jdmckay0 commented on the blog post Using New Emergency Financial Manager Law, They Start Dissolving Governments in Michigan
This is hugely disappointing, le’me tell ‘ya.
I don’t think he’s wrong about what he believes he saw.
Ahhh, think I see it coming…
I think he’s wrong about his cognitive claim.
I was right (cognitive skills at work)… you think I’m nuts. :)
jdmckay0 commented on the blog post Using New Emergency Financial Manager Law, They Start Dissolving Governments in Michigan
Sounds like I touched a nerve. I can only guess what that’s about.
I didn’t say your experience was “invalid”: you’re the linguist, dbl check what I said. I didn’t say it.
I stand firmly by everything I said: timeline is most certainly accurate. Wages p/given yr, legal/regulatory infrastructure… whole ball of wax.
Yves has most certainly… certainly, misinformed her readership wrt China: expresses a lot of bias as “expert” fact, and defiant in doing so. It’s also damn common this side of left pond.
Anyway, I think I get the picture here. No point in pounding sand.
Best wishes to you.
jdmckay0 commented on the blog post Using New Emergency Financial Manager Law, They Start Dissolving Governments in Michigan
Anyway, because I needed some engine work anyway on the ’79, I went ahead and spent almost $2000 for the job. Unfortunately, I also had a 3 speed auto tranny
Ahhh… those things were terrible. Borg Werner. Really, piece of s**t. Generally, they wouldn’t take a rebuild either.
We don’t use ‘em. Most c900 enthusiasts would tell you the same.
Just get an oil leak in one of those 900′s manufactured before 1985 and see what you have to pay just to replace the gasket!
Oil leak where, w/how many miles?
A few ’85(s) and all the others through ’94 (vert only) had DOHC (16 valve, 4 cyl). Previous, to (I think) ’79 (maybe ’81… we don’t do those) shared exact same motor… exact, only difference being 8 valve head.
Those motors were amongst (or maybe the) most dependable automobile motor ever built. Routinely ran min. 400k miles w/no work whatsoever. Documented list in US of over (from memory) 800 of ‘em w/1m + miles… again, w/no engine work.
I like the car anyway.
I’m on my third, and it’s a “late” model. 1995!
’95 is a whole different car… called it 900 SE. Still good, but not like c900.
‘tee hee hee… I take it you weren’t familiar w/SAAB and/or c900?
Pretty interesting history. Among other things, they were 1st to deliver production turbos, and they were dependable. They also pioneered computerized engine management… developed their own company to maturity in this endeavor, then spun it off.
c900 one of best driving, most dependable, safest, aerodynamic cars ever made. People who had ‘em… hate(d) to give ‘em up. We have 2 year waiting list, just from word of mouth.
WRT GM’s investment: GM has has successes and failures in partnerships w/other car companies. Daewoo, (and lately) Opel… good.
SAAB… really, really bad. Ruined ‘em. In ’09, SAAB was most undependable production car on the planet.
As far as sale of design rights and such to BAIC , yes… I’m aware, very aware. Damn astute buy IMO: a resurrection, or update would be welcomed by many, I can tell you. BAIC had to buy the 9-5/3 as throw in to get 900.
But I will say this: your timeline is badly off.
You forget I was doing business in China in 2004-6.
I never knew that.
And all the things you say are very recent were completely mature by the time I was there (note, one of the times I was there I was traveling with a guy deeply involved in supply chain, so I’m not w/o second hand knowledge of how big US corporations see the supply chain).
Again, you’d have to be more specific. You talking about environmental regs? Min wages, localized data/statistical gathering, or… ???
I certainly don’t accept the timeline is “way off”, it’s not.
I suspect your context is too small… eg: your GM related experience defining the whole.
And while GM in particular is happy that they are profitable in China, both companies routinely talk about the tech they’ve gotten stolen and the unfair terms on which they trade.
Well, what goes around comes around, and it’s certainly coming around hard on our shores these days. “Unfair terms on which they trade”… hmmm.
