Heroes Of The Week!

This week’s Heroes entry is slightly more hushed than previous episodes. Maybe it’s the season, I don’t know. I was tossing with doing an abbreviated version but then the stories took the wheel and before I knew it . . I had myself a traditional five spot. And so it is . . .

Like Father, Like Son: When Aric Tegtmeier took the stage today at his graduation ceremony, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream. For him, and for his father too. Aric officially entered the brotherhood of the FDNY at the age of twenty four. He will be assigned to the West Farms section of the Bronx, a short distance from Ladder 46 where his father served. Paul Tegtmeier was thirty nine years old when he joined the department- just under the age cutoff for new hires.

Paul was forty one when his company was called to the World Trade Center in 2001. He was one of 343 FDNY first responders who answered the call, and never came home. Aric was six when his father was lost and he says his dream of wanting to follow in his footsteps only grew stronger after  September 11th.

Now Aric will take the place of his old man, almost eighteen years removed from the day when his life and the lives of so many were changed forever. When all those bumper sticker proclamations of never forgetting began getting lost in the rear view, there were plenty of sons and daughters just like him who were abiding. They never forgot the one true thing, and they never will.

Mueller Report, Schmueller Report: Much ado about bupkis, and I’m not surprised. Seeing as how the report contained more redactions than an Applebee’s menu, what were we supposed to gain from this? Will the calls for a ‘free range’ report ever be taken seriously? Or will our children’s children have to wait to find out the what’s what on Trump and his bed mates?

Oh, and having Attorney General James Barr dish up sonnets in the lead up to the release of the report is some extra crispy bullshit right there. But once again, it’s a matter of being told our eyes and ears are deceiving us. That we are the ones in the wrong if we don’t go along with the party line.

Columbus Day!: I do understand that to celebrate the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning is mostly counterproductive. Both teams are more of the same as per the expansion era Americanization of a Canadian sport. But . . . at least Ohio gets four seasons. That’s a rule of mine. If the city gets snow, it can get hockey. Florida should stick to trying to get football right, because it’s doing a shit job of it right now.

A Disney Cruz: Remember how Ted Cruz was supposed to take the reins from the crumbling GOP after Trump laid waste to the other front runners during the primaries? And remember how that never happened? You know why?

Because Ted Cruz is a schmuck.

I guess old Ted was sick and tired of having been rendered a Trivial Pursuit question. And really, in today’s politics? Making the news is all that really counts, so mission accomplished. Cruz decided to throw some shade at Disney after the company announced it was donating $5 million dollars to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral. Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Cruz sent out a tweet that would’ve had Mickey throwing down both middle fingers.

“Wonderful! Will we see Disney princesses in the new stained glass?

Of course, Ted would have had to read up on the fire which ravaged this sacred cathedral in order to learn that the stained glass windows were saved. But hey . . why do your homework when making machine gun bacon gets you elected?

It’s a good thing we carry with us the hope that the good days will outweigh the bad ones, and that loss will be served with rebirth. When the horrible truths of the world bring us to our knees, it’s important to have faith in something . . in someone.

Father Jean-Marc Fournier is the chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade. As fire laid waste to the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, Fournier insisted on re-entering the structure in an attempt to retrieve some of the priceless artifacts housed within.

He was joined by a group of rescue workers who formed a human chain in order to save the Crown of Thorns- believed to have been worn by Jesus during the crucifixion- and the tunic of Saint Louis which was worn by King Louis IV when he brought the crown to Paris.

Fournier has a resume of doing this kind of thing. He served as a military chaplain in Afghanistan before joining the Fire Brigade. In the aftermath of the 2015 Bataclan terrorist attacks, he helped to evacuate the victims. He also gave absolution to those lost in the attacks.

Holy Week always feels quiet to me, but never more so than after this trying week. That hush of appreciation for the mysteries that might hold answers, it speaks to me this time of year. And I do hold to the idea that all is never lost.

Only misplaced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week! (Game of Thrones House Party Edition)

Game of Thrones

In honor of the final season of Game of Thrones, Imma share seven stories in honor of the seven kingdoms for this weeks Heroes installment. To those of you who do not possess a relationship status with the show, just imagine Congress . . only fun. And with dragons.

