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Archive for June, 2014

daily 06/30/2014

June 30, 2014 Leave a comment

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daily 06/26/2014

June 26, 2014 Leave a comment
    • Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki doesn’t want to share power, the Kurds don’t want to give up a shot at independence, and the Sunnis would rather stick with murderous jihadist protectors than trust a Shiite government that shuns their demands and persecutes their leaders.
    • Maliki knows that the countries most keen to beat back the Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria—especially Iran, the neighboring ally that counts most—have no choice but to support him for now.
    • To the extent they’re able to hold their territory, they do so because local Sunnis—who dominate the areas conquered so far—prefer ISIS to Maliki’s Shiite government.
    • Simply bombing ISIS strongholds won’t do the trick. In fact, military action alone will only further alienate the Sunnis—and reinforce the notion that America serves as Maliki’s air force.
    • Advocates of American military action worry that an unchecked ISIS might someday launch terrorist strikes against the United States or Western Europe. Maybe so. But another way to inspire such attacks is to bomb ISIS positions (and probably kill some Sunni civilians in the process) while doing nothing to reform Iraqi politics.
    • n other words, the center will figure out what’s going on—the state of the battlefield, the strengths and weaknesses of ISIS (and of the Iraqi security forces)—and what, if anything, we (or someone else) can do to make things better.
    • Obama isn’t likely to order U.S. airstrikes, but his intelligence agencies could provide targeting data to the Syrians (and other neighbors interested in getting involved), so that their airstrikes can be more effective.
    • Maliki’s disenfranchisement of Sunni Arabs sowed the fertile soil for ISIS exploitation. Re-enfranchising Sunnis will do more than any number of smart bombs to loosen its grip.

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daily 06/23/2014

June 23, 2014 Leave a comment

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daily 06/19/2014

June 19, 2014 Leave a comment
  • I can’t believe what I just saw. A HOME RUN AT THE CWS. And it went out of the park. Texas’ C. J Hinojosa slams solo homer for 1-0 lead.

  • Van Persie’s 93-year old grandad goes #Persieing!http://t.co/8MyZUlOkId http://t.co/dqOiF7ikCM

    tags: Persieing

    • 15:55: I know OJ was found not guilty of murder, but shouldn’t he have been found guilty of THIS? Of blocking traffic and resisting arrest and wasting MILLIONS in law enforcement resources? Did you know that Al Cowlings was charged with aiding a fugitive but was never formally charged due to a “lack of evidence”? HE AIDED A FUGITIVE ON EVERY FUCKING TV CHANNEL. How was there no evidence?
    • 22:03: Reader Grant11955: “Came home and found babysitter and one year old son fixed to TV. Favorite moment was when Dan Rather said he thought he saw a dark figure crouching on the back of the Ford Bronco in the driveway as darkness fell.. His coanchor, a sports person I think , said – ‘Dan, I believe that’s the spare tire’. It was. Dan Rather did not speak the rest of the night.”
    • 30:50: Brokaw: “Many people are sobbing, others are saying GO OJ, GO! There’s an enormous amount of affection for this man, but it must be remembered: he has been charged with two brutal murders.” I think we’ve all kept that in mind, Tom.
    • 37:15: “For those of you watching the game, the third quarter has just ended: 61 to 61.” Sounds about right for the ’94 Finals. Jesus.
    • It’s an example of how punishment takes many forms, and how a jail cell is not the definitive form of retribution that we always think or hope it will be. You can bring someone down in many other ways if you try hard enough.
    • 50:15: NBC analyst notes that in California, running from the police can be used against you as a “flight charge” in a trial, often to your detriment. Unless, you know, you were OJ Simpson. In his case… HERE PUT THIS DRIED AND SHRUNK GLOVE ON I’M SURE THIS’LL WORK.
    • Since this day, TV news has pretty much been an endless loop of trailing people and cars around and hoping for the worst.
    • Don’t let the legalese and the spin coming from Daniel Snyder and the NFL dull the excitement, this is a little bit like the Feds getting Capone on tax evasion. Yes, the Redskins will appeal. Yes, the team will probably still be using a racial slur as a nickname this upcoming season. But this fight is essentially over, all that’s left now is to see how much damage the NFL does to the shield as they grudgingly accept defeat.
    • he wasn’t even scared, even if his body did probably shut down into an almost cryogenic state.

    • “It was above the clouds, I could see through the little holes,” he said, adding that he covered his ears as the plane took off.

       

      “I only did it because I didn’t want to live with my stepmom. Second of all, I wanted to find my mom. I haven’t seen her since I was young,” he explained.

