Saturday, July 8, 2017

Major League All-Star Game is rapidly becoming irrelevant

Baseball's annual All-Star Game is losing both interest and significance. Why is this happening?
Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are A Changin’” and that certainly applies to the annual major league All-Star Game. At one point in sports history, the AS Game was a major event that was second only to the World Series. First devised as a promotion to complement the Chisago World’s Fair of 1933 the idea had value – value meaning the fans loved it.
The idea was formulated by sportswriter Arch Ward and that started a process that has been refined or diluted over the years. Rosters have expanded and the importance of the game has been tinkered with. Most notably of tinkering was the winning league would get a home-field advantage during the World Series.
Voting requirements have changed and the opportunistic 1957 promotion by a Cincinnati radio station cost the fans their vote thanks to ballot box stuffing. That ill-advised decision has since gone by the wayside. To generate fan interest there have been various subsidiary events with the Home Run Derby being the most recognized and successful.
So why is the All-Star Game dying on the vine?
A dramatic decline in the all-important television viewership. The game just does not generate the excitement it once did and now is getting as stale for viewers as the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association All-Star Games. This goes deeper than just grilling hot dogs taking precedent over the game.
Baseball now has interleague play so that fans can occasionally see up front, close and personal their favorites from the other league. Before the explosion of mass media and various baseball expansions, the AS Game often became the only time you could see a Willie Mays of Stan Musial unless you lived in a two-team city.
Free agency and the proliferation of salaries have made player movement far more industrious than in the old pre-collective bargaining agreement days. Players staying with one team their entire career is unusual as the shifting fiscal landscape allows far more player leverage.
The previously mentioned media explosion is certainly appropriate since in the “Back in the day” players were often seen on newsreels in theaters. Before the rapid development of television and not the proliferation of electronic media, every play is readily available. No longer is it necessary to have information acquired via a reporter in another city. Every play of every game is there.
When the All-Star game originated and quite possibly for the next 30 years it was the only game in town. Baseball was America’s Sport and certainly the National Pastime. Teams – professional and amateur – dotted the landscape of America. Football was consigned to colleges as the professional ranks were an afterthought.
That afterthought applied to hockey – the domain of Canadians and basketball. Professionally basketball didn’t “take off” until the 1970s. Other sports started to get far more attention and our recreational options have changed exponentially. Competition – some of it emotional – has diminished baseball and the All-Star Game.
This year the game will get deserved attention since it represents that one segment of the yearly sports calender where nothing else is taking place, but nowhere like the glory days of baseball and the All-Star Game.
The times they are a changin’.

Monday, February 20, 2017


The idea is to strike a balance when attempting to disseminate information that may support your opinion. I have long posted information that is actually contrary- a smorgasbord so the reader can see the different slants and attempt to make an informed opinion. Imagine not being stuck into a philosophical loop?
Memes are just idiotic and those that post them? Well- connect the dots. The appeal is simply too low information people since the meme is usually slanted, based on innuendo, is a purveyor of fake news, is taking information out of context and those are the positives. The whole concept is intrinsically offensive to anyone with an IQ higher that a warthog.
Then again – they are perfect for Facebook – the proverbial “Chewing gum for the eyes” that use to be said about TV. And TV? Does anyone take their newscastsseriously
Is Russia a threat to the United States? The Cold War as less about expansion and more about ideology and the flawed concept of monolithic Communist - that did not exist. The brand practiced in Russia was different from China and elsewhere.
The expansionism in Europe was simply a result of WW II. Russia paid a steep price in their dealings with the Germans and certainly looked for a European buffer. Both France and later Germany were in the suburbs of Moscow.
The Communists were the most active resistance against the Nazi’s in Europe. They had an organization, support, and even governmental structure in place as the Russians moved towards Germany. The end result was Churchill’s “Iron Curtain.”
Napoleon once said “Scratch a Russian and you find a Mongol.” That summarizes Russian history in Asia with numerous incursions from that area. Tension has always existed on that border and the two Communist giants - China and Russia - almost went to war in the 1970s. Monolithic? No - the primary concern that outweighs that is security.
The Crimea was once a noted war zone with Britain. Britain also created their own buffer in Afghanistan as a block to India. The post-WW II power vacuum offered an opportunity for Russian expansion for a buffer to the south. How did that work out
In the client states of Europe, Russian involvement was doomed from the start. Nationalism and a burgeoning rejection of Communism coupled with repressive Russian tactics made the eventual collapse inevitable. Even some ancillary provinces would be best considered like the United States south-north division prior to the Civil War.
The basic reality is the United States has more in common with Russia than we realize. I find it incredible that the left-liberals-progressives do not want rapprochement with Russia, but expect it with Israel and her hostile neighbors. The obvious is it is all about Trump and nothing else.
The Trump obsession with Twitter is now at my personal breaking point. Trump is certainly no great intellectual so maybe the short blurbs are actually suitable to his intellect?
Trump’s administration is having some adjustment “yips” to use a baseball term. This, however, has been magnified thanks to his precarious relationship with the media. I believe Bill Clinton had three or was it four attempts at an AG?
What is appalling with Trump is he actually doesn’t care what he says. The only thing it does accomplish is to unify those who would never have voted for him with some that did vote for him. 2018 will be interesting.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

