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December 28, 2010 Respond
So, the question has been asked: Where the hell am I?
I’m in Chicago, champ. I’m grinding through the winter just like everyone else. I’m kicking snowmen, drinking beers and yelling at the cable news nonsense. In short, I’m doing what I always do.
You’re going to hear a lot more about me in the coming months. You’ll hear a lot more from me as well. I’m going to add all sorts of content to this bare-bones Website in 2011 and I hope you’ll follow along. If you haven’t ‘liked’ me on Facebook, take two seconds out of your understandably busy day and do that now. I can assure you that if you follow me there you will remain in the loop.
So, what will happen to the radio show?
What will I do differently in 2011?
What will I be doing in the digital space?
These are all questions I will answer in the first week of January. I’ll only give you one promise moving forward: no more vagueness. No more questions. It will all start to make sense very soon.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy the final days of 2010. It was a great year, after all. I worked with some amazing people, learned more about media and marketing and a million other topics than I have in my entire life and I befriended some even more amazing people. If 2010 was a 6 on the volume knob, 2011 will be maxed out.
If you need to contact me, reach out.
If you want to grab a beer and talk shop, let me know.
If you’re a member of the group of South Loop goons I drink with, cheers. I’ll see you freaks in a matter of hours, I’m sure.
If you’re in South Florida, enjoy the sunshine.
If you’re in California, tell everyone I said “hello.”
From West Coast to East Coast, the Midwest and everywhere in between, thank you all for a great year. Thanks for listening. The show never ends; in the immortal words of Walt Disney, it just keeps moving forward. I’ll see you all in 2011.
December 13, 2010 Respond
Two weeks after Al Jean said the joke was getting old…
Two weeks after “Simpsons” executive producer said the show would lay off Fox News for a while, the Fox News helicopter made another appearance on the show — this time with the words, “Merry Christmas from Fox News… but no other holidays.”
The copter flew over Springfield for the Nov. 21 episode with the slogan, “”Not Racist, But #1 With Racists,” and returned the next week with the slogan changed to “Unsuitable for Viewers Under 75.”
If you missed the racist and elderly jabs, take a look.
I think Al Jean had it right. It was borderline funny to thumb your nose at Fox News at the beginning of one episode but to take the joke any further seems forced. It’s almost as if they now desire the attention shone upon them by Bill O’Reilly; as if they now need that attention to achieve stratospheric ratings and please the core audience. But the fact is, they don’t need that at all.
Fox and The Simpsons would be far better served by sticking to their bread-and-butter. Most fans of The Simpsons watch the show for the same reason that drives me to tune in: an escape from the noise and the nonsense. We’re force-fed opinions around the clock these days and an escape into the land of Homer, Moe and Barney is a nice relief from that noise. And, really, the thing that bugs me most about this is that they’re not really attacking Fox News, they’re attacking the viewers.
In the land of radio, TV and entertainment, many things have changed over the years. One constant remains, though. We still have little clue who the viewers are, what they enjoy and why they tune in to any given show. Sure, we can talk about how old they are and, at times, how much money they make or what sex they are but we don’t know their motivations. We don’t know what their political views or leanings are and we have no clue who they are on a personal level. The journey thus far takes us to the land of racists, old people and Christians. That is where Fox News exists in the eyes of creators of The Simpsons. Beyond the fact that these charges are ridiculous (and certainly worthy of more offense) is the glaring, obvious point here: the bit just isn’t that funny.
So, I beg, please drop the chopper bit and get back to the funny.
December 8, 2010 Respond
Obama’s unemployment extension ignores the 99ers plight.
Americans who have been on unemployment benefits for a very long time might have felt a twinge of relief when they learned that the tax deal cut in Washington, DC this week would extend unemployment benefits for another 13-months.
But if those who have been on unemployment for close to the maximum time permitted in their state thought the new “extension” would keep them from getting cut off, they’ve made a mistake.
The “extension” does not extend the number of weeks on which anyone can collect unemployment. That number still stands exactly where it did before the extension.
