01/11/2015 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Greek Elections and the dangers of Pyrrhic Victories by NY Brit Expat

I was thinking of writing about the Charlie Hebdo massacre which culminated in an anti-Semitic attack in a Kosher Supermarket leading to the deaths of Jewish shoppers.  I was considering addressing the issue of why we should have solidarity with the victims even though I found their articles racist and the errors of secular extremism adopted by the French left, done so well here; really, does anyone really think that deserves execution? I was going to talk about my deep fears and worries for French Muslims and the inevitable security measures that will be introduced that will affect the freedoms of French citizens and how those would be used against ethnic and religious minorities and possibly against French political dissidents. I also was considering discussing my anger at Hollande’s keeping Netanyahu updated on the situation in the supermarket.

This is the same Netanyahu whom is urging French Jews to emigrate to Israel and who was part of those leading a “national unity” march today in Paris and that Netanyahu represents no one but those that voted for him, much less the Jews living outside of Israel that he is encouraging to move to Israel which is engaged in a constant state of war. What is this saying to French Jews, and for that matter, all Jews living outside of Israel?

Are they actually implying that Netanyahu in some way represents all Jews?!  Sorry, this man does not and will never speak for me … putting my anger at this aside for the moment, we actually have something positive to discuss!

I decided to go for a story that actually could shift Europe in a positive direction and that is the upcoming Greek elections on January 25th.  Following the failure to elect a President in Greece, Samaras was forced into snap elections (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/29/greece-crisis-president-snap-election).

According to all polls (and these, alas, are notoriously unreliable in Greece as they are often commissioned by the political parties themselves) it looks as though SYRIZA will come in first.

This means that they will be granted 50 seats to help them make a government.  However, the issue does not appear to be whether they will win, but whether they will win with 151 seats to ensure a majority in Parliament. If they do not win that majority, things are up in the air as an understatement.  

Throwball Division Playoffs 2015, AFC Evening: Bolts @ Ponies

Nothing to see here.  Bolts will go down gasping @ South Park.

Richard asks me if I’m carrying a grudge.  You’re damn right!  The whole game is reprehensible.

Doesn’t mean it makes for bad sports live blogging though.  Fans may check in at the Bolts (boo, hiss) or Mile High (you want to share that with the band man)?

Game @ 4:30 pm on CBS.

Rant of The Week; Bill Maher – NYPD Blues

Real Time with Bill Maher: NYPD Blues

When did the NYPD start suffering from PMS?

Throwball Division Playoffs 2015, NFC Afternoon: ‘Boys @ Packers

I should hope by now I don’t have to explain why I’m a total cheesehead since the accident of my troll birth and political sentimentality is fully exposed so instead I’ll share a story from my past life as capo di tutti.

It was about playoff time and we had one of our quarterly meetings at a “hotel” in Hartford that was really a training dormitory for one of the big insurance companies with end of the corridor common rooms of the campus style suitable for “hospitality”, also of the keg chugging beer pong college type (it was a ‘fun’ club).

We were favored by a comely visitor from an isolationist local and since everybody appeared to be shunning her I did my little leadership thing and spent a lot of time making sure she felt welcome in our midst.

Now normally I was the diest of =hards but on this particular occasion I heeded the entreaties of my new handlers and staged a gracious exit before the festivities had hardly begun.

Hardly?!  After I left comely visitor was assaulted by the harridan wannabe spouse of one of my sponsors (the one who could get us thrown out of an airport bar, who else?) and accused of adultery which would have been true if my Irish friend (?) had been married to the Xanthippe instead of merely co-habitating (which is a sin in the eyes of the Church guys, just saying).

Words were said, people grappled, and eventually car keys were siezed and tossed out of an open window into the night.

So at about 4 am, when I was about my groggiest, there came a knock on the door.  Do something about this… now.

Umm… sure, yeah, could you repeat that while I wipe out the sleep?

I parked adultery gal on my bed (I was using the chair to make phone calls for you filthy minded) and listened to her tale of woe and called the front desk where they very politely (I would have told me to piss up a rope and that my crew of social outcasts was responsible for every scratch) told me that the janitor would be in about 7 and that searching for the missing keys on the 4th story roof would be much more effective in the daylight.

Keys found floozy vanished which I suppose was the best for me since I’d already spent an enormous amount of political capital keeping her hidden and quiet, but on the other hand WTF since I’d already fired and replaced my exec (from which she never recovered) and her boyfriend (who also never recovered and speaking of adultery she was sleeping with him and not my brother her public ‘boyfriend’) and suffered the resignations of all that had been associated with their faction which I soon enough found out had been stealing 10s of thousands I had personally donated to keep the organization afloat…

Not that I’m bitter.

But more to the point it was clear I’d need a nap so I called to the front desk and told them I was not moving that Sunday and they would just have to clean up around my prostrate form which they were surprisingly ok with.  I like those guys.

Mid afternoon I roused myself to tune in a playoff game and considered how lucky and privileged I was to enjoy that moment.

So I took another nap.

Oh, ‘Boys @ Cheeseheads.  Did I mention that Airport Drunk was a total and vociferous ‘Boy toy?  Makes me proud to be a Packer fan.

On This Day In History January 11

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.

January 11 is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 354 days remaining until the end of the year (355 in leap years).

On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declares the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument.

Though Native Americans lived in the area as early as the 13th century, the first European sighting of the canyon wasn’t until 1540, by members of an expedition headed by the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. Because of its remote and inaccessible location, several centuries passed before North American settlers really explored the canyon. In 1869, geologist John Wesley Powell led a group of 10 men in the first difficult journey down the rapids of the Colorado River and along the length of the 277-mile gorge in four rowboats.

By the end of the 19th century, the Grand Canyon was attracting thousands of tourists each year. One famous visitor was President Theodore Roosevelt, a New Yorker with a particular affection for the American West. After becoming president in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley, Roosevelt made environmental conservation a major part of his presidency. After establishing the National Wildlife Refuge to protect the country’s animals, fish and birds, Roosevelt turned his attention to federal regulation of public lands. Though a region could be given national park status–indicating that all private development on that land was illegal–only by an act of Congress, Roosevelt cut down on red tape by beginning a new presidential practice of granting a similar “national monument” designation to some of the West’s greatest treasures.

Grand Canyon National Park became a national park in 1919. So famous is this landmark to modern Americans that it seems surprising that it took more than thirty years for it to become a national park. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the rim in 1903 and exclaimed: “The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison–beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world …. Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

Despite Roosevelt’s enthusiasm and his strong interest in preserving land for public use, the Grand Canyon was not immediately designated as a national park. The first bill to create Grand Canyon National Park had been introduced in 1882 and again in 1883 and 1886 by Senator Benjamin Harrison. As President, Harrison established the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893. Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation in 1906 and Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. Senate bills to establish a national park were introduced and defeated in 1910 and 1911; the Grand Canyon National Park Act was finally signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The National Park Service, which had been established in 1916, assumed administration of the park.

The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement; its National Park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. (Lack of this fame may have enabled Glen Canyon Dam to be built upriver, flooding Glen Canyon and creating Lake Powell.) In 1975, the former Marble Canyon National Monument, which followed the Colorado River northeast from the Grand Canyon to Lee’s Ferry, was made part of Grand Canyon National Park. In 1979, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site.

The Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the combination of large size, depth, and the exposed layering of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. It was created through the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted and the Colorado River system developed along its present path.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: This Sunday’s guests are: Attorney General Eric Holder, and new chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Attorney General Eric Holder; chair for the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); CBS correspondents Bob Orr and Michael Morell; David Ignatius, The Washington Post; and Farah Pandith, of the Council on Foreign Relations.

His panel guests are Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post; Jim VandeHei, Politico; and Peter Baker, The New York Times.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on this Sunday’s MTP are: Attorney General Eric Holder and ????

State of the Union: Gloria Borgis will host this Sunday. Her guests are Attorney General Eric Holder; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Paris attacks: A city reeling after 72 hours which saw the staff of a satirical magazine gunned down, two police officers shot dead and two sieges end violently

  Cole Moreton charts the chain of bloody events that stunned France

COLE MORETON   Sunday 11 January 2015

They got what they wanted. From the moment the Kouachi brothers climbed out of their black Citroën in a quiet street in Paris on Wednesday morning it was inevitable that they would die.

Everything they did and said in the following 48 hours suggested they wanted to be martyrs. Not for Islam, whatever they claimed, but for a corruption of that faith, a cult that takes the name of Allah but worships death and power.

“I was ready to die in battle,” said Chérif Kouachi as long ago as 2007, but that sounds noble and this was not. Instead he put on military clothing and a balaclava, loaded a pair of Kalashnikovs and walked with his brother towards the office of a satirical magazine called Charlie Hebdo, in the middle of a chilly morning in Paris.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Assad’s Secret: Evidence Points to Syrian Push for Nuclear Weapons

Another massacre? Why Nigeria struggles to stop Boko Haram

China’s Secretive Space Program Takes A Step Into The Open

No Internet in Cuba? For some, offline link to world arrives weekly

The Scottish mother of Japanese whisky

The Breakfast Club (Darts)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Breakfast Tune: Leyla McCalla sings Rosemarie (Live)

Today in History

Breakfast News Below

Throwball Division Playoffs 2015, NFC Evening: Panthers @ Seahawks

I don’t mind admitting I kind of want the Panthers to win so that the Packers have another home game but I don’t expect the Seahawks to co-operate.  The Seahawks are, after all, the defending Champions and they’re really a much better team than the Panthers.

The Panthers have also lost their inside rushing defense in the person of 311 pound Star Lotulelei, one of those Pacific Island monsters who broke a foot this week in practice.

And then there is Century Link Field, one of the loudest Domes in the league.  The Pack will not be daunted by that, but the Panthers are younger and rawer and less used to distractions.

So here’s hoping for an upset, not that I dislike the Seahawks, but that I actively support the Pack and am a total cheesehead.

The game is on Faux starting at 8 pm.