Okay, it’s not that cutthroat.

Shit Showtime- Magic Johnson as a zero of my week? Actually . . yeah. Listen, the dude has achieved his Rushmore. On the court. But as coach and then President of the Lakers, the dude wasn’t willing to put in the time necessary to succeed. His resignation as President mirrored his brief tenure- quick, un-involved and disconnected. Contrary to popular opinion, I think Magic’s stepping down is the best thing that could have happened to the Lakers in the short term. Jeannie Buss should be on the phone to Jerry West and Pat Riley, offering the keys to the kingdom. It won’t happen, but it should.

You can’t take it with you. Oh wait, yes you can- What do you do on the other side of buying your own private island for eight million dollars? You go shoplifting at K-Mart, of course! Which is what Andrew Lippi did, stealing more than $300 worth of merchandise from a K-Mart in Key West, Florida. He purchased items, replaced them with cheaper items and then returned them for a refund. My personal favorite? He bought a Keurig, replaced the coffee maker with a basketball and then returned it.

Two questions beg answering. Why in the name of Richard Branson’s steel balls does a millionaire with several peach properties to his name need to be playing three card monte with coffee machines and LED light bulbs? And perhaps an even more important question. Why is there a K-Mart in Key West?

The Suns and Daughter of Discovery- Katie Bouman is a twenty nine year old assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences at California Institute of Technology. She spends her days developing uber-sophisticated blueprints on the genome of space. There is excruciatingly precise detail involved in figuring out the math of this mystical parking lot, but the MIT grad knows her business. Thanks to an algorithm Bouman developed, the Event Horizon telescope snapped a photograph of a black hole whose address is some fifty five million light years away.

And oh yeah, it’s the first image we’ve ever had of a black hole. Ever. So while Bouman ain’t got social media cred or a line of sneakers with her name on them . . she’s doing the business of not just the whole wide world, but the universe to boot. In summation, Bouman took us on a trip to forever after while LeBron couldn’t even take the Lakers to the playoffs.

Soul Food- Country music singer Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly do grocery shopping like nobody’s business. The couple recently broke ground on a grocery store in Nashville. This particular grocery store will offer big savings to its clientele. How big? Welp, try absolutely free.

1 in 7 people and 1 in 5 children deal with food insecurity in Nashville, and the store will serve those in need by lending them a helping hand. Brad and his wife were inspired to do this beautiful thing after visiting a similar store in California. And while Brad is best known for strumming a guitar, he’s got big talent when it comes to giving back.

Pre-K Kelly Strikes Again- Just when you think R. Kelly couldn’t get any lower comes word that his recent ‘concert’ for fans in Springfield, Illinois lasted exactly twenty eight seconds. And that he charged $100 bucks for the honor. It took me fifty six seconds to write this, so I just lapped his ass.

Just Call Him Roger Stone Age- The former GOP strategist and avid indictment collector hopped on the Trump bandwagon this week. Yanno, the one that serves up a beat down to dead people? Stone lashed out at the late Barbara Bush, calling her “nasty, rude, self-important and entitled and a vindictive drunk”. Not all at once, but in a series of rambling attacks on the former First Lady.

And in keeping with his former Boss, Stone saved his worst for last when he took to Instagram and pontificated on the 2016 primaries in which Trump laid waste to the Bush dynasty. In a vicious rebuke to Barbara Bush’s “countdown clock” on the Trump presidency, Stone said “Well, she’s dead and he’s President- who won that one?”.

How do you possibly counter such a miserable outlook on people as Stone possesses? Imma borrow a spit shine solution from E.E. Cummings and just say that Hatred bounces.

Singh his praises- Jay Singh is a 7-Eleven store owner in Toledo Ohio who’s just trying to make ends meet. Running a convenience store ain’t the easiest gig, what with small margins and long hours and peeps trying to dig into those profits by taking your inventory free of charge.