I guess we don’t agree on validity of that claim.
I explained much of why @ 199. Sure seems to me one has to ignore an awful lot to sympathize w/that POV… mainly, entire Chinese experience in this relationship, through it’s many permutations.
wisely or not, i trust it because it is consistent with my observatiom of hispanic worker; it sounds like it was written by someone who actually knows chinese workers.
I’ve been there a lot last dozen years, for all kinds of reasons. Me & small group have some material manufacturing agreements there… very satisfied w/it.
I do have personal experience.
Don’t know it all… not by a long shot. But I know plenty enough to positively know when head in the sand US bias is clouding a perception of reality.
WRT to China, that is most certainly the case.
The Chinese government actively monitored individual companies, workers and managers. It tapped communications and spied on negotiations. It solicited bribes and played hardball that would shame the Yankees.
What bribes? Do you have links?
And just what do you think happened w/current chorus of Tea Party Republican congress critters, all singing from the same hymnal (abolish EPA, destroy unions, deny climate change, etc etc etc). You think all thes ass holes sat in labs and came to well reasoned, harmonious mass agreement on all this Tameny Hall juvenile thuggery lawmaking?
I mean, really…
It appropriated technology outright and indirectly through its laws, the actions of partners foreigners were obliged to join with, and through the negligence or too happy assumptions of those foreigners.
Oh, cry me a river…
GM, Ford, IBM… they’re all pretty damn happy w/current arrangements in China. Look at GM’s profits there.
These whole narrative, AFAIC, is a sad commentary, promulgated widely on our shores, that contributes to not only our lack of progress, but what seems like a slide backwards.
How to explain? On macro (global), historical, micro eg. individual traditional corp. structures… proprietary knowledge, profit structures, disbursement of profits (“maximizing shareholder value”)… no matter how you cut the cake, things have changed… dramatically. And on any of these levels, the US is chasing it’s tail in almost every regard.
Let’s start w/brief historical perspective. In ME, w/oil producing countries, US/Britain oil companies sang a similar refrain through the exploration/development years. Britain took between 90-98% of profit from Persian oil though first 1/2 of last century. As representative stat, (from memory) around ’45 BP paid more in taxes to the “throne” then was returned to Iran. Mossadeq came in, threw out the British who were more or less shamed into withdrawing in manner similar to their expulsion from India… and what did we do?
We stepped in to fill the void. We made a pact w/the Shah, enrichened him while taking lions share of profits through a couple of our multi-national petro behemoths… somewhere around 70% until Shah’s exile. CIA assisted Shah in imprisoning and torturing political dissent. We’ll forget the cascading affects of this that led to Khomeni, which led to beginning of anti-US “Islamic radicalism”, which led to inserting Sadam as counter weight to Khomeni, which led to 10 yr. war to “further our interests”, which then led to Bush I’s Kuwait adventure (all lies), then 9/11, then more Sadam wars (he’s got’a go)…
yet never, not a single time through all this, was the US able to have a thoughtful moment wrt: hmmmm… what is the real return on investment of policies which prop up one petty dictator for temporal advantage of a physical asset (oil in this case), then shift to another as “our interests” change a bit, then another, then depose one of the prior…
Nope. None of that.
Saudi Arabia, Iran… all the biggies, they all were in a similar exploited position which your description bypasses currently in China. And they rebelled, they threatened nationalization of production, and the oil mega-behemoths settled for about the same deal China has set: 50%.
South America, same story, different US “interests”. Wall St. was “shocked” when Lula was elected. Decades of IMF backroom control of Brazilian politics, similarly “taking” lions share of value while enriching their chosen (literally) elected officials… Brazil had enough.
When Lula was elected, I read everywhere… all the conservative financial rags (WSJ, Economist, Barrons…) how this was to seal Brazil’s fate, the corrosive non-capitalistic (socialism) “re-distribution of wealth” that would impoverish them. Well, that didn’t happen.
