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First Quarter Recap – 2022

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 14, 2022

Overall, the first quarter of 2022 is about as woeful as any I can remember. Events were so depressing that I just couldn’t comment on them timely, so I decided to gather them up and create a quarterly recap.

It began in January when Stephen Breyer announced his intention to retire. This triggered another unseemly partisan nomination battle, a particularly disgusting one, even by recent standards.

President Biden had previously announced his commitment to nominate a black female justice to the court with his first appointment. Republicans pounced on his nominee even before he named one. So, at that point, Republican politicians could only have objected to her for being a woman or a nigger, for that is how these disgusting people think.

In the end, Biden nominated Katanji Brown Jackson, a truly outstanding jurist with experience unique to the Supreme Court, having been a public defender. Republicans smeared her viciously for defending criminals, though we know what they were truly smearing her for. She was ultimately confirmed.

In February, Russia declared war on the Ukraine, the memory of their debacle in Afghanistan apparently having been forgotten. I call Russia’s President, Vladmir Putin, Yesterday’s Man, because he longs to return to the old Soviet empire when Russia dominated and intimidated its neighbors by force. The only way this sorry lot could build an empire is by beating up on smaller neighbors.

In a way, Putin is succeeding in his dream. He’s taking us back to the cold war era, where Russia oppresses its neighbors, we contain him and support his neighbors by proxy until Russia self-destructs, again.

Russia is greatly diminished since the Soviet days. It’s a third world country with nukes and a nut for a leader. Though it must be said that Russians seem to want or need a tyrant standing on their necks, this one is all on Putin, Yesterday’s Man.

The difference between now and then is that Ukraine has seen this movie and doesn’t want anything to do with it. They are resisting and getting a lot of support from the west. It’s amazing the difference between an incompetent bully of a country and a highly motivated one fighting for its life. I think I’ll take the Ukrainians in this dustup, and I hope Putin loses his ass and his job over it.

In March, we had the Oscars. I was only watching with one eye, so when Will Smith struck Chris Rock, it took me a moment to absorb what had happened: black on black violent crime on live national television. Not the movie kind of violence; real physical violence, the kind we are preaching to our kids not to engage in. Bad role modeling, Smith.

I’m upset about this assault for a number of reasons. First, Smith was on the top tier of my favorite actors, and now I will never watch another of his movies, or whatever he does going forward.

Second, I don’t agree with how Chris Rock handled it. I would have filed a police complaint and sued Smith’s ass off. I’m sure Rock is tight with that community, and he had incentives to handle it gracefully, as he did. But Smith’s assault was not just an assault on Rock but on comedians everywhere, with a potentially chilling effect on comedy.  I would argue that Rock had an obligation to think of them as well.

Another disappointment is how the Academy handled this, which is to say dithered and did nothing meaningful. This is another example of why so many are so disgusted with our so-called elites. They dither when there is serious work to be done or decisions to be made.

But my biggest objection, is that it was a joke! It was a good joke. It was a funny joke! If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t be in show business.

Amid all the turmoil over the last election and the threat to our democracy from voter suppression, Congress was unable to pass voting rights legislation, because one of our two parties finds democracy an impediment to holding power.

In my view, democracy is our chosen form of government, and preserving the vote is more important than any other of the Biden administration’s agenda items. The fact that we couldn’t get it done speaks volumes to me about our long-term future.

The Republican National Committee is sanctioning two Republican Representatives just for participating in the January 6 inquiry committee, claiming it was just “legitimate political discourse.” This is a stunning preference of insurrection over the rule of law for a major political party in a democracy.

Sudden thought: I suppose if we are a democracy, we can vote not to be one. But it would be necessary for everyone to be able to vote for it to be fair and free.

In retrospect, we should have known that inflation would follow what’s his name, the disgraced former president’s administration’s massive tax cuts that gave billions to the rich, and the Biden administration’s massive response to Covid and its infrastructure bill efforts. We were naïve to think inflation wouldn’t follow and we should have acted sooner to correct it.  

Worst state: All of the worst states acted abominably during this quarter, but Texas was easily the worst of them all. Absolutely every responsible state and federal official  disgraced him or herself, beginning with Governor Abbott and working all the way down. They get the cup and may they choke on it.

