Mad Libs: Write Your Own Joe Biden Speech

Have any of you ever wanted to be a political speechwriter?  This year could be your chance!  Our media is so biased that they are pushing a candidate who has trouble remembering where he is, much less stringing two sentences together, just because he is the Democrat.  We have already seen him talking about kids rubbing his hairy legs, roaches, and kids jumping on his lap.  He has told us that, “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”  He recently gave a speech that was completely unintelligible where he rambled about Covid taking 100 years.  Just last Friday he actually read “end of quote” straight from the teleprompter during a speech.  Joe Biden needs your help!

It’s actually easier than you think to help out Joe.  It was sitting right under my nose the whole time.  On my bookshelf there is still an old Mad Libs book from when I was a kid.  You may remember them.  They would ask you for random words and then you would fill those words into a story to make it your own zany version, just like Joe does with his speeches.  To make our own Joe Biden speech, all we have to do is take a section from a recent speech, take out some words, have a friend pick some replacement words without looking, and fill in the blanks.  Let’s try it with the section right before his rambling Covid quote, which starts at the 11:07 mark in this link.  First, I will give you the template to write an extremely realistic Joe Biden speech of your own!  Then, I will show you an example Joe Biden speech using the template. 

First, ask your friends for corresponding words to the list below without looking ahead at the speech.  Then fill in the blanks with the words they gave you.  Then use it in your portfolio to apply for a job with the Biden campaign!

  1. VERB (PAST TENSE): ________________________________
  2. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  3. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  4. PLURAL NOUN: ____________________________________
  5. NOUN: ___________________________________________
  6. A PROFESSION: ____________________________________
  7. A PROFESSION: ____________________________________
  8. PLURAL NOUN: ____________________________________
  9. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  10. NOUN: __________________________________________
  11. VERB: ___________________________________________
  12. A FAMOUS PERSON: _______________________________
  13. A PROFESSION: ___________________________________
  14. PLURAL NOUN: ___________________________________
  15. NOUN: __________________________________________
  16. A NUMBER: ______________________________________
  17. NOUN: __________________________________________
  18. NOUN: __________________________________________

Now read the speech with your words to fill in the blanks.

I’ve ____(1)____ with police in this country for many years. I know most cops are __(2)__, __(3)__ people. I know how they risk their ___(4)___ every time they put that shield on and go out the door. I’m confident I can bring the police to the ___(5)___ as well. I’d make sure every ___(6)___ and ___(7)___ had the support they needed from the federal government. But I wouldn’t be looking to use the United States military against our own ___(8)___. If I were president, my language would be less ___(9)___, I’d be looking to lower the ___(10)___ in this country, not raise it. I’d be looking to ___(11)___ the nation. But look, if ____(12)____ wants to ask the question, “Who will keep you safer as ___(13)___?” Let’s answer that question. First, some simple ___(14)___. When I was vice president, violent ___(15)___ fell _(16)_% in this country. We did it without ___(17)___ and ___(18)___.

Finally, as I promised, here is an example Joe Biden speech by speechwriters Uncle Mark and my friend Nikki.

I’ve farted with police in this country for many years. I know most cops are ugly, questionable people. I know how they risk their testicles every time they put that shield on and go out the door. I’m confident I can bring the police to the beer as well. I’d make sure every insurance agent and sex therapist had the support they needed from the federal government. But I wouldn’t be looking to use the United States military against our own baseball players. If I were president, my language would be less stupid, I’d be looking to lower the woman in this country, not raise it. I’d be looking to eat the nation. But look, if George Clooney wants to ask the question, “Who will keep you safer as mechanic?” Let’s answer that question. First, some simple puppies. When I was vice president, violent birds fell 69% in this country. We did it without pizza and speakers.

There you have it!  Had I not told you how it was made you probably would have thought it was straight from the campaign trail of the best Democrat the party could come up with.

How did yours turn out?  Leave it in the comment section and let us be inspired!

Wait. Who is Divisive?

In my new book The God Bet, I talk a lot about recognizing false frames that the media sets up to trick and confuse people.  There is even a bonus section at the end of the book with an index of false frames that the left and the media use to define issues in dishonest ways to attack Republicans.  This week a friend posted a video that was going around social media that uses so many false frames in such a short video that it would be a great opportunity to help you filter them out and “unspin” issues that the left is trying to manipulate you with because they think you’re gullible.  Let’s prove to them that we aren’t.

The video can be seen here and starts with a portion of the Republican Convention speech by Kimberly Guilfoyle on Monday night.  The caption said that it was full of lies so I was interested to hear why she would lie when all the truth is already on our side.  In it, they edit to show parts of the speech where she is being emphatic and raising her voice, as well as parts where she is legitimately criticizing what Democrats will do if they win in November.  The lies were not in there.  

