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Another Pats Gate

The Super Bowl is coming and we have another controversy – deflated balls. Eleven out of twelve Pats’ balls were deflated. The Refs said that at least six of the Seahawks’ balls seemed deflated. Let’s not go into the fact that Tom Brady doesn’t like the ball deflated and was better in the second half when the balls were inflated to their proper weight. Let’s not get into how hard it would be to prove that the balls were deflated by the Pats and not the weather, but let’s get into the incompetence Roger Goodell as NFL commissioner. Most QBs will tell you that they fix up the balls, at least the honest ones do. Most experts will tell you the deflated ball really doesn’t make a difference. But Goodell treats wife beating and child beating players with kid gloves and threatens to bring down the hammer on the Pats for the integrity of the game. Goodell can’t even spell integrity.

So call the Pats cheats. The Sea-Adderall Seahawks have their own ethical questions and a coach who left USC in trouble with the NCAA. To Pats fans I say – let the hyperbole roll off your backs and know that no team plays better than New England when it gets into a bunker mentality. #Inflatethis.


AFC Championship

Waiting for Sunday and the game the Patriots and the Colts. Even though I no longer live in Boston, I’m still a Patriots fan. I’ve lived in Tennessee now for enough years to consider myself at home in the South, yet the teams of my youth are still the teams I cheer for. Be it the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, or the Patriots, they hold a piece of my heart because of those shared moments with my father and brothers cheering for the hometown team.

So I am waiting for Sunday, and preparing to cheer for the Patriots. If they win, I get to watch the Patriots in the Superbowl. If they lose, I get to pretend that the football season is over. I really hope that the season isn’t over on Sunday.Go Pats!

A word on the crusades

After the horror of Paris several intellectuals and powerful people have made comments to the point of getting into a spitting contest. Some defend Islam and some condemn it. This is not about that, so much as one tweet by a well known author who says she is Christian and finds that she can’t stop apologizing for the crusades. I hate ignorance.

The First Crusade started as a widespread call for pilgrimage to the Holy Land and evolved into a military response called by Urban II due to Muslim conquest of Levant and Jerusalem. Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos called for aid from Western Christian powers to repel the invading Turks, who were converting by the sword. Urban II called for support of the Emperor starting the First Crusades.

Yes, the crusades devolved as time went by. Instead of fighting an invading force, it became about wealth for certain Western Kings. The King of France went so far as to defame the Knights Templars in order to take their lands and wealth.

Now back to my point – the crusades weren’t just about Christianity invading Muslim areas. It started as a response to stop Muslims from invading Christian countries. Once upon a time the great mosques in Istanbul were Catholic Churches. Let’s not forget that Istanbul was once Constantinople.

Another Year

I’ve gotten to that age where I no longer think of New Year’s as New Year’s but as Another Year. The newness of the year is now in question for me. Be in politics, which seems to be caught in some temporal repetition of mediocrity, to the society we live in, there is a banality keeping a sense of newness at bay. From baby Jesus being stolen from mangers to the violence of our age, it all is starting to play like a bad movie. In the sixties and thereafter protesting had an authenticity about it. Now we seem to have profession protestors who will join any cause just for the chance to break a widow of  a small business in order to show their radical cred. The fact that they probably go get a coffee at Starbucks afterwards kind of ruins their bona fides.

There is too much banality these days; too many are pushing agendas while denigrating the beliefs of others. Neil Degrasse Tyson for Christmas tweets a tweak of the nose for those who have the audacity to believe in something greater than science. He and others like him act as if those with faith are incapable of thought and doubt. What they don’t understand is doubt comes with faith. Faith, at its best, doesn’t banish doubt, but it triumphs over it, like one boxer triumphs over another in a hard fought contest.

What would make this a New Year instead of a Another Year is if people could honestly start accepting people’s beliefs and differences. Right now we accept the idea of being different, out of the ordinary. It would be more enlightened if we accepted differences without condemnation or protest. We should be able to disagree without one side being signaled out as being wrong or backwards. In another words if someone wants to believe in Santa, shut up and let believe.

