March 31, 2014

I once had a professor who taught Old Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Dr. Johanna Bos, whose lectures were so exquisitely crafted that, rather than dutifully scrawling notes in my notebook, all I could do was listen with mouth agape, hoping to drink in 1% of the brilliance I was hearing. Her politics and the angle by which she approached the OT was (at least it seemed to me) extremely liberal, but that didn’t matter: this was once-in-a-lifetime stuff; if anyone walked out of her lectures without a greater understanding and appreciation of God’s involvement with Israel and His intentions for Creation you were beyond hope. Her lectures were a mystical and life-changing experience.

I say this because my lesson with Alex Black on Saturday was something akin to that – everything he said was so on target and applicable to my golf game that I was frantically trying to commit his every word to memory while still attempting to stay in the moment and apply what he was saying to our 45-minute lesson. We started out talking about my goals for 2014: bogey golf and 88-95 on a regular basis. I told him I knew I could do it – heck, I had posted scores of 90 and 91, and shot a dozen rounds around 100 over the past year while pissing away at least a dozen strokes a round.

That didn’t sit well with my swing coach. “That’s an awful lot of strokes to throw away during a round”, says Alex. “How did you do that? Penalties? Mistakes? Too many putts?”

“Yes, yes, and yes”, I replied.

I shift the subject quickly to my need for a more consistent transition from backswing to downswing and shifting my weight from back to front. Alex, being the kind of teacher he is, oozed confidence: “I’ve got a great drill to help you with that weight shift. But there’s more to it than that – if you want to shoot bogey golf, as most of my students do…”

Most of his students? At this point I’m ready to face the machine guns and take the next foxhole just for him.

“…we’re gonna have to take a hard look at your swing.” A pause. “And your game.”

Ugh. I didn’t know this was going to turn into a golf intervention. Still, I know there’s no way I can improve to where I need to be without significant changes, not only technically with my swing, but in my overall approach to the game as well.

Like last year, Alex reaches into my bag and grabs a 7-iron – which is great, because I hit my 7-iron like John Daly hits his 5 (not really, but it sure sounds fun to write). I hit a few – a couple good, a couple thin, and Alex is on it like white on rice.

“You’re playing your ball too far forward, so we’re gonna drop that back a couple of inches. More importantly, you’re not getting enough lag in your downswing. Here, let me grab my camera…”

…which he does, and we videotape a few swings from the side and the back. We then head under the shade of his tent and do the whole “film at 11″ bit:

From the video, Alex is able to identify the source of my problem by pointing out that my head, rather than staying on top of while the club is making contact, is coming up and sliding behind the ball, meaning the club face at impact is too far forward on plane. If I were producing a better lag and keeping my upper body quieter, my head would be on top and my club face holding back through impact; instead, I’m behind the club face and finishing up on my back foot instead of my front, with my upper body ahead of my lower.

Alex grabs my pitching wedge and places it under my back foot, my foot on its face so the shaft is sticking up behind me, and he has me take some swings to get the shaft to hit the ground before the club face makes contact with the ball. It’s a great drill for the driving range. We also work on my alignment, which continues to be slightly open at address. He asks me how I align my feet at address. I’m sure this is something very important, but I’m not smart enough to get where he’s going.

Alex senses that I’ve just taken the next off-ramp towards Clueless City.

He explains. “There are only two times on a hole where you can handle the ball – on the tee, and on the green.” I finally get what he’s trying to say. I’m thus given the go-forward task of making sure the lines on my golf ball are always pointed where I’m aiming whenever possible so my feet can follow suit to ensure that everything is square and moving towards target. For someone who finds it hard not only to concentrate while out on the golf course, but slow the game down to where everything you are doing has a specific purpose, it’s a truly “wow” moment.

There would be more.

“Do you take a practice swing while out on the course?”, asks Alex.

“Not usually.”

There’s an awkward silence. Looks like I’m taking a practice swing regularly out on a course going forward.

We talk about a “one and two” count in the swing – “one” being the backswing, “and” the first move downward where the back leg starts moving forward and the club is allowed to drop into the slot, and “two” the move forward where the weight shifts from back to front and the club moves through the ball, clipping the grass in front of the ball (no divot necessary). For someone who has historically used my upper body to try and hit the snot out of the ball whenever possible, hearing Alex stress the need to keep my upper body “numb” during my downswing, I feel as if I’m learning to play real golf for the first time.

“Last year was all about the fundamentals”, says Alex. “This year it’s all about the kind of contact and repetition that leads to scoring.”

