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"Bernie's Tune": A Playlist for the Late Great Tony Curtis

Time. The great teacher who ultimately kills her students. RIP Tony Curtis.
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Washington Gets Tough on China, but Plays Patsy With OPEC

Didn't know the US can pass legislation to compel (make) another nation revalue its currency. What if China were to refuse? What then?

That aside, seems it's an economic battle between cheap imports and subsequent dumping in the American markets and oil, the lifeblood of macro economies. I understand OPEC's strategy of holding world nations by their economic balls, but the US? Doesn't the USA have some of the world's largest oil reserves or is she saving them for herself and future inward-looking closed economic activity?

Politics and economics. The US is more or less a debtor economy, owing unimaginable amounts to liquid China and Arab states, many of whom are buying heavily into the country, corporations, real estate, even sports teams.

Like all things, the US might just be undergoing the kind of decline civilizations have, as called by the historian and writer, Edward Gibbons. Interesting.
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You Would Think That Californians Had Learned Their Lesson by Now

No need for sarcasm mate because you've totally missed my point. What I meant is certain jobs, like the governorship, can benefit from an infusion of freshness. It would be ridiculous to equate administration with surgery or engineering. Many political solutions have failed, why not try out something new. It was only meant in that context.
About California Governor Race
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Liverpool Vs Sunderland AFC, 20100925

Following last season's controversial game at the Stadium of Light, in which Darren Bent scored from a deflection, would the lightning of controversy strike twice?

The game itself started at breakneck speed, with Torres controlling Gerrard's cross (from a free kick) on his chest and scoring in the second minute, only to be called for offside. The Spanish international would minutes later set up Dirk Kuyt for his first goal back from injury. Michael Turner touched the ball back to his keeper, Simon Mignolet, only for Torres to rush and pass to Kuyt for the Dutch international's game opener.

From a numbers point of view, the hosts out shot the hosts by three more shots, with two more on target than Steve Bruce's team, with a tie on corner kicks and same number of offsides, one. The crosses were 28 for the Reds to 23 for the visitors. Liverpool dominated possession, 54% to 46%, but Mignolet was the busier keeper, making three saves to Reina's one.

It seems there wasn't much to separate the two, right? Sunderland actually had the better overall play, with their passing mesmerizing most of the time, their movement proving a handful for LFC and all the while making it hard to know who the hosts were.

Roy Hodgson's team lined up in this 4-4-2: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky (Agger), Poulsen (Ngog), Meireles, Kuyt, Cole, Gerrard and Torres.


1. Glimpses of quality from Liverpool, at the beginning before Sunderland's equalizer from Bent's penalty, and towards the end from the time Gerrard made it two all.
2. This was Skrtel's best game in quite a while. He even dribbled past several Sunderland players only to produce a defender's shot - awful, actually - at the end!
3. Ngog's introduction livened us up, yet again.
4. While noting Poulsen's inability to seal up our midfield area, I also saw him drop deep to add an extra number to our back four. 
5. Meireles has deceptive movement and is far more forward thinking than Alonso of old. He has the potential to be a very useful link between our midfield and forward line.
6. There was notable improvement deep in the second half when Poulsen left and Ngog came in for him, and Agger for the injured Konchesky. The ball moved forward more and Agger could have twice won us the game with late headers.


1. Little or no attacking of the ball.
2. Seemingly zero desire to win second balls.
3. A porous midfield that kept allowing Sunderland to move at will. Our midfield's lack of bite was reminiscent of the first half of Istanbul 2005 and second half of Athens 2007!
4. Poulsen's notable lack of speed in closing down the opposition. I still note that both Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher have never been speedsters but compensate with a good sense of positioning. The game seemed to pass our new number 28.
5. As seen in point four of the Pros, Poulsen's dropping deep made the team lose shape and invite Sunderland attacks, often putting us in danger.
6. Which is Gerrard's favored position? Central midfield or in the hole behind our number nine? I would suggest pairing him in CM with Meireles and Cole, leaving Kuyt/Maxi/Pacheco/Jova on the flanks, and Torres/Ngog/Kuyt/Babel as our centre forwards.
7. Where is Lucas and Babel? Why too is Agger not a regular starter? These players will not improve by not being played. A bit obvious but true as they can prove game changers.
8. No bodies in the opposition box when we break. The team often played deep, as seen in previous games, leaving little threat to the Sunderland defense.
9. We seem set up to play deep, with our defense both static and ball watching at times. There was lots of backtracking instead of holding ground and hitting on the counterattack more. This resulted in being punished by Bent for his second goal of the game.
10. The jury's out on service to Torres. He did create the goals of the game, with his persistence winning Gerrard the excellent cross (with a hint of luck) from the right, from which the captain scored.
11. Did we need Babel's pace, especially in the second half? I thought Bruce used his striking options well, playing Beckford whose pace obviously troubled us, and introducing Gyan when Liverpool were tiring. Babel might have proved a useful substitution.
12. I also thought we needed Lucas's tactical knowledge and midfield solidity more than Poulsen. We would have had a more dynamic midfield going forward and better cover for our back four.
Points of controversy

Did Steve Bruce have a case for Kuyt's first goal? The referee, Stuart Attwell, indicated that Sunderland needed to retake their free kick from a position a bit behind where they meant to, at which point Michael Turner seemed to kick the ball behind.

However, Torres did take a look at the ref following Turner's action, to which he didn't receive a negative, and so kept going. Attwell's decision was supported by the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) and Graham Poll.

It might remain a talking point for years to come, just like the aforementioned beach ball from whose deflection Bent scored last time round at the Stadium of Light. There could also be a case that Torres was marginally offside for his goal, which would have been the Reds opener.

Random observation

I would call this game a nerve-wracking but entertaining watch. Unfortunately, Sunderland provided much of the entertainment value, with Bent's scoring from a pinpoint Onuoha

Overall I thought a draw was fair. A loss would have been harsh on either team. There could also be a case for someone who thought Captain Fantastic, Steven Gerrard, could have just reignited Liverpool's season.

John Steinbeck, Michael Moore, and the Burgeoning Role of Planetary Patriotism

Passionately return. Your father would have loved reading Margaret Dickinson's book, "When Bullets Begin to Flower," poems of resistance from war torn nations such as Angola and Mozambique. The said poetry has been done by ex-warriors, those who've taken part in armed conflict only to realize the uselessness of such.

The American Civil War general, William Tecumseh Sherman is renown for this quote, ""There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell." An apt summation of the whole philosophy and point of war, which is pointlessness, utter destruction and needless loss of lives.

Standing up for one's convictions is among the greatest battles all of us have to fight, an epic battle as big as that in Tolkien's anthology. The true value of history is to avoid similar pitfalls to those our predecessors underwent. Otherwise we are forever doomed to repeat the same, like Sisyphus's punishment from the gods, as Carlos Santayana captured it.

If Michael Moore indeed qualifies to receive this award, he merely adds his name to the pantheon of lonely martyrs scattered throughout history, the kind of prophets Jesus the Christ said are feted once gone but highly unappreciated, even by their own, during their principles-driven lifetimes.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

You Would Think That Californians Had Learned Their Lesson by Now

One thing all residents must ask themselves is if politicians or political types make the best leaders. Schwarznegger and company, though not experts in that particular field, can help the states they govern by bringing a fresh approach to politics. The flipside is that they might be overwhelmed by the whole novelty, with their inexperience leading to personal and political meltdown.

We need more experts, technocrats if you may, supported by teams of experts who are directly accountable to the electorate. The expertise required might be diverse, with MBAs mixing with project managers, healthcare and social workers and mainly socially-oriented expertise.

