Friday, September 30, 2011

Why I Envy Liberals

After observing politics for the past 35 years, it occurs to me that being a political liberal is, by a hundred miles, the easiest thing in the world to be. In fact, I have come to the place where I actually envy men and women of the left. I do not envy them their beliefs, or their tortured associations, or their all-encompassing guilt. But I do envy them two things, as follows.

I envy them their eternal and never failing ownership of the moral high ground. The basic assumption is always that liberals have big hearts. Liberals are filled to overflowing with compassion for the downtrodden. They are always the champions of the little guy, the protector of the powerless. It cannot even be argued, it is taken as an article of faith, especially in American politics. It matters not what the results of their compassion have been. If, for instance, an intellectual argument is made that the very welfare apparatus that liberals so champion has had the deleterious effect of destroying the black family in inner city America by eliminating any need for a father in the home, the point is often conceded but liberals suffer no blame. Liberals always seem to escape any blame for the consequences of their policies because they are never judged on the results, only the intentions. Liberals’ hearts are always in the right place, you see. Conversely, if one is a political conservative in America, one must first and foremost prove that he has a heart. The basic assumption for him is that his heart’s desire is to starve little children and turn old people out of their nursing homes in the middle of the night. If a conservative begins talking about trying to rein in deficits its always because he loves the rich and despises the poor. If any conservative policy actually ends up helping the poor it is considered a cosmic accident. Which brings me to the second source of my liberal envy.

Liberal policy prescriptions are always unfalsifiable. I remember back in the 80’s when Ronald Reagan claimed that by lowering taxes across the board revenue to the treasury would increase. While admittedly counterintuitive, he turned out to be wildly correct. Revenues skyrocketed once taxes were lowered and the old tax avoidance schemes lost their appeal. But even though liberals were proven fantastically wrong in their claims, their reply was simply, “Well, sure , revenues increased…but Reagan is still evil because now the system is even more “unfair”.” Then later in the 90’s the left cried us all a river about the tail of woe which would befall the republic if “welfare reform” were passed. There would be tent cities in every corner of the country, hundreds of thousands of children would literally starve to death. When the legislation finally passed without the promised calamities, liberals merely changed the subject and were allowed to. And more recently we arrived at the stimulus bill of 2008. We were told by liberals that if this bill was passed, unemployment would drop to 8% and millions upon millions of jobs would be created or saved. I can’t even remember the exact number…800 or 850 billion dollars had to be printed or borrowed, but it didn’t matter because this thing was going to save the day. Three years later unemployment is still over 9%, the economy is still hemorrhaging jobs and the response of the liberals to all of the disappointing results is simple…”it failed because it wasn’t BIG enough. Instead of 850 billion, it should have been 1.5 trillion!”, an utterly unfalsifiable claim. Hell, if 1.5 trillion would produce 2 million jobs and drop the unemployment rate to 8, why not borrow 3 trillion and create 4 million jobs and drop the rate to 6???
Getting back to Reagan. While he was right that cutting taxes would increase revenue, he was wrong on his campaign promise that he would simultaneously cut taxes, increase defense spending AND lower the deficit. The first two he did, but he failed to lower the deficit, something with which liberals have been beating him up over for the last 30 years. I see no similar culpibility by liberals for the results of their disastrous policies. In fact, they will not even acknowledge any problems exist. What dependency crisis? What entitlement unsustainability? What’s wrong with a 1.5 trillion dollar yearly federal deficit for as far as the eye can see? Nothing, because liberals care too much about the little guy to fret over silly numbers. And because they care, everything will be ok.

Liberals never have to worry about answering for their mistakes and they can peer down on the rest of us from the commanding heights of their moral superiority. Pretty sweet deal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Whats Missing In Christianity

I started reading G. K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” last night. What I can’t figure out is how come I’m 53 years old and am just now discovering this book. You get to a point in life when you take on the conceit that you are reasonably “well read”, whatever the heck THAT means, then you stumble on the giant of a man that was Chesterton and you realize what a complete Philistine you actually are. I’m only 60 pages in and already I know that I’m reading a work of genius. I will do a complete review of this thing once I’m finished, but finishing will take some work. Humbly, I must admit that I have to read some sentences and a few entire paragraphs twice, even three times before it sinks in to my thick and slow head. But just about the time that I’m feeling stupid and over matched, he comes through with a line so hilarious, so engagingly witty, I at once feel totally comfortable and at home. Which brings me to a point that dawned on me in a flash 20 pages in, it’s what Christianity is missing, and has been missing for most of my life, a public, boisterous, joyful, intelligent wit.

