Looks Good on Paper


This simple equation, looks this way on paper:

This way in theoretical mock-ups:

This way in application:

And this way after realization:

In August of 1945, for the first, second and only time, nuclear weapons were used in warfare. The formerly thriving cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan were the targeted, with these pictures showcasing the damage done by the two bombs.

This is what I think of when politicians like "DICK" cheney, and others, use the threat of nuclear apocalypse as a scare tactic, when others talk of the uselessness of negotiating with unfriendly nations and the few remaining ultra-war hawks who seek to restart the Cold War with a Missile Defense System.

Most of those that took part in the development of the weapon and the execution of dropping the bomb, became the biggest proponents of disarmament and negotiation, most notably Albert Einstein. 

I tend to trust intelligent people on subjects which are beyond my intellectual grasp. Few were, or are, smarter than Einstein, so I am in his camp on this one.


People Know So Much . . .

Or do they?

I am constantly amazed at how much people "know."

Comment sections on political blogs, sports talk radio callers (and hosts), friends, enemies, co-workers, even those annoying "got a moment for the environment" people, are all rife with (self-identified) lucid observations on any number of topics. "You choose the topic, buddy. I'll do the schooling," seems to be the norm these days. 

The most troubling occurrences happen now, during cocktail party season, where we are regaled with one full year's "information" in a matter of minutes or, God forbid, hours.

In my attempts to get to the bottom of the font's well-spring of knowledge on so many topics, the most common response happens to be, "I read the (or several) newspapers every day!" This, I had no idea, was the purest path to scholarship on any and every subject in the known world. 

If only my mother had known. She spent an entire afternoon listening to a pitch from an Encyclopedia Salesman, then made payments on the set over the course of a years' time. The many hours I spent in those volumes, traveling to far-away lands, learning of people an cultures long gone, sprinting alongside the big cats of the African Plain as they brought down their prey, copying hieroglyphics to the point of calling myself an expert, visiting the top of every mountain and, conversely, the bottom of every sea. That solid foundation, could easily have been formed by a subscription to the Chicago Tribune? Momma was cheated!

Never mind that those encyclopedias were a supplement to all the children of my family, who were required to read the newspaper, biographies of historical figures, watch Ted Koppel and films that I still have no idea their meaning. The point being, my family stressed, not academic or social excellence, but intellectual excellence -- full stop!

We were taught to learn beyond what is taught, explore beyond the borders of easily-available information and access or develop new tracts of thinking in order to understand the world in which we live.

That said, I'd like to share with you a few things that are not in the newspaper, on the season's hottest cocktail topics. This way you'll either command the flow of the conversation, or feel as nauseated as I when bombarded with Fox News, CNN or MSNBC talking points all night. Enjoy Yo'self:

Health Care Reform

The dominant theme of every gathering I have found myself a part of. 

Here is the only thing you need know to know more then everyone else you know.

The bill is H.R. 3590.

Nobody you know has read it, me included, so they cannot know this. I have spent about 6 hours, total, reading the bill but find I have only made it through 25% of the legislation. Which happened to be more than enough for me to find fault with the bill. How anyone can cogently discuss a book without knowing it's title is beyond me.

Bad Human! Bad Human!

The United States Senate

The U.S. Senate was never intended to be the "Voice of the People." 

When the constitution was drafted, the House of Representatives was created so that the (then-small) voting pool would have political representation. The short election cycles (two years) were put in place, so as frustration with the actions (or inaction) of said Representatives could be corrected fairly quickly. This is why the House is apportioned according to population. Incidentally, the Electoral Collage is set up the same way for the election of the President.

The Senate was created to serve the monied interests of their home states. This is why Senators were APPOINTED, not elected, for the first 138 years of our nation's existence. 

Until the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1911, and put into practice in 1914, members of the Senate were appointed by their local legislatures. This meant anybody, and I mean ANYBODY, could serve as a Senator, provided they met the stringent rule of being over 30 years-old, a resident of the State (at time of swearing in) and be a male (there were even African-American Senators before 1914, but ZERO women).

Since the House was created to "represent the citizenry" and the Senate was a body of unelected officials, beholden only to their monied elite masters back home, which body of government was allowed to make treaties, ratify treaties, approve judges for the bench, appoint federal officers and approves ALL Cabinet Officers to the President (who are essentially the heads of all functions of the government)? If you said anything other than the unelected members of the Senate, you'd be wrong.

There are 100 members in the Senate, of which, 61 are confirmed millionaires (and 7 more that are thought to be millionaires). Senators serve six-year terms and are therefore vested for medical, dental and life insurance for life and receive robust retirement benefits after a period of 5 years, not even one full term. 

Lastly, the push to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment is gaining real voice. The hope is to take the voting (accountability) out of the voters hands and put it back "where the Founding Father's intended." This would be laughable, if not for what the American Electorate has allowed and enabled (the systematic dissolution of the American Ideal) over the past 30 years, in the name of "remaining (?) safe."

War (Iraq)

People seem to know so little of the country we invaded on March 20, 2003. The idea of this being a backward, babbling, unsophisticated people plays as a convenient narrative for our going along with the invasion, which has turn the country, literally, upside down.

Had the very Christian President, George W. Bush, said, "America, we are going to bomb the country that God gave to Abraham (Genesis 15:18) and where Daniel heard the voice of God (Daniel 10)," I think it would have been a hard sell.

It is standard corporate jargon to say, "Don't re-invent the wheel." Iraqi's do not have such a problem. For it is was the ingenuity and intelligence within the borders of the of this nation of 31,000,000, that their ancestors actually invented THE wheel. Writing that predates that of the Iraqi people is unknown. Many of the fruits, vegetables and spices that adorn your and my table were developed, hybridized and put in usage for human nutritional consumption sprung from this land.

These are far from a non-modern people. The reason they are not understood in the West has more to do with our having to carve out a culture for our new republic, America. Our country is less than 250 years-old, so the firm idea of what American Culture is has not fully taken hold, we change frequently because we have not yet found the fullness of our identity as of yet (which we will). 

Iraq was 250 years-old in 6,422 BC! What we see as primitive, or out-dated, in the Iraqi culture, is really a time-tested culture which has been manicured over the ages at the hands of history's greatest poets, scholars, agrarians, social designers and leaders.

That is not the totality of the picture of Iraq, but to discuss the country without the knowledge of the small few important facts, to me, is OUTRAGEOUS! Depth People.

