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Archive for September, 2012

Foreign Entanglements: The Edge of Diplomacy

[ 0 ] September 17, 2012 |

On this week’s episode of Foreign Entanglements, Matt Duss spoke with Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh (ret.). Here they discuss the opening of the US Embassy in Tblisi:

Disclosure; Cavanaugh is my colleague at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. See also the tribute to Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Since We Can Always Use Encouraging News

[ 32 ] September 17, 2012 |

Things are looking better for Warren.

And while I can cite the strong position Obama is in based on the polling, this might be even stronger evidence that Romney is in deep trouble.

Labor relations

[ 103 ] September 16, 2012 |

One of the referees in tonight’s NFL game was officiating a 7th grade game earlier this week.

The officiating across the league today was atrocious. Obviously even the best refs miss calls, but these semi-amateurs are totally out of their league (higher level college refs are refusing to do NFL games).

Some of the missed calls are products of simply not knowing the rules. San Francisco got a TD tonight because earlier in the drive what should have been a 25-yard loss was nullified when Alex Smith threw the ball away even though his pass didn’t come within a mile of reaching the line of scrimmage (that’s intentional grounding even if the QB is out of the pocket).

Obviously the owners care a lot more about strikebreaking than they do about not subjecting the players and the fans to a travesty.

I hate children. They have too many notes.*

[ 39 ] September 16, 2012 |

SEK’s apartment complex just installed a basketball court right next to his apartment. SEK thinks this is awesome because he finds shooting basketballs to be a zen-like activity. So at 8 a.m. SEK takes his basketball and shoots around for an hour.

SEK: (shoots)

SEK: (gathers rebound)

SEK: (shoots)

SEK: (gathers rebound)

SEK: (shoots)

SEK: (gathers rebound)

SEK: (shoots)

SEK: (gathers rebound)

SEK: (shoots)

SEK: (gathers rebound)

SEK: (shoots)

SEK: (gathers rebound)

FOURTH GRADER #1 enters the court.

SEK: (shoots)

SEK: (gathers rebound)

FOURTH GRADER #1: Pass me the ball, would you?

SEK: (passes the ball)

FOURTH GRADER #1: (airballs)

SEK: (gathers rebound and shoots)

FOURTH GRADER #1: Hey! It was still my shot!

SEK: (passes the ball) Sorry about that.

FOURTH GRADER #1: (airballs)

FIFTH GRADER #1 appears on the court.

FIFTH GRADER #1: (gathers rebound and shoots) SKRRRRRAAAAAAAAAA!

SEK: Where did you come—

FOURTH GRADER #2 joins him.

FOURTH GRADER #2: (gathers rebound and looks around) PRRRRRAAAAAAAAAA!

SEK: Where did you—

As does THIRD GRADER #1.

FOURTH GRADER #2: (passes to THIRD GRADER #1) FRRRRRAAAAAAAAAA!

THIRD GRADER #1: (fumbles pass) KRRRRRAAAAAAAAA!

SEK: (gathers ball and shoots)

Some INTERDIMENSIONAL PORTAL must have been opened because…

FIFTH GRADER #2: Quit hogging the ball!

THIRD GRADER #2: (gathers rebound and airballs) BRRRRRAAAAAAAAAA!

FIFTH GRADER #3: (gathers rebound and airballs) NNNNNAAAAAAAAAA!

FOURTH GRADER #3: (gathers rebound and airballs) MMMMMEEEEEEEEEE!

SEVENTH GRADER #1: (gathers rebound) SLLLLLAAAAAMMMMM! (not even close)

SIXTH GRADER #1: (gathers rebound and runs away with ball) TRRRRROOOOOOOOOO!

SEK: Come back here!

SIXTH GRADER #1: (throws ball into fence) TRRRRROOOOOOOOOO! (runs away)

SEK: (gathers ball and makes to leave the court)

ALL THE CHILDREN: HEY! COME BACK WITH OUR BALL!

SEK: It’s my ball!

ALL THE CHILDREN: HE’S STEALING OUR BALL!

SEK: IT’S MY BALL! I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE OR WHERE YOU CAME FROM!

ALL THE CHILDREN: THAT’S OUR BALL! IT HAS OUR NAME ON IT!

SEK: YOUR NAME IS “SPALDING NBA”?

ALL THE CHILDREN: IS YOURS?

SEK declines to answer their question and walks away. He realizes that if he stayed out any longer he’d look like a creepy old man who shouldn’t be playing basketball with children anyway. But since SEK lives right next to the basketball court, he walks the long way back to his apartment lest ALL THE CHILDREN realize which porch is his and decide to play Eschaton with the many plants on it.

If Romney wins, perhaps she can be ambassador to the Republic of Corsica

[ 103 ] September 16, 2012 |

Mitt Romney’s senior foreign policy advisor Liz Cheney has a point. I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about Obama’s Czechoslovakia policy. However: his craven abandonment of Czechoslovakia pales in comparison to his failure to engage the Orange Free State, and his apparent indifference to the Prussian menace.