I hit several 7-irons as pure as I have ever done. Not only is the contact cleaner, but I’m picking up some trajectory as well, since the angle coming through the ball is a little more steep than I had been doing previously.

We move on to my hybrids. I love hitting my 3- and 4- hybrid but confess to Alex that I never know where one is going from one swing to another. He makes sure I understand that the swing I’ll be taking going forward with my hybrids is the same as with my irons – in other words, the “and” position of bumping my hips forward to create lag and letting the club fall into the slot (sounds like a surfing term to me). Playing the ball in the middle of my stance (unlike forward as I’ve been doing), I’ll be hitting more down on the ball instead of sweeping it off the turf, just as I would do with an iron. I proceed to hit three of the most perfect 3-hybrids I have ever hit in my life.

“How did that feel?”, Alex asks.

I’m speechless. “Um, good” is all I can utter.

We next head to the 3-wood, which I’ve been having a boatload of issues with recently (in fact, there’s currently a restraining order against me). I mention to Alex that I’ve been playing with the idea of a stinger for those tight holes where hitting the fairway is a must. I might as well have told him I forgot my wallet at home. You see, Alex doesn’t believe in stingers. “If you can hit a 3-wood or a 5-wood they way you’re supposed to you don’t need a stinger.” I dutifully nod in agreement.

I’d be lying if I said all the 3-woods he had me hit were perfection. They weren’t. While it is true that a precious few were as good as any I’ve hit in my life, most were pulled and topped as a result of not getting my weight shifted properly. So there’s obviously a bit of work left to be done there.

We take a few minutes hitting pitching wedges to 100, 75, and 40-yard targets. I understand where he’s going with this: if I want to play bogey golf I need my smaller clubs to get me to more one putt (or at the very least, easy two putt) distances than I’ve been giving myself to date. Besides, it’s great practice for shifting my weight from back to front.

In forty-five minutes I feel as if I’ve been in deep golf therapy. Last year’s lesson was like practicing swimming in the shallow end of the pool with water wings; today I was fourteen years old again and thrown off the motor boat by my Uncle Don into Lake Ossipee with my brothers and cousins and forced to sink or swim. There was so much information on different levels being passed my way that all I could say to myself was “wow” after paying Alex and heading off for some putting practice on the incredibly fast and fickle Superstition Springs putting green.

We weren’t done.

“It’ll be quieting down here in a few weeks”, says Alex, “I think you’d find it helpful if we were to go out and play nine holes. I want to see how you manage your way around a golf course.”

My veins immediately start running ice water cold – after all, who would want to put their Achilles heel on display before your very own swing coach? I gulp and say it’s a great idea – in fact, let’s do it on Superstition Springs’s back nine, the place where bogey golf hopes go to die in a series of tight finishing holes with lots of water. After all, if I’m going to show off my (lack of) course management skills, why not where they’re tested to the point where I still don’t know how to properly play holes 14, 17, and 18. We agree to exchange e-mails in a few weeks. It would be a great learning experience.

Our initial session last year was all about the basics and fixing the historical flaws in my swing that had been there for twenty years. This year was like jumping from basic arithmetic to calculus. But I expected that – after all, if you boldly proclaim you want to shoot between 88 and 95 regularly but to date have only shot two rounds in the low 90s, you have to expect to be introduced to all sorts of things you have never considered before.

I’m excited about the homework I’ve been given. I know I’m up to the test.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 02:22 | Comments (2)
March 30, 2014

A little over a year ago I had my first golf lesson with swing doctor Alex Black, after which my swing underwent significant changes in terms of downswing, ball placement, and alignment. As I’ve written in this space before – to some ad nauseum :-) – the results, while not overwhelming in terms of day in /day out numbers, have been more than satisfactory because the changes eliminated the wild swings (literally!) in my play and re-kindled my love for the game and the quiet joy of just hitting balls on an afternoon sun-washed driving range.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve got a pretty specific goal in mind for 2014 – shooting bogey golf regularly),and in order to accomplish that I’ve got some serious work to do. For one thing, I’ve finally come to understand that hitting balls at the range and playing a round of golf with the goal of shooting somewhere between 88 and 95 are two different things entirely, to the point where they’re almost different sports. I’m doggedly committing myself to better course management (slowing the game down, getting out of trouble as quickly as possible, not compounding the inevitable mistakes that will be made, etc.) which hopefully will help. And I absolutely have to play better on the par 3s and par 5s – after all, the one sure way to post a big number is to fill your scorecard with 5s and 6s on the par 3s and 7s and higher on the par 5s. That’s where the course management thing comes in – avoiding the big numbers that turns your round from chicken a la king to chicken a la crap.

