I am the Queen of England

In response to an NYT editorial “More Attacks on Transgender Rights” (8/24/16)

If I tell you I’m the Queen of England, would you call me Your Majesty and bring me a pot of tea, or would you call me delusional? Shall I never be questioned about my delusion, or should I get professional counseling? And if I want to use the women’s bathroom, would you say “Go ahead Ma’am”? Equal protection does not require that we treat people who are crazy as though they are not.


More Emails? zzz ← indicates sleeping

So the FBI may have found even more emails that Hillary didn’t turn over to the State Department. Well look. I think that we can all, supporters and detractors alike, stipulate that yes, Hillary has questionable political ethics. I think that’s baked into our perception of her by now, and further corroboration of what we already think will not change anything. I’m at the point where unless there is an actual indictment, I’m tired of hearing about it.

The real story is that the Clinton’s apparently don’t even feel the need to be reasonably competent in their sneakiness because the press has their back. Server in the basement—a good idea? Bubba on the plane with Lynch—are you serious? The political-media complex is real, and it has become so full of itself that neither the favored political class nor the mainstream press worry much about what the rest of us think about them. They’ll tell us what to think about them, what we are to see as important, what issues we are to discuss among ourselves. Hillary could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue next to The Donald and shoot somebody, and not only would she not lose voters, she would deny it and the media would go with that.

These are dark, and weird, days for our democracy.

Response to Susan Collins

The Republican Senator from Maine wrote in the Washington Post that she will not vote for The Donald. She wrote: “Three incidents in particular have led me to the inescapable conclusion that Mr. Trump lacks the temperament, self-discipline and judgment required to be president.”

Hi Susan, I’m Malcolm and I’m here to help you regarding your three incidents:

1. Trump says he did not know the reporter was disabled, and was just mocking a reporter groveling. That explanation makes sense to me after watching The Donald speaking to his supporters on other topics–he’s actually a very funny guy. So it turns out the reporter has a disability–do you really think he would mock that? I don’t, and it seems like a cheap shot to say he would.

2. His fear of judicial bias in a court case presided over by a judge with a Mexican heritage, considering that The Donald had been the target of pretty violent protests for his stand against illegal immigrants from Mexico, is reasonable. It doesn’t matter that the judge was born “in Indiana;” one would not be out of line to suggest that because the judge’s parents emigrated from Mexico, their son might harbor some bias in Trump’s particular case.

3. If the Khans has just stuck to their message that there are Muslims in this country who are patriotic Americans, and that their son gave his life for this country–if Mr. Khan would have stopped right there, I’d be on his side. But he didn’t. And when he pivoted from being a grieving parent to being an attack dog for Hillary, he lost his Gold Star protection and became a fair target for The Donald. Even so, there wasn’t much of what a normal person would call an “attack” on the Khans. More like a mild comment.

So, Susan, maybe take the rest of the day off to re-examine your position re The Donald. Look at his platform. Its good. He’s a Republican. You’re a Republican. You can vote for him.

Ukraine, Khan (and The Donald)

This was published as a comment in the New York Times, which I penned in response to an editorial piece titled, “Mr. Trump and Spineless Republicans.” Yes, another hit piece against the Republican Nominee for President by a newspaper that is increasingly reading like the PR arm of the Clinton campaign. The Times Editors slammed the The Donald for his comments relating to Russians in the Ukraine, plus his reaction to the appearance of Khizr Khan with his wife, Ghazala, at the Democratic National Convention.

Crimea, which had been part of Russia since the days of Catherine the Great, was a province of Soviet Russia when it was transferred to Soviet Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1954 as sort of internal administrative USSR matter. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Crimea remained part of Ukraine until a vote of the Crimean people in 2014 to have their province returned to Russia. Yes, some dispute that referendum, but still, it’s not as though Putin just swooped down from nowhere and took over a foreign country. In the rest of Ukraine there is some sentiment favoring alignment with Russia–in fact, the Ukrainians democratically elected a pro-Russian president in 2010. After he was overthrown 4 years later, he asked Russia for support in restoring the “rule of law” and protecting the people of Ukraine. Correct me if I’m wrong on any of this but…is there a side we’re on here?

As for Mr. Khan, if he would have limited his remarks to some kind of statement that his son’s sacrifice showed that there are Muslims who are good patriotic Americans, if Khan had done just that without directly attacking The Donald in a vicious political way, waving the Constitution right out of Grandstanding 101, I would be on his side. But in choosing to engage in insulting smears just like many of the other speakers at the convention, he went way beyond the boundaries, and protections, of a grieving parent.

No Instant Replay in Baseball Dammit!

I participated in a training session for umpires a while back. It was specifically for the 2 Umpire system commonly used in softball, with one umpire behind the plate and the second umpire at first base or, depending on the situation, maybe closer to second, as I recall. It takes a lot of skill to be an umpire, and not just if you’re calling balls and strikes. If you’re the first base ump, you have to focus, using your eyes and also ears to make those close calls at the bag—safe or out—and make them quickly. Not stand around staring at the sky musing about what just happened; not calling someone at home “hey, did you see that play just now?” Not, you make the call instantly, and with conviction.

In addition to having umpires that are reasonably competent, baseball officiating only requires that they are unbiased. If they make a wrong call, but make it honestly, that’s the human element in play. It can become the stuff of baseball lore: The Bad Call that Ruined a Season. And if it does, it does. That’s life.

So we don’t need to slow down a game that already creeps along, what with all the fidgeting by batters adjusting their glove straps, the pitcher faking a throw to first, the Walk To The Mound by the skipper. To all that we do not need to add replay challenges to calls made by the umpire.

I don’t say this lightly, because whether or not the replay is allowed to change the call on the field, the audience will see it. They’ll see it at home  on tv, and in the ballpark on those ridiculously large screens. Umpires calls him out, replay shows his foot hit the bag a microsecond before the tag… can you let that call stand when everyone sees it was wrong? Answer: Heck yeah! “Out” is what the umpire says it is. You accept that and move on.

I know that we are used to seeing instant replay in football, and I don’t mind it there. I’d be fine without it, but (a) the game is faster-paced than baseball and (b) a slow motion version of, say, an acrobatic catch is much more interesting to watch than “here’s his foot… … …  here’s the ball going into the glove… … … here’s the glove moving toward the foot… … … zzzzzzz.

So, I have taken it all in, and I have made my call. Baseball instant replay→ You’re Outta There!