Sunday, September 30, 2018

Skiing K2

In order to ski down K2 in the Himalayas, at 28,251 feet elevation the second highest mountain in the world, you first have to climb it.  On July 22, 2018 Polish climber Andrzej Bargiel reached the peak at about 1130am.  By 730pm he had skied down its slopes to reach base camp.  You can watch some of his journey below.  I cannot imagine what his physical conditioning must be like.

K2 is a much more dangerous climb than Everest, with about 20% of climbers dying in the attempt.  The only 25,000+ feet peak exceeding this death toll is Annapurna on which about 1 in 4 climbers die.

Saturday, September 29, 2018


Marty Balin, who passed away on Thursday, was, along with Grace Slick, one of the lead singers for  Jefferson Airplane, a band I liked before they became a parody of themselves.  I saw them in '68 at Fillmore East, at Woodstock in '69, and at the U of Wisconsin in '70.  Marty could really deliver a ballad.  This is Today from Surrealistic Pillow (1967).

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Lost Doggerland

Beneath the English Channel and North Sea is a lost world that may reveal new information on the spread of homo sapiens in northern Europe.

The area in yellow and orange below was dry land during the last Ice Age when sea levels were much lower worldwide.
Lessons from a real AtlantisAs you can see ,what is now England, Wales, and Scotland was connected to Ireland, the Hebrides, and the Orkneys and all had a land connection with France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Denmark.  The extent boundaries varied with sea levels from 20,000 years ago until about 6500 BC when the ocean finally swept away the land connections.

Doggerland takes it name from the Dogger Banks, shallow shoals in the North Sea and renowned fishing grounds, named by the Dutch in the 17th century.  The Dogger Banks were also the location of a bizarre incident in October 1904 when the Russian Fleet, proceeding from St Petersburg to the Pacific, believed itself under attack by the Japanese Navy and opened fire on what turned out to be British fishing boats, killing three fishermen and almost triggering a war between Russia and England.  The Russian fleet eventually completed its epic voyage and was promptly sunk by the Japanese Navy off the coast of Korea at the Battle of Tsushima.  So there.

The ancient Doggerland was an expanse of low grasslands, meadows, rivers, and swamps and home to many Neolithic human settlements.  Recent university explorations, with the assistance of the oil companies active in the North Sea, are revealing more about early human activities, with the prospect of much more information coming to light in the future.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Remaking Mecca

Startling photos via Martin Kramer documenting the transformation of Mecca.  For more photos and background go here.

To start with some of us may have difficulty getting to see it ourselves:
"Non-Muslim Road", Makkah

The old Mecca:
snouck-hurgronje-mekka-v2_ Early 20th Century Makkah.

The new Mecca:

Masjid al-Haram, Mecca, Saudi ArabiaMecca Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

True Social Justice

Kaline Konked

Sixty years ago yesterday Detroit Tigers outfielder and future Hall of Famer Al Kaline was knocked out after being hit in the head by White Sox pitcher Bob Shaw.  Kaline already had two hits, including a double, off Sox starter Dick Donovan before reliever Shaw plonked him in the 6th.


If this happened today the player would be put through a concussion protocol and not return to the field for several days as a precautionary measure even if the results were negative.  Instead Kaline missed just one game and then played the final two of the season against the Indians going 3 for 8 with a triple, home run, and driving in five runs.

For more on how head injuries were handled in the "good old days" see the story of Pete Reiser.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Readings On Slavery

Over the past two years I've been reading about American slavery and its continuing legacy. This post provides a brief summary of my reading; some of the books may be the basis for longer pieces in the future. 

For the experience of slavery I recommend starting with Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave's first autobiography written in 1845.  Another, lesser known, slave escape narrative is Running A Thousand Miles for Freedom by William and Ellen Craft.  Ellen and William, married slaves in Macon, Georgia escaped to the North in December 1848.  Their ruse involved Ellen, the daughter of a mulatto and slave master who passed for white, dressing as a man with William posing as her (his) manservant.  Reaching Boston, they were threatened by recapture after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 and emigrated to England where the account of their escape was published.

