Ruth Bader Ginsberg: a brief political obituary

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (1933-2020) is just another reason Marxists and hard working people don’t listen to liberals. Ruth Bader Ginsberg in her 27 years on the Supreme Court (1993-2020) supported killer cops, immigrant detention, and the reactionary #MeToo campaign. She was considered the most “left leaning” of her peers, which says much more about the US Supreme Court’s composition as a whole.

Liberals idealize their heroes, just like conservatives boost Trump, because they have no real answers– just half truths, evasions & outright lies. That’s the two-party straitjacket of American politics. No real dissent is allowed. That’s why Green Party & Socialist Equality Party candidates have been kept off the November 3 ballot by the Democrats in Michigan, Wisconsin, California & Pennsylvania. The US Supreme Court has refused to hear these cases.

The law says, “Innocent until proven guilty.” That’s an enlightened principle, for those who have read books. The #MeToo campaign says, “All women must be believed,” and that there can be no blowback when a woman accuser makes false & slanderous claims against a man. What kind of judge is that? A politically motivated judge, by definition, can not be fair to the Constitution or law. RBG was just another faithful servant of the ruling class, so don’t believe the hype.

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The Banksy effect

As an artist, you either own your work, or you don’t. Taking ownership strengthens its power. Hiding from ownership weakens it. When you graffiti someone else’s property, that isn’t ownership.

There’s a fine line between street art & vandalism. When you court bourgeois society, as Banksy has done, you are no longer a street artist. Banksy is an opportunist, full of contradictions, to the point where his only message is political confusion. In the art world, this is known as the “Banksy effect.”

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Reading & Politics

My genius is reading comprehension. This allows me to completely absorb anything I set my mind to understanding, as long as it isn’t abstract mathematics, heavy science, or a foreign language. I also have performing genius, in that I’m a natural, and don’t get nervous in front of an audience. The tougher the audience, the better I get. That last part is character, physical conditioning & strength of will.

So when it comes to English language literature, I’m well read. Beginning in fiction, I’ve read Dr. Seuss, Peanuts, and plenty of kids stories. All the classic short stories from middle school including The Power of the Written Word, The Lottery, The Most Dangerous Game, etc… were absorbed. High school stuff like Lord of the Flies, The Pearl, The Iliad, Odyssey, etc… were read & comprehended.

Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Jack London, William Shakespeare, Daniel Defoe, Herman Melville, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy & Naguib Mahfouz have been experienced. You should read them too. John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway & William Faulkner are major 20th-century novelists. Also read Brave New World, Catch-22, Invisible Man, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, A Scanner Darkly, etc… to be (minimally) up-to-date modern. As far as fiction goes, just about all the great novels have already been written, so that’s where you start if you want to be literate.

As for non-fiction: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, V.I. Lenin & Leon Trotsky as essential political writers & theorists. If you haven’t read them, then you are politically ignorant. Marxism, specifically Trotskyism, will carry you through philosophy, so you can overwhelm all the pseudo-intellectual nonsense of post-modernism, structuralism, etc…

In short, all these false philosophical systems of bourgeois ethics are post-WW2 constructs, meant to apologize for capitalism’s destructive & unequal class nature. It is purely subjective irrationalism, with the unknowable always flowing back to ‘god’– therefore rejecting science & rational thought. The hypocrisy of it all is that these post-modernist university intellectuals compose their treatises on computers, and would be lost on facts without the internet. Most never attend church.

Reading the World Socialist Web Site daily, is now a requirement to be a modern Marxist. What you come to learn over time & diligent study is that many of the arguments, tactics & strategies with which the ruling class uses to attack & manipulate the masses have already been done before. This is where that cliché’, “you need to know history in order not to repeat its mistakes,” comes into play. Once armed with Marxism down to your marrow, then you can go out and become a significant political force in the world, instead of becoming someone else’s pawn.

