Quote of the Day

"Buzz, buzz."--Hamlet

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

How Does it Feel...

If you know me, you know I'm a college football junkie.  If you know this you also likely know that the college game upsets me.

I mention as much here on occasion.

You shouldn't care about that, of course, and I hope you don't.  It's my problem after all, one I created for myself when I fell in love with the game as a youngster.

I never grew out of college football like I did, say, baseball or my eighth-grade blue jeans.

I like to watch college football.  Years ago, I loved playing it during a single season in Ashland, Oregon.

These days a lot of crap surrounds the college game, most of it generated by the big money that has taken over the collegiality of the game.

For me, the aesthetics of the game are being pushed aside by the cash flow coming down from the mountain top--which here is a metaphor for television.

Here's an article from Rolling Stone published a few days ago that succinctly sums up today's game and the problems generated by the enormous amount of money now attached to it.

Worth a read, I say. You might like it because the author's first and last premise is the same; that football doesn't mean shit, but that the corruption now surrounding the game means everything.


TS

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Which Team?















Will the Oregon team that thumped Michigan State in Sept. show up versus Stanford Saturday?


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RIP Galway Kinnell

The poet died Tuesday at age 87.











The Bear

In late winter
I sometimes glimpse bits of steam   
coming up from
some fault in the old snow
and bend close and see it is lung-colored   
and put down my nose
and know
the chilly, enduring odor of bear...


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Essay of the Day


It is ironic, considering democracy’s pitiful state worldwide that, in accordance to its etymology, it literally means “common people’s rule” or, more simply, “people’s power.” The English term democracy and the 14th-century French word democratie come from the Greek demokratia via the Latin democratia. The Greek radical demos means “common people,” and kratos means “rule, or power.” How did we manage to pervert such a laudable notion of power to the people and diametrically turn it into a global system of rule at large under the principles of oligarchy and plutocracy? Everywhere we look, from east to west and north to south, plutocrats and oligarchs are firmly in charge: puppet masters of the political class. They have transformed democracy into a parody of itself and a toxic form of government. The social contract implied in a democratic form of governance is broken.

I know it.  You know it.  Toward a global referendum.


TS

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Classic Fight



The greatest era of welterweights.

My friend Bob and I finished up watching the Giants win the WS tonight and Bob says to me, "You know what I miss?  The great fights."

"No kidding," I said. "How about this one?"

And so here it is.

TS

Trouble in Paradise


Never let a billionaire tell you how to write a story, unless you want to be the story in the age of celebrity journalism.







TS

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Worth Watching




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How I Get My Baseball Fix

Man, I have a hard time sitting through a whole baseball game these days. Once upon a time I watched every pitch of the World Series with the passion of a real fan.

Can't do that anymore.  I've changed, the game hasn't (well, the players have.  I don't know many of them these days, either).

I have a new method now.  It's worked fine during this year's WS, which resumes about an hour from now in K.C.  I put the game up on my computer and listen to it while I surf the net for more interesting things to read and watch.

I might watch a segment of a documentary, or study a clip of something, or read a magazine article online.

Then I peek in occasionally, usually when I hear something happening that is "must see."  If the game is tight in the final innings, I bring it up and watch.

In this manner I saw Madison Bumgarner finish his four-hit gem Sunday evening.  I'm not able to say I saw his mastery throughout the game, but it's evident he had it--what I saw was good enough for my present tastes.

It's all I need, and it has the advantage of offering an opportunity to get something else done with the evening--though at this point I don't have a clue what it is I should get done tonight.

Well, I do...laundry.  But I'd rather stink at this time than think about it.  My laundry energy is low tonight, I do believe.

All I know is I won't focus all of my attention on the game because I can't.

Later:  On the other hand there is something riveting about watching a mauling.  It's like watching a traffic accident, or watching oneself screw up time and again.


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Monday, October 27, 2014

Send Up




I haven't watched SNL in years, through its ups and downs, but this truly is funny.


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Sad
















Timing is everything in hitting, and life.

You never know, and that is just too damn bad.


