Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Future Is Already Here

There is much talk this off season about the future of the Quarterback position for the Chicago Bears. Anything can happen at this point, and I don't think General Manager Ryan Pace or Coach John Fox are sure they know, either.

This is a team in the process of a total rebuild. That we know. We will be needing a new man under center before long, and Pace hasn't drafted any kind of a QB in the three years he's been pulling the levers.
I don't know why.

I'll go through my thoughts of the three QBs we currently have on the roster:

First off, there is Jay Cutler, the most abused QB on the field or off. His upside is sky high, but he has a few faults... among them attempting to put the ball where only he can, hoping his receiver makes a play.
He's the typical gunslinger, and damn, is he talented.
A talent that has been largely squandered away by the Bears coaching staff.
He plays with heart and passion, never flinching when lowering his shoulder to to lay out a defender. (He doesn't like to slide like the wussy QBs do).

Second, we have Brian Hoyer.
He's a good Quarterback, who makes good decisions, which shouldn't be too hard to do when you only play football within 10 yards from scrimmage.
He put up lots of yards last year, but seems allergic to the white goal-line powder.
And, he can't throw past 10-15 yards.
He has all the gifts that a QB needs tween the ears, none of the gifts required tween the shoulders.
He's an effective game manager, as long as scoring isn't part of the management plan.

Third, is Matt Barkley.
He's not really bad.
He's also not very good.
He has many of the tools to possibly become a QB in the NFL, but I think his window has closed.
That, and he has accuracy issues.
I'm of the belief that many things can be developed in a QB, but accuracy isn't one of them. It's a natural gift that is possessed, or not.

Fourth, is the guy who is not there yet, but is expected to be there come training camp. Just who or what or how is a different discussion, I think.

The talk among Bears circles is that Jay Cutler will be gone this year.
He can be cut for for free, having gone through his guaranteed portion (3yrs) of  a 7 year contract. Coach Fox prefers the game manager type QB (Hoyer) and doesn't much care for the aggressive passing-attack type of QB that Cutler is. The general consensus is that the Bears will draft/sign/trade for a QB of the future and start Brian Hoyer as a bridge while the new face is developed.

My suggestion, what I would do if I was in charge...

Keep Cutler for this season, and maybe the next...

Keep Hoyer as a reliable back up.
This is his career ceiling, anyway... and he's good at it.

Cut Barkley.
I like Barkley, personally. He plays with a spirit and attitude that I appreciate. And he's a local (to me) boy. A Homie. But being 'almost an NFL QB' is not the same as being an actual NFL QB. (he'd be competing for a starter gig somewhere if he had some accuracy to his arm, but he doesn't, so he isn't.)

Draft two QBs this year (or UDFAs, whatever...) in the middle rounds, say rounds 3 to 5. Reliable athletes with accurate arms that can be groomed-up and taught the teachable stuff,  to compete against each other for the future. Barring any obvious one-of-a-kind prospects (there are none in the draft this year), this is the best way to go.
I would tend toward stout-bodied types (like Big Ben, or Favre) who could take NFL punishment.
A Polynesian, Negro, or Hybrid-race maybe? Heavy bone structure. A big, confident boy that can't be hurt easily.
Durability trumps God-given talent. Just ask Rex Grossman about that... or RGIII.

Spend our early picks on obvious play-makers at other positions. This strengthens the team over all, making life a whole lot easier on whatever QB you choose to play. (seriously... look at the Patriots. Brady was not that good in the Super Bowl. On any other team, he would have sucked, but he had play makers all around him... making plays.)

Why Cutler, if he is not the future?
Because Cutler is the best QB available to the Bears this year. He gives us the best chance to win, on any given day.
Winning builds confidence and morale for the whole team.
Winning  attitudes and winning cultures are created by teams that win games.
If you are not confident in Week 1, you wont be confident in February, either.
It's all about February, isn't it?

Jay Cutler may not be the future of the Bears,  but the future of the Bears can be found through him.

you came here expecting politics and shit???
I don't roll that way.
I like to mix shit up...
But you knew that, already... right?
That's why you came here, isn't it?

Friday, February 10, 2017

California Rising

Threatening secession is far from the only thing California has in common with the Old South

Over 60 percent of California voters went for Hillary Clinton — a margin of more than 4 million votes over Donald Trump.

Since Clinton’s defeat, the state seems to have become unhinged over Trump’s unexpected election. “Calexit” supporters brag that they will have enough signatures to qualify for a ballot measure calling for California’s secession from the United States.
Some California officials have talked of the state not remitting its legally obligated tax dollars to the federal government. They talk of expanding its sanctuary cities into an entire sanctuary state that would nullify federal immigration law. (emphasis mine)
The leadership of California is doubling down in the face of Trump America. As for that more than 60% that voted for Hillary Clinton, I can tell you that she got very few votes from my co-workers. This largely Hispanic group of factory stiffs went overwhelming for Trump.
They boasted that “King Cotton” had created the wealthiest class in the United States. Silicon Valley now often assumes that Google, Facebook, Apple, and others are near-trillion-dollar companies that are a world unto their own.
Like California, South Carolina and other Confederate states bragged that their unique economies did not need the Union. Slavery and the extravagant income from cotton warped the Southern economy and culture.
A wealthy plantation elite, with its millions of exploited slaves, ensured that there would be virtually no middle, working, or small-business class.
Read the rest.
I'll be touching more, a lot more, on this topic in the weeks and months ahead.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

White And Black Are The Same Color.

