Sunday, March 23, 2014

Baseball, Politics and Pain (the connection)

Baseball season is coming up very soon and if the past few weeks of Spring training is any indication, the Texas Rangers are in position to lose a lot of games. Besides playing badly, their suddenly piss-poor pitching staff looks to be a weak spot on this team. But what really has my pessimism roaring is the injury bug. They had already lost Derek Holland for 2-3 months, as well as Matt Harrison (coming off of major back surgery) and Colby Lewis (trying to come back after getting injured during last season). In addition, Neftali Perez is nowhere near ready to return to any meaningful playtime and last season's set-up man, Tanner Scheppers is being moved to the rotation, leaving a huge void that needs to be filled.

You may consider that the additions of Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder will help this team. Had the Rangers been able to have Choo for last season, the team would have easily won the AL West. As for Fielder, his numbers were down considerably last season and it's possible that the trade of Ian Kinsler for Prince is but a wash. Personally, I believe that Fielder will have a great season attacking the short right field porch at the Ballpark in Arlington (Oops, I mean Globe Life Ballpark, or whatever they named it).

Now comes word that Jurickson Profar may miss up to 2-3 months with a shoulder injury.

Bad luck does seem to follow these local teams a lot. Between the Cowboys, Rangers and Mavericks, it seems that lady luck is definitely not on her side. For those of us who have been consistently watching these teams for the past 20 years, this should come as no surprise. I really just hope that by the time the Rangers get their players healthy again, that there is still time on the schedule to make a legitimate run. But right now, I do not feel too optimistic.


I can't tell if Nancy Pelosi is truly delusional, or of she is simply saying what she needs to say to keep her party together. Being that she is a life-long politician, I have to give her the benefit of the doubt. As for Harry Reid, well that man is just bat-shit crazy.

It may seem deadly obvious, but it really is time for French Jews to get the hell out of France. If this story doesn't show them what the future holds, nothing will. And while we're at it, keep praying for the Jews in the Ukraine. Nothing spells gloom and doom for Jews than a Russian civil war. As was in the past, the Jews will be scapegoated first. I hope it isn't too late for British Jews, as well. I have said this prophecy before and it still scares the crap out of me - but I fear the day the Queen will be forced out to the courtyard at Buckingham Palace to be executed by the Muslim majority. They have invited the beast to dine without realizing they are on the menu. I just hope it doesn't happen in my lifetime (or my children). But you have to know that this is the goal of Islam 4 UK, the illegal Muslim group headed by Anjem Choudary. Choudhary is perhaps the most vile and extreme supporter for terrorism in Great Britain. Sadly, England has long since lost her will to survive and Choudary easily fills the void left behind.

Great Britain was once under the power of the Church of England. But two world wars sapped whatever life force the Island once had. Losing that connection to faith, Great Britain simply surrendered that void to Islam and Islam is taking full advantage. Sadly, most European countries have been following in England's path. To be honest, who can blame them? Watching their young soldiers die young in not one, but two great wars was just too much to bear. So better than dying, Europe gave up the fight and basically decided to let the United States fight to protect them. Yes, England and France (and many other European countries) field armies. However, their existence is pitifully weak without America's intervention. And just as sadly, President Obama is committed to weaken the American armed forces as well. But that's a tale for another day.


There are so many scandals and problems created by the Obama administration that much of it gets dismissed by a cynical populace. Obama's approval is still far higher than it should be, given the bald-faced lies the President has uttered. Include the fact that Mitt Romney was proven correct regarding Russia, one would have to admit that without a sycophant media making sure that Obama is held blameless for anything that occurs during his administration, Obama's approval rating would be somewhere around 25% at best. No doubt the Republicans are partially to blame for this. The problem the GOP has had is picking the right fight to fight. ObamaCare alone should have brought this (or any other President) down. If not thrown out of office, certainly brought up on charges of impeachment. President Bush, and even President Clinton would not have survived the outrageous lies and misdirections perpetrated by the current administration.

Of course, ObamaCare is just the tip of the iceberg. Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, NSA surveillance and extreme cronyism in regard to the $800 million stimulus all individually fall into the "major scandal" category. Of course, for sheer chutzpa, the lies told by Obama, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice (to just mention the top culprits), are off the charts in regard to the terror attack in Benghazi. Keep in mind, no one died because of Watergate. And even if Benghazi were inevitable, the cover up and lies surrounding the scandal made a tragic situation criminal, as well. There was no reason for Obama, Clinton or Rice to have said anything other than the truth. But to lie about the event when by that tie the real story had been discovered is simply arrogance on the administration's part. It simply showed the American people that the Obama administration holds her citizens in contempt and unworthy of the truth. Seriously, the arrogance of these people easily rival that of LBJ and his contempt for Blacks.


Today has been a particularly bad day health-wise. The pain from my herniated disk has continued to get worse - to the point that there is no longer a position I can lay down where there is no discomfort. Lifting myself up from a sitting position (like getting out of bed) has gotten progressively more painful. In fact, there have been a few times where I needed help from my son just to stand. I'm only able to walk with a cane to hold me up. I find I can stand in one place for up to 10 minutes, as long as I use a small stool or step under my foot. Driving had been most difficult because of the pain of getting in and out of the car. But now, in addition to that, using the accelerator and brake are becoming equally painful.

So I made an appointment with a neurosurgeon to discuss my options. I really do not want more surgery. But continuing to feel this way is becoming more untenable. So, I guess you should wish me luck as my appointment is in 9 days. Plus, I will get another epidural injection around then, also.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Good, the Bad and the Unwatchable

Every few years, for some reason, I find interest in some of the the new television series'. Sometimes it's just one or two new shows that capture my attention. But this year - perhaps due to the greater amount of free time I find I have - I have grown fondly of a few new shows. For the past few years, the only TV that  watched regularly was NFL football, MLB baseball and American Idol. Then last year, as I was recovering in a rehab center following knee replacement surgery, my TV choices were TV Land and MeTV, where I was inundated with old shows from the '60s and '70s. For a while, it felt like a walk down memory lane - especially the theme music (although I did wish they's have added "Room 222" and "Welcome Back, Kotter").

By the time I was back in rehab, following my abscessed colon, I discovered Hulu and Netflix. I watched hour after hour of "The Office" (from the very beginning to the very end - TWICE) and also I discovered a gem of a skit show called "Little Britain," which was wickedly naughty. Also, I decided to find out what the big buzz was with "The Big Bang Theory."

But as the new season started in September, I decided to take a look at the main networks again. Doing so allowed me to give chance to some new shows* that had promising previews and/or pilots. After a few months, I have decided on which are my favorites and which need to be thrown in a pit of despair, never to grace the TV screen ever again.

*The following list includes all the shows I sacrificed my time to watch, so you don't have to.
Two Broke Girls, The Crazy Ones, Mom, The Millers, Mike and Molly, The Neighbors, The Goldberg's, Trophy Wife, Dads, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Rake, Unlisted

The worst of these new shows was pretty tough to determine. But there were two shows that stood out so badly, I did not give it another watch. "The Neighbors" stars Jamie Gertz (who is still as stunning as she was when she was in "The Lost Boys") and revolves around a family that has relocated to a gated townhouse community called "Hidden Hills". Upon their arrival, they discover that the entire community is populated by residents from another planet. Amongst their myriad quirks, these aliens identify themselves by the names of sports celebrities, patrol the community in golf carts, dress alike, receive nourishment through their eyes and mind by reading books rather than eating, and cry green goo from out their ears. Since the aliens have assumed human form, they can also revert to their original appearances by clapping their hands above their heads. They have been stuck on Earth for 10 years, still awaiting instructions to return home.

In other words, it's a really bad remake of 3rd Rock From The Sun, mixed with all the stale (lack of) charm of the old TGIF lineup on ABC.

The other horrible waste of television is the Seth Green/Giovanni Ribisi vehicle, "Dads." Let's just say every possible stereotype ever created about one's father is all rolled into the two fathers of these two sadly unfunny actors. Perhaps Martin Mull was funny in 1974, and Peter Reigert? Ok, he had a few good lines in "Crossing Delancy" about 25 years ago. But that's pretty much all I can remember.

On the other side of the coin, there are a couple of shows that have the potential to be the next "big thing." The first one of these is "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," which is a terrific comedy starring former-SNL alum Andy Samberg. This show centers around a fictional police precinct and the department staff. While the show clearly stars Samberg as an immature, but talented detective, the greatness of the show is the relatively unknown ensemble cast that work so well together. Of all the new shows, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is truly the cream of the crop.

On the next level - These are the shows I watch each week, but don't necessarily run to my DVR as soon as I can there (let's call this the "B" level) - there are a few stand outs. The first one is the sitcom, "Mom."

I really did not expect to enjoy this one. "Mom" follows Christy Plunkett (Anna Faris), a single mother who—after dealing with her battle with alcoholism and drug addiction—decides to restart her life in Napa, California's wine country working as a waitress and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Her mother Bonnie Plunkett (Allison Janney) is also a recovering drug and alcohol addict, and her 17-year-old daughter Violet (Sadie Calvano), who was born when Christy was 16, has become pregnant by her boyfriend Luke. Christy also has a younger son Roscoe by her ex-husband Baxter, a deadbeat drug-dealer (Wikipedia).

