Dishonest Media and Johnny Manziel

A couple of weeks ago I was on a cruise ship. One of the entertainers was a comedian from Kansas City. I saw him perform three times and in at least two of his performances, two of which were more like seminars, he commented that the media lies to us. Now, I don’t know if their lies are always deliberate but there is one thing for certain – very little you see and hear in the media is true. In fact, barley 48 hours after we returned home an incident occurred near my house that shows just how true his statement is.

On Monday morning after we got home on Saturday, a light sport airplane crashed at an airport less than two miles from our house. A flight instructor was killed and his student badly burned. The first reports were that the airplane was in maintenance when it suddenly burst into flames. Then the account changed to a crash for awhile before going back to the mechanic story. I finally drove over to the airport to see what I could learn, which turned out to be nothing. I found several vehicles from news outlets with the reporters and camera crews sitting inside  waiting for somebody to tell them something (one blonde TV reporter apparently spent the entire day out there waiting to report on the noon and 6 o’clock news.)

Yet, NONE of them got the story straight! The airplane was taking off with a strong, gusty crosswind. Yet the story reported by most of the news outlets is that the airplane “suddenly lost altitude” and some said it hit another airplane while taking off, even though the closest airplanes were at least 100 yards away. No mention of the strong, gusty winds was mentioned even though such winds frequently cause accidents, particularly with light airplanes. Not a single one of the news outlets bothered to do any research. This brings me to Johnny Manziel.

I won’t go into Manziel’s history other than to say that he is probably the most-reported individual in history; in sports for sure. Most of it is rumor and/or exaggeration. Ever since 2012 when he came out as one of the most outstanding football players of all time, sports media has followed him like a hawk and bloggers have used him to draw attention to their pages. When I finally got around to going online a week ago today, I learned that there had been an incident earlier that morning between him and his former girlfriend. A statement was released by the Fort Worth PD about an investigation of an incident involving a 23-year old woman and her  ex-boyfriend. Although the statement did not mention Manziel by name, the police sergeant who tweeted it mentioned that it involved Manziel. The Johnny Manziel circus was about to turn into Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey.

The details of the allegations claimed by the girl friend, one Colleen Cowley, are here: The Fort Worth PD informational report is here:

Crowley’s statement says that she and three friends went from Fort Worth to Dallas to have dinner at a posh restaurant where they remained until after eleven, then went club hopping. She mentions three clubs in her statement but her car ended up at a fourth. Manziel, with whom Crowley says she had broken up in December, was not with them. However, Crowley says they were texting back and forth. She says they made plans for an “after party” at his hotel. She and two of her friends eventually went to Manziel’s room at what appears to have been somewhere around 1 AM or possibly later. The two friends left to “do their own thing” and she remained at the hotel, although whether they were alone or not is not stated. She said that she had made plans to spend the night in the hotel with Manziel.

After the friends left, the two former lovers got into an argument about another girl that “had caused problems for us in the past.” She apparently got mad and told him that if she was going to stay, she was going to sleep on the couch. She claims that Manziel then threw her on the bed but states that he claimed it was “playfully” but she “took it seriously” and decided to leave, but when she went to the door Manziel “restrained her.” She would later tell police that Manziel didn’t want her to drive because she was intoxicated. (She undoubtedly was since she had been to a restaurant and at least three clubs before she went to his room and is known to imbibe.)

What happened after that is uncertain. Crowley has made numerous allegations of assault and abuse on Manziel’s part but also stated in her affidavit that she went at him with a kitchen knife, at  which point he fled her apartment in Fort Worth. It was after he left that she went to neighbors and got them to make a 911 call. The Fort Worth PD concluded that no assault had occurred within their jurisdiction (the knife attack is not mentioned in their informational report) and forwarded it to the Dallas PD to investigate. The DPD conducted an investigation and declared it closed with no charges filed. The following day word came out that Crowley had requested a protective order.

The protective order has been misreported. A DFW news outlet reported that the judge had granted the request for a protective order for two years. However, Texas judges do not have that authority without a hearing. Prescribed procedures in Texas are for a hearing to be set for a date within 14 days of the request.  A judge may decide to issue a temporary order but it is valid for only 20 days, at which time it may be lifted or, once a hearing has been held, replaced by a permanent order valid for not more than two years. A DFW area TV station reported that Manziel had been ordered to stay away from Crowley for two years, but this would be contrary to Texas law since no hearing has taken place.

Crowley has also gone to the Dallas County DA’s office and pressed charges. As a result, the DPD reopened their investigation. The media, however, has been reporting this as if a new “criminal” investigation has been opened. In fact, all police investigations are “criminal.” The ongoing investigation has simply been reopened.

Whether the DPD investigation will uncover anything new is anyone’s guess, but it’s doubtful. With one exception, Crowley’s allegations all took place either in his room or in her car while he was driving her to Fort Worth. The one possible exception is in a parking lot. She mentions an encounter with a valet but doesn’t relate any abuse that might have occurred that would have witnessed. (There is also a question – how long was the couple in the valet’s presence? Unless Manziel called to ask to have his car brought up, the valet would have had to go get it while they were waiting.) She incriminates herself in her statement but the assault with the kitchen knife took place in Forth Worth. Whether she will be charged remains to be seen and may depend on Manziel’s actions. (He should press charges against her since she threatened him with a deadly weapon, an assault at minimum.)

