November 16, 2015

While I decidedly come from the other side of the political persuasion, I don’t think there is any question that, unless you’re a wild-eyed, social-justice warrioring moonbat, the Democratic Party – and liberalism in general – is coming off one of the worst weeks in its existence. I know it’s almost impossible in this day and age where everything is Fifty Shades of Gray and absolutes (I won’t use the terms “black” and “white” so as not to offend my progressive friends) are hard to come by, but looking back at last week it is hard to see anything positive on display that liberals can hang there hat on. Shall I do a re-run for y’all?

Saturday / Sunday: All the bleatings by illegal immigration activists over Donald Trump’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” not only had no impact, but resulted in the show’s best ratings in years. All those “Hey Hey Ho Ho, Donald Trump has got to go!” chants not only were ignored by the vast majority of the American public, but the $5K reward offered up for anyone to disrupt the proceedings by yelling that Trump was a racist was ultimately paid to millionaire Larry David, who only used those words as a prop for The Donald’s opening monologue. Money well spent, eh liberals?

[An aside here: what is it about that vapid "Hey Hey Ho Ho" chant anyways? It tells you everything you need to know about liberals and liberalism that they can't even upgrade a 60s-era protest chant with something more modern and intellectually more interesting? It just shows that, like Hillary Clinton, liberalism is stuck in the Sixties and hasn't come up with a unique idea since Richard Nixon was in the White House. But I digress...]

Monday – Friday afternoon: College campuses across the country erupt in a hissy-fit over such monumental issues as Halloween costumes, the use of phrases in e-mails, and the lack of safe spaces when confronted with the (gasp!) First Amendment rights of people who happen to disagree with these tantrum-tossing snowflakes. A college professor at Missouri is shown verbally and physically assaulting a cameraman, and a student is shown verbally assaulting a professor in an expletive-ridden tirade. College liberalism is exposed for the totalitarianism it now represents, and all of America thus becomes witness to the spoiled and insufferable monsters the Baby Boomer generation have inflicted on the country.

Tuesday: The GOP debate (this time on FOX Business) once again racked up impressive ratings while showcasing a slate of candidates (Ohio Governor John Kasich being the notable exception) that showed they could discuss substantive issues involving the economy without the debate dissolving into chaos and name-calling. Democrats, of course, called the whole proceedings boring and meaningless, but then again, that’s the typical Democratic response whenever anyone attempts to actually, you know, seek to discuss issues rather than (especially when it comes to Barack Obama) vacuous symbolism.

Thursday: Democratic Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schulz (a.k.a. “Debbie Downer”), pressed by none other than MCNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Hillary Clinton’s laughable claim that she attempted to join the Marines back in 1975, actually ends up defending GOP candidate Dr. Ben Carson on his claims that the mainstream media’s attempts to make hay out of his childhood memories is much ado about nothing.

Friday morning: President Barack Obama is shown in a TV interview asserting that the growth of ISIS “has been contained”.

Friday night: The terrorist attacks in Paris not only end up showing the President’s earlier claims to be absurd, but a president completely out of touch with reality. Liberals and social justice warriors all over are quick to use the Paris dead to further their own political agendas as Missouri college students can’t understand why the attacks are getting more publicity than their cause is, and liberal blogs blame conservative rhetoric for the attacks.

Saturday night: The Democratic challengers for their party’s presidential nomination debate to miniscule ratings. Progressives and millennials who tuned in are once again shocked to see an elderly white grandmother, an elderly white Socialist, and a milquetoast white middle-aged former governor as their only candidates for President. (Liberals looking for diversity as far as African-American and Hispanic representation missed that opportunity in Tuesday’s GOP debate.) Who knows what progressives and social justice warriors were thinking when Hillary proudly proclaimed she “was from the Sixties” and was happy to take money from Wall Street because she used it to rebuild New York after 9/11? And Bernie Sanders equating the rise of ISIS on climate change. And it was pretty pathetic to watch all three candidates – less than a day after the Paris attacks – go through calisthenics to not use the words “radical” and Islam” together in the same sentence. Talk about a lack of seriousness and substance! But that’s today’s Democratic Party for you.

