Let me get this straight . . .

If a wacko with a gun goes on a rampage that leaves 6 dead and 14 injured it is not his or her fault . . . it’s the fault of talk radio (read: conservative talk radio)??

That’s right.

Alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner didn’t walk up to Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords outside a grocery store and pulled the trigger – leaving Giffords in a medically induced coma with a bullet hole in her head, and 6 dead – including a district court judge, and a nine-year old girl.

No. Loughner didn’t do it. He isn’t to blame. Rush Limbaugh is. Sean Hannity is. Glen Beck is. Sara Palin is. In fact, anyone who claims to be a Republican is to blame.

(Palin herself is taking heat for a graphic that was posted on her website that showed swing districts across the county she and the Tea Party movement were targeting to take over. The districts were noted by the use of gun cross hairs. Giffords’ district was one of the districts noted on the graphic.)

Honestly, how absurd is that?

This one 22-year old kid – with a “shanty” in his back yard with a shrine consisting of skulls and shrunken fruit is to blame. From all accounts, Loughner is/was not stable. He wasn’t a war vet – as some news outlets reported early after the shooting on Saturday. No, in fact, he was never admitted into the armed forces because he failed a drug test.

He was kicked out of his local community college due to his behavior and for rants that scared the faculty and his school mates. There is now evidence that Loughner had a thing for Giffords as far back as 2007 – long before Palin and the Tea Party movement started.

However, none of that has stopped the political rhetoric from being spewed.

Even before the crime scene was cleaned up, Sherriff Clarence Dupnik was working under the assumption that Loughner acted out because of the conversative political rhetoric and thus, the news media picked up on it, ran, and never looked back for any evidence of the sort.

Now, because it is what they do, politicians are trying to cash in on the tragedy.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) stated on Fox News: “Whether [political rhetoric] caused what happened in Tucson or not, it’ll cause the next tragedy.”

MSNBC host, Chris Matthews basically said that radio talkers Mark Levin and Michael Savage were “complicate” in the shooting.

Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, sent out the following after the shooting:

Given the recent tragedy in Arizona, as well as the start of the new Congress, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few words with political friends in Vermont and throughout the country.  I also want to thank the very many supporters who have begun contributing online to my 2012 reelection campaign at http://www.bernie.org.  There is no question but that the Republican Party, big money corporate interests and right-wing organizations will vigorously oppose me.  Your financial support now and in the future is much appreciated.

What should be understood is that the violence, and threats of violence against Democrats in Arizona, was not limited to Gabrielle Giffords. Raul Grijalva, an old friend of mine and one of the most progressive members in the House, was forced to close his district office this summer when someone shot a bullet through his office window.  Another Democratic elected official in Arizona, recently defeated Congressman Harry Mitchell, suspended town meetings in his district because of the threatening phone calls that he received (Mitchell was also in the cross-hairs on the Palin map).  And Judge John Roll, who was shot to death at the Giffords event, had received numerous threatening calls and death threats in 2009.

In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process?  Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann:

If Sarah Palin, whose website, put and today scrubbed, bulls eye targets on twenty representatives including Gabby Giffords, does not repudiate today her own part, however tangential, in amplifying violence and violent imagery in American politics she must dismissed from politics.  She must be repudiate by the members of her own party, and if they fail to do so, each one of them must be judged to have silently defended this tactic that today proved so awfully foretelling.

All of this, without one shred of evidence that the shooter with a gun was influenced by anything other this his own crazy thoughts. In fact, some former classmates and friends have described the shooter as “quite liberal” and a “left-wing pothead.” Furthermore, the Wall Street Journal reported that Loughner complained to a friend about how he was treated by Giffords at an event several years ago.

No body knows what set Loughner off. It could have been a hangnail, or he stubbed his toe, or he saw a balloon pop. Unfortunately for the left-wing talking heads, there is no evidence that the shooter was brain washed into the shooting by conserative talking points/rhetoric.

School board officials are lucky to be alive today as they were held at gunpoint by a man wielding a 9mm pistol on Tuesday.

Just minutes after the room was filled with students receiving awards, the man, an ex-convict, walked up to the podium, sprayed a red V, a la “V for Vendetta” on the wall and then whipped out his pistol.