Chesterton publicly debated the celebrated atheists of his day like H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and Bertrand Russell. Even though they disagreed about nearly everything, they were able to remain friends and live together in mutual respect. Most who attended these debates declared Chesterton the winner, even and especially his opponents, who couldn’t possibly compete with his infectious and garrulous personality and his biting yet disarming charm and wit. At 300 pounds, Chesterton took lots of abuse for his appearance, but did so with disarming humor like the time during World War I, when spotted walking down the street by a woman in London and asked accusingly, “Why aren’t you out at the front?!” He replied, “Dear lady, if you go round to the side, you will see that I am!” Once, when debating the views of Oscar Wilde he said, “ Oscar Wilde says that sunsets can’t be and shouldn’t be valued because we can’t pay for them. But Oscar Wilde is wrong because we can pay for them…by not being Oscar Wilde.” Chesterton was famously absent minded, which only added to his likability.
He once sent his wife an urgent telegram, “Am at Market Harborough. Where should I be?” To which
she relied, “Home.”

When people from the Christian community actually do try to engage the world today they do so in a dour, finger-pointing sort of way, hands wringing at the rampant immorality in our decadent world. While there is a ton of immorality out there, and in many ways our decadence owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology, I long for a new Chesterton, who with intellect, clear thinking and brilliant wit, can make the case for biblical Christianity, and make a few friends along the way.

To be continued…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Its Sunday morning....time for Church

I’m all dressed and ready for church. Apparently, my pastor will be holding forth on yet another obscure Old Testament Hebrew ritual, something having to do with the feast of the tabernacle or some such thing. I’m sure he will weave an amazing tapestry that will somehow provide real world application to the struggles we Christians deal with in the world of today. At some point during the message we will see pictures on the screen of some distant hillside in Israel taken during one of his pilgrimages. Maybe there will even be Jewish dancers and robust Hebrew songs. After thirty minutes or so of this inspiration, I will be thoroughly equipped to face the rigors of the week to come. Shalom.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 4. Time for humility?

5-1 last week and 14-4 for the season. At this point some might expect me to start with my famous trash talk. That will have to wait until week 5 because I don’t have tons of confidence in this week’s picks. College football is a crazy, volatile game. Trying to predict how a bunch of 19-20 year olds will perform in front of 80,000 derelict fans is problematic. So far I’ve been on quite a roll, but all it takes is some star wide receiver to have a nasty breakup with his girlfriend on Friday night, or some quarterback to learn that he’s going to be a father two hours before game time and my picks are screwed. So, with humility as my guide, I offer these games for your consideration:

Florida vs. Kentucky

Everyone who reads this blog will assume that I’m picking this game because I need an easy win, everyone that is except Michael Slagle. Michael has requested some love for his Wildcats and I always live by the adage, “give the people what they want” , so Michael, your Wildcats will get throttled by the Gators. It will get ugly. But if you think this week is bad, just wait until next week when LSU knocks the “K” off your helmets. Matter of fact, I only see 2, maybe 3 more wins in your schedule. But hey, basketball season is right around the corner. Florida 38-17.

Arkansas vs. Alabama

This will be the best game of the day. Although the Razorbacks are plenty good, there’s no way they get a win in Tuscaloosa. This is probably the only game of the year where Nick Saben isn’t the scummiest coach on the field. If Bobby Petrino lives to be 100, wins 5 national championships, and saves 10 golden retriever puppies from drowning, I will still never forgive him for the way he walked out on his players when he was coach of the Falcons. Sorry. Roll Tide 42-20.


Two undefeated teams with two passionate fan bases. West Virginia fans famously set sofas on fire after Mountaineer victories, sometimes forgetting to drag them out into the yard first….advantage LSU. WVA plays no defense. LSU is a defensive beast. This is consequently no contest. LSU wins 28-10.

