by John Walters*
*This will be our final post…at least for the next three weeks.** We’ll be working with that five-ring circus known as the Tokyo Olympics and it’s best for the two to not overlap. See you in, or slightly before, September.
**I may do a short post here or there. We cannot let the Suns winning an NBA championship go unremarked upon.
A few thoughts we had and we doubt anyone will agree with all four of our notions here (maybe one, tops):
- Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day in the near future President Biden announced that any state that purports to wish to secede from the union be allowed to take a popular vote (not a vote in its state legislature) and be granted emancipation? You want to exit, Texas? Kentucky? God bless you. All the social security payments stop now. The medicare stops now. The military bases are relocated. And if you want to travel from Dallas to Branson, you’re gonna need a passport. Enjoy your freedom. No two states pay more in federal taxes than California and New York. Okay, so you do wanna stay, Florida and Texas, but you don’t like that you don’t always get your way? You sound like every entitled teenager threatening to run away we’ve ever met. Go. Or stay, and clean your room.
- Another reason I’m an independent: the child tax credit. Why are we giving money to people for making financially irresponsible decisions? If you have more children than you can afford to care for, why are the rest of us paying for it? The reason: because politicians know they will never strike out extolling family values. But I submit this: if Earth were to hire a consultant to advise on how better to run this little blue ship, I imagine the first thing the consultant would come back with is, Stop making people! You have a surplus. In a world that thinks clearly and is not blinded by emotion or antiquated Biblical aphorisms (Be fruitful and multiply–HA!), you’d be giving tax credits to the people who do not procreate. As a thank you. And I don’t want the government’s (your) money for having decided to not have children. I just don’t believe a government governs best that rewards those of us who make irresponsible decisions by placing the burden on those who did not.
- Okay, do I have this correct: if you’ve been vaccinated, you are just as like to carry the virus and the variant as someone not vaccinated? You are just as likely to pass it on to someone who is not vaccinated? The difference is that you will not get sick or barely sick? So the principal consequence to the general population is that hospital staffs will continue to be overburdened by the illnesses of those who are unvaccinated? And while that’s enough of a reason, for this scribe, to get vaccinated (to relieve their burden), isn’t this some intelligence-based Darwinism playing out? Those most likely to suffer the consequences of failure to vaccinate (besides hospital staffs) are the willfully ignorant and, mostly, morbidly obese? I hate to sound like a Newsmax anchor, but that’s just thinning the herd. Now, I’ve been vaccinated. And I’d get vaccinated if I weren’t. But other than concern for those in the health-care field (and that’s a HUGE “other than”), I say play on. Let those who refuse to get vaccinated suffer the consequences of their decisions. It is, still, a free country (thanks, Capitol Police). UPDATE: The White House reports that 1 in 5 new coronavirus cases this week were from Florida. Make it rain, Florida!
- Finally, if I have not lost all of you yet, here’s a thought I had: What if someone attempts to follow all of the teachings of Jesus without necessarily believing in the existence of God? Is this person any less holy than the most devout follower of any Christian church? I’m trying to imagine the conversation if such a person dies and discovers that there is actually a heaven with all the fairy-tale pearly gates, etc. God meets him at the gates. I’m trying to imagine a Supreme Being who acknowledges that few people lived a more devout and selfless life but, alas, because that person did not believe in God he or she will not be granted entrance. I’m sorry, Heavenly Father, but what kind of outfit are you running here? Is your ego so fragile that You need me to worship You more than You want us to love one another and love thy neighbor as thyself? If this is the best You can do, then maybe I don’t want to be part of this Eternal Life show you’ve got going on anyway. It sounds a lot like some Jim Harbaugh b.s. where you’re more about players supplicating to you than you are about winning games. Isn’t winning games the entire point? And if someone’s decency and kindness is performed primarily because they’re trying to ace the class (i.e., get into heaven), isn’t that like telling a child she has to be nice or Santa won’t visit?
Okay, now if I’ve lost absolutely everyone, on to some other items…
Staying In Character
For England, the final of last Sunday’s EuroCup played out like a season-ending episode of Ted Lasso. The Three Lions took Italy to penalty kicks but in the PK phase missed three shots. All three misses came at the feet of black players and, as you can imagine, they received a wave of racist-tinged hate on line for their failure.
Hence, last night in Los Angeles at the Season 2 premiere of Ted Lasso, star Jason Sudeikis wore a shirt with their names on the front. In support of them, of course. Now if everyone in English can just be little goldfish, we’ll be good.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?
Submitted: Maria Taylor is the third most valuable tool in ESPN’s belt after Scott Van Pelt and Rece Davis. I realize the numbers would claim that Screamin’ A. Smith ranks above her, but he’s just a caricature that fools some of the people all of the time. Taylor is a versatile and valuable asset, just entering the prime of her career, and for a MAJOR media company seeking to ring the inclusivity bell, what personage at ESPN is more valuable in the decade ahead?
And yet it looks as if ESPN is about to lose Taylor to NBC. It may be about the money, it may be about a legacy of black female talent at ESPN being under-appreciated and mistreated. Earlier I tweeted that this was the greatest tug-of-war saga involving a Maria since Capt. Von Trapp took on the abbey, but then the always witty @MarkEnnis reminded me that the Jets and Sharks might have a thing to say about that.
Maria Taylor: at ESPN she had more than one job. Now she has more than one offer. Regardless of what offer Taylor chooses, she’ll be ESPN’s NBA Finals pregame host throughout the rest of the series. That’s leverage.
The Rain In Spain Flows Mainly In The Plain–But This Isn’t Spain*
*The judges will not accept “Rain, Rhine, Rhone” or “God, Blessem”
Torrents of rain in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium have put parts of central Europe under water and more than 125 people have perished and reportedly more than 1,300 are missing. Europe hasn’t looked this in disarray since the Fuhrer was in charge, no?
This is the town of Blessem, Germany, after the floods caused a massive sinkhole to form. I have no editorial commentary to add.
Quest For Knowledge
Move over, Zaila Avant-garde, there’s a new unicorn in town. This is Kashe Quest, barely 3 years old, who earlier this year became the youngest-ever Mensa member with an IQ of 146. A native of Los Angeles, Quest is already bilingual and can identify every element in the periodic table and every state. She also has cool hair. That Mensa membership card will be a unique item to bring to show-and-tell.
Meet America’s newest national park, New River Gorge in West Virginia. Certainly, it’s lovely but it must be said that the standards for what becomes a national park east of the Rockies are a little less stringent than those west of the Continental Divide. Somewhere Oak Creek Canyon is wondering what it has to do to garner similar status.
We still don’t understand how come Niagara Falls is not a national park. So we share it with Canada. So what? Canadians are very polite. Are they going to throw a hissy if we claim it as a co-national park? We think not.