The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 3

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 3
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

The Week 3 NFL Bottom Ten is often compared to opening your Christmas presents – or a manhole cover: you don’t know what you are going to get. Will last year’s contenders return for another shot at Bottom Ten glory? Which team will surprise with a strong opening week loss? Will the entire AFC South be ranked?

This year’s opening slate of games didn’t disappoint, as both the usual teams showed they intended to compete, while Indianapolis laid claim to the top spot with an impressive blowout road loss.

This week’s mess, as the nags trip over each other at the starting gate:

1. Indianapolis Colts (0-1; lost to Los Angeles Rams 46-9 ) – Colts now brightest blip on B-10 radar, snapping Rams league-best seven (7) game losing skid in huge road loss…Offense already in midseason form, throwing more touchdown passes to Rams (2) than to own team (0)…..Next Loss: Arizona

2. San Francisco 49ers (0-1; lost to Carolina 23-3) – Two turnovers leading to 14 Carolina points?…Check…Complete lack of running game???…Check…Ten (10) penalties showing complete mastery of game’s fundamentals???…Check, as Niners show they are all in for B-10 medal stand run…Next Loss: at Seattle

3. Houston Texans (0-1; lost to ) – Four (4) turnovers, inability to rush for 100 yards really pumps up fan base devastated by Hurricane Harvey…Home loss to divisional foe sends clear signal to rest of division Texans ready to compete in historically tough AFC South…Next Loss: at Cincinnati (9/14)

4. Cleveland Browns (0-1; lost to Pittsburgh 21-18) – Browns open up defense of 2016 B-10 title with 26th loss in last 28 games, dating back to 2015…Cleveland offense sets strong early tone, punting five (5) times in first half…Well, four (4) times, as one (1) attempt was blocked…Next Loss: at Baltimore

5. AFC South (1-3) – Noted NFL division takes Week 1 Pete Rozelle Award, issued to NFL’s worst division…Only Jacksonville/Houston divisional matchup prevented entire division from going winless.

6. AFC East (1-2) – AFC East takes inaugural Avis Award, apparently given to second worst division in AFC…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” country has long forgotten Avis’ “we’re #2, we try harder” ad campaign from decades ago.

7. Chicago Bears (0-1; lost to Atlanta 23-17) – Tied 10-10 at half, Bears show mettle that led straight to 2016 B-10 runner-up finish by punting on first three (3) second half possessions…With losable games the next, well, pretty much the entire season, Bears can’t be caught looking ahead to late season B-10 showdowns with 49ers and Browns…Next Loss: at Tampa Bay

8. NFL98th season kicks off with focus on anthem protests and head injuries, while yet another team relocates, as Chargers return to LA, which didn’t want them in Kennedy Administration and doesn’t want them now…Kudos to TV networks for not showing anthem protesters…TV ratings still down, too…Next Loss: Entire league as, eventually, nobody will want to play, watch NFL football.

9. Los Angeles Chargers (0-1; lost to Denver 24-21) – Not even move to LA can deter Chargers as big early deficit, late comeback, blocked field goal means Chargers still fully focused on strong B-10 run…..Next Loss: Miami

10: Los Angeles Dodgers – Replacing usual Chicago Cubs or incumbent president entry at number ten, Dodgers well on way to greatest collapse in baseball history, as former 21-game lead now down to 10 games…Dodgers broke 11-game losing skid – their best ever – with Tuesday’s win, though they’ve still lost 16 out of 18. 

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Houston at Cincinnati
This Is Don Criqui Reporting: Arizona at Indianapolis

Share Gaylon! Go!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUponRedditPinterestTumblrDiggYahoo BookmarksGoogle BookmarksShare
Posted in The Bottom Ten - 2017 | Leave a comment

The Thought for the Day – John F Kennedy

The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space. – John F Kennedy, speech at Rice University, 9/12/63

Today’s Thought is not the most famous quote from this speech, the quote we used yesterday is, which is too bad, because this speech is, for our money, one of the best given by an American, right up there with Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln (his second inaugural) and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time…

You cannot stop progress. You can either set its pace or follow those who are setting its pace or you can ignore it. But you cannot stop it. The heavens will be, are being, explored. The innovations required to continue its exploration – and the benefits to derived from those innovations – will be provided by those willing to put forth both the risk and the effort.