More on the silly season on post election nonsense

The idea of loyal opposition is utterly pass̩ in the now rapidly evolving political climate. The opposition has been supplanted by enemy Рyou have the demarcation lines drawn with no conciliation even possible at this point. A Cold War mentality has seeped into our politics.
The reaction from the Democrats and all their various sub-sets certainly surprised me. The outbursts have been rather volatile both physically and verbally – a die has been cast for future elections and disappointments.
In 2020 you may again have a change in administrations where Booker, Clinton, Sanders or other is elected – another close election. This time it will not be overturned cars, street blockage, insufferable dialogue on social media and media, but armed resistance. I fully expect the process to totally break down and it will be welcome to central/South American politics.
My view on gun control is probably well known on this site. I would be restrictive to the nth degree. Total disarmament, but now the recent upheavals have caused me to reflect out of survival. I may actually seek out instruction and a permit for my own self-protection as I can be sinister enough to expect a political apocalypse.
“Have you no sense of decency?” Those were the famous words utter by Joseph Welsh and directed towards one of the most despicable politicians ever to hold office – Joseph McCarthy. The quote was during the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 and sounded the beginning of the end for “Tailgunner Joe.”
McCarthy was the end result of a series of witch hunts directed towards Communist infiltration of our government and social structure. The excesses were profound and much of it was in the wheelhouse of Republicans who offered themselves up as all things American. Richard Nixon made a career out of it.
One thing stood out from the ten-year post-WWII era and that was blacklists – entertainers, writers, and various others who were the bastions of culture. Some had left leanings and some had dabbled into the politics of the fractionalize 1930s. They eventually suffered disastrous consequences during the witch hunt era. Many never recovered professionally or emotionally.
Opposition to Trump is understandable if you find his politics appalling, but placing pressure on performers to withdraw from the inauguration is reminiscent of two items – the first is an obvious resurrection of the witch hunt. The message is quite clear that support of Trump can have professional consequences even for those who just wish to enjoy the honor of performing at such a noted event.
The second is a resurfacing of the casino issue that plagued our community for several years. As with the politics of today the lines were clearly drawn – pro or anti. One item that surfaced was an effort by some – on both sides – to restrict doing business with those who were known to hold an opposing view. The witch hunt mentality.
I write baseball and the special emphasis is on the Red Sox – a noted Boston team. Baseball is a game – as most are – of failure. Even the most successful of batters fail two out of three attempts. The competitive nature of sports can be furious and I will diverge into hockey.
Playoffs are often brutal and careers have been ended by plays that border on assault. The game has a streak of viciousness that reminds one of the Jets and Sharks in West Side Story. What is of interest is when the playoff series is over. Both teams line up and shake hands.
When I coached and taught I always lecture on the ability to accept defeat. There are times when the opponent is better in talent, luck, and even coaching or instruction. I have always found the issue of no scores or participation trophies and out of touch with reality and human nature.
When you lose you examine why. When you fail a test or subject you examine why? You look internal and not for forces outside that have somehow caused your failure. I really don’t care for the famous “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” line. Defeat and especially a hard fought and won success are leaning lessons.If I had “Coached” team Democrat I would be ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated by the collective actions that are currently displayed.
I have posted many articles by Jack Marshall on the ethics being displayed. Many or some I know tend to reject Marshall’s observations since it is an examination of a truth of those who have become ethically bankrupt. The usual bland and foolish dismissal is of a political nature: "I don't agree so he must be a right-wing hack." No cure for stupid.
The culprit is the Democratic Party – that is a clear fact. The behavior demonstrated not only by rank and file but by the leadership and their media supporters far exceeds what I expected from the Trump supporters after they lost. Maybe I should not be shocked? Maybe far too many of those now in grief counseling never faced adversity?
I may be excessively harsh on the Democrats and in clear conscious feel it is well deserved. For the last eight years, I have enjoyed deflating the right or Republicans for their collective behaviors that had little or nothing to do with issues at hand.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Russians are coming!

