The Weekly Tendown July 24-30 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dear Internet:

I hate a 13 year old boy.

Here's 87.

1. Okay, Maybe Not Hate, But I'm Sorta Rooting for Him to Pick Up a Drug Habit in a Half Dozen Years.
This is Jackson Murphy; each week, because I watch At the Movies with my Ladygal and am therefore not able to fast forward through the parts that make me crazy, I am subjected to his act.

I'm not categorically opposed to a 13 year old movie reviewer; I can't see a circumstance where I'd be interested in what he might say, as I don't have any interest in movies for children.  But were the boy to stay in that lane, as an articulate kid who knows enough review speak to talk about kids movies in a way that either made sense for other 13 year old kids or their parents, I guess there's a slot on the entertainment spectrum.

But that's not what he does - he's a general movie reviewer, reviewing movies no differently than say, Ben Lyons (not a compliment).  He's got absolutely nothing to say about any of them, no insight, no flair; were he 19 years old (absent the drug problem) and giving the same word for word reviews, he wouldn't be anywhere near my television.  There isn't a syllable that comes out of his mouth that would mean anything to anyone if he weren't a child.

And why should I care about that?  The At The Movies brand is supposed to be about intelligent discussion of film, which is why the Ben Lyons era was correctly seen as an ugly departure.  By and large, I've liked the relaunch; I now even think of Bill Curtis's voice as Roger Ebert's, as opposed to every other voiceover guy they've used who just reminds me of Ebert's physical circumstance.  I like Ignaty; I don't particularly agree (I think; my film IQ is low) with his cinematic sensibility; but he clearly has an informed point of view, and his type of film voice is what I'm looking for from At the Movies.

The boy's just a boy who speaks well.  He's tiny Ben Lyons.  Who I also don't want to watch.  And who could never, ever get hired to be on this version of At The Movies.  But yet, here's the boy.

Even then, it would only be a minor annoyance; I don't like that act, it's trifling, but inoffensive.

Until this week - this week, in reviewing one of those Green movies (Hornet or Lantern) that I'll never see, he criticized the trope of superheroes having girlfriends, saying something to the effect of that it would be more interesting if, as soon as he learned how to fly, his girlfriend left him - and here's the direct quote, "as most women would."

And that's where we need to stop the bus.

Because what's happening there is the little boy is making a statement pretty clearly outside of his area of knowledge, "let me tell you about the ladies" he grunts before a drag on his cigarette.  And he said it in the same trained parrot announcer voice designed to communicate authority that he uses to complain about the pacing of a rom-com.  Hey, he's on TV, that must mean he knows what he's talking about.

I'm not mad at the boy, but I think better of Ebert.

Who I no longer think better of is us.  I don't think its an accident that it was on Fox and Friends where Murphy made his national name.  Because those are full grown people who don't know an ounce more about the world on which they comment than the boy does about "most women."

Steve Doocy from Tuesday, taxing the wealthy is "so last week.

Brian Kilmeade from the week before, we should be supporting the mega wealthy, not punishing them.

And a month ago, Kilmeade called labor law complaints against military contractor Boeing anti-American.

Oh, okay - I don't want to leave out Gretchen Carlson, in June, she said "35 %" of the in state students at University of California schools are "illegals."  Turns out, undocumented immigrants make up .34%.  But what's a couple of decimal places among (Fox and) Friends?

Take the boy off the show, Roger.  Let him go be the smartest person on the Fox set.  I can't wait for his thoughts about the debt ceiling.

2. 55 games to go.
This week, the World Champion San Francisco Giants met the African-American President of the United States.  I barely understand that sentence.  Had you said that to me a half dozen years ago I would have given you the sideways dog head tilt.

We made two deals this week; we got Orlando Cabrera today.  He sucks.  His WARP (Clay Davenport version) is 0, just fractions below Tejada and Fontenot and ahead of Crawford.  We didn't give up a ton, but Cabrera's a guy you can find on the street.

And we got Carlos Beltran; my reaction to that deal is here.  I don't love it; I'm not morally opposed to moving Wheeler, but I want more than 60 games of 34 year old Carlos Beltran.

I wrote a lot this week.  I started the AFC in my look at all time football rosters with the Raiders;  looked at the 10 best football teams in Pac 10 history;   and awarded the July Athlete of the Month.

3. Do You Know What September 24 is?
No, not the day before my birthday; recall, I'm skipping it this year in order to turn 500 months old next May (as all people my age should do.  Spread the word) but instead, its the day the 200,000th major league baseball game will be played.

4. The Economy?  Read Robert Reich.
Two pieces this week.

One, ripping Obama.

In his inaugural address, Obama warned that “the nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.” In private, he professes to understand that the growing concentration of income and wealth at the top has robbed the middle class of the purchasing power it needs to keep the economy going. And it has distorted our politics.

Never once does he tell the public why reducing the deficit has become his number one economic priority. Americans can only conclude that the Republicans must be correct — that diminishing the deficit will somehow revive economic growth and restore jobs.

And two, the real economic crisis in the country.

Repeat after me: The federal deficit is not the nation’s biggest problem. The anemic recovery, huge unemployment, falling wages, and declining home prices are bigger problems. We don’t have a budget crisis. We have a jobs and growth crisis.

The GOP has manufactured a budget crisis out of the Republicans’ extortionate demands over raising the debt limit. They have succeeded in hoodwinking the public

5. Want to see the Debt Vanish?

Raise taxes.

6. Norway

A week ago, a fundamentalist Christian killed 68 people in Norway.

The initial reaction of the American right wing was that a Muslim must have been responsible.

The response was then that the killer couldn't have been a Christian, because real Christians don't commit terrorist acts.

Because when a Christian kills people in the name of his god, that's an individual act by a lunatic who has nothing to do with Christianity.  And when a Muslim kills people in the name of his god, thats an indictment of an entire religion justifying congressional hearings.

They had the stories ready to go, the "see, that's what Muslims do" stories - and then had to replace them with "he's not a Christian, and if you call him a Christian, then that's bigotry."

Meanwhile, the 68 dead in the Norway shooting is less than the every day gun related bodycount in the US.

I wonder the religion of the people who commit those crimes?

7. Runaway Groom

A week after her engagement party, and days before her bridal spread in Life&Style hit the stands - Kristin Cavallari got dumped by Jay Cutler.

For those of you who know one or the other but not both.  Here's your scorecard:

Cavallari was the first breakout from the 21st century wave of MTV reality shows, but she's long since been eclipsed and marrying a professional athlete would seem like a good career move.  Getting left at the altar by a quarterback could maybe give her another six months of juice.  I was always an LC guy; were they all traded on the stock market, I would have gotten that one right.

Cutler's a mid-level quarterback, currently considered a bit of an underachiever whose pain tolerance is maybe not as high as is ideal.  I don't much care about those types of slurs, but dude does throw his share of picks and yours too.  They're a good ex-couple.

Someone with fewer jobs could do a piece about what other reality show stars could break up with quarterbacks.  I'll start here.  Let's match...

