Friday, December 17, 2004

NCAA Division 1A Football - No More BCS!

I grew up in Ohio. I have always been a die-hard Buckeye fan--the fan that gets physically sick when they play poorly. I was on cloud nine when they went 14-0 and won the "national championship" for the 2002 season (actually won it against Miami in Jan 2003 in Tempe, AZ.) I am also a Univ of Utah fan, as I went to school there. I would like to see how the Utes would do against Oklahoma, USC, Auburn and Boise State--all five of which went through the regular 2004 season unbeaten.

For me, before the BCS and 28 bowl games, there were just a handful of post-season match-ups. As a Buckeye fan, all we really cared about was winning the Big Ten and going to the Rose Bowl to play the winner of the PacTen. That's been the goal of all Big 10 and PacTen schools for as long as I can remember. To a certain extent, it is still the goal. Everyone realizes that a national champ is sort of a scam and all the dice need to fall your way. And we all know the BCS is a joke.

The BCS was a program set up by the greedy ADs of each of the 6 conference schools that make up the BCS. Their goal is to maximize the profits to each of the schools in their respective conferences. Even the schools that have crappy programs; e.g., Vanderbilt, get a share of the spoils.

We also know that today's bowl scene is a joke. There are just under 120 Division 1A teams. With 28 sponsored bowls, 56 teams get a birth in postseason--almost half. With a mandatory 6-win requirement, they have a tough time finding enough teams to meet the quota. Add any more bowls and the regular season will need to be extended in order to garner enough teams with the necessary 6 wins. If it weren't for the 3 pre-conference games in which most schedule patsies, those 6 wins would be almost impossible for 56 teams.

Why not a Division 1A playoff? The lower division schools pull it off and do a good job of it. The problems are financial, due to the current bowl and city/town/regional commitments. I talk with lots of fans. We would all like to see a 1A playoff. We all have our opinions on how it could work. Here's mine...

- Create a 16 team playoff, single elimination, winner take all.

- 16 teams comprised of the winners of all the 11 conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Big East, CUSA, Sun Belt, MAC, Mountain West, WAC, PacTen) plus five at large bids. (It is possible to do a 32 team tourney but it would add an extra week on the front or rear. 32 teams would lessen the blow by taking the number of post-season games from 28 to 15 that a 16-team tourney would offer. A 32-team tourney would offer 31 games...) Let go with the 16-team tourney though.

- Each conference would decide if the representing is from the regular season or a conference championship winner. This would encourage stronger pre-conference match-ups.

- The 5 at-large teams would come from the pools--coaches, press and computers. The top 5 teams not winning their conferences would get the invitations. (Norte Dame and Navy, join a conference!)

- The games would in fact be bowl games in today's vernacular. The first 8 games would be placed the first weekend in Dec--Friday and Saturday. The winners would play in 4 quarter-final games the second Friday and Saturday of December.

- The two semi-final games will be played the 3rd Saturday in December

- An all-star game will be played on the 4th Saturday in December. The teams playing in the final will have no representatives.

- The championship game will be played on New Years Day.

- The rounds of 16 and 8 will take place at rotating locations. Cities/regions bid and they get awarded based on merit, region, past experience, facilities, etc. Two games should be played at each location--one on Friday and one on Saturday. (This limits the number of cities but it helps encourage travel--two games for the price of one airplane ticket.)

- The semi-finals and final will take place in rotated regions--3 games in the south, or southwest. Preference should be given to warm-weather locations--FL, NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, TX, AZ, CA, NV. (In December, we all want an excuse to go to warm weather.) The games do not need to be played a traditional bowls sites like Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Rose, but could be (they have the bigger stadiums).

- All games would be played on live TV; no games overlapping with their others (we want to want them all. I can envision that first Friday and Saturday in December wanting 8 games in two days.)

The biggest problem, assuming the financials can be worked out (and they can), are the travel logistics for the fans. The winning fans will have to travel to multiple locations over multiple weeks. Regional scheduling would be the goal, not unlike the basketball tourney. Yea we won't have 28 games played in a matter of two weeks in late-December that no one really cares about, but I can guarantee that the TV audience would be much bigger per contest than today's bowl games.

This would be a tremendous experience for all fans, coaches and participants. Too bad it never will happen.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The New School Prayer...Church vs State

Oh, how far we have fallen. Political correctness gone astray. Politeness and common sense replaced by liberal lunatics demanding a change to our God-based culture established by the Founding Fathers in order to promote their agenda.

The new school prayer shown below, recently read by a school Principle to motivate open discussion on the topics, has resulted in some harsh condemnation from parents, administrators, social elites and the main-stream media. Failing to understand the points made, they are quick to attack with the church vs state dogma.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Concluding from the First Amendment that someone cannot say the Pledge of Allegiance nor display the Ten Commandments in a public setting or on some government property is rubbish. Remember, the U.S.A. is a republic and the government is "instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" (Declaration of Independence).

