Monday, June 26, 2017


The undersigned first encountered The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution in 1978. It was a forced encounter, required reading, a compulsory purchase, set me back, I see, $3.50. 

Even as a callow graduate student, I recognized the quality, it was one of three or four books that stuck with me from that time and I reread portions of it over the ensuing, My God, thirty-nine years!

Somewhere, somehow, and recently, within the last year I'd say, to my exasperation only the cover has physically stuck with me. The remainder, like Dad's Note, PFFT! The missing content stuck in my mind though, has always stuck in my mind. It was with me, in (complete) physical form, and in mind when I started this here blog:

This is "Public Occurrences," a blog dedicated to all bloggers,

...and to the original bloggers, the pamphleteers of revolutionary America, and to the original blog, Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, the first newspaper published in North America on September 25, 1690, it's first and only issue.

August 19, 2002.

I reread the intro and first chapter in pdf this evening. This is where I got the above dedication:

The pamphlet (George Orwell, a modern pamphleteer, has written) is a one-man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive, and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be more detailed, serious and "highbrow" than is ever possible in a newspaper or in most kinds of periodicals. At the same time, since the pamphlet is always short and unbound, it can be produced much more quickly than a book, and in principle, at any rate, can reach a bigger public. Above all, the pamphlet does not have to follow any prescribed pattern. It can be in prose or in verse, it can consist largely of maps or statistics or quotations, it can take the form of a story, a fable, a letter, an essay, a dialogue, or a piece of "reportage." All that is required of it is that it shall be topical, polemical, and short.

I think a blog ticks all them boxes! I think I tick all them boxes, lol. No doubt, No. Doubt. Orwell would have been a blogger had he lived another half century. 

Yes, we bloggers are heirs of the pamphleteers of the American revolution--and of their mental illness!--we stand wobbly on their shoulders shouting our seditions in scurrilous tones, spittle flying, fists pounding desks and punching walls, and occasionally producing "more detailed, serious and 'highbrow'" expositions.

It was in the context of the sources and patterns of ideas that I began to see a new meaning in phrases that I, like most historians, had readily dismissed as mere rhetoric and propaganda: "slavery," "corruption," "conspiracy." These inflammatory words... fitted so logically into the pattern of radical and opposition which the fear of conspiracy against constituted authority was built into the very structure of politics... I began to suspect that they meant something very real to both the writers and their readers: that there were real fears, real anxieties, a sense of real danger behind these phrases...

He is a careful writer who demands careful readers. What was "real" was the "fear," not the threat, the "anxieties," not the reality giving rise to them; what was real was the "sense" of real danger, not real danger itself.

In the end I was convinced that the fear of a comprehensive conspiracy against liberty throughout the English-speaking world—a conspiracy believed to have been nourished in corruption, and of which, it was felt, oppression in America was only the most immediately visible part—lay at the heart of the Revolutionary movement.

If they had just jerked off to orgasm. If they had just lay down and taken a powder.
We stand more immediately on the shoulders of Professor Bailyn, for it was he, in 1967, with a job description merely to index the pamphlets in the John Harvard Library but who quickly came to study them, and recognized their significance and brought them to light, discerning in them the ideological origins of the Revolution and revolutionizing colonial studies in the process and, poor man, providing the template for the blog, and serving as the inspiration for, and the origin of, this one. 

This is Public Occurrences.


Continuing our popular series "Assholes" we see cause tonight to add...
                                                        Norman Mail...Whoa! No, John McEnroe to our list...Boy, he's aged well. Be sure to tune in next time to another edition of AssholeWatch.
...there [was] no Gutenberg revolution in Ottoman lands. The literacy rate in Turkey, Egypt, and Iran at the turn of the nineteenth century was around 3 percent, compared with England’s rate of 68 percent for men and 43 percent for women... In the Muslim world, the small class of scholars known as the ‘ulama (learned men) had rejected the printing press on the grounds that “making the Quran accessible would only enable the ignorant to misinterpret it.” Printing in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa was a capital crime, and there were no newspapers to report on such world-changing events as America’s rejection of British rule in 1776...