War (Afghanistan)

There has been a continuous (and ongoing) Civil War waged in Afghanistan for the past 844 years. Yes, sometimes it quiets to a trickle, sometimes it explodes into full fury, but the war has not ceased since it's beginning in 1165!!!

We have, much like the former Soviet Union, just chosen a side on which to fight. When we have "achieved victory," as President Obama has guaranteed recently, the War will continue to be waged by these two massive factions. 

Afghanistan is so big in relation to it's number of citizens, to have an understanding of how sparsely populated it is, one needs to imagine searching for an eyelash in a bathtub full of water, with ripples. Throw in the vast cave networks, which were created to avoid the frigid elements in the winter (like Minneapolis's and Indianapolis's walkway networks) and the tub now has bubbles, to boot.

The reason the primary method of attack has been with Drone planes is because the terrain is not conducive to movement on foot (or vehicles, for that matter). It is difficulty in movement which has led to the country not having it's population see tremendous growth in relation to it's size. This development, known since Alexander the Great wrote about the inhospitable nature of the Afghani landscape in 327 B.C. (and where 100% of his military advisers begged him to stop), will prove difficult on our infantries, making it impossible for them to successfully prosecute the war with purpose.

Committing Ground Forces to Afghanistan made, and makes, no sense when weighed in terms of "risk/reward." This is why so many informed persons were thrilled with President Obama's decision to table all the plans for Afghanistan in September, but ultimately dismayed when he forged ahead with the troop increase. The strategy has no chance for success, it only mollifies the war hawks by keeping the wars theater open.

These nuggets, combined with all your previous understanding of these topics, will greatly aid in your deftness or grief, I am sorry to say. It is a great responsibility, knowledge. Just remember the words of Elbert Hubbard:
"The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge."


My Christmas Wish

After time spent among the cast-offs of their society, treating and healing what ailment's were bought before them, this band of six continued on. Their past professions now meaningless, their past alliances now meaningless. Their past discretions, triumphs, battles, thinking processes all meaningless. 

Four fishermen, who had spent much of their life watching the steady pitch and roll of bobbers against a vast blue liquid blanket, would never fish again. The (largely-ignored) exhortations of the middle-aged preacher would no longer be necessary. They walked with Him now.

And he walked . . . and walked . . . and walked. And when his feet found that He had reached a suitable station, the autonomous height of Sinai, Jesus turned to his audience and spake these words:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." (Matthew 5:3-11)

But he chose not to leave it at a divine blessing, and continued:

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

My Christmas wish is that each and every one of you keep the plight of the less fortunate in your hearts and minds throughout the year and ,equally as important, remember the inextinguishable light that is within you is meant to be shared with the rest of humanity. 

Merry Christmas 

Jobs, Well Done

Apple Inc. is my choice as Company of the Decade and it's Chief Executive, Steve Jobs, is my CEO of the millennium. 

As we entered the 2000's, with the palpable fear of Y2K behind us, the word Apple was still synonymous with fruit in most households. By the end of the decade, a survey of children between the age of 7-9 found 75% of them to think the fruit was named after the company.

Within ten years, the company:
  1. Democratized the audio medium. Before the iPod was launched people listened to CD's, which allowed for 76.5 continuous minutes of listening before requiring a switch. With the iPod, listeners could not only listen to 3 days worth of music without interruption, we could now tote our entire musical library around wherever we were. The iPod also gave audio books their first viable platform, which expanded sales 14 fold during the decade. The same can be said for lectures and podcasts. 
  2. iTunes not only changed how we purchase music and how music is distributed, but the device changed the very music we listen to. Before iTunes, artists were required to spend their energies looking for a record label to sign them, support them and, hopefully, distribute their music. iTunes enabled any artists, with the ability to upload their work from a computer, to launch themselves onto the world stage. Many of today's top record producers were discovered by major artists in this very way: think Danger Mouse. 
  3. iTunes helped stave off inflation. A compact disc, at the beginning of the decade, cost $13.99-$18.99, depending on where your purchase was made. The iTunes store launched with the price of $0.99 per song, and seven years later has only just sought to raise it's prices. I firmly believe the cost of a compact disc, if I use the movie ticket barometer, would cost roughly $22-$28 today if the iTunes store did not exist. 
  4. Changed the aesthetic idea of what consumer products should look like. Before Apple really "got after it" in the desktop PC game, computers were chunky, as all that mattered was performance. The designers and engineers at Apple, the world's most innovative company, made powerful desktop computers also. However, and perhaps as a result of the skepticism of the operating system not running Windows, made their desktop computers visually appealing. The move won the company praise and design awards for each successive product design launched during the decade. Now all PC-makers strive to make visually-pleasing products, not just internal improvements, when bringing products to market.
  5. Changed the way we view media. The opening of the decade saw the mad rush for bigger and bigger televisions, for which to partake in our rapidly expanding home viewing options. Of course the iPod would change that by becoming the most successful movie distribution system in history. Ditto television distribution. They also, for the first time ever, were able to sell music videos, which brought a new revenue stream to  record companies, as previously videos were made solely to promote an artist. Think of it for what it is, they sold commercials. 
  6. Changed what we expect of our cellphones. Who could have foreseen that by the end of this decade, we would be able to walk out of the house and take every map in the world, a dictionary, a compass, our entire computer, our entire music collection, every photo of our loved ones, every piece of critical mail we have ever received, our favorite books, our favorite newspapers, the entire phonebook, every video ever made (home movie and otherwise), our entire stock portfolio and have it delivered in real-time, games, movie schedules, banking information, GPS, bibles, every radio station on earth, tens of thousands of restaurant, film, book and music recommendations, etc? And it would all weigh less than a sandwich, be affordable and also make phone calls. Yet, the iPhone does all this and more. Bravo!
  7. Apple TV has already changed how we rent movies and television shows by streaming the content directly to our home. No more trips to Blockbuster in the snow, only to find out the last copy of "The Notebook" is out. Blockbuster and Netflix both adapted to the change, so as not to perish. Now we ALWAYS get to watch the movie we want to watch, not the movie that is available.
  8. The revolutionary Apple Store opened to wide acclaim. Just think back to the 1990's. Computer and Customer Service were anathema to one another. Any information you wanted, or problems you had, meant long hours on the phone tapping your feet to hold music, then sheepishly asking the usually derisive tech on the line to help you out. The Apple Store's immersive environment welcomes questions, solves problems on-site, provides one-on-one instruction, group instruction, encourages product testing, does repair, exchanges and displays the full Apple product line in a friendly, beautiful, well-planned mecca of computing.

Apple does so much more, but my evangelism must be getting a bit tiresome for you by now.

Here's to you Apple and Steve Jobs, my Company and CEO of the Decade. Job well done!

As we look to the upcoming decade, most other companies should slump their shoulders, as there has been a January 26, 2010 press conference called (and confirmed) for the announcement of Apple's next weapon of choice, the iTablet. So 26 days into the new decade, most companies will already be playing catch-up with a company that is in the lead and taking very long strides.


Young and the Restless

The old adage about old people sending off young people to fight their wars came to mind last night as I was reading over some of the proposed Senate Health Care Reform Bill.

The Cosmetic Surgeon lobby had the proposed 10% tax on Botox injections, meant to stem the cost of the bill, successfully purged from the bill. In it's place will be a 10% tax on all tanning services. 

Botox injections are overwhelmingly performed on  40+ year-old clientele, but the median age over the last three years has been 53. Who goes to the tanning beds in America? Primarily 15-32 year olds, according to the Indoor Tanning Association, the industry's trade group.

This means the tax burden was shifted from a group of older, more established, obviously wealthier group that can more easily afford the cost, to a younger, less-affluent demographic, as when we think of tanning, our minds tend to conjure images of college-age kids who know no better.

The same can be said for the additional income tax proposed in the bill. The original version (and house version) of the Senate Bill called for a small increase on the income of individuals that made more than $500,000 annually, or couples that had a combined annual income in excess of $1,000,000. This would obviously be an older group of Americans, as even in the wild days of the Internet 1990's, the median age of millionaires never dropped below 40.

So, would these older, more-affluent, Americans take the new ax sitting down? No! A new method of closing the funding gap had to be resourced. The answer? Unbelievably, the Senate decided to shift the new tax to "Health benefits of unionized workers." This, once again, skewed the burden toward a younger and less-affluent portion of the population.

Lastly, the Health Care Bill, overall, was meant to target everyone. The President made universal health care a theme of his run, due to the tremendous amount of pressure his Primary foe Hillary Clinton put on him with the issue. President Obama, shifted the benefit of this Senate bill to helping only those above the age of 55, by lowering the qualifying age of Medicare, a provision that may not make the cut. Once again shafting the young electorate.

So let's recap: Young people are going to pay more for their elective services (such as tanning), get a tax increase thrown at them (on those flimsy benefits we all wanted reformed/ improved) and receive no new medical benefits from the new legislation. 

Does that sound like a square deal?

The idea that President Obama could sweep into office on the backs of the youth vote, with so many giving their time, money, enthusiasm and ideas, then so abruptly turn his back on that core constituency is appalling. And telling. And unforgivable!

What he and other Democrats are counting on, hell, banking on, is that you will not dare vote for a Republican in upcoming elections. They are hoping that you "stop thinking of yourself" and start thinking of Dad and Grandma when the 2010 and 2012 elections roll around. Then perhaps at a later date, they will have something for you. Some "Change" at a later date.

Well in the President's "Closing Argument" speech, right before we went to the polls in November 2008, he said that "we could not wait" and we "had to take advantage of this opportunity." He talked about "the fierce urgency of now." We had to do "whatever it took" to get him into office and provide him with a Democratic majority. And WE DID!

Too bad his exhortations have had ZERO reciprocal value.


Health Care Reform Made Simple

Keith gets "it."

Normally I do not post videos, as I would rather share my point of view with you. I am making an exception because Keith Olberman is spot on in his analysis.

Please take a moment and listen.


Influence or Mollification?

Most young people don't spend their time, after a long days work, rounding up wayward youth, listening to their dreams and hardships, then dispensing what knowledge he could to those few soles that stuck around long enough to hear his message. 

Most young people could not find the mettle within themselves to spend the day with people of privilege, then seek those less fortunate souls, hiding underneath America's boot, in the evenings, in hopes of bring to them the realization of America's promise.

Those that he found and would take the time to learn, were always the better for it. And, after a few months, they came to trust him, his judgement and direction. Both parties were being were being transformed as a result of the interaction.

There was an understanding between the young people he reached out to: exceedingly poor and largely marginalized in the broader society, and their teacher: a professional who clearly could have been using his talent and access to powerful people to do something other than spend his evenings working with poor people he had never met in his life.

His Pupils were learning that this, too, was their America. Regardless of what had been a part of their daily experiences to that point, the application of, and investment in, self was the all-important factor in upward mobility. The teacher, on the other hand, learned that these minds, much different from the wealthier students at his day job in their access to the American Dream, were no less qualified, given the proper tools, or fervent in it's pursuit. 

The experience proved to be so moving, it would shape the actions of the teacher in his later role as President of the United States. And so, Lyndon Baines Johnson wrote about that period of his life as such:
I shall never forget the faces of the boys and the girls in that little Welhausen Mexican School, and I remember even yet the pain of realizing and knowing then that college was closed to practically every one of those children because they were too poor. And I think it was then that I made up my mind that this nation could never rest while the door to knowledge remained closed to any American.

Lyndon Johnson would leave the teaching profession to run for a Congressional seat in the State of Texas. Ultimately winning the seat, he came under the tutelage of then President Franklin Rossevelt, who in the throes of the Great Depression, was in the process of forcefully applying drastic changes to an entrenched governmental bureaucracy, in an effort to ease the pain so many Americans were experiencing.

Ten years later he would be elected Senator from his home state of Texas and just three years later, in 1951, he was elected the the powerful role of Majority Whip, second most powerful position in the United States Senate.

When, in 1952, Republicans won control of the Congress, the remaining Democrats decided it was time for a leadership change. They turned to the Senator they knew was a person that could "get things done" and elected as Minority Leader, Lyndon B. Johnson. When Democrats took back both Houses of Congress in 1954, Johnson then had the role of Majority Leader, the most powerful position in the Congress. He would, in this role flower into one of the most influential legislators in American history.

In 1957, when President Eisenhower, a Republican, wanted to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the task of getting the bill through an unwilling Congress fell to Johnson. After twisting arms and pulling teeth, he allowed a long-time member of his party, avowed racist and Democratic Senator from South Carolina, Strom Thurmond, to go on record with the longest one-man filibuster in opposition of the bill the Congress had ever witnessed, then dropped the gavel and passed the vote. He just felt African-Americans having the right to vote was more important than party unity.

