AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

Broncos Anger God, Invite Torrential Downpour After Blowing 13 Point Lead

There’s no real reason to get too worked up about losing an NFL preseason game in the fourth quarter with third-string players on the field. Being up 23-10 after three stings a bit, but the first and second squads had good showings early on, key players looked returned to form, and drives came together in a way that was both productive and satisfying to watch. Last week, an increasingly frustrating coaching staff marched into the opening game against the Minnesota Vikings with an… avant-garde game plan, in which the team was clearly experimenting and seeing what could stick to the wall. That’s fine for a preseason game, although I think most fans prefer something a little more structured and goal oriented. Against the Chicago Bears, a team that finished last in their division last year, the Broncos looked pretty lethal at times, with Von Miller on the field longer than most people would probably like and Emmanuel Sanders blossoming new chemistry with 2018’s hired gun QB Case Keenum.

Royce Freeman and CU alum Phillip Lindsay dominated the running game over Broncos veteran Devontae Booker, both clearly deserving spots on the final roster. Jeff Hue-Hue-Hue-Heuerman, a sorely underused tight-end weapon, looked like a bouncer at closing time, fighting for every bit of yardage he could get and scoring on a two-point conversion after a running TD from Freeman early on in the second quarter. First-round draft pick Bradley Chubb forced a safety after a bobbled snap, and Justin Simmons caught an interception to bring in “back up” Chad Kelly, quickly becoming a fan favorite in the preseason for his physicality and clear QB IQ. Everything was looking great. I think everyone knows it’s the Bears, but the Broncos played legitimately good football for basically three and a half quarters. This Kelly to Sutton touchdown near the two-minute warning right before halftime is an absolute thing of beauty:

After last week’s disastrous, downright depressing showing by first-round bust Paxton Lynch, most fans, including myself, were calling for him to be cut from the team or traded to another franchise dumb enough to take a chance on him. Lynch was booed as he took the field and again periodically as he threw 5/11 for 39 yards, most of which were YAC against a third-string defense from one of the worst-performing teams in the league. He’s abysmal, yet had the audacity in the post-game presser to claim that he “wants to be THE quarterback, not the backup.” If anything, tonight cemented my claims last week that Lynch doesn’t even belong in the NFL, much less warming the bench in Denver. Local sporting press is starting to feel bad for him, despite urging the team to “make a move”, and head coach Vance Joseph, traditionally a little bit cagey regarding questions about Lynch, seemed particularly unleashed when commenting on him getting booed at Mile High. Again. Even ex-Bronco RB CJ Anderson admonished fans for booing:

A lot is being made about the Isiah McKenzie fumble, and although I think he’s tested quite a bit of patience after earning a reputation for dropping punt returns last year, that was a bang-bang great defensive play from the Bears and McKenzie did what he could. I really hope his confidence isn’t shaken, because he’s shown a lot of progress from last year and I believe he’s earned a spot on the roster without a question. He looked dejected on the sidelines after that play, in which he was fighting for extra yardage with defenders on his ankles before having the ball punched out of his grasp. There’s no shame there, he’s out to prove himself.

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Local deity, pictured after a Broncos loss.

I was fortunate enough to be commuting into work shortly after the game when the Denver metro area finally let open the monsoon it had been brewing since the late afternoon. Luckily, the lightening that had been persistent for much of the game didn’t delay anything. I’ve been out of town for several of the summer storms, which I’ve cherished in the nearly 15 years I’ve spent here, and this was definitely the hardest, most sustained rain I’d seen all year without any added hail. After a 24-23 loss in the final two minutes, I’m assuming the Gods were absolutely furious at another week of Paxton Lynch provoking an entire region of the United States into more wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Next game: Friday 8/24 at 5:30pm MST @ Washington.

