Category Archives: Uncategorized

LIV and Let Die

Call me Grandpa ESP, but there is only one thing I hope the powers that run professional men’s golf four major tournaments say to defectors to the Saudi funded LIV tour. GET OFF OUR LAWN. The same goes for sports reporters, most notably ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, who must be getting paid under the table by Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud to promote the rogue tour.

On Wednesday’s edition of “Pardon the Interruption,” Wilbon was virtually salivating over the prospect an LIV player might win the Open Championship. He described the possibility of an LIV champion as disruptive. And argued the combination of guaranteed money and the ability to still play in the majors will be hard for many PGA and European (now DP) Tour players to resist. Minus eligibility to play in the majors, even Wilbon believes the number of defections will decline.

It was obvious participants in the LIV were not welcome at the Open Championship being played at St. Andrews, the birthplace of the game. Two time Open champion Greg Norman, who has been part of LIV since its inception and is tasked with recruiting players, was not invited to the past champions’ dinner. Loyal PGA and DP players used time at their pre-tournament press conferences to label the defectors as “ungrateful” and “disrepectful of the game’s history and traditions.” More meaningful as this week’s event is the 150 anniversary of the Open Championship.

There is not much the powers behind the four majors–the Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship–can do about the LIV Tour’s deep pockets. But they do control who plays in their tournaments and how they qualify. Members of the St. Andrews Royal and Ancient board, the governing body for the Open Championship, signaled they are looking at changes to the qualifying criteria in order to exclude LIV participants.

That may not be necessary. Most of the top players qualify for the majors based on their world golf rankings, calculated on performance in authorized tour events. This week, the LIV tour applied to the ranking organization to award points for LIV events. If consideration of the LIV application was a jury trial, the panel should return its verdict in record time. Consider the following.

Comparing LIV events to those sponsored by the PGA and DP Tours is not a case of apples and oranges. It’s more like automobiles and televisions. The former consists of 48 players competing over 54 holes. To win a LIV event, a player need only out perform 47 competitors over three days. Most PGA and DP events require the winner to excel over four days (72 holes) and best 153 other challengers.

Think of it this way. What if someone created a breakaway professional baseball league with 10 teams that play seven-inning contests over a season consisting of fifty games. Then claimed the division leaders have qualified for the World Series playoffs. Even the justices on today’s Supreme Court would describe the situation as “separate and unequal.”

Professional golfers tend to be Republican and ideologically conservative. Which makes it all that more surprising the LIV contingent is pushing this perversion of “affirmative action.” So what if we are not competing at the same level or under the same rules. We deserve to be admitted to your institutions of higher golf. Not because we are historically disadvantaged or destitute. Quite the opposite.

And do not be surprised when they take the PGA/DP Tours and major tournament sponsors to court claiming their livelihoods have been harmed. One thing you must admit. These guys play with larger than regulation sized dimpled balls.

For what it’s worth.

Festivus in March Redux

The 'Festivus Miracle' Lives On - The New York Times

It has been three years since I last proposed Festivus in March. This time, maybe it will catch on. The past couple of weeks, I found myself yearning for an early Festivus, knowing I could not wait until year’s end to practice the Festivus tradition of “airing of grievances.” So please forgive my channeling my inner Frank Constanza, but “I’ve got a lot of problems with you people. And now you’re gonna hear about it.”

Grievance #1: The Washington Post

On March 19, a headline on the front page of the Washington Post read as follows, “Mixed signals from Ukraine’s president and his aides leave West confused about his end game.” Let me share the comment I posted to this story.

WTF. Did the writers pay no attention to what happened last Wednesday? Zelensky asks for a no-fly zone, but adds, “If I can’t have that, I need…” And hours later he gets most of “that” from the U.S. and NATO. That didn’t happen by accident. Do you really believe Zelensky is not talking with Biden and European leaders about his “end game?” The person he doesn’t want to share it with is Putin. Just like folks stopped talking about what arms were and were not arriving in Ukraine. Neither the war nor peace should be prosecuted in the media. Sorry if your little feelings are hurt because Zelensky is not willing to lay his cards on the table for you and Putin to see before the hand is over.

Grievance #2: It Takes a Special Kind of A-Hole

Friday night, Wild Amelia, a local non-profit that promotes protection of the local environment through education held a fundraiser comprised of a sunset boat tour hosted by Amelia River Cruises. Among the attendees with one older, white gentleman (I use the term loosely) with a beer belly covered by a politically incorrect tee shirt who felt it necessary to proudly don his “Let’s Go Brandon” gimme cap. I know, I could have simply said he was wearing the cap and you would have guessed he was no spring chicken, white, had a beer belly and a questionable sense of fashion. And to make sure everyone on the boat saw him, he would occassionally walk up and down the aisles with his belly puffed out.