Mandi, from the current season of MTVs the Challenge, always one of the great reality competition shows (she banged both CT and Wes, presumably, on the same Challenge, which shows the kind of flexibility and terrible judgment necessary to get dumped by a quarterback.)


John Brodie.  A match made for TMZ.

Incidentally, if you aren't watching The Glee Project, you're making a mistake.  It's been the best reality competition show this year.  Glee's "we give voice to voiceless" ethos can come off as extra clumsy and calculated (not always, sometimes its just a good hearted show about gay kids singing) but Glee Project pretty squarely hits it on the sweet spot.  Oh, and Big Brother hasn't told us this yet on any platform, but you should expect one of the evicted houseguests to return, say a week from Thursday.  I think they've been prodding to get Jeff bounced in the hopes of having him return in that yet unannounced twist.

That's your reality show roundup.  

8. Inappropriate Test Responses from Children.

It's funny, 'cause no one is pretending they know anything about the anti-colonial subtext of Cowboys & Aliens.

9. Here's Greenwald.
Published like 20 minutes ago.

The reported deal on the debt ceiling is so completely one-sided -- brutal domestic cuts with no tax increases on the rich and the likelihood of serious entitlement cuts in six months with a "Super Congressional" deficit commission -- that even Howard Kurtz was able to observe: "If there are $3 trillion in cuts and no tax hikes, Obama will have to explain how it is that the Republicans got 98 pct. of what they wanted," while Grover Norquist, the Right of the Right on such matters, happily proclaimed: "Sounds like a budget deal with real savings and no tax hikes is a go."

It took Nixon to go to China.  It took Obama to gut Social Security.

10. 4 Years Ago Yesterday

Hard to believe Bill Walsh has been dead 4 years.  Time keeps grinding away on us all.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time, if there is a next time...

Your pal,


The Beltran Trade

Friday, July 29, 2011

Nuance takes time and time I do not have.  I'd rather be able to say, as most Giants mainstream analysts have, "this is a great trade."  If it were someone else's team, I'd rather be able to say "short sighted losers, giving away the future for an over the hill borderline Hall of Famer today."

I'm not saying either.  Here's what I'm saying. 

It’s a heavy price for 60 games of a 34 year old Carlos Beltran. 

I believe the following things to be true.
1. We were going to win the west without him.  If you run projections, we were 90+% to win the west two days ago.  Absent a signficant circumstance change, like Lincecum shoots Cain in the neck, we're in the tournament.
2. We are still unlikely to win the Series with him.  Our pythag is below St Louis, Atlanta, 20 games below Philadelphia, a dozen games below Texas, 20 games below the Yankees, 20 games below the Sox.  We aren't close to the best teams in baseball. 
3. We are more likely to win the Series with him than without. I don’t know how much more. But more. He instantly becomes our second best position player, his WARP trails only Sandoval's. 

Wheeler projects as a 2 whose upside is a 1.  It's more likely he's just a guy than a superstar, cause that's how it goes more often than not. But let’s put aside “what will he wind up being” as speculative and focus on what he is now.

As a chip, could we have turned him into something better than Beltran?

For example.

Zach Wheeler and what gets us Hanley Ramirez?

As opposed to just thinking about this as Beltran for Wheeler or nothing; consider a lesser prospect for Josh Willingham, for example, and Wheeler as the centerpiece for more than 60 games of 34 year old Carlos Beltran.

Maybe that type of deal can’t be made now, and the difference between the gain we get today with Willingham as opposed to Beltran is real.  I'd rather have Beltran over the next 60 games. 

But also real is Zach Wheeler’s cost controlled value; had you said in April we’d move Wheeler for Beltran there is no possible way you’d consider that deal. As opposed to saying “of course it’s a good deal, you gotta go for it!” it’s worth considering the potential moves, either now or offseason, that we are giving up.

And let’s play Belt every goddamn day. Seriously.  The upgrade from Ross/Rowand to Beltran is not as significant (I'd suggest) as the value we'll lose by playing Huff over Belt. 

All Time Raiders 53 Man Roster

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Part of a series.  Previous post is here. Updated through 2017. Here's my all time Raiders roster.

QB Ken Stabler
      QB Jim Plunkett
      QB Rich Gannon
      QB Daryle Lamonica
RB Marcus Allen
RB Mark van Eeghen
      RB Clem Daniels
      RB Marv Hubbard
      RB Clarence Davis
WR Tim Brown
WR Fred Biletnikoff
        WR Cliff Branch
       WR Jerry Rice
TE  Todd Christensen
      TE Dave Casper
C Jim Otto
G Gene Upshaw
G Steve Wisniewski
T Art Shell
T Henry Lawrence
   OL Lincoln Kennedy
   OL Dave Dalby
   OL Don Mosebar
   OL Wayne Hawkins

DE Howie Long
DT Otis Sistrunk
DE Ben Davidson
     DL Greg Townsend
     DL Chester McGlockton
     DL Darrell Russell
     DL Bill Pickel
     DL Tommy Kelly
     DL Dan Birdwell
OLB Ted Hendricks
ILB Rod Martin
ILB Dan Conners
OLB Phil Villapiano
     LB Matt Millen
     LB Greg Biekert
     LB Khalil Mack
     LB Gus Otto
     LB Monte Johnson
CB Willie Brown
S Jack Tatum
S George Atkinson
CB Lester Hayes
    DB Charles Woodson
    DB Terry McDaniel
    DB Nnamdi Asomugha
    DB Mike Haynes
    DB Dave Grayson
PK Sebastian Janikowski
P Ray Guy

RIP - The Pac 10

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This season, there won't be a Pac 10, there's now a Pac 12.

Perhaps this does not matter; there was a Pac 8; one day there will be a Pac 16.

But in my college football life, there's only been 10; the first college football season of my memory was '78, the first year of the Pac 10 - and to me, the Pac 8 was black and white.

So, from '78-2010; here are the Top 10 Teams in the history of the Pac 10 as ranked by pythagorean record and strength of schedule.

1.       1991 Washington (National Champions)
-Hobert, Kaufman, Bailey, Kennedy, Emtman, Hall
2004 USC (National Champions)
-Leinart, Bush, White, Smith, Jarrett, Tatupu, Jackson, Bing
  1978 USC (won Rose Bowl)
-McDonald, White, Allen, Munoz, Van Horne, Budde, Banks, Lott, Smith
2005 USC (lost Rose Bowl)
-Leinart, Bush, White, Smith, Jarrett, Kalil, Baker, Justice, Cushing, Rivers, Maualuga, Rivers, Bing
2002 USC (won Orange Bowl)
-Palmer, Fargas, Colbert, Williams, Cody, Patterson, Polamalu

6.       1979 USC (won Rose Bowl)
-McDonald, White, Allen, Brenner, Budde, Mosebar, Foster, Van Horne, Banks, Lott, Smith, Browner

7.       2003 USC (National Champions)
-Leinart, Bush, White, Colbert, Williams, Smith, Cody, Patterson, Tatupu, Bing

8.       2008 USC  (won Rose Bowl)
-Sanchez, Havili, Turner, Matthews, Griffen, Cushing, Maualuga, Mays

9.       1988 USC  (lost Rose Bowl)
-Peete, Owens, Ryan, Seau, Carrier

10.   1982 UCLA  (won Rose Bowl)
-Ramsey, Townsell, Rogers, Sanchez

TBOR Athlete of the Month, July 2011+2008 Athlete of the Year

Monday, July 25, 2011

Novak Djokovic.  Runners-up: Marta, Abby Wambach, Homare Sawa

7 months down, you can get to the previous winners here.