What impresses me is the strength of the relationship between the mother and grandmother. I actually do not care for the daughter character, as I find her the least believable. Over the past few weeks, the show's emphasis switched to some of the side characters, including Alvin (Christy's biological father, played by Kevin Pollack), Marjory (Mimi Kennedy) and Regina (Octavia Spencer). This keeps the storylines fresh and interesting.

Another "B" show is the comedy-drama show "Rake," which is an adaptation of an Australian series of the same name. The series follows Keegan Deane (played brilliantly by Greg Kinnear), a criminal defense lawyer whose personal problems and self-destructive behavior has him battling wits and/or owing money to everyone around him, including his ex-wife, judges, an assistant district attorney, his bookie, a brothel owner, and the IRS (Wikipedia).

As with all the other shows I've mentioned, the main character is someone you really want to root for. However, in Keegan Rake's character, his self-destructive behavior often gives you reason to throw something at your screen. Unlike the other shows on this list, "Rake" is on for an hour (as opposed to the other shows which are all 30-minute sitcoms). There are certain aspects to the show that I fear can cost it committed viewers. For one thing, because the show really is centered around the main star (Kinnear), I still find a lack of connection between the side characters and the audience. In addition, storylines are generally completed within a single episode. Yes, there are some carry-over plot lines. But the more intense stories are wrapped up way too quickly. Perhaps TV has evolved to the point that the viewers attention-spans have dwindled. But in shows I find similar to "Rake" (like "House," "Boston Legal" and "Ally McBeal"), the development of story lines and characters often took much longer to introduce and carry out. I find that lacking in "Rake." However, it is still fun television.

On the "C" level - which are shows I tape and watch sometime during the week (but don't get upset if I miss an episode), I would place the new Robyn Williams/Sarah Michelle-Geller vehicle, "The Crazy Ones," which is a sitcom about a Chicago ad agency. Williams plays the part of a former alcoholic/drug abuser who has been clean for a number of years, thanks to his tightly-strung daughter (Geller), who is his business partner as well.

The strength of this show is clearly the timing of the ensemble cast who often carry the show. This show is the first foray into television for Williams since "Mork and Mindy" 30 years ago. While his character can be quite funny, the series only works due to the side characters, who keep Williams in check.

Another "C" show is "Trophy Wife." This series centers on a 2-time divorced man who has just married his third wife, who is considerably younger than him. The humor revolves around the diverse characters in his life, including his two ex-wives - one who is a stern perfectionist and the other is a flaky new age-hippy. In addition, he has 3 children - 2 older kids from wife #1 and one little guy from marriage #2. Individually, the characters are not strong enough to carry the show. But as a group, they make it work (usually). The newest wife does often come across considerably less mature that she should, given her newfound responsibilities and is therefore difficult to believe - especially when confronted with her best friend, who acts as if she's still in high school. There are a few inconsistencies that require a break in reality. But barring that, the show can be enjoyable. However, I would be surprised if this show lasts more than a year or two.

A few other shows I've watched are not worth the time or effort to write much about. The first one, "The Goldbergs" is a stereotypical reflection of a Jewish family from Philadelphia, circa 1980s. The plot lines have all been done before and have been done much better. The worst thing I can say about "The Goldbergs" is that the main character, the Jewish mother, of course, is such a dislikable person she ruins the show for everyone else. Apparently, the show was created from Adam Goldberg's memories of growing up. It's clear he should have invested a serious amount of money to therapy. The characters are not believable and again, unlikable. I seriously gave this show 6 episodes before I just had enough. Knowing the TV industry, it will probably be renewed into syndication. It should be cancelled before it hurts someone.

"Two Broke Girls" is basically a vehicle for comedienne Kat Dennings, who plays a sarcastic, foul-mouthed waitress with a huge chip on her shoulder. Beth Behers plays her best friend and fellow-poor waitress who also is her roommate. Behers basically sets up the one-liners that Dennings tries to hit. The side characters are even less believable and even less humorous. The show is a simple collection of used sex jokes, innuendos and liberal moralizations and is unworthy of renewal. It's really that bad.

I suppose "The Millers" have some redeeming value. But I haven't found it yet. They do have their moments and it would not surprise me if it's given a second season. Nor would it surprise me if it's cancelled tomorrow. The same goes for "Unlisted" and "Mike and Molly." Actually, that isn't correct. I would be surprised if "Mike and Molly" were cancelled so quickly. It isn't that I like the show - I really, really don't. However, CBS really pushes the advertisements for this show and for whatever reason, really want it to succeed. I really don't understand why.

So that is my take on television. I'm still watching "American Idol" and will write something about it starting in a couple of weeks. Another show I'm watching regularly is "Night Court," whose reruns are on one of the Encore channels (Direct TV 537). I've always loved that show. And in a couple of weeks, baseball is back on and I'll have to peel my son away from the screen whenever a game is on. How much fun is that?

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Leading From Underneath

Were you one of the many Romney-bashers who laughed when he commented that Russia was not someone to ignore? Or did you think Sarah Palin was far too "dumb" to be taken seriously regarding Russia's intention to expand their orders into the Ukraine (and other former Soviet satellites)? Well, how're you going to spin this one?

One thing Conservatives have never been good at is saying, "I told you so." That's mostly because even when they are right, the left refuses to acknowledge the fact they are wrong. The left will spin this so twisted around that soon the entire country will be demanding a public apology from the right!!

Ever since she first hit national prominence, the left has crucified former Governor Palin. Sadly, in our MTV/short-attention-span induced they made a conscious effort to completely ignore her successes in Alaska (and her impressive popularity) by making up stories about her, by attributing comedy quotes of Tina Fey to her and by filing an enormous number of lawsuits to not only clogged the courts, but eventually forced her to resign, due to the amount of time required these overwhelmingly frivolous charges.

Of course, the greatest damage to Ms. Palin's reputation was when SNL comedy writer/actress Fey portrayed Palin as a simpleton, commenting that her foreign policy credential be taken seriously because she can "see Russia from my house." The audience ate it up, as it was related to Palin's own claim that Alaska and Russia share a border and that the part of Russia that borders Alaska share similar geological traits. But to the low-information viewer, dumb Sarah Palin claims she should be taken seriously for being neighbors with Siberia.

It was a laugh a minute and may well have cost her the Vice-Presidency.

Though she was mercilessly mocked for it, Palin actually speculated in 2008 that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be encouraged to invade Ukraine after President Barack Obama’s weak response to the nation invading Georgia. Her reasoning was that Obama was a very weak leader who would be measured by Russian president Vladimir Putin as being far more

But a funny thing happened on the way to Washington. Both Obama and Biden blew off any and all concern the GOP leadership had about Russia's geo-political strategy. In the second 2012 Presidential debate, President Obama ridiculed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney about his concern over Russia’s “geo-political” threat, where this exchange developed:

“You said Russia. Not Al Qaida. You said Russia,” Obama said regarding biggest threats. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because…the cold war’s been over for 20 years.” Romney offered a powerful retort: “Russia, I indicated, is a geopolitical foe…and I said in the same paragraph I said and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin…”

As was predicted has certainly proven Romney and Palin correct. Yet very little has been admitted by the talking heads at the non-FOX networks. It's almost as if those networks are more interested in protecting the President's agenda and miscalculations than they are at delineating the news. But for all their efforts at carrying the President's water, the damage being done by the administration (and the media who protect him) is has been nothing less than criminally dangerous to the future health of this nation.

One of the reasons Jimmy Carter was so thoroughly embarrassed in the 1980 election was because he was portrayed as a weak, feckless leader who could not, or would not stand up for American's exceptionalism. Americans rightly considered him ineffective and poorly equipped to stand up to the bullies of the world. This was especially true of his handling the crisis in Iran and his relationship with the Soviet Union. There was a good reason Carter delivered his infamous "malaise" speech. Carter was unable, and due to his political beliefs, unwilling to sit at the card table and take on the bluster of America's enemies. It cost him dearly.

Even John F. Kennedy suffered for his inexperience. It was widely known that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev took a measure of the young President in their first summit together in June 1961. For the next year or so, the Soviet leader rightfully assumed that Kennedy was too weak to do anything about possible Soviet intentions - especially in Cuba. However, as it turned out, Kennedy spent that year developing the necessary gravitas to not only stand up to Khruschev, but to actually call his bluff and send him back to Moscow, reeling over removing missiles the Soviets shipped to Cuba, thus ending the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962.

