Sunday, November 25, 2018

My Sunday Post Thanksgiving and Razorback Apocalypse Feeling

We had Thanksgiving at my cousin's house.  Just as we have for years.  Only this year we took the bird at her house just around the corner from my new house in Upper Hillcrest rather than at her country manse in Heber. 

Of course, this was news to me and the change of venue wasn't communicated to me until I was halfway down Cedar Street to the I-630.  Oh well, I guess cleaning the car up and filling it with gas are good things unto themselves.

I was actually good with this.  I love going to Heber but driving back in the darkness from Quitman to Greenbriar is a pain in the ass.  Besides, being 5 minutes away from my house means that I could make it in time for the kickoff for the annual hatefest between Ole Miss and Mississippi State known as the Egg Bowl. Other schools have rivalries.  But these two have despised each other worse than poison for about a hundred years.  There are other family splintering rivalries to be sure: Auburn-Alabama and Ohio State-Michigan being the more prominent ones.

But the latter two may be generally relied upon to keep the action between the lines and before the whistle.  This is not the case whenever the two major combatants in the Magnolia State get together on the field of glory.  And there are people like me who can't on this every year.

And last Thursday night did not disappoint when a bench clearing low yield riot broke out between the student-athletes in the 3rd quarter.  157 unsportsmanlike conducts were handed out which is a first in my experience.  And 3 Bulldogs and I Rebel were ejected for good measure by the thoroughly harried and undoubtedly pissed officiating crew.

Say what you will about such low commerce on the field of glory.  At least Ole Miss and Mississippi State is a real rivalry.  Unlike the contrived one between Arkansas and Missouri. Which brings me to last Friday's debacle in Columbia wherein a good but not great Tiger club plastered a toothless Razorback team 38-0. Which means they limped across the finish line 2-10 with no wins in the conference. You've got to wonder if Chad Morris wishes he had stayed in Dallas.

I am nothing if not a fair man.  When Wally Hall is right he's right.  And as he put it "[T]he University of Arkansas football program is broken.  The wheels are off. It is bankrupt."

I am pretty much agnostic about the Razorbacks.  I want them to be good because I have so little use for everybody else in the SEC West.  I have watched them all my life.  I've seen them good and not so good.  But I've never seen them non-competitive.  And that's what they are now.  This is how bad they are.  The bowl-eligible Tulane Green Wave could beat them.  That's a sentence that could never have been written since 1982 or so.  

Bit what are they going to do about it?  Where's the floor?  And will the Razorback brass in the AD's office try to get in the dirty arms race to get them competitive in that division.  That's going to be tough.  The Aggies have more money than anybody but Texas.  And they don't have to fool with them anymore.  They fill their stadium every Saturday as does everybody else in that division.  Indeed the Aggies taking Kyle Field resembles a scene from a Lini Riefenstahl movie while Arkansas is going into hock to expand Razorback Stadium and they can't fill it now.  

So what are they going to do?  I don't know.  As Wally says, the football program is broken.

Happy Thanksgiving Hog fans!  Be thankful for basketball and baseball.  



Technical Difficulties

My MacBook Pro is not getting along with my home network.  Hopefully will have it resolved soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

My Sunday Feeling

Nothing to report today except we celebrated Joe's birthday last night with steaks on the grill and football on the tube.  Not a bad way to observe such a milestone.

Will check in later.

Until then, talk amongst yourselves.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

My Sunday Feeling

I'm not usually one for political theatre.  However, it's not every day that professing Nazis hold a rally on the Capitol steps.  And so why heck yeah I had to go.  

My initial thought when I saw the battalion of police in riot gear separating the Boys in Black from the protestors that had gathered to scream invective at them was that the First Amendment to the Constitution that guarantees free speech and the right to peaceably assemble to petition for redress of grievances can be a problematic thing under circumstances such as these. 

My second thought as I blew into my hands to ward off the cold was that if I were to choose between right wing nutbar extremist groups, I would choose to be a Klansman on a day like yesterday.  After all, the KKK gets to wear robes and hoods and they burn crosses.  That would provide some warmth at least.

