Monday, July 06, 2015

With thoughts of Enrique Hernandez' balls and of firework mortars exploding on heads, I say,wearing my heart on my Knight's armor sleeves, good night.
I spend a fair amount of time on this blog interpreting photographs, body language is universal and fascinating to moi and there is some powerful communication via body language in the photo above. I do not mind telling you, dear pageviewers, that I had a dickens of a time understanding the patois of this Homo Sapiens, my best guess was that there was some experiment on a bird in an airpump which went tragically awry, I theorized that peut etre this individual inelegantly stumbled while attempting to catch the ball. My theory was not close to mastering the case as the Los Angeles Times humbled my skeels with the following explanation:

"Dodgers shortstop Enrique Hernandez makes an unsuccesful attempt to flip the ball to second base for a force out against the Mets."

I must adopt a willing suspension of disbelief in accepting that explanation since that seems inconsistent with the evidence before my eyes and if true is among the least plausible attempts to effectuate the proferred pupose in the history of baseball.

Initially, although it appears on La La Ti's sorts page I could not find that evocative image on my telephone in a format that would allow me to reprint it as accompaniment to this blog post so I repaired to my computer to locate it and preserve it for posterior. I googled "enrique hernandez dodgers" and was successful in my attempt and also discovered this other image of Enrique practicing his profession:


Interpreting these two images together I conclude tentatively that Enrique has problems with his balls.

"Maine man dies after trying to light firework on his head."-Reuters.

Alcohol-involved incident.

Greece Oxi, U.S. Women Soccer Nai.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

"Congratulations to US President Barack Obama on Independence Day."-Kremlin.ru.

In his message of congratulations, the Russian President noted that, despite the differences between the two countries, Russian-American relations remain the most important factor of international stability and security.

Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that Russia and the USA can find solutions to the most complicated international issues and efficiently resist global threats and challenges as they base their dialogue on principles of equality and respect of each other’s interests.

(emphasis added)

It is hard to respect Vladimir Putin. And Putin knows that Obama does not respect or like him. There is no better way to put this: It hurts Putin's feelings.


That hurt Putin's feelings, too. (Okay, from here on, no laughing, no matter the provocation.)


"Он не взял меня за гамбургер."


"Get your hand off me, bitch."

We made fun of him over the Sochi Olympics. 

We questioned Olympic security, Obama intentionally included openly Gay and Lesbian athletes as part of his official delegation to protest Putin's openly anti-Gay/Lesbian statements. Completely defensible gesture by the president but there was no...reservoir of personal good will between the two men that they could fall back on at the time and so it was just drip, drip, drip (flush, flush, flush) of insult upon insult. Sochi and Ukraine happened at the same time and feelings were particularly raw.

It is difficult to respect the guy! Ukraine would still have happened. Georgia happened right before the Beijing Olympics despite:


Those are two genuine smiles there, not political smiles. For a period of time, those two guys really liked each other.

He still invaded Georgia, right? Isn't that the bottom line? Yes, no "yes, but," "yes," full stop.

Would it be okay if the presidents of Russia and the United States did like each other? Or just "respected" each other? He's going to invade whether you like or respect him or not; no harm in respecting him then, is there? 

At every level, U.S.-Russian relations have been piss-poor:

                                                           "Reset" gaffe triptych:

See, now why intellectual arrogance from the U.S. when we can't even get the correct Russian translation for "reset?"

Could you guys get any further away from each other for that handshake? Why don't you just wave?

Humiliating moment for Kerry. He throws out a line, "Well, if Syria got rid of all it's chemical weapons..." Lavrov said, "We, I mean they, will do that!" Obama said, "John..." so kerrywentbackandacceptedlavrov'ssyria'sproposal.



Or just not shake hands, right? that's another alternative. Attend a funeral together. John, do something else with your hands please.

Not good body language. In a good cause! But not good body language.
Ditto.

Good body language. Between the Russian and the Chinese. Bad.


Bad. For the U.S.

THE worst. Makes me nauseous every time.

(That was over Ukraine, too. Russia intercepted the call.)


Now here is one of Kerry and Lavrov from June 27 of this year:


No, they are not giving each other hand-jobs but that is a natural smile on Kerry's face and (I cheated and read the article) they were warmer toward each other. The issue here of course was Iran. Lavrov and Kerry have had the opportunity to work on the same side lo these many months and I betcha Kerry respects Lavrov--and Putin and Russia--more now that he has seen Lavrov and Russia be truly helpful. They are equals in the P5+1. Last year, during the deep chill over Ukraine, Lavrov made a speech in which he emphasized over and over again that the U.S. must treat Russia with respect, equality, and something else, something like "respect our intelligence." I cannot quote him now but I wrote about that speech and it's in here somewhere. Putin, Lavrov and the Russians know (or they have their suspicions) that they are not as smart as Obama and the Americans. They don't have to be told that! Barack Obama is a generous-spirited man but, you hear it all the time, he is "arrogant." NOBODY LIKES ARROGANT! If you are smarter than me be smart enough not to show it!

There may be something else going on here over Iran: Russia knows the immense personal effort that Obama has put into the Iran negotiations. They know he sent secret letters to the Ayatollah assiduously cultivating trust and respect and credibility. They know John-John has gone on walks with Zarif just like he did with Sergei. They know how many hours (and hours and hours and hours) the Americans have spent attempting to build a relationship with the Iranians and how it looks like that relationship is going to bear fruit in a deal! And the Russians know the Iranians are just as big assholes as they are--bigger assholes. Yet, Obama has written off having a good relationship with Putin.

