Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What did she just say?

Sarah Palin is again spewing gobbledygook and, in so doing, giving gobbledygook everywhere a bad name. This woman is so shallow you couldn't even wade in her.

Does anyone seriously believe the Arizona immigration bill won't promote racial profiling? How could it do anything
but? It specifically targets people based on their looks, on their physical characteristics, on their race.

Does she really believe blond-haired, blue-eyed tourists will be asked to "show papers?" Of
course they won't. (And to allow police to be sued if they don't aggressively pursue the bill's intent is to force police to err on the side of profiling. I feel sorry for the police; they have a tough job that is made so much tougher by this foolish and knee-jerk legislation.)

Sarah Palin is a walking sound-bite, but this will come back to bite her as more and more sentient people come to realize she doesn't have anything close to a clue about pretty much anything.

Look, I'm not a Palin hater. I don't know the woman, so how could I hate someone I don't know? I don't hate anyone. But what I
do know is that based on her own words, she continues to show herself as woefully ignorant and criminally stupid, and she continues to set herself up for derision and ridicule.

Run Sarah run. Please! You'll run the Republican Party and the Tea Party into the ground.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Civet poo coffee... no, really...

I'm often amazed that we've survived as a species as long as we have, especially when I read stuff like this.

I love coffee. I prefer Peet's Coffee, have been drinking their blends for over 20 years, and during this time have probably tried everything they sell. I even lived near a Peet's Coffee Shop for a while in California.

But I can assure you if I see Peet's Civet Coffee appear in their emailed new coffees list, I won't be trying it anytime soon. Yuck.

Look. I'm nowhere near a picky eater; I've even tried
Durian, which is perhaps the nastiest smelling "fruit" in the world. But even Durian doesn't drop from a Civet's derriere.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hey Jim Nantz, settle down!

Jim Nantz's overwhelming tendency to be a pompously pontificating prig and a bloviating blowhard was in full view yesterday when he blasted on Tiger Woods for offensive language at The Masters tournament. Agreed. Tiger needs to walk it like he talks it. Mr. Nantz said some things that I think were right on the mark.

But two things, Jim: first, you're a TV talking head so who gives a flying flip at a rolling doughnut about anything you might happen to say? Second, admit it, you're in the tank for Lefty and you always have been. Moreover, it was obvious you and CBS saw as the better story for the weekend -- and CBS always has to have a storyline -- the "Phil Good - Tiger Evil" scenario and you all ran with it.

Above all, though, get some freaking perspective.

Sure, The Masters is a wonderful event. There's no denying this. But let's not forget that its very name suggests a throwback to the antebellum South, which was a perception reinforced until 1990 when the Augusta National Golf Club finally admitted an African-American member.

"Masters" of golf certainly, but of what and of who else?

Further, admit that this godfather of all modern-day good old boys clubs is
still practicing membership apartheid against women.

So the glass house in which the Augusta National membership still lives -- and where you sit for four days a year representing their image, Jim -- is just as susceptible to thrown stones as any. Get some perspective and leave the stones on the ground where they belong. And let's not even mention your well-rehearsed and tired tournament-closing tag lines every year or your cliche-ridden reportage overall.

You really should take a hint from your good pal Fred Couples on patience, acceptance, class, and deportment.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Funny words...

Just read a couple of funny words:
  • Paliban, for followers of Sarah Palin and her politics, and
  • Teahadists, for followers of Tea Party politics.
Wish I knew who coined these; I'd credit them here.

Stepping up with sports cliches

If you've ever listened to 20 minutes of ESPN, 20 minutes of any football game, or even 10 minutes of The Golf Channel, you've heard dozens if not scores of sports cliches.

Perhaps the most common of these is the word "hey," which is used to begin paraphrased or quoted comments from athletes or sports figures, as in,"He said to me, 'Hey, it's up to you to perform.'"

Also, athletes like to "dig deep." Apparently they can't dig shallowly and expect to compete and win.

Another common
cliche is "I mean," which is also a sentence starter or phrase starter. It's become more of a fall-back phrase as well, similar to "you know." The LPGA's Michelle Wie, as an example -- and nowhere near a unique one -- uses "I mean" a great deal. Rather than saying "I mean," just say what you mean to say and trust this will suffice.

"Much maligned" is another popular
cliche. No one says "often criticized" or "frequently castigated." Rather, you usually hear the alliterative "much maligned," which seems to be the "overwhelming favorite," another cliche phrase you hear quite often.