These people should be community mobilizers, directly based on the ground to explore quick solutions and also channel feedback quickly to the state administration. Bypassing bureaucratic red tape is critical to the success of state government. Without listening to the people, how will one be able to handle such a big office?

I still don't think any one type of a person is automatically capable of proving successful in a venture such as governorship. The sum of such disparate expertise might be just what the doctor ordered to deal with the complex (and often unique) challenges of local communities.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Report: Weak Laws Turn a Handful of States Into Shopping Malls for Gun Traffickers

Just because we have guns does not give us the right to shoot willy nilly. A very unfortunate collection of statistics on mortality.

How about states putting down their individuality and meeting to harmonize laws regarding gun ownership and punishments. Instead of relying on the individualism model where each state acts independently of the other, why not agree on common guidelines such as sharing information across states.

If the bastion of democracy is also the most surveilled state in the world, how about extending the same to issues of gangs and gun ownership? I know it sounds easy in theory, but if a chunk of what is spent on external defense could be diverted inwards, plus the expertise of veterans deployed, it can be done.

A system of local operatives, using deep covers, can also be used to keep tabs on gun-selling outlets and their activities, which they would in turn report to the FBI, ATF and any other related agency. These are just ideas but I believe there are even better ones at local level. Maybe the best and easiest solution might also be the most obvious. Ask the locals, those in the front line of affliction by rogue guns. Their advise and sentiments might surprise everyone.
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The Big Bad Wolf Makes Good: The Yellowstone Success Story and Those Who Want to Kill It

The human animal is unfortunately seemingly cursed with inability to see what is to come, always to his detriment. It is easy to focus on the wolf as a predator, a killer of livestock, instead of first understanding it is we humans who've encroached on the wolf's habitat. A look at history all round the world shows new arrivals to an area often dominating the natives and eventually exterminating them altogether.

Nature is a balanced system, capable of providing checks and balances. A predator here, sadistic as they may seem, takes care of something else there. Killing snakes in an area often correlates with a rise in rodent population, yet many of us would kill a snake first.

Is more education necessary? It never does any harm as seen in community wildlife management as can be seen in East Africa where the local wildlife authorities involve the communities in nature conservation, and even give them an opportunity to earn from local tourism. This can be explored.

Creation of wildlife corridors, away from local communities, aided by erection of electric fences might also help. The local wildlife authorities can also set up camps in areas of wolf notoriety, such as near ranches. Above all, and for the sake of posterity, why not proactively educate the local communities on implications of exterminating wildlife, however distasteful such animals seem to them.
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Wall Street Noir: Moody's "Double Agent" Ratings

What is the chief problem in addressing corruption? Involvement of professionals, without which such acts as frauds cannot occur; and goodwill from the government that should be vigilant over such malpractices.

The financial mess in the US shows that the ruling administration and culprits (Lehmann Brothers, Merill-Lynch and Moody's) are bedmates and worryingly cozy together. How did Moody's get away with this kind of behavior. They had friends in high places, professionals employed to watch over just such behavior.

To borrow from a song by Good Charlotte, "Lifestyles of the rich and famous," is Moody's about to get away with this because they can hire a "Johnnie Cochran" or is it because of blackmailing the government with its own debt?

Put the citizenry first and punish such rogues, just like the law caught up with the Bernie Mardoff's. Slaps on the wrist cannot help fight such vice. People's investments and life's savings went down the drain due to this kind of immoral incompetence. Moody's must become the example that warns those of like mind that law is not something to be trifled with.
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Ending the Backlog

I shudder to think it can take 13 years to convict a rapist. How many more did that person defile by the time they were convicted? How many would a murderer have killed if similar logic is applied? It is also demoralizing to see New York City altering its law to reduce bureaucracy yet others cannot borrow or make similar initiatives.

The person is raped here, mentally traumatized, and is released back to the community they hail from. All this time their mind is unsettled and mental state unstable, full of fears of recurrence and generally unable to bond properly with their loved ones. Meanwhile the perpetrator walks.

What is the law's core business and priority? Is it not to dispense justice and side with the citizenry always? It's a sad fact that law is not half as innovative as crime and criminals. Part of the problem is reactivity versus being proactive. Intelligence collection should be boosted to try and keep ahead of crime, as opposed to law enforcement waiting to be fed by complainants.

Even in an era of budget cuts, law enforcement should actively invest in the communities they operate from, with emphasis on education (e.g. on personal security), and initiatives such as discreet lines (hotlines) for anonymous reporting. All suspicious characters in communities must have Police visitations to find out who they are and databases to log their details. That might prove the start law needs to stay ahead of these kind of challenges.
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<em>Macrowikinomics</em>: The Choice Between Atrophy or Renaissance

Some scary statements here: "...government guarantees that exceed the cost of every war the U.S. has ever fought, American taxpayers are understandably still furious...with Congress contemplating a budget that by 2020 would nearly double America's national debt, to $22 trillion -- twice the size of the U.S. Economy..."

Contrast the above with Thomas Browne's assertion that government is too big and important to be left to politicians. How true.

The best initiatives come from the local community, the people themselves. It's the only way they feel part of the process and have ownership of what affects them. Initiatives like Kenya's Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and M-Pesa have revolutionized the society. The latter has decentralized government funding and made resources available to locals in their respective constituencies. The latter on the other hand has changed traditional banking and made it mobile and very accessible.

There is no justification for politicians continuing to operate from "official" residences and offices, with air-conditioning among other facilities, while distancing themselves from the people they serve. How else would a politician ever know what Joe Public goes through? Power to the people.
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Don't Pray for Christopher Hitchens

Touche. Like love and all that's good in this life, it's a conscious decision regardless; no strings attached. Mature.
About Judaism
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New Rule: Rich People Who Complain About Being Vilified Should Be Vilified

Good Charlotte captured it well in their song, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," about the incessant whining of the privileged members of society. This is no doubt the focal point of this piece of writing.

To borrow from the Judeo-Christian worldview, since the fall of man at Eden, he's been plagued by insecurity from birth. Darwin attempted to explain the same in his "Natural Selection" theory but even that doesn't do justice to the avarice the human soul is capable of.

You might well justifiably ask what the problem such people as Ben Stein have. Aren't they beneficiaries of other people's money and expenditure - buying tickets, merchandise and just supporting their causes? Doesn't Wall Street also fall here, considering they are merely trustees of other people's wealth? Why wouldn't such people be in the frontline of understanding the dynamics of societal gaps, which include wealth?

I don't know Stein personally and hadn't even heard of him before this article. I'm therefore unqualified to judge his person, but his words here are different.

Insecurity, immaturity, a poverty complex, fear of the unknown, etc. Such fears must be confronted, much like bigotry. They must have their bluff called, shown for the hot air they really are. The founding fathers of this great nation borrowed from philosophers such as Voltaire, who espoused liberty, equality and freedom as fundamental rights of all.

It would pay for people like Stein to remember that they are indeed special, just like everyone else.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

ABC <em>World News</em> Goes Home: Looking for What Works in America

This to me is more of what our information channels should be highly focused on. Without the people, we can have no society, government or recipients of taxation. In the 1980s, Kenya and quite a number of Less Developed Countries (LDCs) had a news model called developmental journalism. It focused more on what was going on locally in the nation while attempting to tie it with internationalism.

The danger was it ended up used as a propaganda tool by the ruling regime, mostly in one-party states, breeding a new derogatory term, sunshine journalism. There is no way the media must ever carry out propaganda on behalf of any member of a society. That is betraying the tenets of a noble field. There's also no way the media must overlook injustice even when it means outsiders get to know. The media must always do its work which includes initiatives such as these by the ABC.

