Friday, December 25, 2015

Stop Pretending There Are Moderate Iranians

There has been a running myth in US leadership circles that there are moderate Iranians, and Barack Obama lives this myth. But that's all it is - a myth. And to further showcase the lack of moderate Iranians, Iran is pressing forward with cheating on the nuclear accord knowing Obama won't fight back.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Self-Segregation Of Diversity

Diversity is nothing but self-segregation.

The Internal Conflict Of Islam

Obama likes to pretend he is fighting against Islamophobia - the problem is his appeasement of Islamo-Arab imperialism, and refusal to recognize its existence - is the real problem. The issue is not Islamophobia - which really doesn't exist, despite the mythologizing of Obama, Hillary, et al about how Muslims ostensibly are recruited to the enemy side -, it is the hate that drives Islam, a hate a silent majority of Muslims recognize their religion needs to eliminate.

NFL 2016 Trending Now

The 2015 NFL season approaches the end of its regular-season component having seen some of the decade's most competitive games and also seeing encouraging signs of progress from some struggling teams and signs of decline from some established contenders.   A view of which teams seem to be trending where as 2016 approaches - we leave aside two obvious powers in the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers, both of whom speak for themselves as contenders -

Trending Upward -

Tennessee Titans
- It may not seem the Titans are trending upward having fired coach Ken Whisenhunt and with a defense that has given up 27 or more points game after game all season, and especially after atrocious performances on all sides of the ball against the New York Jets and in late December against the Houston Texans, yet despite being in the bottom five in scoring in the league, the Titans with rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota are showing he is the real deal. He is going through the typical rookie season of struggle - made worse by missing several games with injuries, reminiscent of the likes of Troy Aikman - while establishing himself as a legitimate player.  Mariota has had to play comeback football all season and has shown fight in most games; the victories over New Orleans and Jacksonville showed that and the close losses merely show how close he is already to becoming someone special.   The Titans need to shore up on the line, especially on defense, and they can use some reinforcement at receiver and tight end.   These issues are fixable and Mariota shows he can improve, which is what they need to become true contenders again.

Jacksonville Jaguars - It's clear now Blake Bortles has a positive future and the Jaguars likewise have a positive future.   Though his career completion percentage still has not reached 59% in his second year his touchdowns have skyrocketed while his interceptions have dropped.   The Jaguars in mid-December 2015 were ninth in scoring; the biggest need for improvement is defensively having allowed 28 or more points seven times.   As with fellow AFC South mate the Titans, the Jaguars' problems are fixable having seemingly nailed it with their quarterback.

Oakland Raiders - For the first time since back-to-back 8-8 seasons in 2010-11, the Raiders reached at least seven wins, and in Derek Carr they seem to have their quarterback of the future.   His touchdowns have increased and INTs dropped in his second year, and the negativity that surrounded the organization in this decade more and more is fading away.    With solid drafting and a capable program in place after a decade of scattershot incompetence from the late Al Davis, the Raiders have stopped being the punchline.

New York Jets - The Jets went from the undisciplined bluster of Rex Ryan to the greater professionalism of Todd Bowles and after the fiasco of a teammate breaking Geno Smith's jaw the Jets came out and have not only played well, they'd showcased far greater professionalism as an organization; gone is the bluster, the sloppy discipline, the endless and never-justified boasting.   While there have been some embarrassing moments for the Jets, they have been few and far between.  The biggest issue for the Jets is Ryan Fitzpatrick has played better than expected but is not the long-term answer.   Yet for the first time in a long time it's now possible to think of the Jets as a team that isn't going to falter, though they may not be strong enough to truly contend.

Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings reached ten wins for the first time in three seasons and in Teddy Bridgewater they have a quarterback who has improved in his two seasons so far.  The issue that stands out for the Vikings is their offense remains too Adrian Peterson-dependent.   They also have struggled against quality opponents; the gag job at the end of the Arizona game was cringe-worthy while the missed FGA in the playoffs against the Seahawks was the ultimate heartbreak after two spectacular wins to grab the NFC North.  Defensively  they've been solid; now they need to improve on offense and take that next step.

Washington Redskins - It's fun to call them the Deadskins but the reality is the Redskins made themselves less and less of a punchline by outright winning the NFC East.   They reached six wins for the first time since 2012, but unlike that hallucinational season with the inept Robert Griffin III this season looks more legitimate under Jay Gruden, the Arena League coaching legend.  Kirk Cousins' performances have improved markedly from the past and there is now something to build on in DC where before there wasn't.  The key remains that Daniel Snyder leave his football people alone.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jameis Winston has gone through the typical rookie struggles and the Cam Newton 2011 analogy looks stronger than it might have earlier in the season.   Winston's completion percentage needs to improve, but his fight has been legitimate, while Tampa Bay's run game has gone under the radar to some extent with a 4.8 YPC average and within less than 190 yards of 2,000 entering mid-December.   Issues that are fixable can be addressed; the Bucs look to have gotten it right with Winston.

Seattle Seahawks - Forget about the 2-4 start and the distractions of contract controversies - the Seahawks behind Russell Wilson began surging in mid-October to where Wilson was scoring at least 29 points in five straight games after their bye week, surging all the way to the NFC Divisional playoffs.   The Marshawn Lynch era appears to be ending, but the Seahawks are becoming less a running team and more a passing team, and that bodes well down the road.

Arizona Cardinals - The only thing wrong with them as they exploded to thirteen wins and reached the NFC Championship Game is that an aging Carson Palmer has played well but something still seems to be missing from his game - the seven turnovers against Carolina illustrate this is hideous fashion.   The Cards have astonished everyone since Bruce Arians took over and it only looks to continue; upgrading the quarterback area is still a need, but not so desperate as with other teams.

Trending Downward -

Indianapolis Colts
- Andrew Luck has played superbly in his first four seasons, but his growth as a quarterback has not shown itself to be that impressive.   His poor record outside of the AFC South and the lack of wins beyond 11 a year indicate a quarterback who may have plateaued.  The scuttlebutt earlier this year was that eyes were opened within the Colts organization as to the effectiveness of Matt Hasselback's West Coast style of offense versus the more reckless style of Luck.  Injury to Luck forced 40-year-old Hasselback to play a lot more than expected, and the team atmosphere seems more and more toxic with interference from owner Jim Irsay (not the most dependable of God's creatures to use a Spencer Tracy soundbite) and upheaval in the front office and coaching staff.  It all adds up to a Colts team that looks less like the wannabe-dynasty of 1999-2010 and more like the inept also-rans of 1978-98.

Atlanta Falcons - It's now  clear Matt Ryan is not the answer.   A new head coach came in and after a 5-0 start Ryan and as a result the Falcons disintegrated to irrelevance shown in most graphic form in the 38-0 shutout by the Panthers.  Ryan's inability to handle playoff football showed itself in his first five seasons and the last three have shown he plateaued in those years.   Now the Falcons need to start thinking about a replacement for Ryan.  

San Diego Chargers - Collapse is the only description for the underachieving Chargers.   A spectacular comeback win over the Detroit Lions was the highlight of a season that was lost almost before November arrived.   Spotty play by Philip Rivers, some terrible O-line play, and lack of clutch playmaking have made 2015 the return of the nightmare years of 1997-2003, and the Los Angeles rumor isn't going away as stupid as the concept remains.    A coaching change is desperately needed for the Chargers, a far more talented team than their abysmal record this year indicates.

