Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Picture Worth A Few Million Words

There's a great article today, in the Murdoch Street Journal, from writer Joshua Prager, on the infamous Bobby Thompson homerun ("The Giants win the pennant! ... The Giants win the pennant! ...) that is well-worth reading;

The Man Who Shot 'the Shot Heard 'Round the World'

On Oct. 3, 1951, in the upper deck of the Polo Grounds, a little man with a big camera snapped a portrait of Yankee outfielder Hank Bauer seated nearby. Rudy Mancuso had just one more exposure. And so, as the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants waged their final playoff game in Harlem, the amateur photographer let pass 77 balls and 142 strikes, at last clicking his Busch Pressman at 3:58 p.m., a split second after Giant Bobby Thomson pulled an 0-1 fastball from Dodger Ralph Branca with one out in the bottom of the ninth.

Unbeknownst to him, the 31-year-old Mancuso had just taken what is arguably the most famous photograph in the history of baseball (see nearby). "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" coalesced hours later in a tub of dektol on East 79th Street. Mancuso had stilled a Spalding some 280 feet before it cleared a green wall, won the Giants the pennant (won the Giants the pennant!) and commenced inspiring so much prose as to imperil, wrote Daniel Okrent, "great stretches of Canadian pulpwood forest."


Many years passed. Mancuso's pencil moustache turned from black to white as newswires and then vendors and then Web sites hocked an inexhaustible supply of his photo. He made no money from his shot and held no proof that it was he, an embosser and die cutter living in a Lower East Side walk-up, who'd most famously preserved baseball's greatest moment.

"It was one of those family legends," says his nephew Peter Vincent. "You wondered if it was true or not."

Then, in January 2001, I wrote an article for this newspaper describing how the Giants stole the signals of opposing catchers in the months leading up to Thomson's homer. Messrs. Thomson and Branca discussed it with me that fall at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Montclair, N.J. Mancuso, 80 years old and pink-faced, approached me and told of his supporting role in their mid-century drama. He had no proof. But Hank Bauer confirmed that he'd sat where Mancuso alleged and I eventually found that Sylvania ad. And so, I put Mancuso in "The Echoing Green," my 2006 book about the home run.
There's a lot more to read here, the arc of a mans', and photos', life ... Of fame lost, then found ... Of a legacy delayed

Go read The Man Who Shot 'the Shot Heard 'Round the World'

Bonus Bonus

The Shot Heard 'Round The World

Special Essay - Play Ball! ... Batter Up! ... Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?

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Rumsfeld Slams Al-Jazeera Television

iSqueal Busy Over Stock Slide and iPod Rumor

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Putting A Marker Down ... Orlando In Six

Well, we had success last year, in calling the NBA Finals, so, what the heck, why not go for two ...

For one, the Orlando Magic appear to have some momentum going, having beaten the defending NBA Champs Celtics (in seven games), and, then, dethroning the throne-less King James LeGone, and his Cleveland Cadaverliers, in only six games.

Kobe will be Kobe in this series, however, the Lakers will be asking too many others (Fisher, Odom, Bynum) to play at high level, consistently, of up to seven games, when there hasn't been any evidence, this year, that they can ... Casol can be neutralized, and his overall play will depend on who he guards defensively - Howard, Lewis, or Turkoglu ...

And, lets not forget that Orlando hails from the Eastern Division, and can (and will) play physical, while the Lakers showed last year, when they got crushed by the Boston Celtics, that they would prefer not to play physical.

Orlando showed in this years' playoffs, that they can play focused and close the deal.

So, we go with the Orlando Magic, winning the crown, and needing only six (6) games to do it.

And, it will be rather fitting, should he have a monster series, that Dwight Howard win the first Bill Russell MVP-of-the-Finals award...

Let's hope so ...

Bonus Riffs

Top Ten Cloves: Possible Reason LeGone James Blew Off Media After Losing To Orlando Magic

New Bill Russell Book!

Bob Ryan's "Greatest of the green"

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Poll Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll ...“The Attorney General and FBI Director also considered, after quitting, to ...”

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hey Morning Joke, Cheetos Are Made By A Successful Union Company!