So there you have it. All in all, a pretty revealing and not very good week for Democrats and liberalism in general. I’m not making this up, folks – The Great White Shank is just telling it like it is. Y’all can draw your own conclusions.

A hat tip to Free Republic and Drudge for the links in this post.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:33 | Comments (0)
November 14, 2015

Thoughts, prayers, and support go out to the French and the people of Paris after yet another unspeakable act of terror by Islamic fundamentalists.

The title of this post comes from one of my all-time favorite generals, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Both he and another of my favorite generals, William Tecumseh Sherman, understood the darkness of the human soul. They had both seen the capacity of humans to inflict death and misery on one another, and they understood – more than anyone else could – that the only way out of war was victory, and to make war so miserable in its totality that no one afterwards would ever want to experience it again.

When I think about the various acts of terrorism being conducted by Islamic fundamentalists, or radical Islamists, or whatever you want to call them (personally, gutless cowards come to mind), I tend to think a little more radically than those poor vulnerable privileged snowflakes you see trying to play radical social justice warriors all across college campuses these days. I happen to take a rather dim view towards not only radical Islamists, but the Muslim population in general who you never see or hear come out on the cable networks to denounce the actions of radical Islam and its practitioners. In my view, their silence is as much an indictment on them as those who have perpetrated acts of terror in Spain, in London, in Mumbai, in New York City, in Lockerbie, in Boston, and any number of other places. It is their lack of words and actions that tell me deep down they support the actions of those who would willingly slaughter innocent people for the cause of jihad, or whatever grievance they might think they have.

Truth is, I was going to use this Saturday post to condemn Donald Trump for his bizarre rant against the Republican field on Thursday night in Fort Dodge, Iowa, but the fact is, everything he has said to date – the wall, deporting illegal immigrants, and sending all Syrian refugees back where they came from – are spot on. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if The Donald’s approval ratings go up 15 points in the coming days.

About the title of this post.

I believe the time has come to nip the cancer of Islamic fundamentalism in the bud, and big time. It’s not gonna be pretty, and lots of innocent people are gonna get caught in the middle, but I’m thinking the U.S., Israel, Russia, and China all have it in their interests to wipe Islamic fundamentalism off the face of the earth. They all know the risk to political stability within their borders. They know who the major and minor players are in the Middle East. And they the powers most at risk by the rise of a radical Islamic caliphate – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, others. So why not pool intelligence and wipe out the bad guys militarily? Between that and the West shutting down all immigration in the West for the next two years you’re gonna make it really difficult for the cancer to spread.

The same holds true in the U.S. Sorry all you limp-wristed, do-gooder liberals who love to play the multicultural, diversity, tolerance game. Like it or not, Donald Trump is right. It’s time to build a wall and shut down immigration for a couple of years while we sort out who is here legally and who is not. If you’re here illegally (and yes, that includes families with children who were born here, sorry snowflakes!) that means you gotta go back to where you came from. If your record is spotless and you have skills that are needed, maybe we’ll welcome you back. Otherwise, hasta la vista, baby. Life isn’t fair – never was, never will be. You broke the law and now you gotta pay the price.

You’re never going to eliminate terrorism completely. But you most certainly can make the very idea of committing acts of terrorism so painful and so unattractive that those who seek to spread it will have a hard time recruiting converts to the cause. The poor victims of Paris should not have died in vain. It’s time to start taking blood from blood. It’s time to kill them, and kill them all.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:27 | Comments (0)
November 13, 2015

We’ve had a bit of a November chill the past couple of days. Actually had the heat come on a couple of nights. It’s been warm during the days, crisp at night – perfect for these two passages about the month from the folks at

“Walked for half an hour in the garden. A fine rain was falling, and the landscape was that of autumn. The sky was hung with various shades of gray, and mists hovered about the distant mountains – a melancholy nature. The leaves were falling on all sides like the last illusions of youth under the tears of irremediable grief. A brood of chattering birds were chasing each other through the shrubberies, and playing games among the branches, like a knot of hiding schoolboys. Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail.”
- Henri Frederic Amiel

…and then this quaint little poem:

“So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.”
– John Clare, November

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:08 | Comments (0)
November 12, 2015

A few thoughts on the Tuesday night GOP debate and baseball’s winter meetings cranking up the Hot Stove League next week.

