Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm Late, I'm Late

Well, I wish I could say that I am a rainbow of colors, up to my elbows, in Easter Egg paint, or, dusty and dirty, from burying the hard-boiled prizes out in the bushes, but it is more just the case of being bushed.

We have a half-dozen posts, or so, in various stages of completion, and have made the executive decision to let them spend the night as such (we'll get them up in the next day, or two).

After watching the most-excellent HBO 'Thriller in Manila' (told, more-or-less, from Joe Frazier's POV), and catching the dynamic ending to the Frozen Four, with Boston University, after scoring two goals in the final 42-seconds of regulation to tie Miami of Ohio, taking the college hockey championship, about 9-minutes into overtime, the call to chill out is far, far more compelling.

So, just to get you in the spirit, warm you up for our special Annual Easter posting tomorrow, we turn it over to Stan Getz, from his 'Focus' album, for the Alice in Wonderland-inspired treat.


Stan Getz - I'm Late, I'm Late

Im Late, Im Late - Stan Getz

This Date ... On The Garlic

11 April 2008... On The Garlic

"He is Iraq's Katrina itself"

Absolutely Ridiculous!

Katie Couric Deathwatch Update

Retro Garlic ... Food Fight!

11 April 2006... On The Garlic

“They’re coming here for the American experience”; Rumsfeld Weighs In On Immigration Battle; Won’t Tie It To War With Iran; Suggests Army Recruiting Woes Could Be Solved With Mandatory Service By Illegal Aliens

Top Ten Cloves: Things The Washington Nationals Will Have To Worry About With Dick Cheney Throwing Out First Ball

11 April 2005... On The Garlic

OJ To Outsource Hunt For Killers; Better Productivity, Cost Efficiency Cited

PB&J Sandwiches Temporarily Banned; Smucker Gets Injunction While Appealing Loss

Top Ten Cloves: What Tiger Woods Was Thinking During The Masters

Friday, April 10, 2009

WOW! - This Is Major Cool

H/T to Greg Mitchell, pointing to the first, electronically-delivered daily newspaper - IN 1939!

First Daily Newspaper by Radio Facsimile

For more than a month experimental laboratory broadcasts of printed matter, photographs and cartoons have been in progress and results have been studied by engineers of KSD, commercial broadcasting station of the Post-Dispatch. During the last few weeks...they have been recorded on 15 receiving sets placed in the homes of members of the station's staff.

These sets, manufactured by the Radio Corporation of America, are the first capable of receiving high-frequency facsimile broadcasts, permitting station operation at any hour of the day. Experimental equipment in use by a few other stations employed standard broadcast wavelengths, restricting the period of their use to the early morning hours when regular commercial broadcasting stations were quiet.

Within the next month the manufacturer expects to be able to supply receivers at a cost of about $260. Several will be placed in public places for demonstration. The range of station W9XZY is from 20 to 30 miles.
Go check out First Daily Newspaper by Radio Facsimile ... It is way major cool!

Retro Garlic: Associated Idiots

I tell ya, we already brought attention to it, but when they do the casting call for the "Idiocracy, The Sequel" it is going to be enormously over-crowded.

For now, you have to have the Associated Press showing up for it.

A.P. Exec Doesn’t Know It Has A YouTube Channel: Threatens Affiliate For Embedding Videos

Here is another great moment in A.P. history. In its quest to become the RIAA of the newspaper industry, the A.P.’s executives and lawyers are beginning to match their counterparts in the music industry for cluelessness. A country radio station in Tennessee, WTNQ-FM, received a cease-and-desist letter warning from an A.P. vice president of affiliate relations for posting videos from the A.P.’s official Youtube channel on its Website. See update below.

You cannot make this stuff up. Forget for a moment that WTNQ is itself an A.P. affiliate and that the A.P. shouldn’t be harassing its own members. Apparently, nobody told the A.P. executive that the august news organization even has a YouTube channel which the A.P. itself controls, and that someone at the A.P. decided that it is probably a good idea to turn on the video embedding function on so that its videos can spread virally across the Web, along with the ads in the videos
I wish I could say I made this up, it so supremely, unbelievably, incredibly stupid.

