Playoffs, Baby!



In the end, it didn’t matter how it happened or where it happened. Just that it happened.

Thanks to an event occurring 2,000 miles away, the Giants clinched a National League wild-card spot 6½ hours before Yusmeiro Petit threw Thursday’s first pitch. It wasn’t the preferred route to the postseason, but it got the Giants to October baseball nonetheless.

They still have a long way to go if they want to win another world championship ring. Fist they will have to win a do-or-die wildcard game. Then they will have to win a divisional series. After that comes the National League championship series. If they survive that they will have to face the winner of the American League championship in the World Series.

They have done it before, except the last two times they won the NL west and didn’t have to play a wildcard game.

In Major League Baseball ten teams enter the playoffs each year, and nine of those teams lose their last game. That other team gets to celebrate being the champs.

If you like reality television it doesn’t get any better than the playoffs. The hottest team wins it all. Sometimes the hottest team is also the best team, but sometimes it’s the team that stumbled ass-first into the post-season.

It really doesn’t matter how you get there, it’s what you do when you arrive.



Posted in #SFGiants, Baseball | Tagged | 102 Comments

Put Down The Koolaid And Step Away From The Punchbowl


Two entries from the Department of You Can’t Make This Shit Up.

First, Ron Fournier:

From History’s Lips to Obama’s: Waging War for Peace at the U.N.

With Wilsonian echoes, a pacifist president tries to rally the world on ISIS, Russia, and Ebola.

One hundred years ago, a pacifist president reluctantly led the United States into World War I. Woodrow Wilson eventually won “the war to end all wars,” but failed to achieve his greatest desire: a new world order. That would wait until after World War II. Faint echoes of Wilson sounded throughout President Obama’s address to the United Nations on Wednesday.

There stood a man who rose to power by opposing George W. Bush’s “dumb war” in Iraq, who slowly and reluctantly recognized the gathering dangers of an Islamic State, now urging the league of nations to build a timeless peace—even as he vowed to shed blood for it.

That dichotomy, part of a nest of dualities embedded in the nation’s spirit, came with Obama’s first words to the balky U.N. “We come together,” he said, “at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.”

Obama called this the best time to be alive, “yet there is a pervasive unease in our world,” because the same forces shrinking the globe also harbor new dangers. Giving three examples—the Ebola outbreak, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria—Obama said a common problem is the failure of institutions to adjust to massive change.


It was perhaps the most thoughtful, grounded, and forward-looking speech of Obama’s career. Not because he raised expectations with poetic phrasing—he’s been there, done that—but because he didn’t go there again. Instead, the president offered listeners a bracing, pragmatic road map to the future—a vision that, when moored to reality, was oddly optimistic.


The president seemed to recognize the incongruousness of the moment. A pacifist talking like a hawk? A peace-loving nation pushing the world to war? That’s us, Obama said; America is a dichotomous nation, one that doesn’t always live up to its ideals. Yes, there is racial unrest in the “small American city of Ferguson, Missouri,” he said, and the United States must find its way amid growing globalization and diversity. “But we welcome the scrutiny of the world,” he said, because the United States is constantly evolving and struggling and gaining on its promise “to make our union more perfect.”

What a load of crap!

Obama a pacifist? Our President is many things, but a pacifist isn’t one of them. First and foremost, pacifism is a principled ideology, and Obama has no principles. Pacifism requires moral courage and it is not opportunistic.

No true pacifist would ever brag that “I’m really good at killing people”.

Now here is Michael Tomasky:

Obama’s Iraq Is Not Bush’s Iraq
The war against ISIS may fail. But morally, it’s the opposite of Bush’s war, and if it succeeds, it will do so for precisely that reason.

Last week, a Politico reporter phoned me to ascertain my thoughts on the new war. Among the questions: Was there concern among liberals that Barack Obama was in some sense now becoming George Bush, and did I see similarities between the current war and Bush’s Iraq war that, come on, be honest, made me squirm in my seat ever so slightly? My answer ended up on the cutting-room floor, as many answers given to reporters do.

But since I’m fortunate enough to have a column, I’d like to broadcast it now, because the answer is a reverberating no. In fact it’s hard for me to imagine how the differences between the two actions could be starker. This is not to say that they might not end up in the same place—creating more problems than they solve. But in moral terms, this war is nothing like that war, and if this war doesn’t end up like Bush’s and somehow actually solves more problems than it creates, that will happen precisely because of the moral differences.

The first and most important difference, plainly and simply: Obama didn’t lie us into this war. It’s worth emphasizing this point, I think, during this week when Obama is at the United Nations trying to redouble international support to fight ISIS, and as we think back on Colin Powell’s infamous February 2003 snow job to Security Council. Obama didn’t tell us any nightmarish fairy tales about weapons of mass destruction that had already been destroyed or never existed. He didn’t trot his loyalists out there to tell fantastical stories about smoking guns and mushroom clouds.

