Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Life as a Nebraska Football Fan

When Bob Devaney was coach at Nebraska, I was happy, and the entire state was happy, and life was good. He was friendly and smart and genial and won lots of games and got a little tipsy sometimes if not a lot tipsy a lot of the time. When teetotaler Tom Osborne was coach, I was mostly happy, but used to yell at the radio or the tv to pass the ball once in a while. And while Bob Devaney was like the tipsy uncle, Tom Osborne was the serious-minded father figure to troubled kids, the Father Flanagan of football. He saved many a kid from a troubled life, but not all. I wasn't all that happy when Frank Solich was hired as coach, but at least he was homegrown and won a lot of games. He always seemed dour. And he drank in his car alone at night. I was very unhappy when that other coach whose name I will not say replaced Frank after a 9 and 3 year. I yelled at the tv more during those years than all the other years combined. "What the f*** were you thinking?" "What kind of stupid play call was that?", etc., etc. Worst coach in my lifetime at NU. As far as I could tell, nobody in Nebraska liked him. He probably drank a lot. I was glad to see that city-slicker carpetbagger fired. When Bo Pelini was hired coach, there was great promise and high expectations, but I got really tired of his sideline behavior and his adolescent potty mouth temperament. But he won at least 9 games every year (except for the big ones like the first 20 years of TO), and the players loved him, and I didn't have that many issues with his play calling habits that I can remember. But he appeared to have no sense of humor whatsoever and everybody half-expected him to go full blown Woody Hayes on the sidelines one day. Nebraska was mostly glad to see him go. He's the kind of guy that if he drank a lot he'd be a mean drunk. Mike Riley, many thought, would bring out the best in 2nd tier players and could develop quarterbacks in particular -- I wish we'd seen more of the latter. He seems like a very pleasant guy, I don't know if he drinks, or has a sense of humor, but we've got the worst record since 1961, which I think Bob Devaney turned around in his first year, 1962, with a 9 and 2 year. Mike Riley seems less likely to assault a referee than did Bo. I don't really have a big point in all this, I'm just venting about our 5 and 7 season that could very well have been 9 and 3 or 10 and 2 with less Bad Tommy/Good Tommy drama, a whole lot fewer dropped passes, unfathomable passes to no discernible receiver, stupid penalties, key injuries, and more than a few play calls I'd like to take back, etc., etc. Most Nebraskans are patient, I think, but the boundaries have been pushed lately. Nebraska might even go to a bowl game if enough other mediocre teams lose games this weekend, and I'll cheer them on and hope they play well. Nebraska is quite possibly the best 5 and 7 team in the country. Have a nice weekend. I've got a bottle of whiskey in the cabinet. I'm going to have a drink now.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

We'll Always Have Paris

Attacks like those in Paris bring out the worst in America's already debased political discourse. Most Republicans are trying to walk a carefully calibrated line of blaming President Obama for the attacks in Paris, calling for indiscriminate bombing of somebody w/o mercy, putting in 50,000 troops, and leveling cities mostly leveled already, all the while not offering one single constructive idea that might actually help. People who demand religious freedom for themselves are calling for the closing of mosques. And regarding the Syrian refugee crisis, it's too bad the Bible doesn't have an illustrative story about a middle eastern family looking for a shelter and being turned away. * * * * * * * * * On the other hand, ISIS's wish for the apocalypse may just a month's span, ISIS has blown a Russian civilian airliner out of the sky over Egypt, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the French, probably others, and is now threatening Washington DC. The US has already launched over 6500 attacks on ISIS. Neither Russia or Hezbollah are known for their caution about killing innocent bystanders in regards to blowing sh** up. I see no good ending to any of this - only a bad one, if, in fact, it ever ends. * * * * * * * Democratic and Republican candidates for President responded as you might expect: Hillary Clinton spoke this morning before the Foreign Policy Council and gave a thoughtful, comprehensive, detailed, realistic, and global response to the attacks in France and how to combat ISIS. From technological issues of encryption to building alliances with other countries, her breadth and depth of experience was evident. Several Republican candidates responded: Donald Trump said, "We need to blow the sh** out of somebody. Doesn't really matter who. It'll be tremendous." Ben Carson mumbled something about Egypt's pyramids, aliens from outer space, and rabid dogs (true), Chris Christie said he wouldn't even take 5 year old orphans, Marco Rubio skipped out on a classified national security briefing to go to a fundraiser, and Ted Cruz threatened to punch Barack Obama in the face. * * * * * * * *
In response to the Syrian refugee crisis which appears to be quite unrelated to the Paris attacks, Republican governors are saying they will refuse to relocate any Syrian refugees. Donald Trump today called for the removal of the Statue of Liberty. "All that 'give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses' b.s. gives people the wrong message," he said. "We'll build a new Trump Casino there," he said. "It'll be tremendous." * * * * * * * The 'Absurdity of the Week Award, however, so far goes to that pro-gun Texas state representative who opposed allowing any Syrian refugees in his state because it's way too easy to get a gun there........ reminds me of the man found guilty of killing his parents who then begged for mercy on the grounds that he was now an orphan. The man from Texas has a bit of a point there because while it takes 12 - 18 months to acquire refugee status, it only takes 30 minutes to buy an assault weapon at a gun show................. I'm just saying.............