In the late 1850s, Frederick Law Olmsted, the famed landscape architect responsible for New York's Central Park and Boston's Fenway, undertook several lengthy journeys through the American deep south.  His observations, published in 1861 as The Cotton Kingdom, take us on a tour of a land with little infrastructure, isolated settlements, little or no public education, and a three class system of wealthy slave owners, impoverished whites, and slaves; a utterly different world from the more prosperous North and West.  Olmsted is very observant on the relationship between master and slave.  One interesting tidbit is his reporting on the very dangerous job of loading and unloading heavy materials from boats.  Business owners preferred to use Irish immigrant laborers rather than slaves for the task, since if injured they could be easily dismissed, while an injury to a slave meant a capital asset was impaired.

A very sad and moving tale is told in Help Me To Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery (2016) by Heather Andrea Williams, current professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  I came across this book by accident, having just finished watching someone on CSPAN and about to switch channels when Professor Williams came on and I was drawn into her discussion.  The topic was one I never had thought about but as Williams spoke I thought "of course!".  Help Me To Find My People is the story of the post-Civil War search by freed slaves for children, spouses, and parents separated by sale before the war.  This is not some dry, data driven tome, its power deriving from the stories of individuals trying, often futilely, to locate and reassemble their shattered families.

And how did those in the South wrestle with the question of slavery?  In John Archibald Campbell: Southern Moderate (1997), Robert Saunders Jr, a history professor at Troy State University presents us with a prominent Alabamian who recognized the times were changing.  According to Saunders, Campbell, a leading Alabama lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice, believed the institution of slavery was disappearing because it was no longer acceptable in the modern world, the economic development of the region was hampered by slavery, and the South needed to prepare itself for its disappearance.  Campbell also opposed secession and, at least in the 1840s, believed that Congress could legally prohibit slavery in the territories (even writing John C Calhoun, who thought slavery a "positive good", of his views), all of which goes to the book's "moderate" label in its subtitle.   At the same time, Judge Campbell was a fierce opponent of abolitionists and a strong proponent of states rights.  By 1857, when the Dred Scott case came before the Court, Campbell's views on the Constitution had changed and he authored an opinion concluding Congress had no authority to ban slavery in the territories.  After the war, Campbell, relocated to New Orleans, supported the imposition of control laws on the freed slaves and the initiation of the process of Jim Crow.  Though slavery was gone, freed slaves and their descendants would remain a subordinate and oppressed class in Southern society.

And what of the North?  In Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era (2004), Ball St professor Nicole Etcheson provides a useful tour of the events in the Kansas territory of the 1850s, events that were both a spark and precursor of the violence of the next decade.  Most interesting to me is her description of changes in attitudes of white free soil settlers regarding African Americans.  Initially northern settlers, who wanted Kansas to be a free territory, viewed blacks, free or slave, as unfair competition and wanted them banned from Kansas.  However, the first hand examples they saw of their treatment by slave owners created more sympathy for them during the course of the struggle. 

That there was a distinct difference between supporting abolition and believing in the social equality of all American is made clear in Annette Gordon-Reed's biography Andrew Johnson (2011).  Lincoln's successor was a Southern opponent of secession, stayed loyal to the Union in 1861, and supported abolition.  An advocate for poor southern whites, Johnson hated blacks and saw slave owners and slaves as equally culpable for the plight of the region.  Other than seeing the freeing of slaves as the way to destroy the southern oligarchs he had no desire to protect them against white violence and oppression after abolition. Gordon-Reed is also the author of the The Hemingses of Monticello which makes a compelling circumstantial case, based on both timing and psychology, for the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, and which, regardless of whether you accept her case (as I do), provides fascinating and detailed analysis on the evolution of slavery laws in Virginia from the 17th century through Jefferson's lifetime.

The same theme can be seen in the failure of the post-Civil War regime told by Allen Guelzo in his recent book Reconstruction: A Concise History (2018) a brief, but useful, overview.  Once the tide of Radical Republicanism ebbed at the end of the 1860s, and despite the fitful efforts of President Grant to stem the tide of violence against blacks, northern interest quickly diminished in guaranteeing a meaningful path to participating in society for the freed slaves, and with it, the will to take on a resurgent white South.  Some years ago I also read Eric Foner's more detailed book Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution (1989) which is worthwhile, though the author's Marxist economic determinist worldview requires careful evaluation of how he used evidence to support his conclusions.