John F. Kennedy chose Johnson as his Presidential running mate in 1960, and upon winning the election, put Johnson in charge of newly created (an then powerless) Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. The unintended consequence of Kennedy's action was, Johnson kept overwhelming the White House with legislative requests and data. Johnson, you see, was an obsessive workaholic. So, after being in charge of all the legislation for the entire country for 7 years, aggregating data and creating new law on one subject was a piece of cake. The time spent at EEOC would put Johnson in contact with minorities of all flavors on a daily basis, and would prove equally influential as his years spent teaching the Mexican Students in his youth.

When Johnson ascended to the Presidency after the assassination of Kennedy on November 22, 1963, he felt it his duty to use the full force of his knowledge and influence in the Congress, to make Kennedy's political platform a reality. Nobody, before or since, has ever had such an understanding of the nuances required to bring a bill into law.

With his innate understanding of when to press (and when to pull) members of Congress, along with his years of tutelage at the knee of Roosevelt, Johnson became a prolific legislator and, in doing so, tremendous agent of change.

Consider that President Johnson passed laws on:

Civil Rights
  1. Barred discrimination in voter registration requirements, a real problem in the Southern half of the United States due to the  large population of Blacks who were under-represented in public office.
  2. Barred discrimination in all public accommodations: theaters, hotels, motels and restaurants.
  3. Barred discrimination in access to public facilities, such as parks, forests and beaches.
  4. Encouraged the Department of Justice to sue school districts that continued to segregate on the basis of race.
  5. Barred Federal funds being given to agencies that practiced discriminatory practices
  6. Barred discrimination against interracial married couples in the workplace.
  7. Barred discrimination against individuals due to political affiliation.
  8. Gave Federal courts the power to prosecute State cases where there was sufficient evidence of tampering by segregationist elements, thus bringing justice to the southern portion of the U.S. for the first time in nearly 100 years.
  9. Strengthened the tools of the EEOC to combat discrimination as a reason for being discharged from a job.

  1. Created the Federal Transit Administration
  2. Made $375 million in matching funds available to States to use on large urban public rail projects (sic, public transportation).

  1. Signed legislation protecting 9 million acres of wilderness, overnight. The protected areas now number in excess of 100 million acres
  2. Shifted the burden of proof for private encroachment onto public lands to the private party, thus clearing the courts of 1,000's of phony claims.
The Poor
  1. Expanded, and made permanent, the Food Stamps Program. Before he did this, the FSP was running as a pilot program, not available in most communities in the country and with expenditures of about $17 million per year. Johnson made the program national, gave the Agriculture Department manpower and upped the annual expenditures to $75 million in the first year, to $100 million in the second year and $200 million in the third.
  2. Created Community Action Program, which was instrumental in getting Native Americans the tools needed to move their communities out of poverty.
  3. Created Head Start program, which fed, clothed, educated and gave access to medical personnel, to impoverished children across the country.
  4. Created VISTA, which sent 50,000 volunteers into underdeveloped communities to assist in job creation, education, health-care and civic improvement.
  5. Created Job Corps, a program, that for the first time, focused on training wayward youth in job skills, trades development and then assisted in finding them gainful employment.
All of this legislation was put through Congress, signed into law and put into IMMEDIATE practice, WITHIN THE FIRST 9 MONTHS of Johnson's Presidency.

His next 4 years would bring:

  1. Gave more federal money to colleges and universities, to "prepare America's best minds for the challenges ahead."
  2. Drastically expanded the Community College system, thus giving millions of low-income Americans access to higher-education.
  3. Created the federal scholarship program, for high achievement students.
  4. Created the Federal Student Loans Program, which ensured every American that could qualify for College was guaranteed access to a low interest loan, should they need one.
Seniors and the Under-served
  1. Created Medicare, the first-ever health-care program for senior citizens. The law gave ALL people over the age of 65 federally-backed insurance to cover all of their health care needs.
  2. Created Medicaid, the first-ever health-care program for no and low-income citizens, suffers of chronic illnesses and Americans with disabilities. The bill was passed to assure that all citizens, even those without financial means, had access to health-care. 
  3. Expanded the free clinic system within the Department of Health, by quadrupling the budget.
  4. Made it illegal to use age as a basis for discrimination, to be used conjunctively with the other discrimination legislation previously passed.
He also:
  • Strengthened the Voting Rights Act, by giving the federal government control over registration standards. 
  • Dramatically shifted the immigration policy of the U.S. by closing the loopholes which allowed Western influx into the country to go unfettered and for the first time allowed citizens of countries such in Asia, Africa and South America to immigrate on a first-come first-served basis with the countries of Europe, the result of which is the wonderfully diverse country we know today. 
  • Signed the Freedom of Information Act into law, which gives citizens the right to gain access to all governmental records that are not a specific threat to national security. 
  • Created the Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, the entity that would ensure there would always be a public voice in the electronic media. This would soon give rise to Sesame Street, The Electric Company and other children's programming that was considered "unprofitable" by the large media companies during that era. PBS would also introduce Americans to the rest of the world, as it was the first to show travel shows, documentaries and programming which originated in other countries. Additionally, in the networks decision to include cooking and craft shows, the large media blackout on females in programming was circumvented and, eventually, broken.
  • Passed the Fair Housing Act, which is the foundation, still in use to this day, for all laws banning discrimination in housing. 
  • Passed the Bilingual Education Act, making it mandatory for communities with large non-English speaking populations to provide education for it's citizenry in a secondary language.
  • Passed the first major, prohibitive gun ownership law in 50 years: excluding ex-felons and the sale to minors. Also regulated the interstate transfer of weaponry much more heavily.

And while Kennedy announced the vision and Richard Nixon was (for 6.5 months) President during it's culmination, the idea for, funding of and drive toward, putting a man on the Moon was largely a result Johnson's efforts.

Lyndon Baines Johnson accomplished more in his time in the Presidency than just about anyone, save Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR. So why is this brilliant and effective legislator, who laid the foundation for what many consider to be the Liberal Platform, not mentioned as one of the greatest Presidents who ever lived?

Because he escalated a war (Vietnam) he had inherited from his predecessor. 

The results were wholly disastrous, as the additional troops in the wars' theater produced dramatic increases in American combat dead and wounded. Back home, with the outrage, activism and cynicism of the public at heights not seen before (or since), Johnson would refuse to seek a second term, and largely allow his extraordinary achievements to remain overshadowed, historically speaking,  by his Vietnam War blunders.