The next day I received a call from one of the board members who asked me what I thought of the incident, especially since some members of the Sierra Club who came to support Wild Amelia had complained to the boat captain this “gentleman” had ruined their evening. She wondered what they could have done about it since the “gentleman” has the right to say whatever he wants. (See Grievance #4 for more on the First Amendment.)

I told her this was not about free speech. He knew he was not going to convert anyone to his cult. His goal was to be the center of attention. And sadly, some attendees let him do that while most of us simply ignored him.

Not every person who voted for the former guy in 2016 was a “despicable.” Not true of those who still relish being part of his cult. So if the “cap fits, wear it.”

Grievance #3: Military Disservice

If you get a package from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) filled with swag you will never use, asking you to help disabled veterans, Google their Charity Navigator rating. It is ZERO out of FOUR stars. Why? Because the organization spent 86 percent of their revenue in 2020 on administration and fundraising including a $15 million contract with a marketing firm in Connecticut. By the way, in 2014 DVNF was fined $25 million for abuse of solicitation laws after which current CEO and former U.S. Marine Joseph VanFonda claimed they had cleaned up their act.

My wife and I always give the calculators, pens and other “incentive” gifts to Goodwill or other organizations to distribute to those who might actually use them. This package also contained a real check for $1.50 made out to me. But, of course, the cover letter from VanFonda urged me not to cash the check because it would take money away from veterans who needed it.

I had a better idea. I cashed the check and sent a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, to whom I regularly give in honor of our daughter’s service in the Air Force. Instead of the typical $100 donation, I made the check out for $101.50 and simulteneously emailed VanFonda, informing him that I appreciated his $1.50 and had passed it on to a legitimate charity that might actually put it to good use.

I encourage others to do the same.

Grievance #4: King for a Day after Day

Finally, I am really getting sick and tired of people who appropriate Martin Luther King, Jr. to justify policies and actions that are the antithesis of what King stood for. The latest is FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education). This past week they started running ads with the tag line, “No Free Speech. No I Have a Dream” over a picture of the August 1963 civil rights gathering at the Lincoln Memorial. It is followed by, “Without the First Amendment, this historic speech would never have happened.”

Really? The First Amendment had been on the books for 174 years and there was no “I have a dream.” You can bet if George Wallace and Bull Connor were fighting integration today, they would be on Fox News and InfoWars claiming to be victims of “cancel culture.” And the First Amendment gave them the right to use the N-word and incite violence against people they feared would replace them. Take a look at the crowd surrounding the Reflecting Pool that day. There were too kinds of people. Black Americans who were tired of being second class citizens. And “woke” white Americans who, after watching the beatings and dogs and fire hoses, said, “Enough is enough. This is not what America should be about.” I’d bet the farm all of those people would have still been there with or without the First Amendment.

Want more proof. South Africa had its own “I have a dream” moment without the benefit of a First Amendment.

And by the way, if you asked Michael Jordan, he would probably admit, “It wasn’t the shoes.” NIKE and FIRE have more in common than four letter names. Both want you believe if only you wear their shoes or yell First Amendment on a college campus, you will be a superstar despite the lack of any causal relationship.

So Happy Festivus in March. Now, all we need to do is get Amazon and local merchants to adopt this faux extension of a faux holiday to discount merchandise as they do in July. Black Friday in March could be just as successful as Black Friday in July.

For what it’s worth.

The Villages People


[NOTE:  In hopes of stemming a flood of comments from Trumpsters and Russian bots, the following is not FAKE NEWS.  It is what we call parody intentionally designed at the outset to be humorous.  Please do not confuse it with Trump apologists’ attempts to disguise Donald Trump’s ignorant and offensive remarks as “jokes,” after the fact.]


The Rolling Stones are threatening legal action against President Donald Trump’s campaign for using their music at his campaign rallies.

~CNN/June 28, 2020

Following receipt of the cease and desist order, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale immediately began searching for replacements.  [NOTE:  The remainder of this paragraph is not FAKE NEWS!]  He approached the following artists.  Neil Young. NO!  Elton John.  NO!  The Tom Petty estate.  NO!   Rihanna.  NO!  R.E.M.  NO!  Adele. NO!  Axl Rose.  NO!   Pharrell Williams.  NO!  Brian May (Queen).  NO!  Earth, Wind and Fire.  NO!  Eddie Levert (The O’Jays).  NO!  The George Harrison estate.  NO!  The Prince estate.  NO!  Steven Tyler.  NO!  Dee Snider.  NO!  Perhaps the best response came from Brendon Urie, frontman for the band Panic! At The Disco following use of his song “High Hopes” at Trump’s June 26 rally at the Dream City megachurch in Phoenix .  “Dear Trump Campaign, F*** you.  You’re NOT invited.  Stop playing my song.”