New York Giants - That Tom Coughlin lasted as long as he did is astonishing given now four uninspiring seasons in a row to go with six other seasons where the Giants went nowhere.   Eli Manning's play has been at times spectacular but it hasn't made the Giants all that competitive, and the circus catches by Odell Beckham make the highlight reels but aren't winning them any games.   A promoted head coach has his work cut out for him.

Baltimore Ravens - Suddenly the Ravens have become irrelevant.   Despite competitive games and 2015's season sweep of the Steelers, Baltimore has persistently failed to seal any deal and the lack of answers brings question as to the true worth of Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh; we also have to start questioning Ozzie Newsome's team-building acumen of late.   

There are of course the going-nowhere teams like the Bills, the Dolphins, the Lions, the Bears, and the Browns.   We also have teams like the Chiefs and Packers where we're not truly sure if they're improving even as they made the playoffs - Aaron Rodgers despite his insane touchdown to beat the Lions has been exposed again as a frontrunning phony (the regular season slaughter by the Cardinals underscored this while the two Hail Marys in the playoff matchup were prayers in every sense of the term, and Carson Palmer answered in hilarious fashion in overtime) while Alex Smith has gotten the Chiefs farther than anyone could have expected - all the way to the first playoff win for the Chiefs since 1993 - yet we've long known he can never be what the Chiefs need.   With all that, we've seen some solid indications that the league in 2016 may see legitimate competitive change.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bureaucrats Protect Competitors, Not Consumers

Crony Capitalism is government meddling to pick the winners in competition - and as always consumers are the losers.

Drivers and Riders Will Lose from Unionized Uber

Seattle's attempt to unionize ride-share programs ignores that unions have been irrelevant forever because they do nothing but take workers' money and fight against the people who actually pay their salaries.

Islamo-Arab Disinformation Goes Dutch

Two filmmakers from Holland - where former parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali was threatened because she supported a short film calling out Islam to be a terrorist religion - have done a Youtube video falsifying Islam to whitewash Islamo-Arab imperialism.

Choosing Decline Doesn't Work

The US chose decline twice with failure both times.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

An Alternative To Trump's Muslim Plan

Since a lot of people don't like Donald Trump's "ban Muslims" argument - and they certainly have reason, as Charles Krauthammer shows very nicely, then an alternative is presented. What Trump has done is force people to address Islamic demographic imperialism - euphemistically called "immigration" - as Muslims are just 1% of immigration yet account for some 50% of terrorism since 2001.

Islamo-Arab Imperialism Is Hate

Islamo-Arab imperialism is a religion of hate. And identity politics feeds the hate.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

In Case You Forgot About Qaddafi Plus A Sudan History Lesson

Ted Cruz made a preposterous assertion about Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi that warrants refutation. Cruz wants to attack "neo-cons," never mind they have been the ones who've been correct on facts. Also worth reading is this look at the 1881 Islamo-Arab war in the Sudan where Britain in essence quit on trying to defeat the enemy.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Unions Request Another Minimum Wage Exemption

Unions showcase the economic stupidity of minimum wage.

The Hate-Crimes Crock

Obama and others lecture us against Islamophobia - the facts as usual prove it doesn't exist. The reality is Islam is the aggressor, not the victim.

The Trojan Horse in Paris

The Paris climate change meeting is about blackmailing wealthy countries into giving loser nations $100 billion a year, in addition to being about the zealotry of The Anointed. They want people to think climate change is real - except it isn't.

Hillary Milhous Sanders And Her Spendaholism

Hillary Milhous Sanders and her multi-trillion dollar spendaholism.

The President's Scary Speech

Obama's inability to handle reality shows again in his speech about the San Bernardino Islamics. It gets an icy retort from Chris Christie and also gets examined with another recent speech by Obama that is just more of the same from Obama the appeaser.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Obama and the Legacy Trap

Obama cares about his legacy more than about substance, and his growing fits of self-pity reflect what he is - a self-loving thug.

How Social Security’s COLA Politics Lead to Bad Policy

Yet more madness and failure from the entitlement pyramid scheme that is Social Security.

Bernie The Bozo's Democratic Socialism Speech

Bernie Sanders made a major speech about democratic socialism - and it merely proves there's no case for it.

Among the lowlights -

"The great middle class in this country has been in decline."  False - their incomes have risen 50% since 1985 and even the NY Times admitted by 2000 that the middle class was getting richer.

"The wealthiest people and the largest corporations must pay their fair share of taxes."   False - it's none of government's business to begin with, plus the wealthy and corporations get hosed on taxes as the Tax Foundation has long shown.

The 77-cent Myth Redux

The myth that women earn just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men gets punctured again.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Remember That Diversity Is A Dead End

A forgotten 2012 study shows what the real world has always shown - diversity training doesn't work because diversity is a dead end. No one is supposed to care about diversity.

Paris And Islamo-Arab Imperialism's Voluntary Apartheid

A look at France's fifth column of Islamo-Arab imperial "refugees" - who are being segregated away from civilization by the leaders as "voluntary apartheid" - and who thus are launching war. A reminder of the failure of resettling Somalis in the Clinton years is relevant here.

AWOL In The Middle East

A look at why the Middle east matters and why the US SHOULDN'T be disengaging.

Obama And His Cylon Raiders

Taking Careful Aim looks at the killing of an Islamic terrorist who was an American citizen, and also at the non-engagement engagement by Barack Obama with drone warfare - I nickname them Cylon Raiders - as a substitute (a poor one) to actual pursuit of victory.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Arab Editorial Nails The Reality

"Arabs and Muslims must acknowledge their direct responsibility for the terror sweeping the world."

To add to that is the target of Islamo-Arab imperialism no one is talking about.

Obama Lets Vlad Win Again

Vladimir Putin is not part of the solution in the Middle East, he's part of the problem. His is a foreign policy of aggression and conquest (in the Middle East, Ukraine, etc.) and he's taken advantage of Obama's fecklessness.

When To Close Borders

Thomas Sowell raises a valid point about France - what if it had closed its borders to Islamo-Arab infiltrators 40 or so years ago? It is a question with a superb counterpoint from Danielle Pletka.

Obama Still In Denial

Obama remains in denial that quitting Iraq is what spawned the rebranded Islamo-Arab mercenary armies defeated earlier to strike again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

NFL Week 10 Looks To Go Herb Alpert On Us

The NFL last week went all Herb Alpert on us - when they said come flay with me the footballs did just that, and when teams needed their game to Rise, they went Beyond and the result was a plethora of amazingly taut games. So now we enter Week Ten and suddenly things are not what they seemed. My picks -

NY JETS over Bills - Both teams are .500 or better (the Jets are 5-3) entering this game; the Jets have the better overall team though I give Tyrod Taylor a slight edge over Ryan Fitzpatrick; the biggest edge lays in coaching as Todd Bowles has made the Jets professional in contrast to the chaotic freelancing of Rex Ryan in Buffalo.

Saints over REDSKINS - The Saints have all the edges - quarterback, coach, team culture, etc. - and are smarting over a bitter loss last week even though they're still in the wildcard hunt even at 4-5.

EAGLES over Dolphins - Philly's rough start appears to be behind them while Miami's momentum from the promotion of Dan Campbell now looks gone.

