09 November 2011

2011 NFL Halftime Report

Now that all teams in the National Football League have played at least half of their scheduled games, a halftime report is appropriate. Only one undefeated team and one winless team remain. Two teams have won exactly one game while only one team has a single loss. So many divisional races remain so close that more than one team clinching a playoff berth appears very unlikely.

East Division: The Patriots, Jets, and Bills have five wins and three losses; that trio also has one loss and at least one win within the division as well. Those three have beaten one of the other two and lost to the other one. The divisional crown will probably not be decided until New Year’s Day when Buffalo visits New England. Miami is just hoping to win the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes.

Northern Division: Cincinnati’s opportunity to show its mettle occurs over the next four games, all within the division. Pittsburgh has fallen further behind the divisional leaders than the half game deficit indicates. The Steelers lost both games versus Baltimore. Winning at least one of the two upcoming games against the Bengals is essential to the Steelers’ post-season ambitions. If Baltimore can sweep both games versus Cincinnati, then the divisional crown will belong to the Ravens.

Southern Division: Houston remains on pace to secure the first divisional title and playoff appearance in the franchise’ history. The Texans have won the initial meeting with all three rivals in the AFC South. Tennessee has to pray for either Indianapolis or Jacksonville to upset Houston then knock off the Texans in the regular season finale for any chance at winning the division. Colts’ fans continue to experience nightmarish flashbacks to the pre-Peyton Manning era.

Western Division: This race stands out as the tightest in the NFL. Three members have exactly four wins and the same number of losses and are tied for first place. Last place Denver trails them by only one game. San Diego and Kansas City split their head-to-head- matches. The Broncos and Chiefs will square off versus each other for the first time this season during this week; the Chargers and Raiders will do the same. This bottleneck is all-or-nothing since these teams with mediocre records have no realistic chance to qualify for the playoffs without winning the division.

Eastern Division: The Giants control this division but not with an iron grip. They have a two game lead over the Cowboys and by three games over the Eagles. However, New York has yet to play Dallas. While this race figures to remain tight through December, the Giants could probably emerge as the winner of the NFC East. That would be accomplished by splitting those two matches versus the Cowboys coupled with wins over the Eagles and Redskins. 

Northern Division: The defending Super Bowl champions appear set to wrap up the division and home-field advantage before the end of November. However, the Packers’ date on Thanksgiving Day could inject some food poisoning into their holiday feast. The Lions only trail the Packers by two games and have not yet played Green Bay. Chicago’s chances of grabbing the divisional title seem bleaker. The Bears have already lost to both Detroit and Green Bay while trailing the Packers by three games.

Southern Division: This three-way race is much closer than the records indicate despite New Orleans leading Atlanta by a game and Tampa Bay by one and a half games. The Saints split its meetings with Tampa Bay and has yet to face Atlanta. While most of the country celebrates Christmas and New Year’s Day, these three teams will be battling fellow NFC South opponents to settle the divisional championship.

Western Division: San Francisco should clinch the first playoff spot in the league. With a five game lead with eight left to play in the most top-heavy group in the NFL, only a titanic collapse such as losing all five remaining divisional games could deny the Forty-Niners their first playoff berth in several years. 


04 October 2011

First Quarter Report on the NFL 2011 Season

The first four weeks of the National Football League’s regular season have been completed. Before some teams head to bye weeks and others play their fifth games, a look back at the first quarter of the season is worthwhile. I have organized my comments according to divisions.

American Football Conference

AFC East: Buffalo’s first loss in a nail-biter at Cincinnati on last Sunday should not detract from the Bills’ incredible start. The Patriots remain on the heels of Buffalo should the Bills’ fast start begin to fade. The Jets must end their two game skid in the next two weeks in divisional games. Otherwise, they will be scrambling for a wildcard spot for the third straight year. In Miami, fans are hoping for a resolution the NBA’s labor dispute for the Heat to provide a distraction from Dolphins’ woes.

