Breitbart Mentality

Number 14 of an absolutely ridiculous series

Surprise, surprise! Not really. I subscribe to the Breitbart News email, and these items come to me regularly. Above is a recent one.

Without citing any sources, since I do not need to, the Washington Redskins professional football team has been catching flak for years over it’s mascot/team name. It is a blatant reference to Indians, and why they are called “Indians,” since there are already other people called “Indians” is an issue I will not get into.

Anyhow, people of the Americas have been comfortable with being called Indians, but many are not comfortable being referred to in other terms, “Braves,” for example. In fact, since the team is not owned by any people who call themselves Indians, but by people with no connection to any of the (American) Indian population, it would seem reasonable for actual Indians to make the decision regarding the team name.

Anyhow, with the recent and rightful backlash against racial injustice in this country the push has finally come to shove and the Washington, D.C. team is considering a name change. So…. What’s the fuss about?

Apparently the people at Breitbart find this news-worthy, and you have to wonder why. I mean, yeah, Breitbart News is the legacy of the late Andrew Breitbart, in his time a powerful voice for American conservatism. I have to take from Breitbart’s concern with this matter that any caving to calls for accommodation is an insult to conservatism, and again we have to wonder why. What does real conservatism have against accommodation to complaints from American citizens. To be clear, here is an excerpt from the linked article.

The Washington Redskins have been asked by their corporate sponsors to change their team name, and, it appears they are willing to consider doing so.

According to a statement released by the team and obtained by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Redskins are to conduct a “thorough review” of the team’s name.

Wait! That’s the entire article. Breitbart, from all appearances, is cool with the idea of a name change. But not some of their readers.

hey gee • 2 days ago
Since DC votes 97% for democrats, perhaps they should be called the Marxists

The One  hey gee • 2 days ago
I still think they should keep the name change the logo to a Ginger roofer in July.

jordanminn  The One • 2 days ago
The Washington Race Baiters………..

with either Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson as their mascot.

DeplorableghostofThomasPaine2  jordanminn • 2 days ago
I like “The Progressive Thinskins”

All right! There’s the Breitbart Mentality I have come to know and love.

The Government You Paid For

Number 60 of a Series

Did I ever mention I do not like soccer? I will not watch soccer. I find it to be boooring.

That said, I salute our women’s team in their well-deserved victory. They are an example for all women, for all Americans. And they deserve to be feted by the president at the White House. I would have seen them feted by Franklin Roosevelt, by Harry Truman, by Dwight Eisenhower, by John Kennedy, by Lyndon Johnson, by Richard Nixon, by Gerald Ford, by Ronald Reagan, by George H. W. Bush, by Bill Clinton, by George W. Bush, by Barack Obama.

But not by Donald Trump. Never would I want to see this happen.

People Unclear

This is number 44 of a series

When I run low on issues to post about, I can reliably turn to the matter of people unclear. These are people who leave the impression they were taking a bathroom break when the operating instructions were handed out. Do I poke fun at these people? Yes, I do, and it’s not being cruel. It’s not being cruel when explanation has been provided again and again, and when the facts are clearly laid out but willfully ignored. Shame!

Here’s another one and additional proof that I usually do not conduct my own research. This came by way of Yahoo News, penned by Jack Baer, to whom thanks go for due diligence. The matter concerns Washington State University football coach Mike Leach and his off-kilter Sunday pastime. Here’s from Yahoo News:

Mike Leach spends Father’s Day arguing on Twitter about heavily edited Barack Obama conspiracy video

Mike Leach could have spent his Father’s Day doing so many fun things, like a family dinner or golfing (OK, probably not golfing). Heck, he probably could have just spent the day recruiting like Nick Saban probably did.

Instead, Leach honored the occasion by tweeting out a clearly fake video of Barack Obama and spending hours arguing about it with strangers on the internet [sic].

Whoa! Tweeting out a fake video? Featuring former President Barack Obama? Where’s the news in that? I recall a recent eight-year period when this activity was a nation-wide sport, with points given for originality. Before I go further, take a look at the video:

Since this is a competitive event, I am giving points for the various elements (1 – 5):

  • Originality: 1
  • Execution: 2
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Audacity: 5

If audacity were the only element scored, then Coach Leach would be heading for the playoffs. Writer Jack Baer has more, and it contains some interesting revelations.

First, Coach Leach has 100,000 Twitter followers. Who would have thought? And he shared the video with his 100,000 followers. See? That’s how word gets around.