 

Murdering Death Row Inmates With the Drugs Murdering Everybody Else

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Carey “Mustache” Moore

In a macabre twist in the already insanely cruel, dehumanizing, and ultimately pointless process of executing convicted criminals in the US, officials in Lincoln, Nebraska opted to use the opiate Fentanyl to kill Carey Dean Moore this week. Moore was convicted of killing two Omaha cab drivers in the late ’70s and was regarded as one of the longest-serving death row prisoners in the United States. The drug, popular among traffickers as a cutting agent to increase potency in heroin, has been largely responsible for skyrocketing overdose rates during an opiate abuse epidemic that’s raged for more than a decade. Eric Stoltz was evidently prophetic as drug dealer Lance in Pulp Fiction that heroin was coming back in a big, big way.

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The United States has had a real hard time executing people lately. Many pharmaceutical chemists in Europe stopped most exports of sodium thiopental in 2010 either because they were fundamentally opposed to the death penalty or because they no longer wanted their products associated with executions. This has led to barbaric experimentation with various drug cocktails leaving condemned men the victims of botched executions, arguably violating statutes against cruel and inhumane punishment as well as strengthening the cases and increasing the numbers of death penalty opponents.

There’s something fundamentally childish and simultaneously dystopian in watching, on average, 200 people per day in 2017 overdose on drugs, looking at the problem of obtaining chemicals used for executions, and deciding that there’s a solution there. Just as the heroin and crack crises of the ’70s and ’80s were very much manufactured, controlled demolitions of targeted communities, it’s not a stretch to say that between deliberate corporate over-prescribing of opiate pharmaceuticals at the turn of the century and the subsequent “crackdown” there’s been a concentrated effort to criminalize wide swaths of the (primarily poor) population at the benefit of a for-profit prison and drug rehabilitation system. It goes without saying that there’s no greater form of social or population control than a populace completely strung out on opiates.

What irony, of course, that a drug wiping out everyone from the American underclass to suburban teenagers to celebrated artists is now being employed to execute the nation’s most neglected social caste: prisoners. Even sweeter, state agencies are likely using dubious, less-than-legal methods to obtain the drugs, topping off the contradictions of a drug war that has seen the rapid end of marijuana prohibition in almost half of the country (despite thousands remaining in cells over its trafficking and cultivation), the research and eventual prescription of MDMA, ketamine, and psilocybin to combat veterans and others suffering from PTSD, and the proliferation of microdosed LSD to programmers in Silicone Valley working on the nation’s next most useless (or eventually globally nefarious) tech export.

Paxton Lynch Sucks

Bronco’s football returned tonight with a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings and after another lackluster training camp showing and another abysmal preseason game going into his third year, it’s time for John Elway to swallow his pride and cut Paxton Lynch. This evening, he went 6/11 for 24 yards with an interception and was sacked, then completely shown up by Chad Kelly, literally a Last Chance U alumni who spent last year sidelined with a wrist injury and had never played a game in the NFL. With concerns about Case Keenum being injury prone, the back-up job clearly needs to go to a player that doesn’t have the football IQ equivalent of a student repeating the fourth grade twice.

Look at this shit:

He’s 6’8″ and screen passes are swatted down at the line of scrimmage. This is a guy that lost depth chart positioning to Brock Osweiler, a man paid by the Cleveland Browns to not play and Trevor “Skittles” Siemian. The fact that he’s on an NFL roster is astonishing. Zero development or improvement in three years, but John Elway refuses to admit his first-round pick is a bust, which has cost the Broncos two serviceable second-string quarterbacks going to Minnesota. At least Brock, now playing in Miami, had passion for the organization and town. Paxton should be working as a mascot in Tampa Bay or doing Captain Morgan promotional appearances on frat rows. He’s a dullard.

I’m very forgiving. I didn’t mind seeing Trevor start again last year despite his ongoing issues. He had heart and came back from big hits as best he could. The team seemed to get behind him until obvious frustrations from a diminished but still legendary defense became insurmountable. Paxton, which is the male naming equivalent of Makayla, is lazy, listless, and obviously yippy anytime he’s put into a pre-planned QB1 situation.

