What's in common

 From Chris Muir this morning, over on Day by Day:

"On the Commons"

Pretty close to the truth, the whole truth, and nuthin' but the truth. Used to be, it was that way with state and national politics. Now, it's coming to pass that local politics is really no better in the least.

Perhaps we should all go recite the Pledge of Allegiance. After all, it's a lot easier to get all tearfully "patriotic" over a piece of fabric, rather than actually live up to the same ideas and ideals that drove the Founders. You know. The stuff they wrote about in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Living up to that can be a real gut-buster.

Government's attitude toward We the People can be summed up with this delicious bit of irony:

Have a nice cup ...

Irony? Ya, you betcha. An all-American GI, defender of freedom as we know it, expressing what so many politicians clearly think about We the People.


The Arizona road trip

We took a trip to Arizona, the area around Phoenix, over the Thanksgiving holiday. Among other things, we went out to Vulture Peak, where we had a good time running around the wilds, taking pictures of flora and fauna. Incidentally, we got a couple of photos of ... wreckage from an alien space craft. The first two photos are this evidence of Visitation: "Remnant of an alien space craft, found near Vulture Peak. The metal was strangely warm to the touch, and was very light and quite strong. The structure in the right background is probably a breathing tube the aliens used to bring fresh air to their underground cavern, which has apparently since been filled in - at least, that's what government agents would want us to believe ..."

Well, what else would you tell Tookie about a couple of pieces of aluminum tubing found out in the Arizona desert? That it's just a couple of pieces of aluminum tubing left by a camper? Where's the fun in that?

Mike and Leece's image galleries

Under "Road Trips".


"A Knight in My Locker"

That's the Swink school play, which opened last evening and is on again this evening, finishing with an afternoon performance tomorrow.

You will find a gallery of 119 images up on our Image Galleries page, all the way at the bottom, under Events:

Mike and Leece's Image Galleries

"Turn to and clean ship!"

"All hands turn to and clean ship! Turn on the radios, turn on the TV's, and let's get the ship cleaned up!"

- XO, "Carrier", on PBS.

It works at home, too.

So we have Pandora over the Blu-Ray, and the lads are cheerfully bustling about getting everything ship-shape and Bristol fashion, to the Stones, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, the Beach Boys, ZZ Top, Joplin and Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and sometimes Young) ...

I'm sure they are enjoying themselves.

I'm sure of it.

Who wouldn't?

"... worms in his mouth ..."

Hanging mom

Prosecutors say Bibi, who is a Christian, broke Pakistan's strict blasphemy law by insulting Islam and the prophet Muhammad, a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment according to Pakistan's penal code.

The alleged incident happened in June 2009 when Bibi, a field worker, was picking fruit in a village two hours west of Lahore. Prosecutors say when Bibi dipped her cup into a bucket of drinking water during a lunch break, her co-workers complained the water had been contaminated by a non-Muslim.

Court records show the women got into a heated argument.

Mafia Satar said she was there and heard Bibi's insults.

"She said your Muhammad had worms in his mouth before he died," Satar told CNN, a crude way of saying Muhammad was no prophet.

Well, Pakistan is our "ally", so I suppose we should not be overly critical ... but something does come to mind here.

How many times do we hear the Religious Right going on about how we are no longer a "Christian" nation, and how we'll all rot in hell because of the Godless liberals who have managed to ban prayer in public schools ... yadda yadda yadda ... and then go on some more about how oppressed they all are.

I can't help but wonder how they would react to real oppression. I wonder how many of them would have the guts to utter "Your prophet has worms in his mouth" when there's a gallows in the background, or the muzzle of an AK-47 stuck into The Righteous One's ear.

I wonder.


Vital issues of the day

Coming to grips with the vital issues of the day can be simply too much to ask of some of our friends and neighbors throughout this great nation of ours:

One Wisconsin man allegedly became so irate that the 20-year-old mom was still on the show that he fired his shotgun into the television, prompting a 15-hour standoff with Dane County officers on Monday evening.

