Archive for the ‘Clippings’ Category

Quotes of the day.

Friday, October 9th, 2015

There’s not a theme here or anything, just two quotes that tickled me.

Number One:

Number Two:

I deem it important to direct your attention to Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendments of the United States — “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This you should comply with immediately. Every union should have a rifle club. I strongly advise you to provide every member with the latest improved rifle, which can be obtained from the factory at a nominal price. I entreat you to take action on this important question, so that in two years we can hear the inspiring music of the martial tread of 25,000 armed men in the ranks of labor.

Ed Boyce, president of the Western Federation of Miners, addressing the 1897 WFM convention.

Obit watch: October 9, 2015.

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Paul Prudhomme. NYT.

Asked by The Toronto Star in 2000 to name his favorite dish, he did not hesitate. “From the time I was a child, it’s fresh pork roast with holes punched into it and filled with herbs, spices, pork lard, onions, peppers and celery and cooked in a cast-iron roasting pan in a wood-burning oven all night,” he said. “I’d serve that dish with candied yams, dirty rice and warm potato salad.”

Gail Zappa, Frank Zappa’s widow.

Number One!

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Our first firing of the NFL season:

The Miami Dolphins have fired head coach Joe Philbin, marking the end of a 52-game run in which the team was perennially mediocre.

He was 24-28 over those 52 games.

Also, the Washington Nationals have fired their manager, Matt Williams, and their entire coaching staff.

(Loser update tomorrow: have to wait on Detroit.)

105 years ago today.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

At 1:07 AM on October 1, 1910, a bomb went off at the Los Angeles Times.

The bomb was planted in an area full of volatile chemicals and near natural gas lines. The explosion and fire killed 21 people, most of whom burned to death.

At the time, there was a massive struggle between “labor” and “capital”; Bill James, in his book Popular Crime, suggests that we came close to a second Civil War during this period. The bombing of the Times was only one part of a great war, which included the assassination of Frank Steunenberg (more about that in the future), the Haymarket riot, and the Wall Street bombing.

The Times of the time was strongly pro-capital and anti-union, which made it a target. Three men – Ortie McManigal and the brothers J.B. McNamara and J.J. McNamara – were charged with the bombing. McManigal rolled on the McNamara brothers, who were members of the iron workers union.

The labor movement engaged Clarance Darrow to defend the McNamara brothers. He agreed to do so, but warned them that he would need a boatload of money ($350,000 in 1910 dollars) to a proper job. The unions painfully raised the money.

The problem was that the McNamara brothers were pretty much guilty. Darrow is supposed to have told them, “My God! You left a trail of evidence a mile wide!” Ultimately, Darrow pled both brothers out in order to avoid the death penalty.

This case came pretty close to destroying Darrow. The plea bargain alienated him from labor, cutting off a large source of his income. In addition, Darrow was charged with two counts of jury tampering for actions during the case: I’ve written about that before. It took a while for Darrow’s reputation to recover.

Historical article with photos from the LAT.

Wikipedia on the bombing.

Howard Blum’s American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century is a very good book on the bombing and the aftermath.

Short random notes: September 24, 2015.

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

James Mee has his job back.

I feel sure I’ve written about this before, but I can’t find the post now. Mr. Mee was a deputy with the LA County Sheriff’s Office. He was fired because of his alleged involvement in a police chase that ended when the vehicle he was supposedly chasing crashed into a gas station.

At least, that was the claim. So why was he really fired? Well, Mr. Mee was also one of the officers who arrested Mel Gibson back in 2006.

Mee’s lawyers argued that sheriff’s managers falsely blamed Mee for leaking details of Gibson’s 2006 arrest and the actor’s anti-Semitic tirade to celebrity news site Mee, his attorneys alleged, was repeatedly subjected to harassment and unfair discipline in the years that followed, culminating in his firing over the 2011 crash.

This one’s for Lawrence: Frank Gehry is working on a project to rehabilitate the Los Angeles River. This has some people upset.