Reporting of the Manziel/Crowley incident basically has him tried and convicted and on his way to jail, or on his way out of the NFL at least. In fact, all the police have are allegations by Crowley, allegations that have yet to be proved. Charges are based on evidence, not suspicion – except in the media and the court of public opinion the media seeks to influence.





Felito Cruz – Canadian by Birth

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.


Among those running for president of the United States is one Rafael Edward “Felito” (Ted) Cruz, currently a US Senator from Texas. There is a problem with Cruz’ candidacy – he was born in Calgary, Alberta on December 22, 1970 and lived there until age 4, at which time his mother took him and moved to Houston, Texas to rejoin his father, Rafael Beinvenido Cruz, who had previously abandoned his family and fled to Houston, but who had experienced a religious conversion and decided he wanted his family back.

Cruz is not the first presidential candidate who’s had Constitutional problems due to having been born outside the United States. The most recent was Arizona Senator John McCain, who was born on a US military base in the Canal Zone, which at the time was a US possession (Jimmy Carter gave it to Panama in 1979.) Furthermore, his father was in the Canal Zone on assignment with the US Navy. Unresolved questions of the birthplace of President Barack Obama have been raised, but no proof was ever offered that he was born anywhere other than Hawaii. Michigan Governor George Romney was born in Mexico but he withdrew from the 1968 presidential race before the question of his birth had been resolved. As it stands currently, although a number of “experts” have offered their opinion that a child born outside the United States to US citizen parents is “natural born,” the matter has yet to actually be resolved.

Actually, the matter is quite simple – when interpreting a document, whether it’s the US Constitution or the King James Bible, it must be taken literally. Anything else is a “liberal” interpretation, meaning the interpretation is left up to the interpreter. Using a liberal interpretation, a document can be interpreted to mean anything. There’s no doubt what the Founders meant when they inserted the words “natural born” into Article II of the Constitution – only someone born in what had been the British Colonies was eligible to be president at the time and future presidents had to be born in the United States. The 1790 Naturalization Law stated that children born abroad to US citizens were “natural born citizens” but the law was superseded five years later and the phrase was changed to simply “citizens.” Yet even though the law was superseded, liberals point to it as proof that children born to American citizens abroad are “natural born.” However, this theory is not supported by any actual rulings. There have been rulings regarding the status of children born in the US and its territories to aliens – they are natural born citizens – but not the status of children born outside of US jurisdiction other than that they are citizens. However, there are qualifications (the following is current law, as established in 2000, Cruz was born in 1970):

“Citizenship Through Parents

There are two general ways to obtain citizenship through U.S. citizen parents, one at birth and one after birth but before the age of 18.  The term “parents” includes:  the genetic father, the genetic mother, and the non-genetic gestational mother, if she is the legal parent at the time of birth under the law of the relevant jurisdiction.  For more information, see USCIS Policy Manual guidance on Children of U.S. Citizens.

Citizenship at Birth for Children Born Outside the U.S. and its Territories

For information on who qualifies as a “child” for citizenship purposes, see USCIS Policy Manual guidance on Children of U.S. Citizens.

In a general, a Child Born Outside the U.S. is a Citizen at Birth when the Child’s Parents Are Married to each other at the Time of Birth IF… AND…
Both parents are U.S. citizens at the time of birth, At least one parent lived in the U.S. or its territories prior to the birth.
One parent is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth and the birthdate is on or after November 14, 1986 The U.S. citizen parent had been physically present in the U.S. or its territories for a period of at least five years at some time in his or her life prior to the birth, of which at least two years were after his or her 14th birthday.

If the U.S. citizen parent spent time abroad in any of the following three capacities, this can also be counted towards the physical presence requirement:

  • Serving honorably in the U.S. armed forces;
  • Employed with the U.S. government; or
  • Employed with certain international organizations.

Additionally, time spent abroad by the U.S. citizen parent while the U.S. citizen parent was the unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person who meets any of the three conditions listed above can also be counted.

In general, a Child Born Outside the U.S. is a Citizen at Birth when the Child’s Parents Are Not Married to each other at the Time of Birth…IF  AND…
The genetic or non-genetic gestational legal mother  is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, and the birth date is after December 23, 1952 The mother had previously been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of at least one year.
The genetic father is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, the mother is an alien, and the birthdate is on or after November 14, 1986
  • A blood relationship between the person and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence,
  • The father had the nationality of the United States at the time of the person’s birth,
  • The father (unless deceased) has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until the person reaches the age of 18 years, and
  • While the person is under the age of 18 years one of the following occurs:
    • The person is legitimated under the law of the person’s residence or domicile
    • The father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or
    • The paternity of the person is established by adjudication of a competent court, and

The U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its territories for a period of at least 5 years at some time in his or her life prior to the birth, at least 2 of which were after his or her 14th birthday.
If the U.S. citizen parent spent time abroad in any of the following three capacities, this can also be counted towards the physical presence requirement:

  • Serving honorably in the U.S. armed forces;
  • Employed with the U.S. government; or
  • Employed with certain international organizations.

