Category Archives: Uncategorized

Still Can’t Get Beyond Bourdain’s Passing

At first, I thought it was just me. I thought I was one of a small number of fans who felt a personal connection to Tony Bourdain, even though we did not know him. Perhaps it was because we are of the same generation. Or perhaps it was because of the central place food culture had in shaping his values.

Whatever. I was greatly saddened by his death. More so because he took his own life, leaving behind a young daughter. How could that have happened?

We will probably never know the answer to that question. We can only speculate that whatever demons Tony had inside him, on that particular night, they overwhelmed him. The better angels of his nature lost out.

So it goes. But the surprising thing is that Tony’s passing has brought out a lot more tributes than I would have expected.

Here is an example – from a younger chef whom he mentored.

And here, Carolina Miranda writes for LA Times that Tony’s work was not just about the food.

That last idea came through for me last night when I watched Tony’s portrait of Manila and the Philippines from Parts Unknown. It was not Tony’s first trip to the Philippines. But in this trip, you sense some sadness about how difficult life is for average people. They are good people, but the goodness and kindness does not translate into shared prosperity.


Trump Rolls the Dice on Iran

So Donald Trump has done what many thought he would do. He has announced that the US will pull out of the Iranian nuke deal. What does it mean?

The goal of the deal was to delay the Iranians from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Without the deal, Iran may not be constrained. I say may not because there are still factors that might hold it back. First, the Europeans may offer Iran something to them that makes it worth their while to hold back from more testing. Second, Iranian policy might be swayed by the threat of force. So ending the deal may or may not end  the period where Iran stays non-nuke.

Sadly, it does end one thing. US coordination with its allies. Now Europe will have to go its own way in dealing with Iran.

So what does the US gain from stepping out of this framework? According to Donald Trump, the US can now pursue a more aggressive policy against Iran – back to sanctions and possible use of force.  And we cannot rule out the idea that the decision to use force h has already been made.

Unfortunately, there are risks here. First, the initial sanctions regime worked because the Europeans went along with it. They may not at this stage. If they don’t, the US position and role may be marginalized.

So what about force? Well, good luck with that one. First, what kind force? I think we might rule out an invasion – the US already saw how that worked out in Afghanistan and Iraq. Quagmire. So an air strike? A nuclear strike? Let’s assume that these are the options on the table. What effect will either have on Iran, the region and the world?

And let’s not forget that North Korea is testing the waters on rapprochement with the South. A part of that idea is assurance that the US will not militarily intervene. Errr … after a US military  intervention in Iran, that assurance may not look so convincing.

I don’t know how this will shake out, and I daresay you don’t either. One thing is clear. This is a high risk strategy. So here we are at the international relations casino. Donald Trump is about to roll the dice and we all will have to live with the consequences.

I don’t know about you, but I do not see this as a step forward for mankind or for the US. Instead, it is a resurgence of an old idea that might makes right. It don’t.

Sixers/ Celtics Game 3 Thread

Here we go!

Sixers up by 4 made the first two minutes – Embiid and Simmons score. Could the whole game go this way?

Sixers miss a few – Celtics up by 10 -6 – Tatum has hit 2. Time out

Tatum hits a floater 16 – 8 Celtics

Ilyasova hits a lay up and Embiid a jumper – 17 – 12. Celtics Time out

17 – 14  . Embiid block, Belinelli 3 – we are tied at 17. Redick 3 – Smart 2 – Late spurt by the Sixers puts them up by 1 after the first quarter of play. 20 – ˇ9

Quick thoughts – The Celtics are a bit tentative. Tatum is keeping them going. The Sixers are moving well on offense and playing good defense.

Ouch. Celtic spurt – 28- 22 Celtics Sixers time out.

OOO – Tatum just picked up his 2nd foul

AND now he just picked up his 3rd on an offensive foul

ouch the sixers are pressing and missing down 35 – 25 Sixer time out

Daril has forced a few drives. Daro going one on one is not the best  path to victory.