So the 99ers, those who have been cashing unemployment checks for 99 weeks, won’t get an extension as a result of President Obama’s compromise with the GOP. And they shouldn’t. Though there may be some folks who have genuinely tried to gain employment through all means in that nearly two year period soaking up unemployment dough, most of them are simply avoiding what they consider worse than unemployment: underemployment.
Since the day I turned 16, save maybe for a month or two before I hit 18, I’ve held down a job. I worked at Papa Johns, making and topping pizzas for 12 hours at a time, moved boxes for a file archival company, delivered bottled water and somehow remained employed for my entire adult life. Granted, I may be more skilled and I may have a better social network than some of these folks who are out of work but I’m not afraid to be underemployed.
I believe the majority of these self-described ’99ers’ are simply people looking to find a job of equal or greater value to the one the lost. They want the same gravitas and the same paycheck. When they don’t get that position, for whatever reason, they refuse to reduce their expectations. A 60 Minutes piece on these 99ers shines some light into their motivations. Host Scott Pelley chatted with Marianne Rose, a 54-year-old single mother who was laid off from her position as a financial analyst in San Jose, California.
Rose was a financial analyst at a real estate firm. Age 54, she’s single with a grown daughter. After being laid off with about 100 co-workers, she spent her savings, lost her home and finally found herself sitting in a truck with her dog and all of her possessions.
She made a desperate call to a friend and found refuge upstairs in the home of strangers, her friend’s brother and sister-in-law.
“How long did you think you would be in here?” Pelley asked.
“Two weeks really. That’s all I thought,” she replied.
But she told Pelley it has been six month. “And not really an end in sight, yet.”
“What sort of things would you be willing to do at this point?” Pelley asked.
“Well, I can say that probably the lowest level position for me has been now to apply for a clerk, a county clerk and I just realized the competition is pretty stiff out there,” she replied.
A financial analyst in San Jose tends to make upwards of $120,000 per year, by all means a great job. So Rose gets fired from that gig and lets things spiral out of control to the point that she’s living in a truck with her dog. She acts as if she’s giving it her all but the lowest level position she has applied for is a county clerk job. Rose has gone from a $120k salary to a truck bed and the lowest she can stoop is to apply for a position that generally makes about $90,000 per year. And Rose is far from alone.
“60 Minutes” stopped by the soup kitchen in San Jose. Many folks used to think that they could see all the way to retirement. But now long-term unemployment is wrecking years of saving and planning by people like Lisa and Doug Francone.
Doug was a $200,000-a-year personnel executive.
“You must have thought that you’d get another job pretty quickly,” Pelley remarked.
“Yeah. It really didn’t cross my mind that I wouldn’t find something. The question was trying to take the time to find the right job,” he replied.
“You’d have a job in six months, a job that you liked in six months, and how long has it been?” Pelley asked Lisa Francone.
“Two years and three months,” she replied.
Doug is used to making a big fat $200k annual paycheck so clearly he doesn’t want to haul his ass down to Home Depot and move lumber from corner to corner for $38k. But guess what? You don’t have a choice. Well, I guess you can just give up like some of these folks and hit the soup kitchen for a decade or so but if you want to play ball, you don’t have a choice. Eventually you have to get over yourself. You may have made a great living at one point in your life but you did so because someone thought your work was valuable enough to justify a paycheck that large. If the jobs dry up, so do your options. Eventually, you have to realize that it’s time to lower your expectations and accept the best job for which you are qualified. Even if that job is something you would have scoffed at from your previous employment perch. After 99 weeks, it’s time to get real and get over yourself.
As I said in the first paragraph, this doesn’t apply to everyone who can’t get a job. There are people who are legitimately trying to get hired at whatever job they can find only to be shot down time and time again. There are good people who are dealing with a stroke of bad luck. But I believe there are far more people who are too ashamed to take a position lower in stature than the job they lost. There are more of these 99ers who simply lucked their way into a position they are not truly qualified for who now find themselves unprepared to take a massive pay cut.
