Archive for October, 2015

Putin Scores 7 goals.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The Make A Wish Foundation couldn’t have done better

It was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 63rd birthday on Wednesday, and he marked the occasion with an eyebrow-raising show of sporting excellence.

In a live televised broadcast, Putin took to the skating rink in Sochi to play a specially arranged celebrity ice hockey game.

Putin’s team included current and former hockey professionals, but proved to be the real showstopper himself, scoring seven goals in a 15-10 victory.

Vladimir Putin… member of the “Trophy Generation”?
Retired NHL legends Vyacheslav Fetisov and Pavel Bure, 57 and 44 years old respectively, played admirable supporting roles, as the likes of Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu, and oligarchs Gennady Timchenko and Arkady Rotenberg came up short for the opposition.

The president was given a giant trophy after the game, as well as a medal for his services to ice hockey.

No, actually the edict of the “Trophy Generation” is everyone gets a trophy, here only Vladimir Putin gets one.

Restraint was in order.  He scored seven goals.  Surely the MVP of the rigged mulligan filled game.
May be worth noting, or maybe not, North Korea’s All Stars tied Dennis Rodman’s all-stars 110-110.  But I guess the purpose of the two are different… with Vladimir Putin, it was all about wish fulfillment, ala… er… The Saga of Batkid?

what next for Lincoln Chafee?

Monday, October 26th, 2015

From the Lincoln Chafee twitter page.

I look forward to speaking at DNC Women’s Forum tomorrow morning. I’ll address my future in the campaign there.

For a look at the future, take a look at … the present of Mike Gravel?

Can Conan O’brien go ahead and have him on his show now?

Thank you Democrats especially in New Hampshire and Iowa! I enjoyed meeting you! I learned a lot!

Can he expound on this one?

What is the role of your Lincoln Chafee types in presidential election contests?  What is the role of these presidential election contests in the career of politicians?  Hillary Clinton effectively ignored him in the debate — parlaying the 2002 Iraq War vote as “old news”, shrugging off vague insinuations of ethical problems…

US drone policy: 90% ppl killed were unintended targets. What better way to help our enemies recruit? @the_intercept

Take that, Obama!

Before his 2008 election bid, Mike Gravel was doing this…

In 1989, Mike Gravel reentered politics. He founded and led The Democracy Foundation, which promotes direct democracy. He established the Philadelphia II corporation, which seeks to replicate the original 1787 Constitutional Convention in bringing direct democracy about.
Gravel led a quixotic
[why the need for this adjective in this series of paragraphs on his post-Senate career?]  effort to get a United States Constitutional amendment to allow voter-initiated federal legislation similar to state ballot initiatives. He argued that Americans are able to legislate responsibly, and that the Act and Amendment in the National Initiative would allow American citizens to become “law makers”.
In 2001, Gravel became director of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, where he admired institute co-founder Gregory Fossedal’s work on direct democracy in Switzerland.[127] By 2004, Gravel had become chair of the institute, and Fossedal (who in turn was a director of the Democracy Foundation) gave the introduction at Gravel’s presidential announcement.

He also spoke before a Holocaust denial group.

All right.  And after all the election…

In June 2008, Gravel endorsed the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative, saying the measure would create a “citizens commission rather than a government commission” with subpoena power against top U.S. officials to “make a true investigation as to what happened” regarding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
And a bunch of other controversial positioning.  See the wikipedia page.

In December 2014, he was announced as the new CEO of KUSH, a company which makes marijuana-infused products for medicinal and recreational use, and a subsidiary of Cannabis Sativa, Inc.

All of which is to say, fringe presidential candidates on the edge of political popular awareness can continue their advocacy work.  Does Lincoln Chafee truly believe in the Metric System, and if he does… there’s a group that might seek him out now.


“Entertain Us”

Monday, October 26th, 2015

“Oh No, I love THEDONALD.  I hope he gets the nomination because then we won’t have to deal with a real election.  What?  You way if he gets elected, you’re leaving the country?  That’s what they say with every election.  No, no, no… Go THEDONALD.”

So we go to this line from THEDONALD

“Here’s the headline — headline, the biggest story, you see it, am I right? — ‘Trump falls to second place in Iowa.’ I said, ‘No way!’ The press was going crazy,” Trump recalled, while expressing his disbelief in the results.
Then he took a jab at Carson for his soft-spoken demeanor.
“You know some of them: ‘We have a breaking story. Donald Trump has fallen to second place behind Ben Carson. We informed Ben. But he was sleeping,'” Trump said, to laughter.