But there’s also a technical aspect to it, and that’s where Alex comes in. I know I need to have to hone a more consistent swing and transition from backswing to downswing, shifting my weight from back leg to front and driving through the ball more consistently. And I have to get more consistent with my 5-wood and my hybrids – not only because that’s typically where the big numbers on the par 5s come in, but those are the clubs I have to have confidence in on narrow holes where I absolutely, no-bones-about-it, must hit the fairway off the tee (hello, Wentworth By The Sea!). And finally, there’s nothing wrong with having Alex just take a look at my swing to see if anything bad has crept in since I last saw him eight months ago, just prior to last year’s Goodboys Invitational. I’m excited about seeing my swing guru and hearing what he has to say.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:40 | Comments (0)
March 29, 2014

Off for a golf lesson with my swing guru Alex Black. Will have full details in a post to come. In the meanwhile…

If true, this could be very exciting news. To have a more active monsoon season followed by a wet winter would be just what the doctor ordered around here. Folks are already saying that, El Nino aside, the dust we’ve had over the past two days already points to a more active monsoon come late June. In the desert Southwest you take whatever wet you can get.

Who knew there were even churches in Antarctica? I know I sure didn’t. But the photos here are breathtaking and the stories quite interesting. Enjoy! (Hat tip: National Review Online’s Corner Blog)

Here’s hoping Grady Sizemore is able to stay healthy and have a great season for the Boston Red Sox. If he can stay healthy – and that’s a huge if – Sizemore is a better player than Jacoby Ellsbury ever was, and ever will be for the New York Yankees.

This is as much an indictment on Barack Obama’s failed presidency as anything else that has been written.

It is hard to imagine a presidency with so little to its credit after five years of frenetic activity. Disastrous decisions of the Bush presidency set the stage, but are no excuse for today’s failures. Three years after we were assured the recession was over, underemployment stands at 13 percent, 7 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force, our debt has topped a fantastical $17 trillion, and GDP growth barely touches 2 percent. Great Britain now has a higher labor-force participation rate than the United States. The nation’s health-care system is in increasing disarray thanks to an imprudent, utopian plan that has solved few of the problems it set out to reduce while introducing heartless uncertainty for millions of others. Meanwhile, this president, far more than his predecessors, acts in capricious and lawless ways, deciding by personal whim which elements of law he will ignore. In response, the so-called media eagerly follow his college-basketball picks and record his personal shopping sprees.

Barack Obama is a liar and a stooge, and his wife nothing more than a moocher living the high life on a scale even Marie Antoinette would find astonishing at the taxpayer’s expense. The two of them are nothing but a couple of con artists using their politics and their race as weapons against any kind of journalistic scrutiny, and the USA is going to be paying for the damage they have done both to the Presidency and the rule of law for decades to come. And shame on the mainstream media for playing the role of co-conspirators by rolling over and playing dead during the Obama presidency. They are as much of a disgrace to their profession as the Obamas have been to this country and to the Presidency.

It’s about time folks started noticing just how deep the currents of corruption and lawlessness run in today’s Democratic Party. Personally, I think I think it’s time the entire Democratic Party is investigated for fraud and corruption under the RICO statutes. Between its inherent ties to the labor unions, voter fraud, corruption, lying to Congress, and abusing the rule of law the President, the IRS, and his departments of Justice and Health and Human Services have abused their power and authority to the point of impeachment and criminal prosecution. Barack Obama and his Chicago gangsters make Richard Nixon look like a petty dime store thief, and Senate President Harry Reid and Attorney General Eric Holder have disgraced their offices beyond anything seen in this country’s history.