2 3’s by ersan.

Ooo Brown just picked up his 3rd foul

Smart FINALLY missed a 3

Saric jsut hit a 3 – 38 . 25- Celtic time out

Sixers running – Simmons with a jam 43 – 29 Simmons picked up his dribble and got stuck.

So Brown and Tatum both have 3 fouls. Sixer time out

JJ hits an open 3 Embiid with a monster drive and 3 point play . Embiid intercepts

Oop Belinelli just hit a 3 – Sixers up 50 – 43. Celtic time out. The Sixers are pumped! around 1 minute to go in the first half

Brown hits a 4  and the half is over with the Sixers up 51 – 48

A few thoughts – Tatum has sat for around 5 minutes. with 3 fouls. The Sixers had a good spurt but the Celtics are not out of it by a long shot. They are still playing good defense.  But the Sixers are starting to hit 3’s, Embiid is doing his thing, and finally Dario got a bit untracked in the paint. A lot depends on hos the Sixers come out int he 3rd. If they spurt, they can blow out the Celtics. But you would hate to see a close game here with the risk of going down 3 – 0

Here we go

Back and forth action. Nice drive by Rozier.

Baynes and Smart have both picked up their 3rd fouls.

We are tied at 60

Rozier hits a very diffuclt 2 and the Celtics steal an inbound pass. up by 5 – . 69 – 64 Time out sixers

Things were looking up for a moment, but then the Celtics defense came on. The Sixers did not hit a few shots and they are down again. with aroun 3 to go in the 3rd.

McCopnnell steal – Smart foul – his 4th. Ilyasvoa hits  2 – Sixers down by 1. Ilysova fouls. Miss. Sixer miss the last shot at the end of the quarter and it ends with them down by 1.

McConnell has given the team a lift with his tough defense on Rozier.

So we head to the 4th quarter.

Baynes jsut piced up his 5th foul. Sixers down by 1

Ooo – another  foul – it looked like on baynes but it was on smart – both Smart and Baynes have 5 fouls. Embiid fouls

. – we are tied at 75

Baynes out. Horford checks in for Baynes

tied at 77

Horford hits a few with nice moves  – as Embiid is out

Tight game 81 -79 Celtics. Sixers time out with the ball.

Tied at 81 very physical

Simmons missed a dunk

ok – this is some wild action. Tatum just missed 2 foul shots. Embiid just had a monster drive on Horford with a dunk. tied at 85

Redick hit an amzing 2 – then a nice jumper by Tatum.

Belinelli drive – Smart just fouled out. Belinelli hit both. Sixers up by 2. Celtics call time out

oh shit. The Sixers went for the last shot but Redick turned the ball over. and the Celtics got a break away layup. They are up by 2 with 1 second to go.

Unbelöievable. Belinelli hit an amazing 2 – they are checking if it is a 3. Looks like overtime.

So – This will be interesting. Losing Smart hurts.

Belinelli hits a 2 and Redick hits a 3. Celtics get a nice 2

Sixers up 84 . 92 – Tatum has 2 nice drives. Simmons with a beauty of a drive. Sixer time out up by 2 with a little over a minute to go.

Embiid with a sloppy pass and turnover. Embiid foul on Horford who misses his first. makes the second. Sixers up by one try to get it to Embiid who cannot score over Horford. Simmons tried to follow and missed.

Celtics have the ball with 8 seconds down by 1. This is for the game.. Celtics could not inbound and called a time out.

Ouch – great inound pass to the post where Horford scores. Celtics up by 1 with 5 seconds to go. Sixer time out.

Sixers turn it over to Horford on the inbound pass. Game is basically over.

Horford makes 2 – Belinelli gets a shot off but no go.