So what happened?  Not much and that was undoubtedly due to the overwhelming presence of law enforcement.  There would be no repeat of Charlottesville on their watch.  And thank God for that.  Because I got the distinct impression that both sides were trying to incite the other to do something stupid.  

The Nazis-all 13 of them-mocked the protestors as Communists and crazies who were out to deny them their rights of free speech.  They reminded me for all the world of the mouthy clown at the fair who sits in the chair over a vat of water while he insults the contestants who are throwing baseballs at the bullseye that will cause the trap door to open beneath him.  The discourse was about as sophisticated.

So what were the Nazis protesting?  There were speeches about Afrikaners losing their farmland which I wouldn't think would be much of a hot button topic around these parts.  But their main beef, as far as I could tell, was how the two party system in this country was rigged against the working man.  Indeed, they referred to both Hillary and Trump as products of the bourgeoisie.  They used that word.  I don't rightly know if anybody else there was fascinated at the notion of Nazis spouting Marxist rhetoric.  But I was.

As far as the opposition went, they just hated the Nazis.  They were mostly young folks.  Their signage was all over the place.  Rights for Immigrants.  Down with hate.  Feminists.  LGTBQ.  Remember the Holocaust.  One thing you can say about the other guys.  They don't have focus issues.

And the things the guys at the barricades yelled at the guys on the steps caused me to blush.  And I have a pretty high threshold for what I consider to be the unspeakably vile .  I felt sorry for the cops that had to listen to it.  Not because the insults were directed at them but because some things ain't worth it even at time and a half.

A fellow civilian who joined me there for a bit said she saw some Antifa flags.  Maybe so.  I wouldn't know Antifa from Auntie Mame.  But if they were there they are idiots.  And the Nazis that graced our town yesterday were a bunch of punks with a confused ideology who probably couldn't be counted on to knock over a lemonade stand.

I call it a draw.  

Somebody asked me last night if I felt as if I were in any danger while I was out there exercising my 1st Amendment rights to take pictures and to generally make a nuisance of myself.  

"Yes," I said. "These young kids chain smoke like crazy.  I didn't think I would get my ass kicked.  But I thought I might asphyxiate. Or acquire second hand lung cancer." 

The Nazis likely convinced nobody to join their team.  The Antifa types didn't scare them off.  It was pointless political theatre fought to a draw under the adult supervision of the LRPD and Capitol Police.

Just sound and fuhrer signifying nothing you might say.  

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

So. What now?

In what can only be considered by reasonably sane observers to be a referendum on the first two years of the Trump Administration, the Democrats were actually able to screw it together well enough to take back control of the House of Representatives last night.  

It must be surmised that Donald Trump has had better nights. And I'm not even thinking about Stormy Daniels.  After all, the Dems now have control of the the very same apparatus that the Republicans used to make their lives miserable the last 8 years.  But if the flaxen haired winner of the electoral college (WOTEC) was remotely concerned by the prospect of the Democrats having the power to make subpoenas rain down from the sky come January he didn't let on during today's news conference.

"But they can play that game, but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the United States Senate..." and "They can look at us, they can look at us, then we can look at them and it'll go back and forth."

Not exactly reminiscent of Lincoln's "We must be friends" speech, non?

I'm not one to give political advice.  Or golf or relationship advice.  But here's what I would advise my donkey friends.

I know that some of you are itching to haul Jared and Junior in front of a committee.  I know you have got Articles of Impeachment ready to go.  Your chief counsel on the Intelligence Committee has the Commissioner of the IRS on his speed dial.  This is the moment you have lived for.

You need to cool your jets.

You won control of the House because your message of medicaid expansion, coverage for preexisting conditions, tax relief for the middle class and job creation resonated with voters, many of whom voted for WOTEC 2 years ago.  You need to keep your eye on the ball.  

And get this.  In today's presser WOTEC semi-offered you guys an olive branch today when he said he wanted to work with you on infrastructure.  As we have discovered in the last two years there are many things Donald Trump knows absolutely nothing about.  Things like American history, the 14th Amendment, and how to run casinos for profit.

