And Now, As The Lions Stare Down Infamy

That’s right, by the end of this Sunday the Lions could easily be 0-16. Probably the ultimate embarrassment for a pro football team, since we’re not talking about an expansion team given the dregs of yesterday (Tampa Bay, 1976-77) or draining by the dogs of war (Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia Steagles, 1942).

Now I’ll admit that no same fan of the team should root for any team to go winless. You shouldn’t hope for anyone to suffer such a traumatic set of events.

However, we’re talking about The Lions, a Team that doesn’t seem to have even tried to be good at times. A team owned by someone who was given the team so he would leave his hands off the Ford Motor Company! A team that intentionally built a stadium smaller than their last venue. A team that can’t even sell out that stadium anymore.

We’re also talking about the issue of attention. If someone doesn’t get good attention, they’ll seek out bad attention just to get some. Problem with this explanation is that losing sucks; right now a 1-15 record would be such a relief over a 0-16 and the relative invisibility would be blessed peace. Even the 1976 Bucanneers feel pity for the Lions.

I know that 0-16 T-shirts would make for some interesting post-christmas gifts.

And finally, one hopes that even William Clay Ford would feel embarrassed enough after such an ugly season to finally work at fixing things. Fact is, even such teams as Dallas and Miami have gone 1-15; the reason they’re not listed in the Canonical List of Bad Teams(tm) is that those records are seen as transition points to better times. Dallas won three Super Bowls after their 1-15 season, while Miami has recovered mightily from last year to this.

So…despite my better knowledge and judgement, I’m rooting for a Detroit Loss. Something better change soon, and if it takes ultimate shame to cause the change, I’ll accept that ultimate shame.

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Things I Have To Be Thankful For This Christmas

To be honest I very much hate Christmas. I hadn’t liked Christmas since 1985, and off and on hate has welled up since 1988, when I saw a couple of Christmas releases in the middle of AUGUST! However, with things about to get worse (And things WILL get worse before they get better…IF they get better…), I figured I’d better put together a list of things I can be thankful for for this holiday season JUST IN CASE all that were to disappear before the next year passed.

  • That I Have a Job
    With people losing their jobs all over…white collar as well as blue. Many others are looking for work and not finding anything, and my boss told me a lot of people were applying at his place, trying to unretire. Meanwhile General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are rushing closer to bankruptcy with a gallery of idiots nationwide hoping, praying and cheering for that to happen, never mind that not even Toyota, Honda or Volkswagen want the American Big 3 to go under.
  • That I Have a Home
    When you hear about central California suffering from a West Nile Virus because of all the undrained pools, and you see all the houses in Gary going for “500 down, 300/month” (like anyone who didn’t have to would want to move there…but that’s me, and I could always change if I need to) and you see subdivision sites sit empty for two years with a grand total of ONE new house built during that time, you sit in your house and thank God you can argue with your housemate about how warm the house should be.
  • That I Can Still Write
    I’m still doing this, although not nearly as often as I once did. I’m also writing the occasional poem and have found some more local venues to read at. If nothing else, things are now looking up locally.
  • That Things Haven’t Fallen Apart Yet
    Society’s still going in. Gas is still being sold, and cheaper than it should be sold. I’m still being paid (there are places where the “Work Ethic” is so good that they work without being paid), and the future can still be planned for (even though life can best be defined as “What happens while you’re making plans.”). It’s a cold winter already, but then winters are supposed to be cold. Life goes on.
  • Other Things Which Haven’t Shown Up In My Head Yet.

Anyway, happy holidays. Hope things go on, at least in some ways.

Rod Blagojevich Finally Charged With Rampant Corruption

First heard the news as I was going to work. Heard snippets until about 2pm when I realized what was going on.

Has a sexless orgasm. (It’s where you feel a sudden release of tension throughout your body, without the nudity, the other person and the actual shooting out of juice.).

I’ve disliked this clown since the first days of his governorship. I’ve watched as this guy has ground Illinois governance to a halt. I’ve watched his arrogance grow to where it knows no bounds. I’ve watched budgeting become impossible next door (I live in Lake County, in Indiana). I’ve watch this guy grandstand with money NOBODY has, never mind the concept of “Everybody Else’s Money” that taxes have been darkly painted with. And meanwhile this guy’s been trying to remake Illinois into his personal fiefdom, making the state spin its wheels for his benefit.