Morning Joke, and the Sergeant Demetrio López García-like sidekick, Mika Brezninski, to Morning Joke's "Zero" (along with NYT's Andrew Ross Sorkin) were really bucking today, for a Garlic's "Instant Ignorant Dolt" designation.

Apparently, their Morning Joke Show got into a discussion about labor, and unions, and then displayed their challenged mental capacities.

From Jamison Foser, at MediaMatters, "Morning Joe journos can't name a successful unionized company, even though one signs their paychecks";

The Morning Joe crew was on an anti-union tear this morning, claiming the union label on a company means "sell." Mika Brzezinski went so far as to say of unions: "They cripple the system that makes a company work." Collectively, the journalists on Morning Joe couldn't name a single "successful" unionized company.


Oh, what the heck, let's take one more example. GE is one of the world's largest companies; in 2006, its revenues were greater than the gross domestic products of 80 percent of UN nations. The company made more than $18 billion in 2008 -- again, billion with a b, and again, those are profits, not revenue. All that despite (or, perhaps, because of) the fact that 13 different unions represent GE workers.

Oh, and GE owns NBC-Universal, which owns MSNBC, which pays Joe Scarborough a handsome salary (and the unionized workers who help get his show on the air considerably less.)

Does Joe Scarborough think NBC and GE are not "successful" companies? Does Mika Brzezinski think the unionized workers she no doubt interacts with every day are crippling her ability to do her job, or her employer's ability to be successful?


If Andrew Ross Sorkin's name sounds familiar, that's probably because he's the reporter who started the myth about the average GM worker being paid $70 an hour. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named him "Worst Person in the World" for that bit of blatantly false anti-union, anti-worker propaganda.
WAP! ... Headslap!

Brian Beutler, over on TPMDC, with "Hoffa: Sorkin and Morning Joe Show Complete Failure To Understand";

Unions are aghast. "Sorkin and the Morning Joe crew just showed their complete failure to understand how unions contribute to the success of the American economy by blindly assuming that unionized companies haven't been profitable in the last year," said James Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, in a statement to TPMDC.
Off the top of my head I can give you several Teamster-represented companies who continue to thrive, despite the economic downturn, but there are thousands more: UPS, Eight O'Clock Coffee, Coca-Cola Enterprises, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. The Morning Joe team really should be embarrassed for showing their lack of knowledge on the subject.
Not only that, but jumpin' Jesus, for Morning Joke himself, this should have been a gimme!

Cheetos are made by Frito-Lay, which is owned by PepsiCo, one of the successful union companys named above.

Morning Joke sure should have remembered Cheetos;
Scarborough Defends McCain, Criticizes Bloggers ‘Eating Cheetos’ In Their ‘Underwear’
As for Mika, well, just company for Morning Joke, I guess ...

She should be listening to her daddy.

Bonus Morning Joke Riffs

Matthew Yglesias: Morning Joe Crew Can’t Name a Single Successful Unionized Firm


David Kurtz: Your Corporate Media

Top Ten Cloves: Things Joe Scarborough Likes To Eat and Wear When Sitting At Computer

Get A Shovel! ... Olbermann Disses Scarborough, On-Air

Morning Joke Teaches Thousands of Kids To Swear! ...Or: Blame It On The Cheetos, Joe ...

For Nancy Puss'n'Boots, Cheney Is From The Real Virginia

Like a moth to a flame ...

Nancy Puss'n Boots, aka, Nancy Pfotenhauer, Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain's former Dead Campaign Express spokesperson, seemingly, just can't avoid appearing utterly stupid on national television.

We pointed this out, back in October of 2008 (Nancy Puss'n'Boots To Tweety: I'll Take "Looking Stupid" for $500"!), when she attempted to defend The Wasilla Whiz Kid.

Yesterday, she strapped on her "Stupid Suit" and was out there again, this time, defending the Shadow President, Dick Cheney.

"Pfotenhauer: "I Don't Believe That the Former VP Would Be Making Statements..."

Dig Bill Press's facial expression, and how David Shuster just, outright, laughs at her.

Cheney has been out there the past few weeks, running around like a junkie trying to score smack, dissing the Obama Administration, defending his torture program, even having his daughter out, front-and-center, to regurgitate his lies.

On the same day that Nancy Puss'n Boots is doing her Stupid Act for the former Shadow President, Darth Vader himself, started doing some moonwalking, backing away from his previously-ardent claims that his torture program worked, that it saved lives.