AFC North: This perennially two-team division appears to have been widened. The Steelers, the most successful franchise of the four during the past twelve years, technically find themselves in last place based on tiebreakers used to determine playoff positions. A consolation for Pittsburgh is that the first place Ravens only have a one game lead for the divisional title. Both Cincinnati and Cleveland will have opportunities to prove their credibility with three of their next four games on the road.

AFC South: Houston has opened its quest for the first playoff berth in franchise history by winning all three conference games so far. Four more of those follow, including two within the division, to build toward that goal. Despite Jacksonville’s inexplicable win over Tennessee, the Jaguars’ anemic offense will eventually cost Jack Del Rio his job. Colts’ fans are experiencing the foreshadowing of life after Peyton Manning’s inevitable retirement.

AFC West: San Diego appears on its way to claiming yet another AFC West title. The question is whether the Raiders can continue their success within the division from last season to end the Chargers’ dominance. Of course, Oakland would have to include some wins outside of the division in order for that winning streak to matter. The Chiefs’ surprising playoff appearance last season seems like the distant past. The only interest left in the Broncos’ season lies in seeing when will Tim Tebow start under center.

National Football Conference

NFC East: The Redskins might actually be headed toward the level of success which Daniel Snyder has been demanding since he purchased the franchise. The Giants have the next three games at home with a bye week mixed in to leap over the Redskins or at least stay within a game of them. If the Cowboys’ string of games decided by four points or less continues, they appear to be on pace for an 8-8 season. The moniker “Dream Team” for Philadelphia seems like hilarious irony for the Eagles based on the first four weeks.

NFC North: The chances that the only two undefeated teams remaining in the league would be situated in the same division seem improbable. The likelihood of the defending Super Bowl champion Packers being 4-0 at this point seems plausible. The chances of the list of unbeaten teams including the Lions would have seemed laughably impossible before Labor Day. With three straight home games followed by a trip to woeful Denver, an 8-0 start is not outside the realm of possibility for Detroit. Green Bay’s slate of three of its next four on the road is not as daunting as Cheeseheads might fear. One game is at currently winless Minnesota then a week off before travelling to San Diego. Chicago has divisional games in the next two weeks so the Bears can jump into serious contention for the divisional title by sweeping those. As for Vikings’ fans, hockey season starts in less than a month!

NFC South: Tampa Bay and New Orleans are currently tied for first place with Atlanta one game behind both. The Saints have two consecutive games within the NFC South, which would put them in the driver’s seat by winning both. Atlanta faces the daunting task of playing the last two undefeated teams in the next three weeks. The Falcons are in jeopardy of falling too far behind the divisional leaders to compete for the title. Cam Newton has given Panthers’ fans a reason to hope for the future. However, one player cannot will an entire team to the playoffs, no matter how talented he is.

NFC West: Are the Forty-Niners on the verge of returning to the glory years of the Eighties and Nineties? Is their success fools’ gold made of three wins over teams with losing records and a loss to a 2-2 team? Since the next two opponents are a combined 7-1, we will see which possibility is closer to the truth. The rest of the division is living down to the moniker “NFC Worst” with only one win among the three teams versus someone outside the division.


26 September 2011

Review of College Football after September

The first month of the college football season has ended. Therefore, it deserves a look back at what occurred and how teams ranked in or just outside of the Top Twenty-five polls have fared so far. They are organized into one of four classifications in terms of their viability to play in the mythical national championship game in New Orleans.

Alabama: The pundits and coaches lauded the Crimson Tide before the season. Alabama has proved praiseworthy so far with a lopsided win in Happy Valley then the domination of Arkansas at home. However, some tougher challenges lie ahead, starting with a trip to the Swamp on Saturday.

Louisiana State: The Fightin’ Tigers survived the gauntlet of three pre-season ranked teams in four weeks, all away from Tiger Stadium. However, home games versus Florida and Auburn await them in October. Surviving those would build up a cataclysmic confrontation with the team led by their former head coach.