This was a man that achieved so much, and in a relatively short amount of time. His domestic policy was directly responsible for cutting poverty in the United States in half, to 10.1%, in less than four years. He was responsible for electrifying most of the rural U.S., after taking a walking tour of impoverished West Virginia in the early 1960's. He put Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice,  on the Supreme Court. Extraordinary achievements by any measurement. And yet his legacy rests in the minds of our countrymen next to thoughts of tear-gassed college students, screaming half-burned Vietnamese girls and body after body of dead and maimed American soldiers seen on television news programs during those times.

As President Obama, who has accomplished far less in his year plus in the Oval Office, moves to escalate the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, my thoughts (and his, I pray) travel back to Johnson, who famously quipped:

"While you're saving your face, you're losing your ass."


Making the Unknown, Known

That picture is a hum-dinger, ain't it?

Because perhaps these things get by you in the day-to-day.

Latest on Tiger

What if we all read this tiger Woods thing wrong. What if this was a big story, but the fascination with the subject, the zealous drive for facts, made it something bigger then what was at it's original core. For instance.

Tiger was asleep in bed on that Friday morning, his wife smashed a vase, or something like it in his face (his tooth was broken in half, apparently), then proceeded to do her best Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby-impersonation? Then Tiger fought her off, calmed her down and talked out the situation with Elin. After assuring her he would never see "that one woman again," the thinking shifted to "how to explain these injuries?" 

A half-assed plan for a low speed accident was cooked up (did you see that tree?), so Tiger put on his Nikes, got in a big ass Cadillac Escalade and ran into a tree, but not head on, just a little bit. Only the right wheel hits the tree, and so soft air bags do not deploy, OnStar does not call and the electronics are messed up, so his wife, who is watching their plan go awry, comes and bashes the window with a golf club, thus freeing Tiger.

The car accident could now be used as the reason for the injuries, therefore his wife, whom he still loves and wanted to be around, is absolved of any possible criminal charges or future public scrutiny when supporting the World's Most Famous Athlete. The plan was flawless.

Then, as with all things African-American, the police showed up and things started to spiral downward. The police being called to the residence is what made this story fly, from the beginning. Had things been contained to that evenings events, everything else would have never happened. And I am NOT BLAMING THE POLICE for Tiger being a nerdy pimp, but if they did not file a police report then. . .

TMZ would not have started throwing money around. As I stated in a previous post, famous people AND THEIR HIGH-PRICED CONSULTANTS have not come to grips with the "New Financial Reality" of sharing money with potential problems, and copiously so. TMZ has a staff of people who's only job is to comb through the nation's police and hospital reports. It's a dirty job, but it pays well.

The police are only going to find out so much when investigating a person, TMZ, with it's truckloads of unlimited cash, is always going to find out more. 

So the police reports brought TMZ to Tiger, TMZ brought money to a former mistress, the one mistress started a biding war in the E!, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, People, OK! Magazine arena for finding more, and, ultimately, the few jump-offs that wanted to remain silent, could no longer afford to remain so. Which brought out the MADAME (Damn Liger?!?!), who took this thing to a whole new level with her having tax records and all (did he want a receipt, with his cheap ass?).

Tiger Woods wanted his marriage to continue, and perhaps really was committed to being a more loving, caring and family-focused pimp going forward. However, he committed the one cardinal sin any African-American in a troubled relationship cannot afford to do, he allowed the police to get involved in his relationship. So now Elin's gone, the kids are gone, the sponsors are leaving and so is his precious good name, which can never return, BTW.

And now he knows what all Black men know, nothing good ever comes from the police being at your door.

On an aside, Tiger choosing to not participate in golf this season is going to spotlight what the tour found out when he didn't play because of injury, interest in the sport falls off -- DRAMATICALLY. Perhaps that will put pressure on those in the media to assist in cleaning him up a bit, so they can get him back on the links and get crowds roaring for him once more. 

It's risky, but we'll see if it works.

Nobel, Nobel

The Nobel brothers spent the early years of their professional lives "working," as mine owners, in the South African diamond business, a sub-human, disgusting and exploitative endeavor. When, in the mid-1870's, the diamond mines hit "an impassible core of solid rock," the South African industry and region was plunged into a Depression. This forced the brothers to sell, at rock bottom prices, their mining claim to Cecil Rhodes, who was in the process of buying up "every mine in Africa." 

Rhodes, who would later become the richest man in the world and, like Nobel, lend his name to one of the world' most prestigious awards, the Rhode's Scholarship, had knowledge of a new technology which could bypass the solid rock, and so therefore, could continue to unearth the diamonds. 

At this point the Nobel brothers decided to part ways of sorts with the money from their claim. Alfred could not get beyond the notion of that solid, impassable rock, which motivated his drive that would culminate in his invention of dynamite. 

Since he was trying to develop a tool for mining, when he saw dynamite being used in warfare, he quickly plunged from horror to depression. This led him to establish a prize for Peace, so as he, nor the world, would need ever see his invention "used against man."

In the years since the Nobel's became one of the world's leading families, they have obscured the dark secret of their involvement in the South African Diamond Trade, which is why most biographies of the brothers begin in 1876, right after they sold their claims. 

When Twain stated, "There is no such thing as good money from a bad man," the Nobel Prize comes to mind. The horror that such a prize would be bestowed upon an Head of State that just escalated a war can only live in the mind of a person without the full sphere of the Prize's dark history.

Presidential Fractions

Why does it take a person to raise (and spend) $750,000,000, sound it out: seven-hundred-fifty million dollars, for a job that pays $400,000 per year? That's like spending $75,000,000 on an interview suit for a job that pays $40,000. That's like giving a $7,500,000 donation to a community college for a scholarship that costs $4,000. That's like spending $750,000 for rent on a studio that costs $400. That's like spending $75,000 to buy a coupon book to save $40. And more to our daily line of thinking, it's like paying $7,500 for your $4 latte at the Starbucks in your neighborhood.

I'll allow you too sit with that for a moment.

Anyway, I know you have had this question on your mind before, so let me help ease your stressing over it any longer.

President Obama raised more money, and spent more money, then any other presidential aspirant in history, a whopping $750,000,000! His salary for each of his 4 years in office will be $400,000. During this time he is not allowed to make investments in any company, buy any bonds or start any company whatsoever. His wife, equally, has the same restrictions on her, as well!

Before they took office, their combined incomes were in the low seven figures per annum, and before President Obama wrote his first best-selling book, Michelle was, far and away, the breadwinner. So taking this job was not only fantastically expensive ($750,000,000), it was a pay cut.

The short answer to the question is, the job of the President of the United States of America puts you, and your team, in control of the single greatest economic feeding trough in the world. 

