Tuesday, June 28

Country Boy Can Survive.

Hank Williams, Jr -- turn it up:

The preacher man says it’s the end of time
And the Mississippi River she’s a goin’ dry
The interest is up and the Stock Markets down
And you only get mugged
If you go down town

I live back in the woods, you see
A woman and the kids, and the dogs and me
I got a shotgun rifle and a 4-wheel drive
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

I can plow a field all day long
I can catch catfish from dusk till dawn
We make our own whiskey and our own smoke too
Ain’t too many things these ole boys can’t do
We grow good ole tomatoes and homemade wine
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Because you can’t starve us out
And you can't make us run
Cuz we're them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say grace and we say Ma’am
And if you ain’t into that, we don’t give a damn

We came from the West Virginia coalmines
And the Rocky Mountains and the and the western skies
And we can skin a buck; we can run a trout line
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

I had a good friend in New York City
He never called me by my name, just hillbilly
My grandpa taught me how to live off the land
And his taught him to be a businessman
He used to send me pictures of the Broadway nights
And I’d send him some homemade wine

But he was killed by a man with a switchblade knife
For 43 dollars my friend lost his life
Id love to spit some beechnut in that dudes eyes
And shoot him with my old 45
Cause a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Cause you can’t starve us out and you can’t make us run
Cuz we're them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say grace and we say Ma’am
And if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn

We’re from North California and south Alabam
And little towns all around this land
And we can skin a buck; we can run a trot-line
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Hitting Below the Belt...

Not content to surrender their journolism cards* to the biased political reporting this political season, the NYT went out of its way to hire an African writer to develop a short story based on ... MRS. Trump.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s interest began with Ivanka Trump, who “seems to me too thoughtful and too intelligent to truly believe that her father’s erratic, ungrounded policy positions would genuinely be good for the United States. And so I imagined her as a kind of unknowable character, and I needed a foil of sorts for her, which is how Melania Trump became the center of the story.”

“Fiction can remind us — and because of the blood-sport nature of politics, we constantly need reminding — that the players in politics are first human beings,” Adichie said.
Why can't you leave the private political players alone, and concentrate on those who put themselves in the spotlight based on the issues that need addressing?  This really is hitting below the belt -- going after somebody's wife.

Turns out, Ted Cruz had nothing on the folks at the New York Times, afterall.  Who will they target next?
--------------------------

I think the journolists who are behind-the-scenes hoping to elect Mrs. Clinton are afraid to discuss the current issues:  American foreign policy, the growing inequality between the do-ers and the takers/taxers, the future of the country, economics, politics, and race.  Much much easier to pay off an unknown to take on somebody's immigrant wife.

Never Forget:  The elites know best...
and they'll go to their graves thinking that.
(Y'all come back now, y'hear?)

* I hope Trump pulls all the press passes today associated with the New York Times political coverage.  Get 'em off the bus already.  Why feed the hand that bites you and yours?

Over The Hills And Far Away,

Oh darling, darling, darling...walk a while with me?
Ooooh, you got so much (too much) so much...

In his column today, David Brooks plumps for "Hillbilly Elegy", a young Yale writers take on the white working-class.  Brooks eats this shit up!

Many have I loved - Many times been bitten
Many times I've gazed along the open road.

Many times I've lied - Many times I've listened
Many times I've wondered how much there is to know.

Many dreams come true and some have silver linings
I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold.

Mellow is the man who knows what he's been missing
Many many men can't see the open road.

Many is a word that only leaves you guessing
Guessing 'bout a thing you really ought to know, ooh!
You really ought to know...
 Maybe Vance will be the white Teh-Nehisi Coates.  Using his "people" to further his bankroll.  And then debarking for ... Paris?

Why is it the elites love them some 'merican memoirs of folks gone wrong?  Do it help them think they understand others who share their nation?  Don't they understand that people are only too happy to serve up the slop the elites say they want to consume?

Doesn't make it objective non-fiction though...  just a subjective "I was there" new style of fiction for the new century.  Cashing in on your own kind.  That's easy.  Understanding cotext?  That's harder, and likely something they no longer can teach at Yale...
This honor code has been decimated lately. Conservatives argue that it has been decimated by cosmopolitan cultural elites who look down on rural rubes. There’s some truth to this, as the reactions of smug elites to the Brexit vote demonstrate.

But the honor code has also been decimated by the culture of the modern meritocracy, which awards status to the individual who works with his mind, and devalues the class of people who work with their hands.

Most of all, it has been undermined by rampant consumerism, by celebrity culture, by reality-TV fantasies that tell people success comes in a quick flash of publicity, not through steady work. 
 How come we can call white people hillbillies, anyway, and yet we shudder at those using words like nigger or redskin?  Riddle me that, Mr. Brooks, next time you have a book-of-the-moment to push...

Liberian Girls...

Michelle, her mother and the two Obama girls visit... Liberia.
Where they encounter... Mayor Eddie Murphy.
And... classes are cancelled!  All to spread Michelle's message to African girls that it is important to stay in school to prepare their minds to meet the world.

 (You couldn't write this kind of comedy if you tried...  And dig the way NBC worked "mother land" into their headline...)

Michelle Obama, Daughters, and Mother Land in Liberia for Visit

First lady Michelle Obama landed in Africa on Monday with her daughters and her mother for an overseas trip promoting education for girls, starting with a country recovering from the recent Ebola epidemic.

