10 Thoughts For The Week of December 27, 2020 – Christmas Zombies and Tiny Homes

1. X-MAS DAY ZOMBIE

In my house, I have a tradition of being a zombie on Christmas Day. This happens because we open our presents at the strike of midnight. There is a lot of unwrapping, eating, and playing with toys. I am usually up until 2 am at the earliest.

The lack of sleep makes me the walking dead on Christmas Day. Each year I say I am going to do something different next year. However, I wake up on Christmas morning wanting to eat brains.

 

 

2. X-MAS DAY MOVIES

The X-mas presents from Warner Bros and Pixar were the offerings of WW84 and Soul. Wonder Woman has a quirky plot and great action. The antagonist in this movie was The Cheetah. My wife pointed out to me the woman empowerment aspect of Wonder Woman took a hit when you have two women, one of them as a cat figure, fighting.

It got me thinking, is it sexist for a male superhero to fight and defeat a female villain? Soul was the winner of Christmas Day. It didn’t have as many sexist attacks on the female agenda.

 

 

3. X-MAS DAY BASKETBALL

There was a full slate of NBA games on Christmas. The games were all blowouts. Giannis does not look like the Greek Freak yet. Steph Curry is slowly getting his shot back. The Lakers look like they are ready to repeat. Kawhi got a broken nose.

There is a long season ahead.

4. TRUMP FINALLY SIGNS THE STIMULUS PACKAGE

After sitting on the bill for a week, President Trump signed the stimulus package. He spent days complaining about the bill and acting like he wants the entire country to burn. Some might say he was using strategy. I think he realized he was going to be blamed for millions of Americans losing their unemployment benefits.

5. PLAN FOR HOMELESS IN REDONDO BEACH

My city of Redondo Beach has a proactive plan to battle homelessness. The city has purchased some Pallet homes for those who are homeless to get them off the street. The house is 8×8 and is a temporary step forward before there is a real problem with homelessness.

6. NFL PLAYOFF PICTURE

The NFL playoff picture is looking clearer and clearer with each game played. Tom Brady has lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the playoffs. Cam Newton was not able to do the same for the Patriots. There is a chance there will be a rematch between Brady and Russell Wilson after the Seahawks clinched the NFC West division. Ultimately, it looks like the NFC is going to have to go through Green Bay.

7. RAIDERS FLOP AND DON’T REGRET IT

The Raiders wasted away their 1% chance to make the playoffs when they snatched defeat out of the jaw of victory.

Three weeks ago when they lost to the Chiefs, they scored and left too much time on the clock. They did it again against the Chargers and almost did against the Jets.

I guess they tried to remedy the situation by running as much time off the clock as possible. With their history and defense, it is hard to argue with the call to fall down on the one-yard line. However, scoring a touchdown means the Dolphins have to drive 99 yards to beat you instead of driving 55 to 65 to get in field goal range.

8. STAR TREK’S SCOTTY’S ASHES MAKE IT TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

It was revealed this week that the ashes of the original Scotty from Star Trek have been on the International Space Station since 2008. James Doohan died in 2005. He wished to travel to the ISS. His family made numerous requests that were denied. In 2008, a private citizen brought Doohan’s ashes aboard.

This ashes in space story is only topped by Eugene Shoemaker who consulted with NASA and had his ashes buried on the moon.

 

 

9. 15 THINGS SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO BEFORE BED.

With 2021 around the corner, some may be contemplating some resolutions. This article could be a good place to start. I am leaning towards making a to-do for the next day.

10. GRAYSON ALLEN IS TRIPPING AGAIN

Grayson Allen and his very poor Christian Laettner imitation got him in trouble when he was at Duke. He got in trouble for intentionally tripping opposing players. The problem with that kind of crime is you no longer get the benefit of the doubt on close calls. Trae Young called out Grayson Allen for a close call that was more meaningful because Grayson Allen is involved.

10 Thoughts For The Week of December 20, 2020 – Black Cowboys and Reparations

1. BIDEN ELECTION AFFIRMED BY ELECTORAL COLLEGE

The election drama is almost over. The Electoral College affirmed President Biden’s election. There was suspense building up to this event with Republicans not admitting that Biden won the election and lining up to join hopeless election lawsuits.

The drama may have continued after the vote but Mitch McConnell fell on his sword. I never thought he would be the voice of reason in all of this. I think the drama would continue if there was not a Senate run-off in Georgia. McConnell knows they have to put away the crazy to save his job.

2. WILLIAM BARR IS OUT

The president announced that attorney general William Barr will be resigning. Barr’s usefulness to the president has run its course since he won’t pursue false election claims and he will not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hunter Biden.

3. RIP – JOHN LeCARRE

The master spy-novelist passed away this week. I was fortunate to read a number of his novels this year. I highly recommend The Spy Who Came In From the Cold.