    • “They shouldn’t run away because sometimes they will end up dying,” he said.
    • The “Valukas Report,” named for former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, who assembled it at GM’s request from interviews with 230 witnesses and 41 million documents, blamed a culture of complacency for the more than decade-long delay before the company recalled millions of faulty vehicles
    • It described employees passing the buck and committees falling back on the “GM nod”—when everyone in a meeting agrees that something should happen, and no one actually does
    • His loss, and the way his career had stalled afterward, taught others at the company to stay quiet.
    • Management wasn’t just distracted or confused; speaking up was actively discouraged, and workers saw that pointing out safety flaws could derail their careers. When a GM employee did blow the whistle, the nation’s largest automaker shut him down.
    • Kelley’s lawsuit didn’t get far. Court records show that his attorney didn’t appear at a hearing in April 2004, and the case was closed without a response from his lawyer. A later motion to reconsider was denied. Kelley’s lawyer, Rose Goff, became sick around this time, eventually dying of cancer. The Kelleys, who had spent more than $20,000 on legal fees, received a payment covering most of the cost from their lawyer’s insurance company because of the handling of the case, Beth says.
    • The price starts at $199 with a two-year contract through AT&T, which will be the exclusive carrier.
    • The feature is called Dynamic Perspective, and you can also use it to do things like scroll through a carousel of Amazon product images or scroll down a Web page or e-book by tilting your phone. And it has the potential to add a new dimension to games, figuratively as well as literally.
    • Resurrected Catelyn cannot speak because of her slit throat. But she remembers the wrong done to her family and works to avenge them under the name Lady Stoneheart.
    • But to bring back Michelle Fairley, one of the greatest actresses around, to be a zombie for a little while — and just kill people? It is really sort of, what are we doing with that?
    • “As somebody who’s worked deep inside the show, begged to have an answer and wants more than anybody, I have no idea,” he said. “They won’t tell me. They’re very good at being secretive.”

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daily 06/18/2014

June 18, 2014 Leave a comment
    • Robb and Renly have both been eliminated; Joffrey and his successor Tommen (or really, Tywin) are clearly uninterested in the ravings of an ancient Maester.
    • Only Stannis (or Davos, really), who has the smallest power base and land holdings of anyone vying for the Iron Throne, recognizes Aemon’s request for the opportunity it is: the chance to be a hero by fighting back wildling hordes and White Walkers, and to rally the North to his cause and cultivate it as a power base.
    • While the Wall is generally regarded as primarily a safeguard against the wildling “threat,” if you believe the ancient mythology of Westeros you understand it as protection against White Walkers.) And while I get his plan of sending Ygritte and Tormund and a bunch of Thenns raiding northern towns to distract the Night’s Watch before launching an actual invasion, it seems like this is a sort of… “you get more flies with honey” scenario?
    • The poison he used is the artery-clogging venom of the manticore, a scorpion-like creature that was deployed in an assassination attempt on Daenerys in season three; Maester Pycelle claims that manticore venom usually comes from Mantarys, an Essosi city, located west of Slaver’s Bay.
    • The children—most people call them Children of the Forest—are Westeros’ native race; its original inhabitants before the First Men arrived thousands of years ago (followed by, remember, the Andals and the Rhoynar).
    • The three-eyed raven, it’s generally understood, is a centuries-old Targaryen bastard once known as Brynden Rivers
    • Bloodraven eventually fell out of favor with the Iron Throne, during the reign of Aerys I’s successor Maekar I (Maester Aemon’s father), and was imprisoned and eventually sent to the wall in the same party as his grandnephew Maester Aemon. He rose in the ranks and eventually became commander. What happened to him is unclear, but apparently he went to live inside a tree.

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daily 06/17/2014

June 17, 2014 Leave a comment
    • The examination of Holbrook’s journey playing the character over the course of the last 60 years fuels Scott Teems’ documentary, a black-and-white look at the legendary actor and his scientific approach to inhabiting one of the most famous literary figures of U.S. history.
    • He diligently chooses which pieces to perform (no two shows are exactly the same), does his own makeup, and gamely treks from town to town with only his costume, makeup, and experience in tow.
    • He, and the interview subjects who’ve seen the show, rightly proclaim that a lot of Twain’s anti-government, anti-establishment, pro-individualist ideas are as relevant as ever over 100 years after his death.
    • One section, where he talks about his terror before performing a race-related piece in civil-rights-era Mississippi, moved me and several other audience members (or at least the big guy sitting next to me) to tears.
    • The Twain scholars interviewed for the film note that he’s done more to keep Twain’s words and spirit alive for American culture than any other individual alive. I’d argue that this film is a similarly loving and educational tribute to Mr. Holbrook.

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daily 06/14/2014

June 14, 2014 Leave a comment
    • If Verizon (NYSE: VZ) regulatory affairs executive and part-time corporate blogger, David Young, played the role of Sonny in the digital news-driven drama, Netflix’s corporate communications staff, under the direction of former Wall Street Journal editor and Disney PR man Jonathan Friedland, played the behind-the-scenes part of the puppeteer referred to by the “Godfather” himself, Don Corleone–the mythical figure that had everyone dancing on a string.

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