Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September is in the books here at Public Occurrences. The chalk, it was the chalk, 3,016 total pageviews, the standard 100/day. "Russian Military Doctrine," September 5, was the most read post and Russia was, Russia was nowhere in the top ten countries :o. That is not the chalk. Since mid-2009 Russia is number two by almost 2-1 over the third country, almost 2-1, and this month, with that as the number one post, too, not even in the top ten. Weird. Tres weird. Number two this month, third all-time, Germany. Portugal fourth, Ireland 7th, the rest are the chalk. No, Turkey eighth. The rest are the chalk. Second most read post in September, "The Great Philippe Starck," February 12. Search keywords this month, heh-heh-heh-heh:

alec scarlatos
alex scarlatos
alex skarlatos
arno breker
autumn calabrese uskirt
rooster crowing
alex scarlottos
alexander scarlatos spencer stone
eva carneiro instagram

God bless Alec/Alex, Spencer, and Anthony. I just googled Alec and Spencer to find Anthony's name, I hadn't remembered it, and Google prompted me with "Alec Scarlatos dancing with the stars," Alec is a TV star! Ah, to be young, handsome and a hero. (I'm 0 for 3 there.) Good night heroes, see ya in October.

Neon Green Moon Rising.

In short pants football the University of Oregon, Whoa! No, Manchester City, beat...Borrussia...Borussia Montevideo, Monchengladbach, easy for you to say, 2-1 in the Uefa Champions League. The match was played in...the other club's stadium in the other club's hometown. Munchkin took a 1-nil lead but then Nicolas Otamendi evened it in the 65' and Agueroooo! won it on a penalty kick "at the death." Why neon green?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

National Hopeless League.

North America's National Hockey League is the worst run of the four major professional sports groupings. Always has been. Hockey is a distant fourth in popularity in the U.S. but of course is the most popular among our beloved neighbors to the north. The NHL has thirty teams, seven in Canada.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery the saying goes, also of jealousy it says here, and for years the NHL has attempted to imitate professional basketball with the hope that some of the NBA's golden lustre would rub off. The NHL has expanded into warm weather locales and avoided the True North and it has gotten burned but not golden.

Now this exasperating dowager is coyly doing its expansion dance again, flirting outrageously and playing hard to get by setting a fee of $500 million for a mate in hopes of increasing its desirability. Potential suitors became wallflowers instead and the NHL embarrassingly was left with only two live ones, Las Vegas and Quebec City and three choices: Las Vegas, Quebec City, Las Vegas and Quebec City. The NHL would have died for Seattle, requiting its NBA lust, but Seattle wouldn't dance. The NBA has flirted with Vegas in the past and where the NBA flirts, the NHL mates. The Head Office likes Vegas, it givea them a thrill, as did Atlanta, twice, Miami, Tampa Bay, Raleigh, North Carolina and Phoenix, Arizona among failures or near-failures. Las Vegas is in this regard if no other, virgin territory, for professional sport has never set up shop there but with league approval the ownership group has gotten deposits for 13,000 some season tickets.

Quebec City dwarfs Las Vegas in every measure except bikinis and casinos. It's ownership is Quebecor the communications conglomerate that dominates the province, has more money than God, a huge, spanking new arena that is open for business and a fan base lusting after a return of the national pastime. Quebec City had a major professional hockey team from 1972-1995, the first seven of those years in the World Hockey Association, the last sixteen in the NHL. The Nordiques were rabidly supported but fell victim to the declining Canadian dollar and moved to Denver after 1995.

The return of the beloved Nordiques to Quebec is literally a no-brainer, Las Vegas represents a leap of faith and leaps have not been kind to the NHL but they have no brains so Quebec City is getting a sideways glance where Vegas is getting the batting of eyelashes. Mindless.