RAMS over Bears - Jay Cutler pulled off a preposterous win at San Diego, but the Rams are made of sterner stuff than that; coordinator Gregg Williams got called out by the Vikings and by Rodney Harrison, and it looks to be firing up the Rams.

TITANS over Panthers - The Titans have owned the Saints since Jeff Fisher took over the then-Houston Oilers and have averaged 27 points scored in the last six games; they have Marcus Mariota back, their defense looks to be playing substantially better of late, and the change in head coaches paid immediate dividends.   Now the Titans get the unbeaten Panthers, a team they've beaten three straight times and which has struggled to close out games of late while the Titans have played comeback football pretty much since the Bucs game.  

Jaguars over RAVENS - This rivalry used to be about streaks - the Jags won the first ten meetings dating to the final year of the original Cleveland Browns.  Now they've seesawed the last five meetings and the Ravens come off their bye still uncertain about what they are as the Jaguars have played better the last two games.

BUCS over Cowboys  - Neither team is a playoff contender, but the Bucs are starting to establish some legitimate muscle under improving quarterback Jameis Winston as the Cowboys flail away with six straight losses.

STEELERS over Browns - Suddenly the Steelers may not know who their quarterback will be with Roethlisberger's latest foot injury; it won't matter against a Browns team still with a quarterback controversy in Johnny Turnovers.

PACKERS over Lions - The Packers got exposed the last two games but the Lions look to be imploding and the guy they thought would be their quarterback of the future looks more and more like their quarterback of the past.

RAIDERS over Vikings - Both teams are far ahead of where they were, and the Raiders under Derek Carr and an improving roster are showing they're for real.   Expect something akin to the shootout in Pittsburgh here.

BRONCOS over Chiefs - The unbeaten season is now gone, so the Broncos get the Chiefs again, one of the teams Peyton Manning owns, bad arm or no bad arm.

Patriots over NY GIANTS - We know the recent history.   We know the bitterness of the three straight losses by the Patriots.   We also know the Giants remain the inconsistent team they've long been; they force turnovers except the Patriots generally don't give up turnovers; their defense has been speared (19th in points allowed) and Brady has elevated his game even as Eli Manning is now more comfortable in the offense installed last year.  

SEAHAWKS over Cardinals - The Seahawks started slow last year and then raced to the Superbowl.   The Cardinals remain a legitimate NFC contender, so this game should be a grinder to the end.

BENGALS over Texans - Cincinnati remains on a roll and Houston remains iffy on their quarterback and in general; their vaunted defense in particular is a joke now even at eighth in passing yards allowed per game.   Look for Andy Dalton and his arsenal of pass-catchers to have another feast.

One more note - the injury to Andrew Luck may not change much for the Colts going forward, since Matt Hasselback showed he can still win in a relief role and a schedule that takes a turn for the better with perhaps five eminently winnable games left.

So we await.

Learning from The Study Of The Study Of History

Or, how do we know what we think we know?

The Next Big Thing: 'Gig Economy' Workers' Rights

The Next Big Thing: 'Gig Economy' Workers' Rights

Monday, November 09, 2015

Lift The Oil Export Ban

Lift the ban on exporting oil.

Rubio Beats Phony Scandals and Comes Out Stronger

Rubio proves they're only scandals to the media if it smears non-Democrats.

NFL Week Nine Imperfectly Perfect

Week Nine of the NFL continued to prove that football came be an imperfectly perfect game, and it seems every season there is at least one week where more games than usual escalate to downright spectacular level.   Perfection proved to be imperfect as we touch upon below -

Patriots perfect and Belichick won't have any of it -  Belichick will likely stress that the Patriots on offense weren't that crisp, scoring only 27 points, coughing up two turnovers, and then losing utility back Dion Lewis for the year (torn up knee).   A 17-point win isn't anything to be ashamed of, but it isn't good enough.  The way the Patriots played at times won't reassure Belichick as they face the dragon that broke their heart twice in the Superbowl next week, so Belichick will make sure his guys understand they need to fix the mistakes.

Panthers have a problem closing out games - For two straight weeks the Panthers raced to a multi-touchdown lead, yet could not close the game out, blowing a 17-point lead to the Colts and needing overtime to win, then blowing most of a 23-point lead to the identically-overrated Packers before Aaron Rodgers once again failed on a comeback attempt, this time via a hot zone INT.   This is Green Bay's second straight loss after starting unbeaten, and Rodgers stays stuck on just six true comeback wins with only two wins from down more than one score.    Frontrunning fraud, thy name remains Aaron Rodgers, while Carolina had better address these blown leads.

Peyton Manning gags against his old team again -  Peyton Manning still hasn't sealed the deal on an unbeaten season and for the third time in four meetings failed against the Indianapolis Colts.   The play that killed his chances was so appropriate - needing three yards to become the NFL's all-time passing yardage leader, he threw a pick, and never saw the ball again as Andrew Luck's Colts won a taut affair 27-24.   If Aaron Rodgers is a fraud, the vaunted Denver defense was exposed as a fraud also, and its season-long inability to handle good tight ends showed again - and has pending tight ends on Denver's schedule licking their chops.

For Andrew Luck, suddenly there's sign his game is changing, as his new O-coordinator appeared to have him apply that West Coast approach he seemed stubbornly refusing a week or two back.  And it wasn't too soon for the Colts, because.......

The Titans pull off their biggest win in years - Sure, it's farfetched to think the Titans can overcome a 1-6 start, but Marcus Mariota kept fighting even in losses - the loss to the Colts remains the bitter pill of the season - and that fight translated into Tennessee's biggest comeback win in years, less in terms of the gap erased than in terms of beating a quality opponent and establishing teamwide confidence and momentum, especially after a coaching change that arguably was overdue.   Mariota and the Titans proved they have real fight, now they've begun to translate it into success.   The Titans may not reach 8-8 this year, but that or even better suddenly aren't implausible anymore; they're now building something.

The subplot for both the Titans and Colts is just how important coaching is - the Titans changed head coaches and win their biggest comeback in years; the Colts changed coordinators and suddenly Andrew Luck started playing smarter football.  

The Forty-Niners win with Blaine Gabbert - for real - His reputation was perhaps as the worst mistake in NFL draft history since Ryan Leaf.   Ryan Leaf, though, was too addicted to his illicit substances to try and get a second chance, where Blaine Gabbert took over a moribund Niners squad and did something stunning - he didn't just win, he showed some courage in doing so and beat a Falcons team considered a playoff contender.   The playoffs look out of reach for the Niners, though the way Gabbert played there may be reason for short-term optimism in San Francisco.

As for the Falcons, that playoff contender reputation takes another hit; these may not be the rebirth of the Dan Reeves Dirty Birds, never mind of Too Legit To Quit, after all.

The Steelers beat the Raiders but the Raiders may win this latest war - Ben Roethlisberger was downed in the fourth quarter with a foot injury and is out for several weeks, this after just getting back onto the field from an earlier injury.   His understudy Landry Jones watched Derek Carr whip the Raiders to the tying touchdown - this after a horrible endzone INT - and then lofted a gigantic completion to Antonio Bryant on his way to a Steelers-record 284 receiving yards.   The winning field goal left Pittsburgh as 38-35 winners, but the Raiders' continued fight shows a team that's only getting better and leaves the Steelers once again uncertain going forward.

