November 24, 2018

No, you silly gaggle of geese, I didn’t hit any stores on Black Friday for anything. Why should I? There’s the Amazon web page as a Favorite if I need it (which I won’t), and besides, I promised the twins I’d get the Christmas tree out of the garage and get it put up and fluffed out so they can decorate it while I’m playing a round of golf at Stonecreek Golf Club today (Saturday). The weather is going to be beautiful, and the course being the challenge it always is will serve as a perfect tune-up for golf in Las Vegas when I meet my Goodboys friends there next weekend. In the meantime…

What a moron:

An American tourist was killed by arrows shot by protected tribesmen living in one of the world’s most isolated regions tucked in India’s Andaman islands, police said Wednesday.

John Chau, 27, had taken a boat ride with local fishermen before venturing alone in a canoe to the remote North Sentinel Island where the indigenous people live cut off completely from the outside world.

As soon as he set foot on the island, Chau found himself facing a flurry of arrows, official sources told AFP.

Contact with several tribes on the islands, set deep in the Indian Ocean, is illegal in a bid to protect their indigenous way of life and shield them from diseases.

Actually, as it turns out, he was a missionary. But I’m sorry, I don’t feel sorry for this clown. Guess I’ve gotten into Jordan Peterson’s general overriding philosophy that we here in the privileged West need to focus on cleaning up our own selves and situations before we start trying to “improve” the lives of others.

…the same holds true as far as our foreign policy is concerned: there is nothing wrong with “America First” and keeping “the big picture” the big picture. For the media to focus so much attention on the death of a so-called “journalist” (which he wasn’t, BTW) is just them finding yet another outlet to express their rabid hatred of President Trump.

…but back to Mr. Chau for one final observation: as one of the commenters joked (or at least I think they were):

I admire a people that have a strict policy about illegal immigration. We could learn something from them.

Fortunately, I’ve never had to do this before, but it would certainly be an interesting kitchen experiment.

The usual media suspects are all saluting Chief Justice John Roberts chiding President Trump for being critical of “an Obama judge” on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or his temporary blocking of restrictions on migrants seeking asylum, but Roberts has done nothing – nothing – to show himself worthy of chiding anyone over anything. As Mark Levin rightly notes, it was Roberts who sided with the Obama administration over Obamacare (something that was clearly unconstitutional). Were it not for Roberts and John McCain, there is little doubt the GOP would have performed far better in the mid-term elections, perhaps even keeping the House.

If it’s gonna be Christmas time, then I can’t think of a better singer and song choice than this.

…and speaking of Shawn Colvin and looking forward to my upcoming visit to Sin City, Colvin does one great (and haunting) version of this Elvis classic.

I get that President Trump might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a 100% guarantee you’ll never hear him trash America like his predecessor seems to enjoy doing so much. I can’t think of another person in American history who misused and abused the heartfelt and genuine good will and yearning for unity this country gave him by voting him into the White House. He’s a disgrace, a tiresome and reprehensible ass, and someone who one would think should know better. But he’s so full of himself he can’t help it.

Funny how you don’t hear more American success stories like this on the talking-head cable and major news networks. If you think something like this would have been possible under a Hillary Clinton presidency, you’re dreaming.

Consider me, for one, hopeful that if our government has plans for this kind of apocalyptic event, it has done its homework for events far greater in terms of possibility. Or maybe that’s hoping too much.

Old, outdated, and (sadly) lost to antiquity: asking your mom to pick up some boxes of Bell’s Seasoning at the local Market Basket in Billerica, Massachusetts and mail it to Arizona via the U.S. Postal Service.

…new and hip: just order it online through Amazon. Easy peasy Japan-easy.

As it turned out, the whole Phil / Tiger “match” was nothing more than a reflection of the holiday season it was scheduled to take place in: an orgy of self-indulgence that, in the end, I don’t think does either of them good. Looking at it from across the pond, I think the Brits commenting on it had it right.

This is not a bad list, but I would have to add “Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer’s Quest to Play with the Pros” to the list. Not only is it an interesting and fun read, it makes you realize just how damned good the pros are, and just how wide the gulf is between the best golfer you might happen to know and the pros who tee it up for a living.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 03:33 | Comments (0)
November 23, 2018

The dust has pretty much settled on the 2018 mid-term elections (although, hard to believe, there are still a handful of congressional elections still being counted. Was there a so-called “red wave”? Obviously not, although the ability of the GOP to increase, however slightly, its hold on the Senate was definitely unusual for the party in power during a president’s first mid-term. Was there a so-called “blue wave”? A lot of political observers are saying no – at least in terms of historical performance by a party out of power during a president’s first mid-term, but, judging from the way the congressional races ultimately turned out I would have to say yes, albeit a small one. Most certainly, you didn’t see any kind of Democratic “wave” that reached into state-wide governor and legislative races, the results of which were fairly mixed.