Additionally, time spent abroad by the U.S. citizen parent while the U.S. citizen parent was the unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person who meets any of the three conditions listed above can also be counted.


Automatic U.S. Citizenship After Birth – But Before the Age of 18

A Child Born Outside the U.S. is a Citizen after Birth IF… AND…
The child was under 18 or not yet born on February 27, 2001 At least one parent is a U.S. citizen, the child is currently under 18 and residing in the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to lawful admission for permanent residence.
The child was under 18 from December 24, 1952 to February 26, 2001 The child was residing as a Green Card holder in the U.S. and both parents naturalized before the child’s 18th birthday; OR

  • If one parent died, that the surviving parent naturalized before the child turned 18.
  • If the parents legally separated, that the parent maintaining legal and physical custody naturalized before the child turned 18.
  • If the child was born out of wedlock and paternity has not been established by legitimation, the mother naturalized before the child turned 18.

NOTE:  The order in which the child meets the conditions does not matter so long as the child meets all the conditions before his or her 18th birthday.


A. General Requirements for Acquisition of Citizenship at Birth​

A person born in the United States who is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is a U.S. citizen at birth, to include a person born to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe.​ [1] See INA 301(a) and INA 301(b). Children of certain diplomats who are born in the United States are not U.S. citizens at birth because they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. See 8 CFR 101.3.

In general, a person born outside of the United States may acquire citizenship at birth if:​

•The person has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen; and​

•The U.S. citizen parent meets certain residence or physical presence requirements in the United States or an outlying possession prior to the person’s birth in accordance with the pertinent provision.​ [2] Any time spent abroad in the U.S. armed forces or other qualifying organizations counts towards that physical presence requirement. See INA 301(g).

A person born abroad through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to a U.S. citizen gestational mother who is not also the genetic mother acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under ​INA 301​ or ​INA 309​ if:​

•The person’s gestational mother is recognized by the relevant jurisdiction as the child’s legal parent at the time of the person’s birth; and​

•The person meets all other applicable requirements under either ​INA 301​ or ​INA 309​.​ [3] For a more thorough discussion, see Chapter 2, Definition of Child for Citizenship and Naturalization, Section E, Child Born Abroad through Assisted Reproductive Technology [12 USCIS-PM H.2(E)].

The preceding is from the Customs and Immigrations Service. Note that in Paragraph A of the excerpt from the USCIS web site defines the citizenship of children born in the United States, then goes on to state that children born outside the US “may acquire” citizenship under certain conditions. In short, a child born in the Unites States is a citizen because of their birth while those born abroad are able to obtain citizenship. However, their citizenship is not automatic. The parent (or the child) has to apply for it prior to age 18. (The age requirement is found in the referenced documents.)

Felito was born in 1970, at which time the following applied:

INA: ACT 320 – Children born outside the United States and residing permanently in the United States; conditions under which citizenship automatically acquired 1/

Sec. 320. [8 U.S.C. 1431] (a) A child born outside of the United States automatically becomes a citizen of the United States when all of the following conditions have been fulfilled:
(1) At least one parent of the child is a citizen of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization.
(2) The child is under the age of eighteen years.
(3) The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence.
(b) Subsection (a) shall apply to a child adopted by a United States citizen parent if the child satisfies the requirements applicable to adopted children under section 101(b)(1) .
This Act has since been superseded by the following:


(a) IN GENERAL- Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1431) is amended to read as follows: 
“SEC. 320. (a) A child born outside of the United States automatically becomes a citizen of the United States when all of the following conditions have been fulfilled:
“(1) At least one parent of the child is a citizen of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization.
“(2) The child is under the age of eighteen years.
“(3) The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence.


