Sunday, May 29, 2016

"Yaya Touré rejects offers of £30m from two Chinese clubs"-Guardian

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Annoys me.

That one is specific. I thought.

Continent : North America
Country : United States  (Facts)
State : Pennsylvania
City : Philadelphia
Annoys me.

"Dla," what the heck is "dla?" 

Defense Logistics Agency. Never heard of the Defense Logistics Agency. 

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is an agency in the United States Department of Defense, with more than 26,000 civilian and military personnel throughout the world.-Wiks

26,000 employees. The number of Americans employed by the government in one capacity or another must be astronomical. Here is an agency I never heard of and they employee 26,000!

That is a weird looking symbol...What is weird to me about that?...Sort of asymmetrical...The eagle...Is that the way the eagle looks on all our symbols? It looks sort of Germanic to me, D.C. United-ish. Oh! There are no stars in the blue field. I know there are stars in the blue field, even on shields like that. What, did they forget? What is the meaning of that empty blue field? DLA should hire a graphic designer to re-do that thing.
Wonder what the first Google image is for "unfathomable darkness." The frigging black void? A post-modern monochrome, like "Red Bird" which is all white?

Oh! Well, this is the first,

but this is the second:

Hmm. *Frowny face*. That should be under "incredible lightness of being."
unfathomable darkness

Search keyword today.
I don't like him.

Steven Adams: 5 Things To Know About Oklahoma City Thunder’s Breakout Star-Hollywood Life.

[I sense a bird is about to collide with an air pump.]

But what do you know about the breakout baller that’s taking the NBA by storm?

["By storm?": 2015/16: 8 points/game, 6.7 rebounds/game, 1.1 blocks/game. That is a zephyr.]

Let fill you in with the details!

[I will not "let" you do this, you do not have my permission...You're going to do it anyway.]

He was a huge college basketball star in the US.

[2012/13 (his only year): 7.2 points/game, 6.3 rebounds/game, 2 blocks/game]

Steven had to earn his stripes, he began life in the US as a college basketball star for Pittsburgh and was a standout player destined for big things. He eventually ended up going number 12 in the NFL draft in 2013.

Google "Oklahoma City Thunder" and the ninth entry, the first news story after the official sites, is,
A Basketball Fairy Tale in Middle America-Quasi Official New York Times Magazine.

From 2012. So, of course, I read it.

N.B.A. scoring champions are, as a rule, weirdos and reprobates and in some cases diagnosable sociopaths.Something about dominating your opponent, publicly, more or less every day of your life...Michael Jordan...Allen Iverson...Kobe Bryant...Wilt, Shaq, Pistol Pete, Dominique, McGrady, McAdoo, Rick Barry— it’s a near-solid roster of dysfunction: sadists, narcissists, malcontents, knuckleheads, misanthropes, womanizers, addicts and villains.
Kevin Durant, the star of the Oklahoma City Thunder, is the youngest scoring champion in N.B.A. history. At 24, he has led the league in scoring for three consecutive seasons, and all signs point to him keeping that up for the foreseeable future. It follows, then, that Durant should also be a prodigy of a head case. He should have been arrested for reckless driving at around age 9, broken his hand in a strip-club brawl at age 12 and accidentally shot his chauffeur no later than age 15. 

[Ha! That is great, fun writing.]
"In the middle of the overheated summer of 2010, the day before LeBron’s Decision, Durant announced quietly, on Twitter, that he had just signed a contract to stay in Oklahoma — the third-smallest market in the league, a place devoid of beaches and celebrities and night life — for another five years. You got the feeling he would have committed to the Thunder for the rest of his life if only the Players’ Union would have allowed it.

Durant, in other words, seems to have been invented in a laboratory beneath the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce to serve as the international face of Oklahoma — a state known for its citizens’ kindness, levelheadedness, work ethic, community spirit and, above all, humility. (The mayor of Oklahoma City told me that he thinks Oklahomans are humble because of their proximity to Texans, who will never stop bragging about anything.)"  

[Ha! Texas, I hate you.]

Led by Durant, the Thunder has become one of the N.B.A.’s best and youngest and most popular teams

[Fast forward 3 1/2 years: the team traded star James ("The Beard") Harden, Durant got injured, Russell Westbrook got injured, they fired their coach and some ludicrously named team of flower children in San Francisco got an elf magician.]

an international icon of brotherhood and good will that has helped to usher in golden ages in both Oklahoma City and the N.B.A., an electric blue Trojan horse inside of which Oklahoma has managed to smuggle its ethos to the rest of the world: good folksy folks humbly helping other folksy folks stay humble and helpful.
Oklahoma sits right in the middle of the country: it’s not the cultured East or the wild West or the frigid North or the humid South but exactly where all those things meet. The mountains touch the prairies, which touch the plains. This has created, over the millenniums, crazy animals and crazy weather and crazy 25-car pileups of culture...Oklahoma, in other words, is the Hadron supercollider of states: it slams disparate things together, over and over, producing endless crises of cohesion. Even tornadoes, the region’s defining devil winds, are a result of a meteorological collision: a convergence of three different weather systems that happens with freakish regularity in Oklahoma and its immediate environs. Meteorologists in Oklahoma are basically rock stars. 

[Great writing, who is this writer?...Sam Anderson, never heard of him, Sam-you-is, great writing.]
One of the miracles of the modern Thunder — and there are several — is how quickly they’ve made
people forget the stain of their origin. 

[Like America itself. A bastard born to a lunatic and Oklahoma is the Middle Kingdom of that civilization.]

ESPN recently named it the No. 1 sports franchise in America.

The [General Manager Sam] Presti rebuild, a meticulously rational plan, now looks a lot like a fairy tale. The Thunder has improved, year by year, exactly on schedule: they made the playoffs in their second season, the Western Conference finals in their third and the Finals last year. If the Thunder doesn’t win the title this year, it will seem almost unfair — a violation of the basic laws of narrative. 

[And they didn't. Somebody got hurt or traded and and 2016 is their first year back to the Finals.]

Among basketball fans, Presti has become a mythic braniac legend, the managerial equivalent of Kevin Durant: young, focused, dominant and improbably humble.

[And Presti's "legend" of "meticulous rationality" has been replaced by legend-in-his-own-mind venture capitalist Joe Lacob, who fucked the NBA trophy, no lie, and his "chill, dude" ethos with piped in surround sound of the Mamas and the Papas singing Beethoven's Ode to Joy. You don't fuck trophies in Oklahoma, I don't get the impression.]

Okay, enough. Fun article.
You could photoshop that image to make the ball look like earth or the moon in could. If you wanted to, if you spend too much time on it.

Golden Pond-Okies, Game VI

"...the best, most breathtaking game of this NBA season."-Wall Street Journal
My life is going to lack purpose after basketball season is over. Shit.
Klay Thompson releases the shot that gave Golden State the lead for good late in the fourth quarter.

The first image of the ball's flight from the telecast. Looks awfully alone up there, purposeless.

Rising, now at the top of the banners.
Extraordinary camera work by TNT, the ball is now clear of the banners, still rising.

Still rising, approaching the overhead scoreboard.

At its apex. So high up ice crystals formed on it, No they didn't, you're lying, Alright, not that high.

Starting its downward arc.

Heading home, its destination just in view at extreme right top.

Heading down, the basket fully in view, waiting.

On target. 

Splash down. Golden State would never relinquish the lead that Thompson's shot gave them and went on to win 108-101. 

Amazing sports photography. Perfect angles on that moon shot.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Splash! A Golden Night in OKC

The "Warriors" used a HUGE fourth quarter, when I thought they surely would wilt, to quiet the "Thunder" inside Chesapeake Energy Arena 108-101 and send the series to GAME 7 on Golden Pond! A spectacular, gutty performance by Golden State. What a series!



Half time.

By (almost) Any Means Necessary

Mural by Lithuanian artist Mindaugas Bonanu, Vilnius.

Been doin' a lot of readin' the last few hours. Politics. Haven't written much on Disco Donald and the Lowlifes, coupla guerrilla attacks, 'bout all. Mainly Golden State recently, 'bout all...They play tonight btw...

Started one post titled, Mitt Romney for President, honest injun I did. Started another, untitled, on Trump's speech today. It was that that led to all the readin' and to this post.

Trump made a speech today in San Diego, hard by the Mexican border. Was some violence between the Lowlifes and the Righteous but the headlines were of what the Wall Street Journal said were twelve of the fifty-eight minutes he devoted to the federal lawsuit against Trump University (or "university," sic, even the quotation marks, per the Washington Post) now scheduled for trial November 28. This is as full an extent on the subject as I was able to find (no transcript) as of a few hours ago:

"The trial is going to take place sometime in November. There should be no trial. This should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily. Everybody says it, but I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. And he is not doing the right thing, and I figure what the hell, why not talk about it for two minutes.