Then the podcaster who made the video pops on the screen and I figured out where the lies begin.  He starts with a supposed joke that her speech is in the style of North Korean propaganda and that her speechwriter was Mussolini.  Then he gets to the false frames.  He claims that “the modern GOP is predicated on divisiveness and hate and bigotry.”  What does he use as his proof?  He continues, “Trump’s campaign was launched on the promise of banning Muslims and banning Mexicans from this country.”  A half-truth and a boldface lie.  With regards to Muslims he never suggested ejecting law abiding Muslim citizens from the United States.  He did propose a temporary travel ban on countries where a large percentage of the population supports terrorism or sharia law, not because of bigotry or hate, but for national defense purposes.  With regards to our Mexican immigrants, he does not want to ban your neighbor who legally immigrated here.  He does want to stop people who break our laws from crossing our borders.  To say that that is a ban on Mexicans is like saying if Disneyland banned me from sneaking in without paying it was a ban on white people from the park.

Later in his diatribe he has some better jokes than late night comedians have told in years, but that isn’t hard.  He says that “optimism does not compute for this party (Republicans),” and jokes that, “you’d have more luck going into Home Depot for lasagna than expecting uplift from the GOP.”  He says that Republicans are fearmongering and “are only capable of governing by fear.”  He wasn’t even intending to be funny, but honestly, how hilarious are his claims?  Republicans are divisive, pessimistic, and govern by fear?  Let’s compare and see which party is more divisive, pessimistic, and fearmongering?

Democrats

Poor people are victims of the evil rich.  Gay people are the victims of intolerant Christians.  Women are the victims of sexist men.  Immigrants are victims of xenophobic white people.  Black people are the victims of racist white people.  The police are bigots who go to work each day trying to murder black people.  You should vote for us to protect you from all these divisive, fearmongering monsters.  Also, if you don’t vote for us you’re going to die from coronavirus if the world doesn’t end from global warming first. 

Republicans

America is a land of opportunity!  If you work hard you can succeed no matter where you started.  We are one nation, under God, and everyone should be free to worship as they please and live by those values.  America is a great melting pot and immigrants are welcomed as equals on the day they take the oath of citizenship.  Skin color is irrelevant.  Black people are just as capable as white people.  The police are heroes who try to keep law abiding citizens safe.  If you vote for us we want you to enjoy your freedom and not have to worry about the government getting in your way. 

Which party seems more divisive?  Which one wants to scare you into voting for them? 

But wait.  It got better.  After making the Bizzaro World claim that Republicans are the divisive ones, he defends the Democrats by denying reality.  He says:

“What was par for the course was the fearmongering about Democrats; the threats about open borders and closed schools and sending jobs back to China and installing socialism and the police sending your calls to voicemail and controlling what you do and say… the thing is, none of that is true.”

The real thing is, he’s lying.  That stuff is true.  He claims that, “Zero Democrats are running on open borders.”  They may not call it open borders but they fought against funding the wall and against any kind of real enforcement.  Many of them have even voiced support for sanctuary policies and for abolishing ICE.  Most Democrats do want schools closed and he even admits it later in the video.  Democrats do want to put in place socialist policies and some, like Bernie Sanders, even call themselves socialists.  This guy apparently hasn’t heard all of the talk about defunding police.  I promise you that’s not coming from Republicans.  As for controlling what you do and say, how can he deny it?  Don’t Democrats want to control what you do with more of your money by taking it for the government?  Don’t Democrats want to control where you can eat or whether you can go to a concert, sporting event, movie or church?  Don’t Democrats want to control who bakers have to bake wedding cakes for?  We could go on and on.

He says Republicans should run on real policy but then if we point out what Democrats actually stand for he calls it lies, straw man arguments, and fearmongering.  Besides that, President Trump is running on policy.  The Republican Convention this week was full of his policy accomplishments, because they are many.  On the other hand, the only policy talk from Joe Biden at last week’s convention was that he would make the next four years smile free and faceless by requiring masks.  Apparently that doesn’t count as controlling what you do. 

This video is a great example of how the media tries to deceive you and it is not unusual.  I watched President Trump’s inspirational, accomplishment filled acceptance speech Thursday night and then flipped around the news channels to hear what they were saying.  The entire mainstream media really is like the Bizzaro World, where everything is opposite of reality.  They told me his optimistic speech about American greatness, faith in God, and freedom was really about anger and divisiveness.  It was perplexing, but I expected it.  I always understand that the mainstream media is trying to manipulate us.  You should too.

Censorship, Vegas, and Convention Craziness

This is my first article in a few weeks because as you might know, I’ve been busy working on getting my new book, The God Bet, released.  The premise of the book is that I will bet anybody a million dollars on which party God would vote for.  It is getting good reviews, but so far I have been unable to add it to my “shop” page on Facebook.  They rejected it and you won’t believe why.  Here is the reason that they sent me: 

“It looks like we didn’t approve your item because we don’t allow the sale of adult items or services (ex: sexual enhancement items, adult videos).”