(a) IN GENERAL- Section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1433) is amended to read as follows: 
“SEC. 322. (a) A parent who is a citizen of the United States may apply for naturalization on behalf of a child born outside of the United States who has not acquired citizenship automatically under section 320. The Attorney General shall issue a certificate of citizenship to such parent upon proof, to the satisfaction of the Attorney General, that the following conditions have been fulfilled:
“(1) At least one parent is a citizen of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization.
“(2) The United States citizen parent–
“(A) has been physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years; or
“(B) has a citizen parent who has been physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years.
“(3) The child is under the age of eighteen years.
        “(4) The child is residing outside of the United States in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent, is temporarily present in the United     States pursuant to a lawful admission, and is maintaining such lawful status.
“(b) Upon approval of the application (which may be filed from abroad) and, except as provided in the last sentence of section 337(a), upon taking and subscribing before an officer of the Service within the United States to the oath of allegiance required by this Act of an applicant for naturalization, the child shall become a citizen of the United States and shall be furnished by the Attorney General with a certificate of citizenship.”
Now that the law has been established, let’s take a look at Felito’s history. Rafael Edward (Ted) Cruz is the son of Rafael Bienvenido Cruz and Eleanor Elizabeth (Darragh) Wilson. Cruz was born in Cuba and lived there until age 18 when he was accepted at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas and left the country after having supported Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro. He married and had a couple of children then was divorced. While working for an oil company in New Orleans, he met Wilson, who was using her former husband’s name (without his knowledge.) She was a Delaware native who graduated from Rice University in Houston with a degree in mathematics. She and her first husband lived in London – where they were divorced. She got pregnant and had a child out of wedlock that died of crib death. British records show the child died in 1966. At some point after the child’s death, Wilson returned to the United States and ended up in New Orleans where she met Cruz.
Cruz and Wilson married and moved to Canada to pursue business interests. They were not transferred there by an American company. They initially worked for a Canadian company but soon started their own company. Their son Rafael Edward was born in Calgary on December 22, 1970. At the moment of his birth, Rafael became a Canadian citizen. He DID NOT, however become an American citizenship although by virtue of his mother’s citizenship he had the right to apply for and be granted American citizenship. As the rules posted above stipulate, in order for a child to become a citizen automatically, they had to be residing in the United States. The Cruz family was residing in Canada. Therefore, Felito’s mother had to apply for citizenship for her son. The  current procedure is for the parent to present evidence of her child’s birth to a US Consulate and request a “birth of child born abroad” certificate. However, this is current procedure as a result of amended law published in 2000. As noted above, when Cruz was born, in order for a child to be automatically granted citizenship, the parent had to be residing in the United States.
From all appearances, Rafael and Eleanor Cruz had emigrated to Canada, as evidenced by Rafael’s Canadian citizenship. Although he had lived in the United States for a decade, he had not become a US citizen. He became a Canadian citizen In 1973, four years after the couple moved there. The couple had a successful business and a reputation for partying. Although the details aren’t known, sometime in 1974 Rafael decided to abandon his family and left Calgary for Houston. Eleanor remained in Calgary with her child for several months. While he was in Houston, Rafael somehow became involved in a Bible study and left Catholicism and became a Baptist. His newfound faith led him to seek reconciliation with his wife and he returned to Canada and resumed his role in the family business. For some reason, Rafael decided they should relocate to the United States so he and Eleanor sold their shares in their business and left Calgary. (According to a former employee, Rafael was so wrapped up in business he had to drive Eleanor and the boy to the airport.) The family became involved in Baptist churches and Felito attended private Christian schools. He also got tired of being teased by his classmates – he was called names like Dorito and Cheeto – so he started telling everyone his name was Ted.
Although there is  no doubt Felito Cruz is an American citizen by virtue of his birth to an American citizen. the question is when he officially became one. It wasn’t until a Dallas newspaper published his Canadian birth certificate and revealed that he was a Canadian citizen that he acknowledged that he is Canadian. He then announced that he was renouncing his Canadian citizenship. Cruz also claimed that he didn’t know he was a Canadian citizen (which is doubtful.) Cruz recently released his mother’s birth certificate but he has not released the Report of Birth Abroad that he would have to have in order to get a passport and otherwise prove his citizenship.  Did his mother go to a US Consul and have his birth recorded when he was born or did she wait until she returned to the United States with her husband in 1975 when the boy was four years old? Although he was entitled to citizenship, it wasn’t automatic. It had to be applied for. Which brings up to Ted (Felito) Cruz’ eligibility for the presidency.
Article II of the US Constitution states that a person must be “natural born” to be president of the United States. (The Constitution also states that a  vice-president must be natural born.) There is no doubt that a child born in the United States is natural born. The question is whether this term can also refer to children born on foreign soil to a citizen parent. Until the matter is settled by a Federal court, it is simply a matter of opinion and there is no doubt that it will have to be settled before Ted Cruz, or anyone else born on foreign soil (there are exceptions for citizenship to children of military personnel stationed on foreign soil) can assume the office.
Incidentally, Cruz claims that his birth is the same as that of a child born to a service member. By no stretch of the imagination would this be true. A service member is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States which sent him to foreign soil but Cruz’ mother had emigrated to Canada and had no connection to the United States. From all indications, neither she or her husband had any intention of returning to the United States until left her, then had a religious conversion and decided they should settle in Houston (probably because he wanted to be involved in Baptist churches.)
The irony is that Ted Cruz,  who graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, claims he is a Constitutional “originalist,” meaning he believes the Constitution should be interpreted as it was originally written. Yet when it comes to his personal desire to be president, he takes the liberal view. That makes Felito Cruz a hypocrite.





Johnny Manziel – It’s All Crap

Let me start this off by stating (not admitting, stating) that I have no interest in spectator sports, particularly the NFL. I could care less who wins the playoffs and goes  to the Super Bowl and who wins it. None of it is going to make a fraction of a penny’s difference in the overall scheme of things. Everyone on the two teams gets a ring and the winner’s fans gets to brag about how their team won – until next year when that team goes on the skids.