There was a time when America was investing in the risk and the work, but that time has passed and, as such, have taken a flier on one of the great adventures in human history. We are the lesser for it.

…no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.

I  don’t think America’s descent to the second tier of nations and the fact we can no longer put anyone into space is a coincidence. And make no mistake, America is resting comfortably on the second tier. Mindlessly and hopelessly in debt, at war every day since 1989 and tearing apart at our social seams, we are on our way to collapse if we don’t do something. First-rate nations are not on the way to collapse.

America is no longer leading, or even pacing, this planet, we are force-feeding it. We are force-feeding it violence and more violence. There was a time when America offered the planet inspiration and ingenuity, but that time, too, has passed.  

We can change that, though, all we need is Americans interested in America again. It will take one of the great adventures of all time – probably a manned mission to Mars – it will take vision and risk and work. It will take Americans getting involved and holding their leaders accountable again, but the rewards are there for the taking. All we have to do is go and get it. America will again mean something to the world when it means something to Americans again.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Thought for the Day | Leave a comment

The Daily Dose – September 13, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

GAYLON FOR CONGRESS…VOTE EARLY, VOTE OFTEN: Sometimes, probably in my role as a past candidate for both the United States Senate and House of Representatives, I‘ll get asked what we can do in the current political climate, which is that of a partisan, fractured and bickering government. My answer is always the same: PAY ATTENTION. Pay attention to what our government is, and is not, doing for us.

Dry, Technical Matter: Right now is a good time to pay attention because the United States Senate will soon begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, which mainly details how the Pentagon will go about its work in the next fiscal year. Senator Rand Paul is offering an amendment to the act that would repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), a separate act passed by Congress in the days following 9/11. The AUMF allowed the president to act unilaterally in using military force against those he deemed responsible for the attacks.

Fly In The Ointment: Since then, however, the act has been used to justify the use of American force wherever we choose to use it. It has been used to authorize actions in 14 countries and on the high seas.

This is wrong. The Constitution is very clear on the matter, with Article I, Section 8 stating, in part:

The Congress shall have Power To…declare War…

This was not an accident. There was virtually little desire at the Constitutional Convention to empower the chief executive to unilaterally declare war. Congress, despite the fact America has been at war for most of our existence, and continually since 1989, has only declared war five times over the centuries, none of them since 1942, a fact which surprises some people. 

We The People: This is where you and I come in. We must get involved. If you approve of the AUMF, great. We’re glad you’ve given it the thought required to form an informed opinion. We merely disagree on the matter and it is differences of opinion like this that makes horse racing so exciting.

OTOH: If you do not approve of the AUMF, get involved and let your representatives know. Now is the time for us to pay attention to what our leaders are doing – and not doing – for our country and to let them know how we feel. For too long we have given our leaders carte blanche to do what they want. The time has come for us to hold our leaders accountable. 

Please Pass The Dry, Technical Matter: No nation has survived perpetual war and America is not going to be the exception. America has been at war continuously since 1989 and there is no prospect of peace, the only dividend war is providing is more war. By forcing Congress to resume its Constitutional duties of declaring war, America will be a more peaceful nation because if Congress actually has to put the thought that is required into declaring war, we don’t think they’d do it unless there is a direct threat to our way of life. American meddling in other countries will stop.

The Bottom Line: Having one person in charge of deciding when we go to war is neither in step with the letter or the spirit of the Constitution and it is not in the spirit of a nation conceived in liberty. We can do better, but we have to let our leaders know we want better.

USA! USA!: In the War of 1812, the British attack but fail to capture Baltimore, Maryland on this date in 1814. The attack began in the morning and would continue until the following morning. When the smoke cleared and a lawyer named Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still waving he was so moved by the sight he wrote a poem about it called The Defence of Fort M’Henry. Some music from an old English drinking song would later be added and the result, The Star Spangled Banner, would become the national anthem of the United States in 1931.

FunFact: Key was moved to write four verses to his poem, though only the first verse is customarily played.

The Cold War: A Simpler Time: Nikita Khrushchev is appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party on this date 1953. He would serve until thrown out in a bloodless coup by Leonid Brezhnev and associates in 1964. Kruschev did not handle his forced retirement well. He fell into depression and in 1965 had his pension reduced, though it was still comfortable by Soviet standards, and was obliged to move to a small home. He died in 1971.