The legal tradition underpinning abolition is explored in Natural Law and the Antislavery Constitutional Tradition (2012) by Justin Buckley Dyer, a professor of American politics at the University of Missouri.  Natural law is out of favor today, particularly in academia, but was a keystone of the abolitionist argument against slavery, an argument ignited by Lord Mansfield in his 1772 opinion (Somerset v Stewart) ruling that slavery was unsupported by common law in England and Wales.  Ranging as far back as Rome to trace the legal status of slavery Mansfield concluded:
The state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law [statute], which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasions, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory. It is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. 
The same year as Dyer's analysis was published, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States 1861-1865 by James Oakes, history professor at the City University of New York, was released.  In its first section, Oakes focuses on natural law theory and the contesting constitutional interpretations of three groups; abolitionists, those who opposed the expansion of slavery, and those who advocated expansion.  The term "freedom national" refers to those who opposed slavery's expansion, viewing the Constitution as making freedom the default status in the United States with slavery only allowed when permitted by preexisting law while slavery expansionists preferred a reading of "freedom regional" and "slavery national". The latter part deals with the actions, many of which I had been unaware of and many taken by the Republican Congress prior to the Emancipation Proclamation and justified using the unique circumstances of the war, to step by step liberate slaves.

A different perspective is provided by Forrest A Nabors, a political science professor at the U of Alaska in From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction (2017).  Nabors thesis is that the predominant driver of radical reconstruction was the demolition of the South's slave owning oligarchy that had denied the majority of its population a true Republican form of government.  Along the way, Nabors marshals a great deal of contemporary evidence to support his thesis, though I think he underestimates the underlying racial dynamic of Southern society.

The last three books discussed address the full scope of America's encounter with race up to the present day and are essential reading for anyone interested in the subject.

In his 1992 book The Color-Blind Constitution, Andrew Kull, a law professor at Emory University, traces the struggle of our legal system to deal with race and discrimination from the 1840s battle to desegregate public schools in Massachusetts right up to the 1990s.  Kull's points out that the America has never had a color-blind constitution despite the 13th and 14th Amendments.  Contrary to the common understanding, the legal reasoning of the infamous Plessy v Ferguson decision of 1896, is still the reasoning used by the Supreme Court - that discrimination based upon race can be legal if the Court determines such discrimination is proper, though what the court today deems a proper basis for discrimination differs from what it thought proper in 1896.  What is astonishing is that the Court has maintained the position it can determine when discrimination is appropriate despite the explicit language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbidding discrimination based upon race.

One of the most surprising aspects to me was Kull's discussion of the passage of the 14th Amendment which, as adopted, forbids state abridgement of the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizens and prohibits deprivation of life, liberty, and property without due process of law, clauses triggering much litigation as to their specific meaning.  Although inspired by the recent war, the amendment contains no language referencing race.  A much simpler and more direct alternative was proposed by radical Republican congressman Thaddeus Stevens:
All national and State laws shall be equally applicable to every citizen, and no discrimination shall be made on account of race and color.
Unfortunately, Stevens' alternative, which would have given us a color-blind constitution, was rejected, though it must be acknowledged that it could have never been enacted given white attitudes of that era.

Racial attitudes across our country, but with particular focus on the Northern states after Emancipation are the focus of Reckoning With Race: America's Failure (2017) by Gene Dattel.  From America's founding until well into the 20th century assimilation of immigrants was a key element in our success, but, as Dattel notes, despite the 14th Amendment, social norms continued to exclude blacks from the process of assimilation for many decades.

After the Civil War, and until World War I, whites from the North and West were content with policies that left freed blacks in the former slave states, rejecting any proposal to encourage them to relocate, or to press for fair treatment, with the result that until the early 20th century, over 95% of blacks remained where they were when freed.

Dattel takes the reader through the long and discouraging post Civil War history of white Northern attitudes and actions towards black Americans, including rejections of attempts at assimilation, particularly as the Great Migration north of southern blacks took place from 1915 to 1960.  It makes for depressing reading.