For a Non-American's History of America

The Ordeal of Bernard Bailyn writing The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson was like sooo unnecessary. The most insightful account of the early New Republic ever written was written by a Frenchman. Chinese have an adage, "The history of China is written by the foreigner." History written by a foreigner supplies Bailyn's desideratum of "distance," and it would be speedy history, no need to wait 190 years to get to the "third turn," the "ultimate mode of interpretation," as does the native. Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America immediately after tour. "Partisanship," asymmetric "sympathy," "peculiarly difficult" writing "likely to be misinterpreted," "doomed to failure," angst, defensive apologetic prefaces--gone! 
Hi. It is 86 degrees inside my office.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

it was boring out so i didnt go out and it wasnt boring good night

Dumb Art

Continuing our popular series Dumb Art, we have cause today to add a "Sculptures" sub-category.

"The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson", Bernard Bailyn (1974)

This book, which depicts the fortunes of a conservative in a time of radical upheaval and deals with problems of public disorder and ideological commitment, was not written as a tract for the times, nor is its purpose to illustrate general ideas about law and order and the causes or consequences of civil disobedience and insurrection. But it would be foolish to deny that I have been influenced in writing it by the events of the late 1960’s, when the original drafts were written. I am quite certain, in fact, that my understanding of Thomas Hutchinson’s dilemma in using troops to quell public disorders...has undoubtedly been sharpened by the course of American politics in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Nevertheless the structure and substance of the book, and the issues it discusses, developed from considerations of Hutchinson’s time, not of our own. This is a book about the
eighteenth century...

For there is in fact a whole area of the Revolution that has been almost completely submerged in the historical literature and that hardly enters at all into our general understanding of what that formative event was all about. And it is not a secondary or incidental part of the story. It is fundamental, and the omission of so basic a part of the story did not come about and was not perpetuated accidentally.
...the earliest historical writings that follow a great and controversial event are still a significant
part of the event itself...attempts at explanations of what happened tend to be heroic in character. That is, they are highly moral: the struggle they present is between good and bad; and they are highly personified...

[Right? Are there any biographies of Abraham Lincoln, do you know?]
Then in the course of time the historian’s angle of vision shifts...For a second or third or fourth generation of writers...[t]he episode appears now... to be...rather a familiar link in a long chain of events that stretches from the distant past to the present...The historian is the inevitability with which the past flowed through the event and became the present, and by the natural way in which people and conditions that sought to impede this flow into the present were swept away. The historian at this stage is consequently attuned to early premonitions of what became mighty developments, he seeks the seeds of future events, dwells on cognates and analogues, and strives to show how the future was implicit in the past.

[Emphasis added. So, so true. "It was inevitable, the North was always going to win." This shows such insight by Bailyn into his, the historian's, craft. ]
And then at last there is a third...and, so it seems to me, an ultimate mode of interpretation. At this point the distance has become so great, the connections so finely attenuated, that all of the earlier assumptions of relevance, partisan in their nature, seem crude, and fall away, and in their place there comes a neutrality, a comprehensiveness, and a breadth of sympathy lacking in earlier interpretations. Not a new objectivity nor a new precision in the use of facts...but an inclusiveness of sympathy and a degree of comprehensiveness in data that distinguish this interpretation from its predecessors.

[Two uses of "comprehensiveness" and two of "sympathy," so those are important to him. Only one mention of "neutrality"... "Neutrality," that's what "ultimate" history is? Neutrality is not synonymous with sympathy, nor with comprehensiveness, nor does it necessarily flow from those others...I bet he regrets using "neutrality."]

Now the historian, in his analysis and description, is no longer a partisan. He has no stake in the outcome. He can now embrace the whole of the event, see it from all sides. What impresses him most are...— in a word, the tragedy of the event.
I do not mean the sadness of it; and I certainly do not mean the error or wrongness of it. I mean simply that we have knowledge enough of all the circumstances — material, cultural, political, even
psychological — to enable us to catch glimpses of the whole of that distant globe and to note the limits within which men struggled. All men — the famous and the obscure, the best and the worst, the winners and the losers. They were all equally real, equally bound by the circumstances of the time, and are equally necessary to understand if we are to make sense of the Revolution.