Now, here is a link to the book.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735532916

As you can see, there are no sexual enhancement items or adult videos related to the book cover.  As most of you probably know, the cover is taken from Michelangelo’s famous painting The Creation of Adam, which is on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  It depicts God reaching down to give life to Adam, but on my book cover God is reaching out to cast a vote on stone tablets for the party He would support.  There is a butt in the painting but it is entirely artistic and non-sexual.  In fact, when I looked at the community standards that Facebook has posted it shows a bunch of examples of sexually suggestive pictures that are unacceptable, and then a picture that they say is artistic so it is acceptable.  The acceptable example; a picture of Michelangelo’s nude sculpture of David. 

The other thing that kept me busy this week was a trip to Las Vegas to visit some friends.  It was very interesting to see how the casinos and the people inside were reacting to a disease that is only slightly more likely to kill you than a sharknado.  The good news is that nobody was afraid of the coronavirus.  People were mingling with each other, dancing together at the bar with a live band, high fiving, gambling, and drinking together.  There was only one fear going around Vegas and I agree that we need to fight to end it.  The real disease to fear is government licensure.  You see, the way that the government controls businesses and takes away freedom is by issuing licenses to conduct business and then threatening to take those licenses away if they don’t do exactly what the government wants.  This is why so few restaurants and bars are able to stand up to the government and open without restrictions.  If they do, many states threaten to take away their liquor licenses, and most of their profits come from liquor sales.  Proponents say that licensing is to protect the consumer, but in reality the free market already does that.  If there really was a disease worth being afraid of and you opened your business, people would voluntarily stay away.  Think about it.  If there was a business that said they were open to people with ebola, would you need the government to take away a license to keep people away?  No.  And I doubt there was ever a very long waiting list to vacation at a leper colony.

The funny thing is, the people who actually push for licensing are the people who are already in those lines of work.  As the brilliant economist Milton Friedman said, “If the real true function of licensing was to protect the consumers, you’d expect the consumers to be lobbying for licensure, but you will discover that it’s always the plumbers or the beauticians or the morticians… there isn’t an occupation you can name that hasn’t been down to the Statehouse trying to get licensure.”  Why would businesses want licensing?  Because it is a barrier to entry, so it keeps out competition.  Less competition lets those who are already in control stay in control.  The people who are hurt by licensure are competitors wanting to enter an industry and the consumers.  In Las Vegas, the consumers are hurt right now because the casinos are afraid of losing their gaming licenses, so they are forced to require a bunch of silly rules.  The one I thought was funny was that to walk through the hotels and casinos they required that you wear a mask, but if you were smoking you could keep the mask down.  In a related story, I now smoke three packs a day. 

The other big thing that happened this week was the Democratic Convention.  I must admit, I didn’t watch it.  I already knew what they were going to say.  Trump is bad.  Then the media would fawn over each speaker.  I do have 2 observations, though.  First, the media narrative that Republicans are turning on the president because John Kasich spoke is ridiculous.  John Kasich spoke because he has a fragile ego and President Trump hurt his feelings 4 years ago when he beat him in the primaries.  All his speech shows is that his hurt feelings are more important to him than his principles.  He claims to be pro-life, but if he’s supporting Joe Biden he is not.  He claims to be a fiscal conservative, but if he supports Joe Biden he is not.  He has completely lost any respect from conservatives.  If he had any backbone he would handle it differently.  Ted Cruz, for example, has proven that he actually cares more about doing what is right than his ego.  President Trump ripped on Senator Cruz relentlessly during the primaries 4 years ago.  I’m sure his feelings were hurt by some of the brutal personal attacks, but Senator Cruz cares more about America than holding personal grudges, and has put the campaign behind him and become a strong ally of the president in conservative policies.  I have gained a lot of respect and confidence in Cruz.  John Kasich should toughen up and stop crying about sour grapes from 2016.

The second observation is that the Democrats actually did it.  They nominated a guy that they admitted was corrupt just months ago.   It wasn’t even the Republicans who were accusing Biden of being corrupt.  It was his own party, the same Democrats who just picked him to top their ticket.  You may not remember it because that isn’t how they framed it in the media.  They framed it this way.  “President Trump should be impeached because he tried to gain an advantage over his future political opponent, Joe Biden, by asking Ukraine to investigate him.”  Think about what that’s saying.  If Joe Biden didn’t do anything wrong, how would it be an advantage to President Trump to clear him?  It wouldn’t.  The only way it would be an advantage is if an investigation would uncover corruption.  Democrats can’t have it both ways.  Either they are saying that they impeached the president for trying to clear their candidate of wrongdoing, which doesn’t make sense, or they’re saying that their candidate is corrupt.  Yet they chose him as their best.  Remember that when you vote.

Free Market Solutions to Big Government Bullies

Big government is bad whether my side is in charge or the other guys are. 

