Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Democrat Debates

I caught the last fifteen minutes or so of last night'S Democrat Presidential debates. It was about all I could take. The buzz in the MSM is how all the candidates attacked poor Hillary. (Playing right into her strategy of positioning herself as though she were a woman.) But I was disgusted by something totally different. Not a candidate on the podium had a single good thing to say about free markets and every candidate proposed more government to every problem posed. They took the opportunity to take cheap shots at Wal-Mart, free trade, hedge fund managers, the rich, the rich, oil companies, blah, blah, blah. They never really got around to explaining how these evil entities actually caused the problems America faces; us rubes were supposed to just take that assumption at face value.
Some gems: Kucinich: Wal-Mart is the reason we don't inspect container ships. Biden: I would shut down all imports from China, period. Edwards: [on hedge funds managers paying only capital gains tax rates on their filthy riches.] This is an example of the extraordinary corruption in the system. [without offering a scintilla of evidence.] But my favorite was from Hillary Clinton on what to do about the sorry state of math and science education in our schools, her reflexive "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" response included:

We need to really support it through nurse visitation or social work or child care. We need to do more with the pre-kindergarten program that I have proposed. In addition, though, this has to fit into an overall innovation agenda, which I have also set forth.
So look out parents, government nurses are coming to make sure your kids eat your vegetables and that you're not teaching anything homophobic while they're at it. Heck, taking them to the wrong church might be bad for your kids self-esteem as well.

But as bad as all this was, I was also struck by the banality of it all. After each candidate proposed new government program after new government program, my eyes just started to glaze over and I couldn't stop yawning. It just seemed all so tired and boring and "been there, done that" have the copy of the check I wrote to the IRS to prove it. If you need to catch some Z's, you can read it all here.

World's Finest Health Care System at Work... Para Todos!

There appeared an unusual and potentially inflammatory article on the front page (above the fold) of today’s San Diego Union-Tribune. The headline read “11 of 18 in burn unit undocumented”. (For those of you in Placentia, California that means that they are illegal aliens). Yes, the front page of a major daily newspaper had the temerity to document the fact that there are actually undocumented and, no doubt, hard-working, family-oriented illegal aliens in the UCSD Medical Center burn unit.

Who’s paying for this treatment? Well, you are, of course. Now don’t get your panties all in a bunch. Our thinly veiled incredulity of having to foot the bill for these hard working, family-oriented illegal aliens is not meant to infer we would throw these people untreated out onto the street. Hardly. If we have the means to treat these people, then we have a moral obligation to do so.

However, if we take on this moral and medical obligation then we also have the right to demand of our elected officials that they in turn demand compensation from the country of their origin. That would be Justice, afterall, wouldn’t it?

The article explains that there is some sort of agreement for compensation when the hard-working, family-oriented illegal aliens are under the jurisdiction of the Border Patrol but no such arrangement exists while the same are under the care of the hospitals. (A quick note about this article: We’ve been extremely critical in the past of newspaper articles that are horribly written and/or display an over-the-top bias so we have to give credit to Cheryl Clark and Leslie Berenstein, the two authors, for a very well written piece that touches on all the salient points in which we are interested).

Well, that sounds like a bunch of hooey to us. There may be no official agreement or arrangement but that should not stop our people from, at the very least, strongly urging their people to cough up some dough for all this. The treatment these people are receiving ain't cheap and the country of Mexico gets an annual $28 billion infusion of capital from hard-working, family-oriented illegal aliens here in California that send money back to family there so it only seems fair that Mexico can help us out back here, a little.

If you want, drop Di-Fi and B-Box, our two senators and champions of those hard-working, family-oriented illegals, a line and ask how it is they plan on compensating the U.S. tax payer for the treatment being received by these people at one of the finest burn units on the planet that is part of one of the finest health care systems on the planet. (Contact links can be found here and here).

(We would’ve stressed that these hard-working, family-oriented illegal aliens are most likely “good Catholics” as well but that would in itself be an inflammatory statement to many of their supporters so we only mention it in passing. We’re all about the Love and people-pleasin’, here).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Now, About This Whole "Compromise" Business....

Lately, there seems to be an obsession in the press over the word “compromise”. As noted in the attached article, members of Congress aren’t playing nicely with each other right now, particularly with respect to the SCHIP bill which was commented upon here and which would’ve expanded health insurance coverage for families making what we would consider, very middle-class dough. After the bill passed the first time around it was vetoed by the President and the Democrats began working to get enough votes to override the veto.

(Another word-trend we’ve noticed lately: The SCHIP program in virtually all the news accounts we have read, including the one linked to above, is not merely the “SCHIP program” but the “popular SCHIP Program”. This is reminiscent of that home-spun truism, “Any program that counts on stealing from Peter to pay Paul, can count on the unfailing support of Paul.”)

As the Democrats were working on a “compromise” to peel-off Republican votes, their water-carriers were simultaneously ramping up attacks on the Republicans for refusing health care to children of families that earned 4 times the poverty level. Bastards! The Republicans felt back-doored by this stunt and have, for the most part, refused to go along with any sort of “compromise” that involved lowering the threshold to merely 3 times the poverty level.

And this failure to “compromise” is all a bad thing, you see, because if a horrendous piece of legislation is made slightly less horrendous, then everybody ought to just shake on it and get R done, right? It’s a compromise! Look at us work together! Everybody’s in bed with everybody else! Whoopee! Compromise: “Making the sucky only slightly less sucky.”

Its all been pretty humorous as now the Democrats are wondering where all those free-wheeling, good-time, rock’n’roll Republicans that blew out the stops on spending when they were in the majority have now gone. Well, to the wood shed as it appears that these clowns may finally be getting the message from their constituents on what lost them the mid-term elections in ’06.

Of Hoodies, Unsportsmanlike Conduct and Las Vegas' Patriot Dilemma

(We got back late last night from Vegas and realized we had a slight communication break-down with B-Daddy on who was going to be covering the site while we were blowing our retirement savings on Bud Foster and his god-forsaken Virginia Tech prevent defense. Anyway, we're going to be playing catch-up all week - there is a lot going on. Apologies to those of you who have actually made BwD part of your daily internet routine. We will try to make up for it).

Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots and pictured above at left, is a class-less schlub. Joe Gibbs, coach of the Washington Redskins on the other hand, is one of the stand-up, class acts in the NFL. Having said that, we couldn’t agree less with those that called the 52-7 Patriot victory on Sunday over the ‘Skins, “pouring it on”, “piling on”, “unsportsmanlike” or whatever other descriptive they choose to employ.

This is the NFL. This isn’t Little League, Pop Warner football or AYSO soccer. These are grown men out there paid generous sums of money to perform at a high level week in and week out. The Patriots did and the ‘Skins did not. Its that simple. Maybe those that would question the Patriot’s display of unsportsmanlike conduct might instead want to ask the Redskins players why they rolled over on their coach.

And what’s wrong with an ass-kicking every once in a while? If one claims to be competitive in nature, either on the court or field or life in general, then that same person should be able to tell you about being on the receiving end of a thrashing they received and how they responded to that beating and how they became a stronger player or individual as a result of it.

We as a society get too wrapped up in this… we get too concerned making sure no one’s feelings get hurt rather than focusing energy and effort into how it is that our children will respond in the face of life’s inevitable ass-kickings. They’re going to happen. Nothing you can do will stop them. Are we advocating running-up the score in 5th grade park’n’rec hoops just so little Bobby can learn life-lessons in the face of adversity? Not at all. Just think our priorities are a little misplaced in these matters.

3/4ths of this world’s population (and many here in San Diego, currently) would gladly be on the receiving end of a Tom Brady celebratory touchdown spike if it meant afterwards they could go home to a standing house, be surrounded by loved ones in a calm, peaceful environment, enjoy a hot meal, take a shower and go to sleep in a bed.