4. ENGLISH PM SUED FOR REPARATIONS

Member of Parliament Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax is being sued for reparations by residents from Barbados. The Drax family has owned a sugar plantation there since 1650. This includes when they had slaves. When slavery ended, the British government paid the Drax family what is equivalent of $3 million to compensate for the loss of slaves. To this day, the Drax family has profited from the sugar plantation and manages to pay its workers half the national average of wages. The PM has said these claims are false.

Normally, when I think of reparations, I get overwhelmed with all the details and minutiae. This case makes a lot of sense for reparations.

5. SELF MUST DIE

An art exhibit worth checking out is Self Must Die by Derek Fordjour. His work is life-giving.

6. COWBOYS IN HARLEM

20201215-120233I read an interesting article about the first black rodeo in Harlem in 1971. The cowboys wanted black kids to know there was such a thing as a “black cowboy”. Muhammad Ali even made an appearance. I am sure a black cowboy was the unicorn of westerns when they were en vogue.

The only black cowboys in my memory are Cleavon Little’s character in Blazing Saddles, Danny Glover’s character in Silverado, and Mario Van Peebles’ character in Posse. Just recently, there was Django Unchained and Denzel Washington lead the Magnificent Seven.

I am sure it is a culture that deserves more discovery.

7. STIMULUS PACKAGE APPROVED

Congress passed a stimulus bill that would give everyone $600 in aid. There are numerous other benefits of the package. Both President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden say $600 is not enough. Some countries are giving their citizens $600 a month. Hopefully, this is the beginning and not just a hollow token that doesn’t help all that much.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

2020 College Football Playoff bowl games: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State,  Notre Dame make four-team field - CBSSports.comThe. College Football Playoff teams have been announced. Clemson and Ohio State will have a rematch from a very competitive game in last year’s playoff. Alabama is back and will play Notre Dame.

I am not sure if Notre Dame belongs in the playoff. Their signature win was beating Clemson without Trevor Lawrence in double overtime. Last week, with Trevor Lawrence, Clemson smoked Notre Dame by twenty-four points.

It would have been nice to see a rematch between Texas A&M and Alabama.

9. WORLD’S BIGGEST AFRO

The world record for the biggest Afro was broken. The record Afro means four feet ten inches in circumference. The record was broken by six more than six inches.

10. USC OPTS OUT OF BOWL GAME

After losing a game they should have won to Oregon in the PAC-12 Championship Game, USC opted out of playing in the Alamo Bowl. There are mixed reviews about the Trojans’ 5-1 season.

Once again, Clay Helton is on the hot seat. In a regular season, most teams like having the bowl prep time to get some more practice time with their players. Maybe they just want to put this season behind them.

I feel bad for Clay Helton. He is never going to get the love of a “big name” coach. He is a blue-collar guy who does a great job recruiting. He hasn’t done himself any favors with the lackluster results.

10 Thoughts for the Week of December 13, 2020

1. DAILY RECORD OF COVID DEATHS BROKEN

This week, the United States witnessed a day with the most deaths from COVID. Nine months after, this pandemic was in full effect, it feels like we have not learned much. There was always talk that November and December was going to be bad. I am not sure if anyone knew it was going to be this bad. There is good news about vaccines being distributed, but as I am way down the list when it comes to getting the vaccine, I think there is a long way to go.

2. LSU SELF-IMPOSED BOWL BAN

The LSU football program self-imposed a bowl ban this year for improper gifts from boosters last year. This is the right year for a self-imposed bowl ban. The team is 4-5 and are a shell of the team that won the national championship. Any invite they would get for a bowl this year would not measure to the College Football Playoff. Another good reason to go with the bowl ban this year is they look like they may be a contender next year after defeating the #6 Florida Gators.

3. REACTIONS TO WARNER BROS 2021 MOVIE MOVE

Last week, I gave Warner Bros props for releasing their 2021 slate of movies in theaters and streaming on HBOMax simultaneously. As a movie lover who didn’t go to the movies during this pandemic and will not return until late 2021, I was stoked by the announcement. There were a lot of people who were not that excited.

AMC Theaters was definitely not happy about the announcement. Warner Bros mega-director, Christopher Nolan, voiced his displeasure with the announcement.

I feel for the movie industry. I think the government should loan the movie studios and theaters money to get through this. 2019 was the best year for that industry ever. They would be able to pay back whatever loaned in the next two to three years.

4. DISNEY’S MARVEL AND STAR WARS ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR 2021 AND BEYOND

Disney’s annual meeting was a reveal for what they plan to release in 2021. It felt like a repeat of the annual meeting for 2020. 

The Marvel and Star Wars offerings look very cool. I have been waiting for the Falcon and the Winter Soldier since Avengers Endgame ended.

The Loki series looked pretty interesting as well. I had forgotten about his escape in Endgame.

 

 

 

 

5. TEXAS ELECTION LAWSUIT

In what has to be the stupidest lawsuit in American Jurisprudence, the attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, sued the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia for violation of each state’s election rules. Anybody with a legal brain knew this lawsuit was dead upon arrival. 