Florida State vs. Clemson

Florida State comes off a devastating loss to Oklahoma because for the Seminoles it was to be a statement game. But the only statement that was communicated was, “We aren’t very good”. Clemson played a terrific game against a good SEC team so they come in with tons of confidence. Clemson is playing at home, and Florida State’s starting quarterback is hurt and a red-shirt freshman named Clint Trickett is starting in his place. This all adds up to me picking Florida State for some weird trick knee sort of reason. If Clemson wins I will be kicking myself, but if Florida State pulls this off, I will be impossible to live with next week!! Florida State 27-24.

UR vs. New Hampshire

My spiders begin their very tough CAA schedule with a home game against New Hampshire. For those of you who think that only the big boys play exciting football, think again. This will be a great game between two evenly matched teams, both of whom are ranked in the top 10 in Division I-AA. Two things favor Richmond, the home team in this series almost always wins, and the spiders have way cooler uniforms. Richmond 21-10.

UVA vs. Southern Miss

The Cavaliers were horrible last week against UNC. They played 11 freshman during the ggame and it showed. By the end of the season, these freshmen will be better but right now its tough to watch. But, who the heck is Southern Miss? I mean, they are a major college in Mississippi and they aren’t in the SEC? Who cares?? What, Brett Favre played for them back in the day? Well, unless number 4 suits up in the second half and leads them on a historic comeback, Southern Miss is going down. UVA 30-17.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Its Gut Check Time

It’s gut check time in Doug Dunnevant’s America. On so many fronts, things are coming down to the wire, palms are getting sweaty, butt-cheeks are tightening. The sublime agony of suspense is in the air. Let me count the ways.

My Red Sox, once a virtual lock to make the playoffs are now hanging by a thread in the AL east. Tampa Bay is only two games back with seven to play. Boston is down to two reliable starting pitchers. Their bullpen is suddenly choking away leads in the late innings. Twenty year old Red Sox fans who have never known the team of the Curse are about to be introduced to what older fans endured for 90 years, a talented team that inexplicably falters down the stretch. Even if they somehow hang on, a World Series appearance seems out of the question with the likes of John Lackey, Eric Bedard, Tim Wakefield and two wild-eyed rookies at the back end of your rotation.

My Braves are gasping for breath over in the NL east as well. Just a few weeks ago this pitching heavy team seemed a lock for the wild card. Now, the terrific but very young bullpen is faltering, and the time honored adage about pitching being 90% of baseball is about to be tested. While in a short series pitching does indeed dominate, you’ve got to have SOME hitting. The Braves only clutch hitter is 41 years old and their only power threat is hitting .230 and strikes out more often than a fat guy with a cold sore at a singles bar. A two and a half game lead over St. Louis with seven to play seems shaky. I miss Bobby Cox.

The broker-dealer change go date is fast approaching. The paper work is flying. Trees all over America are paying the ultimate price. With mind-numbing complexity, the process grinds on. Errors and omissions are starting to mount. I’ve participated in more conference calls in the past two months than I had in all of my previous 53 years. But as insane as the thing has been up to this point, it is destined to get worse once we actually move. Then I’ll be treated to a confusing new world of strange computer systems, an unreadable payroll , and that terrible feeling of being the new kid, where everyone else understands everything except you, the slow one. Its like being the blind guy in a crowded apartment. Just when you start feeling comfortable with the place, some wise-guy rearranges the furniture.

Speaking of being the new guy, that’s where my daughter is at Wake Forest. New city, new apartment, new roommate, new university, new level of scholastic competition, and very old and reliable feelings of inadequacy. In this area of life she is her mother’s daughter, and I feel worthless trying to help her with the adjustments. The advice that I give is the sort of thing that she would never in a million years do because that’s not how she’s wired. So I listen, feeling helpless, and rely on my wife to talk her through. And, she will make it through because deep inside, beneath all of the angst and doubt, there lives a bulldog of a competitor, one of the things she got from me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

In Praise Of A Good Woman

My day started at 4 am. I was awakened by an oppressive, fiery pain in my right shoulder, the sixth straight early morning visitation, only this one was excruciating on a whole different level. I rolled out of bed, chewed up two extra strength Tylenol and turned the water up as hot as I could stand in the shower. As I stood underneath the flow somehow the thought popped into my head that Patient First was open 24 hours. As is my habit when confronted with a strange new pain, I had put off getting this shoulder looked at for six days, thinking that it would heal itself. Plan B was now operational. I threw on some clothes and headed over to the dark parking lot of Patient First where I learned that relief would have to wait until 8 am. Back home, I fired up the heating pad and laid down on the sofa downstairs watching Sports Center reruns hoping I would fall asleep. No such luck.

