Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do your homework please

Good people (of South Carolina especially), please take your responsibility seriously. I know you will differ with me on many views, but just do a little research. Please don't vote just based on who is the most handsome and/or who is the best speaker. More important than that is: a) What that person has done and b) What they say they will do (and how believable those promises are). Anyway, you know all that, but just please take the time to do some research.
Those of you who are regular readers, besides being wiser and thoroughly entertained, you have also heard my feelings on the debt. I can't see how any other issue can come close to the importance of 15.2 trillion dollars of debt and a budget that is 1.5 trillion over every year. Maybe abortion is more important (because the killing of fetuses is serious stuff), but all republican candidates pretty much agree on abortion.

Last year's budget was 49% over-budget (1.5 trill)

Here's a little breakdown of the candidates on this topic:

-Romney plans to cut 5% of non-military spending while increasing the size of our navy significantly (that isn't free). So, decrease 5% of a budget that is 49% over.

-Gingrich has no plan to cut anything. He did balance a budget four times as speaker, but that was when the economy was rolling and the govt. was quite to OOC (out of control) status

-Perry has no plan to really cut anything, but he would try to pass a balanced budget amendment, which is very good. But we need action now.

-Santorum actually does understand the importance of the deficit and wants to cut 5 trillion over the next 5 years. His cuts actually cut into things that he probably would never get done like Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Plus, he would blow all that savings on a war with Iran (more on that later).

-Paul would cut 1 trillion the first year. 4.1 trill over five years. He would probably struggle to make any of these cuts, as all candidates would. Which leads to the next biggest issue which is extremely inter-woven with the first.

Many republicans feel you cannot cut military/defense spending. They also claim it is "small potatoes" compared to other entitlements. Well, that may be true, but it is still 20-25% (depending on which bean counters you believe) of our huge bloated budget.

Even more importantly, it is the part of the budget that is most easily decreased or increased by a commander-in-chief. Most republican candidates will continue to bomb Iran and other Middle East targets until there is eventually a regional war over there. Can you cut money to defense/military and be safer? Yes. The last three generals of Centcom (commanders of the middle east region) have ALL advised against preemptive air strikes in Iran. The only reason the current general isn't openly against it as well is because he doesn't want to get fired by his war hawk commander-in-chief.

Since I don't believe much of what I hear from other people without verifying here is a link. It is not the only site reporting this.

No one wants a nuclear Iran, but those generals and Ron Paul realize a preemptive strike and/or sanctions will be ineffective and only stir up a hornets nest. Even Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to congress last fall and pleaded for the U.S. to stay out of it. He thanked us for the weapons and expertise, but he knows a war in Iran is awful for everyone in the Middle East. Anyway, I know the US has promised in the past to help and protect Israel. I also know there are some questionable biblical reasons to help Israel. But the best way to protect and help Israel is to mind our own business. A lesson we should have learned in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. A lesson we will continue to learn in a long terrible war in Iran. Please take your voting seriously. The other four Republican candidates want war. If you want war, then vote for them, but please do your homework. If you agree with these candidates after careful research then vote your conscience. Just please don't let our national media choose for you (they don't want any significant changes). Thank you.

A great video on foreign policy:

Friday, January 13, 2012

2011 Clemson Best Moments

I could complain about a lot of things, in particular every republican candidate besides Ron Paul, but in the new year let me try to stay positive.
Top off the field moments for 2011 Clemson football season

12. Deciding NOT to go to the Orange Bowl

11. Kevin Steele being fired. I think he is a good guy and a great defensive mind. But today’s Div. I athletes aren’t brain surgeons and need a simple, but effective defense. His defense was very good last year, but Daquan Bowers was the best player in college football. Unblockable. Any coordinator could have had that defense playing well. It should have been a top 5 defense in the country, especially against an ACC schedule. He would have survived, but Orange Bowl was just too embarrassing.

10. Dabo’s tirade about Clemson being better than the Cocks. Really didn’t think it was the thing to do at the time, but maybe it did help the boys distract themselves from how much they had sucked for nearly a month.

9. Getting CHEAP tickets from a nice Clemson alum to see the undefeated Tigers play at Georgia Tech. At the time a great moment. Little did we know four hours later I wish I would have watched the game in my own living room with plenty of Jamison available. Also, able to see a young man in Atlanta run by us and yell, “I got a motherf$#%ing plate!” Still not sure what that means, but very exciting.

8. After a great defeat of Auburn, playing the incomparable hit, Auburn sucks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m6Sw26gUQo

7. After Auburn went up 21 to 7 early I announced, “We can leave now!” I was half kidding, but I did have to go to the bathroom to calm down. I was braced for Clemson to stink this year, but I can’t stand when my team’s defense is awful.

6. The wife and I going on like a seven game corn hole run at the UNC game tailgate.

5. The band playing Tiger Rag like 4 straight times before FSU came out for their last drive. It was a successful attempt to whip the crowd into a frenzy.

4. Getting hammered while doing drinking games during the first Va Tech huge win.

3. After the big sack Tiger Rag played and the band going silent during one of the loudest C-L-E-M-S-O-N. Reminder that when it is rocking Death Valley is as good a venue as any in the country.

2. Jumping around in joy with the wife after the Cat Man made a clutch field goal to beat Wake. That play hopefully ended a lot of the problems of never making the clutch play at Clemson. Oh, the crazy reaction was done in a side room at the house of my boss. We were there because I don’t get ESPNU at the apartment and he was watching Ohio State in the main room.

1. Being in Too Big To Fail Stadium when the Tigers clinched the overly elusive ACC Championship.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Clemson Vs. Univ. of South Florida (again)

This was a couple of weeks ago, but still funny.

I had a great interaction with my friend who is a Univ. of South Florida alumni (kind of). Anyway, he at least attended a few classes there. USF will be hence forth mentioned as USelessF

USelessF friend: Did you know Spiller had his best game as a pro last week, but still fumbled?

Me: I watched him play yesterday. He is not bad if you give him holes. He will get cut from the Bills after next season and get picked up by a team with a good offense. They will use him as just a slot receiver and he will look good.

Useless F friend: He is a bust of monumental proportions.

Me: Why does Spiller’s failures make you so happy?

Useless F friend: Cause he went to Clemson and he sucks and he was drafted 9th overall

Me: Anytime you mention Clemson you need to refer to them as ACC Champion Clemson. I’m quite certain they’ve earned it. (editor’s note: Reference to Jack Nicholson’s great scene in A Few Good Men)

Useless F friend: Don’t they just hand that out to a new awful team each year: Wake, BC, Ga Tech, Marland.

Me: Yes. They do. Just like the Big Least. When is USF’s turn….2018? What a joke of a program. More talent within 150 miles of campus than any other school outside of Miami.

Useless F friend: You lost to that joke of a program less than a year ago (editor’s note: A point I had truly failed to remember. Suppression of a bad memory.) We have only had football since 1997.

Me: That was a blip on the radar. Don’t give me that ’97 crap. UConn started football in like ’01 and they are in CT and they have won the Big Least.

Useless F friend: Clemson was a blip on USFs radar and nothing more. UConn has had football since 1896…Leo (editor’s note: reference to my father’s propensity to make up statistics. I was in fact nearly right since they didn’t enter I-A football until 2000, which is when you actually noticed they had a program.)

Me: Well, they were I-AA till recently. Quit making excuses for your program. That is how mediocrity starts.

Useless F friend: Since ’97 we have won more games, been ranked higher and beat Clemson head to head. We’ve also had 578 less chokes.

Me: Are you counting all those marvelous I-AA wins. You can’t make me angry, because I can hardly hear you over the clanging of championship rings.

Useless F friend: ACC champs and no one can take that away from you except the NCAA when they investigate how a Choke school got Sammy Watkins

Me: Haha, that is exactly what someone else said. Nothing will take it away. If they take it from us I will claim the ’09 championship vacated by Georgia Tech.
Editor’s note : Clemson has more wins since Useless F joined the I-A ranks: 95 to 88. Not by much though for a program that is pretty new. They do play in a joke league with only 8 teams and play one tough out of conference and then four cupcakes. Clemson usually plays 8 conference games and S. Car and one other tough game leaving only two cupcakes. Useless F has been ranked higher, 2 versus 3 and does have a lot less chokes. They do have one less championship as well.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

TEBOW!! even I am on board

Why do a lot of people want to get mad that NFL fans are rooting for Tim Tebow? He went to the Univ. of Florida, so everything in me wants to dislike him. When he was in college, I figured he was your typical look at me pray while I get drunk and get it on with Gator hotties every weekend. It turns out, from all indications, he is a genuinely really good guy and lives out his faith. So, we decide to root for him instead of Sam Hurd (former Chicago Bear recently charged with major drug dealing). We root for him over a league filled with rapists, murderers, DUIers and women beaters. We root for him over the Patriots, a franchise famous for illegally filming other team’s practices. We root for him because he gets a lot of it done with sheer will versus a perfect throwing motion. We root for him because his teammates seem to play harder for him than that Kyle Orton guy. So, hate him if you want. I used to, but I just wanted to give you the reasons why most of us are pulling for him and why I converted. Good guys don’t have to finish last…but can they beat the Patriots?? Would anyone be surprised if this season ended with Tebow winning the Super Bowl, then ripping off his helmet after the game and then ascending to heaven? I kid, I kid.
Tangent 1: Wish I would have posted this earlier, because I had a pretty strong feeling the Packers would lose today for two reasons:
1. As soon as every pundit claims you have no chance of losing at all usually teams come out flat. Not to mention the Chiefs listened all week to people telling them they were bums.
2. The Packers spent all week answering questions about will they rest players when, not if, they clinch home field throughout on Sunday. Rodgers even replied, “No, we haven’t talked about that. We will find out soon though.” What he should have said is, “That is not even a concern for us. All we are thinking about is the Chiefs.” I know it is just words, but it reveals a mindset.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fact or Fiction??

