Sunday, August 30, 2009


It seems once again that major events around the world to include the recent exceedingly confrontational and disruptive United States town hall meetings on health care reform, release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi and the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy are always accompanied by the reactions of individuals who are all to quick to pour salt in the wounds that often accompany these stories. I’m not afraid to comment on those issues and hope that I can bring another dimension to any controversy hopefully in the spirit of decency, fair play and productive debate. That certainly appears to some an exceedingly naïve perspective since many of those self righteous, screaming, angst protestors do more to shut down debate, rather than encourage it. In some of those recent US town hall meetings shouting turned to pushing and so on.

The reality with the release of Al-Megrahi is that we are confusing two issues. We are not debating whether someone was wrongfully accused of a crime; rather that someone convicted of that crime was released for reasons other than compassion by the “Scottish Government”. Some in Scotland believe that the decision was made gleefully to discredit Britain and 10 Downing Street while others feel that Scotland was acting as an agent for Great Britain. At any rate many who support Scottish Justice Secretary MacAskill’s decision seem oblivious to this and are attempting to justify the decision by vehemently and aggressively bashing anyone who disagrees with it. Deflection is the game

James Ragland the respected columnist for the Dallas Morning News reminded us again in a recent column of the lack of civility prevalent in our society today. Ragland focused on Senator Edward Kennedy’s passing and the cruel, exceedingly insensitive hate comments which have followed.

No one deserves a free pass and there is no doubt that Teddy in his younger days made some terrible mistakes. We need only mention Mary Jo Kopechne and Chappaquiddick to make that point and note that immediately following Kennedy’s passing Kopechne’s name was Googled more than Kennedy’s - forty years later - once again proving that folks never forget.

Despite his transgressions and what appeared to some as his sometimes insanely liberal politics, he was, I believe, righteously and sincerely motivated and used his position to help the cause of the worker and the poor, disadvantaged and underprivileged in America. As a senior Senator he championed much positive legislation striking partnerships with many on the Republican side who, despite their differences, always left the table with a sincere respect and appreciation for Kennedy. As the “Lion of the Senate” and as President Obama eulogized him as, “the greatest legislator of our time”, Kennedy was able to bring about constructive and much needed reforms. Even if you didn’t agree with his politics, Kennedy allowed you the opportunity to better form your own opinions as he anchored and communicated his liberal perspectives. He loved America and respected all disparate opinions and perspectives. His quiet compassion routinely engaged off camera show me the real Man.

Now while I am not exclusively focusing today on Ted Kennedy, I am making the point that despite whatever differences we may have, there are both positive and non productive ways to address issues central to our world. Individuals screaming invectives like many of the supporters of the MacAskill decision to release convicted Lockerbie bomber Al Megrahi would rather, as Ragland would say, “drop grenades” than engage positive dialogue. It’s their way or the highway.

I was reminded by Dean Kevin Martin in his Sunday sermon at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Dallas, Texas this morning that we as Christians are judged by who we are - what we say and do – what comes out of us – how we speak in the heart. I’d say that’s true whatever our persuasion.

David in Psalm 15 asks who may be a guest in God’s home and have a place in the Church with the response among other things, being the one who does what’s right, speaks honestly and does no insult or harm to others.

The manic Kennedy detractors who would dance and then spit on his grave do themselves an injustice and forever imperil their own ultimate absolution. I am reminded by Alfred Lord Tennyson, “No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not work those who work with him. Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself.”

Parting Note: I do take exception with one James Ragland comment that “We’ve made it much too quick and easy for them to speak their vile messages.” While that is true, this is the price we pay for an open and free society which encourages participation and guarantees freedom of speech. The paradox is that many of these folks who have crawled out from underneath their rocks use that right (including many foreigners) to try and shut off debate via a not so responsible expression of opinion. That’s what our enemies don’t understand and what may very well be our greatest strength. Yes, it’s a balancing act. Let’s try and be more than a “little breed.”


Ned Buxton

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The recent release of the convicted Lockerbie mass murder Al-Megrahi has prompted some heated rhetoric that has flooded the world media and the Internet. The overall reaction appears overwhelmingly against the decision by the Scottish Justice Secretary. This appears to many as the transparent attempt by the British government with the Scots acting as their agents to further cement economic relations with Libya. This reaction has prompted some aggressively defensive Scots folk to engage invectives that make them look more like a cornered, last gasp critter looking to do and say anything to mount a defense of their government’s actions. The responses of what appears to be a very vocal minority can be seen in many threads and forums from overseas to include the reaction to The Scotsman’s Sunday editorial denouncing Scottish Justice Secretary MacAskill’s decision. These responses have been laughable and the heated, rabid mentalities that generated them propose that if you disagree with the decision then you are part of the problem.

Seems that some folks can’t focus on the reality of their own situation deflecting legitimate criticism by bashing us on the other side of the pond. Americans are being characterized as a merciless lot, engaging yet another attempt to make the Scots subservient (?) and that we are the real bad guys now with one fella pounding me because I live in Texas and we have the death penalty? Like I said, it is mostly laughable and again I say, “I am ashamed.”

Many of these threads appear to be dominated by a relatively few individuals who are hopping around various forums and blogs inserting their negative “supportive” comments whenever they can. The ramblings of some of these more inane defensive (presumably) Scots prompted the following contribution to The Scotsman forum by yours truly.

“I have always appreciated, respected and sought out differing opinions in my quest for the truth. I try to carefully weigh all opinions and the evidence at hand. Some of the responses that disagree with last Sunday’s editorial in The Scotsman don’t jive with what appears to many Scots and Americans as the carefully choreographed machinations of the British Government (not the US) facilitating Al-Megrahi’s release in a quid pro quo for oil and trade concessions. The reports of negotiations, the coincidental withdrawal of Al-Megrahi’s appeal and his almost immediate release give reason to question the motivation of this decision. I haven’t heard from anyone in the United States who agrees with this obviously staged and politically motivated release of a man convicted of terrorism and mass murder. Obviously reasons other than compassion were at play.

As for insinuating that Scotland’s “servitude of 300 years” is due to foreign countries including America who disagree with the release is absolutely absurd. Just take a trip to Drummossie Moor to understand that the English fomented that and one of the reasons why so many of you are over here…

The Scotsman was spot on and it took courage to stand up for the truth. I have far from a “weak mind and faint heart” and last I remember it was mostly Americans that were killed on Pan Am Flight 103. Yes, I think that foreign opinion (individual or collective) does ultimately count though agree that each sovereign nation (or aspirant like Scotland) has to responsibly govern and as in this case, enforce their own laws. However, to invalidate or diminish the significance of other opinions is pure insensitive and naïve arrogance or someone with a different agenda. The United States would probably have engaged a different legal tact had they been aware Al-Megrahi was even a potential candidate for release. Looks like the Libyans (premeditated or not) have driven a wedge between two old Friends.

In my opinion MacAskill was terribly wrong with many members of the Scots Parliament adamant in their condemnation of his actions and are bringing him before their august body to explain his actions. The Prisoner and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act of 1993 appears to be the law MacAskill has invoked though it is not applied in every case. It appears to be an option and not as we would say in the US, a slam dunk, especially as other petitions have been rejected because the prisoner was, like Al-Megrahi, “unrepentant” or their medical conditions did not warrant consideration. In England and Wales the law stipulates that prisoners to be so considered should be "bedridden or severely incapacitated".

Foreign bullying? Not from this American of Scots origin. Scotland has the right to administer their laws as they see fit. The deed is done and I certainly think the America bashing is as absurd as any attempt to boycott Scotland and her products. It appears that a very vocal minority are pleading support for the decision, bashing “vengeful” Americans along the way while triumphantly proclaiming great compassionate Scottish ideals? By the way, the “American Judicial System” also allows for compassionate release under “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances similar to the Scots law.

I think that most would have preferred the continuing pursuit of justice by granting Al-Megrahi’s appeal and going from there.

By the way I would like to see a Free and independent Scotland though after whatever happened here, it’s time to pay the piper… No matter, ashamed or not, I will always be a Friend of Scotland through thick and thin.”

MacAskill’s so called independent and solitary deliberations appear a farce of the first order when one looks at the preliminary meetings between Libyan and British representatives, the communication between the British and Scottish authorities and the convincing representations of the Libyans even to the timing of the arrival of the plane to take Al-Megrahi home.

The Dallas Morning News in one of their more sterling
editorials labeled the whole affair as, “Poppycock” and notes that we are dealing with two issues. One, the questionable release of a convicted mass murderer and two, the issue of Al Megrahi’s guilt. For me the release without the continuing pursuit of justice is a travesty.

