Got a call first thing this morning from the plumber concerning the frozen pipes in the attic apartment that DaWife and I first lived in when married and has now been rented out to the same fellow for nearly 30 years. Water was leaking to the 2nd floor where my brother lives. I called and emailed Saturday concerning the problem, apparently it’s a good thing I called fast because while there are a lot of people ahead of me which means we likely won’t see them today, the number of people behind me is a whole lot longer.

That artic blast is a full employment program for the plumbing and heating industry which I suspect isn’t laying off anyone in New England anytime soon, but then again in an age where automation is taking over a lot the trades remain the best option out there during a recession.


My thought on the Chinese balloons was that it would be a better idea to capture it in the air rather than shoot is down as we don’t know if they might contain hazardous materials. With a slow moving balloon of indeterminate weight I don’t know how practicable such a move would have been but if that wasn’t possible I don’t see the advantage of allowing to to gather intelligence and transmit it in real time letting it traverse the country before taking it out over the Atlantic.

By waiting that long you basically gave China not only the real time data they were looking for but data on the use of such balloons as a delivery system for bio weapons for either a first strike or an attack if we defend Tawian.

The Biden administration’s reaction tells me that what I’ve said before still applies, when you buy them, they stay bought.


Let’s point one important thing concerning all this reparations talk that nobody is discussing.

My four grandparents came here around 1906 over 40 years after the end of slavery in the US. and as Sicilians were considered to be of a different “race” than the WASPS in Massachusetts where they settled having to work like dogs to get to where they were.

Even if you make the stupid argument that reparations are due to people who were never slavers and whose parents were never slaves (and whose grandparents were likely never slaves either) why the hell should any of the descendants of people who were no where near America in the 19th century be responsible for those sins?


This past weekend the NFL “Pro-bowl” became a flag football game and skills competitions that I suspect people didn’t care much about.

The reason the pro-bowl is in decline? That’s simple. Current salaries.

When an NFL player was not making generational wealth the bonus from even the loser’s share of a pro-bowl game was something worth showing up for, not to mention the trip to Hawaii.

But when you are making a fortune playing the game already there is little incentive to show up to play an extra game that you have the potential to be hurt at, and one injury could mean the end of your seven to eight figure paycheck.

Thus the well paid stars who the pro-bowl is meant to feature give it a miss and the middle tier guys to whom that extra cash might mean something show up and now you don’t even have a real football game.

How it draws any eyeballs escapes me.


Finally there was yet another “clarification” concerning homosexuality from the Pope as he continues to try to dance around reality so as not to have to speak the truth aloud so in the interest of clarity let me give you four basic Catholic truths.

  1. There are NO circumstances where sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is not mortal sin.
  2. There are NO circumstances where homosexual sex is not mortal sin.
  3. Mortal sin, sexual or otherwise, if sacramentally confessed with a firm resolve to amend is forgiven independent of sexual orientation.
  4. If you fail in your resolve and sin again, sacramental confession remains available so you can pick yourself up and try again.

This is Catholic 101 and any Priest or Bishop who tells you different is at best ignorant and at worst a liar.

By John Ruberry

Okay, Republicans, you have an easy lay-up shot at the basket. But of course, sure things, such as Red Wave midterm blowouts, can end up as air balls. 

America’s worst big city mayor, Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot, is running for reelection. She has eight opponents, a couple of whom, such as Ja’Mal Green and the Chicago Teachers Union-endorsed Brandon Johnson, are extreme leftists who provide answers to the question, “Can Chicago have a worse mayor than Lori Lightfoot?

Chicago’s elections are non-partisan. In the likely scenario that no candidate achieves 50 percent of the vote in the first round of voting, which is February 28, the top two candidates face off in an April 4 runoff. As with the congressional midterms, polling has been all over the place in the mayoral race, but the top four candidates in terms of popularity appear to be Lightfoot, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, businessman and vote-buyer Willie Wilson, and US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. 

