Bradley defeats Valparaiso 80-71

Yes, it was a game that Bradley was expected to win (spread was 6.5 points; ESPN gave BU just under a 70 percent probability of winning)

And Bradley stormed out to an 11-0 lead. Valpo caught up and even took the lead a few times. But Bradley got balanced scoring, rebounding defense, everything. This team is much, much, much improved.

It was 33-33 at the half.

And, the announced attendance of 5294 bore some semblance to the actual number of people at the game; there were still empties, to be sure..a lot of them. But the arena really did look “half full” this time.

Workout notes; 5 mile run on the treadmill. Increased the pace for miles 1, 2, 3 (5.1, 5.2, 5.3, mile 4 was rough..started at 5.4 then dropped to 5.1, 5.2, then mile 5 was 5.3-5.6.
It was NOT a race effort, but it was work.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | basketball, running | | Leave a comment

White Rage by Carol Anderson

I bought this book on a whim (while browsing through a book store). And while I think that this review is a fair one (the author is more of an advocate than scholar in the book, and a couple of conclusions are speculative, at best), I am glad that I read it.

First for the claims: I was skeptical about the claim that the “absent black fathers” was “debunked”. However, the book contains many resources and I can say that such a “bumper sticker claim” about black fathers is way too simplistic; the actual situation is far more complicated. I highly recommend surfing to this well researched, very even handed Daily Kos article referenced by the text.

And while it is undeniably true that the Contras in Nicaragua were financed, in part, by drug money from the United States and that our government was well aware of this, claiming that the crack epidemic was deliberately created by our government (to provide a funding source for the Contras) strains credibility.

However there is much in the book that is all too credible and informative. The stories about what happened to black families that attempted to move into white neighborhoods in northern states was disgusting and heart breaking.

The author takes our society to task for huge educational gaps that are in place, largely due to underfunding mostly black school districts (not only in the south) and our federal government’s indifference to it, even while extra emphasis was placed on education for everyone else during the “Sputnik scare” era.

Some of this, I knew. But what I found out is that my civil rights history education is inadequate; I basically leaned this stuff at a high school/college freshman level and no further.
Here is one example: I knew about the marches, boycotts, sit ins and some of the famous court cases. What I didn’t know was the very well thought out strategy that the NAACP used with regards to education: they said “ok, you say separate but equal”, ok, we will go along. Now you have to prove “equal”” and of course, it was NOT equal…not even close. And the NAACP could prove it in court..and it was economically impossible to set up two equal systems of education. That put the segregationists in a bind; some took extreme steps of shutting down their public education system completely. But overall, the NAACP prevailed.

So, this book was part of a much needed “education refresher” for me.

One other note: the book embarrassed me a bit. My feeling is that, well, anti-black prejudice is due to perceived black underachievement (that is, poor blacks are hated because they are poor). It turns out, well, a lot of people really do not like black people, matter how how successful.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | books, politics, politics/social, racism, social/political | Leave a comment

Liberals and Trump supporters: denial about the truth on Trump?

I remember reading the book Wartime by Paul Fussell. In it, he said that people had defense mechanisms for avoiding horrific truths:

rumors went around that units would be rotated home because they had done “their share” of the fighting (there were no “tours of duty for ground troops in those stayed until the war was won, you were severely wounded, went insane or died).

There were also rumors about the Germans being tipped off to landings ..that is why some landings were so bloody…the horrible truth is that the Germans were excellent fighters and ALL landings would be wholesale slaughters.

People look for comforting patterns when reality is too horrible to face.

I think that something like this is going on about Trump. His tweets are clearly ridiculous. Trump supporters posit that there is some hidden genius (in context) about these tweets..some grand strategy just for this situation.

Liberals see some evil genius at work:

I think that the truth is far more unsettling: 62 million (albeit not a plurality) thought that this unhinged, ignorant, utterly unqualified narcissist was a suitable president, and he is acting like the incompetent fool that he is..and was BEFORE becoming POTUS. His tweets are just “off of the top of his head rants”. Period.

In my opinion, there is no sophisticated “6 dimensional chess” being played here..just rank incompetence.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment