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Category Archives: Testosterone Shots

How Long Does A Testosterone Shot Last? | Androgenix

Posted: October 5, 2021 at 7:41 pm

How Long Does A Testosterone Shot Last?: What You Need to Know

Face it, getting everything done in a daily routine takes a lot of effort. For every item on your to-do list, there is a corresponding prep and execute list. Taking things off the list and living worry free is a fever dream.

Well, almost all of that is true. Taking care of your health means less stress and more enjoyment. Take some items off your list by finding solutions that last for weeks, not a day.

The best testosterone shots last weeks and wont need daily administration or thought. This gives you more time for living your life, not structuring it.

How long does a testosterone shot last? What are the metabolic processes involved? Read on to find answers to these questions.

To understand the duration of an injection, you need to understand what type of testosterone is in use. Typically, the question, How long does testosterone stay in your system? comes down to the ester type.

Each of the various esters has a different half-life. Esters are the bonding chemicals that allow artificial testosterone to work with your system. Chemically, they form from OH (hydroxyls) and -O- (alkoxy groups).

Then well cover the differences between drop-off symptoms and withdrawal. So youll know what to expect when going through a replacement process.

This list covers the most common forms of testosterone used in therapy (with a quick primer on production). Well include information about the different compounds used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Well also go over bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) and the processes noted differences to traditional HRT.

Testosterone cypionate lasts longer than other ester compounds. The lengthy half-life owes to the octo-carbon bond. The effects of cypionate hit harder and last longer. This gives the most immediate and highest testosterone injection results.

The compound stays in fatty tissue, which is a reason for direct intramuscular injection.

You see effects within 2 days. After that, it levels off around 12 days and persists in the system for upwards of 21 days. It takes 44 total days for cypionate to leave the system. So implied is the testosterone cypionate half life would be 22 days.

During a treatment regiment, cypionate gets administered roughly every 8-10 days. This makes it the most popular treatment option because it takes the least amount of time and effort to maintain levels.

Testosterone propionate lasts the shortest of ester compounds. The total lifespan persists a maximum of 72 hours. Testosterone, like other estrogen compounds, absorbs poorly and metabolizes quickly. Propionate leaves the system entirely by day 16.

The short duration of propionate makes it time-consuming. It is the most work-intensive ester compound for treatment regiments. Injections need to be done daily to maintain levels and drop-offs occur in as little as 2 days after stopping.

Propionate compounds are used by bodybuilders or athletes. It has a discernable effect in building muscle mass. It also leaves the system fast enough to avoid doping test issues.

Enanthate works as a middle ground between cypionate and propionate. Effects hit between 24 and 48 hours, like cypionate. The duration lasts 4 days of peak and 10 days in total.

You need to inject enanthate every 3 days, maximum, to maintain consistent levels.

Enthanate compounds stay detectable in the system for 22 days.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy isnt as easy to understand as artificial esters. The tests for anabolic steroids, of which all the previous esters qualify, look for the ester bonds. With BHRT the hormones in questions have identical markers so they dont come across in tests.

To find the duration of a BHRT duration you need to test for a baseline hormone level and then for when that baseline returns. When undergoing BHRT as part of a hormone optimization plan, these levels get tested frequently in saliva or blood tartrate tests.

BHRT hits less hard, as a process it is about steady function, not peak performance. Typically injections get performed every two weeks. This provides double the duration of the cypionate ester.

BHRT also has the benefit of being indiscernible from natural testosterone production. This best testosterone injection keeps levels in the upper range of normal to benefit you. You dont need to suffer from hypogonadism to see a drop off in testosterone production.

Drop-offs occur after the age of 20 and accelerate after 40. Worse, by 40 levels are half of what they were at 20. This is one of the reasons testosterone level testing has become important to mens health in the last decade.

Low testosterone (Low T) diagnosis have risen from better testing methods. They have also risen from awareness of the underlying processes.

Testosterone controls a lot of systems for men (and some for women, mostly from adrenal production). Long-term health concerns from lack of muscle mass and bone density have made monitoring levels important. Fat metabolization and usage are also keys to avoiding diabetes and heart disease.

On the mental side, issues of mood and especially depression have emerged. Low T leads to a lower quality of life as physicality drops off and mood deteriorates.

Each of these problems alone is a cause for concern. When put together, they form a brutal loop for men. The lack of physicality increases as the desire to stay active declines.

Once they physicality tapers enough the ability to stay active in important life activities like work and home fades. These increase the mood drop-off while complicating efforts to alleviate the problem.

Normal drop-offs from age come gradually. This gives you plenty of time to adjust to the changes and keep going. It is perfectly fine to lose some testosterone production as you age.

Life has stages and they are necessary. It is when the drop-offs occur suddenly that problem spirals occur.

Remember, if you are looking at an HRT or BHRT regiment that stopping will return levels to a baseline. A baseline doesnt always feel great but it is also normal. Resorting and maintaining baseline prevents problems.

This is why reputable BHRT centers carefully monitor levels and do frequently testing.

What isnt normal are signs of withdrawal. Lets go over what those entail.

Unlike normal drop-offs, withdrawal occurs when systems become damaged from improper treatment. People have a tendency to associate withdrawal with addiction. This is why the WHO defines withdrawal.

Using artificial ester compounds for purposes of building mass often lead to withdrawal. This is because production goes outside of normal range. You can look at any super jacked body and know the answer to, Do testosterone injections work?

The problem is, they work too well. Once the body detects that too much testosterone is in the system, it stops making its own. This process occurs through a combination of organs.

The pituitary gland and penial gland both stimulate testosterone production in the adrenal and the testes. Human growth hormone stimulates and regulates some of this production. When the liver finds itself making a lot of enzymes to break down the excess testosterone, it tells the brain.

Once the brain knows that too much testosterone is present, it shuts down the testes first and the adrenals second. On top of that, the penial gland can be damaged from excess.

This is why you see ex-dopers in the condition they are in. The lack of production in the now shriveled testes leaves them shrinking and frail from bone mineral density. The frequent mood swings and instability come from the damaged penial and overall lack of testosterone.

Proper HRT avoids withdrawal because the systems remain undamaged. This is also a reason to work with a doctor in maintaining a treatment program. Supplements and injections found online might seem worry-free, however, they are anything but.

Now you have the essential information to understand what makes the best testosterone injection. Dont go it alone, but find a treatment center that will work with you to achieve your best health.

Looking for more information on testosterone and other hormonal health? We have a blog just for that.

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How Many Milligrams Of Testosterone Do Men Naturally …

Posted: July 21, 2021 at 2:37 am

How many milligrams of Testosterone do men naturally produce?

3-10 milligrams per day, with the average being 6-7 milligrams per day.

When bodybuilders refer to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) dosages theyll often state that 200 milligrams is a therapeutic dosage.

This is typically not a therapeutic dosage at all, and is more like a small supraphysiological cycle being used year round.

A therapeutic dosage of Testosterone is a dosage that would bring serum Total and Free Testosterone levels in the blood up to what you would produce naturally if you werent hypogonadal.

Delving into the clinical data, we can see that the true milligram equivalent is actually far less than that.

Before delving in deeper, keep in mind that ester weight and the milligram amount per milliliter stated on the vial of your prescription doesn't necessarily equate to how many milligrams of Testosterone per milliliter your product truly contains. Let me elaborate on that.

Testosterone is the principal circulating androgen.

In men, it is secreted primarily by the Leydig cells in the testes at a daily production of about 6-7 mg [R].

Other clinical data corroborates this as well.

