Thursday, August 27, 2020

College Football Fumbles the Coronavirus

College Football Fumbles the Ball Sports Illustrated quoted a TV executive saying “It’s athletic directors, coaches and players versus presidents, trustees and lawyers in the most intriguing battle in NCAA history.” College football is passion, fierce rivalries, intense loyalties, Hail Mary’s and defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, broken spirits, mascots, cheerleaders, and marching bands. College football is money. The Big Ten Conference, comprised of 14 – not 10 – universities, announced as expected the end of all fall sports. It was soon followed by the Pac 12, also as expected. The ACC, Big 12, and SEC are continuing to play, or so they profess. The ACC and SEC are quite willing to go it alone, playing each other, ad nauseum, for the national title: LSU, Clemson, Alabama, Clemson, Alabama, OHIO STATE, Florida State, Alabama, Alabama, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Florida. 13 of the past 14 winners are from the two conferences. The other three conferences really don’t matter even if TOSU, Penn State, Wisconsin, Oregon, Oklahoma, Washington, and Notre Dame occasionally butt in. Football is the state religion of Alabama. The key to the Big Ten and Pac 12 is that, with no disrespect to the colleges in the other conferences, they view themselves as academic institutions first: Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Northwestern, Michigan, not to mention UW, WSU, CO, UTAH, UA, ASU, OREGON, OSU, Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, Indiana, MSU, Maryland, Iowa, Nebraska and Rutgers, all academic powerhouses. They believe in academics, first. The problem for these schools is that the student athletes need to become students in the fall. Let us not forget Cardale Jones, freshman QB at Ohio State, asking the question; “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, classes are pointless.” He actually graduated from TOSU. President Mark Schlissel of Michigan is a dual MD-PH.D. Public Health. His specialty is immunology. He made it clear in May that he was willing to cancel football if necessary. If students weren’t back on campus, then there will be no football or other fall sports. The University of North Carolina just opened up for live classes, and then shut down after a week to go virtual. Too many students tested positive for Covid-19. Will UNC continue to play football? North Carolina State followed North Carolina in going virtual. Will N.C State continue to play football? Notre Dame just shut down the campus. Will the Fighting Irish continue to play football? The University of Alabama just announced 538 members of the university’s faculty, staff, and students have tested positive for Covid. Football is the priority 1. I am a passionate Michigan fan, who holds season tickets high up between the 45 and 50 yard lines. My wife and I were in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 1998 when Michigan defeated Washington State to go undefeated and share the national title; it’s first in 50 years. I recognize that it might be another 50 years, past my lifetime, before Michigan wins the big game again. Many Michigan boosters want Jim Harbaugh fired. He just hasn’t won enough of the “big games to satisfy them. Like Notre Dame, Michigan has admissions and ethical standards, especially in recruiting, it will not violate. It was burnt once on basketball. Never again! John Beilein might never have won a basketball game at Michigan, but he returned integrity to the game and school while building a winning program. He built a solid program on integrity. Yes, I bleed when they lose to Ohio State, but it’s only a game. Football is a game; we don’t want it to be a life. The young players want to play. They want to burnish their CV’s for the pros. They want to improve their skills. The military likes young (men) to fight because they tend to be in better shape and don’t yet believe in mortality. They will beats the odds. Brady Feeney, a freshman football lineman at Indiana, survived the virus, but now suffers from myocarditis, recognized as a complication of the virus. Ten players in the Big Ten have been diagnosed with myocarditis. Mikele Colasurdo, an incoming freshman Georgia State quarterback, also has myocarditis. . All five conferences have great medical schools. They all receive the studies on the virus. They understand the risks. They understand the risks of myocarditis and other complications of the virus. The difference is how they weigh the risks. The Director of Sports Cardiology at Ohio State’s study showed 15 of the athletes who experienced the virus, even if they had mild or no symptoms, has myocarditis. University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins is a cardiac surgeon. He understands. Kevin Warren, Big Ten Commissioner, said “The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of our every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward…. It became abundantly clear that there was so much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow out student-athletes to compete this fall.” Larry Scott, Pac 12 Commissioner, said: “Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble.” He added “The health, safety and wellbeing of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the star of this current crisis.” President Emeritus Mary Sue Coleman of the University of Michigan, an ardent football fan, explained: “I’ve heard people say. ‘Well, we can use the model of [some pro sports]and put them in a bubble. You can’t put them is a bubble, because they’re students and they have to go to class. I mean, if they’re on campus and they’re not going to class, they’re not learning anything, then it isn’t any longer the academic environment. It flies in the face of what the NCAA means.” Football is a contact sport with athletes face to face in combat. The student athletes attend class where they can be exposed to the virus. They will also attend parties with a great risk of spread. Several universities including Berkeley, Kansas, Mississippi, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Purdue, USC and Washington have confronted Covid-19 outbreaks at fraternity parties and other large gatherings. Student athletes are part of the student milieu. I believe the vast majority of the young athletes are in good health and will experience mild symptoms or be asymptomatic. I also believe they can transmit the virus to others, teammates, students faculty, friends and family members. I further believe that some of them have preexisting conditions that will make them vulnerable. Finally, some of the athletes experiencing covid-19 will suffer from myocarditis or other complications. The percentages may not be known today, but the risk is a real fact. All five conferences have great law schools and outside counsel. They all get the same legal advice about potential liability if their athletes contract the disease. They understand the risks. Some are willing to accept the risks, risking the lives of their players and families. The players want to play. The coaches want to coach. The athletic directors want the revenue. Fox and ESPN want to broadcast the Big Ten and Pac 12 games. Fans want to be in the stands and sports bars. The two conferences and their teams will lose billions of dollars in ticket sales, gameday revenues, parking, and TV revenues. Football pays the bills for the other sports except basketball. The Big 10 and Pac 12 universities will incur large monetary losses from the fall cancellations. The Big Ten and its members earned $1.9 billion from football and the Pac 12 $1.3 billion last year. Stanford months ago estimated a $50 million loss and cancelled 11 sports, including 9 Olympic sports. Oregon anticipates a $50-80 million loss. Rutgers is similarly facing a $50 million loss. The parent universities are also facing losses from the pandemic. The University of Michigan is looking at a $400-450 million loss. The impact on the local economies is also great. The impact of football on Ann Arbor economy is estimated to be $122 million for restaurants, sports bars, hotels, and other expenses. It’s $130 million for the State College economy. Here’s my proposal for college football this fall. Schedule two brackets. First is a round robin between Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, and LSU, with the winner crowned national champs. The second bracket is for Michigan to play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2020. No fans at any of these games. All other teams can sit out the season, and go to class.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Reflections on the 2020 Democratic National Convention and the Biden-Harris Ticket

I didn’t watch it so you can take anything I write with a grain of salt, but I read about it and saw excerpts. The themes seem to be 1) Reunite the Obama Coalition: minorities, progressive whites, public employee unions (except law enforcement), professionals and suburban women; Push class warfare and victimization. 2) Crucify Trump; hand Coronavirus around his neck. That’ easy to do with the economy in the tank. Remember Michelle Obama’s classic phrase: “When they go low, we go high.” She and Barack spent about a half hour going low; 3) Form over substance; by no means go onto details of your proposals. 