The Chicago mayoral race is the first major election, unless you count December’s Georgia Senate runoff race, since the collapse of cryptocurrency firm FTX.

By most accounts Garcia, who endorsed Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign, was the early frontrunner in the contest. But then Lightfoot went on the attack. 

You see, Garcia’s congressional campaign fund accepted $2,900 from former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who was indicted last year for charges surrounding the collapse of the crypto currency firm. Worse, SBF’s PAC, Protect our Futures, spent over $150,000 on glossy mailers sent to Chuy’s remapped and gerrymandered 4th congressional district to introduce him to new voters for the 2022 Democratic primary. Only Garcia was running unopposed in that race. Chuy is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees cryptocurrency. The $2,900 Bankman-Fried contribution to Garcia has since been donated to charity.

And Lighfoot’s attack appears to be a solid blow against Garcia in a TV spot where she connects Garcia not only to SBF, but also to former Illinois Democratic Party chairman and state House speaker, Boss Michael Madigan, who was indicted last year, as well as Chicago’s deservedly unpopular red-light cameras. 

Most of the Lightfoot attack ad against Garcia begins at the 1:22 mark in this Fox Chicago video.

The upshot? In the two most recent polls, one that you should look at with suspicion comes from an internal survey from the Lightfoot campaign, and the other one from a suburban Republican pollster, Garcia has dropped to third place. Lighfoot’s poll has her on in the lead, the other poll has Vallas in the lead with Lighfoot close behind–but both surveys have the top two in a statistical tie. 

Garcia, although he did force Rahm Emanuel into a runoff in the 2015 mayoral race, is accustomed to comfortable elections, so it might be a struggle for Chuy to fight back.

Back to the GOP.  

Republicans, you know, or should know, what to do. Target every Democrat who has taken Sam Bankman-Fried cash so hard that voters will believe that these Dems have SBF as a running mate.

Even if it means following Lori Lightfoot’s lead.

John Ruberry regularly blogs just north off Chicago at Marathon Pundit.

We’re looking for players in this league so if you’re interested leave a comment. We hope to be starting in a few weeks.

Here is an update for the next season (1971) of our online draft league

How the league is to be played

We will be playing the 1971 season which is to be released by Dynasty in Feb or Mar of 2023. We will be playing under 1971 rules with one exception. There will be at least one interleague play to allow each player to play each other player at least one home and away series.

The schedule

As soon as I have the number of teams confirmed (We’re at 14 now) I will begin to work on the schedule. While I don’t have to deal with the logistics of hotels and airports it still is a complicated matter to make it and will take some time to enter into the system. Please be patient with me as I do so. My goal will be to have the schedule ready before the draft.

Number of games:

The plan is to play a 162 game season. I thought about a shorter one but Dynasty is planning to release 1972 after 1971 so I want to give them the full time so we have a chance to keep playing continual seasons. As before I reserve the right to adjust that number up or down up to 10 games in order to make the schedule work. 162 is my target and 154 is my secondary target but this will depend on the number of teams. All teams will have an equal number of home and away games. Until I know for sure the number of teams I can’t guarantee anything else.

The number of games vs each opponent will be determined by the final number of teams in the league for the 1971 season. I will schedule at least one interleague series. The plan is to again have an unbalanced schedule so you will have more games in division than out. If we have an odd number of teams like 14 or 18 again I’ll consider a schedule with equal number of game vs all teams in all leagues even if it means a weird number of games (156 or 136) With 18 I might also just use the schedule format of last year and plug in different teams into the formula provided

Frequency of games

There will be two scheduled series per week. If we have issues with the schedule or an unbalanced number of teams I may have to tweak this.

Number of teams

We currently have 14 confirmed teams. Philadelphia’s work schedule does not permit him to continue and Cincinnati dropped out, I’m still waiting to hear back from Baltimore and Oakland to see if they will continue. We can play with 14 if necessary, but 16 is my goal and if we can get all the existing teams full that’s even better.

