November 1999 Archives

November 21, 1999
Vestal Virgins Draft LISSA ROCHE

The Vestal Virgins, CBA's team of interesting women, have drafted shortstop Lissa Jackson Roche, the former managing editor of the Hillsdale College newsletter Imprimus. Ms. Roche killed herself on Sunday October 17 just hours after revealing to her husband that she had been having an affair with his father.

Lissa's father-in-law, George Roche III, is the recently retired president of Hillsdale College in Michigan. Hillsdale has been described as "perhaps the premier conservative college" in the United States. Lissa had met her husband, George Roche IV when both attended the small liberal-arts college (less than 2,000 students) in the late 1970s.

Moral relativism is one of the scourges of contemporary culture, according to social conservative philosophy. Christine Hoff Sommers, an ethics teacher, in a speech delivered at a meeting of conservative enthusiasts (and published in the March 1998 issue of Imprimus) decried the "cognitive moral confusion" of our nation's young people. "The notion of objective moral truths is in disrepute," she writes. Lissa herself observed in a blurb for a collection of Christian stories that,

Traditional religious values are often denigrated or attacked...Anti-heroic, angst-ridden stories-- laced with heavy doses of moral relativism, pessimism, fatalism, and pointless tragedy-- have become the staples of much of the 'serious fiction' that has acquired a permanent place on required reading lists in English departments around the country.
The tragedy of Lissa's suicide is unfortunately not serious fiction; it is a haunting and pointless reality. And it is easy to point the finger at Lissa and cry "hypocrite" but she killed herself because of the contradictions in her heart. More necessary is it to wave our hand at the ongoing and despicable hypocrisy of George Roche III and his factotums at the college and in the conservative counterculture. They would have you believe Lissa was crazy and that her husband who believed her confession is a pill-popping paranoid.

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November 19, 1999
Cosmic Universal Series Starts on Thanksgiving

The COSMIC UNIVERSAL SERIES is a best-of-seven games contest between the best team from the cosmic subleagues and the best team in the Overleague. The winner of the Cosmic Universal Series is considered the best cosmic baseball team for the season.

The 1999 Series is the 18th iteration of the CUS. This year the best Overleague team was the Paradise Pisces (97-65 won-lost record) and the best subleague team was the Pre-Raphaelite Baseball Club (92-70) from the Underleague.

Click Logos for Rosters

Click for CUS History Plate

November 18, 1999
New CBA Website Design, Version 14

CBA introduced today a new design (Version 14) for its World Wide Web homepage. The new design utilizes a standard frame structure. A clickable menu appears on the left providing quick navigation to other areas of the CBA's website.

The frames structure concept was made a part of the standard Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) with HTML v.4 and most current browsers process frameset tags properly. We would appreciate any comments from individuals having trouble looking at the various pages at the CBA with the new design format.

As usual, Jessie Numata was the lead designer for v.14 of the CBA's homepage. Additional graphic design was provided by Karen Cora Duchamp and technical assistance was provided by Flash Black of American Computer Resource and Education, Inc.

November 13, 1999

In Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain it is suggested that the best remedy against the lusts of the flesh is the study of mathematics. Looking at some of the biographical details of some of the world's greatest mathematicians does not necessarily support this idea. Nevertheless, there is a purity in the study of numbers that perhaps we cannot find in other pursuits.

The NUMERAL CITY NUMBERS are a new cosmic baseball team created on November 11, 1999. The team consists of interesting numbers. Given the nature of numbers, this team will always be assured of having an infinite supply of cosmic players who can be drafted to play on the team. The NUMBERS have been commissioned for service in the cosmic Underleague during the 2000 season.

November 11, 1999
SAPPHO Memorial Plate

Legend has it that the great ancient Greek poet Sappho jumped of a cliff because she was madly in love with a man who did not reciprocate the love. And yet today, her name and the island of her birth are symbolic of the intimate love between women. Only fragments of her poetry have survived and yet she has profoundly influenced poets and artists from the Roman poet Ovid to the Pre-Raphaelite painter Charles Mengin. What makes Sappho so remarkable a poet is the nature and context of her work. At a time when most poets extolled the virtues of warriors and aggression, Sappho wrote of love and emotion.

Sappho first joined the Cosmic Baseball Association as a rookie catcher for the Vestal Virgins (CBA's team of interesting women) in 1991. After five seasons of undistinguished performance in the field and at the plate (career batting average: .227) the Virgins made her the team's field manager. In four seasons managing she compiled an undistinguished 313-335 (.483) won-loss record. Sappho retired from the CBA after the 1999 season.

The Cosmic Baseball Association is proud to present this memorial plate in recognition and honor of Sappho's work and philosophy.

November 9, 1999
Wonderland Warriors Draft SHAMIL BASAYEV

The Wonderland Warriors, CBA's team of soldiers, have drafted the Chechen warrior Shamil Basayev. Born in 1965 in the Chechen village of Vedeno, Basayev has become a hero to the Chechens for his ardent support of Chechen independence from Russia.