In the 21st century, the written word is now consumed online, and blogs changed news delivery forever. What is a blog? A blog is anything the creator wants it to be. My imagination took this to mean a blog to be an online newspaper, or newsletter. In the 1900’s, news was delivered by print newspapers, magazines & books. Books took the longest to publish, meaning they were the most out-of date, but the most in-depth. Magazines split the difference by being more in-depth & timely, while newspapers were up-to-date with headlines, but the least in-depth.

With a 21st century blog, a blogger can publish up-to-the-moment articles, and then expand upon them with a scrolling blog such as mine. There’s also social media now, which revolutionized information sharing. A good 20th century newspaper had quality in all sections: News: global, national, state & local; Sports: MLB, NBA, NFL, tennis, and anything else relevant to American sports fans; Arts & Entertainment: music, film, television, video games, etc; and a Comics section: meaning can you make your readers laugh?

The question then becomes: is it serious? Most politics is a joke. The entire establishment media is fixed by big money. The billionaires control both political parties, and no one else can even get on the ballot anymore, much less any media coverage. This is due to extreme political prejudice in the judicial system from the same kind of professional liars that are attempting to extradite Julian Assange.

How do you feel about Julian Assange? That reveals your true political position. Black Lives Matter is a campaign run by the Democratic Party, the same at #MeToo. It’s purpose is to divide the workers & youth racially, to prevent them from unifying in solidarity against the ruling class. That is the propaganda war which the Trump administration & the Democrats are threatening to escalate into a shooting war.

Trump’s provocations come in a daily torrent of hatred & ignorance, yet they go unchecked by the Democrats. The mass media message is vote Biden on November 3. Trump’s ordering the assassination of Michael Reinoehl, an anti-fascist protester from Portland gunned down Sept. 3 by police belonging to the federally-led Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force, is not grounds for impeachment according to the Democrats. Phony “Russian collusion” charges are impeachable offenses for the Democrats. Both sides are evil, and 100% wrong in the mad charade. Meanwhile COVID-19 rages unchecked, as do wildfires & global economic catastrophe.

The only rational & serious solution is Permanent Revolution. The ruling governments, and their corporate-military-intelligence-police apparatuses must be smashed. The police & military must be broken up, and reorganized into a working people’s militia. The Nazis must be rooted out, and disarmed. The intelligence apparatuses, from the NSA, CIA, FBI, ICE, must all be disbanded, and their dirty secrets exposed completely– names, photos, dates, places, etc…

      1. Permanent-Revolution-1.mp3

 

This is the only serious political solution to prevent the ruling classes from starting a World War. The American economy needs to be shut down, with massive unified strike action from workers & students, to halt this murderous back-to-work (school) campaign. This means overthrowing the union labor bureaucracy. These parasites with mafia backing must be outed and brought to justice. This criminal underworld has historically worked with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, and the CIA, in countless blood-stained adventures which have been kept hidden from the American public since their inception. Every union apparatus is corrupt, in that they always partner with corporate ownership, while betraying their rank-and-file constituents.

The workers & youth of the world will not tolerate a uncontrolled coronavirus pandemic as the “new normal.” Global warming has reached a tipping point, where if we don’t get serious now, it’s going to be a bleak future. The mass majority rejects this presidential ‘race’ with only the choices being between an ignorant unstable sociopath, and a zombie Wall Street warhead.

The Socialist Equality Party is running Joseph Kishore for President and Norissa Santa Cruz for Vice President. The point of this campaign is not to win the Electoral College, since that is impossible under the US two-party straitjacket. The SEP is the party of Trotsky, which means international revolutionary socialism.

That is a policy which EVERY ruling class around the world fears & despises. That is why Trotskyists are blacklisted, and Marxism slandered. Trotskyism has nothing to do with terrorism & the BLM campaign, and yet every act of political violence by anarchists & provocateurs against the establishment, is taken by Trump as an opportunity to incite his fascist supporters to shoot their guns at Marxists. That’s how fascist propaganda works, and the Democrats are all-in on it.

This is the reality of being a Trotskyist. It takes a lot more than intellect & learning. It also requires true courage & fortitude. This is the polar opposite of publicly wearing a BLM slogan. That is opportunism, and it pays well for a reason.