A more broad and accurate range is 3-10 mg per day [R], but in general, the average daily production is approximately 6-7 mg per day in healthy men.

The difference between 3 mg per day and 10 mg per day is massive, as you would logically conclude.

However, this is not reflected in the therapeutic reference ranges you will see in your blood work.

Depending on the lab, the healthy range of natural Testosterone production could be as low as 240 ng/dL on the bottom, and 1000 ng/dL on the high end.

Some labs are even worse.

It doesnt take a rocket scientist to realize that a Testosterone level 4x higher will not equate to the same quality of life, muscle building potential, etc.

However, 90% of doctors still are so far behind the curve that they truly believe that a 250 ng/dL Testosterone level is just as good as a 1000 ng/dL Testosterone level.

Based on the daily average production in milligrams, we can calculate that weekly the average healthy male produces between 42 to 49 mg per week.

A ton of men using 200 mg per week probably think that number is far too low and isnt accurate.

However, what a lot of guys don't consider is that the ester itself takes up a significant portion of the milligram content per milliliter.

After administering Testosterone, your body has to cleave the ester from the molecule to free up the Testosterone to actually be bioavailable in the body, and that ester accounts for a significant portion of that milligram/milliliter amount.

The only exception to this is Testosterone Base and Testosterone Suspension, which are just straight up Testosterone products with no ester attached, but you would never get a prescription for that as the half-life is so short it would require multiple administrations per day.

The Cypionate ester has a high molecular weight and accounts for 30% of the milligram total stated on a TRT prescription.

For example, if your TRT prescription was 200 mg of Testosterone Cypionate every week, despite the vial being labeled as 200 mg/ml, the Cypionate esters molecular weight takes up 30% of that mg content, and cleaving the ester from the Testosterone molecule in the body leaves only 140 mg/ml, which is 70% of the stated label dosage.

There are vastly different perspectives on hormone levels in the TRT community and the bodybuilding community.

There are many men (mostly bodybuilders) who believe that 200 mg per week is the bare minimum for high-end TRT, and dosages of 250 mg or even 300 mg per week are justified as within the realm of natural production still.

There are doctors who will corroborate this too, which to me is pretty baffling.

Very, very seldom does somebody actually need 200 mg a week to maintain the equivalent of healthy endogenous production.

Usually, those guys are essentially running a cycle year-round.

This is something Ive been saying for a while now, as I used to actually believe that 200 mg per week was therapeutic (until I started really monitoring my blood work closely).

My TRT is currently 125 mg per week, and even that is pushing into supraphysiological territory when you actually split that shot into seven micro shots to keep more stable blood serum concentrations.

Splitting a large dosage/administration of 125 mg per week into 7 administrations/micro-doses of 18 mg per day increases Free Testosterone more relative to a large weekly dosage, decreases the amount of aromatization to Estrogen occurring in the body, and maintains more stable Testosterone blood serum concentrations.

Often times, doctors will prescribe their patients 100 200 mg of Testosterone Cypionate every 7-10 days, and then advise them to administer it in one giant dosage once per week, or even once every 2 weeks.

This is insane and reflects on how completely inept the majority of physicians are when it comes to hormone management.

When you administer yourself with a large dosage at once, you spike your Testosterone levels to supraphysiological levels, often 2x or even 3x as high as they should be for a few days, which obviously has an equivalent amount of aromatization occurring in parallel to this.

Following this, levels slowly crash down as hormone levels decline in the body, and often times patients will fall back down to the low end of the reference range while waiting for their next shot.

The end result is a constant roller coaster of fluctuating Testosterone levels going from way too high, to way too low, over and over again, with far too much Estrogen aromatization occurring, resulting in completely unnecessary side effects.

These side effects often then need to be mitigated with an Aromatase Inhibitor, which doctors know even less about how to prescribe and mange correctly, and will often crash their patients E2 levels into the ground and leave them feeling like complete trash and ruining their lipids.

AIs are not something you want to be on long term as they are not healthy, and E2 management can be done via lifestyle and diet changes more often than not in the context of therapeutic TRT.

There are constant arguments about what the optimal replacement dose of Testosterone is.

There's a small camp of guys who believe that 10 milligrams of Testosterone Propionate per day is ideal for most men, and I'm inclined to agree with them far more than the guys who believe that dosages as high as 200 mg per week are necessary.

This will of course vary depending on a variety of factors, but typically 10 mg of Testosterone Propionate per day will put an individual at top end of the Testosterone therapeutic range.

I find that when men talk about ideal dosages being closer to 125 150 200 mg per week, the ester weight often isn't taken into account (Cypionate, Enanthate, Propionate, etc. all have different molecular weights), and they are often individuals who administer large dosages at once, let their levels spike way above the therapeutic limit up to supraphysiological levels for a few days, and slowly crash underneath that until their next shot.

If you get your blood drawn during a trough and the results show that you have a 850 ng/dL Testosterone level, you may not be accounting for the fact that right after you administered your fat weekly (or even bi-weekly) dosage, your levels probably skyrocketed upwards of 1500 ng/dL.

I found this statistic very interesting as 50 milligrams a week really is not much whatsoever in contrast to what most guys are injecting weekly believing they are just replacing their natural production.

There are a lot of massive bodybuilders, including IFBB pros, who maintain massive physiques in the off-season and in retirement with just 200 mg of Testosterone per week.

They're able to maintain physiques that are blatantly not maintainable naturally.

If top bodybuilders who are pros at 240 pounds plus are maintaining those physiques with just 200 mg per week, its pretty transparent that the 200 mg per week dosage is actually more than the therapeutic amount in most situations, and the clinical data backs this up.

Personally, I used to believe I needed 200 mg per week to maintain my physique, and I was SO wrong.

200 mg per week for most individuals is the equivalent of running a cycle year round, and certainly is not therapeutic in any capacity.

There are caveats to this, with SHBG, ester choice, body composition, diet, lifestyle factors, and many other things playing a significant role in how much Testosterone actually becomes usable in the body, consequently influencing how large of a dosage an individual would need to achieve healthy Free Testosterone levels.

But in general, true therapeutic TRT would be as simple as replicating the natural daily production of 6-7 mg with an exogenous source after factoring in the ester weight.

P.S. I do all of my daily TRT injections with an insulin pin now in my glutes and ventro glutes.

With such a low volume of daily oil, its something I can get away with daily without creating a lump of oil that doesnt absorb properly, which would occur if you tried to jab a large amount of oil too shallowly with a short needle.

No more harpoons for me.

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How Humans Really Burn Calories And What That Means For Losing Weight : Shots – Health News – NPR

Posted: at 2:37 am

Intense physical activity may not be as helpful in losing weight as you may hope. Catherine Falls/Getty Images hide caption

Intense physical activity may not be as helpful in losing weight as you may hope.

It's an eternal question: What diet is best for weight loss? Or, what should we eat (or avoid) to stay healthy?

Devotees of paleo or keto will talk your ear off about why their diet is the most sensible. People choosing vegan diets (no animal products, including dairy) make a compelling case for both personal and global health.

Herman Pontzer, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University, argues that human metabolism has evolved to the point where how we eat and expend our calories is more important than all of our collective obsession with what to eat.

In his new book, Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Stay Healthy and Lose Weight, Pontzer breaks down the science of metabolism and shares tales from his work studying caloric expenditure among hunter-gatherer societies.

One of the most startling findings is the notion of constrained daily energy expenditure. This is the idea that the human metabolism adapts to our activity levels to keep our daily calorie burn in a surprisingly narrow range no matter how hard you work out. But don't let that depressing fact hold you back from the gym it's crucial that you still get daily exercise for weight maintenance and overall health.