We as conservatives should try not to use the government as a sledgehammer to force people to do what we want like Democrats do.  They want us to stay home and close our restaurants; they use the government, and threats to take away liquor licenses to strong arm those restaurants.  They want a baker or a florist to participate in a same-sex wedding; they use government threats and fines to force them to go against their religious beliefs.  They want “free” healthcare, college, or whatever else they think they can promise for votes; they use the government to confiscate money from people to pay for it.

Conservatives should not become authoritarian tyrants like those on the left.  We should be true to our principles and keep the government out of people’s lives as much as possible.  Instead of wielding government power to get our way, I suggest we use imaginative free market ways to fight for our side when we can.  I have a few suggestions.

1. This is an idea for Christians who still want to work in the wedding industry.  Bakers, florists and musicians have been targeted by bullies who cannot tolerate anyone who does not agree with them or does not do exactly what they want.  The most publicized of these instances was Jack Phillips, the baker in Colorado who politely declined to make a cake for a same-sex wedding because of religious convictions.  In true leftist fashion, the couple ran to the government to compel Phillips to bake cakes for same-sex weddings.  He had to fight the government all the way up to the Supreme Court where, fortunately, he prevailed. 

There are certainly times to fight in court and I am thrilled that Jack Phillips was victorious, but my solution would keep the government out of it and instead use the freedom to choose.  I suggest simply putting in place a policy that says this:

“A percentage of the profits from all same-sex weddings will be donated in the name of the couple to charity.  They may choose between Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, or Focus on the Family.”

2. The loss of liberty we have experienced in 2020 is unprecedented in the United States.  The government has locked us in our homes, taken our jobs, closed our businesses, cancelled our sports and entertainment, and even stopped us from seeing a friendly smile to brighten our day. 

This is a very urgent fight right now, and it has to be done through the free market in places like California because big government Democrats control every part of the government.  The method of attack is pretty clear.  Businesses have to fight the government every step of the way and we, the customers, have to support them by frequenting the places that are fighting.  In fact, in May I started a fundraiser through my blog for people to donate to businesses that opened up against the lockdown orders.  Last week my friends and I went down and presented a check to Jeff Gourley, the owner of Nomads Canteen, which was the first restaurant in Orange County to open up back in May.  If you want to donate, click here and we will give it to another deserving business who is standing up for our freedom. 

3. When Colin Kaepernick started slandering our police as racists who go to work looking for black people to murder and NFL players all around the league jumped on board with that lie I anticipated a problem.  How was I going to show my disapproval?  The obvious answer was to stop watching NFL games, but I dismissed that solution because I could see it leading to quite a moral dilemma for me down the road.  You see, consistency is very important to me.  I could handle boycotting the NFL because football is not one of my top priorities, but baseball is my life, and what would I do when some brain-dead baseball player decided to kneel during the national anthem? 

Then it came to me.  It was such a brilliant alternative that I think we should try to make it a movement.  These kneeling players wanted to make a difference, so I thought of a way to let them know that they did.  I vowed on social media that for every cop hating player who kneels for the anthem I will donate $1 in their name to President Trump’s re-election campaign fund.  Today I am fulfilling that promise by donating $212 to President Trump’s campaign.   It took some research but the best lists I found showed 211 NFL players who joined in on the anthem protests.  I intend to tweet every player that I can find to let them know about their contribution. 

Oh yeah.  You might be wondering about that extra dollar.  It is for Bruce Maxwell, the only Major League Baseball player who knelt during the national anthem.  He is no longer in the league, not because of his protest, but because he might have trouble hitting off of some of the Little Leaguers I train.

 

 

Father’s Day in California

Have you ever had the feeling you were on some kind of a hidden camera show?  One of those times where everything around you seems so ridiculous that you think somebody is just messing with you for laughs?  This Sunday was one of those days for me. 

My day started out normal.  Well, not normal.  A normal Sunday would begin with me going to church.  Since apparently they had it wrong in 1776 that liberty is endowed by our creator and we no longer have the freedom to attend church without a mask, I watched the service on my computer.  It was after church that things started to get weird. 

Sunday was Father’s Day and my dad picked his favorite pizza place for lunch, so I said I would drive up and meet them there.  I parked my car and saw theirs so I knew they were already inside the restaurant.  When I walked in an employee rushed over and stopped me. 

“They’re already seated,” I said as I walked towards the tables. 

“You need to put on a mask,” he replied. 

“I don’t have one,” I said. 

He persisted, “You have to have one on until you get to the table.  Here, we have some for you to use,” as he grabbed a box on the counter. 

Two thoughts crossed my mind in the next couple of seconds.  First, I thought about how completely gullible and illogical so many people are to go along with this.  Apparently, if I walk 20 feet to a table without wearing a mask, everybody in the restaurant will be dead.  Yet, if I get to the table, remove the mask, and eat for an hour, then everything will be fine.  Insanity.  The other thought was that my family is going to make fun of me but I have to do the right thing.  We can’t let the bad guys win.  “Never mind,” I said, and I turned around and walked out.