I know of no clearer way of explaining my approach to the subject of this book...

[I think he realizes he is struggling to explain his approach to this book. He clearly is struggling! And I think he knows it. He is defensive, he has written several times what the book is "not," including in the first sentence!]

It is this consideration that shapes the chapters that follow. For if recent historical writings have allowed us to see with some clarity the pattern of fears, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions that became
the ideology of the Revolution — which alone, in my judgment, explains why certain actions of the British government touched off a transforming revolution in America — they have not yet made clear
why any sensible, well-informed, right-minded American with a modicum of imagination and common sense could possibly have opposed the Revolution.

[Okay, here it is. It's because the American revolutionaries were mentally ill. This book was published seven years after The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution which "neutrally" laid out the evidence. Origins worked a sea change in interpretations of the Revolution from "heroic" to "delusional paranoid schizophrenic." One can understand how one could become defensive over that.]

...until we look deliberately at the development from the other [SANE] side around, we have not understood what the issues really were, what the struggle was all about.
My purpose, then, is to convey something of the experience of the losers in the American Revolution. And I do this not ...

[Will you stop, please!]

because I agree with them or judge them to have been right or because I find them more appealing people than their opponents. Quite the contrary: most of [my best friends are mentally ill; doesn't bother me! Na-ah] the finest human qualities, to which one instinctively responds — the desire to eradicate the cruelties people inflict upon one another; the spirit of hope and enterprise; confidence in the future; above all, the passion to cast off restraints and in some enduring way to release pent-up aspirations — all of this seems to me to have been on the side of the victors. I turn to the losers sympathetically in order to explain the human reality against which the victors struggled and so to help make the story whole and comprehensible. 

[Ho-ho-ho. "The desire to eradicate cruelties"?! They wanted their tax bill lowered (and we'll keep slavery; not cruel, na-ha] "Most of the finest human qualities"?! The "passion to cast off restraints"? "Release pent-up aspirations"?! Would it not have been wiser for them to masturbate to ejaculation? "I turn to the losers sympathetically in order to explain the human reality since the victors were not in touch with same."]

It is, I think, a peculiarly difficult thing to do, and likely to be misinterpreted...

...the American nation is built on the outcome of the Revolution...

[Yeah, man. Born a bastard orphan...cuz we killed our mama.]

It is extremely difficult to put two hundred years of history aside and refuse, for purposes
of historical understanding, to choose among the contenders of that distant struggle and to see it just as it was — an event full of accident, uncertain in outcome, with good and bad, sense and nonsense, distributed on both sides. For in the end we do instinctively care and we do choose, since we inherit the victory;... And indeed...the effort I am making to do precisely that seems doomed to failure from the start.

The Ordeal of Bernard Bailyn, this book should have been subtitled. Remarkable, remarkable preface. 
But several were left behind, [uh-oh] led by two enthusiastic young women [double uh-oh! Ho-ho-ho]. Infused with the Holy Spirit, they fell "into a frenzy," writhing on the ground crying out that all must repent, for the day of judgment was nigh. Bystanders were bewildered and ran about the streets in confusion. No one knew what was happening. [He-he-he] Someone called "Fire!" [No!] The tumult subsided when the women were carried off to prison...

Lolol. Oh my God. Bailyn has a lot of material to work with here but he tells it brilliantly.
He and his party were quickly sent off to Rhode Island, where, the orthodox predikant said, religious cranks might safely congregate.

The Quaker shipmaster who brought the the colony refused to answer any of the director's questions and, as a typical sign of disrespect,...kept "his hat firm on his head as if a goat." 
The Jews were troubling and threatening [in New Netherland]...but the dangers they posed were spiritual,not political. They were private people who kept to themselves and avoided public controversies. More dangerous...were the English Quakers, who first appeared on the scene in 1657. Trouble started immediately. 
Fucking guy will be 95 years old in September. 
Oh, what a marvelous writer Professor Bailyn is.
Where is God's love and justice?! He took my younger son's life nine days ago with heart attack.He left the world alone at home with his wife and two children going to swim.

