10 Thoughts For The Week of January 17, 2021- A Whole Bunch of Stuff

1. MORE COUP STUFF

Last week, I talked about the coup that some people would like to call a protest. If there was any doubt, the revelations of the past week make it fairly indisputable. There were tours given to the insurrectionists by Congressmen the day before. There were people who brought weapons and nooses to the event that were definitely for more than self-defense. There have been 275 criminal cases open against the insurrectionists. What blows my mind, is an article posted by ProPublica which shows all the videos posted on Parler during the attempted coup.

2. INAUGURATION STUFF

The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is coming. The FBI has put out warnings of attacks during the inauguration. Everyone is on high alert in Washington and all the state capitals. The National Guard is sleeping on the floor in the Capitol. There have been incidents of people being found with guns and ammunition.

3. 4,400 DIED OF COVID ON TUESDAY

Last week, 4,000 people died of COVID in one day to set a new daily record. This week, after the vaccine being out for a good amount of time, the number of deaths continue to rise. This week 4,400 people died on Tuesday. Sadly these sad numbers are being drowned out by impeachment and insurrectionists.

4. NEW COVID PROTOCOLS FOR THE NBA

The NBA has instituted new protocols to prevent players from getting COVID. Some players have made objections to these new rules. The NBA starting up again feels like a money grab. Everything about the NBA feels like they are going through the motions. The most compelling part of the game right now is the drama created by Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

Both guys have created a stir. Harden did everything possible to make things miserable for the Houston Rockets. He was finally traded to Brooklyn where Kyrie was making things miserable for the Nets.

5. 13 EXECUTIONS SINCE JULY

Dustin Higgs was the thirteenth person on Death Row executed by the Trump administration since July. This is the most executions during a presidency in 120 years. I really need someone to explain why Trump is so zealous about these executions. Are these sadistic acts or are there reasonable logic to the Even as he has lost the election and has less than a week in office, he continues to try to kill as many people as he can. It seems like he would have better things to do with his last days in office than kill people.

6. REPARATIONS STUFF

The cities of Portland Oregon and St. Paul Minnesota had made steps towards reparations. Momentum is building.

7. PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM

With all the talk of incitement and impeachment, President Trump tried to move attention somewhere else. He announced he was going to present New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichek, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was a good idea. The coach didn’t want to play the game. It was an even worse look for the president. Hopefully Trump saved the loss by Toby Keith accepting the medal instead.

8. NFL PLAYOFFS

I was looking forward to this weekend of NFL Playoff football. The divisional round is for all the teams who truly belong in the playoffs.

The battle of the Aarons came down to Green Bay being better on both sides of the ball. The Rams had a championship defense but their offense was not up to snuff. Sean McVeigh is an amazing offensive mind, but he can only do too much.

Buffalo and Baltimore was a hard hitting game which may have ended differently if Lamar Jackson finishes the game. Baltimore is very similar to the Rams. They have a championship defense but they really need to figure out some things on offense.

Props to Cleveland for giving Kansas City a good game. Kansas City was not on their game but they had enough to make it to the next round. Chad Henne did enough in the last five minutes of the game to earn whatever they are paying him.

The battle between Tom Brady and Drew Brees came down to a disappointing performance from Drew Brees in what is probably his last game. There were four turnovers and they resulted in a majority of the points for the Buccaneers. Brady was not great either. He simply didn’t shoot himself in the foot.

9. IPAD STUFF

I got a new iPad for X-Mas. The 11’ iPad Pro came with a new cord for charging. It reminded me of when Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone. I hate being reminded of Apple’s money-grabbing efforts.

Not to be totally down on Apple. I am a true believer in Apple products. Here are some cool stuff I have been learning about my new iPad:

10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETTY WHITE AND JAMES EARL JONES

Happy birthday to two American legends! Betty White turned 99 and James Earl Jone turned 92.

 

 

10 Thoughts For the Week of September 13, 2020

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1. 9/11

After 19 years, it is pretty amazing how 9/11 feels as fresh as yesterday. I still remember when I first heard about the planes hitting the tower. I remember going to work and being sent home. It was confusing and slowly developing for someone living in California. I guess that is what they mean when they say “We Will Never Forget”.

2. MILWAUKEE BUCKS

For the second year in a row, the Bucks have had the best record, the best defense, and the best player in the league. For the second year in a row, they didn’t get to the NBA Finals. The Miami Heat played inspired basketball and Giannis got hurt. Outside of Game 4, it didn’t appear the Bucks had the next gear that championship teams have to make it to the next level.

When I look at comparisons, I think of Jordan’s Bulls and Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers. They were both teams that had spent two or three years to get over the hump.

3. DANUEL HOUSE

When I heard about Danuel House being expelled from the NBA Bubble because he was entertaining one of the on-site testers, I thought of the Morris Day song “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”. The players were in the bubble for two and a half months and I guess it was too much for House; or was it love at first sight?