Division setup:

We currently have three divisions in each league. If we get back to 18 we will continue that way. If we get to 20 or 16 we’ll go two divisions (if we get 20 we’ll have wild cards) If we end up with 14 I’ll likely go no divisions and two wild cards per league if the dynasty system allows it.

Trades and waivers.

After the fifth series of the season teams may trade. Any player on the current roster may be traded along with any of the first seven draft picks for the next season (currently 1973 BUT if 1972 or 1971 is finished by Dynasty in time they will take precedent.) If a trade is made that increases a roster beyond the 40 man limit a player must be released before the next series is played. Any trades agreed will not be executed until all the teams involved have the same amount of games played.

Waivers takes place after the sixth series. Teams make waivers picked based on their current record and are made from the undrafted players not on rosters.. If a pick brings a Roster over 40 a player must be released or an injured player not on the DL must be placed there to make room.

The DL:

In a change from previous seasons players on the DL WILL count toward your roster but to make up for it we will have a maximum 40 man roster. We will still only draft 35 but players may expand their rosters via trade and waivers.

Playing Games.

All games must be completed before the next scheduled series. the Dynasty system will take over and auto play any games that are not completed one hour before the next scheduled game (even if said unfinished game is in progress) Players are encouraged to use the chat room and the Dynasty message system to reschedule games if needed and are also encouraged to make a manager profile in case a game has to autoplay. Instructions on how to do that are here.

Be aware that if you have your team on AUTO and your opponent requests a rescheduled in the system Dynasty will automatically allow it so keep this in mind when or if you turn auto on. Also be aware if both team are on auto and you reschedule the game will be played automatically so make sure your team is not on auto before you do this.

Expansion and Expansion draft

With 4 existing teams not yet committed (hopefully the A’s & O’s will return) the ideal is to get players to take the teams that are there, but some players prefer to build their own so if the price of getting to 16 is an expansion draft then we will have one.

Selecting a franchise:

New players who do not take an existing franchise will be allowed to select any of the currently open franchises for 1971 they are:

AL

  • Chicago White Sox
  • Minnesota Twins Last years twins moved to KC
  • Detroit Tigers

NL

  • Chicago Cubs
  • San Diego Padres
  • Houston Astros

They will automatically gain the rights to any rookies for the 1971 team of that franchise.

If we again have multiple expansion teams they will pick franchises in the order that they confirmed their intent to join the league.

If a current player expresses an intent to leave the league before the expansion draft the expansion players will in the order above be given the option of taking over that existing franchise including their roster and current draft picks (or lack thereof)

Expansion Draft:

If an expansion draft is announced each team will have two weeks to submit a list of protected players currently on their 40 man rosters. These players will not be eligible to be drafted in the expansion draft. There will be a maximum of 7 players on each teams protected list. it is recommended (but not required) to submit an additional twelve players to be protected once a player or two is drafted from their team.

Whenever a player is chosen off a team in the expansion draft said team will be able to immediately protect an additional five players. No team can lose more than three payers to the expansion draft. If a list is not submitted before the draft and not submitted at the time the first player is taken from the team then said team will not have additional players protected until such a list is provided. I will allow a reasonable amount of time in case the player is not in the chat room for me to try to contact said player before another player is takin from his team.

Expansion teams draft a minimum of four players and a maximum of 12 players to their rosters before the regular draft. The number of players picked in the expansion draft by an expansion team will determine where they will draft in the regular draft.

As soon as all expansion teams have completed their drafts two things happen

  1. All Rookies become property of their franchises and count toward their current rosters.
  2. All teams must submit the list of players retained in the regular draft. The players drafted by the expansion teams are considered to be that list.

Franchise locations and parks

Every team is presumed to have the park their team played in during the season they entered the league.

Franchises whose teams move in real life are not required to relocate their teams. So the Seattle Pilots are not required to move to Milwaukee and the Washington Senators are not required to move to Texas but they retain the option to do so at any time.