He actually fired a few rounds as the officials scattered for cover.

Apparently he was upset over his high taxes and his wife’s lost job within the district.

Soon after getting a few rounds off, a security guard opened fire and hit the man in the leg. A few minutes later, the man took his own life with the gun.

First off, who ISN’T upset at our taxes? I really don’t see anyone saying, ‘HEY TAX ME MORE!’. Apparently the cops are looking into his facebook page where he had many images from V for Vendetta and quotes from billionaires stating that they were rich – and getting richer. Still, there are many ways to voice your frustration over the issues at hand with America right now – but taking to violence doesn’t really help the situation.

Secondly, V for Vendetta . . . seriously, has any one piece of fiction garnered so much attention over the last 8-10 years? I mean when the movie first came out (Remember, it was actually a graphic novel (for lack of a better term: a supped up comic book) released in the mid-90s that dealt with a alternative future where the UK was run by the Government.) So, when the movie came out in 2006, many people in America some how tied the movie’s tone to that of the Bush Administration. In 2008, other people equated the government in the movie to the Obama administration. How original?

Of course, like anything, the only one who “knows” what V was about was the author – Alan Moore.

V for Vendetta was about…fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about England.

I just don’t get. Maybe I’m just not with it, but a movie, book, or TV show has never gotten me so worked up that I went out and try to shoot people. I mean, Mark David Chapman reads the Catcher in the Rye and boom, he’s got ideas of taking out John Lennon, which of course he did. Now, Granted, Chapman, I believe, was declared to have some sort of mental disorder, but still. Then of course, we have Charles Manson going crazy over the Beatles (which, of course John Lennon was the lead singer) and specifically their song Helter Skelter.

 

 

Okay, so the Big Ten conference hasn’t fielded 10 teams since 1990 when Penn State joined the conference to make the Big Ten a 11 team conference. In 2011, the Big 10 will add Nebraska to it’s football lineup so then the Big Ten will then have 12 teams.

The schools are, in no particular order: Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue and in 2011, Nebraska.

So, what do the powers that be in the conference do? Do they rename the conference? They can’t possibly do that. The Big Ten is the oldest Division I college athletic conference in America. You just can’t change the name. They didn’t back in 1990, so why do it now.

The Big Ten stays. However, with 12 teams going into next year, a new conference logo and divisions were needed.

First the logo.

Over the last decade, the conference sported this:

 

Former Big 10 Logo

Can you see the “11″ that represented the 11 teams in the conference?

Now, with 12 teams, the conference will be using this logo:

 

New Big 10 Logo

Now, there is a “double 10″ meaning. Obviously it says “Big Ten” but there is also a “10″ made with the “I” and “G” in “Big.” Overall, all I can say about this logo is “boooo.”

Now, here is the fun PC’ness of it all.

There will be two divisions in the conference for football. Obviously, there needs to be names for the divisions. Because all the teams are located in the Midwest, it would seem odd to name the divisions “East” and “West.” How about naming the divisions after some of the conference’s most prolific players? That makes some sense right? I mean the conference was home to around 100 college players now in the College Football Hall of Fame, including Dick Butkus, Dan Dierdorf and Bronko Nagurski.

Well, believe it or not, people within the conference thought that schools would be offended that one of the divisions would be named after a player from a certain school oppposed to their school.

Really? Would people from Wisconsin and Minnesota be upset if Illinois’ Dick Butkus had a division named after him? Are we that afraid of offending someone? Com’on, the guy is a legend – both in college and the pros.

Okay, so naming it after someone is off the list, how about being patriotic, that would work right? how about Stars and Stripes? Red and Blue? Nope and Nope.

In the end, the committee charged with coming up with names settled on Legends (Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern) and Leaders (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin).

I’ll take a side of Bland to go with my full helping of Boring, please.

To make matters even worse, the conference will now have new annual awards – such as Freshman of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and so on. Again, the committee’s main goal, apparently, was to not offend anyone.

Again, instead of having the “Butkus Award” for best defensive player, the conference will have the “Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year” That’s great that they are actually using players names. But seriously, why do we need two names for all the awards? Seriously, if you’re a QB in the conference, I bet you can’t wait to try to win the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year award.