The Obamas were welcomed in Liberia's capital with a red carpet and traditional dancers wearing the red, white and blue colors of both the American and Liberian flags. They also will visit Morocco and Spain.

While in Liberia, the first lady will meet with the president of the West African country, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the continent's first elected female head of state.
...
The Obamas then visit a leadership camp for girls in the town of Kakata.
"People are going to consider her to be a sister to them," Mayor Eddie Murphy said. "We are overwhelmed."

A main topic of the trip is how to address the barriers facing girls trying to get an education after the Ebola outbreak. More than 4,800 people died in Liberia, and children missed several months of school.
 ...
The Obamas' last stop in Liberia is at a school in Unification Town to speak with adolescent girls, according to Tina Tchen, the first lady's chief of staff.
 
Founded as part of an effort to resettle freed American slaves, Liberia has deep ties to the United States. The country's oldest technical and vocational high school, located in Kakata, is named for the African-American educator and civil rights activist Booker T. Washington.

The school suspended mid-term exams scheduled to start Monday "to allow the students to give Mrs. Obama a rousing welcome to appreciate what the United States has done for us," principal Harris Tarnue said.

"She will be a real inspiration to the young girls around here," he said.
 Now I'm sure Michelle and the girls will visit the South Side someday soon, to inspire the living little girls there, in America, to keep up hope despite the lack of progress by her husband's administration.  They're not global elites, afterall.  They are American girls...
Well, she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn't help thinkin'
That there was a little more to life somewhere else.
After all it was a great big world
With lots of places to run to...
 Now don't be jealous of Michelle.  What can she tell those Liberian young ladies?  Marry well and pin your hopes to a man who might one day become president? Personally, I think the trips outside of America are her payoff for staying sweet, smiling and standing by her man.

Do you think she'll be qualified to one day run for president herself?  How many miles is she racking up on these foreign visits anyway?  Surely somebody is keeping track...

Monday, June 27

Bill Cunningham: He's no David Carr...

I mean that as a compliment.
But of course, David the druggie is the one with the movie coming out, the memoirs written by the daughters he had while inebriated...

Poor Bill.
He was just a responsible man, dedicated to his craft.
Sadly, he will be forgotten while Carr is lionized.

Que sera...

What You Are Celebrating in Texas Tonight...

For all the ladies cheering their "rights" tonight, and insisting Texas had no reason to place medical restrictions on abortionists, click this link and look at the pictures of some of the aborted, dead babies -- almost full term -- who apparently needed to be taken out...

After the conviction of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell on murder charges, Operation Rescue has been repeatedly asked if there is any evidence that similar practices exist at abortion clinics elsewhere in the nation. That documentation has now been released.
...
Three informants, Deborah Edge, Gigi Aguliar, and Krystal Rodriguez, have come forward to tell of their horrific experiences working for abortionist Douglas Karpen, at one of three of his Texas abortion clinics, the Aaron Women’s Clinic in Houston. A fourth informant has co-operated with Operation Rescue, filing an affidavit about her experiences, but remains at this time anonymous.

As shocking as their stories are, these women did more than just talk; they brought forward evidence of illegal late-term abortions in the form of photos taken on their cell phones at the Karpen’s clinic on Schumacher Lane in Houston.

We can do so much better, ladies.
Don't let them convince you that killing your unborn children is the way to demonstrate bodily autonomy, or your feminist credibility.

Wouldn't it be better not to conceive until you are mature and responsible enough to accept the responsibilities of being a mother?  That would be impressive -- teaching women how to control their bodies so that they not only remember having sex, but remember practicing birth control before conception.  That's your right too, never forget.

ADDED:  The facts of life...
“When he did an abortion, especially an over 20 week abortion, most of the time the fetus would come completely out before he cut the spinal cord or he introduced one of the instruments into the soft spot of the fetus, in order to kill the fetus,” said Deborah Edge, who worked as a surgical assistant for Karpen for about 15 years until leaving in March, 2011.

“I thought, well, it’s an abortion you know, that’s what he does, but I wasn’t aware that it was illegal…Most of the time we would see him where the fetus would come completely out and of course, the fetus would still be alive,” Edge continued.

How often did this happen?

“I think every morning I saw several, on several occasions,” she said. “If we had 20-something patients, of course ten, or twelve, or fifteen patients would be large procedures, and out of those large procedures, I’m pretty sure that I was seeing at least three or four fetuses that were completely delivered in some way or another,” said Edge, acknowledging that these babies would be alive.
She described how some babies would emerge too soon and would be alive, moving, and breathing. She also told of how Karpen would sometimes deliver the babies feet first with the toes wiggling until he stabbed them with a surgical implement. At the moment the toes would suddenly splay out before going limp. Sometimes he would kill the babies by “twisting the head off the neck,” according to Edge.

Women would be given doses of Cytotec, a drug that causes strong and unpredictable uterine contractions, and would deliver while they were waiting in line to see Karpen, some in toilets, one in the hallway.

“He just picked it up with one of those [chux] pads and put it in the trash bag,” said Krystal Rodriguez of the baby born in the hallway.

“As long as the patient had the cash, he was going to do it past 25 weeks,” she said.

But not all the babies came out intact. When there was difficulty, Karpen would dismember them, a process that was, according to the surgical assistant Deborah Edge, a bloody mess.

“Sometimes he couldn’t get the fetus out” she explained. “He would yank pieces – piece by piece – when they were oversize. And I’m talking about the whole floor dirty. I’m talking about me drenched in blood.”
...
It all began in early 2011, when Operation Rescue was conducting an undercover investigation of several Texas abortion clinics when it discovered that Karpen appeared to be violating the Texas informed consent law that required that abortionists give the state-mandated information personally on patient conference calls set up for that purpose. In addition to the improper use of a recording, he was not on the line to answer questions, as the law required. Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger filed a complaint with the Texas Medical Board concerning this violation.

Sullenger submitted a statement to the TMB noting Karpen’s documented history of problems, including series of botched abortions stretching back to 1988 when 15-year old Denise Montoya hemorrhaged and died after a 26-week abortion done by Karpen.

She told the TMB of a documented incident on February 6, 2005, when a sewer broke at Karpen’s Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center, located at 2421 N. Shepherd in Houston, causing sewage to spill into the parking lot of a neighboring car dealership. Maribeth Smith, an employee of the car dealership said she is convinced she saw human body parts mixed in with the sewage. She took photographs, believing the human tissue came from the clinic.

“Whether it’s legal or not, it’s not right,” Smith said. “This whole area is nothing but raw sewage and bloody pieces. There were little legs coming out from one side.”

A Health Department worker called 911 to report a second spill at the same abortion clinic. When asked who she was with she told the dispatcher, “Health Department…and we handle normal medical waste, but this is beyond us. He says he can see fetuses and fingers and everything.”

U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Turns out, President Obama is a better killer than George W. Bush!

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — American airstrikes in northern Afghanistan killed at least seven hostages being held in a Taliban prison on Saturday, according to accounts from the families of victims and local officials from the immediate area. Some accounts put the death toll as high as 16.  ...
President Obama recently expanded the authority for American forces to use airstrikes against Taliban targets. Under the new rules, airstrikes no longer need to be justified as necessary to defend American troops. The first such strikes were carried out earlier this month, the Pentagon said.

Way to go, Chief!
Who sets the rules?
WE set the rules...

(Don't let those libs tell you guns and killing aren't the answer.  More violence, please.  It's what America is good at these days:  death and destruction, and anonymity and unaccountability...)

"Obama... Out!" indeed.
With a killer bang, at that!
I suspect we'll see many more such military actions, to compensate for Obama's lack of diplomatic leadership on all fronts:  economic, racial, international and domestic.  But hey, destroying... that he's good at!

(Besides... enemies/allies?  Who can tell those brown people apart anyway?  Only good Afghan is a dead Afghan, right?  Military's calling the shots now;  president O. be sitting this one out... Likely safer for everyone that way.  He sure would make a good figurehead though -- Queen of America, a symbolic role similar to Queen E. of Great Britain -- all the pomp and circumstance, but with none of the attendant political responsibilities...)

Tisket a Tasket... Brisket a Brexit...

Meanwhile, closer to home:

Cincinnati Reds Retire Pete Rose’s No. 14

Rose’s number was retired a day after he joined the team’s Hall of Fame. Major League Baseball had to approve the ceremony because of Rose’s lifetime ban for gambling.
----------------
Still closer to home:
The storm that passed through this region Saturday night closed the strawberry patch.
We are very sorry to say that our patches suffered extensive damage from the heavy rain and the hail. Therefore, our strawberry patches are now CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.
Thank you to all of our wonderful customers. We have never had to close early in our 38 years of growing berries. We hope to see you next year.
Luckily, I picked my buckets full, now fresh frozen for the year, early Saturday morning.  If you can get out there early enough, you can beat the heat.  Sunshine is good for plants, but shady places and coolness are underrated by too many living creatures in this kind of heat...

Make it a great week!

Friday, June 24

Let's Not Forget the Real Tragedy...

It's not Britain leaving the European Union.
It's Britain leaving the Civilized World.

The husband and two young children of Jo Cox gathered with her friends in Trafalgar Square for a vigil on what would have been her 42nd birthday. The Labour MP was stabbed and shot dead outside a constituency surgery in Birstall less than a week ago.

Her widower Brendan and the couple's two young children left their home, a houseboat along the Thames, and travelled by boat up the river to prepare for the rally. They towed a small flower-covered boat named the Yorkshire Rose as a memorial to the campaigner.
Beautiful pictures at the link.

ADDED:  Her killer, in his own words:
In 2011, Mair spoke of how he had volunteered to work as a groundsman at the nearby Oakwell Hall County Park, which had helped ease his mental health problems.

He told a local newspaper: "I can honestly say it has done me more good than all the psychotherapy and medication in the world. "Many people who suffer from mental illness are socially isolated and disconnected from society, feelings of worthlessness are also common mainly caused by long-term unemployment.

"All these problems are alleviated by doing voluntary work. Getting out of the house and meeting new people is a good thing, but more important in my view is doing physically demanding and useful labour.

A Nation Once Again...

A Nation once again,
A Nation once again,
And lreland, long a province, be
A Nation once again!
...
For, Freedom comes from God's right hand,
And needs a Godly train;
And righteous men must make our land
A Nation once again!

"Britain ... Out."

Suddenly makes "Obama... Out" (*mic drop*) look like child's play, eh? Perhaps a smart numbers guy, a businessman who understands populism via human psychology would not be such a poor leader right now. So much for symbolic, but ultimately ineffective, figureheads.

Henry's Going to Dee-troit!

