Welcome. For the record, this little web site has no sponsor. I´m totally to blame for the content. I like to think of Fodder as a silo—a place to dump my opinions, mostly black & white, sometimes mean-spirited and always judgmental. Fodder is dedicated to no single cause, except to criticize what´s wrong, which is 80 percent of everything (except what I think). From time to time, you may agree with me; but if you stay tuned long enough, you´re bound to bristle a bit. I have no posting schedule. The first item under “Recent entries” is the latest posted.

Dick Toomey

August 9, 2014

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It has to be said. No one is as innocuous, as hackneyed, as stale, as hyperbolic, as farfetched, as overblown, as shallow, as unlettered and, as Andy Dufresne once said to Warden Norton, as “obtuse,” as a sports radio or television commentator. Rich Lerner, Frank Nobilo, Brandel Chamblee and Notah Begay III, apparently bowing to the demands of Golf Channel execs, jacked their jaws ad nauseum, dissecting Tiger Woods’ most recent tragic injury, probing his spine physiology, muscle spasm syndrome, performance psychology and golf swing anatomy. You’ve heard cardiothoracic surgeons discuss triple bypass with less precision and resolute certainty. Brilliantly, you observe that keeping Tiger on a kingly pedestal has bottom line consequences for these pundits, for the network, for the advertisers and for the vast entourage of special interests that shadow his every step like salivating scavengers. Certainly, America loves a soap opera. Certainly, money talks. Unfortunately, so do the talking heads. You do get it. Somebody has to fill the time, however ungrammatically. Evidently, talking heads never actually read what they say after they say it, realizing that transcripts wouldn’t pass 7th grade English standards or journalistic standards for probity. Typically, you’re unduly critical of people simply trying to do a job. Be fair. Admit that the job is important — promoting a business, the celebrities who occupy the stage and the charities they support. True, but the job has nothing to do with journalism or reporting or investigating to uncover the truth of anything. For example, you never heard one sport’s pundit on any network question the authenticity of the Woods’ injury. Like any other ordinary observer, you only know what you saw — Tiger hitting a ball from an awkward lie, nimbly jumping into a bunker, collecting himself and striding up the fairway. On multiple replays, you didn’t see a wince or a grimace. You didn’t see a lurch or a falter. And this was the exact moment he apparently felt the “twinge” or the “tweak.” Subsequently, as his performance unraveled, so did the condition of his back. As he “painfully” quit the stage, no commentator dared utter a smidgen of doubt. They couldn’t risk the disapproval and the disgrace. They couldn’t risk being shunned and drummed out of the business. Fair enough. So it’s left to amateur critics to risk denunciation — to suggest that Woods has a history of playing poorly only when injured, of never being injured when playing well, of never leaving the field of play when in contention, of never attributing a sub-par performance to his own failure. You must conclude the best golfer in the world must always be best in the eyes of the world. Only circumstances outside of his own unparalleled ability can get in the way of his vaulted stature. And the pundits rigorously feed this appraisal. if Tiger isn’t at the head of the class, he must have leg or back issues; his teacher must be meddling with his swing; he must be shouldering intense media pressure, etc. Excuses are the convenient armor of a prodigious ego. But excuses are essential to a media that believes, without Tiger, the money machine will sputter and shrink. At the end of the day, broadcasters are terrified that an absent Tiger will cripple the PGA tour, and materially affect their careers. Some even make the case — asking if the tour could possibly maintain its prominence without its superstar. Your opinion counts for little but you seem to remember that golf  continued to blossom without the likes of a Jones, Hogan, Nelson, Snead, Palmer, Nicklaus and Player. Baseball, football and basketball manage to thrive without  iconic heroes of yesteryear.  But sports media pundits must live to exaggerate — to make gods of men. It’s what they do, relentlessly — because exaggeration is in their self interest. You have only one recourse — the mute button. Use it.

August 1, 2014

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

There you have it, arguably the most illustrious words ever written — well, outside of John 3:16.  With 57 words, 56 men signed a proposition that literally changed the course of human events. To suit their socialistic agendas, 21st century lawmakers and political parties attempt to dilute these 57 words. They can jabber till the cows come home. But no amount of mumbo jumbo can change the meaning — which is, in plain English – individual liberty is inviolable. Beginning with this exalted proposition, the Founders set about to protect each American by circumscribing the reach of the federal government. They did this because they knew that all governments, despite their necessity, inherently stink. You have it on good authority that Madison, Franklin, Hamilton, Morris and others used the pejorative, but only in the privacy of their chambers, choosing not to offend other delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Luckily, Jefferson was on duty in France; so he didn’t leak the “S” word. But from long distance he did the next best thing. He added his voice to insist on the creation and adoption of the Bill Of Rights — those 10 radiant Amendments that help protect citizens from a usurping Federal “dictatorship.” In fact, during spirited debates about the Constitution itself, opponents repeatedly charged that, as originally drafted, the Constitution would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. So they demanded a “bill of rights” that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions, in their formal ratification of the Constitution, also asked for such amendments; and others ratified it only with the full understanding that the amendments would be in place. You’re not the least bit surprised that a socialist president and other like-minded functionary politicians want to erode a doctrine that sanctifies individuality. Career bureaucrats like the POTUS despise individuals, especially the producers — the doers, the people who build things, who make products and provide valuable services. Bureaucrats have special disdain for exceptionalism and exceptional people — those who actually accomplish something useful — and their disdain swells to outright scorn for achievers who dare to create wealth. But you shouldn’t fault career bureaucrats. Having never held a private sector job, they simply are incapable of grasping the meaning of productive work. They build nothing, make nothing, provide nothing. Their self worth relies entirely on the power to regulate the people they envy — and no one envies accomplished people more than the POTUS. The Founders did their job. They couldn’t, wouldn’t trust government without laying down specific restraints. Above all else, they wanted to limit governmental stink. But they had no crystal ball to suspect that the stench would mushroom like a nuclear cloud. And mushroom it has, saturating the landscape, invading every business, every home and the lives of every citizen. The Constitution be damned, the Fed is the nation’s ultimate trespasser, meddling in Education, Healthcare, Welfare, Business, Energy and a host of other sectors.  State’s Rights via the 10th Amendment is dormant, seemingly paralyzed. But nowhere is governmental stink more foul than in the conduct of the Presidency — in specific, the extent of First Family excesses, to the tune of a reported $45 million. This obscene expenditure alone is staggering evidence that the Federal Government is in the grip of a malignant sickness. You look to the Balance of Powers for remedy and see nothing but impotence, proving that the contamination is omnipresent from top to bottom. The Founders were utterly justified to fear tyranny. They courageously left us an inspired, rich legacy. And like spoiled children, we squander it. Stinks.

Her name is Veronica Guerin. If you don’t know the name, don’t sweat it. You’re among a rather sizable majority of Americans — say, the 99 percent majority. And why should you know her? She isn’t American; she isn’t a Hollywood celebrity; she isn’t a blond Fox TV talking head; she isn’t an entertainment sex symbol; she isn’t even a former Bill Clinton playmate. The fact is, she — isn’t — anything. Not now. Meaning, she’s dead. Gunned down June 26, 1996, while sitting at a red light in her red Opel Calibra. Six 357 rounds from a Colt Python at pointblank range ended her life savagely, nine days shy of her 38th birthday. “Ronnie” (to her friends) died near Newlands Cross, on the outskirts of Dublin, for daring to be a responsible journalist, for daring to write about crime, for daring to expose drug lords and for daring to dig out and trace the proceeds of their illegal activity. Ronnie wasn’t blind to the danger. She received many death threats. A botched assassination attempt left her with a bullet to the leg. A crime boss punched her in the face and later threatened to kidnap her and rape her son. Undaunted, she resolved to report the truth and press for new tax enforcement laws to seize assets acquired with drug money. She succeeded — posthumously — when outrage swept the country and the right people decided to do the right thing. Ronnie was more than an investigative journalist. She was a warrior, a journalist with guts, bound to take down the bad guys. Fourteen years later in America, bad  guys are alive and well in places low and high while investigative journalism is gutless and as dead as desert dirt. But America doesn’t lack for warriors. Like Veronica Guerin, they pay the ultimate price. They perished at Benghazi, in Afghanistan and on the Arizona border. What happened to Doherty and Woods and those they tried to save at Benghazi was the result of gross criminal negligence at the highest level. Fast & Furious led to the death of Brian Terry and many others on the baked red earth of Arizona. But no outrage swept America then or now. And as yet, no right people are doing the right thing. The vaunted U.S. press has long since abandoned its code of ethics and lofty principles and surrendered its noble purpose to protect this great nation and its people. Investigative journalism has checked out, replaced by PR hacks and political accomplices. At this moment. in your country, thousands of ordinary citizens are prosecuted and punished for perjury. Meanwhile, perched with his feet on the Resolute Desk, your Commander in Chief remains the most prolific liar of a lifetime — untouchable, haughty, contemptuous. Because he lies, he must surround himself with those who agree to cover his lies with their lies. The likes of a Holder and Lerner and Kerry and Clinton and Sebelius, Carney, Earnest, et al. While he lies with impunity, plays golf and spends millions on family vacations, American warriors die in the line of duty, bringing honor to their code of conduct. And while he lies, the American press crawls ever deeper into its corrupt hole. And while he lies, the Supreme Court and Congress — the so-called Balance of Powers — lie inept, as if to avoid an executioner’s axe. A week after her murder, the Irish Parliament enacted the Proceeds of Crime Act and the Criminal Assets Bureau Act, so that assets purchased with crime money could be seized by the government. Guerin was a journalist. She chased the truth and exposed it. The truth. It so happens that the Society of Professional Journalists publish a Code. “Seek Truth and Report It. Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.” Right.

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