Monday, March 02, 2015

Smaller story but maybe you'll be interested.

The two newest clubs in America's top domestic soccer league, Major League Soccer, play their first ever games as it says up there. And the venue, Orlando's Citrus Bowl, is sold-out. 60,000 tickets purchased.

Soccer has never gotten a foot-hold in America, curious thing that. This is the 20th season for MLS, I think that is the longest any soccer league has lasted in America, and they are still barely a blip on the consciousness of Americans. Television ratings are very low but attendance isn't bad. The league last expanded to the Pacific Northwest and the Seattle and Portland franchises draw very well.

MLS is a single-owner entity, more like McDonald's than America's other sports leagues, an attempt to control costs and prevent an independent owner-operator from skewing things as happened with Time-Warner and the Cosmos of the old North American Soccer League and Donald Trump and the New Jersey "Generals" of the United States (tackle) Football League. MLS pays its players a comparatively modest salary and does not even compete for the world's elite players. (And MLS is facing a players strike now.) Name players "retire" there: David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard.

MLS has survived. They get that much and some clubs are making a little money.

MLS is never going to be more than a blip until they field world-class teams and I don't know how they do that with their pay restrictions. That's my opinion. Their business model is to grow the sport in America first. They see it as a chicken-or-egg issue, the chicken view having lost with the Cosmos. However I'm stickin' with chicken. "You gotta have money to make money" is another way of looking at it and the Cosmos were a world-class club and drew world-class crowds in America and around the world.

Look, this is America, we don't do second-class, you can't field name players past their prime and think we won't notice, that a Beckham is a Beckham is a Beckham. America is attracted to stars: movie stars, sports stars, we will pay anything to watch stars. Americans know money, we value everything by this here: $. And we know, we KNOW, that if one guy is making $2.4 million per year (the English Premier League average) and another is making $208,000 a year (the MLS average), there's a DIFFERENCE and you can't call both those guys stars. You can't just call a league "Major" and expect us to take your word for it, you can't paint an egg gold and call it a golden egg. Show us the money.

Soccer would have flourished in America on the backs of the Cosmos without NASL. Turn the Cosmos into a barnstorming team playing friendlies all over the country against other world-class clubs and they would have drawn the crowds and made the money that world-class friendlies draw and make in America. You could have built a new league around the Cosmos, incubated that egg in the womb of the chicken, as it were. That is my opinion.

MLS chose the egg and this has been the longest gestation period in history. In its 20th year MLS is no closer to the English Premier League, the Bundesliga, or La Liga, than it was in 1996. Its best clubs cannot be mentioned in the same sentence with Manchester City, Bayern Munich, or Barcelona. Those are not my opinions, those are facts.

Anyway, the egg is MLS's model and they're stickin' to it. MLS has survived, they get that.

Nemtsov Assassination.

A senior academic at a leading Russian institute attended by the son of Boris Nemtsov has resigned from his post as deputy dean after inciting the outrage of his students by posting an offensive comment about the recently slain opposition activist.

Vladimir Talismanov initially offered to resign from his post at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT, or Phystech) on Monday after about two dozen MIPT students and alumni publicly condemned remarks that he had posted on social media site VKontakte following the murder of Nemtsov, who was gunned down Friday outside the Kremlin.

The Americans created this scum [Nemtsov] themselves, financed [him], and they took [him] out themselves. Such is the fate of all prostitutes. [There is now] one less scumbag,” Talismanov, who later deleted his post, reportedly said of Nemtsov’s death, according to an open letter posted Sunday on the MIPT student portal.
                 -The Moscow Times.

"Be glorious our country! We are proud of you!"






Google, I clicked on one of my ads, which you probably know. "China Cry," a book. Never heard of "China Cry." It's a movie, too. Never heard of "China Cry" the movie, either. Book was published in 1984. Never heard of it. That's why I clicked on it, Google, I had never heard of it. I submit to struggle session.
Tens of thousands, tens of thousands.


Sunday, March 01, 2015

Hi.

It is Sunday, March 1. There is is an old English saying that the weather in "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb" indicating that March weather starts out miserable and by the end of the month is pleasant.

Of course, that's England and that, allegedly, is the weather pattern for March in England. In other places there are different weather patterns and hence different adages.

In China the saying is that "March comes in like Yaowu and goes out like Binbin." See, that's different. That's a different saying, one that fits China.

In Pennsylvania, USA "March comes in like a Mountaineer and goes out like a Quaker."

In Cuba "March comes in like Fidel and goes out like Raul," i.e. there is not much change to the weather in Cuba in March.

