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Speaking of Lunatic Fringe…

Salve, mon ami!

The Republic had been declared. Marie Antoinette lost her mittens and her head while her peasants ate cake instead of bread. And, to get us in to the mood…enjoy this:

Napoleon Bonaparte : la marseillaise

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Thr rain came and seems to have left…for now. The humidity’s ‘sposeta go down, afterwards and — again — we’re sposeta have a fantabulous week. Sure hope so.

First off, will have a full week of Twacks for this but only Monday and Friday, next.

WABBIT STHEASTHON

 

Also, being that it IS Bastille Day AND that our French cousin-cousins have several mentions in historynet.com, for t’day, here are some of their items as to “What’s Happened’”, t’day in…

1430,   Joan of Arc was captured and turned over to the Bishop of Beauvois, where she was tried and convicted of heresy; the penalty for which was being burned at the strake as a heretic. Apparently, cross-dressing was seriously looked down upon in the 15th century.

1536,   The French and Portuguese signed the Treaty of Lyon, thereby aligning them against the Spanish. Perhaps to show their distaste for The Spanish Inquisition. For those unfamiliar with that, this may be helpful…

Monty Python – The Spanish Inquisition

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1789,   The French people stormed the Bastille, that era’s “storehouse” for political prisoners.

But wait! There’s more!

1933,   The Nazis began their Euthanasia program under the name of the, “…Law For the Protection of Hereditary Health”. Doesn’t THAT sound so much better? Ah, marketing departments. They could sell scheiss at a sewage plant and get top-dollar for it!

1941,   The Vichy French Foreign Legionnaires, rejected the capitulation of their Frnch collaborators with the Nazis and joined the Free French Foreign Legion as brothers in arms…fighting the folks who implemented the “Law For the Protection of Hereditary Health”.

1964,   We stay with our French theme as we recall that the U.S. sent 600 more troops to the former “French Indochina”, aka, Viet Nam. Funny but here we are 50-years later and what are we doing but sending “military-advisors” to yet other trouble-spots in the world. Does this define the adage, “past is prologue”? Or, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it?”

-TODAY’S RHETORICAL QUESTION:

Whatever happened to our Ella Noise State and ChiTown pension crises? Haven’t read nor seen nor heard anything about them and the dire consequences of them for a couple-three weeks now.

In all seriosity, ‘t’ain’t like they ain’t serious but may one infer that these CRISES, are being used more as fodder for political gamesmanship than in reality doing anything but political gains?

I only ask as, well, if they are THAT serious, why is it we only hear about them when it’s politically expedient for our feckless leaders?

-DA MAYORAL RACE

This is innerestin’. In a phone-poll, the S-T found that head-to-head, CTU Prez, Karen Lewis would beat SlyTalker by 9-points. What’s worse, current Cook County Board Prez, Toni Preckwinkle, would whup his skinny-arse by 25-points.

Both Lewis and Preckwinkle polled better amongst Blacks, 51.9% to 33.8% for Lewis and 59.1% to 11.8% for Preckwinkle and among Hispanics, 41.1% to 32.1% for Lewis and 35.9% to 41.3% for Preckwinkle. The kicker is both are black and while it is not a shock as Slytalker’s really alienated Blacks and Hispanics…BUT…amongst Whites, Preckwinkle out-polled TinyDancer, 54.8% to 34%!

Tiny’s response: “It’s laughable”. Memo to Rahmie: “He who laughs last laughs best”.

Personally, I like Lewis’ brashness as she can trade punches with the Dancer and take him down. However, we do not need another smart-ass; nor do we need another jingle-spouting/bumper-sticker running ChiTown. Preckwinkle’s run Cook County, the largest in the state and second largest in the country, with an estimated 5,240,700 residents, (40% of the State’s population  as of last year.) In that time, unlike her predecessor, she has run the County rather well. Not perfectly, mind you, but better than Todd and better than SlyTalker has in ChiTown…and better than The Mighty Quinn has the State.

-”I WANNA TAKE YOU HIGHER”..

Illinois may allow medical marijuana use by early next year!