The league has extracted a $2 million non-refundable expansion deposit from its suitors, chump change for Quebecor, but today "Gary" "Bettman" the non compos mentis "leader" of the NHL, after Vegas and Quebec went through the third stage of the dance, formal presentations to the league, this Bettman guy had the audacity to say after the presentations today,

"We are in the process of gathering information. There have been no deliberations as to whether or not we want to expand, how many teams, or where. There's much work to be done."

No deliberations on whether or not we want to expand. Oh really? So those non-refundable expansion fees, that Las Vegas ticket drive, those are just the price these guys have to pay to buy you a drink, huh Gary? If Bettman weren't so stupid you'd have to admire his gall but he is so you don't.

Bettman, you are down to your last dance, partner. If you don't bring the Nordiques back to Quebec,
prepare for your worst nightmare. Twice before the NHL panic-expanded to head off competing
leagues. In 1967 it doubled in size to block the minor league Western Hockey League, with clubs in major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, from becoming major. That preemptive strike worked. Then two years later it added Buffalo and Vancouver and two years after that put a second team in the New York City area and another in Atlanta, all to corner markets targeted by the incipient World Hockey Association. That attempt at preemption failed and the WHA was born. Nate Silver the statistics guru of fiverhirtyeight estimates that Canada could support five to seven additional NHL clubs, among them Quebec City. Six teams makes a league, six teams was the NHL from 1942-1967. You took too many pucks up side the head Gary and they've knocked some gray matter loose. If you must, knock yourself out further in the desert, buddy, but if you stiff Quebec City and Quebecor that is a decision you will regret but once and that is continuously. Say hello, Gary, to the six-team Canadian Hockey League and good luck in Glendale, Sunrise, Las Vegas and along Tobacco Road, you boob.

Oh my gosh, these guys...

It's like a Saturday Night Live skit every time they get together. Rofl, rofl. Oh my God. 

Carpe the diem.

Monday, September 28, 2015

These Are The Good Old Days.

Barack Obama is in the last year and change of his presidency and, I promise you, we are going to miss this president. We will look back at his accomplishments and the way he made his decisions and we will say, "He did a lot." He did a lot against bitter opposition, he was steady and rational, there was always a well-thought reason for his decisions, even those with which we disagree, as I do with JCPOA/UNSCR 2231. There is a compelling case for, maybe not greatness, but "very goodness" for this presidency and I think very good will be the consensus among presidential historians once they have perspective that comes with time. I read that Obama currently is ranked 17th among all presidents in a composite of surveys. I think it likely that ranking will rise with time.

I have wanted to write this for, oh, maybe six months or so. I write it tonight because readers of this site may be surprised and I wanted to be on record while the corpse was still warm and I could not be accused of being nostalgic. I have lambasted Obama when my nature was up and I unsay none of those criticisms now. I am looking at his body of work and I see near greatness in that body of work. I write tonight because, gritting his teeth, the president met with and gave competing speeches against Russian president Vladimir Putin at the United Nations over Syria and because the early instant analyses are that Putin made Obama his bitch at the UN, he won the battle of the dueling speeches.

I unsay none of my suspicions, supported by incident after incident that Barack Obama does not "get" the non-Black world. He is abstracted away from Europe, considers it a jigsaw puzzle. His heart is in Africa and the Pacific. He has few friends internationally and cooperation is the exception. Non-black world leaders do not trust Obama, they do not like him, not Putin, not Xi, not Rousseff, not Merkel, not Netanyahu, not Harper, for godssake not Canada's Steven Harper, and Cameron is wary. All feel Obama is arrogant, condescending, and wrong. These are heads of state themselves, they have pride, they are strong personalities and the writ of the U.S. president's leadership does not run. This is the the glaring failure of the Obama presidency. A very good man and a very good U.S. president has less influence among major world leaders than recent presidents.

I have wondered in print several times about the specific dynamics behind this international dysfunction and I don't know what it is. I know there has been dysfunction. I have looked ever so briefly at the body language today between Putin and Obama, more so at the confrontational rhetoric, and it is as bad as it has ever been. Readers of Public Occurrences know that this is a recurring theme here. I know only that the odds are that when so many world leaders do not have a working relationship with the president of the United States that it is only common sense to conclude that they are in significant measure correct and that our president is not the only right one in the world.

But you ask me a reasonable question when you ask, as I have asked myself, "What specifically would you have had the president do or not do that he did not or did do that would have resulted in a more influential presidency abroad?", and I cannot answer that reasonable question. He has made rational decisions, he has given them forethought and still he is the one who other world leaders are wary of. Take Putin: No, in my opinion the U.S. should not have expanded NATO east and manifestly that has exacerbated Russia's paranoia. But Obama did not expand NATO east, he inherited it, he inherited it and didn't change it, as he inherited the panopticon state from Bush43 and has made some reforms but it is still a panopticon state. We should not have expanded NATO eastward and that fed into Russian paranoia but paranoia is a mental disorder, the Russians have it, the U.S. does not (at least vis-vis Russia) and the inconvenient truth that paranoids do not see is that NATO is not a threat to Russia. That Russia does not see that is Russia behaving irrationally, it is not the U.S. producing what was not there.

Obama deftly got the U.S. and to that extent the world out of the Great Recession. Affordable Care, the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the drone strikes on al Qaeda leaders (some 2,000), the Iran deal, TPP (still to come), the opening to Cuba--these are remarkable doings.

I think presidential historians will see all this when they write their post-mortems on the Obama presidency and I think there is a plausible case for greatness in  that record. He should be in the top ten and may be rated higher than any president in my adult lifetime. Weasly words there, "may be," I will change those to Obama "will be" rated higher than any president since 1976. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Night Thoughts.

It stole upon me again to day. I had not called it to mind volitionally. It came suddenly and from nowhere. I will always be able to call it to mind but it is when it comes without a summons that I realize it's always going to bother me. After the Battle of Fredericksburg the Army of the Potomac withdrew to make the infamous mud march. During that retreat the rebels pursued or feigned to pursue:

"The terrible distinctness of this alternate howling and cheering--as perceptible to the ear during the thunders of the fight, as the silver lining that not unfrequently fringes the heavily-charged cloud is to the eye,--is a striking illustration of the power of the human voice. We were to have another, however, and that of but a single voice, which from the agony of soul thrown into it, and its almost supernatural surroundings, must eternally echo in memory.

About three hundred yards distant from the left of our Brigade line, in an open field, on elevated ground, stood a large and comfortable looking farmhouse. In the morning it had been occupied; but as its inmates saw our skirmishers prostrating themselves on the one side in double lines that ran parallel to our breastworks, and the Rebel advance at the the same attain the edge of the wood upon the opposite side,--and the skirmishing that occasionally occurred along the lines giving promise of a fight that might center upon their premises,--they packed up a few valuables and left for a place of safety.  But not all.  We read of noble Romans offering their lives in defense of faithful slaves. That species of self-sacrifice is a stranger to our Southern chivalry.  In the garret of the building, upon some rags, lay an old woman, who had been crippled from injuries received by being scalded some months before, and had thus closed a term of faithful service which ran over fifty years, of the life of her present master and of that of his father before him.  Worn out, and useless for further toil, she had been placed in the garret with other household rubbish.  Her poor body crippled,--but a casket, nevertheless, of an immortal soul,--was not one of the the valuables taken by the family upon their departure. As the thunders of the thickening fight broke in upon her loneliness, her cries upon the God of battles, alone powerful to save, could be heard with great distinctness. Isolated and under the fire of either line, there was no room for human relief. Her strength of voice appeared to grow with the increasing darkness, and above the continuous thunder of the cannon were the cries--"God Almighty, help me! "Lord, save me!" "Have mercy on me!" shrieked and groaned in all the varied tones of mortal agony.  Long after the firing had ceased, in fact until we moved at early dawn, our men behind the works and in the rifle pits in front could hear with greater or less distinctness, as if a death wail coming up from the carnage of the field, the piteous plaints of that terror-stricken soul. Rumor has it, that before the building was fired by a shell in the middle of the following forenoon, her spirit had taken its flight; but whether or not, it could not mitigate the retributive justice to be measured out by that God over us all to whom vengeance belongs, upon the heads of  the ingrates who had left her to her fate. 
                             -Red-Tape and Pigeon-Hole Generals, William H. Armstrong.