Now, I had never heard of Johnny Manziel until a front page article came out about him in Texas Monthly. The article told how he had taken his Kerrville team from nothing to a championship team, then how he had gone to Texas A&M (after turning down an offer to a school in Oregon) and after being redshirted (whatever that means) won the Heisman Trophy the first year he played and was given the name Johnny Football. That fall I watched A&M games and was entertained by the young quarterback’s efforts on the football field. Personally, I wish he had stayed at A&M to graduate but he chose to declare for the NFL draft, which was his choice. Now, he should have been drafted by the Houston Texans, who have had quarterback problems for almost the past decade. Instead, they took a lineman named Jadevon Clowney, apparently because he played for Texan owner Bob McNair’s alma mater, the University of South Carolina, in spite of his dismal record the previous year. (Sports writer – who know very little – were pushing him to be the number one pick. He was, and he’s bombed in Houston.)

Manziel was picked by the Cleveland Browns but instead of playing him, they put local boy Brian Hoyer in the starter position and it wasn’t until Hoyer went bust that they finally played Manziel. Granted, he didn’t do well but it was the Browns defense who allowed the Cleveland Bengals to run away with them. Manziel was injured in his next game and sat out the rest of the season. Immediately after the season, Manziel checked himself into a treatment facility but no reason has ever been given for the decision he made himself. Bloggers and Manziel haters, of which there are many, concluded (without basis) that it  was for drug and alcohol abuse when it could have been for anything, including depression caused from being stuck in Cleveland. Thee 2015 season was a repeat as the Browns brought in Josh McCown, who had done okay with the Chicago Bears then bombed in Florida. But then McCown got hurt in their first game and Manziel started against the Tennessee Titans – and promptly whomped them while showing that he is a much better quarterback than the highly touted Marcus Mariota. As the season progressed, the Browns won three games –  two under Manziel – and lost 13, most of which were when other QBs were on the field. The Browns kept the Kansas City Chiefs to 17 points and scored 13 themselves while playing in Winter Storm Goliath.

Yet in spite of Manziel’s actions on the field, an army of “bloggers” went after him for “his conduct off the field.” TMZ, an internet celebrity gossip site, posted a short clip taken with a cell phone showing Manziel walking through a bar in Austin carrying what may have been a bottle of champagne and mouthing the words to a rap song. Now, it was a very short clip but Manziel haters immediately concluded that he was “inebriated”. Now, the clip was allegedly taken during a Browns bye week right after Manziel was named starting quarterback. Because gossip spreads quickly, the clip was shown all over “social media” by “ain’t it awful” bloggers and Twitterers. The Browns coach, who is no longer the Browns coach, overreacted and allegedly benched Manziel for the next game – which the Browns lost by a considerable margin. Manziel played the next game and ran all over Oakland. The next game was against the Chiefs, and although the odds were 83% in favor of the Chiefs, the Browns played a great game in high winds and possibly would have won if they hadn’t taken too long lining up for the last play and the clock ran out.

During those two weeks after Manziel returned the game, there was very little anti-Manziel on social media, but then another short video was posted showing him at a party on Christmas Eve in a private residence and all the ain’t-it-awful crap started again. This time the Browns paid little attention. They had one game left in the season and Browns management had other things to worry about, namely their jobs (which they lost.) A few days later,  Manziel went to the Browns’ medical department complaining of a headache and was determined to have a concussion, a concussion suffered during the game with the Chiefs, which he finished and did a marvelous job.

Now, concussions have become a big deal in the NFL, which had established a protocol teams are supposed to follow. Now, this is not a treatment protocol, but a series of actions the team is required to take before the player is allowed to return to the practice field and, ultimately, to the game. Depending on the seriousness of the concussion, the protocol varies from a day or so to weeks. Manziel was at the medical facility on Saturday morning before the Browns’ final game. The media claims it was for “a treatment” but there’s no treatment for concussions other than initial rest than avoiding situations when another concussion might occur and taking pain killers for any headaches. The NFL protocol calls for limited gradually increasing activity until the player is pronounced fit.

On Saturday evening before the Browns’ final game, rumors started that Manziel had been seen in Las Vegas. Manziel himself posted a picture of himself with his dog showing that he was in Ohio. On Sunday USA Today’s web site posted an article claiming that he was in Vegas and referred to claims by a waitress and someone who claimed to have talked to him. The Browns have basically ignored it, although the owner said on Sunday evening (after the Browns lost to the Steelers) that Manziel “did not show up for treatment” Sunday morning. Since then, a story has been circulating that Manziel wore “a blonde wig and a mustache and used the name Billy.” Now, this story contradicts the original story which claimed that he was at Planet Hollywood with his girlfriend and using his real name. Either one is true and (more likely) the other isn’t or neither is true. One celebrity site posted a photograph that shows someone resembling Manziel at a table accompanied by four guys – no girlfriend, no blonde wig, no mustache.