In Russia "March comes in like a Bear and goes out like an assassinated Bear." Usually.

In Egypt...In the Southern Hemisphere, I HOLD that for this purpose Egypt is in the Southern Hemisphere...In the Southern Hemisphere everything is reversed so in Egypt "March comes in like an Arab Spring and goes out like a coup."

We could put these on greeting cards.
That we know of.
It has been over 24 hours since Putin had anybody assassinated. Anybody prominent.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Politics & Justice.*

Hi. Putin says he is taking personal charge of the Nemtsov investigation...Which is the same way shootings by police officers are investigated in Miami, Florida, USA! So that's good. Putin's lieutenants are on it man, they are all over this one. Unturned stones? Nyet. Among stones they are turning are:

-"...the possibility that fellow members of the opposition had killed Mr. Nemtsov to create a martyr...a 'sacrificial victim' to rally support for opponents of the government, the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement." I like!

-"The committee also cited the possibility that Isllamic extremists had killed Mr. Nemtsov over his position on the Charlie Hedbo shootings in Paris..." This language gets a frowny face from the Obamas because the llama is an animal of peace, all animals are equally peaceful--or violent--there is no cause to single out llamas from doves and dolphins; true there have been recent reports of extremist llamas running amok but they were marginalized from society and Putin should investigate equally doves, dolphins, Ukrainians, and opponents of Putin. Which is what Putin is doing. So I think the Obamas like this.

-"The committee also said that 'radical personalities' on one or another side of the Ukrainian conflict might have been responsible." There you go! "On one or another side."  We don't know! Could be this side, could be that side! No stone shall be left unturned! Nice.

-"business disputes." The ruble is the source of all evil!

-"personal disputes." Cherchez la femme? You're darn tootin' they're gonna cherchez la femme, especially la Ukrainian femme who was with Boris, described as a "tall" "model," "much younger." Need we say more we think not. Do we sniff a confession coming from the "tall" "model," "much younger?"  

-"destabilizing the country." Which country?

*UPDATED February 28, 9:35 pm: I remembered! I thought that might come in handy again. The same motive offered by the Chief Prosecutor in Anna Politkovskaya's assassination.

-"...cruel murder...has every sign of being a contract killing, which has a solely provocative nature." Provoke whom?

*UPDATED, February 28, 9:38 pm: There you go, same description of Anna's assassination too!

That is Chief Inspector Putin's personal view of the case and must be given great weight. The undersigned is not much experienced in murder investigations and is unacquainted with the "sole provocative nature" of the contract killing genre. However, this theory, this "lead," does seem to suggest a commendable restraint will attend the investigation, that there will be no "jumping to conclusions," no "rush to judgment," no retaliation against the Ukrainian provocateur(s).

-"Mr. Nemtsov was murdered in revenge for having caused a woman to have an abortion." Very impressive.

-"Mr. Nemtsov was murdered in revenge for his opposition to Putin and Putin's war on Ukraine." NO, actually! That is not one of the "angles" being looked at. Huh.

Nonetheless, we see already that this is going to be a thorough and a long investigation--Rome wasn't built in a day! This murder will be investigated to death and with the same satisfying finality as to police shootings in Miami, Florida, USA. So that's good.
Anna Politkovskaya, award-winning journalist, Putin foe, author of, inter alia, Putin's Russia, critic of Putin's war on Chechnya,
shot dead, once point blank in the head, in the elevator of her apartment building on October 7, 2006, Vladimir Putin's birthday.


According to Wikipedia:

"Her murder was widely perceived as a contract killing..."--I'm going to try to remember that characterization --"Russia's Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika...met with Putin and FSB director Nikolai Patrushev, during which he made an official announcement:

"Our investigation has led us to conclude that only people living abroad could be interested in killing Politkovskaya...Forces interested in de-stabilising the country,--Same there--in stoking crisis...in discrediting the national leadership, provoking external pressure on the country, could be interested in this crime. Anna Politkovskaya knew who ordered her killing. She met him more than once."

I do not know if Anna ever met Putin.


Alexander Litvinenko, ex-KGB agent and defector, Putin critic,


 assassinated by Putin loyalists by plutonium poisoning in London, England, November 23, 2006.


Stanislav Markelov, human rights lawyer who represented Anna Politkovskaya,

shot in the head outside the Kremlin, January 19, 2009 by a "Russian nationalist extremist." According to President Obama that should just be "extremist."


Natalya Estemirova, human rights activist, winner of numerous awards--including the Anna Politkovskaya award-- for her reporting on Putin's war on Chechnya,

 abducted and murdered as she left her home in Grozny July 15, 2009 by "unknown persons."


