Alternate Presidential Candidates

Don’t want to vote for Clinton or Trump?  Tired of the lack of choices in this Presidential Election?  There are a number of alternative candidates that will have their name on the ballot in November.  If you’re like me, you haven’t heard of any of these people.  Traditionally, no third-party or independent candidate have come close to winning a Presidential election in recent history.  

Here are the alternatives:

Libertarian Party:  Gary Johnson 

Johnson is the former Governor of New Mexico.  He is the only alternative candidate who is on the ballot in all 50 states.   In August, Johnson’s poll numbers approached the 15% threshold necessary to make him the first third party candidate since Ross Perot in 1992 to become eligible to participate in the fall presidential debates; however, the commission in charge of the debates determined that he only had 8.4%.   Johnson is a former businessman who grew Big J enterprises into a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 1,000 employees.  By the time he sold the company in 1999, it was one of New Mexico’s leading construction companies.   Johnson served two terms as governor.  He has been described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal.  During his terms as governor, taxes were cut fourteen times and never increased them. 

Green Party:  Dr. Jill Stein

Stein is on the ballot in 40 states.  She is a physician and politician.  Stein was also the Green Party’s nominee in 2012.  She ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010.  On September 7, 2016, a North Dakota judge issued a warrant for her arrest for spray-painting a bulldozer during a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.    She was also escorted off the Hofstra University campus  on Monday because she did not have the proper credentials to be there.
Constitution Party:  Darrell Castle

Castle is on the ballot in 20 states.    Castle is a politician and attorney from Memphis, Tennessee.  He has vowed that if he is elected president that he would get the United States out of the United Nations and NATO.   In June 2016, it was reported that Castle’s campaign had raised only $10,289.   Castle is described as pro-life and opposes the federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Independent:  Evan McMullin

McMullin is on the ballot in less than 20 states.  He is the former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference in the U.S. House of Representatives and a former CIA operations officer.  He is pro-life and opposes a culture that subsidizes abortion on demand.  He opposes same-sex marriage but has been quoted that he would not make appointments to the Supreme Court to overturn it.  
Party of Socialism and Liberation:  Gloria LaRiva

La Riva is on the ballot in Vermont, New Mexico, Iowa, Louisiana, Colorado, Washington, New Jersey and California.  She is an activist who has been involved with politics since her first run as a third-party presidential candidate in 1992.  La Riva supports right to abortion regardless of ability to pay, opposes capitalist banking practices and supports rational social and economic planning rather than market.  As of July 2016, her campaign has raised $25,234.
Reform Party:  Rocky De La Fuente

De La Fuente is a businessman, activist and politician.  He competed unsuccessfully for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President as well as nomination in Florida’s 2016 election for United States Senator.  If elected, his focus is on creating jobs.  His goal is to create 4 million jobs per year.  He also wants to create 100 city parks which he thinks would help give young people a place to play.  He also wants to help the homeless in America by putting able bodied homeless people to work and back into society.  

Other third party candidates:

Socialist Party USA:  Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik

Socialist Workers Party:   Alyson Kennedy


Team of the Week:  Watertown Red & Black

Semi-pro football teams come and go every season.  Some are not able to even finish their first season.  There is not a good stable reputation for semi-pro football teams.  As I was looking at various teams, I wondered which team has existed the longest.   I found that the Watertown Red & Black from Watertown, New York is the longest active semi-pro football team in the United States.  The team was founded in 1896 and over the years they have a record of 565-268-43 and have played the most games (876).

The Red & Black haven’t been overwhelmingly successful on the field with just a win percentage of .670 and have only won league championships twice in their history (1980 and 2009) but they have had a remarkable Green Bay-like attachment to the community.

The team has had periods of being in hiatus over their 120 years from 1909-12, 1930-31, 1943-45, 1952-53 and 1961-68 but the team always came back due to its deep roots in the community where players have a chance to continue playing the game they love after their high school or college careers have ended.  The local military base, Fort Drum, has also supplied players for soldiers who were in between deployments or just an outlet from the routine of military life.

In 2007 they lost one of their coaches during a deployment in Iraq.  Four other players returned home from Iraq and played in the championship game for the Red & Black.

The team has been a member of the Empire Football League since 1969.  They have wrapped up the regular season at 6-4 and will host the Carthage Revolution in a non-league game before they enter the league playoffs.

George Ashcraft is in his 26th as the head coach.

A 50-Year Perspective 

This past weekend we celebrated our grandchild’s first birthday.  The little guy was happy and full of smiles all day.  You couldn’t help but to smile if you were around him.  

One year old.  One year of being on this earth.

