The World Cup: A Brief, Gringo’s Guide to Futbol

( – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Most of the planet has been tuned in to the World Cup since June 11, 2010, and will continue to watch and argue about it until the last whistle is blown on July 11. It’s expected that the audience for the final game will draw a tenth of the people on the planet. An audience of about 600 million people. It doesn’t matter very much to these people that their own countries didn’t qualify, or got eliminated. No. They’re watching, glued to the Tube, because that game is the World Game. And they love it. And they know great Futbol when they see it.

Unfortunately, in the US relatively few people care about futbol. Or soccer as most call it. They don’t reflect on the fact that the barefoot kids kicking a ball made of duct tape and rags in a vacant lot in Port au Prince or Kabul or in a favela in Rio are playing the same game that well scrubbed kids wearing uniforms and $100 shoes are trying to play in this country. So they don’t reflect on how democratic the game is. How anybody can play. And does. And how all you need is some ground and something to make a ball with. Shoes are optional. Goal posts are optional. Uniforms, optional. Only getting the ball into a goal counts.

And best of all, you don’t have to be big. In fact, it helps to be small and fast and coordinated. Lionel Messi is a big star at 5 feet 7 inches. England’s Peter Crouch at 6 feet 7 inches is consistently insulted by those who say he’s a good player, for a big man. What helps is to be fast, very fast, and to have the kind of endurance that lets you run without stopping, hard, for 90 minutes and to be coordinated. The game doesn’t let you use your hands, unless you’re a goalkeeper, so you have to be able to use your feet, your legs, your thighs, your chest, your head. You can learn to do this with practice. The part you cannot learn you have to be born with: it’s a futbol gift that is distributed at seeming random across the entire world. But you recognize it as soon as you see it.

In the US the common folklore is that futbol is boring. Right. It’s boring in the same ignorant way as anything that has not been examined and is not properly understood. Actually, I suspect that this is a rap given the sport in the US because you cannot stop the game for commercials. That would be sacrilege. You cannot cut away to the studio. You watch until the time runs out. Then, and only then, do you get up, get something to eat, relieve yourself, watch commercials. In Spain you don’t stand up during the game. That blocks others’ views. Same in Germany and Italy. OK to yell and scream and curse and drink. Not OK to block somebody else’s view.

Who are these players in the World Cup? The world’s best futbol is played by club teams. The club season starts in early Fall and continues until Spring. Some of the teams are famous names, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, to name a few from the top of English Premier League. In England there are about 5 professional leagues below the Premier League. Every one of the players in every one of the teams in every one of those leagues aspires to play for a team in the top league. And every single player on a team in the top league aspires to be “capped,” to be asked to play for the national team. That is a huge and important honor. This is the situation in the top leagues throughout Europe, which are in Italy (Internazionale, AC Milan, Lazio), Germany (Bayern Munich, Wolfburg), Spain (Barcelona, Real Madrid), France, and Holland. It’s also the case throughout Cental and South America and Asia. The US has a few leagues, the top one MLS isn’t really good. That’s why the MLS season is going on now even though the world cup is happening. The players in MLS aren’t at the World Cup (with a very, very few exceptions).

If you have DirecTV you can actually watch futbol in the regular, club season from England, Italy, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and so on. These are exciting games. and FoxSoccerChannel broadcast live and taped games.

How do you get to the World Cup? After about a year of qualifying (18 games in South America; about 10 in North America) a national team has to beat enough of the other teams in its region to make the finals. Every 4 years 32 teams are selected for the World Cup through regional qualifying. Those teams showed up in South Africa this year on June 11. They were divided into 4-team groups and played 3 games. The best two teams in each group advanced to the round of 16. Then there were games that pared the teams down to 8, and then 4. There are now 4 teams remaining.

On Tuesday, at 2:30 pm ET, Uruguay plays the Netherlands. On Wednesday, at 2:30 pm ET, Germany plays Spain. There is a game for 3rd place on 7/10, and the final on 7/11.