4) Preach moderation; ignore the campaign statements, DNC Platform and the daily workshops, espousing collectivism, Marxism, open borders, defunding the police, banning fracking and fossil fuels, the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, including illegal immigrants, trillion dollar tax I creases, and government control. No Law and Order. Ignore the Democratic cities blowing up: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, New York City, Portland, and Seattle. No denouncing the rioters, looters, and torchers. Finally, forget the electrical blackouts in California. 5) Try a catchable phrase. Senator Obama had two: “Yes, we can!”/”Si, se puede!” and “Hope and Change,” which became Hope for Change four years ago. The Vice President’s phrase is “I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.” 6) Flood the venue with a sea of Americans flags, but don’t mention standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. 7) Keep Vice President Biden in the basement except for reading prepared speeches on a teleprompter. That will work as long as the Vice President has a large lead in the polls, but the lead is shrinking; 8) Remember Leonid Brezhnev and the fall of the Soviet Union. The USSR was dying from economic stagnation and corruption, including his immediate family, during his 18 year rule. His successors were Yuri Andropov (15 months) and Konstantin Chernenko (13 months). They were dying and in the case of Konstantin “out of it. Their successor was Mikhail Gorbachev, lost it all; 9) Emulate the Hillary Clinton Campaign by trotting out Hollywood celebrities; 10) Celebrities and politicos. Where were the working people of America? 11) The Gender Gap; 12) The Democrat insurance policy. Stuff the ballot boxes on and after November 3 with ballot harvesting.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Who's Not Speaking at the Democratic National Convention? (POST 1500)

Who’s Not Speaking at the Democratic National Convention The 2020 virtual Democratic National Convention is an exercise in Orwellian non-persons. The convention formally nominates the candidates with speeches from a host of others: failed candidates for a show of unity, former Presidents, old stars of the Party, Hollywood celebrities, and Rising Stars. The DNC also showcased defecting Republicans Who’s not speaking at the DNC on national TV? Minneapolis telegenic, empathetic Mayor Jacob Frey. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. Portland’s telegenic, empathetic, millionaire Mayor Ted Wheeler. Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Seattle’s soon to be recalled, Summer of Love Mayor Jenny Durkan. Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Chicago’s breathe of life Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Illinois billionaire Governor J. B. Pritzker. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed. New York City Mayor Warren Wilhelm, Jr. Police Chiefs. Also unmentioned are the historic Democratic bastions of Portland and Seattle. Only George Floyd gets mentioned for Minneapolis. The Democrats do not want to publicize the decay in their cities, horrific homicide rates, and homeless problem. God.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Mask Wearing in the Age of Covid-19, Except Wisconsin

We have been in a mask required, optional, freedom of choice for about half a year. We can now make observations on America’s mask culture. A full Burka, very rare in the United States. A designer full facial mask. The political mask, such as the American Flag, or BLM. The over-priced mask. A scarf or bandana, very colorful, but ineffective. The non-95N blue facial mask, usually from China, the effectiveness of which is questionable. The one-ear flapping, dangling mask. The half-mask, mouth only mask, so the wearer can proudly show off the proud proboscis. The wrist danngling mask flapping in the wind. The chin mask. The neck protective mask, dangling around the neck for no apparent reason, except perhaps to hide scars. The nanosecond on-off mask which appears on the face one nanosecond before entering a stop and drops off the face one nanosecond after exiting a store, oblivious to the health risks toothers. The never been washed mask. The plastic plate in lieu of a mask. The plate and full mask, the most effective combination. The maskless bicyclists, joggers, walkers, dog walkers, baby walkers, and especially the Sturgis bikers Alas, no mask guaranteed to unfog your glasses. Wisconsin is in a league of its own. The Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources instructed employees to wear a mask even at home while on a Zoom or other virtual conference with non-DNR employees to set an example. The Governor's order requires masks when outdoors or indoors with anyone outside their living unit or family. Thus, wear a mask when having sex with a non-spouse or household companion. "Honey, your mask was so good tonight."