Second, Mike Leach received push back from a number of the tweetees. An example:

Replying to 

This video is a hoax. This was given and selectively clipped from a speech to the EU in Brussels. Be better than this.

Now for the kicker. Coach Leach punted back:

Replying to 

Prove it. Irrelevant anyway. We are discussing ideas. Do one or the other

Prove it! Prove it? How many ways are there to spell “brass balls?” All that is necessary to “prove it” is to replay the original, unedited speech. Irrelevant? That the video is a fake is irrelevant? Has “irrelevant” been given a new meaning?

In his original tweet, since deleted, Coach Leach introduced the video with these words:

Listen to this. Text your thoughts. There is a lot of disagreement on government, so I think that an open discussion is always in order. Tweet your thoughts. Maybe we can all learn something.

He wants readers to listen up, pay attention. He wants their thoughts. He wants open discussion. For those still unclear, you do not seek open discussion by opening with a lie. As Jack Baer explains, responders presented proof the video was fake. When you are truly unclear, what do you do when  presented with evidence you are truly unclear? You provide additional evidence that you are truly unclear. Here’s another exchange:

Replying to 

He’s speaking about Russian aggression in Ukraine. You cannot say “Discussion” when you’re entire invitation is built on a false premise.

The link is to the unedited speech. The coach elects to dig in:

Replying to 

What is false. Please clarify. Does this ever happen to Trump or any other politicians?!

First, the sentence “What is false” should have been spelled “What is false?” It is supposed to be a question. Then, maybe not. Perhaps Coach Leach does not consider it to be a question. Perhaps he’s making a point. “Who cares what is false?”
Does this ever happen to Trump or any other politicians?!
Double punctuation question mark and exclamation mark. A question shouted out loud and with force. But what does the question mean? Is this actually a statement: “This kind of stuff happens to Trump all the time. And other politicians, besides, so I’m not picking on Obama.” Putting aside whether this should ever be done (fake videos, fake stories) by anybody about anybody, I want to dive into the mind of Coach Leach. How about Trump, and how about how he is treated? Is all this stuff about President Trump fabricated? Is it all fake, a bunch of lies? More so, is any of it fake? Let’s see.


Yeah, that will about do it with whether this stuff is fake.

There is more from Jack Baer:

All told, Leach asked Twitter users to “prove it” nine different times (123456789) as he continued to march through the internet battlegrounds, conveniently missing the many people trying to provide him with proof the video he shared was fake.

At one point, Leach asked a Twitter user a point-blank question that essentially summed up the whole exercise: “What’s a fact?


Replying to  

What’s a fact?

And that does it. When you are arguing a point with somebody, and they ask, “What is a fact,” it’s time to throw in the towel. That’s another sports figure of speech, and it means it’s time to quit. You’re wasting your time. You are obviously dealing with somebody unclear.

The matter of questioning fact is a topic covered in two books I finished reading this month:

Here are some pertinent excerpts:

My hope is to capture and share the experience of more than fifty years in the intelligence profession, to impart the pride that intelligence officers take in their work, the care with which they consider the ethical implications of surveillance and espionage, and the patriotism and willingness to sacrifice that they bring to the job. And finally, I intend to show that what Russia did to the United States during the 2016 election was far worse than just another post–Cold War jab at an old adversary. What happened to us was a sustained assault on our traditional values and institutions of governance, from external as well as internal pressures. In the wake of that experience, my fear is that many Americans are questioning if facts are even knowable, as foreign adversaries and our national leaders continue to deny objective reality while advancing their own “alternative facts.” America possesses great strength and resilience, but how we rise to this challenge—with clear-eyed recognition of the unbiased facts and by setting aside our doubts—is entirely up to us. I believe the destiny of the American ideal is at stake.

Clapper, James R.. Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (p. 4). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Deeply involved in this is the question of truth. It was no accident that the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year in 2016 was “post-truth,” a condition where objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. Liberal British academic and philosopher A. C. Grayling characterized the emerging post-truth world to me as “over-valuing opinion and preference at the expense of proof and data.” Oxford Dictionaries president Casper Grathwohl predicted that the term could become “one of the defining words of our time.”

Hayden, Michael V.. The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies (p. 3). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Both of these writers are retired military generals, both worked in military and civilian intelligence for the United States Government. Both consider, rightly, that useful intelligence is based on fact and not on hopes and preferences. When you want to know how many battle tanks the enemy has facing you, you might wish there were only 15, but if there really are 400, then you need to  know this fact. There is evidence we have an administration for which facts are negotiable. Call me concerned.