But Obama is no John Kennedy. JFK learn at the foot of his father, who although was an earlier supporter of Hitler (especially due to Hitler's attitude about Jews), understood peace through strength. The young JFK fought for his country and understood intimately the need to show strength and resolve in dealing with your foes. Kennedy was surprised by Khruschev's indifference towards the lives of his people and it woke him up to the reality that there is no moral equivalence between freedom and democracy versus totalitarianism and communism. In the next year, Kennedy slowly set in motion certain policy moves to correct the impression of his weakness as best he could. According to the Legal Insurrection blog:

"One of the ways he did this (especially interesting in light of Obama’s recent request for large military cuts) was to seek “congressional approval for an additional $3.25 billion in defense spending, the doubling and tripling of draft calls, calling up reserves, raising the Army’s total authorized strength, increasing active duty numbers in the Navy and Air Force, reconditioning planes and ships in mothballs, and a civil defense program to minimize the number of Americans that would be killed in a nuclear attack.” As might be expected, Khrushchev decided to call the young leader’s bluff, and erected the Berlin Wall and then resumed atmospheric nuclear tests. The Cuban Missile Crisis followed, and there it was Khrushchev who ended up backing down."

Unfortunately, Kennedy is not Obama and even though we have learned that JFK was a quick study and clearly understood the geo-political realities of history, Mr. Obama refuses to accept any reality that contradicts his own anti-Colonial, Euro-Arabia-centric world view, even to the detriment to his own commitment to follow the Constitution.

Unlike Carter, there is nothing in Obama's service that gives hope to his competency in dealing with the Russians. On the contrary, Obama has given every indication of incompetence and has shown a lack of understanding the lessons of the past.

Barack Obama has been the US President for 5+ years now. Before the 2008 election, Joe Biden was quoted, saying "Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy," he said to a roomful of donors. "The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here, if you don't remember anything else I said," Biden continued. "Watch, we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy..."

Since that time, we have seen how Obama reacted in Iran (he did nothing), Libya (did nothing, then changed his mind), Iraq (quit), Syria (did nothing, then condemned it, then did nothing and then let Putin handle it, while continuing to do nothing of consequences) and Afghanistan (sending in drones). Obama's mettle has been tested and has been found wanting. His foreign policy has been a joke since his Cairo speech back in '08. Teddy Roosevelt once famously said one should "speak softly and carry a big stick." Obama has followed that advice 180 degrees. He likes to talk a big game (which has proven to always be just empty words (unless spoken to the GOP or Israel), but - in disagreement with Joe Biden - Obama's "stick" is soft and limp.

The most important ability for a gambler is the ability to bluff. If you can pull it off, you stand a good chance to be successful. However, that bluff must be backed up with having some good hands and at times having bad hands. If you are proven to only bluff when you have a bad hand, eventually people will stop being fooled by your bluffing. That is what is happening in Washington. The world has learned that Obama is no John F. Kennedy and no matter how much he wants the world to believe him, his actions have proven him to be a paper tiger and his bluffs no longer worker.

Sadly, unlike JFK, Obama seems indifferent to the lessons of history and it is beginning to appear that history is repeating itself. This could get a lot uglier than anyone thinks.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

John Kerry, Phony or Fool?

For the past few weeks, I had in mind to write about the lack of self awareness of Secretary of State John F. Kerry. But as I started writing this today, I realized that many of the criticisms I have about Kerry can be blamed on the lack of direction his boss has portrayed in foreign policy. Clearly, Kerry is over his head as Secretary of State. He either doesn't understand the nuances of diplomacy, or he simply doesn't care. His charge, as SoS, is to clearly elucidate the foreign policy of the President. But there have been numerous examples of communication failure that I can't help but wonder if Obama didn't name him Secretary of State as punishment for some nefarious deed.

The first example was when he and Obama openly contradicted themselves regarding Syrian deployment of biological weapons. That took a strange twist when they couldn't find agreement as to what happened and how to deal with it. Kerry came out immediately accusing Basher Assad of gassing his own people, only to be contradicted a couple of days later by Obama. Kerry was far more threatening in his remarks and certainly more assured of the events. But Obama, as he did in Benghazi, softened his stance. All of this led to America's acquiesce to Vladimir Putin - at a great embarrassment to this country.

But the foreign policy issue I most am troubled by is how Kerry (and Obama) treat the state of Israel. Oh, Kerry talks a good game. He sounds almost believable when he recites the talking point about how America will always come to Israel's defense. But no one - whether in America or Israel - believes him. And why should they? In his almost 6 years in office, President Obama has gone out of his way to punish Israel for horrible deed of having Benjamin Netanyahu as her Prime Minister. In keeping with his policy of turning enemies into friends and friends into enemies. it seems Obama has saved his best rebuke to the only democracy in the Middle East. At first, it was Vice President Joe Biden who feigned anger over the audacity of the Israeli government to build apartments in the Jewish section of Jerusalem. The area where the buildings were to be built was not an area under any dispute, and in fact was in a section that even the UN recognized as not part of any "occupation."

But Biden (and by extension, Obama) decided t use this excuse to try and knock Bibi down a notch. However, this calculation failed and eventually led to Netanyahu's famous rebuke of Obama. After this, Biden was stowed away and didn't deal with the Middle East again. Next was Hillary Clinton's turn. However, many Israelis have long memories and remember Hillary's embrace of Suha Arafat. It was said of Hillary when she ran (and eventually won the NY Senate election) that there wasn't enough room on her head for all the faces she has. However, she did get her own digs into Bibi, when she called the Prime Minister personally and berated him for his insolence. That's what is so amazing about this relationship. For some reason, the American leaders treat Israel like they are their child - punishing, berating and even (metaphorically) spanking publicly for any perceived notion that Israel may be an independent nation. The left likes to use the excuse that Israel receives $3 billion in aid (the actual truth is that Israel receives that amount in loan guarantees, not cash). But so does Egypt and Jordan. Yet they are not treated with such disdain.

So now comes big, bad John F. Kerry. Of course, there was a reason he couldn't even beat a very beatable George W. Bush in the 2004 election. Kerry may well be the one person who thinks higher of himself than Obama thinks of himself. Kerry has and always will be a big phony. His accomplishments were always at the expense of someone else's efforts. And for all of you who like to question the intelligence of former President Bush (43), Kerry's GPA at Harvard was lower than Bush's grades at Yale. But Democrats are more interested in appearance and less in substance (that's how they can vote in Obama twice). Kerry looks the part of statesman. That's also why Joe Biden is Vice President. He was chosen because of his supposed strength in foreign affairs. However, no one looked at his foreign policy choices were. Low information voters don't need specifics, just optics. Call it the American Idolization of American politics.

Because Kerry looked the part, the left gave him respect and honor. Of course, when you scratch the surface with Kerry, there isn't a lot there. Certainly nothing overwhelmingly positive. And yet the left nominated him for President. Regardless, Israelis are no longer fooled by lofty rhetoric, which has always been modus operandi of liberal politicians. When Obama criticized Netanyahu, Israelis took notice and - unlike when Bill Clinton rebuked Bibi in 1997 - they stood by their Prime Minister. Bibi's popularity is at an all-time high, while Obama's - and by extension, Kerry's - is at an all-time low.

For the past few months, Kerry has been focusing all of his time on solving the Israel-Palestinian situation. But as anyone with half a brain (and some intellectual honesty) can attest, there isn't a viable solution at this point. Obama and Kerry keep moving the goalposts while blaming Israel for not doing enough. But of course, nothing has been demanded of the Palestinians. On the contrary, due to the feckless incompetence of the American leadership, the Palestinians know they don't have to do anything and eventually the American leadership will force it upon the Israelis. Kerry himself has caused more consternation in Israel than Abbas ever could. And he didn't do anything on purpose. It wasn't anything that was planned.

No, it was just the fallout from the incompetent leadership of Obama and Kerry. Kerry didn't really mean to threaten Israel with a new intifada. But as the top diplomat in the Obama administration, he should understand what his words mean to those who hear them. It was sheer stupidity, but something we are all coming to expect from this administration. Never before have I seen so many "corrections" made by the press secretary to "explain" what the President "meant." Liberals love to talk about Obama as the "smartest person in the room." Well, if he's so intelligent, why does he need his press secretary to come out and explain what he meant?

And this goes for John Kerry, as well. Optically, Kerry looks the part. He has the "experience" and is a "statesman." But is he really? And certainly, who says so? So far, I have not seen anything that proves to me that Kerry is anything but a fool and a charlatan. And this goes for his boss, too.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

People Want To Know

It's been some time since I sat at my keyboard and posted something new on this blog. And for about the last 3 months, I strongly considered finally putting my writing on permanent hiatus. After all, when I don't post regularly, my readership drops precipitously (that does make sense). The main reason my writing has been so sporadic and inconsistent has been my health. It's tough enough not having the energy to come up with things to write about when dialysis weakens me so much. And because of my inability to take more than 3.5-4 kilos of fluid without bad cramping in my hands, I end up going in for at least one extra session a week (sometimes I'll even have 2 extra sessions just to get down to my dry (goal) weight.

But that alone has not been the main deterrence to my writing. I think that when I developed diverticulitis and then peritonitis, which eventually led to an abscess in my colon - which then was followed by a coma and 4 months in the hospital and nursing home, that changed everything. You see, when I began to write my blog, following my heart attack/stroke/transplant, something had changed in me. I had never wanted to write for anything before. Oh, I had the opportunities to do some writing for a local Jewish newspaper in Houston. But I dreaded having to come up with something new every week.