After rightfully lambasting whites for much of its course, Reckoning With Race moves in a different direction in its concluding chapters.  With dramatic changes in the attitudes of whites since World War II, new and effective Civil Rights legislation was enacted and a world of opportunities opened for the descendants of slaves.  Dattel rues that these opportunities have not been more actively seized and, instead, doctrines of multiculturalism, separatism, and a failure to confront community issues of family disintegration and violence, along with an unjustified pessimism have begun to dominate to the detriment of African-Americans.  The author sums it up in this way, ". . . current racial issues are likened to those of the 1960s as a way of cloaking today's problems with the aura of the civil rights movement."

What does the historical experience of the United States look like in comparison to the other nations of the Americas where slavery was established and which have had to deal with the integration of freed slaves and their descendants into their societies?  That's the subject of a magisterial comparative study by Robert J Cottrol, professor of law at George Washington University;  The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race, and Law in the American Hemisphere (2013) in which the Afro-American experience in nine nations - the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic) is examined in detail.  The book is brimming with history I'd been previously unfamiliar with.  The wide scope is appropriate as the lands now part of the United States were the destination for only about 4% of the poor souls transported in the Trans-Atlantic trade; Brazil received almost half of those transported, the British and French sugar colonies in the Caribbean about 30%, with the Spanish colonies the remainder (of which Cuba received more than half).  So many Africans were brought to the New World that from 1492 until the end of the 19th century more Africans than Europeans reached the Western Hemisphere.

And that's apart from the other half of the sub-Saharan slave trade in which over many centuries up to 18 million Africans may have been transported to the Muslim (mostly Arab) world.

The cultural and geographic differences of the receiving societies in the Americas are thoroughly explored by Cottrol, as well as the distinct legal systems and their consequences for the slaves and their descendents.  The author has some fascinating insights into how the hierarchical Iberian societies and the aspirations for equality (at least for whites) of the United States contributed to different outcomes when it came to the treatment of slaves and freed blacks.  Cottrol draws no overall conclusion as to whether any of these systems was better than the others and I suspect readers will come to very different judgments.

One intriguing aspect of the Latin countries was their effort, starting in the late 19th century, to attract European immigrants in order to "whiten" their populations.  It turns out Fidel Castro's father emigrated from Spain to Cuba in the early 20th century as part of this initiative!

The legal system instituted by the South after the Civil War to control freed blacks, popularly known as Jim Crow, was unprecedented in the Americas in its strictness, but Cottrol points out that with the start of the post World War II revolution in civil rights, along with changes in the U.S. legal system and the attitudes of whites, America jumped ahead of the rest of the hemisphere in the integration of Afro-Americans into society and, in fact, served as a prod to speed up such efforts in other nations.   Cottrol ends on a cautiously optimistic note when it comes to the United States.

Monday, September 24, 2018

I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea

I don't want to check your pulse/ I don't want nobody else
From Elvis Costello & The Attractions circa 1978.  Ah, the good old days, when Elvis sung of fear, suspicion, self-loathing, and vengeance.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Craigslist Founder Funds Effort To Suppress Non-Progressive Speech

The actual title of the New York Times article is "News Site to Investigate Big Tech, Helped by Craigslist Founder" and tells of Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark's $20 million gift to former ProPublica journalist Julia Angwin to establish Markup, a news site "dedicated to investigating technology and its effect on society".

Sounds like a useful and timely initiative, doesn't it?  But what Angwin, who calls the 2016 election "a tipping point", intends to expose how technology does not sufficiently advance social justice.  As the article notes, her recent work sheds "light on how companies like Facebook were creating tools that could be used to promote racial bias, fraudulent schemes and extremist content".Newmark is your standard issue progressive, a fervent supporter of Barack Obama and who makes large political contributions to progressive Democrats, and Angwin and her team are politically aligned with him.

There are criticisms of high-tech from both the left and right but there is an asymmetry in goals.  On the right, it is that the leading companies are dominated by progressives, hostile to conservatives in their workforce, and are actively suppressing non-progressive voices on their platforms.  The right seeks the same type of treatment and access as progressives.

On the left, the complaint is that the tech companies are allowing too much access by domestic racists, bigots, sexists, haters and "extremist content" on the right, along with foreign influences seeking to support right-wingers.  And since the left considers any opposition to progressive causes as, by definition, racist, sexist, bigoted, hateful, and extremist, its logical conclusion is that all opposition should be suppressed. 

