement, finished second to Ferdinand. “There have been 36 overseas attempts without success since then including Arazi who was eighth as a 4-5 favourite in 1992,” wrote Brian O’Connor in The Irish Times.

Danny Weld, the only trainer based in Europe to ever win an American Classic, predicted that Mendelssohn had a “wonderful chance” to win the Kentucky Derby. (Weld trained Go and Go, which won the 1990 Belmont Stakes.)

“It’s a pretty big call but this is quite doable and I believe he has a great chance to win,” Weld said. “I think he’s Aidan’s best chance of winning the Kentucky Derby and wouldn’t it be great to see it.”

“Even by Aidan O’Brien’s record-breaking standards victor for Mendelssohn . . . would represent a landmark in racing history,” wrote Brian O’Connor in The Irish Times.

A terrible start ended Mendelssohn’s chances. He was bumped out of the gate and was unable to recover in driving rain on a sloppy track. The bad result resulted in a last-place finish in the 20-horse field.

“He just got knocked over coming out of the gate and then got knocked over going in the first bend,” O’Brien said.

“He [was] beat up out of the gate, proceeded to check on the first turn and was never in a good place,” Moore said.  “The race was over for him then.”

“Ryan Moore was slow to stride from stall 14 aboard Mendelssohn and appeared to take a bump as his jockey went inside to try to find a position that gave him a chance to travel and attack,” wrote Greg Wood in The Guardian.  “He ended up buried in the midfield, however, and while Moore did his best to work his way towards the leaders, he accepted three furlongs from home that it was not going to be his day. . . . [A] combination of the torrential rain and his slow start meant he never got a chance to show what he could do.”

Mendelssohn “got slammed badly at the start and ended up at the back of the pack,” wrote Steve Silverman in Bleacher Report. “He was never able to recover.”

Mendelssohn was the second choice behind Justify (5-2 favorite and a half-brother of Mendelssohn), which won 53-1/4 lengths ahead of Mendelssohn’s last place finish. Justify, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by 52-year-old jockey Mike Smith, became the first horse since 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old. (Apollo did it 136 years ago.)  Justify finished 2-1/2 lengths ahead of Good Magic in the 1-1/4 mile race. Audible was a close third.

Smith is the second oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.  Jockey Bill Shoemaker won in 1986 on Ferdinand at age 54.

“Mendelssohn eased to the wire and walked off, 23-3/4 lengths behind Magnum Moon, which finished next to last after entering as another highly regarded contender,” the Associated Press reported.

Mendelssohn, a bay colt, was bred in Kentucky.  His sire was the late Scat Daddy (out of Johannesburg) and he is a half-brother of the retired Beholder, a four-time Eclipse Award winner, and Into Mischief, a multiple graded stakes winner.

Mendelssohn and Beholder “looked so much alike” said Clarkland Farm’s Fred Mitchell, who bred them both.

Mendelssohn was purchased for $3 million at the 2016 Keeneland Yearling Sale by Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor. Mendelssohn posted a modest 1-for-4 record to start his career in Europe but in November 2017 he won on grass at the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar, CA. Going into the Kentucky Derby, Mendelssohn was 4-1-0 in seven starts with earnings of more than $1.9 million. Mendelssohn was one of four nominees in 2017 for the title of Champion Two-Year-Old Colt but lost out to U S Navy Flag, who was trained by O’Brien and also owned by Smith, Magnier and Tabor.

 

Penn State won the NCAA wrestling championship for the seventh time in eight years and had four individual champions

March 24, 2018

Penn State narrowly beat Ohio State, 141.5 to 134.5, to win the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championship on March 17, 2018 at Cleveland.  Penn State, coached by Cael Sanderson, had four individual champions (Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph and Bo Nickal), one runner-up, one fifth place finisher and two seventh place finishers.

“I’m obviously very proud of these guys,” Sanderson said. “I think they put forth a tremendous effort throughout the whole year. . . . And just proud of them and happy for them, more than anything.”

Ohio State had one individual champion (Kyle Snyder), one runner-up, two third and fourth place finishers and one fifth place and sixth place finisher.

Iowa placed third with 97 points.  Michigan and North Carolina State tied for fourth with 80 points.  Iowa and North Carolina State each had two individual champions (Spencer Lee and Michael Macchiavello).  Michigan had two runner-ups.  Other individual champions came from Cornell, Arizona State and South Dakota State (Yianni Diakomihalis, Zahid Valencia and Seth Gross).

Penn State’s Retherford and Ohio State’s Snyder became three-time national champions.  Penn State’s Nickal won his second straight title.  Iowa’s Lee and Cornell’s Diakomihalis became the first pair of freshmen to win titles in the same tournament since 1947.

Oklahoma State, with 34 NCAA team titles, finished tied for 13th, the second lowest in head coach John Smith’s 27 seasons.  Fellow Big 12 members Iowa State and Oklahoma, who have a combined 15 NCAA titles between them, finished 45th and 56th, respectively, both program lows.