The evidence for the nature of the threat posed by the Islamic State is, in contrast, as non-fabricated as evidence can be and was handed right to us by ISIS itself: the beheading videos, and spokesmen’s own statements from recruitment videos about the group’s goal being the establishment of a reactionary fundamentalist state over Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. That’s all quite real.

Okay Mike, put down the Koolaid and step-away from the punchbowl.

In March of 2003 it wasn’t yet clear that Bush had lied us into Iraq. Will we learn in the years hence that Obama lied too? Yes, the Islamic State is evil incarnate, but so was Saddam Hussein. But I’m not sure how much of an immediate threat to the United States that ISIS represents today.

If ISIS is really an immediate threat to our nation, why is Obama insisting on a limited “no boots on the ground” strategy for dealing with them? Why hasn’t Obama gone before Congress and asked for a declaration of war against the Islamic State?

The rationalization, flip-flopping, pretzel twisting and born-again hawkishness of the Left would be amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic and the subject so serious.


Posted in Department Of You Can't Make This Shit Up, ISIS/Islamic State/The Caliphate | Tagged , | 137 Comments

Losing My Illusions


Heather “Digby” Parton at Salon:

GOP’s vote-suppressing militia: Why Scott Walker’s thugs are getting violent

Scott Walker may want to be president, but he’s got to win statewide first. And he’s pulling out all the stops

It seems like a long time ago but it’s actually been just a couple of years since a whole bunch of Wisconsin voters had second thoughts about the man they’d elected to the governor’s office and decided they couldn’t wait another two years to be rid of him. That recall election was a national story, with public employee unions and other progressive types lining up against the conservative majority that beat back the recall. Now Scott Walker is beating back what seems like endless ethics charges and legal scandals and is fighting for his political life. The man who was once touted as the Great Midwestern GOP Hope is rarely mentioned anymore for the presidency. He may even lose his seat in November.

One of the most interesting stories of that recall election was the extent to which the Republicans were willing to engage in no-holds-barred vote suppression largely led by a national group of vote suppression experts, the “poll watching” group known as True the Vote. Despite no evidence ever being produced to show that systematic voter fraud exists or that any election has been decided by people who are ineligible to vote, True the Vote has managed to create the illusion that challenging voters at the polls is all that’s saving the republic from an otherwise inevitable coup d’état led by a secret cabal of Democrats rigging elections with ineligible voters. Apparently, this is the only way they can explain to themselves that they are not universally popular.


A local Wisconsin activist named Meg Gorski captured a screen shot of some tweets by a group calling itself the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia:


It fairly clear what they mean by “look.” According to this account, the Facebook page (now removed) left little doubt what they were talking about:

A visit to the group’s Facebook page features makes it clear exactly who they are targeting. All of the pictures on the page feature African-Americans. The group is trying to get African-Americans who may have outstanding warrants arrested in order to keep them from voting. The group wants people to report those they suspect of having warrants out on them to the police on election day, “Do the community a favor and keep an eye out for people wanted on warrants and report them to the police on election day.”

The “poll watchers” also plan on harassing and following people who they suspect of being wanted on warrants to their homes. The plan seems to be to use the police to intimidate African-Americans into not voting in November’s election.

There is more, plus links to sources even less credible than Salon.

I did some research for myself using teh google. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that this “militia” may consist of a single individual who created a Facebook and a Twitter account using the name “Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia.” It is unclear whether that person is a right wing troll or a left wing false-flag operation.

So how did one online troll become “Scott Walker’s Thugs?”

Digby is too smart and experienced at this stuff to believe it’s true, but the militia story fits one of the Left’s favorite narratives. She doesn’t care about the truth, she wants to win elections.

Years ago (2002-2003) I had a paid subscription to Salon. When I first discovered blogging I really admired Digby. This was so far in the past that nobody knew she was female. She was just “Digby”, a pseudonymous blogger.

Digby was one of the reasons I started blogging myself. I wanted to write like her and some of the other prominent lefty bloggers. So when I read the crap she publishes in Salon (and the other crap Salon publishes) I feel ashamed.

Was I really that naive or did they change?.


Posted in #DailyDopeslap | Tagged | 47 Comments

Weird Wednesday Open Thread


Live Science:

Nazca Lines of Kazakhstan: More Than 50 Geoglyphs Discovered

More than 50 geoglyphs with various shapes and sizes, including a massive swastika, have been discovered across northern Kazakhstan in Central Asia, say archaeologists.

These sprawling structures, mostly earthen mounds, create the type of landscape art most famously seen in the Nazca region of Peru.

