October 31, 2014

In the words of others

"[T]hat boy would try to steal a steak off the devil’s plate.”
- His Father

"What he did last night in the modern context of baseball – the way it’s played, the way they’re coddled, the way they (have a) five-man rotation...to do what he did in the modern era, it was extraordinary."
- Bob Ryan

"Now he belongs to history, alongside Christy Mathewson and Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Randy Johnson. The pantheon of World Series pitching greats must welcome a new member. Madison Bumgarner burst into the club with a performance for the ages in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday."
- Tyler Kepner, The New York Times

"These are just games, like any other games, and he’s good in these games because he’s good in all games, right? Nothing more than that? He doesn’t actually become some different pitcher with different skills and a different brain, does he?  Of course not. We know this. And yet as we watch inning after inning, our resolve weakens and we begin to think that maybe there is something that is, undeniably, very different.”
- Sam Miller, Baseball Prospectus

"I don’t know what it felt like watching Mathewson pitch, but watching Bumgarner is like feeling an expertly administered epidural nip in between a couple of vertebrae and deliver bliss: it’s a gliding, almost eventless slide through the innings, with accumulating fly-ball outs and low-count K’s marking the passing scenery. It’s twilight sleep; an Ambien catnap; an evening voyage on a Watteau barge. Bumgarner is composed out there, his expression mournful, almost apologetic, even while delivering his wide-wing, slinging stuff. Sorry, guys: this is how it goes. Over soon."
- Roger Angell, The New Yorker  (link)

"Best post season performance ever."
- Curt Schilling

Justice is served: NO DUCKS FOR YOU

After Welker pleaded not guilty to the charge, his attorney, Bob Weir, filed an affirmative defense, meaning that the facts concerning Welker's situation should be enough to excuse what is otherwise illegal conduct. 

Testifying on Wednesday, Welker's wife, Shirley Wagner, argued that since the ducks are registered with a national service registry as emotional support animals, and since no neighbors have personally complained to them, they should be permitted. 


October 28, 2014

"His name is Jake Peavy, and he sucks."

End of story.

IAYPA - Fevered Dreams of a Madman edition

In which Kyle Orton is having a better season than Andrew Luck, and a Cleveland quarterback is in the top five.

Ultra-Super Elite
Peyton Manning - 7.9  Epitaph:  No one could shell a mediocre defense like Peyton Manning.
Aaron Rodgers - 7.8  Takes a lot of sacks.  Beats the hell of out of throwing it to the other team.

Ultra Elite
Ben Roethlisberger - 7.4  Washed up, according to reports last year.  They were incorrect.
Brian Hoyer - 7.4  The Cleveland reporters may not be impressed, but this guy is playing great.
Philip Rivers - 7.2 
Carson Palmer - 7.1
Tony Romo - 7.0
Tom Brady - 7.0  Not bad for a a guy who's lost all his ability.
Kyle Orton - 6.9  Hell has frozen over.

Super Elite
Andrew Luck - 6.6
Andy Dalton - 6.6 
Colin Kaepernick - 6.6  Not bad for a perennial disappointment.
Russell Wilson - 6.5  "Russell Wilson's really good." - Jeff Fisher
Drew Brees - 6.4 
Cam Newton - 6.3 

Elite (median value for all QBs w/ >100 attempts is 6.2)
Matt Ryan - 6.2 
Matthew Stafford - 6.2 
Austin Davis - 6.2 
Ryan Fitzpatrick- 6.2 
Kirk Cousins - 6.2 
Joe Flacco - 6.1 
Alex Smith - 6.1 

Eli Manning - 5.9  So it's the Super Bowl.  Are you starting him or his brother?
Jay Cutler - 5.8 
Mike Glennon - 5.6 

Ryan Tannehill - 5.3 
Nick Foles - 5.3 
EJ Manuel - 5.3 
Teddy Bridgewater - 5.2 
Derek Carr - 5.1 
Jake Locker - 5.0 

Blake Bortles, 3.8  League leader in interceptions (12), two pick sixes vs. Dolphins this week
Geno Smith, 3.7 2nd in League in interceptions (10), including three in the first quarter Sunday...career over...or is it?

