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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



Tampa Bay Raves and Rants is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports, lifestyles and nostalgia items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - much of what is printed here should not be taken literally.


Some unfinished business regarding opioids


From a recent The Dispatch: “In recent years, a dizzying array of individuals and groups have come forward with legal action against some of the pharmaceutical companies that produce opioid painkillers, alleging they pushed doctors to prescribe their products when they were not medically required and without fully disclosing their addictiveness. The effort has already won several prominent scalps: Purdue Pharma, the developer of OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in 2019, eventually agreeing to pay an $8 billion settlement.” That’s good as far as it goes. But if we’re really serious about punishing the culprits who ruined tens of thousands of lives, we need to teach a harsh lesson to the drug pushers in doctors’ smocks who willingly played along (and were no doubt rewarded) with this criminal activity. And a great number of them practice in our backyard – remembering the packed parking lots with out-of-state (and in-state) licenses at many doctors’ offices here in Pinellas County.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


Face it Joe, you now own the COVID-19 crisis and despite ample vaccine, courtesy of the Trump administration, over 50 percent of the nation remains unvaccinated.

We’re a bit slow, so help us understand this. Florida is one of several states being sued to resume unemployment benefits while virtually every business in the bay area is advertising in some way or another for help.

Again, being slow, our confusion continues: Gov. Ron DeSantis’ awarding teacher bonuses is a publicity stunt; while Biden’s free-wheeling trillion dollar giveaways are not?

Interesting educational note: USF manages to find $25 million for a new football facility, but until a massive revolt by Tampa Bay citizens, couldn’t find the dough to keep their College of Education open.

Biden, Manfred and other liberals are a bit confused. States like Georgia don’t want to make it hard to vote, they want to make it hard to cheat.

Years ago, Delta Airlines had a great ad campaign “Delta is ready when you are!” Obviously, Spirit Airlines is not.

On this week, the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II – a number of the week – 324,750: that’s the number of aircraft built in the U.S. during WWII. The greatest number of a single aircraft built was the B-24 Liberator with a total of 18,842 planes – nearly half of them by the Ford Motor Company. These numbers come from a terrific book – The Arsenal of Democracy by A.J. Baime.


Sports, media and lighter stuff:


We wish nothing but fair skies to Steve Jerve, WFLA Channel 8’s chief meteorologist, who retired last week after 23 years with the station.

Media note: Twitter has signed a deal with The Associated Press to help elevate accurate information on its platforms. That’s akin to the city of Chicago signing a deal with the Capone mob in the ‘20s to lower the crime rate.

Yes, we know it often takes time for excellence to be recognized by a sports hall of fame, but 51 years after his retirement for the Lions’ Alex Karras? And even sadder, nine years after his passing?

Texas and Oklahoma to join the SEC - more on that below; in a related note, neither institution offers a degree in Geography.

As school prepares to open, this nugget from the “Unofficial 5:05 Newsletter:” Supreme Court rules that students who identify as teachers must be allowed to use the teacher’s lounge.

In last week’s much anticipated rematch of the 2017 World Series between the Astros and Dodgers, it was okay to root against both teams, right?

You’ve lived in the bay area for a long while if you remember the “gas wars” of the late fifties and early sixties when gas sank as low as 15 cents a gallon. As we hit $3.00 a gallon, those were good times.


The SEC continues to grow


The recent addition of football powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas brings the number of schools in the SEC to 16. The conference began in 1932 with 13 members. Three of the originals, Sewanee (1940), Georgia Tech (1964) and Tulane (1966), have dropped out. Sewanee now plays Division III football; Georgia Tech is in the ACC and Tulane is a member of the American Athletic Conference along with the Sunshine State’s UCF and USF. The most recent additions will create some SEC scheduling issues particularly with so-called “permanent” games like Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia, rivalries that go back decades - and, of course, the premier SEC rivalry in this part of the world – Florida and Georgia. But the SEC has until 2025 to sort things out. That’s when the two Big 12 transfers are scheduled to start playing an SEC schedule. Should be fun!

NEXT WEEK: Woodstock; Tragic decision; A real newspaper



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