#CurrentEventFriday 27

Urban folks are mired in controversy in Ohio.

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It seems like there’s always a disconnect between Urban folks and many of the rest of the country. That’s the topic of today’s #CurrentEventFriday. It’s worth talking about especially as college football season approaches.

If you’re trying to understand the connection between college football and Urban folks, it helps if you know the coach of one of the most well-known college football programs is Urban Meyer and he’s gotten himself in the news this week.

Image result for urban meyer

Before his tenure at THE Ohio State University, Meyer was the coach of the University of Florida, earning two national titles with the Gators. Meyer won a third national title with the Buckeyes in 2014. Meyer was hired to take over at Ohio State largely based on his successes at his previous schools, including Florida and his roots in the state of Ohio.

Meyer was hired in 2012 to take over the Ohio State football program from interim head coach Luke Fickell. Fickell was named the interim coach after violations of NCAA rules by several players came to light and the head coach Jim Tressel was found to be aware of the improper activities by the players. Tressel accepted discipline from the university by way of suspension as the violations first came to light, before eventually resigning.

Anyways, back to Urban Meyer. This last week reports surfaced that one of the assistants on Meyer’s staff was alleged to commit several acts of domestic violence in 2015. Normally, the assistant would be suspended and eventually fired. What’s making it worse is Meyer seems to have been aware of the assistant’s violent tendencies and didn’t immediately dismiss the assistant when he found out about the domestic violence. In the wake of Meyer’s predecessor Tressel’s downfall, Rick Pitino’s culpability with the UofL scandal, Joe Paterno’s conspiracy in the Jerry Sandusky trials, or Pete Carroll’s role in USC eligibility violations Meyer really has no excuse. All these coaches were dismissed from their programs or left before facing the sanctions against their teams.

There seem to be discrepancies with Urban Meyer’s story and the account from his assistant’s ex-wife. Meyer admitted he knew of an incident in 2009 in which the assistant assaulted his then-wife while she was pregnant. Meyer claims after finding out about the incident he suggested the couple explore marital counseling. The now ex-wife claims in a statement that Meyer knew of the 2015 incident as well, but Meyer claims he only learned about it recently when he dismissed the assistant after the assistant violated a trespass warning when he was found at his ex-wife’s property in July.

Ohio State officials have placed Meyer on administrative leave while they investigate more about the former assistant and whether Meyer was fully aware of his assistant’s violent past as recently as 2015. I’ll be honest, Meyer probably won’t survive unscathed, but he should resign rather than risk being fired. If he resigns and stays out of the spotlight or finds an assistant position like Tressel, he could likely weather the storm. In the era of #metoo and vigorous support of women by the NCAA, it makes no sense for Meyer and the University not to go ahead and part ways. It’s still the Ohio State Football program and it’s a coveted position for many coaches, except those born in the Wolverine State. Jim Tressel resigned from Ohio State, worked as an advisor/assistant in the NFL for a few years and is now an ambassador and executive for Youngstown State and is doing well for himself. Meyer has plenty of connections from his time in Florida and Ohio State, as well as Utah. Meyer might fit well in Washington D.C. as a Quarterback consultant for Alex Smith, a quarterback that he led to success in college, Meyer might also help like Tressel did in Indianapolis. He’d help Jacoby Brissett who played at Florida shortly after Meyer departed for ESPN, as well as help Andrew Luck. I’m not actively rooting for that option one way or the other as a Colts’ fan, but it couldn’t hurt.

Regardless, Urban Meyer must find someway to extricate himself from the situation he now finds himself. Whether he’s vindicated in how aware he was of the assistant’s 2015 offense, or the allegations are proven against him, he’s allowed too much heat on the university.

I know that much of this post will be considered a ‘hot take’ by many Buckeyes fans, and I run the risk of discussing it as I’ll be in Buckeye territory for almost two weeks while I’m at Course of Study School in Ohio starting Sunday.

 

Worth mentioning also, while I will be away and in classes the next few weeks, I’ll be dark on the blog until Aug. 20 with an all-new #HistoryMonday on that day. So, I’ll be anxious to write again for pleasure instead of class and I’m looking forward to much of your input when I return.        

It’s the Time of the Season

Now that it’s August, my family is getting ready for one of their favorite seasons.

The calendar has turned to another month, and that means a new season is approaching. If you said school season, you’d be correct since many schools are starting soon or have already started, but that’s not the season I’m thinking of. It’s also close to football season, but that’s not quite on my radar yet. It’s too early for deer season. But for many in my family, especially the paternal side of my family tree it’s birthday season.