Friday, November 13, 2015

Donald Trump's "Operation Adios Amigos"

After weeks of being pressed for information on his plan to deport 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants, Donald Trump's released the details of his mass deportation plan, "Adios Amigos," today. "It will be tremendously humane," Trump said. "Adios Amigos will be the most tremendously humane mass deportation of 11,000,000 men, women, and children since Eisenhower's Operation Wetback," Trump said. "Ike was a tremendous President and his slogan was I Like Ike, man, and the Mexicans love me," he said, "and when I say they have to go, they'll leave. They love me and I'm a tremendous negotiator and a tremendous winner and I'm really, really rich. So they'll leave because they love me and I'm a winner. We'll have buses and trains and airplanes and people will direct traffic and the trains will run on time and it'll be tremendous and Mexico will love us and pay for the wall and the little Mexican kids will eat tacos and be happy. We'll have Mariachi music and ice cream cones. It will be tremendous because they love me and I'm really, really rich. And "Operation Adios Amigos" is a much nicer name." * * * * * * * In other news this week, Republicans celebrated the 2992nd day of having no alternative to Obamacare which they continue to promise they will try to repeal. * * * * * * * * Jeb Bush revealed that he'd kill the baby Hitler if he was given the opportunity; Ben Carson replied to a reporter's question that he would not, however, abort the the baby Hitler. This appears to illustrate the Reducto ad absurdum argument at work. Ben Carson has added new chapters to his autobiograhy about his years in NASA's astronaut program and the time he landed a damaged space shuttle saving the life of the entire crew. * * * * * * * * * Donald Trump attacked Ben Carson recently by saying, "If you are a child molester, you can't be cured." Weird, even for Donald Trump. * * * * * * * * A story ran this week in the Washington Post that mainline Republican donors are panicking because gthe two leading candidates are Donald Trump and Ben Carson. I would too. * * * * * * * I just heard the phrase "chomping at the bit" on a tv show I'm watching. The idiom means nervous or anxious to get going, and comes from the equine world. "Champing at the bit" is the real phrase. Champ meaning to chew, and a horse "champing at the bit" is chewing on its bit. But "champ" is a narrowly known word from a specialized vocabulary and has been transformed to "chomp" somewhere and has caught on. * * * * * * *

Friday, November 06, 2015

Dear Republicans: Ben Carson is a Vegetarian

Ben Carson has overtaken Donald Trump as the poll leader in the Republican primary campaign for President. He also found it necessary to clarify that it was really a family member he tried to stab, not a friend at school as he said in one of his books. * * * * * * * * * * Here's something else he said this week: Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Hmmmmmmm. Nothing written in either the Bible about that or on the pyramids about that. The pyramids have the most extensive hieroglyphic written record of any ancient monument, but nothing about Joseph, or his technicolor dream coat, or grain storage. Now here's the real weirdness about all that other than the fact that there's no evidence whatsover: Ben Carson said that various scientists think aliens helped build the pyramids. Ben Carson believes that scientists think aliens helped build the pyramids. He might as well believe that God made Mount Rushmore because, well, America. * * * * * * * * * Ben Carson also revealed this week that he'd been abducted by aliens in 2003 when he was in Michigan and that they performed eye surgery on him. "That's why my eyelids droop," he said. "There were lights, and people wearing green smocks and their heads were covered in masks and some kind of goggles. They did things to my eyes. And they gave me drugs which has affected my speech." He went on, "It was really weird. We traveled to ancient Egypt where I met Cleopatra and did weird sexual things. The aliens were building the pyramids. Then we ate some strange food. It was green. I'm pretty sure I was a cocker spaniel in a previous life. Lucille Ball communicates with me from the afterlife through the mirror in my bathroom. If I want quiet, the tinfoil on my head helps. I don't think any of this will affect my presidential ambitions. A lot of my voters have had the same experiences." "However," he added, "I just hope people don't find out I'm a vegetarian. That could really hurt." One Republican operative was heard to say, "Republicans believe a lot of nutty wacky stuff: the earth is 6,000 years old, evolution was invented by Satan, global warming is a hoax, operations Jade Helm was a plot to invade Texas, supply side economics, fluoridation in water was a communist plot, Jesus was one of the Founding Fathers, etc., but this vegetarianism thing may just be a bridge too far." Polls show Americans would support a Muslim or Jewish President more than a vegetarian one, 36% to 19%. "At least Muslims and Jews eat some meat," one southern Republican was heard to say.* * * * * * * * * 271,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, unemployment rate down to 5%; outraged Republicans vow to fight.........."We must join together to f*** things up as quickly as possible," said new House Speaker Paul Ryan. "Maybe we'll shut down the government, maybe not. Time will tell." * * * * * * * * Jeb Bush, near the bottom in the polls, rolled out a new campaign slogan this week: Jeb Can Fix It. To that I say, the only thing Jeb Bush ever fixed was the Florida vote count in the 2000 Presidential election.