Cheney Edges Away From Claim That CIA Docs Will Prove Torture Worked

Bear with me here, because this is crucial. Cheney is carefully saying that the documents summarize what we learned from the overall interrogation program. Torture, of course, was only a component of that program. So he’s clearly saying that the docs summarize what was learned from a program that included non-torture techniques, too.

Here’s why this is important. It dovetails precisely with what Senator Carl Levin, who has also seen these docs, says about them. Levin claims the docs don’t do anything to “connect acquisition of valuable intelligence to the use of the abusive techniques.”
What, are the PartyofNoicans sending their Talking Points by snail mail?

If they are going to use Nancy Puss'n Boots, perhaps it is by design, to make GOP Chieftain Michael Steele look like Einstein.

Bonus Nancy Puss'n Boots Links

Eric Kleefeld - Pfotenhauer: I Don't Believe Cheney Would Say Things He Knew To Be Inaccurate

d-day: Honest Dick

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Real Virginia ...

Why The Air France Plane Crashed

Having spent the better of 12-years, in a previous life, criss-crossing the country, hitting all four corners, and everything in between, traveling by air, I believe it was only once, or twice, where we encountered anything remotely close to rough turbulence.

There were some other comical, or eyebrow-raising, adventures.

Like the 400-lb-plus man, claiming he was sick, rushed out of the bathroom by the stewardesses, and plopped down in the nearest seat, as the plane was beginning its' take-off, only, due to the thrust of the plane, and this mans' weight, have the back of the chair slam back, all the way to the floor, leaving this 400-lb-plus man laying prone for more the 10-minutes.

Or, the landing in San Diego, where the pilot informs us, at the beginning of our descent, that a "training pilot" is doing the honors of landing the plane.

What the hell is this, barber school?

Patrick Smith, in Salon today, has a good read, on the terrible plane crash in Brasil the other day.

Why the Air France plane crashed ... Flight 447 shouldn't have gone down, but it did. Were normally non-dangerous phenomena the culprits?

Lightning and turbulence. Did one or a combination of these things cause the crash of Air France Flight 447 over the South Atlantic on Sunday evening? The evidence, scant as it is, suggests it might have.

I was asleep in my hotel room, here in the monstrous city of Sao Paulo, just south from Rio de Janeiro, when the phone rang early on Monday. It was a reporter from the Associated Press in Brussels, shooting off questions about Airbuses and electrical storms. I had no idea that anything had happened, but he quickly had my rapt attention with word of a Paris-bound A330 that had gone missing after takeoff from Rio. "They are saying it was lightning," he told me.

I flicked on the television and tried to makes sense of CNN and the BBC as they stumbled through their coverage. The jet had encountered a violent storm, they were saying, off Brazil's northeast coast as it set off across the ocean toward Europe. An automated status message, relayed to Air France's dispatch center in Paris, spoke of electrical failure and a loss of cabin pressure. There was no mayday or distress call. The plane, and everybody on it, was missing.

Neither lightning nor turbulence is normally harmful to commercial aircraft. Let's take a minute to review each ...
Smith deals with known, and proven facts, and it is not an article rift with speculation.

Something went awfully wrong with Flight 447, and, as always in these situations, it will ride on the retrieval of the Black Boxes to get to the root cause of this crash.

Go over and read Patrick Smith's Why the Air France plane crashed ... Flight 447 shouldn't have gone down, but it did. Were normally non-dangerous phenomena the culprits?, especially if you are worried about flying, or have to fly for your work ... It should allay any fears you may have.

Late Breaking

From ABC News;

Searchers Find 23-Foot Piece of Airplane in Hunt for Missing Air France Flight ... Air France Received a Bomb Threat About a Paris-Bound Flight Days Before Flight 447 Crashed


And, something creepy, from Kim Zetter, at Wired;

Air France Crash Raises Questions About Domain Name Registration

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Monday, June 01, 2009

I'll Never Love This Way Again

Or, in Jeffrey Rosen's case, he won't lie, distort, and smear, via blogging, again.

Rosen, writing for the The New Republic, posted a diatribe ("The Case Against Sotomayor") on Judge Sonia Sotomayor, oh, about two-weeks before President Obama actually named her as the nominee.