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August has been birthday season for my dad’s family as long as I’ve been alive and was apparently a thing even when Mom married into the family a few years before I was born. When she was welcomed into the family, she was lucky enough to be included in birthday season by having an August birthday like so many others in the family. Both of my aunts celebrate birthdays in August, my oldest cousin was also born in August, his stepdaughter is also an August baby, and my grandfather and my brother shared the same birthday on August 28. Additionally, my sister-in-law is an August baby as well and has been added to the celebration. The most recent addition, or the youngest August Birthday is my first cousin-once removed who just barely slid in under the tag much to her mother’s chagrin.

Given that more than a half dozen people were born in August, it made sense for my Dad’s side of the family to celebrate all of the birthdays as one big shindig. Growing up, there was always an August Birthdays party for everyone in the family born in this month. Additionally, worth celebrating are the two anniversaries celebrated in August thanks to my parents’ and my brother and sister-in-law’s nuptials being part of the festivities.

What’s strange is a similar acknowledgement of multiple family members being born in the same month doesn’t occur on my mom’s side. Much of the members of her family share the month of February as their birth month. This includes my grandfather, my cousin, his youngest son, another cousin’s twins, and of course my own birthday. This may be more since my cousins’ children were born after my grandfather’s death. While my grandfather was alive, three birthdays in the same month would neat but not as remarkable as the number on dad’s side. Now that it would be five people celebrating birthdays it might make more sense, but the family is so spread out that it might present some challenges.

I think Dad’s family celebrates the August Birthdays because so much of the family is within an hour’s drive of each other and we also will find any reason to celebrate and get together. In fact, we floated the August Birthdays party to September a few years back, so we could accommodate everyone’s schedule and celebrate. Thankfully, this year we’ll celebrate the August Birthdays in August, so my mind doesn’t try to comprehend a one-month belated celebration.

Do you have several family members with birthdays in the same month? Do you do anything special to acknowledge them?

Poetry Wednesday #16

The latest original poem “On Country Music.”

Hail to thee, Luke the Drifter!

You come from the state of Cotton.

Maybe a taste of cotton lead you to the snifter?

Your name given to your first begotten

Ensuring your legacy won’t be forgotten

 

Just as valuable, that’s why you’re Cash.

Baritone, sable clad and chiseled jaw

A career not just a flash

No stranger to the other side of the law

You say, “Hello, I’m Johnny from Arkansas.”

 

Don’t be crazy and forget Ms. Cline

That just wouldn’t be right.

Like the men in country’s shrine

Career that flew as high as a kite.

You’re of course still out there walkin’ after Midnight.

 

Nightlife suits you, Possum.

Will anyone fill your shoes?

Lyrics described as awesome.

Which songs do I choose?

You stopped loving her, nonetheless you paid your dues.

 

Thanks for all you still do Red-Headed Stranger.

There flows the Whiskey River

A Lone-Star Stater, but not a Ranger.

Songs for the good times, the arrows in your quiver.

Get on the road again as Country’s caregiver!

 

© Ryan Stroud 2018

 

History Monday #23

Several brothers in Massachusetts get a new house today in 1733.

Today’s post for #HistoryMonday comes from an event prior to the American Revolution and the late Colonial period of the United States. Yet the event would be instrumental towards the Revolution and the United States’ founding as an independent nation.

Standard image of masonic square and compasses
The Square & Compass, the symbol of Freemasonry.

It was on this day in 1733, Henry Price a freemason from the Boston area returned from London with a recognition of orders by the Premier Grand Lodge of England — the first ever Masonic Lodge.  Price had been tasked with petitioning the Premier Grand Lodge for a Warrant to be considered regular freemasons in the colonies since 1721.

These early Boston freemasons began meeting only four years after the founding of the Premier Grand Lodge in London. Price not only received the Warrant for an individual Lodge, he was also conferred with the title of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New England.

This Provincial Grand Lodge was historically known as St. John’s Grand Lodge, and chartered numerous Lodges in the Colonies. Some of those early colonial lodges included influential figures of the American Revolution including Pres. George Washington, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin.

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You might be tempted to ask why am I writing about such a specific event that may not have as much broad effect as other historical events? That’s a fair question but given that 14 (or 15) of our Presidents have been members of at least one Masonic Lodge, and like previously mentioned George Washington would be the first President to be recognized for his efforts with Freemasonry. For reference, Pres. Ford was the last Mason to be President.

By way of apocryphal consideration, is the fact that the early freemasons in the Colonies were also determined to hide vast stores of treasure to prevent the British from winning the American Revolution. Whether Nicholas Cage and his friends are convincing of this truth, the conspiracy of Masonic design of America still persists.

