Facing the Storm



Storms are a fact of life. That doesn’t make them any less scary or any less dangerous. Ben is terrified by thunder, and that threw a wrench into my monkey last night as I attempted to get ahead of the game. By the time we were all calmed down and back to Stable 1, it was too late to really do much.

The day ahead is busy and filled with things that should bring joy and excitement. But a pall of depression hangs over it all ad yet another veteran, unable to face his storms any longer, chose to take his life. I didn’t know him, in fact, I never met him because I was specifically forbidden to do so. But I did conduct some business with him not that long ago. About $330k worth, if you get my drift. We had a lot in common. Navy, 1st Class Petty Officers, submarines, families and an address. In the end, something had to have gone terribly wrong for this to have happened.

And what is scaring me is that it makes no sense. How is this happening and why? What is it that takes Veterans who seem happy and healthy and leaves them desperate enough to take their own lives?

Is it really just a storm?


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D.U.I.


 


A little known dave! Diamond fact is that I enjoy Country Music. Not the old style twangy, my dog died my wife left me and took my truck stuff. I like the “modern” Country Music. Which I realize make me a heretic. So be it. A year or so ag I came across a young gal who seemed to have that… special something. she was right on the cusp of becoming a star, and it was clear that she was paying her dues.

She died late last week in a car wreck.

And for a whole lot of reasons, I am having a very hard time getting past this…


Beginnings & Big Innings



The remarkable thing about Sports is how they bring people together. Left, Right, Middle, Black, White, Latino, Asian, it doesn’t actually matter when the game is on the line and you’re holding your breath to see what happens. The unrestrained joy or shared disappointment will overcome pretty much everything else.

I guess for me, sports is more than just a game, especially Baseball. I love the game – second only to my family. And since 2008, it has become even more dear to me as I have been privileged to sit beside my friend, Zack, and watch some of the biggest names in today’s game make their way from High A Stockton to MLB diamonds all over the country and the world. After fourteen years in the minors, Zack got his reward yesterday. And it was glorious.

Meanwhile, Baseball once upon a time had a big problem with Steroids. The problem wasn’t what most people think it was. As it turns out, big league Academia has virtually the same problem…


SHOW NOTE LINKS

The conclusion of this paper is not that stars are bad, It’s just that, once safely ensconced at the top of their fields, maybe they tend to overstay their welcome.

Publishing leads to poverty


436?


In 1835 the US Government managed to negotiate a treaty with the Cherokee Tribe that replaced the previous treaty that was supposed to be in perpetuity. This time, the Cherokee “agreed” to leave their ancestral lands in exchange for a lot of money and never come back. There were, of course, some issues with the treaty, like it was never really completely clear that it was actually with the Cherokee nation, but hey, why let that stand in the way of progress?

This week, the Cherokee Tribe announced that it intended to nominate a person to fill a seat in Congress promised to them in 1835, but hitherto has remained unfulfilled.


The Opioids



The great state of Oklahoma has declared that an advertising campaign that touted the use of opioid painkillers was a public nuisance and that it created the opioid crises. The ruling seems unlike to withstand review, mainly because of all the cans of worms it opens up.


The 16th 21st Century


 


As much as I (along with Ben) enjoyed the Neil deGrasse Tyson version of Cosmos, the original version still stands the test of time and holds my fascination. In the early 1980’s I consumed the book while underwater aboard USS Michigan. In an era before easily available videotapes, I tried desperately to catch reruns on PBS while in port. Today, the DVD’s stand proudly on my shelf, one of the designated “Most Important” items that I never pack away when I move about. The set is a prize and while it will no doubt, eventually be replaced by streaming versions (as yet not available), it remains one of my “go-to” watches when I am feeling contemplative.

In one of the episodes, Sagan talks rather extensively about astrology and its impact in both history and science. It is remarkable, that today, in the 21st Century, when we are knowledgeable enough to understand that the positions of stars and planets cannot possibly impact our lives, astrology not only remains but flourishes. Much like the mid 16th Century when, for a coin, a street astrologer would cast a horoscope, we pay for internet access to get the same thing.

Why do we do this? Is it really as simple as “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?


Faithless



On December 19, 2016, the State Electors of Colorado met to cast their electoral votes for the Offices of President and Vice President of the United States, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Colorado. That is pretty much where the story should have ended. But three people decided that they didn’t want to do what they had pledged that they would do.

The State was carried by Hillary Clinton, who, despite some pressure nationwide to manipulate the electoral College, was going to lose, regardless of what the State of Colorado did or did not do. But in an attempt to virtue signal in a meaningless way, three Colorado electors decided that they would not cast their votes – as pledged – to Clinton, but instead to John Kasich, a man who was not even on the ballot.

After the first man cast his vote for Kasich, he was immediately removed as an Elector. The other two, in yet another attempt at virtue signaling, promptly decided to abandon their principled stand against Clinton and actually abide by their pledge to cast their votes in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State of Colorado.

Naturally, this led to a pair of lawsuits claiming that the three had been discriminated against.

Seriously… I am not kidding.

And in one of the longest and weirdest alignment opinions ever issued, the 10th Circuit Court agreed in part and disagreed in part. Once their opinion was issued, the concern over the future of the Electoral College was justifiably increased.