Nebraska: So far, this team dispatched four opponents who have no prayer of receiving a vote in either national poll, three of those in romps at home. On Saturday, this team will determine if it can seriously contend for a spot in the BCS title in its first Big Ten game of the season.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma’s concern is its penchant for dropping a road game versus an inferior opponent. Three such games follow the trip to Dallas. If the Sooners take care of business in those, there will much more than Bedlam surrounding the last game of the regular season in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State: The trips to Austin, Columbia and Lubbock will present slightly more difficulties than not looking ahead to the home finale versus their hated cross-state opponent.

Wisconsin: The same description for Nebraska applies here.

Baylor: Can a one-man offense actually lead a perennial doormat to a conference title? That is doubtful but the Bears will find out with road trips to Texas A&M and Oklahoma State sandwiched around an open date in October.

Boise State: The Broncos garnered much respect by marching into Atlanta and handling Georgia. However, short everyone in the BCS conferences having at least one loss, the Bronco’s chances of playing in the BCS title game seem remote at best. They need to hope for chaos on the level of 2007 for a shot to play in New Orleans.

Florida: The Gators won four games which they should have. They can seize the country’s attention if they can knock off two top five teams in the next two weeks.

Illinois: The Fighting Illini’s four wins constitute the best start in sixty years. That reveals how much this program has been mired in mediocrity. A 6-0 start seems likely leading to the first true test versus Ohio State.

Kansas State: A nail-biting victory at Miami carries some weight, even though the current Hurricanes lack the aura of the Eighties and Nineties’ squads. Wins in two nationally broadcasted games in the next two weeks would bolster the Wildcats’ credibility.

Michigan: The Wolverines have two Big Ten pushovers before having a shot to end the three-year losing streak to their intrastate “little brother”. If Michigan can remain undefeated after October, this season will switch from “rebuilding mode” to something much loftier.

South Carolina: Close wins versus Navy and Georgia will not impress many. However, if this team can somehow lose no more than one game and win the SEC, some voters could be tempted to boost Steve Spurrier into one last title shot.

Stanford: Andrew Luck will have plenty of opportunities to pad his statistics and his Heisman Trophy résumé against mediocre Pacific Twelve opponents until ending the month at Southern California.

Texas: Consecutive games versus Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will test the notion that last year’s 5-7 mark was a fluke or the start of the decline of the program.

Virginia Tech: The lack of an opponent from a BCS conference among the Hokies’ non-conference slate caused a dearth of talk about this team. A victory at Clemson would spark some positive chatter.

Arizona State: A narrow loss at Illinois likely killed any chance of BCS title contention. However, sweeping through the Pacific Twelve to claim the conference crown might re-establish the Sun Devils as a contender if no undefeated teams remain by late November.

Arkansas: Teams with one loss team from the SEC have previously won the rest then the SEC Championship Game to play for the BCS title. However, the Hogs still have to play Texas A&M, South Carolina and LSU so at least one more loss seems probable.

Houston: The media have anointed the Cougars as a possible “BCS buster”, especially after opening the season with a win over UCLA. However, their strength of schedule will sink any chance of finishing in the top two positions of the BCS rankings. So far, Houston’s conference-mates have lost all three matches against the SEC and all five matches versus the Big Twelve.

Michigan State: The Spartans are seeking to build on their first Big Ten title in two decades. Despite the ugly loss at South Bend, they can prove that they are an ascending program. They start the month in Columbus and end it in Lincoln with home games versus Michigan and Wisconsin in between. A schedule as tough as that will legitimize or cripple their hopes as a contender for conference and national respect.

Oregon: The Ducks’ very high pre-season ranking saved them from tumbling out of the top twenty after losing in lop-sided fashion to LSU. Relative weakness of other Pacific Twelve members will hurt their chance to climb back up even should top ten teams starting losing games. The upside is the loss was in the first week against another pre-season top five team.