For the record, the prediction here is the Red Sox make the playoffs and the Yankees don’t. I’d go with predictions by division, but with the season as long as it is that’s become akin to New Year predictions on New Year’s Eve. All I will say is I think Detroit and St. Louis have a great chance of meeting in the 2014 World Series, so I’ll stick to that.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:10 | Comments (0)
March 28, 2014

I was only nine years old at the time, but I remember distinctly the Good Friday earthquake that hit Alaska back in 1964. For some reason it has stayed in my head since that time; whenever there’s some article or cable network special on it I find myself attracted to it like a moth to a porch light. The historic nature of it, even fifty years to the day, still boggles the mind:

The earthquake struck at 5:36 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on Good Friday. When the first shaking hit, many parents were in the kitchen, fixing dinner. For more than 4 minutes, the earth buckled and lurched all across southern Alaska. Few people returned home to their meals that night. In Anchorage, the ground cracked open and giant fissures swallowed children whole, killing them in front of their siblings. Landslides launched tsunamis that swept away coastal villages before the shaking even ended. In Seward, spilled oil slicked the water and caught fire. When the earthquake-triggered tsunami hit minutes later, the wave was blazing. “It was an eerie thing to see — a huge tide of fire washing ashore,” survivor Gene Kirkpatrick told National Geographic magazine in 1964.

In 50 years, no earthquake since has matched the power of the March 27, 1964, Great Alaska earthquake. Now ranked a magnitude 9.2, the second-largest ever recorded, the earthquake radically transformed the young state. Important coastal ports, roads and rail lines were destroyed. The liquefied ground in Anchorage led to the country’s strictest seismic building codes (now outpaced by California). President Lyndon Johnson ordered a comprehensive scientific study of the earthquake.

9.2. Isn’t that amazing? It just goes to show that as much as we humans think we know everything and, through our own pathetic egos, think we can control everything, the fact of the matter is we really have little control over anything. You’re riding high, thinking you’ve got all your BINGO squares covered, and then you get the results of a medical test, or lose your job, or Ma Nature conjures up something that makes you realize just how small and petty your view of the world and yourself has been. We live our lives blissfully ignorant (sometimes willingly so) of the chaos and disaster lurking around the next corner. still, you can’t live your life in fear of that other shoe dropping – that wouldn’t be much of an existence. You just have to live every day God has given you as if it were your last, appreciating everything around you: God’s creation, friends, family – whatever it is you hold dear. And never forgetting it can be taken away in an instant.

The folks who experienced the Great Alaska Quake of 1964, and, most recently, the folks up in Washington state, know that better than most.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:12 | Comments (0)
March 27, 2014

Hat tip: Three Dog Night

Poor Cosmo. He’s been without Peanut for over a month now and, while he’s adjusting to bachelorhood as best as can be expected, there’s no question he misses his mate. Originally, we thought we would try and find him another mate (and had the folks at Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue been a little more cooperative and trusting he probably would have), but as days turned to weeks and we had time to discuss Cosmo’s situation with a couple of other rabbit owners in the same situation, we decided that, as hard as it seemed, it was best that he live out the rest of his days solo.

You see, the problem is, we didn’t expect Cosmo to outlive Peanut. Given Cosmo’s age (we think he’s around nine) as compared to Peanut’s 5 1/2, we always assumed Cosmo would go first and leave poor Peanut as the lonely widow. But that didn’t happen, and we just came around to the idea that finding a mate for Cosmo would mean having to find yet another mate for Cosmo’s mate once Cosmo was gone. Would that be fair to a young rabbit? We thought not.

Like anyone in a similar position (rabbit and otherwise) Cosmo has had to make adjustments, as have we. With no one to groom Cosmo’s face and his eyes, we now make it a point to wet our hands and run them across his face each night. Cosmo used to take his breakfast (slice of banana, a few treats, romaine lettuce and some parsley) in his cage area with Peanut; now he likes to take it in the litter box with Marlie having hers on the other side of the fence. (And just to be clear: there’s no point in trying to hook up Marlie with Cosmo – any time they’ve been together Marlie starts playing the aggressor and attacking Cosmo – she’s a beat!). Therefore, on the recommendation of Kelly at The Bunny Basics, we put a stuffed animal (a rabbit, BTW) in Cosmo’s area for him to groom and lay next to when he’s vegging out at night.

I think Cosmo senses he’s now a bachelor for life. He’s stopped chinning the cardboard box in his area that Peanut used to frequent (a rabbit’s way of broadcasting their status as “available”), and he’s got his own routine down: instead of one tied to making Peanut adhere to his every whim he now just does his own thing. It’s kinda sad, but it is life. And whether you be a rabbit or a human, life is all about comings and goings.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:39 | Comments (0)
March 26, 2014

A little early, I think, for our first dust storm of the year, but when the wind came up late yesterday afternoon and I looked at the sky and saw the clouds with that ominous brown tint to them I knew something was up, and it was. They’re saying with the El Nino forming out in the Pacific that we usually get a more active monsoon season, but that’s still a few months away. Definitely a little early for dust…

At first I was under the opinion that Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy’s decision to return to the microphone and join partner Don Orsillo in the booth was the right thing to do, but now I’m not so sure. You read this Boston Globe column and juxtapose it against everything that a baseball telecast ought to be – entertaining and fun – and it just doesn’t work for me anymore. There’s no question it’s a tragedy, and while it’s Jared, not Jerry, who’s in jail waiting on his murder trial, I think some of the soul-searching Remy should be doing ought to include whether it’s best for all to just move on. There’s little question the days of the lovable, fun-loving “RemDawg” are over, and Remy should do the right thing and turn things over to someone who doesn’t carry the kind of baggage he does.