Now, it really doesn’t matter whether Manziel was in Vegas on Saturday night or not. He had been restricted from playing in the Browns’ final game and was forbidden from even being present on the sidelines. There was no requirement for him to be at the game. In fact, players with concussions aren’t supposed to be in any kind of situation where they are exposed to excitement. Sunday was the last day of the Browns’ season and he would not be returning to the practice field, much less playing. A week had passed since he suffered the concussion. No one knows what the doctor told him on Saturday. All that’s known is that he didn’t appear at the medical facility on Sunday morning,  according to Haslam. There are also reports that he wasn’t answering his phone and that “the Browns couldn’t find him.” Now, the question is, why would they have even been looking?

Manziel’s problem is not alcohol, it’s undue social media attention by bloggers who hate him and who jump on any opportunity to place blame on him, even though there’s nothing to blame him for. Social media is used by sports bloggers for their web sites – the “accounts” are all the same and never really say anything and then they are repeated on legitimate outlets. In fact, much of what passes for “news” in today’s world is actually rumor gleaned from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. In nearly every case, the claims are exaggerated. They often refer to Manziel’s “brushes with the law” when in fact he’s only been arrested once in his life, and that was after he got into an altercation in College Station after someone called his buddy by a racial slur and he was found to have a fake ID. During the off-season before his final year, the attention was focused on Tweets he had made, including one in which he expressed how glad he would be to leave College Station after his car was towed. This was during the period when there were allegations that he had been paid to autograph football paraphernalia, allegations that were never proven and for which he was suspended for the first half of A&M’s opening game against the University of Houston. That, by the way, was the first college football game I ever watched. Within five minutes after Manziel got in the game, he scored. By the way, the U of H is one of the best college teams in the nation.

Because of who he is, Manziel draws attention from two kinds of people, those who hate him  because of jealousy and those who hate him because of their own self-righteousness. So what that he likes to party? There have been all kinds of claims that he’s addicted to alcohol or drugs – or both – but the only proof ever offered are photographs and short video clips of him either in bars or at parties. Although hundreds of bloggers claim that he was treated for alcohol and drugs, there is no proof that he was. No one even knows for certain where he was treated, much less what for. His family gave a clue in 2013 when his father commented that he has anger issues, which is not uncommon with competitors. There’s no doubt that he was angry with the Browns offensive line because they let the clock run out on the Chief’s game. When the whistle blew, he threw his helmet on the ground and stormed off.

What I hate is that the “allegations” against Manziel are all based on rumor and unqualified photographs and short video clips. If he’s photographed in a bar or at a party, he’s automatically “inebriated.” A lot of people seem to believe that the Browns have prohibited him from alcohol. (There have been claims that the Browns told him to breakup with his girlfriend after an incident in October when she threw his wallet out the window of his automobile. Really? Since when has any employer been able to dictate who a person is romantically involved with? His girlfriend is actually a college student from Houston. Social media has labeled her a “party girl.”)  Somebody found a post by one of her friends on Instagram (or somewhere) saying “Headed to Vegas” and used it to “substantiate” the claim that Manziel was in Vegas Saturday night.

Not only are bloggers speculating about where Manziel was on Saturday night, they’re claiming that the Browns are “through” with him and are going to dump him. However, right now the Browns doesn’t even have a management team. They have a general manager but he’s new to the job and is a lawyer, not from the NFL. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told the media that it would be up to the new coach and general manager as to the makeup of the team. He did comment that he has input and also commented that the Browns will have second pick in the draft in May, which bloggers took to mean that he is planning to dump Manziel. If so, the question is why? It is because of rumors, innuendo, short video clips and photographs posted by wannabes? It’s certainly not because of how he plays. Personally, I hope Manziel does leave and comes back to Texas. The Cowboys seem to be looking at him. The Texans ought to be. In fact, they should have drafted him instead of Jadevon Clowney, who has been the bust that Manziel haters falsely claim he is. It’s like those who weren’t there calling Douglas MacArthur “Dugout Doug.” Neither label is deserved.



North Pole Above Freezing? Not Really

This past week several newspapers and web sites carried headlines that a strong winter storm in the Atlantic was pushing warm air into the Arctic and that the North Pole would see temperatures above freezing, which would cause the ice at the Pole to start melting.  It was true that warm air was deflected northward into the Arctic but it wasn’t true that the Pole would be above freezing or that there were would be any melting. These articles, which were repeated, are a good example of how the media hypes anything having to do with weather and climate. After the “warm” air mass reached the vicinity of the North Pole, the media reported that the temperature had risen several degrees above freezing. Some claimed temperatures of 40F. None of these claims are true.

When discussing “the North Pole,” it is important to understand a few thing. For one, there are actually two “North Poles,” the actual North Pole, which at 90 degrees north latitude, and the magnetic North Pole, which is actually several hundred miles south of the actual North Pole, and which is constantly shifting. There is also a geomagnetic North Pole, which exists only in theory as the point at which magnetic forces between the Earth and Sun converge. To complicate the issue even further, there is a town in Alaska named North Pole, a suburb of Fairbanks which is located over 1,500 miles south of the geographical North Pole and over 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle. On Wednesday, December 30 when the temperature at the Pole was supposed to be above freezing, North Pole, AK was 40F. Another factor that is important to consider is the distance between degree of latitude, which is approximately 60 nautical miles or 69 statute miles. The actual distance varies from the equator to the Pole, with the distance at the North Pole being slightly more than 69 miles statue.