Then insanity began to sprinkle itself on this mess. 107 members of Congress and the attorney generals for seventeen other states joined the lawsuit. The only logical reason for such insanity is to keep the favor of those people who really truly believe the election was stolen from Trump. This sort of insanity is frightening to me because the urgency of getting Amy Coney-Barrett on the bench was for insane times like these. 

I exhaled and my faith in democracy was restored when the SCOTUS dismissed the case.

 

 

 

6. PAUL GEORGE EXTENSION

The Clippers and Paul George agreed to a 5 year, $190 million contract extension. They wanted to make sure that he retired as a Clipper.

This would have made sense if the Clippers were coming off winning their first NBA championship or even making their first trip to the conference finals. I mean that is Anthony Davis money.

Instead they are giving the money to Playoff P who has a habit of sticking his foot in his mouth and not showing up in the postseason.

Clippers gonna Clip!

7. ELECTION PROTESTS ARE GETTING VIOLENT

While I have a hard time explaining the insanity that supported the Texas election lawsuit, the one thing that makes sense is the fear of violence. There have been so many threats of violence in protest of the election.

  • Dozens of Trump supporters, some armed, went to the home of Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state, and began shouting obscenities.
  • “People on Twitter have posted photographs of my house,” said Ann Jacobs, the chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, who alerted her neighbors and the police about the constant threats. She said another message mentioned her children and said, “I’ve heard you’ll have quite a crowd of patriots showing up at your door.”
  • In Vermont, officials received a voice message threatening them with “execution by firing squad.”
  • A Georgia poll worker went into hiding after a viral video falsely claimed he had discarded ballots.
  • Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, and his wife have received death threats, including by text message, and caravans have circled their house.

There are sinister forces trying to turn this election with fear and violence.

8. REPARATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA

Orange County, North Carolina passed a resolution apologizing for the county’s past contribution to the disenfranchisement of black people and a commitment to racial equality. There have been no concrete promises made. However an apology for disenfranchisement is pretty significant.

9. RIP TONY ‘TINY’ LISTER

Tony ‘Tiny’ Lister passed away this week. My first memory of Tiny is as ‘Zeus’ in the Hulk Hogan movie No Holds Barred. The role where he left his mark on the general public is as Deebo in the movie Friday. I loved his small role in The Dark Knight. 

 

10. WAITING FOR SANTA IN REDONDO BEACH

Saturday night my family and I got to see Santa Claus come through the neighborhood. The Redondo Beach Police Officer Association didn’t let COVID stop from spreading some holiday cheer.

 

10 Thoughts for the Week of December 6, 2020 – COVID Confusion

1. MAIL-IN BALLOTS IN GEORGIA

As the election began losing steam, the eyes of the nation turned to Georgia. The January 5th run-off election will determine who will lead the Senate and at what pace things are going to change. The presidential election turned on the number of mail-in ballots. There were 970,000 mail-in ballots in the November election. There have been over one million applications for mail-in ballots for the January 5th run-off election.

President Trump used a weekend rally to mention the run-off election while he complained of being robbed of the election.

The whole process feels like a coin toss right now.

2. WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON FOOTBALL

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday afternoon in a game I would have to call the COVID Bowl. After being rescheduled twice, the Ravens actually voted not to play this game but they were persuaded to go forward with the game by the NFLPA.

The game was exactly what I had expected for a game played at 12:40 pm on Wednesday afternoon….UGLY. There were a lot of missed tackles, turnovers, and dropped passes. With Lamar Jackson out, there was a Robert Griffith III sighting. I forgot he was still in the NFL. He didn’t play well, but he kept his team in the game.

3. RUSSELL WESTBROOK FOR JOHN WALL TRADE

The blockbuster trade of the week in the NBA was Russell Westbrook joining Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards. In exchange for Westbrook, the Houston Rockets get John Wall. This was the only logical trade based on the massive sizes of both of their contracts.

At first glance, the winner looks like a no-brainer for the Wizards. They now have a top five back court and they have a quality supporting cast around those guys. Scott Brooks coached Russ in OKC and knows how to get through to him. They have a solid chance of making the playoffs.

Houston just makes me curious. John Wall is not who I would imagine playing with James Harden. They have pieces but I don’t know how they will fit together. This trade would not have bothered me a year ago when the Rockets had Darryl Morey and Mike D’Antoni pulling strings. D’Antoni has a gift for getting the best out of people offensively.

I feel like another trade is on the way.

4. WARNER BROS 2021 MOVIES WILL BE RELEASED IN THEATERS AND STREAMING SIMULTANEOUSLY

Warner Media’s announcement for 2021was refreshing after watching Disney push back all their 2020 movies to an unknown void in 2021. Very excited about my HBOMax subscription.

I have not been excited by the way Disney has handled their movies; especially with Marvel and Star Wars.

I was already excited about Wonder Woman 1984. Now I am ecstatic.

5. IS THE EARTH AN ORGANISM?

I read an interesting article about evolutionary questions about the Earth. A lot of it comes down to how you define an organism; or rather, can a system be an organism.

