Scattershooting 181203

Scattershooting while wondering what happened to respect for the Constitution precisely as it was literally written…

NEIL TYSON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS: Famous astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson has been accused of sexual misconduct. Did it happen? I don’t know and you don’t either. Still, as he noted in his eloquent and dignified response, even if the majority of the accused are guilty, some are not, and due process is needed. I’ll add, ALL accused in this nation are Constitutionally entitled to due process. The lynch mob of social-media opinion is unhelpful. Yes, I am aware of the overtones of the latter sentence, and yes, I state it deliberately, because it applies to these situations, as it did to Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.

False accusations also do happen. The Duke Lacrosse and UVA Rolling Stone events are high-profile examples, and thousands more men (including at least two I know) have been accused falsely. Was Tyson? Or is he just lying in an eloquent and dignified manner? Again, you don’t know and neither do I. Other hot takes here that I’ve seen on Twitter include patently irrational ones to the effect of, “He’s guilty, because all men are to some extent”, “Believe her no matter what” and the dangerous and hypocritical, “Even if he’s innocent, the sacrifice of innocent men is worth it if it means justice in the end.” So instead of rushing to conclusions (were you in those rooms?), why don’t we be *mature* about this, avoid hot takes and “instapundit” reactions, evaluate credibility with facts, logic and reason (not emotion), and wait until more actual evidence arises, one way or another.

PLAYOFF-BOUND SOONERS AGAIN: Beating the Whorns is a great occasion whenever it can happen, but especially in the Big 12 (-3) Championship game in JerryWorld. As Lincoln Riley rightly noted, OU earned the final playoff spot by beating every team on the schedule (including the one to which they had a close loss earlier). If other teams’ fans want to complain, my answer is straightforward: don’t get blown out by Purdue (tOSU) nor lose twice, including by 20+ to LSU (UGa). That said, as in the last two playoff appearances, and despite an insanely good offense led by the sort of dual-threat dynamo at QB that historically has given Saban defenses fits, expectations are tempered by a lack of defensive skill and talent that an occasional big turnover play only can cover so much. Yes, most of this defense’s problems are related to lack of talent. That is not going to go away in one month. Until OU recruits taller, stronger, stickier defensive backs, and gets back to bringing in powerful, disruptive interior defensive linemen in the Tommie Harris and Gerald McCoy modes, who can generate upfield pressure and collapse the pocket, improved coaching or scheming (which aren’t that evident yet) are only going to go so far. So we have no pass rush at all, and the secondary is undersized and easily confused. A high-scoring playoff loss is in OUr future, but regardless, it has been a fun and exciting season, one to remember well regardless of playoff results.

PUBLICITY STUNTS in the SOCIAL-MEDIA ERA: Hey kiddos, the screen-capture below represents an outstanding example of what we know as a publicity stunt, as well as people falling for it. This is an activity designed to portray an image via social media, a form of passive-aggressive psychological manipulation. They’re crooks, but not dummies. They knew this would be filmed and propagated. Scanning Twitter responses and retweets, I see plenty of suckers for this false “commoner” schtick, despite the fabulous wealth and dubious history of both of these individuals. “No security”? That’s crap too. Bet your life savings there’s undercover Secret Service seated very near, since one of the passengers is an ex-President.

Our 41st President, George H.W. Bush, has passed on, and now is reunited with his bride of 73 years, Barbara. He is the only person I’ve met who ever was President. Then-Vice-President Bush visited an “at risk” youth job fair I was attending in Dallas in 1985, and I shook his hand and had a brief conversation. I was there seeking part-time summer work opportunities, and he was pleasant, congenial and seemed genuinely curious about my aspirations. I later didn’t agree with some of his presidential decisions; nevertheless, my admiration of him was and remains large. I don’t regret voting for him twice, especially given the alternatives, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit to his interesting and insightful library and museum in College Station. Few ever served this greatest of nations so long and honorably, from before the Japanese shot his plane down in the Pacific theater of WW2 to his successful fight to get Nixon out of office, loyal service to the great Ronald Reagan, to his post-presidential charitable works. Bush was a good man who fought for his nation in battle and inside the Beltway…and a statesman the likes of whom we haven’t seen in the presidency since. Much respect…


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