Tag Archives: london

News Roundup – London Fire, Bill Cosby, US Open

I’m still having some trouble understanding how a relatively modern apartment tower goes up in flames. Today, apartment complexes are supposed to be built so that the fire is contained. In the United States, modern buildings are supposed to have multiple fire suppression systems including sprinklers. It does not appear that this was the case in this building built in 1979. Initial estimates of five or 10 people who died appear to be completely wrong. Latest estimates put over 58 people dead. Now, it appears that the finger-pointing has started. The relief effort has been described as “absolute chaos”. This is bad.

A mistrial has been declared in the Bill Cosby assault case. I am sorry but I find this whole thing extremely sad. Bill Cosby was one of my heroes. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was rare to see a Black face on TV. The constant was Bill Cosby. He was playing an international spy or he was on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He was funny, thoughtful and always portrayed a black man who was positive. He developed a Saturday morning cartoon based on some of the characters in his stand up. Again, it was funny and positive. I think is pretty clear that Bill Cosby has done something wrong. When over 60 women over a 40 to 50 year period stand up and say similar stories, something is going on. In my opinion, my hero, Bill Cosby, is a serial rapist. It breaks my heart to say that.

Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for telling her boyfriend who was trying to kill himself to get in the truck which was filled with lethal carbon monoxide gas via cellphone.

On the other hand, Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found NOT guilty of second degree manslaughter after shooting an unarmed Black man, Philando Castile. His girlfriend streamed the aftermath on Facebook. I would just like to know when it is NOT okay to shoot a black man.

The final round of the U.S. Open begins in a couple of hours. As with any major sporting event, there is lots of discussion. Most of it is nonsense. Most the experts thought that Jason Day, Rory McIlroy or even Dustin Johnson would be contending for this US Open. They are all at home. Now, Brian Harman, who won earlier this year, Tommy Fleetwood, a European player who has never won in the US, Brooks Koepka, is one on those extremely long hitters who the pundits thought should win and win often and Justin Thomas, who shot a 63 yesterday, are all in contention. This should make for an interesting final round.

Sergio versus Tiger

Sergio Garcia

As many of you who follow my blog know, I picked up golf about three years ago. Prior to picking up a club, I called golf a stupid game which I really didn’t understand. Now that I’ve taken lessons and have played, it is still a stupid game which I really don’t understand, but I find enjoyable. 🙂 In golf, just like in many other sports, we look for something more. We look for something exciting. We look for something titillating. We couldn’t get enough of the Tiger Woods scandal. This brings me to two weeks ago at the Players Championship. Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia had words. Tiger Woods, who was some 50 yards away from Sergio, pulled a club out of his bag and that caused the gallery to gasp. This noise occurred right in the middle of Sergio’s backswing. The golf ball sliced to the left off into the woods (to be honest, that golf shot looked very similar to many of mine, except I don’t quite get that kind of distance). This simple incident caused the kind of petty back-and-forth that we regularly see in stupidly contrived reality shows like Survivor.

This brings us to the latest in the Tiger Woods/Sergio Garcia saga. Sergio Garcia was at a European tour awards dinner in London when he was asked by a reporter whether he would ever invite Tiger Woods over for dinner (I’m paraphrasing). Sergio Garcia said, “We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.” Fried chicken? Really? You do not have to be a linguistic expert to understand that this is a problem. Tiger Woods, who really has no love for Sergio Garcia and who has had more than his own share of media fiascoes, was happy to take the high road and watch Sergio cause his own implosion. Tiger Woods stated through his Twitter account, “The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate. I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made. The Players ended nearly two weeks ago and it’s long past time to move on and talk about golf.” Continue reading Sergio versus Tiger

Tuesday Afternoon News Roundup (Update)

  • On Sunday, Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry had a big prayer rally in Houston, Texas. The governor’s prayer rally drew somewhere around 30,000 people. Interestingly, just blocks away at the convention center in Houston, they were giving away free school supplies. How may people turned up for free school supplies? Over 100,000! School supplies as a rule aren’t that expensive. Yet with one fifth of Houston residents living below the poverty level, many are desperate.
  • Ongoing riots in London. On the good-bad scale this is bad. Very bad. Update:  No significant violence so far tonight in London. Manchester has had an outbreak. London residents aren’t happy. It seems that they asked for police protection and got nothing over the last 48 hours. Today such force seems to be too little, too late for residents who have lost their businesses to the senseless looting.
  • Stocks seem to be rebounding somewhat today but the analysis of S&P’s downgrade is still somewhat of a head scratcher. It appears that they downgraded U.S. Treasury bonds because of our political situation. Wall Street bought up U.S. Treasury bonds, in spite of the downgrade in huge numbers yesterday. It appeared to be the safest place to put your money. Also, if S&P’s downgrade was so “obvious” then why did Moody’s and Finch decide not to downgrade United States treasuries? Actually, Moody’s put out a long list of reasons why they did not downgrade the United States. I wonder if S&P has the ability to actually read these?
  • Michele Bachmann seems that you cannot let slavery go. Currently on her “recommended” reading list is a book which relates all the “good things” about slavery. Seriously!
  • We need jobs. The government’s sitting back and cutting everything will not create one job. It will not create an atmosphere that is indicative of getting jobs. Instead, the government needs to spend money. Spending money will put people back to work. If we can put hundreds of thousands of people back to work this will increase revenues and decrease the deficit. Everybody wins. Why is this so hard to understand?
  Favorable Unfavorable Never heard of No opinion
John Boehner 33% 40% 16% 11%
Nancy Pelosi 31% 51% 9% 9%
Mitch McConnell 21% 39% 27% 13%
Harry Reid 28% 39% 21% 12%
Democratic Party 47% 47%   6%
Republican Party 33% 59% 1% 7%
The Tea Party Movement 31% 51% 5% 13%
I still find it hard to believe that 31% of Americans really approve of the tea party.
  • Update: Probably, the most important political development over the last 12 months has been Wisconsin. Today the voters go to the polls in recall elections of six Republicans. So far, there have been no significant reported problems. This is the way democracy is supposed to work. You thwart the will of the people, the people rise up, organize and boot you out of office. Go Wisconsin!
  • Stocks have rebounded on Wall Street. Those who have called for President Obama to step down because there is no confidence in the market will have a hard time explaining today’s rebound, since Barack Obama still in office.
  • The Fed has signaled that they’re going to keep the short-term interest rate near zero. This appears to be a move to help stimulate growth and job creation.
  • Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty shows that he knows nothing about monetary policy or that he’s being deliberately deceptive to his listeners. Either scenario is equally dangerous. Republicans and conservatives like to use the analogy of the federal government being just like your household. The federal government is not like my household or yours. Currently, even with our questionable credit rating, the US government has the ability to borrow almost unlimited amounts of money. Which one of us has the ability to borrow unlimited amounts of money? Not me.