Those Zany Soviets: Man reaches the moon for the first time when Luna 2, a Soviet spacecraft, crashes on the lunar surface on this date in 1959. About a half hour later the rocket carrying Luna 2 crashed on the moon.

Uh-Oh: Up to that time, the closest the United States had gotten to the moon was Pioneer 4, which had gotten within 34,000 miles of the moon the previous March.

Quotebook: Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself. – James Stephens, Irish poet (1882-1950)

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Benito Mussolini was attempting to flee to Switzerland when he was arrested in 1945.

Today’s Stumper:  When the Civil War broke out a fifth verse was added to The Star Spangled Banner. Who wrote this fifth verse? – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Daily Dose | Leave a comment

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 3

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 3
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Welcome back.

If there was a soundtrack for this week’s survey it would be Open Arms. Nobody values history as much as the Bottom Ten pollsters who are pleased to welcome back such past Bottom Ten staples as Buffalo, UTEP and the Sun Belt Conference.

Veteran B-10 fan(s) know you ignore the latest crop of lousy teams at your peril, as defending ESPN Cup holders Fresno State is back on the losing schneid and UMess is the first 3-loss team in the country.

This week’s mess:  

1. Rutgers (0-2; lost to Eastern Michigan 16-13)
Mitigating Factors: Scarlet Knights may never win again following clutch loss to Eastern Michigan squad that has won two (2) or fewer games five (5) times this decade…Eleventh consecutive loss easily nation’s longest and best since historic 1996-97 squads lost 14 straight…Rutgers offense strong early, mailing it in with 19 yards on final six (6) possessions of first half.
FunFact: Team so bad official athletic department website reduced to leading with story about chick soccer’s exciting 0-0, 2OT draw with Georgetown.
Next Loss: Morgan State

2. Buffalo (0-2; lost to Army 21-17)
Mitigating Factors: Former turn-of-the-century survey staples, B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Bulls back in survey for first time in “like, a decade or so”…Bulls defense actually not too bad, but offense picks up slack, ranking 122nd in Scoring Offense (12.0 ppg)…Kickoff return geniuses putting ‘special’ in special teams, averaging 45 feet, 4 inches per return.
Baby Steps: Bulls current six (6)-game skid tied for second-best in country, but falls well short of team record when iconic 2002-03 squads lost 18-straight and claimed back-to-back B-10 titles.
Next Loss: Colgate

3. Fresno State (1-1; lost to Alabama 41-10)
Mitigating Factors: Defending B-10 champs recover from smackdown of priest novitiates with dutiful blowout loss to national power…Loss propels Bulldogs back on track for second title plus Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win…Any thoughts of momentum from Week 1 win dismissed early as defense gives up long touchdown run on games second play.
FunFact: Bulldogs with great opportunity to set tone for tough Mountain West schedule with another blowout loss this week to 2016 playoff team.
Next Loss: at Washington

4. UMess (0-3; lost to Old Dominion 17-7)
Mitigating Factors: Minutemen nation’s first 0-3 team and have lost six (6) straight for third time this decade…UMess only losing games by 31-23 margin, forcing coaching staff to really focus on basics this week, like giving up points off turnovers and jumping offsides at crucial times…Road games the next two (2) weeks giving student body opportunity to forget team’s B-10 run and focus on academics.
Broad Historical Context: Minutemen still have not beaten a major division team that has finished season with winning record since defeating Holy Cross 17-0 in 1901.
Next Loss: at Temple

5. East Carolina (0-2; lost to West Virginia 56-20)
Mitigating Factors: After opening drive results in field goal that cuts deficit to four (4), Pirates settle in with five (5) punts and two (2) interceptions the rest of the way…Pirates have lost six (6) straight, tied for second best in countryLack of preparation cited for current skid, as coaching staff spending most of their time explaining why North and South Carolina are states but East Carolina is not.
There Is No “I “ In Bottom Ten: Current B-10 run total team effort, as Pirates ranked Dead Last in Total Defense (616.5 ypg), 105th in Rushing Offense (106 ypg) and can’t return punts either, averaging three (3) feet per return.
Next Loss: Virginia Tech