I have a great book to recommend. Written by Stephen Coonts, The Disciple is an extremely exciting novel about espionage in Iran and the craziness of the Iranian leadership. I'll try not to ruin the book, but basically Ahmadinejad gets a bug up has butt to fire nukes at Israel. Pretty exciting stuff.

So it got me thinking about what is going on in Iran and the facts are crazier than fiction. Here is a link of the real world stuff going on in Iran:
To give you a quick synopsis: three Iranian scientists have been assassinated in the last year, someone dropped a major computer virus on the Iranian nuclear sites and a few weeks ago a blast at their biggest missile site killed 17.

Then we have the fact that the Iranians picked up twelve spies just before Thanksgiving and now they downed one of our spy drones. And we wonder why the people from this country hate us? Granted, other than the spy drone all of that could have been the highly effective (way more than the CIA) Israeli intelligence force the Mossad. So I guess the question is, we wonder why Iranians hate the “American devils and the evil Zionists?”

So, anyway here is one of my points. Until our drone got shot down, how was this so lightly reported? I'm done with American media. I'm not watching the propaganda and garbage and pointless arguing that is CNN, Fox News, CBS, etc. Finding all this stuff would have been nearly impossible on CNN, but the BBC website was easy. Anyway, enough complaining.

My other point is holy crap! We have now spent over ten years in the Middle East and it looks like America is a fart from spending another ten in Iran. This sucks. We can't afford another war financially and militarily and emotionally. Too many of our youth continue to get maimed and killed over there. So maybe all this covert stuff is better than going to war, but who knows? I just wanted show you that there are more interesting things to follow than Kim Kardashians butt. And that book is pretty interesting as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We are the champions

Wow! Not even close. That was the best three and a half hours of being a Clemson fan. I loved when Greg Buckner dunked to beat mighty UNC in the ACC championship. I loved when Tyler Colvin hit a walk-off grand slam to send the Tigers to Omaha. I loved Clemson finally beating FSU in ’06 to end their terrible dominance over the Tigers. I loved the Catch II and pulling victory from defeat from the hated Gamecocks. But, nothing is close to the second half on Dec. 3rd, 2011.

I’ve always said, why can’t just one time everything come together for Clemson? Why can’t we have that one game where the O, D and special teams play well? One time you catch some breaks and just dominate an opponent in a huge game. Well, I got my wish in the biggest game this program has had in thirty years. What a time to rise up! In retrospect, we can all admit we were (hopefully were) a choke program. We didn’t want to admit we were snake bitten, but every time we had a chance for greatness, Clemson football fell on its face. Proof of this is in my reaction on Sammy’s huge TD catch to put the Tigers up 14 Saturday night. I didn’t cheer because I was too busy searching the field for the penalty flag. Too many times the huge play that would have made the difference have been foiled by a flag. Then Andre goes off the left side. I was sure it would get called back or reviewed. I didn’t cheer and then it finally hit me, this team may actually win a championship! A friend asked me, “What is wrong?” I replied, “It is just surreal!” She then said, “Who says surreal while wasted at a football game?” I guess this guy does.

It was surreal because I have been a Clemson fan since about 1986. I really became a huge fan in 1996 when I fell in love with the toughness of the Rick Barnes basketball teams and especially loved the clutch play of Greg Buckner. Greg was a 6’3 small forward always finding a way to out-tough and outsmart much bigger front line players. Anyway, his whole four years were fun, but still painful. They went to four tourneys and even a sweet sixteen, but every loss was brutal and usually due to poor FT shooting. His senior year they lost to Duke three times by a combined eight points.

Then when I started my freshman year at Clemson I went from huge fan to bleeding orange. Now the pain went to watching a football program always on the cusp of turning the corner. Charlie Whitehurst’s senior year is a glaring example. Four losses all year by a combined 14 points including two overtime defeats at home!!! How brutal!! So, forgive me if I was waiting for the other shoe to drop Saturday. Thankfully our players are too young and cocky to remember or care about these demons. That’s why I kept telling a buddy of mine who refers to CU not as Clemson Univ. but as Choke Univ. that it wasn’t the Univ. that was choking but Tommy Bowden, and to an extent, Oliver Purnell. Jack Leggett’s baseball teams are usually very clutch. And now, Dabo’s teams are starting to step up in big spots.