Back in 2008, the Athlete of the Year was Usain Bolt

January - Tom Brady (Ray Rice, Plaxico Burress, Maria Sharapova)
February - Justin Tuck (LeBron James, Ryan Newman, Vladimir Klitschko)
March - Chris Paul (LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Stephen Curry)
April - Chase Utley (Mario Chalmers, Trevor Immelman, Tim Duncan)
May - Lance Berkman (Chris Paul, Cliff Lee, Jon Lester)
June - Tiger Woods (Rafael Nadal, Paul Pierce, Steve Detweiler)
July - Rafael Nadal (Venus Williams, Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Margarito)
August - Usain Bolt (Brad Ziegler, Michael Phelps, Albert Pujols)
September - CC Sabathia (Michael Turner, Brandon Marshall, Ronnie Brown)
October - Cole Hamels (Chase Daniel, Colt McCoy, Manny Ramirez)
November - Brock Lesnar (Graham Harrell, Sam Bradford, Blake Griffin)
December - Michael Turner (Manny Pacquiao, Joe Thornton, Peyton Manning)

The Weekly Tendown June 17-23 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dear Internet:

In the best WWE match in six years, CM Punk won the strap this week.  Today's a full work day for me, I can't contain my work week to a full Saturday anymore, but I couldn't just leave Tendown at the side of the road the week one of my guys became a real rasslin' star.  Here's 86.

1. Just Raise the Social Security Ceiling
What's exhausting about the current economic debate, about all of the current political debates, is how they're presented as if having never happened before.

Go ahead.  Tell me Social Security is running out of money and needs fixed.  Go ahead.

I can fix it.  I could have fixed it 15 years ago, the first time I had this exact same conversation.

Raise the payroll tax ceiling.  If you raise the ceiling at which income can still be taxed for social security, you're fine.

To what figure you ask?  A hundred 80 grand.  Robert Reich tells you why.

2. Just Give People Money
How do we get the unemployment rate down?

Increase demand.  There.  Fixed.  Give me money and I can buy stuff.  If I can buy stuff, business will hire.

Who said that this week?  What radical socialist rag am I about to link to?  The Wall St. Journal.

3. You May Have Missed This, 'Cause it Happened Friday Night.
Bernie Sanders said the Democrats should primary Obama

And he's right.

4. Hegemony Exposed
When I was in school and used to have debates about hegemony, I recall a particularly popular comeback was "where are the secret meetings?  How do these corporate and political forces get together in these shadowy ways to control and manipulate the levers of power?"

Here's how.  Go read that multi-part expose of the work done by the American Legislative Exchange Council from this week's issue of the Nation.  Reading each portion of that series is the best use of your time this week.

5. Or You Could Just Look At This Leopard.
Bad day for that dude.

6. From My Congressman

Here was the week for my Congressmen, the Honorable Allen West.

First the chairwoman of the DNC, said this about West.

The gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries, unbelievable from a member from South Florida.

Which, of course, is true.  The Republicans are trying to kill Medicare.  Because they're Republicans, that's who they are.  Medicare, by the way, is not only fixable - but it should be expanded to every American.  Once again, here's Robert Reich.

West, who last week, called Obama supporters threats to the "gene pool" responded thusly:

You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives...You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!


West then claimed to have apologized.  There's an audio tape:

Huffington Post reporter: Hey Congressman West?

Allen West: Hey.

HP: I have a question for you. I saw that there’s a bunch of Congresswomen having a press conference today to talk about your email to Debbie Wasserman Schultz. What do you think about it? Does that bother you that they’re doing that?

AW: No, it doesn’t bother me.

HP: They’re probably going to say something about being anti-woman or something. [inaudible]

AW: I’ve been married for 22 years. I have two daughters.

HP: So what does that mean? That you respect women or ...

AW: [inaudible] And I just apologized.

HP: And you just apologized?

AW: Mmhmm.

HP: OK. Alright. Thank you.

AW: You’re welcome.

West then said he absolutely did not apologize - and fundraised off the original comment.

From: Allen West For Congress
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Subject: vile, despicable, and unprofessional
Those three words sum up my feelings about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
By now, you've probably heard the story. But I wanted you to hear it from me.
Yesterday, on the floor of the House, I publicly expressed my support for "Cut, Cap, and Balance" -- the leading conservative proposal to help us get our spiraling debt and spending under control.
Once I left the floor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DNC Chair) -- who it seems does little except act as an attack dog for the "vast left wing conspiracy" -- attacked me personally for supporting the legislation.
It's not a coincidence that she is the Chairwoman of the DNC and that the Democrats are making me target #1 for defeat.
In a discussion of grave importance to this nation's future, she somehow finds time to try to score political points. And she doesn't have the guts to do it to my face!
Episodes like these show that her agenda isn't to improve the lives of Floridians or to stand on principle. She's an attack dog for the liberal, progressive wing of the Democratic Party -- plain and simple.
And it's times like this that I need friends with me.
Please make a donation of $25 or more at my website right now. And join thousands of other patriotic Americans in standing up against the vicious attack from the Democratic National Party.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen West
Allen B. West LTC(R)
Member of Congress

7. RIP-Forrest Blue
One of the 50 greatest San Francisco 49ers of all time died this week.  Forrest Blue, the center for those early 70s John Brodie teams.  He died the way football players die.  From concussions.

Brittney Blue said her father began having dementia-related hallucinations in the mid-'90s, and they became more frequent and elaborate about seven years ago. Mr. Blue, who worked as a general contractor in Rocklin (Placer County) after his playing career, spent the past 22 months at an assisted-living facility in Carmichael (Sacramento County), where he often talked about "little people that lived in the walls," Brittney Blue said.
She said he also became extremely paranoid and believed people were using his contracting license to perform illegal work at the assisted-living facility.

8. My Favorite Story In The Palm Beach Post This Week

— A woman believed to be Casey Anthony was spotted at the Orlando Executive Airport on Tuesday. It appeared that she was getting out of the same plane that flew her out the morning she was released from the Orange County jail on July 17.

That's my favorite - "someone who may or may not have killed someone may or may not have been in an airport"  

Best story ever.

9. I Write the Stories
Here was my look at where the MLB season stands 100 games in.
I finished the NFC posts in my series of all time NFL rosters with my last 3.  You can get to them by way of the All Time NFC 45 Man roster.

