Josef Fritzl

Josef Fritzl of Austria was sentenced to life in a psychiatric prison. Fritzl is the man who kept his daughter imprisoned in a secret basement in his house for 24 years. He repeatedly raped her and fathered seven of her children. One child died after Fritzl refused to allow medical attention. He later threw the baby’s body into a furnace. Fritzl faced charges that included murder (murder by neglect for refusing to allow medical care for the infant), incest, rape, and enslavement.

Fritzl would be eligible for parole in 15 years. However, he is 73 years old, making it quite likely that he will die in prison.

I hope Fritzl’s daughter can see this is as final chapter of this story and somehow put the past behind her and have a happy and productive life. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Weird tangent: I saw the story of Fritzl pleading guilty to the murder charge when I was at a restaurant. I could see the TV screen and read the closed captioning, but couldn’t hear anything. The closed captioning and video were a bit out of sync. I saw an image of Don Imus getting out of a car, and saw closed captioning talking about incest and murder. Say what you will about Don Imus, but he has never (to my knowledge) been accused of incest or murder, so I wasn’t sure what the actual story was. Eventually, the closed captioning got to the Imus story – he has prostate cancer. Why, exactly, can’t the news shows just dump the teleprompter feed into the closed captioning system? You have a script for the show – use it!

AIG Bonuses

On Thursday, the US House of Representative passed a bill that would tax recipients of the AIG bonuses at a rate of 90% The method of using language that was clearly intended to isolate one specific group of individuals, combined with the angry statements from some legislators, makes this bill walk the fine line between proper legislative activity and a bill of attainder (in essence, convicting someone of a crime and penalizing them without benefit of a trial.

Personally, I would like to see these bonuses looked at on a case-by-case basis. I’m really not sure why congress is in such a rush. They could spend a bit more time taking a deeper look at the issue, and if they still felt that this was an appropriate course of action, they could pass this legislation.

World Baseball Classic

Game 5 of pool 2
Japan’s Hisashi Iwakuma and Toshiya Sugiuchi combined on a five hit shutout of Cuba. This knocks Cuba out of the WBC. The semifinalists are now set – US, Venezuela, Korea, and Japan. Evan Longoria will replace Kevin Youkilis on the US team because of an injury.

NCAA Basketball

The biggest story of the day was almost an upset of #2 seed Memphis. Memphis was down to Cal State Northridge late in the second half, but Memphis was able to rally and win. A Memphis loss would have been tragic to my bracket, since I have them as my champion.

In the end, the lowest seed to win in day one of the tournament was #12 seed Western Kentucky, which knocked off #5 seed Illinois. The Hilltoppers led by 10+ points for much of the game, before allowing a rally that let the Illini pull to within two points. Western Kentucky was able to seal the deal, though, and will advance to a second round game against Gonzaga.

An interesting image of the day is Oklahoma star Blake Griffin getting flipped by Morgan State’s Ameer Ali. Ali was immediately ejected from the game. Griffin missed time earlier this year because of a concussion. Griffin scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the game.

NCAA Wrestling

My alma mater, Iowa State, is tied for the lead with archrival Iowa after day one of the NCAA wresting tournament. Unfortunately, Iowa has more wrestlers still alive in the winner’s bracket (6 for Iowa, 5 for ISU) and they are generally higher seeded. Still, we do have some opportunities. David Zabriskie is the top seeded heavyweight, and Jake Varner is seeded #2 at 197. Nick Gallick, #6 seeded at 141, is the second highest seed still remaining at that weight, as four of the top five have lost.

Hopefully Iowa will suffer some losses, the Cyclones will nab some wins, and the ISU guys who lose are able to claw their way back in the consolation bracket. Let’s get a title for coach Cael Sanderson!

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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