Superbowl, the weather and the wisdom of Goodell

football-snowSo the NFL may actually change the date or time of the Super Bowl (link below) dependent on inclement weather? Really! This unbelievable announcement got me to musing about the seemingly boundless ability of humans to hope…  No, that’s not right. There seems an infinite capacity for humans to believe…  No, that’s still not it. What gives, with this absolute certainty people have that they are smarter than those that came before them?

So the current leadership in the NFL had a better idea than Pete Rozelle, originator of the game, father of the modern NFL and  inventor of Monday Night Football. New Jersey in February – what could be better?  Maybe playing in a temperate climate where the crowd can enjoy a warm winter day, and the TV audience isn’t left wondering if they’ll be able to see the game – maybe that would be better? Everyone involved in the ’67 Ice Bowl at Lambeau Field knows what a stupid idea this is, if they haven’t died due to hypothermia related causes by now.

This ranks up there in the annals of all time boneheaded moves, like starring Russell Brand as the title character in a remake of Dudley Moore’s classic film, Arthur. Come on – Russell Brand – are you kidding? Or what about casting Adam Sandler in Burt Reynolds’ role in a remake of The Longest Yard—who came up with that one? Why don’t they just ask Keanu Reeves to remake Citizen Kane, Casablanca or The Godfather? (No wait, don’t tell anyone I said that – they might.)

Does anyone out there remember the disastrous date of April 23, 1985? On that day which nearly changed the world as we know it, the bottlers of Coca-Cola gave us the nadir of all bad remakes – New Coke. We narrowly averted rioting in the streets. But not to be out done the marketing geniuses who gave us such classics as the Chia Pets, Chia Clown and The Simpsons own Chia Bart, rolled out a new TV ad campaign in 2009 – for Chia Obama. As my kids would say, OMG.

This is the reason I worry about progressive politicians of either party who have a better idea of how to do things. That’s how we got Prohibition, the Income Tax and Homeland Security.

And since I started with the subject of football, what can be said about the WWF’s Vince McMahon and NBC starting up the XFL in 2000. Who knew that if you allowed defenders to commit pass interference penalties, the scoring in games, and the viewership, would both drop dangerously low?  You couldn’t see that one coming.

And yet, I bet old Vince would have known better than to hold the most watched event in American television, outdoors in February in New Jersey. Mr. Goodell, any comment. Roger, anything at all.

http:/super change?


Bakers, Civil Rrights and Elvis?

Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake

Here’s one from the headlines (link below). The government of Oregon will now decide through some twisted manner of reasoning to force you to serve what you do not approve of. Are you kidding?
So the government of Oregon claims that a “mom and pop” bakery is violating the civil rights of two lesbians who want to buy a wedding cake for their nuptials, because the bakers refuse to make it. Now I am not about to bash the lesbian couple. In fact I have absolutely no opinion at all about them being lesbians except possibly disappointment that are compelled to let us all know they are lesbians. If I don’t care that you are lesbian, I mean I really don’t care that you are lesbian. So don’t tell me about it. And never mind that the baker’s claim religious convictions, I don’t care if they claim aliens brought Elvis back and he said don’t bake the cake. But I digress.
Someone should explain to me how a baker can violate anyone’s civil rights. By definition civil rights have to do with rights as a citizen – citizen of what, the baker’s guild. Oregon claims that because they issue a business license to the bakers they have power to hold their business to the same standard as the government itself with respect to who they choose to serve, but that is inane. The purpose of civil rights is precisely to protect citizens from the harm they may suffer because of the singular and unique power of government to coerce. Folks must be protected from the government precisely because it is “the” government and if it chooses to act unjustly you cannot take your business elsewhere. Are we really to believe this couple has suffered some harm at the hands of these nefarious purveyors of desserts? Oh the humanity – the lesbians might be forced to patronize a bakery that does not hold them in contempt.
Now I am not positive, but I suspect the government of Oregon has sanctioned more than one bakery via business license. I imagine there are plenty of bakers who would be overjoyed to take the lesbian’s money. That is how it should be in a free society. Everyone should enjoy the maximum amount of liberty possible without infringing on others. In a free society the government should not be able to prohibit or force anyone to do anything in violation of their preferences unless it harms someone else.
Thus the government should not prohibit the lesbians from renting a hall, hiring an orchestra, inviting their friends and sharing their vows. And they also should not require the baker to serve anyone they don’t want to serve – and yes that includes wedding cakes for mixed race couples or learning impaired people if that fits into their narrow world view. Oh my God, did I really just say that!
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but “civil rights” is not code for forcing people to behave as the “majority” or even as the “really cool people” think they should. It is precisely the opposite: to protect those who undertake minority or unpopular positions or actions.
So let’s see this to its conclusion. I am going to force someone (against their will) to provide food for actual consumption by me and a few hundred of my closest friends? That seems like a bad choice. And if I am homosexual, want something from your business because you are the best, and you are too swamped to serve me or anyone else because you are so incredibly adept at what you do, then all I need do is claim you won’t serve me because of my sexual orientation. Then the entire might of the state will compel you to dump Erma and Glen, whose only crime is they are white, protestant heterosexuals who got in line on time. I can force them to find another establishment to supply their needs, because I have protected status under the law?
How ironic is it that we force people through the coercive might of the state to be “tolerant”. Maybe it’s as ironic as the fact that Oregon won’t even recognize the marriage it is forcing the bakers to supply confections for. This is New Speak writ large. Have we really come so far from the Age of Reason? If we have then lesbians, blacks, the poor, Catholics, short guys, fat kids, ugly women and the just plain stupid better watch out. We’ll be coming for you in time. We’re from the government and we’re here to help.

