Archive for the ‘Ruminations’ Category

Rarely, if ever, do I spend the afternoon watching TV.  When I break my Comcast bill down on a cost-per-minute-of-TV-watched basis it’s downright infuriating.  Yesterday, however, I made an exception.  The occasion was the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault allegation.  Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill II — history.

I watched the hearings from gavel to gavel.  My takeaways, in no particular order:

  1. Rachel Mitchell was AWFUL.  I’ve long said that just because someone’s an “expert” at something doesn’t mean they’re any good at it.  Not all lawyers are good lawyers, for example; just because someone’s a doctor doesn’t mean they’re correct about all things medicine.  My point was proven yesterday.   Committee Republicans made the strategic decision to turn their five-minutes of questioning over to Rachel Mitchell, a sexual crimes prosecutor from Arizona.  The idea was good — the optics of eleven white men questioning the meek Ms. Ford wouldn’t play well on CNN.  Ms. Mitchell’s execution, however, was horrendous.  Instead of respectfully cross examining her and poking holes in her story and credibility, the plodding Ms. Mitchell treated her like she’d been molested five minutes ago.  I’d call it kid gloves, but she wasn’t even punching.  No mention of mistaken identity cases, of Duke lacrosse, of the notorious unreliability of recovered memories — nothing. Most of the time she spent talking about the last few months.  When Mitchell did dance around a decent point — like the fact that either Ms. Ford or her lawyers lied about her supposed fear of flying — Mitchell did not tie the knot with a summary for the listener (“So let me get this straight …”).  Apparently she did not get the memo that this was not a deposition.  She was so bad that I wondered aloud to Rhonda if she might have been a Democrat plant.  The two worst choices in Supreme Court nomination history were President Eisenhower’s nomination of William Brennan and President Bush’s pick of David Souter.  The selection of Mitchell may be a close third.  After Mitchell was done red caping Blasey Ford in the morning, I was pretty sure Kavanaugh was cooked.
  2. Judge Kavanaugh’s opening statement probably saved his nomination.   I told Rhonda and others on Wednesday that Kavanaugh had to be righteously indignant, a la Clarence Thomas, to save his nomination and probably his career.  I felt even more strongly about that after the Blasey Ford morning ticklefest.  The judge did not disappoint.  So moving was his opening statement that I found myself at times clapping wildly, at other times moved to tears.  Should he survive, his “search and destroy” line will go down next to Justice Thomas’s “high-tech lynching” in the annals of great career-saving soundbites.  Kavanaugh probably should have tempered things when he took questions from Democrat senators — he was, at times, a bit too riled up — but whatever damage he did in the last half of his testimony was far outweighed by the punches he landed in the first.
  3. If Kavanaugh was the Republicans’ MVP, Lindsey Graham was a close second.  I’m no fan of Lindsey Graham, but who knew he has this in him?
  4. Contrary to conventional, politically correct wisdom, Blasey Ford was not a particularly compelling witness.  Since yesterday, I’ve read nothing but how credible and compelling Blasey Ford was as a witness.  She did come across as someone who genuinely believed what she was saying.  But there were some serious problems with her testimony which lead me to believe she was handpicked to do this, a sympathetic Democrat pawn.  Among them:
    1. She said she did not know the Judiciary Committee had offered to fly to California to interview her given her supposed fear of flying, itself a demonstrated farce.  Her supposed lack of knowledge just wasn’t credible.  Her lawyers were told of the offer.  It was all over the newspapers and television.  She was in consultation with her friends.  No one mentioned it?  C’mon.
    2. We are told she has graduate degrees from both Stanford and USC.  Yet she said she did not know what the phrase “on your behalf” meant.  She also did not know what “exculpatory evidence” was.  I’ll give her a pass on the second, but the first?   That, her giggling, and her supposed need for caffeine breaks and she came across as a bit of a dingbat, a grown-up Beltway valley girl.
    3. She said that Mark Judge was the sole assistant in Kavanaugh’s supposed rape attempt.  Yet 6-8 weeks later, she says she said hello to him at a neighborhood Safeway, and it was he, not she, who was mortified.  No one pressed the point: if this guy tried to rape you earlier that summer, why were you friendly to him?  Which brings me to my final point …