The angst, foaming defenders of MacAskill will soon form a band of brothers, those happy few who can gather round the fire and hum a few bars of Kum By Ya whilst pondering the real Scottish injustice – the failure to allow Al-Megrahi his appeal in an ultimate quest for the truth.


Ned Buxton

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I have always been proud of Scotland and all that she stands for - until now.

The release of “former” Libyan intelligence officer and son of a dog Abdel Basset al-Megrahi who was serving a life sentence for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland which killed 270 people - 189 of them American, was heinous. What in God’s name (all of them) was the Scottish government thinking when they released him? What greater good could have been served by this incredibly insensitive act? Megrahi is a convicted murderer who should have served out his time in his jail cell and if need be - alone and in great pain, screaming in ultimate anguish as he drew his last breath.

The excuse for the “diplomacy” (that’s what it was) was that Megrahi had terminal cancer and showing compassion and releasing him to his home country to live out the rest of his days ostensibly surrounded by Friends and Family represented “Scottish Values” and was the right thing to do. As Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny “soft touch” MacAskill stated, Scottish law required that, "justice be served but mercy be shown." What a bunch of scat! In a show of false bravado and pseudo naïveté MacAskill rejected Megrahi’s release per the negotiated prisoner transfer agreement with Lybia and then released him (paradoxically) on “compassionate” grounds.

Well, that’s the gist of the official reasoning for this appalling lapse in logic though we know that this was one of the topics discussed a July 2009 meeting in Italy between Libyan “President” Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Following that meeting the Libyan government formally asked Scotland for Megrahi’s compassionate release. There were significant legal maneuverings prior to the decision. Sir Richard Dalton, a former British ambassador to Libya, warned that relations would be damaged if Megrahi were allowed to die in prison.

Yes, we do know that Great Britain and Libya are in bed together as relates to oil and trade agreements and that Great Britain is eager to engage “wider bilateral relations with Libya” and facilitate Libya’s ultimate return to the table of nations. Indeed, Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi has unashamedly stated in an interview with Libyan channel Al Mutawassit, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP) that "All British interests were linked to the release of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi."

AFP also reported that Islam Gadhafi stated further that, "In all commercial contracts, for oil and gas with Britain, (al-Megrahi) was always on the negotiating table," adding that then Prime Minister Tony Blair raised al Megrahi's case each time he visited Libya. Despite denials by the British government there sure is a smell coming from 10 Downing Street.

There are suggestions that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (a Scot) and his ilk choreographed this whole deal and in an ultimate good guy – bad guy Pontius Pilate scenario allowed Scotland to do the deed and then take the international heat. For the English there is a definitely a positive side to devolution.

Methinks it helps to put this all in perspective and I direct you to a great article by Iain Lundy at which defines the Lockerbie terror.

Fast forward to the video of Megrahi stepping down from Gaddafi’s private jet to a hero's welcome in Libya. Gadhafi’s son Islam who was on the flight escorting him home, raised Megrahi's hand in victory at the aircraft door. I found the image of Libyan and Scottish National Flags flying in the crowd absolutely sickening, eliciting incredible feelings of revulsion. The thousands of young men readied to welcome Megrahi were pared to about 300 by officials who were apparently trying (halfheartedly) to comply with the British and American requests for a low key return. Many of those that remained showered Megrahi with flower petals. The audio that accompanied the video chanted, “Victory to Al-Megrahi, Victory to the Libyan struggle, victory to all of Libya” These sentiments are far from a crowd celebrating the return of an innocent man.
Would be nice to know all the truth, ya ken?

Believe it or not I’ve been told that some Scottish folks have actually expressed support for this international faux pas and miscarriage of justice though I haven’t been able to find many of them yet – well some liberal newspapers, MacAskill, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and a few relatives of the Lockerbie residents killed when the Pan Am plane crashed into their town. Seems some remain unconvinced of his guilt?

Many others - seemingly a great majority - have expressed their horror and dismay over the release including Russell Brown a member of Scottish Parliament who told
The Scotsman. "I have never been ashamed to see my country's flag waved before, but to see it misused to celebrate mass murder is outrageous. This man is convicted of murdering 270 people in my part of Scotland and that conviction stands.”

Most residents of Locherbie were adamantly opposed to the release and David Mundell, member of the Scottish Parliament whose constituency includes Lockerbie stated, “The government has made a mistake of international proportions, These reports (of the flag being waved) are sickening."