While I appreciate FOX Business’s attempts to keep the debate issue focused I have to admit I was hoping for a red meat question or two that would enable the candidates to really stir things up. Something to the effect of, “Mr. Trump, Senator Rubio has called Hillary a Clinton a liar. Are you willing to echo those sentiments, and if so, why?”, or “Senator Cruz, do you believe Hillary Clinton is directly responsible for the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the brave men who defended Benghazi before they were killed in those attacks? And would anyone else like to chime in?” Now that would get my attention.

If I’m the Red Sox, I would definitely consider bringing back Jonathan Papelbon for their bullpen. I don’t think he’s got closer stuff anymore, but as a 8th inning setup man I think he’s worth the risk. He loves the Red Sox and I think misses the passion and electricity of pitching for them.

There’s a part of me that wants to support Dr. Ben Carson but there’s also something holding me back. I really wish someone would have called him out on his plan to eliminate Medicare – that to me is a non-starter because the Democrats would slay him in a general election.

While I don’t think Donald Trump is going to be the GOP’s candidate I have to admit I appreciate his balls sticking to his illegal immigration stance. he simply won’t back down, and you gotta give the guy credit.

John Kasich is an ass, and I liked the way Trump slapped him upside the face like he was tossing out yesterday’s trash.

If I’m a betting man neither Hanley Ramirez or Pablo Sandoval are on the Red Sox roster come Spring Training, and the team would be the better for it.

Jeb! Bush bores me half to death. Every time he opens his mouth I expect to see a fish in it.

And I wish Carly Fiorina was more likeable. I half expect her to lay me off whenever she starts to speak.

As much as I would love to see Jackie Bradley Jr. patrolling center field for the Sox for the next decade, I’m guessing he’s a valuable bargaining chip in a trade with the Reds or the Indians.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:49 | Comments (4)
November 10, 2015

I think tonight’s GOP debate on FOX Business has the highest stakes for Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. Why? I think Trump has a lot of support out there but folks are nervous about his campaign being all flash and a one-trick pony. Can he make the next step and speak about economic issues in a way that’s both authoritative and substantive? If he can his numbers will go through the roof. For Marco Rubio, another good debate performance could push him past Ben Carson and into the position he’s seeking as the anti-Trump in the race. I’m not convinced about Ben Carson – I still think there are landmines out there as far as his personal story is concerned, and his plan to eliminate Medicare would get the GOP slaughtered next November. Jeb Bush is dead man walking. Ditto John Kasich. And the others? They’ve have had their chance to ignite GOP interest and have failed.

So do yourselves a favor – The Great White Shank won’t let you down, I promise. Keep an eye on Trump and Rubio. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:04 | Comments (2)
November 9, 2015

A fascinating look back at what air travel was like in the Seventies. Notice there’s not a stroller or a six-year old lugging her pink carry-on to be seen. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

And speaking of travel, it seems to me we’re one blown-up U.S. airliner away from not allowing any luggage at all. Isn’t it time we start thinking out of the box when it comes to air travel? Seems to me there could be at least one entrepreneur who can figure out a way of getting people’s luggage to your destination quickly and at a decent cost.

Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’m with President Obama on his desire to close Guantanamo Bay. I mean, you can’t tell me that somewhere in the vast emptiness of the Great American West we can’t find sufficient acreage to construct a prison with as good security as there is at Gitmo. Cuba is a sovereign nation, after all, and it’s time to let go of the whole Battleship Maine, Spanish-American War, Castro revolution, and Bay of Pigs thing with all the baggage that comes with it.

