Trade War

If a real war is waged with bullets and such, how does one conduct a trade war? Are soldiers supposed to throw money at each other or something?

That is what is currently going on between the US and China as I speak – and as I type this, the US stock market is considerably spooked.

Fortunately for me, I don’t have any money in the markets – although I imagine that if the “war” continues, there will be some sort of trickle-down effect should it go long enough.

Then maybe the Democrats will start saying that the President is colluding with the Chinese. On second thought, don’t give them that idea.

What A Day

Today (the 17th of December, 2014) is one of those days people are going to need a few days to digest before they take in all that happened.

Let’s start off with what’s going on with me.  Mentioned a couple of weeks ago that they were updating the cable, and while I wasn’t happy about it all, I figured it would be best if I volunteered to meet the change and not make it look like I was kicking and screaming about it.  It’s the most complex cable arrangement I have seen in my life, turning the 80 channel or so system we have into a 300+ channel monstrosity.  Still haven’t figured it all out yet, and it’s a bit of a shock because I’m not so used to being so technically challenged.

I’m just happy it came with the NFL Network, so I can watch the games Saturday.

We’re suddenly buddies with Cuba again, and who would have thought prior to today this was going to happen?  It’s one of those things that was probably going to happen soon no matter which party owned the White House, but with Russia economically reeling, I guess this was as good a time as any.

Then there’s that flap over the movie called “The Interview” that won’t be released now, thanks to Sony Entertainment getting hacked by, apparently, North Korea.  All this hullabaloo over a damn movie.  Really?  Movies are supposed to be art forms, right?  The leader of North Korea isn’t the first world poobah to be parodied, won’t be the last.  I wish the Sony people had stood up to the government, but they had to do what was best for business at the end of the day.

All I got for today…but wasn’t it enough for you?

German Renaissance

Congratulations to Germany on winning the World Cup yesterday after defeating Argentina 1-0.

As for the United States, they can say they played the world champs and only lost to them 1-0 back in the group stages. They again made the round of 16 before Belgium KO’d them 2-1 in extra time.

Germany deserved the Jules Rimet Trophy after shattering Brazil’s hopes in a 7-1 trashing in the semifinals in a rout that will be remembered for years to come. The finale with the Argentines was a very physical game. In fact, I remarked on Twitter that I’ve seen NFL games less physical than that game, and the soccer players don’t have benefit of pads and helmets!

I hope MLS paid attention to the interest in this country and in Canada to the “Beautiful Game” played on the grandest stage. I’d love to see them go to a double round robin without East and West Divisions like the European leagues do, and expand to around 50 teams. Maybe merge with some other minor leagues and give the biggest markets teams in a three-division system, again like the Euro leagues do. The best teams each year in the lower divisions move up and play with the bigger teams, while the teams that perform the worst get sent down to the lower tiers so that they can rebuild.

Until Russia in 2018, go Team USA!

Open Wide For Some Soccer!

The guy in the cartoons looks an awful lot like Hank Williams, Jr., no?
The guy in the cartoon (from the Simpsons) looks an awful lot like Hank Williams, Jr., no?

I’ve been a big fan of World Cup Soccer (or what the rest of the world calls football) since 1986, when ESPN first carried the event live from wire to wire. Needless to say, it’s gotten to be a much bigger event since then, especially with seven consecutive entries into the finals by the United States. Each time we do poorly seems to be followed by a time we (the US) do well.

You all know what happened yesterday. The US seems poised for an unthinkable qualification into the single-elimination round of 16 leading Portugal 2-1 in the waning moments. But Portugal got that goal on the final kick that kept their hopes alive with a 2-2 tie, and sent the Americans looking for a win or tie against Germany in the final game on Thursday.

Soccer is going to be a very big thing in this country before too long. I see the athletes being born now or recently gravitating to it once they figure out the dangers of the NFL. In fact, I predict the US will win the World Cup in 20 years, if not sooner. It’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of when.

As for the here and now, a win or a tie against Germany advances the US to the single-elimination phase. There are scenarios where even a loss to Germany by a goal advances them, depending on what happens in the Ghana/Portugal game. The experts will say that the Yanks have long odds against a sharp German squad.

But I say: it’s always the darkest before the dawn. The US team can still shock the world yet.