Which is exactly what happened recently when an employee at the store informed Singh that a teenager was shoplifting. Singh went back and checked the cameras and sure enough, the kid in question had a serious case of the hot pockets. And so at this point, you wouldn’t have blamed the guy for dialing up 911. Because, yanno . . he’s got a business to run? And he’s not related to the Paisleys.

Singh did no such thing. Instead he asked the young shoplifter a simple question. Why? To which the kid replied that he was hungry, and that he was stealing food for himself and his kid brother. It was all Singh needed to hear.

The store owner went on a mini-shopping spree- collecting sausage rolls and sandwiches, chips and pizza and a 2 liter soda for the young man. Because he thought it a better idea to give him something rather than take something away by having him arrested. Because Singh’s bottom line doesn’t begin and end with cash money. Because sometimes, it really is better to give than to receive. Singh’s gesture inspired one of his customers- Cedric Bishop- to give the kid a ten spot. I mean, can you imagine being inside that moment with these people? It must have felt as if God was watering the lawn.

I like that idea just fine.

Heroes Of The Week!

Heroes April 5

Girl Power Gone Wild!- Alright, I didn’t see Captain Marvel and I ain’t planning on it. But I still think it’s pretty cool shit that Anna Boden became the first female to direct a live action film that grossed 1 billion dollars worldwide. This, coming on the heels of an $820 million dollar haul for Wonder Woman just goes to show that the girls ain’t interested in being window dressing in the superhero universe. These straight cash home girls are leading the way.

Say it ain’t so Joe: A second woman has come forward with damaging allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, and to borrow from the immortal Yogi Berra . . it’s getting late early. I ain’t gonna say much just yet, as the details keep trickling out. But needless to say, this mucks up the murky waters of the 2020 Presidential race even more.

Standing in for the Oakland Raidahs this week . . the Arizona Cardinals- Last week I trashed the Raiders and their field boss Gruden as hopeless gypsies without a clue. And then I read a piece by football writer Peter King in which Gruden was very critical of himself for trading his best player last year. His big return on that trade was hailed in some corners- not mine. But the bottom line is, the Raiders weren’t gonna pay up, so Gruden swung a deal. All things considered, he done good. Even if he will probably never draft a player like the one- Mack- that he traded away. And even if I do not agree with bringing in Antonio Brown- a diva who killed the Steelers clubhouse and who is on the wrong side of thirty. And even if I detest the signing of Vontaze Burfict, who is a thug. But . . . maybe I was wrong about Gruden . . I hope so. Time will tell.

That said, the Cardinals take the reins from Gruden’s Raiders for being so transparent as to how they plan on drafting a quarterback with the first pick in this year’s draft- a year after drafting a quarterback with their first pick just last year. Thereby giving themselves zero negotiating leverage. Thereby continuing the tradition of being a dumpster fire of an organization. The Cardinals score a zero, for pilfering the money of their long suffering fans and giving them dog food in return.

Fox News did a thing. Again . . .

Holly’s Healthy Bank Account- The city of Baltimore isn’t an easy gig for any Mayor. You’ve got a police force that went on record as mailing it in. You’ve got a crisis in the inner city that requires daily mediation in an attempt to cultivate a better future . . or a future at all.

Which makes Mayor Catherine Pugh‘s back room deal with Kaiser Permanente even more repugnant. In 2017, the healthcare behemoth scored a contract to provide coverage for city employees. Two years earlier, Kaiser had paid Pugh $114,000 dollars for 20,000 copies of her book “Healthy Holly”. Pugh was a member of the city’s spending panel at the time.

The Baltimore Sun pieced it all together and recently came forward with the smoking gun. Pugh is currently on leave with pneumonia. Meanwhile, the city burns. Large swaths of previously blue collar working class neighborhoods have fallen into severe poverty levels. For most inhabitants, a college education is a pipe dream. Crime is way up and employment is booming, if you deal drugs. And even the drug dealers are simply getting by in order to make ends meet. Not to mention, the city’s population has dipped below pre-World War I levels.

Pugh’s failure to serve the best interests of her constituency should result in a doctor’s note to take a permanent leave of absence.