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Mass Media and Society


The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy—even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes. They slavishly venerate the military and law enforcement in the name of patriotism. They select the specialists and experts, almost always drawn from the centers of power, to interpret reality and explain policy. They usually rely on press releases, written by corporations, for their news. And they fill most of their news holes with celebrity gossip, lifestyle stories, sports and trivia. The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses. The corporations, which own the press, hire journalists willing to be courtiers to the elites, and they promote them as celebrities. These journalistic courtiers, who can earn millions of dollars, are invited into the inner circles of power. They are, as John Ralston Saul writes, hedonists of power.

You know you're better off with a little Hedges in the morning, so don't even contemplate arguing with me.

"Kill the Messenger" trailer.


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Sunday, October 26, 2014

God and Baseball

World Series.

7th inning.

To honor our troops all around the world (179 nations).

God Bless America.

Right...


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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Report

Unranked Kentucky is giving number 1 Miss. State a game!

Stanford is beating OSU with ease, and Michigan State is handling Michigan.

I'd like to see both Mississippi schools lose, just to make the playoff committee squirm.


TS

Weekend

Ought to be a good day for football watching with the possibility of a few "upsets."

Looking forward to OSU and Stanford, Ole Miss and LSU, maybe a couple of others.

Oregon won, but that defense needs work.  Cal's offense is as good as they come, but Oregon gave away a lot with poor tackling.

People will want to blame the coaches again, of course, but I put it on the players.  If you haven't learned to tackle in space by now you probably don't have the ability to do so consistently, which means you're not a serious contender for the championship.

The 1.5 hours in the dental office yesterday wasn't as painful as I expected it to be.

That's what I call good news these days.


TS

Friday, October 24, 2014

Joy

Off to the dentist again today, hopefully for the last time this go-round. My trip last month was brutal, and the doc says this one will be similar.

Then I should be set, perhaps for the rest of my days, but for tinkering here and there.

I've been fortunate, even at that.  Many in my family lost all their teeth when they were much younger than I am now.

Seemed genetically predisposed in part, but the rousing poverty amid my rural clan also made its mark, as it does on everything health-related.

No doubt I'll be in a little discomfort tonight.  Maybe the Ducks will help me through it by clobbering Cal?

But I'd take a high-scoring shootout as long as the good guys win.


TS

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cendrars

I've been threatening to read Cendrars for years, and so I finally picked his Moravagine out of the library--and am I ever glad about it.

He was a favorite of and a major influence on Henry Miller, and it's easy to see their parallels.  Miller was nothing if not ecstatically curious about the world. To read Miller was to feel the heat of existence when I found him as a young man--he'd created something so readily identifiable and tuned into my own searching that I could not put him down.

There is some of that recoil in Cendrars, at least in this book.

I am much older now, and not as impressed by certain writers as I once was--however, Miller has stayed with me like a mentor that cannot be forgotten or forsaken.  Perhaps Cendrars will become another passion.

In the end, why have I waited so long to tackle Cendrars?  I don't know, you get distracted, involved in other things, other people, other artists, and you're undisciplined to begin with, and then you get depressed and think it is all horseshit, which it often is, and then you have to go to work to make the rent and when you're finished you go to the bar because you're so tired you can't think, much less read--and so you put it off for another day.

You stop thinking, if you ever thought.

For long periods of time you stop reading altogether, and the days go by rapidly.  You sleep and sleep and sleep, and only occasionally awaken.

I did however read this long ago, an interview with Cendrars, when my initial curiosity about him arose.


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Essay of the Day


In recent years, the phrase “American exceptionalism,” at once resonant and ambiguous, has stolen into popular usage in electoral politics, in the mainstream media, and in academic writing with a profligacy that is hard to account for. It sometimes seems that exceptionalism for Americans means everything from generosity to selfishness, localism to imperialism, indifference to “the opinions of mankind” to a readiness to incorporate the folkways of every culture. When President Obama told West Point graduates last May that “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” the context made it clear that he meant the United States was the greatest country in the world: our stature was demonstrated by our possession of “the finest fighting force that the world has ever known,” uniquely tasked with defending liberty and peace globally; and yet we could not allow ourselves to “flout international norms” or be a law unto ourselves. The contradictory nature of these statements would have satisfied even Tocqueville’s taste for paradox.

Is the idea of exceptionalism resultant of what we believe, rightly or wrongly, about our past, or does it spring from our hope for the future? Both, argues David Bromwich in this compelling essay.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wild Country
















Cub really likes this drugstore in Ashland, Oregon.