So, my point is, there is a reason why this was so shocking. It hasn’t happened for 30 years. Granted from ’92 to ’02 no one was stopping the train that was FSU football. But for the last eight years we watched the Noles plummet, and who stepped into that power vacuum? The unstoppable forces known as Maryland football, Wake football, Georgia Tech and BC football all added ACC or divisional crowns. Infuriating and embarrassing when you consider the recruiting classes, the facilities, the passion of the fan base, and the tradition of those programs. I always said during the Bowden era that I don’t expect to win the ACC every year. But, I do expect to win the Atlantic division every other year and win the ACC every four years. Maybe those are lofty goals, but unless FSU gets back on track, then is asking Clemson to beat out Wake, Maryland, NC St., FSU and BC every other year too much to ask? I sure as hell hope not. Right now, Dabo has reached my goals. I know that is all he is worried about; he has a sign in his office- Shaun’s goals: Div. every two, ACC crown every four. ACC Crown! How good is that to say?! Enjoy Tiger fans. They won’t come every year, but hopefully we won’t have to wait another 30.

Friday, December 2, 2011

JUCO KIDS!!! and Tiger stuff

So, we were the GA JUCO game of the week. It was a phenomenal game. Click on the link below and at least watch go to the parts in the game listed under the description. They include a play with a back screen to their center who catches a lob and then throws a lob to the PF who just got a back screen. Double alley!! Are you kidding me? And that is only the second best play. Because some white kid takes off from nearly the FT line and dunks all over our PG!! Thankfully we won, so I can talk about these things nostalgically.


As I told my buddy, "These JUCO kids are going to put me in an early grave!" With five minutes to go we led 58 to 54. We obviously are guarding pretty well, so if we just score another six points down the stretch we probably hold on. Other than a FT with 0.7 left, we go on to score only two more points and have as many turnovers as Romney and Gingrich have combined flip-flops. The last minute went like this.
US - Turnover
Them - Phenomenal white kid dunk and foul
US - No box out and they get O reb
Them - drive and foul - miss one of two
Us - Missed front end of one and one
Them - missed shot, off reb, missed shot
Us - Reb and turnover
Them - missed three in corner

Yes, they had three shots to take the lead and we had eight billion chances to seal the win. It was gut-wrenching.

As for Clemson........
Still not real thrilled about Saturday, but at least a little better than I felt on Sunday. Kids are resilient. They may bounce back. I feel like Va Tech will definitely score on the Tigers. Their QB is better and Wilson is a great RB. Clemson's defense has made average RBs look great so I don't even know a word for how good they can make Wilson. Will the offense move the ball like weeks 1-7 or weeks 8-12.
My heart says Clemson 31 Tech 27
My gut says Tech 27 Clemson 17

so I will split the difference and say Tech 27 Clemson 24

How about ol' Dabo spewing off out the mouth after a comment from Spurrier (which apparently wasn't even him, but was the USuC radio announcer). The initial comment was, "We ain't LSU or Alabama but we ain't Clemson either."
Dabo went off:

“He’s right. They aren’t Clemson. No three-game winning streak is going to change that,” he said. “It’s not the first they have won three in a row and it will not be the last time. It might be 50 more years but it will probably happen again. But I have gone out of my way to be complimentary to them and complimentary to coach Spurrier. I got a lot of respect for coach Spurrier, but I am going to defend my program . I’m going to defend my players and my coaches. I am going to defend Clemson University because I believe in it. I think he is exactly right - they are not Clemson and never will be. You are looking at the best era in the history of South Carolina football right now. They just had their second 10-win season. They won a championship in 1969 and the 2010 SEC East. And this rivalry – there is a lot of rivalries out there but this is more of a domination and that’s a fact. My kids’ grandkids won’t live long enough to see this really become a rivalry.”

“I have respect for their program, but South Carolina is not Clemson,” he said. “There are a lot of differences. This is a place that has won a national title, 17 conference championships and two division titles. Heck, we have won more bowl games than they have even been to. I think our program has 100 plus more wins than South Carolina. That is reality. This is the best era in 115 years of South Carolina football is right now and they have done a great job.”

“Coach Spurrier has been there for seven years, but after five years I think he had 35 wins and got a new contract and all that kind of stuff. After five years at Clemson, if I have only got 35 wins there is going to be a new coach here and you know what there should be because there is a different standard. He is exactly right – they ain’t Alabama, they ain’t LSU and they certainly are not Clemson. That is why Carolina is in Chapel Hill, USC is in California and the university in this state always has been and always will be Clemson. It’s right here in Clemson, SC. You can print that. Tweet that.”

Is Dabo really going to rail on USC having an awful tradition? You just helped them have the best three seasons in their history by taking it in the butt the last three years. That makes it even more embarrassing that a program that couldn’t find success with a gps system is now kicking your butt. It WAS a domination. Maybe it will stay that way in the future, but it sure doesn’t look like it.