We even gave thought, for a moment, of changing the name to our on-going series "Ignorant Dolts" to "Associated Idiots", or some such moniker.

The Retro part of this?

No AP Here!

Back last summer, the Associated Idiots were going around, dunning bloggers, firing warning shots, not to use AP content, if it wasn't paid for, regardless if it was only a paragraph, and with a link back to the original AP content.

Then, they tried to walk it back;
The Associated Press, kind of, realized, they screwed the pooch (Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs"), which, is like calling someone an asshole, and then apologizing with "I'm sorry that you are an asshole".
So, to review, the Associated Idiots doesn't want their content used, or have their videos (complete with embedding code) posted.

I guess, they intend to pioneer the new frontier of journalism, and go with a rumors, or, a word-of-mouth campaign, to distribute their news.

Good luck to you on that, baby ...

And, don't forget to read your own content, keep your eyes peeled, for that "Idiocracy, The Sequel" call

Bonus "The Whole World Knows AP Screwed Up Royally" Riffs

John Aravosis (DC): AP is now threatening to sue people who embed AP's YouTube videos that, of course, have their own embed code that AP declined to turn off

Kos: AP ups stupidity quotient another 16,000 notches

Nicole Belle: AP Exec. Doesn't Know AP Has YouTube Account; Goes After AP Affiliate For Using AP Videos

Cory Doctorow: Associated Press threatens AP affiliate over YouTube channel

This Date ... On The Garlic

10 April 2008... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things That Happened To Olympic Torch In San Francisco

Start Your Katie Deathwatches!

Good Post Alert - Larisa Alexandrovna's "Mississippi Justice: Bush US Attorney targeted my wife, supporters and friends"

10 April 2007... On The Garlic

Retro Garlic ... Must Be His Friends and Family Circle ...

10 April 2006... On The Garlic

CIA Memo Aimed At Protecting Agent and Agency ... White House Iran War Rhetoric Has CIA Nervous, Taking Precautions; Gallows Humor Sprouts “Outted Pool” At Langley; Agents Suggested To Warn Spouses Of Writing Critical Op-Eds

Top Ten Cloves: Ways The White House Celebrated Iraqi Freedom Day

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Like Bush, Obama Wants Us To Go Shopping

Hmmmm ...

On a day where someone in the Administration (or a friendly) leaks out that "Hey, surprise, the banks are acing those Stress Tests", comes another floater that, get this, we, the public, should buy stocks and bonds of those toxic assets that the banks don't want to keep (but want to get paid for, just the same).

U.S. Imagines the Bailout as an Investment Tool

During World War I, Americans were exhorted to buy Liberty Bonds to help their soldiers on the front.

Now, it seems, they will be asked to come to the aid of their banks — with the added inducement of possibly making some money for themselves.

As part of its sweeping plan to purge banks of troublesome assets, the Obama administration is encouraging several large investment companies to create the financial-crisis equivalent of war bonds: bailout funds.

The idea is that these investments, akin to mutual funds that buy stocks and bonds, would give ordinary Americans a chance to profit from the bailouts that are being financed by their tax dollars. But there is another, deeply political motivation as well: to quiet accusations that all of these giant bailouts will benefit only Wall Street plutocrats.


Is this the Summers and Geithner version of the Clean Skies Act?

And, right there is the rub.

All those billions in bailouts are benefiting only those "Wall Street plutocrats"

Christ, I mean, the whole game has been rigged for them.

Now, the Obama Team wants to go into to backwoods carny mode, telling us to "Step right here ...Have we got a deal for you"?

So, along with already giving the dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds of Wall Street our tax dollars, we are supposed to slip on the Uncle Sam suit, go all-jingoistic and start giving them our "disposable income"?

Will there be retro-Dough Boy posters, substituting soldiers, with slimy "financial instrument" sellers, extorting us to "Get into the Fight - Buy Toxic Asset Bonds"?