When the blessed hour finally arrived I was x-rayed and examined thoroughly by a lovely Indian doctor with a beautiful accent, who with an economy of words informed me that my shoulder was “terribly inflamed even to the point of being warm to the touch”. She prescribed pain killers and heavy duty muscle-relaxing anti-inflammatories and then produced a sling for my right arm, with instructions to wear it for three days. Arriving at my office in said sling produced howls of derision from my mean-spirited colleagues, with many references to my age and the shocking rapidity of the physical decline it has brought upon me. The rest of my day was filled with my left hand awkwardly trying to do a series of two-handed jobs. On a good day I have a great deal of trouble concentrating for long periods of time on one thing. I think that the term teachers nowadays use is, “staying on task”. Well, after the cocktail of pain meds and muscle-relaxers I had downed at Patient First, my attention span was shorter than Richard Dawkins’ prayer list. I would dial up a client and by the time he answered I had forgotten why I called. By the end of the day, every muscle in my back was confused and rubbery. Some days it just doesn’t pay to wake up in pain.

But then, I got home. Pam was busy at the computer. I was in no mood for idle conversation so I took the latest dose of my medicine and collapsed in the reading chair in our bedroom. I dosed off for thirty minutes or so, maybe longer, and then heard her voice calling me downstairs for supper. As she has done a thousand times before, she redeemed the day. She made something wonderful out of nothing. My wife is able to transform me. She proves her love for me over and over with a thousand little graces that are easy to miss at times. I don’t have to pour out a tale of whoa for her to know that things aren’t going well. She pays attention to those she loves, to her friends, family, her children, and especially on days like today, to me. The plate before me was a feast of manly comfort. There was a hearty potato au-gratin dish that she had thrown together from scratch. It bubbled with sharp cheddar and smelled like autumn. Beside it were crisp, cold , sliced apples that made a juicy snapping sound when bitten into. The main course was a thing of beauty. She had sliced up onions and green peppers and fried them up until they were limp and caramelized and to this heavenly concoction she had added sliced polska kielbasa, the smoky kind that wafts in the air of the parking lot at the State Fair. This was a dinner for someone who needed some healing. I don’t recall ever being served this exact meal before. How she knew that it was exactly what my soul desired is a mystery, as she is a mystery. All I know is, that at times like this I know with cosmic certainty that mine is an arranged marriage. A compassionate God had mercy on me and gave me a woman of style, beauty and grace who, if given the chance, would be a huge star on The Food Network with a show called, “How to feed your hurtin’ man”.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Week 3 The ACC looks for some self-respect

Once again Notre Dame makes a liar out of me. All they have to do is hold on to a 3 point lead with 30 seconds to play and I would have gone 6-0 like I promised, damn Catholics! Still, 5-1 isn’t too shabby. Week 3 finds the ACC in the spotlight. Sports talk show hosts in Richmond have been yakking all week about how vital it is for the ACC to make a “statement” this weekend. Well, that’s because the ACC conference has been a national joke in football for many years and they are desperate for a quality win against a quality non-conference opponent. We’ll see about that:

Auburn vs. Clemson

Auburn qualifies as a quality opponent. Although not as good as last years national championship team, they are still a SEC powerhouse. I learned in week one of this enterprise that I should never pick against the SEC in a “big, high profile game”. However, this game is neither, except in the fevered imagination of Clemson fan. I go out on a limb, against my better judgment and predict that Clemson actually wins this game 24-21.

West Virginia vs. Maryland

Maryland won against Miami only because of the blinding, audaciously hideous, nervous-system destroying shock and awe that was their uniforms. Millions of viewers all around the country spent the first 30 minutes of that game adjusting their TV sets and yelling obscenities at the cable company. It was as if these uniforms were designed by a team of sugared-up pre-schoolers, and graphic designers on acid. Well, unfortunately for the Terrapins, West Virginia will be ready for this visual tsunami, becoming the first college football team to play an entire game wearing 3-D glasses. The Mountaineers win 30-17.