6. PAUL GEORGE THROWS DOC RIVERS UNDER THE BUS

Paul George has a career of putting his foot in his mouth. He decided to throw Doc Rivers under the bus for their collapse and loss of a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets. He has Top 10 talent but has not shown up in the playoffs since the Indiana Pacers lost to Lebron James and the Miami Heat in seven games. Since then, he was part of a Pacers team that lost in the first round, and he was part of the OKC Thunder who were booted out of the first round twice. It took the greatness of Kawahi Leonard to drag a struggling George to the second round of the playoffs.

Instead of being accountable for not being able to show up in the playoffs and throwing three pointers against the side of the backboard, Playoff P went after Doc Rivers. He is the opposite of Playoff Rondo.

7. COVID CONFUSION

I am very confused thinking about COVID at the present time. There have been 1,000,000 new cases this week; even Rudy Guiliani got it. My state, California, has hospitals at 85% capacity. The NFL has been plagued by COVID. Games have been rescheduled and teams have played with no quarterback. However schools are opening, vaccines are being used in the UK and the NBA is coming back.

The uncertainty continues.

8. MICROWAVE ATTACKS ON US EMBASSIES ABROAD

I have seen quite a few articles about these incidents and there were suspicions of some weapon. Now things are becoming more concrete. I feel bad for people serving our country abroad.

9. THE RAIDERS SNATCH VICTORY OUT OF THE JAWS OF DEFEAT

The Raiders were on their way to losing to the 0-11 New York Jets when the unthinkable happened. Henry Ruggs III had fumbled away the game earlier. It was fourth down and impossible. The Jets did what 0-11 teams do and left the Ruggs, the fastest man on the field in man coverage while blitzing everyone. Ruggs was wide open for a touchdown to end the game.

10. THE MAP TO THE PLAYOFFS

This reminded me of the presidential election:

10 Thoughts For The Week of November 29, 2020

1. THE PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION BEGINS

While spending a majority of his time declaring victory and making claims the election was stolen from him, President Trump authorized the transition of power to President-elect Biden. Biden began picking a very interesting Cabinet. Outside of having no answers for COVID, the president has never conceded anything to anyone in his adult life. He likes to say he got the most votes of a sitting president. How could he concede having the most votes against him.

2. WHAT’S THE RUSH WITH FIRING SQUADS

The Justice Department has been moving very quickly to bring the firing squads for federal executions back. President Trump wants to get them instituted to by the time he leaves office. Is this the president trying to keep some kind of twisted campaign promise? Is there a wing of the conservative movement that thinks firing squads are a major issue.

 

3. LEWIS HAMILTON TO BE KNIGHTED

This spring, when I was really missing sports, I started watching Drive to Survive on Netflix. While he was never on the camera during Season 1, Lewis Hamilton’s presence was everywhere. His season was not dramatic enough because he was winning just about every race.

It was announced that Lewis Hamilton will be knighted.

If there is anyone who reminds me of Tiger Woods, it is this guy.

 

4. THE TED CRUZ GUARANTEE

Why does this guy believe he has any chance to be president in 2024?

5. THE 1PERCENT RULE

If you have had some curiosity about income disparity or why progressive ideas to level the playing field, this article by James Clear explains a lot. It is a great read!

 6. AN ALL BLACK REFEREE CREW WORKS MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

This is far too long in the making.

7. SCOTUS AND HOUSES OF WORSHIP IN NEW YORK

The Supreme Court of the United States has drawn the line that the First Amendment right to worship is more important than keeping people safe in a pandemic. The Court determined that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions on the capacity of house of worship to 10-25 people was unconstitutional.

8. ROBLOX LIVE EVENTS

The lack of meeting in person and in large groups has forced most of us to virtual events. We all have our Zoom meetings. I have been an exhibitor at a virtual trade show. Now entertainers are putting on virtual events in Roblox.

Roblox is a video game my seven year old plays where he creates his character and plays in many different worlds. I am disappointed that we both missed out on the Lil Nas X concert.

 9. TRUE IDENTITIES OF POP CULTURE ICONS REVEALED

Alex Solis is a master artist who has done some brilliant reveals of the true identities of pop icons. They are super fun and put a smile on my face.

 10. KLAY THOMPSON

Last week when I wrote about the craziest week in NBA history, I didn’t mention Klay Thompson was at the center of things. Thompson injured his Achilles tendon on the day of the draft. There was a definite thought, which was later confirmed, Klay was going to be out for the entire 2020-21 basketball season.

I am not sure if it affected the Warriors picking James Wiseman with the Number 2 pick. However, the acquisition of Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Ken Bazemore showed there was a hole in the roster that needed to be addressed. It could also be insinuated by the moves of the other Western Conference teams that it was time to strike while the Warriors were down a star.

Losing Klay is a big deal but there is still a lot of talent on that team. I think that people are sleeping on Steve Kerr as a coach as well.

