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  • Merkel appeared to be powering ahead Monday to a fourth term as chancellor of Germany J.T. Compher Avalanche Jersey , after her rival Martin Schulz failed to halt her advance in a crucial TV debate three weeks before elections.

    Sunday's prime-time TV clash had been billed as Schulz's last chance to sway a decisive share of voters to his cause and halt a devastating popularity slide.

    But polls following the 90-minute showdown, which was watched by 16.1 million people, gave Merkel the clear edge over Schulz, a former European Parliament chief.

    "Merkel came out as sure, Schulz was hardly able to land a punch. The candidate is an honorable man. But being honorable alone won't make one chancellor," wrote Sueddeutsche daily commentator Heribert Prantl.

    With millions of voters still undecided, Schulz had been looking to the debate to erode the commanding 17-percentage point lead of Merkel's CDU party and their Bavarian CSU allies ahead of the September 24 polls.

    Schulz Carl Soderberg Avalanche Jersey , who had previously complained that Merkel was lulling voters to sleep with her refusal to engage in combative debate, went on the offensive quickly on the hot-button issue of migration.

    He accused Merkel of failing to coordinate plans with EU neighbors when she decided to open Germany's borders in 2015 to allow in refugees, many from war-torn Syria and Iraq.

    But Merkel was not rattled, countering that: "In the life of a chancellor, there are moments when you have to make a quick decision."

    But for the minor skirmishes, commentators lamented it was more of a "duet than a duel" in the spirit of the right-left "grand coalition" Merkel has led since 2013.

    "That wasn't a TV debate, it was a torturous 90-minute grand coalition therapy discussion Blake Comeau Avalanche Jersey ," said Dietmar Bartsch, a candidate from the far-left Die Linke.

    "Nothing on climate, nothing on education, nothing on digitalization," Greens party leader Cem Ozdemir tweeted during the event. "When will they start talking about the future?"

    Opinion polls following the program showed a clear victory for Merkel, with public broadcaster ARD saying 55 percent found her more convincing while 35 percent plumped for Schulz.

    As a baseball fan, I appreciate the film “A League of their Own Alexander Kerfoot Avalanche Jersey ,” starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell. It’s the story about the women’s professional baseball league, which was started because major League Baseball feared that the leagues would have to shut down because of World War II. The story within the story is about Tom Hank’s character, Jimmy Dugan, who was selected to manage the team. Jimmy was still young enough to be playing, but his career was cut short due to injury Sven Andrighetto Avalanche Jersey , sustained after a night on the town.


    We are first introduced to Dugan before the ladies’ first game. He bursts into the clubhouse, bypasses every player and goes right to a urinal to relieve himself. Madonna’s character, Mae Mordabito, is impressed by the length of this activity that she starts timing him. Jimmy, of course, is oblivious. He spends the entire game on the end of the bench, asleep. Wallowing in self-pity Tyson Barrie Avalanche Jersey , Dugan is completely disinterested in the team. His behavior is abhorrent. League general manager, Ira Lowenstein, played by David Strathairn, confronts him by asking, “If we pay you more money, can you be more disgusting?” Finally, team owner Walter Harvey Semyon Varlamov Avalanche Jersey , played by Garry Marshall, lectures him on his behavior.


    There is one particular scene, when Dugan is hitting balls from a pitching machine, where we get a look at the real Jimmy. He was a star player and judging from the way he was winging the bat, if it weren’t for his bad knees and alcoholism, he’d still be a good player. The alcohol had taken over his life and the tragedy is that we are introduced to the alcoholic, not the ball player. We wind up asking ourselves Patrick Roy Avalanche Jersey , “What would have happened if Jimmy took care of himself.”


    Jimmy comes to his senses and begins to engage the team. He asserts his baseball knowledge in a comical battle of signs with Dottie Hinson (Davis). He begins to see himself as a baseball manager, and begins to look at the ladies on the team not as women, but as ball players. We see this transformation of identity.


    Identity is at the core of alcoholism. In the throws of addiction, people are seen as alcoholics. But what is their true identity? Who are they as people? Jimmy Dugan lost his identity as a ball player because of alcohol, but found redemption in baseball as a manager. What’s more, we find that Jimmy is really a pretty good guy. He realizes that Harvey had given him a second chance in life, and rather than accepting a position as a minor league manager Matt Nieto Womens Jersey , he chose to stay with his women’s team for another season, out of respect for the players.


    Alcoholism robs people of their identity. It interrupts life. It becomes the focal point of existence, stripping away dignity, opportunity and fulfillment. But there is redemption. There is treatment and hope of a restored life and people need not suffer and be forever captive to the disease. Jimmy Dugan found a new life. You can too.

    Author's Resource Box

    Ned Wicker is the Addictions Recovery Chaplain at Waukesha Memorial Hospital Lawrence Center He author?s a website for alcoholism support:

    Learn when and how to do a Alcoholism Intervention

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      April 4, 2018 2:53 AM MDT