Say, isn’t this racist? After all, Democrats will tell you that forcing voters to show an ID at the voting booth amounts to voter suppression and racism.

Even though the Broncos lost yesterday, that week 12 matchup with the Patriots is gonna be like the Super Bowl without all the hoopla.

I’m a huge fan of Mark Steyn. Whenever I hear he’s guest-hosting Rush Limbaugh’s show I always try to listen in since he’s got such a great sense of humor and is such fun to listen to. And I enjoy his writing greatly – his series on Frank Sinatra’s music is not just an enjoyable read, it’s filled with all kinds of nuggets you never knew (for example, that Astrid Gilberto had never sung on a record before “The Girl From Ipanema”)? If you like him and his sense of humor as well you just have to check out the Halloween music video he recently posted. I thought it was a howl from start to finish.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:08 | Comments (0)
November 8, 2015

The big story unfolding as far as the 2016 presidential election is concerned is the final and great revealing of the mainstream media and its utter and blatant dishonesty, hypocrisy, and liberal / progressive activism. For years (and most recently and particularly with Mitt Romney’s campaign) Republican and conservative candidates took the arrows and slings of the media lying down, afraid to offend their elitist sensibilities and risk getting on their wrong side. For years, conservatives allowed the media (and, to be truthful, the GOP establishment) to set the agenda – which, by the way, just happened to coincide with that of the Democratic Party – and dictate how Republican campaigns would be run and perceived.

The entry of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz into the 2016 GOP race has changed all that. Neither plays by anyone else’s rules but their own, and while Trump began the effort to push back against the media and its attempts to frame him in a certain way at the Fox News debate, it took the CNBC debate (and Ted Cruz especially) to give the rest of the GOP field the courage to follow his and The Donald’s lead.

Which brings us to Dr. Ben Carson and the media fiasco that began with a CNN interview that questioned the veracity of his life experiences as written in his book Gifted Hands, and a Friday hit piece by POLITICO blog accusing Carson of lying about a so-called West Point “scholarship” he had written about receiving and Carson’s own campaign admitting to the fabrication. Two hours later, POLITICO was scrambling to downplay the story and whitewash its reporting without apology, and in a follow-up news conference with reporters Carson laid waste upon the gathering, criticizing their reporting, mocking their journalistic practices, and accusing them of a double standard by comparing the way his background was being questioned in a way Barack Obama’s never was back in 2008.

All in all, this is a very good thing, and something to keep an eye on going forward. I mean, to see the jackals in the mainstream media attempting to find intellectual dishonesty in Carson’s campaign while Hillary Clinton is allowed to skate around the utter shameless and blatant lies she has told about Benghazi and her e-mails while Secretary of State, and the utter incompetence she displayed during her tenure as Secretary of State is beyond laughable. No one is saying that Carson’s life, work, and words shouldn’t come under scrutiny, and I’m sure he doesn’t think that should be the case, either – that should go for anyone running for president.

And it’s not just Carson who’s now wise to their games, Marco Rubio has come around as well, and good for him.

For too long the mainstream media has been allowed to get all too cozy with the belief they could bully and shame Republicans and conservatives into submission, but thanks to the efforts of Trump and Cruz that will no longer be the case. And like the cockroaches they are and have always been, they’re now being forced to scatter in the light of confrontation and pushback from the GOP field. The mainstream media thought the 2016 presidential campaign was going to be business as usual, allowing it to serve its rightful position as cheerleaders in the coronation of Hillary Clinton; thanks to the events of the past two weeks they’re now being forced into the unpalatable position of having to do their jobs and being accountable when they don’t.

The GOP is finally fighting back, and that’s a good thing for everyone.

Hat tips to Free Republic and Instapundit for source links!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:51 | Comments (0)
November 6, 2015

Where does a golf season end, and where does a new one begin? For the PGA Tour, the season ends in late September with the FedEx Cup championship, then, following a brief hiatus, kicks off a new season in mid-October at the Fry’s. For most New England golfers, the sticks are usually put away before the falling of the first flakes for a good five months or so until the days begin to warm and the courses start to dry out in April.

