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Thoughts on Events the week of October 14 (except about football, which will come in a separate blog)

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 23, 2019

The World Record for Worst Screw-up: Trump seems to want to hold the record for everything. Trump insists everything he has or does is the biggest, best, greatest, etc. The biggest crowd. The best mind. Even down to the best chocolate cake. Everything.

Presently, Trump is trying to surpass President George W. Bush’s record for screwing up the Middle East the most, with his capitulation to Turkey’s strongman Erdogăn. Close, Trump, but no cigar. Bush still holds that record with his invasion of Iraq, at least until the Kurdish debacle plays out. (My very favorite neighbor objects to my characterization of Dubbya. Sorry, Margaret.)

I admit I am engaging in a graceless ad homonym by making fun of Trump’s oddly round mouth, but I can’t help myself. Apparently, evolution anticipated Trump. His mouth is perfectly shaped for sucking the dicks of dictators and despots.

Speaking of Screw-ups: In the first of two startling admissions, Mick Mulvaney stood before the press, TV cameras and live mics, and confessed that Trump had, in fact, extorted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and told us all to “Get over it.” We didn’t.

Having implicated Trump in a crime, Mulvaney tried to walk it back. I’m sorry, Mick, but you can’t walk back a confession. You’re screwed on the record.

Then on Sunday morning on Fox News, by way of explaining away Trump’s attempt to hold the G-& Summit at his struggling Doral property in Florida (See topic below), Mulvaney said, “At the end of the day he (the President) still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”

I don’t know about you, but I think that most Americans, with the exception perhaps of Trump’s family and his criminal cronies, expected their President to be time.

No less an authority on stupidity than Sean Hannity said Mulvaney is dumb. It’s true, though stupidity is not Mulvaney’s worst characteristic, nor Hannity’s for that matter.  (Is it just me, or is Fox News beginning finally to grow a little weary of supporting Trump mindlessly?)

Doral Debacle: I was spot on when I predicted that Trump’s plan to hold next year’s G-7 Summit at his golf club would never happen. After announcing it officially this week, Trump punted quickly, due to the outrage it evoked. In this case, the outraged did Trump a favor. This was such an egregious and obvious violation of the Constitution that Trump might have gone to jail over this one. Maybe people will start looking harder at other violations of the Emoluments Clause that Trump commits every day.

The Summit should be held at Camp David, otherwise, Trump might try to extort some private property owner to hold the Summit at their place. Camp David is designed for this kind of thing, and we the people already own it.

As he was capitulating, Trump cried like a baby that his opponents were engaging in “irrational hostility.” For once Trump got something at least half right. I have great hostility toward him. As for the irrationality, however, I don’t see anything irrational about wanting to obey the Constitution, which Trump obviously has no interest in doing since there’s no money in it for him.

Bill Barr: is a pig. He looks like a pig and he behaves like a pig. It is hard to imagine that this guy was once reputed to be decent and honest, when in fact he has proven to be an extreme groveling sycophant. I suppose standards are different in Washington than they are elsewhere. Just kidding. Of course they are.

Barr announced that he was “expanding” the pointless investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, whose origins are above board and already definitively established.

This nonsense evokes Benghazi, and the five, count ‘em, five investigations foisted upon us at tax payer expense by Trey Gowdy, another pig part and former Congressperson from South Carolina (where else?), with no conclusion other than the official State Department report, or a single piece of new information.

Yet Gowdy pressed on, because he had no real purpose other than to smear Hillary Clinton. Barr’s investigation falls into this genre. He is smearing Joe Biden for his boss.

We’ve had some genuinely smarmy Attorneys General in the past, mostly Republicans. One has gone to jail in my lifetime, and another couple probably should have. Barr hasn’t reached the level of criminal behavior, but he is up there with the most odious of them.

Status of the States: South Carolina. Mick Mulvaney. Trey Gowdy. Need I say more?

Thoughts on Events the Week of October 7

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 15, 2019

Betrayal: In the most egregious betrayal of his presidency to date (which is really saying something;  Trump betrays everyone, eventually), Trump removed the buffer of U.S. troops standing between Turkey and our faithful ally, the Kurds, who have been fighting for us against ISIS in Northern Syria, knowing the Turkish dictator Erdogan would attack the Kurds immediately, invading Syria to do it. All a tin pot dictator has to do is say “Pretty please, you good looking, virile man,” and Trump is putty in their hands.

For the record, I agree with Trump on getting out of the “endless wars” in the Middle East (failing to do this was President Obama’s second biggest mistake). We are behaving as if it were 1095 AD, and we are on a feckless, religiously intolerant crusade. If we would stop poking the Islamic bear with a stick, the regional players would go back to fighting each other and leave us alone.

