Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Angela Merkel Hoist By Islamo-Arab Imperialism's Petard

A look at how Germany screwed up by letting Islamic savages "immigrate" there.

A Reminder About "Price Gouging"

A reminder is needed about "price gouging" in the wake of hurricanes from a situation from 2004.

So Arrives Week One

The fourth game of the 2017 preseason has yet to be played as of this writing but by now the nitty gritty of preparing for Week One of the NFL season is all but underway.   With that, predictions for Week One will be in short order, so we present perhaps the first such batch -

Patriots over Chiefs -  Predictions by fans and some media of a 19-0 season began with the free agent acquisitions made by the Patriots; Bill Belichick never buys into such predictions, and the Patriots have even less reason to feel they will go unbeaten now.   Julian Edelman's season-ending injury is the one getting the most attention, but the mediocre performance of the line of scrimmage defense already led to the release of Kony Ealy - among the free agent flameouts of the Belichick era this may be the most graphic given Ealy was already in Belichick's doghouse when camp started - and the Patriots' depth at the line of scrimmage already looks questionable.   Malcolm Butler also is living down to a media report proclaiming him the most overrated player on the Patriots roster.  

And yet the Edelman injury is a blessing in disguise - Brady periodically lapses into forcing the ball to one guy at the expense of everyone else (illustrated in the Football Life episode on Belichick where he laments the lack of receiver depth to his staff before 2009's loss at the NY Jets, and also shown in Brady's dismal performance in the infamous 2014 game at Kansas City) and when the Falcons took away Edelman in the Superbowl it forced Brady to spread the ball more and thus unclog the passing game.   James White, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, and Danny Amendola will see more catches and the Patriots may see Austin Carr on the roster to go with Brandin Cooks (curiously quiet in preseason) and Gronkowski; Dwayne Allen may be the odd man out after a nonexistent preseason.

For the Chiefs the season-ending injury to Spencer Ware is more concerning given the Chiefs' lesser depth compared to the Patriots.   The Patriots also hold the overall edge against Andy Reid, 5-2, and the Chiefs are clearly waiting for Patrick Mahones to develop, so Alex Smith can see his days numbered, a disadvantageous situation heading into Foxboro.

Bills over NY Jets - The new game in the NFL is Suck For Sam - as in USC quarterback Sam Darnold.   Buffalo and the Jets have hemorrhaged veteran personnel - Anquan Boldin retired just two weeks into Bills camp - and for the Jets the call to tank the season has been an open story.   The Bills have changed coaches, so there is more reason to establish some kind of positive momentum than is the case with the Jets, a team forever haunted by history - fifty years ago Joe Namath became the first quarterback to reach 4,000 passing yards and also authored the Jets' first ever winning season; twenty years ago the Jets paid a king's ransom for Bill Parcells, while Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning inquired whether the Jets were interested in drafting him; when they declined Peyton stayed at Tennessee for one more year and got drafted by the Indianapolis Colts - and history changed.  

The present Jets have to start Josh McCown by default as Bryce Petty despite a huge output in the preseason game against the Jets has not proven he warrants being starter, and Christian Hackenberg looks more and more like a flat-out failure.   So Suck For Sam gets underway.

Texans over Jaguars - Even before the hurricane ravaged the Houston area and thus has put a massive damper on the Texans' season going in, Houston's team hasn't looked ready for prime time with either Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson.   Watson in particular looks like a bad quarterback, relying on running, throwing on the run, showing no small-ball technique, reading of defense, or any of the techniques that real quarterbacks master to become winners.   Houston's defense is ranked very well but is certainly beatable, if not even overrated, and Bill O'Brien has yet to prove he can do better than 9-7 entering his fourth season as Texans head coach.  

The Jaguars, though, are in worse shape and may also be in the Suck For Sam sweepstakes.   Blake Bortles' mechanics problems are still there, his quarterbacking acumen hasn't shown much improvement if any, and the offensive line has been a mess.   Tom Coughlin is in the first year of his return to Jacksonville, now as de facto GM, and the mess he's inherited is such that rebuilding will take years, this after the many years spent trying to rebuild from the wreckage of the Blaine Gabbert failure.  