As you know, my older son has been sick in mind and mood harassing me almost everyday if not every minute....while my younger son was so capable and loving....

Late at night and very early in the morning I've been calling his name again and again,speaking to his soul tearfully....

Oh, my so-called Heavenly Father Jesus Christ, isn't it Too Much for me?

"Thank" the Lord for giving me one disaster after another...

Will you please tell this to Pastor Stockton when seeing him someday?

p.s. just two days before my son's death, my husband was swindled over $3000 on the phone.Such crimes, in different ways, are quite common here in China.Fortunately, my son did not know and he may learn about it in Heaven.

From a friend in China. Poor, poor thing. God bless her.
I will win the worship in your eyes and I will lose it
I'll be thinking of you
And wondering why

Lost in Translation

The Mohawks, in their own Iroquoian dialect, called themselves "people of the flint" but Narragansett, [means] "man-eaters," in Unami "cannibal monsters."...The Senecas called themselves "people of the great hill," but the Oneidas called them "bird people" and the Munsees "red-tailed hawks." The Barbarous Years, Bailyn (19)
There is a theory on how to dethrone the Golden State "Warriors." I like this theory. The theory is to go big. The principle of verticality. Steven Adams on the Elf Magician; Kevin Lovey Dovey Turtle Dovey on the Elf Magician. Both in 2016. It almost worked for Oklahoma City and it did work for Cleve. Love's defense against Curry on the last shot in game seven was heroic. Heroic. Defense and Bigs. I like the theory. It is outside-the-boxy. It is promising.
“One day, this jersey is going to be hanging up in the rafters.”
-Miami "Heat" prez Pat Riley on draft pick Edrice "Bam" Adebayo.

There were about 300,000 Indians in eastern North America when the English arrived. Those 300,000 ranged over an approximately equal number of square miles. So, about one Indian per square mile. Ranged is the correct word. They were hunters and warriors. They did not cultivate the land. They did not settle. They knew not ownership. They had been there for 10,000-15,000 years.

Their moral code was reciprocity. Animal life was as important as human life. Immanent life was most important. There was a proper way to kill and there were improper ways to kill. Killing had to be done a proper way to satisfy the gods; otherwise moral reciprocity required satisfaction. They killed a lot. Reciprocity meant revenge.

On the shores of this Indian world landed the English. To settle. To cultivate. This was not going to work out.

"What Happened to Baseball?"

Right up the old boredom alley.

"What Happens to a Sport When Nothing Happens?"

Two tremendous articles on boredom in Sports Illustrated.

Summarizing so that you don't have to read the whole two boring articles, what happened to baseball was that baseball was the national pasttime, right? So people went there and passed away from boredom. You had stadia with 30,000-40,000 corpses. What are you going to do? So they sealed the stadia like Chernobyl, put a concrete sarcapogus over them. Gets expensive! So they just said "Arright, baseball's canceled."

You're welcome.

its boring out

Saturday, June 24, 2017

New York City Wins at Red Bull Arena 2-0

First points ever at the Harrison, NJ venue. 

Geography As Destiny

Several weeks ago I stopped by a friend's office to chat. He had just come from Pennsylvania, Scranton. We talked and I gave him the theories of Pennsylvania, "Puritan Boston, Quaker Philadelphia," the surprising, to me, barrier presented by the modest Appalachian Mountains, particularly the Allegheny Front, how they worked a distinct culture to their west. "Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between," I told my friend James Carville said; the centrality generally of geography to civilization, from the Appalachians to the pot-holed Irish potato fields which maimed British horses, to the rice fields of Asia. Geography, I said to my friend, conditioned, perhaps more than any other single factor, state control, and "civilization" means state control.

As I was bloviating on my friend silently, his way of indicating that he was not sold on the theories, pulled out something from around his desk and studied it briefly. It was an atlas. He interrupted my bloviations: "They form the border between West Virginia and Virginia."