Here in the Valley of the Sun, the golf season never really ends, so where one season ends and another begins is a purely arbitrary exercise. For me, I’ve always chosen to call one season over following my last round of the season in New England, typically right around Halloween, with the new season beginning during the annual Goodboys weekend in Vegas in February. This year things are going to play out a little differently, so this post looks back at what was a significant year for my golf game and provides a glimpse as to where I take things from here.

If I were to look back at the past season numbers-wise (purely from a handicap perspective), I can’t say I could call it a success, for, even without my Goodboys Invitational weekend scores posted on the Goodboys board at (and what’s up with that, Exec-Comm??) I doubt my handicap changed much, if at all. After all, once you’ve been posting scores there for a few years as we all have, it would take a significant string of numbers to move my handicap one way or the other, and I just don’t play enough in order to do that. I did play well enough to help bring my partner “Cubby” Myerow and I into a 2nd place finish during this year’s Goodboys Invitational; that alone shows the improvement I have made and makes up for any disappointment on the handicap front.

The bottom line is that my game as it stands today is in a far better place than it was at this point last year, where my game was really adrift. I’d always wanted to find a swing that not only worked for my abilities but could be repeatable, and thanks to Hunter Mahan and that Golf Magazine article from last February I’ve found that. In addition, the work I did with my swing instructor Alex Black helped hone the technique taught by Hunter so that I’m learning to square up better, take a divot, and attempting to play a power draw as opposed to my customary fade. That alone has made going to the range a heckuva lot more challenging and fun than it used to be. And as I mentioned in my Goodboys Invitational recap, having a couple of my fellow Goodboys compliment my game that weekend made all the work I had put in during the spring and early summer that much more rewarding.

I’m not sure whether it’s the improved technique that has resulted in better ball contact, the working out I’ve been doing at the gym, or both, but the big improvement this year has been with the distance I’m now hitting my driver and fairway woods. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed: none other than “Killer” Kowalski (the longest hitter of all the Goodboys) called me “sneaky long” during our Sunday round at the Goodboys Invitational, and the round we played together at Portsmouth Country Club two weeks ago turned into a pitched battle of “who beat who?” off the tee even when he would pull out driver: we figured on the hideously long 17th and 18th par 4s after hitting our drives with just yards of each other we had both banged them out some 250+-yards.

And that was the story throughout the year: me playing my second shots from distances I was completely unfamiliar with on familiar courses – in some cases 50-60 yards better than what I had remembered playing from before. I wish I could say that the additional distance translated into lower scores, but that never really happened: the reasons being 1) my accuracy from, oh say, 120 yards out never really improved much, 2) my short game never really came together during the year, and 3) my putting throughout the year was abysmal at best, averaging somewhere around 38 putts per round. It’s hard to shoot low scores when you’re making anywhere from tree to five (or more) three-putts per round. So there’s work to do, for sure, and a go-forward plan to not just address the areas of my game that need work, but build upon what I’ve accomplished over the past year.

First and foremost, I’m planning to play more rounds of golf and bang balls at the driving range less. There are, as you would expect in this golf paradise, any number of golf league configurations, so I’m planning on joining a league where I can play, say, every two weeks, even if it’s just for nine holes on a weekday afternoon. I’m hoping that playing more will improve my overall consistency and help to tighten up my short game. I liked the change I made with my chipping technique during a practice session just before my outing at Portsmouth, so I’m going to stick with it and see how it goes.

That doesn’t mean, of course, no trips to the range; there’s still work to be done there. I’m still learning to trust what Hunter Mahan and Alex Black have taught me this year. That means learning not to jump at the ball and over-swing, and not to fall back into old habits like playing the ball too far forward and not taking a divot with my irons. My putting game has to improve (a no-brainer there), as does my sand game. But overall, I just want to play a little more golf than I have in the past. My game’s in a place where I’m no longer afraid of looking like a fool and shanking the ball all over the place, so why not get out there a little more often?