I think my dad was annoyed, amused, and proud at the same time.  When he came out to walk down to the bakery to get dessert I was sitting on a bench outside.  I walked with him. 

“We missed you at lunch,” he said. 

“Yeah, me too,” I answered.  “You know why I’m like this?  Why I stand up for what I believe like that?”

“McDonald’s?” Dad asked.

“Yep,” I said, and he busted out laughing.

You see, when I was a kid my mom would occasionally take us to McDonald’s because they were the first fast food place to put in a playground.  In August of 1987 Joan Kroc, widow of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, made a $1 million contribution to the Democratic National Committee.  At the time it was the largest single contribution to the party ever.  Dad heard about Kroc’s donation and banned us from going to McDonald’s until George Bush defeated Michael Dukakis a year later.  We gave my dad a hard time about that for years.  Now look at me, Dad!

Side note:  As a general rule, I don’t like to boycott businesses for disagreeing with me politically except under certain circumstances.  I think it’s a bad precedent to set to make everything about politics.  For example, I still eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  I like it.  Plus I get a kick out of the fact that two Vermont leftists got rich because of free market capitalism.

After lunch we went to my parent’s house and watched Hondo, the John Wayne western.  Then dinner was even more entertaining than lunch.  My parents, my sister’s family, and I went to a Mexican restaurant.  My parents and I arrived first and I ordered a margarita.  When my drink came out I was disappointed to find one of those awful paper straws in it.  You know the ones.  They make whatever you’re drinking taste like cardboard and then they get soggy and mushy.  So far not funny, just annoying.  Then I noticed my mom’s iced tea had a real, plastic straw in it.  I asked the waitress, “Can I please get a real straw like hers?”  I couldn’t tell if she had a look of confusion on her face because, well, she was wearing a mask, but she walked off for my straw.  A minute later she returned to our table with two straws.  Two more PAPER straws!  I was not wearing a mask so I’m sure everyone could see the perplexed look on my face.  Was she messing with me?  Did she not understand me?  Was Ashton Kutcher hiding around the corner? 

“No.  I meant a real straw.  Like that one,” I said as I pointed at my mom’s tea. 

She looked at me blankly, followed by some unintelligible mumbling from beneath her mask about not having any.  I asked if that was the last one in my mom’s drink.  She mumbled again, nodded, and walked away.  My family laughed hysterically because I was so confused.  I glanced around again for Ashton Kutcher.  Nowhere.  Oh well.  I guess Mom had gotten the last real straw. 

A minute later the waitress brought my nephew his water because he had gotten there a little later.  My Dad said, “Hey Steve, look at his straw.”  Sure enough, in my nephew’s glass was a real, plastic straw.  Laughter ensued.  Ashton Kutcher never popped out.

When the Police are in the Wrong – But so is Everyone Else

As a general rule I almost always defend the police.  There are many reasons for this default position, chief among them is that social justice warriors are constantly crying wolf and making exaggerated claims of police brutality.  Whenever a new allegation of excessive force hits the news my initial instinct is to roll my eyes and say, “Here we go again.” 

Fair minded people have been trained to respond this way after listening to these unfair accusations for so many years.   When we heard that Michael Brown was senselessly murdered by a racist cop in Ferguson, Missouri, and then found out that Brown was a dangerous criminal who was trying to assault the officer, some credibility was lost.  When protesters and rioters took to the streets after the incident even more credibility was lost.  When this pattern repeated itself time and time again across America, all credibility was lost.  Now when we hear about wrongdoing by the police we jump to the conclusion that the accusers are either exaggerating, twisting the facts, or flat out lying.

This was my gut reaction when I heard about the incident that occurred in Minneapolis.  “Time to defend another police officer from slander,” I thought.  Then I watched the video and realized something very rare had occurred.  I was wrong.  Making any kind of judgement based on a video is usually unwise because it rarely shows what led up to the events you see on the screen, but the video that shows now former police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on the neck of George Floyd is different.  The problem is not that Floyd was innocent.  He was a bad guy who had committed a crime.  He then refused to get into the police car, so force was warranted.  The problem is that once he was no longer a threat, Chauvin remained on his neck.  Even if you say that Floyd was still somehow dangerous in handcuffs, the officer remained on top of him even after he had lost consciousness.  This was certainly excessive force.  There is no excuse for Chauvin’s actions and he deserves to be punished firmly.  In fact, the Bible tells us that the punishment for murder should be death.

We should all be united on this.  Unfortunately, there is the race problem.  No, I don’t mean with the police.  In fact, I watched the video multiple times and there is exactly zero evidence that race played any part in Floyd’s death.  Chauvin used terrible judgement and is certainly in the wrong, but there is no reason to believe that Floyd’s race was a factor in what occurred.  So who has the race problem?  The people who are making it about race, obviously. 