I think about the 50+ year age difference between us.  He is yet to make the choices in life which will shape his future.  I have no doubt he will be successful.  His parents are smart and he has a wonderful support system around him.  His future is full of possibilities.

I look at my own life and amazed at how it has turned out but not in disappointment but in how the choices in life guided me to where I am today.  

The earliest age I can remember I wanted to be an astronaut.  I grew up during the NASA Apollo Moon missions and was fascinated by it all.  That stuff was high tech then.  A few years ago I read that the technology in a Nintendo game system was more advanced than the Saturn V rockets.  

Nope, I never became an astronaut.  

Some folks thought I would become a preacher like my father and grandfather.   I did test the waters at some point but quickly learned it wasn’t for me.  Being a preacher is a whole lot more than preaching a sermon on Sunday mornings.

I can’t really point to any one decision that totally set the course of my life.  It was a series of decisions and following the way that laid out before me.  The Bible says:  “Time and chance happens to us all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).   We all follow the destiny of our time and chances and the decisions we make.  It is scary to be an adult and have to make your own decisions. When you lived at home you could easily blame your parents but now the decision is on you and we are all worried about making the wrong decisions.    I learned a long time ago that you make the best decision you can based on what you know and then adapt if you to.   One of the best abilities to have is the ability to adjust to the changes in life.  

One phrase I have heard repeatedly recently is “Trust God and leave the consequences to Him”.

Sometimes that’s hard to do.  But, when you have come through the other side and look back at the days, months or years you can see the path you’ve taken and understand it a little better.  

No, I didn’t become an astronaut or preacher but I am content on the way my path has led me here.  

2016 Minor League Baseball Champions

As we approach October, most of the minor/independent leagues have crowned their champions.  The independent Atlantic League is still in postseason play.  There were five teams winning their first title (El Paso, Bradenton, Great Lakes, Ottawa and Tucson) and two repeat champions (Midland and Myrtle Beach).  

The Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders were crowned AAA champions.  

Minor League Champions

  • International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
  • Pacific Coast League: El Paso Chihuahuas (first title)
  • AAA National Championship: Scranton-WB RailRiders 3, El Paso Chihuahuas 1
  • Eastern League: Akron RubberDucks (first title since 2012)
  • Southern League:  Jackson (MS) Generals
  • Texas League: Midland Rockhounds (third straight title)
  • California League: High Desert Mavericks (final game in the California League)
  • Carolina League:  Myrtle Beach Pelicans (second straight title)
  • Florida State League:  Bradenton Marauders (first title)
  • Midwest League: Great Lakes Loons (first title)
  • South Atlantic League: Rome Braves 
  • New York-Penn League:  State College (PA) Spikes
  • Northwest League:  Eugene Emeralds (first title since 1975)
  • Appalachain League:  Johnson City (TN) Cardinals (fourth title in seven years)
  • Pioneer League: Orem Owlz (first title since 2009)
  • Arizona League:  Mariners 
  • Gulf Coast League:  Cardinals
  • Mexican League:  Pericos de Puebla

Independent Leagues

  • American Association: Winnipeg Goldeyes 
  • Atlantic League:  Long Island Ducks vs. Sugar Land Skeeters
  • Canadian-American League: Ottawa Champions (first title)
  • Frontier League: Evansville Otters (second title)
  • Pecos League: Tucson Saguaros (first title)

College Leagues

  • Alaska League: Mat-Su Miners
  • Cape Cod League: Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox
  • Coastal Plain League:  Savannah (GA) Bananas
  • Futures Collegiate Baseball League: Nashua (NH) Silver Knights
  • Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League: Hamilton (OH) Joes
  • New England Collegiate Baseball League: Mystic (CT) Schooners
  • Northwoods League: Wisconsin Rapids (WI) Rafters
  • Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League: Amsterdam (NY) Mohawks
  • Prospect League: West Virginia Miners
  • Texas Collegiate League: Brazos Valley (TX) Bombers
  • West Coast League: Corvallis (OR) Knights
  • Western Major Baseball League: Swift Current Indians

Georgia High School Football Review: Week 6

There were some interesting matchups this week throughout the state as most teams reached the midway point of the season.  Some teams are into region play while others will be there in the next week. 

Colquitt County 45, Valdosta 24:  For the first time in several years these teams are not in the same region.  The Wildcats came into the game undefeated and the Packers trying to gain momentum after a slow start.  With the Packers leading 31-24, Shawn Shamburger returned an interception 100 yards for the touchdown that broke the game open.  QB Jay Saunders was 16-of-25 for 248 yards.  The Packers also had two 100 yard rushers in the game.  