FAR OUT! OR…

Cheech and Chong funny scenes

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-SPEAKIN’ OF BEIN’ HIGH…

Have any of you heard the “Impeachment” talk being gurgled by the right-wing-nuts; chief among them Caribou Barbie?

What I find interesting is this half-term-quitter-of-a-governor…who quit for any number of irresponsible reasons…is still given any credence by anybody…FAUX-News included.

For those who like her as anything more than the “comic-relief” of national punditry, this one’s for you:

Red Rider – Lunatic Fringe

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SPEAKING OF “LUNATIC FRINGE” AND WINDING THINGS UP FOR THIS SECTION…

-Anyone else notice how the “Benghazi” lunacy has ebbed since it’s been pretty much debunked?

That’s the last rhetorical question for this section.

 DUCK SEASON

WE BEGIN THIS SECTION ON A SAD NOTE.

-Not that I was ever a fan of The Ramones. (Honestly, I couldn’t name 1 of any of their songs. They’re just not my brand of vodka.) At the age of 65, the last surviving member, Tommy Ramone died yesterday.

THE “LAST SHIP SAILS” TO N’YAWK.

-After a successful preview run in ChiTown, Sting’s hit musical, “The Last Ship” weighed anchor yesterday; setting sail for Broadway. It got 4.4-stars outta 5, so not bad for his maiden voyage into writing a musical.

TUBULARLY SPEAKIN’…

-As we were watching some of the “summer replacement” shows, over the weekend, I mentioned to MBH how many top-tier actors/writers/directors are getting involved — not only — in mini-series on premium cable channels but even broadcast cable and major network broadcast outlets. I’ll begin with the major networks…feel-free to chime in with any you are watching, which may not..or are not…mentioned here.

“Extant”. This show is produced by Steven Spielberg and stars Halle Berry, along with Goran Visnjic and a slew of recognizable TV and feature-film vets. It involves Berry’s, “Molly”, who is sent on a solo-space-station mission for 13-months, where, of all things and among others, she gets herself preggers! This is discovered upon her return; where she also is trying to “bond” with her “humanich-child”. Read that, a cyborg/robot, which is built to grow as a real child. At one point, someone asks what happens if the cyborg/robot child decides NOT to behave as programmed, is there a “kill-option”? I’ll leave the rest for you to see and decide.

The FX are exceptional for a broadcast network show. Think “2001: A Sapce Odyssey”-quality. I know that was from 1968 but in comparison to others, that’s really good.

So far, it’s OK. We’ll see as we have only seen the pilot. Suffice to say, we have an eccentric, Japanese multi-billionaire, whose motives do not seem to be as advertised to others not in the know in the cast, along with the usual cast of two-faced hacks in his employ; as well as Molly’s pal, who really didn’t commit suicide…in fact, he’s still alive!

“The Last Ship”.

-No, not Sting’s but TNT’s. Obviously, the producers had to enlist; get and have as co-stars, the U.S. Navy, as an Arleigh Burke DDG-Destroyer is half the cast. For those unfamiliar, this is one bad-ass mutha of a warship. This is another apocalyptic-themed shows; this time a killer-virus which was weaponized…without an antidote…was rleased and, well you’ve probably intuited the reason for the name and theme of the show.

Honestly, I watch it more for the ship. Repeating, it IS one mean-mutha of a Destroyer. However, when a show has to rely on an inanimate object for 40 to 50% of its storyline, the rest of the plot(s) can suffer. For example, in last week’s episode, in a crazy, USS Cole-like attack, two sailors drove a speedboat with an IED at a Russian Nuke-Cruiser; almost exactly as the Cole attack was described. While that was going on, the Nathan James…the DDG…is attempting to escape by navigating through a shallow/narrow/coral-reef-just-barely-below-the-surface bay. They both succeed, with the Cole-type attackers leaping overboard from their boat as it heads towards the Ruckin’Fusskies. But that’s it. All we get after that is the Captain saying, “Let’s go pick up our cargo”. As if the FRs aren’t shooting at them while they’re in the water and somehow, they were able to swim far enough away from them…so far that they’re out of range of their guns; so the James can pick them up without being fired upon!

Like I said, I really like that ship.

“Under the Dome”.