Thoughts on Events Over the Holidays

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 10, 2022

In what is becoming a popular tradition for the holiday season, a number of Americans went out and shot somebody, or some bodies, randomly or with a purpose, young or old, even children.

When it comes to gun violence, America is somewhere in the middle of the pack, but there are enormous disparities, regionally. In New England, for instance, the rate of gun violence is extremely low, about the same as England, which is among the most civilized and peaceful places in the world.

However, in the south and west, our gun violence is on a par with the Middle East, which is not taking part in the trend toward civilized, peaceful behavior this time around. This averages out to, well, average.

In D.C., where true gun violence occurred a year ago, Republicans are saying what violence? And just wanting us to forget the whole thing so they can do it again.

Meanwhile, the saga of what’s his name, the disgraced former president, is playing out as I predicted: slow but inexecrable deterioration. He will not run in 2024. He will more likely be dead or in jail. But he will grift on it right up to the end and beyond. And I have to admit that as long as that many people are stupid enough to send him money, it’s hard to blame him.

I spent Christmas at the Tesuque Casino. Actually, it was the day after Christmas. The casino was closed on Christmas! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Me neither.

I plunked down $100, played for 41 minutes, picked up my $100 and left. And, as my father said whenever he broke even, “And I sure did need the money.” 😊   

Worst state: South Carolina is a poor piss ant of a worst state that doesn’t score high in terribleness all the time, except when Lindsay Graham speaks up, and recently, he’s been kind of silent.

However, if considered on a per capita basis, South Carolina is really, really, terrible, and through the holiday season, the state took the cup based on per capita increases in Covid-19 cases, outstripping all other worst states, and indeed the entire U.S. They get the cup, even without Graham’s help.

Football Thoughts – Week 15

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 30, 2021

NFL: Do I know how to jump back on a bandwagon timely, or what? The Cowboys had a great game, and the Cardinals did not. The Cowboys have clinched their division and the Cardinals are still struggling in theirs. As it stands, the Boys will have at least one home game in the playoffs.

The Cowboys annihilated the Washington Redskins 56-14. They scored about every way you can – run, pass, pass to an offensive tackle, pick six, fumble returned for touchdown, you name it. It was a complete game, plus luck.

The two most important takeaways from this game are: the defense played great, essential in a playoff run, and the Cowboys are peaking at the right time, and intangible that is important for a playoff run.

Another mixed bag for the OU QB three Amigos. Baker Mayfield did not play particularly well, though not nearly as badly as it looked, in a loss to the Green Bay Packers, 22-24. He was intercepted four times, and you can’t make those kinds and that many mistakes and hope to beat Aaron Rodgers.

However, two of the four were due to missed penalties, so obvious and so egregious, that the announcers were left humming and hawing and trying to say the refs stole the game without actually saying it. (The other two were on Baker.) That said, the Browns pressed the Packers to the wire. I still have hopes for them.

The Arizona Cardinals lost to the Colts 22-16, in a classic Cliff Kingsbury debacle. Get this: the Cardinals had two missed field goals and a missed extra point. Absent those, Kyler Murray would have won the game, despite their head coach. Likewise, if penalties were worth a point a piece (Arizona had 11 of them!), Arizona would have won by two scores. No discipline, another word, like defense, that Kingsbury can’t even spell.

It didn’t help that Carson Wentz chose this game to play perhaps the best game of his career. (Even so, I’m sure the Rams are more than happy with their switch of quarterbacks Wentz and Matthew Stafford.)

Historically, this is the time of year when Kingsbury coached teams – college and pros – swoon. After game six, Kingsbury’s teams have a disastrous losing record. As the playoffs near, the best players walk on water. Kingsbury passes water. Get rid of him, please.

And without DeAndre Hopkins, it’s hard to see the Cardinals going much further.

Now the good news: Jalen Hurts won again, as the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants 34-10. The Eagles play the Cowboys in Philly the last game of the regular season, and if there is still anything left for the Cowboys to play for, it could be a pretty good game.