This interview with Pontzer is adapted from an interview for Public Radio Tulsa's Medical Monday program and has been edited for length and clarity.

In your book you debunk the common metaphor we use for caloric expenditure an engine or a machine. You say it would be more accurate to compare it to running a business. Why is that?

The engine view gets a few things right. We put fuel into our bodies in the form of food. And we do burn it off in all the tasks that our body does, the way that an engine burns fuel.

But an engine, like the engine in your car, doesn't get to decide how it burns the fuel. A car's energy burn is all about how hard you step on the gas pedal. Your body isn't like that. Your body is more like a business, as it has an overall goal like any business does. The overall goal of your body is to survive and reproduce, because that's what every organism has evolved to do. But there are many parts and pieces and departments that are in the service of that overall goal.

In a business you have finance, sales, human resources and security and everything else. It's the same with your body. You've got all these different organ systems that all work together. And like a business, when income is low, you can juggle things around. So you spend less on this or that task. And when things are good, you can ramp up the energy that you spend on different tasks. And so that kind of juggling or prioritization that businesses do is the same that your body can do with how it spends calories.

One fallacy with the engine model of calorie burning is we think, OK, I've got to burn more calories than I take in, either by eating less or exercising more or both. But as you point out, the metabolism adjusts, and it becomes harder to lose weight. So even though exercise isn't really a great weight-loss strategy, it's still very important for your overall health, right?

That's exactly right. If you're more physically active, eventually you don't burn more calories a day, but you change the way your calories are spent. If you spend your calories on exercise, what that means is you're spending fewer calories on other tasks.

And for most of us, that's a really good thing, because if we spend less energy, for example, on inflammation, we reduce our inflammation levels. If we spend less energy on stress reactivity, for example, our cortisol levels don't go up as high and our adrenaline levels don't go up as high, we achieve lower levels of stress response. And it seems that that exercise might also help keep testosterone for men or estrogen levels for women at a slightly healthier level. So that adjustment, that metabolic adjustment that we make is one of the reasons exercise is so good for us.

You've done extensive research with modern-day hunter-gatherers, like the Hadza people of Tanzania to better understand how human metabolism works. What did you learn?

The Hadza, to this day, don't have any domesticated crops or animals or machines or guns or electricity or anything like that. They live in grass houses in the open savanna in northern Tanzania. And every morning they wake up and women are off to get plant foods, such as berries and tubers. The men go off to hunt for a wild game using bow and arrow.

For somebody like me who studies how humans evolved, a community like that is just an invaluable way to ask what hunting and gathering does to our bodies. Because we humans evolved over millennia as a hunting and gathering species. And yes in a population like that, food can be scarce sometimes. And you're always spending lots of energy on physical activity. So your body really has to be good at prioritizing how it spends its calories.

The Hadza walk everywhere they go, and compared to us, are seldom sedentary. I'd assume they burn significantly more calories than we do in a day. Yet surprisingly, your work shows that their metabolism isn't all that different from the average American.

About 10 years ago, we went and measured how many calories men and women in the Hadza community burn every day. The Hadza are so physically active, we'd expect that their total calories burned every day would be much higher than we see in the U.S. and Europe and other industrialized populations. And instead, what we found was that actually, even though men are getting 19,000 steps today, women are getting 13,000 steps a day on top of all the other work they do, they aren't burning more total calories every day than we are in the West.

Physical activity ends up being another one of those things that the body can juggle and adjust. And so in the same way that your body can adjust to changes in your food environment, your body can adjust to changes in your physical activity. So for the Hadza, their "metabolic business" has adjusted so that they spend less on other body systems to make room for that big physical activity workload that they have.

What does this mean for someone who is trying to lose weight today?

If you or I started an exercise program tomorrow, we will burn extra calories from that exercise for a while. But after a couple of months, our bodies will adjust so that we're spending about the same energy every day as we were before we started the exercise. Your body adjusts how it spends its energy to keep the total calories burned every day within a relatively narrow range. It just speaks to how adaptable and flexible our bodies are and how we're not really in charge of our metabolisms the way we think.

You include a section in the book about the TV show The Biggest Loser in which contestants competed to see who could lose the most weight. What was the problem with that?

Contestants went on this show and were put under a brutal routine of intense exercise, coupled with near starvation. You can lose a lot of weight that way. But it's not sustainable. Your body pushes back hard by slashing its metabolic rate. Some of those contestants have been followed for years afterward. The folks that have been able to keep the weight off still have lowered metabolic rates from what they went through. A lot of the contestants gained the weight back.

It goes to show you the way to fix the obesity crisis societally or [to lose and keep weight off] individually is not some big, drastic crash approach. You've got to go more sustainably than that because the body will just push back if you push too hard.

So if your goal is to lose weight, nutrition will offer the bigger impact than exercise. But for maintenance of healthy weight, that's where exercise is essential?

That's right. Let's rethink what exercise is doing. I call it the rhythm section of your body. Exercise keeps everything on the same page, on the same beat, and it helps regulate how your body works. And so once you get to a healthier weight, once you are able to lose weight and get to a set point where you want to be, exercise is really key in keeping yourself there. Exercise changes the way that your body regulates how hungry you feel or how full you feel.

The paleo diet is based on the idea that when we were all hunter-gatherers, we ate a certain way, and we didn't have problems with obesity or Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. But based on your study of the Hadza, what is it that the paleo folks get wrong?

If you go out and have a chance to live with a group like the Hadza, you realize that a lot of the stories we tell ourselves about the past, including things like the paleo diet, just kind of fall apart. So there's this idea in the paleo diet world that there's one sort of single natural human diet, and that diet was very meat heavy, hardly any carbs at all and certainly no sugars.

[In reality] the Hadza have a mix of plants and animals in their diets. It changes day to day and year to year, but about half of the calories are coming from plants. And not only that but actually something like 10[%] to 20% of their calories every day comes from wild honey, which is just sugar and water, you know, which it would not be on any paleo diet person's menu. Another big part of their diet is the starchy tubers and these root vegetables, which you often aren't allowed to eat on some version of the paleo diet.

One last thing that stunned me from your book: You write about the metabolic cost of pregnancy comparing pregnant women to Tour de France riders.

You can push the body as in the Tour de France, where riders burn 7,000 or 8,000 calories a day for three weeks. But it also makes sense that pregnancy is pushing the same metabolic limits as something like the Tour de France. They both run your body's metabolic machinery at full blast for as long as it can keep it up. It just speaks to how taxing pregnancy is, for one thing, but it also speaks to how these things are all connected. Our energetic machinery gets co-opted into these different tasks and makes connections that unite all of these different experiences.

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‘SWAT’ Preview: Will Season 4 ‘Do Better’ Exploring Race and Policing? – TVLine

Posted: November 13, 2020 at 4:57 am

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CBS S.W.A.T. is ready to swing back into action, with a two-hour Season 4 premiere airing this Wednesday starting at 9/8c.

TVLine spoke with executive producer Aaron Rahsaan Thomas about the powerful, 1992 L.A. riots-themed season opener, which was postponed from last season but is only more relevant now (watch a sneak peek below), as well as the many personal storylines and tests ahead in Season 4.

