Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I sell the things you need to be

Ann Althouse, pining for the fjords:
When was the last President who got support from his party's follow-on candidate? John McCain ran away from George W. Bush, and Al Gore distanced himself from Bill Clinton. You have to go back to 1988 to find a candidate who reinforced his party's President.

I'd like to see Joe Biden enter the race with the focused message that Obama has been good, and I am offering America not change, but continuity. Otherwise, it's a grim 15 months we face, with a President getting torn down from all sides. I'm not saying I want a continuation of Obama, only that I want one voice in the debate arguing for the continuation. We need that and we deserve to hear that, not merely, within the President's party, Hillary and Bernie fighting to get better distance between themselves and our President.
Emphasis in original. Why anyone would want continuity is beyond me, but let's consider the following statement. "Otherwise, it's a grim 15 months we face, with a President getting torn down from all sides." I would argue that we're going to face a grim 15 months in any event.

And why on earth do we need or deserve to hear an argument for continuation? Continuation of what? Question for the audience -- can you think of an Obama legacy that deserves to be preserved?

I exploit you still you love me?
I told you one and one makes three

The best laid plans

There's a plan in place, but it doesn't mean it will actually happen:
CNN's Anderson Cooper will moderate the first Democratic presidential debate this week, and unlike the previous Republican debate hosted by CNN, Cooper said he won't be encouraging confrontations between the candidates.

"I'm always uncomfortable with that notion of setting people up in order to kind of promote some sort of a face off," Cooper said Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources." "Look, these are all serious people. This is a serious debate. They want to talk about the issues and I want to give them an opportunity to do that."
Two observations:

  • I'm sure Hillary Clinton doesn't want confrontations. I'm not so sure that Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb will feel the same way.
  • Lincoln Chafee isn't a serious person.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oh, good

Iran has successfully test-fired a new precision-guided, long-range missile, state-run media reported on Sunday.

The Emad (Pillar) surface-to-surface missile, designed and built by Iranian experts, is the country's first long-range missile that can be precision-guided until it reaches its target, said Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan, Iran's defense minister.

"To follow our defense programs, we don't ask permission from anyone," he said, according to state-run news agency IRNA.

The new rocket is "capable of scrutinizing the targets and destroying them completely," IRNA reported.

The Emad would be Tehran's first precision-guided missile with the range to reach its enemy, Israel.
Remember, that nuclear deal with Iran is a great idea.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- No Vikings, No Problem Edition

Do you know what it's time for, Geritol Fan?

Not sure. But I'm guessing you'll clue me in.

It's time for some HYYYYYYYYYPPPPPPPPE! Time to pick some football! Still, I'm wondering about something. I noticed that the Vikings are on a bye already.

That's what my schedule says, too.

Old dude, doesn't it seem a little early for a bye week? Maybe not for you, because you're a big fan of naps and need plenty of rest.

Well, I'm old, you know.

That's true -- you're so old your cell phone has a carbon 14 clock.

Wise guy, eh? So are you interested in a half-life? I mean, that can be arranged.

Just kidding. So touchy. Look, this banter is good, but I have work to do. So watch me work!

Minnesota Golden Gophers (-3.5) vs. Purdon't Boilermakers. I don't know what happened to the Gophers last week, but they really got crushed at Northwestern. I was not surprised that Northwestern won, because Northwestern is a very tricky road trip. Purdue is a dumpster fire of a team, and of course you would think I would pick the desperate team right? Well, I never am as predictable as you would think. Purdue 28, Gophers 17.

It was a disheartening loss for the Gophers last week and I wonder if they made a mistake in taking the redshirt from Demry Croft. The Gophers kinda need to win this game, but Purdue gave Sparty a scare last week. I'm going with the Gophers on this one, but without much confidence. Gophers 17, Purdue 14.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (+1.5) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers. Did someone forget to tell the Badgers offense about the game last week? That was horrible and made me embarrassed to be a fan of that team. Thankfully, the Badgers have owned Nebraska in recent years, and considering that Nebraska had the gall to dump a coach that had led them to consistent success for a coach from a weak sister team out west, I think history will repeat itself. Badgers 31, Nebraska 0.
This game looks better on paper than it probably will be on the field. Nebraska has not played well and the Badgers were unimpressive in losing to Iowa at home last week. Bucky needs to show more offense. I think they can handle this one. Wisconsin 28, Nebraska 24.