An additional fact came out of the Yahoo News story, besides the fact that his employer responded to the episode by issuing a statement: “As a private citizen, Mike Leach is entitled to his personal opinions,” the statement said. “Coach Leach’s political views do not necessarily reflect the views of Washington State University students, faculty and staff.” That additional fact is that Coach Leach is the highest paid employee of the state of Washington—$3.5 million.

Quite obviously there are a number of people unclear in the state of Washington.

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 23 in a series

Full disclosure:

I do not post these to make fun of Donald Trump, current President of the United States. I post these to make fun of the people who voted for Donald Trump. Some people out there must by now be feeling the heat. My intent is to see they get no rest, and I will remind them as often as I am able, that this is what they wanted. So where to start?

How about our petulant President’s obsession with unworldly affairs?

NFL Commissioner, Players’ Union Angrily Denounce Trump

Full disclosure: I have zero interest in the NBA and the NFL and only marginal interest in MLB. Players making more in a year than I made in a lifetime live in a world apart from me, and I feel little inclination to contribute to their wealth by watching them participate in what is supposed to be a pastime. Now some of these multi-millionaires want to use their position of advantage to push closely-held agendas. Having said this, I may agree with some or all their political statements.

But now we have our highest elected official using his own position of power to weigh in against other millionaires. All on company time. The bully pulpit of the presidency is being leveraged to wage a campaign of personal preference. Are we supposed to be proud?

And what is this obtaining for the most powerful person in the country? It will be interesting to know:

Trump Attacks Warriors’ Curry. LeBron James’s Retort: ‘U Bum.’

A response was not short in coming:

U bum already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!

So now we have another millionaire, who remarkably may enjoy more popularity than the President of the United States, getting down and dirty with the Snowflake-in-Chief. Across the board there is the appearance professional sports is putting distance with this president:

Backlash After Trump Slams NFL Players’ Protests, NBA’s Stephen Curry

President Donald Trump sparked a backlash from some of the biggest names in professional sports on Saturday after he attacked football players who refuse to stand during the national anthem in protest and rescinded a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry.

The NBA champions Warriors team said they would not be going to the White House after Trump tweeted that “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

What’s next? NASCAR? The initial reaction to Trump’s election last year was generally positive. After all, the public statements and proposed policies of the candidate aligned well with the conservative bent of drivers and fans. A chill has since set in:

NESN Fuel Major NASCAR Sponsor Asks Fans Who Agree With Donald Trump To Shop Elsewhere

by Ben Watanabe on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 2:49PM

Marcus Lemonis has no problem with some customers taking their RV and outdoor needs elsewhere. Close followers of NASCAR know Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, is a major player in the sport. His brand is the title sponsor of the truck racing series, while its subsidiary Overton’s has sponsored multiple races and cars this season. With that in mind, NASCAR chairman Brian France — who last year endorsed Donald Trump for president — might want to watch his words. Amid the flood of CEOs rushing to distance themselves from Trump’s business councils after the U.S. president’s wishy-washy denunciation of white supremacy last weekend, Lemonis on Wednesday appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” where he seemed to suggest he wouldn’t be shattered if people who supported Trump’s comments decided to shop elsewhere.

What a fiasco! We provide millions of dollars a year in Secret Service protection for this guy, and he spends his time on this? Wasn’t he supposed to be defeating ISIS or something?

And don’t even think about getting your money back.

Quiz Question

This question never appeared on a quiz. Motorcycle racers are going to get this one fairly quickly. But first the story behind it.

Back in my college days I knew these two racers, Mike Bonnell and John Horn, both college students. They went up to Meadowdale, Illinois, to a professional race. The tales they brought back were mind boggling. For one, there was this turn that was called the wall. I will explain. See the image below.


These bikers are cranked over to the max executing a tight turn. Look at the angle the wheels make with the ground. See the following image.


Diagram 1

This shows a schematic of a motorcycle tire when the bike is making a tight turn. If you know the coefficient of friction between the tire and the pavement, you can calculate the maximum lean angle, which translates to how tight you can turn. When the track surface is banked into the turn you can turn even tighter, lean even further, for the same coefficient of friction.


Diagram 2

At Meadowdale “The Wall” was so named because the pavement was absolutely vertical.