The same group of people who speak-up against any references to God, based on our long-standing culture, are the same ones who want to give the Muslims an open forum. If it is rooted in Judeo-Christian culture, they are opposed. "By their fruits ye shall know them." This great country was made great by God-fearing men and women. It's not the Muslims that produce good fruit. In fact, they only create misery. When we attempt to place undue caps on our established culture, we take one more step toward total secularism. We become no better than the communists.

The American I live in gives everyone its voice. However, when it comes to government and the law, they must stand up against the Constitution. I for one will never back down from the liberal elite. They can't see the forest because of the trees. Freedom is not doing whatever you want whenever, because of the principal of consequences. Their idea of progress is actually servitude.
The new school prayer is an accurate portrayal of how far we have fallen. It demonstrates that those things that were once concerned good are now considered bad; and those things once considered bad are now considered good. And yes, there's a scripture that says this will come to pass...

*********************
THE NEW SCHOOL PRAYER

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot;
My soul please take!

Amen

Source: a teen in Bagdad, Arizona
*********************

Monday, December 06, 2004

Iraq

I remember the first major confrontation the U.S. had with Iraq after the Iran-Iraq conflict. It was in Kuwait. In 1991, Sadaam felt he needed control of the southern ports and better security in the region. He failed to realize that invading a sovereign nation like Kuwait would not be tolerated. The U.S. quickly eliminated Sadaam's claims on Kuwait. Unfortunately, because it was a "UN-sanctioned" operation, it was decided that it would be unwise to pursue the culprits back to Baghdad. Someone must have forgotten their WWII history. We have all regretted that decision.

Move the clock ahead ten years, and we found ourselves not too far from where we started. Sadaam, a securlarist in a region of fanaticals, was a concern. He repeatedly thumpted his nose at the western world. UN resolution after resolution did little to sway his determination to stand up to the big boys. Years and years of UN inspections did not provide the proof we needed--undeniable proof that Iraq was actively engaged in developing weapons of mass destruction--biological, chemical and nuclear. We knew he used chemical weapons on his Kurdish citizens. We knew his intentions. We acted based on knowledge of the man.

What was is about Iraq that caused such emotion by many of our elected leaders. Regardless of ideology, just about all of them said, "war against Iraq, yes." But what if we did nothing? I for one, never felt the threat to our national interests justified the cost.

There are lots of countries out there with questionable, despotic, certainly anti-American leadership: Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, India, Pakistan, France, Germany... What about them? Was going to Iraq in our national best interest? I don't think so.

We send our troops on long, extended tours, to fight battles that are extremely costly. We fight closer to their terms than our terms--conventional tactics and weaponry in a nuclear age. Why?

Did we really think we could establish a democratic form of government in the Arab world? In a culture of clanism, outsiders cannot make any lasting change. They have been fighting amongst themselves for centuries. They will continue to fight when we are gone.

To me, the only real value to our national interest in the Middle East is energy. Our economy, as are most modern economies, is directly tied to a steady supply of affordable energy.

We care for the Iraqi people as much as we care for any of the African nations' peoples, the Indonesian people, etc. We are not helping establish democracy and prosperity in any of those nations. Yet, we felt the Iraqi people needed our help.

I do think George W. Bush wanted to address the unfinished business of his father. I think he and his advisers were mis-informed as to the difficulty in fighting this war, especially with the handcuffs he has placed upon our soldiers. They thought a quick battle would root out the evil ones and a democracy would be welcomed with open arms. We are in this so deep now that pulling out will be even more costly--not in the terms of finances but in reputation. However, I wonder who cares. Everyone is jealous of America. Sure, many disapprove of the moral decay they see on the liberal newscasts and in Hollywood, but many also see the freedom and opportunity America affords. Problem is, America's ideals cannot exist in these nations. Our form of government is too foreign to them. It takes an immigrant to come here and experience it for him/herself. It is almost impossible to teach and implement.

I think the Iraq war was and is a mistake. I would have voted against going to battle, if I had a vote. The light at the end of the tunnel was never clear. The cost was and is too great. I am not too concerned over the debt we are raking up, just yet, but it is in the back of my mind. Billions of dollars spent in Iraq are billions in taxes I wish we did not have to pay. (the liberals position is they want to spend the money elsewhere; I don't; I want the government to take less and less of what I earn.)

Iraq has been a tax burden I did not want to bare. We need to clean up the mess as best we can; allow them to self-determine their pseudo-democracy; establish permanent military bases; and ensure a free-flow of oil out of that country with a goal to stabilize the price of oil, comforting the financial markets.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Constitution Never Faileth

I have always been a Republican. I usually vote a straight ticket. My father is a Republican. My mother votes for the "best man". My paternal grandmother was a die-hard Republican. She only became involved in politics later in life. Born in 1902, she was a typical subservient housewife for years. When she became a widow, she entered the workforce. She worked for the State of Ohio handling welfare cases. Her experience with those on the dole made her passionate about avoiding governmental handouts. Conceptually, the programs are to help those down on their luck. Her experience: a cop-out for laziness and for perpetual income without effort. Most were able to work, they just chose not too. She motivated me to explore the political of liberalness at a young age.