Factually, besides several Presidents and other leaders in American History, freemasons are also dedicated to charitable efforts like most other fraternal organizations. Shriners International, a high-level organization of freemasons is by far the most recognized of charitable efforts by freemasons. Local lodges often assist with efforts to better their individual communities, including cleanup after natural disasters or fundraising for medical expenses of a local citizen. In addition, the dues and fundraisers from these local lodges support efforts for those visual impairment and other eye difficulties. Additionally, Grand Lodges and some large local lodges will offer scholarships for undergraduate and graduate studies to families of freemasons and members of the Masonic youth organizations, including DeMolay & Job’s Daughters. I’m obviously familiar with these efforts as I benefitted from a small scholarship from the Indiana Grand Lodge by virtue of my father and grandfather being freemasons themselves. Worth noting, I’ve considered membership in local lodges at various times, and I know my dad is crossing his fingers and hoping I will. We shall see, but I haven’t ruled it out or committed one way or the other.

What do you know about freemasonry? Do you know other famous Masons?

Current Event Friday #26

The Left can’t take a joke and that’s a sad day for humor.

Did you hear the joke about the conservative commentator making the latest star of the Democratic Party look foolish? Chances are if you’re friends with me on Facebook it popped up on your timeline. Although, the previously mentioned Democratic candidate would rather you didn’t. Her outrage and the outrage from others is the subject of today’s #CurrentEventFriday.

For reference here’s the full video that most everyone on the Left is outraged about.

Now, watching any more than about thirty seconds of this video it is obvious that it’s two separate videos spliced together. The answers provided by Alexandra Occasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Democratic Socialist bartender from New York turned Congresswoman were from an interview with Margaret Hoover on PBS two weeks ago. Clips from this interview made the rounds on social media last week with limited fanfare. The most damning clip included a portion with Occasio-Cortez explaining her understanding of the situation between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s not always a concern but given Occasio-Cortez has a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs a rudimentary understanding should be expected. Also, since so many on the Left object to Pres. Trump’s ignorance of International Relations, you’d like to think the standard-bearer for your party would be more informed.

Anyways, the reason why I wanted to talk about this whole episode is the outrage on the Left. Alexandra Occasio-Cortez and other Democratic leaders have asked Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter Support to remove the video, going so far as to label it with Pres. Trump’s favorite trending topic: #fakenews. Like I said earlier, it’s obviously fake. Even the creator of the video who acts as the interviewer, Allie Stuckey has acknowledged that. Stuckey has also faced demands from Occasio-Cortez, et al. to publicly apologize for misleading the public and propaganda efforts for the Republican Party. Still others have taken it to their own ‘logical’ end and demanded its creator be jailed for slander/libel.

I’ve followed Allie Stuckey for about a year now on social media. She has also produced similar satirical videos for Glenn Beck’s network, The Blaze on parodying an entitled millennial complaining about lack of employment and a psychologist trying to help a Berkley student triggered by a conservative’s speaking engagement on campus. Recently, Stuckey interviewed Daily Wire Editor Ben Shapiro, asking about his supposed contradictions of being an anti-Semitic Jew and a #NeverTrump Trump apologist. Again, these videos are obvious attempts at satire and anyone with half a brain can spot those attempts easily. More than that, these videos are hilarious in their skewering of Leftists. Stuckey who also refers to herself as The Conservative Millennial also has written articles for the Babylon Bee and hosts a weekly podcast for Conservative Review.

It’s also obvious that anyone on the Left has to know that this video with Occasio-Cortez is meant as satire and the feigned outrage is meant to gin up support from their base to raise money on. Yet, most on the Right don’t operate similarly when late-night comedians like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel use similar satirical efforts with Pres. Trump and other GOP leaders. It’s a credit to them to raise money on actual issues of substance.

If the Left actually can’t tell that this video is meant as satire and honestly believes that it’s dishonest propaganda for the Right and Stuckey is being used by conservative outlets to further the Republican agenda, then I’ve lost any respect for them claiming that their intelligence and education is equal to those whom they disagree with on the Right. I’d imagine anyone believing that Stuckey and her team at Conservative Review meant this as anything other than satire would believe this heavily doctored clip from The Simpsons in which Homer is accused of sexual assault. Given the culture of #MeToo, I’m willing to believe that at least a few would miss the discrepancies in the video.

I’ll admit maybe because of my conservative tendencies I’m more than forgiving, but sly editing to demonstrate the problems with Democratic Socialism and the resistance movement from millennials using the opposition’s own words for humor is usually preferable to calling the opposition names like “feckless c**t” or “c**k holster” that comedians like Samantha Bee and Stephen Colbert have used towards Ivanka and Pres. Trump respectively. I’m all for humor, much of my personality is trained to humor, especially the snarky variety. I can appreciate humor towards Pres. Trump that is legitimately funny. I’ve even participated in such humor, because Pres. Trump does leave himself open for satire just as much as any President.  To be fair, most politicians should expect satire if they open themselves up for the public spotlight like Occasio-Cortez. You know why nobody makes fun of Don Young (R-AK) on a regular basis? He doesn’t draw attention. The former governor of his state, Sarah Palin opened herself up for satire and definitely provided material.  In my mind, funny is funny whether it’s a conservative or progressive telling the joke. I’d hope that most Americans could agree that funny is funny, regardless of the political  affiliation of the person telling the joke.

