- Written by Rick Blake
Yes, it's football season, and the first week is over. So far, no team's season is over, and it indeed too early to stick a fork in any one team, but some certainly are very concerned.
Now, since I really only care about a few teams, I won't bother to inventory the league. So, let's go!
The Patriots managed to win their game against the Cardinals, barely. But that's a Patriot Way, just winning. The margin doesn't matter always.
Cardinals fans were pretty disappointed, having anointed their team as Super Bowl favorites. Well, a bit of advice - don't think your team is a lock for the Super Bowl. Jinx. Still the Cards learned three things, I think:
1. The Patriots seem to find a way to win, even when you don't think they actually did.
2. Special teams are critical. Every special team snap or play is critical.
3. Everything is critical. No detail can be left to chance, not fully examined, thoroughly evaluated, drilled, and understood.
So the Cards actually may have learned a valuable lesson, and early enough that they can fix the obvious problems before they are 4-4 and wondering what the heck happened to their Dream Season.
The Patriots certainly learned lessons:
1. Jimmy Garoppolo is probably a competent quarterback, and that's unfortunate. Already the buzz is swirling between 'how do we keep him till Brady is ready to retire', 'can we trade Brady and move on to our Next Great Quarterback?', to 'how much can we get for Jimmy?'. Wow, gang, it's just one game. Still, he didn't show anyone any glaring defects. Accurate, ball came out quickly, good decisions, ran for good yards and didn't tempt fate. A strip sack fumble that was a teaching moment. He's a keeper, and could start RIGHT NOW for 6 or 7 teams saddled with failed QBs. And he won't.
2. They can have a running game. And this makes everything on the offense easier.
3. The secondary is pretty good. They bend but they don't break.
4. Special teams are also pretty good, so far. Some gaps, but nothing that needs to take precedence over other phases of the game.
5. Did we miss Dante or what?
Going forward, the Patriots do have to improve, but they also won the hidden yardage game, exchanging field position and getting into better positions. No team is successful in this modern league starting from inside their 25-yard line every single time.
1. The new kickoff rules have been figured out by some teams. If you have a kicker that can put the ball on the goal line most of the time, you can often deny teams that extra 5 yards. Expect the League to kill this experiment.
2. Now that Jimmy is a possibility, there's talk of him replacing Brady outright. No, this is not going to happen. Jimmy is going to be very happy watching 12 games, knowing he will be making a LOT of money next year, somewhere. I'm hopeful he doesn't get a girlfriend during the season, but takes advantage of the opportunity to keep learning, improve his preparation, and wait for the offers. It's good to be good.
3. The Cards will be fine. They have heard the alarm. And it looks their divisional competition isn't improving at the same time that they are. This is really the right year for them to go all the way.
- Written by Rick Blake
The current US presidential election campaign marks the beginning of a new era in global geopolitics, the era of information driven politics, 'Infopolitics' for lack of a better term.
We now know that the US news media has engaged in deliberate manipulation of news and information to support the Leftist agenda, and not just the US news media. For 61 years or more the US media has been acting to diminish right-wing influence, enhance left-wing influence, and drive public policy towards a Leftist, collectivist/socialist agenda. And they have been successful largely because they have done so without being exposed. This has been met with a global media alignment that has successfully implemented this agenda in Europe, with political and economic results now visible to all. This visibility is key, and will be explored shortly in this post.
In the US, this agenda has grown from government expansion to the expansion of new civil rights, other diminished civil rights, demonization of opponents and institutions, and finally the manipulation of all media, information, and as we can now understand, elections. The Left in the US has successfully subverted the government to their purposes, especially the judiciary.
The Republican Party has been outmaneuvered, outgunned, and finally co-opted when they literally (as in actually) conspired with the Democratic Party to quash the Tea Party rebellion. The result being that the Establishment Republican Party is no longer an opposition party in US politics, but is a willing co-conspirator with the Democratic party, and is so to secure their seats in Congress and perpetuate their power and influence, such as it is. They will, of course, be consumed by the Leftist political machine, neutered and exposed, and then the GOP will disband, having been shown to be complicit in the rapid domination of the Left in the US, for their own gain, and there will be no organized opposition, not even the ineffective token opposition we see now.