Not a single supporter of Black Lives Matter can seriously explain the assassination of Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, Jr. The primary reason is because so few BLM advocates have actually read their works. Therefore they don’t understand their positions. Instead, they rely on others to tell them what these leaders meant. The problem there is that the leaders of the Nation of Islam (black militants), and the future NAACP (black Democrats), were involved in these political killings, with help from the NYPD & FBI. What about the killings of Tupac & Biggie? If black lives matter, then black lies matter. None of these fakers can face that, or the greater truth, which is that all lies matter.

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Cuties (2020)

This movie hits hard, and is outstanding– five stars.

Cuties is about children living in abusive situations, and how they act out to reclaim themselves. It’s young girls, doing what all young girls naturally do, which is pretend they are women.

The twerking is intentionally in-your-face. If you like porn, it will turn you on. If you have moral hang-ups, and like to dictate them to others, then you will be offended. If you are someone like me, who loves a great movie and has no preconceptions, then Cuties will knock you on your ass.

Pornography doesn’t have character development, complex storylines, and serious motifs. The dirty dancing in Cuties is a kids’ imitation of any Super Bowl halftime show or Dallas Cowboys cheerleader routine. Everyone watches & talks about these events without batting an eyelash, so it’s nothing but hypocrisy from the moralist camp on Cuties. This movie is a mirror, in the sense that it reflects what you bring to it.

Cuties is an instant classic. See it for yourself before you comment on it, as this is serious film-making merging with hot-button social issues. It’s on Netflix, and runs 94 minutes. Gorgeous soundtrack.

One spoiler: When Amy impales a boy classmate’s hand to his desk for talking trash, it evokes Anne Parillaud in La Femme Nikita (1991) screaming, “My name is cutie!”

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“9-11”

      1. RicSize_911.mp3

 

9-11, 2001
Does anyone remember how it begun?

9-11 it was a terrible scene
9-11 what did it all mean?
9-11 crashed out of the sky
Although statistics had proven it was safer to fly
9-11 I think intention was clear
Surgical strike and a climate of fear
9-11 it was an unfair tactic
To hijack and crash commercial air traffic

9-11 is was a fatal sign
It was organized it was by design
9-11 it was a TV show
The more you watched the less you know
Where investigators say there’s hardly a trace
Broadcaster reports with a solemn face
It’s those dirty Arabs it’s a pretty clear case
All over the news what a bloody disgrace

The president said we will retaliate
This cowardly act we mustn’t tolerate
These are worthy dead not acceptable losses
We’ll punish who did this whatever the cost is
Afghanistan is where the terrorists hide
Let’s launch an attack and win back our pride
We keep upping the stakes with no going back
Never checking ourselves before we react

And a word or two for the commercial airline
Committed to profits and arriving on time
Are the airlines safe? We ask the FAA
Spokesperson response: It’s not appropriate to say
It just seems to me they could shed some light
With fanatics hijacking planes left and right

9-11 many didn’t survive
Osama bin Laden wanted dead or alive
9-11 it’s a terror war
Nothing like this had ever happened before
It’s out in the streets it’s up in the sky
These people are serious and they’re willing to die
9-11 and it wasn’t a joke
Thousands left dead under the rubble and smoke
In the heaps of slag and the mountains of ash
What does it all mean, does anyone ask?

From Magnified. Recorded in summer 2011. Beats & production by Jay Stanley.

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Not missing the fans

I’m okay with no fans in the stands for MLB & the NBA. What anyone will quickly discover is that much of the bias in umpiring & officiating disappears when the fans are removed from the equation. So when I hear an announcer begin by saying, “We miss you– the fans in the stands,” I don’t identify with that. That’s mostly just what they are made to say, but there is some truth in their words. They miss the revenue, They miss the adulation.

I don’t miss the noise. I don’t miss the drunken & abusive fans, especially at places like Fenway Park & Yankee Stadium. I like the Rays/Yankees games much better when idiots like Yankees manager, Aaron Boone, can’t start provocations by throwing at Rays hitters, and then incite the home crowd. No home fans, diffuses Boone’s cheap-shot antics. With no fans in the stands, it makes it MUCH easier for umpires to do the right thing, and throw out a Yankees pitcher in Yankees Stadium, for throwing at opposing hitters. It removes a LOT of East coast bias, and makes the game much more fair.