They fucking do. The border is precisely where the Appalachian Range meets the "Alleghany" (sic!) Plateau. And can you think of two states, once one, which are more different?

The Appalachian Mountains worked a similar divide in Pennsylvania. Always have. 

"Major Indian trails leading west and north from Chesapeake Bay," The Barbarous Years, Bailyn (16)

Right in the middle of the fucking state, right before the mountains start. "You come from Philly, you makeum sharp left turn down when you see blue wall on horizon."

Go further south. My favorite is Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains form the exact border with North Carolina that the Appalachians make between West Virginia and Virginia.

Clearly three different geographic parts to Tennessee.

You can't be serious. Honest Injun, Pilgrim. 

The state of Tennessee is geographically, culturally, economically, and legally divided into three Grand Divisions: East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee. The state constitution allows no more than two justices of the five-member Tennessee Supreme Court to be from one Grand Division and a similar rule applies to certain commissions and boards. 

For Barack Obama

Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump protest with frantic words and gestures. What do these ravings and outpourings count before the silence of America's tomb?

(With minimal editing, Winston Churchill's tribute to Neville Chamberlain upon his death, House of Commons, November 12, 1940.)

For Barack Obama

But what were these hopes in which he was disappointed? What were these wishes in which he was frustrated? What was that faith that was abused? They were surely among the most noble and benevolent instincts of the human heart-the love of peace, the provision of universal medical care, justice for all, fairness to all; empathy for others. Whatever else history may or may not say about the terrible, tremendous year of 2016 we can be sure that Barack Obama acted with perfect sincerity according to his lights and strove to the utmost of his capacity and authority, which were powerful, to save the Republic and the world, and to make each a better place. This alone will stand him in good stead as far as what is called the verdict of history is concerned.

For Barack Obama

It fell to Barack Obama in one of the supreme crises of the Republic to be contradicted by events, to be disappointed in his hopes, and to be deceived and cheated by two wicked men.

Friday, June 23, 2017

For Barack Obama

It is not given to human beings, happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable, to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events. In one phase men seem to have been right, in another they seem to have been wrong. Then again, a few years later, when the perspective of time has lengthened, all stands in a different setting. There is a new proportion. There is another scale of values. History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. What is the worth of all this? The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions.

For Barack Obama

In paying a tribute of respect and of regard to an eminent man no one is obliged to alter the opinions which he has formed or expressed upon issues which have become a part of history.
Wrote two long posts today. Took some time. Hurt my back. Tuckered me out.

Hadn't been on again until about a half hour ago. Got up off my bed, got something to eat. The thoughts often come to me when I've been away for a few hours. First thing that came to mind was

Obama's Legacy: He Didn't Do Enough to Prevent America 2.0

His legacy will be that he was the last American president, however. The fate of the republic was on his shoulders and he shirked it.

I believe what I write here. I wrote that; that's what I believe...He Didn't Do Enough...No, he didn't..."he shirked" the responsibility. Yes...."he was the last American president..." Yes, he was president of a country that is now gone. And then the thought came to me all at once, the unavoidable, logical conclusion.

Barack Obama was the worst president in the history of the original America. 

Obama's Legacy: He Didn't Do Enough to Prevent America 2.0

"So, I hate to put a little pressure on you but the fate of the Republic rests on your shoulders. The fate of the world is teetering." -November 2, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

No sir. It rested on your shoulders and you didn't do enough.

He knew. The fate of the Republic, and of the world, hung in the balance. And yet, even at that late date, even after Comey's October surprise probably resulted in America 2.0, when he spoke those true words he did so in a casual way that his young auditors took as overstated for effect, humorous. Look at their faces. Every one of them is smiling, most broadly. He was not joking but his manner and delivery belied the alarming truth of his words.

He knew. He had known three months before:

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.
The material was so sensitive that CIA Director John Brennan kept it out of the President’s Daily Brief, concerned that even that restricted report’s distribution was too broad. The CIA package came with instructions that it be returned immediately after it was read. To guard against leaks, subsequent meetings in the Situation Room followed the same protocols as planning sessions for the Osama bin Laden raid.
In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century, an unprecedented and largely successful destabilizing attack on American democracy. It was a case that took almost no time to solve, traced to the Kremlin through cyber-forensics and intelligence on Putin’s involvement.