    4. When Kavanugh’s name was listed as one of three finalists for Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat, Ford says she was determined to get the truth out.  But somehow this Stanford Ph.D could not figure out how to contact either of her California senators.  Really?  Or maybe this alleged event wasn’t as traumatic as you’d have the country believe.
  5. The truth is probably somewhere in the vicinity of Blasey Ford’s recollection, but it shouldn’t matter.  Watching all this, I couldn’t help but think that something close to Blasey Ford’s story may have happened.  To wit: a fifteen-year old female finds herself at a get together of male BMOC’s in a D.C. suburb.  They have a few drinks and Christine Blasey gets a bit flirty with the older boys, maybe even suggestive.  At some point Kavanaugh (or some other boy) decides to act on her overtures, pulls her into a room and decides he wants what she apparently wants — to get naked.   She realizes that’s where this is going, decides that’s not really want she wants, and freaks out.  Kavanaugh (or someone else), stunned that she’s making a mountain out of a molehill, covers her mouth to calm her down.  She gets away from the drunken BMOC, thinks so little of it that she’s friendly with one of the alleged assailments (Judge) only a few weeks later, and everyone moves on with their lives.  (The prosecutor in this video makes the same point early on:   The movement of Blasey’s life took her to academia, where, in the last three decades, all men have become rapists in waiting and all undesired sexual advances have become rape attempts.  Two-plus decades of marinating in post-logic feminism and — voile! — Blasey the giddy school girl becomes Blasey Ford, the “survivor.”  Of course, having denied anything happened, Judge Kavanaugh cannot make this point now, and that may be his ultimate demise.
  6. Republicans whiffed it on a few points.
    1. The FBI investigation issue.  The Democrats primary argument was that this allegation demands an FBI investigation.  Republicans opposed it on the grounds that it could and should already have been investigated had Senator Feinstein not held Blasey Ford’s letter until the last possible second.  They should have done more.  Government bureaucracies are not infallible — remember those WMD’s in Iraq?  The FBI is not infallible, either.   Indeed, FBI agent Peter Strzok’s personal animus for all things Trump was so blatant that Robert Mueller removed him from his Russia collusion team.    The persons who Blasey Ford alleged were at the party have all denied being there.  They are not going to change their stories.  If the FBI gets involved, agents who may oppose him and Trump can collect more testimony that Kavanaugh really liked his beer in high school, the inference being that he was a bad, beer-drinking white guy and, therefore, is guilty of Ms. Blasey Ford’s claims.  That would not be allowed in a criminal trial, and it should not be allowed here.
    2. The presumption in favor of Blasey Ford.  Democrats again and again argued that Blasey Ford should be believed because she’s a woman and, presumably, women don’t lie.  Her allegations were taken as gospel.  A Republican should have wondered aloud: if that’s to be the rule in this case, would Democrats support a rule whereby the presumption of innocence would not apply in sex crime cases at all?  Even where the alleged perpetrator was female?  And while we’re at it, should we extend that rule to all cases where the alleged victim is a female?  I would hope that that would anyone with a father, husband or brother some pause.
  7. Chardonay swillers are hypocritically trying to replace 1982 Maryland law with the 2018 #MeToo movement’s mores.  In 1982 Maryland, attempted rape (if it even was that) was considered a misdemeanor.  Statute of limitations: one year.  Dumb, no doubt, but that was the law.  In 2018, looking at a woman crosseyed is a capital offense.  Brett Kavanaugh (or whoever it was who tried to kiss Ms. Blasey) should not be judged by the mores of a future society.  Democrats agree with this position when it fits them.  The late — and very liberal — Sen. Robert Byrd, for example, was, as a young man, a prominent member and recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan.  Those were the times, and Democrats were fine with it.  Hillary Clinton considered Byrd to be a mentor, and when he died in 2010 he was considered a liberal icon.
  8. We’re going down a very dangerous road if the kind of conduct alleged can ruin careers and result in jail time.  As the woman on the Neil Kavuto show pointed out (see above), this really sounds like a case of drunken teenagers fumbling around at a house party.  Nothing except the fumbling happened — no body parts were even exposed.  If we’re going to start ruining the lives of fathers, brothers and sons (but not mothers, sisters and daughters) over this, the world is going to be a very miserable place — especially for our sons.

For Finn and his male friends, the world is becoming a very dangerous place.