Grayson 38, Ramsay, Al 6:  The Rams humbled the #3 ranked team in Alabama’s Class 6A with 210 yards passing from QB Chase Brice.  LB Breon Dixon had six tackles for loss to lead the defense.  

Lee County 37, Thomas County Central 7:  Lee County clamped down on the Thomas County Central offense as they held them to 85 yards rushing.  DL Aubry Solomon had 17 tackles.  This was game that many thought would be close but Lee County dominated with 373-157 in total yardage.  Lee County will host Houston County in two weeks in a #1 vs. #3 matchup.  

Harrison 43, Allatoona 19:  In their first meeting, the Hoyas knocked off the defending champions as QB Justin Fields was 17-of-20 for 241 yards passing and 107 yards rushing.  He scored three touchdowns.    

Hiram 38, Villa Rica 25:  The Wildcats had hoped to go 3-0 in region play but turnovers betrayed them in their first region loss.  The loss snapped their three-game winning streak against Hiram.  

Islands 35, Johnson Savannah 6:  The Sharks won their first region game in team’s three-year history.    They were 13-point underdogs.  

Clinch County 48, Wilcox County 6:  In past years this was a huge game but the Panthers put up 41 points by halftime.  Key Grady had a 95-yard run and an 80-yard kickoff return.  

Stratford 36, Lincoln County 19:  Stratford scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to get their first win against Lincoln County in school history.  

Top Teams:

  • Class 7A – Roswell (4-0)
  • Class 6A – Houston County (6-0)
  • Class 5A – Buford (3-1)
  • Class 4A – Cartersville (5-0)
  • Class 3A – Greater Atlanta Christian (4-1)
  • Class 2A – Fitzgerald (4-0)
  • Class 1A (Public) – Macon County (3-1)
  • Class 1A (Private) – Eagle’s Landing Christian (5-0)

Friday Flashback:  1938 Nashville Rebels

Long before the Tennessee Titans called Nashville home, there was another professional football team that played in the Music City.  The year was 1938 and the National Football League (NFL) was still a teenager, having become the NFL in 1922.  There were still several “professional” leagues playing across the country including the Midwest Football League.  In 1938 they changed their name to the American Football League (not the same as the AFL that would later merge with the NFL) which included a team in Nashville called the “Rebels” along with five other teams (Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati and Dayton).

The Rebels were coached by Johnny Lynch and finished the season at 2-2-1 and lost a thrilling playoff game to St. Louis 19-13.

1938 Schedule:

  • 9/28/38 – at Cincinnati (Lost 34-0)
  • 10/9/38 – at Chicago (Lost 20-0)
  • 10/16/38 – at St. Louis (Tied 7-7)
  • 10/23/38 – Dayton (Won 22-0)
  • 10/30/38 – at Louisville (Won 10-0)
  • 11/27/38 – Playoff at St. Louis (Lost 19-13)

The Rebels played their only home game on October 23, 1938 at Sulphur Dell against the Dayton Rosies.  Ticket prices were $1.50 with end zone sections for 55 cents.  Segregation during those days also had a special section for African-Americans.  Less than 2,000 spectators witnessed the game and sat through “three hours of miserable football weather” as the Rebels won 22-0 with three touchdowns from Rock Reed and Marty Slovak.

Nashville qualified for the playoffs when Cincinnati folded.  This created a rematch between Nashville and St. Louis.  The Gunners trailed 13-12 when halfback Ray Johnson scored the winning touchdown in the closing minutes.  St. Louis would lose the championship game the following week to Louisville 3-0.

In spite of their successful home game and showing in the playoff game, the Nashville Rebels dropped out of the league.

Team of the Week: Rome Braves

The parent team may be having one of the worst seasons in recent history but the Class A Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League (SAL) did the organization proud when it rebounded from an opening game loss to the Lakewood Blue Claws and won three straight to capture the title in a 6-1 win in game four.

This was Rome’s second league title.  They won the 2003 title in their first season in Rome.  Rome was the only Atlanta Braves’ affiliate to win a league title this season.

Alejandro Salazar had three hits, scoring two runs as pitcher Max Fried struck out 13 batters to start the celebration. Fried was also the winning pitcher when the Braves eliminated Charleston in the Southern Division playoffs.  

Rome spotted Lakewood a 1-0 lead but scored three runs in the fifth inning as Salazar and Anfernee Seymour scored for the Braves.

The Braves were only 70-69 overall but their 43-27 second half finish clinched the Southern Division by 2 1/2 games.  The Braves were 58-82 last season.

Outfielder Ronald Acuna led the team in batting with a .311 average.  Patrick Weigel led the pitching staff with 10 wins and was promoted to Class AA Mississippi in the Southern League to finish the season.