In addition to the 4 1/2 star Punk/Cena match, there was a second 4 star match at the WWE PPV last Sunday, the Smackdown MITB match in which Bryan Danielson went over.  Which is not a bad week for the good guys.  I also saw a 4 1/4 Briscoes v. All Night Express, let's say from May.  

10. A Podcast For You

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,


11. Wait!
This is why I take notes during the week.

The best booked wrestling show on tv, as I've mentioned before, is Jerseylicious.  Last Sunday, in what, perhaps is a heel turn, the show's white meat babyface, Olivia, kicked a defenseless Tracy square in the head.  Like Samoa Joe style, sent her clean through the retaining barrier.  Jerseylicious struggles in maintaining plausible storylines (like sneaking a hidden teddy bear cam into a rival salon to ostensibly spy while, obviously, the show's cameras are in plain sight) but then can rock you by bringing character driven violence.  If WM28 were Rock v. Cena, Austin v. Punk, Christian v. Danielson, Olivia v. Tracy - they'd get my fifty bucks.  Oh, I know what my other wrestling observation was this week.  Why isn't the MITB briefcase sponsored?  Bryan Danielson's gonna carry that briefcase everywhere he goes until Wrestlemania, every TV shot between now and April; why isn't it orange with the word Cheetoes on it?  How is it they haven't been able to brand that briefcase? Its product placement you can't fast forward your way through.  Easy money, Hunter.  No need to thank me.

That's it. 

100 Games In - The Best Players in Major League Baseball, 2011 ed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We're 100 games into the baseball season, meaning the Giants have played a hundred games.

Here are the best players at each position so far, plus revised playoff picks.

C Brian McCann (NL) Alex Avila (AL)
1B Adrian Gonzalez (AL) Todd Helton (NL)
2B Dustin Pedroia (AL) Rickie Weeks (NL)
SS Troy Tulowitzki (NL) Asdrubal Cabrera (AL)
3B Adrian Beltre (AL) Chase Headley (NL)
LF Ryan Braun (NL) Brett Gardner (AL)
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (AL) Matt Kemp (NL)
RF Jose Bautista (AL) Justin Upton (NL)
P Jered Weaver (AL) Cole Hamels (NL)

MVP - Bautista (AL), Braun (NL)

Here's where you'd find the World Champion Giants.

C Posey - 12th overall (still more valuable than Stewart or Whiteside)
1B Belt - 27th overall (more valuable than Huff)
2B Keppinger - 26th overall (more valuable than Sanchez or Burriss)
SS Fontenot - 28th (more valuable than Tejada or Crawford)
3B Sandoval - 6th
LF  Ross - 16th
CF Torres - 15th
RF Schierholtz - 23rd
P - Lincecum - 19th, Vogelsong - 21st, Cain - 25th (neither Bumgarner, Zito, Sanchez would be in the top 50)

Playoff Picks:

AL East - Boston
Central - Detroit
West - Texas

NL East - Philadelphia
Central - Milwaukee
West - San Francisco
WC - Atlanta

If you're investing, wait until the Giants muddle through the next couple of weeks against good teams so the price on their winning the west drops a little bit and then go in heavy.

All Time NFC East 45 Man Roster

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Part of a series.  Previous post is here.

QB Roger Staubach
      Troy Aikman
      Donovan McNabb
RB Emmitt Smith
RB Tony Dorsett
      Tiki Barber
      Wilbert Montgomery
WR Michael Irvin
WR Art Monk
       Harold Carmichael
       Charley Taylor
TE Jerry Smith
      Jason Witten
C Len Hauss
G Larry Allen
G Nate Newton
T Rosey Brown
T Ralph Neely
     OL Joe Jacoby
     OL Rayfield Wright
     OL Flozell Adams
DE Michael Strahan
DT Rob Lilly
DT Randy White
DE Reggie White
     DL Too Tall Jones
     DL Andy Robustelli  
     DL Harvey Martin
OLB Lawrence Taylor
MLB Lee Roy Jordan
OLB Chris Hanburger
     LB Chuck Howley
     LB Harry Carson
     LB Sam Huff
     LB Chuck Bednarik
CB Darrell Green
S Brian Dawkins
S Jimmy Patton
CB Mel Renfro
    DB Cornell Green
    DB Emlen Tunnell
    DB Ken Houston
    DB Cliff Harris
PK Rafael Septien
P Sean Landetta

QB - If McNabb had more Redskin value he'd go by Aikman and isn't far behind Staubach.  Phil Simms just gets edged out by McNabb and I wouldn't object to flipping him into that third spot.
RB - No question at all until the 4th spot; Larry Brown/Brian Westbrook compete for it.
WR - No question about the starters, Drew Pearson is in a fight with both backups.
OL - Another half dozen guys in contention for that last OL spot; Erik Williams might have been better than Adams.
DL - Pugh/Mann/Butz/Katcavage all have good arguments for that last DL spot.

All Time Washington Redskins 53 Man Roster

Part of a series.  Previous post is here. Updated through 2017.  Here's the all time Redskins 53 man roster.

QB Sammy Baugh
      Joe Thiesmann
      Sonny Jurgensen
      Billy Kilmer
RB Larry Brown
RB John Riggins
      Clinton Portis
      Stephen Davis
WR Art Monk
WR Charley Taylor
       Gary Clark
       Bobby Mitchell
       Ricky Sanders
TE Jerry Smith
      Chris Cooley
C Len Hauss
G Russ Grimm
G Mark May
T Joe Jacoby
T Trent Williams
   OL Chris Samuels
   OL George Starke
   OL Jeff Bostic
   OL Jim Lachey
DE Charles Mann
DT Dave Butz
DT Diron Talbert
DE Gene Brito
   DL Dexter Manley
   DL Ron McDole
   DL Joe Rutgens
   DL Daryl Grant
   DL Bill Brundige
OLB Chris Hanburger
MLB Neal Olkewicz
OLB Chuck Drazenovich
LB London Fletcher
   LB Harold McLinton
   LB LaVar Arrington
   LB Wilber Marshall
   LB Ryan Kerrigan
   LB Monte Coleman
CB Darrell Green
S Ken Houston
S Brig Owens
CB Pat Fischer
    DB Mike Bass
    DB Champ Bailey
    DB Joe Lavender
    DB Mark Murphy
    DB DeAngelo Hall
PK Mark Moseley
P Pat Richter

The Weekly Tendown July 10-16 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dear Internet:

I'd totally watch the new show; the Tami Taylor as Dean of Admissions at a northeast junior Ivy show.  They could air that in the fall and I'm ready to go.

Here's Tendown 85.

1. The Most Traffic for The Blog of Revelation Ever.
If you're reading Tendown; probably you're one of about two dozen pretty hearty regular readers who I pick up for my Sunday piece; and since this is (or was, back before I had to work most of Sunday) the piece on which I spend the vast bulk of my energy, it would be reasonable to think this is the reason people click them keys.

