Daily Archive: 10/04/2011

Oct 04 2011

2011 NL Playoffs- Phillies at Cardinals Game 3

This is the only game today where the teams have some breathing room, nobody goes home if they lose.

The Cardinals are sending out Jaime Garcia and he is a Phillies killer with a 0.96 ERA in 4 starts against them.  Opposed is Cole Hamels, 2008 World Series MVP.

Cards Left Fielder Matt Holliday will sit with a hand injury that is getting worse and could be placed on injured reserve and replaced.

Not encouraging for the Phillies is that everyone is already talking about Oswalt’s appearance tomorrow.  Lohse has been sent to the Bullpen after his Game 1 loss.  Carpenter and Lee will face each other again in Game 5 if the series goes that long.

Oct 04 2011

2011 AL Playoffs- Rangers at Rays Game 4

Whenever you’re facing elimination it’s tough because you win or go home and clean out your locker, so the teams with a 2 – 1 lead today have a distinct advantage.

In our first game the Devil Rays face the Rangers at home.  They’ll be sending up a rookie, Jeremy Hellickson, but they had good luck with that in Game 1 with Moore.

Hellickson also has a lower ERA (ERA is the number of runs allowed per 9 innings, not that pitchers complete games anymore) than his opponent, Harrison, but Harrison has been better than his average in his last 4 starts.  He also pitched 2/3rds of an inning in relief in Game 1 which may have tuned him up or tired him out.

TheMomCat reports her Aunt (a Rays fan) will be at the game so I hope she has a good experience and a Playoff victory to celebrate.

Oct 04 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”.

Bill McKibben: The Cronyism Behind a Pipeline for Crude

LATE last month, the Obama administration unveiled a new tool that lets anyone send a petition to the White House; get 5,000 signatures in 30 days and you’re guaranteed some kind of answer. My prediction: it’s not going to stop people from trying to occupy Wall Street. After the past few years, we’re increasingly unwilling to believe that political reform can be accomplished by going through the “normal channels” of democracy.

It’s easy to understand why. In the first few months of the Bush administration, the vice president’s staff held a series of secret meetings with energy company executives to come up with a new energy policy that, essentially, gave big oil everything it asked for. When journalists learned about the secret sessions, they became a scandal – environmental groups complained long and loud, right up to the Supreme Court, and rightly so. Important decisions should be made in the open, not behind closed doors by cronies scratching one another’s backs.

Bono: The F Word

I’ve been known to drop the occasional expletive, but the most offensive F word to me is not the one that goes f***. It’s F***** — the famine happening in Somalia.

Drought, violence and political instability have invited in the grim reaper on a scale we have not seen in 20 years… more than 30,000 children have died in just three months. The pictures from Dadaab look like a nightmare from centuries past. Yet, this is the 21st century and these pictures are real and, on the whole, unseen. The food crisis in the Horn of Africa is nothing short of a humanitarian catastrophe, but it is getting less attention than the latest Hollywood break-ups and make-ups.

ONE’s new film The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity isn’t a typical emotional emergency appeal. It’s about focusing the media spotlight on the tragedy unfolding. It’s about building political support in the US and around the world for interventions that will stop the suffering today and break the cycle of famine in the future. Most of all, it’s about taking action — because famine is man-made.

Robert Kuttner: Wall Street: From Protest to Politics

When elected leaders largely ignore a disgrace like the financial collapse of 2008, sooner or later popular protest fills the vacuum. The Wall Street protests are heartening — but also a measure of the utter failure of the usual machinery of democracy to remedy the worst pillaging of regular Americans by financial elites since the 1920s.

For three years, we have been wondering, where is the outrage? For a time, it was co-opted by the Tea Parties — a faux populism, attacking government, financed by billionaires, delivering nothing to the 99 percent of Americans not represented by Wall Street. Now authentic protest directed against the real villains is finally here.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Here’s Occupy Wall Street’s “One Demand”: Sanity

Even the sympathizers don’t always get it. I’m sure I get a lot of things wrong too, but here’s one thing I do understand: Change doesn’t begin with policy. It begins with perception. And you don’t change things by asking. You change them by acting.

But it begins with perception. “All money is a matter of belief,” as someone once said.

In the New York Times, Nick Kristof shows that he understands the #OccupyWallStreet movement more than most of his peers. “The protesters are dazzling in their Internet skills,” he writes, “and impressive in their organization.”