Bear Down Chicago da Bearz (+8.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs. The Bearz woke up last week at home. Now they go to a very tough venue -- Arrowhead Stadium. Jay actually looked decent, but it was against the Raiders. Kansas City is a good team and well coached. Wait, I hear a crazy guy coming in.

Well, Benster! You seem to forget that the Chiefs are going to be very good. There is not a lot wrong with the Chiefs. Even though I retired after many years of yelling at them and questioning them, I still believe in them. Alex Smith is looking better, and this is why you must be a Kansas fan. You wear that shirt all the time and your mom was right about bugging you! This might be the greatest win in recent Chiefs History! This is Jack Harry!

Time for a Jack Smack. Nice lips, by the way

I am sorry for that. Jack Harry must be bored in his retirement. What is it with me and interruptions? First I have some guy named Johnny, then Peyton Manning, and now Jack "The Best Sportscaster Ever" Harry come in. Jack looks like he's been mainlining lemons. I really ought to look at improving the security around here -- at a minimum, I might want to get a velvet rope or something. By the Way, What's Wrong With the Chiefs? 83, Fire John Fox 0.

Well, that escalated quickly. Hmm. 83-0? Uh, no. First of all, shall we praise Jay Cutler? He actually played pretty well last week. This is a tough game, though, and the Chiefs are a desperate team at home. If the Bears can hold down Jamaal Charles, they will have a chance to steal one. I say they beat the spread -- Chiefs 31, Bears 24.

Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) vs. Detroit Lions. No Vikings this week, so let's pay attention the Motor City Kitties. This team is very much the team I wanted to think would take the step with the Vikings to a real contender, and Detroit is making me look bad. If the Benster asks for a favor, then you had better deliver. Arizona is a tough team and they will give Seattle a run for their money in the NFC West. I said last year that they could have played in the Super Bowl. I stand by that, considering that Larry Fitzgerald has looked very good this year, and Carson Palmer has many similarities to a certain ex-grocery store worker who found himself in the desert. I think Arizona is going to play a part in the Green Bay Revenge Tour 2015. Raising Arizona 56, LOLions 0.

The Cardinals are a good team and will be angry after losing to the Rams, but this game is pretty much the season for the Lions. 0-5 will not get it done. The problem seems to be on the lines -- it's easy to talk about the loss of Ndamukong Suh, but the real problem the Lions have is on the offensive line, where they are getting no pass protection and Matthew Stafford is getting crushed. I used to think Stafford was a bit of a hothouse flower, but you can't question his toughness this year. It can't last, though. And the Cardinals defense is nasty. Cardinals 31, Lions 21.

St. Louis Rams (+8.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. We used to call the Rams the Sheep, but they aren't very sheep-like any more. They have a very dangerous player in Tavon Austin, who can change the game in an instant. The Packers typically win at home, and the team is discovering an identity. As much as I think that St. Louis is a possible contender, Lambeau is a place where ghosts come out. Believe me, I have been there and you feel the ghosts. Maybe the Rams could feel the ghosts at the Rose Bowl soon, or perhaps near the Forum, if you know what I mean. Just ask the ghost of Georgia Frontiere. Packers 35, Georgia Frontiere 32.

This game does concern me, because the Rams can rush the passer. It looks like the Packers are going to get Bryan Bulaga back, which should help keep Aaron Rodgers upright. I suspect the Rams will take a few chances -- watch for a fake punt or something like that, a Jeff Fisher specialty. A good test for the improved Packers special teams. And another win at Lambeau. Packers 31, Rams 17.

Don't worry, Vikings fans! We'll be happy to discuss your latest failure next week! Ben out!

Friday, October 09, 2015

A House of Follies

As many of you know, my daughter is a budding musician who has been involved with her high school marching band and winter drumline competitions. For many people who perform in such organizations, the next step is to join a drum and bugle corps. There are two major ones in the Twin Cities, including River City Rhythm. As I watched events unfold yesterday in Washington, I couldn't help but think of RCR's 2015 drumline show, which was called "A House of Follies":

It's an entertaining show, significantly more entertaining than the house of follies in Washington. If you have seven minutes to spare, check it out.

Meanwhile, as for what's happening in DC, let's just say this: if you ever harbored the notion that we send the best and the brightest to Washington, you're probably mistaken. 

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The dilemma of the Cubs

Cubs win! Cubs win! Well, they did last night at least, defeating the Pirates 4-0 in a game that included some outstanding pitching by Jake Arietta and an ineffectual bench clearing brawl.

