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.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Cruise Control

However, the American polyarchy has suffered more than most; in the United States, plutocracy is out of control.

Of the many reasons why, perhaps the most important is the inability of the American state to limit political spending.  The Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens’ United ruling nowadays gets all the attention, and it deserves all the blame it gets. It should be remembered, however, that this is only the latest in a series of Supreme Court decisions, going back at least to Buckley v. Valeo in 1976, that effectively identify political spending – and therefore political corruption – with Constitutionally protected speech.--AL

On plutocrats and the rise of the oligarchs.

Be sure to read the material Levine has referenced from the New Yorker, which is reflective of what happens in every election now as the war among the elites is ignited by big money.

More than the Russians influencing or corrupting American politics, this is where the real investigations should begin.

Alas, that would be political suicide for anyone wanting to hold on to even the rudimentary power of a seat in the House of Representatives.


TS

Awwwwwww...




TS

Super Fans

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Temp Work















I worked part time for a monthly community newspaper shortly after I moved to Portland.  I always needed a second job, so one winter I did this through a temp employment agency.  The scale was slightly smaller as my crew changed the Memorial Coliseum from hockey arena to basketball venue--and back again repeatedly--overnight. This is Phoenix University Stadium.  The good seats are all temporary and spendy.  From the highest seats Saturday the players in the Final Four will look like tiny ants scurrying around on a minuscule dance floor.  Those tickets are also spendy.


TS

Monday, March 27, 2017

Work to Do

























11, 13, 8, 4. Points, rebounds, blocks, assists.

Remember those numbers.  Jordan Bell will have to duplicate or better them if Oregon is to beat North Carolina Saturday in the Final Four.

It'll be tough because UNC is big, the best offensive rebounding team in the country.  Oregon has scraped by without Chris Boucher, thanks to Bell's board work and Tyler Dorsey' shooting.

Can they carry the load again?

As expected, Oregon's women were clobbered today by UConn in the round of eight.


TS

Ghosts

Right before our eyes, we are seeing the transformation of single payer Bernie Sanders into public option Howard Dean.

During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Sanders took off like a rocket, fueled by the promise of a single payer, Medicare for All single payer system.--RM

Bernie Sanders takes the pragmatists' neoliberal bait--again.  The US is rife with industries that exploit people, none moreso than the health insurance and big pharma scams that control our healthcare system today.

I heard a congressman on NPR early one sleepy morning last week. He blamed American divisiveness on the Russians who poisoned our minds late last year.

The interviewer let it slide in silent agreement.

Among thieves, it is always the other guys' fault, you know?


TS

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Women Advance




















Could Oregon have two national champions in basketball this year?

I watched the women play earlier and know Oregon has a few gifted players new to the program, with more on the way.

But this?

Out of blue, the Oregon women are in the Elite Eight after upsetting Maryland today!

Bad news, which means nothing in this instance, they now get U Conn, winners of 110 in a row.

That's the equivalent of having to play Kansas on the men's side of things.

Miracles need to happen for the men and women of Mighty Oregon!


TS

Heart and Soul

My Sweet 16 bracket exploded and now I must revert to the heart.

I'm betting my soul that Oregon beats Kansas today!

I may be a soulless man come sundown.

The truth is Kansas has much better talent than Oregon, and it's not even close.  Had Boucher not been hurt it might have closed the gap, but not by much.

But you cannot say with certainty that Oregon would have landed in the Elite Eight had Boucher been available.  He might have under performed, taken Dorsey's shots and missed...

This is not science, thus fell UCLA and the over-hyped Lonzo Ball. Kentucky had two freshmen on the floor who outplayed him.

But I think Josh Jackson is the best freshman playing now, and if Oregon can't handle him...woe unto the Mighty Ducks.

Ha!

P.S. Be sure to read the weekend CP.  It's full of leaping, dazzling, clear-headed playmakers who know the score.


TS

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Why?



Worth a watch.

A companion piece by CJ Hopkins.


TS

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dorsey Shoots and Scores!