Bengals over Ravens -  The Bengals come into 2017 looking no better than the six-win flop of 2016.   Vontaze Burfict faces another suspension for another questionable hit, this one on Anthony Sherman of the Chiefs, and Andy Dalton has looked like a quarterback who plateaued and is now beginning to decline.    Dalton did show some moxie in the game against the Redskins, and he faces a Ravens team he has bested seven of the last nine meetings and whose own quarterback, Joe Flacco, has battled knee concerns all camp.   John Harbaugh has said he will start this game, but one has to feel a lack of confidence in Flacco after going 13-19 since losing the 2014 divisional playoff at New England. 

Raiders over Titans -   The Raiders have looked noticeably sharper in preseason than the Titans, who scored just ten combined points in losses to the Jets and Bears; Alex Tanney won no confidence with a poor performance against the Chiefs.   The game against the Bears with multiple penalties, an ejection, and just one touchdown was embarrassing, though lack of receiver depth with numerous veteran guys held out didn't help anything.

With that the Titans should be a lot better than this - they did show fight in the game against the Panthers after the three-point embarrassment at the Jets - and this game should be a lot closer, facing a Raiders team that won twelve games last year and returning their quarterback of the future in Derek Carr while ex-Seahawk Marshawn Lynch showed a little of his old muscle in preseason; whether it proves sustainable remains to be seen.  

Eagles over Redskins -  The Redskins looked like the dysfunctional mess they've been almost since the end of the first Joe Gibbs era in the off-season and the controversy over Kirk Cousins' contract will only get worse now.     They face an Eagles team that suddenly looks improved over 2016.

Buccaneers over Dolphins - The injury that ended Ryan Tannehill's season led to the unexpected signing of the weak Jay Cutler, who played decently under Adam Gase in Chicago, but it is impossible to take Jay Cutler that seriously, especially facing an improving Bucs team, though preseason has been a little erratic.

Falcons over Bears - Of the six losses for the Falcons in 2016, curiously four of them were home losses - the Superbowl included as the Falcons were the designated home team - so going to Chicago would seem easier to start the season.   The Bears, though, for the first time in awhile have reason to believe there will be improvement, though Mitchell Trubinsky likely won't see any action outside of mop-up duty later in the season.   Given the relative porousness of the Falcons defense the Bears should out up some points here.

Steelers over Browns - DeShone Kizer has been designated the starter for the Browns - thus presumably ending the Brock Osweiler era.   The Steelers, though, enter with Ben Roethlisberger not looking committed to the game as much as in the past and with the division looking weaker than in recent seasons.

Lions over Cardinals - Matthew Stafford's league-record extension will make the quarterback market crazier - and also whet appetites for more such contracts despite the top-heaviness of such an approach.   Armed with this new contract Stafford takes on a mediocre Cardinals team that still has Carson Palmer and whose only road wins last year were against all three of their division foes.   Stafford's improvement as a quarterback has been noted by the varied experts as he continues switching away from the Calvin Johnson bomb squader to the small-ball quarterback that is the kind that wins Superbowls.    His abysmal performance against quality opponents, though, showed up again in the Patriots game, where Jake Rudock led the comeback from down 24-0.   Rudock - the Patriots radio broadcast cleverly noted his status as a sixth-round draft pick from Michigan - won't usurp Stafford's job, but actually beating good teams is a priority for the 2009 first rounder.

Colts over Rams - The Colts are a mess, and so are the Rams,  but the Colts just got better with the trade for Jacoby Brissett.  With  Andrew Luck presumably out until until the Colts' home game against the Jaguars it seems a no-brainer Brissett will start - his game against the NY Giants showed genuine growth as a quarterback, while the Rams are stuck with Jared Goff, who looks like a complete failure of a quarterback.  