But the Kurds are the exception. They are arguably our most faithful and dependable ally in the entire region. Our other “allies” there are frequently anything but. The Kurds have helped us fight terrorism, and, whatever your views on the value of that, they have stood by us. The least we could do is stand by them. Not to mention that Trump’s betrayal opens the door to Turkey, Iran and Russia.

We have betrayed the Kurds previously, most recently by President George H.W. Bush – the idiot father of an idiot son – in Iraq. It’s inconceivable we would do it again, but we have.

Now that Trump has exposed the Kurds to slaughter in Syria, he is threatening to impose sanctions on Turkey to induce them to stop what Trump has already said they can do, which is a cruel joke. Trump knew exactly what Erdogan was going to do. Erdogan asked Trump to remove our troops specifically so he could do it. Trump has created this cover so Erdogan can get away with it.

Accepting sanctions is a price Erdogan is willing to pay to save Trump face and commit genocide on the Kurds. Shame on us. Turkey under Erdogan is no friend of ours or democracy. A better solution would be to kick Turkey out of NATO and see how they like dealing with Russia on those terms.

Ukraine: It’s not surprising that this country has become a focal point for Trump malfeasance investigation. Ukraine is a top priority for Putin, so lap dog Trump was bound to be in it up to his neck. Anything any dictator wants, but especially Putin.

Monarchy: By claiming that the House’s impeachment proceedings are unconstitutional, Trump has asserted he is above the Constitution, which he, and his attorneys, have clearly never read. The one thing the Founding Fathers seem to have most feared was interference from foreign powers, and the attempted establishment of a monarchy. They put up all kinds of clauses in the Constitution to prevent that. I think we no longer need fear a foreign monarch being place on a throne in the U.S., but Trump seems to want to place himself there. Let’s hope the Constitution’s clauses hold fast.

Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners beat the Texas Longhorns in much way I expected the game to go. We were simply the better team this year. The score was 34-27, but the game was not that close. Had OU’s quarterback, Jalen Hurts, not made two uncharacteristic turnovers early in the game, it would have been a rout. As it was, Hurts had more total offensive yards than the entire Texas team!

The best thing about the game for OU, though, was the play of the Sooner defense. Grinch had a great plan: Take the one guy who can beat you out of the game and take your chances with the rest. OU put a spy on Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and it paid off handsomely. Ehlinger was sacked nine times. Better still, OU’s defense played with an urgency not seen in years.

I can no longer say that the Dallas Cowboys can beat anybody who isn’t very good, but not anyone else. Sunday, Dallas lost to the winless dog ass New York Jets. The Cowboys have returned to the mediocrity that has characterized the team for years. Players are in place. The problem, as it has been, is coaching, and Dallas will remain this way until they get a new coaching staff.

But even this may not help, for what good coach will work for Jerry Jones? Jones said after the game when asked about replacing coaches that he wasn’t thinking that far ahead. But that’s the problem. What the hell was Jerry doing talking to the media? That’s the coach’s job. Can you imagine Robert Kraft shoving his face in front of the media’s cameras talking Xs and Os?  Probably the best answer to the problem will be for the Jones boys to sell the team.

In the last couple of weeks, the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals have flipped the script. The Cardinals have one two and the Browns have lost two. The situation remains the same for both teams, however. Each has a good, young, though still inexperienced quarterback and lousy teams overall.

Status of the States: Texas gets the worst state cup this week because another Metroplex police officer shot another innocent black person to death while she was minding her own business in her own apartment. Jesus.

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 30

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 10, 2019

Smear: President Trump spent much of the week smearing, insulting and lying on Twitter, in media interviews and on the White House lawn. There is nothing unusual about this. Trump is a one trick pony. His response to everything is to smear, insult and lie. 

This time seems a little different, though. This time, Trump’s antics are in response to the House’s opening an official Impeachment inquiry, and it seems to have rattled him badly. His tweets are wilder, his language is more vulgar, and his claims are more hyperbolic and fanciful. He is not handling this well. It’s possible he will melt down completely. It would be convenient, so it is probably not how we will get rid of him.

It was opined this week that Trump will resign before being Impeached, even before the Senate trial, but I doubt it. He knows he could end up in jail when he leaves office. But I like my prediction that the weight of scandal, corruption and vulgarity will wear him down before the election.

Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners pounded Kansas, as they should have. I’m bemused by the animosity between these two teams. I don’t understand why the Kansas players refused to shake hands with Baker Mayfield at the coin toss before their game a couple of years ago. Kansas is better behaved than that.