The "20-year old mom" is Bristol Palin, and the vital issue of the day in question here is ... how she has managed to remain on "Dancing with the Stars" despite her obvious lack of talent. Well, that's what they say; I don't know as I don't watch the show. I think I'm going to have to, because I seem to be missing A Great Conspiracy:

MSNBC news anchor Contessa Brewer hinted at a possible conspiracy at play, suggesting that Tea Partiers are jamming up the phone lines of other contestants so they can’t receive votes, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel called Brandy Norwood (who was eliminated on Tuesday) a victim of “Hurricane Bristol,” and Jezebel.com proclaimed that “Conservatives are Cheating the DWTS Voting System.”

Hey, if Contessa Brewer and MSNBC are "all over it", it's only a matter of time before the big guns of MSNBC pick up on this shameful conspiracy. Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann should be suffering a collective tingle up their legs over this. So far, I haven't heard any suggestions that it's a plot by Bush, but that can't be far down the road.

Thing is, less flappable talking heads and reporters are wondering the same thing as the more volatile left-wingers.

Perhaps the answer is for Brewer to organize HuffPo readers to pitch a huge call-in vote next go around.

Meanwhile, on less important "issues", The Obamessiah is about to tank with his START negotiations with the Russians. He is said to be rallying all manner of supporters from both parties in an effort to get those recalcitrant Repubs to support the treaty, which still has to be ratified by 67 votes in the US Senate.

Charles Krauthammer said it would be good if someone actually read the treaty first. This is another one of those "the sky is falling!" things that Obama just has to have passed right now, so we'll be able to read it later and marvel at what a legislative masterpiece it really is.

Note: Must get a copy of that photo of Joe "Foot-in-mouth" Biden, preferably autographed.


Pukin' Dogs and Ghostriders

Long, long ago, and far, far away, I spent a lot of time on Marine and Navy F-4 Phantoms. We were doing major depot-level repairs and overhauls at Cherry Point. I loved those airplanes.

John Shaw just came out with "Into the Storm", in honor of Navy F-4 squadrons in Vietnam.

I got a display copy. Not the high priced ones with all the autographs, but otherwise the same. The Phantom in front is from VF-143, "The Pukin' Dogs", and the other from VF-142, "The Ghostriders".

Now all I have to do is frame it and hang it. In the office at home. Leece says this one ain't goin' up on the wall in the city building.

Take a look at John Shaw's work here:

Liberty Studios

He's really good. Here's another one I like:

Black Sheep Squadron

And this one:

A Higher Call


"... no right to speak ..."

At the last East Otero R-1 school board meeting, board member Debbie Hansen briefed the board on a seminar she had recently attended. The seminar, hosted by the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB), covered some legal issues boards might face. Public participation was apparently among those issues, for Hansen shared with the board that she had learned that the public has no right to speak at school board meetings. The rest of the board seems to go along with the idea that the public has a right to speak only to the extent that the board grants that right.

The public has no right to address a board of elected officials at a public meeting? Our elected officials "grant" us the right to speak?

I asked the CASB legal staff about that. Here is the salient content from the CASB answer:

None of these laws [Colorado open meetings and school board specific statutes] obligate public entities to include an opportunity for public comment as part of a public meeting.

Which, of course, is true. Why would they? A citizen's right to petition for redress of grievances, which is generally why we want to comment at board meetings, is rather adequately covered in the 1st Amendment to the federal Constitution, and in Article II section 24 of the Colorado Constitution:

The people have the right ... to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, by petition or remonstrance.

 A "petition of grievance" can take many forms; it can be as simple as "Please tell me why you spent a pile of tax money" on a particular project. Given that this board has yet to see a funding proposal it doesn't like, that may be a very pertinent question.

