Posts Tagged ‘history’

By John Ruberry

Until last Monday, when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest in the first quarter of game with the Cincinnati Bengals, the tragic death of 28-year-old Detroit Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes in 1971 during a game was nearly forgotten. 

But not by me–I’ll always remember. When I learned that Hamlin collapsed during a play at Paul Brown Stadium, my first thought was of Hughes–and I switched on ESPN, which was airing the Bills-Bengals game. I was stupefied when members of an ESPN studio panel repeatedly, and of course incorrectly, said that Hamlin’s collapse on the field was unprecedented.

I believe it was James Joyce who said something along the lines that the first death a person experiences is the most tragic. For me, at the age of nine, the passing of Hughes was my first death.

I was at home in the Chicago area that afternoon watching the CBS broadcast of the Chicago Bears game against the Lions. The Bears were several years into a long stretch of mediocrity, while the Lions were just entering their time in the wilderness. The prior year the Lions made the playoffs. Since then, the Lions have been victorious in just one playoff game. 

Unlike the Bills-Bengals matchup, which was nationally broadcast on ESPN, the Bears-Lions game probably aired only in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest.

Late in that ’71 game with, the Bears leading by four points, the Lions, led by quarterback Greg Landry, were on a drive–which was aided by a reception by Hughes–and they were deep in Bears territory with a little more than a minute left in the game when Hughes collapsed at the end of a play. 

Not only were there no smartphones or even camcorders in 1971, but NFL broadcasts five decades ago used fewer cameras than what is used now. There is no videotape of Hughes’ collapse. And there is no videotape of Chicago Bears’ middle linebacker Dick Butkus frantically waving his arms to draw attention to Hughes. Last week, Butkus recalled what happened on that afternoon in Detroit. “He was coming back after an incomplete pass, and I couldn’t believe it, the color that he had. He just dropped,” the NFL Hall of Famer said.

Trainers and doctors from both teams, as well as a physician attending the game, tended to Hughes as he lay on the grass. My recollection is that Hughes was on the turf for about twenty minutes. Although Gary Dymski, who later became a journalist and who attended the game, said it was “ten or fifteen minutes” before an ambulance arrived.

In this ABC Detroit clip, Hughes’ nephew discusses Hamlin and the death of his uncle.

Unlike last week’s Bills-Bengals game, the Bears-Lions game continued, ending with a Chicago victory. Butkus recalled that there was no talk of cancelling the game. About ninety minutes later, Hughes was declared dead at Henry Ford Hospital. I was stunned when Hughes’ passing was announced as I watched a local news program.

The cause of Hughes’ death was a heart attack. After his autopsy it was discovered that his arteries were 75 percent blocked. Hughes had been treated at Henry Ford that summer, apparently, he had suffered a minor heart attack, but medical personnel attributed his chest pains to a spleen injury.

The next day at my elementary school, the Hughes death was what everyone was discussing. As well as a rumor that Butkus “killed” Hughes after a powerful hit. Not true. That night on the Chicago ABC Monday Night Football pregame show, one of the hosts, Detroit Lions legend Alex Karras, was nearly in tears as he reminisced about his former teammate. I was close to tears too.

Immediately after Hughes’ death, the NFL made it a league rule that there must be an ambulance at all games. Life-saving protocols have since been added by the NFL–each team is required to have an Emergency Action Plan, which was activated after Hamlin’s collapse. Generally, there are over two dozen doctors of various specialties at each NFL game. 

The EAP probably saved Hamlin’s life.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Cerberus and Heracles. Etching by Antonio Tempesta (Italy, Florence, 1555–1630). The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Graphic courtesy of Wikipedia.

By John Ruberry

A theme coming out of Elon Musk’s release of the Twitter Files is that there is a three headed beast that seeks to be an overlord of us all, who I am dubbing Cerberus. 

Why that name? According to Greek mythology, he was a vicious three-headed dog who guarded the underworld, the realm of the dead. Sometimes he was called the Hound of Hades. “Heads of snakes grew from his back, and he had a serpent’s tail,” Encyclopedia Brittanica tells us about Cerberus. If you are thinking of the hosts of The View now, then we are kindred spirits. 

There is a nexus between the federal government, most ominously the FBI, the mainstream media, and Big Tech. Information is of course power, and the Modern Cerberus used that power to suppress and censor the Hunter Biden laptop story, as well as dissenting opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic. And probably many more topics.

