Wednesday, December 28, 2016


     At year's end, Splashing Rocks finds itself appalled by so many episodes of moral and mental vacuity at home and abroad that settling upon a single dismal subject for vilification simply won't do.  So, departing from our usual penetrating in-depth essay format, we resort to a more cursory exposition of a variety of disturbing developments that plague us as we look forward to better times under a new administration -- and, perhaps, a new era of sense and sanity.

     Merkel Madness in Germany.  Earlier this year, SR called attention to the three brave female leaders -- the Le Pen's of France and Frauke Petry of Germany -- who offered the prospect of some desperately needed backbone in standing up to the de facto Islamic invasion of Europe.  The urgent need for the steely measures proposed by these intrepid ladies and their nationalist parties was  underscored this week by the preventable terrorist murder of at least twelve Germans by a Muslim asylum-seeker in Berlin.  The Tunisian "refugee" who drove a hijacked truck into an open-air Christmas market had already been identified as a serious terrorist threat by the so-called authorities of Angela Merkel's government.  Yet they  inexplicably let him roam Germany at will until he executed the slaughter that his arrest would have prevented. 

     The Berlin killer, one Anis Amri, easily evaded Merkel's feckless minions inside Germany.  Then, courtesy of the EU's crass open border policy, Amri effortlessly crossed into France and Italy before a plucky rookie Italian policeman fatally shot him in Milan.  Meanwhile, the poltroons of Merkel's bootless security agencies are doubtless misdirecting their confused attentions upon the righteous wrath of German citizens against the Islamic invasion within, instead of upon "refugee" terrorists like Amri. 

  Frauke Petry and the AfD: "Coming ashore" to Germany's rescue?

     Waiting in the wings, however, Frauke Petry's Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party rightly condemns the Merkel government for inviting Islamic terrorism into Germany under the cover of the million Muslim refugees whom Merkel ordered Germans to embrace.  A more deadly embrace would be hard to imagine.  If lethargic Germans continue to reject the AfD's urgent warnings and again ratify Merkel's failed policies of abject appeasement -- Germany's federal elections are to be held next fall -- they can only expect a future of ever more deadly Islamicist incursion. Like Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Ms. Petry and the AfD, in alliance with like-minded patriotic elements, may be Germany's only hope against the forces of the dark side.

     Russia, WikiLeaks and an Alternative FOIA.  Democrats and the deranged left -- but I repeat myself -- have outdone McCarthy era Republican Red-baiters in their odd obsession with the "Russian Menace" in the wake of their election humiliation at the hands of Donald Trump.  They are blaming their defeat upon purported Russian hacking of Democrat- and government-related computer targets -- like the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton's notorious "secret server," and Clinton operative John Podesta -- and the damaging release of hacked e-mails by Julian Assange's shadowy WikiLeaks organization.  Assange flatly denies that Russia was Wiki's source, but the political and media left persist in their foam-flecked rant that "the Russians" insidiously and successfully subverted the U.S. elections in favor of Mr. Trump. Much can be said to refute this contrived nonsense, but space limits us to these main points:

        1.  Even if Russia acted as alleged, its supposedly aberrational intrusion into U.S. affairs was little more than business-as-usual in the cut-throat realm of international intelligence and cyber- and propaganda warfare. In the shadowy world of global espionage as practiced by the likes of the CIA and the KGB, it was about as "shocking" as the gambling in Rick's Bar in Casablanca. 


    Democrats and their media are "shocked" that spies are spying

        2.  Indeed, it ill behooves the Obama administration to over-react to alleged Russian interference in U.S. politics when Obama's agents have engaged in similar intrusions into Russia's internal affairs -- and this is only what we know of.  Some readers will recall the obnoxious Russian performance artists called Pussy Riot, who engaged in a grossly sacrilegious performance in a Russian Orthodox Cathedral to mock President Putin.  After the group was justly convicted and sentenced (a lenient 2 years imprisonment) for their outrageous desecration, the Obama White House sought to exploit the episode and embarrass Putin politically by falsely accusing the Russians of human rights violations and "disproportionate" sentencing.  Further, Obama's leftist UN Ambassador, the insufferable Samantha Power, subsequently conspired with Pussy Riot members to amplify U.S. support of the group's campaign to undermine Putin.  In other words, any Russian hacking of U.S. political groups could just as likely have been retaliation for U.S. interference in Russian domestic affairs rather than some kind of absurdly Quixotic attempt to manipulate a U.S. election.

        3.  Far from subverting the U.S. election, if Russia and WikiLeaks caused the disclosures attributed to them they would deserve a degree of credit for facilitating the free flow of information that Clinton and the Democrats sought to suppress.  It should not be forgotten that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's secret computer server was designed to insulate her e-mails and other communications from State Department records that would have been subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  If Russia in fact facilitated public disclosure of material information that Clinton and her political minions were seeking to suppress, they were supporting the free flow of information that Clinton and her allies were seeking to block.  In short, Russia and WikiLeaks were providing an unofficial shadow FOIA while Clinton and the Democrats were subverting the actual FOIA.