But this is a new era globally. 'Social media' is nearly ubiquitous, even those without a smartphone know someone who has one. And this is critical, for it is rapidly (already?) overwhelming traditional media, making anyone a journalist, distributing information on very event, and exposing the truth of events which states, and their accomplices the 'media', have previously been able to suppress. Examples:
- Germany's tragic New Years' Eve rapes, now known to be even more widespread than previously shown, and the campaign to suppress the knowledge of these events;
- Police killings in the US, both those where the police appear to be entirely at fault, and also exposing the truth of those killings that are justifiable;
- Disclosures of conspiracies to defraud voters in the US by spreading misinformation, actual election fraud, and 'dirty tricks' of all sorts;
- Global violence by Islamist Extremists, some of it truly horrific.
The US Republican Presidential primary campaign started with more than a dozen candidates, some credible, some not so much. Debates illustrated their differences, and ultimately winnowed out the pretenders.
Donald Trump never engaged in a conventional political campaign. His was a campaign of rally after rally, engaging the media on his terms, a virtually continuous cycle of rally/news conference/public statement/rally. No rinse, repeat. He made the most outrageous statements about policy, his opponents both Republican and Democratic, the media itself, other leaders, even himself. The media couldn't help but take the bait, giving him airtime in the beginning wholly out of proportion to his standing. He continued the campaign despite the pundits proclaiming it to be dysfunctional, ineffective, and failing.
The final blow to conventional politics was his statements regarding Ted Cruz' father and Lee Harvey Oswald appearing together in a photograph. Cruz, recognizing that truth was no longer useful in the campaign, abandoned his own and quietly exited the process. He had even persisted in his campaign despite Republican leaders literally (as in actually) calling him 'Satan Incarnate', stating they would refuse to work with him as President. This, sadly, is the final exhibit in the Conservative movement's destruction, not because of the candidate, not their principles, but because the GOP is entirely co-opted by the Left. The GOP has no stomach for the fight, is convinced they cannot win, and has noted earlier has effectively joined the Left to secure their positions and (temporarily) influence. The GOPe seems to believe they can literally (as in actually) fool voters into re-electing them indefinitely. And they may be right, if Trump fails.
Post-politics morphing into social media non-politics. Trump's victory now becoming possible even to conventional politicians and their advisers and supporters.
And then the Democrats.
Hillary Clinton's ill advised, incompetent, and ultimately disastrous (for the US) choice to use her own private email system for official State Department communication was finally and fully exposed by FBI Director James Comey, who then declined to refer the case to the Justice Department for prosecution. He rightly refused to do so, only because he did not wish to see the FBI accused of manipulating the election. The supposedly secret, 'accidentally' exposed meeting between Bill Clinton and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch resulted in her recusing herself from deciding whether to actually pursue charges against Hillary, Seemingly leaving it in Comey's hands. A special prosecutor would only delay the process beyond the election, and no one believes a president-elect could be prosecuted without a Constitutional crisis being invoked. And no one, especially Trump constituents, doubts that President Obama would pardon her on the way out the door. In fact, most believe he will do so despite her not even being charged. Ask them. the man on the street knows all this now, thanks to social media and Trump's harping in Hillary's legal problems.
We also now know that the DNC cannot secure its email systems from compromise, and these emails seems to show a coordinated effort to derail Bernie Sanders' candidacy. there is even evidence of ballot fraud. Voicemails have been disclosed possibly showing that Democrats, in private, sound just like they claim Republicans do. It is too early to discern he real effect of these disclosures, but it cannot be positive for Hillary. And it is the result of social media, cybersecurity failures, and the rise of the non-organizational journalist.
In this era, there are few if any secrets. Political machinations can be exposed by anyone. As Trump is demonstrating, if you intend to manipulate public opinion, you may want to consider doing so openly, publicly. Being caught doing so is counterproductive if your constituency is at all honest and open to debate. For the Democrats, we will see if their constituencies are either soon enough, for it seems a reasonable US voter can no longer trust them. Their only salvation is that they are entirely dependent on Leftist policies being implemented, and cannot even accept abstaining.