6. Earlham (0-2; lost to Hiram 63-21)
Mitigating Factors: Division III Quakers easily retain Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in ISIS North American target zone – with 35th straight loss…Defense carrying load so far in 2016, as nobody knows what in the hell has gotten into offense averaging 30.5 ppg, double what it’s averaged the past four (4) seasons…Team so bad Student Union forces squad to play first four (4) games on road so incoming freshmen could spend first weekends focusing on charity work, binge drinking.  
The Defense Rests: Defense ranks Dead Last amongst D-III teams that have played at least two (2) games, giving 605.5 yards per game.
Next Loss: at Anderson

7. UTEP (0-2; lost to Rice 31-14)
Mitigating Factors: Former B-10 staples, surprising Miners constructing classic B-10 run following up Week 1 loss to national power with loss to former B-10 staple Rice…Miners offense punts or turns ball over on every first half possession, keeping team in it until defense wakes up and allows 21 second half points…Though games against Texas-San Antonio and North Texas remain, UTEP now favorite for state’s spot in B-10 regionals.
There Still Is Not An “I “ In Bottom Ten: Unselfish Miners getting it done on both sides of ball, ranking Next-To-Dead-Last in Total Offense and 124th in Total Defense.
Next Loss: Arizona

8. UNLV (1-1; defeated Idaho 44-16)
Mitigating Factors: Rebels still in survey thanks to strength-of-schedule points for smacking down historically lousy Idaho squad that is moving to lower level in 2018…This week’s blowout loss against pissed off Ohio State squad should set Rebels back far enough to make strong B-10 medal stand run.
Crystal Ball Me: October 28 showdown with Fresno State could be for berth on B-10 medal stand.
Next Loss: at Ohio State

9. Sun Belt Conference (2-11)
Mitigating Factors: Former Conference of the Week staple, Sun Belt earns first Conference of Week award of 2017 despite not having a team in survey…Sun Belt gets nod not only because of 2-11 mark against major division non-conference foes, but for being only conference to have two (2) losses against lower level teams.
The New Material Budget Is Still Zero, I See: Entire conference expected to pick up pace with brisk .500 conference play mark.
Next Loss: Loss of secondary affiliation with Madam Toussad’s Wax Museum Bowl, if conference doesn’t pick things up with some wins.

10. Confederacy of Dunces (0-6; Charlotte: lost to Kansas State 55-7; North Carolina: lost to Louisville 47-35; Florida Atlantic: lost to Wisconsin 31-14)
Mitigating Factors: Exciting new combined entry, Confederacy looking to join Trilateral Commission (Duke, Vanderbilt, Rice) and Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (UL-Lafayette; UL-Monroe) as B-10 combined entry staples…Teams have combined to lose 13 straight, best among three (3) randomly selected teams appearing in halfwit ranking of lousy college football teams.
FunFact: Team that ends up with highest B-10 ranking will be award Robert E Lee Cup presented by the KKK, symbolic of Confederate football ineptitude.
Next Losses: Charlotte: North Carolina A&T; North Carolina: at Old Dominion; Florida Atlantic: Bethune-Cookman.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Colgate at Buffalo
Bottom Ten Alumni Association Game of the Week: UMess at Temple
MAC Thriller of the Week: Tulsa at Toledo

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Bottom Ten - 2017 | Leave a comment

The Thought for the Day – John F Kennedy

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills… – John F Kennedy, speech at Rice University, 9/12/63

John F Kennedy was, of course, the 35th president of the United States. Long after his view on taxes or his performance during times of crisis have been forgotten, his decision to commit his country to sending men to the moon and returning them safely to Earth will be remembered. By any measure, Apollo 11 is one of our species most significant accomplishments and may well be our greatest. It certainly created a line of demarcation separating all that came before it from everything that followed.

Today’s Thought is, generally, the most quoted line from the speech, however – like Patrick Henry’s “give me liberty or give me death” speech – if this quote is your only frame of reference you are missing out. Kennedy’s speech that day is a wonderful commentary on what it means to be an American and a human. It is typical Kennedy: thoughtful yet accessible with a touch of humor and is delightful to read and listen to.

…that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.

The race to the moon did exactly that: it organized and measured and brought out America’s very best. It wasn’t easy. The 1960’s were times that were as contentious and tumultuous as they are now, perhaps more so, and was not an easy time for a nation to be farting around trying marshal its very best. We did it anyway.  