There’s a question of “dead money” for next year if Elway can fall out of love with this towering mutant pirate, do the right thing, and get rid of him. It might cost a seventh-round pick down the line to sweeten the garbage pot, $600k in cap space this year, and $1.3 million next year, but after watching him booed off the field in Mile High tonight what are the other options? He’s dead weight. Even the most optimistic homer fans waiting for a development breakthrough or hoping for him to stop getting Vietnam flashbacks every time the sub-par defensive line collapses his pocket are reaching the end of their ropes.

It’s been enough chances and without a move by the coaching staff or front office, it’s only a matter of time before people start saying the same thing about Vance Joseph or even John Elway, who just two years ago could’ve gotten Denver International Airport named after him. At a certain point, it’s undeniably an organizational problem.

An Extralegal Execution in Aurora

Very early Monday morning in Aurora, Colorado, 73-year-old Richard “Gary” Black woke up to find a woman on his porch attempting to retrieve her 26-year-old son, who she said was on drugs and not likely in control of his actions. Black raced upstairs, where he found that a nude man, later identified as the 26-year-old Dajon Harper, had dragged his 11-year-old grandson from the living room into a bathroom, where he was strangling and attempting to drown the boy. Black, a Vietnam combat veteran, started to beat the man and reportedly tried to gouge out one of his eyes in an effort to free his grandson to no avail, went and retrieved a handgun, and shot Harper dead.

Black’s wife had been on the phone with 911 and police reported hearing gunshots as they approached the house. Black walked into his living room, where police shot him dead through a window from outside the house. Police reportedly didn’t identify themselves but claimed for “around thirteen seconds” they screamed at Black five times to drop his weapon. The whereabouts of Harper’s mother during the incident are presently unknown. Black reportedly suffered hearing damage from his time in Vietnam, as well as further degradation due to old age, and also likely had very little auditory function after firing a handgun inside of a bathroom. Aurora Chief of Police Nick Metz has blamed Mr. Black’s actions for his death, despite the as-of-yet unnamed police officer being involved in a fatal shooting in June and recently returned to duty.

The same police department that took in Aurora theater shooter James Holmes into custody alive murdered a man defending his family in his own home, from outside the house, who was an entirely different ethnicity and wearing specifically described clothing than the suspect detailed during the emergency phone call. That’s an indictment of incompetence and poor training that underscores the “fearful”, wanton bloodlust of police culture in America, where academies constantly drill a shoot-first-ask-question-later mentality with phrases like “better to be judged by twelve than carried out by six.” Anyone paying attention in the last thirty years knows that phrase is far accurately “better to get several weeks of ‘paid administrative leave’ and no charges.”

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The Highwaymen Are Now Boarding

high·way·man 

/ˈhīˌwāmən/

noun historical

noun: highwayman; plural noun: highwaymen
a man, typically on horseback, who held up travelers at gunpoint in order to rob them.

 

When you get back on a sub-par metropolitan public transit system, especially after a brief respite, there’s sometimes new nuances and customs to learn. I’ve detailed the bad taste in my mouth Colorado’s Regional Transportation District has left after thirteen years of residency and service before, but my most recent return to this town’s buses and trains during arguably the hottest summer this city has ever seen has left me shaking my head in a puzzled, Kafkaesque bewilderment. As the city pushes more and more poor and working class people out, forcing longer commutes, RTD is pushing another fare hike and aggressively pursuing so-called “fare dodgers” on the light rail lines. I don’t know why I even let myself be surprised anymore.

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I’ve prepared a graph.

Anecdotally speaking, the vast majority of people I’ve seen ticketed are either underage kids with expired transfers who would be riding on economically negligible fares anyhow, commuters who chanced it instead of missing a train because of slow ticket kiosks and validation processes, and regular, every day people who paid for the “wrong fare.” Armed men, sometimes uniformed security contractors and sometimes plainclothes city police, will board the trains from “random” stops and like hall monitors checking to make sure you’re allowed to be going to the bathroom, pace the aisles checking tickets. If you’re not squared away, they take your identification, take your picture, and put you in a database with a warning. If you’re already in there, you’ll get a ticket for more than $100.