"Step up" is being used increasingly more frequently, bordering on constantly. This term generally refers to an athlete needing to perform above a usual level in a tight situation. To "step up" one's game seems the most common context, with the phrase "step your game up" falling out of the Snoop Dog song "Step Yo Game Up." (No point in worrying about the dangling preposition.)

Frank Gifford, formerly a color commentator on Monday Night Football (MNF) and one of my favorites, was responsible for so many sports cliches, but the one that sticks in my mind most is "good quickness," which is used to this day. It's an odd expression because the qualifying adjective "good" implies that the opposite might exist: that is, someone might have "bad quickness," quickness that might imply evildoing or wrongdoing. To my mind, quickness in any athlete is a good thing all round. Now you hear "great quickness" as well; apparently this is quickness that has over-achieved.

Although not unique to sportscasters, another sports cliche is the segue, which some talking heads use to distraction, such as Kraig Kinn on The Golf Channel. Mr. Kinn can't put three sentences together without a segue between two of them. It's like an addiction: he can't help himself. But he's not alone in this affliction and, to be fair, I'm sure most Broadcasting 101 courses teach the segue as a valid tool. (And speaking of this, "101" has become a cliche as well.)

Another concept, similar to the segue, that has become a cliche is stating the obvious, which you hear all the time during pre-game shows. The most common example of stating the obvious comes in response to a question about what a team needs to do to win: "They have to put lots of points on the board and keep the other team out of the end zone." Really? You're being paid a great deal of money to be on the pre-game show: this is the best you can do? Perhaps you should pick up the phone and let the coach know this gem.

A term you'll commonly hear from golf commentators is "putting on a clinic," as in "He's certainly giving us all a putting clinic today." But it's not limited to golf: certainly the Sixer's Dr. J put on clinics all the time.

When describing some trend in an athlete's recent performance or reputation, "of late" (a favorite of The Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman, along with "much maligned") is regularly used, as in "He's been driving the ball well of late" or "Her game has been resurgent of late."
(And why do you hear "resurgent" far more than "coming back," "revived," or "rejuvenated?" Hmmm...)

Along with the $2-word resurgent, "adversity" is another cliche you hear regularly. Athletes love to talk about "facing adversity" or "handling adversity." It would appear the words "misfortune" and "difficulty" are insufficient, as if something bad, wrong, difficult, unfortunate, or challenging can only be "adverse."

"Dig deep" is used often as well: it indicates an athlete's need to call on inner resources of speed or strength or willpower.

"At the end of the day" has become so common that you'll hear both interviewers
and interviewees saying it a couple of times in a single interview. "When all is said and done" is a typical alternative. But at the end of the day they're both cliches.

You can also get combinations of cliches, as in...
  • "He's stepped up his game of late,"
  • "At the end of the day she stepped up and dug deep in facing adversity."
  • "Her performance has been much maligned of late,"
  • "Hey, I mean we faced adversity and stepped up our game."
  • "I decided hey, I'll put on a clinic with my running game.
That's it for now, with more to come I'm sure.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tiger's Top 10 List

In another of my blog posts is a list of things I'll never say; one of these things should be, "Well now that you've asked me what I think Tiger should do to fix his career, here goes." But let's just assume for a moment that I have been asked the question and that I provide my answer in the form of...

The Top 10 Things Tiger Needs to Do
  1. Acknowledge your family publicly: if you're serious about improving your marriage and fixing what you broke, start with the occasional mention of your wife. Phil won for Amy and his mom and said so unabashedly; maybe you could dedicate a tournament to someone...?
  2. Improve your on-course interactions with the fans: enough of the "I'm at work" thing; reaching out and signing autographs will help you.
  3. Develop a better attitude toward golf-related questions: sure, many questions are stupid, but it's their job to ask them and part of your job to answer them.
  4. Show a little more humanity: stop acting like a robot and start acting like a person.
  5. Pitch fits after bad shots or don't pitch fits: pick one way; don't say you're not going to do something then do it anyway, and then get pissy when someone calls you on it.
  6. Play more during the year: you came in fourth by just practicing; how good would you be by actually playing? Duh.
  7. Smile more: really... would it kill you?
  8. Realize that cockiness is not endearing: it's what got you into trouble in the first place!
  9. Lose the sunglasses: this one speaks for itself.
  10. Seek better advice: if the release of the Nike commercial is exemplary of the advice you receive, you need new advisers now.

Tiger in 2010

Now that Tiger is back playing golf, now that most of the questions have been asked and answered, and now that his first tournament is done, I'd like to suggest that he's on the verge of playing some of the best golf of his life.