Arkansas State vs. Virginia Tech

You can’t really blame Tech, I suppose. I mean, when every time you schedule a quality non-conference opponent, you get your ass kicked, after awhile you get tired of it. “Play somebody!!”, Tech haters are always saying. Well, enough of that. There are no Alabama’s or Boise State’s on this year’s schedule. Arkansas State will have to do. Tech wins again 20-10.

Ohio State vs. Miami

Too good to be true, this match up. It practically writes itself. The Buckeyes all show up at the Orange Bowl driving Escalades and showing off the latest in cutting edge body art. Then Miami’s entire squad pulls up at a nearby dock in a 100 foot party boat being served Dom Perignon by a bevy of strippers. If there ever was a game that perfectly captures what college football in 2011 is all about, its this one. Picking a winner here will make me feel dirty either way, so I will hold my nose and predict that Ohio State will feel overwhelmed by all the hot chicks hanging off the Miami players when all THEY got were those lousy tattoos. Miami 30- 24.

Oklahoma Vs. Florida State

This is the big kahuna for ACC fans seeking redemption and a measure of pride in their football prowess. But here’s the problem. The last 31 times an ACC school has teed it up against a non-conference team that was ranked in the top five in the country at kickoff, they have lost, mostly by embarrassing scores. The last win? In 2000, Florida State beat Florida. Yep, its been a long time. After today, its gonna be 32 straight. The Sooners win 38-14.

UVA vs. North Carolina

My finely tuned football instincts tell me that an ACC school will win this game. Although both teams are 2-0, they seem to be headed in opposite directions. After finally getting his first road win as coach last week against Indiana, Mike London finds that he really enjoys winning on the road. The Cavaliers go 3-0 by beating the Tar Heels 17-14. Then all the Hoos in Hooville completely lose their minds, actually thinking that their team doesn’t suck.

So, there it is. In this pivotal weekend for ACC pride, the conference goes 3-2. It will be lost on ACC fan that the game that put them over the top was the Hokies thrilling win over that perennial powerhouse..Arkansas State.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wolf Blitzer vs. Ron Paul with a little assist from me.

The other night there was a Republican Presidential Debate. I didn’t watch it. But a bit of an uproar was caused by a hypothetical question posed to Ron Paul by debate moderator Wolf Blitzer. It went something like this:

“Suppose there is a healthy, prosperous, 30 year old man who decides that since he is young and healthy he doesn’t need to spend 200-300 dollars a month for health insurance. But suddenly he becomes extremely ill and needs 6 months of intensive care in a hospital. What is the responsibility of society to this man. Since he has no insurance, should society just let him die?”

The first uproar was caused by several members of the audience who shouted, “Yeah!!” and applauded heartily, leaving no doubt that this man should in fact be left to die. Set aside , for the moment, the wisdom of hypothetical questions, and set aside further what your position may be on the essence of the question. What kind of person could respond with such glee to the prospect of a 30 year old man struck down in the prime of life, being allowed to die?? Watching the clip chilled me to the bone. Really? That prospect was worthy of an enthusiastic roar of approval? However, the second uproar was caused by Ron Paul’s classically Libertarian answer which , boiled down to its essence, was … in a free society, you are free to make bad decisions, but society is under no obligation to shield you from the consequences of such decisions.

So, on the left, the outrage was over the mean-spirited lack of compassion. On the right, the complaint was that this was another in a long line of loaded, hypotheticals designed to make them look bad. For me, given 24 hours to think out my answer in the comfort of my office and safely away from the glare of cameras, I would have answered the question as follows:

Me: Wolf, First of all, I would like to thank you for throwing me such a perfect softball question!! This is sooo easy! OK, here’s the thing. Your hypothetical 30 year old is both healthy and prosperous, which means he has chosen not to have health insurance. He wasn’t denied coverage because of some pre-existing condition, or prohibited from obtaining coverage because of its’ outrageous cost. In fact, I happen to know that the monthly premium for a catastrophic major medical policy for a healthy 30 year old man runs from between $85 and $150 bucks a month, not the $200-$300 in your example. This sort of coverage would have covered 95% of his entire bill, even for a 6 month hospital visit. No, this 30 year old man decided as a free citizen to take a chance that since he was perfectly healthy, he would always be so. By foregoing insurance, he could spend that money on fun stuff, like a flat screen TV, a new I-Pad, or an awesome week in Cancun. Now, if your hypothetical 30 year old was sick and broke, then “society” has already made the determination that he should in fact be shielded from this type of fate. It’s called Medicaid. All of us pay taxes to provide funds for people who are needy and have health problems. Although Medicaid has serious financial and demographic problems , we as a society have already made the decision that the poor and sick need this part of the safety net. But instead, you are asking whether “society” should be obligated to take care of 30 year old prosperous men who make dumb life decisions. The answer is unequivocally “NO”. See, Wolf, here’s the thing. By using the word “society” you throw people off the trail. Society is a very nebulous and tenuous concept with no check-writing privileges. The correct word in your question should have been…tax-payers, as in , Should the “tax-payers” just let him die? Why should all of the responsible, not so prosperous 30 year old men be obligated to bail out their less responsible peers? I mean, are we free men or not, and do we live in a free society or not? If we are free men, then we must be free to fail. Otherwise, why should anyone do the right thing and provide for themselves if “society” will always be there to clean up after our stupidity?”

