Friday, December 31, 2021

12-31-2021 - College Football, Covid19 Testing and Getting the DOJ and a Grand Jury Involved in the January 6 Insurrection

DOJ and a Grand Jury Needed

Professor Heather Cox Richardson recently pointed out in her blog, “Letters From an American,” that "Since the 1990s, Republicans have used violence and the news coverage it gets to gain through pressure what they could not gain through votes."

Democrats should have gotten the message in 2000 when Roger Stone (later a convicted and pardoned criminal) engineered the theft of Florida's electoral votes. They didn't, and still don't get it that Republicans don't play by the rules. For the sake of democracy, Democrats still do. They should start playing hardball by turning the whole investigation of what happened on January 6, 2021, over to the Department of Justice and a grand jury to speed criminal indictments where justified.

Attorney-General Garland

Why? Democrats will still control the DOJ until 2024, but they may lose the House (and the Select Committee investigating Jan. 6) in about ten months. A Congressional committee is not the best venue in which to bring about justice in regard to the possible traitors like Bannon, Navarro and ultimately, the former president. Such committees "investigate" with the aim of developing legislation, not bringing criminals to justice. The whole investigation must be moved to the DOJ quickly and that grand jury must be impaneled.


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Saving College Football and Some Dreaming

To keep college football from turning into little more than a farm system for the NFL, the first step must be to close the “transfer portal” which enables student-athletes to switch colleges with minimal, if any, waiting periods before they can play for their new school.  Any recipient of an athletic scholarship, or educational funding from any source supporting that college, must commit to staying there for at least four years and not playing football for any other school to which he transfers for any reason whatsoever or attends thereafter for graduate studies.

The NFL, in addition to looking to colleges for promising talent, should organize and subsidize semi-professional leagues with teams composed of talented former high school football players who would rather be paid to play immediately instead of enrolling in a college in order to continue playing football.  College players who give up their scholarships would be able to transfer to such semi-professional leagues, as would players after having attended a college for four years with an athletic scholarship.  Players in such semi-professional leagues, however, would not be eligible to play football if they later decide to enroll in a college.

Ideally, college football should be a sport in which college students compete with students from other colleges, with whoever wants to watch them play sitting in a venue enjoying the game.  It should not be a million-dollar business throughout the country, with coaches sometimes paid more than college presidents.  One side effect of this is the predominance of immigrant students, and children of immigrants, among our top academic achievers.  They, like the rest of the world’s students, don’t give a damn about competitive college sports … and it is showing up in our scientific and engineering communities where who wins the Toilet Bowl game this year doesn’t have any significance whatsoever.  

And while I'm on a football kick, let me complain about another thing besides the 'transfer portal' which is killing the sport, and this even extends to the NFL.  It's about tackling and fumbling.  The purpose of a tackle is to stop a runner from running or to stop a passer from passing.  A fumble is when for one reason or another, a runner or passer (or even a punter) loses control of the ball and drops it resulting in a pile-up to see who recovered it. The problem arises when the defending team loses sight of what tackling is all about. It seems that there is just as much emphasis on dislodging the ball as there is in stopping the runner or passer.  To me, it borders on playing 'dirty' and is more like street fighting than a competitive sport.  Striking at the ball instead of trying to stop the ball carrier or passer is worth a fifteen yard penalty in my book.  (They did it with head-butting with the steel-hard plastic of the helmet, intended as a protective device, not a weapon.  They call that 'targetting.')  But this is more 'dreaming' too, isn't it.


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Covid19 Testing

Covid19 isnt't going away so fast.

From a layman’s viewpoint, it appears to me that the increase in the number of the nation’s Covid19 “cases” is the result of an increased number of symptom-free people being tested and found to be infected.  Without such testing, they would not have been counted as a “case” and we wouldn’t be seeing such a big increase. 

From testing’s positivity rate, it would appear that in some parts of the country, at least 20% of the population (based on Florida's statistics), whether they know it or not, have been infected by the coronavirus.  All of them are contagious for a while, capable of spreading the virus to others, including the vaccinated to some extent.  

Those testing positive, after a brief quarantine period, (five days is the latest CDC recommendation) should observe social distancing, avoid crowded public places, wear a mask and schedule a future test.  Those untested should do the same, on the chance that they would be among that 20% which would have tested positive if they had been tested. 

Testing negatively should not be taken as a license to return to pre-pandemic behavior patterns, making one vulnerable to infection. Those politicians who oppose local and business masking mandates are allies of Covid19 and should be shunned and voted out of office.  They are contemptible.


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