Beat the Blogger: 2016-17 Bowls   Leave a comment

I haven’t posted my bowl picks in a while, but I still make them every year, and I’m still not nearly as bad at them as I am at my basketball picks.  Here are my confidence picks for the 2016-17 bowls:

GRAMBLING STATE 42
TEMPLE 41
TULSA 40
MISSISSIPPI STATE 39
BOISE STATE 38
COLORADO STATE 37
NEW MEXICO 36
BRIGHAM YOUNG 35
WASHINGTON STATE 34
TROY 33
OLD DOMINION 32
NAVY 31
WESTERN KENTUCKY 30
MIDDLE TENNESSEE 29
NORTH TEXAS 28
APPALACHIAN STATE 27
MARYLAND 26
CENTRAL FLORIDA 25
HOUSTON 24
VANDERBILT 23
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 22
AIR FORCE 21
SOUTH FLORIDA 20
UTAH 19
PITTSBURGH 18
STANFORD 17
WISCONSIN 16
MICHIGAN 15
GEORGIA TECH 14
COLORADO 13
OKLAHOMA 12
SOUTHERN CAL 11
GEORGIA 10
TEXAS A&M 9
VIRGINIA TECH 8
WEST VIRGINIA 7
LOUISVILLE 6
NEBRASKA 5
IOWA 4
ALABAMA (SEMIFINAL) 3
OHIO STATE (SEMIFINAL) 2
OHIO STATE (FINAL) 1

Posted December 7, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in Uncategorized

You Are an Embarrassment to My Alma Mater   Leave a comment

Yes, Brian Kelly, you are an embarrassment to my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.  I didn’t put myself about $100,000 into debt to go to a university with an excellent football program.  I didn’t put myself that far into debt to go to an university with a reputation for academic excellence and for integrity.  I put myself that far into debt to go to a very unique university that was both.

Brian Kelly has managed to turn a university that excels at football and operates with integrity to one that does neither.  However, this has gotten well beyond Brian Kelly, and that is why the title of this post starts with “You” instead of with “Brian Kelly.”

John B. “Jack” Swarbrick, you are also an embarrassment to my alma mater.  You continue to stand firmly behind a coach who has brought nothing but negative attention to the university both on and off the field.  Even if you decide to fire Brian Kelly within the next week, it has gone on too long.  You’ve allowed Notre Dame to become a place that just isn’t that special anymore.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, you are also an embarrassment to my alma mater.  Under your tenure, you have allowed an athletic director and a football coach to turn Notre Dame into a place that I’m no longer proud of.  I used to be very proud to tell people that I’m not just a Notre Dame fan, now I just brag that I’m married to an Ivy Tech grad.

There are a few more people who are an embarrassment to my alma mater:

  • John J. Brennan
  • John F. Affleck-Graves
  • Rev. José E. Ahumada F., C.S.C.
  • Carlos J. Betancourt
  • Stephen J. Brogan
  • Thomas G. Burish
  • Monique Y. Caron
  • Katie Washington Cole
  • Rev. Austin I. Collins, C.S.C.
  • Robert Costa
  • Scott S. Cowen
  • Robert J. Cronin, Jr.
  • Thomas J. Crotty, Jr.
  • Karen McCartan DeSantis
  • James J. Dunne III
  • James F. Flaherty III
  • Celeste Volz Ford
  • Stephanie A. Gallo
  • William M. Goodyear
  • Nancy M. Haegel
  • Enrique Hernandez, Jr.
  • Carol Hank Hoffmann
  • Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
  • Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., D.D.
  • John W. Jordan II
  • Diana Lewis
  • Thomas G. Maheras
  • Andrew J. McKenna, Jr.
  • Fergal Naughton
  • Richard C. Notebaert
  • Richard A. Nussbaum II
  • Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C.
  • Rev. Gerard J. Olinger, C.S.C.
  • Cindy K. Parseghian
  • J. Christopher Reyes
  • Kenneth Ricci
  • Clare Stack Richer
  • Martin W. Rodgers
  • James E. Rohr
  • Shayla Keough Rumely
  • Rev. John J. Ryan, C.S.C.
  • Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C.
  • Byron O. Spruell
  • Phyllis W. Stone
  • Timothy F. Sutherland
  • Anne E. Thompson
  • Sara Martinez Tucker
  • Roderick K. West
  • Ann C. Williams

These are the members of the Board of Trustees.  Thanks to them, the Notre Dame I loved and paid dearly to attend is a thing of the past.  I feel robbed, both emotionally and financially.  I would ask for my money back, but if I gave them my phone number I’d just get dozens of calls from them asking me for money.  If you are one of the people on this list and do manage to read this, I’d be happy to hear why you don’t think you are an embarrassment to my alma mater, just so long as you don’t ask me for money in the process.