10 Thoughts For the Week of November 22, 2020

1. IT’S OVER FOR TRUMP

Two and a half weeks after the election, it appears that Donald Trump and his hopes for a second term as president is OVER. The state of Georgia certified Joe Biden as the winner of the state’s electoral votes; despite Lindsey Graham’s attempts to influence things. President Trump tried to start a coup in the state of Michigan which fell short. Just about all Trump’s frivolous lawsuits have been dismissed due to lack of evidence.

The events that convinced me the presidential election was finally over when people started turning on Ivanka. Ivanka had one job during this administration. She was supposed to be the only influential person in the president’s circle with a conscience. She failed. Now that the ship is sinking, nasty stories about Ivanka have been surfacing.

The events that convinced me the presidential election was finally over when people started turning on Ivanka.

2. TRUMP PETTINESS CONTINUES

Last week, I talked about Trump firing Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper. It was an unnecessary move for a president who was about to lose an election. Trump had probably wanted to do it since June when Esper publicly contradicted the president.

The pettiness continued this week when Trump fired Christopher Krebs who was the head of cybersecurity for the presidential election after he declared the 2020 election was “the most secure election in American history.” Once again, another petty move.

3. NBA TRADES

The highlight of the week has to be the NBA trades made before, during and after the NBA Draft. The Oklahoma City Thunder were at the center of the trades. The week started off with Dennis Schroeder being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Los Angeles Lakers for Danny Green. By everyone’s understanding, this is an upgrade for a team that just won the NBA championship. It felt like the rich getting richer.

Oklahoma City then traded Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns. Paul had a renaissance season with OKC last year. There is an excitement that comes from hoping he has the same kind of season with a Suns team that went undefeated in the NBA Bubble.

The Al Horford experiment in Philadelphia ended after one season when he was traded to Oklahoma City.

All these trades make me curious who are going to be on the roster for Oklahoma City next season.

4. NBA DRAFT

The NBA Draft was fun for the first ten picks. Then there was all the minutiae of what kind of skills people were bringing to the table. Anthony Edwards was the first pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves. I think the pick may have been influenced by the relationship between Timberwolves star D’Angelo Russell and the Ball Family. I am happy for Edwards who had to overcome some serious blows losing family members.

LaMelo was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets which is a good place for him. Personally I appreciated the quiet of having Lonzo in New Orleans. It would be really nice if LaMelo was super quiet and humble.

My highlight of the draft was Obi Toppin going full crybaby after being drafted by the New York Knicks. I am rooting for this dude to be the guy to help turn the franchise around.

 

5. NBA FREE AGENCY

The beginning of NBA free agency started off with Gordon Hayward leaving Brad Stevens and Boston Celtics to join the Charlotte Hornets. It doesn’t feel like a move that puts him in better contention to win the title, but time will tell.

Rajon Rondo used a brilliant performance in the Finals to get some money from the Atlanta Hawks.

I think the Miami Heat are going to miss Jae Crowder and Marc Gasol going to the Lakers is another example of the rich getting richer.

6. PATRIOTIC EDUCATION

Tate Reeves, the governor of Mississippi, has set aside $3 million for the Patriotic Education Fund. The funding would go to schools that don’t engage in what Reeves calls “revisionist history” that is “poisoning a generation.” He claims its a far-left agenda to make sure students learn about all the complete history of our country instead of just the achievements. It’s ironic the governor of the state that hosted the most public lynchings would not like to talk about them and would rather focus on a man on the moon.

It’s ironic the governor of the state that hosted the most public lynchings would not like to talk about them and would rather focus on a man on the moon

7. PITTSBURGH STEELERS ARE 10-0

The 1972 Miami Dolphins have not cracked their annual bottle of champagne when the final undefeated team loses their first game. The Pittsburgh Steelers at 10-0 are the current challenger to the perfect season. Pittsburgh’s defense is straight nasty. T.J. Watt is now the best Watt brother in the NFL. Big Ben looks like having a year off has made him a better quarterback. It doesn’t hurt to have JuJu Smith Schuster and Chase Claypool to throw the ball to. They seem to be the most complete team in the NFL.

 

8. USC IS 3-0

USC is 3-0 after dominating the Utah Utes. This game has determined the PAC-12 South champion the last couple of years; so USC is in the driver’s seat. Utah’s lack of a quarterback and the USC pressure led to too many turnovers.

The USC receiving corps is so talented. They have five guys who could be “the guy”; it really depends on what game it is.

 9 THE BEATS “YOU LOVE ME” COMMERCIAL

No words necessary.

10. WONDER WOMAN 1984

After being frustrated by Disney/Marvel’s continual delay of the next wave of the MCU, DC has announced that Wonder Woman will be released on HBOMax at the same time it is released in theaters. I understand that these movies are a business and money-makers but we all need a good superhero movie after all the crazy stuff we have been through in 2020.

10 Thoughts for the Week of November 15, 2020

1. MARK ESPER FIRED

The week started off with President Trump firing Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Esper had disagreed publicly with Trump about sending troops to control protests in American cities back in June. Maybe he refused to send troops to enforce Trump’s imaginary win.