Did you find the “interview” with Alexandra Occasio-Cortez funny, and did you realize it was meant as satire?

P.S. Follow Allie Beth Stuckey on Social Media

Twitter: @conservmillen

IG: @alliebstuckey

Facebook: facebook.com/theconservativemillennialblog

Poetry Wednesday #15

My latest poem “Rockin’ Around the Carousel” is a found poem using classic rock lyrics.

Well don’t you know you can go your own way?                                                                            Round, round, get around, yeah, I get around                                                                              Let’s just call it another lonely day.                                                                                                    Tell me why everything got turned around

You make me happy with the things you do                                                                                  Feeling follows me wherever I go                                                                                                    Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through                                                                                      Well I never been to Spain that I know

Whoa listen to the music all the time                                                                                                Go on, take the silver money and run                                                                                              Open up, on that horse I’m gonna climb                                                                                            See the neon lights, it’s ‘bout to be done

Is it you again, comin’ round for more?                                                                                            Faux wild horses couldn’t drag me away.                                                                                        And we don’t need the ladies anymore.                                                                                            I say “High”, you say “Low” What will we say?

© Ryan Stroud 2018

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History Monday #22

When you wish upon a star…today you get #HistoryMonday

Let’s start this week with a #HistoryMonday that leaves us starstruck. Somehow in researching for this post, I missed this event when I looked at the historic events, but I’m glad it finally stood out to me. I’m hoping it stands out too.

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Hale-Bopp Comet shortly after its closest approach to the Sun 

Today’s historic event is fairly recent, happening less than 25 years ago. It was on this date in 1995, astronomers Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp discovered the same comet that would bear their name at two separate locations.

The Hale-Bopp Comet was observed by both Hale and Bopp in the skies over the Southwestern United States who reported their discovery to the Central Bureau of Astronomical Telegrams only a few hours apart. After evaluating the separate claims of Hale and Bopp the comet was approved and the discovery announced by the Central Bureau the next morning.

The Hale-Bopp Comet has earned distinction as a more remarkable comet than other recent discovered comets. Hale-Bopp was able to best the Great Comet of 1811 by remaining visible for 18 months, a twofold increase from the 1811 comet. Compared to Halley’s Comet, Hale-Bopp was nearly six times the diameter of the earlier comet. Due to these accomplishments, Hale-Bopp is sometimes also called the Great Comet of 1997. The magnitude of Hale-Bopp’s fame was also furthered by the burgeoning internet.

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Hale-Bopp’s significance over an 18-month period nearly a year after its discovery led to the usual assumptions of amateur observers of comets, meteors, and other Near-Earth objects — UFOs are invading our planet. For the most part, these claims are easily refuted or outright ignored and laughed off. However, on March 25, 1997 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide at the advice of their founder in hopes of gaining access to a spaceship following the comet.

Shortly after the Heaven’s Gate tragedy, the comet reached its perihelion, the point an object’s orbit draws it closest to the Sun. Hale-Bopp’s first observed perihelion was on April 1, 1997. This phenomenon led to the comet’s magnitude rendering it brighter than any other star except Sirius. The comet has continued to be observed with high-grade equipment by astronomers today. As the comet continues to move towards the further reaches of our Solar System it is predicted to only remain visible until 2020 given that other galaxies and objects will occlude the comet.

Sadly, the next appearance of Hale-Bopp won’t be likely for another 2500 years and should reach its next perihelion around Christmas Day in 4385. For reference, Halley’s Comet is expected to make its next perihelion in about 43 years in 2061. Of course, there are other minor comets that show up more often, including one that was in the neighborhood about a week ago.

I’ll be honest in admitting that while Hale-Bopp and Halley’s Comets have passed by our planet during my own lifetime, I don’t remember observing either one. In my defense, Halley’s comet last appeared significantly in our orbit when I was a year old and my memories of 1996-1997 are more defined by heart surgery and transitioning from elementary school to junior high school. I’m interested in astronomy to some extent and I occasionally use an app on my iPhone to help determine what objects I’m observing in the sky. Of course, owning a telescope to view the celestial objects in greater detail would be better. That’s probably a much more worthwhile use of my money than some of the other things I spend money on.

Do you remember seeing the Hale-Bopp Comet? Are you a fan of astronomy?