And in this post-political, infopolitics era, truth may not be important enough to influence voters.
If truth is not enough, then what is?
- Written by Rick Blake
No, not Brexit. What is happening in American is a current trouble; we are even being told men can use the ladies' bathrooms, depending on their choices, governed apparently by mood.
We face a Presidential election with a candidate that is roundly considered a boor, cad, and all around annoying man, facing a woman who should be the first woman candidate for President, and she's widely considered to be guilt of at least poor judgement regarding her work emails while a Cabinet official.
She first reminds us of why our nation was founded:
"Most of us remember just the first sentence in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Then she gets my attention:
However, what follows is possibly even more important: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
And I focused on these sentences:
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
Are we facing a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object?
- For well on 50+ years, and by some reckonings nearly 100 years, America has faced a determined effort to remake our nation, to make it into a centralized, government-controlled Utopia, with the State optimizing the affairs of its Citizens, ensuring fairness and equality for all.
- Recently we see a widespread effort to expand the State, opportunistically, and ostensibly to serve its Citizens, who find themselves in dire straits due to, sadly, miscalculations by that very State. I'm referring to the recent housing bubble, caused by greed, failed ethics, and a Federal government both encouraging financiers to make risky loans and guarantee those loans as great expense. Expense to who is not so easy to discern, but be assured the bill will eventually be presented to the taxpaying Citizens.
- We also see strenuous efforts to remake our culture: Marriage redefined as to have no real definition. Gender not merely permitted to be an individual choice, but one that need not be enduring, nor binary. Accommodation demanded for these and other special categories of individual preference and lifestyle.
- We also see continuing efforts to mute our Constitutional rights: Attempts to redefine our Second Amendment rights as 'flexible', or 'unnecessary'. Considering our Constitution was written, in part, describing our rights recognized there as "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", many including me are concerned that redefining some of our enumerated civil rights as 'unnecessary' starts us onto a path where virtually any civil right may be considered 'unnecessary'. Which if your rights are you willing to do without? Yeah, I can think one that's non-negotiable, and in defense of that I'm inclined to consider my Second Amendment right to be non-negotiable as well. While I've focused on that particular right, you need not look far to see genuine efforts underway to retract our First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights. Once you dispensed with those, there isn't much hope to turn back the tide and save any.
- And those who would do so, of course, reserve for themselves protection from whatever they imagine threatens them. So that we are clear here, paying attention to the reaction to Brexit, I believe they most fear US. You and me. And if you think you're one of 'them', wait a minute. You won't be.
Reading that bit, "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism", I'm struck that indeed, to me, I am witnessing a liong train of abuses and usurpations. The growth, literal growth, of our government at all levels is evidence of that to me. And the original author's philosophy and strategy for dealing with this, is plain: "it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government".
Our nation has been in the midst of a slow, quiet (for the most part), and successful revolution, a battle to determine the nature of our union. It is being prosecuted in the Legislature, in Academia, and in the Courts. Our elected officials, so many now co-opted by this movement, are likely not even necessary any longer to complete this transformation and render our nation unrecognizable to those of even 60 years ago. And possibly irreversibly so.
I recognize this. Do you?
- Written by Rick Blake
Deflategate will not go away. And neither will my questions.
0. No one wants to talk about the 'ball that started it all' being on the other team's sidelines.... For quite a bit. And 11 of 12 Patriots balls were 'significantly underinflated', though we don't know what that actually means. Unless you believe SI.
1. This was an equipment violation. Goodell made it into an 'integrity of the game' issue. The Player's Association believes this is improper, and so do the Patriots. Expect this to come up in the next CBA negotiations.
2. Goodell should not be arbiter, appealer, and judge. He overstepped his proper role. Sooner or later this will become obvious to all involved. Maybe an appeals judge?
3. Virtually every team involved has had complaints against the Patriots. This is their opportunity to get revenge, and so far so good. But that taints the whole affair.
4. And from the beginning, remember, one team talked to another, and together they managed to conspire to 'catch' the Patriots in this mess. Point #0 above came after the Ravens spoke to the Colts. But both those teams deny it.