I’ve been looking back on my own personal notes over the past year, reviewing various commentaries by so-called “political experts” (on both sides of the political aisle), and even had a long conversation with my national GOP operative, and from it come up with my own reassessment on what happened in the 2018 mid-terms and what – if any – it portends for 2020:

1. Voter enthusiasm mattered. There’s little doubt that Democrats and liberal/progressives were more motivated to vote than their Republican/conservative counterparts – far more, in fact, than in prior mid-term elections. Democratic candidates benefitted from an overwhelming desire by liberals and progressives to “get back” at Donald Trump and Republicans for Hillary Clinton’s failure in 2016. Republican enthusiasm appears to have been dampened by a lack of meaningful success on the part of President Trump (and particularly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions) to build the wall, start draining the swamp, and more forcefully pushing back against Robert Mueller’s “Russia collusion” investigation. Lots of frustration out there with the GOP’s Beltway elites (it showed itself most especially in congressional races), but what happened wasn’t that surprising, in that historically, a sitting president’s party always takes a beating in the midterms. But the depth of conservative disenchantment with the president was a surprise.

2. Issues mattered. Healthcare turned out to be a far more important issue to voters (most especially, suburban women voters) than might have been anticipated. It may not have been the the most important issue (immigration was), but it was a significant factor in GOP fortunes. Here (to be brutally honest), the GOP got what it deserved, thanks to two people: Arizona senator John McCain and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. In McCain’s case, his deciding vote to save Obamacare took a potential major policy success talking point for the GOP off the table. McCain’s actions were bad enough, but nothing compared to Ryan’s hostility to President Trump and, therefore, his unwillingness to tackle hard issues involving the deficit and spending, illegal immigration, and healthcare reform. McCain was always a vile, petty swamp creature hiding behind his carefully manufactured a “maverick” image, but Ryan’s ineffectiveness and incompetence as a Speaker unable or unwilling to lead a “reform agenda” on pocketbook issues was a killer to the GOP’s chances.

3. Candidates mattered. For Republicans, the retirements of 30-odd incumbents left the party scrambling to find quality candidates to run in what most already knew was going to be a challenging year for Republicans. Because of that, it was more difficult to recruit candidates willing to devote time, money, and effort in what was going to be an uphill climb to begin with. Democrats, on the other hand, did a better job recruiting candidates, but with one caveat a media so enthralled with newly elected socialist/progressives like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ilhan Omar isn’t telling you: most Democrats who ran successful campaigns did so by running not to the left, but to the center; in many cases actually hiding their party identity and/or running as legislative reform candidates. The problem with that strategy is that you can get away with it once; after that, there will be an identity and a voting track record to defend. Just something to keep in mind when it comes to 2020.

4. Illegal voting practices mattered. Here you have to give the Democrats credit: through early and absentee voting they’ve figured out how to game the system to their advantage. This is how in places like California and Illinois, where Democrats have a strangle-hold on offices at both the state and county levels, they were able to run up the votes long after the polls have closed. Without sufficient countermeasures by the GOP, Democrats have had the ability to literally generate whatever number of votes they need in order to drag any candidate that needs help over the finish line. This was especially true in California, but there’s little doubt the same playbook was, and is, being used elsewhere.

The above being said, a few thoughts looking forward to 2020:

1. Republican refocus. The GOP will be looking to rebuild a sense of trust with middle-class suburban voters (especially white females) while continuing to build relationships with leaders in black and Hispanic circles using Democratic support for illegal immigration as a wedge issue that threatens the improving job picture for young African-American and Hispanic workers and their families. With the party fairly well purged of those who either actively resisted or kept their distance from President Trump, the opportunity will be there for better, more doctrinal candidates willing to run against first-time Democratic congressmen and congresswomen by using the latter’s voting records to demonstrate the true differences between the parties.

2. Democratic competence. Democrats, on the other hand, will have to prove to Americans that they can be trusted with control of the legislative branch of government. It will be interesting to see how Speaker “San Fran Nan” Pelosi sets her priorities for the next Congress. Will she allow the rabid anti-Trump members of her party to use this opportunity to go after Trump on everything from his tax returns, finances, and “Russia collusion”? If so, that would be a big mistake. As would allowing the new progressive socialists to propose massive spending and tax increases for things like single payer (i.e., government-run) healthcare and free college tuition. Alternatively, could Pelosi and Trump try to forge a working relationship on a couple of small areas involving infrastructure and, say, deficit reduction?

3. The “new resistance”. Republicans will have the same benefit the Democrats had in 2018 – which, is, exploiting the role of a minority party which can propose legislation they know will be shot down while blaming the party in power should the Democrats do anything to slow down Donald Trump’s “America First” policies on immigration, trade, and the economy. As Steve Baldwin writes in The American Spectator:

The main goal of the Republicans for the next two years should be to put the Democrats on record, over and over again, as being against the policies that elected Donald Trump: border security, the renegotiation of trade treaties, less taxes, policies that unleash our manufacturers and energy producers, an America-First foreign policy, etc. They need to expose the Democrat Party for who they really are: a party completely unconcerned about working class Americans but obsessed with taking back power so they can continue the socialist transformation of America begun by Barack Obama.