Tennessee: The Volunteers face a similar situation to Arkansas’ but slightly less daunting. They only host LSU and South Carolina with a trip to Tuscaloosa in between in a three-week span. Also, no tough non-conference game remains.

Texas A&M: The top ten ranking is the only reason that the Aggies still have an outside shot at climbing back to the top two spots in the BCS. However, as they move toward the exit from the Big Twelve conference, every one of their brethren will aim at the “SEC” target on their backs. An 11-1 finish looks unrealistic.

Auburn: The loss at Clemson hurt. An impending torture session of consecutive games at South Carolina, at Arkansas, at home versus Florida then at LSU will prove to be excruciating.

Florida State: Two losses in the last two weeks have crushed any designs on re-elevating the program to the pinnacle of the Eighties and Nineties. However, an Atlantic Coast title remains possible and a huge step toward regaining national credibility.

Georgia: Two losses in their home state have doomed the Bulldogs and raised heat under their head coach’s posterior. Mark Richt desperately needs a divisional title or a BCS bowl bid to save his job.

Miami: The Hurricanes are as unpredictable as their nickname. A loss to a weak Maryland team followed by domination of Ohio State then a gut-wrenching loss at home to Kansas State.

Mississippi State: Two losses in their first two SEC games killed any chance of a conference. The Bulldogs will have to settle for playing spoiler and aiming for another bowl in Florida.

Notre Dame: Two losses in September would destroy hopes for any BCS bowl for any other program except Notre Dame. If the Irish can manage to reel off ten straight victories, someone inside the BCS with an at large spot will welcome the Irish to their bowl game. The trip to Palo Alto on Thanksgiving weekend seems the most likely stumbling block to that scenario.

Ohio State: The suspensions and coaching change inevitably hurt the Buckeyes. They figure to do so in the remaining weeks of the season. Nine wins and a berth to a bowl in the Sunshine State appear as achievable goals despite the chaos.

Pennsylvania State: The drubbing at home by Alabama followed by narrowly escaping defeat at Temple have burst any aspirations at the BCS title game. Speculation about Joe Paterno’s future will increase with every additional loss.

Texas Christian: The Horned Frogs’ dreams of a third consecutive BCS bowl went up in flames before Labor Day, as did any fantasies about a BCS championship. At least TCU will have an easier path to a BCS bowl next season in the Big East conference.

UCLA: The Bruins appeared poised to take advantage of the probation placed on it cross-town rivals. Instead, they continue to wallow in disappointment with two losses in their three non-conference schedule. Rick Neuheisel can cool down his hot seat with a victory over Southern California or a Pacific Twelve South crown. Otherwise, he is staring at imminent unemployment.

West Virginia: A loss at home by more than twenty points would doom anyone’s consideration for status as one of the best teams in the country. If that team plays in the Big East, it further underscores that exclusion.

As for contention in conference championships, little can be said. No one in the Big Ten or in the Big East has played a conference game yet. The Southeastern Conference Eastern Division favorites Florida and South Carolina have each won their initial two conference games; Southern Methodist did as well as predicted by those familiar with the Conference USA’s Western Division. Alabama-Birmingham, Arizona and both SEC members from Mississippi have fallen into 0-2 holes. They appear unlikely to extract themselves and resume contention for their respective conferences. North Carolina, the only ACC member having played two conference matches so far, split them. By the end of October, the pictures of conferences races will clear up tremendously.


15 August 2011

2011 NCAA Football Outlook

The 2011 college football season is on the verge of starting. While waiting for the first game to kick off, a few issues should be addressed. The fallout from teams’ changing conference affiliations will take full effect this season. Future defections appear on the horizon, as does the trend toward “super conferences”. Another issue of concern involves the nearly universal trend toward scheduling outmanned opponents from the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division 1-AA. Finally, I present some questions for fans to ponder heading into the season.