Discovered using Google Earth, the geoglyphs are designed in a variety of geometric shapes, including squares, rings, crosses and swastikas (the swastika is a design that was used in ancient times). Ranging from 90 to 400 meters (295 to 1,312 feet) in diameter, some of them are longer than a modern-day aircraft carrier. Researchers say that the geoglyphs are difficult to see on the ground, but can easily be seen from the sky.

Over the past year, an archaeological expedition from Kazakhstan’s Kostanay University, working in collaboration with Vilnius University in Lithuania, has been examining the geoglyphs. The team, which is conducting archaeological excavations, ground-penetrating radar surveys, aerial photography and dating, recently presented its initial results at the European Association of Archaeologists’ annual meeting in Istanbul.

Many of the geoglyphs were made of earthen mounds, although one example, a swastika, was made using timber.

Archaeological excavations uncovered the remains of structures and hearths at the geoglyphs, suggesting that rituals took place there, said archaeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin, of Kostanay University, in an email to Live Science. Ancient tribes may also have used the geoglyphs to mark ownership of the land, the researchers noted.

“As of today, we can say only one thing — the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery,” said Shevnina and Logvin.

At some point before recorded history people (or someone/something else) created geoglyphs. Some of them are so big they can only be seen from an airplane. These things show up all over the world. There are some in Brazil that were hidden until deforestation of the Amazon rain forest exposed them.

There is no natural explanation for them. They are not the ruins of cities nor the remnants of roads. Many have no discernible purpose. Even the most informed opinions about them are mere speculation.

Things like this come to my mind when someone says “The science is settled” or something equally ignorant.


Posted in Uncategorized | 95 Comments

Nobelol Laureate Bombs Syria

war is cool1


More than 50 airstrikes launched against ISIS

The U.S. with the support of several Middle East partners began a heavy bombardment of more than 50 airstrikes in Syria at 8:30 p.m. Monday night aimed at the headquarters and bases of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The airstrikes came just as world leaders convened for the first day of the United Nations annual meeting.

President Obama is expected to make a statement from the White House before leaving for New York and the Pentagon will brief reporters later in the morning, giving additional details on the first large-scale military action of Obama’s presidency.

Airstrikes were fired at check points in Al-Raqqa and Tal Abyad, as well, NBC News reported. While most of these ISIS bases were evacuated before the airstrikes, some ISIS fighters were confirmed to be killed.

Monday’s attacks are a part of the president’s military strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, a brutal terrorist group that aims to create a large Islamic state ruled by Sharia law.

Syrians officials were informed of the strikes before they occurred, the State Department said on Tuesday morning.

I am enjoying watching Leftist Obama followers who held him up as the anti-war candidate of 2008 cheering for him starting another war. And this is definitely a new war – new enemy, new country.

For the record, I support using military action against the Islamic State. I also believe this is an illegal war because it is being done without Congressional authorization. I’m a stickler for legal technicalities like that.

I doubt the airstrikes will have had much positive effect considering how much advance warning Obama gave them. They had plenty of time to evacuate likely targets and/or place women and children around and in them as human shields/sacrifices.

For those of you that don’t Twitter you should really start. At times like these it is an excellent source of up-to-the-minute news mixed with lots of witty and half-witty repartee. Best of all, it’s FREE.

If you are technologically challenged, votermom is one of several TCH regulars who can guide you – she is a Twitter legend.

(Non-celebrity, non-compensated endorsement)

BTW – The SF Giants defeated the Hated Dodgers 5-2 in 13 innings last night.

war clown1

Posted in ISIS/Islamic State/The Caliphate, Syria | Tagged , | 120 Comments

Monday Morning Quickie

Victor Davis Hanson:

Versailles in California

California is run from a sort of Pacific Versailles, an isolated coastal compound of elite rulers physically cut off from its interior peasantry.

To understand how California works — or rather does not work — drive over the I-5 Grapevine and gaze down at the brilliantly engineered artificial Pyramid Lake. Thanks to California water project deliveries, even in a third year of drought its level still fluctuates between 90 to 100% full — ensuring, along with its companion reservoirs, plentiful water for the Los Angeles-area municipalities for the next two years. The far distant watersheds and reservoirs that feed Pyramid Lake are about bone dry.

The same disconnect is true of Crystal Springs Reservoir along the I-280 near San Francisco. The Sierra watershed that supplies the now 90%+full lake is drying up. But San Francisco will have an assured water supply from its manmade reservoirs for some time, even if the drought persists.

Yet most of the policies of the state that have led to cancellations of additional water projects over the last thirty years — or those that have resulted in vast diversions of diminished reservoir water from contracted agricultural use to fish replenishment — are made by Los Angeles and San Francisco area legislators, judges, and public officials.

It would be as simplistic as it is true to say that water policy in California has been set by those who have plentiful water supplies in manmade reservoirs with the highest priorities in claims on far distant snow melts. Water elites pontificate about environmental restrictions on water use to others who do not enjoy a rank so high in the water-allotment queue.