Unable to contract with actual musicians or their bands, Parscale decided to create his own “tribute band,”  The Villages People (shown below).

When asked why he settled on a 1970s-80s disco band, Parscale replied, “It reflects the candidate’s interest in taking the nation back 40 years.  And what could possibly be more representative of the past four years than an exclusive club in which the atmosphere is dependent on fog and sparkly mirrors?”  In response to a query about which of the group’s hits would be the campaign’s central theme song, Parscale said that decision was pending.  “There are so many to choose from.”

Always willing to provide assistance when I can, I would suggest the following:

  • Muncho Man/1978
  • Y.M.I. an A./1978
  • (Not) In the Navy (or any other branch of the armed services)/1979
  • Ready for the 80’s (the 1880s)/1979
  • Sleazy (no explanation needed)/1979
  • Can’t Stop the Muslims/1980
  • 5 O’Clock in the Morning (Tweet Time)/1981
  • Do You Wanna Spend the Night (Anybody?)/1981
  • (In)Action Man/1982
  • MAGAmix/1989
  • Living in the WhiteLife/1989


The original Village People have announced they will perform  a revised version of “Happiest Time of the Year,” which appeared on the group’s 2019 Christmas album, at Joe Biden’s victory celebration on election night.  In the new version, lyrics such as “People SHARING all over the world” will now proclaim, “People CHEERING all over the world.”

For what it’s worth.


Random Thoughts 9/23/2017



Image result for ann coulter witchOne of today’s great ironies is how often individuals who accuse others of violating the U.S. Constitution have little, if any, appreciation for what the the document actually says.  The latest example is none other than Ann Coulter who last week responded to Comrade Trump’s flip-flop on DACA by tweeting, “Who doesn’t want Trump impeached?”   Seems like everybody except his die-hard base and spineless Republican members of the House of Representatives.

Keep in mind the author of In Trump We Trust has no problem with Trump’s violation of the emolument clause or his increasingly evident acts of treason during the 2016 campaign and as oval office occupant.  What was the tipping point for Ms. Coulter?  Reversal on a policy decision.  Ann, I think it’s time you took another look at the language in Article II of the Constitution which governs removal of the chief executive and other public officials.

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

I find it quite incredulous that someone who attended Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School believes failure to keep a campaign promise qualifies as a “high crime or misdemeanor.”  If that were the case, every president since 1789 would have been hauled before the House Judiciary Committee to answer for their “crimes.”  I guess constitutional law was not a required course at the University of Michigan Law School.


I would have never believed this, but Ivanka Trump and I seem to have a couple of things in common.  On September 14, the poster child for “Take Your Daughter to Work for Four Years” said the following in an Interview with the Financial Times.

Some people have created unrealistic expectations of what they expect from me.  That my presence in and of itself would carry so much weight with my father that he would abandon his core values and the agenda that the American people voted for when they elected him. It’s not going to happen.

You may remember, last Saturday I suggested Comrade Trump take a different tack in dealing with Kim Jong-un.  Instead of ramping up rhetoric which would make the North Korean leader feel he needed a nuclear deterrent, U.S. foreign policy might be better served by ensuring Kim and his people they were safe from American intervention as long as they kept to themselves.  Based on Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, I know how Ivanka must feel.  Even if you have realistic expectations about my sphere of influence, let me assure you, “It’s not going to happen.”

Image result for obama helicopter leaving washingtonBut my affinity to Ivanka does not end there.  This week, she told us she suffered from postpartum depression following the birth of each of her three children.  I feel her pain.  I too have had bouts of postpartum depression since January 20th when Barack Obama departed the White House.

Now, if only she would follow my lead, and realize Washington, D.C. is not her place of most potential.  It took me seven years to figure that out.  One can only hope she is forced into that decision sooner rather than later.  And please, take “daddy” with you.

For what it’s worth.


Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing


Charles Cooney, the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, explains the importance of accepting failure as critical to the learning process.

Failure is not fatal, and success is not final. An expert is someone who has made more mistakes than anybody else.  A successful expert is someone who recognizes mistakes and only makes them once. (Source: ImagineIt Project™ Interview)

When it comes to the Democratic Party and the mainstream media, I’m afraid they have yet to learn from the mistakes they made which contributed to the political ascendancy of Donald J. Trump.  Through claims of moral equivalency and misdirection, the Trump propaganda machine has proven to be a formidable opponent when countering efforts to expose Trump’s just plain incompetence or deliberate complicity in extra-Constitutional endeavors. Two recent news stories demonstrate this unfortunate fact of life.