All sporting contests should be between the players and coaching staff (when allowed) only. If you are a player who needs the crowd to “pump you up,” then what are you doing out there? Too much of sports is hype. Too many athletes, teams & organizations well-past their prime are held up as dynasties. Sponsors want the marquee names, and the biggest-market teams playing for championships. It’s what drives ratings, as well as corporate & league profits. This is why the Boston Red Sox don’t get punished by MLB for sign stealing, the way the Houston Astros did. The Red Sox are old guard, and therefore have all the bias in their favor.

With no home park advantage, and no Mookie Betts & David Price either, the Red Sox aren’t so intimidating at Fenway. They are going to finish last in the AL East in 2020, and will be second-division for awhile, as they have a barren farm system & lots of veterans with hefty contracts. This is an organization that needs fans back in the stands more than anyone. They are screaming for it behind closed doors.

I’ll bet if you asked the NBA & MLB players privately, they would share these same thoughts & narratives. The NBA is the most manipulated game in sports, as a home court advantage is worth 8-12 points for the host team. That’s the crowd influencing the calls, and in tough arenas it can be even more extreme. Now, in the Disney bubble, there’s none of that. These 7-game series don’t shift back & forth between host cities this year. It’s going to come down to who has the best team in the playoffs, and nothing else, which is the way it should be. My perspective is that of a real sports fan.

When these professional baseball & basketball seasons’ end, there’s going to be serious discussions about next season. Money, viability & safety are all issues that have been put off, but linger into our uncertain future. The NFL is going to try fans in the stands for its upcoming season, and that will be a social disaster. When I see fans in the stands these days, I’m turning it off. That’s my message to NASCAR, MLS &  football.

It’s the same with these fake protests, led by the Black Lives Matter campaign run by the Democrats, against the fascists incited by Trump. If you don’t have a good reason to be out, then you should not be mingling with others, especially without wearing a mask. When I see people intentionally misbehaving, I just don’t want to meet them. I don’t miss seeing them, and running into them at the ballgame either. Neither do most of us.

No fans in the stands means Next Gen players completely rule. Next Gen fans want to see Fernando Tatis, Jr.– ‘mic’d up’ again. This is a 21-year old phenom, playing MLB shortstop, wearing an earpiece & mini-microphone, listening to & answering questions between Chris Paddack pitches. Paddack had lost command of his fastball, so Tatis had to be ready– and he was, with laughable ease. He shows everyone why he is so great, right from the start, talkin’ back to Eric Karros about his dad’s feat. More of that makes MLB more marketable to fans. Notice that fans in the stands (AKA, haters) interfere with that. It’s much more like a video game experience, without fans in the stands. That’s the youth appeal.

San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler is good with all this, which makes him an asset– a rare bird in a MLB dugout. Tingler has been the target of some unfair East coast bias, cited on Wikipedia, which is deep-state controlled by now. On August 19, 2020, Padres manager Jayce Tingler publicly (& mildly) criticized SS Fernando Tatís Jr., for breaking an “unwritten rule of baseball,” by hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch while the Padres were leading the Texas Rangers 10-3 in the top of the 8th inning.

Jayce Tingler faced a hailstorm of fake media criticism for his remarks, when he was simply trying defuse a tense stand-off situation with his former team. Tingler & Padres GM A. J. Preller, both came from the Texas Rangers organization. That’s why Preller hired Tingler to replace Andy Green, after a disappointing 2019. I still think Green is very good, but Preller needed a bi-lingual dugout manager, so he hired Jayce Tingler, whom he already knew. Tingler played college baseball in his home state, at the University of Missouri, and later managed teams in Latin America for the Rangers organization. He is fluent in Spanish.