Argentina meltdown… same thing: IMF negotiated deals guaranteeing international corp. investment’s returns, on backs of their citizens (taxpayers), in a manner very similar to current Ireland/Iceland fiasco whereby banker (finance) malfeasance is bailed out by those citizens who were victimized (literally) by the crooks.
Similar things happened in Bolivia these last few years… oil, gas & water all in one. They said, basically, “fuck you” and through out latest incarnation of multi-national sponsored Shah.
So. America has now it’s own economic union, shed IMF dictates and plowed it’s own course, and bascially… they don’t trust the US. The extent of this sentiment, based on real time experience over decades, is quite well justified AFAIC. Most of So. America is going the right way economically, socially, infrastructure… all of it.
The Soviet Union, after Perestroika and “bloodless coup”… an event unforeseen and near miraculous. Given massive cold war expenditures to play the good/bad cop exercise, a payoff in seeing the wreckage of this dismantled Soviet apparatus succeed… huge. They had no infrastructure, they couldn’t get goods to major distribution centers. They had, at best, undependable communications (phones that only sometimes worked in Moscow/St. Petersburg, but largely not available to connect intelligent rural farmers etc. w/needed cooperative distributors etc.)
So, what did we do? Well, Reagan unleashed his capitalist angels, who more or less did what those guys always do: built crap brick/mortar store fronts to extract as much biz for this “opportunity” as possible… manifesting in essentially MacDonalds and Jack in The Box on every corner of Moscow/St. Petersberg (not that much of a stretch.). For a pittance compared to what it cost to run the cold war, we had a willing partner (Gorby) who really didn’t understand how to build a free economy, just begging for guidance…
and we gave ‘em MacDonalds, Jack ‘n The Box & Taco Bell.
And for those of you who don’t know it on US shores, we lost the Russians… completely. They are polite about it, and they don’t waste a lot of energy deploring the US as we’re currently doing w/China, but after Reagan’s experiment… their people as a whole, just like So. America and a bunch of others, don’t trust us. They don’t believe in US style capitalism ’cause they’ve seen it’s manifestation up close.
They too have gone their own way.
So, again… there is vast historical context by which anyone taking objective, non-passionate inventory/assessment of things, can sit up and realize… “hmmm, I think I see a pattern here.”
Your comment also ignores the process I described in China: eg. from exploitation >> ownership.
It also ignores the multiple metamorphic reorganizations/redirection of things legal, economic, educational/technical there during this time, while we’ve remained exactly, precisely the same. Rather, you only describe, somewhat inaccurately, an end of the process snapshot which entirely ignores all the moving parts, influences, and carefully thought out (I’ll call them) corrections, as China has implemented them, to respond to what is clearly in evidence, as a means to protect “their interest.” :)
Problem w/this static, old and rusty US capitalistic model: it only considers corp. interests, mis-described now as “US interests”, while more or less demonizing Chinese interests.
I’d also point out, to all the “experts” decrying injustice of China’s currency peg: this peg was instituted, as part of the mega-national’s wish list, through 90′s and into early post milleniun, as a means to increase their balance sheet. All the offshored, WS listed cheap shitty manufacturing dumps built in China… those guys wanted this peg.
So China, enduring that period of exploitation and saving and (etc etc etc) is left w/a manufacturing infrastructure, more or less inherited, and when they gradually begin to take some ownership of it, the west cries fowl, decrying the injustices of “the peg.”
One other thing (actually many of ‘em, but…): China is reinvesting 12%+ GDP for some years now. US, less then 3%. China has put huge volumes of knowledge, which west/WS still likes to proprietize, in the public domain. The value of having this stuff available to inter-related development in all kinds of tech… it’s a big part of what fuels their rapid advancement.