In a weird way, I believe having the Democrats in charge of the House actually helps President Trump, in two ways: 1) it gives him a political adversary to contrast his “America First” priorities against, and 2) the deep-down desire in the American DNA for a cooperative sharing of power between the political parties to temper the worst tendencies of an authoritarian party holding the reins of political power. Having the Democrats as a check to Trump’s worst tendencies will benefit him as someone voters know and can trust when it comes to a second term – especially if the Democrats were to nominate someone from a very liberal state with a philosophy and agenda seen as “outside the mainstream” by many voters.

4. Trump’s opponent. To that end, Democrats are going to have to pick a presidential candidate that will appeal to the same Democrats Donald Trump stole from Hillary Clinton in 2016. This is not going to be an easy task: by the time 2020 comes around, Americans are going to know what the have with Donald Trump and will have to be willing to trade his “America First” policies for what will likely be a more socialist/progressive agenda pushed by someone from the far left of the Democratic Party. I believe the days of centrist dinosaurs like Joe Biden are long past. I also think that it will be difficult (if not downright impossible) for Democrats to pick a while male as their party’s standard-bearer (read: “Beto” O’Rourke); instead, I would look for the Democrats to push a very liberal female candidate. And don’t discount the idea of a very large crowd of candidates fracturing the extremes of the party, thus giving none other than Hillary Clinton a center route to another attempt at the White House.

5. Counting the votes. The Republicans are going to get smarter when it comes to Democrat voting shenanigans. The success of James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas will help unleash a new caravan of conservative journalists willing and eager to do the work the mainstream media won’t do – which is, to ensure the integrity of voting practices at the local level. While there is little that can be done in Democrat-controlled places like California, New York, and Illinois, “purple” states like Florida, Arizona, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wisconsin will become a focal point for those ensuring that votes are counted accurately and efficiently.

6. What the future holds. The above being said, anyone projecting 2020 based upon what happened just a few short weeks ago is a fool. We’re fifteen months away from the first presidential primaries – a lifetime in politics. And, as Larry Schweikart wisely notes, past performance very rarely matches future results in politics. Historical trends matter, there’s nothing really new under the sun, and it’s a given the political landscape is to be shaped by future events we cannot foresee.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:02 | Comments (0)
November 22, 2018

Remembering Thanksgiving days of the past, good memories. We were very lucky to have such a large, extended family to share the holidays with. As the years went by, the Thanksgivings dinner celebrations got smaller and smaller as the kids became grownups and moved away, and the families got smaller. Still, there were some great times. Again, we were very fortunate to have wanted for nothing. And today will still be great – lots of cooking and making the twins happy with a festive dinner. It’s all good, baby.

Happy Thanksgiving from Goodboys Nation blog.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:28 | Comment (1)
November 21, 2018

Oh man, we’re right on the cusp of the holiday season. I can’t believe how many people already have their friggin’ Christmas lights up. I mean, hello: it’s only November 21st, for gawdsakes! But hey, who am I to decided when the right time is for celebrating the season? The non-stop Christmas music on 99.5 here in the Valley has been playing holiday stuff as soon as Halloween was over, and I heard Mexican Christmas music at the Si Senor the other day. I might as well get in the habit. This is a nice remake of an obscure Beach Boys tune from 1972. The video is a little dopey, but whoever “Rachel” is, she’s cute and enthusiastic, and has a great voice for singing pop.

Around these parts it’s called “Arizona Justice”.

As I mentioned in my post the other day, you don’t screw around with “San Fran Nan” Pelosi. Marcia Fudge of Ohio was thinking about it, then all of a sudden – mysteriously so – something nearly forgettable, but embarrassingly so – from her past somehow got leaked. So much for challenging the incoming Madame Speaker. Like I said in that post, I might not like nor agree with Nancy Pelosi, but I respect her political chops – especially when it comes to keeping her party’s minions in line.

…that, of course, is a double-edged sword for Democrats because they know just how damned unpopular she is. But America will just have to find out all over again why a do-nothing GOP is better than an active Democratic Party.

Maybe it’s just me, but I have zero interest in watching the Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson “Duel in the Desert” this weekend. I’m sure it’ll get good numbers, but as for me, wake me when it’s over.

I finished Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules For Life” last week and found it interesting. A little boring and repetitive in spots, but its themes regarding self-sufficiency and self-respect, honesty, truthfulness (especially with one’s self) and being realistic with your life and one pursues one’s goals is something very much needed these days. You have these adult/child snowflakes being wet-nursed through college with their “safe spaces”, ignorance about our country and its traditions, the Constitution, the basic tenets of free spec and innocent until proven guilty, and running up huge student debt and entering the workforce without brains or common sense, and you realize why Peterson is so despised in liberal and academic circles. The way he’s talked down to in this interview gives you an idea of why he’s seen as such a threat.

Well, you can’t say President Trump didn’t warn Mexico about “that invasion”.

There won’t be any arguing about politics at the Richard family Thanksgiving, but that’s only because there are three of us, and two of them (guess which) will likely be watching Lifetime Christmas movies while eating. Still, I pity the poor bastards out there who are going to have to listen to some insufferable idealist and clueless liberal know-it-all attack them while they’re passing the dressing and gravy simply because they’re discovered as a supporter of Donald Trump.