“The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine. You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs, OK?

“I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself. I’m telling you, this court system, judges in this court system, federal court, they ought to look into Judge Curiel. Because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace, OK? But we’ll come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I’m president and I come back to do a civil case? Where everybody likes it. OK. This is called life, folks.”

The American federal judge Gonzalo P. Curiel is, like, American, not Mexican, all sixty-two of his years spent in America, where he was born, in East Chicago, Indiana. 'Murican place, Indiana. Right smack dab in the middle of America is Indiana. Judge Curiel was Chief of the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California in which capacity he prosecuted Mexican drug cases. Among others. Some American drug cases too. Maybe some Lithuanian I don't know probably not but anybody regardless of nationality accused of violating American narcotics laws in the Southern District of California. 

"This man must be stopped," was the first of my cogitations on Trump this morning after reading that. It's a thought I have had before. There was no "by lawful means" addendum to my thought but that is only because we think in shorthand, I did not think, and have never thought, he must be stopped "by an means necessary" or other shorthand for, "including assassination." I do not think that and never have.

What I thought, have written previously, and re-write now, is that Trump and the Lowlifes should be arrested whenever they lawfully can be. I thought Trump had committed the crime of incitement to riot with his earlier prediction of riots in Cleveland were he to be denied the Republican nomination. He was not arrested then. 

So many of Trump's statements skirt so closely to violations of the law that I have to stop and think, and sometimes, as in the incitement case, actually look up the law. Trump doesn't care about the law. Can't waterboard, against the law. Trump said he'd waterboard "and a lot worse." Generals said, "we would refuse to obey that order." Trump said, "Oh they would obey my order," I'll tell ya that right now. Trump buddy Dr. Ben Carson thought it was an open question whether presidents have to obey Supreme Court decisions! I had to stop and think about this one about Judge Curiel because if I, a lawyer, said publicly what Trump said about a judge, any judge, but especially one in which I am a party to the litigation, my ass would be grass with the Bar prosecutors. A lawyer is prohibited from publicly criticizing a judge, even or especially in a political campaign, it is considered an attack on the independence of the judiciary and the judicial canon of ethics prohibits a judge from responding. 

But Trump, of course, is not a lawyer so the Bar police have no jurisdiction over him. Still, I have never heard a celebrity, and here one running for control of the executive branch of the same government, so attack a member of the judicial branch, who is presiding over his case!

I thought, "Judges can issue 'gag' orders" and I'm pretty sure those can apply to parties not just the lawyers appearing before them, maybe Judge Curiel will do that? I don't know, I don't know if freedom of speech would protect Trump, running for president, from attacking a federal judge in a pending case to which Trump is the defendant, which case is a political issue in the campaign. Writing that out I don't think the First Amendment provides a safe haven for attacking a federal judge but I bet Judge Curiel doesn't issue a gag order! 

I think Judge Curiel would be very reluctant to issue a gag order against Trump for concern of getting dragged into politics.The same as police and prosecutors quickly ruled Trump out as a suspect of investigation for inciting that punch in North Carolina. And that is where I don't know if law enforcement is doing the right thing. Trump broke the law in the incitement case in my opinion but he is also threatening the rule of law with other statements and actions.

If publicly attacking a federal judge in a speech where you are a party before that judge is a violation of law and the miscreant is not held accountable then he has gotten away with violating the law. 

If Judge Curiel could issue a gag order, violation of which is punishable by contempt of court for future violations, against Donald Trump and does not, where he would issue a gag order were the miscreant not running for president then Donald Trump is above the law. 

What of the racist, false nature of Trump's attack on Judge Curiel today? Is that a crime? I don't know, I didn't research it.

I completely understand the predicament that law enforcement is in with Trump, this is a matter of first impression for all of us. I do however hope that law enforcement is mindful of the flip side of "caution" in matters of first impression and that is that there is no controlling precedent in matters of first impression. Caution is not precedent. We have in Donald J. Trump a threat to the rule of law and to democracy itself. Caution is not the correct mindset. He must be stopped-by any legal means available.

Those cogitations led me to think this: "I do not trust the American people here." I don't trust the American people to stop Trump by defeating him at the ballot box. He has won the Republican nomination. The most recent polls show him tied with or with a slight lead over Hillary Clinton. Hitler ultimately became dictator of Germany via the ballot box-with less popular support than Trump currently has! I read today that others, former Massachusetts governor William Weld, Robert Kagan, have drawn the same parallels to Nazi Germany. It was these parallels that led me to conclude that writing, whether you're an idiot blogger or William Weld or Robert Kagan, is not enough, that "With Nazis baseball bats work best" and to participate in the first political protest of my adult life on May 1, which predictably ended in comic farce. Comically farcical protests don't work. Neither do sometimes violent protests. 