Sorry. Just can’t get too worked up over this right now.

.... and speaking of those unsporting Patriots....

Judging from the sounds of things, one would’ve thought that everyone at the Sports Book at the South Point were Patriot fans. The Pats/Redskins game was being shown on the big screen and continued to be shown on the big screen after the rout was on and until the very bitter end. Of course, not everyone in there was a Patriot fan but by our ears, it seemed an awful lot of them had money on the Pats giving the 16… “easy money” we were informed.

As the Pat-o-meter kept clicking upwards in the 2nd half there were a few guys in the back that would shout, “Easy Money…. Easy Money!” after every New England score. It wasn’t a boastful or bragging shout but a joyous one… as if these fine gentleman were saying, “We can’t believe this…. so this is what it feels like to have a license to print money!”

As for ourselves….? We’ll admit to a little bit of bitterness. We were all over the Patriots in their games against the Cowboys and the Dolphins but we backed off because, golly…. 16 points is a lot and the Washington D is the best defense they’ve faced all year and the Pats can’t keep winning like this all season and…and …. Yeah, whatever.

We could’ve plunked down a couple hundy on the Pats, taken the rest of the afternoon off knowing we’d have $200 more to our name in a few hours. Instead, we spent the rest of the afternoon sweating-out out a 3-team teaser and a 4-team parlay that didn’t pay out fully because we hedged, betting against the Saints in their laugher against the Niners in the last game of the day.

So this is Vegas’ challenge: What to do with the Patriot’s point spreads? In a sense the oddsmakers are held to the conventional wisdom that in the hyper-competitive NFL, setting a line at anything over 12 points is courting disaster. Even with that, the Pats were 16 point favorites at kickoff and still beat the spread by 29 points! And in what alternate universe is an undefeated team in the middle of the season a 5-1/2 point dog at home as the Colts are to the Pats this Sunday? This is how wacky things are with this team right now.

And barring any catastrophic injury, win or lose, the Patriots will be playing just another mortal NFL team following their bye week (the Buffalo Bills, for cryin’ out loud!) and the oddsmakers will again be faced with a dilemma of setting a line on a team that to this point has nearly been able to name their score.

Class-less? Who cares. Right now, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are a gamer's best friend?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

BwD's Totally Excellent Adventure

Armed with a pick-up bed full of heavy-duty gardening tools and a U.S. Forest Service Basic Wildland Firefighting S130, S190 certificate, headed out to the Steele Canyon area in search of adventure. When we got to the intersection of Jamacha and SR-94, though, let's just say that the DOJ officer who was directing traffic to the front lines was less than impressed with our equipment, ambition and paper credentials.

We were sent unceremoniously packing to a Target shopping mall that had been set up as a evacuation center. The following are some photos to what turned out to be an outstanding if not-quite-as-adventerous-as-hoped afternoon.

(at right: hordes of completely unsupervised U.S. citizens feeding, clothing and comforting the less-fortunate. These were our people for the afternoon. Brother and sister, Angelo and Diane, unprompted except by their own spirit, set up the canopies at 10 in the morning at the entrance to a Target. Target said no problem. Next thing you know, people were bringing supplies here. Even the Red Cross and Salvation Army rolled up and dropped off stuff. Subway donated sandwiches and KFC made 2 separate drops of hot meals. All it took was two people. And without any org chart, wiring diagram, Lean Sigma 6 or new employee indoctrination program the whole operation ran efficiently and joyfully. We're not exactly sure how many of the approx. 15 volunteers who were there while we were, actually knew Angelo or Diane.)

(the man in the middle with the white tee is pastor Danny Contreras of El Cajon Apostolic Church. They were hosting evacuees from Ramona on the church ground and we brought them water, food and clothing from the Target HQ. We asked Danny what exactly were Apostolics. He said they were akin to Pentecostals... "..we're the holy-rollers, brother" he said with a chuckle. Pentacostals....? hmmmm.... snake handlers, perhaps. "Hey, Danny. You guys do snake handling? You handle snakes and we guarantee you we'll be back here on Sunday". Danny laughed a deep laugh and assured us that they left the snakes for other folks. Shoot.)

("care buckets" at right. Water, towlettes, health bars, toothpaste, tooth brush, etc. I asked which agency dropped these off. No agency, replied Diane, just some random dude in a pick-up that stopped by a few hours earlier)

(Steve Gonzalez in the yellow jacket of the CDF out of Santa Clara. He was passing out updates (SITREPs) on the fire perimeter and locations that had been re-opened. Good guy. The Substitute referenced it in a comment but he did explain to me why the tankers don't go up when the winds are over 30-35 mph. Its not necessarily for the safety of the plane but because there is no guarantee the retardant will hit its target in those high winds. Steve explained that they had implemented many lessons-learned from the Cedars Fire because they (CDF) "took a beating" PR-wise. We asked about his new boss. He just smiled and said, yes, it was good to have an actual fire-fighter at the top (instead of a forestry major from Berkeley - our perceived inference). We thanked him and told him the lessons-learned were making a difference).

(Sunset at the "campground"). Folks, if you have a chance in the evening after work or on the weekend, please get out there and do what you can... even if its only for an hour or so. One woman who was evacuated back in '03 and again now, said she was from the East Coast and claimed something like this would've never happened back there. "I LOVE San Diego. There isn't anything these people would not do for you".
The unfortunate aspect of this is that we ARE getting too good at this sort of thing and all signs point to these fire disasters, for a number of reasons, being the rule rather than the exceptional occurrence every 4-5 years or so. All in all, though, not a bad day.

"America is great because America is good." Democracy In America - Alexis de Tocqueville

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Generosity of Spirit

Maybe I have just grown too cynical, but I am stunned by the generosity of Americans in general and San Diegans in particular in the wake of the fires we are suffering through. At various times yesterday and today, I have heard news reports of shelter centers asking that people stop bringing food and supplies, at least temporarily. The shelters had received more than they could handle. When I asked colleagues who had to evacuate if they had a place to stay, everyone had already been taken in by friends or relatives. A colleague of mine from New Orleans asked my advice on where to send blankets, water and food. A good friend of Mrs. Daddy's and mine even offered to have her boss and his daughter stay with her, on no notice, without opportunity to clean up her place. (Those of you who think this is no big deal are.... men.) My street is full of cars and RVs I don't recognize, all of my neighbors are taking people in. I think half a million people (20% of our population) have evacuated their homes. Amazingly, our city is taking it in stride, taking care of our neighbors, giving liberal time off at our places of employ, and generally following Jesus' command to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty. No decent sports on the TV tonight and that's a good thing. It gives me a chance to count my blessings, not the least of which is that we live in such a generous nation.

We May not Know How to Drive in the Rain but We can sure Drive in a Fire

….ummm.. we’re still here. Long story short: because of the fires and the absences at work caused by them, it was felt that our overall benefit to society and the project office as a whole would best be served ashore rather than at sea.

As noted by KT over at The Scratching Post, the post below, and in an article we're trying to relocate and will link to when we find it, the general behavior displayed by the citizenry in the face of this disaster has been outstanding. And you want real Sunday manners? Just wait ‘til FEMA gets here!

We were struck by the irony of getting word this afternoon that the first of FEMA aid and support will start arriving tomorrow after it appears we may have turned a corner today with the winds dying down and the first evacuation cancellation notices being issued this afternoon.

Hey, what if FEMA showed up and there wasn’t a disaster?

And this isn’t to slam anybody’s performance or lack thereof at either the Agency or the upper levels of government. It is simply indicative of how much inertia is to be overcome when you are talking about getting a huge federal bureaucracy off top-dead-center. Its just a fact.

But anyway, back to our uncommon civility that has been on display here. Let’s not get too congratulatory – let’s not do too much back-slapping. We live in San Diego, afterall, where it is humanly impossible to be angry, upset or angst-ridden for too long.

Back in ’99 or ’00 the WTO or some such other NGO was having their get-together up in Seattle to plot the crushing of the world's underclasses and the disgruntled ones showed up and trashed the city in protest . The WTO was going to convene down here in San Diego the following month and everyone was worried that these middle-class anarchist knuckle-heads would do the same thing to our fair city.

We recall telling several friends that nothing of the sort would happen. The coddled little brats would show up with their placards and black masks all full of ill will and discontent and upon descending on San Diego they would…… they would….. go to the beach…. go to Balboa Park…. hang out and take pictures from Mt. Soledad or Cabrillo Nat’l. Monument. "….hey, do you want to take a drive up the coast? or maybe chill in O.B? I hear they have actual hippies there….."

… and that’s precisely what happened. Don’t get us wrong – we’re proud of our city. We’re coping but this isn’t going to be a sprint. This particular disaster is going to have a very long tail as people try to put their lives back together absent a place to call home. We aren't near out of the woods yet but we do see a glimmer of hope off in the distance.

Monday, October 22, 2007

An Absolutely Gorgeous Day, otherwise.

A double-edged sword these Santa Anas. They provide crystal clear days as the east winds off the desert blow all the junky air out to sea but they also drive the monstrous fires that we are currently experiencing down here.

Its still early but these two fires down here in San Diego currently raging out of control are worse than the Cedars fires of 4 years ago.

250,000 people, thus far have been evacuated from their homes extending from Ramona in the east all the way west to the coastal communities of Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas and Del Mar. In the south, rural communities have been evacuated and precautionary (voluntary) evacuations are taking effect in the more heavily populated communities of East Lake (eastern edge of Chula Vista).

Its bad and there isn’t any relief in sight. Even during Santa Anas we don’t get too much wind but it has been blowing consistently since we got home which would give an indication of how hard its blowing further east.

So we grabbed the Substitute and made a shopping run down to our local Ghetto Mart. The parking lot at the Murph (Qualcomm Stadium) was being used as an evacuation center for those displaced from their homes and the call went out for supplies: they had plenty of food but they needed paper plates, plastic utensils, fruit juice and of course, water.

When we got down there we were told that the collection center for supplies was in Section M all the way around the other side of the stadium. We crawled along in single file traffic around the parking lot for a few minutes…. Where were all these people going?, we thought. There was plenty of space in the lot to just set up housekeeping if they were looking for a place to stay. We got um… creative and took a short cut to expedite our trip to Section M (kick-off was in 10 minutes, man!)

When we arrived there were small mountains of supplies concentrated in one area… water, blankets, sleeping bags, toilet paper…. It was amazing. And it dawned on us that the long-ass traffic line that wrapped clear around the stadium of which we were so impatient were other people, not looking for a place to stay, but rather waiting their turn to drop off supplies themselves. Yeah, we felt real good about ourselves after that.

On the drive back home, it felt like the wind had picked up and the smoke from the Harris fire (southern of the two fires and pictured above – Witch Creek fire is to the north) had gotten larger and darker. Not good. Not good at all.

Keep your fingers crossed for us and say a prayer for a change in the weather, a nice on-shore flow, a decrease in the wind and in particular for the safety of those whose homes are in danger and of the fire fighters and emergency workers who have got their hands full right now but whose commitment never waivers.

As you can see below, B-Daddy is all over this. This will be our last post for a while as we will be out to sea for a couple and then off to Vegas, which seems even a bit more frivolous and banal than it did just a few days ago.
(oh, and that's the Substitute above doing some of the heavy lifting at the Murph)

San Diego Fires - Information

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog to bring you this public service announcement. Good information about the fires in San Diego can be obtained from the following links:
Blog site:
PBS interactive site with Google Map
Federal Forestry department fire maps at
The Forestry department maps have a much better zoom capability in the Acrobat Reader (.pdf) format.
Everyone be careful out there.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Tale of Two Universities.

Since we were not able to watch the USC/Notre Dame game, we asked the Substitute for his thoughts on the game. Unfortunately, his alma-mater, the perpetually snake-bitten San Diego St. Aztecs found yet another way to lose a game in heart-rending fashion on Saturday night. This time to New Mexico so this post is colored in that light.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. College Football, 2007. As a lifelong USC football fan, I only recognized it for what it was (penance) when I enrolled into San Diego State University 19 years ago and began life as an Aztec.

I had spent many a New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl as a youth, cheering the Trojans on to victory after victory. Heisman after Heisman. Even an occasional national championship thrown in for the fun of it. Combined with being fortunate enough to grow up in a time when the Dodgers and Lakers were regularly kicking tail (Celtics) and taking names, it seemed only fitting that my childhood life of privilege should be balanced by my choice of a university in which I would actually crack a book. SDSU fit that roleperfectly.

But after the first decade and a half of my sentence as a Montezuma Mesa veteran, I began to question the sporting gods about my sentence. Even during the BEST of Aztec sporting times. Got a Marshall Faulk in Red &Black? We'll give you a losing record and Gino Torreta. Got chip shot wins in your sights against Miami and USC? We'll send you a mean left-hook for your field goal kicker. Got a massive halftime lead for the conference championship on your home field against your arch rival? We'll send you a second-half melt down. The next year: got an easy win for the conference championship against a winless foe? We'll get right on it with a rollover performance against the Running Rebels. Got a brand new state-of-the-artbasketball arena? We'll give you a coach that puts in his pudgy 5' 10" kid as a shooting guard. Finally get a bid to the NCAA's? We'll drop a 40 point lead on you by halftime. Come back for more March Madness a few yearslater? We'll let Indiana rip your heart at the last second in Round 1.

The football stadium (an off-campus venue that most of the nation knows as a sun-splashed festival of powder blue and gold on Sundays) is actually a cavernous black hole on Saturday night where the most densely packed section of people in the entire venue are the two teams on the sidelines.

And those are the good times. The fact that Aztec Nation has spent tens and hundreds of millions upgrading its athletic facilities to state of the art almost across the board (insert on-campus football stadium here) makes the frustration all the more. True. There are very positive signs on the "second tier" sports (sorry, women'sbasketball). But the Big Two: Football and basketball remain the subject, across the nation, of the oft-repeated comment: "Gee. San Diego State. I don't understand why they don't have a better football team." When you figure it out, brother, please send university President Stephen Weber your resume'.

If nothing else, in this the year of the college football upset, you would think just once the Aztecs could pull a big one (Perhaps they arewaiting for next year at Notre Dame. Not that Notre Dame is considered to be much of anything right now. But, you know...) or have a good season. Not so much. They are basically on track to repeat last year's 3-winperformance.

Two years ago about this time, hope for the football team with this writer was sky-high when the SDSU A.D. said the magic words: "We will spare no expense in securing a quality and name-brand football coach for San DiegoState... We want to demonstrate our commitment to the program." What they got was Chuck Long. Talk about taking the air out the balloon. The moment they leaked the hire to the press, I knew my sentence of mediocrity was extended 10 years. Even the hiring of Long was clouded in scandal regarding the payment to a "head hunter" of thousands of dollars who had conflict-of-interest links. And on and on it goes. If I were king for a day, I'd find a way of having SDSU play in a BCS conference. The fact that they do not is really the heart of the matter. It all radiates out from there.

Since I'm not king, I'm going back to my cell and plug in the tape of the suddenly revived Trojans 38-0 crushing of Notre Dame yesterday, and re-live my youth.

