Saturday, September 27, 2014

Woke up to learn that the Red Raiders had lost but played fairly respectably, in Oklahoma State. But what, I found out while I was using the bathroom at the Market Street, their quarterback was injured in the process.

Travesty! As a loyal Red Raider fan, I hate it when we have to run with some stringer for a while while this poor lad heals. But another side of me says, another victim of the crunch. This game wipes out more bodies than ISIS.

OK State - aren't they the ones who got a few hundred million to blow on their football program, so they took it all, and went about recruiting kids from Texas, and offered them the moon, and they even got caught, got their wrists slapped by the NCAA because they'd offered some stuff illegally to recruits? Well it really rankles us here in Texas, given the fact that they're using the money to grab these Texas boys and turn them against their own home state. But, one person told me, when it happens, hey, every school is doing something like that, they just were stupid enough to get caught.

Every school? I suppose they have to compete. If one school offers recruits a free trip all the way up here by plane, we'll pick you up, give you this and that while you're here, some of it might be bawdy or memorable or whatever, hopefully you'll come here and pound heck out of those Texas boys you used to call friends. Then when their quarterback comes up here, we'll crunch him.

Not that these injuries are on purpose. They teach everyone to tackle so it doesn't hurt anyone. But things happen, we all know that. Bodies only bend certain ways, sometimes we come at ya from some other way. It's survival of the fittest. Injuries put these teams down, set them back, you only notice it when it's a quarterback, but it happens to them all. A little bit of attrition. All to feed the insatiable appetite of American television.

Somehow I've become a little cynical. But I still wear my Tech hat, especially on Fridays.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

special election

Could not believe the results of the SD28 election last night: Charles Perry 53%, Jodey Arrington 30%, Wortham (the Democrat) 13%, two more Republicans and a Libertarian, all under 2%.

Actually I could believe it, as I've come to believe lots of wild stuff, but I couldn't explain it. Republicans divide their vote four ways, and a Dem can't even come close? The hard right, which could be said to be, in large part, fundamentalists and/or tea party, apparently unites behind Perry? While the loyal mainstream Bush Republicans, represented by Arrington, gets less than a third?

From the Democratic perspective, I can say that clearly Democrats are voting for Republicans just so they can have some influence on the election. But, in that case, I would imagine they voted for Arrington, who is the more liberal of the two clear front-runners. And if they did, that says even less about the strength of the traditional Bush establishment Republicans. Or, the Dems just stay home, unless they have someone like Obama (or presumably Wendy Davis) on the ticket. Wortham doesn't have a chance, so they stay home?

Then I look at the 53/30 number again. OK, SD 28 covers 50 counties, most of it is ranch country (or cotton-growing? oil? I'm not sure) - and West Texas is very conservative. The whole area was roughly 70-30 for Romney, with some counties, like Lubbock, more like 68-32, others more like 74-26. Voting for Romney didn't show how truly conservative they were, but it's possible they've become more conservative, or they have some serious issue that they wanted to be represented with, in a more conservative way. But here are some more possibilities: that they really really liked Charles Perry. Or, that they really really distrusted Jodey Arrington, or policies he professed.

But here's another theory. There was a lot of outside money in this campaign, and most of it went to Perry. Where was it from? I have no idea. Presumably it was from in the state, but not in SD 28. Presumably it was from someone who would benefit greatly from a Charles Perry victory. And presumably, it worked. Perry bought television ads, sent lots of mail, poured the money in. A friend of mine received lots of mail with guns all over it, all pushing Perry. Did the NRA care about this election? The oil people? Or the chemical industry? Apparently the Senate is evenly divided, and it was an important race for the rest of the state. So who opens their wallet in this case?

Recently, upon hearing that Kliff Kingsbury would receive $3 million a year for many years, I remarked that he might be the richest guy in Lubbock. Not even close, somebody said; there's a lot of money here. So people are making more than three million a year? and they're doing what with the money?

I have no answers; I'm new here. If I'm wrong about any of this stuff, fill me in. At the moment, I feel somewhat tricked. I voted Democrat on the assumption that it would matter. As it turns out, it might not have mattered no matter who I voted for. I'd like to know why people do what they do; where this money is going, in the district, and why it matters so much who represents SD 28.