I can honestly say that if they bottom fell out and I lost my job today I would have no problem swallowing my pride for 6 months, a year even, and returning to that Papa Johns pizza joint I worked at more than a decade ago. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to the water bottle deliver grind, if that was my best option. I’d be back at the record archival warehouse, wheeling the giant ladder unit over for another box retrieval – from the top shelf, of couse.
If you truly have the skill set you believe you have, it will only be a matter of time before the right position (with the right paycheck) surfaces and no employer worth their weight in salt would refuse to hire you because you currently toss pizzas at night.
So, seriously, if you’ve been on unemployment for 99 weeks, the jig is up. You’re not getting an extension as a result of this deal to extend the Bush Administration’s tax cuts and it’s time to get a job. Any job. Hit the pavement tomorrow and don’t come home until you’ve locked down employment of some kind. You’ll feel better about yourself, your family will feel better about their future and you can still use your free time to climb the ladder back to your previous paycheck. As they say, it gets better.
December 7, 2010 Respond
There’s something fishy about the arrest of Julian Assange.
The following afternoon, Sarah returned to Stockholm, 24 hours earlier than planned.
In an interview she later gave to police, she is reported to have said: ‘He (Assange) was there when I came home. We talked a little and decided that he could stay.’
The pair went out for dinner together at a nearby restaurant. Afterwards they returned to her flat and had sex. What is not disputed by either of them is that a condom broke — an event which, as we shall see, would later take on great significance.
So Jessica bought both their tickets.
She had snagged perhaps the world’s most famous activist, and after they arrived at her apartment they had sex. According to her testimony to police, Assange wore a condom. The following morning they made love again. This time he used no protection.
Jessica reportedly said later that she was upset that he had refused when she asked him to wear a condom.
So we know there are two women accusing Assange in this case. Sarah, a well-known ‘radical feminist’ in her 30s and Jessica, a fan of the Wikileaks founder in her 20s. Both of them readily admit they willingly slept with Assange and both of them had cordial chats with him after the fact. At some point, they joined forces and decided to push forward with charges against him. Honestly, this may be the weakest case against a controversial figure ever.
One of the women, Sarah, even tried to erase some tweets she posted as her courtship with Julian Assange was brewing. She was clearly excited to be in his presence at the time.
A few hours after that party, Sarah apparently Tweeted: ‘Sitting outside … nearly freezing, with the world’s coolest people. It’s pretty amazing!’ She was later to try to erase this message.
What happened here seems to be quite obvious. Two women, both infatuated with the new Dark Star of the Web, flirted with Assange and ended up having consensual sex with him. They both chatted with him after the fact and all seemed well in both cases. Then, Assange, being the vagabond that he is, moved on. They clearly felt slighted and bonded over the fact that they had both been left behind. If Julian Assange wasn’t the defacto leader of Wikileaks.org, a website that has embarrassed powerful governments around the globe, he would never have been arrested on these charges. There’s no evidence that he did anything other than sleep with women who wanted to sleep with him and his only crime appears to be not calling the next day or continuing the relationships with these accusers. It just doesn’t add up.
Initially, Sarah and Jessica approached the police but when that option seemed like a dead-end (Assange hopped a flight elsewhere), they tried to bring the story to a tabloid newspaper.
And check out this tidbit about one of the accusers:
Earlier this year, Sarah is reported to have posted a telling entry on her website, which she has since removed. But a copy has been retrieved and widely circulated on the internet.
Entitled ‘7 Steps to Legal Revenge’, it explains how women can use courts to get their own back on unfaithful lovers.
Step 7 says: ‘Go to it and keep your goal in sight. Make sure your victim suffers just as you did.’ (The highlighting of text is Sarah’s own.)
Look, there’s a possibility that an angle exists here that I am unaware of and maybe Assange did something wrong. But all the information release thus far points to one conclusion: Julian Assange is being railroaded by the Swiss, the Brits and U.S. authorities, with the assistance of these jilted lovers, because he is the face of a website that these countries dislike.