Seahawks over Packers -  Surprisingly the Seahawks have exploded in preseason and look by far the most ready team in the NFC for the season.    They travel to a Packers team that has bested them the last few meetings, but which looked rather sluggish in their game at Denver.   The Seahawks did regress as a road team in 2016, but in Russell Wilson the Hawks have the better quarterback.

Panthers over 49ers - The John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan era begins after a surprisingly competitive preseason, though expecting major improvement right away is too much to ask.   Suck For Sam may be a non-option here, though all the Niners have is Brian Hoyer as they take on a Panthers team smarting from 2016's collapse.

NY Giants over Cowboys - So far in preseason the loss of Zeke Elliott to league suspension - though Fort Worth Star-Telegram reportage suggested the accusation against Elliott may not in fact be truthful - appears not to be in the Cowboys favor; even with Elliott the Cowboys have lost three straight to the Giants in the Joyful Heart Curse and the Cowboys didn't acquit themselves particularly well against the Raiders.   Injury to Odell Beckham Jr. in preseason may hamper the Giants offense.  

Vikings over Saints - Neither team has shown much in preseason; the Vikings host this game and the Saints have been a 7-9 team four of the last five seasons; the can still put up offense but Drew Brees has not put up clutch wins lately.

Broncos over Chargers -  The Broncos are stuck with Trevor Siemian, who has shown no growth as a quarterback, but they face a Chargers team with no discernable LA audience and which has played poorly throughout the preseason, even in a win over the lowly Rams.   Thirty years ago Chargers legends Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow retired after San Diego won eight straight and lost the remainder of the season.  Twenty years ago the Chargers fell to 3-13 and wound up with the worst draft pick in history; to think they may be no better off now than in 1997 is hair-pulling for Charger fans.

So we await Week One.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Continuing Falsification Of What Nazis Actually Were

The myth continues that Nazis were a right-wing ideology - except they never were anything but leftists the way the Charlottesville counterportesters were leftists.

Erasing History - And Reality

The war against Confederate statues - and the related whining by the Boston Red Sox's inept owner John Henry about the naming of Tom Yawkey Way because former Sox owner (1933-76) Yawkey was racist, a racism that was the norm in all society until the 1960s (where even the Boston Globe referred to the daily underground numbers game of the time as the "nigger pool")  and which was futile and irrelevant thanks to competitive reality dictating eventual integration - are a reminder of the war against reality and thusly is driven by a complete double standard.   It is a war that - natch - California leads.

Fossil Fuel Protesters Clueless

Protesters against fossil fuels get everything wrong.

Monday, August 21, 2017

USC's Title IX Persecution

USC threw out a member of its football team they accused of sexual abuse - except the abuse never happened and now his girlfriend is lashing out at USC.

It's a lesson of what happens when Title IX meets a foul-mouthed SVU-wannabe (named Gretchen Means) with a Roger Goodell-esque contempt for truth - the result is never good.

Japan And The Idiocy Of Multiculturalism

Japan has geographic advantages that isolate it from international issues that bedevil other nations - and it also celebrates what makes it different in the world, at the expense of multiculturalism.

Smearing Sebastian Gorka

Sebastian Gorka is a White House counterterrorism advisor who has come under fire after Steve Bannon's departure, and the criticisms are false - especially yet another Rolling Stone character assassination piece.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NFL Classics - 2003 Titans at Patriots

NFL Classics - Week 5 of 2003 the Titans squared off with the Patriots in a wild affair where fan reaction to Red Sox scores in their concurrent game with the Oakland Athletics made for a bizarre atmosphere.

First half

Second half

Trump Opposition Learns Nothing

Opposition to Donald Trump has become more and more deranged as things are more and more genuinely improving in the US. And the nitpickery is endless.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Criminal

The thievery committed by Democratic Party honcho Debbie Wasserman Shultz of course isn't getting media coverage because media doesn't want to go after someone they support.