Stan Van Gundy's Pistons
Pick Up Ellenson
in Round 18

Before the NBA Draft, Van Gundy, the Detroit Pistons' president of basketball operations and head coach, told reporters there a group of 10 to 11 players he really didn’t examine closely because the team felt there was no way any of them would fall to No. 18.

But the Pistons are ecstatic their 10th-ranked player – Marquette power forward Henry Ellenson – was available.

And after a night of unexpected results, Pistons snagged a guy who fits perfectly when you consider the team needs.

It was just unexpected.

“I watched a little on him, I watched two games, but quickly just so I knew who he was. I didn’t even take notes, to be quite honest,” Van Gundy said at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Thursday night moments after the Pistons made their selection.

“I liked what I saw and have great faith in our staff. When they have a guy that high, there’s no doubt at 18 that you’re making the right move. And he’s such a great fit for what we need, too.”

The move fits because Ellenson provides size, measuring 6-foot-11 1/2 in shoes and 242 pounds at the NBA combine in May, enabling the one-and-done collegiate to play power forward and center.

He has a polished offensive game, as he got his start in basketball as a point guard.

He averaged 17 points and 9.7 rebounds in one season at Marquette.

Right now, he is more of a midrange shooting threat, but can also drive to the rim. He shot 30-for-104 from three (28.8%). He is a solid rebounder and can take defensive rebounds and go coast-to-coast.

The knock?

He is slow-footed and considered a defensive liability.
So much for the predictor markets:
Draft night proved once again mock drafts should be perused only for entertainment value.

With “lower” ranked prospects flying off the board, the Pistons were able to sit back and wait.

“We were really surprised,” Van Gundy said. “(Ellenson) was a guy we had as basically no chance to get at 18 so we didn’t bring him in here for a workout. We loved him … all the scouts loved him, but he was guy we just didn’t think we had any shot at. Everybody thought he was going to go higher so you can’t get those guys in that go higher.”
...
Most mock drafts had Ellenson going around the top 10, but a player the Pistons targeted early in the process was available.

“I didn’t expect to be on the board at 18, but God has a plan and I feel this is a right place for me to go to,” Ellenson said. “It’s in the Midwest. It’s a great team that made the playoffs last year. I feel like I can contribute a lot right away.

“I’m just excited to be playing for the Pistons.”

After saying during the entire draft process the Pistons would more than likely take a prospect not quite ready for prime time, Van Gundy said Ellenson’s game does offer the potential of a possible rotation piece in Year 1.

With the top seven players returning and with a goal of addressing roster holes in free agency, the Pistons went into the draft with a best-player-available mantra.

This is the first time since 2009 the Pistons’ first-round pick isn’t in the lottery.

That’s by virtue of the Pistons finishing 44-38 and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
ADDED:
forbes.com:
18. Detroit Pistons: Henry Ellenson (PF, Marquette)
Ellenson is definitely one of the most interesting players in this year’s draft class, especially after falling this far. He excelled as a freshman at Marquette, showing prowess in stretching the floor while also developing his game in the paint in both the low post and on the pick-and-roll. Ellenson should be a great fit alongside Andre Drummond and provides the Pistons a strong presence at power forward, making him an absolute steal at No. 18 even if he does have some bust potential. Grade: A-

Behold: An American Genius in Paris!

I hope he's not spending it all in one place*...

Does the class difference between how you grew up and how your son is growing up ever worry you?

No. I feel like I learned certain stuff the way I grew up, and those things helped me later. But the amount of violence in black communities is just off the hook, so I think it’s a net negative. You’ve got to put it on balance. I think everybody who goes through that says, “Well, I’m gonna toughen him up.” See, these white folks ain’t got to be tough. Tough is for people without money.
Btw, didn't we all learn in middle school that mo-fo is a pretty sexist term?

Odd that men like Coates, the son of a librarian working on a campus, and Kanye West, the son of the English Department head at Chicago State, ape the language of the streets still.

How do you spell poseurs again?
-------------------------

* Something tells me it would be hard to hire him as a writing professor at MIT after his language here.

ADDED: Coates lost me when he argued, in the pages of the whiteman's NYT, that some words were off-limits to white people in America, reserved exclusively for our nation's black stock. Might be nice to think, but once descriptive phrases spill off the reservation onto the corners where white people can all see -- and hear -- you lose exclusivity.

Some elite white people might buy what Coates is selling, but I'm thinking John T. and Catherine MacArthur would be rolling over in their graves to see what genius their foundation money is going to support... It wasn't supposed to be a charitable fund, but an investment. But without a solid educational foundation, this is what you get.
How good do you think you are at writing?
I’m a good writer. I think there are very few people who can do journalism, do history, form an argument, an argument with a brain, and then write in such a way that it gets at your heart also. I’m thinking about Isabel Wilkerson. I think of Nikole Hannah-Jones. I think Elizabeth Kolbert at The New Yorker is really good at that. I’m talking about making an argument that’s simple, with all this evidence, and writing about it in a beautiful way. There are very few people who can do all of it at the same time, and that’s because very few people actually try.

Coming up on hip-hop really taught me the beauty of poetry. Reading comic books taught me the beauty of poetry. Studying poetry after that, I had this obsession with how language sounded. Coming out of my household and being a history major at Howard gave me a deep appreciation for history. Working under David Carr as a journalist gave me a deep appreciation for actually going out and talking to people. So I had a variety of experiences, but it’s not mystical. It’s not in the genes or in the bones.
He ain't got it. And he knows it, despite all the white man's money and praise. That's where the vulgarity comes in... the self-clowning and female degradation.