Somebody, maybe Kagan, drew other parallels to Russia and Putin, the recent election in Austria where a far right candidate lost (by .3%) to the recent rise in popularity of other nationalistic, fascistic candidates in Europe. 

I next landed on some of Russ Douthat's writing which led to the aborted "Mitt Romney for President" post. Douthat is, I believe, a Republican. I started out this political season where Douthat is today: I vowed, in print no less, to sit this election out, so distasteful did I find the choice between Hillary Clinton and any of the dirty dozen of Republicans then running. Douthat's phrasing, with italics in original, now, on May 19, was:

"Is it a good thing for the country, or for that matter for the world, that our only options in November are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?"

Douthat went on to opine that he really didn't think Trump was likely to become president, really thought Clinton would defeat him, but that a Trump victory was not "impossible," that is all the chalk, and Douthat went on to make the case for a Mitt Romney third party run. I once wrote that if Romney ran I would vote for him over Clinton/any of the dirty dozen. As I read Douthat's column I thought, "I'd vote for Romney now" and wrote the "Mitt Romney for President" post. As I continued reading it dawned on me, "If I would vote for Mitt Romney now, Romney running as a third party candidate would not doom Trump" and then the epiphany of the day dawned on me: Douthat's question is not the question of the day!" "Is it a good thing" to have Clinton and Trump to choose from was never the question, Clinton vs a hazy one of the dirty dozen has resolved into Clinton OR Trump and if you're still asking yourself that question, go back to Germany, 1938.

I ended the day's reading and cogitation with reconsideration of the issue of violence against Trump and the Lowlifes. I do not condemn the violence today by anti-Trump protesters. It is justified in my view. I sincerely would be aghast if there were not violent protests against Trump. My heart and soul are with them and it is not out of the question that my fists will be as well.  Which view easily leads to the question, "Would it be a good idea for Donald Trump to be assassinated?" No. Punched? Yes. Short of murder or great bodily harm (broken nose doesn't count; broken head does.) he must be stopped.

Chinese Cultural Revolution, May 28, 1966

The Cultural Revolution Group is established under the leadership of Chen Boda, second from left, and consisting in addition of Kang Shen, first left, Zhang Chunqiao to Lin Biao's left, Madame Mao, Jiang Qing far right (far left in our hearts), and Yao Wenyuan.

This group "would soon direct the entire course of the Cultural Revolution, becoming the most important political organ by which all the top decisions were made." It "would rule over party, state and army." (The Cultural Revolution, A People's History 1962-1976, (2016) Frank Dikotter, 56).

Zhang, Jiang, Yao and Wang Hongwen would be bestowed the honoraria of "Gang of Four," arrest, and purge for their service to party, state, and army upon Chairman Mao's death in 1976.

Gratuitous Insult of Islam

Islam! Long time no in-sult! How it does go? Still stuck in 10th century? Fuck you.

The End.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cleveland Blows Out Toronto: Awaits Thunder or Joy

113-87 were the numbers that documented the destruction.

Wait till next year, eh?

Welcome To Manchester


Congratulations to United and to Jose. This was too long in the making.

I've never seen Mourinho look so humble. He is proud, it is the appointment he has dreamed of and longed for and lobbied for. 

Mourinho will succeed, there is no doubt of that, he has succeeded everywhere. Sir Alex Ferguson said repeatedly in 2013, "Jose can manage anywhere," but what repelled United was the boorish behavior that seemed to be in Mourinho's DNA. That is not the United way and will not be tolerated. There were signs in his last championship year at Chelsea, in that match with Arsene Wenger who he had always beaten and always abused. Wenger had had enough and pushed Mourinho. Jose immediately backed off. Stood like an unoffending statue. It was supreme self control that we didn't think Mourinho had in him. But then, the abuse of Dr. Eva Carneiro and the old, embarrassing anti-United Jose was back. He lost his players, the season, his job.

Mourinho knows, one mother-fucking bullying of a female doctor, one whisper over the shoulder of Rafa Benitez or Pep Guardiola, one more insult of Arsene Wenger, a "voyeur," "a specialist in failure," and he will get the "hair dryer" treatment from Ferguson and will be summarily axed. United will not put up with being embarrassed even if they win. This was a tough enough call as it was. 