After reviewing of schedules, some programs deserve applause for including two Football Bowl Subdivision non-conference opponents and no one from the FCS. Ohio State will play at Miami and host Colorado. East Carolina will host Virginia Tech and North Carolina plus will face South Carolina at neutral field. Marshall will play at West Virginia and will host Virginia Tech. Rice will visit Texas, Northwestern and Baylor then host Purdue. Tulsa will head to Oklahoma and host Oklahoma State. Alabama-Birmingham will travel to Florida and have a home date with Mississippi State. Ball State will play at South Florida and face Indiana on neutral field. Miami (Ohio) will travel to Missouri and Minnesota plus host Cincinnati. Colorado will host California in a previously scheduled non-conference game and play at Ohio State. Stanford will travel cross-country to Duke and will conclude the regular season at home against Notre Dame. Southern California will host Minnesota and Syracuse plus play at Notre Dame. Florida Atlantic will open season with three games on the road versus Florida, Michigan State then Auburn. Florida International will play at Louisville and host Duke. Middle Tennessee will travel to Purdue then will host Georgia Tech. North Texas will go to Alabama then host Indiana. Troy will start its season at Clemson then at Arkansas. Nevada will travel to Oregon and Texas Tech. New Mexico State will face Minnesota and Georgia, both on the road. San Jose State will start its season at Stanford then at UCLA. Notre Dame will play ten opponents from FBS conferences, with half of those on he road. Honorable mentions should be extended to Michigan and UCLA for not scheduling any FCS opponents.

On the flip side, some programs should have derision heaped upon them for their shamefully schedules. North Carolina State, Eastern Michigan, Air Force and Wyoming will each play two FCS teams. Such a slate should qualify as automatic demotion to the former Division 1-AA. Slightly less egregious lists of opponents belong to Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Mississippi. Those four will face a FCS opponent but no one from the FBS in a non-conference match.

One issue for this season and in the immediate future concerns the fate of Big East Conference. Already expanded beyond its traditional realm of the former Eastern Independents by including Louisville & Cincinnati then South Florida, it feels like a marriage of convenience for its members. The conference has stretched the term “East” to the breaking point by adding Texas Christian University for 2012. At least the possible addition of Villanova would fit geographically. However, the conference already jettisoned a previous member from Philadelphia for pathetic levels of attendance and non-existent interest among the alumni and other locals.

In order for the Big East to have any semblance of viability, its members must accomplish a few tasks. First, the conference needs to convince a broadcast network to give the members a financially large contract. That could prove difficult after it lost two huge media markets when the Atlantic Coast Conference snatched Boston College & Miami. In looking for more members to secure its credibility and possibly implement a conference title game, how much more can its borders be stretched? If further expansion lies in the works, what other teams would be considered and willing to relocate? Is Notre Dame’s inclusion within the realm of possibility? Without a generous contract, the ACC may pilfer more members in pursuit of a super conference.

How likely is a repeat of the Southeastern Conference champion also winning the BCS national championship? Alabama and LSU seem most likely candidates to continue the stretch of national titles to six according to pre-season polls. That would double the number of consecutive national titles won by a conference; the Big Ten won three straight from 1940 through 1942. However, anyone could emerge. How many people predicted Auburn to sweep through the SEC undefeated then win the BCS title last season?

Will the conference title game convince the Big Ten to drop plans for nine conference games starting in 2017? The addition of a ninth game would have made sense years ago. Since Penn State joined in 1993, each Big Ten member did not play two members. The 2002 season comes to mind when both Ohio State and Iowa finished undefeated in conference; they had to settle for a split conference title since they did not play each other that year. What is the point of nine conference games now that the championship game will prevent split titles in the future? Perhaps the inability to fill bowl slots due to more losses among members will accomplish that when the expanded schedule occurs.

How will fans react to new conference title games in the Big Ten and Pacific Twelve? Will they receive it with enthusiasm with an annually sold-out stadium as in the SEC? Will they treat it with indifference and leave wide swaths of unsold seats like in the ACC’s version? The locations of the game will play a huge role in the success of the matches. Indianapolis fits the role of a centrally located site with a stadium full of amenities for the Big Ten. The Pacific Twelve must decide on one off-campus site or at least two rotating locations to host; otherwise, the game will carry only a little more luster than an ordinary regular season game.