Which has been his line — an advertisement (maybe only online) and a jab in a debate — with respect to Jeb Bush.   “Not entertaining”.

Curious grounds for an election pitch, yes?

Ben Carson has apparently found a niche here in Iowa… which is to say ridiculous and silly things in a low key way, ridiculous things agreed on by the electorate at hand, and yet the low key manner is all the better to fit the profile of the electorate which is skewing a little older.  Also it’s worth noting that the electorate is those Evangelicals — the better to have nominated Hukabee in 2008 and Santorum in 2012 … and we do land on the question of Trump’s appeal, drenched in sin as it is.

Huckabee saving McCain in 2008, and I suppose Romney as well as a Republican would have a better shot at the presidency in 2012 than 2008.  2012 was that bizarre fiasco of a whack-a-mole primary, where everyone got their shot alongside Romney as 1st or 2nd.

Jeb!?  Speaking to ABC News today, Bush offered an anecdote about a previous GOP candidate whose chances seemed slim.
“This time, eight years ago, John McCain was traveling through the Atlanta airport. I saw him and he had no aide, no person, [he was] by himself because his campaign was supposed to be ended,” Bush said of the Arizona senator. “He won the Republican primary that year. This is how the process works; you have to go earn it.”

May be worth mentioning John Kerry wandered through this valley of losing desert, too.  Not saying it’s Jeb, just that if it’s not Jeb it’ll be Rubio… though —

George W Bush don’t like Ted Cruz.  So, maybe this is an election nomination process running off of new rules with a fractured party.

inappropriate thoughts to news items

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

Item number one:

The Palestinian teenagers who came one after another into the True Love gift and music shop on a recent afternoon all had the same request: nationalistic songs — the new ones.
The proprietor quickly handed over the CDs that he had just started keeping at the checkout counter, like “Jerusalem Is Bleeding,” featuring the track “It’an, It’an” — “Stab, stab” — with its ominous backbeat.
“When I listen to these songs it makes me boil inside,” said one customer, Khader Abu Leil, 15, explaining that the thrumming score has helped pump him up for near-daily demonstrations where he hurls stones at Israeli soldiers.
“Stab the Zionist and say God is great,” declares one, a reference to the spate of knife attacks since Oct. 1. “Let the knives stab your enemy,” says another. A third is called “Continue the Intifada” and comes with a YouTube warning — the video shows the Palestinian woman who pulled a knife at an Afula bus station surrounded by Israeli soldiers pointing guns.
“Resist and carry your guns,” the song urges. “Say hello to being a martyr.”

Inappropriate Thought:  I think it would be neat if one of these artists were to do a cover of Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff”.

Story Item Number Two:

New survey findings suggest that when asked how they feel during the school day, USA high school students consistently invoke three key feelings: “tired,” “stressed” and “bored.”
The researcher who led the study warns that such negative feelings can influence young people’s attention, memory, decision making, school performance and social lives. […]

Researchers distributed a brief online questionnaire that featured the question: “How do you currently feel in school?” Three blank spaces followed, with room for any answers they felt were appropriate.
Eight of the top 10 responses were negative.
“Tired” was most often invoked — 39% of students wrote that.
“Stressed” came in second, at 29%. “Bored” was third, at 26%.
By contrast, the two most frequently invoked positive emotions were “happy” (22%) and “excited (4.7%).
Parents and educators should be alarmed by the findings, Brackett said.

Inappropriate Thought:  Aren’t kids supposed to be bored at school?  Also, isn’t that the only proper response to a steady diet of the stimuli — rich as it is in testing, testing, testing?

New Yorker article, backtrack on one famous school shooting:

Kinkel was psychotic: he thought the Chinese were preparing to attack the United States, that Disney had plans for world domination, and that the government had placed a computer chip inside his head.

He’s right about one out of three.

this “seminal” album gets a book written about it?

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Hm.  This strikes me as… a pretty weird book.

For a few decades now, They Might Be Giants’ album Flood has been a beacon (or at least a nightlight) for people who might rather read than rock out, who care more about science fiction than Slayer, who are more often called clever than cool. Neither the band’s hip origins in the Lower East Side scene nor Flood’s platinum certification can cover up the record’s singular importance at the geek fringes of culture.
Flood’s significance to this audience helps us understand a certain way of being: it shows that geek identity doesn’t depend on references to Hobbits or Spock ears, but can instead be a set of creative and interpretive practices marked by playful excess–a flood of ideas.
The album also clarifies an historical moment. The brainy sort of kids who listened to They Might Be Giants saw their own cultural options grow explosively during the late 1980s and early 1990s amid the early tech boom and America’s advancing leftist social tides. Whether or not it was the band’s intention, Flood’s jubilant proclamation of an identity unconcerned with coolness found an ideal audience at an ideal turning point. This book tells the story.