Alexei Devotchenko, actor, Putin critic--"I've had enough of all this tsar-state stuff, with its lies, its cover-ups, its legalised theft, its bribe-taking and its other triumphs."--
--the circumstances of Alexei's demise on November 5, 2014 are uncertain. ABC News:

"Russian investigators originally told reporters his death "was of a criminal nature," but they later said they found he cut his hand and hit his head after drinking too much, and bled out, according to The Telegraph."

The Independent:

"Some Russian news outlets said he was discovered in a pool of blood in his apartment, while others claimed he was found inside his home.

The online tabloid Lifenews reported that Mr Devotchenko hit a glass cabinet with his hands and died of blood loss after sustaining severe cuts in the incident. It said empty bottles of whiskey and packets of phenazepam, a legal Russian drug prescribed to treat epilepsy, were discovered near his body.

(You know: Wasn't alcohol poisoning the initial account given of Neil Heywood's death in China? Gotta stay away from the booze.)

Meanwhile, one law enforcement source reportedly told Russian news agencies: 'There is reason to suppose that the artist's death is of a criminal character.'"

This nettlesome ambiguity flummoxes Russian police to this day. No arrests.


Boris Nemtsov, ex-First Deputy Prime Minister, Putin opponent, "a bridge between Russia and Ukraine,"


shot in the back four times while walking with a Ukrainian woman on Moskvoretsky Bridge, February 27, 2015.

The Kremlin is very pretty, isn't it? So dramatic at night.
Infamous powers are at work.
CCC just called and told me that the dominant story on the internet yesterday was a dress that appeared white and gold colored to some and black and blue to others. 

Nemtsov Contract Assassination.

“I love Russia and want the best for her, so for me criticizing Putin is a very patriotic activity because these people are leading Russia to ruin,” Mr. Nemtsov said in an interview in 2011, republished Saturday on the Meduza news site. “Everybody who supports them in fact supports a regime that is destroying the country, and so they are the ones who hate Russia. And those who criticize this regime, those who fight against it, they are the patriots.”

In recent years, Mr. Nemtsov’s star had been eclipsed by Aleksei A. Navalny, the anticorruption blogger who played a leading role in the 2011 protests. But Mr. Nemtsov remained active and was a leading organizer of this weekend’s planned rally.

Mr. Nemtsov was organizing the rally in part because Mr. Navalny is currently serving a two-week jail sentence for handing out leaflets on the subway. The rally was also noteworthy because it was the first political action inside Russia specifically endorsed by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the exiled former political prisoner, who had signed the petition for a parade permit.

...gunmen shot Mr. Nemtsov four times in the back as he walked over the bridge, and by accident or design theatrically placed his body on the wet asphalt with the Kremlin visible behind.

...contract street killings...had dwindled under Mr. Putin, making the killing of Mr. Nemtsov all the more shocking. He is by far the most prominent public figure to die in such a fashion, though just one in a string of murders of opponents of Mr. Putin, most notoriously the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the human rights researcher Natalia Estemirova and the security service defector Aleksandr V. Litvinenko. (emphasis added. From the New York Times.)

Nemtsov, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Opponent of Putin on Ukriane, Shot Dead Near Kremlin.

Boris Nemtsov, 55, was First Deputy Prime Minister under President Boris Yeltsin. In a calculated drive-by hit a gunman in a white car shot Mr. Nemtsov four times in the back as he was walking across a bridge in view of the Kremlin. He had just finished trying to rally support for a march against Russia's war on Ukraine to be held on Sunday. Nemtsov had said in a recent interview that he feared Russian president Vladimir Putin would have him assassinated. The Kremlin has issued a statement on Putin's behalf condemning the murder.



Good night.
"Here's looking-ed at you, kid." 


Friday, February 27, 2015

Infamous Powers At Work.


Isllama Terror in Arizona.



Perhaps I have not drunk enough green apple vodka.


Hoofs up, don't shoot!


"...At One Point 3 Were on the Run."

At which point?

"Llama Chase in Arizona Captivates Nation..."

Which nation?...Perhaps I have drunk enough green apple vodka.
I am drinking green apple vodka.
I am eating peanut butter out of the jar with a knife.

"Cato is in hospital. They nearly blew his little yellow skin off."

"The instant you assign me to a case I am set upon..."

"I tell you infamous powers are at work..."
I am tired, I am sober, and it is now Friday (UTC). Those are incommensurable states of being which I shall now render commensurable, thus making life better.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Religion.