Unlike the South Pole, which is a geographical feature located on the continent of Antarctica, the North Pole is a geographical point in the Arctic Ocean. For all practical purposes, both Poles are located on ice but the ice at the North Pole, which averages from 6 to 10 feet thick, floats and moves while the South Pole is on an ice sheet and does not move. This is important to understand because, except for summer when research teams (sometimes) visit the North Pole and take measurements, all weather observations are taken from buoys which drift considerable distances and are not physically located at the Pole. This link is to a table of all of the buoys in Arctic – Note that the closest buoy to the North Pole, Buoy # 6400474 is a little over 70 miles from the Pole. At 0603Z (GMT) on December 30, the temperature reached -.9C, or just over 30F. This temperature was the high mark of a period of roughly 24 hours in which the temperature rose toward the freezing mark then dropped again to temperatures well below 0F. Another buoy, Buoy # 6400476, rose to .7C (33.26F) for one observation than immediately began dropping and was down to -16C nine hours later. This particular buoy is 180 miles south of the Pole and 110 miles further south than Buoy #474. In spite of the distance, a Washington Post writer used this buoy to imply that temperature at the Pole rose above freezing – while ignoring the closer buoy which showed that it didn’t. The same article used data from the GFS model, a US National Weather Service model that predicted temperatures several degrees above freezing at the Pole as “proof” that the Pole became “unfrozen” without acknowledging that the GFS is a computer model rather than an observation.

Granted, an exceptionally strong storm forced warm air from the Gulf of Mexico up over the North Atlantic and over Iceland and into the Arctic, however, the “warm” temperatures only lasted for a few hours. The current temperature at the North Pole as reported by the Canadian weather site The Weather Network is -31C (-23.8F). No, the ice at the North Pole isn’t melting, nor is the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

Incidentally, this is the same storm that brought heavy snow to Texas and the Midwest while pushing warm air up the East Coast before it moved out into the Atlantic and brought high winds to Ireland.





Christmas, or Happy Holidays?

As I am writing this, it is December 22, which happens to have been my mother’s birthday. It is also three days before Christmas; actually it’s less than three days because it’s 1030PM. Our tree is up, the den is decorated and we’ve got  a few ornaments on the front porch in the front yard (but nothing like some of our neighbors have. I still have to go buy a couple more gifts for my wife and something for the dog, but overall I’m generally ready for the holiday, and that is what December 25 is, a Federal holiday, not that holidays mean that much to me now that I’m retired and no longer draw a paycheck and have to be at someone’s beck and call. We’ll probably go to Christmas Eve services at our church followed by a hot dog at James Coney Island. Since our friends that we normally celebrate with are out of town, we’re planning to watch The Christmas Story, possibly with the friend who’s still in town, then go have Chinese for dinner. Chinese restaurants rarely close on Christmas Day.

What I am about to say may make a few people upset, but it’s the honest truth. Christmas is not the birthday of the Savior. It never really has been and that it is today is merely a pretense. Christmas as we know it today is actually a media invention and a commercial endeavor.

That Jesus was born is beyond doubt. We know what when He was born, Herod was King of Israel and Augustus ruled the new Roman Empire and that He was born in Judea in the little town of Bethlehem, as the prophets had foretold, and that His parents – Joseph had married Mary, His mother, after he learned she was pregnant by the Holy Ghost – had gone there to be taxed. What we don’t know is the month, let alone the day, of His birth. The December 25 date was adopted by the Catholic Church sometime around the reign of Constantine, the Roman Emperor who legitimized the church in Rome. It is believed the church adopted the date because it was a popular pagan holiday celebrating the birth of the sun. According to tradition, the early Christians were participating in the celebration so some Roman church leader decided to adopt it as Jesus’ birthday.

That all happened around 1,700 years ago. Move forward to Early America. That’s when the Dutch brought their Santa Claus tradition to North America, a tradition that was quickly adopted throughout the colonies. The Dutch Santa Claus is based on a man who lived in the third or fourth century who was dubbed Saint Nicholas because of the kindnesses he allegedly did. Over the centuries, supernatural powers were attributed to him and he eventually evolved into Santa Claus. Clement Moore’s poem did more to spread the tradition than anything else up to that time.

Now, we need to get something straight. Actually, we need to get a lot of things straight. One thing we need to get straight is that the Apostles admonished the Early Church NOT TO OBSERVE FEASTS AND TRADITIONS! Consequently, observing Christmas as a Christian day is in violation of scripture, and thus the will of God. Nowhere are Christians commanded to  observe the birth of Christ, not for that matter, is the day of His birth revealed. We do know the day of His death – it was on the Jewish Passover, which was only natural because He was born to be the Lamb of God. However, Christians aren’t commanded to observe the day of His death either (we don’t know the exact day.) The Early Church gathered on the first day of the week because that was the day on which Christ arose.