How ‘swagger’ got murdered- The term is so miserably overused in sports, and incorrectly at that. Swagger is one of those plug and go snack words that bastardizes an original concept whilst masquerading as propers. It’s meant to convey epic confidence, but the recipients are usually the lousiest of the lousy. Dudes like Antonio Brown, who savaged people’s reputations in order to get his way. And Jalen Ramsey, who talks like a champ but couldn’t lead his team out of last place.

Manny Machado and Conor McGregor are synonymous with the term swagger, according to sports commentators who’d rather chum up than do their jobs. But the truth is, Machado is one of the dirtiest players in the MLB, and a bum. McGregor is a washed up hoodlum who should just rent space in a jail cell. Recently, he tweeted an ethnic slur about his rival’s wife. Next week it’ll be something else.

Memo to sports peeps. If you want to know what swagger looks like? Watch an old Clint Eastwood flick and shaddup.

A gal walks in a shoe store . . .- Addy Tritt got herself a deal on shoes, and before you think I’m dredging up a cliched Carrie Bradshaw joke . . . read on.

The twenty five year old master’s program graduate at Fort Hays University knows how to wheel and deal for heels like nobody’s business. When she got word that Payless Shoesource would be closing all its stores, she got to stepping. She toed the line of an expert liquidation shopper by going light on the cash and hard on the savvy.

The score? 204 pairs of shoes with a retail value of more than $6,000 hush puppies. For $100 dollars. 

Here’s the thing. She doesn’t have a master closet or a storage unit, and she won’t need one. Most of the shoes she purchased are for children, and no . . she doesn’t have kids. See, Tritt wasn’t playing for keeps when she went on her shopping spree. She donated all the shoes to the Nebraska flood victims. Because that’s what a good deal looks like to her. It’s the kind of bargain that transcends economics. A simple lesson that can be summed up in a single word.

Priceless.

Heroes Of The Week!

This week in the news, March Madness continues to wreak havoc on regularly scheduled programming. A person in Wisconsin won the 750 million dollar Powerball, after which I can only assume they invested in a witness protection program kit. And Disney has announced it will no longer allow visitors to bring ice into their parks. Because, climate change?

And now to a zero-heavy week . . .

Up in the Air- When you pay dollar store prices to fly, you kinda know what to expect. Not much. But WOW Airlines went one step further by giving its passengers nothing at all. As in, they closed up shop and left their passengers stranded across North America and Europe. Nice.

But you don’t have to be discount to fail those you serve. Boeing would know all about that after its 737 MAX aircraft were grounded by the FAA after a second crash in less than six months. The company was left largely to its own devices in vetting the MAX. Unimaginable, if it weren’t true.

The Dead Comes Back To Life!- I swore I was done with this show as soon as Andrew Lincoln walked out. And with good reason seeing as how The Walking Dead had become staler than day old Sprite. But then came the Whisperers and then I fell into a sick, dark love all over again. Robert Kirkman and company have re-invigorated the story line nine seasons in! And while this feat may not be heroic in the grand scheme of things, it sure beats the hell out of talking about Trump.

The Oakland Raidahs- They were once the gold standard as far as perennial contenders went. But for the past fifteen years they’ve been shit on a swizzle stick, while still pretending to be relevant. So they signed Jon Gruden to a 100 million contract to be their Don, even though he hadn’t coached a game in ten years. In his first year, it wasn’t certain if Gruden was working for Oakland or the Russians. The plan was to get younger, but they’ve gotten older by signing Antonio “Me, Myself and I” Brown and Vontaze Burfect- who should be in an orange jumpsuit. And they’re going to ditch Oakland (again) by moving to Vegas in a year or two. The Raiders have replaced the Browns as the league’s punchline.

E. Pluribus U Gotta Be Kidding- You mean to tell me with all the challenges going on right here at home as well as around the world, the Pentagon finds the time to do side jobs for the executive branch that have absolutely nothing to do with national security? Because that’s what happened when they decided to divert one billion dollars of their budget to go to Trump’s wall. And then the House Armed Services Committee stepped in, and now we’re going to see how high this battle goes.