Update: No bail? Really?
December 4, 2010 Respond
Wikileaks is under attack with no Web host and blocks abounding.
WikiLeaks website has been shut down temporarily, after Amazon censored it. Joe Lieberman apparently put pressure on Amazon to pull the site. But the cloud service provider isn’t talking. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers accuse Amazon of being selective with its freedom of speech defenses.
Making a martyr out of your enemy is never a good idea. The United States and other governments that feel threatened by Wikileaks lead an effort to shut down the whistle blower website right now. Amazon, the site that has hosted Wikileaks for some time now, has pulled the plug on the site. Wikileaks has been under near constant DNS attacks for the past week or more. Their funding, much of which arrives through PayPal donations, has been cut and PayPal has blocked the Wikileaks account.
PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.
All of this accomplishes nothing. If anything, it only furthers the myth of Julian Assange’s power and credibility. Wikileaks is not the problem. Assange is not the problem. This censorship will actually turn those who may have been put off by the obvious partisanship of the Wikileaks spokesman and his spinning of the content of these leaked cables to defend him in the name of freedom of information and free speech. I’ll repeat the most important line there for emphasis. Wikileaks is not the problem. If you shut down Wikileaks, ten clones surface and the target simply moves.
This is just like the record companies, sensing a brewing craze of illegal downloads online, targeting of Napster in 2000. After millions of dollars in court fees and a years-long process, the record companies essentially neutered their perceived enemy only to find dozens of clones had popped up and the crowd of those downloading illegal Mp3s had grown exponentially. The Web is not linear and titans of industry in the music world found this out the hard way. They never truly recovered and continue to struggle financially. It didn’t quite work out, did it?
So if Wikileaks isn’t the problem, who/what is?
The problem here is the ease at which these classified documents and cables were accessed. Let me hit you with a little nugget of information that almost always goes unmentioned in this debate: nearly all of the information leaked by Wikileaks.org to-date has come from one person. I’ve talked before about Bradley Manning and pondered the reasons such a minor figure had access to this trove of information. I’ve talked about how easy it was for him to burn a CD with all of these documents and an encrypted video and upload them to a website designed to leak that information. But if it wasn’t Wikileaks.org it could have been anyone. The data could have been leaked via torrent on the Pirate Bay or in a dozen other ways. The U.S. government is now treating the rash without questioning how it got there. And the information leaked before Manning burned that CD? Much of it was captured through a supposedly secure channel (the Tor Network) that Assange had access to; he and others captured information from Chinese hackers using this channel and posted some of it online. Most of it was inane and boring but it allowed him to launch the site boasting of more than ’1 million classified documents from 13 countries.’ It was all a mirage.
Until the user-base of 3 million people with access to this information is whittled down to a smaller, more manageable number, we will continue to see leaks like this. It didn’t take Wikileaks or the Internet (neither existed at the time) for the Pentagon Papers to surface. The platform release is truly unimportant when you have no control over the crowd with access to the information. The United States and other countries would do better by getting their classified ducks in a row than by launching an attack on Wikileaks.
And honestly, why has no one been fired over this yet?
December 3, 2010 Respond
Cast of Characters -
Guy: Sitting down eating with new girlfried
New Girlfriend: sitting patiently while crazy girl riffs
Old Girlfriend: standing by new couple going bananas
Old girlfriend is clearly crazy but also appears to be quite attractive. New girlfriend has that independent-smart-rocker-chick look to her but sits silently for a bit while Old Girlfriend loses her mind. Guy is just sitting their silently until all hell breaks loose and he breaks the two up. Everyone handles the situation about as poorly as you could expect. For some reason, it’s fun to watch.
I put ‘Hong Kong’ in the title because I think they’re speaking Cantonese.
It could be a fake; a viral video of sorts. An anti-smoking campaign?
Regardless, give it a watch. It’s Friday and I don’t feel like posting a crazed take on any current topics so I thought I’d put this out there and call it a day. A palate cleanser, if you will.