Charlottesville Killer - Leftist

The killing of a counter-protester at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA has touched off sanctimonious anger at "white supremacists" and resultant hypocrisy - and no one notices the killer is apparently a leftist whose Hillary Clinton support was erased from his social media, and apparently his car was attacked first by pole-wielding leftist protesters - this as (of all people) the Southern Poverty Law Center reports Jason Kessler, leader of the white supremacist group, was an Obama supporter. Also worth noting is the ACLU's confirmation that Charlottesville police were told to stand down rather than be present to prevent violence.

The use of such scams is common to leftism, shown when opponents of California's Proposition 209 - banning identify favoritism in hiring, education, etc. - paid David Duke to argue in favor of 209....

The guilt by non-association scheme backfired, repulsing not only even the mainstream media, but the anti-209 debater, the late Joe Hicks, a legendary civil rights leader

In short, leftism creates and begats violence......

The CSUN sorcery was, and remains, a sham - a formula to defame the opponents of race preferences and quotas, racial polarization and Balkanization, bilingual education and multi-language ballots, etc. These issues those Americans of all backgrounds who want a society of goodness and virtue, not graft and vitriol.

The irrelevance of David Duke et al is shown by the nonexistence of dominant cultural sympathy for him; all cultural, media, etc. sympathy goes to the graft-vitriol enablers of Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Party.   David Duke is not the threat - leftism and its variant killer ideologies such as Sharia Supremacism are the threat.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bubba Wallace Steals Michigan Show

NASCAR's Yankee 400 weekend at Michigan International Speedway once again sees off-track issues grabbing attention away from some wild on-track competition.   And when we say wild on-track competition we mean the finish of the 2017 LTI Printing 200, an amazing Camping World Truck Series 200-miler at Michigan.

Darrell Wallace Jr. has gone through an astonishing season, losing his Xfinity Series ride when the money dried up, being loaned out to Richard Petty's Winston Cup car and sparkling at Daytona and Kentucky, and now returning to the Truck Series and pulling off a spectacular surge to win.   What began as a wild Yankee Truck 200 settled into a Kyle Busch show for awhile before Brad Keselowski's Fords surged to the fore and in the final laps all hell broke loose.

Speaking of all hell breaking loose......

Michigan had several hard hits, but for wrecking a slew of cars.................

.......the Xfinity Series at the Mid-Ohio road course topped the Trucks.    Ryan Reid should have stayed in bed after getting into two T-bone melees, while there was an astonishing side by side lap for the lead between Daniel Hemric and race-winner Sam Hornish before Hornish put it away.


What followed in the Michigan 400 was another tranquil affair - surprising given what is advertised as "playoff pressure" - but even with that there was a nasty hit involving Kasey Kahne and another overtime finish.................

...........where Kyle Larson snaked everyone and sang on the radio the last lap because he knew they couldn't draft back around him.   It was something of a first for a driver to trash-talk the field before the checkered flag had flown.

In all it was a weekend where the main feature saw a surprising finish that ultimately was continuation of a driver's recent momentum - the hat trick for Kyle Larson.   After several weeks of surprises, the form chart appears to be reasserting itself for the season, and Bristol beckons thusly.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Truex's NASCAR And Being Along For The Ride

Martin Truex's Watkins Glen runaway despite a late fuel mileage scare has established that 2017 has become Truex's NASCAR and right now everyone else is along for the ride.   Kyle Busch may win the poles and lead laps but it's Truex who figures out how to win.   Busch does nothing but figure out how to blow it, while everyone else is pretty much racing for something other than the win.

The race itself was unremarkable, this after a rather mayhemic preliminary period.

There were several off-track stories coming in, as has become custom for NASCAR.   With Watkins Glen as a road race, Nick Idgalsky of Pocono suggested his track may run its second race on its infield road course, this with Charlotte wanting to run its 2018 National 500 on its infield road course.  