Up next is the great rivalry game between Oklahoma and Texas. Both teams look very good this year. I expect it to be the best OU-UT game in some time, but I think OU is the better team. Strong as they are, I think Texas is weak at defensive back, and that will prove fatal for them against OU’s offense. We’ll see.

The Dallas Cowboy laid another egg on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. I was not surprised. Arron Rodgers has Dallas’ number. So, the Cowboys are 3-2, having beat three sorry teams and lost to two good ones. Typical. Dallas seems to be able to beat anyone who isn’t very good. It will be ever thus until they get a new coaching staff, and even then, it is problematical, for who among serious coaches will work for the Jones boys? Next up for Dallas is the Jets, which game I expect them to win.

The Cleveland Browns eked out a win, and the Arizona Cardinals lost again. Both teams are suffering from the same malaise. They have some skill players now, but they are terrible overall.

Status of the States: Another double win for South Carolina and Kansas, since both Senator Lindsay Graham and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are in an ass kissing – not kicking – contest to see which can put the biggest hickey of support on Trump’s criminal ass.

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 23

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 6, 2019

Impeach?:We now have an official impeachment inquiry, and I’m ambivalent about it, for three reasons. First, impeachment is a political rather than a legal exercise. It’s hard to imagine that the House won’t vote to impeach, or that Moscow Mitch McConnell won’t choke the impeachment baby in its Senate crib as early as possible. So, as a way to get rid of Trump, it’s probably a waste time.

Second, impeachments can have a way of blowing back. Just ask Republicans after the Bill Clinton impeachment. In this case, however, it probably won’t make as much difference. Trump has been committing high crimes and misdemeanors since the day he walked in the White House door, and yet Trump’s base hasn’t cared so far, so they are not likely to care now.

Third, impeachment proceedings will take up time that could be used to legislate important issues. Just kidding. The legislature isn’t doing anything anyway. My biggest regret is that we pay these people to do nothing.

On the other hand, how can the House not proceed with an impeachment inquiry? Their hand is now forced, morally. The President has committed a high crime. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. Even Trump knows it; he’s admitted openly.

So, though there is peril in it, I think the impeachment inquiry is mandatory now, or that part of the Constitution becomes a joke and we are left with no recourse with which to address malfeasance.

I would rather, given the timeline, throw Trump out the old-fashioned way, with an election (I think it would hurt his ego more), and perhaps this inquiry can help with that. I am a believer in corrosion, and I’m thinking that Trump’s antics are undermining his standing over time, and by the 2020 election, we all, even many of those who support him, will conclude that we just don’t want four more years of him. The evidence that comes out of the inquiry should only accelerate that corrosion.

Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners romped over Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were so overmatched that there’s not much we can learn from this game that we didn’t already know. OU is going to score a whole lot of points, and their defense is improved. The question is, will this combination be enough to win out. I’m confident that if OU does, they will be in the playoffs.

We learned something about the Dallas Cowboys in their loss to New Orleans, however. Dallas was exposed. Their offense was stifled by a good defense. The defense played well enough, but against a backup quarterback.

The Cleveland Browns pulled out a win, which is more than can be said for the Arizona Cardinals. The Browns are going to win a few more games than the Cardinals, because they are a better team. But both are far from prime time.

Autumnal Equinox: This reassuring event occurred this week. I enjoy the four dates – the solstices and equinoxes – that mark the extremes and balance of our journey around the Sun and think about what the ancients thought of these phenomena. Today, I use them as reminders to fertilize my garden.

Status of the states: Who cares?

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 16

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on September 26, 2019

Whistleblowers: In my experience, no matter the laws, or however much lip service is given to protecting them, things always end badly for the whistleblower, whatever the outcome of the issue. By now, every potential whistleblower must realize that they are putting their careers, reputations, even their lives in danger. It’s a wonder anyone ever does it. It requires courage and commitment to duty.

Apparently, someone has blown the whistle on Trump, and the president is already smearing the whistleblower as a partisan hack, though he admits he doesn’t even know who the whistleblower is. What’s it going to be like for this poor person when she or he is identified?

Greta Thunberg: came from Sweden to address the U.N. and shamed us all. When she said, “How dare you?” I winced. It was a vivid reminder of how badly our “elites” have been serving us for many years, and how poorly we have been serving ourselves.

Football: The Dallas Cowboys, having avoided the malaise for the first two games, began the third game by playing down to the level of their competition. But they pulled themselves out of it, covered the spread and won handily.