 

Posted November 26, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in College Football, Sports

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How to NOT End Up Here Again   Leave a comment

Full disclosure up front:  I voted for Gary Johnson.  Like the majority of Americans, I found both of the major party candidates unfit to be President.  Unlike the majority of Americans, I refused to decide to vote for the “lesser of two evils.”  My conscience wouldn’t allow me to vote for either and I don’t care that my candidate had “no chance to win” and that all my vote did was “help someone else win” (which in my state at least, wasn’t true–Trump won Indiana by a much larger total than the 3rd party vote could have made up).

There is plenty of good analysis you can get from plenty of sources about the general election, but I want to use my strong point–math–to add a take you probably haven’t heard yet.  If you subscribe to the conventional wisdom that a Democratic candidate other than Hillary Clinton would have beaten Donald Trump, and that a Republican candidate “less evil” than Donald Trump also would have beaten Hillary Clinton, likely by a larger margin, then please note this:

There were 126,247,767 votes cast for President in the November 8 general election (most updated totals I could find as of Thursday evening).   Between January and June, 24.5% of them voted for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in a Presidential Primary or Caucus.  Yes, that’s right, less than a quarter of the voters of the general election were responsible for providing the rest of us these two choices.  Another 24.4% actually tried to provide the country with a different alternative by voting for Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich or one of the other candidates in their party’s Primary/Caucus.  If you’ve already done the math, you know that over half of the people who cast a vote in Tuesday’s Presidential election didn’t even bother to weigh in on who they thought should be one of the two major party candidates.

If you are someone who is very upset that Donald Trump is going to be President, you may have some anger toward people who voted for him.  I’m not going to pass any judgment on that, but I am going to suggest that all the people who didn’t bother to come out to vote in January-June to try and get us better candidates deserve just as much of your anger.  An awful lot of people sat around and let others decide that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should be our choices.

So let’s do this better in 2020.  Vote in a Primary/Caucus.  Encourage your family and friends to vote as well.  Don’t let less than a quarter of voters decide in the Spring on the two that the rest of us get as choices in the Fall.

If you liked this post, please share it, and set yourself a reminder to share it again in early 2020.  If you disagree, leave a comment.  I always welcome discussion.

Posted November 10, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in Uncategorized

Something for Democrats and Republicans to Consider   Leave a comment

Somehow, our nation has managed to nominate two of the most repulsive, dishonest, unethical and borderline criminal people to be the major party candidates for President.  Despite this, polling suggests that about 84% of registered voters intend to vote for one of the two on November 8.

I do understand the basic argument.  “Even though (s)he is terrible, I’m voting for him/her because the other one is worse, so much worse that I can’t risk voting for a third party candidate and causing the worse one to win.

I’m not going to try to change your opinion on which one you think is worse.  I am, however, going to present an argument that it may not be a bad thing if the one you think is worse actually wins, and why that makes it OK to consider voting for a third party.

Either a President Clinton or a President Trump is going to be one of the most, if not the most unpopular President ever.  Very few of the things they want to do that you consider terrible will have any chance of getting past Congress.  On top of that, the President’s massive popularity will almost certainly create a massive swing in the House and Senate toward the other party, and re-election in 2020 seems incredibly unlikely.

So, as unpalatable as the immediate future might seem, Democrats/Liberals do much better in the long run if Hillary Clinton loses this election and Republicans/Conservatives do much better in the long run if Donald Trump loses this election.  This line of thinking is already out there among both conservatives and liberals.  In other words, whoever wins this battle is going to lose the war, or, to use a sports analogy, you don’t want to end up like the Cubs where things look great now but are destined to end badly down the road. [I may only have a couple weeks left to make jokes at the Cubs’ expense–I need to get in as many as I can now.]