If Oregon was lucky, as most of the writers say, luck is nailing treys from all over the court in a timely manner.

On to the Sweet 16.

Rhode Island played a physical style, bully ball, knocked the crap out of Oregon.

I think Oregon beats Michigan, but gets bulldozed by Kansas in the Elite Eight.


TS

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weekend


I watched Villanova lose.

I watched Gonzaga struggle before pulling out a close one against Northwestern.

I'm watching St. Mary's give Arizona all it can handle.

A great weekend of March Madness.

One day I'll have to shed all this and get back to work.


TS

Friday, March 17, 2017

Finally, Barkley

I have to note this before I forget it.

I normally can't tolerate Charles Barkley's commentary, but he did have a funny quip tonight.

Talking about nobody N. Kentucky's chances of knocking off the University of Kentucky, with its usual array of highly touted freshmen, CB said:

Kentucky has five McDonalds' All-Americans.  N. Kentucky has five guys who eat at McDonalds.

Ha ha!

Well, maybe you had to be there.


TS

Exactly


If you want to know where President Donald Trump came from, if you want to trace the long winding road (or escalator) that brought him to the Oval Office, don’t look to reality TV or Twitter or even the rise of the alt-right. Look someplace far more improbable: Iraq.

Donald Trump may have been born in New York City.  He may have grown to manhood amid his hometown’s real estate wars.  He may have gone no further than Atlantic City, New Jersey, to casino-ize the world and create those magical golden letters that would become the essence of his brand.  He may have made an even more magical leap to television without leaving home, turning “You’re fired!” into a household phrase.  Still, his presidency is another matter entirely.  It’s an immigrant.  It arrived, fully radicalized, with its bouffant over-comb and eternal tan, from Iraq.--TE

Couldn't have said it better myself.


TS 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Greed

Watching the Madness, I long for the days when America was great, i.e., when the NCAA wasn't so damn greedy as it is now.

It was just several years back when the organization offered a full-viewing package of the NCAA Tournament for a few bucks and fans could stream any of the games in progress.

Now CBS and Turner have taken over and the entire show has made a bad turn off the road to the final four.

CBS still streams its games, but Turner wants the money, leveraging the games with all of the cable providers.  No cable, no stream, and the majority of the games are on TBS, TNT and truTV, the Turner controlled conglomerate.

As has become the norm, everybody makes money except the student/athletes.

Fortunately, the pirate site First Row Sports is still around so I can watch what I want with a little work.


TS

Monday, March 13, 2017

No Boucher, No Title


Oregon's loss of big man Chris Boucher to a season-ending knee injury cost the Ducks a second consecutive PAC Tournament championship Saturday night in Las Vegas where they lost the title to Arizona.

The Ducks fell to a no. 3 seed and were moved into the Midwest Region for the NCAA Tournament.

The Ducks may win a couple in the Big Dance, but Boucher was such a force as a shot blocker and occasional long-range shooter that his loss likely dooms Oregon this season. The loss of his 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game creates a vacuum-like sucking sound around the team.

Oregon's players are saying all the right things going into the tourney, but Boucher's absence is a very real threat to this team's great dream.

Awaiting them, if the Ducks get as far as the Sweet 16, will likely be Louisville.

Ugh...


TS

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Oregon Rep. Walden: Idiot Alert!















Oregon's 2nd District Congressman Greg Walden looks like he's about to shit his pants.  His constituents are among Oregon's poorest, and they love him!  Ha ha...

Psst...

They're about to lose their heath insurance!  Ain't it all fun and fascism?


TS

Abby and Hedges



CL found this and sent along the link.


TS

Friday, March 10, 2017

It's Time


If you like college basketball tonight is your night and the coming days are all yours.

The menu is vast, with Duke and North Carolina set to tip off in Brooklyn at 4 p.m. PT.  I'll be watching that and follow it up with the Oregon vs. Cal semifinal in the PAC.

The nightcap is the UCLA vs. Arizona game, the PAC's other semifinal.  Wow.

The conference playoffs are just the beginning.  Sunday the brackets will be set, followed by the play-in games early next week before the Tournament of Madness begins Thursday with its 64.