I have always enjoyed Christmas, even when  was living by myself. However, I do not see it as a celebration of the birth of Jesus even though I did as a child. In fact, large numbers of Christians over the centuries have believed that celebrating Christmas was against the will of God. I am descended from a prominent Baptist preacher, a Scotsman who pastored in London. I don’t know my ancestors’ thoughts on Christmas but I do know that English Baptists (and others) did not celebrate it and preached against celebrating the holiday, which was merely an excuse for Englishmen to get drunk and engage in bawdy behavior.

Christmas as we know it today, goes back to the increasing influence of the media with the advent of radio, recording and commercial advertising. Merchants, many of whom were Jews, saw Christmas as a tremendous opportunity to make money. So did the music industry, as song writers started writing songs about Christmas that had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. Recording stars whose lives demonstrate that they are anything but Christians, recorded Christmas songs to increase their popularity. How can Dirk the Dagger be a bad man if he sings Christmas songs? The advertising industry seized on Christmas as a means of promoting their client’s wares. Their clients, many of whom are Jews, made scads of money, so much money that the Christmas  season became the most profitable period of the year, accounting for a large portion of their yearly sales.

Many people gripe about the term “Happy Holidays,” which actually dates back for well over a century and a half. They seem to feel that “Merry Christmas” is superior and evidently are under the mistaken belief that God will somehow reward them for using that term as a greeting. In truth,  it doesn’t matter. God rewards us for our works, not for our utterances. Personally, I could care less which term people or use or whether they say anything at all.

What bothers me is that Christmas has become something it never should have. Christmas is not being commercialized, it was commercialized a long time ago, before I was born 70 years, one month and 22 days ago. Christmas has been sold by the media as “a time of giving” when it’s really a time of buying the wares of their advertisers. It’s to the point that people feel obligated to give gifts to practically everyone they know instead of to their family. The same with Christmas cards, which were developed by the greeting card industry to boost sales. The paper industry also came up with wrapping paper. The radio plays all kinds of “Christmas” songs but they’re really nothing but love songs with some kind of Christmas theme. None of them have anything whatsoever to do with the birth of Jesus even though that is what the day is supposed to be about.





November 11, 1918


Tomorrow is Veterans Day, at least that’s what November 11 has been called since 1954 after World War II veterans lobbied to change the name of the holiday formerly known as Armistice Day. The holiday was originally established – not just in the United States but throughout the world – as the anniversary of the armistice that ended the most deadly war in world history in terms of military casualties. Although United States participation in the war was for less than a year, more than 100,000 young Americans died. (World War II deaths were just over 300,000.) The carnage for the participants who had been engaged In the war for several years before the Wilson Administration took the United States into it were in the millions. French battle deaths were 1.3 million while British deaths were just under a million. German battle deaths numbered over 1.7 million making The Great War, as it was called until war broke out again two decades later, the most deadly war in history. (Overall deaths in World War II were greater because of the death toll from artillery and aerial bombardment among civilians, who had never been targeted before.)

The Great War saw the advent of what is now called “modern warfare.” It saw the advent of submarines, aerial warfare and the machine gun, which ended the use of horse cavalry and introduced mechanized warfare even though the war is often thought of as having been fought in trenches. Artillery was the preeminent weapon of the war, with most deaths caused by shelling. The war also saw the use of gas, and led to bans against gas for future wars (even though most nations continued to manufacture and stockpile chemical weapons.) It ended not with a surrender, but an armistice until Allied and German representatives signed an agreement six months later that was limited Germany’s military capabilities – for the time being.

A year after the armistice, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as a day to remember the men who fought in the war that had concluded a year earlier. In 1926 Congress made the day official as a day of remembrance, but did not declare it a legal holiday. That came in 1938 when Congress proclaimed November 11 to be Armistice Day and a legal holiday. Another major war broke out the following year and the United States became involved militarily two years later. The new war, which had come to be known as World War II, hadn’t even ended before veterans started lobbying to have Armistice Day changed to become a day to honor them as well as their fathers, who had fought in The Great War. A number of states proclaimed Armistice Day as “veterans day” but it wasn’t until June 1, 1954 after another war concluded that Congress amended the 1938 act establishing Armistice Day and changed the name to Veterans Day.

Just as the name of the day has changed, so has the definition of a “veteran.” When Armistice Day was first established, a “veteran” was considered to be someone who had actually participated in The Great War, meaning someone who had actually gone to France. The American Legion actually started in France when military personnel awaiting their return to the United States decided to form an organization. Previous veteran’s organizations had also been made up of men who actually participated in combat operations. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, which traces its history to 1899 when members of the 17th Infantry chartered a new organization that eventually combined with other veterans organizations and became a national organization. While the American Legion will basically accept anyone who has ever served in the military as a member, membership in the VFW is still limited to men and women who have actually participated either in wartime operations or in expeditionary operations by the US military and who were awarded a campaign medal. The Veterans Administration was established in 1930 as a single organization to administer government activities “affecting war veterans.” Today, to most Americans, a “veteran” is anyone who  has ever put on a uniform regardless of whether they participated in combat operations or even served during wartime.

As we celebrate Veterans Day tomorrow, take time to remember who it was originally set up to honor – those men who have actively participated in America’s wars.