Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ohio State President Gordon Gee and the BCS

Gordon Gee, President of Ohio State and BTW, an active member of the LDS church, voiced his opinion regarding non-BCS teams competing in the BCS.
"Well, I don't know enough about the X's and O's of college football," said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt universities. "I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it's like murderer's row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day.
I am a Buckeye from the core but I absolutely disagree with his opinion regarding non-BCS teams competing on the national stage.

There are certainly weak teams in the WAC and in the Mountain West. But one only needs to consider some of the other BCS conferences, namely the Big East and the ACC. They are basketball conferences with organized football teams. Even in the stronger conferences, there are some pretty weak teams: Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa State, UCLA, Colorado, Washington State, to name a few.

Boise State, Utah, TCU, BYU and even Fresno State and Nevada will give any team from the SEC, Big Ten, Pac Ten and Big 12 a tough game on any given Saturday. As a Buckeye fan, we need to schedule these non-BCS teams. I would welcome a home-home series against BSU, TCU or Utah. Anytime. Anyplace. Anywhere. It is better for the game. It is better for the fans.

The BCS is all about business, more importantly greed. The BCS teams are going out of their way to schedule 3-4 weak teams each season; i.e., I-AA teams, in order to pad their "wins". None of them will schedule Boise State or TCU.

Demeaning other schools and their athletic programs is based on ignorance and arrogance. Many share Gee's biased opinion. And that opinion is wrong.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quantitative Easing, aka, Bad Monetary Policy

Quantitative easing is a nice way of saying "print money with no backing." Pumping a second round of cash -- $600 billion worth -- into the economy is a desperate tactic of trying to fix years of failed monetary policy. The Fed continues to make one mistake after another.

QE2 will have only a negative impact on the US economy. There might be a short-term boost in the markets but the markets know that it is financial hocus pocus.

The federal government is taking no real positions and is implementing little policy to build business and investment confidence. Everyone if fearful of higher taxes and greater entitlement yielding sickly fruit.

The US government's size and its debt appears to have reached that tipping point where it begins to crash down on itself.

Washington craves -- we all crave -- adult leadership. Politics are killing us and will continue to do so as long as we have spineless congressional leaders and a spineless president.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Dragoon Mountains - Cochise Stronghold

As American implemented its Manifest Destiny political ambitions in the 19th century, some of its last opponents were the Chihuahua Apache in southeastern Arizona. Chief Cochise and his associates hid out in the Dragoon Mountains, today part of the Coronado National Forest. His hiding area has become known as the Cochise Stronghold.

I took my two daughters to the area for some nature and Indian lore experiences. We camped the night before at the Cochise Stronghold Campground, west of Sunsites, AZ. A nice campground with restroom but no running water. We started hiking at around 8am in early November 2010. We hiked three miles up the Cochise Trail to the Stronghold Divide -- the area between the east and west sections of the Stronghold. It climbs about 1100 feet over those three miles. The hiking trail is great. There are some rocky sections but there is little impact from horses so the trail is smooth and un-rutted. It is a great hike for families, youth, scouts, etc. -- not overly challenging but rewarding.

When I think about the the Apache history in the area, I cannot help think that they enjoyed their surroundings, despite the on-going battle with destiny. Cochise was buried up there, where only a few know. But it is refreshing to walk the land that this once proud people lived and walked.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Giffords Defeats Kelly in Arizona's 8th District

In southern Arizona, we are represented in the east (District 8) by Congresswoman Giffords; in the west (District 8) by Congressman Grijalva. Democratic incumbant Grijalva won a close battle and fifth term against Ruth McClung. Giffords beat out youthful Jesse Kelly, declaring victory four days after the polls closed, and earning a third term in Congress.

Obviously the Grijalva victory was not about character or doing what is right for Arizona. Here's a man that is outright against SB 1070 and welcomes open borders. He knows his constituency is Mexican Americans and traditional Democratic policies.

Giffords is a typical Democrat. Most of her positions are on the liberal She votes in line with Speaker Pelosi on just about every major issue. Jesse Kelly, though a solid conservative, went a little over-board with his apple pie, religion and military experience. He came across as too youthful and lacking experience. It is tough for some people to get behind someone who has no college education and has seen very little of what life has to offer.

The battle between Gifford and Kelly was close but would have gone to Kelly if it were not for the Libertarian Party's candidate, Steven Stoltz. Stoltz had 10,000 votes -- 4%.

I love the Libertarian Party platform. I agree with almost every position they take. However, third-party candidates cannot win elections. Candidates from the Constitution Party, American Independent Party and Libertarian Party take votes from Republicans. Third parties have their rolls but it must be with the the two mainstream parties. They must force the Republican Party to adopt more of their positions.

I am not thrilled with my congressional representative in Washington, DC, but I do hope Congresswoman Giffords keeps her promise and helps force the federal government's hand at controlling our southern border.