“That all you got, George?” — Muhammad Ali
It was called the “Rumble in the Jungle.” It was the 1974 boxing match in Zaire witnessed by 60,000, between an aging Muhammad Ali and the seemingly invincible George Foreman.
Foreman was bigger, stronger and in his prime. Everyone knew Foreman would win easily, especially Foreman himself who thought he’d put Ali away in three rounds. Foreman was the hardest puncher in boxing history.
Punch he did. He hammered Ali through the early rounds.
But Ali had a plan. He called it “rope a dope.” He backed onto the ropes and protected himself, a little, against the fury of Foreman’s near-lethal punches. Many landed but many others glanced off his arms and gloves.
In the seventh round, Foreman was still punching himself into exhaustion but Ali was still standing. After Foreman delivered a particularly hard hit to Ali’s jaw, the two men became entangled and Ali taunted Foreman with the words quoted above.
In the next round, Ali knocked Foreman out. Foreman later described it as “the fastest punch I’ve ever been hit with.”
Here in Aspen, the sparring is mostly verbal. They don’t box, they preen — of their purported diversity, intellectualism and tolerance.
That often bleeds into sanctimony, priggishness and stultifying political correctness. Continue reading
Armed sheriff’s deputies appeared on the scene of the recent school massacre in Florida while kids were still being murdered inside.
But the deputies failed to storm the building to apprehend the killer, to rescue the assaulted, to stop the bleeding and to comfort the dying. They failed to do their jobs.
Instead, they cowered behind their patrol cars waiting for, well, apparently waiting for the shooting to stop. Some 150 bullets and 17 lives later, it finally did and the killer walked away. Only then did the deputies enter the building.
About that, President Donald Trump characteristically said what he thought. He went on to say, “I really believe I’d run in there, even without a weapon.”
I don’t know Trump well enough to judge whether he would, but I suspect he would. He’s a bundle of contradictions, complexities, conundrums and occasional cartoons. But I’ll say this for a guy who took on the entire political establishment and won: He’s not a coward.
Today’s topic, however, is not Trump. Today’s topic is the issue he raises. Continue reading
“When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.”
— President Richard Nixon
Early in the presidency of Barack Obama, some activists pressured him to stop deporting illegal immigrants brought here as children.
But Obama was a smart lawyer surrounded by other smart lawyers. He even boasted that he had been a Constitutional law professor. He had actually just been a part-time and untenured instructor, but he still knew that the president had no authority to ignore the immigration laws.
According to the New York Times and Washington Post, he clearly said so. In fact, according to the fact-checker Politifact, he said so at least 17 times.
But then he did it anyway. Continue reading