It's not, and this week, I got namechecked in Deadspin for my post on the Worst Baseball Players ever, and that led to a pretty heavy flood of visitors around here.  I'm going to comfortably say that more people read my name this week than any time over the past ten years.  Click that link if inclined, scroll to #40.  That's me.  I am the guy who writes on his computer that other guy who writes on his computer wrote on his computer about.  Me!

The downside, as my Ladygal explained to me, is that going forward, the Googlers who would previously have hit upon my page when looking for "worst baseball players" will now instead go to Deadspin.  Sort of like my quitclaiming away my ownership interest in bad baseball search optimization.

I just really dislike the blog name now.  I want to change it to Basically Gherkins.  It better reflects where I am in 2011.

Now we show pictures.

2. Michael Irvin Does What He Wants.
Michael Irvin

The Playmaker's got his second act.  From swaggering emblem of all people hate about the modern athlete to fully embrace gay marriage and do so within the context of his longstanding high profile Christianity.  I've mentioned previously I've grown to really like Irvin after his NFL career; this type of decision, to really be willing to jeopardize his corporate relationships and alienate a good percentage of his fanbase - just for the sake of justice - is an example of why.

"I don't see how any African-American, with any inkling of history, can say that you don't have the right to live your life how you want to live your life," he said, according to the magazine. "No one should be telling you who you should love, no one should be telling you who you should be spending the rest of your life with. When we start talking about equality, and everybody being treated equally, I don't want to know an African-American who will say everybody doesn't deserve equality"

3. Meet the Fockers
I don't mean fockers.  I'm just trying to get some more work and would rather the other word didn't show up.

Rick Perry, who last week I indicated might become the 45th President of the United States, is hosting a day of Christian prayer and fasting next month.  Here is who he is partnering with.  And here's a terrific profile.

Here's a discussion of the ways in which the right takes science out of science class.

4. Gossip!
Tiger's ex is now dating the guy who used to live with Rachel Uchitel.

5. Maybe Netflix Should Reconsider the Blog

Netflix doubled its prices this week.  Or cut their service in half, whichever way you choose to do it.

My inclination will be to keep the streaming and drop the mail service.

6. Cats That Look Like Ron Swanson
(thanks, Rose and Ziggy Stardust!)

Emmy nominations were this week.  Here's a page of cats that look like Ron Swanson.

7. Rebekah Brooks got Arrested Today
Rupert Murdoch Rebekah Brooks

Don't know if this Murdoch thing will jump the pond in a real way or not.  But his recently deposed chief executive from News International got arrested today.  Can't say I'm not rooting for some Fox News fallout.

8. I Write the Stories
3 More updates in my list of All time NFL rosters this week, the Cowboys, Eagles, Giants - you can get to them here.  And one 4 star wrestling match; Briscoes v. All Night Express from May in ROH.

9. Moratorium!
This phrase "last but not least" - needs to be removed from the lexicon for the remainder of the decade.  In fact, I'm going to say it's gone until the next Democrat (as in post-Obama, not Obama again) is elected to the White House.

Because it serves no purpose.  How often does the following happen, a person is named last - wrongly thinks he is named last because he is least - and then is quickly comforted by having that impression corrected, "What - I'm last..why am I last - does that mean any...what's he saying...oh, not least.  I'm not least.  Whew."

It doesn't.  If you're named last but not actually least, you either (1) were able to deduce that on your own or (2) you don't believe the person saying "last but not least" is actually telling the truth.  Further, the person saying "last but not least" - isn't accurately describing what he means - what he means is "this list is not in a qualitative order" - but last but not least implies that the person named last is not least and therefore someone else is least; that would mean that I want to be named last - as the last person named is the only person guaranteed to not be least.  If I were named second, let's say, in a list of 8, and the 8th person were told he was "not least" - I would immediately object - "what about second?  Is second least?  Why didn't you say second but not least?  Why is last the only person who gets to sleep soundly in the comfort of not being last.  What about second!  Second But Not Slightest!"

10. Good Guys Won Again.
The most Giants laden NL All Star team of my lifetime won this week.  And my closer wore this to the ESPYS.

Japan just won the women's World Cup. That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,


All Time New York Giants 53 Man Roster

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Part of a series.  Previous post is here. Updated through 2017. 

QB Eli Manning
    QB Phil Simms
    QB Charlie Conerly
    QB Fran Tarkenton
RB Tiki Barber
RB Frank Gifford
    RB Alex Webster
    RB Rodney Hampton
    RB Tuffy Leemans
WR Amani Toomer
WR Kyle Rote
   WR Del Shofner
   WR Chris Calloway
TE Bob Tucker
   TE Mark Bavaro
C Mel Hein
G Jack Stroud
G Chris Snee
T Rosey Brown
T Willie Young
    OL Greg Larson
    OL Ray Wietecha
    OL Bart Oates
    OL William Roberts
DE Michael Strahan
DT Keith Hamilton
DE Andy Robustelli
    DL Jim Katcavage
    DL Rosey Grier
    DL Leonard Marshall
    DL Arnie Weinmeister
    DL Jason Pierre Paul
    DL Justin Tuck
OLB Lawrence Taylor
ILB Harry Carson
ILB Sam Huff
OLB Brad Van Pelt
    LB Jessie Armstead
    LB Brian Kelley
    LB Carl Banks
    LB Pepper Johnson
    LB Gary Reasons
CB Mark Haynes
S Emlen Tunnell
S Jimmy Patton
CB Dick Lynch
   DB Tom Landry
   DB Spider Lockhart
   DB Perry Williams
   DB Dick Nolan
   DB Terry Kinard
PK Brad Daluiso
P Dave Jennings

All Time Philadelphia Eagles 53 Man Roster

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Part of a series.  Previous post is here. Updated through 2017. This is the all time-Eagles 53 man roster.

QB Donovan McNabb
     QB Randall Cunningham
     QB Ron Jaworski
     QB Norm Snead
RB Steve Van Buren
RB Wilbert Montgomery
     RB Brian Westbrook
     RB Timmy Brown
     RB LeSean McCoy
WR Harold Carmichael
WR Tommy McDonald
      WR Mike Quick
      WR DeSean Jackson
TE Pete Retzlaff
    TE Keith Jackson
C Guy Morriss
G Wade Key
G Bucko Kilroy
T Jason Peters
T Al Wistert
    OL Jerry Sisemore
    OL Tra Thomas
    OL Jon Runyan
    OL Stan Walters

DE Reggie White
DT Charlie Johnson
DE Pete Pihos
    DL Clyde Simmons
   DL Trent Cole
    DL Carl Hairston
    DL Norm Willey
    DL Hugh Douglas
    DL Fletcher Cox
OLB Chuck Bednarik
ILB Bill Bergey
ILB Jeremiah Trotter
OLB Seth Joyner
    LB Frank LeMaster
   LB William Thomas
   LB John Bunting
   LB Jerry Robinson
   LB Byron Evans
CB Eric Allen
S Brian Dawkins
S Randy Logan
CB Troy Vincent
    DB Herman Edwards
    DB Wes Hopkins
    DB Tom Brookshier
    DB Roynell Young
    DB Bobby Taylor
PK David Akers
P Sean Landeta

All Time Dallas Cowboys 53 Man Roster

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Part of a series.  Previous post is here. Updated through the 2017 season. Here's the all time Cowboys 53 man roster.