This may prove to be a pivotal point in American history.  If Kavanaugh is confirmed, it may empower men to start fighting back against a pendulum that has swung too far against them.  (Watch “The Red Pill” for more on that.) .  If Kavanaugh is not confirmed based on a thirty-six year old charge of what was at worst a misdemeanor, feminists will be further emboldened to take out any males — particularly right-leaning ones.  And with the Kavanaugh bar set — an accusation is all that matters — they’ll be able to.

The stakes could not be higher.

And not just for Judge Kavanaugh.

Read Full Post »

I’ve long since all but stopped using the Jenkins Family Blog as a venue to ruminate about what’s bothering me.  But three days after the Seahawks’ heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, I’m making an exception.

Normal grieving just isn’t working very well.

In reverse order, here’s what I’d like to see the Seahawks do for next year:

10. Find a way to keep Brandon Mebane.  A core player on this Hawks squad, the veteran DT is almost a certain salary cap casualty this offseason as management frees up funds to sign Russell Wilson and/or Bobby Wagner … This is low on my list because a much cheaper Jordan Hill may be a very capable replacement.

9. Promote an insider to replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator.  Kris Richard and Ken Norton seem plenty competent and have done well in their respective jobs — there’s no need to look elsewhere.

8. Give Ricardo Lockette more playing time as a WR.  Except for not catching that not-very-good Wilson pass, he’s done everything the coaching staff has asked of him on both offense and special teams … He’s earned the right to more PT — I hope he gets it.

7.  Sign Russell Wilson long term.  This one would obviously be much higher on my list if he didn’t have a year left on his rookie deal … Would be nice to get this deal done, but we can theoretically survive without it this offseason.

6. Trade Doug Baldwin.  The Angry Doug act is wearing thin, especially when it costs his team fifteen yards near the end of the Super Bowl (more) … Almost as bad, he defiantly stated as late as two days after the game that he had “no regrets” about that disgusting, pre-meditated act and did not care what anyone thought about it except his teammates … Deal him to Timbuktu for a draft pick to be used on a WR and I’d be perfectly happy.  Which leads me to …

My heart wouldn't hurt if this was gone.

My heart wouldn’t hurt if this was gone.

5.  Add a big wide receiver to the mix.  Maybe it’s Chris Matthews.  Maybe it’s a guy out of the draft.  But we need a guy who can go up and get it.  Package Baldwin and a draft pick to move up and get a Kelvin Benjamin type — ideal.

4. Sign a new kick returner.  With or without Sir Poop-a-Lot, the ‘Hawks presented no threat to the end zone on kick returns — on too many occasions they barely threatened the 20-yard line … Not saying we need another Percy Harvin, but neither Angry Doug nor Paul Richardson appear to be the answer.

3. Sign a new punt returner.  Brian Walters looks like a high school kid out there … We don’t need Devin Hester in his prime, but we do need something other than a designated fair catcher.

2. If Byron Maxwell goes, sign a starting cornerback.  I’m guessing BM is gone and if he is, it’s clear his replacement isn’t on the current roster … An undersized Jeremy Lane is a nickel back at best, and Tharold Simon reminds me of Kelly Jennings — hard-to-watch bad.

1.  Sign Marshawn Lynch to a three-year deal.  He and Kam Chancellor are the guys who stir the drink … I get that he’s almost 29, but it simply isn’t true that all running backs tail off once they hit 30 (more) … Beast didn’t work too hard in Buffalo, doesn’t practice now and has shown no signs of slowing down, so I’m guessing there’s still plenty of tread on his tires.

Keeping Marshawn Lynch is priority No. 1.

Keeping Marshawn Lynch is priority No. 1.

Read Full Post »

Last week I started quite a ruckus with my post about the Ray Rice affair.  With readership of the family blog tripled thanks to me posting a link to it on Facebook, brouhahas broke out in my house, at the park (with me not there), on my guys weekend in San Diego and, of course, on the social network.

With all that fun I’m compelled to share my thoughts on the Adrian Peterson affair.

1.  A parent has a right to use a switch to discipline his child.  I wouldn’t think of doing it in a million years, but it’s not my place to impose my values on other parents.  According to Charles Barkley, switching is a common means of child discipline in the African-American community.  I have no reason not to believe him.

2. That said, when a parent grabs a tree branch he runs a considerable risk of negligently or intentionally injuring his child — more so than, say, if he used an open hand.  As such, said parent should be pretty darn careful when he’s wielding that stick.