Nothing at Watkins Glen could compete for quality racing with what Pocono produces on its superoval

The idea of running on any road course beyond Sears Point and Watkins Glen of course stems from fan anger at lack of passing on the bigger ovals - but more importantly it stems from lack of understanding, or refusal to understand, why.    By glomming onto road courses, critics of the bigger ovals keep kidding themselves - they're not better than superspeedways and are not the answer - the answer was found in the Xfinity 250 at Indianapolis, which showed what the real issue is regarding passing and lack thereof on the bigger ovals.  

Another issue is the economics of the sport, and the story that Kurt Busch's contract option won't be picked up by SHR has created some confusion, as SHR states he will return to their team in 2018, but the story that Ford was caught off guard by the move has done nothing but feed speculation that SHR in fact will retract by perhaps two teams - the disbanding of Danica Patrick's team or at least her release seems a fait accompli even with several strikingly productive runs in recent races - alas Watkins Glen was reversion to form.  

That SHR might - note the emphasis - retract, this after Ganassi-SABCO will lose Target Stores sponsorship, this atop when Barney Visser suggested he may have to cut back to one car, comes after Andrew Murstein of Richard Petty Motorsports (a disappointing 21st at Watkins Glen after the first lap wreck at Pocono and the encouraging run to 13th at the end at Indianapolis) has now called for a spending cap in NASCAR.   That NASCAR's spendaholism is a fundamental problem has of course been known for decades, and that a team owner hasn't previously stated the need for a cap in spending is surprising given the wholesale loss of teams and the retraction or forced merger of such teams as Petty, Roush, DEI, Ganassi, etc.  

We've heard the dismissal of the idea, that teams will ostensibly cheat around it, yet when critics cite examples of how to cheat around a cap they just give away how enforceable a NASCAR spending cap actually is, and when critics lapse into the "if you aren't cheating you're not trying" cliché they give away their lack of understanding - cheating is self-defeating in sports (see the million-dollar fines to the Broncos and 49ers for cheating the NFL's salary cap), and life in general - it denies the cheater the legitimate improvement in performance needed, and in NASCAR benefit from cheating is never long-term; teams always do fundamentally better when they stick with the rulebook and work within it.

And the critics simply don't get it - the owners can no longer afford not to limit their spending.   The owners have no incentive to cheat a spending cap; the incentive is entirely on making it work, and thus stabilizing the sport's economics so it benefits them.   The fact the Race Team Alliance even exists has shown that team owners have an understanding that they're in this together with NASCAR.  

So the idea that teams will cheat a spending cap is ignorant - they can't afford to, they have to make it work else they too will be bankrupted by fratricidal economics.   The fact the idea of a salary cap, once controversial, is now accepted MO in sports (via a hard NFL-style cap or the "soft" cap of MLB's luxury tax - a sign this works is the refusal of the Boston Red Sox, the league's best revenued team outside of the Yankees, to spend over the tax because they're losing money in the long run by being hit with the tax) should tell NASCAR that the concept works, and is enforceable.

Another issue is NASCAR's new limits on Cup driver participation in the Xfinity and Truck Series - Kyle Busch's petulant threat to shut down his Truck team if he doesn't get his way shows how childish he is and also shows he needs to get it that he is supposed to help the sport, and he can be the face of his team solely by being its owner.   The fact only fifteen drivers a year can run the full Xfinity schedule and has been the case for over fifteen seasons shows most graphically how much Cup drivers have bled the series dry. 

The curious caveat that has gone overlooked, though, is the Lillys 250 at Indianapolis - the restrictor plate-drag duct package used there so equalized the field that Kyle Busch and the other Cup regulars had their hands full fighting for the lead with Xfinity regulars, much as Ryan Newman so often struggles when he runs Modified Tour races at New Hampshire.   The theme cited in defense of Cup participation in lower levels is that the drivers there get valuable experience racing against the Cup guys; this though has not been in evidence in almost every Xfinity companion race to Cup races; that Indianapolis proved an exception shows two things - it is an exception proving the rule, and also that the Xfinity regulars can race with the Cup guys on a playing field that's actually level.   The level of the competition field becomes the true issue.  

So it went at Watkins Glen, and now the Yankee 400 weekend beckons for Cup and the Trucks.