 

Jayce Tingler’s current Padres team responded to this fake media criticism of its young superstar, by hitting grand slams in the next three games to “grand slam sweep” the Texas Rangers, and set a MLB record with slams in four consecutive games. Shown below is a screenshot of the current Wikipedia page for Jayce Tingler, and it doesn’t add any of this further context in his San Diego Padres section. It criticizes Jayce Tingler as being weak, but I ask, “Who is really weak here?”

To indicate how unserious this is, Wikipedia uses a fan tweet as a link (#20). In short, it’s very shoddy & disrespectful. East coast bias for sure.

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A.J. Preller Strikes Again!

Every MLB Trade deadline has had the same front-office superstar owning it, since 2016. That genius is San Diego Padres general manager (GM) A.J. Preller. In the past, Preller had been dumping MLB assets, and acquiring young talent. It began with his legendary 2016 campaign, where Preller traded his entire rotation & All-Star closer, along with dumping OF’s Matt Kemp & Melvin Upton, Jr. That trade deadline was Preller’s calling card to MLB, in which he acquired SS Fernando Tatis, Jr., and young RHP Chris Paddack, for spent veterans. The Padres broke the J2 draft in 2016, by grabbing every young player they liked, and happily paying the fine for ‘overspending’. Teams can’t do that anymore, because of A. J. Preller.

Ace lefty set-up man, turned closer, Brad Hand was the card Preller held onto in 2017, when he didn’t receive a fair offer, in comparison to what the Yankees got in 2016 for lefty relievers Aroldis Chapman & Andrew Miller. The Dodgers needed Brad Hand most, but wouldn’t cough up the prospects, and they lost in 7 games to the Astros, in one of the most exciting World Series ever. In 2018, after Preller had signed Brad Hand to a 4-year deal over the winter, he dealt him to Cleveland, along with righty reliever Adam Cimber, for top catching prospect Francisco Mejia, who has struggled so far and is currently on the IL with a bruised thumb.

In 2019, Preller & the Indians made the biggest deal of the deadline, in a 3-way trade that send RHP Jake Bauer to the Reds, CF prospect Taylor Trammell to the Padres, and OF/DH Franmil Reyes to Cleveland. The Indians have got the better of both those deals so far, but that doesn’t make A.J. Preller afraid to make another deal with the Indians. The Padres needed RHP Mike Clevinger to lead their rotation, so Preller did what was needed to do to get him. It cost him a lot, but not as much as you may think. Preller needed to deal away a lot of these young players who weren’t championship-level, such as Austin Hedges & Cal Quantrill, due to upcoming roster crunches.

Corner OF/1B/DH Josh Naylor is the main bat for Cleveland in the deal. Recall that Josh Naylor was the key (remaining) piece in the infamous Andrew Cashner/Colin Rea deal to the Marlins in 2016. Quick recall: manager Don Mattingly wrecked Colin Rea in 3.1 innings, the night they acquired him along with Cashner. See the picture below.

The whiny Boston Red Sox then got involved, over “undisclosed anti-inflammatories” in the Drew Pomeranz deal (for RHP prospect Anderson Espinoza, who has had 2 TJ surgeries since), and A.J. Preller was forced to return RHP Luis Castillo to the incompetent crybaby Marlins, for a wrecked Colin Rea who didn’t pitch in the majors again until this season, with the Cubs. A. J. Preller was later suspended by MLB for a month, for winning too many trades. Luis Castillo was later dealt again by Marlins GM Mike Hill, this time for Cincinnati Reds righty meat-baller Dan Straily. That was before Derek Jeter took over as owner. Things have gotten much worse in south Florida since.

Back to the 2020 deadline, and this time around A.J. Preller is buying talent, with prospects & young players. The Padres have the deepest organization in MLB, as far as talent 1-60 goes. This MLB season is unique, with the coronavirus pandemic. Teams have 60-man pools of players, and no one else. Active rosters have been reduced from 30 to 28, meaning up to 32 players are at each team’s alternate site. A lot of mediocre & bad teams have no talent to draw upon for reinforcements, with the minor leagues shut down.

