November 29, 2014

A few thoughts while wondering where the wet, cool fall we were supposed to get went. From what I see it looks warm and dry through the end of the year. I guess El Nino went el poopo…

If this is true put me down as, “hell, yeah!”. He wasn’t really presidential material in 2012 but I think he learned from his (obvious) mistakes. Would love to see him battle whomever the Dems nominate for the top slot in 2016. I’d go to the barricades for Rick.

…Speaking of which, there’s no way Hillary Clinton is the Dem nominee in 2016. She’s a phony, a has-been, and an elitist of the highest order. You read stuff like this and its makes you sick. I’m no liberal or progressive by any means, but I can’t believe true liberals or progressives outside the Beltway would ever conceive of voting for such a politically elite and entrenched retread like Hillary. To know her is to loathe her.

It’s the holiday season, and in my mind it doesn’t get better than the “All Creatures Great and Small” series episode of “Merry Gentlemen”. If you want to be heart-warmed and have a good laugh, just click the link – you’ll be glad you did.

Ferguson protestors ruin Seattle’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Yeah, that will bring people around to your cause. What a bunch of jerks.

…and a little Grace Jones to lighten the mood. She’s awesome. To me, she sounds a little like Bette Midler here, but kudos to the dress she’s (sort of) wearing, so I’ll forgive her for that.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:21 | Comment (1)
November 28, 2014

Courtesy of the CBS Sports golf blog, I found this really cool golf website filled with all kinds of neat stuff. In particular, I found their four-part series on “How to Act Like a Tour Pro” – they call it “Tour Sauce” – priceless:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

I can totally identify with the “Tour Sauce” bit – I’m all over it going forward. After all, they’re speaking The Great White Shank’s language:

You haven’t been “taking lessons.” Instead, you’re working with a new swing coach. It doesn’t matter that your lessons cost $25/hour at Ranger Rick’s (they just put in lights this year!). You’re going through some swing changes, and you need to make it clear to everyone that you feel good about where you are in “The Process.” Just remember, all the hours you’ve been putting in with the new “physio” you brought on the team a few months [Ed. note: weeks] ago are going to start paying dividends soon (never mind that this new “physio” is just the instructor in your group Cardio Jam class at L.A. [Ed. Note: Desert] Fitness).

I hope all the Goodboys get time to practice these oh-so-pro rituals over the winter so they too will be ready to make their own “Tour Sauce” come spring (which, after this week, seems like light-years away).

Like they say, put a little mustard on that hot dog!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:05 | Comments (0)
November 27, 2014

With so much negativity around this week it is nice to be able to take a deeeeeeeep breath… ah, that feels better! – and simply enjoy the presence of family and friends and Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season. In that spirit, here’s a poem that sums up the sentiments of the day:

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we’re poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We’re wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you’ve got;
Realize it’s a lot,
And you’ll make all your cares go away.

– Karl Fuchs, “Thanksgiving Day”

Hat tip: poemsource.com

Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving filled with all the blessings this day brings.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:47 | Comments (2)
November 26, 2014

President Barack Obama, in a speech in Chicago on Tuesday:

“We are a nation built on the rule of law, so this decision was the grand jury’s to make.”

Seriously? This, less than one week after announcing his own executive actions to circumvent the nation’s immigration laws.

You really can’t make this stuff up. If he wasn’t such a bald-faced liar I’d say President Obama has either lost his mind or he’s simply become a pathetic caricature of himself. If he really believes the words he is saying he’s either being either incredibly disingenuous or beyond cynical. I’m guessing it’s a combination of both.

Either way, I can’t help feeling sorry for this country. Looking back, it’s near impossible to believe this clown – and I use the term both deliberately and literally, for I have zero respect for anything he stands for and says – came into his presidency under the guise of “hope and change”.

Well, he’s certainly accomplished that: by week’s end Ferguson will have become Obama’s Katrina and no one will be listening to anything this guy says anymore. Once word gets out – and it will – that both he and Eric Holder were the ones that encouraged Missouri governor Jay Nixon to hold back the National Guard troops following the Michael Brown grand jury announcement his presidency will be, for all intents and purposes, toast. And the vast majority of the country will be left hoping for a change come 2016.

If we even make it that far.

Sigh. Bring on the holiday season. Like the song goes, we need a little Christmas.