- The Substitute (contrary to the below format default, NOT "Dean")

"Thanks, Tommy.... Couldn't have done it without You."

Sometimes we wonder if the commentators and studio hosts are watching the same game we are. Perfect case in point was last night’s LSU/Auburn game down in Baton Rogue at Tiger Stadium where it seems the Tigers have 15 game scheduled this year.

Down 17-10 at half, LSU made their now-customary comeback to take a 23-17 lead in the 4th. Auburn finally awoke from their own 2nd half slumber to retake the lead 24-23 with about 3-1/2 minutes left. But instead of kicking the ball away deep and counting on their special teams to cover LSU’s speedy return men and thus make LSU work their way down field to kick a field goal, Auburn instead squib-kicked the kickoff resulting in LSU getting the ball at their own 43 yard line!

LSU drove into field goal position around the 15 yard line and with 9 seconds left, on 2nd or 3rd down (can’t recall exactly), instead of kicking the game-winning field goal, Matt Flynn went up top hitting receiver Demetrius Byrd for a touchdown. There was one second left on the clock.

The announcers went bonkers saying how gutsy a call that was by Les Miles (pictured above at right) because if they didn’t score on that play, the game would’ve been over. Huh….? Don’t incomplete passes stop the clock? It should be noted that the clock operator actually let the clock run down to 1 at the conclusion of the scoring play… in reality, the play only took 5 or 6 seconds so there was probably 3 or 4 seconds left on the game clock but no matter…. If it were an incomplete pass, the clock would’ve stopped allowing the LSU kicking team to come out to kick the game-winner. (Mike Patrick was the play-by-play guy and Todd Blackledge did the color. Patrick is mediocre at best and as noted before, it is Ron Franklin who should be doing these ESPN prime-time games).

And in the studio after the game, all they were talking about was the touchdown pass. No one that we saw questioned Auburn’s decision to basically hand the game to LSU and their idiot-savant coach, Les Miles by giving LSU a short field with that squib quick. Even the usually reliable, Mark May (who does magnificent work having to cover for “Granny” Holtz in the ESPN Game Day studio) gave Tommy Tuberville (pictured above at left) and the Auburn coaching staff a pass because we didn’t hear him mention anything about it.

… and don’t get us started on Fox Sports Net whose decision to give San Diego the Stanford/Arizona game instead of the Oregon/Washington game had us fuming. Up until about 3-4 years ago FSN was always good about hooking us up with the 2nd best Pac-10 matchup after ABC/ESPN snatched-up the “A” game. Just two years ago, we vividly recall FSN broadcasting women’s college volleyball during rivalry weekend, eschewing Oregon/OSU, Washington/WAZU and Cal/Stanford all. That sort of non-sensical programming has been the rule rather than the exception lately.

O.K. Since we were tending to W’s imperial war machine for most of yesterday, we are trying to get the Substitute to chime in with his thoughts on USC’s 38-0 drubbing of Notre Dame yesterday. It may be a separate post or just added to this one…. either way, we’ll let you know when its up.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Quickies: He's no Muhammed Ali.

Apparently, Che Guevara does not share the same high approval ratings in Venezuela as he does here, particularly with middle-class, white 20-yr. olds. Read article here on vandals destroying a monument to Che’ near a spot he visited there in Venezuela that he recorded in his diaries and which were turned into Hollywood’s ode to Che’, “The Motorcycle Diaries”.

And here is a fantastically inept article from on the economy and the public’s perception of the same. We won’t even bother providing commentary – you’re smart enough to do it on your own. Besides, the commenters absolutely blasted the content of the article providing spot-on critiques rendering every salient point we would’ve made redundant.

And finally, article here on panicked Gov’t. officials investigating free speech (and doggone it, they're going to do something about it!) and accompanying commentary here from Shotgun Annie.

Brutus, Be Careful....

Ohio St. is the No. 1 team in the land. Ohio St. plays Michigan St. (who along with UCLA is one of the most schizophrenic programs in the nation) as 17-1/2 point favorites at the Horseshoe. No brainer, right? Ohio St. is in trouble. All previous data points thus far suggest that the Buckeyes shouldn’t even bother showing up.

And USC is just glad to be playing a non-conference game this week away from the “soft” Pac-10 and on the road away from the hostile confines of the Coliseum. Mark Sanchez gets the call at QB over John David (Booty). Tough spot: First road start for “Dirty” Sanchez is at Notre Dame Stadium in one of the most storied rivalries in college football. Well, its that or Autzen Stadium in Eugene or Memorial Stadium at Cal….? We know which poison we’d choose. Bring on the Irish!

(Quick side note: The line moved from 20 points at the beginning of the week down to 17-1/2 yesterday. Don’t usually see a 2-1/2 point jump…. very unusual but it did seem to coincide with the announcement of Sanchez over Booty at QB. The money apparently really likes an experienced hand on the road in a rivalry game).

We look for Florida (-7) to get back on track against at Kentucky. Florida has had two weeks to prepare and Kentucky will be hard-pressed to match the intensity, emotion and execution they displayed last week against LSU. Classic “let-down” scenario and the line reflects that.

In honor of B-Daddy, we want to mention the game of the season thus far for Navy. They get Wake Forest (-3) at home. We saw Wake out-physical Florida St. last week so the Midshipmen will have their hands full. Go Navy!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Global Warming, Ethanol and The Price of Beer

Got your attention? OK, all you neocons, er, conservatives or libertarians or whatever we are. Now we have a crisis. The price of malt and hops are rising dramatically, affecting the price of beer. Who's to blame? You guessed it. Global warming is causing climactic changes that are ruining the barley crop world wide. Barley is used to make the malt used in most beers. Global warming is simultaneously causing heavy rains in Europe AND a drought in Australia. Who knew? Furthermore, growing corn has become more lucrative due to ethanol subsidies, crowding out the growing of barley. Darn those Iowans, they can't even field a decent football team, but they've got the whole country growing corn, even in Washington state. So now it's serious, the price of beer is under assault. Time to rethink this whole global warming thing; and let's deprive Iowa of statehood while we're at it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Big Post, Part I: "Sorry Al, You may be Selling, but We aren't Buying."

"When I think of all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all." - Paul Simon

This post is dedicated to my nieces and nephews of whom I hope I am worthy.

So Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace for his work on global warming. Now what global warming has to do with peace, I’m not exactly sure. And I’m not entirely sure that Al Gore is correct in his assessment that we are to blame for global warming (well, you are – not me. I’ve kinda absolved myself of any responsibility - and let me tell ya, it feels good). So, why aren't you? Well, I guess I could reference all sorts of books, studies, articles and essays that would debunk Algore's contention but I'm sure the You-are-to-blame-for-global-warming crowd could come up with their own data to counter the skeptics... and all that would be boring - besides who has time to read anymore?

The biggest reason I think Algore is probably full of it is because of Paul Ehrlich. Paul Ehrlich and the fact that I've been down this road before and you know what?... it was all B.S.

Who's Paul Ehrlich? I was introduced to Paul Ehrlich back in the 70s when I was in public elementary school. More accurately, I had Paul Ehrlich shoved down my throat. Every month, the class would get those paper-back pamphlets, the Weekly Reader, that was supposed to be filled with all sorts of word and number games, stories and fun facts for kids. And it seemed that in every issue, this guy Paul Ehrlich was espousing imminent environmental and global doom. Great Britain will be under water by the year 2003.. There will be rampant world-wide famine by 1997... fun facts, alright.
Turns out ol' Paul wrote some books that were chock full of this doom-saying of famines, overpopulation and running out of natural resources. Also turns out he was wrong. In fact, because he was so wrong on about every one of his predictions, like Gore, he was bestowed with all types and manner of awards and honors. (That's just the way things work in some circles - I don't make the rules). It was all B.S. All of it.