TVLINE | S.W.A.T. is returning with the Season 3 finale that was postponed by the pandemic, which flashes back to the L.A. riots. Did that episode come out looking a bit different than you originally planned, given every single thing that has happened since?Whats been awesome is how our production team has been really great about being able to plan for this episode in advance. The proactive side of it has been is weve had enough time to really look at how we could still maintain the quality that we were going after in the COVID era. And having looked at the first cut of that episode recently, I can say that weve been able to get pretty much what we wanted. There are considerations regarding, you know, large crowd scenes, and certainly spacing is important. But as far as the material, were pretty much telling the story that we wanted to tell. Were still telling the scope of the story of current day S.W.A.T. dealing with the current political unrest, that tricky dance between the police and the community, and also telling the flashback story back to 1992 of some of the same parallel elements that the police and the community was dealing with at that time. That is all still very much in place.

Donald Dash and Rico E. Anderson play Hondo and Daniel Sr. in flashbacks

TVLINE | No one would have faulted you at all for going with archival news footage of the 1992 riots, because you cant put together a crowd scene the way that you need to. But youre saying you kind of found a way to sell that?Fortunately and unfortunately there are ample examples to pull from when were talking about civil unrest and uprisings in the history of Los Angeles. Theres a lot to pull from both current day and from 1992 that allows us to supplement the look of our episode. So, what weve done, with the help of our director/producer Billy Gierhart, is to in essence maximize our establishing shots based on the stock footage that we were able to get from archives, and then supplement that when we go in to shoot our people on the ground. Normally, if you can sell an audience on the scope of the event from the master shots then you tend to believe and be willing to go with that belief once you go in close. In close, we dont have nearly that many extras that we can or should use, but hopefully your mind is in the space that we actually are in that environment.

TVLINE | Did you slip in any up-to-date references? Like, are Hondo (played by Shemar Moore) and the team talking about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor?Yes and no. The tone of the story certainly shifts a bit, because at the time what we were talking about was how between the Watts riots of 1965 and the Rodney King riots there were 27 years that had passed, and the year 2020 had marked 28 years since Rodney King how maybe were making progress. But the original tone of the story was, Wow, weve learned something new, maybe this time weve gotten it right and then George Floyd happens.

What we tried to do is not necessarily focus on any one modern event or movement; our story is more about the overall legacy of a city, of Los Angeles. The fact is that the things are happening now are not unique and isolated to the year 2020. So, to answer your question: There are references to the current day situations that are happening, and in particular we have a really poignant few places where we reference these modern occurrences. But the overall focus of the story is how the [citys] legacy helps give context to the current day situations more so than the specific current day situation.

TVLINE | Will the premiere also juggle the dangling thread from the Season 3 finales Diablo storyline? Oh, yeah, we very much honor that. Theres something larger and unexpected that happens off of the El Diablo saga from last season. There are some twists and turns to that story that weve yet to play out, and certainly Diablos final lines about the city burning, those will not be in vain.

TVLINE | Are there any personal storylines youre going to hit at the beginning of the season? Like, is Luca (Kenny Johnson) back with the team 100-percent at this point? Also, Deacon (Jay Harrington) confronted his mental health, Tan proposed to Bonnie.All of the above well hit on in the premiere. Moving forward, were definitely going to see Deacon coming off of his arc off of last season and really getting into mental health and starting to counsel a new mentee, based on that idea of him being able to share his wisdom.

Well see definitely Tan (David Lim) and Bonnie (Karissa Lee Staples) examining what you know the next step is for them and Tan having to really consider whether the next step is the best thing or the thing that he wants to do in their relationship.

Luca has always been kind of the heart of our team, a good soldier, and he is going to be facing some leadership opportunities. He will examine whether or not leadership is anything that he wants to do, and why he hasnt considered it before, being a third generation in S.W.A.T. But we have a few twists with Luca, especially early on, where were going to have him working on a larger project that may take him out of the City of Los Angeles. But I dont want to reveal too much just yet with that.

TVLINE | And Street (Alex Russel), he was still dating the commanders daughter, right? Yet theres always something going on with him and Chris (Lina Esco), though we can never quite get a bead on it.Oh, yes, you have the ongoing relationship that Street has with Molly (Laura James), and that provides complications between Street and Hicks himself (Patrick St. Esprit). You know, Streets come a long way since Season 1 weve seen him mature, especially through the last season where he lost his foster brother Nate. But that tends to be, for some people, exactly where you start to backslide. So, Street at the start of the season is in a good spot, but that doesnt necessarily mean things are going to stay that way for him.

Chris, by the way, through the course of the season were going to take her through an emotional kind of whirlwind thats going to test her in a way that she hasnt been tested before. And certainly, her and Streets friendship will be affected by that.

TVLINE | Hondo and Nichelle (Rochelle Aytes) had just broken up.Nichelle went off to work on youth centers, but we really loved the chemistry between the two of them. Nichelle will come back into Hondos life, but that doesnt necessarily mean that theyre going to be romantic. Hondo has some things that he still has to figure out on the personal side before hes really ready to be in a committed relationship again. The two of them, theyre in a unique position in that you have Nichelle who works at a community center and you have Hondo who is a police officer and in the year 2020, they may have different opinions on certain topics. He needs to earn that friendship back and its really going to test Hondo in a way that we dont normally see.

TVLINE | Lastly, I wanted to ask about the statement that you and the writers put out over the summer about wanting to do better in exploring themes of racial injustice and inequality. Have you seen that effort manifest itself yet?What I can tell you is that from the storytelling end of things, we definitely buckled down and really try to make sure that were examining and getting as close to the truth as we can in the stories that we tell. Its a lot of responsibility, with Hondo being our essential character an African-American police officer who respects the job and respects the badge but also understands, having grown up in the community, what the challenges can be, and trying to bridge that gap. Weve had it baked into the DNA of the show from the very beginning from the pilot episode.

Everyone from Shemar Moore to [executive producer] Shawn Ryan to myself to [EP] Andy Dettmann, from the entire writing staff to our entire production and crew, we all have a responsibility to really lean into the show not only as a device for entertainment, but also as a beacon of hope. As an aspirational example of ways that we can improve communication using Hondo as an example of that. So from the opening frame of this season, youre going to see that Hondo is very much confronted by a community that questions his allegiance and he ends up being confronted as well by his police contemporaries who question where his heart is. You have a guy whos caught in the middle and has been since the pilot, but now so more than ever. Like, if you asked Hondo if we were making progress, he wouldve said yes.

TVLINE | Hes got to wonder now, though.Hes got to wonder now. Hondo definitely has that crisis of at least wondering if the efforts that hes making are actually making a difference, and also wondering if the fight is even worth fighting. Again, considering the legacy, considering how many times this has happened over and over again just in his city, much less the country, these are all questions that were leaning into.Were challenging him this season on multiple layers and rightfully so and were not confining it to one episode. Its not a very special episode and after the premiere well never visit again.

Our entire Season 4, pretty much every episode in some way is hitting on that dilemma and not always from Hondos perspective. Tan is a Chinese American in the age of xenophobia, so he has his own perspective thats going to be very unique from anyone elses. Like I said, were going to put Chris through an emotional ringer, and some of that is based on her own world of working in a very testosterone-driven environment. Well be dealing with white nationalists in the course of this season, and not everyone necessarily has the same perspective on how to deal with them.

Were going to be hitting on a variety of different topics, but as far as our proclamation to try to do better in front of and behind the camera, I feel confident that weve been putting in the effort.

Want more scoop on S.W.A.T., or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matts Inside Line.

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Battle of the sexes – Golf – Albany Times Union

Posted: October 28, 2020 at 3:54 am

Of the many reasons you should consider joining a golf club, one is the opportunity to play in tournaments with people you know, carrying handicaps you can trust. These tournaments take many forms but at my course, one of the most loved formats, the tournament that best cements relationships between male and female members, is the Ryder Cup competition.