As the concept of “super conferences” continues to gain momentum, one must ask: Will the Big Twelve manage to hold itself together? Can the new television contract dissuade Texas A&M, Oklahoma or others from defecting to the SEC as was considered last yr? Would the conference consider adding two replacements to revive conference title game? If so, which programs appeal in terms of huge fan bases, geography and large media market size? Would Texas Christian renege on its decision to move to the Big East? Could some members of the Western Division of Conference USA or the Mountain West Conference receive invitations to join?


08 July 2011

Looters on the Rise

On the fifth of July, USA Today reported on its front page “Jobless Claims Abuses on Rise”. One dollar out of nine is misdirected to those who do not deserve it according to the criteria. United States Department of Labor figures show that approximately nine million, three hundred thousand people receive checks for not working. However, a glaring portion of those do have jobs or are otherwise not adhering the rules related to eligibility.

No one should be surprised by these cases of fraud. The entire system is founded on an immoral precept: demanding money from others without working for it or repaying the sum received. The fact that recipients expect that government will seize money from others on their behalf instead of the jobless forcibly allocating it to themselves does not lessen the receivers’ complicity in this outrage. Reliance on bureaucrats to fleece productive citizens in order to subsidize idle individuals only underscores the sloth of those benefiting from the payments. The continual siphoning of the proceeds of the labor of working Americans dissuades those out of work from seeking jobs or respecting the value of employment.

This income redistribution, along with forcibly transfers of money to give vouchers for housing and grants of food stamps and other nutritional handouts, approximate theft. The mere difference lies in that Uncle Sam is immune to prosecution. Politicians perpetuating addiction to governmental give-aways take from producers and give to looters. These elected officials benefit from the allegiance of the dependent class. These shameless nanny-statists base their actions on the axiom of their fellow socialist, George Bernard Shaw: “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.”

Those expecting to be paid for simply existing differ little from animals. Pigeons swarm picnickers or anyone else with food in hand in urban areas; seagulls act in the same manner in coastal locations. The birds congregate around people who actually provide their own sustenance. These creatures aggressively and persistently congregate around, even snatching items from the rightful owners as though it is the birthright of the thieves. Do these beasts sing or otherwise perform to merit the food? No, they simply beg or harass those who fend for themselves into parting with their possessions to placate pests refusing to exert any serious effort into feeding themselves. Anyone who has witnessed professional leeches such as ACORN and other Marxist outfits organizing and leading protests by persistently nonproductive Americans can identify the similarities to their parasitic avian counterparts.

Unemployed members of society who expect to live off the toil of productive persons will find themselves helpless if their governmental benefactors cease the transfusions of earnings. Likewise, if the victims of involuntary donations halt their economic prowess or perish due to the excessive blood-letting, then the babied wards of the government will suffer as well. Those who lack even the drive to seize the provisions themselves, preferring to let strangers in government commit the de facto robbery will possess even fewer means to act proactively for self-sustenance when the goodies without strings attached no longer arrive.

Advocates of open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens frequently claim that those non-citizens perform jobs which Americans will not do. Of course, if legal residents need only fill out some forms to receive checks and other benefits, those with no scruples or self-respect will think nothing of taking money collected from working people to support those who do not. However, those Americans leeching off the industrious will likely drop their objection to menial jobs if those are the only way to avoid starvation and homelessness. Americans would be wise to heed Marcus Tullius Cicero’s advice from over two thousand years ago, “If the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

Professor Thomas Sowell eloquently explained in his book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, the origin of the contempt for honest employment and for those who work for their living. He referred to the freeloading Britons who imported this attitude into the American colonies as “rednecks”. He admitted that this mentality proliferated among black slaves and persists to our current era among various ethnicities and races. He must have had such leeches in mind when he announced in 1992, “If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else's expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves.”