Wolf: But, Congressman Dunnevant, what if it were YOUR son? Where’s your compassion sir?”

Me: My son wouldn’t be foolish or immature enough to walk around with no health insurance. And I have plenty of compassion, especially for those struggling, hard working, tax-paying men and women out there who, after paying their health insurance premiums, don’t quite have enough money for an I-Pad or a vacation in Cancun”

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ground Zero as Rebuke

Tomorrow there will be a ceremony at ground zero to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11. It’s been ten years. We still call it “ground zero” because there’s nothing there. Ten years, and nothing. Thirteen square blocks of the most valuable real estate in the country, and nothing has risen from that ground. Tomorrow the podium will be filled with politicians and bureaucrats. Mayor Bloomberg will be there. The Deputy Executive Director of Progressive Community Zoning will be there along with a hundred others just like him, leaving no room for the firemen. Just not enough room to include any firemen on the platform. There will be lots of important politicians there with lots of grave and profound speeches to make, but no firemen. 343 of them died on that day because they trudged into those buildings weighed down with 70 pounds of gear in the vain hope that they might save a few. While everyone else was fleeing in horrified panic, the firemen took the stairs up. But no room for the firemen tomorrow.

Ten years later, I don’t care about the terrorists. Al-Qaeda and global jihad are abstractions to me. I don’t even know what to make of the ten year war on terror. Reasonable people disagree about all of that, and maybe in another ten years I’ll have a clearer understanding of how to think about it all. But there is one thing about which I’m sure and confident. The empty hole in the ground at the corner Church Street and Broadway, right down the street from the New York Stock Exchange, stands as a mocking indictment of the United States of America and what we have become. Our ancestors would not recognize us, not just the founders, but even those from 80 years ago.

In the midst of the Great Depression, a heartier band of Americans took all of 410 days to construct the Empire State building. 27 months from architectural design to ribbon cutting ceremony, during the worst economic hour of our nation’s existence, the tallest building in the world rose in the middle of Manhattan. Today it would take 27 months just to get an appointment with the Deputy Executive Director of Progressive Community Zoning. The Hoover Dam, the most audacious hydro-electric project in human history took four years to build. The Golden gate bridge, four years to build. Can you imagine how long the environmental impact studies would take today for such projects? I’m guessing about four years. Then there would be the “competitive wage impact studies” that would add another couple of years and hundreds of millions to the price tag. Next, teams of lawyers would descend on the thing, extorting millions more. Eventually, the project would die, politicians would give speeches decrying the lack of jobs, and we would be left with a mocking hole in the ground.

This country once stood as a land of great possibility. This was the place where stuff got done. A man or woman with a dream, a capacity for hard work, and high gloss toughness could accomplish great things. That country is no more. It has been replaced by a nation that has tied itself in great central planning knots. The entrepreneurial spirit has been extinguished by crony capitalism. Lawyers and community organizers have taken over, and now there’s a thirteen square block rebuke where the Twin Towers used to be. That’s not the work of terrorists. Behold what timidity has wrought.

Friday, September 9, 2011

WEEK 2. This time I'll go 6-0!

