Boy, Were We Wrong!

13 Jul 2016 /
Barack Obama

When the country elected Barack Obama president in 2008, those of us who disagreed with many of his policy ideas were nonetheless consoled by the fact that his victory illustrated that America had moved well beyond institutional racism. Certainly the fact that Obama had succeeded in both a hard-fought Democratic primary and a general election meant that the country was ready to move past the intense focus on race in our national politics. Boy, were we wrong!

— Steven Malanga

If a Cat Identifies as a Dog . . .

11 Jul 2016 /

If a cat identifies as a dog, can the cat be denied full access to public dog park facilities? Can the cat be denied admission to K-9 police dog training?

END THE DISCRIMINATION!


Pup Cups Don’t Need To Be Colorful

5 Jul 2016 /

Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning!

Starbucks gave me a pup cup today in a mini-Frappucino cup. My owner says it’s very colorful, but I can’t see anymore and dogs don’t see colors the same as humans anyway. I like the plain white cups better because they’re wider and it’s easier to get all the whipped cream out.

— Lightning paw

A photo posted by Paul Epps (@paulepps) on


Bernie Sanders is Wrong About Everything But He’s Raised the Intellectual Climate

4 Jul 2016 /
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Socialism has been discredited about as thoroughly as possible, but one thing I greatly admire about Bernie Sanders is this: He’s never made a political issue of the fact that he’s Jewish.

He doesn’t say “It’s high time we had a Jewish president.” He doesn’t say “If you’re Jewish, you should vote for me because I’m Jewish.” And most importantly, he doesn’t dismiss criticism or critics as anti-Semitic.

And because he doesn’t do any of the above, I don’t see his supporters or the media doing it either.

It would be easy for him to do those things because it’s what people expect. Political discourse in America consists mainly of people calling each other racists, sexists, homophobes and bigots. It’s hard to complete a sentence without someone taking offense to a trigger word, a microaggression or a dog whistle.

Abraham Lincoln once said this:

If you have ever studied geometry, you remember that by a course of reasoning, Euclid proves that all the angles in a triangle are equal to two right angles. Euclid has shown you how to work it out. Now, if you undertake to disprove that proposition, and to show that it is erroneous, would you prove it to be false by calling Euclid a liar?

Today people would be more likely to refute geometry by calling Euclid a racist or attacking his position on same-sex bathrooms, but Lincoln’s point remains valid, i.e., if you disagree with someone, make an argument and knock off the name-calling.

President Obama could have taken a Lincolnesque stand on this if he had wanted to — it would have been a valuable contribution to American life — but instead chooses to use ad hominem politics to his own advantage, to further the impression that there’s no legitimate reason for anyone to oppose his agenda other than the fact that he’s (half) black.

So kudos to Bernie Sanders for his efforts, however futile, to raise the American intellectual climate.


Fireworks Safety is Overrated

4 Jul 2016 /

9-year-old girl loses hand, fingers after fireworks accident in CaliforniaFox News

She can still play in the NFL. Just ask Jason Pierre-Paul.


Even Stephen A. Smith is Right Occasionally

4 Jul 2016 /
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird

From the Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut files: Stephen A. Smith calls Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Warriors “the weakest move I’ve ever seen from a superstar.”

Stephen A. Smith is never right about anything. In case you missed it, Stephen A. Smith has picked the last six NBA Finals winners incorrectly. It’s hard to be that wrong. How hard? The odds are 63-1 against.

That means if you chose 64 random drunks at a sports bar, 64 dart-throwing monkeys, whatever — 63 of them would do a better job picking NBA Finals winners than Stephen A. Smith.

(FYI, the “dart-throwing monkey” is a go-to metric in assessing investment portfolios. Follow the above link if you don’t know what I mean. It’s not a racial reference.)

But Stephen A. Smith is exactly right about Kevin Durant. The Thunder blew a 3-1 lead to the Warriors and lost a series that they should have won and Durant sells out his teammates and signs on with the team that beat them.

It’s unfathomable. It’s like Magic Johnson going to the Celtics or Kobe Bryant going to the Spurs or Larry Bird or Tim Duncan going to the Lakers.

A superstar in his prime does not do this. A competitor does not sell out his teammates like this.

I am dismayed.


What I’d Say to Jesse Williams’ Parents

2 Jul 2016 /

You must be very proud of your son’s speech at the BET Awards. I’ve tried to teach my son the same things: whine, complain, make excuses, blame your own shortcomings on others, and gratuitously insult people based on their skin color.


Your Favorite Hobbies?

30 Jun 2016 /

Tags: ,

Tom Kelly, Pat Summitt, Buddy Ryan

28 Jun 2016 /

The Grim Reaper very active in the sports world the last day or so . . .

  • Tom Kelly dies at 88; broadcast USC football and basketball games for decades — LA Times
  • Pat Summitt, legendary women’s basketball coach, dies at 64 — CNN.com
  • Former NFL coach, defensive guru Buddy Ryan dies at age 82 — ESPN

Is Tech Addiction Making Us Far More Stressed at Work?

27 Jun 2016 /

I like this juxtaposition of links on themuse.com. “Is Tech Addiction Making Us Far More Stressed at Work?” sandwiched in-between links to 25 Chrome extensions and 10 apps that you must have in your life right now>

Is tech addiction making us more stressed?


The One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: Herschel Walker Edition

27 Jun 2016 /
Heisman Trophy Winner Herschel Walker

NFL great Herschel Walker was one of the early Trump supporters out of the gate but now he says he is losing speaking gigs by anti-Trumpers who are blackballing him.

Maybe I’m not paying attention but I can’t remember any people with left-leaning views being blackballed from public discourse.

At the risk of being super obvious, tolerance and freedom of speech don’t mean anything if you’re not willing to extend them to everybody — people you applaud as well as people you detest.


My Dog Is a Genius

27 Jun 2016 /

This needs a little setup . . .

I used to take Lightning on weekend mornings to the Irvine Dog Park, then afterward to the Starbucks drive-thru, where I’d get a beverage and he’d get a pup cup (a cup of whipped cream).

He loves Starbucks. He used to get super animated from the time he saw we were turning left on Irvine Center Drive (toward Starbucks) to the time he actually got the pup cup at the drive-thru window.

He also knows the words “Starbucks” and “pup cup”:

He’s too old to enjoy the dog park now — he doesn’t walk well and he can’t see — so I walk to Starbucks myself on the weekends and bring the pup cups home for him.

Today I took him to the Starbucks drive-thru, just like old times, and he got super excited again when we got there, just like old times.

As I said, he can’t see, so he had no visual cues about where we were. I didn’t say the words “Starbucks” or “pup cup” to him, and he was excited long before he heard me place the order.

So how did he know?

My second-best guess is that the navigation to Starbucks is imprinted in his doggie memory. My best guess is that because the Starbucks drive-thru has a lot of foliage, it has a unique smell that he remembers.

Anyway, some non-visual cue or cues, but he was quite certain about where he was.


George Orwell: “I Told You So”

25 Jun 2016 /

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or omitted the names of those she met.

Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said that Clinton “has always made an effort to be transparent since entering public life.”

In addition to the unrecorded meetings with donors, this effort at transparency includes setting up a private email server to use as Secretary of State, and giving speeches at $200,000 per to Wall Street banks and investment firms, foreign governments and other special interest groups under a contract that prevents anyone from releasing a transcript of what she said.

Merrill went on to say, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”


Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson Endorses Hillary Clinton

25 Jun 2016 /
Hillary Clinton

I’m seeing a lot of headlines today on Henry Paulson’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton, in all of which Paulson is identified as “President George W. Bush’s treasury chief Henry Paulson,” or “ex-GOP Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson,” or something to that effect.

There are certainly other ways of identifying Henry Paulson, e.g.,

  • Former Goldman Sachs chief executive Henry Paulson
  • Architect of TARP and “Too Big to Fail” Henry Paulson
  • Wealthy Wall Street goon Henry Paulson
  • Henry Paulson, who used his position as Treasury Secretary to bail out his Wall Street friends with taxpayer money

It’s hard to see how an endorsement from Henry Paulson is anything but a nail in the coffin of the Clinton campaign . . . I took millions of dollars for speeches to Wall Street banks and investment firms, including $675,000 from Goldman Sachs (see New York Times), and now they’re all endorsing me! (Shocking.) Also: I am the candidate best positioned to hold the financial industry accountable for its practices.

Clinton -— as the Times piece linked above helpfully notes —- has run through a series of bad answers about why she gave the speeches and why she is now unwilling to authorize the release of the transcripts of them.


Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved

23 Jun 2016 /

On average, Democrats use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime.

On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and self-defense. . . .

So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. . . . Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

 

Good points.

The NRA gets a bad rap in some circles but you never hear of an NRA member going out and shooting random people.

Meanwhile, Democratic constituencies are shooting each other like the Olympic Games of murder, which for some reason leads their representatives in Congress to insist that Republicans should have to give up on gun ownership.


Live to Buckingham Palace on the EU Referendum

23 Jun 2016 /


The Least Newsworthy Assassination Attempt on a Presidential Candidate

23 Jun 2016 /

Man who attempted to grab gun at rally wanted ‘to kill Trump’CNNPolitics.com

Am I wrong in thinking this would be a bigger story if a Trump supporter had tried to assassinate Hillary Clinton?


If the Titanic Sank Today

22 Jun 2016 /

Titanic today


What Are the Rules on Refusing a Religious Funeral?

21 Jun 2016 /

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. —- The father of the Orlando gunman said his son was buried at a Florida cemetery this week.

Seddique Mateen would not say where his son, Oman Mateen, was buried, but said it was an Islamic burial.

A lithographic painting depicting a Muslim funeral

Is a Muslim entitled to an Islamic funeral no matter what kind of atrocity he commits, in particular, an atrocity committed in the name of Islam? What are the rules on this?

Would a Catholic, for example, who pledged allegiance to the Pope before shooting 100 people be entitled to a funeral mass in the Church?

I remember a couple of years ago in Australia when an Islamic extremist got himself and a couple of hostages killed in a siege, the funeral director with the Lebanese Muslim ­Association said this:

We don’t care about him, we don’t know him, chuck him in the bloody shithouse. Nobody’s going to do his funeral. No Muslim funeral home will accept him. They can throw him in the bloody sea.

Anyone who does harm to Australians, we don’t want him. This is not a human, this is an animal. He killed innocent people … even if you paid us $3 million we would not do his funeral.


How to Beat UConn Women’s Basketball: Transsexuals

21 Jun 2016 /
Geno Auriemma

University of Connecticut head women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma

High School Boy Wins All-State Honors In Girls Track And FieldThe Daily Caller

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world . . .

I’m actually old enough to remember when female athletes were disqualified if they turned out to be male.

Self-identification, i.e., if a boy says he’s a girl then he’s a girl, could take women’s sports in a crazy direction, given that males are better than females at any sport I can think of.

For example, if a women’s college basketball coach wants to end the UConn dynasty, why not suit up a team of transsexuals, i.e., men who “identify” as women? Other teams would have to follow suit in order to be competitive.

The only downside I can think of is that there would soon be few (maybe zero) biological women playing college basketball in America, or any other college sport.

Or high school sport. Or professional sport.


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