But like many other sympathetic observers, he misses their most important point when he says “the movement falters in its demands” because “it doesn’t really have any.”

Dean Baker: Bill Clinton Is Baaaaaaaaack!

Many people look back with fondness on Clinton years and there is good cause. The economy grew at an annual rate of almost 4.5 percent during his second term. The unemployment rate fell to a 4.0 percent as a year-round average in 2000. And the country saw strong real wage growth up and down the income ladder for the first time since the early ’70s.

This was all good news. However, it was unsustainable and Clinton’s economic team should have known it at the time. The immediate cause of the prosperity was the demand created by a $10 trillion stock bubble. While this gave some boost to investment, its main impact was on consumption. People spent based on their newly created stock wealth, causing the saving rate to fall below 2.0 percent, which at the time was the lowest level of the post-war era.

Robert Greenwald: There Are Many More Koch Brother Secret Sins

The Bloomberg news investigation into Charles and David Koch has uncovered unlawful and unpatriotic environmental crimes, political donations and business decisions benefitting Iran. There are so many secret sins committed by the Koch brothers no one story can cover it all.

But this is the story everyone will be talking about. We’ve documented many of the Koch brothers’ attacks on middle class families, and detailed their commitment to ending public education and resegregating communities.

Danny Schechter: Occupy Wall Street Has Been Battling the Cops; Now the Free Marketeers Take Their Shot

By its actions, Occupy Wall Street is puncturing myths like these:

l. The Myth that direct action against the center of financial power can’t be sustained.

2. The Myth that New York City is a bastion of liberalism and tolerance with its Mayor from Wall Street and its cops recipients of a well timed $4.6 million dollar donation from JP Morgan Chase whose bank up the street from the protest is guarded by — no guess needed– officers of the NYPD

3. The Myth that police violence only happens in other countries, not in the Big Apple where we are far too sophisticated to have a police department lead/encourage hundreds of protesters to cross a bridge via its roadway and then conveniently have buses and reinforcements on the other side to scoop them up.

They turned a bridge to Brooklyn into a bridge to jail without anyone having to pass GO or collect $200 as you would in a Monopoly game. The cops have a monopoly in this game, a monopoly on force — and use it.

Oct 04 2011

On This Day In History October 4

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.

October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 88 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1883, the Orient Express commences its first run.

The Orient Express is the name of a long-distance passenger train, the route for which has changed considerably in modern times. The first run of The Orient Express was on 4 October 1883. The train travelled from Paris to Giurgiu in Romania, via Munich and Vienna. At Giurgiu, passengers were ferried across the Danube to Ruse in Bulgaria to pick up another train to Varna. From here they completed their journey to Istanbul by ferry.

The Orient Express was the name of a long-distance passenger train originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. Its route has changed many times, and several routes have in the past concurrently used the name, or slight variants thereof. Although the original Orient Express was simply a normal international railway service, the name has become synonymous with intrigue and luxury travel. The two city names most intimately associated with the Orient Express are Paris and Istanbul, the original endpoints of the service.

The original route, which first ran on October 4, 1883, was from Paris, Gare de l’Est, to Giurgiu in Romania via Munich and Vienna. At Giurgiu, passengers were ferried across the Danube to Rousse in Bulgaria to pick up another train to Varna, from where they completed their journey to Istanbul (then called Constantinople) by ferry. In 1885, another route began operations, this time reaching Istanbul via rail from Vienna to Belgrade and Nis, carriage to Plovdiv and rail again to Istanbul.

In 1889, the train’s eastern terminus became Varna in Bulgaria, where passengers could take a ship to Istanbul. On June 1, 1889, the first non-stop train to Istanbul left Paris (Gare de l’Est). Istanbul remained its easternmost stop until May 19, 1977. The eastern terminus was the Sirkeci Terminal by the Golden Horn. Ferry service from piers next to the terminal would take passengers across the Bosporus Strait to Haydarpasa Terminal, the terminus of the Asian lines of the Ottoman railways.

The onset of World War I in 1914 saw Orient Express services suspended. They resumed at the end of hostilities in 1918, and in 1919 the opening of the Simplon Tunnel allowed the introduction of a more southerly route via Milan, Venice and Trieste. The service on this route was known as the Simplon Orient Express, and it ran in addition to continuing services on the old route. The Treaty of Saint-Germain contained a clause requiring Austria to accept this train: formerly, Austria allowed international services to pass through Austrian territory (which included Trieste at the time) only if they ran via Vienna. The Simplon Orient Express soon became the most important rail route between Paris and Istanbul.