To me, this is just political correctness on steroids. Leaders and Legends? Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year?

Full a full list of tongue-twisting award names, click here.

What is it about the Arizona Cardinals and post game news conferences?

First, there was Dennis Green who treated the podium like a dog who just wet the carpet while screaming “They were, who we thought they were, and we let them off the hook.”

Now, quarterback Derek Anderson had his turn – but lucky for the podium he did not get physically aggressive.

Let me set the stage.

Monday Night Football. Anderson’s Cardinals against the San Francisco 49ers. The Cardinals pretty much need to win to keep any real playoff hopes alive. Well, Anderson didn’t play all that well – he went 16 of 35 for 196 yards and 1 pick, no TDs.

The Niners went on to beat the Cardinals 27-6.

However, late in the 4th quarter, with his team down 18 points, Anderson was caught by the ESPN cameras talking with a teammate – and whoops, a smile breaks on Anderson’s face. Some are calling it a laugh, I’m not so sure.

 

ESPN cameras caught Anderson and a teammate in a bit of laugh-in.

Was he smiling? For sure! But what’s the big deal in that? Okay, I get that they were down 18 – but does that mean that everyone has to act all stoic, how much time can pass before they can laugh and smile again? If you watched the game, or saw SportsCenter this morning, you’d see that he smiled and then put his head back down while sorta shaking his head.

Back in my college days, when we’d be on a long bus ride home after a loss, the coach would get all hot and bothered if we even talked – like we were supposed to sit in silence for 5 hours and “think” about how we lost.

Let me tell you something, as a former athlete, if I messed up, I know I messed up. If I played like crap, I know I played like crap – I didn’t need anyone telling me how and why I messed up. I was always harder on myself then anyone else could be. Most of the time, I would be pissed and wouldn’t feel like talking or smiling, but there are times when you are getting embarrassed out there – and it’s so bad it becomes laughable. No matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work – the only thing you can do is laugh. In a way, laughter becomes a defense mechinism to hide the embarrassment and/or disappointment.

I think that’s the case here. Derek Anderson is playing his way out of the league. He had one fairly good year in Cleveland and then stunk it up the next year and then was released. He has had to fight for the starting job in Arizona – and his play yesterday didn’t do him any favors.

Now, the meat of the story.

After the game, during his presser, he was asked by a reporter what was said that would make him smile. Anderson tried to take the high road -for about a second – and then he went all crazy on him.

Here’s the video -

I think Anderson does have a point – what they were talking about is really none of the reporter’s business – but he probably could have handle the whole situation a bit better. For one, he said he wasn’t laughing – which I guess is up for interpretation – when the cameras showed that he was at least smiling. If anything he could have gone the Favre route and ended it by saying “next question” or “I’m not going to talk about that anymore.”

In the end, I think he knows what’s on the line and his embarrassment / anger boiled over, and now it’s a huge story when it probably would have gone away as easily and quickly as the Cardinals’ playoff hopes.

 

 

Yesterday, the United States Government – well, more accurately, the The U.S. Treasury, sold off 412.3 million common shares of General Motors -leaving the government will around 500 million shares.

The move to sell was the first step in getting the government out and the private sector back in as shareholders of the auto maker.

“American taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested in GM,” President Obama said. U.S. automakers “are in the midst of their strongest period of job growth in more than a decade,” he said,  adding that “for the first time in six years, Ford, GM and Chrysler are operating at a profit.”

Whoa, whoa whoa, not so fast Mr. President. We, as taxpayers are now positioned to recover more then my administration invested in? Are you a fortune teller? There is no way you can say that, Mr. President.

I know it is hard for you, and all of your politicians friends, but let’s look at some facts.

  • The U.S. Treasury loaned GM about $50 billion (that’s with our tax money, Mr. President)
  • GM had repaid about $9.75 billion to the government. (leaving 40.25 billion unpaid)
  • The Treasury will recover more than $13.5 billion by selling the 412.3 million common shares at $33 per share (that still leaves the taxpayers on the hook for 26.75 billion.)