Things will become a lot tougher starting next week, when Dallas will begin facing stiffer competition. I’m eager to see how they will do against the Saints (in New Orleans, but without Drew Brees), and Green Bay (at home) over the next two weeks.

Cleveland and Arizona: I’ve been keeping an eye on both of these teams, because each has a University of Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner and first round draft pick at quarterback, and I see some comparisons and contrasts between the two.

First, both Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield are playing for a bad football team, particularly Murray. Cleveland is better than Arizona, but it’s only a matter of degree. The Browns have some good offensive weapons, at least, but their lines are terrible, and their coach has instilled no discipline. Penalties and mistakes are their hallmark. Arizona is just bad all over from the owner on down.

Both quarterbacks have struggled in their respective environments, and it will remain so until, in the case of Cleveland, they draft or trade for some line help, and in the case of the Cardinals, Hell freezes over. Both quarterbacks are at risk for being maimed by opposing defenses before help can arrive.

A contrast, and this works against Mayfield, is that in Cleveland, expectations are sky high. They shouldn’t be for they cannot be met with this team, but they are. In Arizona, there are no expectations to speak of. Fans know what they have: a sorry franchise. All they can do is feel sorry for Murray, and even more so for Larry Fitzgerald, who has had a long, distinguished, Hall of Fame career, toiling in the stony fields of mediocrity throughout.  

My beloved Oklahoma Sooners were idle this week.

I think there should be a new statistical category regarding the passing game in addition to just attempts, completions and incompletions. I’d call it “Drops.” These occur when a quarterback hits the receiver and the receiver drops the ball. The quarterback shouldn’t be saddled with that drop alone.

Sure, it’s subjective, just like errors in baseball, but it doesn’t change anything on the field. It’s still an incompletion, the responsibility for it is just more justly attributed.

Diary Entry: I turned 77 this week, bringing me uncomfortably close to my life expectancy date.

Status of the states: Who cares? All the action is in D.C. this week.

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 9

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on September 19, 2019

John Bolton Quit/fired (a Wonkette term of art): On the whole, this is a good thing. Bolton wants to nuke everybody, and not necessarily just countries. He is truly nuts.

It was never going to work out between Trump and Bolton anyway. Bolton is a crazed war mongering hawk, and Trump is a bully and a coward. Trump has no excuse for this poor hire. He had to know what Bolton stood for; Bolton proclaimed his craziness daily. Why did Trump appoint him since their respective views are so far apart? Ask Fox News, I suppose.

Socialism: Our discourse on this subject would be better informed if more Americans learned what “Socialism” actually means. Hint: it’s Googleable.

A recent poll indicated that 43% of Americans say they would favor “some form of socialism.” This is fortunate for them, because that is exactly what we have. Think Social Security, think Medicare, think Medicaid. That’s “some form” of Socialism. What ignorance!

The political and economic systems of almost every country in the world, certainly constitutional and parliamentary ones, have some mixture of capitalism and socialism. In our country, the mixture favors capitalism over socialism. We prefer military waste and tax breaks for hedge fund managers over health and welfare. In my view, things should be tilted the other way radically, more radically than any progressive Democrat has ever dared to suggest.

Republicans are too mean, Democrats are too timid, but with this exception, the difference between Republicans and Democrats, in my view, is frighteningly small. You can throw a nickel over both of them.

Football: The game between my beloved Oklahoma Sooners and UCLA went as I expected. I had watched both teams play previously, and it was obvious OU was the better team by far. The Sooners hung almost a half a hundred on them, and they had called off the dogs midway through the third quarter.

I think OU is likely to be able to outscore all of its opponents regardless of how poor the defense is, just like last year, except this year the defense is a little – not a lot, but a little – better, which may help get us further along in the playoffs. We’ll see.

The Dallas Cowboys seemed to play rather poorly against the Washington Redskins Sunday, but quietly they rang up 31 points and beat the Redskins handily by 10. This was a road game win against a division foe, so it was an impressive thing, though it didn’t seem so much like it at the time. The defense is underperforming.

I’ve been following the Cleveland Browns because of Baker Mayfield. The Browns beat the New York Jets, who have a serious quarterback problem, handily.

That said, I think the Browns have their own problem of unrealistic expectations. The Browns now have some good skill position players, but they are not a good football team. Their lines are mediocre, and they play with no discipline, which is a coaching issue. They need to draft some linemen and keep a close eye on their new head coach.

Status of the states: There has been so much malfeasance and misfeasance among the worst states that it is hard to keep up with it, and hard to choose which is the worst, so this week I am going to double up to stay current, and give cups to two worst states: Texas and Kansas.