The racial division and rioting we have seen is not just because of what happened to George Floyd.  It is a result of the media reporting on the events and ridiculous statements by public figures.  The left is once again trying to divide us.  If you are the one who makes it about race, then you have the race problem.  When the headlines constantly tell us that “an unarmed black man” was killed, they are giving us irrelevant information unless there is evidence that he was killed because he was black.  Correlation does not equal causation.  George Floyd being black was not the cause of his murder.  George Floyd was murdered and he happened to be black. 

The media needs to stick to the facts, remain fair, and quit advocating for the left and trying to divide us.  Last week President Trump said something obviously true, that mail-in voting will make it easier to cheat in elections, and was “fact-checked” for making claims that lacked evidence.  (Could the claim lack evidence because voter fraud is now so easy to get away with?)  If the media wanted to make things better in our country maybe they should fact-check Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey when he said of Floyd, “He’d be alive today if he were white.”  That claim surely lacks evidence considering the fact that 42 white people have been shot and killed by the police this year.  The only reason to say something like that is to pit people against each other based on skin color.  It is evil.

Then we have the protesters.  What is it that they want to accomplish?  Please do not hit me with the Colin Kaepernick memes.  He was supposedly protesting “bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”  Chauvin was arrested and will be prosecuted for his crime.  I just said he should face the death penalty.  Explain to me how Kaepernick or the protesters want a tougher punishment than I suggest, and remember, leftists are usually the people who are against capital punishment.  Also, do not tell me they are protesting for the murdering to stop.  Almost everyone wants that so who are they trying to persuade?  How is throwing rocks through windows and burning down buildings supposed to end murder?

People will point out that some of these feelings are based on historical racial injustices.  They are undeniably correct, but that should be more reason to avoid cheapening real claims of racism by saying everything is about race when it is not.  Remember from the story of the boy who cried wolf, when he actually encountered a real wolf, nobody believed him and came to help.

Why is the left trying to sow division?  The usual reason, power.  They know that if people are united then they will lose votes.  This is why the media is always trying to scare people and cause hysteria.  At least this might give the hysterical people something else to focus on instead of trying to stop friends from eating dinner together, going to church, and keeping kids from playing Little League games.

Updating History

America has a rich, long history of inspiring speeches and eloquently written documents.  As I sat here contemplating this history, it became apparent to me that most of those words are out of sync with the values of our country today.  We need to update them to reflect the enlightened views of modern America.  After all, the coronavirus should teach us that these ideas are far too risky to let stand the way we learned them as kids.  They often even led to people dying!

Let’s start by updating a short one so you get the idea.  Some of you probably know the state motto of New Hampshire.  It actually comes from a quote by Revolutionary War General John Stark.  “Live free or die:  Death is not the worst of evils.”  Obviously, that concept is terribly dangerous, but we can fix it.  Instead, “Live free and you’ll die.”  With just a slight, barely noticeable adjustment, New Hampshire license plates go from being a reckless endangerment to a somber warning.

If you aren’t an expert on American history you might not even notice some of the subtle changes.  See if you catch this one from the Declaration of Independence.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their government with certain Rights that may only be rescinded if exercising those Rights carries any risk, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

A lot of that crazy fringe of people who still want to do things have been using a famous quote by Patrick Henry.  They fail to point out that life expectancy back in that era was only about 38 years, so people wouldn’t have lived to be old enough to die of coronavirus anyways.  That means his words are obsolete and need an update.  Possibly, “Give me a mask or give me death!”  It now becomes a practical health advisory instead of a dangerous demand for freedom.

Here’s one for the kids to recite before they watch school on the computer.  “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with social distancing and unemployment benefits for all.”  And while we’re on things that you stand up for unless you’re a washed up quarterback, we also have to change the last line of our national anthem.  Actually, sports aren’t allowed anymore so we don’t need to worry about that.

The next one comes with some challenges.  Did you know that the inscription on the Liberty Bell comes from the Bible?  It currently reads, “PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF LEV. XXV X.”  Coming up with the rewrite is easy enough.  “PROCLAIM STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF.”  In fact, since we obviously have to change the name of the bell, we might as well call it the Stay-At-Home Bell and people can ring miniature replicates to report their neighbors who are playing at the park.  Now, the hard part.  You might think the difficulty would be telling millions of Americans that their Bibles are wrong, but that has been a favorite pastime of Democrats in our country for years now.  The real problem is figuring out how to change the inscription on a 267 year old copper bell that has already been cracked once.  Fortunately, figuring stuff out is only for the scientists now.  Maybe Dr. Fauci can handle it.

This brings us to probably the two most famous speeches in American history.  The first one is a big problem.  I don’t think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech can be salvaged.  He speaks far too much about freedom ringing.  If we censor out all of that unsafe talk about freedom, the speech would sound like The Wolf of Wall Street edited for network televisionIt just cannot be done.  I think the whole thing has to be stricken from the record.