My admonition to them is to keep up the fight and not relent. The people's lives and voice critically depends on initiatives such as these.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The Super Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Gets Poorer, and the Democrats Punt

Maybe it's only me, but there's no way I'd feel comfortable living amidst poverty, eating while hungry people look at me, driving a fuel guzzler while thousands have no idea where their next ride will come from.

My own country Kenya is a prime example of such disparity. In our last election, disputed and full of controversy, the poor gained a voice for a first time and hit back by widespread looting, pillaging and related vices. No justification from me, but an acknowledgement of a fact.

Isn't Wall Street in the list of those whose wealth multiplied? Are these not the killers of people's dreams and gamblers of people's sweat? These are real bad times when governments cannot service social institutions such as schools, and when the "objective" media, focuses on deriding donations such as Mark Zuckerberg's. Where are our priorities? What is most important to us as societies? Is it perpertuation of elites and their elitism?

Isn't it time to echo the spirit of the biblical book, Revelation, and to return to our first love?
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A Statesman and a Demagogue Address the UN

Wonder if this is a variation of the biblical theme of the lion lying with the lamb. As an outsider, I'm in a position to realize one massive difference between Western democracy and that found in countries like Iran. Iran and related nations often feature continuity in leadership, while the Occidental model goes for constant change. Change refreshes and brings in fresh ideas.

Ahmedinajad has justification for whatever he says, as does everyone who holds some opinion. However, he does sound like a broken record when uttering such slogans as he does, a drawback to the activism of the Cold War era. He's a relic, a dinosaur, out of touch with opinion, learning, history and the feelings of people including his own.

Isn't this a man who denied, in New York, that gay people are non-existent in Iran? The less such demagoguery receives media attention the better for this world. The news agencies should black out such people as Professor Ahmedinajad and focus on social causes more.

And by the way, the Iranian president is continual proof that education is no substitute for wisdom.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Troubled Times: When Mark Zuckerberg's Inspiring, Courageous Generosity Is Not Good Enough

A number of ironies. The media would rather jump at personal initiatives as Zuckerberg's than concentrate on implications of such? Why is the media beating up such philanthropy, instead of making such stories the focal point of their daily coverage?

Not at one moment am I saying Zuckerberg's totally altruistic. There's much more mileage to be made out of such a donation than loss. All I'm saying is it's just ironic that more emphasis should be given to socially-oriented causes, than to political shenanigans and coverage of the war process.

One last irony, the US would rather spend tonnes of dollars on war - ammo and development, than invest in the school system and pro-people causes. If that's not the ultimate definition of irony, I fail to figure out what is.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Of Spiders and LFC

The story of King Bruce of Scotland is one of the better-known tales about persistence.

Robert Bruce once faced a formidable enemy in war, the King of England.

Six times had Bruce led his brave little army against his foe only to lose six times! At last his army was scattered, and he was forced to hide himself in the woods and in 
lonely places among the mountains. 

One rainy day, as he lay under a rude shed listening to the patter of drops on the roof above him, Bruce reflected on how 
tired and sick at heart he was, and ready to give up all hope. It seemed 
to him that there was no use for him to try to do anything more.

As he laid thinking, he saw a spider over his head, making 
ready to weave her web. He watched her as she toiled slowly 
and with great care. Six times she tried to throw her frail thread 
from one beam to another, and six times it fell short. 

"Poor thing!" said Bruce: "you, too, know what it is to fail." 
But the spider did not lose hope with the sixth failure. With 
still more care, she made ready to try for the seventh time. Bruce 
almost forgot his own troubles as he watched her swing herself 
out upon the slender line. Would she fail again? No! The thread 
was carried safely to the beam, and fastened there. "I, too, will try a seventh time!" cried Bruce. He arose, called his men together, told them of his plans, and sent them out with messages of cheer to his disheartened people. Another battle was fought, with victory this time round against the King of England.