This is what the white liberals think an educated black man will sound like... sad!

Thursday, June 23

Blacks Win, But Browns (without papers) Lose.

The Supreme Court today upheld continued discrimination in college admissions on the basis of skin color/race, but upheld the rule of law regarding immigration laws.

This "white" writer will remain silent,
quietly remembering when the country was more catholic, and we weren't so keen to split Americans up by identity groups.

e plu·ri·bus u·num. Never forget.
(It's not too late to Make America Great Again!)
Go Go Go, Ale' Ale' Ale'!

And when you feel that heat,
the world is at your feet.
No one can hold you down
if you really want it.
Just steal your destiny
Right from the hands of fate
Reach for the cup of life
Cause your name is on it.
Do you really want it
? ...

Wednesday, June 22

But I Can See That Dark Horizon Looming...

Ever Close to View.
...and I know what it is
that made us live
such ordinary lives...
the where to go
the who to see
no one can sympathize...


You know,
I wouldn't trade it for the world,
but sometimes it is hard living with an artist's brain -- taking the loooooong-term view, in our fast-paced modern world of commerce. Still, I wouldn't change it, if I could.

An entertainment editor at the Daily Southtown Southtown Economist and I were discussing, one summer in the 80s, the playwright Sam Shepard (Ford Sheridan!). She liked him too, but said... he's dark.

"Life is dark" the younger me blurted.
She laughed. I wasn't trying to be funny.

Good to be thinking of life's darkness now, on the brightest days of the year. We've not gotten too hot here -- plenty of well-timed rain cooling us off, and keeping the farmers happy.

Happy Hump Day, if you're working,
and hope you had a wonderful Wednesday,
if you're keeping cool at home.

Tuesday, June 21

In the Community Garden???

This is just wrong sad, in so many ways...

Marijuana Discovery Closes a Beloved Brooklyn Community Garden

A garden that brought a breath of fresh air to East New York was shut down by the city, after the plants were discovered by inspectors.
Who would do that?
I hope it was someone young and dumb...
getting the community garden shut down for everybody.
Sheesh.

Monday, June 20

The Twins Played at Home Yesterday...

and they rallied and won, beating the Yankees.

By PAT BORZI
...
Brian McCann broke a lengthy slump with two long home runs among his three hits. But the Yankees, leading by 2-0 in the fourth and seemingly on the verge of sweeping four games from the last-place Twins, could not quell a decisive four-run Minnesota rally in the sixth, one that featured two bloop hits and an acrobatic slide by Trevor Plouffe around McCann’s tag.
...
McCann had been 0 for 15 and batting .125 since returning from a hyper-extended left elbow when he homered in the second inning, a drive reaching the edge of the second deck in right-center. His homer leading off the ninth landed on Target Plaza beyond the right-field seats.
Souvenir!
“Instead of weak ground balls to the second baseman, I was able to get through the baseball and drive it,” McCann said. “I’ve been swinging at good pitches. When I get ready to hit the baseball, I’m cutting my swing off, not getting through it. Today is a good day.”

But the Twins, who blew a 4-0 seventh-inning lead in Saturday’s loss, rallied to avoid being swept in a series for the 10th time this season.
You take the good news where you can...
Eduardo Escobar tripled in two in the sixth to give Minnesota the lead, the second run scoring when Plouffe evaded McCann’s diving tag. The plate umpire, Paul Emmel, called Plouffe out, but a video review reversed the call. McCann did not argue.

“I don’t know if I got his jersey or not,” McCann said. “You don’t know because you’re just diving. You just hope for the best. He made a good slide and slid over my glove.”
Good slide! There you go...
Two Minnesota errors in the eighth — a bad throw by reliever Taylor Rogers and a grounder through first baseman Plouffe’s legs — let in one run and brought Carlos Beltran and Rodriguez to the plate with one out, each with a chance to tie the game with one swing. ...

Neither succeeded. The left-hander Rogers fanned Beltran swinging at a curve, and the right-hander Brandon Kintzler got Rodriguez on a slider, prompting Rodriguez to pound the plate once with his bat.
Whew! That was close....

The Yankees are finding bright linings too...
Rodriguez chose to be optimistic. He and Beltran are hitting. McCann broke his slump. The Yankees averaged six runs a game on this trip. And Mark Teixeira begins a rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday.

“I think we’re chipping away,” Rodriguez said.
“For us, it’s been frustrating that we get to that threshold of .500 and take a step back.”
If you won more than you lost, it's a winning season in my book.

Sunday, June 19

Nice.

All Summer on the Stoop

Dear Diary:
Dreams were born on Brooklyn stoops,
Comic books read, and friendships forged.
Secrets shared, and hopes revealed.

“Hey, Jerry, here’s six cents, go and get the Nooz and Mira.”
Crazy Ralphie told us jokes, and babes in arms were sleepy.
Someone shouts, “Hey, Babe Ruth died!”
The boys could not believe it.

A girl named Mary Pellegrino met a boy
strolling by on Graham Avenue.
His name was Maxie Witkin.
Their union produced children whose
Art is now shown in museums and galleries.
They live in fancy houses that have no stoops.
They would trade it all for only one more night
With Mom and Grandma
On a Brooklyn stoop.