See the difference?  One wants a neutral and inclusive space, the other seeks platforms restricted to the propagation of its ideas.

In this case, the reference to the 2016 election is "the tell".  I'm old enough to remember way back in 2012 when I was told that the cool tech-savvy kids in the Obama campaign working with Google and Facebook to ensure the President's reelection showed how out of touch those old Republicans were. It was only in 2016 when some of these same techniques were used against Democrats that they suddenly became a threat to democracy (for a different take on how tech bias impacted the 2016 election read this analysis by two academics - and Hillary supporters!).  In this case, those who run the tech companies and media folks like Angwin share the same goal - suppressing dissenting speech under the guise of it being hateful - they only differ on the best method and who should be in charge of implementation.

Markup will masquerade as a non-partisan organization and once its "studies" are published they will be picked up and widely reported by other self-described non-partisan media like the New York Times - that's how the interlocking system works.

We are in dangerous times when most of our dominant institutions - media, entertainment, tech, academia, foundations are politically aligned and, as worrisome, agree that the personal is political and the consequences of an individual's political beliefs should extend to their workplace and daily life.  Religious institutions are weakened, divided on perspectives, and often isolated, while the business world outside tech has either come aboard as the path of least resistance or is intimidated into silence.  Should progressives also regain control of our political institutions we will see an full assault on rights to speech and dissent all done in the name of tolerance and inclusiveness.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Starting Assumptions

A remark in a post by Scott Alexander at his blog Slate Star Codex sparked a thought I'd not had before.  It's in a review of Nassim Taleb's nearly decade old book The Black Swan.  Along the way Scott references two books he considers to have some similar themes, Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow and Nate Silver's The Signal and The Noise (both of which I've read).
It looks like Kahneman, Silver, et al are basically trying to figure out what doing things optimally would look like – which is a very nerdy project. Taleb is trying to figure out how to run systems without an assumption that you will necessarily be right very often.
Since I've not read The Black Swan I can't comment on the accuracy of Scott's characterization but I like the sentiment it expresses, at least when applied to the broad mechanisms of how a society operates.  I heartily dislike systems that are purportedly designed on principles of optimum efficiency and decision making because they are dependent on the views of the desired results of those designing the system and, at the same time, are overconfident in their ability to manage human beings and of their (and our) perfectability.  I like the more humble approach of a system that accepts the reality we may often be wrong.

It will come as no surprise to those who read THC that we see the United States Constitution as an example of a system designed with the awareness of the human condition and the uncertainty of the quality of our decision making.

And, by the way, Scott's review is very witty and thoughtful - worth the read - though, as is often the case with his posts, it could have been as effective at half the length.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Essential Rules Of Life

Stand up straight.

Project your voice.

Always wear the right sneakers.

Enjoy every sandwich.*

* That last one is courtesy of Warren Zevon.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Last night the Boston Red Sox triumphed for the 100th time this season, a feat they last accomplished in 1946.  We were in attendance and saw an exciting pitching duel in which the only run scored on a wild pitch by Toronto hurler Aaron Sanchez.  David Price continued his revival tour tossing seven scoreless innings.

The Sox will likely break the franchise record of 105 victories set by the 1912 team led by pitcher Smoky Joe Wood and centerfielder Tris Speaker, though they are unlikely to surpass that team's winning percentage (they went 105-47).  Let's hope that like the 1912 team they win the World Series.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"We're Going To Do Something"

I just came across this today for the first time.  It is the transcript of the calls between Tom Burnett, a passenger on United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001 and his wife Deena.  Burnett and other passengers charged the hijackers in the cockpit in order to either regain control or bring down the plane before hitting its planned target (likely the U.S. Capitol).

6:27 a.m.( pacific time) First cell phone call from Tom to Deena
Deena: Hello
Tom: Deena
Deena: Tom, are you O.K.?
Tom: No, I’m not. I’m on an airplane that has been hijacked.
Deena: Hijacked?
Tom: Yes, They just knifed a guy.
Deena: A passenger?
Tom: Yes.
Deena: Where are you? Are you in the air?
Tom: Yes, yes, just listen. Our airplane has been hijacked. It’s United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. We are in the air. The hijackers have already knifed a guy, one of them has a gun, they are telling us there is a bomb on board, please call the authorities. He hung up.

