A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe 

Let’s take a closer look …

Date: January 6, 2021 

This month’s topic:  

Hello 2022 … how is it different than 2021? 

 2020’s #NYE thought: “Wow, if we can just get to 2021, all will be fine!”  And then, chaos on Capitol Hill. This, followed by the Delta variant incurring its wrath. Now it’s Omicron. “Wow, if we can just get to 2022, all will be just fine!” Well, what the h*ll are we supposed to do NOW?! 

Last fall, others simply fretted over whether they would be able to exchange gifts over the holidays. Remember the shipping container fiasco? Will that holiday gift arrive on time? If so, when and how much more will it cost? Should I go onto Amazon.com like almost everyone else who used to shop in the brick-and-mortar retail stores? We better hope and pray these guys never need a government bailout!  

Now, we’re in 2022 (exhale)  

Factoid: we just tallied over 1 million new U.S. infections in one day earlier this week. Some Americans are having to wait in line for hours for COVID tests or pay up to $75 per testing kit at a local pharmacy. All this simply to determine whether or not they can return to work or send their kid(s) back to school for the new year. Worse yet, it looks like the few checks sent last year for childcare are instead being diverted to pay for overpriced groceries, gasoline, school supplies, medications – just to name a few.  

 So, with all this, one would think 2022 would bring about a “fix” for our problems. Well, with just a few days into the new year it doesn’t seem so, does it? Interest rate hikes are looming (and expected to rise beginning EOQ1 2022), gas prices are forecasted to hit $4.00/gallon (or more) in many states, which translates to practically $6.00/ gallon in some spots like California.  Home prices are skyrocketing still, but let’s face it: who can really afford to move anywhere “cheaper” in the country? 

Any ideas? 

See you next month (at the gas station) 

-A.N. 

A Closer Look 👁👁

👁👁with Anthony Newcombe 👁👁

Let’s take a closer look …

Happy Holidays ALL!!

This month’s topic: Required Tests for Congress Members

We’re going to end this year with a BANG!! Let’s just call it like it is: we need to require all candidates who run for all congressional seats and judicial appointments to pass a test that ensures they are: qualified, sane, interested, and able to perform all of the necessary duties of the job. We don’t have this in place at the time this blog goes to publishing.

COMMON SENSE RED ALERT!!

Q: Could we ever be able to be hired for or allowed to start set foot in a job that we didn’t even want to succeed in?   
 

Q: Would we ever be granted access to secrets of any business without first providing proof of qualifications for the position?  
 

Q: Might we ever see a situation where employees (decision-makers) are allowed to cavalierly sit back and allow the company they are in charge of to be smashed to smithereens?   
 

Clearly, the answers to all of the above hypothetical scenarios is of course, in fact, NO!!  
 

It would never happen, and if it did, there would be a swift and permanent termination of employment and possible legal consequences beyond.   
 

For these reasons, it seems asinine that we would think that this couldn’t, isn’t, or would never happen to our governing bodies. We are observing some of the most clear-cut examples of people with who have zero interest in continuing democracy: blitzing seats, refusing to govern, and participating in the some the most vile, pathetic – let alone dangerous – behavior imaginable. Why are we sitting back and allowing it?  Why the continued lack of outrage?
 

Current major areas affected  
 

Covid-19/ our collective health: 800,000 dead … say no more.  
 

Overturning laws/ court uncertainty:  If we no longer can trust the people who are creating, writing and adjudicating our laws, then how the heck are we supposed to abide by them?
 

Debt ambivalence: $30 Trillion? $35 Trill? How about a nice, round $40T?  Why does it seem nobody’s bothered by this number anymore? 
 

Civil disobedience:  Are we paying attention to all of the destruction and anger we have towards each other?  How about sharing commercial airplanes, public roadways, and other community space? Is it now the one with the biggest fists, guns, or whatever the one who has the last say?  What have we become?  
 

⏰Wake up call ⏰

Look people.  I don’t enjoy stopping at red lights in big city traffic any more than the guy next to me who thinks he’s Mario Andretti.  But, one thing I do know … is if we all decide to continue to do our own thing, society as we know it may not know we all won’t last or be around much longer.  I mean, how could it?!
 

Happy holidays (seriously) and see you in 2022 (… hopefully)

-A.N.

A Closer Look … Football-NFL-Playoffs-Records-Competition-Super Bowl Bound-

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021 (#HNY)! 

We can finally pat ourselves on the back after taking more than a few big ones in the teeth throughout much of 2020.  However, I promise not to mention the “C” word (“Covid”) again today.  It will be the only time that word will have escaped mention in my A Closer Look… entries since last spring some time.  Let’s get to one of the few “survivors in sports” from last year – the entire NFL. Most owners, coaches, players and others emerged with delays and confusion, but no actual cancellations and a full season’s completed regular schedule.  Wow! That’s a mouthful!

TopicNFL Playoffs  

Category: Sports 

Issue:  Where is the upper brass of the league taking this thing? 

As you can imagine, this is hardly the first time I’ve had a conversation about playoff eligibility, league alignment, and whether (or not) teams should even be allowed to appear in the playoffs with a losing record.  I would like to get this on the record prior to this weekend’s bonanza of games meant to keep us all on our couches for its entirety.  Q: During a lockdown, where the heck else are we going to go?  Uh, is that Doordash?! 

Anyway, I’d like to begin by arguing I believe the addition of a seventh spot in each conference is an okay thing.  However, what I disagree with is when it is combined with the “divisional championship” system from the good old days. That’s when it becomes somewhat of a mess.  We are literally going to bid adieu to some teams with 10-6 records – while enabling the NFC East winner to host a game while not even sniffing a winning record.  No offense, but what did they do to deserve that?! To use the “S” word, it kind of “SUCKS!”  And speaking of the NFC East (no offense Texas) but, the Dallas Cowboys should have been moved outta there a long time ago.  We can’t have partial nostalgia and the rest disruption. Right?!

You know, I’m old enough to remember when the Seattle Seahawks played in the AFC West.  So, for NFL “purists” who choose to argue that Dallas, Philly, the football Giants, and yes, the newly titled Washington Football Team should remain in close divisional proximity, I say, POPPYCOCK!  If the league is going to make radical changes to its playoff schedule – and, I hear game #17 is coming soon to your football platter, we should also become comfortable with other logical changes likewise. 

Since I know you’re holding your breath for my suggestions (kidding), I recommend something like: BLOW UP the divisions completely and instead have each conference award 8 (yes, 8! Or, 9!) playoff spots to the best records in each conference. That gives half the teams in the league the opportunity to play in the postseason.  And it sets the table for plenty of revenue raising options for the upper brass in NYC and elsewhere.  Let’s face it, I would be embarrassed to hang a divisional championship banner in my mancave on the heels of a 5-11 season (or 7-9). Wouldn’t YOU?! C’MON MAN!   

Oh, and one other thing: let’s give the top two teams BYES again!  I think it’s shameful to overlook a 14-2 or 13-3 team just because the #1 team is 15-1.  Again, it’s great to incentivize the lower half of playoff contention, but let’s not cheat the consistent, rightful earners of the best records in the game while we do it, okay?! 

It’s not much, but it’s a start.  Let’s keep the ball rolling with some debate… 

Tell me what YOU think? 

A.N.  

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