Don't give up Geno.  Kyle Orton lived here for almost a decade, now resides in the same neighborhood as Tom Brady and Andrew Luck.  Miracles do happen, even in the NFL.

October 26, 2014

I said it once

But it bears repeating.

Sorry, you bought a ticket for the full program, and this is included

Wilhelm II died of a pulmonary embolism at Huis Doorn, on 4 June 1941, with German occupation soldiers on guard at the gates of his estate. He was buried in a small mausoleum in the gardens, to await his return to Germany upon the restoration of the Prussian monarchy, according to the terms of his will. His wish that no swastikas would be displayed at his funeral was not heeded.


Open to the public, btw

The property was purchased in 1919 by Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor, as his residence-in-exile (1920–1941), following his abdication after World War I. During his years in exile, he was allowed to travel freely within a 15 mile radius of his house, but journeys farther than that meant that advance notice had to be given to a local government official. As he disliked having to kowtow to a minor official, he rarely journeyed beyond the "free" limit. The former Emperor regularly exercised by chopping down many of the estate's trees, splitting the logs into stacks of firewood, thereby denuding the matured landscape as the years progressed. Hence he was called by his enemies "The Woodchopper of Doorn".


October 25, 2014

And I'm down the rabbit hole

So, the Kaiser was asked in 1938 what he thought of Hitler, according to this thing I found on the Internet.  Here is his verdict:

So, for Wilhelm, sitting in the Netherlands in 1938, the problem with Hitler is: 1) he's not a family man, 2) he's not religious, and 3) he doesn't have any monarchical right to absolute power.

Not that he wasn't on board for a while.  He admits National Socialism had a certain allure for him, especially when one considers the quality of the people involved...

Just a quick runthrough of that roster:
  • Papen was the one who convinced Hindenberg that this Hitler guy was quite harmless and should be allowed into the government.  He quit after they killed some of his friends during the Night of the Long Knives, but the Nazis found roles for him throughout the war - ambassador to Turkey etc.  When captured at his home he remarked that "I wish this terrible war were over." An American paratroopers replied "so do 11 million other guys!"  Acquitted at Nuremberg.
  • Schleicher was the last chancellor of the Weimar Republic.  Didn't like Papen as a potential successor, so he voted the Hitler ticket.  He figured he'd still be in charge, since he ran the Army.  He slipped on a bar of soap and fell on a bullet in 1933.
  • Neurath - Foreign minister until 1938.  In the late 30s he and Blomberg (below) warned that attacking Russia would lead to a repeat of WWI, with the western powers forcing Germany into a war on two fronts.  He was fine with the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovokia, just didn't want to go too far.  Hitler, knowing he needed a wartime consigliere, replaced him with Ribbentrop.  Neurath went on to various domestic roles, but lacking sufficient enthusiasm for the agenda was denuded of his remaining powers.  He "tried to resign" on several occasions and finally managed to do so in 1943.  Convicted on various charges at Nuremberg, he got a compassionate release from Spandau in 1954, died in 1956.
  • Blomberg - Commander-in-Chief of the German armed forces from 1933-1938, "one of Hitler's most devoted followers."  A 1928 visit to the Soviet Union persuaded him of the military benefits of totalitarianism.  He had practical experience with those benefits, too:  stuck with the job of organizing the defense of East Prussia with just one division in the early 30s, he found that making lists of every man of military age for potential conscription was helpful.  He was a big fan of the Hitler Oath for the military.  Alas, in 1938 it emerged (with help from Göring) that his second wife had once been the subject of dirty pictures, taken by a Jew. His career was over.  Raeder tried to convince him to commit suicide, but Blomberg instead spent a year-long honeymoon on the Isle of Capri.  He spent WWII in obscurity and gave evidence at Nuremburg, where he died of cancer and was buried in an unmarked grave.
These are the fine men on whom Wilhelm had staked his hopes.  Without their cultural centeredness and fine moral guidance, he can see only naked, meaningless, mundane, victory:

Who among us has not...?

