Friday, February 10, 2017

The Secretary Biographies: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was born on December 24, 1859 in Selma, Alabama to loving parents. His father was a shopkeeper and his mother was considered "a perpetual juvenile" as was typical of most women of the time. In 1864 at the age of five, Sessions was conscripted into the Confederate Army where he fought valiantly and often cried for his mommy.

After the war, Sessions became an outspoken critic of Reconstruction vowing never to become a "dirty Republican" a declaration he would violate 90 years later.

Sessions received his law degree from the University of Alabama, widely considered one of the top law schools in Alabama. He practiced law and soon became a popular conservative commentator. Sessions hailed the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision as "a great verdict, except for the 'equal' part."

Sessions was pro-mustard gas in World War I and anti-Nazi in World War II. After the war, he set out to become one the nation's foremost critics of the Civil Rights Movement. He claims to have coined the offensive pun "Martin Luther Coon" in reference to Civil Rights icon and American hero Dr. Martin Luther King. Sessions can't help but release a chuckle whenever the slur is repeated in his presence. In 1964, he registered as a Republican after the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

In 1986, Sessions was nominated as a federal judge but was rejected as "too racist." At the time he used the n-word an average of 7.1 times a day which classified him as "Extremely Racist." Now, he has cut down his usage to 3.2 n-words per day, which earns him the classification of "Very Racist."

In 1997, Sessions became the oldest member in the history of the U.S. Senate at the age of 137. In the Senate he championed homophobia and Islamophobia. On the issue of gay rights, Sessions declared, "In my day gay meant happy, not sodomy." He still refers to Muslims as "Musulmen" or "Muhammadans" depending on how the mood strikes him.

Yesterday, he was confirmed at the Attorney General of the United States.

Jeff Sessions: Too racist to be a federal judge in 1986, just racist enough to be attorney general in 2017!

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Betsy DeVos Orders McDonald's

Cashier: Welcome to McDonald's. Can I take your order?
Betsy DeVos: I'll have a sandwich.
Cashier: What kind of sandwich?
Betsy DeVos: Uh, a meat sandwich.
Cashier: Ok. What kind of meat. Chicken or beef?
Betsy DeVos: Beef. I think flight bird meat is so delicious.
Cashier: Wait, I'm confused. You said beef but described a chicken. So, which is it, chicken or beef?
Betsy DeVos: Yes, both chicken and beef are types of meat.
Cashier: Yeah, but which one do you want?
Betsy DeVos: McDonald's serves both chicken and beef.
Cashier: Uh, ok. Would you like fries?
Betsy DeVos: Some people like french fries. Others don't.
Cashier: Ma'am, there's a long line of hungry people behind you... Let's try this. I would like some french fries. Do you agree or disagree with me?
Betsy DeVos: French Fries are a complementary part of a meal.
Cashier: Do YOU want french fries?
Betsy DeVos: McDonald's is a restaurant.
Cashier: Have actually ever been to a McDonald's before?

Sunday, February 05, 2017

What is at the Root of Trump's Popularity?

There has been much debate as to the root of Trump's popularity. Some believe is popularity is racially motivated. Others believe people are attracted to his so-called tell it like is persona.

I believe people voted for him, for the most part, in spite of his racism and lack of basic knowledge about governance. Trump's lifestyle embodies the aspirational opulence that represents the id of the American psyche.

A Reader's Digest poll says 19% of Americans believe they're in the top 1% and I would argue the other 81% think they'll get there at some point in their lives. New York columnist David Brooks notes that in the 1950s 12% of high school seniors viewed themselves as a very important person; forty years later that number rose to 80%.

In the minds of his voters, Trump is living proof that anyone can make a lot of money and rise to the highest position in the land, regardless of innate intellectual ability. His success reinforces their tenuous hold on their own self-importance even though Trump's policies run counter to most of his voters' interests.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

New Food Network Show

My wife has been in and out of the hospital over the past couple of months. While in the hospital, we've been watching a lot of Food Network. My wife likes those shows like Cooks vs. Cons, and Bakers or Fakers. My favorite is Cookers vs. Hookers. I was particularly fond of the Pumpkin Blumpkin Challenge. But the Tossed Salad episode was disgusting, I couldn't ever imagine eating vegetables.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Knock Knock

I don't often joke with my students, but yesterday I decided to try and bring a little levity in an uncertain world.

Me: Knock knock

8 year old: (excitedly) Who's there?

Me: What does it matter? We're all just insignificant specs living on a tiny planet where certain segments of humanity fail to celebrate or value our species' different identities, but instead fear them. A world where we care more about how others' actions affect us rather than how our actions affect others. A country where facts and reality hold less authority than the narrative of the powerful. Where political persuasion matters more than competency. So, no, the revelation of a potential visitor for the sake of sophomoric word play matters little at this juncture.

8 year old: (sobs uncontrollably)

I've been granted a one-week leave of absence.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

NFL Playoff Predictions

Check out what the playoff matchups would look like if the NFL did things in a fairer way.

Seattle over Detroit 17-9
Green Bay over NY Giants 35-31

Seattle over Atlanta 24-20
Dallas over Green Bay 31-21

Seattle over Dallas 20-13

Pittsburgh over Miami 38-10
Houston over Oakland 13-3

New England over Houston 45-3
Kansas City over Pittsburgh 24-15

New England over Kansas City 27-24 OT

Super Bowl LI
Seattle over New England 31-27

Friday, January 06, 2017

NFL's New Format Final Standings

If the NFL moved back to two divisions per conference, we would get fairer and more exciting playoff games.