The right of citizens to address their locally elected officials is an American tradition that arises well before our Revolution and the Constitution. How can a local board of elected officials be so arrogant as to tell citizens that they have no right to speak before them? The laws cited by CASB, the school board protective association, do not say that a citizen has no right to speak - they simply don't address the issue at all. It is the CASB legal staff who are presuming to tell us this means we have no right to speak. And while many boards may give citizens two or three minutes to speak, given the complexity of most school board matters these days, such a limit arguably amounts to constructive denial.

I suspect that should a citizen actually be denied the opportunity to speak in a reasonable and reasoned manner before a school board, the legal staff of both CASB and the board in question could find themselves gainfully employed for some time to come. If CASB and board counsel can find for denial of the right to speak in the references cited, certainly the ACLU and similar civil rights watchdogs can argue the opposite. For years, one would think. Do not our school boards have better things to do than insult the very people who elected them? And have they learned nothing from the recent election, where a thoroughly disgusted electorate gave the boot to government officials who refused to listen?

BTW ... you could consider this post to be a form of that "remonstrance" mentioned in the state Constitution.


The Editor, the Preacher, and the Tiger

Sounds almost like a C.S. Lewis novel, doesn't it.

It isn't.

Here's the deal:

Rumor has it that the refs from the Tigers v. Miners game are upset over the "Bad Refereeing" post. I have no idea as to the truth of that; it could be just another one of those rumors bubbling away with the Morning Men at McDonalds or the Breakfast Clubs at the Copper Kitchen.

Fact of the matter is this: the refs were the only ones providing adult leadership out there on the field - or in the stands, come down to that. This is clear from the narrative, if not the title. The title is actually taken from typical comments by both Tigers and Miners fans, with the usual expletives deleted.  The post was not a slam of the refs; quite the contrary. The refs, quite frankly, were the only adults out there doing what they were supposed to be doing, which was setting a positive example for young men. The refs were doing things that the coaches should have been doing. For this, they were heckled, hassled, and shown considerable disrespect.

We first became acutely aware of the negativity at Tiger Stadium at the LJ v. Colorado Christian game. Actually, Leece really noticed it, as she is offended by loutish behavior and vulgar language. That prompted her to make the first comment about fan behavior in "Five Things We'd Like To See." You see, Leece, as editor of the paper, and being a well-educated woman, is quite capable of thinking for herself and doesn't need me to pull her strings as though she were some kind of brainless puppet. That's a concept seemingly lost on entirely too many of our friends and neighbors in The Smile Hi City; I expect it's derived from Titus 2 and this being a "godly" community and all. Or maybe they just have a Wes McKinley attitude about women. Beats me.

I was just going to let the whole thing pass. After all, I was down on the sidelines, taking photos for the paper and our galleries - and, incidentally, the school, since we always give whatever shots we take to them for use in their school publications, though mostly it's been other schools like Swink and Colorado Christian. I missed most of the excitement that Leece observed. Down on the field, the head coach seemed to have his wits about him, though his assistants seemed a bit excitable. Considering the state of the game, that was probably understandable. I really didn't see anything all that terrible, though it was not as self-disciplined as I have seen at other schools.

But then we had the Tigers v. Miners game, and that was a whole 'nother world. If people are upset over our post, "Bad Refereeing", I got news for 'em. They aren't nearly as torqued as I was, and still am. You see, I have skin in the JV games. My grandson plays. I don't see high school football or other sports as a training ground on how to be an NFL felon; I see it as an opportunity to build character and toughness of spirit in young men and women. I don't see the kids as a means to get yet another banner hanging in the gym, for Booster bragging rights. The banner ain't dog poop unless that character building is behind the win.

I was going to let it go. I was angry over it but I'm not in the Booster Club and it isn't what they want to hear anyway, so why waste the time. Come down to it, the grandkids can always switch districts and play for Swink.

But then Andy Albright, over at the Naz church, started his new sermon series based on Hebrews 12. That whole wonderful metaphor about life and how to to live it. And then Brad Swartz mentioned John Wooden, and of course Tony Dungy was always one of my favorites.

