Archive for November, 2014

Federer: “We Had a Good Time Since Match Point”

November 25, 2014

The New York Times, Monday, November 24, 2014

Federer Burnishes Legacy as the Swiss Capture a Long-Sought Title,  by Christopher Clarey

Villenneuve D’Ascq, France–“It looked like an ending, with the confetti floating down and a record crowd watching Roger Federer and his Swiss teammates celebrate for the first time with the big, bright and shiny Davis Cup…”

Stan Wawrinka beat Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the opening singles match; Wawrina and Federer were victorious in the doubles;  and Roger Federer’s 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Richard Gasquet gave the Swiss “an insurmountable 3-1 advantage over the French.”

Wawrinka:  “…We made many sacrifices during the years to be able to win it.  We did it now.  We are very happy.”

Federer.”We had a good time since match point.”

Match point is the last point of the game.  For more information, please go to

The Bottom of the Ninth Inning in the Hydrocarbon Economy

November 20, 2014

The New York Times, Tuesday, November 18, 2014


A Forest Threatened by Keystone XL, by Andrew Nikiforuk

“…Since the mining frenzy for this garbage crude (bitumen) took off in 2000, nearly two million acres of this ancient forest (western Canada’s boreal forest) have been cleared or degraded, according to Global Forest Watch–a swath more than six times the size of New York City.  If Keystone XL and other proposed pipelines are approved and bitumen production grows, much more forest will be lost…

Basic mathematics underscores the absurdity of this brute-force enterprise.”  (Most of the bitumen lies so deep in the frozen ground that it must be melted with steam and then pumped to the surface for processing.  This requires steam injection plants that blast scalding steam into the ground through wells.)  The energy ratio is roughly 1 to 3.

“As the Canadian economist Jeff Rubin put it several years ago, ‘when you’re schlepping oil from sand, you’re probably in the bottom of the ninth inning in the hydrocarbon economy.”

The bottom of the ninth inning is the last chance for teams to change the game.  This author feels that the vote in Congress for the passage of the U.S. portion of the pipeline is the last chance to avoid environmental damage here.  (It did not pass this time.)

See for more information about baseball.

Putin Plays Hardball

November 20, 2014

The New York Times, Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Putin Plays Hardball, by Joe Nocera

…In July 2013, Russia put Bill Browder, a dispossessed billionaire, and his deceased–in prison–lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky on trial.  “The two men were accused of tax evasion going back to 2001–despite the fact that the statute of limitation in Russia for tax evasion is 10 years.  It was the first posthumous trial in Russia history…To the surprise of no one, Magnitsky and Browder were both convicted, one posthumously and the other in absentia.”

Bill Browder, with a nine-year sentence, has been put on “Interpol’s ‘Red Notice’ list–which is a kind of international wanted-poster for fugitives.  The idea is that when a person on the list is arrested in one country, he of she would be handed over to the country where he or she is wanted…

You would think that Putin’s government has enough to worry about these days, between the crisis in Ukraine, western sanctions, and the fall of oil, which could push the Russian economy into recession.  But, apparently, there is always time to attack Bill Browder.”

Putin is tough, as are his “cronies,” especially on people who try to expose Russian corruption. He plays hardball, but a different kind than that played by baseball players.

Republicans: “The Ball Is In Your Court”

November 6, 2014

The New York Times, Thursday, November 6, 2014


The Messages of the Midterm Election

To the Editor, by Steve Zane

“…For the Republicans, I have one bit of advice: Be careful what you wish for.  The ball is in your court.  Are you sure your constituents want you to roll back the Affordable Care Act, now that many have insurance for the first tie in years (or just the first time)? Are you sure you want to be tough on immigration?  Roll back Roe v. Wade?  Repeal gay rights?”

The ball is in your court is an idiom/metaphor from court games, such as tennis or court tennis.  If the ball is in your court, you need to return the ball into the opponent’s court or lose the point.  In politics, as in this case, one needs to be careful how one returns the ball, how the issues will resolve.

To read more, go to and search this idiom, or search on the “All Posts” page using the idiom.  There is one besides this; “the ball lands in the team owner’s court.”