6:31 Deena calls 911

6:34 The phone rang in on call waiting, Tom’s second cell phone call.
Deena: Hello
Tom: They’re in the cockpit. The guy they knifed is dead.
Deena: He’s dead?
Tom: Yes. I tried to help him, but I couldn’t get a pulse.
Deena: Tom, they are hijacking planes all up and down the east coast.
They are taking them and hitting designated targets. They’ve already hit both towers of the World Trade Center.
Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane. (a pause) Oh my God. It’s a suicide mission…(he then tells people sitting around him)
Deena: Who are you talking to?
Tom: My seatmate. Do you know which airline is involved?
Deena: No, they don’t know if they’re commercial airlines or not. The news reporters are speculating cargo planes, private planes and commercial. No one knows.
Tom: How many planes are there?
Deena: They’re not sure, at least three. Maybe more.
Tom: O.K….O.K….Do you know who is involved?
Deena: No.
Tom: We’re turning back toward New York. We’re going back to the World Trade Center. No, wait, we’re turning back the other way. We’re going south.
Deena: What do you see?
Tom: Just a minute, I’m looking. I don’t see anything, we’re over a rural area. It’s just fields. I’ve gotta go.

6:45 a.m. Third cell phone call from Tom to Deena
Tom: Deena
Deena: Tom, you’re O.K. (I thought at this point he had just survived the Pentagon plane crash).
Tom: No, I’m not.
Deena: They just hit the Pentagon.
Tom: (tells people sitting around him “They just hit the Pentagon.”)
Tom: O.K….O.K. What else can you tell me?
Deena: They think five airplanes have been hijacked. One is still on the ground. They believe all of them are commercial planes. I haven’t heard them say which airline, but all of them have originated on the east coast.
Tom: Do you know who is involved?
Deena: No
Tom: What is the probability of their having a bomb on board? I don’t think they have one. I think they’re just telling us that for crowd control.
Deena: A plane can survive a bomb if it’s in the right place.
Tom: Did you call the authorities?
Deena: Yes, they didn’t know anything about your plane.
Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane into the ground. We have to do something. I’m putting a plan together.
Deena: Who’s helping you?
Tom: Different people. Several people. There’s a group of us. Don’t worry. I’ll call you back.

6:54 a.m. Fourth cell phone call to Tom to Deena
Deena: Tom?
Tom: Hi. Anything new?
Deena: No
Tom: Where are the kids?
Deena: They’re fine. They’re sitting at the table having breakfast. They’re asking to talk to you.
Tom: Tell them I’ll talk to them later.
Deena: I called your parents. They know your plane has been hijacked.
Tom: Oh…you shouldn’t have worried them. How are they doing?
Deena: They’re O.K.. Mary and Martha are with them.
Tom: Good.
(a long quiet pause)
Tom: We’re waiting until we’re over a rural area. We’re going to take back the airplane.
Deena: No! Sit down, be still, be quiet, and don’t draw attention to yourself! (The exact words taught to me by Delta Airlines Flight Attendant Training).
Tom: Deena! If they’re going to crash this plane into the ground, we’re going to have do something!
Deena: What about the authorities?
Tom: We can’t wait for the authorities. I don’t know what they could do anyway.
It’s up to us. I think we can do it.
Deena: What do you want me to do?
Tom: Pray, Deena, just pray.
(after a long pause)
Deena: I love you.
Tom: Don’t worry, we’re going to do something...

Too bad Nike didn't think this amounted to "going for it" and being "willing to sacrifice  everything".

Friday, September 7, 2018

Desperados Under The Eaves

From Warren Zevon

I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was staring at my empty coffee cup

And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing
Until I pay my bill

I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
Listening to the air conditioner humm
It went mmmm . . . 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

We All Stand With Nike

Well, actually I don't.  Haven't purchased anything from Nike in decades, finding their iconography  to reek of fascist imagery from the 1930s.  That may also explain why they chose as the icon for their new campaign a guy who admires murderous, homophobic, and fascistic thugs.