…speaking of which, it never happens the other way, does it? I mean, you didn’t have conservatives attacking liberals and restaurant and store owners and bar patrons harassing Barack Obama supporters while he was president, did you? There is a decided lack of civility nowadays that I find distasteful, almost to the point where I care not to associate with anyone. I like who I am and what I like, and what I like is being left in peace. That’s getting much harder to do these days.

…so here’s a word to the wise: you got a problem with a family member or friend who happens to like and support Donald Trump? Shut yer yap and give it a rest, if only for a few hours. You not only might find yourself enjoying yourself, but you might actually find out there is more to life than politics. Really!!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:32 | Comments (0)
November 19, 2018

It’s a short work week upcoming – and you know what that usually means. So I think I’ll offer up a post while the getting is good:

The European Tour makes some great videos showing the players having fun with skills tests like this. Love the captain’s trash talking – he’s really good. Somehow I can’t imagine their American counterparts having fun like this. Maybe that’s why the Euros do so well in Ryder Cup competitions: like the commercial goes, they know a thing or two because they’ve seen a thing or two.

Did you see the video of this crash at the Macau Grand Prix F3 Race? It’s crazy. It’s even more crazy with the video slowed down.

This is such a sad story. And it makes me mad that a university would allow the kind of mob behavior that drove this professor to suicide. That something like this can happen in this country is disgusting, but that appears to reflect what our so-called “institutions of higher learning” have become. One can only hope that someday – and soon – people who are victimized like this begin to fight back. Because that’s the only thing the mob understands.

Goodbye, and good riddance. If she’s lucky she won’t end up in jail, which, frankly, is where anyone who not only is as corrupt as she is belongs, but one who uses her skin color to defend that corruption. Unfortunately, there’s many more like her (like the women yukking it up with her in the photo, to start). Funny how they’re all Democrats.

…and speaking of Democratic women, if you’re “San Fran Nan” Pelosi, one look at this Twitter post ought to tell you the challenge you’re going to have keeping your House in order and your party viewed as “mainstream enough” to be competitive in the 2020 presidential election. Sure, Pelosi is accustomed to running the House with an iron fist, but these raving, drooling progressives and their socialist agenda are now the darlings of the mainstream media, and they don’t care a whit about decorum and tradition. Personally, I hope they get all the press and all the attention they are seeking, because voters need to know exactly what today’s Democratic Party actually stands for.

…of course, while I don’t like Ms. Pelosi nor agree with anything she ascribes to, I respect her political chops and have to believe she’s going to nip this upstart moron’s ego in the bud. She really can’t afford open revolt in her party and harm its chances of winning the White House in 2020. These progressives are like a mosquito: they’re loud and obnoxious, but the fact is they’re still a very small (albeit well-organized) sect in today’s Democratic Party. In time, sure, they might become more powerful as their numbers increase, but that ain’t gonna happen in two years’ time. I would expect Ms. Ocasio-Cortez to be directed in no uncertain terms to go sit in the back of the House chamber with all her other progressive newbie friends and shut up and toe the line, or else. Speaker Pelosi is no dope, and she can make Ocasio-Cortez’s time in the House fairly miserable if she doesn’t learn her place, and quickly.

I’ll have more on the fallout of the midterms in my next post, but I think Larry Schweikart is pretty much on topic here:

Remind suburban white voters why they do not want rioting antifa fascists and illegal mob-caravans, and next time around these races won’t be close.

…recruit better candidates with an aggressively positive, populist message and see what happens. The GOP got ambushed in this election due to a combination of poor planning and historical trends, but I doubt they’ll let that happen again. Besides, with the Democrats taking the House in January, the country will have a full year and a half to be reminded why they gave it to the GOP in the first place.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:51 | Comments (0)
November 17, 2018

A few items to mark the end of a busy and jam-packed week with a nod to a cool, late-60s Brian Wilson “state of life” Beach Boys tune:

Well first of all, a Windows 10 upgrade from the geniuses at my company’s IT department made my work laptop all but unusable, and it took the better part of two nights on Monday and Tuesday to get my new laptop properly configured and functional. I seemed to be able to get just about everything back except whatever that software is that Microsoft supplies where you get a different picture from around the world every day (something from Microsoft I actually liked). Instead, all I have is the same boring picture of (I think) Cabo San Lucas. If anyone knows what setting or download I need to get let me know. 🙂

We also had a break occur in one of our most ancient landscaping irrigation lines when some kind of a root from somewhere pricked it and turned station #1 into an underground river. It was too deep for me to fix, so a call to the good folks at Hawkeye Landscaping was in order. The bad news is that it was kind of expensive ($170); the good news is that Daniel and I were talking about that long-standing, forever put off, project to install some handsome landscape lighting in the front, and, since for them this is the slow season, he offered to take the cost of the irrigation line fix off the front lighting install, so I think I’m going to work that in before year’s end.