The 1930s saw the zenith of Orient Express services, with three parallel services running: the Orient Express, the Simplon Orient Express, and also the Arlberg Orient Express, which ran via Zürich and Innsbruck to Budapest, with sleeper cars running onwards from there to Bucharest and Athens. During this time, the Orient Express acquired its reputation for comfort and luxury, carrying sleeping-cars with permanent service and restaurant cars known for the quality of their cuisine. Royalty, nobles, diplomats, business people and the bourgeoisie in general patronized it. Each of the Orient Express services also incorporated sleeping cars which had run from Calais to Paris, thus extending the service right from one edge of continental Europe to the other.

The start of the Second World War in 1939 again interrupted the service, which did not resume until 1945. During the war, the German Mitropa company had run some services on the route through the Balkans, but partisans frequently sabotaged the track, forcing a stop to this service.

Following the end of the war, normal services resumed except on the Athens leg, where the closure of the border between Yugoslavia and Greece prevented services from running. That border re-opened in 1951, but the closure of the Bulgaria-Turkey border from 1951 to 1952 prevented services running to Istanbul during that time. As the Iron Curtain fell across Europe, the service continued to run, but the Communist nations increasingly replaced the Wagon-Lits cars with carriages run by their own railway services.

By 1962, the Orient Express and Arlberg Orient Express had stopped running, leaving only the Simplon Orient Express. This was replaced in 1962 by a slower service called the Direct Orient Express, which ran daily cars from Paris to Belgrade, and twice weekly services from Paris to Istanbul and Athens.

In 1971, the Wagon-Lits company stopped running carriages itself and making revenues from a ticket supplement. Instead, it sold or leased all its carriages to the various national railway companies, but continued to provide staff for the carriages. 1976 saw the withdrawal of the Paris-Athens direct service, and in 1977, the Direct Orient Express was withdrawn completely, with the last Paris-Istanbul service running on May 19 of that year.

The withdrawal of the Direct Orient Express was thought by many to signal the end of Orient Express as a whole, but in fact a service under this name continued to run from Paris to Budapest and Bucharest as before (via Strasbourg, Munich, and Budapest). This continued until 2001, when the service was cut back to just Paris-Vienna, the coaches for which were attached to the Paris-Strasbourg express. This service continued daily, listed in the timetables under the name Orient Express, until June 8, 2007. However, with the opening of the Paris-Strasbourg high speed rail line on June 10, 2007, the Orient Express service was further cut back to Strasbourg-Vienna, departing nightly at 22:20 from Strasbourg, and still bearing the name.

I still have my compartment key

Oct 04 2011

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 18

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉


Microphones, speakers and bull horns have been banned from use because they lack the permit required by NYC, so when Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz spoke at Liberty Square on Sunday he used the “Peoples’ Microphone”. He was joined by New York Times book reviewer a and economics columnist, Jeff Madrick and looked like he was having a really good time:

It was rather amazing how this just emerged in the middle of Zuccotti park AKA LIBERTY SQUARE. The “people’s mic” check occurred, and suddenly we were listening to two important economists of our time speak to the protestors.

Great point about bullhorns…

Stiglitz is one of the most frequently cited economists in the world. It was great to hear the two of them speak, informally, in this magical setting. All types of people were listening, many folks were recording sound and visuals. The rain had stopped and a question and answer session had followed.

We Are All Human Microphones Now

by Richard Kim

Anyone who’s been down to Occupy Wall Street and stayed for a General Assembly will instantly recognize the call and response that begins, and frequently interrupts, each meeting.

“Mic check?” someone implores.

“MIC CHECK!” the crowd shouts back, more or less in unison.

You see, New York City requires a permit for “amplified sound” in public, something that the pointedly unpermitted Occupy Wall Street lacks. This means that microphones and speakers are banned from Liberty Plaza, and the NYPD has also been interpreting the law to include battery-powered bullhorns. Violators can be sentenced for up to thirty days in prison. Further complicating the matter is the fact that Liberty Plaza is not actually a public park. It’s privately owned by Brookfield Office Properties, landlords to Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, and in addition to amplified sound, they’ve also sought to ban sleeping bags, tents and other equipment from what they call “Zuccotti Park.”