About 25 years ago our PGA Professional suggested a male/female tournament that pitted the women against the men. The format would be 16 of each gender playing four nine hole events with each of the first three (alternate shot, better ball of partners and two person scramble) worth one point per two person match, then 16 single matches on the fourth nine worth a point each.

There would be no prizes, no money in the Golf Shop just bragging rights.

From the get-go both genders realized the importance of the tournament. Each male strives to establish his place as the Silver Backed Alpha Male (SBAM), while the women are more team oriented. Thinking about it, there is a startling parallel in each teams attitude to the real Ryder Cup the men are the individualistic American squad while the European team attitude prevailed with the women, who start each tournament by huddling, arms over each others shoulders and giving a rah-rah cheer bone chilling if you are a guy competitor.

The first year the women thoughtfully provided snacks and shots of scotch before the competition began; the food out of the kindness of their hearts, the booze a transparent tactic to befuddle the guys. Thus began the tradition of giving tee prizes to each other every year before the first ball was airborne. What this evolved into might be considered by outsiders to be misogyny and misandry, even rampant sexism, but all involved knows it for what it is great fun.

Plans for the tee gift are made weeks in advance, as each team tries to out-humiliate the other. It started out fairly benign the second year with the guys presenting the gals with personalized certificates for each woman, proclaiming their second place finish before the games began and the eventually victorious women returning them to the men at the end of the tournament, their name scratched out and replaced with their opponents moniker. The stage was set.

The women took first place four of the first five years, rendering us SBAMs emasculated, especially the year we received two pink golf balls in a small jock strap as our tee prize. We countered with retroactive trophies the next year bowling trophies, the bowler figure on top cut off and replaced with a Ryder cup, except the cup was a glued-on measuring cup. Other prizes included aprons for the women proclaiming their second place finish and a white belt for the men, printed with pictures of all of the SBAMs and the statement 2019 BSCC Women Belt Men. Which they then proceeded to do.

Then there was the lunch box with a faux stuffed crow inside; a bottle of wine relabeled as Chateau de Feat out of the Love Canal Vineyard, sporting a picture of toxic waste; Cracker Jack boxes that had been opened from the bottom and resealed after removing the original prize and replacing it with a ball marker labeled LOSER; a six pack sampler of beer relabeled with brands such as Boars Butt Beer and 17th Hole Pond Scum Lager.

One year the SBAMs got a case of Wheaties from the local supermarket, unopened, still in the original case, strapping and all. We carefully removed the strapping, put a redone front panel over each of the original boxes, with pictures of all 16 male players and slogans such as 100% whole wheat replaced with 100% Testosterone. It looked exactly like the original front panel and as we broke the strapping and opened the case to distribute the Wheaties boxes to the women, one of them quipped, I hope it has our pictures on it. Priceless.

Next years Ryder Cup will be held the week after that other one in Europe. Thirty-two women and men will meet on a Fall Saturday morning in the gazebo and determine the pairings amid atrocious trash talking before going out to battle. I cant wait.

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New virtual clinic aims to provide accessible, inclusive health care to LGBTQIA+ North Carolinians – Yes! Weekly

Posted: at 3:54 am

With the recent confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court on Monday night, many Americans will most likely lose their access to affordable health care in the near future. And this is particularly disturbing to North Carolinians because, for almost a decade, Republican leadership in the states legislature has refused to expand Medicaid, despite support from voters on both parties. The Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan policy institute, and NORC at the University of Chicago conducted a survey with 1,528 LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals in June.

In states that have not expanded Medicaid, the rate of LGBTQIA+ adults who are uninsured is 20 percent, the results state, adding that LGBTQIA+ adults making less than $45,000 a year are the ones most prominently affected. According to this survey, transgender folks and people with disabilities bear the brunt of the high cost of health care, as 51% of transgender individuals and 40% of people with disabilities who needed medical care postponed it due to cost, and 40% of transgender individuals and 30% of people with disabilities postponed preventative screenings due to cost.

A Greensboro-based virtual clinic with a focus on LGBTQ health hopes to support those living in the margins of society by providing virtual health care services to anyone living in North Carolina. Founded by Chief Operating Officer Jamie Clarke and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Subrata John Guha, the LGBTQ Clinic was conceptualized specifically with the health care needs of LGBTQIA+ people in mind.

If you have a phone, iPad, or computer, you can come see us, Guha said. You dont have to go anywhere just be seen where you are comfortable, and take a proactive approach for your health.

According to Clark and Guhas research, there are approximately 420,000 people that identify as LGBTQIA+ in North Carolina, and of those, 30,000 identify specifically as transgender. Clarke is one of those 30,000. Unfortunately, Clarke knows all too well the barriers that other trans people face when seeking health care.

I had a lot of problems getting comfortable, comprehensive medical care, she said. Not just about [Hormone Replacement Therapy] or sexual health, but about Jamie as a whole person, which encompasses all of those things and my day-to-day medical needs.

She said that the LGBTQIA+ community, as a whole, are not very trusting of doctors. As a transgender woman, she has experienced first-hand what that is like to be treated differently because of her gender identity. At age 35, Clarke decided that she wanted to begin transitioning by starting HRT, so like any other patient, she asked her doctor for more information.

I was dealing with a local doctor and asked to have my hormone levels checked, as I was getting bloodwork done anyway, she said. And they were like, well, why would you want to do that? And I was like, so I can start HRT, and she said, Oh, I am not comfortable doing that.

This experience led Clarke to switch to Dr. Guha. During her interview with him, she felt comfortable enough to ask about starting HRT because he was honest, straightforward, and extremely easy to talk to.

Clarke said when she told him that she was interested in starting HRT, he told her that he wasnt too familiar with it, so he had to do some more research to make sure he was doing it properly.

As we got to know each other, I was explaining to him that sometimes, I was at the point where I wanted to go online and figure out how to do it myself. But he was like thats probably not safe, Clarke said. And there are a whole lot of people that are in that exact boat. So, we are trying to take the stigma out of LGBTQIA+ health.

With The LGBTQ Clinic, Clarke and Guha said they are trying to create a movement toward community-based, equalized health care by building relationships with clients in a convenient and accessible format.

In the telemedicine space, typically what you get is a five-minute visit, sometimes not even by video but as a phone call, Clarke said. Our visits are 15 minutes long, and we strongly encourage getting to know your doctor, and vice versa, because you always get the same care provider.

Clarke described the LGBTQ Clinic as everything one would expect at a visit to their regular health care provider, only virtually.

One of our marketing specialists was like, think about it as going to the doctors office, not getting deadnamed, and you dont have to sit on the crunchy paper in a germ pool, Clarke said.

Guha explained that the LGBTQ Clinic could basically replace ones primary care doctor because it is all-encompassing and that everyone, not just LGBTQIA+ people, could receive health care services.

I can write a virtual prescription to your pharmacist, any pharmacist we are basically like walking into your doctors office but all virtual, Guha said. We cant administer shots, but if it can be self-administered, then I can prescribe it, and you can pick it up.

However, Guha said he makes sure he is thorough with each patient he sees.

When someone comes in, I dont just write a prescription for testosterone, he said. I want that lab work, and I would want to see the patient again after the lab work [results came back] to go over it and then provide the prescription.

The LGBTQ Clinic isnt Guhas first foray into providing fast and accessible health care services to people. Guha said he helped start FastMed back in the ancient ages of 2010, but sold out of it in 2014-2015 after the business was acquired by a venture capitalist. As a heterosexual, cisgender man, Guha said he believes that everyone should have the same access to health care and be treated equally, which is why he was more than happy to help start this clinic.