However, I had changed dramatically and suddenly, all I wanted to do was write. So I did. I found I had some very strong, intelligent opinions an also that I had a hidden talent I never knew before. Over the course of the next few years I had articles picked up by major websites and blogs, and even had my blog quoted in the New York Post. I was still very small potatoes, though. I didn't go to the journalism school of hard knocks and really did not have many connections. But the real truth was I wasn't writing for my readers, but for myself. And I think that's why it was so easy to walk away this past year.

But once again, things are changing. I finally had my colon reattached and am in full recovery mode. In addition, I just had my dialysis catheter removed this past week and I can take a full shower tomorrow (I was told I had to wait 24 hours after the catheter removal before I can remove the bandages and get the area wet). Bird baths are ok from time to time. But nothing beats a real hot, soaking shower.

So, except for my aching back, which has been diagnoses as having 2 herniations in the L2/L3 and  L1/S5 (directly below and directly above the original fusion location), I'm healing. And with that healing, many decisions begin to need to be answered, or at least the questions need to be figured out. First among then is when will I be strong enough to at least work part time? Or is Chicago the the best place to settle down is. Right now, my son and I are leaning towards returning to Dallas. But nothing is written in stone.

So, starting tomorrow (I think), I'm going to return to writing on this here blog. Between politics, the Middle East, baseball and American Idol, there really is a great deal to write about. I think if anything is going to slow my writing down it will be the hand cramps I get from dialysis. It's so bad at times I can't do anything but run hot water on my hands, hoping to relax the muscles.

For now, healing is where I'm at. Of course, this includes pain management, which isn't always successful. If the epidural injections fail to give me needed relief, I am going to talk to my pain management doctor about medicinal marijuana. Smoking pot may not be ideal, as I have my 20-year-old son living with me. But there are other options to consider. I am finding that I'm getting used to Dilauded and it doesn't give me the relief it once did. Should I take a higher dose? How dangerous would that be? I'm already on a Fentonyl patch AND 4mg of Dilauded 3 times a day. Also, I've been taking Flexiril (muscle relaxer) and an occasional Norco. With all that I'm still hurting this bad. That isn't a good sign. Am I really hurting that badly? Or am I simply just addicted to the pills? The only thing that tells me one way or another is the fact that there are times I hurt more than others. Today has been a perfect example. It could be because of the cold weather and snow. But it's been cold and snowy all winter long. Some days, I can make it up and down the stairs with little problem (as long as I have my cane). But today was very different. I had to do the stairs 3 times each way and each trip was a labor of sheer agony. One time up I had to crawl up each step. Not fun.

Ok, so no more bitching and complaining about my health or pain. For now on, starting tomorrow, it will not be about me, aside from my opinions, I suppose.

John Kerry, you were the first subject I ever wrote about on this blog. Be prepared to be written about again. And I can promise you I will not be as nice and considerate as I was that time.

But to start on a positive note, I'm adding the most fun song I can think of:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Sorry, folks. Blogging has been the least vital issue in my life for the past few months. Between hospital stays and rehab centers, I just haven't been home enough to be consistent. I apologize for that and wish it were not the case. I know the good Lord has a plan for me (and I often wish he would clue me in!). But there is clearly a reason I have stayed alive through all my ordeals and, thankfully, live for another day.

You see, in the past 13 years (since September 2000), I have (in order) had:

Lower back discectomy (failed)
Lower back spinal fusion surgery
Developed osteoarthritis in my back (continues to get worse)
Massive heart attack
Quintuple heart bypass surgery (failed)
Stroke (somewhat minor and mostly reversed after a number of years)
Heart transplant
Heart valve leak and repair
Intestinal hernia and repair
Humeral rejection of the heart (which led to kidney failure)
End-stage Renal failure (now on dialysis)
Another herniated disk, along with numerous nerve compressions
Gout (severe)
Migraine headaches
Abscessed dissected colon/Ostomy placement
Ostomy reversal (failed)
Infection from incision site

Because of all of this, I have spent 6 total months in either a hospital bed, or in a nursing/rehab facility. At this point, walking without assistance (a cane) is not generally possible and maneuvering up and down the stairs is a daunting task. I can walk for short periods of time, but am often left in pain or stiffness very soon after starting.

The good news is again that I've survived these and am still around to bitch and moan about it. However, the other side of the coin leaves me pessimistic about my future. The pain from my back and legs are not getting any better and because there are so many "hot spots" in my back, more surgery really isn't an option.

Instead, I take some pretty heavy duty narcotics (Dilauded and Norco, plus I wear a Fentonyl patch). Also, I take muscle relaxers daily just to be able to get up and around. To be honest, I don't know how long my body can take the abuse from all my drugs that I take (for pain AND for my heart) and I fear spending the rest of my life confined to a wheelchair. But I also don't know how much my brain can accept the constant physical pain I'm subjected to.

For now, I take it one day at a time. I hope tomorrow brings relief and actually look forward to the sedation they are going to give me before my flexible sigmoidoscopy (sort of like a colonoscopy without the prep) tomorrow. The drugs they gave me to sedate me takes away whatever pain I'm feeling - even for just the 30 minute procedure. In the hospital, when I'm recovering from surgery, I am given Dilauded thru an IV. While not as long-lasting as the oral form, the IV push works better initially and takes away a great deal of the pain quickly.

Thank you for your patience and hopefully all of this will be past me and I can get back to a regular writing schedule.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Another year older

For those of you who don't know, tomorrow is my 51st birthday.  Last year I posted a list of 50 songs for 50 years as a way of celebrating music and was meant to me over the years. I hope it would serve as a steppingstone towards many more years of life, love, happiness and all that good stuff. 

Instead, looking back at the list reminds me that it's just been one more year. One more brick in the road. Infected just reminds me that at 51 I'm no better than I was at 50 and possibly even worse. 

Are year ago at this time I had just found out that I had to be on dialysis and that three times a week I would be committed to the procedures required with dialysis. But like everything else I put it up as another challenge in my life just had to be done. But it hasn't been easy. At least but after January came around and I developed diverticulitis. After a few days and St. Francis hospital I was then transferred to the Grove nursing home where basically I was left alone to develop an abscess and colon dissection, due to their inibility to care properly withhaving to take care of a Peritoneal cavity. 

So I ended up in major surgery at Evanston Hospital repairing the abscess that opened up my colon. 

4 months of rehab, along with 8 weeks of waiting, my colon is still not strong enough to work normally and the reversal surgery I just went thru is not enough to make me whole again. G0d knows if this next surgery in eight weeks will be the one to make all better. All I know is that I feel gypped overwhelmed exhausted and depressed. This is.the way I wanted to go through my 51st year, but is becoming more and more the norm.

at 52 or thoughts and be going on with my new life meeting people and putting the darkness behind me but 51 is not done his part to get me there yet. I just hope it does. Because I'm really tired of getting my hopes up only to once again Having them grabbed out from my face. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Night Before

I am scheduled for surgery Thursday to reattach my colon to my bowels. As embarrassing as it sounds, I have been forced to wear a colostomy bag for the past 9 months, ever since I developed an abscess in my intestines that led to toxins escaping into my body. After immediate emergency surgery, the surgeon unattached the bowels and cut off a short amount of my intestines. Following surgery, I then spent a few months in a nursing home to rehabilitate not only my stomach issues, but also the damage done from being in a coma a short time.

So now, after 9 months of allowing my colon and intestines to heal, I'm finally at the point of having the whole thing put back the right way. Ideally, hoping there are no complications, I should spend about a week in the hospital recovering. Also, I will be able to "do my business" the old fashion way (on a toilet seat). That alone is something to look forward to!

As the night before surgery draws near, there are a couple of issues that are rolling in my brain. To start with, I'd like to say something about Tony Romo and my beloved Dallas Cowboys. I have watched them when they were considered "Next Years' Champions" back in the late 60s, to Super Bowl mainstay in the 70s, to 3-time bridesmaids in the 80s, to the worst in the late 80s to the absolute best in the mid 90s. Since then, I have stayed strong even though the team has two playoff victories in 17 years, along with constant heartache and what ifs.

But I have to tell you that regardless if Tony Romo wins a championship, he has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest individual players this team has ever suited up. Yes, you can say he choked the last play. But in watching it over and over and over again, what I saw was a quarterback trying to make a play, only to be tripped up as he let it go. Along the way, the Denver defensive back made an outstanding run on the ball for the pick.

But I ask you, where would the Dallas Cowboys have been had Tony Romo not played an almost perfect game? Likely, without Romo, Dallas looses the game 51-14 (at best). For the majority of the game Tony Romo was the lead dog in this contest and turnover or not, he showed why he belongs in the same conversation as players with far better pedigrees.

I'm now more optimistic about this season after that loss than I was after either of the team's wins. My prediction is they win the next four winnable games and then go into New Orleans at 7-3. I guess we shall see.