One final thought: is calling Friday “Black Friday” racist?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:29 | Comment (1)
November 25, 2014

Been monitoring the violence in Ferguson via Jim Hoft’s marvelous Gateway Pundit blog and it’s a pretty sickening thing to behold. But this is what you get in Barack Obama’s America, where race-baiting is encouraged, the rule of law is ignored, and lawlessness not only accepted, but welcomed by a so-called “media” who long ago gave up journalism to kiss the ass of their beloved emperor wannabe.

I’m sure hoping Obama and his equally lawless and race-baiting Attorney General Eric Holder are pleased at what they are seeing tonight; after all, words have meaning, and when those words (or lack thereof) don’t support local authorities and encourage lawlessness you reap the whirlwind you created.

What’s happening tonight in Ferguson is a disgrace and disgusting beyond words. And it is not surprising that it appears neither the police or the National Guard were sufficiently marshaled, but that’s what happens you have you have incompetent and limp-wristed politicians like their joke of a Democratic governor in charge.

Call me whatever you want, but I’ve been warning about this kind of thing for some time now. And it’s not just the likes of Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and shameless charlatans like Al Sharpton, it’s black politicians at the congressional and state level who see racism around every corner and have used the death of Michael Brown to further their own political agendas and divide the country further along racial lines.

Shame on them.

Listen, you play the game of dividing Americans against each other because of class, status, race, and political identity, and push all the race-baiting buttons for entirely political reasons, and this is what you get. And once the genie is out of the bottle, or the toothpaste out of the tube – choose whatever metaphor you’d like – it’s impossible to get it back in.

Wake up, America! If it can happen in Ferguson it can happen anywhere. And it will, trust me. And this is exactly what the Barack Obama and Eric Holder have been spoiling for ever since they took power. I hope they’re satisfied.

UPDATED:

But of course they did. Which is why this happened. My heart breaks for the poor storeowners and employees who Barack Obama, Jay Nixon, and Eric Holder – all Democrats – threw under the bus all for their own racial bigotry, political correctness, and political expediency. Their actions and behavior as as much of a disgrace as those doing the shooting, burning, and looting.

Wrong message, completely. Still pandering and race-baiting rather than focusing on respecting the rule of law and supporting the hard-working business owners and employees of Ferguson.

This figures. Again, not surprising – this Attorney General is beyond a disgrace. He’s a race-baiting punk and an ass.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:08 | Comments (0)
November 24, 2014

So the world waits for the announcement of a decision in the Michael Brown grand jury. Are you as sick as I am over the clowns in Ferguson, MO who are calling for “justice” but seem to have no real interest in what true justice and the rule of law is? They want officer Darren Wilson’s head, and nothing short of that will satisfy. All because, have you heard? The police officer was white and Michael Brown was black.

Oh, my bad, I’m guessing you thought I was talking about the folks in Ferguson who will be most directly impacted by the decision, whatever it may be.

Oh, my bad, I’m guessing you thought I was talking about the professional agitators now in Ferguson just waiting for an excuse to commit violent acts against the system. They’re not from Ferguson and they could care less about who Michael Brown was. They take their orders from “the Reverend” Al Sharpton, or wear those stupid Guy Fawkes masks to send a message to law and authority that they’re mad as hell and not going take it any more.

Unfortunately, Ferguson also has become a huge electromagnet for professional protesters who bounce from one focus of fury to the next.

These permanently angry people starred in anti-globalization demonstrations in Seattle, Miami, and Cancun. They screamed themselves hoarse as Governor Scott Walker curtailed the special privileges of the Badger State’s unionized government workers. This mob moved on to Occupy Wall Street — where they turned Zuccotti Park into an open toilet and rape camp — and Occupy Oakland, which featured vandalism and arson.

And now they are in Ferguson. Amid shuttered storefronts, padlocked school yards, and deployed National Guardsmen, this scene threatens to become the Super Bowl of mass public outrage.

Oh my bad, I thought you knew I was talking about the mainstream media. A media that, true to that that Don Henley song, is only interested in violence, death, and destruction because you know it just plays so well over the big-screen TVs to folks sitting in their comfortable living rooms munching popcorn and shaking their heads in disgust. Never mind that since Brown’s murder people’s lives and businesses are being uprooted and systematically destroyed; the film at 11 is always more interesting when it shows those who: a) have no regard for the rule of law, b) have nothing better to do with their lives than to vent their outrage at “the system”, and c) find a more-than-willing accomplice to give their pathetic political agendas a voice.

No matter what happens, the sad truth is that a young man is dead, whether rightly or wrongly, and a community through little fault of its own is in the process of being destroyed from within and from outside by those who could care less. All the while, a mainstream “drive by” media bent on sensationalizing a family’s loss and a community’s tragedy rubs their collective hands in glee at the prospect of sky-high ratings when the violence escalates.