Guha takes pride in his informed approach to LGBTQIA+ health, as he follows the guidelines put out by the University of California at San Francisco and its Department of Internal Medicines sub-department, which is specifically tailored for the LGBTQIA+ community.

In the last five years, this premier medical center started putting out clinical protocols that established guidelines and state of the art, the scope of practice protocols, he noted.

Launching the LGBTQ Clinic hasnt been easy but has been a labor of love for both Clarke and Guha.

We are really excited about it, she said. Being in Greensboro, and with it being such a large college town, the need is absolutely there. One of the hardest things we are having problems with is trying to have conversations with influencers or people that can get the message out for us. I dont want to be a sponsored ad; I want to be a trusted resource.

Clarke said North Carolinas 2016 controversial Bathroom Bill was a big part of their discussion, and it was a driving factor as to why we would create this clinic specifically.

We dont have time for the noise, Clarke said of the recent politicizing of health care. We just want to provide quality health care to as many people that need it as we can...Its also about bringing some respectability to a state like North Carolina, where there is a lot of uncertainty about this particular issue.

Whoever is elected president in November, we will still be here, she added.

Clarke said each 15-minute virtual session costs $78 per visit, which she said is cheaper than the $150 that is usually charged by the local larger medical centers.

We are looking to do a subscription plan, but because we are so new, we are still testing the market, Guha said, adding that The LGBTQ Clinic will soon accept insurance coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Cigna, United Care, and others.

We are actively pursuing the credentialing process, and its just a waiting game, Clarke said.

I am guessing in the next 30-60 days, and the reason why it is taking so long, as you probably already know, is because of COVID, Guha added.

Presently, there are two doctors (including Guha) and one nurse practitioner on staff at The LGBTQ Clinic. Clarke said she is looking for support from local LBGTQIA+ community leaders but makes it clear that they are not trying to buy their way into the community. Clarke and Guha said they arent in the business of just making a quick buck; they want to establish the LGBTQ Clinic as a long-term resource.

Health care should not be any different or any less quality because you are in the LGBTQ community, she said. We are trying to provide and be a voice to the movement. With a 30-veteran of the health care industry to say that your health care is no different or more valuable than anyone elses, that is the real distinction here.

For more information, visit the website and follow The LGBTQ Clinic on social media (Instagram and Facebook, @lgbtq.clinic)

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Sorkin’s Blast From The Past: The Trial Of the Chicago 7 – Forbes

Posted: at 3:54 am

The Trial of the Chicago 7 revisits a flashpoint in American history as written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and now available on Netflix.

Poster for The Trial of the Chicago 7

Sorkin is a master of the courtroom drama whose films often build to one climatic speech. Sorkins work includes the screenplays for A Few Good Men (You cant handle the truth), Malice (I am God!), The American President (I am the President), as well as The Social Network (Wheres your Facebook?) and his recent directorial debut Mollys Game (Because its my name!).Sorkin is also justly praised for The West Wing, where Walk and Talk shots became a signature Sorkin feature.

Sorkin does his best work when he finds a way to make the central issue personal when he finds a story with no obvious connection to him that nonetheless mirrors his own deepest beliefs or serves as the forum to relitigate his own private personal emotional dramas, arguments and wounds.

In 1968, The Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago. Following the murders that Spring of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, the Convention was seen as a referendum on the Vietnam War. Or at least protesters wanted it to become that. Three different protest groups, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Youth International Party (Yippies), and the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (MOBE), all called upon their supporters to come to Chicago to protest at the convention.

The Convention became the scene of violent riots, with Chicago Police beating protesters. Hubert Humphrey received the Democratic nomination but lost the election to Richard Nixon who campaigned on a Law and Order platform. Once Nixon was in office, his Attorney General John Mitchell ordered the prosecution of the protest leaders: Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden of the SDS, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin of the Yippies, Dave Dellinger of the Mobilization Committee as well as two other protesters. Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panther Party was also indicted.

Judge Julius Hoffman was chosen to hear the case. William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass were the defense attorneys for the defendants other than Bobby Seale whose lawyer could not make it to Court. Seale was unrepresented and Judge Hoffman would not allow Seale to represent himself. Eventually after Hoffman ordered Seale bound and gagged to end his outbursts, a mistrial was declared for Seale, who left the case.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman with Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin in Netflix's The Trial of the ... [+] Chicago 7

Sorkin sets up conflict among the characters as well as against the Judge and Nixons Justice Department. In Sorkins telling (which is based on the actual trial transcripts), Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp) are political activists hoping to change the system in many ways more establishment and more respectful of the judicial system than Abbie Hoffman (Sascha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), who are set up initially as attention hungry anarchists who care more about publicizing themselves than ending the war; and Dave Dellinger, who is the adult in the room, a pacificist believer in non-violence who wants to bring about the end of the war in Vietnam. There appears to be hostility between Hayden and Hoffman as to how best to win their case or, for that matter, how best to end the Vietnam War.

Judge Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella) comes off as biased, short-tempered, and perhaps senile. William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) appears as earnest, sincere, and mostly trying to keep the peace among his defendants and find a way to make their case in court.

Sorkins magic act is such that after setting up Hayden as the voice of reason for most of the movie, it is Hoffman who saves the day. Likewise, Sacha Baron Cohen who steals the movie in what is his best dramatic performance to date. Sorkins reveal is that Hoffman is the one who sees the clearest, who early on understands that this is a political trial, and that the case and its impact would be made both in court and outside among the protesters and the press. On the witness stand, it is Hoffman who gives the answers that best frame the movie. And true to Sorkins predilections, it is Hoffmans explanation of Haydens grammatical vagaries upon which the movie hangs (Its true, I swear!).

All in all, Sorkin makes a crackling drama out of what was a lengthy and laborious trial and does so in a way that has great resonance to today and the recent Black Lives Matter protestsand, more generally, concerning the Trump administration.

So my review, in short: Watch the Trial of the Chicago 7 youll learn lots and its worth watching for Sacha Baron Cohens performance.

Now, putting that all aside, when a narrative piece of entertainment is fashioned about real people there is always that question of how true the performances and characterizations are to the actual people. Certainly the actors can study film and tape, but most of them never had the opportunity to see these people, in person, in their prime. I did.

Over the course of time, I had the chance to hear speak many of the people portrayed in this movie including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Dave Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden and William Kunstler. And although Sorkin is faithful to the trial transcript, the personalities of the characters were different than what we see onscreen. So, for example, Ryland plays Kunstler with a certain modesty, reticence and seriousness of purpose. Kunstler was more of a firebrand, more passionate, more full of himself. Hayden was like his screen character, aggressive and somewhat professorial, but more blue collar in affect than Redmayne. Rennie Davis was more commanding when he spoke. Dave Dellinger was about right, although he had more gravitas. Jerry Rubin was a bright light, high energy and fun (Sorkin diminishes him in this telling). And as for Abbie, Sacha Baron plays him as a stand-up comic, but a very intelligent one (Closer I would say to Cohen himself than Hoffman).I would say Abbie had more testosterone. He was more combative, more provocative. With Abbie there was always a level of engagement and aggression amid his brilliance that is not evident in the screen performance.

Some 40 years ago, youthful political organizers were put on trial by a US government set on curtailing their rights and punishing them for speaking out in what was more political spectacle than legal proceeding. If the passage of time has sought to blunt that memory, and to forget the names of Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Dave Dellinger, Bobby Seale and Bill Kunstler, Aaron Sorkin has done them the tribute of giving them new life in his very watchable and superbly acted film, The Trial of the Chicago 7.