With an annual budget in the trillions, and the ability to spend beyond that when you feel the necessity, the $750,000,000 starts to seem more like a pittance. 

George W. Bush received $26.5 million from his Wall Street backers during his two Presidential Election runs. On his way out the door, he handed them the $700 billion TARP bill as a parting gift, $210 billion of which disappeared, overnight, without a trace.

The Oil Industry was the former President's biggest campaign contributor, topping out at between $46.8-61.1 million, depending on what source you believe. In December of 2001, AFTER THE SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS, the price for a barrel of sweet crude oil stood at $16.21 per barrel. Even the terrorist attacks and the incursion into Afghanistan had not moved the needle on oil prices. Once the President circumnavigated the Congress and went to war in Iraq, the price of oil began to climb, and did so throughout his presidency, reaching a high-point of $126.33 per barrel for the month of June 2008, nearly 8x the December 2001 price.

President Obama ran a campaign initially financed, almost exclusively, by the less than $250 donations of individual donors, or ordinary citizenry. The strategy overwhelmed his primary counter-part, Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton had much more money to start, but since she was given the $4600 maximum by all her supporters, when the campaign dragged on longer than she (or anyone) thought, she could not go back to her donors list for more money. Obama could, and did.

Obama used the small donations route to raise money after each controversy, win, loss or attack, with his supporters rallying to his defense, financially, with each threat to the candidate. It was simply too much for the other candidates to withstand, with both Mrs. Clinton and the General Election adversary, John McCain complaining openly about the "unfair disadvantage" of Mr. Obama's fundraising apparatus. 

However, once Mr. Obama's election seemed imminent, once the path seemed un-obstructable for this phenomenon, Big Business responded. Wall Street financial houses spent late-August thru early-October throwing lavish fundraisers for the future President, and in the end became President Obama's biggest single contributors, to the tune of $58 million. 

Health Care and Pharmaceutical companies took note of the candidate's tough talk and, once he looked like a sure bet for winning the election,  found a way to contribute $31 million to candidate Obama in the final 8 weeks of the election. Since the Pharma companies were so late to the party, knowing that Health Care reform was a big part of Obama's platform, they directed doubled the amount of money, $68.1 million, to Democratic candidates running for the House and Senate, as well as the DNC. 

Thus far, for their efforts, Financial Regulation has been tabled and Health care reform has been scrapped. 

If you look at it from a financial perspective, President Obama becomes less of a disappointment. He, like any other person in the Office of the Presidency, is looking out for his big contributors. Too bad we all came early to the party, because what really matters is who you take home at the end of the night.


I, Androcles

Among all his notable fables, Aesop's most well-known is 'Androcles and the Lion.' The story of the escaped slave who, while seeking shelter in a cave, comes upon a dying lion. Starving and wounded, the lion cannot fight off the slave and expects to be slain, or worse, left to die in slow agony. Androcles, instead of killing the lion, chooses to assist the lion in it's recovery, by removing a thorn, forcing out the puss from the wound and using a piece of his tattered clothes to bandage the wound.

For his services, Androcles asks nothing of the lion, save that he not be bitten in the process of the operation. The lion, stomach growling with hunger (the thorn having forestalled his ability to hunt) and not understanding that he can be healed, trusts in the young slave and suppresses his instinct to kill while Androcles is in striking distance, tending to the wound.

The lion and the slave soon depart ways, with the lion promising, "not to forget his kind deed." And so it was, as I pause this story to start our own.

Winter of 2008 saw a fierce political battle for the Presidency taking place between a popular woman, with a household name, Hillary Clinton and a seemingly over-matched, out-resourced upstart, with a gift for communicating, Barack Obama.

Each, in it's own right, had merits that an engaged electorate found beguiling. The problem flowered from the fact that we couldn't have both. Over the Spring their battles continued, and come Summer, America decided that "experience and comfort in the known" would have to take a back-seat to the excitement and endless possibility of "change." America, rightly, saw the challenges that (then) lay ahead for our country were of a different variety, requiring a bold new direction, under the un-tethered stewardship of a truly visionary leader. Barack Obama, seemed to be more of that mold and so, would represent the Democratic Party in the Presidential election.

He would accept his nomination, with great reception, on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech," a prospect the national media did not allow to go the least bit unnoticed.

The winds shifted, trees yellowed and, as migratory animals began their long journeys to new horizons, "hope" and "change" was pregnant and omnipotent. Autumn, for us, brought with it, a collapse of the world Financial Markets, the expose' of a Housing Crisis which had been suffering for more than two years, massive job loss and revelations of an economy that had been in a recession for 11 months without anyone in the government feeling the need to tell the American people.

These revelations, never mind the two wars America were fighting, and other problems extant before the Autumnal collapse, stoked the electorate into a frenzy. The long-held belief in America's unwillingness to elect a person of African-descent went out the window, as all came to understand, these were historically bad times for our country -the best man had to win.

Then-Senator Obama, led the Democratic Platform, of putting forth a bold strategy of bringing all things into order once more, by reaching out to embrace "new ideas," developing the country's "latent talent pool" and facing down "those who dare say America's best days are not in front of us."

What Obama and the Democrats put on the table was an exchange that appeared to be insatiable:
  1. Universal Health care,
  2. Job Creation and Protection,
  3. Sensible Climate Legislation,
  4. De-Escalation in Afghanistan,
  5. Bringing the Iraq War to an end,
  6. Closing Gitmo Prison,
  7. Ending Rendition,
  8. Equality for ALL citizens
  9. Repeal of the worst parts of the Patriot Act
  10. Massive investment in our nations schools
  11. Reducing the cost of College Tuition
  12. Huge Investment in Clean Renewable energy platforms
  13. Using the Justice Department to "go after those that perpetrated" the Wall Street collapse
  14. Help homeowners stay in their homes and stem the tide of evictions
  15. and Other Shit

The Democrats needed only one thing from you, the electorate. That one thing was your vote. If you would just entrust the country to them. If you could just get out an knock on your neighbor's door. If you could just pick that old guy up at the end of the block and drive him to the polls. If you could do these things, the DEMOCRATS HAD A SHOT AT 60 SEATS IN THE SENATE, which would make all the initiatives "UNSTOPPABLE."

You delivered, and resoundingly so!

And then a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum.

With a 60 seat Super-Majority in the U.S. Senate, a filibuster-proof majority in the House and the ability to choose the heads of every Cabinet position, President Obama and the Democratic Leadership IMMEDIATELY turned their back on the throngs of people who had fought so hard to elect them. Instead they would begin building ties to those entrenched, (and thanks to the public's outrage) fearful elements of America's Corporatocracy.

