It must feel unusually powerless for the powerful — silly and meaningless, even — to wear the words “How many more” or “Listen to us” on the back of your jersey while another Black man takes seven bullets to his own back. Police brutality isn’t worse than it has been; it is just televised more often. The system isn’t actually broken; it works as intended and a little too well (police forces didn’t even exist in the South until they were created to prevent slave revolt and chase down runaways). Black men are killed and incarcerated at a disproportionate rate in America, which is why Clippers coach Doc Rivers gives voice to the heartbreak when he wonders why the country Black people love can’t just love them back. What the hell is controversial about requesting equality?
It’s Monday August 17th, and there are four NBA playoff games on starting at 1:30PM Eastern. One of the many things that just a few months ago did not seem possible. The NBA and NHL have both done a good job with their bubble setups, and it has provided hours of entertainment in a time when people still should be staying home when they can. While some people believe that sports being back is a reward for a society that has handled COVID (something the US has not), I have a different take. Constant sports on TV might just help keep a few more morons busy enough so they don’t mind staying inside instead of heading out without their mask to yell at others for trying to be responsible.
Now on to the playoffs. In the East I like the Raptors coming out. The Bucks were head and shoulders the best team in the NBA during the regular season, but I have them losing to Miami in the second round. The Bucks going cheap and letting Brogdon walk last summer finally catches up to them as I don’t trust Bledsoe as the go to ball handler. Toronto has the best coach in the NBA and they have created a roster of interchangeable parts that does not miss a beat no matter who is on the court. They are also fun to watch, as they play a refreshing style of basketball. Two small guys who can handle in the backcourt, an entire front court of players that can play any of the 3/4/5, and a big enough rotation that allows them to play pressure defense for 48 minutes without getting tired are the reasons Toronto once again wins the east.
Now lets go out west. The Rockets are fun, OKC is fun, Denver is fun, but something is clear. After all the smoke clears there are two teams head and shoulders above the rest. Those would be the two teams that play in LA. LeBron and Anthony Davis are the best duo in the NBA right now, but I am not confident in the roster around them. During the season the Lakers have tried to remake the roster including making moves during the long layoff, but they still have a few square pegs that need to fit in round holes. The Clippers on the other hand are deep. Kawhi and George are a great duo to start with, but like the Raptors in the east they can come at you in waves and most importantly the depth will allow them to lock down the defensive side of the floor. The difference on defense is why I like the Clippers to take down the Lakers to win the west.
A few months from now Kawhi will get his third ring on his third team. The Clippers having the best two players on the court will just be too much for the Raptors.
After correctly picking the Nationals to win the World Series last year, it’s time for my all important 2020 projections.
*I had to edit this post the day after posting as baseball changed the rules around who makes the post season! Now the top two teams in each division get in while keeping the next two as Wild Cards. My picks to win it all did not change.
NL East: Phillies/Braves
NL Central: Cubs/Cardinals
NL West: Dodgers/Padres
Wild Card 1: Mets
Wild Card 2: Diamondbacks
AL East: Yankees/Rays
AL Central: Twins/White Sox
AL West: Astros/Angels
Wild Card 1: Rangers
Wild Card 2: Blue Jays
AL Champs: Rays
NL Champs: Dodgers
World Series Champions: Dodgers
Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off.
Monica and I decided to do some more biking around NYC this weekend. With all activities rightly pushed outside during COVID, we are making the best of it. We started again in Midtown, went down to the Battery for some coffee, and then back up the Hudson for an outdoor breakfast on the Upper West Side. Then we went around Central Park before heading to the East Side. Next it was over the 59th Street Bridge into Queens! There we checked out a very cool place called Anable Basin Sailing Bar and Restaurant for a beer and a bite in Long Island City. Finally it was on to Brooklyn via the Pulaski Bridge where we finished the ride!
With all indoor activities still closed, Monica and I took off on a 4 borough bike ride. Started in midtown Manhattan and went down to Tribeca before heading to the Lower East Side for breakfast. From there we crossed the Williamsburg Bridge and went for coffee in Greenpoint. Over the Pulaski Bridge into Queens and then the 59th Street Bridge (this will always be the name) back into Manhattan. Headed north for lunch in the Upper East Side. Outdoor dining is back and an Irish pub was the perfect stop. Next we kept heading north and crossed the pedestrian bridge onto Randalls and Wards Islands before heading into the Bronx via the Triborough Bridge (again this will always be the name). Our final destination was the Bronx Brewery which has a backyard open.
This will be the first time in the 36-year history of the Mac that Apple-designed processors will power these machines. It has changed chips only two other times. In the early 1990s, Apple switched from Motorola processors to PowerPC. At WWDC in 2005, Steve Jobs announced a move from PowerPC to Intel, and Apple rolled out those first Intel-based Macs in January 2006. Like it did then, the company plans to eventually transition the entire Mac lineup to its Arm-based processors, including the priciest desktop computers, the people said.
Apple has had the best processors for consumer facing products for years, so this is a long time coming. There will be some issues, and one that came to mind was running Windows in a virtualized space or Bootcamp. However, the need most had to run Windows is lessening as more and more and services have moved some their offerings to the cloud while being accessible in the browser. There will always be outliers on the margins, but any pressure on Intel is a good thing at this point.
That argument can be dismantled in a nanosecond. Should the denialist views of, say, Alex Jones of Infowars on the Sandy Hook massacre be given a prestigious platform, too? But Cotton is a prominent political figure, you say? By that logic, the lies of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway should be welcomed on news-discussion shows daily because she’s close to the president.
Perhaps a more useful way to think about many of these tough issues is to consider the role of journalism in democratic society: to dig out and present the information that helps citizens hold their elected officials accountable.
What if we framed coverage with this question at the forefront: What journalism best serves the real interests of American citizens?