Monday, November 24, 2014

Why They Play

I happened to be watching this game for a while last night, before I turned in. This was the first play of the 2nd quarter. As both announcers said, it was the greatest catch in the history of football. Well, I'm sure there were contenders, but I've sure never seen anything more amazing, and I've been watching the game since the late '50s, when Unitas and Tittle were battling.

There's been a lot of sensible things said in the past year or two about how football is just too dangerous. It's true. This head-injury problem is apparently unsolvable, so these amazing athletes are risking long term disability (to be sort of antiseptic about it--we're talking about senility and depression and in a number of cases, suicide). But this catch! That is nothing short of artistry. It's the same problem you see with Ali's great fights, or Tyson's, or the bravery of Gene Fullmer. How much of the story do you want to read?

Art is possibly instantaneous. Mr. Beckham, Junior, wrote a poem for the ages. I hope he plays on for a good while, and gets paid handsomely for doing what no one can do, and doesn't fall into the many pitfalls that he must dance through, and keeps his knees, and his brains intact, and gets the hell out after we've seen a little more, to a nice life. Fact is, the brutal, cruel medium is necessary for the message. The defense will hit him until he can't get up again, that's the sad part. It doesn't diminish such a catch.


More on President Obama's immigration policy, from David Alan Skansky: From that standpoint, there are two things about the immigration enforcement policies that are profoundly unremarkable. The first is that the Executive Branch is prioritizing which undocumented immigrants it will seek to deport. It has to do that, since there are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country and Congress has provided funding that will allow somewhere around only 400,000 removal actions each year. The whole post is instructive. Skansky is a professor of law at Stanford, and a former prosecutor.

The whole article makes a number of factual points which are being utterly ignored in the Republican and right wing hysteria over Mr. Obama's announcement. The facts are so clear that what is obvious is that the Republican response is utter hogwash--just more sturm und drang aimed only at generating hysteria amongst the usual generally upset part of the electorate which is now driving politics in this country nationally and state by state. Here in NC, our genius governor, who is at present suing his own legislature, which is controlled by his own party, asserted immediately after the speech that Mr. Obama was behaving unconstitutionally. No doubt there was much "ahem"ing at the early morning BoJangles coffee klatches around North Carolina. Newspapers were snapped. Coffee was sloshed. Nothing was delivered.

When Chris Hayes asked a Republican spokesman the other night, just after the speech, just who the Republicans would deport, the spokesman got all huffy and sputtery and refused to answer. Unfortunately Mr. Hayes didn't have at his fingertips the pertinent facts, stated in Mr. Skansky's quote above. 11,000,000/400,000. That's the goddam math. The Republicans own the math right now. They shut down the goverment over it just last year, and have been winning elections over zero tax increases since 1980. That is Republican policy.

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