Coming attractions: During the playoffs and/or immediately after the end of the season, I plan to write three essays on penalties, refereeing and the kicking game, not necessarily in that order.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 13

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 25, 2021

I’m unaware of any state as dominated by one industry as West Virginia is to the coal industry, with the possible exception of the Mormon church in Utah. And coal exploits this dominance up to and including getting away with murder, if you include the miners killed by poor safety conditions. Perhaps I should add gambling in Nevada.

And no industry has a more dedicated puppet than Senator Joe Manchin. Despite his words, he hasn’t the least interest in serving his constituents (his yacht speaks to that) in the service of his coal masters. Manchin seems right out of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” only Manchin isn’t Mr. Smith, but the corrupt senator who tries to destroy him to keep his benefactors happy. Coal is a dying industry, and Manchin seems to be happy to let democracy die with it.

Manchin has little to lose to obstruct at the bidding of his masters. If his antics causes Democrats to take a beating in the mid-terms, he will simply switch parties and become a Republican. He is an amoral pig part, and he disgusts me.

I don’t have the stomach to write about any of the other political partisan horses’ patooties just now.

Worst state: I’m writing this on Christmas Day, so it doesn’t seem appropriate to give a cup this week. Peace on Earth to all men, and women, of good will.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 6

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 18, 2021

Housekeeping news: Effective January 1, 2022, my phone number and email address will change. I’m discontinuing my landline and switching everything to my smart phone, whose number is: (928) 273-9422. My new email address is: eloivm42@gmail.com. Although my conversion starts officially next year, you can use this new contact information now.

Bob Dole Died: As Republican politicians go, Dole was a garden variety of the old school. Like most Republicans, he was defined more by what he was against than what he was for. (Oddly, he supported what’s his name, the disgraced former president, early on, someone who is far from old school. This is a major disqualifier in my book.)

Dole served with distinction in WWII, and was severely wounded, losing the use of an arm. Serving in the military was almost a prerequisite to run for political office back then. Dole lost his presidential bid to Bill Clinton, who was far too smart to get involved in the Vietnam War. It must have galled him.

Dole was a major figure in the U.S. Senate for years. He tried to run for president three times, and when he finally won the nomination, he resigned from the Senate to run for president and after losing, never ran for public office again. I’m not sure he could have gotten elected to the Senate in Kentucky by then. I mean look at the nimrods who are senators there now.

My bottom line on Dole is that he was a hidebound conservative, and not up to the job of leading the nation, so he didn’t rise to the level of his incompetence, as the Peter Principle predicts, thanks to Clinton.

Stormy weather in the Midwest: The was an outbreak of severe storms and tornadoes over a large swath of Midwestern states that caused enormous destruction and loss of life.

Tornadoes are not uncommon there, but not at this time of year and certainly not this severe. (The town of Maysville, KY was leveled and more than 100 people killed there.) This is the result of global warming, pure and simple. You’d think people would catch on my now, but no. It’s too late anyway now, so what the hell?

Consistent with his character as an industrial strength pig part, Senator Rand Paul, Republican Senator from Kentucky, screamed for federal aid for his state. There would be nothing wrong with this, except Paul has opposed federal emergency assistance to many other states experiencing natural disasters. What a putz!

Worst state: Of all the worst states, one’s Covid-19 cases is spiking out of control. It’s Kansas, whose cases, per capita, far outpace the others. It’s Kansas. Guess which state gets the cup this week.

Thoughts on Events the Weeks of November 29 and December 6

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 11, 2021

Nothing has happened these weeks but more partisan paralysis. It’s become depressing to read about and comment on our news. I don’t know how much longer I am going to be able to keep it up. The functioning of our three-branch democratic model, with checks and balances, has gone to hell in a handbasket.

We’ve known about the dysfunctional failures of the Legislative branch for a while. The Senate hasn’t functioned properly or responsibly for more than two decades. Fewer and fewer legislative branch members are even interested in governing soberly.

Now the Judicial branch has officially become another partisan player. When a Supreme Court Justice assures us that they are not political hacks, you can be sure they have a majority of political hacks. (I’ve often felt that I was never farther from justice than when I was at the courthouse, and now I feel that way about the highest court in the land.)