What does it take to win a game at this level? It takes a lot more than great individual players. All of the remaining teams have great players and have played very, very well. Spain probably has the most talented, most famous team. Germany and Netherlands have played brilliantly. Netherlands beat Brazil. Uruguay has been impressive as well. Its star Diego Forlan has been a magician throughout the World Cup. To win at this point, though, it takes massive energy and confidence. You cannot let down at all during the entire game, and you cannot be slow to start. The US team demonstrated that playing from behind, after an early goal, makes winning really difficult, if not impossible. The team has to play as a team. We are well beyond the point at which a star or two’s great play will win the game. And the most important thing, I think, is that there be no defensive errors.

When a goal is scored everybody tends to blame the keeper. That’s easy, but that’s frequently not fair. If the defense allows a clear shot on goal, the keeper can sometimes do very little to make the save. Defensive lapses, and more important, forced defensive lapses, are the key to who will win these final games. That means that teams need a swarming, strong, airtight defense that can “close down” the field. But they also need an offense that is capable of creating space in front of the goal, space into which a striker can kick a ball into the net.

I hope you’ll all drop what you’re doing and watch these final games. The rest of the world will put everything on hold. You can do the same. It’s worth it.

A prediction: Spain and Germany will advance to the finals. Spain will win the finals 1-0.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles

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On Patriotism

It’s an interesting coincidence that exactly 50 years after The Declaration, Jefferson and Adams died within hours of each other.  Ironically Adam’s last words were- “Jefferson still survives.”  In fact Jefferson preceeded Adams which could have caused some embarrassment provided you believe in an afterlife and that Jefferson and Adams could have ended up in the same place.

Me?  Not so much.  People forget that our founders were revolutionaries and the establishment of The United States of America led to a string of more or less successful rebellions in Haiti, South America, and France.

It’s certainly not a historical leap of faith to call The Council of Europe and the Age of Metternich a reaction to a little fight we picked on the road between Lexington and Concord.

History is real, and not so very long ago.

These were people just like us.  Every bit as smart, twice as tough, and doing the best they could with the tools they had available.

Recently they’d been through 30 years of Civil War based on religious sectarianism and class warfare.  Fighting the French and Indians was kind of intermittent by comparison.

They were not rubes by any means though it’s a classic American gambit going back to Franklin at least to put a dead beaver on your head and pretend to be an idiot.  It makes the women want you.

My favorite Ben who is not a traitor was considered the head of the committee that composed The Declaration, but the principal Author was Thomas Jefferson whom we find recently to have made a last minute substitution of ‘citizen’ for ‘subject’ that I found reflective of his principles as a Founder.

Revolution is not all skittles and beer.

America had its Cincinattus and a Republic if we could keep it, but political feuding between the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists was little short of open warfare in the election of 1800.  People were literally shot down like dogs.

Adams had to suffer Jefferson as a Vice-President (Mr. Heartbeat) and successor.  Two Term Jefferson left his office to James “Mr. Constitution” Madison and the rest, as they say, is history until AndrewKingfishJackson (but that’s a story for another day).

The democratic impulse and enlightenment values embodied in the work of our Founders, little things like the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the institutions of the Congress, Presidency, and Court have always been under attack by powerful elites who seek to influence outcomes in their favor.

The very least honor we owe these brave and principled patriots is to resist those efforts and defend justice and the rule of law to the best of our ability.

BP’s Well May Leak For 55 Years Or More Into The Gulf Of Mexico?

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

On June 15, 2010 the US Department of Energy announced that a group of federal and independent scientists convened by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Chair of the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) Dr. Marcia McNutt (Director of the U.S. Geological Survey) had developed a new estimate for the amount of oil gushing from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico that indicated the leak could be spewing up to 2.52 million gallons of crude oil per day into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from British Petroleum’s Macondo Well.

“This estimate brings together several scientific methodologies and the latest information from the sea floor, and represents a significant step forward in our effort to put a number on the oil that is escaping from BP’s well,” said Chu, who then expanded with “As we continue to collect additional data and refine these estimates, it is important to realize that the numbers can change.  In particular, the upper number is less certain – which is exactly why we have been planning for the worst case scenario at every stage and why we are continuing to focus on responding to the upper end of the estimate, plus additional contingencies.”