By that I mean at no time did any Los Angeles or San Francisco legislator offer to divert their Pyramid Lake or Crystal Springs allotments to replenish the San Joaquin River for salmon runs or to improve the delta landscape of the 3-inch delta smelt. Instead I think the mentality could best be summed up as something like, “Unnatural dams and reservoirs are necessary to supply water for elite coastal grandees like us so that we can live in arid, picturesque Pacific communities without aquifers and thereby have the leisure to cut off water for others not so worthy.”

There is more and you should go read it. VDH is one of the best political writers in the country.

Apparently there was some big treehugger rally/protest/march about climate change in NYC yesterday. In true Leftist fashion they left a mountain of garbage behind them.

You can’t make that shit up.

I’m going back to bed. The SFGiants and Raiders both lost yesterday. Baseball regular season ends this week, and if the Giants don’t win most or all of their final games they won’t make the playoffs. They’ve lost six in a row now.

Global Warming believers worshiping Al Gore

Global Warming believers worshiping Al Gore

Posted in Global Warming | Tagged | 107 Comments

STEM the Tide of Immigration


From “The Fate of STEM PhDs (and More)” by Norm Matloff at Normsaysno:

My second item before turning to the NSF report is this job-seekers advice column by Laszlo Bock, Senior VP of People Operations (read “HR”) at Google. (I learned of this from an alert reader, thanks.) The advice itself is good, but rather at odds with the Google/Bock stance on the labor market. Bock writes

The toughest part is that for 15 years, I’ve continued to see the same mistakes [in re'sume's] made again and again by candidates, any one of which can eliminate them from consideration for a job. What’s most depressing is that I can tell from the resumes that many of these are good, even great, people. But in a fiercely competitive labor market, hiring managers don’t need to compromise on quality. All it takes is one small mistake and a manager will reject an otherwise interesting candidate.

Huh? Does Bock work for the same Google that insists there is a tech labor shortage, so severe that it must hire lots of H-1B visa workers? Indeed, Bock testified to Congress in support of expanding the H-1B program. In fact, in his testimony he talked about Google being in competition with other firms, here and abroad, for talented workers — a huge contrast to his statement above that even great workers are competing with each other for jobs, rather than employers competing to hire them.


Which brings me, at last, to the new NSF report. Keep in mind that the NSF has always been pro-H-1B, and it shows here: The press release headline reads, “Unemployment for Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Below National Average in 2013.” Wonderful! But definitely misleading, for a number of reasons. For example, those who bother to read the actual report will find that the NSF is counting someone as “employed” even if they are working just part-time.


I’ve often mentioned that a 1989 internal NSF report forecast (and spoke approvingly) that an influx of foreign doctoral students would keep PhD wages down, making doctoral study unattractive to Americans. That is exactly what has occurred, as noted in the congressionally-commissioned NRC report in 2001, and put bluntly by Cisco Systems Vice President for Research Douglas Comer: “…a Ph.D. in computer science is probably a financial loser in both the short and long terms, says Douglas Comer” (Science Careers, April 11, 2008).

If having a PhD doesn’t add much value in CS jobs, then why does the industry hire them? As noted, they actually don’t hire so many as they want the public to believe. But the answer also lies in another point I often make about the attractiveness of the H-1B visa to employers — the visa (coupled with sponsorship for a green card, typical in firms like Cisco, Google etc.) renders the worker IMMOBILE, a status of tremendous value, as the employer doesn’t want an engineer leaving for another firm in the midst of an urgent project. This is often pitched to employers by immigration attorneys as the advantage of hiring foreign students; the ad at the site should be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the real dynamics of the H-1B visa and employer-sponsored green cards.

Supposedly there is a dire shortage of qualified STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) employees in this country. So dire, we are told, that there isn’t time to train more young people in those fields and we need to change our immigration laws so STEMs from other countries can come here and work. Or maybe it is that Americans are too stupid and/or lazy to get STEM degrees. Either way, WE MUST OPEN OUR BORDERS!!!

Except there is no shortage. If you are an older STEM employee you better not lose your job, because no one will hire you because, well . . . you’re old. So what if you got a degree and experience and shit? Nobody wants to work with someone who was born before Algore created the internet. You’re not hip and cool.

More importantly, those foreigners work cheaper, and if they give you any shit you can have them deported.

Immigration is a bipartisan issue – BOTH parties are lying to you. Seal up that border and the issue of raising the minimum wage will become moot because wages will automatically go up when workers become more scarce.

Best of all, sealing up that border doesn’t require more government regulation of business and building an effective fence will create “shovel ready” jobs for Americans.

Chestertons gate001

Posted in Illegal Immigration, Immigration Reform | Tagged , | 108 Comments