And now, even as people were watching him, he attempted to SELL the Senate Seat that Obama left when he became the President-Elect. Meanwhile he threatens to close down a hospital because someone from there refused to give him money, and another bill sits on his desk awaiting a donation.

But now his world has fallen around him…and I’m gleeful!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

But only so gleeful.

You see, we’ve just lived through what’s become nearly thirty years of Neocon Triumph. What I’m talking about is this:

  1. Government is evil
  2. Government is therefore unnecessary
  3. Only private profit can hone anything to its most useful best use
  4. Therefore, anything that can must be transferred to private for-profit hands; otherwise it must be made so ugly that it’s abandoned.

Sadly, the Democrats have been taken over by NeoCons in the governorships. Both Illinois and Michigan have become totallty frozen thanks to Democrats who have made it their job to gum up the works for their glory.

Meanwhile the state I live in (Indiana) seems to be working. It’s getting its roads fixed, it’s considering mass transit, and the places fighting it are (sadly) Democratic Urban Areas, especially in Northwest Indiana.

The same seems to be happening in California. There we have an (admittedly moderate) Republican Governor who sits over a state with massive defecits, yet they’re able to vote on and vote for such forward-thinking items as statewide high-speed rail service. Something that states elsewhere seem to be stuck in analysis paralysis (looking at stuff they want but don’t want to pay for) about.

Think of it: Twenty-Eight years of NeoCon ascendancy, and we get folks in the Democratic Party who do their job better than THEY can.

To put it straight, the Democratic Party needs to be fixed, and soon…otherwise people may say “They beat up on us, but we get something in return.” and turn to their enemies (the party of the Corporations and the “I Want My Sound Bite, don’t worry about follow-up” Christians) for someone to vote.

Because I want that bastard out…but I also want someone willing to do stuff, even if its hand-in-hand with their opponents. And at least Reagan was willing to deal when it made sense to.

What should Obama do for homeowners?

Here’s a thought: Why don’t we also help out some homeowners? Like those who bought a house within the past three years, only to find out that they own more than their home’s worth?

Here’s my idea on helping them: Have people come to the government (preferably the homeowners or the banks) to have their loans looked at. Have the house and lot appraised and see what the house would sell at right now. Have the bank then renegotiate with the home”owners” (remember, the deed is with the bank) with the new (low) rate and the new worth. Once the details are agreed upon, the government would cover the difference between the two loans, so that the bank doesn’t lose any money on the renegotiation.

The homeowner would benefit because of a lower loan (on what the house was worth, not it’s inflated worth of two years ago), the bank would benefit because they wouldn’t lose any money and they’d keep a good customer relationship, the local government would keep a resident and his/her taxes in place, and the feds would benefit all parties directly.

Now there would be drawbacks. The local governemnts (city, county, school, township and even state) would lose immediate tax income from lowered property values, and the bank would lose potential profit (though not principle) from the immediate payment of principal. They may also suffer from a slightly lower level of income from the house (from lowered payments, if the residents decide to refi at 30 years).

Plus you’d have to make sure you weren’t benefiting people who were gaming the system…like people who would suddenly sell the house for profit. Also, would you want to benefit people who bought for rental reasons whose rents haven’t kept up with the payments? And you might not want to save EVERY house that can be saved…maybe empty out some of these exurbs to rehab into farm land, or leave certain neighborhoods to fail (red-lining is the blunt term; although I’d want to do this to outer exurbs…).

However, this would seem to be the best way to use the bail-out money — give breaks and deals to responsible people who want to stay in their homes, protect the banks from principle losses.

Because as it is now, we’re handing the money straight to the bank and they’re sitting on it (at best, worse yet they’re giving their cronies excess loot and taking over smaller, healthier banks). And the people stuck in their upside-down houses (owe more than they’re worth) are a ticking time bomb who could leave and leave a mess behind.

And we need to stabilize what we can. And soon.