The Executive branch was severely damaged by what’s his name, the former president, perhaps irreparably, but it’s more than that. Everyone wants to tear down the president no matter what he or she does. Everybody’s a critic. This includes the fourth estate, which seems to need to criticize to attract readers and viewers. Everything’s a crisis.

Personally, think President Biden is doing a reasonably good job, but the media are already starting to call his a failed presidency. What is wrong with these people?

Worst state: I’m giving the cup to Arizona, my own personal residence, this week, and I don’t think I’ll have much pushback, because: a police officer here shot and killed a 61-year-old man in a motorized wheelchair in the back. And we don’t believe our police function needs serious reform?

Football Thoughts – Week 13

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 11, 2021

College: The regular football season for my beloved Oklahoma Sooners is over, with results far below expectations. #16 OU will play in the Alamo Bowl against #14 Oregon.

OU has owned Oregon, with the exception of the game in which the referees cheated us in 2006. The game is the only one played between the teams in Eugene, OR, and this cheat was so egregious, it turned a light on Oregon’s shenanigan in Eugene and caused serious reforms there. But I haven’t forgiven the Ducks for that game, and I hope we beat the brakes off of them

The Alamo Bowl is a second-tier bowl but a good one. It’s played in San Antonio, Texas, obviously, and one of the nicest things about this bowl is all the video shown of the city, which is one of my favorites.

Though OU is out of the playoff picture, there was plenty of drama and excitement this week in Norman emanating from Lincoln Riley’s departure to USC and the search for a new head coach. This had to be done quickly because we are right in the middle of recruitment season. The Sooners selected Brent Venables, former OU coach and defensive coordinator at Clemson, where his defenses have been spectacular.

I am ambivalent about this choice. Venables is an excellent defensive coordinator, arguably the best in the country. It was unfortunate that he left OU Clemson. Our defense has been mediocre to dreadful ever since. But Venables is unproven as a head coach. Of course, Bob Stoops was a defensive coordinator when Joe Castiglione found him.

I wish Venables all the best, but one option I would have considered is Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule. He resurrected the Baylor program amazingly before going to the pros. I was impressed by what he was able to do there.

The playoff field is set, and after a lot of machinations and miscues by the committee, and with two teams new to the party, they got it right. The final ranking is: #1 Alabama, #2 Michigan, #3 Georgia and #4 Cincinnati.

I’ve been a skeptic about Cincinnati all season, and I still am (they are a two- touchdown dog against the Tide), but they earned their way to this shot with a 13-0 record and a questionable “quality win” against Notre Dame.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys beat the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans 27-17 and looked good doing it. Head coach Mike McCarthy tested positive for Covid-19 and so wasn’t at the game, which doubtless helped our chances.

The defense still doesn’t look playoff ready. But they get some key defensive players back from injury, which should help. Also, Kellen Moore called a poor game and reminded me why he is not what he is cracked up to be and far from OC ready, let alone a candidate for a head coaching job. Coaching is one of Dallas’ two major problems.

The results for the OU QB Amigos last week were a mixed bag. Kyler Murray returned from an injury and threw four touchdowns as the Cardinals beat the struggling Chicago Bears, 33-22.

Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns lost 10-16 to the Baltimore Ravens. Beaten up as he is, Mayfield played pretty well, well enough to win this game, but his receivers betrayed him badly.

Jalen Hurts is injured and didn’t play in the game the Philadelphia Eagles won 33-18 against the pitiful New York Jets, so this game doesn’t count for him one way or the other.

Thoughts on Events the Week of November 11

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 3, 2021

While at the national level, the legislature is still griding like an aging, jaded stripper, some important news was occurring at the state level. A jury in Georgia, Georgia, found three knuckle-dragging, mouth breathing rednecks guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery as he was jogging innocently through a neighborhood.

Travis McMichael, 35; his father, Gregory McMichael, 65; and their neighbor William Bryan, 52 face sentences of up to life in prison for the state crimes, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving trio of crackers. (If this is what the NRA means when it says guns don’t kill people, people kill people, then these people should never have been allowed to have a gun.)

