Dean Clough

April 8, 2022

Portico Darwin: Arrive Oceanside + Greed Is Not Good

This (kind of) just in:  major congrats to Ketanji Brown Jackson for her appointment to the Supreme Court.  Shame on the 47 Republican Senators who did not vote for this eminently qualified individual; what a disgrace and history will not forget their unjustified disrespect.  A friendly reminder that Antonin Scalia was confirmed to the Court unanimously by the Senate, in 1986, 98 - 0.  I'm just sayin'.

Early this evening, Julie and I are flying down to San Diego for the weekend.  You've got to see the baby!  We'll be visiting the recently expanded Jones clan, who reside in a lavish and now lavishly landscaped home in Oceanside.  A full report will follow upon my return to SF on Monday.   It will be nice to meet the rapidly aging Dean Andrew Jones, Jr., now well over 6 months old.  The kid will be driving soon.

As The Masters golf tournament is now well under way, I'd like to point out how greed has removed one of its more beloved characters from competition.  Long story short, but the former pro golfer Greg Norman partnered with the Saudis to create a new professional golf tour, the Super Golf League (SGL).  It is designed to directly compete with the existing PGA tour.  Norman began recruiting top PGA and international players, and one of his first calls was to Phil Mickelson.  

Phil, who at 50 last year at the PGA Championship became the oldest pro to win a major (his sixth), was eager to sign on.  The SGL would have massive purses at each tournament, and only 48 players at each event.  Given the whole thing is bankrolled by a sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, there was essentially no limit to the resources that could be expended to make it a success.  And extremely plush for the players.

Before going forward, keep in mind that Phil Mickelson has an estimated net worth today of $800 million. Even if that's off by half, having $400 million still wouldn't be that bad.  Which makes this direct quote from good ol' Lefty regarding the ethics of partnering with the Saudis all the more disturbing:

They're scary motherfuckers to get involved with, we know they killed Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights.  They execute people over there for being gay.  Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it?  Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.  Saudi money has finally given us (players) that leverage.

Reshape how the PGA Tour operates?  You mean the same one that built you and your family generational wealth?  I was just saying the other day to absolutely fucking nobody how difficult life as a top PGA tour pro must be.  The private jets, the villas, the free money, the splendor of where you work - yep, I can see why you would want to reshape all of that.

But of course what's worse is how isolated in his own world Phil must be.  Human rights abuses?  Murder?  Executing gay people?  "NO PROBLEM!", says Phil.  As long as he and others like him get paid, what's a corrupt and murderous autocracy drenched in fossil fuel among friends?

Well, as it turns out, it is a big deal.  The backlash on this was quick and violent, resulting in Phil Mickelson basically dropping off the face of the Earth, including being MIA at The Masters.  Most of his major sponsors, including KPMG and Amstel Light, have dumped him.  While some other players initially expressed an interest in the SGL, most are now running for the exits.  I guess they want money, not blood money.  Or at least blood money anyone hears about.

Would anyone care to take a stab at explaining greed like this to me?  If you've got $400 million, does more matter?  Especially if it's from the nice folks at the House of Saud?  Why?  I'll publish anything that isn't some form of "the greedy thrive on the competition."


An unexpectedly alert Hunter Deuce made an important point, regarding Florida's loathsome "Don't Say Gay" bill:

Actually (akchyually), the bill's banning of discussions on sex and gender isn't limited to children up through the 4th grade. If you read the main text of the bill:  

“Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Lawmakers and opponents of the bill have already gone on record as saying the second half of that statement is vague enough that it could be applied to students right up through Grade 12.  There is no definition of "age appropriate" or "developmentally appropriate" or even "state standards".  The language of the entire bill is purposefully vague enough so that almost any complaint made by a parent could be used as a legal tool to be weaponized against a teacher or a school district.

I remain disgusted by the diversionary tactics used by the Republicans.  Isn't it time for MTG or Tuckems to bring up flag burning?

And my great friend Rikki Aurich expressed her agreement in a quite simple, but lovely, manner:


Thanks, Rikki - we'll see you and Andre here at Chez Darwin later this month!

And anyone that didn't make it this far will regret it.  Check this out, via my wife.  It is a live video feed of a hawk's nest in The Presidio!  There are two eggs that the parents are tending, and let me tell you, this is something to watch.

Live Video, Red Tail Hawk's Nest, Presidio of San Francisco

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

No, it's not "Dark Side of The Moon"; their Money is no good here.  Instead, here is nice retrospective of a band few remember or even think about.  Here are The Babys and their greatest hits compilation "Anthology".  There are some darned OK pop rock songs on this album.


(Fun fact:  those bronzed leather high-top Converse All-Star sneakers on the cover of this album will always have a special meaning to me.  For a year or two as a kid, having a pair - the same as worn by Julius Erving - was de rigueur for anyone seeking to be cool.  I had a couple of pairs, but was still not that cool . . .)


About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.