Will Tiger Woods play at Augusta? I’ve got to believe that while Tiger would do almost anything to compete in the Masters, he’s also fully aware that Augusta National is one of the toughest to walk over a four-day period, and by playing he risks injuring himself further and perhaps not being able to play any of the majors this year. He may indeed still decide to give it a try, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he takes a full month off and gets ready for The Players in May with an eye towards the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in June.

So our first dust storm blew in, leaving a thin film of dirt on everything I had cleaned last weekend – the Tiki bar, the barbecue, the patio. And come this morning there will be a brown film on the stairs and sides of the pool that will need to be swept. Still, the evening colors were beautiful, especially through the soft light of a Pinot Grigio:

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:00 | Comments (2)
March 25, 2014

Here’s what I don’t understand about folks like Massachusetts senator Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren pushing for a minimum wage hike to $10.10 an hour. Why be so stingy? Why stop at $10.10? Why not $20 an hour? Or $30? Heck, why not make it $50 – after all, if children are indeed our most vulnerable, why not make sure their mommies and daddies bring home serious dough-re-mi to make sure they have all the necessities like, y’know, IPhones, big-screen TVs in their bedrooms, etc? If it were up to me there’d be no minimum wage – let employers pay what the market will bear. Minimum wage jobs ought to be just that – getting unskilled workers experience so they can learn work skills and improve themselves for something better. If folks don’t want to do more or earn more by moving on to better opportunities that’s their choice. But let’s not fool ourselves – increasing the minimum wage will result in lost jobs and an even more depressed job market than there already is.

…but I think deep down that’s what the progressives want – more people more dependent on big government programs.

Surprised this story hasn’t gotten more national press. Frequent commenter Jana can tell me if the Louisville Courier-Journal covered it in greater detail. There’s so much helplessness and hoplessness out there in the African-American community, and the problem has gotten worse – not better – under America’s first black president. I know Bill O’Reilly has been pushing this topic on his show quite a bit, but the only response from the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world is to blame on conservatives and Republicans for not throwing more money at the same programs that have failed generations of blacks. In my view, the problem lies in the breakdown of the family unit, hip-hop and gang culture, the diminishing influence of inner-city churches, generational dependence upon government programs, and a general climate of corruption that has turned inner cities into little third-world backwaters. And if you try to call attention to it, as Paul Ryan did a couple of weeks ago, you’re labeled a racist. But that’s because Democrats and liberals are more than satisfied with the ways things are – after all, they know come election day they can largely count on African-Americans to vote the same way they always. It’s a vicious cycle that will only start to get better when things spiral out of control and people say, “Enough!”.

I read this story and wonder what the point of it is. Seems to me (and believe me, I’m a simple guy) that if folks lived within their means and reduced the complexities in their lives there would be a whole lot less stress and folks living happier lives. I’ve always believed that life is about choices and understanding that you can’t have it all. The big house, the nice car, the Disney vacations, letting your kids run you ragged with soccer, karate, hockey, and practice – I mean, it’s madness. And I know from talking with all kinds of folks that that’s exactly what is going on out there – madness. This country has lost its soul and, as a result, has lost its sense of what is truly important. Our priorities are totally screwed up, and we’re quickly losing what it means to interact with people in a meaningful and communal way, hiding behind the various social media technologies that seemingly occupy our every waking moment.

I find this story beyond ridiculous. Whatever happened to common sense? I guess it’s not so common anymore.

I find this story totally disgusting. I guess at some point human life has become so devalued to the point where nothing really surprises people anymore.