Have the Lions reached the point of no return? -  They didn't play this week but the Detroit Lions still made news between some wholesale coordinator firings on offense and word that Matthew Stafford may get the axe himself between his cap hit and reported refusal to adapt to a new offense; he'd played noticeably more conservatively in 2014 and despite 11 wins his coaches admitted he played conservatively to a fault.   His collapse this year became downright graphic in the loss to the Broncos and we've seen no sign of any turnaround.

The question now becomes - if Stafford gets the axe from Detroit, will any team want him?   Talent-wise they should, but the coach killer rumor about him may now be true.

Eagles may now be back on track while the Cowboys put up with double jeopardy advocacy - The topsy-turvy NFC East became more of such as the Eagles fought off a determined Dallas Cowboys effort with a Sam Bradford touchdown in overtime.  Philly's poor start was such that their recent surge has gone largely unnoticed, while the collapse of the Cowboys has been one of the stories of the year.

It got worse for the Cowboys when Deadspin did a lengthy piece on the Greg Hardy violence arrest with some 50 photos taken by police.   It led to widespread media demand that Hardy be cut by the Cowboys or banned by the league - seemingly everyone oblivious to the fact they're advocating punishment to Hardy for something for which he was already punished because we now see photographic evidence as if it changed any fact.   Last time I checked, double jeopardy is illegal.  

We know what Greg Hardy is, but more armchair lawyering will solve nothing - on the contrary, the continued collapse of the Cowboys does Hardy more damage than media anger can.

You know your season is ruined when you lose to Jay Cutler - The San Diego Chargers' mediocre decade just got worse with an astonishingly disgusting loss to the worst quarterback in the game, leaving their season over at the halfway mark.   To call the Chargers underachievers doesn't do justice to just how revolting this Monday Night loss is.   Jay Cutler remains the same malicious retard that's cost his teams every year of his career; his fights with Philip Rivers when he was in Denver were a humorous subplot given Rivers' obvious superiority in talent, character, and career - and now it doesn't mean jack.

So the league now counts down to Week Ten.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Budget Deficits And Government's Size

Budget Deficits remain a concern, but the bigger one is that government itself doesn't know how big it is - especially as the last true reform was in 1949.

NFL Week Nine - Fratricide Follies and Football

The NFL trade deadline period came and went with one trade of note - the Denver Broncos got tight end Vernon Davis from the 49ers.   But the week also saw some eye-popping coaching fratricide via several coaching firings and the benching of a starting quarterback only recently considered a star of the future, while the story of the weekend was the league's shakedown of New England Patriots employees in a futile search for nonexistent transmitting devices, a search instigated at the behest of the New York Jets.   We predict winners for Week Nine amid midseason chaos -

Bengals over Browns - The Browns will start Johnny Fumbles on Thursday Night at Cincinnati, and it won't matter given Manziel's spotty skill set and dubious work ethic.   The Bengals come in unbeaten - a club first for this late in the season - and coming off a clutch win at Pittsburgh one hesitates to ponder who could beat them before the playoffs.   People seem to be waiting for some inevitable Bengals collapse and there's certainly been reason for such expectation, but we aren't there yet.

Jaguars over NY Jets
- Suddenly the Jets have a quarterback problem with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith injured, while the Jaguars come in off their bye from their dramatic London win.   Slowly but certainly the Jaguars appear to be establishing some level of respectability again.

Saints over Titans - Ken Whisenhunt was fired after Tennessee's pathetic loss at Houston, this a week after Zach Mettenberger blew a winnable game against a good Falcons squad.   The move was certainly overdue given Whisenhunt's complete inability to develop anything out of Zach Mettenberger plus burgeoning O-line issues that contributed to Marcus Mariota's injury.   Talk of bringing back Jeff Fisher ignores the need for new thinking and a fresh, analytical approach to the game, because the game is now won by acquisition and application of information.   The sooner Mariota comes back the better, because he looks like he can make the Titans winners again, this as they presently face a Saints squad rejuvenated by their awe-inspiring 52-49 shootout win over the Giants.

Patriots over Redskins - The Redskins are better than expected, but the Patriots are the machine again.

Panthers over Packers - Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers got exposed again as frontrunning frauds; once they fell behind the Broncos 14-0 they were toast.   Now they take on an unbeaten Panthers team that is fully Cam Newton's team and fully capable of winning the Lombardi Trophy.  The only nits to pick right now are the receivers need to catch the ball, as shown by Ted Ginn's blown touchdown effort in overtime against the Colts.  

Dolphins over Bills - This is not the same Dolphins teams beaten by Rex Ryan earlier this year, and the Bills are no longer as good as advertised with discipline - such as it is for a Rex Ryan team - appearing to be breaking down.

Vikings over Rams -  The Vikings have advanced quite a ways from the start of the season, and while they've been pretty quiet about it they're nonetheless at 5-2 showing real growth.   The Rams remain the team Fisher started with, basically 8-8, capable of some big wins but never good enough to go further.

Raiders over Steelers  - Never mind that the Raiders are much better now than they've been since 2011 and the Steelers are not as good as they were last year; the Raiders have won four of the last five meetings with the Steelers and the games have usually been taut contests - cue Kenny Stabler vs. the Steel Curtain footage for this one.

Falcons over 49ers - The benching of Colin Kaepernick after increasingly poor performances and no sign the perceived improvement of Week One was in fact for real means Blaine Gabbert - nicknamed Blame Gabbert in Jacksonville for lack of accountability for useless play - has a chance to relaunch his career.   He gets a Falcons team that may have been exposed by the Titans, as they were held to ten points in Tennessee and got embarrassed by the Bucs last week.  

Buccaneers over NY Giants - The Bucs have started to show some growth with Jameis Winston as the season has gone on and they host a Giants team that can explode with points but hasn't stopped anyone, either.    Even if they lose the Giants are in very good shape for a playoff push.

Colts over Broncos - The firing of coordinator Pep Hamilton amid continuing speculation about Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson would suggest a collapsing season - except Andrew Luck suddenly started playing his brand of Dan Marino football and erased a 17-point gap to force overtime in Carolina.  That he threw the overtime pick that cost the Colts in the end doesn't change that Luck is a franchise quarterback, deeply flawed as he is.  Earlier this year the reading between the lines suggested the Colts were swung over from the reckless Marinoball approach of Luck (and Peyton Manning) by the efficiency of Matt Hasselback's West Coast offense approach, and in the first half of the Patriots game Luck appeared to use more of a West Coast approach, but when the Patriots started putting the game away Luck and the Colts abandoned the conservative approach and reverted to Marinoball.   The Carolina game suggests the West Coast is dead in Indianapolis, and the Colts now get a Broncos team that has a new tight end for Peyton and whose defense has gotten a lot of love - except the Broncos haven't held their own against good tight ends plus it's still a Wade Phillips unit as part of a Gary Kubiak team - not the most dependable of God's creatures, to coin a Spencer Tracy-ism.  

Eagles overCowboys - The Eagles are substantially better now than they were in Week Two and the Cowboys are worse, shown in the serial refusal to hold players accountable by Jerry Jones to go with abysmal quarterback play.  

Chargers over Bears - San Diego's season is over with continued bitter failure against quality opponents despite gaudy stats from Philip Rivers.  They get a break this Monday Night as they get a Bears team chronically not ready for prime time and headed by the always-inept and stuck-up a-hole that is Jay Cutler.  

