If you’re in the northeastern U. S. right now, these lines in the sand could probably be replaced (mentally) by “lines in the snow”. We’ve got lots and lots of the fluffy white stuff on the ground here, along with some pretty stiff breezes and falling temperatures. Wind chills are at or below zero. But then again it’s winter; we shouldn’t expect anything else. I’d rather be walking on sand and slick rock, of course, but it is what it is. I suppose we should be happy that Sunday night’s Super Bowl was played in Glendale, AZ and not in NYC (as it was last year). At least the players and the fans who were there got to keep warm. Heck, they even showed us aerial pictures of the Grand Canyon and nearby Sedona, AZ during the game. Complete with a blazing sunset. I didn’t see a single white flake anywhere. Location is everything.
For those of you who watched the game, what the hell was Seattle thinking when they called their last – and totally disastrous – play? They had about 2 yards to go for the winning touchdown, one of the best short yardage running backs in history, and they call a pass? Incredible. I don’t think Seattle’s offensive coordinator will be showing up in public anytime soon. Unless, of course, he happens to be in Boston………
Ah, but hindsight is 20 – 20. Right? Statistically, that play – from that position on the field – works most of the time. An interception? Almost never happens. An interception by a rookie corner-back? What are the odds of that happening? The worst possible outcome, on paper, is (was) an incomplete pass. So much for statistical analysis. Next time, go with your gut (and Marshawn Lynch).
A side note for Seattle fans: Don’t feel too bad about the loss. The Buffalo Bills (my wife’s team) and the Cleveland Browns (my team) lose these kinds of games all the time. It seems to be embedded in their DNA.
Speaking of losers, did anyone happen to catch Sarah Palin’s speech at the so-called Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa last week? I can’t stand the woman and I was still embarrassed for her. Incoherent doesn’t begin to describe her performance. After watching replays of the speech I’m still left wondering if she had been somehow mentally incapacitated. I mean, more so than normal. Maybe she was drunk? Or high? Or maybe she was just having a monumentally bad day. As one noted pundit said, “If Sarah Palin ever had a stroke, how would we know?”
On second thought, maybe it was the water they were drinking at this event. Former Texas governor Rick Perry was also acting weird, and Bobby Jindal kept saying that we have more than an immigration problem – what’s really happening is that we’re being “invaded”. If we continue to allow it we’ll soon have Muslim-only zones in every state, complete with Sharia law (you know, like they have in Europe). Except, of course, they don’t have any such thing in Europe. He made it up. Where do these guys get this stuff?
Not that I’m singling out Republicans, mind you. Well, maybe I am. It’s a target-rich environment. But the Democrats have some cuckoos, too. Can’t think of one at the moment, but I’m sure they’re out there somewhere. As a country we seem to be getting dumber and dumber. And not just the politicians. Too many of us are acting like we’re refugees from the Middle Ages, believing that everything we’ve learned over the last 100 years or so is suddenly open to debate. Science and data be damned.
Like not having your kids vaccinated for measles. This one just defies logic. Once the measles vaccine became available in the 1960’s, the incidence of the disease declined steadily until it was essentially nonexistent in the United States. At least until now. The “story”, of course, is that the measles vaccine – and perhaps other vaccines as well – can trigger autism and mental disorders in some children. There’s no hard evidence to support this hypothesis, but lots of people have decided that it might be true. So they leave their children unvaccinated. This is very easy to do in those states that allow people to avoid vaccinations for “personal beliefs”. In California, for example, there were over 18,000 kindergartners allowed to skip getting the measles vaccine last year.
So what happened? So far this year California has had more than 90 confirmed measles cases, a number that is higher than the median number for the entire country for every year between 2001 and 2011 (according to the CDC). As you probably know, this outbreak started at Disneyland. It’s kind of fitting, actually (if you appreciate dark humor). A dormant disease regains a foothold in a place known for its emphasis on fantasy. Sooner or later, though, people are going to start dying.
I guess that’s enough “good news” for one day. Maybe tomorrow things will be better. Maybe those ISIS assholes will stop killing innocent people in the most horrific ways possible and crawl back into whatever holes they came out of. Maybe the Russians and Ukrainians will become friends, as will the Israelis and Palestinians. Heck, maybe the Democrats and Republicans in Washington will shake hands and actually do some governing. Ya think?