So, dare I say it, I expect a different Jose Mourinho at United, one who will win big and do it the United way. I expect him to stay with this, his dream club, for longer than he has ever stayed at a club before, his record is something like three years and eight months. He will stay longer than that at United.
While searching images, keyword "1964:"
"The Johnson treatment." Whitney M. Young, Jr. there, looking like he has gotten the waterboard treatment. I have never seen another man do this.
I had never seen John F. Kennedy look intimidated before. It is so uncomfortable looking.
Look at that, how he just leans into the victim, his feet as firmly planted as they can be, and the submissive, coquettish posture into which he forces his victim.
Georgia Senator Richard Russell looks like a veteran and isn't going to be gelded again.
THE best, without question. Senator Teddy Green.

What a character LBJ was.

WE THE 1964's at WE THE NORTH, 8:30 p.m.

Trump Chickens Out, Won't Debate Sanders

A fight. Trump, I challenge you to a fist fight. Three minutes. I'll give you the first punch.

Kill Joy

The Warriors are so dependent on finding the joy in the game (the word "fun" popped up eight times in the transcripts of their postgame comments) and feed off the adoration of their home crowd, and now they must win in one of the league's most hostile environments for opponents -- a place that made their lives so dreary in the middle of this series.
Now, [Steph Curry said] the challenge is "to bottle up that joy and take it with us on the plane."
-J.A. Adande, ESPN

I see. This joy shit is like in the Dubyas DNA. It truly is in the Golden State organization's DNA. That is the psychological hold that the team's success has on the country. The pursuit of happiness is in the country's DNA. Dubyas are pursuing joy.  It's like their oxymoronic name, they are warriors for joy like there are warriors for Christ. We have here a joy fetish. Oracle Arena is the orgasmatron for these kinks. "If it feels good, do it!" Like Rolling Stone: "The Death of the Warriors" was a paen. That's why people are so invested in the continuance of this run, it's the drip, drip, drip of the newest drug.

Well fuck all that. I am by nature anti-fun, a kill-joy (I am an Asshole.). I am now, officially, a basketball kill-joy. Roll "Thunder!"


Happy Friday.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

"Warriors" Win, 120-111

The magic carpet still flies; no thunder storm grounded it knocked it tonight. They face another do-or-die Saturday, 9 p.m. in Oklahoma City. Good night.

114-108, :33

111-101, 1:02

Next to impossible to lose now. They hold on. Survive. Even pull away a bit at the very end, from 7 to 10 or so.

The golden age is not dead yet. My guess is that the people soon to file out of Oracle Arena will file out in a subdued happy frame of mind. 

107-101, 2:03

Looks like they will hold on. 

105-98, 4:09

103-94, 4:55 left.

Golden State is passing the psychological toughness test. It is not over yet, but they came out in the fourth quarter and "pressed on." No squeaky bums tonight, it doesn't appear. Tremendous gut performance by GS in the fourth. 

93-81, 8:24, 4th. Golden State Pulling Away.

Was it not Real?

At this moment it is 60-59 Golden State, 10:24 left in the third quarter. It looks like Golden State has led the entire game, except for two ties at 5-5 and 7-7. GS's largest lead appears to have been ten.Oklahoma City has never led.

This is ominous for Golden State. They are at home. This is literally a do-or-die game for them. They have not been able to pull away much less blow away the "Thunder." We are now into the second half and Oklahoma City has made a mini run, they trailed 58-50 at the half. Soon will come squeaky bum time. Is Golden State psychologically strong enough to win this game? "This game!" What a change that question represents! That is a rare question to ask of a team of professionals but that is what a lot of people are wondering right now. Let us revisit the series predictions:

(1) Warriors VS. (3) Thunder
Ethan Sherwood

Not ONE predicted an Oklahoma City series victory.

Golden State has some kind of psychological hold on the country, too. I guess it is the joy of their style of play, their whole club culture; people are really psychologically invested in this team and if they go quietly into the night..."Was it not real?" It is really going to...bum some folks out all acrosss the country!That kind of question is being asked by those who were just transported by the "Warriors."

Or was it a "hallucination," as one sports writer wrote, of a golden time gone, of too short duration and now gone and forever. The last two years have just been so transcendent that if it ends so unexpectedly, so definitively, you just blink your eyes and wonder.

And as I finish, the game is tied, 68-68, 5:52 left in the third.