Daily Archive: 03/02/2011

Mar 02 2011

from firefly-dreaming 2.3.11

Regular Daily Features:

  • Depeche Mode are in the spotlight at Late Night Karaoke, mishima DJs
  • Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                    Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Essays Featured Wednesday, March 2nd:

Mar 02 2011

A Union Victory

Now you may have a personal problem with Players Unions because your small market loser Owners are too cheap to field a competitive team.

That’s a problem with your Owners, not your players.

The fact is that a professional sports franchise is not a profit making business, it’s a Billionaire Bauble like the Planes and Yachts and Office Towers and the collection of Faberge Eggs, a pure expression of conspicuous consumption to prove that your penis is bigger.

But, like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Owners want to pretend there’s some kind of “budget problem”; not so they can actually make money, they don’t need the money, but so they can demean and oppress their serfs.  Nothing says penis power like slaves.

On the other hand you have the players who make sums that seem princely until you consider the shortness of their careers and the lifetime physical damage they suffer.

I think a professional sports player is entitled to every dime they can extort based solely on the fact that they provide original entertainment in a way that our so-called “creative class” no longer can.  When was the last time you watched TV or a movie where you couldn’t predict the end in 5 minutes?  Even predictability has become a cliche, as even Philip J. Fry (not the most perspicacious critic) puts it-

It was just a matter of knowing the secret of all television: at the end of the episode, everything is back to normal.

Which is why I’m gratified to read news like this-

Federal Judge Favors NFL Union Over Owners In TV Dispute

DAVE CAMPBELL, Huffington Post

03/ 2/11 03:16 AM

Writing that the NFL enhanced “long-term interests at the expense of its present obligations,” U.S. District Judge David Doty overturned a special master’s ruling and backed the NFL Players Associaton’s claim that the league illegally secured a potential $4 billion revenue stream for 2011 to wield against the union as lockout protection.



In his ruling, the judge also revealed previously confidential details of NFL TV contracts and said that the league “consistently characterized gaining control over labor as a short-term objective and maximizing revenue as a long-term objective … advancing its negotiating position at the expense of using best efforts to maximize total revenues for the joint benefit of the NFL and the Players.”

Doty said at least three networks expressed “some degree of resistance to the lockout payments” and that the NFL “characterized network opposition to lockout provisions to be a deal breaker.” He also wrote that DirecTV would have considered paying more in 2009 and 2010 to make the lockout provision disappear.

His decision revealed that DirecTV, in fact, would pay up to 9 percent more to the NFL if no games are played in 2011 than if they go on as scheduled. Of the total amount payable if there is a canceled season, 42 percent of DirecTV’s fee is nonrefundable.

Mar 02 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

Wednesday is Ladies Day. The Gentlemen and another Lady are below the fold.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Gorbachev at 80

The end of the 20th century witnessed an apparently irreversible wave of democratization in several parts of the world. But until the recent dramatic events in Egypt, democratization seemed to have waned-even given way to a new wave of authoritarianism around the world. Except in the promotional plans of professional democratizers, the “romance” disappeared from the news and commentary pages of most American newspapers. Now it has returned, along with a good deal of historical amnesia.

Usually forgotten is that the “wave of democratization” in the late 20th century began in a place, and in a way, that few had expected-Soviet Russia, under the leadership of the head of the Soviet Communist Party, Mikhail Gorbachev. Indeed, the extent to which Gorbachev’s democratic achievements during his nearly seven years in power (1985 to 1991) have been forgotten or obscured is truly remarkable.

Laura Flanders: The F Word: Capital or Community in Wisconsin

It should be the sound of the other shoe dropping, but you’ll have to listen hard to Governor Scott Walker’s budget address because most media will miss most of it. It’s a funny thing about covering budgets. Cutting spending garners a whole lot more attention than cutting taxes.

How many Americans know, for example, that Governor Walker gave $140 million in tax breaks to corporations-right before he announced this fiscal year’s deficit of $137 million? The good people I met last week at the Wisconsin Budget Project call that a structural deficit. I’d go further. It’s not only structural; it’s structured-to bring about exactly this phony budget crisis.

Rose Ann DeMoro: Nurses Offer to Buy President’s Shoes to March With Workers

The past two weeks have been a “Where’s Waldo” moment for President Obama.

He’s been largely a bystander while tens of thousands of American workers, joined by students, and community allies, marched in Madison’s snow and freezing temperatures, and slept on the floors of the capitol to defend their most fundamental right to freedom of assembly and a collective voice.