…I’m very sensitive about water issues when they occur around here – I wish everyone was. I’m vested in my company’s employee stock purchase plan and had high hopes of using what I hoped to be a year-end windfall to replace the lawns in the back and on the east side of the house with synthetic lawn. Unfortunately, our Q3 earnings weren’t very good, Wall Street noticed, and our stock price lost 30% of its value in, like, three days. It’ll probably come back, so the replacement of those lawns will just have to wait their turn.

…that whole synth grass industry, BTW, has gone far beyond the crappy indoor/outdoor stuff you find at the bog-box stores – some of the product is very sophisticated and real-looking, and the good stuff has a twenty-year life cycle (meaning I’ll be long gone from here by the time to replace happens). To do both lawns is ~ 5K total, but I figure with the reduced water costs I’ll get a return on my investment in 6-7 years.

…besides, it doesn’t take a genius to see that, outside of some genius coming up with a solution to do large-scale de-salinization in a cost-effective way sometime soon – and very soon (not likely), the explosive growth occurring in the Great American Southwest as this country’s population ages is rapidly making the idea of grass lawns a quaint, archaic, and, inevitably, wasteful vestige of yesteryear. The golf industry, parks and subdivisions, and swimming pools are always going to need their share of water, but for individual homeowners wanting to help in whatever way they can one can easily see which way the wind is blowing.

We did end up getting all our doctor’s appointments in, though.

On Monday the hand specialist took a look at my right hand (I have Depuytren’s Contracture in my right hand, a genetic deformity that is gradually yanking my ring finger downward). The doc said I was an excellent candidate for a treatment he assures me would be very helpful, but we need to first see how much insurance will pay before I get the procedure scheduled.

On Wednesday, I had my physical, and yes, my blood pressure was back to being high (159/90). The doc doesn’t understand why this would happen after never having HBP issues, like, ever, but he prescribed me a low dosage of Lisinopril to try for six weeks to see if it helps. While I understand the need to get my BP down and make my doctor happy, given the fact I’m one of the lucky ones who have never been on anything my entire life, I’m just not willing to give in to old age and hopping on a regular prescribed medicine habit – at least not yet. I’ve got the celery seed my brother Dave suggested and I’ve just started back up at the gym, so here’s what I think I’ll do: since the doc really wants me to get my BP down and see me in the next six weeks I’ll go the medication route first. Then, if that appears to work, I’ll replace taking that with the celery seed for the same period of time and compare results. If that works out, I’ll be ahead of the game.

On Thursday, I had my eye appointment and my doc was very happy to report that my prescription hasn’t changed in two years and there’s no signs of early macular degeneration or cataracts. The drive home in the dusk with my eyes still dilated was kind of interesting (and a little unnerving), but it all worked out OK.

On Friday, I got all my food shopping down for Thanksgiving so I don’t have to go anywhere near a supermarket this weekend. The crazies will be out there, and it’s a guarantee that by Sunday night the local Fry’s will look like a bomb had been set off inside, with gaping holes where the frozen turkeys, stuffing, gravy, aluminum pans, pudding, cream cheese, and cans of green beans typically are. Two houses in our subdivision already have their Christmas lights up – more than a bit early for my taste – but there’s no denying that, with a roaring economy and an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas for the retailers to make hay, everyone is already geared up for that annual orgy of self-indulgence called “the holidays”.

So that was my week. It’s going to be another Chamber of Commerce day out here in the Valley of the Sun with plenty of sun, temperatures in the mid-70s, and light winds, so I’m off to get bunny supplies, hit a bucket of balls, and work on my short game and putting. I’m planning my second round of The Great White Shank’s golf year next weekend so there’s not a moment to lose.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 10:50 | Comments (0)
November 11, 2018

…all those who have served in defense of our country, and most especially those who have died serving the cause of freedom.

Victor Davis Hanson has a wonderful column putting the 100-yeear anniversary of the end of hostilities in World War I in content. The lessons from that period should be obvious:

What can we learn from the failed armistice of 1918?

Keeping the peace is sometimes even more difficult than winning a war.

For an enemy to accept defeat, it must be forced to understand why it lost, suffer the consequences of its aggressions — and only then be shown magnanimity and given help to rebuild.

Losers of a war cannot pick and choose when to quit fighting in enemy territory.

Had the Allies continued their offensives in the fall of 1918 and invaded Germany, the peace that followed might have more closely resembled the unconditional surrender and agreements that ended WWII, leading to far more than just 20 years of subsequent European calm.

Deterrence prevents war.

The only way to truly honor all those who lost their lives and their precious futures is to do whatever it takes to make sure the same mistakes are not repeated. Somehow, however, I don’t see that happening anytime soon: there are too many politicians with too large egos and a thirst for power to make that possible. It’s been part of our human nature since the days of Cain and Abel.

A sincere and humble thanks for all those who fought and died in the service of this country. Your sacrifices will always be honored and remembered.

