Monday, February 28, 2011

Charlie Sheen, pay raises and Gadafi

There are so many pampered, spoiled rotten baseball and basketball stars with gigantic egos that it is almost accepted in our culture.  This behavior spills out to most sports (see the tiger stories), politics and to movie and television stars, which brings us to the Charlie Sheen drama of late!  He is demanding a pay raise to $3 mllion per episode for his role in the “Two and Half Men,” television show, before he comes back to the set. Yeah, it’s a funny show that I watch on rare occasion but is anybody worth that much? He is already the highest paid actor on television now at $2 million per show. His show brings in so much cash for CBS that they are willing to over-look his recent past of eccentric behavior.

This pattern has gotten him into trouble with the law in Colorado, and New York City and it revolves around his drinking and dope excesses. plus his harem. It's kinda crazy, the press attacked Tiger for having a woman in every port, but with Charlie it's a non-issue or so it seems. In a recent interview: “He claimed he has conquered his own drug and alcohol problems by the sheer force of his will: “I closed my eyes and made it so.” Didn’t I say he was a funny guy?  99 1/2% of the people don’t have that kind of power! He continued with “he has nothing in common with addicts and alcoholics, who he says lack his strength of character, describing them as “fools, trolls, weak, defeated. They allowed defeat to be an option. I will not.” Lindsay Lohan doesn't have the market cornered on self-destruction, she needs to move her low-cut, tight-fitting, white dress over and make room for Charlie Sheen.

His gigantic ego is highlighted with these remarks: “I’m tired of pretending like I’m not special,” Sheen continued. “I’m tired of pretending like I’m not bitching, a total fricking rock star from Mars, and people can’t figure me out; they can’t process me. I don’t expect them to. You can’t process me with a normal brain.” All of you autograph hounds better get out there and get his signature on anything because according to him, it will be worth a mint someday!

He sounds a lot like the delusional Moammar Gadafi of Libya who said today he is not stepping down, proclaiming in a media interview: "My people love me. They would die for me." He says this with his country in political shambles. The end of the road is near for both these jokers. With Sheen, we can get by without him if he goes down in a blaze of glory and it won’t cost us anything.  And looking into that round fuzzy crystal ball, once his bank-roll is depleted, see how long one of those pretty women will stay with him.  But with Gadafi, on the other hand, the gas pumps are going to blow before too long. I think it’s the big companies capitalizing and taking advantage of the consumer again and blaming the geopolitical unrest in the Middle East and gouging the hell out of us at the pumps. So, right or wrong, we will pay for his crazy-ass behavior.

And getting back to Sheen’s raise, he told CBS to “take or leave it,” because he is underpaid now. What is funnier yet is that he is saying “look at what you put me through.” The guy has the victim’s role down pat for sure. He thinks CBS owes him an apology “while licking my feet.” Do you think this guy is hanging on the edge?  We already know Gadafi is!

Snow and KU!

Mother Nature might just give us a snow-break. We had 9” of snow the other day and let me tell you I need to stop that shoveling snow business because my back was hurtin pretty bad for a couple of days. I guess when you get to a certain age that you should let somebody else that kinda stuff, but I probably won’t listen to my own advice or my back and will continue to do my own work. Well anyway, we don’t have anything to complain about – December was mild and we didn’t get the snows till January and February. On top of that, hey it’s winter time yet.

It’s getting close to crunch time for college basketball. I haven’t written about the sport since KU lost to those farmers out west. I thought: okay it’s alright to lose a couple of times but not to those guys! That’s all I can say about that.

A top team needs to be ready all the time and can’t take anything for granted, and this is especially true in March. The team who goes into the tournament and plays with another level of intensity will be holding that big trophy at the end. It’s only then that the Fat Lady will sing, the cheerleaders will rub on the players, the cameras will go off non-stop, some coach can expect a huge pay-increase while the players have to resort to whatever method to put walking around money in their pockets, some player will become famous as a result of the last games or command a huge NBA contract, and there will be a whole lot of people pissed off again.