3. In this case, Daddy Peterson did not take care to not hurt his kid, as the photos so graphically show.  Those photos, which I won’t post on this blog, were taken five days after what the Vikings star called “a whooping.”  I can only imagine how the kid looked when Daddy put the stick down.


He doesn’t LOOK like a child abuser, but …

As for whether Peterson should go to jail — that depends on whether he violated the laws he’s alleged to have violated.  I don’t know Texas law on the subject so I have no opinion on the matter.  One person who does, blogger Gregory S. McNeal,  concluded that he likely did.   I don’t know if Mr. McNeal’s legal analysis is correct — it’s a lot more conclusion than analysis — but I’ll go with it here.

What I do know is this.  If a Texas jury does not convict Peterson of something, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be under intense pressure to sanction Peterson, anyway.   The photos don’t lie.   If he doesn’t do something, Goodell will be gone.

And deservedly so.

Read Full Post »

Author’s note: The views below are mine alone and do not represent the views of others in the Jenkins family. 

First things first.  I don’t hit girls.  Never have, and have no plans to.

That said, I find myself holding out a proverbial helping hand to Ray Rice today — and that’s after watching the now-infamous video of him knocking out his then-fiancee (now wife) in an Atlantic City elevator.

The now former Baltimore Raven’s left hook to Janay Palmer’s face was tough to watch — every bit as tough as watching Beyonce’s sister open up a can of whoop-ass on Jay-Z.  If Mr. Rice were my son I would be extremely disappointed in him.  Like everyone in the world save Mr. and Mrs. Rice, I have no idea what preceded the punch or what, if anything, then-Ms. Palmer said or did to get her NFL boyfriend so furious.  I’m guessing something happened: the video shows her getting in his face and they appear to be spitting on each other.  Whatever (if anything) it was, I would have hoped my son would have had more self control.

But what I find just as unseemly is the race to pile on and punish Mr. Rice in the wake of TMZ Sports’s release of the aforementioned video yesterday.

The Ravens released their long-time running back almost immediately.  The video “changed things,” his now-former coach told us.  Why?  Ravens management saw the video of Mr. Rice dragging his unconscious now-wife out of an elevator months ago.  Did they think he knocked her out with Starbucks breath?   New Jersey’s criminal complaint stated that Rice struck his fiancee “with his hand, rendering her unconscious” — exactly what the video showed.  Me thinks Ravens management concluded their once-beloved star would be forever doomed to bad guy status once this video went viral and, seeing little upside to standing behind their once-dominant-but-now-past-his-prime running back, they booted him — and his considerable contract — out of town.  Politics over principle — shame on them.

Not the monster he's being made out to be.

A victim-maker in February, Ray Rice now finds himself a victim of another sort.

I wonder if the Ravens would have severed ties with Mr. Rice in 2012, when he was coming off a career year that saw him gain over 2,000 yards from scrimmage.  They didn’t come down as hard (or at all) on Terrell Suggs in 2011 when a court issued a protective order against their star linebacker based on a series of very detailed allegations that portrayed him as an unspeakable monster.   (More.) Mr. Suggs was at the peak of his career then.

The NFL’s indefinite suspension of Mr. Rice is another matter.  The league took a PR beating for its initial two-game suspension of Mr. Rice — way too lenient, the masses screamed.  Sensing public opinion was against him, the ever image-conscious Roger Goodell later concluded that he hadn’t punished the theretofore model citizen harshly enough and announced the NFL’s new domestic abuse policy — six week ban for a first offense, lifetime ban thereafter.  NFL mucky mucks, who Goodell insists didn’t see the inside-the-elevator tape until a few days ago, upped the penalty from two games to “indefinite” once the video went viral. But this was the once-model citizen’s first offense, and indefinite is not six weeks.   What gives?

Then there’s everyone else.  I’ve followed this story fairly closely for the past forty-eight hours and know of only two people — Mrs. Rice and conservative African-American commentator Dr. Ben Carlson — who have suggested that everyone should put down their pitch forks.  No one’s even curious about background or context.  Nothing, the self righteous scream with indignation, could justify Mr. Rice’s left hook, and anyone who even considers as much should lose their job. I wonder. Suppose I called an African-American the n-word and the object of my derision became so enraged that he killed me.  Think a sizable minority in the typing class would opine that my killer should be excused, or at least be entitled to a lesser conviction than murder?   I do.   Just last week a good (and very bright) friend of mine insisted to me that a white police officer’s killing of a black man justified citywide looting in Ferguson, Missouri — looting against business owners, I might add, who’s only “crime” was owning a business in Ferguson.  Now I don’t know what Ms. Palmer did or said (if anything) to her fiancee that got him so enraged; perhaps she went Solange on him where the cameras weren’t rolling.  I don’t know, but I’d like to.  That no one else seems to care a wit is what bothers me most.  Everyone else seems angry; better get angry, too.