Well the leopard has again shown his spots and now Gaddafi stands once again revealed. I think it appropriate to quote Montana Cowboy Poet Wally McRae, “You ain't changed, all that much.” Unfortunately he dragged down Scotland into his cesspool and calls the question whether Scotland is ready and worthy to become an independent nation. While some say this proves that Scotland has come of age, many more now think them unfit. The ramifications of this insensitive act have just started.

Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister answering the tumultuous roar of protests from the United States including President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, scores of US Senators and many more now insists that relations with the US will not be affected.

In a poignantly inarticulate moment Salmond said "The relationship between Scotland and the United States is deep and enduring and will continue to be deep and enduring.”

"We can't have a relationship based on always agreeing with each other. We have to have the ability to disagree where our system takes us in a different direction.”

Their system? Seems that this decision was made by Salmond and MacAskill with a little prodding from 10 Downing Street.

I am ashamed…


Ned Buxton

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Syracuse University’s recent victory over Cornell in the 2009 NCAA Division I Lacrosse Championships reminded me once again of this great game and probably the greatest lacrosse player ever, Syracuse’s Jim Brown (yea, that one). Lacrosse was his favorite and best sport. On the dark side it also harkened me back to 2006 and Durham, North Carolina. Those that know me understand that my aggressive defense of three members of the Duke Lacrosse Team and condemnation of the obvious trumped up charges against them was due in part to my love of the game and a keen understanding of the psyche, ethics and character that most lacrosse players have to possess to successfully master the sport.

It is undeniable that there are some jerks who play the game and while the sometimes “play-hard, party-hard” image of the game and the immature and patently unacceptable behaviors by some members of the Duke team that lead up to the false allegations were ill advised, they don’t forgive the actions of many on the prosecutorial side. That especially includes “rogue prosecutor” Mike Nifong who was disbarred after being found guilty of “fraud, dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation; of making false statements of material fact before a judge; of making false statements of material fact before bar investigators, and of lying about withholding exculpatory DNA evidence.” Even after that humiliating condemnation his troubles continue to this day. His motions to wrap himself in an immunity argument and bankruptcy have been denied and he remains exposed to the world for what he is and has done. His greatest legacy would appear to be the
neologism coined in his honor, “to Nifong somebody” i.e. to falsely accuse them. Seems to fit

The actions of Duke University and the now infamous “Group of 88” brought dishonor to this august university and exposed the bias, rush to injustice and lynch mob mentality inherent in some, though not all, faculty members. So, why did most faculty remain silent? When the truth was finally revealed most members of the Group of 88 refused to recant their condemnation with some apparently discouraged they didn’t get a conviction even though the players were declared “innocent.” This defiant and outrageous indifference to justice keenly demonstrated to many Duke parents a reckless disregard for the health and welfare of their children and begs the question why those "teachers" are still employed by any university. The intellectual and academic dishonesty in an environment where the free exchange of ideas and presumption of innocence should be paramount was appalling. It’s all about political agenda

Apologies by Duke President Brodhead who grossly mishandled the situation didn’t prevent him from being named as a defendant in a 2008 lawsuit filed by (then) 38 former and current unindicted members of the Duke Lacrosse team. In 2007 Duke University settled with the three accused players in what is perceived by many as a tacit admission of their guilt. The repercussions from this tragedy will continue for many years to come.

When the narrow minded hypocrites that constitute the “Group of 88” engaged their heinous knee jerk behaviors they took on an athletic culture that prides and values (more than any sport I have engaged) not only the very obvious traits of power, speed and agility but resolve, tenacity, persistence, discipline, physical and mental strength and, above all, teamwork. In short, they took on members of a family, a special and select fraternity of sport that values loyalty, integrity, honor, respect, character and all the good that this ancient sport musters. The best overall athletes physically and mentally are attracted to the game. You do have a sense that you are extending and perpetuating the best of the ancient revered cultures that birthed the sport almost a millennium ago. We are a devoted band of Brothers who share a special bond. Without the truth Nifong took a dull knife to a gun fight…

If you truly want to understand this phenomenon please read, Our Game: The Character and Culture of Lacrosse by John M. Yeager, Ed.D, MAPP, who is Director of the Center for Character Excellence at The Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana. John Yeager as a former lacrosse goaltender on his Boston State College team was fully baptized in the game. Just so you have full disclosure, my cousin John Neal Buxton is Head of Schools (headmaster) at Culver.