Fast Forward
Looking at our labored performances, from Birmingham City to our Carling Cup exit at the hands of Northampton, and the subsequent frenzy of condemnation that ensued, it makes me want to borrow lessons from the oft-quoted tale above. 

The club's present plight, the financial turmoil notwithstanding, makes it clear we are a long way from the exalted position we have come to take for granted. No one needs to point this out to any Kopite.

In all honesty, it is always darkest before dawn, but it does not mean the sun will not shine. In the present cloudiness, we find ourselves blaming (rightly or wrongly) various parties, from our owners, to the coach, to the playing personnel, ad infinitum, but this only makes us feel worse afterwards.

Others among us ask when the rain started beating us. Is it under Souness or did Rafael Benitez make it worse? All this aside, it is good to try and learn from history.

This legendary club began as Everton, plying their trade at Anfield. A dispute forced a walkout, leaving Anfield’s owner, John Houlding, with only a ground. That legendary ground, Anfield, is where John McKenna’s “team of Macs” began creating the history we are discussing 118 years later! Lost in that story is serious heartbreak, relegations, mediocrity, all overshadowed by glory that the Reds have enjoyed and continue to savor.

It was Mexican poet, Carlos Santayana, who aptly noted that those who never learn from history are forever doomed to repeat it. This is much like the eternal torment enjoyed by Sisyphus, punished by the gods to roll a huge stone up a hill for eternity.

We’ve been here before, and no wonder we experience déjà vu. To borrow from recent history, many forget that before Rafa the Red ever stepped at Anfield, the club was where it is today. We were regular UEFA Cup participants, indeed one of the stronger sides in that tourney and record winners too (tied with Inter and fellow fallen giants, Juventus, among others). Under the maligned Benitez, regular top four finishes and champions league participation became things we took for granted.

We have been here before. We might not have experienced the current financial turmoil, but we have gone through one hell after another. This is the club that has two eternal flames represented in its crest, Heysel and Hillsborough. This is a club of remembrance; we never forget, a fact that our owners have come to learn painfully.

Regardless of the shit storm we find ourselves in, we still walk with our heads high, through the storm and any other thing this life throws at us. To quote legendary author, Stephen King, “when you go through hell, you come out baked by the fire.”

Don’t be disturbed dear friend when rivals laugh at us. Don’t lose sleep when the prospect of exceeding 20 years without number 19 is forever dangled in our faces. Arm yourself with history lessons instead, that Chelsea went over 50 years before lifting the league. The current benchmark is Manchester United, who underwent their own 26-year drought before finding themselves where they currently are. Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson, chief taunter of Liverpool FC had a very barren six years of mid-table mediocrity, so much so that fickle-hearted Old Trafford fans constantly bayed for his head!

Together we can pull through. The total sum of us is greater than any one of us. It should form one of the chief reasons why we need to rally behind initiatives such as SOS and keep the owners and their cohorts on toes.

Just like I began, a story is told about the legendary Arabian author, Luqman, who earned his freedom from slavery by accepting to eat a very bitter melon from his master. The master shocked at Luqman’s consumption of the nauseating fruit inquired why he agreed. Luqman reminded his master that he had previously been willing to partake good things from him, why would he not take the bad too? The answer so impressed the master that freedom was immediately granted. You can read the account for yourself at

Are you a true fan, willing to take in our current repulsive melon together with all our glory and heritage? They're just sides of the same coin. To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, greatness is that point one learns to treat both success and failure as impostors. The former cheats you that you've made it, the latter tells you you've lost it. Neither is entirely right.

If the answer to the above paragraph's question is yes, then stand with this legendary institution, for yourself, your children and all true lovers of the beautiful game.

Regardless of where we stand, we are still The Reds, and NO ONE ELSE EVER WILL BE. This might be why Fergie can never stop talking about us and a certain departed coach, all the while pretending he doesn't really give a damn.

You Will Truly Never Ever Walk Alone, Ever!

