September 19, 2014

September 17, 2014

Wednesday Warren Warning - Torched by Levin on Israel

Not everything progressive darling Elizabeth Warren goes unchallenged.  Via The Right Scoop, Mark Levin challenged her on her statements on Israel. Go take a listen.  As The Right Scoop points out, it's short and it's fantastic.

Meanwhile Bill Maher who somehow fashions himself as a Libertarian rather than just an obnoxious know-it-all snot, wants Warren to run against Hillary Clinton.  News flash for Maher - anyone who thinks Warren should run is a progressive, not a Libertarian.

Obama needs a plan B on ISIS

President Obama was emphatic today that there were going to be no U.S. boots on the ground in Iraq to combat ISIS.  This after all of the allies he'd assume would step up to put boots on the ground...just didn't.  But there are going to be U.S. troops in Iraq and mission creep is inevitable, as is the possibility of unexpected fighting.

It's very possible U.S. troops will see combat.  Let's hope air support is not as distant as it was in Benghazi.  But the president still seems to be reactionary, on his heels and digging in to a rhetorical position that he's leaving himself open to have to abandon.

So what is Plan B?  My guess is they don't have one yet, just like they didn't with plan A.

Evolving on the NFL

We knew nothing!
When news of the Ray Rice domestic-violence-in-an-elevator story broke, my initial inclination was to defend the NFL as a separate entity from Ray Rice.  The NFL was not in that elevator.  The NFL did not knock out Ray Rice's fiancee.  The rush to judgement about a cover-up was to my mind a distraction from the main issue - domestic violence.

The attack on the Washington Redskins because of their choice of name was in my mind a waste of time.  It still is.  Until I see native Indians out in throngs protesting, I'm attributing the need or desire to change the name to liberal guilt.  It's not a guilt I share.  I wish to wrong no one, or insult anyone but this does not appear to be an insult as far as native Indians are concerned.  Or at least to most of them.  So it's a non-issue.  And there should be no domino effect with the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Edmonton Eskimos or any other North American sports team.

The issue with concussions was something that would work itself out.  The NFL doesn't need it's stars or former stars all suffering brain damage because of the game.  Fixing that is a self-interest necessity.

But with Adrian Peterson intentionally or not putting his son in jeopardy, there has become a critical mass of problems and the NFL cannot ignore it.  The problem so far has been that the problems were largely ignored or downplayed.  The problem with the reactions of the NFL commissioner are that they are so knee-jerky as to be a de-stabilizing force.

I don't want to see the NFL disappear, and I don't believe that it's a game for Neanderthals and those who like Neanderthals.  But it's players have started to seem to be pampered, out-of-control thugs.  In a way, they reflect the coarsening of the broader culture (guns, drugs, disinterest in the welfare of others etc.) with respect to the youth of today.  Except of course, on steroids (dual-meaning not intended).

The NFL if it wants to maintain its level of prominence in American culture will have to change for the better.  How that happens is not clear - a commissioner change is simply too cosmetic to make a real difference.  And a real difference is whats needed, not just enough to avoid the glare of a negative spotlight for a while.

This is the NFL's chance to lead, in a positive, visible and meaningful way to be a force for good.  That may be putting too much on the NFL.  Indeed, it's not something the NFL has to do.  But it is an opportunity, not just a challenge.  And it is an opportunity the NFL should seize. 

At least that's where I have evolved to on the current image of the NFL.  That, and the fact that I really don't want to see a Seattle Seahawks repeat in the Superbowl this year.

September 15, 2014

Ebb and flow of politics vs. daily posting

I set a goal for myself a couple of years ago to try to get 500 posts in every year.  The last two years I barely made it.  The years before that, it was no problem.  This year, I'm going to be hard pressed to make it.

But 500 posts, while probably good for search engine optimization and visibility, may not be so great for consistently quality content compared to a few quality posts per week.  Then again, I'm not even on track for that lately.  I've had some good posts this year but no more so than in previous years. So that may be just a feeble attempt at justifying a lower output.  The real reason is that I have been busy with work, personal stuff and also experiencing internet availability issues.

But I noticed something this weekend.  By not being out there posting every day, my posts slants may become more even-keeled.  Last Friday I read a couple of items about the potential for an impending Republican wave in the senate this term.  Today, I read that a few of the races look like they have the potential to slip away from the GOP.  Maybe it won't be a wave, but just a small scale win.

Now if I were posting every day, with the ebb and flow of political change, my thoughts, and posts, would quite possible be all ovr the place, appearing disjointed to readers.

Taking time to see the bigger trends is preferable and probably a lot more productive than daily posting.  On the other hand, you do miss out on being able to comment on some things.  And taken to it's logical conclusion, I could have posted in 2008 that Obama's stellar popularity would not last, and then not posted again until now, with a "See, I told ya so" post.  But that doesn't make for compelling reading and isn't thought provoking for writer or reader.

Politics, like sports, like weather, like anything changes regularly.  Being out of the game more than I like ultimately, has been frustrating.  As soon as I can manage, I'll be back to my 1.5 posts per day.

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