Friday, April 18, 2014

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's got you down, Shipmate?  All the good sports are over for the year and so you're stuck with lame NBA playoffs and baseball?  Did all your dieting in the early part of the week get blown out of the water by overindulgence late?  Share, people, share!

Weight: 188.4
Last Weigh In: 189.4 (11 Apr)
Diet Start: 198 (Aug 11, 2013)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

News & Perspective From a Half-Drunk Redneck

Have you seen this story? Well...Miss North Carolina (Johna Edmonds) is getting some stick about her "revealing" clothing. It seems a lot of folks think she's not setting a good example for our youth. Forgive me but that's not how I read this. When I look at Miss Edmonds I see a beautiful, confident young woman performing her duties as a representative of our great state. She also happens to have a spectacular rack which she is none to shy about parading before her admiring public. If our "youth" need a role model then they could do a lot worse, beats the Khardashians or Rihanna. But to add a bit of cultural perspective, I can well understand the criticism. Southerners are uncomfortable with clothing like this. Why I myself have been to semi-formal affairs and after a few libations caught myself ogling some Yankee woman's rotors to the consternation of all. It makes things very awkward and the ride home ain't that great either. Women tend to get very pissed off when they wear clothing accentuating their assets and men actually take the bait. Don't ask me why.

Did you happen to see the Rev. Al was outed as an FBI informant? Well I hope you did because you're not likely to see it mentioned again (much like the California legislator who was so anti-gun, you know up until he was caught running guns). Anyway I am not at all surprised by the Rev. You know why? Because I'm a redneck that's why. You see one of the big differences between Southerners and the rest of the country is that even though we had Jim Crow and all the other forms of discrimination both subtle and not so subtle, we actually had daily contact with black folk. Non-Redneck Americans had, and probably still have minimal contact with blacks. You people stayed with your own kind be it Irish, Italians, Jews or Poles. Now I know times have changed, but the point is Southern whites know black folks a thousands times better than anybody else. Our cultures are very similar, NOT IDENTICAL by any means, but very close.
So, in light of what I just told you here's the short course on black preachers. They like pussy and fried chicken and ain't no nappy-headed, jive-ass, stump jumping (insert ethnic slur here) gonna stand in their way. In other words they could care less about black grievance, it's just a means to an end. Al Sharpton is running the black preacher playbook, no more no less.

Well it looks like Issa might have run out of patience with Lois Lerner. I think he's playing it pretty well. He's dragged it out with an eye towards the mid-terms and the release of the Elijah Cummings communication with Lerner was a game changer. So now they've voted to hold Lerner in contempt (and she ain't the Attorney General) which means she can be arrested and detained. The pressure has been appropriately cranked up, the next step is to offer her immunity. If they can get her to roll over she would be a goldmine I'd say. She's spent her career as a political hit-bitch going from the FEC to the IRS, whenever and where ever she might be needed to advance the cause of her handlers. I'll bet she can put some asses in some wringers if she spills. It'll all come down to who she's most afraid of, and don't think this is a slam dunk. But however it plays out don't you just love our ever diligent media? My God if Nixon had been a Democrat he'd still be President.

That's all I got. Oh, I'd like to congratulate Mr. Stewart for winning the NCAA bracket competition. I'm over the disappointment of losing... AGAIN!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Something got you down?  Bummed about a second rate former Big East team winning the title?  Fattening up for Spring?  Share you thoughts, friends.  We're here for you.

Weight: 189.4
Last Weigh In: 184.4 (Mar 28)
Diet Start: 198 (Aug 11, 2013)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

                          MUDGE GOT PUNKED! 

I Get it Now

That's right, I get it now. Look, let's get it straight, I much prefer a private healthcare system. I think American medicine has been a wonder of the world, far better than any other country rich or poor. But those days are over. We have allowed leftists to import 100 million third worlders. We have our own domestic scumbags who have been spoiled and coddled and are like domesticated animals, incapable of fending for themselves. What are they to do, or more to the point what are we to do with them? Well, we could just say to hell with them all, but come on, that's not going to work. First of all, they show up at emergency rooms for primary care and until such time as there are no more Democrats we will continue to treat them for "free". Plus we have to look at public health as a whole. Suppose we let disease run rampant through the poorer communities? Well obviously it won't take long before the rest of us suffer. So maintaining the health of the "herd" (for lack of a better description) is in all of our interests.
So, the Affordable Care Act sucks, I think we can all agree on that. I hate it, you hate it, we all hate it. But it's an important first step addressing a real problem realistically. How we got here is not the point, it's what we do now that counts. So let's all get behind this effort and stop resisting, we'll all be better off.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Indiscriminate Ramblings From Tobacco Road

Well, the Virginia Cavaliers are mortal after all. Poor CW, the man couldn't be more bummed if Jos. A. Bank announced no more "This Week Only" sales. Cheer up CW, there's always next year.
Now, let's talk about what happened. Tom Izzo is what happened. I think Virginia was actually the better team (marginally...ever so slightly) and I also think Tony Bennett is a fantastic coach (even though he looks like the big brother in a 50's sitcom). But Izzo has been there before, he knows the pressures and what it takes to win these kinds of games. His coaching was worth at least 5 points.
I really like this Virginia team and Joe Harris brings to mind Lee Raker, Jeff Lamp, Rick Carlyle, Jim Miller; all those great UVA B-ballers from the past. I hope Bennett can keep this team together because they got a lot more in 'em.