Related story:


Liverpool Vs Birmingham City, 20100912

Last season saw Lady Luck totally ditch the Reds. This season she seems to have reappeared, albeit quietly, and seems to have started smiling at us again.

Looking at stats, 18 shots by the visitors (three on target) versus 17 (2) for the hosts. This compares to eight fouls for Birmingam to nine for LFC, four corner kicks for the hosts to three for L'pool, 44% possession for the hosts. Not much to divide the two sides, right? Birmingham's overall possession was better quality but finishing poor. Liverpool's quality shone in flashes but there was little to no creativity going forward.

Roy's team lined up as follows:


Johnson  Carragher  Skrtel  Konchesky (Agger)

Poulsen      Lucas (Meireles)

Maxi                                                  Jovanovic



The Pros

  1. Once more, Reina is priceless, awesome, superb, magnifique..........(add any accolades as you wish) and I have no idea what we'd have done without the legend that's Pepe.
  2. [Directly related to point one] Super saves by Reina - 22nd and 36th minute were my pick of the day.
  3. Another clean sheet.
  4. Jovanovic's industry and work rate. Pure commitment, never-say-die, positive attitude throughout.
  5. We continue to defend set pieces admirably.
  6. The new boys, Konchesky and Meireles, will both fit well in this team. Raul almost had a dream debut goal but unfortunately blazed it over. Konchesky had a sublime pass to Jova in the 52nd, which, unfortunately, produced nought.
  7. An improved second half performance - is Rodge a second half miracle worker?
  8. Livelier second half especially after introduction of Raul Meireles and Agger in the 77th.
The Cons

  1. Is our defense slow or what? We play a high defensive line but unfortunately don't have speed at the back. 
  2. We really need to think of gradually replacing Carra. Granted like Hyypia he was never renown for pace, his legs are noticeably gone now.
  3. GJ's defensive positioning was awful throughout the game.
  4. Lack of communication at the back.
  5. Where was our defense in the 56th when the Blues had a free header that fortunately blazed over Reina's goal?
  6. Cynical fouling which continually put us in trouble. A better team at set pieces could have killed us.
  7. Wayward passing.
  8. Playing too deep.
  9. What has Torres been doing on the flanks instead of playing as a classic nine?
  10. No service whatsoever to Torres upfront.
  11. Playing through the middle, to Birmingham's advantage, and non-existent use of flanks.
  12. No keeping of possession nor seeking to win the second ball.
  13. Maxi was disappointing on the day and invisible. His only rival for the Nervous Cup was the coach himself.
  14. We were very predictable upfront. No guile at all.
  15. Might there have been a case for either introducing or playing Pacheco-Babel sometime in the game for pace and cunning upfront?
A mention for Alex McLeish's team. They conceded less goals last season than the champions Chelsea and are currently unbeaten at St. Andrews over one year. They were fully committed, a fortress, made good use of flanks, were real hungry for the ball and difficult to play against. They have fantastic team spirit and good organization. For a second week in a row I have enjoyed watching our opponents much more than I have my own team.

The Reds escaped with a point thanks to wayward finishing by their hosts. In truth, the scoreline didn't reflect the game and it fully flattered us.

Random Note:

If ever a case was put forward for change of owners, one needs look at how much progress Birmingham City have made since their own ownership change. Alex McLeish has made some sensible recruitments all over the pitch, the likes of Zigic who made a cameo, and created a solid team in tune with its fans. 

Their more illustrious neighbors, Villa, seem to have regressed quite a bit in recent seasons. There is no escapism here as our own plight, coupled with that of Manchester United puts us in a perilous cycle. The coach cannot spend without selling, distracting him from core duties; can never get the players he wants; new injuries are a nightmare; and all club gains end up going to servicing the debt! This firmly puts a proud club like Liverpool between Scylla and Charybdis, a no win situation any way one wants to look at it.

There's no excuse whatsoever for the continued stay of Gillette and Hicks at Anfield.