I hope it isn’t KU and us die-hard fans. There are some tough teams out there, Pittsburgh, Duke, St. Johns, Ohio State, Texas, to name a few so the road isn’t going to be easy for anybody. I think they need to get to the big dance and do away with those league tournaments because if you haven’t got it together by then ….

I hate to see the season end! I watch KU all season, read all the headlines about them, and did my own commentary about them. The Morris twins have done an outstanding job in the paint and can shoot from the outside on occasion. One of the ESPN announcers said he saw the twins in an all-star game in NYC and they didn’t play in the big game but in a level below that. He said he was surprised KU offered them a scholarship, but Self has molded them into top-notch players and I think Danny Manning has a huge influence on both of them. Manning is a master at teaching the footwork to the big guys because of his own experiences. He played injured in the pros and made those needed adjustments to survive in the NBA. The two guards Morningstar and Reed have been lights out on several occasions and nobody can say white boys can’t run and shoot at that level. Selby, despite the hype, is a hit and miss guy who needs more seasoning. T-Rob is a hard-working guy, and has also improved under Manning. Taylor needs to harness those inner demons and #15 Johnson has fallen from the sky and helped this year. I thought Releford would do more this year and is a dark-horse to help more in March Madness. When KU passes the ball enough times, somebody is open as evidenced by their 52% nation-leading field goal percentage. When they pound the ball into the middle first it frees up somebody on the outside and makes them a top team. But the word “intensity” has to come into play to make it anywhere in the big dance for KU. It's a similar picture to when Jock Ewing told Bobby in the show "Dallas:"  nobody is going to give you power, you gotta take it.

I guess if all else fails, we can dream about next season, but hell that ain’t no fun!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So what's new on the Kansas prairie?

In the local capital, the politicos are debating restrictions on strip-clubs, similar to what Missouri did last year. I guess those working mamas are a true danger to society. In righteous terms, legislators can do that and anything else they want, but there also has to be a budget balanced and at this very moment over $340 million needs to be cut. Doesn’t’ that make you wonder about political focus? On Saturday afternoon, over on the west side of Topeka, at a kiddie place called Chuckie Cheeses there was a near riot. The parents of these little kids attending a birthday party decided to swing it out. Damn, the legislators oughta put some restrictions on those food establishments too, and put into law that parents must stay six foot from each other and can’t touch each other. I used to think those kind of fisticuffs only happened at Little League games, but it's always best to stay tuned.

On the Topeka city level, these city workers were caught selling copper that just happened to belong to the city and they were slapped on the wrist.  Maybe it was because they only made $400 on the deal.  In the rest of the world people lose their jobs over a missing box of cough drops or something far less than  the $400 figure.

On the tube the other day, the United States Congress was holding court and speaker after speaker got up there to denounce the Obama health care plan as the worst legislation ever in the history of this country. After all this pontification, this black woman made it to the podium and tied into her esteemed colleagues and said slavery was the worst thing that ever happened to this country. I personally don't know what is worse -Obama and his dreams or slavery, but I would have given a couple of bucks to see the looks on the faces of her fellow politicians.

And in Wisconsin they want public workers to give a bunch of concessions so they can balance their budget and the people are in an up-roar. On the news, this guy said politicians over the years didn't want to say no and gave all kind of concessions to the unions and now its a mess. It is a closely watched event by the rest of the country because what happens in Wisconsin will happen everywhere.

The funny thing is these congressmen make $175,000 a year, get subsidized housing, get wined and dined by lobbyists, have a cushy health plan and you don’t want to hear about their retirement plans. They sure won’t make any concessions with their own packages on the state or federal levels. "Do as I say, not as I do."

It seems to me, as a political agenda that it would be safer to attack the Mexicans than the people who vote them into office, but what do I know?  Oh, that's right Kansas is atttacking the Mexicans too, not just the strippers. And one more local tidbit:  Kansas is trying to expand its hard liquor sales to grocery stores.  Uh, we don't want anybody smoking within 100 yards of anybody else, but we will sell you some Jack Daniels on every  street corner.  Huh? The political winds in the Middle East (and fully expect the gas at the pump to go sky-high) and America are a swirling these days.