Have a feeling she'll be back next year when she returns from a vacation in Washington.  Wants to see a play at the Shakespeare Festival.


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Lost Poems

Somehow I've managed to lose the files of two works-in-progress, and naturally I hadn't backed them up.  Both were formatted books of poems, partially completed.  I was writing directly to the formatted pages.

Kind of a sickening feeling at the moment, a return to my past computing problems, borne of never quite fully grasping what I'm doing here.

Thought I'd gotten over being so careless, but I guess not. Another hazard of not owning a printer. Hard copies in the very least would have saved me from a portion of this massive headache.

Pretty much ingrained ignorance. Damn...

Gonna call it a day and watch a little baseball--and sulk.


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Poem of the Day/John Berryman














Dream Song 14

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving          
behind: me, wag.


Among my Berryman favorites.  Here is a good essay; Berryman turns 100.


TS

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Power Football

Here is something that was entirely predictable regarding the politics of the new College Football Playoff, which has swept away the old BCS computer-generated formula of the recent past.

As bad as the computer championship was, the new process ups the ante of wretchedness twofold or more.

Dice it any way you choose, but the championship will not be determined by the play of the best teams on the field in a meaningful playoff, but rather by the strongest personalities among a committee of 12, which was to be 13 until old Archie Manning dropped out for health reasons.

Thus, the personalities of the committee members, among them the horrid Condi Rice, have now become the lead story in a narrative of power politics only tangentially related to the actual games.

Ultimately, the committee's power usurps the majority of teams' and student-athletes' say in the matter from a tower of perceived exclusivity.

Come on down Marshall University, everybody is saying you're nobody (so it must be true).

The real game features oligarchy vs. democracy, with the media (read ESPN) playing the role of PR hacks.

Call it the dictatorship of the football proletariat, or simply a sign of the times.


TS

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tarkovsky




TS

Give















The Man says so and I ain't gonna argue with him.


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Morning Cup


Wolin, who wrote the books “Politics and Vision” and “Democracy Incorporated,” and Saul, who wrote “Voltaire’s Bastards” and “The Unconscious Civilization,” see democratic rituals and institutions, especially in the United States, as largely a facade for unchecked global corporate power. Wolin and Saul excoriate academics, intellectuals and journalists, charging they have abrogated their calling to expose abuses of power and give voice to social criticism; they instead function as echo chambers for elites, courtiers and corporate systems managers. Neither believes the current economic system is sustainable. And each calls for mass movements willing to carry out repeated acts of civil disobedience to disrupt and delegitimize corporate power.

A little Hedges in the morning is never a bad thing.


TS

Friday, October 17, 2014

Photo of the Day
















RP Thomas. Somewhere in N. Calif.


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Levine

The dead weight of the past is, of course, a powerful constraint.  But it is not all-powerful.  An audacious leader with the political capital Obama once enjoyed could have gone up against it, and done a lot better.

Instead, Obama chose to work with, rather than clean up, the messes his predecessors had let drop –the mother lode left by Bill Clinton, and the still standing remains of earlier administrations, extending back to even before the days of Henry Kissinger.

Andrew Levine gets it right at CounterPunch.  You can get it right as well by donating every cent you can to the finest political site on the Internet.**


TS

**I'm a shameless shill for righteousness.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blind

When can an aging man officially begin to complain about things concerning his body and not sound like a dweeb?

And I'm not talking about ED here either, folks.

I need to pick up a magnifying glass somewhere soon because my eyesight is rapidly abandoning me. The worst manifestation of the problem is related to cooking.

If I buy a new item that I haven't used before to cook with and I try to read the directions I'm helpless, dead meat, defeated, game over, kaput, up a creek, bye-bye apple pie.

I should have memorized more of the recipes I once used in my working life.

But like seeing, memory isn't exactly my strong point anymore either.

I've never been on this slope before.  Feels like I'm going to get an education right up to the bitter end.


TS

Poem of the Day

Fund the Revolt














Don't buy that third cup!!  Support CounterPunch with some of your Starbucks money.
















(The Giver, Buddy Dooley, 2009)


TS

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Many Moons Ago


Where were you the last time Washington beat Oregon in a football game?  The year was 2003, in case you're interested.

I was working as a fill-in night appetizer chef at the Saucebox, a bullshit hipster joint on Broadway in downtown Portland.  I think it may still be there, filled with a Mason Jar quantity of idiots night after night.