So now the Cubs are in the NLDS, facing the St. Louis Cardinals. I'm reminded of the quote often attributed to Henry Kissinger concerning the Iran/Iraq war -- it's a pity they can't both lose.

The Cubs are a love/hate thing for me. My dad was a Cubs fan and I remember him watching the Sunday afternoon Cubs games that would run in the summertime on one of the Green Bay television stations in the mid 70s. Once we got cable television we could see the Cubs most days on WGN and it was easy to follow them. I enjoyed listening to the courtly but enthusiastic Jack Brickhouse and, later on, the always exuberant but usually sloshed Harry Caray. And their near miss in 1984 was a lot of fun.

The problem for me is, beyond the rivalry with my beloved Brewers, the whole scene around the Cubs creeps me out a bit. It's a little too precious and definitely too corporate. And the "lovable loser" shtick has always struck me as an excuse for incompetence. And while it may be venerable, Wrigley Field is a dump, with a lot of obstructed view seats. I know, because I've sat in them.

I've always been fond of Steve Goodman's song, "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request," which has added resonance since he was, at the time this was recorded, actually a dying Cubs fan himself:

The chorus sums it up well:

 Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League

I suspect this modern version of the Cubs is going to be a powerhouse for a while. After 107 years of losing, they have competent management and, it would appear, a lot of money. And they have a lot of excellent young talent. These are not the nickel and dime Cubs of yore. This is a gleaming superstructure. There's little chance of this scenario, also from Goodman's song:

Have the Cubbies run right out into the middle of the field,
Have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly
Give everybody two bags of peanuts and a frosty malt
And I'll be ready to die

Or this:

Or this:

Maybe this is the year. In the meantime, I'll be rooting for the Royals.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Real Slim Shaddy

An amusing exchange:
The context is not clear, but it suggests there was growing anxiety over how the system was managed and who would be held responsible. At about the time of that exchange, Platte River had been in discussions with Datto about the length of time Clinton e-mail data was preserved and whether copies were saved, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

“If we had that email we are golden,” the employee wrote.

“Starting to think this whole thing really is covering up some shaddy [sic] shit,” the employee wrote.
Who, or what, is Datto, you ask? Allow the Washington Post to explain:
The FBI’s probe into the security of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail has expanded to include a second private technology company, which said Tuesday it plans to provide the law enforcement agency with data it preserved from Clinton’s account.

The additional data, provided by Connecticut-based Datto Inc., could open a new avenue for investigators interested in recovering e-mails deleted by the former secretary of state — now the Democratic presidential front-runner — that have caught the interest of GOP lawmakers.

Datto’s work on the Clinton e-mail system became public Tuesday when the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee sent the company a lengthy letter seeking information about the role it and other firms played in managing the Clinton e-mail system.
Datto, it appears, was providing backup cloud storage of Hillary's emails, especially the "private" ones that were supposedly gone, can't find 'em, forget about it, don't even ask. And because they had this information, it's hardly surprising that Congress wants to know if they still do:
An official from Datto told The Washington Post on Tuesday about his company’s interactions with the federal investigators.

“Datto is working with the FBI to provide data in conjunction with its investigation,” said Michael Fass, general counsel at Datto.

Fass said Datto had received consent to turn over data from the Clintons and from Platte River. A Datto official said the FBI would receive a “node,” a piece of hardware the company housed in Pennsylvania that allowed it to store data on its cloud.
Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms

If you don't think Team Clinton is worried about this, consider the vehemence of the response:
Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, accused Johnson of “ripping a page from the House Benghazi Committee’s playbook and mounting his own, taxpayer-funded sham of an investigation with the sole purpose of attacking Hillary Clinton politically.”

“The Justice Department is already conducting a review concerning the security of her server equipment, and is fully aware of Datto’s role in providing services to Platte River Networks. The Justice Department’s independent review is led by nonpolitical, career professionals, and Ron Johnson has no business interfering with it for his own partisan ends,” he said in a statement.
Ron Johnson, in case you didn't know, is a senator from Wisconsin. He's also the aforementioned chairman of the senate committee on homeland security. But see, he needs to shut up now, because the Hillary campaign says so. In fact, he should sit down and shut up and leave things to the professionals, who should have all this wrapped up some time in 2017.