Sixers go down 3 – 0

What can one say? The Celitcs played very good defense for most of the game. The Sixers had a great lift when the forced the OT, but 2 costly turnovers gave the game to the Celitcs. That really hurts. BTW, I guess Danny Ainge was right. Jason Tatum was the best player in the draft last year He had a great game.  And while I am at it, hats off to Brad Stevens for making a great inbound play that got Horford the ball in the post guarded by RoCo. The pass was just right and RoCo had no chance.


















Sixers/Heat Game 5 Thread

Here we go!

Redck hits a 3 but then the Sixers go cold – still 8 – 7.

richardson submarines Simmons! No flagrant called.

Roco finally scores on a layup.  12 – 7 Sixers Time out

After a few exchanges Heat up 15 – 14

Wow1 great passing sequence started from Marko – 3 point play 71 – 15 Sixers. Time out

My early take – both teams have come out a bit tight.

Wow! Olynyk steal. Drogic fast break – Snuffed at the rim.

Simmons dunk

Wade in immediately hits 2 buckets

Embiid is hit hard inthe race

Embiid dunk – Sixers up 23 – 21. Embiid block Redick misses a 3. End of quarter.

Early take – The Sixers have missed a ton of shots in the paint. They are playing good defense. The first quarter does not offer a clue about how this game will go.

Open 2d – sloppyy play.

Redick hits a 3

Simmons great pass to Roco for a layup. Foul on Winslow. Sixers up 34 – 31. Time out.

Ellington is heating up from 3. The Sixers are cold from outside, though Marko hit a nice 2 andprovided some good movement on offense

The pace of the game is pretty slow. Good for the Heat. Drogic on the line for 2 . Heat up 36 – 23

Dario misses again

Heat up 40 – 36

Embiid makes 1 of 2 foul shots. Sixer steal.Ilyasova layup. Heat time out. Heat 40 – 39.

Ilysaova makes 1 of 2 – tied at 40.

Half over tie at 46.

Well, the pace favors the Heat. Sixers are cold from3. They showed a few small sports but have not been able to break out. They are also missing free throws. The Heat have to be pleased with the way things are going so far, though Richardson and Whiteside have played terribly. Richardson has 3 fouls and contributed nothing to the game other than the Simmons submarine.

IN the 4rd, the Sixers are likely to start hitting from the outside. Meanwhile, they need to keep playing in to Embiid´, who is having his usual great game.

Ok -. Sixers rip off 8. In the midst of this Drogic commits a stupid foul smacking Benin the head. Gets a T. Roco hits a 3. This might wake up the Sixers. Time out heat

A comment ont he Drogic foul — that was just not something that should happen in the NBA. And it is the second stupid foul committed on Simmons.,  If I were the commissioner, I would be thinking  fine.Redeick 3 Sixers up 57 – 50

Here it is. The Sixers heat up from outside and Dario takes Richardson to the weight room. Up by 12. Hat  time out.

Sixers are starting to move the ball. Simmons goes out with 4 fouls.  Yikes! Belinelli with a nice pass to Ilysova for a layup. They are ok. 72 – 59 Heat time out.

Sixers are getting great minutes form McConnell with Simmons out. They are lengthening their lead.  Too bad – they missed a couple of shots. But this has been a strong Sixer third.

En od the 4rd – Sixers up 80 – 66

Ok – 4th quarter. This is it. Let’s see if the Sixers come out strong and put the Heat away!

87 – 60 after Embiid hit s a jumper. Heattime out

Heat have rvved up with a great play by Johnson to spark a break. Heat down by 10

Whoah! Johnson just dished out a series of nasty fouls on Marko and JJ.

Tyler Johnson just fouled out with 5 o go. Sixers up by 10

heat miss a critical shot – Redick is fouled and makes 2 .- Sixers up by 13 with less than 3 to play. The Heat are fouling the wrong guys – Marko and JJ. They over the limit and are paying the price at the line.

With 2 to go marko and Redick hit and  the Sixers go up by double digits. The Heat miss. This game is basically over.

The Sixers will advance!!!!

Final 104 – 91.