The  scenesters were too hip to have a telly in the joint as they enjoyed their cocktails and boring conversations, so I had to hand my duties off to the other fill-in night chef and traipse across the street to a combo pizza hall and  pool joint that had a couple of TVs blasting.

The game was in Seattle, and Washington tormented Kellen Clemens no end, beat the Ducks 42-10, I think.

It was a major disappointment, alleviated by my obligation to head back to the cafe and relieve my co-worker, who went off silently into the night.

I cleaned everything up and got out of there myself a couple of hours later.

And that was the last time UW beat the Ducks.

What will happen this Saturday?  Only thing I know is I won't be serving a lot of crap appetizers to the rich asshole children of Portland's aristocracy, thank me stars.


TS

Fifty-One Years Later




The really big show.

BTW, I can add one more reason to see him live.  When he's dead there won't be any further opportunities.


TS

Eric Burdon



Thanks to Chris Pilon of Houston for showing me the path to this righteous take by Eric Burdon, Eric McFadden, and Charles Neville.


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Doldrums

It's the halfway point of the college football season and there's plenty of drama brewing, starting tonight as ESPN begins its annual football scheduling alternative to the baseball playoffs.

It's a lesser game, but it is college ball on a Tuesday.  Glad of that.

Nice to have a sports backup plan for the evening in case K.C. and Baltimore get rained out again tonight.

S.F. and St. Louis in a good one right now, in fact.  4-4 in the 7th.

I've been in the dumps recently, have been all week.  Hate it when I feel like a worthless piece of shit.

Oh well...I did have enough energy to make a bowl of jambalaya for dinner, though.  So perhaps I'm rallying.

And just now the crowd in S.F. started singing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch. Not something I need to hear given my mood.

This crazy country with its baloney religion drives me nuts.  Did you hear all the crap with the Catholic Church today?  Still debating whether to come into the 21st century.

Sounds like the Pope may have pissed many of his direct underlings off.  What a frickin' joke.


TS 

Rain in K.C.














Here is why I don't dig the long season as much as I dig the long ball.


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Monday, October 13, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Same as it Ever Was

Jeffery St. Clair reminds us that the militarization of U.S. law enforcement isn't merely a post-9/11 syndrome that revealed itself at Ferguson.

In 1921 General John T. Thompson invented the Thompson Submachine Gun (or Tommy Gun), the most lethal firearm of its time, which was capable of firing 1,000 rounds per minute. The first sales of the so-called “Annihilator” weapons were to the US Postal Inspectors Service. The gun was soon marketed to police forces across the country and by 1933 had become a standard weapon in the arsenal of Hoover’s FBI. Today’s FBI SWAT teams are armed with MP5/10 submachine guns, M4 carbine rifles, M1911A1 Springfield pistols, .40 Glocks, Remington 12 gauge shotguns, stun guns, tasers and grenades. The people at Waco and Ruby Ridge never stood a chance.

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Lowdown


In recent years I've usually had a pretty good feeling that Oregon could handle UCLA, which was down for a long time.

I don't know how to call it this season.  Both teams have had some good moments and far too many bad ones.

Vegas isn't any clearer on the matter, with the Ducks being a slight favorite.

I think both teams are ranked now right about where they should be at this stage given their problems, but also their considerable untapped talent.

Unfortunately, one of them has to lose and will drop even further in the minds of the new playoff committee.

In playing nine league games this season the chances are that the Pac-12 will slice and dice itself to pieces.  I doubt if there is a one-loss team standing at year's end, unless it's presently undefeated Arizona.  I think the odds are against them, however.

In the meantime, the 14-team SEC plays just eight counters in conference and awards itself with a group of cupcake games late in the season.

Some pundits are already wishfully saying three SEC teams may make it to the final four.

The sooner a legitimate playoff is organized among all the conference champions the better.  It would be too bad if the PAC champion was left out with two losses.

That would be tantamount to saying the PAC is weak, which it isn't.

College ball is entertaining, but with such imbalanced scheduling it is far too political to take seriously.


TS

Hipster Gypsies



I fantasize every so often about being on the road permanently in an RV like this young couple.  They seem to be having fun when they're not distracted by one crisis or another.

Entertaining, informative and worth watching if you've got the itch, but revealing about the negatives that can transpire out there.