Despite the controversy the sport of lacrosse continues to grow and flourish. Indeed, Duke University rebounded and came within two goals of winning the national championship the following year. They lost to Johns Hopkins 12-11 in one of the best and evenly matched national title games I’ve ever witnessed. Makes you wonder how Duke would have fared had Duke President Brodhead not arbitrarily and capriciously cancelled their 2006 season.

Lacrosse is the oldest organized team sport in North America (the national summer sport of Canada) and the first varsity sport I lettered in (ever) at Lenox School in Lenox, Massachusetts where this moderately gifted/successful left handed right/left midfielder was mentored by the now legendary, yea iconic, Lacrosse Hall of Famer and long time Bowdoin College coach, Mort LaPointe. During his eleven year coaching stint at Lenox Mort accumulated an impressive 83-24 mark putting us in the lacrosse spotlight. Hello Mort, thanks for all the motivation and for an occasional attack stick across my butt when I needed it.

One of the secrets of the solid Lenox lacrosse team was a strong club lacrosse program where I proudly competed as a member of the Blackfeet Club. Yes, I was also a Griswold.

Brother John played at Lenox downstate rival Williston Academy (now Williston-Northampton School). Interestingly, a year after my graduation from Lenox I was invited to play for Williston Academy on a midfield line with Brother John in an exhibition game vs. Williston Alumni. I was unceremoniously pulled after a few shifts and where one of my shots hit the goal post narrowly missing what would have been an impressive score. It seems that the embarrassment and prospects of having to explain a goal scored by a member of a rival school was too much to bear. Hey, I think they showed real class and gave me a great memory of the game. Thanks to Brother John for facilitating that experience.

Lacrosse has its origins among the eastern Woodlands and some Plains First Nation peoples of present day Canada and the United States with the French missionary and now patron saint of Canada,
Jean de Brébeuf who observed Huron men playing the game in 1637 in what is now southeastern Ontario. Brébeuf’s mission catered primarily to the Hurons (he was the Apostle to the Hurons) a fact not lost on their traditional and fanatical enemies the Iroquois who captured the 55 year old Brébeuf, torturing and killing him in 1649.

Though Brebeuf may have been the first European to document the game, it appears that the game has been played in North America since at least the 1200’s. He called it lacrosse (le jeu de la crosse) – field hockey in French. It also appears that a version of the game was played even earlier in Mesoamerica.

So Native Peoples (First Nations) had been playing the game for hundreds of years before the French saw opportunity in America. It is believed that at least forty eight other native peoples played the game at that time. It took the Canadians to “civilize” the game (no they didn’t invent it) in the person of the fervent nationalist Montreal dentist William George Beers who in 1867 standardized the game by establishing the first set of formal playing rules. Beers had played the game as a member of the Montreal Lacrosse Club and went on in that same year to found the Canadian National Lacrosse Foundation. In 1869 Beers wrote and published a book on lacrosse entitled Lacrosse: The National Game of Canada.

Not unlike the Maya ball games, early on these contests were often played to resolve territorial conflicts, for religious or ceremonial purposes, to cure the ill, to provide a venue where young men could be tested and prove their mettle and, not surprisingly, to prepare for war. Note that Injury and death were fairly common. These early contests had great meaning, then, for native peoples who perceived this as the representation of their creation and a metaphor for control of the world.

Now these early contests were not waged on the 110 yard field we see today. Rather, these games were contested by up to 1000 men (or more) on a playing field that could stretch for miles. Individual contests lasted for days from sun up to sun down. The purpose of the game was to pass the ball which was generally made out of wood, stuffed deerskin, baked clay or stone (even the heads of an enemy – yikes!) past a goal that generally was a natural feature such as a tree or rock or as the game evolved - through one or two poles that constituted goalposts. Participants would “carry” or cradle the ball using one or two wooden sticks with a webbing pocket made of plant material or deer sinew. Some of the earlier sticks were essentially large wooden spoons (warclubs?). I contested the game with a left handed, wooden stick with a webbing pocket made of leather, string and cat gut (no I don’t want to know where it came from…) Modern sticks are made of hollow metal/graphite shafts, plastic heads and pockets of pliable webbing of mostly synthetic materials.

In 1973 I helped organize the Atlanta Lacrosse Club and ran midfield on a team off and on for a couple of years. We helped create substantial interest in the game in Georgia and supported Georgia Tech lacrosse which had been reinstituted as a club sport in 1971. I played in a couple of exhibition games in the old Atlanta Fulton County stadium before a couple of Atlanta Falcon NFL football games (even scored a couple of goals!).