The embrace of smaller investors underscores the concern in Washington and on Wall Street that Americans’ anger could imperil further efforts to stimulate the economy with vast amounts of government spending. Many Americans say they believe the bailout programs — and the potentially rich profits they could yield — will benefit only a golden few, including some of the institutions that helped push the economy to the brink.
No shit, Dick Tracy!
For the investment managers, the benefits are potentially large. These big firms can charge healthy fees to investors for taking part. They will also have the marketing prestige of being the firms the government turns to at a time of crisis to help sort out the country’s financial mess.
Oh please, give me a break!

Translation here is "They will also have the marketing prestige of being the Governments' hand-picked front man"

We made reference to this once, already, but it looks more-and-more like the Obama Administration has hired the Lincoln Group to hawk their shit.

And those Bank Stress Tests ...

"Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic mirror, tell me today. Have all banks had fun at play?"

From Yves Smith;
The whole point of this charade exercise was to show the big banks weren't terminal but still needed dough, and I am sure it will prove to be lots of dough before we are done. But they now have the Good Housekeeping seal, so the chump taxpayer can breathe easy that the authorities are taking prudent measures to make sure his money is being shepherded wisely.

If you believe that, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.


How does one parse tripe like this? First, the public private partnership program, aka cash for trash, is voluntary. Banks are not being compelled to sell. The idea that the banks "have to sell" is a canard. Second, the gaming of the program has already started (notice no lecture from Geithner about that?), so there is pretty much no risk that anyone will take a loss on the values they have in their books. The best summation of how bad this will get is from Rortybomb, who expects all the old Enron tricks to be employed (notice the terms of the PPIP prohibit the fund managers from gaming the process, not the banks trading among themselves. You can drive a truck through this oversight. And the Treasury has remained silent as the banks themselves have been loading up their balance sheets with toxic sludge, paying more than private investors are willing to bid).

I'm sure all the bankers understand full well the massive disconnect between talk and action, and are dutifully following Treasury's lead in maintaining appearances.
It’s been awhile, but this is a legitimate moment of crises;

Help Me Mr. Wizard!

I See London, I See France ...

Now we all see Mr. Andrea Mitchell's underpants ...

News, in brief, so to speak ...

From Sam Stein;

As chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan was known for using quirky, proletariat metrics to judge the temperature of the economy. The most famous of these, as recounted by NPR's Robert Krulwich in January 2008, were the sales of men's underwear. If the economic scales dipped even the slightest, Greenspan reasoned, it was as sure a sign as any that people were truly feeling the pinch.

"If you look at sales of male underpants it's just pretty much a flat line, it hardly ever changes," Krulwich recounted after the publishing of Greenspan's book, "The Age Of Turbulence." "But on those few occasions where it dips that means that men are so pinched that they are deciding not to replace underpants. And [Greenspan] said 'that is almost always a prescient, forward impression that here comes trouble.'"

Well, here comes trouble.
Yeah, trouble alright, especially when it comes to Greenspan.

He all but claimed he was on intravenous-delivered Ambien, saying he was "mystified" by the Sub Prime meltdown.

Stein reports that there is a 2.3% drop expected in the sale of Mens underwear products for 2009

I hope this doesn't mean we have to look forward to bailing out the underwear industry.

That, certainly, would be a cringe-inducing press conference.

For the good news;
Men's underwear is a replenishment item. If you see a dip in the market it is because of the economy. But over a longer-term period it will even out. They tend to be later going into the recession and earlier coming back... Men certainly aren't wearing underwear less frequently than before."

Bonus Riffs

James Joyner: Greenspan’s Underpants

Digby: Boxers Or Briefs

Nothing More Says American Than Being Shot

More details are coming out in the horrible shooting last week, in Binghamton, NY.

Jiverly Wong Fired 98 Shots From Two Handguns In A Minute

The man who gunned down 13 people at an upstate New York immigration center fired 98 shots from two handguns in a little more than a minute, police said Wednesday, a gunslinging feat one expert said would make him a "new Rambo."


Ballistics reports showed Jiverly Wong fired 87 times from a 9mm Beretta and 11 times from a .45-caliber handgun. If he bought the ammunition online, he could have paid as little as $40 for the rounds he fired.