Glenn Greenwald, at Salon, Brad DeLong, on his Brad Blog, and Brian Beutler, on TPMDC, immediately jumped all over Rosen, for using anonymous smears against Sotomayor, while freely admitting, that he hadn't actually studied any of her cases.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson, in his "Hatchet Job: Jeffrey Rosen's Utterly Bankrupt Analysis of Judge Sonia Sotomayor", delivered the haymaker.

But wait!

Jeffrey Rosen responded to his critics, weakly, to which Greenwald picked apart the non-apology apology.

So, for the fact that he wrote a sloppy, lazy, shoddy post, Mr. Jeffery Rosen disparages blogging, and is throwing in the towel on it;

The article was used to bash the judge's prospects even before her formal nomination. But its author, the noted legal writer Jeffrey Rosen, says he's been burned by the episode, too — enough that he's swearing off blogging for good.

"It was a short Web piece," Rosen says now, sounding a little shellshocked. "I basically thought of it as a blog entry."


Above all, Rosen says he's drawn a lesson from how his initial essay was treated by people of both ideological stripes. He won't be blogging any more. He wants to spend more time with the material before hitting "send."
Greenwald, again;
In that grand accountability-free tradition, Rosen blames everyone but himself for what he did, but then melodramatically announces that he will no longer "blog" -- as though it's the medium, rather than his own standards and choices, that are to blame for what he did ,,,


Moreover, the excuse that Rosen was merely "blogging" is, just as a factual matter, so obviously false: his Sotomayor piece wasn't on any of the TNR "blogs" (as happens when Rosen is actually "blogging") but instead was presented as a stand-alone article; it was, as NPR notes, "more than 1,000 words"; and TNR touted it as "the first in a series of reports by TNR legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen about the strengths and weaknesses of the leading candidates." Does that remotely sound as though they intended it to be a "mere blog post"?


Rosen can give up blogging and every other perceived vice all he wants. But until he renounces the defining practices of what Sullivan calls "standard Washington reporting" -- indiscriminately granting anonymity and thus producing accountability-free claims -- he'll still be the same Jeffrey Rosen producing the same sorts of reckless pieces. The effort to depict Sonia Sotomayor as "dumb and obnoxious" was notable only because of how extreme it was. Otherwise, there was nothing unusual about it. To the contrary, as Sullivan says, the unreliable, misleading methods it used were perfectly common for blogging Washington "reporting."
Well, as we have done, so many times, for those in distress, Jeffery Rosen needs a song to drown his tears of blogging in ...

Hit it, Dionne!

Dionne Warwick - I'll never love this way again

A Tale of Two Gippers

Oh boy, this oughta send Peggy Noonan, either into a keyboard-burning tizzy, or reaching for the wine bottle.

Her beloved Ronald Reagan is in the news today.

Not once, but twice!

First, there is the Ode to Reagan, in Glenallen Walken's "Dear Wingnut" column, in Salon.

Dear Wingnut, Ronald Reagan's dead. Time to move on!

This week I'm being asked to estimate when conservatives will be ready to leave Ronald Reagan behind and "move on."

Well, despite the best efforts of some of those in the op-ed industry who masquerade as genuine conservatives -- wait a second, has David Frum been submitting questions again? -- the answer, hopefully, is never.


Ronald Reagan came into office in 1980 promising to do three things: 1) Restore America's national pride; 2) Revive an economy crippled by stagflation; and 3) Win the Cold War. He did all three even though, thanks to Tip O'Neill and friends, he had one hand held behind his back.


Reagan was more than a transitional figure, sandwiched in between the Greatest Generation and Generation X; he was a transformational one. He changed the nation, and the world, for the better.
For the better?


Well, we have to flip over to Paul Krugman, and his column today, "Reagan Did It".

Krugman lays it out how The Gipper originated, and set in motion, the financial collapse we are currently buried under today;
For the more one looks into the origins of the current disaster, the clearer it becomes that the key wrong turn — the turn that made crisis inevitable — took place in the early 1980s, during the Reagan years.

Attacks on Reaganomics usually focus on rising inequality and fiscal irresponsibility. Indeed, Reagan ushered in an era in which a small minority grew vastly rich, while working families saw only meager gains. He also broke with longstanding rules of fiscal prudence.