We’re not doing that now, though. We’re shooting each other left and right and bickering about who puts up what statue and we’re the worse for it: a fractured and bickering country that isn’t trying to organize and measure its very best. We long ago stopped demanding anything of ourselves or our leaders and the very best of our energies and skills are being wasted.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Thought for the Day | Leave a comment

The Daily Dose – September 12, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

FROM YE OLDE BALLYARDS: Monday night the Cleveland Indians continued the second-longest winning streak this century, defeating the Detroit Tigers 11-0. The Indians have won 19 straight games, one less than the 2002 Oakland A’s won, a streak which established a new American League record.  In the process, the Indians have run away with the American League Central, going from 5.5 games up on the Minnesota Twins to 13.5 games up.

Get Out Your Record Books: If they keep winning, the Indians would tie and break the record in Anaheim against the Angels on September 19 and 20.

This Isn’t More Dry, Technical Matter, Is It?: The most consecutive games won without a loss in major league history is 26, done by the New York Giants in 1916. There was a tie in there, but baseball doesn’t include tie games in standings and replayed them whenever possible, although individual stats were counted.

Oh Jesus, H: The 1935 Chicago Cubs hold the ML record for most consecutive wins, no ties, with 21.

As Long As Your Record Books Are Out: The Los Angeles Dodgers might well be in the process of blowing the biggest lead in baseball history. Once 21 games up on the Arizona Diamondbacks – 21 games! In August, no less! – they have lost ten straight and 15 out of 16 and are now 9.5 games up on Arizona, still a sizable margin but if you don’t think the Dodgers are checking their rear view mirror, you are deluding yourself. 

There have been some majestic collapses in baseball over the decades, but blowing a 21-game lead would be unprecedented, even for the Dodgers who blew a 13.5 game lead in 1951, found themselves in a best-of-three playoff with the Giants and lost the pennant in three games.

Still, though, the Dodgers were so good before they started losing ten straight and 15 out of 16 they still have the best record in the majors, though Cleveland and Washington each have 88 wins and are four games back for the best record mark.

More From The Dodgers Were So Good Department: The Dodgers previous 15 losses came between June 1 through August 23.  

Make Your Ticket Plans Now: So far only the Washington Nationals have clinched a playoff spot, having won the National League East, and, thanks to each league having two wild card playoff berths, only San Francisco and Philadelphia have been eliminated. 

Somebody Get Him A Crying Towel: We’re still going to whine about this: having each wild card team meet in a one-game playoff looks more like the high school regionals than anything a professional league would play. And, as long as we are on the subject of the baseball playoffs, if you are going to make teams potentially travel twice during a series, please play a best-of-seven series instead of a best-of-five, like you do in the first round. Making teams travel twice in a best-of-five series is silly.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Adolph Hitler, then a soldier with limited education and prospects, joins the German Workers Party – the precursor to the Nazi Party – on this date in 1919. That night Hitler attended a party meeting at a beer hall, got into an argument, won it, and was invited to join by party leaders. He quickly became a popular speaker and organizer and was instrumental in changing the party’s name to the Nazi Party the following year.

FunFact…Unless You Were Jewish: Hitler really wanted to form his own party, but his resources were limited and he figured – correctly as it turned out – that he could eventually take over the party.

More From The Hitler Desk: On a mission ordered by Adolf Hitler, former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is rescued from house arrest on this date in 1943. Mussolini had been arrested in July and Hitler had planned to arrest the Italian king and his government, but they had fled. Supported by Nazi Germany, Mussolini would pretend to be in charge until his fellow Italians arrested and executed him in April 1945.

“This Country Was Conquered By Those Who Moved Forward…”: President John F Kennedy gives a speech reaffirming America’s commitment to landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s at Rice University on this date in 1962.

“If We Shall Do All This, And Do It Right, And Do It First…Then We Must Be Bold”: If you haven’t read the whole thing – and who hasn’t really? – then treat yourself and go and do so. The speech is pure Kennedy, thoughtful yet accessible, with a touch of humor.

Quotebook: The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space. – John F Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, speech at Rice University, 9/12/63

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Ty Cobb broke Cap Anson’s record of 3,435 hits in 1923.

Today’s Stumper:  When Benito Mussolini was arrested in 1945, he was attempting to flee to another country. Which country was he trying to flee to? – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Daily Dose | Leave a comment

The Daily Dose – September 11, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

Editor’s Note: Due to the subject of today’s column, only the On This Date segment is featured

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four airplanes and conduct suicide terrorist attacks on the United States on this date in 2001. Two airplanes flew into and brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center, another flew into the Pentagon building and the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania, brought down by its passengers. Almost 3,000 people were killed and thousands more were injured. It remains, and hopefully will always remain, the worst terror attack on American soil.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: Some people believe 9/11 makes the strongest case for war. After all, our nation was attacked and those responsible must pay. This is completely in step with human nature and we are not completely insensitive here at The Daily Dose. We understand and respect this view.

