O.J. Simpson paroled … well, not really

OK, perhaps the criminal justice system did let O.J. Simpson get away with murder.

But they sure as hell have made up for that miscarriage of justice ever since.

They’ve done everything short of sending him to Gitmo or crucifying him. And that’s only because they don’t want to make a martyr of the Juice.

Granted, O.J. did win a small victory today in his bid for freedom as Nevada granted him parole on some of his 2008 convictions for kidnapping and armed robbery involving the holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room.

By the way, it was Simpson’s memorabilia and the punishment certainly didn’t fit the crime. But the target on his back was big enough for even blind justice to see.

Now for the gallows humor. Cue the funeral music, please.

Wednesday’s decision doesn’t mean Simpson will be leaving prison anytime soon. The former USC and NFL superstar running back was convicted on multiple charges and still faces at least four more years behind bars on sentences that were ordered to run consecutively.

Talk about a cruel tease.

Simpson seems destined to die in prison, never to return to the Monday Night Football booth or hawking Hertz rental cars.

Which means he never will resume looking for the killer of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman on Florida golf courses, where the rough must be higher than Ozzy Osbourne.

And that would be the ultimate miscarriage of justice.

Quarterbacks past and present, wide receivers past and present, and tight ends present the focal points of the Eagles’ nest

If you have been wondering if yours truly, otherwise known as Zeke the peerless pigskin prognosticator/hunky heartthrob for the Reading Eagle, had forgotten about football … well, that would be like me forgetting to breathe or read every Bill O’Reilly book.

So it’s time to check in on Chip Kelly’s Eagles.

Of course, today was a throwback to Andy Reid’s Eagles, what with Donovan McNabb retiring as an Eagle (he sure as hell wasn’t going to retire as a Redskin or a Viking) and the Birds retiring his No. 5 jersey.

Granted, McNabb could be nuttier than the Peanut Bar and he never did win a Super Bowl. But love him or loathe him, he was an elite quarterback in his prime.

Donovan is the best quarterback in franchise history because Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin spent the bulk of his career with the Los Angeles Rams before leading the Eagles to their last NFL championship in 1960 and because the sublimely gifted Randall Cunningham never truly morphed into The Ultimate Weapon because Buddy Ryan let Randall be Randall, which translated into a freelance, wing-it offense.

Then again, Ron Jaworski might be higher on my list if Jaws hadn’t looked more like the Polish Joke than the Polish Rifle in the 1981 Super Bowl loss to the Oakland Raiders.

McNabb’s No. 5 is the ninth retired jersey in the 81-year-history of the franchise, joining Reggie White’s 92, Chuck Bednarik’s 60, Steve Van Buren’s 15, Brian Dawkins’ 20, Pete Retzlaff’s 44, Al Wistert’s 70, Tom Brookshier’s 40 and Jerome Brown’s 99.

But now is the time to focus on this year’s quarterback derby. Reportedly Michael Vick and Nick Foles had good practices Monday as did big, strong wideout Riley Cooper, the air apparent to Jeremy Maclin, he of the shredded ACL.

Cooper, of course, is the polar opposite of the lithe and Roadrunner-quick Maclin, but Cooper can go up for the football, he can block, and his long hair could land him the cover of a cheap romance novel.

With Maclin out for the year, look for Kelly to be more tight end centric, even employing three tight end sets to take advantage of the versatile skills of Brent Celek, James Casey and rookie Zach Ertz.

Gifted tight ends with size and speed can create more mismatches than eHarmony.

It’s too early to tell if the Chip Kelly experiment reinvents the science of the NFL or blows up the chem lab.

But at least he has Isaiah 40:31 going for him:

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like Eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Snowden spawns Russian deep freeze

Something almost eerie is taking shape.

Sort of like an opposite universe.

It’s hard to imagine that this day would ever come, but it arrived today when the U.S. assured Russia that it will treat political prisoners fairly.

Say what?

Imagine that.

Behavioral history sure got the finger on this one.

Are we now living in some sort of strange dimension that even Rod Serling (Google him if you’re under 55) never heard of?

After all, Russia hardly has treated political prisoners with benevolence over the decades. The gulag ain’t Disney World.