And in closing, there was this teacher who had a blog and she wrote about how worthless some of her students were and she mentioned how the parents made them that way, etc. etc. Well, the parents read this and they got all indignant and now the woman is on the firing line, literally, for probably telling the truth. She, along with that black woman on Capital hill will probably pay dearly for talking up. The point is some freedoms in this country are slowly eroding away like a hillside in California after a good rain.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Games of Life

My brother asked me to go to the KU game Saturday with him, but I told him I’ve grown accustomed to sitting in my chair watching my big screen tv (32”) and had to pass on the offer. At home, I can get up from my chair to get me a something to drink, eat or go to the bathroom without having to fight off huge crowds. And I can watch replays. I’m lazy like that, but just on game days. A few years ago, this tribal council guy asked me to go to a KU game against Southern Cal and the seats were in the 8th row and I turned him down too. Just call me crazy or somebody who can't recognize an opportunity. I know my living room doesn’t have the atmosphere of Allen Field-house, but I’m a creature of habit. We schedule our day around KU games. If it’s a Saturday and they play at 3pm, we get our grocery shopping and paying bills out of the way, so we can be home watching the game on schedule. And if we can’t be home and we are at a gaming venue, I try and situate myself to where I can watch one of the television monitors. I’m still thankful they asked me to go to the games, but I guess I’m no fun.

Speaking of fun, my grandson Nyeh Washkeh must be having some fun because he told me yesterday he was going to be a daddy and that will make me a great grandfather (or misho in our language, so now I will be a great misho). I’ve always thought the world of my grandchildren and now it’s time to spoil another one, but this time is will be a great-grandchild. I give thanks for this time in my life where me and the great grandmother can see this new baby come to our home and reservation.  It oughta be fun.  When Pat ko shuk, my youngest grandson was a little guy, I would change his diaper and my wife about fell over.  I guess she never ever expected to see me do that.  I also would sit with him and watch "Shrek" and this movie about horses and he wanted to watch them over and over and we did.  I suppose age has softened me up abit, but not much.

Oh, let me have a tangent here. KU lost the other night but I remain a dedicated fan. I went to bed mad, woke up mad, went to work mad, but I will get over it. They will correct the mistakes and improve for the Big Dance and it is true that it isn’t over until the fat lady sings and I haven’t heard her kicking any tunes out around here.

Not to sound like a damn hypocrite, I thought about driving to the first game of the regional and even though it’s against my accustomed life-style, I thought about buying a couple of tickets from scalpers and watching a game. If I can’t obtain a ticket in this illegal fashion then I would go to the nearest casino and come home the next day. Those are only thoughts at this time and not necessarily the way it will work out.

Chuck Lorre, who regularly adds messages to his end-of-show vanity cards, included one after Monday's episode that said this:

"I exercise regularly. I eat moderate amounts of healthy food. I make sure to get plenty of rest. I see my doctor once a year and my dentist twice a year. I floss every night. I've had chest x-rays, cardio stress tests, EKG's and colonoscopies. I see a psychologist and have a variety of hobbies to reduce stress. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I don't have crazy, reckless sex with strangers. If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really pissed."

So there it is!

Friday, February 11, 2011

All writing is not friendly!

A national writer named Carl Horowitz had a recent article wanting to terminate the Bureau of Indian Affairs and threw in his opinions about other topics related to Indian people. It wasn’t good reading. Anti-Indian material coming from the poison pen of people like Horowitz is nothing new. In addition hearing this kind of talk is an affront to treaty rights, and is so contrary to established settled law. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me to hear some of this crazy talk resurrected again, but I guess he has an audience somewhere or he likes to hear himself rant.

He said the bureau budget of $2.7 billion needs some serious down-sizing and the agency combines “patronage and ethnic separatism into a single package, wasting sizable tax dollars in the process.”

Horowitz gives us a history lesson, like we really needed it: there are 564 federally-recognized Indian (including Alaskan) tribes in this land of ours, representing nearly two million persons. Crucially, a tribe operates under a federal grant of sovereign status. Taken as a whole, Indian tribes are a loose confederacy of mini-nations, each with its own elected tribal government overseeing courts, schools, job training, health care, infrastructure development, and on due occasion, casinos.