Back to happier stuff tomorrow.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 16:58 | Comments (2)
March 22, 2014

Some items of note while enjoying our first weekend of spring…

I’ve seen their comments out on the Yahoo! sports blogs, but only idiots would wish worse on Tiger Woods’s back condition and not hope his bulging disc condition will improve with some rest and PT. You don’t have to like the man or his past personal struggles, but you cannot deny that having a healthy Tiger Woods competing in professional golf tournaments isn’t a good thing for everyone. His condition may not require surgery at this time, but a bad back is no joke, and until Tiger proves he’s healthy enough to play practice rounds and walk and play four consecutive rounds of golf without issue he’s not going to be a favorite in any tournament he plays, never mind the majors.

I hope the PGA Tour fines Bubba Watson some serious dough-re-mi for withdrawing from Arnie’s tournament at Bay Hill complaining of allergies (not coincidentally after completing a round that featured an 11 and three balls in the water on a single hole). Listen, Bubba, folks pay good money to come out and see golfers like you and help support the charities the PGA Tour supports. While no one is doubting just how difficult golf can be when you’re not feeling 100% – hey, try playing Wynn Golf Club with an intestinal bug – the fact is, golf is not digging ditches and you, Bubba, ought to be able to man up and fight your way through the tournament as best you can. All you’re doing is perpetuating the image of professional golfers as privileged pretty-boy wusses who don’t know how good they’ve got it.

So Jimmy Carter says Barack Obama doesn’t call him for advice. Who would know the difference?

This is what happens when the political elite in Washington don’t have a clue as to what it means to run a business.

Frankly, I’m surprised that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often. After all, you’ve got someone with bat only 60′ 6″ away from you with the potential of sending a projectile in your general direction on every pitch. My concern for Chapman’s recovery would be more psychological than physical. I know I’d think twice about pitching again after this.

Leave it to the Democrats to celebrate the release from prison of someone convicted of voter fraud. My ownly question is, why should this be a surprise? After all, in Pennsylvania there’s a huge scandal brewing over the state Attorney General killing an investigation into Democratic politician accepting money for political favors, and the AG’s response is that the charges are – you guessed it! – racism. Heck, I must be a racist for even bringing this kind of thing up.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 10:54 | Comments (0)
March 20, 2014

What’s wrong with this picture, Part I: While Vladimir Putin is busy gobbling up the Ukraine for Russia, Barack Obama is on ESPN touting his NCAA tournament picks. Really. You can’t make this stuff up. One can only imagine eastern European countries casting a wary eye eastward and wondering what a joke this so-called “leader of the Free World” and his buffoon of a Vice-President are. And there’s nary a word of protest or concern from the mainstream media.

What’s wrong with this picture, Part II: White House says no press coverage of Michelle Obama’s visit to China. Now if this was a pure vacation on the First Lady’s own dime I could understand that. But you damned well she and her entourage are doing this in large part on the taxpayer’s dime, and few of the lapdog media seem upset about it? Again, you can’t make this stuff up. It’s really sickening.

I’ve always believed humans have an innate need to seek in our lives something bigger than ourselves as a way to find meaning in life. Which is why, I think, for progressives and liberals politics is their religion. Embracing the crusade against global warming and every -ism you can imagine is, I guess, one of finding meaning in their lives. They worship the cause because that’s where their hearts and minds are. I suppose the decline of mainline Protestantism has a lot to do with this – after all, it has watered down the Christian faith to make it virtually unrecognizable from even fifty years ago. Replacing the Holy Trinity of Father / Son / Holy Ghost with the god of tolerance, acceptance, and diversity has done society and our culture no favors. But it’s not just the Protestant faiths – even the Catholic Church got lazy and careless in how its own traditions and beliefs have been taught and lived out by its clergy. And don’t even get me started on Islam and what it supposedly teaches these days.

A governor’s race to keep your eye on this fall. The mainstream lapdog media has been so in the pocket of the Democrats and President Obama they can’t see the huge push-back rising up against government at all levels coming this fall in the mid-terms. And it’s not just conservatives and Republicans. Which is why, I think, Rand Paul and his brand of libertarianism has tapped into this disenchantment. Come November, it won’t just be about the Obamacare fiasco, NSA spying, and our retreat from the world stage in the face of Vladimir Putin’s aggression, it will be about government competence, size, and influence on folks’ lives. And that can’t bode well for the labor unions and Democrats.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:32 | Comments (0)
March 19, 2014

I found this perfect poem to tell of a March where, while here in the Valley of the Sun the lantana is out in a myriad of colors and the temperatures break 80 each day, back in My New England home winter refuses to give up its grip.

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.

— Christina Rossetti

All I can do is reassure my friends and family members that spring, indeed, is on the way.

Hat tip: egreenway.com

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 03:41 | Comments (0)

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