In the NL, the Brewers, Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Giants, Marlins, Mets & Nationals have little-to-nothing helpful at their alternate sites. The Phillies & Braves are running dry, and coming up short. Only the Dodgers & Padres can bring up impact talent to help, or trade from depth. The Dodgers got OF Mookie Betts & LHP David Price in February. Price opted-out in April, and Betts was extended. Those were the Dodgers’ big moves, and it put them in a position where they didn’t need anything at the deadline. They still have talent at their alternate site.

There’s no fan revenue in MLB in 2020, so a lot of owners are sellers at this deadline, because every dollar counts. The Padres have ownership that is still willing to spend. They are led by a hungry, aggressive GM who smells blood, and just devoured the 2020 MLB deadline. It’s a buyer’s market for MLB talent, and A.J. Preller had all the best chips to deal. He needed to deal quantity for quality, to avoid losing tradeable talent to waivers & the Rule 5 draft. A. J. Preller redefined how to steal talent in those markets, years ago. Now he’s just proven he won’t give it away when he’s on the other end. Preller knew exactly what he needed, and got the best available talent at each position: catcher, DH, relief pitcher & starter.

Above is a screen shot of the Padres top-10 remaining prospects, after all the trades, and it’s still impressive. As far as the top prospect they dealt goes, the Padres were discouraged by CF Taylor Trammell’s progress in 2020, and saw him as expendable with the acquisition of CF Trent Grisham from the Brewers last winter– another A. J. Preller heist. The Padres not only got a young lead-off hitting CF with pop in the deal, but also a reliable rotation piece in Zach Davies. Preller dumped banjo-hitting 2B Luis Urias, and lefty gopher-baller Eric Lauer. Both stink, and the Brewers probably aren’t even making the post-season in 2020, largely because of this disastrous deal.

Stealing Trent Grisham allowed Preller to dump CF Manny Margot (low OBP, no pop) to the Rays for hard-throwing reliever Emilio Pagan. That, and the Tommy Pham/Jake Cronenworth deal, transformed the Padres roster into a contender. By adding C Austin Nola (Mariners) & DH Mitch Moreland (Red Sox) at the deadline, the Padres lineup when they get LF Tommy Pham off the IL will be: CF Trent Grisham*, SS Fernando Tatis Jr, 3B Manny Machado, 1B Eric Hosmer*, LF Tommy Pham, 2B Jake Cronenworth*, RF Will Myers, DH Mitch Moreland*, C Austin Nola. Lefties are asterisked. Notice these are mostly AL players (the better league) that Preller has acquired, to create an AL lineup which will bludgeon opposing pitching from both side of the plate, with high OBP & power: 1-9.

The Padres rotation is now: Mike Clevinger, Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, Zach Davies & Garrett Richards– all right handed. They have a reinforced & balanced bullpen, with an ace closer in Trevor Rosenthal. This team, which hasn’t made the post-season since 2006, is now built to win in October.

Baseball is so random that anything can happen, and the Padres could get swept out by a team like the Cardinals in the first round. That’s just two losses, and it can happen to any team. But the Padres have taken measures to significantly increase their odds of winning the World Series, which was less than 2% at the beginning of the season. They’ll also be better in 2021, presuming there will be a 2021 MLB season.

This is why AJ Preller is the best GM in MLB. In the past few days he’s completely upgraded the Padres catching platoon, from replacement level to championship level in getting Austin Nola from the Mariners & Jason Castro from the Halos. Austin Nola is a stud, and is team-controllable. Preller added a big DH in Mitch Moreland, since that position didn’t exist in the NL back in March. Moreland has a $3M option in 2021– which is nice. A.J. Preller also got the top closer on the market in Trevor Rosenthal, and bullpen reinforcements. He got them cheap, because these teams were told to sell by ownership.

A. J. Preller got the best starter available in Mike Clevinger from Cleveland, who has two years of team control remaining. What Preller gave up is largely stuff he doesn’t need, along with fringy prospects that were going to be exposed to the Rule 5 draft in December. There was some upside in there too, of course, as you have to give up value, to get value.

