Archive for September, 2012

New Unis And All

Nebraska beats Wisconsin!  Go Big Red!  Etc.

Thanks to Desert and Mr. Desert, who came over to hold my hand during the proceedings–I needed help to get through this one.

The photo shows tiny Ameer Abdullah trying to weave his way through the huge Wisconsin line–represented here by Chris Borland, who is a veritable tackling machine for the Badgers.

During the first half the game looked like a replay of last year, when Wisconsin kicked our butts on their way to winning the Big Ten.  But this time the Huskers got their act together during halftime, and there were moments–just moments–during the second half when the defense looked like the blackshirts of old.  The offense scored 17 unanswered points and Nebraska won the game 30-27. Shades of last year’s game against Ohio State, when the Huskers staged a 21-point comeback beginning in the third quarter.

The new unis may have helped–the defense looked pretty fearsome IMHO.

As seen here, as the defense congratulates Harvey Jackson on his interception.  (I bet Jackson’s mama will tell him to pull up his longjohns next time when she sees this pic).  I feel sort of sorry for the big guys–Nike’s and Adidas’ fascination with REALLY tight uniforms can discriminate against linemen, who have sort of a professional obligation to weigh 230 pounds or more.



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I’m Exhausted

I should have listened a bit more attentively when Sherry Ann remarked that her house was really quiet with the kitten gone.

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It’s the Party, Stupid

I’ve said it before (see my post entitled “They Got “Nothin'”) and I’ll say it again:  Granted, Mitt Romney is not an attractive candidate, and his campaign is the operative definition of “fail.”  But Romney’s falling poll numbers cannot be altogether chalked up to these factors.  The real problem is the Republican party.

Most pundits point to the success of the Democratic convention–particularly Bill Clinton’s remarkable “splainin’ stuff” speech–as a reason for Obama’s boost in the polls.  Compared to the relative yawn fest put on by the Rethugs in Tampa, and the disaster of Clint Eastwood thereat, this is an attractive explanation.  But I think there’s another factor at play:  the choice of Paul Ryan as veep candidate.  Romney was forced into making this choice by the party base.  Just like McCain, who would have preferred Joe Lieberman to Sarah Palin, Romney was forced by the nut right into choosing the poster boy for vouchercare.

As soon as Ryan stepped into the national spotlight and old white guys got a load of his plan for medicare, they decided that the blah guy wasn’t so bad after all.

As everyone who is paying attention knows, the Rethugs have systematically alienated blacks, browns, and women with legislation that suppresses voting rights, casts suspicion on citizenship, and promotes seventh-century attitudes toward reproductive rights.  Who’s left?  White people, particularly southern white people, who fled to the Rethugs when the Democrats finally embraced civil rights in the 1960s.  As LBJ famously forecast, the Dems would not win an election for many years afterward.  Lee Atwater gleefully invented the Southern strategy, which elected Nixon and Reagan and many another peckerwood (George Wallace was a narrow miss) for far longer than twenty years (W, anyone?).  Even Scott Brown, the affable good ole boy who is running  against Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, felt he had to play the race card over and over again during their first debate.

But now the shoe is on another foot.  Minorities are becoming a majority.  And women have learned to think for themselves in the privacy of the voting booth, even if they pretend to their husbands that they are toeing some masculine line or other.  A few Rethug stalwarts like Jeb Bush and Michael Steele are urging the party to get in step with the times, but there is no evidence to date that the nut base is listening.  And there is a lot of evidence that the party leadership isn’t either–a party that would fire Michael Steele because he preached the heresy of inclusion, only to replace him with the horrifying Reince Priebus, can generously be said to have its head up its ass.

So unless the Rethug party finds ways to align itself with the current demographic and its emerging consensus, they are doomed to lose, and lose, and lose.  The more sensible among them know what the trouble is, but the base, who lives in its own reality, might never come around.  One can only hope that their media empire withers and dies accordingly so the rest of us don’t have to listen to their incessant pining for the good ol’ days that never were.

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Getting to Know You

Inky:  But–these toys are mine!

Sassy:   Not any more, Buster.

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Meet Sassy

Sassy is one of a pair of kittens who were left at my vet’s door in June.  They weren’t very old then–their eyes had just opened.  One of the vet techs, Sherry Ann, adopted them but  even her expert care couldn’t save the male, who died a few days later.   I met the kittens when the two of them fit into two cupped human hands.   Who can resist tiny abandoned kittens?  And so I agreed to consider adopting them when they were old enough.

And so Sassy, who is now about four months old, is staying at my house on a trial basis.  This appears to be a trial mostly for Inky, who is NOT happy about her presence here.  He hissed and grew a huge ruff  when I brought her into the house in a carrier, and has since whined incessantly at the door of whatever room she is in.   Sassy, on the other hand, is loving and content.  Sherry Ann has children and grandchildren, as well as eight other cats, so Sassy is used to turmoil.   The pictures don’t show how small she is–she barely tops five pounds.   She eats well and uses her box and best of all, she appears to be a lap cat.  I haven’t had one of those since Gatzo.

This is not yet a done deal.  But I remain hopeful.

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Most every media outlet I’ve seen is excoriating Chicago teachers for going on strike.  Conversely, Rahm Emmanuel, the mayor, has become a media hero standing up bravely against rapacious teachers who already make too much money.  If all this weren’t so sad, it would be funny to see Republicans falling over themselves to hail Emmanuel as a  hero, he who was the spawn of the devil only months ago when he was Obama’s chief of staff.

Never mind that the teachers are stiking over educational policy and practice.  They want smaller classes, less testing, and–heaven forbid–air-conditioned classrooms.  Can you imagine the atmosphere in a stuffy, hot late-afternoon classroom filled with twenty more sixteen-year-olds than the space was designed for?  I can, because I’ve been there.  I once taught at a monstrous urban school whose windows were nailed shut on upper floors for fear someone would fall (or jump?) out.  I am here to testify that it was damned hard to get anyone in those rooms to care about The Scarlet Letter in August.

Why is it that the media and politicians always leap to blame teachers and their unions?  Sure, part of this attitude stems from the old canards that teaching is easy (three months vacation!) and that the work is so rewarding that teachers should teach for nothing.  As if you can eat dedication.  And I suppose the demonization of teachers goes even farther back, to the time when most teachers were women who were either unable or unwilling to “catch a man” and therefore undeserving of even the pittance grudgingly paid out by the communities in which they taught.  Hence teachers are still considered to be ungrateful bitches, no matter their sex.

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