CASE #1: The Grassley Is Always Greener

On last Sunday morning’s edition of CNN State of the Union, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for his letter to the White House Office of Legal Counsel reiterating the committee’s oversight responsibility for the Department of Justice.  She suggested the Grassley letter was evidence of a bi-partisan effort to get to the bottom of any role DOJ, including Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, might have played in obstructing the investigation into the Russian/Trump connection, including the firing of FBI director James Comey

In light of Grassley’s earlier statements in which he characterized Comey’s testimony as vindicating Trump, one has to question what appears to be an about face.  Occam’s razor redux: the simplest explanation is generally closest to the truth.  Which leads me to the following.

  • Senator Grassley is a long-timeTrump supporter.  Radio Iowa reported on August 6, 2016, “While some prominent Republicans refuse to endorse the Republic presidential nominee, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley isn’t one of them.”
  • Grassley denied Democrats’ request to bring Sessions back before the panel to clarify his confirmation hearing testimony in which Sessions inaccurately claimed to have had no contact with Russian officials.
  • The committee membership consists of 11 Republicans and 9 Democrats.
  • The committee would likely complete its investigation of potential obstruction of justice and release its report before special counsel Robert Mueller delivers his final report and recommendations.

I hope I am wrong, but my gut tells me Grassley’s sudden interest in scrutinizing Session’s behavior as well as that of other DOJ officials is an attempt to preempt Mueller’s findings.  Which makes efforts over the past 48 hours to now discredit Robert Mueller appear to be just one element of a larger disinformation strategy.  I can hear Sean Spicer (assuming he is still press secretary) now, “The congressional committee with oversight responsibility found nothing wrong.  The special counsel, who we warned was biased, has made a questionable case.”

I have great respect for Senator Feinstein.  I believe to this day she was the most likely candidate to become the first female president.  She demonstrated her ability to deal with crises when she became mayor of San Francisco following the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978.  But this is entirely different.  The Republicans are playing three-dimensional chess while Democrats are still sitting around a checker board.  Senator Feinstein, please make sure you are anticipating the opponent’s next three moves before you make your next one.

Case #2: You’re NOT Fired

The mainstream media continues to get played by the Trump propaganda machine.  Consider the following hypothetical.  If you wanted to discredit media coverage of Comrade Trump and the Russian connection, what would you do?  Simple.  Plant an untrue story.  Watch the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN and MSNBC salivate.  Then, in your best Ronald Reagan voice, declare, “There they go again.”

Was this the case when Trump friend Chris Ruddy, during an interview Monday Night with Jody Woodruff (PBS News Hour) asserted Trump was considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller?  Right on cue, the evening cable new shows and the early editions of the Post and Times, dedicated much of their coverage to this “bombshell.”  By Tuesday morning, the White House press office claimed there was not truth to the story and characterized the report as just one more “nothing burger” by the dishonest media to undermine Trump’s agenda.

How many times are the media going to fall for this?  Anyone who has covered the presidency for the past five months should have known better.  First, it was no coincidence the story broke on the eve of testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III in which he performed one of the greatest impressions of all time of Aunt Pittypat from Gone with the Wind.  “Russians in the Mayflower Hotel.  How did they ever get in? Oh, Senator Burr.  My smelling salts!”

As if the timing of Ruddy’s comments were not enough, the easily fooled media should have known this does not fit the Orangeman’s modus operandi.  Trump does not telegraph behavior.  No one suggested James Comey’s head was on the chopping block.  The ax had already fallen before even the victim knew it was coming.

Even if Trump was actively planning to shut down the Mueller investigation, the press unwittingly prevented Trump from hammering another nail into his own coffin.  I refer to this as the “Matt Drudge syndrome” (bear with me).  In 1998, Drudge made the same mistake and probably saved Clinton’s presidency.  On January 13, 1998, Drudge reported Monica Lewinsky had been the target of an FBI sting operation at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City, Virginia.  Drudge’s story put everyone involved in the Clinton sex scandal on notice.

Though we will never know, I am convinced, absent Drudge’s reporting, Monica Lewinsky’s next move would have been to call Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, who had been her regular point of contact and helped her find employment in New York after leaving her White House internship.  We know Lewinsky’s conversation with Linda Tripp at the hotel was being recorded via an FBI wire.  Therefore, it is no stretch to assume Lewinsky’s phone calls were also monitored.  A cry for help to Jordan following Lewinsky’s meeting with Tripp would have been perhaps the most damning tangible evidence of a cover-up and obstruction of justice.  Thanks to Matt Drudge, that call was never made.

Over the past few weeks, I have encouraged readers to heed the advice of former naval intelligence office Malcolm Nance, “Strategic patience.”  Broadcast and print journalists should listen to Nance as well.

For what it’s worth.