Friends say Wong complained that he only received $200 a week in unemployment benefits.

"Chris Rock says in one of his routines _ have all the guns you want but charge like $1,000 for every bullet," said Jackie Hilly of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. "I think if you raised the price, you would probably discourage the violence, but I don't think you would prevent it."

Police said almost all 13 victims died instantly. Four others were wounded but survived. Wong, 41, killed himself as police were rushing to the scene. He was found with a satchel containing several full ammunition clips.
Immigrants ... Unemployment ...

No doubt, there'll be a new Lou Dobbs rant, or Faux News meltdown, tying those two together, citing it as the end-of-the-country as we know it.

But the kicker came at the very end of the article;
New York senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said Wednesday they will introduce legislation in Congress to grant honorary citizenship to the victims.
Gosh darn, I'm tearin' up ... Nothing says you’re an American like getting shot in a ambush, while you are at school, or work, or just passing by.

Perhaps Schumer and Gillibrand can bake them apple pies, and, maybe, throw in a couple of tickets to a ball game, as well.

Then give them another Great American experience - The Photo Op with Obsequious Politician

Bonus 2nd Amendment Riffs

Chopped Garlic ... Of Virginia Tech ... The Right To Bear Arms ... And Barry Crimmins

Heston Dead; Coroner Can't Pry Gun From Cold Dead Hands

This Date ... On The Garlic

9 April 2008... On The Garlic

Ambassador Crocker Meets Eddie Izzard

Honeysuckle Rose ... White House claims to give up its ‘rose-colored glasses’

Does It Come With A Crown, and Sash?

An Absolution Long Overdue

Editor's Note ... Getting Back On Track Today ...

9 April 2007... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things Don Imus Will Do During His Suspension

9 April 2006... On The Garlic

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves

Garlic Poll Results - When President Bush Decides To Declassify Intelligence In Order To Leak It, He First ...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ebert Gives Thumbs Down To Loofah Man

It's been some time since we've written anything on the Grand Ayatollah of Ignorant Dolts, the Loofah Man, Bill O'Reilly.

And, that is to our advantage, the less being exposed to his rancid toxicity, the better.

However, today, we put on our proverbial Hazmat Suit, to point to another, Roger Ebert, who has a most amusing article, ripping on the Original Pinhead.

Apparently, recently. Loofah Man slapped at the Chicago Sun-Times, for their Liberalism.

So, Ebert, well, thanks him, in "Thoughts on Bill O'Reilly and Squeaky the Chicago Mouse";

Dear Bill: Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your "Hall of Shame." To be in an O'Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper. It would place us in the favor of a man who turns red and starts screaming when anyone disagrees with him. My grade-school teacher, wise Sister Nathan, would have called in your parents and recommended counseling with Father Hogben.

Yes, the Sun-Times is liberal, having recently endorsed our first Democrat for President since LBJ. We were founded by Marshall Field one week before Pearl Harbor to provide a liberal voice in Chicago to counter the Tribune, which opposed an American war against Hitler. I'm sure you would have sided with the Trib at the time.
I hesitate to quote more from it, as it is a short piece.

And, as stated above, it is most, most amusing (especially the comparison he makes, of the "outrage" the Sun-Times received dropping Loofah Man's syndicated column)

Go check out Roger Ebert's "Thoughts on Bill O'Reilly and Squeaky the Chicago Mouse".

At minimum, it will give you something to smile about today.

Bonus Loofah Man Riffs

Alex Koppelman: Quote of the day

Steve Benen: EBERT VS. O'REILLY...

Fox News Agrees With Letterman ...O'Reilly Factor Now Only 40% Fair and Balanced ...New Spots To Reflect Correct Spin; Corporate Orders Review of Hannity & Colmes; Other Programming

O'Reilly, Al-Qaeda In Heated Argument Over SF Targets ... Strike Date, Debut of 'Muslim Factor' In Jeopardy Over Dispute

O'Reilly Gears Up Next War; Says Will Battle To Save "Little Christmas" ... Calls For New Laws and Mandatory Fines ... Doesn't Hesitate To Make Up False Charges To Broadcast His Point

Follow-Up To Screwing JP Morgan Chase (and others)

Well, things are moving along at a brisk pace.