He goes on to say how tribal leaders enjoy enormous power and listed a whole bunch of corrupt examples. He makes it sound like these things happen only with Indians, but Horowitz needs to get real and open up the daily paper and see what his neighbors have done lately. He also criticized the Indian Health Service for losing $15.8 million of medical equipment during a three year span and continues to lose property. He needs to go back to the Jack Anderson archives and read about all the military and non-military financial abuses over the years. Those financial abuses have never been corrected. The whole system needs to be looked at, but D.C. politicians won’t allow that because they need to protect the trough.

Then he turned his focus to class-action lawsuits (“far bigger piles of loot, however, can be made legally), and how wrong it was for American Indian farmers and ranchers to win discrimination suits and getting some money in the process. Another case he cited was the Cobell decision and called it a shake-down. Discrimination and cheating Indians out of their rightful royalties is evidently fine by this guy. Oh, also did he forget this is the most litigious society in a long time and maybe it is the only way to get a wrong corrected.

Horowitz then attacked the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and said they created a monopoly for tribes and that there were immune from state regulation and federal taxation. Of course, he didn’t read the law very carefully, since most tribe were required to enter a tribal-state compact and Indian casinos are the most regulated industry in America, but that is conveniently left out. And the IRS gets their due no matter what color skin you have.

Horowitz doesn’t’ stop there, he said “the federal government can’t bottle up their sense of moral entitlement. But it doesn’t have to subsidize it either.” His answer: “Ending the network of incestuous relationships and accompanying corruption requires that Congress do the unthinkable: Abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and all other federal agencies that serve Native American interests. These agencies have outlived whatever usefulness they had. Lawmakers also ought to end the practice of formal tribal recognition" which to him is costly and hurts national identity. Horowitz said "in the late 1940s, Congress set up a commission and one of its recommendations was that the assimilation of Indians into the mainstream of American society must be a top priority. Dismantling the Indian bureaucracy would be a major step in that direction.”

Indians have had to put up with this kind of termination rubbish for years. The Horowitz tirade is a good example of why tribes need to get out and tell their own stories and what they’ve done with the casino cash. It isn't by accident that the neighborhood got fixed up, jobs were created and lives were improved because of the American Indian bailout –The National Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It is important to tell people or educate them on the losses both in land and people that Indians have suffered -remind them of the treaties Indians signed that gave land to this country to make it great.

It is also important for the people in Indian tribes to come to the realization that it does little good to fight among themselves, when there is a bigger enemy over the horizon.

The weather, the MIddle East and prison life!

Somebody just told me we have only 31 more days until spring, so I guess that little fat rat in Pennsylvania might be telling the truth especially since it will get to 62 degrees next Wednesday and 66 on the following day. I don’t reckon the snow will melt enough to make my 2011 golf debut, plus our course won’t be open yet.

Any bets that we will send troops to the Egypt soon? I took a history class at the local U about the Middle East and I never did grasp what they were always fighting about over there. I suppose politics is the same everywhere, somebody has got to be knocked off to give the next one a chance to get it right. But what happens if it never gets right?

My grandson Pat ko shuk was sick last night so I stayed home and watched him. I hate it when the kids are sick, I would much prefer it be me instead of them. Well, anyway the rest of the gang went and watched a presentation at Royal Valley. This guy who gave the presentation had a fairly rough life. He was an ex-marine, ex-dope dealer and an ex-con who now goes around to different school systems and tells the young people about making the right choices in life or they could end up like him. He didn’t hold any punches back and told how prison life was –gang rapes, constant fighting and a terrible life in general. My brothers and I were bad boys in our day, but I say we were lucky we didn’t have to serve time. Sometimes I get really angry over the circumstances of my life but being in jail wasn’t one of them and I’m thankful for that. I hope and pray our young people don’t have to go through what this man experienced in his life. It’s too bad our reservation programs don’t get speakers like this guy to talk to our youth. I think it is so true that if a presentation like this can save one person then they got it right! I personally don’t think we have to preach to people, but give them alternatives and let them make their own choices.