The other one can be rewritten, and it was a short speech so we can do the whole thing.  Just picture the Great Emancipator, President Lincoln, when he first said these words at the battlefield in Gettysburg:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived to protect us from ourselves, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.  We are met, six feet apart, on a great battlefield of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live safely hidden in their homes.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under the experts, shall have a new birth of dependence – and that government instructing the people, monitoring the people, and regulating the people, shall not perish from the earth.

I will leave you with this one.  For those of you who are not sufficiently scared by coronavirus simply because the odds of dying from it are incredibly small, you need to remember what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his first inaugural address, “The only thing we have to fear is being around people!”

Baseball In A Pandemic

“There are three things in my life which I really love:  God, my family, and baseball.  The only problem – once baseball season starts I change the order around a bit.”  – Al Gallagher

I miss baseball.  I’ve always loved and defended my country as the greatest, freest nation on earth.  I realize that some of those liberties have been under attack for a quite a while now.  Since a large portion of our country is now hostile to God and capitalism, the rights I have always feared being taken away were those having to do with religious and economic liberty.  I never thought I’d have to worry about my right to play baseball being taken away.  Heck, even Cuba loves baseball.  But alas, here I am, a modern day “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, banned from playing ball. (More on “Shoeless Joe” later.)

In my depressed state I started thinking about a comparison that I keep hearing about, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.  The only year I can think of where there was no World Series was the strike year in 1994, so how did baseball handle the Spanish Flu and how does it compare to the coronavirus?  I learned a lot of interesting facts about both.  Here are six of them.

  1. The 1918 season actually was shortened, but not because of the pandemic.  The World Series was moved up to the beginning of September so that players could go off to fight in World War 1.
  2. During the first wave of the pandemic Babe Ruth caught the flu and almost died.  It’s crazy to think how different baseball history would have been had Ruth died and never become a Yankee.  Instead, he recovered and this was the first year that the Babe, still primarily a pitcher, got to play the field and hit on some of the days he wasn’t pitching.  In that part-time role, he led the league in home runs.
  3. Ruth’s Red Sox won the 1918 World Series.  The next year they would trade him to the Yankees and not win another title for 86 years. 
  4. The Spanish flu, for obvious hygienic reasons, was one of the major factors in baseball banning the spit ball.
  5. This brings us back to “Shoeless Joe.”  There are now rumors, that the 1919 “Black Sox” were not the first team to throw the World Series.  The 1918 Cubs had the best record in baseball and there is talk that they threw that year’s World Series. 
  6. The biggest lesson I learned with regards to comparing the Spanish Flu to coronavirus is that the comparison isn’t even fair.  The Spanish Flu was far worse.  It killed young, healthy people at a high rate.  Two big league players died from the Spanish Flu, Larry Chappell and Harry Glenn.  The NHL actually did have to end the Stanley Cup Finals in a 2-2 tie because so many of the Montreal Canadiens got sick they didn’t have enough players to play.  NHL Hall of Famer Joe Hall died.  675,000 Americans died when the population was only 103 million.  In fact, in the entire history of our country, 1918 is the only year where our population declined.  Right now we’re at around 328 million and steadily growing.  The coronavirus is barely a blip on the radar. 

This whole thing has only cemented my opinion that we are overreacting.  When the media started throwing out names of athletes with coronavirus to scare people, I said that athletes get sick all the time.  Hysterical people told me, “But this is different.”  I said, “Fine.  If Kevin Durant dies, I’ll take your side.”  I’m pleased to say the NBA star survived.

As I pointed out in my last post, the odds of dying from coronavirus are slim to none.  We should not be cowering in our homes over something that is likely about 1/25th as dangerous as the Spanish Flu.  We should be booing the Houston Astros right now.  In fact, those cheaters should be forced to play without masks, closer than six feet apart from each other, next to the dirty trashcans that they used to bang on.

One final thought.  Game 1 of the 1918 World Series was the first time the Star Spangled Banner was played before a game.  It made me consider, could Colin Kaepernick have been right?  After all, how can I keep a straight face when I hear “the land of the free and the home of the brave” when we are certainly neither anymore?  My conclusion?  Of course not.  Kaepernick is just as wrong as ever.  I still respect our history.  When I hear that line I’ll be frustrated that it’s a thing of the past, but I’ll still honor those values and the men who fought for them.  Our founding fathers risked everything to set up a government that recognizes that our rights aren’t given by them, but are endowed by our creator.  They chose to fight for liberty even though it meant almost certain death if the British won.  Now we voluntarily give up our liberty over something that has almost no chance of killing us.  It is disappointing, but there is still a small remnant of Americans who value liberty which, at least for me, has to include baseball.   Play ball!

A Cure Worse Than The Disease?