The intellectual flavor of the week is "What ISIS Really Wants," Graeme Wood, The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/
Wood answers: the caliphate recently established. There is a change, friends and enemies, a change in how "Adults" are writing about Islam--No change in how the president of the U.S.A. thinks about Islam, though! After 9/11/01 I read the Koran cover-to-cover, heavily excerpted it here. Read Sayyad Qutb's commentaries. The wonder to me was not that Islam was violent; the wonder was that all Muslims weren't violent for I did not see how any reasonable reading of the Koran could produce non-violent believers. Wood says, contrary to President Obama's dismissal of ISIS as an al Qaeda "jay-vee" team, Ice-heads are intelligent, thoughtful and studious of the Koran, where any reasonable reading would find support for ISIS practices slavery for women and children, crucifixions and beheadings. It's really all there, "The Answer is Islam."

Larry Siedentrop says the roots of Western secular liberalism can be traced to Christianity in his book Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism.

And Protestant Christianity created the modern novel. http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2015/marapr/novel-as-protestant-art.html?paging=off
As Maine goes, so goes New Hampshire...
As Maine goes, so goes the nation...
Today is the first day of the end of your life...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

If you can read this you're too close...

Hi. Pileup...Maine...75-vehicles. Everyday is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord...Where some see adversity, others see opportunity...

Greeting Card Wisdom.

HA-HA-HA! THAT IS AWESOME! TREMENDOUS AS A VALENTINE'S CARD. LOVE IT!

CUTE! Very good.


GREAT!!! Clever. Love it. Redeems my faith in mankind. Will reconsider suicide.

Greeting Card Wisdom.

Like that one.

Don't like that one.

Don't.
Don't. But if it makes your life better, here.


Susan Rice and Benjamin Netanyahu did not make life better today. Rice, national security adviser to President Obama said that Netanyahu's upcoming speech to the U.S. Congress is "destructive" of U.S.-Israeli relations. Destructive means done, over; she didn't mean that.

Netanyahu said that the nascent agreement with Iran on its nuclear program means "the world powers have given up" on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and have agreed, in effect, to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons in the next few years. “They might accept this but I am not willing to accept this.” Netanyahu does mean that and Netanyahu should do what he thinks the leader of an independent state should do and stop trying to get another country, the U.S., to do his fighting for him.
It's carpe diem time, it's carpe diem time,
It's carpe diem time, it's carpe diem time.

Morning.

WE ARE...PITIFUL!

"Making Life Better" is its Orwellian motto, "Happy Valley" its Orwellian locale. Penn State was the school that everyone admired and wished to emulate: the excellence, the integrity. It was all lies, "Pay no attention to that man behind the (shower) curtain!", it was all founded upon lies, and it collapsed. It broke the hearts of all who loved her and of those who merely admired her. A cancer grew within this modest, respectable, good institution the moment Joe Paterno stepped onto the campus and it matastasized year after year, decade after decade and it changed Penn State's soul. They imbibed the purple kool aid, got drunk on it and began chanting it; for years and years, they have chanted cult-like, WE ARE...PENN STATE!

The Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal presented the gravest crisis ever to hit an American university. It decapitated the university administration. For a while Penn State people did the soul of Penn State credit. They immediately cut ties with the corrupt heads to save the body. They accepted their punishment. That was the moment. In the super-heated crucible of that moment, Penn State could have achieved transcendence. Truly the scandal could have elevated Penn State to beatification.

But a body rots from the head down and the rest of the Penn State people fought and buried their heads. That was the new Penn State soul after a half century of Paternoism, the lying, denying, cover-upping, enabling Penn State. And they won! The sanctions have been lifted, Joe Paterno's wins have been restored, his statue will be replaced.

Penn State threw greatness away. It is the Pennsylvania Paradox, a big state, an important state, yet a state that has never produced greatness, has produced one president, the worst of all, James Buchanan. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. It is what it is, the State of Mediocrity, numbing, heartbreaking, mystifying mediocrity. A part of my heart is there and my heart is broken. Pennsylvania never fails to disappoint. Truly pitiful.

WE ARE...*


It all began innocuously enough when Penn State mechanical engineering graduate Lisa Aiello DeLeon tweeted at [ESPN guy Keith] Olbermann:

"We Are!"

This, should you be unaware, is something Penn State people do a lot to remind others that they are Penn State people. It's a touch unimaginative, but very East Coast.
She added a link to a dance marathon fundraiser that the school is involved in every year, one that raises money to fight pediatric cancer.
It may well be that Olbermann didn't open the link. For he simply replied: 

"...Pitiful." 

