September 2, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 9:42 PM



"Pitching is what makes me happy. I've devoted my life to it. I live my life around the four days between starts. It determines what I eat, when I go to bed, what I do when I'm awake. It determines how I spend my life when I'm not pitching. If it means I have to come to Florida and can't get tanned because I might get a burn that would keep me from throwing for a few days, then I never go shirtless in the sun. If it means when I get up in the morning I have to read the box scores to see who got two hits off Bill Singer last night instead of reading a novel, then I do it. If it means I have to remind myself to pet dogs with my left hand or throw logs on the fire with my left hand, then I do that, too. If it means in the winter I eat cottage cheese instead of chocolate chip cookies in order to keep my weight down, then I eat cottage cheese. I might want those cookies but I won't ever eat them. That might bother some people but it doesn't bother me. I enjoy the cottage cheese. I enjoy it more than I would those cookies because I know it will help me do what makes me happy.

"Life isn't very heavy for me. I've made up my mind what I want to do. I'm happy when I pitch well so I only do those things that help me be happy. I wouldn't be able to dedicate myself like this for money or glory, although they are certainly considerations. If I pitch well for 15 years I'll be able to give my family security. But that isn't what motivates me. What motivates some pitchers is to be known as the fastest who ever lived. Some want to have the greatest season ever. All I want is to do the best I possibly can day after day, year after year. Pitching is the whole thing for me. I want to prove I'm the best ever."

Tom Seaver is the youngest pitcher in the history of baseball to sign a contract for more than $100,000 a season. He has averaged 19 victories a year for the New York Mets. At the age of 27, after five full seasons in the major leagues, he had won 95 ball games. Walter Johnson, who won more games than any pitcher in this century, won only 80 in his first five seasons. Grover Cleveland Alexander, second to Johnson, won 70 games by the time he reached his 27th birthday; Sandy Koufax, 68; Bob Gibson, 34; Warren Spahn, 29.

Thomas George Seaver has one of those smooth, boyish. Middle American faces that would be a burden to some men. He possesses the handsomeness so prized in the 1950s of Pat Boone and Tab Hunter. It is a temptation to describe his face as having too little character when you would more rightly mean too few characteristics. It is a face of undistinguished parts, which are subordinate only to a single clear impression of uncluttered good looks.

Seaver stands 6'½" and weighs 210 pounds from November to February when he indulges himself with an occasional breakfast of fried eggs and beer, and he weighs 205 pounds from March to October when he allows himself no fried eggs and beer. He has a squarish, heavy-chested body that tends to fat but is deceptively muscled. His arms, shoulders, chest and thighs are thick with muscles acquired from years of lifting weights. He believes, unlike most pitchers and coaches, that a selective program of weight lifting will add speed to a pitcher's fastball. As a high school senior in Fresno, Calif. he stood 5'9" and weighed 160 pounds. He was the third-hardest thrower on his team. He did not pick up speed until he began lifting weights in college and had grown three inches and put on 30 pounds. Because he has worked so diligently in developing those parts of his body that relate to his talent, Seaver is highly critical--one might almost say contemptuous--of less conscientious players. He will say of a teammate whose chest is noticeably undeveloped, "Do you know he hit 20 balls to the warning track last year! Twenty! Another 10 feet and they would have been home runs. I know I'd find the strength to hit those balls another 10 feet."

Although he is not conscious of it, Seaver shows his disdain for men who he feels have not fulfilled their potential.

[originally posted 3/09/19]
Posted by orrinj at 6:45 PM


Fox News Poll: Biden tops Trump among likely voters in key states (Dana Blanton, 9/02/20, Fox News)

Democrat Joe Biden is ahead in three key states that President Donald Trump won in 2016, according to new Fox News statewide surveys of Arizona, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. 

Support for reelecting Trump falls below his 2016 vote share in each state.

Posted by orrinj at 6:38 PM

THREE FOR THREE (profanity alert):

How misogyny in online forums turns into real-life violence (KATHERINE LAIDLAW, Sep. 2, 2020, Walrus)

INCELDOM, for a long time, has been viewed as a disease, not a state," says Lauren Callahan, an independent researcher who works with Clark. This idea suggests that members are sick with the same ailment their compatriots have and that, rather than a passing state, it's an illness that can't easily be cured. Like many echo chambers, it keeps participants participating, stuck in an increasingly nihilistic headspace. This perspective dovetails with the idea, from terrorism theorists, that the foundational components of radicalization are needs narratives, and networks. The Three Pillars of Radicalization, a 2019 book on the subject, explains that, when someone has all three--a desire for personal significance, a narrative that guides them in that quest for renown, and a network that offers veneration to the members who validate and implement the collective narrative--they're much more likely to progress into violent extremism. And research is proving that these online communities act as pressure cookers, speeding up the radicalization process.