The government still has 500 million common shares to sell – but can’t sell for another 6 months.

In order for the taxpayer to get more on our investment, those 500 million shares have to sell at $53 dollars per share – just to break even. To put that in prospective, the stock price of GM hasn’t been north of $50 since early 2002.

Obama can say whatever he needs to make himself sleep at night- but let’s live in reality. If in 6 months or so when the Treasury sells off their remaining stake and it does make money, GREAT! I’ll want my slice of the pie deposited directly in my account. What?? The government probably won’t give cash back to the people that bailed everyone out? What happens when they sell and we don’t break even?? What will the president say then?

Once again, screwed over by a bunch of greedy / out of touch politicians.

It’s another case of Ball Game for our Society . . .

A family in St. Petersburg, Florida really want to score some sweet deals on craptastic products on Black Friday.

They really, really want to get some stuff. How bad you ask? They are camping out in front of their local Best Buy.

That sounds all fine and good, right? Who hasn’t camped out for tickets to that must-go-to event, or stayed up to go to the midnight release of the latest Harry Potter movie?

Well, this is sorta different – you see, Black Friday is November 26th. The Davenport family started camping out two days ago – on November 17th.

Honestly. Ten days in a tent, in front of a Best Buy to score a TV and a laptop – both of which will be some China-brand knockoff which will last them maybe a year – just in time for next year’s rush to buy crappy products.

“We’re here really early this year because we’ve always been second, third and fourth and down the line,” Lorie Davenport said. “We’re tired of not being first and we figured we’ve put in six years, we want to be first.”

Duh’okay.

The Davenports are able to make this odyssey of theirs work because they are shuttling each of their 10 family members to and from the tent.

I bet that will make for a great Thanksgiving.

I have never understood the rush to by the cheap “doorbuster” products that retailers use to entice shoppers. (Who can really blame the retailers? I mean, it is quite obvious that it is working!!) I use to work at a national electronics store – one black friday we had a $10 dollar DVD player. The thing was cheaply made, had no screen on it – so you couldn’t tell what chapter you were on – and it was very loud during playback – but yet, we sold out of our 25 or so units before the store even opened (we gave out tickets to those in line.) Even 12 hours later I was fielding questions from people stomping in from the snow asking if we still had that piece of crap.

Yes, it is Ball Game for our Society.

We hear at the Mixer sometimes find news stories that aren’t well, news – but rather these stories are more disturbing then news breaking. So, we decided we would share these stories under a new category – Ball Game for our Society. In other words, the stories presented here, are just more signs that we might as well just stop and pack everything up – because our society is done for.

For example:

Case Study #1:

A Minnesota couple has put the possible abortion of their unborn baby to an online vote. Yes. You read that correctly.

Alisha and Peter Arnold, from Apple Valley, a suburb of St. Paul,  have created a website (which the Mixer will not publicize) where visitors can vote on the fate of the couple’s 17 week old fetus.

Ms. Arnold told a local fish wrap factory (newspaper to the majority of you) “We wanted to give people a chance to voice their opinions in a real situation where it makes a difference.” Or, in other words, we wanted to be famous for something – ANYTHING.

Unfortunately for Ms. Arnold, she couldn’t keep her true feelings under wraps. She went on to say “I wanted to wait longer because I was losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle”

The story in the paper also mentions that the Arnolds have recently suffered three miscarriages, and Ms. Arnold wasn’t sure she was ready to have a baby.

Color this guy confused. Which one is it?? I mean, you’d think after the first, or second, heck, even the third miscarriage, if you weren’t ready to have a child, wouldn’t you go about things a bit differently between the sheets?

No no no, not in this case. Instead, you put it to an online vote? God help them if the vote results in them keeping the baby because a) that will be a fun time explaining it to the child when he/she eventually find out and b) let’s hope that they actually will care for the baby – which if they are making its life so trivial as to a vote – doesn’t look promising.

This is just so crazy, I can’t even fathom. Even if this is just a hoax, or a way to spark the abortion debate, it is just plain wrong.

As of Friday, the vote was 23,840 to 5,978 for birth.

Just another sign that it is Ball Game for our Society.