From one day to the next, Roth lost his job, his German publisher, and his German royalties at a time when his expenses increased. The clinic where his wife was being cared for was expensive. He had to support his mistress, Andrea Manga Bell, and her two children from her brief marriage to a Duala king in southern Cameroon. 


The Kaiser was a dick

From The Economist's review of a new book on Wilhelm II:
[He] was convinced that a racial war in which the Teutons would have to crush the Slavs once and for all was more or less inevitable.

[W]hen Bethmann Hollweg produced his highly expansionist war-aims memorandum in September 1914, the Kaiser wanted to go even further.

In exile, his conviction that the “Jewish rabble” had deceived the German people into betraying its Kaiser and its army fuelled his anti-Semitism to the point of mania. Thanks to Hitler, Wilhelm at least died a happy man in 1941 at the height of Nazi power in Europe and as the Wehrmacht was preparing for its war of extermination in the east.

October 24, 2014

Enjoy this Album Cover

October 23, 2014

Taffin would, I think, reluctantly approve

Although he did not use a sixgun, Kevin Vickers otherwise demonstrated Taffin-esque virtues.  He remained calm.  He retrieved his firearm from a locked box.  He fired it accurately and effectively.  And then he called his mother to tell her he was okay.

In an age of quasi-military abundance-of-caution types who prioritize costume and rate of fire above responsible alertness and good aim, it's worth noticing what effective self-defense with a firearm looks like.

And it's worth noticing what a hero looks like.  As you get further into that Washington Post story, itr becomes apparent that this may not be the most important thing he's ever done.

More like this, please.

October 22, 2014

Don Young is a Spectacular Asshole

Don Young says things again.


In honor of Bradlee, whose language was famously not a model of restraint, I’d like to say, fuck that. 


That ain't right

October 19, 2014

That's my President

“One of the things that Obama wanted to know was: Did this ever work?”


October 16, 2014

Botvinnik-Bronstein, 1951

photo source: Chess Notes 

"I just wanted to show he was not a God." - David Bronstein


His name is...

What's the difference between a New York consultant and an LA consultant?

See for yourself:

- Los Angeles

- New York

Hope you find that as educational as I did.

October 11, 2014


Oh come on, do we have to pass the fucking hat?

October 10, 2014

This should be really fun

[Y]ou can pit star quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson against each other now on “Temple Run 2.”

Kaepernick and Wilson are the first two NFL players featured in the hit mobile game as part of a new licensing agreement announced Friday between the NFL Players association and “Temple Run 2″ publisher Imangi Studios.


(I bought the Usain Bolt avatar a couple of years ago on vacation, and it was worth every penny.)

Running away?

Reports: Seahawks could move back to AFC West


October 08, 2014

FDR calls it

Reflecting on the concentration of economic power that preceded America’s economic collapse, [FDR] said: “Out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital—all undreamed of by the Fathers—the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.”

What’s striking about the convention speech is the grounds on which the president chose to criticize this historic inequality. It’s not a speech about money, or prosperity, or putting another car in the middle-class garage—rather, it’s an argument about liberty. Inequality was harmful to ordinary Americans because it put “the conditions of their labor … beyond the control of the people.” It threatened self-government on the level of everyday life—and, above all, on the level of national politics.

“The privileged princes of these new economic dynasties,” the president argued, “reached out for control over government itself.” Against their claim that the political process could go on uncorrupted in the presence of enormous concentrations of wealth, President Roosevelt urged his listeners to see political liberty as bound up with freedom from need. Against their claim that freedom was a question of the ballot alone, he reasserted the classical, small-r republican tradition that has played such a pivotal role in our political history: the view that the people’s liberty is threatened whenever they are subject to domination by elites, whether of birth or of wealth, whether political or economic.


Agree with Paul Krugman...

...about Obama.  In every detail.

Misread of the Day: Americans for Shattered Prosperity

Also, GOP dating service. Because ladies love dating services.

October 06, 2014

October 04, 2014

Now you know

October 03, 2014

Gentle Brain

You're welcome. The kids will love you for six minutes.