Attorney General Eric Holder told Russia Friday that the U.S. will not seek the death penalty for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in hopes of convincing them to hand him over.

Holder also said that Snowden would be tried in civilian court — something Americans who cross the government can no longer be sure of.

The Obama administration has been stung by Vladimir Putin’s refusal to return Snowden, so it’s pulling back from cooperating with the Russians.

The Obama administration has been chumps about Putin, stupidly thinking he truly could be a vodka-swilling chum.

The man is a cold despot, a guy whose DNA morphed into KGB. Which is why there is a bleached look to his eyes, why his pupils hold back every and all expression.

Enmity between the U.S. and Russia is as old as water. And this water is tainted by piss and vinegar.

Weiner once again lives up to his name

If we already didn’t know that Anthony Weiner was a dick, there sure as hell is no doubt now.

And just when we thought the penile politician had his problem straightened out.

Man, this clown just makes it too easy for bloggers by being so hard on himself.

Weiner addressed new sexting allegations at a press conference today, admitting yet again to bad behavior but refusing to drop out of New York City mayor’s race.

His wife, Huma Abedin, either is a saint or a moron. Likely both.

Not only did she stand by his side at the press conference, she took the mic to defend her husband: “Our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and downs. It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy. I love him, I believe him, we are moving forward.”

Of course if Weiner had fewer ups in front of a camera, he and his wife wouldn’t have so many downs.

Turning a blind eye to the royal watchers

It always amuses me why Americans are so enamored with British royals.

After all, wasn’t it sort of a revolutionary thing when George Washington and the boys fricasseed the British chaps and freed us from the yoke of the monarchy?

Besides, except for Diana and Harry, the British royals always have been a rather drab, dour, dreary lot.

My only comment on the recent birth of William and Kate’s future king is that I hear he’s a real prince.

McCain joins Obama in calling for a review of Stand Your Ground laws, which could be on shaky grounds

John McCain joined with President Obama Sunday in calling for a review of Stand Your Ground laws, also known by some as Shoot First laws, in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

At least one of the jurors from Zimmerman’s trial has come forward and said that Stand Your Ground laws played heavily into their decision to find him not guilty.

Of course, nobody seems to pay much attention to laws in America anymore. Which would explain why countless Americans are murdered, a lot of them teens.

Our society has become a cesspool steeped in violence, and there aren’t enough port-a-potties available where people can seek shelter.

Stand Your Ground laws on the one hand seem to give a license to kill to people who feel threatened while on the other hand they are descendants of the old eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth doctrine of Biblical days of yore.

Normally, a citizen has a duty to retreat when confronted with what they perceive to be deadly force. The Stand Your Ground doctrine mostly removes that, meaning citizens who feel threatened are no longer required to try to quell a situation first before having the right to use deadly force in self-defense.

Granted, Jesus taught to turn the other cheek but that was before almost everybody was packing, many of whom apparently are afflicted with psoriasis on their itchy trigger fingers.

Speaking of Obama and the Zimmerman verdict, I give the president props for speaking out Friday on race.

He spoke from the heart about the black experience in America. We all are profiled to some degree (for instance, if you’re Polish some folks think your dumber than a fire plug), but blacks undoubtedly have experienced a disproportional amount over the decades. Of more recent vintage, Latinos and Muslims routinely are profiled.

Saying he would leave arguments about the verdict to legal analysts, Obama didn’t critique Zimmerman’s acquittal.

But Obama tried to explain the lens through which black Americans may see the case, saying that their own experiences and the country’s history with race form how many view what happened to Martin.

Obama’s remarks were a striking example of America’s first black president seeking to guide the country’s thinking on race without inflaming racial tensions or undermining the judicial system.

Sadly, even electing our first black president didn’t erase the stark racial divide in America.

Color us ignorant.

Detroit has a dead battery

Detroit today became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy as the state-appointed emergency manager filed for Chapter 9 protection.

Surprise, surprise.

Once the Japanese stopped bombing Pearl Harbor and began manufacturing cars, Detroit would have been better off falling into a sink hole.

Once Detroit’s auto industry began coughing like an old Pinto years ago, steep population and tax base falls set up Detroit to get knocked out by a barroom left you could see coming from Wichita.