Callahan has observed an increasingly militarized language style in forums hosted on various websites and on Discord servers, where private chats take place. Similar to other avenues of online radicalization, offers a posting structure that incentivizes participation and escalation. At zero posts, you're a "recruit." After 500, you're moved up to an "officer" ranking. At 1,500, you're a "captain"; at 5,000, you're an "overlord"; at 25,000, you're "transcendental"; and, once you reach 30,000 posts, you're "enlightened." If the implications weren't so sinister, it would sound cartoonish. Coren and Callahan have also been exploring the forums' coded messages, word usage, and preliminary links that tie excessive first-person pronoun use--talking about yourself more than about others--into the language of radicalization and extremism.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump told her 'take one for the team' after Kim Jong Un winked at her (Mark MooreSeptember 2, 2020, NY Post)

Sanders said, she noticed "Kim staring at me. We made direct eye contact and Kim nodded and appeared to wink at me. I was stunned. I quickly looked down and continued taking notes."

"... All I could think was, 'What just happened? Surely Kim Jong Un did not just mark me!?'"

Later riding in "the Beast," Sanders told Trump and then-White House chief of staff John Kelly about the off-putting encounter.

That's when Trump joked: "Well, Sarah, that settles it. You're going to North Korea and taking one for the team! Your husband and kids will miss you, but you'll be a hero to your country!"

Posted by orrinj at 6:15 PM


Quinnipiac poll shows Biden up by 10 among likely voters  (CAITLIN OPRYSKO, 09/02/2020, Politico)

President Donald Trump trails Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by double digits just two months out from Election Day, according to a new national poll of likely voters conducted after both parties' nominating conventions.

The Quinnipiac University poll, its first of the general election cycle to survey likely voters rather than registered ones, found the former vice president with 52 percent support compared with Trump's 42 percent. The survey puts Trump at a notable deficit heading into the campaign's final stretch, with some states preparing to begin early voting as soon as this month and the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump set to take place in just under four weeks.

Posted by orrinj at 6:09 PM

Posted by orrinj at 11:20 AM


Posted by orrinj at 11:14 AM


Steve Bannon's effort to export his fiery popularism to Europe is failing (Mark Hosenball, 9/02/20, Reuters) 

Attempts by former White House adviser Steve Bannon to export President Donald Trump's brand of populism to Europe are on the rocks, according to several of his current and former political partners in Italy and Belgium.

After Bannon was charged with fraud for his role in an effort to raise money to help build Trump's wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, two people working with him said an effort to found an academy for right-wing Roman Catholic activists in Italy faces a criminal inquiry by the Rome criminal court and a project aimed at ending the European Union has closed up shop.

Posted by orrinj at 10:58 AM


DHS withheld July intelligence bulletin calling out Russian attack on Biden's mental health (Josh Margolin,Lucien Bruggeman,Will Steakin, and Jonathan Karl, September 2, 2020, abc nEWS)

In early July the Department of Homeland Security withheld publication of an intelligence bulletin warning law enforcement agencies of a Russian scheme to promote "allegations about the poor mental health" of former Vice President Joe Biden, according to internal emails and a draft of the document obtained by ABC News.

The draft bulletin, titled "Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Election," was submitted to the agency's legislative and public affairs office for review on July 7. The analysis was not meant for public consumption, but it was set to be distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement partners two days later, on July 9, the emails show.

Just one hour after its submission, however, a senior DHS official intervened.

Birds of an Islamophobic feather...

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Lindsey Graham is so unpopular his Democratic opponent just set huge fundraising record (Matthew Chapman, 9/01/20, Raw Story)

On Tuesday, Jamie Lovegrove of the Post and Courier reported that Jaime Harrison, the Democratic Senate candidate in South Carolina, raised $10.6 million for his race in August.

This fundraising total shatters all records in South Carolina for Senate fundraising in a single month. It is more money than Harrison raised in the entire second quarter -- and is more than several U.S. Senate candidates this cycle have raised over the entire course of their campaigns.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


The Unlikely Kennedy Who Ended the Kennedy Dynasty (Peter Canellos, 9/01/20, Politico.

For most of the 60-year history of the Kennedy dynasty, it's been easier to imagine its last act as coming in a burst of triumph, a spasm of violence or a dream-shall-never-die promise of enduring hope. On Tuesday, however, what might be the final note of this political symphony was written not in glory or tragedy, but in numbers, the sad prose of politics.

Sen. Ed Markey 55.6 percent, U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III 44.4 percent.

In a Democratic primary. In Massachusetts.