Of course this happened to me.

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Fooled By the Robot Men

In my early twenties, when I was Very Involved in politics, some of the fiercest disagreements I had with close friends was in regards to space exploration and the objectivity of technology and civilization divorced from a capitalist context. I’ve surmised a lot of my steadfastness, even in the face of what I’d conceded as good arguments I also agreed with, came from a profound appreciation for perceived left-wing science fiction from writers like Ursula K. Le Guin and Kim Stanley Robinson. Marx’s premise of “technology liberating the worker” as laid out in Capital also resonated with me; as did an understanding that Earth seems to be fresh out of frontier and I had a theory that even if it was a business or state enterprise getting us apes off the rock, that could open up space for horizontal social and economic experimentation as well as the hopeful opportunity of marginally more bloodless pushes for autonomy by becoming pioneers on dead worlds.

Colonization without displacement, subjugation, or genocide but with all the possibilities of homesteading in intentional communities. Literal distance creating freedom by simply being ungovernable far enough away from authority. Sowing arguably, at this moment in human history, the rarest resource in the known universe: life, in an effort to back up consciousness and continue observing where time, space, and entropy take existence.

Anarchists on the Moon

It’s some real Stephen Hawking stoner bullshit, perhaps, having a desire to existentially preserve the species by ensuring nuclear war, global warming, disease, or some other cosmic calamity on Earth doesn’t wipe out the only confirmed sentience so far. The most common counterpoint I heard was usually about how the money and resources invested in even the present nascent space programs could be spent fixing problems we have on Earth. While I don’t disagree, there’s something to be said about return on investment. Scientific and technological breakthroughs made through that research have helped revolutionize a variety of fields that could help mitigate a myriad of issues, particularly in the Global South, in regards to things like water sanitation and food cultivation in harsh environments.

Medical marvels like modern prosthetics and the CAT scan were developed largely in part because of technological advances made in the Space Race. It’s easy to reduce launching giant missiles into orbit as basically a weapons test dick waving contest between geopolitical rivals, but you’re discounting the scientific progress that has genuinely helped millions of impoverished and/or sick people by utilizing the harsh laboratory of space. These ballistics can sometimes have ulterior motives.

Why couldn’t the same be true for social sciences? There’s a powerlessness, lack of space, and opportunity to do just about anything as an alternative to capitalism associated with living on a planet which has already had it’s land carved up and parceled out by a dominant economic and political culture. Time after time, revolutionary movements are crushed or co-opted by a stagnant status quo that has seemed to engineer its soft power in a way that makes even small rips in an oppressive social fabric colossally difficult to pull off. What if voluntary association, a central tenant to most anarchist philosophy, was actually an option and people could just… leave?

The capitalist will tell you that because the system is designed to promote competition, the best ideas and solution rise to the top in the marketplace of ideas. Observing western civilization since the fall of the Soviet Union, however, certainly makes the case that capitalism festers into a min/max game of widening inequality and nepotistic cronyism becomes the dominant social force once there isn’t a “sufficient” rival. Continue reading →

Live Tweets: Lethal Weapon at Work Retrospective

In case you’re not aware, you can follow me on Twitter. Recently, work has really slowed down for the summer, and so I’ve been a little more purposeful in what I’m watching on my phone. Over a period of three weekends, I watched the entire Lethal Weapon film series and live tweeted three of them. Sometimes it was funny, other times I put some serious thought into it. Here are the threads:

Things I learned: the plots of each movie were a lot more politically progressive than I anticipated them to be, and I’ve seen all four movies before but never registered it. Danny Glover should have been a dead giveaway, but Mel Gibson you would figure outweighs some of that with his batshittieness. Enjoy!