They Democrats are looking for an angle – any angle – in an attempt to dismiss the impending Trump presidency. The latest is “The Russians” which has taken hold as a new code word among the Democrats. What ever happened to old standby “Koch Brother?” If it gives them comfort so be it.
What I have been able to ascertain from the various fake news sites such as the NYT is that there is nothing new surfacing. This is essentially old news since the questionable hacks – no one knows who did it – occurred and we published months ago. That is what apparently amounts to interference.
The hacks consisted of a public expose of the inner workings of the Democratic National Committee and the failed Clinton campaign. I have not seen any credible evidence that the voting procedure was violated unless Boris and Natasha were seen stuffing paper ballots. The simple and operative word is – deflection – a concerted effort by Democrats to focus off the DNC and their exchanges that were – among other things – designed to eliminate Bernie Sanders.
The New York Times – a notorious right wing source (sarcasm meter off) recently had an article detailing the hacks. The DNC/Clinton was forewarned several times and apparently thought they were bullet proof. Was the RNC hacked? Maybe an attempt was made, but the Republicans may have been a bit more cyber cautious.
President Obama has issued orders to investigate and the results will eventually be as startling as the Wisconsin vote recount. That report – probably a 1,000 pages – will say “someone” hacked into emails accounts and provided information to other sources – essentially where the issue sits today.
What the Democrats and especially their more vociferous and least intelligent sector – the extreme left – wish to accomplish is to simply do what those who hacked the emails did – cause mischief. What I note is how the antics of the least intelligent simply mirror what I have seen from the least intelligent on the other side – the far right for eight long years.
Both are loaded up with questionable “questionable” news sites, virulent bloggers, compliant politicians, equally compliant media accomplices and not a shred of ethics. I have been shocked by the actions of the Democrats – I thought nothing could ever be as virulent as the Republicans for the last eight years. I was wrong and several of my wingnut acquaintances have gleefully pointed that out.
When the revolutionary council met in Paris during those tempestuous times they sat at a horseshoe-shaped table. You position of the table was based on your political philosophy with the most moderate sitting in the middle. As you went around the table to your far right when the ultra-conservative monarchist and to your far left were the ultra-radical Jacobins.
Draw that table in your mind and you can easily see the two closest point are directly opposite of one another. The extremist has much in common then as they do today.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Liberal and well deserved trashing

I did apologize to all the conservative and far-right loons I know and have routinely insulted for their aberrant behaviors. Just reviewing the plethora of websites makes one question just how balanced they are, but compared to what I have seen in the last month from liberals they most certainly represent a high standard of political decorum.
After the stunning loss of Hillary Clinton, I was shocked by the reaction of some institutions – most notably education – that fed into a collective angst that also included the usual pat phrases extended to Trump and his supporters – racist, homophobic, , misogynist,nativist and various other concoctions that are merely buzz words for the adoring masses to nod agreement.
That, however, is mere sloganeering, but when it translates into stated policy there is a line that has been crossed by institutions that are supposed to be (hopefully) politically neutral. When public schools allow and sponsor antagonistic behaviors designed to disrupt and excuse they have failed miserably. As one writer noted and placed in perspective the antics of the left has inadvertently exposed how thin the veneer of decency and fairness was for a large number of institutions, occupations, and individuals.
Then you have flat out morons who simply are loons to the nth degree such as the idiocy displayed by the attorney general in Massachusetts via setting up a “hot line” to report all the long list of fantasized hate crimes in the state. Frankly – based on the antics of the Clinton campaign to disrupt Trump and Sanders I tend to believe they are self-induced to stir up the sycophants. Enough evidence has surfaced to show that several reports were simply phony. Just think Duke University Lacrosse.
The public mourning borders on a fetish – one that really needs some significant mental health intervention. The liberals have literally lost their lunch over a situation that blindsided their view of what should be and what really is.
Then comes the back door such as a “grassroots” movement to convince electors to forgo their responsibility and voted for the failed Clinton. Grassroots? Sure – that is about as grassroots as the failed Jill Stein attempting to put a damper on the voting process. A surrogate for the Clinton campaign and big money donors from the left attempting any means possible.
I have no trust in any recount efforts since the Obama administration will certainly have various public agencies who have long since violated our trust involved in the process. The Clinton campaign clearly and unequivocally demonstrated the extent they would go to in regards to minimizing any opposition. What is equally shameful is the media cooperation and support of those efforts.
The liberals are not liberals, but Capo’s in active pursuit of undermining an established process simply over being rejected. In normal discipline one would send the errant five-year-olds into a corner for a reflective timeout, but, then again, I would be insulting the intelligence of five-year-olds by comparing them to the inept collection of miscreants populating liberal circles.
While I am on a rant, I harken back to one of the standards the debased liberals raised to an art form – all the nastiness that circulated on the right in regards to Obama. Did it exist? Most certainly, but compared to what I have witnessed in the last months it was a political hiccup compared to the firestorm that the left is fully engaged in.
Also along that very path is the outright threats that have surfaced regarding Trump and by defacto his supporters. The hostility and outright threats have certainly placed any of those Trump inspired “hate crimes” under the microscope of a leftist creation.
I happen to be a classical liberal, so any of the antics on the right and left are open season for me. The recent election has certainly raised more than doubts in my brain pan about the integrity, sanity, ethics, moral compass, patriotism and a dozen other invectives directly targeting the liberals.
We happen to reside in Massachusetts and that taints a view since this is a state that has managed to take someone who appropriated a past she was not entitled to and place her in the Senate. That is a political version of stolen valor. This is the shining star of liberals? Maybe that is why we have such an emotional outpouring on the left attempting to romanticize a thug like Castro?
Now I await the Trump regency and a continuation of the imperial presidency so well established by Obama. The executive orders will flutter in the breeze as Congress will abdicate their responsibilities and Trump will merely continue what has happened the last eight years only with a hard drift to the right.
Trump is putting together “His Team” and just remember “His Team” in the United States Football League – The New Jersey Generals – failed their first season and then performed reasonably well. Good luck with that!
I look forward to Trump providing me with a wealth of negatives outcomes.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trump, HRC and idiot protests