Estimates from both BP and from the US Government of the amount of oil gushing from the blown out wellhead on the gulf seabed have been almost continually revised upwards since the well blowout and leak began on April 20, with widespread suspicions that BP has deliberately understated the leak rate in attempts to limit liability for the company.

It now appears that Chu may have been somewhat prescient with his statement that “it is important to realize that the numbers can change”, and that the estimate of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico may need to be increased again, since an undated internal BP document (.PDF) obtained by Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) was released by Markey on Sunday June 20 showing that BP’s own internal analysis believed that a worst-case scenario, based on damage to the well bore, could result in a leak rate from the well of 55,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil per day.  

In the document, BP stated: “If BOP and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions – the rate could be as high as ~ 100,000 barrels per day up the casing or 55,000 barrels per day up the annulus (low probability worst cases)”

“Considering what is now known about BP’s problems with this well prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion, including cementing issues, leaks in the blowout preventer and gas kicks, BP should have been more honest about the dangerous condition of the well bore,” said Markey

“When the oil spill started, BP said it was only 1,000 barrels a day. Now we know it could end up being 100 times larger than that in a worst-case scenario,”

“This document raises very troubling questions about what BP knew and when they knew it. It is clear that, from the beginning, BP has not been straightforward with the government or the American people about the true size of this spill. Now the families living and working in the Gulf are suffering from their incompetence.”

“BP needs to tell us what it will do if the well bore is compromised and 100,000 barrels per day of oil spills into the ocean. At this point, we need real contingency planning, not a plan with dead scientists and walruses…”

100,000 barrels per day would be 4.2 million gallons of oil per day leaking into the waters of the gulf, or more every three days than the total officially reported 10.8 million gallons of crude oil the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill poured into Prince William Sound off the Gulf of Alaska.

BP’s well has now been leaking continuously for more than two months.

Congressman Markey appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press with his announcement. Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman reports in this video.

What may be even more troubling is a Sunday June 20 Associated Press report that states:

The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.

That means huge quantities of methane have entered the Gulf, scientists say, potentially suffocating marine life and creating “dead zones” where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives.

“This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history,” Kessler said.

The small microbes that live in the sea have been feeding on the oil and natural gas in the water and are consuming larger quantities of oxygen, which they need to digest food. As they draw more oxygen from the water, it creates two problems. When oxygen levels drop low enough, the breakdown of oil grinds to a halt; and as it is depleted in the water, most life can’t be sustained.

All of which prompted Orlando Independent Examiner Gregory Patin to speculate that:

Given the continual incremental increases of the oil leak as well as the failure to mention the amount of methane gas escaping in to the Gulf, it does suggest that at best, this is a result of utter incompetence or outright lies. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the American people have been willfully mislead by BP, the corporate media and the US government in order to gradually condition them to accept the enormity of this disaster.

It is also possible that the environmental damage will not be able to be reversed – at least in our lifetimes. Some of the oil may be able to be cleaned up, but it is impossible to clean up methane.

If the well is leaking at this so far maximum estimated rate of 100,000 barrels per day, that times 365 days in a year would equal 36 million 500 thousand barrels leaked per year.

Oil industry analysts have estimated that there may be as much as a billion barrels or more of oil in the reservoir below BP’s Macondo Well.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said on June 16 that “One – one expert said to me – and I don’t know if this is overblown or  not – that they’re still really concerned about the structural base of  this whole operation, if the rocks get moved, this thing could really  explode and they’re sitting, what, on – on a billion potential barrels  of oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.”

Bloomberg noted June 19 that “The ruptured well may hold as much as 1 billion barrels, the Times  reported, citing Rick Mueller, an analyst at Energy Security Analysis in  Massachusetts.”

CBS noted on June 18 that “The oil well spewing in the Gulf of Mexico could contain as much as 1 billion barrels of oil and could keep flowing for more than a decade, the Times of London reported” and that “The Macondo oil well could be one of the largest oil discoveries in the world.”

The Times article has since been removed from their website. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of News International. News International is entirely owned by the News Corporation group, headed by Rupert Murdoch.

Given that BP’s nearby Tiber and Kaskida wells each contain at least 3 billion  barrels of oil (see this, this, this and this), estimates of more than a billion barrels for the leaking Macondo reservoir are not unreasonable.

If the well is leaking at this so far maximum estimated rate of 100,000 barrels per day, and there are 1 billion barrels of oil in the reservoir, then determining how long the well could leak if it is not plugged is a simple high school mathematics level calculation.

One billion barrels divided by 100,000 barrels per day equals 10,000 days to empty the reservoir into the Gulf of Mexico.

That would mean a continuous leak of 100,000 barrels per day for 27.39 years, if the well is not plugged.

If BP”s well is “only” leaking at half that rate – at 50,000 barrels per day – then it will leak for about 55 years, if there is a billion barrels in the reservoir, if it is not plugged.

While these admittedly back of the envelope calculations do not take into account possible pressure and daily flow rate changes over time, they certainly give a new perspective on the enormity of the catastrophe and on its potential environmental impacts.

With those calculations in mind, it is therefore no surprise that Kenneth Feinberg, the US lawyer chosen to manage the $20 Billion compensation fund BP agreed to in a June 16 deal with President Barack Obama, said that not all claimants for damages resulting from BP’s leak can be compensated:

“There’s not enough money in the world to pay every single small business that claims injury no matter where or when,” Kenneth Feinberg told the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business.

“You’ve got to decide in a principled way… and work out some definition in that regard,” he said, while stating his determination to “pay every eligible claim.”

“There’s no question that the property value has diminished as a result of the spill. That doesn’t mean that every property is entitled to compensation,” he said, adding: “There’s not enough money in the world to pay everybody who’d like to have money.”

Feinberg, who also headed a compensation fund for victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, was tapped by President Barack Obama to administer the 20-billion-dollar fund established by BP earlier this month.

The House Committee on Small Business examined the recently created $20 billion BP compensation fund for victims of the oil spill at a hearing entitled “Recovery in the Gulf: What the $20 Billion BP Claims Fund Means for Small Businesses” on June 30, 2010.

Watch Kenneth Feinberg’s testimony to the committee in this video, from the hearing…

It is also no surprise, considering the calculations above and the potential for a decades long uncontrolled leak into the Gulf of Mexico, that the day after BP agreed in meeting with Obama to the compensation fund that the International Business Times reported that the $20 billion escrow fund (.PDF) deal may in fact have been a positive outcome for BP in terms of limiting BP’s exposure over the long term:

The terms include $20 billion set aside in an escrow fund to pay for damages and $100 million in a separate fund to help oil workers who lost their jobs. In addition, BP has agreed cancel dividends for the rest of 2010.

For the $20 billion fund, BP will pay $3 billion in the third quarter of this year, $2 billion in the fourth quarter, and then $1.25 billion per quarter until the full amount is exhausted. Meanwhile, before the fund reaches $20 billion, BP will set aside U.S. assets to “assure” payments.

However, $20 billion is not the cap for liabilities and it does not include fines and penalties.

Brian Gibbons, senior oil & gas analyst at CreditSights, an independent credit research firm, said the $20 billion escrow fund – which was not overly punitive – removed a large degree of regulatory uncertainty by providing an established dollar amount and time line.

“The fear was that the government was going to do something so drastic as to effectively push the company into bankruptcy,” said Gibbons.

“Now they can come out of the meeting and say they have held BP accountable and hold up a $20 billion escrow account,” explained Gibbons.

The cost of helping the US Gulf Coast recover economically from BP’s catastrophic oil leak could run into the trillions of dollars, a US lawmaker said Thursday following a briefing from top government officials.

“It will take billions of dollars – even trillions,” Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee told reporters, citing “a presentation by the president’s team on the BP oil spill” early Thursday July 1.

The ecological environment and sea life of the Gulf of Mexico may never recover.


Originally published at Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking


What Day Is It Agin?


Every Fourth of July, Americans gather to celebrate the country’s declaration of independence from … um, what country was that again?

If you answered the above question with the word “England” or “Britain,” you would be obviously correct. But a new Marist poll finds that more than a quarter — 26 percent — of Americans polled couldn’t bring to mind the name of the country from whom the original 13 colonies gained independence.

Results were especially poor among the young: Of respondents aged 18 to 29, only 60 percent correctly identified Great Britain. A full one-third were unsure.


China? Maybe all this poll tells us is that six percent of people who answer surveys like to screw around with them.

That’s a possibility that Jack Stuef at the Wonkette blog is ready to consider.

Consider that a good 10% of Americans probably have Alzheimer’s. Then another 5% are just regular crazy people. And probably 11% of Americans got offended that some annoying academic called them up during dinner to ask them this single, inane question and answered “the United States won its independence from the country of My Ass.”

Let’s hope Stuef is right. Or this country is in big trouble.

“A Paddle for Your Boat”

Shit Creek Paddle Store

The Commission for Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, better known as the “Cat Food Commission” has targeted Social Security and Medicare for some serious reductions that will put many senior citizens and future senior citizens in jeopardy of being relegated to homeless shelters or the streets. Sound harsh, over the top? Well listen to the co-chair former Sen. Alan Simpson, who was hand picked by President Barack Obama, in the video below the fold. And how about Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi who purposely put a “requirement that the House will vote on the deficit commission’s recommendations in the lame duck session if they pass the Senate“?

Alan Simpson: Cutting Social Security Benefits to “Take Care of the Lesser People in Society”

(transcript for the hearing impaired is in this link)

Cutting Social Security and Medicare is how Sen. Simpson thinks the US can obtain fiscal responsibly works and his co-chair, Investment banker and former Clinton chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, who negotiated Social Security cuts with Newt Gingrich, now wants to do it again.

Although the commission is composed of 10 Democrats and 8 Republicans and the final report will need a super majority of 14 to pass, most of the members are Wall St. fiscal conservatives to whom Obama and Congress have catered.

Warnings from both House Majority and Minority leaders, Rep. John Conyers and John Boehner, that the final report will be presented to a lame duck Congress were ignored by Obama, Reid and Pelosi who are determined to bring whatever this commission decides to a vote by the end of the year. Now Pelosi has sealed the deal by slipping in the provision into the War Funding bill that requires the House to vote on whatever the Senates passes.

This Presidential Commission, which is also proposing tax hikes beyond the increases in 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire, is selling out the middle class who is virtually up that “shitty” creek without a paddle and can’t afford to buy a paddle.

The Rock Star’s Hollow Gazette, Pt. 1: Eight Fables About Action, Inaction, and Distraction

If I’m part of a problem, but not part of the problem, then it’s not really your problem.

-Keir DuBois

For many years now, I’ve forgotten my dreams-if I ever remember at all. Reality wants my attention more often, so I always come when she calls, and I’m getting used to the pull of routine and the comfort of my fatal flaws. Cause I never really found Boredom attractive, but she won’t stop flirting with me. She don’t understand that I can’t reprimand her for such innocent flattery, and I used to think I could hold out forever-but she’s circling patiently. For many years now, I’ve forgotten the fear-but now I remember it all. The nerves and the pressure of one good impression are making my confidence crawl, cause I’ve got a date with Ambition tonight but she’s not returning my calls.

Note:: Couldn’t get the tunes to display/play as they do on DKos, so you guys just get little links. Sorry.

Listen to “Fatal Flaws” by Honey White

Get busy bringing out the cheap tequila. It’s awful, but I just can’t put it down. Here comes another drinking song, but I can’t help myself-lately the hangovers and hang-ups hang around, and suffer like a half-assed work of fiction within the steady grip of epic funk. If talent jumps a generation, here it skipped them all-as if it’s easier to deal with it drunk, and sing one last hallelujah before we say good night. The liquor’s flowing all over creation, and even though by now it’s way too late, I’ll have a little rum and honey, you can nurse your gin-and we’ll pretend to finally set the record straight, cause your attention span’s a starving artist, and it’s high time you finally did some good. Who do you think you are now, honey? What do you take me for? Get off the cross-it’s cold, we need the firewood. And if you’re going back to town alone, you better keep your halo out of sight, and sing one last hallelujah before you say good night.

Listen to “One Last Hallelujah” by Honey White

Survival on the naked truth has saved another boring youth from having any bit of fun, or getting close to anyone-and by the time I bought the myth an amateur could deal with, I heard the luck was running out for everybody anyhow. Come on love-forget about the pressure and the fear, cause we can’t afford to waste another year. It used to mean the world to me, but chasing down elusive dreams and second-guessing everything is so unhealthy, mon ami. Come on love-forget about the pressure and the fear, cause we can’t afford to waste another year. Here we come now, here we come-so unprofessional to some-but we know better, we know best, and we’ll endure nevertheless. Come on love-forget about the pressure and the fear, cause we can’t afford to waste another year.

Listen to “Unprofessional” by Honey White

Too lazy if I work, too nervous if I steal. Too heavy if I hurt, too harmless if I heal. Too smart to waste the effort, too stupid to appeal to anyone too superficially unreal. So please have mercy on me-I don’t know what I want to be. Too many hours later, too much is still the same. Too close to losing everything and too scared to play the game. Too good to get the credit for taking all the blame, and too thirsty for the glory to feel any shame. So please have mercy on me-I don’t know what I want to be. Too noisy on location, too quiet on the set to notice if I might deserve exactly what I get. Too casual in theory to really break a sweat, and too busy at the moment to care about that yet. The choice ain’t ever up to me, and it’s not the life I want to lead, so please have mercy on me-I don’t know what I want to be.

Listen to “Mercy Rule” by Honey White

A few weeks into summer, and I’ve yet to see the sun illuminating anything the way I want it done. It’s not for lack of trying, and not for lack of fun, but I got tangled up beneath the losers and the lost-ripping into frenzy just to get the point across, and desperate to win it all no matter what the cost. If only you could see me now. If only you could see me now. I knew what I was doing-I knew it all along. I knew when not to worry all about the right or wrong of ending up anonymous and dying to belong. If only you could see me now.  If only you could see me now. Don’t know if it’ll ever be enough for anyone to believe me when I promise that I’ve only just begun to keep myself from sinking into sweet oblivion. If only you could see me now. If only you could see me now.

Listen to “Sweet Oblivion” by Honey White

Somehow we began the night invincible as ever, and always so impulsive or inspired. Somehow we’re all ending up immobilized together, and always so oblivious and tired. Suddenly it’s all about denial on a bender, and everyone’s so easily impressed. Suddenly it’s all about the easiest surrender, and definitely blacking out the rest, forgetting everything I know and then dissolving into history again. The waves are rolling in again, allmighty and illegal, and I’m already in over my head. The volume is intensive and the impacts are for real and no one is immune who isn’t dead.

Listen to “Blacking Out” by Honey White

When I was younger, I was still insane-I looked like Abel and I felt like Cain. I learned to fear, I learned the art of war-until I guess I couldn’t take it anymore. or else I got too callous-so I grew up and I approached the bomb with automatic cool and heroic calm, methodically defused her right in time, and now our reason overrules our rhyme and interrupts our rhythm. So, why upend the balance? Sometimes I feel okay, and deal, and I give up but then sometimes I feel like tempting fate again, or wreaking havoc every now and then, or risking everything I got to slash and burn up past another point of no return, and leave the rest in ruins. So why upend the balance? Sometimes I feel okay, and deal, and I give up but tonight-tonight I feel like tempting fate again. demo mp3 link

Still up against the way it always will be, and shackled to the way it’s always been. Still opposite the center of attention, and banished to the outside looking in. Forgiven any consequence of any reckless stunts, as long as I do anything to win. Don’t matter if I can’t move like I used to, or even if I think as slow as sin, or even if I don’t know any better, or if a soul is underneath this skin-cause all the broken pieces always snap back into place as long as I do anything to win. Cause I can take a dive, yeah I can take a fall-but as soon as I can take control I’m gonna take it all. So when the worst of here and now is over, and dangerous charades are wearing thin, and aftershocks are right around the corner, and ever after’s itching to begin, I’ll look out on the promised land, the king of all I see-as long as I do anything to win. Oh yeah, I would do anything-it’s been too long, I’m bound to hit the wall. Cause I can take a dive, yeah I can take a fall-but as soon as I can take control I’m gonna take it all. demo mp3 link

Why Blog?

I’ve always identified myself as a writer, even when it was poetry for machines and deadline dreck for newsletters, pamphlets, and flyers.

I like words and written communication better than verbal or theatrical presentations because of the random access you have to the information as a reader.  With a speech, or Radio, or a Play, TV, or Movie the information is under control of the deliverer, not the audience.  It’s inherently a serial exposition, a sales pitch, designed by arrangement and order to lead you from reasonable premises to a predetermined conclusion without allowing you to revisit the path of the argument unless you repeat the experience from scratch.

You may call reading the last chapter to find out ‘who done it’ cheating, I suggest instead that it’s a challenge every Author should be willing to face.  If you can’t make your middle memorable it’s probably better suited for a Short Story than a Novel.

So that’s what’s in it for me.  It’s a form of self expression in a broadly accessible format that’s not really very expensive except in terms of the time it takes to produce the content.

What’s in it for you?

There are 2 parts to this answer.

As a Reader only, you get to bask in my brilliance and wallow in my words and if passive entertainment suits your style I’m grateful for your eyeballs.  By that I mean you’ll get a lot more of me if you can stand it and love or hate it I don’t really give a rat’s ass what you think about me as long as you pay attention.

But the beauty part of a blog is that you can have your voice heard too.  It’s called a Vent Hole for a reason and it accepts both positive and negative feedback.  If your ambition exceeds a Tweet or two you can contribute longer pieces that I will be more than happy to evaluate and feature.  There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than promoting the work of others.

I hope that The Stars Hollow Gazette will develop into a Group Blog where regular participants as well as muse driven Authors will provide a stream of fresh content that will make us a several time a day destination.


I think that blogs are both more and less powerful platforms than conventionally recognized.  Many people have a nostalgic affection for storming the Bastille and I don’t despise those who are willing to wear no pants.

My legs are not what they once were, though that doesn’t mean I won’t ‘kilt up’ if the occasion calls for it.

I don’t think a failure to summon musket armed militia is an indication of weakness.  The information battlefield has numerous hedgerows, stone walls, and trees to snipe from behind of.  If you think it doesn’t hurt you’re not listening to the howls of outrage from the ego struck elite you ungrateful cur.

My activist brother thinks the most important function of blogs is as a source of information and a historical record, an alternative to the monopolistic media with its competitive barriers.  I think it’s equally as important to amuse and distract.  Your eyeballs are money.  Your passive consent, complicity.

I call you to a life of resistance in the small and easily done things.  Move your money.  Use cash when you can.  Turn off your lights when you leave the room and properly inflate your tires.

If just two people do it, in harmony, they’ll think they’re both faggots and won’t take either of them.

I’ve been called worse things than a stick.  Whom would fardels bear to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns, puzzles the will and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all and the native hue of resolution is sicklied over with the pale cast of thought, and enterprise of great pitch and moment with this regard their currents turn awry and lose the name of action.

In thy orisons be all my sins remembered.


No one has any obligation to treat you any particular way on the internet.

Indeed, one of the things I most despise about our inbred Versailles Village political/media culture is their false politeness and evasion of the truth.

Calling people liars and cowards and idiots is not ‘hate speech’.

Saying that Jew controlled financial, media, and political elites are stealing victory from our brave troopers and using the blood of Christian babies to make Matzoh IS.

If you can’t tell the difference between those things it’s simply useless to talk about subtleties and I won’t bother to do so.

In general however you may attribute to me personally any vice- I claim them all, particularly sloth.  If you have something new and inventive you’d care to share I’m always interested in novelty.  On the other hand you can hardly complain when I return the favor and if I happen to do it bigger and grander than you and you leave impressed…

That’s envy, my dear.  There’s a little bit of envy in the best of us.


If you’d bother to learn anything about me at all you’d know I’m not a great believer in it.  It seems to me contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation. – Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington

But change is only to be expected, and while most of it is merely increasing entropy, intermittently self organizing systems emerge and flourish for a time.

And if you’re lucky you can be a part of it.

Punting the Pundits: Up Dated with Videos

The Sunday morning taking heads are a sure way to start you day off aggravated. About the only one i am really interested in watching this afternoon when it gets in to the high 90’s here in NYC with humidity to match, is Fareed Zakaria GPS. His guest today are Niall Ferguson & Paul Krugman, economists with opposing views.

Harvard economist, Nail Ferguson:

(The) leaders of most of the world’s major economies. They are doing what Harvard historian Niall Ferguson espouses: fighting to get their debt under control and cutting spending before their countries become the next Greece.

NYT’s and Nobel economist, Paul Krugman:

(A) handful of nations who are staying the course and spending. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says he fears we might already be in the 3rd depression — because governments haven’t been spending enough.

As dry as economics can be, these men make it not just understandable but “entertaining”.

Fareed will also be discussing this stunning statistic: the billion dollar price tag for each Al-Qaeda member.

h/t Elliot @ FDL

Grumpy and out of sorts Stage One

I don’t claim to be the expert Armando is, because I’ve only been watching the Tour since the year before Lance started his streak and naturally my perspective is distorted from that experience.

Bring on the big bore.  Today’s ‘official’ first stage is live now on Vs.

Lance is in 4th place 22 seconds behind.

Stage One-

139 miles of pancake flat Florida.

8:50 start.


Contador / Armstrong head to head on competing teams.  Armstrong’s last Tour win or lose.

Raining in Rotterdam.  Prolog is an individual time trial.  A poor performance or crash could end it before it hardly starts.

Stage 3 Cobblestones.  Lots of wrecks.

Armstrong launches in good conditions.  It’s not where he ends up overall, but in relation to Contador.  Contador next out of the start house.

At halfway Armstrong only 5 seconds behind fastest so far.

Finishes in 3rd.  Now up to Contador- 1 second behind at halfway to Armstrong.

10:27:64.  Five seconds behind.  Advantage Armstrong.

Tomorrow Sea Wind.  Flat.

Ben Stiller interview.  I watch this stuff so you don’t have to.

Lance thinks he’s ahead of last year, didn’t have a collar bone crash.

Welcome to Stars Hollow

The “park” and its benches are open. It is quite a liberal place, very liberal in fact and not ashamed to say so. We hope to give a space to those who want to feel comfortable expressing their views and ideas, a comfortable place for give and take, discussion, agreement and disagreement. None should expect a Utopia, we all have our own views and ideas, there will always be conflicts and opposition.

Besides the current news, this is an environment for creativity, a place to put your “stuff” for others to enjoy. A place for music, art, fiction or just chit chat about what ever moves the moment, a place to stream your thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

I am not the greatest writer. I read a lot. I like to listen and savor. In my profession, it helps to be able to listen to people and hear what they say. It helps try to understand what other people are thinking and consider their perspective. Life is a learning experience and we never stop learning from the world around us and each other.

So let this begin. Please read the FAQ. There are rules and guidelines, as much as I would love to dispense with them, they are part of life on and off the net. I have written some and ek has written others. We wanted them to be clear and uncomplicated. This is an adult site so we also shouldn’t be offended by the occasional use of foul language or an “adult” exchange, it’s allowed. I have a good feeling that most people who will visit and become “residents” won’t need to be told to treat each other with respect.

So welcome, sit on a bench or stretch out on the grass and enjoy the company.

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