Ask yourself.. How good is he really if he can take almost 5 months off from competition and come in fourth on what is arguably one of the most difficult golf courses (and demanding tournaments) in the world with one of the deepest fields in the world? How close did he really come yesterday? How well could he do for the remainder of the year with more playing time?

But... the challenge for him in all this will be playing time. He might just target the majors in 2010; therefore, the layoffs between each tournament will not necessarily be as good for him as playing might be.

Either way, though, if you appreciate golf, this could be an exciting year. And with Anthony Kim finally playing to his potential, with Lee Westwood playing better than ever, and with Lefty back on track and pushing hard, it could be even better than that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Way to go Lefty!

Phil finally had the chance to finish The Masters going away instead of sweating a playoff or his last putt.

The impossible shot he hit between the trees on 13 to pin-high, 3-feet right, was simply astounding and, to me, the shot of the round (and perhaps his tournament). That he would even consider such a shot is why he's Phil the Thrill, and sure, had he missed it, the "experts" would be all over him still.

But he didn't miss it, and everyone who saw it had to ensure their dropped jaws were still attached.

What a great round of golf! Way to go Lefty!

A beautiful sight...

As a long-time 49er fan who had to suffer through several defeats at Texas Stadium in Irving, this is a beautiful sight.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mr. Segue...

Someone at the Golf Channel needs to tell Kraig Kann he doesn't have to make everything that happens or that someone says into a damn segue. It's really annoying.

Kraig, buddy, kut it out, for krying out loud.

"And loud is what the crowds at the Masters were as Saturday once again proved to be 'moving day'."

"Now we'll be moving back to Augusta where Rich Lerner is standing by with Tiger Woods, who spent much of the day hitting from the woods..."


Friday, April 9, 2010

Please run in 2012...

Dear Ms. Palin,

Please run for President of the United States in 2012. Please fight hard for the nomination; you won't be sorry. You'll be able to do so much good.

Think of it.

If you're nominated as a Republican, you'll lose, but you'll badly splinter the Republican Party, which will put it back decades -- the same party you threw under your book tour bus after the 2008 McCain campaign -- and you'll ensure the Tea Party becomes the new conservative standard bearer that completely alienates everyone but pissed-off white people, which will
consequently put the Tea Party -- and pissed-off white people-- back decades and cause all to become a laughing stock, a punch line, perhaps the entire joke itself.

Alternatively, if
you're nominated as a Tea Partier, again you'll lose, and you'll dilute the conservative/Republican vote -- as Nader did to the Dems in 2000 -- which will put the Republican Party and the Tea Party back decades and ensure the Tea Party becomes a laughing stock, a punch line, perhaps the entire joke itself.

But no worries: either way you can then simply jump on your tour bus again and bail out on the Tea Party -- just as you did with the Republicans and Alaska in 2009 -- and distance yourself from them by explaining what really happened during your campaign, just as you did in 2009. After all, who knows better than you that you're your own party?

So you see, Ms. Palin, even when you do lose -- and you will lose either way -- you'll really just be gaining everything that's truly important to you: the celebrity you crave more than air and all the wealth you and your family will ever need. And isn't this the American dream you keep talking about? You'll be able to retire comfortably out in the middle of nowhere; heck, you can even invite Michelle Bachmann, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck over for weekly free-range loon-fests and have someone ghost-write your quasi-factual memoir: maybe Laura Ingraham or Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin or... gulp... Liz Cheney.

And all the while, the nation you claim to serve so well will just continue to tear itself to pieces thanks to so many of your followers learning much from your special brand of near-blind narrow-mindedness, epic stupidity, bigoted devisiveness, and gob-smacking hate speech.

You can't lose, and we all love a can't-loser... er... winner, right. And God rest his soul, wouldn't Ronald Reagan just be so proud... m

So please, Ms. Palin, run for President of the United States in 2012.
Please. Even though practically everyone else will be sorry as a result, you won't be and that's what really matters.

Kindest regards,

Through their teeth...

If anyone out there still requires additional proof that the far right is working against the current administration and its policy choices for no other purpose than to be against it, to thwart its efforts, here is additional evidence courtesy of The Daily Show.

We live in an age of instant communication, of digital video, of easy archiving of virtually any event, of easy retrieval of recorded material on any topic; however, it would appear either that Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Hannity are unaware of these capabilities or they just don't care about being caught in a lie because they know their viewers
(A) will believe them automatically and (B) don't watch Jon Stewart.