And so it goes, hoping some teams down in the dumps can start a turnaround for the second half.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fire Roger Goodell

This was first published on August 6, it was updated by early September, and has required another pertinent update at the end of October -

The suspension of Tom Brady took on a life of its own that the National Football League created, and the slamming of the league by Judge Richard Berman in overturning the suspension showed the league cannot escape without some fundamental change, for the campaign against Brady over the 2014 AFC Championship Game has revealed in graphic detail that there is no longer any justification for Roger Goodell to retain his job as NFL Commissioner.   Goodell has proven beyond any objective doubt that he is a failure and must be fired.

Why fire Goodell?  Let us count the ways -

Roger Goodell is maliciously ignorant of the game and of his job  - The transcript of the Brady appeal showed that the league was completely ignorant of the fact that footballs lose PSI naturally and it is just the latest example of how ignorant the Goodell-era NFL is about the game and of its own rulebook. That ignorance was first displayed in Spygate - as Scott Shaffer put it, "The media reports as if filming opposing coaches is a violation of NFL rules.   Roger Goodell shares this belief (and) based his punishment on it......However, the rules don't support this belief."   The start of Spygate was a 2006 memo sent to teams by Ray Anderson about sideline videotaping, a memo that misquoted the rules.   Goodell never tried to correct the error; instead he couldn't accept when Belichick schooled him on the rulebook and based punishment of Bill Belichick on cherry-picking the rulebook where Belichick applied the rule consistently.

Ignorance of the game continued with his punishment of the Saints over "Bountygate."   Goodell regarded player side bets for hits on opponents as some kind of rules violation,  and after a prolonged smear campaign and resultant legal fight (aided by the American Enterprise Institute's data disproving Goodell's premise of the Saints playing dirty) Goodell lost, and was publicly dressed down for his approach by former commissioner Paul Tagiabue.

The Brady transcript repeatedly shows Goodell being caught by surprise by new documents and generally being lazy and unprepared.

Goodell likes to talk unctuously about "the integrity of the game" - and has never offered any explanation why sideline videotaping somehow violates said integrity, or why a trumped-up allegation of football tampering somehow reflected a violation of the game's integrity.   It's because he has no clue about the integrity of the game.

Goodell refuses accountability, he strives to cover his own ass  -  The league falsifying the rulebook and then basing punishment on that falsified reading of the rulebook has become the pattern in Goodell's punishments.   As Matt Chatham and others have shown, Goodell has repeatedly changed the rules - or as Antonio Cromartie put it, made them up as he goes.  Often cited in media accounts was Article 46 of the CBA, except Goodell couldn't make it stick in his past punishments and failed to make it work against Brady  On Brady, Goodell made an issue of "non-cooperation" and treated it as though it were part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement - even though in fact it "didn't exist in the most current version of the CBA....(It was) introduced in the commissioner's panicky do-over rewriting of the league's personal conduct policy, released in December 2014."

Sally Jenkins noted that what makes Goodell's rulings so entertaining "is because he always doubles back."   When Ray Rice's initial suspension raised a media uproar - even though TMZ's infamous elevator video verified Rice's testimony to everyone - Goodell played CYA and smeared Rice to be a liar - and of course lost in court because of it.   Tom Brady's cellphone wasn't important until Goodell once again needed something to cover his ass.

Goodell is a liar on a continuing and colossal scale - Goodell lied to the Patriots - through David Gardi's January 19 letter, though Dean Blandino denials of his knowledge of the ordeal, and we suspect also directly to Robert Kraft during the May 2015 team owner meetings that saw Kraft accept Goodell's malicious punishments; when Goodell stabbed the Patriots in the back it led to Kraft's now-famous training camp missive about how he shouldn't have trusted the league - and has lied about the Patriots.   He lied about Brady "destroying his cellphone" and hid the fact Brady acknowledged changing his cellphones - because it was not relevant to anything.  Goodell lied about footballs being tampered with and lied about the nature of Tom Brady's correspondence with ball attendant John Jazstremski (Ted Wells shared in the lie; the two refused to face that text messages they wanted to believe proved tampering was occurring were irrelevant to the truth - and as Dan Wetzel shows, this belief is contradicted by Goodell's own ruling and the Wells Report). Goodell's side also admitted to Judge Richard Berman the league never had any actual evidence against Brady, showcasing Goodell's shaky grasp of truth, especially when Judge Berman showed how Goodell's "generally aware" indictment of Brady was in essence a sham.   In Spygate he lied about what the rulebook allows regarding sideline videotaping (and as noted above the league's memos falsified what the rulebook said).   He lied about the New Orleans Saints players in "Bountygate."   He lied about Ben Roethlisberger's rape accusation, which got him a four-game suspension in 2010 and was publicized by Sports Illustrated in a lengthy piece I suspect it regrets ever publishing.   There is also reason to believe Goodell is the source of the phony PSI story Chris Mortensen wrote after the AFC Championship Game - which would make him more of a liar in that he himself is the instigator of a smear campaign.

Bizarrely adding to the lie is Mortensen himself stood by the story on an August 27, 2015 interview on an Arizona radio show with Cardinals color analyst Ron Wolfley; Mortensen then added the whopper that the Krafts apologized to him, a claim immediately refuted first by the Dennis & Callahan Show on WEEI then by Jonathan Kraft himself before the Panthers preseason game; adding to the disinformation angle from the league, Mike Florio told WEEI that the league stonewalled his efforts to verify Mortensen's story and that it was part of an effort he called "a prosecution against the Patriots."

That prosecution took a lower turn at the end of October when the league shook down several Patriots employees while examining the visitors locker room for transmitting devices, an old hack accusation made against the Patriots with this specific one made by the Jets that has never been credible (opponent team security controls visitor locker rooms) and which turned up nothing but which raises the question of just how far the NFL will go in its prosecution against the Patriots.

Wetzel notes that players and teams need to be scared because the league has proven it cannot be trusted on anything regarding its conduct.   That the league office has been exposed as a liar engaged in a massive smear campaign against its best team - punishment of success on a vulgar scale - showcases that Roger Goodell must be fired.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Talking Nonsense In Talking Guns

Obama goes to Chicago to talk gun control in a city whose strict gun controls are failures.

Why NFL Play Has Declined - And How To Fix it

The NFL's 2015 season has had good moments, but the quality of play is widely seen as poor this season, even as TV ratings and attendances continue to surge. It shows not just in penalties, drops, and missed tackles, it's shown in scoring. 2012 and 2013 had a slew of wildly competitive games - in 2012 we saw thrillers such as the Bucs at the NY Giants, a slew of wild games in Week Three, New England and Buffalo's two shootouts, Thanksgiving's three epics - one of them admittedly an epic of comedy - to go with the Niners vs. Patriots Superbowl preview that wasn't, and the epic Ravens-Broncos playoff shootout and the Lights Out Superbowl at New Orleans; 2013 then followed with its own litany of amazing games. But since then the quality of play has declined, shown in a curious dearth of high-scoring back-and-forth shootouts as listed above.  Not that there haven't been good games this season - the Rams' win over the Seahawks, the Chargers' comeback win over the Lions, the Ravens' bitter losses to the Raiders, Bengals, and Browns, the back-and-forth fight between the Colts and Titans in Week Three stand out so far - but the concern over quality of play is warranted.