Texas gets one because State Representative Briscoe Cain threatened violence against Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke via Twitter (“My AR is ready for you”) after O’Rourke proposed a mandatory buy-back program to eliminate assault weapons.

O’Rourke did the right thing, immediately informing the FBI of the tweet, who I am sure will visit Cain about it. Twitter took Cain’s tweet down, because “It violates our rules for threats of violence,” a company spokesperson said. Duh!

Kansas gets a cup too, because of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who supports every word that comes out of President Trump’s lying mouth. Pompeo is smart enough to know better, but he is utterly without principle when it comes to his own ambition.

A profile piece on Pompeo in The New Yorker by Susan Glasser, one of my favorite journalists, tells you everything you need to know about this guy.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/26/mike-pompeo-the-secretary-of-trump

Pompeo is very smart, but he is also pathologically ambitious, with the result he abandons all principle and common sense to further his own career, with no regard for the country he has sworn to serve.

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 2

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on September 11, 2019

Brexit: Having watched President Trump abuse and ignore our Constitution so egregiously, you might have wondered how much worse he could be if we didn’t have a Constitution to keep him in check? Well, to get an idea of what it might be like, look no further than the UK and Brexit. Britain has no constitution, about which Brits take curious pride, and during their inconceivable Brexit cockup, they are paying a price for it.

I would argue that their Brexit problem is richly deserved. It is the result of some of the worst government misfeasance and voter stupidity I have ever witnessed. It is all but national suicide. It resembles Jonestown more than parliamentary government. It tops even our election of Trump.

Interestingly, both Brexit and Trump came to be for the same repulsive reason: xenophobia, fear of foreigners. Trump exploited the ignorance of his base about immigrants, and UK voters approved Brexit because they were off put by Eastern European laborers being able to come to and work in their country. (I’ve heard this fear expressed from Brits who should know better.)

Both the UK and we are getting what we deserve from our ignorance and mean spiritedness.

In real time, Parliament’s dithering is farce. They’re arguing over when the UK should leave the EU and on what basis, when it’s questionable whether they even have the last say in it. The EU does. The UK needs a Mulligan, and if that fails, they should just dissolve the country as well as Parliament. It’s over for them as a respected world player pretty much after this anyway.

Social Media: can be informative and entertaining, but at a price: truth and privacy. The price is too high for me, which is why I don’t participate, and never will, though, as I remind myself and others, never is a long time.

If we ever start throwing some of the social media executives who are stealing our truth and privacy in jail, I may reconsider. If they are just paying fines, from shareholder profits, no way.

A Gerrymander undone: The North Carolina state supreme court threw out the state’s obscenely gerrymandered state legislative districts and has ordered new, neutral maps redrawn in the next couple of weeks. Gerrymandering is arguably the greatest affront to our voting rights. North Carolina has been one of the worst, and this is welcome news.

Interestingly, advocates chose to ignore the about reactionary federal judicial system, and to fight it out in their state courts. This may offer a road map for other states that want to shake the gerrymandering habit.

Walmart: Some good news about gun control. The retail giant has made some changes in its gun and ammo sales policies aimed at reducing gun violence. I think they deserve a shout out for this.

I was surprised to learn what a small share Walmart has of the gun market, only about 2%. On the other hand, Walmart is a big player in ammo sales – almost 20% of the national total. They are going to cease selling ammo for handguns and bullets used in assault rifles. This is big business for Walmart, and they will take a financial hit for this move. I’m proud of them.

The net effect on gun sales, and even ammo sales will probably be negligible – there are other sources for both – but the psychological effect could be profound. Walmart’s target is the gun owner target too, and fact that Walmart is taking these steps may indicate a change in thinking about gun control.

Walmart will continue to sell guns and ammo used for hunting, and I am fine with this…so long as the purchasers obey conservation rules and regulations. But keep doing those background checks, Walmart. And thank you.

Ad homonyms: Depending on how you characterize my comments on Trump’s mental and emotional deficiencies, I think you must agree that I try to avoid ad homonyms. I think they have no place in debates or civil discourse. However,I am about to indulge myself in one.

Have you seen the ass on this president? There hasn’t been an ass that big in the White House since Taft entered in 1908.

William Howard Taft weighed 340 pounds! That’s more than 100 pounds heavier than any other president, if you believe Trump weighs 238 as he says, and if you do believe that, you’re stupid enough to have voted for him, but I hope and you’re not.

Football: Zeke got his money, a big fat $90 million paycheck that will re-set the running back market. He is in the Dallas Cowboys camp. Thing are looking up for the Cowboys. Now, if we only had a coach. (I will never stop harping on this until Jason Garrett is gone, which he should have been at least four years ago, and counting.)