I was planning on recording a podcast to release on the site this weekend but travel has been heavy on my agenda. I’ve got to hop a flight to Orlando on Sunday night and I’ll be gone until Monday night. I spent most of this week on the road living out of a messenger bag, yet I still managed to get up a post every day. Thankfully, after Monday I’m staying in Chicago until the holidays pass. I’m dying for a travel break and the most exciting part of my month will be when wheels touch tarmac on Monday night back at Midway. So, no podcast this weekend but expect one soon with others to follow. Also, news on my future after the 1st of the year. Crazy times, crazy plans. You know how it goes.
Enjoy your weekend, I’ll see you back here on Monday.
December 2, 2010 Respond
It’s amazing what people will actually complain about, isn’t it?
Here’s the description posted alongside the video:
This social experiment was carried out using hidden cameras in a townhouse complex in Johannesburg. Don’t condone violence by doing nothing. If you or anyone around you is experiencing domestic abuse please call the POWA helpline on 083 765 1235 or visit www.powa.co.za Counseling services and support is available.
It may be a bit jarring, but the campaign makes an incredibly solid and valid point. People are quick to complain about something they see as annoying. But when that annoying thing is a seemingly violent altercation between jilted lovers, we tend to ignore it in the name of staying out of a couple’s ‘personal business.’
Years ago, I was at a gas station in South Florida and I saw a couple fighting in the parking lot. The man was huge, he probably weighed more than 300lbs and was at least six feet tall. The woman was overweight but much shorter than him. As I walked by I watched the guy literally punching his wife in the face. She was fighting back but her lip was bloodied and she was crying. I didn’t even stop. I did nothing. I just walked by and went on my way because I was scared to intervene. I think we’ve all be guilty of this at one point or another.
Yet if that same couple was in a car taking too long to exit a cherished parking spot, I would have immediately honked the horn and started screaming. In one case, I’m apt to leave them alone and in the other I’m annoyed and interested in intervention. I feel terrible for not saying something to that man. I could have called 911 at the very least. I didn’t. I walked past the quarreling couple, bought a six pack of beer and a pack of smokes and went about my business.
Next time, I’ll react.
Why are we so prone to ignore domestic abuse incidents?
December 1, 2010 Respond
If you die, should you have the right to kill your pet as well?
Donald Ellis had it all planned out. After his death, family members referenced his will for all funeral plans. Among the details, explicit instructions that his 2-year-old, perfectly healthy Yorkie be put down and buried by his side. And guess what? They did it.
That was the case with Ellis, who asked his sister to euthanize his 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier after his death because “nobody would love him like he did.”
“Tom Tom was grieving for my brother,” says Marilyn McDaniel, 58, of Star City, Ark., who consented to her late brother’s wishes. “They were very close. I’ve gotten a lot of grief for doing this, but it’s what my brother wanted.”
I’m not sure how they found a veterinarian willing to put down a perfectly health animal just because some delusional man believed he could play fetch with his dog in the afterlife, but it happened. And Tom Tom the (now dead) Yorkie isn’t alone. It’s becoming more popular these days to be buried with your favorite pet, regardless of the health, age or condition of the animal.
A pet funeral home manager in Jacksonville chimes in:
“I hear this daily that when people pass away, ‘My pet’s going to be buried with me in my casket,’” said Jimmy Hughey.
Hughey runs Jacksonville Pet Funeral Home and Crematory. Hughey said he often cremates pets after families have a veterinarian put the animal to sleep so that it can be buried with a loved one.
“It’s the attachment that people have with their pets and the family knows the attachment,” said Hughey. “The little pet typically is elderly and it specifically can be written in people’s wills,” he said.
This doesn’t stop with canines, either. People have been buried with their cats, horses, birds and other pets. Many of these pets haven’t reached the natural conclusion of their lives but they are put to death anyhow. It seems quite bizarre that you can do something like this just because it is wished so in someone’s death documents.