Excuse me for a moment, I need to have an orgasm...

*UPDATED, 2:50 am, February 25: I love you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

According to ABC News, the United States Department of Justice will not file charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

According to the Justice Department the Justice Department also will not be filing charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown. 
Will do, Wilfred. Thank you.

My turgid mind is developing unvirtuous thoughts. We shall conclude for now our popular series "Greeting Card Wisdom."
NSA ought to heed the words of Chief Seattle.
I love you. Question: Why "trust a few?" That means mistrust most. Isn't mistrust doing wrong? Maybe it's an inchoate wrong, Shakespeare thought? Why would you love those you mistrust? How can you love those you mistrust?

I don't know about Shakespeare.
Really? Did Aristotle conduct survey research on that matter?
"The true strength of virtue is a tranquil mind.”

Greeting card wisdom. Office secretary poster wisdom. Where do they come up with these? This one is from Immanuel Kant. So what? It's still dumb. I am unvirtuous to a marked extent, it's noticeable; And I have no tranquil mind. It is still dumb.

I love you, though.

Love.*

Hi. I love you.

Rudy Giuliani really made me think with his original ("first"and "novel") comments that he doesn't believe President Obama loves America. Having thought about it for a few hours I thought Giuliani was probably correct! Wrote that. Wrote (again) that I did not love America either! I wrote, taking Giuliani's use of the word "love" in context, it was clear to me that he meant a misty-eyed, croaking-voiced, getcha right here, sentimental, affair of the heart. I thought (and wrote) that Giuliani had clearly given some thought to this, had expressed and explained himself well and had raised a very interesting, troubling point!

In succeeding days however Giuliani attempted to clarify that which didn't need clarification and muddled his point. He said that he had not been questioning Obama's patriotism, which is defined as love of country, a direct contradiction of his remark the night before in other words, but again he went on to explain: He, Giuliani, didn't feel Obama's love, didn't see the eyes mist, the voice break, the throat croak, so I let it go.

Then, Obama was influenced growing up by "communism." Okay, Giuliani is clearly just a right wing nut that wasn't worth paying attention to. So I didn't.

Today, the nut cracked again. He wrote an article that appeared opposite the editorial page in the Wall Street Journal. You cannot read the entire god-blessed article unless you have a subscription, which I don't and never will, the Journal gives you a burlesque version, a first paragraph that gradually fades out so this is all there is:

There has been no shortage of news coverage—and criticism—regarding comments I made about President Obama at a political gathering last week in New York. My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn’t love America notwithstanding, I didn’t intend to question President Obama’s motives or the content of his heart. My intended focus really was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country, and how that effect may damage his performance. Let me explain.
The role of an American president is...
Well, Rudolph the Red-Faced Mayor, I thought you were questioning the "content of his heart" which is what made your remarks so novel, so interesting, so perceptive. We seek the soul here and Giuliani's speech comments went pretty darn close to that.

*UPDATED, Feb. 24, 1:44 am: "Notwithstanding." LmaOFF? What do you mean notwithstanding?!, you doofus...Wait, I want to look up the dictionary definition of "notwithstanding," be right back...UPDATED, 1:54 am: Hi. I love you. Wouldn't you know it? There are three seperate usages of "notwithstanding," as preposition, adverb and conjunction. Based on the following example I think Giuliani uses it as a preposition:

There were purges and there were trials, but compared with the 1940's [Could we have a longer example?] these were mild indeed, Germany was finally reunited, and, appalling wars in the Balkans notwithstanding, Europe survived the end of the Cold War.--Nicholas Frazer, Harper's, May 2006. 

Zzzzz, Zzzzz, Oh! Is that sentence over? If Giulani uses it as a preposition then it means "despite" which is how it reads, right? If you start the sentence with "despite" and just roll from there, omitting "notwithstanding" it reads the same to my ear. So: "Despite...president doesn't love...didn't...question...content of...heart." That is SOOOOO retarded!

"The role of an American president is...", that's what this has devolved to? Giuliani on the role of an American president? He's teaching a poli sci course now? Be gone. Anybody who wants to take Professor Giuliani's course sign up and pay at the Wall Street Journal.
Over the weekend I was going through my saved searches on the 'puter, looking for some to delete, I don't know why I still do that, everytime I do I never finish, I get distracted by one and open it to read. It happened again this weekend with a column whose catch phrase is still burned into my brain:

There are several reasons why I don’t object to a mosque being built near the World Trade Center site, but the key reason is my affection for Broadway show tunes.

AHHH! STOP! NO MORE! PLEASE! Don't you just want to strangle him?