Skip Bayless was right when he predicted this deal would be done by Tuesday, September 3. He was spot on.

The Dallas Cowboys played the New York Giants with Zeke on the field and trounced the Giants. They looked great on offense, and a little less that I expected on defense.

Reality paid at visit to the Cleveland Browns, who got trounced by the Tennessee Titans. Baker Mayfield had a bad day, and without his usual spark, Cleveland stunk. It was a reminder that, overall, Cleveland is still a mediocre team (admittedly an improvement over the last few years), despite all the hype, and they have an unproven coaching staff.

Kyler Murray also had an off day with the Arizona Cardinals, but after a disastrous first three quarters, Murray brought the team back to tie in regulation and tie in overtime. Spoiler alert: The Cardinals still stink on ice. They are worse than Cleveland, much worse. And their coach has no business in the NFL.

The Oklahoma Sooners hung 70 on South Dakota and looked stronger than a bear’s breath doing it. You can’t tell much from a game like this, but what you can tell is very encouraging.

I watched the best college game of the weekend – LSU at Texas – which the Tigers won. (I have told myself I don’t know how many times when Texas is playing a non-conference foe that it would be good for the Big XII’s reputation if Texas won, and I should be pulling for them, but I just can’t do it, because Texas.)

It was a good game, living up to the hype. Both teams played very well. LSU threw a lot more than they used to in this game, and they had success with it, so I’m thinking we should be able to pass on Texas. Now, can we stop them with our defense? Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is good. We’ll see.

Status of the States: Arizona, my own personal state, gets the cup this week, because convicted felon and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, thanks to a pardon from President Trump, is free and has announced he is planning to run for Sheriff, again.

Arizonans should be embarrassed that this guy is even allowed out in public. His very existence violates local laws of public indecency and littering, since he is trash.

College Football First Week – 2019

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on September 2, 2019

The first week of college football, and the following two weeks to a lesser degree, are characterized by contests resembling those between lions and Christians. That is, major college programs book smaller schools for low risk, non-conference warmups. The small schools get ravaged, but they also get a large paycheck. That said, there are usually some unexpectedly close calls and the occasional upset.

This week was typical, but a little more exciting. There were more close calls, notably among mid-tier Big XII and SEC schools, and a couple more upsets than usual, such as Georgia State’s “stunning upset” of Tennessee.

Through Saturday, I only watched two games from start to finish. One was Oregon (11) v. Auburn (16), and it was exciting. Auburn won the game 27-21 in the last nine seconds, which was the only nine seconds it had the lead the entire game. But Auburn didn’t cover the spread, and the total points were under.

Auburn was quarterbacked by a true freshman, and Oregon by a veteran, talented and popular one. I like the Oregon kid; he’s exceptional in many ways, not just football. But since the replay officials at Eugene cheated OU out of a win there a few years ago, I was pulling for Auburn, with which I have no connection whatsoever.

If you think I hold a football grudge too long, consider that I still despise Notre Dame for ending OU’s NCAA record winning streak, and that was in 1957, before I even went to OU, or even lived there. If Notre Dame never wins another football game, it will be too soon for me. Besides, ND is chronically overrated by the sports media. So there.

The other game I watched throughout was Cincinnati v. UCLA, because OU plays UCLA in LA this season (I hope to attend this game), and I wanted to see how they looked. I am happy to report that they looked dreadful. Cincinnati won the game 24-14 and dominated more thoroughly than the score indicates.

I was pleased with my beloved Oklahoma Sooners’ opening game win against Houston, 49-31. Here are my takeaways, in order of priority.

  1. The defense was visibly, and statistically, much better than it has been in recent years, but as the commentators correctly observed, it still has a way to go. In fact, from the last five minutes of the third quarter to the end of the game, they resembled those dreadful defenses of the last few years. Nevertheless, it is clear they are improved, and have a much better defensive mindset. I am encouraged.
  2. My worries about the offensive line are somewhat assuaged. It was totally revamped from last year; only one starter returns. It has lots of talent, but one always worries about the lack of experience in such situations. I think they can get there. They blew some big holes in Houston’s defense.
  3. Jalen Hurts is as advertised, and he insinuated himself into the Heisman conversation. As improbable as it seems, it is conceivable that OU could have a third consecutive winner of the trophy, though I can’t imagine voters doing that.
  4. As good a coach as Houston’s Dana Holgorsen is, Lincoln Riley is that much better. Riley has beaten Holgorsen eight straight times now.  