(Obligatory. Plus, the video I’ve linked to before has been taken down, so call this a bookmark.)

Obit watch: September 23, 2015.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Yogi Berra has passed away.

In 1949, early in Berra’s Yankee career, his manager assessed him this way in an interview in The Sporting News: “Mr. Berra,” Casey Stengel said, “is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”

I hope he doesn’t find heaven too crowded.

The NYT obit, in my opinion, is unusually good, though I’m sure it has been in the files for a long time.

Obit watch and more random notes: September 18, 2015.

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Milo Hamilton, sports broadcaster.

Hamilton called Major League Baseball games on radio and television from the 1950s into the current decade, working for the St. Louis Browns (1953), St. Louis Cardinals (1954), Chicago Cubs (1956-57, 1980-84), Chicago White Sox (1962-65), Atlanta Braves (1966-75), Pittsburgh Pirates (1976-79) and the Astros, joining the team in 1985 and serving as its primary on-air voice from 1987 through 2012.


Warren “Remo Williams” Murphy. I’ve never read any of the Remo Williams books myself, mostly because I don’t know where to begin with the series. I am told by trustworthy individuals that they are fun…

New indoor range coming to South Austin. Well. Well well well. Well. I am looking forward to trying this out.

TMQ Watch (for real): September 15, 2015.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

That’s a 74-word lead with a parenthetical clause and a double hyphenation. Welcome to Tuesday Morning Quarterback.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Welcome back to TMQ Watch. After the jump…


TMQ Watch: September 15, 2015.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

For the past few days, Gregg Easterbrook has been hinting at a “major announcement” about the future of Tuesday Morning Quarterback.

Today was the day. And where did TMQ fetch up?

Would you believe the New York Times?

We almost didn’t believe it either, but, yes, TMQ is now under the purview of the paper of record. We’re not sure how we feel about this yet. But having just finished Public Editor Number One, we are hopeful that Easterbrook will be subject to fact checking, editorial guidance, and possibly even a corrections process; and, that if need be, the current NYT public editor can pull back on the reins and yell “Whoa!”

Does this mean that TMQ Watch will continue? Indeed. We would have already written up a TMQ Watch for today. However, we got stuck into a situation at work. We will not go into details except to say that we were busy all day (including lunch). Our plan is to curl up tonight with about four ounces of Canadian Club 10 Year Old Reserve, some fizzy water, and a copy of Carry On, Jeeves.

So new TMQ Watch tomorrow, probably late afternoon would be our guess.

A few random things I found interesting.

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Some by way of the Hacker News Twitter, others from elsewhere.

Nice appreciation of Elmore Leonard from The New York Review of Books.

Brian Krebs goes to Mexico in search of Bluetooth ATM skimmers, part 1.

Fun with software defined radio, or scanners live in vain.

NFL loser update resumes tomorrow.

Obit watch: September 14, 2015.

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Moses Malone, legendary NBA player with the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs (among other teams). NYT. HouChron.

Frank D. Gilroy. Interesting story. He knocked around television for a while in the 1950s and 1960s, then had a huge Broadway hit with “The Subject Was Roses”…and then was unable to replicate that success, and spent the rest of his life knocking around movies and theater.

Art (Acevedo), damn it! watch. (#X of a series)

Friday, September 11th, 2015

In the time I’ve been doing the Art (Acevedo) watch, I don’t think I’ve ever put up a photo of the chief. Some of the articles I’ve linked to may have had photos, but I don’t if people click through, and I don’t think there’s ever been one here.

Until now.

Yes, the chief is kind of a geek.

The chief also has a button installed in his office that makes the noise of the “red alert” alarm in classic Star Trek episodes.


“On the day it opens, do not call me,” he said. “Do not get in my way. I will be at the Alamo Drafthouse with a bucket of buttered popcorn.”

“Do not get in my way.” If someone does, could they be charged with obstruction of justice?