But we disagree with it. We think 9/11 makes the strongest case for peace, both in the context of circumstances before the attacks and because of what has happened since.

The reasons for the 9/11 attacks are many, but have their roots in American aggression and interference in the Middle East and Africa. To deny that is folly. America has been at war every day since 1989 and 9/11 is the price we paid for that. Had the United States been at peace every day since 1989 9/11 would not have occurred. We believe any substantive consideration of this bears this out.

Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: We said this every hour on the hour while running for the United States Senate and House of Representatives:

We are not going to have a peaceful world without a peaceful America.

War does not produce peace, it only produces more war. Despite the fact America has been shown this time and time again – is shown it every day, actually – we refuse to heed this lesson.

The Long And Winding Road: It’s been 16 years since we declared war on terror and we are still fighting terrorists. You know what? We always will be, too. This war will never end. Or, rather, it will end when America collapses. No nation can survive perpetual war and anyone who tells you America will be the exception to that is either deluding themselves, trying to delude you or, as likely as not, both.  

“There Were Failures To Get Information To The Right Place At The Right Time…”: Our meddling in other countries notwithstanding, it didn’t help that America wasn’t up to the challenge of stopping the attacks, either. We should have been, because, as a reading of the official 9/11 report shows, the clues were there and assorted senior US officials suspected there was something brewing, though some thought the attack would be in the Middle East.

However, America wasn’t able to, as the saying goes, know what it knew. For example, an Arab taking flight lessons in Arizona and not bothering to show up for the landing portion of the course never made up the chain of command.  

The Bottom Line/Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: We are not going to have a peaceful world without a peaceful America and we are not going to have a peaceful America until we decide to heed the lessons 9/11 taught us: American aggression abroad caused 9/11, it is responsible for a great deal of the world’s violence today and will be the foundation for future attacks, both here and abroad. All an America at war produces is despair and destruction, both for others and for us.

A Warm, Personal Remembrance: Thought it was a Monday morning, a time one could reasonably be expected to be up, we slept through the 9/11 attacks and our first inkling something was up came when we checked in at a message board we frequented. We then scurried to the gym at the apartment complex we lived at in Las Vegas at the time and caught up on the TV’s in there.  

More On This Date Action: Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds becomes major league baseball’s all-time hit leader on this date in 1985, hitting a single in the first inning at home in a game against the San Diego Padres. Rose’s 4,192nd career hit breaks Ty Cobb’s record.

Today’s On This Date Is Being Done In Reverse Chronological Order: Alexander Hamilton is appointed the first Secretary of the Treasury by President George Washington on this date in 1789. Hamilton being Hamilton, he tended to think of his role more as that as a prime minister responsible for running the government under Washington’s guidance, a view only Hamilton seemed to hold.

FunFact: Hamilton would die in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804.

Quotebook: Mere longevity is a good thing for those who watch life from the sidelines. For those who play the game, an hour may be a year, a single day’s work an achievement for an eternity. – Gabriel Heatter

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: America has executed 1,459 people since 1977.

Today’s Stumper:  Whose all-time hit record did Ty Cobb break? – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in Hall of Fame - Gaylon's Very Best, The Daily Dose | Leave a comment

The Thought for the Day – Paul Harvey

In times like these, it helps to remember there have always been times like these. – Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey was an American radio announcer, best known for his news commentaries. Harvey, which was actually his middle name, was revered by millions of listeners, particularly in the Midwest and Harvey was on the air from the time he was 14 until his death at age 90 in 2009. At his peak, Harvey was heard on 1,200 radio stations and regular readers of the crap may recall this is the second time this quote has been featured here. 

… there have always been times like these.

Nothing really changes in our Human Experience. Our world is violent? That is nothing new; we’ve had a violent world since Cain killed Abel. Millions live in poverty? That is nothing new either. From time immemorial our world has had people unwilling or unable to provide for themselves.