All the while, yet another weekend in Chicago brings news of more deaths of minorities at the hands of other minorities. But you won’t hear about it in the national mainstream press. And you know why? Because they’re all in Ferguson – after all, that’s where the real action is. It’s disgraceful.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 14:54 | Comments (0)

[Ed. note: consider this a guest column by my bro Dave. As with my posts, comments both positive and negative are both welcome and encouraged. Enjoy!]

This is the latest comeback from the left when faced with opposition towards Obama’s newest executive actions.

Is this what our Republic has been reduced to? A government so dysfunctional that this President has to issue executive orders to get his agenda moving forward, because he hasn’t got the legislative talent and leadership skills to acknowledge that working with the opposition, no matter how distasteful and dogmatic they may be, is required by the Constitution in order to do things legally?

Let’s face it. Obama could have signed immigration reform back in 2009 or 2010 when he had both houses of Congress in his back pocket, had immigration reform really been important to him. But I guess he was too tied up in trying to pass Obamacare; after all, it must have taken a lot of work to convince members of his own party to support a bill where much of the details were either hidden or made up (See: Jonathan Gruber). But surely after 2010, Obama could have issued his executive orders on immigration if they were so important to him, but I guess his upcoming re-election was more important than those immigrants he so recently felt for.

Never mind that most people reading the tea leaves after the 2010 midterms realized that there would have to be more engagement with House Republicans in order to get any immigration reform passed.

But this is Obama. A president who doesn’t know what half a loaf means. A president who wants what he wants, and is willing to go to extra-Constitutional steps to get his way, rather than have to deal with people who might want something different. First, Obamacare at it’s core had to go before the Supreme Court to decide the legality of the individual mandate and the fine (now tax) if people chose not to participate (we’ll touch on that a little later). Next it was forcing private entities to cover forms of birth control that could be used to terminate pregnancies in their early stages. Finally, the House of Representatives has actually sued the administration for arbitrarily delaying the employer mandate under Obamacare.

And before all this, the administration has been on the losing side of 13 unanimous SCOTUS decisions where they were either the entity bringing the legal action, or did not withdraw support for a previous administration’s actions.

And now the left’s only answer to Obama’s latest overreach is “Let’s see how the courts decide”.

Seriously?

Wouldn’t you hate to be the lawyer defending Obama’s latest actions on immigration, given the recent revelations regarding Obamcare via Jonathan Gruber? Let’s say Mr. Smith is presenting the government’s case in front of the SCOTUS this time around. Knowing the wool was pulled over their eyes the last time the government was pleading the individual mandate (the tax that was a fine before it became a tax again), how receptive are certain justices going to be knowing they were blatantly lied to the last go around? “I’m sorry Mr. Smith, but are you Grubering us again?”

That ought to go over well.

Ultimately, though, the point is that the Framers of the Constitution never intended for the legislative branch to sue the executive branch over and over again. They intended to have both sides work together, and if they couldn’t, each branch had LIMITED options open to them to address overreach. Congress retains the power of the purse, and the President has veto power over bills he doesn’t agree with. The executive order route was never intended to change policy, but to correct unforeseen errors in legislation that Congress never intended.

It is a sad and sorry affair when the default defense of an out-of-control President is “Let’s see how the courts decide”. THIS is the lasting legacy of the Obama presidency that people will be debating for years.

– Dave Richard

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 10:03 | Comment (1)

It’s been two weeks since I started working out at the local gym and following my fitness trainer Tony’s strategy of working on things that will improve my tone, endurance, and yes, my golf game are – at least to my eyes – starting to pay off. My primary goals for this year: avoiding the mistakes I made last year and implementing good practice techniques – are part and parcel with what my swing coach Alex Black also wants me to focus on this year; better posture and ball position at setup and address, and focus on making solid contact. Alex also wants me to spend the majority of my buckets of balls on four clubs alone: driver, 8-iron, 9-iron, and pitching wedge. Personally, I also want to make an attitude reset as to what I am attempting to accomplish in the coming year: less focus on score, more focus on the golf experience in God’s creation.

If there is one common theme that is running through each of these strategies, it is gaining confidence through repetition – the thought being, if you follow a particular axiom consistently the results you receive will also be consistent. Both my executive swing coach Dr. Jim Suttie and Alex have all stressed that the focus on scoring is futile: you can’t control the bounces or the conditions whenever you play a round of golf; you can, however, control your approach and technique based off of what you have perfected from your work at the range. By and large, if you follow a consistent approach to ever swing you make, and your technique is sound, more often than not good things will happen.