Just last evening, highlighting the plight of Mr. and Mrs. Emptywheel, from Firedoglake, news is busting out all over today, on some protestin' and activism taking place soon.

From Jane Hamsher;
Want to Join Marcy and Me to Protest Banks on Saturday, April 11?

On Saturday, April 11, there are going to be demonstrations all across America to protest what the banks are doing to the country.

No, not the stupid teabagger protests, where people who never cared about George Bush spending like a drunken sailor are suddenly "fiscally responsible," and want to hold hands and blame black people for taking out subprime loans. We're joining with A New Way Forward to demand real structural change to our financial system


We'll be talking about our campaign with Progress Michigan to boycott JP Morgan for trying to break the labor contracts and keep all the money for themselves by driving Chrysler into bankruptcy, even though they themselves are only alive because of $25 billion in taxpayer dollars.
There's a petition you can sign, and a Facebook Group you can join.

No prisoners!

Bonus Riffs

Libby Spencer: Break up the banksters - Update

dday: JP Morgan Chase Greedier Than The Actual J.P. Morgan

Top Ten Cloves: Other Things Eric Cantor Is Planning To Harass Democrats

News Item: Beat ‘Em Up

10. Robo Calls to their office: "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?"

9. The old "Hand Buzzer" handshake

8. Super Glue their papers to their desks

7. Spitballs

6. Toilet Paper their offices

5. The "Hertz Doughnut"trick

4. Tape "Kick Me" signs on their backs

3. Sprinkle the Democrats Coat Room with Itching Powder

2. Whoopie Cushions

1. To really screw up the Democrats, actually come up with an idea

This Date ... On The Garlic

8 April 2008... On The Garlic


8 April 2006... On The Garlic

Special Essay - 2006: A First-Quarter Scorecard from Barry Crimmins

Top Ten Cloves: Things White House Will Say To Claim President Didn’t Leak Classified Information

8 April 2005... On The Garlic

Feng Shui Expert Warns of Pope's Final Resting; Says Space Used Wrong Side; Can Upset Karma

Iraq Chooses Prime Minister; Now Await Approval, Orders From Bush Team

Top Ten Cloves: How Jane Fonda Can Sell More Copies of Her New Book

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hit'em Where It Hurts - Support The Chase Boycott!

I wish I had a Chase bank account, just so I could go in there today and close it, much in the same manner as Emptywheel, over on Firedoglake.

Save American Jobs: Close Your Chase Account

Here's how I explained to the Chase people why we were closing our accounts.

I’m closing my Chase accounts because JP Morgan Chase has placed its corporate interests above the jobs and health care of the people of my community, unlike other banks that continue to invest in rebuilding Michigan.

JP Morgan Chase insists on putting Chrysler into bankruptcy

On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that JP Morgan is “resisting government pressure to swap” its Chrysler debt for equity in a restructured Chrysler. But if JP Morgan refuses this swap, then Chrysler will be forced into bankruptcy within a month.

According to the Wall Street Journal, JP Morgan prefers bankruptcy because, “billions of dollars of government debt and the UAW retiree health-care obligation [would] be wiped out before the secured lenders [JP Morgan and other big banks] lose anything.” In other words, JP Morgan wants to force Chrysler into bankruptcy so it would get repaid before all other creditors—including Chrysler retirees and US taxpayers.

JP Morgan Chase has already gotten billions from US taxpayers

Mr. and Mrs. Emptywheel, after withdrawing their stash from Chase, "put that money into a credit union that's supporting Michigan, not trying to bankrupt it."

Bob Fertik agrees:
Excellent idea. But could we take this idea one step further? What if we all took our money out of Big Banks and moved it into a "Blue Bank"?

Obviously we're a pretty large group: 70 million of us voted for Barack Obama. We may not be rich, but if we each deposited $1,000 that would be $70 billion.

If we wanted to start from scratch, we could start a new credit union (assuming we could qualify as an "Association") or a bank. But why jump through all the startup hoops? If we collected deposit pledges worth a decent amount ($10 million?), we could negotiate with existing smaller banks to find one "worthy" of our collective funds.