Basayev received international attention in 1995 when he led a band of guerillas into the Russian city of Budennovsk and held close to 1,500 people hostage in a hospital. The standoff between the small but determined Chechen guerillas and the Goliath-like Russian government did not end until Basayev had secured an agreement from the Russians, on television, to sit and discuss the issue of Chechen independence.

Despite the cease-fire arrangements made in 1996 the Chechen problem has resurfaced. Russia has recently begun an armed offensive with the goal of bringing the dissident Chechens back into the Russian sphere of control. The Russian military, embarrassed by the earlier conflict, have apparently made the complete destruction of this Moslem section of the Caucasus a priority. In keeping with the principles of war, they have used Basayev to symbolize the enemy. Russian political media describe Basayev as a terrorist and hold him responsible for several recent urban bombings in Russia. Basayev denies involvement in the bombings.

Basayev is however a warrior, much like his 19th century namesake and fellow Chechen Imam Shamil (1797-1871) who also fought for independence from the Russians. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union Basayev spent two years in the Soviet military. Ironically, Basayev was in Moscow in August 1991 supporting Boris Yeltsin during the ill fated attempted by old-line communists to seize back power. However shortly after, when it became clear that Russia would not permit Chechnya to become independent, Basayev became a warrior for independence. He was trained by the Mujehedin in Afghanistan and Pakistan and earned valuable combat experience while fighting alongside the Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh and conducting combat operations against the Georgians in Abkhazia.

Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov recently appointed Basayev commander of the eastern section of the Chechen front, which puts him in the front line of the Russian assault.

Elements of the United States' military establishment view Basayev as prototypical of the type of warrior we will be witnessing in the next century. In an article published in the June/July 1997 issue of Military Review magazine, Major Raymond C. Finch, III writes,

Gazing into the murky crystal ball of emerging threats, Basayev is a likely example of the leader who defines the future security environment...As we move into the 21st Century, the structure of the game appears to be changing. With a weakening of the nation-state, Clausewitz's dictum that war is an extension of [state] politics may no longer be valid. Alongside the deterioration of the state, the opposing team's military has broken up, and some of these players have moved up into the stands, wreaking all sorts of havoc. (Finch)

Basayev is one of those players in the stands. The Wonderland Warriors have drafted an able soldier with experience and courage. The question is: will Basayev help the Warriors on the pitcher's mound?

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November 4, 1999

The Vestal Virgins, CBA's team of interesting women, in a continuing attempt to revamp the pitching staff now look to the field of aviation for some help. Despite it being a bad news week in the field of those magnificent but mystical flying machines, the management of the Virgins selected rookie Evelyn Bryan Johnson, possibly the world's oldest female aviator.

Consider these stats: Ms. Johnson (no relation to Walter, Ban, Howard or Davey) has been flying for almost six and a half years. She started the trip half a century ago. This means she has logged some 56,600 flight hours compiled over a period of 55 years. Her first flying lesson occurred on October 1, 1944 and her first solo flight happened a month later on November 8, 1944. Since then she's given over 9,000 flight tests to student pilots and for the past 45 years she's run the airport in Morristown, Tennessee. Today, by the way, Ms. Johnson turns 90 years old. She still runs the airport and gives flight lessons and exams tests almost every day.

In 1979 she was National Flight Instructor of the Year and in 1984 she was Safety Counselor of the Year. She gave former Senator Howard Baker (R-TN) his private pilot flight test. She has won the Carnegie Hero Award. In 1993 the National Aeronautics Association gave her their Elder Statesman Award. In 1997 she was in the first group of three inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. When asked by an interviewer what the secret of a long, productive life is, Ms. Johnson replied: "Don't sit down and watch the grass grow. Stay busy. Have something that you have to get up and do every day."

The Virgins must be hoping this rookie can provide some vitality to a pitching staff that has been lackluster at best.

November 1, 1999
Bhutan Vanguards Reactivate DUCHAMP, COURBET; Draft MUYBRIDGE

Animation by
Charl Lucassen
After another disappointing season the Bhutan Vanguards, CBA's team of artists and photographers, has decided the person responsible for the on-field problems is Miro the coach! So, he gets axed; a couple of veterans (Durer and Modigliani) get dumped; a couple of moth-balled players (Duchamp and Courbet) get reactivated, and rookie disappointment Jasper Johns gets the coaching spot. Now everything is supposed to be okay again. We'll see.

Duchamp was a member of the first Vanguard team in 1981. After six seasons he was deactivated. Courbet use to pitch for the Eden Bohemians (1981-1985) before they stopped allowing painters on their roster.

The most hopeful move this team has made is the drafting of motion photographer and outfielder Eadwaerd Muybridge. He's the man who inspired Duchamp's "Nude Descending the Staircase No. 2" which caused such an uproar at the 1913 Armory Show in New York City. Muybridge developed in 1879, the zoopraxiscope, an early example of a motion picture projector. He has a lot of potential but some of the scouts are concerned about his emotional stability. They refer to October 17, 1874 when Muybridge shot to death Harry Larkyns after finding out Harry was the real father of Muybridge's son, Floredo Helios. A court of law acquitted Muybridge, but still, the last thing this team needs is another unstable artist on the field of play.

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CBA News & Information Plate- November 1999 Archive
Archived: December 1, 1999
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