E. Pluribus U Too?- US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos never met a bad looking headline she didn’t gravitate to. The 12 percent cut in education spending was bad (if not predictable) enough. But her announcement that the federal government would cut funding to the Special Olympics broke the internet. It wasn’t long before Trump played like the cavalry and overrode her cuts . . sort of like the kid who says sorry only because he knows he’s been caught.

For Shame? Forget It!- So Jussie Smollett stages an attack . .  a hate crime attack. It’s politically charged, racially motivated and it compromises two black men. And after all charges are dropped and Chicago’s Mayor and Chief of Police rail on about the miscarriage of justice. And after the city of Chicago demands reimbursement from Smollett for the circus he brought to town. And after he became the latest influential person to set race relations back. After all that . . . Smollett behaves like the victim, as in a real victim. And now he’s a candidate for an NAACP Image Award? Because the news cycle wasn’t ridiculous enough . . .

Thank God for Keanu Reeves, who walks the earth doing Keanu Reeves things. He’s a surfer dude with a soul, and the only way you’re going to get him to come at ya is if you mess with his dog.

So of course he knew what to do when his flight from San Francisco to Burbank made an emergency landing in Bakersfield, leaving Reeves and his fellow passengers to figure out the rest. Reeves was on it, making travel arrangements for everyone and then playing tour guide on the van ride back to Burbank. He made jokes, took pictures and shook everyone’s hand when the ordeal was finally over. Basically, Reeves transformed a logistical fuck salad into a memorable experience. And while he had social media blowing up, it was with cool anecdotes and smiling faces instead of nasty complaints and lawsuits. He should run for office.

Dude. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Varsity Blues Redux: It’s not a crime to live with a sense of entitlement. So it’s easy to joke away the crimes that were actually committed in the admissions scandal. This whole episode will devolve into a series of Aunt Becky memes rehashed by late night comics. And really, we just hope William H. Macy’s career doesn’t take a hit as a result.

Privilege will win the day though. Again.

Not too long from now, the late night comics and the meme makers will get really pissed off when some rich person gets away with a real crime. They’ll rail on about it and they’ll score big ratings with impassioned dialogue. And they’ll never mind the fact they could’ve used the admissions scandal to broach the topic of a segregationist culture in academia. Because that is kind of a big deal. It’s just too bad the Aunt Becky jokes are an easier sell.

The MLB- Remember that dorky girl you kinda crushed on in junior high school? She had glasses and braces and she possessed a lisp that could’ve sliced through construction paper? And then she came back from summer break and everything was different. The glasses were replaced with contact lenses, and the braces were gone. The lisp was still prevalent, but it’d been painted over with group girl lingo so as to lose all of its charm. Her hair got big, her makeup went thick and her personality became duller than sixth grade Science.

She had become just like all the others.

That’s the kind of makeover baseball has given itself over the past few decades. Old fashioned (two games for one ticket) doubleheaders have gone away. As have World Series games played during the day. And in the most unfortunate example, all those sacred records that used to set baseball apart from every other sport, they no longer matter. Because steroids killed Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays. And these days, OBP, WHIP and WAR is killing the rest of it.

The game has gotten sleeker if not smarter. It’s played with attitude and flat bills, and instant replay. The traditional first game of the season in Cincinnati? That’s old news. Hell, this years Opening Day wasn’t even played in the states. It happened in a joint called the Tokyo Dome over in Japan, at five thirty in the morning. And whatever, because I’ll still watch my Yankees from time to time. And I might even take in a game this year, not sure. I wonder why the suits who run such a beautiful game felt the need to sell its soul. I wonder if they care.

I wonder if they realize they’ve become just like all the others.

Tyler Perry- Lord knows I love making fun of Tyler Perry movies. But as with every rant I write up, I understand full well it’s only an opinion. Mine. Plenty of peeps are eating up these Tyler Perry joints, and hey . . if they want to waste a couple hours of their lives on that nonsense, who am I to harsh their clueless mellow?

Now, if you want me to state a fact as per Tyler Perry? I can most definitely do that as well. I’ll tell you Perry is a righteous, soulful gentleman whose good deeds will last a hell of a lot longer than some two hour movie.