While in Colorado back in 1975 I had the opportunity to play catch with some Aspen Stickmen at a local park in Aspen while doing some training/climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Most of the Stickmen were from the east and had migrated west looking for that John Denver Rocky Mountain High. We all found it…

I lived in Cherokee County, Georgia for a number of years and embraced the history of a small but key town in that area called Ballground near where the Creek (Muscogee) and later the Cherokee engaged in lacrosse contests. The oral history of both tribes describe that near the confluence of Long-Swamp Creek and the Etowah River the Battle of Taliwa, a lacrosse contest and most certainly the knock down battle which followed took place there in 1755. The outcome of that contest determined control of that parcel of land. The Creeks lost and retired well south of that boundary. The Cherokee held that land until the State of Georgia took it away in the 1830’s. The historical record also documents that in 1790 the Creek and Choctaw engaged a lacrosse contest to see who would have rights to a beaver pond. This time the Creeks won though like Taliwa the so called amicable ball game evolved into a violent battle where the Creeks still prevailed.

So, what of the state of the game today? Well, while lacrosse was once a niche sport with its bastion in the eastern United States and Canada, it has now spread and is competed by well over 800 teams (male and female) on the college level in the US alone and over 1,200 high schools in the United States and Canada.. There are thousands more lacrosse clubs in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia that compete from the pee wee to the senior level.

Field lacrosse (outdoors) is contested on the professional level by Major League Lacrosse (MLL) teams while the indoor winter version of the game is played by the National Lacrosse League in arenas on Astroturf or a like surface while the other box lacrosse is contested in hockey arenas during the summer months on both the professional and club levels. And, hey, have you heard of

Formally, the international championship is contested by full International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) member nations Canada, Australia, England, the United States, Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Belgium, Sweden, South Korea, Czechoslovakia and affiliated nations/cities Argentina; Denmark; Hong Kong; Finland; Italy; and Tonga. Not ironically one of the more formidable teams that regularly competes for the International Lacrosse Championship is the
Iroquois Nationals (Haudenosaunee) team consisting of members of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy and is the only Native American team sanctioned to compete in any international sport. Both the field and box versions of the game are the fastest growing international sports.

Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) is an international organization of non-NCAA, college club lacrosse programs. Its ten conferences are spread across North America, from coast to coast and include teams such as UCLA, Stanford, Boston College, University of Miami, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan, Simon Fraser University, Colorado State, University of New Hampshire, University of Texas and my alma mater, Ole Miss. With over 200 teams, the MCLA represents the fastest growing segment of men's college lacrosse.

Lacrosse finally arrived at Ole Miss in 1995 reminding me that the endless hours of playing catch with my lacrosse stick and ball against the brick walls of Baxter Hall, the Sig Ep house or the tennis teams practice wall don’t seem as futile as they did in the early and mid 1960’s. The program is officially sponsored by The University which is a member of the MCLA’s Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (GRLC) with Arkansas, Nebraska, Memphis, Kansas State, Iowa, Purdue, Illinois, Kansas, Indiana, Missouri, Creighton, DePaul, Northwestern and South Dakota. Ole Miss won the 2009 GRLSC IA Division Championship. The University of Michigan Wolverines won the 2009 MCLA Championship by defeating the amazing Chapman University Panthers of Orange Co., California.

Oh yea, Brother John’s alma mater, Tulane University and her students now sponsor the Green Wave lacrosse club which competes in the MCLA’s Lone Star Alliance Conference. Brother John who took the game to Tulane in 1963 has to be proud, and were he still with us, former great Tulane Athletic Director (1963-76) Dr. Rix Yard who came to Tulane from Denison University where he earned National Lacrosse Coach of the Year honors in 1963 following a perfect 12-0 season. Yard helped establish club lacrosse at Tulane in the early 1970’s.

And how about University of Montana lacrosse? The Grizzlies are alive and well in Missoula and set a high standard for Griz Lacrosse by capturing the 2007 MCLA Division B national title.

Life is good. Goes around, comes around. The Great Spirit – The Creator is at peace.