But this was beautiful asset management by AJ Preller, and the Dodgers have been put on notice. The Padres now have a line-up that is better than the Dodgers, and can mash with the Yankees. The Dodgers still have better pitching, but Preller has closed that gap significantly in the past week. The Dodgers are elite defensively, while the Padres make a few too many errors, mostly because they are young. The Padres have the talent, and the time to come together to improve as a unit, but their bench is thin with all the deals they’ve made. The Padres need to stay healthy to win it all in 2020. There is still plenty young talent to draw upon in their future.

Above is the San Diego Padres September schedule, and then it’s the post-season. As it stands now, the Padres will be the #4 seed, meaning they get home field advantage in the 1st round, which is a best of three, win two. All games are played in the higher-seed’s park. That should be exciting, if it gets that far. If the Padres & Dodgers survive, then they’ll face-off in the 2nd round. These are the two best teams in the NL. The Cubs rotation is old, and the Braves don’t match up with either the Dodgers or Padres– at all. We’ll see how it goes, but that’s how I handicap the NL after this unique trade deadline.

In the AL, it’s the Yankees, Rays & Indians in the elite class, with the A’s, White Sox & Twins a notch below them. The Blue Jays made a lot of mediocre starter acquisitions (mostly rentals), which may help them get into the post-season, but doesn’t get them past the AL elite. Note that the Blue Jays were the 2020 deadline buyer that helped themselves the 2nd-most, finishing miles behind the Padres. The Phillies got some needed relief help, and since they are all-in, they placed a distant 3rd as buyers this deadline.

Obviously the Indians & Mariners got the best prospects (from the Padres), but it was the Arizona Diamondbacks (who dumped everything) who scored the best haul for sellers. Look for the Snakes to be the next sustainable powerhouse in a few years, they have a smart GM.

The Texas Rangers were rumored by some baseball insiders to “hold the keys” to this year’s trade deadline, with RHP Lance Lynn & OF Joey Gallo made available. Neither were traded, as their asking price was too high, so the Rangers still hold these keys. The Dodgers & Braves could have used Lance Lynn, for sure, but would not overpay.

This was a unique trade deadline in that there were no Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Nationals, Astros, or Cubs— oh my!! All these behemoths have maxed themselves on payroll, and (except the Dodgers & Yankees) have emptied their farm systems. That left the field open for A. J. Preller, who scooped up all the best talent, and in a few magical days, turned the San Diego Padres into heavyweight contenders with a bright & sustainable future. The Dodgers are stunned by what just happened, for sure.

As of these deals, the Padres are a shade north of $150M in 2020 payroll, and one of the five best teams in baseball, The MLB luxury tax was set to be ~ $208M before COVID-19 changed everything. This puts the Padres in position to hang onto their young stars with payroll increases into the future. A big part of winning a WS in 2020 (& beyond), will be avoiding a coronavirus outbreak within the organization. That is the final unknown variable to all this. So far in 2020 MLB, the NL West has been the best division in avoiding outbreaks.

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The NBA Boycott & Athletes’ Rights

For the record, this was not a strike. Strikes are organized workers refusing to labor, due to grievances against ownership. The NBA players were not protesting the work conditions of the bubble, money, etc. They were boycotting to protest social injustice, and other issues, that extend beyond their profession. Same with MLB, WNBA, NHL etc… It’s important for Marxists to recognize the difference.

The NBA players & NBA board met separately (& together) inside the Disney bubble on Thursday, August 27, around 11:00 AM ET, and the results were that the league announced it would re-start by the weekend.  This had a ‘domino effect’ on MLB, as the postponed baseball games were re-scheduled as doubleheaders– 7-inning games, per the new rule. Many have already been made up. More MLB games were boycotted on Thursday & Friday, but they too are expected to be made up as doubleheaders. The WNBA had shut down, but returned Friday night, as it takes its cue (& name) from the NBA.

As I had suspected, many high-powered black politicians were back channeling with NBA player reps (LeBron James & Chris Paul, particularly) during this boycott.
Led by Barack Obama and multi-millionaire owner Michael Jordan (Charlotte Hornets), these black Democrats steered the players towards a reformist compromise, which will do nothing to abate police violence against the working class. Other hucksters such as Donna Brazile have been asked to weigh-in on this & help with policy, through the corporate media.