Sixer/Heat Game 2 Game Thread

Here we go!

The Heat have come out playing hard – and fouling a lot. They are in the penalty after only 5 minutes. Drogic is out with 2 fouls.

Meanwhile the Sixers are missing 3’s but have a slim lead. 13 – 11. Sixer time out.

Whiteside is now out with 2 fouls.

Sixer up by 6 – 22 – 16. Another time out with Belinelli to come back shooting 3 foul shots.

The Heat are shooting themselves in the foot with all of these fouls.   So far, Belinelli has the hot hand from 3  for the Sixers.

First quarter is over Sixers up 29 – 22.’

The Heat are having trouble scoring. Wade came in and got a couple of buckets, but overall, they are not doing well in their half court sets. Credit Sixer defense.

Aside from Belinelli, the Sixers are cold from 3 – but Ilyasova is dominating the boards getting put backs.  All in all a “not bad” quarter, but you get the sense that the Sixers want to break out.

Second Quarter

Ouch – The Sixers are now 1 – 11 from 3. D Simmons took a 15 footer and missed it. Wade is carrying the Heat offense – they are now up by 1. Sixer time out.

Back on the court – the Heat defense is much better than the first game. They are contesting the hand offs.

Whiteside just picked up his 3rd with a stupid foul in the back court. Meanwhile, the Sixers are just standing around on offense. They have only 3 fast break points.

The Heat strategy is clear – bully ball. 38 – 31 Heat. Wade is out, Drogic is back.

They are really hammering Simmons! Redick just hit a big 3 to bring the game to 42 – 36  and the Heat call time out.

Half time. The Sixers were really beaten up in the 2d – scoring only 13 points. Credit to the Heat. Their bully ball has thrown the Sixers out of rhythm.  A bunch of Heat players have 3, but they are up by double digits. 56 – 42.

Second half – Sixers get 2 quick buckets. Whiteside just picked up his 4th. The Sixers have closed the gap. Errrr … almost. The Sixers are still not consistent from the outside. The Heat hit a few, and have kept the lead at ten. Sixer time out.

Back on the court – 5 minutes to go in the 3rd.

Simmons delivers a hard foul on Drogic and goes out with 4. TJ is in for him. He  pulls a nice steal from Drogic but stepped out of bounds. Heat time out.

Through the third, the Sixers regained their composure and played the Heat even – they end the quarter down by 11  after TJ made 2 foul shots.

So – can the Sixers turn up the “heat” on the Heat? They have a shot but need to come out strong in the 4th. There are lots of players on the floor with 4 fouls.

Ouch! 56 seconds into the fourth, the Ellington hit a beautiful 3, and the Heat scored again. Simmons turned the ball over. Sixer time out. 91 – 75.

A Saric 3 then an Ilyasova drive 91 – 80

Saric is fouled driving – made 2 it is now 91 – 82

Olynyk hits a 2 and then Saric a 3. 93 – 85

Great back and forth. Sixers down by 6.

Great rebound then an amazing pass by Simmons to Saric who scores with a nice reverse layup. Sixers now just down by 4. Heat time out.

Back to the action – Richardson has a great drive. Simmons as well. Still at 4, plenty of time with 5 to go.

The Sixers closed it to 2 but then D Wade returned to the game. Ouch! The Heat are back up by 8. Sixer time out.

Back on the court. The Heat are playing very good defense. Olynyk missed a 3 but the Sixers could not score. They got the rebound but RoCo threw a pass that JJ could not handle. Heat ball with a minute to go and up by 6.

D Wade hit a 2. Ouch! Sixers could not make a 3. Sixers foul with 20 plus to go. This one is basically over.

Give the Heat credit – they came to play tonight and did the job. Meanwhile, the Sixers lost their 3 point touch. The good news for Sixer fans is that the team adjusted to the bully ball play and came back in the 4th. They closed to 2 points and gave themselves a chance to win. Just couldn’t hit the shots.