-I’m a Stephen King fan but that notwithstanding, its plot’s beginning to devolve more into a Saturday afternoon cliffhanger of a series. What I’m getting at is this. While cars are available, the area under “The Dome” seems to be all within walking distances of the town. We see that as our protagonist-kids seek answers from the dome. (You have to have watched this show. It is far, too complex for me to offer a brief synopsis.)

My point is, with these geographics in mind, how are they to plausibly explain “new” characters whom nobody knew…even had a hint of a whiff…that they were there. That said, I’m still watching, though it does seem to be falling into something of a formulaic-pattern.

“The Leftovers”.

-This HBO newbie is gaining purchase as it evolves. While I was able to predict about 80% of last night’s episode’s key plotlines, it was still good as their representations were not necessarily in an “If p the q” progression. That “q” followed “p” did occur, but it did so in an unexpected manner. That’ the trick, isn’t it?

That and the fact that the characters’ characters are beginning to “flesh-out” if you will. As we did with “True Detective” and “Game of Thrones”, we need to have some patience as — again — this is a complex story; with a variety of characters who have suffered a variety of heart-rending losses of their loved ones.

We’re giving this one time. So far; so good.

“Ray Donovan”

-Showtime’s darkly violent story of a Catholic-priest-abused “fixer” for an LA law firm; along with his bros, one of whom was also abused…but who received a cash settlement from the Bahstehn archdiocese; his half-black-half-brother and punchy-bro; his scum-of-the-earth dad, (Jon Voigt), Mickey, are back and no, things haven’t gotten any better. Though the sons are now beginning to see things a bit more through Ray’s eyes as far as Mickey’s concerned. That said, and despite the fact that he’s w hore-mongering; drug-addled; drunk, he actually helped Ray as last season ended.

Elliott Gould’s Ezra, who has a brain tumor is still in not-such-great shape. That said, he just about steals every scene he is in.

Hank Azaria has joined the cast as the new LA Special Agent in Charge; destined for being the new FBI Director,James Cochrane. Somehow, Ray “charms” him and what seems to be an uneasy “peace” is set up between them.

This show is gritty; violent; sexy; dirty; occasionally weird and riveting. Liev Schreiber does something which few actors can. He’s made a womanizing-serial-cheater, (think Tony Soprano), still likeable to his wife, Abby, (think Carmella Soprano), and a violent-murderer, somehow likeable to us, too. We want Ray to succeed. Not because he was a victim of priest abuse but just because we want him to.

There’s a scene in last night’s season-opener, where he stands at the rear-end of his car; opnes it; strips off his suit coat and shirt; reaches into the trunk; grabs a baseball bat, (which I note are always wooden, btw), and walks into a bar after being refused by the party he wanted to join him. And fade to black.

-Just think. We haven’t gotten to “Homeland” yet.

I do believe Matthew McConaughey  was correct that these extended mini-series; especially on premium channels which allow far more latitude as adult-themed entertainment; allow actors to slowly and more completely evolve their characters as the plot lines run through their exposition; foreshadowing; main plot; sub-plots; and ultimately to the climaxes of the stories.

It’s like the difference between short-stories and novels. Both are great and when done well are excellent.

AND NOW…SPORT

 

Joseph Haydn – Deutschland Uber Alles

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So, Benny 4×4′s Storm Troopers took Frankie’s Gauchos to the woodshed, 1-0 for the World Cup Final.

 

With apologies to those who actually gave a damn about it, now that the World Cup’s been dispensed with, we’ll get on to other sports.

 

MLB HAS REACHED ITS “ALL-STAR BREAK”.

-It seems a bit late, this year. While it is in most instances, 10 or more games past the season’s halfway point, this is when most reviews and prognostications are done. Teams which have been on an uptick, look to continue and — hopefully — vie for a wild card spot, if not winning their division outright. Let’s do a little review of the teams we watch/follow, beginning with Whitney’s Yankees.

 

They’ve dropped to 47-46 and also have lost Japanese ace, Masahiro Tanaka to a torn ulnar ligament, which may result in Tommy John surgery. If not, the Yanks are hopeful he can return in 6-weeks. If so, he’s gone for — at least — a year. Right now, he’s on the 15-day DL.