So for last 11 years or so, we’ve cut education drastically. China’s expanded it… drastically. We have ignored needs… infrastructure and whole bunch of other things, China has addressed them. We elected Bush twice, 2nd time in full view of US’ coming impoverishment based on his (their) policies, all the ME waste, financing those wars w/Chinese purchased Treasuries while building economy on very predictable housing bubble…
I just don’t know about all this China bashing. They’re doing what we used to do. They are addressing problems… in big way, we’re electing Tea Party ass holes. Their plowing major new technologies, on their own, big part of it cleaning up their environment and developing cleaner/more efficient energy. We’re defunding the EPA, investing nothing in infrastructure, and essentially using force fed taxpayer bailouts of most of the same corp. crooks which did this same dirty work all over the globe as I described (generally) above, yet somehow, this seems lost on our citizenry.
As to the stealing of technology: sheesh…
I had my own software shop in SF Bay Area (silicon Valley) for 18 yrs, beginning right at end of DOS days. From the beginning of all that… having to manage 256 kb of memory on 20 mb hds, to getting graphical interfaces, then dial up, then a few usable databases…
this stuff evolved fast, and at light speed. We did all kinds of (what at that time) was custom stuff, getting wherehouses here connected to suppliers there. Cutting edge at the time. We ended up w/successful comprehensive HIPAA product when new regs kicked in ’01. We always did very, very good work… never delivered product ’till it was best it could be.
Anyway, though all that breakneck evolution… everyone, everyone was stealing everyone else’s technology. Everyone. California courts were beyond overwhelmed by it all… saturating, corp policy to steal technology. We took our website down, marketed directly instead, simply because the time/cost of staying ahead of thieves was overwhelming, not to mention massively diversionary. I think it was Frontline who did a documentary on this.
And Microsoft, who pretty much controlled the direction of everything… it was gospel through mid/late 90′s: you don’t go up against those guys, ’cause they’ll steal your stuff and put 1000 lbs of lawyers on your neck until you choke. I made a good living developing on MS operating systems, and still have relationships w/them. But just saying man, sheesh, get real about life in the big city.
So anyway, sure… I’d love to see an honest global environment of commerce. And I’d love to see products accurately described, as opposed to seductive marketing masking shit products. And I’d love to be able to take our lawmaker’s word for things, and believe WS wealth projections.
But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. And grading on the curve, China has left us in the dust. We’re a 1000 lb gorilla, farting and drooling all over ourselves, telling ourselves that the past prosperities will re-appear because, well, we’re America!!! All this while the whole fucking planet is passing us by.
We really, really, really need an accountability moment. Really.
We’re trying to fit square pegs in round holes… “old wine in new wineskins”. Our economic models don’t fit current realities… they just don’t. We’ve got huge… huge volumes of available knowledge: physics, biology, engineering, materials… huge… all on the sidelines, not being utilized or even considered as part of meeting our people’s future needs.
Instead, we’re (as I said the other day, one of my mantras lately) essentially being held hostage by dirty coal $$ preventing any progress whatsoever, not to mention the same doing all they can to cut the legs off of anything… anything, that “threatens” their existence.
We need transformations. We are so far behind, the only way current model of “maximizing shareholder value” can continue is the same way it’s happened last decade or so: cook the books.
Humans can’t progress when they are wedded to an economic system which is circular: eg. which holds as gospel that our “wealth” is currency, while ignoring the society’s health… the impoverishment of our citizens not just monetarily, but intellectually and morally.
We really do need new paradigms. We need to forget “return on investment” and start plowing new, as yet not fully comprehended technology (knowledge) whereby we can provide more of what’s needed w/less resources, physical space, etc etc etc. People hopefully will come to understand… those comfy middle class union manufacturing jobs are gone.
Despite what Yves and bunch of other pundits say, all those goods are being made far far cheaper by foreign labor, at higher quality, including shipping costs… then what we can deliver domestically. Our offshored corp. initiatives have determined this condition. That is gone… it’s not coming back.
We need to get real, and we need equivalent of Manhattan Project in multiple domains… eg. discover as yet unforseen ways of doing things better. We aren’t going to get there waiting for Wall Street to direct a few $$ to these efforts: they have proven it’s not in their genes… they’re crooks for crying out loud. :)
We need pardigm shifts… major transformations, most particularly in the means by which we determine what exactly this economy of ours needs to do. Currently, that void is being filled by Fox News, WS crooks, and utterly false “political speech” by people who “have theirs” and really don’t give a shit.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
W/all due respect…
As in the theater, only those who haven’t been watching call success an “overnight” achievement.