"They don't make that much effort with us."  

"See? We're not 'most important' to them, we're not even as important as Iran (sniffle)."

"He never wrote me any letters."

"He never even invited me out for a hamburger like he did Dmitri." :(

"Somebody go kill Dmitri for me." 

Obama is in late second term mode now, concerned with his legacy. Let's see, in foreign relations he has...Cuba! Got Cuba! Iran probably. Everybody else in the whole world, he doesn't have them. Obama will go down as having made America's relations with everybody else in the world worse. He doesn't have enough time to justify that Nobel Peace Prize when he had been fifteen minutes in office, too much damage has been done to too many nations by the NSA, by his arrogance and aloofness. But he could reach out one more time before he leaves office to Putin.

Could Obama say just one thing nice about Putin? Like Putin said about him, "He's a brave and good man?" Putin said that about Obama. It was a real nice thing to say! Obama still wrote him off but it didn't make things worse. How about even something like, I don't know, "Vladimir, you got a hot, young friend-girl!" Don't laugh! His Soviet counterpart, I forget his name, God, I can see his face, used to tease Kissinger about his taste for young womenz. It was an ice-breaker, that's all. "You're a dirty old man," Kissinger kidded back. Anyway, something. "Thank you for invaluable aid with Iran." Would there be any harm in writing such a sentiment in a secret letter to Putin, to try to go out on a not-so-cold note? Probably won't do any good! Got it, got it, got it. But would there be any harm? No, there wouldn't be.

Thought for the night. Thought since I saw that picture on June 27 (and read the article).

So-Hillary.

Former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been avoiding the press, refusing to take their questions for instance, for months while running for president. Questionable strategy, that: The campaign wants them at her events (free publicity) but then avoids them. (?) Consequently, a lot of the press coverage of her has been how she avoids them! Take today, for instance:

The campaign wanted to keep the media a certain distance away, I think it was 10 yards, from her so that she could talk to "the people," the media wouldn't stay the requisite distance away and so the campaign decided to string a rope in front of her as she walked. The media were pulled along ahead of, and presumably behind her.
Yeah, "wrangled," coralled. 




So, that is Mrs. Clinton's 4th of July walk down mainstreet in New Hampshire. Counter-productive and so-Hillary.





Saturday, July 04, 2015

July 4.


And on the fourth day he retreated. Ahh, yes. So noble in defeat when painted on velvet with car customizing paints. He was noble, courageous, valiant, retarded and we can admire him even though our values are different from his. Ours were anti-slavery and pro-Union. His were pro-slavery and anti-Union. Very similar, see? Fuck him, that's number one, okay? Fuck the horse he rode in on, that's him right there. Fuck his illiterate, inbred, ill-clothed men, that's them there. Fuck the slavocracy country he and they fought for. And GOOD RIDDANCE!

China.

China's stock market is down almost one-third since June 12. Yeah, that's a lot in a short time. Today Chinese brokerage houses announced that they will buy stock to try to stabilize the market. A similar action worked in Hong Kong in the past. Yeah, stock markets are volatile generally. China's stock market has still outperformed the U.S. market by over 12% in 2015.

There had been a concern, this is a few years ago now, that China's economic miracle, the longest continually sustained growth in the history of the whole earth, was too good to be true, there were concerns about transparency, there were empty mag-lev trains, i.e. public works projects that seemed to some to be meeting no public need, that were being built only to continue the boom artificially.

I hope that isn't happening today. There are still concerns today about how the Chinese people, completely unaccustomed to capitalist things like "recessions," will react to a capitalist thing like a recession. And concerns about how it is that they have never had the experience going on forty years.
Happy Fourth of July!

Okay! I give up. Google, you really fucking piss me off. You changed my photos, you organized them by date. I had them in albums. Now I can't find anything. I am looking for one photo and you've made it impossible to find. Do you have A.D.D., Google? Do you have difficulty leaving things alone? Do you always have to be doing something? Always tinkering, changing? I could fucking strangle you right now.

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father's God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

FDR's First Inaugural Address.


"We have nothing to fear...fear itself."  Yeah, yeah, yeah. This was a transformational speech. It was radical. It was electrifying. It electrified a country literally without full electrification; and it was electrifying figuratively as contrast to FDR's predecessor, Herbert Hoover. The speech crackles with power. There could be no doubt to anyone listening that this man was going to use the power given him. In his own words at the end: "In the spirit of the gift I take it."

This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.
...
...[O]ur distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for.
...
...[T]he rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.

Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.

Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources...We must act and we must act quickly.

...[W]e require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people’s money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.
...
In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor—the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others—the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.

If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.

With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.

Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors.

It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.
...
But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
...
We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.


"In the spirit of the gift I take it." The usual way of expressing the sentiment is to say that one "accepts" the gift, but this was an unusual gift for it was the gift of power. Franklin D. Roosevelt was going to "take" that gift. Extraordinary address.

Sail on.

Dear Churchill,

Wendell Willkie will give you this. He is truly helping to keep politics out over hear.

I think this verse applies to your people as it does to us.

Sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

                                      As ever yours,
                                      Franklin D. Roosevelt
                                      (January 29, 1941)