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How Did I Miss That? Pretty Puppy; Super Stupidity

GoDaddy.com, the website hosting service, is famous for edgy ads, mostly involving naked ladies of whom you really didn’t see as much as you thought you did. This year, they went too far, and made an apparent puppy mill look good in a takeoff on what was the best ad, the lost puppy saved by the Budweiser Clydesdales. They backed off it before game day.

I don’t know what GoDaddy was thinking other than all publicity is OK as long as they spell your name right. Where I live, rescue dogs rule and puppy mills are not considered respectable.

The game, you ask? Oh, yeah, it was an excellent ball game until the penultimate play, when Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch was supposed to put it away for the Seahawks…but some rocket scientist decided sending Lynch straight in was too obvious. I’m reminded that only three things can happen when you throw the football and two of them are bad. R.I.P. Woody Hayes. R.I.P. 2015 Seahawks.

I refuse to be shocked that ISIS burned a Jordanian jet jock alive. They’ve done worse. But I am shocked that they continued to use him as a bargaining chip after they had killed him. I gather ISIS was surprised when they said what they wanted for the pilot and Jordan said, “OK, but we need proof he’s alive.” There is an arguable advantage to being known as ruthless and violent, but being somebody who can’t do a deal is all downside.

Speaking of downsides, cowing Jordan into joining the United Arab Emirates back in the cheap seats has not gone well.

They really pissed off King Abdullah of Jordan. Several news outlets carried conflicting stories on whether Abdullah had personally led bombing attacks on ISIS after the death video was released and given wider exposure in Jordan than it ever got here. While that may sound absurd, King Abdullah is a fully qualified fighter pilot, trained in the Royal Academy at Sandhurst in the UK.

“It’s up to the king whether he wants to risk his royal ass,” my cousin Ray Sixkiller observed, “but if Abdullah got shot down, how would you like to have been his wingman?”

NetwordWorld reported on the 25 most common and worst passwords on the Internet and the rank of each one last year. The number one most common and therefore worst both this year and last year was 123456. New entries on the top 25 were baseball, dragon, football, mustang, access, master, Michael, superman, 696969, batman. When I finally got Cousin Ray to comment, he said he thought batman and superman started with capital letters.

The New York Times reported on the latest generation of on line dating services, which are smart phone apps. The report, by Molly Wood, contained a line that causes the double entendre to hit you right upside the head. “Even digital dating has become a hand-held activity.” I’m not such a big fan of double entendre, but I slip one in whenever I can.

Denial of vaccination science joined denial of climate science in the presidential race, predictably dragged in by Sen. Rand Paul and somewhat less predictably by Gov. Chris Christie. Former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough was chewing up the set on his morning talk show: “It’s not a right-left thing. It’s a stupid-smart thing.”

Midweek, there were 102 confirmed cases of measles spread across 14 states.

Leadership is a word you seldom hear in the same sentence as Mississippi, but that generally backward state has the highest rate of vaccination among kindergarteners in the country.

Doctor Rand Paul said he has seen kids “with profound mental disorders after vaccines.” In an attempt to walk it back, he posed at a photo op getting a booster shot. “If you believe vaccines cause mental disorder,” Cousin Ray smirked, “ that photo explains a lot.”

Paul said the government doesn’t own children. Parents own children. Cousin Ray had no comment, but I heard him humming the tune of “Born Free.”

I was rooting for some reporter to ask Sen. Paul who is most likely to harm a child, but that’s the kind of snippy question only a retired criminal justice professor could love.

Barack Obama was accused of weaseling around the vaccination issue more than was seemly in 2008 on the campaign trail when he used the word “inconclusive,” but you can’t tell on the video whether he’s talking about the vaccine-autism link or the cause of the spiking autism rate. It is clear that that when he said “some people” believe there’s a link “including this person,” he was talking about his interlocutor, not himself.

It’s a little late to realize this, but as a political commentator I could have saved myself a lot of typing by setting a macro such that hitting one key would type “Barack Obama was accused.”

Had Obama meant the vaccine-autism link when he said “inconclusive” in 2008, he would have been wrong. The alleged link involved one study published in The Lancet in 1998. The Lancet is an internationally respected medical journal that uses the blind referee process, the gold standard of science. Publishing since 1823, The Lancet has always aimed directly for a highly educated lay audience.

The 1998 article set off the spate of replications that big new scientific ideas always do. None panned out. By 2001 there was scientific consensus that the vaccine-autism link was nonsense.

One thing the blind referee process cannot detect is falsification of data. That kind of lying is exceedingly rare because getting caught is highly probable and then the fame becomes infamy. Reporting in British Medical Journal alleged that the principal author received approximately $674,000 from lawyers hoping to sue vaccine manufacturers after the vaccine scare got rolling. On February 6, 2010, The Lancet retracted the article.

Once something is published, it’s out there, but if you go to the original article on line, it appears under a red banner that advises RETRACTED. The other thing that has been retracted is Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s license to practice medicine, since it’s entirely probable that children have died because he lied.

J.D. Salinger wrote The Catcher in the Rye and no other novels, although he did publish some short story collections that showed he was in fact as gifted as Catcher made him appear. Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and explicitly told legions of persons who allowed Scout Finch to lance the boil of American race relations for them that she would never publish another novel.

The one she did publish will always be important to lawyers, to remind us we are not gods and the truth does not always prevail. As to Lee’s decision to end her novelist career…well, it’s good to go out on top, and a book that sold 40 million copies is on top.

Harper Lee’s sister and lawyer, who had always protected her from the publishing business sharks died…and, three months later, a publisher “found” what is in fact her first novel. It’s called Go Set a Watchman, and the claim is that it was rejected for publication but so many readers were in love with flashbacks to Scout Finch, Lee went back and crafted a novel set at the time of the flashbacks. No one has seen Harper Lee for a long time. She’s 88 years old and said to be in poor health. Hard to see why she’d change positions all of a sudden.

Cousin Ray caught me muttering to myself and asked what’s eating me. Forty million copies of one book? I don’t think all five of my books put together have sold a thousand!

Cherokee Nation District 13 Council Member Cara Cowan Watts officially leaped into what already promised to be an epic rematch between Principal Chief Bill John Baker and former Principal Chief Chad Smith. I note this because she’s smart and well connected and can raise money—just like the two adversaries already spoiling for a rematch. There will be minor candidates as well.

I learned when I did some phone banking for Stacy Leeds that Watts still, after all these years and after Wilma Mankiller, has a gender handicap. Almost as goofy, she has a blood quantum handicap. I could understand it if she were an adult onset Indian who had to hire a genealogist to prove up her enrollment, but that’s not the case.

I’m surprised she’s taking on this race before defending her dissertation at Oklahoma State University, “Numerical Nutrient Criteria Supporting Cherokee Nation’s Culturally Significant Waters.” She probably figured that Smith and Baker have both shown they want to entrench themselves, so it’s now or never.

I’m agnostic, because none of the three major candidates are going to deal with the Freedmen issue, and none of the three uttered a peep when the Cherokee Baptists hijacked tribal policy to belittle two Cherokee women who wanted to get married. I was going to ask Cousin Ray what he thought, but I found a note on his desk: “Gone to town to lay in a supply of popcorn.”