Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

So, How was Your Sports Weekend?

Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

By Bob Gaydos

Aaron Rodgers’ Jets season, and maybe his career, end after four snaps in the Meadowlands.

Aaron Rodgers’ Jets season, and maybe his career, end after four snaps in the Meadowlands.

   “What fools we sports fans be.”*

    Sports (is/are) often looked upon as a microcosm of life, offering highs, lows, stirring victories, deflating defeats, rewards, failures, memories and might-have-beens, despair and, seemingly always, hope and, as a town that prides itself on providing something for everyone, New York delivered in spades for sports fans on all of that in the past few days with the (1.) incredible situation in which New York Jets fans, whose team won its opening game on a 65-yard punt return TD in overtime, possibly feel worse than New York Giants fans, whose team (2.) was embarrassed on the same field the day before, losing to the hated Dallas Cowboys, 40-0, because (3.) the Jets lost their new future Hall of Fame quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, after just four snaps when he went down with a torn left Achilles tendon (the Greeks knew drama, too), and is out for the season and, at 38, maybe for good, meaning all that money and preseason time spent training the team to play the way Rodgers plays may have been wasted, or (4.) maybe not, since the Jets former starting quarterback, Zach Wilson took over and played well enough to win and the defense stymied the vaunted but sloppy Buffalo Bills offense, all of which took the spotlight off (5.) 19-year-old local girl Coco Gauff winning the U.S. Open tennis championship at Forest Hills, joining Serena Williams and Tracy Austin as the only American teenagers to win the tournament, a feat she (6.) immediately gave thanks for by dropping to her knees in prayer, which apparently confused some people, but not as much as the news that (7.) the New York Yankees’ potential new centerfielder (and former Hudson Valley Renegade), rookie Jasson (The Martian) Dominguez, a 20-year-old sensation who has been hitting home runs with astonishing regularity since joining the team a short while ago, has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that will (8.) require surgery, ending his 2023 season and likely costing him the first half of 2024, this being (9.) only the latest in a season of mysterious injuries to key Yankees players, (10.) raising questions (at least here) about the capabilities of the team’s training regimen, something that was never in doubt concerning (11.) Deion Sanders, a former Yankees top draft pick, who played 14 years in the NFL and nine years in Major League Baseball, including a day in which he played an NFL game in between two baseball playoff games, who earned the nickname Neon Deion for his flashiness and thus had lots of doubters when he said he would (12.) take over and coach the unheralded University of Colorado football team into a winner, then proceeded to (13.) lead them to stunning wins over TCU and Nebraska in the first two weeks of the season (14.) with his son, Shadeur, starring at quarterback (talk about good genes) and stirring thoughts about winning combinations and fond memories of former champions, such as (15.) the cast assembled in the Bronx for Old Timers Day, which featured the “Core Four” of the Yankees’ 1998 World Series champions: Andy Pettite, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Derek ! Jeter, incredibly now an oldtimer, who got his 3,000th hit on a long ago Old Timers Day, back in the town that on this weekend truly had something to offer every sports fan.

     “All the world’s a stage,  And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances …”**

(PS: The Mets were out of town and lost a game, but hired a new head of baseball operations.)

(PPS: Just to top it all off, the day after Old Timers Day, the Yankees were held hitless by the Milwaukee Brewers for 11 innings, got a game-tying two-run home run by Giancarlo Stanton in the 12th and a walkoff double by Kyle Higashioka to win in the 13th. But hardly anybody noticed.)

*Slightly edited Shakespeare.

**Real Shakespeare.

Streaming Indictments with Jack Smith

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

By Bob Gaydos

Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Special Counsel Jack Smith.