My favorite sports show other than actual football games, is Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.  The two principles are Skip Bayless, renowned sports journalist and author, and Shannon Sharpe, Hall of Fame tight end.

Bayless, like me, attended Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, lived and worked in Dallas for years, and is a diehard fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the University of Oklahoma. I followed his writing in the Dallas papers for years. The show puts a lot of emphasis on those two teams and I love it.

Sharpe’s aphorisms, colloquialisms and homespun humor are very entertaining. He obviously knows football and brings some true insight and personal experiences to the discussions. He’s flat funny.

But perhaps my favorite thing about the show is that in many of their “debates,” both are right. Both make valid, substantiated points, and I get to decide. As Lil Wayne’s show introduction song “No Mercy” says, “No, I embrace debate. I don’t make mistakes; I just make my case.”

BTW, Bayless predicts the Zeke Elliott holdout will get resolved with a new, big contract for Zeke today or Tuesday. We’ll see.

Thoughts on Events the Week of August 26

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on September 1, 2019

Can you say Emoluments?: The instant I heard that the next G-7 Summit would be held in the United States, I knew that Trump would try to hold it at one of his properties for his personal profit. It turns out to be Doral Country Club, a typical Trump property, by which I mean it is in financial straits.

Likewise, I knew that Trump would try to invite Yesterday’s Man, Vladimir Putin to the event, especially after Macron invited Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to drop in on his event in Biarritz. (Macron to Trump, who has abused and humiliated the French President: “Kiss my rosy red Franco rectum.”) It kept Trump in his room for several hours until Zarif left, which was just fine with all the other G-7 leaders.

Neither of these things will happen, I predict. For one thing, the ACLU is certain to sue Trump over profiting from having the event at one of his properties. This corruption is too obvious even for today’s conservative courts to ignore. We are not Hungary or Turkey, yet.

Also, the venue would give any world leader who wants to avoid the meeting – and I think there are several – the simple, credible excuse of saying they do not want to participate in a violation of U.S. Constitutional law. The G-7 is so sick of Trump, some of the leaders may just decide to skip this one. Wouldn’t that be glorious?

Camp David is made for these kinds of meetings. It should be the default venue.

I almost wish Putin would be invited by Trump, but he won’t be. The optics of having Putin on American soil just weeks before the presidential election, when the news will be full of how Russia is meddling with it, will drive the last railroad spike into Trump’s election chances.


Was this Israel’s Tipping Point with the U.S.?: When President Trump urged Israel to deny entry to two Democratic, Muslim female members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complied, I heard something crack.

Historically, Israel has strived to maintain good relations with both major American political parties. They considered it essential to maintain U.S. support in the interest of their own national security, and it has worked well for them. With an Israel-friendly president in Trump, and Israel’s extreme shift to the right, Netanyahu abandoned the policy and insinuated Israel in our politics squarely on the Republican side.

That has ripped fabric of our bipartisan relationship with Israel asunder. Netanyahu has removed Israel its special place in American hearts and minds, which Israel has coveted and nourished carefully, and placed it among other garden variety partisan political issues.

As you can imagine if you read my writings, I am fine with this. I want a more objective approach to Israel. I have little regard for the illiberal, oppressive state Israel has become.

Trump is right about one thing. I think that there are some American Jewish voters (and some evangelical ones), whose opinions regarding American politics are heavily influenced by their regard for Israel, sometimes too heavily, at the expense of U.S. national interests. However, this is changing. According to polls, many younger American Jews are off-put by Israel’s abandonment of liberal democracy, which an older generation of American Jews has accepted uncritically.

Enemy of the Donald: Trump asked rhetorically which is the greater enemy of the U.S., Chinese President Xi Jinping or Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell.  The answer, of course, is neither. But since Trump is now back to kissing Xi’s ass, we must infer that in Trump’s mind (I can’t believe I just associated Trump with a mind), the answer to his rhetorical question is Powell, who Trump appointed to his post in the first place. What a putz!

Atomic Hurricanes: Remember those 50s sci-fi movies where nuclear weapons testing produced giant ants and spiders that threatened mankind, or at least the leading lady? That’s the level of fantastical nonsense where the idea of nuking a hurricane fits, only with worse results. Yet this is the level of scientific sophistication that our president possesses. Trump doesn’t know shit from Shinola, but he knows the launch codes

Dorian: Speaking of hurricanes, when this one was heading toward Puerto Rico, Trump’s response was to cut $150 million from FEMA’s budget, troll the entire island and smear the mayor of San Juan, personally.