In regard to second one, I regularly see CDC public service TV ads that tells us that COVID is a serious health threat if you suffer from other ailments, not so much everyone else. Earlier this year, self-appointed COVID expert Bill Gates said of the virus, “We didn’t understand that it’s a fairly low fatality rate and that it’s a disease mainly in the elderly, kind of like flu is, although a bit different than that.” Expressing such opinions on Twitter of Facebook would lead those social media giants to suspend or ban users from their platforms in 2020 and 2021. 

The mythological Cerberus would devour and dead souls who tried to escape Hades. Let me rephrase it for our troubled times: the beast permanently banned them with no hope of appeal.

Moving from a prominent top federal government job to the media, and sometimes back again, is an old phenomenon, but it has accelerated lately–cable news is the culprit, and most of the participants in this transfer portal are Democrats. Jen Psaki comes to mind, as she has gone from working in the Barack Obama White House, to being a CNN contributor, then back to government as the White House press secretary under Joe Biden, then back to the media as an MSNBC contributor. 

As for Big Tech, Andy Stone, the communications director at Meta, the parent of Facebook, declared on Twitter in 2020 that FB, in regard to New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, would be “reducing its distribution on our platform” until it was fact-checked. I call that suppression. Prior to joining Meta, Stone was a longtime congressional staffer, working exclusively for Democrats.

Last week Musk fired Twitter’s deputy general counsel, Jim Baker, who may have withheld damaging details involving the FBI and its alleged role in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop reports. Baker, when he was an FBI attorney, played a part in the Donald Trump-Russiagate collusion red herring. Before he joined, Twitter, Baker was a CNN analyst. 

Benjamin Weingarten has more on what he calls the “revolving door between Democrat Deep State and Big Tech.”

Stifling the free flow of information is the stuff of totalitarian states. My wife was raised in the Soviet Union, she emigrated to the USA in 1991. An extreme example yes, but I was the one who told her that not only did the United States send men to the moon and safely return them to Earth–but did so six times. 

There was an incarnation of Cerberus in the USSR.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

…after all according to this piece at RedState:

She also claims white people are inherently corrupt and at one point declared that we have to “take these muthaf***ers out.”

All of this being the case today must be a red letter day for her and those who think like her.

After all on this date 81 years ago over 2400 mostly White straight male Americans will killed when the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor. Even better as a result of this raid many other American possessions in the pacific garrisoned mostly by white straight males would be seized and thousands more of those, as she puts it “motherfuckers” would be taken out.

Of course all of these celebration is tempered by the fact that in the end those straight white males would prevail dictating terms to the Empire of Japan from the deck of the USS Missouri right in Tokyo Bay.

But at least she’ll always have Pearl Harbor day.

Closing thought, just how many such academics are in the schools today and how many sitting Democrat pols all over the nation believe and support this but don’t dare say it aloud?

I suspect the number is rather significant.

By John Ruberry

I was around for the 1994 and the 2010 Red Wave elections. And for the most part, they were pretty awesome, particularly the first one, when the Republican Party bulldozed the Democrats and captured the Senate after eight years of Democrat control, as well as the House of Representatives, after a record 52-year reign by the Dems. And while the GOP didn’t win the Senate in 2010, the Republicans gained an astounding 63 House seats in what is now known as the Tea Party election. 

After both midterms, conservatives salivated at the prospect of the next presidential election. In 1992, Bill Clinton was victorious, it was believed, because George H.W. Bush ran a lackluster campaign–that was true–and votes for third-party candidate Ross Perot siphoned enough support from the GOP conservative base to elect the Democrat. In 2008, the feeling was that John McCain never had a chance against Barack Obama after the Great Recession market crash two months before Election Day. But McCain ran a lackluster campaign too. 

Overconfidence, bordering on hubris, kicked in for the GOP after those Red Waves.

As of this writing there will be a Democrat majority in the Senate in the next Congress, and maybe, a razor-thin Republican majority in the House. 

Bubba had a come-to-Jesus moment–having Dick Morris in his camp helped–and Clinton after the ’94 midterms pivoted to the center by declaring, “The era of big government is over.” The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, widely-known as the Welfare Reform Bill, offered tangible proof.

After what Obama deemed “a shellacking” in 2010, Obama, as he does best, talked a good game–but he didn’t pivot. With no hope of getting unpopular legislation, such as cap-and-trade passed by the new GOP House, he channeled his charisma to win in 2012–as conservatives seethed. And ObamaCare didn’t go into effect until 2013.

Besides over-confidence hindering their White House chances, Republicans nominated country club-flavor Republicans, Bob Dole and Mitt Romney, for president in 1996 and 2012, respectively. In essence, their campaign was, “I’m not the other guy.” Yawn.

As of this writing there will be a Democrat majority in the Senate in the next Congress, and maybe, a razor-thin Republican majority in the House. 

Election denial.

It’s time for the GOP to look at what went wrong this year, starting with election-denial. As I wrote in March, Joe Biden versus Donald Trump was not a free and fair election. Big Tech and media meddling in regard to suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, in my opinion, was the foremost reason. Richard M. Nixon was the victim of a suspicious presidential election tally in 1960. I was a child in 1968 and 1972, but I don’t recall reading about Nixon mentioning the 1960 race at all during his ’68 or ’72 successful presidential runs.

Deal with it. The Dems won in 2020 and we lost. Move on. If Trump runs in 2024, that needs to be his message. Most of the candidates in close races who said that Biden stole the election from Trump in 2020 were defeated. Election denial is toxic for Republicans.

The big winner in the midterms was Florida governor Ron DeSantis. He’s not an election denier and he has a solid list of accomplishments to point to after four years in office.

The new election playing field.

I loathe mail-in voting, “election season” instead of Election Day, and ballot drop-boxes. But these things aren’t going away. To prevail, Republicans have to adapt and find ways to perform better on the new playing field. Mail-in voting is a good place to start. Increasingly, the GOP is the party of private sector jobholders. Let’s say you’re a construction worker raising a family who is told by his boss, “Hey, I need you at this worksite tomorrow in Nebraska–it pays well.” But that worker hasn’t voted yet and Election Day is two days away. Meanwhile, in Blue Illinois, Election Day is a holiday for government workers.

What if it snows on Election Day? That happened in a Republican area in Nevada last Tuesday.

Shortly before Election Day in 2016, my mother was hospitalized. She had voted in every presidential election since 1956, but mom wasn’t able to vote for Trump, much to her disappointment. We need to reach out to seniors and, gently of course, convince them to utilize mail-in or early voting. 

Republicans need to build on its increasing support among Hispanics and reach out to Asians. The GOP is the party of law and order. However, the media wing of the Democratic Party labels the phrase “law and order” as racist. So Republicans need to rebrand and become, let’s say, the “safety and security” party. Safety and security is an appeal that will resonate among all racial groups.

Tribalism.

If the increasingly frail and mentally feeble Joe Biden runs for reelection and wins renomination–the Democrats won’t have a strong campaigner like Clinton or Obama on the top of the ticket in ’24. And Biden has already said that he won’t pivot, as Bill Clinton did, to the center now that the midterms have passed.

Woo-hoo! We’re gonna win!

Slow down there, cowboy.

Republicans face disaster if they underestimate the support Biden will enjoy from the tribalist base of the Democrats. That tribe will vote every candidate who has a “D” next to their name. In the Chicago area, I live among millions of these people. They might wise up one day. Maybe they won’t. But as Dan Bongino said numerous times in the last week, “Things are just not bad enough yet for a lot of people to wake up from the Kool-Aid slumber.”

And it’s not just Illinois that is afflicted by Dem tribalism. Pennsylvanians chose a cognitively challenged far-left US Senate candidate, John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke this spring, over a mentally nimble Republican candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz. True, Oz could have run a better campaign. 

Ronald Reagan, in his 1984 landslide win over Walter Mondale, won 49 states. But in the popular vote–yeah, I know, the Electoral College declares the victor–Mondale still collected more than 40 percent. In 2024, even if Biden is in worse physical and mental shape than Fetterman is, he’ll do much better, courtesy of tribalism, than Mondale did, in both the Electoral College and the popular vote.

Fetterman, if by some other-worldly convergence ends up as the Democrat nominee for president in 2024, could match Mondale’s popular vote percentage. I am dead serious about that. Tribalism is a tough nut to crack.

There is much to think about and much to do for the Republican Party. But at least the GOP won’t be overconfident in 2024. That might be the best news out of this Red Ripple election.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.