Let's talk politics for a moment. Clearly, at no point in my lifetime do I recall the two Parties so divided as they are now. And while the President likes to place all of this on the "extreme" Republicans, that simply doesn't fly with me. I have watched with intense scrutiny exactly how the President has used this crisis to punish his opposition, as well as his own constituents, in closing places (memorials, monuments) that do not need to be closed and frankly cost more to shutter than letting them stay open. He's put numerous business on the financial brink simply to inflict as much pain as possible to force the GOP to back down and give him all that he wants.

Watching his speech today, I realized how truly dishonest and demeaning he is and how he is willing to sabotage our credit and credit in order to crush the GOP. Yes, that is exactly what Obama is blaming the Republicans for doing. The difference is two-fold. Number one, he is lying. The GOP has sent numerous "clean bills" to the Senate floor that Harry Reid refuses to vote on (all we want or nothing). Secondly, as he President of the United States, he has tremendous power to wield to keep government running. But how can he negotiate a settlement with those he calls "terrorists", "arsonists" and "suicide bombers?" Especially given that he called a press conference today just to announce he was not going to negotiate??

That is not the behavior of the leader of the free world. It is the arrogance of a small, petty, petulant bully who is way over his head politically. To openly beg the Iranians to negotiate as friends, but refuse the GOP as the mortal enemy serves nothing but to further divide out nation.


Who the Hell is this idiot NYC is about to elect as Mayor? I realize Bloomberg is no conservative, but Di Blasio is no normal liberal, either. The closest leaning  I can find for him is Marxist/Communist. And you want him in charge of the greatest city in the World???

I'm sorry, I just don't get it,

Sunday, October 06, 2013

What's With All The Hate

I dropped my son off at his home the other day, after we had run some errands at the grocery store. Normally, I do these excursions myself while they are in school because they prefer to go straight home to play their video game du joir. But this time, Mendy decided he wanted to help me and come along. That was a big mitzvah because I needed help dropping off the laundry. Sadly, I'm still not strong enough to do that. Anyway, because I was coming from the Laundromat, when I pulled up in front of Mendy's street, I was across the street facing west. The apartment is on the south side of the street and to pull up in front means I have to turn around and park facing east.

Well, I saw the coast was clear, other than a small pick up truck all the way down the block at the stop sign. It was more than enough room to turn into a driveway and then back out into the street, As I made the turn into the driveway, I realized that the pick up driver floored his car and picked up his speed - supposedly to stop me from having the audacity to pull into an unused driveway. Even with his speeding so rapidly (I'd guess he was no driving 35-40 mph in a 20mph zone.The other thing I noticed was his angle. as if he were purposely aiming his car to smash mine.

Needless to say, this upset Mendy tremendously. As for a description of the guy, All I could tell is that he was either a light shade black person, or an Hispanic. His screaming at me was mostly in a mix between English, Spanish and many words even my 15 year  hasn't hear of.

The driver then slowed his vehicle to cover the driveway, so I couldn't get out. Thankfully, all he did was drive slowly and attempt to proof his man-unit is bigger than mine. Of course it could have been worse. It's entirely possibly that Mr. Macho Man carries heat and might have used it against me or my child. Perhaps he considered the possibility that I too have a weapon and unafraid to use it to protect my child.

Senor Loco slowly drove off feeling like the head honcho. Not sure why, but what ever masculinity he is over compensating for, I did pity him.

This, of course, leads me to the horrible event that took place a few days ago on NY's West Side Highway. For those of you would missed this gem the story is that a Asian man and his wife, along with their very young child were harassed by a large group of motorcyclists along the road. Once cornered in and forced to stop, the Asian man, fearing for his life, took off and ran over one of the bikes (with the driver, the same guy who initially cut in front of him and braked to make the SUV stop). Eventually, the gang caught up to him and began smashing in his windows. However, once again, the Asian driver was able to escape for a short time until traffic snarled him by the George Washington Bridge. At that point, the thugs were able to remove him physically from the SUV and began beating him senseless - in front of his wife and daughter.

Of course, once the police finally arrived, no one saw or heard anything. The wife of the cyclist who was a prime instigator (the one who was run over) is of course suing the SUV driver for running over her oh-so-innocent husband. But the report yesterday, that 5 of the thugs were actually off-duty cops, sent shivers up my spine.

This incident, along with the seemingly increasing numbers of black on white crime in the past few years can be blamed on a number of issues; economics, destruction of the black family unit, gang involvement, poor schooling...

But one place it should also be blamed is on the White House. Since taking the reigns of government in 2008, race relations in America have become a joke. What was supposed to usher in a post-racial era in America has turned into a grievance mongering society. Instead of seeing the election of the first Black President as a springboard for a colorblind society, has instead been manifested into an "it's our turn now" attitude, where Blacks feel empowered and righteous in exacting revenge against Whites. All while the government looks the other way.

Anger in the inner cities have been growing since the election of Barack Obama. I do not believe it's because the Black community wishes to exact revenge. Instead, I believe that since the election, Black unemployment and disillusionment have driven inner city Blacks to become more angry.

Electing a Black man as President was certainly historic and cause to celebrate. Unfortunately, the particular person that was elected is an incompetent, narcissistic bully who has set race relations back 40 years. The anger will only fester worse as his Presidency continues. America best hope that the damage this President has done to both White and Black America can be corrected before another Civil War breaks out.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

RIP 2013 Texas Rangers

Another baseball season come and gone. Another Texas Rangers season without a championship (42 seasons and counting).

And a lot like the other seasons, disappointment at the end. 3 years ago it ended in the World Series. Two years ago it ended one strike short. Last year it ended after a loss in the one-game wild-card game. This year didn't even make it as far.

So what now?

After 39 years of utter futility and some of the worst baseball ever played the Rangers seemingly were poised to become a dynasty. Following a 5 year plan, devised my General Manager Jon Daniels, this was to be the culmination of brilliant organizational work, headed by the always impressive Nolan Ryan.

So what went wrong?

Some will use the excuse that injuries, seemingly non-existent for the past few years, finally caught up with the team. At one point, four-fifths of the assumed starting rotation was on the disabled list. Some of the injuries (especially to the numbers one and two starters) were early season ending.

But that doesn't jive when you realize it was the pitching that kept them afloat most of the year. In fact, the Ranges had their best starters ERA in many years. Add the terrific job done by the bullpen and you'd have to admit the pitching was the highlight of the year.

Some will blame it on Nelson Cruz' 50-game suspension. But they were struggling on offense long before game 112.

Some will blame it on the loss of Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young. But when you add their numbers to the what the replacements did, it's basically a wash.

I look at the season a different way. Texas feasted against two teams - Los Angeles and Houston. In games against these two teams, Texas was 32-6 (.842)! Add Seattle to the mix and they were still a very impressive 34-13.

But against everyone else? 57-58. Basically, a .500 team. Average. Yes, good teams are supposed to beat inferior teams. But the numbers for Texas against LA, Houston and Seattle speak of a team that only beat the bottom feeders. And truthfully, there is enough blame to go around. The offense, which not only didn't hit well with runners in scoring position, but also had no idea if they were a power team, a running team or pitching team.

Too many times the players acted as if they were trying to do too much and too hard. Frustration set in and that led to some very ugly losing streaks. But when they put it all together they were unstoppable. Sadly, that was only against those bottom feeders. Even the last gasp, seven game winning streak that got them a one game tie-breaker was built against Houston and Los Angeles.

So where to they go from here?

Clearly, Daniels and Ryan have a lot of decisions to make. Because they are committed to Ron Washington for another season, nothing will change at top. But changes must be made. I do not envy the front office for what will be the most tumultuous off season in 4 years. But the direction they go here will effect the franchise for many years forward. Most of all, the personality of the dugout needs to change. The team is not good enough as built. The sooner the organization acknowledges the sooner they can correct it.

Now is not the time for specifics, simply because losing stings too much. But there are obvious holes that need addressing, no matter how much I may like a particular player.

It will be an interesting off season. It's just too bad it hand to start so soon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Matter of Trust

When it all comes down to it, who do you trust? Do we, as Americans, owe the office of the President our blind trust in settling the Syrian issue? Or do we take a look at this President's history and recognize there has been nothing he has ever done to warrant trust? In his remarks last night, the President spoke with a certain toughness reserved for heads of state. But in those same remarks, he showed tremendous contempt, not just to the people on the right (which has long been his want to do), but also to his supporters on the left (for a more in-depth analysis of the speech, click here.)

Sadly, our President - in his own need for hubris - made statements last year warning Syria that the use of chemical weapons would cross "his" (he said it in the 1st person) red line. So now that the dog caught the bumper, what now? Assad supposedly used the chemicals on his own people and now the world waits as Obama does something. So far, all he's done is preen, warn and acquiescence. In addition, he consistently contradicted himself, as well as sending Secretary of State Kerry to say one thing while undermining the Secretary the next.

What all of this leads to is a deep mistrust of the Commander-In-Chief. Left-wing television news will scream from the rafters that GOP opposition to a Syrian attack is hypocritical and an attempt to put party over the country. After all, when Bush went to war in Iraq the right supported him overwhelmingly. Of course, Democrats, such as Hillary Clinton and John Kerry also voted to authorize military intervention, before they changed their minds in order to defeat Bush in the next election.