The same holds true at the gym, where it is critical to follow good technique when doing any kind of weight work. If you don’t you can hurt yourself and set yourself back in a serious way. And the foundation of that technique begins with good posture: chest out, back straight, shoulders back. Do that, and you’re making the most out of what you have. Which is the same when it comes to your golf setup and address.

Back at the range on Sunday for the second straight week, I’ve tried to take everything Tony and Alex have stressed to heart, and I feel as if I’m not just hitting the ball better, but practicing smarter. I know many swing coaches focus primarily on the short game – and there is something to be said about that – but I agree with what Greg Norman has said, which is, it all starts off the tee. The more often your second shot is off the short grass, the more likely that no matter what happens from then on you’ve got a good shot at making a good score. So today, like last week, nearly half the balls I hit were with the driver, focusing on correct set-up and ball position (no more playing it even a smidge forward from inside my front foot), with one swing in mind: hit it through the uprights. So far, so good.

Beyond that, I spent the majority of my balls hitting pitching wedge, 9-iron, and 8-iron. Some full, some three-quarter, all focused solely on making solid contact and to a predefined spot on the range. There’s a lot to be said about taking more swings with your short irons as opposed to, say, distributing you balls equally amongst all your clubs like I’ve always done. It makes sense: you’re practicing with clubs you’re going to hit more often than others during a round. Second, these are scoring clubs – the more accurate you are with them, the more likely you’ll make the most of scoring opportunities when they come your way. Most of all, they teach essentials like good contact and tempo – something you can replicate with your other clubs. Finally, I’m focusing on the whole aspect of the range experience: the camaraderie with familiar faces I see, taking my time to enjoy the breeze, the trees, and the various birds that frequent the range. If the only thing I’m focused on is hitting balls I’m missing the whole point of the experience.

With Tony’s help I’m learning about and feeling muscles I never knew I had and the essentials of good posture. With Alex’s help I’m back to practicing the essentials of the golf swing and attempting to erase bad habits resulting from 20+ years of playing the ball too far forward in my stance. I’m now two weeks into my range work for the 2014-15 season and in no rush to take my game to the course. It’s more important to feel confident with my swing and knowing that I’m putting into practice all the right things. Right now the important thing is to get it to the point where it all feels natural. I’m getting there.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:09 | Comments (0)
November 21, 2014

If you’re a frequenter to this blog you’re probably aware that I’m no fan of the President, nor his use of his office as a stick to poke at his political enemies in every way he can. Six years into his presidency I’ve finally come to the realization that Barack Obama really doesn’t see his role as anything but a tool for self-aggrandizement and worship from a relatively-small but powerful cadre of supporters who lionize everything he does and says (Hollywood, east and west coast progressives, the mainstream media). Most Americans voted him into office because they believed his lofty promises for uniting the country and being post-partisan, and (not in small measure) because he stood for a post-racial America where people could feel good about electing an African-American to the highest office in the land.

I write this only because what we saw on Thursday night was, in a little over fifteen minutes, a microcosm of the entire Obama presidency. Lots of chastising his political adversaries. Masterfully-delivered lofty words and promises full of seemingly rational and good intention. And, most typically, no small number of mistruths, lies, and spin. And it’s not just me saying this: when you have usual stalwarts like former White House spokesperson Jay Carney, the Washington Post and the AP issuing fact-checks, well, the jig, as they say, is up.

That all being said, I’m going to go out on a limb here and give the President his due. Never mind the fact that had he truly wanted to do immigration “reform”, he could have done it before the 2010 midterms when he had a Democrat Senate and House. He could have done it following his 2012 re-election, saying the country had reaffirmed his call for “hope and change”. He could have done it ahead of the 2014 midterms as a way to bolster the Democratic brand in advance of elections where historically the party in the White House loses seats in Congress. In each case, however, he didn’t, offering up one excuse after another – some plausible, some not. And so, keeping true form, what the President did last night had little to do with an intense desire for immigration reform – rather, it was designed for one thing and one thing only: to show Republicans he still mattered as a political force in Washington (no lame-duck he!), and to goad Republicans into political overreach that would both hinder GOP initiatives over the final two years of his presidency and harm the GOP brand going into 2016.

