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The Barbarian’s Soft Scramble: The Arctic Vortex, the Fed, the Middle East, and Football

Why Soft Scramble? Because I like soft-scrambled eggs more than eggs over easy, that’s why. Anyway, same rules, anything goes here. No off topic complaints from me here. Promise.

Soft scrambled eggs

A mix of links, news, and thoughts from the Barbarian

I didn’t go to work today.  Too cold, not because I thought 6 below zero Fahrenheit was too cold to do so,  but because the Cuyahoga County Executive, Ed Fitzgerald, did.  It’s a mystery, really. You see, Cuyahoga County very seldom closes due to the weather. Oh, the private schools do, seemingly whenever a snowflake is spotted, and the public schools do whenever the roads get messy due to snow and ice, but the County? Damned near never.

Speculation abounds. Maybe it was because the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cleveland announced it was closing because it said it was concerned about the safety of its employees. Maybe it was because the Justice Center, which is where most of the courts are, was without heat the other day for five hours before it finally shut down after the judges had had enough. Not to mention the Police and Sheriffs which provide security for the same. Or maybe it’s because Fitzgerald is running for Governor of Ohio and wants to get votes. Who knows? Not I, but the last theory is the most agreed upon. Not that it matters, for whatever reason, it was a good public safety decision.

Meanwhile, the United States Senate hurried to confirm Janet Yellen for chairperson of the Federal Reserve Board because it was so freaking important that it took priority over everything else. Bernanke’s protege’ is sure to continue unlimited free money to the Wall Street banks at We The People’s expense. Yippee-yee-haw. Unemployment benefits? The federal minimum wage? Immigration reform? Get thee to the back burner, loser issues.

Meanwhile yet again, the Middle East is seriously effed up. Again. Still. Some details: Egypt is going full-bore fascist military dictatorship. Wonder if that will affect the price of Egyptian jalapenos I like to buy from the Syrian named Assad on Cleveland’s West Side? Speaking of Syria, the same people the American Empire is backing there are the same ones mucking things up in neighboring Iraq against the American puppet government, that is, Sunni Muslims of varying political stripes up to and including Al-Qaeda. In Syria, we support them and damn Iran for supporting the Assad regime and various Shia Muslims.

In Iraq, the American Empire and Iran both support the Shia regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, sometimes in adjacent countries. I suppose Palmerston, Bismarck, Disraeli, and Kissinger would find nothing wrong with this. I find it an inconsistent, confused mess that’s killing lots of people and will probably come back to bite the Empire on the ass. For a good analysis of this quagmaric nightmare, go here and here. Thanks for the good journalism, World Socialist Web Site.

And last but not least in my old barbaric heart, there’s the National Football League playoffs. In the Wild Card round, three out of four games were really entertaining for football fans. The 49ers went onto the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field and defeated the Packers in the last second on the foot of Phil Dawson, the former Cleveland Brown, who finally won a playoff game. The Saints won in Philadelphia in the cold. The most fun happened in Indianapolis, when Andrew Luck of the Colts went on a mission, leading his team to overcome a 28 point 3rd quarter deficit. I knew they would win when he recovered his running back’s fumble and took it into the end zone his own self. Echoes of  John Elway’s helicopter against Green Bay in the Super Bowl about 15 years ago reverberated through my head.

In the other game, the Bengals’ quarterback just about single-handedly lost the game for Cincinnati. Enjoy it now, San Diego fans, doom awaits in Denver. Ain’t no way Peyton Manning is going to allow the Broncos to lose. The man’s on a mission. Most passing yards in a season EVER. Most passing touchdowns in a season EVER. Most points scored by a team in a season EVER. It’s like, destiny. Even the disappointed Ohio football fans of every stripe are pulling for Peyton Manning, because he freakin’ deserves another Super Bowl ring.

And the Broncos’ secondary is finally healthy again. And Welker is back. Uh-oh. We’ll see, but they’re my pick for the NFL crown this year. I’ve been wrong before, but DiE’s aunt called it last year for the Ravens, and this year she’s going with Manning and the Broncos. She also knows football. I’ll go with her. Besides, Manning deserves it.

As for the other teams, well, I just don’t know. DiE’s aunt thinks the Saints will win the NFC. It’s possible. They DO have Drew Brees. The Seahawks at home are very, very tough, but I don’t know. I just hope it’s a good game. The Niners go to Carolina, who beat San Francisco at home in the regular season 10-9. Ain’t no way I’m predicting that one, but it should be another good game. Indy vs. the Patriots? It could well be a shoot-out. If I had to pick, I’d take Brady and Belichick and New England at home, but there’s no way that Luck and the Colts have no chance. If Indianapolis wins, look for them to win a Super Bowl soon, but not this year. They won’t get past Manning and the Broncos in Denver.

This year.

So there you have it. Hope if you’re under this arctic vortex thing you’re not getting frostbite. And have a nice night.

Photo by Arnold Gatilao released under a Creative Commons license.

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Ohio Barbarian