Franchises are NOT required to build new stadiums and my continue to play in their old stadiums if they wish. So Cincy can stay in Crosley field and Pittsburgh can remain in Forbes Field if they wish but they retain the right to move into those new stadiums at any time so another team my NOT select that stadium. If a team chooses to move into their new park in the same city the old park is considered demolished and no other team may use it from that point on.

A team may NOT move into a park that in a different city because the Dynasty system bases the weather on the park used NOT the city that a team’s label claims it is in. Thus if the Seattle Pilots want to play in Country Stadium they MUST move to Milwaukee

A team may NOT move into a park in the same city that belongs to a future franchise. Example. If the Seattle Pilots choose to remain in Seattle rather than move to Milwaukee they may NOT move into the Kingdome because it is reserved for the Mariners franchise when it becomes available.

Old parks

A team MAY move into an old park from the same city under the following conditions:

  1. The park was once the home park of the franchise OR
  2. The franchise that once owned the park is now located in another city

Examples,

  • the Seattle Pilots move to Milwaukee the Mariners if taken MAY move into Sick Stadium.
  • The Cardinals may move into sportsman park because it was once their old stadium.
  • Both the Yankees and the Mets may move into the Polo Grounds because the park is in NY and both teams were once based there.

Rookies

A “Rookie” is define as any player who did not have a card for the previous season.

A rookie is considered to be part of the team listed on their card reguardless of who they actually played their first game for (Dynasty lists cards based on who a player finishes a season with thus any rookie that was traded by an MLB team in his first season will have their card listed for the team they were traded to NOT the team they played their first game with.

All teams retain rights to their rookies prior to the draft and rookies for a franchise are not eligible to be drafted in any expansion draft.

A Rookie becomes a part of a team after said team names their protected players for the draft. They count toward the 35 man roster

Any team that doesn’t want to retain a rookie may release them before the draft to open up a roster spot but once release all rights to said player are surrendered.

Players retained list

All teams may retain a number of players based on their finish in the 1970 season. The players retained list for 1971 has already been posted here: but I’ll repeat it below for convenience

  • World series winner 4 players (Giants)
  • World series runner up 5 players (Yankees)
  • non-world series Division winners 6 players (Reds, Phillies, Redsox, Indians)
  • Wild Card Teams Winners that don’t make the series 7 players (Pirates, Royals (twins))
  • Wild Card game losers (A’s Braves)
  • Non division winning teams with the 5th and 6th best records 9 players (Pilots, Mets)
  • Non division winning teams with the 7th and 8th best record 10 players (Orioles, Angels)
  • Teams with the 3rd and 4th worst records 11 players (Dodgers, Cardinals)
  • Teams with the worst and 2nd worst record 12  players (Expos, Senators)

NOTE: If a player on your current Roster does not have a card for the next season due to injury, military service etc but WILL the following year a team may choose to retain the rights to said player but will have to spend a protected spot for it and will have to keep a space for him all season.

Example: Rico Carty was out for all of 1971 due to injury. Boston currently owns Carty. They can choose to hold his rights when his season ends. He will pay 1971 with 39 players and in 1972 will hold the rights to Carty. If at any time he chooses to release him Carty will be considered a rookie for Atlanta Rookie because

  1. He had no card the previous year
  2. No team held his rights
  3. His 1972 card says “Atlanta”

In the example above if Carty is released and we don’t play the 1972 season Carty would be a rookie for the A’s because his 1973 dynasty card says Oakland

The draft order of teams has been posted here and will be repeated below taking into account the possibility of expansion teams. Any team that is not retained will of course not be drafting BUT If a team holds the draft pick of a team that is no longer in the league he will draft those picks as if that team was still in the league in the round that he holds them.