The increase in public debt was, however, dwarfed by the rise in private debt, made possible by financial deregulation. The change in America’s financial rules was Reagan’s biggest legacy. And it’s the gift that keeps on taking.


But there was also a longer-term effect. Reagan-era legislative changes essentially ended New Deal restrictions on mortgage lending — restrictions that, in particular, limited the ability of families to buy homes without putting a significant amount of money down.

These restrictions were put in place in the 1930s by political leaders who had just experienced a terrible financial crisis, and were trying to prevent another. But by 1980 the memory of the Depression had faded. Government, declared Reagan, is the problem, not the solution; the magic of the marketplace must be set free. And so the precautionary rules were scrapped.

Together with looser lending standards for other kinds of consumer credit, this led to a radical change in American behavior.


There’s plenty of blame to go around these days. But the prime villains behind the mess we’re in were Reagan and his circle of advisers — men who forgot the lessons of America’s last great financial crisis, and condemned the rest of us to repeat it.
Better, I suppose, if you are a Wingnut.

Or, if you are Peggy Noonan.

Anything her Ronnie did was the greatest.

Bears Just Wanna Have Fun

This was a welcome, and most enjoyable post, to espy early in this morning

It comes from Yves Smith, over on his Naked Capitalism blog;

Antidote du jour. From reader Robert, who says this occurred 15 miles from his house:

A family that lives on the outskirts of Milford, PA… in Pike County decided to build a sturdy, colorful playground for their 3 and 4 year old sons. They lined the bottom with smooth-stone gravel all around to avoid knee scrapes and other injuries. They finished building it one Friday evening and were very pleased with the end product.

The following morning, the mom was about to wake up the boys and have them go out to play in their new play center. This is what she saw from the upstairs window…

Major Cool!

This Date ... On The Garlic

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Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At CIA During Michael Hayden’s Swearing In Ceremony

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Felt Admits To Being 'You're So Vain' Target; Simon Confirms "Brief Affair" With Former FBI Man

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Top Ten Cloves: Things G. Gordon Liddy Would Like To See Happen Now That "Deep Throat" Is Exposed

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Top Ten Cloves: Possible Reason LeGone James Blew Off Media After Losing To Orlando Magic

News Item: Whine of the Week

10. Since his teammates didn't support him in the games, he wasn't going to support them in the post-game

9. He didn't talk to the media after some big games in high school, so, like, what's the big deal, man?

8. Was still upset, the day after, about Jay Leno leaving the 'Tonight Show'

7. He talked to the media after he hit that game-winning three-pointer, isn't that enough?

6. Like his favorite reading, Lex Luthor never hung around and congratulated Superman

5. Since he thinks he's the best player, better then Kobe Bryant, he had to elevate his sulking to be better than Bryant in all areas of the game

4. Practicing for possible endorsement of retro "I Want My Maypo" commercial campaign

3. He only prepared remarks for if he had won the game, and they all had references to Game 7

2. He didn't score 40, or more, points, and he will only talk to media when he scores 40, or more, points

1. Coincidentally, at the same time game ended, James learned that Susan Boyle didn't win the Britain's Got Talent crown, and just had to be alone for awhile

Bonus LeGone James/Cleveland Cadaverliers Riffs

Orlando Does It!

Yahoo Buzz: Fallout from LeBron's silence

CBS Sports - LeBron James: poor sport

Jodie Valade/Plain Dealer Reporter: James leaves Orlando defeated, speechless

NFT: LeBron James blows off media after loss last night-

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Brother, Can You Spare A Photo?

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Iran Shoots Back At Rice, Bush For Talk Policy: Nuke Program For Gay Marriage; Ahmadinejad Slams Pair; Seeks Other Demands, Retraction For LaRouche Comparison

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U.S. Military To Begin Abusing Bible; New Policy Cites Need To Be 'Fair and Balanced'

New Zarqawi Tape Deemed 'Idol' Demo; Iraqi Terrorist Leader Warbles 'Louie Louie' In Attempt To Join Hit Show

London Gripped In 5th Day of Riots; Fears That Big Ben Stoppage Signals 'End of Days'; Some Blame Camilla

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