I can hear the argument brewing already: “Shawn, you jackass, they probably would have sent this animal to a shelter if they didn’t put it down and those shelters kill healthy animals every day!” Sure, you may have a soft point there. But those animals are considered unwanted at that point whereas animals killed solely to be buried with their owners are killed simply to fulfill the selfish wishes of a deceased person. We shouldn’t blindly follow wills and other requests left after a loved one dies, we should weigh these more bizarre situations out and try to make the best moral decision possible in each case.
In Egypt, around 1300 B.C., when Pharaohs would die they buried them with all accumulated riches, killed their pets and tossed them in with their goodies. Sometimes, they even placed living servants and family members in tombs. They did this because they believed everything in those tombs would be accessible in the afterlife. Also, they were crazy and confused. I thought we had come along way since then but perhaps I was wrong.
You wouldn’t call for your husband, wife or loved one to be killed and buried with you so why put down a pet before it dies naturally? (Quick note: I’m not saying pets are on the same level as people in a moral argument, I’m just making a simple comparison) So, what do you think, is it over the line to ask for your animals to be buried with you?
November 30, 2010 Respond
Debt collection after death takes a ridiculous turn.
I’ve always thought your debt should die with you but times change and tactics evolve. We’ve seen plenty of stories in the past few years, as debt collectors get more and more desperate, about collection efforts targeting widows and other family members in an effort to reclaim owed money. Now, I’ll be damned if my brother is allowed to run up a huge debt and leave me with it after he passes (let’s hope I go first, natch) but imagine if those same smarmy debt collectors took it to the next level. Should you be held responsible for the debts of your friends?
WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) — Consumer advocates say the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has asked for trouble by revising rules for collectors chasing debt from people who have died.
The new rules allow for a wider circle of people to be contacted, beyond family members and the legal executor of the estate. There is also the term “spouse” that some advocates say is inaccurate as a marriage ends when one of the partners dies. The Washington Post reported Monday.
Some advocates warn that some debt collectors will press even friends to pay the debts of someone who has died, using a “moral obligation” argument, the Post said.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
If I join my (fictional) wife on a last-night-of-her-life spending spree, sure, you could make an argument that I should be held responsible for any debt accrued. But, beyond that there is little wiggle room here. There’s no way in hell that I should have to pay for a family member’s poor financial decisions and if I knew I could be held responsible for the credit pitfalls my friends fall into, well, I would have put an immediate stop to their spending habits long ago. Problem is, I don’t have that authority. And if I have no authority over the financial decisions of a person, I certainly shouldn’t be held responsible for their debts.
But the FTC argues ‘debt is debt‘ regardless of life.
“The debt doesn’t disappear when the person dies. It’s still a valid debt, and the collector can still collect it,” said Joel Winston, FTC associate director of financial practices, the Post reported.
That seems like a pretty wide goal post. I’m of the opinion that unless debt can be directly tied to an individual, the debt should die with the debt-holder. Chasing around these zombie accounts and attempting to shame friends and family members into paying owed monies through some bunk ‘moral obligation’ push is ridiculous. And, really, debt collectors, are you really going to claim moral high ground here? After some of the economic horror stories I’ve heard over the last few years, that seems comical.
November 29, 2010 Respond
It’s not the leaked cables that scare me, it’s how they leaked.
In the movies, the story generally goes something like this: mysterious agent repels down into a high security chamber, spraying an unknown chemical concoction to reveal lasers aimed in all directions. The agent then fires a laser of his own at the base of the security system, disabling the trip wire-type lasers before he slowly approaches the floor. He then makes his way into a room, revealed only after pressing a latex glove with security-approved finger prints to a digital pad, and approaches a set of filing cabinets. Guards flood the area as the agent heads for the highly coveted, highly secret files. He grabs what he needs and in a puff of smoke leaves the guards in the dust. Once outside, a waiting van scoops up agent zero and transports him back to the enemy hideout. Homeboy reveals his face at the last moment and, holy shit, it’s Tom Cruise.
