Monday, May 30, 2016

Could this be the Year of the Cubs?

I'm not a big baseball fan but I have noticed that the Cubs, at 34-14, a ,708 winning percentage, are leading the NL Central Division by 6 1/2 games and have a whopping, major league leading plus 131 run scored to runs given up differential.

Is THIS the year? Can the Cubs claim the prize after 108 years? Hell, it's been 71 years since they've even made it as far as to lose a World Series.

Will the Ottoman Empire rise from the ashes? I ask that because the last time the Cubs won a World Series in 1908 the Ottoman Empire was still a thing.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ah Yes, them there Confederate Monuments are for Historical Purposes

I was having this running exchange with some southern guy that was miffed about a Civil War monument celebrating the Confederacy being removed from the University of Louisville campus.

Apparently the impetus for this was a black university professor that didn't feel such a monument was appropriate.

Personally I agree with the professor. When you strip away all the horseshit about states rights and all the other rationalizations the Civil War was about slavery. If it wasn't for the underlying issue of slavery all of the other problems were resolvable.

The issue of slavery was not. Regardless of how unfortunate it may be, some problems just seem to need to be resolved in blood. Slavery in the US was probably one of those problems.

So, we went around the barn a few times because this guy was big on throwing out all sorts of tu quoque arguments including nasty stuff in the bible and the fact that both Washington and Jefferson owned slaves.

The fact is that none of this justifies a war fought to defend slavery and there is no place in this country for public monuments celebrating or glorifying such a war.

Yes, good men were duped into fighting and dying for a bad cause and that's tragic. But that happens in all wars. I'm sure there were good Germans fighting for family and the fatherland on the eastern front oblivious to the einsatzgruppen operating behind the lines.

If you can design a monument which memorializes the tragedy of these men while recognizing the fundamental wrongness of the cause they were fighting for, then be my guest. I doubt that anyone would object.

But the monuments we're talking about celebrate the Confederacy as some sort of noble struggle against overwhelming odds. Against overwhelming odds it may have been but it wasn't a noble struggle.

Once you clear away all the chaff the sole purpose for the existence of the Confederacy was to defend the institution of slavery. The defense of slavery was the cause for which it took up arms. There is no place in this country for monuments celebrating, glorifying or rationalizing such a cause.

Ultimately this guy got frustrated with me and began crying about black professors and about the black lives matter movement while implying them uppity blacks have no reason to be offended by a "historical" monument dedicated to "southern heritage" that's been in place for 120 years or more.

Scratch a white southerner hard enough and you'll expose a racist. It was true 50 years ago and it's still fucking true today.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Bathroom Debate

All of this stuff about what bathroom Transgender people are entitled to use has got to be one of the dumbest things that I've seen people get all up in a huff about.

There are really two distinct levels to this conversation.

One level is the question of the individual you used to know as John who now wants to be recognized as Joan. One may run into this sort of situation at a school or in the work environment.

Then there's the Transgender individual that you don't know. You might run into this situation out in public such as in a department store.

Let's start with the second one because I think that's the easier of the two. In this case you'd probably never be able to tell the difference. Transgenders tend to look like their preferred gender. I defy the average person to recognize a Transgender if it wasn't someone they were familiar with.

Besides, in the ladies room everyone is in stalls. In the men's room a Transgender isn't going to use the urinal so they'll be in a stall as well. So, unless you're into peeking into bathroom stalls, you would never know the difference.

The first case is a bit different. I can sort of understand the possible discomfort associated with accepting that John is now Joan, except not really because the plumbing hasn't changed any. But again the stalls in use idea applies here as well.

A locker room is a bit more complicated. Other than having some sort of screened off area I don't see any particularly good idea here.

The best I can come up with is all Transgenders use a screened off area in the boy's locker room. Guys tend to not give a crap anyway and there's less parental protection foam around boys.

Of course we could just all recognize that individuals should use the facilities of their gender identity and get over it.