  The first season of Jack Smith saves democracy finally started steaming into our consciousness in Washington, D.C., this week as the special counsel (1.) leveled three federal counts against Donald Trump for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, a coup, in effect, to which the now thrice-indicted defendant’s lawyers (2.) kept arguing that free speech gave Trump the right to lie about losing the election, which Smith never denied or charged him with and which (3.) former Vice President Mike Pence suddenly realized he always had a right to when he said (out loud and in public) that Trump asked him to reject the votes of the legitimate electors on Jan. 6, which apparently (4.) prompted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 has been a disaster, to also forget the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil GOP mantra and say, “Of course he lost the election,” when asked about Trump and 2020, even as (5.) other Republicans stuck to the script and plotted with the “conservative” Heritage Foundation to devise a “battle plan” for the first 180 days of a Republican presidency in 2025, including a strategy that would negate current efforts to slow global warming by eliminating regulations to curb greenhouse gas pollution from cars, oil and gas wells and power plants, dismantling most clean energy programs in the federal government and increasing the production of fossil fuels, even as (6.) the planet suffers through the hottest year on record, which, no one is admitting but seems at least plausible, (7.) could have contributed to flight controllers at NASA’s Cape Canaveral losing track of the Voyager 2 spacecraft for several weeks because they were, in effect, looking in the wrong place, which (8.) is what President Biden told Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who has been lobbying to move the new Space Force headquarters from Colorado, where the Air Force Academy is located and recreational pot is legal, to Alabama, where anything Republicans don’t like (abortion, LGBTQ rights, voting rights …) is illegal or tough to come by, when Biden rejected an order by Trump, who created the new military force, to locate it in Alabama, thereby also (9.) sending Tuberville a nasty message for his one-man crusade of putting a hold on hundreds of top Defense Department promotions, which has resulted for the first time in (10.)the Marines and Army both operating with acting commanders and the Joint Chiefs being short-changed, all because (11.) one man objects to a Pentagon plan to provide transportation to service members needing to go to another state for an abortion, a sensible plan in the same vein as (12.) a new Pentagon policy that places control over military sexual assault cases in the hands of a team of independent prosecutors, rather than base commanders, thereby eliminating coverups and favoritism, a policy which came in response to numerous complaints from female service members which led to (13.) legislation creating the new policy, which was spearheaded by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and which Biden signed into law, displaying a concern for the health and well-being of Americans in uniform that (14.) was seriously lacking in the case of Anthony Rizzo, who gets paid millions of dollars to put on the uniform for the New York Yankees, and was apparently allowed to play (poorly as it turned out) for two months while suffering from post-concussive syndrome and also sharing a locker room with Domingo German, who (15.), only four weeks after pitching a perfect game, proceeded to trash the Yankee clubhouse, fight with teammates, get suspended for the season and sent to alcohol rehab, which (16.) gives a whole new level of meaning to the concept of functioning alcoholic and is topped for a New York headline only by (17.) the crosstown Mets trading away Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander, their two aging super aces, whom they’re paying tens of millions of dollars to apparently try to win the pennant for two different teams in Texas, (18.) and that’s why reading the sports pages first thing in the morning isn’t as much fun as it used to be, aside from the fact (19.) in the current stream of things, you can’t find them anymore, but then, (20.) there’s always Jack Smith, Season 1, episode 1.

      Binge.

rjgaydos@gmail.com

 

Killers are Made as Well as Born

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

James Holmes, charged in Colorado mass shooting

By Gretchen Gibbs

David Brooks slays me. There’s so much that’s right about the New York Times columnist, and I want to be able to say, “I like some Republicans, for instance David Brooks.” But then in the midst of saying something interesting, he gets it all wrong.

Like his July 23 comment on the latest Colorado massacre, in which he said that we need more treatment programs to deal with the potentially violent. As a psychologist, I applaud any call to increase the number of treatment programs for the emotionally troubled. Let’s ignore for the moment that the mental health profession is not adept at either identifying potential violence or treating it. What I want to address is the thrust of his essay, the need for psychological approaches, not sociological critiques, to address violence. There’s the rub. Psychological factors operate within a social context and we ignore that at our peril.

All forms of mental disorder vary according to cultural norms. For instance, the percentage of individuals with eating disorders exploded in the 1970s as the approved image for women became thinner. Self-cutting and other self-mutilation became a serious clinical problem only in the last 15 years or so, along with the acceptability of body piercings and tattooing.

It’s hard to know what the factors are that contribute to our culture of mass violence, other than the notoriety that the perpetrators attain. Shooting a lot of people is a sure-fire way of attaining attention for individuals who feel they are not receiving their just desserts. There’s a copy-cat aspect, as when a teen commits suicide and then others who hear about it also make attempts. Perhaps restricting the amount of publicity the killer receives would be a good plan. Let’s focus on the victims.

Gun control plays some role, as it’s clear that having assault weapons available leads to a higher degree of potential havoc when somebody has a violent outburst.  Michael Moore explored the topic in a film, using the previous Colorado massacre, and concluded it wasn’t the guns per se, as Canada has similar gun availability yet much lower levels of violence than in the U.S.  Moore concluded that it was a culture of fear and distrust in the U.S. that led to so much violence.

We need to figure out what the factors are and address them, not just act as though a mass killer is some deviant human being in isolation from society. I see David Brooks’ attitude as part of a larger picture in which cultural factors are ignored in attempting to understand emotional problems.

The American Psychiatric Association is about to come out with a new version of its diagnostic manual. Lest you think this boring, remember that your insurance will only pay for psychological treatment for diagnoses that exist within this manual. For instance, if you have a marital problem, you’ll have a devil of a time getting your treatment paid for, as there are no diagnoses for marriage difficulties.

The premise used by the APA in this new version is that mental illness is an actual biological illness, to be treated medically. Seventy percent of the committee working on the revision of the manual has ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Some of their revisions seem an attempt to broaden drug treatment. For instance, at the present time there is a distinction in the manual between depression and experiencing grief after a loss. This distinction was going to be eliminated, meaning that normal reactions to a death or other tragedy would be labeled as illness, and millions of ordinary people would receive unnecessary prescriptions, with sometimes serious side effects.

Grief is painful, but it’s different from depression, and drugs are not the answer. After much criticism, the manual will retain the distinction between depression and grief. The committee, however, has not responded to the extensive criticism it has received from over 50 mental health organizations and 11,000 clinicians, including me, protesting the exclusively medical orientation.

What’s happened to the last 60 years of discoveries from psychology, sociology and anthropology?  Has everybody forgotten we’re products of our environment?

gretchen@zestoforange.com