So I said ... screw it. We don't have to put up with this nonsense. First, I wrote the "Playing Fields of Eton". And then, after the Miners game, "Bad Refereeing"

And then ... Leece got the call demanding to know her 'source' for her second comment in "Five Things We'd Like To See". Like any editor worth her salt is going to give up a source, but what the hey, this one's hardly a big secret and like I really care about being ... outed. Aside from that, the 'source' should have been any of a couple of hundred parents, fans, school board members, grandparents, and other relatives who were at the game. One can only wonder why it was not. Perhaps it is so in-grained in Tigers fans and Miners fans they don't even notice it. Perhaps that's why the La Junta Youth Leagues have to resort to video cameras to monitor the behavior of fans and parents. I don't know. What I do know is that so long as the grandkids are in Tiger Sports, we aren't going let that kind of behavior just slide.

That's our story, and we're a-stickin' to it.


Highway of Legends road trip

We drove the Highway of Legends, leaving from The Holy Land and traveling to Walsenburg by CO 10. From Walsenburg we took CO 12 to La Veta, Cuchara, Stonewall/Weston, and then to Trinidad. We stayed over in Trinidad at the Tarabino Bed and Breakfast. We had a two-room suite there, which was quite roomy, and a private bath down the hall. The Victorian house is nicely restored and nicely appointed. It is not filled with feaux-feaux dust collectors like so many Victorians, but was furnished with very good antiques.

We did dinner at the Black Jack Saloon, having a couple of nice little steaks there and enjoying the ambiance. Next day we wandered around and visited a number of shop stalls in a Christmas event they were having in the park by the river. Leece just had to hit the antique stores. Everyone was quite friendly, and when we asked, "Hey, what's going on in Trinidad?" they all had a list. Literally. Many of the shops have a schedule of events posted in their street front windows. We didn't hear one person, not even the convenience store clerks, say "Oh, there ain't nuthin' ta do around here ...". In fact, the convenience store clerks were among the most cheerful and helpful; one tried to convince us to go to the game in Hoehne. "It's gonna be a great game," he said,"there's two powerhouses gonna go at it!"

Unfortunately, we had to hit the road.

It was a great weekend.

Mike and Leece's image galleries and scroll down to Road Trips.


Veterans' Day in Swink

Swink School hosted an excellent Veterans' Day ceremony in the old gym this evening. The presentation was put together by Alicia Millemon, Swink's music teacher. There is a gallery of images posted here:

Veterans' Day celebration in Swink

Let's get rid of Ken, too

Though that may be harder, since he is an Annointed One, and sitteth at the the right hand of The Obamessiah.

Ken Salazar has pulled off some of the sleaziest lies and manipulations in the Obama administration to date. As Secretary of the Interior, Salazar was responsible for the 6 month drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. That moratorium was lifted by a Federal judge back in June. Remember?

In the Executive Summary to the Report, the Secretary [Salazar] recommends “a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled using floating rigs.” He also recommends “an immediate halt to drilling operations on the 33 permitted wells, not including relief wells currently being drilled by BP, that are currently being drilled using floating rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Much to the government’s discomfort and this Court’s uneasiness, the Summary also states that “the recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.” As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading. The experts charge it was a “misrepresentation.” It was factually incorrect. Although the experts agreed with the safety recommendations contained in the body of the main Report, five of the National Academy experts and three of the other experts have publicly stated that they “do not agree with the six month blanket moratorium” on floating drilling.

The judge was 'uneasy' back then.

Now we have this:

Last-minute editing by the White House of a Department of the Interior report on the Gulf oil spill led to the false implication that the report’s recommendation of a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling had been peer reviewed by scientists and industry experts, an inspector general report said on Monday.

The report, obtained by Politico, said scientists and industry experts “had neither reviewed nor supported such a policy decision and had never been asked to do so.”