I suppose it’s worth mentioning that the album begins with a heralding anthem for the rest of the album.  The joke lies in its pretentiousness

Why is the world in love again?
Why are we marching hand in hand?
Why are the ocean levels rising up?
It’s a brand new record for 1990
They might be Giants’ brand new album Flood

But it has come to pass, apparently, as written in a hundred page book.

Cubs not to win World Series against not Miami

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Chicago Cubs favored to win 2015 World Series.

So reports Sports Illustrated.  A number of days ago.  Since that time… well, they’re in the hole and no longer favored to win the World Series.

Who’s favored now?  Royals, says one source.  Blue Jays, another.  And at any rate, at 2 and 0 in the series, the Mets have moved ahead to being favored over the Cubs to appear in the World Series.

Too bad.

Oh, not for the sentimental “Cubs win for the first time … defeat the Curse of the Goat, and that one fan… Bart something — who managed to screw up their last National League Series with a fan interference calling back a home run…

No.  Because… Back to the Future Part 2!!

Of course it’s just as well.  One… “Against Miami” is screwed up — Miami’s not in play, and Miami plays in the Cubs’ National League so wouldn’t be in the world series with them anyway and the team is called “Florida” anyways.

And… Two.  Back to the Future day is October 21.  Major League Baseball managed to squeeze back the schedule a week or so since the movie premiered in 1989, so… the World Series winner won’t be decided for a week or so anyways.

So… Screw the Cubs after all.  Sure, they coulda been contenders and make Back to the Future prescient… but it would have been an incomplete match anyways.

who’s up, who’s down, who cares?

Monday, October 19th, 2015

A letter in the Nation

Eric Alterman devoted 10 column inches to making a pretty good case for Bernie Sanders for president [“Inequality in Campaign Mode,” Sept. 29/Oct. 5]. Yet he concluded that Sanders will not win the Democratic nomination, much less the election, and can only put heat on the likely nominee to follow his lead by addressing the concerns of the majority of voters. Only? Those who don’t feel the Bern are talking long shot or less; those who do are on the streets, and it’s working.
Ken Sandin

Damned political commentary who does not… succumb… to mindless… political sloganeering in deference to a candidate meted out by political commentary.

Feel the Bern?  NO… NO… NO… FEEL THE CHAFE!  No… supporters… lining up all over.  (Also… incorrect headline.)

Fascinating in the exchange in the “big debate”, Sanders brings up Denmark, Hillary Clinton goes for the “America.  And America don’t do Socialism.  We do Theodore Rooseveltian Curb Capitalism Excess!!!'”… or, something like that.  Meeting up a message herein: Bernie Sanders is, in terms of image, too far to the left of the Democratic electorate, not in the “head versus heart”, but in their hearts.

And what of Jim Webb — taking his marbles and going home… Or to “Independent Land”.

Will he run with Lincoln Chafee as his running mate?

Oh, and in Lawrence Lessig news… already back-pedaling from past promises.

democratic debate face time

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Clinton 30:02
Sanders 26:22
O’Malley 17:18
Webb 15:58
Chafee: 9:12

Of course, it could be worse for the likes of Lincoln Chafee — the time apportioned could be according to poll number averages, and given that Chafee sits on average somewhere between 0 and 1 percent, he would then get a minute.

the Madonna effect

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

An interesting effect with the “in the background” “Madonna Mania” which is blowing through the town on the eve of the first concert she’s had in this city since the 1980s…

And which the city hasn’t been in the grips of Madonna Mania since she filmed a bad move here in the early 1990s

I have no strong opinion of Madonna — there are worse things that could filter in as occasional background music and noise — and I suppose I wish I had gone ahead and taped that damned Letterman appearance of hers circa 1994 …

But the thing here is that as I read the free alt weeklies coverage of Madonna, and sit in a laundromat with a radio ad for a station I’d never listen to on my own with an ad promoting the concert — breathlessly the voice intones “Iconic.  Legendary”– I find that I have any number of Madonna songs shuffle into my head.  And understand, it’s sort of having the Madonna’s Greatest Hits on shuffle … completely random and arbitrary in terms of what’s playing… music I’ve never sat and listened to …

Oh for a one hit wonder to make the musical selection down to one song.