Do I have any direct experience? I have two actually but one doesn't really count because it didn't come into the open until years after I knew the individual involved.

The other involved a guy/girl that sort of looked like he was in transition to she. He/she worked for the same place I did. Everyone pretty much ignored it. I have no idea which rest room he/she used nor did anyone seem to be concerned about it.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The World is Coming to an End!!!

It's all over. We're doomed! The end of the world is at hand!!!

How do I know this you ask? Because yesterday I actually agreed with something that Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said.

Fischer, talking about Trump, said "there is no way in the world that guy should still be viable at this point, given the things that he's said and the things that he's done."

Holy mackerel Andy! Hell must have frozen over and the gate of heaven must have broken off their hinges because those things are a hell of a lot more likely than me agreeing with anything Fischer might say.

This is going to be a strange and terrifying election.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Well, it's Pretty Much Official

It's looks as if Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president since both Ted Cruz and John Kasich, the last of the clown brigade, have dropped out leaving the Trump alone on top of the garbage heap.

To say the Republican Party has reached rock bottom would not quite be true. They could have nominated Ted Cruz or Ben Carson. But wait, the Trump still hasn't chosen a VP running mate.

That could yet be terrifying.

Like I've said several times a Trump vs. Clinton campaign has all the potential to bring out the absolute worst in the American electorate.

Early polls are all over the map and I don't think they matter much at this stage anyway.

Oh well, now is the winter of our discontent and we move on to perhaps the most critical presidential campaign of our time.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A Shift in the Battle Lines

Have you noticed that the emphasis of social conservatives has shifted from discriminating against Gays, about 2% of the population, to discriminating against Transgenders who are estimated to be no more than 0.3% of the population?

Of course attacks upon Gays haven't ended entirely although the battle lines there have pretty much shifted as well from Gay Marriage to non-discrimination ordinances.

So, as usual, the wing nut forces are loosing. They're not even doing very well against illegal immigrants and Muslims any more.

Here's a prediction for you. They're going to lose the discrimination battle against Transgenders as well.

What are they going to do then? They'll be out of people who are different that they can be afraid of and discriminate against.

Maybe if they have no targets for their hatred they'll grow up? I wouldn't bet on it though.

Mea Culpa

I'm embarrassed to have gotten so sidetracked. Hey, trust me, I had good reason for it but I'm going to try and do better in the future.

I bother to write this blog for two reasons. The first is to keep the few writing skills I have as sharp as possible. The second is to have a record of what I was thinking about stuff when it was happening. Yes, you're right, it's basically a diary.

Heaven knows that no one else actually reads it and that's more than OK with me. I really don't need to waste my time responding to internet trolls.

But I have been remiss recently.

The presidential nomination races are drawing close to the end game. Barring some convention shenanigans it looks like Trump vs. Clinton. If ever a presidential campaign threatened to expose all that is wrong and ugly with the United States, this is the one.

It's going to be much worse than 2008 and 2012 because, while I had my issued with both McCain and Romney, they were at least gentlemen of reasonable integrity.

Trump is a loud mouthed bully that is used to being in a position where he can intimidate everyone around him. He's much better suited to a clown act than the Oval Office.

But here's the REALLY scary thing.

If someone held a gun to my head, dragged me to the voting booth, said "vote Republican or I'll blow your brains out" and Trump was on the ballot, I'd pull the lever. If Ted Cruz was on the ballot I'd say "pull the fucking trigger."

Cruz is an utterly horrible excuse for a human being and his father is even worse. This is a perfect example of the apple not falling far from the tree.

As for Clinton, she leaves a sour taste in my mouth but I supported her through the Democratic primary process because, given her experience as Secretary of State, I believe she's better qualified than Bernie to be president.

So I'm going to hold my nose and pull the lever next to Clinton's name and I'll do it probably twice. Once in the New Jersey primary and once in November.