That’s all it was. And I agree with National Review’s Daniel Foster that it was both a masterful performance and as skillful a political tactic as one will ever see. He was good, very good. How do you know? because this morning he’s taking flack from both sides: from activists who don’t think his proposals go far enough, and from radical conservatives who think the Constitution has been shredded and the country is in a Fukishima-like meltdown. Neither, of course, is true, and I applaud the President for his (at least for now) his political masterstroke.

Republicans would be cautious to overreact here, because, in the end, Obama’s executive actions don’t really change much of anything, with the possible exception that they could – could – attract more illegals from Mexico and Central America in the knowledge that the President’s actions will be hard, if not downright impossible, to implement and enforce, and in the hope that nothing really ends up getting done and the status quo remains as is. Rather than focus on the human aspect of immigration by punishing the folks who are already here, I would encourage Republicans to pursue a series of small, but powerful legislative actions that pursue a three-pronged approach: 1) securing the border, 2) promoting the enforcement of existing laws already on the books, and 3) chastising the President for constitutional overreach.

Reforms that start with enforcing our southern border first would be a no-lose proposition for the GOP. Folks know damned well our southern border is a sieve, and Republicans can develop common-sense legislation that will force enough senate Democrats to support rather than risk appearing to be soft on national security and our sovereignty as a nation. And if President Obama wants to veto, the GOP candidate for 2016 has a ready-made popular issue to run on. Republicans in Congress can also use the power of the purse to force federal agencies to enforce existing law and punish those who don’t. Once again, if senate Democrats and President Obama want to support the non-enforcement of existing laws, let them try to run on that in 2016.

Finally, Republicans need to make it clear to the American people that Obama’s attempts to make law rather than enforce it at the Executive level poses great harm to the country, not just now but going forward. If played right this can be a constitutional “teaching moment” for the country, and whether the GOP seeks action through the courts similar to (Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit) or in Congress (censure or tabling all Obama appointment requests indefinitely), it has to be made clear that what President Obama has done is not just bad for the country in practice, but politically as well. Democrats would be wise to pay attention: imagine if a Republican is elected president in 2016 and his/her first executive action were to, say, abolish all public service labor unions or halt the collection of taxes by the IRS. After all, what’s good for the goose…

One final note: because that’s the nature of politics, people can debate who “wins” and who “loses” as a result of President Obama’s actions, in the end the biggest losers are African Americans (a common theme, unfortunately, throughout the Obama presidency), and the very people Obama pretends to want to help – those living in the so-called “shadows”. Hugh Hewitt is absolutely right: by seeking to shove immigration reform down the throats of Americans though executive action, he is risking a backlash against illegals or undocumenteds or whatever you want to call them, making their present situation and status all the more difficult:

The president’s lawless act will have the apparently contradictory impact of both making life harder for “those in the shadows” by increasing the reluctance of employers to hire the obviously illegal, while at the same time attracting millions more north across the fenceless border. Employers are simply going to be less willing to hire the obviously illegal because of a host of other laws the president cannot change, but the underground and top line messaging of the president’s act will be an amplified “Olly olly oxen free” to the millions who wish they were in America and not living in their own country.

Time will, of course, tell how all of this plays out. But there’s little doubt that what President Obama truly sought to do through his speech and actions last night – pick a fight with the next GOP-led Congress and keep it going through the end of his presidency – is his political “mission accomplished” moment. Unfortunately (though not surprisingly), it’s neither good for the country, the rule of law, nor the office of the presidency in general.

…not that either of these has ever been a concern for this President or his administration.

The bottom line is – and you heard it here from The Great White Shank – the President’s intended actions on immigration “reform” have little to do with immigration or the people impacted on both sides of the issue. Rather, it is only, as it always has been and always will be when it comes to Barack Obama, all about him and the way he has learned to play politics. Is it effective? Hell, yes. But good for the country and it’s future? No.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 11:03 | Comments (0)
November 20, 2014

Might the Red Sox land the Kung Fu Panda after all? While I wasn’t crazy about the idea of the Sox reaching out to Pablo Sandoval, it actually makes sense in a couple of ways. First, it fills a gaping wide hole a third base and thankfully ends the Will Middlebrooks era; Second; given his shape and weight one might be concerned about him holding up for the next 5-6 years, but he’s only going to have to play third until David Ortiz retires. Then he slides into the DH role. Third, it might show Jon Lester that the Red Sox are serious about tossing the cabbage around to get back to the American League post-season.

A Red Sox lineup with Sandoval at third and Lester back at the top of the rotation would certainly give the team a different look going into the 2015 season.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 03:44 | Comments (0)

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