Another concept that was accepted as an article of faith and which was repeated mantra-like to me at school was: "Yours will be the first generation in the history of this country to not achieve a higher standard of living than your parents." I remember sitting there listening to that and feeling cheated and a little betrayed... feeling like, "hey, I didn't sign up for this trip, man - what gives?" Wasn't this America? Wasn't this, as our parents told us, the greatest country in the world? What's this business of being in decline... of being in a malaise?

And guess what... it was all B.S., too? Every single shred of doom and gloom that was predicted to plague us Gen-Xers was wrong.... flat-out wrong! And you know why? Because "they" were wrong and people like my parents, older brothers and Ronald Reagan were right. America is the greatest country in the world and Americans are fundamentally hard-working, decent and innovative can-do people. (You have no idea what a transition from a Carter Presidency to a Reagan Presidency did to shape the outlook on life and the general world-view of a 12-13 yr. old kid. Perhaps you do).

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

Folks, its all right there. This is our own Ground Zero mantra. Can it fight global warming? Maybe, but to be honest, I don’t care. I care more that we forget about our mantra and are forced to listen to and are dealt the consequences of “their” mantra.

Their mantra that justifies sticking a boot into the backs of our children, shoving them onto a cross-town school bus to appease their own god, Diversity. Their mantra which rationalizes shutting down political speech 30 days before an election because our benevolent electees don’t want us to hear anything “negative” and don’t think we have the God-given ability to process information right up until election day. Their mantra that justifies tossing us out onto the street because tax revenue from the retail complex to be built on the dirt where our home once stood trumps our property rights.

Sorry. I can’t get too impassioned about global warming when the above is the current state of affairs in this country.

So I wish Al the best of luck with this whole global warming thing. I think he’s full of it but I’ve been wrong many times before. I will say, though, that if any of his “initiatives” or “protocols” run afoul of the above phrase from the Declaration of Independence, I’m going to slug him.

Apologies for the self-indulgent nature of this post. You are now returned to the regularly-scheduled, collegial, fraternal and, of course, royal “We” programming.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Beijing '08 Olympic Update: Bushwhacked!

(One in an occasional series provided during the run-up to the ’08 Summer Games in Beijing, China. Other updates can be found here and here).

As noted before, we don’t know what is going on with President Bush. Something seemed amiss last week when he vetoed further expansion of the welfare state because it ran afoul of freedom of choice and sound market economics (as of this writing, it does not appear that the Democrats have enough votes to overturn the veto).

And this week he is thumbing his nose at his future Olympic Chi-com hosts by honoring the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai-Lama, by awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal. No word on whether Bush will ask the Dalai to submit to a urine sample for performance enhancing drugs (kidding!). Story from here.

His behavior of late is reminiscent of someone who is a short-timer at work. A person who isn’t going to be malicious and burn any bridges but is going to get a few things off his chest and if he ruffles a few feathers, so be it.

Don’t mistake us. We like this new-old cantankerous coot who has taken up residence in the Oval Office. Its as if he realizes that his 2nd term (at least domestically) hasn't been what we all hoped and he is only now getting back to the themes that he campaigned on back in ‘04: a commitment to freedom and liberty abroad and the “ownership society” here at home. Too little too late, perhaps? Yeah, but we will take these small victories any way we can.

But back to his Dalai-ness for a moment... Its always seemed a curious phenomena that it takes a cuddly little Buddhist to be the exclusive freedom-in-the-face-of-tyranny poster child for the Volvo set because they certainly don’t seem to give a damn about Latino Roman Catholics languishing in tropical socialist paradises like Cuba. And if Prius drivers are miffed that Bush has co-opted their boy for a nice photo-op then too bad – cry us a river. As noted here, the Liberal-Left’s track record of late concerning real human rights and liberty for peoples abroad living in dictatorships and thugocracies has been less than stellar.

Either way, our interest in the Beijing ’08 Olympics is off the charts, right now (…giggling like a little school girl…).

Future Programming Alert and Format Update

Starting on Oct. 22 – 28ish, we will be out of pocket for sea trials and then in Vegas for Breeder’s Cup weekend. B-Daddy (hopefully) will have the con for the duration. As always, we will attempt to check-in, technology permitting.

Format addition: We’ve added a feature called “Friends of Beers with Demo” over on the right-hand margin. Our first link is to The Scratching Post. Proprietor, K T Kat was kind enough to blogroll BwD at the ‘Post. We were extremely honored and wanted to return the favor. Check it out when you get a chance, we think you will enjoy it.

And speaking of The Scratching Post, we found a match-making service for you and your Sci-Fi writer soul mate at the site called Which Science Fiction Writer are You? We thought it was going to be a lot of fun but after finding out we got paired-up with Ayn Rand our suspicions were confirmed and we have signed up for 3 months of therapy. Issues…? Us…?

Since we’re on the match-making topic, here’s another service to hook you up with your Presidential dreamboat. Again…. looked like fun until John McCain took the bait and gave us a call. We know what you’re thinking? What’s a nice Reagan/AuH2O conservative doing with such a total RINO like McCain? What we were thinking is, what better indicator is there to demonstrate just how lame the whole lot of the Republican field really is? Just signed up for 3 more months with the shrink.

O.K. We promised something on Barack's altar calls and Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize award. We're really going to try to get around to both before we leave but Algore may have to wait as he was going to be the backdrop for a Big Post.... one of a handful of posts that have been rattling around in our alleged minds in some form or another for years and which inspired us, in part, to get into this blogging thing in the first place.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's O.K. to Like Merle Haggard Again.

Merle Haggard, who for years was broadly painted as just a backwards, s%it-kicking Okie is experiencing a renaissance of sorts… a renaissance that we can’t help but note coincides with his decision to come out and declare for Hillary.

Fawning article by “Primary Colors” author, Joe Klein can be found here.

Using Haggard as the context, Klein delves deeper into the dissatisfaction of white male voters with the Democrat Party over the past 40 years and the evolution of the “Reagan Democrat”. But he notes, perhaps Haggard’s leftward lurch is a portending sign of things to come. The money quote:

“Is it possible now, with the Republicans diving into foolish militarism and the indulgence of Thou-shalt-not killjoys, that Reagan Democrats might be tempted to come home?”

“Thou-shalt-not killjoys”….. That one left us in stitches. We’ll try to remember that next time we read about yet another community that wants to ban cigarettes in homes or passes ordinances dictating what restaurants can and can’t serve. We’ll try to remember the general Party affiliation of those do-gooding nags ordering us into the doctor’s office or kicking us off our dirt bikes and quads because of the endangered African Dung Beetle.

Sorry, Joe… You couldn’t be more wrong but as we’ve posted before, we welcome the continued misreading of the political tea leaves on matters such as these. Honestly, do these political wag-types live under a rock?

Attention on Deck!

After over 120 posts, we feel the following is the most important yet… due in no small part to the fact that we had nothing to do with it. The subject of the post is a friend of guest-blogger The Substitute who sent this out to family and friends and who gave us permission to re-print here. (Apologies for the somewhat campy image but we did not have a picture of Teresa)

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Teresa Neally, USN…

Today, October 15, 2007, was Teresa Nealley's first day in Afghanistan. Her military transport plane would have landed, possibly at Bhagram AFB, around 3 p.m. local time after flying from Kansas Sunday afternoon. She will be there for 12 months. Due to security, not even Teresa is exactly sure where she is going to be. After her initial landing in Afghanistan, she will be a part of a 13 hour caravan across Afghanistan to her final base -- a trip she must repeat whenever she goes on leave and when she finally leaves at this time next year.

