Monday, December 07, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CXXI

- Last evening, for only the third time in his Presidency, Barack Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office.

Speculation was he would use that platform to give us reassurances in the fight against ISIS and also to demagogue gun control.

In the effort to thwart potential terrorist threats to our homeland, the president made a plea to Muslim communities.

"If we're to succeed in defeating terrorism, we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate," Obama said. "That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. It's a real problem that Muslims must confront without excuse."

I have to admit that this is a refreshing change for the president. Normally he lectures Christians on alleged violence they commit in the name of their religion while making straw man arguments that "moderate Muslims" are being oppressed because of actions by radical elements of their movement.

Another conspicuous statement by Obama?

Over the last few years, however, the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase. As we've become better at preventing complex, multifaceted attacks like 9/11, terrorists turned to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society. It is this type of attack that we saw at Fort Hood in 2009; in Chattanooga earlier this year; and now in San Bernardino. And as groups like ISIL grew stronger amidst the chaos of war in Iraq and then Syria, and as the Internet erases the distance between countries, we see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers.

Emphasis was mine.

I wonder who finally convinced the Obama administration to let go of that idiotic narrative that the Fort Hood incident was "workplace violence."

- Just another friendly reminder to those who believe Donald Trump is the inevitable GOP nominee for President:

- My Minnesota Vikings were throttled by the Seattle Seahawks yesterday, 38-7.

The good news is the Vikes are still 8-4, tied atop the NFC North division (The Green Bay Packers still have the edge though, due to defeating the Vikings head-to-head two weeks ago).

The bad news is we are, I'm afraid, seeing the Vikings for who they really are: a wildcard team who is likely to be knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.

I said before the season that the Vikes would win 9-10 games in 2015, which would be good enough for second place in the division and a wildcard berth. Despite that nice stretch they had in October and November where they went 6-1, the Vikings really didn't have a signature win. Think about it. Which victories really stand out? The wins at Atlanta, at Oakland and home versus Kansas City, right? Those clubs are, at best, fringe playoff teams. Of those three, only the Chiefs have a winning record. But when the Vikings have played clubs who have made deep playoff runs within the past 2-3 seasons (Denver, Green Bay and Seattle), they've lost.

While I feel the Vikes improved under coach Mike Zimmer in 2014 and have also made strides this season, they're just not ready for primetime.

Oh well, it will be pretty fun to see their coming out party at US Bank Stadium over the next season or two.


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