Now that Dorian has bypassed Puerto Rico and is, as of this writing, heading toward Florida, which has many Republican voters, a Republican Governor and two Republican senators, Trump is giving it a lot more attention. His attitude toward Puerto Rico’s possible plight was pure racism, but it is a good thing he is responding to Florida’s possible dangers. FEMA needs to be ready to provide aid to Florida. I’ll comment on the actual events and result on next week’s blog.

Channeling Trump, this hurricane is his fault. I’ve got to blame someone. Trump pulled $150 million from FEMA’s budget before the hurricane came, so it’s his fault. You see the logic of this, don’t you?

Bill Barr’s $30,000 Christmas Party at Trump Hotel: The Attorney General is throwing a Christmas party for 200 friends (can you believe this guy has 200 friends?) at Trump’s DC hotel, at an estimated cost of $30,000. Dems and the media are having a fit over it.

Hey, it’s Barr’s money and his party and he can have it wherever he wants. You’re chasing shiny objects, guys.

Other than the odious optics, the only problem I see for Barr is that he has his lips pressed so tightly against Trump’s ass, he won’t be able to sip the eggnog.

Crimes and not Punishment: It’s been reported that Trump has ordered his staff to do everything, including illegal acts if necessary, to expedite building his border wall. He told them if they should get caught committing crimes, he will pardon them. (The White House denies this, but it is certainly true.)

This obscene statement, itself a crime, taken ad absurdum, means that Trump could order Mike Pence to shoot Wilbur Ross and Trump would pardon Pence. Tempting, but, no. (Now, if it were the other way around, I might have to think about it. Just kidding.)

Status of the States: Three of the worst states are worthy of the cup this week, but it goes ultimately to Texas, hands down. This is because the very next day after a mass shooting spree in Midland-Odessa, eight new laws came into effect in Texas reducing restrictions on guns. One of these laws permits guns in churches and on school grounds, for Christ’s sake.

I promised myself that I would not comment on gun control until I had some good news to report, but good news does not seem forthcoming any time soon, and I am sick to death of this shit. Mass shootings are an epidemic all over the country. America is beginning to resemble Sarajevo or Beirut in the 80s and 90s. Google them.

I lived in Texas for years. I have many friends there. I have a daughter and a granddaughter living there, and I am concerned for the safety of every one of them.

 Let me be clear: none of the remedies suggested by timid Democrats, obstructionist Republicans or our worthless president, or all of them combined, is nearly enough to address the problem. When there are this many Americans willing to take out a gun and shoot a bunch of people, we must get rid of the guns. No matter how nativist, mentally ill, homicidal or suicidal someone is, if there is no gun around, they cannot shoot anyone with one. It’s that simple.

I want to see a minimum of 80% of all guns in America, including anything that remotely resembles a military weapon or a Saturday night special, removed from our society. I want a mandatory buyback of these weapons, and, channeling President Trump, have the NRA pay for it.

Preacher

Posted in Reviews - of books, mostly, Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on August 31, 2019

For my money, the most interesting show on television these days is Preacher, which is in its final season, because of its absolute weirdness. It is AMC content (Seth Rogen is one of the producers). Start with the pilot. It’s a good yarn how the three protagonists get together and their characters are established.

Like almost all content today it seems, this show is based on a comic book (there is no such thing as a graphic novel; it is a contradiction in terms), but this one is on top of the character weirdness heap, even by comic book standards, yet improbably more realistic, within the bounds of our Judeo Christian heritage. No improbable spider bites or secret formulas gone horribly wrong.

Zombies are a glut on the market and werewolves have no dialogue, so they’re useless. Vampires endure, so Preacher has one, even a coven (?) of them in season three, briefly.

Preacher, as you might expect, has God; but also competing gods; God wannabes; SAG scale God actors; a dog who may be god; a direct descendent of Jesus Christ, a potential Messiah, who, spoiler alert: is a bit of a disappointment to the established church; a god corporation; and the actual Jesus Christ.

We have angels of different stripes and allegiances. We have the Devil and some of his various and sundry minions, including his enforcer, who is not to be trifled with.

There is a contraband market in souls, which evoke loose nukes.

Action takes place in the present and occasionally the past, on Earth and in Hell (Hitler is there, and a young, unfortunate man who doesn’t belong there, which complicates order in the universe), as well as rural Texas, New Orleans, a Deep South plantation, and the Australian outback (apparently the lead actor is from there.) I’ll leave you to decide which is the most hellish.

The protagonist is Jesse, the preacher himself, who can speak with the voice of God, which comes in handy in many, but not all, situations.

Through it all, is a true love story, which at the bottom line is required to hold my attention in any television show or movie.

Check it out.