Hey, did you see Mitch McConnell's Duke ad? Anyway it's a pretty good spot but towards the end it shows a bunch of guys celebrating on the basketball court who presumably are Kentucky players, turns out it's (OMG!!!) Duke. WELL, if you've ever been to Kentucky (I have), and ever talked basketball with Kentucky folks (I have) then you know there are not many Duke fans hanging around. In fact, even after all these years just the mention of Christian Laettner's name will typically provoke an emotional response that when coupled with the consumption of adult beverages (a very popular Kentucky avocation) could easily turn into a major civil disturbance. Add that to the fact that Senator McConnell is a Louisville graduate and we've got a situation. What an idiot! Doesn't anybody in his organization vet these ads?

On a personal note I'm having trouble paying my light bill, are there any Democrats out there who would like to contribute? Here's the deal, a couple of years ago Duke Energy thought it would be a great idea to take over Progress Energy (the two power companies serving North Carolina). Progress Energy had a good reputation and did a pretty good job I thought, and Duke's reputation was a little shady to say the least. But Duke's Chairman was a guy named Jim Rogers, and he was a BIG Obama supporter, in fact so big he bankrolled the Dem convention is Charlotte: As co-chair the Charlotte Host Committee, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was in some ways a face of the Democratic National Convention. He also arranged Duke's $10 million line of credit and gave $10,000 to Barack Obama's campaign.

Of course when Duke was trying to merge they still had to get the OK from the State, and even though at the time we had a Democrat Governor and legislature, they were still a little hesitant due to Rogers' political activities (an Obama butt-boy through and through). Not to worry said Rogers, as soon as the merger is completed I'll step down, retire. Well after the papers were signed whatta ya know, Rogers has a change of heart and decided to stay on, and considering he was tapped in to national politics nobody said a word.
Well fast forward and things ain't looking that great. The company is poorly managed and there's been environmental problems etc., and it looks like Duke got screwed by the DNC for the convention (huge surprise to some but I think the plan all along). So I guess now Duke's customers will just have to foot the bill, AND LIKE IT!
What does this mean you ask? For me it means a near doubling of my electric bill. So again I appeal to our Democratic friends for a small contribution, after all, I contributed money to you.

To carry on with our Duke theme today did you see that Mike Nifong is back in the news? He's featured in a book by some Duke asswipe and judging from what I've read it's full of lies and you might expect. Christal Mangum "suffered a trauma" that night: Lord give me a break!. Yeah, sure she did. They pulled enough DNA out of her pink parts to repopulate Biafra but not one squirming spermozoa wore a Duke jersey. But you gotta hand it to the liberal establishment, they don't take no crap from nobody. We, the consumers of news as well as the defendants themselves have yet to receive an apology from the New & Observer, WRAL, the NY Times or the faculty and President of Duke University all of whom threw these kids under the bus with the relish only a good liberal could muster. They loved every damn minute of it, just a shame it turned out to be absolute BULLSHIT!

Friday, March 28, 2014

On Unionizing College Sports

As an ideologue, I generally come down on the side of Unions acting as a thumb on the free-market scale, inflating wages to a point where supply and demand forces would not go.  But such is life that unions are a part of it.  There was a time when collusion within capital acted as a similar thumb, keeping wages well-below their free-market point while encouraging unsafe conditions. 

We have moved beyond those days.  Almost.  The news this week of the Northwestern Football Team's case before the National Labor Relations Board is an interesting one, with opinions flying every which way and wanna-be labor lawyers stepping up to offer their thoughts.  I choose to join them.

In my view, the relationship between capital (the NCAA, Conferences, Universities) and labor (players, a.k.a "student athletes") is supremely unbalanced.  Unions and collective bargaining have their greatest POSITIVE impact in situations such as this.  You can say all you want about some of the athletes getting "free educations", but there is a fascistic restraint of trade at work in major college sports that screams for unionization.

Unintended consequences is the law, and this case shows promise creating many of them.  At the heart of Northwestern's case was that the players are--in essence--employees--due the protections that employees are afforded under modern labor law.  The NLRB seems to have agreed, and while those who have advocated paying college players and increasing their "rights" are now joyous at what will follow, I can see several really interesting developments on the horizon.

1.  The death of college sports as we know them.  Certainly the death of the NCAA in the guise that it currently is. Let's face it; if tuition, room, board, meals and books are factored into a total compensation figure--even if there is a (taxable) stipend added, many, many college athletes would be unable to "pay the piper"--that is, Uncle Sam.

2.  Decrease in (economic) diversity at elite universities.  Let's face some cases, sports are a ticket to elite universities where tuition alone is greater than what an average family of 4 makes these days.  Poor, lower, and middle class students of all races ofter are able to attend these powerhouses of economic mobility BECAUSE they were on scholarship or grant.  The "employeeization" of sports would certainly create economic situations which "price out" those who cannot afford these educations.  You wanna bitch about income inequality?  Sports has been one way inequality has been chipped away at, providing a chance at the brass ring for folks who otherwise would not have had it.