New Year’s Resolutions

I always thought New Year’s resolutions were dopey. People figure they can lose a hundred pounds, run a marathon, or become rich by simply vowing to do so during a drunken stupor which peaks at midnight on the 31st of December. Not exactly my idea of clear headed, rational thought. But, as often happens, my dog, Duke, got me thinking about it. Now Duke seems to be long on common sense compared to most people I know. Duke’s made a list of his resolutions for you to read and, after each I have included one of my own.

1. I will no longer sniff other dogs’ butts. This will be a tough one.

As for me, I will keep my nose out of other people’s business.

2. I will swallow only the food or water in my bowl. I will keep out of the cats’ dishes and stop stealing leftovers off of the counters. Most important, I will stop drinking from the toilets.

I will appreciate my own good fortune and stop looking for ways to get what others have. I might not like it anyway.

3. When someone is kind enough to walk me, I will no longer drag them off to the woods chasing squirrels or rabbits or cats or butterflies or… Well you get the idea.

When someone offers me something I will accept it graciously with thanks. I will not overlook the blessings I’ve received for the sake of chasing rainbows.

4. I will no longer whine at the door every time it occurs to me I haven’t been outside in the past five minutes. I just want to see if anything has changed, but, for some reason, when I step out, turn around and walk back in, I hear a lot of grumbling and complaints.

I will stop doing the same thing over and over and complaining when life fails to turn out differently. If I want changes I will do something new.

I will stop lifting my leg on the neighbors’ shrubs. From the dirty looks I get, it seems no one appreciates receiving my greetings and best wishes messages near as much as I enjoy delivering them

I won’t assume that because I think I am doing someone a favor that they must see it the same way. It turns out others don’t always look at things like I do.

Duke sometimes lacks follow through, and so do I. I’ll let you know how successful we both are as time passes. In the mean time, what resolutions do you think are worth making?

An Introduction

The cowboy fascinates me with his simple living, strict code of virtues, devotion to friends, love of the land and honesty. It is in honor of the cowboy, both the real and imagined one, that I have titled       this blog the Common Sense Cowboy.

I will pen my version of the horse sense I believe this icon of the west has. The cowboy transcends generations.

I am no one of special importance, except perhaps in the fact that I am a lot like many of you. I was born between the baby boomers and the generation X-ers. I had a southern mother and a northern father which means I am the perfect westerner. I have a wife who endures me, a       daughter and son who avoid or ignore me and a dog who is devoted to me.

It is to my dog I relate to the most. He looks at the world much the same way I do.

I love sports and always imagined myself a little better at them than I probably was. The same can probably be said of my job. I do work. I work for everything my family eats, wears, rides in, shelters     under, sleeps on, or travels to, during the vacations I’m often unable to take, because somebody in      this place has to hold a job. I don’t care much for men who don’t work. I don’t complain much, mostly because no one gives a damn about my carping and I don’t suffer others who bellyache either.

I am a writer of western fiction and fascinated by the archetype western characters. You know them – the pioneer, leaving everything to strike out west for a new life; the gunman, always ready for a fight; the lawman, keeping the peace and protecting the little guy; the warrior, desperately fighting those forcing him from his home and his way of life. And there are many more. Of all types, the most memorable is the cowboy.

You will not read much of my opinion here, primarily because I’m not that sure my opinions are very interesting. What you will read are my observations about culture and society, the irony I find in events, organizations and institution, and life as seen through the eyes of my dog, Duke. I will       shoot as straight as I know how, like a cowboy.