This is one of the most fundamental lessons life has to offer: we really aren’t breaking any new ground here. We think we are, we like to think we are standing at the salt and summit of humanity, but in realty, nothing changes. Some are born to privilege, some are born with no chance while most of us fall somewhere in between, passing an existence whose length we are not only unsure of, but whose end date is undetermined. A hundred years from now, as we like to say, there will be all new people on this planet, except for those sentenced to extraordinarily long lives.

Something else that never changes is the 24 hours each day holds. Each day we must use those 24 hours to overcome our circumstances. Those born to privilege must work to build a life of substance, not easy, and sometimes not necessary, when every advantage is available. Those of us born to less exalted circumstances must work to overcome the pleasures and distractions that are there every day that can draw us from the path we were meant to take.

In times like these…

Times like these have been around since time immemorial. Circumstantially we live different lives than those before us, but intrinsically they are same. Every day we must look ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves if we made our time serve us, or did we squander the day. When our time comes to die we are going to have to ask ourselves if we made our lives serve us or did we squander our time on this planet.

We can’t ignore the 24 hours in each day and we can’t squirrel some away for future use. They will be there, relentlessly, every day. Like those in other times, we can squander the hours or put them to work for us.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Thought for the Day | Leave a comment

The Daily Dose – September 10, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

CIRCLE THE DATE: We don’t know what you have scheduled for December 9, 2021, but Lawrence Landrum, of the Ohio Landrums, has his death penciled in for that date.

Usually, the setting of an execution date doesn’t draw our attention but one four years, three months and one day – 1,553 days – away did. We are fairly well read on this matter and it seemed to us an execution date four years in the future seemed like an awfully long time.

Bingo: Some research shows it is. Texas is scheduled to execute William Rayford this coming January and Ohio is the only state to have executions scheduled after that. 

FunFact: Almost interesting is the fact Landrum’s execution date isn’t even the farthest out! John Drummond’s execution is scheduled for June 2022.

Dry, Technical Matter: In 2014 Ohio switched to two chemicals to kill inmates when it had trouble finding suppliers for some of the drugs it used in its other concoction. When those two chemicals resulted in a 26-minute execution where the inmate, Dennis McGuire, spent most of that time gasping for breath, Ohio put a moratorium on executions until it could come up with what appeared to be a better way to kill its condemned.

The new three-drug combination was challenged in court by the inmates it was going to be used on and this past January a federal magistrate granted an injunction against Ohio using it. This ruling was upheld in April but in June the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 8-6 that Ohio could use their new system, a decision that was later upheld when the US Supreme Court declined to get involved. This led Governor John Kasich to reschedule 19 executions and Ohio is already back in the swing of things, executing Ronald Phillips on July 26 with Gary Otte scheduled to die this Wednesday. 

Is There A Point To All This?: No, not really. We do not see the point to scheduling executions four years in advance. In a news release, Kasich’s office said the executions were rescheduled:

…to ensure Ohio would meet the goal of conducting court-ordered executions in a humane and professional manner.

This makes no sense, even by government press release standards. They need years to do this? It is presumed, though we were unable to find out for sure, that all 19 inmates have appeals remaining. If they didn’t, their executions would have been scheduled for next week. Kasich, however, is no dummy. His state is staunchly Republican and he knows that in Donald Trump’s America it is important to look tough even if there is little substance behind your posturing. Scheduling executions for four years down the road is pointless. Appeals could be upheld or even not heard by the time these execution dates roll around and it would not surprise us if few if any, inmates die as scheduled.

More Death Penatly Crap: Several years advance notice does seem better than how they do it in Japan, however. There a convict gets 30 minutes notice of his death.

In Japan you are tried, convicted, sentenced, you run your appeals up the flagpole and then you wait. You are not given an execution date. The morning of your death they come and get you and you are allowed to produce a will and pray to whomever you feel will do you the most good.

Then you’re taken to die. Your loved ones will be notified later.

Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: Anyone who has followed our campaigns for the United States Senate and House of Representatives knows we are opposed to the death penalty because we have executed innocent people. If you are unwilling to believe this, consider that a state can keep a prisoner locked up for 50 years for, and this estimate is high, $1.5 million.

OTOH: While costs are hardly fixed, most executions end up costing states – and this estimate is low – $10 million to put someone to death. It’s cheaper to keep inmates alive than it is to kill them. 

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! American patriot Nathan Hale volunteers for a spying mission that would lead to his death on this date in 1776.