After 45 year old Tynesha Evans was gunned down by her boyfriend, the four children she left behind were faced with an impossible challenge. They had to bury their mother while facing eviction from the apartment they had shared with her. In stepped Perry, who arranged for Evans’ body to be flown to Wisconsin for burial. He then covered the family’s rent as well as the college tuition for Evans’ oldest daughter.

I can’t attach a punchline to this sad story, but props . . oh yes. That.

Trump– The reason he doesn’t score a spot on my zeroes list every week is the same reason LeBron didn’t win the MVP every year when he was in his prime. Because it gets really boring to talk about the guy who deserves it.

This week, Trump outdid even himself. Shit . . I know right? But how else to describe his scathing attack on John McCain? Trump insisted he’s not a fan of McCain, and “never will be”. He claimed McCain was last in his class at the Naval Academy, and that he was to blame for the failed war in the Middle East, and then Trump complained about not even getting a ‘thank you’ from McCain’s family after approving funeral arrangement plans. Because, oh yeah . . McCain has been dead for seven months.

Anyone who defends this insane rant is not an apologist. They’re an accomplice.

They Are Us . . .

With those three words, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern provided a touchstone moment for her country and for the world. But words alone will not close the gaping wound left by fifty innocent souls who were murdered in two mosque shootings. Words need hands and feet to steady them, and words need heart and soul to carry them.

Adern is supplying.

She will not speak the shooter’s name in any public forums in an effort to deny the terrorist any publicity whatsoever. She has asked fellow New Zealanders to “speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them,”. Adern has learned the names and the life stories of those fifty souls over the past week, and she has visited the mosques. She has wrapped an entire community in her arms and let them know she stands with them.

Adern will ban every semi-automatic weapon used in the attack. Because words alone won’t change a thing for the better, unless you show the world where those words are coming from and what those words can mean. And all we know for certain is that Christchurch won’t be the last day stolen, and Adern will make enemies for not standing still. And maybe, through this latest darkness we have come to find something we’ve all been searching for.

A leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

I’m not sure what in the hell happened here, but this week’s installment of Heroes got messier than Jackson Pollack at a rib eating contest. Uglier than a Westboro Baptist pot luck. And more hopeless than the New York Giants chances next season.

Enjoy!

Horrible Bosses: Part Douche- When James Dolan took over as New York Knicks owner in 1999, they were a team with ups. They’d reached the NBA finals for the second time in five seasons and sported twelve straight playoff appearances.

Twenty years of Dolan has produced a minor league shit storm charging major league prices. Under Boss Dolan, the Knicks have . . .

  • Traded for a player (Latrell Sprewell) who choked his former coach
  • Settled an $11 million sexual harassment lawsuit against then GM Isaiah Thomas. Dolan later hired Thomas to coach his WNBA team! (You can’t make this shit up).
  • Turned two Hall of Fame head coaches-Larry Brown and Phil Jackson- into caricatures.
  • Had Knicks legend Charles Oakley escorted from MSG for being critical of the inept owner.
  • Have gone from a perennial playoff contender to a perennial lottery team. They have one playoff series win since 2000. They lost a franchise record 65 games in 2015. They lost a franchise record 18 games in a row this season. They’ve missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

The world’s most famous arena has become a gulag, with Dolan its inept czar. This dolt had a fan banished from the arena last week for having the audacity (common sense) to tell him he should sell the team. If Knicks fans have any pride left, they would start chanting that sentiment at every single home game. Better yet, they should stay home until the NBA commissioner is forced to take action.

I’m not watching a single minute of the jackpot jerk-off jubilee known as March Madness. It’s a bingo game manipulated by suits. Get back to me when a sixteen seed wins the tournament. I’ll wait . . . 

Biggest Loser- Throughout his MLB career, Jose Canseco was a muscle bound, loud mouthed jerk nobody liked. Since retiring, nothing has changed. And it’s one thing if the dude wanted to juice himself up for short term gain, that’s on him. But when he started diming out fellow players for taking steroids, his resume was complete. He’s an asshole and a rat.