~By Sara Jane Witkin Berman, June 19, 2016
Metropolitan Diary

Warriors for teh Win!

That's my call.
OK, good night...

Cavaliers

89
Game 7
Live - Q4 3:40
Warriors

89

All times are in Central Time
ADDED:
Cleveland
Cavaliers
 
93 - 89
Final
Golden State
Warriors
=====
Guess I jinxed 'em.

The Twins were at Home Today...

and they rallied and won, beating the Yankees.

By PAT BORZI
...
Brian McCann broke a lengthy slump with two long home runs among his three hits. But the Yankees, leading by 2-0 in the fourth and seemingly on the verge of sweeping four games from the last-place Twins, could not quell a decisive four-run Minnesota rally in the sixth, one that featured two bloop hits and an acrobatic slide by Trevor Plouffe around McCann’s tag.
...
McCann had been 0 for 15 and batting .125 since returning from a hyper-extended left elbow when he homered in the second inning, a drive reaching the edge of the second deck in right-center. His homer leading off the ninth landed on Target Plaza beyond the right-field seats.

“Instead of weak ground balls to the second baseman, I was able to get through the baseball and drive it,” McCann said. “I’ve been swinging at good pitches. When I get ready to hit the baseball, I’m cutting my swing off, not getting through it. Today is a good day.”

But the Twins, who blew a 4-0 seventh-inning lead in Saturday’s loss, rallied to avoid being swept in a series for the 10th time this season.
You take the good news where you can...
Eduardo Escobar tripled in two in the sixth to give Minnesota the lead, the second run scoring when Plouffe evaded McCann’s diving tag. The plate umpire, Paul Emmel, called Plouffe out, but a video review reversed the call. McCann did not argue.

“I don’t know if I got his jersey or not,” McCann said. “You don’t know because you’re just diving. You just hope for the best. He made a good slide and slid over my glove.”
Good slide! There you go...
Two Minnesota errors in the eighth — a bad throw by reliever Taylor Rogers and a grounder through first baseman Plouffe’s legs — let in one run and brought Carlos Beltran and Rodriguez to the plate with one out, each with a chance to tie the game with one swing. ...

Neither succeeded. The left-hander Rogers fanned Beltran swinging at a curve, and the right-hander Brandon Kintzler got Rodriguez on a slider, prompting Rodriguez to pound the plate once with his bat.
Whew! That was close....

The Yankees are finding bright linings too...
Rodriguez chose to be optimistic. He and Beltran are hitting. McCann broke his slump. The Yankees averaged six runs a game on this trip. And Mark Teixeira begins a rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday.

“I think we’re chipping away,” Rodriguez said. “For us, it’s been frustrating that we get to that threshold of .500 and take a step back.”

Saturday, June 18

What if it was a Sham Marriage?

And this man is not the president's biological father, but married his pregnant mother and briefly served as legal father in name only?

I can see where he might not want his father's pleas for financial assistance and scholarship help splashed across the NYT. Nor to go out of his way to read the documents. The legal father served his purpose, early in life and early in the political life too. That book's already been written...

Just a little critical thinking this Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 14

“Where does this stop?”

President Obama talking about terrorism Donald Trump.
The president is a good comforter-in-chief, but as a defensive-minded commander-in-chief?  Not so much...
Great at the symbolic parts of his job -- the campaigning -- but ineffective at foreign policy and economics.  You're not really so funny anymore, Mr. President.  We're at war, remember?
---------
#clueless

"You cannot simultaneously arm the world, and disarm American citizens here at home."

Monday, June 13

What If...

the answer to ending terror attacks here at home
is to do something Obama promised 7 years ago?

To end America's wars of opportunity across the globe,
to bring home our soldiers, and to end the ongoing destruction
OUR high-powered military weapons and drones are doing to civilian areas everywhere.

We Americans don't give a second thought to who our weapons kill -- not 50, but THOUSANDS of dead, and now the guns are turned on us and we can finally recognize the tragedy.  (You see it now, right?)

What if... we could turn back the clock 7 years, and Obama had fulfilled the promises he was elected to keep?  Instead of spreading mass killings in the name of national security, justice and protection, we had kept our guns here at home and let the civilians in other nations fend for themselves?

We are reaping what we have sown.
And Obama still does not get it:   preaching gun control here at home, while exporting our deadly weapons to the world.  Why?

What Do We Do?

We've got to give a little love.
Have a little hope
Make this world a little better...
Try a little more,
harder than before,
let's do what we can do, together...

First, start an inquiry on why the FBI closed theirs, on Omar "Mateen".
Second, look into his father and what he's been broadcasting.
Third, ask respectful questions about whether -- in retrospect -- we need our SWAT teams to be capable of responding more quickly than 3 hours between threat identified and BearCat through the wall..
Fourth, listen to Donald Trump about profiling and political correctness.  There are stories out now about how people -- co-workers, wives -- identified this man as a potential threat, enough to get him interviewed by the FBI.  Did the surveillance stop because he was Muslim, and it was thought to be politically incorrect if he was a true innocent?  I'm not saying harass suspected Muslims, but when he purchased those guns ... shouldn't that have triggered FBI follow-up?  Immediate FBI follow-up?

Like with the 9-11 warnings that went unheeded, it sounds like too many government agencies are incapable of acting in real time.  We've got to improve the performances of people getting paychecks to provide national security.  It's not the guns; it's what we do with credible information and who we target for surveillance.

