Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Arrogance Wins, Arrogance Loses

--> ©2016 by LeeZard
Wednesday November 9, 2016
Ask The Boss; I’ve been telling her for weeks that I was afraid of this election. Today, I am saddened, depressed and, yes, fearful. I’m still in shock. I’ve never been so deeply affected by a presidential election, not Nixon, not Reagan and not Dubya (although I always feared Vice Thug Dick Cheney).
So, what are we to do, those of us who believe in equality for all and love not hate? For now, we just take a collective deep breath and wait. Like many of you, I’m considering a move out of the country but such a momentous decision should not be made hastily.
I can’t/won’t wait for the so-called pundits to figure this whole thing out. I have my own views. Yes, 20-20 hindsight is easy even if it’s difficult to swallow.
As I awoke this morning to my melancholy, the word arrogance dominated my consciousness. Trump’s arrogance (cannot bring myself to use the word president before his name) helped him win this historic, horrific election. Conversely, it was Hillary’s arrogance that helped her lose. The difference was, Trump’s arrogance was bolstered by his bluster, misogyny and scorn for the truth. Hillary’s arrogance was bolstered by her indifference and over-confidence.
Take Wisconsin, for example – which Hillary didn’t when she should have. After the primaries, she never visited that seemingly safe Blue State, not once. When I worked on local campaigns I learned that you work to your strengths. Instead, Hillary’s campaign took Wisconsin for granted and lost ten electoral votes.
Pennsylvania? I think she underestimated Trump’s strength there, especially in places like Erie, a traditionally Blue part of the state. Twenty electoral votes gone. Toss in Ohio and Florida and, boom, that’s the election.
At a personal level, I can’t say that I like Hillary and, I’ve lost respect for Bill. His little private talk about Hillary’s email mess with the attorney general was arrogance. In my view, the Clinton’s demeanor throughout the campaign was one of entitlement. Nonetheless, the Clinton’s know how to govern and lead. They know how the system works and their positions on my key issues are solid.

What scares me as much, if not more, than Trump in the White House (shudder), is what his stunning victory means to his supporters, especially those on the fringe. Will the KKK initiate new and successful membership drives across the nation so more crosses can burn? Will we see a frightening resurgence of lynching? Will sexual assaults against women increase sharply? Should Muslims, African Americans, Hispanics, Jews and other minority groups fear for their well-being? What about an increase of mass shootings with assault weapons? There are so many opportunities for YES to all those questions. OMG!
So, while I’m not buying a one-way airline ticket quite yet, and with apologies to John Denver and Peter, Paul and Mary, all my bags are packed and I’m waiting to go.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Sad Truth

--> ©2016 by LeeZard
I have so many feelings and emotions, anger, sadness, despair, frustration, hopeless and helpless. Did I mention anger? I don’t know what to do. What can I do? What can we do? It may be too late to do much of anything; the genie is out of the gun safe.
 I’m talking, of course, about the horror in Orland, FL, its aftermath and the ensuing predictable debate over gun control mixed with the platitudes of, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims.” I want to vomit.
Sorry, folks, even if you do believe in some great deity, thoughts and prayers don’t mean squat. Let’s face it; the sad truth is that even if weapons such as the AR-15 are banned nationally, nothing will change, at least not in the foreseeable future.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “How can you say such a thing, LeeZard? We absolutely must ban assault weapons!”
First of all, the AR-15 is technically NOT an assault weapon. According to the Christian Science Monitor, “The AR-15 is a semiautomatic civilian version of an M-16 military machine gun (introduced during the Vietnam War). It is not a true assault weapon, since it can't fire continuously. It's extremely accurate at 200 yards and easy to modify, and thus has many uses, ranging from coyote hunting to hobby shooting at ranges. Its short barrel and modified stock make it easy to maneuver in tight places, making it a popular home defense weapon as well.”
Really? You need a friggin’ machine gun for home defense?
So, let’s get back to our mythical assault weapon ban. In theory, it sounds great but reality bites. First and foremost, we cannot forget the Gun Lobby. They have so many lawmakers in their hunting vest pockets that any ban will be a long time coming, if ever. But let’s say for a moment that a ban nationwide is enacted. Will it end the mass killings and domestic terrorism? I don’t think so.
While it’s hard to pin down exact numbers of specific weapons out there, many sources call the AR-15 the most popular gun in America. Slate magazine’s Justin Peters estimates there are 3.75 MILLION AR-15-style weapons in the hands of Americans. So, besides your average commando wannabe, just about every self-styled militia and terrorist cell have all the AR-15s they need.
But, you might argue, at least it’s a beginning and, eventually those weapons will disappear. Really? How long do you think it will be before attrition takes almost 4-MILLION weapons?
No, I don’t see any type of ban slowing the flow of blood across America and that is the sad truth.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Mother Goose Says, "Dumpty the Trumpty!"

©2016 by LeeZard
I was sitting at my laptop the other night trying to NOT listen to the Republican presidential candidates’ debate. I do sometimes leave the TV on, though, just for the comedy and so I can understand the late night talk show monologues.