Suffice to say, despite all the attention given to how Twitter, Facebook and livestream video have helped spread the word, the heart of the occupation is most definitely unplugged. But the protesters aren’t deterred one bit; they’ve adopted an ingeniously simple, people-powered method of sound amplification. After the mic check, the meeting proceeds:

with every few words / WITH EVERY FEW WORDS!



repeated and amplified out loud / REPEATED AND AMPLIFIED OUT LOUD!

After his rousing speech Prof Stiglitz appeared on Lawrence O’Donnell’s The Last Word where he discussed discussed the movement and gives some advice to the GOP:

Oct 04 2011

The Ministry of Truth Slams It To Faux News

Jesse LaGreca, aka MinistryofTruth and blogger extraordinaire, has been in Manhattan protesting with Occupy Wall St and speaking out about the economic injustice that enhances the 1% and leaves him one of the 99%. He was interviewed for On the Record with Greta van Sustern, needless to say, the piece ended on the cutting room floor. A copy if the video was made available by Kyle Christopher of Occupy Wall Street‘s media team to the New York Observer who also provides the transcript:

Ray: comrade.

Fox: Your colleague, she’d seen the protests in Greece and Europe and elsewhere. Did you guys take your cue from that? Are you hoping to cite certainly what was a lot of the tension, if not police activity. I know over the weekend there were over 100 arrests and you guys got things fired up. Are you taking your cues from the international movement and how do you want to see this? If you could have it in a perfect way, how would it be?

Jesse: Well I don’t know, its really difficult to answer questions leading to those conclusions. I’d say that we didn’t take our cue leading off of anybody really. It became a more spontaneous movement. As far as seeing this end, I wouldn’t like to see this end. I would like to see the conversation continue. This is what we should have been talking about in 2008 when the economy collapsed. We basically patched a hole on the tire and said let the car keep rolling. Unfortunately it’s fun to talk to the propaganda machine and the media especially conservative media networks such as yourself, because we find that we cant get conversations for the department of Justice’s ongoing investigation of News Corporation, for which you are an employee. But we can certainly ask questions like you know, why are the poor engaging in class warfare? After 30 years of having our living standards decrease while the wealthiest 1% have had it better than ever, I think it’s time for some maybe, I don’t know, participation in our democracy that isn’t funded by news cameras and gentlemen such as yourself.

Fox: But, uh, yeah well, let me give you this challenge Jesse.

Jesse: Sure.

Fox: We’re here giving you an opportunity on the record […] to put any

message you want out there, to give you fair coverage and I’m not

going to in any way

Jesse: That’s awesome!

Fox:…give you advice about it. So, there is an exception in the case, because you wouldn’t be able to get your message out there without us.

Jesse: No, surely, I mean, take for instance when Glenn Beck was doing his protest and he called the President, uh, a person who hates white people and white culture. That was a low moment in Americans’ history and you guys kinda had a big part in it. So, I’m glad to see you coming around and kind of paying attention to what the other 99 percent of Americans are paying attention to, as opposed to the far-right fringe, who who would just love to destroy the middle class entirely.

Fox: Alright, fair enough. You have a voice, an important reason to criticize myself, my company and anyone else. But, let me ask you that, in fairness, does this administration, President Obama, have any criticism as to the the financial situation the country’s in…?

Jesse: I think, myself, uh, as well as many other people, would like to see a little but more economic justice or social justice-Jesus stuff-as far as feeding the poor, healthcare for the sick. You know, I find it really entertaining that people like to hold the Bill of Rights up while they’re screaming at gay soldiers, but they just can’t wrap their heads around the idea that a for-profit healthcare system doesn’t work. So, let’s just look at it like this, if we want the President to do more, let’s talk to him on a level that actually reaches people, instead of asking for his birth certificate and wasting time with total nonsense like Solyndra.

Jesse, my friend, you rock.

Oct 04 2011

2011 AL Playoffs- Yankees at Tigers Game 3

Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.

And little man, little Lola wants you.

Make up your mind to have, no regrets.

Recline yourself, resign yourself, you’re through.

I always get what I aim for

And your heart and soul is what I came for.

Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.

No use to fight, don’t you know you can’t win?

You’re no exception to the rule, I’m irresistible, you fool.

Give in!…Give in!…Give in!

Hello, Joe.  It’s me.

He hits so far -hold on- that’s you.

Aaah-haaaaaa, Poo poo pa doop,

Peek-a-boo, Yoo-hoo.

I always get what I aim for!

And you heart and soul is what I came for!

…Lola wants

…Lola gets

…You’ll never win

I’m irresistible, you fool,

Give in…Give in…

Hello Joe.