I’m not sure why this verdict is so different from the Rittenhouse acquittal in Wisconsin. These cases were similar (and to so many others), but it doesn’t reflect well on Wisconsin, a state once highly regarded by me that seems to have lost its mind.

Worst state: I’m giving the cup to Kansas this week, because of one of its duly elected state representatives, a Democrat, got arrested twice in one month. (To me, a crook is a crook, regardless of political party affiliation. This is not true of many Republicans.)

Aaron Coleman, age 21, was arrested last Saturday on suspicious of DUI. Less than a month earlier, he was arrested for assault to one of more of his own family members.

Kansas has a history of electing despicables and deplorables to office – think Mike Pompeo and Sam Brownback – but this poor boob takes the cake….and the cup. How did this almost juvenile delinquent get elected in the first place?

Thoughts on Events the Weeks of November 8 and 15

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 22, 2021

Infrastructure: The Democrats finally passed their infrastructure bill after months of bloody partisan infighting, which in this case was among factions of their own party. Ugly, messy, off-putting, like the partisan warfare between Democrats and Republicans. An embarrassing performance by a party who is trying to convince voters it can govern.

Climate Change: There was a climate change conference held in Glascow, Scotland. I paid no attention to this conference, because, as I have written previously, it is too late to address climate change, and besides there is clearly not the will to do so. The meager, too little too late results of this conference only confirms my assertion.

Criminal injustice: We cherish guns over justice. The insurrectionist who took an AD-47 to a protest, and shot three people with it, two of whom died, was found innocent of all charges.

This is more proof, as if any were needed, that our criminal justice system is broken and corrupted. There is no longer such a thing as a fair trial as we used to have them. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. They let a stone killer of innocent protesters loose on the streets. I don’t blame blacks for wanting to see whites dead.

Worst state: Paul Gosar, my own personal Representative, doubled down on his posting of an odious, manipulated cartoon showing him killing AOC. This guy wins the cup for Arizona by just being himself. Gosar was censured by the House, but praised by Republicans, which says everything you need to know about the failure that is our Legislative branch of our government.

Football Thoughts – Week 10

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 18, 2021

College: Baylor beat my beloved Oklahoma Sooners convincingly, 27-14. That’s less than two touchdowns, but OU was never really in the game. We were out coached, out played and just beat. It’s hard if not impossible to see how we might get back into the hunt for the playoffs; we dropped to #12 in the rankings.

The last time OU lost as game in November was 2014. During those intervening seven years, OU typically hit its stride, won out, won the Big XII Championship game and went to the playoffs, often.

Though totally unexpected (we were ranked #2 preseason), something has been not right with this season’s team. Why? For one thing, we have had a quarterback controversy that absolutely no one saw coming. For another, our defense is playing with more effort, but still not very well. Penalties, missed tackles, confusion. Defensive deficiency is still not corrected.

Finally, maybe it’s just to be expected to have a clunker every seven years or so. We have had it pretty good all that time, just not good enough to beat a good team with a good defense in the playoffs.

NFL: Again this week, only one of the OU QB Amigos won. And again this week, it was Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles, who beat the Denver Broncos 30-13, the team that humiliated the Cowboys the week before. Hurts played well.

The Arizona Cardinals lost to the Carolina Panthers, about which more below, but Kyler Murray did not play so it doesn’t count for him one way or the other.

Baker Mayfield played when the Cleveland Browns were walloped by the New England Patriots 45-7, but he has been playing badly hurt and probably shouldn’t have been in the game at all; in fact, he was taken out in the second half.

A very interesting thing that happened this week is that two formidable, big-name players looking for a team, each found one, signed late in the week and played for a few snaps, probably all the plays they had time to learn.

The most interesting of these was Cam Newton, who returned to the Carolina Panthers. They put in a couple of plays for him in red zone situations, and on his first two touches, he ran for one touchdown and threw for another. Auspicious start.

Odell Beckham, Jr. landed with the L.A. Rams, which could be a very good fit and beneficial for both. LA eased OBJ back onto the field. He had three targets and caught one. I wish both of these players well.