QB Roger Staubach
     QB Troy Aikman
     QB Tony Romo
     QB Don Meredith
RB Emmitt Smith
RB Tony Dorsett
     RB Don Perkins
     RB Calvin Hill
WR Michael Irvin
WR Drew Pearson
    WR Bob Hayes
    WR Tony Hill
    WR Dez Bryant
TE Jason Witten
    TE Billy Joe DuPree
C Tom Rafferty
G Larry Allen
G Nate Newton
T Ralph Neely
T Rayfield Wright
    OL Flozell Adams
    OL John Niland
    OL Erik Williams
    OL Tyron Smith

DE Too Tall Jones
DT Bob Lilly
DT Randy White
DE Harvey Martin
    DL Jethro Pugh
    DL George Andrie
    DL Greg Ellis
    DL Larry Cole
    DL Tony Tolbert
OLB Chuck Howley
MLB Lee Roy Jordan
OLB DeMarcus Ware
    LB DD Lewis
    LB Bob Breunig
    LB Dave Edwards
    LB Dexter Coakley
    LB Mike Hegman
CB Mel Renfro
S Cliff Harris
S Darren Woodson
CB Cornell Green
   DB Charlie Waters
   DB Everson Walls
   DB Deion Sanders
   DB Terence Newman
   DB Michael Downs
PK Dan Bailey
P Danny White

The Weekly Tendown July 3-9 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dear Internet:

A week and a half ago turtles lined up on the tarmac of JFK delaying flights.

I had to wait to get my curly fries at the Checkers drive thru for this family of ducks to pass.  The mother is right behind, just out of the shot.

It's Tendown 84.  I've got more work to do today, so it's links.

1. Do You Remember Barry Halper?

Halper was the big baseball artifact collector; if you ever read a story in SI  in the 1980s or 90s about sports memorabilia, you saw at least a reference to Barry Halper; when I went back to grad school about a decade ago I interned at a south Florida sports museum, and Halper's legacy was true north for the entire enterprise.  Beyond sports memorabilia as commerce, when you think about the preservation of baseball's material culture as having a real historical importance, Barry Halper was probably deserving of greater consideration than he was given for the Hall of Fame.

Except, it looks like he was a fraud.

2. The 45th President of the United States

Gun to my head, preferably not the one held by the Texas Governor, Obama is re-elected in 2012, even with the jobs report this week.

But that might require people like me to vote for him again, and I'm unlikely to do that.  Whatever budget deal he's going to cut will be some variation of astonishingly bad, and at some point, if you're on the left, and you criticize Obama for accommodating the right - then you probably need to stop accommodating the Democrats.  The best avenue for a sports team to win a title is to lose big for awhile (it's harder to see with baseball, but the Giants won because of high draft picks that we got from losing; if it were the NFL, Sabean would have been fired for the bad decisions that led to the losing, and someone else would have swept in, made the draft picks, and gotten credit for the WS) you hoped that might be the case with Obama, that after the complete discrediting of right wing economic ideology if ever there was a time for real progressive reform, it would have been now.  Instead - we're talking about Social Security cuts.

If people like me stay home in 2012, that opens the door for a Republican.  Right now, on Intrade, the second most likely Republican to become the next President of the United States is a guy currently not running, Rick Perry.

I've written before about that day of fasting and Christian prayer Perry is involved in next month - here, is a really interesting piece about how its Perry, among all of the possible Republican nominees, who is consolidating support among the big hitters on the religious right.  Maybe its 2016 after a second Obama term...but if you ask me right now who the 45h President will be, gun to my head, I'll say Rick Perry.

3. Ban Porn!
Perry hasn't yet signed the pledge that Bachmann and Santorum took this week, to ban all forms of pornography, to make it more difficult to divorce, and to declare that homosexuality is a choice.  If you didn't know better, you'd think it was a left leaning group, and not the Family Leader (I'm sorry, FAMiLY LEADER, all the letters are in caps except for the i to show the submission of the individual) who was pinning the Republicans to extreme social conservative positions.  If it turns out the Family Leader (I don't have the energy to do the caps thing again) is actually the Yes Men, don't be shocked.

4. Frank Rich
Here's Rich, now at New York Magazine, talking about Obama's failure to confront our real economic problems.

5. Privatized Jail
Here are two things that are true.

1. The United States locks people in jail at a historically significant rate.  A rate that has exponentially increased over the past couple of decades.

2. Over that same couple of decades, we've dramatically increased the shift to privatizing prisons.

Has the profit motive contributed to our willingness to lock people up?  Consider here. And here.

Judith Greene, a policy analyst with Justice Strategies, a nonprofit sentencing-reform advocacy group in New York, says, "Profits by no means created the machinery of mass incarceration, no more than defense contracts invented war, but the huge profits to be made by incarcerating an ever-growing segment of our population serves the system very well."

"Profits oil the machinery, keep it humming and speed its growth.

6. Look at This Chart!
Technology is bananas.

7. Turley, Writing about Casey Anthony
I don't have any idea whether Casey Anthony's guilty or not, but if you just followed the trial through news reports, you don't either, Here's Jonathan Turley's take.

While many Americans learned about the case through ciphers like Grace and an army of bloggers who focused on Anthony’s love life and pictures of the adorable Caylee, the jurors were focusing on the evidence:
•There was no clear evidence of how the child died.
•There were no witnesses to the act.
•There was no clear evidence of a motive.

For every major circumstantial fact offered by the prosecution, the jurors had doubt as to whether it was true or whether it tied Anthony to the death. In the end, the only clear crime was lying to the police, the count on which Anthony was found guilty.

8. The All Time 49er/Raider 45 Man Roster
I put up three pieces this week, the continuation of my look at the all time rosters for every NFL franchise.  The all time NFL North roster is here, and you can get to the Packers and Vikings through that post.

As an early preview to you, the loyal Tendown readers - here's an amalgamation, the best of the Bay Area - it's the All Time Raiders/49ers 45 man roster.

QB Joe Montana
      QB Steve Young
      QB John Brodie
RB Marcus Allen
RB Roger Craig
      RB Joe Perry
      RB Hugh McElhenny
WR Jerry Rice
WR Tim Brown
       WR Fred Biletnikoff
       WR Cliff Branch
TE Brent Jones
     TE Todd Christensen
C Jim Otto
G Gene Upshaw
G Steve Wisniewski
T Art Shell
T Bob St. Clair
    OL Randy Cross
    OL Keith Fahnhorst
    OL Harris Barton

DE Howie Long
DT Leo Nomellini
DT Bryant Young
DE Tommy Hart
     DL Charlie Krueger
     DL Michael Carter
     DL Ben Davidson
OLB Dave Wilcox
ILB Matt Millen
OLB Ted Hendricks
     LB Matt Hazeltine
     LB Dan Conners
     LB Phil Villapiano
     LB Patrick Willis
CB Jimmy Johnson
S Ronnie Lott
S Jack Tatum
CB Willie Brown
    DB Lester Hayes
    DB Terry McDaniel
    DB George Atkinson
    DB Nnamdi Asomugha
PK Sebastian Janikowski
P Ray Guy

QB - Joe/Young are unquestionably 1-2, there's a better argument that Steve should start than that anyone else should be second string.  Brodie was not as good, on a per game basis, as Stabler; for me, his cumulative advantage makes him a solid pick, but I wouldn't think a Stabler selection would be wrong necessarily.  Tittle is 5th, real close to Stabler, and could be called third string.  