Two Minute Warning.

Oh, I know that guy. Seen him on TV. He has a deep voice that warbles dramatically.

Never saw him before. Wait a minute, he looks Jewish. Mark Biltz could be a Jewish name. Is he Jewish?

Wikipedia calls him "Pastor." 

WHAT! What is that, El Shaddan, El Shaddai? That's a Hebrew font that's for sure. El-whatever is Hebrew-sounding, semitic, better said, tons of Muslims with the "el" thing, but not Christian...yet "Ministries." (?)

Well, you know what, I'm not curious enough to research it, I was just trying to get a photo of each of these jackanapes because I have a question. John, Mark, according to NASA the Super Dooper Blood Moon will be up in the Eastern U.S. in two minutes, 9:07 p.m. until 12:27 a.m. tomorrow, September 28. So, my question is, does the end of days happen in stages, like follow time zones, like maybe the Eastern U.S. gets zapped first and then it happens in Chicago, then Denver, then L.A.? And before that it happens four hours earlier in London, twelves hours earlier in Beijing? Can we watch on TV Beijing getting zapped or maybe this will fuck up the world's electrical grid so bad that no TV?  I'm asking. WAIT, so Beijing should be long gone right now, correct? Where the East is Red the East should be Dead right now, according to you guys, right?

Or is it going to happen somewhere in those three hours, 20 minutes but ALLATONCE? But the Super Blood Moon has to be up for the end of days to occur, right? There's not going to be one time where the Super Blood Moon is up for all the world to see, and to die, it's going to be up in Beijing first and then, fucking I don't know, Sydney, frigging New Delhi, whatever, the world gets destroyed in slices, is that right? like God is slicing a pumpkin pie, could be an apple pie, any kind of pie, God slices, the Beijing slice disappears, then Sydney, blahblahblah. IS THIS CORRECT? is my frigging question.
can you shrink moons

NASA– Verified account

Explore the universe and discover our home planet with @NASA. We usually post in EDT (UTC-4).
what are you doing tomorrow


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Blood Moon Rising.

Oh God. Here we go again. Sunday night will see another "Super Moon," a "Super Blood Moon," and the crazies are already out howling.

"The Blood Moon Prophecy is a religious belief promoted by some Christian ministers, such as John Hagee and Mark Biltz, which states that an ongoing tetrad (a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses—coinciding on Jewish holidays—with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses) which began with the April 2014 lunar eclipse is a sign of the end times as described in the Bible in Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12."

Four consecutive...falling on the Jewish holidays...six fulls in intervening partials...I think they should be more specific. So this is REALLY it, huh John, Mark? I mean, you cannot get any more specific than that. You're not going to have ambiguity in interpretation to fall back on this time, no misreading, no "Oh! It was five full moons, my bad.", Noooo! Divines, this is IT. If 9:00 a.m. Monday roles around and I'm in court-working-then it better be the end of yourn preachin' days. Midnight Monday rolls around, we're still here, follow your alternative Calling in professional pizza delivery and shut the fuck up! In fact, Monday comes around it ought to be the end of your days. You guys hop on the first Air Apocalypse flight and go over to Syria and let ISIS take a little off the top. Morons.

Speaking of Moroni:

"The Church encourages our members to be spiritually and physically prepared for life's ups and downs. For many decades, Church leaders have counseled members that, where possible, they should gradually build a supply of food, water and financial resources to ensure they are self-reliant during disasters and the normal hardships that are part of life, including illness, injury or unemployment.

