Saturday, August 22, 2009

Health Care For All

(Links point to various articles and blog posts pertaining to health care.)

With mounting despair, I continue to read, and listen, and watch the health care debate, if you can call it that, unfold. I am employed in the health sector, always have been, and am an unvarnished, unabashed support of Canadian style single payer health coverage for every American, and have been that for years, too.

Thus, I am bound to be disappointed.

I feel vaguely nauseous (ha!) when I think very hard about this, because I know I am not going to get what I want from whatever reform passes, if any.

In my heart of hearts, I don't think anything will pass, because of two major factors-the powers that be, who are quite interested in things staying exactly as they are, thank you very much, and the general willingness to lie, brazenly and openly, evinced by the political opponents of the current President.

There, I said it.

Game 122: Starting the Final Forty

With forty games to play in 2009, the Red Sox beat multi trillionaire AJ Burnett like he stole something, thumping the Yankee starter for 9 runs over 5 innings on the way to a 14-1 triumph at Fenway Park today. Alex Gonzalez (?), Kevin Youkilis, and David Ortiz homered off of Burnett, and Youkilis homered again off of reliever Alfredo Aceves to compound the damage.

Boston plays New York again tomorrow night, then welcomes Chicago and Toronto to Fenway next week. Boston currently leads the wild card race by 1 1/2 games over the Rangers.

Wiggin' Out With Wigan

I watched the ESPN Premier League broadcast today, and it was a very entertaining, though one sided, affair. Wigan Athletic played Manchester United, who I am told has more money than God, to a draw in the first half, with Man U pretty much constantly controlling the flow. In the second half, they dumped 5 goals on Wigan in a runaway victory. The play was crisp, with constant motion and flow leading to lots of action. Well worth my time.

Meanwhile, Nick Hornby's Arsenal won another game, 4-1 over Portsmouth. This one counts in the Premier League, for reasons I do not fully grasp.

The referees look tough enough to play strong safety in the NFL. Why can't American leagues like the NBA and NFL get referees in that good physical shape?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Game 120: "Unmitigated Disasters, this is Brad, can I help you?"

Tonight at Fenway? The less said, the better.

The rampaging Visigoths from the Bronx made mincemeat of Brad Penny, Michael Bowden, and a cast of thousands tonight at Fenway. 20-11. Ugh.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Game 120: JD makes his stand

New daddy Our Man DP made his way back into the lineup, but it was number eight hitter JD Drew who was the hitting star, going 4 for 4 with two homers to power an 8-1 win over the Blue Jays today. On the hurling side of the street, Big Jon Lester was big and, well, Jon-throwing 8 innings with 1 run allowed on 3 hits, only one after the first inning.

George Lakoff

Social Scientist George Lakoff on the language of health care.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Game 119: Cowboy Clay makes a statement

That statement being, "it's my job, dammit. You can have this starting slot when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." Or words to that effect.

Cowboy Clay Buchholz, being a Cowboy, rode his steel horse all over the empty, lifeless bodies of the Toronto Blue Jays, throwing 6 innings with 6 hits, 1 walk, four strikeouts and one lone run, while his mates rocked Roy Halladay, a figure who was of some interest a couple of weeks ago, and friends for 6 runs on a triple by Jacoby and homers from VMart, the Big Fella, and Our Favorite Canadian.


I've been doing a lot of reading. Recent works include "What Would Google Do" by Jeff Jarvis, "The Cluetrain Manifesto" by Locke, Weinberger, Levine, and Searls, "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell, "The Tyranny of Dead Ideas" by Matt Miller, and "The Numerati" by Stephen Baker. I'm not a businessman-I'm not brave enough to start a business. My father always read these sort of books, but he never started a business either. I guess I'm looking for comfort that it's not just me who thinks that the world is utterly screwed up.


In England, the Gunners of Arsenal, Nick Hornby's favorite team, are 2-0, with one win in the Champions' League and one in the Premier League. I'm still kind of hazy on all the leagues in European soccer.

They are going to start showing English Premier League and La Liga soccer games live on ESPN, which is something I have argued for for years. Part of the reason why soccer never seems to take off here is that we don't have it within easy reach on US TV, and taking off one of the 500 iterations of Sportscenter and moving it to another network makes a lot of sense. I'm glad ESPN finally agrees with me.

I also bought David Goldblatt's "The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer" today at the discount outlet store where I was buying pants. Like Spongebob, I had destroyed more than my usual number of pants, and I had a sudden need for more. So I have pants, and a new book about soccer. We'll see if my newfound enthusiasm (stoked by rereading Nick Hornby's "Fever Pitch" again) will hold long enough to get me through the book. (It's big.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Game 118: Give me a break.....

Oh, by the by? I did hear "Hallelujah" before Watchmen-it was in Shrek, that time by Rufus Wainwright.


Anyhow, the Red Sox tried like hell to give this one away, giving up lead after lead, but in the end, they still pulled out a 10-9 win in Toronto. Josh Beckett was un Beckettsian, allowing 7 runs in 5 plus innings, while the shattered psyche of Danny Ocean allowed two more runs late.

But on the plus side of the ledger, the Big Man was in the house-David Ortiz rocked a 2 run double and a homer, and V Mart had two hits as well.

Toronto again tomorrow and Thursday , and then home to face the mighty Yanquis.

Texas is currently losing to the Twins. Assuming the Twins hang on, Boston will be back in a tie for the wild card spot.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bob Dylan-Hallelujah

Bob Dylan performing Leonard Cohen's masterful song "Hallelujah".

I am ashamed to admit I hadn't heard this song, I don't think, until I saw "Watchmen".

It's a gorgeous lyric, though.

Thanks to Jason Calacanis (@jasoncalacanis) for finding it.

Sometimes, you just have to hear it from the man hisownself

The President's op ed about health reform.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Game 117: If the season ended today.....

....a lot of people would be real surprised, because it's only Game 117.

But if the season did end today, the Boston Red Sox would be headed home, taking out the golf clubs and getting reacquainted with the wife instead of heading into October.

In something that has become like a mantra for this team, Boston got an ok pitching performance, this time from Junichi Tazawa, and could not capitalize on it, losing 4-3 to Texas and, in the process, surrendering the wild card lead.

Can this team go deep into the postseason with three positions (RF, SS, DH) as offensive dead zones and a fourth (catcher or first baseman, whereever Victor Martinez is not) that is nearly so?

I submit that it cannot.