Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Deflategate repeats history

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Here is New England Patriots President Robert Kraft in his press conference about “Deflate-gate”.







And video tape footage of the person responsible for deflating the footballs.






Bill Nye the Science Guy inquires on the Patriots’ explanation for how the balls got deflated.  The Patriots provide a demonstration.

See where this all ends up, I guess.

fight like apes, Thomas Friedman says

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Thomas Friedman wants you to care about the Ukraine.

Ukraine matters — more than the war in Iraq against the Islamic State, a.k.a., ISIS. It is still not clear that most of our allies in the war against ISIS share our values. That conflict has a big tribal and sectarian element. It is unmistakably clear, though, that Ukraine’s reformers in its newly elected government and Parliament — who are struggling to get free of Russia’s orbit and become part of the European Union’s market and democratic community — do share our values.

It’s an interesting gambit.  It doesn’t take too much to see some ugliness within the erstwhile Ukrainian opposition, such that the American isolationist impulse of viewing this as “black hats against black hats”, even if you have to slide with Ukrainian territorial integrity here.  But here Thomas Friedman insists that the new government is good, better than the old government.
It appears to be more… hm… Thomas Friedman-esque?

sports and all that

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Bwah ha ha.

“We shall overcome #MLKDay,” the team’s official account tweeted Monday, which honors Martin Luther King, Jr. The tweet also included a picture of quarterback Russell Wilson crying after his victory Sunday and a quote from King that read: “Faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first steps.”

The organization deleted the tweet after users called it tasteless and offensive. Within two hours, the football team posted an apology.

We apologize for poor judgment shown in a tweet sent earlier. We did not intend to compare football to the civil rights legacy of Dr. King.

Except they kind of just did.  One’s overcoming 400 years of systematic oppression.  The other is overcoming a 16 point deficit in a football game.  They’re comparable.

On the other hand, I think sports reporting is silly.  You’re searching for analogies to make it real with the Real World, and how they’re metaphors for things and stuff.  Maybe they can do what Scientology did, and piss off the estate of Winston Churchill and tweet about “Our Finest Hour”.

What other highly bad historical analogies can you think of to describe some dramatic sports comeback?

beat the sports beat

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

An example of the silliness of sports writing.

With about four minutes left, Wilson became Fran Tarkenton, Joe Montana and John Elway rolled into one.

What?  Only three hall of fame greats?  How about:
With about four minutes left, Wilson became Fran Tarkenton, Joe Montana, John Elway, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, and Otto Graham rolled into one.
Of course the flip side is that for the first fifty-six minutes of the game, Wilson was Ryan Leaf, Stan Gelbaugh, and Ryan Lindley all rolled into one.

no one ever bothers to read the North Korean news reports on these things

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

For what it’s worth, here’s the North Korean news coverage of The Interview.

We’ll see how they follow up on this news.

Human Rights Foundation founder Thor Halvorssen says the group plans on buying copies of “The Interview” — which depicts the assassination of North Korea’s leader — and including them in upcoming balloon drops over North Korea.


Previous balloon drops have included colorful items: copies of Bravo show ‘Real Housewives,’ films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, chocolate, USBs with offline versions of Korean Wikipedia and American dollar bills. While the items are considered contraband in North Korea, there’s a black market for the material.

Great.  Kardashians are supposed to topple the regime.

I can’t find this quote from a critic of the drop saying “We can better than a damned buddy comedy.”

damned you Time Magazine

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

I see Time Magazine with one of their impulse buy packages — “The 100 Greatest People in the Bible”.  Curious.  I know who number one would have to be.  Jesus.  It’s like a classic rock radio station that does those “Memorial Day” ranking lists of whatever number of songs their station is (99.2, 992 …) — “Stairway to Heaven” is always going to be number one.  Jesus is the number one bible figure.

But I’m wondering who number two is.  Is it Mary or Moses?  Curious, I open the magazine up, and see.  They wimped out.  It’s not ranked.

coups and not coups

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Contrived Political Theater in Spain.

Wearing a top hat and surrounded by supporters mostly dressed in outlandish military uniforms, Vicente Candela stormed the town hall here briefly last month and proclaimed himself mayor of Ibi’s 24,000 residents.

It was, Mr. Candela said, “a coup d’état with humoristic violence,” over in about eight hours. He then handed power back to Ibi’s official mayor, while street cleaners removed the debris of a pitched battle between Mr. Candela’s rebels and his opponents, during which they pelted each other with flour and rotten eggs, amid the deafening noise of firecrackers.

This day of playful, ritualistic political upheaval is held in Ibi every Dec. 28, and traces its origins back as far as the role reversal in the Roman Empire’s festival of Saturnalia, when masters provided table service for their servants, according to José Vicente Verdú, a lawyer who has researched Ibi’s history.

But in modern Spain, the satire has been imbued with outsize significance as scores of corruption scandals have forced the ouster of several mayors and helped plunge support for Spain’s mainstream parties to record lows.

Wear funny hats and take over for a day to “release steam”.

Then again… Not funny hats (totally conducive to the culture of the country) and not “release steam”…

US prosecutors have charged two men with conspiring to overthrow the government of Gambia, in the latest fallout from last week’s failed coup attempt in the small West African nation.

One of these days, that mock coup celebration will take hold for real, the beleagured leaders just deciding “Screw it”, and letting the guys in funny hats and egg yolks have it all.  Then what the rabble do?

Back to the Future

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Where the Hell are my flying cars?

And why are we stuck pondering the political progress of politicians who toadied up to David Duke in the early 1990s?


What ifs of history: Ronald Reagan and 1976

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

From Washington Monthly’s review of The Invisible Bridge

There is one shortcoming of the book—which I hope Perlstein will address in the fourth and final volume, which is supposed to carry the story through to Reagan’s inauguration in 1981. What would have happened had Republicans nominated Reagan in 1976, as they very nearly did? It’s hard to imagine Reagan defeating Jimmy Carter that year, given Carter’s powerful southern and evangelical base, which would have trumped Reagan’s natural area of strength. Gerald Ford came close to upsetting Carter in no small part by battening on liberal and secular doubts about the Democratic nominee (he ran ahead of Nixon ’72 in some Yankee territory); Reagan would not likely have duplicated that feat. Republican elites would have decisively written off Reagan in 1980 in those circumstances, and movement conservatives might have moved on as well, to Phil Crane or John Connally or Bob Dole or even George H. W. Bush, who was running as a born-again conservative. In any event, Carter’s exceptionally poor public standing in 1980 would have likely rewarded just about any credible Republican nominee with a general election victory, and the political Myth of Ronald Reagan, which exerts so powerful an effect on Republicans even today, would have never developed.

Phil Crane?

conspiracy moment

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Oregonian letter to the editor.

‘The Interview’: I’m probably not the only one who won’t be surprised if in a year or so it’s discovered that “The Interview” hullabaloo turns out to have been a colossal publicity stunt. Perhaps Seth Rogen blurted out, “What if we pretend North Korea threatened us? LOL,” and an eavesdropping CIA zealot loved the idea. Presto! “Black Ops” takes over and another lame-brained conspiracy is born.

This makes more sense than the movie.

Tamara Stromquist of Sherwood

As conspiracy theories go, this one is weird.  We have the national security state deciding to promote the film just for kicks, off of an off-hand joke by the film makers.  The Giant octopus apparatus is just in it for the lols.

As for the last sentence… well, it’s supposed to be silly.