Diagram 3

Yes, you can ride the wall, provided you have enough traction. But what if the surface is inclined beyond the vertical, as in the next image.


Diagram 4

If you have enough traction, is it possible, in principle, for the tire to cling to the surface and support the motorcycle when there is nothing below the motorcycle but air? That is the quiz question. Post your answer as a comment below. Provide some justification for your answer, some analysis. I will post the correct answer next week, which could be as early as Sunday.


Prasad has answered the question with a “yes,” which is the correct answer.

Yes. This is in a turn only and with a sufficient speed of the bike. The centrifugal force compensates over the gravitational force.

However, he has not provided an adequate explanation. Here is a diagram that explains the forces acting on the motorcycle.


Diagram 5

The pavement curves to the right in the above diagram. This causes it to exert a rightward force on the motorcycle, diagrammed here as a tire cross-section only. Gravity acts down on the center of gravity. The frictional force acts parallel to the area of contact with the pavement. The acting forces are resolved this way.

  1. Combined gravity and friction forces produce a net CW torque on the motorcycle. The centripetal force produces a CCW torque. The two torque components cancel out, so the motorcycle does not rotate in the plane of view.
  2. The friction force contains a vertical component that exactly matches gravity. This keeps the motorcycle stable in the up-down direction. The motorcycle does not fall away from the pavement surface.


Prasad has added comments too complex to be analyzed in the comments section. I will address his comments here. First Prasad’s comments:

September 15, 2015 at 23:59 Edit

Sorry, I didn’t have the time to tackle the write-up.

However, your diagram needs a little more clarity, for lack of better words.

Acceleration is not a force. The mass of the motorcycle plus the motorcyclist does exert a force on the road surface when it accelerates but the beauty is that the motorcycle doesn’t need to be accelerating; it is just an additional benefit if you will. It does need sufficient velocity entering the turn and to counter the little friction which slows down the bike.

THE most important thing here is ‘angular momentum.’

The centrifugal force compensates for the gravity component. That is the most important thing. This does not happen in linear motion — ONLY when there is angular momentum.

The components of the forces are for students. It’s not too difficult to draw but I don’t want to draw them on a computer for lack of time.

I will tackle the various parts one at a time:

Yes, acceleration is not a force.

The motorcycle does need to be accelerating. The arrow labeled “Acceleration” in the Diagram 5 shows the direction of acceleration. Acceleration is to the right, away from the local surface. The acceleration is toward the center of the turn radius. That’s what keeps the motorcycle traveling in a circle while in the turn.

This problem has nothing to do with angular momentum. The wheels have angular momentum with respect to their turning about their axles. The motorcycle has angular momentum about it’s turn radius. Neither of these enter into the problem.

No “centrifugal force” compensates for the gravity component. The only thing that compensates for the gravity component is the vertical component of the Friction Force so labeled in Diagram 5.

Additional explanation on request. Keep reading, and stay involved.

Quiz Question

ross from the Grand Prix Café, legendary driver Juan Manuel Fangio stands frozen forever in bronze, next to his Mercedes Benz race car. He won the race here in 1950 and again in 1957. In 1966 he drove one of the race cars for John Frankenheimer in making the movie Grand Prix. He retired from racing in 1958 and passed away at the age of 84 in 1995.

The person in the photo is legendary Formula 1 race drive Juan Manuel Fangio. Actually, that’s just a statue of him alongside his Mercedes Benz racer. The statue is located at the west end of the course for the Monaco Grand Prix. Fangio was known as a driver of great precision. Very steady and reliable, he was a master of this difficult course.

Which brings us to the quiz question of the day.

Fangio and his team mate drove identical cars. Particularly the gear boxes were exactly the same, with the same set of gear ratios. Additionally, and I cannot for the life of me imagine why, the cars were equipped with revolution counters. Not just tachometers, but counters—counters that recorded the total number of crankshaft revolutions. And here comes the puzzle.

Fangio would typically win. When he and his team mate brought their cars into the pits after the race, and they examined the revolution counters, Fangio’s count was always less.

Those who have raced cars, and also motorcycles, know why this is. The rest of you need to answer the question. Why would you expect Fangio’s revolution total to be less?

Post your answers in reply to this post. I will publish the answer next week. Maybe sooner.




It’s time I applied some Skeptical Analysis to the pressing matter of Deflate Gate.