But the man knows how to build stuff.  You might ought to take him up on his offer before TASS, I mean FOX News, mystically instructs him over the airwaves to pull it off the table.

Besides, unless the Special Counsel has video of Putin handing Trump a briefcase full of money along with the key to a hotel room occupied by a 17 year old hooker there is absolutely no way that the Republican controlled Senate will convict him of having committed "high crimes and misdemeanors."  Revisit what happened when the Republicans tried to do that to Bill Clinton.  The votes aren't there and will likely never be there.  At least based on what we know now.  You guys are pols.  You know how to count votes. Give it up for now.

Keep your eye on the ball. You want to get even with Trump?  Fine.  

Roll up your collective sleeves and do government for the greater good of all Americans.  

That's really what you were sent there to do.  Don't foment a Constitutional crisis until it is goddamn time to do so.  

Good luck.

Thus endeth the sermon.  

Sunday, November 04, 2018

My Sunday Feeling

Hello again.  

It's me.  I'm back for the first time since May of 2017.  For the mathematically disinclined that's over a year.  

Where have I been?  Nowhere and everywhere all at the same time.  Or so it has seemed to me.  Since you last heard from me, I've gotten married, bought a house, fixed mine up to put on the market, moved a family from Conway to the People's Republic of Hillcrest and probably other stuff that I can't recall off the top of my head.

Of course, the most convenient excuse for my radio silence is that the planning for all of these matters took up a good bit of my time.  And that would be true.  But it's not like I've been working 8 to 5 during that period of time.  And even at that, when I think back on it I did a lot of my blogging back when I was under a lot of stress at work.  I guess it was therapeutic. Probably not for the general readership, but for me.

No it was something else.  Something that I can't quite give a name to.  But if you were to put a gun to my head-and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't-I would have to say that I was, for lack of a better word, disheartened.  

The last entry on these immortal scrolls was May 1, 2017.  The President had just floated the breathtakingly preposterous notion that "[H]ad Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn't have had the Civil War." It was as depressing now as it was then that any American President could be so ignorant of history.  And that he would give voice to it.

 But as Dilbert's boss said the other day, "Did you know that some idiots think they're smart?" Most idiots do.  And unfortunately, my own painful experience with malignant narcissists led me to ruefully predict at that time of my last post that there would be no end to other inane and wrongheaded pronouncements from the idiot in the Oval Office who thinks he's smart and who is oblivious to the fact that his every utterance in front of a microphone or note pad is a matter of public record.  That or he doesn't care.

So I did the manly thing and ran away.  I was disheartened.

And recent events haven't eased that any.  With the mid-terms coming up, Trump has decided to put more red meat on the grill to get the base hungry for dinner.  He promised a tax cut for the middle class before the mid-terms which would be quite the trick seeing as how Congress isn't in session.  He has stated that he can-basically-amend the Constitution of the United States by Executive Order which is indeed a legal theory floating around out there.  However, it is one that is basically subscribed to by crackpots.  And we are sending troops to the border to repulse a "caravan" of immigrants who won't likely be within spitting distance of Arizona for at least a couple of months.

Now Andrew Jackson might have approved of that.

So why crank up the old blog again?  Have I recently become "heartened?"  Hardly.

I don't know.  

Maybe it's this.  As I type this I am looking out the window at the green space of the park across the street.  I have been practicing law a little bit recently from this spot in my new house.  It is quiet and peaceful here in the early mornings.  Sometime I see deer in those woods just off my new lawn.  

My books and my camera stuff are in here.  A lot of my stuff is up on the wall. The desk and chair from the old house are here against the window.  It kinda looks like me in here.

I'm not real thrilled with the way the world is going.  But I feel like this is a good place to take up writing again.

And so I am back.  Let's see what happens.  

Friday, November 02, 2018

Overtaken By Events

OK.  Maybe not Sunday.  Had to wear the lawyer hat longer than expected today and got a million things going tomorrow as well.

So maybe not Sunday. But soon....