It's the sad reality of this latter notion that allows them (and others who appear on Fox News) to lie and spin with impunity, which points to the heart of the problem: effectively distributing bad information is only possible when the people who receive this bad information choose to view it, accept it as truth, and remain misinformed by it as a result. And how could anyone expect a different result but to remain misinformed?

Ironically, and even Mr. Stewart would admit this, the
Comedy Central program The Daily Show offers what they call "fake news," but the BS being foisted daily by the right-wing cable news shows remains the most laughable "fake news."

Of course it can be said that the Democrats (and perhaps progressives as well) have their own cable news voices on MSNBC (Countdown, et al.), but I would argue that what these shows offer is copiously fact-checked, and if someone on MSNBC speaks incorrectly about something, they will take their lumps and apologize because they realize the truth matters. After all, when is the last time you heard Hannity or Beck or O'Reilly or Kelly or Doocy apologize for getting something wrong?

David Frum got it exactly right: the Republicans work for Fox News, its primary propaganda tool.

Sadly, this is no laughing matter.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ah... ah... ah... ah...


Even though I was on the record about this possibility back in November of last year, never before have I wanted to be as wrong about anything as I want to be wrong now.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

California's governor seat is up for auction...

It would appear that Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, has decided to click By It Now instead of taking any chances in her bid for the Republican nomination to run for the California governor's seat (according to the AP). She recently loaned her campaign $20 million after loaning it another $39 million a few days ago (total: $59 Million).

She's spent around $45 million to date and claims she's willing to spend up to $150
million in her effort. Her Republican challenger for the nomination is no slouch either: he's loaned himself $19 million.

That's right. I said "nomination." This is only the campaign for the Republican nomination! One of them would still have to run an actual campaign post-nomination and spend even more cash.

What message does this send to the folks in California who are struggling financially and have lost jobs?

Can anyone take Whitman's claims of fiscal conservatism seriously?

How does this affect the argument that chief executives are paid way too much?

Politics has become a game played by the richest among us who claim to represent and understand the plights of people with whom they would never even share a meal under normal circumstances.

And if she'll spend this much to get the job, what will she spend to keep it... and... who's money will she be spending then?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vatican priest calls abuse uproar anti-Semitism?

According to this NPR article, the pope's personal preacher calls the push-back against the church over the most recent abuse scandal akin to anti-Semitism.


His argument breaks down completely in at least three ways:

  1. The Catholic clergy who committed abuses are not the victims here; they created victims!
  2. The Jews are victims of anti-Semitism: they didn't do anything to receive the scorn they receive(d) from anti-Semites and the outright hatred that led to the holocaust.
  3. The "collective violence" that this misguided preacher suggests is coming at the church is actually "collective violence" that was directed at innocent children who trusted the representatives of that very church.
Saying anything otherwise is just a transparent and shallow attempt to create a misdirecting smoke-screen of obfuscation and brings to mind Mel Brooks as "The Gov" in "Blazing Saddles," who said, "Gentlemen! Gentlemen! We've got to protect our phoney-baloney jobs!"

The pope and the Catholic Church's not-so "gentlemen" need to own what happened and what they did (and what might still be happening), fix it by firing all the douchebags, do away with the out-dated joke of celibacy* by allowing married priests, and just shut up about
anything else having to do with this issue.

They have no defense other than to admit their wrong doing and own it.

Celibacy has never worked and continuing to try to make it work and expecting it to work is just insane, by definition.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here's your proof, if you still needed proof...

If anyone out there still does not think the Republican't agenda is simply to thwart the Obama Administration at every turn, to counter everything President Obama says or does, read this article at for proof positive.

Ms. Palin just can't decide what she wants (to be a governor, not to be a governor, to be a TV star, to be a Twitterer or just a twit), but she seems to figure it out whenever a Democrat, or especially Mr. Obama, wants the same thing she does.

Call this reverse pandering, I guess.

Next we'll hear Senator McCain, Ms. Palin's new show dog, come out against what he's been
for for years: offshore drilling.

Mr. Obama can't win on this one: the far left is really pissed about it, but it's the automatic opposition from the Republican'ts that makes this latest bit of Can'tism so interesting and funny. That they don't see how shallow their one-act play is also makes for a good laugh.

President Obama: "I have decided to open up several western national parks to coal mining."

Sarah Palin: "Don't fall for this America! He's just trying to appease his base. No... wait... I mean... um... my base... I mean... err... hmmm."