Now I’m going to sit back and wait for KU to play again and to watch the snow melt!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Old men, weather and KU (again).

KU is back on track to win the national championship.  They look awful tough in the last few outings and will be a handful for anybody in the future.  They are playing without Josh Selby and if they are doing that great without him, did they really need him or will they only get better with him?  Only time will let us know that.  Snow is also right around the corner, but heck what can you expect -its winter time. 

If I can make it a few more hours, I will have turned 60 years old. I will take the day off and sit around and wonder how many more of these birthdays I have left. I’ve seen my share of good and bad times. I’ve known some great people and also have met some who weren’t worth a damn. But it all makes for an interesting life. I don’t suppose I would change anything, of course, I don’t have that option anyway. I suppose everything happened for a reason and was an opportunity to learn a lesson from it.

My mail comes around one or two and I will be like Forrest Gump and sit by my mailbox waiting. In his case, he waited for his son to return on the bus, but for me I will wait all those gifts and cards from my family and the few friends I have left.

Jokes aside, I don’t need any material goods. Hell I’ve been working on spring cleaning for years now so I don’t need more. I do appreciate everything people have done for me this past year and just want everyone to have a great 2011. I hope your pockets fill with gambling winnings in this new year either through per caps, robbin banks or hitting those 777's. May you always have food on your table! May you find happiness in some form or another. I can't go beyond those three wishes for you -money, food and happiness is about the top three choices for most people. Oh, yeah, may the person responsible for us being here smile upon your lives in 2011 and forever.

Now I’m inching closer and closer to the day I will retire, but I don’t really want to break my current routine and I haven’t seen everything or every place in this great land so I need to stay  a little longer. But when that day comes, I want to go and play on the cheapest courses and hit balls I find along the way. Maybe I will sneak onto our course and hit a few holes before it gets dark. Can you imagine that, an old guy sneaking into such a great course?  Don't tell the leadership I'm thinking of doing that. Other days, I will sit on my back porch and watch the sun go down and give thanks that I lived that long, plus I want to watch my grandchildren grow up. Hopefully they won't have to go into tribal politics.

I am going to close for now and go wait by the mailbox (even if it is cold).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Time on the Potawatomi Reservation!

We’ve been freezing our popsicles off here in Kansas, but the great blizzard of 2011 decided to skirt our reservation and we sure appreciated that move. We still got 8” of snow or better and over 20” so far this winter. This pales in comparison to the two foot of snow further north and east. For most of us, we still remember the storm of 2007 when we went days without electricity and it got down-right uncomfortable, so we can only be thankful.

Our Jayhawks are smoking with a 21-1 record and they are a joy to watch. They are playing more like a team every game and the chemistry is clicking. KU will be ready for the last six games of the year and they might not win it all but I believe they will be in the hunt. I like this team. They have the big men, top notch shooters and can run up and down the court like few can. Oh, and they can pass.

The kids are enjoying the days off but will be mad later when they have to make up the days. My grandson said “we don’t have school tomorrow so it’s time to party.” He’s a crazy talker at times. The other day we were driving down the road and I messed up his channel and he told me he was going to put me in a rest-home. Damn, see what I got to look forward to!

In the winter time, I have more time to do my projects. I built my sister a birdhouse and she said she now had a place for the neighborhood birds. I told her no this birdhouse is for the Purple Martins, not village birds. I also built a life-guard chair for my yard. I have no beach or pool but I saw one in Florida and took a picture of it and built it from that shot. I’m going to sit in that chair next summer when I’m taking a break from my yard and garden work. I go to my workshop and fire my stove up, crank up the Ipod to full blast and work. I take many breaks and think how I’m going to build something and enjoy the general solitude. I don’t have much time in the summer to do projects.

Oh, getting back to the snow – next year I’m going to get me one of those snow-blowers. I was watching this guy at work clearing the side-walks and it sure looked more efficient than the back-breaking work of using a shovel, plus it might save a heart-breaker. Stay safe out there!