08 June 2011

Photographs, Fear-mongering and Flubs

Representative Anthony Weiner engaged in acts of an unseemly nature. Although I have not seen all of the images, I have heard that in one of them, he demonstrated his impression of the Washington Monument although it was much smaller than scale. It appeared that he was flirting provocatively with women approximately half his age. Perhaps his racy photographs and sexually provocative conversations are rooted in a mid-life crisis or merely part of a pattern of narcissism common among career politicians. His practices seem creepy, if not, bordering on adulterous and pornographic. He compounded his foolish behavior by lying about what he had done. He may have to face legal consequences for using government-owned equipment.He will also face questions about his franking privilege with no connection to sending mail to his district.

For a Congressman who craves time in front of cameras doing interviews and press conferences as much as a rutting rabbit desires receptive mates, one would think that he would have had his fill of appearing in the public eye. Perhaps, he assumed that his dalliances on Twitter would never become public. Maybe he is just obsessed with photographic devices. Does the Betty Ford Clinic offer treatment for that addiction?

Weiner is rebuffing calls for his resignation. Obviously, he enjoys the prestige of serving in Congress. In his mind, holding a seat in Congress aids in his pursuit of young women on the Internet. How many women would care to chat with a shrimpy, forty-something blowhard otherwise? Also, he certainly realizes that he could not engage in such shenanigans in the private sector. His behavior would have cost him his job if he had used an employer’s computer, sent those images on company time or violated a morals clause in an employment contract. Therefore, he may cling tenaciously to his position until voted out by his constituents because he knows that he will not find another source of income elsewhere.

Elsewhere, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz threw down the race card in an attempt to rally opposition to legislation intended to prevent fraudulent voting. She compared efforts to confirm voters’ identities to legal and unofficial obstacles to voting under racial segregation. Banks, stores and post offices demand photographic identification during transactions yet for a voter to show the same evidence is a racist outrage? When a logical and legal argument against a policy does not exist, one can rely on nanny-statists to resort to race-baiting.

In Schultz’s defense, mandatory verification will impede some people’s ability to vote. Those intending to cast ballots in the names of others will need to be more creative in their deceptions. Certainly, such requirements will reduce the number of dead people who manage to drag themselves to the polls and cast ballots. Hmm, this legislation does seem anti-zombie now that I am pondering it further. Non-citizens may find voting to be more difficult under such regulations. Felons in jurisdictions barring them from casting ballots will face an obstacle under this type of law. What kind of country has this become when people do not feel comfortable to vote illegally anymore? Unless Schultz believes that Blacks and Hispanics regularly engage in voter fraud, then how can she explain that such laws would discriminate against those two groups?

In contrast, Sarah Palin muddled a response to a question about her visit to a national landmark during her “yet to be formally announced” presidential campaign. For a star of a popular television series to speak incorrectly or ridiculously about a topic outside of her profession is nothing new. Does anyone remember Ted Danson’s dire predictions of impending environmental doom in the 1980s? The Oscars have served as a venue for pontificating on socio-political issues at least since Marlon Brando’s boycott of the ceremony in 1973 over his objection to the portrayal of the indigenous peoples of the Americas in films despite the absurd lack of connection to winning an award. The Dixie Chicks, Sinead O’Connor and other musicians have injected their political beliefs during performances in recent decades. Numerous other stars in different arts and in various venues have spouted off inanely or incoherently so Palin is just fitting into the same mold, at worst.

Palin did not recount the tale of Paul Revere’s late night ride to the satisfaction of some amateur historians. Many of these critics would have vilified her even had she delivered a one hundred percent accurate description with Churchillian eloquence. Yes, she did misstate the purpose of his ride: to warn militiamen of the impending arrival of Redcoats intending to seize their stash of weapons and ammunition and arrest two of their leaders. No, he was not sent as a messenger to the Redcoats; he did reveal his role in raising the alarm after they captured him.