Heroin is kicking our ass.
California’s millennials continue to flood hospital emergency departments because of heroin, a trend that has increased steadily statewide and in Los Angeles and Orange counties over the past five years, according to the latest figures.
The state data released last week show that in the first three months of 2016, 412 adults age 20 to 29 went to emergency departments due to heroin. That’s double the number for the same time period in 2012.
I was with one of them. A friend from the other side of town. (I've acquired 'friends' doing bail that I would not have normally acquired...maybe that's why I like doing it? )
I remember the doc matter-of-factly advising them 'Stay away from the heroin' as he dug an abscess out of their arm. He didn't need to be told where it came from. He was seeing it too often as it was. (Friend is currently clean again.)

I was first exposed to heroin back in my sophomore year of high school.
An early  childhood buddy took to experiencing teen life the hard way.
He showed me how to cook and inject it (as he fixed himself up) and warned me 'you don't want this'.

He got help soon afterward.

I took his advice and stayed away from things that required needles. (Thanks, Dave!)

After that, heroin was largely easy for me to avoid... for the most part.
Basically, it was the topic of rock star biographies, and ghetto culture.
But not anymore.
As the article states, it has now invaded the better families in the better neighborhoods.

Black Tar Heroin (or just 'Black' on the streets) is lower grade and rather cheap to acquire (as opposed to the China White, that Dave had that day) and has taken California and the Southwest by storm. It all comes from across the southern border with Mexico.
All of it.
Black is everywhere.
So much so, that even I, a non-user, know where I can get hooked- up if wanted to. Probably within one hour of making a phone call.

And... this is where shit gets personal for me...
Last year, the grandson of a long-time friend of 'The Ex' died from an overdose. Brandon was 26.
Six months before that, the neighbor across the street also lost her grandson to a heroin overdose. Seth was 22.
But why? How?
I don't live in a ghetto, and my friends are not in the music business.
Seth's grandfather is a retired, 20yr career United States Marine, from the Vietnam era.. who still takes no shit from nobody.
I'm not talking about the dregs of society.
Decent kids, from solid families.

I had some acquaintance with both of these young men. They were not bad people. These were not born losers. They were both talented, energetic, respectful and charming kids, always looking for full-time work (there isn't much around), but found the wrong way to deal with their idle time and were lost to heroin.
(hmmm... maybe if they had a factory job to show up to, they would have been too busy, and tired, to find other things to amuse them?  Idle hands are the Devil's tools. Yes, they are.)

We need to secure the border.
We need to bring gainful employment for our youth back to our land.
Or maybe... your family might be next in line to lose one whom cannot be replaced?

Donald Trump was the only candidate from either party to address the effects of the heroin epidemic on our youth.
He was the only one who promised to restore a proper border to our land.
He was the only one to acknowledge the weeping of families forever devastated by trade and border policies that only favor the upper 20%.
He was the only one who even pretended to care about all of the American people.

For all of his faults and shortcomings, Donald J Trump was the only one on the ballot who deserved to be on that ballot.

This is why he is our President today.

Viva Trump...
God willing.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Bad Side Of Trump

This is the part about President Trump that worries me:
When Gen. Michael Flynn marched into the White House Briefing Room to declare that “we are officially putting Iran on notice,” he drew a red line for President Trump. In tweeting the threat, Trump agreed.
Don't you think it's a little soon in  the administration to be starting international shit????
High among the reasons that many supported Trump was his understanding that George W. Bush blundered horribly in launching an unprovoked and unnecessary war on Iraq.
Along with the 15-year war in Afghanistan and our wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, our 21st-century U.S. Mideast wars have cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of dead. And they have produced a harvest of hatred of America that was exploited by al-Qaida and ISIS to recruit jihadists to murder and massacre Westerners.
Osama’s bin Laden’s greatest achievement was not to bring down the twin towers and kill 3,000 Americans, but to goad America into plunging headlong into the Middle East, a reckless and ruinous adventure that ended her post-Cold War global primacy.
Unlike the other candidates, Trump seemed to recognize this.
My sentiments, exactly.

Iran is publicly 'on notice'. It cannot back down. Neither can President Trump. This may be what ends his presidency earlier than he expected.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Speech For Me, Not For Thee

There once was a time when U.C. Berkeley was known as the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement on college campuses. My, oh my, have things changed.

I'm fairly familiar with Milo. I read him pretty regularly.
He's provocative, to be sure, but I don't find his statements anywhere near as incendiary as what is spouted by public figures on the left.
His big crime is his ability to tweak the hypersensitivities of  Snowflake Nation. Not a hard thing to do if you willing to actually do it. This guy will not tip toe through the eggshells. That's why they hate him.

Unfortunately, this is what discourse has come to in the United States: Name calling. Intimidation. Threats. Violence itself.
It's only a matter of time before this becomes a two-sided war, wherein  the Right responds in kind. This will not end prettily.
We are a sick country.