2. DOJ VOTER FRAUD OFFICIAL RESIGNS

The Justice Department’s election crimes chief resigned this week when Attorney General, Bill Barr, changed the department’s policy allowing US attorneys to probe alleged election fraud prior to the results being certified. John Pilger, who was awarded the DOJ’s John C. Keeney Award for Exceptional Integrity and Professionalism, could not be involved in the baseless challenges to the election results.

This seems like another attempt by Bill Barr to take Rudy Guiliani’s place as President Trump’s personal attorney.

3. FIGHTING POLL TAXES

In the state of Florida, a convicted felon cannot vote once he has served his time in prison until they pay whatever fines they owe the state. Earlier the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed that this rule was constitutional.

With the help of Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Michael Bloomberg, 13,000 for the 40,000 felons unable to vote in Florida had their fees paid. That was a great investment and it is good to see these guys step-up to make a difference in the election.

4. N.L. MVP

Freddie Freeman was named the National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday. Mookie Betts was second in voting. Freeman was deserving of the award. However playoffs have a way of making everyone question the results. When Charles Barkley or Karl Malone won the MVP, they faced Michael Jordan and the Bulls; where Jordan always looked like the MVP. Lebron James had done the same thing to Stephen Curry. Curry and the Warriors got to do the same thing to James Harden.

This happened again in the National League Championship Series where Freeman played well, but Betts did the things and made the plays that won the series for the Dodgers. In the words of Kevin Durant “you the real MVP”.

5. CORI BUSH AND BREONNA TAYLOR

Cori Bush, from Ferguson, Missouri and BLM activist, was elected to Congress last week. She showed up to her first day at work wearing a mask with Breonna Taylor’s name on it. Many of her Republican colleagues believed her name was Breonna Taylor. This may be an innocent mistake with some other name, but a public official does not know who Breonna Taylor is.

6. ISAIAH THOMAS AND THE GOAT

Isaiah Thomas has always been a hater of Michael Jordan. He has taken his hateration to a new level. He claimed that Jordan was the fifth toughest player he ever faced. His list was

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  2. Magic Johnson
  3. Larry Bird
  4. Julius Erving
  5. Michael Jordan

All those guys were great competitors but it seems like Isaiah went out of his way to make sure Jordan was not #1 on the list. The funny thing about the list is Thomas never had to guard these guys. His qualification of “tough” may be different than what I think of tough.

7. THE WEEKEND FOR THE SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW

The Weekend has been tapped to perform during halftime of the Super Bowl. I like his music but I am not sure he is ready for that kind of show. One of my favorite halftime shows was Bruno Mars. I wouldn’t even mind if he performed the same show. The thing about men performing is we don’t gawk about their appearance.

8. RICHARD MARX IS PROTESTING THE ELECTION

With all the drama surrounding the presidential election, I decided to put some comic relief up. Richard Marx was totally robbed by Michael Bolton.

9. USC v. UofA

USC pulled out another late game victory again. They were not impressive until the last seven minutes of the game. Most fans are frustrated …I am just glad they keep winning.

10. PLAY OF THE WEEK – HAIL MARY

Had to end with this amazing catch.

10 Thoughts for the Week of November 8, 2020

1. 2020 ELECTION DAY #1

The most important presidential election in my lifetime took place this week. The much anticipated event. It was super crazy! The polls had Biden with a significant lead. With all that happened in 2016, it was hard to believe any prediction or poll.

I started watching the results, flipping between MSNBC and Fox News, at 4pm. The first hour was exciting and seemed to go with the flow of the polls. Biden was jumping out to leads states he was supposed to have no chance in. Then there were the next couple of hours where all the live voting results were giving Trump a lead. At the end of the night there was no final result and predictions the results would change as the mail in ballots were counted.

 

2. PROTESTERS FOR TRUMP

As the results started to turn in favor of Biden, Trump and his supporters began to protest to stop counting the votes in states he was winning and keep on counting in states he was losing. I am all for protesting, but let’s just be consistent.

3. 2020 ELECTION DAY #4

Friday morning, I woke up and Biden was leading in Pennsylvania and Georgia. There was nothing official yet, but there was something inevitable happening. I found great pleasure in John Lewis’s district being the one that delivered Georgia to Biden. I doubled my pleasure with John McCain’s home state of Arizona kicking Trump in the balls.

4. STEVE KORNACKI’S BROWN PANTS

Steve Kornacki, whom I preferred over CNN’s John King, worked the results board. Maybe I have bad feelings from watching everything go down on John King’s board in 2016.

 

5. MARK MEADOWS HAS COVID

While the White House did everything it could to hide it, President Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, contracted COVID. There were four other White House employees who tested positive as well. One of the most important locations in the free world is COVID spawner.