I have voted for non-Republicans on a few occasions: namely when I was in college in Utah. With nothing to conserve, creating little income, paying little taxes, and with that student attitude of question all, it seemed prudent to vote against the Utah mainstream. I have since repented.

This last general election--November 2004--I was tempted once again to vote non-Republican. This time, for totally different reasons. I did some studying of the other major right wing parties: Libertarian (www.lp.org) and Constitutional (www.constitutionparty.com). Many of the principles adhered to by the Libertarians are sound. However, I had to bail when I read about their positions on borders, language and culture. I am firmly against open borders. I believe in immigration--a key element of our culture--albeit legal immigration. With respect to the Constitutional Party's platform, as I read their principles, I agree with every one of them. They have become my party of choice.

So how did I vote on 2 Nov 2004? I voted straight Republican ticket. Was this prudent? Would I be throwing away my vote by voting for the Constitutional Party candidates? Yes and no.

My biggest motivation this year was anti-Kerry. Unfortunately, the Democrats have taken a turn for the worst these past 30 years. Their leadership has failed to understand the typical person. Too many socially elite have crept into their upper echelons and have created unappealing candidates. Kerry represents everything I loath about people, not just politicians. He is a fake, self-aggrandizing poser who's only "quality" is his ability to fool many people. I felt as opposed to Kerry as the social elite opposed Bush.

My opinion of Bush is that he not a bad man. He comes from wealth (as does Kerry) but he is rooted in firm beliefs. He's not eloquent but he's not fake. He has a vision and he's willing to work for it. However, I do not agree with many of his governing principles. I disagree with his fiscal policies--he's spending too much on too many useless programs (see the Constititutional Party's platform to read which agencies should be eliminated or cut way back). His Department of Homeland (In)security is a joke. And I strongly disagree with his positions on border, languages and culture. This rhetoric about amnesty for illegal immigrant is down-right treasonous. So why did I vote for him?

I did not think the Constitutional Party could win and I did not want to see any more Liberals in position to create more expensive, shackling programs nor did I want Kerry to add his Liberal cronies to the Federal Courts. Was I wrong not voting for Peroutka, etc? Yes.

The Republicans have abandoned me and those like me. We are Constitutionalist. Anything not supported by the US Constitution is man-made regulation and slavery.

The Founding Fathers established a balance, not just between branches of government but between anarchy and despotism. The Republicans are way left of center on just about every government principle esteemed by a Republic. That makes the Democrats even further to the left. The gap between the two major parties is narrowing. Republicrats or Demoblicans--not much difference these days.

Imagine if the Constitutional Party candidates on the national level would have garnered 1% of the popular vote. It would not have changed the outcome, most likely, but it would have sense a powerful message. Many felt this election was a choice between two evils. However two evils do not make a right. (I am not calling GWB evil but many of his policies are.)

This American continent is a chosen land. Scriptures tell us that this land will be blessed if those inhabiting it are righteous. If we fail to recognize God and his hand in our lives, we walk (or run) down a slippery slope. _The Book of Mormon_ covers this principle in depth--Nephites, Lamanites, Jaredites, etc. We learn for other great civilizations--Greek and Roman--that moral decay, perpetuated by unrighteous and week-kneed politicians as well as society and industry spokespersons--eventually fail. They fail because the drift from the true principles they were founded upon.

This nation shall endure only if the people live righteous lives and demand accountability from their elected officials. Anything that is not rooted in the Constitution takes us away from that necessary balance. Environmentalists who are quick to point out imbalances in nature fail to see the need for governmental balance. They think we are moving to the right. This is wrong. We are in fact moving to the left and have been doing so for the past 35 years. It is as if we are on an iceberg and we may be taking some steps left and right but that iceberg is moving left without us realizing it.

I love America. I love the Constitution. American can only be saved if we adhere to the divinely inspired Constitution, for it never faileth.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Purpose of Blog: Mormon On Politics

Mormons, nickname for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, are very political people. Most are conservative by nature and tend to vote Republican or Constitutional; few vote Democratic, Independent, and Libertarian. They are family-oriented people (one husband = one wife). They love their God (Heavenly Father), his Son, Jesus Christ (our Savior and Redeemer), and the blessings of the Holy Ghost (comforter and constant guide). They love their country (Mormonism is a global religion). They love their religious way of life. They are productive members of society. They succeed much more frequently than they fail. They lead balanced lives--Steven Covey, a Mormon, made a boat-load of money writing, speaking and packaging this.

This blog will contain my thoughts on a variety of topics. Most will be controversial--no sense in wasting your time on boring topics. These entries are my opinions. In no way should they be considered official Church doctrine.

You feedback is welcome.