Interior Department officials told the department’s inspector general that they never intended to give that impression in their version of the report. But a White House edit of the executive summary of the report, by staffers in White House climate and energy policy director Carol Browner’s office, “led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer reviewed by the experts,” the report said.

Carol Browner is a real piece of work.

Brother Ken came up with a fantasy to justify the moratorium they wanted; now we find that Obama's accomplice, Browner, came up with more lies to keep it going, costing 12,000 jobs and $1.8 billion in revenue.

And the Democrats think they have been 'victimized'?

Divorced from reality

Nancy still doesn't get it. Nor does the New York Times, the PR firm of the Democratic Party:

If Ms. Pelosi had been a more persuasive communicator, she could have batted away the ludicrous caricature of her painted by Republicans across the country as some kind of fur-hatted commissar jamming her diktats down the public’s throat. Both Ms. Pelosi and Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, are inside players who seem to visibly shrink on camera when defending their policies, rarely connecting with the skeptical independent voters who raged so loudly on Tuesday.

With President Obama proving to be a surprisingly diffident salesman of his own work, Congressional Democrats need a new champion to stand against a tightly disciplined Republican insurgency.

See? They're still going on about it's all a 'failure of communication' and we skeptics who 'rage'. They just don't understand that most of us who are responsible for keeping our families afloat, or our small businesses afloat - or in the case of local government, operating within a tightly set budget rather than simply printing more money or borrowing it from the Chinese - they just don't understand that we cannot abide their insane spending, borrowing, spending some more, borrowing some more, shoving government 'diktats' down our throats, and generally behaving as though we not only don't matter, but as though we don't even exist.

Even the Democrats who are calling for Pelosi to step down don't get it, as we see in this letter that is reportedly going to be sent to her:

In the draft of the letter, the members say that they were “victimized by a national wave of resentment toward Democrats, a wave that ensnared you along with us.”

The letter goes on to say “Madam Speaker, fairly or unfairly, Republicans made you the face of the resentment and disagreement in our races. While we commend your years of service to our party and your leadership through many tough times, we respectfully ask that you step aside as the top Democrat in the House.”

The letter says that the defeated members “fear that Republicans will further demonize you, and in so doing, they will scare potential candidates out. The prospect of having to run against their own party leadership, in addition to their Republican opponent is simply too daunting.”

"Victimized"? The Democrats have been ... victimized? By the Republicans?

The only "victims" in all this have been the American people.

Call it a day, Nance. Just get out of the way. Take your delusions with you.


Bad refereeing

I saw some bad refereeing in Saturday's JV game, La Junta v. Trinidad at Tiger Field.


If the refs were really doing their jobs, they would have ejected both head coaches from the game for unsportsmanlike, rude, and generally offensive behavior.

No referee should  tolerate the attitudes and behaviors I saw at Tiger Field on Saturday.

Coaches and players alike were warned about foul language. I don't blame the players for this; the example is set by the coaches. And the fans, at least some of them, on both sides, who contributed to the overall nasty playing environment.

The refs warned the players several times about their attitudes and their mouths. "You don't want to lose your eligibility," they told the players, "so don't do this. Don't act like this. You can play better football than this."

That's not a ref responsibility. That's a coach responsibility, and it's the coach's responsibility to see that the players comply. It wasn't so on Saturday, however.

One Trinidad player took a penalty for a relatively mild expletive - mild compared to those being used by their coaches. "Watch your damned mouth out there ..." was what the kid was told by the coach.

Yeah. Right, coach. Watch my "damned mouth." You betcha, fearless leader.

Another Trinidad coach, his face shoved into another player's facemask, dropped four F-bombs in a 14 word exhortation to '"get out there and do what you're supposed to do."

Yeah, right, coach, I'll get right the f**k on it.

La Junta's were no better, being told by the white hat that "I hear any more cussing from you on the field or off and you're out.Now get off the field and get back where you belong." He should have carried through with that.