But the man who leaked nearly all of the data that has made Wikileaks so famous is no secret agent. He’s not even a Tom Cruise-like character hell bent on destroying the United States. His name is Bradley Manning and he’s an army soldier in his early 20′s. He tossed a blank CD (labeled Lady Gaga) in his computer and lip-synced the words to the Gaga tune Telephone as the largest data spilling in U.S. history took place.
So who else had access to this secret information? 3 million people.
More than 3 million US government personnel and soldiers, many extremely junior, are cleared to have potential access to this material, even though the cables contain the identities of foreign informants, often sensitive contacts in dictatorial regimes. Some are marked “protect” or “strictly protect”.
There is little doubt that this leak has caused major damage to U.S. diplomatic efforts around the globe. So why would such a large number of admittedly ‘junior’ personnel have access to this information? As we dive through the treasure trove of data that has surfaced on Day 1 of a week-long leak, it’s not lies in Yemen, China’s Google hack, Hillary’s spy advice, Berlusconi’s ‘bromance’ with Putin, Saudi Arabia’s eagerness for a war in Iran, corruption in Afghanistan, GITMO deals or war games over North Korea’s future that shocks my conscience. It’s the most obvious question of all that seems to be evading the masses: why didn’t this happen years ago?
Is our national security really that insecure that we were embarrassed in front of the world by a man lip-syncing Lady Gaga? Even more shocking, we may have never known who originated the leak, leaving Bradley Manning with access to even more information, were it not for a hacker named Adrian Lamo. This could have been much worse.
Kind of pathetic, isn’t it?
November 26, 2010 Respond
Errant elbow strikes President Obama’s lip, 12 stitches needed.
President Barack Obama, with an ice pack over his mouth, looks out the second floor window of the White House during the arrival of the official White House Christmas tree.
CNN says it wasn’t Reggie Love, who both assists President Obama and plays basketball with him quite often, but no one else has been named. We know that Reggie Love, Obama, ‘friends and family members’ were among those on the court today but the person who smacked the president in the mouth with a flying elbow remains anonymous. A pool report says it was a 5 on 5 game. Subtract Love and Obama and you’re down to 8 suspects.
Why does it matter? It doesn’t really. Hell, the former Vice President shot a guy in the face once. Remember that? Still, I would feel absolutely horrible if I was playing hoops with the President and I caught him across the lip that hard. If I was the President, I’d point out that if this happened in North Korea, Iran or even Bolivia, the offender probably wouldn’t have left the court unscathed. On a relaxing day after Thanksgiving, as I get ready to hit the bar with some friends, it’s a real pat on the back to know our country is still so free that you can walk away scot-free after bloodying the President’s lip. Then again, if we don’t know who did it, how do we know they walked away at all?
Update: The elbow-throwing player was Rey Decerega of the CHCI.
Decerega issued a statement through the White House late Friday. He did not immediately respond to an e-mail request from The Associated Press for independent comment.
“I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport,” the statement said. “I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I’m sure he’ll be back out on the court again soon.”
He didn’t exactly apologize, did he?
November 25, 2010 Respond
So what is this Thanksgiving holiday all about? Watch this…
Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. While it may have been religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday. It is sometimes casually referred to as Turkey Day.
In Canada, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October, which is Columbus Day in the United States. In the United States, it falls on the fourth Thursday of November.
The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, there is some evidence for an earlier harvest celebration by Spanish explorers in Florida during 1565. There was also a celebration two years before Plymouth (in 1619) in Virginia. There was a Thanksgiving of sorts in Newfoundland, modern-day Canada in 1578 but it was to celebrate a homecoming instead of the harvest.
Thanksgiving Day is also celebrated in Leiden, in the The Netherlands. A different holiday which uses the same name is celebrated at a similar time of year in the island of Grenada.
I want to thank you for visiting every day, listening to the radio show and sticking around when things get chaotic. You’re the reason I put in the work required for a massive project like this and I really appreciate the support. So, enjoy a nice meal with family and friends, eat until you’re as full as can be and hit the bar after a short nap. I’ll be back tomorrow with another blog and a new podcast this weekend. Thanks and have a great day.