Genderless Gingerbread men

So I was watching the news, an activity I try to avoid for the sake of my blood pressure and mood, and I saw a piece on some organization pushing genderless Gingerbread men. Are you sh*tting me? Genderless Gingerbread men? We can’t even enjoy a holiday snack without an agenda intruding. Now the Gingerbread men I enjoyed as a child never had an edible penis, but we accepted them as male, as we accepted the Gingerbread with skirts were female. They were frosted and delicious and they didn’t make me ponder gender politics at the age of eight.

Genderless!!?? Why? Are we really afraid that some child who is sexual confused would be insulted by the spicy treat? I guess a yule log cake has to be rethought. I for one am tried of those with agendas pushing them down my throat, bombarding me with their precious beliefs, and attempting to inculcate children in their way of thinking. I think this year I am going to have my wife bake Gingerbread men with large packages and broad smiles.


England is in uproar because Lebron James touched a royal shoulder. I’d like to pout two things out: one, Lebron is royalty himself – he is the king, and two, considering our history, we should be allowed to touch the odd shoulder since we did kick England’s ass in our little revolution and then saved it in World War II.

Seasons Greetings

Amidst the reactions and violence of the Michael Brown Grand Jury announcement, a Seasons Greetings sign could be seen. Tear gas landed under it, rocks were thrown past it, cars were burned neared it. Seasons Greetings. To some the tumult and violence was a just reaction to a unjust situation. A beauty salon, some person’s small business, was burned to the ground. Seasons Greetings and I hope you have an up-to-date insurance policy. Was that just? Stores were looted. Did that forward a dialogue on race relations? Civil rights in this country was hard won with peaceful movements that suffered great violence against them. Is this reaction the lesson we learned for their blood and pain? Bring on the violence because it brings attention and makes for great news on the TV. Let us not forget that there were some in Ferguson wearing Guy Fawkes’ masks, who do nothing but act as professional instigators. Michael Brown meant nothing to them. They took advantage of a chance to make police look bad and harass the press. Now Al Sharpton is coming to town to gin up the rhetoric and violence. African American Leaders such as Martin Luther King, JR. Rosa Parks, E.D. Nixon, Robert F. Williams, and James Lawson deserve a better legacy.

Artic Blast

Tennessee is freezing. Being a Southern state Tennessee doesn’t handle the cold all that well. Most structures here are built for 80 to 90 degree weather with the occasional dip into the 50s, solidly built but lacking the extra layers of New England housing, and the heating system leaves much to be desired. There is something of about radiators generating scalding heat to the point that you have to open up a window too cool off. Of course, the farmers around here would rather have rain than a deep chill. 38 degrees during the day and in the 20s at night, in Boston I would have considered that a mild winter. I remember once walking home in Boston that it was so cold my mustache actually froze. All it needs to do now is snow and the State of Tennessee will shut down. People around here handle the rain well enough for driving, though rain during winter has shut the school system down once or twice, but snow tends to shut everything down.

Blank screens and blank minds

Opened up a word document and found myself staring at the blank white screen. When I started I had a few ideas rummaging around in my head but now I find my mind as blank as the screen. I know somewhere in my cranium there is some material worthy of filling up that blank white page, but fingers and brain aren’t speaking to each other at the moment. It will come, given time and patience, it will come. Well, at least that is what I’m telling myself.

Holiday day season

The holiday season is upon us. My wife asked the other day the yearly Thanksgiving question – ham or turkey? For a moment I thought of answering roast beef, but ham won out. There was no reason to add a third choice and complicate the matter. Many, many years of turkey has led to a preference for a nice glazed ham. Where Christmas evokes many different emotions from me, something to discuss later, Thanksgiving is simple holiday and it is just not because it is about planning a luxurious, high caloric meal. The simplicity of the holiday can be found in its name – thanksgiving. It is a holiday where we attempt to be thankful for what we have and who we share our life with. Simple. Easy to digest.

So plan your meal, especially the side dishes – and don’t forget to try the exotic side dish or two – and make your your travel plans, or not. If you are having turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, with asparagus, or ham with sweet potatoes, potatoes fixed however you like, with some trendy vegetable, just remember to pause and be thankful. If you are of the disposition then say a prayer of thanks, and if you have embraced the idea that spirituality precludes religion then take a deep breath and thank the cosmos.

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