     The Depressing Venality of Christian McCaffrey's Sun Bowl Cop-Out.  Though sports may seem trivial measured against global issues of war and peace, the impacts of Big Time Sports in America cannot be so lightly dismissed.  SR has previously noted that the artificial significance of professional and major college sports has supplanted religion as the "opiate of the people," providing a dysfunctional distraction from the genuinely important issues of personal and public life.  A recent episode involving an admirable college football star aptly illustrates the profoundly corrupting effect of our grossly inflated and mercenary sports culture upon American society and values.

     Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey was the subject of an earlier piece on this blog noting his unusual achievements in a position almost exclusively dominated by swift black athletes (McCaffrey is white, fast, and the scion of an especially gifted athletic family).  His performance in 2015 was so outstanding that he was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy and honored as the AP's college football player of the year.  Although his and Stanford's performance dropped off a bit in 2016 (he was briefly sidelined with injury earlier in the year), McCaffrey has nonetheless again drawn extensive national attention, but for different and disturbing reasons.  He announced that he would not play with his teammates in their Sun Bowl matchup with the North Carolina Tar Heels.on December 30.

     McCaffrey's abrupt abandonment of his team before their bowl game was not due to injury (he is fully recovered from his earlier mishap), a death or illness in the family, or some other extenuating personal crisis.  Instead, his sole justification was that he wanted to "begin my draft prep immediately."  He was referring to the draft of the corrupt and politicized National Football League (not the U.S. Army) which takes place on April 27-29 of 2017 -- four months after the Sun Bowl game.
UNC Quarterback Mitch Trubisky won't leave teammates in lurch for NFL "draft prep"  
     But McCaffrey has been in sufficiently good playing shape to excel at the highest levels of NCAA football for the past several months.  So there is no apparent reason why he could not delay whatever "prep" he needs until after one final game with the teammates whose support enabled him to become a star in the first place

     The grotesque player cattle show known as the NFL Combine does not take place until early March, so McCaffrey would also have ample time to "prep" for that after the Sun Bowl.  Any advantage he would gain in that regard by skipping the bowl game would be minimal at best.  McCaffrey's claim that he needs to skip the Sun Bowl to prepare for the draft is patently bogus.

     Another justification widely seized upon by McCaffrey's defenders is that even the slight risk of a career-threatening injury is not worth participation in what they describe as a "meaningless bowl game." Reduced to its essence, this reasoning would militate against participation in almost all college football games by serious pro prospects like McCaffrey.  Playing in his last regular season game against California posed just as much injury risk as playing in the Sun Bowl, and no conference or national championships were at stake in that game.  In effect, McCaffrey's defenders would relegate all the historic bowl games that were not part of a national championship playoff to the category of "meaningless exhibition games" that are simply not worth playing in the case of serious NFL prospects like McCaffrey.

    But North Carolina's star quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, apparently failed to read the memo absolving top NFL prospects of any obligation to join their college teammates in playing a final bowl game.  Trubisky's NFL prospects are even greater than McCaffrey's, as he is rated the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the next NFL draft.  Yet Trubisky apparently does not regard the slight risk of injury, or the need for a few more weeks "prep" for the draft, as justification for dropping out of the Sun Bowl.

     This underscores a factor that the NFL-obsessed sports media types either disregard or consider unimportant in their monolithic defense of McCaffrey's cop-out:  There is no strong reason why all college players with NFL prospects should not, by their reasoning, pursue the same course and opt out of any game they consider "meaningless."  Thankfully, there are still players like Mitch Trubisky who have not completely abandoned their team spirit and youthful zest for pure competition to the venal mercenary demands of the NFL juggernaut.

     There was a time when principles of duty, loyalty, esprit de corps, and simple team and college spirit would have rendered the desertion of one's team on the eve of a bowl game unthinkable.  Not so today.  Indeed, the overwhelming consensus of response to McCaffrey's cop-out, especially in the soulless sports media, has been that his decision was a so-called "no brainer" because the avoidance of any risk to his mercenary pro football prospects obviously outweighs the value of joining his teammates in a mere college bowl game.

     The irony in this reasoning is rich indeed.  On the one hand, college football programs like Stanford's are considered so important that their coaches are paid multi-million dollar salaries dwarfing those of university presidents and the most prestigious faculty; colossal stadiums of Caligulan extravagance are erected to stage a mere six or seven games a year; and many universities flaunt their fabled football programs as the chief enticement to attract prospective students.  Yet the same feckless sports commentators who devote hours of fawning coverage to the college games now dismiss them as "meaningless" when weighed against a few privileged players' speculative fears that playing in one final game with their mates could somehow jeopardize their mercenary NFL prospects.  To these venal characters, time-tested virtues of loyalty, honor, and personal sacrifice for a team or a school are laughably obsolete when balanced against the inflated wealth and celebrity of an NFL career.
     The NFL has become a grossly inflated economic and social monster that has now been further corrupted by afro-racist politics, as evidenced by the Colin Kaepernick anti-anthem protest and the grotesque spectacle of players scornfully flaunting black power salutes as they race onto the field.  Despite this blatant mockery, millions of feckless white fans persist in spending thousands of dollars on tickets for the "privilege" of cheering the very afro-racist athletes who are thumbing their nose at them. 

     That a seemingly well-grounded and well-educated Stanford stalwart like Christian McCaffrey is willing to abandon his teammates, his university, and the most basic principles of loyalty to embrace the deeply corrupted NFL is a sad commentary on the inverted and venal values of our age.


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