But there is an enormous difference between Bush and Iraq and Obama and Syria. For one thing, the country was still reeling from 9/11 and were ready to attack any terrorist hideout. In addition, 14 times the UN Security Council voted to use force and always backed down. Hussein knew he had little to fear from the UN's sternly written letters and simply refused to cooperate with UN inspectors. For the UN to save face and to be taken seriously, Bush put together a coalition of over 30 countries who eventually fought with the US.

Today, Kerry claims there are countries willing to join a coalition, but has not been able to name a single one. The country is weary from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but only because when the Democrats won in '08 American goals changed from victory to "get the Hell out." Obama did not leave in place American boots who could have not only kept the peace, but to impress upon the opposition that American might is still around. Once Obama took tail and left, it became open season on any and all of our regional allies. And the same was done in Afghanistan.

Do we trust Obama because he killed Bin Laden? Kudos for making the call that anyone with half a brain would have made. Why he had to sleep on it, thereby jeopardizing not only the mission but the entire Seal team, is still an unanswered question.

How seriously can we trust him when he still hasn't come clean about Benghazi? How can we trust him when he supported (and still supports) the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt? How about his decision not to help the Green revolution in Iran, following their rigged elections?

It seems whatever happens, Obama chooses the wrong side, or the wrong course of action. Yes, whoever deployed the chemical weapons did cross a red line. But we only have Obama and Kerry's words that say it was done by Assad. There is reason to suspect that the rebels set off the chemicals in order to blame the regime.

And now, in his latest grand plan, he feels he can trust the Russians in securing and disposing these chemicals in the middle of a freaking civil war! Who, exactly, is going to enter the country, find these weapons and then remove them? Obama and Kerry have both sworn that no American boots will be on the ground. Does he really trust the Russians will do it? Assad's main supporter is Putin. What would make Obama believe Putin has American (or world) interest in weakening Assad? It simply makes no sense.

Obama is hoping Putin can save his butt. But there is nothing Obama can do at this point that will leave him looking anything but weak. As we speak, Russian and Chinese fighting ships patrol the Mediterranean and Iran is starting to squeak. Hezbollah has thousands of rockets aimed at Israel, waiting for an excuse to get their 72 virgins. Does Obama realize that if he starts a war, it affects others besides himself? Do you trust that?

I'm a conservative and after watching what Israel has gone through for the past 70 years, I am very convinced there is evil in the world. In addition, the United States is the sole nation that has the capacity to keep the worst from happening. Sadly, under this President, much of the reputation the US has earned has been squandered, bit by bit. The war in Syria is a direct result of the capitulating speech Obama made in Cairo. And the standoff with the Russians is a direct result of Obama's "reset" button that undermined our allies in Poland and eastern Europe. Obama's ego and naiveté have put this country on the brink of the worst happening.

Just because I'm a conservative, I don't believe in using our might unless it is for strategic needs for our home security, or the security of our allies. Obama should be ashamed of himself for assuming that we are simple warmongers because we supported President Bush in Iraq. When the Iraq war was not going well, we supported the surge that worked wonderfully. But all that was gained was lost when Obama came to power. How can you trust Obama to make the right decision now?

This situation in Syria is wildly erratic and unstable. Conservatives want to find the solution that settles the region, while keeping American interests safe. If we thought war was the way to do it, perhaps the right would support it. But as long as Obama is President, we simply do not trust him to make the right decisions. This has nothing to do with his color and really has nothing to do with his liberalism (not directly, anyway). And if we don't believe in him, you can be downright certain that Iran thinks little of him as well. And as bad as the situation is in Syria, it's infinitely more dire in Tehran, where nuclear weapons are being developed.

It's just a matter of trust.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Of Red Lines and War

I purposely have not written much about the goings on in Syria for two very valid (in my mind) reasons. Reason #1 is that as a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, I felt that it would be hard to be taken seriously, as if I have an axe to grind against Assad and his government.

The second reason is because I truly wanted to stay neutral until I better understood exactly what the heck was going on out there. You see it would be very easy to have a knee-jerk reaction against the President and blame incompetency on his part for what could be the start of a much larger Middle East war. Regardless, after all has been said and done so far, my biggest conclusion is that I do not envy the corner he has painted himself in.

Let's look at the latest pronouncements from Mr. Obama; for one thing, he has tried to move the infamous "red line" from his red line to the "world's red line." That may work among his sycophants on the far left, but aside from the bozos at MSNBC, no one is buying it - and it is an embarrassment world wide. The sad thing is it was something he should have said originally (that it is the world's red line). But with an election coming up and Obama desperate to look tough against his GOP challenger, it was par for the course for Obama to make such pronouncements. After all, this came off the heels of Obama ordering the hit on Bin Ladin. Granted, even that was wrought with indecision and unneeded drama. But the reality was he was the President of who got him.

If there was any particular time Obama could threaten with a "red line" it was at that time a year ago. Although most clear thinking Americans roll their eyes at the idea of Obama's toughness, most of us did give him credit (although more credit went to the Navy Seals) for the hit. But now that the election is long over, these words have come back to haunt him. And the reason why is because in 2012 they were "just words."

In 2008, during the election cycle, President Obama made a famous speech where he condemned a verbal attack by Hillary Clinton. In her remarks, she criticized Senator Obama as a man of just words and no substance (how right she was!). In his rebuttal, Obama said the following:
“Don’t tell me that words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream.’ Just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ Just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words. Just speeches. It’s true that speeches don’t solve all problems, but what is also true is that if we can’t inspire the country to believe again, then it doesn’t matter how many plans and policies we have.
These remarks became known as his "just words" speech and because of of his eloquence, as well the mainstream press not interested in looking into his history and instead swallowing each word as if it were gospel, Obama was able to deflect any questions of his (lack of) substance.

Sadly, as it has turned out, Hillary Clinton was right. Time after time the President has made speeches that have proven him to be a man of great oratory, with little or nothing to back it up. Now, after 5 years in office, the President's chickens are coming home to roost. After 5 years of talking tough and expressing beliefs he really just doesn't have, he's painted himself in a corner on the word stage and because of his lack of substance hasn't a clue how to get out of it.

The way it has turned out today, Obama has 3 choices; One - if Congress gives him to okay to attack, do so. If it goes poorly, blame the GOP for forcing his hand. How can he do that, after it was his own words that started it? Easy, Obama has already changed the vernacular to say that it is the "world's red line" and the MSM is only slightly calling him on it. By the time any and all aggression has ended, the press will scrub Obama's "red line" quote to protect his legacy.

Choice #2 - Congress says no. Obama will most likely use that excuse to not attack and once again blame the GOP - calling them hypocrites for approving Bush's war in Iraq - although we are comparing apples to oranges.

Choice #3 - Congress says no but Obama goes ahead with it anyway. In this scenario, the President pulls a Bill Clinton and fires a few tomahawk missiles into the desert, perhaps killing a few civilians, but generally doing nothing to making a difference. In this case, it will make the President look even more foolish and weak.

The big problem Obama has is his credibility gap. Aside from his friends in the media, no one trusts him to do what's right. Instead of "rebuilding broken alliances" that weren't all that broken in the first place (after all, Bush managed to create a 50-country "coalition of the willing" for war with Iraq), Obama has turned us into a disrespected laughingstock on the world stage. We've made countless enemies of the very people we should be helping. And now, after 5 years, Obama'a words have never had any real meaning. Certainly he has had his opportunities to back up his lofty rhetoric. But he has not be able because there is no substance or meaning to what he says.

His first opportunity was with the Green Revolution in Iran. if only he meant what he said, in regards to supporting freedom and supported the revolution, our reputation would have soared and Iran would know we were not to be trifled with. The situation there was so volatile that it was indeed possible for the Khomenei regime to have been overthrown and Iran returned to it's moderate standing. But Obama dithered, feeling his personality and words would win the day and mollify the Mullahs.

In Egypt he immediately called for the removal of Mubarak, even though the only possible outcome at that time would be for the Muslim Brotherhood to fill the void. And to this day, he supports the MB blindly against the wishes of the vast majority of non-Jihadists in the region. Obama's MB support simply makes no sense when considering how they treat their citizens, especially Christians.

The same pretty much could be said with regard to Libya, even though Khaddafi not only gave up his cache of WMDs, but also posed no immediate threat to the US. Still, Obama went after him in order to install an even more extreme, MB-aligned government.

So now it's Syria's turn and this country is tired of it. We do not trust Obama's words any longer. If this were still President Bush, it's likely he would be able to convince the American people of the reason going into Syria is right. Because deep down, if it's try Assad gassed his own people, the world should see to it that Assad losses the ability to be on the word stage. It should a be personal and quick and something that warns others of the consequences of using such weapons.

But Obama no longer has credibility. His words are meaningless and no one is buying them. If Congress does not give him authority, what then? My guess is he goes the Clinton route and lobs a few missiles their way. Just enough to make some noise, but not enough to pull Russia in. It will be a big waste of time and money, will do nothing to prevent WMD use again and will be praised by the administration and MSNBC for his boldness.