The nonsense of the ill-informed voter is staggering, even from my cynical view. Is this the end result of poor parenting? Social dysfunction? Lack of civics in school? Maybe it is just that we have an unusual abundance of idiots and are is desperate need of a zombie apocalypse.
The polls, exit and otherwise showed Hillary Clinton had votes simple over her sex. This is eerily similar to the disaster of Obama over some type of desire for racial amends. Toss into the mix the evangelicals who apparently vote as they assume Jesus would – white males who fervently believe in the scriptures.
That, my friends, is a bleak cross section of why we are in the predicament we have faced for almost two decades. As bad as the morons who vote strict party lines – apparently, they possess one or maybe two functioning brain cells – are those trapped in the strict confines of what I described above. Is the water the issue? Has Flint water been dispersed throughout our fading empire?
The main discourse of the recent election came down essentially to who could tally up being the most boorish idiot presented to the public. Trump certainly had a clear advantage, but the smarmy Hillary was a close second. Both virtually ignore the problems of empire – a stagnant economy, a porous foreign policy, a debt that is nay impossible to control, an infrastructure that makes even the worst of this old house look majestic, party lines that would make FDR and TR relinquish their passports and a supporting cast of characters in Congress that need a super jolt of Embola. And that is only the lesser problems.
The coronation of Donald Trump is a scant few months away and the general opinion is to see just the way this conservative – populist – liberal will bring forward. On the campaign trail what Trump’s words amounted to was gibberish, so just what will eventually surface? But what did we avoid? What would Clinton part Deux be?
The issue is simply one of listening to that most renowned expert on all things dysfunctional – Dr. Phil. As Dr, Phil would say – and I paraphrase – “The Past and present behaviors are indicative of future behaviors.” Based in that expect a Nixonian approach to government operation. An administrated whose foundation is one that is untrustworthy, unethical, deceitful, manipulative, and that is willing to use any means possible for whatever they consider the end game.
Expect Trump to be consistent and quite possibly unfairly treated by a media whose admiration for Hillary Clinton often amounted to an extended arm of her campaign. Congress is more interested in their next campaign, so any affairs of state that need be attended to will probably rely on that favorite of all legislative tactics employed by Obama – executive orders.
Trump could certainly be a centrist since he has been all over the political philosophical map. Playing both sides against the middle is a grand legislative tool and an astute businessman could certainly employ it.
The real feelings among the electorate will be displayed in 2018 and that will be either an increase Republican representation in Congress or a Democratic sweep. Obama was handed a blank slate in 2008 with the legislative control in the hand – and firmly – of the Democrats. Just how did that work out?
The Democrats have lost thirteen senate seats, 69 house seats, 12 governorships and over 900 seats in legislatures nationwide. The topping on the Obama legacy is the dismissing of Hillary Clinton and that is a final ending that I am positive the Democrats did not see coming.
A poor loser is best exemplified more some of the more moronic elements that infest the left. Most notable is the less than peaceful demonstrations that have erupted – usually in bastions of liberal orthodoxy such as big cities. The remnants of the Occupy crowds? Quite possibly.
One target of their collective nonsense is the electoral college. Since HRC won the popular vote that – in their very limited intellectual capacity – anoints her as “president.” Dear clueless ones – can’t you figure out just why the 18th-century rich white guys developed such a system? It is exquisite. A wonder of what the protestors lack – rational thought.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Offending religion, ghosts, superheroes, hunters, paranoral garbage and ice cream