No, I think not. The only people on this planet who should be concerned over whether the New England Patriots deliberately deflated footballs to give quarterback Tom Brady the advantage in a critical game would be the owners and members of the opposing team, who stood to lose hard cash by not advancing in the playoffs. And also some bookies, who had cash invested in the points spread.

People are fighting and dying in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Real people are going to keep their focus on stuff that matters.

You must remember this

Let me see…

Play it, Sam. Play it for old times sake.

Play it, Sam. Play it for old times sake.

I could have titled this one “The kiss seen ’round the world.” Of course you already know what this is all about.

NFL draft: Reactions heat up after Michael Sam kisses boyfriend on TV

By Holly Yan and Dave Alsup, CNN
updated 2:03 PM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
(CNN) — Not long after Michael Sam became the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL, some made clear his reaction was not welcome.

Shortly after learning of his selection by phone, a visibly emotionalSam turned to his boyfriend and kissed him.

“I’m sorry but that Michael Sam is no bueno for doing that on national tv,” former Super Bowl champion Derrick Ward tweeted.

“Man U got little kids lookin at the draft. I can’t believe ESPN even allowed that to happen,” he added.

This would not have made much of a stir, even ten years ago, if this had been the latest comedy show star, let alone the New York Ballet’s latest draft pick. But guys, this is the NFL. This is where big tough guys suit up Sundays and do mighty battle to the death on live TV. These are men who chug a brewski and crush the empty on their foreheads. They eat nails for breakfast. This is America’s team.

The reaction from some quarters was predictable. Here’s more:

Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones also expressed his disapproval,tweeting “horrible” and “OMG” after the kiss was aired. He has since deleted those comments.

Sadly, there has been reaction from both sides:

Ward, who played for the New York Giants and the Houston Texans,said he has received death threats against him and his children after the comments.

People, there are some of you who need to crawl back under your rock.

The NFL is a business enterprise, and it is taking steps to protect the profit line:

But the Dolphins responded quickly, ordering Jones to pay an undisclosed fine and barring him from team activities until he finishes “training for his recent comments made on social media.”

I have an egg time, and I am counting the minutes until there is reaction from my conservative friends about this trammeling of free speech rights

In the few moments I’m waiting for that shoe to drop, I am contemplating the next move. The next kiss, if you will.

Yes, readers, there is still NASCAR. Yes, NASCAR, that bastion of American conservatism. NASCAR, where a black and liberal president dare not step. Where he can count on the fingers of one hand his (secret) votes from the grandstands.

Wait! I’m not finished. Here it comes: the NRA. All the way, NRA. Of course, the NRA is not a team sport getting its revenues from ticket sales and a TV audience. Still, I relish the first big NRA kiss. What a story that will make. Can you imagine, “You can have my AK-47 when you pry it from my cold faggoty fingers.”

Ah, it’s a lovely sight to see, this dark, ugly side of American conservatism. But then I’ve seen this dark side before. I’ve seen it when black players could not play national league baseball. It was gladdening to watch, over the decades, American conservatism got over this particular bugaboo. And may we all say, “Thank God.” Where would baseball be today without black players, much less the AFL. The NBA with only white players? People would be watching Bowling for Dollars.

Play it, Sam:

You must remember this 
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. 
The fundamental things apply 
As time goes by.

And when two lovers woo 
They still say, “I love you.” 
On that you can rely 
No matter what the future brings 
As time goes by.


My egg timer didn’t get a chance to run out. Even before I finished this Joe for America beat me to the punch. Of course I knew he would. It’s not the darkest that could have been posted by JFA, but it does fulfill my expectations:

Let’s just cut to the chase. We’ve all read this script before.

If you do anything less than fall to your knees weeping tears of jubilation that a man who is sexually attracted to men was picked to play a game for a living — you’re a homophobe.

It doesn’t really matter why you aren’t joining in the celebration, or why you aren’t using words like ‘historic’ and ‘revolutionary’ to describe a scenario where a homosexual fellow plays a sport with some other fellows, and is paid handsomely and applauded loudly for doing so.

It doesn’t matter what reasoning you provide, or what sort of logic you employ, when attempting to explain why Michael Sam’s likeness shouldn’t necessarily be etched into Mount Rushmore just because he took it upon himself to alert the media of his sexual habits a few months before being selected in the 7th round of the NFL Draft.

It doesn’t matter what you say when trying to articulate why the President of the United States of America probably doesn’t need to release an official White House statement to congratulate someone for being gay and athletic.