And there’s not a moment to lose, for our Vegas weekend has been moved up to December to accommodate two of us old farts turning the big 6-0. One month from today I’ll be (hopefully) teeing it up with Killer as we await the arrival of The Funny Guy (OF #2) and Doggy Duval. If I can get a round or two in before that it will be a great way to kick off the 2015-16 season.

Secondly, it’s time The Great White Shank gets serious about his golf game, so this year I’m going to work through the Arizona USGA and get myself a real USGA handicap and start playing by the USGA handicap system. When playing with the Goodboys I’ll be more than happy to take my mulligan on each nine and pick up my ball after three-putting for the seventh time that day when I hit double par, but that won’t be the case when I’m out playing on the desert courses amongst the great unwashed. And you can be sure I’ll be using software to carefully track my greens in regulation (the few there are), number of fairways hit, and number of putts taken. And if I don’t see any improvement in my short game soon, it’ll be back to Alex Black for a lesson.

A new golf season is upon The Great White Shank. Bring. It. On.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 23:32 | Comments (0)
November 5, 2015

Was cleaning up some folders on my PC and came across this, a magazine cover design by Goodboy “Cubby” Myerow following “Killer” Kowalski’s and my 2008 Goodboys Invitational victory (was it that long ago?) down on the Cape. Here we are, posing in our snazzy victory jackets in front of The Captains in Brewster, Massachusetts:

It looks happy, summery, and warm. Good times. Good times. One of these days we’ll have to get back there and play for yucks.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 16:37 | Comments (0)
November 2, 2015

A few items to gnaw on (not literally, but since I’ve been prepping for my colonoscopy since last night I’m ready to gnaw on just about anything) to kick off a new week:

Spent Saturday and Sunday cleaning the kitchen from ceiling to floor and top to bottom. I’m officially ready for the start of the holiday season. Are you?

We had ~ two dozen visitors for our first trick-or treat since being out here in the Valley of the Sun. Zombies were very popular, a Frankenstein rode up to our door and rode away on his skateboard, and I was amazed at how many parents dressed up along with their kids. Was also amazed at how well behaved and polite all the kids were, saying “trick or treat” and “thank you” almost to a person. My sister-in-law Tam and I took turns handing out the candy, and no one raised a fuss.

This doesn’t sound good for any sighting of Tiger Woods at a PGA event anytime soon. I’d be amazed if he even attempted to come back before the U.S. Open in June. At this point you have to wonder just how much Tiger will be willing, let alone able, to put up with what it’s going to take to get him to where he can compete at the level he’s been accustomed to.

R.I.P. Fred Thompson. He seemed like a genuine fine man, loved him in the Hunt For Red October.

Power Line blog’s John Hinderaker is right: it’s time for Jeb! Bush to go quietly into the night. Just like if Hillary had any other last name but Clinton she’d be nowhere near the Democratic candidate for President, if Jeb’s last name wasn’t Bush he wouldn’t be in the race for the GOP’s nomination. He was just an OK governor in Florida, has no charisma whatsoever, and most importantly, he’s another milquetoast candidate whom the mainstream media would crucify relentlessly without any punching back. He’s just another John McCain and Mitt Romney – establishment candidates who won’t raise a fuss.

Along those same lines, I think it’s time GOP chairman Reince Preibus showed some guys and winnowed the GOP field down to six or seven candidates: Trump, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Fiorina, Christie, and (if he insists) Bush. It’s simply impossible for the Republicans to show the country the diversity of its field with a bunch of retreads and candidates with absolutely no chance of winning to gum up the works.

Truly concerned that that Muslim refugee crisis enveloping Europe is going to lead to destabilization and some very bad things happening. Both the U.S. and the world are going to look back on Barack Obama’s presidency as the catalyst for some truly bad stuff happening, the likes of which we can’t even imagine.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:09 | Comments (2)


Search The Site

Recent Items





4 Goodboys Only

Site Info