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Archives for October 2015

Talking football

The UA loss to Washington State was a heartbreaker. The Cats weren’t on the same page. Some guys were on page 2 and others were on page 301. What is there to say? It’s a confusing game. In football, three doesn’t always follow two. You have to score 6 points at a time. Or three. Once in a while two. You can score one but only as a bonus. This is how you get one player on the fly leaf and the other on the inside cover. Never mind about the dedication.

It’s time for the Wildcats to put the past and this loss behind them. (We’ll definitely let you know if they manage to put the past and this loss in front of them; that would be a good sports story, )

The bottom line is the ‘Cats need a win “for a real shot at bowl eligibility.” The top line is the Cats need a win for a real shot. Oddly enough, the middle line also says the Cats need a win for a real shot. One wonders what it would take for the Cats to obtain an UNreal shot at bowl eligibility. Perhaps this is where fantasy football comes in. We all know that you have to take your best shot.

“For the Huskies, it’s all about defense.” For many teams it’s also about offense. Sometimes it’s about offense and defense, which is how teams win. It’s also how they lose.

UA receiver Caleb Jones told the Star: “We always want to score aggressively,  so it doesn’t matter who we play.” We’d like to explore the possibility of scoring passively. Might be some potential there, passive-aggressive could be a new strategy.

Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt concluded in his story today in the Star, “For both Arizona and Washington, this game might just show who’s good enough for this year’s postseason.

Then again, it just might not. It would show the players not only were on different pages, but on different wave lengths.

But it is what it is.  It’s time to separate the men from the boys.

As Rosenblatt said: “Arizona faces the gauntlet of USC, Utah and Arizona State to finish the season.”

And while they face that gauntlet, they should put on rubber gloves.The Cats might even have to run the gauntlet. Better to look at it than run it. Guess that depends on passive-aggressive approaches. 

Whoever said winning wasn’t everything, that it was the only thing really ought to reconsider.

Because as the immortal Grantland Rice once said, “If you don’t win, you lose.”

The problem with Congress

This is the best political reporting I have seen in quite a spell. It defines the problem this nation faces with the Congress, once called the greatest deliberative body in the world. It cannot be called that today. The reporter, Tim Dickinson, was interviewed today on Fresh Air. Here is the article from Rolling Stone.

Bomb throwers

    • Below is a list of members of the Freedom Caucus of the United States House of Representatives, the members allegedly responsible for John Boehner’s resignation as Speaker of the House. NYT columnist David Brooks piece this morning puts their role in perspective, the best I have seen. Brooks points out that democracy requires basic agreement to the principle of majority rule, a principle not in the Freedom Caucus’s playbook.
    • None of the news stories mentions who these bomb-throwing, Russian-style anarchists are. Note that Arizona is home to four members, which will surprise no one. The list is from Wiki.
    • Jim Jordan of Ohio, Chair
    • Justin Amash of Michigan
    • Brian Babin of Texas
    • Rod Blum of Iowa
    • Dave Brat of Virginia
    • Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma
    • Mo Brooks of Alabama
    • Ken Buck of Colorado
    • Curt Clawson of Florida
    • Ron DeSantis of Florida
    • Scott Desjarlais of Tennessee
    • Jeff Duncan of South Carolina
    • John Fleming of Louisiana
    • Trent Franks of Arizona
    • Scott Garrett of New Jersey
    • Paul Gosar of Arizona
    • Morgan Griffith of Virginia
    • Andy Harris of Maryland
    • Jody Hice of Georgia
    • Tim Huelskamp of Kansas
    • Raúl Labrador of Idaho
    • Barry Loudermilk of Georgia
    • Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming
    • Mark Meadows of North Carolina
    • Alex Mooney of West Virginia
    • Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina
    • Gary Palmer of Alabama
    • Steve Pearce of New Mexico
    • Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
    • Ted Poe of Texas
    • Bill Posey of Florida
    • Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania
    • Matt Salmon of Arizona
    • Mark Sanford of South Carolina
    • David Schweikert of Arizona
    • Marlin Stutzman of Indiana

No Cuban deportees

The difference between a Cuban and a Mexican in these United States is that the moment a Cuban sets foot on American soil, he or she receives refugee status; the Mexican who lands on American soil automatically qualifies as a deportee. Thus the Cuban gets a green card and can pursue citizenship. The Mexican gets durance vile. The difference, of course, is that Cuban-Americans have the wherewithal to buy prostitutes disguised as senators and congresspersons.

As for Trump’s solution to undocumented Mexicans, we’ve been here before. You might say that Trump is 80 years after his time, which explains the calcification of his brain. You can hear Guthrie’s son sing this song here.


(also known as “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos”)

Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Martin Hoffman

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott’ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They’re flying ’em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won’t have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be “deportees”

My father’s own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died ‘neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, “They are just deportees”

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except “deportees”?