I feel alone.  Not just because the coronavirus quarantine is shutting down the country and forcing us to stay in our homes, but because it seems like such a large majority of the country is willing to just accept it and go along with it.  Then when somebody disagrees, or God forbid, goes outside for something deemed “non-essential,” they are vilified as a horrible, selfish person who doesn’t care about people dying. 

One instinct that I have is to simply turn it around on those people and vilify them as horrible, selfish people who don’t care about millions of people being put out of work, retirement accounts being wiped out, and people becoming more lonely and depressed.  The thing is, I don’t think that’s true.  I think the people in favor of the shutdown do care about the economic and emotional impact of the quarantine but they don’t know how to weigh it against the fear that has been instilled in them about the coronavirus.  Instead of arguing or accusing, I decided it would work best just to clarify my rationale and hope that people can see that it is neither selfish nor illogical.

First, let me clarify my position.  I do believe that coronavirus is real and will kill people.  I think that there are reasonable responses for us to take to combat the virus.  I think that everyone should practice good hygiene. I think that it is reasonable for the elderly and people with medical conditions that make this virus especially dangerous to them to stay at home.  I think that we should lock down nursing homes, and that we should put money and resources into our medical response to the virus.  I just think that shutting down the whole country is not reasonable, rational, or consistent, and will hurt more than it helps. 

We first have to be rational and agree that people have always died, and will continue to die in the future.  This is nothing new.  There is obviously a certain level of risk that we deem reasonable to keeping the country running.  Otherwise, to save around 40,000 lives per year we would lower the speed limit to 10 mph.  We have to decide what level of death is reasonable to us, and what level justifies the effects of shutting down our society. 

As a baseball guy and a poker player I know a lot about probability and odds.  I think a lot about how likely things are to happen.  Considering that 98% of the people who are dying of coronavirus have underlying medical conditions and half of them have at least three, the odds of a young healthy person dying are pretty astronomical.  But what are the chances that I will even know anybody who dies of the virus?  The estimates on the number of deaths vary pretty widely.  Nobody actually knows the real death rate because most of the people who have coronavirus don’t count in the numbers because they can’t even tell they have it.  What is for sure is that it is much lower than the number that gets reported.  As of this moment the reported number comes out to about 1.7%.  As this report says (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/03/24/science.abb3221), it is likely that for every reported case of coronavirus there are 10 other cases.  That would, of course, move the decimal point one spot to the left for a death rate of about 0.17%, or very slightly higher than the 0.1% death rate of the flu.  Ask yourself, how many people do you know who died of the flu this year?  In fact, if we use Dr. Fauci’s doomsday guess that we could have “between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths,” and even if we go with the higher figure, we have lost 200,000 to the flu in the last 6 years.  (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html)  How many people do you know who have died of the flu in the last 6 years?  I would guess for most people the answer would be the same as mine, zero. 

The point is, the numbers we are hearing are likely far worse than the actual numbers.  They may sound big, but we need to have some perspective.  This is where comparing numbers with other situations is actually useful.  The Black Plague famously killed half of the population of Europe and it took about 200 years to get back to the population level it was at before.  I wondered, “what percentage of the United States will this kill and how long will it take us to get back to our current population level?”  So, I looked it up.  The United States population is 327,200,000.  200,000 deaths would be 0.06% of the population.  Then to find out how long it would take for us to recover and get back to our current population level I had to look up how many people normally die each day.  7,452. If we then average out the coronavirus deaths over a year, it would add 548 a day, making it an even 8,000 deaths per day.  Next, we have to look at how many people are born each day to see how long it will take to replace those 8,000 people a day.  There are, on average, 10,388 births per day in our country.  So the answer to my question?  Zero days.  In fact, not only is coronavirus not decimating our population as badly as it is being made out to be, but our population is growing by around 2,388 each day.

This is certainly lower than the threshold of a reasonable level of death to shut down our country that we were looking for, especially considering the damage the quarantine is causing economically and emotionally.  While we have already established that you probably won’t know anybody who dies of coronavirus, you almost certainly do know somebody who has lost their job.  I know several.  You definitely know people who have seen their retirement accounts plummet.  The high school seniors that I coach at baseball have worked hard for four years and will likely never get to play again.  Addicts are unable to attend meetings and many are relapsing.  People who have issues with anxiety or depression are struggling more than ever.  Many businesses and restaurants will go out of business.  There is less joy in the world because sports and concerts are shut down.  Maybe the biggest loss will be the loss of our liberty.  What ever happened to “give me liberty or give me death?”  Yes.  There was a time when Americans valued their freedom even more than their lives.  I fear that I am alone in still believing that.

Let me finish with another comparison.  If we figure out the odds of any random person dying of coronavirus based on the numbers above we get 1 in 1,636.  To put that in perspective, that’s about the same as the odds of dying from falling down the stairs (1 in 1,662) (https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-mortality-risk).  In other words, it does happen, but it’s very, very unlikely.  I suggest we treat coronavirus the same way as we treat stairs.  We have Grandma take the elevator but let everyone else keep climbing.