This doesn’t really speak to process I described. What I said is/was so.
On some of your specifics, domestic and foreign companies share the externalized cost of poor environmental regulations. They share the low, if rising costs of labor; foreign invested firms generally paid a premium for it.
See previous comment: you are far too generalized to draw/compile accurate conclusions. Again, it happens I’m very, very familiar w/what I described… been there a lot.
What was done there, as I described, is close enough to call true. It was, in fact, done as I say on massive scale. Only in last 10 yrs has China begun to organize centrally so that generalized enviro policy, wage baselines… eg: standards for manufacturing… this is fairly new, and has evolved quickly.
As recently as 2000, there were, virtually, +/- -0- enviro regs. Local (provinces) officials were bought/bribed in order to get guarantees for labor and non-pollution oversight. This was done… vastly, far & wide. It’s really a lousy, dirty story AFAIC.
This has changed… dramatically. China is developing/implementing their own, homegrown, green tech. In water, energy, all the stuff that matters. Regardless of what’s written in west (AFAIC mostly from anti-Chinese bias… I see it all over, especially from otherwise honest econ/finance westerners), they have passed us at lightspeed in both cleaning things up & implementing their technology.
Bejiing/Peking Univ… massive R&D in these areas, massive. Amazing what they’re doing, I think.
Here, we can’t even begin the conversation politically, let along move forward. Rather, our latest congressional incarnation, bought & paid for, is trying to defund/shut down the EPA for crying out loud. Sarah Palin & M. Bachmann get more ink wrt enviro/climate realities then Michael Mann.
(Your pay scale of 6 cents an hour isn’t accurate for urban China or the parts of it most attracting foreign and domestic investment.)
It was exactly accurate for avg. blue collar wage in 2k, at least taken from best available data at the time (China didn’t compile it then). Certainly in the ballpark.
The manufacturing we moved there was not in major urban areas (especially coast), rather… as I said, deals were made w/local officials in largely undeveloped provinces (eg: hungry/poor). Beyond that, “manufacturing” wages are not “blue collar” wages. Whole lot of massive expansion in late 90′s/early 2000′s was for “assembly”, gluing/sewing Nikes together…
You think the whole Tom Delay/Marianna sweat shop thing was unique?
Wages were as I said. Currently, avg. blue collar nationwide in China around $.70 p/hr. Manufacturing (trained workers) now around $1.40.
Foreign firms also pay for differential enforcement of laws, from labor to environmental to trade restrictions, domestically and on imports.
That’s pretty new, Earl… really taken hold only in last 5-7 yrs.
China actually, now, executes (from memory, at least 9 in +/- last yr.) corruption at local level… eg: they’re serious about this stuff. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, just saying…
Imagine what would happen here if all our social conservative, family values, free market lawmakers were similarly disciplined… really, I think it could put Republicans into extinction.
I know many such people as well (I’m programmer, now have a SAAB c900 restoration biz), and applaud them.
What I’m getting at, however, is basically unmet (and largely undiscussed) needs… just for human survival. Populations growing almost exponentionally. Emerged former emerging countries… eg: much more demand for fewer resources. Water, energy, food… all this stuff driven by (mostly) profit, w/available knowledge wrt doing all that stuff sooooo much better going entirely ignored.
EG. “not economically” feasable. Like melting the polar ice cap is good economics.
We need big leaps in smart, and lots of it. Smart means honest inventory of things, and given challenges, like I said… we need lots of it. What we’ve got, unfortunately, is an inversely representative mass of stupid and corrupt.
I guess you missed my discussion of mercantilism, which is the main way (aside from building and ripping apartment buildings down–but then we just fund bubbles and then bail out bubbles, so we’re just one step removed) that China’s govt interferes in its economy.