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Oct. 7 – The radio show in my mind | Columnists | fwbusiness.com – FW Business

Posted: October 7, 2020 at 5:55 am

The president of the United States the leader of the free world, arguably the most powerful person on the planet has contracted a dangerous virus, and Im not sure how I should act.

Oh, I know very well what Im supposed to do. I must choose a side and root for my team from the sidelines. But how boisterous or subdued should I be, how enthusiastic or fretful?

The problem, I realize, is that Im missing the prompting Ive gotten used to. I need a cheerleader to give me the proper cues.

Like the ones I got when I briefly revisited the world of televised professional sports, after symbolically boycotting them for the intrusion of politics then actually missing them a little when they were adjourned sine die by the Trump-thumping virus.

Instead of making me endure the empty stadiums and eerie silence, the game enablers provided me with cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands and played recorded crowd noises. It helped me pretend I was watching something important that other people cared about rather than wasting my precious time on a frivolous, meaningless expenditure of testosterone.

And then there is the canned laughter that has been so instrumental in my enjoyment of situation comedies. I have never had to risk being wrong when I decided something was funny enough to be amusing. The chuckle machine showed me the way.

I notice the same laugh track has made an appearance at the return of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! from their COVID-19 hiatus. I do not think an audience is there, since there are no longer panned shots of people applauding. But it sure sounds present and accounted for, snickering or guffawing at the hosts witticisms.

The people who are not there. Like the sounds that really arent there in the movies I watch on Netflix that I once would have left the house for. The click of high heels on linoleum. The whoosh of wind in the trees. The crackle of flames in the fireplace.

Theyre called Foley effects, invented for radio dramas to tickle the imagination. Sound-effects specialists would make bone-injury noises with frozen romaine lettuce, horse-hoof sounds with coconut shells, thunder with thin metal sheets, creaking doors with, well, creaking doors. When sound movies came along, so did the Foley artists to add depth and immediacy to the audio quality.

Reality enhanced. Reality augmented. Reality intensified. We could use that right now.

Donald Trump is, after all, the former reality show star, the first game show host ever elected to the highest office in the land. If were all just trapped inside the ultimate reality show, shouldnt we demand the ultimate thrill ride until the next commercial break?

Trumps opponents shouldnt have to settle for merely listening to the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC excoriating the president as a fool and a knave and a heartless, incompetent dictator who should just die as soon as possible, drooling and babbling in a virus-induced fever. There should be angry mob noises at the mere sound of his name, shouts and jeers and taunts and the Foley-created sounds of torches being lit and chains being rattled.

And his supporters shouldnt be content with just watching Fox News or listening to Rush Limbaugh to hear that Trump is the best president ever, achieving historic, world-shaking successes despite the obstructionist tactics of his evil, unpatriotic opponents who are little better than treasonous scum. There should be the sounds of champagne corks popping and the majestic strains of Hail to the Chief as the adoring multitudes prayerfully chant his name.

In the radio show of my mind, I can hear the teeth gnashing, see the hair pulling, feel the cynicism building to a boiling point. Just pick a side, my fans are shouting; tell us who you think is right and wrong. Youre not fooling anyone, my critics are sneering; we know which side youre really on when youre not pretending otherwise.

But, gentle readers, during such a grave moment, a potential turning point in our history, shouldnt we be able to bridge the partisan divide and unite to work together as one great American people on a common purpose with courage and understanding?

Cue wild applause, whistles, stomping of feet, heartfelt laughter and tears of joy, shouts of Way to go, champ! and Atta boy, Leo as America the Beautiful begins to play. Fade to commercial.

Leo Morris, columnist for The Indiana Policy Review, can be contacted at leoedits@yahoo.com.

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MORRIS: The radio show in my mind | Opinion | newsbug.info – Newsbug.info

Posted: at 5:55 am

The president of the United States the leader of the free world, arguably the most powerful person on the planet has contracted a dangerous virus, and Im not sure how I should act.

Oh, I know very well what Im supposed to do. I must choose a side and root for my team from the sidelines. But how boisterous or subdued should I be, how enthusiastic or fretful?

The problem, I realize, is that Im missing the prompting Ive gotten used to. I need a cheerleader to give me the proper cues.

Like the ones I got when I briefly revisited the world of televised professional sports, after symbolically boycotting them for the intrusion of politics then actually missing them a little when they were adjourned sine die by the Trump-thumping virus.

Instead of making me endure the empty stadiums and eerie silence, the game enablers provided me with cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands and played recorded crowd noises. It helped me pretend I was watching something important that other people cared about rather than wasting my precious time on a frivolous, meaningless expenditure of testosterone.

And then there is the canned laughter that has been so instrumental in my enjoyment of situation comedies. I have never had to risk being wrong when I decided something was funny enough to be amusing. The chuckle machine showed me the way.

I notice the same laugh track has made an appearance at the return of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! from their COVID-19 hiatus. I do not think an audience is there, since there are no longer panned shots people applauding. But it sure sounds present and accounted for, snickering or guffawing at the hosts witticisms.

The people who are not there. Like the sounds that really arent there in the movies I watch on Netflix that I once would have left the house for. The click of high heels on linoleum. The whoosh of wind in the trees. The crackle of flames in the fireplace.

Theyre called Foley effects, invented for radio dramas to tickle the imagination. Sound-effects specialists would make bone-injury noises with frozen romaine lettuce, horse-hoof sounds with coconut shells, thunder with thin metal sheets, creaking doors with, well, creaking doors. When sound movies came along, so did the Foley artists to add depth and immediacy to the audio quality.

Reality enhanced. Reality augmented. Reality intensified. We could use that right now.

Donald Trump is, after all, the former reality show star, the first game show host ever elected to the highest office in the land. If were all just trapped inside the ultimate reality show, shouldnt we demand the ultimate thrill ride until the next commercial break?

Trumps opponents shouldnt have to settle for merely listening to the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC excoriating the president as a fool and a knave and a heartless, incompetent dictator who should just die as soon as possible, drooling and babbling in a virus-induced fever. There should be angry mob noises at the mere sound of his name, shouts and jeers and taunts and the Foley-created sounds of torches being lit and chains being rattled.

And his supporters shouldnt be content with just watching Fox News or listening to Rush Limbaugh to hear that Trump is the best president ever, achieving historic, world-shaking successes despite the obstructionist tactics of his evil, unpatriotic opponents who are little better than treasonous scum. There should be the sounds of champagne corks popping and the majestic strains of Hail to the Chief as the adoring multitudes prayerfully chant his name.

In the radio show of my mind, I can hear the teeth gnashing, see the hair pulling, feel the cynicism building to a boiling point. Just pick a side, my fans are shouting; tell us who you think is right and wrong. Youre not fooling anyone, my critics are sneering; we know which side youre really on when youre not pretending otherwise.

But, gentle readers, during such a grave moment, a potential turning point in our history, shouldnt we be able to bridge the partisan divide and unite to work together as one great American people on a common purpose with courage and understanding?

Cue wild applause, whistles, stomping of feet, heartfelt laughter and tears of joy, shouts of Way to go, champ! and Atta Boy, Leo as America the Beautiful begins to play.

Leo Morris, columnist for The Indiana Policy Review, is winner of the Hoosier Press Associations award for Best Editorial Writer.

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5 things we learned from Game 2 of 2020 Finals – NBA.com

Posted: at 5:55 am

Five things we learned from the Los Angeles Lakers 124-114 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the 2020 Finals Friday in the Orlando bubble:

* * *

It certainly was a little-brother Game 2. Thats when an outcome never is in doubt and barely even competitive, thanks to the older-brother Lakers sensing they could grab control (mostly with their offense) whenever they needed to do so.