If we want to preserve everyone's American freedoms, we need to be smarter about profiling and assessing true threats and dangers.  Otherwise, it's just performance art, and pretty words and promises (and paychecks!) for post-tragedy work.

Justifying Illegal Actions in the Face of Tragedy

Hillary Clinton:

“We need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad. That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home.”
Oh, I get it.
We failed in our efforts to export Western values into the Middle East's civil wars, and now we are going to double down on our unconstitutional efforts to change their home societies, now that they are exporting their non-Western values here?

Funny how a terror tragedy just reinforces that the Obama administration has been doing it right all along, and we just need more action abroad.

(I wonder if it might be better for Feds to develop an effective active-shooter protocol, to be delivered to local authorities when they take ownership of military weapons.  Perhaps better training might have led the local authorities in Orlando to go in earlier, and not wait 3 hours after a gunman has been initially identified and stopped at the door.  What a loss! of time and lives.)

I also wonder if the Obama administration will be forthcoming regarding the FBI error(s) that dropped the ball on this Mateen fellow.  "Case closed" on him they said, even though an associate of his allegedly went to Syria to train; his father had been posting pro-Taliban messages in his webcasts;  the shooter allegedly expressed hatred of others, and spoke of killing them, to co-workers who reported their concerns. He was determined not to be a threat?
The F.B.I. investigated Mr. Mateen in 2013 when he made comments to co-workers suggesting he had terrorist ties, and again the next year, for possible connections to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, an American who became a suicide bomber in Syria, said Ronald Hopper, an assistant agent in charge of the bureau’s Tampa Division. But each time, the F.B.I. found no solid evidence that Mr. Mateen had any real connection to terrorism or had broken any laws. Still, he is believed to be on at least one watch list.

Mr. Mateen, who lived in Fort Pierce, Fla., was able to continue working as a security guard with the security firm G4S, where he had worked since 2007, and he was able to buy guns.
If this guy was on the FBI list, why was he able to easily purchase these weapons, with no red flag going up to ... "reopen" his file?  Doesn't the killer Omar Mateen fit a profile?
A former co-worker, Daniel Gilroy, said Mr. Mateen had talked often about killing people and had voiced hatred of gays, blacks, women and Jews.
I wonder if the Obama administration can find out why this lone wolf, once on the FBI's radar, had fallen off?  Inaction matters and leads to death, the president tells us.  Here's a perfect case study:  what more will it take to keep these individuals under surveillance, and stop them BEFORE they use their guns against us at home?  How can we overcome that type of 3-hour delay that surely upped the death count as victims in the club bled out?

Those are questions worth asking...

(Is our FBI too involved in entrapping Somali teens with no resources to carry out the FBI-plots planted into their heads, and proclaiming judicial victories there, while the real threats go unchecked?  Inquiring minds want to know what our intelligence agencies are doing to protect the American people.  To hell with taking the fight elsewhere -- defensively, let's start here at home.)

Sunday, June 12

Champion Penguins.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — These Penguins rarely did anything the easy way.

They needed a coaching change and series of personnel moves to lift them out of an early-season sputter, then had to go on a late surge just to secure a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Seemed only fitting, then, that they had to fight hard to earn the victory that has made them champions.

But the Penguins got it done Sunday night at the SAP Center, as they defeated San Jose, 3-1, in Game 6 of the Cup final to secure the franchise’s fourth championship.

Off-line, Off the Grid.

There's something to be said for tubing the cold river rapids on an old innertube on a summer Saturday, and spending an evening unwinding with a dog and an old friend.  Staying cool swimming in an old Wisconsin watering hole, complete with kids jumping off a bridge...

All I can say about this weekend's tragedy -- Life is Tough; You Be Tougher.

and, "God Doesn't Give Us What We Can Handle.  God helps us handle what we are given..."

Getting ready tonight for another beautiful summer week, working in the city:  "'Cause none of them-a can stop-a the time..."  Redemption song. ~Marley.

ADDED:  Now, do we have a score in that Penguins game...?

Saturday, June 11

Don't Miss This!

Pat Borzi, a Minnesota sportswriter freelancing for the NYT, sums up last night's OT victory by the Mets over the Brewers, keeping his copy tight:

Asdrubal Cabrera scored the winner when Brewers shortstop Jonathan Villar, with the bases loaded and one out, dropped Matt Reynolds’s liner. Instead of an inning-ending double play, which would have been the third time the Mets had loaded the bases and failed to score, Villar got only one out, tagging Kelly Johnson between first and second.*
...
Five Mets relievers combined to allow one hit over the final five innings, with Jeurys Familia closing for his 21st consecutive save.
...
The Mets left the bases loaded in the fifth, while the game was still scoreless, and again in the ninth after the first three batters reached base.
...
The Brewers briefly appeared to have scored a run in the third on a quirky play that required two replay reviews, covering almost six minutes, to resolve.

With Aaron Hill on second and two out, a Villar grounder struck Harvey in the foot and caromed toward the left side of the infield. Cabrera, the Mets’ shortstop, headed toward the middle but scrambled back in a change of direction to knock down the ball just short of the outfield grass. Villar slid home ahead of Cabrera’s throw, and the plate umpire Larry Vanover, the crew chief, emphatically called him safe.