The Wall Street Journal piece examines reasons for the decline of quality of play; they are worth looking at.

The league has been unlucky with quarterback injuries, notably Ben Roethlisberger and Titans rookie sensation Marcus Mariota.   Quarterback play has been spotty, but the piece's assertion that it is because teams are passing more while throwing shorter distances is dubious.   Throwing shorter is throwing smarter, and the piece cites Joe Flacco as an example of a quarterback throwing shorter passes - an assertion at odds with his history and his game that emphasizes deeper throws off his back foot - the real source of his wild inconsistency, the fact he's forcing throws instead of playing smart.  A similar issue is now being seen with Andrew Luck; some important eyes with the Colts were opened when Matt Hasselback started two games and showed greater accuracy with his short passing game; the Colts have tried to dial back Luck's recklessness with the ball, but he regressed after a promising start against the Patriots that ended in a dismal second half of that game for him.

The piece nails it when it notes limits on practice time and physicality of practice due to the 2011 CBA,  a point made by Mike Florio after Roethlisberger's injury. The reality is limitation on practice has not allowed players to toughen up enough for better play.  Some also cite the litany of rule changes of recent to protect players, though it's worth asking if the better way to protect players is to instead toughen them up with more, not less, physicality.   Off-season training, which seems to be year-round for players, is also an issue - players need to train less in the offseason and hit more during training camp and preseason as well as in practices during the season.  

The issue certainly can be fixed - open up practices more, let teams hit more. Some rule changes are also needed, notably elimination of the offensive pass interference penalty - the dumbest oxymoron in sports - and loosening the standard to judge a catch - when in doubt the benefit of the doubt ought to go to the receiver.  Other changes the league ought to consider - adopt the CFL and Arena Football rule allowing pass catchers a running start behind the line of scrimmage at the snap, balanced by elimination of the five-yard rule.

People still watch the game because of its fundamentally compelling nature.   And it can be made better.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Labor Costs and The Minumum Wage Ripoff

Labor costs matter. It is shown again in companies as they decide where to go - and where not to go - due to the ripoff that is minimum wage.

Netanyahu Is Right About The Grand Mufti Of Jerusalem

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem outrivaled Adolf in trying to kill Jews.

Tony Blair Wrong To Apologize For Defeating Iraq

Tony Blair apologized for the defeat of Iraq in an interview with CNN hack Fareed Zakaria.   The argument against the Iraq War remains false. Islamo-Arab imperialism long predated the defeat of Saddam Hussein and Hussein actively was a backer of Islamo-Arab terrorism; plus the 2003-7 fighting - defeated when the US surged and got the Army to stop being passive - came because of IRANIAN war by proxy. And the result by 2007 was victory - a victory thrown away by subsequent Obama Administration appeasement.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sizing Up NFL 2015 Near Halfway

We're nearly halfway through the 2015 NFL schedule and in some ways it has played out as expected while elsewhere it hasn't.   A missive on what has - and hasn't - happened so far -


Hold the phone of the AFC and NFC Least - Neither division was expected to be that strong, especially the AFC East, mocked as a "tomato can division" by sports hacks ignorant of the game.   The Patriots remains unbeaten at 6-0 while the NY Jets have been the surprise of the conference so far, showing far greater professionalism under Todd Bowles than we could have dreamed of after Geno Smith got hammered in preseason by his own teammate.   The playoffs now look like a certainty for the Jets.

The Dolphins meanwhile have engineered the most striking turnaround so far; their players quit on Joe Philbin and got him fired; now they've scored 82 points in their last two games under Dan Campbell and have a plus-3 turnover differential in that same span, a sign Philbin was a bigger locker room cancer than anyone could have thought - though also a warning sign that these players are no-account bullies whose attitude of trying when they feel like it will cost them in the end.

The Bills meanwhile have faltered as we thought they would under Rex Ryan, the coach who refuses to be disciplined with his players and lets them freelance on and off the field.

The NFC East meanwhile is a logjam between the Giants, the Eagles after a dismal start, and the surprising Redskins, with the Cowboys collapsing under abysmal quarterback play since Tony Romo went down - and Romo is not good enough to warrant being considered close to elite.   That the Deadskins are 3-4 is frankly surprising.


The Nooks of the North  - Green Bay remains unbeaten but still show themselves to be frontrunning phonies, outlasting opponents rather than sealing the deal, on display in particular with the photo-finish escape from the Chargers.   Still close behind remain the Vikings, quietly getting better, though not yet at the level to steal the division.   The collapse of the Bears under Jay Cutler was a given; the collapse of the Lions has been downright shocking after last season's encouraging 11-5 run. 

In the AFC the Bengals are not just unbeaten, they actually look to have stepped up their game, though shootout wins over the Ravens and the comeback over the Seahawks were seen before the last couple of years - 2013's comeback win over the Packers came to mind in the Seahawks game while Dalton has won six of his last seven meetings with Baltimore.   The collapse of the Ravens has been surprising, though given the gross overpayment of Joe Flacco at the expense of cap depth may now be becoming a factor after not being so in 2014.

The wildcard remains the Steelers, without Ben Roethlisberger for several games but still 4-3 even with a loss to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs. 


It's Carolina and Atlanta and then everyone else in the South - Forget last season's fiasco where no one from the NFC South finished above 7-8-1; the Panthers and Falcons look like 13-win teams apiece even after Atlanta escaped in Tennessee.   The Bucs are going through the inevitable growing pains of having a rookie quarterback and blowing a big lead at Washington was another rough ride for Jameis Winston.   The Saints meanwhile are all over the map with questionable play by Drew Brees and sudden uncertainty to Sean Payton's future.

While in the AFC the Colts are division champs pretty much by default.  The rookie growing pains for the Titans have been on display before injury left Marcus Mariota off the field, yet another blow to an increasingly tortured franchise that has in Mariota a quarterback that one can confidently feel will become a force, having already displayed competitive fight this season - and they showed it again before winless Zach Mettenberger blew it in the final two minutes against the Falcons.   The Jaguars and Texans are both 2-5 but going in opposite directions - Blake Bortles is slowly getting better while Bill O'Brien has his hands full with a worthless quarterbacking corps (lowlighted by Ryan Mallett's petulance) and inability to handle anyone on either side of the ball.


Curl of the Un-Golden West -   Back in the 1990s the San Francisco 49ers were always rocked by huge controversy - will they fire George Seifert or not? Will they fire Steve Mariucci in his second year or not? - even in their 1994 Superbowl year; the 1996 controversy over Marc Trestman and Seifert illustrated there was a toxic environment there even when they were good.   Now the toxicity looks to be worse with the collapse of Harbaugh in 2014 and the complete regression of Colin Kaepernick, to where it is impossible to visualize a Niners rebound.

The Seahawks for their part aren't much better even after an easy win at Santa Clara; suddenly the team looks undisciplined and incapable of handling anything, success or failure, and they face a dogfight with the Rams, clawing for more respectability, and the Cardinals, looking strong against everyone but AFC North teams.  

While the NFC West is chaos, the AFC West is holding on by a thread.   The Broncos are 6-0 yet having to hold on against pedestrian offenses and foes Peyton Manning has always owned (Baltimore, Cleveland, and Kansas City specifically), while the Chiefs have fallen fast with a fading Alex Smith and the Chargers falling apart amid widening speculation of a move to a pointless (and nonexistent) Los Angeles stadium.   The surprise here is the Oakland Raiders, clearly becoming a real team with a genuine star in Derek Carr.   Gone are the bad decisions and worse influence of Al Davis; in is the building of a real program.  