Somebody's out to get your lady
A few of your buddies they sure look shady
Blades are long, clenched tight in their fist
Aimin' straight at your back
And I don't think they'll miss

Johnson is a partisan, no doubt about it. Everyone in Washington is a partisan. So what? One of the ways partisans actually serve the public good is by exposing the "shaddy shit" that their opponents do. There was never any question that the Democrats had a partisan agenda when they pursued Watergate, Iran-Contra, Plamegate and any other Republican scandal you'd care to name. And that's the reason Johnson went public with his request -- to move the story forward, you have to force the press organs in Washington to cover the story. If the Washington Post had taken President Nixon's assurances about his behavior at face value, history would look very different now.

Johnson doesn't have the jowly charm of Sam Ervin, but again, so what? Either Congress gets to perform oversight over the Executive Branch as a coequal branch of government, or it should just go home and we can get on with the business of serial monarchy that our ever benevolent betters would prefer.

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London

Eliot left out Washington. We don't, though. And we shouldn't.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The moment

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge -- I face this challenge with profound humility and knowledge of my own limitations, but I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people.

Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless...


... this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal...


... this was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.


This was the moment, this was the time when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.

Thank you, Minnesota. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
Meanwhile, back home:
A violent September in Chicago ended with more homicides than any other month this year and the second-most shootings, according to data kept by the Chicago Tribune's breaking news desk. Though the summer months in Chicago have traditionally been the most violent, shootings last month decreased little from August and there were about 50 percent more shootings than September 2014.
A crowded hospital in the embattled city of Kunduz that treats war wounded came under attack on Saturday and the American military acknowledged that it may have killed 19 patients, staff members and others at the facility while firing on insurgents nearby.

The attack, which the military said in a statement might have been “collateral damage” that occurred while engaging militants, drew a fierce international outcry. The head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, condemned it and called for a “thorough and impartial investigation.” It also renewed scrutiny of the United States military’s record of causing civilian casualties, which has alienated the Afghan public and often undermined relations with the government here.
And while we're at it,
While Russia has said that it is conducting military operations to wipe out ISIS, U.S. officials have questioned that aim given that many of its airstrikes have not targeted places ISIS is active. Instead, they have seen the effort mostly as a move to bolster close Moscow ally President Bashar al-Assad.

The latest U.S. assessment of Moscow's activity in western Syria indicates Russia has moved several ground combat weapons and troops into the area to potentially back up Syrian forces in the field planning to attack anti-regime forces, according to two U.S. defense officials.
And we really ought to mention:
The U.S. economy created 142,000 jobs in September, a number that missed expectations and could cool expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates soon.

The participation rate plunged to 62.4 percent in September, its lowest since October 1977. The total labor force fell to a 2015 low, losing another 350,000 people. The household survey was even worse than the headline establishment number, showing a decrease of 236,000 in employment. However, the number reporting they were unemployed declined as well, by 114,000. Those reported not in the labor force increased by 579,000.

In addition to the weak headline numbers, wages were flat, indicating little inflationary pressures for the Fed, and the average work week actually fell a fraction to 34.5 hours.
As always, I blame George W. Bush.

Monday, October 05, 2015

No, that's not it

I saw this headline, or a variant of it, several times in recent days:

We've explained this before, but apparently people don't get it. The reason this priest is being dismissed isn't that he's gay -- he's being dismissed because he's not celibate. If he'd come out with a woman on his arm, the result would have been the same.

Bust some Kaeps off

From the Newspaper of Record:
Losers of three consecutive games, the 49ers can place much of the blame the last two weeks on quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Last week Kaepernick threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and this week he failed to get anything going, passing for just 160 yards and an interception. It was the third time in four games that he failed to break 200 yards passing, and he was sacked six times.

Piling on to Kaepernick’s misfortune, television cameras picked up Packers linebacker Clay Matthews taunting his rival, saying “You ain’t Russell Wilson, bro” in reference to the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
Why so personal? You might remember this image:

Young and pleased with himself
Matthews and the Packers exacted their revenge yesterday:

Of course it's childish. That's why it's great

All that said, what's happened to Kaepernick's career is pretty astonishing. The guy looked like the next great quarterback not that long ago, a new age weapon capable of beating you with his arm or his legs. Not any more. At this point, he's just a guy.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Big Ten for Real Edition

Old dude, it's actually been a little chilly down here in Galesburg.

It's definitely autumn here as well. So, how did you like your beloved Knox College Prairie Fire showing up on SportsCenter last week?