Regardless of what the President ultimately does, this episode has greatly weakened him. There are still a myriad of scandals and issues that must be dealt with back home. How will this issue with Syria affect his governing domestically? I'm almost afraid to ask.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Isn't It Obvious?

I don't know why the obvious hasn't been spelled out. By punting his decision to Congress, President Obama is setting up the Republicans to take the blame whatever is decided. If Congress, which is in the hands of the GOP, votes to attack, he will lay the blame for whatever goes wrong on the Republican congress. If Congress gives the red light, Obama can lay claim that he wanted to attack but the GOP controlled congress said no.

Of course, that will manifest into further proof that the GOP cares more for it's hatred of the Black President than it does for the safety of the country,

By waiting a week/ten days, the memory of wait Assad did will fade among the low-info voters and Obama will be made to look decisive by his sycophants in the media.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

2013 NFL Peerless Predictions

And so we begin a new NFL season in just a few days. Although I skipped doing this last year (health reasons), I wanted to start it up once again. With the help of my son, Mayer, here are my 2013 NFL predictions:

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys.................................10-6
NY Giants...........................................9-7
Washington Redskins...........................7-9
Philadelphia Eagles..............................6-10

NFC North
Green Bay Packers...............................11-5
Chicago Bears......................................9-7
Detroit Lions........................................6-10
Minnesota Vikings................................5-11

NFC South
New Orleans Saints................................11-5
Atlanta Falcons......................................10-6*
Tampa Bay Bucs.....................................7-9
Carolina Panthers....................................6-10

NFC West
Seattle Seahawks....................................11-5
San Francisco 49ers................................10-6*
St. Louis Rams.......................................6-10
Arizona Cardinals....................................5-11

AFC East
New England Patriots...............................12-4
Miami Dolphins.........................................8-8
Buffalo Bills.............................................6-10
NY Jets....................................................4-12

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens.......................................11-5
Cincinnati Bengals.....................................10-6*
Pittsburgh Steelers......................................9-7
Cleveland Browns.......................................6-10

AFC South
Houston Texans...........................................11-5
Indianapolis Colts..........................................9-7*
Tennessee Titans..........................................7-9
Jacksonville Jaguars.....................................4-12

AFC West
Denver Broncos............................................12-4
Kansas City Chiefs.........................................9-7
San Diego Chargers........................................7-9
Oakland Raiders............................................4-12

NFC Wild Card Game: San Francisco over Dallas
NFC Wild Card Game: Seattle over Atlanta
AFC Wild Card Game: Baltimore over Indianapolis
AFC Wild Card Game: Houston over Cincinnati

NFC Divisional Game: New Orleans over San Francisco
NFC Divisional Game: Green Bay over Seattle
AFC Divisional Game: Denver over Baltimore
AFC Divisional Game: New England over Houston

NFC Championship Game: New Orleans over Green Bay
AFC Championship Game: Denver over New England


In his defense, Mayer feels it will be Seattle in the NFC, instead of New Orleans. We shall see. Go Cowboys!

Monday, August 05, 2013

What's So Hard To Understand?

Let's take a look at the big new stories of late and see if we sense a pattern emerging.

Bengahzi - Our President has recently included the attacks on 9/11/12 as another "phony" scandal. Even though 4 of our finest, including the President's own personal representative, Ambassador Stevens, were murdered that night. But if it was a "phony" scandal,  why did Ambassador Susan Rice announce at the United Nations (and then through the Sunday morning TV news lineup) that this was all a big misunderstanding over a You Tube video.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even consoled the families of the slain soldiers that she personally will get to the bottom of these videos and bring those responsible to justice. Even though we now all know that the video had absolutely nothing at all to do with the attacks that night, the irony is the only person being incarcerated is the guy who shot the stupid video. First amendment rights immediately would be at play here. Except our esteemed justice department arrested him for violating his probation. But so far, not one of the real players have been even approached, much less be arrested.

The big questions don't just stop there. In fact, there have been so many twists and turns that the white House is forced to relocated CIA officials who apparently were there and given regular polygraph exams to keep them silent. Even the Congress can not get the White House to follow any sense protocol in reporting to the House. Of course, as long as the head Republican, Boener is in charge, expect capitulation and back-room (read: Illegal) deals.

But even more complicit in whatever cover-up is being foisted on the American people is the mainstream press, where nary a discouraging word is uttered by the major news outlets. You see, in the America of today, far more attention has been given to the Royal baby, to Alex Rodriguez and to some idiot football player who used the N-word while drunk. Suddenly, no one is watching the White House and no one cares about the finding that there were hundreds of CIA operatives on the ground that night it Benghazi.

As for the media, they are all caught up accusing Republicans of somehow destroying Detroit by by having absolutely no involvement in the city government for over 50 years.

As for Detroit, what's so hard to understand? The city thrived and rested on their good fortunes. Three things combined to turn Detroit into the cesspool it is today. Arrogantly believing that they could produce inferior products without worrying about competition from Asia. But when unions workers were making twice as much as their non-union competition, they could no longer compete on the same level. Before you knew it, more foreign cars were filling up the parking lots around the Ford Motor Company, than domestic.

The second item to kill Detroit was the public sector unions. Once the people realized they could raise taxes to cover the costs of outrageous pensions. Basically borrowing today to pay for everyone's tomorrow. What then soon happened was written in walls. Businesses started fleeing the city in droves to avoid paying higher and higher taxes. This led to point #3 and Mayor Coleman. While Detroit was still salvageable, rather than embrace the suburbs as an extension of the far more cosmopolitan city, he forged battles along racial lines. The animosity between the Mayor and the suburban became such a point of contention that when the city of Pontiac built the Silverdome, legend has it Young threatened to pull the name "Detroit" unless "fees were paid."

Slowly, the white flight out of Detroit picked up steam. As successful businesses moved north of 8 Mile, there was nothing left to replace it. So more tax revenue left the city. What replaced it was government jobs. But the pool of money to pay these workers was getting thinner and thinner. In addition, for the past 30 years, the Detroit School System had been at best a failure of epic proportions. Attendance in some classes was less than 10%. The gangsta culture was far more tempting and as the urban family units began to crumble, more and more teenagers turned to the only place they could to hit it big - drugs and violence. Going back to school was way uncool. Sadly, this lack of a discernable education permeates through even the adult population of Detroit, where unbelievably, The president of the Detroit school board, Otis Mathis is a functioning illiterate.

When you combine these issues - corrupt cronyism, lackluster product, obscenely high taxation and reverse discrimination, you have a recipe for disaster. No one can honestly say they didn't see it coming. And no one wants to be the one to pull the plug. Unfortunately, we are cursed with weak leaders with are more concerned with how things appear over how they can be fixed.

Of course, the same can be said for the Benghazi scandal. Hillary Clinton said it best when she proclaimed "What difference does it make?" As far as our "leaders" are concerned, the only thing that matters is perception. How can we place the blame of those damn Republicans? How can we blame some obscure video? What difference does any of it make? After all American voters are far more interested in the royal baby, or some what guy using a word that many people find offensive. If offense is the reason to destroy someone for using a word, I can come up with a whole bunch of words that insult me pretty badly, too.

And you know what? I am willing to bet that more than 80% of the people who heard that word could basically care less. But in order to appear insulted or damaged they gave the impression that it the main thing. There was a time not to long ago where the mantra was "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I wonder who it was who won the first law suit because they got hurt by words?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Getting by

Many of you who come across my blog do so because they know me (whether thru Facebook or genuine old friends). But over the course of the 9 years I've had this blog many have wandered across my small slice of the Internet by accident. Perhaps they were looking for a politically conservative viewpoint by someone who really does try to be even handed. Or perhaps they came here looking for information about organ transplantation. I do know that many came to my blog through my transplant story.

It isn't often I talk about my own personal life because I figure it isn't why you are here. Yeah, I do remind folks about the fact I've had a heart transplant and occasionally I have written updates about my health. But for the most part, I leave that to Facebook and my closer inner circle. But to be honest, I get tired of hearing about it also. 

Without question, I have cause and reason to be angry and frustrated. Yes, I realize there are those who have it far worse than I. But I also know there are far more who couldn't function if they had just one of the ailments I seem to attract. Sure, people around 40 years old have heart attacks - and many die from it. Sure, many people have bypass surgery - and again, many do not survive. How about a stroke to go along with that? Ok, so I had a bit of bad luck by having both a heart attack (massive, mind you) and a stroke, which left me in a coma for a month, with torturous dreams I still relive.

I have no doubt that many people have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to mostly overcome my PTSD, although it took 2 years and cost me my marriage. And you know what? I stayed stable for a few years. Oh sure, I was warned my kidneys would eventually be a problem. But I suffered the worst, right? I mean, how bad could it be going forward?