Picture courtesy of The Conservative Treehouse.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 11:23 | Comments (2)
November 10, 2018

Target Handicap: 20.0 Handicap: 26.9 / Change: (-0.6)
Location: Trilogy Golf at Power Ranch
Score: 48 + 50 = 98

So there we were, my Goodboys pal “Killer” Kowalski and I, toodling around at the Golf & Ski driving range in Hudson, New Hampshire on a late Saturday afternoon in September. It was cool and cloudy, the range was chewed up all to hell, and you really had the sense that the season was getting ready to close in on itself. Killer was doing some chipping (something he has always excelled at), and as I had been struggling with my short game all year, I asked him for some help. He told me to make sure there was no lean in my shaft at impact, and to play the ball in the middle of my stance (as opposed to back in my stance as I had been doing). Voila! all of a sudden I was getting some loft in my chips, which made me very happy.

I didn’t play very well the next day when we played a round at The Overlook in nearby Hollis, and I played OK enough a couple of weeks later at TPC Scottsdale (but much better around the greens thanks to Killer’s advice). Still, I was still struggling with my hybrids and 5-wood as I had been all year long. One night, while enjoying a soak in the tub, it suddenly hit me that the same advice Killer had given me for chipping around the green should also apply to all my clubs, no matter what kind of shot I was hitting. And so, last weekend I hit a large bucket of balls at the range with only one thought in mind: make sure the club was perpendicular to the ground at impact. What I found out seemed pretty cool: 1) in doing so I was allowing my arms to have a wider swing arc, 2) it made me stay on top of the ball longer instead of falling back as I was prone to do, and 3) it helped keep my shoulders quieter and thereby reduce my tendency to yank my irons. It seemed to work pretty well at the range, so I was eager to try it out under game conditions.

It was Chamber of Commerce weather at Trilogy Power Ranch – light winds, plenty of sun, temperatures in the mid-70s and I was bringing with me a plan of attack that I can’t remember ever bringing to a golf course before: I was going to hit all my clubs, and do so without fear. Playing from the blue tees at 6,350 yards and on a course with plenty of wide fairways and bail-out areas around the greens, it was a perfect venue to try out my approach.

The results speak for themselves: while I got credit for only four fairways hit I was pretty much on or just off them all day. I converted three of five greens-in-regulation opportunities. One par, twelve bogeys, three doubles, a triple, and a quad. But the quad was the only hole I let get away from me following one of only two real poor drives all day. I made bogey on all five par 3s, and played the four par 5s four-over. Most importantly, whenever I had the opportunity to hit my 3 & 4 hybrids (and there were a half-dozen) I hit them beautifully – the best I can ever remember. Same with the 5-wood.

Cases in point: # 7 is a dog-leg left with a pond at the elbow on the right. While the shot demands a 5-wood or hybrid as a second shot, I was always fearful of yanking either of those clubs into the pond, so I would always play it as a par 6, basically. Today I grabbed the 5 and smoked it as far as I could hit it. Got it on the green in three but three-putted from sixteen feet for bogey. Oh well. The 175-yard par 3 #8 has sand bunkers and that same pond from #7 pond on the right. Previously, I would never attempt a hybrid here out of fear of pulling it right. But I pulled the 4-hybrid and hit it purely straight, leaving me just off the left side of the green. Chip on, two putts, walked away happily with my bogey four. And then on #18: another pond on the right. Because even a good drive would leave you a fair distance out I would always lay it up and try and get within pitching wedge distance. Today, my drive left me in the fairway a good 185 yards out. Pulled my 3-hybrid and hit it dead straight just off the green left. Another chip, another two-putt, another satisfying bogey.

And there were no yanks with the short irons from 125 yards in, either – in fact, I think I got back those 5-10 yards I mysteriously had lost right around the time of Goodboys weekend in July. On #2, just off the fairway left with 135 yards to the hole I picked 8-iron since I didn’t want to leave myself above a left-front pin. Previously I’d be concerned about a yank right where a sand bunker protects that side of the kidney bean-shaped green. Not only did I hit it straight, it went all the 135, leaving me just off the green in back. On the #13 par 5, I had only 112 to an uphill pin in two after a solid drive and another big 5-wood, then flew my 9-iron 125 yards to another zip code at the far back of the green. But I still got my two putts for my only par of the day.

So it was a good day, with much progress made. I played from beginning to end with a confidence in all my clubs – something I don’t recall having too many times, if ever. While I wasn’t totally happy with the 34 putts, there was no sloppiness around the greens that had been my forte all year. But unlike even rounds where I shot a better score than today, I didn’t shy away from any shot I wanted to attempt. And it gives me quite the sense of accomplishment and the confidence to give the same approach a try on a course that offers a sterner challenge. We shall see what becomes available in two weeks’ time.

Thanks, Killer – you “da man”!

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 19:48 | Comments (0)

A few thoughts during “opening day” weekend of The Great White Shank’s 2018-2019 golf season. (I guarantee – good or bad – you’ll get the low-down right here on GoodboysNation blog.) In the meantime:

Silly me. I think this story ought to be getting much more play in the mainstream media, but what do I know? Seems to me it would benefit both sides politically if true: a) that the right decision was made on Judge Kavanaugh (good for Republicans), but that their star witness wasn’t bluffing in her belief that she was sexually attacked (good for Democrats and the #MeToo movement).