OK sports fans, my debut week of college football prognostication was a raging success, marred only by two rookie mistakes. First, never pick your school’s arch rival to beat anyone, and secondly, never pick against the SEC in big , high profile games. But, other than those hiccups, I will take a 4-2 start. Onward, and upward. This week I plan on running the table with these 6 winners:

Alabama vs. Penn State

Two traditionally great programs with two traditionally and dependably boring uniforms. Bama and their plain, red helmets with white numbers will clobber Penn State with their plain white helmets with blue numbers. Not only will the Tide roll, but the Nittany Lions will not score a point, losing 24-0. But, not wanting to rub it in, and eager to prove that he indeed does have some class, Nick Sabin will offer Joe Paterno some warm Ovaltine and graham crackers at half time.

South Carolina vs. Georgia

Mark Richt has successfully turned the Bulldogs into a second tier program in the SEC the RIGHT way, by running a clean ethical program. What an idiot!! After their pathetic performance against Boise State last week he now faces the program that has replaced his in the top tier of the SEC, the gamecocks of South Carolina and their obnoxious “ball-coach” Steve Spurrier. Georgia is defeated again 42-17 and Mark Richt starts working on his resume.

Stanford vs. Duke

These two schools have the highest team GPA in division 1-A. The much anticipated cold fusion competition at halftime will be won by the Blue Devils, their third consecutive Golden Slide Rule. However, on the gridiron they will have no such luck. Andrew Luck plays for the other team and he will throw for 6000 yards in the second half alone. Stanford wins 65-28.

UVA vs. Indiana

Assuming anyone shows up to watch this game, it will be highly entertaining. The bottom-feeders of the Big 10 meet the bottom-feeders of the ACC. But, UVA is improving and Indiana is a basketball school, so despite a barrage of three-pointers by the Hoosiers, the Wahoos win 21-15. The Hoosiers and the Wahoos, two of the dumbest nicknames in sports.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan

The Fighting Irish, a team that year after year gets away with demeaning an entire race of people with a hateful ethnic slur, travels to the big house to play a Michigan team that year after year gets away with being called an elite program despite a police blog a mile long and losing to Appalachian State…at HOME! Hard to pick against the Pope and all and despite Brian Kelly’s purple-faced act on the side lines, his Golden Domers will win 30-27.

Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina

These two schools probably have the lowest team GPA in division 1-A. At half time there will be no academic competition, thank God, so both schools will be spared the embarrassment of not knowing how to spell “ C-L-A-S-S”. Unfortunately, the actual game won’t provide much competition for the Hokies either, as they blow out the Pirates 48-7. The “Hokies”..THE dumbest nickname in sports.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day. Dumbest Holiday Ever?

Labor Day is such a dumb holiday. First of all, it comes during a time of year of general sadness. Summer vacations are all over. The school year is out there like a menacing storm, about to unleash all of its fury. The body clock is telling you that Fall should be near with its beautiful leaves and chilly nights, but you know that September is going to be hot as Hades. Those leaves want to change colors and gently fall, but they keep putting it off. Soon you haul down your Fall junk from the attic, the goofy scarecrow, the oak tree wreath. Then you scatter some gourds, pumpkins, and a deathly dry bail of hay on the front porch as if these decorations will somehow induce the season. But it doesn’t, in fact, the next 98 degree day you worry that the display will spontaneously ignite and take the rest of the house with it!

 Such is the malaise into which Labor Day arrives. And even though the news is full of reports of parades and speeches and the television blares loudly about the great deals available for those in the market for cars, mattresses, and replacement windows, you know in your heart that this is no holiday. You know what this really is. Labor Day is the end of something, the end of play, the end of relaxation.

And then there’s the irony of this day. We are asked to celebrate work by not doing any. We celebrate labor by avoiding it at all cost. Its as if this holiday was created by a committee. Well, in the spirit of the day, might I suggest a few similarly illogical holidays for your consideration.

Fidelity Day….where we celebrate faithfulness by cheating on our spouse.

Marriage Day….where we celebrate marriage by filing for divorce.

Republican Party Day….where we drop our recycling off on our way down to volunteer at the homeless shelter.

Democratic Party Day….where we all take a shower and head down to the Chamber of Commerce to hear Sarah Palin read a chapter of Atlas Shrugged.

Reality Television Day…where we celebrate by becoming suddenly appalled, shrinking away from the television set in shame.

Sobriety Day…where we celebrate by getting drunk

Nutrition Day…where we wash down those cheesy-fries with a triple-chocolate shake.

Baptist Day…where we celebrate by becoming relevant

Higher Education Day… where we celebrate by tolerating views that aren’t liberal.

