Sunday, January 31, 2016

Will the polls hold up?

It will be interesting to see if the actual votes reflect the polls. Caucuses aren't really voting in elections, but the result of an hours long process. So they probably only attract the passionately committed. That aside, it could well be that it is one thing for those enraged at Wall Street or those enraged at immigrants to tell a pollster that they support Sanders or Trump, but it may be quite different to actually cast a vote for them. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Another brain damaged football player autopsied - only 25 years old

The terrible parade of brain autopsies of football players suffering from brain damage continues unabated.  Here is a 25 year old man, Michael Keck, who died of heart failure but wanted his brain autopsied upon his death because he was experiencing the terrible symptoms of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) The suspicions of his wife and him were correct.  This man hadn’t even played in the NFL but his football career from the time he was 6 through college was certainly enough to permanently damage his brain. 

This disease can only be diagnosed after death, and Michael Keck is the youngest victim discovered so far.  His early coronary death made the autopsy possible.  He quit the game in the midst of his college career because he could feel his mind going out on him.

Sorry to be a spoilsport, but personally I can no longer enjoy watching football, all I see is brain damage and the shortened and agonizing lives of very large percentages of the players.  Such a shame, a beautiful sport is too deadly to play.  Parents will start to keep their sons off the field, I believe. I hope.

We have always known that football players were walking wounded – joints, bones, muscles, organs all damaged – but now it appears that many are also the walking brain damaged.

Savage sport. Too savage to watch - or to play.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Are Saudi Arabia and Iran going to openly go to war with each other?

I have been writing for some time that the wars in the Middle East are fundamentally religious wars between the Sunni and the Shia. These wars have been going on for centuries and are exploding in today's world, maybe now most of all because America decided to invade Iraq after 9/11/2001 - a very poor decision that took out the Sunni leadership of Saddam Hussein which has been replaced by an Iranian proxy Shiite government.  This has given rise to the Sunni ISIS which is taking on both Iraq and Syria. All America did was dis-empower the Sunnis and empower the Shiites.  Why? The region has become unstable and the fighting just gets worse amongst them.

The wars raging since the American invasion of Iraq have been largely proxy wars between Iran and Saudi Arabia.  The sponsor of the Shiite fighters is Iran, and the sponsor of the Sunni fighters is Saudi Arabia. Iran is supporting the Shiites, and the Saudis are supporting the Sunnis in the multiple wars going on in the tragedy of the Middle East.  ISIS is the rising of the Sunnis against the Shiite government brutalities in Syria and Iraq. But they are so vile even Saudi Arabia is afraid of them.

But, maybe now the proxy wars are going to morph into open warfare between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia just executed a Shia cleric named Nimr Baqr al-Nimr.  I don't know why they did it, but Iran did not react well to that religious attack on the Shia. I think that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sudan, and United Arab Emerites have either cut off diplomatic relations or withdrawn their ambassadors.  Saudi Arabia cut off air-flights to Iran.  Things seem to be escalating.

I don't really know which Middle Eastern countries are Sunni and which are Shiite, and don't really care all that much, except that I guess we're going to be taught about this as the Middle Eastern nations take sides as Saudi Arabia and Iran more overtly go after each other. The Kurds are in there fighting for their own territories as well, of course.  Actually, I think that most of the Middle Eastern countries are a mix of Sunni and Shia, maybe they need this war to redraw the countries so that there are clear cut Sunni countries and clear cut Shiite countries.  But, everyone wants to live where they are born, and I guess they all want to kick out what they consider to be infidels from "their" country.  

This is going to take generations. It would be nice if America could be an honest broker to help sort out negotiated peace and re-balancing of forces.  But, of course, we are seen as infidels ourselves and rejected by the fundamentalist fanatics on both sides.  So, there is no one to step in the help that process proceed without these most barbaric middle ages style slaughters.

By the way, I don't see these horrible wars as having all that much to do with either Israel, America, or Europe.  We are targets of hatred, but the heart of the matter seems to me to be Shiites and Sunnis going after each other to take over the religion and the Islamic world.

Blood blood blood. We need some miracles here.