Looks like Holly Sonders is out on FOX’s golf coverage. I know she was a fave amongst my Goodboys pals for obvious reasons, but I always thought she was a no-talent ditz. Her interviews were excruciatingly bad, and she really didn’t bring a whole lot of gravitas to them. But maybe that’s not what she was hired for in the first place.

Another mass shooting. Another case of the mainstream media and liberals bleating about the need for gun confiscation. Clearly, the issue about guns and shootings is having an inroad into our electoral politics. If I’m the GOP and I’m looking to get a leg up on the issue, I’m going to start working on real proposals for solutions that combine the rampant homelessness folks are tired of out west and down in Florida, and mass shootings under the need for an honest discussion on mental illness. There are too many people out on the streets and not in institutions that need to be. Surely, in this 21st century we can find a humane, yet effective solution to this issue, can’t we?

…and speaking of the 21st century: certainly, this country can get it’s act together when it comes to the most fundamental act in a democratic republic, which is voting. I mean, c’mon: you look at Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Montana – isn’t it time the federal government issues formal guidelines for voting in elections to ensure everyone’s vote gets the same treatment and courtesy? This bullshit about late votes and absentee votes is crap. Either you care enough to make sure your vote arrives in time to be counted or it doesn’t. There is nothing in the Constitution saying that “every vote must be counted”. It’s bullshit. If we can’t get our voting practices under control we’re no better than Venezuela or other 3rd world banana republics.

More changes on golf coverage at the major networks. Johnny Miller has retired at NBC, to be replaced by Paul Azinger, who will retain his spot on FOX for the U.S. Opens through the end of their contract in 2026. Truth be told – much like Jerry Remy on the Red Sox coverage at NESN – I thought Johnny had kind of lost his fastball the last few years. All too often he was just telling us what our eyes had already seen for ourselves. But I always liked him and know he’ll enjoy his retirement.

In golf there’s cheating, and then there is cheating. This is pretty bad – I mean, how can you and/or your caddy not know the rules? On second thought, wish I had someone who’d be willing to toss my OBs back onto the course.

You look at stories like this and this, and you begin to see the problem the Democrats are going to have keeping their most loony and extreme elements under control ahead of the 2020 elections. Let me tell you, it’s easy being in the “resistance” minority: you can whine, bleat, and moan to your hearts content. Once you’re in power and accountable to the way to wield that power, that’s when the problems arise. The GOP found that out when it came to healthcare reform; the Democrats are going to find that out when they have to choose between truly governing and adhering to the demands of their most extreme (and immature) base.

Forty years later, Pink Floyd’s Animals still holds its own as far as edginess and quality of musical performance goes. Dark. Cynical. It would be the last time the band with Roger Waters on bass truly sounded united; not coincidentally, it would be the last time keyboardist Rick Wright would be given the chance to play the key role he had in the band’s unique sound. You listen to “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”, “Dogs”, and (most especially) “Sheep”, and it’s just a mind-blowing performance. Not to the level of, say, Wish You Were Here or The Dark Side of the Moon, but still very solid (not to mention, at least in political terms, contemporary). If I’m on my deathbed I want those bone-crushing major chords from David Gilmour in “Sheep”‘s outro (with Nick Mason’s typically inventive and chaotic drum fills) to be the last thing my earthly brain hears. It would ensure I go out with a smile.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:53 | Comments (0)
November 8, 2018

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Lots of surprised faces after Tuesday night’s elections results. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to see the kind of ticket-splitting we saw all over the place between GOP senate candidates (which, by and large, did well in their respective states) vs. what down-ballot congressional candidates did in their districts. I heard from my GOP party contact earlier today, and the “party line”, so to speak, is that those candidates that aligned themselves with President Trump did much better than those who chose not to. There’s a lot of anger at FOX News calling the House for Democrats with voters standing in line and the polls being open in California. Not sure to what – if any – extent that might depressed turnout (I doubt it made much of a difference) but what FOX did was truly unconscionable.

I’ve sifted through some notes I had been taking throughout the year in anticipation of this post, and frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t consider more the issue of healthcare costs and how it might impact suburban districts (where so many of the GOP’s congressional victims got whacked). But hey, I’m no professional at this kind of thing, so who cares? 🙂 At any rate, with that in mind, here are a few thoughts and comments about the mid-terms in general:

1. There was no blue wave. Sure, the Dems are going to have the House, but what they ended up taking was hardly historic. And, they’ll find out just like the GOP did that’s it’s a lot harder to actually govern than play the role of the resistance. Without a doubt, the Trump rallies prevented an even bigger bloodbath from taking place. And the loss of those three Senate seats is going to hurt the Dems far more than any advantage they might temporarily gain with “San Fran Nan” holding the Speaker’s gavel.

2. There’s little doubt that the blame for the GOP’s loss of the House falls on the shoulders of two RINOs: John McCain and Speaker Paul Ryan, who was useless and nowhere to be found this election cycle. I think Richard Baris is exactly spot on: the inability of the GOP to: a) repeal Obamacare completely (McCain casting the deciding vote), and b) replace it with a suite of innovative, market-based solutions (Ryan’s greatest failure as Speaker) really hurt the GOP.