Professor John Eastman, Senator Kamala Harris, Birthright Citizenship, Newsweek, Academic Freedom, and Freedom of Speech

Professor John Eastman has been a colleague since 1999 at Chapman University. We agree and disagree on issues. I respect his right to speak out pursuant to the First Amendment and Academic Freedom. He is a principled conservative who adopts an originalism approach to the Constitution. He does not view the Constitution as an evolving document. He published an op-ed in Newsweek on Wednesday arguing Senator Harris’ eligibility for the Vice Presidency/Presidency because “birthright citizenship” does not apply to children born in the United States to non-citizens, contrary to the widely accepted interpretation of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment. I remember he expressed his views on anchor babies probably a decade ago. His Newsweek essay is not a new idea for him. He rests his argument on legislative history of the drafters. His arguments are based on legal analysis and not histrionics, although he can certainly arouse heated emotions. He does not shirk from debates. He does not engage in ad hominin attacks. Newsweek has stood by the op-ed, explaining that it was neither racist nor part of “racist birtherism.” The editors explained it focused on a long-standing, somewhat arcane legal debate about the precise meaning of the phrase ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ in the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment.” Professor Eastman did not question the legitimacy of the Senator’s birth certificate or her birth in the United States. President Trump was ripped for his statement yesterday about the Professor’s statement: "I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements. I have no idea if that’s right. I would have thought, I would have assumed, that the Democrats checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice-president.” A few issues in America today arouse strong passions, especially abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, gun control, and immigration. Reasoned discourse is disappearing on many campuses with conservatives, both faculty and students, on some campuses hiding in the academic closet. Chapman University remains open to free speech. It adopted in the University of Chicago Statement on Free Speech in 2018: “In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual member s of the university community, not for the University as an institution to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not to be suppressing speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose.” “It is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.” Ithaca Professor Stephen Mosher called “God Bless America” a “warmongering song.” Drexel Professor George Ciccarielo-Maher tweeted on Christmas Eve 2016 “All I want for Christmas is white genocide” He’s also said “White people and men” go on shooting sprees “when they don’t get what they want.” He added in April 2017 that he wanted to vomit when he saw an airline passenger give a first class seat to a soldier. He left after being forced out by outside pressure, as was Orange Coast Community College Human Sexuality Professor Olga Perez Stable Cox, who, like many, was incensed by Donald Trump’s upset 2016 victory. A freshman Republican taped her class. She called his victory “an act of terrorism” She also said “we’re really back to being (in) a civil war.” She labeled President Trump a “White Supremacist.” She was doxed and received vicious phone messages on her private line. Her colleagues voted Professor Cox “Professor of the Year.” The interim dean suspended Caleb O’Neill, who taped the class, for the semester and following summer. The college’s board of trustees subsequently lifted the suspension. “It was time to move on.” People on both sides politically receive death threats and other forms of harassment today. It is wrong, wrong, wrong! The death threats might, just once, be legit. The harassment makes life miserable. Professor Ray MIchalowski of Northern Arizona called President Trump “The racist in chief.” Duke Professor Jay Pearson for calling President Trump a “textbook racist”? Professor Thomas Chung of Alaska Anchorage painted Chris Evans as Captain America holding up President Trump’s decapitated head by his hair. Smithburg High School history teacher Joshua Cramer posted his rule: “Trump is a symbol of racism and bigotry. As I did last year, students wearing Trump or MAGA apparel are asked to leave. Let them come after me for it.” Fresno State Professor Lars Maischak tweeted “To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and higher, the better?” Imagine, liberals advocating lynching? Professor Maischak further tweeted “Justice = The execution of two republicans for each deported Immigrant” More from Professor Maischak: “If only Mary had an abortion! We would have been spared this Clerical-Fascist crap”? Professor Randa Jabbar, also of Fresno State, stated after the seath of Barbara Bush: “Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and racist, who, along with her husband [President George H. W. Bus] raised a war criminal. F… out of here with these nice words. “Either you are against these pieces of s… and their genocidal ways or you’re part of the problem.” She added she wanted to dance on the former First Lady’s grave. Her response to the outrage she generated: “I work as a tenured professor. I make $100k a year. I will never be fired.” Clemson Professor Bart Knijnenburg on Facebook called “all Republicans “racist” and “scum”? Professor Saida Grundy expressed her personal feelings on white racism on tweeter. She tweeted a few days after the racist video of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at the University of Oklahoma became public: “White masculinity isn’t a problem for America’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for America’s colleges.” A white racist chant does not justify a black racist response. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. received his Ph.D. from Boston University. His “I Have a Dream” Speech spoke to the future: “I have a dream where my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Professor Grundy’s take on the distinguished BU Alum is: “Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses and every year I find it nearly impossible.” She also tweeted that white males are “a problem population.” Professor Susan Douglas, Chair of the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Michigan, posted an essay titled:” I hate Republicans.” She wrote that even if she seemed biased “historical and psychological research back her up, so it’s basically a fact that Republicans are bad.” She added, in case you missed her point “Republicans are really good at being mean because psychological studies show they usually have traits such as ‘dogmatism, rigidity, and intolerance of ambiguity.” I wonder today what she thinks of the leftwing maniacal looting and torching. Outrage exists on both extremes of the political spectrum. Professors Amy Wax of Penn Law School and Larry Alexander of San Diego published an op-ed three years ago in which they attacked the attack on traditional bourgeois culture. She wrote elsewhere “Everyone wants to go to countries run by white Europeans.” 33 of her colleagues wanted her removed from first year courses. The Dean complained. Other groups demanded she be terminated. One final example, out of many more, is Associate Professor Christine Fair, Securities Affair Program at Georgetown, tweeted of the Republican Senators near the end of the Justice Kavanaugh debate and vote: “Look at this (sic) chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement. All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.” The secret of academic freedom is often you only have it if you’re tenured or possibly tenure track. Limits exist on Academic Freedom. Associate Professor Cheney-Lippold at Michigan is a strong BDS supported. He refused in September 2018 to write a letter of recommendation for a student who wished to study abroad at Tel Aviv University. The University strongly reminded him of his responsibility to students. We know professors should not discriminate against students because of their political beliefs, but anecdotal evidence from conservative students shows academic discrimination. Fortunately most of law school grading is anonymous. Campuses should be cathedrals of learning rather than cocoons. The problem today with free speech on campus is this 2017 survey of 3,000 college students. 70% favored open campuses with all types of speech. However, only 56% said protecting free speech is extremely important for society while 64% believe the Constitution should not protect Hate Speech and 73% support policies to limit offensive slurs. 34% said it is appropriate to shoot down speaker. Here’s the twist. I defend freedom of speech and academic freedom for the outrageous statements of the left as I do the less common statements of conservatives. I draw the line at inciting violence. One final comment. Professor Eastman has been called both a racist and sexist for his Newsweek op-ed. Critics of Senator Harris will also be labeled racists and sexists.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Meaning(s) of Black Lives Matter

BLM: Black Lines Matter. Black Lives Matter; a simple phrase, clear on its face. Or not so clear! Words have meanings - more than one meaning. President William Jefferson Clinton once said under oath in a deposition: “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” Then we have this well-known quote from Alice in Wonderland: “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said ‘It means just what I chose it to mean – neither more nor less.” Alice responded: “The question is, ‘said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.” Humpty responded: “The question is,’ said Humpty, ‘which is to be the master – that’s all.” What does Black Lives Matter mean? – a critical question since polls show a majority of Americans support BLM after the killing of George Floyd. A simple concept is “Of course all lives matter – Black Lives, White Lives, Yellow Lives, Brown Lives, Red Lives and Blue Lives.” That’s one interpretation. Another is “Black Lives Matter, equally; Black Lives Matter, too.” The 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights act of 1964, the Voting Rights act of 1965, and a host of other federal, state, and local statutes and ordinances prohibit discrimination on the basis of race. However racial discrimination persists on a daily basis: the police boot on the neck of the minority communities ”Driving While Black;” the talk with Black Children how to behave when encountering a police officer; the second look Black professional receive from a new customer or patient; the extra scrutiny in stores, the need to work harder to prove oneself; jokes in the workplace; the silent treatment. The list goes on to infinity. Black Lives Matter in this content means Black Lives Are Equal. Black :ives shou;d be treated equally. Patrisee Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garcia, and Opal Tometh are the three founders of Black Lives Matter. They founded #BLM after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin. They say it is directed at police brutality to Blacks. They founded it as a loose organization. They support decarceration, reparations, investment in public education, and community control of police. They also want to defund the police. Patrisse Khan-Cullors said in a 2005 interview of her and Alicia Garcia: “We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of ideological themes. She added “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers.” She further said: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear-family structure by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages ….” She views the police as an occupying force. The president of Greater New York Black Lives Matter said “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.” What about the increasing shootings and killings, even of children in the Black communities? Don Lemon, the CNN broadcaster explained: “So the Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that manner, not about what happens in Black neighbothoods.” Not all Black lives are equal! And then we have the rioters, Molotov cocktail throwing anarchists in Portland, especially Portland, and other cities. They yell Black Lives Matter, but that’s a convenient cry. They were rioting in Portland long before George Floyd. The Antifis and woke social justice warriors want to tear down and destroy today’s America and create a new social justice, socialistic America. Arson, looting, rioting in the name of George Floyd is a grave disservice to his memory. It has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter. The meaning of Black Lives Matter? As Humpty Dumpty said, you choose its meaning.