 

Cubs fans who were dejected when he rejected them for the Yanks, may take solace in this, in that if he HAD chosen the Cubs and this happened, how few nanoseconds would elapse before we would hear those eenfahmoos words, “Cubbie occurrence”. No, I am not glad he’s hurt but under these particular circumstances and at this particular instant in time, I AM glad the Cubs were unable to sign him…at least for now.

 

-Joe’s Mutts. Though they are 45-50; they are also  8 outta their last 10. Trending up.

 

-After having been checking out the Giants taillights since — almost — the beginning of the season, Rene’s Doyers have surged to get  ahead of them by 1-game and now lead the NL West. Again, trending up.

 

-As many had been awaiting, the BrewTurds did not disappoint and — as usual — did their “June swoon”, allowing the RedTurds to get within 1-game of them, after having taken over first place, albeit only temporarily.

 

-Arnold, Bill, Dave and Nick’s Sox have played 5-5 for their last 10, not gaining anything really, nor losing much ground, either. Thankfully for them, the Tiggers have only played 6-4 ball over the same time frame. The Sox need to get hot and hope the Tiggs continue to muddle along.

 

At this point, we again wonder if Jose Abreu will be able to continue with his ML-leading 29-homers. He has been in the bigs since Opening Day, so the scouts have had time to “book” him. That said, he’s still thwacking the baseball out of just about any ballpark he’s been in. Like speed, you can’t teach power.

 

-And then there are the Cubs. As I said recently, at least for now, I’m leaning a bit towards the glass being — if not –

half full; maybe it’s at 40%. After all, they’re 40-54, .426 W/L %, or 69-93 projection. Trending…down. And, against the Braves, got their heinies whupped, big time! But they’re core position guys, Castro and Rizzo are doing well. Both were selected as All-Stars with Rizzo 2nd in the NL behind Tulowitzki’s  and Stanton’s 21-homers, with 20 of his own. Arrieta continues to be a solid starter, though if they can package Edwin Jackson in a trade or just drop him at the slag heap, fine.

Then there’s the new kid, Alismendy Alcantara. Granted, it’s only been 5-games. I know, miniscule sample size. However, he’s like greased lightning on the bases and in the field; is a switch-hitter and has  6 runs scored in those 5 games. So far, when he’s been on 2nd and there’s been a base hit, he’s scored. Again, once he gets booked, we’ll hafta see but for right now, he seems to have enough talent to stick. Actually, he’s been told he’s staying for their opening series in Arizona after the All-Star game. After that, who knows?

A quick look at the NL Central shows the next worst record ahead of the Cubs is Pittsburgh at 49-46. The Reds, RedTurds and BrewTurds have won: 51, 52 and 53 games, respectively. No other division has 5-teams over .500. So, even if Arismendy; Baez; Bryant and all the rest hit and click, that’s a tall order to fill.

 

Oh yeah, as noted in Toni Ginnetti’s column in t’day’s S-T, last year at this time, SwamiDale had them at 42-51, as opposed to Ricky Riccardo’s 40-54. Hmmmm.

 

ON THIS DATE IN MLB in…

 

1946,   Cleveland’s player-manager and future Cubs announcer, Lou Boudreau hit 4-doubles and a homer in a loss to the Red Sox, as Ted Williams hit 3-homers and a double in their 11-10 victory.

 

1967,   Playing for the AsstroHoles, former Milwaukee Brave Eddie Matthews hit his 500th homer.

 

1968,   The real all-time home run king, nonjuicer-Hank Aaron hit HIS 500th homer, a year after his former teammate, above, hit his.

 

1970,   Charlie Hustle, aka Pete Rose, did his eenfahmoos bowling over of Baltimore Oriole’s catcher Ray Fosse…”One! Singular sensation!”… scoring the winning run on the Cubs Jim Hickman’s single to win the All-Star game for the NL..

 

OK, I had other stuff I wanted to get to but with the weather and other interruptions, I’m callin’ this one.

 

Hope all y’all are doin’ well. Remember, any day we can look down at out plants; not up at their roots; it’s a good one.

 

Take care.

 

DaBigFatWat


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