Post Office Appreciation Day….where we celebrate by tweeting all of our friends and sending an e-mail to our mailman.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 1..Stone cold, lead pipe locks.

College football is great fun. It has also become somewhat of a guilty pleasure. One cannot help but feel a bit guilty for rewarding such a corrupt maniacal monolith as college football by watching game after game and contributing to the gargantuan ratings that serve as fuel to the beast. But, that is a topic for another time. The bottom line is, we love the game, every ridiculous, over-hyped, joyous second of it. We love the packed stadiums, the awesome tail-gating, the passion of the fans, ESPN Gameday…everything. So, today begins my weekly tradition of offering my stone-cold, lead pipe lock picks. I will concentrate mostly on the state teams but will also throw in prominent games of national interest. I, along with you, will keep a running total of my record. This will result in either blog after blog of interminable bragging or only occasional mention of my failures as proof of how corrupt the game actually is, not to mention scandalously horrible officiating. At this point I suppose I should declare my prejudices. I am a huge U of R fan, having matriculated from that fine institution. I also have always enjoyed the SEC brand of football, having spent three years of my youth in Louisiana/ Alabama. I’m not a huge ACC guy. Generally I believe Virginia Tech fans to be among the most obnoxious in the country, with their delusions of grandeur, their incessant whining at even the slightest snub, and their epically hideous uniforms. And I see from this years Tech schedule that they will be favored in every game, so I suppose I should prepare for more Hokie bravado. Ok..that’s about it. Here we go!

James Madison vs. UNC

If God cared about football, JMU should win this game. They are a good team, play in a great division 1-A conference, and UNC is a crooked program who fired their coach like three days before spring practice. But, God has a lot on his plate at the moment, so the tar heels will prevail 24-14 with the help of several mind-numbingly awful calls by an officiating crew clearly on the take.

William & Mary vs. UVA

This is a tough call for a bunch of reasons. Although W&M is a long time rival of my school, I have nothing but respect for Jimmie Laycock. Although UVA leaves me cold, and attending one of their home games is like going to a polo match featuring that gorgeous team from Saint Christopher’s with those heavenly Italian boots, while sipping mint juleps and catching up on the latest gossip about the pending engagement of Biff and Barbie…but I digress. The only good thing about UVA is their terrific young coach Mike London, who several years ago coached my alma mater to a national championship. ( For Hokie fans, that’s when your team wins the championship game and is crowned the best team in the country ). So I root for Mike whenever I can…..but not today. William & Mary upsets the cavaliers for the second year in a row 31-27.

Appalachian State vs. Virginia Tech

Once again, if it weren’t for all of the trouble in the middle east, and the fact that our own country is in the process of self destructing, God would be all over this and insure a victory for Appy State, if for no other reason to demonstrate the truth of his warning that “pride goeth before a fall and destruction before a haughty spirit”. But alas, absent divine intervention, Tech wins going away 35-13.

UofR vs. Duke

We have beaten the weak sisters of the ACC twice in a row, and despite losing our head coach a week ago for getting a DUI, we will do it again 20-3. Just a side note, can you imagine any big time SEC or Big 12 coach losing his job because he had a few pops and got pulled over by the cops? Me neither.

Boise State vs. Georgia

This is sort of a big game but I don’t care very much because its Boise State. Sorry, great program, and they can beat anybody, anywhere, anytime. But, they can do so because they only have to do it once or twice a year. Most weeks they simply wipe the floor with the San Hose States of the world while a team like Georgia is in the belly of the beast every single week in the SEC. But, Boise wins this game 21-20 and then proceeds to complain for the next 10 weeks about their ranking in the polls.

Oregon vs. LSU

LSU’s quarterback gets in a bar fight at 2 in the morning two weeks before this headlining game in a year where his team is picked to perhaps win the SEC championship. Oregon is in hot water over a $25000 payment its program paid to a sleazy recruiter in Louisiana that helped them gain the services of a talented running back. Is college football beautiful or what??!! Losing your QB two weeks before a game against an opponent as good as Oregon does not bode well for your chances. Oregon holds on for a 28-17 win that will probably have to be forfeited once the NCAA finds out that the sleazy recruiter guy was blackmailing Oregon coach Skip Kelly on account of their long-standing gay relationship. Just kidding.

So there you have it.