RB - One could move the ordering around, but not the composition of the quartet; per game you might say McElhenny was the best of the four, and his total Niner career wasn't so far below the other three that you couldn't start him if you wanted to.  I'm comfortable with this ordering.  Van Eeghen and Willard are dead heat for fifth.

WR - Starters are easily the starters.  If you wanted to say TO needs to crack the quartet, I don't inherently disagree, as he was better per game than anyone but Jerry, and the other two Raiders don't have the amount of career that Brown had.  I'll say they had enough though to keep Owens 5th.

TE - Jones by a tick over Christensen, Casper was a better player than both, but I'll say didn't have enough career to get by either.

OL - No question about the starters.   No question about the backups.  This is pretty easy.

DL - Hall of Famers and then a drop to Hart and the backups.  Hardman, Stubblefield, Haley, Sistrunk, Townsend could all take that last spot.

LB - The outside starters are easy, Millen's combined work with both teams slips him into the MLB slot.  You could consider Haley for that last spot or Norton or you could get out ahead maybe a year early and plug in Willis, as he's headed for this roster.  In fact, that's the switch I just made.  I swapped Willis in for Keena Turner.  

DB - No question at all about almost every member of the secondary, starters/backups.  That 8th spot is in play, and that's sort of important as this team has 23 Raiders/22 Niners (assigning Jerry, Roger, Ronnie to SF and Millen to the Raiders) so if this spot were flipped to a Niner, that would change the balance.  Per game, its Nnamdi and Charles Woodson - for total value, you'd take Merton Hanks.  I'm going to leave it as it is for now.

9. This Week's Quiz
Prepared for someone who isn't me.  It's about inequality, it's here.  It's good.  

10. And In Case You Missed a Few of the Questions
It's probably a left wing plot to keep you stupid.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


All Time Minnesota Vikings 53 Man Roster

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Part of a series.  Previous post is here. Updated through 2017 season. All time Vikings 53 man roster.

QB Fran Tarkenton 
      QB Dante Culpepper
      QB Tommy Kramer
RB Adrian Peterson
RB Chuck Foreman
      RB Bill Brown
      RB Robert Smith
      RB Ted Brown
WR Cris Carter
WR Randy Moss
     WR Anthony Carter
     WR Sammy White
     WR Ahmad Rashad
TE Steve Jordan
    TE Stu Voigt
C Mick Tinglehoff
G Randall McDaniel
G David Dixon
T Ron Yary
T Grady Alderman
   OL Tim Irwin
   OL Gary Zimmerman
   OL Matt Birk
   OL Steve Hutchinson

DE Carl Eller
DT Alan Page
DT Kevin Williams
DE Jim Marshall
   DL Chris Doleman
   DL John Randle
   DL Gary Larsen
   DL Jared Allen
   DT Henry Thomas
OLB Roy Winston
MLB Scott Studwell
OLB Matt Blair
  LB Wally Hilgenberger
  LB Chad Greenway
  LB Jeff Siemon
  LB Fred McNeill
  LB Ed McDaniel
CB Bobby Bryant
S Paul Krause
S Joey Browner
CB Carl Lee
   DB Antoine Winfield
   DB Harrison Smith
   DB Karl Kassulke
   DB Ed Sharockman
   DB Nate Wright
PK Ryan Longwell
P Greg Coleman

All Time Green Bay Packers 53 Man Roster

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Part of a series.  The previous post is here. Updated through 2017. All time Packers 53 man roster.

QB Brett Favre
      Aaron Rodgers
      Bart Starr
RB Ahman Green
RB Jim Taylor
    RB Paul Hornung
    RB John Brockington
    RB Tony Canadeo
WR Don Hutson
WR James Lofton
    WR Boyd Dowler
    WR Donald Driver
    WR Sterling Sharpe
TE Paul Coffman
    TE Bubba Franks
C Jim Ringo
G Jerry Kramer
G Josh Sitton
T Forrest Gregg
T Chad Clifton
   OL Fuzzy Thurston
   OL Frank Winters
   OL Ken Ruettgers
   OL Mark Tauscher

DE Willie Davis
DT Henry Jordan
DT Dave Hanner
DE Reggie White
   DL Lionel Aldridge
   DL Mike McCoy
   DL Aaron Kampman
   DL Robert Brown
   DL Lionel Aldridge
OLB Clay Matthews
MLB Ray Nitschke
OLB Dave Robinson
   LB Fred Carr
   LB Bill Forester
   LB John Anderson
   LB Dan Currie
   LB Lee Roy Caffey
   LB AJ Hawk
CB Herb Adderly
S Willie Wood
S LeRoy Butler
CB Charles Woodson
DB Mark Lee
   DB Bobby Dillon
   DB Ken Ellis
   DB Johnnie Gray
   DB Darren Sharper
PK Ryan Longwell
P Tim Masthay

The Weekly Tendown June 26-July2 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dear Internet:


Glenn Beck's show died this week.  On his last show, he misspelled the name of his own production company, "Mercury Radio Arts."

That makes it his least error filled show ever.

Here's Tendown 83.

1. The Movie I'm Making You Watch
If you have HBO, or otherwise are capable of accessing these types of materials, your homework this week is the documentary Hot Coffee.

You should watch the entire film; you'll develop a better understanding than you have today about how you've been systematically lied to about an epidemic of frivolous lawsuits, you'll better understand that when Obama expressed support for tort reform he was accommodating the plutocracy in the same way as his abandoning single payer health care.  My hope is that insight will perhaps lead to an avenue into the broader architecture of how much of our worldview that we accept uncritically should be reconsidered.

But all you absolutely have to watch are the first 20 minutes.  I've been telling people for almost two decades that what they "know" about the case of the woman who sued McDonalds because she spilled hot coffee on herself is wrong.  The way I have discussed it, over and over and over again, is "is there a way in which coffee could ever be too hot, is there a factual scenario you could imagine where McDonalds could have made this coffee or packaged this coffee in a negligent fashion, is there a way that it's more McDonalds at fault than the woman?"

There are worse images than that in the film.

If, for 20 years, you've heard "that woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonalds" as a punchline, watch the first 20 minutes of Hot Coffee.  It will cause you to rethink the merits of that case; the entire documentary will hopefully cause you to rethink the merits of tort reform, and perhaps see it as reflective of decades of corporate propaganda that has gotten the United States where it is today.