Miami essentially was kept on a bungee cord all night. Sometimes they were way behind, sometimes they were closer. After the Lakers got out in front by eight points deep into the first quarter, the closest the Heat got that period was six. In the second, L.A.s lead grew to 13, dwindled to four, then jumpedup to 14 by halftime.

Second half, more of the same: Up by 18, never leading by less than nine in the third. Then double digits for all but 20 seconds in the fourth.

Kujos, as Michael Jordan used to say, to those viewers who stuck with it to the inevitable end.

Playing without point guard Goran Dragic (plantar fasciitis) and center Bam Adebayo (neck/shoulder strain), two of its three best players, as it did Friday, Miami was pretty much airport code -- MIA -- on its way to a2-0 hole. Not to say there isnt hope, considering that four teams in Finals history have overcome that start.

The 1969 Celtics, the 1977 Trail Blazers, the 2006 Heat and the 2016 Cavaliers each clawed back to eventually celebrate. But Bill Russell, Bill Walton and Dwayne Wade arent walking through that door, and when LeBron James does so for Game 3 on Sunday(ABC, 7:30 p.m. ET), hell be turning left for the opponents locker room.

Miami can muster as much spit n vinegar as it wants, but its words arent going to hurt and its punches arent going to land as long as the Lakers have a hand on their forehead, keeping the littler fellas at an Anthony Davis-arms length.

We're never giving up, Heat leader Jimmy Butler said. We're going to fight and we're going to ride with this thing until the wheels fall off. It's not over. We're just down 0-2, so we got to do something special. We're capable of it and I wouldn't want to be in the trenches with any other guys except for the ones that we have.

Except for maybe Russell, Walton, Wade and

A case can me made for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a handy Derringer of a player who always seems good for a couple of timely shots each game. Alex Caruso shines, but mostly because he continues to be grossly underestimated. Kyle Kuzma? Not yet.

Its pretty clear now that the third-best, certainly the third-most valuable and important Laker in the postseason behind James and Davis is Rajon Rondo. The 34-year-old veteran of 14 NBA seasons and deep playoff runs in his long-ago Boston incarnation has been indispensable for several reasons.

Perhaps the biggest is the trust coach Frank Vogel and teammates have in Rondo to run their attack. Against Miami, that means a creator savvy enough to see whats needed -- for instance, getting into the heart of the Heats zone defense with the ability to make plays.

A second benefit is that when Rondo has the ball in his hands, James doesnt have to. Now that hes 35, if James had to play the 39 minutes he logged in Game 2 the way he used to play five or 10 years ago, hed be tuckered out or cramped up before the buzzer. This way, Rondo gets LeBron off the ball, enabling him to conserve energy on offensive possession (and take off defensive possessions less often).

Its worth a historical note here: Rondo moved up to sixth on the all-time NBA playoffs assists list Friday and now has 1,063. He passed Larry Bird (1,062) and Steve Nash (1,061) with 10 in 26 minutes.

I didnt grow up with hoop dreams, Rondo said. The past names that I passed in the playoffs from Isiah [Thomas] to Michael [Jordan] to Kobe [Bryant] to Steve and Larry. I couldnt even dream of that opportunity. I played with a lot of great teammates that obviously made shots for me.

That brings us to a third reason Rondo has been L.A.s No. 3: Now hes making shots for his teammates. Specifically, those desirable ones from the arc.

In Rondos first 96 appearances over seven postseasons from 2008 to 2017, he shot .266 (29 of 109) on 3-pointers. In his last two playoff runs, though, he has shot .439 (25 of 57). So far in this series, he has taken nine, made four.

The Heats best player -- in Dragics and Adebayos absences, definitely --took heat on the broadcast of Game 2 from Mark Jackson for not seeking out his own shot more often. We wont nitpick with that, even though Butlers 1-of-3 shooting didnt capture the eight free throws he had shot to that point (which suggests four more shots for a 28-attempt pace for the game).

Jeff Van Gundy chimed in, too, after Butler a couple of times too often attacked the paint, got near the rim, went into the air and predictably looked for a Heat teammate on the perimeter to whom he could pass. As skilled and strong as Butler is, Van Gundy said, he first should be looking to score.

Theres a case to be made that Miami needs Butler to go off for 15-20 points in the first quarter Sunday, particularly if the cavalry doesnt arrive via his two injured cohorts. It might take pressure off other guys to know the scoring load wont fall so much to them. Maybe it would get the Lakers defense to scrambling in a way they wouldnt enjoy.

Then again, Vogel and his crew could concentrate on choking off Butler completely, daring -- who, Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn or Kelly Olynyk to carry the day in a must-win Finals situation?

Butler finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and 13 assists. He shot 12 free throws, twice what anyone else on the floor managed. This is throwback stuff to the criticism LeBron has taken in his career for favoring the right basketball play over scoring a boatload of points. More points for Butler would have meant fewer for teammates he wouldnt have passed to.

Besides, offense wasnt the Heats problem. And lets not forget that early Jordan scored 63 in a playoff game and lost because he didnt have much help.

I will continue to play that way because that's how we're going to win, that's how we played all year long, Butler said. Just because we're in the Finals it's not going to change.

Scoring points wasnt Miamis problem -- everyone one in their authorized bubble party would tell you 114 should have been plenty to win. But their zone defense configurations never really stymied the Lakers, who seemed almost giddy in hoisting 47 3-pointers, as long as they could exploit the Heats tactic inside as well.

And exploit they did. L.A. made 33 of 50 2-pointers, scored 56 points in the paint and turned 16 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points. The Lakers also outscored the Heat by 15 on 3-pointers alone, lousy percentage or not.

Why play zone when the results were so bad? Miami was thin on alternatives, with its best defender (Adebayo) out and targeted guys such as Herro and Duncan Robinson playing extra minutes.

Also, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra didnt question the strategy as much as the execution. Going zone has some natural downsides -- blocking out for rebounds gets trickier, and theres a passivity that can settle in compared to man-to-man. Still, Spoelstra expected more individually within that team framework.

Said Spoelstra: I don't think it really would have mattered man or zone, there was probably eight, 10 of those possessions where we just did not finish it with that next level of commitment. This opponent is going to require us to go there.

Enough with all the talk about who isnt available for Miami. Lets talk about someone who is: Udonis Haslem. U.D., as hes known. Or the OG, as teammates call him.

If only the veteran forward could get on the court and focus his wrath on the Lakers the way he did on the Heat huddle during a third-quarter timeout.

That was a blistering, a testosterone-fueled challenge to his teammates to play harder, get tougher and empty their tanks, Butler said later. It was not suitable for the airwaves. The Heat briefly showed some life after that.

"Maybe he should just start the game off cussing people out," Butler joked.

Better still, in a series without any real dislike or certainly rancor among the players, Haslem could sprinkle a little by knocking around James and his new Super Friend Davis. Theoretically, anyway, since at 40, Haslem played only 44 minutes all season and hasnt touched the floor in the playoffs.

No one would dare say the Heat players dont respect and heed Haslems advice. Having him in uniform -- in warm-ups, at least -- gives his voice a little extra heft, in boss Pat Rileys mind, compared to sitting in a suit in the second row.

But this series is past exhortations. Haslem could lead by example, if only for a few bumpy-bangy minutes at a time. If you dont have your Bam, you have to find someone else to lay a little wham on the too-comfortable Lakers.

* * *

Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail himhere, findhis archive hereandfollow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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