6. 2020 ELECTION DAY #5

Saturday morning, while I was watching the USC game (more on that later), there was an alert across the bottom of the screen notifying the general public that Joe Biden was officially the president-elect. Then,as the day unfolded I saw more and more celebrations all over the country. I cannot recall if people celebrated like this when Trump won four years ago or when Obama won twelve years ago.

There was a collective relief that comes from knowing that in two months politics will resemble some kind of normalcy. Each day won’t bring the next outrageous thing the president did.

 

7. COLORADO JOINS THE POPULAR VOTE COMPACT

On Election Day, the people of Colorado decided they were done with the Electoral College. They joined the Popular Vote Compact where each state in the compact commits to giving their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. The states in the compact make up 190 of the 270 electoral votes need for the compact to go in to effect.

8. GEORGE GASCON DEFEATS JACKIE LACEY

George Gascon became the District Attorney elect of Los Angeles on Election Day. He defeated Jackie Lacey (I hate voting against black women) who had more than 600 police shootings while she was district attorney. Only one police officer was convicted of a crime. When you have numbers like that, you gotta go.

 

9. ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME

Over the weekend, Whitney Houston and the Notorious B.I.G. were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. While I don’t think of rock & roll when I think of these two, it is a crazy coincidence they are going in posthumously.

 

 

10. ARIZONA STATE vs USC

The #20 USC Trojans barely won on Saturday against the ASU Sun Devils. The Trojans were trailing by thirteen points with less than three minutes left.

They came through down the stretch with the help of a successful onside kick. There is an argument for the first game of the season rust. The defense looked like it hadn’t been hitting the way it needed to in order to be ready for a game. A championship team gets one of these games in a season. Let’s see if USC used theirs up too early.

 

 

10 Thoughts for the Week of November 1, 2020

1. DODGERS WIN THE WORLD SERIES

The 60-game season and bubble playoffs of Major League Baseball concluded with the Los Angeles Dodgers being crowned the champions. Corey Seager was deservedly the MVP of the Series. It was an entertaining and stressful series. This was the first one since 1988.

I have had a surreal feeling about the Dodgers win but I was not as elated as I thought I would be. The Dodgers were hands down the best team in baseball and winning the World Series was more of an expectation than an achievement. Maybe I was used to my own annual expression of disappointment the team couldn’t reach the mountaintop.

My only point of reference for championship feelings are the Lakers of the 2000’s and the Pete Carroll USC Trojans. I was far more elated for those championships. I think because those teams always had a finiteness to it. There was always a free agent or draft eligible junior whose absence could make it very difficult to repeat the championship.

The Dodgers do not have that problem. They are loaded to compete for championships for the next three to five years…at least.

 

2. JUSTIN TURNER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID

A strange thing that happened during Game 6 of the World Series is Justin Turner was pulled from the game in the eighth inning. It was later disclosed he tested positive for COVID. I find it strange the results were only discovered in the eighth inning. I guess I wrongly assumed that a player would have to test negative before he would be allowed to play in the game.

I was definitely uncomfortable seeing Turner on the field celebrating. I am just going to throw the MLB under the bus for not doing their job before the game. Maybe they knew but they didn’t do anything until they were pretty certain the Dodgers were going to win. Maybe they didn’t want to postpone the World Series to quarantine the players.

3. KEVIN CASH’S DECISION NOT MAKE MONEY

During Game 6, there was a collective exhale of relief when Kevin Cash took the ball away from Blake Snell. Snell was having one of the best outings in World Series history. He had spent five innings baffling the Dodgers.

While this was unusual for the World Series, this was not unusual for the Rays. Blake Snell had not pitched past the sixth inning all season. Cash trusted his bullpen which, it could be argued, was a big part of their success. The move didn’t hold up when they needed it the most.

Unlike the Dodgers, the Rays aren’t built to get back to the World Series. Their window is closing as they let the team options for their important pieces go.

4. MAIL-IN VOTING

94 million mail-in ballots have been cast so far in the 2020 election. That is two thirds of the number of votes cast in the 2016 election. The state of Texas has received more mail-in ballots than they did votes in 2016.

I think there is a collective fear in out country of our vote getting suppressed in one way or another.

5. MAKE SURE YOU VOTE

I voted…did you?

6. HUNTER BIDEN SEX TAPE

Two weeks ago, Rudy Giuliani claimed he had Hunter Biden’s laptop. He also admitted there was a chance the laptop came from Russian intelligence. The laptop didn’t gain any traction. President Trump tried to bring up Hunter at the last debate. That didn’t gain much traction. The week before the election, a Hunter Biden sextape was discovered in Russia. Boy! These guys are desperate.

7.LIL WAYNE AND TRUMP

Watch out hip-hop heads…the President is coming for you.

He stole from Ice Cube’s Contract with Black America to enhance his Platinum Plan. Last week, 50 Cent backed Trump, but then Chelsea Handler slapped some sense into him and he endorsed Biden.

This week, after meeting with Lil Wayne, who Trump called an activist, social media was ablaze. Wayne complimented Trump for criminal justice reform and the Platinum Plan.