But other administration officials look back on the Russia period with remorse.

“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend,” said a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russia. “I feel like we sort of choked.”
The Washington Post is withholding some details of the intelligence at the request of the U.S. government.
Officials described the president’s reaction as grave.

Then why did he not speak with grave tone? Not on November 2, back in August or September or October? Even an idiot blogger urged a JFK Cuban Missile Crisis type address to the American people. More importantly, Oh my God how much more importantly, why did he not ACT with a gravity that matched his reaction?

"Don't Do Stupid Shit"

Throughout his presidency, Obama’s approach to national security challenges was deliberate and cautious...Obama’s approach often seemed reducible to a single imperative: Don’t make things worse. As brazen as the Russian attacks on the election seemed, Obama and his top advisers feared that things could get far worse.

They were concerned that any pre-election response could provoke an escalation from Putin...

It was paralysis by analysis. You have to consider the reaction but you can talk a thing to death! You. Must. Act. He. Did. Not.

They also worried that any action they took would be perceived as political interference in an already volatile campaign. 

So they did nothing. Nothing but worry. 

By August, Trump was predicting that the election would be rigged. Obama officials feared providing fuel to such claims, playing into Russia’s efforts to discredit the outcome and potentially contaminating the expected Clinton triumph.

“Our primary interest in August, September and October was to prevent them from doing the max they could do,” said a senior administration official. “We made the judgment that we had ample time after the election, regardless of outcome, for punitive measures.”

The election was rigged, for Trump. And they knew it. "Hey, the Russians are rigging the election. What should we do to unrig it? Let's wait until after the election." WAIT. WHAT. With "the fate of the republic" on their shoulders, they "made the judgment" to wait until that fate was sealed. (!)

When U.S. spy agencies reached unanimous agreement in late September that the interference was a Russian operation directed by Putin, Obama directed spy chiefs to prepare a public statement summarizing the intelligence in broad strokes.

With Obama still determined to avoid any appearance of politics, the statement would not carry his signature.

To some, [Here!] Obama’s determination to avoid politicizing the Russia issue had the opposite effect: It meant that he allowed politics to shape his administration’s response to what some believed should have been treated purely as a national security threat. 

Right? Here was an unfamiliar attack by a hostile power directly at the heart of America and the Obama administration first was too dull to recognize its scope:

"...the Russians were playing this much bigger game, which included elements like released hacked materials, political propaganda and propagating fake news...We weren’t able to put all of those pieces together in real time..." [Ben Rhodes] 

And then they were too fearful of repercussions if they acted. 

...the principals and their deputies had by late September all but ruled out any pre-election retaliation against Moscow. They feared that any action would be seen as political and that Putin, motivated by a seething resentment of Clinton, was prepared to go beyond fake news and email dumps.

Not on our shoulders! Obama, his "principals and their deputies" put the fate of the republic on voters' shoulders. Incredible!

The White House also worried that they had not yet seen the worst of Russia’s campaign. WikiLeaks and DCLeaks, a website set up in June 2016 by hackers believed to be Russian operatives, already had troves of emails. But U.S. officials feared that Russia had more explosive material or was willing to fabricate it.

Look at that: the number of times, just in these excerpts so far, that Obama fretfulness is cited. "Worried" (2 xs);"feared" (3xs); "choked"; "concerned". 

Instead, the administration issued a series of warnings...Obama confronted Putin directly during a meeting of world leaders in Hangzhou, China. Accompanied only by interpreters, Obama told Putin that “we knew what he was doing and [he] better stop or else,” 

Or else. I see.

Election Day arrived without penalty for Moscow.
“The White House was mortified and shocked,” said a former administration official. “From national security people there was a sense of immediate introspection, of, ‘Wow, did we mishandle this.’ ”

They got that right.
Obama’s darkened mood... In mid-December, as Cabinet members took turns citing drawbacks to various proposals for retaliating against Russia...