This idea has many precedents, both in the U.S. and abroad. Perhaps the most famous is Amalgamated Bank, founded in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which is a commercial bank chartered in New York with nationwide service ...
Maybe, JP Morgan Chase, if they do this callous, cowardly, self-centered, "Me First" action, can hire Joe Pesci to do some new ads for them, to explain it all;

"Always the dollars ... Always the fuckin' dollars. ..."

Bonus Wall Street Meltdown Riffs

This Didn't Make The 11PM News ...

Top Ten Cloves: Things About Citigroup Keeping Stadium Sponsorship After Getting Government Bailout

Rich on Ruben: "The Citi may never sleep, but he snored ..."

In A Nutshell ...

We're All In The Dance

Breaking! ... Obama Takes Action, Siezes AIG's March Madness Office Pools and Brackets

This Date ... On The Garlic

7 April 2008... On The Garlic

The Gift That Refuses To Stop Itself From Giving

What If Spartacus Was Running Hillary's Campaign ...

Perrin On McCain, Clinton and Pornographic Ringtones

7 April 2007... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things About Having Rachel Ray Planning Your Prom

Ohhh, And We Had Such Nice Plans For Shock and Awe II -The Sequel ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

The Laura Bush Bummer Bombing-of-the Day; Warning - Bypass this post if you don't want to be discouraged

Editor's Note - Getting Back On Track

7 April 2006... On The Garlic

Libby As Enemy Combatant Unlikely, But Treason Charges Could be Leveled; White House Quiet But Signs Indicate May Mount Offensive Against Libby; Sources Say ‘Everything Is On The Table”, Including Enemy Combatant Status; Rove Working On “Special Smears”

Top Ten Cloves: Things White House Will Say To Claim President Didn’t Leak Classified Information

7 April 2005... On The Garlic

Papal Shocker! Pope's Will Read; Leaves Vatican City To Trump

Bush Snubs Carter On Pope's Funeral

Top Ten Cloves: Other Things Tom DeLay and Family Were Paid For

Monday, April 06, 2009

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Tim Geithner Will Fire Bank CEO's

News Item: Geithner Grows A Spine!

10. Use them as Human Shields, when Obama goes to speak at Notre Dame

9. Throws'em in Debtors Prison

8. Put them through the Obama Team Vetting process - They'll quit after months of frustration, waiting ...and waiting ...and waiting

7. Label them as Toxic Assets so they will move in the upcoming auctions

6. Rounds'em all up and ships them to Sweden

5. Beats them to within an inch of death with a new, giant bailout check

4. Gets Rush Limbaugh to take them out of town with him

3. Hires Rick Santelli to browbeat them, yelling and screaming, until they run out the door

2. Have one of his staff do the deed ... Oops!

1. Well, actually, before he does any firing, he has to talk Larry Summers, and get approval for the plan

Bonus Secretary of the Treasury Timothy "What's that, Lassie? (Woof, woof!!) Timmy Geithner's in the well?!!" Geithner Riffs

James Doran: US watchdog calls fo
r bank executives to be sacked

Henry Blodget: The Question Tim Geithner Refuses To Answer

John Carney: Geithner Wrong, Crap Assets Correctly Priced, Say Harvard And Princeton Profs

Jeffrey Sachs: The Geithner-Summers Plan is Even Worse Than We Thought

Robert Reich: Will Geithner Fire Corporate

Glen Greenwald: Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and Wall Street's ownership of government

Mike Madden: Pay no attention to the treasury secretary behind the curtain ...President Obama figures out the key to selling his economic policies: Hide Tim Geithner

This Date ... On The Garlic

6 April 2008... On The Garlic

Heston Dead; Coroner Can't Pry Gun From Cold Dead Hands ... NRA To Provide Special Custom Casket, If Needed

6 April 2005... On The Garlic

Aliens Jam Arizona Border; Many Disappointed With 'Historic' Minuteman

Pope Mourners Protest Fees; Claim TicketMaster Overcharging

Top Ten Cloves: How ABC Plans To Fill In For Peter Jennings

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Play Ball! ... The Best Baseball Primer Is Here!