1984 circa 2012

[ 47 ] September 16, 2012 |

Is Michael Bloomberg starring in a new version of 1984 on Broadway? If so, this would be a good poster for the play.

What, you mean this is a serious poster meant to intimidate the people of New York. Oh dear.

But I Really Want That Ivory Backscratcher

[ 11 ] September 16, 2012 |

Shorter Roger Goodell: “Er, naturally I can’t pay you much of a pension because I’m strapped for cash.” [Ceiling collapses, covering Goodell in jewels, precious metals, bearer bonds, two-ton bundles of $1,000 bills.]

Nixon ’68: That Groovy Cat

[ 15 ] September 16, 2012 |

In case you ever wanted to see a Richard Nixon political ad that features a random picture of Jerry Garcia, here you go:

The NFL–High-Class Professionalism All the Way

[ 38 ] September 16, 2012 |

The NFL lockout of its referees is about one thing–the NFL wants to take their pensions away. Why? Because other workers don’t have them so the NFL doesn’t want the refs to have them either. Really, it’s that simple.

Leaving behind the utter incompetence of the scab refs, the NFL hasn’t even bothered to investigate whether these scabs might have conflicts of interest. Such as, let’s say, being a huge fan of a team in which you are about to call their game:

The NFL has replaced one of its replacement referees just hours before NFL games kick off.

Referee Brian Stropolo was pulled from the New Orleans Saints – Carolina Panthers game after it was revealed that he is a fan of the Saints. On his Facebook page, there are several pictures of Stropolo at a tailgate party for the Saints. In the photos, Stropolo is wearing Saints-themed gear.

Any claims that the NFL takes player safety or professionalism seriously are laughable.

Seapower in Culture Interregnum

[ 8 ] September 16, 2012 |

The Seapower in Culture series continues, although at a much slower pace than I had hoped for. At the Diplomat, James Holmes has thoughts on Battleship and In Harm’s Way. Of the latter:

Apart from Pearl Harbor, the battles shown on screen are amalgams of legendary engagements like Midway, Guadalcanal, and Leyte Gulf. Curiously, the makers also saw fit to fictionalize well-known figures like Admiral Husband Kimmel (“CINCPAC I”), the aforementioned Pacific Fleet commander who had the misfortune to be in charge on December 7, and his successor, Admiral Chester Nimitz (“CINCPAC II”), who oversaw the Central Pacific counteroffensive against Japan.

My favorite part of In Harm’s Way is that it captures a navy at a time of wrenching change. As someone once said, you go to war with the army you have. In 1941 the U.S. Navy went to war with the fleet it had—except that the Pacific Fleet the United States had on December 8 looked radically different than the one moored near Ford Island at dawn on December 7. The maimed navy had to wage war with the implements that remained to it until 1943, when the entirely new fleet Congress had authorized in the 1940 Two-Ocean Navy Act had been fitted out and began arriving in the theater. Battleship engagements were out; unrestricted submarine warfare and aircraft-carrier raids on Japanese outposts were in. Methods changed while the battle line remained ablaze in Pearl Harbor.

See also Jim Emerson’s unsympathetic but fair discussion of the late Tony Scott’s filmmaking.

Maybe Shoulda Thought NFL Maybe…

[ 32 ] September 15, 2012 |

It’s always sad hilarious to watch a young man’s Heisman and National Championship aspirations vanish in so much smoke. The narrative for November 3 just became: “Can USC derail Oregon’s national title hopes?”

I presume Glenn Reynolds’s already uploaded most of his mind and what he loses here are the sad scraps that remain.

[ 168 ] September 15, 2012 |

OBAMA SHOULD RESIGN! LOOK AT THIS PHOTO HEH!

THE MAN IN IT MADE A MOVIE IN AMERICA HEH AND OBAMA PERSONALLY AND LITERALLY SENT IN PEOPLE IN BROWN SHIRTS TO DETAIN HIM! INDEED HE VIOLATED THE OATH OF OFFICE AND THIS IS “THE KEY BIT”:

Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world.

THAT IS “THE KEY BIT” NOT THE PART ABOUT HIM BEING ON PROBATION! NOT THE PART ABOUT THE TERMS OF HIS PROBATION PROHIBITING HIM FROM OWNING OR USING A COMPUTER THAT COULD ACCESS THE INTERNET AND FOR EXAMPLE UPLOAD A FILM TO YOUTUBE! THE PART ABOUT HIM VIOLATING HIS PAROLE IS NOT “THE KEY BIT”! “THE KEY BIT” IS I REPEAT “THE KEY BIT” IS THAT THESE SHIRTS ARE LITERALLY BROWN AND IT IS LITERALLY MIDNIGHT AND OBAMA DID THIS!

HE IS A DISGRACE HEH! INDEED HE SHOULD RESIGN! ANN AGREES! THAT IS A TOWEL! THIS HAPPENED IN AMERICA! OBAMA DID IT! HE SHOULD RESIGN! LITERALLY!

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