NFC South and East
1) Dallas 13-3
2) Atlanta 11-5
3) NY Giants 11-5
4) Tampa Bay 9-7
5) Washington 8-7-1
6) New Orleans 7-9
7) Philadelphia 7-9
8) Carolina 6-10

NFC North and West
1) Seattle 10-5-1
2) Green Bay 10-6
3) Detroit 9-7
4) Minnesota 8-8
5) Arizona 7-8-1
6) LA Rams 4-12
7) Chicago 3-13
8) San Francisco 2-14

The playoff seeding would look like this:
1) Dal, 2) Sea, 3) Atl, 4) NYG, 5) GB, 6) Det.

The Wild Card round would look like this:
3) Atl 11-5 vs. 6) Det 9-7; 4) NYG 11-5 vs. 5) GB 10-6.

Instead of this:
3) Sea 10-5-1  vs. 6) Det 9-7; 4) GB 10-6 vs. 5) NYG 11-5.

The Giants would have a home game under the new system as they should. They have a better record than Green Bay. Seattle sewed up the West weeks ago, so their record is a little misleading.

AFC North and East
1) New England 14-2
2) Pittsburgh 11-5
3) Miami 10-6
4) Baltimore 8-8
5) Buffalo 7-9
6) Cincinnati 6-9-1
7) NY Jets 5-11
8) Cleveland 1-15

AFC South and West
1) Kansas City 12-4
2) Oakland 12-4
3) Denver 9-7
4) Houston 9-7
5) Tennessee 9-7
6) Indianapolis 8-8
7) San Diego 5-11
8) Jacksonville 3-13

The playoff seeding would look like this:
1) NE, 2) KC, 3) Oak, 4) Pit, 5) Mia, 6) Den.

The Wild Card round would look like this:
3) Oak 12-4 vs. 6) Den 9-7; 4) Pit 11-5 vs. 5) Mia 10-6.

Instead of this mess:
3) Pit 11-5 vs. 6) Mia 10-6; 4) Hou 9-7 vs. 5) Oak 12-4.

It doesn't make any sense that Houston that won 3 fewer games- in a weaker division- has a home playoff game against Oakland.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New NFL Format Update

Check out last week's explanation of a potentially much fairer division breakdown in the NFL.

Current AFC standings:
1) NE 11-2
2) KC 10-3
3) Pit 8-5
4) Hou 7-6
5) Oak  10-3
6) Den 8-5

AFC in New Format:
1) NE 11-2
2) KC 10-3
3) Oak 10-3
4) Pit 8-5
5) Den 8-5
6) Mia 8-5

Right now, Oakland would have to travel to Houston in the Wild Card round to face a team with 3 fewer wins! The new format is much fairer. It also would be more exiting. Seven teams are between 8-5 and 6-7 and would all have a shot at the last 3 playoff spots. As it is, the Colts at 6-7 have a significantly better chance to make the playoffs as the 4th seed than Buffalo at 6-7 does as the 6th seed, which makes no sense.

Current NFC standings:
1) Dal 11-2
2) Det 9-4
3) Sea 8-4-1
4) Atl 8-5
5) NYG 9-4
6) Tam 8-5

NFC in New Format:
1) Dal 11-2
2) Det 9-4
3) NYG 9-4
4) Sea 8-4-1
5) Atl 8-5
6) Tam 8-5

The Giants just beat the best team in the league. They did not improve their seed in the current format and have virtually no hope of finishing better than the 5th seed because of the absurdity of the current format. That means the Giants wouldn't get a home game int he Wild Card round even if they went 12-4 as long as Dallas wins or ties one game. In the new format, the Giants moved up to 4th and could realistically finish as high as 3rd. The new format is much fairer.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New NFL Format

It's time to revive my annual crusade to change the NFL playoff format by combining division, Here's the plan: The NFC South and East divisions would be combined. The NFC North and West would be another division. In the AFC, the North and East would come together and so would the AFC South and West.

Teams in the same current divisions would play each other twice while teams would play the other four teams in their new division once. Four games would be played against teams in the opposing conference in the same current four year rotation. The remaining two games would be against teams in the same conference but different division.

Current AFC standings:
1) NE 10-2
2) KC 10-3
3) Bal 7-5
4) Hou 6-6
5) Oak  10-3
6) Den 8-4

AFC in New Format:
1) NE 10-2
2) KC 10-3
3) Oak 10-3
4) Den 8-4
5) Bal 7-5
6) Mia 7-5

Right now, Oakland would have to travel to Houston in the Wild Card round to face a team with 4 fewer wins! Denver would also have a better record than its opponent, but have to go on the road for its Wild Card game. The new format is much fairer.

Current NFC standings:
1) Dal 11-1
2) Sea 8-3-1
3) Det 8-4
4) Tam 7-5
5) NYG 8-4
6) Atl 7-5

NFC in New Format:
1) Dal 11-1
2) Sea 8-3-1
3) Det 8-4
4) NYG 8-4
5) Tam 7-5
6) Atl 7-5

The NFC is not as utterly ridiculous as the AFC. We have the right teams, just in the wrong order.Tampa Bay would get a home game in the playoffs despite having a worse record than the Giants.
Also, let's look at the NFC West race now:
1) Sea 8-3-1
2) Ari 5-6-1

It's almost over. Now let's look at the NorthWest race in the new format:
1) Sea 8-3-1
2) Det 8-4

That's a lot closer! For a more competitive stretch run, the NFL needs to move to the new format.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2017 NBA Predictions

Out in the 1st round: Det, Cha, Atl, Mil
Out in Conference semis: Tor, Bos
Conference Finals: Cle over Ind 4-0

Out in 1st round: OKC, Por, Uth, Dal
Out in Conference semis: SA, Mem
Conference Finals: GS over LAC

Finals GS over Cle 4-2