I met and had the absolute honor of getting to spend time with Teresa early this last summer. I have never met somebody so happy with life, and so eager to do good by people. She grew up rather poor. While you and I think of excuses of why not to give the change from our car seat cushions to the scraggly guy holding the cardboard sign at the street corner, Teresa on several occasions while I was with her reached in for whatever folding money she had. She would yell out my car window to say hello to the white-sleeved Mormon missionaries riding their bikes, and they would yell back their hellos in stunned disbelief, not being used to such a warm reception I suppose. She likes shooting stars. Evelyn Wood would be astonished at how fast she can read, giving me back 375 page books a day and a half after I lent them to her (When I tested her on content, she would not miss a beat). She heard the first sentence of a presidential candidate's response to a question during a debate, and furiously ordered me to turn off the TV -- replacing the canned response of the candidate with a response of her own so inspired that my jaw would not close. She would not hesitate to speak her mind on any topic, and confided to me that her knack for doing so even went so far as to press the officers when she thought it warranted it. "Their full of it!", she said on many an occasion. A day with Teresa could most easily described in one word: Chaos. You never new what was going to happen, or where you were going to end up.

Teresa wanted to fit it all in before she left for her Afghanistan training in Kansas. I took her hiking at Torrey Pines, and thought she might enjoy seeing the parasailers at the Glider Port. Next thing I knew, she was off gliding over the towering cliffs herself. The instructor hit on her during the flight. That experience lead her to an even higher altitude craving: jumping out of a plane. Her skydiving video is attached below. I taught her how to surf one day off Mission Beach. I taught her the basics of baseball, and took her to her first ever MLB game: Padres v. Orioles. Thinking she would naturally root for the local Padres, she instead took to the O's when she found out their current woeful situation. I think she even sang "root for the Orioles" during "Take Me Out to The Ballgame", which I think is the only time she's ever got to sing it.

What she loved more than anything was playing me in chess. She let me win the first game. But day after day from then on, she would literally toy with me and even get mad when I wasn't paying attention and made an obviously dumb move. I believe her winning streak with me currently stands around 17 games. I tried to get her to switch to Backgammon, but she found it boring and beat me anyway. Monopoly was an equally one-sided venture.

When something is funny to her, she has a laugh that is deep, loud, and genuine. Camera shy, she won't smile for a picture unless you literally tickle her. But when she smiles, there is not a brighter smile on the planet. Both are on somewhat of a display in the skydiving video.

Teresa had mixed emotions about going to Afghanistan. She loved the idea of helping the people over there, but her 4 year old daughter, Sierra, staying with her parents in Arizona for the duration, is constantly on her mind. She was able to spend 5 days in Arizona with Sierra two weeks ago, bringing her a little stuffed pink bear that sings the song, "I Hope You Dance".

Teresa takes her mission in Afghanistan very seriously. Due to the Afghani culture, an all-male American patrol treating or even talking to an Afghani woman without another woman present would lead to that woman being shunned, ostracized, and probably dead. Teresa's mission for the next 12 months is to go out on patrol with an American unit to act as the liaison. She is the unit's medic. She will be doing this in Kandahar, a province that borders Pakistan's active region of regrouping Taliban and hard-core Al Qaeda. It is perhaps the most dangerous place in the world for an American to be. She is excited to go. And scared. She poured over books on the various Afghani languages during her stay in Kansas, and was fascinated by the cultures. She is especially drawn to the Sufi sect of the Muslim religion. When she gets back, her dream is to attend Stanford for medical school.

This is being shared with you because I think today, too often, we see on the TV news our guys getting taking off from port on an aircraft carrier group, or flying back into the U.S. with Welcome Back signs and kisses from spouses... and that's it. They go on to the story about the city council, or next Tuesday's storm, or how the NFC East is shaping up. And we don't have to deal with the rest of it. We never have to touch it. No more attachment to it than we do characters on TV sitcoms or reality show contestants. Many of us were watching football on Sunday as Teresa's plane was loading. I wanted you to read about, and see below, that amazing people are going out and defending your freedom. Your freedom to think. Your freedom to study. Your freedom to speak. Use it. And when you have the opportunity, thank Teresa. Or just thank that serviceman, active or retired, down at the end of the bar or on the sidewalk with a pat on the back. Teresa will know it. She's that amazing.


There is a popular rhetorical refrain from a radio show that expresses the amazement, gratitude and humility when reflecting on the quality of the individual that this country produces that certainly applies here: “Where do we keep finding these people?”

An "A" for Effort, Though.....

We’re almost starting to feel sorry for the kook-Left in this country. Yet another attempt to generate controversy based upon complete fabrications and intentional misrepresentation of the facts has fallen flat on its face.

Air America host Randi Rhodes was walking her dog on Sunday night near her Manhattan apartment and the initial reports, err… rumors were that she was attacked. This “attack” resulted in her missing a few teeth. (And in the spirit of compassion over here on the right, we wish Ms. Rhodes a speedy recovery from her injuries no matter how it happened).

Fellow Air America host, Jon Elliot though, saw darker intentions behind the attack blaming it on a, yep, Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. According to Talking Radio, a blog that monitors… talk radio, Elliot said:

“Is this an attempt by the right-wing, hate machine to silence one of our own?" "Are we threatening them? Are they afraid that we’re winning? Are they trying to silence intimidate us?"

(The irony of a blog providing the quote for the story was not lost on us. The absence of any tapes or transcripts kind of gives you an indication of how much people are paying attention to the station and what they are saying…. and how much they are winning.)

This was followed by reports that her attack was not a “hate crime”. Well, if they’re sticking to the attack story why are they convinced that it was NOT a hate crime?

The latest word from both the police and her own lawyer now is that she was never attacked at all and suffered her injuries by simply falling on her own.


Whether it’s the bogus Bush Texas Air National Guard memos, or Scott Beauchamp filing false reports from Iraq, or the phony Rush “phony soldiers” accusations or this ginning-up of a right-wing attack on a liberal talk-show host…. what has struck us about each one of these is just how feeble they are and just how little time it took for each of them to fall apart under just the most nominal of scrutiny.

All this energy and passion focused on discrediting and/or embarrassing Bush, Republicans, conservatives and the U.S. military.... and this is the best they can come up with?

These people are an affront to the good name of “conspiracy” where the usage of the term implies at least a degree of aptitude and competence.

Monday, October 15, 2007

When 25% Just isn't Low Enough

Beers with Demo obtained a copy of Nancy Pelosi’s monthly to-do list. Due to the extremely sensitive nature of this document it was transcribed by hand under a trailer on a D.C. construction site and that transcription was passed along to us by our source:

October’s To-Do list:
1. Work with Harry Reid to pass a resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh for “phony soldiers” comment. Have staffer get transcript so I will know what this phony accusation is that Reid has put me up to.
2. Pass resolution condemning Mrs. O’Leary’s cow for culpability in the Great Chicago Fire.
3. Pass resolution condemning Karl Rove of (fill in the blank). Have staff give me top 5 recommendations by COB Oct. 19.
4. Pass resolution condemning the Turks for killing a lot of Armenians a long time ago. Have staffer get some dates and figures…. figures meaning body count.
5. Continue undermining country’s war effort in Iraq (see also #4).

Not merely content with their already pathetic Congressional approval ratings, House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi feels there is more work to be done and doggone it…. if you can kill two birds with one stone by pissing-off an ally at the same time then it’s a no-brainer.

We’re not making this up: Pelosi is actually working on a Congressional resolution that would label the killing of Armenians at the hands of the Turks nearly 100 yrs. ago, “genocide”.

Turkey has been a key logistical point for supplies both into Iraq and Afghanistan and has warned Washington that they will cut back on their logistical support if Congress passes this resolution which is expected to come up for a vote in December.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that this attempt to secure defeat in Iraq and elsewhere in the War on Terror will fall flat as all the others have. Part of the reason they have failed is an informed American public… and an informed American public that makes its own opinions known to people in power. Click on link here if you feel the desire to Reach Out and Touch Someone. (This is the newly-minted “ROTS” feature that will be provided from time to time here at the site.)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

LaDanian Tomlinson: NOT a Team Player.

Late Sunday afternoon out at the old Murph, LaDanian Tomlinson’s plans differed slightly from Defensive Coordinator, Ted Cottrell’s. At least from our perspective it appeared that Cottrell was scheming to let the Raiders back into the ballgame by NOT putting pressure on Oakland Raider QB, Daunte Culpepper who is notorious for not taking care of the football. (With his gimpy knee, questionable decision-making and looseness with the rock, this guy is absolutely tailor-maid for blitzing).

With the Raiders down 21-7 early in the 4th quarter, they embarked on a 17 play touchdown scoring drive that involved several successful conversions of 3rd and 4th down plays. In every pass play of those 17, when the Chargers put heat on Culpepper the play resulted in an incompletion or a very short gain as Culpepper had to check down to his outlet receiver for a short gain. But in every instance when the Chargers did not put pressure on Culpepper, he was allowed to sit back and make plays down field. Just the appearance of the Chargers loading up to blitz appeared to rattle Culpepper as he made hurried decisions before the pressure even materialized.

Up to this point, we were very impressed with the sets the Chargers were showing on the defensive side of the ball. Linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun “O.G.” Phillips, in particular, were being moved around and lined up in different positions and yes… were allowed to go after the quarterback.
We liked what we saw but it was all a ruse. That sly old dog, Ted Cottrell lulled us into thinking that he was going to turn the hounds loose against Culpepper. We got set up for this moment when he would reveal his true colors and sit back in a soft zone in the most critical moments and allow Culpepper and the Raiders back into the ballgame… which they did by closing the gap to 21-14 with about 6 minutes to play.

A quick 3 and out by the Chargers in their subsequent possession would have the Raider offense back out on the field and give the devious Cottrell an opportunity to thrust the dagger even deeper into the hearts of Charger fans. But not so fast… Enter L.T.: The man took over the ballgame on that Charger possession picking up chunks of yardage AND staying inbounds to burn clock. The drive and any chances Ted Cottrell had of coaching- away the game ended with a 40 yard TD scamper by L.T. with about 2-1/2 minutes left (Jesus in cleats finished with 198 yards and 4 touchdowns. He really, really likes playing the Raiders. Its as if a bit of his old coach Marty Schottenheimer’s Raider-hating and beating soul has been imparted to him) It would be tough for even Ted Cottrell to overcome a 2 touchdown lead at that point and we wouldn't doubt if Coach Ted had a few choice words for L.T. on the sidelines afterwards.

We’ve suspected it for sometime now but at this point its pretty clear L.T. is just not the class act and team player that everyone thinks because this isn’t the first time this season even that it has appeared that L.T. has gone against the coaches’ wishes. Late in the first half of the K.C. game, the Chargers were content to just run out the clock and take their 10 point lead into the lockerroom. Their dives into the middle of the line and leisurely pace in between plays was proof of that. L.T., though, was having none of it as he broke off a 35 yard run and changed the entire complexion of how the remainder of the half was to be managed. We wished the camera would’ve shown head coach Norv Turner after that play. No way of ever knowing for sure but we imagine Turner wincing and muttering, “Damn that L.T. He’s actually going to force me to make some tough coaching decisions here”.

The secret’s out: You gotta keep your eye on a guy like L.T. All the soft-spoken sweet talk, the community service, the exemplary leadership on and off the field… fuhgedda-boutit. He’s a coach’s worst nightmare.

Doesn't Anyone Want to Win This Damn Thing?

Last Saturday, in Baton Rouge sometime during the 3rd quarter, the P.A. announcer informed the crowd that Stanford had just beat USC. The crowd went bonkers and did appear to energize the LSU Tigers who were down by 10 at that point but pulled out a victory over the Florida Gators and which also solidified their hold on their No. 1 AP ranking.

Fast forward to this Saturday up in Strawberry Canyon where the No. 2-ranked Cal Bears were hosting the Oregon St. Beavers…. during the 1st half, in an eerily similar situation, the announcement was made that LSU was just defeated by the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington. This crowd also went wild but that is where the similarities stopped as the Beavers held on to win 31-28 and ruined any chance of Cal taking over the top spot in the polls. The conventional wisdom is that Ohio St. will take over that spot when the polls come out later this afternoon.

Pete Carroll and the Trojans are just glad they have an out-of-conference game next week… against Notre Dame no less. The long-awaited Mark “Dirty” Sanchez-era looks like it may have begun Saturday at the Coliseum where USC eeked a 20-13 win over Arizona. There was much speculation on just how bad the injury to John David Booty’s finger on his throwing hand really was. It was the classic case of an injury being a convenient excuse for making a switch that probably needed to be made.

We posted last week about this topsy-turvy season forcing us to re-evaluate some long-held beliefs. Well, here goes another one: We were big time defenders of Booty last year and the beginning of this season in the face of people who wanted to pull the plug on him and make Sanchez the starter. Our defense was based primarily on the fact that Booty, though not spectacular, was a solid game-manager who didn’t make the Big Mistake and with all the talent that SC possessed, one did not need a whole lot more.

Just looking at the last 10 games USC has played extending back to last season, perhaps this is not the case or is no longer the case because of the way all that other talent on SC is performing or not performing. Because the defense is not flying around and creating the havoc we thought they would and because the running game lacks a singular game-breaking talent (hello, Joe McKnight?), the quarterback position now needs to be a more dynamic and play-making position for the Trojans.

What John David (we couldn’t resist a reference to the Figurehead) lacks in the ability to possibly take over games with his throwing ability or athleticism is what Sanchez does possess. And in a single play late in the 4th quarter as USC was driving deep into Arizona territory trying to salt the game away, Sanchez picked up a first down by keeping his legs churning after the initial contact by the defenders and which allowed him to stumble forward to gain the necessary yardage. Two or 3 lineman came running over to help him up after he was downed… those are the type of plays that win teams over.

Booty has been the consummate student-athlete and has quietly bided his time (he graduated early from Evangeline Christian in Louisiana so he could come out to L.A. and participate in spring practices in what seems like 10 years ago now) to be the starting quarterback so it pains us to say that we believe that Sanchez gives USC the best chance to win the remainder of their games.

… and in other news, a bye week prevented UCLA from choking-away their game on Saturday.

Big week this coming week: We have some thoughts on Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the notion of the Religious Right bolting the GOP in the upcoming Presidential elections and possibly Barack Obama’s own spirituality.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hate Speech, Free Speech

Dean has called me out, but after prayerful consideration I decline.
Some background. Dean and I have been having some personal discussions about the idiocy of those who make a moral equivalence between hate speech and violence and the investigations of symbolic speech as "hate crimes." I was tempted to burst the bounds of decency by posting images that were examples of what various groups consider hate speech; nooses, pictures of Mohamed with a bomb for a hat, crucifix in a urinal, some homophobia, a burning American flag, etc. in order to make the point that, yes this is offensive, but how is it a crime or excuse for violence in a nation that guarantees free speech? However, when I started blogging I personally committed to avoiding the extremism and demonization that is so rampant in the blogosphere and on television. Sure I could make my point, but I would abandon the principals of fair play in which I believe.

So with less bombast, here is what I believe. Attempts to suppress free speech always result in worse abuses than results from the offending speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that flag burning is afforded First Amendment protection as symbolic speech, so why must a district attorney investigate the leaving of a noose at a tree in Jena? Is that not symbolic speech as well? Why is it rational to commit violence over offensive (hate) speech. Is that not protected? Isn't it a civil rights violation to assault someone exercising their first amendment rights? To quote Jonah Goldberg in NRO:

If I needlessly offend my neighbor, shame on me. If, in response, he burns down my house and threatens to murder my entire family, who cares what I said in the first place?
So if we are offended by hate speech, whatever that is, by all means protest, launch a boycott, petition our government not to fund it (another first amendment right), or better yet, just ignore it. Let the idiots be ignored for the idiots they are. But violence and legal action? Give me a break, this is America, land of the free, home of the brave. If we can't face down hate speech with our moral indignation, what is this country coming to?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"A Quick One While He's Away"

We made a semi-emergency call to B-Daddy this evening to cover for us. A late phonecall while at work from friends beckoned to a swank little watering hole in the Gaslamp and since they offered to buy… who were we to resist? And since B-Daddy refused our offer so he could instead, wine and dine Mrs. B-Daddy, we felt obligated to post on what we witnessed this evening.

While at the bar, kept an eye on the Florida St./Wake Forest game which as recently as 2-3 years ago would not have even drawn our attention from the libations and company in which we were enjoying. After all, Florida St. put together one of the most phenomenal runs in college football during the 80s and 90s, finishing with consecutive Top 5 rankings during one 14-year stretch straddling those decades. And Wake Forest…? Tim Duncan went there, didn’t he?

Wake Forest won the ACC championship last year and after 2 losses to start this season, the Deaks have won 4 straight and are 3-1 in conference after tonight’s win against FSU setting themselves up for another run at an ACC title. But sorry, this shouldn’t be happening… even in a basketball conference should Wake Forest be winning football titles as long as Florida schools (FSU and Miami) are in that same conference. (We will venture forth a theory here that the rise of teams like West Virginia, Rutgers, Louisville and the University of South Florida in the Big East has coincided with the relative demise of the ACC as prep talent has been diverted to the geographically-similar Big East).

On Florida St. though… what happened to these guys? Once one of the most consistently dominant programs has been downright mediocre the past 5-6 seasons. Despite what was noted just above, they still manage to get top-flight prep talent from both Florida and selected spots around the country. So, what gives?

We think we found it in a quote that was put up on the screen as Wake Forest was shoving the game-winning drive down Florida State’s throat late in the 4th. Being a Thursday night game, Bobby Bowden was apparently not too excited about it and (we’re paraphrasing) said, “Thursday night games are great for teams that do not yet have reputations but for teams that already do, they don’t do much”. Can ya hear Bowden’s arteries hardening?

This is from a coach that invented the expression, “Any time, any place, anywhere”. Florida St. made their bones in the late 70s and early 80s by playing teams they had no business playing. They would sucker national powers into home-and-home schedule arrangements where they would sneak up on these teams on the road on the first go-around and then absolutely blitz them the next year at Doak Campbell in Tallahassee.

We guess that this only proves that Bobby Bowden is human and at some point he is going to lose his edge. His team may have never seen that quote but it wouldn’t have mattered. If that is the coach’s attitude then the team will sense that as well and perform accordingly. Never in a million years would Bowden have uttered anything remotely like that some 20-30 years ago. The Noles program is done – stick a fork in ‘em.

Many thanks to The Who for the cheap, throw-away pop reference of the title. Perhaps it will bait B-Daddy into taking the reins tomorrow as we will be sampling some of Jalisco’s finest at the Tequila Expo down in Tijuana. We sense something epic that he wants to get off his chest that may get this site shut down…. were we in the EU but not yet here in America!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

.... Because Their Lips are Moving.

After the Democrats got their pee-pees wacked by a 308-115 vote in the House to block re-instatement of the Fairness Doctrine a few months back, many supporters of the Doctrine have steered clear of referencing the same while still talking about accomplishing the same ends.

Of course, this all started this past summer when the racists and nativists in this country gloriously rose up and shut down the efforts to pass the Rube Goldberg Amesty Act. Typical of the confoundment that people out in America were actually paying attention to what was going on was Republican Senator Trent Lott who infamously quipped: “Talk Radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem”. This quote best summarized the condescension and imperial nature of many in Congress.

Now, the Democrats are upset with Talk Radio because, quite simply, no one listens to Air America. And because no one listens to Air America and others of its liberal ilk, they can’t get their message out or find anybody to carry their water. Apparently, owning the print media and 95% of television just ain't good enough. Further, these attempts to re-implement the Fairness Doctrine are proof positive of just how much the Democrats feel Old Media moves the needle anymore.

Typical of dancing around the Fairness Doctrine landmine is General Wesley Clark who was on Tucker Carlson’s MSNBC show last week (transcript can be found here). Clark was using the wholly- fabricated-to-justify-their-ultimate-ends Rush Limbaugh “phony soldiers” brouha-ha to justify cutting off public funding to people that don’t say nice things about the military. And when pressed by Carlson whether it would be exclusive to public or private entities, Ol' “Crazy Eyes” Clark (by our reading) didn’t differentiate when he suggested that he’d like to see Congress decide what is naughty and what is nice.
Congress? Great. You know there was a reason Major League Baseball kicked steroid testing into high gear a couple-three years ago after Congressional hearings. The warning of ".. if you don't do something about it, we will..." sent a panic through the owners and commissioner Bud Selig who knew that they had done enough damage to America's Pastime and didn't need it ruined completely by Congressional meddling.

Yeah, the irony of a Democrat talking about how horrible it was for Rush to say bad things about members of our military knocked us over with a feather, also. But in case some of you forgot, here are the leading lights on the Democrat side opining on the military: John Kerry, Dick Durbin (long transcript but Dick equated alleged actions of U.S. troops in Iraq with those of Nazis among others), John Murtha and Ted Kennedy who is such a miserable SOB he isn’t worthy of digging around for the quote which was in reference to the Abu Ghraib prison opening under new (George Bush’s) management.

All this to say: similar to Amnesty legislation that got beat down the first time, the Fairness Doctrine and its evil spawn are going to keep coming back in different guises with different but decidedly more flowery and palatable language. The more they deny it, the less we believe them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Vincente Fox Takes a Very Dim View of You and Your Opinions

Former President of Mexico, Vincente Fox, has felt compelled to chime in on the whole immigration debate taking place here in this country. Read article here. We weren’t going to post on this until we read one of the quotes of his that we found quite amusing. (Well, two actually as we're starting to wear this "racist" tag proudly for the simple reason that it demonstrates that these people really have no legitimate argumentative position).

Apparently, Vincente is laying blame at Bush’s feet for not passing immigration reform measures.

"There was always a reason for why it couldn't be done. 'It is not possible because of the elections.' He couldn't touch the topic because this election is very important, or because security was more important," Fox said. "So, when are they going to finally address it? It needs to be resolved."

Not quite sure what elections Fox was referring to – Bush is termed-out. And deepening the mystery of his quote it appears that he believes Bush and by extension the Republicans…. and the Democrats and Big Labor, Big Business, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Illuminati… didn’t do enough to pass the Rube Goldberg Amnesty Bill.

But we’ll give El Presidente’ the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe he was on vacation for the entire months of June and July at the spread referenced in the article and wasn’t aware that the aforementioned cabal did everything within and without their powers to shove that cockamamie bill down the throats of the American public.

We don’t want to turn this blog into an advocacy site – that would be boring. But we are going to stick with this immigration reform thing and cover whatever comes up – remember, you were warned. The high-handed nature of how this is all being handled, from the casual, throw-away “racist” accusations to the back room wheeling and dealing has been a tremendous indicator of this country’s elected leader’s opinion of you and their respect for the democratic process.