All four of Penn State’s national champions will be eligible to wrestle in the 2019 national tournament.

125 Pounds — No. 3 seed Spencer Lee of Iowa beat No. 4 seed Nick Suriano of Rutgers in a 5-1 decision.  Pretournament, Lee was 22-2 and Suriano was 25-1.  No. 1 seed Darian Cruz of Lehigh lost 2-0 to Suriano in the semi-finals.  Lee is a true freshman.  Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State beat Ethan Lizak of Minnesota, 8-6, for third place.  Cruz beat Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern, 7-4, for fifth place.  Cruz, 30-2 going into the tournament, was one of two No. 1 seeds who did not wrestle in the finals.

133 Pounds — No. 1 seed Seth Gross of South Dakota State University beat No. 2 seed Stevan Micic of Michigan in a 13-8 decision. Gross was 29-1 and Micic was 26-3 before the tournament started.  Gross was a runner-up in 2017.  Tariq Wilson of North Carolina State beat Luke Pletcher of Ohio State, 17-8, for third place.

141 Pounds — No 3 seed Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell beat No. 1 seed Bryce Meredith of Wyoming in a 7-4 decision.  Pretournament, Diakomihalis was 34-1 and Meredith was 33-2.  Diakomihalis is a true freshman.  Joey McKenna of Ohio State beat Jaydin Eierman of Missouri, 7-2, for third place.

149 Pounds — No. 1 seed Zain Retherford of Penn State beat No. 15 seed Ronald Perry of Lock Haven in a 6-2 decision.  Retherford was 31-0 and Perry was 32-4 before the start of the tournament.  Retherford finished his career with 94 straight wins and three national titles.  Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton beat Troy Heilmann of North Carolina, 3-2, for third place.  Retherford was last year’s Dan Hodge Trophy winner.  The trophy has been presented since 1995 and is awarded to the most outstanding college wrestler of the year.  This year’s finalists are Retherford, Bo Nickal of Penn State, Seth Gross of South Dakota State and Zahid Valencia of Arizona State.  Penn State’s coach, Cael Sanderson, who is considered to be the greatest NCAA wrestler of all time, won the trophy in 2000, 2001 and 2002 when he wrestled for Iowa State.

157 Pounds — No. 3 seed Jason Nolf of Penn State beat No. 1 seed Hayden Hidlay of North Carolina State in a 6-2 decision.  Pretournament, Nolf and Hidlay were each 26-1.  Tyler Berger of Nebraska took third place over Michael Kemerer of Iowa after Kemerer was injured.

165 Pounds — No. 3 seed Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State beat No. 1 seed Isaiah Martinez of Illinois in a 6-1 decision.  Joseph was 25-2 and Martinez was 18-1 before the tournament started.  It was the second year in a row that Joseph beat Martinez in the finals.  Martinez won the championship as a freshman and sophomore and had only three career losses.  Evan Wick of Wisconsin pinned Chance Marsteller of Lock Haven for third place.

174 Pounds — No. 1 seed Zahid Valencia of Arizona State beat No. 2 seed Mark Hall of Penn State in an 8-2 decision.  Valencia was 32-0 and Hall was 32-1 pretournament.  Myles Amine of Mchigan beat Daniel Lewis of Missouri, 4-2, for third place.

184 Pounds — No. 1 seed Bo Nickal of Penn State beat No. 2 seed Myles Martin of Ohio State with a fall at 2:30.  Nickal was 31-0 and Martin was 31-3 before the start of the tournament.  Nickal lost to Martin in the 2016 finals. Emory Parker of Illinois beat Taylor Venz of Nebraska, 8-1, for third place.

197 Pounds — No. 4 seed Michael Macchiavello of North Carolina State beat No. 3 seed Jared Haught of Virginia Tech in a 3-1 decision. (Macchiavello needed a takedown in the final 16 seconds to win.)  Pretournament, Macchiavello was 22-3 and Haught was 30-3.  No. 1 seed Kollin Moore of Ohio State lost to Kyle Conel of Kent State by a fall in the quarter finals.  Conel also beat Moore a second time, 5-3, to finish third.  Moore, 27-4 before the start of the tournament, was one of two No. 1 seeds who did not wrestle in the finals.

285 Pounds — No. 1 seed Kyle Snyder of Ohio State beat No. 2 seed Adam Coon of Michigan in a 3-2 decision.  Snyder was 17-1 and Coon was 29-2 going into the tournament.  Snyder won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2016 and is also a world champion.  During the regular season, Coon beat Snyder in a dual meet and Snyder won the Big Ten final.   Snyder won two other national titles and was runner-up one year.  Amar Dhesi of Oregon State pinned Jacob Kasper of Duke for third place.

The Cleveland tournament broke NCAA records for attendance with a six-session total of 113,740 including a championship round attendance of 19,776, which was a new record.

The 2019 championships will be held at Pittsburgh.