Yes, it's that time of year when The Garlic swings into Public Service mode, to educate the young'ins, nourish the nattering needy, and give you the blueprint for being able to sit down and watch a Major League Baseball game, not feeling as if, suddenly, the world began speaking Esperanto, and no one gave you the memo.

It's our triannual posting of "Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?"

And, in fact, we can brag some, as, with only a little stretching, we can say that our Baseball Primer was endorsed by the now-sitting President of the United States;

Great piece! I’d like to ask if I can record ‘Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?’ for my next Spoken Word project?”

Barack Obama, Senator, U.S. Senate

And, it has crossed international boundaries;
Since I’ve been in a letter-writing mode lately, thought I’d drop you a note to say how much I enjoyed the baseball essay and how much I learned from it. Perhaps, someday, we’ll have the game over here (and with the stadium lights powered by our new nuclear energy!)

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran

What makes The Garlic's "Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?", so good?

We drill down.

For instance, do you know the difference between a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher;
The man that throws the ball is called a pitcher. You have different kinds of pitchers – starting pitchers and relief pitchers. A starting pitcher will pitch for as long and and as well as he can. If he doesn’t have his stuff (all pitchers will tell you that they have stuff) and can’t finish the game, a relief pitcher is brought in.

There are various breeds of relief pitchers. You have long relievers and short relievers. The title refers not to their size but to the length of time that they pitch. After all, you have long relievers that are short and short relievers that are tall.

Or the difference between leftfield and the opposite field?
In the outfield, you have a right fielder, left fielder and center fielder. There is no opposite fielder. The three outfielders are expected to cover the opposite field - wherever that may be based on who’s at bat. You also have utility fielders and, no, there isn’t a utility field. A utility fielder can play both the infield and outfield, but not at the same time.

Or how a hitter (or batter) can hang in there?
A hitter can hang in there by fouling one off or fouling it upstairs. He can also foul it out of play, foul it back, chop it foul or pop it foul. Sometimes the ball just drops foul. There are times when a hitter will foul out. If a pitcher (starter or reliever, long or short) throws a spitter, you’ll see the hitter cry foul. The umpires, the men in dark suits who stand behind the bases and enforce the rules, take a lot of foul abuse from players and fans, who holler foul when they don’t agree with the umpire’s decision. Foul weather will cancel a game, putting everybody in a foul mood.
There's a lot to grasp in our national pastime, so, if you're sitting there with your sweetie, or going out with the gang after work, to catch a game, you don't want to come off as Miss South Carolina.

Have a little pride, get glove, get in the game, as they say.

Go read The Garlic's "Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?"

It will save you from suffering a summer of ridicule.

Bonus Fungo Riffs

Politics and Sports Collide ...Paperwork Mix-Up Has Feingold Censuring Bonds and MLB Investigating Bush

Breaking News! ... Baseball Bombshell Expands Steroid Scandal ... Giants’ Bonds Tests Positive For Landis Testosterone ... Cyclist Said To Be Kingpin Of Lucrative Doping Ring, Selling His Own DNA

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons Mitchell Baseball Steroid Investigation Is Unlike CIA Torture Tapes Case

Top Ten Cloves: Things About Citigroup Keeping Stadium Sponsorship After Getting Government Bailout

You Don't Hit With Your Face

This Date ... On The Garlic

5 April 2008... On The Garlic

Breaking News! MLK, Posthumously, Pardons McCain

No, Wait A Minute ... I Think It Was The Hospital That Was Under Sniper Fire ...

Pass The Word ... Mukasey Lies!

5 April 2006 .. On The Garlic

Look What They're Saying!

5 April 2005 .. On The Garlic

Google Ups Ante In Email Wars; Now 2-Gig, plus Cars, Chickens and Pots

Washington Monument Reopened After Trim; 500-Feet Chopped Off For Security Precautions

Bewitched Tune Writer Dies; Third of Show To Fall From Spell Cast in 1964

Top Ten Cloves: New Changes At CBS Evening News