The Tigers took a penalty for coachly mouthing off to the refs. It didn't amount to much and it was treated as a joke because of that ... so the point was missed completely.

It's a real shame, because it could have been a really good game. The Tigers lost, 13-16, but as we have seen time and time again, those kids - on any team - will play their hearts out with the right leadership. They didn't have it this past Saturday, and if they don't see that, then they have missed a most important life lesson.

Back during the last part of the Vietnam war, and in the aftermath, when the armed forces of the United States were in real disarray - ask Colin Powell if you don't believe me - I used to say of the troops that the outcome of the war "... certainly does not lessen their individual courage and accomplishments; if anything, those attributes tend to illustrate that the leadership was often unworthy in comparison."

High school football should not be that way. I expect the coaches to be tough and demanding. I expect the kids to respect the coach because the coaches demand the best from them, not because the kids have become as loutish as the coaches. When our middle boy came home from basketball practice talking about kids puking on the field during running, my only question was, "Well, did the coach make them carry it off the field?" He did. Good man. My kinda coach. He also worked on attitude, on mental toughness, on not quitting, on not blaming everyone else - like referees or the other team - which is far more important than cleaning up a bit of puke. I do not expect high school coaches to carry on like they have seen one too many R. Lee Ermey re-runs, nor do I expect them to challenge the referees like a couple of street thugs throwing down outside one of the local gin mills. What is the lesson this teaches our young men? Or our young women, given some of the unconscionably rude comments made about the Lady Tigers' volleyball coach? But volleyball's another story ...

So much for last week's commentary on "The Playing Fields of Eton."


New game links

We have galleries for the Swink v. La Veta and Swink v. Fowler regional playoffs in Pueblo on Friday. They are up here:

Mike and Leece's galleries

under the Volleyball section.

We also have cheerleader shots by Steve "The Eye" Gossman.


The twit in the general assembly

Which one, you may well ask ...

Well ... ours. The twit from the 64th. Yeah. Good ol' boy "Cowpoke" Wes McKinley, our resident legislative horse's ass.

McKinley strips

Wes' little excursion into the mental twilight zone happened a couple or three weeks ago, when Baca County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Emick told him to turn his Wes McKinley shirt inside out. He was in a polling place. Rather than simply comply with an official elected by the people exercising her reasonable - and reasoned - authority, Ol' Cowpoke Wes just had to show his ass. And he did. Hey, she was right. If any candidate had shown up at one of our polling places wearing a pimping for his campaign - and that's what Wes did, whether he can grasp that fact or not - I would have made the complaint myself. And if he honestly disagreed - which I doubt; I suspect he was grandstanding for the attention - then he could have done it in a more ... gentlemanly ... way. But he just had to play the fool. That's Our Wes.

I'm wondering if Ol' "Keep yer tongue in yer own mouth" Wes McKinley is suffering from a bit of senility. First we had that dustup over his sexual misconduct. You know, the one that his 'colleagues' managed to sweep under the rug with that little rule they cooked up to hide their little sexual peccadilloes from the public. Now this.

It's really interesting to me how the Pinon Canyon coalition could endorse this pathetic buffoon. Aren't they the ones who were tooting their "we're believers in American values, family values"? Weren't they?

Doesn't look like it to me. I wonder how they'd feel if it were their wives and daughters getting Ol' Cowpoke Wes' tongue shoved down their throats. Or faced with a shirtless whackjob showing his ass - in a figurative sense, though next time it may well be literal, the way Ol' Cowpoke Wes is going .

Good old American values. Yep. That's what it is, alright.

I wonder if Wes understands what an ass-whippin' he took in this election. Here he is, a good ol' boy who just likes to exercise his cowboy right to put his brand on a cute little filly ... a real honest-to-God man's man of a real cowpoke ... and he came just a whisker from losing, in his own backyard, to a California lawyer gal who our 'real' ranchin' buds might just consider a hobby rancher.