I love the talents of Kanye, Ice Cube, and Lil Wayne, but they are not they guys I look to help me make decisions about the future of the country.

8. TOM BRADY & ANTONIO BROWN

Antonio Brown signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. Last we saw him, AB was getting cut by the Raiders and the Patriots. He also had some issues with the law. Not exactly the guy you want on your team, but what Tom Brady wants he gets. They made such a connection during Brown’s short stint with the Patriots that AB is living with Brady so he can learn the playbook.

9. RIP SEAN CONNERY

We lost a great one on Saturday. At the ripe age of 90, his performances are too numerous to name. It’s difficult to lose an actor who has brought so much to the table for so long.

10. TREVOR LAWRENCE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID

College football is a very confusing sport. The season has teams starting at different times. Coastal Carolina University is in the AP Top 25. Cincinnati is in the Top 10. USC is ranked #21 and they haven’t played a game yet.

Wisconsin is on quarantine for three weeks.

Trevor Lawrence, the de facto #1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, tested positive for COVID. Clemson barely beat Boston College last week. This week they travel to #4 Notre Dame and Lawrence’s participation is in doubt. The result of the game will have no bearing on Lawrence’s draft status, but it is hard to say the same for Clemson.

 

 

10 Thoughts For The Week of October 25, 2020

Sorry for the delay getting this post out…I think online learning and too many Zoom meetings caught up with me.

1. LOST BORDER CHILDREN

What has to be the most shocking story of the week is the release of ICE losing track of 545 children who were separated from their parents when they were caught crossing the border. The separation was supposed to be a deterrent for future crossers. A common sense assumption for such a deterrent is a plan to reunite the children with their parents. After all, who would want to be responsible for caging and feeding these kids for a long period of time. Maybe they think losing kids will be a bigger deterrent.

2. PASTORS FOR TRUMP

In a survey of Protestant pastors who plan to vote in the presidential election, more than half intend to vote for Donald Trump. The supposed moral leaders of our country have sold their souls to a real estate shyster to overturn Roe v. Wade. I wish they felt as strongly about criminal justice reform or income disparity. I guess they don’t really know what it means when God says “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”

3. E. JEAN CARROLL v. TRUMP

This week the Justice Department attempted to defend Donald Trump in a lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll. She accused Trump of sexual assault. He called her a liar. She filed a slander and defamation lawsuit claiming calling her a liar damaged her reputation. The Justice Department, which should not be the president’s personal attorney, claims they should represent him because he made the statement as part of his job as president and you cannot sue the government for defamation.

4. RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE CHARGED WITH HACKING AND ELECTION TAMPERING

The Justice Department, in a completely different move, charged six Russian Intelligence officers with hacking including the 2016 election, the 2018 Winter Olympics and many other events. Just in case there was any dispute about that.

5. 2020 WORLD SERIES

The World Series has been all a baseball fan can ask for. The Dodgers dominated in Game 1 behind Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger. Blake Snell and Brandon Lowe lead the Rays to a win in Game 2.

Game 3 was dominated by Walker Buehler. In Game 4, the Dodgers were let down by their manager and their bullpen. Dave Roberts left Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen on the mound too long and the Rays took advantage.Kershaw was dominant again in Game and the bullpen was solid.

So much of past postseason failures have fallen on Kershaw in an unfair manner in my opinion. I am glad that he has been able to shine this World Series.

6. FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

The presidential debate was a vast improvement from the first debate. The mute button played a big part. I cannot understand why Trump goes out of his way to talk about conspiracy theories. Maybe there are people who see it differently, but I always think that he is shooting himself in the foot. I do understand I am not part of the demographic he is trying to reach. The only thing that makes sense to me is he is getting ready for a civil war and he wants to make sure all the people with guns and crazy agendas know he is with them.

7. TRUMP CHINESE BANK ACCOUNT

The New York Times published a story about the discovery of a bank account in China that was not disclosed on the president’s list of assets. It may be that he has bank accounts everywhere. The fact that the account has never been disclosed before is a little disturbing.

8. 50 CENT SAYS VOTE FROM TRUMP

Last week, I brought up Ice Cube shopping his Contract with Black America plan to both presidential campaigns. This week, 50 Cent announced that he was voting for Trump because he would pay more taxes if Biden was elected.

If I gave Ice Cube flack for trying to help black people, I have to give ten times as much to 50 Cent for just thinking about himself.

 9. GOOGLE ANTITRUST LAWSUIT

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. It is convoluted and will take a long time to work out. All I can really say about the lawsuit is this is just the beginning.

10. PENN STATE BASKETBALL COACH RESIGNS

Pat Chambers, coach of the Penn State basketball team, resigned this week after months of turbulence about a racially insensitive statement he made to a player. He told the player he wanted to “loosen the noose around his neck”. The player blasted the statement all over social media.

I am debating who was right and who was wrong. I was more curious if there was a racially offensive statement I could say to a white person that could cause the same kind of response.