Which brings me back to Mr. Rice and why I find myself hoping he emerges from this very dark spell.   Like him, I’ve had a few moments I wish I could have back (mine, and perhaps his, alcohol-fueled).  And like him, I’ve been on the underside of a the-facts-don’t-matter avalanche; in my case the avalanche was my own state’s government.  That experience landed me in jail three times, twice as an alleged fugitive from a state I’d never set foot in, and cost me a bundle.  It took almost two years for judges to take a deep breath and consider the facts, but ultimately their exonerating opinion didn’t matter because their superiors re-wrote the law to put my then-company out of business.  It’s a lonely feeling when you get steamrolled by The Machine, especially when you’ve otherwise led an exemplary life, as I like to think I have and a good many people say Mr. Rice has.  (E.g., 1I2.)

He hit a girl no doubt.   But Ray Rice didn’t deserve to lose his job and his career because he had the misfortune of screwing up on video.  The NFL is chock full of monsters.  Mr. Rice isn’t one of them.

Read Full Post »

The other day I stumbled on an article entitled “18 things about Arnold Palmer.”  His wife penned the piece to let the world know what little it didn’t already know about The King.  The idea, I guess, was to give the world an idea of what kind of guy Arnold really is.

Me and my best friends.

Me and my best friends.

That got me to thinking.   Assuming I’m not around, what 18 things would give my kids an idea of what kind of guy I really was.   Well:

  1. I don’t like — and almost never drink — beer.
  2. I wear ties — usually bow ties — whenever the occasion even arguably warrants.  Reason: I think most people phone it in when it comes to their appearance, and I don’t want to be like that.
  3. I don’t care to spend my money on fancy, contemporary cuisine; I’m basically an anti-foodie.  Oh, and I don’t get the wine thing.
  4. I rarely drive faster than 65 mph.  And I try not to drive long distances at night.
  5. I believe in the death penalty.  I think death penalty executions should be frequent and televised.
  6. I’m hopeless on anything with wheels.
  7. Speaking of “hopeless,” I’m hopelessly addicted to Dr. Pepper.
  8. I’ve never drank and drove.  Ever.
  9. I don’t want a funeral.  Reason:  too many people would be too “busy” to make it.  I’d prefer not to be remembered as the guy who had the sparsely-attended funeral.
  10. I’m about as handy around the house as a frozen banana.
  11. I believe ghosts, bigfoots and magalodons all exist.
  12. I have many friends but I consider my kids to be my best friends.
  13. I prefer a night at home with my family to a night out — 99 nights out of 100.
  14. I used to be a big sports fan, but the only professional sports I follow now are football and golf.
  15. I love Scrabble and jigsaw puzzles.
  16. I haven’t written in cursive since I was a teen.
  17. I couldn’t care less about many popular entities — namely, March Madness, the Academy Awards and the NBA.  The Masters, on the other hand …
  18. I used to be a political junkie.  Now I care about politics about as much as I care about March Madness (read: not at all).

POSTSCRIPT: Turns out I’ve already done one of these

Read Full Post »

Just finished about my sixth go-’round of the famous-in-this-house hot dog diet, so named (by me) because one of the dinner items is hot dogs.

Starting weight: 171.5.  Ending weight 165.5.

In three days.

I kinda like this.

Read Full Post »

I have a lot of clothes.

I mean a lot of clothes.

What I don’t have a lot of, however, is bags to carry them in.

Especially to the gym.

I’d say I have two, in fact.  A black gym bag that’s recently been converted into a t-ball bag, and an old green Nike gym bag that I’ve had since roughly the Monica Lewinsky days.

Sadly, however, I’ve worn her out (my bag, not Monica).  Two big holes in her, in fact.  And today, with much regret. I retired her for good.

Green Nike Bag

That Old Bag served me well and often, and I will miss her.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »