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January 23, 2018


There needed to be a parenthetical in that article that at least noted Terry Bradshaw was also 4-0 in Superbowls.

8 Superbowls is crazy. 3 more than Elway who is second on the list (or 60% more!). Still miffed they didn't beat the Giants to go undefeated tho.

Almost done with the Broken Earth trilogy. It's good, though I still need to get into the right mindset when reading sci-fi or fantasy. This was more complex and layered than I was expecting so it probably impacted my enjoyment.

Anyone have views on the Dandelion Dynasty two books in?

The Water Knife was okay, not great though.

Joe Montana... wasn't he one of the Beat Farmers?

Joe Mantegna once beat up a farmer

Meanwhile there is a nice article from Michael Totten on the Turkish attack on Syrian Kurds. Who, be it noted, are US allies against ISIS -- and the ones who actually managed to beat ISIS. In this Turkey is cheerfully ignoring various US warnings not to do so.

Totten's piece is Time to Kick Turkey out of NATO? Of course there might be a slight impediment in that President Trump seems to be a big Erodgan fan....

President Trump seems to be a big Erodgan fan....

But not a big NATO fan, so maybe no conflict?

RIP Ursula Le Guin.

I admit to a certain fascination to see what Speaker Ryan and the House Republicans' first offer is.




What a bummer.

I'm now thinking I want to introduce my daughter to her works. She's a first year uni student and she likes sociology so Left Hand of Darkness is an obvious one. Any others that folks here would suggest? It's been so long since I've read Le Guin, I'm not sure what to suggest. My daughter is bilingual, but English is maybe a little weaker than her Japanese. What's a good starting point?

lj, Its been a long time and anything she reads will be wonderful, but if I were to reread I would start with the short stories. The Winds Twelve Quarters?. They start to explore world's that later become central to her novels, and I think lay the groundwork for a relationship with her.

I liked experiencing them that way.

Thanks Marty, good suggestion.

Since this is an open thread, I put this here, but it may be better as a separate thread


Sharon quickly raised the stakes. He put a renewed focus on Arafat and gave the greenlight for Ben-Gal and Dagan to carry out an operation that, if it succeeded, would change the course of Middle East history. Operation Olympia called for Israeli agents to plant a massive set of bombs under a V.I.P. dais under construction in a Beirut stadium where, on Jan. 1, 1982, the P.L.O. was going to celebrate the anniversary of its first operation against Israel. With the push of one button, they would achieve the destruction of the entire Palestinian leadership.

Everything was ready, including powerful explosive charges already secreted beneath the dais, as well as three vehicles loaded with explosives that were supposed to be parked on the streets around the stadium; these were to detonate about a minute after the dais exploded, when the panic was at its height and the survivors of the initial blast were trying to flee the scene. The resulting death and destruction were expected to be “of unprecedented proportions, even in terms of Lebanon,” in the words of a very senior officer of the Northern Command. But a group of worried AMAN officers, as well as the deputy defense minister, went to Begin and demanded that he order Dagan to call it off. “You can’t just kill a whole stadium,” one officer recalled telling Begin. “The whole world will be after us.” Begin shut down the operation.

I understand Israel's urge/need to defend itself, but holy shit...

Who is Tom Brady ?

Alida Garcia

"She served as the National Latino Vote Deputy Director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign whereby she focused on developing the national Latino vote program in the 11 priority battleground states, which ultimately produced the highest Latino voter turnout in Presidential campaign history."

A Garcia:"I'm leaving the Democratic Party today. They're complicit w/ every single young person living in fear. Every pain Latino & immigrant families feel from here out is 100% due to @TheDemocrats not fully embracing us as American. Implicit racism is equally as harmful. I'm done."

Good news for Kansas!

With the Vice President casting the tiebreaking vote, Governor Brownback was confirmed as ambassador for religious freedom. Thus allowing Republicans in Kansas to move forward on rebuilding their state and its government. At least now he's somewhere where he will do less harm. Not no harm, but less.

"Every pain Latino & immigrant families feel from here out is 100% due to @TheDemocrats not fully embracing us as American."

It's appropriate for Alida Garcia to pressure Democrats to do more, but this is nonsense. The Republicans have majorities in both houses of Congress, and it was the Republican President who rescinding DACA by executive order. They are not innocent bystanders.

The Democrats, for their part, have been working to get DACA restored, and it looks to me like they have a very good chance at success because with SCHIP (children's health) resolved, Republicans have nothing other than a vote on DACA to offer Democrats when the continuing resolution expires in three weeks.

It is, perhaps, one of the defining characteristics of the purists: rather than blame those actually responsible for something, they focus all of their ire on those who support them. Just not with total success (their realistic ability to do so being ignored as utterly irrelevant).

It's an approach which minimizes the chances of success. Not to mention being quite irritating. But they cling to it enthusiastically.

lj, little known fact: the modern car bomb was developed* and deployed by Jews against the British in Palestine. The Palestinians later simply adopted it. Karma?

*not invented the concept though. That was an Hungarian anarchist (Buda) that tried to blow up J.P. Morgan in Wall Street with a dynamite laden horse cab.

Interesting Hartmut. I'm probably revealing too much about my reading habits here, but the Harry Turtledove series World at War, where the Confederacy wins the Civil War and Turtledove then postulates what would have happened (Teddy Roosevelt and the Union end up allies with Germany while GB and France fight with the Confederacy while slavery is still an ongoing concern) and he has the Mormons fighting a war of independence against the Union in which they end up resorting to suicide bombers. Blacks in the CSA (who are being put into Holocaust like labor camps) begin using the same kind of tactics. Heavy-handed doesn't begin to describe it, but I like the idea that groups choose these tactics because of historical pressures rather than because of some flaw within them. Useful antidote to American exceptionalism.

Who is Tom Brady ?

gisele bundchen's husband.

I agree with Kenneth Almquist and wj.

Garcia's statement is ridiculous, and probably counterproductive.

She's leaving the Democratic Party? Who is she going to vote for? Jill Stein. Yeah. That'll help.

It's like a guy breaks into your house and is rifling through your jewelry, but you tackle the repairman who didn't wipe his feet.

This life boat is too slow! We must blow it up and build a better one out of the remains!

Everyone can tread water for a few hours, right?

Now, who has some glue?

For details:
Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb
by: Mike Davis

I made one mistake above: Buda seems to have been Italian not Hungarian

That was an Hungarian anarchist (Buda) that tried to blow up J.P. Morgan in Wall Street with a dynamite laden horse cab.

That was an interesting period, and an interesting mirror for our own times.

Lots of immigrants, speaking strange languages and following strange religions and ideologies, stirring up unrest, blowing stuff up, and trying to assassinate important public figures. Sometimes with success.

Luigi Galleani, an Italian immigrant living first in Patterson NJ and then later in Barre VT, published a broadsheet advocating violence, and including instructions on how to make bombs.

The wave of anarchist violence, carried out by strange swarthy Catholics and atheists who had either too many vowels in their names or too few, led to the Palmer Raids and their subsequent Red hysteria, and also led to serious restrictions on immigration for a generation or so.

Plus ca change.

I have tried pointing out to an Islamophobic friend in real life that in every generation we seem to have some group of scary Others who we treat as enemies of civilization, but of course he “ knows” that in the case of Muslims they really are the ultimate threat to civilization. I wonder if Haidt lists a need for an out group to hate as the shadow side of the conservative virtue of loyalty that he talks about.

Muslims must be very lazy and disorganized, since 1.8 billion of them haven't been able to destroy the world.

I get disliking regulations. I don't always agree, but I understand the feeling.

However this latest from the Coverups-R-Us folks is just unbelievable. Even for a Trump appointee.

Not release the Cockpit Voice Recordings to those doing an investigation? Why the hell not?!?!? It's not like any airline business thinks they should be allowed to land on a taxiway by accident.

The "chain migrants" in the White House...
Last month, a White House official named Dan Scavino said that chain migration was “choking” America. “He’s lucky, or unlucky, that he’s Italian,” Mendelsohn said. After researching a Sicilian adoption, she’d recently learned how to search Italian records. Several days after his pronouncement, she had a message for Scavino. “So Dan,” she wrote on Twitter. “Let’s say Victor Scavino arrives from Canelli, Italy in 1904, then brother Hector in 1905, brother Gildo in 1912, sister Esther in 1913, & sister Clotilde and their father Giuseppe in 1916, and they live together in NY. Do you think that would count as chain migration?”...


Link courtesy of Hullabaloo:
Only 8 percent of high school seniors surveyed by an independent polling firm for the study identified slavery as the primary reason for the Civil War. Almost half identified tax protests as the main cause...

Tax protests...

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