Chicago Cubs & Political Thoughts on America; Los Angeles, CA
October 5, 2021
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2008 Chicago Cubs
I just got off my flight from NYC to LA, on which I was "lucky" enough to be able to watch the final Cubs/Dodgers game. I truly thought that the boys had a chance to just play it a game at a time and somehow climb back into this series. They just had played too well all year to let this thing end like this, man. I never lost faith though. Kept clinging to hope that we would bully our way back into it. Hey, what can I say? I'm a Cubs fan...we NEVER give up.

Oh well, another year has gone by and there still is no glorious ending for Cubs fans, yet again. I have to say though that I had an amazing time watching my Cubs this year. I really thought that this team was going to be 'the one' that would end all the years of longing for us. Clearly, I was wrong. The sick thing was that most of the fans I talked to also thought that somehow this team was going to be the magical one, the one that we all could finally believe in. I don't know why, but it really was the pervading thought of people I talked to. We all just believed in this team, and that's hard to really do for Cubs fans. It didn't seem like they were leading us on that inevitable drop-off into nowhere yet again. Of course, 6 errors and only 6 runs in 3 games later and it's...off the cliff we all go together again. Poker Radio

The thing about this team was the unbelievable way in which they just transformed once the playoffs started. I have never seen a team change it's identity so starkly and so quickly before. It was like a completely different team. During the regular season, the boys were having fun, never giving up on a game, and amassing the most come-from-behind wins in the league. Once the playoffs started though it was nothing but total pressing at almost every at bat, and an obvious lack of enjoyment playing at all, like they couldn't shake that pressure off of them...like it just blanketed everything they did. It was like somehow someone had just spread that cloth of "100 years" over them as soon as the first playoff game began. It really was bizarre to sit and watch, especially for a team that I knew so damn well by this point. That team that just got swept out of contention by the Dodgers was not the same team that won 97 games this year. They just were not the same, and I can't really explain it.

A small piece of solace this time around though...at least I didn't actually cry like in '03. That's something, I guess.

I'll be back next year though. I always am. I don't know how to wise up. I'm like that guy who gets his heart broken year after year by the same girl, but still just can't seem to get smart and leave her alone. I know that she's gonna break my heart again...but she's so damn gorgeous that I just can't stop myself. I truly love the Cubs, in a way that only true fans can understand. I'm a lifer, for sure, so I'll be ready to go when Spring Training rolls around again, but right now it just hurts like it usually does this time of year...

As Eddie Vedder sings, I guess "someday we'll go all the way..." Not this year though...

Thoughts on America
The other thing going on besides the Cubs stomping on my heart...again...is the Presidential election. Now I'm not going to tell you that McCain is the devil and Obama is the second coming. I'm sure it's very obvious that my guy is Barack, but truth be told, I think we could do a lot worse than McCain when it comes to Repubs. Although Palin is a different story altogether. Not that she is a bad person, or even stupid. I don't think she's either, but it's painfully obvious that she has no clue about most of what she attempts to talk about. The bottom line is that being President, or VP, is just way over her head. The thought of her having any kind of actual political power truly scares me, and I think that she may be enough to ensure that McCain won't win the election in itself. Honestly though, the country will be better off regardless of who wins the election, just by virtue of the fact that Bush will be out of office. I remember when he won his second term and having talks with people about how I thought he would be remembered as the worst President to ever serve. Sadly, looks like I wasn't that far off. I digress though...

One thing I have been thinking a lot about recently is this whole concept of meeting with hostile countries (Iran, Iraq, etc.) without these "preconditions" that all the candidates keep talking about. Now, as I can tell it, preconditions are basically a way that America has been able to call the shots and tell other countries what they need to do before we will even sit down with them at all. This is possible, of course, because we are the big kids on the block, and we always have been for quite a while now...at least as long as I have been alive. Thus, we get to decide what others need to do before we will even talk to them, or levy sanctions against them, or just generally make their lives difficult.

That concept isn't what I find interesting though. Rather, what I have been thinking about is the fact that we are starting to lose our iron-clad grip on the world, and that is a very interesting thing. Very soon, it will be pretty irrelevant who we will or won't sit down with because it seems that the USA is truly on the decline, in several eyebrow raising areas. Now, I'm not saying that we are about to fall into a position of third world status, but it certainly makes you think about what the world will be like soon when we are merely just a nation among other nations and not able to call the shots like we are used to doing.

Let's face it, America hasn't exactly done the best job of leading the Earth. We consume more than any other country, we destroy more than any other country, and we have basically become a nation of consumers growing increasingly dependent on our "things" to keep us happy and keep us satiated. This is to say nothing of the fact that we basically treat the rest of the world like we are it's personal bully. Just because we CAN do something and just because it's in OUR best interest, doesn't make it right and doesn't mean that it will go on forever...and doesn't mean that we SHOULD do those things either. No empire rules forever and I think there's a more than fair chance that we are now seeing our decline begin, which is scary, of course. I am sure that none of you can imagine a world where the USA doesn't call the shots any more than I can, but I think it may just be happening. Once that does actually happen, whether it takes 100 or 200 years, it will be very interesting to see who will be willing to sit down with US, and who's preconditions WE will have to meet to be able to even sit down. Kinda makes you think that maybe we should take a look at which way the wind is blowing and perhaps change our ways sooner rather than later...

Even more shocking is the fact that I truly don't know if the world will be better off or not with the USA not being in such a position of power. I think we need to look at the fact that in many instances on a global scale WE are the bad guys.

Anyway, just something I was thinking about today while flying. Make sure that whoever you support come this November, that you get out and vote your conscience. It's fast not being acceptable to plead apathy in a world which is changing more rapidly than you might think...I cringe to think what kind of world we will be giving our children soon.

peace,
J

Obama '08
Cubs '08...er, '09

JOESEBOK
great news RT @ESPN California Golden Bears to keep baseball thanks to fundraising effort - http://es.pn/hHmaRl

59 minutes ago
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