Keep this in mind anybody tries to tell you that a vote for a third party candidate is dangerous because it might mean the other side wins.  It’s not the end of the world if the other side wins and in the long run it actually turns out better.  Plus, if enough of us decide to subscribe to this theory and vote for a third party candidate, then neither of them win which is what most of us are secretly hoping for anyway.

Posted October 13, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in Uncategorized

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It’s Been a Busy Seven Months   Leave a comment

Not that there are a lot of you out there who have really missed my blog posts (I average less than 100 hits per post), but I haven’t posted because it’s been a very busy seven months for me

Since getting a house into a sellable condition while living in it with two kids under ten is pretty much impossible, we had to buy our new house and move to it before putting our old house on the market.  That led to a very stressful period of owning two houses with two house payments, plus not being able to fully furnish our new house until the sale on the old house closed.

Things have finally settled down, and I hope to get back to writing more regularly.  All the changes that have gone on have reminded me to update my About page, which hadn’t been updated since I first started the blog.

Posted October 13, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in Uncategorized

Stealing Away and Leaving GCCS Behind   Leave a comment

In December 2014, Greater Clark County Schools board member Teresa Bottorff-Perkins pled guilty to felony shoplifting in Tennessee.  Fifteen months later, she is still a board member.  I find this unacceptable.  I can’t understand why the superintendent, the other six board members, and the teachers and parents of the school district don’t also find this unacceptable.  I’m not one to suggest that we all shouldn’t be perfect and mistakes can’t be forgiven, but I also think that the people who make critical educational decisions for kids really need to be held to a high standard.  I try to teach my students that there are consequences for their actions.  I assume that GCCS teachers also teach students that there are consequences for their actions.  Apparently school board members believe that they are above consequences.

There are elections coming up in November, and it’s entirely possible that Ms. Bottorff-Perkins will lose her seat.  However, we have reached a point where we need to sell our house and move to one that has more room for our family, and I’m not willing to take a chance on the outcome of a future election.  As such, we decided to focus our search outside of the GCCS district.  If we weren’t already going to be making a move, we may have waited out the election and then considered private/charter school options if the felon was indeed reelected.

As of today, we’ve had an offer accepted on a home in Floyd County.  The kids will miss their school and their teachers, but I just couldn’t bring myself to consider homes within the district.  In the big picture my actions will probably have little impact on GCCS, but I need to follow my conscience.

Am I being unreasonable?

Posted March 15, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in Uncategorized

Ted Cruz Does NOT Represent This Christian   Leave a comment

And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him. – Mark 12:17

I really don’t like to broadcast my thoughts on politics or religion, let alone both at the same time, on such a public forum, but I believe this is too important.  I say this as a Christian speaking to other Christians: Please do not vote for Ted Cruz.

I’m not going to suggest for whom you should vote.  Every candidate has major flaws.  Ted Cruz, however, is the most prominent example of a serious problem in American Evangelical Christianity today.  Ted wants to force Christianity, specifically Christian moral standards, onto the entire country via law.

This is where the opening quote comes into play.  Yes, when Jesus said this he was talking about taxes, but I think it applies broadly to government actions in general.  The fierce fight that Christians have publicly waged against gay marriage and LGBT rights has driven people farther way from Christianity, not closer.

I’ve seen firsthand the way in which an Evangelical Christian church can let politics get in the way of actually practicing Christianity.  When the government was shut down in 2013, people at my church spent a lot of time praising our Congressman (now a Senate candidate) for his conservative, Christian values, and no time showing compassion for the government employees that he had put into serious financial difficulty.  This was the exact opposite of what I thought a Christian church should be doing, and I promptly moved on to find a different church home.

Christianity is supposed to be about sharing your faith on a personal level in order to bring more people into the faith.  It’s supposed to be about supporting people who are in need or are dealing with sin, not about judging others.  The more vocal Christians are in supporting Ted Cruz, it pushes the people Christians are supposed to be reaching out to farther and farther away.

Posted February 2, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in Uncategorized

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