Getting Detroit back on its feet would be like getting Billy Graham to spring for drinks.

I have no clue whether George Zimmerman should have been acquitted. Honestly, do you?

I have no idea whether George Zimmerman should have been acquitted of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

I wasn’t there that fateful night. And I didn’t sit through the entire trial and sift through all the evidence.

Therefore, I prefer to give the jury the benefit of the doubt … that those six women bound by the constraints of the evidence and Florida’s gun laws rendered the only verdict they could.

The trial, of course, became an emotional lightning rod illuminating the racial divide in America.

As men wiser than me have noted, when race enters the conversation, reason frequently exits.

Granted, one may prudently ask in a time when interracial marriage and coupling are prevalent, why do we still have a racial divide?

There were multiple factors, of course, that turned this case into a firestorm of a focal point.

For starters, the interpretation of whether the verdict was just or unjust seems blinded, to a degree, by perceptions and prejudices.

Also, both the prosecution and the defense were over dramatic, playing to the cameras instead of the jury.

The prosecution, which is not receiving rave reviews, overplayed its hand in portraying Zimmerman as a hate-filled racist, perhaps because there wasn’t enough evidence to hang wash on, let alone a show trial.

The defense overplayed its hand in casting Martin as a dark and brooding thug hiding in the shadows and waiting to pounce on Zimmerman.

And the media was totally guilty of hyping the melodrama.

The shooting death of an unarmed 17-year-old is a tragedy.

And while found not guilty, what is to become of Zimmerman, a man marked for life?

And what now for our judicial system? Did the erosion spawned by the remorseless scrutiny of a trial considered a travesty by many leave our courts naked with nowhere to hide?

Now for some sickening news: Obamacare actually might work!

Republicans and yours truly see eye to eye about as often as Wilt Chamberlain and Mickey Rooney once did.

Of course, I did vote for Romney — mostly because the mere thought of Obamacare was making me sick.

I thought the Republicans would repeal the law but they have struck out more often than Ryan Howard.

Granted, the GOP still rants and raves about Obamacare, shrieking like a guy circumcised with a weed whacker.

Now here’s the strange thing about all this: Suppose Obamacare actually does work? Suppose millions of angry Americans don’t wind up hating their new insurance or new insurance protections?

That could be downright revolting and more shocking than Barbara Walters and Joan Rivers running naked down Penn Street.

Here are some details that will have you strangling yourself with your stethoscope.

Already Obamacare has provided 54 million Americans free access to preventive services like check-ups and mammograms. And they have lived to tell about it.

More than six million seniors have saved more than six billion dollars on their prescriptions. And they now have enough money to eat unhealthy fast food.

Nearly 13 million consumers have received more than one billion dollars in rebates from insurance companies that had overcharged them. Those consumers have pumped at least some of those billon dollars into the economy while the insurance companies have flogged themselves like a medieval monk.

There are more than three million happy young adults who have been allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26. Which means they can skateboard on the West Shore Bypass and not fear winding up in the Reading Hospital ER.

And in California, a state that represents one-fifth of the U.S. economy, we’ve learned that premiums for the law’s new insurance options have come in lower­ than expected.

Maybe the Republicans should stop scaring the hell out of everyone over Obamacare.

Break up the Phillies!

This is no time for a Kumbaya outlook, Phillies fans.

While this tastes like Drano in my mouth, I’ve got to say it.

And while this may go down your throat like tumbleweed, you have to eat it.

It’s time to blow up the Phillies!

While they have been teasing us lately by actually winning a few games and touting their history as a second-half-of-the-season ballclub, their long run is history.

Ultimately this collection of relics won’t be able to beat an egg.

With Charlie Manuel about to lumber into the sunset after the season, it’s time for the Phillies to shed years and money now and load up on prospects by trading pending free agents Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley and Michael Young, as well as Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon.

Otherwise, things are going to get so ugly (especially with that bullpen) that you’ll want to stab two barbecue skewers deep into your ears and stir.

Phillies fans then will be buy-a-vowel drunk, spewing cuss words and looking to fight. And the men will be sometimes worse.