Local Stories, Events
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Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
ON THE SOAPBOX:
Socking it to Soccer
Monday, 12 July 2010
I watched the Cup final—and parts of many of the games that led up to it—because I really wanted to understand why the world found it so exciting.
The 2010 World Cup has just ended. As you all know by now, Spain won with, admittedly, a very nice kick into the net in the last three minutes of overtime play. Thousands of people were cheering and crying and dancing and hugging. They obviously found it very exciting and moving.
I watched the Cup final—and parts of many of the games that led up to it—because I really wanted to understand why the world found it so exciting. In the past, I had always said I found soccer a bore; but I wasn’t really being truthful.
I was like one of those people who say they hate broccoli, when, in fact, they’ve never even tried it. I had never played soccer, and the only soccer I’d ever actually watched was a match or two between 10-year-olds. I felt it was time, in fairness to those who love the game—which includes some of my friends and relatives—that I gave it a go.
So, I watched.
I found Germany rather exciting to watch, as they seemed to have a real game plan. They were always going for the goal, and made 4 in the game I watched. But in most of the other games, including the Cup final, the play seemed extremely random—a cross between the schoolyard games of Monkey in the Middle and Keep Away.
Too often, one team would take the ball and fling it down to the other end of the field, dead into the “arms” of the other team. Or, two players would be hanging back, passing the ball between them over 20 feet of open space! And what was the other team doing? Watching.
If I’d been the other team, I would have been running in and getting that ball and kicking it toward the goal. Instead of playing the ball, they played a one-on-one defense strategy, racking up multiple penalties, when just a little bit of offensive play on the ball would have done the trick.
My daughter was in London once during some kind of soccer championship, and she told me that she had asked a British native, “Why do you all love soccer?” The woman had replied that she felt soccer fans liked soccer because it was difficult. She accused Americans of only liking games that are easy. She felt American football, basketball, baseball were easy to play because the scores were often high.
As my daughter told me this, I wondered if this woman would have found a no-hitter exciting. I know I don’t. And, perhaps, this is the other reason why I was not all that enthralled by the World Cup matches.
What is the point of playing this game if you’re not to be able to make a goal?
Not only did the play seem to be random and not well thought out, but, when someone did finally get into goal shooting range, 9 out of 10 times they missed. Way high, over the goal; to the right, to the left, to the outside of the net. They seemed unskilled. What is the point of playing this game if you’re not to be able to make a goal? Heaven knows that if an American football team missed scoring 9 of 10 times they were in scoring range, they’d be in last place, not playing for a World Cup.
My opinion of soccer was changed, however, by watching the World Cup. I can now honestly say that I was bored by soccer only most of the time; the rest of the time, I was just angry and frustrated by the seeming ineptitude of these supposedly World-Cup-level players.
The world may love the game the way it is, but I simply don’t. Give me the NFL, where each team has a plan, and plays are structured and the team is always headed for the goal line, where, once approached—at least one of two times—a score is made. Or baseball, with plenty of runs and hits. Or basketball, with a 3-point shot at the buzzer from mid-court!
That British lady my daughter talked to in London would probably say that I simply don’t understand; and she would be right. I don’t. I don’t get it.
I want a game in which something actually happens over the two and half hours of my life I give to it. And soccer is not that game.
Lynda Lambert, a college English instructor, writes from Baltimore.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on July 12, 2010.