3.  "Minor League" basketball and football.  Possibly "loosely" associated with universities, but without and sense that the people on the team attend that school.

I honestly don't know what happens to the non-revenue sports.

But I do know this:  we have no idea where this is going, and I don't believe we (the viewing, cheering public) are going to like where it lands.

Fareed Zakaria is Wrong, Again

My Facebook Timeline this morning included a link to this editorial from Fareed
Zakaria, extolled by a man whose judgment I normally trust.  In this case, they both have it wrong. 

Zakaria's point here is that Obama is playing a subtle and sophisticated game, while Putin glories in some replay of 19th century Realpolitik.  Ever ready to dazzle us with his research (or someone's for that matter), Zakaria goes through an impressive accounting designed to show exactly why what Putin is up to is not in keeping with modern niceties.  By characterizing Putin's actions as "19th Century", they are de-legitimized in the eyes of the elite, and President Obama is shown as a modern, wise man of statecraft applying the new thinking of the new order to this retrograde problem.

At no point does Zakaria stumble onto the obvious answer as to why there was such a precipitous decline in border changing conflicts.  He just accepts it as the way it is, sort of a by-product of modernity.  Not proved.

The security arrangements of the Cold War, with two world powers exercising considerable control over their respective blocs, are what kept these forces in check, forces which had dominated geopolitics and warfare for centuries.  Upon the fall of the Soviet Union, US world leadership as the "hyperpower" served to similarly frustrate these never far from the surface historical tendencies.   The Balkan crises in the 90's though, should stand as firm testament to the fact that such conflict had NOT been eradicated and was not somehow ahistorical.

Zakaria's has one quote that tees my point up nicely:  "This is not an academic debate. The best way to deal with Russia’s aggression in Crimea is not to present it as routine and national interest-based foreign policy that will be countered by Washington in a contest between two great powers. It is to point out, as Obama did eloquently this week in Brussels, that Russia is grossly endangering a global order that has benefited the entire world. (my emphasis)".  What Zakaria, and Secretary Kerry, and President Obama keep missing is that America's choice to decline is also grossly endangering the global order.  We cannot separate out from the statistics Zakaria cites the direct, lasting, and essential impact that a globally engaged and powerful United States of America had on producing them.  American weakness--whether that shown by the Bush Administration as the economy collapsed around it in 2008 re: Russia v. Georgia--or that which has been a central feature of the Obama Administration since it took office--must also share in the blame.

The center-left tendency these days to laud the President for his actions since Putin began his mischief fails to account for the impact of his policies and leadership in the years before. 

No, Putin is not a man of the 19th Century.  This is a misreading.  History took a break after World War II, and we make a great mistake if we believe that the sixty years since represent anything else. 

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's on your mind, Chum?  Still smarting from your inglorious exit from the field of 64?  Wondering whether you'll reach your 6 million enrolls? 

Share your thoughts...we're an accepting group.

Weight: 184.4
Last Weigh In: 187.7 (Feb 28)
Diet Start: 198 (Aug 11, 2013)

Monday, March 24, 2014

CW March Madness Standings

Here are the standings in the CW March Madness Bracket.  Jeffrey "Chicken and Noodles" Stewart is in the lead Rob Ganus Close behind.

The Michigan State/Virginia  and Louisville/Kentucky games are going to be awesome.

RankTeam NameScoreCorrectBest ScoreBest CorrectChampion
1Jeff Stewart453416948Virginia (124)
2Rob Ganus423315445Virginia (138)
3Meaghan McGrath413211339Arizona (142)
4Greg Dail403213242Michigan St. (165)
5 Bryan McGrath372914540Virginia (116)
5Dean Hackemer373011738Virginia (107)
5Sean McGrath372914940Louisville (177)

Obama Hunts Osama bin Kony

Our most pressing foreign policy issue--Kony
News this morning of a redoubled effort on the part of the Obama Administration to bring Ugandan Warlord "Kony" to justice.  Let's face it, Kony is nasty stuff, and he would look great facing the music in an international tribunal, or on a cold slab somewhere.  But this is not a compelling U.S. interest.  It is a sideshow, driven by activists with megaphones, T-shirts and social media sites.  The President is looking to bottle lightning again, with a sexy special forces raid, book deals and Academy Award winning film to follow.

Seeking a small-ball victory, the Administration appears to be loosing our special forces to take out America's #1 Strategic Issue, a Central African Warlord operating in the former colonies of our European friends.  

This is what passes for foreign policy in this moribund Administration.  Time and again, we find ourselves powerless to impact important events because we have chosen to be powerless.  Our esteem is slipping worldwide, we are not respected because we are not feared, and this appears to be just fine with the President.  His job is to remake the relationship between the governed and the government, not to extend and sustain America's pre-eminence in the world.  Oh--did you not know that?  Perhaps you should have thought about it before you voted for him. Twice.

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