Hale, 21, was a captain in the 19th Regiment of the Continental Army and his mission saw him go behind British lines in New York City. He was captured on September 21 and executed the following day. History declined to note for certain if Hale actually said that he regretted he had but one life to give to his country.

Fly In The Ointment: Accounts about how Hale was discovered differ. One says Hale was recognized, despite his disguise as a school teacher seeking work, and another says states Hale was betrayed by a cousin who was a loyalist.

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later: Nineteen striking immigrant coal miners are shot and killed in near Hazleton, Pennsylvania on this date in 1897.

Strikes had been going at the Lattimer mine for about a month. The first one had ended on August 23 when mine operators agreed to raises, overtime pay and the right for workers to see the doctors of their choice. Another strike began on September 3, however, eventually resulting in over 8,000 miners going on strike, shutting down several mines.

On September 10 between 300-400 miners marched to the Lattimer mine, which was still open, to support the newly formed United Mine Workers. This did not go well for the strikers, as they were met by 150 sheriff’s deputies. They were ordered to disperse and a deputy attempted to grab an American flag a striker was holding. A scuffle ensued and other deputies started firing, despite the fact the strikers, almost all from eastern Europe, were unarmed. All were shot in the back.

FunFact: The sheriff and 73 of his deputies were arrested and tried, but all were acquitted.

More Great Moments In Executing People: France uses the guillotine for the last time on this date in 1977, chopping off the head of Hamida Djandoubi, originally from Tunisia. Djandoubi had been convicted of the kidnapping, torture and murder of his former girlfriend.

“He Asked The Prisoner If He Wanted A Drink And Poured Him Half A Glass…”: An eyewitness account by a French judge assigned to provide one stated Djandoubi was given a cigarette and a shot of rum before being escorted to his death. If Djandoubi had any last words besides asking for one last cigarette – a requested that was denied because it was plain Djandoubi was stalling – they weren’t recorded.

Justice was swift back then. Djandoubi had been sentenced the previous February.

Quotebook: The only graceful way to accept an insult is to ignore it; if you can’t ignore it, top it; if you can’t top it, laugh at it; if you can’t laugh at it, it is probably deserved. – Russell Lynes

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Nelson Rockefeller was the governor of New York who ordered state police to retake the Attica Correctional Facility by force to end the Attica prison riots in 1971.

Today’s Stumper:  How many people have been executed in America since executions resumed in 1977? – Answer next time!

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in The Daily Dose | Leave a comment

The Thought for the Day – Captain Peacock

One struggles, one does one’s best, one fails, frequently, occasionally one succeeds then finally, after a long journey, one arrives. – Captain Peacock

Sometimes you know when you are going come across something worthwhile and sometimes you do not. For example, when you settle in to read something substantive by a thoughtful writer, you’re not surprised when you read something profound. Sometimes, though, profound is found in other places.

Captain Peacock is a character on a funny, old British TV show called Are You Being Served, and we think this feature has established sufficient credentials with you to allow us to quote a TV show. If this line had been written in another context it might well be living down the ages.

The Captain, whose service in War II for Her Majesty was in Africa but is otherwise rather vague, is a floorwalker in the men’s and women’s departments of a moderately successful London department store. Today’s Thought was funny because it was offered in the context of Captain Peacock, after a quarter-century’s service, being granted the privilege of the executive dining room. He utters it after sitting down at the table of his boss, the mostly useless though thoroughly well meaning Mr Rumbold.

Today’s Thought is a pretty good description of success.

One struggles, one does one’s best…

Very little, if anything, that is worthwhile is easy. The winding stair that leads to where you want to go is steep and is generally many stories high. It takes your very best to climb every one. It takes it every day, too. Your best one day and not the next will get you to your destination. 

…occasionally one succeeds…

Like you, we’ve had some attainments over the years, some modest, some significant. We’ve had a lot more setbacks, reverses and outright failures, however. Every successful person does; no one goes straight to the medal stand. It’s the way the world is built, and you can’t let the failures that attend great effort deter you.

…then finally, after a long journey, one arrives.

Unless tragedy strikes, most of will enjoy a long life and a useful lesson is that good things take time. Anyone who pursues their life with diligence and courage and who is patient to achieve their desired end will, after a suitable journey, arrive at their destination.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

Share Gaylon! Go!
Posted in Hall of Fame - Gaylon's Very Best, The Thought for the Day | Leave a comment