The rest of the season thus awaits.   Turnarounds can happen; given the surprises that have happened so far, we as fans certainly have reason to hope they do.

The Fraud of Biofuels

The defense of biofuels continues to fall apart on facts.

Islamo-Arab Imperialism's Continuing Success

Barack Obama threw away Middle East victory when he was elected, and the results continue with continuing enemy success.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

At Talladega NASCAR Gets Worse

And it gets worse for NASCAR. TV ratings for the Chase in 2015 have been dismal and the moving of the Diehard 500 at Talladega to NBC Sports Network instead of airing it on NBC (which aired the USGP for F1) was not a good sign for the Cup Series; adding insult to that injury, the Truck 250 was aired on FOX's over the air network.

But what transpired at Talladega is bound to anger even more people.  Not only was the racing once again enormously under-competitive due to NASCAR's ridiculous diktat against push-drafting, the finish was the biggest insult to competitive integrity in years, certainly since the absurd Regan Smith yellow line penalty that cost him a last-lap win in the 2008 Diehard 500.   NASCAR dictated only one green-white checker finish for this Diehard 500, apparently thinking having the normal three would produce more crashes; what they got instead was two, the first coming on what NASCAR disingenuously claimed was not an attempt - the green light came on as the cars hit the gas, but a crash occurred in the trioval and NASCAR waved the yellow, claiming it was not an attempt, this even though the radio chatter from drivers indicated it was an attempt. 

NASCAR tried again and as Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr took off Logano got the lead but another wreck, involving among others the eminently-forgettable Denny Hamlin after a bad day where he had to get a roof hatch repaired, erupted and NASCAR wasted several minutes trying to determine who was leading at what scoring loop even though it was obvious Logano was the leader and thus, under NASCAR's field-freeze rule, the winner.

The wreck happened because Kevin Harvick - who took out Denny Hamlin at Daytona and thus launched Austin Dillon into spearing the fencing - swerved into Trevor Bayne.   But of course Harvick refuses to be accountable for it - and NASCAR as usual will not hold the responsible driver accountable for it.

It combined the worst of everything for NASCAR.

Without push-drafting the cars basically are stuck sidedrafting with the leader basically immune from challenge; for most of the race the top five hogged the bottom line without any challenge, where the racing should have been about rocket-surges from midfield into the lead by lock-bumper two-car superdrafts, the lead thus changing at a spectacular rate, and the field able to keep up and sort out without being stuck in place.

Then there is the chronic problem that NASCAR gives the officiating tower the power it has to determine the outcome instead of the racers,   That the restart was declared not a restart by NASCAR was doubletalk; that it was important is also absurd both for the aborted start and for the one that was stopped after the leaders hit Turn One; because NASCAR ostensibly doesn't allow racing to the line, instead freezing the field when the caution comes out - this even after numerous examples (such as the 2004 Firecracker 250, the 2007 Daytona 500, the 2008 Talladega Truck 250, and the 2011 Firecracker 400) where NASCAR left the green out amid a crash and let the field race to the line.  The result all these times was that racing to the line is not the safety problem NASCAR seems to pretend it to be.

What transpired was Joey Logano was declared the winner, based not on the start-finish line but by the officiating tower reading a scoring loop.   No matter how it is sliced it is not a legitimate win; Logano didn't race to the line to earn the win.   Such rule-induced fraudulence has been a depressingly frequent occurrence, most infamously illustrated in the 2004 Winston 500 and 2004 Pocono 500.  

The tower wasn't supposed to make the call - it was supposed to be determined by racing to the stripe.   That it was officiated like this shows anew NASCAR's credibility problem.

At Talladega such problems are easily fixable - let the cars (and Trucks) push-draft again; it's the strongest power to pass ever seen, and what matters is passing, period; give the racing at Talladega and Daytona back the 60-plus lead change average it had just a few years ago.  Reduce the officiating tower's role and give some control of the racing back to the racers - let them race to the stripe and thus legitimately determine the outcome.   And stop pretending a restart is not a restart.  

NASCAR's credibility issues of course extend far beyond Talladega.   The Chase concept has no legitimacy and the disintegration of TV ratings shows it; drop the Chase, go back to the Latford Point System, and increase the points bonuses for the win and for most laps led - incentivize going for the win above everything else.   The issue of costs and team spending need to be addressed by NASCAR and the new Race Team Alliance - the low number of winners in 2015 (just eleven with the Talladega outcome) is indicative of a disturbing lack of competitive depth for the sport. 


It was a lousy race even for the winner, and it certainly stunk for the rest of the field.   Joe Gibbs Racing was dismal even though it led some laps; Stewart-Haas Racing was basically MIA; so were any Fords outside of Penske Racing; Ganassi-Earnhardt had a forgettable day.   That racing always produces more widespread disappointment than cheer is true enough; that even the winners couldn't honestly feel good about how it all transpired merely shows how dismal a day it was for a track where it should always be so much better.

Another Assault on Common Sense

The lie of rape on campuses.

A New Baby Parts Scandal

Planned Parenthood's cannibalism brings to mind Soviet disinformation campaigns of the past and also showcases what Planned Parenthood is actually about - treating women like animals.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

How Iran Helped Soviet Russia In Syria

The commander of Iran's Quds Force is someone Barack Obama sucked up to to spur his appeasement of Iranian aggression - and now he has aided Soviet aggression in Syria. We also have a roadmap to defeating Red Russia's imperialism - fighting the enemy by aiding those already doing so.

Let Airbnb Be

Activists want to regulate Airbnb because it works and makes money

White House’s Summit on Unions Is a Dishonest Affair

The White House fights for unions instead of for workers.

Abbas Doesn't Fight Terrorism

Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian "state," doesn't fight terrorism, he arms it.

Putin Is the New Sheriff in Town

Putin has the West so scared of standing up for itself he breaks the law and the West won't fight back. And Putin is now escalating the nuclearization of international terrorism.

Going Easy On Iran

Obama's appeasement of Iran contrasts with his tough talk about Libya a few years back. We also need to remember Obama's appeasement effectively ensures future war.

States Need To Grow Up About Pensions

There is no such thing as a sustainable entitlement - anywhere.

Liz Warren Tries To Stifle The Truth On Investment Advice

Senator Liz Warren is like all leftists - unable to win the debate on facts she tries to silence those telling the truth.

Monday, October 05, 2015

NFL 2015 - The First Month

So what to make of the NFL's first month of the 2015 season? Several things -

The New England Patriots are the best team in the league - Despite a transitioning defense that's still raw, the Patriots are stopping everyone they need to stop and are scoring like crazy.

The Bills will not challenge the Patriots - and neither will the rest of the division - Rex Ryan's team is 2-2 yet is undisciplined and Ryan will not hold anyone accountable for sloppy play or penalties. The schedule gets seemingly easier now, but it won't make the Bills better. The Dolphins meanwhile appear to have cashed in the season after firing Joe Philbin; speaking of accountability Ndamukong Suh's postgame presser after the London game indicates he wants nothing to do with accountability.