A jerk-off like this can’t be satisfied until he pisses on every single person who ever meant anything to him. So his recent allegation that A-Rod slept with Canseco’s ex-wife is unfortunate, yet predictable. His ex shot down the claims, so Canseco challenged A-Rod to take a polygraph.

If Canseco had been a mobster, he’d be seaweed by now.

Utah never makes the list of worst fan bases in sports. But Jazz fans . . . suck. Big time. 

Graduating with Hard Time- I gotta say, this whole “Operation Varsity Blues” scandal had me conflicted. On the one hand, I was like . . These parents went all Madoff for their kids . . that’s love! And on the other hand, I was like Madoff was a lying cheat of a scumbag who gamed the system simply because he could . . . they suck! 

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are the big names, but this pond is deep with influential power brokers. Basically, they bent the college admissions process over and fucked the shit out of it. Because they could. And because too many universities are really good at double speak when it comes to integrity and all that jazz. But money and influence sings opera.

This story sucks on so many levels. It speaks of the corruption that is rife in academia. It speaks of raging entitlement. And worst of all, they trampled the memory of an excellent flick about high school football. Varsity Blues, the movie, deserved better. These parents are on their own.

Not Beta . . Beto. No . . not buttah, Beto! Aww, fuck it. 

Who Needs E-Harmony?- Leonel Marines, a former police sergeant in Bradenton, Florida didn’t feel the need to swipe left or right. Not when he already had access to the records of hundreds of available females in his area.

An investigation revealed that Marines used his position to gain access to the personal information of these women. After which he would conduct ‘investigations’ which included phone calls, surveillance and in some cases even house calls. This perverse Orwellian scenario has been handed over to the FBI, and let’s just say Marines next date will happen behind bars.

He best get used to the bottom bunk.

Oh by the way. The war on drugs is still a thing. 

We live in a swarm of corruption with systems so diseased we couldn’t get a plug nickel on their worthless dollar bills. And Trump is still President of the United States because NBC fired him.

Shit.

So thank you to Biology Professor Emeritus George P. Smith of the University of Missouri for breaking the skein at four in this weekly Heroes installment. He is the necessary smile to answer this clown quartet with.

Smith is a recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in Chemistry. And with more than forty years worth of teaching under his belt, and biking to school every day, and listening to brilliantly imaginative excuses on why a research paper wasn’t done on time . . the dude could’ve just dropped the mike right there. He had a big fat check for two hundred and fifty Grover Cleveland’s to play with, which is a hell of an excuse to call in sick for a week. Or for good.

Smith didn’t do that, and what’s more . . he didn’t even keep the money. He’s giving it to the kids. After which the University of Missouri opened its pockets and added three hundred thousand dollars to the fund. Half a million untwisted, crystal clean dollars. Brains and influence, without the shady business.

How crazy is that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

The world can be a mean and torturous place. It’s full of thankless and feckless and shameless souls who would like nothing more than to punch the light out of us. And I didn’t help myself any with my reading fare this week. The breaking news I coughed up might as well have been served to me in a beaker full of toxic waste. And the stuff I bookmarked to read later? Hells, it would have been better served as wallpaper in Edgar Allan Poe’s crypt, if the salty bastard had a crypt.

There were plenty of zeroes on the board over the past week and change, and I’m not referring to Bryce Harper’s 330 million dollar signing with the Phillies either. I mean, inking that check on a .250 hitter is enough to make Mickey Mantle crap in his dead pinstripes.

And while I’m on the subject of crap, it’s the entree being served up at 1600 Pennsylvania these days. This administration is offering up more denials than the executive producers of Real Housewives. 

Michael Cohen went before Congress and pulled Sammy Gravano out of his ass. Maybe it’s my old neighborhood talking, but I hate a rat. Even if this rat dished on some damaging shit that might come back to bite Trump. My thing is, Cohen was plenty fine working for this guy until he wasn’t. And I’m sorry, but principles ain’t like instant grits, so he can kiss mine.

