Friday, January 30, 2015

A Super Day, To Get Away

Just went to Google and typed in the words “Super Bowl 2015,” and there were “About 209,000,000 results in 0.21 seconds.”

This year’s Super Bowl XLIX is noted in Roman numerals once again, to show even the most cynical of critics, the importance of this special event. Does anyone, except a Latin major, know what that translates to in the Arabic numerals we use to designate most everything? I told my wife that I weighed CLXV this morning, the exact weight I was at in high school. She just frowned.

Wikipedia devotes fourteen, ready-to-print pages of coverage, including forty-three listed references, more than those found in many doctoral dissertations.

The game will be broadcast on NBC-TV in the States, and in at least sixty other countries including such football hot spots as Macedonia, Albania, Moldova and Bulgaria, along with the Arab world.

If you hurry, you may be able to catch a flight and make it to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona where the game will be played. There are even some last-minute seats available at the bargain price of $8,700.

NBC is charging $4.5 million for one 30-second commercial, a price that’s up $500,000 from the record set for last year’s game. The projected television audience should exceed last year’s 112.3 million viewers, however I won’t be one of them.

Sunday’s weather forecast for here in Santa Cruz is for sunny skies and a high of 73, so we will either be walking on the beach or biking during the pre-game narishkeyt (nonsense). When the game begins, we will easily find a good seat at a local movie theatre, followed by a great meal in a nearly empty restaurant. It will be one that doesn’t have four, huge television sets mounted on all of its walls.  It won’t even have one.

In case you are wondering, this is Super Bowl 49. However, such a designation sounds too mundane for such an important cultural event, and who would pay $8,700 for a ticket to attend?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Supremely Powerful, Wearing Black Robes

There are nine Supreme Court judges elected by no one, and appointed by a President with the hope that their appointee would match the President’s ideological leanings.

The current justices, bedecked in their black robes, are noted in the next paragraph along with their date of appointment, and the President who may have thought that they were qualified. At times, of course, the President himself may not have been qualified for his position.

Anthony Kennedy (Reagan, Feb.1988) Antonin Scalia (Reagan, Sept. 1988), Clarence Thomas (G.H.W. Bush, Oct. 1991), Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Clinton, Aug. 1993), Stephen Breyer (Clinton, Aug. 1994), John Roberts (G. W. Bush, 2005), Samuel Alito (G.W.Bush, Jan. 2006), Sonia Sotomayor (Obama, Aug. 2009), and Elena Kagan (Obama, Aug. 2010).

While those supreme beings are supposed to leave their prejudices and biases behind when they review a case, you have to wonder if this is so in many decisions.

For example, in April 2010, in a 5-to-4 decision, the Supremes struck down the limit on the total amount of money wealthy donors can contribute to candidates and political committees. A true victory for all Americans named David and Charles Koch, or Sheldon Adelson. It probably shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out which five Republican President’s appointees were the deciding votes.

In June 2013, they effectively struck down the core of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by another 5-to-4 vote, freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval. Can you name the four who opposed this ruling?

However, now in 2015, there was finally a unanimous 9-to--0 vote on an important case that will help determine the fate of our nation.  It will help the populace, or politicians, decide who will run in 2016 and who will win the Presidential election. It will also help to determine a minority’s rights when stopped by Caucasian police officers for littering, and how the average American will be able to get interest rates above 0.85% on their savings, in a promised robust economy.

Oh yes, that 2015 case. The Supreme Court ruled that a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas could grow a short beard for religious reasons.

Under Those Black Robes
When the nine justices, or at least the five appointed by Republican presidents, sit in a dark room trying to determine if a book or a movie is pornographic or not, have you ever wondered what’s happening while they are wearing black robes?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Obama, A No Show in Paris, He Did Show for the Spurs

President Obama, a most indecisive and ineffective leader, placed his priorities where they matter most to him. Although he was one of the few world leaders who did not show for the unity rally after the murders in Paris, he did find time to greet last years’ NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs.

Obama always seems to find a decision that he could avoid, if at all possible. Ah well, we get what we pay for.

It takes an uneducated Texas GOP representative, to put Obama’s poor decision making into the right perspective. Randy Weber, a true American and world historian, tweeted “Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all of the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for right reasons.”

Randy Weber, who represents Texas’s 14th District, has amazed everyone when he correctly spelled the mass murderer Hitler’s last name, yet his historical acuity was lacking in misspelling his first name, which was Adolf.

Perhaps Randy’s impeccable knowledge will be most useful if Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz runs for president in 2016, and makes Weber a member of his think tank.

After Thoughts

Why are deranged individuals, who for religious causes, set off a self-attached bomb designed to destroy innocent people, called “suicide bombers?” Aren’t they really murderers, and shouldn’t they be called “homicide bombers?”

There’s also a far more accurate designation for the radical settlers in Israel who have confiscated Arab land, destroyed Arab property, and harassed and harmed innocent Arabs. They are truly “unsettlers,” trying to make the land comfortable for themselves, at the expense of others.