Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Woe is Washington

Most would likely agree that Washington DC is chock full of rather slimy individuals. They consist of pathological liars, frauds, cheats, and those that enact laws that are binding on citizens -- but not themselves, all the while richly lining their pockets at the expense of taxpayers. We sometimes refer to them as politicians.

And the sports scene in the nation's capital leaves a lot to be desired as well. Consider the teams.

In Major League Baseball, they offer up the Nationals. Once upon a time, they couldn't even spell their own name right on their jerseys, which said "Natinals". How embarrassing. The Nats would tell us they have an array of stars but, in the end, they never seem to win anything. Steven Strasburg was the best thing since wireless remotes, but his pitching arm is evidently as fragile as an egg. Bryce Harper is touted as a sort of super-star. He batted .243 last year. When's the last time a Washington team even made it to the World Series, let alone winning it? Come playoff time, they have a recent history of making a quick exit.

Speaking of which, consider the Capitals of the NHL. They too have been regular season wonders, racking up the points, but choke like chihuahuas on chicken bones in the playoffs.

The football team hasn't been any good in decades. Nor are they this year. They've received more attention for their name, Redskins, than they do for what they've accomplished on the field. This is perceived by many to be a slight on Native Americans and they have clamored for them to change it. However, the owner, one Daniel Snyder, has remained steadfast in his refusal to do so. The bottom line is -- it's his team, having paid handsomely for it -- and he can call them whatever he damn well wants to. There's two ways of looking at it. The Washington franchise was among the charter members of the NFL way back in the Great Depression era and they've always been the Redskins. So what's the big deal about changing their name now? Conversely, nobody, absolutely nobody ever got screwed worse in America than the Indians. Can we call them that? If not, folks in Cleveland better get busy changing the name of their baseball team. At least the slaves were finally set free. Native Americans were banished to reservations, where they still reside. This author suspects said Native Americans have way bigger life issues to be concerned with than the name of a football team. For now, at least the politically correct noise has mercifully died down. But it will be back when those prone to protest such things tire of other causes to scream about. Alas.

Their NBA representative, the Wizards, went through a somewhat similar controversy not long ago. Heaven forbid a team should be called the Bullets. Better to name them after sorcerers that can supposedly cast evil spells than anything remotely connected to a firearm. There's too much violence in America already, it is said. Naming a team after a projectile will only encourage more of it. It's OK to invade foreign countries on false pretenses, killing countless thousands, but a name like Bullets is taboo? That's some kind of twisted logic, but we've already mentioned politicians above. The collective Wiz supposedly have a super-star themselves -- one John Wall. At a home game, he just went off for fifty -- count em -- FIFTY points against the Orlando Magic. His team lost by 8. How bad are the rest of these guys if a non-contender like the Magic can outscore his teammates by a combined 58 points -- at home?

It is curious also that Americans have built monuments in Washington DC to honor a few past Presidents. These were supposedly great men, but were they really?

Abraham Lincoln has one such monument. Some consider him the greatest Prez of them all. His Emancipation Proclamation is deemed an historic document indeed. But closer inspection perhaps shows otherwise. The EP freed all the slaves in the South. People tend to forget many northern states had slaves as well, which were not expressly covered in the document. They remained bound for some time. So basically, Lincoln mandated a change to a bloc of states (Confederacy) that had seceded and were no longer even part of the United States (Union). Ordering others what to do while not abiding by the same rules oneself is the height of hypocrisy. Further, some historians have suggested Lincoln was of a bisexual nature. They claim to have evidence that while Mary Todd was away or otherwise occupied, Lincoln would rendezvous with male suitors. Perhaps Abe wasn't so honest after all. In modern times, attitudes regarding such matters have drastically changed from what they were in the mid 1800s. Society is light years more tolerant and accepting of various sexual preferences. Yet if true, can you imagine the fate that would have befallen Lincoln, let alone his legacy, if even a whiff of such behavior came to light back in those days?

George Washington, the "founder" of our country, is honored by a sort of giant phallus. Yikes.

Thomas Jefferson, a Virginia rancher, is widely credited with writing the Declaration of Independence. He has a monument as well. Yet Jefferson was a slave owner himself. While he advocated that some "truths are self-evident", namely all men are created equal, it appears TJ considered some more equal than others. Worse, it has since come to light Jefferson not only had a little hanky-panky going on with at least one slave woman, Sally Hemings, but fathered several children with her. Were there others? Unknown, but we're talking slaves here. Given access to such a "harem", it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that Jefferson more fully used it. Most men of power would. About two centuries later, a likeness of Thomas Jefferson would be used on the American two dollar bill. When's the last time you saw one of those? Probably about the last time Washington DC had a sports team that did anything notable.

It's sadly comical that while DC has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, it is not only rife with crime, but the National Rifle Association maintains a huge presence there having their way with the above politicians that make the laws of the land. See lobbyists, ergo money quietly changing hands.

Add to all this a bombastic multi-billionaire named Trump is coming to town to run the whole shooting match, no pun intended. This could be a great thing, or a total disaster. Time will tell.

Yessirree, that's some kind of town.

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