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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 2/6/16 edition

February 6, 2016

Can we all agree there it’s no secret why the Syrian peace talks failed? President Assad and Vladimir Putin obviously think they can win the ground war.

Can we all agree that President Obama’s visit to a mosque could only have happened late in his second term since most of the right-wing crazies still insist he’s a Muslim? Seems to me George Bush visited a mosque and no one got excited.

Can we all agree that Pope Francis continues to amaze the world with his outreach and attempts to heal old wounds?

President Obama at a Mosque in Baltimore this week - NYT photo

President Obama at a Mosque in Baltimore this week – NYT photo

Can we all agree that while the addition of 151,000 new jobs may not measure up to the 200,000 created last month, it’s still better than losing jobs?

Can we all agree that the President’s proposal to add $10.00 to the price of a barrel of oil, is a great idea that will go no-where – and he knows it?

Can we all agree that Hillary and Bernie each scored some points during Democratic forums this week?

Can we all agree that Hillary’s best hope on Tuesday is to simply beat expectations and lose by less than 10%.

Can we all agree that barring some unforeseen gaffe, Marco Rubio seems to have a clear shot at the GOP nomination?

Can we all agree that after Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary at least two more GOP candidates will join, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum on the sidelines? Could Carly be next?

Can we all agree that, were it not for PAC money, Ted Cruz would suffer the same fate as the last two GOP winners of the Iowa caucuses?

Can we all agree that Mr. Trump seems completely unhinged since he lost in Iowa – an that’s saying something for him.

Can we ll agree that Speaker Paul Ryan, seems to be visiting all the right folks and saying all the right things?

Can we all agree that sending more troops to eastern Europe sends a pretty strong message to Mr. Putin and probably should have been done sooner?

Can we all agree that the Flint water crises has brought out the worst in the GOP? They subpoena EPA officials appointed by the President but decline to ask the Republican Governor of the state to testify even though most people in the state blame him for creating the problem.

Can we all agree that while the NFL prepares for the biggest game of the year, they continue to get hammered by reports of retired players who suffered terribly from  head injuries  which occurred during their playing days?

Can we all agree that indicted drug company president Martin Shkrelli is probably the only person, other than Donald Trump, who can make Congress look good?

Can we all agree that the discovery of classified emails on the private servers of two GOP secretaries of state probably will not end the silly controversy over Hillary’s email server?

Can we all agree that North Korea has given new meaning to the term trash talk?

Can we all agree that every Californian feels better now that we have a marijuana czar?

Can we all agree that no one is surprised to learn that many lawyers have drinking problems?

Can we all agree that no one really wants to see Bill Cosby stand trial and the chances that he will, are still pretty slim? A financial settlement seems likely.

Can we all agree that Congress needs to reach some kind of compromise to help the residents of Flint and pass an energy infrastructure bill?

Maurice White

Maurice White

Can we all agree that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors seem pretty insensitive to their own police force when they declared a day to honor Mario Woods?

And my favorite story of the week:

Can we all agree that showing up at your own funeral to surprise your husband, who thought he had you killed, is sweet revenge?

and finally:

Can we all agree: RIP Maurice White and Bob Elliott?

Happy Year of the Monkey: Kunghei fatchoy (gong-hey faa-chwhy)

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Is Football Worth it ?

January 8, 2016

Filed under: Movie Review — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 9:08 pm

Like many Sundays over many years, I watched professional football last weekend. I will probably watch more until my New England Patriots are no longer in the NFL playoffs. My wife is quite surprised that I continue to watch, since we had been to see Will Smith in “Concussion” the day before.

Will Smith, right,  and the real-life Dr. Bennet Omalu

Will Smith, right, and the real-life Dr. Bennet Omalu

Make no mistake, Will Smith does a great job in his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who brought the dangers of playing football to the forefront and exposed the NFL for what it is – a business, making profits at the expense of its players.

The movie has been portrayed as being too one-sided and heavy handed, but the reality is that the NFL has been heavy handed and one-sided in it’s attitude for much longer.

In fact my wife and I had first-hand knowledge of the NFL attitude several years ago when we attempted to approach the York family, which owns the San Francisco 49ers,  about providing psychological consulting to help retired athletes deal with the problems of brain damage caused by repeated hits to the head. Dismissively, John York rejected the idea out of hand saying the NFL was handling the issue just fine.

The movie and the thousands of former players who sued the NFL, have proven him wrong.

You cannot see the movie without having second thoughts about allowing your son to play football.

If you are a fan, you can’t help but leave conflicted. Should I continue to watch football and support the mistreatment of the athletes or should I show my displeasure by quitting cold turkey.

The reality is, if you believe Dr. Omalu’s research, there is no middle ground. Better helmets are not the answer – they do not prevent concussions.

Better concussion treatment is not the answer because research has shown that it is the repeated blows to the head that seems to cause CTE.

Football is ingrained in the American way of life. I don’t know how many former players will have to commit suicide before we confront the reality of its impact on the athletes and I don’t know how many tragic stories of broken bodies and minds will convince Americans that we are watching gladiators just like the ancient Romans.

I think it’s a cop out to say that the athletes know the risks and want to play anyway, so it’s ok for us to watch.

I wish I had the answers, but I don’t. But I think that the movie should be seen by everyone, to enjoy Will Smith’s performance, and gain a better understanding of the fate that awaits many NFL players.

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