Rob Vincent dot net

left head right head

July 31, 2010

Commenting update

Rob @ 12:31 PM

My old anti-spam human-verification plugin has died, so until I find something else all new commenters will be moderated. If you've already had a comment posted here before, or after you've had your first moderated comment approved, you should be able to comment immediately in the future. Apologies for the hassle, but the flood of spam comments I'm deflecting behind the scenes make it necessary.

On the brighter side, I've set up us the OpenID commenting. If you've never used an OpenID but have an account on any of these common services, you can use their OpenID service to login here. If you're unfamiliar with your provider's OpenID functionality, check your provider's support area. If you're unfamiliar with OpenID itself, here's some knowledge.

Additionally, in case you weren't aware, if the email address you comment with has a Gravatar it will show up on your comments here rather than that Default Silhouette Guy.

July 30, 2010

Why I have a favorite sports team

Rob @ 1:58 AM

I'm still mulling over the sad end of a sports story I'd been following closely despite my general distaste for professional sports.

The Lacrosse World Championships were being held in England earlier this month. The Iroquois Nationals, a team from the Iroquois League of Native American tribes, found themselves unable to leave the country to play in the championship because they didn't have US passports. They only had the passports issued by their own sovereign nation, which the Iroquois have been using to travel without incident since the 1970s.

What followed was a bit of an uproar as they were suddenly stranded in New York City, having to scramble for hotels and meals at the last minute. While their scheduled pre-tournament practice time, and eventually the tournament itself, was passing them by, they were stuck here at the mercy of a bureaucracy which had taken leave of its senses.

The officials' concern appeared to be that the Iroquois' passports lack modern security features, machine-readability, or RFID. They were repeatedly told to get US or Canadian passports instead (the Iroquois territory straddles the US/Canada border) which the Iroquois steadfastly refused to do as a matter of principle. The fiasco brought up all sorts of issues about the right of the sovereign Iroquois nation to issue their own passports and have them respected.

Finally, the US government relented and issued one-time waivers which allowed these guys to get on the plane to England on their own passports, but then England refused to let them in on their passports.

In the end the Nationals missed their game (and it does appear to be their game; lacrosse's roots are traceable back to the Iroquois' ancestors) and their shot at the championships because they valued their own national identity and principles more than they wanted to appease disrespectful paper-pushing bureaucrats on both sides of the Atlantic for the sake of their place in the tournament.

The Iroquois Nationals have been nothing but class acts through this whole mess, and continue to shine in the aftermath. They released a statement praising the teams and officials behind the championship, and declaring their intentions to appear at future tournaments.

This is why I have a favorite sports team, and why I wish them the best for all their future tournaments. The World Lacrosse Championships are only held every four years, and it's unknown where they will take place, but if it's at all practical I think I'd like to go and see this team play in 2014.

July 26, 2010

Um.

Rob @ 8:49 AM

Have I really not blogged here, or even touched this partially-launched site at all, for three months?

I know I've been busy, but frankly I'm a bit disappointed in me over this.

More later, I'm busy touching this partially-launched site just now. Apparently the newest iteration of Wordpress doesn't like my theme based on the old default theme at all, so I'm rebuilding it kinda-sorta from scratch off the current default. Expect all sorts of weirdness and half-broken themes today, with a slight chance of rain towards the evening.