Palin did hint at the famous line attributed to Revere, “The British are coming!” No historical evidence exists to confirm that he yelled this line. In fact, it seems highly improbable. His ride occurred more than a year before the Declaration of Independence. Therefore, even the most ardent opponents of the authorities still considered themselves as “British” at that time. Despite that, every pupil in elementary school undoubtedly learned this falsehood in American history class. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow deserves the blame for that bit inaccuracy in his epic poem “Paul Revere’s Ride”, not Sarah Palin. Nevertheless, the “lame-stream media” prefers to continue their obsession with the woman who has labeled them thusly. The media’s lust-hate relationship with Palin does not appear to be approaching its end for at least eighteen more months.


12 April 2011

Feminism Unveiled

Last week, feminists rallied in Washington and lobbied Congress to prevent the elimination of federal funding for a private business. This business’ primary reason for existence is to perform abortions. Representative Louise Slaughter of New York ratcheted up the hyperbole to defamatory levels by stating, “Now they're (referring to Republicans) here to kill women.” Obviously, Representative Slaughter needs to see a side-by-side comparison of the number of humans killed at the hands of the Republican Congressional delegation (presumably zero) as opposed to the number of slayings by Planned Parenthood (definitely millions). Maybe she could slip an earmark into the revised budget to fund research to resolve her confusion.

Leaving aside the debate over the legality or morality of abortion, conscientious citizens should question why this funding even exists as an issue. How can anyone constitutionally justify funding a private business? Why is one that facilitates sexual acts without unintended consequences worthy of subsidies? One should notice that these blowhards cannot cite any clause in the Constitution mandating that Uncle Sam contribute to the cost of women’s and girls’ birth control and of their abortions after those measures fail or they failed to use them.

Federal funding of Planned Parenthood serves as fodder for militant supporters of teen girls engaging in sexual acts then aborting the unwanted consequences. Planned Parenthood does nothing which a private enterprise could do without any governmental subsidies. Pharmacies sell contraception and pregnancy tests, often after business hours and on weekends and holidays when Planned Parenthood’s locations are closed. In order to display some intellectual honesty, should not they demand that funding go to businesses which provide the same goods and services as Planned Parenthood at more accessible times for the general public?

Why do self-proclaimed advocates for women’s rights obsess over facilitating abortion while failing to address issues such as polygyny, wife-beating, marriage of child brides, female genital mutilation, wearing of suffocating and dehumanizing clothing? Do they fear threats or violence from Islamists who regularly torment fighters for rights of women and girls throughout the Islamic bloc? Do feminists remain ignorant of these crimes committed against women and girls under Sharia? Do they excuse brutality inflicted on female Mohamadans as mere “cultural differences” that must be tolerated within the Free World? Why do they equate a lack of taxpayer dollars underwriting abortionists to American society being outrageously misogynistic? Are they blind to the plethora of freedom that they enjoy compared to the second class status of their sisters under Islamic regimes? It seems that their allegiance to political correctness and nanny-statism outweighs any concern for the lives and liberties of women and girls.

If feminists truly valued all of those of the feminine gender, their priorities would include diverting funds from businesses like Planned Parenthood to pressing concerns affecting women and girls. Increased focus of law enforcement agencies is necessary to respond to rampant incidents of anti-female violence. Mohamadan men are brutalizing and eventually killing their female relatives for being raped, refusing to hide under tent-like outfits, dating infidels, listening to music or otherwise not conforming to Islam. Also, Mohamadan families are transporting their girls out of the country to undergo mutilation of their genitals. Increasingly, Mohamadans are setting up clandestine networks to perform the gruesomely cruel Islamic ritual that scars women for life. Even the most hardcore libertarians and progressives should agree that a government must intercede in such cases to protect the lives and human rights of female victims of Islam. Now, feminists must decide if their notion of women’s rights extends beyond extracting taxpayers’ money to dispose of the results of irresponsible sexual activity.