That was pretty cool. Our vast readership needs to see this catch:

That's Ilir Emini, everyone. Ask for him by name.

Really liked it. It didn't even require any embellishment.

Oh, we think it's worthy of HYYYYYYYPPPPPPE! Lots and lots of HYYYYYYYPPPPPPPE!

Well, it's a nice deal for sure. But that was last week. What about this week?

Oh, I've got an answer for that, Geritol Fan! Watch me work!

Minnesota Golden Gophers (+3.5) vs. Northwestern Wildcats. So, it's the nationally ranked Wildcats playing our Gophers. What is this, 1995? Evanston is a really tricky place to win and Northwestern is quietly one of the better teams in the Big Ten. The Gophers have looked really shaky at times in the out of conference schedule and have to play a difficult game. I think this game is very much going to tell us if Northwestern is for real. Northwestern 31, Jerry the Cable Guy 20.

This game could be a bit of a snoozer if you aren't interested in the results. The over/under on the game is 39.5, which tells you that Vegas isn't expecting a lot of offense out of these squads. So far the Gophers have been winning close games against lower shelf opponents, although they did play TCU very tough in the opener. I'm not sure what to make of this one, actually. Do you believe in Northwestern? Not sure that I do, but on the home field they should have enough. Northwestern 24, Gophers 20.

Macalester Scots (NL) vs. Knox College Prairie Fire. Hey, if Knox can get on national television, I'm gonna pick their game! Knox has looked good and should be a factor. The coaching staff does a great job at getting the players to just make good plays and hang in there. The Fire is going to be in contention this year, as Knox continues to step up the athletic game. Seymour Union 45, Mac 0.

Macalester was actually pretty good last year. This year, they seem to be reverting to form. Knox is improving; the circus catch aside, in the past they would not have won at Lawrence. They may not be ready for the top teams in the MWC, but they should be able to handle the Scots. Knox 31, Macalester 20.

Iowa Hawkeyes (+6.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers. This game is traditionally one of the most difficult games on the Badger schedule. Iowa always is a difficult team to play against, as they are tough and well-coached. Joel Stave has really improved, and he may be getting to that level of Scott Tolzien or Darrell Bevell, if you get what I mean. I do not expect an easy game, but considering that Wisconsin has won the last three games in Iowa City, I feel quietly confident. Wisconsin 31, Iowa 28.

I don't know if the Hawkeyes are any good or not. They have won a number of close games against inferior opponents. The Badgers have been winning their games by large margins. Does that translate into victory? Not sure, but I would think the odds favor the Badgers, particularly at Camp Randall. Badgers 34, Iowa 24.

Oakland Raiders (-3) vs. Bear Down Chicago da Bearz. Da Beatz are like watching an accident waiting to happen. As much as we think that the Raiders are a crap team, they are starting to figure things out. I like the Raiders here because the Bears are about as dangerous as a teddy bear. Raiders 31, Bears 7.

Life is not good when the Raiders are a road favorite in  your building. The Bears will once again have to go without Alshon Jeffrey and, most likely, Jay Cutler. Hard to see how they generate much offense without those guys. Assume that Matt Forte will be getting a lot of attention. Still, I have a feeling about this one. Bears 24, Raiders 23.

Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) vs. Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning is starting to get old and he might be as shifty as the statue of John Elway in the parking lot. The Vikings have really improved and are looking like a team that will challenge Green Bay for the division. I like Minnesota in this game, considering Denver is not going to be going anywhere right now. Minnesota 21, Denver 17.

This one seems pretty simple. Can the Vikings get through the Broncos offensive line enough to batter Peyton Manning into submission? That's been the formula for their last two victories. Now that, as the young fellow has pointed out, Manning has Lynn Dickey-like mobility, it's possible. I look for a steady diet of bubble screens to Denver running backs. That should get them by, but if a Viking gets a big hit on Peyton, watch out. Broncos 27, Vikings 17.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-6.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers. The 2015 Revenge Tour continues this week, as it's time to offer payback to Colin Kaepernick. No jerk Harbaugh this time, and the Packers are hoping that this is not the last trip they make out to Santa Clara, if you get my drift. The Packer defense has been playing amazing lately, and with all of the turnover in the Bay Area, look for another Packer win. Packers 67, Kaeper-not 0.