This would be a good time for many NBA fans to curtail their LeBron James worship, after seeing this linked Stephen A. Smith (ESPN) clip on how King James turned off all the young players (and others) with his selfish stance at NBA player meetings these past few days. This is a high-school graduate who is a basketball genius, but he is neither ready, nor equipped to lead a mass movement. You need to be educated & in solidarity to lead disenfranchised workers & youth out of dead-end capitalism. That’s what’s required, and the NBA players had nothing close to that revolutionary program.

The truth is that the vast majority of NBA players still in the bubble want to finish the season. These are young men who have sacrificed their personal lives for their profession, and to earn income. It’s been mentally tough & exhausting, and it’s like that for anyone who has had to work in close contact during this coronavirus pandemic, but the NBA players are determined to finish what they’ve started. Next season? That’s another matter.

What players are most frustrated about is not being able to speak their minds on trigger-happy, killer cops. The NBA, since David Stern, has applied strict censorship towards its players concerning ANYTHING controversial. Players & coaches get fined for complaining about the officiating– even when it’s Tim Donaghy or Joey Crawford. The young players, especially, don’t honor those rules anymore. They understand that they are the product, more than ever. These are unconscious Marxists. That’s the real conflict here, which has been papered over, through the use of star-powered union bureaucracy & back channel politics.

The NBA bubble courts have ‘Black Lives Matter’ stamped on their hardwood. The NBA has obviously thrown in its lot with the Democratic Party. It’s safe to oppose Trump, since everyone knows he’s a fascist sociopath. You just can’t say it. That’s why secret negotiations were held immediately after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court on Wednesday night, August 26. One NBA team does this, and the entire league shuts down, because all the players are together in a bubble. They can meet and talk at length, instead of just passing-by, like they normally do during the season. New ideas are being discussed by the players, and it’s a young league.

It then spills over to other sports, as they feel solidarity. The WNBA, MLB & NHL all stopped play, either collectively, or as individual teams in protest over the Jacob Blake shooting. Women’s tennis star, Naomi Osaka boycotted her semi-final match, and was willing to accept the forfeit. Her opponent refused the forfeit win, just as NBA & MLB teams refused. The USTA wanted Naomi Osaka to play, and convinced her to change her mind. She did, and she made the finals, then withdrew. This hands the Western & Southern Open women’s trophy to Victoria Azarenka.

The US Open starts on Monday, August 31, and this was a tune-up tournament. Therefore it’s not in either players’ interest to play, so Naomi Osaka graciously withdrew. Fans must accept that. Don’t expect a protest from Serena Williams (or Venus) to cancel the US Open, so the event will go on despite all the withdrawals from top players concerning coronavirus safety.

Without athletes, there are no sports. What fascists don’t like is athletes asserting their political power, and their right to speak out on important issues. “Just shut up and play,” is an elitist & de-humanizing attitude towards athletes. If you care about sports, then you have to recognize these athletes as human beings. That means respecting their personal decisions & political statements, especially if you don’t like them.

Fans are allowed to criticize, but only rationally. Save morality for when you look in the mirror. Too often, professional & college athletes have been shackled by owners, universities & sponsors, and therefore can’t defend themselves. For this reason, media & fans should not be allowed to attack athletes personally, or use them for nefarious political purposes.

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“Patch Me Up Doc”

      1. Patch Me Up Doc - Ric Size

 

Recording, drums & production by Tom Pearce; bass by Bill Pelick; vocals by Rachel Decker; songwriting, guitar & vocals by Ric Size

“Patch Me Up Doc” is an A-side from Extended Play 2019-20; cover design by Ric Size & Tom Pearce

Cover Images:  Photo of Rachel (& Tom) by Danny Mcguire taken during an Oak Hill Drifters live performance at Casey’s in New Smyrna Beach, FL on December 15, 2019

RockStarDentalConsulting social media profile image by Malcolm Yawn Photography, Mount Dora, FL, February 2014

False-color transmission electron microscope image of coronavirus by NIAID

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