Week one is always the best show as the pretenders are cut down.  A surprise usually awaits and the field you've taken is deemed worthless in your bracket, which you dispose early.

But someone always wins, and it's great fun to watch.

Oregon is booked at 12 to 1 to win it all.

I could use 12 bucks.  Or 12K.  Long ago I once picked all the winners in the Sweet 16 for a big-time gambler, who tipped me nicely out of his cash pile.


TS 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Kansas Falls

Arizona State played Oregon tough for 30 min. this afternoon before the Ducks gathered themselves and ran away with it in the final 10 min.

Oregon needs another complete 40 min. game against Cal or Utah in order to defend its PAC tourney title.

Kansas fell without rookie phenom Josh Jackson, suspended evidently because he has three traffic accidents in recent months.

The PAC winner may have a one seed thus.


TS

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

AWOL

I've been watching a lot of college bball, the conference championships, etc., while waiting for a writer to return his edits of a book he's preparing.

While I'm absent go ahead and read CounterPunch and CommonDreams.

Do your own thing.


TS

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Champs

Oregon is regular season PAC champs for the second year in a row.

Next up, defense of its conference tourney crown.  It'll be tough because Oregon's rebounding isn't very good.

The rest of their game is fine, but bigs can really dominate them.

The tournament begins Wed., with the top four getting byes.  Oregon's next action is Thursday at noon from Las Vegas.

Hold on...


TS

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Trump and Our Discontent


Do serious progressives committed to democracy, peace and social justice really want to lie down in the same warmongering and pro-surveillance bed as the CIA and the Pentagon? Doing so is bad for their souls and moral integrity. It’s also bad for democracy and for peace to help empower and legitimize the imperial system’s unelected and infamously nefarious deep state “intelligence” bureaucracy, “maybe the only [Washington] faction worse than Donald Trump,” according to Greenwald. As Whitney wisely counsels, “Leftists should avoid the temptation of aligning themselves with groups and agencies that might help them achieve their short-term goal of removing Trump, but ultimately move them closer to a de facto 1984 lock-down police state. Misplaced support for the deep state Russophobes will only strengthen the national security state’s stranglehold on power. That’s not a path to victory, it’s a path to annihilation.”--PS

Among the greatest thinkers on the Left, Street dishes here.


TS

Dem Myths

The Democratic Party, with Thomas Perez as its new chair, vows to seek unity, transparency, Trump resistance, grassroots participation, and most importantly, “make sure we talk about our positive message of inclusion and opportunity... to that big tent of the Democratic Party.”

But this message is shrouded with myths that must be challenged if we are to take back the country from financial and corporate elites... and from Trump.--LL

We were clearly in trouble when Perez put forth some completely meaningless gibberish about the "values" Democrats supposedly possess.

How's the old lyric go? "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right..."

Better vision.


TS

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

No Gmail, Gmail Bad

I have, or at least thought I had, a gmail account.

When I try to log on the dialogue tells me the email address is already taken.  It won't let me log on because I've been using Yahoo! for my video downloads in recent years.

I've been trying to access a YouTube account I created before Google chomped on the video production site, swallowed it up and screwed everything up royally.

It's too bad, Google has made its "tools" so damned intertwined for the purposes of data mining/marketing that it has fucked itself over.

Not to mention a poor sap like me who simply wants to access my gmail inbox and get into my original video channel in order to delete a few projects I no longer want.

Stupid greedy fucks.  In essence, Google has stolen my "creative" properties for the purpose of attaching bad advertising to them.

Yeah, I'm talking about you, Mountain View. (Google watches this site like a hawk.)

I'd say about half of the new tech across the board is not nearly as good as the old tech.  It's not just that Google has screwed the pooch in order to rip off a few pikers.  Take my grocery store, my neighborhood Safeway. A few months ago it replaced the self check-out machines with sparkling new contraptions that don't work either as efficiently nor as fast as the old ones.

They call it progress, or growth.  I call it a pain in the ass.


TS