Astonishing. I loved Barack Obama. His legacy will be that he was the last American president, however. The fate of the republic was on his shoulders and he shirked it.

The China Scandal

There is only one.

There's the billionaire businessman.
Movie-star handsome, too. Never saw a native-born Chinese look so non-Chinese. If I saw that mother-fucker on the street, it would never occur to me that he was native Chinese.

Native gay, perhaps.

Perfect for American audiences. Comes with built-in Anglicized aka, Guo Wengui alias Miles Kwok.

Accused of corruption, of course. Is an expat now. Seems to have taken some of it with him. $68 million Central Park apartment and a Mar-a-Lago membership. But here's the twist on this classic theme: Guo fired first. Accused Zhongnanhai (via Twitter of course. Gotta update these classics!), particularly Wang Qishan (need to give him a normal name, too.), the anticorruption czar, of guanxi. The Center went full-Chinese on him and boomed back with their heaviest artillery. Chinese are not wedded to the truth, they don't even seriously date (it's more like a Tinder hookup) and the Z's knocked huge holes in Guo's weakspots.

But then something unexpected happened. China stood down. The state media campaign against him tapered off. In mid-May, Mr. Guo announced on Twitter that his wife and daughter — previously barred from leaving China — had been allowed to visit him in New York. Ex-Quasi's

That's different! They stopped firing :o Didn't demolish the house of Guo. Apparently found some of it well-reinforced instead. Uh-oh, Wang, BIG frowny face for Wang.

Now, it can't be The China Scandal without murder-most-foul and a little Chinese nookie thrown in, right? So we have a 2008 subplot of Guo getting a sextape of a Beijing vice-mayor and we have Guo's brother being shot by the People's Liberation Tiananmen Massacre-ers.

Yes, it's dense, it's Chinese! Like its predecessors the amount of detail will cause some American eyes to glaze over but the tropes are comfortingly familiar. The China Scandal brand is timeless, a demonstrated success. This will be too. Two thumbs up.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The bird has hit the Gilbert pump in Cleve. With Griffin gone and his top assistant with him draft day was erie and was in the hands of Devil Dan, the guy who tapes ankles, and a secretary temp. They had no chaunce. They lost out on their top two targets, Jimmy Butler, who was traded instead to Minnehaha, and Paul George, late of Indiana, and probably headed to the LA "No Lakers," but definitely not to the "Mistake Lakers." As probably is LBJ. He must be sick tonight, and disgusted. He has to stay one more year in Cleve and then he'll be gone. DevsDan has fucked this up again. ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!
On Chauncey Billups replacing David Griffin as "Cadavers" GM, this guy tweeted:

This maybe the 1st time a less qualified black guy has gotten a job over a more qualified white guy 😴 @EasyENation11:45 AM · Jun 22, 2017

Oh! Priceless. That's what Twitter does: forces you to be economical, the pith to character ratio goes way up and in the hands of Twitter magicians the result can be magic. And the beauty part of this tweet: Billups hasn't accepted! He's still "mulling." HAHAHAHAHA.

NBA Draft (avec learned commentary)

  • Ne1 (1).               Never heard of him
    Markelle FultzWashington
  • 2 (2).                    Heard of him
    Lonzo BallUCLA
  • 3 (3)
    Jayson Tatum  Never heard of him
  •  Duke
  • 4 (4)
    Josh Jackson Never heard of him
  • Kansas
  • 5 (5)
    De'Aaron Fox Never heard of him
  • Kentucky
  • 6 (6)
    Jonathan Isaac Never heard of him
  • Florida State
  • 7 (7)
    Lauri Markkanen Heard of her. Porn star.
  • Arizona
  • 8 (8)
    Frank Ntilikina Never heard of him France
  • 9 (9)
    Dennis Smith Heard of A Dennis Smith
  • NC State
  • 10 (10)
    Zach Collins Never heard of him
  • Gonzaga
  • 11 (11)
    Malik Monk Thelonious' son. Heard of him.Kentucky
  • 12 (12)
    Luke Kennard Never heard of him.Duke