  1. Worst team (12) Montreal Expos
  2. 2nd worst team (12) Washington Seantors
  3. Expansion Team(s) if any that drafts only 4 players in the expansion draft
  4. 3rd wort team (11) LA Dodgers
  5. 4th worst team (11) California Angels
  6. Expansion Team(s) if any that draft 5 players in the expansion draft
  7. 5th worst team (10) St Louis Cardinals
  8. 6th worst team (10) Baltimore Orioles (or their traded picks if abandoned)
  9. Expansion Team(s) if any that draft 6 players in the expansion draft
  10. 7th worst team (9) New York Mets (Daytraders)
  11. 8th worst team (9) Seattle Pilots
  12. Expansion Team(s) if any that draft 7 players in the expansion draft
  13. Wild Card team (8) Oakland A’s (Or their traded picks if abandoned)
  14. Wild Card team (7) Kansas City (Formally Minnesota)
  15. Expansion Team(s) if any that draft 8 players in the expansion draft
  16. Wild Card team (8) Atlanta Braves
  17. Wild Card team ( 7) Pittsburg Pirates
  18. Expansion Team(s) if any that draft 9 players in the expansion draft
  19. Division winning team with worst record (6) Cleveland Indians
  20. Division winning team with next worst record (6) Boston Red Sox
  21. Expansion Team(s) if any that draft 10 players in the expansion draft
  22. Division winner not in WS with next worst record (6) Philadelphia Phillies (or traded draft picks if abandoned)
  23. Division winner not in WS with best record (6) Cincinnati Reds (or traded draft picks if abandoned)
  24. Expansion Team(s) if any that draft 11 players in the expansion draft
  25. World series loser (5) New York Yankees
  26. Word series winner (4) San Francisco Giants
  27. Expansion Team(s) if any that draft 12 players in the expansion draft

NOTES:

  1. Because Minnesota (now KC) defeated Oakland in the Wild Card game Oakland gets the draft advantage over them. Likewise because Atlanta lost to Pittsburgh they get the draft advantage over them even though they had the better record.

The first tiebreaker for non-playoff teams with identical records is head to head matchups which is why the Mets draft ahead of Seattle. The 2nd tiebreaker if teams had identical records AND split their season series is draft order for the previous season thus California drafts ahead of StL..

Examples: If Cincinnati traded the NYY their 3rd round draft pick last season but are not an active team this year then during round 3 the Yankees would get a pick in spot 23 as if Cincinnati was still an active team..

If two or more expansion teams draft the same number of players their draft position will be determined by a dice roll

When all teams have drafted that will be considered the end of a round and the next round will commence.

Teams will continue to draft in this order until:

  • Their team reaches 35 men OR
  • A team with 25 or more players on their roster voluntarily drops out

Once a team has dropped out of the draft they may not re-enter it and must increase their roster either through trades or waivers.

Draft on designated Draft day(s):

A date and time will be set for the initial rounds of the draft. It will almost certainly be a Saturday or Friday as those are the days I have off. All teams will be expected to be either:

  1. Available in the slack chat room (preferred)
  2. Available by phone
  3. With me in my home at the time of the draft
  4. Have a list of players to be drafted submitted

All currently players are presumed to have looked over the card(s) for 1971 online or at least looked up stats by draft day. All expansion teams are encouraged to start doing so at once.

  1. There will be one designated draft day per week.
  2. On a designated draft day a strict 5 minute limit will be allowed to make a pick.
  3. If a team misses their pick will be moved to after the next player on the list who will be considered on the clock and allowed to pick. Example Seattle misses their pick and Montreal is next, Montreal is allowed to pick and Seattle picks after them
  4. If a team who has been skipped has to be skipped twice their pick can be made any time before the end of the round. Example Washington is scheduled to pick 10th They miss their pick If they figure out who they want they can make a pick or submit a list any time before the end of the round and that pick will be valid.
  5. If a team that has been skipped has not picked by the end of the round then a pick will be made for them by me. Said pick will be the player from your franchise who played the most games that season based on their card. Example: Boston does not pick or submit a list for round 5 I will look at the Roster for the actual 1970 red sox to see who is available. If Billy Conligiliaro has the most game played among unpicked players he will be Boston draft pick. If Boston already has 6 outfielders that will not matter Billy C becomes the pick.
  6. The opening Scheduled draft days will go on for 100 picks. Other scheduled draft days will be 60 picks. Once the number of picks is reached the clock is turned off

BE AWARE THAT EVEN WITH A FIVE MINUTE LIMIT THAT CAN MEAN 100 MINUTES FOR 20 TEAMS TO PICK IN ONE ROUND. PLEASE DO YOUR BEST TO PREPARE FOR THE DRAFT TO CUT DOWN ON THE TIME REQUIRED. The more prepared everyone is the faster things will go.