Overnight, President-Elect Obama started filling his Cabinet with old Washington re-treads, the very lobbyists he said "needed to be run out of town," Executives from the Wall Street banking houses that caused the world-wide panic and, most-egregiously, Republicans.

If this President wanted to give away half the positions in the Executive Branch to Republicans, why did he not choose a Republican for a running-mate? He didn't even choose a Conservative Democrat. He chose Joseph Biden, a died-in-the-wool, die-hard, no-doubt-about-it Democrat. This was done because the President and his advisers knew, everyone was fed up with the way things were going and wanted blood.

He did this because Republicans were who the established Corporate bosses felt comfortable with, but President Obama sold it as his "being President of all of America, not just the blue states." 

At a time when Republicans "enjoyed" 21% approval rating, the President's actions could be easily confused with fortitude. With the scope of time on our side, we can rule that out because he not to use that same "fortitude" to go to bat on Universal Health Care, a proposal 64% of the country agrees with.

There are many who foretold of a weak Obama Presidency from the very first moment. This is an ELECTION NIGHT clip of Green Party Presidential Candidate, Ralph Nader. You need not listen to the entire 10 minutes of the clip, thought there is much insight to be gained. Within the first 7:00, Nader lays out, point by point, an EXACT prelude into how this President and this Democratic Congress would sprint, away from all it's platform issues and, towards adopting the entire George W. Bush policy playbook, in it's entirety.

Please take a moment to watch:

As Nader predicted , President Obama has embraced the very worst of his predecessor's policies: Renditioning, Gitmo still open, Patriot Act expanded, allowing lobbyist's to write legislation, cozying up to Wall Street and, in his announcement of escalating the Afghanistan War, using the events of September 11, 2001 from the bully pulpit. Additionally, Nader correctly predicted that his (or any other) criticism would be met with the refrain, "Give him time."

For so many (aka, every person planet earth), news of President Obama not just not living up to his promise, but actually becoming a principle of the long Washington nightmare, is a bitter pill to swallow. But I, Androcles, am attempting to pull this thorn from the paw of an ailing, thoroughly confused, slumbering electorate. 

No matter what else happens in the coming months:

  • Health Care will be not much different from what it is now for 98% of the population. If you cannot afford health insurance now, you will not be able to afford health insurance under the new plan. Health insurance premiums will continue to rise. Coverage will continue to be denied, unabated.
  • Big Financial institutions will continue to grow, unfettered. While the small, independently-owned lending institutions are allowed to fail at a historic rate
  • Families will continue to lose their homes, while legislation continues  to be "worked on" and "looked into" for debt forgiveness of mortgage-holding banks and the employees at these companies are paid with record billions in bonuses. 
  • Young Men and Women in our Armed Forces will continue to die on foreign soil. Call it a surge, an boost or what ever you want, but, fearless as they are, America's youth is best served by being home with their families during these tough times.
  • Untold tens of millions of people will continue to fruitlessly look for work, while the stroke of a pen (and a reported $480 million of unspent Stimulus Package monies) could create jobs overnight for so many Americans and assist in bringing our nation's crumbling infrastructure up to 21st century standards.
  • Energy costs will continue to rise. The national average for a gallon of gas on President Obama's Inauguration Day was $1.76, largely on the concerns that new energy strategies were in the offing. Today that price has risen to $2.59, an increase of 47%. 
  • Scores of children continue to attend inferior schools, with inferior supplies. Some must attend under the threat of losing their lives, with the President's home town of Chicago losing nearly 40 students to violent murders in the 13 months since the election.
I can go on and on, but I think with my having provided enough facts here to crush all rose-tinted lenses, the thorn from the electorate's paw has been removed. 

In Aesop's story the Roman slave Androcles is saved when, after being captured and led to the Colosseum for slaughter, the lion he healed back when refuses to kill him and escorts him from the arena instead. 

In our story, with so many people holding this President in such high esteem, I keep the words of the 10th-century Iraqi poet, Al-Mutanabbi, close at heart:

"If you see the teeth of the lion, do not think that the lion is smiling at you"

Mostly, because a lot of you will not be happy about the service I have just provided.


The Sporting Life

After fighting the urge for three days, PeppermintPickle puts the world of sports in the spotlight. 

Tiger or Tigger

The only thing more strange then the events that continue to unfold surrounding the Tiger Woods car accident/"domestic dispute,' is how people (media and regular folk alike) are  the viewing the story.

From the very beginning, media outlets have done a horrible job of getting the facts straight and, more egregiously, ignoring common sense when it stares them in the face.

The initial report had Tiger involved in a "serious" car accident near his home in Florida, with all reports trumpeting the "heroic" actions of his wife, Elin, who we were told "smashed the window of her husband's Cadillac Escalade with a golf club and pulled an unconscious Tiger from the wreckage, before calling authorities." 

We now know a few things for certain: a neighbor, not Mrs. Woods, made the 911 call. Mrs. Woods did not play the "Diana Princess"-role that initial reports portrayed. And, the full extent of Tiger's injuries could not be traced to his car accident.

I will go no further on the "facts" of the case, but since I am not beholden to anyone, I will share my OPINION of what i think of things thus far.

IF. . . Mrs. Woods physically abused Tiger, the fact that he is a man and a professional athlete (and therefore "strong") should not diminish the criminality of such an act. As I stated on my Facebook page yesterday, if Mrs. Woods had a car accident and the subsequent investigation held suspicion that her injuries were consistent physical abuse, we are not discussing this story in the context of whether or not "it's all a private family matter." Of that we can be certain.

IF. . .Tiger crashed his 2009 Cadillac Escalade SUV into a tree, at low speed (his air bags did not deploy), thus requiring his golf-club swinging wife to rescue him from the vehicle because windows wouldn't roll down and doors would not open, then I think it's the BIGGEST PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER FOR ONSTAR* ("standard in ALL GM VEHICLES") IN HISTORY!!!

Since I have to hear (and struggle through) all those "real life" radio ads where some child is crying because his mother has just hit a tree (Tiger hit a tree AND a hydrant!) and the OnStar operator calls the police, ambulance, opens the door, makes cocoa for the child, sings them a their favorite song, downloads the latest Pixar movie onto the cars entertainment system to calm the child and sends an electronic doctor's note to the adults job, letting them know she'll be off for a few day. . . the least they could do is open the damn door of the World's Most Famous Driver (Ali can't drive ya'll)!!! I am calling B.S. on OnStar for this!