On Monday, the President told U.S. governors, “I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon.”

But the President never addresses the heart of the problem, a clear statement of who is responsible for the crisis — the corporate class and the right, aided by those like President Obama, who enable them. That’s the giant elephant in the room that remains missing in the ‘blame the workers’ paradigm so often repeated by politicians and mainstream media alike.

Many of us recall the pledge made by candidate Barack Obama in Spartanburg, S.C. on November 3, 2007 when he declared:

“Understand this. If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain, when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States because Americans deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

We’re waiting. Nurses, who have been on the ground every day in Madison and at support rallies across the country, will buy his shoes.

Ruth Marcus: Obama’s ‘Where’s Waldo?’ presidency

For a man who won office talking about change we can believe in, Barack Obama can be a strangely passive president. There are a startling number of occasions in which the president has been missing in action – unwilling, reluctant or late to weigh in on the issue of the moment. He is, too often, more reactive than inspirational, more cautious than forceful.

Each of these instances can be explained on its own terms, as matters of legislative strategy, geopolitical calculation or political prudence.

He didn’t want to get mired in legislative details during the health-care debate for fear of repeating the Clinton administration’s prescriptive, take-ours-or-leave-it approach. He doesn’t want to go first on proposing entitlement reform because history teaches that this is not the best route to a deal. He didn’t want to say anything too tough about Libya for fear of endangering Americans trapped there. He didn’t want to weigh in on the labor battle in Wisconsin because, well, it’s a swing state.

Yet the dots connect to form an unsettling portrait of a “Where’s Waldo?” presidency: You frequently have to squint to find the White House amid the larger landscape.

Mar 02 2011

On This Day in History March 2

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 2 is the 61st day of the year (62nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 304 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1836, the Republic of Texas declares its independence as in a nation from Mexico.

Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S. state of Texas, as well as parts of present-day New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming based upon the Treaties of Velasco between the newly created Texas Republic and Mexico. The eastern boundary with the United States was defined by the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain, in 1819. Its southern and western-most boundary with Mexico was under dispute throughout the existence of the Republic, with Texas claiming that the boundary was the Rio Grande, and Mexico claiming the Nueces River as the boundary. This dispute would later become a trigger for the Mexican-American War, after the annexation of Texas by the United States.

Establishment

The Republic of Texas was created from part of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. Mexico was in turmoil as leaders attempted to determine an optimal form of government. In 1835, when President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna abolished the Constitution of 1824, granting himself enormous powers over the government, wary colonists in Texas began forming Committees of Correspondence and Safety. A central committee in San Felipe de Austin coordinated their activities. In the Mexican interior, several states revolted against the new centralist policies. The Texas Revolution officially began on October 2, 1835, in the Battle of Gonzales. Although the Texians originally fought for the reinstatement of the Constitution of 1824, by 1836 the aim of the war had changed. The Convention of 1836 declared independence on March 2, 1836, and officially formed the Republic of Texas.

Mar 02 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 1, 2011-

DocuDharma

Mar 02 2011

Prime Time

V, NCIS x 2.

My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre.

I’ll admit I may have seen better days, but I’m still not to be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut.

Later-

I’m going to be a great film star! That is, if booze and sex don’t get me first.

Dave hosts Amanda Seyfried, B.J. Novak, and the cast of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.  Jon has Ayman Safadi, Stephen Evan Osnos.  Conan hosts Piers Morgan, Emmy Rossum, and Nick Griffin (who has an interesting name doppelganger).

That’s me, darling. Unusual places, unusual love affairs. I am a most strange and extraordinary person.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Mar 02 2011

from firefly-dreaming 1.3.11

Regular Daily Features:

  • Zebra kick off the day in Late Night Karaoke, mishima DJs
  • Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                    Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Essays Featured Tuesday, March 1st:

join the conversation! come firefly-dreaming with me….

Mar 02 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 West edges closer to military action on Libya

AFP

1 hr 42 mins ago

TRIPOLI (AFP) – The West edged closer on Tuesday to military action against Moamer Kadhafi as the United States said air strikes would be needed to secure a no-fly zone over Libya, and regime forces tried to retake a key city.

US and European leaders weighed the use of NATO air power to impose a no-fly zone, with the aim of stopping Kadhafi using air power against his own people to crush the insurrection against his four decades of iron rule.

Meanwhile, Kadhafi loyalists, who have lost control of much of the country to the rebellion that started on February 15, tried to retake the key western city of Zawiyah but were repulsed.