Are you religious? If so I am about to infuriate you so proceed with the utmost caution. First is the connotation of religious which I associate with a formal structure such as a church, synagog or mosque. There is also a second that is spiritual which has a board brush that excludes membership in the various cults – which is exactly what I consider churches, et al to me.
Mohammed, Jesus, John the Baptist, Moses and all the other various religious luminaries up to the present were in my atheist view religious hustlers. They were the Benny Hinn’s of their day. Using a nice patter to build a base of support – today they would be televangelists. In some instances their teachings caught fire and you have would you have today with large and highly structured corporate religion.
People need an anchor and religion certainly provides that especially in a time of emotional need. An atheist does not have that fallback so they must deal with – to me – a more rational approach. One that excludes “higher Authority” or “God’s Will.” An atheist, therefore, has to exist in a type of emotional vacuum with no secure anchor. In that way, many an atheist can have a tinge of jealousy towards those who believe.
Many an atheist has manners that leave me puzzled. They become almost a nonreligious version of the Westboro Baptist Church. What they fail to recognize is the value of religion since many of the fables, lessons and so forth provide valuable insight and are quite relevant to positive human behavior.
The downside is that many of out most vicious confrontations are steeped in religious issues. Christianity has made considerable strides in the few centuries in purging itself of some of its excesses. Maybe Islam will have a reformation?
I have an inherent distrust of Muslims, which is probably considered hate speech in today’s sensitive environment. As an atheist, I question just how long I would survive in a Muslim country? I can clearly see a radicalism that puts others – particularly me – at risk. The last thing I wish to confront is the destructive nature of a present day inquisition.
Ghosts. What is the attraction? Is this a return to childhood and Casper the Friendly ghost? Folks – this may shock you – there is no proof of ghosts. None. Do the ghost hunters really believe the movie “Ghost Busters” was a documentary? Shock treatments are no longer used, but maybe they should be reinstituted?
A subsection of ghosts is paranormal investigations. I have occasionally watched on television shows that center around that term. I will limit this to extra sensory perception, Isn’t there, folks, since no valid scientific evidence has been presented.
Another subsection is the absurdity of fortune telling. This- like astrology (and psychology) – can be fun to do, but don’t take it seriously.
Aliens do not exist, nor is there intelligent life on other planets. The earth has not been visited, we have had no abductions and there is no one out there. How can that be? The estimates are there are now potentially trillions of galaxies and each with billions of stars. Just the mathematical probability of intelligent life is astounding.
The fact is there is no proof. No signals from beyond either electronic or smoke. No sightings of Dyson Spheres or of massive alien constructs anywhere. We are absolutely alone. At this point a blip – an anomaly.
Superheroes do not exist and that is somewhat of a shock to an isolated few who actually believe that they exist. I have encountered a few such in the last few years that – no doubt – have spent an excessive amount of what should have been productive studying instead of going to Comic Con.
Who is left to offend? How about hunters!
The cold hard fact is I am anti-gun, but not anti-gun as most suspect since I am hardcore anti-gun. Just think Lynyrd Skynyrd and Saturday Night Special – toss them “to the bottom of the sea.” I would ban all guns. That, of course, is totally unrealistic, but how about hunters?
I watch what the bring to hunt with and am numbed raw by the firepower with both gun power and bow power. They should use neither. Our ancestors cleared the continent of all sorts of unruly varmints without such weapons. Time to go “old school” and do the same. Gets those spears sharpened, wooden bows ready and drummers to beat the animals off a cliff.
Hannaford’s has now joined Bryers, Friendly’s, Hood and a few others in tossing in Frozen Dairy Dessert into the ice cream mix. It is not ice cream! It is a chemical concoction that does not meet the standards of ice cream. Faux ice cream. Yet they place it in the ice section hoping that consumers are too stupid to know the difference.