About halfway through the ridiculous discussions on foreign policy, there was a light, tentative knock at my door. I looked through the peephole and, upon seeing that world famous and familiar face, threw the door open with glee.
“Mother Goose!” I exclaimed. “Where have you been this election year? I’d just about given up on you.”
She replied, “Humpty Dumpty and I sat on the wall, thinking we wouldn’t get involved at all. Now we’re both hot to trot, ready to take all our shots, and dumpty all over Trumpty."
 “Not your best, MG,” I replied,  “but I get your point.”
So, for the third presidential race in a row, my old pal and I waddled over to the laptop and proceeded to dump(ty). She dictated while I typed.

 Harrumph, Harrumph, Harrumph, 
What shall we do with the Trump? 
The guy's all bombast,
His head’s up his ass, 
He’s really a fascist old grump.
Let’s look at the others,  
This sick band of brothers,  
And Carly too while we’re at it.  
They lie and they bluster,  
Their truths have no luster,
Mostly it’s political bullshit. 

Isis, Isis,  
I prefer Italian Ices.  
The GOP would send troops in,  
And continue to bomb ‘em.  
T’would really not ease the crisis.

Now Bernie and Hillary,  
They both have the Skillary,  
And they're better than the rest. 
That’s compared to the others you see,
But really what bothers me,  
Is even they aren’t the best. 

“Enough, ” I cried. “I can’t take any more. My eyeballs are rolling back in my head.” 
She looked at me and winked. “Okay, Okay, I say but one before I go. I just can’t resist, this farewell kiss, to all the hot air they blow.”
To listen to them grieve,
How bad it is, they believe,
That without them America is worse.
Let’s be great again they cry,
But no matter how hard they try,
Their arguments are just simply borscht.
Thank you Mother Goose!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Whither Pete Rose?

©2015 by LeeZard

I admit I’m not the baseball fan I used to be but I still care about the game, especially its history. That is why I am upset by the decision from Commissioner Rob Manfred that Hits King Pete Rose will forever be banned from baseball because he bet on the game both as a player and manager.

That Rose did, indeed, place bets – even on his own team – is not in question. In fact, he stupidly admitted in his news conference after Manfred’s announcement that he still bets on baseball to this day. He definitely deserved a severe punishment. What bothers me is the commissioner’s – and Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) – petty vindictiveness and hypocrisy.

What bothers me even more is that even though Rose technically could be eligible for a plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF), that august institution still refuses to consider his entry because of the baseball ban. In 1991 the HOF passed a rule that bans anyone on baseball’s ineligible list from entrance into the hall. The HOF Board of Directors could easily reverse the rule.
How can MLB and the HOF turn their backs forever on one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of spikes?
Pete Rose’s Major League Records:

  • Most Career Hits 4,256
  • Most Games Played 3,562
  • Most AB’s 14,053
  • Most Singles 3,315
  • Most Total Bases Switch Hitter 5,752
  • Most Seasons 200 or more hits 10
  • Most Seasons 600 or more AB’s 17
  • Most Seasons 150 or more games played 17
  • Most Winning Games 1,972
  • 5 hits or more in Games 10XS
  • Only major league Player in History to Play 500 Games at 5 Positions
  • 1B(969) 2B(634) 3B(634) LF(671) RF(595)
  • Most 20 Games or more hitting streak 7XS
  • Most Total Times on base 5,929

Hall of Fame display. Photo by Leezard

And, while Pete Rose is denied his plaque in the Hall of Fame, the HOF doesn't mind exploiting him by displaying his uniform and other memorabilia.

I think MLB’s vindictiveness is blatant. Does Rose’s gambling really deserve a lifetime ban? Back in the day, the National Football League suspended two of its famous gamblers – Paul Hornung and Alex Karras – for one season.

 Hypocrisy? Let us count the ways.

·    Ty Cobb, the man Rose unthroned as The Hits King, was not only an evil spirited racist, he was a blatant cheater who sharpened his spikes to injure anyone who got in the way of his stealing a base.

·    Mark McGwyer, an admitted cheater/steroid user, apologized for his transgressions and immediately became the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. Now, he’s the bench coach for the San Diego Padres.

·    Alex Rodriguez, Lie-Rod….’nuff said.

·    Gambling? MLB is in bed with at least one of the short-term fantasy league businesses, which have been banned in at least five states as illegal GAMBLING.

·    Many MLB stadiums have casino advertising on the scoreboard and/or on the walls surrounding the playing field.

Finally, one thing that has always struck me about this is that I’ve never seen it mentioned that Pete Rose probably has a gambling addiction. He shows the classic signs of an addict; he lies, directs responsibility away from himself and denies he has a problem. “I have myself under control,” he said at his post-Manfred decision news conference. And, as if to subconsciously flaunt his addiction, Rose held his news conference in Las Vegas.


The man needs treatment more than he needs the continued holier-than-thou punishment from MLB.