Ned Buxton

This post is dedicated to the memory of now departed outstanding Lenox Lacrosse teammates Clifton “Hummer” Dummett and Peter “Monk” McCabe and Sally LaPointe, wife to Mort and founder of Bowdoin College’s women’s lacrosse program where she was a distinguished coach for nineteen years . Rest Well, Aye

Friday, August 7, 2009


The recent May 2009 revelation by Pastafarian Bobby Henderson (Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster) of the appearance of the Great Spaghedeity in the oil of his sauté pan reminded me of the spectacle of other miraculous sightings that seem to be more prevalent than even, “Biblical Times.”

Without fear of Muslim reprisals a la Salman Rushdie or Vatican censure, I offer the following items from an intellectual perspective as they seem to persist despite the heroic and ever continuing Michael Jackson post mortem(s).

Rumors abound that an Atlanta resident was recently in one of his favorite watering holes in Dunwoody, Georgia and having a BLT sandwich with his Belhaven Ale. When he took the top off the sandwich to properly garnish his lunch with salt and pepper, lo, there reposed the tomato with the unmistakable message ‘There is no God but Allah’ spelled out with its seeds and veins. This august citizen immediately secreted the tomato out of the restaurant and took it to the nearby offices of an Episcopalian priest / psychologist for examination. The priest invoked the spirit of Sigmund Freud and immediately pronounced the tomato a manifestation of our John Q. Public’s repressed sexual desires and recommended some dream therapy?

There were other similar sightings around the world to include school girl Sheila McMurtry from Aberdeenshire, Scotland who found an Allah is Great message in her haggis at the Waverly train station in Edinburgh. Now known as the Allah Haggis Chick throughout her hometown of Alford, she was hired by a local restaurant in Stonehaven to carry a placard for their daily menu. An inspiration for us all was her very specific revelation rhetoric, “I saw the phrase and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There were quite a few letters missing and it was hard to decipher but the message was very, very clear.” Folks, I’m not making this up!

Trekkers from England recently found a limestone rock near the summit of Ben Nevis, the highest point in Scotland and the United Kingdom (I dislike that term as they are far from united) which they asserted had been engraved with the word ‘Allah’ by the Scottish wind and rain. Though practitioners of the Freebased Church of the Living Will, these spirited hikers donated the iconic rock to the local mosque in Burnely. This started pilgrimages in earnest from points as far away as Jakarta, Indonesia. A spokesman at the local mosque offered what appears to be the standard response to any so called miraculous sighting, “We don’t consider it a miracle but it is certainly a blessing.” A local rock shop in Bolton-le-Sands in Lancashire is now selling “Allah Stone Replicates” estimated by some to be an exact duplicate of that famous and now iconic stone for $50 US. Local observers reflect that their business has been brisk though they have had some difficulty getting their Dover chalk/limestone Allah replicas through US customs.

Confusing to this writer and certainly Might of Right readers, is the realization that none of the above cited individuals appear to be fluent in Arabic casting some doubt on their claims.

There is even a clip on YouTube,
Miracles of Islam which “documents” the miraculous appearance of Allah’s name in fruits and vegetables, flowers, on mountains, rocks, clouds, the ocean and even in the shape of a human ear. Other reports cite the word “Allah” on fish, a cow, potatoes, more tomatoes and even eggs and beans.

Some detractors might try and rationalize that the above sightings are proof that some Muslims are merely trying to confirm their faith by way of absurd fancies and puerile observations. That said it would appear that Christians, not to be outdone and the Shroud of Turin aside, have their own “miraculous sightings” to include one Toledo, Ohio mother and father team who while browning pierogis noticed on one heavenly pastry - the face of Jesus. What did they do? Froze it and later sold it on e-bay for $1,775. I’m sure that the proceeds went to charity…

The couple was apparently emulating a woman who sold that now infamous
grilled cheese sandwich with “a vision of the Virgin Mary” on eBay for $28,000 dollars to the Golden Palace Casino. Yes, they’re the same folks who bought the pierogi! Golden Palace Casino has apparently put the pierogi with its travelling road show of oddities that includes Britney Spears' Pregnancy Test and bronzed baby poop. This can be nothing more than an intellectual breath of fresh air.

Despite what has been described by some as an attempt by the Vatican to “mandate silence as a first test of authenticity of these sightings”, they continue to manifest themselves. Sightings of the vision of Jesus and/or the Virgin Mary continue and have been noted in trees, clouds, windows, a pancake, a freshly made tortilla, stain on a Little Havana bank window, rocks, a honey mustard pretzel, toast, MRI scan and even in a pizza pan and a nacho warming tray, among others.

Ah, the miracles continue.


Ned Buxton