2. The Book I Read, So You Don't Have To.

Last week was my week between quarters, meaning I only worked 6-7 hours every day as opposed to 12-13.  I was able to squeeze in a reading of Erwin Chemerinsky's look at the Roberts Court, and really the past decade of US Supreme Court rulings, as the culmination of a long rightward march of jurisprudence.  I'll talk about it, and some of the implications therein, probably a couple of times, as its easy for Supreme Court decisions to get lost in the wreckage of the last decade of right ring rule and Democratic appeasement.

Consider Ewing v. California and Lockyer v. Andrade (from '02)where the Supreme Court ruled (5-4 in both cases) that 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment wasn't implicated when a mandatory three strikes and you're out life sentence was imposed on a defendant for shoplifting.

Consider public school funding - much of public school funding is done through property tax, which is what keeps kids from wealthier families in better funded schools.  There are school districts within the same state that spend half as much, per pupil, as other districts.

Does this violate the equal protection clause?  Remember the ruling in Bush v. Gore - why was the count stopped; it was stopped because Gore only requested that a few counties would be recounted, who was being deprived of their equal protection rights, said the Court, were the people in the counties who would not have their votes recounted.  Sure - one could say a more appropriate remedy would have been to send it back to the Florida state court for it to order that result, but let's leave that fight for another day and just consider where we stand.  A recount in one county but not all counties is a 14th Amendment violation - but a child educated in a school district which spends half the money on his education - perhaps all the way from K-12 - perhaps 13 years of being educated at half of the government dollars of another child in that state - that child has not been deprived of equal protection.  The voter who doesn't receive a recount - deprived.  The child who, for 13 years, has his state educate him for 50 cents of what it spends on another child in the same state, he's got no case.

That was the decision (5-4) back in '73 in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez. That impacts every child who is in an underfunded district, and disproportionately, that impacts minorities.  And that leads to this: in 2006, 28.4% of white Americans had college degrees; 18.5% of blacks had college degrees; 12.5% of Latinos had college degrees.

Judicial ability to desegregate public school districts was limited by Court decisions like Milliken v. Bradley in the 70s, and in 2007, the Court limited the ability of the school districts themselves to desegregate in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School Dist, No. 1, the Court essentially said that when school districts attempt to desegregate - that use of race has the same constitutional significance as using race to discriminate.  Government's use of race to discriminate against racial minorities is viewed by the Court as indistinguishable from government's use of race to achieve diversity.  Following that line of thought would essentially make unconstitutional affirmative action.

So - a child in a school district who receives half of the money as a child receives in a neighboring school district isn't being discriminated against - but if a school district decides that to mix its largely black school with its largely white school - those are the students whose 14th amendment equal protection rights are being violated.

3. Bobby Bonilla is Doing Better Than You Are.

Bobby Bonilla got a check for 1.2 million dollars from the Mets this week.

And will get that same check, every year, for the next quarter-century.

He also gets a half million a year from the Orioles until 2015.  He also has a no-show job with Major League Baseball (because who is a better ambassador than Bobby Bonilla) for 200 grand a year.

Sometimes, you hear about Antoine Walker going broke.  But not every ex athlete is Antoine Walker.

4. Chris Hansen is Not Doing Better Than You

If you've made your living with hidden cameras, you can't really claim unfair surprise when the National Enquirer catches you cheating on your wife.

5. This Week in Michele Bachmann

I mentioned a few Tensdown ago that Michele Bachmann said that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery.  I've mentioned why she said this - it's a David Barton lie, just a bad 6th grade understanding of American history, but part of the right wing worldview that its really the 20th century advances in civil rights, in civil liberties, in expanding protection for workers, that has undermined the true justice espoused by the Founding Fathers, which they intuitively understood from their close, personal relationships with Jesus, the ultimate free market capitalist.

This week,  when given the chance to amend the record - Bachmann said nope, she was right, dontcha know,  just like Sarah Palin was right in claiming Paul Revere was really warning the British - Palin was right because our 6th President, John Quincy Adams, who was 8 years old when the Declaration of Independence was written, was opposed to slavery.

It is the first time I've ever heard JQA called a founding father (well, I mean, I teach American history, so I've heard Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan all called founding fathers, but I just mark those answers wrong and move on with my day, which is what we should do with Bachmann, if she weren't running for President of the United States) as its just on its face ridiculous.  But had you looked at Adams's wikipedia entry earlier in the week, you would have found it edited by Bachmann-ites to refer to him as a "founding father."

Oh - and Bachmann confused John Wayne for John Wayne Gacy.  And she thinks the minimum wage should be eliminated.

And her husband, who runs a "Christian counseling center" called gays barbarians who need to be disciplined.

6. Fill in the Blank
I finished the course I was contracted to create this week; part of the requirements was, during each lecture, I had to essentially do 3 mini quizzes interspersed throughout.  Here's  a quiz of some economic items this week.

1. Since 2009 ____________% of income growth went to corporate profits.

2. ________% went to wages.

3. The richest 1% currently make __________% of the country's income.

4. Pregnant women who miscarry face _________________

5. Republicans this week rejected the same deficit cutting proposal that___________ proposed in March.


1. 88

2. 1

3. 25

4.  murder charges

5.  Republicans

Hey, fill in the blank is fun.  When I change the name of the blog to Basically Gherkins, maybe Tendown becomes just fill in the blank.

7. This Week In Graps

CM Punk kicked off the revolution this week, here's why.  Hopefully they don't drop the ball.

I saw some 4 star matches - Tanahashi v. Goto from mid June in New Japan was 4 1/2; the long 4 way tag ROH had last weekend in their PPV was 4; the Wolves v. Kings of Wrestling from ROH in May was 4 1/4; Togo v. Ibushi from DDT in March was 4 1/4; Taniguchi v. Go from NOAH in May was 4 1/4 stars.

And I wrote the stories; my athlete of the month was here; the all time roster for the Detroit Lions is here; my choice for the full 34 man rosters for each MLB All Star squad is here. I'll go in and edit in the actual choices soon.  My latest chapter in the wrestling Counterfactual is here.

8. No good, this.

Here's Hillary Clinton about opposition to our illegal war in Libya.

But the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them? For the Obama Administration, the answer to that question is very easy.

'Cause those are the only choices according to the Administration.  If you oppose the war that means you must stand with Saddam Hussein.

Whoops.  Got the wrong war there.  I guess I just assumed Bush was still President.

9. He Should Have Listened to Bobby and Served the Fried Chicken
Soul Daddy closed its last restaurant this week.

10. Schadenfreude

It is hard to escape the confluence of circumstance that leads to rivals of 100 years, the Giants and Dodgers, to reach this juncture.  At the same moment when, for the first time since the move west, the Giants are World Champions - the Dodgers file for bankruptcy.  It would be like if the day Ali dies, Joe Frazier wins Powerball.

That's all for this time.  I'll see you next time, if there is a next time...

Your pal,


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