As for the Dems choosing to have their coffee kaffeeklatsch with Cohen whilst El Comandante was in Vietnam breaking bad with the North Korean Supreme Leader formerly known as Dennis Rodman’s bestie? Welp, it’s not hero or zero . . it’s just shitty timing. Because Trump blamed the Cohen hearings for his epic fail of a summit. And the peeps who fall in line with him are plenty fine with this narrative, which makes it a fucking shame. Because if the House Oversight Committee had waited another couple weeks, Trump’s marshmallow retreat could have failed just the same . . and then they would’ve had a brutal one-two-three punch to dovetail that with. Consider this. The summit fizzles last week, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort gets sentenced this week . . and then Cohen. Three weeks . . three different news cycles.

I know I keep beating this drum, but we’re a year from pitchers and catchers as per the 2020 primaries. It’s time for the opposition party to work its long game.

That’s nuance, and it’s in shorter supply than iron chins in big time sports. If it ain’t Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant bitching about how everybody’s picking on them, it’s Kyler Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt moaning about all the shade his client is catching. As far as Irving and Durant are concerned, they want to be The Man but they don’t want to bear the cape. Sorry dudes, you work in a billion dollar industry that is gonna speculate and propagate on anything and everything. Addressing these questions IS part of your job. If y’all don’t like it? Go sell insurance. And to Burkhardt, I’d just say . . chill. Criticism is part of the process and not every scout is gonna kiss the kid’s ass. That’s life. Instead of bashing the messenger, Burkhardt should simply let Murray read the following scouting report on a quarterback out of Michigan.

Poor build, Skinny, Lacks great physical stature and strength, Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, Lacks a really strong arm, Can’t drive the ball downfield, Does not throw a really tight spiral, System-type player who can get exposed if forced to ad lib, Gets knocked down easily

This was none other than Tom Brady’s report card in the lead up to the 2000 NFL draft. And yanno . . he did okay.

And speaking of okay, I got way better than that in the form of a dynamic duo of bloggers who bring me the sunshine on the rainiest days. Dale from A Dalectable Life and Cincy at A Frank AngleWhen these two ain’t making trouble, they’re actually digging for gold. And finding it. 

Frank shared the story of Sister Rose Ann Fleming. She was eleven when her mother passed away. Rather than crush her faith, it strengthened it. So much so that she knew she wanted to be a nun by the time she made it to high school. Her life became one of purpose and perseverance from there.

After graduating from Mount St. Joseph University in 1954, she traveled across Europe before entering the Sisters of Notre Dame convent. With a voracious appetite for knowledge, Fleming moved up the academic ladder quickly. From teacher to Superintendent to University President. Over the years she has accumulated three master’s degrees, a doctorate in education administration, as well as a law degree.

No one would have blamed such a brilliant soul if she would have gone another way with all her many accomplishments. But Fleming was always steadfast in her passion for teaching kids and representing those in need. She’s a literal Swiss Army knife at Xavier University- teacher, academic advisor, and special assistant to the President among her many titles.

Fleming was recently named a Great Living Cincinnatian by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Lucky for them she kept her talents in Ohio . . .

Dale over at A Dalectable Life shared with me the story of twelve year old Thomas Moore. And lemme tell you, he’s the kid superheroes could be modeled after. He’s got the heart, the soul and a terrific head of hair.

When Moore was seven years old, he watched a video with his mother which featured Kyssi Andrews- a five year old girl who would eventually lose her battle with cancer. Thomas’s mother explained to him the ravages of chemotherapy, and how it oftentimes results in hair loss. That was all he needed to hear.

Thomas Moore, all seven years worth of kid, decided he was going to grow his hair out. Enough for two wigs is the way he figured it. And so for two years, he kept to the promise he’d made that day . . never minding his tender scalp or the pain he endured when he would have it braided. Until the day came to donate his labor of love, and it’s when he learned that two wigs? Wasn’t gonna happen, nope. It turns out, he had grown enough of that terrific hair of his to donate three wigs.

From the mouths and manes of babes come the answers to all the most important questions. And maybe all the smart guys and gals can take their cue from this super kid as they navigate all the trials and testimonies of this fiery age.

Let’s face it, the kid’s got a kick-ass long game.