One of few things I don’t agree w/you about. Sounds a lot like Yves, and this is one of her blind spots.
And the subsidies in that case are often about requiring our companies to do things if we want to do business in China, which is how it’s so easy for them to steal our tech.
That’s an inaccurate characterization… think I can make the argument definitively. I understand why you say this (GM’s China deals), but you just ignore too much other stuff.
In short, our manufacturing went there and exploited labor & no eviro regs. They dumped raw shit in their rivers, pumped it into the ground untreated, same w/the air. In yr 2k, they made about $0.06 p/hr.
Still, they saved… they lived 10-12 in a room and saved.
Gradually… very gradually, they accumulated enough capital from these savings to invest here and there. Gradually. Wasn’t really till ’04/5 that their own, homegrown technology/education/infrastructure/cutting edge manufacturing processes… all this kind’a caught critical mass momentum.
All of a sudden, they were a “market” w/money to spend, so here comes GM/IBM/M$ and such.
And w/decades of being exploited, w/nothing they could do because they’re people were hungry, they said: “Hey, ok, come on and make some money here… 1/2 of it. And teach us how to do shit in the meantime”.
This is what we should’ve been doing all along… it’s the right way to do stuff, eg: leave people better off for one’s presence there. We did the opposite.
Frankly, I think China gave our big boys a better deal then they deserved.
Corporations are in business to make a profit, not for benevolent social reasons.
Well, that’s what they say. And make a profit they do, regardless of whether they deliver quality.
Which is the whole problem, really.
Make more money, deliver less value. Or, often, convince “consumers” they need stuff they don’t need. Like MacMuffins & taco bell poison.
You comment… “in business to make money”, is the precise statement I’ve read, over & over for years on WSJ OpED letters by these anonymous yahoos in business to “make money”, but never… ever, do they talk about what it is they actually do.
What we have, currently, is a greater % of crooks “making money”, for a while now. In suits.
Please, tell me something more fundamental then “in business to make money.” Please.
Judging from this discussion I wouldn’t hold my breath.
C’mon dude… have u watched CSPAN lately? That’s where the corruption is, not here.
What does a lie cost? I’d like to see that question start getting asked, ’cause we’re up to our ass in those things.
At any rate, solar can only account for a tiny fraction of the total energy needs from a global perspective.
Not so. Sun provides the earth, in 24 hrs., all our energy needs for a month.
There are other very good sources, and some we don’t hear about (still on drawing board), nevertheless solar is/can be huge component of mission-critical-shift to efficient, smart energy.
How important are small businesses to the U.S. economy?
“small business” is just too generalized a term. It doesn’t speak to major initiatives or economic “drivers”, nor does it (at least currently) speak to innovation.
And that word… innovation, needs a whole lot of specific defining to be meaningful. Still, FWIW, all the world surveys for last couple years have shown steep slide in US innovation. With capital hard to get, less real income, less (and lower quality) education…
Long/short: availability of resources: natural, capital, and knowledge is getting scarcer.
One of the things I’ve found this last decade is, whole lot of the small business folks have become a whole lot less professional: they resell products, but more times then not unfamiliar w/’em, don’t back ‘em up, and very happy to sell crap.
We need paradigm shifts… fast.
The problem with globalization is that it’s noT even balanced between these ideologies. It’s all every jerk for himself, and screw your own country.
Well, yes. And screw the other country to whatever extent possible as well.
Actually, the US is probably going to move from what you call post-industrial back to more industrial focus–or should, if the US knew what’s good for it.
Maybe, I’m not so sure, but… AFAIC it’s not clear we’re moving anywhere, in any intelligent fashion, period.
I think (I’ve said much, so I’ll be brief) we need first an accounting of things… basic human needs (clean air/water), energy (we could be doing soooo much more right now), and particularly, how/where money flows. Or in other words, honest assessment answering the question: what is value.
Currently, those getting the money are not delivering the value (sucking it up, really), while also directing economic activity.
