Again, St. Louis?

There are conflicting reports as to whether the victim was armed or not, but a white cop has once again shot a black kid in the St. Louis area, near the town of Ferguson where Michael Brown was killed a month or two ago.

The cops’ version of the incident has the kid as a fugitive who jumped the cop from some bushes after being chased. The witnesses’ version has him as a bystander who happened along the scene of a chase already going on.

Either way, the African-American citizens of St. Louis are angry. It seems like the cops have declared open season on black teenagers in that city and its suburbs.

Again with a loss to the Cardinals

For the second year in a row the Dodgers were knocked out of the postseason by the Cardinals, and for the second year in a row it was Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ all-world pitcher who went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA during the season, who lost the final game.

The St. Louis team is rapidly approaching my level of peak dislike, previously held by the Giants of both New York and San Francisco vintage.

Fluoride!

Hawai’i doesn’t fluoridate its water, mostly because people think its the best water in the world and don’t want it messed with. I think that’s foolish, but I’m no policy-maker.

What this means, though, is that the policy maker at my periodontist has decided that when a patient comes in for a cleaning his teeth get painted with Butler White Fluoride Varnish right before he gets out of the chair.

One of the product claims is this: “Thin and easy to apply, feels smooth on the teeth.” Ha! My teeth feel like they’ve got gunk smeared all over them, and I can’t brush it off for 4-6 hours after its application. And it’s ugly, too. Hopefully it works.

Tigers gone, Angels going

The Tigers’ bullpen was terrible this postseason, and that’s why they’re done after being swept in three games by the Orioles. You’d think a team with starters named Scherzer, Verlander and Price would have been able to win several games, but those guys turned out to be mortal, and the Tigers had to call on relief pitchers, none of whom were very good.

The Angels are down 8-2 to the Royals and have used 8 pitchers to this point in an attempt to slow the Kansas City team down. Barring some huge meltdown by the Royals’ bullpen and an offensive explosion by the Angels’ bats, they’re about to be swept by a team which hasn’t even been to the playoffs since 1985.

Ouch for one team, hooray for another

The Nationals lost to the Giants in 18 innings tonight, in a game which lasted more than six hours. Giving up a home run in the top of the 18th and being unable to match it in the bottom of the inning was bad enough, but possibly giving the game away much earlier in the top of the 9th was worse. Jordan Zimmermann, who had retired 20 straight hitters before walking a guy with two out in the 9th, was pulled. In came a closer who’s had some bad history in the playoffs, giving up four runs in a Game Five deciding game in 2012. He promptly surrendered a double and a single and the game was tied. Nine more innings were required to determine who the winner would be.

Now the Nats are down 0-2 to the Giants and have to fly to San Francisco to try to win two games in a row there before coming back to DC and clinching. It is not going to be easy.

In the second game the Dodgers almost did the same thing. Their pitcher, Zack Greinke, went seven very strong innings (and got two hits in three at bats and scored a run as well), giving up only two hits and leaving with a 2-0 lead. His replacement, J.P. Howell, promptly gave up a single to the first guy he faced and a tying home run to the next guy.

Fortunately for all Dodgers fans everywhere, their rightfielder Matt Kemp led off the bottom of the 8th with a home run into the left field seats to retake the lead 3-2 and their closer made it stand up in the 9th.

As usual, FIFA sucks

What is it about the international football association that makes it think it’s more infallible than the Pope? The Women’s 2015 World Cup is to be played in Canada, and right now it’s scheduled to be played entirely on artificial turf.

The top women in the world object to this, saying the turf causes injuries that grass fields don’t, and that if this were the Men’s World Cup there wouldn’t even be a discussion about playing on turf. So they’ve sued FIFA, alleging gender discrimination.

What’s history say?

The World Cup finals for men and women, contested every four years, have always been played on natural grass.

What’s FIFA say?

Tatjana Haenni, FIFA’s deputy director of the competitions and head of women’s competitions, told reporters after a tour of one of the stadiums that there is no Plan B and the tournament will go ahead as planned and be played on artificial turf.

“No plans to change that decision,” said Haenni. “I can’t answer if that is fair but that is the way it is going to be.

“It is according to the competition regulations, it is according to laws of the game so all matches will be on artificial turf.”

I’m on the side of the women here. I’m pretty sure there are grass venues available throughout Canada.

You’d think FIFA would be anxious to avoid this uproar right now, since it’s already dealing with allegations of corruption in regard to the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. In fact, that report is apparently now in the hands of FIFA’s President, Sepp Blatter. There have been calls from members of FIFA’s own governing body to make the report public, but Blatter has so far refused.

Blatter said that the report, carried out by Michael Garcia, the head of the investigatory arm of Fifa’s ethics committee, will not be made public because no one on the Fifa executive committee had asked for it to be published, despite contradictory pronouncements from several members of the committee in previous weeks.

In the midst of all this Mr. Blatter has also stated that he plans to run for a fifth term as President of world football (soccer). At age 78, if it were me and I had all this in my face, I’d retire with my millions, I think.

Irony abounds

I am bitterly amused that the Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee tried very hard to show how concerned they were about the personal safety of this President and his family while grilling the Secret Service Director today.

I say bitterly amused because we all know that Darrell Issa (the Chairman of the Committee) has invested thousands of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of hours trying to make the case that that same President is incompetent and not worthy of the job, whether investigating Fast and Furious gun schemes which actually started under President Bush or trying to find something (anything!) to show the President and his Secretary of State were guilty of malfeasance or misfeasance in the Benghazi! affair.

Ah, but today, Issa and his crowd were oh-so-concerned for the well-being of President and Mrs. Obama and their two daughters.

Gag me with a spoon.

Boids!


From Events

These are Java Sparrows. I got a new feeder to replace the old rotting one a couple of weeks ago, and they took an hour or two to get accustomed to it. Now they’re happy because more of them can fit on the rail than could on the old one. The picture was taken through glass, which partly explains its fuzziness.

Dumb and dumber

Dear Bayer Back and Body:

Did you design your current commercial to imply the average male airline passenger is a completely unintelligent idiot, or was that just happenstance?

I mean, here’s a guy who is supposed to be a middle-aged American who’s asking the flight attendant on an international flight to Asia (his stupid pictograms have what look to be Korean characters below the illustration) if she has anything for his back pain. In perfect English she offers him Bayer Back and Body. That’s all right as far as it goes, but: he obviously thinks that Bayer aspirin is only for heart attacks and tells her (as though she were an idiot herself) that he’s not having one, that he’s got a sore back.

What middle-aged American wasn’t introduced to Bayer aspirin as a headache and mild pain reliever long before the medicos determined we should take it to preclude heart trouble? There can’t be any such dummies in the entire country!