TS

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What Next?


A great back-and-forth momentum game tonight between BYU and Central Florida.

BYU's sub QB looking good.

Something to enjoy after a bummer day in several ways.  Wondering how the ax will fall in my little disagreement with the housing overlords.

Haven't heard anything yet.

I guess it'll never be easy.  I guess I expected some sort of respect as a retired guy, but it's pretty evident that people are out for blood and their own selfish interests.

Nothing changes, too bad.


TS

Dooley, U.S. Wrongfully Ignored Again

And the Nobel Prize in Literature goes to...

Patrick Modiano?

Hey, he co-wrote (with Louis Malle) Lacombe, Lucien, one of my favorite films of all time.

Nevertheless...

I'm filing a protest today with the Nobel Committee for its slight--again--of Buddy Dooley, America's most deserving unknown writer.

O why do they hate us?  Like the WSJ, I need to get to the bottom of such anti-Americanism.

Shouldn't we bomb the Academy or something?


TS

Exonerated

Here is an exceptionally good story from Intercept about the life of an ex-prisoner convicted for a crime he didn't commit.





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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Zone"















"Zone" by  Guillaume Apollinaire, trans., by David Lehman.


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Pilger and Fisk

In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”.  As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.

The rest of the news from the brilliant John Pilger.

Is there a “Plan B” in Barack Obama’s brain? Or in David Cameron’s, for that matter? I mean, we’re vaguely told that air strikes against the ferocious “Islamic State” may go on for “a long time”. But how long is “long”? Are we just going to go on killing Arabs and bombing and bombing and bombing until, well, until we go on bombing? What happens if our Kurdish and non-existent “moderate” Syrian fighters – described by Vice-President Joe Biden last week as largely “shopkeepers” – don’t overthrow the monstrous “Islamic State”? Then I suppose we are going to bomb and bomb and bomb again. As a Lebanese colleague of mine asked in an article last week, what is Obama going to do next? Has he thought of that?

The analysis of Robert Fisk.

With corporate media offering nothing, it's nice to have a couple of real journalists at work.


TS

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tied in the 7th



Bryce Harper "putting on a show."


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FishDuck

Charles Fischer has posted a right-on essay at his fan site, FishDuck.

Mr. Fischer is a devoted Duck, and he regularly produces well thought-out pieces and analyses of Oregon's games from a fan's point-of-view.

This time he's stepped into new territory for him--an analysis of what is clearly wrong with the loud, obnoxious, would-be coaching geniuses who are calling for a mid-season coaching change at Oregon.

He sees many of the same problems I have expressed regarding this aspect of fan entitlement.

He makes a strong case, one I couldn't agree with more.

Very well done.


TS

Monday, October 6, 2014

Baseball




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Love It

Love the wild, parity-driven landscape of the PAC this season, a reflection of what is happening everywhere.

Of course Oregon played like crap, but so did UCLA, so now Arizona has the upper hand.

But look, the Wildcats play USC this weekend--who knows which team will pull that one out?

It's crazy and fun.

Pure entertainment, as glorious as watching Alabama fall last weekend.

I caught last night's K.C. torching of the Angels as well, my first glimpse of the MLB playoffs.  Will tune into the Giants game today for kicks.


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History Worth Watching




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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bacevich Again

By inadvertently sowing instability, the United States has played directly into the hands of anti-Western radical Islamists intent on supplanting the European-imposed post-Ottoman order with something more to their liking. This is the so-called caliphate that Osama bin Laden yearned to create and that now exists in embryonic form in the portions of Iraq and Syria that Islamic State radicals control.

Want to measure what America’s war for the Middle East has accomplished through its first 13 iterations? The Islamic State has to rank prominently on any list of achievements. If Iraq possessed minimally effective security forces, Islamic State militants wouldn’t have a chance. But the Iraqi army we created won’t fight, in considerable measure because the Iraqi government we created doesn’t govern.

Bacevich is writing some of the best commentary on the ME out there these days.  Imagine that.  I give much credit to his military experience.  Retired, he can wield his pen and tell it like it is from his ivory tower at Boston U.--and his historian's chops are very strong.


TS 

Friday, October 3, 2014

New Cycle of Ugliness Coming


You knew they would, but man the boo birds are coming hard after Oregon today.  A loss to Arizona will cause that.