The Jets are not ready for primetime, but are more professional now - After the Geno Smith disaster the Jets looked primed to collapse right away. Then something happened - they got more professional once the season began. Even in the loss to the Eagles the Jets looked decent; seemingly gone are the train-wreck days of recent yore. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the long-term answer, but right now he's been better than expected. Keep an eye on Bryce Petty down the road, though - Geno Smith will not be the follow-up to Fitzpatrick.

The Bengals may be better than we thought - I've yet to find an analyst who thinks highly of Marvin Lewis, yet Lewis has made the Bengals a pretty consistent contender from his 2003 start and at 4-0 the Bengals actually appear stronger than usual, especially Andy Dalton, whose command of the quarterback position has always been good but never great; he has shown genuine improvement so far.

The Ravens appear lost - In the bottom half of the league in scoring and defense, the Ravens may still salvage a winning record but have shown no sign yet that they can, especially with five INTs by Joe Flacco, rumored locker-room acrimony sewed by Steve Smith, and a minus-three turnover differential.

The Browns won't miss Johnny Manziel - Their lone win so far was with Johnny Fumbles, yet his play was so erratic the Browns made the right call benching him for Josh McCown. That McCown hasn't won yet is frankly puzzling given he's played more than respectable football, especially in the Chargers game.

The Colts win in spite of themselves - Worthless against the AFC East and just pedestrian against six other divisions in the league, the Colts keep beating their own division opponents in spite of themselves, surviving a mystifying rushing attempt for two points by the Titans and then dodging two missed Jaguars FGAs to win in overtime; they next get a punchless Houston team that can't decide almost from one quarter to the next who their quarterback will be.

The Titans will become a good team again - sooner rather than later - The best 1-2 team in the league, the Titans have a fight they haven't had in years and Marcus Mariota is proving he's the real deal. Growing his game in his rookie season remains the priority but he's so far ahead of the rookie game it's head-spinning. He's shown he can lead comebacks, now he has to finish the job in them, and I feel confident he will.

The Broncos keep winning in spite of themselves - The Broncos are trying to transition away from an aging Peyton Manning, and so far they're 4-0 yet shaky at it, barely escaping the Ravens and the Saints (two teams Manning has owned his whole career), beating a terrible Lions team in subpar fashion, and now escaping a rising but still raw Vikings squad. People rave about the Broncos defense; all its done is beat up pedestrian offenses; it also proved it can't handle good tight ends.

Watch out, the Raiders are getting good again - Losing to Jay Cutler's Bears was a shock; that's how far the Raiders have come in such a short time. Derek Carr has made the Raiders a top-12 offense, and even Matt McGloin looked good in relief action. They need to shore up the defense, but the Raiders now have a direction - one that's positive, to where winning ten games in 2015 suddenly is no joke.

The rest of the AFC West - The Chiefs are now the last-place team thanks to a spent Alex Smith and a clueless Andy Reid, and the Chargers struggled to pull off two hard-fought home wins; the road right now looks too daunting for Philip Rivers and company and it's doubtful now that they'll make a playoff run.


Watch out, the NY Giants are getting something going - The Giants looked awful in the first two games; beating two also-rans may not qualify as improvement but the rest of the Giants schedule suddenly looks a lot more favorable than it did a few weeks ago.

The rest of the NFC East - yuck - The Deadskins are still the Deadskins, even at 2-2. The surprise is the dismal start of the Eagles, even as Sam Bradford showed some noticeable improvement in three touchdowns and no picks against the Skins. The collapse of the Cowboys was to be expected of a team too top-heavy to survive on depth and that was overrated to start with.

The Packers remain the anointed of the NFC - even though they still don't deserve it - Green Bay was anointed the NFC champion before the season started, and at 4-0 they have made a decent case for that - except they haven't done well closing out games (especially getting off the gas up 38-14 to the Chiefs and thus giving up 14 points and giving the Chiefs final possession) and also looked downright pedestrian against a punchless 49ers team.

The Vikings continue incremental improvement - Currently fifth in fewest points allowed, the Vikings made a game of it at Denver before imploding at the worst time. Teddy Bridgewater has shown decent form; coming out of the Vikings bye he has to start getting better.

The Lions have become irrelevant again - Matthew Stafford has not taken the step forward. He has not elevated the Lions to win a game so far this season, and his inability to handle quality opponents was on display again at Seattle and has now become too grave an issue to ignore with just four or five potentially winnable games on the Detroit horizon. One now has to wonder, after a very promising 2014 season, if we've seen the best of Matthew Stafford - I sure hope there's more to his game down the road.   Far less deserving of benefit of the doubt is Calvin Johnson - he anointed himself as Megatron and has never justified it despite some gaudy volume stats.   The goalline fumble brings to mind other instances where Johnson refuses to finish a play - the three stops at the Cowboys 1-foot line in 2013 rather than punch into the endzone come immediately to mind; his pedestrian 2014 season also comes to mind.   Johnson is the type of player who basically puts more stock in showing off than actual execution, and it's why he'll never mean anything.

The Falcons and Panthers on the NFC South collision course - Remember how the NFC South couldn't produce a team with more than seven wins? Forget it. The Panthers look like a 12-4 squad at worst (though they do need to score more) and the Falcons have not been this good since - dare I say? - their "Dirty Birds" Superbowl run. Time will tell if they sustain this run, but so far Dan Quinn has made them more dangerous than people expected.

Jameis Winston will have to endure the rookie bug - We're so used to rookies exploding forward than one can forget rookie seasons are usually struggles, and Jameis Winston's subpar start is realistically to be expected of greenhorns. Winston's biggest problem has been his game has been more scattershot than what is needed of an NFL quarterback - he looks like a freelancer rather than a pocket passer. I still think he can be good, but he'll have to go through the rough gauntlet first.

The Cardinals are the NFC West commander - Bruce Arians has taken what even a few years ago was the worst team in league history and has elevated them to a level no one ever thought they'd reach. The Cards are currently in the top-five in both scoring and fewest points allowed and we remember why their 2014 season was derailed - the loss of Carson Palmer. If they keep him healthy they suddenly look like a stronger contender than some of the other NFC hot shoes.

But the Rams have something to say - Jeff Fisher may finally have found his quarterback in Nick Foles. Though only 2-2 the Rams made a statement beating the Cards in their own building and Foles has put up efficient numbers in five touchdowns with just one pick. Defensively the best stats are points allowed and turnover differential, and the Rams are 13th in points allowed with a plus-two differential, having forced a turnover in every game so far; the three turnovers given up in the first Seahawks game inflate the differential somewhat. Now we see what they can do at Lambeau.

The Seahawks need to rebound - Two bitter losses put the Seahawks behind the eight ball and the contract fight with Kam Chancellor is a bad sign for Seattle's cap management. It's the first big test for Pete Carroll as Seahawks coach, but having come as far as they have, one can still feel Carroll will get things turned around - especially the way the Seahawks escaped on Monday Night.

Colin Kaepernick's career may be ending - After a very promising effort against the Vikings, Colin Kaepernick has disintegrated in front of everyone, getting manhandled by an overrated Packers squad and reverting to the sloppy, undisciplined form that wound up killing the Niners' 2014 season. The season takes a decided turn for the worse from here on out, and the talk in some fan circles about starting Blaine Gabbert in Kaepernick's stead merely shows how much the guy thought to be the future of the game has regressed.

 So it goes as the second month of the season beckons.