A taste of Conrad’s genius

Here are two passages from “Youth, A Narrative” by Joseph Conrad, a story told in a bar many years after the fact by the second mate on an ill-fated ship. Much power in these words written by a man who knew not a word of English before he was 20. Many of Conrad’s stories are in the public domain and available on the net.

 “The coal-dust suspended in the air of the hold had glowed dull-red at the moment of the explosion. In the twinkling of an eye, in an infinitesimal fraction of a second since the first tilt of the bench, I was sprawling full length on the cargo. I picked myself up and scrambled out. It was quick like a rebound. The deck was a wilderness of smashed timber, lying crosswise like trees in a wood after a hurricane; an immense curtain of soiled rags waved gently before me—it was the mainsail blown to strips. I thought, The masts will be toppling over directly; and to get out of the way bolted on all-fours towards the poop-ladder. The first person I saw was Mahon, with eyes like saucers, his mouth open, and the long white hair standing straight on end round his head like a silver halo. He was just about to go down when the sight of the main-deck stirring, heaving up, and changing into splinters before his eyes, petrified him on the top step. I stared at him in unbelief, and he stared at me with a queer kind of shocked curiosity. I did not know that I had no hair, no eyebrows, no eyelashes, that my young moustache was burnt off, that my face was black, one cheek laid open, my nose cut, and my chin bleeding. I had lost my cap, one of my slippers, and my shirt was torn to rags. Of all this I was not aware. I was amazed to see the ship still afloat, the poop-deck whole—and, most of all, to see anybody alive. Also the peace of the sky and the serenity of the sea were distinctly surprising. I suppose I expected to see them convulsed with horror…. Pass the bottle.”


 “And then I saw the men of the East—they were looking at me. The whole length of the jetty was full of people. I saw brown, bronze, yellow faces, the black eyes, the glitter, the colour of an Eastern crowd. And all these beings stared without a murmur, without a sigh, without a movement. They stared down at the boats, at the sleeping men who at night had come to them from the sea. Nothing moved. The fronds of palms stood still against the sky. Not a branch stirred along the shore, and the brown roofs of hidden houses peeped through the green foliage, through the big leaves that hung shining and still like leaves forged of heavy metal. This was the East of the ancient navigators, so old, so mysterious, resplendent and somber, living and unchanged, full of danger and promise. And these were the men. I sat up suddenly. A wave of movement passed through the crowd from end to end, passed along the heads, swayed the bodies, ran along the jetty like a ripple on the water, like a breath of wind on a field—and all was still again. I see it now—the wide sweep of the bay, the glittering sands, the wealth of green infinite and varied, the sea blue like the sea of a dream, the crowd of attentive faces, the blaze of vivid colour—the water reflecting it all, the curve of the shore, the jetty, the high-sterned outlandish craft floating still, and the three boats with tired men from the West sleeping unconscious of the land and the people and of the violence of sunshine. They slept thrown across the thwarts, curled on bottom-boards, in the careless attitudes of death. The head of the old skipper, leaning back in the stern of the long-boat, had fallen on his breast, and he looked as though he would never wake. Farther out old Mahon’s face was upturned to the sky, with the long white beard spread out on his breast, as though he had been shot where he sat at the tiller; and a man, all in a heap in the bows of the boat, slept with both arms embracing the stem-head and with his cheek laid on the gunwale. The East looked at them without a sound.

“I have known its fascination since: I have seen the mysterious shores, the still water, the lands of brown nations, where a stealthy Nemesis lies in wait, pursues, overtakes so many of the conquering race, who are proud of their wisdom, of their knowledge, of their strength. But for me all the East is contained in that vision of my youth. It is all in that moment when I opened my young eyes on it. I came upon it from a tussle with the sea—and I was young—and I saw it looking at me. And this is all that is left of it! Only a moment; a moment of strength, of romance, of glamour—of youth!… A flick of sunshine upon a strange shore, the time to remember, the time for a sigh, and—good-bye!—Night—Good-bye…!

“He drank.”

White flies

The grapefruit are beginning to change color. Won’t be long before they will be ready. The grapevines have been infested by white flies since August and despite copious applications of insecticide, they remain, obscenely and wantonly chewing up grape leaves, creating havoc and despair. They remind me of Putin who reminds me of Cream (click here) — “I’m so Vlad/I’m so Vlad/I’m glad/I’m Vlad/I’m Vlad.”

The roses also also have run amok. They’ve been left on their own because my lower back and I had a severe disagreement more than two weeks ago. The roses grew merry during the Big Wet of about a month ago. (For the first time in nearly four decades, Edie complained of gray skies and rain.) The canes shot skyward and produced abundant blossoms. Today, they have faded much in the manner of Jed Bush’s presidential prospects. Just think: He has more than a hundred million dollars and Trump has successfully portrayed him as a fool and a wimp. Así botan las pelotas (or lack thereof).

The weeds went whacko during the Big Wet, off their rocker not unlike Republican congressman Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, he of the Bengazi rant. The House Republicans have spent $14 million trying to crucify Hillary Clinton on the Bengazi cross. They won’t stop. They are much like an infestation of white flies.