Pay attention, Wes. You ain't doin' all that good, cowboy. Perhaps you should investigate that Pinon Canyon Cattlemens' Power Plant. That oughta keep you busy and out of sight and mind for a few months. Perhaps you can get rich selling uranium futures to the Air Force, along with shares in AFDB, Inc


The playing fields of Eaton

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.”
- Coach John Wooden

Many years after he defeated Napoleon in the epic battle at Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington was attending a cricket match at Eton College. He is credited with saying, "The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton". According to other sources, he actually said, of the young men playing the game, "There grows the stuff that won Waterloo". Many of Wellington's officers had attended Eton.

Wellington was referring to the character that is developed in school sports. Waterloo was not won by quitters, though those who fought at Waterloo had been beaten by Napoleon in past battles, and at more than one point during Waterloo, it looked as though Napoleon was going to win.

I was on the sidelines at Tiger Field last Friday night. In the third quarter the clock was in "mercy killing" mode. If there was ever a time for the Tigers to fall into self-pity mode, that was it.

But they didn't.

There was a young man on the sidelines, watching the on-going thrashing. He was exhausted. Dripping sweat, his jersey soaked through, he bemoaned the state of affairs: "Oh ... this is embarrassing. We're getting slaughtered out there ...".

I looked at him and I said to him ,"Yeah, you are. It's a brutal game. But do you know, you're making them fight for every inch. I've seen no one quit this evening. You have nothing to be ashamed of." In my mind the Tigers were not losers Friday evening. And, last Thursday I watched the Swink Lady Lions get thumped pretty hard by Fowler at the playoffs, but I didn't hear any whining and saw no quitting. There were no losers there, either.

Time and time again this nation has seemingly foundered on the edge of disaster, and time and time again our young men and women have brought us back from that edge. It has been so since before the starving Continental Army withstood the winter at Valley Forge; it has been so down through the decades in war and peace. Losing is not the worst thing that can happen. Quitting is.

How many times have you heard some old gasbag say "This younger generation is such a bunch of losers.” I think that if a younger generation is really "losers", the older generations can find the reason for that by looking in the mirror.

I don't know enough about the coach and player relationships with the Tigers to comment on that, but I have been watching the interplay between Swink's coaches and the Swink teams for the last couple of years. Saturday I was watching it again. That's when I thought up this commentary. It's clear to me that Swink's coaches understand the real game here, which is only partly to win football games.  Make no mistake ... winning a game is great. But quitters and whiners never win. This can be a hard lesson to learn, but as John Wooden also said, "Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then."

As with those playing fields of Eton, this nation's salvation is not to be found in the morally corrupt corridors of power in Washington or Denver, or in parents or coaches whose only aim is a winning score. It's to be found on our own playing fields, where character that counts is taught and learned.

Well done, Tigers and Lions.

A final note for the Tigers: next year, neuter the Dog Pound. It'll feel really good and no one will remember this year's score.

A quick obs

Hah. Brother John is out. Good deal. About time.

Ol' "1Y" Tancredo was a no show. Good deal. I'll admit to having had some real concerns about that. Thanks for nothing, Republican Party of Colorado.

At the last count I could find, Kellogg was behind Wes "Keep yer tongue in yer own mouth" McKinley by less than 200 votes, but it looks like our Cowpoke Lothario is gonna keep his seat. We just hope he can keep his own tongue and pecker where they belong. And Wes? Keep your pants zipped, ol' buddy.

Buck v. Bennet is high political drama this morning. Bennet should have been out. But the best the Colorado Republican Party could give us was "Buckpedalin' " Ken. Thanks for nothing, Republican Party of Colorado.

If they - the state Republicans - run true to form, they'll be crowing about what a wonderful job they did. I'm more interested in what kind of a job they're going to do. So far, it ain't much, and 2012 is just around the political corner.

And from across the pond:

Americans say no to US decline