US public just too misinformed, w/too many powerful people working overtime to keep ‘em that way.
That’s partly bc manufacturing is changing (meaning more customization) and partly bc we’re slowly beginning to account for the externalities of globalizations
Well, we’re real late to that wake up call… real late. And when you say “slowly”, well, if anything that term overstates the awakening.
and partly bc corporations are discovering that outsourcing to China is only good for so many years before the Chinese start asking for liveable wages too.
This one ties to value(s): eventuality of phenomena you describe was argued before congress a number of times (all dems) in late 90′s, shot down by repubs and hardly made media notice whatsoever.
It’s just common sense. It’s also moral. And it’s part & parcel of the moral void which directed this then, and which will suck every last mega-dime from the arrangement before “changing”, no matter what the cost to others.
Also, the govt has realized we cant have the best military machine anymore at the rate we’re losing manufacturing capabilities.
Kind’a reminds of Soviet collapse, no?
jdmckay0 commented on the blog post Former Army Intelligence Analyst: “Army security is like a Band-Aid on a sunken chest wound”
They may be far more susceptible to approaches from other countries’ intelligence services than your average Army Specialist.
Not to mention your avg black box DOD contractor, intent upon “growing” their business…
And if there are data breaches to foreign government, we (both citizens and our government) may not be learning about them.
Christ… even when they’re (wiki)leaked, most of our citizens aren’t learning about them.
jdmckay0 commented on the blog post WikiLeaks Reveals that China Already Knows What WikiLeaks Reveals
(…) why the government, not some mentally-unstable private, needs to be the arbiter of what information should be released.
Right. Every time I watch “the government” on CSPAN, I marvel at the widespread symbols of sanity represented therein.
jdmckay0 commented on the blog post The Weakness Of The Barry Bonds Obstruction Verdict
This one was near & dear to my heart for reasons other then the legal side shows, the SF Chron reporters (Jenkins/Lance Williams) who went after him, and a bunch of other things.
I lived across the bay during his best record breaking years, had season tickets for the Giants… they had some very good teams. I also trained hard then (tennis), and know what it takes to get really, really fit (something a lot of baseball players don’t do).
The media talked about Barry “getting big”, that “he must” be doing ‘roids. What they didn’t talk about was his fitness regimen… it was far beyond what anyone else did. Even w/his huge contract and super star treatment, Bonds took 2 weeks off after the season, then went to work in the gym, running hills, w/full time dietician. 5 hrs p/day, 6 days p/week, while everyone else was resting up.
His discipline set standards for fitness. Gold’s Gym is full of clean guys bigger then Bonds, doing far less.
Bonds was also media shy, but for good reason: his divorce, from a hot looking blond gold digger, was front page in Bay Area for a couple years… his personal life dragged front and center in tabloid fashion. Through that episode, he was dignified in court, and never lost focus on the field.
But what I remember most… through those years on the field, he was among the most rarified of any athlete I ever saw, in his accomplishments. With all the other distractions, his focus at the plate was lazer beam, always. He was getting walked intentionally… with the bases loaded. Yet, he never showed frustration.
His slugging percentage was off the charts… nobody in the history of the game knocked in more runs w/guys on base. And his home runs were coming in such huge frequency… mind boggling.
Steroids do nothing to improve batting skills he demonstrated… nothing.
I still feel privileged having seen him play often through those years, and feel for the guy that what he did has been largely obscured by this crap. Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, maybe Michael Johnson (there’s others), in my mind Bonds is in that category.
He wasn’t Ghandi, he was never an ambassador for anything, AFAIC just an otherwise average guy who excelled at one thing: baseball.
I had email conversations w/the Chronicle writers I mentioned during that time, pointing out his training regimen and asking why they never wrote about that (his training was legendary all over bay area amongst serious athletes). The responses were all the same: ignore what he did in training, while extrapolating their belief that other Bay Area legends… Jerry Rice, Dennis Eckersly (and few others) also “must have done steroids” because “nobody” can achieve physically what they did w/out them.
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