"This teaching to be self-reliant has been accompanied by the counsel of Church leaders to avoid being caught up in extreme efforts to anticipate catastrophic events.

"The writings and speculations of individual Church members, some of which have gained currency recently, should be considered as personal accounts or positions that do not reflect Church doctrine."
         -Church of Latter Day Saints official statement.

Hey LDS: the BYU "Fighting Mormons" got killed today by Michigan. HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA. (But Utah! The "Fighting Utes" murdered the University of Nike Saturday night. Go Utes.)

Bad Moon Rising.*

*UPDATED, 11:42 PM. Lotta pain on Saturdays. Sometimes we can revel in others' pain. The University of Tennessee has a hump problem with the University of Florida the way that Manchester City does with the Champions League. The "Rocky Tops" led most of the game and much of that most by two touchdowns but could not hold on, losing again to Florida 28-27. Ahh, let's have a pity party, one, two, three. No.

On the other hand...The University of Texas, so excellent for many years, so arrogant every year through excellence or wretchedness, are going through an excruciating period. They fired their athletic director for his arrogance, they are coached by an excellent, humble man who has not been able, yet, to turn the tide and tonight they suffer terribly with another loss, and of the most excruciating kind. Oklahoma State's winning score was set up for them when Texas tried to punt the ball away, deep in their own end of the field and with under one minute to play. The ball was snapped perfectly to the Texas punter, hitting him right in the hands, and the poor kid let the ball squirt through his hands. He scooped the ball off the field and got off the punt which went for a net -6 yards. Excruciating to see that happen to a young person. Texas now has one win from four games and excellent coach-good man Charlie Strong is not going to be given many more opportunities to turn things around.
It is Saturday, day of happiness for (half of) all sports followers. As last Saturday God has chosen Manchester City and all its followers, including me and my chitlins, to be the bug to His windshield this day.

Was it not real? Those days, so recent yet so distant feeling now when the cognoscenti were proclaiming the EPL title City's? Now my son tells me if the Buccaneers win they are in first place. The undersigned cognoscente saw this coming with the UCL loss to Juventus. I did not read any reports on that match and have not read any on City at all since. It is too painful. I saw a headline today, before the Tottenham match, on Joe Hart's health. My son told me Kompany has been out, I had not known.

I do not believe that even those key factors explain this, the turn was too abrupt, City was built with redundancy to weather injury crises. The difference is too stark. It is team-wide. A team-wide explanation is needed. It is there. The Juve loss inflicted a psychic injury to the whole club. The UCL has been the last frontier to completion of the Manchester Revolution and it alludes "us" still. At 1-0 at the Etihad on the run of form City had had to that point, to surrender two second half goals and lose, European success alludes City still but, more importantly, to lose the first UCL match of the season and to lose it that way, what are the City players to think than that "We are not good enough"?, and that is an injury to their beings as soccer players, to the club as a soccer competing collective. It is not an injury that can be compartalized to one individual, it is team-wide.

City players are good enough, the team collectively is good enough. This team, these core players, have won everything else and they proved their mental toughness in the 2012 QPR match. They will turn this around. They will turn this around when they turn their heads around. The angels will rise again. In commiserating today I sent my son and daughter a text, "We are City forever. Win or lose, we are City forever." My daughter texted back four blue hearts.

A more enduring laughing-stock, indeed a perennial, is Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, which last Saturday won the Criminals Cup by losing to the state university of Pennsylvania. Today the "Scarlet Faces" play the University of Kansas, those are two of the ten worst tackle football teams of scholars on the whole earth.

Good news this Saturday! Islam's Hajj ended. Only 880 pilgrims died.


What are you looking at? Close your mouth when you stare. Stupid idiot.


I love lynxes.



Passing resemblance to the Scholar.



1. Imperial College, London.
2. University of Colorado, Denver.
3. Florida International University.
4. Max Planck Institut fuer molekulare Physiologie
5. Vaal University of Technology.
6. Denison University.
7. State University of New York, Albany.
8. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.