IF. . . You believe Mrs. Woods is somehow smart because she messed up his face, but not his hands, arms or legs "because she didn't want to harm his golf career or earning potential. Consider this: Tiger Woods makes roughly $18-30 Million per-year from playing professional golf, another $12-15 Million in appearance fees and the remainder, $60-95 million per year, from endorsement/marketing fees. The PGA season runs from April to September, so the time between October and Early April is used to produce materials for those lucrative marketing campaigns (ie. the lions share of his income). Which is done with his FACE! Please don't give this woman credit where it is undeserved. She was, if indeed she beat Tiger, acting irrationally, passionately and foolishly.  

IF. . . You believe Mrs. Woods will be seen at any of those award ceremonies, held at the 18th hole after a tournament, when Tiger wins next year, YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND! Glenn Close cooking rabbits does not make for good Sunday evening television.

IF. . . You believe I don't know that you have thought of Orenthal James Simpson at least once since this story broke, you would be lying to yourself. LOL!

IF. . . You think TMZ won't get to the bottom of this, ask the Jackson Family,Melvin Gibson Christian Bale , or any number of celebs that have called the slime ball gossip site a liar. All were proved wrong in the end. In the end, is a celebrity going to their housekeeper a $50,000 tip, just to "keep things between us?" No! TMZ knows that, which is why they spread the cash around liberally and loudly. When news leaked that TMZ had paid one of MJ's housekeepers almost $500,000 for information, every person in Hollywood with a broom in their hand took note. BELIEVE DAT!

Chicago Bears

Is there any wonder why we loved him, so? He had all the look of James Evans and NONE of the FIYAHHH!!!!!

Coach Lovie Smith must go because he fired the Defensive Coordinator, Ron Rivera, when the defense was ranked 3rd in the league, hired his buddy Bob Babich, who took that defense and ranked 18th last year, then took over the play calling himself this year and currently ranks 24th. 

His dependence upon oft injured players (Brian Uhlacher, Tommie Harris, Mike Brown and Dusty Dvoracek) year after year, without planning for their imminent demise, is foolish, not resolve.

Also packing their bags should be: 

Ron Turner, who is as predictable as Mentos and Dr Pepper, though results are always far less explosive.
Jerry Angelo, who, barring Devin Hester and Jay Cutler, has been HORRIBLE at acquiring talent. Yes, I know not everyone can draft well in the 5th round, but equally unique is his penchant for drafting horrible IN THE FIRST 3 ROUNDS!
Every player except: Devin Hester, Lance Briggs, Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Johnny Knox. Everyone else MUST GO!

Our next coach should be Ron Rivera and he should hire CHARLIE WEIS as Offensive Coordinator. Rivera could shore up the defense and would come cheap (would the McCaskey's have it any other way?).

Weis is a proven offensive genius and has developed the following players into what they are: Vinny Testaverde (Jets), Drew Bledsoe (cut his INT's, from 26 year before, to 11), Tom Brady (6th round pick to MVP), Brady Quinn (1st round draft pick) and Jimmy Clausen (1st round draft pick).

We have bet the house, as a franchise, on Jay Cutler being the savior of our franchise. Don't you think having the proper coaching is essential to him getting his mojo back. I think Cutler will listen to Weis for the same reason everyone else has, he made Tom Brady.

And speaking of Weis. . .

Notre Dame

Notre Dame finally fired that bloviating gas bag of a pile of arrogance and bluster, Charlie Weis. Yes, i want him to go and help turn around the fortunes of my beloved Bears, but as the head coach of the Fighting Irish, I HATED THIS MAN. Everything about him.

When he came on the scene he was so full of himself, with what he would do for this program. How he would "restore the luster" and "bring back pride." He said 6-6 or 6-5 was "unacceptable at a school like Notre Dame." "I am coming here," he stated unequivocally, "to win championships." In the end, he was, to borrow a George W. Bush quote, "all hat and no cattle."

The press conference was almost as embarrassing as his tenure, with talk such as, "Charlie has actually won a National Championship while at Notre Dame...the Graduation Rate National Championship" and, quite hilariously, "We'll Miss Him" by the Athletic Director who inherited this nightmare two years ago, Jack Swarbrick.

Swarbrick was not around to enjoy that ephemeral moment in 2005, when the Irish LOST to Mighty USC, at a time when the Trojans were the #1 ranked team in the country. The unyielding glee by the Golden Dome faithful at not getting run out of the building, led to Weis getting a contract extension IN THE FIRST YEAR of his contract at the school. Had they waited, they could have walked away from him after his third season, when the Irish finished 3-9, or after the option year (4th) when the Irish "improved" to 6-6. Which according to Charlie, was "unacceptable." But such Irrational Exuberance  led to more than trouble in Wall Street's financial markets, they end up owing the man they have just fired roughly $15 - 17 million. . . to do nothing.

Make no mistake about it, the Charlie Weis-era has been disastrous at Notre Dame. Zero wins vs. rival USC, zero wins against ranked teams, multiple losses to Service Academies, losses to horribly under-manned and inferior teams such as Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Connecticut, and zero development of any talent on the defensive side of the ball. Charlie was going to score so many points on the opposition, defense would be unnecessary. 
Well Gene Wilder has something to say about that:

In the end we are left with a once-proud program, searching for ways to make the "g=Great Experiment" seem somewhat successful by stating he "did it the right way." Hell, i didn't know Ty Willingham had players selling crack and stripping for money before ol' Charlie came to town? Willingham, also, was a disaster, but he had come from Stanford, not the 1996 Dallas Cowboys, as some would have you believe. He was doing things the right way as well.

So what do they do now? They give Urban Meyer $4.5 million per year (and make him Lt. Governor of Indiana) to leave Florida and come back to his alma-mater. Or, more realistically, you hire University of Cincinnati Coach Brian Kelly. As a Cincinnati resident, let me assure you, THIS MAN IS BELOVED and universally hailed as a football genius. And that was BEFORE this season, when his team sits undefeated, with an outside chance of playing for the very National Championship Charlie promised 5 years ago. 

He really wants the job and most of the city has resigned itself to losing him. I suggest, should Charlie become a coordinator in the NFL, he call in sick on days he plays the Bengals in Cincinnati because people here have spent the entire year hating his guts. His losing ways were followed closely, and warily, by the entire populace of southern-Ohio, as each loss brought the idea of losing Kelly closer to reality. 

Because we know what Jack Swarbrick needs to know, Kelly is the right man for that job.