Mets Manager Terry Collins challenged the call, which was reversed following a 3 minute 1 second deliberation. Then Milwaukee Manager Craig Counsell asked Vanover to review whether Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki had blocked the plate. Two minutes 49 seconds later, the out call stood, keeping the game scoreless.

The Mets loaded the bases in the fifth on two singles, Harvey’s sacrifice and an intentional walk to Curtis Granderson, who was passed despite his .091 average with runners in scoring position. Alejandro De Aza grounded out, stranding them all.
The former Met Kirk Nieuwenhuis tripled and scored the game’s first run in the fifth. The lead lasted only three pitches into the sixth, when Cespedes homered to left-center. Nieuwenhuis stole Johnson’s bid for a go-ahead homer in the sixth with a leaping catch at the center-field wall.
The Brewers put two on with Hansel Robles pitching in the seventh, but Cespedes in center and De Aza in left ran down fly balls on the warning track.
In the ninth, the Mets wasted a glorious opportunity, with Wilmer Flores and Johnson following Cabrera’s leadoff walk with singles, putting the go-ahead run 90 feet away with nobody out.

With about 100 Mets fans near the third-base dugout chanting, “Let’s go, Mets!” (and the remaining Brewers fans at Miller Park booing), Milwaukee second baseman Scooter Gennett ran down Plawecki’s pop-up in shallow right, the runners holding. Pinch-hitter Neil Walker took a 1-2 curveball from Jeremy Jeffress for strike three, and Granderson grounded out to second.

Mets reliever Jim Henderson walked two in the ninth, but Milwaukee couldn’t capitalize, leaving runners on second and third. In the 10th, Milwaukee’s Ramon Flores overslid third on a ball in the dirt and was tagged out, a call upheld on video review.
 .....
Collins was willing to take the stroke of luck.

“I’ve seen a lot of major league baseball games,” he said. “That might have been one of the wildest I’ve ever been involved in. You just take the win and go get ready for tomorrow. You don’t try to analyze that one."
--------------------------
*But Borzi tries, on Twitter:
I've watched video of the Villar play 6 times and still can't decide what his first move should have been. Throw home? Tag everybody?

We've Got to Give a Little Love...

Have a little hope
Make this world a little better...
~Marley, Ziggy.
(the next generation)

A little Saturday morning music to get your day off to the right start...

You're welcome!

Try a little more
Harder than before
Let's do what we can do, together...

Only If We Try! 
-------------------------

ADDED:
And something beautiful too for the little children this morning:   
(Faster, Mamas and Papas, faster!)

Ziggy says lift up your hands
Ziggy says lift up your feet
Ziggy says smile
Ziggy says make the sign of peace
Ziggy says wiggle your waist
Ziggy says wiggle your nose
Ziggy says wiggle your toes
Ziggy says hug who you know
Ziggy says stand real tall
Ziggy says bend real low
Ziggy says look up and down
Ziggy says smile some more
Ziggy says look to the left
Ziggy says look to the right
Ziggy says turn in a circle
Ziggy says stop and say hi
Ziggy says sing like a bird
Ziggy says hiss like a snake
Ziggy says roar like a lion
Ziggy says talk like an ape
Ziggy says close your eyes
Ziggy says open them wide
Ziggy says spread your wings
Ziggy says imagine you can fly
Imagine you can fly
Imagine you can fly...

Friday, June 10

Pure Interdependence?

Doug Glanville:

A baseball defense is a collection of individuals with skill sets suited for the job at hand: the shortstop needs range and a good arm, the center fielder needs speed and an understanding of ballistics, the catcher need to be iron-tough and cerebral.

Or so it always was. The third baseman never had to understand how to turn a double play at second, for instance. But the shifting has made us focus on the highest goal of defense: to be a living, breathing single organism, to work in concert with pure interdependence. If you have a weakness, it can be masked much more readily. It is a shared burden.
or,
Why Defensive Positioning Matters
(and What We Can Learn From Our Ballplayers Today...)

More E-Mail Troubles for Clinton.

Reports the Wall Street Journal:

Emails in Clinton Probe Dealt With Planned Drone Strikes

Some vaguely worded messages from U.S. diplomats in Pakistan and Washington used a less-secure communications system

Top-secret emails at the core of a criminal probe involving Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information were, officials say, vaguely worded messages concerning CIA drone strikes. How did they end up on Mrs. Clinton's email server?
At the center of a criminal probe involving Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information is a series of emails between American diplomats in Islamabad and their superiors in Washington about whether to oppose specific drone strikes in Pakistan.

The 2011 and 2012 emails were sent via the “low side’’—government slang for a computer system for unclassified matters—as part of a secret arrangement that gave the State Department more of a voice in whether a Central Intelligence Agency drone strike went ahead, according to congressional and law-enforcement officials briefed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.

Some of the emails were then forwarded by Mrs. Clinton’s aides to her personal email account, which routed them to a server she kept at her home in suburban New York when she was secretary of state, the officials said. Investigators have raised concerns that Mrs. Clinton’s personal server was less secure than State Department systems.

The vaguely worded messages didn’t mention the “CIA,” “drones” or details about the militant targets, officials said. The still-secret emails are a key part of the FBI investigation that has long dogged Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, these officials said.

They were written within the often-narrow time frame in which State Department officials had to decide whether or not to object to drone strikes before the CIA pulled the trigger, the officials said.

Law-enforcement and intelligence officials said State Department deliberations about the covert CIA drone program should have been conducted over a more secure government computer system designed to handle classified information.