3. If there’s a silver lining in all this for the GOP, it is that so many worthless RINO congressmen got whacked that the House GOP will now be (like their Senate counterparts) more conservative and more Trumpian. This improves the chances that the Freedom Caucus’s Jim Jordan (and not Ryan’s RINO rooter Kevin McCarthy) will become Minority Leader. Hopefully the GOP understands that they’re going to need someone like Jordan to paint the clear distinctions between his side of the chamber and Pelosi’s.

4. The purge of RINO congressmen also gives the GOP a better opportunity to recruit good, solid conservatives to regain the seats lost last night in 2020. Hey, sometimes you need to take a bit of a licking in order to come back stronger for the next fight.

5. Do not discount the importance of the GOP majority in the Senate being much more conservative as a result of the departures of Tennessee’s Bob Corker and Arizona’s Jeff Flake. First of all, it reduces whatever leverage the Lisa Murkowskis and Susan Collinses of the world have previously had to force PDJT to pick acceptable candidates for the Supreme Court if any new retirements were to be announced. Secondly, it wouldn’t surprise me to see someone like Clarence Thomas use this golden opportunity to announce his retirement and enable the President to pick a younger, just as conservative, replacement.

6. Big winners of the night? Alternate media. I, like tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of others, eschewed the crappy, oh-so-rigid and predictable cable news networks for live broadcasts on YouTube and other venues. Me? I switched between the Internet broadcast hosted by Steve Bannon over at Jim Hoft’s Gateway Pundit site and Styxhexenhammer666’s YouTube channel. For millennial progressives there was Cenk Uygur’s The Young Turks YouTube channel. I can guarantee you when the 2020 election comes around, the audiences for these alternative forms of political broadcasts will be exponentially greater. The cable news networks don’t know it yet (or if they do, they’re not telling), but they’re the walking dead, the equivalent of Ford Falcons whose audiences and influence will be drastically curtailed in just two short years. Things are changing that rapidly.

7. Big losers of the night: media darlings Andrew Gillum, the Venezuelan socialist who lost his race for Florida governor, and dopey “Beto” O’Rourke, he of the $70 mil poured into his campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in Texas, money that could have been far-better spent elsewhere:

In the night’s early bellwether, Ted Cruz won Texas even though skateboarding-and-super-cool Beto spent $70 million trying to beat him. Thank you, thank you Beto. Take a bow, and take a knee. (Texans just love kneeling during the national anthem.) Seventy Million Democrat Dollars poured down the Rio Grande. Imagine the damage that money could have done if spent in other campaigns or secretly flown to Iran to ransom a rug. The Democrats now are the party of The Millionaires — George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer — and, except for the blessed Sheldon Adelson who seems determined, single-handedly if necessary, to counter-balance all of them, that’s where money now crowds politics. And Robert Francis Beto vacuumed in Seventy Million of those George Washingtons while Ted Cruz won.

Barack Obama and Oprah were also particularly stung:

And then, next-door, the Georgia governor race. We have been told that Oprah is God (now that Harvey Weinstein has been anthropomorphized). When Oprah endorses a book, everyone in the country immediately buys it, and four or five people even read it. So there was Oprah, the God who made Obama president. And Obama, her Prophet, campaigned properly alongside her, both for Stacey Abrams, another radical. If it was not the Trump campaign stop in Macon that sealed the deal for Brian Kemp, it was the Obama kiss of death. Out of office for two years, Barack still has not lost the touch, energizing Republicans with memories of the blight. It appears to everyone but Abrams that Kemp held Georgia for the GOP. The public awaits Oprah’s next book recommendation; perhaps Taylor Swift can sing it.

Heh. Indeed.

So what can we expect for the next two years? Well, it’s a virtual guarantee that Democrats will overplay their hand and attempt to ruin President Trump with investigations related to Russia, Judge Kavanaugh, and the President’s taxes and business associations. They’ll have to because that’s what their base of frothing, drooling Feminazis and Hollywood celebrities demands. But all that will end up doing is pissing off centrist Democrats (if there are any left) and independent voters. If the Democrats try to further motivate their base by passing legislation to restore Obamacare regulations and/or tax increases, the Republicans will motivate their base and independents by squashing those initiatives in the Senate. Most folks think there won’t be any major legislation passed in the next two years, but I’m not so sure. Me? I’m guessing Nancy Pelosi may be willing to trade something like DACA for some market-friendly healthcare initiatives and/or deficit reduction measures.

So, it could have been better, but it sure could have been worse. While lots of folks are already ruminating about the 2020 elections and what states Trump might or might not lose or win as a result, keep in mind two things: 1) 2020 is light years away politically, and it’s a virtual lock that the political landscape then will look completely different than it does now, and 2) the Democrats are going to have to pick a candidate. It’s easy to look at last night purely in terms of Donald Trump, but in 2020 there will be a second candidate and a competing political vision for voters to choose between. It’s hard not to the see the Democrats picking someone that represents the far left, because that’s where all the energy in the party is right now. But it’s just way too early to even speculate. It gives me a headache just thinking about it.

Filed in: Politics & World Events,Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:54 | Comments (0)


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