 

The attempted murders of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, due to poisoning by a nerve agent

March 10, 2018

On Sunday, March 4, 2018, at about 4:15 p.m., Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were found unconscious on a park bench at Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.  They were poisoned by some kind of nerve agent.  An investigation is underway into their attempted murder.  A policeman, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, became ill while attending the victims.

As of March 10, Mr. Skripal, 66, and Ms. Skripal, 33, were said to be in “critical but stable condition” at Salisbury District Hospital.  Mr. Bailey was said to be “seriously ill” but awake and engaging with his family.

Before Mr. and Ms. Skripal were found unconscious they were together about 1:40 p.m. at Bishop’s Mill pub having a drink and about 2:20 p.m. at Zizzi, an Italian restaurant.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd described the poisonings as brazen, reckless and cruel and promised to “act without hesitation as the facts become clearer.”  Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, head of counter-terrorism operations, said the Skripals had been “targeted specifically.”

The UK accused Russia as being responsible for the poisonings.  Russia denied the accusations.

“Sooner or later these unsubstantiated allegations will have to be answered for, either backed up with appropriate evidence or apologized for,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin.

Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry, said the probable sources of the nerve agent could be Great Britain itself as well as Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and the United States.  Ms. Zakharova said these countries have been researching toxic substances.

More than 250 counter-terrorism are involved in the investigation. About 180 military personnel were deployed to help remove vehicles and objects which may have been contaminated.

Mr. Skripal was once convicted by the Russian government of passing secrets to M16.  After being imprisoned he was given refuge in the United Kingdom as part of a “spy swap.”  UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the UK will respond “robustly” if Moscow is found to be behind the incident.  Russia has denied any involvement.  The country’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Russia was willing to assist in the investigation but the UK had did not ask them to assist.  He dismissed rumors of Russia’s involvement as “hysteria” and “propaganda.”

Mr. Skripal was born in Kaliningrad in 1951.  He joined the elite Soviet airborne troop known as the Desantniki.  In 1979, Mr. Skripal was one of the first Soviet troops to go into Afghanistan. He later graduated from the Diplomatic Military Academy in Moscow and joined the GRU — Russia’s military intelligence agency.  He had two postings in Europe as a spy in the 1980s and the 1990s.  In 1999 or 2000 he quit the GRU allegedly because he was upset with corruption. He then was believed to have gone to work for Boris Gromov, who was the last commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan.  Mr. Skripal then settled into normal family life.  He had married a woman named Liudmila, his teenage sweetheart, in June 1972. A son, Alexander (known as Sasha) was born in 1974 and a daughter, Yulia, was born in 1984.

The Skripals’ family life was disrupted in December 2004, when Mr. Skripal was arrested for spying.  He was swiftly convicted in a trial that was closed to media and was sentenced to 13 years in a labor camp but spent most of his sentence in Mordovia.

Mr. Skripal was released from prison in July 2010 as part of a major spy swap — he was one of four spies released by Russia for 10 Russian agents imprisoned in the UK.  Mr. Skripal was then reunited with his wife.  They decided to make their home in Salisbury.  In 2011, Liudmila was diagnosed with cancer and she died on Oct. 23, 2012.  In July 2017, son Sasha died at age 43 in St. Petersburg while on a holiday with his girlfriend.  Sasha’s death was somewhat suspicious.  It was said that he died of sudden liver failure.

Ms. Skripal was a top student at school and attended Russian State University for the Humanities, where she studied geography.  After graduation from the university, she went to work at Nike’s Moscow branch, leaving in 2010.  After her father was released from prison she lived in England and worked at the Holiday Inn in Southampton.  She is fluent in English, Spanish and Russian.  She returned to Moscow in 2014 but would regularly visit her father in England.  Ms. Skripal arrived in London on March 3, 2018 on a flight from Moscow.

UPDATE: Sergei Skripal was discharged from the hospital in Salisbury, it was announced by the hospital on May 18, 2018.  His daughter, Yulia, was released from the hospital the previous month.  Detectives with London’s Metropolitan Police believe the Skripals first came into contact with a nerve agent at Mr. Skripal’s home.

“I think that if a military-grade poisonous substance was used, as our British colleagues claim, this person would’ve died right there of the spot,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin.  “A military-grade poisonous substance is so powerful that the person dies within seconds or minutes.”

Mr. Putin added: “We repeatedly offered UK authorities our help, and we asked to be given access to the investigation, but there is no response.  Our offer stands.”

Russia has consistently denied allegations that it was behind the poisoning.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed the UK’s findings that the Novichok was used in the attack.  Novichok agents act by inhibiting the enzyme cholinesterase.  It has been engineered to be undetectable by standard detection equipment and to defeat standard chemical protective gear.  Novichok agents may be dispersed as an ultra-fine powder as opposed to a gas or a vapor.  It is reported to be 5-8 times more lethal than VX nerve agent and effects are rapid, usually within 30 seconds to two minutes.