Kaepernick still scares me, but this 49ers team is pretty depleted. They don't the strength on defense that they used to have and it seems possible to deny Kaepernick room to maneuver. The Packers are more athletic on the edge than they used to be. I don't see the 49ers getting home against Aaron Rodgers, either. Think this will go the Packers way. Packers 34, 49ers 20.

Okay, old dude! Nice job staying awake long enough to make these picks! Chug some Metamucil and call it a night! Ben out!

One more item submitted without further comment

A pregnant girl was taken to a hospital Wednesday following a fight involving from 30 to 40 students inside Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education on Milwaukee's north side, according to Milwaukee police and media reports.

Milwaukee police were called to the former Custer High School, 5075 N Sherman Blvd, shortly before 2:30 p.m. to back up school resource officers, WITI-TV in Milwaukee reported on its website.

Also submitted without further comment

Last week, Major General Salehi, the commander of Iran’s army, proclaimed this:

“We will annihilate Israel for sure.”

“We are glad that we are in the forefront of executing the Supreme Leader’s order to destroy Israel.”

And as for the Supreme Leader himself, a few days after the nuclear deal was announced, he released his latest book.

Here it is.

It’s a 400-page screed detailing his plan to destroy the State of Israel.

Last month, Khamenei once again made his genocidal intentions clear before Iran’s top clerical body, the Assembly of Experts.

He spoke about Israel, home to over six million Jews. He pledged, “there will be no Israel in 25 years.”

Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country.

Murder my people.

And the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been absolutely nothing!

Utter silence!

Deafening silence.

Perhaps you can now understand why Israel is not joining you in celebrating this deal.

Quick update

Had my stress test yesterday. Should have the results in the next few days. No one seemed too alarmed.

Submitted without further comment

[He started] asking people one by one what their religion was. ‘Are you a Christian?’ he would ask them, and if you’re a Christian stand up. And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you are going to see God in just about one second.’ And then he shot and killed them,” Stacy Boylen, whose daughter was wounded at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., told CNN.
An anonymous user wrote in an ominous post on the online bulletin board 4chan Wednesday night: “Some of you guys are alright. Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest. happening thread will be posted tomorrow morning. so long space robots,” the post concluded.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BLM and the Twin Cities Maslowthon

It ain't easy to get that "26.2" sticker for your car. Especially if Black Lives Matter stops you:
Four days before more than 11,000 runners line up for the start of Sunday’s Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, the threat by protesters to disrupt the 26.2-mile race has some marathoners on edge about their safety, while others are angry that months of training could be jeopardized as they approach the finish line.

The St. Paul chapter of Black Lives Matter says it’s planning on “shutting down” the annual October running event near the finish at the State Capitol to raise awareness of recent incidents involving St. Paul police and people of color.
It's a cagey maneuver for BLM, because as the definitive "Stuff White People Like" site says, white people love marathons:
If you find yourself in a situation where a white person is talking about a marathon, you must be impressed or you will lose favor with them immediately.  Running for a certain length of time on a specific day is a very important thing to a white person and should not be demeaned.

Also worth nothing, more competitive white people prefer triathlons because Kenyans can’t afford $10,000 specialty bicycles.  If the subject ever comes up, just say that triathletes are in better shape than football and basketball players.  It’s not true, but it will make the conversation a lot more genial.
It's not clear whether BLM organizer Rashad Turner has a $10,000 specialty bicycle, but he does have a good sense of what buttons to push:
The St. Paul group’s spokesman, Rashad Turner, declined an interview request but sent a text quoting Martin Luther King Jr. saying that “the Negro’s great stumbling block to freedom…is the white moderate who is more devoted to order than justice…who constantly says, ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action.’ ”
A well-chosen quote that's especially amusing given Turner's mode of operation. I'm not convinced that Rashad Turner gives a damn about anyone other than the fellow he sees in his mirror, so this is a great battle of narcissists. Woe betide the person who gets in the way of self-actualization, especially the sort that comes with months of training. The famous psychologist Abraham Maslow believed that human motivation is based on people seeking fulfillment through personal growth, and training for a marathon is a good example of theory meeting practice. Let's face it -- any schlub can go to the State Fair or a Vikings game, previous targets of the Turner Troupe, but fat dudes can't run marathons. If I need to travel 26.2 miles, I grab the car keys, and maybe a donut to eat in the car. Your hierarchy of needs may vary.

Maslow also said "if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." Turner is a 5-lb. sledge. This will be interesting to watch.