Sadly, I found out the answer this past year. It started last May, when my back suddenly gave out on me and I fell down the stairs. I had lower back surgery in 2000 and figured I was done with that issue. But it seems my back had other ideas. Ironically, this was the same time that I needed to have my knee replaced. After years of abuse, with a number of minor, arthroscopic surgeries under my belt, there was no longer anything the surgeon could do that would allow me to walk (other than total knee replacement). So I had that done. But since my back was a major issue, my rehab from the knee surgery was less than successful - and now, more than a year later, I still walk with a bad limp and swelling in my knee. It's just my luck that my back would give right when I was healing my knee.

But I got past that and seemed to stabilize. Of course, that was until October, which is when my kidneys went kaput. Immediately, my life was turned upside down with having to face a lifetime of dialysis. And then one thing led to another and I found myself back in the hospital with clots in my lungs. At the same time, since I was already in the hospital, my doctor recommended I have a peritoneal catheter put in my abdomen so I can do dialysis at night (on my own). Although I wasn't yet certain I wanted to go that route, the surgeon implanted the catheter anyway - forcing me to decide to go that route.

What I wasn't told in advance was how involved peritoneal dialysis was and how even the slightest mistake can cause a heap of trouble. But I was stuck with it, so I went through the training, which scared the daylights out of me. I finally decided, after 2 weeks of training, that this was not the type of dialysis I wanted to do. The amount of time and care necessary to keep every sterile was overwhelming - especially to someone like me - someone who is now mostly bedridden due to my back and blood clots (the blood thinners causing tremendous bruising and pain).

But before I had a chance to do anything about it, I got really sick with Diverticulitis. It isn't uncommon for someone my age. But again, it just adds to the health issues I've had over and over again. This time I ended up in a bad hospital. This place was awful and one thing I noticed was that they had no clue how to take care of a peritoneal catheter. My problem was that the diverticulitis was causing me significant discomfort and I really was in no position to take care of myself.

But still, even though I was feeling sick and unable to eat anything, they transferred me to a nursing home, which had even less knowledge about taking care of me. Before the end of the next week, I was back in the hospital (a better one) with a colon dissection and abscess that, by all accounts (considering that I take immunosuppressents) should have killed me. How I survived, with the toxins spilling out of my colon and bowels, is still a mystery.

I fell into another coma and eventually healed enough to go to a nursing home. As it turned out, besides the abscess, I ended up with Peritonitis, which is an infection of the peritoneal cavity - exactly what I was warn against. Thankfully, the surgeon this time removed the catheter. So now I'm on regular hemodialysis.

I came home in May to recover and slowly get my life back in order. Because of the colon dissection, I am forced still to use a colostomy bag. At least until my colon reattached to my bowels, I refrain from going out socially. Perhaps it's an emotional response. But I just don't feel very social while pooping into a bag. So when will this surgery take place? It was supposed to be already. But I once again developed blood clots in my lungs. So that is causing a delay until I'm no longer on blood thinners. 

So now I spend my days either at dialysis (3 days a week), which by its nature wipes me out. Or I'm home resting. My back is still a major stress, as is gout (which can not be treated due to my kidney disease). I'm in constant pain and am actually wearing a Fentanyl patch, along with a regular prescription for Dilauded and Norco. The medications tire me out, as well as hamper my moods. I'm often depressed, or just apathetic - and those who know me know I'm usually a positive guy.

I hate feeling like this and sadly I don't know what else I can do but go on day to day and hope for a good one. I'm often very low on money, which is why I have a GoFundMe link in the links section above.

Perhaps writing this out is therapy and it does help to verbalize what I'm feeling. Again, it isn't that I'm so special, or that others don't have their own problems. I just often feel like a bad news buffet lately where I get knocked down at every turn and simply haven't the strength to get up any longer.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I haven't written anything lately due to frustration. I'm frustrated with the dismissiveness that our President has for anything important, I'm frustrated by the lack of interest our media has (unless it's some useless former congressman's twitter pics), I'm frustrated by John Kerry's wasteful trips to the Middle East, to once again force Israel to capitulate to a supposed peace partner that wants me dead.

I'm frustrated by a great many things lately. I'm over-frustrated by my constant body aches and gout. I'm tired of dialysis and the fact I hurt after 3 hours on the chair. I'm frustrated with having to count every penny spent to make sure I don't overdraft my account. And I'm frustrated that I still have to wear this horrible colostomy bag for as long as I'm on blood thinners (which make me bruise, causing more aches and pains).

Until yesterday I was very frustrated at my favorite baseball team (the Texas Rangers). But they finally won last night and are winning tonight. Still, they blew a 10 game lead and are ow 6 games behind Oakland - a team that seemingly can't lose.

All in all, I'm dealing with a great deal - whether it be physically, financially, socially or politically. Sometimes it helps to write about it and sometimes it just leaves me raw. After 50 years on this earth nothing seems to make a lot of sense and things that I used to rely on just aren't working out the way I expected.

So that's why I've not written.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

What'cha going to do when the sun goes down tonight
You'll hit the same old clubs, rap that same old trash
That's right
You've got them real silk shirts and them baggy pants
Dago shoes in the colors that match
But the girls are acting bored
And you're feeling like you're going to lose
You've got the GQ blues

You get up every morning and you go to work each day
(you go to work, you go to work, you go to work)
Been doing the same damn job for ten long years this May
(you've got to work, you've got to work, you've got to work)
You've been working and saving for your Jamaican dream
Paradise is waiting across the sea
But when your plane lands Montego turns to monsoon
You've got the island blues

'cause, nothing ever goes as planned
It's a hell of a notion
Even pharaohs turn to sand
Like a drop in the ocean
You're so together and you act so civilized
But every time that things go wrong you're still surprised
You've done your duty, you've paid a fortune in dues
Still got those mother nature's blues

I strut around the stage like a little king tonight
They'll scream for every word and every note, that's right
But when the show is over and I'm all alone
Can't reach my baby on the telephone
And everywhere I look Mr. Loneliness is in the news
I've got the big star blues

Boy, nothing ever goes as planned
It's a hell of a notion
Even pharaohs turn to sand
Like a drop in the ocean
I'm so together and I act so civilized
But every time that things go wrong
I'm still surprised
I've done my duty and paid a fortune in dues
Still got them mother nature's blues

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Right or Wrong: Nobody Cares

In light of the Zimmerman acquittal, I have just one question; who cares?

Seriously, does it matter who won and who lost (aside from the defendant, of course)? The attorneys for the jury all agreed who should be there and they all agreed to abide by their decision. The prosecution and defense each brought acceptable witnesses and, as far as my knowledge, there were no causes to mistrial. The jury then deliberated and decided that George Zimmerman did, in fact, act in self-defense.

So then what happened? I'm glad you asked. Well, for one thing, the attorneys for the State continue to call Zimmerman a "murderer." Although I suppose they have a right to say whatever the hell they damn well please, it seems a bit of bad form to libel someone who was just proven not to be a cold-blooded killer. In addition, in the days following the verdict, there have been at least 4 instances (Oakland, Baltimore, central Mississippi and Los Angeles) where either a white man or a Mexican was attacked by a gang of black men, each calling it "revenge for Trayvon."

We also have the pundits, if they can be called that, on MSNBC who judged Zimmerman guilty before the blood was even dry. The worst being Al Sharpton, who himself has been looking for something to take people's minds of Freddie's Fashion Mart and Tawana Brawly. Sharpton started off by claiming immediately that it was a "travesty of justice" and that the jury - the one agreed upon by both sides - invalid and racially unacceptable. Of course, Sharpton must have been watching a different trial. He and Jesse Jackson both fumed that Trayvon Martin was denied a jury of "his peers." Perhaps it's Sharpton and Jackson's own experience of being the accused, but this trial wasn't about justice for Trayvon - it was about George Zimmerman. Having an all-Black jury (which is surely what the race-baitors wanted) would not have given Zimmerman a "jury of his peers."

Or maybe it would have? What difference does it make? If they are American, they are American. But places like MSNBC, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and all the other race-centric people can't see beyond color.

It is always a tragedy when a young person loses their life. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter that they victim was buying ingredients to make a potent drug, called "Lean" or "Sizzurp." To the average joe on the street, Trayvon was just a sweet kid who wanted a cool drink and a bag of candy. It didn't matter that he had marijuana in his system. Hell, it didn't even matter that Martin was smacking Zimmerman's head - repeated, mind you - on the concrete. Nope, to the average person, Martin was just an innocent Black child killed by Zimmerman in a fit of racial anger.

At least that's how the leftist lunatics at MSNBC are portraying it. Nothing - and this is a big word here - NOTHING else matters. That is why you have attacks, threatening tweets and in no doubt, murder on the hands of those who stir up this anger.

They say George Zimmerman is a free man. Well, as long as the New Black Panther racists, the Congressional Black Congress and race-baitors along the lines of Jackson and Sharpton continue to disregard the truth and reality, he is anything but free. Like Salman Rushdie, he will forever have to to hide from the lunatics who wish him dead. Not for the crime he committed, but for the crimes of the past. Reverend Jeremiah Wright was correct. Since we elected Barack Obama to prove we are not a nation of racists any longer, it seems the crimes of the past have come home to roost. It doesn't matter what happened that night in 2012. It never really did matter.

Nobody really cares.