Picks off the clock and on non-draft days

Once the clock is off a team has an unlimited time to make a pick. Picks can be submitted in the draft room or via the Dynasty message system or in person if the person picking is local or via the phone to me.

Once the pick is made and recorded on the draft sheet and the player moved to the roster I will announce the pick in the slack chat room and inform the person up, the person on deck and the person in the hole to be prepared to pick. Until you see that announcement the pick is not official.

The season will begin one week after the draft is complete.

Finally be aware that I have a big event coming up Easter week for my 35th anniversary and that the planning and execution of said event might take some of my time.


If you have any questions not covered here please let me know.

Full of hot air

Posted: February 4, 2023 by navygrade36bureaucrat in war
Tags: , , , ,
High Altitude Balloon at the Natl Air and Space Museum Washington DC 11/13/2017

Balloons are nothing new. When I was stationed in Pensacola, I saw pictures of Naval Astronauts that went up in high altitude balloons to help us determine the effects that altitude would have on the human body. This helped us prepare astronauts on future space missions to safely live for extended periods at that altitude. Hot air balloons were used in warfare as far back as the U.S. Civil War. Heck, last year the U.S. was testing out steerable balloons off the coasts of California and North Carolina. So when China floated balloons out last year in international waters, it wasn’t a big surprise.

Flying a balloon 12 miles off the coast is fine, and we’ve been (mostly) consistent in our approach to accepting international norms on airspace and territorial waters. That’s why we don’t ram the Russian intelligence vessels that park off the coast in the Atlantic…or shoot across their bow, or any other nonsense that the crusty drunk guy at the bar will tell you we should absolutely be doing to maintain our honor as a nation…or something like that.

Oddly specific, I know, but I’ve had more than a few of those conversations.

But flying it over U.S. airspace? That’s a whole new level of brazen. I would be quite happy if we shot it down or otherwise captured it.

Do I think China would start WW3 over it? Nope. China will launch its war on its own terms. Yes, they would absolutely protest and try to impose consequences, but it wouldn’t involve WW3.

Why is China doing this? Intelligence from a camera or other devices is going to be better the lower in altitude you are, and balloons are far lower than satellites. But I think it goes further than that. China thinks it can get away with this violation. It’s not dissimilar to the U.S. driving two aircraft strike groups through the Taiwan Straits in 1995 as a response to China’s military exercises near Taiwan. The difference here is we never sailed in Chinese waters, but the balloons are obviously over U.S. territory.

What should our response be? It should have been to fire warning shots at the balloon when it crossed into airspace, give it a chance to leave, and if not, take it down as safely as possible. Following that, I propose hosting Japanese, Korean, Australian, Canadian and Taiwanese military leaders to discuss combining air space pictures to prevent this in the future. Since we already share air space pictures with each country in some way, getting them into a NORAD-like agreement in response to Chinese airspace violation is the perfect tit-for-tat response that would show real consequences to China’s military and government while not punishing the average Chinese citizen that doesn’t get much say in the matter.

What will actually happen? Nothing. The balloons will float away and the media will bury this story, like they buried the balloon story from last year. Unless a balloon hits a plane (unlikely) or malfunctions (I mean, it IS made in China!), there won’t be consequences for this at all, which will just encourage this in the future.

UPDATE: Well this post didn’t age well…two hours after posting and one balloon is shot down. Nicely done.

This post reflects the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.