Nobody--players, coaches, administrators, the ball boys--is exempt.

This is something I've never understood while being a long-time college football watcher in general and an Oregon fan specifically.

I started watching the Oregon program when I enrolled there in 1971. I've never missed a season, win or lose; the reason being I simply enjoy the game and the excitement of college ball. And believe me, in the old days there was plenty to get frustrated by as well as to celebrate.  One thing I made sure of through the morass over the years is that I had fun watching the game.

Being a fan can be frustrating, but wrapping your entire identity around the game and your school's football program is dumb.  Oregon lost the game last night.

The fans are making themselves miserable by giving the entire enterprise too much importance, treating it like life and death.

Oregon's program has obviously fallen off, another cycle has begun. What more can you say?

Oregon's recent success has bred a lot of unreasonable behavior among the team's faithful.  Now everybody is a coach, and miraculously, a program director.  The arrogance of the many has recalibrated--bounced the needle from "we're great" to a  "we're-too-good-to-stand-for-this" fantasia.

The fire-the-staff movement is on, something I won't participate in because, frankly, I don't think any of this is important in the midst of what ought to be an entertainment.  My goal now is to block out the noise.

That's becoming very difficult to do.

Unacknowledged this morning is a point of realism that the faux-coaches in Oregon's fan base simply are unwilling to embrace.

Arizona has a better team.  Better players.  Better coaches.  Like many, I mourn the fall, but it was as inevitable as the Oregon rain.

The cycle of the seasons.

Things are about to get as ugly as a muddy snowbank in the winter. Queue the Vivaldi.

Sigh...


TS

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Poor Ducks Cooked

Too many injuries and poor defense undo my Ducks.

Not the upset people are claiming, Arizona is talented, and whomever the Ducks play always give them their best shot.

Undefeated Arizona will be ranked now, and deservedly so.  The PAC south is loaded.

Oh, well.  It's a long season.  Probably will lose another or two, starting next weekend in L.A. against UCLA.


TS

10












1. Islamic State presents an immediate threat to the people of the U.S.

In justifying air attacks on Syria on Sept. 23, President Barack Obama said, “We will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.”

I saw firsthand the tens of thousands of Yazidis forced to flee Islamic State fighters. IS is a vicious, un-Islamic, ultra-right-wing group that poses a real threat to the people of Syria and Iraq. But those people will defeat IS, not the U.S., whose motives are widely questioned in the region. IS poses no more of a terrorist threat to the American people than al-Qaida and its offshoots.

In fact, within a matter of weeks, the Obama administration admitted that IS posed little terrorist threat to the U.S. mainland and focused instead on a heretofore-unknown group that the U.S. calls Khorosan. Now evidence is emerging that the Khorosan threat was exaggerated in order to justify expanding the bombing to Syria.

10 Myths.


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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Showtime

I was downtown as this ended today.

The boys and girls in the media were dressed to the nines for their on-camera spots.

BTW, there were indictable offenses by the kid before the FBI created the sideshow, which turned into a show trial, and a judicially sanctioned prime warning to radical Muslims.

Now we're safe, fer sure.

Read the comments for a real laugh or two.


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Positive View

Twenty years ago the Los Angeles Times was a mighty power. Today it totters from one savage cost-cut and forced retirement to the next. Will the broadsheets and tabloids vanish? Not in the foreseeable future, any more than trains disappeared after the advent of the Interstate system. A mature industry will yield income and attract investors interested in money or power long after its glory days are over. But it’s a world in decline and a propaganda system in decay.

Jeffrey St. Clair on the future of information systems.


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What's New?

BREAKING NEWS—They're selling us another war on television.

As a Washington media strategist, people ask me, "Who's offering alternatives to war on the Sunday morning news shows?" As reported by the New York Times, military analysts dominating the Sunday airwaves, marshaling support for war in the Middle East, have been ex-military employed by defense industry contractors profiting from war. They appear with current administration officials/apologists, former members of the Bush Iraq War team, and politicians scoring points by being for a war on ISIS but against the president.

Dissenting voices are few: Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor of The Nation, Rep. Raul Grijalva and Michael Shank in The Guardian. But their viewpoint is often obliterated by the drumbeat of war. Or... they're simply not booked to appear.

Has television news failed us completely?

This one was published yesterday, but nothing has changed since then.


TS