4. LAKERS ARE BACK IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Due to Danuel House’s indiscretions, the Lakers destroyed the Rockets en route to the Western Conference Finals. This is the first time the Lakers have been in the playoffs since Kobe hobbled off with an Achilles injury. I would like to think of them as the favorites but their play has not inspired me they will steamroll the rest of the competition. Truth be told, they are a Dame Lillard injury and a Danuel House expulsion from being in two tough playoff series.

5. R.I.P. TOOTS HIBBERT

The music world lost a legend this week when Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals passed away. Their music was so joyful and Pressure Drop is a classic.

6. BLACK REPUBLICANS

This week, I listened to an interesting podcast about Black Republicans. It was a great conversation about the movement of African Americans from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party in the last half of the twentieth century. 

What I found most interesting is that as a people African Americans are conservative. They have conservative views, but they have zero tolerance for racism.

7. A COMPETENT PRESIDENT

Last week, I mentioned the challenging opinions of how many people in the United States would have died of COVID. Well German Lopez, of Vox, claims if the US had the same response to COVD that Canada did, 100,000 would still be alive.

8. THE NFL IS BACK

The NFL is back at a time that does not feel as strange as baseball and basketball. After watching the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, I think they are the favorites by a lot. Tom Brady lost his first game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Bill Belichick looked like he didn’t miss Tom Brady. It’s only Week 1.

9. DOG MAN

Dog Man is a family favorite at my house. The latest installment of the Dog Man saga Dog Man: Grime & Punishment has been the best selling book in North America for the last three weeks.

10. SOCIAL MEDIA & POLITICS

A recent poll from the Pew Research Center asked Americans their opinions about social media platforms’ ability for raising awareness was very surprising to me.

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Who Makes the Difference – 10 Thoughts on Who is the Impact Player in the NBA Conference Semifinals

As I watch the NBA Playoffs, I realize (1) how good the games are and (2) the series will not always be decided by the marquee players. Here are ten players to watch out for if their teams are going to advance to the Conference Finals.

  1. Pascal Siakam – If you saw my previous post, you know that Siakam was the MVP for the Raptors in the first round. Now he means even more to them. When the Raptors have won, Pascal has been amazing. Without him, Toronto is to easy to defend for the Sixers.
  2. Jimmy Butler – Jimmy Butler was exactly the guy that Philadelphia needed for the playoffs. While I thought he would have more of an impact on defense, Jimmy’s offense has been indispensable. The Sixers needed someone to take big shots and make his shots (sorry J.J. Redick). Jimmy grinded the Sixers to victory in Game 2. The team rode his grit in Game 3.
  3. Joel Embiid – Embiid is a force of nature. When he is aggressive and active on both ends of the floor, the Sixers are pretty much unbeatable. When he is injured or unengaged, the Sixers defensive flaws will destroy them.
  4. Kevin Durant – Durant, who arguably has been the best player in the playoffs the last three years, is the Warriors unstoppable force. Curry and Thompson are great shooters. Draymond is the heart of the team. Durant is what makes the Warriors the favorites for a third straight championship. He can do everything on offense and he is underrated on defense. He can line up in all five positions and he may be the guy who breaks Kareem’s scoring record.
  5. Al Horford – Boston has their work ahead of them. They are facing the team with the best record in the NBA and the this year’s MVP of the league. Horford has to be the guy to put some form of handcuffs on the Greek Freak and be the ultimate mismatch for his team to stretch the floor.
  6. Al-Farouq Aminu – The Blazers are powered by Dame and C.J.. The difference maker is Aminu. You can tell how well Portland is doing by how many point Aminu has. He also has an impact on defense that makes up for the two undersized guards.
  7. Kyrie Irving – Kyrie is the winningest player in playoffs history. He is the ultimate clutch shotmaker. He was unstoppable against the Pacers. He needs to be just as unstoppable to you against the league’s best defense. For all it’s talent, Boston
  8. Torrey Craig – Torrey Craig is the only real defensive stopper on the Nuggets. They need someone to do something to slow Damian Lillard down he can. Denver is not a defensive juggernaut and needs Craig to make some plays, both offensively and defensively, to get them past a very talented Portland offense.
  9. Kris Middleton – The Buck will go as far as Middleton will take them. Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to put up numbers. The Bucks are offensively limited. They need Giannis and Middleton to be great.
  10. Chris Paul – If the Rockets are going to have a chance against the Warriors, they need more than James Harden. They need the return of the point-god. Paul needs to make an impact on both sides of the ball.

 

Honorable Mentions

Jamal Murray, Danny Green, Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker, Eric Bledsoe, Marc Gasol, Andre Iguodala, Jaylen Brown, Fred Van Fleet and Tobias Harris.